Friday was a comfortable day weather wise. Temps were in the mid low 70s dropping to the 60s as the evening arrived. Crowds were about average in the afternoon and became much heavier as the regular Friday evening set arrived and add in Grad Nite and pleasant weather. Wait times did the same, they started off pleasant and continued to climb especially those popular with the Grad Nite set such as Tower of Terror which was at 90 minutes after 8pm.
Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park
Thoughts and Observations:
- One of my primary objectives today was to attend the Annual Passholder Limited Time Magic event at the Animation Academy featuring a presentation by Eric Goldberg. He is an animator with Walt Disney Animation Studios and has been the lead on several characters we all know such as the Genie from Aladdin and up through Louis from Princess and the Frog.
- The event was run like many of the others. On the day of the event you show up and show your pass at a check in area and are issued a wristband for a session. I attended the 4pm one (the other times were 3,5 and 6). Then you show up and they check your wristband and scan your pass before you enter. Overall I thought this process worked. I found it odd they were not utilizing the queue space for the Animation Academy and instead had everyone lined up in the lobby area. Not sure why. Seems it would have been easier to scan passes as you enter the queue/waiting area for the attraction.
- I found it odd that there was no announcement (or at least none that anyone around me hear) saying no photos or video. The presentation started and several guests (including myself) all started taking pictures and the cast members made there way around to us asking everyone to stop, which we all promptly did. What was odd is the no announcement and the fact that no one said anything as we were seated. Myself and a couple others were in the back row, had our cameras with long lenses out and ready to go and as soon as he walked out we snapped away. At any point the handful of cast members around us could have informed us of the policy. Good news was I had a usable picture to show Eric and then I got to sit and enjoy the presentation. Bad news is nothing to share. I understand they did not want video or pictures of the animation tests, etc.. but seems they could have allowed pictures at the very end of just him.
- The format for event was Eric Goldberg sitting at the desk/computer in the Animation Academy talking and interacting with us. For the first 25 minutes or so he talked about some of the films and characters he worked on showing early tests as well as sharing some stories. He covered Abu, Iago, and the Genie from Aladdin, Phil from Hercules, and Louis from Princess and the Frog. He then showed some tests he did for Wreck-it Ralph that were used as reference for the computer animation teams. These included Sourball and King Candy. For example he spoke about (and showed) a test that was done for Robin Williams using a comedy album to try and convince him to sign on to do the film. Or how for Louis he first had to do homework on alligators then worked with a trumpet player to ensure that the notes (finger positions) were correct in the film.
- Then he did a quick drawing lesson for Pinocchio and Phil. This was extremely quick paced and many who were trying to follow along could not and many like myself did not even try we just enjoyed watching him bring the character to life. The consensus from those I spoke with afterwards was they thought he was a much better artist/animator than teacher. I think the problem was the time constraint and he had to keep moving to get through the material before the next session.
- The final piece of the session was they selected five volunteers from the audience to come on stage and show their work. I thought this was a great opportunity for the guests. Again thought it was odd they were not letting people take pictures at this point.. how often do you get to take a picture of a family member on stage with an animator showing their work to him.
- The session lasted about 45 minutes and was well paced to me. I really enjoyed the time, but would have liked to have had a couple extra stories instead of the drawing lesson since I do not draw, but I am sure there are others out there that would have wanted more art time and less talking. Overall I thought this was a great treat for those that could attend and having four sessions seemed to make it accessible to a fair number of guests. I was talking with some others and we all agreed that these Annual Pass offerings have been great program this year and we are hoping the powers that be are pleased with the feedback and results and that they continue with the program and offerings. I know I am looking forward to see what is next.
- Stopped by Innoventions with some people who had not seen the Iron Man Tech. The exhibit still seems to be drawing guests into Innoventions. We were actually help up at the entrance door for a few minutes as they were trying to reduce the bottleneck of guests making their way around the upper floor. It was only a 5 minute wait as they let three groups of guests go in front of us but still compared to the near ghost town it used to be this is a step up.
- Anyone out there going to the 24 All-Night events this upcoming Friday?? If so curious your impressions and thoughts. I will be there for part of the day Friday but I am not planning on spending the night. I have done that a handful of times over the year at various Grad Nites (as a graduate then as a chaperone) and that is enough for me..
Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.
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it can be found in our updates section
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