Saturday, October 31, 2009

A House Passes From One Disney Family To Another

Sometime, the passion and love for Disney permeate into real life and could often provide additional magic, even far away from the beloved theme parks.

Some time in early September, we began looking in earnest for a house to buy. While we had talked about buying a house for a while, it was one of those situations where it is now or never. Interest rates were quite low, and of course, the housing prices can't be any more attractive than they are now in such a buyers market. And while we certainly were aware of the tax credit, we were not going to rush into buying something just so we can get a tax credit. Nothing's worse than buying something THAT BIG and expensive for a lousy $8000, and then learn that one doesn't really like the house.

So with our real estate agent, we went looking around on a Sunday. On the second Sunday and on our second day of looking, we walked into this house that was nice and all, but we also noticed a few hints here and there that this could be a Disney family. There was just one picture of the family on a console table showing them in front of Cindy's castle. I went "OK....". Then, went we went upstairs to look at the bedrooms, two of the bedrooms sealed the deal. The boy's bedroom had "Cars" border, and the girl's bedroom had Disney Princesses border. There were also Disney character plushes on the bed.

Immediately I said to myself, "This is a sign!". No other houses that we've looked at had any Disney items that I could remember, but it was not as if I was looking for them.

In any case, in the 2 days that we went looking, this house was simply the one that we both liked the most. After a second viewing, we put an offer the following Wednesday.

Well, guess what? We closed on the house last Thursday! It is now ours. Since then, we found out a bit more about the family that owned that house. They are probably as big of a Disney fan as we are! Turns out that they had a lot more Disney stuff in the house, but their real estate agent wisely asked them to de-personalize the house for staging purposes. I found out that they go at least once a year to WDW, and they may even be a DVC member because we found a DVC vacation planner booklet that they left behind. They were also using Disney paints in the kids' rooms!

I remember telling their real estate agent at closing to tell the family that their house has been transferred to another Disney family. So essentially, this house has been passed on from one Disney family to another.

And that's the way it should be.....

Zz.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Disney Halloween, Everyone!


Zz.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stitch Goes Vinyl

Whoa... looks like Stitch could give Mickey's Vinylmation a run for his money!



Some of them are quite creative. I especially like the Tiki Stitch, and the Thai Stitch. The one that depicts one of the hitchhiking ghosts that we only got a glimpse of is also quite good. But the one with the burlap scares me! Maybe this is supposed to be Oogie Boogie?

Zz.

Princess Tiana ‘Already Sold Out'

Well before "Princess and the Frog" opens, Princess Tiana merchandise are already flying out of the stores. And it is mostly driven by adults/moms!

If interest in Tiana merchandise is to be expected, so much early interest is less the norm. Usually, it's kids begging their moms to buy them princess this or that, but Tiana has moms all aflutter.


There's so much high expectation for this movie that I truly hope it delivers. It would be a wonderful beginning if this becomes a huge hit, and that Disney will take more risks and make even more movies that reflects the diversity that we see.

Zz.

Disney Dream to Include First-Ever Shipboard Water Coaster

You call it "coaster", I call it a "water slide". Still, this looks like fun. Maybe I'll start my Disney cruise on The Disney Dream. Wouldn't that be fun?



Zz.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Donald's Great Adventure - Disneyland, D23, and Club 33

I finally get to give a more complete report of my trip to the left coast this past September. I visited my old stomping ground, the Disneyland Resort, and had a wonderful time meeting my fans.

So where does a big celebrity like me stay at Disneyland? Why, the Grand Californian, of course! I get treated like a Prince when I'm there. They even fluff up my feathers after my bath. And oh, for your information, I have a yellow rubber human with me when I take a bath, thank you for asking.


Very nice lobby, don't you think?


Very plush bed as well. And yes, I got the whole bed all to myself.


Then it was time to go to the D23 Expo, and I got swamped by all my fans. They were just eager to get their pictures with me. Here's one.


I got to see a lot of things at the D23 Expo, and hopped onto a few things as well.


