SATURDAY SIX Presents: Our Favorite @bioreconstruct Photos of 2022 (EPCOT Construction, Disney Monorail, EPIC Universe and more!)
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.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these monorails from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…
In the picture below, Monorail Lime is pictured at night with its solid carriage lighting package.
For New Year’s Eve, the Disney monorail’s lighting package had a fun pulsating element.
Below is a video showing the pulsing carriage lighting in effect…
# 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.
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?
# 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.
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.
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.
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?
Turns out we’re not the only ones who like these style of lights…
# 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.
Of course one of Bio’s trademark additions to photos is the use of yellow arrows to point out things to his followers.
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.
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.
There is something about the aerial photos which show clouds that I really enjoy.
Whether night or day, Bio’s pics always “pop.”
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
Okay, let’s head on over to some photos of the Universal Orlando Resort…
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.
Below are three pics Bio posted this year referring back to the construction of Volcano Bay…
# 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.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s
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
Let’s close this section with a couple weather related events…
# 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…
By April, back of house support buildings were up.
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…
By the start of July, construction is in full force and things are starting to take shape before our very eyes.
By September, Universal was rockin’ and rollin’, and highly anticipated rides were starting to take shape.
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.
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…
Let’s take a look comparing the EPIC Universe site from January of this year and December…
HONORABLE MENTION – RIP RIDE ROCKIT
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…
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…
The attraction was kept in its “naked” form for a little over a month. The banner was reinstalled during the middle of November.
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.
DOUBLE SECRET HONORABLE MENTION – SeaWorld Orlando
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.
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.
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.