Tag Archives: Disney

June 19, 2015: Weekly Disney News Roundup

*  Zuri’s Sweets Shop in Harambe Market at Animal Kingdom opened this week.

*  Starbucks Animal Kingdom mugs are now on sale at the newly opened Starbucks Creature Comforts on Discovery Island in Animal Kingdom.

*  Frozen Summer Fun began this week at Hollywood Studios.

*  Magic Slider time pieces will soon go on sale as accessories for MagicBands at WDW:  a Minnie Mouse analog watch and another with a digital display.  They slide onto your MagicBand and turn it into a watch.

*  Disneyland Paris has now banned selfie sticks, too.

*  ‘Inside Out‘, Pixar‘s new animated movie opens today!  It has received a 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes!  (++editorial below++)

*  Hans Solo had a wife.  Who knew?

*  Season 2 of “Daredevil” on Netflix will feature the popular comic character The Punisher.

*  A new Disney radio station, Radio Disney Country, will start broadcasting this fall.  Woo-Doggies!

*  Dreamfinder and Figment will return in “Figment 2,” an all new comic series coming this Fall.

***We are attempting again to redo our website this weekend.  Our new name will be Family Travel Escapades (familytravelescapades.com).  We will try to switch each of you over with us. *****

++Editorial:  I am really looking forward to seeing Inside Out!  I have heard over and over about how original it is.  I am really not convinced, though.  “Herman’s Head,” a show from the early ’90s that I and about 6 other people watched for 3 years on the fledgeling Fox network had the exact same premise.  I liked the show.  I think that Pixar will do an even better job with the concept, but I would not call talking, anthropomorphized emotions original.++

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Other Disney Animated Movie Voices-

I’m going to tell you about some more famous character voices you may enjoy. There are several actors that Walt Disney used repeatedly in his live-action and animated movies. Last week I told you about my favorite voice; Sterling Holloway. This week I’m going to tell you about two more: Phil Harris and Kathryn Beaumont. Neither of these names sound familiar, but I’m sure the characters they voiced will be familiar to you.

First, Phil Harris, did the voice acting for both Baloo in The Jungle Book, Thomas O’Malley (the alley-cat) in The Aristocats, and Little John in Robin Hood. Harris was also a bandleader in the 1940’s, an actor in radio, television, and films. He was a pretty good singer too; singing keys songs in The Jungle Book like “Bare Necessities“, and joining Louis Prima in “I Wanna Be Like You“. He joined Scatman Crothers in The Aristocats in singing “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat“. In Robin Hood he sang “The Phony King Of England“.  In 1989, Harris returned for a few episodes in the cartoon series TaleSpin as Baloo, before being replaced by Ed Gilbert. His last role was in 1991 in the film Rock-A-Doodle (not a Disney film) as the laid-back basset hound Patou. He died in 1995.Little_John

thomas o'malleyBalooKathryn Beaumont was an English actress, singer and school teacher who also did the voice of Alice for Alice In Wonderland and as Wendy in Peter Pan. Beaumont reprised her roles as Alice and Wendy in subsequent reappearances until 2005 when her roles were taken over by Hynden Walch. Beaumont is still living and is 76-years-old.wendy-darling-peter-pan-14526422-576-416

alice in wonderlandKathryn-beaumont-profile-pictureMost people aren’t aware of the talent behind the voice actors. Their faces aren’t seen, but they are certainly a huge part of making the films so enjoyable and memorable.

Staying Cool in Epcot

Summertime in Florida is HOT! And HUMID! Keeping comfortable at WDW in summer is a challenge. I have covered Magic Kingdom in an earlier article (Places to Rest In Magic Kingdom). Today, we will focus on Epcot.

Mickey-Short_StayinCool_26

First, I recommend a midday siesta or pool break during the heat of the day if you are staying on site. You escape not only the hottest, but the busiest time of day. The mugginess often begins early and drags on till late in the evening. So, even with a siesta, finding cool places to rest are still important.

ellen
The universe of energy is a great place to cool down!
epcot land
The Land is also a cool, air-conditioned place.

