Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Disney to Open DVC Preview Center in the Chicago Area

Disney has announced that it will open a DVC Preview center at the Woodfield Mall in a Chicago suburb. This will be the first DVC preview center outside of Disney property. The proposed center will include the model room for the new DVC villa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The reason why they chose this location to open the DVC center is:

Disney says it chose the Chicago location because of its proximity to a dense population base and an existing large membership base in and around the Chicago area. It hopes to use existing the word-of-mouth experience of members to attract prospective buyers.

Oh, they know me too well! :)

Since I'm in the Chicago area, I will certainly visit this once it is opened, just to look around, especially the model room for at the Lodge.


Things You MUST Do At The Walt Disney World

OK, I'm a bit hesitant to put this up. This is because there are so many other websites that already have something like this that are even more extensive than what I've done here. Plus, there are other excellent guidebooks out there that can do this a lot better than I can.

Still, I know that this list has been useful. I made this list a while back because friends and people at work keep asking me about suggestions on what to do when to go to WDW. So of course, I made a list that is based entirely on my preference. It started out rather short, but got longer and longer over the years the more people start asking more questions about a variety of things. A few people that I know have used the list and told me that they found it useful especially if they have only a short amount of time to spend at the parks.

So, for whatever it is worth, here are my suggestions on what you must do at the Walt Disney World.

(Last update: Feb. 2007)


1. Space Mountain (rollercoaster).

2. Thunder Mountain Railroad – the best place to ride this is towards the rear. Ask for it when you are about to board.

3. Splash Mountain – sitting on the right side tends to be slightly wetter than the left side if the waterfall is running.

4. Teacups.

5. Haunted Mansion.

6. Mickey’s Philharmagic – this has become the #1 attraction at Magic Kingdom. Do this early, or get Fast Passes. If not, try getting in while there is a show or a parade going on.

7. Jungle Cruise – A good ride when your feet are tired, as long as you don’t mind your tour guide spewing out a lot of bad puns.

8. SpectroMagic Light Parade – Check the parade route and try to move away from Main Street where it WILL be crowded. Some place in Frontierland or Liberty Square will be good.

9. Wishes – Even though you can see the fireworks from a large area of Magic Kingdom, the show involves more than just that. So to get the full effect, the best place to view it is front of Cinderella’s castle on Main Street where Main Street meets the circular roundabout. Unfortunately, this is also the most crowded and popular area.

10. A good quick place to eat – Columbia Harbor House. Take note that there are additional seating upstairs with a condiment/utensils/etc. kiosk that is seldom packed. There are also additional washrooms on this floor.

11. If you are looking for sit-down meals with characters, the best places for this are the Liberty Tree Tavern and Crystal Palace. Liberty Tree Tavern offers dining with the characters only for the evening dinners. You get to meet Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip & Dale dressed in colonial costumes. The food is traditional American meal – turkey, ham, roast beef, mash potatoes, stuffings, green beans, and cobbler for dessert. It is all you care to eat, so they’ll bring more if you ask for it. And you get to meet the characters many times during your meal since they do make their rounds regularly. Crystal Palace is more of a buffet meal (both lunch and dinner), and you get to meet Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. The food served at this buffet is surprisingly good (for a buffet, that is). Just note that the “noise” level may be higher than at Liberty Tree Tavern. If you intend to have a meal at either of these places, advanced reservation is strongly recommended, since these are popular places. Call Disney dinning reservations before you arrive.


1. Soarin’ – this ride came from The California Adventure. It has since become the No. 1 attraction at Epcot and for good reason. You definitely want to do this as soon as the park opens, or fast pass it as early as you can. The best seat to get is the center aisle, Row 1. However, there really is no bad seat in this one because the experience will be exhilarating no matter where you sit.

2. Test Track (be there when Epcot opens and head directly to Test Track – get in line immediately or take Fast Pass. Test track is extremely popular and will have long lines later in the morning/day).

3. Mission Space – same warning as in Test Track. However, if you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may not want to ride this. [Hint: if there are people not riding Mission Space, it might be a good idea for those waiting to get Fast Pass tickets for Test Track. That way, by the time the Mission Space people get off that ride, it will be close to the Fast Pass time for Test Track].

4. Maelstorm at the Norway pavilion (World Showcase pavilion around the lagoon opens at 11:00 am). Note: there is a small bakery at the front of the Norway pavilion and they have (if they haven’t sold out) this sweet almond pretzel. It is to DIE for!

5. Honey I Shrunk the Audience

6. Turtle Talk with Crush at The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion (formerly The Land pavilion).

7. The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This is a new attraction that can be enjoyed by every member of the family.

8. Illumination at 9:00 pm around the lagoon (if it doesn’t rain, people usually start staking out the best spots around the lagoon ½ to one hour before the show). As with Wishes at Magic Kingdom, you can view the fireworks and light show from all around the lagoon, but the best place to view it in its full “symmetry” is still right at the pavilion by the entrance to the World Showcase lagoon.

9. Spaceship Earth. It’s cheesy and tame, but it’s inside that big “golf ball”. Do this ride late in the afternoon or early evening – the lines are not as long then.

10. Restaurant Marrakesh at the Morroco pavilion – If you come at the right time, you might get to see live musicians and belly dancers. The food is excellent too! Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner during peak seasons.

11. A new place that just opened is an EXCELLENT place to eat – Sunshine Seasons at The Land, lower level (same level as Soarin’). It may look like a food court, but that’s where the similarity ends. You can get everything from sashimi-grade seared tuna salad, to Mongolian beef on jasmine rice, etc. And the price is quite reasonable too.


1. Tower of Terror – ride this as many times as you can. It is different each time since they have a random program of “drops”.

2. Rock ‘N Roller Coaster

3. Muppets 3D

4. Star Tours

5. Fantasmic Light Show - 3 different restaurants offer a “Fantasmic” dinner package. They are the Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, and Hollywood and Vine (this list may be outdated). You get a separate entrance and reserved seating for Fantasmic with this package. Reservation is strongly recommended or even required (you need to mention the Fantasmic dinner package). Plan on having dinner at around 5 pm to 6 pm to have enough time to catch the show afterwards.

