Friday, September 18, 2009

So you want to be on a Disney Podcast...

I always listen to Disney podcasts. I've been listening to them for about two and a half years ever since I learned how to actually use my iPod and iTunes. I started with Mouse Tunes. Unfortunately after listening to a few episodes I heard Lou and Nate say that they were ending the show.

I was forced to head back into iTunes to see what else there was. I found WDW Today, the DIS Unplugged, Netcot, you name it. I love listening to the podcasts. I have listened to at least one episode of most of the podcasts. I have my favorites though. You know, the ones that you need to listen to as soon as they are released. (Come on, you know that you can't wait for some of them!)

I also thought it was so cool when I heard listeners on the show. I don't think I have enough to say to have my own show, but would love to be part of a show. Earlier this year, the All About the Mouse podcast held the Disney Feud. It was like the Family Feud, but with the hosts from various Disney podcasts. Towards the end of the run for that game, Jonathan Dichter announced that they would be having a new game, this time involving the listeners. The new game would be called...

The Disney Pyramid!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our next stop was Morocco. Aladdin and Jasmine were out getting pictures, but their line was already closed. The CM told me that they would be back out in 20 minutes and that Genie would be coming out too!

We got some pictures of Morocco:

and then went back to wait for Genie.

When I got in line, the most adorable little girl was in front of me. I asked her if she knew who was coming out and she told me Jasmine. I told her that Genie was supposed to come out too! Her eyes got sooo big and she asked me if Aladdin was coming out too. I told her I didn't know, but that would be a really nice surprise if he did. I sat down on the ground since I was getting hot and tired and the little girl grabbed her autograph book to show me who she had already met. She practically climbed into my lap she was so excited. DM got a really sweet picture of the two of us. The quality wasn't that good though since she was sitting on a bench and had to really zoom in on us.

Once Jasmine and Genie came out, we both hopped up and go ready for our pictures. When I got near the front, I had to shout to get DM with me so that she could snap some shots with my camera. I got a big hug from Genie and Jasmine commented on how tall I'd gotten since I last saw her. (Um sorry Jasmine, I am the same height that I was when your movie came out). I guess I don't always look my age. I did get carded 2 weeks before my 30th birthday.

We then wandered north to France (well, maybe not technically, but in reality, that is the direction we would be going). I saw my favorite princess, but alas, her line was closed:

We watched this crazy guy doing his thing:

After this DM and DSF1 decided they were finished for the day and we headed out the International Gateway. I called DBF and he said that he had sent DB and DSF2 over to Epcot so that we could get dinner and watch Illuminations. I was happy with that because that was what I had planned on us doing anyways. Unfortunately, things don't always work out as planned.

Next up: Illuminations or not?

Sorry for the interuption!

I'm running the WDW Maration in 2010 with Team in Training. Please donate to help us fight blood cancers!

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I'll get another post or two up tonight!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lunch with the Princesses!

After leaving my contact info with Guest Services (he said a message was going to be sent to Mark on a pager), we made our way to our lunch - Akershus!

I got these pictures first:

I love the pyramid in Mexico. It makes me really want to travel there to see the real thing (one day...).

I checked us in and DM and I pulled up a piece of curb and waited. Thankfully DSF1 was paying attention because I didn't even hear them say my name. We went in an I met this lovely lady:

She noticed my pin with Tink and the Princess pin and told me about her friends that were on them.

We made our way to our seats and were told how to order our meal. DM got Traditional Kjottkaker, I got the braised lamb and I forgot what DSF1 got. We went up to buffet for our appetizers and I made sure to try everything. I knew then and confirmed with my meal that I am not a fan of smoked fish in any way, shape or form. One of my good friends is thankful because that means for lox for her.

I did enjoy most of the food from the buffet though and I really enjoyed the lamb. It isn't something I cook for myself, but try to have it when I see it on the menu. Mom liked what she had, but it was a little on the salty side for her tastes.

Through the appetizer and entree, these lovely ladies visited us:

I told Ariel that I had just watched her movie and she commented about her friend Belle reading her book (over and over).

Then a non-princess surprise:

At least I am not this pale:

And then dessert:

I loved the rice pudding type dessert. I would go back just for that!

