Back in the Disney Day… First Time Meeting Mickey

Guest Author: Colleen Lynn

I went with my parents when I was seven years old. It was the only family vacation we ever took. I also have a fantastic story about meeting Mickey.

I was waiting my turn to meet Mickey. I think this was in the time before the more organized character greetings, I don’t know for sure. All I remember was that it was out on Main Street. So there I am with my mouse ears on, waiting to meet the big star. Just as it was my turn, this grown man shoves right in front of me with his camera. The way my parents had taught me, kids don’t argue with adults, so to my young way of thinking, now that this guy had shoved in front of me, I wouldn’t get to meet Mickey. I burst into tears. Next thing I know, this white glove reaches around the man, grasps my shoulder, and Mickey pulled me over to him. I had a new Hero.Mickey86

My favorite picture from that whole Disney trip is a picture of Mickey and a pigtailed, tear-stained, but grinning seven year old me.

This was the trip that really cemented my love for Disney.

 

Boating School…Legoland

I had heard this was a not-to-be-missed attraction, so Em and I tried it out. We arrived to it after lunch, so shortly after the noon hour, and had no wait.  I will say I loved the fact that at several attractions they had a play area to build legos and play for the kids and the parents could then hold their place in line. Now, this only works if you don’t have to STAY with your little one, but it is genius since your child will then WANT to buy the toys they have been playing with all day.rsz_341

Now boarding was something quite interesting, they keep the boats moving. I really didn’t like that since I was attempting to not fall out of it while trying to get in, plus getting in so I could then help Emily in.  They eventually stopped the boats at one point, but I would assume they HAVE to do this for anyone older or with special needs to try to get in them.rsz_342

Once actually seated, there is one seatbelt that goes across both people. It is a max weight of 400 pounds, and they ask you to keep it only to two people to a boat (although it looks like a parent with two very small ones were also allowed).rsz_344

Once we were driving, and Em wanted me too, it wasn’t at all like driving the car on the Speedway at Magic Kingdom- these are NOT on a track! They drive fine, but if you turn to hard, you will start to get caught in a spin- as people in the front of us found out and we wound  just passing them by.  rsz_349 rsz_362

It doesn’t take long to ride, but it is a fun and it’s an experience trying to avoid the spitting pelican and mice with the small water spouts aimed at your boat!  (Sprinkles, nothing drenching).rsz_359 rsz_357 rsz_339

It is worth the time to wait for? I would say 15 minutes or less would be the max that I would.  I can see little ones having a kick with this attraction, so it definitely a not miss when visiting Legoland!  Also don’t miss the photo opp near the exit with the Lego figurines and the Shark mouth.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

Celebration’s Porch and Yard Sale

Thanks to a blog reader, I was informed of this awesome city-wide rummage sale in the heart of Central Florida.  Since I am in Celebration quite a bit already, it was a no brainer that I would not only go,  I would actually know WHERE I was going to look as well. Here’s what it was like, enjoy!

All of the information was located HERE on the City’s Website. It was great to be able to see the hours, the addresses, and they also provided a key with what each sale was generally selling. For example, if they were selling Disney they had the letter “D” after the address.  The sales were supposed to be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  but Belle and I arrived a little before 7:30 a.m. and there were hundreds of cars already.  Having been new to this area with sales, I wasn’t sure if they would let us shop early or not.  I did hear later that people were there looking with flashlights early in the morning- now there is guts.

The thing I love about city sales is that there is so much to look at it, but it’s almost a double-edged sword.  When there is one sale, you can rush up to it, look quick and drive to the next. When there are so many sales, you can’t get to them all first, or even within the first hour- so you know you can’t catch everything.

As we got out of the car, they were handing out FREE cloth shopping bags to people- cool! The first sale Belle and I hit she found the book “The Hobbit.”  It was also my first experience with how their pricing would be.  In Wisconsin, Disney items aren’t sold very high because we weren’t anywhere near Florida.  But here, 5 miles from the Happiest Place on Earth, it would be the residents of Celebration to make a pretty penny on anything Disney.  I found a brand new Disney frame, but she wanted $8.00 for it. Now, if you are on vacation and want a frame for your trip, it’s a steal! But this gal was looking for BARGAINS and nothing else.  Basically that first sale set the pace of pricing the rest of our time in Celebration.

