More Adventures in the Tiki Hut…

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“Hut” on the heels (oh my gosh, I need to just delete that right now. WHY am I not deleting it?!) of my last Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast post, here’s another! Because the episodes keep coming and I keep listening and it’s all good! :D

Episode 17: Disney Hangover
Keith and Alan just got back from Disney in this ep.

Sean: “Keith, you left nice, sunny, warm Ohio, right?”
Keith: “Uh, where was this?”

Getting stuck at Disney is like everyone’s DREAM. Not even joking.

Ohhh, Keith had the cheerleaders. Man! I think we might’ve been there for like a day or two at the same time as some cheerleaders. They were walking around Pop with a TON of glowing balloons. I was like “Good luck getting to sleep tonight…”

Talk of beef makes me hungry. Every time. I almost never ever BUY red meat/beef at home so I only eat it at restaurants. Meaning I have high standards for my beef and steak. Awww yeah.  I feel like eating some beef right now.  I’m not sure what this is all about, actually…

AAACK! Alan had School Bread, finally!  That’s a mostly positive, if unenthusiastic review. LOL. I wouldn’t run to order it again either. But there’s actually nothing at WDW that I do feel that way about.

PORK SHANK. Man I want some meat right now.

Keith’s single solitary turkey leg on the trip is still one more than I have EVER had, so there’s that.

I liked the MagicBands too! I also did not use it for charging to the room. I was completely on cash and gift cards as much as possible. But I loved the convenience.

Agreed on people hating on FastPass+ just for the sake of hating on it. Those who have tried it and have complaints I am fine with, but there are a lot who just hate the idea, and honestly… the idea itself is not a bad one. And the whole process is under development.  To hate the whole thing because of how it looks today is just not logical.

Good trip reports guys! :D

…Be sure.. to drink your… Cheerwine. A crummy commercial?!

 

Episode 18: 40 Disney Dollars a Day at Downtown Disney
Uh-oh. This is it… I’ve reached “my” episode… DundunDUNNNNN! Fortunately there’s another guest, the excellent Matt Holley, so not all the focus is on me. Hahah. XD

But in all seriousness… this was an awesome time, very fun to record and I love playing the $40 at Disney game. And I’d never thought about it for Downtown Disney, so if you haven’t either… or if you HAVE… listen on!

My favourite part of doing this episode was when all the birds actually started singing live at the beginning.  I had thought that was pre-recorded, but boy was I wrong!… ;)

“But first, before we play, Rebecca, tell a little bit about yourself to our audience!”
Me: “OH, uh…” Yeah, I didn’t expect that. LOL. So I go on a bit much.  Pffff. XD

I have never actually been to the Ghirardelli Soda Shop. To my EXTENSIVE regret. :)  But to be honest… I’m not all that much of a “must-do” snack person. I get really picky b/c I don’t like to spend a lot of money so I bring my own snacks in. Heh. I do like me a Mickey bar but not an option here… I don’t really blame Matt for getting a sundae. I mean if you’re going to go ice cream why not go big?

I like Keith’s choice for a snack. I would never think of bread pudding as a snack but it sounds AMAZING. :)

Sean was absolutely cheap-o. CHEAP. O.

Aaaand now I want barbeque for lunch. You know what I had? a lousy sandwich. Two pieces of wheat bread and some turkey slices.

Alan quizzing me about barbeque.  I will not commit, hahaha, and the hardest thing in the world is to get an opinion out of me if I don’t hold it PASSIONATELY. (and I don’t about barbeque.) I will eat ANY barbeque right now. The more different kinds the better. OH MAN I wish I had some barbeque right now! XD

Matt’s quick service choice sounds good too. I think actually there is the slightest chance I may just be hungry. :P

The OTHER sandwich place…  Actually their menu looks amazing. I would have a very hard time deciding on just two or three sandwiches. I think I could choose just one if I had to, but if someone told me “pick three” I’d go nuts.

I really DO like themed restaurants a lot. I am not saying I don’t like good food but I do prefer experience over food quality. Just a thing about me. XD

And next time I go to T-Rex I am going to bring my bathing suit. :P

People get heated about a lack of gum for sale in the store. This is because people want what they want and they don’t care about rules. They are at DISNEY WORLD and they’re supposed to get what they WANT.

I want some dips too. (Remember what I said that I might be hungry? There’s no longer any doubt.)

Keith not only got closest to exactly $40, he also had a great “Haha! SCORE!” reaction when he announced his total.

I survived the season of the dinosaurs! And a meteor shower!  Sean’s all trying to make this into a competition and take me down, I’m having none of it. And Alan’s in my corner. So THERE. XD  Though I’ll admit that the Irish Step Dancing is quite impressive. I think Sean was just trying slightly harder because he thought he was going to be closest on his total, but Keith beat him.

