Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

I meant to mention with the holidays coming up, things would be a little busy around the household, meaning that the blog would be on hold for a few weeks.

I will see you all in the New Year! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

News & Rumors 12/8/08 - 12/21/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Disney's Design a Tee shirt in Downtown Disney was in soft openings as of Dec. 8, 2008.
  • The tethered balloon that will be up in Downtown Disney has a name--Characters In Flight.
  • Chef Mickey's should be under refurb. As should the California Grill. These refurbs will be done in phases and will take place while the restaurants continue operating.
  • It appears Idol is getting some of the finishing touches put on. The times board has been put up and a media reception has been set in place for Feb. 12, 2009.
  • In the latest planning video, Space Mountain is conspicuously left out.
  • Prime Rib has been replaced with whole strip loins on buffets on Disney property.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin will be down for refurb March 2-6.
  • The Poly has had their last torch lighting ceremony. You can thank budget cuts.


  • The Outer Rim bar at the Contemporary is supposed to be coming back.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mousefest Memories

It's official. My first Mousefest is now over. And I have to say, in a lot of ways it was different than I thought it would be. Not different in a bad way, mind you, but it was definitely different than I ever dreamed it would be.

For the past I'd say 3 years or so, I've been wanting to go to Mousefest. But, I really had no reason to go down. My husband and I usually vacation in Sept. and I didn't want to drag him down to a fan event where he wouldn't enjoy himself. He may like going to Disney World on vacation, but I didn't see me dragging him from meet to meet very successfully. So, I quietly sat in my car and online, wishing I could be there and actually experience it firsthand for myself. I, had always been dreaming of going to Mousefest pure and simply as a fan.

This year though...that all changed. I now had my reason to go down, what with the podcast and I was excited to get my first chance to go. (Mousefest was actually one of the reasons why my hubby bought my AP for me for my birthday/anniversary.)

So what was it that made Mousefest different for me? What was it that I didn't realize would happen? While there, I stopped dreaming of going as a fan and instead got to experience it in a totally different light. That was of someone who's in the Disney community.

It was something that I wasn't expecting. I had thought that I would end up gushing all over the Disney "celebrities" but when it really came down to it...yeah, it was cool to meet them...but you know what was even cooler? Being allowed that chance to get to hang out with the fans. Getting the chance to talk to people or joke with them, Riding rides or just eating a meal together. And as I quickly learned, that, truly is the spirit of Mousefest.

So, lt's get onto the things that helped change my opinion, and in my opinion, for the better, about Mousefest.

The first meet in front of the Magic Kingdom was so surreal for me. I was walking down the pathway from the bus stops thinking, what on earth am I doing?! This is so bizarre. But as soon as I got there, all my fears and anxiety slipped away. We all got along so well and had a ton of fun just riding rides together. (And of course, who couldn't forget the most boring Jungle Cruise skipper EVER!!!! Seriously, what was that guy's problem? Did he not get the handbook that the ride's funny now?!)

Another thing that really got me connected with people was the podcast recording session. It was so unique. We were all just sitting there, in this laid back atmosphere, some eating their lunches and just watching, while recording an episode for the show. What was great was just about anyone who wanted to be on the show, got to be on and we chatted with everyone. Even more fun was people were having their own conversations, getting the chance to bond with other listeners and us, while the recording was going on too.

I also really enjoyed Podfest. Actually, I think this was one of my favorite parts to Mousefest. At first, it was all kind of scattered...we didn't know what was happening or how the event would really be run...but once the speech was given, off we all went talking away.

Some people interviewed others and this was where my fun set in. I was given the task of interviewing people for the show (because Mike didn't want to, by the way) and I have to say, I had a BLAST! It was so great getting to talk to those who maybe hadn't listened before, but were then learning about us, to talk to people who did listen to us (special shout out to Steve! I know your name now, don't I?! That could be a bad thing...) I got to also interview others who were maybe smaller on the online community totem poll and help them get their voices out to people who maybe hadn't heard of them either. And last, I did get the chance to interview the big wigs who's name's you immediately recognize. All of it was so rewarding though. It was great getting the chance to talk to everyone, from all walks of the online community.

