082 – Transition

I never did catch up on the rest of my Disney trip blogs. I meant to, I just haven’t yet found the time. Over the past month and a half (has it been that long?!), I’ve talked to many people about it, and I’m pretty sure I lit up each time, except where I talk about missing Carl and Russel (Up characters) by 6 days. Up, by the way, is fantastic. Go see it now if you haven’t yet.

Time won’t be an issue soon, so I’ll catch up on all kinds of pictures. My last class for the summer is tomorrow. My last shift at Disney is Friday. It was a month ago I found out that the store is closing, and each day since then has been increasingly difficult. I may have only been with the company for two years – one of which was actually with Disney (the first year, the Store were owned and operated by The Children’s Place), but in that time, I’ve felt I’ve found somewhere I belong. It’s a company that I would love to continue working with, certainly in a position at an office if not in the field at a store level. The people have been fantastic, especially co-cast members, and especially the guests that I’ve come to know over time.

Thank you to everyone for being a family and for allowing me to enjoy being at work. For enjoying retail. It’s mind boggling that I came so close to not accepting the job when Sharlene called me back about it. I’ve learned so much from everyone would do it all again in a heartbeat – even if it means hearing Hannah Montana’s “Life’s What You Make It” 30 times a day.

I once learned from a mediocre Disney movie to “keep moving forward” (clearly not Wall-E, or Up. Those are fantastic. Go see Up). As I look forward to the summer and fall, I have a new year of school (a last one, I hope… for now), a new job, a new position at CFFN, and a new Web site that I’ve gone back to creating. My life is a deck of cards, and someone is shuffling!

081 – Disney Day Four

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On the first night, we checked out Downtown Disney, but only really went into a place to eat. Today, our first down day, we decided to take to the shops and, in a nutshell, spend a ridiculous amount of money. The stores here are crazy awesome! The World of Disney Store, the biggest character store in the world, is easily 20x the size of my store at home. If not more. And despite the heavy traffic, it was still very organized and neat looking. Imagine how many hours they get! And the stitch outside likes to spit on people. Not surprising…

Also, our store has been starting to get products made of recycled materials, reusable bags, organic cotton shirts, and the like. The same lines of product are here too. With cooler designs!

The candy store is amazing as well. I couldn’t decide what to get because I wanted it all. Disney gummies are seriously the best ones I’ve had ever. If there are any pockets of space in my luggage (ha!), then I’m filling it with candy.

Another amazing store is the Holiday store – all Christmas 365 days a year. Unfortunately I dont’ want to bring back anything breakable, so everything stayed there. But it’s pretty cool. You could get a monorail set for the tree, instead of the more traditional train set. But It doesn’t say “Por Favor Manténgase Alejado de las Puertas” (the monorail says to stand clear of the doors in english and spanish). If it did, I would seriously ship one home.

We had also checked out the Boardwalk, but sillily did so in the morning when it’s pretty dead. Will have to scope out later at night – Jellyrolls, amirite?

I think this was also a swimming day. I can’t remember, but I’m starting to get used to pools.

AND PINS. Stupid Pin Store.

080 – Disney Day Three

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After a long day at Magic Kingdom, Cat and I took a trip to EPCOT. You know, the park with the big expo-style ball? By the time the park closed, we had only really done the first half of it, doing Futureworld and just barely visiting the Canada part of the world showcase. We’re going to have to go again.

Spaceship Earth was perhaps my favourite thing at Epcot. Inside the huge ball, there’s an attraction that goes through the story of communication, from cave wall paintings to Matrix-style letters falling on the ceiling. And stars. And matrices of lights that look like they go on forever. We did it twice! My close-second fave attraction: Mission Space. Wow. Have you ever been to Mars? I went twice! Thanks, Gary Sinise! The simulated G-Forces were off the huzzle (bonus points if you just laughed there). Test Track was also amazing. It’s accelerating in a car, round and round, dodging obstacles – basically human crash test dummies. It’s a roller coaster that doesn’t feel like a roller coaster, which is alright in my books!