6. A fun place to eat – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. You get to sit in your own car and watch old sci-fi movies on a large screen while you munch on your food.


1. Kilimanjaro Safari – do this as early or as soon as the park opens. It is very popular.

2. Kali River Rapids – assume that you WILL get drenched (bring ziplock plastic bags for your wallet, cellphone, etc.).

3. Primeval Whirl – don’t do this immediately after you eat, it will not be pretty. Also avoid if you are susceptible to motion sickness.

4. Dinosaur – be warned that this ride can be quite intense for young children.

5. It’s Tough To Be A Bug.

6. Finding Nemo The Musical – This has become the must-see show in all of Walt Disney World. Be sure to arrive early to be able to get in.

7. Best places to eat: Tusker House and Flame Tree BBQ. Take note that Flame Tree BBQ has a lot more seating than it appears. Try walking down further into the greenery and you’ll find a wonderful seating area by the lake that is seldom crowded.

8. Expedition Everest. This is turning into THE best attraction at Walt Disney World. It is more than just a roller-coaster attraction. The queuing area itself is an attraction. There are many authentic artifacts that have been brought over from Nepal and Tibet. These are displayed as you walk through to get to the ride itself.


1. Breakfast with Chef Mickey at the Contemporary Resort – Plan this waaaay ahead, even weeks (or months) before you get to Orlando. It is fun, if you have kids, or just a kid at heart.

2. Downtown Disney – 4 words to describe it: shop, eat, shop, eat. However, kids may prefer the Lego store.

3. Cirque Du Soleil’s La Nuba at Downtown Disney Westside – Even if you have seen other Cirque Du Soleil shows, see this one! It will be an experience you will never forget.

4. Pleasure Island – 8-Tracks is a fun retro dance club.

5. Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge – this is the BEST buffet dinner anywhere in Disney World, in my opinion. It is African-themed, but also has the regular, familiar food for those who do not want to venture out of their comfort level. Don’t miss the crispy flatbreads with the three wonderful and exotic spreads.


1. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can have all your purchases anywhere in Disney World sent to your hotel. This saves you from having to lug everything you bought with you.

2. If you are staying at a Disney resort, take note also that if you decide to drive to the Disney parks instead of taking their free busses/monorail, parking is FREE. Just show the paper that they give you during check-in that you have to display on your dashboard.

3. Note, as of January 2005, you also get free transportation from the Orlando International airport to your Disney hotel using the Disney Magical Express. You will need to either inquire about this service when you make your reservation, or check their website. You will also be given luggage tags, so you and your luggage will be picked up at the airport by them.

4. More shopping tip: If you end up buying a large number of items at a single store (such as at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney), you may want to consider having them ship all of them directly to your home. You pay only ONE shipping flat rate no matter how many items you want to ship, AND, the sales tax is not included. Depending on how much you are spending, the money you save on sales tax alone might pay for the shipping.

5. More on shipping. If you have already bought a number of things, and suddenly realize that you’d rather have them shipped home instead, all is not lost. First, make sure you have all the receipts. Then if you are staying at a Disney resort, ask the cast members at the gift store at your resort to have your already-purchased items shipped. You will need the receipts to prove that you bought them at a Walt Disney resort store, since these are the only ones they’ll ship using the flat shipping rate.

6. While you are there, you can make dinner reservations, buy park tickets, etc. throughout the Walt Disney World at any Guest Services office (Guest Services can be found at all parks, resorts, Downtown Disney). If there is a special occasion for making the reservation (such as a birthday or anniversary, etc.), be sure to mention it to the Guest Services cast member – you might get some special treatment then, or later.

7. As soon as you walk through the turnstile at any of the Disney parks, look for a slip of paper (usually at a kiosk or on racks by the wall) that lists all the parades, show times, character greetings, and special events for that day. This list changes everyday, so pick one up each time you walk into a park.

8. For many people, one of the most fun things to do is to get pictures with the characters. While one can do this during various scheduled times for characters meet and greet, the easiest and most comfortable way to guarantee this opportunity is to make a reservation for one of the dinning with characters meal. The characters will come to your table while you eat, giving you plenty of opportunities for photo-ops. Often, these characters will get to your table multiple times. This is a lot more convenient than standing in line in the hot sun, and having to go from one line to the next just to get pictures with a number of characters. So my suggestion would be to plan at least one character dinning during a trip. And no, it doesn’t matter if you have children in your party or not. The characters WILL visit you no matter what.

9. For parents who want to get on a ride, but an accompanying child is either too scared, or too small to be on that ride, most rides at Disney World has a “parent exchange” area. This allows one parent to get on the ride while the other stays in a holding area with the child. When the riding parent is done, the next parent can go on that ride without having to go back to the end of the line. Ask a cast member if a particular ride has this.

10. When you go to Magic Kingdom via the “regular” Disney busses or by driving your own vehicle, you will arrive at the Transportation center, and then you can either board the Magic Kingdom monorail, or a boat to get to Magic Kingdom itself. There are three monorail lines here: one is the express monorail to and from Magic Kingdom, one for the Magic Kingdom resort hotels, and one going to Epcot. (So you could, if you prefer, park here and go to Epcot. This is a good idea if you intend to be jumping around between Epcot to Magic Kingdom on the same day. That way, your vehicle is always in the middle of the two parks.) Take note that BOTH the Magic Kingdom express monorail, and the Magic Kingdom resorts monorail go to and from the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation center. The only difference being that the resort monorail will make stops in between for the Magic Kingdom resort hotels. So keep this in mind if the Magic Kingdom express monorail is very busy with people. Most of them do not know that the Resort monorail also goes to the same place. This also applies when you are coming back from Magic Kingdom to go to the Transportation center.

11. Remember that you can purchase Disney Theme Park tickets that do not expire. So if you bought a regular 5-Day Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus, and you used only 3 days, the remaining 2 days (and any “Plusses”) do not expire! You can come back at any time to use the remaining days. [Note: As of Jan 2005, Disney World has added variations to their ticket options. You can still buy Park Hopper tickets that do not expire, but they cost slightly more than those that do. So double check on the various ticket options that are now currently available.]

12. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you will be told about the Extra Magic Hours that are available only to Disney resort guests. This is the extra hours either in the morning, or at night, whereby a certain Disney theme park will be open to Disney resort guests. When you check-in to your resort, you will have a schedule of which Disney theme park will have its Extra Magic Hour on which day, and whether it will be in the morning, or evening. From experience, the late night Extra Magic Hour has always been PACKED with people. It appears that almost every Disney resort guests made it a point to show up during this time. So do not expect clear, smooth lines to the various attractions just because the park has been closed only to Disney resort guest. The early Extra Magic Hour is a hit-or-miss. It can also be crowded for the very same reason. However, here is a hint. If a Disney theme park has a late night Extra Magic Hour, there is a very good chance that the very next morning, it will not be busy at all! This is a hint that came from many Disney Cast Members. So my advice would be to avoid the Extra Magic Hours, especially the late night ones, and instead, go to bed early, and wake up early so that you can go to that same theme park the next day and enjoy an almost empty Disney theme park.



Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not The Happiest Place On Earth?

It was reported earlier that Disney is suing the city of Anaheim to make sure that the plan to build a housing complex right near the Disneyland Resort never comes up again. This public radio's Marketplace website has more on this, including pictures supplied by Disney of Harbor Blvd. right outside of Disneyland around 1992 before the city of Anaheim's plan to protect the area from inappropriate development, and one that was taken recently.

Pretty dramatic, I would say. As a Disney fan, I of course don't want to see a towering housing complex that would ruin the whole Disney experience. But I don't live or work there, and so I don't have any appreciation for the problem of affordable housing in that area. Still, I can't believe that that is the only place left to build affordable housing in all of Anaheim..... or is it?


How Walt Disney Changed Everything

This story has been making the rounds in my news organization and blogs, so no would miss it if I didn't report it. Still, it is such a good article that I should still mention it here just for the record.

National Geographic has a very good article of how Walt Disney made a major impact to Central Florida and Orlando in particular. I'm sure that isn't a surprise, but one simply isn't aware of the extent of that impact. Let's just say that things will be significantly different it if it weren't for the Mouse.


Disney Sues Anaheim To Stop Housing Project

Not content with their recent victory on stopping the housing project being planned near the Disneyland Resort, The Walt Disney Company filed suit against the city of Anaheim to stop this very project. This is done as the city considers whether to reopen the debate on building the project.

I guess the honeymoon is over between Disney and Anaheim:

Disney says its action is the first time it has sued the city where Disneyland was born more than 50 years ago. The city and Disney have historically enjoyed a close-knit, fight-free relationship.

That isn't such a bad marriage if you only get one major disagreement in 50 years! :)


Monday, February 26, 2007

A Shopping Excursion in Downtown Disney District

A rather entertaining (and informative) news article on shopping in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.

I think in terms of "visual effects", I prefer the Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. It feels more spacious, especially due to the lagoon. It is a favorite place for me to take a leisurely stroll.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean Posters

A friend of mine owns a video store and had these posters on display by his counter. I think I expressed a lot of interest in them that he gave it outright to me (thanks, RJ!). So now I have them on display at home!

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More Info on Disney Bridal Gown Line

This news report has more information on the Disney Bridal Gown line. It appears that the gowns will be made available to a few bridal boutiques around the US, and even in Japan. They will also expand it to include bridesmaid and flower girl dresses.

So how come there aren't any for the groom? A Prince Charming outfit would be nice, don't you think?



Saturday, February 24, 2007

2 Hurt At Disneyland

I'm sorry? You fell out of the PARKING LOT TRAM?

It appears that 2 people were hurt when the fell out of the tram serving between the Disneyland park and the parking ramp. I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often considering how many people don't pay that much attention to the safety precautions. I've seen parents seating their young kids on the outside despite the instructions to seat them in the middle.


The Mouse House Makeover

Variety has an in-depth look at the Iger tenure at The Walt Disney Company so far. The article focuses particularly on the movie division of the company, especially on the upcoming releases with Disney's reduced number of movie per year.


Cinderella Castle's Royal Amenities

As revealed in the latest edition of the Mickey Monitor (newsletter for WDW Annual Passholder), the a night at Cinderella Castle Suite comes with a number of "Royal" amenities, including:

1. a 17th century-style painting above the fireplace that swings out to reveal a flat-screen TV

2. hand-decorated copper basin to recall a time when water had to be brought in to the bedchamber

3. a private butler on call throughout your stay.

I can certainly get used to that!



Friday, February 23, 2007

Fun Disney Recycle Facts

I found this set of info about Disney recycling and environmental projects, and the sheer quantity alone is mind-boggling, while others are rather amusing. These may be out-of-date by now, but it is still fun to read. For example:

1. During the past seven years, water-saving initiatives at the Walt Disney World® Resort have saved nearly 2.5 billion gallons of water.

2. in 2003, animal manure ranked third among recycled commodities for The Walt Disney Company, totaling more than 8,000 tons. Now that is a lot of crap!

3. Food grease that the Walt Disney World® Resort recycles is used in products such as flavoring for animal feed, polishes, soaps, paints and varnishes, and lipstick. Of course, this is before they got into no tran-fat effort.

4. More than 8,000 acres of property at the Walt Disney World® Resort are designated as a permanent wildlife conservation area and will never be developed.



Thursday, February 22, 2007

Disney Expanding Cruise Line

Disney is expanding the Disney Cruise line with the order of 2 more vessels to join Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. The 2 new vessels will be 50% larger than the current ships, significantly increasing the Disney Cruise line capacity.

I think we all saw this coming, considering how successful the cruise line has been doing.


Downtown Disney Resort Area Undergoing Renovations

A significant amount of changes and renovations are going on, or have been completed, at the hotels making up the Downtown Disney Resort area. These are hotels inside the Walt Disney World Resort area, but not owned by Disney.

The Grosvenor and the Royal Plaza appears to have the most significant changes and improvements made. However, conspicuously absent from this report is the status of what used to be the Holiday Inn right across from the Grosvenor. It was the Marriott Courtyard before it became the Holiday Inn for a couple of years before the devastating impact of Hurricane Charlie (that also caused major damage to the Royal Plaza). I think the Holiday Inn opened only for a few months after that hurricane before it closed down. It appears from the outside that there might be work down on the hotel even though it looked boarded up (at least it looked that way last Sept). Still, nothing about the fate of the building is mentioned in this report.

