Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shopping

Shopping at Downtown Disney.

New parade at WDW Magic Kingdom

WDW News Today reports that a new parade will be coming to Magic Kingdom sometime in the Spring of 2014.
Just announced out of The Walt Disney World Resort is a new parade coming to The Magic Kingdom in Spring 2014. Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring a celebration of New Fantasyland to the whole park with fantastic new floats, vibrant costumes, and new music that will feature classic Disney songs plus a new parade theme song.
The floats should be fun to see if they look anything like the artwork.

Pin Trading Night

Standing in line at World of Sports for tonights pin trading night. It is 1 1/2 hours before it starts and the line is long already.

Shopping

Shopping in the Emporium.

Splash

Going on splash

Buzz

Doing buzz lightyear.

Laugh floor

To MK

We are on our way to MK

Good morning

A rainy, soggy morning at AKL. Not sure what we will do today.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wind

Still waiting for illuminations. Wind is in our direction, so this may not be a good viewing night.

Illuminations

Sitting down at our favorite spot for illuminations. Hope the rain holds off.

Chefs de France

Having dinner. Remy made an appearance.

To Epcot

In the lobby at AKL about to head out to Epcot for dinner at Chefs de France.

Backlot Tour

In line for the backlot your. Haven't done this forever.

Iron Man 3 early reviews

The early critics reviews for Iron Man 3 are coming in and they are generally positive.  For example, see this review at Rotten Tomatoes.  Here's one of the positive comments by Ed Gibbs of the Sun Herald...
An outrageously entertaining, CGI-soaked tale of foreboding that transforms into a good-natured send-up of everything that proceeded it, replete with gags galore.
On the other side of the fence is this comment by Antonia Quirke of the Financial times...
Just things blowing up, a great big endless boring noisy confusing nothingness given occasional zip by Gwyneth Paltrow in a temper.
 This movie is probably going to be very popular - it sounds a lot like The Avengers.

Lunch

Waiting for Studio Catering to open for lunch.

The Hat

A lovely day at DHS

DHS

About to go on ToT

Good morning

A lovely sunny morning at AKL. We will spend the morning at DHS.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good night

Dusk at AKL. We had a wonderful time at the Wanyama safari and the dinner at Jiko. Turning in early because we will start early tomorrow at DHS.
Good night.

Safari

In the middle of wanyama safari.

Giraffes

Giraffes by the safari truck

New guard

New safari guard

Wanyama safari

On the safari now.

Wanyama safari

We are booked to do the Wanyama Safari this evening. Hooray!

Grand Fiesta

On the Grand Fiesta.

Lunch

Having lunch at the Cantina in Mexico pavilion.

TT

About to do Test Track.

Soarin

In line for soarin.

Epcot

We are at Epcot this morning.

Morning at AKL

Good morning from Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

MK

At the Magic Kingdom.

Savannah view

View from room at AKL.

T shirt

Best t shirt found so far.

AKL

Checking in at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

At MCO

We just landed at Orlando. Heading to get our luggage and our rental.

We are here!

Zz.

On plane

We are on the plane heading to Orlando.

We Are Ready To Go!

We are about to start another trip to WDW. This should be a fun one, with a birthday celebration in the middle, and a quick stop at the recently-revived Pin Trading Night at WDW. As you can see, Donald is already rearing to go!


As usual, I'll try to post some "live" report from wherever we are.

We're about ready to leave for the airport. Will report along the way.

Zz.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Update on "Avengers 2"

Director Joss Whedon revealed a bit more on the status of "Avengers 2" during the premier of "Iron Man 3".

"I have actually finished a draft, we're in a very good place," Whedon said. "It's an evolution, and that goes on all through shooting and it never stops. I've done enough shows and movies to be comfortable with that. You do come to a point where we all agree … You lock certain things in. But then there's a certain fluidity when you're working with Robert [Downey Jr.]. Robert's going to want to do something new on the day, and you're going to want him to, because it’s going to be funny. So you always keep yourself open."
It will be a huge pressure to follow up to the glorious romp of "The Avengers", but I certainly can't wait for it.

Zz.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sand sculptures at Castaway Cay

Disney Parks Blog has this post about a couple of talented artists let loose on Castaway Cay.  So instead of just laying around on the beach we could make ourselves useful and create some art.  Of course, some talent may be needed.

Random WDW Picture

Character Meet-and-Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Zz.

Monday, April 22, 2013

No more Hat?

From LaughingPlace discussion boards comes this rumor that the Hat at Hollywood Studios will be removed by the end of this year.  Seems that someone had dinner (or lunch) with another someone who was a cast member, and the Hat rumor was thus communicated.

Some of the responses to this rumor were anti-Hat, but many of us feel that the Hat is an icon of  HS much like the castle is at MK.  Each park has its well known icon: the Tree of Life, the Castle, the Dome, and the Hat.  Many times people meet up by just saying "let's meet at the Hat", and everyone knows what that means.  The Hat is at the pin store(or vice versa), so maybe the whole thing will be removed.  This will annoy pin collectors and people who like the park icons.

Resort check-in with iPad

DIS News reports that WDW resort guests can now use their iPad to check in.
The "Mobile Lobby Experience" is part of MyMagic+ and with this system, guests can be checked in from the lobby, or even curbside, if needed.
 This could be useful if the lobby is crowded, but let's hope Disney is using secure wifi to do this.

