Friday, July 30, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random WDW Picture

The Sorcerer Hat at DHS.

A Look Back at New Orleans Square

An archive video of the opening of New Orleans Square. The synopsis accompanying this video says the following:

The footage you are about to see is bittersweet. It shows one of the last times Walt was on film enjoying his park. The day was 44 years ago, July 24, 1966 (Walt died later that year). Walt and New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro officially opened New Orleans Square. It was the first time since opening day in 1955 that a new land had opened. It was also the only area at the park named after a real city. Guests enjoyed shopping, dining and music, and Pirates of the Caribbean opened the following year.

I've never understood why Pirates of the Caribbean is in New Orleans Square. I don't get the connection with the theme. I can understand it being part of Adventure Land in the Magic Kingdom.


Monday, July 26, 2010

TRON: LEGACY - Official Trailer #2

Right on cue, here is the latest Tron Legacy trailer:


The Marketting of "Tron Legacy"

The NY Times has a rather informative article on the hard-sell marketing of "Tron Legacy" by Disney. I didn't realize how long we've been fed with the "Tron Legacy" stuff until I read this:

By the time the movie arrives in theaters on Dec. 17, Walt Disney Studios will have spent three and a half years priming the audience pump. The most recent push came last week at Comic-Con International, the annual pop culture convention here. For the third year in a row, Disney teased fans with exclusive “Tron: Legacy” footage. No other movie has guest-starred here so often.

The teasers for this movie certainly has been going on for a while, and I know that in my case, I am certainly anxious to see the movie. So maybe the marketing worked, but I would have seen in in any case. But of course, while Disney certainly targeted the core audience for "Tron", they also needed to target beyond that group that is crucial to turn this movie into a blockbuster.

With the core audience on board — the online game now has about 4.5 million active users — Disney is turning its attention to the people who make the difference between a hit and a blockbuster: mothers, children and nontechnophiles.

The monorail at Walt Disney World got a “Tron: Legacy” makeover. The Disney XD cable channel will present an animated mini-series in the fall (followed by a regular series, to be announced). Most important, Mr. Bailey and his studio colleagues are working to hammer home the message that “Tron: Legacy” is more than a chase through a virtual world.

“It’s very focused on a father-son story,” Mr. Bailey said. Jeff Bridges reprises his role from “Tron” as a talented video game programmer; Garrett Hedlund plays his son.

Let's see later this year if it worked.


Random WDW Picture

Dusk at the Magic Kingdom.


Friday, July 23, 2010

New Haunted Mansion Movie?

The big surprise today is the announcement at Comic-Con that Guillermo del Toro is developing a new Haunted Mansion movie for Disney.

This certainly came out of nowhere and highly unexpected, especially since it was only a few years ago that a Haunted Mansion movie, staring Eddie Murphy, was released. So this could get quite interesting and confusing.


Why Do You Love Disney Theme Parks?

The blog entry on "Are You A Disney Hater?" made me think about why I love Disney theme parks in particular. Most of the "disney hater" gave rather generic reasons. They don't like crowds, heat, standing in line, etc.. etc... in which these are NOT specific to Disney theme parks. These people just hate crowds, heat, standing in line, etc. They would hate going to concerts, any amusement park, festivals, etc. These are not Disney-specific.

So that led me to think, why do I, and many of us Disney fans, like Disney theme park IN PARTICULAR? What specific characteristics of Disney theme parks that make them unique and thus, something we truly like?

This is easy for me. #1 on my list is the amazing details and attention to detail that I keep finding each time I visit WDW. I love finding things that many people either overlook, or do not realize. I always smile when we walk in the 'sewer' at Liberty Square. I am amazed that the silhouette of the prayer alter matches the silhouette of Expedition Everest mountain across the water. I swallow up all the stories behind various queue lines and setups all over the parks. These are not something that other theme parks even THINK about, much less, implement. This is such a small thing, but for me, it adds to the park experience.

Second on my list is the involvement of the cast members. Some of my most memorable moments are the interactions with cast members, either costumed or not. Now granted that not all the cast members give such high quality experience, but when it happens, it is MAGIC! Cast members do create the magic, and this comes directly from their training and awareness of the Disney legacy. It is why when there were reports and rumors that such training may have been shortened and reduced, one wonders if the quality of service could be compromised.

