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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday! Our Stay at the Polynesian!

This week we don't go too far in to the way back machine.........this week we just go back to 2010, and our honeymoon trip to Walt Disney World.  We treated ourselves to a stay at a deluxe level resort, which was originally going to be The Wilderness Lodge, which is my all time favorite. 

However, just a couple months before the trip was going to happen, we were talking about the resorts and Paul said, "Oh, you mean the Wilderness Lodge is not on the Monorail line?"  I said, "no, sorry it's not.  Did you really want to stay in a resort that is?  It's kinda late and not sure we will be able to change even if they have an available space."  So, I called the nice folks at the Walt Disney Travel Company, and they were more than happy to change our reservation from the one resort to the other.  Since it was off season (first week in February), it was not too much of a problem. 

They knew we were going to be our "delayed" honeymoon (as we had been married in May of 2009, but had to delay our honeymoon trip until we could both get the time off), not only did they accommodate us, but we were put in the Tahiti building, room #1029 with a main floor beach walk out! Sure, Tahiti is the furthest building out, but it is such a beautiful resort to just stroll around, we didn't mind at all.

 What a view of Magic Kingdom, the ferry boats, seeing "Wishes" and watching the Electrical Water Pageant at night, it was totally romantic! 

I highly recommend staying at the Polynesian if you can swing it.  It's such a beautiful place, and we extremely enjoyed it.

 These are the little "friends" of ours who tried to come into our room every morning!

And Paul, well.......of course he just loved being able to ride the monorail on a moments notice!  ;-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day from Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold- from the walkway of Frontierland overlooking the Liberty Belle, Haunted Mansion and part of Tom Sawyers Island. Its one of those peaceful spots in a busy park to take it all in.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day from Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad taken from the Walt Disney World Train. You get to see a different side of the ride from there

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

We go in to the way.........way back machine of my Disney history.  Today we dial up a trip that I took with my kids when they were very young. It was their second trip to Walt Disney World. 

Pictured above is myself, and my 2 little guys.  Also, in the picture, is our "Guest Of Honor" badges we received.  Each one has a sticker for the very first time we visited.  Yes, mine goes way back to 1976!

We were there to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, and the infamous "Castle Cake".
I loved the cake was only for such a short time in the history of the park, it was really like the blink of an eye!  Much better than the awful mess that was made with the Stitch grafitti of the castle!!
You be the judge of the lesser of two evils!
I am totally glad that I missed seeing this one in person!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day from Joe Diebold

Todays Disney  photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold - from Dream along with Mickey - Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald in their special outfits!!

The "Magic" Feeling as You Enter the Magic Kingdom and Main Street, U.S.A.

Each and every time, from that very first time WAY back in 1976, (YES! I am old!) that I enter through the tunnel under the Walt Disney World Railroad.......I sort of get a lump in my throat.  With each step I take, my heart beats a little faster, my feet move a little quicker, and my steps seem a lot lighter.  The anticipation to gaze upon the wonderment, and have that feeling of timelessness is almost unexplainable.

Oh, and the smells........those YUMMY smells which to me are a combination of fresh popcorn, baked goods and chocolate all mulled together. Aaahhhh....the sights, sounds and scents of Main Street, U.S.A.

 Photo taken October, 2012

As I step further in and get my first glimpse of Engine Co. 71, the Car Barn, City Hall, The Confectionery and Town Square Theater, the excitement builds, but also the contentment settles in as well.  The tears usually well in my eyes too.  It's a place I have felt at home since my first visit, way back when.  The ties that bind can never be broken.

                                         Photo taken May, 2013

                                          Photo taken May, 2013
Photos taken May, 2013

I begin my trek "right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A, of course that song pops in my head.  The sight of all these wonderful things makes me feel like I have transported back in time. 

                                                                                 Photos taken October, 2012

I love to take a look at the windows on the second floor of the buildings.

Those windows that honor so many Disney legends.  Not only Walt Disney himself, but his brother Roy, their father Elias and another example is in the window that reads "General Joe's Building Permits, Licensed in Florida, General Joe Potter, Raconteur."  This window is in honor of the late General William "Joe" Potter who was the very first Disney employee in Florida.  He was hired by Walt Disney to direct the construction of the infrastructure of Walt Disney World.  General "Joe" also has a ferry boat named after him!

Photos taken May, 2013

If you take the time to notice these small details instead of rushing from this place to that, hurrying to get to your favorite attraction or see your favorite character, you learn to appreciate the charm of Main Street even more.
My sincere recommendation  is relax, and take your time.  Soak it all in.  Make memories that will last forever, no matter how many times you have been.  There is always something you might not have noticed on previous visits, even after your 5th or 15th time like on my last trip to my "happy place."

In closing, please make sure to open your eyes, ears, heart and mind to the "magic" that is all around you in the Magic Kingdom, and especially right on Main Street, U.S.A.  It's a magical place too!  It will certainly change your experience for the better.   Have a MaGiCaL visit!

Todays Disney photo of the day from Joe Diebold!

