Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Disney Exchange -Episode 006 Show Notes

by Nick

Did you miss me? I'm baaaack! 
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
-The Disney Exchange is Lisa Green, David Hodges, and me, Nicholas Maglio

-Main Topic- Epcot's World Showcase, country by country.

-Dave asks what direction we generally start in, as this is a personal preference for most, and I respond it doesn't really matter which way we go, but generally it's Mexico. Dave always goes towards Canada. Lisa once again agrees with me, stating that it changes for her and her family.

-We then start our tour in Mexico, since I am the one who made the list and not Dave, who would've started us off in Canada.

-Mexico : We all like the Gran Fiesta Tour, as well as the overall atmosphere of the pavilion.
I talk about my love of La Cava del Tequila and that my wife and I have eaten at all the restaurants, my favorite being La Hacienda de San Angel

Nick and Barbie

-Norway : Dave likes some of the offerings Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, particularly the School Bread, but is not a fan of the shop Puffin's Roost due to the overwhelming scent of the perfume, Laila. (Fans of Laila please direct all hate mail to David Hodges). I say how I enjoy the Bakeri, as well as walking through Puffin's Roost, and talk about the very good Princess Storybook Lunch we had at Akershus.

Lisa tells about her families Viking hat tradition.

Photo: courtesy of Lisa Green

-China : I confess I've never eaten at the restaurants here but like the Chinese BBQ Pork Buns from the Joy of Tea stand. Dave has eaten at The Lotus Blossom Cafe, and found it simply adequate. We all enjoy the acrobats. Lisa likes the shop.

-Germany : Lisa confesses she has never eaten at Biergarten, but has enjoyed Sommerfest, their quick service eatery, as well as the occasional adult beverage, particularly the Schofferhoffer Grapefruit beer. Dave has an even more shocking confession; he has only ever gone into Karamel Kuche, and isn't a German food fan. (German food fans address all hate mail to David Hodges).

I profess my love of Biergarten, and the entire pavilion in general.

-Italy : Dave doesn't want to pay $90 for a pizza, but does like to walk through. It should come as no surprise that I love all the restaurants in the pavilion. Lisa really enjoys it as she has visited Italy, and tells of a favorite New Years Eve memory at Tutto Italia, and how this pavilion will always have a special place in her heart.

-American Adventure : USA, what's not to love? The show gets me every time. Lisa loves Voices of Liberty and feels this is the best thing of the pavilion, and fears losing it in this era of changes in entertainment in World Showcase. Dave says that the burger at Liberty Inn was very good.

-Japan : One of Lisa's favorite places is the Mitsukoshi Department Store, and especially likes seeing her son in the snack area. I mention I have never eaten at Teppan Edo, but thought Tokyo Dining was just okay. (Fans of Tokyo Dining direct hate mail to Lisa Green). Dave talks of spending time in Japan in the military and how his wife has retained her knowledge of the language and he also spends considerable time in Mitsukoshi, and has a good warning pertaining to candy purchases. He also tells of eating at the Katsura Grill, their quick service. He also gives discount tips on the eateries and stores.

 Photo: Lisa Green

-Morocco : Dave and Lisa tell of the only things they have had in the pavilion. Dave gets the Sultan's Colada, while Lisa warns us to NOT order the Casa Blanca beer. Lisa's husband Raymond gets coffee each trip, while Lisa and the kids peruse the shops. I tell of eating at all the restaurants, and that I was not a fan of Spice Road Table

-France : I have gotten Dave hooked on 1664 Blanc, which I introduced him to when my wife and I met him last month.

 me and Dave

I proceed to thoroughly murder the French language, and walk through the places and foods I've enjoyed. Dave, wisely, doesn't even try to pronounce Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, and describes his meal there. Lisa tells about her food and wine pairing at Monsieur Paul's and free flowing wine. We all agree it's a lovely pavilion, and that if you can score a seat it is a lovely place to relax. 

-The United Kingdom : Lisa shares her love of the Single Malt Scotch Flight at the Rose and Crown Pub, and Lisa and I agree we love the Fish and Chips at the Yorkshire County Fish and Chips shop. 

I tell why I've never eaten at Rose and Crown, and my love of Shandys from the Pub.

I also mention the great shops and wonderful Cast Members we've met there.
Dave stops in The Tea Caddy each visit and of a free tour which I had not heard of previously. He also brings up the British Revolutionm, which we all agree is a very good band, and that he had a very good meal at Rose and Crown.

