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Old 08-07-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
alan
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The 4F Trip Report - Day 08

Trip Report Index is here

The 4F Trip Report

Day 08 - 04-Jul-2009 - Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic

It might be worth having a quick review of the dramatis personae
  • Alan - Daddy, main organiser who spends much of his time behind the camera
  • Marie - Mummy
  • Jenni - DD9
  • Cameron - DS7
  • Uncle John - my brother-in-law
  • Granny and Granda - Marie's parents

Okay, on with the report. The 4th of July. Independence Day. Busy parks. Late night last night. This was carefully planned to be a relaxed day, just to be spent in and around the pool. But things never quite work to plan, and it turned out that today was the only day that I could fit Fantasmic into the mix. I was wanting to go for the Fantasmic dining plan, where you eat in a nominated restaurant and get a ticekt to let you into a special area of the Fantasmic arena for the show, but with it being the 4th of July, the only restaurant I could book was the Brown Derby - the most expensive restaurant in the park!

Never mind. Did I say a day for everyone to splash around the pool? Well, almost. I decided that I wanted to hit the Magic Kingdom to take some better photographs of the show I had seen on the first day, and also I wanted to go and collect the car for tomorrow's trip to the Kennedy Space Center. So I left the others at the pool and got the bus to Magic Kingdom.

I arrived about 10am, and was able to get in easily. The place was buzzing with excitement, and was very busy. There was a cast member at the entrance handing out little "Stars and Stripes" plastic pins - I collected one for each of the children and suppressed a smile when I noticed that they were Made In China.

There were characters I didn't recognise:




And then I noticed the barber shop quartet. I followed them through the crowd and managed to catch up with them. They were singing "Nellie Dean" to an old lady who was obviously knocked out by it. They sang beautifully!


After a couple of songs I left and walked to the castle. Since there was still half an hour or so until the show, I tried a few photos of the local flora and statuary






And then there there was nothing to do but wait.

About ten minutes before the show, Mr Pyro Man came along and placed all the pyros into their holders. Note the good technique here, making sure that the pyro is pointed away from his face as he inserts it into the holder. Get that wrong, and any residual charge in the firing circuit could really ruin your day...


A few minutes after he had gone, another stage crew member walked round checking all that had been done - very impressive examples of best practice here!

At last the show started - Donald, Minnie, and (oh heck, I can never remember whether it's Pluto or Goofy!) a dog, along with a beautiful chorus.


The dancers seem intent on doing as many pirouettes as possible, to show off their previously alluded to recession-busting legs (don't worry, I'll only put one such picture in here - there's no recession at the Dibb!)


Now the dancers I know say it's not fair - boys can get away with much more than women can. Looking at the high kicks of the dancers on the left of this picture, the girls may have a point!


Then we get the Princesses and their Consorts:


But Donald gets fed up with this, looking for some boyish excitement and adventure, and none of this wussy girly stuff. So in comes a boy in tights. Everyone dresses up as Pirates, and we get a bit of yo-ho-hoing

(Drat! Another flash of leg there. Sorry. Won't happen again)
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2009 photo trip report here
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:50 AM   #2
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Just as the merry japing is going full tilt, who appears but a real baddy - Captain Hook. But Peter Pan makes short work of him


And just as he's going away, who should appear but... erm... a lady with a green face

(Hey, that's the pyro we saw being fitted earlier!)

She says that she's had enough of this "dreams" nonsense - the world will be a nightmare. The good guys say that that's just horrible, and everyone's good dreams will defeat her. She says "oh no they won't", the goodies say "oh yes they will", everyone in the audience helps the goodies and nasty old green face vanishes in a puff of pyro and a round of applause.

Everyone's happy and does a wee dance

(Aargh! More legs. Sorry)

I pack up my kit and leave the Magic Kingdom, pausing momentarily because there's a parade and I can't get out - I might as well take a picture or two


Okay, back to using the past tense. The excitement has left me a little bit "American Newscaster".