A warning to anyone who is vaguely considering appearing as a guest on Tiki Talk: you will be asked about Cheerwine. I’m just saying. It’s not a bad thing, just know in advance. You’re going to be quizzed about it.

Matt has guts to bring up the Starbucks on Main Street knowing fully well that Keith and Alan have oppositional opinions about it. Mwhaahaha.

Listen to me answering these questions like I knew in advance what I was going to say! XD  I love Matt’s answers. He puts so much detail into them.  And I’m like “Haunted Mansion. Boom.” Except I didn’t literally say “Boom”.

WHY is it that every podcast episode I’m on, people start talking about peeing? I’m really starting to be concerned about this. :P

Leave some messages and responses and reviews and things to let the guys know how much you want me to come back on the show! Or, even better, just review and rate the show on iTunes. :)  Mentioning me: optional.

 

Episode 19: Poly Want a Show! Part 1

Congrats to the Tiki Talk show for their partnership with V24Radio!

Keith! What could you POSSIBLY not like about the Polynesian?! (I am kidding. Just FYI. I got it.^_~)

I never really did think about West Coast = Hawaii Vacations, East Coast = Caribbean/Bahamian vacations…

So they’re using Aulani’s space as an inspiration for the Poly’s spacial redesign? Hm. I’m not opposed to reorganizing space.  I hope they will continue to have a water feature in the lobby though.

Ew! Bacterial parasite! Well then the waterfall is allowed to go.

But but but a glass bottom would be so neat… IF you had a lagoon or something right underneath. “If you had that, what would you look at?” LOL really now. But the neat idea put forth that the “glass” could be a screen to make it look like it’s water beneath.

When Poly goes DVC, a week’s worth of points to pay for a studio would be the cost for a bungalow. GAWRSH :(  This may not be true, just a “buzz”.

 

Episode 20:  Walk Up and Eat
Hey! Stacey did an Enchanted Tiki Talk blurb!  You are now officially a Must-Do! :D

I am glad to hear a positive opinion of the moat-draining on the Hub expansion. Lots of people have that “HOW COULD THEY?” response to, well, anything that gets done these days at WDW.  As Sean says, they’re not really using the moat anyway and this should really improve flow of people.

Mmmm, man, I really want to go to the Flower & Garden Festival one of these years.

I went to Fairfax Fare last trip. I wasn’t happy with what I got though, but I think that’s my own fault. I don’t really like park mac and cheese, but I got a hot dog with mac and cheese and bacon on it… I really just made a bad choice, I’m going to try it again.

And I have never been to Pecos Bill’s.  Despite YEARS of hearing how many people love it.

Sunshine Sheashons is a very, very good counter service place. Last time I ate there it was easy to find stuff for me and for my daughter and we have ENTIRELY different things we want out of theme park food. ;)

I had one really good experience/meal at Casey’s and one not so good experience/meal there – I wouldn’t say bad, just not what I was hoping for. So I’m a little on the fence about them right now.

I LOVE RIBS. Yaaaay!

Flame Tree Barbeque: just hearing that restaurant’s name makes me drool with barbeque fantasies. Ahhhhh.  It SOUNDS like perfectly-cooked BBQ.

I can’t remember if I did a Top 5 counter service post on my blog. If I didn’t, I should. I don’t think I did, I think I’ve done a review of Flame Tree BBQ and that’s what I’m thinking of. ;)

I love that outtake. “What was that?! Did you just like, vomit?”

 

Episode 21: Poly Want a Show! Part 2
More Poly Talk!  I hope everyone will forgive me but I have no notes on this episode. I don’t know a lot about the Poly except that I really want to stay there, so I have nothing at all to contribute to the discussion. It is, however, a very good interview whether you’re familiar with the Polynesian or not!  So, enjoy!

 

Episode 22: Our Must Do Interview
Stacy J. Aswad on your Must-Do Podcast! I realize that Rolly Crump is a bigger Disney legend but I have a platonic crush on the adorable Ms. Aswad so I’m more excited about her appearance than any others so far. Ahem. *^_^*

The Must-Do Disney program is part scripted and part improved, which is not a surprise to me; it’s the improvs, I think, that are why I like her so much.  Stacy’s sincerity shines through when she’s being silly and she reminds me of a dear friend of mine, so she transcends the “typical” script!

Sean invented Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius. The word I mean. And Stacy has fulfilled a lifelong dream by meeting him. “I was like Dear Diary, someday I hope to meet the person who made up…”

“As long as I’m breathing, it’s not impossible.” I love this. :)

Another great interview, great show, and great guest. :D

Oh, and then Alan rubs in the fact that he took a surprise trip to WDW. Good for yooooou, Alan. ;P

 

 

 

My Next Trip to the Magic Kingdom: Dream Edition

You know how you sometimes will go around saying “OH, I am going to do that someday!” when you think about going to Disney World? I know this isn’t just me.  Lately I’ve found myself with more and more “well, NEXT time I go, I’m going to…” statements coming up, probably because my last trip was so short that I had to postpone or abbreviate a lot of things.  So in this post I’m going to make a list of all the things I really WANT to do, but haven’t really had the option yet, at the Magic Kingdom. Maybe in subsequent posts I’ll do other parks and even some of the resorts!

It’s worth noting that a lot of these – nearly all, in fact – involve slowing down and taking something in, some details I haven’t really gotten to enjoy yet.  Here we go, in no particular order!

 

1. Stand outside of Space Mountain for a while in the heat watching people go inside. Listen to any music I can hear from inside.  Then take my time in the standby line.  (I will confess that I’m listening to Space Mountain concourse music as I write this.)

2. Catch all of Festival of Fantasy. (I usually ‘accidentally’ see parades; I don’t often work them into my day. So when I do see them I typically come in midway through or even near the end.)

3. Catch all of Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It… and get my daughter and son to dance in it with me!

4. Linger in New Fantasyland.

As close as I got last time.

As close as I got last time. That guy there is not me.

5. Meet Gaston.

6. Go inside Gaston’s Tavern. (That’s right, you heard me. I have been in New Fantasyland but didn’t go into any of the buildings in Belle’s poor provincial town.) Addendum: eat a pork shank,  you savage! :D

7. Go through The Little Mermaid standby line.

8. Lunch at Be Our Guest

9. Dinner at Be Our Guest :P

10. Photos of Storybook Circus area, presumably while my children soak themselves in the Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station

11. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

12. Explore around Cinderella Castle

13. See the inside of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique… not sure I can do that without an appointment, but I can try…

14. Take an entire day JUST to meet characters, and not worry about rides.

15. See the “it’s a small world” clock go off

16. Do a few rounds in a row of Peter Pan’s Flight (unlikely)

17. Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel… because it really is charming. :)

18. Eat something at Pinocchio Village Haus and watch the small world boats go by below

19. Eat at Columbia Harbour House. Apparently I’m very hungry today.

20. Liberty Square Riverboat. I have never never never done that in spite of saying repeatedly I would do it on my next trip.  I don’t understand why it’s not called “Liberty Belle Riverboat” although I realize I’m conflating “Liberty Square” with “Lilly Belle”.

21. Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow (probably the sweet and spicy chicken one). Yep, SUPER hungry.

Perfect even on a rainy day.

Perfect even on a rainy day.

22. Haunted Mansion – but only after taking a very slow walk through the queue, with lots of pictures and time spent pushing on things that move or make sounds.

23. Shopping spree at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.  Well, actually, this is something I like to do every trip and rather than a “spree” I’d just pick up a few new ornaments. Slowly but surely my WDW ornament collection is taking over the tree. :)

24. Shop in the Frontier Trading Post

25. Pay more attention in general to the buildings and facades in Frontierland – I tend to blow thru here on my way from Splash to Haunted Mansion or Fantasyland.

26. Stop in at the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade

27. Try to get in on some kinda hoedown action

28. FINALLY see the Country Bears Jamboree! (I’m not kidding, I’ve been trying since 2011)

29. If it’s first thing in the morning, take the standby line instead of FastPassing Splash Mountain. I haven’t done that in a while…

30. Let the kids take some time to play outside of the Splash Mountain area.

31. Listen to some banjo music and watch people coming down Splash.

32. Go all the way around on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

33. Get off at each stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad. :)

34. Go on Splash Mountain at night. I’ve done it before but not in a long time.  Ideally do it during the parade or the fireworks.

35. Go on Haunted Mansion at night also. Wooooo…

36. Try out the Pirate Adventure treasure hunt

I'm sure I could probably get chosen to be in the show.

I’m sure I could probably get chosen to be in the show.

37. Take in a show of Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial

38. Go on Pirates like three times in a row. :)

39. PeopleMover. I haven’t reached this point in my trip report yet, but my daughter was kind of peeved with me that we didn’t ride on the TTA PeopleMover because I kept promising we would but it didn’t happen. :P

40. Carousel of Progress. Lifetime Goal: Get my family to sing along, together, aloud, during the show rotation. (I am already predicting several holdouts on this.)

