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SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our Favorite @bioreconstruct Photos of 2022 (EPCOT Construction, Disney Monorail, EPIC Universe and more!)

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at our FAVORITE @bioreconstruct photos of 2022! With the end of another year in the books, the theme park community can once again take a quick break and reflect on the sheer craziness of the past 12 months. Who could have possibly foreseen former CEO Bob Chapek being given an 11th hour kick to the curb? How shocked were all of us when a Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers reboot came out of nowhere on Disney+ and was actually good? How is it possibly true that Roundup Rodeo BBQ in DHS, Journey of Water: Inspired by Moana in EPCOT, and Tron Lightcycle Power Run in Magic Kingdom are still nowhere close to opening?!

THAT SAID, the one single thing that was consistent throughout the past year was awesome photos from our favorite blogger-in-the-sky, @bioreconstruct. In one of our favorite annual traditions, today we’re going to look back at some of our favorite photos that our pal “Bio” took over the past 12 months.  Let’s kick it off with…

# 6 – The Disney Monorail

The monorail is one of the oldest forms of transportation at Walt Disney World, and yet it is still cool today. To be that ahead of the curve – for more than half a century – is almost impossible, and no one makes the monorail look even more special than Bio.

Monorail Coral arriving at Magic Kingdom. September 17, 2022.
Almost straight-down aerial look at Monorail Black approaching Contemporary Resort. January 30th, 2022.
Monorail red on the roundhouse transfer line. With Space Mountain at night. December 30th, 2022.
Monorail Orange and Monorail Peach passing each other. Dec 23rd, 2022.
Monorail Yellow in EPCOT with mirror glass reflection. February 26th 2022.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these monorails from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…

Monorail Peach in heavy rain. August 27th, 2022.
The WDW Marathon gives us the rare time of the year when the EPCOT monorail service has 5 trains running: Coral, Lime, Peach, Silver, and Black. Normally the line has 2 trains running. January 8th 2022.

In the picture below, Monorail Lime is pictured at night with its solid carriage lighting package.

Monorail Lime with Harmonious fireworks in background. October 1st, 2022.

For New Year’s Eve, the Disney monorail’s lighting package had a fun pulsating element.

Walt Disney World monorails with pulsing carriage lighting on New Years Eve.

Below is a video showing the pulsing carriage lighting in effect…

A long exposure photo of a monorail train with pulsing carriage lighting. A mirror glass reflection in EPCOT on New Years Eve 2022/2023.

# 5 – EPCOT

Speaking of the monorail, the only Walt Disney theme park that the monorail actually goes into is EPCOT. This gives guests a unique view of current construction projects.

EPCOT monorail passing near rock work in Journey of Water. July 30th, 2022.
Monorail view of the signature rock work in Journey of Water. December 3rd, 2022.
Te Fiti at Journey of Water. DID YOU KNOW: This was the very first photo of Te Fiti that wasn’t from Disney itself. December 10th, 2022.
One of the remaining in-park views of Te Fiti’s smile at Journey of Water. December 17th, 2022.
Aerial overview of Journey of Water. At center is Te Fiti, where water will cascade from a hand into a small pool. December 18th, 2022.
An area of Journey of Water with interesting algae and ferns. November 26th, 2022.
A closer look reveals Te Fiti in a rock work at Journey of Water. December 3rd, 2022.
Cosmic Rewind’s Nova Corps Star Blaster with Spaceship Earth and its gorgeous new lighting package in the background.  April 23rd, 2022.
Reflection of Spaceship Earth with Independence Day lighting for July 4th weekend. July 2nd 2022.
Aerial look at Spaceship Earth in American flag lighting. July 3rd, 2022.
Here we have the Mickey Topiary at EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival with center ring of Harmonious in background. March 12, 2022.
Look close and you’ll spot Magic Kingdom fireworks through the center ring of Harmonious. December 31st, 2022.
Magic Kingdom fireworks seen through the center ring of Harmonious. December 31st, 2022.
Always a crowd favorite, fire shoots into the sky above the New Years Eve dance party in EPCOT China. December 31st, 2022.
Dragon releases smoke down to the New Years Eve dance party in EPCOT China. December 31st, 2022, 8:49PM
New Years Eve dragon replaced at EPCOT China pavilion. December 31st, 2022, 5:30PM.

