My brother stayed behind at Saratoga Springs while my sister-in-law and I went to EPCOT. It was hell-hot, so we had some cool drinks and stole as much air conditioning as we could. A foray into Mouse Gear led us to discover that this particular Vera Bradley pattern may not be in such great demand – they were plentiful, if artfully piled.
One of my favorite authors has blogged about one of my favorite Disney characters – Alice In Wonderland 🙂 I was kind of surprised, because Paulo Coelho’s Character of the Week is usually one of his own characters from one of his own books. But this week, he chose Alice – and he’s got a few choice quotes from her in his post as well!
He reminded me of one of my favorite pieces of Disney art work, which is hanging in my “long-ass hallway” (a ridiculously long, empty, bowling alley of a hallway in my home). It’s a series of Disney first day covers, issued by the US Postal Service in 2005. Here’s the part that features Alice. You can tell it was a long time ago by the price of the stamp! I don’t think Disney could have made her any sweeter or prettier, do you?
(You can also see the reflection of my fingers on the camera, right around the Anaheim, CA postmark LOL)
Last spring, Alice In Wonderland merchandise was a big presence in Walt Disney World, probably due to the imminent release of the updated version with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. There were all these “flatsy” versions of Alice and her strange pals, including this version of the Cheshire Cat (above).
On a subsequent trip, I ended up purchasing the more conventional Cheshire Cat. He fit quite nicely in my toy chest with the rest of the gang I’ve assembled over the years.
And finally – only a few short weeks ago, I was in Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney and caught this comical little scene. Someone had posed a leering Cheshire Cat on the arm of the huge Duffy bear that stands in an alcove in that store. Meanwhile, Duffy appears to be placidly unaware that a demented maniac has commandeered his limb. This is the cleverest thing I’ve seen in Disney since the Canadian mystery shoes 😉
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It’s official – I’m sick! Boy does this suck. I let myself sleep late and now I’m going in search of brunch. The sore throat is gone and now we are up to the part where you lie on one side and you get cement on that side of your face. So you turn over and lie on the other side, and the cement slowly transfers itself to that side. If you catch it at the right moment, just as it is crossing over, you can probably manage to expel it via Kleenex, but then more cement just comes to take its place.
Even though this pretty much sucks, I’m still going to the Magic Kingdom today. I will probably take it very easy and just dig the atmosphere and sunshine. It is 73* here in Orlando at the moment. Hopefully the weather will remain pleasant.
OK, that’s it for now. Brunch, and then Magic Kingdom. See ya real soon!
Chez Bro (the one I lived with while waiting for my house in Florida to be built) likes to spend his birthday, which is very close to Halloween, in Walt Disney World each year. And for the past 5 or 6 years, he’s been attending “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” at the Magic Kingdom on or about October 31st. I’ve attended the party with them several times, and I enjoyed it.
A couple of days ago, Chez Bro and SIL sent up a distress signal last week that said, “Help, we can’t get tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!” I don’t know the reason, but apparently MNSSHP on the night of October 31st has been sold out for months. This caught SIL by surprise, as she normally calls for tickets around this time each year. Here’s my theory – as the US dollar continues to tank against the Euro and various other global currencies, US vacation destinations such as Orlando become even more appealing to foreign visitors. And it’s not only the vacation that’s appealing. I’ve seen conversations about the exchange rate on Trip Advisor, and other posts there indicating that since the holiday gift-giving season will soon be upon us, the favorable exchange rate is also being leveraged at Orlando’s shopping outlets.
Good news for the Orlando economy, bad news for the availability of accommodations and special event tickets in the parks. SIL has seen lots of MNSSHP tickets on eBay – for $150 each! That’s just crazy. On the surface, one would be surprised that Disney is tolerating the resale of special events tickets for profit, but then again, the auctioning of these tickets for such exhorbitant prices only serves to bolster the air of exclusivity and desirability of entrance to the event. It’s not just about the price to enter the park on these nights. It’s about how much food, drink and merchandise gets sold once the guests are inside the gates. Supply is finite and demand is high, ergo the price will continue to skyrocket as long as people are foolish enough to pay.
Whatever the reasons for the situation, it is what it is. Unless they want to pay $150 per ticket (they don’t), Chez Bro, SIL and Nieceling will need something else to do on Halloween in Walt Disney World. And so, I started to rattle off a number of things I could think of for them to do in order to celebrate the holiday without attending the party.
A post outlining these alternate Halloween activities is under construction and will appear within a few days. Stay tuned for “Things To Do AT Walt Disney World On Halloween (except THAT!)”