Before we bought into the DVC, this was our most favorite area to stay at. We had stayed at the Grosvenor, the Hilton, the Marriott Courtyard, and then its later incarnation as the Holiday Inn. So we know the area pretty well. We like to stay in the area because of the close proximity to Downtown Disney, which is within walking distance. Now, with the DVC, we still stay close to this area since our home resort is Saratoga Springs. We alternate between that and Old Key West, which is also close enough to the Downtown Disney area.


Disney To Offer Bridal Gown Line

Now you can not only get married in Walt Disney World, but you can so be wearing Disney while getting married.

Disney is contracting with a bridal studio based in Gainesville, FL to offer a line of bridal gowns inspired by various Disney characters.

Solutions Bridal Designer House in Winter Park will be the first store to carry 35 gown designs based on characters like Cinderella and Snow White as Disney enters the bridal market.

I wonder if they'll have Goofy gown?



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Is This Deceptive?

.. or am I just being anal-retentive?

In a post before this, I mentioned about the deal for Florida residents to visit the 2 Disney water parks for a substantial discount. WESH Channel 2, which serves the Orlando area, also reported on the same thing here. But read it carefully! It began with:

Walt Disney World is hoping to lure more Florida residents to the Magic Kingdom by sweetening their list of special admission deals.

What's the big idea? This has nothing to do with the Magic Kingdom. I mean, I'm one of those people who actually tolerate people still calling Epcot as EPCOT Center. But this is just not accurate at all, especially for an Orlando TV station!

Oy... Maybe I just need more coffee this morning...



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Disney Adds Water Parks to Special Admission

Disney is trying to get more attendance to its water parks. New rates for Florida residents are being offered, especially later in the afternoon.

I don't get much into the water parks. The only time I've been to Blizzard Beach was when we were doing a pin hunt.


Pirates of the Caribbean I and II to be Released on Blu-Ray

Disney is pulling out all the stops in its support for Blu-Ray discs. Scheduled for a May 22nd release, both Pirates movie will be available on the high-definition Blu-Ray discs, just in time for the release of the 3rd movie.

This could be a significant turning point in the high definition DVD battle. Still, I'm holding out for the combo player to come down in price.


Student Information for Monorail Design

Hey, if you want to design a monorail just like the one at WDW or Disneyland Resort, here's your chance! :)

I found this "student instruction manual" on what one would need to design a monorail. Since I am fascinated by the WDW monorail, as testified by my Monorail video, this was an interesting reading. I wonder to whom this was intended?


Regulator to Investigate Euro Disney Bid

Hey, the saga of these clowns is still on-going!

We reported earlier a series of rather silly development in the hostile takeover bid of EuroDisney by a little-known group called Center-Tainment. The bid never materialized, and instead, the French has opened an investigation of the bid by this company. Now it is announced that the German, where Center-Tainment is listed, has opened an investigation of possible stock manipulation.

Like I said before, a bunch of clowns!


Learning the Secrets of the Disney Smile?

The Disney Institute is certainly world famous as far as learning how to run a "customer service" business. Even a hotel in Scotland is sending someone there to learn a thing or two from the Mouse.

However, this is the part I find a bit amusing:

While there is a lot we can learn from the Americans, we would not want to turn people into smiling robots and there are some aspects which would not work so well over here.

He's not confusing the It's A Small World attraction with Disney cast members, is he?


On a different but related note, partial scholarships are even given out for qualified persons to attend courses conducted by the Disney Institute. See if you qualify!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Getting The Magic Back

I can't imagine this happening to me, but I suppose anything is possible. I read with fascination an essay on Magical Mountain about a former Disney fan pondering if he/she has lost the magic for Disney. I certainly is a refreshing story that we seldom hear about.

As I'm reading this, I kept thinking about that Barry Manilow tune (OK, don't puke on me now) titled "Trying To Get The Feeling Again". I mean, think about it. That tune has this passage:

I've been up, down
Trying to get the feeling again
All around
Trying to get the feeling again
The one that made me shiver
Made my knees start to quiver
Every time you walk in

Some how, that essay reminded me of that song!



Sunday, February 18, 2007

How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic in Your Every Day Life

In case you haven't read it, this is a book about Walt written by Pat Williams, James Denney. It'll be interesting to compare this with the most recent Walt's biography.


Living In A Disney World.

Us Disney fans (fanatics?) like to promote each other. This brief profile of a Disney fan living in Toronto warms the cockles of my heart! Although my Disney obsession does not reach to those heights, I can easily understand this.

Today, it's 100 days and counting till I'm at WDW!! It will dip under 3 digits!


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

... and happy Year of the Pig.

This, of course, is the China Pavilion at Epcot.

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Guy With No Kids Spends a Night in Cinderella's Suite

A report for the Associated Press got to spend the night in Cindy's Suite (AP paid for it). At least he adopted a family and have them enjoy the whole festivities that went along with it.

Still, I am waiting to hear that either a couple or "family" with no kids got selected to stay at the suite.


Disney Classics Woo Wee Ones

Variety examines Disney's recent push to popularize the classic Disney characters to the toddlers. The under-5 audience have produced a significant hit in Mickey's Clubhouse.

Of course, we all know why this is. Disney is cultivating a life-long fan that will spawn other off-springs that will continue with the Disney "obsession". That's how you keep a new supply of Disney customers and guests. However, it also means that for many of these people, a loyalty towards Disney isn't simply something superficial. It represents lifelong memories, from childhood all the way to adult life. Disney would come up against these very same people that they are "cultivating" if it tries to make drastic changes to the theme parks, especially classic attractions. Case in point is the rumor of the demise of Carousel of Progress from a few years ago. The Disney loyalists drummed up enough of a campaign to beat that down.

So while Disney is very smart in cultivating the toddlers to start liking Mickey and friends and become theme park regulars, they also have to keep in mind that these toddlers will grow up and would more likely hang on to what they remember and cherish.


