Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - The Letter "I"

This week's Wordless Wednesday's theme is The letter "I".
Thanks to Deb for hosting this blog hop - why don't you stop by and join in.

This one was a no-brainer ... since my favorite Cast Member is herself an "I" ... my daughter.

She gained her love of Disney very early in life ...

In 2000 she started her Disney World career at Conservation Station in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

And then moved to Caribbean Beach Resort

Today you usually won't see her around the parks or at the resorts unless she is there playing like the rest of us. Here she was having breakfast with the boss.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where in WDW? Challenge 38

It's that time again ...

Last week we asked Where in WDW is this ...

A number of you knew that this is on a column in China in EPCOT.

Let's see how you fare this week when you are asked Where in WDW you would see ...

As always, make your guesses in the COMMENTS section below and then stop back here next week to see if you really know your WDW.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Need Your Advice

Until recently, the amount of spam that was being posted in the comments section here and on my other blogs has been minimal and easily dealt with.

About a month ago, however, it picked up significantly and is a multiple daily issue on each of the blogs I post.

I have always made posting comments as easy as possible, refraining from making anyone enter their name and email address (though I appreciate the fact that almost everyone does) so I know who is posting - or that other dastardly method ... the dreaded captcha! Personally I hate making comments on blogs which use captcha and it is almost entirely unusable on a cell phone.

The final option would be to moderate comments, and at the moment, if I decide to change the way comments are handled here, that would most likely be the way I initially go.

But before I do anything, I would like to hear your thoughts - ironically, in the comments section below.

What do you think? Have you any other suggestions for me?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - History

This week's Wordless Wednesday's theme is History.
Thanks to Deb for hosting this blog hop - why don't you stop by and join in.

The first time I ever saw a Disney attraction in person was at the 1964 New York World's Fair. (I wouldn't get to Disneyland until July, 1968 and Walt Disney World until December, 1971.) I was very excited as I watched Walt Disney show the progress of the four attractions that were being prepared for the Fair each Sunday night on TV. They were ...

The State of Illinios (Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln)

The Ford Pavillion (which a part of would come to Disneyland as the dinosaur diorama on the train trip around the park)

Pepsi/UNICEF presented It's A Small World

And the one which became my favorite at the Fair and remains a must-do each time I visit Disney World, Progressland presented by General Electric ... which after a brief stay in Disneyland is today known as the Carousel of Progress in the Magic Kingdom at WDW.

Here are some photos of today's version ... taken just a few weeks ago ...

And of course, Grandma is still resident ace ...


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where in WDW? Challenge 37

It's that time again ... did you know Where in WDW? last week's photo was?

You did if you said it was on the Tusker House building in Harambe in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

So now, for the 37th time I once again ask ... Where in WDW?

As always, make your guesses in the COMMENTS section below and then come back next week to see if you were correct.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Disney By Sea and Land - Days 14 & 15

Day 14 - January 30

Today Iris goes back to work, so we will mostly be on our own. We have breakfast early before she picks us up and we drive to EPCOT. Unlike a previous day where we wind up parking at the far end of the row, this morning we are the last car to be parked before a new row is started, so today we are the closest car to the tram. This is convenient, since after Iris gets us in to the park, she will be heading home to prepare for her first day back at work.

Once we are in, and have our park hopper for the day, Iris heads back home and we head to the monorail which we will be taking to the Magic Kingdom. Since Sandy did not accompany us to Enchanted Tales with Belle in New Fantasyland when we were last in the Magic Kingdom, it will be the first order of business today.

Belle's cottage

When we arrive in New Fanstasyland we find that the posted wait time is 30 minutes, and the queue seems just a bit longer than when Iris and I were here a few days ago, so we get on line. We meet a very nice family and chat with them which makes our wait seem very short indeed.

Once inside, Sandy gets drafted into the little play - as the laughing portrait.

In the next room, she is introduced to Belle.

When we are finished in Belle's cottage, we decide to head to the new Little Mermaid ride. We have already ridden it during the soft opening the last time we were here, but there is no wait and we get right on, once again.

After this, we decide that we will once again eat in Be Our Guest, and head to it, passing Gaston's Tavern along the way.

Just before we get to the ordering stations, I get a text message from a member of an online Disney newsgroup (rec.arts.Disney.parks - RADP) who I have known only online for about 20 years, but had never met in person. She is in the area and before I know it has found us in the queue. We have a very pleasant lunch together, and enjoy finally meeting in person.

We next decide to head to It's A Small World, but when we get there we find that the attraction is closed, so we continue on to The Haunted Mansion. From there it's just a short walk to The Country Bear Jamboree.