41. See Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray’s. Never managed to do this.

42. Check out any and all kids’ play areas and take some pictures.

43. Actually watch some of the Main Street Trolley Show

44. Ride the Trolley.

45. Or some other Main Street Vehicle.

46. Get a haircut at the Barbershop. I have done this 2 or 3 times, so this time I want to be serenaded while I do. :P

47. Check out the Enchanted Tiki Room now that it’s under Old Management.

48. Browse the shops of Adventureland and enjoy the background music.

49. Get a Dole Whip Float.

50. Spend an hour or two just on Main Street, USA – shop, eat, get some ice cream, drool over candy, possibly buy and eat said candy, pretend Starbucks is not a Starbucks, just stuff like that. :D

 

And, not numbered but assumed throughout all of these: Take a billion pictures of EVERYTHING.

You never realize how much you're going to regret a picture with lighting like this until it's one of only 15 pictures you took that day.

You never realize how much you’re going to regret a picture with lighting like this until it’s one of only 15 pictures you took that day.

2013 Trip Report: Day 4, Part 3: The Big Mosey

Has it really been nearly 3 months since I updated my trip report?!  It has. Last update was 1/20/14. That is so sad. :P  Even sadder, I have nearly no actual pictures taken by myself to add to this particular chapter of the report.  I’m padding it with a few I’ve found elsewhere, as noted…

Well, to recap, we are on day 4 of our trip – 3rd day in a WDW park – and this is our Magic Kingdom day.  We started the morning by being late for breakfast at Crystal Palace and then we took our time heading on to Frontierland so that we could go on Splash Mountain.  Which was wet but wonderful!

On the way out, we checked out our ride photo (we looked like goons, haha), and then poked about the rest of the gift shop. I found a disposable camera – I wasn’t sure if they still made those! – and decided that given my lack of camera options that day, I’d be better off spending the money on the camera and on the fees to have it developed than I would be with having it all going onto PhotoPass and then our having to pay to keep permanent versions of the pics.  What I didn’t anticipate was that I would have a hard time getting the film developed!  It’s now APRIL, and I don’t actually have any idea where to take the dang thing. :(  Target used to do it and now they don’t.  Don’t worry, I WILL get it developed and when I do I’ll scan whatever looks good and show it off (probably only about half of it will work out but oh well)… I just don’t know when that will be. :P

Anyway! An interesting side note is that the CM who rang me up was nonverbal.  I don’t know if she had just lost her voice or if she was unable to speak. I didn’t get the impression that her hearing was impaired, but maybe she’s just a very, very adept lip-reader. But in any case she not only didn’t speak to me, when I asked what the price was on the camera she scanned it to find out and then wrote the total down and showed me.  But her customer service was topnotch.  Does anyone by chance know who this was?  She really might have just had laryngitis that day in which case my question is meaningless. :)

Once we were done, we headed out; I had planned to go to Fantasyland next and hop on Winnie the Pooh and small world before using our FPs for Princess Fairytale Hall (the window for that was 11-12, and it was not quite 10 now). But we were sidetracked, because when we came out of the Splash area, we saw Woody and Jessie doing a meet and greet!!!

This pic is by Kenny the Pirate, and can be found here: http://kennythepirate.com/2014/02/14/disney-princes-appear-with-their-princesses-for-valentines-day-at-the-magic-kingdom-in-walt-disney-world/ I used without permission and will remove if he requests. Please check out his great blog post with the original pic!

This pic is by Kenny the Pirate, and can be found here: http://kennythepirate.com/2014/02/14/disney-princes-appear-with-their-princesses-for-valentines-day-at-the-magic-kingdom-in-walt-disney-world/ I used without permission and will remove if he requests. Please check out his great blog post with the original pic!

This was a big thing – we met Woody at Hollywood Studios on our last trip, but we had never met Jessie. And I LOVE Jessie. We had passed them 2-3 times on the last trip, basically every time we went between Adventureland and Frontierland, but each time we were in a hurry and I’d say “Oh the line’s too long” and she’d say “Oh-kaaaay”.  Well this time the line was not too long, and since we hadn’t done a whole lot of character meets on this trip, the time was RIGHT!

The line wasn’t too fast-moving, but it wasn’t too slow either… about what you’d expect for a M&G I guess. Most of the kids would go sit off to the side and the mothers would stand in line. I did notice that nearly all the parents were women. XD  The wait wasn’t boring, though, b/c Woody and Jessie were REALLY hilarious.  I love the way that the two of them are kind of basically brother/sister in the movies, even though they meet for the first time in TS2; that completely held up here, and they kept giving each other a hard time.  Particularly Woody to Jessie.

You know how Woody is a prankster?  Like in the outtakes from the TS movies, he’s always pulling jokes on Buzz.  Well, he’s like that in person too. XD He told Jessie that her armpits smelled, stuff like that. And the best part was when I gave him the pen for D’s autograph book; it’s the kind of pen where you twist the top to get the point to go in and out. Well when I gave it to him the point was OUT.  He signed D’s book, then carefully twisted the top so that the point went in, making sure that Jessie was watching him do this, then he handed it to her with a flourish. Jerk. XD

I wish I had any pictures of this M&G. :(  I got some but all on the disposable camera, plus several from PhotoPass that I did not buy. Siiiiigh.

