Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sleeping in a Disney Park

In honor of this (kind of silly) one-more-Disney-day thing where the Magic Kingdom will be open for 24 hours on leap day, I present to you the places I would sleep in each Walt Disney World park.  The rules are as follows:

- the first place named is a place I would ACTUALLY or have actually taken a nap.  These are non-rule-breaking locations.  You wouldn't get in trouble for trying to sleep there; although a cast member *might* try to wake you, the chances of this are low.

- the second place is the place I would actually sleep if I had the park to myself for an entire night (i.e. basically the most comfortable, least scary location I can think of).  It has to be a location that is generally "available" (visible) to the public (e.g. not the castle suite), but doesn't have to be physically accessible during normal park hours (i.e. you'd get kicked out/go to Disney jail if they caught you trying to get in there - as opposed to the first place named where you wouldn't).

Here we go:

Magic Kingdom

1) Hall of Presidents (totally took a short nap there on my last visit)
    a) 1st runner up: Carousel of Progress

2) the bed in the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House


1) Ellen's Energy Adventure
a) 1st runner up: the French pavilion movie

2) the couch/shag rug in the Spaceship Earth scene where the family is watching the moon landing


1) Voyage of the Little Mermaid
a) 1st runner up: Muppet Vision 3D
b) 2nd Runner up: Sounds Dangerous (if open)

2) Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground (love that movie - could find a comfy blade of grass there I am sure).

Animal Kingdom

1) Finding Nemo: the Musical

2) One of those beach chairs on the roof of Restaurantosaurus?

What do you guys think?  Where have you napped?  Where would you nap if you could?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Solo WDW Trip January 2012 Recap Part 1: Beauty and the Beast Show

During my most recent solo trip to WDW, I decided to catch the Beauty and the Beast show at the Studios.  I had heard some people on podcasts/other blogs raving about it.  I think at least once I even heard it compared to a Broadway show.  Since I am a fan of trying new things I haven't done before, I decided to check it out.

Guys, it is NOT a Broadway show.  It is not even close.  It is a few steps up from a musical at a theatrical high school.  Maybe I'm spoiled because I live about 20 minutes from ACTUAL Broadway, but still - I was not as impressed as I expected to be (the Nemo show at Animal Kingdom is far superior).

The story was fine - it cut a lot out but that's to be expected.  The cast was decent (not amazing).  No one was terrible but I'm not sure anyone is headed to great heights here.  I think I liked the guy who played Gaston best:

And then there was some weirdness.  Like has no one suggested that Mrs. Potts invest in some undereye concealer?

And during the Be Our Guest song, there was a single weird dessert costume (she was the only one - and it was just inexplicable).  A girl came out dressed like a goblet during the singing and dancing and then someone unvelcroed part of her costume and it became a cupcake or something.  I don't know.  It would have made more sense if there were 3 of them or if they were singing about it, but she just kind of came on, unhooked her costume, spun around and left.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture but I think Deb captured her here!  SO BIZARRE.

Finally, the weirdness with the blanket.  Whenever the Beast or the witch changed appearances, two dudes would dance around them in this blanket with a rose on it. 

WHAT IS THIS?  I don't get it.  This was the best they could do?  Not even a smoke machine?  My PARENTS have a smoke machine.  We could lend it to you guys, Disney, if you promise to do a better job.

I mean, look, I didn't hate the show.  I definitely don't need to see it again.  I'm glad I tried it out so I know what it's about.  But still, I was disappointed.  Disney has demonstrated that it can do much better.  Step it up guys.  And get Mrs. Potts some concealer.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Direct Mail from Mickey and the Gang!

    Have any of you ever gotten something like this?  This is new to me and I'm wondering what I did to earn it!  (Spending beaucoup bucks on Deluxe resorts? Going to WDW twice a year?  Writing letters about the great cast members I experienced after each trip?). 

All I know is, I got this envelope in the mail the other day:

And this is what was inside:

So nice right?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

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

The main dish of my extremely unimpressive Chef Mickey's breakfast.  Seriously guys, not sure why anyone would pay $ for this food.  Can't you just meet the characters in the park for free and pay less money for a better breakfast? 

The food here was SAD.  It made me SAD guys.  It was one step up from a free breakfast at a Holiday Inn and that is me being extremely generous.  I've made better breakfast pizzas at home.

