Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the World could this be?

Magical Memories: Disneyland Paris - 1998/9

In the late 1990s, as part of a cruise we were taking down Europe's Atlantic coast, the fam and I took a day trip to Disneyland Paris.  I don't remember much of it except that we didn't have time to go on all the rides, and that I was taken aback by the un-Disney-like attitude (surly) and appearance (missing teeth!) of the Cast Members.  Nevertheless, I managed to take a few pictures.  They are decidedly NOT high definition quality, but please enjoy:

First, upon entering, you arrive at the gates (which still look the same today!)...





and then the train station, as in all Disney parks!




Here we have French Main Street:



Now, some landscape/distance shots to help you get the lay of the land.  French Big Thunder Mountain...


French Cheshire Cat...


French Alice's Curious Labyrinth...


I can't remember whether we rode the Jules Verne-esque French Space Mountain...



but we did catch the parade with Aladdin:


We also rode French Small World:




and Pinocchio.  I hope you've enjoyed the photos!




Friday, May 27, 2011

Disney Cupcake Encyclopedia

And now I present a complete list of the gourmet cupcakes available in the World (updated regularly). 

Please note that most of these are "seasonal" (read: either tied to a specific holiday or they just come and go from the menu) and I have tried to note when they are but it may not always be the case. Blame the Disney Gods.

Also, I will not be including Sprinkles cupcakes from Disney Springs because they are flavorless garbage and to call them cupcakes besmirches the good reputation of real cupcakes everywhere. 


At the Resorts
Polynesian
  • Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake: Captain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Lemon Ginger Cupcake: Captain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Chocolate Beer CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Pina Colada CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • PB&J CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Minnie Mouse CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Peppermint CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Tiramisu CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian.
  • Moana Coconut CupcakeCaptain Cooks, Polynesian (seasonal).
Contemporary
  • Black Forest Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Dulce de Leche Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Worms in Dirt Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Hot Chocolate CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Pineapple Rum Cream Cheese CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Birthday Cake CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Red Velvet/Cheesecake Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Chocolate Covered Coconut CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Root Beer Float CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Orange Dream CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Strawberry Lemonade CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Swirl Cone CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Strawberry CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary.
  • Chocolate Peppermint CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Spiced Apple Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Pumpkin Spiced CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Cool Mint CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Frost CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Cinderella Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Hidden Mickey Cupcake: Holiday Display, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Mexican Coffee Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Star Wars Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake: Contempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Watermelon CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal). 
  • Churro CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal). 
  • Turtle CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Cherry Cupcake with Pistachio FrostingContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal). 
  • Banana Flip CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Candy Apple CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Candy Bar CupcakeContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Carrot Cake Cupcake with White Chocolate FillingContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
  • Coconut Cupcake with Chocolate and Banana CreamContempo Cafe, Contemporary (seasonal).  
Grand Floridian
  • German Chocolate CupcakeGasparilla Grille, Grand Floridian.
  • Cherry Berry CupcakeGasparilla Grille, Grand Floridian.
  • Pina Colada CupcakeGasparilla Grille, Grand Floridian.
  • Minnie Mouse CupcakeGasparilla Grille, Grand Floridian.
Wilderness Lodge
  • Carrot Cake CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge.
  • Chocolate Caramel CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge.
  • Chocolate Chip Peppermint CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge (seasonal).
  • Apple Cinnamon CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge (seasonal).
  • Strawberry Lemonade CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge (seasonal).
  • Pumpkin CupcakeRoaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge (seasonal).
Boardwalk
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake: Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Oreo Bon Bon Cupcake: Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Coffee Mocha (Redundant?) Cupcake: Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Peanut Butter Cupcake: Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Lemon Blueberry CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Peppermint CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk (seasonal).
  • Dulce de Leche CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk (seasonal).
  • Red (velvet), White and Blue CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk (seasonal).
  • Pumpkin Spice Fall Specialty CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk (seasonal).
  • Coconut Lime Passionfruit CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
  • Coconut Cream CupcakeBoardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk.
Beach Club
  • Gingerbread CupcakeMarketplace, Beach Club (seasonal).
Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Giraffe CupcakeThe Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge.
  • Zebra CupcakeThe Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge.
  • Chocolate Candy Corn CupcakeThe Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge (seasonal).
  • Vanilla Peppermint CupcakeThe Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge (seasonal).
Multiple Deluxe Resorts
  • Smores Cupcake: Roaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge; Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk; Gasparilla Grille, Grand Floridian.
Caribbean Beach
  • Monkey Cupcake (both chocolate and vanilla flavors)Old Port Royale Food Court, Caribbean Beach Resort.
Pop Century
    • The King (Elvis) Cupcake: Everything Pop, Pop Century.
    Art of Animation
    • "Macaroon" CupcakeLandscape of Flavors, Art of Animation.
    • Mickey Mouse CupcakeLandscape of Flavors, Art of Animation.
    • Pumpkin Cupcake: Landscape of Flavors, Art of Animation (seasonal).


