Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Returned to Magic Kingdom Just to Take a Picture with the Castle!

After Epcot we returned to Magic Kingdom because some of us did not get the chance to go there last time, so we took the monorail and headed to Magic Kingdom.

This time I made sure I took some pictures with the castle.

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If you look closely it says 'Hong Kong Disneyland' (look at where we're pointing). That panel and the picture above it changes every few seconds... basically shows the history of Disney parks for the past 50 years.

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Finally got a picture of me, the castle, Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. You won't believe how long I waited until this spot clears for me to have a photo of myself taken.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Orlando Also has a Gigantic Durian, Not Just Singapore!

We only spent a couple of hours in Epcot, because we planned to return to Magic Kingdom again later in the day...

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One thing I regret... I didn't buy any EPCOT souvenirs... darn. I wanted a replica that durian-like sphere on my desk because I know that it would possibly be quite a couple of years (decades?) before I would get a chance to come to this place again...


Durian, the king of tropical fruits... I love em!

Picture of the durian is taken from


Next: back to Magic Kingdom

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Real Mad Hatters of Disney!

Orlando Day 3 - Disney MGM Studios

We began the next day by visiting Disney MGM Studios (now known as Disney Hollywood Studios), the movie/film industry themed portion of Walt Disney World.

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Everyone felt so uppity that day that we took almost 10 pictures every 3 minutes... we barely walked 5 steps and all of us just stopped to take pictures...

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We took pictures with anything that catches the eye... even just a car on the side of the road...

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MGM Studios has sets for filming scenes in certain cities... for example San Francisco (the pic above)...

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... and the classic New York City. Personally I think the NYC set looks more convincing, what do you think?

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The ride of the day... The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in the Hollywood Tower Hotel... the ride drops you down and shoots you up multiple times and you can see the view outside as well... got us pumped with adrenaline. Good thing we got on this ride before lunch.

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Car stunt show was both fun and educational... and they try to slip in some comedic appeal as well, which, for the easily amused me, worked excellently. The show featured some car stunts and also some 'how we did it', with a cameo by the famous Volkswagon Herbie (the Love Bug) and a big explosion to end the show.

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As with previous Disney parks... go to the Disney store, wear fancy hats, take pictures, put them back. Pick another hat, take pictures, put em back. Rinse and repeat. Haha we're so cheap! We're the real Mad Hatters of Disney!


Next stop: EPCOT                  

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cinderella Castle is Really NOT That Tall!

Orlando Day 2 - Disney's Magic Kingdom

We went straightaway to the Magic Kingdom later in the afternoon, right after we left Animal Kingdom.

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This is right in front of the entrance to Magic Kingdom. You'll find a lot of people here just standing or sitting around, either having pictures taken, waiting for someone, or just people watching.

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The Toontown Fair is where you'll find lots of fair-themed shops selling lots of Disney merchandise. Although it looks like a town or country fair, the prices are not like those you find at fairs! But they are all really wonderful souvenirs, I wish I had more cash on me to grab some of them home, especially the wonderful hats and plush toys.

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I stank of Stitch's breath for the rest of the night after the Stitch's Great Escape 'ride'. The ride involves experiences in light, sound, sense and smell! There's a part where you get sprayed with Stitch's slobber and where he belches on your face, you can feel the heat of his breath and smell the hotdog and mustard!

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If only these Stitch hats were any cheaper... I love the fancy hats and one hundred times more if they were of Stitch. I can say that Stitch is definitely one of my favorite Disney characters. Being poor students, we did what any poor student would do in a Disney park souvenirs shop --- wear hats, take pictures, put hats back on shelf. Grab another hat. Repeat.

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We stayed until the night to experience the night parade and the fireworks.

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For the night parade... we couldn't find a good place to sit, so we
stood for an hour in the middle of the crowd, with people
pushing and pushing to get a good view of the colorfully lit Disney
characters parading with lightbulbs and LED costumes.

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Cinderella and Prince Charming in the pumpkin horse carriage.