Finding a cool spot is actually not the hard in Future World, as pretty much everything is indoors and wonderfully air-conditioned. There are not a lot of places to sit down and actually rest, though. Ellen’s Universe of Energy is maybe the best spot to cool down. This attraction offers over a half hour of seated AC. Many people find the ride outdated, but I enjoy it. That said, it is a one the best places in all of WDW to catch a nap. The Land Pavilion is as a whole a great cool down spot. Seasons restaurant is one of the best quick service restaurants with a large, diverse menu. Grab a bite, find a table, cool down, and rest your legs. While you are there, Living with the Land and Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable are great places to rest. Living with the Land is a wonderful, educational boat ride about agriculture; Circle of Life is a movie starring Pumbaa and Timon from “The Lion King.” It is mildly entertaining, but has seats and AC with no wait. Club Cool offers free, cold international soda samples, like the wildly popular Beverly,  inside climate control for a quick refreshment. Some of the flavors are good; others, not so much.

club cool
Try the famous Beverly drink. You won’t be disappointed.

Cooling-Off-at-Epcot-in-Futureworld

Kids enjoy the spray stations. If you are  okay with getting wet, adults can partake, too.  There is one near Test Track and another between Future World and the World Showcase.

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The interior of the Mexico pavilion is cool, and often not very crowded.

America-Pavilion

The World Showcase offers less options. Most of us wander form pavilion to pavilion and spend a lot of time outside. Pretty much all of the quick service and snack options have outdoor seating only. The food and beverages are a large reason why Epcot is so popular. One obvious option is to actually go into the stores and shop. Some of us are not natural shoppers, but you do what you have to do to get comfortable. If you do not like shopping, there are still some options. Inside the Mayan pyramid of the Mexico pavilion you will find shops, crafts, a tequila bar, and table service restaurant. It also houses The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Cabelleros.   This boat ride will keep you comfortably climate controlled and off of your feet. It is an entertaining break, too. With the demise of Maelstrom and upcoming Frozen ride, likely with long lines, Norway no longer offers a good option. The China pavilion has an indoor show, ‘Reflections of China’ which rarely has a wait. As you are passing the African Outpost, pull open the lid of the cooler for a refreshing treat. Go ahead. It’s okay. In the American Adventure, there is a great show aptly named “The American Adventure” which will give you nearly 30 minutes of AC and comfortable seating. The show is educational, entertaining, and patriotic. ‘Impressions of France’ is an outdated movie in the France pavilion; but there is rarely a line, it is in AC, and the seats are comfy.’ O’ Canada’ in the Canada pavilion, hosted by Martin Short, is the best video log of any country, but you have to stand.

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Try and spot the hidden Mickey in this photo

O-Canada-Epcot-Attraction

Enjoy your day at Epcot! Even in the heat, and humidity of summer in central Florida, you can stay comfortable. Remember these spots as you traverse the park, and it will be a little easier.

Pongo (dad)

Disney Vacation Club (DVC)- Overview

I am going to start a multi-part article on the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). This is completely operated by the Walt Disney Company. I hope to help you figure out the whole, complicated system. Today I am just going over the most basic information.

1)The DVC is a Disney timeshare. You purchase points at a particular resort for a certain dollar figure per point. There are many variables which I will explain later, but these points are used to stay at one of the Disney DVC resorts. Not every resort on the Disney property is one of the DVC resorts; only the Deluxe Villas are part of the DVC.

2)When you purchase points at a particular resort, there are very specific rules governing when you may book a room at either your home resort or another DVC property. (I’ll explain more about this later).

3)You can buy a DVC timeshare directly from the Walt Disney Company or from one of several of the resale companies.

4)You can pay cash or finance your purchase.

5)There are advantages and disadvantages for buying DVC directly from Disney.

6)The purchase price for each DVC property varies widely and so do the points required for staying in the various properties.

7)There are 4 sizes of rooms in the DVC.

8)There are perks associated with owning at the DVC.

9)There are rules governing use and manipulation of the points in your DVC contract.

10)The points required to book a room at a particular resort varies with time of year which Disney states as high season, low season, and two moderate seasons.

11)You can rent your points out if you don’t use them, but Disney doesn’t sanction this. You must do this through a resale company.

