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September 2011 Archives

September 1, 2011

Dream Along with Mickey show

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Walt Disney World * Magic Kingdom * Cinderella Castle * Dream Along with Mickey


Goofy * Peter Pan * Donald Duck

Disney Pic of the Week - Stage Shows

I'm late! I'm late! It's been a crazy week and I missed my regular blog for this week. Sorry but sometimes, well, that's just life.

Hope to see some of you this Saturday at 10:30am in front of Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

September 2, 2011

Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure by Alan Rappaport, Disneyland, Anaheim, California.
Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure by Alan Rappaport.
Canon 7D/Sigma 10mm Fisheye, 3.2s, f/16, ISO 400, 10mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

Scott is out this week enjoying the New York State Fair. No doubt eating too many fried foods and taking lots and lots of photographs for his photoblog.

In keeping with State Fair time, Scott wanted to share with you a photo by flickr photographer Alan Rappaport featuring Disney's version of a fair. Alan has lots of photos of Disney themeparks in this photostream. He took a vacation to Australia this past summer and has photos and travel information for anyone planning a trip Down Under.

September 3, 2011

Festival of the Lion King

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Festival of the Lion King show
Copyright © 2011 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VRll, 1/100s shutter, f2.8, ISO 1250

Can you feel the love tonight? The Festival of the Lion King show at Disney's Animal Kingdom is a spectacular show - definitely not to be missed.

September 4, 2011

Where in the World #193

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Karen Schlumpf and Ashley P., I'm so glad you're enjoying Where in the World!

I'm curious: I know Jeremy who plays is 9. Can I hear from our other Where in the World players who are under 18? It'll be fun to see the age range!

This was Challenge #192:
 Where in the World #192

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon Powershot SD890

This Donald Duck is part of the wall art in my favorite room in the MouseGears store in Epcot! I love the Sorcerer Mickey wand that moves on the ceiling and I especially adore the two original songs written just for this area! I call them the Cog song and "Hey, Hey Mickey". I wish they'd put them on a theme park CD.

Ed Suscreba was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Ed and to all the readers who got the answer right: Chris Masse, Rob Blundin, David Tarbet, Misty Mehelic, Kye Layton, Dee Dee Kenney, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Lauren Thomas, Jeremy Coto, Sharon Pierce, Dylan Weidner, Sharon Dale, Double Family, Kenny Gutierrez, Antoinette Leblanc, Courtney &Maryann Eckenrode, Alan Mize, Jen Cerce , Lorine Landon, Jonah Rigby, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Carol Baranowsky, Theresa Rucando, Katie Bray, Nicole Duddy, Linda Scrivano, Diane Ramos, Laurie Walker, Kahle Family, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Sam Fritz, Kelli Reedy, Kellie Harpel, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Dawn Burns, Jane Bradley, Paul Dickson, Evan Rapone, Jarett Rutsky, Kyler S., Anna Keene, Vicki , Elizabeth, William And Thomas Edwards, Stephanie Visco, Mark D, Abigail Grasso, Mackenzie D., Patti Mccaffrey, Clay Anthony, Shaun Leake, Carolyn, Jared Orth, Tom Koval, Luis Rodriguez, Amanda Campbell, Pollyanna Buff, Ed Elder, Carrie Henderson, Karen Schlumpf, Bob Patterson, Diane Curfman, Erin Rix, Dale Knight, J Brizzle, Kelly Mager, Scott Price, Claire N, Anastasia Macneil, Cheri Palmisano, Carla Leger, Jeannine, Paul Ignudo Jr, Linda College, Linda Mac, Jennifer Tremley, Dan Owens, Lori Rienhardt, Karen Smith, Louise Barton, Derek Carty, Heidi Goodhue, Leslie Stewart, Rebecca Keenan, Shelly Borella, John Sheridan, Christi Ison, Caroline Burmester, George Mundy Jr, Kelsi B., Ros, Kevin Miller, Emily Harper, Patti Deluca, Christopher Barnes, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Ashley P., Nathaniel Clements, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Sherri Pell, Steve Bieniek, Kerry Mccaffrey, Sarah Holodick, Chris Stockton, and Madi M. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.I

That leads us to: It's time for our monthly drawing! This month's big winner is Jo Ann Bailey! Congratulations, Jo Ann, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars® swag!

Challenge #193: Where in the world is this?

Let's leave the parks this week. Do you know you this is and where you see his cute face?
 Where in the World #193

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 8st, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

September 8, 2011

Dancing Pinocchio

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR, 1/250s shutter, f2.8, ISO 800

Pinocchio dances on his float in the Disney Dreams Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom.

September 9, 2011

Fireworks Photography eBook Review

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Illuminations fireworks show Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A new eBook shows you how to photograph firework shows like Illuminations in Epcot.

My friends at the Disney Photography Blog (formerly the WDW Photography blog) have released an eBook called Fireworks Photography. The 55-page eBook is something I wished I had when I started to photograph fireworks. It would have saved me much time and money as it took three trips to Walt Disney World before I figured out how to get good photographs of Illuminations in Epcot and Wishes in the Magic Kingdom.

The first two chapters give you all you need to know about photographing fireworks shows anywhere in the world but with particular emphasis on Disney themeparks. They tell you what you need in equipment (yes, folks, you do NEED a tripod) if you are using a digital SLR camera OR a Point & Shoot camera. The principles are the same in both cases. Keep the camera steady for a long period of time and set the correct exposure settings and/or shooting modes to use so as not to get a white blob of light in your photos. Hey, we've all done it.

The third chapter is about composition. Depending on where the fireworks show is being held, interesting compositions can sometimes be a real challenge and the eBook gives good advice on how to do it. If you are photographing in a Disney themepark, it is easy to find elements to include like a castle or other park landmarks (see Illuminations photo above).

A page from the Composition Chapter of the Fireworks Photography ebook.
A page from the Composition Chapter of the Fireworks Photography eBook.