After our lunch with the princesses, we went out to explore the World Showcase. At the time I was signed up for a scrapbooking swap for the countries in Epcot. Because of that I wanted to make sure that I got pictures of each country. We went back and snapped a few of Mexico and then got a few more of Norway.

There was a band playing and DM started dancing around and the gentleman in the band started dancing with her. My camera wasn't quick enough though so I didn't end up with a good picture.

We then headed over to China and I got a nice picture of DM and DSF1:

I also got a picture of our hotel from across the lagoon:

I got this picture of a lovely flower (water lilly?):

and then headed inside to see the China Pavillion:

I was upset to find out that they don't have bubble tea in China. It is something that we get everytime we head to Chinatown and we recently started buying some tapioca pearls at the Korean market and making our own at home. Maybe they'll have it next time.

We walked by the African out post. I didn't get any pictures there.

We then found ourselves in Germany:

I wandered around the store there and contemplated buying myself a pickle ornament, but I decided to have a glass of wine. I got myself some Riesling and then got a Milka white chocolate bar. White chocolate and Riesling go together remarkably well. The wine was good, but I have a particular vineyard that I love. (Dr. Loosen - I'll be picking up a few more bottles this weekend when I go home to my cousin's wedding). We sat down to relax and enjoy the square. I got some pictures before we left for our next country:

Our next stop was where half of my family comes from: ITALY!!!

DM's feet were starting to really hurt her. I told her to wear sneakers and not sandals, or to at least put the moleskin on ahead of time, but she didn't listen to me. I sat down and watched the mime, Sergio (?).

He was really funny. I watched the whole show and then walked around taking some pictures of the faux Venice.

DM told me to take this last picture. I have another one that is a portrait view. I printed is up in 8x10 and just need to get a frame for it. The colors of the building and the sky blend perfectly with the pictures I have of San Filipe de Neri in Albequerque.

We walked through the American Adventure stopping only for a few pictures. Maybe on my next trip I'll spend some time looking around here.

Next: We finish our trip around the world!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fantasyland expansion rumors are true! (and other D23 news)

News from the D23 expo!!!

Fantasyland at Walt Disney World will nearly double in size by 2013. This will be the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history!

A link to a video of the announcements: here

According to DisneyParks and D23 Tweets (and many of the guests in attendance), the expansion will include:

-meeting princess in their own fairy tale worlds

-Cinderella will transform from servant to princess right in front of the guest eyes

-Be Our Guest restaurant with immersive experience

-Gaston Tavern

-Little Mermaid e-ticket attraction (will be a duplicate of one being added to California Adventure)

-Dueling Dumbos with interactive games while you wait (with no queue)

-no changes to the existing Fantasyland, 2012 for Princesses, 2013 for Fairies

-Toontown will be gone. No set date for closing.

-Toontown train depot will be re-themed for Fantasyland

Other Disney news:

Disney Cruise Line:
-Castaway Cay will be expanding with a waterpark on the island
-Wonder will be relocating to the West coast
-Wonder will be cruising to Alaska in 2011

Disney Vacation Club:
-Hawaii resort will be opening in 2011
-experience will retell Hawaii legends

Hong Kong Disneyland:
-will be adding 3 new lands

Tomorrowland? (will elaborate more as I get more information)
-Buzz Lightyear and Kim Possible
-more interactive experiences

Disney California Adventure:
-Carsland, including:
-Luigi's Flying Tires
-Cozy Cone with cone themed food
-Radiator Springs Racers

Star Tours (will debut in Disneyland, in Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2011):
-3D revamp of ride
-guests will be podracing in 3D

I'll have more news later today and I'll update any inaccuracies as I learn more!

Like to Orlando Sentinal's Fantasyland information here

Trying to Track Down an Old Friend

So as when I left, we were just finishing up our breakfast and heading up Main Street. We didn't get very far. We ran into these guys:

We watched them for a little bit and then DM and I turned to each other and said "We can see Mark doing this"

You see, Mark was a friend of mine when I was a freshman in high school. He was a senior (ok I had crush on him - silly 14 year old that I was). We were both in the school musical together. He was really good at performing. His sister used to work with DM so I had always heard about what he was up to in general terms. I knew that he had interned at Disney (I assume college program) and he had ended up staying there and working for Disney. I had heard that he was going to go to law school recently, but I don't know the truth to that. All that being said, here is the reason to my story.

