Friday, July 30, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 7/24/10 - 7/30/10

Hope you guys have had a great week. I've been sweltering here (which should have been obvious by Wednesday post) but air is now on here and things are looking cool.

But you didn't come here to hear me talk about being came to find out what I thought were some of the best articles of the week from fellow here we go!

5. DisneyShawn has been doing some FABULOUS stuff lately. Lots of little nuggets. The first one (because there are definitely more than one I liked this week) is about the Castle Couture Shop in Fantasyland and details that I had no idea even existed in there. (Make sure to look for my boys Gus and Jaq). It just amazes me the real intricate details that go into things sometimes, even though I know Disney is famous for their details.

4. Orlando Theme Park News is starting a great series looking at the pavilions around World Showcase. Today, their stop is Norway. You may just learn something. (I seem to be on a Norway kick lately. lol!)

3. Ever thought about picking a pearl over in the Japan pavilion? Zannaland talks about why you should! (I need to do this one day!)

2. It's not a blog round up without talking about food...and we've gotten to number 2 and so far, no food. (Unless you want to eat the shell the pearl comes out of...but I'm thinking that's frowned upon.) Look no further than The Disney Food Blog's review of one of my favorites, Whispering Canyon Cafe over at the Wilderness Lodge! (Drooling about there just thinking about it....)

1. Marceline, MO is where Walt called home for a time...and the Touring Plans Blog has a nice piece about taking a visit there. This is a place I think every Disney fan should visit. Matter of fact, I will get there soon. It's so close to me right now, it would be heresy if I didn't get there and stood where Walt stood. I just have to figure out when it will be. I have found out through some research that the better months to go is in the warmer months. The place kinda shuts down in the winter. Make sure you read this article though if you have any tiny desire of going to visit.

Now I told you I had liked lots more article from The DisneyShawn Blog and I do have one more to share. (Though I think you should read the whole week's stuff from him. Lots of hidden gems!) Tomorrowland is my favorite land in all of the Magic Kingdom...and what I love the most is the Palm Trees that are located sorta near Space Mountain. Shawn has a great explanation for why they are there...and I for sure had an ah-ha moment! (As it would be called on Lou's show!)

So that's gonna do it for this week! Make sure to check out some of these great articles because they really are chock full of good info! And I'll see you guys on Sunday with the News and Rumors of the week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Mouse-standing List: Blizzard Beach Edition

So, it's been hot in my house the past few days. The air conditioner has been on the fritz here and it's been well into the 90s this week, so I've been sweating my little patootie off!

So, I want to think about something cooler. Much cooler...and wetter...

What better place to dream to be right now but Blizzard Beach water park?!

I mean it's a perfect escape for me. First off...the water always feels good on those Animal Kingdom Hot days...but the theme fits my daydreaming wishes as well. I mean, where else are you gonna visit that has the theme of ski resort on the meltdown?

So, with that being said, I thought we'd take another look and do a Mouse-standing List for the infamous water park. (For those that don't remember, the Mouse-standing List are the most outstanding things I think a certain topic has to offer.) So let's get our swim suits on, slather on the sunscreen, and get our towel in our hands as we travel over to Blizzard Beach.

1. Summit Plummet - Ok...I know I'm too chicken to do this. I just hate the feeling of "Oh My God! I'm gonna fall off of this and end up dead." Even though I know in my head that's totally not the case. But for those of you who are brave enough to take on this scary water slide, it is totally worth the fear. (So I hear. :) ) My honorable mention for those of us who are terrified of this slide...Slush Gusher. It has a dip or two in it, so it's not AS straight down as Summit Plummet is, but it still has a section where it goes straight down. Maybe not to the same degree as SP. To me, that's enough scariness for one day though!

2. Competing against and bonding with your family and friends. Ok...I know a lot of you are on earth does one compete against people at a water park? Trust me, it can be done and with Brian and I...we're big competitors against each other. First are the Toboggan Racers, where you lay on a mat, push off, and go down the mountain. Brian and I compete to see who goes the furthest. Then there's Downhill Double Dipper where you do head to head races on a tube and see who gets down the fastest. Finally, even though we can't race on this bonding time is had by all on Teamboat Springs, which is the family raft ride where you go down the mountain all together.