Above is the China Pavilion’s dragon for 2022. Below is the dragon for last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Did Bob Chapek take the good dragon with him on his way out the door, forcing Imagineers to quickly create one out of cardboard?

New Years Eve party dragon still having a good time at EPCOT China pavilion. January 1st, 2022.

# 4 – VelociCoaster

With Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, VelociCoaster, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the Orlando theme parks have been truly blessed over the last couple of years with some absolutely awesome new roller coasters. While all three are fantastic to ride, only the VelociCoaster offers an opportunity for photographers like Bio to get great shots.

Aerial photo of Jurassic World VelociCoaster cresting the Top Hat or highest track. The attraction entrance is seen lower right. April 29th, 2022.
VelociCoaster whisking through rain. September 16th, 2022.
Infrared photo of VelociCoaster with the heart. July 24th, 2022.

One of the most underrated aspects of following Bio on social media is his playful sense of humor. For the one year anniversary of Annual Passholders riding the VelociCoaster, Bio took his aerial photo of the ride and added a background that gives true Jurassic Park vibes.

Today is anniversary of first #UOAP guests riding Jurassic World VelociCoaster on Isla Nublar. May 2nd, 2022.
VelociCoaster at sunset. February 22nd, 2022.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster at sunset. February 15th, 2022.
Hogwarts Castle and VelociCoaster at twilight tonight. September 27th, 2022.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster in twilight.  November 15th, 2022.

Now, one of the most bonkers stories of 2020 was the “battle” between Universal Orlando and an Osprey which kept making a nest on the VelociCoaster track. Universal ended up finding a new home for its feathered friend, but Bio has kept track of the Osprey and its family for the last couple years. That’s right, Bio keeps better track of theme park Ospreys than many of us do with our own family members.

The VelociCoaster Osprey family. The youngster is growing fast. In 3rd photo, daddy Osprey seems to have spotted the photographer. May 8th, 2022.
VelociCoaster Osprey and fledgling (in nest) stare at a photographer. May 22nd, 2022.

Speaking of Ospreys, lets leave Universal Orlando for a moment and drive about 15 minutes down I-4 to see a lighting package at State Road 436. They look pretty nice, right?

I-4 lighting at dawn at SR 436 in Altamonte Springs. May 22nd, 2022.

Turns out we’re not the only ones who like these style of lights…

I-4 decorative lighting in twilight at Grand National Drive. Osprey perched at right. July 29th, 2022.
Osprey perched at top of I-4 lighting at Grand National Drive. July 29th, 2022.

# 3 – The Big Picture

The expression can’t see the forest for the trees is used to describe when a person is too involved with minor details to see the whole situation of a subject. For us theme park fans on the ground, we are enraptured by the incredible theming and design that is  on display in front of us, but it takes someone like Bio thousands of feet up in the air to show us how all the smaller pieces fit together to form the larger puzzle. For me personally, these are my favorite types of photos that Bio shoots.

Aerial look at Magic Kingdom Resorts. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Of course one of Bio’s trademark additions to photos is the use of yellow arrows to point out things to his followers.

Aerial overview of expansion of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. 1,2, & 3 all are related to the Guest walkway for Grand Floridian. 4) Banyan tree waiting to be transplanted. 5) Golf course changes. October 28th, 2022.
Aerial look at Bay Lake and forested land that might be developed some day. Fort Wilderness at right. Clearing at lake originally River Country, and was planned as Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge. December 19th, 2022.
Aerial overview of Wilderness Lodge. December 19th, 2022.
1) Contemporary Resort 2) Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge 3) Ft Wilderness entrance 4) Golden Oak and Four Seasons Orlando 5) Port Orleans Resort 6) Bonnet Creek Parkway 7) Vista Blvd 8) Winter Garden Vineland Rd 9) Epcot Center Dr.
Aerial look across the EPCOT Resort area and Coronado Springs, to the Animal Kingdom Resort area in top left.
Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas are seen. Also the Dinosaur show building, Expedition Everest, and Tree of Life. September 25th, 2022.
Animal Kingdom Lodge. April 15th, 2022.
Aerial look at Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser at sunset. Opening day, maiden voyage. Stage with decks of the ship is square building. Guest cabins in long building at left. The mock cruise is a story over 2 days, in the Star Wars timeline. March 1st, 2022.

