Saturday, October 22, 2016

Waiting for the lighting of the tree of life.

Flame Tree BBQ..... yum......!

Chilling out at the Harambe Market food court while we wait for our safari fast pass time.

About to get onto Everest.

Chilling out at the DVC lounge.

Eating our way through the F&W festival at Epcot.

Starbucks at Epcot is a zoo!

Starting the day at Epcot. It is a gorgeous day!

We are off the ship and waiting for the Avis shuttle.

We just arrived at Port Canaveral. Our cruise is about to over! 😞

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Up on deck 13 in the fore section waiting for the ship to pull out of port.

Goodbye, Jamaica!


At port before embarking onto ship.

We are done with our excursion on Mystic Mountain. Had a great time. We are now heading back to the ship.
Getting ready to do the zip line. Wheeeeeee!

Just finished the bobsled in POURING RAIN! But it was a lot of fun.

Good morning from Jamaica. We have a full day of zip lining and bobsledding.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

On the tender boat heading back to the Fantasy. Goodbye Grand Cayman!

Having a great time at a turtle farm. One of us got to pick up a baby turtle. Too bad we.didnt get to eat any.

We are now heading back to the ship.

Shopping? Of course we found places to shop!

We are taking a break on Grand Cayman. Found a nice cafe with smoothies and a great view.

Greetings from the Grand Cayman

Monday, October 17, 2016

On the bus for our excursion to the ruins.


Greetings from Cozumel!

We are about to dock after a later arrival. We will be doing the ruins this afternoon and then shopping.

The sky is clear, it is breezy, and 85 degrees.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Greetings from Miami m. Making an unscheduled stop to medvac a sick passenger, then off to Cozumel.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

We are all checked in and ready to go! See you in a week!

Donald is happy that he has arrived at Port Canaveral.



Hey, you may view our ship sailing off from a live webcam near Port Canaveral.

I expect the Disney Fantasy to sail off around 5:00 pm.



One last look at Cocoa Beach near our hotel. Can't see the sunrise today due to the clouds.

Cruise Day!

It has finally arrived. Our Disney cruise day is here at last!

Donald is all set and ready to swim.... or sail.

We leave for Port Canaveral in a few hours after breakfast and meeting up the rest of our party.

Adult Daycare, here we come!


Friday, October 14, 2016

At the Saturn Rocket building at KSC.

At the Kennedy space center.

A few mins before sunrise on Cocoa Beach.

Good morning from Cocoa Beach!

I'm in the lobby having breakfast. It is still dark outside, but I'm going to wait for sunrise and get some photos on the beach.

We will be heading off the the Kennedy Space Center today. It will be fun. But tomorrow will be the start of our cruise on The Disney Fantasy. Hooray!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

At guest relations at Disney Springs to pick up our annual pass renewal.


We have arrived at MCO! Hooray!
Our upcoming Halloween cruise! 

We are at the gate at the airport. Everything is on time. My next transmission will be from Orlando.

We are off to Orlando! Doing Space Center, 7-night cruise on the Disney Fantasy, and then a few days at WDW. 

Donald just can't wait to fly again!


Sunday, October 09, 2016

Queen of Katwe

If you have at least half a brain and half a heart (although with what is going on in this year's  US Presidential election, I am questioning even that assumption), go see "Queen of Katwe"! I really, go now!

This movie, which is based on a true story, follows the struggle of a 10-year old Phiona Mutesi in abject poverty in Uganda to become a chess master. But even that doesn't quite give you the whole story. It is a struggle out of a situation where you see no way out, it is how you changed but still trying to connect with who you are, and not lose those who come along with you.

This is the movie you've complained that Hollywood doesn't make. It has a heart, an intelligence, and a sincerity that are lacking in those blockbuster movies. You'll leave the movie theater uplifted and optimistic about the human spirit and what can be accomplished.

It is the perfect antithesis of the nastiness that you see in the news lately.



Thursday, October 06, 2016

WDW closing due to Hurricane Matthew

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that WDW will be closed all day Friday, October 7 due to the hurricane.  Closing WDW is fairly rare, the last time probably being on 9/11.   Predictions of high winds and heavy rain prompted the closing.

Disney Cruise Line, as well as other lines, are obviously being affected.  Cruises to the Bahamas are being cancelled, and other cruises leaving from Port Canaveral in the near term will depend on the condition of the port. This hurricane might do an unusual loop back around, according to some of the models, and possibly stall out offshore.  This would at least make for some rough sailing or possibly disruption to cruise line itineraries.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Disney deal may not be so tweet

This article at discusses the rumor that Disney might buy Twitter.  Analyst Richard Tullo thinks the deal is not a good fit and Twitter is too expensive.  Disney investors apparently don't like the potential deal much either.
Disney's stock slumped 1.7% in afternoon trade, with losses accelerating after the report of interest in Twitter.
Various sources mention that Google might be a potential buyer.

WDW Passholders get extra benefits

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney World passholders will get expanded benefits at restaurants and shops.  This is connected to the 45th anniversary of Magic Kingdom.
Savings will be found at 45 select restaurants, merchandise outlets and with the addition of an extra month tacked onto annual-pass purchases made this year.
Among the new benefits: 
+ Passholders will be able to save 20 percent on food and nonalcoholic beverages at restaurants in the theme parks, hotels, at Disney Springs and at dinner shows.
People who buy an annual pass between October and January will get the additional month before expiration. The discount also applies to the food trucks at Disney Springs.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Building WDW's Magic Kingdom

Oh my! This is quite a find!

