Just back. 14 days of pure Disney


Jan 9, 2012
You seemed to get a lot done today. I know what you mean about Fantasmic - we didn't queue for it the last time and I haven't really factored it in to this years visit.
Indeed. I suspect it would be a great time to do other rides around DHS. Must suck a lot of the queues away.

Another great day and more fantastic pictures :thumbsup2

I am VERY impressed with your Beauty and the Beast show and Fantasmic photos. I share your views on Fantasmic. We have watched it twice: once opting to skip the worst of the waiting time and enter for standing room only (still a 30 minute wait as the show used to only be on twice a week then) and last year we went with friends and sucked up the 90 minute advance queuing time for a fairly good seat. Having seen your photos however, I might add that to my list next trip purely to attempt some shots.

We did the 4.30 LMA show this year in September so very low crowds and got there about an hour in advance and still ended up sitting more than halfway back. I also picked a pillar view seat (not any choice really) with a HUGE ugly fan mounted to it so lots of cropping of the right hand side of some of the images where I didn't quite manage to miss the fan :rotfl:

I like the larger size photos, just in case this is going with a majority decision - thought I'd get my vote in. I can't wait to hear about your MNSSHP experience. It's such a blast :thumbsup2
Thanks again. I'll keep the photos at the bigger size I think.
The BaTB show gets quite a lot of natural light on it, which of course makes it easier to shoot, even with a longer, slower lens, which means you can get some really nice close-ups. Fantasmic, as expected, was a bit of a nightmare. Too far away to use my 17-50 F/2.8 lens, and my longer lens has a much slower max aperture, especially when zoomed in (F/6.3). So I let the ISO go up to 6400 and tried to hold as steady as possible. That Tamron lens has got pretty good stabilisation on it though, which helps, but there were a lot of instant-delete photos from that evening. I'd love to invest in a 70-200 F/2.8, but that's rather an expense too far at the moment!

Just caught up with your trippie.......some nice photos :thumbsup2
Another Canon user here who is keen on EXIF info :lmao:
Been a loyal Photoshop user for a good few years now, but very keen to have a look at LR4 on the Mac
Keep 'em coming! :goodvibes
I've not really got into photo editing beyond the basics possible in LR (red-eye, dust spots, and simple adjustment brushes), but it's something I'd like to do if I ever get more spare time :lmao:. As a tool for sorting and processing large numbers of images though, LR is really excellent.

Had very little time for photo work over the last couple of days, but I will get there, promise!


Jan 9, 2012
I took a monopod with me this year and found I got some decent shots with slowish exposure. :thumbsup2
It also saves aching arms when shooting video over people's heads :rotfl2:


Amazon deal.....

Lightroom 4 for Windows / Mac = £79.99 inc delivery

Lightroom 4 Student / Teacher edition = £44.99
I took a tripod with me, and then never used it :blush:. It even has the ability to detach one leg and the head, and turn into a monopod, and I never took that with me either. Always seemed like a bit of a hindrance given the number of rides we were going on. Probably should have done.

It's a good deal for LR4 - bear in mind with the Education version that they do check before issuing a licence key - you have to scan/fax in some educational ID and it take a couple of days to come through. Fortunately DW works in education so she's the official LR "owner" in the house :).

I've done the Day 11 photos! Now I just need some time to write up the day.

Just as a teaser, I'll put up my 2 favourite photos of the day:


The ghost of the headless horseman!

The above shot was almost accidental, but it's one of my favourites from the whole holiday, despite being technically rubbish :).
  • Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 18, 2009
    Love the two teaser shots - can't wait to see the rest of the day

    The shot of the headless horseman is fantastic, you really get a sense of speed and movement - it's certainly not rubbish!


    <font color=6666cc>Eurovision Nut !!<font color=33
    Mar 1, 2005
    Loving your trip report, agree with everyone else that your photos are amazing :thumbsup2


    Jan 9, 2012
    Day 11 - Wednesday 21/10 - AK, Crystal Palace, MNSSHP

    Thanks for all the positive comments, and sorry it's been such a long gap - I had a hectic few days, and then motivation seems to drop a bit. So hoping this will push me through the last 4 days now.

