Tag Archives: Orlando Do-Over 2012

Orlando Do-Over: Day 2, more fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1150This is the fifth in a series of β€œdo-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

Joy’s husband Al arrived at the park and we were soon on our way into It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Don’t you just love getting goosed by a gang of stampeding insects? πŸ˜‰ We proceeded from there to the Yak & Yeti takeout counter, where Joy and I were virtuous and ordered salads. Al, however, had his heart set on a turkey leg, which he could find in the vicinity of Dinoland. So he departed while we waited on line, and then we all met up at a table he’d staked out for our collective benefit. We decided that we’d go check out Dinosaur after lunch.

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Once every shred of lunch had been demolished (hey, that apple with peanut butter was many hours ago!), we ambled up to Dinosaur only to find that the ride was “101” – that’s Disney-speak for “it’s down”. Disappointed, we decided to proceed to Nemo, and as luck would have it, the audience was being seated for the next show.

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Finding Nemo: THE MUSICAL is really satisfying. It’s got a decent libretto and a great score. I keep wondering when a full-blown, two-act Broadway musical is coming. I just know it would be an awesome hit. It made me cry the first time I saw it (warning: that’s a link to a long story, and yes all those pictures are of me! :) )

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On our way back from Nemo, we cut through Asia and stopped to watch the siamangs play – talk about going out on a limb! I don’t believe we saw any of the “blonde” siamangs this time; only the black ones were out and about.

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It was time to go for a safari ride. Miraculously, there was only a 10 minute standby line – unheard of! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the line for the Kilimanjaro Safari that short. We sped through the queue and in no time, we were seated in the very last row of our “Simba 1” jeep. The last row is a good news/bad news type thing. The bad news is, it’s a VERY bumpy ride. The good news is, if you miss the shot you can still turn around, camera in hand, for a second chance, unobstructed by the heads of other guests.

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One of the white rhinos is with child! I didn’t catch when she is expecting, only that she IS expecting. This is exciting. I know there have been white rhino births at Disney before, but I’ve somehow missed them as tykes. I’m going back in May, for a conference; maybe she will have had her youngster by then and I can get a glimpse!

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Our jeep had an unscheduled slowdown; an ostrich placidly goose-stepped before us, paying us no nevermind, just meandering with an almost Zen-like tranquility. Eventually, he veered off to parts of the savannah where the jeep doesn’t need to follow, and we were able to finish our tour of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

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We left Harambe and made our way over and around several of the paths that ring the Tree of Life. We eventually found the back of the kangaroo enclosure, where you can see them up close. Kangaroos are one of those marvels of the animal world that look like they were put together with spare parts – part deer, part rat (the tail) part… I dunno, moose maybe? Truly fascinating to watch.

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Can’t do the Tree of Life walk without stopping to set a spell at my favorite mediation spot. There’s a little stone bench opposite this turtle, and you can sit and listen to the nearby waterfall and contemplate all the carvings. We sat for some time, pointing out different animals to one another. It’s a nice place to take a break in this park.


NEXT TIME: An evening out in Downtown Disney




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Orlando Do-Over: Day 2, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1130This is the fourth in a series of β€œdo-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

The next morning, I did something unconscionable; necessary, but unconscionable. Through the miracle of the hotel wake-up call, I arose at 6:00 am, struggled into some clothes, and stumbled down to the lobby for free coffee. Back to the room I went, fixed myself an organic apple smeared with peanut butter, and sat down at the computer to work for two hours. That’s right, work. I’m currently an independent consultant, and I was on a deadline, which would not be met if I didn’t put in a few hours each day slaving away on an epic technical report. So I worked for two hours, hit the shower and then hit the road, with a stop in between for another free cup of coffee (it’s actually not bad for free coffee – also, free-trade!).

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It was past 9:30 AM when I arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but apparently it was still too early for some. Here in the Oasis, the black swan slumbers persistently, despite a throng of gawkers passing by on their way into the park.

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As I made my way along the path that goes up the right side of the Oasis, I spotted these tiny lantern-like flowers blooming on a shrub. I tried to find the plant in my Audubon app, but I’m not too good at that yet so I don’t know the name.