My favorite - Big Al

We stop next for a short break ... and a Dole Whip before continuing on to the Tiki Room and Pirates of the Caribbean. Then, it's back over to the other side of the park and the Carousel of Progress - which was my favorite attraction at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

Grandma is still the resident ace!
At this point Sandy wants to look through the Emporium so I find a bench and get to watch the flag retreat ceremony.

Once Sandy is finished, we sit on the porch of the theater (after she buys her Photo Pass photos with Belle from earlier in the day) until it is time for our dinner at Tony's.

Finally, it is time to call it a day and head back to Pop Century.

Day 15 - January 31

Today is our last day here, and we fly home this evening. Our flight is late enough that Iris would be able to drive is to the airport after work, or we would have made arrangements for Disney's Magical Express to pick us up. There are two types of busses that collect guest at the resorts (other than the park busses) - the Cruise Line bus (the happy bus) and the Magical Express bus (the sad bus).

We start our day by packing and then bringing the luggage which we will check on the flight home to the airline check-in counter where we check our luggage onto our flight and receive our boarding passes (after a bit of juggling since one of the suitcases was 3 ounces overweight). We then have breakfast at the food court before we return to our room to pick up our carry-ons before leaving the room for the last time.

We proceed to leave our carry-ons with luggage services and then head to Downtown Disney. My original thought was that since Iris works right across from the West Side, it would be the most convenient place for her to meet us after work, but I had forgotten that her first day was an on-call day, and she was working from home. Not that it matters, since she sends me a text that her work day would end about lunch time and that she could meet us Downtown Disney and have lunch with us - which we do at Earl of Sandwich.

Finally the time comes to leave Downtown Disney, pick up our carry-ons at Pop Century and head to the airport.

However, once at the airport and at the gate (very early I will admit), the flight to Newark before ours comes back to the gate and discharges its passengers. It seems that there is bad weather in the NY area, and flights to Newark airport are not being allowed to take off. This affects our flight as well. As it turns out, the flight which left its passengers back into the Orlando terminal is delayed 5 hours before it is allowed to continue. Our flight - which has now had its gate changed - is only delayed 90 minutes.

Once aboard our flight, things go smoothly, and all too soon we are home - another trip behind us. Time now to plan the next one.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Disney by Sea and Land - Day 13

Day 13 - January 29

As the weather just keeps getting better all this week, today we are spending the day in EPCOT. After our usual morning routine, Iris picks us up and off we go.

We park and then walk to the entrance - stopping to take this shot just as it appears.

Our first destination is the new Test Track where we obtain our fastpasses for later in the day. We find that the attraction is closed at the moment due to technical difficulties, but since there is still quite some time until our fastpass window, we are hoping that they are back up and running by that time. We decide to head over to Universe of Energy - which is usually a stop we do later in the day as it is 45 minutes of sitting, but today we do it early. On our way there we see the Jamitors setting up and we stay to watch.

After Ellen's Energy Adventure in the Universe of Energy, which is long overdue for a new show by the way, we spend some time in Innoventions, and then walk over to Imagination.

It's now lunch time, so we find a table at the outdoor quick service restaurant at Mexico.

After we eat, we go inside and take the boat ride and do a little shopping before we head back out.

Since the crowd level is low today, when we pass Norway we head inside to ride Maelstrom which today is a walk-on.

Next, my wife and daughter walk through the store in China while I take some time to photograph the gardens - something I never spend enough time on. However, the weather today is as close to perfect as it can get and I am not melting from the heat - or chilled from the other extreme - so I walk around and get some nice shots.

It's almost time to return and attempt to use our fastpasses for Test Track, so we head back over to Future World. As we pass Test Track, we see that is has just now opened, and even the fastpass line is long, so we go into Mouse Gears to give the backlog a chance to clear before we come back and experience the new version of the attraction.

It's now mid-afternoon, and we know that tonight we have dinner reservations in France, but there is also another thing there that we want to check out, and if we want to do it, we need to do it now so that we don't spoil our appetite. The pastry shop has been moved from the small - and always crowded - shop it has always been in to a new location by the exit from the movie. My wife and daughter get a snack here while we take a break.

I decide that rather than get something here, I would get a crêpe at the stand outside. I get a blueberry crêpe and we take a table by the lagoon while I finish it. However, as we sit there it starts to drizzle which becomes a bit heavier, so we take cover. Happily it doesn't last long, and we decide to head over to the UK and see a performance by the British Revolution before it is time for our dinner.

Once the performance is over we head back to France and have a wonderful meal.

Tomorrow my daughter goes back to work, so it will be just my wife and myself, and we decide that since my wife missed seeing Enchanted Tales with Belle when we were there earlier in the week, and she wants to see it, we will be heading back to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow.