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February 2013 Archives

February 1, 2013

Firerock Geyser at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The beauty of Walt Disney World is you can enjoy the parks and the resorts. Disney's Wilderness Lodge has so much to offer from a romantic dining experience at Artist Point, fun (and I mean really fun) family dining at Whispering Canyon, details to discover in the spacious lobby and a surprise by following the flowing spring. The spring starts in the lobby and flows out to Silver Creek Falls. People can slide from the falls into the swimming pool. Make your way along the boardwalk path to the hot springs (jacuzzis), you will come across a sign informing you of Firerock Geyser. If you ask one of the Wilderness Lodge's rangers, they will tell you the geyser erupts every half hour.

Firerock Geyser from the pathway at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Firerock Geyser from the pathway at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV 0, 28mm focal length.
Firerock Geyser shots water 120 feet (36.5 meters) into the air when it erupts.
Firerock Geyser erupting at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Firerock Geyser erupting at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 2200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Unlike the geyser's out west, Disney Motor Cruisers were bringing guests to and fro on Bay Lake behind Firerock for unique photo opportunities.

Motor Cruiser behind Firerock Geyser at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Motor Cruiser behind Firerock Geyser at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Nikon D700/28-200VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV 0, 135mm focal length.

I processed these photos to look like the vacation photos I remember seeing from people who had visited Yellowstone National park as a kid. Brought back a little nostalgia remembering sitting through relative's slideshows of their adventures in the western Untied States.

February 3, 2013

Where in the World #266

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Stephanie Dollar and her family are in Disney! Have a great trip, Stephanie!
blue balloon mickey ears

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #265

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

The Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios! The climatic scene where the Beast is dying, but will be saved and transformed back to the Prince.

Look at the great seat I had, Players! Front row! I just got lucky. :)

Apologies to The Hoekzema Family: the challenge made them stay up late figuring out the answer. Go to bed now. Nighty night!
Nighty night

Kimberly Kusser was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kimberly and all our winners this week! Leigh Mertz, Les Stewart, Leigh Mertz, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Brian Miller, Kris Nixon, The Kahle Family, Claire Gregory, Belicia Cullen, Chris Kelly, Scott Cullen, Megan Krainski, Laura Winn, Mindy Loupe, Melissa Such, Nicole Ruzinski, Patti Gumiela, Team Hill, Sarah Williams, Jamie K, Mackenzie D., Amanda Campbell, Emma Poprock, Scott Precise, Kara Cummings, Kelly Cummings, Ronnie Mehelic, Denise Montgomery, Mickey Eckert, Mike Bandru, Karen Ramirez, Ed Elder, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Larissa Huda, Madison Hovan, Tim Johansen, Christina Trigiani, Antoinette Leblanc, Craig, Christine Dagney, Chris And Alison, Rich Kacprowicz, Pam Vanaustin, Brenda Rosazza, Joseph S Gallagher, Sharon, Hayley Valk, Andy Raffel, Becky Hosinger, Meredith Rule, Nicole Shuler, Corbett Scimeca With Help From Mom, Dad And Ryan, Nathalie Periard, Al Desimone, Deb Desimone, Rebecca Smith, Nancy Ahlsen, Katherine Gast, Vanessa Gordon, Christine Stockmal, Shelly Borella, Karen Davis, Jullie Pudem, Wendy T Faler, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Ken Rhinehart, Sara Holloway, Deb, Stephanie Dollar, Olivia, Chrissy, Paul Moore, Kelly R., Cheri Palmisano, Susan Higginbotham, Caryn Schill, Nancy, Chris &Maranda Nichols, Josh Carney, Lily-pierre Couet, Carla Leger, George Mundy Jr, Patti Mccaffrey, Kerry Mccaffrey, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Agnes Ciotti, Michelle, Katerina Purdy, Hoekzema Family, Monica Owens, Melissa Kirk, Jillian Domings , Randy, Dianne Gerth, and Elizabeth Gillardi. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, it's time to announce the monthly winner! The winner for January 2013 is Josh Carney! Congratulations, Josh! Deb Wills will be sending your prize soon!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________
Challenge #266: Where in the world is this?

Paul Moore, this week's challenge is for you!
 Where in the World #266

Just kidding!! Here's the real challenge:
 Where in the World #266

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 7th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

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!

February 5, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week - Snacks

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

My mind wanders off to New Orleans Square in Disneyland where I always enjoy a cool and refreshing mint julep accompanied by an order of hot and powdered sugar beignets. (Homer Simpson drooling noises)

Snacks are very popular at Disney Parks. Everyone has a favorite or multiple favorites that a visit simply isn't complete without eating. Heck, you can spend an entire visit to Epcot just noshing on snacks around World Showcase.

Whatever your favorite treat is, enjoy. Scott will post a delicious photo on Thursday. I think I just heard Mickey bars being unwrapped.

I love popcorn but I don't buy it from Disney very often. It's too salty for me and I'm not buying a bottle of water for $2.50 to wash it down. Still, the poppers are fun to watch.

Come on over and "Like" my Facebook; page or follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

February 6, 2013

Runaway Blogger

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

No Light Meter blog this week, folks. I was busy playing tour guide at Walt Disney World to one of my very best friends, the infamous, Yoli. I'll return with new entries starting February 13, 2013.

You can find me on Facebook and on Twitter as lisano1.

February 7, 2013

Germany Chocolate Covered Snack in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Chocolate covered strawberry snack from Germany in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chocolate covered strawberry snack from Germany.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.7.

My wife loves the chocolate and caramel dipped strawberries from Germany's Karamell-Küche shop. It is her favorite snack so I had to use it for my Disney Pic of the Week on Snacks

February 8, 2013

Star Tours Queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My favorite park is Disney's Hollywood Studios which brings the movies I have enjoyed to life. Star Wars, one of my favorites, was brought to life as an intergalactic travel agency called Star Tours. The queue to your StarSpeeder 1000 has you wander through a space port where soft announcements are made, a video screen rotating between planet destinations and schedules and droids working maintenance.

Video screen showing Departures in the Star Tours queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Star Tours Departures.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1.3s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

A pair of Mon Calamaris keep an eye on the Star Tours queue. Do not worry, it is not a trap.

A pair of Mon Calamaris keep an eye on the Star Tours queue in Disney's Hollywood Studio, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A pair of Mon Calamaris keep an eye on the Star Tours queue.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1.3s, f/8, ISO 800, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

Two droids in particular, C-3PO and R2-D2, are fixing up a red Star Speeder 1000 to get it back in service.

