Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Science of Disney Imagineering - Follow-up

For those of us who couldn't be in NYC for the World Science Festival and to attend the session on the Science of Disney Imagineering, there is a fairly decent coverage of it (and the linked blog) from the New York Times.

Audience members could also see how live human beings provide the movements and gestures for animated characters like skeleton pirates. Other volunteers took an elephant-sized G.P.S. tracking device and trekked out to Washington Square Park, while the audience tracked their movements via satellite.

What was great about these demonstrations is that they showed kids that sometimes science can be used to produce the things they love — wild rides, engaging stories, beautiful art and more.


It also sounds like Lucky the Dinosaur was there outside of the auditorium to entertain the attendees.

Zz.

Closing Disney Store

Am at a Disney Store that is closing. It is well picked over, but if you find something, you get an unbelievable bargain.

Toy Story Mania Strategy Guide

There's already a strategy guide for this brand new attraction. Note: the link contains "spoilers", so if you wish to experience the attraction for the first time for yourself, don't click the link.

Zz.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Science of Disney Imagineering

I mentioned about a couple of months ago regarding the World Science Festival that was planned for NY City. Well, it is going on right now this week. Tomorrow will be the presentation on the Science of Disney Imagineering at NYU.

Unfortunately, this event appears to be sold out, and one can only get tickets on that day itself if there are cancellations or last minute availability.

If anyone is lucky enough to attend this, can you write a brief report on here?

Zz.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Pro-Bush Lights

Hum... this probably won't make me feel any differently about the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS every holiday season, but still.....

The family from Arkansas who were responsible for the spectacular spectacle of lights at the former Disney-MGM Studios (and now DHS) appears to be one of the few people in the US who is still a big George Bush fan, and not hesitant to showing it via his lights.

I'm still a 30 percenter," Jennings Osborne said Friday, explaining that he is among those holding a positive view of the president. At his Little Rock home, 100,000 lights that had formed an American flag and spelled out "God Bless America and George W." lay on the ground.


Oy vey....

Zz.

New airline Bag Fees Complicate Disney's Magical Express

Ooooh.. I didn't even think about this one until I read this news report. With airlines such as American Airlines now charging a fee even for one checked luggage, it is causing a bit of a problem with Disney's DME service. It isn't the picking up of the luggage at the airport that's the problem, it's when the guests are flying out and check their luggage at their Disney resorts.

The fees are complicating Magical Express' early baggage-check service, which encourages departing guests to check in for their flights and drop off their luggage in their hotel before leaving the giant resort.

Disney then has those customers -- along with other hotel guests who are unable or choose not to use the resort check-in option -- bused to Orlando International Airport.


If other airlines are thinking of the same thing, let me just say that as of now, I am no longer considering flying with American Airlines as an option. Zilch! Look, I understand that they need to raise money with the ridiculous gas prices. That is fairly obvious. I'd rather they just raise their ticket pricess rather than nickle-and-diming their customers the way they are doing it now. I hope Southwest doesn't do the same, because as a loyal Southwest customer, I hate to see them follow such stupid business decision that is design to do nothing but alienate their existing customers. Who thought of these dumb things anyway?

Zz.

NASA To Launch Disney's Buzz Lightyear On Space Shuttle

In a bid (gimmick?) to excite students about learning Math and Science, NASA will be launching a 12-inch tall Buzz Lightyear figurine on the Space Shuttle that is scheduled to be launched tomorrow (May 31, 2008).

During the STS-124 mission, the 12-inch-tall action figure will partner with astronauts to deliver daily blog journals from space and launch a series of educational games and online sessions related to the mission.


I guess this is in conjuction with the "Toys in Space" educational program.

Oh well, at least there's some tangible usefullness of the space shuttle other than a glorified transporter. :)

Zz.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Disney-Pixar Cakes

Don't forget that on June 1st on the Food Network at 8:00 pm Eastern, is the premier of the Food Network Challenge - Disney/Pixar Cakes.


Four of the nation's top cake designers compete to make cakes that represent some of Pixar's most famous characters. Toy Story, Cars, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc. are just four of the films from which the decorators can choose.