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Ariel, from the Little Mermaid. Not as skimpy as the cartoon version, haha.

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Cinderella Castle at night. The castle was constructed to make it seem like it's really big and tall, but it's really not that tall. They use forced perspective in the construction of the castle, because according to the local regulations, any structure taller than a certain height must have a red blinking beacon at its pinnacle. Since this will interfere with the 'magical' theme of the castle, they built it shorter than the regulation height, but incorporate the forced perspective so that the castle would still look big and commanding.

And I was too mesmerized by the fireworks that I didn't take any photos! But pictures won't do it justice, you have to experience it for yourself!

Next: Disney MGM Studios!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Never Too Old to Be a Disney Fan!

The first of our 2-day Park Hopper quest... Disney's Animal Kingdom. We took the 9am shuttle from our hotel near Downtown Disney and arrived at Animal Kingdom about 20 minutes after.

Park Hopper is one of the Disney Park packages offered that allows you to go to any of the Disney Parks in Orlando (Magic Kingdom, Disney MGM, Animal Kingdom) for unlimited number of times within the span of 48 hours. It is much cheaper than buying day passes at each park, especially if you plan to go to more than one Disney Park in a day.

It wasn't even 10 am yet and Animal Kingdom was full of people. Unless you've waited at the gates since before the park was opened early in the morning, you would always see hundreds of people around --- tourists, families, field trip groups, and of course the park staff.

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A picture before entering the park. There were 3 signboards for Animal Kingdom... one with an elephant's head, one with a dragon's head, and other one I can't remember (someone help me on this, please). We chose the elephant's head. No particular reason though. Maybe because it was the middle one.

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We saw the enormous Tree of Life from afar. One look and one might think it's a real tree, but in fact it's man-made. Inside the tree is a theatre where we got to see a Bug's Life 3D presentation, which was definitely a lot of fun.

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The Tree of Life's bark is full of animal motifs... we can spot a few obvious ones from afar, but for some they are so small or hidden you really have to search.

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A cute set of statues of Huey, Dewey and Louie with Daisy hiking along a small  stream. It looked like Daisy was really waving at us.

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A must-do for anyone visiting a Disney park... photo sessions with the main Disney characters. We lined up for about 15-20 minutes to meet and greet Mickey and Donald. One of my friends remarked that all of us seemed too old to be doing this, but everybody does it anyways regardless of age, so we waited in line, being the only bunch of twenty-somethings without a kid in the group taking pictures with Mickey and Donald. I didn't think it was childish at all. Someone's that insecure, I guess. Anyway I had fun shaking hands with them, Donald even tried scanning the barcode on one of my friend's t-shirt, which I found amusingly hilarious.

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Then we went to a Lion King's musical theatre presentation... which was awesome. Being the only Disney fan in the group, I was the only one among my friends who was able to sing along to the all the Disney songs they sang in the musical, even though my singing voice some would prefer not to hear at all. A lot of singing, a lot of dancing, awesome choreography. One performance I found most entertaining was a group of acrobatic 'monkeys'--- they were really good at doing flips and jumps and balancing acts, it seemed more like a themed circus show to me at times. Definitely an entertaining presentation I must say, the performers have really done an awesome job, no doubt.

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Then there was the African safari ride, the Everest ride that we didn't have time to go to, and the dinosaur show that we didn't see. All because of time constraint and the weather, which seemed like it was about to rain, and it did, for a couple of minutes, which caused a lot of the outdoor rides to be closed, but then afterwards the sky cleared. I feel bad for the people who lined up for 90 minutes for the Everest ride only to find out that it was closed because of the lightning, thunder and rain. I was glad that I abandoned my waiting in line for Everest, otherwise it would've been a waste of one hour of my time.

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The sky cleared in time for the 4 pm parade. The main 'streets' were closed, thousands of people lined up the sides of the streets to watch the colorful parade. We were fortunate enough to find a good spot to sit and watch without having to stand for hours.


After the parade, we left Animal Kingdom via shuttle to our next destination - Disney's Magic Kingdom.

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