Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

Welcome back to another Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. 
Thanks to Focused on the Magic and the Info Mouse for hosting! 

Today we have a pic of a little friend I met in the Mexico pavilion who helped me finish my blood orange margarita on my last stop of Drinking Around the World. 

Now hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, August 29, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the World could this be?  Post your answer in the comments!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flashback Friday/Magical Memories: Skyway adventures

Hi guys!  Welcome back for another Flashback Friday.   Do you remember the Skyway?  I loved the Swiss ski chalet-esque building at the end of Fantasyland that hosted one end of the Skyway.  I somehow don't remember the Tomorrowland part though. 

One memory I do have of the Skyway, however, is when we got stuck in it!  I was elementary school age I think.  We had boarded a blue Skyway car - my dad, my mom, my sister and me.  As I recall, we didn't ride the Skyway all that much because my dad is scared of heights.  I don't know what possessed us to get him to go on it this time.  He was a good dad though, so I'm sure he was just doing it "for the kids".  :)

Anyway, we started off and were floating over Fantasyland, when suddenly, we stopped.  We were hovering between Small World and Peter Pan but also kind of close to the Carousel.  It felt like we were up there for 45 minutes, but I'm sure it was only around 20 or even less.  I don't remember anyone being upset (although my dad was probably quietly freaking out in his head!); we just waited patiently and joked around a little and my mom did a good job of entertaining/distracting us. 

After a while we started moving again, but I don't remember ever going on the Skyway again!

Well, thanks for flashing back with me!  Now, hop on to the next stop!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

Welcome back you guys!  If you want more cool and food-centered pics, check out Monday's post.  Mmmmmm caramel and chocolate!  Here's some more German goodness:

Focused on the Magic

Monday, August 22, 2011

(Not so Wordless Wednesday) Epcot vs. the Real World, Part II

Okay so this post is definitely NOT wordless, but it is picture-heavy so enjoy!
Thanks to Deb at Focused on the Magic and The Info Mouse for hosting! 
Take a look, then hop on to the next stops!

I've done a bit of traveling in my time (including but not limited to: Croatia, Ireland, Russia, Greece, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Austria). So I thought it would be fun to do a kind of pictorial (but not side-by-side) comparison of the Epcot World Showcase Pavilions vs. my pictures of the Real World countries.  

Check out Part I, Mexico here!

I went to Germany in December 2007.  We stayed in Munich but made side trips to the Alps and Dachau and even Austria.  Let's compare shall we?

 This is the Theatinerkirche in Munich.  It was equally beautiful and baroque inside.  Americans tend to call it the "Tina Turner Church" because the German name is hard to pronounce!

Vs. the beautifully Imagineered Epcot pavilion - if you look closely you can see the Kim Possible reveal in the upper center window.
 A wintery view - it was SO COLD.  This might be Austria but I am not sure.  It's so pretty, let's just call it Germany ok? :)

Vs. a blurry pic of the inside dining of the Germany Pavilion - it was hard to get a clear picture in the dim light.
I just thought this was so pretty.  The lion being a symbol of Germany I believe...

And this is equally beautiful :)  German chocolate caramel from Karamel Kuche!
(You know I wouldn't leave you without a food pic!)

Focused on the Magic

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flashback Friday: Losing the Magic

I remember very clearly the WDW trip where I first realized that the audioanimatronics were not real.  I was 9 or 10 I think - okay that's pretty old, but I'm slow to pick up on things sometimes!  It must have been around my 6th trip to WDW ever, and I remember riding Small World and noticing - for the first time - the wires, dark grey steel bars, and other mechanical things under and behind the brightly colored singing dolls.

I was heartbroken.

More heartbroken than when I realized Santa wasn't real. 

We stood in Fantasyland, after I again had seen the mechanical apparati moving the cardboard forest in Snow White's Scary Adventure, and my parents asked me what was wrong.  Suddenly, I wasn't interested in coming to this place anymore.  I didn't hate it, but it wasn't as wonderful as I had believed for the first six trips.  The pirates weren't really chasing the wenches, the ghosts weren't really singing, Peter wasn't really flying.  But I was too young to be able to articulate this, so to my parents I was just an inexplicably depressed 9 year old in the happiest place on Earth.

We kept going for the sake of my little sister who, at 6, still believed.  But for several years thereafter, I wasn't quite as excited to go to WDW as I had been before.

Fortunately, I've found other ways to enjoy and love the magic as an adult.  :)

Sorry if I bummed you out with this post.  Need cheering up?  Then, hop on to the next stop!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Epcot vs. the Real World, Part 1

I've done a bit of traveling in my time (including but not limited to: Croatia, Ireland, Russia, Greece, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Austria). So I thought it would be fun to do a kind of pictorial (but not side-by-side) comparison of the Epcot World Showcase Pavilions vs. my pictures of the Real World countries.
We'll start with Mexico . . .

 Here are some pics from my trip to Puerto Vallarta in 2005

  And now we have the Mexican volcano at Epcot!

Here we have some real Mexican Ballet Folklorico dancers (Jalisco, then Veracruz region)

 And now, some Epcot Folklorico dancers dancing the Jalisco region!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the World could this be?

 Post your answer in the comments!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flashback Friday Quickie: Monorail Peachy Keen!

Just a quick note for FF b/c work is "acting up" again....

I am pleased to hear that Monorail Peach is returning to the rails soon!  I believe this was the monorail that had the Tron wrap on it for a while. 

When we used to go to WDW as a family, my sister and I would always want to ride the monorails with our favorite colors (pink, purple, gold, silver mostly).  We never wanted to ride the "ugly" colors (green, the black/red one...).  Yes I'm a girly girl.  LOL  I also miss being able to ride in the front of the monorail - another holy grail of my childhood Disney vacations!

