Disney,  Photography,  Travel

WDW 2011 Day 4 – Part One

Thursday 1/13/11

We got up nice and early and headed out to the Magic Kingdom!

Made it there by 8 am, got out and FROZE again. I sat sniffling in the parking lot (seriously…) while Chris and Dad assembled Mom’s scooter. After sitting in a wheelchair (trying to huddle for warmth) I finally decided it was taking them WAY too long, and I was getting bitchy as it got colder (what the HELL Florida? 30 degrees again? and super windy too!?).

I head back to the car, hop in, only to find that the batteries on Mom’s scooter had drained overnight. They were packing it BACK into the trunk, and we were going to head to the resort for a bit while new batteries were delivered and swapped out. Fine by me! I didn’t think shivering and distraught was the way to see the Magic Kingdom for the first time of the trip.

I ran into El Centro – and went to Rix for a quiche. These were so yummy! I didn’t think to get a picture the first few times I got one cause I was too busy chowing down. ;)

This one was veggie, but they also had an excellent bacon and ham version.

Since I was hanging out in the little lounge area next to Rix killing time, I decided to snap a few photos. I admit we didn’t utilize the amenities here much our entire trip (mostly because we wanted to pack as much park time in as possible) but enjoyed what we did experience.

Then went into the gift shop, stopping to say hi to Burrito the flying donkey. ;)

The ceiling over the fountain in El Centro:

Funny thing – as I’m holding my camera arm’s length out pointing straight up to get this shot, a woman nearby is giving me a strange look. Then she looks up to see what I’m aiming at, and goes “OH! I would have never known that was there!” Then elbows her companion and points it out to her. Made me giggle – pay attention to your surroundings more people. ;)

That’s one of the great things that photography has done for me – really made me aware of everything in every direction. Little and big. What could make for an awesome shot? Where would most people miss out? I love it.

Finally, the scooter is taken care of and we roll out. All agree that MK is not happening today (spreadsheet? schedule? what?) and we choose instead to visit Hollywood Studios. It’s 10:30 am when we get through the gates:

And everyone else seems to have made the same choice… doh! See all the winter gear?

After confirming that Toy Story Mania is NOT worth waiting in line for (90 minutes) we duck into the walk through exhibit: Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream

It was really interesting, and despite an initial crowd of people (trying to get warm!) most realized quickly that “omg… you have to read things!” and blazed through and out of the place.

There was a lot of history on not only Walt’s start in animation and of course Mickey, but first appearances of all the iconic characters, and the different parks’ development process.

This mural is gorgeous!

A reproduction of the model for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

One of my favorite rides (to torture myself on!)

Explorer’s Landing – Fortress Explorations This is located in Disney’s Tokyo park.

THIS… was creepy as heck even in person. It reminded me of the animatronics in Bébé’s Kids.

We move on around the park kind of aimlessly – stopping for a requisite speeder pic:

As well as the AT-AT:

Then we got hungry and decided on:

They had a daily special – a little of all the favorites: chicken, meatloaf and pot roast. You know where this is going…

I KNOW, I know, you are never going to believe me again when I say I’m not picky. I don’t consider myself picky though! I love just about every ingredient out there – all kinds of fruits, veggies, and meats. The problem is I’m REALLY opinionated on HOW they’re assembled. So while there’s few things I’ll say I will NOT eat (peas for example) no matter what, I do take issue with the recipe as a whole.

So after ordering my “special”, taking a few bites, and making the face, I politely asked to swap it for the pot roast. It was quite good. My issue with the place is – a very small menu. Not much variety. Also, our server wasn’t quite as “in character” as the table next to us, which was a bummer. So, no food photos cause it was an eat and get out kind of meal for us.

About this time, we’ve ended up back towards the front of the park and are headed to Tower of Terror. On the way, we see a photopass guy and stop. My Mom says we should all act like we’re ready to kill each other (4 adults all trying to coordinate where to go is about as easy as herding cats). The guy takes my camera for the shot:

My dad looks oblivious – (he missed the memo somehow) – which is HILARIOUS because he knows how to blow steam as well as any of us!

Then a “normal” picture:

Finally we come around to the Tower and see… that someone forgot to tell the workers the hotel is SUPPOSED to look like that…. :lmao: For anyone who knows the meme – this was referred to as “fail crane” every time we went past it.

Doctor Who fans – you’ll know why I was creeped out before I even got inside:

The grand foyer:

Most of the rest of the queue area was too dark and the line going too fast to get anything else. We get assigned a front row seat by luck(?) and I am ok…. We start moving through the pre-drop visuals (Fun fact: the elevator doesn’t roll forward in the Disneyland version – per a guest seated next to us – you just get in and it does the drop stuff. He said the WDW version was way cooler!) and I try to take a photo:


Then… I start freaking out. Chris, what the hell are we doing on this ride? Oh crap. *click into place* Oh no…. DROP! *SCREAMING*

I didn’t cinch my seatbelt enough! My butt floated a good 6 inches off the seat EVERY drop!!! Not enough to come out of the ride of course, but enough to add to me FREAKING RIGHT OUT. I nearly had no voice by the time we got done!

The last time we rode the sequence was WAY different – you got 3 drops max, and it was pretty apparent when it was going to happen. Now, it’s 7-9 times, sometimes shooting you up (instead of the smooth lift up before) and often tricking you when it was going to drop. You aren’t safe until you see the ending twilight zone video.

We decide to hit the Great Movie Ride next.

Past Sorcerer Mickey spreading his seed… wait, that’s not right… :rotfl:

Into the theatre:

The carousel horse from Mary Poppin’s:

Now, we’ve done this ride a few times – it’s a great way to get off your feet for a bit. But every time it’s been the Mobster scene and mom really wanted to see the Western version. So we let the CM know, and she was very nice and let us wait for it.

Here we go!

Gene Kelly:

I was SO happy to see this image came out. The ride is dark, and he’s right at the beginning – so I had to dial it in pretty fast. Plus he moves quite a bit – and of course the ride is moving.

On to Clint Eastwood:

We roll into town:

Only to be held up!

It’s a shootout:

:shocked: Oh noes!

We take off as bullets continue to be traded:

Right into another mess of trouble:

Ripley does not look like she’s having a good day:

The Alien was on the other side of the car – I’ll have to catch it next trip.

From outer space to inner sanctuaries – I don’t think you’re supposed to mess with that mister….



George, George, George of the Jungle. WATCH OUT FOR THAT TREE!

The Wizard of Oz

Aaand scene!

By now it was almost 4pm and we had reservations at the Brown Derby – tonight is Fantasmic!

Next: Brown Derby’, ‘WDW Day 4 – Magic… Studios?’

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