Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

It's Wordless Wednesday over at Focused on the Magic!  This week's pictures are brought to you by the letter E (they're also some flashback pictures from my childhood Disney adventures!)

It's Electric!

Before there were real animals in Disney World, there were these playful Jungle Cruise Elephants

At the end of a long day in Disney, me and my new friends Thumper and Piglet are Exhausted! 

Thanks for joining me today.  Check out all the other great Disney Es at Focused on the Magic!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Trivia Tuesday

Heidi over at Heidi's Head and some of her friends are hosting a fun new blog hop and are asking us to join in as well!  Here's my contribution to the hop- a fun piece of trivia about Animal Kingdom.

On the African savanna, acacia trees are an abundant part of the landscape.  On Kilimanjaro Safaris however, those are not acacia trees you see--they are southern live oak trees, which are native to Florida, cut to look like the flat top acacia trees!  Apparently giraffes like these trees just as much!

This fun tidbit was taken from Little Known Facts about Well-Known Places- Walt Disney World edition, by Laurie Flannery.

Other great blogs hosting this fun hop are

Disney Babies Blog
Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
My Dreams of Disney

Each of them has a link up on their blogs as well!  Go join the fun!

Magical Mouse Schoolhouse Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Monday, September 24, 2012

Disney Hyperion Book Review- Peter and the Starcatchers

Hi Disney Folks!

I just finished the first book in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's series designed to be a prequel imagining of Peter Pan.  Since it's published by Disney-Hyperion, the children's book publishing arm of Hyperion Books (owned by the Walt Disney Company), and since I loved it, I thought I'd do a quick review here.

For those of you who haven't heard of Peter and the Starcatchers, it's really a wonderful beginning to a series aimed to create the world that Peter Pan came from, and explain how it is that he and Captain Hook truly became enemies.  In J.M. Barrie's book and in the many retellings out there, very little is known about how Hook and Peter wound up in Neverland, and why they were enemies.  All we really know is that Peter cut off Hook's hand at some point, fed it to a crocodile, and now Hook is on the run from that crocodile, and out for revenge. Barry and Pearson took on the task of explaining how this all came to be, and though they deviate from what might be considered "canon" in the Peter Pan stories (for example, Neverland is an island, not a star) they do it in a way that really works for the story, and was a good blending of Barrie's original and Disney's famous variation. My only complaint was the treatment of the creation of Tinker Bell, because I like the way she's created in Barrie's version better, but  it does make sense with the plot line (don't worry, I won't spoil it!)

 Peter is an orphan who is sold into slavery with some other orphan boys to work on a ship carrying a mysterious cargo.  It's this cargo that creates the mysterious world of Neverland-complete with mermaids, this cargo that gives Peter the ability to fly, and this cargo that initiates the battle royal between Peter and Hook (Black Stache in this story, because of his impressive mustache).  There are some friends and enemies that you may not recognize, but they help to set the scene for familiar characters to emerge later (and I'm assuming they will)!  This was a fun and fast read, full of epic adventure and a touch of whimsy to tie it all together.  The other thing I really enjoyed about this book was that it was, in my opinion, very age appropriate for its ages 10 and up rating  (which isn't always the case with YA fiction) but also really fun for anyone of any age to read--especially if you like Peter Pan the way I do.
 All in all, this book is a great read, and very like much of Disney's work in other areas--great for kids, but also lots of fun for adults!

Also, for those of you who might be in the NYC area- Peter and the Starcatchers is also a Tony Award winning play (it has singing and dancing, but they still call it a play) and  if you can't make it to NYC the rumor is that Disney is working on a movie version of the story as well!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Disney Countdown- 2 for 1!!

I'm a little behind on my countdowns to our next Disney World Trip.  Today I offer you two for the price of one.  One look back, and one look forward.

On our last trip to Disney World one of my required destinations was an extended stop over in Fantasyland. I was excited to see some of the new-to-me attractions like Mickey's Philharmagic (which was awesome!) and Winnie the Pooh (I do miss dear old Toady, but this was incredibly charming) as well as revisiting old favorites like It's a Small World, and the Mad Tea Party, but first on my list was a long time favorite of many Disney-goers.  Peter Pan's Flight!
Picture from 

Peter Pan's Flight is always a must for me, and is probably my favorite ride in Fantasyland.  I have always loved the story and think I sill know all the lyrics to the songs in Disney's 1953 animated film.  No trip to Disney World would be complete without flying through the Darling's window and going on an adventure with Peter, dodging pirates.

Now, looking forward, We're at the 15 week mark, it doesn't see so far away anymore!

Those who are Disney planners out there know that by this time our dining reservations have long since been made, and I'm so excited that we're trying all new places this time!  All new places except for one restaurant that we just had to go to again--Tusker House!  Tusker House was our favorite restaurant when we were there last time.  A great buffet with lots and lots of vegetarian options as well as enough to fulfill Nathan's desire for some meat, we both were excited to dig right in.  I know there are those out there that are not fans of Tusker House, and it's gotten some unfavorable reviews, and I'm always surprised to hear that because our experience was so good and we both left feeling it was one of the best meals of our trip!  Can't wait!

What about you, what are your thoughts about Tusker House?  Do you and your family have a favorite restaurant you always go back to?

Thanks for joining me on my 2 for 1 countdown today! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Here we are- another edition of Wordless Wednesday hosted by Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme? Our September calendar shot.  I had to think about this one a little, but then it occurred to me--the Disney Afternoon!  When I was a kid, we used to love watching the Disney Afternoon after school every day.  Here are a few shots from the stage show version of it in Disney World back when Toon Town was still thriving:

Focused on the Magic

Monday, September 3, 2012

Disney Countdown: 17 Weeks, 17 Memories

It's time for another installment of my Disney Countdown.  17 weeks to go.

Today I have another confession for you all.  I have been to Disney World many times in my life (Thanks for those all those nights where you drove all night 30 hours straight from Connecticut so we could wake up in Disney World, Dad!)  But, as I realized when I was planning our last trip, even when I went as a teenager, I had never been on The Haunted Mansion!

When I realized this fact, I was actually really surprised.  How could I never have been on the ride that is so loved by Disney-goers that it has its own outside website?  I was an easily scared child (seriously- the Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow used to give me nightmares....for months) so I can only imagine that my parents avoided this ride when I was little because they imagined hauling their traumatized daughter out of the park wailing and refusing to ride even Living with the Land or Dumbo the Flying Elephant ever again for fear of ghosts coming out of somewhere. I don't know if they've ever ridden it either, it seems like a risk they just weren't willing to take.

And later, planning a trip as an adult, I realized that Haunted Mansion was the lowest on my list of priorities, and then that made me a little sad; like I was missing out on some great Disney history.  So, I made it one of our first priorities of the day, and I was glad we did.  Sure it's campy, and sure the "special effects" are not as advanced as, say, a  certain wizard ride at Universal Studios, but it was still a ride we had a great time riding.  And a ride I would certainly make a point of lining up to ride again.

And I didn't have a single nightmare after riding it.  Not one.