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March 2013 Archives

March 1, 2013

Dreaming of a Disney Cruise

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With the release of the 2014 sailings by the Disney Cruise Line, I have been dreaming about my past cruises.

Last year, my wife and I enjoyed a 4-night cruise where we found Disney cruises can be romantic and fun. Remember, the golden hour (the hour before sunset) is a great time to photograph even on a cruise ship at sea.

Late afternoon sky over Deck 11 on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Late afternoon sky over Deck 11 on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length, HDR Image.
Dreams can make you hungry as I remember the dessert selection in Cabana's buffet restaurant on the Disney Dream. One of those wonderful details travel photographers like to capture.
Desserts lined up in Canbana's restaurant on the Disney Dream.
Desserts lined up in Canbana's restaurant on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Any day at Castaway Cay is a great day even if it is a bit overcast. Remember, when in the Bahamas, Left is Right and Right is Wrong. When creating a good travel photograph, get a good foreground and background subject.

A sign on Castaway Cay with the Disney Dream cruise ship in the background.
A sign on Castaway Cay with the Disney Dream cruise ship in the background.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Hmmm...maybe I need to dream about an Alaskan cruise. I will need to rent a 600mm lens for that trip!

March 3, 2013

Where in the World #270

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!

Hold the phone, Players! One of our own just welcomed a new member to their family! Congratulations, Maryann Eckenrode, on your first great granddaughter!
From Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.Net

Claire Gregory, I'm glad you're enjoying your Disney vacation!

Players ask me if it's okay to research for answers either to get names or to figure out the puzzle or backup their guess. The answer is: ABSOLUTELY! Lots of us haven't been to the parks in years or even at all. And Walt Disney World changes a lot; it's easy to not know something because something changed or is new. Please! Have fun and look around AllEars, the web, and talk with your family and friends! Like I say at the top, we're here to have fun, relive memories, and see the details & the magic built throughout the World!

Christina Rotella, did you dig out of the snow yet?

Here's last week's challenge:
 Where in the World #269

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

It's the giraffe and okapi board on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

I'm so glad players said how much they love this area, like Jodi Cook, Andy Hickey, and the Hoekzema Family! It's one of my great favorite too. :)
giraffe smiley From Millan.Net

Melody O'donnell's son James aced a school report on the okapi because of the Animal Kingdom. Good for you, James! From Millan.Net

Cheri Palmisano, you've gotten 231 answers right out of 269? Good for you!! You get a medal too!
From Millan.Net

Betsy was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Betsy and all our winners this week! Kerry A., Colette S, Amanda Campbell, Andrew Carrieri, Ken Daube, Hayley Lawson, Ed Elder, Jenny Brennan, Lynette Michalos, Chris Masse, Dan Lower, Anne Marie Cronin, Jennifer Rowell, Tj Mahan, Marie Rogowski, Mandy Kromet, Mary Beth Tarbet, Veronica Upwood, Patti Gumiela, Mandy Kromer, Josh Carney, Christin Langtry, John Menjes, The Strukel Family, Maureen Handy, Teresa Pitman, Vera Dercole, Julie And Kody Rider, Shannon Savoia, Scott Precise, Linda College, Melissa Such, Tinkerbell Wells, Marguerite Garofalo, Paul Dickson, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, The O'meara Family, Evanna Huda, The Kahle Family, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Eileen Wiederspan, Herb Miller, Sara Holloway, Hoekzema Family, Jeanne Bancroft, Staci Plunkett, Pollyanna Buff, Cheryl Costello, Georgette Stippick, Theresa Rucando, Lee Anastasi, Deb Ragno, Team Hill, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Christina Trigiani, Susan Bobjak, Tanya Hinnes, Jodi Cook, Ron Ferguson, Maryann Eckenrode, Leach Family, Rebecca Smith, Judy Simonsen, Rebecca Smith, Jennifer Snook, Joel Gainey, Kara Cummings, Misty Mehelic, Susie Howard, Bob Patterson, Jen Tremley, Dave Wang, Erin Hammer, Paul Moore, Amy And Noah Schweizer, Karen Nevill, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Kristi Strembicki, Sharon Pierce, Chris Kelly, Stefanie Vandiver, Linda Scrivano, Nathalie Periard, The Parker Family , Paul Newman, James Riddle, Kerri Coggins, Hobbes And Snorky, Les Stewart, Diane Curfman, Pam Vanaustin, Kara Jones, Ryan Esker, The Malesky Family, Andy Hickey, Brian Miller, Louise Barton, Bruce Hinterleitner, Agnes Ciotti, Michelle Boykin, Cynthia Hitchcock, Claire Gregory, Tom Koval, Kate Nejman, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Emily Hudson, Paul Moody, Sandie Albrecht, Kelly Cummings, Jennifer Greene, Robert Hildebrandt , The Kertes Family, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Patti Mccaffrey, Jeremy Hardy, Randi Balch, Paul Scimeca, Wendy Snelgrove, Doug Olson Family, Tim Johansen, Russ Morgan, Vera Williams, Jenny Stoneburner, Annie Snodgrass, Meredith Eng, Mitch Buska, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Jonathan Ward, Kelly Smith, The Patterson Family, Cathy Connors, Morag Lemon, Monica Owens, Wayne Chadourne, Carla C, Kate Fischer, Sharon Dale, Karrie Duffey, Steve Jordan, Melody O'donnell, Scott Sangston, Matt Holley, Hillary Waldroop, Cameron Lange, Barclay Bakkum, Carla Leger, Anastasia Macneil, Cheri Palmisano, Alan Mize, Ken Maikowski, Jessica Iglesias, Tim Johansen, Andrea Kruszewski, Karen Smith, Emily Harper, Angel Diven, Jim Finley, Craig, Stephanie Dollar, Julie Kuchar, Mitchell Holmes, Brent Hand, Hannah M, Matt Cofone, Heidi Goodhue, Mickey Eckert, Megan W, James Dezern (dzneynut), Katie Gale, Nick Cristea, Mike Haeberle, Ladonna Tisdale, Hailey Gill, Jackie Graebel, Jennifer Bogdan, Liz Moreau, Elaine Kleinhenz, Kris Nixon , Joseph M. Zafia, Tracy Discher, Kyle Burdo, Team Meeker, Brian Nale, Lori Rienhardt, Matthew Orlando, Jullie Pudem, Karen Aguiar, Mark Proper, Betsy Dross, Christina Rotella, Blair Bryant, Jane Johnson, Stacy Guarracino, M'shel Bowen, Kristen Mccoy, Chris Hills, Ron Harper, Rebecca Keenan, George Mundy Jr, Nancy Cole, Walter N. Clark, and Robert P. Flaherty. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, it's time to announce the February winner! And that is Susan & Mike Hill! Congratulations! You'll get your prize from Deb Wills!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #270: Where in the world is this?

It's March! So let's start the month roaring in like a lion!
 Where in the World #270

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 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!

March 5, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week - New Experience

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

It goes without saying that I'm questioned as to why I visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland so often. Haven't you done everything? they ask. You and I know that the answer is and will always be, no. New attractions are always added as well as resorts, restaurants, shops, characters, and every other aspect of Disney. That is why this week, Scott and I turn our attention to those with which we have just accomplished.

I have yet to stay at the Contemporary Resort. Chef Mickey's? Check. Gift shops? Check. Monorail station? Check. It was only on this last trip that I actually walked through the main building and out thru the back. A whole new world, indeed.

This metal Mickey Mouse piece of art sits between the back of the Contemporary and Bay Lake.

Return on Thursday for Scott's photo.

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

March 6, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Epcot

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Happy Birthday to me. OK, now that I got that out of the way, if you've missed any of my previous trip report blog entries, the links are posted for your clicking convenience.

Disney's Animal Kingdom posted Feb. 13th

Magic Kingdom posted Feb. 20th

Disney's Hollywood Studios posted Feb. 23rd

Downtown Disney and More posted Feb. 27th

Epcot takes time to explore, more than a day or two. This was our first day at Epcot, well, Yoli's first day, I've been there like a bazillion times, give or take a day. We were already tired from 4 days of running around so I tried to steer towards entertainment that would get us off our feet for longer periods of time at least to start.

As there wasn't any wait at all for Spaceship Earth, I lead Yoli to her first Epcot attraction. What a nice, slow, long ride to rest weary time travelers. As we passed scholars transcribing stories, we laughed at the guy sleeping with a pen in his hand. He's so Yoli. She can fall asleep anywhere. Isn't that right? YOLI! Ay. Another highlight from Spaceship Earth was the birth of my new catchphrase, Hooked on Phoenicians works for me!©®™

I think we got FastPasses for Test Track next. Let's pretend that's what happened. Why am I even telling you I'm unsure, it's not like anyone can correct me if I'm mistaken. Seriously, people! As if!

We then obtained FastPasses for Test Track and waited out the time by learning all about energy and TV show production with Bill Nye, Ellen DeGeneres, Jamie Lee Curtis, Albert Einstein (he must know Doc Brown), Ellen Cleghorne (where is she nowadays?), Michael Richards, random dinosaurs, a voice over guy, and Alex Trebek, who my mom thinks is sooooo handsome.

Do you think we're being too literal?

The new Test Track changed more in the queue than it did in the actual ride. You'll stay busy waiting to go for a spin and the set looks different enough but if you're a fan of Tron you'll probably like the neon and black lights.

Yoli attempted Mission: Space, the easy version. I took photos, outside. We both had a good time. Heading to the "other side" of Future World, we checked out Innoventions where I lost Yoli. How? She sat down in the IBM theater. Who does that? It was onto the Character Spot next to fulfill autograph books and to force Yoli into posing for photos. Did I hear that? I just laughed so hard at my own joke that I broke the sound barrier.