Third is the attraction. Unlike amusement parks, these are NOT just "rides". They have stories and context, which enhanced the whole experience. How many times do you see people riding Tower of Terror for the first time already IN TERROR by the time they get to the queue line at the elevator? It's a classic!

These are just a sampling of some of the reasons why I love Disney theme parks. These are unique reasons specific to Disney theme parks that one does not find anywhere else. Unlike people who hate Disney theme parks for generic reasons that have nothing to do with Disney in particular, my reasons for loving the theme parks are not generic, and they apply only to Disney theme parks and nowhere else that I know of.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Designing The Disney Dream

Did I tell you that my first Disney cruise WILL be on the Disney Dream next year? Yup! So I'm very much looking forward to having this ship ready.


New "Muppet Movie" Seeks Pixar Advice

At the end of the blog entry on why I won't go see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", I mentioned that many Disney movies, including live-action ones, might benefit from undergoing the same scrutiny and process that a Pixar movie goes through. The upcoming Tron movie already have had input from the Pixar folks. Now it looks like the people involved with the upcoming Muppet movies are also doing the same thing.

Some of the members of the so-called "Pixar Brain Trust" -- filmmakers John Lasseter, Brad Bird , Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Michael Arndt, Bob Peterson and president Ed Catmull -- were there for the consultations. On the Disney side, Muppets director James Bobin and producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman were likely in the room along with Segel. Neither Pixar nor Disney would comment.

Beyond whatever advice might have come down for the project at hand, the fact that Pixar has its fingers in the Muppets pie suggests that Disney, under the new regime of Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, is intent on taking advantage of its subsidiary's storytelling abilities.

And I say, why not? Pixar movies aren't just commercial success. They are also critical successes, and they continue to take risks and do new things, not just cranking out formulaic, production-line movies.

Edit: Coincidentally, just after I posted this, I came across another article that tries to consider if Pixar brand and way of doing things are actually more universal and can be applied in other areas. This will turn Pixar into something loosely resembling a consulting agency.

Perhaps the real question, though, is whether there's a wider market for Pixar's brand of emotional perceptiveness and sensitivity. I'd hate to think the appetite for honest, unusual movies, for stories about old married couples, and platonic friends, and adorable apocalyptic robots and families of fish only exists once a year, or once every several years. And I don't actually believe it's that limited. I think there's a genuine hunger for the kind of movies Pixar makes, whether they're animated or live-action, aimed at children, or adults, or yearning people of all ages. In other words, there's a market. It will be interesting if Pixar's work on Tron: Legacy will be a one-off, or a potential new business model.

I guess I'm going to be a bit selfish here. I hope they stick with Disney movies. There's always a risk of spreading oneself too thin, and that's when quality control drops.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are You A Disney Hater?

I'm asking the question because I was reading this article about something asking parents if they are a Disney hater, and why.

Now, I'm not asking for a rant and unjustified psychological ramblings here. I truly want to know, especially if you are a Disney hater but you are reading a Disney blog by someone who likes Disney theme parks. I know many people do not like Disney because it is mega corporation. But that isn't a Disney hater, it is a "mega corporation hater".

I'm reading some of the comments to the article, and most of them really have nothing to do with Disney at all! For example, this by by "anne":

Disney-hater seems a little strong too me. I have nevern been to Disney. Never had the desired. My daughter hasnever been to Disney. It just seems to me that there are better things to spend my money on and more interesting places to go.

I also see Disney – and any other amusement park located in the South – as a public health hazard. All that standing around in lines on hot blacktop. No thank you!

Not a Disney hater, not just our cup of tea. Perhaps you are over-reacting?

Er... two things:

1. This person just doesn't like amusement park.

2. Standing in line on hot blacktop? Where exactly does one do this in a Disney theme park?

The criticism here has nothing to do specifically with Disney theme park.

This one is from "CPT":

I’m a ‘crowd hater’ and it’s hard to visit Disney without encountering massive crowds. Even a light-crowd day is too much for me.

Again, this is not specific to Disney. This person would also hate 4th of July parade, Tastes of Chicago, going to museums during peak hours, etc.. etc.

And this one is from "Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp", and it's a long one:

I’m a TOTAL disney theme park hater! Can’t stand it. And it comes down to one concept..and that’s value. Most know I live in the great state of Colorado….so let me give you a run down. When my son was three, we took a family trip to Maui, stayed in a condo on the beach, grilled burgers and dogs as the sun set on the horizon. I got to hang with my son during all this and the only distraction was the sound of the waves crashing on the beach so loud we had to speak up. We could see whales breaching the ocean every single day. Sand castles, boogie boarding, snorkling, chasing sea turtles all included.

