Wednesday, March 31, 2010
However there were some that if you really did say yes to...well...you may possibly be taking things too far. Like getting banned from a forum for 30 days for fighting about pool hopping. That would be pretty hard-core...possible, but definitely hard core.
But that got me to thinking...there are some incredibly interesting things that people actually do in their real life because they are addicted to WDW. I mean, let's face it. Those of us who read Disney blogs, read message boards, listen to podcasts, and have multiple Disney friends on Twitter are definitely a little more addicted than most. So I decided to take to the streets, in the form of Twitter to find out some of the more fun things that people do in their daily lives and I got a ton of great answers!
I posted on Twitter that I was looking for an answer to the question, What makes you a #wdwaddict? (The hashtag makes it easy to find the answer for me, if someone doesn't re-tweet me, for those who aren't actually on Twitter.) So, without further adieu, here is what makes some of the great members of our Disney community, WDW Addicts.
EpcotExplorer: The fact that I have over 20 Gigs of Disney Parks Media on my computer certainly helps, no?
bama106: Giving up my Bama football season tickets, so we can go on even more WDW trips!
P19letUK: I got married in WDW, traveled 27,564 miles last yr to & from WDW, spent 112 days in last 8 yrs there.
Cookin_w_Mickey: We didn't [get] married at WDW but had our honeymoon & go back every year for our anniversary to celebrate.
LissaLuvsWDW: I use my 2 weeks vacay for WDW and try to fit another trip in too also listen to every wdw podcast
Cessna157: Being a vacation planner for MouseFan Travel makes me a wdw addict!
MyMuse18: let's see...4 trips in 12 months, D23 charter, ridiculous amounts of car toppers & vinylmation?
nicwillis007: The room in my house dedicated to Disney. 2 Disney mags i subscribe to, d23 member and WDW book junkie
DisThor: my first trip w/kids hooked me. I had been laid off & my stepdad was in for cancer surgery, the trip saved me from a stress related coronary and made me an addict.
Bixie23: I made ADRs for my bday, not knowing if I'd even be there. (Since cancelled, before I get hate posts)
pattie81: My tattoo for my birthday will be Maleficent, I was a CM, buys mickey items for my kids, need i go on?
brookegupton: Because I relate everything to something Disney!
RayMTT: Creating 2 websites & a podcast about Disney and having fun doing it
DisneyMBA: I became a WDW addict after a DCL cruise. Disney's customer focus and attention to detail won me over.
duckyislost: I am a wdw addict because the only time I don't have a trip countdown running is when I'm at WDW
DisneyDork69: I have a YOUTUBE page w/ all my Disney trip videos: DISNEY69 is my ID...
scottinwdw: Besides my blog and Twitter? It's the escape (as much as possible) from the real world for me.
jillybeaner21: I can't go a day without pricing out a vacation on Disney's website even if I'm not going
mdkamber: I'm a wdw addict because I make a conscious effort to not include Disney in every conversation I have as it annoys my non-Disney friends
MagicalMousecap: I'm a WDW addict: Disney Travel Planner, Vinylmation collector, D23 Charter Member, plan ADRs a year out, Disney on my car and wardrobe.
MarcRTM: I listen to WDW Radio Stations, I Podcast and listen to podcasts, talk about Disney non-stop.
amandatinney: The fact that i have a blog about it http://www.disneyeveryday.com/
TMAC1980: That my "imaginary friends" (eg. podcasters) quite possibly outnumber my real friends?
shaene_o_mite: The fact I have a Mickey Mouse tattoo and a necklace I have not taken off for 16 years!
MistressLynnie: I'm a wdw addict cuz even though I have a seasonal pass, I'm considering paying full price for 1 day ticket while here in the 407!
Section1Guy: when u can understand this "I have an ADR at 50sPTC after I ride RnRC.
BeOurGuestMike: I have a WDW Podcast, Radio Station, Website, and a BOGP [Be Our Guest Podcast] T-Shirt on right now.
SuzieLuvsDisney: I knew I was a wdw addict when I started looking for hidden Mickeys around town
SusieNotSusan: @You know you're a wdw addict when you find the BOGP [Be Our Guest Podcast] family and feel totally at home :)
jeff_chaney: When you are more excited about meeting Disney friends than going to the St Louis Zoo.