Motor Cruiser behind Firerock Geyser at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Motor Cruiser behind Firerock Geyser at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/3s, f/8, ISO 800, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

With the announcement of The Disney Company buying Lucasfilm and new Star Wars movies coming, who knows where Star Tours will take us next.

These photos were taken very late during Extra Magic Hours and a Cast Member allowed me into the queue not being used so I could set up my tripod without interfering with other guests.

February 10, 2013

Where in the World #267

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Susie Howard is celebrating her birthday in Disney! Happy Birthday, Susie!


Melodye Berry is there celebrating her anniversary!

So From Millan.Net to Susie! And From Millan.Net to Melodye!

Ken Rhinehart is also in Disney! Bon Voyage, Ken! Wave, Players! Wave!
Not that kind of wave!

And From Millan.Net to Chris Kelly who had to leave Disney to face 2 feet of snow at home.

Remember I teased about this being the challenge?
 Where in the World #267

Well, Paul Moore got it. Paul.... that is amazing.jawdrop

 Where in the World #267

It's the pathway between pavilions in the World Showcase in Epcot. I actually took the photo because rain drops formed a Hidden Mickey. See it?

Paul: bravo! clapping

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #266

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

It's Captain Hook's ship in the mural of Peter Pan's Flight in Magic Kingdom!

Steve Jordan: big thumbs up on the very thorough answer! "That is an image of Captain Hook's pirate ship (Port Side view from astern, roughly 225 degrees relative), as seen on the Peter Pan's Flight ride at the Magic Kingdom." Way to go, Player!

It's one of my favorite rides too, Curtis Bille, and I would hate to lose it! Flying over London! In fact, when Cheri Palmisano sang "You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!", I had to go on youtube and watch a ride video.

Clay Anthony was talking about how they make the car lights as you pass over London: if you don't want to know, bypass this spoiler! It's little dabs of glow in the dark paint on a bicycle chain! :)

Debbie Desimone was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Debbie and all our winners this week! Annie Snodgrass, Theresa Rucando, Erin Dagney, Ed Elder, Christine Dagney, Chris Masse, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Olivia , Emily Hudson, Andrew Carrieri, Virginia Pierce, Larissa Huda, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Heather Young, Leach Family, Linda College, Kim Hubert, Megan Collins, Tricia Petty, Valerie, Susie Katz , Trinity Phannenhour, Kathy Morris, Mackenzie D., Lynette Michalos, Chris Horne, Hayley Valk, Amber Henry, Spencer, Craig Livingston, Tim Johansen, Tara Soucie, Mike Bidwell, Mary Beth Tarbrt, The Olszak Family, Amy Baxter, Megan E., Megan Krainski, Shannon Savoia, Double Family, Steve Jordan, Callie Wilson, Fran Achorn, Misty Mehelic, Crystal King, Sharon Dale, Elizabeth Poyner, Sharon Dale, Curtis Bille, Wendy, Tammy, Barbara Porterfield, Cynthia Hitchcock, Ruth Woodhouse, Kye Layton, Jodi Cook, Nicole Shuler, Vera Williams, The Kahle Family, Katie Bray, Becky Norman, Team Hill, Laura Fallon, Amanda, Dave Freemyer, Carrie Kwiat, Denise Castiglione, Keith Shinabarger, Ken Clark, Shelley Eggert, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Eileen Wiederspan, Crystal Gelinas, Courtney Payne, James Schmidt, Paul Knott, Mary Brennan, The Parker Family, Nichole Donofrio, Carla C, Cindy Pink, Lisa Hallmark, The Strukel Family, Kelsi, Eleanor Voutsinas, Karen Ramirez, Karen Adamakis, Sophia , Derek Carty, Lori Rienhardt, Trisha Johnson, Hobbes And Snorky, Elisa Steccato, Tina And Thomas Gay, Tom Koval, Paul Moore, Kris Nixon, Jennifer Curiel, Amber Slifer, Craig, Patty Carty, Candy Yancey, Kristi Strembicki, Colleen Wesolowski, Melissa Such, Betsy Silvestri, Candice Grimes, Vanessa Suarez , Addison Welp, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Claire Gregory, Mike O'brien, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Mickey Eckert, Jeff Thomas, Suzanne C Denham, Jessica Iglesias, Bill Cudney, Deb Ragno, Nathan York , Jennifer Rupert, Jenny Stoneburner, Brendan Abel, Hoekzema Family, Gina L Falzone, Chris And Alison, Wendy T Faler, Pam Vanaustin, Susie Howard, The Malesky Family, Dee Dee Kenney, Sarah Calvario, Vanessa St.john, Ann, Scott Precise, Ken Maikowski, Kelly Cummings, Kelly Cummings, Jessica Stephens, Lauren Pinder, Morgan M. , Maggie Klotz, Cathy Connors, Rebecca Keenan, Barbara, Cheryl Chambers, Melissa Roberts, Caryn Schill, Elizabeth, Paul Dickson, Anita Jodouin, Evald Olson, Melanie Dunlap, Lois Lynch, Clay Anthony, Anjanette Tournillon, Blake Schmidt, Robert Hildebrandt, Elizabeth Johnston, Ken Rhinehart, Jessica Folan, Steve Knapp, Monica Owens, Josh Carney, Christina Trigiani, Kate Fischer, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Matt Holley, Carri Marotto, John Nottell, Mary Greger, Ashley P. , Tricia Noble, Deme Grabert, Shannon Benton, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Mel O'donnell, Shelly Borella, Erin Hammer, Jennifer Cravener, Jennifer Bourg, Tracy Discher, Kelly R., Cheri Palmisano, Jeremy Reichelt, Ben Frihauf, Scott Sangston, Mike Pennington, Jacquelyn Law, Mitchell Holmes, Michelle Brown, Chloe Mayhew, Nikki, Susan Higginbotham, Liz Moreau, Doug Olson Family, Randi Balch, Shannon Williams, Alison Rosenberger, Amanda Campbell, Hillary Waldroop, Gallagher Family, Jennifer Snook, Sara Holloway, Stacy Hines, Jullie Pudem, Patrick Broaddus, Team Meeker, Jan Rosato, Ron Harper, Eric Enli, Dee Riccio, Josh Weiss, Ashley Hill, The Kertes Family, Kate Flanagan, Heidi Sell, Elaine Kleinhenz, Walter N. Clark, Denise Mcconaghy, Agnes Ciotti, Michael Bailey, David Ballard, Barb Welshhans, Karen Hotchkiss, Les Stewart, Lynn Torre, Vanessa Gordon, Barclay Bakkum, Chris, John Menjes, Mark Proper, Emily Harper, Megan W, Randy, Patti Mccaffrey, Chris Kelly, Lindsay Kasawski, Vicky Jacobs, Michael And Kelly Barnes, Chris Hills, Dave Carriere, Ashley, Margie Larmon, George Mundy Jr, Heidi Goodhue, Ilona Kane, Christy Schor, and Mark Franklin. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #267: Where in the world is this?

