Thursday, June 1, 2017

Life's Like a Movie - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Hi, Everyone!

Sorry to be so absent.

BUT, let's talk about Pirates really quick.

They should have called it Pirates of the Caribbean: Saving Will Turner. But other than that, I'll be as spoiler free as I can manage.

I wouldn't say a single Pirates movie has truly been a disappointment to me, but the fact that I don't remember very much of On Stranger Tides might indicate it was a little disappointing. My brain just neglected to catalog it....

I'll say, in retrospect, the problem was the loss of Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley.  It appears Jerry Bruckheimer has figured this out, in a rather ingenious way. (Again, no spoilers, I'll keep my mouth shut!)

This movie both got back to its roots and set new standards of large action-based set piece moments.  Plus, the writing is very clever. Since I saw the movie on Friday, I've been trying to ascertain what about it was different from On Stranger Tides, and At World's End. I think both of these movies failed (as much as a Pirates movie can fail) in that they played too much to Jack Sparrow.  The reason Johnny Depp got his first Oscar nomination for Curse of the Black Pearl was because the script was just written and Johnny used the space to paint a more vivid character.

And don't misunderstand, I'm not blaming the writers (Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio for all except this recent entry, Just Rossio and Jeff Nathanson).  As a screenwriter, if I blame anyone in the sequel game, it's the studio (You heard me, Iger!).

But, it's kind of a moot point anyway, since this movie fared so much better in Jack Sparrow's balance onscreen.

On thing I'd love to point out, Sir Paul McCartney's cameo.  I heard about it early on,....then forgot about it...until his official Instagram posted the promotional photo of his character.  Again, not giving anything away, but it's a better cameo match than one thinks.  Keith Richards, though the inspiration for Jack Sparrow, isn't an actor. No matter how good his episode of The Simpsons is...


Anyway, Paul's cameo is oddly a bit of light, and a plot point, which made his presence more...useful?

Really, when does one ever NOT need Paul McCartney?


For symmetry's sake, here is Paul on the Simpsons.


To the critics who insist "Why did we need another Pirates movie?"...I say why not? Do we need another Fast and Furious? Another Guardians of the Galaxy? I understand the repetitive nature of the movie business these days.  I believe I've even commented on it previously on the blog....but in the spirit of the Donnie and Marie.....You're a little bit Furious, and I'm a little bit Pirate-y.

And I have always thought of Pirates more in the vein of the old serials from the 40s and 50s.  There are supposed to be a few in one continuing story.  And Pirates movies were and are a perfect setting and theme for a serial.  I realize this may seem like being a Disney apologist, but I doubt anyone could look at my Tower of Terror blog and call me that.

Did you see Pirates this weekend? Any questions? Comments? Theories? Do you think, assuming the movie does well enough at the box office, Disney might rescind calling this the "final chapter" of the Pirates tale? Let us know in the comments below! (Below, as opposed to Facebook...)

Have a good week!



Thursday, May 11, 2017

The "New" Autopia

Hello, Everyone! Hope you've had a great week....

Let's take a look at the new Autopia.  This year, the sponsorship changed from Chevron to Honda.  I get the impression part of this has to do with Honda vacating Innoventions in favor of the Star Wars Launch Bay (and good riddance....).

First things first, here is the blog post from the Disney Park Blog on the additions: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/04/video-new-look-and-story-for-autopia-at-disneyland-park/

The video has a nice little interview with Imagineer Kim Irvine and great vintage Autopia footage.

Poor Kim, while a brilliant Imagineer (and daughter of Imagineer Leota Toombs Thomas), it seems she's often assigned these jobs where she has to go in and do something to a classic attraction...she was in charge of adding Disney characters to It's a Small World, and Disney Legend Alice Davis noted she did great work on a hard job. But that's another story. (And in the interest of maintaining my sources, I'm pretty sure that quote from Alice comes from Episode 193 of Lou Mongello's WDW Radio Show.)