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As it turns out, there’s construction happening on the right side of the Oasis, and the path proved impassable. Blocking the way were those familiar walls that declare activity on behalf of our future enjoyment, peppered with Walt quotes. Here’s one of my favorites; I’m a do-er, just like Walt :)

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I texted my friend Joy, who was already in the park. We agreed to meet by It’s Tough To Be A Bug, and I found her there, waiting in line to have her photo taken with Flik. We proceeded to Expedition Everest. I have video of our terrifying trip through the wilds of the Tibetan mountains. We both screamed quite a bit. The amazing thing is that I was able to hold on to the phone the entire time. I will upload the video to YouTube; in fact, I think I shall go start that now. Hold that thought…

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Although we had met earlier at It’s Tough To Be A Bug, we did not actually partake of the show until Joy’s husband Al showed up in the park. Joy and I spent some time stalking the otters for a bit; they seemed to be taking their cue from the black swan, and remained in a snoozing pile while we pleaded and cajoled for them to come on over and play. At some point, one of them looked up when I whistled, but he wasn’t interested in abandoning the pile and soon settled down again. *sigh*


Next: Lunch, and fish are friends, not food πŸ˜‰



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Orlando Do-Over: Day 1 dinner and a movie

Β© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1120This is the third in a series of β€œdo-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

We left off last time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, pretty much convinced that we hadn’t found the droids we were looking for. By the time we were done with Star Wars, we were pretty hungry. In my last post, I think I missed the part where we visited the Muppets 3D attraction, which is always good for a chuckle or two no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. I get a kick out of Beeker, always meeping around. *MEEP!*

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Dinner was at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. I had never been there before; I was a sci-fi virgin! The restaurant is laid out like the parking lot of an outdoor drive-in movie theater, complete with speaker on the “window” of your vehicle. There are tables built into the “cars” and you sit in the seats and eat drive-in fare such as hamburgers and club sandwiches. All the while, you’re in the semi-darkness with the majority of the light coming from the flickering drive-in movie screen before you. And all it plays are coming attractions for late 50s/early 60s monster movies and newsreels with odd stories. My friends and I grew up watching many of these movies on TV after school; if you are from the NY metropolitan area, you will remember the days of The 4:40 Movie, too. Sometimes there were themed weeks, such as Planet Of The Apes Week, or perhaps Gidget Week – and, yes, Monster Movie Week, where many of the films featured a Japanese cast that pointed to the sky in abject terror a lot, shouting things in English while their lips moved in a different language. We look back and laugh now, but at the time, Godzilla and Mothra were da bomb.

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A small amount of light came from a narrow strip above the “table” in the back seat; it’s just enough light so you can find your fork and knife, which looked sort of still-life artsy to me, lying there in the shadows. So here’s an attempt at an artsy still-life. Not bad for an iPhone LOL πŸ˜‰

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It was dark by time we emerged from the diner; we were well into the second loop of monster movie screams and newsreel strangeness. The Big-Ass Hat (BAH) was aglow with twinkling stars and magic; we were all tired. I’d been awake a long time and had driven a long way, so I was due for a nice, long sleep. We took the tram to my car and I dropped my friends at their hotel, then sped off to my own, where I had absolutely no trouble falling into a deep sleep.


Next: A WILD TIME!





 

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Orlando Do-Over: Day 1 wanderings

Β© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1111This is the second in a series of “do-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

When last you left me, I was standing in the parking lot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, awaiting my chariot. No, really, the tram LOL πŸ˜‰

First order of business was my new park pass, and then I found myself sauntering up the boulevard. I left a message for my friends Joy and Al, and started browsing the shops.

The sky was a lovely shade of blue, and I snapped a photo of Mickey’s backside at Crossroads Of The World.

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Now, a guy I know owns an umbrella cockatoo named Lexie – or, more accurately, Lexie the umbrella cockatoo owns a guy I know! – and he’s got this little Lucite-type carrier for traveling and such. We kid around that it’s actually bullet-proof, and we call it Lexie’s “pope-mobile”, so I had to snap a picture of this toy from Disney’s CARS 2, and send it to Lexie. I’m sure he got a kick out of it πŸ˜‰

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I found my friends in front of the animation courtyard, and after a bunch of hugging and exclaiming (I have not seen them since October 2010), we set out to do some touring. Toy Story Mania was a 70 minute wait and Fast Pass “sold out”. We grabbed a Fast Pass for Star Tours; while waiting for it to mature, we did One Man’s Dream. Inside the exhibit with all the models of the resorts, a Cast Member told us to examine the model of Tokyo Disneyland for “the world’s largest Hidden Mickey”. Sure enough, we all spotted it – easy to do with a bird’s eye view! Taking a photo of it without a ladder was a bit difficult, but you will spot it too, I am sure.