Park tickets ready? Here we go!
 Where in the World #267

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, February 14th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

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!

February 12, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Journey Into Imagination

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World is the home to the most famous Disney character who was never in an animated short or movie, Figment! I first meet Figment, the little purple dragon, back in 1983 when Dreamfinder created him using his Dream Catcher. Figment disappeared for a short time but came back when Dr. Nigel Channing opened the Imagination Institute.

What has not changed is the outside of the Imagination pavilion with its jumping water pods which facinate every person no matter their age as water leaps from one pad to another in a seemingly random pattern.

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jumping water pods outside the Imagination pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, 22mm Focal Length

Come back on Thursday when Lisa shares her Disney Pic of the Week for the Journey Into Imagination.

February 13, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Disney's Animal Kingdom

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

We did it! After many, many years of prodding my friend Yoli to join me at Walt Disney World, we have finally taken our vacation and what an epic vacation it was. We spent the first night by the airport at a Travelodge Inn (not recommended) and the following 10 nights at All-Star Movies (highly recommended). During our very long stay we visited Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Downtown Disney, Disney's Boardwalk, the town of Celebration, International Drive, 8 Disney resorts, Company D, Cast Connection, and other locals. Needless to say, Yoli was fully immersed into Walt Disney World. :curtsy:

Keep an eye out for my other upcoming blogs with lots of photos and recaps.

My first hiccup came when picking up my car at Orlando International Airport. The line at Dollar was long and it was about 12:15 AM. To make matters worse, it appeared that those renting didn't have reservations and were taking a long time to select a vehiclet. My own experience crept along when I asked the girl if they were offering complimentary upgrades. She could have said, Sorry, not at this time" and that would have been the end of it. Alas, she kept trying to upsell me and barter even though I kept saying I'd just take the compact I reserved. She went from $10/day extra for a midsize car to $5/day down to $3/day. I thought I had landed in Orlando not Tijuana. Finally, she did my paperwork and I went to get the car.

Half asleep, I took the elevator up when in fact Dollar is on the ground level of the parking garage. Back down I went, schlepping my brand new purple suitcase and magenta carry-on bag. As I made my way to the proper aisle, an employee approached and asked if I needed help. By now it was about 1 AM. I said, "I need to pick out a compact...unless you'd like to offer me a free upgrade." Note to self, never ask the reservation agent, always ask the parking lot attendant for upgrades because he gave me an SUV. Score! No hassle, no Let's Make a Deal scenario, he just signed my contract. Thanks!

Finding the hotel was a piece of cake although the sign wasn't illuminated and I nearly missed the driveway. Finding the room was another story. The front desk clerk had no idea where the elevator or my room were. Awesome service. That's sarcasm in case I lost anyone. Well, I found the elevator and Yoli guided me to our room. It was mostly clean but I'd never stay there again. It was a blind special offer from Priceline of $39.00. You get what you pay for...unless you can get a free upgrade.

2 AM came around quickly and we put ourselves to bed knowing we had to get up at 7 AM. When that alarm went off, we were pooped but excited for what the day had in store for us. After getting ready, I grabbed a waffle from downstairs. Once Yoli was all set we drove straight to All-Star Movies. It was so early that I figured the room would not be ready but at least I could get the parking pass and room keys.

Melissa was so nice and helpful that when I nearly begged for a room in the Toy Story-themed buildings, she called her "connection" who handles room assignments. A little buttering up on my part to her buddy, "He sounds good-looking from here" and "My friend loves Toy Story and this is her very first visit to Disney World" must have helped or at least made him laugh because I got my wish. He put us in building 9, first floor, facing trees, just steps away from the humungous Buzz Lightyear statue. It was perfect and the room was ready. The luggage was dropped off, snacks were packed, and were on our way to Disney's Animal Kingdom after one more item. Each day I gave Yoli a little present, that day she got a Mickey Mouse water bottle because trekking thru a dinosaur-infused land makes you thirsty.

I had to take care of something at Guest Services at Animal Kingdom so I told Yoli to go into the park and check out the stuff up front. That's the first time I lost her. I found her up by the ducks. We began making our way through Oasis and when I put my camera down after photographing parrots, I'd lost her again. Dude! This was going to be a long trip. Just as I was about to call her, she showed up on the other side of the cave walking towards Africa.

Yoli gets ready to enter Africa by pressing on the proper drawings in the right series. Shhh. I know, I know but she thinks it's real.

Okay, with Yoli in tow, we journeyed into Africa, looked in a few shops, watched Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, visited the Single Rider attraction (restrooms became known as single rider), and grabbed FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safari.

Strolling along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is Yoli's favorite memory of Animal Kingdom because she apparently loves gorillas.

Gee, I wonder where the gorilla is hiding.

From there we took a safari ride where just like in the TV specials, a giraffe walked up to our jeep and headed straight for Yoli. I wasn't sure if I should laugh or worry it might try to bite her. I went with utter surprise and missed photographing this magical moment. You win some, you lose some.

Kitties!! We were bouncing along when I snagged this shot of the lion and lioness. Meow.

From Africa we crossed into Asia where DiVine was enthralling guests. Then we watched Flights of Wonder as I absolutely love birds, especially parrots including those that ride bikes on high wires. (angry face aimed at Disney for always making a jab at Jungle Island formerly Parrot Jungle in Miami) Next we obtained FastPasses for Expedition Everest and went on the 3 o'clock hunt for Nemo in musical form, watched the Jammin' Jungle Parade, and then had a late lunch at Flame Tree BBQ.

Dale! Dale! I'm over here! Dale! Dale! Dale! Ma! Ma! Mommy! Ma!

:sigh: I have food allergies and dietary restrictions so I had brought a can of tuna with me and snacks but I figured I'd see what Flame Tree BBQ might be able to concoct for me. After looking thru the almighty book of ingredients, the manager and I agreed upon the salad minus chicken and replacing a few ingredients along with a small order of fries. To say I was surprised and annoyed with the next moment is an understatement. The manager said I still had to pay regular price even without the chicken. I mentioned you can order a hamburger meal without fries and the price drops so why couldn't someone order a salad without chicken and have a few dollars removed? He said they can't change prices. My bowl of lettuce, carrots, and red grapes cost me $9.00. He threw in the fries for free but still...$9.00 for rabbit food? Ech.

