Disney World May 2012 Trip Report Part 1

Spaceship Earth doesn’t have the big reveal that Cinderella Castle does. As soon as you get off the bus at Epcot, you see Spaceship Earth (although in fairness, you can see Cinderella Castle from the monorail and boat). You never really lose sight of it as you approach the turnstiles. None of this really matters, because the big “wow” moment is when you’re standing at the edge of its underside, and you look up to see how colossal it really is. To think that this was constructed by humans just boggles my mind.

I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t originally a UFO spaceship that landed in Florida. I mean, Herb Ryman and John Hench were pretty ferocious guys; I could totally see them and the other Imagineers overtaking a UFO spaceship and using it as the structure that would house one of Walt Disney World’s best attractions. Maybe that’s really why it’s named SPACESHIP Earth!

Walking into Epcot for the first time each trip and being drawn to Spaceship Earth to enjoy this moment in relative solitude is one of my favorite parts of each trip. It always puts a smile on my face, and is one of those things the personal significance of which is almost impossible to articulate to anyone else, especially those who don’t “get it.” I won’t bore you with additional details, but I’m sure you’re either nodding your head as you read at this point or thinking, “meh.”

After this, we doubled back towards the entrance, where the topiary display was set up for this year’s Flower & Garden Festival. We both far preferred this year’s Fantasia display to the Toy Story 3 display from last year. Not only was the display itself much, much better this year, but the Fantasia music in the Epcot entrance area worked much better than the Toy Story 3 music from last year. We were very impressed with this huge and detailed display that shockingly worked very well in Future World.

We had arrived at Epcot with only a little over an hour until Evening Extra Magic Hours concluded, so we figured we’d do Spaceship Earth once before and then focus on taking some photos. I would have liked to ride a couple more attractions, but I was itching to finally try out my new camera at Walt Disney World.

Speaking of the new camera…I don’t really know much about mid-life crises. I don’t know what causes them, I don’t know what they typically entail, and I don’t know how to resolve them. All I know is the typical jokes about middle-aged men purchasing Corvettes and things of that sort.

Despite all of this, I’m pretty sure I had a mid-life crisis before our May 2012 trip to Walt Disney World. I really hope I didn’t, as the name of the crisis implies that it occurs during the middle of your life. If that’s the case, I’m only going to live to around 50 years old! I say this because I made several purchases of photography equipment (I’ve never really been into cars–I drive a Kia–so I guess camera gear is my substitute?) that sort of snowballed into an “upgrade” of all contents of my camera bag. I know a lot of you won’t care about the tech details, so skip anything between the “babble” tags if you don’t.


Actually, it’s probably not much of a crisis. I had been contemplating making some of these upgrades for a while, but didn’t want to make the upgrades until I was financially able to do so. I don’t want to bore you non-photographers, but basically an upgrade of the camera body required an upgrade of lenses, too. Sort of like how when you “upgrade” to a BMW, you have to upgrade gas and parts, too. In this case, I had to switch to a different lens system when I upgraded to a full frame camera.

I only made the upgrade because I found an incredible price on a used Nikon D700 on Craigslist; so good (almost too good to be true good!) that I knew I could resell it for more than I paid for it if I didn’t like it (even if I sold it on eBay and had to pay fees!). At that point, I basically couldn’t afford not to upgrade my camera. Or something like that. The next step, which was always in the plan if I made the move to full frame, was upgrading to the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle lens. As even the non-photographers reading probably know, I like wide angle lenses. A lot. Buying this expensive lens wasn’t a big deal, as I had two wide angle lenses that I could sell to replace it.

It’s what followed that was a bigger deal. To make a long story short, I went from my initial plan of only buying that lens (and using it with the 50mm f/1.8 that I already owned) plus borrowing a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 from a relative, and making other upgrades in the future to spread out costs, to immediately upgrading to a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR (I initially purchased a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 but it had some issues, plus I didn’t care for it that much anyway, so I returned it) and a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.

I don’t think it was an actual midlife crisis, but the way those purchases snowballed might be a harbinger of scary things to come if I ever have a real midlife crisis. We might end up needing a bigger garage!


Spaceship Earth was excellent as always, and in my “need” to test the new camera, I took more photos on the attraction than I have in a while…

There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!

43 Responses to “Disney World May 2012 Trip Report Part 1”
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