Jump-Rope Popularity On The Up Swing.

Oprah Winfrey is not the only one who can move products.

It appears that the popularty of jump-rope has taken a huge up swing due to Disney's "Jump In" and marketing. Even the people in the industry were caught off-guard on how quickly the effects can be felt.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Disney Rides Again

This is fun! IGN has a suggestion on the next Disney attractions that could be turned into movies.

I think that Space Mountain is certainly an obvious one. But It's A Small World? That would be a hoot!

Still, I think they ignored many attractions that are even more obvious. Mission Space is certainly one. Or what about Test Track? Of course, the Matterhorn suggestion could easily be combined with Expedition Everest.

But those are easy and lend themselves to an obvious premise for a story. I'd like to see them take "Living with the Land" and turn it into a movie!



Terabithia Is A Winner!

The early reviews are in, and it appears that Terabithia is a winner! It has received glowing reviews from several outlets. say that "Family film treats are few and far between, which makes "Bridge to Terabithia" something to hug tightly to." Miriam Di Nunzio of the Chicago Suntimes claims that it is not your typical Disney fantasy.

This could be a sleeper hit of the year for Disney - assuming that people can dig themselves out of their houses get to the theater (we have been getting a lot of snow).


Thursday, February 15, 2007

No Charges Will Be Filed Against Tigger

The incident with Tigger and a young Disney guest had become front page news, with many news outlet and fan websites providing their own view of the incident. The good news today is that no charges will be filed against the cast member in question in this incident.

I think most of us who viewed the video of the incident certainly has doubts about the "innocence" of the kid involved.


A Possible Pirates of the Caribbean 4?

Take this for whatever it is worth. As expected, there are rumors about a possible 4th installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. At this stage, I would take this with only a grain of salt until more indications appear. Still, we love rumors, and this one is juicy enough that it needed to be spread like a bad rash!



Terabithia Is Not A Sequel to Narnia

Disney's Terabithia is scheduled to open in the US tomorrow (Friday). If you have been watching any amount of TV this past 2 weeks, you would have seen the trailers for this movie, and you might have mistaken it for a sequel to the Chronicles of Narnia. I certainly looked at the the commercial and said to myself "Gee, that movie looked like Narnia and could have been a sequel!"

It didn't help that both Terabithia and Narnia were produced by the same companies, Disney and Walden Media. So it is understandable that one might think that Terabithia is a sequel - it certainly had the same "look and feel".


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Trip to Disneyland Paris

This sounds more like a promotional pamphlet for a travel company. Still, we don't get to read that much about a trip to Disneyland Paris, even for a day, so here's one. It appears that the writer came from the UK and made a short trip to Disneyland Paris. I wish it had a more elaborate description of what they did in the park


1,500-unit housing plan near Disneyland dies

The Anaheim city council had a tie 2-2 vote in the proposal to build a large housing project right outside Disneyland Resort in CA. Thus, the previous planning commission ruling against the project will stand, much to the relief of the Walt Disney Company.

Somehow, I feel that this issue is simply not going to go away and might resurface in the near future.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

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WDW for Valentine's Day

Just in time for Valentine's Day, here are a list of activities and settings for that romantic getaway at Walt Disney World. However, if you haven't made your dinner reservations yet, then you're up the creek! :)


Walt Disney World With Kids

OK, I know this is probably from one of the many book on important hints on visiting Walt Disney World, but I can't find what book this is from and who is the author. All I get is this chapter on visiting WDW with young children.

Still, there are some very important and relevant hints here. The first is the most important - what you should do when you go there with very young kids. While each family is different, I think there is a universal theme here if you are traveling with such children - take afternoon rest/naps! Heck, even adults can use such a things (and we do!). That is why we prefer to stay within WDW and rent our own vehicle. It makes for coming and going so much easier and faster.

However, the part of the chapter that was hysterical funny was the strategy on getting a reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table. While the chapter has a very good overview of several different character meals, the author devoted almost an entire section on trying to get a reservation at the Royal Table. I like the beginning of the description on how difficult it can get:

The Disney dining reservations system makes advance reservations for character meals up to 90 days before you wish to dine. Advance reservations for most character meals are easy to obtain even if you call only a couple of weeks before you leave home. Breakfast and lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table are another story. To eat at Cinderella’s, you’ll need our strategy (pages 301–304), as well as help from Congress and the Pope.

That's hilarious and so true! :)

But it gets better. Read the whole section on the strategy of getting the reservation as soon as you're 90 days in from the date that you want.

To be among the fortunate few who score an advance reservation, try the following. First, call on the correct morning. Use a calendar and count backward exactly 90 days from (but not including) the day you wish to dine. (The computer doesn’t understand months, so you can’t, for example, call on February 1st to make an advance reservation for May 1st because that’s fewer than 90 days.) If you want to eat on May 1st, for example, begin your 90-day backward count on April 30th. If you count correctly, you’ll find that the correct morning to call is January 31st. If you don’t feel like counting days, call #407-WDW-DINE, and the Disney folks will calculate it for you. Call them during the afternoon when they’re less busy about 100 days before your trip. Let them know when you’d like your advance reservation, and they’ll tell you the morning to call.

To get a table, you must dial at almost exactly 7 a.m. EST. Disney does not calibrate its clock with the correct time as determined by the U.S. Naval Observatory or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but we conducted synchronizing tests and determined that Disney reservation system clocks are accurate to within 1 to 3 seconds. Several Internet sites will give you the exact time. Our favorite is, which offers the exact time in displays that show hours, minutes, and seconds. Once the Atomic Time home page is up, click on “html multizone continuous” and look for the Eastern Time Zone. Using this site or your local “Time of Day” number from the phone directory, synchronize your watch TO THE SECOND. About 18 to 20 seconds before 7 a.m., dial #407-WDW-DINE, waiting to dial the final “E” in “DINE” until 7 seconds before the hour. Hang up and redial until your call is answered. When it is, you will hear one of two recorded messages:

1. “Thank you for calling the Disney Reservation Center. Our office is closed . . . ” If you get this message hang up the instant you hear the words “Our office” and hit redial.