We went back to use our Expedition Everest FastPasses and as we walked thru the queue I kept thinking, what am I doing? I've never ridden it before but after having watched videos on YouTube I thought it looked like Matterhorn meets Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. WRONG! Very, very, very wrong. Going backwards threw me over the edge and from that point on I had to close my eyes. Few attempts at opening them only made me feel worse. If you saw someone gripping a wall in the gift shop under heats lamps, it was me trying to regain composure. As I relaxed I realized I had grind my teeth and my jaw hurt. The lights as it turned out, only made me sweat more. It wasn't fun and when I finally let go, we walked very slowly to our next destination.

The park was open until 8 PM that night so we walked thru Dinoland while it was still daylight and then into Camp Minnie Mickey for the last showing of Festival of the Lion King. I was so loopy from Expedition Everest that I couldn't find the show entrance. On the third attempt, I located the proper doors. Yeah, turns out going into the ladies room or exit don't work. As always, the performers did an amazing job.

The stilt walker and giraffe had a conversation. I know you all think I'm kidding but I'm not.

Feeling better, we got in line to meet Minnie Mouse then King Louie and Baloo. Yoli was excited to see all of them and I had fun singing "I Wan'na Be Like You" to King Louie and dancing with Baloo. Back to my old self, I was ready for the jolting ride on Dinosaur. I did just fine and Yoli and I kept making references to the Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland because the vehicles are the same and instead of a giant boulder coming at you, it's a dinosaur right before plunging down.

Perhaps we lingered too long in the gift shop because when Yoli tried to get on Primeval Whirl it was 8:01 and they were officially closed. She took the news well. It had been a long day and we did see and do quite a bit.

Loaded back into the SUV, I tried to locate a Target near the park for groceries. I had read that one was close by but my GPS took us aaaall the way down 192 past the 535. They had everything we wanted and more. I grabbed some California sushi rolls for dinner and lost Yoli for a good 20-30 minutes in the store. Too bad they didn't carry adult leashes.

Back in the room, we unpacked and created what looked like a mini-mart of granola bars, various types of drinks, Rice Krispie bars, candy, cereal, health and beauty products, cans of tuna, flour tortillas, etc... We watched TV, ate dinner, and konked out.

It was an exciting start to an epic trip.

Come on over and "Like" my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

February 14, 2013

Bring Back Figment and Dreamfinder

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Dear Walt Disney World Decision Makers.

Figment is a lonely purple dragon who used to have a friend named Dreamfinder. I'm sure you remember Dreamfinder well. Together, they entertained us with a Journey Into Imagination and really got us all thinking.

Then Kodak came along and sponsored the attraction, the reason why Figment wears a zippered jacket in yellow and red. Changes were made and suddenly, Dreamfinder was forgotten. Not only did Dreamfinder lose his gig but you fired Figment, too. Somehow Figment came back and wound up in a lab with a man who he enjoys licking.

Sadly, Figment and Dr. Nigel Channing don't have the same je ne sais quoi as Figment and Dreamfinder. All of the lab tests have been run and the results show that beyond a shadow of a doubt, the current attraction needs to go back to it's original state.

Kodak can't sponsor anything anymore, a real shame, but that's another story for another time.

If dreams really do come true at Walt Disney World, you'll listen to me.

Thanks. Have a magical day.

Figment, you can take off the jacket now.

Disney Pic of the Week - Journey Into Imagination

Come on over and "Like" my Facebook; page or follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

February 15, 2013

Travel Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Really, Scott? Isn't the title redundant? We all take travel photos at Walt Disney World, don't we?

Well, yes and no. While photos taken at any Disney property can be considered travel photographs, do they tell a story? Do they give someone looking at the photo a sense of place? Travel photography should do both.

Last fall, Ocean Spray and Disney combined to create the Cranberry Bog Exhibit. My photo below shows the location of the exhibit in Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival. I used a small aperture of f/16 to keep everything in focus from the flowers all the way back to Spaceship Earth including the guests surrounding the exhibit. This is called using hyperfocus.

Ocean Spray's Cranberry Bog Exhibit at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Ocean Spray's Cranberry Bog Exhibit at Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 320, EV 0, 28mm focal length.
To show you this technique works with a telephoto setting, I again used a small aperture photographing a Motor Cruiser on the Seven Seas Lagoon as it was leaving the Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian Resort in the background adds to the story.
Mermaid I Motor Cruiser leaving the Magic Kingdom on the Seven Seas Lagoon, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mermaid I Motor Cruiser on the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 170mm focal length.

Most good travel photographs include people or imply people. Such is the case of the photo below. The seating area behind the Flame Tree Barbecue restaurant is a quiet, peaceful location. While there are not people in the photo, the empty tables and chairs in the background tell you this is a place for them.

Waterfall in the seating area behind the Flame Tree BBQ in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Waterfall in the seating area behind the Flame Tree BBQ.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/5s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

For this photo, the small aperture of f/22 not only gave me a large depth of field but slowed down my shutter enough to give the smooth look to the waterfalls.

Next time you are out photographing at a Disney park or in your own backyard, look for story telling travel scenes.

February 17, 2013

Where in the World #268

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Happy Valentine's Day! And thank you to Jeremy Mccaffrey, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, & Rob And April Vanderpool for your great notes to me!
From Millan.Net

A lot of Players sent their answers from underneath a couple of snow. Stay warm and safe! Let's picture ourselves warm and happy in Disney... we're in Disney... we're in Disney...

Wait, Sandie Albrecht really is in Disney! And Mickey and Jim Eckert are headed there! (braggarts) LOL! I hope your trips are wonderful!

Claire Gregory, when do you go to Disney?

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #267

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

The Ice Cold Snack Stand in Disney's Hollywood Studios, on your right as you enter the park. It's with Oscar's Service Station which rents strollers, wheelchairs, and ECV scooters as so many of us know. :)

This stand holds special memories for Patty Carty, Mickey Eckert, and Janet Thorn. I'm glad seeing this brought those back for you. :)

