November 28, 2007

Epcot Visit #2

Today we went for our 2nd visit to Epcot. Before leaving, we decided to take a picture of the new centerpiece at our dining table.

Upon entering Epcot, we headed over to peruse the Mouse Gear Store. It is the largest store in Epcot and the 2nd largest store on Disney property. This is where we will be working the next few months.

Epcot is decorated for its Christmas Around the World celebration.

This was located at the Gateway to the World Showcase, which is the part of the park which features authentic looking buildings, marketplaces & restaurants representing 11 different countries of the world.

During Christmas Around the World, Epcot puts on a nightly Candlelight Processional Show hosted by celebrities who narrate stories of Christmas. A large choir is also featured singing traditional Christmas fare.

Here's a video Marlon took of a portion of The Candlelight Processional.
For a few more pictures, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/epcot-2/ .

To be continued...

November 24, 2007

Lake Wales Mall & Bowling

Today Frank & Joyce met us at the shopping mall in Lake Wales, about half way between Sebring and Davenport.

Father and sons rode the merry go round in the food court.

Here's the merry go round in video action.
Austin visited with Santa but was stumped about what he wanted for Christmas...at first.

This little girl enjoyed herself at the children's playground at the mall.

After a little shopping, we headed off to bowl at The Recreation Station.

Here's Aron concentrating on the pins.

Frank celebrates a strike...one of many.

Marlon aims for the gutter but misses thanks to the children's bumpers set up on the lane.

Joyce prepares for her approach.

Austin displays his unique bowling stance.

For a few more pictures of our outing, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/mall-with-frankjoyc/ .

To be continued...

November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Today we drove about 60 miles south to Sebring. We were headed for Thanksgiving Dinner at Frank & Joyce's.

Frank was in charge of the turkey and had decided to deep fry it.

Austin was in charge of seat assignments at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.

Aron was in charge of the Gears of War video game...blowing up and decapitating anyone who tried to ruin our Thanksgiving.

Aron was also in charge of the card tricks in the following video.
Here we are just about ready to sit down for a feast. Joyce was in charge of the rest of the food and had prepared so much that we noticed 3 hours later that the stuffing was still sitting on the stove untouched.

That gobble gobble sure smelled good.

So did this oink oink.

After dinner, we headed over to nearby Highlands Hammock State Park for a nature hike.

We found this short hike which promised alligators and snakes in exchange for looking carefully and walking quietly.

As luck would have it, we walked quietly enough to happen upon this alligator...hard to see in the picture...but an alligator it was.

We weren't scared though. We were walking on a catwalk at least 3 whole feet above the powerful jaws of the alligator.

Frank's sister, Marlon's step sister, Laura, was so tired after the hike she took a nap.

For more pictures of Thanksgiving 2007, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/thanksgiving-at-franks-/ .

To be continued...

November 21, 2007

Spook Hill & Florida's Natural

Today we drove about 25 miles south of Theme World to see a couple of items of interest in Lake Wales, Florida.

The first place we found was Spook Hill...located on a street that appears to slope downhill initially and then turn into a steep uphill. When cars stop on the downhill part and shift into neutral, they will actually roll backwards up to the beginning of the street. Legend has it...

Looking at Spook Hill from a distance.

The street appears to be heading downhill up to the bushes, but cars will mysteriously roll backwards as if the street is actually uphill at this point. This picture doesn't quite do it justice.

Here's a video in which we attempted to capture the essence of Spook Hill.
As The Travel Channel has pointed out, there are several such Spook Hills around the United States. Each is actually an optical illusion whereby observers are somewhat disoriented by the surroundings into believing the street is going downhill in a certain place when in fact it is not. Thus cars roll in the direction opposite what the observer would think they would.

After Spook Hill, we headed over to Florida's Natural Orange Juice Visitor Center for some free orange juice, raspberry lemonade, grapefruit and grapefruit cranberry juice.