Fast forward to the following year, I took my son to Orlando to visit my best friend. The flight was a little bit longer because we had a layover in Dallas/Ft Worth and cost was the same. Fortunately, I have a very good friend who lives there and we crashed at his house. I looked into staying at Disney, and it was 30% more than the beachside condo in Maui….and it was just a hotel room. All for the privilege of staying in the magic kingdom. Exit the first ride of the day, Pirates of the Carribean, directly into the gift shop where the kid found exactly the one prize we told him he could get from Disney and for the rest of the day kept asking to make sure we could go get the prize. Spent most of the day in lines in oppressive humid and hot weather. And my god, the food there….to describe it as edible would be giving it way too much credit.

Make no mistake, Disney is a casino for kids. A grand marketing dynasty designed to dull the senses and make it that much easier to separate parents from their money in the name of their kids. Comparatively speaking, there is no value in it for me and my family. And that’s the rub…there is so little value in it, to me it feels like a giant sham. Do you think those fast passes are for visitors convenience? Guess what you’re not doing when you’re stuck in line? Spending money elsewhere, that’s what.

Apparently my kid isn’t too impressed with it either. After we left, we asked what his favorite part of our Florida trip was and he said going out on my buddies boat on the lake and getting towed in an innertube. We asked what he liked about Disney, and he said the rides were lots of fun but he really didn’t like waiting in line so much and would have rather been swimming in my buddies pool. then we asked him where we should go on our next vacation and he said Hawaii. he wants to go boogie boarding again. Don’t have much of a wait to catch the next wave.

I understand why kids gets suckered into it……for the life of me, I can’t understand why adults do though. I went to Disneyland a lot as a kid and loved it. But I also lived in Europe as a kid too…and even at a young age, I recognized that gazing upon the Matterhorn in Anaheim was a very, very cheap substitute for standing at the foothills of the actual Matterhorn in Switzerland. I’m sure my kid will ask to go back to Disney, but from experience, I know I’m robbing him of really valuable experiences by taking him there when I can use the resources to take him somewhere like Yellowstone. And it doesn’t have to be an outdoorsy thing either. NYC is in the future.

What I’m saying is that Disney is devoid of culture and opportunities to learn something that will stick. TWG…for someone so concerned about summer brain drain, and the value of education and experience….I’m surprised you’re so pro-Disney.

The world is an epic novel, and to take your kids to Disney is like handing them a comic book.

But the complaints here isn't really specific to Disney. Substitute "Universal Studios" or "Sea World", and the complaints are still valid. In fact, I'll even go further and claim that there's more "learning" and "educational" experience at WDW than at most other theme parks (have you walked into Innoventions lately?).

The complaints about "long lines" and "hot weather" isn't unique to Disney theme parks. Go in the first week of December, or early February. That negates both the long lines and hot weather arguments. The argument that it is expensive is rather strange for someone who just went to Maui. Trying buying food and basic necessity in Maui! And I don't know what accommodations they were looking at for it to be ".. 30% more than the beachside condo in Maui.. " The presidential suite at Grand Floridian?

And oh, you can say to me "but ZapperZ, if you go off the tourist traps in Maui, you can get stuff cheaper!" BINGO! You can do the same at WDW as well! The key here is that, like any other vacations, you have to do a bit of planning, especially if you are not familiar with WDW and with the area! This isn't unique to Disney! It is what we all should do when we go to some place unfamiliar! If you want cheap accommodation, you have to look for it. The newly-opened Holiday Inn on Hotel Plaza Blvd. has gotten rave reviews, and you can stay there for less than $100/night! Don't tell me you can get something that cheap in a beach side condo in Maui! If you don't know where to eat and go with the masses, you'll get the same poor-quality food as they do!

But Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp was done:

Don’t even get me started on Pooh. Am I the only one who thinks that is just a metaphor of the most dysfunctional family ever? Don’t we all have an Eeeyore in the family. That one annoying, whiny, negative cousin, sibling, aunt or uncle who never finds the good in anything and just complains about the state of their world, but won’t actually do anything to change it? And that freaking owl who is SOOOO much smarter than everyone else, but would never dare to actually teach Pooh and the others how to read because then he’d lose his status as “the smart one”. And rabbit is just the ODC relative who obsesses over his garden and has to wash his hands 100 times a day and lock the front door deadbolt six times repeatedly before he can go to bed. And Pooh….where do I start with Pooh. The well intentioned….utterly STUPID kid of the family who everyone hopes will learn how to fix lawn mowers some day so that the rest of the family won’t have to support him into adulthood.

