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Old 12-31-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
WDWFigment
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Post Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland...At 1 am Back Home (UPDATE: CINDY CASTLE SUITE TOUR)

Preface:

Welcome to Christmas 2010 Walt Disney World Report! For those of you who have been following our Saga in our other reports, thank you for joining us once again! For those first time readers, thanks for opening this thread--we hope it doesn’t disappoint!

Worth noting is that this report report is over 50 single spaced pages of text. I don't point this out because I want to warn you before you make the time commitment to read it, but because at this length, and given my schedule, much of the report was written very hastily. I hope that it’s somewhat coherent and not rife with grammatical errors, stylistic faults, misspelled words, or incorrect word choices (for example, in a previous report, I meant to type “cookie,” but I was distracted while typing and wrote “cutter”) but such may be the case.

Also worth noting, since I receive many comments and private messages asking about this, is that Sarah’s dresses are mostly a brand called “BCBG.” There are other brands, too, but I can’t remember them--most are BCBG. She gets them from Sample Sales. These are discounted invite-only websites that sell nice clothing and products. They are all legitimate retailers of said products (not like some New York street corner selling knock-off Louis Vutton purses). We've saved a LOT of money buying through these sites rather than the mall. Here are our favorites ranked in descending order:
#1 - Gilt Groupe/Gilt Man
#2 - Rue La La
#3 - HauteLook
#4 - Ideeli (mostly women's stuff)
#5 - Beyond the Rack
Probably wouldn’t have received a ton of questions this time as you can’t see most of the dresses since she’s bundled up, but there’s the info, anyway.

As this is a Christmas trip, I begin writing this with the goal to get it out prior to Christmas prior to 2011. Given how busy I’ll be between now and then with work (apparently it piles up when you take nearly two weeks off!), holiday shopping, and other responsibilities, I’m going to attempt to make it shorter than prior installations. It will likely have significantly fewer images, as I focus on writing now, and updating at future junctures with additional images and, possibly, more text. Despite the fact that we got far fewer images than us this trip than we normally do, this TR actually has far fewer of the artistic ones since those are more time consuming to edit.

Alright, enough with the disclaimers, warnings, and other miscellaneous opening remarks. On with the show!

----

The trip began in its typical manner, under chaotic circumstances. Packing the night before actually went better than usual, as we had accomplished some packing ahead of time. We got to bed relatively early the night before, around 10:30 pm. The next morning we were up bright and early, with Sarah’s dad taking us to the airport at 5:30 am. We took one set of bags down to the car and were planning on going back up for incidental items, to do a once over, and to lock up the fort. The previous trip down, I told Sarah that I would just leave the keys upstairs since my hands were full. Unfortunately, in our apartment building, once the door shuts, you have to use a sensor (on our keychain) to open the front door. Here we are, at 5:30 am in 20 degree weather, no coats, locked out of our apartment building. We had to go back upstairs as our unit’s door was open, plus Sarah’s ID was up there.

The natural response to this situation is to buzz the call box of all adjacent tenants to see if they’ll let you in. Well, maybe this isn’t the natural response of everyone, as some of you may have more common courtesy than us, but it was 5:30 am, we were freezing, and fearful that we’d miss out flight to WDW. It was our natural reaction. Our neighbors either were undisturbed by the constant buzzing (in which case no harm, no foul), or chose to ignore (in which case I don’t feel too sorry for them). Not knowing what to do, we called the apartment’s emergency line. This line is reserved for situations such as gas and water leaks, but I felt missing a flight to WDW was fairly analogous, so we called and left a message. After more time passed, the gentleman who delivers the newspaper came by and let us in. But for him, I think we would have missed our flight. Add leaving our keys in the house to the list of things not to do before heading to WDW (add it to the list of things not to do whenever leaving home, for that matter).

Other than this, the trip down was relatively uneventful. There was one somewhat minor issue, but that was relatively quickly resolved: I couldn’t decide whether to order 2 or 3 sausage McMuffins with egg from McDonald’s. I decided to order 2, then see if I wanted another. I ended up wanting another, but was too lazy to wait in line again. Lesson learned there!

Sarah was selected for advanced screening in Indy, so she went through one of the WBI machines. I did a fair amount of research on WBIs, BDOs, SPOT, and the rest of the acronym soup involving advanced measures of airport security in law school, so I was sort of hoping to be selected for the screening to experience it first hand. (For those curious, my ultimate thesis was that whole body imaging was impractical due to its costs and inevitable ability of terrorists to circumvent it; I found advanced screening unobjectionable from a personal liberties perspective. Although I’m sure no one cares.)