Landing in The Land, my objective was to watch the Circle of Life movie but it wasn't operating. Escalator down to Living with the Land lead us to another dead end. Oy. Soarin'? I was not going to wait whatever ridiculous amount of time was posted for the standby queue. We left The Land. We left Future World. We entered Mexico.

Today's present for both of us was the World Showcase Passport kit complete with stickers and a big pin featuring flags of all nations (but mostly America) and Mickey Mouse. For years I wanted one and put it off not wanting to be a dork on my own. You can finish my thought. Inside the pavilion we shopped, sailed with my friends, The Three Caballeros, sought out boys with the right names, and took photos.

Yoli used her smartphone to take this photo. The quality stinks. I just want to point out that I finally broke down and bought myself one of the parrots on a perch you see in the background. Thanks.

Outside, Mariachi Cobre was performing by the lagoon. I sent Yoli over to see them while I waited to meet Donald Duck in his sombrero.

Donald was the second character to sign my hat which I then placed on his hat. Yeah, I'm a wild child!

Off to Norway for some school bread. I love their school bread. I wish I had some now. That's make a nice addition to my birthday meals. I can taste it now. As I was saying, we sailed with the vikings of Norway, I tried to lock Yoli in the Stave Church, and she tried the perfume-y hand cream, Laila

China? You bet! Saw the movie, shopped, met Mulan, watched the performers, and bought panda socks for myself. I helped combat foot pain by putting on a second layer of socks everyday, half-way thru the day.

Mulan looks graceful. Yoli appears to be ready to punch herself in the jaw.

Mulan: Hello soldier.
Me: (looking aroind, wondering who she's talking to)
Mulan: Where are you visiting from?
Me: Massachusetts.
Mulan: Oh, I hear Massachusetts has the toughest soldiers.
Me: No, you're thinking of New York.
Mulan: Not Massachusetts?
Me: No, we're the ones with all the colleges.

Ma! Ma! Ma! Look at me! Ma! Mommy! Mother! Madre! Look!

A quick trip thru Africa (it's what, about 30 steps from edge to edge?) and we wound up in Germany just in time for Yoli to see her favorite princess, Smurfette. (snicker, snicker) Oh, there's Snow White. Great. Where's what's-his-princely-face? He only shows up for parades and musical numbers. Odd.

In Italy we waited around to see Sergio, the juggling mime. We waited and we waited. Yoli wandered off taking photos and when Sergio arrived I was totally bummed out that he wasn't wearing a name tag. We needed a Sergio for our ex-Menudo Cast Member game.

For all I knew, his name could have been Waldo. Hey! I found...a mime.

Did you know a variety of characters now descend upon American Adventure? Well, in between America and Italy. Itaca? I saw Max, Brer Bear, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, White Rabbit, Yo Mama*, and lots more. *I'm slap happy. It's 10:28 PM. My friend Jenn will confirm that I get slap happy at this time of night. Poor Jenn.

In Morocco we also took photos, shopped, had our passports stamped, and I inquired about a tour of the pavilion. Years ago they had a sign-up desk for the daily tour(s) but it has since closed. The Cast Member offered to give us a tour when we returned in 2 days. Cool.

Yoli let me have dinner in Japan at Yakitori House. She's not a fan of Japanese food but was pleasantly surprised with her teriyaki chicken, light on the teriyaki. I had the same meal plus the salad with ginger dressing. I love the ginger salad dressing. If only I had some for my birthday. Sigh.

Noriko came over to our table. I think she was checking to see if Yoli liked her food. Noriko was pretty funny to talk to, we all yakked on and on forever. We saw her outside later, at an info/reservation booth for Tepan Edo.

That night we visited France (so many kissable boys, so too young for me), the United Kingdom, and Canada. I also got to see Off Kilter perform their last show of the night. They were great but I missed Jamie and Tony. Tony could have gotten us bonus points because I happen to know that he played keyboard for Menudo.

Being the good friend that I am, we staked out a spot to watch Illuminations. I don't think either of us loves fireworks but if she didn't see the show, went home, and everyone said, How could you not watch Illuminations? I'd feel like a schmo. Then we slowly and painfully walked back to the car.

Newbie and the Geek bonus videos/photos/info can only be found on my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

March 7, 2013

Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna Experience

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Sable antelope on the Uzima savanna as seen from a room in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sable antelope on the Uzima savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Last year I stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time. The cast member who checked me in saw my camera and felt a room upgrade to a savanna view was necessary. For the next five days I enjoyed overlooking the Uzima savanna which is much quieter then the Arusha savanna. That was fine by me. I would get up each morning and sit on the balcony to photograph and watch the birds and animals. The Sable antelopes and others gave me a wonderfully New Experience every day and makes for my Disney Pic of the Week.

March 8, 2013

Staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Expanding on yesterday's post about me staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time, here are a few more musings and photos. As you enter Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, the high ceiling of the lobby is a feast for your eyes. The Earth tones of the wood and decor instantly sooth your being. You see the three story tall windows which look out over Arusha Rock and African savanna beyond. You will even spy a "rope" bridge crossing high overhead.

The lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/4, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, HDR Image.
Like any good Disney property, you will find several Hidden Mickeys cleverly disguised as themed decorations. To find more at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and all over the Walt Disney World Resort, get yourself a copy of All Ears team member Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey Guide book.
Hidden Mickeys at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
How many Hidden Mickeys do you see?
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/20s, f/4.2, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 48mm focal length.

The real reason most people want to stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge are the animals you can see either right from your room or the various overlook lounges and by visiting Arusha Rock. My room was on the second floor were I enjoyed photographing the animals from the balcony. The weather was mostly overcast during my stay which helped to bring out the colors of all the living things.

Even if the colors are black and white like these two Grant's Zebras grazing below my room one afternoon.

Grant's Zebras browsing on one of  Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge savannas, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A pair of Grant's Zebras browsing on a savanna.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Many people are amazed at the large horned Anikole Cattle which can been seen wandering each of the savannas surrounding Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Anikole Cattle walking on the savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A large horned Anikole Bull walking on the savanna.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Another horned animal, the Scimitar-horned Oryx is no longer found in the wild. Places like Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's Animal Kingdom and zoos around the world help to maintain a viable breeding population in the hopes of returning them to their northern African home in the future.

Scimitar-horned Oryx standing in the Uzima savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A lone Scimitar-horned Oryx standing in the Uzima savanna.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 640, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Walking the halls between one's room and the lobby, you never know what you might see as you look out the many windows and overlooks of the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. You might see a Reticulated Giraffe looking back at you.

Reticulated Giraffe peering around a tree on the Arusha savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Reticulated Giraffe peering around a tree on the Arusha savanna.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Whether I ever get to stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge again, I will definitely still visit to enjoy a meal at Boma or Jiko or just to come and visit the animals of the savannas.

March 10, 2013

Where in the World #271

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!

Guess what I realized? I've been doing Where in the World Photo Fun for two years! Barrie handed me the hostess duties on Feburary 13, 2011. Can you believe it? All of you have been so wonderful to me this past 2 years; sometimes when a popular person leaves, the following leaves with them. But you Players have been loyal to AllEars and what Barrie started, and just very supportive of me. Thank you!
Thank You smiley From Millan.Net

Here was last week's challenge:
 Where in the World #270

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

This one was a toughie. It's Christopher Robbins bedroom where you meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the UK Pavilion in Epcot.

I bet a lot of you aren't very pleased with me right now, because when I quoted "March comes in like a lion...", it looked like a clue. Mea Culpa, Players! Blushing smiley From Millan.Net

And then there's Maranda Nichols who laughed in the face of the challenge and said bring it on! :)

Mike Rotkiske was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Mike and all our winners this week! Tina Wells, Christina Rotella, Maranda & Chris & Amanda Nichols, and Rob & April Team Vanderpool. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #271: Where in the world is this?

We're changing parks! Why? Because we can.
 Where in the World #271

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 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!

March 12, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Train Stations

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I think of train stations at Walt Disney World, I think of the three staions in the Magic Kingdom found on Main Street USA, Frontierland and Fantasyland. Over the years, Lisa and I have shown you pictures of the trains but not the stations. All are unique and beautifully themeed for the part of the Magic Kingdom they reside in. For instance, the Frontierland Train Station has an old west rustic feel including the beautiful wood sign hanging above the entrance as you enter the station between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attractions.

Frontierland Train Station sign in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Frontierland Train Station Sign.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 623mm focal length.

Lisa be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week on Train Stations.

March 13, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

If you've missed any of my previous trip report entries, shame on you! I'd put you in timeout but you've clearly suffered enough by not keeping up with the group. Go ahead and start reading, the links are readily available.

Disney's Animal Kingdom posted Feb. 13th

Magic Kingdom posted Feb. 20th

Disney's Hollywood Studios posted Feb. 23rd

Downtown Disney and More posted Feb. 27th

Epcot posted March 6th

Let it be known that this day would not have been possible without the generosity of my former classmate and former neighbor, James. He hooked us up with Park-to-Park tickets. The next time you're here visiting (I'm talking to James), I will sing and dance for you at the end of the driveway just like the good old days.

We set course for adventure outside of Walt Disney World, specifically Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando. The 20 or so minute drive took us down I-4 and I pointed out a few things along the way, like the outlet mall, Sea World, and that I don't like driving on I-4. I don't know if these folks are locals or tourists or both but they don't all seem to know where they're going.

Upon arrival at the toll plaza, I wondered if my AAA Diamond Parking Pass would work. I knew it wouldn't but a girl can have teeny tiny dreams. After parking, the epic adventure from the parking garage to the park entrance began with the escalator followed by walking then moving sidewalks then walking then a steep escalator then lots of walking thru...City Walk, over a bridge, a little more walking and finally, the main entrance. It is not a feet-friendly layout but we made it.