3. Two words: Mini Doughnuts. How can you get better than dough, rolled in sugar with chocolate dipping sauce...*drools*

4. Look at all the Lazy People in the Lazy River. Ok...this isn't just about the Lazy River...more about the fact that at a Disney water park, it's easier to just sit back and relax, something that's a little harder for people to do when they're in the actual theme parks. Here, the water parks are made for relaxation. Take a circle or two around the Lazy River. Or better yet, grab a beach chair and lay down, either taking a nap or with a good book. So take a deserve it! I mean you are on vacation!

5. The theme. I much cooler (*rim shot*) is the idea of melting ski resort as a water park theme? Everywhere you see the theme permeates. Matter fact, this place is the definition of theme. From the names of things, to the fake snow, to the actual ski's everywhere. You can't go anywhere at this park where you don't feel like you should be "water" skiing. It is perfectly creative for sure!

And I have 1 honorable mention today.

6. The kids areas. Granted, I don't have kids yet, so I have yet to experience them, but even as an adult, these areas look like fun! So, I know the kids must enjoy them. I like Blizzard Beach more for kids because it has an area for little ones and an area for older kids too. This park really does have something for everyone!

Finally, I have one more thing I want to mention about the difference between a Disney Water Park and everyone else, which I realized thanks to a recent visit at Six Flags' water park here in St. Louis. At Disney, typically don't have to carry your tubes all the way up the hill and steps. Typically there is a tube retrieval area either at the very least half way the very best much closer to the entrance. To me...this is a total saving grace. I appreciate the fact that I don't have to work it so hard to enjoy the water slide I want to enjoy. Some may call it lazy...I just call it smart on Disney's part. :)

So, that's gonna do it for today's Mouse-standing List: Blizzard Beach Edition. What is it that makes Blizzard Beach so Mouse-standing for you? Make sure to let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

News & Rumors 7/19/10 - 7/25/10

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.

Lot's of great News and Rumors this week! Plenty to discuss!


  • Via Napoli, the new restaurant in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot is expected to open Aug. 5th. ADRs will open up on Aug. 6th for dates starting on Sept. 10th. Prior to that, walk ups will be the only way to experience the new eatery.
  • Park Hours and Fantasmic showings have been changed around for the month of Aug.
  • The Friar's Nook in Fantasyland at the MK has added freshly made potato chips to their menu. Additional toppings such as cheese, bacon, and ranch or cheese and chili can be added for additional charge.
  • AP holders can experience the Summer Nighttastic changes to the Tower of Terror at a special event just for them. On Friday, Aug. 13th, from 7 pm - 10 pm, passholders will have exclusive access to the re-Imagined ride. Sign ups are required. To sign up or to learn more, visit the Passholder website.
  • A new exhibit, Spirited Beasts: from Ancient Stories to Anime Stars, has opened at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot.
  • Dumbo is expected to get a new wait time clock. Rumors were swirling that it would include Fastpass, but from my understanding, it is just a new clock. (At least until Dueling Dumbos is created in the new Fantasyland Expansion.)
  • A new "Meatball Bar" has opened up at Portobello in Downtown Disney. Guests may sample from 4 meatball sliders: beef and veal with parsley, spicy pork, chicken with sage or salmon with tarragon.


  • The upcoming It's a Small World refurb is going to reconfigure the queue, making more of it air conditioned and the exit near Pinocchio's Village Haus.
  • The Haunted Mansion queue could be seeing it's own interactive queue update.
  • I'm still hearing legit rumors that Pixie Hollow is not happening. (At least not in it's current form. But more than likely, not happening.)
  • Off-board audio is possibly being looked at for Space Mountain.
  • There's been wicked lots of Frontierland rumors going on this week. I'm hearing, that it won't necessarily be rides, just re-purposing infrastructure. (However, I'm still not quite sure I believe these rumors.)
  • In the past few years, Disney has always raised ticket prices the first Sun. of August. I would expect the trend to continue.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 7/17/10 - 7/23/10

Happy Friday Everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend, but let's get down to the goodies. Which blog posts were the cream of the crop for me this week?

5. First we have an article from The Daily Disney discussing how Disney is changing their on board computer policies on the buses for the drivers. I think this is a good step. I know how the drivers might not exactly love it, since they have to wait until they are at a stop to access the system now, but it should make things safer. I'm just hoping the whole thing goes completely computerized soon so they don't have to mess with it at all.

