Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Wednesday included an outing to Epcot and Magic Kingdom with Brett, Matt, and Alaina.  We walked around the World Showcase and did Spaceship Earth at Epcot, then took the monorail to Magic Kingdom.  We did Space Mountain before the fireworks and parade.  We were able to get VIP bridge seats for the Electrical Parade.  It pays to know people at Disney.  It was amazing seeing the parade that close!

Other than seeing The Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios last week, this may be the first glimpse of Christmas on property.  (Although now the Christmas trees are up in all the hotel lobbies and Christmas music is being played at every pool.)  The castle looks beautiful and the holiday decorations around the parks are amazing as well.  More pictures to come, I'm sure.

Christmas tree at Epcot

Lovebirds Matt & Alaina

Fountain in Italian pavilion

Spaceship Earth with the Christmas decorations out front

Cinderella's castle for the holidays

VIP for the Electrical Parade

Some characters from the parade

The castle at Magic Kingdom

Some of these pictures are from Photopass, of course.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Last Tuesday, Brett and I went to Disney's Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic.  He's seen it once before, but this was my first time ever seeing it.  I've heard fantastic (ha...ha) things about the show, so I always recommend it to guests.  Now I can actually say from experience that it's the best show at Disney!  Better than any of the stage shows.  Better than Wishes at Magic Kingdom.  Better than IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.  It's incredible!

Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 6:30PM and 8:00PM at the Fantasmic theater, they put on this amazing show.  If you plan on visiting Disney World anytime soon, plan your day at Hollywood Studios one of those days so you can see this show.  The line to get in is ridiculously long before the show starts, but the theater seats thousands of people and has standing room for a few hundred as well.  Brett and I were at the end of the line (literally around the corner from Sunset Blvd) and we still sat in like the fifth row.

My camera wasn't cooperating very well, so here are some pictures that I found on Google.

Journey into Mickey's dream with the light show, fireworks, and water effects to battle all the Disney villains soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rachel Does Disney World (Again)

Well, I already posted about a few of the things from Rachel's visit, both out of order.  Check out Anberlin at House of Blues for what we did Saturday night and Epcot Food & Wine Festival for what we did Sunday night.  As for Saturday afternoon and Tuesday morning/ you go!

We visited Disney World in 1996 with our mom, aunt, uncle, and cousins Nicole and Lucas.  I remember bits and pieces of it.  And I really wish I had at least one picture to show you guys.  I'll work on that.  The second time we visited was probably 2000 or 2001.  Rachel had a golf tournament down here, so Mom and I went to the parks a lot when Rachel was golfing or resting.  So for her, this was practically her second time here!  She also didn't go to Disney's Animal Kingdom with us, so it was her very first time there.

On Saturday afternoon, we hit up the one, the only Magic Kingdom!  (Actually, it's not the only.  But it's the only one with Cinderella's castle.)  It was insanely busy, but we got to do a handful of rides.

Rachel on Space Mountain--one of the many fantastic ride photos

 Cinderella's Castle

After Magic Kingdom, we went back to my apartment for pigs in a blanket and Caesar salad.  Delicious!  That night was the Anberlin concert at Downtown Disney and let me tell you, it took FOREVER to get to House of Blues.  Nearly an hour.  That wasn't very much fun.  But Disney World, pigs in a blanket, and Anberlin isn't a shabby day at all.

The next day, I got off work early so Rachel and I could go to the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot, my favorite park.  We saved just enough time at the end of the night so Rachel could ride Soarin' for the first time and I'm pretty sure she loved it!  We didn't have time for Test Track too though, so I guess she'll have to come back!!

On Tuesday, Rachel's last day in Florida, we squeezed in the last two parks before she had to be at the airport.  First was Hollywood Studios, just so she could have a redemption at Tower of Terror and also ride Rockin' Rollercoaster for the first time.

Tower of Terror

I think she loved Tower of Terror just as much as she did the first time.  Which if I recall correctly, was not at all.  In fact, back in 1996, Rachel had the unfortunate experience of having to sit in the middle seat in the back row directly in front of the isle for the other rows.  She had just eaten and was not feeling the ride at all!  I loved it and our uncle loved her misery.  It's one of the few things I remember from that first Disney World trip.  Rockin' Rollercoaster was a lot of fun though, right Rach?

 The Sorcerer's Hat

After the Sunset Boulevard rides, we skipped the rest of the park and headed over to Animal Kingdom.  Since Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 and Rachel was mostly busy with her golf tournament the second time we came, this was her first time in Disney World's newest theme park.  (Also the world's largest theme park.)  We did the Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest.  Is that it?  I don't remember.

Tree of Life

I was sad to see her go after that.  I was also a little uneasy about trying Quizno's for the first time.  But it was actually pretty good!

I had a lot of fun with you, Rach!  I wish you would come back and visit me again!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Spectacle of Dancing Lights

On Thursday night, Matt, Alaina, Brett, and I went to the Osborn Family's Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios.

