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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary) in the Vacation Planning forums; Tom...loving the trip report!! I am always checking your site for new stories! Keep up the great work!! -Jamie (jrobbins79 on twitter)...
  1. #16
    eeyore79's Avatar
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    Re: The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary)

    Tom...loving the trip report!! I am always checking your site for new stories! Keep up the great work!!

    -Jamie

    (jrobbins79 on twitter)
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes..."

    http://mydreamingcorner.blogspot.com/

    Me (Jamie) - 34 DD (Kayla) - 7

    TRIP REPORT AUGUST 2011 http://www.wdwradio.com/forums/showt...l=1#post972048

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    Re: The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary)

    HAH! Hey there! I think you allowed me (via a Flickr conversation) to use some of your shots on my website! Small world!

    LOVE the trip report and still find your photography just incredible!
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
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    Re: The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary)

    Your photos are amazing!!
    "You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway."

  4. #19
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    Re: The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary)

    ^thanks for the kind words!

    Next update:

    If you're interested in Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary, there are a TON more pics on the full report.

    -----------------

    The next day, unsurprisingly, was an early morning for us. This day was the whole reason we took a Walt Disney World vacation this October. This was the first day we actually planned on being up early, and even set three alarms to ensure that we would be to the park early. It was that important to us. (For our recap of the Walt Disney World 40th anniversary events, click here.)

    I had heard the day before that some people were planning on arriving at the Magic Kingdom as early as 7 am (for the 9 am opening), so I thought I’d check Twitter to see if there was any “news.” Much to my surprise, many people were already there, and were reporting that plenty of others were already there, as well. This was at 6:45 am. It looked like a large crowd would form early. We quickly got ready, making no detours to Old Port Royale or anything of the sort. We were out of our room within an hour of getting up, which has to be some sort of record for us.

    Our original goal was to arrive before 8:45 am, so I guess we met our goal, but it probably would have been wise for us to arrive earlier. We barely made it through the turnstiles before the Opening Ceremony. Luckily, about 5 minutes after we entered, Cast Members began urging everyone to stand up and make more space (as, by then, people were not making it through the turnstiles). When this happened, it was like the seas parted, as a huge gap opened in front of us as people moved. We still didn’t have a great spot, but at least had a better spot.

    The day started off in typical fashion, with the Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony, albeit in modified form to give a few nods to forty years of the Magic Kingdom. We probably see this Ceremony about once or twice per year (we normally run late as opposed to early, so we frequently end up at the park 20 minutes or so after opening). As always, it was a fun show to watch, especially seeing it play to a packed and excited crowd. You could already tell that the excitement level of the fans was high.



    Once inside the park, we scurried to the Emporium. I knew there were going to be limited edition t-shirts, and I figured they would sell quickly. It was already nuts in there, and the racks had just emptied. As more came out, I took one look at the shirts, and decided to get one of each. The black one looked cooler, and since I didn’t know what size I’d need, I decided to get both small and medium.

    Since I wanted a good spot for the 10 am Cinderella Castle Ceremony, Sarah bought both of the special shirts offered that day, while I headed towards the Castle. In retrospect, both shirts are really lacking. Worse yet, I didn’t discover until a few days later that the white shirt I had Sarah purchase was actually a women’s shirt! I later commented to others how I thought it was odd that they’d put Tinkerbell on a men’s shirt, and no one really agreed with me, or responded at all. Now I know why! I guess that just goes to show you how much of a hurry I was in.

    Then, I started to think. And scheme. This sort of thing always gets me in trouble. Scheming about “better locations” has lost me many a good Illuminations spot at Epcot. I’ll find a decent location, but then, thinking I might be able to find better, I go looking. Upon realizing that all the better spots are taken, I head back to the original spot, which is then gone, too. If insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results, then have me committed, because I constantly do this at Epcot, and constantly suffer negative consequences.

