Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday Blog Hop Disneyland Paris Redux

For this week's Flashback Friday I am republishing one of my Magical Memories posts from before I had many followers (not that I have many now, although they are beloved, but I have some!).  I figure most of you haven't read this yet. 

Be sure to stop by our Flashback Friday host, Magical Days with the Mouse, or click on the button below to hop along with us!  Okay, everyone ready?  Then here we goooooo!

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!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the World could this be?

Post your answer in the comments!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

OMG it is SO HOT still you guys.  I needed a little Dole Whip to cool me down . . . but it seems to have melted . . . .  ;)

Hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic


Preface:     I LOVE the Disney Food Blog very much

BUT:    Is it just me or has AJ been posting a lot more news/promotional posts and a lot less reviews of food/restaurants lately?

I miss the old days when there were in-depth posts on a particular restaurant or food item (read: cupcakes!).  I don't know, maybe I'm crazy.  I mean, of course I am generally, but perhaps also about this specifically.

Reminder:    I still LOVE the DFB a lot.   It is a fantastic blog.  This is not haterade I'm serving - just a wonderment based on something I may have noticed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

End of Spaceship Earth Video

Hi guys!  This is just my first attempt at posting a video!  It's my favorite part of Spaceship Earth - the blue light matrix.  You can't really see it very well (the blue dots of light aren't bright enough) but I'm just testing it out and you can at least enjoy part of Judi Dench's spiel (just kidding - it's a terrible spiel!).   Hope this works....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Magical Memories/Flashback Friday Blog Hop!: the Polynesian

This is my first time participating in the Magical Days with the Mouse's Flashback Friday.  Hope you like it!

Every time the fam went to WDW, we would ALWAYS ALWAYS stay at the Polynesian.  When we were very little, we stayed in the Hawaii building (not sure what it was called then) on the first floor.  That way, my little sister and I could run right out from our patio and play on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Back then, there was a roped off section you could swim in - and we did. 

We'd also dig in the sand and play on the grass nearby.  (For a story on what happened to me when we played a little to hard on the grass, check out this post).   That thick, rough grass will always remind me of the Poly - it's not your usual lawn grass!  I haven't told you yet about the treasures we found one year when playing in the sand, but I will!

I miss the old pool - I remember being scared of the slide when I was very young, but then I got over my fear and it was so fun!  The old pool:

(The photos aren't the best quality, sorry 'bout that!)

As we got older, my parents upgraded us to the Concierge level.  We got to stay in the King Kamehameha suite a couple times.  This is pretty much what it looked like.  We just LOVED those ceiling fans!!  View from the King K suite 2nd floor verandah (before the volcano pool was built):

Every time, we'd order room service at least once and get the old school Mickey pancakes.  They were a Mickey-shaped pancake with a small orange slice for a mouth, one cherry for the nose and two brown M&Ms for the eyes.  I always saved the M&Ms for last of course!! 

I also got to go "backstage" once and met with the hotel manager.  It was really neat to see but I will also save that for another post.  

Every time they change the Poly from my childhood memories, it breaks my heart a little bit.  But I still love it and can't imagine staying anywhere else! (Even if I can't exactly afford the King K suite at this time. LOL!)

Hop on to the next stop!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

So I haven't been posting a lot lately, but I'd never miss a WWBH!  Please enjoy a little adult refresher at the Poly.

Focused on the Magic

Hop on to the next stop!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MGM (Yeah I said it), My Way

Have you ever wished you could "revise" a Disney Park?  Just take a red pen to it and mark it all up to make it the way YOU want it?  Well that's what we're going to do here, in the first installment of Disney Parks, My Way.  Episode III: MGM.

The rules of the game are that I am limited to choosing either what is in the park presently OR what has been there in the past.  I am not making up new things to switch in....yet ;)

First, I am bringing back the old name.  Mainly because I just cannot break the habit of calling it MGM.  I know "Studios" is easier to say but I feel weird saying that and have to consciously remind myself every time.  MGM it shall be.

Next, I am removing the entire Dining Plan.  Gasp! I know.  But the DDP makes it basically impossible for me to get reservations for 50's Prime Time and Sci Fi.  Do you remember when you used to be able to walk up to ANY restaurant in the parks and get a table within 30 minutes?  Yes, such a time did exist and I miss it terribly!  I am simply not capable of figuring out what time I will be hungry for lunch or what food I will be craving 180 days ahead of time.  Plus, I stand by my WDW Today podcast hosts' theory that it is not a money saver and no more convenient than a pre-paid credit card.  But let's save that discussion for another post.  Bottom line: I miss table availability at Sci Fi and 50's.

Next, I am knocking out Narnia.  I don't remember what was there before it, but I kind of don't care because it can't possibly be worse than what is there now right?

