Monday, October 05, 2009

I Want A Disney Fairy Tale Wedding

4 years ago when my husband and I decided to get married, we decided that we wanted a Disney fairy tale wedding.

No, not the frou-frou kind with the big white dress in the wedding chapel at the Grand Floridian. No, we wanted to get married in the park. Granted, we couldn't agree on which park, or where in which park. I wanted to get married on one of the little bridges behind the eating pavilions at the Flame Tree BBQ in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hubs wanted to get married in the rose garden in front of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom. That's a little too normal for my taste, though I do like the area.

The other area hubs thought of is the path between Mickey's Toon Town Fair and Tomorrowland, particularly the section just before you get to Space Mountain. Now THAT I could live with. Both the bridge in Animal Kingdom and the path to Tomorrowland are rarely inhabited, and we always sort of feel like they're "our" spot in each park. We have a few other such spots, but those two are probably the least obtrusive and the most secluded and romantic given that both are surrounded by trees- one has the addition of water and the other has the addition of flowers most times of the year.

It was going to be very small too. Just the two of us, the pastor and his wife. Unless anyone from our family really wanted to pay their own way, it would have been just 4 people in a little 5 minute ceremony- if that!

I love planning vacations, and planning a wedding on vacation just made it even more fun! So, I dutifully called up the official Disney wedding planners. And found out that if I wanted to get married in one of the parks, the bare minimum that we could spend on said wedding was $10,000.

Somehow, we just couldn't see putting ourselves $10,000 in debt for a 5 minute ceremony. There were cheaper options- in fact, I think one of the options was only $2,000. But, for me, what's the point of getting married at Disney World if you're not actually getting married at Disney World?

We briefly considered sneaking the ceremony in- after all, 4 people standing on a bridge that no one else crosses? It certainly wouldn't be obstructive at all. No more so than when we stop to take a picture, and then a video, and then another picture... just like we do on every vacation. But beyond feeling that sneaking in that way is wrong, the idea of sneaking in on Disney- the place we love, the whole reason we wanted to get married there, just seemed very, very wrong.

So, someday when I'm making millions of dollars a year, I have informed hubs that we will be having a vow renewal, and it will be at Disney. The JP we went to was a wonderful man, and it was a suitable wedding for us, but some day, I'm going to have my Disney fairy tale wedding.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Disneyland Next?

Well, I've been to Walt Disney World 6 times now. Mostly because it's a 16 hour drive, trains are too expensive, and I don't want to fly.

However, hubs is getting fed up with WDW taking out awesome attractions (Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, or Alien Encounters, anyone?) and putting in pathetic replacements (Stitch's Greatest Escape anyone?). I think when they decided to put in yet another half.... uh.... planned Stitch attraction in, instead of improving or replacing the horrible Stitch attraction that's already there (seriously folks- the promo's alone were 100 times better than the actual attraction- there's no doubt that Stitch makes a great addition to tomorrowland, but not when it's so poorly done and removed one of the best attractions on property), something snapped in my husband.

He doesn't want to go to Walt Disney World anymore.

It's bad enough that they've started pandering to first time visitors ONLY- because, of course, repeat visitors don't do anything for the World. Of course not. We only spend all of our savings every year to be there. Where's the 10th visit buttons, I ask you?

Anyway, it's not only bad enough that they've started pandering only to first time visitors, but they've been homogenizing the shopping experience (although the Original 1971 revival helps a lot), and lowering the food standards (since when does Disney order in mediocre chocolate cake instead of making the gastronomic delights themselves?), but you never know whether the staff will be trained well enough to smile or keep the parks clean. It seems to be a shot in the dark whether you get the quality service that you expect and pay for, or something only moderately better than the nasty flies and sour faces found over at Universal Studios.

OK, so right now it sounds like I'm the one that doesn't love Walt Disney World, which isn't true. I'm frustrated, but it's still the most awesome place to me. My husband however, says he wants to go to Disneyland where they respect the classic attractions, and have some other attractions that we don't have on the East Coast.

Problem is, we don't fly. And if we do buck up and deal with it, I can't hear and have pain in my ears for days afterward. Then, the whole trip is tinged with the dread of getting back on a plane. All in all, that's no way to spend a vacation.

The train takes 3 days and has an 8 hour layover in Chicago which is rediculous. It also will cost between $2ooo and $3000 with sleeping accomodations. At that cost, it would be more reasonable to actually stop for a day in each layover location and stay in a hotel instead of sleeping on the train. Plus, you get to see a bit of the country, and spend about $1000 instead of $3000. Except that will drag the trip out to about a week each way, and a 3 week long vacation isn't quite doable when we both have jobs. It seems that time truly is money in this case.

Still. Husband is determined that we're not going to Walt Disney World again until we've been to Disneyland. That determines me, that I have to get my niche sites profitable in time to either quit my job to take that 3 week vacation, or enough to pay for a $3000 train trip. Cuz I don't fly unless I'm staying somewhere 3 weeks or longer.

Anyone have suggestions? And I don't mean for making planes more bearable!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Royal Doulton Disney Figurines

To be totally honest, I'm just testing out some codes here. However, Royal Doulton does have some awesome Disney figurines, so if you're a collector? Feel free to browse!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Home Again- Back To AllEars.Net

No, my dears, I'm not a member of the AllEars team (though I'll happily volunteer- you guys looking for fresh blood?).

