Category Archives: Magic Kingdom

Dinner at the California Grill

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We had something of a mobile blogging technology fail yesterday, which prevented me from sending photos live from my phone. However, I was able to continue taking photos with my regular old camera, so I’ll share those now in one splendid post.


We did a bunch of rides and attractions at a leisurely pace after lunch, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion (previously pictured), Mickey’s Philharmagic, Snow White, Winnie The Pooh and Peter Pan’s Flight. Here’s Peter, looking rather scary – I hate when they do that to his eyebrows. I much prefer him to look like a normal, friendly boy.


The flag in Magic Kingdom’s town square was at half-mast yesterday. I am wondering if this was for Steve Jobs, as a nod to his contribution to Pixar? As we passed through, they were preparing to have the flag ceremony, so we stopped. The Main Street Philharmonic played “America The Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner”. We heard the voices of two or three little kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and then more voices singing “God Bless America” as the flag was run the rest of the way up the pole and then run down again.


After the flag ceremony was over, we left the park and walked down the “Mickey brick” path to the Contemporary Resort. As we passed by the monorail entrance on the park side, one monorail was leaving as another was entering, and it looked like they were racing. NOTE: I believe the blue one just left and is going to the park, while the red one is just pulling in for a stop inside the Contemporary, before proceeding to the Ticket and Transportation Center.


We were taken up to the California Grill on the 14th floor pretty much right away. We sat at the bar for a while visiting with our favorite bartender, Ray from New Jersey. A drink he invented that we’ve been enjoying for years is now on the official menu – it’s called “the Ray-Ray” and I highly recommend it! So the adults had Ray-Rays and talked with him about salt water fishing and conservation and such matters, and the girls had virgin pina coladas. Very soon, our buzzer went off and we were called to our table.


I thought this was funny – along with the bread, our server Gary (from Hawaii!) gave us a little dish of Goldfish crackers, “the snack that smiles back”. I love Goldfish but lately I have been avoiding such things with a vengeance. Still, a few couldn’t hurt, right? I snuck some, and I am hoping that if no one sees, that means there are no calories 😉


I decided to choose the vegetarian options for dinner, selecting the apple salad and the hand-made pasta with mushrooms. Both options were fabulous. The kids ordered the bison and they let me taste it. I was surprised that it was not gamey, and pretty much tasted like cow beef only without the fat.


As dinner progressed, the Florida sky decided to rock a brilliant sunset. A half hour before this, I was wishing I hadn’t taken this particular seat because I needed sunglasses. Now, I was in heaven.


Nieceling is celebrating her 15th birthday. Where has the time gone? While the kids were in the ladies room, changing into their Halloween costumes, our waiter brought out some birthday cake. I had a bite of this too – the fudgey layers are divine. Order the chocolate cake if you can’t decide what you want for dessert – you can’t go wrong with it!


Now it’s time to say goodbye… while the rest of the family went off to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I took the monorail back to the TTC and came back to the hotel, where I fixed my phone issues (I hope!) and turned in early to prepare for logging some work time this morning. I’m checking out later on after I get my shower.

But I’ll be back for a few days in December.

See ya real soon!

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This post is sticky – scroll down for today’s mobile photo blogging

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!

The dreaded Disney cold

Yep, I’ve caught it.  Draggin’ my sorry butt this morning.  I elected to skip the 8:00 am and catch a few more Zzzzs.  My next session is at 11:00 and then I will go to the Expo floor for the lunch buffet there and roam the stalls for a while, see if there is any worthy vendor bling to be had.  Then I have sessions at 3:00 and at 4:30 and the day is over.  Not sure what I will do tonight.  Possibly just take it easy so I can have a nice Friday in one of the parks.  I think I will go for the Magic Kingdom on Friday – shouldn’t be as crowded as it will be on the weekend.

Time to hit the showers.  TTYL.

What do you do when Disney’s Halloween party event is "all sold out"?

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*

Disney’s Halloween party is “all sold out”!

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!)” 

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Disney’s Ladies in RED

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*

Disney’s Ladies in RED
Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

Rifling through my picture directories from the past 4 years or so, looking for suitable fodder for Ruby Tuesday (hosted at Work of the Poet by Mary/The Teach), I began to notice a pattern – Disney’s Ladies In RED!

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!

Some Video from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and a Sunday Recap

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!

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!

Wordless, Thursday April 24th 2008

Wordless, Thursday April 24th 2008

It’s in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida. OK, now we know WHERE it is – so you tell me, WHAT is it? Leave a comment if you know!

The Friday Report, CONTINUED

After Haunted Mansion and the hot dog, I cruised back to Splash to redeem my Fast Pass. Sat in the second to last seat and didn’t hardly get wet at all, which was fine by me. Nothing like walking around in soaking wet underwear…. Wanted to head for Tomorrowland after that, but the parade was coming to I had to grit my teeth and cut through Stroller Hell, aka Fantasyland to get there. While walking through there, I happened to see – ok no, that was a lie – I actively sought a pretzel stand, but ended up getting a churro instead. I also passed the teacups and thought of my friend Trixy (which I spelled with an “ie” in the photo, I know not why). Once I turned the corner into Tomorrowland, I decided I really wasn’t into waiting for another Fast Pass to mature, so I cut down into the Rose Garden and hung out there for a while, just diggin’ the scenery. Wandering back onto Main Street from there, I noticed that signage for the MNSSHP was being put up, so I figured to get while the gettin’ was good, and made my way out of the park, stopping only to listen to the barber shop quartet for a bit. boarded the relatively uncrowded monorail and changed at the TTC for the monorail to Epcot.

