Disney blog postings
|Earliest: May 30, 2003||Latest: June 19, 2017||Total: 91|
|June 19, 2017|
Leave a Legacy at Epcot
The Leave a Legacy program allowed more than 550,000 Guests to purchase personalized tiles on the monoliths outside Epcot between 1999 and 2007. The entire program was discontinued in June 2007.
People would pay $35 for one person or $38 for two people to be on the tile. This means that Disney made between $19,250,000 and $20,900,000 from the tiles.
Everyone has to walk by the stones when they enter the park. The stones are located between the entrance and Spaceship Earth.
Every SpaceShip Earth picture taken from the entrance shows pictures of the Leave a Legacy tiles:
This is what the tiles look like up close:
Ten More 10 Years
Disney has guaranteed that the titles will be up for 20 years. Since the last photo was sold in 2007, it means that the tiles will not be coming down until June 2027.
Since there are still plenty of spots open, should Disney reopen the program with only a ten-year guarantee? Would you sign up for the program if they announced one last shot at getting on the tiles?
|June 12, 2017|
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel 2.0
Back in January I blogged about the Cinderella's Horse at the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. At the time of the post, I didn't have good pictures of Cinderella's horse.
After that post, I got an opportunity to ride Cinderella's Horse at the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. This is pretty tricky to do since you have to be one of the first people in line and know exactly where the horse is.
This is a side picture of Cinderella's Horse:
What to look for:
- Cinderella's Horse is in the second row of horses
- The horse on the outside appears to have a shield, perhaps a guard horse?
- Cinderella's Horse is the only horse with a row of flowers in the front. (See original Blog entry)
- There are jewels on the side of the horse.
- The saddle is dark red with a blue middle
- The horse has a bow in the tail
Prince Charming Horse
Near a Cinderella's horse is Prince Charming's horse.
What to look for
- Red Saddle with a green middle
- There is a horse that is closer, but that might also be a guard's horse.
|June 5, 2017|
Disney Rapid-Fill Mugs
You can purchase special refillable mugs at the Disney World resorts. These mugs are call ?Rapid Fill? and they have a chip which allows you to refill the mugs for the length of your stay.
The mugs are included with all Disney Dining plans, otherwise, it cost $17.99.
The mugs can handle hot and cold drinks. In the morning, I would put some ice in the mug and make my own ice coffee.
Fun Facts on the Mug
I did a simple water test on the mug and got these measurements:
- 1/3 a cup at the first line deep in the mug.
- 12 oz at the first rim
- 15 oz at the second internal rim
- 16 oz at the very top (hold it steady!)
What is that 1/3 line for?
I believe the first mark is for the cream/sugar line before putting in the coffee. Simply put enough cream to the 1/3 mark then add your sugar amount.
There?s no special drink that meets the 1/3 cup. A shot is 1oz which is equivalent to .12 cup. The 1/3 of a cup is just about 2.7 US fluid ounces.
I don?t think it?s worth buying the mug for a short term stay (Weekend or long weekend stay). Currently, you can?t refill in the park, other than using them to fill up water from the fountains. So if your going to spend a lot of time in the park, doesn't seem to be worth it.
When we traveled to Disney, we would refill the mugs at the end of the day with Ice Tea, Sprite or Orange Soda.
|May 29, 2017|
Mr. Toad Wild Ride Statue
On September 7, 1998, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was closed in the Magic Kingdom. The ride was removed to make room for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
When Disney announced the ride closer, it was met with some protest. The ride was one of the original rides that open with the Magic Kingdom. Some Disney fans actually protested in front of Main Street.
Pet Cemetery Attraction
Disney took down the statue of Mr. Toad and put it in the Pet Cemetery at the Haunted Mansion.
The pet cemetery is located on your left as you walk out of the Haunted Mansion. It's on the hill right before the exit gate.
Mr. Toad Statue is located in the back left of the cemetery. It may be hard to see standing directly in front of the cemetery. This is because the back of the cemetery is in the shade.