So, the attraction theoretically has a new paint job, both buildings and vehicles.  To be frank, I couldn't tell the colors on the cars were new, they clash so much with the blues of the rest of the attraction. However, I don't know that Autopia has ever been...terribly cohesive...which might be a theme throughout this post.

Also, the new iteration has a couple of new characters.  Asimo, the robot who used to have a show in Innoventions.  His real cache was that, unlike most robots, he can bend his knees and walk up stairs.
Anyway, for more information, go to Hondo's website for Asimo (here).

Now, the complicated part is that Asimo is joined by a little character called Bird, who is an aesthetically coordinated mechanical bird. Bird actually gives the safety spiel. Problem is, Bird (he? I think he's a he) has a voice that would drive a person to murder. And the Autopia spiel is a little long because you also have to tell people how to drive the vehicle. So, you get to hear this high pitched little character tell you to be safe (and then in Spanish) over and over and over....

...and knitting....and knitting...and knitting... (if you get the reference, comment below!)

Other than that, the ride hasn't changed too much.  You go by the cute little vignettes, but if you're focused on driving, you might not even notice.

So, let's take a trip to the photo buffet...



As previously mentioned, the color scheme has shifted.  Slowly the blue/silver/white is taking back over Tomorrowland, from the brown of Tomorrowland '98.


The board still plays video, now of Asimo and Bird's travels, with plenty of Disney Easter Eggs. But it was hard to focus with Bird chirping over the speakers.


One thing I loved about the Autopia presented by Chevron was the little displays in this rotunda, showing small sketches using the stop motion cars from the Chevron commercials.


No they've been replaced with video crudely animated to show Asimo and Bird preparing for their road trip.

More blue.


Now, the video from the Disney Parks Blog shows how the new paint jobs on the cars turned out, with a new color scheme. But like I said earlier, the scheme hasn't really changed. Just a refresh. It looks SO out of place. Though the reds are a little more cherry.

And cheery.

Cherry, cheery.

Yes, I took pictures of the wall to see the paint. I do this for YOU people!


Blue and silver.


Asimo is a sloppy trunk packer....


Personally, I can't wait until the Railroad is back up and running. I looked over and...it's a smoking section over in the Tomorrowland Station.

Yeah...no.




Video

So, it's hard to drive and take pictures....I found out the hard way it's about as difficult to drive and Periscope....behind a young lady who couldn't figure out that one pedal...(so pardon any yelling).

In all honesty, I thought it would be better to Periscope the drive rather than stop and take pictures. I shouldn't have worried that much!



Should I stay or Should I go?

While a total refurbishment of Tomorrowland is still a little ways down the road, let's chat for a minute about the longevity and necessity of the Autopia.

The original Autopia came about because in the mid-50s because highways were coming into being after WWII. What's more fun than a highway adventure? (Never mind, don't answer that.)

The attraction is from the first day of the park. Its cars were designed by Imagineering Legend Bob Gurr (a fellow left-hander!).  It's changed from being one of TWO Autopias (one in Fantasyland and one here in Tomorrowland) to being merged into the longer journey you see today...

It's not exactly a people eater in terms of hourly ride capacity, but adds to the kinetics of Tomorrowland, a world on the move. This attraction, I'm sure, is a conundrum to Imagineering.  Keep it or leave it?

I used to think "take it". It's a large footprint in a troubled land. But with Star Wars land on the other side of the park, perhaps there is room for thought.

I saw people of all ages in that line. Not just parents with whiny children. I saw semi-elderly couples getting in together. Young people, teenagers even! There is something to be said for the wide demographic of people willing to ride an attraction where you drive a car...even though you probably drove a car to get to the parks.  (My aunt's reasoning for not riding the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes has always been "Why should I pay my money to make the boat go?")

There is almost something childlike in the appeal of it.  You're not fighting traffic, you're not going to work.  You're going on an adventure. The car is smaller, YOU are smaller. Everyone is equal in their same little car. You don't have to rush, but please don't bump the person in front of you....

