Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter Break at Disney World - Day 4

December 29, 2011 - Today, for various reason, we all decided to sleep in a bit, so our plans to meet "early" (our "early" is usually later than others' visiting WDW to start with) became a much later meet than originally planned.

However, we did have a late lunch booked at the 50's Prime Time Café in Disney's Hollywood Studios today, so we were able to accommodate both a sleep in and still keep our lunch reservation. This was the first place we ate when the the park first opened, and still one that we try to get back to at least once on each trip. Imagine eating in your kitchen with the TV on ... back in the 1950's. (Yes, my wife and myself are old enough to remember when the shows being shown on the TV's here were first broadcast.)

It's a beautiful day today, and we are enjoying the first of the days which we can actually call warm. After lunch we head towards the Muppet Vision 3D attraction, and get in the queue. While the line isn't long, we do need to go through the entire queue, which we usually can bypass, but it is always fun to see the "muppetized" movie posters (and silly signs) along the way. When you get to go directly in the front entrance, you miss them. That done, after the show my wife and daughter spend some time in the Muppet store while I wait outside, enjoying the nice day.

We decide now to head over to the Animation building and attend an Animation Academy class and draw another character, but when we get there, the crowd is very large and we decide to skip it this time. Instead we end our day at The Studios with another trip through The Great Movie Ride. Yes, I said end our day here, because today is the day that I had planned on taking pictures of the Holiday Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. This is the high point of what I had planned on the photography agenda for this trip.

My daughter decides to head home and relax - she is working tomorrow - so my wife and I head out. We decide to first take the bus to The Grand Floridian where we can transfer to the monorail which will take us to the Magic Kingdom. The reason we pick this resort, is that our daughter has asked us to pick up some gingerbread shingles at the gingerbread house in the lobby. I want some as well, and although we will be here tomorrow, it is convenient for us to do it today.

(Pictures of our day in Disney's Hollywood studios - and the gingerbread house - can be seen here.)

While we are in the Grand Floridian, we pick up a time schedule for the Magic Kingdom, and realize that we can see both the Electric Parade (formerly the Main Street Electrical Parade) and then Holiday Wishes. (Pictures of the Electrical Parade can be seen here.)

It's early, but I know that if I want to find a choice spot to set up my tripod for the fireworks, I need to get there very early. Having given it much thought, I had decided that the best place to photograph the fireworks (from within the Magic Kingdom) would be from the Main Street train station, so that is our destination.

It's two hours before the Electrical Parade when we arrive and I get the only spot still available at the rail on the train station. I claim it and set up my tripod in anticipation of the parade and fireworks to come. As it turns out, many of the people who were there when I first arrived were band parents waiting to see their child's marching band, 3 of which would precede the parade. That brings back many memories of when my daughter and son would come here each February to perform with their high school marching band. It was during one of these trips that my daughter decided that after college she would come work in Disney World. (She has been here 11 years now!) In my son's senior year in high school he was a Drum Major and in his final march here in the Magic Kingdom, I got to march with him and the band.

After an initial chill, the weather turned quite comfortable, and while I was waiting, my wife picked up something for us to eat, and then decided that she would take the train once around the Magic Kingdom. Finally it was time for the Electrical Parade and shortly after that ... Holiday Wishes. (You can see the photos of Holiday Wishes here. For technical data on the fireworks, check out my photo blog.)

Tomorrow, we will be meeting my daughter and son-in-law after work and do something we had never done before.