I found that stepping to the right and looking to the back left gives you a clear view.
Still in Disneyland
You can still ride on Mr. Toads wild ride in Disneyland. There has been no decision on closing it in Disneyland.
The ride is pretty much the same ride that Walt Disney envisioned when Disneyland opened. It was shut down in 1983 for a "technology" update.
Mr. Toads Statue
If you do go on the ride, check out the Mr. Toad Statue in the window in the waiting line. Originally he held a cigarette in his hand. At the time, using cigarettes wasn't considered a "bad" thing.
The cigarette was removed in the early 1980s. You can still see the fingers in a cigarette holding formation.
|May 22, 2017|
Haunted Mansion Statues Inspiration?
Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are all in the technology rush to build superior facial recognition technology.
There's a lot at stake for each company as they can offer businesses and governments a lot of value. For example, using facial technology police departments can identify witnesses to a crime.
Google/Shutterfly and Facebook can use the technology to match like photos together. So if a consumer tag a face as their mother, the businesses can create Mothers day promotions using photos that match.
I upload all my iPhone pictures to Google photos. It's a good way to backup photos. In addition, the search criteria are awesome. I can search for "pink house" and instantly I'll see all the photos that contain a pink house.
When you enter search functionality, you'll see some face thumbnail images the ability to see photo using facial recognition. It's a cool feature to see where else I took people photos.
Interesting Side Effect
On a recent trip to Disney World, I took some pictures of the statues in the waiting queue at the Haunted Mansion. It's a very popular photo spot for kids. There are five statues in a semi-circle.
A few months after the trip, I noticed that Google Photos did a facial recognition on one of the twins. I was surprised to find some photos that I took in the Massachusetts State House matched up to one of the Twin statues.
Apparently Google thinks that the Lafayette statue in the Massachusetts Statehouse is the same face as the one at the Haunted Mansion. Was Lafayette the inspiration for one of the twins?
What do you think? Are they the same? Is Google correct to tag them as related? Did Disney Imagineers use Lafayette as an inspiration for the statue?
|May 15, 2017|
Star Wars Theme Land Park
In February, Disney announced that the Star Wars Theme Land park in Disneyland and Disney World will be open sometime in 2019. Construction at both parks are well underway.
Disney haven't given any specific dates, probably in case they need to change the schedule dues to unexpected construction delays.
Construction was busy at Disney Studios in February 2017.
What is known is that a new Star Wars Movie is set to open on Memorial Day weekend - May 25, 2019. That's when Episode IX directed by Colin Trevorrow will be released. Colin directed the hit Jurassic World movie. (Jurassic World 2 opens June 22, 2018)
My guess is that they would wait until the summer of 2019 (Third fiscal quarter) to open the new theme land. The new park would help with some of the slower summer business. It would help Disney work out the kinks so that things would be busy during the November/December peak periods.
Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary
August 2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion. Expect a huge celebration as Disney with the 25th and 40th anniversary. I would suspect that they wouldn't want to open the Star Wars Theme Land during that celebration.
New Land New Hotel
Oh, and there are rumors that a "Starship" Luxury resort might be coming to the Disney Property. The hotel would look like some spaceship. Apple new headquarters would be a good place to start the design process.
Apple Cupertino, CA headquarters could be an inspiration to Disney new "Starship" hotel.
Don't Plan Your Trip - Yet!
If you are planning a trip to see the new Star Wars Theme Land Park, you might be better off waiting until 2020. As the park will certainly be busy with everyone wanting to see the new ride.
Remember the excitement over the Frozen Ride at Epcot?
Star Wars Movie Schedule
- December 15, 2017 - Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi
- May 25, 2018 - Star Wars: Han Solo
- May 25, 2019 - Star Wars: Episode IX
- 2020 - Star Wars (Scheduled but nothing more has been released.)