    Magic Kingdom


    Triple Chocolate
    Strawberry Cream Cheese
    • The Grey Stuff CupcakeBe Our Guest Restaurant, Fantasyland
    • The Triple Chocolate CupcakeBe Our Guest Restaurant, Fantasyland
    • The Strawberry Cream Cheese CupcakeBe Our Guest Restaurant, Fantasyland
    • The Lemon Meringue CupcakeBe Our Guest Restaurant, Fantasyland
    • Peanut Butter CupcakeMain Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street (no longer offered?)
    • Red Velvet CupcakeMain Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street (no longer offered?).
    • Ice Cream Sundae CupcakeMain Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street (no longer offered?).
    • Mocha CupcakeMain Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street.
    • Donald Duck Vanilla CupcakeMain Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street/
    • Belle Vanilla Cupcake: Big Top Treats, Fantasyland. 
    • Mickey Mouse Chocolate Cupcake: Main Street Bakery/Starbucks, Main Street.


    Hollywood Studios


    RIP Starring Rolls :(
    • Butterfinger Cupcake: Starring Rolls.  The king of all Disney cupcakes. (see also the Chocolate Toffee Cupcake below)
    • Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake: Starring Rolls.

    • Carrot Cake Cupcake: Starring Rolls.
    • Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakeStarring Rolls, Trolley Car Cafe.
    • Chocolate Cherry CupcakeStarring Rolls.

    • Marble Cupcake: Starring Rolls.
    • White Chocolate Raspberry Easter CupcakeABC Commissary, Starring Rolls, Studio Catering Co. (seasonal).
    • Caramel Apple Cupcake: Various locations (seasonal).
    • Pirate's Treasure CupcakeABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co. (seasonal).
    • Chocolate Cappucino Cupcake: Pizza Planet.
    • Lemon Meringue CupcakeABC Commissary.
    • "Spaghetti and Meatball" CupcakeMama Melrose's.
    • Strawberry and Cream Cupcake: Rosie's All-American Cafe, Backlot Express, Starring Rolls. (seasonal).
    • Gingerbread Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting: ABC Commissary, Rosie's All-American Cafe, Backlot Express, Starring Rolls, Studio Catering Co., Fairfax Fare. (seasonal).
    • Pumpkin Cupcake with Maple FrostingStarring Rolls. (seasonal).
    • Blueberry Cupcake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: Fairfax Fare, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, and Starring Rolls (seasonal).
    • Big Hero 6 Chocolate Cupcake with Banana Buttercream Icing and Caramel Drizzle: Starring Rolls, ABC Commissary,  Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., and Rosie's All American Cafe. 
    • Chocolate Toffee Cupcake (looks like the Butterfinger cupcake): Trolley Car Cafe.
    • Lady and the Tramp Cupcake (red velvet/dark chocolate): Trolley Car Cafe.
    • Cinderella Cupcake (vanilla): Trolley Car Cafe.
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch CupcakeTrolley Car Cafe.
    • Jack Skellington Carrot Cake CupcakeTrolley Car Cafe and Starring Rolls (seasonal).
    • Vanilla Cupcake with Strawberry FrostingTrolley Car Cafe.
    • Raspberry Cupcake with White Chocolate Raspberry Frosting: Trolley Car Cafe, Rosie's All-American Cafe, Starring Rolls, Fairfax Fare. (seasonal).
    • Blueberry and Vanilla Finding Dory Cupcake: ABC Commissary, Rosie's All-American Cafe, Backlot Express, Starring Rolls, Studio Catering Co., Fairfax Fare. (seasonal).
    • White Chocolate Raspberry Beauty and the Beast CupcakeTrolley Car Cafe.
    • Baby Groot Cookies ‘n Cream CupcakeTrolley Car Cafe, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., and Rosie's All American Cafe (seasonal).
    • I refuse to acknowledge the Frozen cupcakes available at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post (now closed).
      • Anna: Chocolate cake/buttercream frosting
      • Elsa: Vanilla cake/buttercream frosting
      • Olaf: Carrot cake/cream cheese frosting --> chocolate cake/marshmallow frosting now at ABC Commissary.


