Brace yourselves, everyone. I'm taking a big step out of the winter doldrums and attempting to get back to my traditional three-times-a-week posting schedule.
There wasn't much new going on in Walt Disney World since our last visit there. About the only interesting brand new stuff in Magic Kingdom was the fact that Toontown was completely shut down and there was a lot of construction as detailed in this very long Orlando Theme Park News post (with a bonus scary photo of the Space Mountain track with the lights on). The Flower and Garden Festival over at Epcot was lovely as always too (and Theme Park News has a boatload of photos for that event as well.)
The most unusual thing about this year's visit to WDW was the fact that some of the best things we saw were kind of old.
I only had a few days in the park (my primary reason for going was to visit my aunt) so I had to be pretty picky about what I was going to wait in line for. Honestly, seeing the beautiful Epcot flowers and being in the sun was more than enough (especially, and I will freely admit this, for my mental health). But there was one thing I was dead set on seeing this trip:
Hell and yes.
If you are unfamiliar with the greatest and best 3-Effin-D movie ever made, TV Tropes and (of course) Orlando Theme Park News has some decent introductions. If you ARE familiar with "Captain EO", and the very mention of it gave you a nostalgia buzz, you should make this a priority if you happen to be visiting Disney World soon. "EO" looks and sounds better than I remember and "Honey I Blew Your Eardrums Out" can go to hell for all I care. Unfortunately, Disney has been mum as to how long they will keep the good Captain in his rightful place. The attendant at the theater said something lame about "eh, we'll keep it until crowds drop down."
As you can see, "EO" is still a very big draw. That's a packed house right there; standing room only! Make sure you get to the theater in time to see the preshow as it is a trip in it's own right.
Over in Magic Kingdom, the classic Main Street Electric Light Parade was staging a long-overdue comeback (I apologize for the eye-watering pictures, but that's night photography for you). Now, I might have seen this back when I was too little to remember anything, so it was new to me.
Having grown up during a certain Disney era, one in which most of their parades are either dedicated to their current movie in theaters or to the best-loved moments in their most popular movies, there were some moments in the circa 1977 Electric Light Parade that struck me as a little weird. And you know how I know this parade is from 1977?
Because it ends in a totally awesome Bicentennial-themed float...
With an incredible gigantic Elliot float ahead of it. "Pete's Dragon" was Disney's latest movie in 1977. As Elliot passes by, you can almost hear the chorus of children asking, "WTF is that?"
The "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland" floats have aged much better, all things considered. But I don't know what they were thinking when they designed these next two floats:
(That thing has got to scare children.)
Would you believe they decided on the Nightmare Fuel-errific Pleasure Island sequence to represent "Pinocchio"? Yep, cavorting mutant donkey-men and everything.
I love the random goofy bee and centipede, as well as the other cute little beetles, snails, turtles, and such. You'll see why in a minute.
As the parade winds it's way down towards the central hub, let us look back to 1985 why not, and the very best television appearance of the Main Street Electrical Parade ever. (For the more prosaic among us, note that the only real difference between the older versions of the floats and the 2011 versions is that their old Christmas lights were swapped out for new LEDs. Also, I am genuinely surprised the "TRON" people didn't make an appearance in the 2011 parade.)
After the parade, we saw the newly-added prologue to the "Wishes" fireworks called "The Magic, the Memories, and You!" It's a strange ride indeed, with animation projected upon Cinderella Castle itself, in the manner of this breathtaking promotional video (annoying song warning).
Art of the Day! Random Imaginary Bird-Creatures! Click for big.