4. The Disney Blog had some great tips on what to do now that hurricane season is upon Florida. (And has been for almost 2 months now.)

3. So my buddy Jeff Chaney over at WedWay Radio's blog has been hoping he'd write an article that I'd end up featuring in here...and this week, he did! I love this story about how his dad used to torture him with Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Oh and Jeff....I always went to Heaven...I don't know what you're talking about. :)

2. Nothing is better for many than the Cheddar Cheese Soup from LeCellier...and you can make it at home thanks to some help from Chef BigFatPanda and The Disney Food Blog. This article gives step by step instructions and some great tips to help along with the process.

1. Lastly, this is a two parter and once again, related to the Disney Dream. (Can you tell I'm EXCITED?!) Both are videos from the Disney Parks Blog. One shows a more before and after kind of look. The other shows a behind the scenes look at what's going on at the ship now. Both are just ramping up the excitement for June 2011!

So that's gonna do it for this week! See you on Sunday for News and Rumors! I've got some great rumors this week...just remember....that rumors are just that...rumors and not to be taken too seriously.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dining Review: Beaches and Cream

It's been a while since I've done a dining review here, so I thought I'd take a look at one of my FAVORITES!!! Beaches and Cream is a MUST stop for Brian and I. It doesn't feel like a Disney trip without visiting this 50s Ice Cream/Burger/Soda shop.

The restaurant is located at The Beach Club (which if you're looking at both the Beach and the Yacht Clubs, it's the Blue one.) kind of near the pool area next to the arcade.

The thing to know about this restaurant is that it is small. Really, really tiny. Oh and they don't take dining reservations. So, be prepared to wait. (Trust me, it's worth it.) You'll check in at the main podium and they will give you a choice between 2 options. You can wait for a table to open up or they can seat you at the counter. Since it's a small restaurant, there are only like 10 tables. So, if you're super hungry or don't want to wait, the counter is a perfectly acceptable place (at least for me) to sit. I personally like sitting at the counter because then, you can watch as they make the delectable treats they serve for dessert.

But, before we get to need to eat your meal first. (I know...I'm such a strict!) The meals here aren't fancy (there's no foie gras here). Instead, it's classic diner food. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs are standard fare. (and I believe chili dogs are available as well...I'm pretty sure I ate one of those once.) Vegetarian options are also available for those who may need them. Kids meals are also available.

One of my favorites are the cheeseburgers. I swear, these are the best burgers on property. (Though some think Pecos Bill's them, I say pish posh!) Put some cheddar cheese and ketchup on that bad boy and it's the most amazing burger. My husband says that what makes it so good is their bun. I believe I remember a Cast Member telling me they put butter on them...and butter makes anything taste better.

All sandwiches are served with either your choice of fries or a fruit cup.

People don't necessarily come here for a main course, even though they should. Instead, most come here for the desserts...which are definitely worth every calorie! Even when I'm stuffed from my meal, I know I have to take on the mammoth desserts this restaurant offers.

Of course they have traditional things like regular ice cream, shakes, floats, banana splits
, etc. but what you really should come here for are their specialty desserts.

First is the Milky Way Sundae, which is a bunt cake topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, butterscotch, and whipped cream. Next is the Fudge Mud Slide which is a brownie, hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookies, and whipped cream.

But my personal favorite is the No Way Jose! This is like heaven on earth to me. It's chocolate and vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, peanut butter, whipped cream, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I try to make this at home and while it's a good substitute for not being at WDW, it's just not the same. ( I'm gonna have to make this tonight for myself...)

But the dessert they are most famous for is the Kitchen Sink! This monstrosity literally is a kitchen sink filled with every ice cream and topping they have in the place! (And don't forget an entire can of whipped cream!) They make a huge spectacle out of bringing it to your table too.

Don't try to eat this bad boy all by's meant to be multiple family members. (Though some have tried to eat it all by their lonesome...and if you can do it within a certain time period...I'm thinking it's either a half hour or an hour...but obviously I'm not get it for free.)

Now me personally, I don't get the appeal of a kitchen sink. They put vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, and mint chocolate chip ice creams in it, along with every topping. At first, it might taste good. But once you get to the bottom, you have this big soupy mess of all those different flavors and I just wouldn't think they would taste so hot all meshed together. But then again, that's just me. Most people like it because of the challenge it poses for a family. As for me, I'll stick with my No Way Jose's!