Once through screening, we headed to our gate, and boarded shortly thereafter. We slept most of the flight there to conserve our energy. What seemed like 15 minutes later, we touched down in Orlando, and headed towards the DME area. In previous trip reports, I’ve commented on our inability to find this area despite heading there so frequently, and more importantly, having maps indicating how to get there. This hadn’t been an issue for the last couple of trips, as we had found it right away without the maps, but this time, I decided to follow my instinct, and disregard the map--with Sarah all the while telling me I was leading us the wrong direction. As a proud male who both refuses to follow a map and is seldom wrong, I can only assume the airport had been reconfigured since our last trip, as we were in the wrong area.



We re-traced our steps, headed to the other side of the airport, and boarded the DME shortly thereafter. Since we were staying at an All Star resort (Music) the first night of our trip, we were sandwiched in among Pop Warners parents and players. They must not have been too loud, as I was able to sleep. (I almost wish they had kept me awake, as I missed that DME video, which I love!)



This would be the first of two admittedly “new” DME bus drivers we’d have on the trip; this particular one drove to All Star Music, before realizing he had forgotten to stop at All Star Sports, and turning around--without dropping off us guests staying at AS:Mu. Not wanting to deal with any more of his brilliant moves, Sarah and I got out at Sports and walked to Music. Given the crowd that came behind us to check-in, I’m fairly confident that I’m right.

We met our friend, Nick, at the check in desk and then proceeded to our room to drop off some stuff before we headed immediately to the Magic Kingdom. I had opted to wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt that day given that we’d be in Indy part of the day, and that night was supposed to be cool, but I noticed that even during the day, I didn’t feel hot in that attire. Oh well, I thought, the next 11 days would be warmer.



We engaged in so many unique experiences and I’ve written so many thoughts on specific attractions in previous trip reports in the past that to do so again would be superfluous. If there was anything out of the ordinary or specific to this trip of which I think, I’ll discuss it, but otherwise, assume we rode attractions each day in addition to what is discussed.

First on the agenda was eating. We stopped at the best restaurant in the world, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Actually, after two consecutive 10 plus day trips, I have to admit that Cosmic Ray’s has fallen a few rungs on my ladder. I just can’t eat that way for that way. My body is trained to be a lean, mean, killing machine, and Cosmic Ray’s food is more conducive to pudgy, groogy, waddling critters. Don’t get me wrong, the burger is still great, especially with a liberal assortment of toppings, it just isn’t something I can eat day in and day out.



We hit a couple of attractions before seeing the WDW Today Reunion group across from Aloha Isle. I wasn’t quite sure how Nick would take to hanging around with a huge group of Disney nerds, so I quickly said hello to a couple of the guys we know before we headed off. Nick had to leave for work shortly thereafter, so I figured we’d meet up with them at that time.



About 45 minutes later, that’s exactly what we did. This meet-up was at the Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery. Since we’re well aware that the Gallery costs additional money to play, we’ve typically avoided it. However, I must say that the targets look pretty cool. Had we any cash, we might have given it a whirl. I was a bit dismayed to learn that it didn’t keep score, though. What’s the point in a game that doesn’t keep score?!? I am not some 6 year old who needs to be coddled by over-protective parents and a society that says kids are scarred if they lose, I want the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.



During our honeymoon, we met up with Henry Work, the developer for TouringPlans.com one evening. Shortly thereafter, I began writing for the TouringPlans.com Blog and working for TouringPlans.com on photo projects for the site. If you check out the mastheads at the top of each page, you might recognize some of the photos. With the exception of the Disneyland TouringPlans site and a couple other photos here and there, they’re mine.

In addition to designing all of the Mastheads for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World TouringPlans.com pages, I’ve been creating galleries for each attraction (click link and scroll down for an example) meant to give users an idea of what to expect from the attraction--from the time you approach the exterior to the time you exit the queue. At first, this didn’t seem like much of an undertaking, I figured I had a lot of these photos already, and could just harvest my computer’s photos. Unfortunately, that was not the case, which meant that that this trip, I would be making an conscious effort to take more photos of the attractions. While the task proved a fun challenge, it also meant taking a lot more photos, and with the already large RAW size of the D7000’s images, I found myself filling up my external hard drive in a hurry. So quickly, that by the second day of the trip, I was already contemplating ordering a new one from Amazon.com, and using Prime to get it to me in a hurry. Being a bit of a gambler, I opted against this. As you’ll read later, this may have been a mistake.