A grand daughter recently discovered a treasure trove of pictures belonging to her grandparents who helped build and worked at the Magic Kingdom till their retirements. The pictures being shown here are all the various construction scenes during the building of the Magic Kingdom.

Her grandfather, Chester "Chet" Wise, helped build the Disney park starting in 1969 and continued to work there until he retired in the late 1980s. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Wise, also worked at the park. They lived right by it until Chet Wise died in 2002, so Valdes visited often. 
After her grandmother died in 2012, Valdes was given a box of pictures that she didn't examine until she was packing to move last March. 
What she found was a treasure trove: her grandfather had taken dozens of pictures of the Magic Kingdom under construction, often from high above.

I found it rather fun to play the game "Where In the Magic Kingdom Is This?" when I was looking through the various photos.

But not only that, but her grandparents also got to live full time on a Disney property!

My grandparents were one of 10 families that actually lived on Disney property, because Disney needed a handful of residents in order to incorporate Lake Buena Vista as an actual city back in the early 1970s. 
These employees were handpicked, and my grandparents lived on Disney property until my grandfather passed away. It was so close to the Magic Kingdom that I could see fireworks from their front yard when I was a kid.
Wow. That must have been quite magical! 

I'm hoping that she will do something to have these pictures exhibited. I'm sure the Disney archive people would love to get their hands on these.


Live-Action "Lion King" In The Works

Disney will be making another live-action movie of a beloved animated film - The Lion King.

Jon Favreau, who brilliantly did the live-action version of "The Jungle Book" will be at the helm directing this new version.

The new take won’t be live-action per se but will definitely look it. Favreau will build on what he accomplished with Jungle Book — using a real child actor and bringing to life the jungle and its animals via cutting edge technology and a green-screen set in a Los Angeles studio.

If this is anywhere near The Jungle Book, it should be a good one!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

iOS10 Has A Feature That Disney Pin Traders Might Like

This might be of interest to you if you have an iPhone or iPad that can be upgraded to the new iOS 10.

A new feature that has appeared in iOS 10 is something called the Magnifier. It is basically a magnifying glass! This is handy for pin traders because we often need to read the print on the back of pins, and these things appear to be getting smaller and more difficult to read, or maybe I'm just getting older and my eyesight is getting poorer.

In any case, it is easy to activate this feature.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on General
  3. Choose Magnifier
  4. Click on the Magnifier slider and voila! You have it on. You may also want to activate Auto-Brightness if you wish.
To pull up the Magnifier, press the Home button three times quickly. The Magnifier will come up. Use the sliding scale to increase or decrease the magnification. There are also other features available in the Magnifier, such as turning on the light if you need to illuminate what you are magnifying.

It is a very handy feature, and definitely handy to a pin collector/trader.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

No "Healty Gumbo"

Disney now learns that there is no such thing as a "healthy gumbo".

While the intention is noble, the execution is left to be desired. In an attempt to make gumbo more healthy, Disney foolishly make a video recipe for this iconic dish but changed it so much that it caused a brouhaha among fans of this Cajun staple.

The family-entertainment juggernaut posted a video recipe for "Tiana's Healthy Gumbo" to the official Facebook page for "The Princess and the Frog," the 2009 animated movie that featured a New Orleanian culinary princess. The nearly two-minute-long video, which has since been taken off the Facebook page and Disney's other social media accounts, was charming enough with a jazzy tune playing in the background. However, it quickly drew the ire of Louisiana foodies for its use of kale, quinoa and its lack of a roux.

Starting without a roux and not adding file as part of the recipe disqualifies it from being called a gumbo to many people. Disney would have been fine if they simply called it a New Orleans-inspired stew, or something like that, rather than a gumbo.

Moral of the story: Just don't mess around with something so iconic.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Goodbye, Sum of all Thrills

Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck have closed at Epcot's Innoventions.

The Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck, two exhibits within the Innoventions area of Epcot, closed for good on Tuesday, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman confirmed.

Their exit leaves Innoventions East with Colortopia as its one remaining occupant.

The exhibits of Innoventions West closed this spring, although some character meet-and-greets are still inside the structure. Walt Disney World has not announced future plans for the space.

Disney, of course, will remain mum on the future plans for Innoventions. Rumors swirling around the 'net indicates everything from remodeling of the interiors of both Innoventions, to outright bulldozing the area to build new attractions. Who knows. But they must be up to something, because Sum of All Thrills have been they most popular attraction in Innoventions. In fact, it was the only reason (other than to use the bathroom or to cool down from the outside heat) that I go into Innoventions East.

I'll miss Sum of all Thrills. As a physicist and a physics instructor, I thought it was a neat way to illustrates mechanics, especially the conservation of energy principles. Of course, the whole thing is done way too fast for one to pay attention to these principles, especially when one is at the design stage in front of the large touch screen.

I don't know if Disney is going to mothball the ride, or dismantle it, or worse, discard it. But wouldn't it be nice if they donate them to a science museum? Being in the Chicago area, this will be perfect for the Museum of Science and Industry here where exhibits on basic physics are still not as prominent as they should be. They don't even have to do that much modification other than extending the time it takes to design the ride and to explain a bit more of the physics involved.

I can only hope this right will resurface elsewhere.