While Disney certainly perpetuates the Pooh franchise, this isn't a Disney invention! So the complaint on the nature of the character should not be a Disney issue. The person hates something that is a Disney franchise, but not an invention of Disney. That's like hating Florida but blaming it on Disney.

But here, this person got more specific:

@HB….I think Disney particulary rankles me because most of the amusement parks I have experience with don’t promote the “more, more, more” frame of mind like Disney. Disney is about making it a vacation, not a day at the park. Stay longer, let us make sure that you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything that we don’t have our pockets line with seems to be their business plan. They really remind me of the mob. And more power to them…it’s a great business model. I’m not anti capitalism. I just take offense to overpriced under perfomance.

OK, NOW we're getting somewhere, and getting Disney-specific.

Sure, if you don't like the idea of a "resort" rather than just a single location, that's fine! But you have to first admit that this is more of a personal preference rather than based on something rational. I mean, I like the color purple, and you like the color orange. What's wrong with that? There are many who prefer an all-in-one resort where they don't have to go anywhere else. It the complete vacation.

And note that Disney isn't unique in this. Go to the Atlantis in the Bahamas, or any of the large Caribbean resorts. They try to do this as well, i.e. turning it into a "vacation". Universal Studios in Orlando is also following Disney's model by creating two theme parks and resort to keep guests on property longer.

There are many websites and many blog entries that teach you how to do Disney on the cheap. There are no more excuses for complaining that Disney is expensive. If you find it expensive, chances are you didn't do your homework. ANY vacation and ANY purchases can be expensive if you didn't at least invest some effort into getting a good deal.

I can fully understand giving kids a wide variety of experiences. I definitely do not tell people they should go to Disney theme parks exclusively and not do anything else. That's silly. But again, this isn't Disney specific. I also don't tell people to go to a Six Flags theme parks repeatedly and do nothing else. In other words, don't go to one specific locations all the time and nothing else. This isn't just confined to Disney. One can say the same thing about Las Vegas, Colonial Williamsburg, etc.

In other words, I still don't see any rational Disney-specific reason to hate Disney theme parks.


Jerry Bruckheimer Strikes Out Again

This news article is describing the disappointing box office take of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", and that if the movie doesn't do humongous overseas business, then it will be a major money-loser for Disney. This comes on the heels of several flops by Bruckheimer.

But the "Sorcerer's" misfire follows poor theatrical runs by May opener "The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," the July 2009 release "G-Force" and February 2009's "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

Some wonder if Bruckheimer's development projects on the Disney lot will get produced. A third installment in the "National Treasure" franchise has been in development, but another Nicolas Cage-Bruckheimer pairing is the last thing studio marketeers need in the near future. Disney plunked down $3.5 million to pick up sci-fi/action script "LightSpeed" in May but a few weeks later put Bruckheimer's military actioner "Killing Rommel" on hold. His "The Lone Ranger" remains on the distant back burner as a possible 2012 vehicle for "Pirates" star Johnny Depp.

I wrote earlier on why I will probably not see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". I've never liked Bruckheimer's produced movies, and was thoroughly surprised when I actually enjoyed the first Pirates of the Caribbean. I considered it as a fluke, and even though the second one was enjoyable, by the third installment of this franchise, you can tell that they've been milking the cow for way too long. The first one blew me away because I had such low expectations, and Johnny Depp's performance was just so unexpected and surprising.

But again, how often does something like this happen? Bruckheimer was back to his formula with National Treasure and off we go! Sure, it made boatload of money, but it was not a good movie. I was surprised that Disney picked up it again for a sequel, which truly was a critical disaster.

I am looking forward to Pirates 4, and hope that the new director doesn't follow the Bruckheimer formula. Throw something new and unexpected in there, please! I will try to come in with very low expectations, just like I did for the first one. Maybe this will make it better.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Random WDW Picture

A tribute to the many wonderful performance cast members who have provided countless hours of fun and pleasure. This was from one of the many "street atmosphere" at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tomart's Disneyana Collector's Guide to Disney/Pixar Cars

We had our monthly Windy City Pin Traders pin meeting yesterday. Our own WCPT member and my friend, Pam Winters, was there to sign the new, fresh-off-the-presses collectors guide to Disney-Pixar's cars toys, which she authored for Tom Tombush.