Anyway, at the gallery, we saw Henry (you’ll notice him in these photos as the one who is ridiculously tall) and he introduced us to Reilly, another TouringPlans.com staff member. After chatting briefly, I did some shooting--with my camera, before we headed on to the Haunted Mansion. The wait was something that seemed ridiculous to me (probably 20 minutes), but the entire group was doing it, so we thought, “what the heck.” It would turn out that a wait of 20 minutes would be pretty standard for the Haunted Mansion this trip. Odd, as I don’t think we’ve ever waited that long during the height of the summer season. I will explain my theory on this later.

We split off from the group after Haunted Mansion as it looked like it would be a long wait before everyone else got off the attraction. While we like doing group things, we were concerned with getting as much done as possible before my parents joined us two days later, as we predicted the pace would slow down then.

When we first started going to WDW together in 2006, it quickly became a tradition for us to go the Magic Kingdom the night we arrived, and start the evening by relaxing on the TTA. This tradition quickly died, as we started booking our flights earlier and earlier, and it wasn’t always advantageous to hit the MK on the first night. Not wanting to get away from our “roots” too far, we decided to do the TTA then, even if it was still daytime, and not our first attraction. As I’ve said before, the TTA is so much better at night. It’s nice during the day, but at night it’s next-level.



As we approached the return-station on the TTA, we noticed the group heading into Tomorrowland. We watched them as we exited the ride, and they queued up for Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin. It seemed like as good of a time as any to rejoin the group, so we did. Managed to do TTA while they had waited--not too shabby!





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Old 12-31-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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We did more, both with the group and by ourselves, before meeting for the group dinner at Peco’s Bills at 6 pm. We had a room all to ourselves, which was pretty cool. Not so cool was that the only place to get the wristbands for the MVMCP was near Stitch’s Great Escape and the party was about to start right as we finished dinner! We had passed this location several times while wrist bands were being distributed earlier in the afternoon, putting it off because we’d “do it later somewhere else.” I swear there were multiple locations to get the bracelets in previous years.







To mentally prepare myself for the party, way back in September I began assembling tracks from the Main Street loop that plays during MVMCP. Shout out to MagicMusic.net, which helped me immensely in this process: http://www.magicmusic.net/blog/2/ent...rty-msusa-bgm/ As the party started and we heard this music on Main Street, I think my heart skipped a beat. It’s one thing to have the loop quietly playing at my office on a Monday morning, it’s an entirely different feeling to hear it bellow from the Magic Kingdom speakers at the start of MVMCP on the first night of a trip. It was pure bliss. Seriously. As I thought there, I realized MVMCP was the key to world peace. Nobel Peace Prize committee, private message me for my address so you can mail my award to me.

Knowing that we’d be attending two more MVMCPs during the trip, we didn’t strategize too much to make sure that we got everything done. We made a rough schedule that had us experiencing everything except the Celebrate the Season stage show and the character meet and greets. We figured my parents would want to experience these things, and by cutting them from this night, we had more time with the group.



One thing we did commit ourselves to do was watch the fireworks during each party, and watch each running of the parade. The fireworks would be easily accomplished. After all, they’re fireworks...how can you possibly NOT endeavor to watch them?! However, 6 parades seemed like it may be more difficult. We loved the parades and all, but we didn’t know if it would happen.



After watching the first parade that night, I was pretty sure it would happen. That parade is just so good. I know I am not alone in this sentiment--the toy soldiers are nearly worth the price of admission, alone! Add to them the gingerbread men (love the flat backs!), the reindeer, Chip & Dale having a snowball fight, and the music--it’s just such a great parade, through and through!





Between the parade and the fireworks, we decided to visit the Diamond Horseshoe to see the Woody’s Roundup Dance Party. Sarah really gets a kick out of these things, plus it is indoors and it was cold outside, so I didn’t mind checking it out. Being inside there really makes me wish Disney would put that building to use again. It also makes me wonder how many buildings in the Magic Kingdom no longer are used like they once were. I can understand this more at EPCOT, where there probably isn’t as much demand for capacity as there was in the mid 1980s (I’m just guessing, but I think the addition of the Studios and Animal Kingdom have taken some of the “second park” burden away from EPCOT; I’ve seen photos of huge lines at EPCOT for SSE, JII, Horizons, and World of Motion back in the day, so I think this may be the case), but it’s unlikely the Magic Kingdom has any less need.