Duchess_99 I knew I was a wdw addict when I went on the Be Our Guest Podcast...hahaha! :)
MarkerMouse: Nothing MAKES me a wdw addict, I CHOOSE to be!!! And proudly I must say.
So many things make us WDW Addicts. It's simply a place where magic lives...and to me, that's what makes me a WDW Addict. I'm an addict because the magic lives in me. And I think that's a pretty good reason.
Huge thank you and shout out to all of you who responded! It's so interesting to see how WDW Addiction seeps into our daily lives.
Alright, now it's your turn. What is it that makes you a WDW Addict? You can respond in the comments or come on Twitter and respond that way as well. Just make sure to use the tag #wdwaddict so others can find it!
Also, still enlisting your help. I had some great ideas from you all about a closing line, but I'm still looking for more...so if you have one, be sure to let me know in the comments section as well!
Enjoy being a WDW Addict. Gosh knows I am! (Maybe we all need WDW-Anonymous?)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.
- If you're doing Easter at WDW this weekend, here is some of the info you may be looking for, regarding the holiday festivities:
Over at Epcot on Easter, there will be an Easter egg hunt for kids ages 3 - 9 at the Heritage Garden in the American Adventure pavilion. The hunt will run from 11:40 am - 5:40 pm and will take place every 30 minutes.
At the Magic Kingdom, until April 4th, guests can meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny in the Tour Guide Gardens from 8 am until 5 pm. Also, the two will be able to be seen in the pre-parade, which starts around 2:50 pm.
There will be religious services at the Contemporary Resort in the Fantasia Ballroom on Easter. Catholic Mass will be held at 8 am and 10:15 am. Protestant services will be held at 9 am.
The hotels will also do their own fun activities throughout the day to celebrate.
- The Town Square Exposition Hall on Main Street USA at the MK will be closing April 2nd to allow for the building of the new meet and greet area that is being constructed. The shop will remain open but the back areas will be closed.
- The Studio Catering Co. at Disney's Hollywood Studios has reopened after it's refurbishment and a new menu is in place. Offerings include a Pressed Tuscan Deli Sandwich, a Chicken Caesar Wrap, a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, a Turkey Club, a Grilled Veggie Sandwich, and a Greek Salad.
- The Wishes Desert Parties that take place at the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom are now back.
- The Diamond Horseshoe Review will be open at the MK for the Easter Holiday, for lunch until April 10th from 11 am - 4 pm and until April 7th for dinner, from 5 pm - 8 pm.
- Until April 3rd, the afternoon parade will run both at 12 and 3 pm.
- Ridermakerz, the new build your own race car shop, has officially opened at the former Virgin Megastore location.
- The Summer Nightastic Fireworks show has been named "Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular." It is the same show as the former Magic, Music, and Mayhem show that was used for the Pirate and Princess Parties, just with a new introduction.
- At Epcot, they are trying out something new at a few of the dining establishments in Epcot. At LeCellier, Coral Reef, and Garden Grill, they are adding an extra hour of operation until April 10th at the end of the night after the park has closed. It will be interesting to see if this becomes something that is common practice in the future once the test is over.
- Newly instated on the Disney ships, if you are caught smoking in your stateroom, Disney will charge $250 for a stateroom recovery fee.
- Star Tours is rumored to be closing earlier for it's refurbishment than originally thought. It's rumored to go down Sept. 8th, in preparation for a May 20th 2011 reopening.
- Toy Story Midway Mania may be seeing a closure for a quick refurb as well. The attraction is expected to go down Aug. 15 - Sept. 5th.
- Rock n' Roller Coaster is expected to be closed for refurb May 15th - 21st.
- Some character changes are on their way at the Magic Kingdom. Starting May 9th: Ariel and Prince Eric will be able to be found at the Adventureland Veranda. Chip n Dale will be found in Tomorrowland, along with Stitch, Goofy will be moving to Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White will be found by the Wishing Well, Wendy will be joining Peter Pan in Fantasyland, and Winnie the Pooh and friends will be found at Town Square. Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Goliath is definitely leaving the Hollywood and Vine Play and Dine character meal, but Handy Manny will be taking his place.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Many people in the WDW community have opinions on the matter, as they do on everything the Mouse House does, and chatter has been going on nonstop about what people think. We even briefly discussed it on the Be Our Guest Podcast Live Show that was held on Sunday.