Someone on the Disboards forums remarked that they had never seen the tunnel of holiday lights through which one can walk from Future World into the World Showcase during the holiday season at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. I knew I had photos somewhere, and I even had a scan of the festival guide (see at left), too!
This holiday display is not only amazing eye candy, it’s a photographer’s dream. I am by no means anything beyond a point-and-shoot type myself, but with the way digital cameras operate today, even I was able to get some pretty cool shots of this wonderous display. I mean, the only thing that’s missing is the snow! Um, NO, I am not wishing a snowstorm on sunny Florida during the holiday season, or any time soon; we get enough freakish weather ’round these parts, thankyouverymuch!
This reminds me, I need to make some hotel reservations for early December, as I’m taking a professional certification exam in Orlando and want to spend the rest of the weekend taking in the holiday decorations at Disney World. Putting that on my To Do list for this weekend.
For those who haven’t seen this before – happy viewing! And I hope you get to experience this yourself sometime, too!
Here’s the whole “tunnel”. You’re looking toward Spaceship Earth/the geosphere, but you cannot see it because it is DARK! 😀
Here’s a side view, with the reflection in the lagoon that I was talking about in my post on the Dis. In this view, you can see that the “tunnel” is really a series of arches strung together along the walkway from Future World into World Showcase.
Finally, my favorite shot! This photo becomes my desktop wallpaper around the holidays. I think I will have to re-take the photo this year, because the Hand Of Mickey has been taken down, so it will be a whole different shot now.
Does anyone else have photos of holiday lights at any of the Disney parks? I’d love to see them! Please leave a link in the comments so I can check out your photos. Thanks!
A few weeks ago, my Ruby Tuesday entry consisted of some Disney’s Ladies in RED. Well, the post was really popular, and folks seemed to like it so much, I decided to dig around in my photos and see if I could find any other Disney characters that were sportin’ a little RED.
First up is a little guy we all know and love – it’s Pooh! Can’t you just hear him saying, “Oh, bother!” as he floats up, up and away? Can you find the “hidden” Mickey in this photo?
Next up – why, it’s Hook and Smee! Hook is everyone favorite Disney pirate. Okay, he’s not quite as good-looking as Johnny Depp, so maybe he takes a back seat to Captain Jack Sparrow these days. But he’s still quite dashing in his all-CRIMSON ensemble, while the faithful Smee stands by with his fashionable RED headgear. In this photo, I’ve kindly pointed out the “hidden” Mickey.
Our final image was captured at Downtown Disney, in the big World of Disney store, in the room where they sell the pin collections and the watches and such. This is the hand of possibly the earliest of Disney’s “Villains” characters to appear on the silver screen. Snow White premiered in 1938, and it is she for whom the poisoned apple is intended.
“Go on. Go on, have a bite.”
In a few more weeks, I’ll be headed to Walt Disney World in Orlando once again. I’ll be going there with different eyes this time, now that I’ve been playing with photo memes. I’ll be looking for lots of red for Ruby Tuesday and lots of sky for Skywatch Friday. Not to mention, lots and lots of critters, both real and imaginary, for Camera Critters.
Oh, and I’ll be mobile photo blogging a good deal of the time as well! Stay tuned, it’s coming SOON!
First up is Disney’s most famous REDhead since carrot-topped Peter Pan – it’s Ariel, aka The Little Mermaid. Please notice that Ariel’s best friend, Sebastian the lobster, is also sportin’ da ruby hue. 😀 Photo taken at Disney-MGM Studios, oops I mean Disney’s Hollywood Studios – May 2005
Here’s one of my favorites – it’s my girl Mulan, a true Disney hero, with her faithful guardian, Mushu. She’s BETTER than a Disney Princess; she saved all of China from the Huns! Someday, I will treat you all to my feminist rant in praise of Mulan’s shedding of the trappings of femininity. But not today. This was taken in EPCOT outside the China pavilion, which is pretty much entirely RED on the outside, February 2008.
It’s Minnie Mouse, all decked out for the Flower and Garden Festival, with Mickey by her side in equal RED splendor. Now, you have to admit that they are both stylin’ to the max as topiaries! EPCOT, April 2004.
Here she is, the other strong female non-Princess Disney character. She’s Mary Poppins, and she’s practically perfect in every way, right down to her use of THE power color, RED! Taken during a parade at the Magic Kingdom, May 2005
“Shift yer cargo dearie, show them yer starboard side….” It’s the very famous “We Wants The REDhead” from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom. Photo taken October 2005.
