Thursday, December 28, 2006

The musicals ruins the movie

Watching Nemo (the movie) for the first time since seeing Nemo (the musical stage show at DAK), I'm struck by how pervasive in my awareness the show has become. Dory doesn't sing la-la-la-la-la-la as she leads Marlin on a wild-goose chase for the boat in the movie version, and I suddenly miss it.

It's making me think the show is even better than the movie, something I hadn't realized before. But it just may be true.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Let it snow... at nighttime, anyway

Guests have to pay extra to see the Christmas parade and fireworks at WDW (it's a hard ticket event). That is travesty enough -- these things used to be free. But to leave the decorations up during the daytime is almost a slap in the face. "Let it snow" is a reference to the soap bubble snow that floats down from the buildings during the private party, but daytime guests don't get to see that. It's almost mocking.

New touches on the MK main entrance

Menu boards have shown up above the turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom. No big news here, but a nice touch.

A Christmas Turkey

In an example of good timing, the wild turkeys that live in the Ticket and Transportation Center came out to forage on Christmas Eve. Of course, I had no idea there even were turkeys living here, until I saw them.

I've seen deer before (and in fact, almost hit a beautiful buck on my way out that day, on Western Way). But turkeys?! I love Florida's wildlife.

Bottoms up!

Here's something to celebrate. Within the past few weeks, Epcot has changed the policy. It's no longer a "one drink per ID," now it's two drinks. The old policy didn't make sense anyway. This new one is much more customer friendly.

"Neon" lights at Soarin'

Here's a random discovery: the neon-looking lights in the queue area of Soarin' are not actually neon, which surprised me. Close inspection reveals they are solid hard plastic, semi-clear, which means there must be blue light behind them. (Image linked from google images)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cypress Gardens much busier

When we bought our Cypress Gardens 2007 annual passes a couple weeks ago, we did so because there were no lines for the rides. I mean absolutely no lines. The ride operators were waiting for any guest to show up, and when they did, riders got an instant ride.

The delighted us, but worries us too. What if the park went insolvent? We noted that they are building a huge wooden coaster (for adults) in spring 2007 as well as a giant kids' interactive playground, so the investment continues. We reckoned that was healthy enough to gamble the $60 on a pass.

We went back this past weekend, and my fears are completely assuaged. It was busier, and healthy levels of crowds. There weren't LONG lines, but there were very very very mild lines on every ride. This was just about the most I could hope for. Busy enough to make the park money (and thus stay open), but not so busy that it detracts one iota from the experience.

And our three year old remains infatuated with the rides.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Fountain of Nations during Lights of Winter

Here's something I never quite realized: during the holiday season, the evening hours will see the Fountain of Nations at Epcot in constant "show" mode. Usually it only puts on a show every fifteen minutes or so, but during holiday evenings, the background music score is replaced by the same holiday tunes blaring from the Lights of Winter display, the archway of colored lights that synchonize to the music.

Over at the Fountain of Nations, that means the water is constantly dancing. I like this touch.

DAK parade route problems

That the parade at Animal Kingdom circles around the Tree of Life is weird enough; it means a part of Africa sees the parade twice, going in each direction one time. But we discovered an annoyance with this parade: it cuts off all access to the Baby Center.

We had a somewhat urgent need ("The Need to Feed", proclaims the Tom Cruise in my head) and discovered the pathways do not allow anyone to get to the Baby Center when the parade is going on. They really need to fix that. You can get as close as Pizzafari, but that's it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Spaceship Earth action

For more than a year, the exit area to Spaceship Earth was walled off. Once the AT&T exhibit closed down, permanent rehab walls just closed off the space. Well, there has been activity in there for the last several weeks - they are building. And tonight I noticed that the corporate sponsor area, normally visible from Fountain of Nations, has been tarped over, so you cannot see in the windows. Anything is better than nothing in this space!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wonders of Life is open again

Wonders of Life is now open for the holiday season.

I don't think I even knew the sign had multi-colored lights on it. It's never illuminated at night, under normal circumstances!

The place isn't crowded, by any stretch. Body Wars is open, as is Making of Me and Cranium Command.