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Sunday, December 29, 2013

UPDATED closings and refurbs!

 
 
 

 Closure information starting after the Jan. 1, 2014!!
Courtesy of It's All About the Mouse Travel

 
 
 
 
Photo: UPDATED closings and refurbs!

Casey's Corner:  1/6/14 - 2/15/14
Tomorrowland Speedway:  1/6/14 - 1/12/14
Splash Mountain:  1/6/14 - 3/21/14
Splashdown Photos:  1/6/14 - 3/21/14
Agrabah Bazaar:  1/7/14 - 2/13/14
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin:  1/13/14 - 1/16/14
Liberty Square Riverboat:  1/21/14 - 1/30/14
Barnstormer:  2/3/14 - 2/5/14
Tomorrowland Transit Authority:   2/10/14 - 3/27/14
Pinocchio's Village Haus:  2/17/14 - 3/30/14
The Plaza Restaurant:  2/17/14 - 3/15/14

Epcot®
American Adventure Restrooms:  Mid-January - End of January

Disney's Hollywood Studios®
Monsters Inc. Meet & Greet:  1/5/14 - 1/19/14

Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
Festival of the Lion King:  1/6/14
Camp Minnie-Mickey:  1/6/14

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park
Annual Refurbishment:  12/22/13 - 3/17/14

Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
Kiddie Pool Wet Deck - Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open:  1/21/14 - 2/14/14

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Pool slides - pools remain open:  1/27/14 - 2/7/14

Disney's Contemporary Resort
Bay Lake Tower Kiddie Pool Wet Deck - Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open:  1/13/14 - 2/7/14

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Victoria & Albert's:  1/19/14 - 1/28/14

Disney's Old Key West Resort
Goods to Go:  1/20/14 - 1/30/14

Gurging Suitcase:  2/5/14 - 2/28/14

Disney's Polynesian Resort
Polynesian Beach and Sunset Point - access to the east portion of the beach - near the Transportation and Ticket Center - as well as Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period:  9/9/13 - TBD

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Doubloon Lagoon Pool - transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol' Man Island Pool at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside:  1/13/14 - 2/28/14

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Magnolia Bend Bldg 80 - 85 Pool Deck:  1/20/14 - 1/21/14

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Congress Park Pool:  1/22/14 - 1/23/14

Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Yacht Club Quiet Pool:  1/21/14 - 2/7/14
Beach Club Quiet Pool:  2/3/14 - 2/4/14

Downtown Disney® Area
Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closing:  7/30/13 - TBD
Fuego:  10/1/13
Wetzels Pretzels:  10/20/13
Cap'n Jack's Marina:  10/20/13 
 
UPDATED closings and refurbs!

Casey's Corner: 1/6/14 - 2/15/14
Tomorrowland Speedway: 1/6/14 - 1/12/14
Splash Mountain: 1/6/14 - 3/21/14
Splashdown Photos: 1/6/14 - 3/21/14
Agrabah Bazaar: 1/7/14 - 2/13/14
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin: 1/13/14 - 1/16/14
Liberty Square Riverboat: 1/21/14 - 1/30/14
Barnstormer: 2/3/14 - 2/5/14
Tomorrowland Transit Authority: 2/10/14 - 3/27/14
Pinocchio's Village Haus: 2/17/14 - 3/30/14
The Plaza Restaurant: 2/17/14 - 3/15/14

Epcot®
American Adventure Restrooms: Mid-January - End of January

Disney's Hollywood Studios®
Monsters Inc. Meet & Greet: 1/5/14 - 1/19/14

Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
Festival of the Lion King: 1/6/14
Camp Minnie-Mickey: 1/6/14

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park
Annual Refurbishment: 12/22/13 - 3/17/14

Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
Kiddie Pool Wet Deck - Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open: 1/21/14 - 2/14/14

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Pool slides - pools remain open: 1/27/14 - 2/7/14

Disney's Contemporary Resort
Bay Lake Tower Kiddie Pool Wet Deck - Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open: 1/13/14 - 2/7/14

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Victoria & Albert's: 1/19/14 - 1/28/14