After we parked a second time, we strolled among the beautiful homes and their wares all over their wet lawns. Yes, these people who pay A LOT to live here, had blankets on the wet ground where they laid out some very nice stuff. Sorry, but if you have the means, invest in renting a couple of tables- no one likes to bend over on the ground, and people do not want to step on the blanket your stuff is on to pick it up and look at it. Also in this area we bought a couple of sodas… $1 each – at a YARD sale- ridiculous.  If I didn’t need the caffeine so bad I wouldn’t have bothered.  You started to get the feeling that these people had NO CLUE what a bargain was- MANY items were way overpriced.

So we walked- all over. Downtown, past the Pumpkin patch and Church, and near the School.  My favorite sale was the ALL DISNEY sale. Yes, you heard me Disney friends, ALL DISNEY.  When I walked up to it I almost passed out from delight- I would have bought it all if I had enough cash.  I bought a brown Mickey purse for $3 (BRAND NEW),  a theme park shower curtain for $1.00, Minnie keychain for .25, Mickey book keychain for .25, Mickey desk lamp (PERFECT for this blogger) for $5.00, an old coffee can with Epcot on it for .75, Epcot World Showcase bandana for .50, Mickey Napkin holder for .75, Mickey Halloween garland for .25, Mickey beaded coin purse for .50, Disney theme park Christmas tags for .50, Animal Kingdom note cube for .25, Goofy Sandwich Press for .10, Shake it Up Disney Bus Sign for $2 and a couple of Christmas Ornaments for $1.  The lady had SO MUCH STUFF!  She was really nice to me and I was VERY happy leaving that sale.

By 10:30 a.m..  we needed a restroom and a break.  We drank another soda and used the restroom at the Market Street Café.  It was almost creepy how quiet the downtown area was- everyone was shopping in the neighborhoods.  We walked some more, saw the Pirate Ship themed home for Halloween all decked out, and then headed back to the car.

It was getting hot, humid, and we were almost out of cash to play with. So we opted to head home and move forward with the day.  It was EVERYTHING I hoped for when I used to wonder what they sold at yard sales in Florida- all the Disney stuff I could handle.  I thought of ALL of you as I scooped items up, knowing you would have all been drooling like me too.  I would encourage you all to try and head over to this next year- it was worth the early morning!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

The Osborne Lights Coming Soon!!

Nothing is more prettier, nor spectacular, than the Osborne Christmas lights that are put up for the Christmas season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I love the Castle, and all the Resort decor, but those Osborne lights with the music- TAKE MY BREATH AWAY! Today I bummed around the Streets of America and saw several buildings strung for the Season already- gave me goosebumps. One our favorite things to do as a family is to go after dinner and watch them all, while the snow comes down. Oh, it is so AWESOME! Here is some of the pics I took today, November can’t come soon enough!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

Disney Quest

Since we had purchased WDW Premium Annual Passes, we wanted to make sure they are used to their fullest. So today I thought I would give you my insight on Disney Quest and what myself as an adult and both girls thought of it. Grab some sunscreen, because we are heading to the West Side of DTD!

We arrived at 10:30 a.m., which I knew after getting a prime parking spot in the first row, that something was off.  I assumed that since Walt Disney Parks all seem to open by 9, that Disney Quest would open around that time, or maybe an hour after.  I learned after seeing no one around there except one CM, that they do not open until 11:30 every day. Sometimes they stay open later, but they open at that time every day.  The odd part of that is that 1, Downtown Disney itself opens at 10:30 a.m., and 2, you would think that there is no “specific” time of day someone has to play video games.  Maybe they wait to open so people have a chance to go to the Parks first, I have no clue.  So we had time to kill, and checked out the Magic Shop, Bongos, the AMC Movie Theater, the Candy Shop, and then House of Blues gift shop.

