Monday, September 1, 2014

The Long Journey Home

by Gaylin

The bad thing about going on a Disney vacation, is realizing time has run out and you have go home. Getting home from a theme park to that notice on your door that your trip to the airport with Magical Express has been scheduled, or as many call it, the Tragical Express, going home is darn sad.

My flight wasn't until 6:30 in the evening so I checked my carry-on bag with bell services and got on a bus for one last walk around Downtown Disney. I bought my dinner to take to the airport as well. My flight schedule had me getting home about midnight PST. Little did I know how long my trip was really going to be.

Once I got back to the Pop Century Resort, I only had a bit of time to spend at the resort while waiting for my final tragical bus trip. Here is my last photo inside the resort lobby. This lovely floor plate of all the years!


And here I am with my tragic face, about to get on the bus. I think I will make a tragic final photo a new tradition. The girls who took my photo thought I did a great job of looking really sad. That little red suitcase and the backpack on my back contain all my clothes and souvenirs! 




A look back at the resort from the bus.


When I got to the airport, I had a wee surprise, for some reason I was pre-cleared at check-in and got to go in a much shorter security line-up and didn't have to take off my shoes! Security barely looked at me, I guess I just don't look like a bad guy. 

Once I got to the waiting area, bad news, a thunder storm was going over the airport and there had been lightening strikes close to the airstrips. That means – no flights were leaving. We waited and waited, everyone in my waiting area took a photo of this rainbow and then finally we got to board. At least we weren't on the incoming flight from Seattle, they had to sit on the tarmac for almost an hour until it was safe for them to dock with the building.


I have to tell you, many people think the bathrooms at the value resorts are too small. Nope, airplane bathrooms are TOO small.


Finally I get to SeaTac (Seattle/Tacoma) airport and as soon as I saw how empty it was, I knew I had missed my connecting flight to Vancouver.


Since the next flight wasn't until the morning, I was offered a hotel room. I refused, I knew the travel time to and from the airport and having to go through security again would mean I would get a 2 hour nap in the room. I chose to stay in the airport and the airline gave me food coupons. Thankfully a few shops stay open overnight.


It was a long night of loafing about, snacking every now and then and even laying on a bench for a nap.


And after a short flight, I was finally home in Vancouver. As you can see from the following photo, the Vancouver airport wasn't any busier than SeaTac!


I was missing the noise and crowds of WDW.

Home again, my next trip won't be until 2015 and I will need to start a count down soon. All in all, I was awake for over 30 hours, I was very happy to get home and go to bed - at 10 in the morning!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Flea Market Finds: Walt Disney World Postcards

By Nick 

While I love a good Disney Postcard, my favorites are those that have been mailed. It's like looking into the past, and experiencing the parks through a strangers eyes.

Let’s start with 2 postcards featuring Cinderella Castle, mailed 20 years apart.

The caption on the card:
Cinderella Castle-Fantasyland”
“Evening sets on Cinderella Castle, gate-way to “the happiest land of them all”… Fantasyland. High inside the castle, guests dine in royal splendor in King Stefan’s Banquet Hall.”


Wait a minute! King Stefan was Aurora’s, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty’s, father! Of course, King Stefan’s has been Cinderella’s Royal Table since 1997, but why did it take so many years to fix this error?
One thing for sure, in 1976, when this card was sent, Bob and Fran felt that the Magic Kingdom was much more than just a Fantasyland, and that it still is today.


This next card was mailed in 1995.


Fairy-Tale Castle”
“With its golden spires and fairy-tale turrets reaching towards the clouds, Cinderella Castle marks the entrance to Fantasyland.”


This last card features an attraction I never saw, but it was a classic.

The Mickey Mouse Revue
“Appearing on stage “in person”, Mickey Mouse tunes up with some of the spectacular cast of 85 famous Walt Disney characters that sing and perform during the Mickey Mouse Revue.”


David spent a whole day at the park in 1976.


All the postcards were from different sellers, and all cost $1 each.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Drawing in the Streets

by Gaylin

I know I have done an article previously about the custodial staff doing water drawings on the sidewalks at either Magic Kingdom or Epcot but on my latest trip (May 2014) I saw something I have not seen before.