Well done, Pam!

I hear that the guide is selling quite well, and that it will be on sale as well at Cars Land when it finally opens at California Adventure. But for now, I suppose the best place to get it is from Amazon.

The cars buying frenzy will probably peak again with the release of Cars 2 next year.


Lee Unkrich Talks About "Toy Story 3"

An insightful interview with Lee Unkrich, the director of "Toy Story 3", on the making of the movie.

A delay of several years, courtesy of a corporate wrangle between Disney and Pixar before the latter was formally acquired by the studio in 2006, meant that Toy Story 3 underwent a radical change in conception by the time production started.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” says Unrich, “because it gave us a distancing from the characters and allowed us to come up with this notion of Andy being grown up.”

But what was more informative was the question on whether there could be more "Toy Story" movies in the future.

The phenomenal success of Toy Story 3, certain to be the year’s biggest hit, begs the question of another sequel. Are Woody and Buzz’s adventures really over? The short answer is no as the pair, reveals Unkrich, will star in a short film to precede Cars 2 next summer.

On the matter of another full-length feature he is more circumspect. “We don’t have any plans for a fourth and I personally tried hard to end the story in a really nice way. That being said, we know the world loves Woody and Buzz and we don’t want to see them go away.”

I would definitely see "Toy Story 4", because I know that they will do their damnedest to make a great movie. And that's all, really, that one can ask for.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Random WDW Picture

A very common sight on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom.

Do you know that they don't sell any balloons at Animal Kingdom? The obvious reason being that they don't want the balloon to fly into an animal's area and pop. It might land around the animals and could easily be eaten/swallowed, which of course, is not good.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Will I Go See "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"?

I get excited to see many Disney movies. I went to see, on the opening weekend, "Enchanted", "Toy Story 3", "Alice", "Up", "Princess and the Frog", etc.. etc. I will do so again when Tron Legacy opens. But will I go see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"??


First of all, I tend to not like movies produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Other than the first Pirates, which was a lot of fun and came out of nowhere to be a surprise due mainly to Johnny Depp's performance, none of Bruckheimer's pictures have been strong on clever plot, intriguing characters, and plain good old story. It appears that his movie usually have one major star - the special effects. Often, the special effect is so distracting, it becomes annoying rather than enhancing the story. The clever "adult" component of the movie is often missing, and there's no emotional attachment one can give to the movie.

Disney's live-action films have had this doldrums for a long time. Till "Alice", which luckily Bruckheimer had no part in, this section of Disney have had one disappointment after another. With them selling off Miramax and practically signaling that they will not make any more adult-themed movies, the live-action branch, I'm afraid, might simply produced these canned, high-energy action movies aimed at tweens, teenagers, and 20-something. It is ironic that if a Disney fan wants to go see a Disney movie with truly adult emotions and clever story line, they have to go see an animation movie out of Pixar, a medium a few years ago was thought to be populated by kiddie movies! Toy Story 3 packs enough of an emotional wallop that many adults shed tears at the end of the movie.

John Lasseter has always said that it isn't the medium, it is the story. So it should not matter if it is live-action, or animation. The story is what gets you and elevates a movie above the usually canned production. So the only way I can see Disney improving its live-action movies is to have the Pixar folks overseeing this part of the movie production as well. It's about time people like Jerry being given the same credo as Pixar's. You can't spend that much money and produce mediocre movie. It is one thing to spend money, produced a wonderful movie, and it bombed at the box-office. The public's reaction can never be predicted. However, "Sorcerer's Apprentice" got awful to lukewarm reviews. So was "Prince of Persia" and the sequel to National Treasure. Other non-Bruckheimer live action Disney movies were also terrible. "Escape to Witch Mountain" was awful and a waste of my time and money.

What it boils down to is that they need quality control. The new management at the movie division obviously have decided on how things should run. Many of these movies were already in production or ready to be produced when the management shift occurred. So we'll see in a year or two how this affects the quality of the movies being produced. So far, the only Disney live-action movie that I am looking forward to is Tron Legacy, and even they are seeking advice from John Lasseter and Pixar, which I think is a very smart move. I can only wish that other movies produced by Disney go through the same evaluation, not just the animated movies. It would probably stop them from releasing some of the embarrassing failures.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Random WDW Picture

"Oooh.. what's this?"


