Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vacation Day VIII: The Happiest Place On Earth

Would you believe that Strong Wind is the name of a song by Heart? Technically, it's Strong, Strong Wind. I am starting vacation day eight with a few last pictures from aboard the ship. They put this sign up during an earlier storm a few days before and then just never took the sign down. Eventually, people ignored it. Plus, it was only posted on the port side. It wasn't posted on the starboard side at all. Both doors lead to the same forward deck of the ship!

Another picture of the moon at sea, digitally brightened up.

Another cloud at night, too.

I woke on this vacation day back in Port Canaveral.

This was absolutely the earliest I had been up the entire trip. The ship wastes no time in giving everybody the boot. They want everybody out of there so they can load it up and do it again.

Here is the sunrise, obscured at it was by clouds.

So I debarked the ship and was back on dry, very hot, land. As you can see, it is much more dangerous. This sign was planted behind the parking lot where my rental car was parked.

My first stop once I was back on land was the Cape Canaveral Public Library. I had not had Internet connectivity all week. I had thought I would load up some geocaches while I was on the trip, but it just never worked out. So I stopped by here to look up what was close. I, umm, also had no place to sleep, so I figured I would look up hotels, too.

The 7 Principles of Xeriscape, water conservation through creative landscaping.

More tips on the Xeriscaping.

A bridge in a small park.

A shrubbery. And next to that shrubbery, a gap under the bridge and above the ground.

And in that dark gap under the bridge is the first geocache I found in Florida! The fun part about this is that there is a police station across the street from this nice little park. However, since I was here on a hot Saturday morning just before noon, it wasn't too awfully crowded.

The first convenience store I had seen since the 7-11 in Cozumel! And this Circle K blows that 7-11 away!

Of course, being in Florida, on vacation, after leaving the Fun Ships, I had to go to the Happiest Place on Earth.

The license plate of my rental car. I took this picture in case I needed to find the car later.

This is the isle I parked my car in.

And this is the tram stop.

From the parking lot, I was shuttled over to a ferry stop. Across the way is the entrance to Disney World.

This is a resort on the Disney property. I thought it was impressive. I imagine the price tag is, too.

Sailing across the lake, I spied another icon of Disney World, Space Mountain.

Apparently, they are adding onto the Contemporary Resort Hotel to make it even more contemporary.

Here at last I am approaching the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. You know, it has been 25 years since I last stood in this spot. Wow!

As you can tell, the entrace was decked out for Halloween. There were pumpkins to the left of me.

And pumpkins to the right.

Now I am in the park. Here is Main Sreet U.S.A.

My first stop was Pirates of the Caribbean.

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me. I actually thought Disney World would have a restaurant here like in Disneyland, but there was not. All there was there was a lame taco restaurant and it was closed. Disneyland scores over Disney World on having the restaurant in the ride--that's awesome!

I saw this Captain Jack character on the street. This guy really looked and sounded like the guy from the movie. Kudos to him. This is shortly before that little girl stabbed him with that plastic sword.

A cannon on the way into the ride.

This skeleton is in a bad way.

Another skeleton. For a kiddie ride, there are a lot of skeletons.

Then there's the bride auction.

The current item up for bid.

Another reason I like Disney is that they have dogs everywhere.

Dogs are smart!

Thankfully, the Captain Jack-ification of Pirates didn't destroy the ride.

I know where to go if there is trouble in Disney World. If things just get too happy, that is.

Next up after Pirates is The Haunted Mansion. I also love the Haunted Mansion.

The touristas kind of take away from the Haunted Mansion and the hurse.

A better view of the Haunted Mansion.

Yet another postcard view of the Haunted Mansion. Did I mention it was one of my favorite rides?

One of the wacky tombstones in the mansion cemetery.

Somebody really needs to dust the chandelier.

I couldn't get a good picture without a flash.

Gargoyles look less spooky when their color is washed out by a flashbulb.

A portrait in the room with no windows and no doors . . . muwhahahah. I love the portraits. Have I mentioned just how much I like this ride?

You can just make out that the keys are pressed down, but there is nobody sitting at the piano!

Somebody climbing out of the coffin!

The caretaker, with his dog!

Another ode to matrimony, like the bride auction of pirates.

A masoleum of sorts on the way out of the ride.

Yet another view of the mansion on the way out.

Some haunted lights!

The pet cemetery!

The haunted strollers of doom!

After Pirates and The Haunted Mansion, I'm pretty much done Disney World. Anything else is just extra. So I wandered back to main street into the Hall of Presidents. Here is a great American president.

And maybe the second greatest president.

And another good president.

And another. Are you sensing a theme yet?

This should help. Bush the elder.

Bush the younger. They didn't have a portrait, but this is the bust they used to make the animatron.

The greatest president of the twentieth century.

The show is about to begin.

Some silhouettes displayed while the narration commences.

And here are all of the presidents.

President Lincoln, rockin' out! Or seizing. They both kind of look the same.

Lincoln looking much more subdued. I took some other pictures, but the lighting wasn't so good and they did not really turn out well.

After I was done with the history lesson, I hunted down the happiest ride on earth in the happiest place on earth.

I took a picture of this because it was shiny.

The pendulum that rocks back and forth. The clock in the ride at Disneyland is a little more elaborate, so Disneyland scores once again!

See? The happiest cruise that ever sailed. If a Carinval Fun Ship ever sails into this ride, it will cause a rupture of the time-space continuum. But it will be the happiest, most fun rupture of the time-space continuum ever!