Can I just say that these Vinylmation Mickeys scares the feathers out of me?


Then it was time for me to have my dinner at Club 33. Of course, they were expecting a Disney legend like me and we got the best table in the house. But before that, they wanted me to inspect the menu, which can be mistaken for a small family album.


"Hello? You would like a reservation at Club 33? Sorry, we are full now, and there's a 3-month wait for a table."


I finally got to my table. I didn't need to look at the menu. I knew exactly what I wanted. "The usual, please!". They know me very well here.


Ah, couldn't wait for the food to arrive. I was starving. I could have eaten a whale!


{burp!} I couldn't believe I ate the whole thing!


In fact, I feel quite bloated now.


I went back to the Expo after dinner to make my appearance. Besides, I have to go see the wonderful sculpture that they did of me. Don't you think these will look fabulous right in front of all the Castles at Disney theme parks?



I then went on one of my favorite attraction at Disneyland - the Haunted Mansion. The only thing I don't like about this ride is that there's no ghost ducks.


Ah, it was a wonderful trip to Disneyland Resort. I certainly would come back or these fans will suffer not having the Donald Duck in their presence.

DD.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random WDW Picture

This is the view of the Contemporary main building from one of the floors of Bay Lake Tower.



Zz.

Disney Launches iPhone and iPod Touch Applications

This is one of those "duh!" event. It only makes sense and seems logical that Disney is launching its own iPhone and iPod touch apps, but this time, they are connected to Disney.com website.

Disney.com, part of the Disney Interactive Media Group, said it will offer users of the popular Apple Inc devices items like the new "Click2Life" feature that lets fans take pictures of images from the Disney.com Web site, and eventually in the physical world, and unlock exclusive content.


I'd be happy if Disney.com and the Passholder webpage don't suck as far as being sluggish.

Zz.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Princess Tianna Welcomed to the Magic Kingdom!

Disney's latest princess, Princess Tianna, was welcomed to the Magic Kingdom in this video.



The only thing left is for Princess and the Frog to open already!

Zz.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mickey and Goofy Help Fill Paradise Bay Lagoon



Zz.

The Single Greatest Disney Black and White Ink Drawing Ever Done?

This drawing has been called just that. It was done by a veteran of Disney Studio, Hank Porter, in the 1930s. It depicts Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Pluto, and Dopey singing Christmas carol, and all the creatures of the woods are gathered around listening to them.

It appears that it is up for action. It is an amazing drawing. I'm even amazed that there's a high resolution copy of the drawing that one can click on.

Zz.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Donald's Great Adventure - Windy City Pin Traders October 2009 Meet


ZapperZ took me back to another of the Windy City Pin Traders (WCPT) monthly pin meet at Fuddruckers in Addison, IL. There were a lot of people this month, and they were all giddy trading Disney pins. There were a lot of pins, and I'm a bit weary being a among this many sharp, pointy objects. So I had to make my way through the various pin bags very gingerly.


While I was making my way through the maze of pins books, I bumped into my old friend, Figment. Hello Figment! It looks like he was busy trying to collect money. As I recall, by the end of the day, someone actually paid money to take him home..... Hum, that didn't sound right, but you know what I mean!


I was told that the theme of this month's meet was Halloween, and so, some people brought candies to the meet. ZapperZ has this cute bags to put candies in - they have Mickey and Minnie on the front. So I went over to the two bags to get some candy. There were plenty at that time, but by the end of the day, they were almost gone. Yum! I love Raisinnetts!


Oooof! Bumped into a box....... full of pins! Of course!


Humm... what are these stickers for? Oh, I see. They gave paper name tags to people who didn't have name tags, and they can choose a sticker to put on the name tags with their names. You get these stickers for free from the various promotional mailings from Disney Movie Club.


So here I am, at the Claw Machine game that they have in this Fuddruckers, and I'm on my last quarter trying to get one of these plush toys. I thought I might find my friends, the Little Green Men, but they are nowhere to be seen. Instead, I see Tigger and Eeyore, etc. I was trying to rescue them out of this, but I just can't seem to get then out. Where are Nemo and the Tank Gang? They would know how to get out. Does this thing have a filter that we can clog up?