2. You’ll get a recording with a number of prompts. The prompts change periodically. Call a few mornings before the day you actually make your reservation to learn what prompts are being used. Once you know the prompts, you can determine which numbers on your touch-tone phone to press in order to work through the prompts at warp speed. Some prompts begin with “If,” others may request info such as your phone number or resort reservation number. Do not listen to the entire prompt. Immediately press the appropriate numbered key(s) as determined by your previous trial run.

Your call will be answered momentarily by a Disney Reservations Center (DRC) agent. Don’t get nervous if you’re on hold for a bit. The worst thing you can do now is hang up and try again. As soon as a live DRC agent comes on the line, interrupt immediately and say, “I need Cindy’s breakfast (lunch), for May 1st, for four people, any available time” (substituting your own breakfast (lunch) dates, of course). Don’t engage in “good mornings” or other pleasantries. Time is of the essence. You can apologize later to the DRC agent for your momentary rudeness if you feel the need, but she already knows what’s going on. Don’t try and pick a specific time. Even two seconds to ask for a specific time will seriously diminish your chances of getting an advance reservation.

This is INSANE!! I love it!! :)


Monday, February 12, 2007

Live Action "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"?

I had to read this twice, because it was rather hard to believe with just one read. :)

Walt Disney Pictures is producing a live-action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice staring, get this, Nicholas Cage. Honest!


Of course, Nicholas Cage is a very talented actor, but I still don't see him doing this. Unlike some of the stuff that have already been written about this, I'm not going to make any rush judgment about the movie that has yet to even be filmed.

Still, this better be really, really good because it can easily fall flat on its face.


More Very Funny Disney Cartoons

I'm not sure how old these are, but they are terribly funny. If you've seen the one I highlighted earlier on the Disney's Desperate Housewives, then if you've looked around that website, you would have noticed several other Disney related cartoons. The one I thought was the next best was this one. Now make sure when you're viewing this that there are no children around, because they might get traumatized by it!


And then there is this, which I'm sure was in response to all the movies that were based on Disney theme park rides. The funny thing is, I HAVE done a "Monorail movie", sort of. :)


Follow-up on that Lawsuit

There's an entry in The Disney Blog that essentially debunked the claims made by this person. If this is true, this lawsuit will be laughed out of the courts.


Man Sues Disney for $50 Million

I don't get it. This man bought something from a trift store, he thinks it was a very early drawing of Mickey Mouse done by Disney, and now he's suing Disney for $50 million and the copyright to Mickey Mouse character?! What am I missing here?

This is one of those frivilous lawsuits in which, I hope, the judge should throw out and make the plaintive pay for all the court and attorney fees. Oy vey!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Next Disney Trip Is All Set

We have finally made almost all the arrangements for our next Walt Disney World trip. We did our resort booking early in January with the Disney Vacation Club. We will be staying at Old Key West resort again, the 2nd time in a row.

Yesterday, I made all the plane reservations. Southwest opened the booking schedule up to August, so I finally could get plane tickets. I managed to get all the cheapest internet fares, so the plane tickets cost was quite cheap.

The only two things left to arrange is our rental car, and to call DVC again to add the Disney Dining Plan to our reservation. The latter can be done a week before we leave.

We will be at WDW from the May 28 till June 3rd. It feels like time is moving so slow.....


Disney Treats Guests Like Visting Royalties

You get to learn the Disney philosophy when you take their management course offered by the Disney Institute. For example,

"Did you know that the average person takes 27 paces before dropping a wrapper or some piece of garbage?" said Bob Spina, a facilitator for The Disney Institute. "That's why you will have a difficult time taking 27 steps anywhere in the Magic Kingdom without bumping into a garbage can."

We were also told of this during our Keys To The Magic Kingdom tour, that the tale really was about Walt who observed how far guests would walk before tring to find a place to discard litter.


Disney's Tough Task in China

This news article gives an overview of the problems that Hong Kong Disneyland has encountered so far. It also outlines the possible problems that Disney might face if it intends to open another park in Shanghai.

I still think that, from reading all the reports and hearing what those who have gone there have to say, the park may be just too small with too few attractions.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

When Disney Meets The Research Park

This is a rather interesting paper published in the Journal of the Internet and Higher Education.

When Disney meets the research park: Metaphors and models for engineering an online learning community of tomorrow

Author: Ronald J. Chenail

Abstract: It is suggested that educators look to an environment in which qualitative research can be learned in morecflexible and creative ways—an online learning community known as the Research Park Online (RPO). Thiscmodel, based upon Walt Disney’s 1966 plan for his ‘‘Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow’’c(EPCOT) and university cooperative research centers, proposes universities, through qualitative engineering,cdevelop online learning communities dedicated to faculty and students’ explorations. The RPO resourcescwould be constructed from ‘‘Contextualized Learning Objects for Constructing Knowledge’’ (CLOCKs)cthrough which park goers can generate new knowledge and technology, blaze personal pathways tocknowledge, engage park guides to traverse well-worn trails, and design experiences to meet lifelong learningcneeds. In the RPO, attractions, such as Methods Commons, University Communities, and CLOCKWorks,cwould be engineered so that students and faculty could learn and research at their own rates and according toctheir own needs.

You can read the WHOLE PAPER here.


Friday, February 09, 2007

A Lien on Cinderella's Castle?

This is rather hilarious. A company that did a lot of the renovations to the outside and inside of Cinderella's Castle has put a lien on it. It appears that the contractor that hired this company hasn't paid them yet for the materials, so it is not Disney that hasn't paid them.

Supposedly, the company actually could not put a lien on this property, so Disney is in the process of having the lien removed. Still, it's not as if Disney will be selling the castle anytime soon! :)


Toy Story 3 To Be Released in 2009?

We have an early report that John Lasseter finally has a story line that he's happy with to remove his objection to releasing the 2nd sequel to Toy Story. If this is confirmed, then this would be one of the most highly anticipated sequel since the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.


Tinker Bell Coming in Fall 2008

It was reported earlier of the delay of the much anticipated Tinker Bell movie due to weak storyline. Today, it is finally announced that Tinker Bell the movie will be released in Fall 2008. This movie is supposed to be the anchor for a new Disney franchise (and merchandise) on Disney fairies.