Zz.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jack Sparrow Kissing Ariel

Now, I don't know if this is THE picture, but what are the odds? :)

Remember about a week ago that I posted the story that was all over the 'net written by an ex-Disney Cast Member who used to be Jack Sparrow at Disneyland? The thing he did that got him into really serious trouble with Disney management when he posted a picture of him in Jack Sparrow costume kissing Ariel? He's what he wrote:

We were also not allowed to post pictures of ourselves in costume on MySpace. But I had a picture of Ariel and me kissing backstage, a photo I kept on my private page. I was warned by friends to take it down, and I did, but not before someone made a copy of it and turned it in to Disney. Management pulled me in and talked to me about it.


So, could this have been the picture? :)



It's amazing what you can find on the internet nowadays, or what people will send you once you reported something. :) I hope this is not photoshopped, even though I see a cut-out of the outline around the 2 characters.

Zz.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Expedition Pins Video

I'm starting to roll out videos that I've edited from our last Expedition Pins trip. This video is sort of a compilation of the shots we made during this pin event, which was the most fun pin event I've attended (but then again, I've only attended the Sept. pin events so far, so I don't have that much to compare).

In any case, here's the video if you care to see.



Bonus trivia: while the first tune in the video is rather recognizable (at least to a lot of people over the age of 40), can you identify the 2nd tune in that video and its Disney connection? :)

Zz.

Wall-E merchandise

The movie is about a month away but the merchandise is already out. Found this at a Michael's store on sunday.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Welcome and Good Morning

Every morning, right before they open The Magic Kingdom, there is a very nice welcome ceremony. If you have never gotten to the Magic Kingdom that early in the morning, then you have never seen this before. This video was taped on May 5th, 2008 during our Expedition Pin trip, and features Scoop Sanderson along with Mickey and all the favorite characters.

As before, all of my videos are listed in an entry linked on this Blog page, or you can access them directly here.

Zz.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Economic Slowdown?

Reports accompanying Disney's 2nd Quarter financial statement showed that the theme parks business continues to be strong, despite the economic pressures due to higher oil commodities prices. It appears that this is certainly true till the end of the year. I am planning on being at WDW for a week during the early part of December. A phone call to the DVC members services revealed that Saratoga Springs is almost fully booked, especially for the Studio units. We tried to get Animal Kingdom Lodge as our first choice - no dice. A search of ther DVC resorts revealed almost the same problem. We could not get a contiguous dates at a particular resort during that early part of December! And this is supposed to be one of their slower times of the year before the mad holiday season!

We finally ended up getting a 2-bedroom villa (there will be 4 of us on this trip) at SSR for the dates that we wanted. If this is any indication, it looks like people are still going to WDW even during the economic slowdown. Disney certainly has made itself almost immune to such economic pressures, but for how long?

Zz.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Looking for the Magic at Disney's Florida Resort

This is actually a rather interesting and informative article. The reports presents a comparison of two contrasting Disney resort rooms, services, and "ambiance": The All-Star Music Value Resort, and then, for something completely different, the concierge club at the Disney's Beach Club Deluxe Resort.

Which one is "better" very much depends on who you are, and what you intend to do when you're there.

Does more than five times the cost of the Disney Beach Club Resort give you that much more Disney bang? Not really; in fact, you're getting less. You could lounge around the Beach Club Resort all day and miss out on the rest of Disney World altogether, which for first-time visitors is the point of being there. Two-bedroom suites at the Beach Resort start at over $1,275 a night. This is definitely an adults-first stay.

We saw happier young faces exploring the oversize visuals anywhere at the All-Star Music Resort. Kids at the Beach Resort only got excited at the pools. My grown-up son and friend quickly forgot their past youthful Disney visits, in favour of the sophisticated and classy Beach Resort. I am glad they are on their own.


I've always said that if you have very young kids, staying at these Deluxe resorts, such as the Grand Floridian, etc., might be a "waste". I think they get a lot more excitement and "eye candy" when they stay at the Value resorts, such as Pop Century. This article just confirmed it.

Zz.

Disney Recalls Sleeping Bags, Magic Wands Over Lead Paint

More stuff recalled due to excessive lead paints. This time it is two products sold at the Disney Stores.

The recall targets 4,100 Pirates of the Caribbean sleeping bags and 8,000 Tinker Bell wands sold at Disney Stores nationwide between April and October of 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.


This whole debacle will take a few years to really sink in and all the safeguards truly in place to prevent it from happening, at least, not at the current rate. With Disney doing their own in-house testing of their products, one can only hope that the contractors they use will start paying attention to what they use.