Oh I almost forgot - I'm moving the big Hat.  It's cute, no doubt.  But I feel that it mucks up the clean, clear, organized visual lines the park used to have.  It can move to an edge of the park so that you can still visit it but you also get the weenie of the Chinese Theater.  The Earful Tower will also make a comeback.

I'm putting back the original version of the Backlot Tour.  Plus Residential Street.  I am changing the Streets of America back to the New York Street it used to be.  I dunno, I just prefer it that way.

Pixar Place can stay, of course. So can ToT and RnR and Voyage.  I am bringing back the Muppets store with that giant steamroller that you could lie under and pretend you were being flattened. 

New Star Tours can stay for now, since I hear it is AWESOME, but I reserve the right to change my mind once I actually experience.

I guess the rest of the stuff can pretty much stay as is!  I don't have a lot of complaints with the changes MGM has experienced over the years thus far.  I might want to add NEW things, but I can't say that the current state of the park is much better/worse than the former state(s).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Disney Characters Who Deserve a Comeback

One of my very favorite websites, Television Without, which mostly does funny, smart, well-written recaps of tv shows, posted an interesting story today: Disney characters who deserve new movies.  You can check out their list here.  What Disney characters do YOU think deserve a comeback?  Post in the comments!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

Welcome back everyone! 

In keeping with our recent cult-favorite food pics, I present you with . . .

You are not the first to pass this way . . . nor shall you be the last!

Hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not a Disney post, but a food post

I know, I know.  This is a Disney blog.  I get annoyed sometimes when the Disney blogs I read veer off property too.  BUT I know you guys love my food pics for Wordless Wednesdays and this entry will feature many food pics so I'm hoping you'll bear with me.

I spent this past weekend visiting a college friend who lives in Philly.  I had visited her last in January, 2010 and it was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING.  But on my personal, non-Disney bucket list, along with visiting Prague and Australia, was eating a cheesesteak from both Pat's and Genos.  If you don't know the history of the Philadelphia cheesesteak titans, go Google it.  Right now.  We'll wait.

View of Pat's from Geno's.  They are across the street!

Okay so my friend and I bought one cheesesteak each from the two purveyors and split them between us so we each had half of a sandwich from each of Pat's and Geno's.  We got them "whiz wit" which means the paper-thin slices of steak on a bun, with Cheese Whiz (not Provolone or other cheese), and "wit" ("with" + Philly accent) onions.  This is the most traditional, classic version of the cheesesteak.

It was so cold that the cheese was solidifying by the time it dripped from the sandwich onto the wrapper!  We tentatively declared Pat's the winner because they chopped up the steak and cooked it with the onions which we felt was a better texture and imparted better flavor.  

Fast forward to last weekend: The Philly Cheesesteak Challenge Redux.  My friend is leaving Philly shortly so we had to get in one more Cheesesteak Challenge experience.  This time it was HOT AS H3LL.  I mean I basically got heatstroke by Sunday.  We repeated our experiment in exactly the same way - half a "whiz wit" sandwich each from each stand.  Except this time we started at Pat's and ended at Geno's (last time we did the reverse).  We felt this was the most in keeping with the scientific method.  We needed to keep the integrity of our experiment, obviously.

Detail of Pat's

This time, Geno's won!  First, I give props to Geno's for its flashier decor.  I prefer the fancier ambiance to the more "understated" Pat's environment (this is, perhaps, why I am a Deluxe hotel kinda girl?).

Geno's Flashier Wrapper

Next, I had issues with my sandwich from Pat/s.  It was delicious to be sure.  But unlike last time, they didn't chop my steak fully this time, so all the little pieces were still stuck to each other.  This forced me to end up with a mouthful of steak in the beginning bites because I couldn't bite through the meat, and no meat at the end.  I think an element of a great sandwich should be the even distribution of filling throughout the eating experience so I was not as huge a fan of this sandwich.  Plus I dripped cheese on my dress (eating a cheesesteak in hot weather is a vastly different experience from doing the same in the cheese-solidifying freezing cold weather of January).

Pat's Steak

Despite Geno's NOT chopping up their steak, I could bite through the meat with ease which made eating MUCH easier.  I thought their onions could be more cooked, but aside from that, the evenly spread composition of the sandwich at Geno's made it more enjoyable to eat.  Both were delicious but Geno's had the edge this time.  So what did we learn from this experiment?  Absolutely nothing.  But it was fun and yummy to complete!

The WINNER (this time)!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I am certain that all of you readers have seen this already, but I just loved it so much I thought it was worth linking to here.  It's totally inspiring.

Hat tip to The Disney Blog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the World could this be?

Post your guess in the comments!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

The perfect pre-Haunted Mansion treat!

Hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vintage Photo Alert! Kicking it Old School

Join me at and Kick it Old School!

kickinit-1 (2)

Another photo of vintage Disney World.  This time it's Alice dancing in a parade on Main Street.  Can anyone pinpoint the time or exact location?  Post in the comments!