As Disney fans and as frequent Guests of Disney Parks, we love to hear about exciting changes and additions at Disney World. But most of the time, thanks to sky-high construction walls erected to keep Guests and Cast Members safe keep the magic safe as well, and we’re unable to watch the progress of those new additions until they are almost complete. Sometimes, we have to wait until the project is completely finished before we can even catch a glimpse.
Until now, anyway.
Enter a photographer named Bioreconstruct: a phenomenal photographer, by the way, who dangles from the helicopters he charters to drape him across the expanse of open sky high above the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Well, so maybe there’s no high incidence of dangling, but Bioreconstruct does liken himself to Spider-Man. (More on that in a minute.) I had the opportunity to conduct a short interview with the photographer whose photos often allow Disney fans a peek into areas of the parks that are strictly off-limits to Guests, whether that’s at construction sites for new attractions or high above Cinderella Castle, in what is classified by the FAA as a no-fly zone.
“Every flight has surprises,” he explains. “Unexpected things or different viewpoints.”
He describes his role as that of a superhero, but an undeniably humble one who takes little to no credit for being awesome.
“I’m just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man,” he humbly explained. “Just taking photos like Peter Parker does to help the real reporters with content.”
And help us, he does. Thanks to photos on his Twitter feed (@bioreconstruct), sites like DisneyDining get a bird’s-eye view or a front-row view of goings-on at the Disney World theme parks. In fact, it’s photos like these that make some of our most popular posts possible while giving us and our readers a look at the parks from a vantage point we never could have reached on our own.
The World of Avatar begins to take shape – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
It seems like a lifetime ago that it was first announced that Pandora: The World of Avatar would be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. To many fans, the presence of a landscape from James Cameron’s Avatar seemed wildly out of place at a Disney Park. Now, we can hardly remember the park without it.
In these aerial photos of the Pandora site taken by Bioreconstruct, you can see the area’s location in relation to the parking lots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as the Pandora site before construction and after construction. Photos of the strange new bioluminescent world, even show its flagship attraction, Avatar: Flight of Passage.
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Animal Kingdom Guest Area
Equally as impressive as aerial photos of Pandora is this wide-angle photo of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The huge expanse of savanna behind the Resort Hotel is unbelievable.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & Disney Skyliner – France Pavilion, EPCOT
Plans for the Disney Skyliner were first announced at the 2017 D23 Expo, but the new attraction that doubled as a member of the Disney Transportation family wouldn’t open until September 29, 2019. Also at the Expo, Disney announced plans to construct an attraction that had opened at Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris in the summer of 2014. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was coming to EPCOT’s World Showcase, and Disney promised it would be ready for the Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration in October 2021.
The site of EPCOT’s new attraction can be seen in the center of this photo, taken by Bioreconstruct in March 2018. He also denotes areas of Skyliner construction with yellow arrows.
At center, aerial view of the Epcot Ratatouille ride site.
Arrows at Disney Skyliner construction. pic.twitter.com/ejC4KuL1bQ
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) March 9, 2018
Further photos show progress in the construction of the new Remy attraction, including the scaffolding for the ride house in 2019 and the new building facades around the France pavilion in January 2022.
World Showcase at night – EPCOT
Perhaps one of his most glorious and most popular photos of all, this work of art shows the 11 countries around the World Showcase at EPCOT, dressed up in lights for the evening. If you see an area of darkness along the Showcase, you’re probably looking at the Morocco pavilion, which stays dark in the evening in observance of religious beliefs held in the country.
A very unmagical Disney World
When Disney World closed its gates on the night of March 16, 2020, it did so with an uncomfortable level of uncertainty. Only 10 to 11 weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, the monster had cultivated the power to bring down every single one of Disney’s theme parks, leaving each one to close, both domestically and internationally.
There was something so soul-crushing about simply knowing that Disney World and every other Disney Park across the globe would host no Guests, play no music, sell no turkey legs, and make no magic for anyone for the foreseeable future. But this photo from the viewfinder of Bioreconstruct in March 2020 seemed to bring a realness to a scenario we hoped we had only dreamed up.
It is a heartbreaking photo of a heartbreaking season in our world and at the parks that is forever frozen in time: a photo that memorialized the complete absence of life (save those cranes at Cinderella Castle and the Cast Members at the controls), of Guests, of music, and magic at a kingdom that had welcomed visitors since 1971, proclaiming that there, they “leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” But no one was certain that tomorrow would come. We were living, after all, in unprecedented times.
Nearly four months later, fans woke up from a nightmare, awoke from their fears, many of them immediately racing back to their happy place as news of the beginning of Disney World’s phased opening on July 11, 2020, hit the airways and fansites. But copious restrictions and health and safety procedures meant that Disney World could only operate at a minimal capacity, and it was evident as those of us who visited during the first weeks of the reopening can attest to.
This photo, taken by Bioreconstruct as he hovered high above Magic Kingdom in August 2020 served as another journal entry in the long journey wherein Disney World struggles toward a “new normal.”
Random, awe-inspiring “Bioreconstructions”
TRON Coaster from different vantage points – Magic Kingdom
After four years of construction sans completion, we can only hope that one day, the TRON Lightcycle Run attraction will be finished and open to Guests at Tomorrowland. But while we wait, we can enjoy these photos of the coaster and its canopy from different Magic Kingdom vantage points: the PeopleMover, the Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, respectively.
Bioreconstruct has been in the business of capturing life on film or in digital format for a while now, and if there’s one thing I learned about him, it’s that he is exceptionally humble, and a bit mysterious as well. (Ok, two things.) But whether he’ll fess up to it or not, it’s obvious from this tiny sampling of his aerial photography that Bioreconstruct, who says he’s “just a photographer” and one who tries to “stay behind the lens,” is a bit of an artist with an eye for the interesting and a knack for expertly delivering an otherwise unattainable view from the sky to the riff-raff on the ground below.
And it’s not without drawbacks.
“Photography is just an expensive hobby,” Bioreconstruct said. “Helicopter charters just add to the expense.”
He says that aerial photography of the parks is akin to sports photography, where you have “some idea of what a shot might be, and you have an instant to catch it.” He says he misses those shots “all the time,” and he has “to be quick with [the] shutter.”
“It’s just fun to share things I stumble upon and happen to have interesting photos to share.”
You can follow Bioreconstruct and progress in the parks on Twitter (@bioreconstruct).