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).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sonny Eclipse

I've posted before about how much I love Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, but I don't think I've posted about the other "man" in my life: Sonny Eclipse.

Sonny is charming, talented, and funny. He was born in Yew Nork, Yew Nork and often sings about his birthplace.

And he's thoughtful. You see, since Cosmic Ray was kind enough to give the lounge lizard a job here on Earth, he's written a song promoting CR's menu items.

Even without his back up singer's (The Space Angels- don't look for them, you won't see 'em), he's very entertaining. Between hit songs, he tells some out of this world jokes. Mostly about his mother in law. And how Earth reminds him of her (big, round, and blue & green).

And don't believe all of those "full show" video results for Sonny. That boy has too many jokes, songs, and stories to fit into a 4 minute video. In fact, hubby and I sat around the stage for 45 minutes and didn't hear one repeat. But, for a small taste of what's in store for you at Cosmic Ray's when Sonny Eclipse is performing, check the video below:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ew, He's Eating It!

Animal Kingdom is my favorite of all the Walt Disney World parks. And, of course, Kilimanjaro Safari is a must-see attraction for me every time we go.

Since hubby and I don't have children yet, we get a big kick out of the excitement from little ones around us. This is especially true for attractions that we've seen so many times that we can mouth the lines along with the cast members/recordings.

On our most recent trip, we decided to not use our cameras on the safari. We can never seem to get good pictures anyway, and we end up missing most of the sites while trying to get our cameras to focus.

Naturally, this was the trip that we saw all of the animals, very active, and very close. (Tip: try to ride the safari on a cool day, preferably after a little drizzle). We saw everything! Normally there are several animals that we can't see at all, or just barely through the leaves. On this trip, not only were the animals out in abundance, but if we'd have had our cameras out, we probably would have gotten award winning shots.

On several occasions, we've had the experience of giraffes walking in front of our safari truck. This time, we had an ancoli cattle separate from the... herd?... and amble gently towards our truck... and stayed right beside us (about 3 feet away, I kid you not) throughout most of their area.

We had a wonderful driver who, not only seemed to truly enjoy his job, but actually sped up in the areas where there were no animals so that he could actually stop, or come to a crawl for a few seconds when there were good pictures to be taken. Again, if only we'd had our cameras...

But the best part about this safari was when we got to the White Rhinos. As we rounded the corner and the Rhinos came into view, the driver began his narration and slowed a bit. The rest of us noticed a blast of water spraying into the ground. After a few seconds, all the adults began chuckling quietly and then a young, but loud voice behind me shouted "Look! He's takin' a whiz!".

Naturally, all the adults cracked up, and even the driver had difficulty keeping a straight face. A few seconds later and we heard "He's still doin' it!". Finally the stream stopped and the truck proceeded on it's path.

When we were directly across from the rhinos, we noticed another rhino... uh... fertilizing the plains. The same voice behind me piped up with "Now he's taking a dump!". I'd say that if there weren't sides on the truck, half the safari goers would have been on the ground laughing by now.

Soon the rhino finished doing his business, and proceeded to turn around and stick its snout in its own dirt. And guess what? "Ewwwww! He's eating it!". Bwahahaha!

Right after that our driver decided that it was time for the next group of animals.

I wonder why?

p.s. I know that picture is of a black rhino- I couldn't get a good shot of the white rhinos on our second safari.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Minor Irritations

Hubby and I just got back from a trip to Walt Disney World (got home about 11:30pm Friday). While any vacation to the World is awesome, we did have a few issues that really took the shine off of our trip. Some were very minor and can't really be helped. some are a indicative of a bigger problem, and I plan to send a formal complaint to the complaint department.

The worst problem for my husband was the complete and utter lack of Haunted Mansion t-shirts and other merchandise. He's already sent a formal complaint about this, but as I'm trying to get over a cold, I'm waiting till my brain is fully functional before addressing my complaints. At most, we were able to find- 1 HM keychain. 1 history of HM (which we already had). 1 HM comic book (two comics by Roman Dirge, so I'm quite excited about that), 1 pack of non-functional HM playing cards (seriously, you can't even shuffle them, and we only found them at the Emporium... minutes after employees there told us there was no HM stuff). 1 washcloth with the hitchhiking ghosts amongst other attractions printed on it, 1 freezy mug with hitchhiking ghosts as one of four attractions printed on it. A handful of lanyard pins that I didn't even like.

The worst problem for me was the utter lack of knowledge all cast members displayed when questioned about merchandise. The girl running Madame Leota's Cart informed us that there may be a shop in Pleasure Island carrying HM merchandise (she may have been right, but that's a seriously vague statement). Cast members in the emporium were either completely baffled by the question "do you have any HM merchandise?", uncaring when stating that they didn't (even though it turns out they did), or immediately became guarded as if they knew something that they couldn't tell us. Scary. The information desk at Downtown Disney couldn't find any T-shirts, or really anything other than the keychain and pins. Another Cast Member there became rather guarded when we asked about T-shirts- again as if there was something that he couldn't tell us. The worst part, however, was when we called the merchandise hotline. These people are supposed to be able to find anything- and yet the woman that answered the phone insisted that all of the Haunted Mansion stuff was in Madame Leota's Cart and that there were plenty of T-shirts. Yes. There were plenty of T-shirts. For Nightmare Before Christmas. Grrrr.

Of course, as always, there were very few t-shirts that actually fit me now that Disney has switched over to using Misses sizes. Sure, I could get the ugly generic shirts. Or I could buy only sweatshirts. Or maybe... just maybe, I won't buy any at all. What is with Disney not wanting us to buy merchandise? Particularly t-shirts.

My main gripe (not the worst problem, just the one I complained about constantly) was seeing Nescafe everywhere. I understand that Nestle sponsors WDW, but must the patrons be punished for that? Not only could I not get a decent cup of coffee anywhere without a great deal of effort (aside from World Showcase, each park has about 1 shop that you can get real coffee in... and there's always a line), but I couldn't get decent iced tea (it was Nestea), or decent hot chocolate. WTF? I understand the important role sponsors play in the operation of the WDW parks- but for Pete's sake. I'm not sure that I want to go back for a while. While the quality of the burgers and such remained high, they're now using pre-packaged cakes and fruit cups that just do not equal the quality of what Disney used to offer. There are fewer reasons to go back.

When all you have to look forward to is the hotel and the rides.... why would you want to drive 1000 miles each way? At this point, we'll probably only head back every two or three years, instead of yearly.

Don't get me wrong, I love the parks. I love the rides, I love the hotels. But I go for the whole experience, and this new thing of offering the same things (merchandise and food) everywhere is taking all of the fun out of shopping and dining. What's the point of going on a yearly basis? We spent less than 1/3 of what we usually spend on souvenirs, and about 1/2 on food that we usually spend (we skipped the table service restaurants, and once we realized that the desserts were the same everywhere, we stopped ordering those as well). Granted, that's good for us, but I fail to see how it benefits Walt Disney World. Anyone?

Ok, I've just changed my mind. Can I go back tomorrow?