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We also took in The American Idol Experience. A woman named Jenny won the round that we saw. She had a great voice and her delivery was very polished. This, however, is not Jenny. This is the dude they send out in the beginning to fire up the crowd and coach them on how to react to the judges (boo them when they criticize).

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There is nothing going on in the sound studio now, and the Cast Member we asked didn’t seem to think a new attraction would be coming in any time soon. They weren’t even playing Radio Disney like they used to – when did they stop that? I took a picture of the neon tower anyway, just because I like it.

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Finally, our Fast Passes for Star Tours matured, and we encountered some droids, but they were not the droids we were looking for. Rats. πŸ˜‰


Next time: dinner!





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Restitution to my readers: it’s a do-over!

Β© Copyright 2012 | http://MyMobileAdventures.com | CLICK any photo for a larger view



IMG_1095This is the first in a series of “do-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

Intrepid readers, especially those who read this blog via RSS feed or email subscription, may have noticed that during my last trip to Orlando, there were some issues with the pictures that we’ve never had here before. For those reading via RSS reader or via email, my most recent mobile blogging efforts from Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort didn’t display photos – just links or else nothing at all. This wasn’t random – there’s a reason.

This was the first time I used the WordPress app for iPhone to mobile blog an adventure. The photos are stored in a different spot than they were when I was using Flickr to mobile blog here, and I believe the anti-hotlinking settings caused the problem. My bad – didn’t know subscribers were going to be interpreted that way!

I feel terrible that people had to jump through hoops to see the photos, so guess what? Do-over! :) That’s right. We’re going to relive the trip, the good old fashioned way, using Flickr to host the photos. I’ll spread it out in posts over several days, to simulate an actual mobile blogging adventure. LOL, there’s something about that idea that just makes me laugh πŸ˜€ Laughter is good for us. So here we go…

The first thing one needs to do when embarking on a 3 hour drive from Fort Myers to Orlando is obtain sufficient fuel for the journey. That’s a grande-no-whip-mocha, purchased at 8:27 AM on Monday February 13th, if the time stamp on the original photo is to be believed. There’s a large heart logo on the cup which can be scanned with your phone using the Starbucks “Cup Magic” app. I’m not going to tell you what happens when you scan it, but it’s cute :)

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Mickey Ears On I-4 This is one of my famous “point and pray” shots; eyes on the road at all times, aim camera in general direction of target, hope for the best! I usually try to get this structure both coming and going. It’s on I-4, just west of the first exit for Walt Disney World (there are four exits, I believe).

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Characters In Flight BONUS: another point and pray shot. I happened to get lucky and see Characters In Flight was aloft as I passed between exits 67 and 68. I was headed for exit 75A, Universal Blvd.

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Room With A (Hogwarts) View This was the view from my room at the Four Points by Sheraton, Orlando Studio City. I am an SPG member (Starwood Preferred Guest) and I usually seem to score a Hogwarts view when I stay at this hotel, which I like a lot. It is pretty much always reasonably priced, it’s clean and comfortable and was redecorated fairly recently – maybe within a year and a half or thereabouts. Plus it is right outside the gates of Universal Orlando Resort, and I can stay there free using Starwood points. If you are interested in the Starwood program, click here to read more about it.

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Just a stroll across the parking lot of the hotel is an International House of Pancakes. I happened to have a gift card left over from Christmas, and I was ravenously hungry, so it seemed hike a harmonic convergence. Off I went to have one of their “smart” meals before hitting the parks to meet up with friends.

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I emerged from the iHop apparently in the nick of time, for an egret had already besmirched the windshield next to mine and had that look in his eye, like he wanted to leave his mark on a Toyota. Um, no. You go ‘way now, ok? πŸ˜‰

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By 1:52 PM, this is where I was standing, waiting for the tram to take me into Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I was about to have some fun and frolic with a pair of old and dear friends (when I say “old”, I do not mean that we are ancient; I mean that we were all once young together πŸ˜‰ )


Stay tuned, there will be more – we are only just beginning!





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