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Keane's September/October 2012 "This Is Too Good To Pass Up" Trip Report - Part 10 of 10


The text of this trip report was posted to the Usenet group rec.arts.disney.parks on October 21, 2012. This is an expanded version with pictures. If you are reading this someplace else than rec.arts.disney.parks, or on my site keanespics.com, it was copied without my permission.

Peaceful Pastures
Jenny's Peaceful Pastures at the West Nashville Market in Nashville, TN.
Who: Me, Keane. Disney Junkie and obviously a glutton for punishment...
     Mom, aka "Miss Marie". Mobility impaired. Memory impaired, too.
     Jenny. Fellow Disney Junkie, and du...kind enough to help.
     Karen. My GPS. (A Garmin nuvi 1390)
What: An opportunistic trip to Walt Disney World.
Where: Walt Disney World, Art of Animation Resort, Little Mermaid Room.
Why: D23's Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration, D23's 2012 Sip & Scream, and a dinner in Great Movie Ride.
When: September 29 thru October 6, 2012

All Disclaimers from Part 1 still apply.
Thank you.

Day 8, Friday, Oct. 5
On The Road, Day 1, Dinner with the Cubbons

I am up at 3am. Make two pots of coffee, one for immediate consumption, and one to fill my thermos and travel cup. That done, I have to cool and put away the coffee maker. It's mine, after all. I also have to dry off the Pur water pitcher I bring with me, pack the cooler make sure I have all my electronics, and the dozens of other things to do before leaving a hotel. As I'm wondering if I'm going to get my final room bill, they magically appear in my e-mail.

I'm going to meet Lisa and Andy for lunch/dinner today, and she's suggested a place called Pappasito's in Marietta. Amazingly, Karen knows where it is, and it's programmed into my favorites.

I take all of the final bags out to the car and stop by the ice machine and put some ice in the cooler to keep things cold for a while. I somehow fit all the bags in, with Mom's walker on top of everything in the back seat. Disney patrols the grounds at night on bicycles, and even though it's Disney, it's still comforting to have security around the completely deserted resort grounds.

We are on the road by 5:20, and tell Karen to take me to Western Way. I am going to pass a Hess, and with all the driving I did this trip, I only have 1/3 of a tank. So I fill it up before I hit the road, and find the gas price pretty darn reasonable. Well, anything sub-four dollars is reasonable these days for me. You know, back in the day... As I drive down Western Way, I'm going to disobey all the signs around the entrance that say if I stop I'll be shot (or something like that), stop and take a picture of the sign at night. But none of the lights are on. I leave Walt Disney World with no fanfare.

I turn North on Tollway 429 toward the turnpike. I swear on the way South to WDW, you pass two or three toll booths, but only one going North. I will have to pay better attention next time.

It is slightly foggy and sorta spooky rolling down the Florida Turnpike at 6am. The Sun comes up late here for me, since I'm just on the other side of the timeline, and it's an hour earlier at home, but not a whole lot further West. As we're going down the Turnpike, one news guys says to the weather guy on the radio, "Is this weather system ever going to change?"

Well, yes it is. I'm going to sleep in nice weather tonight, and it'll be in the 50's by the time I leave, and will only get colder as I get closer to home. sigh.

It's not until we're on I-75 that we get pre-dawn, then enough light to make out details. like police cars on the side of the road. The interstate is almost crowded with state and county law enforcement, but they're only looking for stupid people. Still, I only do five over.

We stop for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel in Gainesville at 7:30am. We stop for oranges and grapefruit at one of the Indian River Citrus places, which I learned last trip are all owned by the same guy. Then a stop at Adcock Pecans, which has got to be the biggest of the Pecan stores in Georgia. Not that it has a wider selection, but it's just big. I suspect most of the pecan places along I-75 in Georgia is owned by the same guy or company, just like the citrus centers.

I get to the Macon Rest Area, and call Lisa like I'm supposed to. They have an appointment at 1:30, which I thought wasn't going to be a problem, but I'm making pretty darn good time. No answer. So I text her (she can text now), and tell her I'm on the way. Traffic through Atlanta sucks, but since I've got Mom in the car, I can use the HOV lanes and avoid almost all of the traffic. Of course you always get the guy who's only going to do 60 in the HOV lane...

About 10 minutes from the restaurant, I get a call from Lisa, who is 10 minutes away from the restaurant. What timing! Karen takes me to the door, and I park in the handicap section and get a table, and within a couple of minutes I see Andy waiting by the front door and go and fetch them.