(Photos are courtesy of WDWMagic.com)
I actually fall into the category of not being too thrilled with the idea of it, for multiple reasons.
It's not that I hate it per-se, I'm not one of those who's been known among the Disney community as a Doom and Gloomer, it's just I don't like the idea of using the Monorails essentially as Disney billboards...much like bi-state busses get used. Although, I guess it's better seeing Disney advertise their own stuff, versus a lawyer's office! But still...to me, the Monorails are so uniquely Disney that it's odd to see them being used as a method of advertisement. It feels too pedestrian and to me, Disney is way above pedestrian.
I also don't really care for the precedence this may now possibly set. I don't want to see advertisements for every Disney movie that comes out plastered all over the Monorails. I would be more ok with the idea of them doing this if I knew that it was only a 1 time thing.
And for those who say Disney's been advertising other things on the Monorails for years, like the balloons for the most recent Birthday promotion, it doesn't bother me as much because at least that's for something going on IN the parks. Tron:Legacy is definitely (at least at this time) not a presence in the parks at all. And I don't think it's necessary to advertise the movie in this way either. I can see other, better avenues for advertisement for the film.
Part of me dislikes it because the Monorail is a classic. While I don't believe it isn't something that should be messed with necessarily, it just takes a little bit away from the classicness of this well known and loved WDW attraction.
I also guess I don't like it all that much because I just don't get it. I simply don't get the hype. Maybe it's because I've never actually seen Tron, but Tron:Legacy isn't something I'm dying to see. And this advertisement isn't causing me to want to see it either. Although, I know the movie has a lot of fan-boi types that love it.
Which makes me pose this question...if Disney were advertising another movie on the Monorail, do you think people would be as thrilled to see it? I mean, if it were a wrap advertising the recent Alice in Wonderland or the upcoming Pirates 4...would people be as excited that Disney did it? (Please Disney, don't take the idea from me. I really don't want to see Pirates 4 advertised on the Magic Kingdom loop, ok?)
Of course, there are some positives with this new design. As I mentioned before, it does look very slick and I do like the colors that were used. (My favorite side is the Blue side). I also appreciate the fact that it's (hopefully) temporary and will only be in use until the movie is either out of the box office or out on Blue-Ray.
I also like that it's only been done to one train currently. It's nice that didn't decide to decorate the entire Epcot loop fleet or the entire fleet of trains altogether. (Though I thought I heard there was going to be a second one, but I could be mistaken on that.)
Finally, I really like is the nickname it's generated. The Tron-0rail. Very creative on somebody's part.
As I've mentioned, while I'm not in love with it, it's not the end of the world. Instead it's just something else that Disney has done. Granted it's something I can't really get excited about it, but I have to remember to practice what I preach. Not everything that WDW does is going to appeal to everyone. Not everyone on property is going to come away loving everything and this is just one of the things I am lukewarm about. I really dislike the idea of advertising in this way, but the one thing you have to say is it does, at the very least, get the message out about the new movie...and that, is exactly what Disney wants to do.
So, what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Could care less? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I apologize in the delay for getting this finalized this week. Things have been CRAZY around here! Should have the next News & Rumors post out on time!
- The Tomorrowland Noodle Station is open again, for dinner. Hours are from 5 pm - 9 pm. The restaurant is thought to be open through the rest of this busy Spring Break time, through Easter.
- If you dine in a select Magic Kingdom restaurant, you may receive a coupon for 20% off merchandise at either the Emporium or Mickey's Star Traders. The coupon can be found on the receipt and they are being distributed through April 17.
- Star Wars Weekends celebrity guests have been announced. The celebrity hosts for the event who will appear each weekend are Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Empire and Return of the Jedi) and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka from The Clone Wars). The rest of the celebrities are as follow: May 21-23: Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett), Daniel Logan (Young Bobba Fett), and Dee Bradley Baker (Captain Rex) May 28-30: Matthew Wood Supervising Sound Editor for the Star Wars Prequels andThe Clone Wars as well as the voice of General Grievous and the battle droids.), Lorne Peterson (ILM model-maker) and Tom Kane (Voice of Yoda) June 4-6: Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Ray Park (Darth Maul), and Dave Filoni (Supervising Director) June 11-13: Ray Park (Darth Maul), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and James Arnold Taylor (voices Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Clone Wars)
- Blizzard Beach will reopen March 24th. The date had been pushed back. Teamboat Springs will not open at that time, instead reopening a few weeks later.
