Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Days 2 & 3 - 6/6/10 & 6/7/10

Hey everyone, sorry for the delayed update. I had a busy past two days, and by the time I would get home late night, I was too exhausted to post anything. Expect this to happen a lot on days when I'm either busy or nothing of importance happens.

That said, let's start with Sunday. Several of my close friends/co-workers from wdwnewstoday.com & others stayed at a Universal hotel and got to go into Potter Sunday morning. Because the rooms were full, I showed up as a day guest hoping that they would let us into Potter like they had been the past several days. Unfortunetly, Forbidden Journey went down as soon as day guests were let into the park, so we were not allowed in that day.

I sat outside Potter for several hours waiting for my friends to come out when they were done. During this time, though, I was recognized three times for this blog. It's great that word is getting out, and I love having all this support.

But then a funny thing happened. Forbidden Journey became operational again, and my friend Tom got into the ride vehicle and only got two clicks. The attendant asked if he felt okay, he said yes, and they sent him through the ride. Mine and others theories are that since he was on the loading platform in the vehicle, they didn't want to stop the moving platform and let him out, because it would essentially bring the entire attraction to a grinding halt. So if they are able to get guests into the test seat and they only get two clicks, they just tell them they can't ride and need three clicks. Honestly, this does not upset me, I can understand where they are coming from. We will find out what happens when I go back after the grand opening June 18.

The rest of the day consisted of walking around Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios before heading home for a quick shower and change, because it was HOT and HUMID. We then met up at Magic Kingdom for the first night of Summer Nightastic at Walt Disney World.

I got to see the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I hadn't seen since 1999. I also saw the Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular, which is by far the best fireworks display Disney has ever done! More walking around the park, riding some rides, and then it was back home to collapse on the bed.

Monday was another full day of walking around the parks. Started off at Hollywood Studios where I got to see the updates Disney did to Tower of Terror for Summer Nightastic. Now for those who really know me, I am a HUGE Tower of Terror fan, so I was excited to see what they did to my favorite attraction. Let me just say they did not disappoint. It was AMAZING! I have never been so scared during the drop sequence since when I first rode it in 1997. Won't spoil anything, but you need to check it out!

I then went back to Magic Kingdom to take Sidney to see the Parade and Fireworks, since she hasn't seen them yet. My good friend Elliott was DJing the Club 626 Dance Party in Tomorrowland and I was filming shots for him, so he got us a special viewing place for the fireworks atop Astro Orbiter. Great spot to view the fireworks!

After more walking around the park, we left and went home. All in all, the past two days I got a LOT of walking done. It's great having access to the local parks here because I can just go and walk around without riding anything for exercise, and really enjoy the walk through these themed lands.

So that was my busy past two days. Thanks for everyone who said hi to me and support me with this blog. Again, I can't guarantee that I will post about every single day, but I'll try.

I want to do something interactive. I want to know what everyone's favorite place to walk is. It can be a neighborhood, local park, or one of the many theme parks in the area. But tell me why you like to take a walk in that particular place.


  1. Banks, this is such a great idea, and you are motivating me to try to lose some weight so that I can ride FJ when I come down in August! I look forward to reading this and following your journey!

  2. Great blog...found you from Orlando Attractions magazine. Good luck in your quest. I recognized you from the pic from the American Idol attraction. Were you on the finals show in March?

  3. Hm...favourite place to walk. Well, I love going through the trails at Animal Kindom, or just walking around that park. So many animals to see everywhere!

    Wow, I wish I could see Summer Nightastic, but I'll be visiting it right after it ends.


  4. Banks, my mother-in-law forwarded me the story about you in the Orlando Attractions mag, I wish you all the luck in the world. I was, at one point, 365 pounds and denied a seat on a roller coaster at Cedar Point (the test seats outside the ride were actually BIGGER than the actual ride seats). I've lost almost 140 pounds since then, it's difficult but very rewarding.

  5. I like walking at Downtown Disney. It's a nice long walk if you start at one end and walk to the other and back.

    How is the Slim Fast part of the diet working out?

  6. Oh man, you make me miss Florida. I lived in Lake Mary from 2001-2003. I sure don't miss the humidity though.

    Good luck on your quest! I've started my own quest, but I'm not doing Slimfast per se, just making my own shakes. I think they taste better, and they have fewer calories too. And lots of walking, but now I'm dang sore!