    For Illuminations, this isn’t such a big deal. If I don’t get good shots one night, I can always shoot it another. On October 1, 2011 at the Magic Kingdom, it was an entirely different ballgame. I couldn’t pick a bad location or the wrong lens and hope for a do-over later. The safe move would have been to hedge my bets by using the 18-200mm lens in that centered location.

    I rarely take the safe or the smart bet. I’m a risk taker by nature, and I think even to you readers who weren’t there on this particular day, it’s probably a foregone conclusion already that I didn’t stay in that location. Instead, as went over how the ceremony would likely go in my head and looked around, I noticed some “parade” ropes up towards the side of the Castle. I knew there was going to be a character cavalcade down Main Street to Cinderella Castle, and it made sense that the characters would pass by these ropes.

    Most people were dead center in front of the Castle, so I had no trouble getting a good spot right against the rope near the very front of the stage. If I was going to live and die by the sword, I figured I might as well switch to the fisheye lens, too, as I could get some pretty interesting closeup shots of characters as they passed with it. That is, assuming they did pass. If they didn’t pass, I’d be stuck with an okay view of the stage and a poor lens for photographing it.


    As we stood in the throngs of crowds awaiting the 10 am ceremony, the excitement from the crowd was palpable. Not necessarily for what Disney had planned, but for the memories made by so many in the crowd, and the integral role these theme parks had played in so many of our lives. Walt Disney World undeniably has a lot of nostalgic value for a lot of people, and this day was probably one of the ultimate days for fans to wax nostalgic about the resort’s past. As we stood packed like sardines near the Cinderella Castle stage, we heard other Guests reminiscing about attractions of the past. I heard mention of favorites like If You Had Wings, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Alien Encounter, and even some long-gone favorites such as the Swan Boats.

    Seeing this out-pouring of support made us happy, as if this insane level of attendance demonstrated to us that many fans really care about these parks, it should clearly demonstrate the same to Disney, which arguably did not expect this type of turnout at the Magic Kingdom on an off-season morning the first weekend of Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Based upon the type of fans we saw (on days like this, you can easily spot a fellow super-fan), my 5% prediction was completely wrong.




    Then, as promised, a character cavalcade came down Main Street, USA, to the music from anniversary celebrations of years past. While I don’t remember hearing a number of them first hand from my visits as a child, it was still chills-inducing to hear these songs played once again in the Magic Kingdom. Just as I expected (or given my luck, was hoping against hope would be the case), the characters began heading towards the walkway right next to me.



    The fisheye was the perfect lens choice for this, and I got some neat shots. By taking the high-risk, high-reward route, I knew I already had some unique photos, but I wanted to test my luck, so I also had my infrared camera in my other hand. As the characters walked past, I’d periodically snap a people of frames with it. I think it’s safe to say I’m the only person there that day who photographed part of the festivities with an infrared camera.





    After Ms. Crofton spoke, Phil Holmes took the stage, recalling his early days as a Cast Member at the Haunted Mansion, and making a humorous remark about accepting “A” tickets for some Guests who entered the Haunted Mansion. For all of the negative things I’ve read about Phil Holmes, he seemed very...human during the presentation.



    The ceremony finished with the Dapper Dans signing a stirring rendition of When You Wish Upon A Star, which concluded with fireworks exploding above Cinderella Castle and confetti exploding into the crowd.



    At this point, it was time for the tens of thousands of Guests crowding the Magic Kingdom to dispense throughout the park. Crowd control was less-than-stellar, but I don’t think many people cared. As we stood in bottlenecks, fans near us randomly struck up conversation with one another. It was rather easy: “Hey, I like that 10th anniversary button you have, were you here for that?” About 50% of the time, the answer to this type of question included the word “eBay.” I would hazard a guess that eBay has been more of a financial detriment to many fans than the recent economic downturn. I know I’ve dropped more money on eBay than I care to count!