    Animal Kingdom 


    • Zebra Cupcake: Kusafiri Bakery, Starbucks.
    • White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake: Kusafiri Bakery.
    • Simba/Lion Cub Passionfruit CupcakeKusafiri Bakery.
    • Cottontop Tamarind Cupcake: Kusafiri Bakery, Coffee Kiosk near Discovery Island, Starbucks.
    • Tree of Life Cupcake: Kusafiri Bakery, Starbucks.
    • Rivers of Light Specialty Lotus Flower CupcakeCreature Comforts.
    • Firefly CupcakeCreature Comforts.
    Epcot
    • Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake: Sunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Chocolate Raspberry CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Pineapple Coconut Cupcake: Sunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Carrot Cake Cupcake: Sunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Orange Soarin' Cupcake: Sunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion (seasonal).
    • Lemon Blast CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Black Forest CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Apple Spice CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Candy Apple CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Caterpillar CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Butterfly CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion.
    • Caramel Apple CupcakeSunshine Seasons, Land Pavilion. (seasonal).
    • Karamel Vanilla Cupcake: Karamel Kuche, Germany Pavilion.
    • Karamel Chocolat Cupcake: Karamel Kuche, Germany Pavilion
    • Caramel Corn Cupcake: Karamel Kuche, Germany Pavilion.
    • Salted Caramel Cupcake: Karamel Kuche, Germany Pavilion.
    • Mickey CupcakeFountainview Starbucks, Future World.
    • Chocolate Cappucino CupcakeFountainview Starbucks, Future World.
    • Strawberries and Cream CupcakeFountainview Starbucks, Future World.
    • Caramel Apple Pie CupcakeFountainview Starbucks, Future World.
    • IS NOT A REAL CUPCAKE BUT WHATEVER: Cannolli Cupcake: Gelato Stand, Italy Pavilion, World Showcase.
    Honorable Mentions

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Don't Tell Him Carlos!

    Where in the World could this be?

    The Worst Attractions Recap Part 2: Epcot

    And now we return again to my attempt to ride as many of the worst attractions at Walt Disney World.  Episode 2: Epcot.


    Let's get the failures out of the way first shall we?
    • I just completely forgot about the Circle of Life movie at the Land Pavilion.  This was a gross oversight on my part.  I was so distracted riding Soarin for the 3rd time that I completely forgot it even existed.  From the description at the official Walt Disney World website, it seems dull and preachy and not at all nuanced.  I'm sure I would have hated it.  Plus, and I know this will outrage anyone who happens to accidentally read this blog, I'm not a HUGE Lion King fan.  I understand it's appeal, but I have my reasons which I will share in a subsequent post.


    • Journey Into Imagination 3.0.  I just. Couldn't. Do it.  For all the reasons I'd stated earlier.  I thought about it.  But no, my convictions were too strong.  I can only hope that that atrocity someday gets the Tiki Room treatment if the Imagineers won't reinstall the original flavor audioanimatronic for audioanimatronic.
    Okay, now for my successes (so to speak)!


    • The Spirit of Norway: I started off with the movie that comes at the very end of Maelstrom (one of my favorite rides in Epcot).  Usually we walk straight through without stopping.  I have strong memories of my parents not wanting to ride this for fear of getting stuck in the movie or being embarrassed but sneaking through to the exit nonetheless (this was back when they didn't keep the doors open for people who wanted to skip it so it was awkward to try to sneak through).  Once in a while, you get this joyful sight:
              This time, however, I sat and watched.  I caught it a little less than midway through but I wasn't about to wait for another showing.  It wasn't horrible.  Pretty to look at, but not too exciting.  There are worse things.
      • Rating: 3.8 out of 10 Figments


    • Reflections on China: I tried the Circlevision 360 movie in the China pavilion next.  I have some issues with Circlevision because you can't sit down and you're always missing part of the movie (unless you are lucky enough to have eyes in the back of your head).  I noticed this time that hardly anyone takes advantage of the Circle part of Circlevision - almost everyone watched the "front" couple screens without ever turning around to see what was on the sides and behind them.  That basically defeats the purpose for me.  I definitely turned around slowly to take full advantage of all of the screens and views.  The actual movie wasn't so bad.  The host has some personality (not as much as Martin Short, but then, who does?) which makes the film more enjoyable.  I don't think this is something I would do again on my next couple visits, but I didn't feel like I was wasting my time watching it either. 
      • Rating: 5.5 Figments


    • Impressions de France: I cannot, however, say the same about Impressions de France.  The scenes were beautiful, but man was it boring.  There was no story at all - nothing personal about the host.  We don't even learn his name.  It was basically just, here are some beautiful scenes from France.  And it doesn't even have the novelty of being Circlevision.  It's just an extra wide screen.  I will say it was nice to have seats so I could rest my feet, but that would not be enough to get me to go back there again even if I was REALLY bored.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 
      • Rating: 1 Figment


