Home stretch everyone. Just in time too, as it's already time to start thinking of Boston Comic-con this weekend!
This was the very first water park and it too has a strange history. It doesn't look like it'll ever be reopened. I only really have one memory of this place and it was of me and other kids being yelled at to get off the rocks. Meanies; we only wanted to be Ariel for a minute or two.
Man, remember when you had to hunt high and low for "Nightmare Before Christmas" memorabilia? Back when "Nightmare" first arrived in theaters, Disney had the damndest time figuring out how to sell it. It was actually originally released under their Touchstone banner. Toys were produced very briefly and quickly disappeared from Disney Store shelves. Now they're marketing it to hell and back. All this stuff and not a single tree ornament.
This photograph nicely encapsulates why we all hate Dinoland. You can be a serious place where there's a walk-through garden with realistic dinosaur sculptures and a very respectful attitude. Or you can be a wacky place with goofy dinosaurs and the kinds of cheesy carnival things you'd see at the Yarmouth Clam Festival. You really shouldn't try to be both at the same damn time.
One of the things I was most looking forward to this trip was the aforementioned EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. EPCOT often has lovely gardens anyway, but they pull out all the stops during the Festival. You like character topiaries? Then you have to visit Disney World in the spring.
This is just a small sample of how amazing the place looks during the Festival. Tinkerbell's Fairy friend here is giving visitors a "21 Butterfly Salute" (um... yeah.) You can also see a hot air balloon that Tinkerbell built so that she could fly all over Neverland. (Don't ask why she needs a balloon when she's a Fairy who secretes magical dust that allows anything to fly -- oh, wait, they retconned that. Dammit, Disney, that's the worst Weaksauce Weakness since Green Lantern and the color yellow.)
Anyway, this is all in front of Tinkerbell and Friends' Butterfly Garden, where you can see all kinds of insect-friendly flowers...
...and occasional further proof that Disney still isn't used to dealing with the unpredictable whims of non-robot animals. (Linking picture just to be safe. Butterflies mating may not be safe for work... I can't decide whether it'd be weirder if it is or if it isn't safe for work.)
Don't you love it when life imitates "The Simpsons"?
And finally, the Pin Lanyard!!! I think the six-legged Mary Blair Mural sheep is my favorite (though it isn't as rare as I'd expected it would have been).
Sketch of the day! How about some Spoonbills?