It will be exciting to see what Disney comes up with!
|May 8, 2017|
Last summer, Disney announced that it will no longer be issuing new Disney Dollars. They are pushing for people to use Disney Gift Cards. As of May 13, 2016 you could no longer purchase Disney Dollars.
Disney hadn't announced if/when they will officially stop accepting Disney Dollars in the parks. There are no expiration date on the Disney Dollars, so bills that already have been purchased still can be used.
For now, most people will just hold on to their Disney Dollars as a collector's item.
History of Disney Dollars
Disney first sold Disney Dollars on May 5, 1987 in Disneyland and then in DisneyWorld on October 5th. On the first day of sale, Disneyland sold $60,000 worth of Disney Dollars.
Had Disney not canceled the Disney Dollar last year, this past weekend would have been the 30th Anniversary of the first one sold.
Each Disney Dollar has the Scrooge McDuck's signature as Treasurer.
Disney Dollars the Collectable
Did you know that some Disney Dollars have a high value for collectors?
For example: the "Disney Dollars 2000" a $10 Donald Very Rare D Series is one of the rarest there is. At one time that particular Disney Dollar was going for $1,500 on eBay.
If you have any Disney Dollars in your collection, check out eBay to see if it's valuable.
|May 1, 2017|
Bippity Boppity Boutique
The Bippity Boppity Boutique is a fun place where little girls can get transformed into a princess and boys can get transformed into pirates. It's a fun experience for the kids to get a royal treatment.
There a Bippity Boppity Boutique in the Castle in the Magic Kingdom and in Disney Springs.
We took our daughter to the Bippity Boppity Boutique in the Magic Kingdom in January 2015 and January 2017. However, we notice a few things different on our second visit and will not be going back.
The two times that we have gone, we gave our daughter the "top of the line" Castle Package. This package has changed a bit:
Basically printed copies of the final transformation is no longer included. If you have the Photo Package, you get all the photos that were taken on the chair and in the photo studio.
We noticed that the hair doesn't get as much attention that it use to getting.
Check out the differences of the hair. Both photos were taken within minutes after getting out of the Bippity Boppity Boutique"
We noticed that they didn't spray enough to hold the hair, and we got a lot less pixie dust. We actually had to go back to get more spray put in. When we first had it done, it lasted a couple of days. It had nothing to do with the rides that we went on since we went on the same rides post transformation.
Quick Turn Around
We notice that the complete process was much quicker this time than last time. I didn't run a stop watched, but I looked back at pictures that I took and was able to calculate the duration of the makeover.
I am not sure if Disney is more efficient or if they are cutting back the time so that they could get more appointments in per day.
We won't be going back to the Bippity Boppity Boutique. We were impressed with our first visit, but the second visit clearly didn't show the "fantastic attention to detail" that Disney is well known.
|April 24, 2017|
Tom Sawyer Island
Here's some information about Tom Sawyer Island from the Explorer Map on the Island:
Mark Twain was born Samuel Clemens in 1835, in Florida, Missouri. He is up not too far away in the small town of Hannibal. From there he would raft over to islands in the Mississippi and watch as majestic steamboats paddled by. As a young man, he became a riverboat pilot, listening for the leadsman to sing out "Mark Twain" which indicated the river measure two fathoms deep, making it safe to proceed. As a writer, his two most famous creations, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, sprang from his boyish memories of life on the Mississippi. All the names on the island can be found in the literary classic Huckleberry Finn.
Places You may encounter
- Tom's Landing - How you arrive and depart the island
- Old Scratch's Mystery Mine
- Potter's Mill
- Huck's Landing
- Indian Joe's Cave
- Superstition Bridge
- Pappy's Fishing Pier
- Rifles Roost
- River Pirate Ridge
- Indian Territory - Only visible from the steam boat.
- Fort Langhorn - Guard House, Horse Stable, Checker's Board
- Secret Escape from Fort
- Poor Old Jim's Shack
- Barrel Bridge
- Fidgety Ledge
- Smuggler's Cove
- Aunt Polly's - Only Snack bar on the Island
- Catfish Cove -
- Harper's Mill - Don't scare the bird in Harper's Mill!