Well, there they are – my Disney Ladies in RED. And there’s only one princess among them. Hah! I hope you enjoyed this Ruby Tuesday offering. See ya real soon!
The monorail makes a loop between the the Magic Kingdom and three of Disney’s deluxe hotels. One of those hotels is The Contemporary, and the monorail drives right through the hotel. I took this photo in May 2008 while standing on the monorail platform; I’d just arrived to meet the family to have some dinner.
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The Rose Walk in Epcot wasn’t as crazy-in-bloom as I’ve seen it in the past, but still offered some lovely blooms to gaze upon, sniff and photograph. Here are some of my faves amongst the deep pink blossoms.
OK, so I think we might be able to ALMOST call this last one “red” 😀
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2008 Flower & Garden Festival: Miscellaneous Garden Features
For the past several weeks since I got back from Walt Disney World, I’ve been posting photos that could really have been taken any old time during the year. Today, I begin posting photos that are specific to the 2008 Flower & Garden Festival.
But first, a disclaimer: I attended the Festival this year on the very last few days that it was in progress. Comparing this year’s experience to experiences past, I found a Festival that was a lot more sparse and bare than in years past. For instance, there were no animated topiaries or any sort of display at all behind Spaceship Earth. In years past, this space has held things like Belle and the Beast waltzing, or the first five “hidden” Mickeys out of the 50 that were sprinkled around the park one year.
Nice flowers…. why no display?
Another area that was looking bare was the “rainforest” next to the Mexico pavilion. Normally, this area is dripping with exotic orchids during the Flower & Garden Festival. This year, I had to look long and hard before finding just ONE orchid plant, hidden in the shadows.
In another area there was a sign, but no associated display.
I was wondering whether the sign was displaced, and then it dawned on me that the dismantling of the Flower & Garden Festival had probably already commenced, despite the advertised end date of June 1st (I was there from May 24th through May 27th). The only other explanation is that the 2008 Flower & Garden Festival was not as well funded as in years past, and that there wasn’t a rainforest or a behind-Spaceship-Earth display at all this year. If anyone reading this was there before I was, please leave a comment and let me know – were there orchids in Mexico?
OK, enough preamble – let’s get on with it!
Today’s post is devoted to a few miscellaneous garden features that caught my eye. First among these came from the space that was called The Key To Outdoor Living. In past years, this space was called “The Ultimate Backyard Garden” and was presented by Home Depot; this year, the sponsor was DuPont. The space features outdoor furniture and cooking appliances, a fun kid play area, water features and many whimsical decorative touches, such as this wall.
Hmm, I wonder why this caught my attention? Could it be…. wait, let’s have a close-up!
The turtles are glazed mosaic tile, as are a few of the sea shell features. However, three of the sea shells are real!
You know, i’ve never seen a WHOLE lion’s paw, so I’m not really sure that’s what the one on the left is. But the middle specimen was definitely a drool-worthy true tulip, and the disc on the right was a very real sand dollar. If you look back at the first of these three photos, you will see that the right panel is decorated with a series of Florida fighting conchs; those were the real deal, too.
Coming out of the outdoor living space, I spied a series of pineapple-shaped cutouts in the white fence. It was hard to get close enough to shoot through them. Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality that have been carved into bedposts, banisters and other architectural details since American colonial times. If you want to read more about that, here’s a great page that tells the story.
Over near the Rose Walk, there was a garden set aside called Peter Pan’s Neverland Garden. Among the sights in this garden were a few little “fairy houses” sprinkled here and there.
Here’s one of my favorites. I love the little stone well out front, with a flower pot for a pail. And the table ware was just adorable!
Down by Future World, in the building that now houses the character meets, I spied this great mural of Pluto, floating on a lounge chair amongst the clouds. He’s either going to eat those daisies, or else plant them! 😀
Rainbow Over “China” EPCOT, Walt Disney World Orlando, Florida May 24th, 2008
Still sick. Haven’t been this sick in a LONG time. I just feel like crapola! But I have to go back to work today, with what shreds of vocal ability that remain. I’ll see if there are any meetings I can move to later in the week.
Ooops! Here’s MORE video from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including the beloved otters!
First, a Rhino He’s playing with a rope…
OTTERS! It’s just a short clip; by time I dispossessed some little kid of his position on the wall (kidding!) so I could get up there and see, the otters were done with us. I think I have some video in the phone too, but will need to convert it.
