Orlando Do-Over: Day 1 wanderings

© 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 😉

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.


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 😉


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.


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).


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.


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

Next time: dinner!

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iMophie loves me! <3

Mophie loves me! , originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.

As a mobile blogger, I use a lot of phone juice. I was initially concerned about tales of poor battery life with the iPhone 4S. With previous phones, I’d been able to carry extra charged batteries and swap them out as needed. Well, you cannot remove an iPhone battery, so you’re basically stuck using up whatever it has to offer, and then you have to find a way to recharge.

I was not too happy to be walking around EPCOT last week with my phone in one hand and the portable charging device in the other. Meanwhile, my touring partners the the “badelves” had an extended battery case in THEIR phone and experienced none of the mobilus bloggus interruptus that I was experiencing.

I surmised that for the iPhone too, there must be a better way, so I took to the interwebz and selected Mophie Juice Pack
, a case that charges your iPhone. I will be playing with it for a while and will report back my findings.

I like Mophie already, because when you unbox the device, you get an inspirational message :). Stay tuned!

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

© 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 😀 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 🙂


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).


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.


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.


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.


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? 😉


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 😉 )

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

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Scenes from the piazza


A wide piazza stretches down to the water. There is nightly entertainment here, and I saw a few take-out windows so there will be food and drink as well.


Look up. See the skinny pink sliver of a building? See the terrace up top with the dark-colored table and chairs? If I ever stay at this hotel, then that is the room I want. That there is a primo view of whatever is happening in the piazza.


A dark, vaguely romantic and winding staircase leads to the lobby – since I have a boo-boo foot today. I will have to look for an elevator.


The buildings that line the piazza are equipped with long, somewhat meandering porticos, with occasional mysterious stranger taking up residence in random alcoves. Can you spot the shoes? 😉

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin: there’s an app for that!

I recently amassed a fair amount of Points using my Starwood American Express card. Thus, I was able to book the Walt Disney World Swan for a big meet with a bunch of my friends during Food and Wine Festival this coming fall. The confirmation email told me that there is now a "Swolphin" app, so I downloaded it to check it out.

This is not the interactive app I was hoping for. You can’t use it to book the spa or a restaurant or anything like that. It provides a video overview of both hotels, a lot of static information about the amenities, and a page with hotel contact information. Nothing to write home about, but I guess having the resort numbers and map handy are a good thing. Maybe they will upgrade it by time I get there.

Running a-fowl of nature… in the parking lot!

Came out of the movies at the Bell Tower here in Fort Myers and found myself wading through a small flock of Muscovy ducks in the parking lot. Since this is the lot where I usually encounter chickens, I wasn’t too shocked; took a shot and stepped around them! Seriously, this is the town where they pasture cows right up alongside the CVS, so barnyard animal sightings are of no concern. However if I ever see goats outside Banana Republic, I’m leaving!