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Photo TR: A Nice, Long Weekend at WDW


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Admit it--you never get sick of these Florida TRs! You pine for them, yearn for them! You count the days between them.

 

Or maybe you just ignore them--to each his or her own or to everyone their own or six for a quarter. Something like that.

 

Well, being as I knew some friends were planning to be at WDW from Feb. 7-14, I had a park hopper with five unexpired days on it, and there were plenty of good flight and room deals to be had, I decided that a long winter weekend at Disney World was just the ticket. So, I booked a room at the Regal Sun Resort across from Downtown Disney, which was a pretty good deal at $80/night via Orbitz (not so good if you paid the rate posted on the door--$369/night). JetBlue had good deals flying between Richmond, Va., and Orlando, too.

 

So, I had nice, refreshing, low-key stay at WDW, hanging out with Erik, Andrew, Matt and his parents, and the Alveys. There was no set agenda, other than some priority seatings for meals. Everyone just did whatever they felt like doing, without a lot of rushing about. I didn't even unpack my camera the first day.

 

So, on the second day, it was off to the Magic Kingdom to meet Erik and Andrew, and later Bryan, Adam, Matt, Robb, Elissa, and Kristin. I managed to do a few things there I'd never bothered with before--namely, the Astro Orbitor and Tomorrowland Speedway.

 

Here's look at the day.

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I have remembered to keep my distance from the car ahead. More to come.

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Phew! That's better! Disengage Shatner mode!

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Aghh! The forces! Can't . . . take . . . much . . . more . . . blacking . . . out . . .

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Andrew gets to drive all by himself. He is now a man!

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Typical Disney vehicular traffic.

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OK, who actually "won" this race? I mean, they change drivers after every circuit, so how can anyone really "win"? These questions plague me so!

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May as well take a spin on the Speedway while the line is still short.

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Pull up, Andrew! Or you'll be sucked into the gravitational pull of Jupiter!

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Uh oh! Looks like Erik is locking phasers on me!

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As is Andrew.

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Erik is now officially certified as a "pilot."

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And now, the Astro Orbitor--up on a platform as God intended it to be.

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It's Erik Johnson--in space!

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One last look at the old loading station.

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"My, God! It's full of balls!"

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First stop, Space--need to get in a few rides before they shut down for rehab. (I understand that SM has a serious Vicodin addiction problem.)

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So, Florida castle! Think you're so big! Well, you don't look so big now! Do ya? Huh?

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Space Mountain from the Monorail. I generally prefer the California version of this ride, but it was running so well this trip, I can understand why others might think the opposite.

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Matt dropped me off at the TTC. Sorry, Scott--this is as close as I've got to a Monorail photo.

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Part 2 of this TR is brought to you by the Queen Anne Dairy Snack of Williamsburg, Va.--the Colonial Capitol's very first fast-food restaurant! Yes, George Washington bought his frosties here!

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Little did that Silly Old Bear know that Toad Hall came with a terrible curse! Arise, Toad! Wreck horrible zombie vengeance upon Pooh, the usurper! (Is it just me, or does it look like Toad is flipping people off in this picture?)

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Haunted Mansion kicks butt after it's rehab--it's the best version of this ride next to Phantom Manor.

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"Of course, there are a few restrictions, and we'll own your immortal soul aftterward--but a cartoon monster may use your joke!" (I kind of like this show, actually.)

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"Welcome to Milf! Please share your jokes with us!"

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Erik stops to pay homage to his most favoritest Disney character ever.

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"I say, young man! That camera angle is most unseemly!"

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"Better make that five restraining orders."

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"Hmm--looks like I'll have to swear out four restraining orders, KT! That cup keeps following us!"

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"That's right, KidTums! Daddy is going to swear out a restraining order against that man as soon as we stop spinning."

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Yeah, this is about how I looked and felt after riding the California version when I was in high school. Only without the benefit of being stoned, like the Doormouse.

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Well, here's a ride I definitely won't be experiencing.

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Er, Bryan, we're here for Mickey's Philharmagic. Save the come-hither look for the chicks at Buffalo Wild Wings.

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After we met up with Bryan, Adam, Robb, Elissa, and Kristin, guess what was next? Yes, the Disney-characterless version of Small World.

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Durn--hit submit instead of preview. Three more shots for y'all.

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Bryan takes a "sad-and-pathetic" ride on Space. Next up is the Studios park.

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Spot Cameron in this shot. (He's small, and kind of blurry.)

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Behold, the Air Hockey table of flying doom! The puck really goes a'flyin' on this thing.