    When we finally made it through the crowd, we saw a long line formed outside of the under-used Diamond Horseshoe. Not having any idea why this line was forming, we got in it. I assumed it was for merchandise, but really wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to end up further back in the line. After a couple of minutes, we figured it out, and sure enough, we were exactly where we wanted to be! We ended up waiting over an hour in this line, but didn’t mind in the least. Along the way, we chatted with other fans. The time passed quickly. While I normally am agitated if we do few attractions in a given day, I was perfectly content not riding a single ride that day. I was happy just to be there.

    When we were finally allowed inside the Diamond Horseshoe, I spotted the Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily merchandise I had eyed on their blog, and instantly grabbed the Mary Blair Grand Canyon Concourse flower vase and the plate-things. What I really wanted was the popcorn bucket-style mug, but that was already gone. I ended up only getting the vase, and I still am not quite sure what to do with it. I think I will get some fake flowers to put in it and take it to my office (the vase is too tall to display in our house--Yossarian the cat would knock it over). I ended up also picking up a cool 40th anniversary iPhone case on eBay a couple of weeks ago after I found out that it would also fit the iPhone 4s.

    Our next stop was the Main Street Bakery, which was selling special 40th anniversary cupcakes. As we stood in line, we were told the cupcakes had just sold out. We were hungry anyway, so we just stayed in line.

    Right as we got up to order, more cupcakes appeared! We later learned that the cupcake we purchased wasn’t as cool as the ones being sold earlier. We figured the bakery staff was out of the special cupcakes, but still had the E-Ticket fonduit left, so they threw the E-Ticket on top of other cupcakes. In any case, it was still very cool! For those curious, the E-Ticket on the top of ours didn’t get us FastPass access at Space Mountain, but it did taste delicious.

    As we were in the bakery, we saw Phil Holmes. It’s not everyday that you see a VP of a theme park, so we asked to have our photo taken with him. Everyone in the online fan community may hate him, but he seemed nice-enough when we talked to him. I don’t have enough inside connections to know whether he truly is “bad news” as is stated on the fan community. I won’t condemn a man on second-hand information.

    Unfortunately, the lighting the Main Street Bakery wasn't ideal for our cupcake photos, plus, I had an idea. I mean, this was a once-in-a-lifetime cupcake, I wanted to photograph it properly. So, we headed up Main Street and ended up at a picnic table in Liberty Square. By the time we finished our cupcake, it was already almost 2 pm. Since it was the 40th anniversary, we decided to enjoy some Magic Kingdom classic attractions. Part of our justification for doing this was that the crowd was huge, and we wanted to avoid long waits.




    It was a packed day in the Magic Kingdom. Throughout the day, we headed for attractions we thought would have low waits, only to find long lines. Twenty minutes for the TTA?! A full house at Carousel of Progress?! Crowds at Country Bear Jamboree?! It was as if the Guests in the Magic Kingdom finally had good taste!

    Given these long lines, we spent most of the day wandering around, not really doing much of anything. We had not grabbed FastPasses early in the morning, so we couldn’t even use FastPass to avoid the crowds. This was fine by us, as wandering around on this special day was all we needed.

    Throughout the day and weekend, there were several fan-meets. One of these events we would be attending, Retro-Day Walt Disney World. Since this event was starting soon, we figured we’d slowly make our way over to Adventureland.


    Along the way, we stopped in the Rose Garden, and took plenty of photos. We had never really spent much time down here, and I don’t know what possessed us to go down there, but since we had some time to kill, we decided to go down there.



    After that, it was time for the Retro-Day meet, so we quickly headed for Adventureland. It seems whenever we have a nice cushion that will enable us to get a particular place on time, we always still somehow end up being late!

  5. #20
    BamaJenn's Avatar
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    Re: The Brickers' F'n October 2011 Trip Report (Food & Wine and Fortieth Anniversary)

    Keep them coming!! Love it!
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
    Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
    “Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you’re immersed in.” - Joe Rohde
    Avatar Image Used with Permission from °O°Joe

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