All that effort trying to rescue my friends from the 100 Acre Wood made me hungry and thirsty. ZapperZ bought me a strawberry shake. I think he bought too much. The glass was bigger than me! Now, if only someone can lift me up to the straw.......


It was a long day, and I was all quacked up by the time we got home. I slept very well last night.

DD.

ESPN Innovation Lab

ESPN Innovation Lab opens at Walt Disney World.



It looks like this is a jock/techy's dream. Some of the graphics special effects certainly look cool. Still, this probably won't be anywhere near the top of my list of things I want to see or do when I'm there.

Zz.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where in Walt Disney World?

OK, this one might be a bit tough, but it should give you a clue simply by process of elimination.

Where in Walt Disney World is this?



Zz.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seeing Your Friends In Disney Articles

It is one thing to see pictures from Disney websites and Disney stories of people you recognize by sight. It is another when you see pictures of your friends, or your friends being mentioned in Disney articles. It tells you that you hang around a lot of Disney fanatics, just like you! :)

During the last D23 Expo, a couple of my good friends got their pictures taken and published in the D23 Expo blog. It is the 4th picture here of the "first family" in line to get into the Expo. I know 2 of them very well and know of another (i.e. I've seen her a few times but don't think we've been formally introduced). So that's one.

Well now, today, one of my friends (waves at Ralph) told me that the pin article by Steven Miller on the Disney Theme parks blog actually mentioned him, but not by name! He wrote about the most popular pin (if there's such a thing), and mentioned this in particular:

Another Guest took great pride explaining what it took to trade for a complete set of 10, red Doombuggies from Disney Summer Pin Festival 2009.


Yup! That's one of my buddies alright! :)

Zz.

/Film Goes To Disneyland, Club 33 and the Disney Animation Research Library

Ah, to be a pampered news media.....

The /Film crew got the VIP treatment at Disneyland, and we get to read the trip report of it. They have a few amazing photos and videos, including inside the Dream Suite. It certainly adds another motivation to go to Disneyland during Halloween.

Zz.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lasseter To Be Honored By Producers Guild of America

The awards are piling up for John Lasseter. He will be awarded the David O. Selznick Achievement Award by the Producers Guild of American this coming January, making him the first animation producer to receive this award.

Lasseter is receiving the David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the guild's awards show Jan. 24. He's the first producer of animated films to receive the award.

Past recipients include Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer, Stanley Kramer and Billy Wilder.

The Producers Guild says Lasseter's work with Pixar Animation and parent company Disney has raised the bar for animated and live-action filmmakers alike.


Zz.

What's New At Walt Disney World

This could easily be a Travel Channel episode! :)



Zz.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nightmare before christmas

Saw these at Borders. A large selection of Nightmare Before Christmas games and merchandise.

Hook’s Pointe Becomes Disneyland's Only Seafood Restaurant

This actually surprises me, considering that you got California Adventure and all the restaurants in the various resorts and Downtown Disney district. But obviously, from this news article, Hook's Pointe has just become Disneyland's only seafood restaurant after the place was rethemed.

Hook’s Pointe, inside the Disneyland Hotel, re-branded itself last month with new seafood selections because its generic offerings were failing to draw enough customers.


Considering that WDW has quite a number of seafood restaurant, this is certainly something I didn't expect or know.

Zz.

Random WDW Picture

A great day to go fly a kite at the World Showcase lagoon at Epcot.



Zz.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Transformer Donald Duck?

Ugh! This thing is UGLY!

Supposedly, there is a transformer Donald Duck.

NASTY! Who would buy such a thing?

I'm not going to show Donald this thing. He's bound to have nightmares afterward.

Zz.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Donald's Great Adventure - ZapperZ's New Office

ZapperZ has an office that had been called by the people he work with as the "Happiest Office on Earth". But he had to move to a new office in a different building a couple of weeks ago. How will he decorate his new office? Will it still be the Happiest Office on Earth?