Morgan M., sneaky? Moi? kenzosmileys

Theresa Rucando was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Theresa and all our winners this week! Sebbie Desimone, Brian Miller, Al Desimone, Derek Carty, Beth Mcmeekin, Ken Maikowski, Doug Reichl, Patty Carty, Janet Stavrides, Eileen Wiederspan, Noah Schweizer, Tinkerbell Wells, Betsy Silvestri, Tinkerbell Wells, Team Hill, Jennifer Harmon, Lisa Mericle, The Kertes Family, Melissa Roberts, Heather Young, Tena Sapp, Jenny Brennan , Julie And Kody Rider, Anne Marie Cronin, Megan Collins, Kristin Olmedo, Trina Noggle, Jared Orth, Dave Freemyer, Ryan Mccorristin, Ken Daube, Mikie Hayes, Kathy Morris, Maryann Eckenrode, Robert Ruocco, Elizabeth Poyner, Eric Schneider, Scott Precise, Patti Gumiela, Kim Howe, Daniel Record, Kelsi, Lynette Michalos, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Jeff Griffin, Melisa, Orly Bradley, Kristi Strembicki, Lauren Kilpatrick, Brian Yesutis, Beth Mcnaboe, Paul Scimeca, Linda Scrivano, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Steve Jordan, Kris, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen , Sandi B, Katie Bamford, The Parker Family, Paul Moody, Pamela Manseau, Chris Masse, Judy Simonsen, Chris Dotaman, Leigh Mertz, Pam Vanaustin, Melissa Such, Paul Dickson, Kelly Cummings, Anne Beebe, Mike Haeberle, John Menjes, Paul Moore, Louise, Dani Deritis , Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Janet Thorn, Craig Livingston, Amanda Campbell, Al Ganter, Lee Anastasi, Evanna Huda, Caroline Burmester, Kerry A., Courtney Payne, Les Stewart, The Kahle Family, Cindy Pink, Patti Mccaffrey, Colette, Jeremy Mccaffrey, James Steele, Tricia Petty, Marguerite Garofalo, Natalie Covey, Sandy Weiss, Hobbes And Snorky, Misty Mehelic, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Diane Curfman, Lori Rienhardt, Bill Mckim, Emily Hudson, Alessandro Zapparoli, Dsnymom14, Linda College, Vicki Edwards, Penny Urell, Andrea Mackafee, Jessica Iglesias, The Omeara Family, Laurie W, Maureen Handy, Cynthia Hitchcock, Nathalie Periard, Deb Ragno, Craig, Mike Malampy, Karen Genda, Morgan M., Claire Gregory, Pecosace, Nathan York, Maggie Klotz, Amy Mucedola, Sherry Trapp, Christopher Gainey, Sharon Pierce, Cindy Canterbury, Joanna, The Emich Family, Jacquelyn Law, Tom Koval, Sarah Calvario, Kenny, Karen Ramirez, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Andrea Kruszewski, Betsy Dross, Mike Gillardi, Susie Howard, Vera Dercole, Wendy Snelgrove, Jeff Blank, Bob Henriksen, Colin Sawyer, Jeremy Hardy, Mike Mondoux, Chris &Maranda Nichols, Robert Hildebrandt, Ryan Pinder, Bob Patterson, Al Sandal, Andrew Pettit, Tricia Noble, Karrie Duffey, Jeremy Reichelt, Josh Carney, The Patterson Family, Jennifer Snook, John Nottell, Jullie Pudem, Eric Holmes, Luis Rodriguez, Maryann Romagnano, Ainsley Poe, Tim Johansen, Wendy Barney, Erin Hammer, Karen Smith, Arlene Vicek, Hillary Waldroop, Randy, Deb V., Doug Olson Family, Shelley Diederich, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Chris And Alison, Kelly Smith, Mary Jane Hargadon, Angel Diven, Krysten Toth, Zach Szymko, Cathy Connors, Jim Finley, Heidi Goodhue, Jen Tremley, Jackie Purcell, Tara Weaver, Caryn Schill, Gina L Falzone, Debbie Mangini, Deme Grabert, Heidi Goodhue, John Bickers, Susan Higginbotham, Walter N. Clark, Sandie Albrecht, Paul Ignudo Jr, Kristen Mccoy, Barclay Bakkum, Mary Beth Tarbet, Patrick Broaddus, Team Meeker, Jim Thompson, Scott Sangston, Brian Nale, Larry Sprenkle, Jennifer Bogdan, Ladonna Tisdale, Elaine Kleinhenz, Linda Grau, Karen Hotchkiss, Tom Ratcliffe, Liz Moreau, Vera Williams, Jackie Graebel, Linda K Ranatza, Christina Trigiani, Mickey Eckert, Joseph M. Zafia, Linda Begley, Wendy T Faler, Kyle Burdo, Hayley Valk, Chris Haynes, Emily Harper, Nick Cristea, Sherri Pell, Jeannette Fornadel, Terri Zitkus Green, Agnes Ciotti, Margie, George Mundy Jr, Tom Buck, Kerry Mccaffrey, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Theresa Maradei, Theresa Maradei, and Anita Jodouin. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #268: Where in the world is this?

This one is tougher (I think):
 Where in the World #268

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, February 21st, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

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!

February 19, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week - Fantasmic!

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Fantasmic! is a nighttime spectacular show at Disney's Hollywood Studios and at Disneyland. The shows have the same title but have many differences. At Disneyland, Guests spread blankets out on the concrete ground of Frontierland facing Rivers of America. The show takes place on the water and a stage on Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island. Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, an almost bowl-shaped venue with stadium-like seating faces the lake and stage set to look like a canyon.

The storyline, characters, and entertainment in general are enough to make you want to compare version.

Enjoy the show and remember, good always beats evil, especially in Mickey's dreams. Scott will post his image on Thursday.


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February 20, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Magic Kingdom

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Last Wednesday I wrote about our experience at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Magic Kingdom was going to be the one that would strike comparisons against Disneyland. It happens to me on every visit so I knew it would undoubtedly do the same to Yoli. While other people trump one park over the other, Yoli said it best repeatedly, "It's different but the same," a statement that might sound inexplicable to those who haven't been to both Magic Kingdoms.

Today's surprises were matching long sleeve black Newbie and the Geek Take Walt Disney World T-shirts and matching white baseball hats with the logo, as well.

I gave Yoli the rundown on transportation options; Disney bus that drops us off near the park's entrance, we drive, park, take the tram to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then hop on either the ferry or the monorail. She chose the ferry, a wise decision that enabled her to take advantage of what Walt Disney World has to offer.

Yoli comes complete with her own Minnie ears headband. Comprela ya!

She was off and running, taking photos, exploring the ferry, and when she held still, I pointed out the nearby resorts. Back on land, I tutored Yoli on how Guests differ from coast to coast. Disneyland has more locals while Walt Disney World has more tourists and that one fact makes for how the parks are visited. The first exhibit of this behavior was at bag check. Californians know to form two separate lines on either side of a table unless told otherwise. Florida tourists tend to form one very long line. I found a short line beside a long line and asked the lady standing in the middle which one she was in. She said there's only one line. I pointed out that security wants lines on either side of the tables and gave her the option of going ahead. She felt that would be cutting the line. It wasn't, as I explained there were two lines. She stayed put, Yoli and I got in the short line and so did others who heard me.