Next the eBook goes into more advanced techniques for photographing fireworks. They go in depth as to what are Neutral Density (ND) filters. The different types and what they mean. How using an ND filter affects fireworks photos and the pros and cons of using them. I learned that you don't have to set your aperture to f/16 or f/22 with an ND filter as it makes the streaks very thin. Something I found in my ND filter firework photographs. I hope to improve the next time I am photographing fireworks with ND filters at Walt Disney World. They also talk about a technique called the Country Shutter which is something I used to do back in film days and still works marvelously with digital cameras.

The last chapter goes into how to process firework shots to get the results you see in Disney brochures. They go step by step using instructions with can be used for many popular photo editing software programs like Adobe PhotoShop Elements, PhotoShop, LightRoom, Apple Aperture 3 and many others. You will see how to maintain detail in the fireworks while keeping all the bright colors you remember seeing in the shows. In other words, you will "Wow" your friends and family both at home and online.

I know what you are thinking. Between this blog and many other websites, you could find all this information for free instead of purchasing Fireworks Photography for $14US. Ebooks are good for a couple of reasons. One, you can put them on your smartphones, tablets, netbooks and laptops and have access to all their information without needing an Internet connection. Two, the topic of the eBook (in this case, fireworks photography) is laid out in one place with examples, details, suggestions and ideas by the authors who are experts. They have done all the searching, researching and compiling for you as well as passing on their knowledge and experience. In many cases, it is far easier and less time consuming for me than doing all the work myself. Well worth the money in my opinion.

September 10, 2011

Meeting Pinocchio in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Pinocchio meeting a young guest in front of City Hall in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pinocchio meeting a young guest in front of City Hall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length

Pinocchio is our Disney Pic of the Week theme. I had to dig back a few years to find this photo of a young guest greeting Pinocchio in the Magic Kingdom. When a movie or a character is not your favorite, you do not take the time to photograph them. This is something I need to change as I know lots of people love this movie and its characters as well as others I may not be a fan of.

September 11, 2011

Where in the World #194

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Hi, everyone! I am writing around my puppy who fell asleep on my laptop keyboard. He's insistent on moving. :)

Thank you to all our under 18 players who signed in! I'm so glad you are playing, Courtney, Kat, Elizabeth, William, and Thomas!

And Kat, thanks for everything you said about the site. You rock!

Duskin Henard, thanks for the wonderful compliment! I'm glad you like the pictures. Did you know AllEars has a desktop/wallpapers section, made up from our team's pictures? They might help anyone's need for a Disney fix. :)

Becky Norman, have a great trip! And showing Disney to someone who has never been there: awesome!

This was Challenge #193:

 Where in the World #193

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon Powershot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/400s shutter, f/9, ISO 3200

Dumbo and Timothy make up this large window display for The World of Disney store in the Disney Marketplace, Downtown Disney. Three of you gave exact locations for this window: very impressive, Jennifer Rupert, Michael Gainey, and Mary Jo Gallion!

Looks like the "Baby Mine" scene from the movie, doesn't it? Sniff... sniff... Sorry, that scene always gets me. I cry like the 4 year old that you watched the movie with, Patti Mccaffrey. Betsy Silvestri, I bet it gets you too, major Dumbo fan that you are.

And Claire Gregory, no one is buying that bit about you not shopping at the store. LOL!

Kye Layton was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Kye and to all the readers who got the answer right: Larissa Huda, Paul Dickson, Doug Olson, Betsy Silvestri, Jamie K, Dee Dee Kenney, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Maryann Eckenrode & Courtney, Jennifer Rupert, Louise Barton, Duskin Henard, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Dale, Susie Howard, Vicki, Elizabeth, William And Thomas Edwards, Evanna Huda, Michael Gainey, Chris Masse, Bill Mckim, Nick Bentz, Claire Gregory, Antoinette Leblanc, Nicole Shuler, Dale Knight, Becky Norman, Ed Suscreba, Tracy Henkel, Christopher Barnes, Julie Wickware, Patti Mccaffrey, Jennifer Tremley, Lori Rienhardt, Mary Jo Gallion, Dan Owens, Amber Slifer, Karen Smith, Ashley P., Katie, Joseph M. Zafia, Leslie Stewart, Kathy Beach, Mike Cerce, and Wendy Faler. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.I


Challenge #194: Where in the world is this?

We are going back into the parks. Know who this is and where to find him?

 Where in the World #194

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 8th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

September 13, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Themed Landscaping

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

One of the ways Imagineers make us feel like we are actually in the scene they are conveying is by creating a landscape that has the feel of that place. Just wander around World Showcase and take note of how the plant life differs from one country to the next. In the United Kingdom you'll find a quaint cottage garden and a hedge maze. Thanks to Jack Spence's fabulous blog we know that in France we'll find a Jardin à la française (French formal garden), a style of landscaping that is based on balance and symmetry. The Japan pavilion hosts a hill garden - a Japanese art form more than 1,000 years old.

You'll find the same attention to landscaping detail in all of Disney's parks and resort areas. Although I love it, I rarely stay at the Wilderness Lodge because it feels so much like home to me. I live in Oregon and when I go on vacation I want to feel like I'm somewhere else. I'll take the tropical plants of the Polynesian or the palm trees of Old Key West over the pines and boulders of the lodge!

Although only three pictures will hardly even scratch the surface, our Pic of the Week will take a look at themed landscaping this week.

Tomorrowland Landscaping
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR, 1/640s shutter, f13

This old picture from the Magic Kingdom is the only one I have of one of my favorite themed landscapes in Walt Disney World. This scene near the entrance to Tomorrowland makes me think of a landing site that you might have seen on Lost in Space back in the day. I think the Imagineers really nailed it with this design.

September 14, 2011

Trip Prequel: Research and Practice

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Preparation is a key component to each form of travel, including equestrian. Without proper preparedness, miner setbacks disguise themselves into monstrous obstacles. Confusion and the sense of feeling overwhelmed can ruin what should be happy moments.

It is for such reasons that my friend Terri and I took substantial time and asserted endless energy into laying the groundwork for our 3-night Walt Disney World vacation. Don't think about why two young lasses such as ourselves with well over 40 combined ventures would require so much planning. This isn't Jeopardy. It's more like Battleship with Mongala Millie and Twister replacing red with Fantasyland, blue with Liberty Square, green with Adventureland, and yellow with Main St., U.S.A.