Another thing I'd like to note, is not every ride has to have the same vehicle. Sure, Omnimovers are great. Every ride doesn't need to utilize it. Simulators are great. They make some people sick, though. One of the things that gives ANY Disney park its kinetics is the variety of transport. You see the train, the Main Street vehicles, monorails, etc. Universal has been criticized for using too many screens in their attractions. I would say simulator-based, but they're not usually outright simulators.

We need rides that are different from each other, it's part of the fun.

While I REALLY don't want to lose the Subs (I should do another post about that on its own), but I was previously willing to lose the Autopia.  I think Disney can, and should, find a happy medium.  Micechat recently reported that Imagineering is trying to find a more permanent solution to the theming problem in Tomorrowland. Once they choose their theme, and the attractions go in, I think a form of the Autopia which mimics the vistas of the PeopleMover wouldn't be a bad idea. Don't just shove the attraction in one area, let it go all over Tomorrowland!

Take my idea, Imagineering, please. It's on me.

Well, that's it for now. If you have any comments or questions, PLEASE feel free to comment below. (Preferably not on the Facebook post announcing the blog post is up.  It looks lonely over here!)

With all the news trickling in about the D23 Expo, if you all want updates before I even go, ALSO go ahead and comment.  I won't have a press pass or anything, I'm still technically a Disney blogging civilian, so we'll see how things go.

See y'all soon!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Gadgets & Gizmos: Disney and the Pin Up Girls

Hi, Everyone!

Today we're going to talk about Disney going retro.  Recently, Disney released a line of vintage dresses inspired by the Disney Parks (link to the Disney Parks Blog post announcing the release).

I wouldn't say this line is "too little too late".  It seems the Disney-infused-vintage...trend? ...craze?  ...fashion aesthetic? is gaining steam at a steady pace.

The dresses are available in Vault 28 at Downtown Disney, and at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs (at Walt Disney World). They are NOT available online, and this is actually a good thing. It was recommended by the Cast Members in the shop that you try on the dresses.  They've had customers come in to exchange the dress because it didn't fit properly. So, my first tip, PLEASE try on the dress in-store and make sure it fits you properly.

Recently, my mother and I took a "research trip" to see what all the fuss was about.

Just kidding, we bought 'em! we bought 'em!



These two dresses are inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean (left, the lace has skulls in it, and there is another skull embroidered on the sash), and the Haunted Mansion.


OK, the Snow White dress is interesting...


The bites in the apples are the dwarfs! You might be asking people to invade your personal space, but it's worth it for the reaction!


We've got Alice and Minnie here.


The Small World dress was kind of a disappointment, fabric-wise. It was more of a silky fabric that is liable to wrinkle easily.  I won't lie, we were happy it didn't make us as giddy as some of the other dresses.  Less money to spend!


Smartly, Disney didn't just make the dresses but had accessories to go with, down to jewelry.


The border at the bottom of this dress has books and...enchanted objects from a certain beastly film.....


AND *drum roll*.....ORANGE BIRD!

For those who don't know, the Orange Bird is a character created by Disney in conjunction with the Florida Citrus Growers, and made appearances in Walt Disney World (click here for more information). Much like Figment, finding Orange Bird in these parts is a rarity! Plus, the style was just perfect....so....guess who bought it?

Yeah, I did! Yay me, the happy consumer!


While I do love this Hollywood Tower of Terror dress, in light of the monstrosity of a re-theme in DCA, it felt a tad like rubbing salt in the wound...


When you buy a dress, you get this LOVELY garment bag, which enables you to protect your purchase while also humble-bragging it as you carry it through Downtown Disney.

The prices are a little more reasonable than usual Pin Up clothing.  Mine was in the $130 area, so PLEASE use your Annual Passholder discount.  It really makes the price easier to swallow.