Since it was now Monday we could call DM's office and figure out a way to contact Mark. We found out that he is currently at Epcot. That was great news since we were heading over there for lunch!

We kept heading back because I wanted to see Fantasyland today. We stopped for some pictures:

We actually got Photopass pictures on one of the bridges but these never made it onto the account. Of course I didn't find that out until I got home so I couldn't even try to retrieve them. Too bad because they would have been nice ones to print up.

As we were heading into Fantasyland, DB spotted Alice and the Mad Hatter (I'm not sure if this was one of the movies that he watched when we were preparing for the trip). Since DM bought him the autograph book, he wanted get in line and get a picture with them. I also knew that he really wanted to go back to drive the cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway, so we split up and DB got in line with DSF2 and DM, DSF1, and I made our way into Fantasyland finally.

DM, DSF1, and I got in line for Winnie the Pooh. When we got to the front, I told the CM that there was 3 of us. Three adults. Yes, I even specified that because I'm no skinny-minnie, so I wanted to make sure we weren't squished. Well, she put the three of us in the same row. Wewerethisclose! The ride was really cute, but with the Tigger part wasn't confortable considering the seating arrangements.

After Pooh, I wanted to go on Peter Pan, but the wait was 45 minutes and the FP return was around 1. Um... not going to work when we have lunch reservations. When went over to the next best option... Mickey's Philharmagic!

I loved this. I think it is my favorite 3-D film.

We then started making our way out via Frontierland and Adventureland. Okay, so I just looked at the map and now realize that it is the very long route, but we had time to get out of the park and to our lunch ADRs.

We say this guy:

And these guys:

And even this guy:

I have a picture of one of his cousins from my trip in 1994.

And finally we saw Capt. Jack!

But he ran off quickly because the governor was coming. So I got a picture of this guy:

Once we made it out of the MK, we hopped to Monorail over to Epcot for lunch. I stopped at Guest Services to leave a message for Mark (which he never returned!). Then we headed over to meet some lovely ladies.

Next up:

Lunch with the Princesses!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Will DB have to spend the rest of the trip sitting in the hotel room with no TV?

We woke up the next morning and I was so sad because DBF was off to his conference. He got up early and went down to grab breakfast for us. Normally I will pay for the guest option for this conference, but considering where we were this year, I didn't want to waste my money on that. It was really a good option at the other conferences. In Boston, they had a special conference for the Boston Pops, in New Orleans, we saw the Pointer Sisters and a Zydeco band, and in Anaheim, they had a band that was comprised of former Beach Boys and the surviving member from Jan and Dean. This year the special was a dessert party during illuminations, but I didn't was to spend the money on it because we would be doing our own touring when he wasn't in the conference.

Anyways, DBF got back with some breakfast for us. Yummy! DB got up and the first thing that he tried to do was hop on DBF's computer and get on the internet. OMG, I almost ripped him out of the chair. He isn't supposed to get on the computer without permission and there was no way that we were wasting time waiting for him to play on the computer. Besides, why does a 10 year old really need to be on the internet at 8 am? I managed to keep my calm even though I was fuming inside. I convinced him to get his body moving since we were leaving as soon as my parents got there.

Once we got everyone together and made it to the bus, it was a rather uneventful ride over to the Magic Kingdom. We missed the opening by about 15 minutes but I got over it quickly and we got in line for the bag check. DB was carrying the bag with his dad's camera's in it. DSF2 asked for the bags so that he could carry it through the bag check (absolutely reasonable to have the adult carry the bag throught the bag check BTW). DB proceeds to let the bag slip off his shoulders and drop on the ground. I was shocked and shouted his name, but held back on yelling at him since I was trying to keep everyone happy and not cause any disagreements. And amazingly, for the first time since I've known him, DSF2 stepped up and acted like a parent. He took DB out of the line and started walking back towards the busses. For a little bit, I could see him and see that he stopped and was yelling (not loud enough for us to hear) at DB.

We continued to go through the bag check and then waited a few minutes to see if they were coming. I figured they might be heading back to the hotel. (I may have even gotten a phone call to that extent.) So we headed into the park and Yippee! One of my favorite characters was out!

