Sunday, December 25, 2011

Trip Report from November, continued...

Saturday Nov. 12
We got up early to make 8:00am breakfast reservations at the Crystal Palace. We took the boat to the Contemporary, and the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. The best part about early morning reservations is the park is empty and you get the chance to relax and enjoy the moment, take some photos, maybe horse around a bit. The food was great as was the service. They really bend over backwards to make sure you get what you ask for.
Jill came to see Tigger. That was all that was on her mind! The rest of us were there for the food! The characters as well. The Crystal Palace is a great place for family fun times.

The day and the weather was perfect and we rode on all of the rides we set out to ride. We then took the boat to the Wilderness Lodge so Josh and Jill could check out the resort. It truly is an awesome place.

Then it was back to the Cabins to nap a bit before heading to the Disney Hollywood Studios for dinner at The Brown Derby. The food served there is always outstanding. Nick had the Lobster Bisque and the Duck. I had the Cobb Salad and Wild Mushroom Canapes. We had a great booth, looking out towards the main entrance.

After dinner, we wandered around the Osborne Lights. It was chilly that evening, just adding to the experience. Nick was recognized by some Facebook friends, which always stuns me, and we wound up becoming instant friends and talking to them for quite a while. Nick also wound up in someone's home movie which was posted on many of the Disney sites, and he was recognized in the movie by many people as well. Nick and I went back to the cabin, while Jill and Josh enjoyed the extra magic hours, which went to 3:00am that evening at the Magic Kingdom! Way too late for us!!

Sunday, Nov. 13
Nick and I made it to rope drop at Epcot, while our friends slept in. Rope drop is when you get there before the park opens, and once you are let in, you reach a certain point and are held back by ropes until the designated time. There is usually a show to keep one occupied. We rode Soarin, and got fast passes for it to ride again later on. We then had breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. Josh and Jill met us there, and Josh and Nick used the fast passes to ride Soarin. When they were through, we then took the Living with the Land ride. We got FPs for Test Track, did some shopping, and Nick got a photo with Baloo.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mickey's Christmas Carol

This post is written by my very talented husband, whose love for Disney is only outdone by his love for Christmas, so combining the two is only natural! Thank goodness Disney embraces Christmas as well. So here, in Nick's words is Micky's Christmas Carol:

Who has seen the animated short film, "Mickey's Christmas Carol," based on the Charles Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol," released in 1983? Who knows that this Disney classic is largely derived from an LP record released in 1974 by Disneyland Records?

There are several similarities in the scripts, with many of the jokes being the same. The characters are mostly the same, with a few notable exceptions.

In both versions, Scrooge is Scrooge McDuck, Cratchit is, of course, Mickey Mouse. Goofy is Jacob Marley. The ghosts, in the animated short are played by Jiminy Cricket as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Willie the Giant, from "Mickey and the Beanstalk" is Christmas Present, and Pete is Christmas Yet to Come. On the LP, the ghosts are Merlin the Magician from "The Sword in the Stone" as Christmas Past, and the Witch from Snow White as Yet to Come. It is an enjoyable listen, and fun to listen to the sometimes verbatim, dialogue.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trip Report from November, 2011: Fort Wilderness Cabins

Who? Barbie, Nick and our friends Josh and Jill. (As told mostly in Nick's words)
Where? The Cabins at Fort Wilderness.

Friday, Nov. 11th
We flew into Orlando from Philly, and took Magical Express to Fort Wilderness, checked in, and proceeded to our cabin. We were in cabin 2768, which is very close to the main road, and one of the many bus stops throughout the grounds. It is a fairly short walk to the Outpost Depot, which is where you get a bus to Downtown Disney and all the parks except the Magic Kingdom, which is reached by boat.

Our cabin:
Upon entering the cabin, you walk into the kitchen area straight ahead. To the right is the living room. There is a Murphy bed hidden in the wall, which is where Nick and I slept. This is a very comfortable bed, perhaps more comfortable than other resorts beds. It is a double however, so some may find it a little small. The bathroom was very roomy, and Nick and I both felt the water pressure was stronger than at many other resorts.

