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Photo TR: Matt heads to WDW


mcjaco
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I just got back from a week long vacation to Walt Disney World. My last visit was in August of 2002, and I was excited to ride Mission: Space, POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Expedition Everest. Of course, there's always my favorite stand bys, Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain.

 

My wife made me plan this trip around the Food & Wine Festival as she's not a huge them park fan, but loves her food, and especially her wine. She's also an avid runner and signed up for the Walt Disney World Race for the Taste 10K. It was exceptionally well organized, even for the bystander like me. The race started at the Wide World of Sports complex and ran through MGM and Epcot, finishing under Spaceship Earth all before the parks were open. She said it was one of the coolest things she's ever done.

 

After the race we headed over to Typhoon Lagoon for some R&R and chilling out. The crowds were extremely light for a Sunday before Columbus Day. I hoped it was a sign of things to come. Monday we headed to Epcot to check out the food...and wine. Day one at the parks was also the beginning of Expedition Soren. I had been told he was off Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I was sure I find him Monday....no such luck. Oh well, the rest of the week awaits.

 

I filmed more than shot pictures the first two days so here's what I've got thus far. More pictures to come shortly from the rest of the trip.

 

I will have these all up today, so hold comments until I'm done....please.

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Soren????

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Mmmm, tasty!

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Off to Sam Adams. It was the first of many stops to Sam on this trip.

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My favorite park awaits. I have been for far too long.

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Why we really came here.

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My wife ran a personal best! Way to go, let's go stuff ourselves now.

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Race to the Taste Start line....8AM on a Sunday, yuck.

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OK, Tuesday, off to Animal Kingdom. We pretty much ran through this park when we were here last time. We went through so quick, that we missed Dinosaur. Upon entering the park, I was told that my ticket wasn't valid....strange, I just went to Typhoon Lagoon and Epcot on it....what gives? The CM that sold the ticket sold me up for a Under 9 pass. I knew it sounded to cheap. D'oh! I had to go back through the security check in and over to Guest Relations. In a matter of minutes I was back in line with my new ticket, and more importantly they didn't charge me the differerence!

 

I was determined to get at least two rides in at Everest, and I managed three. Crowds were light all week, with the wait being around 40 minutes for Stand By. Some random gentleman handed us his Fast Passes for Everest as we walked up. We were on our way.

 

Simply put, Everest rocks. The themeing for the queue is fantastic (each queue is little different), as is the whole area surrounding Everest. The Yeti is the most impressive piece of audianimatronics in any of the parks. It's simply a sight to behold. Three rides, and I ended coming back later in the week for three more.

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One more shot of Everest for good measure.

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Mickey and Pluto on safari....I think they were lost, they drove around all day.

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Another exclusive TPR Everest photo!!!

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Sadly, Christie Brinkley was not in line today....

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Holy crap! It's the Yeti!

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Awesome queue themeing.

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Everest is quite impressive even as you get closer.

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There she is.....come to Butthead....

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The monkeys here were really loud.

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Scenery like this, is making AK one of my favorite Disney parks.

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Exclusive photo warning!!! Tree of Life!!!

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Wednesday we were off to the Magic Kingdom. First up was Pirates: Dead Men Tell No Tales. My first ride through, I was unsure of the changes. I kind of missed the old Yo Ho, Yo Ho-ing. The Davey Jones effect had both my wife and I look at each other in terror.....the terror that it looked like we were going to get soaked! It's very cool. The AAs of Jack Sparrow are also well done. As mentioned on someone elses TR, I thought Barbosa looked a little too big for the ship. It was kind of strange....and that he was the only one on the ship.

 

The rest of the afternoon included the usual, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Small World, Peter Pan (my personal favorite). With the light crowds and multiple rides, we even went to Hall of Presidents. Don't ask, my wife is a political fiend, I just go along for the ride.

 

Humurously, I could only get us dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern. I had no idea that it was a character dinner. So, we spent the evening with Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and two rodents of unusual size. The food was great and the whole experience, even the fact that we were the only people minus children in the place, was a blast.

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Right before the Wishes fireworks. A nice way to end the evening.

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The only time Elissa wishes she was me.

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My wife...ain't she a hottie!

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It's dinner time. Goofy cooks a mean turkey.

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Rodents on parade!

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Last time my wife kicked my arse. Not so, this time. I also got none the rest of the trip after gloating.

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You are a strange and silly little man.

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No trip is complete without the Space Mountain credit.

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The crane disappeared. Again, this is an exclusive photo.

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I hear they have room for one more haunt....any takers?

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I once rode this 22 times in a day. Still can't get enough!

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We got to ride with a friendly (very talkative) southern man...how fitting!

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Arrr, I've got me pirate gear for next years "talk like a pirate day.!

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Nice new themeing. I miss the parrot out front though...