I made my own paper, recycled lots, and got stuck in an ill-prepared house during a severe weather storm. The 3-D shows are tricky with their water and air effects.

NEMO! The Seas was actually a little disappointing, because there wasn’t much to it, and it’s nowhere near as exciting as the other shows at the Magic Kingdom. talking with Crush was was funnier than Mike’s Laugh Floor, if only because kids ask the weirdest questions.

“how do you talk?”
“uh, with my mouth!”
“the turtles I know don’t talk!”
“*blank stare* strange, all the turtles I know talk, dude!”

That one’s probably very different each time.

“How do you swim?”
“uuh, in water, dudette! If I swam in the air, then I’d be flying!”

That one was funnier because one girl mentionned that she flew to Disney in a plane. Crush’s rection? Priceless.

Soarin’ is a hand-gliding flight over California. It was pretty exciting, and very convincing, but it would be better if it had seamless transitions though, lighting and locales change gradually. Honey I Shrunk the Audience was another 3D show. I thought it took too long to get to the good stuff, but it reminded me of how fun that universe is. Also the mice got me good!

And then the day was over. The Canada restaurant was reserved for a celebration of some sort of anniversary. And there’s no Tim Horton’s either. Seems like a missed opportunity!

And yes, there was more pin trading. And pin buying. I think I’m addicted.

079 – Disney Day Two

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Magic Kingdom

WOW.

Magic Kingdom is huge! The whole thing started off walking down Main Street USA from which you get a fantastic view of the iconic Cinderella’s Castle. And from there, it just kept getting better and better. We somehow managed to see a lot of it… not quite everything, but a whole lot. The park wasn’t that busy, so, in combination with Fastpasses, we didn’t have to do a whole lot of waiting. I wanted to see everything – soak up every detail and become part of it. This being my first real theme park experience makes it even moreso overwhlming. The little details are what makes Disney so spectacular, and Magic Kingdom is no exception to that rule.

Adventureland

If you’re going clockwise, Adventureland is the first main area. The Jungle Cruise was neat – animatronics is a big part of this place, and this is my first glimpse at this dying style of storytelling. The Tiki Room was a bit confusing because I wasn’t paying attention to the story as much as I was admiring the detail of the room, but Iago did a great spin on the Friend Like Me song. The pirates show a great show too – tons of detail.

Frontierland

Here’s where all the excitement is! Here, we made good use of Fastpasses and did two rides while waiting in line for one. First up was Splash Mountain. Now, if you know me, I’m not one for water – showering is as wet as i usually get, and not one for rollercoasters – I need to be dragged kicking and screaming on even the simplest SuperEx rollercoaster (ok, not the simplest. I’ll do the kiddie one no problem). And here I am, in line for a water rollercoaster that drops 16m (50+ feet, about 5 stories)… with a character theme that I don’t even know! But with much anxiety and some arm twisting from Cat, I go. And it wasn’t bad! It was good preparation for the next ride.

Big Thunder Railroad. I was scared until I actually did it. After that, I wouldn’t have minded going again. Maybe roller coasters are meant for more than computer sim games?

Liberty Square

There isn’t much here unless you’re big on US presidents. And Haunted Mansions. Haunter Mansion was really clever. I was more impressed with some of the effects tahn the actual ride itself. They made a movie about this?

Fantasy Land

This area is the tamer part of town. It’s also where I experienced my first 3D show – Mickey’s PhilharMagic. Very clever. And silly Donald. The Dumbo elephants were nice as well – how come I could easily do these when I was younger, but am apprehansive about the heights now? Mad Tea Party was awesome. I love anything spinney. I can do spinney all day!

Mickey’s Toontown Fair

My first real character meeting! Cinderella. Belle. Sleeping Beauty. Minnie. MICKEY! The princesses were awesome. Part of what makes s them so great is watching them with kids. I threw out a couple of good questions, but to see what they say. I asked Cindy the question that has been plaguing me for over a year: why doesn’t her slipper disappear when the magic is reversed at Midnight? If you wanna know what she said, you’ll have to ask me. And meeting Mickey and Minnie was so totally awesome! Even though I’m a big Disney nut, these guys weren’t really on my radar, until this day. Now I can’t get enough of them! Fantastic! I also explored their houses.