He finally invited me to visit his new office last week. I get to go around to different nooks and crannies to see all his new decor and visit some of my friends.

This is his new office table. It's very nice, especially when I get to see my old friend Pooh on a coffee mug. ZapperZ also has a nice frame with me and my other Disney friends. Hi Pluto!


Of course, Mickey has to be everywhere. He's even peeking over the top of the desk. It looks like he's interviewing for a job!


Mickey table lamp. ZapperZ puts this with the rest of his coffee/tea service. Mickey actually talks every time you turn him on and off.


More of my friends, and Mickey again. This time he's holding up a pin board, in case we forget that ZapperZ is a huge pin addict.


Now I like this. Large pictures on the wall. But where are pictures of ME?


ZapperZ has a nice desk set. But it is all with Mickey!


Still, just to show that I have no bad feelings towards that mouse, I spent some time visiting with Mickey and Minnie since they were just hanging around and doing nothing.


More of my friends. At least there's a cute figure of me here.


Hey, this bookshelf is rather high. Get me down!


Well, anyway, I spent a lovely day at ZapperZ's office. I don't think he can squeeze any more Disney stuff in there, or there won't be room for him.

DD.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Origin of Mousesavers.com

This MSNBC article gives a short history on the origin of Mary Waring's very popular Disney-related website MouseSavers.com.


Mary Waring had just quit her marketing job in San Diego in 2001, so saving money on her upcoming trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was a high priority. She found lots of resources online and posted links to coupons on a Web site.

Her brother, a Microsoft employee, told his colleagues about her savings tips — and within six weeks, her little online scratch pad had amassed 23,000 page views. That’s when Waring realized the country’s insatiable appetite for Disney savings gossip.


That certainly is a great website to go to if one wants ways to save money on a WDW trip.

The only problem with that article is that, it is talking about WDW, but it shows a picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, CA!

Zz.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Retrospective on Sherman Brothers Songbook CD Released

Oh, I'm definitely getting this set! Walt Disney Records has released a 2-CD retrospective of the Sherman Brothers songbook. And it looks like this is a gem!

On October 13, 2009 Walt Disney Records releases a two-disc retrospective collection of music by award-winning songwriting team, Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman. Hired by Walt Disney himself as his first and only staff songwriters, the Sherman Brothers music has been an important part of motion pictures, theme park attractions, television productions, records, compact discs, and Broadway shows - entertaining millions of people all over the world.

The two-disc set includes 59 songs highlighting the Sherman Brothers' incredibly prolific Disney years - from Annette's 1959 hit "Tall Paul" to their work from The Tigger Movie in 2000. Newly restored with the latest digital technology, this collection features not only their landmark hits from Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, The Jungle Book, and "it's a small world," but a number of their other classics - many available for the first time on CD.


I'm running to the store now!

Zz.

"Sum of All Thrills" Opens At Epcot

A new attraction opens at Epcot's Innovention pavilion. The Sum of All Thrills, sponsored by Raytheon, is a virtual roller coaster attraction that guests can design for themselves.

"Our aim is to show kids how math and engineering make the things they care about really come to life and happen," said Kristin Hilf, vice president of Raytheon public affairs.

The ride begins, after a tutorial, in a design room. On a touchscreen computer, visitors pick a vehicle shape and determine how fast the ride should go based on ascent, inversions or corkscrews.

The information is saved on a magnetized card strip and fed into the simulator, where visitors experience the track they just designed. The cards are imprinted with numerical identifiers kids can use at home for a Raytheon educational Web site with more math and science problems.


Hum... wait a second. Other than the educational aspect of the attraction, isn't this virtually identical (pun intended) to Virtual Space Mountain at Disney Quest?

Still, this might be a cool thing to do, so I'm certain going to try it when we get there in ... er.. 48 days!