This restaurant also has a to go area...however, you can't get the specialty ice creams there. Normal sundaes and shakes only.

For a complete listing of the menu and the prices, make sure to check out Allears.

So the next time you are in WDW, if you haven't already yet tried it, you need to make a stop at the Beach Club. And if you've been there, I want to know what your favorite thing to get is. Make sure to let me know in the comments section or on Twitter.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

News & Rumors 7/12/10 - 7/18/10


  • The Donald Duck meet and greet area is now done at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot.
  • Walls have come down for the Via Napoli restaurant in Italy.
  • Make sure to check the bottom of your receipts from Quick Service meals. Disney is including coupons again for discounts at certain merchandise locations during certain periods of the day.
  • The Kona Island Sushi Bar is a permanent addition now.
  • As I mentioned in the Bloggie Awards, Disney has announced they are working on a special experience that will be available at Kilimanjaro Safaris. See below for more details.
  • A new slogan has been trademarked for the Disney Parks. "Let the Memories Begin." No word on if that will be a tag line (Like Where the Magic Lives) or if it is more of an idea of what the next celebration will deal with.
  • Wishes Dessert Parties have been extended through December 29th.
  • Lots of Food and Wine stuff. First, the menu, as well as the different host countries for the 2010 International Food and Wine Festival can be found here.
  • Tim Rogerson, who created the artwork for the 2010 International Food and Wine Festival will be on hand for signings near the festival gift shop near Canada on October 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 and November 6, 7, 13, 14 between 11 am and 9 pm.
  • The Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Relay is now full.
  • On July 20th, you can start to register for special events for the 2010 International Food and Wine Festival. Call (407) WDW-FEST starting at 7 am.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 7/10/10 - 7/16/10

Welcome to this week's Bloggie awards! Lots of great things this week, so let's dive on it!

5. I've heard about it from many places (namely Lou Mongello who practically championed the thing!) but the Carrot Cake Cookie at the Writer's Stop at DHS looks amazing! The Disney Food Blog has the answer on why this treat is so delectable! (I will run, not walk to the Writer's Stop the next time I'm in Orlando! And so should you!)

4. I'm a big advocate of Lines, the mobile wait time service of The Unofficial Guide. Now, they've brought us something schedules are available now on the phone as well! This is gonna help so much next trip!

3. I am so loving how The Disney Parks Blog is being used to relay information to us guests and fans lately. And this week, they did it again as they released information about a new excursion that's gonna take place on the African Savannah at Kilimanjaro Safaris. (At an extra cost.) Animal Kingdom isn't my favorite park, but I love these tour type things, so this looks like it may be something I try in the future. And it's definitely something that an animal lover would want to check out. (PS: as an aside because I'm so excited to Dream next June, for those of you traveling on the Disney Dream, you need to check out this video showing before and after moments of some of the ship.)

2. There hasn't been a lot of info coming out yet about the new Taste of Africa Street Parties that are taking place this summer at Disney's Animal Kingdom...until now. Another post from The Disney Food Blog has an in depth look at just what this event has in store for park guests. Definitely looks interesting!

1. Finally, I love a good tribute video and no one does them better than Martin Smith. He's phenomenal at what he does and gives such detail. Progress City USA had a great link to his video about the Norway Pavilion.

That's gonna do it for this week! Hope you enjoyed some of the great articles (and videos) posted! As an aside, if you haven't checked out my blog topic for the week on Meets at WDW, you need to. I explain why meets are a great way to meet up with Disney friends, especially since they can be done in a carefree environment. I hope you all will check back on Sunday for latest News and Rumors.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You Want To Meet?

It's one of the most nerve-wracking things you can do as a Disney fan. You think to yourself, this is absolutely crazy. Why on earth would I be doing this? What is possessing me to go meet these people that I've only ever "met" on the internet?

We've all been there. Anyone who's ever taken a screen name and put a face with it has, at one point or another, thought, "what the heck am I doing?"

My hope today is to try to convince those of you who maybe haven't taken the leap, to just do it.

