January 31, 2008

Marlon's Birthday at Epcot with Trina & Angie

It's Marlon's birthday and he decided we would all go to Epcot today.

They grow some weird things in the greenhouse at The Land Pavilion. One such thing is the Cinderella Pumpkin which often grows in the shape of a famous mouse.
These plants are being grown using aeroponics in which water and nutrients are sprayed on the plants' roots.
Pumbaa, Timon and The Lion King himself, Simba, teach Epcot guests about the importance of the environment in the film Circle of Life also located within The Land Pavilion.
Dory says "I speak whale...Happy B...i...r...t...h...d...a...y...M...a...r...l...o...n...Elmo doesn't look a thing like you." Nemo tells her MARLON isn't his dad...MARLIN is.
Besides...clownfish don't live to be THAT old.
Or THAT old.
Or as old as these Xian warrior statues found at the China Pavilion.
Or even as old as these two youngsters (one being Mulan).
Clownfish live to 3 to 5 years in captivity and 6 to 10 years in the wild.

The Temple of Heaven is located in the China Pavilion. The theater showcasing the Circle-Vision 360° film Reflections of China can be entered by walking through the Temple.
The Eiffel Tower looms in the background in this photo of the fountains of France in the France Pavilion.
Don't take a picture of me...there's food stuck in my teeth.
Spaceship Earth was open today but won't have its official grand re-opening until February 18th.
Each day at Epcot ends with the spectacular show Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Here's a video.

To be continued...

January 29, 2008

Cypress Gardens and More with Trina & Angie

Today we drove around Kissimmee showing some of the sights to Trina and Angie. While we were driving through the Disney-developed town of Celebration, we came across these turkeys wandering down the sidewalk.

Later that evening we took them to Old Town (Angie and Trina...not the turkeys). In Kissimmee, Old Town is a shopping and entertainment spot complete with carnival rides and live music. They often have weekend bike and car shows too.

The next day we all went to Cypress Gardens and visited the coatimundis. Their natural habitats include Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador and bizarrely to us, Arizona.

The Aviary was one attraction we had not yet visited at Cypress Gardens. This bird made us feel right at home by climbing right on board.

This white cockatoo is thought to be bi-polar. Doug was standing next to the fence and this bird came up behind him saying "hello...hello." After she'd wandered up Doug's arm, the zookeeper warned us that she could be friendly one minute and biting your ear the next...hard. Luckily, she dismounted without any incident.

Next we ventured over to a show we had not yet seen. The Treasure of Cypress Cove will keep you laughing at its many corny jokes and puns.

"Something itches under this darn wing!"

This little tree frog was attempting to blend into the fence railing. He was between one and two inches long.

Angie and Marlon get ready to put out the fire. Meanwhile, Trina scopes out the next smoking area.

Cypress Gardens' Kringles shop is a year-round Christmas store with exhibits featuring the many Santa Clauses of the World.

Here's the Story of Saint Nicholas.

This is Father Ice from the heart of Siberia.

This is Mr. Peacock, possibly retired from NBC.

We then took a stroll through the Botanic Gardens.

We saw some bananas...

some Banyan trees...

and someone GOING bananas...

Then we started up for our final view of the park in The Sunshine Sky Adventure. Here we are beginning the ascent.

Here's a 3-minute video showing highlights of our day.
For more pictures, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2008/january/celebration-and-old/ and http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2008/january/cypress-garden-with/ .

To be continued...

January 27, 2008

Hollywood Studios with Trina & Angie Part 2

At 3' o'clock sharp, it was time for the daily performance of the Hollywood Studios' Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade. Let's take a look.

The motor car with The Grand Marshals starts the parade off. Each day a different group or family gets the opportunity to lead the parade. Here are today's Grand Marshals now.

On hand from Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and the soon to debut Toy Story Mania attraction were Buzz Lightyear, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and everybody's favorite cowboy, Woody.

