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Old 05-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #46
MelMel11
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Count me in!!!
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:44 PM   #47
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Joining in. Love the pics and TR and the camera tips too. We bought DLSR when we had our son and I would love to finally take decent looking pics.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #48
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And we’re back! We just returned from a weekend in Richmond, where my best friend got married. It was such a lovely weekend, full of laughter and fun. But back to the story at hand...

It was still arrival day and our villa wasn’t ready after lunch and a Publix run, so we stored the groceries at Bell Services. Franklin and I had one more errand to run, we needed to go to Epcot to swap our paper annual passes for RFID-enabled ones. Laura and Meghan were going to hang at the resort since they didn’t have park hopper tickets (and we had BIG post-dinner park plans at DHS), so Franklin and I ran over to Epcot.



The Flower and Garden Festival was in full swing. And boy, were the topiaries beautiful!













First stop was the festival center to buy an annual passholder pin.



Casey Noble from HGTV’s “Design on a Dime” was giving a seminar.



We stopped at the shop set up in the festival center but learned that the passholder pins had sold out about two weeks into the festival, so about two months before we arrived. Oops! Oh well, I was pretty sure I’d find SOMETHING to buy that week.

We headed back out of the center...



… and made our way over to the Odyssey building.





How gorgeous is the park all gussied up with flowers?!?! I just love being in Epcot.

The process of swapping out the APs was completely painless. There were lots of CMs to help and virtually no line at all.



And after a couple of years of AP character roulette, you finally got to choose the character on your AP. I, of course, chose Minnie and Franklin chose Mickey. The other cool thing about what they had set up in the Odyssey building, was that they had CMs there to show off MagicBands and answer questions about them.



We both tried them on and were impressed with how light they were. There were also a couple of design features that seemed very interesting. First, the top of the band sits higher off the wrist than the rest of the band, so air can flow through. They also created ridges on the rest of the band that will promote air flow in the Florida heat.



For those of you worried about the bands being too big for kids, they have a pretty cool design element for that.



In this photo, the green part of the band pulls apart from the gray to create a smaller band, a kid-sized band (or a band for adults with pretty small wrists). The CMs confirmed some things that had bounced their way around these boards:

* You can take the bands on and off and there’s no requirement to wear it all the time.

* No personal info will be stored on the band (just an ID number that will tell the Disney systems who you are). So for anyone to steal your info, they’d need access to not only your ID number on the band, but also the Disney system, as well.

All in all, we walked away pretty impressed with the bands.

We took a stroll through the Cars topiary garden/playground.









It was hot out, welcome to Florida, right? I grabbed a frozen Coke to enjoy while we strolled back to the front of the park. And we enjoyed it so much, we forgot to take a picture until we were almost to the parking lot.



We also stopped for an official “We’re at Disney!” photo.



That’s where we’ll stop for now, but we’ve got some real fun coming up. Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and quite possibly one of the only Limited Time Magic promotions that was actually worth anything!
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:22 PM   #49
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Count me in!!!
Yay! Glad to have you join us!

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Originally Posted by jke2013 View Post
Joining in. Love the pics and TR and the camera tips too. We bought DLSR when we had our son and I would love to finally take decent looking pics.
We're kind of a full-service TR. Feel free to ask any questions you have!
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #50
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Yay!!! You're back. Your updates have been missed.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #51
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I'm so happy to hear about your arrival day! Sounds like everything from your flights, to your ME ride, to the rental car pickup went smoothly. Score! On the front seat.

Such a deal on the car! Wow!

Lunch at EoS looked like it hit the spot.

Hooray on the Beach Club pin!

They didn't have one on our last trip, or I think maybe I saw one early in our trip at the Marketplace, but when I finally went to buy one, they were sold out! On our last day, one of the CMs at the Marketplace had a YC pin, so I had Ben trade for it. And there is a happier ending- one of my friends on the FAQ board purchased a Beach Club pin for me, so I have one now!

Looking forward to checking out your room and touring the parks with your fearsome foursome!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #52
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Thanks for the info on the Magic Bands!

Glad you got some business attended to and got to check out some super cute topiaries.

I'm intrigued to hear about your evening plans!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #53
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Gosh I love these photos. The magic bands look really neat.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #54
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Thanks for posting this magic band photos! Helpful to have a visual review of the process!
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:22 PM   #55
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I'm in! I love your reviews. ALL of them!
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:39 AM   #56
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Some day I have to get to the flower and garden festival, it's so gorgeous!

The RFID bands had me a little worried, (i get irritated by things like that) but thanks for all the info, really clears a lot up! They don't look so bad. Leave it to disney to put that much thought even into the bands.

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Old 06-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #57
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I love going to Epcot during the Flower and Garden festival! It's too bad I missed it this year, with the new booths, but maybe next year!

Wow, that's so cool that you guys got to try out the Magic Bands! I'm glad you don't have to wear them all the time, I don't really like having things on my wrists, but they actually seem pretty comfy, from the way you described them!
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyrose View Post
The other cool thing about what they had set up in the Odyssey building, was that they had CMs there to show off MagicBands and answer questions about them.



We both tried them on and were impressed with how light they were. There were also a couple of design features that seemed very interesting. First, the top of the band sits higher off the wrist than the rest of the band, so air can flow through. They also created ridges on the rest of the band that will promote air flow in the Florida heat.

I also want to mention the MagicBand material. You can see, I was wearing my watch as a comparison. The band on my watch is made of rubber. And that gets sweaty and sticky when it's muggy out. However, the MagicBands are made of soft plastic. It feels kind of like a hybrid plastic/rubber. Definitely not cheapo plastic here. It seems like I would be more comfortable wearing the MagicBands than my watch with the rubber band on a hot muggy day. Though, we couldn't take it outside to test that theory.

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Yay! A third TR I just got caught up on all three of them and I'm loving every moment! My husband is sitting next to me on the couch and is now craving a return to WDW. Now I just have to figure out when we'll fit it in...

On the photography side of things, I just got a Sony Nex 5r as an early birthday present. I haven't really messed with it at all yet, but I am hoping to read the manual from cover to cover and figure out how to work everything on it soon. This camera is my baby step towards a DSLR. Do you have any opinion or knowledge about these types of cameras (CSC), Franklin? I did a fair amount of research before choosing this one, but I'm trying to learn everything I can, so any input would be appreciated.
I actually just recommended that exact camera to a friend of ours. I'm glad you got that, over the NEX 3. The NEX 5r has a faster focusing system. The NEX line is also great for those starting to get into photography. You can set the exposure manually and have the ability to change lenses. But the main draw, is that it has a bigger sensor, like those in a consumer DSLR. That translates into better image quality and much better low light photos.

These are also known as Mirrorless cameras. Where as, the camera I'm currently using has a mirror in it. The main benefit for cameras, like the NEX5r, is that it is a much smaller package. Our friend just has a baby, and a larger camera system would have been out of the question, on top of the diaper bag, toys and bottles.

The best camera is the one you have with you. What would be the point if they bought the bigger camera and didn't bring it anywhere, because it was to cumbersome?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #59
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Subbing in! I was there April 27th to May 3rd. The first half of our week was sunny and nice while the last half was rainy. We made the best of it but your pics of a sunny Epcot look much nicer than my soggy ones!
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #60
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I'm in! I look forward to reading your report--thanks for sharing it with us!

I hope you're having a great day! Jennifer
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