My first ever Disney meet up happened in 2007. I'd been a member of WDWMagic for YEARS and developed a relationship with a great group of people who called ourselves "Magic Friends." There were probably 15 or so of us who got together every day to talk to each other, get to know each other, and share our lives. We were all very close...I still consider them to this day to be another family of mine, even though we all don't talk as much as we used to any more. (Life has scattered us into all different directions, but we still have a general idea what everyone is up to.)

But anyway, back to 2007. One of the girls was pregnant and we decided to throw a baby shower for her because she wasn't going to get one from anyone else. So, 5 of our gang all converged on this poor pregnant woman (whom I love!) and her hospitality and met to share the joys of her new baby.

This was the scariest thing I'd ever done though, up to this point. I'd never been ANYWHERE alone before and here I was, letting some "stranger" pick me up from the airport, take me to her house, have me spend the night, and really get to know her and her family. I remember sitting on the plane on the way to Baltimore thinking....I must be NUTS!!!! This is absolutely insane! What on earth possessed me to actually do this.

Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Me and this girl have become such good friends now. I love her husband and her now almost 3 year old daughter....and she's got another one on the way that I simply can't wait to meet! Matter of fact, I'm thinking of asking her if I can pay her a visit sometime early next year.

Now, I don't suggest going about meeting people necessarily the way I did. It can be quite daunting to go at it this way...trusting your life with someone you only know through the internet.

Rather the best way, to me, is to ease yourself into it. Because it's scary! I know!

But we all have Disney friends we'd love to meet up with. Whether it's from message boards, or Facebook, or Twitter, or some other aspect...there are just some that we connect with and want to take that connection to a more face to face level.

So what do I suggest is the best way to meet up with what many outsiders would consider as strangers? (Though to us, of course they're not. I mean we talk to some of them more than we do our own family!)

I suggest going to some sort of Disney meet up. Almost every Disney community has one at some point or another. Lou has his Meets of the Month. WDW Today has Reunion each December. Touring Plans does meets usually every month as well. Then there's MagicMeets every year in the summer. Even our podcast has our own meets, the next ones being the first weekend of October for the Wine and Dine Weekend. (Be Our Guest Treehouse Meet! Woot!)

Meets are the best way to get to know some of the people you may have seen in some form or fashion online. It also takes off the pressure of doing it the crazy way I did! There's more of a crowd, so you can flit from one person to the next, just slowly getting to know people one on one. This way of doing it is not scary at all!

Now I know there are some of you who worry about the fact that you "won't know anyone". Trust me, in the Disney community, you can go from being strangers to being close buddies in the matter of minutes. Everyone is just so welcoming!

Take for example my encounter today. Today, someone I met at The Be Our Guest Podcast's very first meet ever (Mousefest 2008-RIP) came to visit me for lunch. Jay (@Cessna157 on Twitter) decided on a whim yesterday that he was going to try and come see me today and take me out to lunch. I had never had contact with Jay before that Mousefest meet, but he's been someone who's stuck around and become one of my really good friends. It was so nice just getting to chat and hang out for a few hours, before he had to go home again. And it doesn't hurt that he paid for my lunch! :) (I must warn you all, Jay has easier access to do this. He is a pilot! lol!)

So my point with all of this is, DON'T BE AFRAID ANY LONGER!!!! We in the Disney community don't bite! I promise! And who knows how many life-long friendships you may build, just by taking the first step and going to your first meet.

I know if you're in WDW in October, the podcast crew and all of our listeners would love to meet up with you. We'll be at the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs at 1:00 on Fri. Oct. 1st. I'm sure more info will be available at a later date. It's a great warm up meet for anyone on the fence who will be down there at that time of year. Plus, we'll have free food and prizes!

But, enough shameless plugging. No matter where you decide to take the big leap into meet-dom, just know one thing. It's addictive. Like a Pringle, once you start, you can't stop. You'll end up planning trips around certain meets, rather than just a simple vacation. And trust me. I personally, wouldn't want it any other way.

So, have you meet up with Disney fans yet? What was your experiences? Any advice for those who maybe haven't taken the leap yet? And for those who haven't been to a meet yet, what's been holding you back? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until then, til we actually meet in the parks! (You know I'm game for meet ups!)

This post is part of the seventh Disney Blog Carnival. Click the link to see more great Disney articles!