The last meet that really meant something to me was the one on Sunday, meeting those of you who couldn't make it to some of the other meets, and once again getting to hang out with those of you who we'd already met. Granted it was a short amount of time we got to spend together, but it was still some great bonding time that I'm glad I got to get with you all. (Even if I was feeling queasy that morning.)

Last but not least, one of my favorite parts of Mousefest this year was the bonding time I got in with Mike and Pam and their families. It was so great getting to hang out with both of them, either together or separate, that really helped to make this trip even more magical this year. Whether it be on the Wishes Cruise, talking in the Iron Spike Room, eating a meal together or just walking around the parks, goofing around and taking in the sights, we made some major memories that I know will blend into making the podcast even better, since we now know each other just a bit better.

So thank you to all of you who helped to make my first Mousefest amazing. It was such an honor to get the time with you all and I only wished we'd gotten to spend more time with each other. For those of you who maybe couldn't make it down, the good thing is, there's always next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

News & Rumors 12/1/08 - 12/07/08


  • There will be a special sale that takes place at the World of Disney for Passholders and DVC owners on Saturday, December 13. The sale takes place from 6:30 am - 8:30 am. Discounts of up to 50% can be had and there will be special hourly door-busters available. Also from 6:30 am - 7:30 am, coffees, hot cocoa, and treats will be available for shoppers.
  • The main pool at the Contemporary will be closed for refurb from Jan 5, 2009 - March 31.
  • Stormalong Bay will be closed for refurb from Jan 5, 2009 - March 31. Guests can use the pool at the Boardwalk.
  • The Treehouse Villas are officially a part of Saratoga Springs.


  • Self Service drinks will soon be offered at the Liberty Inn Restaurant in Epcot.

Also, a note. I will be at Mousefest starting on Wedenesday and will be gone until Sunday. Because of that, this blog will be on hiatus for a week. Hope to meet some of you at Mousefest!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No More Swashbuckling

Well, it appears that Disney has decided to put a kibosh on Mickey's Pirate and Princess Parties, at least for the time being.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise though as it is totally understandable why Disney made this choice. The parties never really did seem to attract the crowds. And Disney seemingly tried all they could to get the masses to attend. They extended the dates from just January, February, and March to what seemed like the whole first half of the year...and still, the parties just couldn't find a hold.

I think I can guess why these parties didn't take off very well...actually I have a few guesses.

First of all, is that it didn't center around a a lot of people couldn't justify spending that kind of money for an event where it seemed as though Disney was just trying to get more money out of you. Those parties are expensive...and I think Disney may have hit their limit with how many parties people would go to in a year...and I'd guess that Disney may have miscalculated the reasoning behind why they'd go. I mean think about it...the Halloween and Christmas parties seem special as they centered around specific events, but the Pirate & Princess Parties never seemed to feel as special. It wasn't centered around a specific time of year, instead it was a party where Disney could seemingly throw anywhere. Which means, it always seemed like a way for Disney to get extra money out of people during the slow time of the year. (Which it also would appear, since the parties didn't do as well, that people saw right through the gimmick.)

The second reason would be that I don't believe the parties got such hot reviews from other party-goers. Sure, I'd heard the firework show was outstanding...but really that was all there was. The parade isn't one that was nearly talked about as much as the other two party's parades are. The Halloween and Christmas parades are the ones that get the most hype...and out of those two, Halloween wins hands down. Another drawback for the Pirate & Princess Parties, instead of handing out candy or cookies, they gave guests "pirate treasure" which basically consisted of cheap plastic jewelry and beads. Not nearly as nice as free food. More like, what am I going to do with this junk now that I'm done with it?

The last reason that I think pushed Disney over the edge on making this decsion was with the economy going the way it is. If they were already having trouble getting guests to these parties, I would assume that now, they'd have even more trouble selling tickets to this fledgling event. Add to that, that Disney can save additional money because they don't have to pay the Cast Members to work in a relatively empty park for the night either. It seems like a no-brainer for Disney to 86 the event.

So, who knows if we'll ever see these parties again later in the future...but for'll have to get your treasure (and Jack Sparrow) somewhere else. Anyone up for a trip to Tortuga? :)