OH! And I actually heard a couple of people say “Andy’s coming!” while in the line. This is STILL going around, or at least it was in October! Once again, if you got here by searching something like “what happens when you say Andy’s coming”, friends, it DOESN’T DO ANYTHING.  I was right there; they ignored it. As well they should, too!

And TemporaryTourist.com shot holes in this myth, go see: http://temporarytourist.com/myths-of-walt-disney-world-were-testing/

And TemporaryTourist.com shot holes in this myth, go see: http://temporarytourist.com/myths-of-walt-disney-world-were-testing/

So once we finally stepped back out of the Splash Mountain area… there we were next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. With a wait time of 10 minutes.  Now I know I *said* Fantasyland… small world, Pooh… but instead D and I looked at each other and just nodded.  When was the wait time going to be this low again on Big Thunder?

The line was really pretty long but it moved fast. I took some pictures of the decor as we went – I don’t know why, just wanted to remember it I guess. The ride was a blast! D loves fast rides and well, so do I… but it always goes by TOO fast and I never see all the stuff that the ride is loaded with!  I try to watch for Hidden Mickeys and goats and men in bathtubs and all I ever end up seeing are dinosaur bones. So sad. XD

Rib bones to your right.  Pic is from www.themeparkreview.com, used without their permission and I will remove it if they request! Meanwhile please visit their excellent site. :)

Rib bones to your right. Pic is from http://www.themeparkreview.com, used without their permission and I will remove it if they request! Meanwhile please visit their excellent site. :)

Now we finally were ready to exit Frontierland and head over to Fantasyland.  We got to mosey – that’s what you do in Frontierland, you totally mosey – and make it to our FP+ to meet the Princesses.

EXCEPT!  On our way we got sidetracked AGAIN because I finally saw Chip and Dale!  It’s been a while so you may not recall that I had been looking for them out the corner of my eye throughout both of our previous days, but no such luck. I missed them at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Well I was NOT going to miss them at Magic Kingdom!

There wasn’t much of a line but BOY it was getting hot.  We were still in Frontierland so they were in cowboy gear and we got hugs, photos, and then I tried to take a photo with a sign I had made for a friend who LOVES Chip and Dale more than anything!!  They took the photo but you can’t read the sign. :( They also SIGNED the sign and… I can’t find it at home right now D:  It said “We miss you, Carrie!”

You'll just have to trust me that it really does say that.

You’ll just have to trust me that it really does say that.

Well, after this we finally FINALLY moseyed, in a hurry, to Fantasyland.

 

 

 

Enchanted Tiki Ooze (I mean, Tiki TALK. Really.)

Hey Howdy Hey!  Back again with some more notes and thoughts about the Enchanted Tiki Talk podcast!  Listen along with me at their site or on iTunes. And if you do listen on iTunes be sure to rate and review!

Once more, we’re going back into the archives here as I catch up some… flashback time! (cue the harp music…)

 

Episode 10: Sharing the Holidays 
It’s Christmas Time up in here! Why didn’t the Tiki Room ever have a Christmas overlay? I’m just asking. As I’m sure everyone else is.

I think there’s clearly a market for Tiki Ooze.

Many people would intend to spend Christmas Day avoiding the crowds by staying at the resort. That’s probably what I would do. :)  I think I would like the cupcake idea, but I may be alone in that I don’t care for gingerbread. And a gingerbread cupcake makes me go “nope”. LOL! But I would kind of like gingerbread flavoured frosting, as little sense as that may make.

Cotton-headed ninnymuggins? :D

There is so much to do at Fort Wilderness and I’ve done but a fraction of it! I think I would love to be at Ft Wilderness for Christmas.  I wouldn’t even go to the parks. I would just stay there and hang out.

You guys got an AMAZING number of responses to this question!

DVC members get SUPER Christmas at Disney World. (lol.)  Santa comes to their rooms! XD

I do actually love that idea of having a full kitchen and actually cooking Christmas dinner there. That’s a lovely idea that will never happen for me, but I like the sound of it!

Y’all are too cute. We get to end with a bedtime story.

…This story is getting surprisingly conflicted! Haha!

 

Episode 11: Sorry Folks, Ride’s Closed
Ride closures… That is a LONG closure for Splash Mountain. I’m usually very understanding of closures but that’s so recent after the last long closure. But then again it’s not as if it has stopped breaking down. :P

I kind of agree that it’s sort of confusing as to how/why the monorail is down.  I mean… it seems really strange to shut down the most famous mode of transportation during the bulk of the day.  I know they HAVE to shut it down to work on it, I get that, it just seems a weird way to do it… middle of the day… I’m sure mid-day is better than morning and evening for sheer volume, just, wow. LOL.