Monday, July 12, 2010

News & Rumors 7/5/10 - 7/11/10


  • Flame Tree BBQ will be down for refurb from Aug. 9th - Sept. 19th. (BTW...totally a sidenote...something that just sort of puzzled me a bit...but who's the genius who decided to close this for refurb during FREE DINING?!)
  • The menu items are out for the new Via Napoli restaurant in Epcot's Italy Pavilion. Items will include: Appetizers: Sicilian eggplant with olives and raisins; salad of lettuce, fagiolini (string beans), fennel and tomatoes; arancini (fried saffron risotto balls) with meat ragù, mozzarella and pomodoro sauce; corn-crusted fried calamari; and minestrone with basil pesto. Or share a plate of arancini, mozzarella, calamari, portobella mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini and carciofi (artichokes).

    Main course salads: Manzo (filet of beef) with greens, red onion, gorgonzola, apple and cucumber with a red wine-mustard vinaigrette; chopped salad with lemon chicken, greens, cantaloupe, cucumber, red pepper, green beans, onions, almonds and pasta crisps with honey-citrus vinaigrette; calamari with arugula, carrots and fennel with orange vinaigrette.

    Pastas: candele (long, tube-shaped pasta) with sausage ragù; linguine with seafood; malfadine (ribbon pasta) with guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon) and pomodoro sauce; lasagna verde.

    Piatti alla Parmigiana: (dishes topped with Parmesan and mozzarella gratinée): veal, chicken and eggplant.

    Wood-fired pizzas: made with caputo flour imported from Southern Italy, San Marzano tomatoes, handmade mozzarella and water from a local spring just like in Italy’s Campania region – 10-inch, 20-inch or 1/2 meter to share: a dozen choices, from a simple pizza Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil to carciofi with artichoke, potato, pecorino cheese, prosciutto and cantaloupe.

    Sweets: tiramisù, zeppole di ricotta (ricotta cheese-fried dough, whipped cream and chocolate sauce); apple cake with almond sorbetti; gelatie; and vanilla gelato with almond cookies and amarena cherries.
The restaurant is expected to open in August.
  • Work on the new Winnie the Pooh Queue configuration is expected to go on through the end of the year. When opened, it is expected that the queue experience may be enhanced.
  • In case you missed it, Free Dining has been extended through December 21st. See here for more details and if your will qualify.
  • We had word about Typhoon Lagoon's annual refurbishment dates earlier this month, now it appears that Blizzard Beach will be closed from Jan. 9 - March 20th.
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will take place at Disney's Hollywood Studios from Nov. 8 - Jan. 4, 2011.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 7/2/10 - 7/9/10

Hello! Welcome to this week's awards! There were some great articles this week that I think you all will enjoy (if you haven't already!) Lots of great information about a variety of things. This week, I'm gonna do some cheating again...since some entries are related to each other. But, it's my blog and I can do what I want. :)

So, here we go:

5. We start with a couple of great articles featuring the mini golf courses of WDW. I've never been to either, but I want to so badly, especially after reading these 2 great articles. First is an article by the Studios Central Blog all about Fantasia Gardens. The other one is from The Disney Daddy all about Winter Summerland.

4. The Disney College Blog has a step by step look at how the new version of the online ADR system works.

3. Scott, over at DisneyBiz takes a look at when is free dining the best option? And are there other options that should be considered? Best thing I've learned, is to do your homework. Sometimes what you think is the best option, isn't always so.

2. I am such an advocate of Captain Cook's. It really has one of the best meals on property with the Grown Up Grilled Cheese and the Poly Chips. Add a Dole Whip to the mix...and, for many, you can't get any better. AJ of the Disney Food Blog looks at all the yummy things Captain Cooks has to offer and why it's a great late night snack. (Since they do have WAY more than just my grilled cheese sandwich...though I don't know why you'd choose to eat anything else! ;) )

1. Finally, another two-parter. The Disney Blog had two great articles this week. The first is the 5 Biggest Needs of WDW. (Of which I agree with the majority of them.) And the 5 Things WDW is Doing Right. (Of which I agree with all of them.)

So, those are my favorites for the week! I hope you all will check back on Sunday for latest News and Rumors.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Table for Two for Pizza Planet

Ok...I'm not announcing something here, so don't get excited on me yet...but seriously, wouldn't this be an awesome idea? If Disney actually decided to create a character meal with the Toy Story characters?

