Are You a Cast Member?

Making the rounds this week on various WDW-related blogs and forums, Cast Members OnlyYou know you’re a Disney cast member when…

There are a couple that I know apply, and bug the heck out of my sons:

  • You have the overwhelming urge to offer to take people’s pictures
  • When you go on vacation, you say hello to Housekeepers in the hallways
  • You have an overwhelming sensation to pick up trash on your off time

I’ll add a couple myself:

  • You know the schedule for the boats to Old Key West
  • You greet anyone with a nametag by their name

Another Walt Disney World Panorama

Also from last week’s lunchtime visit, here’s an almost 180-degree view of Village Lake.

Village Lake

That’s a really tiny view, you really need to click through then hit the “all sizes” button. Similar to the last posting, I used hugin to assemble this pano, this time from 7 images. The pictures were taken with a little Point&Shoot camera sitting on the handrail on one of the boats, similar to the one seen on the right-hand side of this panorama.

A Disney Pano

Saratoga Springs

A panorama shot of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, made of three pictures taken from Downtown Disney. The pictures were taken with a Kodak EasyShare CS4230 and combined with hugin. In the foreground are part of the Lego brick dragon that lurks along the shore.

I’m pretty impressed with hugin. These were taken with a simple P&S camera on all-automatic settings, handheld (no pano tripod) — against almost all the normal advice for panorama stiching… Hugin did a darn good job at putting them together anyway.

Animals, Kite String, and Fire… a Weekend of Travel

I had a business trip this weekend, working on a project for a customer of mine in the Orlando area. The work was to be done on Sunday, so the plan was for me to fly in late Saturday night, work all day Sunday, then fly home on Monday morning. The airline schedules and prices didn’t work out that way, so I actually ended up flying into Orlando early Saturday morning and back out on Monday afternoon. That meant I had some time to stop by and visit some folks at one of my favorite places, Walt Disney World.

Saturday I visited with Joe who was working at the Boardwalk resort, hung out a bit with Paul over at Saratoga Springs, then grabbed a shuttle over to the Animal Kingdom Resort area to see some giraffes other beasties.

Giraffes at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Resort

Snoozing Birds at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Resort. photo sharing via flickr.

Animals grazing at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Resort.

I ended up back at the Boardwalk, for some dinner at the ESPN Club and a leasurely walk around the lake. While I was walking I ended up helping some security, transportation and marina cast members with a bizarre situation – a long kite string had gotten draped across the lake, and was even running over the top of the lighthouse.

Disney's Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts

Boardwalk Lighthouse

I found the kite as it fell off one of the yacht club buildings, and reportedly the string went not only across the lake, but through the trees, across Epcot Resort Blvd and into EPCOT’s World Showcase, hanging on the Eiffel Tower… that’s somewhere between 600-1000 meters of kite string! We got the kite freed from a tree and John, in one of transportation’s ‘pusher boats’ gathered the string out of the lake. As I left them they were working on ways to get the remaining string out of the trees between the lake and EPCOT’s France.

It was a very long but relaxing day, which helped by putting me in a really good mood for Sunday’s long work day.

Monday, after checking in with my customer, I had a little more time before my flight and swung by again to stop at the marketplace. On my way down East Buena Vista Drive, I saw smoke starting to rise, and by the time I got to parking lot 5 it was really billowing so I pulled in to see. And you know what they say… where the’re smoke, there’s fire.

Fire at Walt Disney World

A paving company was resurfacing the parking lot at Downtown Disney’s West Side and one of their tar trucks caught fire. Here are some of the workers watching.

Fire at WDW's Downtown Disney West Side

Though you can’t see it, the guy on the right is snapping shots with his cell phone camera. The workers closer to the fire are running around like crazy, trying to get their equipment — and themselves — away from the flames.

There were no cast members or guests involved that I could see, security was keeping folks at a safe distance and the Reedy Creek Fire Department trucks & firefighters were on the scene quickly. I took some more pictures then went over to the marketplace for a couple of minutes. By the time I drove by again, headed out to the airport, the flames and smoke were gone. RCFD was still dumping water on the truck, cooling it down to begin what I guess to be a long and messy cleanup.

[Fire at Walt Disney World – my flickr set of all the photos.]

Wow, what a trip.