Since both parks were closing at 7 o'clock, we decided to carefully select which rides and shows to see in each park and aim just for those. The main objective was of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter thus we began at Islands of Adventure. Pretty pastels and bold colors in Seuss Landing caught Yoli's attention and as she began to wander, I had to remind her that Harry was waiting and the Cat in the Hat would wait...by the gate...in a crate...with a plate.

The gigantic mythical creature at the entrance to The Lost Continent nearly made my friend jump up and down with glee. She thought we were entering The Wizarding World, the poor dear. Trudging on and pointing out what's what that we weren't going to do, we soon found ourselves in England. Like a stereotypical tourist, Yoli took photos of everything in sight, squealing with each shutter button compression. After running around snapping photos, I roped her into the line for Ollivanders wand shop, a quick show with very limited space. That was the longest line we encountered all day and it was much shorter than the wait times I saw in December 2011.

Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Hogwarts Castle. Everyone must be in class.

Shopping was of course next on the list since we landed in a store. I bought some stationary for myself featuring a phoenix. Yoli got a new broom. No she didn't, her old one flies just fine.
She did manage to buy a few other items though, like pins and postcards. We had the postcards stamped with the Hogsmeade owl post stamp. This is a freebie found just outside of Dervish & Banges. I kept telling Yoli to ride Dueling Dragons but she decided to forego any ride (such as roller coasters) that she can do at home to make the most of our limited time.

We did ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, of course. My equilibrium wasn't 100% thrilled with my decision but I just telling myself I was having fun and to concentrate on the overall experience. I came off the ride a wee bit off balance and nauseated but as I would learn 2 months later, the sickly feeling in my throat came from Expedition Everest which moved a neck bone out of place. I love my chiropractor. Yoli was alright and loved the attraction from start to finish.

Pumpkin people are coming tonight. They're gonna give you a terrible fright. Something, something, on Halloween night.

While visiting Harry Potter, we had lunch at Three Broomsticks (including Butter Beer), visited every gift shop, watched the Triwizard Spirit Rally, caught part of the Frog Choir, chatted up employees, and listened to Moaning Myrtle. I think hearing Myrtle in the restroom is hilarious and well-executed themeing. Yoli finds her annoying. However, she loved this section of the park so much that she said if we didn't do anything else all day, she wouldn't care. She was very happy. Awww. Well, we did do lots more so she became even happier.

We skipped The Lost Continent and went back to Seuss Landing. Here we had time to shop, of course, you always have to shop, ride the Caro-Seuss-El and insanely spin on The Cat in the Hat ride. Characters were out and about so we took photos of and with several. I like the Grinch. I don't think Yoli has a favorite. She was ready to leave the park but I know she has a weakness for Spiderman and couldn't let her leave without experiencing The Adventures of Spiderman, a 3D journey thru New York and escape from bad guys. I think Spidey's in New York. My comic book knowledge is minimal at best. She met Spiderman and posed with him. Oh Peter Parker, if you only recalled what she did to you at Universal Studios years ago, you would have either run away or asked for her phone number. Don't ask me. This site is rated G.

Time to move onto the next theme park. Luckily, Universal Orlando is right next door. We skipped anything that Universal Studios in California has and again carefully selected what to see and do. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is brand new so we became minions for a short while. It's in the same building that housed Jimmy Neutron and The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (I love Hanna-Barbera more than Disney. I want them to have a theme park. pouty face). It is also a simulator ride and I found it funny that I could totally tell we were in the same room only the vehicles had changed and the screen got bigger.

It sure isn't your temple's minyan.

The day consisted of Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue, Men in Black, E.T., Lucy - A Tribute, a glimpse of the parade, and my favorite store, Kwik-E-Mart. They carry the best gummy fruit snacks I've ever had. Hey, has anyone managed to keep their Interpanetary Passport from E.T.? You know, the card they swipe that has your first name attached. I want one.

Wolfman rocks Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue. He's like a furry Jon Bon Jovi.

We actually wrapped up before 7 PM, calling it a successful day. I wanted to show Yoli a portion of International Drive just because we were right there and she might see something of interest. What caught her eye was Sweet Tomatoes, which I had coupons for back in the hotel room. Since we were hungry and still trying to check out I-drive, we decided to eat at Sweet Tomatoes near Walt Disney World without a coupon. That's right, we are rebels. Not wealthy rebels but a few bucks wouldn't break the bank. Sweet Tomatoes is the same as Soup Plantation on the West Coast which made a happy Yoli even happier.

Bonus material from Newbie and the Geek are only available on my Facebook page. I'm also on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

March 14, 2013

Main Street Station Leading Lines

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

It sits high above the Mickey Mouse floral display at the entrance to Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Characters welcome guests upon park opening while singers and dancers perform. The place? Walt Disney World Railroad Main Street Station.

As you enter and exit Magic Kingdom through archway tunnels, you are literally underneath the station. From inside the park, on the other side, climb up the stairs to reach the platform.


The train station offers excellent views of Town Square, Cinderella Castle, parades, and nightly fireworks.

Disney Pic of the Week - Train Stations

Newbie and the Geek bonus material is available solely on my Facebook page.

March 15, 2013

Shopping in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Do you like to shop? Even when on vacation at Walt Disney World? When traveling with my wife and two daughters, shopping is a part of the trip. I do like to shop though not as much as they do. Luckily, I have a camera with me and find my own kind of shopping...capturing details of shops imagineeered and themed as much as any Disney attraction or ride is.

The Tea Caddy shop sells specialty tea items, candies and chocolates found in the United Kingdom. I found this item particularly fitting, a tea pot featuring Aice in Wonderland characters.

Alice in Wonderland tea pot in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Alice in Wonderland tea pot for sale in The Tea Caddy shop.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 40mm focal length, bounced flash.
In Germany's Die Weihnachts Ecke shop, it is always time for Christmas shopping for beautiful ornaments.
A mouse ears Christmas ornament in Die Weihnachts Ecke shop in the Germany pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A mouse ears Christmas ornament in Germany's Die Weihnachts Ecke shop.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5, ISO 1600, EV 0, 78mm focal length, bounced flash.

In Mouse Gears, the merchandise carts are kept together with unique nuts and bolts.

Nut and Bolt display fixture in Mouse Gear at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nut and Bolt display fixture in Mouse Gear.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV 0, 230mm focal length.

So, if you find yourself a little bored with your travelmates shopping habit, pick up your camera or camera phone and capture the experience.

March 17, 2013

Where in the World #272

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!

Thank you, Players, for all the Happy Anniversary wishes! It made me look into the game's history and I found out we'll be celebrating Six Years in July! I'll have to think of something fun to go with it.

Meanwhile, Claire Gregory is going through post-Disney vacation blues. You know what that means... Here's your Disney bear to hug, Claire. From Millan.Net

On the other hand, Janet Thorn is in Disney right now. Have fun, Janet! It sounds like you are!

Nancy Ahlsen! From Millan.Net Hey, girl! How you doin'?

Several players said they didn't know Christopher Robin's bedroom was in the UK pavilion. Neither did I, Players. The reason is: it's fairly new. It opened last May. I was standing with a cast member talking about my Doctor Who t-shirt (yes, I'm that geeky) when my husband noticed it. I had forgotten the announcement and then tripped in my rush to take pictures. The attention to detail is AMAZING! If the silly ol' bear ever meant something to you or if you enjoy how Imagineering gives things wonderful detail, go take a look.

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #271

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

It's the Indian Village in Magic Kingdom that you can see either from the Liberty Belle riverboat or the steam trains.

O'meara Family, you never have been on the riverboat? You got to go! You can such a great view of Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain (you can great photos of the trains), Tom Sawyer's Island, and Liberty Square including unique views of the Haunted Mansion. You can even hear how Samuel Clemens came about his pen name Mark Twain. If you click on this link, you can read Jack Spence's wonderful article on the Liberty Belle. Personal note: Beacon Joe's dog used to be named Rufus. As my childhood dog had the same name, I would take pictures of him as a kid and still do to this day. In my mind, he is still Rufus.