Before taking flight to your choice of Disney Parks, familiarizing oneself with the stories that spawned attractions and characters is vitale. Personally, I beat Terri on this matter by jumping head first into an animation and live action pool consisting of rentals; Tangled, Tom and Huck, Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Gnomeo and Juliet, The Tigger Movie, The Sword in the Stone, The Great Muppet Caper, and Vintage Mickey. Add to that Winnie the Pooh in the theater and my personal copy of The Three Caballeros and I was filled with character(s).

Hellooooooooooooo Prince Caspian!

Every day for roughly 10 days prior to our impending hoopla we would update each other on our research plans and accomplishments. As the flights times drew nearer we also found ourselves imagining what we wish we we doing.

Messages from Terri:
For today I feel like riding Figment, er the Figment ride all day with a few breaks at Ice Station Cool or whatever they are calling it these days.

Hurry up! Spaceship Earth is only on a 5 minute wait!

I discovered Disneyish items at work or at least made them such. My co-worker Agatha keeps a container of assorted hard candies on her desk. Something gold shimmered under the fluorescent lighting and caught my eye. :gasp: A Werther's Original! Practice for the Germany pavilion accomplished.

Then just a few days later, I turned to my right and saw the back of my co-worker's chair or was it a doom buggy? My mind was playing tricks on me. Oh how the need to quench my thirst with Pixie Dust-flavored Kool-Aid shook me to the very core of mine own Disney geekiness.

Music! It soothes the soul and relaxes the body and counts as a preparation. To appease and calm myself for the benefit of those around me in the office, I set the MP3 player and reveled in The Muppet Show: Music Mayhem & More - The 25th Anniversary Collection. Relaxation didn't kick in. Rather I spent over an hour bopping around in my seat, shaking my head, and singing. While I wondered if my co-workers would find my behavior odd, the true absurdity is that none of them seemed to notice or care. Pay attention to me!!! I'm not even in a cubicle, I'm inbetween or at The Inbetween.

More messages from Terri:
I am sitting in an air-conditioned restaurant preapring for Marrakesh, 1900 Park Fare, Mama Melrose, and Raglan Road.

I could go stand outside in the rain to preapre for the Orlando afternoon downpours!

Staying the course and rehearsing for plenty of walking, sweating, and carrying photography equipment meant a visit to the nearby zoo. My pal Julie from work and I set out for a good 5 hours of walking up and down hills, photographing animals, bathroom breaks, and even locating a baby bunny like those seen at Walt Disney World Resorts. It was a magical day.

Once upon a time there were 3 tortoises. The biggest tortoise was a bully and wouldn't let the other tortoises hang out at his pad.

Terri and I felt ready for the challenge (and Tropical Storm Irene was gone) and so we packed our bags and headed to our respective airports, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and T.F. Green Airport. With fists raised we declared, "Don't mess with us Katia and/or Lee."

Previous entry: Trip Prequel: Decisions, Decisions

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

September 15, 2011

The Three Caballeros at Coronado Springs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Three Caballeros topiaries fit the American Southwest/Mexico theme of the Coronado Springs Resort perfectly, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Three Caballeros topiaries fit the American Southwest/Mexico theme of the Coronado Springs Resort perfectly.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/5, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 26 mm focal length

The theming of the Coronado Springs Resort is the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Making these topiaries of the Three Caballeros (José Carioca, Panchito and Donald Duck) the perfect fit for the resort and for my Disney Pic of Week on Themed Landscaping.

September 16, 2011

A Collage of Dapper Dans on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Dapper Dans on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Dapper Dans riding up and singing on Main Street USA.
Collage produced from Apple's Aperture 3 Software.

In the past I have used Picnik.com to create collages. It is a process were I must first export photos from Aperture 3 to a JPEG file and then upload them into Picnik.com. Picnik.com has preset collage templates which you have some control over. For what I wanted to do with the set of photos of the Dapper Dans I took back in January for an AllEars.net meet, Picnik was not the answer.

In looking for a better way to create this collage, I found a youTube video by Photographer Pete Thorne explaining how to use Aperture 3 and its book function to create multiple photo images. It took me less than five minutes after viewing the video to create the collage you see above. I had a lot of control over the size and placement of each photo. I could add text in hundreds of stylized fonts and place it over, above or next to photos or use an export plug-in to create bordering effects.

This is not an ad for Aperture 3 but you might want to look at the features of the photo editing software you do own. You might be surprised at what it can do. I know I was.

September 17, 2011

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Au Natural

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

It's funny how you can totally miss the effort put into themed landscaping because it looks just right. A beach resort with hammocks and...beaches. Yeah, that works, as does a labyrinth in merry olde England.

Disney put that same effort into creating just the right atmosphere for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Rocks, cactai, aloe plants, sand, and other dessert elements surround the attraction along with a wooden fence. Heck, they even use an old skillet to point out the entrance for mas and pas using wheelchairs and scooters.


Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

September 18, 2011

Where in the World Challenge 195

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Jeremy Mccaffrey, I heard I missed your Dumbo answer. I am really sorry about that. I put you in the list of winners, so you are eligible for the monthly drawing. Happy 10th Birthday! I hope you had a magical day!

Hello, Isabel! Since you are 7 years old, you are the youngest person playing "Where in the World"!

Agnes Ciotti, you spent Hurricane Irene better than I did!

Now, everyone, Marissa D'ambrosio is in Walt Disney World this weekend. Let's all wish her a happy trip and let's try to do it without any jealousy creeping in our voices. Bon Voyage, Marissa! (you lucky grumble not jealous at all, no not me)

Jason Skow, thank you for your wonderful note!

Greg Papa, your losing streak is broken. : )

This was Challenge #194:
 Where in the World #194

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon Powershot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/6s shutter, f/3.2, ISO 320

Our friendly Troll statue, on the left, is located in Puffin's Roost shop in Norway, Epcot. The lovely woman on the right is currently located in her living room typing this on her laptop. :) A few people asked about his name; I couldn't find anything saying he has one. So, Claire Gregory, your mission when you go to Disney in 45 days is to ask the Norway cast members if he does have a name!