Zz.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

An ex-Jack Sparrow Spills on Life at the Magic Kingdom

Thanks to Patti for bringing my attention to this fascinating story. It is told by an ex-Jack Sparrow character at Disneyland. You somehow sympathized these people (and Disney cast members in general) for the tough regiment they are put under, and yet, are still required to create magic for the guests.

One problem about playing a character at Disneyland is that you are the Hollywood of the park. For the most part, ride operators and the people making the food love the characters, and they treat them like royalty. But the leads—the park’s assistant managers—every character had problems with them. The smallest rule broken, they call upper management and complain.


Still, a fascinating read, and gives you some idea of what these character cast members have to put up with, and we haven't even mentioned the weather.

Zz.

Disney World Savings Secrets

I've ran several articles like this before that advice potential WDW visitors on how to save money. This is more relevant now with the high costs of fuel and food and just about everything else. So chalk this one up as another article on money-saving tips while vacationing at WDW.

Still, there are at least a couple of inaccuracies here.

If you must shop at the park, she says the best kept souvenir secret is "Mickey's Mart" in Downtown Disney...Where everything is under $10. Its much cheaper than buying a stuffed animal at the gift shop at the end of every ride.


While there can sometime be items on discounted sales, the what is more common for this store is that it carries items that are also available elsewhere for less than $10. So these are not discounted items. The Donald rubber duckies, for example, are being sold for the same price as those you find elsewhere. It is just that this store tends to collect many of the items that are being sold for less than $10, and put them under one roof. So you really aren't saving money if you want to buy a particular item and hoping that it'll be cheaper at this store.

The other error in the article is this:

She says skip the pricey "Park Hopper" pass --which lets you visit 3 parks in one day. A multi day "Magic your Way" pass is cheaper. And who really does 3 parks in one day?


Er... 3 parks? What year was this article written? 1995? :)

There are 4 theme parks. Your park hopper allows you to hop among these 4 theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Whether park-hopping is something that one can do without is an entirely different matter. I suppose that infrequent visitors can do without the park-hopping option. But frequent visitors, I would think, would like the opportunity to hop in a single day. I certainly do, After all, I still don't see me spending a whole day at DHS.

Zz.

Review of Raglan Road in Kansas City

Oh, I didn't know that the operator of the Irish Pub Raglan Road in Downtown Disney has opened a sister restaurant with the same name in Kansas City. But they have! This article provides a review of the Kansas City version of this restaurant/bar.

Both menus were created by noted chef Kevin Dundon, owner of a luxury hotel called the Dunbrody Country House on Ireland's south coast. The fare here is more cosmopolitan than you might expect — I mean, it's not all rustic bangers and mash, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie. And that is as it should be: For all of its vintage d├ęcor, Raglan Road has less in common with an Irish saloon from 1901 — when there were no fewer than 130 Irish barkeeps in Kansas City, according to Pat O'Neill's From the Bottom Up — than movie idol Colin Farrell has with the late Tom Pendergast.


I was initially thinking that they should have opened this in Chicago, but on second thought, there are already A LOT of Irish pub here in Chicago (3 that I know of just within walking distance of where I live).

Zz.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Disney Family Traced Back To Huron Country, Ontario, CA

One woman's search for confirmation of her ancestry revealed a connection with Walt Disney's ancestors.


Talking with a friend and fellow genealogist about this assignment, I heard her chuckle as we were both at our computers, I sent her the information I had about Mary Disney, who's maiden name was Richardson, and held on. Within a moment my ears were burning with the sound of my friend's voice saying "Oh My, Oh My, Yes, Wow, I can't believe it!" She sent me the link and I was able to see instantly a biography of Walt Disney's life and a perfect match of names. Walt's great-great grandparents were Ruth Lark and Robert Richardson, names supplied by my client.

There it was, this lady did have an ancestor in common with the late great Walt Disney, the father of Mickey Mouse himself and I had the confirmation she was seeking.

Walt Disney's father Elias had traveled to the United States with his father Kepple and brother. Kepple was on his way to California like thousands of others who heard of the easy gold pickings to be had. On their way they met a man who talked Kepple into accompanying him to Kansas. This is the place he decided to stay. I did find records of Mary and Kepple with Walter and his sibblings in Ellis, Kansas, in the early 1900s. I found documentation that showed the family left Huron County, Canada, in 1878.


I wonder if the Disney family has done and published their line of ancestry....