-Canada : Dave talks about motion sickness issues with the film O Canada, as well as a certain Lumberjack show I'm not even going to mention, as well as the fact he has not ever eaten at Le Cellier! Lisa goes to Canada for the film, Le Cellier, the general surroundings, and their Food and Wine offerings. I mention I felt our last Le Cellier visit was mediocre. (Okay Le Cellier fans send all hate mail to me.)

-This weeks Wheel of Distany topic is our Favorite Places to Watch Illuminations. 
(Please note, I get insulted as I am a Diva, and throw down my headset and storm off, and my headset has issues after I eventually return. I apologize for the noises, but shall never apologize for being a Diva!) Lisa's favorite spot is from the FastPass viewing area. Dave sees it as he's leaving Epcot and that he is not a huge fan of Illuminations-hatemail to Dave, etc. etc. My favorite spot, if not from a room at the Boardwalk, is from La Hacienda de San Angel.

-Follow The Disney Exchange:
Twitter:  @DisneyExchange

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Disney Vacations, What Happens When the Kids Grow Up?

By Lisa Green


If you’re like me, you dreamed for a long time of the day when you would finally take your children to Walt Disney World for the first time.  You planned and prepped (and saved!) and looked forward to the trip with great anticipation.  When that magical day arrived, do you remember the look on their faces as they discovered all the fantastic reasons you were so excited to take them there?  They see Mickey Mouse in person!  They watch Tinker Bell fly!  They’re mesmerized by the Magic Kingdom’s afternoon parade.  That look of wonder is something that stays with you long after your vacation is over.  It’s a big part of what keeps calling you back and you think – it just can’t get any better than this!


Flash forward a few years.  Now you are a family of seasoned Disney World vacationers.  You get a big kick out of how well your little Disney experts navigate around the parks and how opinionated they are about their favorite rides, attractions, and restaurants.  They even help you plan where to stay and what to eat.  Hopefully, at this point, they’ve each grown to become every bit as big a Disney fan as you are.  You watch them race towards Splash Mountain after rope drop, speak perfect Spanish along with the Monorail announcer, and pose for pictures – maybe even joke around with their favorite characters and you think – it just can’t get any better than this!

photo 3

A few more years pass in the blink of an eye and suddenly, your sweet little Disney travel buddies are all grown up.  Oh, sure, you still see them as your “children” but they have lives away from home that involve jobs and college classes that put big demands on their schedule.  Finding time for a Disney vacation was once so easy!  Now the logistics are challenging and, lets face it – how could vacationing at Disney World possibly be as much fun now that your children have grown?


Listen to me carefully – this is important.  You may need a little extra planning and creativity to make travel times and transportation work for everyone.  You will worry that it won’t be the same – things that seemed fun to an 10-year-old maybe won’t be as much fun now.  Push those worries aside.  All you’ll have to do is look at their faces – walking on Main Street USA toward Cinderella Castle, waiting – next in line to board Rock’n’ Roller Coaster, jumping into a Doom Buggy or trying not to laugh during the Jungle Cruise, finding out that they are the Rebel Spy or taking that first bite of a Mickey-shaped ice cream bar.  I promise…You will think to yourself – It just can’t get any better than this!


This article was originally posted on the Living a Disney Life Blog.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios

By Barbie

Disney's Hollywood Studio's is taking down the Sorcerer's Hat. Many people are upset by this, while others are thrilled. Those people say it was an eyesore and blocked the view of Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Here's one of the people who was apathetic to the hat being there in the first place. 

Of course, he remembers the park before the hat was there.

The photos of the hat below were taken during our visit to Walt Disney World last week, as the removal began.

Not me. I've never known Disney's Hollywood Studio's without the hat. For me, the Sorcerer's Hat has always been a destination unto itself. A landmark promising pin trading, character meets and a shady, cool spot to get out of the sun on particularly bright days. I'd say that there are probably a lot of people who are in shock that the hat is coming down, considering it opened in 2001, replacing the water tower with ears (aka Earful Tower) as the Studio's iconic image.

So here's to the hat. We had a good run with you. You will be missed!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Disney Exchange -Episode 005 Show Notes

By David Hodges

Editor's Note: I was recently on vacation in Walt Disney World, so my Disney Exchange co-host stepped in and did show notes this past weekend.
They may not be as in depth as mine, but I think he did a fine job. 
Thank you Dave!

