Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hipstamatic Disney World

After an extra year of planning, a wedding, family emergencies of various stripes, and general chaos, my now wife Nicole and I finally moved to Florida.  After another agonizing month of waiting, we finally managed to get our annual passes to Disney World.  Over the last few weeks we have already gotten a lot of use out of those passes, and I've been using my favorite iPod app, Hipstamatic, to get some photos.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was fun as usual, but Buzz Lightyear without a face is kind of horrifying.  The older you get, the more you realize just how creepy a lot of Disney has the potential to be with the slightest of changes.

Tommorowland Transit Authority, the Peoplemover, "that ride with no line in Tomorrowland," whatever you call it, it's still one of my favorite rides.  Part of that love comes from the completely random "futuristic" scenes that pop up during the ride, like this hair salon of tomorrow.

The castle from the Peoplemover.  Another great thing about the ride, it gives great views without waiting in a huge line (see the Astro Orbiter).

We visited the Magic Kingdom on Leap Day for their "One More Disney Day" campaign, and ended up staying until 3:00 am.  For the first time, I managed to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, which was rather lovely, even if the music drove me mad.  I've seen pictures of the Pete's Dragon float before, but it's way more impressive in person.

One of the big highlights of the night was a late night trip on the Jungle Cruise, with a skipper who used the special event to go off-script as much as possible.  The greatest moment of the night was an announcement by the cast while standing in line, "We have an important announcement.  I wish I could say it was good news.  We tried everything we could.  Unfortunately, the Jungle Cruise is STILL OPEN.  We tried everything we could, we're sorry."

That night was also the first time Nicole or I had ever watched the Enchanted Tiki Room in it's (relatively) original form.  We would have enjoyed it if it wasn't for the extremely rude person behind us loudly heckling the show.  I must be turning into a grumpy old man in my 20s, because people just seem more rude and inconsiderate every day.

The weekend following our trip to Magic Kingdom, we made a weekend out of Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  The pelicans near the entrance were in full nesting season, with pairs building up the nests around many already laid eggs.

The Tree of Life was looking as beautiful as ever.

The hippos were taking an underwater snooze.  They look absolutely adorable together, even though they would most likely rather crush me than let me get near them.

The theming in Animal Kingdom is still some of Disney's most realistic work.  I love these aged posters, and wish they offered them somewhere like the prints of the attraction posters.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is still a great way to see the animals, and this picture turned out really well.  Our guide's narration of the extremely worn "Little Red" rescue plot reached near Jungle Cruise levels of mockery, further proving that the story is on its way out.  I'll be happy to see it go, and see some new animals join the attraction.

We didn't do much at Hollywood Studios, since there is still not much to do.  The new Star Tours is a lot of fun, though, and the queue is definitely more entertaining.

Although, with the right settings, some of those robots look like rejects from some old German silent horror film.

Anyways, we're having a lot of fun in Florida, and having new adventures every day.  We'll have to start pacing ourselves soon before collapse from exhaustion.

--------Gabriele Nichols

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