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Disney's Hollywood Studios--I guess I'll get used to that name eventually.

 

After a true man's breakfast of cold strawberry Pop Tarts and tasteless in-room coffee, Matt and his parents picked me up for a cool day of goofing around at the Studios park.

 

Part 3 of this TR is brought to you by The Write Place--an office-supply store in Williamsburg, Va., that went out of business years ago. Oops!

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You know, I never get enough of this preshow. Yeah, I'll never get tired of watching this one. Not that I have any choice. More to come from the Studios.

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Hey, Matt--don't you find this soothing? I know I do.

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I'd never noticed these goofy colored lights in this room before--are they new?

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Yes, we are all "artistes."

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We took a ride on RnR while waiting for our chance to grab ToT Fast Passes.

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"Yeah, we're 'streetmosphering' all over the place for you good people."

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Meet Matt's parents--the Jacobs.

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Matt clobbered me--but we both won beavers!

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But not until you reach that "special age."

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Yep--had a Mr. Potato Head, too.

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Yeah, I had this entire set of Viewmaster slides when I was a kid.

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Look! It's Robb's Wet-Dream Land!

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Hmm--could this "hot set" be the location of Disney's Naked Adventure? (Actually, no.)

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"Ten-hut! Your objective is to obtain Fast Passes for Midway Mania, then wait in the stand-by line! Is that clear?"

 

"Yes sir!"

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. . . this big, stupid hat! Which you'll just have to get used to! It's our icon, and we're stickin' with it!"

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. . . the original and still best Tower of Terror, and . . .

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. . .Crossroads of the World, . . .

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. . . Disney's Hollywood Adventure! Home of the . . .

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"Welcome! Now open your bags! Feet back and spread 'em! Prepare for the cavity search! Oh, and have a magical day at . . .

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Part 4 of this TR is brought to you by The Layfayette--fine dining near the campus of William & Mary. At least until about ten years ago. It's currently a Chinese buffet, but they refused to buy this space.

 

More from the Studios.

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. . . the Swine Trek! More to come from the Studios.

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It still has the best preshow of any of them, along with . . .

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I think Muppetvision is still the best of WDW's 3D movies.

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Hmm--it appears that the Force is not as strong with you as you thought.

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Can you guess who?

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We did a little birthday shopping for a particular TPR member in the gift shop.

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. . . performing all sorts of audio-animatronic perversion!

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Yes, there are phallic droids everywhere . . .

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Now, this set is "hot"!

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Little help? Please?

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I would like to suggest a sponsor, though.

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I have serious misgivings about this; then again, I'm probably not the best audience for this show.

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Ladies, have no fear--"Disney's Hollywood Stud" is here!

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"I refuse to drink anything from a mouse's butt."

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Who's more disturbing--Chuck or the skull?

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Who's more frightening--Matt or the dragon?

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And here is the most horrifying figment of them all!

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Hmm--looks like strange gremlins have followed us from the Twilight Zone.

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Our drop into the Fifth Dimension.

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Look--Stephen King's evil twin is in the bolier room!

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I have a question: Is William Shatner really flexing his "bargainus maximus" on Priceline?

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Hmm--must be the maid staff's decade off.

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Matt is getting all mysteriouso on us.

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Now, it's off to the "good" Tower, where Hidden Mickeys dwell.

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Remember--they don't say "Hanes," until Aerosmith says they say "Hanes."

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Part 5 of this TR is brought to you by the cornfield that used to be on the corner of Monticello Ave. and Ironbound Rd. in Williamsburg, Va. It was bulldozed in favor of New Town, which was way too classy to buy any space in my TR.

 

Meanwhile, back at the Studios . . .

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Yep--still the king of the Studios. Epcot is next.

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One more ride on ToT.

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Yeah, the hat is kind of pretty at night.

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It was dark when we left.

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Er, KT, you're running away from Woody. You're supposed to run from Jafar!

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But Matt is Woody!

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I'm Jafar--so watch out!

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OK, now just who is a character here?

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Sigh! Once upon a time, an animator worked here.

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KT was more interested in her "running on the concrete slab" ERT.

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We all wandered over to the Magic of Disney Animation, where we were astounded to see a poster for "Shuttlecock: The Motion Picture."

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Sigh! I miss DisneySea.

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This is the most disturbing naked robot yet. It has the lips and waist of Angelina Jolie!

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"Today, on 'You Are There,' the opening of WDW."

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They thawed out Walt, who explained this new-fangled "Florida project" to us. (Actually, the freezing of Walt is an urban myth. He's actually freeze-dried--you just have to add water.)