I don’t feel like Barnstormer would set me back on my trip, lol. Though if I were planning on using it to introduce my trip partners to roller coasters (which I did with my daughter on her first trip), I might be disappointed.

I never did see Remy in person. I’d say “I missed him!” but honestly… it’s not that likely I’d have ever seen him even if he’d stayed forever and ever. :)  I like the story of him coming home to stay until he finds out there are cats. Then NO.

Pirates is one I would TOTALLY be upset about missing.  I have a hard time being at WDW and not going on Pirates. My daughter didn’t like it much last time either, I mean, she liked it once we were past the mermaid skeleton. That seems to have really troubled her though, even though she also thinks it was kind of cool to see what a mermaid skeleton would look like. LOL.  Always thinkin’, them kids. ;D

Fundamentally I agree with you though, in spite of disappointment over Pirates (which is funny for me to say since I’m not going when it’s closed)… there’s really nothing that NEEDS to be open for you to have a good time at WDW.  If you define your trip by one single experience you need to have, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The key is to take every moment and see the magic in it (there is lots)!

“Sorry folks, park’s closed! The moose out front shoulda toldja.”

I love that this is a meme now. I see it everywhere and it’s my new favourite thing. XD

 

Episode 12: We’re Going to Walt Disney World! (I wish.)
We’re up to the soft open of Spice Road Table!  I am dreaming of going here. (I probably won’t make it for at least five years. :P) But oohhh maaaan this food is RIGHT up my alley!

So, I’m one of the people who says that Avatar doesn’t belong in DAK! :) And it’s just… I am sure it’s going to be great. I really am. But I would love to see them do something great without tying into a movie property.  On the plus side, it does seem like the Avatar thing has really… inspired them, so that’s cool!  What I’ll need to judge it by is whether I can go there and enjoy myself without having seen the movie. (Which I don’t plan on doing, really. I’m not a fan of James Cameron.) But if I can do it without feeling like I’m having the movie advertised to me, I will be fine with it, I guess.

I love the off-season, in the winter. I have only been once in January/February but it was terrific! A little on the chilly side at night but totally bearable, especially compared to this year. :P What can I say though, I’m really addicted to Disney in the Fall. The best!

I’m with you Keith, all this DVC talk… I just zone right out ;)

Oh, sure, make it sound like they randomly upgrade everyone all the time to deluxe resorts. That has sure never happened to me!  Maybe next trip.

Sean: “Yeah, sometimes people get free stuff, like bed bugs?”
Lovely! :D

DANG it, Sean. Do you know how much time I spend convincing myself that I don’t want to join DVC because I can’t afford it? And you’re DESTROYING my self-delusion in this episode. DESTROYING.

I’m not a major fiend for getting the ADRs done on the 180-mark… but we rarely go for the popular sit-downs. Next time we go I am going to be trying hard for Be Our Guest so that WILL have me up at 5am trying for that…

I love that Sean keeps liquor in the Owner’s Locker. For some reason this just strikes me as hilarious. I mean it makes sense! But it makes me laugh, too. XD

I think I might be the only person on earth who doesn’t like ponchos and would rather just go ahead and get wet at WDW.  The one time I wore a poncho I did not stay that dry, I was hot, and I had nothing to do with it once it had stopped raining. So I’ve never used them since, haha.
Episode 13: Disney Legend Rolly Crump
Woooo, Rolly Crump!  I have to tell you in advance how dang impressed I am!

Rolly Crump’s statement that he was told he had the worst portfolio of anyone who was ever hired at Disney. Oh gosh. XD

He threw away his original Superman and Batman comic books! Doh.

The more Haunted Mansion stories that can be told, the better. So cool. Amazing. :) I have not read the book by Mr. Crump so that story is entirely new to me. Fabulous!

I feel like a slacker because I don’t have a WHOLE lot to talk about, but you know, this is just really interesting and I can’t talk about it too much without giving things away and having people not listen.  But he talks about things I’d sort of heard about, like Tiki Room being conceptualized as a restaurant and how it ended up not being one, and it’s just fascinating!

Maui Tiki story?

“I didn’t think Walt would look at every sketch. And he did.” This is one of my favourite quotes because it says so much about Walt Disney. Of course he’d look at every single sketch and want to know about them.

The episode’s “post credit” clip cracked me up. XD

 

Episode 14: Travelling with Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown, y’all. These guys are getting famous! Now I feel really famous too for having been on the show with the likes of Rolly Crump and Samantha Brown as guests. :D

Samantha is a great storyteller; her Airplane Story is wonderful!