Tomorrowland

This is the alst segment of the Magic Kingdom. Space Mountain was closed, but I did drive on the speedway. The car in front of me wasn’t too great on the road, so I went slower than I probably could have. This little girl overtook me half way through and was so excited! I tried to catch up, but couldn’t :(

The Buzz Lightyear Spin ride reminded me of laser tag with targets, and not other people. It built my excitement for Toy Story Mania. Stitch’s attraction was neat, but kinda disappointed. He burped once, fowl!

Pin Trading

Pin Trading is absolutely cool! I made one kid’s day by trading him my Bolt pin for sme random Pirates pin. Later that day, I ran into him and his brother again, and the brother traded me a cooler Pirates pin for his brother’s old one. I also made a woman’s day with my spinney Ursala pin. It was her first trade and was ecstatic! Trading with the Cast is easy, it’s with the guests where its more interesting. This one little girl came up to me and asked to see my pins. Her mother was surprised by this and quickly told her that I didn’t work at the park, which made her scared and run away. So, I went up to her and started talking, and showing her the pins I had, but she was too shy after the fact. Too adorable!

After getting back, we ended up watching some Nemo on the beach thanks to an inflatable screen they set up on some nights, and having smores around a campfire. Yes, my resort had an outdoor movie theatre and a campfire. Beach. Volleyball net. Hammocks. Hot tub. Pool. Even a nighttime light parade on the water!

078 – Disney Day One

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This was my frist trip on an airplane! The take-off was a bit tense-ifying, but once I realised it was a bit like a rollercoaster without the down bits, I didn’t mind at all. I also slept on the planes. Once I got to Washington DC, the first thing I noticed was pizza… at Subway? How crazy!

Then I got to the Orlando airport. It’s a whole other climate. Sweater? Really?! Unnecessary. Palm trees and conifers alike populate the roadways, and there are Disney signs everywhere… at least on the path of the Disney Express. Once I arrived, I went and lounged on the beach at the resort. Surprisngly, it wasn’t packed with people. A few kids here and there, and their parents, but plenty of room to sleep on hammocks and splash around (though I didn’t because I was waiting for my luggage to arrive. And Cat.

Once Cat arrived, we took the bus to Downtown Disney to buy Star Trek tickets. I HAVE STAR TREK TICKETS! Aterwards, we went to Planet Hollywood where there was a 40-minute wait for a table… but no wait for the bar. Smartly, we went and ate at a table at the bar. Even after not having eaten since lunch at Subway in DC, I couldn’t finish my burger. Not even close! I felt bad about it, but what can you do!

For those who work at Disney with me, I got my ID! After all that waiting and panicing. And you truly notice the Disney Difference here, from the moment you land at the airport. There is no comparison between the United people at the airport, and the even the Disney Express people at the Orlando airport. Night and day. I’ve been greeted with smiles and “what can I do for you” at every turn, and everyone has been so helpful. So far! I talked at length with one CM about Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus and all the other Disney Tween peeps. I couldn’t do that anywhere else, haha!

Anyway, it’s time to shower and head out to the Magic Kingdom. My camera is gonna die!

073 – Young Man, Old Man, Lost Boy.

Me, right now. Tired and staring at my Web cam.

Me as an old man. Some lady’s going to be real lucky to have a handsome guy like that fifty years from now. I’ll be as lovable as Bill Cosby, with a better-than-Jell-o substitute! Wanna try? Click here

I’ve kept track of all my purchases over the last week, and have combined them into one image. And just for you guys, I’ll post them so that you can see where my money goes. Two parts Booster Juice, two parts Subway, one part random Disney merch, one part computer accessory (or necessity, in the case of stupid printer ink), and the two purchases you don’t see, 20 parts US currency exchange and 40 parts Disney resort payment. I’m sure that company made more from me on that payment than they did the Camp Rock USB key I bought – and only bought because I lent mine to my cousin who has yet to return it. Maybe today on our regular post-class Carlingwood Shopping Center outing.