- The TRON Legacy Monorail is now cruising around the Epcot Loop
- A new zero entry pool is going to be opening at Saratoga Springs Resort. The pool is going to take over a former quiet pool and is expected to have water slide, kid's play area and a quick service poolside restaurant.
- The Ranchos quiet pool at Coronado Springs will be down for refurb again April 5 - 17.
- The Fast Forward Arcade at Pop Century is going to be closed May 10 -12. I'm also hearing that Pop is getting a bit of a room refurbishment as well.
- The Night of Joy lineup has been announced: Returning to the Magic Kingdom in 2010, here is the complete line-ups for the 2010 Night of Joy event at the Walt Disney World resort (subject to change): Sept. 10 Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Casting Crowns, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Group 1 Crew, Tenth Avenue North, Sidewalk Prophets Sept. 11: mercyme, Third Day, Family Force 5, Smokie Norful, Red, LeCrae, & Day of Fire.
- Apparently, in the Backlot Tour refurbishment, the Catastrophe Canyon scene has been seeing quite a bit of work with the tanker getting worked on, as well as the rock work there.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This restaurant is fantastic and has some extremely good, authentic Irish food. This place is no joke on authentic! You can choose between Shepperd's Pie, Colcannon, Guinness Brown Bread, and lots of other great house specialties. Oh, and don't forget the Guinness! That's a necessity at a Pub like this!
We visited this restaurant back in January and I was a little nervous, seeing as how I'm not the most adventurous eater. The menu intimidated me a bit actually, since I'd never had authentic Irish food before in my life. However, once I ate there, I can tell you, I've been craving their food ever since. It is really that good.
If you're looking for a bit more fun, they have some great live entertainment. Monday - Saturday they have a band called Creel playing starting at 7 pm, with traditional Irish music. And don't forget to check out the Traditional Irish Dancer who's actually won awards for her skills. (I'm sure the fellas wouldn't mind checking her out for sure.)
Of course, St. Patrick's Day isn't the only day I suggest visiting this place. I highly suggest, whenever you're down in Walt Disney World to check them out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
So, what if you don't have a trip planned any time soon? But you want to try to make some Irish cuisine on your own? Check out some of these great recipes, which I found on www.allears.net
First, we have the Guinness Brown Bread, which is fantastic! And make sure to try the Guinness Reduction as well. It's delicious!
½ cups Guinness
¾ pound Whole meal flour (whole wheat)
4 pounds All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking soda
4 cups Oats, rolled
4 ounces Molasses
2 quarts Buttermilk
Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and add in the buttermilk in three batches as you mix and fold by hand lightly; the mixture should be quite sticky. Portion in to greased or buttered muffin pans. Bake in the oven until golden brown and it makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Enjoy with Kerry gold butter or Guinness reduction and Olive oil.
1 pint Guinness
1 pint Sugar
Combine the Guinness and sugar in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until reduced by half (approx 1 hour). Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature. Do not leave the pot unattended while it is coming to a boil as it may boil over.
Want a great main course? Look no further than the Shepperd's Pie. Traditional Irish food at it's best.
Yield 4 mini shepherd's pies
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 pound potatoes, well scrubbed
1 1/4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 ounces lean minced lamb
1 1/4 Tablespoons tomato purée
1/4 stick (1 ounce) butter
2 teaspoons herb oil (recipe below)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme leaves, to garnish
Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the shallot in half and then cut into thin slices lengthways, leaving the root intact. Arrange the slices on a non-stick baking sheet and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Bake for
5 minutes until lightly golden caramelized. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pan and add a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain in a colander and peel the potatoes while they are still hot.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onions, leeks, carrot and garlic and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes until just beginning to soften but not color. Stir the minced lamb into the pan and cook for 3 - 3 minutes until browned., breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato purée and cook gently for another 10 minutes until completely tender. Season to taste and keep warm or reheat as needed.
