Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bambi and Flower: WDCC

By Nick

The very first movie I can recall seeing was “Bambi” in my hometown movie theater. Some of the images and emotions of this classic have remained with me my entire life, and it is near the top of my all time favorites. I have several Bambi items in my collection, and I am happy to share one I just recently added. 

Back when the Walt Disney Classics Collection started, I was much younger, and didn’t have the resources to buy many of the WDCC figures I so desired.

Fast forward almost 20 years (!), and my finances have improved, while, often, the prices for WDCC figures have come down, and are more in a price range I’m comfortable with.
Such is the case with this Bambie figure.


]This is one of those pieces that makes me smile every time I look at it, and makes me ask myself why I waited so long to get him.


He stands 6″ high, and carries the 1993 Treble Clef production mark. The official title of this piece is “Purty Flower”.

Who is Bambi looking for? Why, the Purty Flower of course!

And here he is now!

I’ve had Flower since 1993. I picked him up because he was a more affordable price, with the hopes that I’d be able to get Bambi at some point in the future.


Watch it!


Flower stands 3″ high, and also carries the 1993 Treble Clef production mark. “Oh…Gosh” is his response to Bambi’s “Purty Flower” comment.

And here they are together, finally, after almost 20 years!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Defending Walt Disney's Classic, Bambi

By Nick

Why am I writing an article defending my love of Bambi, a true Disney classic, and one of my favorite animated movies of all time? I'm asking myself that very question to be perfectly honest. I'm only too happy to do so, as it deserves praise, but I'm just shocked I have to.

If you've listened to Episode 11 of The Disney Exchange, (If you haven't, you should, it's great, but, really, they all are.) then please go ahead and do so, and then come on back here.

Back? Good, then you heard Dave and Lisa criticize my choice for favorite Disney film pre my birth year, Bambi.

Were you as surprised as me to hear it being described as "cheesy?"

I chose Bambi for a few reasons.

It was my first movie, or at least the first movie I remember clearly. I can picture very distinctly Bambi and Thumper's banter, Bambi's father telling him "Your mother can't be with you anymore,"  the forest fire, and Bambi's standing on a cliff with his father at the end. (Excuse me a moment, I need to compose myself. -sniff-)

Bambi is a very well balanced film of beauty and darkness, with happiness, sadness, laughter, and love.

It's beautifully animated. In the early 90's, I had the opportunity to work at an Animation Art Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa. I got to see some of the inspirational art by Tyrus Wong, as well as animation sketches and production work. I am, in fact, the proud owner of an animated sketch of Bambi, from the "twitterpated" sequence, and a Sericel of Thumper.

A lot of Tyrus' work, along with many works from other animation legends can be found in the excellent book "Walt Disney's Bambi, The Story and the Film" by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of Walt's "Nine Old Men."

Believe me, if I could afford it, I would have many more animated pieces from this wonderful movie.
I do have many collectibles around the home representing Bambi, however, such as several Walt Disney Classics Collection pieces.

What are your thoughts on Bambi? Please leave a comment telling why you enjoy it, or just tell Lisa and David they are wrong, either is fine.

This article was originally posted on The Disney Exchange, a blog and podcast which write and co-host with Lisa Green and David Hodges.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Disney Exchange- Episode 15 Show Notes: Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival

By Nick

Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

-Main Topic- Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival

-The Disney Exchange is Lisa Green, David Hodges, and me, Nicholas Maglio

-Lisa kicks us off with a piece of gossip or rumor of a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant to go in Adventureland and we speculate as to where it would go, and all 3 of us Disney podcasters can't come up with the name of the Tortuga Tavern which was formerly called El Pirata Y El Perico Restaurante.

-Lisa discusses Cinderella and the "tiny waist" controversy. We very briefly talk about Frozen Fever, the new animated short playing before Cinderella.

-We get into our main topic, Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, which was suggested by listener Paul.  Festival dates this year are March 4th - May 17th.

-Dave shares his experience over the weekend of March 21st and 22nd heat, crowds, and going the wrong way in Epcot, which to Dave is towards Mexico and not Canada.

-This years topiaries are bigger and better!

 Photo: David Hodges

-Be sure to hit the Butterfly Garden and maybe get a free applesauce!

Photo: Dave

-I ask Dave many questions about the food kiosks, in particular what the differences in the kiosks are between Flower and Garden and Food and Wine. I go on to ask for food suggestions, and share my list of must haves, mainly consisting of beer.

 Photo: Dave

-Lisa is not a fan of the realistic faces on the topiaries.

-Dave decided against reinacting the iconic scene pictured below with his 5'11" 14 year old son.

-Dave discusses the English Garden Tea Tour in the United Kingdom Pavilion, which is done several times a day, and is free!

-We talk about musical groups playing this year and the Festival center, located at the former Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World. Make sure to get a guide and passport.

 Photo: Dave

-Lisa almost gives Dave his walking papers.

-We inevitably get back to talking about food, and Dave's young, unsophisticated palate. Dave shares his and his families food booth hits and misses.