A duck shepherd?

The hippo was winking at me!

And the hyenas were laughing.

Penguins wandering around in circles.

Aztec ruins older than the ones they are building in Mexico.

This is the ride with Stitch in it. This ride is pretty lame. They also wouldn't let me take any pictures. I'm not sure why they're so freaked out about people taking pictures in this ride. Anyway, it's lame. Save it for last. Don't wait in line for it.

Space Mountain is great!

Something is going on in the star chart here.

Space Mountain Cargo Control Center. Imagine the benefits of a touch screen interface for a robot.

Another time I've tried to take a picture of a moon, although this time it's not the moon.

Once again a dog, this time in space!

The exit from Space Mountain, after the ride.

Space Invaders! This is not an original cabinet. The Space Invaders game is 30 years old this year. Space Invaders was the first arcade game I ever saw, and maybe the first I ever played.

After my rocket ship, I climbed into this speedy roadster on the Tomorrowland Speedway.

A view of Space Mountain from the Speedway. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that as I am racing around the speedway at breakneck speed, maybe I should pay attention to my driving instead of taking pictures!

Make no mistake. The competition here on the speedway is brutal. See how brutal she is? That must be nine or ten whole years of brutality blowing by me right there.

See? Just like NASCAR.

Of course, I went back to Space Mountain from the speedway to pick up a fastpass so I could return here.

Here's the fastpass. Then I got in the regular line again.

Here's the takeoff in the Space Mountain ride. It's great.

Some space workers you can see on the ride.

And this is pretty much what the entire insides look like. Only you can't see anything because it's very, very dark. This is very similar to the ride in Disneyland, but again, I think the Disneyland version is better from what I can remember. Both Space Mountain rides were closed for renovations recently, I think.

From there, I changed pace back to the much more relaxed Tomorrowland Transport Authority Blue Line.

A model of the city of tomorrow.

The same space workers you see on the Space Mountain ride, here from the vantage point of the Blue Line.

The Carousel of Progress . . . sign. I was not allowed to take pictures in here, either. The Carousel seems to build to a crescendo that seems like it should be in 1960, but somehow magically winds up being sometime in the mid-2000s.

The prices of tomorrow--today! The food prices are outrageous, but I have paid more for bottled water before.

Night is coming to the happiest place on Earth.

See? Here it is.

A very blue castle.

This was the best I could do without kicking a lady out of her seat on a bench.

The carousel (not of progress).

I was going for a blurred motion in this picture. The fun part is that there is one horse that's not blurry at all. I took a couple pictures where that happened.

Just another motion blur, except for one horse.

This is the start of the SpectroMagic Parade. It used to be called the Electric Light Parade, or something similar to that. Wikipedia says it was called the Main Street Electrical Parade. Anyway, I don't think I've seen this parade at Disneyland, or if I have, this was just as good or better. So Disney World holds it's own on the parade!

A brighter, blurrier picture of the trumpets.

These folks were busy spinning all about. I wonder if they get dizzy.

Mickey on his way!

Mickey, or possibly Mickey as Elvis, one of the two.

A metronome.

Goofy on timpani.

The nice blue piano.

A green peacock.

Some flowers.

Some more flowers.

Flowers followed by . . . giant fish made of light. Sure. Why not.

This fish was watching me.

This fish seemed less interested.

And this fish was clearly not paying attention.

Fish and ships.

The mermaid. She wasn't so little.

Alice's float. I didn't manage a picture of Alice though.

A nice garden fountain.

Some clouds rolling by.

The flying horses above the clouds.

The mountain where Chernabog lives! It opened up, but I couldn't get a good picture of Chernabog.

From demons to Three Little Pigs.

I wonder if being Cinderella was this woman's lifelong ambition. You know it almost has to be.

Another carousel.

I think this is the witch from Sleeping Beauty.

Bringing up the rear is Donald. He can't be happy about that.

The end of the parade!

I took this picture of the riverboat after the parade ended.

So I hustled over to the Peter Pan ride after the parade, just to try to get in one more ride.

Here we are, flying high above Big Ben.

Eh . . . the lesser known active volcano of the British Isles.

This is an absolutely confusing tie-in between the Little Mermaid and Peter Pan.

Walk the plank Wendy! Aaarrrrrrr!


Captain Hook, in a scene reminiscent of The Haunted Mansion!

An even bluer castle than the one I took a picture of earlier.

It's time for fireworks!

Who likes pyro!

Lasers and fireworks. Good stuff!

Fireworks to the center!

Fireworks straight up!

Postcard fireworks!

Even more postcard fireworks!

Would you believe, even more postcard fireworks?

The lighting of the castle matches the color of fireworks!

The multi-colored castle with fire in the sky.

It's getting dark.

The castle and teeming throngs, annihilated by fireworks! OK, technically, they were just illuminated, but I think it would look just about the same.

All done!

Now Disney says, "Thank you. Now get out!"

Under the watchful eye of still more pumpkins.

Exposition hall.

The flag on the ferry.

Back on board the ferry to the parking lot, this princess was posing for her friends. Presumably, this girl spent the entire day dressed up like this.

The other ferry, on its way to pick up more departing guests.

Goodbye Cinderella's Castle.

Goodbye Space Mountain.

Yeah, this picture is kind of blurry. But it had been a long day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008 

Category: Life

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