Inside the gates, Yoli posed for the PhotoPass photog in front of the floral Mickey head. I was handed camera after camera by other tourists wanting to have their photo taken as well. Too bad I didn't count how many times this occurred during our stay, I'm just curious.

We spent a lot of time in Town Square partly due my need, not desire, need, to see and photograph all of the Long Lost Friends. January 27th was the last day of appearances so we had our photo taken with The Three Little Pigs and Big Bad Wolf. I suggested that the 4 of them star in a new show on HGTV. Follow me here, each pig builds a house for potential new homeowners in a competition. The Big Bad Wolf serves as both the host and home inspector. Whosoever home sells, is the winner. Brilliant, right?! Self-high-five.

Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge McDuck would make for an interesting team on The Amazing Race.

Yoli went shopping and I waited until the characters came back around and grabbed some quick snapshots. The plan was to photograph them going backstage but I was told the wrong location. Oh well. It wasn't as if Yoli couldn't find something to do. In fact, I called her when I was done and she told me which shop she was in. I got completely turned around because 1.) I mentally switched store locations over to Disneyland and 2.) Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party came along. I couldn't find Yoli so I shot the parade. She couldn't find me so she shot the parade. We discovered we were only about 20 feet away from each other during the parade.

Just before turning right towards Tomorrowland, Yoli stopped for the required Cinderella Castle shot by Ruben, a PhotoPass Cast Member. He was super friendly and when I read his name tag, a light bulb popped up over my head. Yes, it was glowing. Ruben is the name of one of the 32 ex-Menudo members. We should find as many Cast Members with the same names as the guys from the group thus creating a spectacular new game for Menudo fans who visit Walt Disney World. Of course Yoli was 100% on board and we spent the rest of the trip examining name tags and taking photos.

It would have been hilarious if we saw one of the guys who was actually in the group. Believe me, I was on the lookout.

Ticking off nearly every attraction in Tomorrowland, we did in no particular order, Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory, Stitch's Great Escape (I'm a really good friend), Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (I can't believe I won), Carousel of Progress (Yoli misses it greatly, so much so that she's forgotten the lyrics and created her own), People Mover (aka TTA), and Space Mountain, which Yoli took on by herself. I went off and grabbed photos for future blogs. As soon as Yoli found me after exploring space, Stitch showed up. We each posed for photos Elvis style and I had him sign my hat. Let me point out that the Elvis pose was my idea and a certain Newbie copied me. Just sayin'.

Lunch was on our minds so I brought Yoli to Cosmic Ray's and delivered the news that each bay had different choices. That came as a surprise to her. So many choices! While she read every menu board, I found a manager and read thru the almighty book of ingredients. I went with something new, a kid's turkey sandwich sized for an adult. It's nice when you find someone who thinks outside the box. Yoli got a chicken nuggets meal that she couldn't finish. Unfortunately, I discovered later that their deli meat was a one-time trial for me. We ate and watched Sonny Eclipse and then I forced Yoli to pose by the stage. Oh, she's so shy. Not.

As we headed towards the hub, the 3 o'clock parade came at us. Finding a decent place to stand was tough but then again we just happened upon the parade because a certain tour guide forgot all about it. Whaaat? We enjoyed what we saw, waited for it to pass by and were held behind a rope for a few minutes while the floats cleared Liberty Square.

Blowing kisses in the wind.

Yoli works for a presidential library, making Hall of Presidents a top priority. She enjoyed it very much and the matching gift shop. Before it started getting dark we sailed on the Liberty Belle where Yoli saw that Tom Sawyer easily occupied more land in Florida than in California. Uh oh.

"Woo woo." Billy "Dennis" Hill

Additionally we visited the Haunted Mansion where I got to point out one of the very few Hidden Mickeys I know and where Mr. Toad is remembered. Direction reversed, we walked out of Liberty Square and into The Hub where Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party was once again in action. This time they stopped for the party portion and we took more photos from different angles.

Dinner was filling at The Plaza Restaurant. I had a substantial cheeseburger and my friend had the meatloaf meal. Stuffed and rested, there was more to see and do. Off to Fantasyland via the path left of Cinderella Castle, we braved the dark and flew with Peter Pan, watched Donald Duck chase down Mickey's sorcerer hat and sailed among singing children and animals. She was mesmerized by it's a small world's facade because not only is it indoors but looked almost like a bad knock-off of Disneyland's attraction.

Yoli asked me, "Where's Snow White's Scary Adventure?" They tore it out, I said, to make way for a princess meet and greet. "Where's Pinocchio's Daring Adventure?" He doesn't have an attraction here, I sadly stated.

My Disneyitis had been itching all day to see the New Fantasyland or really, the Fantasyland expansion. As I approached Yoli sitting on the new wall-length bench guarding Beast's castle, she announced, "I'm done!" The poor thing was beat and couldn't function any longer. I called her kaput at 9:47 PM.

The next installment will post this Saturday, February 23rd. See you then!

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February 21, 2013

Pocahontas on the Fantasmic! Mountain

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Pocahontas appears during Fantasmic!in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pocahontas appears during Fantasmic!.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

As the fighting between the settlers and her American Indian tribe escalates, Pocahontas appears high up on the mountain to the music of Colors in the Wind to stop the conflict. One of many breathtaking scenes during Fantasmic!, the nighttime water and fireworks show at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater in Disney's Hollywood Studios and is my Disney Pic of the Week about Fantasmic!.

February 22, 2013

Vacation Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week we talked about what makes a good Travel Photograph. This week, I am talking about what makes a good Vacation Photograph. It will not surprise you to hear they both are very much a like. You want them to tell a story and to give a sense of place or where you were on vacation. The added element are people and, specifically, members of your traveling party. For my examples, I will be using my own family.

Here you see my wife and daughters at the Port of Bay Lake in front of the Magic Kingdom. While we were waiting to board a Motor Cruiser to Fort Wilderness for a meal at the Trail's End restaurant, I spotted this nice photo location. The story is nautical and it sure does tell the viewer we were at Walt Disney World.

Members of a family getting ready to board a Motor Cruiser at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Members of Scott's family getting ready to board a Motor Cruiser to Fort Wilderness.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 65mm focal length.

Look for ways to connect a person's history or interests in your vacation photos. My daughter meet up with her high school French teacher at Epcot during this trip. I thought it appropriate to have them pose with Epcot's France pavilion behind them.

People posing with Epcot's France pavilion in the background, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scott's daughter and her French teacher with Epcot's France pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length.

Let us not forget the most fun kind of vacation photos, the embarrassing kind! My wife loves pandas. I used these props found just across from the China pavilion in Epcot to show that love. She was a dear to allow me to do this. Of course, she did not think I would be sharing it with all of you at the time. Sorry, honey!

