EPCOT Festival of the Arts – Dave Avanzino

Disney’s EPCOT is becoming a land of festivals, and 2018 brought the second annual Festival of the Arts; and as they get more experience hosting these events, they are continually making significant improvements which enhance the guest experience.

The five-week long festival running from January 12th to February 19th, saw opportunities galore for exploring your artist within, from culinary arts to musical performances, artist lectures, hands-on learning opportunities and just chances to meet and talk with a number of Disney artists and legends.

Dave Avanzino

Many of these opportunities were presented in a class-like setting.  Most were free or had a small fee for materials.  There were a few “premium” events that ran in excess of $250.  This year, 3D artist Dave Avanzino came to EPCOT to teach his technique for creating unique works of art.  We jumped at the chance to learn from one of our favorite Disney artists (ok, who are we kidding – he IS our favorite Disney artist!)  His ability to create a work of art and make it Continue Reading →

Peter Pan Anniversary

Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

Over the weekend, the official Disney Fan Club – D23, held a “Magical Screening” of Peter Pan celebrating its 65th Anniversary.  Screenings were held at the Animation Studios in Burbank and the AMC Theater in Disney Springs in Orlando,

Screen shot of event title.

where we are currently visiting.  Events like these are a lot of fun and what keep us renewing our membership!

There is a lot of history about this movie that few know.  Peter Pan took many years to get to theaters; even though Walt obtained the animation rights to the story in 1939, it didn’t make it to the big screen until 1953 due to many circumstances involving finances and America entering into World War II.

The event was hosted by Steven Vagnini, the only D23 Cast Member in Florida, who has now been promoted to Walt Disney Imagineering and will Continue Reading →

We’re Back!

It seems that it has been quite a “dry spell” since our last post.  We have had a lot going on that took time away from normal trips to a Disney park.

Savannah Linn

We welcomed our newest “Princess” into our family last fall.  Savannah Linn was born on September 8 in California.  Shortly thereafter, we helped her mom and dad move cross country to the east coast and helped them get resettled into their new home and life.  Then came the holidays and time with family.

So finally, 2018 has arrived and life is returning to “normal,” or something that resembles it; and we find ourselves back at Walt Disney World.

So much is going on this spring at Walt Disney World with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts; and it will be quickly replaced by the International Flower and Garden Festival on February 28th.  We will have new experiences, visit new lands and savor new foods which we will certainly tell you about and give you ideas for your next Disney adventure.

If all goes as planned, we will be back in Disneyland in May before we head east again and start our training to run the Wine and Dine 10K in November – our first in almost 3 years.

So bear with us and keep checking for updates and information!

Halloween at Disneyland!

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out this year in bringing Halloween to the California Adventure Park, even giving it a new name: “Haul-O-ween!”

Entrance to Disney’s California Adventure

In addition to the usual decorations in Disneyland, the imagineers have expanded on the experience by adding elements and designs to its sister park.  This is the first year they have decorated this park so extensively.  Most of the decoration is in Cars Land with Mater and the gang getting in on the action, but Buena Vista Street gets into the festivities as well as the Carthay Circle Restaurant and the corner of Buena Vista and Hollywood Boulevard with the Headless Horseman.

And around both parks you will find Continue Reading →

We Wants The Redhead!

Disney has announced that there will soon be a significant change to the beloved “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction.  Sometime in 2018, the most iconic scene “Auction, Take a Wench for a Bride” will be redesigned to a new one which depicts the Redhead as part of an auction crew where they want you to “surrender yer loot.”

“We wants the redhead” will soon no longer ring out across the river.

Even though Walt said Disneyland would never be complete as long as there is imagination, there are many who are upset with this change as it appears that it is being done for “politically correct” purposes.  The auction scene as it currently stands has been in existence since the attraction’s inception, even surviving the changes that took place in the late ’90’s where some of the scenes depicting pirates chasing women were changed to imply the men are now chasing food.

Some changes have been Continue Reading →

Cars 3 Movie Review

“From this moment, everything will change”

The latest release from the imaginations of Disney/Pixar is now in theaters with Cars 3.  The story line of this latest animated movie in the trilogy is of the quality that should have been in Cars 2, harkening back to the original plots of racing and relationships instead of a sophisticated “James Bond” type of spy novel.

Cars 3, starring all of our favorite Radiator Springs characters is now in theaters. (©Disney/Pixar)

We find our favorite race car still winning race after race, with the occasional loss.  But then the inevitable happens:  Along comes a younger, faster car (Jackson Storm) who turns the racing world upside down.  Lightning McQueen, in an attempt to get back on top, pushes his limit to its unfortunate consequences and we next find him back in Radiator Springs, along with all the Continue Reading →

Happy 85th Birthday, Goofy!

“Safari” Goofy and us at dinner in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

You look as youthful as ever!  It is hard to believe that you are a young 85 years old.  Making your first appearance on this day in Mickey’s Revue in 1923; and you have been delighting audiences ever since.

Without repeating a lot of information about this lovable, unflappable, always optimistic, anthropomorphic dog, we mostly want to say “Happy Birthday!”

Limited Edition Pins released for Goofy’s 85th birthday. Contains a spinner that depicts Goofy then and now.

If you would like to read our original post from 2 years ago, you can find it here.  We have also included a link to Goofy’s facebook page if you would like to follow his story.

Tour of Mark Twain Riverboat

The last stop on our tours from our trip in February was a guided tour of the Mark Twain Riverboat sitting still on the Rivers of America in Disneyland.  For a little more than a year, the Mark Twain has been sitting dockside in Frontier Land while the Rivers of America was undergoing a reroute to make room for the new Star Wars Land.

The Disneyland Mark Twain Steam Paddle-wheeler.

It is one of the few remaining attractions that was a part of the opening day in 1955, and has fascinating past.  The paddle-wheeled steam boat is a 5/8 scale replica of actual steamers on the Mississippi river.  The hull was built at the shipyards in San Pedro and the decks were built at WED (Walt Elias Disney) Enterprises in Burbank.  The 105 foot boat was assembled at Disneyland and was operational on opening day.  When corporate funds fell short, Walt funded the completion from his own pocket.

While the boat is in “drydock,” guests can Continue Reading →

Which Is Better – Enchanted Tiki Room DL or WDW?

Welcome to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!

This unique attraction was designed to be a restaurant, the original “Enchanted Tiki Room,” at Disneyland is where for more than 50 years Jose, Michael, Pierre and Fritz have been entertaining guests with their familiar “In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room…”

When the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World opened in 1971, it had its own version of the Enchanted Tiki Room (originally called the Tropical Serenade).  The Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Continue Reading →

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

Yeah, yeah, we know.  The movie has been out for almost three weeks – so what took us so long?  We just didn’t have the opportunity with our travels to find enough time for a night at the movies.  The important thing is we finally did it!  We saw the new Disney Beauty and the Beast live action movie in 3D.

Beauty and the Beast now in theaters. (©Disney)

With just a few exceptions, this story strays very little from the original 1991 animated movie; from the bookworm Belle, to the antagonist Gaston who is bent on marrying her, to the iconic songs and French setting.  The director and writers have taken the liberty of expanding on parts of the story that were left to the imagination in the original, such as the fate of Belle’s mother (most Disney movies are notoriously missing at least one parent).  The Enchantress who cast the beastly spell on the prince plays a much larger, and surprising role in this story.

The story also goes farther in humanizing the beast when he begins quoting Shakespeare, and then grumbles when Belle tells him that Romeo and Juliet is her favorite, which helps the audience realize that under that scary, hairy façade is a person who is capable of feeling.  The beast is also given Continue Reading →