Next up we had the float featuring the Julie Andrews-Dick Van Dyke classic Disney movie Mary Poppins. Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-ee!

Next up were Jim Henson's Muppets featuring Kermit the Frog and little R2D2 trailed close behind. Miss Piggy was slightly upset that she could not be seen well in this picture.

Star of the 1994 film named for her, here is Mulan-the young girl who saves her aging father's life by disguising herself as a man and serving in the army in his place.

This Genie mobile was the spot to find that kind-hearted thief Aladdin and the princess that chose him as her love, Jasmine.

Famous Hercules bad guy, Hades, ruled his own motor car.
Also visiting were the famous orphan and the alien she befriended, Lilo and Stitch.

Thank goodness The Power Rangers were on hand to keep all the villians in line.

Star of The Disney Channel's Bear in the Big Blue House and how-to-DVD Party Time...oops...Potty Time with Bear, here comes Bear along with some of his friends.

No parade is complete without old-time favorites Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Minnie.

After the parade, we treated Trina to a ride of breath-taking terror at The Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Here she is holding onto Doug's arm for dear life in the middle row on the right hand side.

We also took in the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. It's a fast-paced show featuring car, motorcycle and jet ski chases as well as a cool array of pyrotechnics.

Our show even featured an unscheduled 10-15 minute hiatus due to safety issues during which the excited crowd looked on in anticipation.

Here's a video of some of the stunt action.
The grand finale of every evening at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a fireworks and laser spectacular with a cast of over 50 performers entitled Fantasmic! Here's a 5 minute clip showing highlights of the production we were treated to.
For more pictures of our visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2008/january/disneys-hollywood-s/ .

To be continued...

Hollywood Studios with Trina & Angie Part 1

The New Year brought a New Name to a park that originally opened its doors May 1, 1989 (13 months before the Other One). Disney's MGM Studios has become Disney's Hollywood Studios because Hollywood is what it has always been about.

Today we accompanied Trina and Angie to The Studios. A major player in the movie Fantasia, Magic Kingdom's 3-D Mickey's Philharmagic and the Fantasmic! evening ending show at The Studios, Mickey's sorceror's hat is the focal attraction of the center of the park.

First, we headed on over to take a Star Tour in our cruiser guided by trusty and probably rusty R2D2.

One of the most recognizable icons of the United States, The Statue of Miss Piggy, greeted us in the courtyard outside the venue for the hilarious Muppet Vision 3D.

We had a fantastic buffet at Play 'n Dine at Hollywood & Vine. We dined and played along with several Playhouse Disney characters.

Marlon and Goliath pose for a shot on the way to the food.

JoJo and friend lead the entire restaurant in a rousing rendition of "Hot Dog". Don't know the song? Check it out in this You Tube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wePMYM4av6Q .

Trina learned a thing or two from that smarty-pants Leo (short for Leonardo), one of Disney's Little Einsteins.

Another of Disney's Little Einstein's, June, stopped buy for a visit.

We left the Play 'n Dine just in time to catch the High School Musical 2 Live production staged in the center of the park by the sorceror's hat.

Then it was on to The Great Movie Ride, one of the attractions which has endured since opening day.

For a video highlight of The Great Movie Ride, click below.
Excited tourists prepare for the Studio Backlot Tour and a visit to Catastrophe Canyon, where a demonstration of special effects may cause some tourists to get wet.

I wonder what movie this jet fighter was used in...

Everyone's favorite Love Bug was there...Herbie.

After the tour we ran into Mike Wazowski (with one "I") and Sulley, a couple of our friends from Monsters, Inc. Be sure to visit them and Roz over at the Magic Kingdom at The Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.

The Streets of America feature New York...

and San Francisco (as well as Chicago).

One of the stars of the classic Disney movie, Fantasia, was in charge of cleaning up around the flower beds of The Studios.

For more of our visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios, check out the next blog entry.

To be continued...