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold- the Africa sign on the way into Africa at the Animal Kingdom.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day from Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold- Sorcerers hat at sunset - it was a bit of a dark cloudy day but the sun was breaking through as it set of the night

Friday, September 13, 2013

TodaysDisney photo of the day by Joe Diebold

TodaysDisney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold - a Friday the 13th castle photo - from the Villains mix and mingle. it is a frightfully good time!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Remembrance


Todays Disney photo of the day by Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day - the Beasts castle from outside - this was taken at the little stand before the bridge to the castle. — at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day by Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold - the Villians Sweets store aka the Beverly Sunset. Hollywood Studios has some great buildings!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Todays Disney photo of the day by Joe Diebold

Todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold
You can never have to many photos of Cinderella's Castle

Review of the D23 Expo by guest author Ken Reece

Ken Reece, travel specialist with It's All About the Mouse Travel is our guest author this week.  Ken attended the D23 Expo this past August, and the following is his take on the festivities! 

Recently I attended my first D23 Expo.  I was expecting large crowds, mass confusion & missed opportunities of attending the programs that I really wanted to see.  What I found, was an incredible array of Disney experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed!  There were three presentations that I wanted to see:  Broadway & Beyond...Celebrating the Stars of Disney on Broadway; The Art & Artistry of Aulani; and ABC's Once Upon A Time, Behind the Fairytale.  I had mentally prepared myself so that if I didn't get to see the ones that I really wanted to see, there would surely by some presentations that I could get into, and enjoy.  I counted myself incredibly lucky to be able to attend my three "Must-do's" and also was able to attend Dave Smith's Behind the Scenes of Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins".

Dave Smith gave an entertaining & historical behind the scene account of how Walt Disney brought everything together to get the film made.  It really got me excited to see this year's Christmas release of "Saving Mr. Banks".  Imagineers Joe Rohde & Jeanette Lomboy gave a fascinating account of how the Walt Disney Imagineers, along with a team of Hawaiian locals created Disney's newest resort, Aulani near Honolulu, Hawaii.  Jeffrey Epstein narrated a panel with Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, the creators and executive producers of ABC's "Once Upon A Time".  We were treated with a 20 minute clip of their newest show, "Once Upon A Time in Wonderland" and were also teased with upcoming moments of one of my favorite shows, "Once Upon A Time".
I have to say that if I had just seen these three presentations, my vacation time & money would have been well-spent.  But, I had been lucky enough to snag a "Stage Pass"  (D23 Expo's version of a Fastpass) for the Friday evening performance of "Broadway & Beyond".  This one show, was worth all of the time & effort to get to the D23 Expo.  At this presentation, Thomas Schumacher, the president & producer of Disney Theatrical Productions introduced five Broadway stars for a journey into Disney's history on Broadway and beyond.  Heidi Blickenstaff, Ashley Brown, Merle Dandridge, Josh Strickland & Alton Fitzgerald White performed songs from:  Beauty & The Beast, Aida, The Lion King, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, King David & Mary Poppins.  We also got a special sneak preview of an original song from the upcoming production of Aladdin.  All of these performers had appeared in shows Disney had produced on Broadway, and some had actually performed in several of Disney's shows.  Ashley Brown originated the role of Mary Poppins; Josh Strickland had originated the role of Tarzan, along with Merle Dandridge who originated the role of Kala opposite Mr. Strickland.  I don't think that I will ever have the opportunity to see such talent on one stage.  All of the performances were incredible. 

I was able to do a lot more than just these four presentations.  There were many things to buy, many stores to see, and many booths to look through.  I didn't see anywere near all of it!  My favorite pavillion, by far, was "A Journey Into Imagineering"--I spoke with Imagineers at the recreation of "1401 Flower Street".  I was able to manipulate an Audio-Animatronic.  I saw a live plant that plays music when it's leaves are touched.  I met Captain America (soon to be sailing on the Disney Magic).  I have a picture of me taken with Abraham Lincoln's head...which gave me a bit of a shock when it started moving!  I saw models of never-before-built attractions, and a model of Disney Springs, which is currently under construction at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  I saw Audio Animatronics that could recognize your face in a crowd, and speak with you in real time.  Also on display, for the first time ever, was Herb Ryman's original pencil sketch of Disneyland.  Walt Disney used this sketch to secure funds for the construction of Disneyland.  There was so much to see & do.  There is absolutely no way you could have done it all!  Reason enough for a return trip to the D23 Expo in 2015.  I can't wait to go back!

Ken with the Abe Lincoln head.......

Props from the Once Upon a Time  TV series

Costume of Winifred Banks from Mary Poppins

Ken and Captain America!

Thanks to Ken for sharing this great experience with the blog!!  We really appreciate his efforts, and so glad he enjoyed his experience!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Photo of the Day by Joe Diebold

Todays  Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold- from EPCOT - the Cranberry bog from Food and Wine Festival with Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations in the background. #epcot #spaceshipearth #fountainofnations #cranberry

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Miyuki the Candy Making Lady to Leave Epcot

Miyuki the candy making lady who has been doing her shows  5-6 times a day for  17 years at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot is going to be leaving Walt Disney World in late November.   She typically does these shows from Sunday through Thursday and they last approximately 20 minutes. Her magic fingers sculpt rice dough into vibrant, beautiful animals.

Her last day at Epcot will be on or around November 21, 2013.

One of our favorite pavilions in World Showcase  is Japan. It's such a relaxing and beautiful area, and Miyuki only added to the overall flavor of the pavilion.  She will be greatly missed.

If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World this fall, make sure to stop by and see her marvelous it truly is an art form. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Todays Disney Photo of the Day by Joe Diebold

todays Disney photo of the day from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold - taken from atop the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House - the view is spectacular from up on top of the tree house
todays #Disney photo of the day from @[254109344727595:274:Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold] - taken from atop the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House - the view is spectacular from up on top of the tree house