Sunday, October 12, 2008

DISNEY: AniStudios

It was my first off-Friday off in over a month and with the Race for the Taste 10K on Sunday, I used the opportunity to head over early to LBV for race packet pick-up, to have lunch with my friend Billy, and to make a visit to the parks.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
I started the day a little late due to lack-of-packing and being undecided whether or not to mow the lawn (didn't. too wet), and I got to DAK around 9:30am. I missed the first showing of FOTLK, so I headed to Kilimanjaro Safaris. I grabbed a fastpass and headed to the Conservation Station for a quick visit. I did little more than just walk through, and it was already time for KS. The animals were out, and I'm glad to get a good pic of the lion this time. Afterwards, there was just enough time to go take pictures of the EEC clue locations.

Yeah, that was a very quick visit to DAK. (I'll catch FOTLK next time)

Next up was lunch with my friend Billy. I picked him up from work, and we made the short drive over to the Celebration Town Center. It was dressed up for the holidays with pumpkins, orange banners, and... haaaaay. We ate at the local Town Tavern -- I had the chicken salad sandwich while Billy ordered the Reuben. It was nice to catch up. No big news. And we briefly tried to figure out plans for the upcoming Tower of Terror 13K (costumes... still haven't figured that one out). Anyways, that's about it. I'm going to pick up his race packet as he'll be coming straight from the airport to the race next Saturday.

Race Packet Pick-up
Next on the list was race packet pick-up at Disney's Wide World Of Sports. There was a high school cross-country event and also some lacrosse. The pick-up was in the Milk House, and the race packet was much like the one for the EEC -- glade fresheners, mini-rice cakes, and the coffee energy tablets -- but instead of a shirt, they gave participants a beer mug (sweet). There was a small setup that sold a few RFTT 10K items (like if you wanted a cotton RFTT 10K tee) and they also had some 2006 Disney Marathon wine.

I went to look at the course map on display and ended up talking with a volunteer there, a friendly older gentleman who helps out at most of these events with his wife. He talked about some incredible races, Disney's less-publicized events, and about his family. Anyways, it was nice to hear his enthusiasm, and it added to my experiences that day.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
After race packet pick up, I headed over to DHS to maybe catch some of the live shows. I got there Right at 3 o'clock, and I literally walked the Block Party Bash floats up Hollywood Boulevard. There was quite a crowd lining the streets, so I decided to just move along. I walked towards TSMM (passed by a closed OM'sD: operation 9am-3pm) maybe a chance to ride?... 90 minutes. No thanks. So on to the backlot tour.

I wanted to do this because it's been a long while and because there was a rumor that it will become automated a la LWTL. I forgot that the first part took actual footage and put it into a video montage... just like new Disaster! at Universal Studios (which is actually waaay better). The other part of the attraction was the bus tour through the costume design tunnel and over to Catastrophe Canyon (not the same thing). There was a lot of waiting involved today but no restlessness from me, and we/I were rewarded with a quasi-behind-the-scenes look at the LMAXSS -- got a pretty good shot of the director (niiice). As it happened, it was just about time for LMAXSS so I headed over.

The show was good like always. No big surprises today, just that the motorcycle person didn't catch on fire this time.

After Lights-Motors, I went into MuppetVision 3D but bailed to catch the next showing of Indiana Jones. Indy was fine and the bad guy was Asian but the plant was niiice andthe heroine was attractive like Jenny McCarthy. I had forgotten how enjoyable the show (and its dialogue) was:

stunt actor (to stunt double): know what the difference between you and harrison ford is?
me: lipstick?
stunt actor: a few million dollars

After Indy, I headed to Beauty and the Beast. The show didn't have the effect on me as it did last time, though it did for one little girl (maybe 2 yrs old) in front of me. She got tearful when Beast was hurt. Another lady in the audience saw this and giggled a little (as did I).

After that, I decided against trying for RnR or ToT since I'll be riding them in a couple weeks, and that was a good decision. The instant I got in my car, the rain started down hard.

Anyways, the trip to the LBV area was successful. Individually, nothing was overwhelming, but collectively the Disney experience today was very positive.

Once again, itinerary then some pictures from the trip:
Here's what I did this visit:

- Conservation Station
- Kilimanjaro Safari [FP]
- Expedition Everest Challenge Clue Photos



- (Block Party Bash)
- Studio Backlot Tour
- Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Beauty and the Beast

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Race Packet Pick-up
Disney's Hollywood Studios

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