The monorail makes a dip into the Epcot park just before letting you off, and I saw the sign for the Festival Center, which is set up in the cavernous Wonders of Life pavillion. So I made my way over there, stopping to buy a pretzel along the way (which I could only eat half of, they are so monstrously large). There’s wine tasting, a wine shop, a book shop, a kitchen gadget shop, and a place to find out about DVC at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There’s also some sort of film being shown in there, but I didn’t stop to see it. It’s weird to see a wine shop set up right under the Body Wars sign.

There wasn’t much else I wanted to do there last night. My body and particularly my feet were SCREAMING at me for some rest and some non-crap food. So I walked up to the International Gateway and caught the boat back to the Dolphin. I messed around on the net for a bit and then went to dinner at the Fountain (I could only eat half that buffalo chicken salad, but it was good!). My waiter was a young British lad with Prince Harry type cuteness (same coloring) and he kept winking at me. He was very cute, but how Mrs Robinson would THAT be? LOL Probably he was just gigolo-ing himself for a better tip.

After dinner, I came back to the room for a nice, long, hot shower before sitting down to tell my tale. I think the hot shower is what did me in; I think I was technically asleep before hitting the pillow, and did not bother to set the alarm or a wake up call.

I awoke to another beautiful morning. Only 69* at present, and out on the balcony it feels like the humidity has broken. A full night’s sleep for a change, but I still feel sorta lazy. I think I shall post this and then get dressed and head out for Animal Kingdom. I know a place in Harambe where I can get a fruit smoothie for breakfast!

The Friday Report

The Friday Report

I had two very early sessions. Thanks to the drinking the night before, I had no difficulty falling into bed and makin’ wit da Zzzzzs whatsoever. But still, the alarm came way too soon. Coffee helps, so did some fruit. I went and learned some stuff, came back to the room and checked my work email, and then headed for the bus stop over to the Magic Kingdom.

The park is done up for Halloween, with some really cute decorations in the town square. This is a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party night, so it would be an early closure. First I needed to eat something – that fruit cup at 7:00 am seemed a while ago. I decided I would eat shit that was bad for me today, so I went to the Main Street bakery and got a ham, egg and cheese croissant. OK, I also got a banana; my brain works better on bananas.

After the hunger monster had be quieted, I went across the street to the Emporium to find the silly birthday had and took a photo of it. It is not on the blog. I didn’t take it for the blog. I took it to send to my big brother because it is not only my 15 year anniversary (that’s my cancer-free anniversary, by the way), it is also my big brother’s birthday. I don’t generally mention my anniversary to the family because it sorta taints his birthday or something. So in my family, October 12th is just my big brother’s birthday.

That being accomplished, I proceeded into Adventureland. I was proud that I passed the Aloha shack; Dole whips are to die for, but here’s the problem with the Magic Kingdom. There are SO many yummy treats there, one has to pick and choose because if you try to have them all in one day, your stomach will explode. So I passed it. Next time!

I was very nearly acosted by the spitting camel; got out of the way just in time. My next stop was Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait said 20 minutes, but it was actually more like 10. As I passed through the hologram (or whatever it is) of Davy Jones, something dripped on me, and since he’s got all those tentacle/elephant trunk things on his face, I immediately thought, “eeew, he SNOTTED me”. I’ll take the spitting camel, thank you. Tried on some pirate Mickey ears in the merchandise area after the ride. The smoking area heading from Pirates to Splash is being refurbished. If I recall correctly, all that was back there before was a split rail fence and a grassy slope beyond it. Not sure what they intend to do with this area…

Big Thunder Mountain looked SO cool against the blue, blue sky. There was not even one hint of a cloud in the sky today. It really was THAT blue! However, when I got there, I found it was down for rehab. Went and got a fast pass to Splash, and then headed through Frontierland toward my next stop – Haunted Mansion. Ah, I just found a pic in the phone that I hadn’t posted – a pin that says, “The Empress”. This is for you, *1L!

Jessie and Woody were dancin’ in the streets as I passed by. Jessie’s head is so HUGE; I don’t know how they get it on the cast member wearing it. A crane, perhaps? Nor do I know how she manages it keep it upright while doe-si-doe-ing.

Finally, Haunted Mansion. I only went through once, and I want to do it again soon because I’m confused. I know they did a lot of re-work on this attraction, expanding the attic scene. It looks like the bride was upset because she discovered that her groom had been married countless times before? There were all these pics of all these brides and him as the groom. But also in the beginning of the ride, pay attention when your doom buggy is going past that coffin with the body inside lifting the lid. There is a repeating bit of audio that sounds to me like a baby crying! Don’t know what to make of that. If anyone has some commentary on what they think the changes are all about, please post your comments here!

Amazingly, after Haunted Mansion I was hungry again. I could smell the hot dog cart, and my mouth watered. I can’t believe I ate a hot dog so soon after breakfast! After the hot dog, it was time for my Fast Pass to Splash. It was awesome, and sitting in the second to last row, I hardly got sprinkled at all. Yay, no soggy underwear for me today.

My eyes are closing by themselves; will finish tomorrow.