Edit: see additional coverage of this story at CNN.com

Zz.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Inside Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

If you have never been to a Mickey Not So Scary Halloween Party, you should try to go. It is a lot of fun!



Zz.

Disney Parks' Jammitors Tour Crew

The Disney Parks' Jammitors crew was in Chicago to kick off its tour and promote Disney's "Give a Day, Get A Day" promotion.



Zz.

Disney Stores to Become "Imagination Park"?

News about the major overhaul of the Disney Stores is causing me to be very giddy!

At a time when many retailers are still cutting back or approaching strategic shifts with extreme caution, Disney is going the other way, getting more aggressive and putting into motion an expensive and ambitious floor-to-ceiling reboot of its 340 stores in the United States and Europe — as well as opening new ones, including a potential flagship in Times Square.

Disney Stores, which the media giant is considering rebranding Imagination Park, will become more akin to cozy entertainment hubs. The chain’s traditional approach of displaying row after row of toys and apparel geared to Disney franchises will be given a high-tech makeover and incorporated into a new array of recreational activities. The goal is to make children clamor to visit the stores and stay longer, perhaps bolstering sales as a result. Over the next five years, analysts estimate that Disney will spend about $1 million a store to redecorate, reorganize and install interactive technology.


I hope they keep in mind the adults as well. We all know Walt's philosophy of having a place in which both adults and children can "play". This plan also is consistent with an earlier report that the NY World of Disney might close and be "moved" to some place near Times Square. So far, all we have heard is that it is closing, without any indication that it will re-open elsewhere. Now it is starting to make sense. They will open an entirely new "experience" in Times Square and not just move the World of Disney store.

It is also interesting how much influence Apple and Steve Jobs had, or will have, on the new concept. This might be the clearest signature yet of Jobs' presence on the Disney board.

Again, don't forget the adults, people! We are the ones with money, not the kids!

Zz.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nominate a UK Twinned Town with Walt Disney World

Do you live in the UK? Do you want to nominate your town or city to be the twin city of Walt Disney World?



Zz.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Random WDW Picture

Minnie at Liberty Tree Tavern, back when they still had character dinners.



Zz.

Disney's Rich Ross: Hollywood's First Openly Gay Studio Chairman

This LA Times piece tries to delve into Rich Ross private life.

I found this: "The 47-year-old Ross and his partner of more than 20 years, Adam Sanderson, live in the Hollywood Hills and have no children of their own. However, he maintains a close relationship with the 14- and 10-year-old daughters of his former roommate and best friend from Fordham Law, who serve as an informal focus group." After a little more hunting, I found that the Advocate has just posted a small story, titled: "Disney Goes Gay with New Top Exec."


I suppose on one hand, it is progress that such a thing no longer is a hindrance to someone being given such a high-profile job. On the other hand, it is a reflection of our society that someone who is gay that have been given such a high-profile job makes the news. It shows that there is still a long way to go before these things are no longer news and part of our common occurrences.

In the end, as stated in the article, it is how he does his job that matters, and how he treats people around him.

So congratulations, and good luck, Rich Ross! I just hope you remember that there are plenty of adults who are also Disney fans. Don't over-emphasize the kiddie movies!

Zz.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The First 5 Minutes of Princess and the Frog

Disney is pulling out all stops in promoting the upcoming hand-drawn "Princess and the Frog". They had just released the first 5 minutes of the movie online.



Of course, the animation is astounding, except that they didn't release the finished version all the way through.

I can't wait!

Zz.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Disneyland Story

A series of classic video of the Disneyland Story. Good for nostalgic purposes, even though it has Micheal Eisner in it! :)











I wonder if Eisner still rides Splash Mountain, since he'd rather be on it than anywhere else! :)

Zz.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Donald's Great Adventure - Toy Story 1&2 in 3D

ZapperZ took me out to go see Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D today. It was very nice seeing my old buddies Buzz and Woody and the rest of the gang on the big screen again. I was really looking forward to it.

Here's me ride on the dashboard in the car. I told ZapperZ that this was unlawful, that I could get hurt real easily if the car accelerated too quickly.


