Thursday, October 29, 2009

Disney Dream water coaster

New ship, The Disney Dream, will have a four story high water coaster in a see-thru tube circling the son is going to go crazy over this.  The new ship looks great and sets sail Jan 26, 2011.

Disney Cruise announcement

Live over at

About Walt

Nice talk on Walt Disney on the latest Tank Riot podcast.  Not safe for the little ones but good for the adult Disney-geeks
"Tank Riot just released a new podcast about the the life, works, controversies and urban legends of the animator everyone thinks they know. From Mickey Mouse in Plane Crazy to Donald Duck and Pluto, we discuss the animators like Ubbe Iwerks and the voice actors like Clarence 'Ducky' Nash and Pinto Colvig that made all of the myths possible."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Disney iPhone apps

Disney Interactive Media Group is releasing a new batch of interactive apps for the iPhone and iTouch
Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) is launching free iPhone and iPod touch applications, giving fans access to Disney content and interactive features anywhere.

Haunted Mansion Tombstones

Just in time for Halloween, there's a great article over 2719 Hyperion on the stories behind the Haunted mansion tombstones.


Interesting article that hit Reuters this morning on President Obama's upcoming visit to China:

With U.S. President Barack Obama due to visit China next month, speculation is swirling Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) may finally be about to announce a long-awaited deal to build a theme park in Shanghai.
Disney and the Shanghai government have been waiting since January for Beijing's approval to move forward with what would be the country's second Disneyland, after a Hong Kong park opened in 2005 to a string of operational problems and lacklustre attendance.

180-Day Window

According to the Disney Parks Blog:
Disney Parks vacation planners: Beginning today, we’re adjusting to a 180-day booking window for dining, recreation and tour offerings at Walt Disney World. Our theme park operating hours calendar will be published 180 days out as well. The changes will help you coordinate and plan upcoming vacations to Disney Parks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lou Mongello's Audio Guide to Walt Disney World - Fantasyland


Received the latest audio guide put out by "Mr. WDWRadio and Disney Trivia Buff" Lou Mongello this past weekend. Our family uses Lou's audio guides on our trips down to WDW to build the expectation even more as well as stop the Disney-downers once we leave the parks to get us over the shock of "leaving the bubble".  Just like his other audio guides (Main Street USA & Adventureland that I will review a little later), Lou has filled this little gem with all sorts of nuggets of trivia.  From being a longtime WDWRadio listener and even before with Mouse Tunes, I can tell you that all of us Disney-geeks are in awe of Lou's often inane and obscure knowledge about Walt Disney World.

This CD is setup in much the same as the his other guides (thank you Lou for making sure there are chapters for each attraction) and is a walking guide around Fantasyland with our favorite Disney-geek.  The guide starts with an Introduction of the land and then, of course, moves to an extremely detailed segment on Cinderella's Castle.  Do you know how many stones make up the castle?  OK, that's an easy one.   Hmmm, what's that weird looking flag really for?  Who's coat of arms are on the castle?  How many gallons of water are in the moat surrounding the castle?  I do get a chuckle every time Lou uses the word "approximate"...cause I just know Lou has probably actually measured everything down to atleast a pixie's height.

From the WDW icon (a good 20 minutes on the castle and courtyard), Lou takes us around all of the other current attractions (Cinderella's Golden Carrosel, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, Ariel, Mickey's Philharmagic, Peter Pan's Flight and of course, It's a Small World).  Thankfully, Lou also touches on some of our beloved Fantasyland attractions of yesteryear with Mr. Toad, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and the Skyway).

Lou takes the listener around thru the rest of the attractions making his way over to the conclusion at the portal to Liberty Square.  Hmmmm, so wonder if the next land will be Liberty Square & Frontier Land?  Can't wait to find out and hear what Lou has in store for us no matter where he strolls.

You can purchase a copy of this guide over at this link for $9.99 on CD (download it for $7.99) or take advantage of Lou's 3-pack special and download all three guides for $19.71 (hmmmm, where'd that weird price come from?) or on CD's for $24.95.  With Disney's announced changes coming to Fantasyland over the next couple of years, I'm sure Lou is already gearing up for the next volume one of my favorite lands.

Great job (again), Lou!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The WDW Christmas Day Parade Taping

It's a deep dark secret...but the Walt Disney World Christmas Day parade isn't really live on Christmas Day...but don't tell anyone. The tapings are now scheduled for Dec 3rd, 4th & 5th and you can register to be in the crowd over here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Got New Years Eve plans?

Do it up right at Disney's Victoria & Albert's in the Grand Floridian.

Victoria & Albert’s restaurant is known for its special, personalized touches — and this event will be no exception. A chef and sommelier will prepare a menu that includes caviar from around the world and a collection of some of the most eclectic and famous champagnes available. Also, Chef Scott Hunnel and his team will make personal appearances during the event.

