Friday, January 19, 2024

Japan Trip Post 1


Today, our adventure to Japan and Tokyo Disneyland Resort begins.

After the wait for our 4-month booking window opens this morning, we managed to book a 5-night stay at Disney's Ambassador Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland resort. Not only that, we managed to get the Donald Duck room!

It is costing us a boatload of DVC points, but hey, it is going to be worth it.

The plan is for us to start our Japan adventure (more like adventure restricted to just Honshu island) by staying at the Tokyo Disneyland resort area for the first week, do the theme parks, and then continue on our guided 11-day tour, which we had already booked months ago. In total, we will be spending almost 3 weeks in Japan.

And gosh, yes, I'm so looking forward to this! Consider this as the first entry in the Japan travel blog. :)


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Disney 100 Exhibition in Chicago

We visited this past weekend the Disney 100 exhibition while they are in Chicago.

The VIP ticket gave us not only complimentary photos and entrance lane, but also a lanyard and pin.

More pictures and videos to come. I took lots of photos and video footage. And yes, I also bought lots of merchandise.


Thursday, October 12, 2023

Hallmark's 2023 Disney's Haunted Mansion "Tree Topper"

It is CRAZY to call it a tree topper. This is practically a model of the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom, complete with lights and sound.

In any case, it is going on one of our shelves because it is way too big to be a tree topper. But kudos to Hallmark. Their Disney-themed items often surpass those from Disney itself.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

2023 Hallmark's Jack Skellington's Wreath

I think Hallmark has done it this year with this Jack Skellington's wreath.

It talks, and it has facial reaction. The wreath has a setting where it has a motion sensor and talk when something moves in front of it.


Friday, March 03, 2023

Disney100 Commemorative Post Cereal Limited Edition Collectors Tin

Ever since they announced it, I've been keeping an eye on the Walmart website since that, supposedly, is the only place to get this.

It finally appeared earlier this week and we ordered it. It arrived today!


Friday, April 15, 2022

At Kidani

Donald is happy to be back at Kidani, but he doesn't listen to instructions.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Holiday Disney Merchandise 2021 Found at Costco

Found these Disney Holiday merchandise at Costco today:

First one is a Jim Shore Santa Mickey Greeter.

The second one is an animated Disney tree with music.

It plays 8 classic Christmas tunes: We Wish You A Merry Christmas O Christmas Tree Jingle Bells Deck the Halls The First Noel Joy to the World Hark ,the Herald Angels Sing Silent Night.

It is about 16 inches tall, and costs ~US$100. 


Friday, October 01, 2021

Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary

Happy 50th Birthday, Walt Disney World. And a big shout out to Roy Disney for seeing Walt's dream to the end to create this park.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Sad and Disappointed With Harmonious

I watched the premier of #Harmonious tonight over live streaming from the Disney Parks YouTube channel. It is the nighttime show at World Showcase lagoon at Epcot.

The title of this post tells it all. I was willing to give them the benefit of doubt when I saw the monstrous equipment they put in the middle of the lagoon and ruined the amazing view across World Showcase. Maybe the show they are going to put out will be wonderful, I thought.

It isn't.

It is more of a promotion of a collection of Disney movies. It is a pastiche of various music and theme, rather than one coherent, consistent music or theme. There was nothing "harmonious" from what I saw and heard. And those arms that keep swinging back and forth.. am I the only one who find them distracting and annoying?  It is also most disappointing when the original music is bland and not memorable, while other parts rely on music from various Disney movies. There were times that I thought this would be better suited at Animal Kingdom rather than Epcot.

And that is the most disappointing part, that the spirit of World Showcase is just not there. Having a collection of songs sang in languages other than English does not turn it into a multi-national, multi-cultural theme, especially when they are clearly tied to Disney movies. Like I said, the spirit of World Showcase felt missing from all this.

I had goosebumps when I first saw Illuminations. The music was the first thing that stuck to me, and I immediately had to get the CD. I still listen to it even today (along with Tapestry of Nations). That glorious feeling and emotional tug are just not there with Harmonious. I am so disappointed and sad about this, since Epcot is my most favorite park, and Illuminations used to be my most favorite nighttime show in all of WDW. Now, there's not much to look forward to.


Saturday, September 04, 2021

Just In Time For Halloween 2021

There were a lot of Nightmare Before Christmas stuff at Lowe's for this Halloween Season. found these two on the shelf that I managed to record.

This is the Nightmare Before Christmas calendar.

And this is the Nightmare Before Christmas "snowglobe".


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Tribute To Jim MacPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations at WDW

It has been announced that Jim MacPhee will retired from Disney after 42 years.

He was warm, gracious, and generous with his time when I encountered him during Epcot's 25th Anniversary as part of Celebration25 group. We were having our walking tour of various attractions at Epcot when he stopped by to visit with us and chatted.

This was the day before the official Epcot's 25th anniversary.

He also revealed the park map that would be distributed the day of the celebration, so we all knew that we would have to get one (or more) when we showed up the next day.

The day of the celebration was centered over the fountain of nations (now gone).

At the end of the ceremony, he and the Disney Ambassadors at that time took a photo with our entire Celebration25 group.

We had a special area to watch Illuminations that evening. Even though it rained, we had a great time. The Disney parks people sent us ponchos and ice cream. And as a final surprise, Jim MacPhee actually came over to check up on us before the evening ended.


His presence and acknowledgement of us made the day even more special. Not many (if any) Disney executives would go out of their way to greet die-hard fans like that.

I did a short video on the that fun time:

Have a wonderful retirement, Mr. MacPhee. Thanks for giving us such wonderful memories!


Friday, December 11, 2020

What Will Happen To The Morocco Pavilion?

 Disney had officially taken over the running of the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase after the previous company running it went into default. Yesterday was the last day that restaurants such as Spice Road Table was opened, and the area around the pavilion is now closed for renovations, including the bazaar area.

This was my most favorite pavilion at the World Showcase. For many of us, this was the most unfamiliar culture among the various nationalities represented there. While the food quality at both sit-down restaurants have gone down over the years (in my opinion), they were still not the familiar run-of-the-mill fare that most people know. Moroccan food and restaurants are not very common in many parts of the US, even though there is one amazing Moroccan restaurant in Orlando itself called "Moroccan Breeze" which we have been to twice during our last two visits.

This takeover and renovation can go well, or can go very wrong (what other possibilities are there?). I don't know what to make of it. The ONLY thing I wish for is authenticity both in the decor and in the food. Disney is a master at the former, but often skimp on the latter. We shall see.

In the meantime, here's one final tribute to the bazaar at the Morocco pavilion.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wear A Mask

 Hey, it's a very clever parody of a Disney movie, so I'm posting it here! :)