Disney's Old Key West Resort
Goods to Go: 1/20/14 - 1/30/14

Gurging Suitcase: 2/5/14 - 2/28/14

Disney's Polynesian Resort
Polynesian Beach and Sunset Point - access to the east portion of the beach - near the Transportation and Ticket Center - as well as Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period: 9/9/13 - TBD

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Doubloon Lagoon Pool - transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol' Man Island Pool at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside: 1/13/14 - 2/28/14

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Magnolia Bend Bldg 80 - 85 Pool Deck: 1/20/14 - 1/21/14

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Congress Park Pool: 1/22/14 - 1/23/14

Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Yacht Club Quiet Pool: 1/21/14 - 2/7/14
Beach Club Quiet Pool: 2/3/14 - 2/4/14

Downtown Disney® Area
Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closing: 7/30/13 - TBD
Fuego: 10/1/13
Wetzels Pretzels: 10/20/13
Cap'n Jack's Marina: 10/20/13

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Disney Picture of the Day!

Todays #Disney Picture from the Park from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold
 
Tree Of Life - there are many viewing areas on walkway from Africa to Asia for great photo ops of the Tree of Life.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My 25 Favorite Disney Things #1 !!!!


 The crème de la crème, the icing in the cake............the best of the best...........here now, is my #1 favorite thing at my beloved Walt Disney World.........


Pirates of the Caribbean®!!!

 Indeed, always has been, and always will be at the top of my list......(even though there are some attractions that are giving it a run for its money......and another to come that is not even done yet.)
There is a tradition with Pirates of the Caribbean.  A history of sorts for me and my family.  
It is the very first attraction I went on in 1976 at age 18, going to Walt Disney World for the very first time.  
It is this attraction that my sons called "our ride" after the first time they were able to go, and totally understand it.  It holds a special place in my heart, and always will.
Family fun, tradition, and feeling like a kid, no matter what age you are.  Isn't that the entire concept that our beloved Walt Disney wanted for his parks?  Indeed.  















Early birds reap the benefits.......nobody blocking the shots you want!



Even though there have been some changed in Pirates from way back at the beginning.  Due to popular demand, the attraction opened at Magic Kingdom park on December 15, 1973 and, most recently, has spawned a blockbuster film series starring Johnny Depp. Most recently added are swimming mermaids.




Here is what the Walt Disney World website tells of the pirates tale:
Set sail on a swashbuckling voyage to a long-forgotten time and place when pirates and privateers ruled the seas.

A Pirate’s Life for You

Wander a meanderin’ alleyway within a Spanish fortress and board a small barge for a spellbinding high-seas adventure. Escape through a shadowy grotto past the ghostly catacombs of fallen pirates and swoop down a small rushing waterfall—your passageway to the Golden Age of Piracy.
Behold boisterous buccaneers drunk on the spoils of plunderin’ during a 9-minute cruise amid the Old World. Sing along as windswept pirates serenade you with their classic anthem, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).” And even spy a sly Captain Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean film series along the way!
If Ye Be Seekin’ Adventure…
Take off on a treacherous voyage to the 17th century, when rowdy rogues and rapscallions ruled seaport towns along the Spanish Main under the watchful eye of “Jolly Roger.”
Popular sites you will encounter include:
Pirates Grotto
Home to Dead Man’s Cove and Hurricane Lagoon, this haunted realm recalls the struggles pirates endured on the open seas.
The Fort
Navigate through a shadowy bay, where a foggy Caribbean fort and a striking 12-gun galleon—helmed by Captain Barbossa—are locked in battle.
Town Square
Sail straight past a crowded marketplace of rambunctious scalawags, gleefully bidding in an auction for a bride.
Burning City
Looters and buccaneers sing a song of jubilation as flames engulf a seaside town.
The Dungeon
Trapped in a jail cell, freebooters attempt to lure a confused canine within reach to nab the prison keys he has in his mouth.
Dead men tell no tales, indeed!