You see, Kevin Weidenweber, not everyone takes the same picture as you. LOL! Although our troll friend has a large fan base with pictures just in our Where in the World readers! Although Danielle Sauthoff's dad thinks like you do, Kevin, because he owns a Norway troll digging for gold. Ha!

Mary Jo Gallion, you got a PhotoPass picture here with viking helmets?! I want one!

Mackenzie D., Mary Jo was honest about the helmets. Now it's your turn. ;)

Kathy Berry, I love the rice cream at the bakery. MMMMMMMM.....

Michelle Thompson, I am not laughing at your son. Just the story. LOL!

Carol Gamill, maybe you'll get picked for "My Yard Goes Disney" and they'll give you a large troll for your yard! Take pictures for me and tell them to come to my house!

Diane Curfman, I salute your husband and his blonde pigtail viking helmet in his classroom. That's true Disney teacher of the year spirit!

Kye Layton was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Kye and to all the readers who got the answer right: Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.


Challenge #195: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks, do you know where this is?
 Where in the World #195

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 22nd, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

September 20, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Streetmosphere

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Citizens of Hollywood were first termed Streetmosphere when Disney's Hollywood Studios opened as Disney-MGM Studios. All parks have streetmosphere performers and are a ball to interact with. If you Search our blog for streetmosphere, you will find lots of our blog posts feature these sparkling entertainers. My favorite Streetmosphere performer is Frederick Lewenowsky who is a member of the Hollywood Public Works team.

Streetmosphere performer Frederick Lewenowsky in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Streetmosphere performer Frederick Lewenowsky in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20os, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 150mm Focal Length.

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday to share their favorite Streetmosphere performers for their Disney Pic of Week.

September 21, 2011

Trip Report: Day One - Epcot

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

While standing in line at the gate for my non-stop flight to Orlando, the woman in front of me turned around and asked, "Are you going to Florida?" If you've read my blog for some time, you're aware of my witty repartee. Strange as it may seem, I only responded to her query with "Yes." but my brain was throwing down one-liners as fast as Superman surpasses speeding bullets. This was the beginning of what would be a very up and down kind of trip, physically, mentally, and verbally.

My friend Terri was scheduled to arrive 90 minutes after my flight landed, only my flight landed 30 minutes early so I had a good 2 hours to kill. Some of that time was spent talking to a woman who was verturing off on a cruise with her sister. A poke inside Sea World/Busch Garden's gift shop lead me to learn via T-shirts that someone named a rollercoaster Cheetah Hunt. Are Cheetos really that difficult to locate?

I'll fast forward past reading ingredient contents in the food court and being filmed as b-roll footage for a local production company. In addition, I'll bypass my intense debate with the car rental company over arriving 5 hours earlier than planned and their intent to gouge me a full extra day at 400% over what I pre-paid per day. Did you know that if your plans change and you return the car 5 hours early (or any amount of time) they won't give you a partial refund? Funny how that only works to their advantage. Hurts.

Terri arrived ahead of schedule as well. I found her patiently awaiting her suitcase at Carousel of Is That Your Bag? Fast forward and we're in the car, my homemade Disney mix CD is playing Hakuna Matata, and in zip-a-dee-doo-dah time I turn the wrong way off the exit ramp. Get your pencils ready and keep track of how many times I "get lost". There will be a quiz later. Banged a u-ee. Banged a u-y. Hmm, I've never typed that out before. Bing has no suggestions and neither does Google. Ohhhhh. I thought Google knew everything. Well, for those of you not from New England, I made a u-turn. Finally, we pulled into Premium Outlets where my vivid dreams of sweeping up tremendous deals at Character Premiere's Labor Day weekend sidewalk sale were smothered. Sure, sales were going on for the holiday but the Fab 5 weren't participating. :insert sad face here:

We still managed to buy a few things, as hard as that is to truly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, believe. I sponsor a few local kids through a non-profit child and family service agency every year during their Big Wishes gift drive. My purchases are anxiously waiting to meet their kids.

Next was a stop at Publix for a few groceries. Even though we're on the Disney Dining Plan, we knew breakfast items, snacks, and especially drinks were still necessary. We bought enough to feed a small army of small green army men.

Finished with running around, it was finally time to check into Caribbean Beach Resort. We were quickly called to the next available Cast Member at the online check-in window. You know, these men and women deserve some recognition so I'm going to name every Cast Member we encountered. The odds are fantastically high that I'll guess wrong every time but what the heck, at least I'm trying.

As DeeDee proceeded to get our welcome packet, I tried to get rid of Terri by telling her to go take pictures out the window. Why would I shoo away my friend? Cuz I didn't want her to hear me ask about possibly upgrading our room, you know, if it was complimentary. In short, DeeDee who was earning her ears, learned something new (with help from her supervisor) and we scored a Pirates of the Caribbean themed room at no additional charge. Tada!

Terri tries to steer the bed with her smartphone. There's no app for that.

This is only half our loot from the grocery store. The rest is inside the min-fridge inside the barrel inside the room inside the building inside the resort inside Walt Disney World inside Lake Buena Vista....okay I'll stop now. Inside Florida.

Unpacked and roaring to go, we sped off...we drove cautiously to Epcot. Whatever shall we do first? Terri wanted to hit Spaceship Earth so that's where we headed until she got stopped by the cops. :snort: It was the first Cast Member, Pat (cuz I can't remember if it was a he or a she) who wanted her to complete a survey. She did that and I got in line because a barrell of teenagers came rolling along and I didn't feel like babysitting. Terri came along a minute later.

At the end of the line, Pasquale, the Cast Member, asked how many were in my party. I told Pasquale, We're riding 1 and 1. I got in the front row and Pasquale told Terri to get in the car behind me. That totally confused Terri who bewilderly informed Pasquale that she was with me and got in the back row. :chuckle: Thus began Terri's verbal lashing at me every time we got on a ride. "Do you need your own row?" "No, I need my own car." It was funny. You had to be there. Hey! I was doing it all for you guys. By having my own row I could slide back and forth taking photos of both sides of my travel through time. I used my noodle.

There were actually 2 of me but the evil twin was camera-shy.