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You know, the "Dancing Man" looks like one freaky little ventriloquist dummy. Really, this thing is nightmare fuel.

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And here it is--THE actual California castle! They can haul it around on a fifth-wheel trailer behind a moped!

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The Alveys went to Playhouse Disney, so the rest of us checked out the official Uncle Walt museum (which is pretty cool).

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OK, Disney Dorks--where in the Studios will you find this?

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I think I'll take out a second mortgage and see the stage version of this classic animated feature.

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You know, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

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I had some time to kill before meeting Robb and Elissa at Mama Melrose's, so I ambled around the backlot a bit. Glad I'm not climbing that hill.

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It all looks like everbody was having a great time there, Chuck.

 

And the KTums is running! They grow up so fast, hmmm?

 

And yes, I miss Disney Sea, too.

 

Looking forward to your trip to The 'Cot.

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Looks like a great weekend in Orlando with everyone. Have to agree with Matt, those "half a charactor" mugs with legs aren't something I'd drink out of, however the different funky themed mickey dolls were cool.

 

Little help? Please?

Well done AT-AT joke as well as the 2001 or 2010 reference.

 

Thanks for the entertaining TR thus far and looking forward to the rest.

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Part 6 of this TR is brought to you by Drachen Fire, the Williamsburg roller coaster that has served as an eagle habitat, scrap metal, and now as a Howl-o-Scream maze. Remember, when in Williamsburg, don't ride Drachen Fire, because, well, you can't.

 

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. This installment marks the last day of my long Florida weekend. Work and a bit of stomach flu awaited me upon my return, but let's not dwell on that. After a nice hot breakfast of toasted blueberry Pop Tarts and Starbuck's coffee (yes, much better than the free in-room swill), I headed out to the world of tomorrow, Epcot, with Matt and his parents.

 

Join us, won't you?

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"Yeah, I like Surly beer--what's it to ya?"

 

Wait! There's more!

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Yeah, my future sucks. May as well batter my chest to pieces.

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Hmm--I pretty sure KT would rock at the "Jounce and Squirm" test.

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Well, being as my future is so bleak, I may as well volunteer to be a Crash Test Dummy: "So, God, shuffled his feet . . ."

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" . . . and the end--sorry, pal."

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"Your abusive attitude toward your wife and children will force them to beat you senseless and abandon you in a den full of rabid badgers."

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"Here's your future, like it or not, pal."

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God, why is it taking so long to "build my future"? Oh, because the ride is SLOW MOVING.

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So . . . very . . . SLOW MOVING. (OK, I kid the big ball, but I do like this ride a lot. Their use of the hyphen is inconsistent, though.)

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My God, it's so SLOW MOVING that you just might overshoot the ride vehicle and end up at Disney's Boardwalk if you're not careful.

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Now don't let the swiftness of the line fool you! This ride is very SLOW! Exercise caution!

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And now a word of caution: This is a SLOW-MOVING attraction!

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"Matt, your little friend is very nice, but sort of annoying."

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That being said, I actually like Soarin' quite a bit. It's the most relaxing "thrill" ride ever devised and the music is pretty good.

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See those screens on the left? Now and then, they lead guests in interactive games, which involve much waving of arms. This will either 1) help pass the time while you're waiting for 80+ minutes later in the day or 2) allow you to take flight and soar to California yourself.

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. . . Soarin', which still pulls ginormous lines.

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First stop, the Land for . . .

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A nice, buck-naked Spaceship Earth greeted us.

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Part 7 of this TR is brought to by Rocky's Ice Cream, a Williamsburg tradition, now no longer serving at two locations. Too bad--their apricot and apple-pie flavors ruled!

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"OK, I know Daddy is scary, Kristin, but we need you to smile for the nice Photo-Pass person." One more set of photos to go.

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Aw, and to think I missed riding Journey into Imagination this trip. Too bad.

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You know, it really is kind of tough to take a non-blurry picture of Kristin.

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"Adios, amigos! We hope we brought a smile to your face as you confronted your final destiny!"

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"Tee hee! I laugh at your mortality! For I am DEATH!"

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"Si--we beg for the release of sweet death!"

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Yes, on the Gran Fiesta Tour, you ride around on boats, watch cartoons, and confront the inevitability of your own mortality.

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I'd never noticed these on the Gran Fiesta Tour before, until Elissa pointed them out.

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Of course, Patterson, Calif., didn't have a big Aztec pyramid. Mexico does have the prettiest pavillion at Epcot, I think.