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Did I mention I’m running on close to no sleep? I did get about 4.5 hours over the 14 hours between work ending Sunday and the exam I had this Monday morning. If restfulness smelled like lilacs and vanilla in a field of freshly baked goods, I would smell like cheap, fuming gas exhaust from a car that’s been burning rubber. In the middle of the summer. I am making the best of it though, counting down the minutes until I get home. 240. Maybe more if there’s that aforementioned Carlingwood outing.

I am half an hour to breaking the 30 day mark on my trip, a trip I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Excitedly so! My “to pack” list is nothing more than mental Post-Its scattered around my disorganized brain (which means I’m likely to forget something vital, like my camera battery charger). It mostly consists of Reactine, board shorts, Nemo towel, and camera battery charger. Within the next week or two, I’ll write down as many things as I can and systematically eliminate the things that are absolutely absurd. Do I really need to bring Prashanta’s trumpet that’s been hiding in my closet for years now? Not really. Wii? That one I’m currently on the fence.

And my watch that I don’t need to change timezones for.

I’ve decided that I like the new facebook layout. It’s fairly streamlined and things are posted in such a way that it’s easy for me to comment. That’s all I need really.

Walking home from school the other day (yes I still do that on occasion, despite the buses running at near full capacity), I found this picture. Paul, 2007.

064 – A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Imagineers, listen up! I had a crazy dream about Disneyworld just now about an awesome attraction. It was either an Earth-through-the-ages themed building, or an extreme-climates-of-the-Earth theme. I started off in the entrance room, and there layers of mats, that hung at the bottom of a huge spherical system. Each mat represented a different period or climate. When you changed the mat you were on, it transformed the room’s look, walls, window views, humidity, and temperature to match. We went from a prehistoric-looking jungle to a lava theme.

The lava theme had OC-Transpo-style heaters (kinda like this but you can see the tip on one here) that heated the room quickly. I stood up on the semi-spherical mat and tried to charge my watch faster…. see when the watch interacted with certain elements, a special button caused the watch to display all kinds of things. In this case, I was going to become a lavaman or fire superhero of some kind. It was really fascinating.

Also form the windows, which somehow the views changed. I stuck my arm out to make sure it wasn’t just a screen. Initially there was a view of a big Disneyland-style resort (not Disneyworld), then there was the sun setting over a body of water with icebergs floating around. Icebergs at disney!

The drag? I was with my cousin who had brought all of MY DS games with him, around Disneyworld. I had to carry them all in my red lunch bag. The whole family had gone, but it was just me and him for some reason. Also, we had Super Ex-style bracelets (you know, the fibery papery plasticy ones that you need to cut off to remove) instead of card passes for parks. Also, Kate and Kat from work were there, because they were in an elevator and I ran to ask them questions about the park. Poor Costa!! Cat was MIA… probably coming by smart car. Or taxi. How much would a cross country taxi trip cost, anyway?

Unfortunately, my alarm kept waking me up, so I didn’t get to explore this place more. But it was spectacular. I’m just under 64 days away, and already I’m having crazy vivid (and perhaps unrealistic) dreams! And I will not bring my DS to that parks.

063 – Wine & Whine

2008_06_06_k01 - Bicycle Remains

2008_06_10_k03 - Approaching Storm

2008_06_16_k01 - London Fog

2008_07_01_k01 - Familiar Faces

2008_07_09_k01 - Soccer Ball Head

2008_07_12_k01 - <3

2008_07_29_k01 - Italian Tomatoes (product of Mexico)

2008_07_31_k01 - Pictionary in a Can

2008_08_16_k01 - Squish

2008_09_13_k01 - Mask

Pictures: A bunch of random ones that I took with my cell phone over the summer.

I often forget to dump the pictures that I take with my cell phone, and when I do, I often forget to upload them to Flickr. Well, this is part one!