Another thing Bio does that is “above and beyond” is consistently going back and showing people older pictures so they can compare them to what he is photographing today. For example, Bio posted the photo below that he captured in 2017, showing the massive addition that Disney’s Hollywood Studios was making to its parking lot.

An aerial look back at expansion of parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, March 25, 2017.

Below is a picture from January of this year, showing all those new parking spaces. However, as you can see, most of the parking spaces are empty. Why? Because in between 2017 and 2022 Disney implemented the Park Reservation process, making it much more challenging for guests to just go to a park any day they wanted.

Also note in the picture that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is at the top left of the photo and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land are in the top center. Jan 30, 2022.
Aerial overview of EPCOT. December 18th, 2022.
Aerial overview of part of Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest at top right. Fenced area lower right is where the Primeval Whirl roller coasters used to be. August 7, 2022.
Aerial look at Tree of Life high above the forest in Animal Kingdom. Top near center is Feathered Friends in Flight. August 7th, 2022.

There is something about the aerial photos which show clouds that I really enjoy.

Pop Century (left) and Art of Animation. May 7th, 2022.

Whether night or day, Bio’s pics always “pop.”

Aerial overview of Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts. December 19th, 2022.
Aerial overview of all of All-Star resort. July 3rd, 2022.
Aerial photo up in the clouds above Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon. September 10th, 2022.
Aerial look at Typhoon Lagoon. June 11th, 2022.
Sep 25 aerial overview of work adding a conveyor belt for inner-tube return at Runoff Rapids in Blizzard Beach. Note the staging at right.
Aerial look at Blizzard Beach. Crane removed. Crane had been used for Teamboat Springs refurbishment, and adding a new inner-tube return at Runoff Rapids. October 22nd, 2022.

Bio’s aerial photos also allow others to have a bit of fun…

I can’t believe we’re six short months away from the convenience of being able to go to theme parks AND shop for furniture at the same time. thanks to @bioreconstruct for capturing the photo and getting me hyped. ” – Tommy Hawkins

Bio’s photo of the Tron Lightcycle Power Run show building with a small digital assist by Master Cartographer Tommy Hawkins. October 31st, 2022.

Okay, let’s head on over to some photos of the Universal Orlando Resort…

Very wide aerial photo of all of Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning from the Team Member parking garage at left, to the expansion pad of Volcano Bay at right. (Oct 28)
Very wide aerial overview of Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. October 28th, 2022.
Aerial look at Islands of Adventure. Almost mirror glass reflection at The Incredible Hulk. April 2, 2022.
Aerial overview of part of Universal Studios Florida. August 5th, 2022.
Aerial look at Universal Studios Florida. 1) Summer movie Tribute Store 2) Revenge of the Mummy reopening soon (EDITOR’S NOTE: “soon” ended up being August 30th.) 3 and 4) Pavement redos 5) Demolition of Monsters Cafe. July 22nd, 2022.

This incredible shot features many of the cars you will usually see inside Universal Studios Florida, including many of the classic vehicles normally parked outside Mel’s Diner. For Halloween Horror Nights they were brought backstage.

Aerial look at display cars normally seen in USF, moved to Back of House during HHN 31. Also seen is supplemental air conditioning for a support building. Building has The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare during HHN. September 16th, 2022.
Aerial overview of Volcano Bay. Waturi Beach wave pool is covered in brown fabric during a refurbishment. December 2nd, 2022.

Below are three pics Bio posted this year referring back to the construction of Volcano Bay…

Oct 23, 2016 is when I started to regularly Tweet aerial photos of theme park construction. A look back at Volcano Bay here. (posted on December 27th, 2022)
Ground and aerial views of construction of Krakatau in Volcano Bay. Dec 11, 2016. In the aerial, note construction of the underground cave of the lazy river, Kopiko Wai Winding River.
Volcano Bay construction. December 11th, 2016

# 2 – Look to the sky…

Over the years in this fine blog series we’ve done several articles on the craft of theme park photography. The best photographers can take something we’ve all seen a million times and present it in a way that is unique and eye catching. While most of us park goers aren’t astronomers, I think pretty much everyone would enjoy being able to see other planets from inside the theme parks. The good news is: you can. The bad news is: since most of us aren’t astronomers, we don’t know when or where to look. Thankfully, Bio has us covered.