A Treasure for the Ages

Pirates of the Caribbean is considered to be one of the most spectacular attractions ever created for a theme park.
The attraction was originally conceived as a wax museum and a walk-through adventure. But following the success of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Walt Disney and his team of Imagineers decided that Audio-Animatronics—Walt’s latest animation technology—was the most imaginative way to tell a rousing pirate story.
On April 19, 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland park. Thanks to the many highly detailed environments, lavish special effects and memorable characters, the attraction earned rave reviews and has remained a beloved classic ever since.
Due to popular demand, the attraction opened at Magic Kingdom park on December 15, 1973 and, most recently, has spawned a blockbuster film series starring Johnny Depp.


Well,  me hearties,  we must weigh anchor.... and move on to other features for this blog!  We will pick up after the first of the year! 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!!




 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My 25 Favorite Disney Things #2

WOW!  Christmas Eve, and we are down to my #2 so, without further delay.....................

My #2 pick is:

Disney's Wilderness Lodge!!

 

Yes!  My all time favorite resort to stay and, and absolutely have to take a trek over there if we are not staying there.  Even just to walk around, it's so beautiful and peaceful there.  It will be our resort of choice on our next visit to Walt Disney World.





This is what Disney has to say about this beautiful resort:
 
Escape to the rustic majesty of America’s Great Northwest. Inspired by turn-of-the-century National Park lodges, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge celebrates American craftsmanship and honors the beauty of the untamed wilderness. Soak in the splendor of the great outdoors, from nature trails through pine forests to rocking chairs that overlook a murmuring creek. Inside, discover towering totem poles, headdresses and more, and sink into a plush leather armchair in front of the roaring fireplace. 


Join me again tomorrow, or when you have a few minutes to find out my #1 pick of my 25 favorite things to do at Walt Disney World!!
Until then, Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

My 25 Favorite Disney Things #3

We have made it to the top three things on my list!  Two attractions and a resort are the ultimate for me.
Let's get right to it then......

My #3 pick.........is...........

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®

 

Ever since we rode on this attraction back in 2010, it has been at the all time favorites category for both Paul and I.  The Theme of this attraction, the queue, the ride itself.....just make it an all-around awesome experience!



 Here is what the Walt Disney World website states about this great attraction:

 Careen through the Himalayan mountains on a speeding train while avoiding the clutches of the mythic Abominable Snowman. 

 

Climb the Mountain

Embark on a thrilling expedition through the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
Venture inside a Tibetan-style stone structure at the foot of towering Mt. Everest and make your way past the booking office of Himalayan Escapes – Tours and Expeditions. Wander past a small temple and a cozy general store before exploring a museum dedicated to the study of the Yeti, the mysterious snow monster said to inhabit the Himalayas.
The Adventure Begins
Board a weather-beaten train and ascend a series of rolling hills overlooking a serene green forest. Climb a steep incline and navigate through a ceremonial stone tunnel before reaching the summit. Once at the “top of the world,” hold on tight as you pick up speed and race inside the dreaded mountain.
An Unexpected Encounter
Without warning, your train screeches to a halt: A broken and twisted track appears in front of you. Brace yourself as your train unpredictably begins to race backward into the darkened mountain, furiously swooping up into a double-looping turn. Inside the windswept passage, the shadowy figure of a growling creature can be seen on a cavern wall. It is the Yeti—the legend is real.
Hurl 80 feet down the base of the cursed mountain and swoop in and out of murky caves and along jagged rocky ledges as you race to escape the dreaded monster before he catches up with you.
Will you make it back to civilization safely? Or will the Yeti claim another victim?

Beware the Legend

Folklore has it that a fierce guardian monster protects the Forbidden Mountain.
For years, the Royal Anandapur Tea Company shipped its tea by train through the Forbidden Mountain pass. After a series of mysterious accidents were blamed on the dreaded Yeti monster, the railroad closed. Today, the railway is operating again, thanks to a group of local entrepreneurs—Himalayan Escapes, Tours and Expeditions— who offer curious travelers transportation to the base camp on the scenic mountain.
Yet there are some who believe the legend to be true and that the Yeti will do everything in its power to protect the sacred realm of the Himalayas. Visitors beware.

A Word of Warning

Some parts of Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain may be scary for little ones. This attraction includes loud noises, confined places and frightening creature effects.