One note before we move on....the Tiki Room dress pictured in the Disney Parks Blog post (it's green,  in the right hand photo with the Small World dress) is sold out in both locations, with no definite date as to a new shipment.  So, keep an eye out if that one strikes your fancy.....

You can never have too many pretty dresses...

But what brought on all this vintage pin up demand?

A few years ago, a boutique in Burbank, Pin Up Girl Clothing, licensed work from Disney artist Mary Blair's estate, to create a line of dresses and skirts (and a few accessories such as scarves) for their shop. This is the reason I heard of them, and I've been hooked ever since. (Link to the Mary Blair Collection)

Note: The dresses tend to have female names (the most popular being the Jenny dress and Jenny skirts.) I just want to alleviate any confusion when I name a dress by both its style AND the print/pattern on the dress.


Here I am in the Jenny dress in the Commuters print.  With an unidentified friend.


Here's my mother and I that same day.  Mom's got on the Aurora dress with the Trains print.  The Walt Disney Family Museum actually used that same little train to direct people to special exhibit building when the Mary Blair exhibit was going on. I think they still use it, but i can't be sure.



This is my goddaughter, Naomi, in the Ella dress in one of the Roses prints. She's 13. And I'm old.

Oh, and that's her little sister Olivia....who is built like a linebacker and I don't expect her to be the Pin Up type.

Don't you be deceived by that face!

Unique Vintage! 

Another local boutique (literally a few blocks down from Pin Up Girl) is Unique Vintage, another great place to get your vintage heart a flutterin'.  They also have plenty of merchandise for all your Disney cosplay or Disney Bounding needs. (Link to Unique Vintage's Dapper Days collection)

Hot Topic Gets Into the Game

Now, just since Disney's vintage collection has been released, Hot Topic has also released a set called "Retro Disney" which is similar, but a little more casual, and a little easier on your wallet. 

Coming Attractions

AND Recently, HerUniverse.com teased some Pin Up-esque pieces with a Star Wars Twist coming to their shop.  At the moment, what they have is a fantastic lightsaber skirt, and a few great dresses with Star Wars landscapes as a border.  I personally own the lightsaber skirt and it's gorgeous! 

I'm hoping this D23 Expo in July (by the way, make sure you follow along while I cover the Expo!), HerUniverse will have the new merchandise so I can take a gander.....and a large shopping bag! 

But Which is Which? 


So, you have a lot of option, but price, quality, and character. You can be subtly Disney, and not-so-subtly Disney....also, FYI, Pin Up and Unique Vintage also have great basics to fill out your wardrobe. And if you find yourself yearning for more vintage outside the Disney purview, well, you're now a vintage addict....

It happens.  We have meetings....

Speaking of meetings...

Dapper Day

Just this weekend, Dapper Days happened at Disneyland.  Not only do people get into their vintage best in the parks, but a whole ballroom in the Disneyland Hotel holds booths and activities attended by Vintage based companies from all over.  I personally didn't attend this year because I'm saving my money for the Expo. But like I said, the Vintage craze is happily growing, and now that Disney is officially in the business, look for it to continue.

A nice note I'd like to wrap up on, Pin Up Girl was invited by Disney for the opening weekend of The Dress Shop (the name they've given this line of dresses) at Disney Springs. It was really gratifying to see that Disney doesn't intend to push out the little boutiques.  Hopefully, Disney will come up with skirts to go with Pin Up Girl's great peasant tops! 


That's it for today.  I hope, for those new to the Pin Up/Vintage world, this has been a good introduction.  Hope to see you in the Parks in your best! 


Do you have any information you'd like to add? PLEASE feel free to comment at the bottom of the post with any of your own pictures from Dapper Day, or just your own purchases from Vault 28 or Pin Up Girl, or wherever you happened to find something unexpected! 

I've got a couple of quick attraction based posts coming up, plus Fred should make an appearance. We're both trying to avoid the parks until the Spring Breakers get themselves out of the parks, then i have a long post coming which will hopefully be thought-provoking.