- Scavenger's Fort -Highest point on the Island. A play area for children ages 2-12 years old.
- Opened in 1973, two years after the park opened.
- It's about a minute and a half raft ride to get to the island.
- The main fort was called Fort Sam Clemens until 1996 when it was changed to Fort Langhorn to help promote the "Tom and Huck" movie.
- Island Closes at Dusk
- Aunt Polly's Dockside Inn hasn't been open in a while. There's rumors that it may open during peak seasons.
A replication of an early frontier fort. Here children can have fun exploring various features of the fort.
- Gun Gallery - where you can pretend to shoot passengers from a boat that appears to threaten the fort.
- Blacksmith Shop - where you can hear horses and other farm animals.
- Guard House - See what the guards are doing to keep the place in shape.
- Fort Escape - Escape the fort via the rear exit.
- Checkers Table - Take a break and play a game of checkers.
To get from Fort Langhorn to Aunt Polly's you should use the Barrel Bridge. This is a fun crossing where you try to keep your balance as you cross some oak barrels to get to the other side. Just be careful. You won't fall in the water as the ropes are there to keep your balance.
There is a "rest stop" between bridges. This is a great location to get pictures of the Haunted Mansion. Listen carefully you should be able to hear the howling dogs coming from the mansion.
Barrel Bridge has a one-way crossing. You are crossing correctly if the Haunted Mansion is on your left side as you cross the bridge.
There is a "the other Way" if you want to avoid the barrels.
Caves of Tom Sawyer IslandThere are three caves on the island. They are pretty dark. If someone in your party is scared of the dark, then it's best to avoid the caves. You can bring a small flashlight if you want. You don't need to use the caves to get from point A to point B. You can still get to the other side of the cave via walking.
Typical Length of Stay
Depending on what people are doing on the island, you could be on the island for about a 1/2 hour.
A quick walk around the island and various caves should take about 15 minutes.
|April 17, 2017|
The week?s Disney Blog is about the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.
Did you know that the Norway Pavilion is the newest country to the showcase. It was added in 1988, six years after Epcot opened.
There are three reasons that you should visit the Norway Pavilion:
- Frozen ever after ride
- Royal Sommerhus - Only place in Disney where you can Meet Anna and Elsa
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Where you can meet several princesses)
Frozen Ever After Ride
On June 21, 2016, one of the most anticipated rides to open in Disney was the Frozen Ever After Ride. On this ride, you get to experience some of the music from the Frozen movie.
Wait times on this ride can be from 30 - 45 minutes. Disney did a good job of decorating the waiting area to entertain the guests. You certainly feel that your in Norway in the Winter by the time you get on the ride.
The water-type ride is fun, you get to see many of the famous characters of the Frozen movie. The ride does have a drop and you may get a little wet, but this is Disney - so you won?t get soaked. It?s a fun ride to see all the latest special animatronics technology.
My six-year-old daughter loves it. She was very excited to go on the ride and wanted to ride it multiple times afterward. Which we did when we saw that the wait time was shorter.
Fast Pass is a must for this ride!
Next to the Frozen Ever After Ride is the Royal Sommerhus where you can meet Anna and Elsa. You can get pictures with them and even interact with the characters.
The wait time was a bit long here. The is some decoration around the Royal Sommerhus Cabin which showcases some family pictures in the cabin.
Once you get to meet the characters, you see Anna first and then Elsa. They are both in the same room. There is a Disney Photographer that is available to take your Disney Memory Maker photos. They will also help take group pictures with a regular camera.
Unfortunately you can?t get a picture of the two of them together.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
At the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall you can enjoy Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with many Disney Storybook Princesses.
The following princesses are available in the hall
- Snow White
- Princess Aurora
There is some dancing that happens every once in a while, where the children can dance along with their favorite princess.
Lunch and Dinner is served as a Family style. Reservations are recommended.