Focused on the Magic

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disneyland Recap Trip Part 17: Tiki Room

Another one of the things I REALLY wanted to do at Disneyland was hit up the original Tiki Room.  My mom always told me that when I was 2 or 3 years old, they took me to the Tiki Room in Disney World and I got up and started to dance during one of the songs (I think it was the tiki gods' song) and as the music got faster, I danced faster.  She said by the end everyone was watching me instead of the animatronics! lol 

Since I don't remember the original show from my childhood, I thought this was the perfect chance to grab a Dole Whip and enjoy it while watching the original show at Disneyland to jog my memory.  :)  Here are some pics!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 16: Fairytale Boats

One of the things I knew I wanted to do at Disneyland that I hadn't been able to do during my last trip were the iconic fairytale boats.  I ended up catching a ride at night.  Enjoy some of my pics!

View of one of the many miniature fairytale towns.

About to be swallowed by Monstro!

I really want these for my apartment.  Sparkly!!!

Prince Charming's castle . . . 

Looks like Prince Charming is getting a visitor in a pumpkin carriage!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

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

This week will be the first week I'm using pics from my most recent Disney World trip (no more Disneyland food pics for the time being, sorry folks).  Recaps of such trip to follow later this month or early March.  This one is kinda blurry but I promise better, more delicious looking WWBH pics are forthcoming. 

Here is one of the famed Cheese Blintzes (and cherry sauce) at Chef Mickeys!  I found it to be a big disappointment (as was Chef Mickey's in general).  But I'll save that for another post. ;)

Now hop on to the next stops!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, February 6, 2012

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 15: Fantasmic

Confession:  I have never seen Fantasmic, despite having had visited the Studios since their inception.  I know, I know.  But you know what?  I hate crowds and I hate waiting and I hate having bad seats.  And really, you cannot avoid all three of those to see Fantasmic.

At Disneyland, Fantasmic occurs in front of Tom Sawyer Island.  I happened to be getting off my final Haunted Mansion ride as people were lining up for the show, so I decided to go ahead and sit down and wait.  I got a seat in the very front almost dead center on the floor (another bonus of solo Disney travel: you don't have to make room for strollers and husbands and other incidentals). 
Where it occurs (view from Tarzan's Treehouse):

Unfortunately, I was cold and kind of bored and was sitting in front of a metal fence.  But still, better than standing in the back, trying to see over people right?  If I'm going to do Fantasmic I might as well do it right.  So the show begins. 

Shrug.  It was FINE.  It didn't take my breath away like parts of Illuminations can.  I don't need to do it again at DL.  It wasn't bad; it was just . . . meh.  Granted I wasn't thrilled getting sprayed with water or with the fence impairing my view, so maybe that had something to do with it. 

Or maybe I'm just not the kind of person who LOVES Fantasmic. I am still going to try to see the WDW version someday.  Maybe I will love it better there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Flashback Friday / Disneyland Trip Recap Part 14: More Reasons to Hate Ariel

This week's Flashback Friday is a bit of a complaint-fest.  Sorry for the negativity guys but it had to be said!  Thanks to Deb at Focused On The Magic for hosting!  Let's go.

As you may or may not know, I am not the greatest fan of Ariel.  However, I was VERY excited to try out the new Little Mermaid dark ride that is in DCA (and also coming to new Fantasyland). 

The queue was meh.  It was pretty and detailed and themed-well but not really immersive.  Kind of like a well-themed hotel lobby more than feeling like you are going under the sea.  I understand that WDW's version of the queue will be different - more immersive, of which I approve.

The queue was also fast moving and relatively short.  I went on the ride 3 times I think and each time I waited 5 minutes max.  I sadly didn't get in one of the pink clamshells, but I did get a peachy orange one twice which was okay (and a green one once).

Close up of the light "bubbles" trick:

So the actual ride was fine.  I suppose if I was a child it would be super magical.  I just felt like it was REALLY obvious that we are in a giant warehouse.  It wasn't like Peter Pan where you feel like you might actually be flying through a bedroom.  The big show stopping part with the "Under the Sea" song was my least favorite part because you couldn't help but notice the "bones" of the attraction which Imagineering is usually so great at hiding.  I think if the room was darker it would have helped a lot.

The audioanimatronics also freaked me out a little.  Ariel with the vertical hair looks a LEETLE crazy.  The movements are more realistic but not by much. 

But the WORST PART.  OMG THE WORST PART you guys.  The part that ruined the entire ride for me.  EVERY SINGLE RIDER (except me) was taking FLASH PHOTOS.  I have never ridden a ride with so much flash photography going on.  No wonder I couldn't feel immersed in the attraction when I had flashes going off in my peripheral vision at all times!  I complained to a cast member twice (not that they could do much about it).  It was SO RUDE and distracting and destroyed the mirage of the ride. 

You may note that I took some pictures myself here.  I would like to point out that none of them were flash photos and only taken when the ride had paused/stopped/temporarily broken down.   Sigh.  Here's hoping the rules at the WDW version are better enforced.

Focused on the Magic