  7. Good luck on your quest, keep walking. I downloaded a Calorie Counter App for the I-phone and it helps. I lost almost ten pounds so far.

  8. Hey man, it's wonderful what you're doing. Your energy and spirit are what everyone should want for themselves, and they sure will, because it is contagious! Positive attitude rules!

    Congrats and good luck, from Brazil!

  9. Banks,

    I am pleased to hear that you are inspiring so many others to follow in your steps to get into shape. The first step is finding the motivation and you've obviously found it.

    I wish you the best of luck in your mission and do hope that one you make it to three clicks, you still continue to maintain a healthy routine.

    I do caution you with the slim fast plan, however. It works well at first, but it can become tricky when you make it a full out daily lifestyle. I consider achieving a healthy weight a lifestyle change, not a "got to do it now" change. It will take time, but in the end, I know you will feel amazing!

    As for the walking, walking is a great start, as is swimming. The only problem I find with walking in the parks is the crowds. I feel like I can't walk as briskly as I'd like. A great walk that I really enjoy doing is the Boardwalk. I like to walk all the way around, through Yatch and Beach Club as well. It's relaxing, provides a nice view, and you can walk quickly. Also, you can head over to Epcot and hit the countires as well and then loop back.

    I've tried for a while now to drop my weight to a healthy one. (Still working on it, too) And it truly is a lifestyle change. But having someone else who shares a common mission is inspiring and I thank you for it.

    Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your journey!

  10. Your so lucky having all the parks on your doorstep. Good luck with your journey. I'm also in a bid to lose some weight before my annual trip to Orlando next January.

  11. walk the lake eola farmer's market on sundays! walking+watching interesting people+cheap fruits and veggies for your healthy snacks and meals! good luck.

  12. So, I know this sounds awful - but I love walking on a treadmill. I can walk really far and still be in the same place - plus it's air conditioned. I get really crabby in the heat.

    Lake Eola is a WONDERFUL place to walk. It's huge and beautiful.

    I wish you the very best of luck. I am also in Central Florida and working on my health. You can follow my endeavors at www.duckieresolved.com

    Oh - and may I also suggest Couch to 5k? If you have an iPhone well, there's an app for that. Or you can check it out online at http://www.c25k.com/

    Good luck!

  13. I have just started the Couch to 5k program and I am just loving checking out my own neighborhood (I live in Pittsburgh so it may not be the most convenient place for you!). I see so much more when I'm walking and running by myself, for myself -- without my kids and without having to be somewhere else. I am enjoying seeing the same group of old timers walking, all the pretty gardens, and the neighborhood waking up.

    Good luck to you on your journey to improved health!

  14. My son and I love to walk at our local bayou---he and I love watching the alligators, snakes, and turtles.

    But to add to duckie's comment, I found my most consistent exercise at my gym. Cardio classes help keep me motivated. But honestly, if I lived in Orlando??? I'd have a season ticket to every theme park, and like you said, I would just walk around watching the people, not necessarily riding the rides. You've got everything you need right there! (Except for all the tempting sweets, of course.)

  15. I am a HUGE Disney and Harry Potter fan, so the fact that you can do your exercise by walking around the park makes me super jealous. I live in California, but I am still 6 hours from Disneyland :o(

    I have a question for you: how to you stick to your diet when you are at the parks all day? Do you bring your Slim Fast or do you just try and make smarter choices when deciding what to eat? I fix pretty good meals at home, but I have a tendency to eat poorly when I am out-and-about, especially some place fun.


  16. Wekiwa Springs is both a pretty walk and, for a change of pace, you can rent a canoe. If you're willing to drive a bit further, and enjoy looking at wildlife, Merritt Island and state parks are great.

  17. i would love to live in Orlando, or have a 2nd house there if I ever get that much money, to just go walk around the park! That must be so much fun!

    Good luck on your walking regime.

  18. Did you notice that if you switch the S and D in Sidney it spells Disney?

    Anyways, good luck with your diet dude! You're doing a great job!

  19. There's a man-made lake close yo our neighborhood. I drive my kids over there with their bike and scooter and I push my baby in her stroller. It's so nice and peaceful.

  20. I am so jealous :p I wished I lived that close to Disney :( Mmm, my favorite place to walk was in the French Quarter when I actually still lived in New Orleans :)