 Food Photos: Dave

-Don't miss the Butterfly Garden and then stop into Club Cool for a Beverly! (Please note; the Beverly statement is sarcasm. Beverly tastes like what I imagine ear-wax would taste like.)

-Dave has trouble finding it, but eventually locates the Wheel of Distiny:
 Best Disney ride for Thrill Seekers.

Thank you for listening to The Disney Exchange, the Podcast of Wisdom!
We can be found at:

If you'd like to drop us an email: info@thedisneyexchange 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Must Do: Pirates of the Caribbean

By Lisa Green


When family and friends ask about must-do rides and attractions at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, I’m always tempted to direct them right to the mountains:  Space, Splash, and Big Thunder.  I think “thrills” first and foremost – everything else second.  Wrong way to go.  I should be steering newbies to the best, most quintessential, iconic attractions first.  The most Disney-ish rides of all.  While I have (surprise!) several favorites in that category, today I’m just going to focus on one…Pirates of the Caribbean.  Why?  Multi-generational appeal, superior theming, top-notch effects, and old school Disney style.


The queue for Pirates does a great job setting the mood – you descend into underground caverns.  Stone walls, arched doorways, cannons, cannonballs, barrels of gunpowder – all set just the right tone for what happens once you board your boat.

“Dead men tell no tales” – the haunting voice repeats the words over and over as the ride begins.  You set off on your journey by sailing through several scenes with a multitude of very spectacular effects to take in – if you get to ride twice, pick a different side of the boat each time – there’s so much to see.

Purists may be bothered by the modernization of Pirates, but the 2006 refurbishment kicked the ride up a notch with fantastic new things to see and hear!  The addition of Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa (and other Pirates of the Caribbean movie tie-ins) at several points during the ride added more excitement – especially for first-time visitors who have seen the movies.  Those partial to the theme song from the movies will love that it’s now in the ride.  And, guests still get to visit Port Royale and see all of the original and beloved animatronics that make this ride a classic!

Pirates is cool and dark – If you’ve been outside in Florida’s scorching summer sun, this ride is a perfect way to cool off!  There are no major twists and turns and only a little bit of up and down (one big-ish drop) as your boat sails leisurely through the pirate-infested waters.  Before FastPass+, Pirates rarely had a long wait – it’s my understanding that things may be different at this time.  I would still recommend you spend your valuable FastPass+ choices on other rides, but it may be worth trying to fit Pirates in early – at the very least, keep an eye on the wait times via your My Disney Experience smartphone app and catch the ride when the lines are shorter – otherwise be prepared to wait 30 minutes or more.


The gift shop at the ride’s exit is one of the best in the parks.  The unique and plentiful merchandise is as fun as the ride!  Even if we don’t make a purchase, we love to take a few minutes to look at all the pirate gear.  Parents of little boys may want to keep this particular shop in mind when planning souvenir shopping.

If you’re really lucky, you may even run into the real live Jack Sparrow outside the ride entrance!

What’s your favorite part of Pirates of the Caribbean?  Is it a must-do ride for you? 

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog

Editor's Note: Lisa can also be found co-hosting The Disney Exchange Podcast along with Dave Hodges and myself! - Nick

Friday, March 27, 2015

Do You Remember: When Tusker House Was a Counter Service Restaurant?

By Nick

Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom is an awesome buffet, but do you remember when it was an equally awesome counter service restaurant?

In fact, this was where Barbie could find her favorite lunch item, the vegetable pita sandwich. They also had a delicious half chicken meal.

If you've eaten at both, which do you prefer?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My First Disney Souvenir

By Gaylin

My first trip to Florida, July of 1978, I was 18. The whole month visiting a friend and her family. One day she asks “Do you want to go to the Magic Kingdom for a day”? My response, “Sure, if it is not too expensive”. This was my first vacation away from my family, including my first airplane ride and much to my relief my first non-camping vacation.

A few days later 4 teenage girls, on a road trip to see Disney World. I had little clue what I was heading for, we didn’t yet have cable TV until I was 13 and my parents ruled what we saw. I had a few memories of the World of Disney but not much beyond that.
The shocker for me was how the magic hit right there on Main Street. I loved it, every ride, every line-up, the junk food and seeing characters, I was amazed. There was very little in the budget for souvenirs and my friends, being Florida natives, had little interest in shopping. I did manage to talk them into letting me look around a bit and I bought a beach towel. If memory serves me, it was $6.95.

As soon as I got home I started using the towel. I used it constantly, a new favorite.

The next summer, this lovely family invited me back! Of course I went and yes, we did go back to the Magic Kingdom for another day. This time I bought 2 towels.

I wore the first towel out by sheer overuse and then started using the other two. Thankfully I didn’t wear them out quite as much and then stopped using them because I wanted them to last.

This is the whole towel. Very thin cotton when compared to the plush, highly colored beach towels they make now:

The top of the towel with Pluto and Minnie all ready for the beach.

The center with Mickey, hanging ten like the cool dude that he is.

And the bottom of the towel, including the Walt Disney Productions logo.
And, proving it was well made, the tag is still attached!

Finally, one of the few photos I have that proves I was really there, 1978, me and Tigger!!!