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Mike and all our winners this week! Andrew Carrieri, Daniel Meagher, Sharon Pierce, Rick And Michele Shea, Paul Dickson, Theresa Rucando, Chris Kelly, Susie Howard, The Perras Family, Erin Hammer, The Parker Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, Steve Jordan, Jen Cerce, The O'meara Family, Julie And Kody Riderj, Kerry And Ryan A., Tinkerbell Wells, The Schweizer Family, Shannon Savoia, Mickey Eckert, Kenny, Michael Soskil, Brian Yesutis, Shannon Milair, Janet Thorn, Debbie Desimone, Josh, Cheryl Chambers, Al Desimone, Jessica Iglesias , Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Ken Clark, Lindsey Nozal, Rob Blundin, Laura, Mike Rotkiske, Lyle Stevens, Cindy Pink, Jennifer Snook, Joyce Shipman, Maureen Hanlon, Maryann Eckenrode, Traci Mills, Johansen Family, Jenny Brennan, Betsy, Claire Gregory, Deb Ragno, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Steve Morin, Scott Precise, Lynette Michalos, Vicki And William Edwards, Jim Sturniolo, Lee Anastasi, Dawn Miller, Gilly Rosenthol, Kelly Cummings, Kathy Morris, Nancy Ahlsen, Kevin Williams, Misty Mehelic, Stacey Diamond, Sandy Weiss, Jennifer Page, Christin Langtry, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Carla C, Kris Nixon, Liz Moreau, Chris & Maranda Nichols, K Beasley, Carla Nale, Doug Olson Family, Leach Family, Brian Fleming, Mary Thatcher, Susan Tadlock, James Steele, Amy Ferguson, Hulse Family, Katie Bray, Lisa Hallmark, Mackenzie D., Morgan M., Daniel Record, Team Hill, Megan Collins, Pam Vanaustin, Maggie Klotz, Kristi Forbush, Demetrios Makres, Jodi Cook, Louise Barton, Cynthia Hitchcock, Anne Beebe, The Malesky Family, Brian Miller, Chuck Sands, Lori Rienhardt, Kathy Miller, Sandie Albrecht, Blake Schmidt, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, John Nottell, Victor Masi, James Dezern, Pollyanna Buff, Bill Mckim, Dale Knight, Craig, Pam, Susan Higginbotham, Bridget Richard, Jen Eacret, Julie Wickwarejulie, Bryan Kruse, Paul Newman, Tracey Mayfield, Jared Orth, Hillary Waldroop, Larry Sprenkle, Jeremy Hardy, Bruce Jones, Kim Howe, Sara Colwell , Karen Ramirez, Evanna Huda, Vera Williams, Evald Olson, Randi Balch, Tricia Petty, Kelsi, John Sheridan, Amanda Campbell, Vanessa Stjohn, Brian Mcwithey, Screen Watson, John Menjes, Christina & Tasha Rotella, Megan Krainski, Larissa Huda, Jackie Purcell, Kathryn Perkins, Mitch Buska, Hobbes And Snorky, Cathy Connors, Robert Hildebrandt , Jennifer Shaw, Andrew Pettit, Alison Rosenberger, Nancy Mclaughlin, Heather Hynes, Shelly Borella, Kerrie Hogan, Paul Ignudo Jr, Gail States, Bonnie Tulenko, Marion Durham, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Deme Grabert, Sara Holloway, Jeremy Reichelt, Maryann Romagnano, Ken Rhinehart, Bob Henriksen, Wendy Snelgrove, Veronica Upwood, Steve Knapp, Karen Smith, Bob Hendrix, Morag Lemon, Ronald Delorey, Stephanie Dollar, Emily Hudson, Pecosace, The Kertes Family, Judy Simonsen, Nathalie Periard, Hoekzema Family, Luis Rodriguez, Darcel Margliotti, Diane Ramos, George Mundy Jr, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Chris Connors, Debbie Connors, C.j. Connors, Anna Keene, Josh Carney, Ron Harper, Elizabeth Edwards, Patrick Broaddus, Mike Haeberle, Elizabeth Johnston, Trina Noggle, Thomas Auckland, Vickie Scioneaux, Jane Johnson, Stephanie, Michael Bailey, Elaine Kleinhenz, John Bickers, Colin Sawyer, Joseph M. Zafia, Team Meeker, Dave Kanigowski, Sandra Kanigowski, Melissa Kirk, Jason Skow, Barclay Bakkum, Monica Owens, Mark Proper, Matt Holley, Wendy T Faler, Mandy Kromer, The Pinder Family, Linda Grau, Deb, Chuck Everson, Pete Aponick, Jackie Klafeta, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Peggy Saeger, Leigh Mertz, Penny, Amy Miller, Patti Mccaffrey, Wendy Barney, Melody O'donnell, Rebecca Keenan, Laura Debouchel, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Tracy Discher, and Nancy Cole. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #272: Where in the world is this?

OK, we're switching parks. I can take 7 people in my van. Can anyone else drive or are we going by bus?

 Where in the World #272

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 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!

March 19, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week - Mexico

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Saludos, amigos. Bienvenido a Mexico, a country filled with gorgeous desert colors, homemade tortillas, handmade home decor, history and tradition. It's all packed neat and tidy into one of Epcot's pavilions, complete with aire acondicionado central. Aqui puedes comprar jewelry, art, tequila, sombreros, snacks, and clothing. Enjoy dinner or lunch by the river as tourists sail past in search of their fine feathered friends, The Three Caballeros.

While cruising, look up at the papel picado or hand cut out paper banners for a hidden Donald, Panchito y Jose. Granted these are probably made out of vinyl to last longer, they're still cool and I want them.

Regresa el Jueves for Scott's photo from Mexico.

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

March 20, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Epcot, Again

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Where does the king keep his armies? In his sleevies. Badumbump.

Did you miss one of my 3 thousand trip report blogs? Do not fret, they are posted as such;

Disney's Animal Kingdom posted Feb. 13th

Magic Kingdom posted Feb. 20th

Disney's Hollywood Studios posted Feb. 23rd

Downtown Disney and More posted Feb. 27th

Epcot posted March 6th

Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando posted March 13th

Wow. Is this vacation over yet? No way, dude! After today's rehash there are still 3 more days of magical experiences to go. Yes, it was a long trip. A wicked awesome trip! No more dilly dallying, gotta get on movin'.

The sun was high above, where it belonged..and should remain. Geckos clung to resort walls until they saw their cousin from the Geico ads and high-tailed it behind vending machines. It was a lovely morning at All-Star Movies so we left and headed to Epcot. Having conquered the "left side" (Test Track, Mission: Space, Universe of Energy, and friends) we headed right to pursue The Seas with Nemo and Posessive Seagulls, Journey into I Remember Imagination Pre-Kodak, and The Land.

Anytime Yoli forgot something she'd say, "A boat! I saw a boat." She also speaks whale.

Our first stop was to ride in a clam shell and not-so-much help but witness a frantic father and his memory-challenged friend seek out Fabio, err, Nemo. Fabio's not orange, he's more of a dirty blonde and he lives on land. I imagine it would be impossible to hang photos of himself on an underwater reef. Nemo was found so we went in search of dolphins, manatees and fish. What we located was a scuba diver. Crush can be found in California, of course, so we skipped Turtle Talk, dude.

Under the sea. Under the sea. Darling, I have no idea what you're doing with a bucket of sand.

Hmm. I may have put some info regarding our second day at Epcot in my first day at Epcot report. You know how I said we went to The Land and nothing was working except for Soarin' and the line was too long? Yeah. That happened on the second day not the first. Yoli and I are equally at fault because I asked her and well...we saw a boat.

I directed us to Journey into Imagination and, hold onto your hats, there was a line. I'm not talking 3-4 people ahead of us, a real line with multiple families. I nearly fell down from shock. Once safely locked into the red space egg, we learned about trains, skunks, that humans taste like chicken, and most of the "newer" boxes of movie theatre-like candy is no longer for sale. We each designed a dragon on them there computer jobbies. Oh, and we made beautiful music together by frantically flapping our arms as cartoon Figments played instruments and disappeared and reappeared via puffs of smoke.

Isn't she pretty? You wish you knew Shazam, Mariah Carey, but you dooooon't.

I love Coca-Cola merchandise and when I drank soda more often, it was Coke that I craved hence I introduced Yoli to Club Cool. It's good to try new things, spread your wings, and see what the rest of the world has to offer. Is this set up working? Alright, alright, let's just go to the video which starts with China followed by Israel and then...Italy!

Yes, that's me in the background encouraging Yoli to "try Italy." If you want to be a member of the club you gotta be cool.

Since we traced through World Showcase counter clockwise last time, we strolled clockwise this time around. I bet you didn't see that coming. We're edgy. Stopping first in Canada to take photos followed by my desire for another Off Kilter CD, we graced the gift shop with our presence. Stop biting your nails in suspense. I indeed got the CD, Celtic Armadillo. Now I own 2 of their albums.

While visiting the United Kingdom we shopped, met Tigger and Winnie the Pooh (Tigger signed my hat) and enjoyed a concert by British Revolution. As you may recall, I previously wrote that Yoli was willing to eat fish sticks. I took her to Yorkshire County Fish Shop for some fish & chips. They were yummy, less expensive than Raglan Road, and there were 2 decent size pieces of fish. I was about to ask a couple seated to the right of the fish shop if we could join them when the lady offered to let us sit with her and her husband. That was nice of them. After they left we extended an invitation to a dad and his adult son.

Super shy Yoli met Alice, Mary Poppins (My pal even asked Mary if I could have her parrot head umbrella. She said no.), and chatted up a PhotoPass photographer on the bridge to France. France is always enjoyable, I especially love the male scenery.

They're even cute upside down.

After glaring at yakkety yakkers during Impressions de France we made our way around the gift shop. I had a lovely time talking with several Cast Members to whom I gave our coveted Newbie and the Geek Guest Star stickers. They immediately wore them.

Meet Paul and Marion. She calls him Pauly, isn't that sweet. Another girl calls him Paulette. Tee hee hee.

In Japan I got my kaki gori, honeydew style. It was a cool day but it had been years since I had tasted one so I indulged. We met up with Cast Member Benki in Morocco who two days prior, had promised to give us a tour of the pavilion upon our return. What a nice guy, very professional. He answered our questions, educated us, and even let Yoli adjust his scarf. She said it's her OCD that makes her do such things but I think she just wanted to touch him like she touched my Aladdin many years ago.

Our Moroccan tour guide. Such beautiful eyes. Yoli, keep your hands to yourself.

We managed a showing of American Adventure but had to enter via the exit. Some event was happening in the rotunda. The show is growing on me and let's not forget it's a good place to rest and kick off your shoes. The rest of the pavilions drew us in with promises of merchandise and cute foreign boys. Italy is nice. I had to ask a strapping German boy to open my water bottle. At least half of the case was difficult to open. I tried once again for the Werther's shop but the line was too long for me to bother.

Again we braved the cold seas with vikings then switched to a preferred temperature on a cruise with a duck, a rooster, and a parrot. We had dinner at Nine Dragons in China and both ordered the honey sesame chicken. It's light, sweet, and I like the veggie slaw but my favorite part of the meal was dessert. It's a cold, thick type of porridge or soup made from red beans topped with toasted coconut. It's delicious, try it next time.

Illuminations could be partially seen from our table and the music was piped into the restaurant which was pretty cool. We wanted to beat the crowd out but decided to take our time since Extra Magic Hours was in full force. The next day's plans would allow us to sleep late.