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

In this weeks episode we chat with Curt and Lindsay from the Geekin On WDW podcast about things you can only do at a Disney parks.

If you have enjoyed the previous episodes show notes, I regret to inform you that Nick is on vacation so I, Dave, have been tasked with writing them this week. I can assure you that they will not be as in-depth.

The End


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grumpy Musical Figurine

 By: Nick

I can't recall when I picked up this Grumpy Schmid musical figurine, from the 1990's.

This figure plays the song "Children's Marching Song".

What song is that?

I wind it up and hear what I know as "Knick, Knack, Paddy Whack". Also known as "This Old Man".

Who knew? Apparently it was adapted for the 1958 film "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" by composer Malcom Arnold as "The Children's Marching Song", which led to hit singles for Cyril Stapleton and Mitch Miller.

Disney Musings: Like Epcot, it's edutainment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Do You Remember: When Figment Posed with Guests?

by: Nick

Somewhere, maybe in a box in the attic or garage, hopefully not lost along with so many other photos of Walt Disney World from the early to mid 90's, I have a photo of me with Dreamfinder and Figment in front of what was then simply the Journey Into Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Dreamfinder has, sadly, been gone for a very long time. But as recently as November 2007 Figment still posed with guests.

Me and Figment. I'm looking at my wife, Figment is looking at the FastPass Photographer!

I haven't seen Figment since then, and, as there are those occasional rumors of Journey Into Imagination with Figment closing for good.

Me, Figment, and Barbie

I'm going to try and stay positive, and hope that Figment stays in some capacity at the park, and perhaps they will be improving rather than replacing the Imagination Pavilion. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

National Popcorn Day at Disney

by: Nick

Last year, the Disney Park's Blog put up a post telling us that National Popcorn Day was on January 19th.

We happened to be in Walt Disney World on that day! What better place to enjoy popcorn than on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom?!

Where will you be celebrating National Popcorn Day this year?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Story behind the photo!

by Gaylin

At Hollywood Studios you can find the 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure', a lot of adults without kids avoid this area as it is teeming with children. If you want to get a good look around the Adventure area, go first thing in the morning, it is quiet and cool and you can play on anything you might want to.

This is what we did one visit and had a great time!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Disney's Contemporary Resort - Five Great Things!

CR Instagram 

By Lisa Green 

Disney’s Contemporary Resort!  A Magic Kingdom resort on the monorail loop – fans are true blue, loyal to the soul – and The Fam and I are certainly among the Contemporary’s most adoring fans.  Some folks, though, have a difficult time understanding its charm – it is a strange-looking building, with very little theming (relatively speaking) and a pretty steep price tag – so what’s so great about it?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

Five Great Things about Disney’s Contemporary Resort:

1.  It’s Classic and Original – Yes, indeed.  For kickin’ it old school, nothing beats the Contemporary.  This hotel originally opened with Walt Disney World in 1971 and remains an iconic part of the landscape.  From its A-frame-shaped Tower to the Mary Blair mural in the lobby – everything about the Contemporary is unique.  Rooms are available in the main building (tower) or in the one remaining garden wing (the other wing was razed to make room for Bay Lake Tower).  Standard rooms are among the largest on property at 422 square feet (accommodate up to five people) and are decorated in a tasteful, modern style.


2.  Location, Location, Location – You cannot beat the Contemporary for making you feel like you’re right in the middle of all the Disney action.  From the Contemporary you can walk to the Magic Kingdom.  Yes – walk.  In the time it takes to wait for a bus, you can be at Magic Kingdom’s entrance (about 10 minutes).  You can’t do this from any other resort hotel at Disney World.  Located between Bay Lake and The Seven Seas Lagoon – the Contemporary is perfectly situated for enjoying all Walt Disney World has to offer.  Busses leave regularly for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.  Shoot – you can even catch a boat and visit either the Wilderness Lodge ( for some great dining there!) or Fort Wilderness (to catch the Hoop Dee Doo Review!)