Vacationer posing at the China pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scott's wife at Epcot's China pavilion with a panda puppet.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Be creative and have fun photographing your vacation whether it is at a Disney park or anywhere else in the world.

TIP: All of these photos were taken using Fill Flash to cut down the harsh shadows and to brighten the subjects.

February 23, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Disney's Hollywood Studios

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Last Wednesday I recapped our day at Magic Kingdom.

The week before that was Animal Kingdom

Disney's Hollywood Studios marked our third consecutive day in a theme park. I'm certainly accustomed to back-to-back-to-back (to-back, etc..) adventures that last from morning until night but Yoli isn't. When I advised her on preparing for the trip, I suggested she hit the Disneyland Resort from open to close for a glimpse into what our days would be like. Now she knows what I meant. (insert evil laugh here)

I finally figured out how to take advantage of AAA Diamond Parking that day. The trick is to follow the painted blue line starting after the parking lot toll booths and continue until you are directed to parking up front. Yay! (Make sure you have your AAA Diamond pass ready to show.) We were so close that we walked to the entrance.

The plan was already set for Yoli to ride Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Rollercoaster on her own, upon arrival. I carried her bag around as I set off in search of more photo blog ideas. We met up after her first ride with Aerosmith. She loved the coaster but thought the ride itself was over too soon. Tower of Terror proved to surprise her with enough differences from California Adventure's version that she became nervous since she no longer knew what to expect. Meanwhile, I had a lovely time in the gift shop and purchased a hotel room key-style key chain for the guest room in the house I don't yet own.

Yoli grabbed an ice cream treat and we piled into the theater to see Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage. It was nice to sit down in the shade, the morning had started off a tad bit hot. Somehow I don't get to see this show very often, I'll have to change that habit. My one request is for Beast aka Adam to be played by Robby Benson. Yes, I am one of those girls who adores him. He's so dreamy.

Martin Mull and other famous actors' hand and shoe prints can be found inside the theatre just before the top row of seats.

Gaston as the new Bachelor. Coming this fall on UWISH.

Over at the Animation Courtyard, we checked out more gift shops and fulfilled our thirst for meeting more characters. Yoli wanted to see Sorcerer Mickey while Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph were on my list. The lines weren't too bad for any of them. I think we spent about an hour The Magic of Animation building.

We slowly hurried (you read that correctly) across the park towards Lights!, Motors!, Action! Stunt Show. By the time we got there, the show had already started and we were in the midst of a huge crowd being moved like cattle up who knows how many flights of stairs. Pass! Yoli and I exited stage right and had fun running amok on Streets of America and wishing The Muppets would come to life at the Stage 1 Company Store.

After playing, I steered us to Toy Story Pizza Planet, remember, my friend loves Toy Story...and pizza. Yoli had a kids mini chicken sub and a kids pizza. I brought food with me, it was either turkey or tuna, I forget which. It was nice to sit and get off of our tired feet for a while. Sitting was great later too when I grabbed a carrot cake cookie from The Writer's Stop.

Yoli's a Star Wars fan so I wanted her to see the exterior of Star Tours. It does make Disneyland's entrance, 2 sliding glass doors, look even more bland that it already is. Sorry Disneyland but it's true. I still love you! Well, once again my awesome skills at stumbling into parades came through and we caught Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade. Yet again, our view was meh because 1.) We're short, 2.) We showed up late, and 3.) My Gadget shoes are busted.

This is Remy, he's a naked rat. Mickey is a mouse with thousands of outfits, fancy genetics, a girlfriend, and a pet dog. Remy got jipped.

I hadn't seen any Citizens of Hollywood yet and my day would have sucked without them so we headed back to Hollywood and Sunset boulevards. Finally, at 3:30, three cars came out, each with a different cast. Over on Sunset Blvd a group of Citizens introduced themselves and then the focus turned to me. I got scared when one of the actors pointed and said something to the effect of, "That girl leaning against the post has a camera". Thankfully that was the end of my 15 seconds of fame. The skit was 99 Cameras Walk into a Bar.

When my memory card filled up I ran to the camera shop. I lied. I walked to the camera shop, bought another SDHC card, initialized it, and grabbed photos of Jack Diamond performing card tricks and the Hollywood Public Works Dept. It's possible that the latter has worked in my hometown. The same spot keeps sinking in front of my house. Anyway...we went back to The Magic of Animation so Yoli could meet Mr. Incredible and Frozone. Outside we met Handy Manny (he needs a new marketing director, there isn't a single thing to buy featuring the fella) and Jake (who has tons of merchandise).

Meet your neighbors, Holden Hollywood, Shelby Mayer, Dara Vamp, and Ben Appetit.

Thankfully we did manage to catch Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. My favorite part was watching to see if Yoli realized the guy in the Hawaiin shirt was one of the actors/stuntmen. You'll have to ask her if she knew. They did have to restart part of the show when the skull doors didn't open properly. That was a first for me.

He would have won Hawaiian Shirt Day at my office. He also would have won Stand in Place Day.

Tonight's dinner took place at 50's Prime Time Cafe where I had the best server, Cousin Craig and chef, Frank, ever at that particular location. My previous experiences were all rather stinky. I had an adult size version of the kids grilled fish of the day meal and a vanilla Coke. Yoli had the sampling of Mom's favorites and a cherry Coke. We both had apple cobbler a la mode. Chef Frank was so nice that on his own accord, he split the 1 dessert we ordered to share into 2 bowls so I wouldn't have to take off the granola. I love you, man. He even knew one of my other favorite chefs, Jeff from Spoodles and Cape May Cafe and called him to let him know I said hi.

The rest of the night consisted of The Great Movie Ride, One Man's Dream, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Toy Story Midway Mania. Yoli made it beyond park closing at 10 o'clock. Hooray! For the record, I trounced her in Toy Story Midway Mania until the very last game where she destroyed me. Ugh!

I have auburn hair. Do you think if I jumped up on stage and kissed Prince Eric he'd realize I'm not Ariel?

Next Wednesday I'll tell you all about our shopping adventures, a minor letdown, Jellyrolls, and Celebration.

Bonus photos/videos/info from Newbie and the Geek are only available on my Facebook page.

February 24, 2013

Where in the World #269

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Susan and Mike Hill are still digging out from underneath the snow as two of our own head for Disney vacations and two are already there! So here's to Disney:

From Millan.Net Where in the World Players are here! Jennifer Rupert and Luis Rodriguez are there and Claire Gregory and Paul Moore are on their way!