This is just a basic outline of all the facets of buying and owning DVC. I have learned the hard way about a lot of the minutiae of owning a DVC property. I want to spare you from making the same mistakes we made and hopefully provide helpful tips if you are entertaining the idea of buying into the DVC. For us it has been a great experience and enabled us to go much more frequently than we otherwise could have. Tell me if you are more interested in one facet than another. I plan to do articles on each of the above points. Hope you enjoy!

Elaine (Perdita)mom

Bay Lake Tower and Contemporary Resort
Bay Lake Tower and Contemporary Resort

June 12, 2015: Weekly Disney News Roundup

*  Disney now states that MagicBand+ will not be coming to Disneyland in Anaheim anytime soon.  They say it doesn’t fit the demographics with most guests being local or staying off property.

*  The new Starbucks in Animal Kingdom will open on June18 in the prior location of Creature Comforts on Discovery Island.

*  Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios will return on July 17 featuring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf.

*  The animated short, ‘Frozen Fever‘ will be shown in the ABC Sound Studio at Hollywood Studios twice every hour from 10 a.m till closing starting on June 17 and running through September 7.

*  Registration for Star Wars Half Marathon will open on June 16, 2015.  The race is held on January 17, 1016 at Disneyland in California.

*  New merchandise is now available in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

*  A world class lounge from Los Angeles will be opening a sister location in 2016 at Disney Springs  in WDW to be called ‘The Edison’ .  It will feature American food, craft cocktails, live cabaret and live music.

*  Tokyo DisneySea‘s 15th anniversary will be celebrated from April 15, 2016 through March 17,2017 with “The Year of Wishes,” and will feature a new harbor show called “Crystal Wishes Journey,” an updated Big Band Beat, and a new projection show in the Hangar Stage in Lost River Delta.

*  Mickey‘s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground at WDW has expanded from 2 to 4 days per week.

*  Walt Disney Animation Studios has released a trailer for the film ‘Zootopia‘ which is be released next.  It looks promising!

*  A preview for ‘Frozen Ever After,” the attraction set to replace Maelstrom in the Epcot Norway pavilion has been released.  I miss Maelstrom.

*  DisneyXD will premiere ‘Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything’ on Wednesday, July 22.  Cameron Boyce of Disney Channel‘s ‘Jessie will star.

Disney ‘s Aristocats Movie Review

Roly(son)

Hello.  I recently watched one of my favorite Disney movies, the ‘Aristocats.’ This movie follows four cats, who are stolen from their rich owner by her evil butler, Edgar. The first cat is the mother, named Duchess. The kittens go as follows, Marie, Toulouse, and Berlioz. The butler stole them and ditched them on a farm. He did this after finding out that the rich old woman who owned the cats was leaving all her possessions to them, not him. The cats seek to find their way home.  On the way they meet an alley cat, whose name is very long; so I will call him Thomas O’Malley. The man who voices O’malley also voiced Little John from Robin Hood (see previous articles about movie), and Baloo from Jungle Book.

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Roquefort(voiced by Sterling Holloway)
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The evil Edgar.

It seems strange to me that the only one of the cats at WDW meet and greets is  Marie. It also seems strange that for a movie as popular as Aristocats, Edgar is not recognized as a Disney villain. Edgar is up there in evilness with Cruella Deville for trying to kill kittens. First, to get the cats out of the picture, he puts sleeping powder in their food. A mouse friend of theirs, Roquefort (who is voiced by Sterling Holloway, whom we posted on this week) also eats some.  The cats all go to sleep, and then Edgar dumps them in a field. In the field Edgar has a run-in with two dogs. Later in the film, when Edgar sees the cats again, he tries to kill them.

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The two hilarious hounds!

The dogs offer great comic relief and are to me, the best part of the movie. They are voiced with the thick Southern accents of Pat Buttram and George Lindsey (Goober Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show). Lines like, “Where’s my beddy-by basket!?” and “That’s just a little ‘ol cricket bug” never fail to make me laugh. I am sure that they don’t sound very funny out of context, but in the movie they are hilarious.

The music for this movie is fun and memorable.  It has one of my favorite songs, “O’Malley the Alley Cat.”  It is  sung by my favorite Disney singer, Phil Harris (the voice of Thomas O’Malley). Another great song is “Scales and Arpeggios,” sung by all the kitties. The other main song in this movie is “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” sung by famous jazz musician Scatman Crothers.