Do You Plan Anymore?

If you are a long-time Disney theme park fan, and you visit a Disney theme park frequently (at least once a year), do you make any plans anymore when you go there?

We are avid WDW fans, and go there at least twice a year (max was 4 times a year in 2008). We don't make plans that much, but we DO make some plan, depending on the type of trip and what we will be doing. On a typical trip where it was just the two of us, other than a few dinner reservations, we make no plans. We tend to just go with the flow and do the theme parks and attractions when we feel like it. If such-and-such has very long lines, we skip it because, chances are, it is an attraction we've done so many times before. There is any need or any rush to have to do certain attractions (unless, of course, it is new).

But at other times, especially when we travel with a large group of people, we do make plans to do certain things. For the Dec. 2009 trip, it was a full trip, with something to do almost every single day. It was either dinner somewhere, or that we booked a tour or the Wishes Dessert reception, etc. So in that case, we had to properly organized and plan things out, or else we'll forget and get confused on what we're supposed to do on a given day. In fact, I remember making a Google Calendar for that trip just so the whole group involved can check what we were supposed to be doing at a given day and time.

However, on most trips, the planning is minimal. On our upcoming trip late August, the only major event we have planned is attending the annual Pin Celebration event at Epcot, which will occupy us for at least 3 full days. Other than that, nothing else has been planned ..... so far! We may try to sneak in a dinner reservation some place, but with the free dining plan being given to Magic Your Way guest during that time, getting into the restaurants we want may be a challenge. We shall see.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Is It Like To Be A Musician at the Mexico Pavilion

This link has a video interview of a couple of brothers who are musicians at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase. The blub says:

What's it like to work at Walt Disney World? We spent the day with two brothers, Randy and Esteban Carrillo, who have worked at Epcot's Mexico pavilion in World Showcase for as long as the Orlando theme park has been open.

I had a wrong impression that the musicians are also part of the international cast members that Disney brought in, i.e. they're temporary cast members from Mexico. Obviously, from the video, these are "permanent" cast members. It also makes sense since they are considered as performers and part of the performers union.


Southwest's Cinderella Casttle Vacation Sweepstake

Here's your chance to win a WDW vacation AND a night's stay at Cindy's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Southwest Airlines and Disney are having a sweepstake for a 4-day, 3-night vacation at WDW, including a one night stay at Cinderalla Castle.

But hurry! As of this posting date, you have only 2 days left to enter!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Random WDW Picture

If you look up while having your meals at Artist's Palette at Disney's Saratoga Springs resort, this is what you will see.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Memory Decay: The Case of Disneyland

I can't tell if this is truly a serious scholarly research, or simply an amusing stand-up. Presumably, since it was produced by Stanford University, it is a scholarly piece. But without seeing or having references to any paper or data, it is difficult to accept such a thing as a scholarly research based on nothing more than an anecdotal account of an 8-year old.

Well, at least it is amusing.


Hallmark's Disney Ornaments

In case you didn't know, this weekend (well, yesterday really) was the release for a bunch of Hallmark's Disney ornaments. This batch is a good one. Not only was there a Donald, but also a Scrooge ornament.

At the same time, there are a couple of Disney ornaments released as limited edition. The Plane Crazy the the Chipmunks ornaments were extremely nice. The LE ornaments are limited to one per customer.

I don't know about the Hallmark store near you, but the one that I went to yesterday were selling them at a brisk pace as soon as the store opened. So if you want the ornaments, especially the LE ones, go get them soon!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Random WDW Pictures

Waiting in line for a picture with Donald at the Donald Breakfast Safari at Tusker House, Animal Kingdom.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Fireworks Tradition at Disneyland

A short, brief videos of fireworks at Disneyland, covering mainly the various incarnations of Fire in the Sky.


The Voice of Cinderella Is Gone

Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella, is dead at 81.

"I did the discs for them, in a studio with a piano -- 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,' 'So This Is Love,' 'A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,' " she recalled in a 2005 interview with the Deseret News of Salt Lake City.

"Two days later, Walt called. He wanted me to come over and have an interview. I gladly said, 'Yes, anytime you say.' We met and talked for a while, and he said, 'How would you like to be Cinderella?' "


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Here are a few sights from my most favorite resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Most of the pictures are views of Kidani Village as seen from the Jambo House.