The food is pretty good. We spend an hour eating, I'm in no hurry. I've got reservations at the Quality Inn in Adairsville, only 30 miles up the road. I thought I would be here later than I am. We go out to my car, and I have those potato chips and cookies, which have been baking in the car, and are probably in tiny pieces from being shaken in the back seat for 1600 miles. Explain the ornament snafu, and that it wasn't our fault. They should either open it in five years or pretend it's 2017. sigh. But it's always good to see them. Scheduling problems (i.e. me rolling through Atlanta early in the AM) made me miss them the past couple trips thru.

I only have to pull one dumb-ass tourist move to get all the way over 8 lanes to get back on I-75. We are checked into the hotel by 5pm. I scribe trip report notes, but get to sleep early. And fail. But I might have a long day tomorrow.

Mileage: 508
Moving time: 7:42
Moving Avg: 66
Stopped: 34:14
Overall Avg: 61
Total Time: 8:17

Day 8
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Day 9, Saturday, Oct. 6
Last day. A visit to the West Nashville Market, and home.

One of the early plans was to take Mom to Jenny's farm. Not to stay long, but just to see the place. But of course, I would be coming home on Saturday, and Jenny's at the West Nashville Market on Saturday.

So I'm going to stop by. It's only a few miles out of the way. Mom can see what the local farmer's market looks like. I've even been there before, so I sorta know how to get there. Anyway, Karen knows.

It's flippin' cold. 55 degrees. And it's not going to get better. I once again go through an empty, early morning Chattanooga, down I-24 and dawn starts to occur going up the mountains through Monteagle, TN. We stop for breakfast in Manchester.

I arrive at the Market at 9:30, but... Peaceful Pastures isn't there. Hmmm... I check my phone and there's a message saying she's running late. Not a minute or two passes, and she rolls up, comes running up, says hello to Miss Marie, and tells me I can help her set up. So I'm putting up a canopy, carrying coolers off the truck, putting up signs... Wait a minute. How did this happen?

I take a walk around the market, which has 50% more vendors than it did last November when I was here, and take some pictures. I can't hang around, so we're soon back on the road, and in minutes are Northbound on I-65. We will take this road until it ends.

From there we were on a speed run home. Lots of cars wanted go to fast through Indiana. I thank them. I-90 into Chicago was clear, and I exited off the Skyway to Lake Shore Drive. Problem here was twofold. There was a Notre Dame/Miami game at Soldier Field, and right next door at the McCormick place, was registration for the Chicago Marathon being held the next morning. So not only were there a lot of cars, but there were a lot of cars with drivers inside that didn't know where the hell they were going. Well, I made it home in one piece...

Mom didn't want to eat anywhere, but wanted a Big Mac and strawberry shake when we hit Chicago. My first and last meal of this trip would be McD's.

Oh, and Chicago drivers suck.


Mileage: 677
Moving time: 9:49
Moving Avg: 69
Stopped: 30:00
Overall Avg: 66
Total Time: 10:19

2510.9 on the trip, 160873 on the odo. 5:45pm.

Another trip comes to an end.

I hate it when that happens.

Day 9
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Final Thoughts

I really wasn't planning another trip to Disney World. Mom's condition really isn't improving, and I'm pretty amazed how well things actually worked out. Jenny was a good buffer between Miss Marie and me at times. Having gone into Downtown Disney the first day, and Animal Kingdom the last, really proves I need a third person to help out. While it's possible to handle Mom by myself, the logistics and help of a second person is invaluable. Thank you Jenny.

Thanks has to go out to PiC too, who took care of the cats in my absence.

I may not have been planning a trip, but I scored tickets to dinner in The Great Movie Ride! The added bonus was D23's Epcot 30th celebration the same week. As a self-described Disney addict, I had no choice but to fix my schedule and go to Disney World. Ah, the sacrifices one must make in life...

And ultimately, I was staying at a new resort and was testing a new camera, one that should have come out years ago, but the manufacturer's didn't want to cut into their DSLR sales. It also shows that if I need to, I can do Disney World on the cheap with Mom. I'm not sure that's going to happen, each trip seems to have bigger obstacles than the last, but it's possible. Something to consider.

Art of Animation is a brilliantly themed resort, both inside and out, but at least from the Little Mermaid section point of view, it fails in so many ways. The bus stops and food court is a considerable distance. The only option is Wifi. Cell reception in the rooms I was in was non-existent. The value rooms are still value rooms. The resort still looks incomplete because none of the landscaping has grown in yet, and all the trees are still being held up by supports. The food at Landscape of Flavors is on average mediocre at best, it's very noisy, and the garbage stations are a joke.