Disneyworld is 66 days away. Time is going so quick! However, before I can get on a place, I need to deal with assignments, midterms, presentations, and finals, not necessarily in that order. Those are the parts that I’m not looking forward to.

There are three drinks that I can’t see myself ever liking are coffee, wine, and beer. Last night, I decided to buy some wine just to see if maybe the “10 times” rule that Prashanta is always on about could apply. After talking to the guy at Wine Rack, I decided to try a pinot grigio, based on the fact that I was looking for something simple. It was alright in the sense that I actually managed to finish a glass (or two?). Some have already suggested that I try red wines… we’ll see! If there are any specific suggestions, let me know!

Yogurt commercials are strange, all womany happily eating yogurt with each other.

I recently watched Be Kid, Rewind. The start was a bit slow, and the end was somewhat frustrating, but the middle part was pretty entertaining. I think the most disappointing part was that the movies that the characters would remake in 20 minutes were watchable online, and not in the movie itself – not even in the credits.

On the tv front, Dollhouse is proving to be an interesting show with twists and whatnot – hopefully it can sustain this beyond a couple of episodes. Heroes is proving to be average with touches of excitement that keeps me interested. Mad Men (I’m jsut starting) isn’t proving to be anything special after 3 eps, beyond its authentic old school 60s theme (not that I was alive in that day and age with which to compare).

Interesting link: http://www.cscoutjapan.com/en/index.php/eco-art-the-green-island-project

061 – Wall-E Collection

To kick off the exciting time that is anticipating Disneyworld, I thought I would study exactly how much Disney-related stuff I’ve amassed in recent times. This time, I’ll focus on Wall-E. The little robot that could is just too awesome. Everybody knows that I’m the “Wall-E guy” and have been since well before the movie came out. And while I don’t have the crazy $300 interactive robot, I have collected a number of items both purchased by me or given to me as a gift.

200901_27_01 - Interactive Wall-E

This interactive, dancing Wall-E talks, has eyes that light up, and can even play music from an MP3 player.

200901_27_02 - Wall-E Drawing

I went all out and bought the 3-Disk edition of the DVD. The extra special feature disk rocks! Especially with the extra deleted scenes.

200901_27_03 - Pop-Up Storage

Wall-E Laundry. What could be better?

200901_27_04 - Eye-Changing Eve

Eve changes her expression when you bop her on the head, has a plant in her belly, and even has an interchangeable arm cannon.

200901_27_05 - M-O

M-O can actually suck up little particles when he runs over them!

200901_27_06 - Tap Dancin'

Wall-E Tap dances when you pull his string. Also the lamp that he’s under has wall-e stickers on the shade.

200901_27_07 - Baseball

Let’s play ball!

200901_27_08 - Calendar

I even have a Wall-E Calendar. February’s picture is all pink. And if you’re wondering, the necklace hanging in front is a Heroes symbol, like the Haitian wears.

200901_27_09 - Wall-E Pin

Wall-E a bit bang up from exploring the real world.

200901_27_10 - Pins

EVE and M-O pins on a lanyard (to be detailed later).

200901_27_11 - Posters

Matching posters in a retro advertisement style.

200901_27_12 - Dome Tumbler (Detail)

200901_27_13 - Dome Tumbler

A dome tumbler! At the base is a little Wall-E in a little snowglobe.

200901_27_14 - Sticker

This has been on my phone for over half a year. It’s a quick way of finding out which pone is mine.

200901_27_15 - Keychains

Keychains! They came from a set of Pixar keychains, which had characters form every Pixar movie – except A Bug’s Life. How Rude.

200901_27_16 - Coin Bank

Wall-E’s even a great security guard. This one protects money.

200901_27_18 - Paper M-O

I made a paper M-O from a book of “make your own!” Wall-E characters. I didn’t follow the instructions, and as such, he doesn’t look quite right. I need to make the rest, soon.

Believe it or not, I forgot that I had a fridge door covered by Wall-E magnets. I’ll add that one on a future update.