Zz.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Disney Is In, Vegas Is Out

A rather interesting article on consumer spending for their vacation. It appears that while Disney continues to have strong numbers for their theme parks even with the economic downtown, Vegas is now seeing softness in their numbers and revenues. This is all reflected in the shift in philosophy for Disney and Vegas in general. While Disney has been reaching out for the lower-income guests by increasing the number of value resorts and discounted packages, Vegas on the other hand has been heading the other way by upscaling their hotels, restaurants, etc. As a result, they are no longer recession-proof.

The upscaling of Las Vegas with its five-star hotels, restaurants and shops, and the down-pricing of Disney to more value-oriented park packages and hotels over the last decade has turned that concept on its head.
.
.
.
While Disney's business model has been trying to capture more visitors down the income ladder, Las Vegas has done the reverse. The famed Strip's cheap hotels and all-you-can-eat buffets are mostly gone, replaced by first-class resorts, fancy restaurants with celebrity chefs, luxury retailers and high-end spas.


Zz.

Disney To Fund Ad Research

This is rather interesting for Disney to get into. They are funding a lab in Austin, TX, to measure the effectiveness of various advertisements on the internet, mobile devices, and TV.

A laboratory in Austin, Texas, to be founded by The Walt Disney Co. by the end of the year, aims to answer these questions and more by testing the biometric reactions of a pool of up to 4,000 people to advertising that takes advantage of the latest technology.


Question is, while they can measure if the participants notices these ads, can they tell if they are annoyed by them or not? I've seen many of these ads on the web that move on the webpage in front of the article that I'm reading. It's as annoying as pop-up windows that most browsers can render extinct.

Zz.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Disney Channel in Malaysia

So I'm vacationing in Malaysia and surfing the TV channels when I stumbled upon the Disney channel here. It has mostly, from what I have seen, the same shows that we see in the States. But one animated show that we don't get is something called "Bola Kampung", which translates to "village ball" (?).

I know. I don't get it either. It seems to depict the lives of a group of Malaysian school children. They are drawn with local features, in school uniforms, and local surroundings. But the weird part in the whlole thing is that the characters have western names (Marcus, Ivan, etc.) And they speak with American accents! How odd, especially since the show is obviously for local consumption. In fact, there is a distinct American flavor in the conversation/script.

Still, they do try to inject local flavors into the show. They refer to specific Malaysian locations and the talk about "football" to mean soccer. I just found it amusing that they speak like typical american kids but about Malaysian topics.

I took a few screen captures of the TV show.
Oh wait. There a kid now who talks with an indian accent, which is not uncommon in Malaysia. Oh, this is just plain hysterical.

I just saw the credits. Most, if not all, of the animation production are done locally. The voices had people (kids?) with western names but there were also locals. I must have missed them.

Oh well. At least it kept me amused for a few minutes. :)

Zz.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Salute To Disney Cast Members

Now that we are back and have some time, I thought I write about how things could have gone wrong with our trip due to two small "incidents" or happening that occurred. The first one is due to my stupidity, while the other is the "stupidity" that could have been not so nice on the part of Disney. They both involved Cast Members who are often way smarter or more accommodating than some of the guests (like me) or Disney management.

The first occurred after we had a quick dinner at Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion at Epcot. It wasn't that busy at that time (an important part of the story to keep in mind). In fact, we sat at one of the least busy section, right in front of the Jr. Chefs area. We left the place around 7:00 pm to walk around World Showcase a bit before we go to our favorite spot to to watch Illuminations that night. Since it was also an Extra Magic Hours night at Epcot, we also planned to get our wristbands. On the way to World Showcase, we spent a lovely time chatting with a Cast Member at the DVC booth. By the time we got to the wrist band distribution place, it was slightly after 7:30 pm. When I open my wallet to show them my resort key card, I realized that I didn't have my credit card that I used to pay for the meals we had at Sunshine Seasons!

It was then that I remembered that I put the card and the receipt on the tray, and accidentally placed my plate on top of them. Yes folks, when I dumped the plates and stuff into the trash receptacle, I also threw away my credit card! I had this very sinking feeling of "Oh Crap!". I got my wristbands, but decided to walk back to Sunshine Season and figure out what I could do before I call the credit card company.

By the time we got to Sunshine Season again, it was about 45 mins since we left it. I got hold of a cast member who was actually quite busy. Still, she made time for me. I told her what I happened, and where I dumped my tray and credit card. We all went to the trash can and when we looked into it, there was hardly anything in there. She said that from the look of it, it may have been emptied out recently, but she's going to get her gloves anyway and rummage through whatever's at the bottom of it.