And what's worse? You know how Disney has their cheap trinkets manufactured in places like China and Malaysia? This time they've gone too far. The Art of Animation keychain I got from the gift shop was made in someplace called "Canada". Sheesh.

Admittedly, my perception might have been different from a Family suite room. Not about the food court, though. I should have tried the pizza delivery one night.

D23 events continue to impress. Whether it's the history of the parks, or access to interesting places like the Great Movie Ride, the Castle Suite, or backstage areas, they are providing a core group of Disney fans otherwise unavailable access.

Soft openings and I continue to be not-open-to-you openings. sigh.

My new Canon G1X impressed me. I am retiring my Sony HC9 HDV Camcorder, and my G12 becomes my new backup and close macro camera when I need it. I've got several 1080p test clips I have to look over, it looks like about 1 GB storage for 4 minutes 1080p video. (See Video Index below.)

Image detail and dynamic range is way beyond my expectation. Image noise at ISO 1600 doesn't exist. I should have gone full manual and shot ISO 6400 or 12,800 on Pirates. Opportunity lost.

I took about 2150 images, of which there are some 1300 usable. 325 images will become 45 panoramics. I'm getting about 250 shots per charged battery, saving JPG+Raw. I can live with that. I never, ever even came close to filling the 32GB card. A spare battery and a emergency 8GB card is all I need for a day.

Overall, I think it was a good trip. Of course, my trips to Disney World aren't the same as they used to be. I still remember the sometimes opening to closing park commando days, but those are long gone. From there I evolved to a smell the roses, laid back park goer, as interested in the resort I was staying at, as the parks. Now, three of the past six trips have been centered around D23 events, to learn more about the magic that draws all of us there, the Cast Members that made and make it work, and the Mouse that started it all...

Thanks, Walt.

And thanks for reading everyone! I'm done!


End Keane's September/October 2012 Trip Report
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Video Index

Note: The video this trip was taken on my Canon GX1, in full 1080p, then post-processed in Premier CS5 to more reasonable sizes in wmv.

There's a dark ride, a dark show, a lit show, and a short clip with some other video examples.

Two versions are being offered for each video. Recommended is the 1.5mbps (864x480px/29fps) versions, but also included are 512kbps (432x240px/15fps) versions (click on the "low" following the link) for slower connections.

See my video page for more video...

Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
76.5MB, Length: 6:39, Bitrate: 1.5mb/s
25.6MB, Length: 6:39, Bitrate: 512kb/s
This test shoot of Haunted Mansion (low) was taken without any adjustments to the camera. It is mostly raw and uncut. (Levels were pushed a bit in post for more detail.)

I was surprised at the result. Judge for yourself.
Beauty and the Beast
Haunted Mansion
121MB, Length: 10:36, Bitrate: 1.5mb/s
40.8MB, Length: 10:36, Bitrate: 512kb/s
This video is excerpts from Beauty and the Beast (low) in Disney's Hollywood Studios. No filters of any kind were applied in post.
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King
272MB, Length: 23:43, Bitrate: 1.5mb/s
91.3MB, Length: 23:43, Bitrate: 512kb/s
Another set of excerpts from Festival of the Lion King (low) with no post-production adjustments.

The sound at times is a little wonky, like a bank of speakers weren't working, but it was like that in the theater. .
Oz in Great Movie Ride
Haunted Mansion
22.7MB, Length: 1:59, Bitrate: 1.5mb/s
7.63MB, Length: 1:59, Bitrate: 512kb/s
This was taken during Super Scream, where we had Dinner in the Great Movie Ride. Dessert was in Oz (low), which is why no one is in a ride vehicle.

It was... fun!
Other quick video tests
Other Tests
13.7MB, Length: 1:12, Bitrate: 1.5mb/s
72.2MB, Length: 1:12, Bitrate: 10mb/s
Some other short clips, movies of movies, outdoor scenes and an example of auto exposure changes (HD). All are raw clips, no filters applied.

It's a short clip, so there is no 512kb/s version. There is a full HD version, but there's nothing exciting to see unless you want to see a full resolution clip. (I would download it. Don't try to stream it. It's a full 1080p, 24fps, 8mb/s clip.)

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End Sept 2012 Trip Report - Part 10 of 10.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

  • 11/08/2012 - Page Added
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