Terri's birthday was just a few days prior so a birthday pin was in order. The Cast Member who helped us, Elphaba, wanted to give me one of those green pins that says "I'm Celebrating." I asked if she could write on it, "My half-birthday". Elphaba said I deserved the birthday pin for my half-birthday. What a wicked nice girl.

Test Track was fun as always even if I didn't have my own row or car. Cast Members Dick and Jane scanned my PhotoPass card but somehow the attraction photo is not showing up in my account. I even invited Dick to join us for dinner provided he order from the kiddie menu. See Lisa be disappointed.

Walking around World Showcase counter-clockwise, we saw the tarps over Canada in preparation for winter. Then we passed thru England quickly to escape the dreary, foggy, and wet weather. Over the bridge and into France where we saw...France. Nothing specific comes to mind. Just beyond the home of Remy was our dinner reservation at Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco. I think the last time I ate there was in 2003, long before most of my dietary problems came into light.

It's pretty normal to walk by Restaurant Marrakesh or bop inside to use the restroom and see lots of available seating. It must have been Opposite Day because people were packed into the lobby like sardines. We waited a good while for our table and put our free time to good use by continuing our search for Inappropriate Theme Park Footwear. Not only did we find questionable shoes but we also made the unfortunate discovery of inappropraite shorts and shirts. Mamas, don't let your girls grow up to dress like working girls, if you know what I mean.

Chef Samar came out to go over my allergies and dietary restrictions. I was given the following choices, chicken kabobs or filet mignon kabobs, a small salad, vegetables, and potatoes. It seems that Morrocan food is marinated and prepared hours before it's served. That said, Samar made an offer I haven't heard in any restaurant, anywhere, "If you don't like it, you don't pay." Terri should have photographed the expression on my face of pure astonishment.

My dinner was fantastic. I'd eat there again under the guidance of chef Samar. Everything on my plate was yummy, especially the potatoes.
I just got my new camera and was learning it throughout the trip so don't judge me.

Terri ordered couscous with beef. She said it was excellent.

After dinner we decided we'd concentrate on shopping our way through World Showcase. Both of us love the stores in Japan and always buy something but for whatever reason, neither of us made a purchase. For years I have been thinking about buying toe socks. I recently bought a pair with little grips on them to use while attempting yoga on my Wii board. Turns out I don't like toe socks. The adhesive packets of bamboo and vinegar that draw toxins out of feet are something I've bought before in Japan but I found them at the local Christmas Tree Shop for much less. Habitual chopsticks? Got a 6-pack of bamboo ones at the mall for slightly more than what one pair costs at Epcot. Pocky? Available at my grocery store. Oh well. We did however find it nerve-wracking when we discovered merchandise that said Made in China.

At American Adventure we checked out the store. I talked to the Cast Member, Becky Jo Lynn, about the college program at Walt Disney World. Unbeknownst to me (until I turned around), a battle had broken out between the youngest members of the Harper family complete with rifles, running between displays, and a lack of parental ...caring. We left, quickly.

New mouse ears for every country. I don't know...it seems a bit cheesey to me.

The Werther's shop in Germany was completely empty when we arrived but it didn't stay that way for long. China was closed. How odd, especially since it was like...11am there...in China. Our last country of the night was Norway. After escaping trolls and sailing along with vikings, I needed my school bread. Oh yeah, and I had my own row in the boat. It was empty. Gimme a break. We slowly headed out of Epcot and finally made it back to the car, parked by pillar 169. Yeah, I forgot to look at the ground so Terri located the number on a pillar holding up the monorail track. What a clever kid.

It was a long day filled with highs and lows, heat and humidity, laughter and sweat. A good night's sleep in my pirate ship sounded delightful. Would Dramanine be necessary? Stay tuned for the next chapter.

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

September 22, 2011

Hollywood Stars of Sunset Blvd

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

No visit to Hollywood is complete without running into a celebrity, someone who is a household name. Every day at Disney's Hollywood Studios you meet stars...well, more like wannabe stars and fading stars. For instance, my photo submission for our Disney Pic of the Week - Streetmosphere is of famed director, Otto Von Bonn Bahn and Dorma Nesmond who constantly thanks "the little people" for her fame.


Numerous Citizens of Hollywood entertain on Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and on the corner of Hollywood and the path to Echo Lake.

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

September 23, 2011

Dining Under the Stars at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I will be going to Walt Disney World next month to meet up with some fellow photographers as I did back in 2009. Before returning to Walt Disney World, I like to review my past trip photos. Over the next four weeks, I am going to share with you locations in each park starting with my favorite, Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS).

Like the real Hollywood, Disney uses large sound stages to create unique and fantastical experiences for their guests at DHS. Drive-In Theaters are rare in today's America but back in the 1950's and 1960's they were extremely popular with families and teenagers to watch such classics like The Blob or The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. To capture such a fun era, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant was created. No matter the time of day or year, people found themselves dining under the stars in front of a large movie screen showing trailers from some of the "best" (I use the word loosely) science fiction movies made when drive-ins where popular. Sprinkled in between the movie trailers are animated shorts and Walt Disney even introduces one of his favorites.

Guests enjoying a meal at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Guests enjoying a meal at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/8s, f/2.8, ISO 8000, EV +1.0, 16mm focal length.

Did you notice what people are sitting in? The "tables" are made up of cars which sit four to six adults. Towards the back of the restaurant they have bigger cars for groups and even tables near the concession stand (the kitchen) like the old drive-ins used to have.

Guests sitting in their cars at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Guests sitting in their cars at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/25s, f/2.8, ISO 8000, EV +1.0, 16mm focal length.

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant is a favorite of my family and has the best milk shake in the park (notice I did not say resort). If you have not tried it, better make your reservations as soon as you can as it is very busy and popular as the old drive-ins were on Saturday nights.

September 24, 2011

Citizens of Hollywood

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

 Citizens of  Hollywood
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR, 1/125s shutter, f11, ISO 200

Happy to oblige, the Citizens of Hollywood stop their vehicle to mug for the camera. I'd like to introduce you to Melvin Macheezmo, Joodie Patootie and Veronica Vanisht, Streetmosphere performers at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

September 25, 2011

Where in the World #196

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

I can't believe it, I didn't put the list of winners for last week! I AM SO SORRY!! I listed everyone below!