Aristocats is from my favorite era of Disney movies. The era from 101 Dalmations to The Fox and the Hound.  Over all, this movie is a great Disney movie. It is for sure a classic!

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Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie the kittens.

**A bit of trivia about this movie:  It  was the first movie to be made after Walt Disney‘s death. I personally can’t tell any difference.

Roly, teen son

WDW Healthy Snacks

Long days at WDW, while fun, can leave you tired and hungry.  There are a plethora of options for snacks available seemingly around every turn.  Healthy options are harder to find, though.  If you don’t pay attention, a trip to WDW can make your comfy jeans fit like skinny jeans.  I offer a guide  for those of us who have a medical condition (hypertension, diabetes, arteriosclerosis), do not want to loosen our belts, and/or just want to eat healthy.

First, let me explain what I mean by “healthy.”  Nutritional guidelines seem to stay in a state of flux.  Current general consensus recommends limiting salt, refined sugars, and processed foods, while consuming more “whole foods:”  fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, eggs, and non-processed meats.  While each of my suggestions may not fit all of these criteria, I will try to follow remain fairly close.  In addition, to me, the calorie content should not be extreme.

The “Disciple’s Prayer” from the Bible states, “Lead us not into temptation.”  While not referring to food, it is still good advice.  Just as someone trying to quit smoking should avoid contact with cigarette smoke; those of us trying to watch our diet should try to avoid surrounding ourselves with the sights and smells that will tempt us.  Healthy snacks can be found scattered all over the parks,.. right next to sweets, pastries, and other temptations.  Fortunately, without too much effort, temptation can be avoided.

harambe-fruit-market-00

The best park options, where you are surrounded by healthy choices with minimal temptations, are at the marketplaces.  There are options that are natural, non processed, and relatively low calorie; mostly fruit.  Each location has similar offerings:  fruit (apples, grapes, oranges, pineapple, watermelon and bananas), pickles (high in salt, though), trail mix, and yogurt.  In addition to these staples, each marketplace offers 1 or 2 things unique to it:  cheese, clementines, tomato bisque.  In Magic Kingdom, if you are on the Tomorrowland/Fantasyland side of the park, then Prince Eric’s Village Market is the nearest option, located across from Ariel’s Grotto in New Fantasyland.  On the Adventureland/Frontierland side of the Magic Kingdom, Liberty Square Market is the closest.  In Hollywood Studios, Anaheim Produce on Sunset Boulevard is your choice.  In Animal Kingdom, it is the Harambe Fruit Market in Africa.  Surprisingly, Epcot does not have a market.  You can find similar options scattered on treat carts, though.

Hollywood-Studios-Starbucks-Trolley-Car-Cafe-19-528x625

Even though you may love fruit, being on vacation, there are times that you may desire something more decadent, more savory than fruit.  I have those times covered, too.  Starbucks are now located in each WDW park:  Main St. Bakery in Magic Kingdom, Fountain View in Epcot, Trolley Car Cafe’ in Hollywood Studios, and Creature Comforts in Animal Kingdom.  Please allow me to state that most of the options at Starbucks are sugar/calorie laden diet busters.  I do not personally like coffee, but there is one viable option that I consider as more of desert or sweet treat:  the “skinny” latte’.  Any latte’ (vanilla, mocha, pumpkin spice,..) can be made “skinny.”  They are made with coffee (caff, half-caff, or decaf), whipped skim milk, and sugar free flavoring.  A Grande’ (medium) has only 150 calories!  Not bad for a sweet treat.There are still more options!  The famous pineapple DoleWhip has only 80 calories per half cup!  It will not blow your diet!  It is high in sugar, but still not bad.  The DoleWhip is available in Magic Kingdom at Aloha Island in Adventureland.  Epcot has several choices.  La Boulangerie Patisserie des Halles in the France pavilion has Bisque de Homard (lobster bisque), fromages (cheese plate), and Pissaladiere (olives, tomatoes, and cheese).  Tangerine Cafe’ in the Morocco pavilion offers hummus, couscous salad, lentil salad, tabouleh, and marinated olives.  In the Norway pavilion, Krigla Bakeria og Cafe’ has sugar free chocolate mousse.  les halles epcot

So, while WDW vacation can make eating healthy more challenging, it is not impossible.  Please note below specific illness considerations.