So what did he do? He put me into one of the cup holder. How humiliating!


We went out for lunch first before the movie. Well, they went out to lunch. I just get to tag along and saw them eat. I couldn't believe ZapperZ was going to eat this whole large plate of food!


We then got to the theater. I was anxious to see all my buddies again, including these little green men.


So here I was, in the lobby, waiting, while the other humans went to get drinks and popcorn. And they just ate lunch too! I decided to try on the 3D glasses. Don't I look cool?


They were quite late in letting us into the theater, because there were people still in it from the previous showing. That seems odd, since it was 15 minutes before the next show. It turned out that there were people handing out survey forms to people seeing the movie. The forms asked people to complete part of it before they saw the movie, and to complete the rest after they have seen the double feature. So that was why there were people still in the theater for a little while after the movie ended - they were filling out their survey forms.

Anyway, both movies were a lot of fun! I've forgotten how wonderful the story was. I still can't believe that Emperor Zurg is Buzz's father. They don't look alike at all! The one nice thing they had was that they gave a 10-minute intermission between Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2. They ran a series of trivia questions on both movies during the intermission to keep the crowd occupied. I learned quite a bit about the movie from the trivia.

Anyhow, it was a fun movie afternoon. On the way out, I had to take a picture at my new crush - Princess Tiana. I can't wait to see her in December. She's beautiful!


Anyhow, I'm tired, and it has been a long day.

DD.

Where in Walt Disney World?

OK, here's another one. Where in Walt Disney World can you find this?



Zz.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Walt Disney World Throws Its Support For Florida High Speed Rail

The push for a high-speed rail line for Central Florida got a boost today when Walt Disney World throws its support behind it.

Disney says it will support a stop at the Orange County Convention Center, as well as provide up to 50 acres of free land for a station. For years, Disney wanted any train that might be built to take a straight shot from Orlando International Airport to its parks, with no other stations.


I'm glad they've changed their stance from before. The whole area will benefit if this comes through. Disney could easily offer the same type of service as the Magical Express for riders of the train to get them to the theme parks. So it's a win-win situation!

Zz.

Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D

Don't forget that Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D open today. You get to see the double feature for the price of a single ticket (I hope they have a bathroom break!) It will play for 2 weeks only. There is a good article from the NY Times on the process of converting the two movies into 3D.

Without changing any of the film’s action, Pixar’s 3-D specialists, or stereographers, returned to each frame of the film and virtually placed a second camera next to the original, creating left-eye and right-eye views of the scene. Then all of the scenes were re-rendered in the computer with this additional perspective.

The process of taking the original files from the first two movies and getting them to a place where they could be enhanced was one that Mr. Lasseter called “digital archaeology.” “We had to have some very, very smart people at Pixar go back in and write some software and figure out a way to make it so that those files would render on our current computers,” he said.


We will be going to see it tomorrow, and if Donald isn't misbehaving, I'll take him along. I wonder if I will have to pay full fare for him since he can sit on my lap?

Zz.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Day At The Magic Kingdom

Holy Walt Disney!!! I love this video!

Originally, I thought that this was nothing more than a miniature stop-motion animation! But no, this is really real. Only, it is actually stop motion, but taken using a still camera of the the Magic Kingdom from morning till night! It is astounding!



WOW!!

Zz.

Disney Pin Trading 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary of Disney Pin Trading!

This thing has sucked so much of my money, I don't even want to think about it!

:)

Zz.

Halloween Screams

The new fireworks show at Disneyland during Halloween celebration. It looks amazingly spectacular!



You can see a lengthier and more detailed video of the show in the OC Register report on this.

Zz.

"Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" Tour

Disney launches the new promotion in 5 cities in N. America to get people to volunteer.



Y'know, I've always asked for a "Mickey Ears" hardhat since like 4 years ago (I some time have to wear a hardhat at work!) :) So now that I saw a few people wearing them in the video while they're constructing that house, there's hope for me! :)

Zz.