 

 

 Do I look like I am praying here?  ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for joining me today!  Come back tomorrow for my #2 pick!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reviewing Saving Mr. Banks





As I have come to discover, it's very hard to do a review of this movie as not to be a spoiler to others.  I know 99% of the people reading this blog are from the Disney community, so I hesitate to give anything away.  So, I am not going to give a review that talks about things that happen in the movie.  What I am going to do is tell you, that this is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.  Not animated of course, so when I say best movies, I am leaving out animated.  I put Disney animated movies on an entirely different pedestal.




Director: John Lee Hancock

  • Running time: 126 minutes

  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • Screenplay: Sue Smith, Kelly Marcel

    Saving Mr. Banks was well acted.  Emma Thompson was a great choice to play the part of P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins books.  (Yes, there are more than just one story of Mary Poppins.)  Her books include Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, Mary Poppins in the Park, Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane / Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (2-in-1 edition).There was also a book called Mary Poppins in the Kitchen.  In this book you get a unique glimpse at the famous Poppins cast as the spit-spot English nanny and the Banks children take over the kitchen for a week. With the help of familiar visitors like the Bird Woman, Admiral Boom, and Mr. and Mrs. Turvy, Mary Poppins teaches her irrepressible young charges the basics of cooking, from A to Z. And young readers can re-create the week's menus by following the thirty different recipes.
     Emma Thompson has to get her hair cut, and get a perm, and I heard her on a talk show recently and she said she had not had a perm since she had a hideous perm years ago.  She thought this was hideous as well, but was well needed for playing the part.

    Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney.  A wonderful portrayal in my humble opinion.  Sure, there are several actors who could have done a wonderful job as well, however I really think the connection of Tom Hanks and his past Disney movies gives the portrayal a different aura.   Maybe it's just me, but that was what came over me several times while viewing the movie.

    Other characters in the movie are Richard and Robert Sherman who wrote all the music for Mary Poppins, among many, many other Disney films including:


    Theme park songs

    Walt Disney's World Of Color- Wonderful World Of Color

    Other

    The Spectrum Song – for Walt Disney's The Wonderful World of Color. Sung by Paul Frees as Ludwig 
    Von Drake.


    Academy Awards

    Annie Awards

    BAFTA Awards

    BMI

    • 1977 "Pioneer Award" awarded in Los Angeles, California.
    • 1991 "Lifetime Achievement Award" awarded at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

    Christopher Award

    Disney

    Golden Globes

    Golden Videocassette Award

    Grammy Awards

    Laurel Awards

    Moscow Film Festival

    • 1973 First Place Award in the category of "Best Music" for Tom Sawyer

    National Medal of Arts

    Olivier Awards

    Songwriters Hall of Fame

    • 2005 induction at the Marriott Hotel on Times Square in New York City.

    Theatre Museum Award

    • 2010 Career Achievement Award presented on May 17, 2010 at The Players Club in New York City.

    Variety Club Awards

    Walk of Fame

    • 1976 A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to "Richard & Robert Sherman" on November 17, 1976, located at 6914 Hollywood Blvd.
     Need I say more about this duo?  I think not!!!

    The actors who played the parts of these talented brothers are Jason Schwartzman as Richard Sherman and B.J. Novak as Robert Sherman.  I really enjoyed their take on these characters.

    Paul Giamatti is also in the movie with a fairly small part, but a crucial role in telling this story.   Melanie Paxon plays a roll as a secretary and Kathy Baker plays the roll of Walt's administrative assistant.  Other brilliant performances include Collin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Bradley Whitford. young newcomer Annie Rose Buckley, Rachel Griffiths and Ronan Vibert. 

    The best thing I can advise, is DO NOT miss this movie!  I will be going to see it again soon. 

























































































































































































































































































































































    My 25 Favorite Disney Things #4

    Today, we reveal our #4 pick........and let's get right to it!  

    Toy Story Midway Mania!  Yup, that's #4!!!