Lots and lots of cast members in one area doing water art. There had to be 7 or 8 CM's who were drawing, I know one them was learning how to draw with the water broom. And lots of us visitors were trying their hand at drawing as well. It was a very, very hot afternoon and the drawings were evaporating quickly and then just as quick, getting drawn again.

I had walked through the Tomorrowland Terrace area and towards the Plaza Ice Cream area and this is what I found.


As you can see, these folks had "drawn" a crowd.


Even the littlest of visitors can draw! While the art may be temporary, the memories live on.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Food Friday: Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar

by Nick

Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar, aka a Mickey Head or Mickey Bar. Like the popcorn, this frozen treat is somehow the tastiest ice cream bar ever! Sure, there are some that come close, in fact, I personally think that Dove's Dark Chocolate bar is very similar. But, well, the ambiance of the parks make the Mickey Bar the clear winner. They are available all over WDW and Disneyland, but for some reason, we often get one right after riding Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom in WDW. Maybe it's to calm our nerves?

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 8.21.00 PM


Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Disney Birthday Celebration

By: Beverly Beardsley  

First off, true confession: we arrived at Disney eleven days after my actual birthday. Circumstances prevented us being there on the actual day, however, the trip was a gift and a celebration. 

It wasn’t until our second day in the parks, while at “Lords and Ladies” in the UK at Epcot, that my SLSO (spouse-like significant other) mentioned something to the Cast Member about my birthday. She’d just searched long and hard to find a shirt for me. “It’s your birthday? Would you like a badge?," she asked in her lovely English accent. She had a girl in the shop across the way letter my name on a birthday badge, and then the fun began.

Over the next few days, just about EVERY Disney CM, from maintenance to entertainers, wished me a happy birthday. I received birthday cards from waiters, and also one from Belle and the Beast. I got a cookie, a sample of the “grey stuff” at Be Our Guest, and a cool chef’s hat at Mama Melrose’s. But best of all, as we were passing through Mexico, we stopped to listen to the Mariachi band. They called me up and serenaded me with a lovely Mexican birthday song “Las MaƱanitas”. It was gorgeous!

 
So my advice to you is, if it’s any time NEAR your birthday, or if you are celebrating any special occasion, GET THE BADGE! It will make your stay even more special!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It is Tough to be a Bug!

by Gaylin

It's Tough to be a Bug is by far my favourite 3D show at Walt Disney World. I go to see it once or even twice every trip. I love watching it myself, but I also love listening or peeking around at the reactions of other people in the theatre. Nothing like the first squeals that happen when those special effects start.

Parents take heed, when they warn that the show will be dark and loud and may be difficult for toddlers to sit through, they are not fooling. I have noticed someone sneak out to the exit doors on the left with a freaking out toddler at least half of the times I have been to this show.

I like the waiting area as well, dark, fairly cool and then there is the scenery! I love the posters of the stars of the show, well worth walking around to read them all.





And the final touch of fun, since it is a 3D movie, you have to become an honorary bug by wearing your bug eyes glasses.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Choosing Your Walt Disney World Resort by Room Picture!

by Shendl

I was browsing through the resort room pictures on the Walt Disney World Website and it got me thinking…..If money was not an object and you had to choose your resort based on a room picture without knowing anything else about the resort besides the name, which would you choose?
I will be quite interested to see the answers. I was quite surprised by my choice!

Can you guess which room belongs to which resort? Answers at the bottom, no peeking!

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  1. All Star Movies
  2. All Star Music
  3. Yacht Club
  4. Wilderness Lodge
  5. Animal Kingdom Lodge
  6. Port Orleans Riverside
  7. Beach Club 
  8. Port Orleans French Quarter
  9. Boardwalk Inn
  10. Pop Century
  11. Caribbean Beach
  12. Grand Floridian
  13. Contemporary Resort
  14. Coronado Springs
  15. Polynesian 
  16. All Start Sports
  17. Art of Animation Little Mermaid Standard Room
My favourite room by just looking at the pictures was the Boardwalk Inn Resort.  That choice surprised me! I have always wanted to stay at the Wilderness Lodge because of the other things the resort has to offer and because of how it looks, I never gave the rooms much thought!

Which Resort Room appeals to you?

(All room Photographs are from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ except for the Caribbean Beach Room Picture which is from http://www.disneycaribbeanbeach.com/)