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Seriously, how long does it take to get the Happiest decorations down???

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Thursday we were off to MGM. I'm not to fond of the park anymore. After ToT and RnR, there's really nothing that gets me too excited. My wife wanted to check out the Lights, Motors and Action show. Part of the 10K course went through the bleachers. It was pretty cool. Although it rained right before our show so they had to slow it down and cut out the jetski portion.

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Final shot of ToT, and my favorite one taken.

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Am I good at Exclusive shots, or what?

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5 minute wait. Perhaps a refresh is needed???

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I found these placards quite funny. The bottom suggestion is not followed at all.

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Nice show. It's certainly more fresh than Indiana Jones is.

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My wife's favorite. She's giggles just at the sight of Beaker. It's quite funny to watch her.

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Again, I present a exclusive photo of ToT.

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Sunset Blvd is still cool.

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Friday, back to Epcot. It was off to sample as much food and adult beverages as we could.

 

Earlier in the week, I rode Test Track, and it was running quite poorly. There was no sound for the first half of the ride with the exception of the one dude continually saying, "Alright." Over and over and over again. We hopped over there again, and I went alone as my wife wanted to purchase candy (this is key to the story). This time the sound was on but as we reached the hairpin turns, the sound crapped out again, and we crept up the hills. Entering the third turn the vehicle stopped. We ended up sitting there for thirty minutes listening to the usual maintenance schpiels. Sudddenly all the lighting went on and we wer told that a CM would be by shortly to help us out of our vehicles. I ended up walking half of Test Track with the lights on and down some back stairway. It was almost as cool as Space Mountain with the lights on. Guess where my camera was? With my wife.....typical.

 

We rode pretty much everything. I can't for the life of me understand why Soarin' is so well liked. I thought it was short, unispiring and not altogether exciting. I did like the changes to the Land. The Seas with Nemo was doing soft openings all week, as per my typical luck, we missed them all. It looked pretty cool though.

 

Expedition Soren took an unusual turn on our way to Germany. My wife ran off to fill her water bottle when I looked up and saw Wes, Dan, EBL and the Westcoaster crew. It was cool finally meeting some TPR members in person. They were off to meet Erik Johnson and we were off to find Soren. Which finally happened! Soren was busy playing with dolls (see Wes' TR), but talked with us for at least a half an hour. He's got some great behind the scenes stories, so find him!

 

Upon stopping by American Adventure, we arrived real early for the next show. We sat off in the corner, as both of us have seen the Voice of Liberty, and thought someone should get those seats. A CM came over and asked us if we wanted to be the 1st Family for the next show, as part of the the Wishes celebration. We got to go up to the upper level where they had "reserved seats" to watch the Voices , and we were allowed into the show prior to everyone, and intorduced to the audience as the first family. It was a neat little treat.

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Canada, O my Canada.....we will meet tomorrow for dinner.

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Test Track....why must you continue to taunt me???

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Check out the guy on the chairs on the left. This was a cool little street show.

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The ducks by England and Canada beat me up for my baklava.

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First in. We picked front and center.

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Different view. These guys and gals always impress.

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Here's the certificate you get.

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Little did we realize, Wishes happen here too!

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Italy, the most half though out pavillion in World Showcase.

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Mission accomplished! Mr. Sinise would be proud!

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Soren???

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The wife shows off her heritage.

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What do they say about the size of a guy's nose???

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You are not the virst to pass this vay, nor vill you be the last.

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Must resist, or I'll get that stinking song stuck in my head.....

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We're baaaaack.

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Saturday, our final day. I was sad that it was ending, but I was starting to get a little winded. I also found out I need to seriously get walking before the Midwest trip. My feet were finally starting to get to me.

 

Saturday we spent at the pool at our timeshare and then back over to Epcot for our final dinner at LeCellier. I also wanted to get some night shots of Epcot. I've loved the lighting since I was a kid.

 

In a ridiculous turn of events, I have a business convention this week in Orlando. So, I flew home today just to fly back tomorrow morning. Somehow I managed to get an extra day on my ticket.....

 

This is it. Feel free to comment after these. Thanks for looking!

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My final parting shot. This week was a blast!

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That horrid wand....is cool at night.

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I think Imagination is quite photogenic at night. Needs more figment though.

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LeCellier. I doesn't get any better than this.

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Gary calls, even in the late evening hours....."Wes"

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I love sunset at all the parks.

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I'm prepared for dinner, eh.

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Our view. We got to listen to some horrible karaoke the night before.

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What the hell were my rodents wearing? It looks like he was just in a bar fight or something and got stabbed in the stomach and has gauze all over him now!

 

I think they were supposed to be aprons. The whole thing was very unsanitary. Only Goofy and Minnie were fully clothed. Pluto had nothing on but his collar.

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