Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day Four AM - MGM Studios

We stepped outside our rooms to an overcast day, which in no way diminished the heat and humidity. As we waited at the bus stop for the bus to MGM Studios, it began to rain quite heavily. Yet, we refused to use the emergency ponchos that we had tucked into our bags. Once the poncho is unleashed from its plastic pouch, it definitely was going to go back in easily. It would have been a shame to pull out the poncho only to have the rain stop a few minutes later. Then we would have been stuck hauling it around for the rest of the morning. It also seemed quite unbearable to be encased in plastic when it was so hot and humid.

We were near the front of the line, so when the bus arrived we looked forward to boarding to get some relief from the rain. We were prevented from doing so by a couple of wheelchairs that needed to be loaded first. If you are in a wheelchair, you don’t need to wait in the regular line for the bus. Instead you wait by the curb near the back of the bus. This doesn’t seem quite fair to me. There could be the equivalent of three bus loads of people waiting in line for a bus and a person in a wheelchair can just roll up and load on the next bus, along with everyone else in their party. The queue lines are quite wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair so I don’t see why they are not able to wait their turn in line along with the rest of us. As you can see, this is somewhat of a sore subject for me. As the week went on, I experienced quite a bit of pain in my knees from all the standing on concrete that we did, much of it in line waiting for the bus.

Anyway, we made our way to MGM Studios Park in plenty of time for the rope drop, then immediately went to the Tower of Terror to pick up FP’s. Next we got into the short line for Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, featuring Aerosmith. As this was our first time on this ride, we were both more than a little nervous. Me especially, as I had never been on a roller coaster in which you go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. With one group ahead of us, we were assigned a line to wait to board the car. Suddenly, the ride shut down and the people already on the ride were escorted off. A few minutes later, maintenance personnel enter the building and disappeared inside. While a small part of me was relieved that I wasn’t on the ride, a bigger part of me wished I could just get it over with. After a few more minutes, they decided to close down the ride due to “technical difficulties.” As we exited the ride, we were given FP’s to ride later.

As it was still raining pretty heavily, we broke down and purchased Mickey Mouse ponchos for $7.00. These ponchos were a lot sturdier than the cheap emergency ponches we brought with us. However, we still didn’t put them on.

Our window to use our FP’s for Tower of Terror had opened up and we walked the short distance to the Hollywood Tower Hotel. This ride is different than the one at DCA as the elevator moves out and along the hotel floor before locking into place for the drop sequences. It was a lot of fun.

After Tower of Terror we walked back to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster and found that it was now open. So we used our FP’s and this time actually got to ride. It was scary, very fast, and totally awesome. There are three upside down loops, but you’re going so fast and it’s so dark that you barely notice that you are upside down. After exiting, the line was still very short, so we rode it again. This time I was a little less scared, but it was still very fast. I was able to open my eyes and check out some of the scenery around me instead of just hanging trying to survive.

MGM Studios is part theme park and part an actual working studio. Our next stop was the Backlot Tour which promised us a behind the scenes glimpse into the studio portion of the park. This was not quite as interesting as it was portrayed. It began with a short special effects show in a water tank using audience members chosen before the show began, followed by walk through a prop warehouse and ended with a guided tram tour through the lot. We didn’t really get to see a whole lot of the working studio portion, but it was nice to just sit down and ride.

After exiting the tour, we raced over to the outdoor (covered) theatre just in time to see Beauty and the Beast Live Action Show, an elaborate, enchanting musical spectacular. We both enjoyed the show every much and again it was nice to just sit down and rest.

We looked through a few more of the shops before checking in for our 12:00 noon reservation at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant. This was a lot of fun and is on our must-do list for future visits. The inside of this restaurant is themed to look exactly like a drive-in movie theater. It’s dark and looks like your outside. There’s a giant movie screen at the front that continuously plays clips from old, black and white science fiction movies of the 50’s. Guests are seated in vintage convertibles. Each car contains three rows of seats with a narrow table area and each row can seat two people. We were seated in the last row of our car. In front of us was a party of three people, one in the front seat and two in the middle seat. Since we were all seated in the same car, our waiter introduced us to each other. The last name of the couple in front of us was Beverage. We thought that was an unusual last name.

The service was excellent and the waiter very friendly. For our appetizer, we both ordered the onion rings. This could have been a meal by itself as the plate was heaping with crispy, golden brown rings. We each chose the ribs as our entrée and they were delicious. The ribs were recommended by the women from Disney Dining that I spoke with when making our dining reservations 90 days prior. She said they were based in Coca-Cola and were out of this world. The ribs were served with fries and the best tasting cole slaw I had ever eaten. High praise from someone who doesn’t really care for cole slaw. By the time we were ready for dessert, we were stuff. Since we planned to return to the hotel for a rest, we asked for our dessert to go. Jason ordered the special 50th anniversary dessert, the cheesecake, while I ordered the chocolcate tart.

With perfect timing, the bus pulled up just as we arrived at the stop and in no time at all we were back at the Pop Century and tucked in for a nap.


Post a Comment

<< Home