Come back on Saturday to find out just how many resorts we visited in a single day.

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

March 21, 2013

Epcot's Mexico Pyramid

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mexico pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mexico's Aztec Pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length, polarizer filter.

Florida has lots of blue sky which sets up the warm tones of Mexico'a pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase. I used a Circular Polarizing filter to deepen the sky's color even more for my Disney Pic of the Week on Mexico.

March 22, 2013

Photographing at Night in Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I recently read an article about photography tips for busy tourist attractions. I think Walt Disney World qualifies as such a place. The first tip was to get up early to avoid the crowds. I have to agree this works for many tourist areas in the world but Disney parks are not accessible in the early morning. The exceptions being if you get an early dining reservation for a character breakfast in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot before they are open to guests.

For the most part, the best way to not get other guests in your photos is to stay after hours. This works especially well on Extra Magic Hour nights as many people leave before the park closes.

After Illuminations, people stream out of the World Showcase area and is a favorite time for photographers to enjoy people free time with the pavilions. Such was the case when I set up a tripod in France just fifteen minutes after the fireworks show ended.

France pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
France pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 30s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.
While attending Extra Magic Hours in the Magic Kingdom, I noticed the Hall of Presidents was still open around midnight. The lobby was empty and the Cast Members did not mind me setting up a tripod to take some photographs. A few guests would come through once in a while. For the most part, the place was empty.
Hall of Presidents foyer in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Hall of Presidents foyer in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod.

I know for many people, staying late is not an option. I will be back next week with more ideas.

March 23, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Disney Resorts and Celebration

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Get ready because this was a long day filled with adventure, danger, and wild creatures in the night. Our story begins on a cool January morning at All-Star Movies at Walt Disney World. It was the place we collapsed each night after running amok through the parks. Having only visited the food court, gift shop, and front desk thus far, we set off on a photographic tour of themed buildings and terrorizing-sized Toy Story movie characters.

And here I thought a 3-story Buzz Lightyear was scary. Imagine being swept up by this angry broom. Angry Brooms, coming to a video game system near you this summer.

Having escaped the evil clutches of Little Bo Peep, we ran to the SUV, piled in, and sped off to see Celebration once again only this time with ample sunlight and a mission. I needed to mail a package to James, a thank you gift for getting Yoli and I into Universal's theme parks. While I took care of that, Yoli familiarized herself with the visitor's center, a history of the town, which homes were for sale, and what she might buy as a souvenir.

Wow! Celebration Ave in the town of Celebration, that's mind blowing.

We then made the excruciatingly long trek to the bakery on foot. Gosh, it had to have been at least 100 feet away, door-to-door. A quick carb pick-me-up and some fresh air and we were ready for another drive around town. Yoli was on the ready to shoot both photos and videos of the pretty houses we can't afford.

I am willing to live in either of these houses and I like yellow so that helps.

Back at Walt Disney World, we stopped at the newest resort, Art of Animation. As we approached the main building, again, on foot, we pondered hiding in the luggage compartment of the bus heading to Cape Canaveral for a Disney cruise. Too many manager-ish eyes were watching the bus so we acted like good little tourists and went shopping. We split up and grabbed photos of the pool, merchandise, neon lights, and other cool stuff. Yoli even bought me a present, a multi-pack of popcorn I should have bought earlier in the week but didn't and then couldn't find it again until we got to Art of Animation. The Cast Member made me close my eyes as he rang it up and placed it in a bag. No reason to spoil the surprise that she took it from my hands and demanded to pay for it.

Is anyone else having a Journey into Imagination flashback? Not the ride but the play area.

The resort I had to show Yoli was Pop Century and it was for one reason, the groovy signs. Not that the signs were groovy but rather actually said, "Groovy." Why? Yoli says "groovy" all day long. You'd think she was a teenager in the 1960's. She wasn't. She was a teenager in the 1980's. She should say things like "awesome" and "bodacious". Kids today. Needless to say, she loved it.

If you'd like to help Snap and Crackle get their own larger-than-life signs, send your donation to...

The clock was ticking and we had to haul tush to make our afternoon tea reservation at The Grand Floridian. This was my big surprise for Yoli although I did tell her at the Ticket and Transportation Center while waiting for the ferry on our 2nd vacation day. When we arrived, I dropped her off at the front entrance and then parked in a land far, far away. Okay, here's something I simply do not comprehend. The guests who pay the most money for a room at Walt Disney World have to park the furthest away from their resort. It doesn't make sense. There's a lovely parking lot right up front but it's for valet. Everyone else has to enter the resort area, sadly pass by valet parking, drive across the street and park in a semi-enclosed lot. Whaaaa?

A view of the new watered down play area. I bet the tea tastes like chlorine.

We had a lovely lunch in the Garden View Lounge. Yoli had tea, teeny sandwiches, scones, and dessert. I had a gorgeous custom designed chicken salad and skim milk. The manager and waitress went far and beyond to make sure I had lunch too. I couldn't eat anything on the tea menu with all of my restrictions and honestly, I expected to just sit there and look cute while Yoli had her afternoon tea. They took good care of me. I still need to write a letter to Disney.

After Yoli videotaped the same room a million times, we went upstairs to look around. She got more video and we hopped aboard the monorail and disembarked at the Contemporary. I grabbed some photos for future blogs, Yoli wished she had enough moolah to buy everything she saw and then we headed out through the back towards the marina. I had never been to this part of the resort before. With little time and the light starting to fade, we headed back inside and went for another ride on the monorail

Do you think anyone would notice if it went missing? It's a good size for my front door.

We changed monorails at the Ticket and Transportation Center and rode the rail to Epcot and back. It's a nice ride and I always like seeing things from different perspectives. Having swapped monorails one more time, we rode it to the Polynesian and explored the main house. I was trying to give us enough time to arrive at Fort Wilderness for the sing-a-long campfire so we didn't stay too long at the Polynesian. Something happened with the monorail in the meantime so we got to take the bus back to the Grand Floridian to pick up our vehicle.

Can you spot what's wrong in this photo from the Tambu Lounge?

It was dark out as we headed to Fort Wilderness. I was prepared to answer a ridiculous amount of questions from the security guard as it always happens to me at this particular resort. Well, I'm happy to report it was a short and pleasant exchange. In fact, it took longer to find parking. It took some time to arrive but the right bus came and took us to the stop for the campfire. I forgot how long the walk is. Over the river and thru the woods for real.

We had a good time clapping along with the singing cowboy and watching the kids make s'mores. Like good examples, we waited for Dale to come to us and then we sprang to our feet. The movie that night was Toy Story 3 and as much as we both enjoy the movie, we bailed after 15 minutes or so. It was cold out, we were hungry, and beat.

Left to right: New Englander, forest dwelling Floridian, and Californian.

We managed to stop and shop before leaving. I found a cool surprise, my former classmate, Mike Faverman's book, Ultimate Camp Cooking. That reminds me, I still need to email the photo to Mike. Let me just put it on my to do list....okay, got it. The store was cute but I'm not outdoorsy so I just bought a postcard.

The plan was to head back to the hotel and have dinner in the food court but as I drove past Port Orleans I remembered Yehaa Bob was performing. Yoli said she awake enough to check out his show so I banged a u-ey (that's a u-turn for the non-Bostonians) and went back. Oh, I thought I had found us a great parking spot near the entrance but I was so far off it was catastrophically sad. Anyway, we found a tall table and 2 stools in the back, hunkered down and laughed our butts off and sang, and clapped, and hooted and hollered for hours. What a show! Why I had never seen Yehaa Bob before disturbs me. I'm blaming my fellow Disney nuts. Yeah, Juan, I'm talking to you, and Erin, Johnny, Susan, Terri (especially Terri), let's see who else, oh, Sheryl, Sharon, and the rest of the lot. Oy, I'm so disappointed but it's fine, I've moved on. Oh, and Karen!

Perhaps he is Don Music's father.

Don't worry, we had dinner in the food court. Well, technically we took turns going to the food court, getting dinner, and bringing it back to the lounge and eating in between guffaws.

If you've lost track, we hit 8 resorts in 1 day plus the town of Celebration. Even though we stayed at All-Star Movies, it counts because we walked the resort and took photos. What a fun but long day. I think we passed out as soon as we made it back to the room.

Next up on Wednesday, the Magic Kingdom revisited.

Want more of Newbie and the Geek? Exclusive photos, videos, and content is available on my Facebook page.

March 24, 2013

Where in the World #273

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!

Annie Snodgrass and Paul Moore: you're back! From Millan.Net

Frank & Sharon say hello from Disney's Soaring flower show! Hi! From Millan.Net Are you still there?

We have a lot of people going through post-Disney vacation blues:Amanda, Dave Carriere, and Steve Jordan. Hold on, I'll get the Disney bear to hug. Claire Gregory has it from last week. Claire, I need the Disney bear back. Claire, the bear? From Millan.Net Claire? Okay... maybe you guys could hug Claire?

On the other hand, Claire Gregory: thank you so much for your phenomenal note! You too, Judy Simonsen and Tina Horlick. It means so much!

Hey, Clinton Dickinson, of course there's room for you in the van. You called shotgun! Don't worry, everyone: Janet Thorn and Stephanie Dollar are driving too! Hop in!

Good for you, Gail H and your husband! Best of luck on the the Expedition Everest Challenge!

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #272

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

Scott Mcbride's got this. Scott?

"The tumble monkeys in Festival of Lion King at Animal Kingdom...when they fall into a seated position when Timon yells, "I WANT QUIET!"

