Epcot’s Food and Wine fest was a trip highlight
Lucky us, the Inernational Food and Wine Festival was going on while we were in Disney last week. It’s held every year at Epcot’s World Showcase and features food, wine and beer from all over the world. I will probably plan our next Disney trip around this festival. It was seriously awesome. There was tastings from the normal countries in the World Showcase, but also 30 or so other countries were added. Places like Greece, South Korea, Belgium and Australia. Each with a unique beer and wine selection and out of this world food. Steph and I ate there one night and we put a good chunk of change on a gift card (because we didn’t want to use our charge card at each station) and we quickly blew it all drinking and eating around the world. Way better than eating at one restaurant.
Some of my favorite tastes were: The beer garden in German and Belgium. They didn’t have your regular beers either, it was all stuff I’d never had before. Yum! Mexico had some insane steak tacos that made my mouth explode with fire, but luckily Germany wasn’t too far away. China had a great Mongolian Beef that I had more than one of. Steph really liked the French dessert stand and I thought the baklava in Morocco was crazy good.
Tonight’s shot: Cinderella’s Castle
I think I might frame this one and put it in Stella’s room. She really liked the castle. We had to take a boat from our resort to the Magic Kingdom and she would point it out from across the lake. “I see the castle, there it is!” And, I think Steph liked it too. She’d never been to the Magic Kingdom before and I don’t care who you are, it’s pretty awesome the first time you see it.
My top five attractions at Disney World
This is a pretty easy list and it hasn’t changed much in the past 10 or 20 years. All these rides have one thing in common, you’re entertained from the second you step in line until the second you leave the ride.
5. Splash Mountain. Cheap thrills and a few nice drops along with what I said above make this a great ride. Plus, when it’s a bit chilly out like it was when we were there no one rides it. So you can ride it many times in a row. I took my dad on it this year and he had a blast.
4. The Muppet’s 3D movie. One of the highlights this year was watching Stella enjoy this one for the first time. She loved it more than I thought, trying to grab everything that came at her out of the 3D screen. Laughing at all the stupid jokes and reaching for the real bubbles as they came out of the sky. This is a great show and I highly recommend you check it out if you’re in Hollywood Studios.
3. The Haunted Mansion. I love haunted houses and although this one isn’t scary, it’s so much fun. My favorite part is the beginning when the ride lowers you into the basement and all the lights go out. All the riders scream and cause a stir like they are part of the ride. Happens every time.
2. Epcot’s World Showcase. The food. The beer. The few simple, fun and educational rides. I love everything about this place and can and have spent multiple days there. It’d be number 1 if it wasn’t for one of the greatest rides of all time anywhere.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean. Yo ho, yo ho a pirate’s life for me. I can remember riding this as a kid and even now when the ride enters the giant battleship scene I’m in awe. The amount of thought and work that went into this ride is amazing. When I go to Disney I try to make this my first ride
What are your favorites?
Tonight’s shot: Face painting
While my dad, Steph and I rode the Everest ride at Animal Kindom (which was awesome, by the way) my mom got Stella’s face painted. I have to say I was pretty impressed. The artists were doing all sorts of neat designs on kids faces. Stella wanted a fairy princess look so this is what she got. I’m glad I got photos of the paint job because it all washed off two hours later while we were swimming back at our resort.
The versatile, multi-talented Mr. Stroller
Actually there were two MVPs on our trip. One, our stroller. Not sure what we would have done without it. It served as storage, a cup holder, a nap bed and most importantly it saved our arms as it carried Stella through the parks for 6 days. The second was the Fast Past system at the parks. This was my first visit to Disney since the Fast Pass was introduced and boy is it awesome. We used it several times and the best part was we had five passes and my mom wasn’t interested in them and Stella wasn’t tall enough for most of the Fast Pass rides. So me, my dad and Steph were able to use multiple Fast Passes and ride a ride with over an hour wait twice in 5 or 10 minutes.
Tonigh’s shot: The Chinese Hall of Prayer
One of the places I wanted to shooting on our trip was the Chinese Hall of Prayer at Epcot’s World Showcase. I’d seen different perspectives on flickr and had a few ideas, but the place was jam packed when I actually made it over there with my gear. So there I was, lying on my back in the middle of the Chinese Hall of Prayer. I was patiently waiting for the dozens of people to exit the room and head into the next area on the tour. Only to have more shuffle in behind them. But, I was patient and after a few minutes everyone realized what I was trying to do and I was able to get the shot.