Push the cooked peeled potatoes through a potato ricer or a sieve, using a spatula. Quickly heat the milk in a pan. Beat the butter into the warm mashed potato and then add enough milk to make a smooth but firm puree. Season to taste.
To serve, spoon than mince mixture into 2 1/2 inch ring moulds set on warmed serving plates. Carefully remove the molds. Using two dessert spoons, shape the potato purée into quenelles and arrange 4 on top of each serving (or use a piping bag). Top with the caramelized shallot slices and drizzle and around the herb oil. Garnish with thyme leaves.
4 ounces fresh basil sprigs
2/3 cup olive oil
Pick the leaves from the basil and then blanch them in a large pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain in a sieve and then rinse under cold running water to prevent them from cooking any further. Squeeze off any excess water and then tip on to kitchen paper and pat dry.Place the blanched basil leaves into a food processor with the olive oil and process to a very fine purée, scraping down the sides of the container once or twice. Pass the purée through the sieve set over a jug or bowl, pressing down with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon until all of the liquid has gone through the sieve. Pour the herb oil into a squeezy bottle and leave to settle for at least 30 minutes to clear before using as required. Store in a cool place.
Finally, it's dessert time...and time to try the Bread and Butter Pudding!
1 loaf Pullman or Texas toast
1 pound Kerry gold butter softened
1 pound Sugar
1 quart Crème anglaise (see below)
1 cup Raisins soaked in Irish mist or water
Method of Preparation:
1. Combine the sugar and butter, spread evenly on the bread slices to make sandwiches, stack together and cut of the crust.
2. Cut the “sandwiches in ½ on an angle (from corner to corner)
3. Butter the inside of 8 oven proof cups or preferred baking dish. One by one dip the “sandwiches” in the anglaise and place in the baking dish, layer the bread and a sprinkling of soaked raisins as you go until done.
4. Bake covered in a Bain Marie at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until it rises a bit. Remove the cover and bake an extra 10 minutes until slightly brown.
5. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly serve warm or at room temperature with anglaise and caramel sauce.
6 each Egg yolks
2 cups Sugar
1 each vanilla bean split or a teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart Heavy cream
Method of Preparation:
1. Heat up the cream and the vanilla bean on the stove until it almost starts to boil. Meanwhile combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk well.
2. When the creams reaches the almost boiling point, turn off and remove the pot from the flame. Temper the yolks, by ladling a small amount of cream to the bowl and mixing well. Then add the yolk sugar mixture to the cream, whisk well so that it does not curdle. Place over a low flame for 2 minutes whisking until it starts to thicken. Strain and allow to cool at room temperature.
½ pound Butter, chilled
½ pound Brown sugar
1 cup Heavy cream
Method of Preparation:
Combine the sugar and butter in pot and cook over a medium high flame. Whisk well to combine, when sugar is melted and it starts to boil turn off the stove, remove from the flame and whisk in the cream to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature.
So happy eating! And Erin Go Bragh!
Monday, March 15, 2010
News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.
- Two monorails will soon be seen riding the rails advertising the movie Tron: Legacy with artwork wraps covering them.
- Give a Day, Get a Disney Day has reached 1 million volunteers. To see more info, check the previous blog post.
- The Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom has changed things up a little bit. The makeover experience has reduced it's price to $29.99 plus tax and offers 2 packages: The First Mate or Empress. All packages come with choice of facial effects (up to 5), bandanna, earring and eye patch, sword and sheath, temporary tattoos, pirate coin necklace, personalized pirate oath, official pirate name, and removable teeth or for the Empress package, instead of the teeth, makeup, nail polish, and a face gem. Costumes and imaging will be sold separately. Also, the hours have now changed. The shop is now open from 9 am - 4 pm.
- A new Premier Passport is now available for guests who want an Annual Pass to share among both coasts. The Passport costs $700 (and no discounts are available for people who are DVC). Here's what you'll receive at each coast with your new dual AP: So, what’s in it for you? At Walt Disney World:
Unlimited admission for a period of one year to all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, including park hopping privileges, unlimited admission to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks, unlimited admission to DisneyQuest, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (valid only on event days; some events require an additional admission charge) and Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course (greens fee only. Tee time reservations are required and subject to availability), Parking at all four Theme Parks,and a subscription to Mickey Monitor: a collectible Passholder-only publication
And at Disneyland Resort:
Unlimited admission to both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Parks for a period of one year, including park hopping privileges, parking at any pay-on-entry parking lot, subscription to Backstage Pass and complimentary subscription to Disney’s Family Fun Magazine (one per household).