In the meantime, have a good week! 







Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Egg Hunting at the Disneyland Resort

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you all have been enjoying Disneyland's annual Egg Scavenger Hunt.  I've done it pretty much every year since the event began, so I thought I might give you a few tips.  Also, we're going to look at the little tidbits of interest I picked up along the way...

First, here is the Disney Parks Blog post on the hunt, with most of the information: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/03/egg-stravaganza-details-hatched-as-fun-scavenger-hunt-returns-to-disneyland-resort-in-april/

I mean, that's some of my work done for me!


But first...Star Wars Land!

It helps the view if you park on Minnie....on my way back to my car, I observed TWO security guards, just watching the progress.

But you see that random wall in the middle of nothing? Those orange dots? Those are people!!!!!


The actual show building.


Big crane!

OK, the number of people with strollers who ignore this sign....A Cast Member should be stationed at the top of the escalator and SMACK a sticker with this notice onto the foreheads of parents who don't seem to pay attention.....

Yes, it's a harsh policy, but these are harsh times, people! Stroller revolution!


Let's Get Down To Business.....



So, here is the map for Disneyland.  You can pick it up either in Disneyana or in the Showcase shop.
If you pick it up in the Showcase, you can elect to immediately get your egg and just do the hunt at your leisure.  Or if you want to play fair, you can wait.

With all the construction and Big Thunder Trail closed down, Disney did a fairly good job at distributing the eggs around the park.  I would advise you to take a minute and look at all the clues first, to develop a game plan. It will be easier on your feet.


Intrigue in Critter Country



While heading through New Orleans, let's look at the Star Wars construction from another angle....


Here is a better shot with the Columbia visible.  The ship is currently going through some refurbishments.  I heard (I think from Jim Hill of JimHillmedia.com. I do too much reading, can't remember my sources.*)


Now, here is my story of intrigue.  I am a confessed fence-peeker.  Disney puts up a construction wall and I will press my eyeball up there to see what they are doing. I believe the term is nosy...I prefer curious. Fred is a known fence peeker himself.

So, I was looking and saw the progression on a bridge leading from Critter Country to Star Wars Land.  Great, right? Well, when I put my camera up to take a picture, the screen kept going dark.  I thought for a second I'd put my camera in a bad place in relation to the crack in the construction wall.

I pulled my camera back and saw a hand waving across the crack! Someone was trying to block my shot from the other side!

Now, Disney, I get it, you want us all to mind our own business about how the Theme Park Sausage is made....but about 80% of construction can be seen from either the parking structure, Tarzan's Treehouse, or just over the wall when you're in Critter Country! Simmer down!

Although....if I disappear, please assume Bob Iger has had me kidnapped because I know too much.  Pay the ransom! Pay it!



See? Look? Great view! Rock work! Galactic rock work! ooooooooh!!!!!!



As a payment for listening to my film noir-like story, here is an Easter Egg.  There, you got one off the list and you're not even in the park yet!



As I said, you go to the Disney Showcase shop to redeem your prize.  And if you're an Annual Passholder, you can also get this cute little Mickey egg pin.

The egg you redeem (seen in the Disney Parks Blog Post up top) is maybe three inches tall. It is hollow, but over the years, I've collected a good handful, and they make cute decorations for the season.


California Mis-Adventure



Here's an important tip for y'all....DO NOT do more than one hunt in a day...it will murder your flat square feet. Or your regular feet. DCA's hunt is the same, but I'm not sure if they have a different group of people figuring out where the eggs go. A lot of these clues are LOOSE in their definition.  Also, the park is just....a little wider terrain.  There is just no really efficient way to get through the park.

The maps can be bought at Oswald's, and redeemed in the children's clothing section of Elias and Company.

And before I forget, the maps cost $5.99, plus tax, but this year Annual Passholder discounts apply, so make sure you get that!