And as so many pointed out, they then pick bugs off groom each other. :)

Debbie Poole had a wonderful story about this cast: I'd like to share it. "One of these wonderful primates took a liking to my wheelchair-using mom during the show. He always remembered her during each of our visits and would throw bugs to her, "sit" on her lap (he would balance on her wheelchair) and tried to teach her the hand jive (she never did get the hand of it). We understand that particular Tumble Monkey has moved on, but she loved every minute of the special attention he paid to her."

This person is the kind who Walt pictured when he said Cast Member.

Deb Ragno and Angel Diven said their husbands were picked to play the warthog in the show. You guys tell me these to make me jealous, don't you? ;)

I know a lot of us are worried we will lose this wonderful show with the new construction. But! Signs point to them saving it and it will supposedly move over to Africa. So, maybe a little less bitter party of two, Jason & Melinda Lenz? :) (That made me laugh!)

So.... a few of you got this right. :-)

Andrew Carrieri was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Andrew and all our winners this week! Ruth Woodhouse, Mackenzie D., The Kahle Family , Mary Beth Tarbet, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Erin Loring, Jen Cerce, Theresa Rucando, Tinkerbell Wells, Becky Norman, Belicia Cullen, Chris And Alison, Mildred Popp, Becky Norman, Scott Cullen, Frank & Sharon, Doug Olson Family, Zach Szymko, The Kertes Family, Linda Kasych, Jonathan Ward, Brian Yesutis, Hoekzema Family, Edward Elder, Paul Dickson, Diane Curfman, Lynette Michalos, Eric Berger, Adrienne Clark-bogle, The Schweizer Family, Kristin Zuk, Beth Gladney, Christine Griffin, Kathy Opitz, Julie Bozeman, Josh Brown, Michele Dunn, Animal Kingdom , Ed, Dawn Hartson, Wendy Kimberly, Debbie Gresh, Kathy Morris, Beth Kugler, Robert Graham, Phil Vickers, Tiffany S., Denise Cayz, Scott Greenbaum, Melissa Such, Jennifer Harmon, Michelle, Christine Barton, Mike Haven, Larissa Huda, Dwayne Fontenot, Cameron Gainey, Patti Gumiela, Lisa Fronheiser, Becky Coppola, Amanda Deweese, Rebecca Smith, Jenny Brennan, Shannon Savoia, Rob Avnet, Tony Stevens, Jason Adams, Dee Dee Kenney, Lisa Jane Wood, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Laura W., Meghan Nichols, Daniel Meagher, Mary Finkle, Joyce Shipman, Sara Holloway, Ken Jobin, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Christa Graham, Sondra Tokarske , Sheila, Johansen Family, Clare Sadler, Mary Spina, Kelsichambers, Monica Westbrook , Kris Nixon, Les Whitten, Jeanne Bancroft, Judy Keziah, Pollyanna Buff, Paul Sankey, Kim Meyer, Sandy Weiss, Ryan Mccorristin, Aaron Buff, Jason Hocker, Christine Dagney, The O'meara Family, Shelley Diederich, Wayne Lutz, Denise Castiglione, Brian Gallant, Julie And Kody Rider, Vera Williams, Rob Blundin, Lauren Blundin, Becky, Team Hill, Sharon Lee, Reed J Martin, Kristi Strembicki, Morag Lemon, Chris Ames, Emma Poprock, Kelly Zanauskas, Denise Neighbors, Pam Hamarowicz, Kye Layton, Ed Suscreba, Kenny, Paul Gera, Michelle Raimist, Sandie Albrecht, Mary Anne Mundis, Tami Howerton , Linda College, Marie Vanacore, Mike Rotkiske, Jessica Iglesias , Stuart Hale, Kellie Harpel, Richard Atwood, Maureen Hanlon, Marguerite Garofalo, Chris Masse, Mike Haeberle, Anne, Dale Knight, Laura V, Sue Belemjian, Leigh Mertz, Bob Hendrix, Sharon Powell, Double Family, Nancy Cheladyn, Jodi Cook, Ladonna Tisdale, The Parker Family, Jonathan Thomas, Josh Weiss, Maryann Eckenrode , Christin Langtry, Meredith Rule, Ruth Maynard, Kris Blamphin, Deb Ragno, Ruth Senecal, Antoinette Leblanc, Salvatore Mangiacapre, Marsha Waidelich, Lee, Tricia Petty, Hayley Valk, Amy Bailey, K Beasley, Lorine Landon, Vickie Smialkowski, Karen Vittone, Carolyn Como, David Feldman, Ken Clark, Janet Thorn, Evanna Huda, Paul Scimeca, Jennifer Passman, Kristi Forbush, Courtney Payne, Katherine Gast, Kimberly Waldrop, Meredith Rule, Veronica Upwood, Mary Brennan, Ed Hogan, Russ Morgan, The Malesky Family, Jeremy Hardy, Nicole Amidon, Erika Loboda, Christine Sargeant, Candice Grimes, Betsy Silvestri, Carla C, Demetrios Makres, Megan Krainski, Millie Tenreiro, Tamara Gary, Ken Maikowski, Craig, Jim Riddle, Kara Jones, Mike Walter, Joe Armeni, Ken Jackson, Pam Vanaustin, Kerry Fox, Chris Kelly, Vicki Collins, Ed Aleszczyk, Stefan Owens, Jim Thompson, Maureen Handy, James Clementi, Hobbes And Snorky, Stephanie Hanstrom, Erin Hammer, Kerrie Hogan, Daniel Record, Linda Scrivano, Rick R., James Steele , Ronald Delorey, Mike Malampy, Cody Dilbeck, Bev Carson, Mary Thatcher, Steve Morin, Elizabeth Howarth , Emily Hudson, Mike Rotkiske, Deme Grabert, Curtis Bille, Patti Mccaffrey, Anita Jodouin, Jennifer Rupert, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Cindy Pink, Sarah Calvario, Timothy Hutchinson, Cindy C., Eileen Wiederspan, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kendra Watts, Kerry Mccaffrey, Andy Hickey, Kirsten Miller, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Monica Duhon, Billie Jean Alblino, Pam Lorenz, Jerry Weldon, Larry Sprenkle, Nathalie Periard, Screen Watson, Ian Falk, Pat Morin, Cathy Connors, Leach Family, Kerri Coggins, Patrick Broaddus, Kathryn Perkins, Mckenzie Donald, Elyssa H., Lori Rienhardt, Eric Enli, Tina Wells, Brian Mcwithey, Josh Carney, Jenn Crosby, Jeff Blank, Ronald Zinke, Mike Hulse, Mailin Pares, Bruce Hinterleitner, Claire Gregory, Morgan M., Scott, Derek Carty, Mickey Eckert, Colin Sawyer, Krysten Toth, Debbie Boehm, Karen Ramirez, Maggie Klotz, Kristyn Scibienski, Alan Mize, Gail States, Trina Noggle, Cheryl Costello, Jason Skow, Bob Patterson, Jack, Bill, And Ryan Foley, Susan Doucette, Jared Orth, Karen Davis, Jennifer Shaw, Tom Donnelly , Wade A. Williams, Cameron Lange, Dana, Andrew Pettit, Andrea Kruszewski, Karen Costa, Kelly Smith, Paul Ignudo Jr, Brian Miller, Chris Bauman, Alison Rosenberger, Joy Ousterout, Sanford Fuller, Doug Andrews, Robert Hildebrandt, Kate Fischer, Tricia Noble, Terry Garvey, Kristen Mccoy, Karrie Duffey, Julie Johnson, Melody Odonnell, Gail H, Jeremy Reichelt, Tiffany Gibb, Rebecca Keenan, Michael Pennington, James Dezern, Brian Stake, Heather Hynes, Monica Owens, Amber Slifer, Anastasia Macneil, Teresa Cole, Suzanne C Denham, Jennifer Mercier, Shelly Borella, Maryann Romagnano, Jullie Pudem, Eric Holmes, Kelli Gordon, Scott Sangston, Carri Marotto, Jennifer Snook, Stephanie Dollar, Bob Henriksen, Katie Wood, Matthew Earl, Jeffrey Beauchamp, Matthew Jadro, Mickey Mouse, Nathan York , Michelle Wilinski, Scott Mcbride, Lisa Zitek, Les Stewart, Chloe Mayhew, Hillary Waldroop, Barclay Bakkum, Pat Cassidy, Stephanie Linares, Nancy Cole, Karen Smith, Steve Knapp, Thomas Farquharson, Matt Ciccone, Cheri Palmisano, George Mundy Jr, John Pasqueralli, Clinton Dickinson, Whitney M, Carrie Rampy, The Patterson Family, Jeff Finger, Natalie Pugh, Lizanne Fisk, Michelle Boykin, Orange Bird, Woodruff Family, Pecosace, Carrie K, Angela And David Blevins, Mike M., Jan Rosato, Becky Hosinger, Patty Carty, Danielle Murgia, Judy Simonsen, Tina Horlick, Jim Finley, Hillary Parker, Heidi Goodhue, Mitchell Holmes, Heather Pedulla, Angie Young, Linda Komp, Laura Labadie, Tracey Mayfield, Amanda, Rob Jacob, Walter N. Clark, Agnes Ciotti, Marcia Mardirosian, Jackie Purcell, Jillian Domings, Cheryl Chambers, The Pinder Family, Brian Grabowski, Michele Mongeon, Robert Wescovich, Ken Rhinehart, Matt Holley, Diane Ramos, Wayne Witherspoon, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Ryan And Kerry A., Caroline Burmester, Carol, Team Meeker, Mike Cerce, Joan Schroeder, Katie Fitzgibbons, Kathryn Hughes, Jennifer Bourg, Chandra Mccall, Dave Carriere, Gloria Martin, Karen Hotchkiss, Kelsi, Sharon Dale, Madison Hovan, Patti Deluca, Linda Grau, Jackie Graebel, Dsnymom14, Liz Moreau, Linda Francescone, Randi Balch, Tammy Kallenbach, April Stinson, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Jennifer Bogdan, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Debbie Poole, Elaine Kleinhenz, Tom Koval, Allyson Fredd, Melissa Kirk, Tom Higbee, Amy Letterman, Shirley Garcowski, Emily Harper, Ashley P. , Rachel Hoover, Jean Ehlert, Brent Hand, Ron Harper, Dave Freemyer, Andrew G., Kim Walker, Diane Batista, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Peggy Saeger, Julie Wickware, Jessica Townsend , John Paul Carnell, Ryan Esker, Megan W, Chris J, Vicki Yarnell, Lindsay Kasawski, Steve Jordan, Katie Bray, Becky And Elizabeth Johnston, Mark Franklin, Susan Grumblis, David Ballard, Mary Kay Samluk, Kellie, Randy Thomas, Angel Diven, Kat Curtis, Bonnie Cummings, Mike Kaczanowski, Chris Rooney, Sonya A, Melesia Love, Sophia Harrison, Jackie Klafeta, Annie Snodgrass, Theresa Maradei, Paul Moore, Barry Sklenar, Wendy Snelgrove, Andrea Lott Haney, and Betsy Dross. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #273: Where in the world is this?

