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Showing posts from October, 2014

Not So Scary, So Much Candy!

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One of the things on my "must-do" list at Disney included finally doing a hard-ticket event in the Magic Kingdom. I'd heard that the Halloween Party was a lot more fun than the Christmas Party, so on my fall trip I was able to purchase a ticket.
The premise is this: everyone who attends is encouraged to wear costumes (but not TOO accurate for some costumes like Snow White or Belle) and can trick-or-treat in various areas around the park. Many attractions are still open, but there are special shows, dance parties, and fireworks that are the highlights of the evening.

I planned on arriving in the Magic Kingdom as the Ninth Doctor from Doctor Who, but I didn't want to be in the outfit all day, so I stored it in my car. People with party tickets can arrive at the park at 4pm (though the party doesn't officially start till 7), and I wanted to make the most out of my time, since this would be my only time in the Magic Kingdom all vacation.



I was in Epcot, and I took t…

An Adventure with Indy

Fourteen years ago, my family crammed into a 3,000 seat arena-style theater, in the upper half of the bowl. It was the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, where actors would perform three scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, including all the stunts.

Then a casting assistant director came out before the first scene, announcing that he was looking for extras to perform in the street market scene. My older brother, who had purchased a large hat to keep away the Florida heat, took it off and started waving it around like a mad person. Lo and behold, the cast member picked him as one of twelve extras!

He was ecstatic over this, and so were we. It was wonderful seeing him perform in front of so many people, because each participant gets to act out something and look pretty ridiculous up there. For example, he had to act evil, and his first instinct was to act like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers (that was popular back then, kids).

In the actual market scene it was hard to spot him out, but when h…

The Adventures of the Birthday Button

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I am going to make this perfectly clear at the start: I was celebrating my birthday in Walt Disney World.

Did I plan to? No.

Was it my birthday? No.

But will I ever be in Walt Disney World the first weekend in May, when my birthday falls? No.

There are a variety of reasons why this will never happen. Firstly, this weekend is usually when Confirmations take place. This weekend has also been the weekend of grade school track meets since I started teaching. And it is too close to the end of school to take an extended vacation.

So as a result, I celebrated my birthday in October.

This came about when I was picking up my ticket at the Transportation and Ticket Center Will Call. I had purchased my tickets at a discount online, and had no trouble giving them my ticket voucher and getting my card.

When I was about to wrap up, the lady at Will Call asked, "Are you celebrating anything on this trip?"

I shrugged. "I'm on a break!" Which I was. I was on fall break from tea…

The Magical Trip: An Overview

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My trip to Orlando is over and done, but I'm still riding high on the fumes of awesomeness. I can barely get out of my mouth how great the vacation was when people ask. I'm going to take a couple of posts to explain everything, but if you want to know the trip on a whole, this is the post you're looking for!

Day 1 - Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure



New Area I was Anticipating: Everything, but mostly The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I had gotten in to Orlando pretty late the night before thanks to airline and luggage delays, but I finally made it to my hotel at 2am and crashed. Universal opened at 8am the next day, so I was up by 6 and out the door by 7 to make sure I got there on time.

At 8am I wandered my way through the rest of Universal and made it to the back of the park - pretty much where everyone else was going. You can't see Diagon Alley from the other areas of the park - instead, you can see various buildings from London (including King's Cross …

My Definitive Harry Potter Movie Rankings

The night after I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I started the Harry Potter movies. I watched one movie per day, and it was great. Because I had just read the books, I got a lot more out of it, and also noticed when things were different. Because of the differences, the rankings of the movies are very different to those of the books.

The reasons for this are clear: there were different directors for the movies (four different directors, to be exact), different music composers, and different screenwriters bringing their own visions to the Harry Potter universe. Thankfully, the differences were not due to the actors. We could have had the worst series ever if the actors were wooden and didn't bring anything to the table. But the veteran British actors complemented the young adult actors very well, and made for a very good series of eight movies - a very hard feat to accomplish.

Let's look at these rankings, shall we?

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's …