Now, I intended to be spoiler free with the eggs, but this one took me 20 minutes to find! The clue says the Disney Animation Building....well, that's a debatable clue. It's not on the facade of the building, but the facade next door.  Technically, the interior of the building is used by the Animation exhibits, but....come on, DCA! You're killing me!

On that note, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has both the Chip and Dale eggs.  However, don't go INTO the Challenge Trail.  I talked to a CM after I found the eggs, and since the area closes at 7pm, guests doing the hunt later in the evening complained they couldn't get into the area to find the eggs, so they were moved to the front of the area.

There, I just made your life easy.  You're welcome.


The Horrible Omen of things to come...



The Tower of Terror (or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Frankenstein) looks awful up close. Just awful. And, Disney, please stop sending poor Joe Rodhe out to justify it. Just stop, it's insulting. Maybe if you let him just do what HE wants, because he's a genius, you wouldn't have to send him like an errand boy to explain this and Pandora: World of Avatar in WDW's Animal Kingdom. 

*steps off my soapbox*


In A Bug's Land, I noticed the building to "It's Tough to be a Bug" could use a little facade work.

Or, y'know, get rid of the land. Seriously, one egg in there....screaming kids....just...a misery.

OK, to be frank, when my goddaughter wouldn't ride anything that went INSIDE a building, we spent a lot of time here and I have post traumatic stress over it.

Final Thoughts

So, that's about it. Please enjoy it, in the parks and in Downtown Disney, until April 16th. 
DCA's hunt always seems a little more like the CMs couldn't figure out where to put anything. It would be nice if Disney extended the event a little more. Maybe all through Lent? 

I'm not really sure if there is much else to criticize at this point.  It's a fun seasonal tradition in the making, a great way to get some exercise and find a little more detail about the parks in sort of an accidental way. 

Post-script

* Ok, little footnote with a question from my readers.  I tend to listen to a few podcasts and read several different sites where I get information about rumors and not-really-rumors going about the Disney Blogosphere.  I don't always remember my exact sources, but if you want a blog post with my favorite Disney podcasts, etc, let me know in the comments! I'd love to spread the love!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trip Report: Assisting the Elderly

Hi, Everyone!

I recently took a mini trip into the parks...(look at the title and you'll see why). Anyway, I have a few tidbits and a mini Photo Buffet for you. It's kind of a mishmash, but I hope you all won't mind...

 Gadgets & Gizmos


In the China Closet, where it kind of bleeds into the photo shop, I found a couple of cute snow globes.

First, we have Peter Pan here...very cute.


And this Hitchhiking Ghosts! And instead of glitter, it's got bats! Neat!



Interesting little tip about the Times board on Main Street, it seems, in the mornings, they have a listing of the restaurants that serve breakfast! If you're going to the parks on the fly, this is a quick non-internet way to give you a little more information.  (Top right column, there)


Someone has left the Shower running....

I reported earlier this year the Adventureland restrooms have been closed for a refurbishment, also closing down the Pioneer Mercantile next door (and next land). The ladies' room has re-opened, and, being a lady, I checked it out! 


The men's room is still closed. I guess you all have to wait....


It's got a nice Adventureland theme, with the zebra'd tile.  Classy zebra!
Chic!


Cute light fixtures.

Did they just steal them from Animal Kingdom Lodge in Florida? Be honest, Disney....you can tell me.


And these sleek slanting sinks! Say that five times fast....

It's a nice refurb that doubled the size of the restroom, and it REALLY needed that size!



Hence, the Pioneer Mercantile....


Its refurb is far more subtle, but has some nice thematic touches.


But why is this light right by the open door? What is it giving light to?! Why?!


Really, the store is the same, but lost a little space on the side where the restrooms are. I don't think anyone is going to lose their mind of this.


Similar lighting in the shop. Stolen from the Wilderness Lodge? Grand Californian?

Recycling, Disney Parks style!

OK, maybe they just realized it's a good look....


