Friday, April 29, 2011
You know what the only good thing about this time of year here in Orlando is?
('Cuz it's definitely NOT the 100 degree weather. [Yes, it really did hit 100 this week. FAN ME NOW.])
It's the fact that the Magic Kingdom has been staying open 'til midnight or later.
About a week ago John and I headed over there at 10:30 at night, ie, the time when it starts to cool off a smidge. Sure, the humidity is still at 3,000%, and it never gets under 75 degrees, but at least the sun is down. And they sell ice cream on Main Street. Which we ate at 1:30 in the morning, before catching the last tram out to our car.
Anyway, the other day we made dinner plans with some new friends at the Columbia Harbour House, and I brought my camera to grab a few detail shots:
Disney restaurants usually have great theming, too, so anytime you eat at the parks try to take a minute to walk around and take it all in.
Oh, and if you ever eat at Harbour House there's only one place to sit: on the bridge upstairs with windows overlooking the walkway from Fantasyland on one side, and the rivers of America on the other. Unless the park is really busy you'll probably have the entire area to yourself, and it's a great cozy spot that most folks never discover. In fact, it almost makes up for the lousy tuna fish sandwiches! [Zing! Sorry, Disney.]
After dinner we wandered through the new queue at the Haunted Mansion (amazing - check it out online if you can't come see it in person) and then over to Splash Mountain...
...where I waited outside snapping photos while everyone else got drenched. (I'm not a big drop person. Or a roller coaster person.) I love all the lanterns in the trees at the queue, though, don't you? We have a giant tree in our backyard - bigger than these - and it's my dream to someday have it wired for hanging lanterns like this. It's so dreamy, like Lothlorien!
Next I want to show you my two favorite hidden treasures in the Winnie the Pooh ride. If you like hidden mickeys and park trivia, then you're going to LOVE these. (Assuming you don't already know about them, of course!)
The first is found at the very entrance to the queue:
When the tree was first built, the Imagineers decided to leave a small homage to the ride it replaced: a tiny imprint of the Nautilus, tucked away where even those who are looking for it have a hard time finding. Eventually, though, those people will locate it above the right-hand doorway and take a picture for you:
(In Disneyland in California, WtP replaced the Country Bear Jamboree. So in one of the rooms on the ride, if you look up and behind you you'll see the three mounted animal heads - the ones that used to sing in the Jamboree - up on the wall. You'd never spot them if you weren't looking, though!)
Ghost Tigger! OooooOOoooo!
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