Thank you to Vera Williams, Melody O'donnell, and J

February 26, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Yellow is a bright and happy color. Just as Belle was when she wore it in the animated movie, Beauty and the Beast. Belle and her dress sure made this young princess bright and happy.

Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 52mm focal length, bounced flash.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week on Yellow.

February 27, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Downtown Disney and More

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Our fourth day of vacationing was the most relaxed which might be an odd statement once you read all that we did. The morning began as usual with eating breakfast in our room at All-Star Movies. We'd each bought cereal, milk, and fruit and had the same thing almost every day. I also had some Chobani Greek yogurt once in a while, ya know, to keep my mornings cutting edge.

My place setting: Lion King placemat and Toy Story aliens flatware. Yoli's place setting: Disney Princesses placemat, Cars flatware. Matching Mickey Mouse cups were a gift from my friend Agatha.

Two of my Floridian friends very kindly brought Yoli and I on a shopping expedition at Company D and Cast Connection. These stores are exclusive to Cast Members and the occasional guest. Combined, we spent a total of $327.63. Dude! I can't believe it either and I was there! I'm looking at the receipts right now. Here's the breakdown: 15 pins, 2 canvas bags, 1 pair of sunglasses, 1 sunglasses case, 4 cookies & candy, 1 assortment of ice cream sprinkles, 7 T-shirts, 1 toy, 1 Cast Member costume shirt, 1 Mickey head display box, 2 Vinylmation vehicles, 4 Vinylmation keychains, 1 D23 magazine, 2 CM decals, 3 luggage tags, 3 pens, 3 keychains, 2 notepads, and a bib.

If you know someone who can get you into these stores, go! Company D sells items that you can't find anywhere else because they're exclusive to Disney employees. Everything is going to a good home, mine, until birthdays roll around. Cast Connection carries a lot of what's available in Character Warehouse shops at the outlet malls but wait, there's more. Furniture, fixtures, displays, electronics, housewares, bedding, and other items that are no longer need for theme parks, resorts, and wherever else on Disney property are sold here. I saw a bunch of stand alone video games for sale. Sonic the Hedgehog was marked $99.00.

My bed. My assortment of purchases throughout the trip.

Yoli's bed. She bought everything and then some. Her suitcase weighed over 50 lbs. Her backpack ripped open at the top and her carry-on was puffed out like a Q-Tip. No? Puffed out like Puff Daddy. Still not there? Puffed out like the Stay Puft Marshallow Man. Yeaaah.

Next up was Downtown Disney. I went up to the Disney VISA kiosk only to find out they only sign up new cardholders there. To retrieve a rewards card, you have to visit Guest Services. Why? That doesn't make any sense. I write monthly checks to Chase Card Services not to The Walt Disney Company. Guess who's getting a very unhappy letter from me?!

I had bought a Groupon deal, $20.00 for two people to soar on Characters in Flight. One small problem, it was too windy and the balloon was grounded. (Grumble, grumble.) So we did what any young ladies would do, we went shopping in West Side. Yoli's friends met up with us and we walked through what used to be Pleasure Island. Don't get me started.

Lunch was at Raglan Road. On Tuesday afternoons, they don't have entertainment just so you know. A manager took good care of me and my dietary restrictions. Yoli and I both had the fish and chips. I love Raglan Road so I'm sad to say this meal was not up to their standards. We each had one medium size piece of fish and a bunch of chips (thick french fries) that cost $17. Yeesh! I'm a wee bit foggy on what Yoli's friends had but I think one had the lobster wrap and the other ate a burger. My main objective was to inhale Ger's bread and butter pudding. I ate about half and even shared a little with anyone who wanted to try it.

After a little walking, Yoli's friends decided to head home. We then began shopping our way through Downtown Disney. Thank goodness for cell phones, I kept losing my friend in World of Disney. At some point I plopped down on a slab of concrete outside Disney's Pin Traders. Yoli ran around window shopping. Upon her return, we braved additional walking for Goofy's Candy Company where, as I discovered, you can sample Goofy's Glaciers. These frozen drinks come in a variety of flavors. Pucker Purple tastes like grape gum. Blech. Gawrshly Berry Blue is blue raspberry. Yum.

I finally got my Disney VISA rewards card then called Chase to transfer my points. We popped into Ghirardelli for free samples then Arriba Bros in search of the cactus glass I should have bought years ago because they don't make it anymore. On the way out I whined about closing the Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse.

Among places to visit off-property was the town of Celebration. We still had some light so I drove us around and around, and around, looking at houses and the center of town. We selected which homes we'd buy in each neighborhood, something that came easily as I kept finding dead ends. Hey, I could see Route 192 up ahead, I simply couldn't find it.

A quick stop at the drug store was imperative as poor buddy learned the hard way that she's allergic to neoprene, the material from which nearly every camera strap is made. I believe she also replenished her Oreos and milk stock. See, I told you she likes cookies and milk, the party animal.

We summed up the day off from the parks while having dinner at our resort food court. We both had the chicken penne alfredo, hold the alfredo on mine. I think that was the night I got key lime pie from the fridge. Not so good.

Believe or not, we set out for Disney's Boardwalk. Where did we get the energy? I parked at Boardwalk Inn after driving up and down, over and under the parking lot multiple times until I caved and just parked. I never seem to get a spot near the sidewalk. Anyhoo, we walked thru the hotel, out to the back, and down the stairs. I pointed out shops and restaurants to Yoli as we walked but before we got too far, we stopped to watch a magician. He was excellent and hilarious. We laughed and laughed until his show ended. The next few hours were spent at Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar. I've only been once before and they had a decent crowd but tonight, they were packed. IBM employees took up most of the tables, stools, and air. They were in town for the company's new exhibit at Epcot's Innoventions.

Cheers! Seinfeld! Wings! Night Court!

Neither Yoli or I drink so I had a Shirley Temple and Yoli didn't have anything. It was fun, I just wish people were quieter so I could hear the performers better. Sometimes it took me a while to figure out what they were singing. My favorite was the theme to Charles in Charge. Yoli rocked out to AC/DC.

We hobbled back to the SUV, I drove to the resort, and we hobbled some more to the room. Every night I helped my feet relax with my tried and true C.O. Bigelow Mentha Tingling Foot Cream. Nighty night.

Newbie and the Geek bonus videos/photos/recaps are only available on my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

February 28, 2013

Tumble Monkeys

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Swinging along with our Disney Pic of the Week theme, yellow, are the tumble monkeys from Festival of the Lion King. Catch their high-flying, bouncing, Timon-carrying act at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The fellas, uh, monkeys, are my favorite part of the show. They're just so darn...cute in their...fitting...outfits.


Come on over and "Like" my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

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About February 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in February 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

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