The dancing Woody is still there, just shifted closer to the front of the store.

2017 Gadgets....


I'd like to take a moment and show off the 2017 merchandise.  While dated merch has always looked more, shall we say, cheap and tacky, Disney really stepped it up this year.  With a focus on Sorcerer Mickey, the colors and design for everything is actually REALLY cute and subtle. You won't look like a tourist in these!


Mugs. I am allowed no more mugs!


More cups.  I'm not allowed any of those either....why are cups and mugs so tempting?


And over in the former Pendleton shop (still part of Pioneer Mercantile, though, now), they have some cute patriotic Mickey merchandise. 



The mysteries of Tom Sawyer Island


So, walking past the island, repainted and ready for Fantasmic to come back, I noticed this little boat on the shore.  It's new, right? I wonder if it's for the show (projector, maybe) or what.

If you have any theories, or know for show, PLEASE comment on this post and we can all learn together!

Photo Buffet - Pirates at 50


This past weekend, Disney had some merchandise and food to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean.  The refurb gave a nice little facelift to the attraction.


Even the railings in the queue were repainted, and it made a big difference! Everything looked beautiful.


Who's this guy? Is he important?


Now THIS guy looks like a Pirate!



The boats were changed out to a mold similar to the Small World boats...the only negative difference I can give is was fewer fireflies in the Blue Bayou scene, and none in the little area before you get off the boat.  Those are such a great, simple, Disney-esque effect. I hope they just didn't get those ordered in time or something.

Doesn't Imagineering have Amazon Prime?


It's hard to take pictures in here...I need more practice.



"Don't tell him, Carlos! Don't be CHEEKIN!"




So....who's that guy in the barrel?


For months, last year, the donkey was missing. And I thought the dog was, too...everyone is back to work now!



Seriously, why do I keep seeing this guy?!


Remember that period where the map had lights and the writing in the map would disappear and reappear? I'm glad they got rid of that...too much.


Is the tree supposed to be weeping willow-esque or is Disney dressing it up? Someone go get a tree surgeon!


Over at the Haunted Mansion, they've got these little covered pylons and CMs guarding them.  My understanding (I believe from Micechat) is these are going to be for our version of Fasthpass+.

Exciting...ish.


Spring has brought the blooms in the trees all over the resort.


Matterhorn is still down, also for Fastpass installation.

But the flowers in the area don't know that!

They still have the Yeti footprint over near the entrance, but they added one over here. Nice way to draw curious guests over. Even if it is behind the fence.


Disney so often finds a way to make the refurbishment walls interesting.


Another random thing....we didn't get to ride the Monorail. Only the Orange one seemed to be running.  Any information, anyone?


And, with Spring Breaks coming, more characters tend to be out and about.  We were so happy to see a Penguin from Mary Poppins!


More pretty flowers on Main Street.

Disneyana tidbits - Old Friends 


I like to wander through Disneyana, and found available character portraits...princesses, the redhead from Pirates...and Figment!

For those who don't know, Figment is essentially the mascot of Epcot in Walt Disney World.  He first appeared in 1983 (officially) in the Journey into Imagination attraction at the Imagination Pavilion. While the current iteration of the ride is a mere shadow of the original, Disney has given him space in other venues to charm and enchant generations....including my very grouchy godfather!

Whenever he happens to show up here, it's a nice surprise!


(And here's a nice video to introduce him to you!)



And here was a little friend I also found in Off the Page in DCA.  This is Amos, the little hero of the 1953 short "Ben and Me," Ben being Benjamin Franklin.  It's really nice the artists who create these works for the park seem to get a lot of freedom of subject.  You get to see the real Disney geeks show their colors...

And here is a video of Ben and Me, it's a little hard to get on DVD, I think...



That's it for today, have a good week and weekend!

Again, please feel free to comment below if you have questions, concerns, subjects you'd like me to cover, comments, random ramblings.....it's always nice to get feedback.