And what a great observation about Disney, “protecting” the guests who are there to have fun and not just the film crew for the Travel Channel. Everyone is a VIP.

“When I go down there, I go to work” and she works 14 or 15-hour days. Sheesh! I can’t imagine “working” at Disney. I think I’d love it just the same. Just to be there! But the funny thing is I have dreams all the time that I’m at Disney and I can’t do a doggone thing. :P

Perfect question: “Everyone thinks you have the perfect job, but with your work schedule you don’t normally get to enjoy the amenities.” So basically what I say above: is it still awesome to be filming at Disney when you are working?  From the sound of it, kinda, a little bit.

Samantha Brown travels with: peanut butter, earbuds, and Pinkie Balls. I want to try the Pinkie Balls.

Samantha’s favourite resort is my favourite resort! #JUSTIFIED

“I always say that what’s great about hotels is that you can ‘date’ them. You don’t have to make a commitment.” :D

OMG the story about the pandas. Nobody would think about this happening. This story is awesome!

Galaga? Who doesn’t love Galaga? “I’m as rich as Bill Gates when it comes to Galaga!”

The turkey leg counts as a healthy snack? *cracks up*

Hooray for Samantha Brown! Great interview!

 

Episode 15: FastPass, Just Pass, or Standby

Welcome Scott Campbell!  He is indeed a superfan of Enchanted Tiki Talk; and a great choice for guest. :D

Guys! You snuck in a Mickey Mutineers-style quip about level of pleasure on the ride. LOL!

I’ve Just Passed Dinosaur multiple times now. I’d FP Safari though. I’ve done single rider on Everest and that worked well. Mwahahaha.  I do want to go on Dinosaur, for the record, but like Alan I just prefer the other two.

My answers for HS would depend on who I am traveling with. If I’m by myself, I can probably just skip TSM… buuuut I’m generally not alone so I’d actually have to decide between ToT and RnR. And that’s not easy.

Epcot: Pass The Seas. Paaaassss. LOL. I love the reaction to this though. “Can we skip all three?” “Nope.” “Can we fire the host?” XD

Seriously? You’d take The Seas with Nemo over Imagination?? Naw!  You guys are insane. Nope. It’s not that Imagination is great, it’s just that I haaaaaate the Seas with Nemo.

This is a LENGTHY rant of hatred against Captain EO from Alan. LOL!!

At the Magic Kingdom I match Keith. I think a FP is more needed at Dumbo than at Aladdin.

How do you FP or Standby a resort? “FastPass it means you REALLY want to stay overnight. Standby means you take your time getting there.” LOL I’m not sure how that works. Then again neither is Sean, obviously… ;D

The merits of Dole Whips, Citrus Swirls and Dole Whip Floats are generally discussed. Well, no, not discussed. Nor debated. More like “intricately explained without room for debate” by Alan. This is really Alan’s episode to tell us what it is.

 

Episode 16: The Return of Rolly Crump. (That’s not the actual name of the ep. I just picked that out because that’s how I roll.)
Jump right into the good stuff with a great question: what pranks has Rolly Crump played on/had played on with other Imagineers? :D

The original concept for an Alice In Wonderland dark ride. Neat!

Smoked herring on lights :P This makes sense if you listen.

Rolly Crump took liberties with a cave woman. IT’S TRUE.

I want everyone to listen to this so I’m kind of just tantalizing with topics here. ;) But the Tiki Talkers have some great questions. REALLY great questions.

Fantastic thoughts on post-Walt’s death. “They didn’t put a creative person in charge” re the parks, etc.

“Don’t they say that nothing’s dead in Imagineering or WED?”
“Ohhhh, they’re wroooong.”
LOL!

His comments about WED and what it’s like today are very, very interesting and very telling.  I wonder how many people would view him as unnecessarily being a downer, when he probably knows what he’s talking about.

AH, they got Rolly Crump to answer the 5 Questions!  Too cool! LOL!  I think he likes Dole Whips.

I will need to read his book.  Very cool stuff. :)

 

And that’s it for today… keep coming back and keep tuning into the podcast!

Annie and Danny takin’ over your blog

Or not. I’m just trying to suggest that they are up in your internet right now. :)  In other words, notes on the past month or so of episodes, plus a couple of older ones!  Listen and enjoy, especially to Episode 27, which for reasons unknown is just FABULOUS. *lalala…*  Oh, and the notes for the episode started getting long recently. I don’t know why, I’m serious, but I’m kind of trying to dial it back…

 

Episode 26:
Annie the Robot. Well okay! :D

OOooh!  Disney cookin’, Dan style!  For the record I have made Boatwright style Sweet Potato Pancakes. They were good but I didn’t do anything special with them so none of my customers paid for them. My customers were my husband and children so I let it slide.