I immediately jumped in the line for Pinocchio and Gepeto. I was so excited because I had never seen them in person. The line was a little bit long, but I didn't mind the wait. I then got a call from DSF2 saying that they were headed back into the parks. Good, as much as I know that DB needs to be disciplined, I also felt bad about the possibility of him missing everything in the parks. I told them to hurry up and they got in line with me. (Don't worry, when I have someone join me in line, I don't take extra pictures. Everyone is in one picture at that point.) DB came up to us and apoligized to me and my parents for behaving the way he had.

I started telling DB about Pinocchio and told him that they were Italian. Since we were next in line, Gepeto heard me and started "acting Italian" by pinching his fingers together and shaking his hand up in the air. I can't think of a better way to describe it, but I'm sure you've all seen it.

DB was wearing the POC hat that I got him for the trip and Pinicchio saw it. He pointed to it and started sword fighting with DB. It was so cute. Just a little after the somewhat stressful start to the day.

Next we saw the "bad guys" from Pinocchio right in front of Tony's. (I have since learned that they are Foulfellow and Gideon.) We got in line and were the next people when their handler said that they would be taking a 5 minute break.

DM and DSF1 went to get themselves some breakfast at the bakery while we waited for the guys to come back out. Unfortunately, only Foulfellow returned. I asked the CM where the other guy went and she said that he saw a shiney object and took off running. Just like my cats!

I found my parents waiting in the line in the Bakery still and gave them my order then we went outside to wait. All the time enjoying the sights and sounds on Main Street.

Finally DM and DSF1 emerged and I had my second breakfast of the day. (It turns out that the sad looking croissant that DBF brought back to the room was actually a breakfast croissant with ham in it. I thought it was just a sad excuse for a croissant and left it on the plate. Darn!

We waited a bit to eat our food and then headed up towards the Castle.

Next up:

Trying to track down an old friend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Date with Steve and Joe

Once everyone was back together, we headed over to my absolute favorite ride in all of WDW...

Rock n' Roller Coaster!!!!!

I have been a fan of this ride for ever! Okay, well maybe it has only been since my last trip in 2002, but that was the only other time I'd been on it.

Everyone went on it except for DM. She held all of our stuff so I don't have any pictures. DSF1 is a musician (by hobby, not for a living - blue grass music specifically ). He enjoyed the recording studio story line.

Once we got through and were getting ready to catch our limo, I looked at him and realized, um, he's got his glasses on. I asked him if his glasses might fall off, not specifically saying why, and he said they would be okay. He then saw how the limos take off. (um, yeah, wait until you see the rest of it! )

We all board our stretch, um super stretch limo, and after a wild ride through the streets of LA, made it to the backstage and safely into the arena, um gift shop.

After this, DB wanted to do ToT but it was time to head over to Fantasmic to get our seats. I love the walkway to get to that seating in Fantasmic. It is beautifully done, but MAN! that is a long walk!

We didn't have to wait too long for the show, maybe 20 minutes.

I must say that I know that everyone loves Wishes and Illuminations, and there are people for whom that is a must every time, but this was by far my favorite. I must do this one every time I go from now on.

After the show we headed out of the theater and took some time to take pictures before leaving the park.

After 3 solid days of DB and DSF2, I needed a break from them and DBF and I just needed some time to relax together. You see, even though they live with us, since they are in the in-law apartment, I go technically go days or weeks without seeing them, so the flight and then two solid days at Disney, plus the dinner fiasco had pushed me to my limit.

But I had a plan

EMH was going on a MK that night. I knew that DM and DSF1 were ready to go back to their hotel, so before we headed back to the boat to get back to our hotel, I passed along that bit of knowledge.

I knew that DB would want to go back there and the DSF2, would take him there because we told him to. DBF would eventually see that this was my plan for us to have a chance to relax, and he would encourage them to head off to the park.

Well, of course, it worked

So they headed off the MK and the rest of us headed back to the Dolphin. After DM and DSF1 left, we got some pictures of the lobby and went upstairs to chill.

Up next:

Will DB have to spend the rest of the trip sitting in the hotel room with no TV?