- When Tower of Terror gets the update for Summer Nightastic!, expect the audio quality to be increased.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Edit 12/30/10: Many of you have recently been finding my blog by searching about a possible Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Promotion for 2011. I can assure you, (especially if you read this article, you will see why) that this will not be continued in 2011. This was a one year campaign, which worked all too quickly. For those who are wanting to know, 2011's campaign is called "Let the Memories Begin". To read more about what the 2011 promotion will entail, click here. And for those who want to know more about what happened with the 2010 Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Promotion, please continue reading!
After less than 70 days, Disney has officially ended their Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion. The campaign, which was designed to get people to help their fellow man and volunteer their services appeared to be more successful that many, possibly even Disney thought, as it was cut short just after a few short months, quickly netting 1 million volunteers.
The press release from Disney reads:
March 9, 2010 – “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” – a first-of-its-kind program of Disney Parks – reached its goal of inspiring 1 million people in 2010 to give back to their communities through volunteer service in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Since the program started just 10 weeks ago, on Jan. 1, a million people already have volunteered or have committed to volunteer in their communities, according to Disney Parks and HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network and a facilitator of “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”
To celebrate the good deeds of these individuals, Disney Parks offered each volunteer who completed an eligible project a free one-day admission to one theme park in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California. Although registration is now closed and the program has ended, those who volunteered have until Dec. 15, 2010, to redeem their free park ticket (certain block-out dates apply).
“By any measure, the ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program exceeded our expectations,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These one million volunteers touched their communities with their hearts and hands. Their commitment to service is truly worth celebrating, and there’s no better place to celebrate than at Disney Parks.”
Volunteerism has been a part of the Disney culture since the beginning. Through Disney VoluntEARS, cast members have been giving back to communities for more than a quarter century. More than 5.5 million hours of volunteer service worldwide have been donated, and Disney’s commitment to volunteerism will continue even as “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” draws to a close.
Officials at HandsOn Network credited the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program for increasing volunteer activities this year.
“The innovative nature of this program has exponentially increased our capacity to both invite and excite people about volunteerism,” said Michelle Nunn, co-founder of HandsOn Network and CEO of Points of Lights Institute. “The overwhelming participation of families – and youth especially – is a testament to a growing trend. Many of these volunteers are serving for the first time, and some will develop into service leaders who help change the face of our nation.”
Encouraging that kind of commitment was one aim of the Disney program, Staggs said.
“The goal of the ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program was to lay the groundwork for a new spirit of volunteerism,” he said. “The need for volunteers across the country is ongoing. We look forward to more people, especially families, carrying on the momentum and giving back to their communities through volunteerism.”
Although the program has ended and a free Disney theme park ticket will no longer be provided, those still interested in volunteering may search for opportunities through HandsOn Network at HandsOnNetwork.org (or in Canada, at govolunteer.ca).
So what do I think of the celebration being over when the majority of the year is still upon us?
I am in shock. I knew it would be a great promotion and I loved the idea of what Disney was trying to accomplish with it, but I couldn't believe when a few weeks ago they stated they were already at 600,000 people already and then now to have already met that 1 million mark. It's astonishing! I am so glad that people came out in droves to help out.
With that being said, I wished Disney had extended the promotion until 2 million or another couple of months. I know a lot of people had trouble signing up, especially when it first began. And quite a few people had trouble finding things that children could help with, with those opportunities being far and few between, causing some people who were trying to volunteer, unable, rendering them hopeless, as the deadline rolled around, waiting for people at the volunteer organizations to get back to them on if they could participate.
I know if Disney had decided to extend the celebration, it would have cost them more money, but, think of the great press the company would have gotten if they would have extended it. People would have loved to see that Disney had decided to extend their promo because of the success it spurred and it would have encouraged more people to do good for their community. The great press would have just kept on rolling, as it had been from the moment that this was announced...and now, it's just stopped, for the remainder of the year.