    • The American Adventure:  This is a one and done for me.  To be fair, I'm not a hugely patriotic person.  America is a great country; definitely one of the best.  But I wouldn't go so far as to say it IS the best.  I went off on a tangent here, but then I deleted it because it's not really relevant.  The bottom line is: I like my country, but I don't love it.  I don't understand having deep feelings about it.  So no, I don't well up when I hear Golden Dreams.  My view is more balanced.  So, the American Adventure experience was very take it or leave it to me.  I did enjoy the little tour the cast members provide as you walk up to the theater.  That was a nice, unusual little plus.  I do like the audioanimatronics.  It's better than a boring Circlevision and it's definitely better than Impressions de France.  But I don't plan on doing it again for many years.
      • Rating: 3.4 Figments


    • O Canada!:  If you absolutely have to watch a Circlevision show, THIS is the one.  Martin Short is actually funny in it (not too too cheesy which the movie could have been given that it was a. Disney and b. Martin Short) and it is comparatively entertaining.  Do I love this attraction more than Maelstrom or Spaceship Earth? No, but it may approach my level of enjoyment on Ellen's Energy Adventure.  I might skip it on the next trip, but the trip after that? I'd definitely do it again.  My only nitpicky issue is that I miss the old song.  In general, I prefer Disney parks to stay the same as when I experienced it as a kid (late 80s, early 90s - I was still young enough to believe but old enough to remember).  The new version of the song is fine - it's a great song in general - but I did prefer the old version a little bit more.  Nevertheless, this was a surprisingly enjoyable Circlevision show, and it's also neat that you get to go waaaaaaay back into the pavilion to see it.  It's a bit of Canadian adventure!  Plus, it doesn't hurt that after the movie, you might be able to try a bit of this:
      • ....and this:
      • Rating: 6 Figments
    Okay, so those are my "successes" and failures at trying all of the worst (as herein defined) attractions of Epcot.  Still have Studios and Animal Kingdom and the rest of Magic Kingdom to go.  Hope you enjoyed!

    UPDATED 6/1/11: The Disney Blog is reporting that the Government of Norway (which abandoned its sponsorship of the attraction years ago) has just noticed that "The Spirit of Norway" film is dated.   They are demanding that Disney update the film and foot the bill for it.  I won't go too long into this but in my opinion there is a freedom of speech issue here.  If Disney - a private company - wants to portray the country in this way, it should be allowed to do so.  If the Norwegian government wants to pay for a new film (and Disney accepts), then Norway can control the message.  It's ridiculous to expect to be able to control what a private entity does without paying for that control. 

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Magical Memories: 1997 WDW Trip (and Flashback Friday of course!)

    Welcome to another Flashback Friday/Magical Memories post!  
    Thanks to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting.  I hope you enjoy my memories! 

    Although I'd been to Disney World many many times prior, the first time I really became a Disney-phile was in my freshman year of high school.  I was having a difficult time, so looking forward to the Disney trip served as the perfect distraction.  We stayed at the Poly per usual and got to check out the parks during their 25th anniversary celebration.  I recently found some old pictures from that trip and thought I'd share them here.  Enjoy!

    Cinderella Castle as a birthday cake.  Given that it was just temporary, I don't think it's as bad as everyone likes to complain about!


    Celebrating the 25th anniversary outside the MGM studios (yeah I said MGM, that's what they were!)

    A view of the Poly before the obtrusive volcano pool.

    The old Poly pool with that wonderful slide!

    Focused on the Magic

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    A special surprise package! (and Not-So-Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop)

    Welcome to another Not-So-Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!  Thanks to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting!

    Some friends of mine received an unexpected but very special package in the mail from Disney.  And they gave it to MEEEEE!!!  Very excited to show some pictures.  Here is the box:

    Can you see the Golden Oak logo embossed on the top?



    And look what is inside!


    A glass slipper!!


    ...and a ring!  (it has a pattern engraved on it but I couldn't capture that with the camera).


    Also, an invitation to purchase property at Golden Oak
    (I redacted the name of the original recipient to protect their privacy).



    So cool right?!  I'm so lucky they gave it to me.  I'm not in a financial position to buy a 1.2 million dollar house just yet, but at least I get a free glass slipper!  Maybe someday......

    Focused on the Magic

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    More Vintage Disney Stuff - Fastpass to History Blog Hop!

    Hi guys, I'm linking up with the fearsome Frontierland Station for the Fastpass to History blog hop!  Here are some pictures of Disney stuff I've saved over the years (mostly late 80s - early 90s).

    First up, some plush from one of my favorites, Kitchen Kabaret:




    And here we have a vintage pin from Mickey's Birthdayland (1988 I believe!):



    And now a pin from Minnie's character breakfast at the Poly (sorry they're blurry):


    And finally, a little sip cup from Sci Fi Dine In Theater:


    Hope you enjoyed!!!  Now hop on to the next stops!