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Old 12-31-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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My first big decision photography-wise occurred before the fireworks started. I had to decide whether I wanted to photograph from the train station, availing myself of the clear view (no flagpole) of them and endure the poor atmosphere (they leave the lights on up there and I *think* the music is quieter), or shoot from Main Street, have better atmosphere and full view of the perimeter bursts, but miss out on the once-a-year view from the train station. My mind was made up for me, as when we approached the train station to scope it out, it appeared to be pretty packed. Oh well, Main Street would be more than sufficient.



The fireworks were awesome, as usual. I prefer this show to the Summer Nightastic fireworks, although I do think that the Summer Nightastic fireworks, particularly the storming the castle scene, engulf the crowd to a greater degree. My favorite parts of Holiday Wishes have to be the opening lines from Jiminy Cricket, the O Christmas Tree scene, and the smiley face & present bursts. Overall, it’s my favorite Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Then again, I am partial to Christmas.











After the fireworks, we reconvened with the group, and rode Dumbo collectively. I wonder if our “flights” had the lowest percentage of kids ever on Dumbo at one time. Like is often said, we’re all kids at heart.





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Old 01-03-2011, 08:20 AM   #4
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As promised, we watched the parade once again, enjoying it just as much as the first time, before heading over to Tomorrowland. This was our first time attending MVMCP since the Tomorrowland theatre had been razed, so it was our first party not seeing Mickey’s Twas the Night Before Christmas. Obviously, it’s not the Disney way to replace a park classic with something inferior, so we expected the “Twas” replacement, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas to be a spectacular show. Well...



Well...I can’t say I totally hated A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I’ve heard some people say it is. It’s cute, and Stitch is not super annoying in it (actually, he’s cute and endearing), but it is no Twas. Not even close. This really tested the theory that Disney always replaces one offering with one of equal or greater quality. The definitive answer to this would come the next day when we saw the De Vine Christmas gospel group at EPCOT. Surely, they’d be better than the Lights of Winter, right? Right?!



Although my strongest campaign platform for dictator of WDW is banishing Stitch to Animal Kingdom (since no one cares about that park, anyway), I guess I could make an exception to although him to stay in the Magic Kingdom in this show only. Oh, yes, I’m running for dictator of WDW. I realize dictator generally isn’t an elected position, but the vote will be more of an ex post facto thing to give my throne the appearance of legitimacy.







At the conclusion of the party, we met up with Henry and Reilly again. Interestingly, as we left, two different managers asked if we were with ABC. We had no credentials displayed, although I did have nice camera gear. Both times I answered that we were not. Had I said yes, I wonder if they would have let me stay overnight in the park. You would really think one arm of the company (TDO) would really know what another arm (ABC) is doing in its park, but I guess it’s more efficient to just ask random people if they’re affiliated with the parade filming production. Makes sense, right? Anyway, we left the park, boarded the monorail to the TTC, and hitched a ride back to All Star Music from Henry and Reilly.


A Mouse-Eye View of Main Street at Christmas by Tom Bricker (WDWFigment), on Flickr



Our plan for the next day was to make it to the Betamouse podcast meet that started at 8:30. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. We had to switch resorts to Shades of Green, which took some time so we didn’t end up making it there until the tail end of the meet. Still, it was fun to be around more Disney geeks. While the Disney geeks from the previous day were cool because they were hardcore like Sarah and I, it’s possible this group was even “cooler,” as they were not only hardcore about Disney, but also about technology. Yes, I realize I am playing fast and loose with the term cool, but we’re all here on a Disney forum, so I think we may have skewed versions of the word “cool” to begin with.

We started the Betamouse meet at the Seas with Nemo, and met Cody, his wife, Lisa, and their three triplets for the first time. Cody is a long time friend from Flickr and a heck of a photographer. What I wouldn’t give for the photo ops those triplets would present (although I imagine with the fun comes responsibility, too!).

After Nemo, we we arranged cell phones on the ground to spell “Beta” (fun fact: most attendees owned iPhones) before we headed to Captain EO. Back when Disney first announced that it was bringing EO back, I admit that I was not a fan of the decision. I think it is questionable, at best to cash in on the death of someone, and even more questionable to cash in on the death of a pedophile (for those who retort by saying he was never convicted...c’mon. You really think our legal system is that good? I suppose OJ is innocent, too...). Disney, a company that is supposed to be predicated upon family values, checked its morals at the door when it brought that attraction back. I realize other celebrities who have associations with Disney don’t always have squeaky clean pasts, but I think the combination of the offense in this case, along with the fact that Disney is cashing in on the death reaches a new low. On top of that, I thought it sent a bad message that old attractions would just be brought back, without any changes being made. Even if EO is more entertaining than HISTA, this is not “progress” in the sense of the term that Walt always advocated. Long story stort, I was steadfastly against the attraction being brought back.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:03 AM   #5
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Subbing in.