So! Orange Bird said "Let's get harder next week!" You know what that means, Players! A DOUBLE CHALLENGE WEEK!

Here's the real touch challenge:
 Where in the World Difficult

Now the regular challenge: #273. Back in the cars, everyone! Remember Stephanie has that big car seat; someone short can fit in there. And what do you say? Shoot over to the Marketplace first for sundaes at Ghirardelli's? And then back to the parks!

 Where in the World #273

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 28th, 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!

March 26, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Brave

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last Spring when I visited Epcot, the movie Brave was still a few weeks away from being released to theaters. On the walking path between Future World and World Showcase, Disney Imagineers were perparing a new guest area featuring the movie. I spyed the sand sculpture with Merida and her triplet brothers which was still in production.

Brave Sand Sculpture in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Brave Sand Sculpture being readied in Epcot.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Lisa be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week about Brave.

March 27, 2013

Newbie and the Geek Take Magic Kingdom, Again

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Welcome to the never-ending trip report. Previous chapters are listed below.

Disney's Animal Kingdom posted Feb. 13th

Magic Kingdom posted Feb. 20th

Disney's Hollywood Studios posted Feb. 23rd

Downtown Disney and More posted Feb. 27th

Epcot posted March 6th

Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando posted March 13th

Epcot, Again posted March 20th

Disney Resorts and Celebration posted March 23rd

Once upon a time, two crazy friends took an 11-day vacation to Walt Disney World. Let's begin with day 9. It might not be so much as the beginning of the story itself but it's the start of day 9. This marked their 8 theme park visit since their arrival in Orlando. The excitement was still in full force but their feet and bodies were not. Sleep? Lisa slept through the nights getting 6-7 hours of rest. Yoli kept waking up, falling asleep, and waking up, and falling asleep, and repeat.

Forget the narration, it's too late for me to switch gears.

We set off in our matching Newbie and the Geek Take Walt Disney World shirts because we're awesome. As before, we drove to Magic Kingdom's entrance plaza but this time I followed the blue line to AAA Diamond Parking and voila! we wound up in Villains right near the front. In fact, we walked to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then set sail on the ferry. Yoli loved the ferry until the cold breeze turned her into a popsicle.

Our first order of business was to take a train ride all around the park. I desperately tried to keep my mouth shut so as not to tell Yoli it was going to stink in comparison to Disneyland's train ride. She figured it out. The difference in what you can see from the train in one park versus the other is huge. Back at the Main Street Station, I lost Yoli the second I disembarked. I went left. She went right and kept on chugging. Someone, please sell adult fuzzy backpacks with leashes.

Are they giving away turkey legs?

We strolled along Main Street taking photos and then headed straight to Fantasyland and into the expansion. Ahhhh. Finally, I got to see the sparkling new attractions' signs and wait times. Dude! I was not going to wait an hour to meet Belle or 90 minutes to maybe grab a sandwich. We kept going. Gaston! Where are youououou? Nowhere. We poked around Bonjour Village Gifts. I have to say the dinnerware would be good for entertaining. The area was super busy so we left and tried for Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid. It was down, under.

I wonder what kind of candy they give out on Halloween, perhaps wax lips, Teaberry gum or candy watches.

There's a wall separating princesses from circus folk so you have to back track and walk around to visit the rest of the expansion. The wait for Dumbo 1 and Dumbo 2 (What would Dr. Seuss say?) was too long and you can't play inside the circus tent without waiting in line, said the Cast Member who nearly made clowns cry. The Great Goofini is much like Gadget's Go Coaster at Disneyland so we bypassed it and decided to wait and meet Daisy and Minnie Mouse at Pete's Silly Sideshow. My feet hurt and the line barely moved after 10 minutes so we cut out, took a quick photo from the side and did some more browsing at Big Top Souvenirs. I tried to lure Yoli into a sugar high by offering her a cupcake but she declined and went outside to sit in the sun.

Gypsies are all the rage. Daisy should have her own reality show soon.

Lunch was served at Columbia Harbour House. The high-demand seats upstairs were open but my pal didn't know about them and sat elsewhere. Oh well, training takes time. With full tummies we visited the Country Bear Jamboree. I silently griped about some of the physical changes to the bears and their raccoon friend. Sometimes updates aren't for the better. Yoli was thrilled to see the bears again because the show closed forever to make way for Winnie the Pooh's attraction in Disneyland. Oh, I'd better not think about it or I'll become miserable.

We picked up some FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, ventured off to Tom Sawyer Island, and found a new spot to watch the parade. Also, if I point out, we avoided stairs as much as possible because our feet were in great pain. Plopped down just before the deck that faces Liberty Square, we watched the floats go by, waved at Guests, and enjoyed the sunshine.

Aladdin and I never came face to face on this trip. I'm going to blame Yoli and not poor timing.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for us. The line was long and moved a little slower than normal but Yoli didn't notice, she was busy playing with her phone and then once we inside, touching everything in arm's reach. I advised her that the drops are bupkis compared to those at Disneyland. She agreed. It was cool though, seeing what was the same and how the attractions differed from coast to coast. She's not a big Jungle Cruise fan like I am (hard to believe) but sacrificed some time to check out the ride. We had a great skipper whose name eludes me. To this day I love the guy who sang, Gene Wilder's scary tunnel song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

She actually stopped narrating and began posing for me. You had to be there.

Back to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for a visit to the wildest ride in the wilderness. We agreed this version is longer and thus has more drops and turns. That evening we also saw The Enchanted Tiki Room, flew on magic carpets, had dinner at Pecos Bills, revisited Hall of Presidents, and I got my ice cream cookie sandwich from Sleepy Hollow. In addition we went back Haunted Mansion.

Time to try New Fantasyland again. Lines were sooooo much shorter now. We waited 20 or so minutes for Enchanted Tales with Belle. The whole experience was cute and certainly different from any other attraction in the parks. I liked Lumiere and Wardrobe participating in the show. I would like to mention that Yoli nearly killed me at one point. We were seated inside the salon (or whatever the room is) and when Belle made her appearance I muttered "Eh". What do you want from me? I was still searching for Gaston!

Imagine if this took place at the Apollo. Now that would be lively.

As we approached Be Our Guest Restaurant and the stud guarding the doors, we were turned away. It was closed. Maaaan. He wouldn't even let us peek inside. Come to think of it, I'm surprised Yoli didn't touch him and try to sweet talk her way in. Wow, she must have been tired or I missed it. A quick stop at Gaston's for Yoli's night cap, hot chocolate and then we rounded off the Extra Magic Hours with a visit to Pooh, a ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway, and one last circle above Tomorrowland via the People Mover.

She's so happy to be anywhere but the 101, 405 or 5.

Main Street USA was deserted.

We bought Mouse Ears. I rocked mine from early evening on. Yoli sported hers later. Obviously, I'm way cooler.

Some final shopping was 100% necessary as we only had 1 more full day at Walt Disney World and we were somehow awake.

The sad walk out.

Next week I'll recap Epcot, our last full vacation day. The day we left we just lounged around until it was time to head to the airport. Get ready, the trip will be ending soon.

Newbie and the Geek bonus material can solely be found on my Facebook page.

March 28, 2013

Princess Merida

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Last year we saw the release of Brave , Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature. Princess Merida, the lead character quickly arrived in Disney theme parks as did merchandise supporting the film.

Like aiming at a far off bullseye, I shot this photo of Princess Merida at Magic Kingdom. Pretend I was running as I did it. It's all I've got for this week's Disney Pic of the Week - Brave.


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

March 29, 2013

Including Guests in Walt Disney World Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Continuing our tips for photographing in busy tourist attractions using Walt Disney World examples. When the parks are full of people, and it is a rare day when they are not these days, I just include them in the composition. People help to tell the story and add scale to whatever surrounds them.

Watching the Dream Along with Mickey show on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle with a few of my closest friends, I decided to include them. I stood up on the bench next to the Partner's Statue in the hub to get this photo.

Guests enjoy the Dream Along with Mickey show at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests enjoy the Dream Along with Mickey show in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/22, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

My niece and her family were visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time and stopped to marvel at the Tree of Life. I like this photo more than the posed one I took a few minutes later. They are involved with the Tree of Life as the parents and children look at all the animals on it.

A family seeing the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family seeing the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 22mm focal length.

While both of these photos would have been fine without the people, I feel including them enhanced the photos and created better stories.

March 31, 2013

Where in the World #274

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!

To all you Players who are celebrating: Happy Passover and Happy Easter!
Dayenu From Millan.Net

James Hoekzema, you saw Jim Henson at the Grand Floridian?! Wow!