The eight to 10 course menu with wine and gratuity will be $375 plus tax. You should know that guests must to be older than 10 years of age to attend and older than 21 to be served alcohol.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Annual FL

Lucky Florida folks (except for the heat and hurricanes of course).

The Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass, will be good on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays, costs $169 for ages 10 and older, $149 for ages 3-9. Proof of Florida residency will be required, such as a driver license or an ID from a Florida college

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Toy Story in 3d

Taking the kids (or are they taking me?) to the Toy Story double
feature tonight

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Coaster simulator at Epcot

Raytheon has a new rollar coaster simulator exhibit opening today at Epcot Innoventions.  It's called "Sum of All Thrills".  Hmmm, wonder how close this is to my son's favorite Cyberspace Mountain at DisneyQuest?

The ride begins, after a tutorial, in a design room. On a touchscreen computer, visitors pick a vehicle shape and determine how fast the ride should go based on ascent, inversions or corkscrews.
The information is saved on a magnetized card strip and fed into the simulator, where visitors experience the track they just designed. The cards are imprinted with numerical identifiers kids can use at home for a Raytheon educational Web site with more math and science problems.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Steve Jobs and the new Disney Stores

Interesting article making the rounds today on how Steve jobs is working on revamping the Disney Stores.
Good old Stevesy runs pretty much the most profitable retail chain in the country, the Apple Store, and coincidentally also owns Pixar—and thus sits on Disney's board. So he heavily consulted with Disney when they decided to totally redesign their retail store's image, and it shows.

Country Bears

Found this little gem over at Boing Boing

Passes to The Princess and the Frog

So kewl. Friend of mine at the office just got back from WDW (yes, insanely jealous) and snagged my kiddo's a couple of free passes to The Princess and the Frog. Can't wait til December to see it.

Over 500 million served

With help from my handy dandy desk calendar...Did you know that on this day in 1995, Walt Disney World welcomed it's 500 millionth guest?

Trip Pre-planning

Listening to old podcast on my way into town this morning. Just some
random thoughts on things you should do in planning your trip to WDW.
• Make sure you have comfy shoes and walk in them to break em in
• Know what attraction closings will be and plan around
• Get those dining ADRs taken care of
• Print out park hours (these can change but a good start)
• Check out menus online
• Order the latest WDW DVD from Disney and the custom park maps
• Have each member of the family pick one 'must see/do' on the trip.
• Got enough batteries / chargers / memory cards for your electronics?
• Sunscreen & ponchos

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sea World, Busch Gardens, etc...done deal

Looks like Blackstone Group has officially got their hands on "some other tourist attraction in central Florida" called Sea World & Busch Gardens for $2.7B. 

Blackstone, the New York-based private-equity giant, will pay AB InBev $2.3 billion in cash plus give the beer brewer a right to participate in its return on investment up to $400 million. Blackstone will own 100 percent of Busch Entertainment.

As rumors of the sale swirled, analysts speculated that Blackstone could ultimately seek to package Busch with Merlin ahead of an initial public offering or pair it with Universal Orlando -- which it co-owns with NBC Universal -- to create a more formidable competitor to Walt Disney World. But Blackstone says it does not intend to pursue any such combination; the firm noted it bought Busch, Universal and Merlin out of separate investment funds with separate investors and interests.

Water sketches

I haven't had the chance to see these in person yet at Magic kingdom...but love the video of it over at the Disney Parks Blog.  This is a great example of why we return to WDW time after time.  It's the details like this street art that clearly sets them apart from the rest.

The Basics at WDW for dining

WDW is trialing a new quick-service approach at four of it's restaurants called "The Basics" for lunch. 
At Pecos Bill's, Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Rays & Pinocchio Village Haus guest will be directed to one entrance by a greeter, handed menus, place orders at the registers and then directed to an empty table by anoither cast member.  WDW is hoping this will cut down on people "saving" tables instead of getting their food and then sitting down to eat.  Pecos Bills also is trialing self-ordering kiosk also.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Just watched the season premiere of America's Home Video with Wilson
(oh how he loves the countless groin shots and people falling on their
heads). Wow. The grandprize this season is a trip for 20 to WDW with
some "private time" in the Magic Kingdom. Quick! To the trampoline.
Start the camera...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great miniature video of the Magic Kingdom

Love this video over on the Disney Park's blog

Happy Birthday WDW

It's been a great 38 years!
It opened on October 1, 1971, with the Magic Kingdom theme park, and has since added Epcot (on October 1, 1982), Disney's Hollywood Studios (on May 1, 1989), and Disney's Animal Kingdom (on April 22, 1998).

Disney's A Christmas Carol Train Tour

For all the Atlanta-area folks, the train tour will be at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth October 6, 2009.  It's Free!  One day only!  More information available on the web site