A rare alignment of Mars, The Moon, and Cowfish in CityWalk. Dec 7th 2022. This actually was an occultation night. Moon briefly passed in front of Mars. Next one is January 2025.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore bioreconstruct…

Seems like this is the last full moon for Werewolf at Bone Chillin’. This snack stand not lit and appears to have been emptied. Seems likely this site will be enclosed by the construction fence at former Monsters Cafe very soon. (EDITOR’S NOTE: It was.) November 7th, 2022.

Many years ago I went to the Smithsonian Planetarium show. This was also the same year that visible planets were in a row. I decided that I needed to learn more about the night sky. The Moon is particularly challenging to include in theme park photos, as it’s very bright and moves rapidly enough to become blurry.” – @bioreconstruct

The Incredible Hulk jumps over the Moon. October 5th, 2022.
The Moon intersects with spotlights from VelociCoaster and The Incredible Hulk, as a VelociCoaster train speeds through a twist in the track. March 11th, 2022.
Touching the Moon with a 10-foot pole at Port of Entry. November 1st, 2022.
Imagination pyramid with Moon as apex. October 1st, 2022.
Figment with the Moon as a spark of inspiration. March 5th, 2022.
Mission: SPACE points to the Moon. November 6th, 2022.

Let’s close this section with a couple weather related events…

Mirror glass reflection of CityWalk, with lightning bolt. (EDITOR’S NOTE: You have to love Bio adding “with lightning bolt” at the end. Almost as if he’s saying, “I guess some people might be interested in this impossible-to-capture lightning strike in the middle of the photo too.”) September 6th 2022
Optimus Prime reaches out to touch a rainbow. April 5th, 2022.
Optimus Prime directing pigeons to roost on the E.T. show building instead. August 3rd, 2022.

# 1 – EPIC Universe

For the first time in the modern theme park blogging era, we are able to see a theme park built from the ground up here in Florida. This is about as exciting as it gets for hard core theme park fans. I love watching documentaries on Disney+ and you get some time lapse videos that Disney puts together for building their attractions. For me, it’s just as fun seeing the actual process of how this stuff is made as it is to enjoy the rides. I liken it to watching master chefs like Gordon Ramsey or José Andrés cook. It doesn’t matter how the dish ends up tasting, I’m fascinated by just watching them prepare the meal.

Bio is showing us how the sausage is made when it comes to building a theme park from the ground up and I am here for it. Let’s take a look at the beginning of the year when it was little more than dirt piles…

Aerial overview of construction at Epic Universe. January 9th, 2022.
Aerial overview of construction at Epic Universe. February 18th, 2022.

By April, back of house support buildings were up.

Aerial overview of Universal’s Epic Universe construction. April 15th, 2022.

At the very end of April, there’s still not all that much going on from a visual standpoint, but hold on to your hats…

Aerial overview of Universal’s Epic Universe construction. Bottom arrow is about where the park entrance will be. Top arrow at Krakatau in Volcano Bay. April 29th, 2022.

By the start of July, construction is in full force and things are starting to take shape before our very eyes.

Aerial look back at Universal’s Epic Universe. Roof starting on what is likely Ministry of Magic, in foreground. Roof also in progress at the Classic Monsters show building at right. July 8, 2022

By September, Universal was rockin’ and rollin’, and highly anticipated rides were starting to take shape.

Aerial look at Mario Kart in Super Nintendo World. September 2nd, 2022.

Unfortunately, September also brought with it Hurricane Ian and the shutdown of both the Disney and Universal theme parks as Central Florida was hit hard. EPIC Universe construction had a brief stoppage, and several areas in the park – like the Titanic – took on a bit of water.

Aerial look at the chain of 3 water features in the central corridor of Epic Universe. Park entrance near lower left. In park hotel near upper right. Flooding from Hurricane Ian. September 30th, 2022.