I left the Magic Kingdom and got the Monorail to the Ticketing and Transportation Centre. Center. Bah. From there I got a shuttle bus to the Alamo/National car rental desk, and I brought out my documents. That showed that I could collect the car on 05-Jul. Oh ######!

It would have cost me US$100 to hire the car for an extra day. Given that all it would do for that day would be to sit in the hotel's car park, I decided that that was just silly and I would get it tomorrow morning. So the nice man with the shuttle bus drove me back to the hotel, leaving me feeling pretty silly!

We played in the pool for a while, then it was time for our (somewhat early) dinner at the Brown Derby. So we went for the bus. On the way, Granny decided that she wanted a warm cardigan for the evening, and so she, Granda and Uncle John went back to the hotel room, and Marie, the kids and I went on to Hollywood Studios.

Once again, there were characters I didn't recognise:

(oops, more legs... don't think these ones count!)

and we got ourselves checked in at the restaurant.

Granny caught up, and went for the special 4th of July Marguerita


We ate what I must say was a very nice meal. Was it worth two DDP credits? No, not to me, but it was still very nice

After the meal we had a little time to kill. Cameron noticed a "stamped penny" machine, something he has been fascinated for many years of his short life. So he got one stamped


and while there, he and Jenny noticed the Disney pins for the first time. Without going into too much detail, Jenni bought a starter kit and Cameron bought a lanyard and two or three Star Wars pins. It'll be interesting to see where, if anywhere, this hobby goes.

Right, it's time for Fantasmic and I have changed tense again. I'll stop that now.

We went to our allocated area, and were glad we were able to do so as the main area was standing room only


As we sat and waited for the show to start, the night gradually got darker and the lights, without changing intensity, began to pick out features on the rocks. A very clever and well-done presentation. Just before the show started, I nipped off to get a beer (plus one each for Granda and Uncle John) and arrived in perfect time for the show to start.

I'm not going to claim that I really "got" the story in detail, but the spectacle was amazing. So, as something of a cop-out, here are a few photos, interspersed with comments

It's all about Mickey




Videos are projected onto fountains... immensely clever.
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Links to my web sites at www.thepotters.org/alan : flickr

2009 photo trip report here
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
alan
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I think that these Britons are baddies, but I was cheering them on!






A dragon around is never a good sign


Especially when s/he sets fire to the lake. And believe me, when you're near the front, you can really feel the heat from these flames!






Guess what? Mickey wins in the end


And then we left. We thought about trying to go and see if we could get into Toy Story Mania, but the main square under the hat was absolutely hoaching (that's Scots for "very busy"). Of course, people were waiting for the July 4th fireworks... so we did the same.

Here's the hat with its lights in the sky


And here we have Marie and Jenni waiting patiently for the show to start.


And we finish off with a couple of fireworks shots




The first tune played was an arrangement of the US National Anthem, which faded out and was replaced by "Born in the USA". As it ended, the chap beside me whooped, really loudly, "Rock and Roll U-S-A". I thought about the reaction an equivalent shout would get in the UK, and truly I don't know whether we have it right or the Americans have.

When we left the park, the buses were of course very busy, but the service was frequent and the queues cleared quickly.

And then, for the first time this holiday, I had to set my alarm clock to get me up in the morning. Well, I had a car to collect, hadn't I?
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My next show - Into The Woods, in the woods in Dunblane!
Links to my web sites at www.thepotters.org/alan : flickr

2009 photo trip report here
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:28 AM   #4
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Another great day.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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brilliant 4th of July your photo's are once again amazing - total respect
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
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What a great day - shame you got the wrong date for the car but at least you got over to MK to see the castle show.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Another great day! I didn't understand Fantasmic when we saw it either!
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:39 PM   #8
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DHS is absolutely the best choice for 4th July, IMHO. Not as busy as MK and Epcot (albeit it's all comparative) and those one-off fireworks, to boot.

We have a monthly photo competition on UK Community, y'know (although the regulars may not thank me for telling you ).
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:50 PM   #9
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Absolutely loved your photos of the show in front of the castle
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:15 AM   #10
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Another great day
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
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Another awesome day...another awesome firework show
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