3.  Character Dining – There are many delicious restaurant choices at the Contemporary.  You can enjoy sushi and innovative entrees (currently featuring delicious items like Oak Fired Filet of Beef, Atlantic Swordfish, and Pork Two Ways) in the newly renovated California Grille at the top of the tower.  Down in the lobby, grab a darned tasty burger at The Wave.  There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Contemporary’s table and counter service restaurants, buffets, coffee shops and lounges.  By far, though, character dining at Chef Mickey’s is hard to beat for families (breakfast and dinner).  As I mentioned in great detail here, you can meet the Fab Five and enjoy a decent buffet with choice enough to please even the pickiest eaters.  AND – if you need more restaurant variety, many other fantastic dining choices can be found at both the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian – each just a short monorail ride away.

4.  The Views –  If you pay to stay in the tower, you’re going to love the view.  Rooms overlook either Bay Lake or the Seven Seas Lagoon (and the Magic Kingdom!).  We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy both of the tower’s views – the misty morning view of Bay Lake was peaceful and amazing.  Views from the Seven Seas Lagoon side are unbelievable (and the most expensive).  One of the most charming aspects of staying anywhere in the Contemporary’s tower is the Electrical Water Pageant - a really adorable nighttime show on the water (circles Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon) which makes a perfect ending to a day at Disney World – like a bedtime story!


5.  The Monorail – Right in the very center of the Contemporary’s tower is a monorail stop.  To me, that is the most unbelievably cool feature of this resort!  Imagine – get up in the morning, have breakfast with Mickey and the gang, then head for the monorail to whisk you off to the Magic Kingdom or the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) where a quick monorail change will get you to Epcot!  The monorail is so DISNEY!  It’s such a fun and special way to get around, even if you aren’t staying at a monorail resort, you can take it for a ride around – to explore or experience one of the great restaurants along the way.

This article was originally posted on the Living a Disney Life Blog

Friday, January 16, 2015

Disney Meals at Home

by Gaylin

Many of you may realize that you can find a lot of Disney recipes online, some uploaded by Disney and some that have been worked out by fans, once they are home.

If you want a recipe while at a restaurant, just ask! Sometimes they have their most popular recipes printed up and ready to hand out. That is what I did at the Hollywood Brown Derby, I wanted to know how to make the Cobb Salad and here is the recipe I was given.

I love this brown derby shaped printed recipe. About 6 inches across and 4 inches high, printed on a decent quality of paper that I managed to keep flat in my day pack all day.

The recipe is printed on the back (of course) and while I have never followed it exactly, I have taken it out a few times and done my own version of a Cobb Salad. Now all of you can make it as well!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Taking a break – Disney style!

by Gaylin

In Spring of 2008, I went on my first solo trip to Walt Disney World. One thing I really enjoyed while traveling on my own was the ability to change plans on a whim or to stop and rest whenever I wanted to.

At the Magic Kingdom there are these two rocking chairs in Liberty Square, I was lucky enough to find them empty and had a nice 1/2 hour break, rocking and people watching!

While I was at Epcot, because it was the Flower and Garden Festival, these chairs were set up in a garden and I took another break, I think I sat here and watched people go by for over 45 minutes, a nice rest for my feet! Notice my day pack behind my head, I did put my sunglasses on and closed my eyes for a few minutes  . . .  hmmm, I wonder if anyone noticed I was napping.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bringing the Fun Home

by Gaylin

When I get home from vacation after I have unpacked, I always set up and take a 'loot' photo.

All the goodies I have brought home for me or for friends make a great photo to close off one vacation and keep the memories alive until my next vacation.

A photo of all your souvenirs also makes a great final photo in a scrapbook or a photo album.

Have you ever taken a loot photo? These are from 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Story Behind the Photo-Dragon Encounter

by Gaylin

I have always loved the Lego Store at Downtown Disney and all the Lego statues that are both inside and outside the store.

A few trips ago I asked for this photo to be taken, I wanted the Lego dragon to be eating my head . . . it almost works!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Step right up!

by Gaylin

One of the meet & greet tricks I have mentioned before, is to walk behind a character or characters when you see them coming to start a new meet up.

At the Magic Kingdom one day, I noticed some truly great characters coming out to meet their subjects, I followed them and was fortunate to be the first to greet royalty that day. As you can see they looked very happy to meet me. If you ever get a chance to meet Cinderella's step-sisters and step-mom, go for it, they are great fun.

The lovely Drizella with her sister Anastasia in the background.

Getting ready to meet their loyal subjects, Lady Tremaine, as always, patiently trying to find husbands for her daughters.

 Alas, I have no single men with me to pair off with the step-sisters.