** For diabetes:  pineapple, bananas, watermelon, and DoleWhips are loaded with sugar.

**For hypertension and/or edema:  pickles, trail mix, olives, cheese, soups, and salads can be high in sodium.

Pongo:  working husband, father, and Disney-phile.  

I hope that you find these recommendations helpful.  Any comments and/or further suggestions are welcome.  If you would like to read more articles from us, then click on the “Follow” tab and each new article will be emailed to you.

My Favorite Disney Voice-Sterling Holloway-

You may be thinking, “Who is that?” I think you would recognize his voice if you watch or have watched Disney classic movies. He has been a voice in such classics as, “The Many Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh”, ” The Jungle Book“, “Alice In Wonderland“, and in uncredited performances in Bambi, Dumbo and many others.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U8pAM4VXvI

Holloway began his acting career in 1926 in a silent short film. His last role was as a narrator in one episode of Moonlighting in 1986. He was born in 1905 and died in 1992 at age 87. His acting career was varied; acting in live action movies and television shows (such classics as The Andy Griffith Show (Burt in one episode), The Life of Riley, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Adventures of Superman and others). He also lent his vocal talents to many shows and movies; Disney and other ventures.

Since I am a huge Disney fanatic, I will tell you a little about his Disney roles. His most famous voice is my favorite Disney character; Winnie-the-Pooh. He played Pooh bear in the three films: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. These were all compiled into The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie-the-Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh
The crazy Cheshire Cat
The crazy Cheshire Cat
Kaa, the snake
Kaa, the snake

Holloway also voiced such Disney classics as Kaa in The Jungle Book, The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and uncredited roles as Mr. Stork in Dumbo, and Flower (adult) in Bambi.

Mr. Storm delivers Dumbo to Mr.s Jumbo.
Mr. Stork delivers Dumbo to Mrs. Jumbo.
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Flower, Bambi, and Thumper.

He appeared in many Disney shorts; many of which are obscure except for the most ardent Disney fans. You might have heard him as the narrator in Mickey and the Beanstalk. He also provided the vocal talents for Professor Holloway in The Three Caballeros, narrator in The Cold-Blooded Penguin (a Disney short), narrator in Peter and the Wolf (segment of Make Mine Music), narrator for The Pelican and the Snipe (Disney short), narrator for Lambert the Sheepish Lion (Disney short), and many others.

You might consider trying to watch all of these if possible. They are all great for Disney fans. We have watched almost all of them; any we could find that is.

 Walt Disney used many of the same actors in both his animated and live-action films. Sterling Holloway was just one of these, but he is my favorite. Listen up the next time you watch the above-mentioned movies and you will hear a beloved voice in each of them.

(I forgot to mention, he also played Roquefort the mouse in The Aristocats!)

Travel-Related Quotes

Hi again,

Thanks for all of your ideas! There have been some good ones.
We are expanding into other travels in the future when our new website gets up and running. We will link this blog to the new site somehow. In the meantime, just for fun, here are a few quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien (the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy most famously.)

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.”

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

“Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back and home to bed.
Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!”

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

These are just a few of Tolkien’s great quotes.
I know this isn’t Disney, but still worthy of reading I think.

I’ll be back with Disney material tomorrow night.

Elaine (Perdita) mom

Changing name of our blog

Hi,

I wanted to update our readers. We became aware that we had to get a new website name and also drop the wordpress.com. I thought choosing a name would be easy, but with three people putting in ideas, it isn’t. We are still all three going to write and still mostly going to write about Disney. We are going to also have some new and exciting travels thrown in the mix. I am excited about this change. Doing all this however isn’t as easy as we thought. Choosing the name is hard enough, but we aren’t tech whizzes, so it may take longer than we originally thought.
Any names that you, our readers have is always welcome. We also want to assure you that we will bring you over with us when the change does take place. Until this change is complete, we will still post content that is hopefully interesting. Thanks for reading! Elaine (Perdita) mom.