Obviously, I'm not in the position to give wise advice, Leslie Stewart, but never turn down a chance for a Disney vacation! But as you can see, we all make mistakes. At least you probably had a reason. Mine was just stupidity. :)

Hello to the Schweizer brothers! Noah who ties with Isabel for youngest player at 7 years old, and Daniel who celebrates his 12th birthday this Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Daniel! Have a magical day!

This was Challenge #195:
 Where in the World #195

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon Powershot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/15s shutter, f/3.2, ISO 320

Oh no! Do what Sarah Smee warns and hold on to your wallet, because the bank has been robbed and a large tram of Disney guests has just been taken hostage by the bank robber! It's probably the spot that woke up Bart Patterson, and it happens in The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Because as Kevin Weidenweber reminds us, "anything can happen in the movies".

And Caroline Burmester: way to buck up and put Studios instead of MGM!

Nancy Ahlsen, I think... I'm pretty sure.... this means you win. So it's a good thing you ventured (and that Claire Gregory gave all that detail), because you gained with the other winners. :)

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Chris and to all the readers who got the answer right: Lee Anastasi, Linda Scrivano, Larissa Huda, Ken Jackson, Sharon Pierce, Sharon Dale, Jennifer Harmon, Mary Beth Tarbet, Tracy Henkel, Kerry A., Dawn Burns, Christine Dagney, Theresa Rucando, Tim Johansen, Kye Layton, Caryn Schill, Jeff Schoeling , Kim Steiner, The Hicks Family, Katie Bray, Dawn Bach , Kirsty Butler, Matt Holley, Erin Dagney, Quincy Delcolletti, Dave Wang, James Berry, Alan P, Kathy Berry, Michelle Raimist, Maureen Handy, Heather Young, Betsy Silvestri, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Scott Otis, Paul Dickson, Kris Nixon, Cara Richards, Stuart Hale, Carla Nale, Angie Young, Sarah Holodick, Craig, Scott Greenbaum, Ed Elder, Karen Ramirez, K. Beasley, Carla C., Linda College, Curtis Bille, Phil Vickers, Jamie K, Tim Wingfield, Margie, Patty Carty, Deb Ragno, The Perras Family, Jonah Rigby, Nick Bentz, Ken Maikowski, Julie Wickware, Jerry Weldon, Mike Hill, Vicki Aponte, Jennifer Chartier, Stephanie Newell, Chris Linscott, Karen Hotchkiss, Mouse Junkie Adam, Mia W., Vicki And Elizabeth, Willam, And Thomas Edwards, Mike Walter, Kimberly Kusser, Millie Tenreiro, Josh Weiss, Carolyn Como, Jim Thompson, Emma Poprock, Kerry Mccaffrey, Diana F, Brian Yesutis, Leslie Stewart, Gregory Kuhn, Jeffrey Dunne, Mike Haeberle, Kaitlynn Gipson, Dave Fullerton, Jon Cohen, Karen Schlumpf, Victoria Caputo, Sam Fritz, Claire Gregory, Evan Rapone, Michelle Thompson, Ken Fischler, Matt Cofone, Kathryn Perkins, Ed Hogan, Ed Aleszczyk, Jason Lenz, Chris Kelly, Kristen Mccoy, Jennifer Townsend, Linda Mac, Melina Anne Hillis, Rob Blundin, Dee Dee Kenney, Rich Kacprowicz, Shaun Leake, Amanda Campbell, Brian Haas, Jeremy Hardy, Bill Daniel, Brian Skinner, Christie Condit, Kelsi B., Jodi Cook, Ian Falk, Lisa Wight, Scott Junkin, Brian Gallant, Bob Patterson, Dallas Hamilton, Harrison Grasso, Jen Cerce, Nathaniel Clements, Krystal Pound, Karen Smith, Kevin, Christopher Hall, Genevieve Trudel, Bruce Arnold, Jeremy Reichelt, Jullie Pudem, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, Andrea Kruszewski, Bruce Jones, Dale Knight, Bob Hendrix, Karrie Duffey, Freya Schmidt, Carri Marotto, Jim Finley, Kathleen Kennedy, Terry Fleming, Dan Johnston, Rebecca Keenan, Mark Franklin, Sarah Smee, Ashley Baker, Kelly Smith, Ashley Elizabeth, Jeannine, Jared Orth, Joanne Tomko, Kevin Weidenweber, James Greene, Pj Popsuj, George Mundy Jr, Erin Rix, Donna Currier, Scott Sangston, Amy, Danny And Analisa, Patti Mccaffrey, Cameron Lange, Caroline Burmester, J Brizzle, Mark Cullison, Suzanne Denham, Doug Buchheit, Lauren Thomas, Kelly Mager, Christopher Barnes, Derek Brown, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Kelli Reedy, Matt Degrandis, Jimi Mac, Kenny, Jeff Blank, Diane Furtado, Kelly, Dave Mickley, Shelly Borella, Kerry Finnamore, Ashley Wilson, Matthew Jadro, Mickey Eckert, Bart Patterson, Karen Korcheski, Alan Mize, Marc Fumo, Michelle Palazzo, Debbie Desimone, John Pasqueralli, Ed Suscreba, Marie, Tom Wert, Amanda Gagnon, Madison Reynolds, Ashley Deitchler, Jo Ann Bailey, Patti Deluca, Bryan Timko, Paul Knott, Luis Rodriguez, Debbie Poole, Colin Buchanan, Tom Koval, Brian Grabowski, Tom Higbee, Teri Michalski, Dan Owens, Nancy Ahlsen, Melissa Duhamel, Dennis O'donnell, Kate Flanagan, Paula B, Dave Carriere, Anastasia Branco, Pat Hargesheimer, Laney, Jill Martin, Barclay Bakkum, Nicole Duddy, Jennifer Bourg, Caitlin Rush, Mary Greger, Brent Lollar, Chris Stockton, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Jennifer Rupert, and Amy Schweizer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
And DRUM ROLL PLEASE for the very patient winners from last week's Where in the World!

Drum roll!