The Osborn Family from Little Rock Arkansas had an unbelievable collection of Christmas lights after the daughter asked for a few lights during the holidays.  Eventually the collection grew so large that the family bought the houses on either side of their house to expand their collection.  When word got around, Disney decided to offer the family an opportunity to display their lights.  Once the family agreed, Disney was able to expand on their collection and turn it into what it is now.  The Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

There are literally millions of lights on the buildings in the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios and every ten minutes, the lights dance to different Christmas songs.  They even make it snow!  It felt like home, looking up at the sky and seeing snow flakes fall to the ground.  It was all so incredible and overwhelming, I started to cry!  What a beautiful experience.  The pictures don't even do it justice!

Alaina, Matt, me, & Brett

Matt & Brett

Me & Brett

Alaina & Matt

Me & Alaina

Alaina, Matt, Brett, & me
(From Photopass)

Forget coming to Disney World in the summer!  There are so many cool things going on during the holiday season.  (Like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Epcot Food & Wine Festival

The 15th Annual Food & Wine Festival at Epcot ended last week.  It was a 45 day festival in the World Showcase with 28 kiosks with food and drinks from around the world.

Of course I've been to Epcot many times, during the festival even!  But it wasn't until Rachel was here that I actually tried some of the food.  We even got a passport for the festival and got a stamp at each of the 28 kiosks.  It was a lot of fun!

We tried Nectar Imperial from Desserts & Champagne, grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree from Argentina (yum!), pork pot stickers from China, Altenmunster Marsen from Brewer's Collection, Nuremberger sausage in a pretzel roll from Germany, baked cheese ravioli, creamy bolognese sauce, and melted mozzarella from Italy, spicy tuna roll from Japan, falafel pita pocket from Morocco (not yum!), Paul Cheneau "Lady" Blanc de Clancs Cava from Spain, Creme Brulee au Chocolat au Lait from France, warm chocolate lava cake with Bailey's Irish Cream ganache from Ireland, and Canadian cheddar cheese soup from Canada.

We got to cross something off on each page, but we came no were near finishing.  And we didn't even get the stamp you get for getting all the stamps!  Boo!  The kiosks were...

Desserts & Champagne
Puerto Rico
South Korea
South Africa
Brewer's Collection
Hops and Barley
United States
Charcuterie & Cheese
New Zealand
15 Beers for 15 Years

I'm hoping I'll still be around here next fall for the Food & Wine Festival because it's a lot of fun.  (And it would be fun for you too, Mom!  Hint, hint!)

So thanks, Rach for coming out!  It was only a few hours, but it was a lot of fun!!

Rachel and me on Spaceship Earth

Puppets in China

Snow White's well in Germany

The French Pavilion

(The pictures that are better quality, as usual, are from the Photopass.)  The rest of the pictures from Rachel's stay to come!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Toy Story Midway Mania

I'm so behind on my posts.  So this is old news.  A few weeks ago, Brett and I did Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios--one of the most happening rides on property!  I've never seen the line below 60 minutes and for us, it was actually a 90 minute wait time.  At least the line is really cool.  And that's all I got pictures of...

It's made up of oversized toys--of course!  There was even an interactive Mr. Potato Head towards the end.  The time we spent in line actually flew by thanks to everything to look at.

The ride isn't actually a ride, it's more of a game.  There are two people on each side of the car and each person has a cannon.  The ride moves from screen to screen and you have to shoot different things--balloons, plates, rockets, etc.  The amount of points you get depends on how much each thing you shoot is worth.

It's a lot of fun, even though Brett killed me.  It was probably worth waiting in the line for, but next time I go on it I'm going to try to get a fastpass!

If you guys are ever down here, you've got to do Toy Story Midway Mania!  But make sure you get there very early because the fastpasses run out within the first few hours the park is open!  It's popular.

In other Toy Story news, Bob Iger the CEO of Disney has given every Disney cast member Toy Story 3 as a gift for all our hard work!  So thank you everyone for helping with the success of Toy Story 3 so I could save a few bucks buying it!  And thank you Mr. Iger for being such an awesome CEO!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ten on Ten :: November 2010

I'm back with Ten on Ten for November!  Finally I didn't have to work on the 10th of the month.  But my day was pretty boring, as you're about to see...

11:00AM - Fixing my rear-view mirror decorations after Rachel borrowed my car.

12:00PM - The proper arrangement for my CDs...

1:00PM - Picking up my copy of Toy Story 3 from work.  Thank you, Mr. Isner!

2:00PM - Beginning my laundry.  This is only half.

3:00PM - Snack time!  I settled on a frozen pizza.

4:00PM - Watching The Office and folding laundry.

5:00PM - My pin collection is expanding with my Vinylmation pin, Jack Sparrow Mickey, & lifeguard Mickey.

6:00PM - Clean clothes & my new lifeguard shirt.

7:00PM - It's scarf season lately, even in Florida.

8:00PM - My cell phone has (obviously) been the portal to much lifeguard chaos in the last two days including many drowning children and many live audits.

Someday I'll have an interesting 10th to document.  I'm just glad I got back in the game after missing it in October!