Random WDW Picture

Epcot at dusk. Waiting for the start of Illuminations.

Zz.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Random WDW Picture

A trip down memory lane from almost 10 years ago. These are the banners outside of the entrance to Animal Kingdom during the Golden anniversary celebration of Disneyland's 50th.

Zz.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Disney animator layoffs

CartoonBrew.com has this story from 4/11/13 about the layoffs in Disney's animation division.
According to former Disney animator Tom Bancroft on Twitter, Disney gutted their hand-drawn animation division this afternoon, and laid off nine veteran animators...
The responses to the story are interesting to read.  Artists and people in the business responded to the story, with some suggesting that the animators form their own studio.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Animal Kingdom 15th anniversary

Dis News has this post about the events marking DAK's 15 years.  For a while it was "Nahtazu", but now it seems that it definitely "Isazu", but with a lot of other stuff..  The 15th anniversary party is scheduled for Earth Day, April 22, 2013.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monsters Inc. Land At DCA?

In the world of rumors, this one is catching fire after it was first brought up in MiceChat. A possible Monsters Inc. Land at Disney's California Adventure? And a Tron Light Cycle for Tomorrowland at Disneyland?

OK, fine, but how about showing some love to WDW, especially to DHS? We still are getting only rumors of Carsland coming to DHS. That park needs a major overhaul, very much like DCA, to turn it into an attractive, all-day theme park.

Zz.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Annette

DisneyParks Blog posted this tribute to Annette Funicello.
She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace.

Monday, April 08, 2013

New Pirates Adventure game at Magic Kingdom

DisneyParks Blog has this story about a new game that will begin in the summer of 2013 at Magic Kingdom.  The game has the somewhat long name: , A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas .  I wonder if we could abbreviate it PATSS. 
In the game, the fate of piracy in the Caribbean rests in the hands of new pirate recruits, who, armed with magic talismans and treasure maps, embark on five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland to collect valuable treasures, while Captain Jack Sparrow’s magic compass guides them.
 At first glance this seems to be more for kids, although anyone can play.  It looks similar to the Agent-P game at EPCOT, at least in this "sneak peek".  The new game will be added to the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game to give another fun way to explore MK.  The Sorcerers game can be a little complicated and even frustrating - as you move up levels the villains start winning.  At higher levels you need to know which spells work best against each villain.  At the beginners level the game sucks you in as you keep beating the villains.  At the highest level, you might want to make sure the metal plate on the sidewalk where you stand at the portal is not a trap door.  Sorcerers has spawned a trading community for the cards, not to mention finding the right type of book to hold the cards.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Captain Hook Topiary

It seems that the Capt. Hook topiary at this year's Flower and Garden Festival is giving fun surprises to a few guests.




Zz.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Even more on MyMagic+

Disney is spending a fortune (apparently around a billion dollars) to implement the new MyMagic+ system at WDW.  This will change the way people experience the parks, maybe in unforseen ways, so it's worth taking another look at what's going on here.  MiceChat.com has this extensive January post with the basic story written by Sam Gennawey, and many responses.
As the battles between Disney and the other theme park operators is notched up another level with the introduction of the My Disney Experience program (MyMagic+), it is instructive to see how two of the biggest players are going in opposite directions. While Universal is trying to replicate the way Walt’s generation of Imagineers thought by focusing on building ride capacity, immersive theming, combined with novel merchandise, the Walt Disney Company’s new approach seems to be about rationing experiences using cutting edge software and technology.
Why is Disney spending a billion dollars on this system instead of using the money to add/improve attractions and better utilizing dead space?  It almost seems that Disney thinks people view going to WDW as a project with timelines and critical milestones.  So the new system is a kind of project management tool for planning the trip of a lifetime, and this takes priority over keeping the frequent visitor happy with more things to do.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

What If Disney Makes Sports Logo

Ok, this is hilarious, and I love it!

Disney-themed sports logo

Zz.

New Morocco restaurant

DisneyFoodBlog.com reports that a new Morocco restaurant, named Spice Road Table, will open in EPCOT in 2013.  The new restaurant will be located on the waterfront and will have a tapas themed menu.

The menu will include tapas, small plates, olive oils and ingredients, and great wines representing specific Mediterranean countries. Guests will be able to order several dishes from the same country, or mix and match to enjoy several different flavors and influences.
The reaction to the news has been mixed, with some people glad that there will be more food choices, and others unhappy that a viewing area for Illuminations will be blocked.  There was no mention of how this will affect the popular rock group "Mo Rockin" at their outdoor stage. Other changes to the Morocco pavilion are also in the works.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Tables in Wonderland events

The Tables in Wonderland card gives you a 20% discount at WDW sit-down restaurants and a few other locations at WDW.  The card is available to annual passholders and DVC members for $100/year, as well as Florida residents for $125/year.  An 18% tip is added to all checks when using the card. 

"TIW" has been having some interesting events lately, with the latest one at the Contemporary described in this post at WDWInfo.com.  This post also lists all the places that take the TIW card.  Not long ago there was an event at the Great Movie Ride, which would have been very nice.  This author, having a strange sense of humor, suggests they have an event inside Splash Mountain.  A suitable place for a catered sit-down meal could be found, with the one possible downside being that there is only one way out, and you know what that means.