How not to surprise your daughter with a trip to Disney
I was a little disappointed that Stella wasn’t super excited when we surprised her with a trip to Disney World earlier this week. For the past few weeks leading up the the trip we told her she was going to the beach to see grandma and grandpa. So, what happened when we pulled up the the big Disney World sign that overlooks the highway? “So we’re not going to the beach?” Yep, that’s right. She was almost disappointed that she wasn’t going to the beach. So maybe that wasn’t the best idea. In the end I think she was surprised but I was hoping it’d be a little more dramatic. You know, a huge freak out. I taped it and hope to make a short video.
Tonight’s shot: The Tower of Terror
So, when did MGM Studios turn into Hollywood Studios? I wasn’t expecting that on our visit to the park earlier this week. I’ve always known it as MGM. Doesn’t matter I guess. All the rides and memories are still there. Including this one, the Tower of Terror. Stella obviously couldn’t ride it so Steph and I took my mom who secretly had a blast. We used the Fast Past feature for this one. This was my first trip to Disney since they introduced the Fast Past system and it was the MVP of the week.
Time flies when you’re having fun
Well, a week ago we had just arrived at Disney World with our daughter, Stella. We had a lot of fun and over the next few days I’ll share our stories and sightings here. So, please keep checking back over the next few nights for new pictures and fun stories.
Tonight’s shot: Reflecting back
The Spaceship Earth ride is one of my favorites. Some might think it’s a bit boring, but it reminds me of my childhood. Here it is, in all its awesomeness reflecting back on the lake in the World Showcase at Epcot. I was about halfway through the showcase in the country of Japan for this shot. I waited for the sun to go down with some awesome food from the food festival and a beer from Germany.
One day down, six more to go!
So, we finally made it. A year’s worth of planning and saving has ended and we flew down to Orlando to my favorite place on earth … Disney World. We met my parents down here and we’re staying in their RV at Camp Wilderness Resort, which has a boat we take over to the the Magic Kingdom.
We surprised our daughter Stella with the trip, she had no clue we were going and was very excited when we got here. We spent all day at Epcot yesterday and fought the insane crowds that were there for the International Food and Wine Festival. Although, the food and beer were amazing. My dad and I had some of Germany’s finest.
We went to a campfire sing-a-long with Chip and Dale last night and after Stella, Steph and grandma and gramps went to bed I treked over to the Magic Kingdom to ride Pirates of the Caribbean …. WHICH WAS CLOSED!!! Hopefully it will be open today. I did, however, ride the Haunted Mansion a few times.
Here are a few pics from the day’s activities. Check back tomorrow for more!
Weddings, families, seniors … oh, and a little place called Disney World
Most of you know that my good friend Danielle and I joined forces and started our own business this spring. Well, things have been going great. Beyond great actually. We’ve gone well beyond our goals this year and have even blown away our goals for next year too. Needless to say, my blog has kinda taken a back seat and I’m sorry.
But, I have an exciting announcement. I’m taking my wife and daughter to Disney World. Which means I should have some awesome photos to post soon. I plan on blogging while I’m gone, posting a new pic or two every day. So please, keep checking back over the next couple weeks to hear all about our trip and Stella’s first trip to one of the greatest places on earth.
I’ve also been busy with my new position at work. I’m no longer in the office, I travel from place to place fixing anything from servers to printers to PCs to Macs.
One more thing, below are some of the images I’ve captured over the past few months.
How to avoid a shot for fifteen years
A photo professor I had at Rock Valley College told us on day one that if we took pictures of the Symbol in downtown Rockford we’d get an F in the class. I took him pretty seriously and I haven’t taken a picture of it … ever. I was working down that way this week and I had a new ND filter that I wanted to try out so I stopped and made a few images. This one was shot at a minute and 20 seconds. I only stopped because the clouds were moving pretty fast and I was trying to show their motion in the shot. Thoughs?
So, I haven’t been posting at all lately. And, I apologize. I really do.
My business partner Danielle and I have been very busy this summer shooing weddings, engagements and all sorts of other things for our new company, Lee Squared. We honestly didn’t expect for it to blow up this big, but we’re not complaining. I’ve also taken up a new position at work and have been busy with that.
Last night we were with a bride and groom in downtown Chicago and we went to Navy Pier. After we finished up with the couple, I spent a few minutes trying to capture the rides at Navy Pier. I’ve always wanted to get a shot like this at a fair or carnival.
I was rocking out to some Deals Gone Bad on iTunes tonight while editing a wedding session we shot a few weeks back and I had the urge to go through some of the Cleveland shots I made during our trip there in June. I created this poster out of one of the shots. I think it’s pretty cool, what do you think?
I was really excited to go this year as two of my favorite bands were inducted recently … the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys.
Hello, my name is Eric Pearson. Welcome to my daily photo blog. My goal is to post an interesting shot every day and I hope to bring people in daily and gain fans and followers.
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