Neither of us cared for the grapefruit juices. All the visitor center's interactive displays and movies were not operating due to a recent lightning strike. So if we really want to know about Florida's Natural Orange Juice, we will have to return in the future.

For a few more pictures, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/spook-hill-floridas/ .

To be continued...

November 16, 2007

Disney's Animal Kingdom Visit #1

Today we decided to go check out Disney's Animal Kingdom. We had visited before in 1999 when the park was only one year old...several attractions have been added since then.

The Tree of Life is an original focal point of the park. If you look really close, you can see the animals "carved" into the tree.

Expedition Everest is a great rollercoaster which debuted in 2006.

These are a couple of attractions that debuted long ago. Pluto-like dogs arrived on the scene in 1930 but Pluto first appeared as Mickey's dog in 1931. Goofy was originally Dippy Dawg when he debuted in 1932 but was named Goofy in 1934 at the same time Donald Duck and Clara Duck (who's that?) were introduced.

This guy was around as little as 65 million years ago. He is now part of Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur ride.

On the Kilimanjaro Safari we spotted this fuel-guzzling creature off in the distance.

For some odd reason, we only took one picture of animals on the Safari. Have no fear, we will probably be back for more.

As we were leaving the park today, our cousin---several times removed---decided to entertain us a little.

We caught him in action in this very short video.
For more pictures of Animal Kingdom, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/disneysanimalkingdo/ .

To be continued...

November 15, 2007

Disney MGM Studios Visit #1

Today we headed to Disney's MGM Studios.

Here we visited Munchkin Land on The Great Movie Ride.

Then Marlon stopped long enough for a quick picture in case The Tower of Terror (in the background) claims him as another victim.

Having survived The Tower of Terror we head on over to the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

As we were getting ready to leave the park at dusk, we happened upon The Osborne Family Dancing Spectacle of Lights.

This unique display features more than 5 million lights dancing to Christmas music.

The lights originated in Little Rock, Arkansas in the mid '80s at The Osborne Family home. However, neighbors took the Osborne family to court several times (including the United States Supreme Court) regarding the lights. Disney heard the story and offered to move the lights to Florida.

Watch footage of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and The Osborne Family Dancing Spectacle of Lights below.

For a few more pictures from Disney MGM Studios, go to
http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/mgmstudiosorlandovisit1/ .

To be continued...

November 4, 2007

Epcot Visit #1

Today we headed to Disney's EPCOT. The park, which opened in 1982, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The first attraction we visited was The Universe of Energy where Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" take you on a trip through time to the land of dinos to learn about the origins of energy.

Over in The Land at Epcot, you take a boat ride through the Epcot greenhouse. Here they grow fruits and vegetables using the most modern techniques existing today.

This tomato tree, which has grown from a SINGLE vine, has yielded more than 32,000 tomatoes in its life---a world record! For more info on the greenhouse and the wide varieties of produce grown there visit
http://www.wdwnews.com/ViewPressRelease.aspx?PressReleaseID=100253 .

Then we headed over to The Seas to see if we could help find Nemo...again!

Luckily, we WERE able to find him.

Marlon takes a break along a test dummy outside Test Track, a simulation of the road tests new cars are put through prior to being shipped for sale.

Then it was on to Mexico where we found these mariachi-playing skeletons.

Over in Italy, Marlon was excited to be chosen as the "young" hero of Romeo and Juliet. In the words of the Epcot cast members "we're looking for someone about 16 years of age...this one's seen 16 a few times over."

After his experience in acting, Marlon has decided to stick with his day job...whatever THAT is.

Here the sun begins to set over the Epcot lagoon.

The State of Oklahoma celebrates its 100th anniversary as a state this year and proud representatives of the state are at Epcot to provide tourism information.

The fountains at Epcot take on a whole different look at night.

Looking for a highlight video of our visit to Epcot? Here it is!

For more of our visit, go to
http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/november/epcotvisit1/ .

To be continued...