     

    I fell in love with this attraction in 2010 when we rode for the very first time.  Keep in mine, I had a fairly long stretch after a horrible divorce that I could not afford to go to my favorite place in the world.  As a single Mom, and the income I had, it was not possible for me to think about going.  So, I just suffered through, and Paul, being the wonderful man he is agreed to have a week long stay at Walt Disney World as part of our 10 day belated honeymoon trip.



    Much warmer in October 2012 than in February of 2010! And no poncho!




    If I remember correctly, we rode on the attraction 3 times the day we were at Hollywood Studios.  It was pouring on that day in early February.  I mean POURING....and not very warm either.  So, we opted to wait in the long line and not do a Fast Pass as it gave us time to get out of the rain, and dry off.  Well, it was about a 45 minute wait, but well worth it!!  We got Fast passes right after we departed the ride, and then we went on again later before we left.  Not too long of a wait.  I kicked Paul's butt in scoring all three time!  
    We enjoyed it only once last October, and were given the Fast Pass tickets by our friends Cathy and Bert.  We more than appreciated the gift!  

    It's just fun fun fun!!!

    Here is what the Walt Disney World Website says about Toy Story Midway Mania!:

    Ride and shoot moving targets at this midway-style, 4D shootin’ game starring your favorite Toy Story characters.

    A Rootin’, Tootin’, Shootin’ Match

     

    Zip through a virtual, 4D shootin’ gallery of carnival games.
    Step inside Andy’s room and wind your way through a toy treasure chest of classic playthings. Pass a Candyland® game box, Viewmaster® discs, crayon drawings and a Scrabble board before picking up a pair of special 3D glasses for the fun to come.
    Mr. Potato Head, Boardwalk Barker
    Inside the vibrant toy box, meet Mr. Potato Head®, decked out in a 1920s barker outfit as he introduces you to the attraction. With more dialogue than any other Audio-Animatronics figure ever created for a Disney Park, Mr. Potato Head yuks it up big time.
    Playtime!
    Climb aboard an early 20th-century-inspired Carnival Ride Tram and grab your spring-action shooter. With 3D glasses on, glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at stationary and moving 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games.
    Thrilling Games of Skill
    Toy Story Mania! invites you to play 5 unique, virtual carnival games in 3D alongside the loveable cast of characters from the Disney•Pixar Toy Story films.
    Game 1: Hamm & Eggs
    Hamm and Buttercup invite you to knock down both moving and stationary barnyard animal targets using hardboiled eggs.
    Game 2: Rex & Trixie’s Dino Darts
    Launch darts and pop balloons in front of a bubbling volcano in this game starring Rex and Trixie.
    Game 3: Green Army Men Shoot Camp
    Toss baseballs to break plates at a green army men firing range.
    Game 4: Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers
    Buzz Lightyear urges you to toss rings and make them land atop the Little Green Men.
    Game 5: Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery
    Shoot suction-cup-tipped darts at a variety of mine-cart targets in this game inspired by the “Woody’s Roundup” television show.
    As each game is completed, your Carnival Ride Tram will quickly rotate and slide onto the next game.
    Compete with friends for the highest score or try to achieve a new personal best! But remember, whether you’re an expert or a beginner, everyone’s a winner!
    Surprises Galore!
    Select targets throughout the attraction feature special 4D special effects, like air blasts or water sprays. Don’t be surprised if that 3D balloon you’re aiming for splashes you when you hit it.
    Scoring Points
    Points pile up when you hit your mark. As any good cowboy or cowgirl knows, harder-to-hit targets are worth more. After each game, your score is posted showing how well you did; after all games are played, your total score is tallied and displayed.

    A New Toy Story

    As an honorary toy, you’re invited to enter the world of Buzz and Woody. The Toy Story Midway Games Play Set is Andy’s newest game, and the toys have been patiently waiting for him to leave so they can get a crack at it.
    Now that he’s not around, they’ve opened the box, set up the game pieces and called for you to join them in the fun.
    Preserving the humor and heart of the hit Disney•Pixar movies, Toy Story Mania! continues the exciting adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of Andy’s eclectic toys.

    Ok gang.......there is your #4!!  Join us again tomorrow for #3!!!!