Let's see if it works...


Disney's Desperate Housewives

Someone sent me a cartoon of this (thanks, Moonbear!) and it was hysterical! I'd post it here directly, but I don't want to violate any copyright laws, so I'll post the next best thing: the link to the page containing the cartoon. (I hope the url doesn't change over time.)

It is terribly funny and clever! :)


Secrets of Cinderella's Castle

This months issue of Vacation Magic E-mail newsletter to DVC member contains some very interesting tidbits about Cindy's Castle that had been getting a lot of publicity lately. One of the most interesting piece of information was this:

The columns in the walkway feature mice and birds from the Disney animated feature film Cinderella. (The female mice, incidentally, are named Sally and Perla.) These sculpted characters are the work of Disney Legend Blaine Gibson, who also sculpted the nearby Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse "Partners" statue and the Cinderella Wishing Well statue.

The story of Cinderella plays out on five glittering mosaic murals in the castle's walkway, with each decorated panel taking the shape of a Gothic arch 15 feet high and 10 feet wide. The mosaic design comes from Disney artist Dorothea Redmond, who designed the Disney apartment that was supposed to be built inside the castle. A team of six people spent more than two years completing the murals under the direction of famed mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff.

The names of both Dorothea Redmond and Hanns-Joachim Scharff appear in the lower-right corner of the last mosaic panel, which is a rarity in the Disney Parks. Traditionally, this type of artwork in Disney Parks doesn't include name credits.

I now will have to pay closer attention next time that I walk through the walkway.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Fight For The Lovable Bear

The fight between Stephen Slesinger and the Walt Disney Co. for Winnie The Pooh continues.

Here's something I know almost for certain. The popularity of the Winnie The Pooh story and characters would not have been what it is today without Disney. I really do not see any other company making it into the success and the household recognition that it has now. Maybe the hard part of making something to be a familiar name is done and someone else can take over and continue marketing a well-known commodity. Still, I will be very sad to see Winnie the Pooh clan leave Disney, because it has been such a comfy part of the Disney family.


Hong Kong Disneyland is Going the Wrong Way

While the rest of the Walt Disney Company reported stellar numbers (not counting Disneyland Paris, of course), Hong Kong Disneyland is reporting numbers that are not encouraging. It seems that they had a drop in attendance and guest spending when compared to the same quarter last year. This theme park continues to be having problems (or growing pains).

I do hope, however, that until they figure this out, they hold off on opening another park in China. If they can't make it in the most progressive part of China, they'll have even bigger problems in other parts of China.


Global Disney Pin Trading Brochure

So as you may know, I'm a big Disney pin collector (surprise!). While I'm not THAT big of a collector (meaning that I don't go around with a large luggage full of pins during pin events), we still do have quite a large number of pins, and we do actively engage in pin trading at the parks, and certainly at pin events.

Many people who are trying to get into, or understand how to do, pin trading don't quite know where to start unless they know of someone who is already actively doing it. Disney, of course, would like to help and promote pin collection. So in that effort, they have produce a global pin trading brochure. It contains all the rules and etiquette of pin trading, and information specific for Disneyland or WDW, depending on where you are. This would be a very good start in knowing what to do.

I, of course, have other additional advice and hints that might enhance your pin-trading experience, but I'll save them for another time. If you are also into pin trading and collecting, I'd love to hear from you.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Disney Eyeing Stand-Alone Hotels and Smaller Theme Parks?

It is certainly an interesting concept. Disney is thinking of having its hotels in other parts of the country outside of their theme parks, maybe in large cities. I kinda think that this might be a good idea, because it could easily tie in with the Disney Vacation Club. They could easily offer these hotels as accommodations for DVC members and expand the DVC coverage. Currently, members can say at a few hotels around the world that is part of their concierge collection. Having Disney hotels at various other locations would add to the number of hotels DVC members can stay outside of the regular DVC resorts.

The other part I'm not so sure of.

The company also was exploring alternatives to full-size theme parks, including "a smaller, deeply immersive park" that would offer consumers a more interactive experience at higher prices.

Is the Disney company forgetting that they tried something similar to that and failed? It was called "Disney Quest".

I guess when you are making record profits, you can try these "experiments".


A Perfect Disney Valentine's Day Gift

Are you still looking for that perfect Disney Valentine's Day Gift for your special someone? Well Disney can help with a very unique and interesting gift - the gift of roses. But this is not just any ordinary roses, of course (after all, this IS Disney!). You could send someone a dozen roses with Mickey's image on them! Honest! You could even include a greeting! But man, be prepared to shell out 90 buckaroos! Mickey doesn't come cheap!


Disney First Quarter Profit Soars

No surprise here. Disney's first quarter profit soars on the strength of the DVD sales of Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest. Sales reached $1.7 billion when compared to around $700 million a year ago.

With all that money, why do they still need to outsource some of the services that their guest come in contact with? I don't get it.


Colonizing the Imagination: Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Now admit it. You didn't think that the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World was worth a whole scholarly treatise, did you? Well, you'd be wrong.

This paper examines the Wilderness Lodge in the most intricate detail, especially from the point of view on how Disney interprets what the wilderness in the NW part of the US should look like, and how it tries to sell that view to its guests.

Of course, there is a risk in doing things like this whereby that one can easily read waaaay too much into things that are being studied. But then again, it makes for an enjoyable reading.


Zz. Launched

Early reviews are in for the newly revamped Everyone seems to like it, but the common gripe is that it is slow to load. Well of course it is, considering how video intensive some of the links are. I've yet to navigate through all the links yet. All I care about is that the Pin Trading and Shopping sites are relatively still the same, and I know my way around them.



Disney Bahrain Update

Disney is denying that they are even in talks to build Disney Bahrain. I sincerely hope this is true. I can see way too many things that just won't sit well with this project. I can see a Disney theme park in China, or Korea, or even Singapore, but I really don't see it in the Middle East. The cultural, social, and religious differences are just too wide.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Disney Park in Bahrain?!

What's next? North Korea?

I'm reading two unconfirmed reports that a Saudi billionaire is in talks with Disney to open a Disney theme park in Bahrain. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who happens to own 10% of EuroDisney, wants to have a "family entertainment" park for that region.