We traded some pins along the way, and if you are looking to trade just vinylmation pins, the Disney Cart across from “Ride Makerz” has those that you can trade only if you have a vinylmation one to trade him with.  Kyra had a sweet tooth going nuts, so we went into “Candy Cauldron” where we tried the new “Cake Pops” which are made of marshmellow, white chocolate, brownie, sugar, and real cake inside them.  Delicious, and VERY VERY sweet!  We were drinking water like there was no tomorrow with them, but they were a fun treat to try once.  They cost about $2.95 each and we were able to get our 20% discount here with our Premium Annual Pass.

We checked out the Magic Shop, which is really neat for a stop of air conditioning, but the tricks to buy are about $15 and higher.  I would say that the wand there was affordable at $6.95, but that was about it for something “affordable” to buy.  Kyra found incense sticks at 10 for $2 at House of Blues Gift Shop, so she was in heaven to buy some for her new room.  After we had spent some time putzing around, we finally got in line for DQ. (Disney Quest- not Dairy Queen LOL)

They opened the doors promptly at 11:30 and we walked in like you head into the park gates, you put your pass in, finger down, and away you go. If you don’t have a Annual Pass, you can just purchase them at the front windows and they are good for all day.  You walk in, the hang a right, and a Cast Member does have maps which help newbies like us.

I had done a bit of research, so I did know what the popular games were.  We headed to “Pirates of the Caribbean” which already had a line, so we did the “Jungle Cruise” first, since it had none.  We weren’t quite ready for what happened next, we just got into the raft and rowed for our lives.  Because there are lots of fun surprises, I am not going to be giving them away here- if you NEED to know, PM me. A word of warning, first trip- we were fine. Second trip, we all got off nauseous and vowed that was only a one time ride for awhile.

We got in line for the “POTC” and got in immediately to our “booth.”  They have you wear 3D goggles, not glasses, large goggles. Emily had a bit of a hard time with them because she needs her glasses on to see better, so they either fit ok over them, or they fit better and she wasn’t able to see that well- so keep that in mind for any of you who wear glasses.  One person has to be the Captain, the others are the gunners. The screen surrounds you, so you feel like you are on the open seas- a fantastic ride, game, and it was by far our favorite of the day!  Get there early if you don’t like lines, as this one seems to be a very popular one.

Everything there is connected by stairways, or an elevator.  We found that both sides of most floors had 2 ways to get down or up to the next level.  We found Cyber Space Mountain, and even though no one was doing it, Emily wasn’t having it. Yes, I know you don’t have to make it a scary ride, but the visual of the simulator flipping around caused her to turn right around.  So we played in the “Create” Area.

The “Create” Area has an Animation area, virtual easels to play on, a toy making area, and then an area to make your own songs.  There was also a giant Pinocchio head on the one wall, which creeped me out because I swore it was going to start talking to me any minute. WHY is it there?  We decided to make 2 songs in the “Song Maker” area, which consist of 4 booths.  We did have to wait in line for this, as there is no “max” time allowed in there, so kids will just play until they get bored.  But, I have to tell you it is a blast to make one, as it’s like putting Mad Libs to music.  We laughed until our sides hurt, and then headed upstairs to check the Buzz Ride out.

A side note, if you like to draw, go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and take the drawing classes that run every 30 minutes. You get to draw with a real pencil, and take it home with you.  Here at DQ, you draw on a computer screen, and have to pay for your picture if you want it. In my opinion, I would rather go to Studios and have the experience there, than at DQ. But, at DQ, they do have a schedule of WHO they are drawing and at what times, so if you really want Pluto, and its always a tossup at Studios, then do it at DQ.

If you like Bumper Cars, you will love the Buzz Lightyear game.  It is bumper cars, with cannons that shoot large rubber balls at the windows of your vehicle.  I let the girls ride together, and then I rode alone- basically just bumping people while I got hit over and over again.  I liked the bumper car part of it, but the shooting balls part was unnerving as every time you got hit, they hit HARD on your window, and then you spin when you get hit as well.  Fun do try, but not a favorite.

There are a lot more fun things to try here- Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride is a virtual reality game that you wear the goggles for.  Looking at it I knew I would probably get sick, so we all opted out. The rest of the building is video game after video game, and its basically your 1980’s arcade with PacMan and so on.