Anyway, I know why my favorite monorail colors of pink and purple are no longer on the rails.  It was a horrible, tragic event.  I still miss those pretty colors though and I am pleased that at least I will be have a future chance at riding Monorail Peach (Coral?).  The black/blue/lime/yellow/red monorail color scheme just wasn't doing it for me.

Hop on to the next stop!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Worldless Wednesday Blog Hop!

....and here we have the Milky Way Sundae (which had better quality ice cream that the No Way Jose in my opinion) from Beaches and Cream!

Hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flashback Friday Blog Hop! 1997 Trip Redux

For this week's Flashback Friday I am republishing part of 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.   I will try to have new content next week!

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!

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.  It's whimsical!

Celebrating the 25th anniversary outside the MGM studios
(yeah I said MGM, that's what it was called back then!).

Hope you enjoyed!  Hop on to the next Stop!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


There has been a Disney blog integrity pledge going around the internet recently.  Integrity in ALL aspects of life is an enormously important value to me.  In blogging and in my personal life, I try my absolute hardest to have integrity and be honest while also being kind. 

I don't hold myself out to be a news source on this blog.  I think there are a ton of other blogs who can put out Disney news far sooner than I ever could.  As I state in the header you see at the top of the page, this is more of a Disney memories/travel journal collection for me.  I love that other people seem to enjoy it and I get a real kick out of reading your comments and attaining new followers. 

Sometimes Maleficent gets a hold of me and I post a Disney-related, opinionated rant that is more in tune with Grumpy's attitude than Happy's worldview.  It is certainly not my intention to offend anyone with those posts and I hope that, even if you disagree with my rants, you smirk and roll your eyes and see them as a periodic outburst from an uptight but amusing curmudgeon (who is presently under 30 but a curmudgeon nonetheless). 

In any event, integrity is important to me, as a person and as a blogger.  I really hope that if you are reading this, you enjoy my blog.  I love Disney, you love Disney.  I love the Disney online community.  I want us all to be friends.  :)

- V

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

It's NEVER too early for some ice cream right?  How about a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream?

Hop on to the next stop!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, August 1, 2011

V's Videos: Backlot Tour Preshow

Here is some video of the Backlot Tour preshow at DHS from my trip earlier this winter. 

First up we have the acting . . .

And the final product!

Practically Perfect Opinion: Cheating the System

Hey guys,

I'm feeling kind of rant-y today.  I've heard a lot of crying and moaning about the new RFID cups and that made me think about the ways people "cheat" the system at Disney World.  Here are my thoughts on the refillable mug issue (more cheating the system rants to come I am sure).  If you disagree, please feel free to ignore me or post in the comments!

The main argument I've heard from the people who are not happy about the new mugs is that Disney never used to enforce the old rules.  Just because a rule isn't enforced regularly doesn't erase it from the rule book.  Sure there are some spots on the highway that you can speed on, but you know what?  You would still slow down if you saw a police car patrolling.  Now Disney is enforcing the rules that everyone has always known about and that have NOT changed.  Just as the police have every right to crack down on driving laws, Disney has EVERY right to crack down on the rampant violations of the refillable mug rules.   

The second argument I've heard basically goes like this: "I spend so much money on a Disney vacation, I don't see how it could possibly hurt the company if I take a free soda which costs them SO little."  Okay there are several problems with this argument.  First, the reason you spend so much on a Disney vacation is because Disney is a company that needs to report profits to its shareholders.  I suspect more than a few of the people who are complaining about the refillable mug issue actually have Disney stock.  So it's a little counter intuitive for them to complain that Disney is trying to make money. 

Plus, Disney is HUGE.  In addition to making a profit for its shareholders, Disney also has a ton of costs.    The World requires about a zillion employees (scientific estimate) and requires a ton of upkeep.  The $$$ you're paying for that room in Port Orleans, the overpriced food, the ticket prices that increase year after year?  All that money, well most probably, is going to the continual upkeep of the parks and resorts.  Sure you could get a non-Disney vacation for a lot cheaper, but I'm guessing your hotel won't be nearly as themed, the employees won't be nearly as cheerful and accommodating, and the places you go won't be nearly as spic-and-span.  So if you think about what you're getting, you're not actually paying that much.

Finally - and here's there the second argument in favor of stealing free soda gets truly ridiculous - believe it or not, you are NOT the only person stealing the soda!  I know, I know it's crazy.  Surely you've noticed how crowded the parks can get.  Certainly the dozens (hundreds?) of people standing in front of you at Toy Story Mania are not ALSO stealing free soda!  But wait, they ARE.  One person stealing a free soda probably costs Disney only a couple of cents.  That is not what's happening.  It's hundreds of thousands (I'm guessing) people stealing soda over years and years.  That is going to add up, you guys.  And I will refer you back to my other argument regarding the shareholders.  Shareholders are not going to be thrilled if their company is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because the company is not enforcing a pre-existing rule. 

Really, if you are a Disney fan, you should be in favor of the company doing well financially.  I certainly am because I do not want those wonderful parks to go away.  And if that means I pay a few extra dollars for better themeing, a clean park, great cast members, and yes, soda, I am happy to shell out the cash.

P.S. I've also heard complaints that other places *(Carnival cruises I think?) have a similar system and it doesn't work for various reasons.  But that's putting the cart before the horse a bit no?  Shouldn't we give Disney, with its long history of customer service and theme park experience, the benefit of the doubt until the program is implemented and the kinks are worked out?