Which brings me to the question, what are they going to do the remainder of the year? I mean, yes, the people who volunteered will still be getting their tickets, so I guess we can still celebrate volunteering, but it's a little more bittersweet now, knowing the promotion is over.
And yes, even if it did cost a little more than originally planned to extend this project, Disney would more than likely get that money back. I mean, most people (with the exception of locals) are going to have to book a trip...which will last way more than 1 day. Disney would get the cost of upgrading the tickets, the would get the cost of food and souvenirs that people bought, and depending on some families, they would get the cost of hotel stays or if staying off property, parking fees...all of this, to me, would add up way more than a 1 day park ticket would.
Edit: Or as was pointed out to me by Jeff Chaney (@jeff_chaney on twitter) many people who signed up and volunteered won't even end up using their park tickets. Which I can definitely see being true. This is why I believe they could have made the promotion be about 1 Million who've been claimed, not 1 Million who've actually done the work. It would have meant more organization would have been able to get more people to volunteer for their projects.
But, I can see the other side of the coin on this one...what happens to those who have their trips planned at the end of the year, volunteered and then were shut out because they couldn't take their vacations any earlier in the year. Then you'd have some extremely angry people on Disney's hands. So, I can see why they might not have gone this route. Better to end it now then have angry people (and therefore, the inevitable bad press) later.
Although if they had just increased the number to begin with, we wouldn't have to worry about leaving people out. It would have been nice to see how many people actually would have participated in this program for the whole year anyway. I mean, if we were already on tap for 1 Million this soon in, imagine what kind of numbers we'd see in a year's time.
I'm not trying to say Disney was wrong in their decision to not extend the promotion. I mean, after all, it was stipulated in their rules with the celebration in the first place. And we did have a heads up, what with the announcement of 600,000 volunteers already a few weeks ago. They had every right to end the promotion when they did. I just think, that in my opinion, it would have showed they were truly in the giving spirit by extending it, even a little bit.
But with that being said, kudos to Disney for convincing people that volunteering is a great thing, especially in a world where many people wouldn't have even considered it. Hopefully it will have made more people aware of great volunteer opportunities that they can take part of in their daily lives and continue in the future. Not just do it for a free ticket.
As for me...I've got my date picked out. I'll be volunteering April 24th. :) And I can't wait to help!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
- The Marketplace Marina at Downtown Disney is closed, with an expected reopening date in mid-March.
- The Baby Care Center in the Magic Kingdom will be closed May 14 - 21st.
- Ridermakerz, a store where kids can make their own specialized remote control race cars, is going to take over the first floor of the old Virgin Megastore at Downtown Disney. Edit: It opens March 25th. It's said the store is not permanant, and is expected to close in Fall 2010. I'm expecting it to move into a more permanant location after Fall.
- Tinker Bell's Fairy Treasures at the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is now closed for remodeling and will reopen in late March. The location will then be a part of Castle Couture and is going to be a place for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique guests where they can have their portrait taken. Fairy merchandise will be able to be found in Castle Couture.
- Summer Nightastic! will officially run from June 6th - Aug. 14th.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh facade is seeing some work. Also, rumor has it, when Pooh's Playful Spot makes way for the new Fantasyland attractions, the Tree that can be found there will be relocated to the new queue area for the Winnie the Pooh attraction.
- This past week, the D23 event at WDW provided a lot of great new info about the Fantasyland refurb. Some of what was discussed is that Barnstormer's theme has not been decided yet; the Toontown train station will not be moving, however it will be re themed; a water feature for Dumbo isn't out of the question, but undecided; Pixie Hollow is still in early development stages; and that Mickey and Minnie's homes won't be eliminated, however, I'm hearing that they may not have meant the actual homes, instead being a bit more broad in the term "home" meaning they will still have homes in the Magic Kingdom, just not in the current form they exist in now. From what I understand, the actual houses of Mickey and Minnie will be removed still.
- Here is a rough list of those who will be preforming the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot: June 12-19: Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees), June 20-26: Hotel California (Eagles), June 27-July 3: TBD, July 4-10: Satisfaction (Rolling Stones), July 11-17: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi), July 18-24: 2U (U2), July 25-July 31: Beginnings (Chicago). Show times are 5:45 pm, 7:00 pm and 8:15 pm at the American Gardens Theater. (July 4th has a different schedule, with show times being 5:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:45 pm, and 9:00 pm.)