Dictator or not, your shots are fantastic! And you are Sarah make such a cute couple, I just cannot reconcile you with the mental picture I have of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Maybe if you photoshop'ed a moustache....

I love your parade pictures with the snow. If I had my way, my family would be heading to celebrate Christmas 2011 at WDW....I could come round to your idea of running a dictatorship .


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Old 01-04-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
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Subbing in.

Dictator or not, your shots are fantastic! And you are Sarah make such a cute couple, I just cannot reconcile you with the mental picture I have of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Maybe if you photoshop'ed a moustache....

I love your parade pictures with the snow. If I had my way, my family would be heading to celebrate Christmas 2011 at WDW....I could come round to your idea of running a dictatorship .


Glad you enjoyed the photos.

In response to your comment on the other thread, hopefully better food photos will entice others! I had no idea that food porn was the key to success for a TR here. I neglected to post our honeymoon TR here because I never get much of a response (and on that trip we did V&As, Cali Grill, etc.). Maybe I should have re-thought that decision!

I also probably should have come up with some gimmicky name!
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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Really enjoying it so far!

I'm a little ahead though...I just spent the last hour reading all the posts on page 1 from your link on the D23 thread.

I have to get back to work now or I'd probably spend the rest of the day finishing it.

Looking forward to it.

I love the parades at the special events...they may be the only way I justify the ticket price to myself. The parade at MNSSHP is one of the highlights of my year and I'm crying a little inside right now because we didn't get to see the MVMCP parade at all over where we ended up at the D23 M&M viewing.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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I am joining in...you have beautiful pictures!!
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I am enjoying reading your report.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #10
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I'm joining in! I love your pictures on the photography board!
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren5406 View Post
Really enjoying it so far!

I'm a little ahead though...I just spent the last hour reading all the posts on page 1 from your link on the D23 thread.

I have to get back to work now or I'd probably spend the rest of the day finishing it.

Looking forward to it.

I love the parades at the special events...they may be the only way I justify the ticket price to myself. The parade at MNSSHP is one of the highlights of my year and I'm crying a little inside right now because we didn't get to see the MVMCP parade at all over where we ended up at the D23 M&M viewing.
That's too bad about the parade. We took one look at the viewing area and headed to Main Street. Even if it weren't so small, who wants to view the parade from Liberty Square/Frontierland?! The snow falls on Main Street! Everything about the party, from the perspective of Magic & Merriment, was lame.

I actually sent D23 an email yesterday letting them know of my frustrations. Hopefully I'll receive a response, but I'm not holding my breath!

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I am joining in...you have beautiful pictures!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddstratton View Post
Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I am enjoying reading your report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiebelle21 View Post
I'm joining in! I love your pictures on the photography board!
Thanks for joining; hope you all enjoy the rest of the report! I should have another update later this morning/afternoon.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:22 AM   #12
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After EO had been back for a while, and I heard reports of people seeing it, I will admit that my desire to see it grew. I still maintain my feelings in opposition of it, and I suppose by seeing it I became a hypocrite, but I did desire to see it more and more. When we finally did see it, it was an interesting experience. The pre-show, well, that was something. The way the video starts out, silent cuts of empty locations, it’s almost as if they’re building suspense for something shocking to happen, or setting the stage for some macabre scene. But that’s not the case. Anyone know what I’m referencing? I’m really not sure why the video opens like that, but it’s certainly odd (fitting, I guess).



The show itself was mildly amusing. The music is fun 80s tunes and the show registers a 10 on the ‘cheese-factor’ scale. (In fact, when I showed a video of it on YouTube to friends in college, they instantly said, “this would make an interesting drinking game.”) I got us in the door, whereas HISTA hasn’t accomplished that feat since 2006, so I guess that’s saying something. Still, something needs to be done to that pavilion.



Even though it was early, we were hungry, and Sunshine Seasons beckoned. When we arrived, we noticed the menu had changed since June! The sandwiches were on new breads, and my favorite sandwich was no longer on foccacia, but instead, on some dry-looking bread. This was terrible news! I probably didn’t need my own sandwich, anyway, so Sarah and I split the chicken entree, which had also changed to include a side other than mashed potatoes, but we were luckily able to substitute for the potatoes. Phew.