Here’s a collection of short video clips taken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday. Most were from the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction, hence please know that I am being jostled around in the truck and don’t really see the world that way! LOL
White Pelicans and Hippos We get white pelicans in the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel in the winter time. They are something else!
Nile Crocodiles Please excuse my punny-ness; I was trying to make the Nieceling laugh, but when you’re 11 and in a snit with your folks, it’s hard to laugh at Auntie Tink’s *~*~* horrendous attempts at humor.
Giraffe and antelope OK, riddle me this, intrepid readers. Why do they ALWAYS say “reticulated giraffe”? It means “netted”, as in the pattern of their fur. Aren’t ALL giraffe’s “reticulated”? Seriously, is there another kind? Anybody know?
Cattle with LOOOOOOOOOONG horns Plus, the bonus broom!
African Song and the Rickety Bridge Did I mention that we were in the dead last seat of the truck? Nieceling perks up a bit here and makes me laugh with a bit of pantomiming being thrown from the truck, so that’s why you hear my hearty cackle so much.
Baby Elephant with Mama We rounded the corner and saw a baby elephant hanging out with mom. They are so cute when they are little!
It’s PUMBA! I don’t think it’s right that they’ve separated Pumba and Timon. You don’t get to see Timon until you go on the Pangani Trail. I wonder if they have visitation rights?
Ostrich blocks the road This isn’t the first time this has happened to me on the Kilimanjaro Safari
Gorilla on the Pangani Trail This guy was BIG. I would NOT wish to meet with him in a dark alley!
Dawa Bar Entertainment in Harambe We were SO hot and grumpy! We just wanted some ice cream. We sat at a table in the shady part of the Dawa Bar and I was going to get some ice cream, but the line looked to be about 20 minutes, so we ditched that idea, and just sat there for a while, watching these guys.
So that’s the video recap of yesterday’s visit to Animal Kingdom. As you can tell from yesterday’s LIVE mobile photo blogging posts, we went to the Magic Kingdom after our rest period at the resort, and we had dinner at the Crystal Palace. The food was not superior, but it was not terrible either. The best thing at the dessert bar was the carrot cake. Although it had no raisins or nuts in it, I enjoyed it anyway.
After dinner, our cousins from a nearby town joined us and we toured around. Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Splash Mountain, Buz Lightyear and the Laugh Floor were all on our agenda. When we came out of the Laugh Floor, the Wishes fireworks were already in progress. It’s a really BAD place to try and watch wishes; there’s this stupid ROCK formation that is in the way. However, you can look around and between and even above (at the end) and get your fix of pyrotechnics.
After the fireworks, we all sat around and had some ice cream and chatted. Then our cousins departed for home, and we went to Space Mountain to try and get in one last ride, but it was “101” (broken down, mechanical issues). Nieceling was dragging her butt, so it was decided to call it a night. However, since I wanted to shop my way out of the park, I stayed behind to have a nice, leisurely stroll through the Emporium and took the bus back by myself. I didn’t buy much but it was nice to just shop and see what they have.
I think I got back to the room well after midnight, and for some reason could not fall asleep. I started flipping through the channels and found “Clueless” which is really a classic gem of a film. I should own it on DVD, but I don’t. So I put that on with the sleep timer and I think it was 2:00 am when I finally passed out.
OK, it’s 8:00 am now and I gotta jump into the shower. Have signal, will blog, so I’ll CUL8R!
It is hotter than the hinges of Hell in Walt Disney World Orlando today! I know that the Weather Bug is saying it is only 84*, but trust me, when you are walking around the parks and the sun is beating down on you, it’s an inferno.
Yesterday it was raining in fits and starts. As I was walking on the Boardwalk from the Swan to EPCOT, the sun came out again and the rain was rising from the Boardwalk as steam. It was downright weird to see people walking through mist in full sunshine. :blink: I tried to get some video of it but it wasn’t particularly visible.
So we only did a few things before deciding that the crowds and the heat were making it not-so-fun. We’ve come back to the Swan to cool off – I’m here in the room, Bro is in his room having a nappie-poo, and SIL and Nieceling are down at the pool cooling off.
We saw the otters! They were active and fun, and I got some video, which I’m busy uploading to YouTube and will post a link soon.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love the otters? 😀 Yeah, I know – I’ve been pretty Blah-Blah talkative about them, haven’t I?
We’re going to rest up and then have dinner… somewhere! I think we were originally going to the Rainforest at Animal Kingdom, but since we ended up leaving there early, I’m not sure if we intend to go back there this evening or not. I hear the Magic Kingdom is open till 2:00 am….