- A new pool is being worked on at Saratoga Springs.
- Toontown is rumored to make way for the Fantasyland expansion this summer after the summertime rush. Ariel's Grotto and Scuttle's Landing is expected to go in the near future...couple of month's max.
- Another addition to Nightastic! may be happening. It appears that Rock n' Roller Coaster may have a "Rock n' Glow" Dance Party.
- It's rumored that during Summer Nightastic! the Main Street Electrical Parade will preform at 9 pm nightly and the fireworks will be preformed at 10 pm nightly, at least for June.
- We may see Disney attempting more themed rooms ala the Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean rooms found at Caribbean Beach Resort.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This week, we looked at what is it at WDW that inspires us. Unfortunately, I was unable to appear on the show, last minute, but I still wanted to share what things really do inspire me when I'm in the parks.
First and foremost, I am ALWAYS inspired when I see a Walt Quote, anywhere on property. And recently, I've found more inspiration around the parks, what with all the construction that seems to be taking place. You see, the new construction walls all have signs with quotes from the Man himself. One of the quotes that has been found in the parks is "Time and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future." Each construction wall has a different Walt quote to them, so you can be inspired many times over, as long as Disney is doing some type of construction. To me, Walt was always filled with great wisdom and it is so great that so much of it was recorded to be able to use to help inspire a new generation of people. A generation who will never see the man, but who will still be able to hear his message and hopefully, take much of his enlightenment to heart.
Another thing that really inspires me is something else that has to do with Walt...and his vision for the future. I always get a little inspired when I see the model for what was to be EPCOT...The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow in the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Although his vision never came to be, it's still inspiring just to see what he originally wanted to create. What a little dream could have possibly done, had he been able to live long enough to see it. And in that respect, it's easy to feel inspired even just being on Disney property, because that really is the proof that dreams can come true, if you put your mind to them. But that little model, really showed where Walt's dream was meant to be headed and it's amazing to think of what things would be like if it would have come to fruition. His model proves to me, that we all need to act when dealing with our own dreams, not just sit and be a spectator.
Finally, I am inspired by the music at WDW, specifically the music played at Epcot. (As Tim Foster would say when you listen to the WDW Radio Show Top 10 segments, go with me on this one.) This music, in my opinion, was written to influence. Currently, as we speak, the song Celebrate the Future is on and I don't know a better song to speak to the heart of inspiration. Because we should be celebrating the future, hand in hand. But also, I'm inspired by songs like One Little Spark from Journey into Imagination, We Go On from Illuminations, Golden Dream from American Adventure...even tracks that have no words under them, like the Innoventions Plaza music and the World Showcase Pre-Illuminations loop. (Or as I like to call it, Club Illuminations.) Each one inspires a different thing in me....to think outside the box, to work together with all of humanity to make world a better place...to be proud of our country and where we've come from...to look towards the future with open arms...and that while all countries are unique, all countries should be able to live harmoniously with each other, if we just could look past our differences.
So, that brings me to my question. What inspires you at Walt Disney World? What do you get influenced by when you're down there? Make sure to let me know in the comments section. Because to me, as I've realized earlier this week, it's inspirational, learning about new things you may never have even thought of before. While driving in my car, I realized that without this podcast and blog, I would have never taken a look at some of the things that now, I couldn't imagine not doing during a trip. For example, without suggestions from others, I would have never really taken a good look at either the Polynesian or the Wilderness Lodge and now, a trip without visiting either of them makes the trip feel empty. I'm so happy I get the chance to help possibly enhance your trips and I LOVE when you all give me options of things that help to enhance mine. So, please, when I ask, I really do like for you to share...not just with me, but with others who may be reading the blog as well. You just never know when you suggest something, what it may do to influence someone else's trip.
(PS: Thinking of inspirational...I want to come up with some sort of inspirational closing at the end of each Wed. blog post, but am coming up with a blank. Each time I try, nothing comes to mind. I enlist your help. Please help me think of an inspirational tag and the best one will get chosen to be used weekly! Thanks for the help! Apparently I am uninspired. lol!)