Dale Knight was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Dale and to all the readers who got the answer right: The Kahle Family, Bruce Jones, Theresa Rucando, Mary Beth Tarbet, Chris Masse, Megan C. Krainski, Virginia Pierce, Kris Nixon, Erica Binder, Evanna Huda, Lauren Thomas, Sharon Pierce, Josh Weiss, Caryn Schill, Mackenzie D., Maureen Handy, Melody Salemi, Greg Papa, Jeff Hoover, Betsy Silvestri, Odaly Victorio, Brianne, Eric Schaffer, Jeff Hoover, Kathryn Perkins, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Millie Tenreiro, Rob Blundin, Erika Loboda, Jamie K, Mary Virginia Clause, David Andd Angela P, Angela Fennell, Tom Hermes, Kelly Seymore, Lauren Sullivan, Kelsi B., Tricia Petty, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Scott Otis, Walter Fletcher, Donnie, Jodi Cook, K.l. Beasley, Kye Layton, Bridgette Gallagher, James Berry, Scott Greenbaum, Kathy Berry, John C. Lacasse, Stuart Hale, Michelle Thompson, Karen Genda, Annette Nuenke, Gloria Martin, Janet Thorn, Karen Ramirez, Jennifer Tremley, Diane Curfman, Craig Livingston, Antoinette Leblanc, Katie Bray, Maryann Eckenrode, Stephanie Hardhouse, Tim Sanchez, Kelly Mager, Linda Scrivano, Larissa Huda, Phil Vickers, Robert Anderson, Andrew Weed, Kim Steiner, Mike Walter, Erin Hammer, Amanda Campbell, Isabel Johansen, Claire Gregory, Jennifer Horst, Louise Barton, Mary Jo Gallion, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Victor Gonzalez, Carol Baranowsky, Elizabeth Scarborough, Stephanie Newell, Les Whitten, Lori Rienhardt, Scott Stubbs, Julie Wickware, Nick Bentz, Matthew Herman, Jenn Steele, Daniel Record, Ashley Deitchler, Kellie Harpel, Jane Bradley, Paul Dickson, Tom Koval, Patty Carty, Derek Carty, Michael Gainey, The Perras Family, Diana Fitzgerald, Craig, Lily-pierre Couet, Wendy Faler, Christopher Barnes, Doug Reichl, Nathalie Doiron, Melody O'donnell, Sharon Dale, Allison Burgess, Sam Fritz, Leslie Stewart, Freya Schmidt, Diane Furtado, Bruce Arnold, Mike M., Jessica Gruhlke, Carol Gamill, Leigh Ridgell, Jennifer Harmon, Ian Falk, Ken Jackson, Tanya Hinnes, Hannah Couture, Jessica Deans, Jonah Rigby, Evan Rapone, Elizabeth Macgregor, Luis Rodriguez, Michelle Sunde, Kerry Mccaffrey, Jen Schultz, Jeremy Hardy, Timothy Fuerst, Double Family, Alan P, Jason Skow, Becky Hosinger, Matt Holley, Herb Miller, Steven Bowling, Ron Renz, Scott Junkin, Wendy Snelgrove, Bob Patterson, Heather Hynes, Brian Gallant, Deb Gallo, Ken Fischler, Mark Franklin, Chris Bauman, Jennifer Toto, Dawn Buras, Sherry Trapp, Ryan Smee, Kevin Weidenweber, Alison Rosenberger, Vincent Maltese, Kelly Smith, Karen Hotchkiss, Nicole Duddy, Nancy Ahlsen, Jim Finley, Katherine Fallon, Robert Mccoy, Karrie Duffey, Mike Venere, Michael Nanney, Danielle Sauthoff, Carri Marotto, Cara Richards, Chris Bourassa, Marie Phillips, Ashley Baker, Jen Richardson, Al Desimone, Lisa Honard, Shane Stack, Mike Haeberle, Michelle Palazzo, Steve Jordan, Dan Johnston, Tiffany W., Jullie Pudem, Sarah Holodick, Shelly Borella, Rebecca Keenan, John Sheridan, Ashley Ryan, Karen Smith, Miguel Gonzalez, Paul Ignudo Jr, Karen Calabria, Patti Mccaffrey, Mike Hill, Danielle Suscreba, Bryan Timko, Bob Hendrix, Heidi Goodhue, Linda Mac, Shannon Brueggemann, Kate Fischer, Sandra Shaw, J Brizzle, Carla C., Kristen Mccoy, Melissa Duhamel, Jeff Finger, Kristen Carde, Megan E., Belicia Cullen, Hillary Waldroop, Susie Howard, Sharon Leitgeb, Roxanne Kliebert, Robert Burge Jr, Tom &Susan Lindre, Tracy Discher, Debbie Poole, Kevin Miller, Audra Miller, Jane Johnson, Jennifer Bogdan, Ashley Hill, Joseph M Zafia, Jennifer Mills, Clay Anthony, Patti Deluca, Mary Tackett, Dylan Weidner, Gary Bracknell, Teri Michalski, Pj Popsuj, Allison Daubert, Marissa D'ambrosio, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Dawn Bach, April Haddock, Dick Smith, John Pasqueralli, Brent Lollar, Chris Stockton, Bart Patterson, Kat, Ashley Barrera, Heather Pedulla, and Barrie Brewer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.


Challenge #196: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks for a tougher one since we have players who love the tough ones! I think it's a toughie, but you guys can really surprise me sometimes with how easily you guess them.

That is my arm and my red t-shirt sleeve. Can you guess what attraction's seat that is?

 Where in the World #196

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 30th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

September 27, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Signs

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

They can be funny, directional, educational, save your skin from potential harm, show you the way out, or clue you into how long wait times are for popular attractions. Yes, signs are all over the place and they always tie into the attraction or land's theme. This week we shall shed some prism light on a few.

I found my sign while winding through the new queue for Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. It's a greater alternative to what you're offered while in the elevator.


Come back on Thursday and Saturday and see what signs Scott and Barrie throw down.