As we've recently been able to all tell...The Toy Story franchise is HUGE! Just look at the numbers that the current Toy Story 3 movie has been pulling. They've been absolutely insane! One of the top grossing films of the year. (Matter of fact, Disney has had major successes in movies this year, what with the franchise of Alice in Wonderland as well...another franchise they should really be looking at for possible ideas.)

I mean, let's face it. You can't go into a store right now without seeing some sort of Toy Story item on the shelf. Whether it be a toy, food products, basically any thing marketable, it's got some sort of Toy Story logo on it! So obviously...there's something here. These are wildly popular characters.

So, with the smash success of Toy Story 3, why shouldn't Disney create a character meal for the Toy Story characters? The movie has proven these characters are popular still. Why else would all of humanity (it would seem like) run out to the movie theater to see this film? So, that being said, to me, a Toy Story character meal seems like a slam dunk idea.

Imagine, if you would, Woody, whooping it up with a fellow cowboy (or girl!), Jessie and Bullseye could be there too. And of course, you'd have Buzz present greeting his fellow space rangers. It wouldn't be a character meal without him. You could have the the Green Army Man Sargent barking orders for the whole restaurant to get up and dance. And of course, Lotso could be there in his strawberry evilness.

It sounds amazing right? I know I would want to eat there!

And character meals are so popular in the parks and at the resorts. Some of the most coveted and popular meals are character related. So, we know it would do well in that respect. (Not to mention Disney could charge more for the meal simply because the characters are there. Hellllooo...Disney....I'm giving you an idea which will mean more money for your pocketbooks.)

So, I took to Twitter to see if I was the only one who thought this was a good idea...turns out...I wasn't. Here's what you all had to say about the matter...and of course, some of my additional thoughts. :)

tmac1980 Yes, this would be the first time any pixar character was represented in a character meal, correct?

IlluminatEpcot I think so, my son would LOVE it. Would also be a nice change from the "classic" Disney characters at a meal & be at the studios

This is one of the major reasons I like this idea. It would be the first time a Pixar character would be represented. I am all for this, since I'm an advocate of the fact that Pixar=Disney now.

molander1 Yes to TS character meal cuz it appeals to both boys & girls & I don't know any grown ups who didn't get a kick out of it, too!

Mgriss28 I say yes. It would be a nice alternative for boys. Although I'll still take the princesses. :-) Don't want it too boyish though. My DD2 is a huge TS fanatic!

Steph_in_MA (In response to Mgriss28) No, definitely want it to be gender friendly but I think more people with boys will go there over a Princess meal.

Steph also says, Steph_in_MA I think there should be a TS dining experience. Pixar is amazingly successful & people want an option that is more boy friendly

disneydo TS character meal would be nice but where to put it? my daughter enjoys Jesse & Woody.

meredy338 absolutely! Why haven't they done it yet?

dheinle Hell yes! Need something for the boy

Of course, some liked it as a viable option to the overly girly meals that can be found all over property. I do too. And I don't even have a son. (Yet...) But I think the character meal would be so popular, not because it appeals just to little boys. Instead, to me, the Toy Story characters appeal to everyone of every age range, boy or girl, kid or kid at heart. It is the perfect mix of characters. Much like Pooh and Friends or the Fab 5 are, to me.

Some of you even had great suggestions of where a character meal could be put inside the parks. Of which I agree with all. I think all are fabulous ideas that could definitely work, depending on how Disney wanted to brand this particular character meal.

I know my kids would love it & adding a new Pixar Place dining location or redoing Pizza Planet could be a nice venue.

nickphillips97 Yes, in a refurbished Pizza Planet to look just like the movie version

Been saying that for years! Helloooo Pizza Planet anyone?

wdwgrlz yes, because they need to balance the princess overload. Woody at Diamond Horseshoe or Buzz where the Odyssey was in EPCOT

RyanKilpatrick Absolutely! What about in the Diamond Horseshoe?

scottinwdw I think it would be a good idea. How about a Woody's Roundup meal at the Diamond Horseshoe?

Of course, there are some who aren't exactly thrilled with the idea as well. And they have valid points too.

I guess I see the appeal, but I probably wouldn't be super excited to go to a TS meal. There's already lots of TS in the parks.

This is true, Toy Story is already a huge presence in the parks. And is one of the reasons that I think is valid for not putting even more Toy Story in the parks.