Disney should consider what kind of "family values" we're talking about here in that region of the world. I don't think this is such a good idea at all.


The New is Now LIVE!

Thanks to John Frost for the heads up. Just after I mentioned that we're still waiting for the new to go live, it appears on the very same day! I tell ya, sometime it isn't worth it to bitch and moan about things anymore!

:) :)


Still Waiting for the New

So much for Bob Iger's promise of the unveiling of the new by the end of January.

We had a sneak preview of the what it was suppose to look like. However, till today, the new has still not made its appearence. One speculation on the delay might have been due to Steve Jobs. The initial presentation to the Disney board of directors might not have gone as well as first thought, especially with the over-critical Jobs.

Still, you can't fault Jobs track record. The only issue is on how extensive a modification that had to be made. That might dictate the length of delay in releasing the new website.


Disney College Program

Here's a rather "standard" but still interesting description of the Disney College Program. I have read several personal accounts of participants of this program, and every one of them described this as the best experience of their lives. I'm guessing that if one is planning on going into an employment that deals with people or managing people, this would be something one might want to seriouly consider.


Latest Pictures Around Disneyland

Laughing Place has the latest pictures around Disneyland, including pictures of construction around Sleeping Beauty Castle. Unfortunately, with the fences up, it ruins the perpective view of the castle and one can clearly see how small it looks, especially when one is also familiar with Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom.


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Happiest Sight On Earth

To me, this is the happiest sight on earth!

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This is what you see when you drive in to the Walt Disney World complex. When I see this, it means that I've just arrived for a stay at the happiest place on earth. I have usually a week to look forward to.

Alas, I won't get to see this again till late May. I'm counting the days.

We also are planning on going again in late Sept into early October. We normally make our 2nd trip in early Sept, over the Labor Day week and into the following weekend where we also attend the Pin Celebration event. However, we are planning on skipping that event this year (it will be hard to resist especially after the start releasing pictures of all the pins that will be released at that event). The reason for this is that we would like to be at Epcot on Oct. 1st for its 25th Anniversary.

Disney so far, much to the displeasure of many Disney (and Epcot) fans, do not have any plans on marking this milestone in Epcot's history. I find this rather surprising. It is almost as if Epcot is being treated like a stepchild that they are embarrassed about. Considering that it is the 3rd most visited Disney theme park (after The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland), I would think it deserves a bit more respect than this.

Nevertheless, I am planning on being there on that date. At the very least, they should have commemorative pins to mark this occasion.


You've Just Won The Superbowl. What Are You Going To Do Next?

We now know which Superbowl winners will be going to Walt Disney World.

Congratulations to the Colts!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records

In case you didn't know about it already, Google Books has the complete online edition of the book Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records. The book was written by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar. This is a terrific look at the history of this part of the company, which is now having a major resurgence especially with the hits from the Disney Channel.


Epcot - What's In A Name?

I've always thought that Epcot was a unique name for that theme park in Walt Disney World, but nooooooo.....

Of course, we all know (don't we?) that Epcot means Experimental Prototype Community of tomorrow. It turns out that the name is also used to mean other things. For example:

1. European Prospective Cohort on Thrombophilia.
It sounds like a disease, doesn't it? I still don't know what it means! :)

2. efficient procedure for coloring optimally with Tabu
Don't even ask! :)

I'm sure there's more, but I need some time to recover from this trauma.



Saturday, February 03, 2007

Disney Donates $50,000 for Tornado Relief

Central Florida was hit hard by severe weather and tornado yesterday, resulting in a number of deaths.

Disney is immediately donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross towards the tornado relief effort. Luckily, none of the theme parks in and around Orlando seem to have suffered any damage or injury to the guests and employees.


DVC Villas at Disney's Animal Kingdom

It's no longer a big news that the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) will be building DVC villas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We reported this months ago.

Well yesterday, we received a card from DVC informing us about the Animal Kingdom villas and offering us first dibs at buying into it. It was a very nice card, with the words:

Discover a place that over 24 species call their Home Resort.

I thought that was cute. They are also running a special for DVC members who buy 100 points or more at the new villas - $8 credit per point before Feb. 28, 2007.

As tempting as this offer is, we most probably would let it pass. We have 230 points at Saratoga Springs, and considering that we have points always carried over from previous year, we have close to 300 at the beginning of our anniversary year. That is more than enough for several stays already, so we don't see any need to add more. I am looking forward to the DVC villas opening at Animal Kingdom Lodge, though. I've always wanted to stay there. So when the DVC villas open, I'll have my chance. However, I expect that for the first year or so while they're still building the rest of the resort, demand for rooms there will be outrageous.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Surprise pin 2/2/07

OK, I've decided that I'll highlight the various special pins that Disney releases throughout the year. Surprise pins, for example, are seldom announced in advance, and it is usually released at one particular location only and nowhere else. Thus, these surprise pins are highly collectible.

The one being released today is released at the Disney's Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, Edition size: 1000.


Superbowl Players Aim for Disney World Commercial

Looks like another competition is also brewing leading up to the superbowl this Sunday. The players are jockeying for selection to be the one who will be videotaped to say "I'm going to Disney World!" That certainly has become a very popular commercial during the superbowl for as long as I can remember.

Since I am in Chicago, it is obligatory for me to say this:



Disney Hopes That The Three Little Pigs Will Ward Off Bad Karma At HK Disneyland

Disney will introduce the 3 Little Pigs at Hong Disneyland for the Chinese New Year this year to coincide with the Year of the Pig. Hopefully, the debacle of last year's Chinese New Year will not happen again. I still think that it will take a few years for boths sides to learn about each other - Disney learning a bit how to handle their Chinese visitors, and the chinese learning more about how Disney runs its parks (i.e. when it is full due to safety reason, you can't come in).


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Where in Walt Disney World?

Here's another one. Where in Walt Disney World can you find this?

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It's A Small Disney World, After All

Two "graduates" of the Kids of the Kingdom describe their fond memories of working for Disney. It still amazes me how much work is required for these shows, especially when it is done in that kind of heat. It is also amazing how much a stint like that can truly affect someone, especially when they're young.