So she came back with her gloves and started to go through the stuff at the bottom of the receptacle. Since the trash bag was clear, she thought it would be easier if she just pulled out the whole bag and we all can look at it. So here we are, among all dinners at Sunshine Season, and she's holding a trash bag high in the air and spinning it for all of us to look at. Suddenly, I spotted a red piece of plastic (it was a Disney Visa card) at the bottom of the bag and yelled "There it is!!"

Yup! We found my card! She took it out, wiped it and handed it to me. Needless to say, I thank her profusely. I told her that I know the cast members were very good at finding the impossible out of the trash (ref: the recent news of the wedding ring that was tossed accidentally that the cast members found in the dumpster), but this is ridiculous!

So thank you to Cast Member Suzanne. An e-mail to Guest Relations will be sent today to let Disney know what a wonderful thing you did for us!

The second event took place at the end of our stay. It started on May 4th, a couple of days before we left. As DVC members staying at DVC resorts, we were supposed to get free internet service starting on May 4th. This was announced in the DVC newsletter, and on the DVC website. When I connected that morning, I still got the same screen where you have to agree to the $9.95 charge/24 hours. We called the front desk asking about it, and were told that, yes, the connecting page still hasn't change, but there will be a $9.95 credit starting that date. The system still can't tell yet which room has the DVC members and which doesn't. So till they get this set up properly, they will simply refund the charges. Fair enough.

You can already see what's coming next, don't you? Well of course, when we got our room charges on the day we were checking out, the internet charges starting on May 4th did not get reversed. We called the front desk again and a pleasant cast member tried to deal with it by asking her "upper management". She came back with the response from them that said to the effect that only guest who checked in ON OR AFTER May 4th will get the free internet connection.

Before I continue on what happened with the phone call, let me tell you first of all how stupid that is:

1. Nowhere in the newsletter or the webpage (even in fine print) did it say that only DVC guests who checked in on or after May 4th will get free internet connection. All it said was that there will be free internet connection starting May 4th.

2. It makes no sense to only give out free connection to DVC guest who checked in starting May 4th. Who came out with that ridiculous idea?

3. We were already told that the charges will be reversed. Here's an important reminder to Disney and all businesses: there's no better way to infuriate your guests and customers when you CANNOT KEEP YOUR STORY STRAIGHT by giving your guests/customers conflicting information!

4. I just can't believe that, for a few measly bucks (in our case, ~$30), they were set to alienate guests who were not only big Disney fans, but who are also annual passholders and DVC members!

Now, getting back to the phone conversation, the cast member at the other end, after she told us what she had been told by "upper management", said that this policy just doesn't make any sense, and that she was going to reverse the internet charges in question. It is obvious to me that this cast member had more sense in her than her managers. It's too bad that I didn't get her name, but someone like this who can think on her own to know how to treat her guests are what made Disney magical for many of us.

In the end, both of these "incidents" had positive outcomes and didn't effect our wonderful trip. But they both could have easily spoiled it for us. So the Magic isn't ruined. We look forward to our Sept. trip for the next pin event, which will be the Pin University themed event!

Zz.

Theme Parks Help Disney’s Quarter

Even with the higher costs of fuel and just about everything else, Disney still showed a very strong 2nd quarter. The theme park business was most surprising, at least for the analysts, since it seems to be quite resilient.

As someone who just got back from WDW, I can testify to the fact that the theme parks were just as busy, if not busier, than before. On Tuesday, of all days, Animal Kingdom was PACKED! On a Tuesday! If this is a preview of what's to come this summer, the theme parks are going to do a bang-up business. The only issue here is whether they can keep costs down to maintain their profit margin.

Zz.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Expedition pins merchandise

At AK this morning there were still several framed and pin sets from the event at the pin cart at Island Mercantile. So if you didn't go to the event and want some of the pins, here's your chance!

Zz.

Goodbye WDW

I sent 3 updates today, none got thru. We are on the plane to head back to Chicago. It was a terrific trip! Had way too much fun.

If this gets thru and I have time before I have to turn off the phone, I'll resend the pics from this morning.

Zz.

Company D and Property Control

We were invited to go to Company D and Property Control yesterday. So here are a few pictures from that.