So the golden question… is it worth it? This is my opinion only, but I don’t feel it is if you are only here for a week.  I have been there, you save up all year, sometimes more, for that week of pure Disney bliss and magic so you want to do everything, but sometimes you miss all the great stuff because you are too rushed.  Don’t even BOTHER with Disney Quest if you are doing all 4 Parks and a Water Park, or Sea World, or Universal. I would say it is PERFECT for a rainy day, a cold day, and if you are able to stay in FL for more than a week.  You definitely want to take advantage of it if you spent the money for Premium Annual Passes, but other than that and more time, it doesn’t make much sense to make time for it.  The virtual and life like games are incredible, but you only have about a handful of those, and then the rest is like your local Arcade at the Mall.

We didn’t do everything because we are Residents, so we will take our time on seeing what else we may have missed.  We hope this helps some of you decide if you would like to do it or not- have a great and blessed day!

Hooray For Hollywood

On this night of glamour, movie stars, and shiny guys named “Oscar”, let’s talk about one of my favorite rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…”The Great Movie Ride.”

Located at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, take a left or right around the large blue hat, there stands the replicated iconic Grauman Chinese Theater.  Before entering, take the time to check out all of the hand and foot prints outside. True fact, those are the real deal. The first one honored to place her signature here first, was our favorite Mouseketeer,  Annette Funicello.   These wonderful signatures are similar to those found in the real Hollywood, CA.

Upon entering this majestic theater, greeters say hello in their burgundy outfits with matching hats- the feel of movies is in the air.  Waiting in line you will see memorabilia from movies such as “Mary Poppins” and “The Wizard of Oz” and then enter a larger room with a giant movie screen.  I have always loved this room- I like the air conditioning. I like after a long day, leaning on the railings in the cold atmosphere while watching classic movie clips is pretty darn cool.  A word to all of those newbies to this attraction, once you are in this room, it goes very quickly.

The doors open up to the right, and you head into the world of make believe.  The vehicles fit several people, and are complete with an actual live Tour Guide!  I give all the credit to those Cast Members who are Tour Guides on the GMR- it not only takes great memorization, but the tolerance to the amount of cheese they have to deal with it on it. It isn’t Jungle Cruise cheese, but it’s close.

The ride starts, we are on set, and we are embarking on a journey that will take us to meet Gene Kelly singing in the rain and Mary Poppins singing her infamous “Chiminy Chim Chim Chiree.”   Now for those of you who didn’t know, this ride contains two scenarios to it. GASP you say? It’s true! You will either experience the Old West for a shoot out, or you will go through the mob scene and for a shoot out. Either way, your Tour Guide will go to help, be kidnapped, and be replaced by either a gunslinger or a mobster.  If you want to have some fun, like we do, mess with the Gunslinger/Mobster- they usually have a great time interacting with the patrons.

As you enjoy other movie scenes, you come upon the Indiana Jones set.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I have to say this part always makes me giggle. Why? Well, God bless the Cast Members, they try, but it’s pretty funny when one of them just aren’t in the mood to play make believe.  In fact, it’s almost more entertaining when they don’t seem in the mood.  We all have those days.

The very best scene of the ride is entering Munchkinland from the “Wizard of Oz.” This scene is like being in the real movie…I can never get enough of it. I heard recently they had a dessert party in this room for an event-THAT is why I want to live in FL. To be able to go to things like that!  I love the Wicked Witch, I love the Munchkins singing, and I love that when you leave you see Dorothy and friends on the yellow brick road.

Last but not least, we are treated to a montage of movie clips before leaving the land of glitz to head back into the world of imagination. I mean, come on, we are still in WDW, there is no heading back into reality until we leave the WDW property.

Since we were working on this blog while watching the Academy Awards this evening, we would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Pete Doctor and his Pixar Team for winning the Best Animated Film and Best Score Oscars for one of THE best movies of the year “UP.”  Not only do we love WDW, but we are also huge fans of the Disney and Pixar movies-they are what keep us young.

Keeping the magic alive,

Carl and Ellie Peters