A couple of things of note. I think this may have been one of the cleanest and most well kept of the rooms we've stayed in! Mouse Keeping was exceptional. Also, one of the things I got the most feedback about was the bus service. Many people suggested we rent a car, but we talked it over with our friends and decided that wasn't necessary. It turned out that the bus service was the best of any other resort we've stayed at, with the exception of one late evening, after returning via boat from the Magic Kingdom, when we had to wait about 20 minutes for a bus. Even the internal bus service was often arriving just as we would approach both our local bus stop or the main Outpost stop. On only a couple of occasions was a bus not at the ready, and we opted to simply walk either to the main depot, or our cabin.

Nick and I and our friends all agree, we would absolutely stay at the cabins again. A big thank you to Jill for getting the interior pics for us after we left, hers are better than ours.

Back to the trip report: We dropped off our bags, and headed right to Epcot to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival. The weather was absolutely perfect. The Christmas decorations were already appearing, and the Christmas loops were playing.

Having made our way around World Showcase "eating around the world," we headed for Future World, and rode Imagination and the Seas with Nemo, and explored the Seas. By now, it was almost time to head back to World Showcase. We were attending the 3D Dessert Party that evening, which was at 8:00pm. On the way there, we ran into my (Barbie's) co-worker, Mary! From New Jersey! And this wouldn't be the only time!! How crazy is that?

The Dessert party:
We lined up about 7:30, and were admitted shortly afterwards. We waited in front of a curtain, which was parted at 8:00, and all the people there rushed for tables, which really wasn't necessary, as there were plenty. The rumor was that people would have to stand if they couldn't get a table! Nick plowed ahead of the rest of us and picked out a table, and next to our table sat my co-worker, Mary! Again! What are the odds?!

Thanks Mary, for getting this very crazy pic of me hogging all the desserts on the table while nobody was looking! That's what co-workers are for.

The room was beautifully decorated. There was a live band playing songs such as "Sweet Caroline," "Sweet Child of Mine," "Sweet Home Alabama," you get the picture. They were cheesy and extremely loud. They were also a lot of fun. There was a lot of beverage choices, coffees, teas, and many adult beverages including wine, punches, etc., and Josh ad Nick's favorite, the DeKuyper liquors. Also available was also a savory station of dried meats and cheeses, as well as fresh and dried fruits and beautiful berries, which was my favorite section.

Sadly the most disappointing thing about the dessert party were the desserts. The best thing, and almost worth the price of admission alone, was the Flambeed Cinnamon Doughnuts with Red Stag Infused Sundried Cherries served with Red Stag Ice Cream. Thanks to Mary for pointing us to that lovely concoction! Most of the rest of the desserts were disappointing. We all agreed the dessert trio from the Food and Wine Dessert and Champagne Booth was far superior. Such a shame that wasn't an offering. Out of all the desserts they offered, not a one had any lemon in it. (always my preference!)

Around 9:30, there was an announcement that we would be going to the Illuminations viewing area, located between the two shops at the entrance of World Showcase. On the way out, we were each handed a gift bag with a Merci Chocolate assortment, as well as some other goodies. We were also provide special glasses that made small Mickey heads out of the fireworks. All in all, it was absolutely worth experiencing once, but we agreed we wouldn't do it again!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Disney Tree

I know all you Disney fans out there have a Christmas tree dedicated to Disney ornaments, right? I mean, it starts off so innocently, one, two, three ornaments, four, fourteen, thirty-four; and then all of a sudden you're looking for a tree specifically to highlight your Disney ornaments! Don't forget the rotating base, because if you are anything like my husband, you need to have access to the whole tree, and you need to see all the ornaments, and that's the only efficient way to do that!

Are You a Man or a Muppet?

Have you seen "The Muppets" new movie yet? As soon as I saw Walter I fell in love. The movie is a great "return to the big-screen" for the Muppets. There are big singing numbers, all the favorite characters and some new ones to boot! I hope we will be seeing a lot of Walter in the future.

Walter is a "Smalltown" boy who dreams of meeting the Muppets. He also struggles with his identity, not really fitting in with the world around him. He believes that he may fit in better with the Muppets. When his twin brother Gary and his girlfriend plan a trip out to California, Walter is invited to join along to tour the Muppet Studios.

Walter, the Muppets biggest fan, is a character who is sweet, sincere and pure of heart. The relationship between Gary and Walter is a heartwarming one, they truly look out for each other. Gary, his girlfriend and Walter eventually help to save the run down and abandoned Muppet Studios, but the movie is about the relationships people and Muppets have with themselves and each other, and the love for their families. That love never ends.