We got to the TTC about 5 minutes before Wishes started, and I found a spot from which to photograph. Not realizing what the gates right in front of the location where I set up did (I’ll admit, I had some of that “herd mentality” as I merely set up where I saw other people waiting to watch the fireworks), I poised myself for the show. About 1 minute into it, I saw a mass of people heading towards me. I was set up right on the other side of an exit gate for the Magic Kingdom Ferry! Luckily, there were several gates and no one attempted to come through the one where I was, but I still had to brace the gate so the vibration from the other gates didn’t slap the gate near me open and into my tripod. I also had to growl at anyone who came within 15 feet of the gate. I’m sure some people wondered what was going on with that. Live and learn, I guess.
The line for the EPCOT monorail wasn’t so bad. I guess not many people want to go to a park for its last hour of operation. We got there fairly quickly, and headed through bag check in no time. I had dreams of the park being as empty as it was the previous night, but unfortunately, 10 degrees made a huge difference, and the place was packed. There were no empty spots along the rail lining the lagoon–at least decent empty spots–so we decided to take a risk, and head up to a new location. I managed to get my tripod elevated quite high in this location, and ended up with some decent shots, I think.
After the fireworks, we spent some time taking some photos. It was warmer–still incredibly cold, but it’s all relative–so we decided we had better get some shots of us. We were lacking on shots of us (if we had a quota, we’d be failing to meet it, for certain), so we took some time to take some of these. As we began walking towards the exit, Sarah spotted an abandoned ECV. She was so tired that she checked the vehicle to see if it could be driven. I thanked my lucky stars that it could not, as the last thing I wanted was to be banned from WDW for unauthorized ECV use. How ironic would that be?
By foot, we dragged ourselves towards the exit. Our colds were really catching up with us, even if we didn’t want to let them. This particular evening we stopped off for a little break at the Polynesian on our way home. Every night for the remainder of the trip, we ended up doing this to warm up a little. We were at the Polynesian so much this trip that it’s almost like we stayed there. In fact, we easily spent more time in the lobby and restaurants of the Polynesian than we did at Shades of Green. If you take out the time we spent sleeping and getting ready in the morning, we were at the Polynesian more overall!
When we arrived back at Shades of Green, Sarah and I stopped to relax on these giant plush bears in the lobby. These things were gianormous, comfortable, and just all around awesome. The whole Shades of Green lobby was pretty awesome, actually. By far the coolest aspect of the resort. It had the look of a scaled back Wilderness Lodge that really fit the Christmas season well. The coolest part of all was that, among the games, books, and magazines Shades of Green had in the lobby for guests to enjoy were copies of the Color Companion to the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, a book for which I’m a photographer. I jokingly asked Sarah if I should autograph the books. She responded with a resounding yes, but I didn’t know how I’d explain that one if someone saw me signing them, so I decided against it.
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