    It's going to be a VERY photo-heavy day. I'll probably split this into AK and MK parts to give you a breather!

    We'd got MNSSHP booked for tonight with an early-ish ADR at Crystal Palace, so it was a case of picking a park for the first 1/2 of the day. I really wanted to head back to AK - we'd missed quite a few of the shows, plus I wanted to do the safari again with a proper camera.
    It was still a bit cool today, which I'd read would mean the animals would be nice and active, so that was a good argument for it as well.
    Got there close to opening. Of course the kids wanted to do Everest as many times as possible, so we headed there first just to keep them quiet for a bit :).
    Then we headed to the safari. Nice small queue. Got on and DS2 and I battered the shutter buttons on the cameras. The trucks are incredibly bumpy and rarely stop moving, so it can be really tricky to get a nice sharp shot (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!). Here's a few of my favourites:

    We also walked the Pangani Forest and the Asia wildlife trails as well. Were very impressed with both of these; the gorilla habitat in Pangani and the Tiger habitat in Asia were both excellently done. Bird houses in both were impressive as well. More pics!

    We had lunch in Flame Tree BBQ again - really liked the food here, and pretty efficient service as well.

    We then did Finding Nemo the musical. I'd heard very good things about this, and we all really loved it. I thought it was excellently done, and, like in the Beauty and the Beast show, the performers were impressively energetic! Quite low light here, so fairly challenging to photograph, but got some reasonable shots I think, even with a long, quite slow lens.

    Did EE one last time. Kids very much enjoyed this, must have done it about 6 or 7 times over the course of the 2 days we were in AK. Never seemed to have much of a queue, which was also good.

    One thing I now very much regret is not taking time to do the FOTLK show or the Flights of Wonder, doubly so given FOTLK is scheduled to end. In fact I think we could easily have spent another 1/2 day in AK - we didn't do the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch either. Oh well.

    Headed back to OKW, to change into our stuff for MNSSHP. Not So Exciting reveal in the next post :).
  • Mrs Doubtfire

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2006
    Love the animal photos. The silverbacks are always good to see.

    Glad you found your mojo again to continue the last few days!! :goodvibes


    Jan 9, 2012
    Thanks for the comments. Bit sad that I'm getting close to the end!

    Anyway, got the second half of the day. Not even done the photos for the last few days yet, so that's my next task.

    Day 11 - evening. Crystal Palace and MNSSHP

    When planning our costumes, our primary concern was something very simple that was easy to pack. So we came up with this:

    Yes, we were all Wallys. Not particularly original, and in fact we did find a few others over the evening, but we were the only Wally family, which was quite fun. Got quite a lot of comments from other guests and CMs, although we did have fun correcting all the Americans, that no, we weren't Waldos, we were Wallys!

    Where's Wally?

    Headed in about 5pm, got wristbands, candy bags, and maps. We'd got an ADR for Crystal Palace at 5.20pm, with the plan of being done by 7pm for the start of the real party. Got seated fairly quickly. Buffet here was pretty decent I thought, good mix of stuff that the kids were ok with, and some more interesting food, which was nice.
    M+G with Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, which was fun:

    We were all done for about 6.50, so was good timing. First thing we did was head back down Main St and get the SOTMK special card, we were lucky I think - once we'd got ours a big queue formed up, and they weren't exactly being efficient.

    We pretty much spent the next 3 hours or so doing the Trick or Treat stations - visited all of them, with the occasional ride along the way. Weren't fussed about the M+G. We were a bit horrified by the first candy queue - was about 200m long, but they moved extremely quickly, and they were generous with the candy, which was nice.

    We avoided the first parade, although we did notice with about 15 minutes to go there was almost no crowd in FrontierLand on the lake side, so we marked that as a spot to come back to for the second one.