Somewhat “unfortunately,” I happened to acquire a new lens right before the trip. A new lens is ordinarily an event to be praised, but in this case, the new lens was another fisheye. I had been given grief by both Sarah and my mom regarding my overuse of the fisheye on our honeymoon, and just when the novelty was starting to wear off, I got a different one. I was never happy with the Tokina fisheye (I only bought it because I got a great deal) and I had been trying to find a cheap copy of the Sigma since with no luck. When I bought the D7000, a new option opened up to me: the Samyang/Pro-Optic/Bower/Rokinon 8mm MF Fisheye. I have no clue why this lens has so many aliases (it’s engaging in some sort of identity theft, I suspect), but it’s a gem.

Back to my original point, the problem with having a new fisheye meant that I would again be taking more fisheye shots! I tried to hold back, but it just wasn’t possible. Ultimately, I decided that what I’m doing is a public service. I predict a day, around four years from now, when we will all evolve to have the vision of fishes. I’m not sure whether the scientific community would view this as a positive ‘evolution’, but I think it would be a good one. By taking photos of WDW in this manner now, I’m preparing us all for how the parks will look to us in the future. You’re all welcome.





After that snack, we didn’t have much time before lunch at Wonders of Life started, so we just wandered around for a bit. This was the first of two hard ticket events we were able to attend that Mouse Fan Travel was putting on as a part of Reunion. The event was relatively reasonably priced (if I recall correctly, it was around $13) for the lunch we got. That said, I would have paid more than $13 for the experience alone.

That is, the experience of having an empty Wonders of Life pavilion to photograph as we lingered behind after everyone else had gone upstairs. I know the pavilion is open during F&WF and other events, but I’ve never seen it empty. These photo ops I got where priceless, in my opinion. Granted, they’re not all the greatest shots, ever, but I think they’re cool. I don’t think I could afford to pay ~$13 for all of the priceless photo ops that might exist at WDW, so I’m glad that they aren’t all priced like this!





Removing the photo op from the price of the event (as I don’t think it was included in the price, anyway), the event was well worth the money. We got to go up to the old Met Life (they sponsored WoL, right?) lounge, had a delicious lunch, and were entertained by the WDW Today personalities. Hearing about Len’s antics towards the other participants on the scavenger hunt made me wish that we would have participated on the TouringPlans team. Unfortunately, neither Sarah nor I knew it would be so fun, when we first heard about it, we didn’t want to take away from our time together that morning. Hopefully the scavenger hunt is held again next year, as it sounded awesome!



Unfortunately, Team TouringPlans did not win the scavenger hunt, but we did come in second place (although, they say second place is the first loser). Somehow, Team Studios Central managed to pull off the win. Given that two large components of the hunt related to photography and Carousel of Progress (a show Sarah and I watch at least--no joke--4 times per trip), I really wish I would’ve participated.





When the formal portion of the event concluded, we again lingered to get some more photos of the pavilion before heading out. We then headed to the United Kingdom with Len and Henry to scope out locations for the TouringPlans meet later in the night.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:40 AM   #13
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Aww Figment! Just when I got used to seeing your characteristic wide angle perspective, you pull the fisheye out on me! I was just about convinced that I needed to get myself a 10 - 22 mm lens! Now you've got me thinking about the new 8-15 mm from Canon.

And I think it won't be fish-eyes that we'll be evolving to, it will be bug hex-eyes! I LOVE these shots!

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The worst part is that I was there for F&W and hit this pavillion looking for a cookbook (which I did find). Not ONCE did I look up!

And I think I'm one of the very few people who will admit to have seen Captain Eo twice - once when it originally came out and again at the second coming. Am I showing my age or what! Sadly, the second time round was no better than the first; but you gotta admit that MJ had (a) style...

Still waiting for food porn and a catchy title...

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Old 01-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #14
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We haven't seen Captain EO either and I seriously doubt we ever will. I basically have the same feelings you do on the situation.

The entire pavillion does need work but I have to admit that I have no problem with the fact that the one ride that Laurel insists we ride every trip never has a line. She loves Figment. And when we're at home she likes to watch YouTube videos of the old version of the ride...

When given the choice she'd choose Journey into Imagination over Soarin' and Test Track.

I like the fish eye!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:48 AM   #15
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I just couldn't get myself to go into Captain EO...just not interest...but I am sure it is very cheesy like you said!!

I love the fisheye view pictures...then again I don't see them very often, so it's all new to me!
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