We pack our stuff to fly back to Chicago this evening. It was a TERRIFIC trip, especially when we spent it with such a large group of people. We look forward to our next trip, which will be in early Sept, during another pin event.

Zz.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Expedition pins trip day 4b

Flower and garden festival is in full swing at Epcot.

Expedition pins trip day 4a

We are standing in line for our Disney Visa meet and greet.

Internet Charges for DVC Members

Today, May 4th, 2008, starts the free internet connection for DVC members staying at DVC resorts. You still connect to the 'net in the usual way, i.e. you see the home page with the $9.95 charges, and you still need to accept. They haven't changed that since the service still can't tell yet who is in which room. But I was told by the front desk that there will be credit to the room charges for the internet connection from now on.

You still need a credit card on file to enable the internet charges. It just won't be in the final bill.

So there...

Zz.

Summary of the Expedition Pins

Whoa! It was a terrific event! Sorry that I couldn't report more live from it, but I was having way too much time (and the phone camera does not take good pictures at night). There were good food, good entertainment, Everest none-stop with no lines, good parting gifts, and lots and lots of good times.

So here are some pictures from last night.












As you can see, even the Yeti (in this case, two different characters and sizes) made his appearance! It was a lot of fun, and we all wished it would have gone on a bit longer.

Zz.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Expedition pins day 3i

More lines! We went through the gate just to be made to wait some more. Dinner awaits.

Expedition pins trip day 3H

Crowd getting bigger.

Expedition pins trip day 3g

Waiting in line at 7 pm at DAK to get in for the rest of the event.

Expedition pins trip day 3f

Place is clearing up a bit. People are getting ready to go to DAK for tonight's festivities.

Expedition pin trip 3e

Standing in line for pin trading game. Got several good cast lanyard pins already from the games. Also many pins from Disneyland Paris from traders from Europe.

It has been a lot of fun so far. But more to come tonight.

Expedition pins day 3d

Pin event is hopping now. Lots of pintrading going on and the pin trading board games are in full swing. I got Tyler Dumas, one of the disney artists, to sign a couple of the framed sets.

We are waiting for 4 pm when a bunch of things will go on. We leave for DAK at around 6:30 pm.

Z.

Expedition pins day 3c

We are in the pin trading area and already the pin board games have started. People are in line at the boards to do the games. Registration is still continuing so more people are coming. Everyone is in a jolly mood.

Expedition pin day 3b

Standing in line waiting to get in to the pin trading area.

Expedition pins trip day 3a

We are at DHS for the extra magic hours this morning.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Expedition pin day 2D

Pin trading area is still sparse. People are still coming in or won't be here till tonight.

Expedition pin trip day 2c

We are at the early registration and merchandise pickup for the pin event.

Expedition pin trip 2b

We did splash, thunder mountain and haunted mansion. Vary short line.

Pin trip

The tower at Contemporary. On our way to MK.

Expedition Pins trip - Day 2a

We are up early this morning even though we don't have to. We're planning on doing the Magic Kingdom this morning and stay for lunch. We will head out to Coronado for the early registration for the pin event this afternoon. We might stay for the Mickey Pin Trading night this evening, which is open to the public. So if you're going to be around, drop by and say hi! :)

While a couple of our friends from the Windy City Pin Traders group also arrived last night, the biggest contingent will be arriving late today/tonight. So things certainly will start rolling now.

Zz

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Expedition Pin trip - Day 1

We are back at our home! It' good to be back.

Now we are off to bed.

Zz

Expedition Pin trip 1

We have arrived. This is orlando airport at 10:45 pm.

Expedition Pins Trip - Day 0

We are all packed and ready to head out to the airport. It will be exciting. I'm bringing tons of trading pins.

Let's see how well I transmit the "live" reports from this trip.

Zz.

Disney Has Officially Taken Over Disney Stores

It's official. Disney Stores now belong to Disney, as it should be.

Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it has taken over the Disney Store chain in North America from Children's Place Retail Stores, and will close about 98 stores U.S. and two in Canada.


I am actually rather excited and curious to what they intend to do with the stores that they are planning to keep. I hope that they will have more emphasis on home decor, adult clothings, etc., rather than the current emphasis on children-related merchandise. And please, add more Disney Store-exclusive pins! That is one sure way to get pin fanatics that can't make it to a Disney theme park to keep coming.

.. and I won't even charge Disney a fee for those free advice! :)

I'm also curious if they'll restore full cast-member status to the Disney Stores employees.

Zz.