My feeling is no, because the characters integrate very well into Pixar Place as a meet spot. Also, the costumes are tall and bulky, likely with some limited view for the characters: dangerous around food ;)

Big and bulky I didn't really consider at first, but it makes sense.

So, why hasn't Disney done this yet?

Are they afraid that it's too "boy," since it appears that with character meals, the main target is girls? As a female, I know I would be more than willing to book an ADR to hang with the Toy Story Gang! Do you think it has something to do with Pixar's contract? Maybe there's a reason we don't see any Pixar related character meals in the parks? Is it what @deefordisney suggested? Are the characters too bulky for character meals? What do you think could be the cause behind not doing this already?

Or, if you aren't mentioned above, why would you like to see a Toy Story character meal in the parks? Or are you one who wouldn't like to see it appear. Make sure to let me know in the comments section. :)

So, for now, I'll just wish for this type of dining experience. And maybe one day, Disney will hear my requests!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

News & Rumors 6/28/10 - 7/4/10

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.

  • Space Mountain is now the second attraction to offer their on-ride photos for Photopass. However, it appears to work just a little different than the version for Test Track. Now, you have 3 options if you want your on-ride photo. 1. Purchase the photo as a print. 2. Purchase the photo as a digital download from the Photopass site. 3. Purchase the photo as a digital file and combined with other bonus digital content on a Disney-themed USB drive. The charge is $24.95 for the USB Drive and the first ride photo. Additional photos can be added to the same USB drive as part of the same transaction for $9.95 per photo. The USB Drive will include the Guest's ride photo plus 7 extra professional stock photos of the Space Mountain attraction. Purchase must be made immediately after riding the attraction.
  • Captain EO is now showing in the former Honey I Shrunk the Audience theater.
  • If you are looking for a FastPass for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, at least temporarily, you're going to need to get it from the Mickey's Philharmagic FastPass machines while work is being done in the current Winnie the Pooh area.
  • New entertainment options are being tested in the Pleasure Island area, including street performers and various other acts.
  • Disney has a new device that helps those who are blind experience the parks in a new way. For more in depth info, read here.

As an aside, thank you to all who listened to the Be Our Guest 12 Hour Live Show! Thanks to the generosity of Disney lovers, like yourself, we managed to raise over $1800 for Give Kids the World! We couldn't have done this without you all! So...a HUGE thank you!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 6/26/10 - 7/2/10

Hello and welcome back to this week's Bloggie Awards. (At this point...I may be sticking with it! Stupid name, but it works. lol!)

Sorry for missing this last week, but alas, I was away in Kansas City soaking up some sun at Schlitterban! (Fun place, by the way!)

But let's get on with the show! My favorite blog posts of this week, in no particular order:

5. I know a lot of people complain when Disney does things on the cheap...I can be one of them...but reading an article from The Daily Disney about how much money Disney can save just in costumes...well, that to me was an interesting read. (Buzz Lightyear's space suit is EXPENSIVE!!!!)

4. This week, Studios Central had some really good much so, I can't pick just one...really all Disney fans need to read all 3 of these great articles. (I'm so cheating here...) Matt talked about the story of why the Sorcerer's Apprentice is seen in The Great Movie Ride. He also discussed the backstory of the current version of Star Tours. Finally, and my favorite article as it's one that speaks near and dear to my heart as I attempted (and I feel failed...wish I could re-write it now...I know what I'm doing...) to write a paper my freshman year of college about a topic similar to this is. Jennifer wrote a great article about is Toy Story 3 sexist? (for me, I wrote my paper on Disney Princess though). All 3 were fascinating and all 3 should be read!

3. Disney Coffee mug: $11 Coffee Pot: $20 Coffee Beans: $5.99 A Conversation with a good friend: priceless (At least thanks to this article by The Disney Parks Blog. )

2. Over at Samland, a nice feature about something that now I've read about it, makes complete sense. Learn a bit about the Urban Design of Future World.

Finally, in preparation of this glorious 3 Hour Finale (wait...I've got a minute and a half! Gasp!)...

1. My favorite article is one that would do Sam Eagle proud. A detailed look at the American Adventure Pavilion from the Touring Plans blog.

So, that's gonna do it for this week! I hope you all have a very Happy and very Safe 4th of July weekend!

So until next week when I'll be bringing a little more pixie dust to your day!