    Have to say - I'd been a little apprehensive given some of the mixed reviews - big queues and crowds - we all really really enjoyed the party. Despite not doing all the "attractions" - the Villains thing and all the M+G, the atmosphere was fantastic, doing the candy runs was fun, and although it was apparently a sell-out, we didn't find it overly busy; no busier than some days we'd had in the park. I think Disney have got the balance pretty good with numbers. I would probably say it was my favourite Disney experience of the whole holiday, and I think the rest of the family would agree with that.

    We'd probably done a full clockwise circuit of the park by Hallowishes time. With 15 minutes to go we actually found a really nice spot, just a bit below the Tomorrowland Terrace there is a picnic area - we got a good spot standing on the steps there.

    Nowhere to support a camera unfortunately, so it was another case of mainly failing to get handheld shots.

    But WOW - Hallowishes was absolutely AMAZING. Best firework show by far. The finale was just stunning - they seem to surround the park with massive explosions - standing where we were it was literally all around us. No way to capture it, but this was as good as I got:

    Had time for a few more rides, and making sure we'd topped our candy bags to the brim, then went off to stake out spots for the parade. Sure enough, with 10 mins to go, we got a ropeside spot in Frontierland, which was great. Loved the parade, really fun seeing all the villains out.

    The Mary Poppins sweeps were making a mess of the concrete, to great effect!

    We had time for a couple more rides, and then it was off home after a really great enjoyable day. They even managed to shove more candy in the bags on the way out!

    Next - lazy day; shopping, pool, Ohana.
  • DLPDreams

    I am like a child in a sweet shop, hyper on sugar!
    Jan 14, 2012
    Thanks for pointing me to your TR - I really enjoyed reading it. You clearly had a lot of fun and managed to do so much even with downtime :thumbsup2

    One thing did slightly worry me - the waits for buses to OKW. This is where are probably going to stay and if we go for 3 weeks, we only plan to have a car for one week of it.... So it will be buses for us - really concerned about this - you get so many people saying it's 'fine' then you hear of people who wait ages :confused3.

    Loved the where's Wally family at MNSSHP - your DW looked fab! :thumbsup2

    You've given me some good ideas for QS meals as well - thanks!

    Hoping to read the end of your TR soon ;).


    Jan 9, 2012
    Thanks for the comments. It's funny, after posting the link I read the whole thing again last night. Amazing the memories it brings back. With planning in full swing for this year, it certainly helps to remind myself of events last time, and also the things we missed that I want to make sure we do this year.

    I have also realised how often I use the phrase "pretty decent". Must use the thesaurus more :).

    It's hard to say with buses. I think we just got very unlucky twice in a row - once returning from DTD (where we should have just walked back up to the top and got the boat), and our first day return from MK, where we waited a long time for an OKW bus. The building we were in was very close to a bus stop, and they were there frequently; we just made the decision not to bother after that first MK day. I think we could have coped without a car, to be honest. Many many people do. OKW is a very nice place to have a car at though - you can park right outside your building, which is very convenient.

    I honestly am thinking of finishing this off now - bit daft after 15 months, but better late than never! Only 3 fairly easy days to go, and it's good to exercise the little grey memory cells.


    Dreams really can come true !!!!
    May 26, 2007
    I thought I cut it a bit fine.....my 2012 report was finished 3 days before I departed for the 2013 trip
    Now that trip report........em...:crazy2: :rotfl2:

    Clare D

    Minnie Mania
    Mar 7, 2005
    Fab trip report. It was like a story as I read them one after the other.
    Great pictures and your family are such fun :rotfl:


    Been There, Done That, Going Back!
    Apr 14, 2008
    great report, its nice to read from someone whos just done Disney for the 2 weeks. That's what we're doing this year. :)

    lovely photos :goodvibes

    Verity Chambers

    <font color=blue>He's delicious! Rather like <font
    May 27, 2003
    Hello from another nottingham person! Enjoyed reading your reports today... Now get it finished :lmao:


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