Amber Slifer and Judy Simonsen, thank you for your wonderful notes!

Joy Ousterout, thank you for letting me know about the problem with your entry last week. I updated it with your name and put you in with the other winners! Just in time for your Disney trip!

Rob And April Vanderpool, I'm getting ready to go to Disney with you as we speak! Hold on: mickey ears Ready! Danielle Ciotti Harsley is tiny and won't take up much space: can we stop to pick her up?

Derek Carty, I'm sorry I lowered your estimation with me. From Millan.Net

Here was last week bonus tough Challenge:
 Where in the World Difficult

And here's the answer:
 Where in the World Difficult

One of the suspensions bridges on the Nature Trails in Oasis, Disney's Animal Kingdom. Barrie Brewer wanted to test the action settings on her camera and asked me to jump up and down on the bridge. Good times. :)

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #273

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

It's Miss Piggy dress as the Statue of Liberty at the fountain in front of Muppets 3D! My niece always gets us together for a family photo here! A lot of you said the same. :)

Herb Miller, I don't remember the scrolling sign that said, "K-E-R Are you ready? M-I-T That's a school in Massachusetts"! Is that still there?

Morgan M, coins thrown into all the Disney fountains are donated to charities such as employees' volunteer fund, Disney's Wildlife Conservancy fund, Quest Inc, etc.

EVERYBODY got this right!

Katie Bray was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Katie and all our winners this week! Kris Nixon, Wayne Chadourne, Chris Masse, Jason Skow, Janet Stavrides, Josh K, Paul Moore, Amber , Amanda Campbell, Brian Gallant, Stacie O, Stefanie Vandiver, Kathy Ripka, Bob Patterson, Jillian Domings, Tim Jeltes, Jennifer Shaw, Anita Jodouin, Karen Hunsinger, James Steele, The Woodruff's , Mary Davis, Mary Davis, Russ Morgan, Cheryl Chambers, The Parker Family, Mike Gillardi, Ken Clark, Doug Reichl, Vickie Smialkowski, Sharynne Smith, Kevin Scott, Blake Schmidt, Kim Mobley, Duskin Henard, Robert Graham, Kerrie Hogan, Scott Allemang, Scott Allemang, Sharon Gilbert, Melesia Love, James Schmidt, Mark Craver, Melissa Such, Axel Beer, Michael Tomczyk, Amber Henry, Dianne Parker, Bettina Muscara, Jennifer Harmon, Scott Precise, Sherri Pell, Emily Hudson, Cari Richards, Liz Moreau, Clinton Dickinson, Hoekzema Family, James hoekzema, Lee Deroia, Craig Lordan, Denise, Robert Hildebrandt, Brian Mcwithey, Andrew Pettit, Vera Williams, Jeff Griffin, Brian Nale, Chloe Mayhew, Karen Davis, Jennifer Saunders, Devin Wisman, Michelle Raimist, Dawn Hartson, Kellie Harpel, Deme Grabert, Dawn Hemmert, Christian Hitzinger, Michael Rudge, Candice Grimes, Hillary Waldroop, Herb Miller, Marguerite Garofalo, Trina Noggle, Heather Sabatino, Becky Delp, Karen Costa, Kate Nejman, Annisa Martin, Janet F, Kate Fischer, Brian Grabowski, Morgan M, Dave Cole, Jim Finley, Jodi Cook, Allison Dibiase, Janet Thorn, Chris Bauman, Brandy Andrews, Lisa Zitek, Matt Holley, Josh Carney, Scott Mitchell, Shannon Savoia, Zachary Ott, Anastasia Macneil, Karrie Duffey, Brian Miller, Pam Gallagher, Brian Mickle, Dee Dee Kenney, Phil Vickers, Steve Jordan, Keri, Tricia Noble, George Mundy Jr, Steve Jordan, Traci Mills, Antoinette Leblanc, Jerry Weldon, Salvatore Mangiacapre, Deb Gallo, Patrick Broaddus, Lizanne Fisk, Judy Simonsen, Hayley Valk, Michelle Boykin, Claire Gregory, Kristen Mccoy, Tricia Petty, Jim Thompson, Maryann Eckenrode, Mary Greger, Carla Nale, Mike Walter, Michael Barker, Lisa Fronheiser, Becky Norman, Ken Maikowski, Timothy Hutchinson, Lindsey S., Chuck Everson, Karen Reitz, Theresa Rucando, Scott Sangston, Brenda, Norma Lajoie, Lori Rienhardt, Evanna Huda, Carri Marotto, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maryann Romagnano, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Billie Jean Albolino, Courtney Payne, Doug Olson Family, Andrew Carrieri, Karen Hotchkiss, Rebecca Keenan, Jennifer Klek, Heather Hynes, Barclay Bakkum, Meredith Rule, Heather Friel, Jim Mcdermott, Nigel Mcquire, Mark Benton, Tim Johansen, Shelly Borella, Whitney M, Kate Kozlowski, Andrea Kruszewski, Deb Ragno, Veronica Upwood, Gerald Skanes, Mark Proper, Wendy Snelgrove, Clay Anthony, Jullie Pudem, Tinkerbellwells, Wayne Witherspoon, The Patterson Family, Chris, Linda College, Team Meeker, Nathalie Periard, Curtis Bille, Melissa Littman, Steve Knapp, Dave Freemyer, Jason Hocker, K Beasley, Al Desimone, Deb Desimone, Heather Pedulla, Kat Curtis, Caitlin Lewis, Cameron Lange, Nick Cristea, Karen Smith, Dennis, Jessica Iglesias, Matt Ciccone, Mike M., Erin Hammer, Ashley P., Diane Curfman, Olszak Family, Eric Enli, Stuart Hale, Sharon Powell, Jen Eacret, Monica Owens, Mary Beth Tarbet, Victoria T., Nathan York, Kara Cummings, Melody O'donnell, John & Rhonda Nottell, Patti Mccaffrey, Victoria Finnegan, Jen Cerce, Roger Vollmer, Lauren Thomas, Alex A, Mike Mondoux, The O'meara Family, Dave Carriere, Mike Rotkiske, Andy Schumacher, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Betsy Dross, Mickey Eckert, Mike Mondoux, Nicole Shuler, Betsy Dross, Ronald Delorey, John Pasqueralli, Sylvie, Ed Suscreba, Leach Family, Dsnymom14, Patty Carty, Mitchell Holmes, John Bickers, Becky Hosinger, Hobbes And Snorky, Kristi Strembicki, Patty Carty, Pollyanna Buff, Kris Blamphin, Sharon Dale, Ryan And Kerry A., Cindy Pink, Lynne Dunn, Tom Donnelly, Jan Rosato, Maggie Klotz, Lou Baker, Susie Howard, Zach Szymko, Brendan Abel, Joan Schroeder, Denise Castiglione, Lynette Michalos, Les Stewart, Paul Dickson, Rachel Kotwitz, Team Hill, The Perras Family, Chris Kelly, Michele Mongeon, Lorine Landon, Stefan Owens, Ladonna Tisdale, Julie And Kody Rider, Sarah Calvario, Madison Hovan, Kerry Mccaffrey, Larry Sprenkle, Annette Nuenke, Lynne Simpson, Luis Rodriguez, Bill Cudney, Kelly Cummings, Chris Schrider, Cathy Connors, Jennifer Bourg, Dwayne Fontenot, Derek Carty, Andy Hickey, Randi Balch, Theresa Maradei, Jenn Crosby, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Betsy Silvestri, Kathryn Perkins, The Hulse Family, Crystal Gelinas, Sue Anne Kennedy, Karen Ramirez, Cindy Rey, Bill Mckim, Les Whitten, Les Stewart, Maureen Handy, Bonnie Cummings, Carolyn Como, Sandra Edwards, Noah Schweizer, Kelli Gordon, Ainsley Poe, Jennifer Mercier, Jennifer Mercier, Diane Ramos, Rachel Hoover, John Hout, Al Sandal, Linda Grau, Elyssa H., Dan Diehm, Michelle Wilinski, Emily Watson, Michalski Girls, Sandra Loveless, Chris Kelly, Amber Slifer, Mark Franklin, Andrew Swiatowicz, Amy Scott, Double Family, Ken Rhinehart, Carrie Kwiat, Pam, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Eric Holmes, David B, Brian Sherwin, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Walter N. Clark, The Emich Family, Jackie Graebel, Jo Ann Bailey, Elaine Kleinhenz, Amy Letterman, Jill Strand, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Colin Sawyer, John Sheridan, Lindsay Kasawski, Screen Watson, Megan Krainski, Tom Koval, Joseph M. Zafia, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kyle Burdo, Dee Riccio, Tom Higbee, Shirley Garcowski, David Ballard, Lynn Torre, Bob Henriksen, Mackenzie D., Maryann Daly, Alan Mize, Carol Ney, Linda K. Ranatza, Emily Harper, Agnes Ciotti, Jennifer Bogdan, Erin Connell, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Linda Scrivano, Robert Wescovich, Josh Weiss, Heidi Goodhue, Tracy Discher, Karen Adamakis, Mike Haeberle, Pam Vanaustin, Angela Johnson, Vicki Edwards, Angel Diven, Ashley Hill, Robert P. Flaherty, Brent Hand, Judy Walker, Jeff Finger, Kerry Fox, Gary Bracknell, Elizabeth Johnston, Karen Genda, Joy Ousterout, Diane Batista, Gail H, Rob Blundin, Jane Johnson, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Chris Connors, Sandy Kanigowski, Dave Kanigowski, Pinder Family, John Paul Carnell, Dallas Boyer, and Jim Logue,. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________
Challenge #274: Where in the world is this?
 Where in the World #274
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, April 4th, 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!

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About March 2013

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

February 2013 is the previous archive.

April 2013 is the next archive.

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