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Old 06-21-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
handicap18
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Handicap18's 2009 Photo Trip Report (full report done)

Last week DW and I spent 4 days and 3 nights at the World. Our home base was Port Orleans: Riverside. That is our 2nd time at that hotel and we really love it, especially DW. After all she's gone through over the few years and especially the last 4-6 months this hotel was exactly what she wanted. Its very peaceful and a great place just to walk around and enjoy the moment.

Disney housekeeping stepped up BIG TIME for us. Because of DW's PTSD all her alergies have gotten worse over the last 6 months. Her big alergy is dust mites. The first night she ended up sleeping in a mask and still woke up with her eye's puffy and had trouble breathing. We talked to the housekeeping manager, told him what we needed and what the issues were and they did EVERYTHING we asked. They gave us a new mattress still in the plastic, washed all our sheets seperately, took out the appoulstred chairs and gave us plain plastic chairs, steam cleaned the rug and took the curtain down that was around the bed. The 2nd night DW slept like a dream. It was PERFECT. But then again, thats not really surprising when it comes to Disney and their service.

Even the counter service chefs went out of their way to cook her chicken sperately and make rice pasta.

As for the parks, they were pretty crowded. It was probably the most crowded I've experienced in my now 5 trips. Even with that and the heat I still enjoyed myself.

If you've started reading Mark Barbieri's trip report, I'll agree with him in that the heat definitley cuts down on your willingness to concentrate on taking photos. Seeing as how we didn't have the kids, I still managed to do what I could with the photography part of my trip (which was most of it... ). I had hits and misses. I've gotten all the images (1,754) uploaded to the computer and now I need to start going through them. I only used 3 8GB CF cards and 2 of them I didn't fill completely (shooting in RAW on the D300).

Some of the things I did.... (some photography geared, some not).... I did a few things I haven't done before... At EPCOT I saw Honey I Shruk the Audience for the first time (Its got A/C... lol) and saw Off Kilter for the first time. They were a lot of fun. I got cought in Morocco during a WICKED thunderstorm, had to hang out in that little store next to where Mo-Rockin plays. Was there for at least 40 minutes watching it down pour like crazy.

At DHS I went to the Indiana Jones show for the first time since our first trip, did Muphets 3D for the first time and saw Beauty and the Beast (missed it on our last 2 trips). I also walked through the Walt Disney a Man with a Vision attraction (it had A/C!!). Never did that one before. We rode GMR, but that was at the end of the night and I was to tired to take pictures in there, though I did manage I think 2 with the 10-20 (didn't even want to change lenses at that point... lol). RnRC and ToT were both over 60 minute waits the whole day and by the time we got to the park, fast pass wasn't even available.

Magic Kingdome I did in 2 stages. Got there for the rope drop and pre opening show (first time for me on that one) and stayed till about 1:30 before going back to the hotel for a little rest. In the AM I rode BTMR twice and SM once, all back to back to back with little wait. That was cool. Pirates had a 10 minute wait so I did that in that am, though I'm not really pleased with my photos from the ride. Space Mtn was closed for renovation so couldn't do that.

Around 5:30 DW and I went back and I ended up meeting up with Gdad for the rest of the evening. Jeff, it was great meeting you and hanging out for a few hours. Thanks for making the drive in. We did PotC and HM, wandered around with the camera's. Looked for a spot for Spectro and Wishes, but my usual spot was all taken up before 8pm for the 9pm parade. So we made our way in front of the partners statue and hung out for a few hours for the parade and fireworks. After that was some badly needed food at Cosmic Rays, then some night shots around Tomorrowland and around the Castle. We packed it up around midnight. DW had a great time wandering by herself. She did Philharmagic 3 times and did a lot of shopping. She was very happy.

The last day was Animal Kingdom. I wanted to get there for the 8am EMH, but not getting back to the hotel till around 1am that made it difficult especially since I had to get my stuff packed up because it was our last day. I got to the park around 9am and made a b-line for the safari. Not a good showing for the animals as the heat probably kills them more so than me... lol. Walked the forest trial and Mahraja (sp) trail while in between saw FotLK. Didn't want to do to much more as my feet at this point were killing me and there's not as much a/c around AK so after about 4 1/2 hours I headed back to get ready to go home.

Not sure how long it will take to get pictures up and running. I'll do a little each day and post them here.

I had a lot of fun using the Sigma 10-20mm. My 18-135mm probably still isn't as bad as I may have though it was, but I still think I'll be needing to get an f/2.8 standard zoom as my next lens. Luckily this trip there were no camera accidents. Also about a week before the trip I broke down and bought the BlackRapid strap. WOW. Works like a charm. NO issues at all carring the camera around all day in the heat. I like it better than the Op-Tech strap. If the BlackRapid had the neoprane strap like the Op-Tech it would be the absolute most perfect camera strap ever made (IMO).