The construction area dried out, and work began in earnest. The results speak for themselves. Universal seems to be working at lightspeed and dreams are about to come true for many theme park fans…

Aerial overview of Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe. October 28th, 2022.
Aerial photo of the manor fronting the featured attraction of Classic Monsters land. Scaffolding up for building the exterior. Note the tall frame for possibly a bell tower. November 24th, 2022.
Aerial look at facades in the Harry Potter related land at Universal’s Epic Universe. Part of the featured attraction show building. December 18th, 2022.
Aerial look at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel being built near Epic Universe. December 18th, 2022.

Let’s take a look comparing the EPIC Universe site from January of this year and December…

My reaction?


Okay, I will concede that the VelociCoaster is a conventionally good roller coaster. It has an E-Ticket queue. It has awesome merchandise. The ride is incredibly SMOOTH. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has none of those things….BUT I LOVE IT ANYWAY. Rockit also happens to be the beneficiary of some great Bio photos from this past year too, including this stunner…

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit to the Moon. February 3rd, 2022.

The following story is wonderful. Rip Rip Rockit has a long vertical banner that is hung up on it’s lift hill. This banner has been missing for YEARS. On September 23rd of 2022, it was finally replaced.

What else happened at the end of September? Yes, HURRICANE IAN hit Central Florida less than a week after the banner was installed. Before the Hurricane arrived, Universal took down the banner again…

Rip Ride Rockit. October 13th, 2022.

The attraction was kept in its “naked” form for a little over a month. The banner was reinstalled during the middle of November.

Rip Ride Rockit. November 15th, 2022.

Who else but @bioreconstruct would go to Universal Studios Florida every single day to get the progress of this banner being reinstalled? Bio is the hero we don’t deserve, but the one we need.

Rip Ride Rockit. November 16th, 2022.
Rip Ride Rockit in its full glory. November 23rd, 2022.

Indescribably beautiful…

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit with restored banner at night. 13 second long exposure photo. November 24th, 2022.
Rip Ride Rockit with mirror glass reflection. November 25th, 2022.


We cover a lot of Bio’s Universal and Disney photos, but its important to know that he is also taking photos of all of Central Florida, including regular updates of SeaWorld Orlando.

Aerial overview of SeaWorld Orlando. December 18th, 2022.
Aerial look at Pipeline: The Surf Coaster in SeaWorld Orlando. All track in place. This will be a stand-up while riding coaster. Imagine riding through the curves at bottom center. December 18th, 2022.
SeaWorld Orlando. December 18th, 2022.

So there you have it: SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our FAVORITE @bioreconstruct photos of 2022! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out the THEME PARK ENJOYMENT INDEX, giving a monthly recap of all the theme park news you need to know (and a lot more you don’t need to know, but we’re gonna tell you anyway). You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: 

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Flights with @bioreconstruct Vol 1 (Galactic Starcruiser, EPIC Universe)

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Flights with @bireconstruct Vol 2 (EPCOT Construction, Tron Lightcycle Run)

The SATURDAY SIX Celebrates TEN YEARS of @bioreconstruct

SATURDAY SIX Presents: @bioreconstruct’s Favorite Aerial Photographs (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Volcano Bay, and more)

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our Favorite @bioreconstruct Photos of 2020

SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our Favorite @bioreconstruct Photos of 2021

The SATURDAY SIX Takes Three Flights in a Single Day with @bioreconstruct (MCO, Disney at Day/Night, MK Fireworks and more!)

SATURDAY SIX: Tribute to Josh easyWDW

Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, Digital Maestro Scott Walker, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, artist @SonderQuest, the mighty maven of merchandise Hedgehog’s Corner, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and “the Dadalorian” Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, charter member of the Universal Four @Nitro230, the permit princess Alicia Stella, master cartographer Tommy Hawkins, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Absolutely no help was added by SeaWorld Influencer @SuperWeenieHtJr. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.


Magneto using the magnetic forces of The Moon and Mars. January 3rd, 2023.

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2 thoughts on “SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our Favorite @bioreconstruct Photos of 2022 (EPCOT Construction, Disney Monorail, EPIC Universe and more!)

  • That was quick with the Pipeline track. I was at SeaWorld in November and maybe 1/3 of it was up.

    • I know! We had annual pass this year and went June and December (out of state). It was amazing to see how much had changed so quickly. It’ll be a nice thril addition. The park still needs more for the not a toddler and not tall enough to ride the coasters age.


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