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September 28, 2011

Trip Report: Day Two - Part I/Animal Kingdom/Epcot

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

For those who need to catch up, the previous blogs in this series are, in order:
Trip Prequel: Decisions, Decisions
Trip Prequel: Research & Practice
Trip Report: Day One - Epcot

Slumber was disturbed by the wake up call I'd set the night before. I picked up the phone to hear Mickey Mouse interrupted by Stitch. I adore Stitch but not when he starts screaming in my ear, regardless of the time of day.

Dear Walt Disney World Wake Up Call Decision Maker,
Change the message. It's old and annoying. How about something positive and fun from Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog? If you take my idea, I'd like to discuss my friends and I staying at Cinderella Castle. Thanks.

I got up, bathed with non-Disney toiletries, got my gear together and headed off to Animal Kingdom. Terri didn't have hopping capabilities on her tickets so she took the bus to Epcot where I'd meet up with her later. The bus stop was rather close to our building which made it not-so-bad. Also, we had bunnies...pirate bunnies! Arrrrg, what's up matey?

Upon my arrival at Animal Kingdom, the security guard, Smurfette, recognized my AllEars.Net shirt and pointed out that some Lion King topiaries had gone up overnight. In addition to the greenery I found Rafiki, the real-life Rafiki. With over an hour to run around taking photos for future blogs, I made my way through parts of Asia. New discoveries were made (you'll have to wait for the photo blog), shopping was imminent although sans purchase transactions, and I melted in the high humidity.

If only Simba had been out I could have tried for a live reenactment of the topiary display.

Jack Spence and I co-hosted a meet-n-greet over at Dinosaur. We had a nice turnout of 15 people which far exceeded my anticipation of 2 plus Fred, my invisible friend who lives in my cousin's dorm room at UCF. Jack held court for a while answering questions and talking about Disney parks and attractions. I lead our group through the queue pointing out and sharing bits of info no one else knew. For example, the holding room with the dinosaur, yeah, totally the inspiration for the movies "Night at the Museum" I & II.

The person who made the best face in the ride photo won an 8x10 print. The winner was...Nicholas! He's the spikey-haired dude in the red shirt. Rock on! Dinosaur-ridephoto-blog.jpg
In case you're wondering, yes, that's Fred in the "empty" seat. I've already spoken to him about the importance of seatbelts.

I don't always get to see Jack when I'm in town so getting some personal time together with him over lunch was priceless. We went our separate ways and I went in search of more photo opportunities around the park. Coming out from the restroom behind Yak and Yeti, I looked up to find skywriting which didn't make any sense.

While some may think I'm missing a letter, I'm not. The whole thing actually read "Welcome Go". Perhaps there was a race going on somewhere. A race to potties.

My hunt included one zebra cupcake at Kusafiri Coffe Shop and Bakery. As hot as it was, I sought out shelter from the sun at a nearby...hut...with a table top. Sadly, this was a really dumb move. Ladies and gents, it was a sauna. Once the yellow cake, buttercream frosting, and zebra chocolate shavings evidence was devoured, I stepped out and the air seemed a hundred degrees cooler. Ay, ay, ay.

A change of wardrobe was necessary. In one of the various shops I passed heading towards the exit, I stopped and picked up a 2-pack of socks. One pair had Mickey and the other had a freaky-looking version of Minnie. A clean T-shirt awaited me in the car.

On my way to where the air is sweat, I apparently missed the second exit for Epcot. There's no doubt I took the first one because I distinctly remember following the signs but at some point, I missed the next one. That makes another "Lisa got lost" moment. Eventually, I made it to Epcot with additional time to cool down in the air conditioning.

Terri and I met up over by The Land which she already conquered but was willing to revisit. Being a Disneyland Resort snob, I just can't get into Soarin' Over California being held inside that building as one of several attractions alongside a food court and restaurant. I need my attraction inside a hangar with images of pilots lining the walls.

In short, we went to see Nemo and embark on a clam shell journey followed by spending time with Crush and Terri's monstrous decision on which pins to buy. She had narrowed it down to 4 when her fiance called. I took the pins from her, handed one to the Cast Member, Lois, and paid for it. "Happy Birthday, Terri," I said when her conversation ended. She thanked me and then bought the other 3 pins from Lois. Terri couldn't find her sunglasses so Lois, being the good researcher that she is, made a call to see if Crush and/or Dory had it. They didn't have it so we left with instructions to call Lost & Found sometime in the future.

No Michael Jackson for Terri. She's not a fan. We did however find our imaginations as best we could with Figment. Guess what?! Other people were there, too. Yeah both ahead and behind us. It was crazy! The entire lot of us must have added up to a baker's dozen.
The background has been enhanced for your viewing pleasure.

Have you ever noticed that Mark Ballas wears a Captain EO shirt during rehearsals on Dancing with the Stars? He's been wearing it for years.

What visit to Epcot is complete without a stop at Club Cool where the nicest people in the world turn into caffeinated evil-doers. It's also where folks go to watch what happens when people stop being polite and start getting really...dangerous! If you know not of what I type, perhaps next time I'll take you there. If you do in fact, get it, well then...thanks for the laughs.
Will they or won't they?

I found Cast Member Carmen from Rhode Island in a shop bordering World Showcase Lagoon. We discussed Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and the damage it did throughout New England including Vermont where her son lives. On a lighter note, Halloween merchandise was out and throughout the trip I went back and forth over whether or not to buy anything. Also, I only once found a bag of Halloween candy and I believe it was in one of those two shops by the water.

Next time: Part II - More Epcot and Downtown Disney

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September 30, 2011

The Spirit of Norway at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 280, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length.

When I visit Epcot's World Showcase, I always enjoy a stop in the Norway pavilion. There you can learn about Norway's mythology, past, present and future by enjoying a dragon boat ride through the Maelstrom. Norway is the home to my favorite snack in Walt Disney World (School Bread at the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe) and the home to Vikings. The mighty Viking below stands outside the Stave Church where an exhibit of famous Vikings and their history resides.

A mighty Viking outside the Stave Church in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A mighty Viking outside the Stave Church.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 78mm focal length.

I know many people walk right through the theater at the end of the Maelstrom ride. If you have never seen the movie or have not seen it in a long time, take the six minutes to view the beauty of Norway and its people.

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About September 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in September 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2011 is the previous archive.

October 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.