Anyway, time to wrap up this inital post up so I can get to bed than unfortunately back to work tomorrow.
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Last edited by handicap18; 07-01-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #2
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Welcome back! Glad to hear that you guys didn't let the heat or crowds get to you. I totally agree that Disney's customer service (IMO) usually can't be beat. It's great that they took your DW's issues into consideration and did their best to accomodate her and make her feel comfortable.

Can't wait to see some pics!
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handicap18 View Post
Also about a week before the trip I broke down and bought the BlackRapid strap. WOW. Works like a charm. NO issues at all carring the camera around all day in the heat. I like it better than the Op-Tech strap. If the BlackRapid had the neoprane strap like the Op-Tech it would be the absolute most perfect camera strap ever made (IMO).
Welcome home, Kyle! I bought the BR strap a couple of months ago and can't wait to take it down to WDW in September.

Can't wait to see some shots!
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Kyle,

Glad you and the DW had a good time. It sounds like this was the perfect way to relax (you and I know what our type of work can do to the body).

Looking forward to some great pics. I'm also want to hear more about the Black Rapids strap. I watched the video and it gives me stress even with my cheapo camera setup. I couldn't imagine that with your D300.

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Old 06-21-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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Looking forward to your report.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handicap18 View Post
Around 5:30 DW and I went back and I ended up meeting up with Gdad for the rest of the evening. Jeff, it was great meeting you and hanging out for a few hours. Thanks for making the drive in. We did PotC and HM, wandered around with the camera's. Looked for a spot for Spectro and Wishes, but my usual spot was all taken up before 8pm for the 9pm parade. So we made our way in front of the partners statue and hung out for a few hours for the parade and fireworks. After that was some badly needed food at Cosmic Rays, then some night shots around Tomorrowland and around the Castle. We packed it up around midnight.
Kyle- Great meeting you guys as well. As has been said it was way hot and way crowded even past midnight. (Reminded me why I usually avoid the place in the summer months. ) But I had an excellent time. Looking forward to seeing some pictures.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Glad you and your DW had a good trip - looking forward to the pics!
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #8
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Great to hear you both enjoyed yourselves with some much needed and deserved down time ... no better place on earth to get it than the world. Can't wait to see what you did with the D300 while you were there. I am taking mine to Florida the end of the week but not to WDW. Heading down to Sanibel Island with some friends for a few days and am looking forward to giving my D300 a good workout.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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Glad you had a great trip. Sorry we didn't have a chance to meet. I had planned on sending my wife and kids back to the camp Thursday evening and heading over to Epcot to meet you, but the storms blew away that plan. I couldn't send the family back to the camp to face unknown storm issues without me.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:17 AM   #10
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Welcome back! And thanks for the trip report. Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:21 PM   #11
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Glad to hear you and your wife had a good time. Glad the staff at POR came through for you, too. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

PS my neighbors are leaving tomorrow for their first trip w/kids EVER. I'm worried about the heat and crowds for them after reading these "veteran" reports, but I'm sure they'll have a good time anyway.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
Glad to hear you and your wife had a good time. Glad the staff at POR came through for you, too. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

PS my neighbors are leaving tomorrow for their first trip w/kids EVER. I'm worried about the heat and crowds for them after reading these "veteran" reports, but I'm sure they'll have a good time anyway.
our first trip ever was in July and even that didn't stop us from going back..course now that we have gone in winter we won't be doing july ever again
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Glad you had a great trip. Sorry we didn't have a chance to meet. I had planned on sending my wife and kids back to the camp Thursday evening and heading over to Epcot to meet you, but the storms blew away that plan. I couldn't send the family back to the camp to face unknown storm issues without me.
Completely understandable. That storm was wicked. I haven't seen rain and wind combined like that in a long time.


I'm in the process of converting day 1 photos. I have about half done, but haven't uploaded any to smugmug yet. I'll hopefully get that done tomorrow. Then on Wednesday I'll have some time to get a day 2 and hopefully day 3 done.

My feet are feeling much better, but I'm still going to get myself fitted for a real good pair of sneakers. I've had this happen to may times to ignore it any further.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:36 AM   #14
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At EPCOT I saw Honey I Shruk the Audience for the first time
I think you meant that you saw it for the last time, too. It's no Muppetvision.

Glad to hear that you had a pretty good trip. It's been so long since I've been in the summer that I can't even imagine. Our trip last April was already plenty hot and crowded for our tastes! Very little rain in April, too - I would have enjoyed more, I like excuses to shoot in the rain.

Glad to hear that you liked the BR strap, too. I almost picked one up before the last trip... maybe it'll have to be on the list for the next one!
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:00 AM   #15
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Welcome back Kyle!! Nice to hear that most things went well for you and your dw. Good to see mousekeeping came through for ya. Gotta love Disney!! Can't wait for the pics.....
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