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This reminds me of my childhood in central California--it really does.

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Help! We're being stalked by geeks on Segways!

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Funny TR, glad to see all your pics.

So you skipped AK this trip?

Yep. I like that park, though. Just wasn't in the cards.

 

How was the hotel overall?

OK for $80 night. Nice lobby and pool area, average room.

 

Is that one pic with the flags in Mama Melrose's?

Nope--but it's nearby.

 

Part 8 of this TR is brought to you by Bodine's, a very overrated BBQ joint in Newport News, Va., that is deservedly out of business.

 

And one other thing--thanks for setting up all the priority seatings, Elissa. Mama Melrose's and the Chinese restaurant at Epcot were great!

 

And another thing--thanks to Andrew, Erik, and the Jacobs' clan for hauling me around. And to the other Eric Johnson joining us at Carrabas's the first night.

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Well, I had to cut out early to catch my airport shuttle at the Regal Sun. A word of advice: If you have to go from Epcot to Downtown Disney, better allow at least an hour. You have to change buses at a resort to do it. Thanks for reading.

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"I demand 'walking on the curb' ERT!"

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Aghh! Blurry, out-of-focus jellyfish can sting just like sharp, in-focus jellyfish!

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Yeah, The Living Seas with Nemo and friends is "just swell." (Sorry--got nothin' else here. I did check out Turtle Talk for the first time. It's a great little show.)

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One of the highlights of the trip: Watching a sea gull dive bomb some poor woman in Fantasyland and steal two French fries off her tray! She didn't drop the whole tray of food, which was pretty impressive.

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Time to look for that stupid fish again.

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"Look, Mom! I'm an Epcot TV star!"

"That's nice, dear."

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Pretty much as you do in real life--just sillier.

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Ever wondered what you'd look like as a character in a video game?

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. . . Innoventions!"

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"Forward, ho, Daddy! Onward to . . .

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It sounds like the Rio Del Tiempo was replaced in the Mexico pavilion, si? That was there when I was last there, and while I remember it having a rather annoying song, thankfully I can't remember the song now!

 

Eric

 

Si--for at least two years now, I think.

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Admit it--you never get sick of these Florida TRs!

 

It's true, I never get sick of WDW TRs. And as always Chuck, your captions make them even more entertaining.

 

I didn't get a chance to ride Space Mountain the last time I was there, but I hope to get a few rides in next time before the rehab. Glad to see that it's still in decent shape.

 

Am I crazy (don't answer that...) or did the stars on the DHS hat used to be white?

 

I actually picked up a few of those gremlin-looking Mickey figures when I was in Disneyland. Unfortunately, you don't know which ones you're getting until you open them, but I ended up with the best ones anyway - Figment, Epcot, and Monorail. The Kermit one is also kinda cute.

 

Anyway, great TR - looks like you guys had fun!

 

Renee

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Aw, and to think I missed riding Journey into Imagination this trip. Too bad.

Do I detect sarcasm, or is it just imaginaaaation? Well done and always a good read.

 

Nay, to answer your question: If you're on THIS board, then a resounding YES! (And it's also the best way to be.) Well, do you really want [looks around] Normies?)

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As always, great PTR Chuck!!

 

Though, you do need to work on those "KT in motion" pics!

 

I'm beginning to think that my next PTR, I should just take the pics and let you do the captions. Could make for one very interesting read!!

 

 

JJ

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As always, great Photo TR Chuck!!

 

Though, you do need to work on those "KT in motion" pics!

 

I'm beginning to think that my next Photo TR, I should just take the pics and let you do the captions. Could make for one very interesting read!!

 

 

JJ

 

I could become TPR's "Caption Whore."

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Here are a few other pictures that relate to this thread.

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And we finish up with a final Tea Cup photo.

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Tea Cup Madness.

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Can anyone guess what this is from.

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I have two of these credits.

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Don't fly into Space Mountain Chuck.

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Too many characters.

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Rodents!

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It has been a long while since I have been to MK at opening.

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I thinkk this was on the Mexican boat ride.

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Yeah, the photo thingy on Spaceship Earth finally was working for me.

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No more boobs!

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No sleeping! We have rides to go check out.

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Totem Pole.....Check.

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I finally got to check out the Wilderness Lodge.

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Rejected!!

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It is true. All good ideas are though of during lunch.

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Do you see the lift hill?

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Robb tries the explain to us the "Imagineering" of Lima Bean Mountin.

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I still call this place MGM. I simply can't get used to the new name.

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There is a new Florida campaign to try to get people to eat more fruit and veggies.

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