For the past several months, well, nearly since we returned from our last trip in early February, I haven't been "in the mood" for Disney. Oh, yes I wanted to go back- I just didn't want another 1 1/2 week trip. I want to stay 2 weeks or more, and that's just not feasible with a job. Add in that I was spending almost every spare minute trying to launch my own business so that I wouldn't have to have a job, and, well... Even my favorite place and topic got shoved to the side.

Now, business is starting to pick up a bit, and even though I'm no where near the level where I could quit my job, the pressure seems to be lessening. And so guess what's growing in its place? That's right. I'm planning our next Disney vacation. Of course, we're looking at about 3 months from now which puts us way behind schedule in booking and planning, but it's still doable.

And what happens when I start planning our Disney vacations? I spend almost every available minute trawling through AllEars.Net. Yes, I spend an hour or so analyzing new menus (T-Rex Cafe anyone?), 1/2 a day with two tabs open- one to the All Sports resort maps, and one to the correlating photo links, and the rest of the time fighting with Disney's official site which is always updating when I want to check room prices. Always.

Remember when I was so excited that AllEars added Disney blogs to their site? Well, they've totally gotten up with the times now, and actually have a Twitter account! Yanno, I was going to sign off Twitter for the week following the election, but now I may just create a second account so that I can follow them during that week.

But what triggered this post? Easy. In digging into AllEars again, I glanced over some of the blog post titles, and one in particular caught my attention. Walt Disney World Attractions We Take For Granted. I love it. Not only do I agree with almost everything he said (though there are certainly more that I'd add to the list), but he includes some pretty good photos too!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Great Walt Disney World Video

Normally I loathe still photo videos, and I'm really not too keen on the music picked for this one, but I have to admit, it's the best still photo video I've seen yet.

I'm totally diggin' it.

Also, just updated my T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney lens. Check it out! There are some awesome vids and pix on there now, including a video with Lou Mongello, the author of the Disney Trivia books.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are we going? Are we there yet?

I know, I don't post often here. But if it's any consolation, I don't post often anywhere! Too many interests = too many blogs.

But, the Desire for Disney has begun to blossom fully in both my husband and I. Enough for us to decide that we don't care that we can't afford yet another trip to our favorite place. Enough to decide that he doesn't care if I don't help drive (terrified of highways, weird, I know)... Enough that I'm trying to earn enough extra dosh that we can afford a train instead of gas money.

And since we agreed that Christmas was going to be very small this year? I think I'm FINALLY getting the Imagineering guides to the parks! Although I'd rather have a Flip so that I could take proper footage of the parks, unlike the way DH takes video. Very strange videography when we get home...

So when are we going? Well, it's hard to say. We agree that we want to go, but not on whether we CAN go. So we're looking at the last week of January/first week of February. I'd like to take a full two weeks vacation, he'd like 1 1/2 weeks. But if we don't make up our minds soon, the All Stars might be booked up!

So, if all ya'll wouldn't mind buying some things through my eBay and Amazon ads on the right there, we could make our plans that much sooner. ;-) Just saying.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Haunted Mansion T-Shirts

After two years of anguished waiting, Walt Disney World has brought back Haunted Mansion t-shirts! Whoohoo!

We had an inside tip in February that shirts would soon be available at the Emporium on Main Street USA.

Anyway. I called the merchandise line a few times, and finally, they're in! We ordered one of each of the three designs sight unseen. But, I have to say, we're very pleased with the results.

The first shirt is a navy blue with a blue version of the Haunted Mansion's wallpaper printed in stripes across the front.

The second t-shirt is a medium gray with a silhouette of the Haunted Mansion printed on the front. Above it is the moon, shaped like a squished classic Mickey, and has bats flapping around.

The third tee is a light grey with the Haunted Mansion wallpaper's demon face printed over and over across the front, and a single, large demon face in the middle.

*****UPDATE***** I've seen them! You can buy Haunted Mansion T-shirts by clicking that link..

I haven't seen any of these on Ebay yet, nor have I seen them on any of the websites that sell Walt Disney World merchandise. Hopefully, it'll be available soon through those venues since the shipping charge the merchandising hotline charges is ridiculously high (a per item fee, rather than per shipment).

At the time that we ordered the Haunted Mansion t-shirts (around June 17, 2008), they were just under $20 each, and shipping was around $6 each. The order qualified us for one of those special deals like they do in the parks, and so I got a wheeled, nylon duffel bag (just a big duffel bag, but it had the extending handle and wheels like luggage does) for $20- and that didn't have a shipping charge. It's a really nice duffel, too, and has a picture of Mickey Mouse, and it says Walt Disney World, 1971 on the side. I forgot to take a picture of it, though. Sorry.

If you want to order the t-shirts, or anything else from Walt Disney World, click the link to go to a page with contact information for the Walt Disney World Resort merchandise department.

They ship UPS, and ground shipping will take approximately 10-15 days due to the time it takes to actually get the merchandise to ship.

Update: All three t-shirts are made in the USA- so support our economy three ways! Production (where they're made), Distribution (by our favorite company ever), and shipping (UPS).