Ticket price increase. From what I have heard on Internet, “to the ire of everyone” is not exactly true. You’ll hear from many people defending Disney’s right to raise their prices by $10 over 2 years if they feel like doin’ it. ;)  For me it’s… complicated and like with anything complicated I tend not to express an opinion.  Other than the way I put it there, lol.

To relate it to this show though, I love that you guys argue about almost every subject you tackle. Dan and I had a conversation about how in my last post I made it sound like they’re both jerks (okay that’s not what he said *lol*) when I said they are cranky about popular things, but what I really meant about it is that they both hold strong opinions but even when they do the other one usually holds the other opinion. So Annie and Dan get into these awesome debates and usually cover everything I feel PLUS the other perspective.  These discussions are great, seriously. I actually find them enlightening.

This is the worst elevator story I’ve ever heard! And I have had times when, not fooling, I’ve been sure that right before my elevator doors closed I would be attacked by the killer in the “Scream” movies. (this has been a fear since 1998, I’m dating myself.)

Big Thunder Oz? D:  I agree about the freaking mutiny Annie refers to. There is not a shortage of people ready and willing to go on that ride!

Universal is “New Money” and Disney is the old-fashioned lady saying “I can’t believe she’s drinking in diamonds at lunch time!” –I didn’t come up with that, that was Annie. But I paraphrased a tiny bit hence the partial quotes.

Is this the first time Dan has dropped the F-bomb? LOL probably not, but… it stood out for me ;)

Veiled classism! No actually Robot Annie is making for deep discussion! ;D No but seriously… this person came to hate Disney World so much after working there that they have to sign up onto forums just to tell everyone how awful it really is and they don’t realize it?  “I’ve seen the REAL Disney World and it’s not what you think it is!”

Robot Annie is not a science-tist.

I will say I hate leaving the parks at night and having to take the bus back. That specifically is the main reason I prefer to have my car. I’ll take the bus to get there in the mornings, return to the hotel for a break, and then drive back in the aftern oon/evening so I can drive back at close/whenever we leave.  I have had the experience the person was complaining about, and it’s hard.

Having said that, I wouldn’t write an entire “I would not stay here again!” post based just around that experience. LOL.

I LOVE Flame Tree Barbeque! Annie you have to go there it’s so good! Ahhhh. :D  Funny thing is that I apparently have similar taste in restaurants to Dan.  Huh.  Not that I dislike the ones Annie is picking but I haven’t been to most of them. Or any, actually.

Though really I haven’t been to ABC Commissary either.  I’ve been to Backlot Express and I kind of think they’re the same? (They’re not)  But I think they’re similar and I love Backlot Express.

OHHHHH I haven’t been to Yorkshire County Fish Shop. Broke the similarity streak there, Dan. :(  You should’ve picked something else.

But we got it back on the Boma/Jiko part. Score. :)

No, Be Our Guest is Counter Service for lunch and Table Service for dinner.  So it’s BOTH!

!!!  ANNIE! My worst dining experience was at Tony’s too! It was actually quite nice IN the restaurant but my food was weirdly sweet.  I don’t know but it was yicky to me.

This episode was like The Distant Future, The Year 2000.

 

Episode 8:
This episode is starting out with some real ol’ country rhythm.

Dan: We’re recording this a little bit in the past…
Annie: We’re recording this in September, that should give you an idea, because you’re going to be like “D*** it’s August!”
–And she immediately starts laughing b/c as she said it she realized what she was saying. XD

By the way, “D***, it’s February!”  I think that EVERY episode. ;) [It's now March so... there's that.]

Sometimes… I get this strange impression that Annie, maybe, just maybe, gives Dan a hard time for no reason but to give him a hard time.  I don’t know. Maybe I’m imagining it. (Sarcasm is hard to pick up on in a blog so… it’s thick in this statement.)

All this time listening to the show and I’m finally finding out about Dan’s wife Kasmira. Frequently mentioned but rarely in personal detail!

OMG! This episode was before Frozen came out! Annie doesn’t understand why everyone apparently hates it in advance. LOL.

Why does everyone discuss the sexual orientation of the Winnie the Pooh characters?  I won’t ask why everyone thinks Rabbit is gay, because well, EVERYONE thinks Rabbit is gay. *shrug* :)

HAHA, Annie’s story about responding to forwards with Snopes.com articles… I do that too and every time I do people seem vaguely offended as if I’m calling them stupid. XD

Annie: “If you are listening to this and you don’t know Would You Rather, then we need to become best friends immediately so I can teach you about everything that’s fun in life.”
That’s actually the kindest thing I’ve ever heard. I usually say “then we aren’t friends” or something like that. LOL, because I’m callous that way.

I LOVE Tom Bergeron! :D

You know, I can’t say “never ever again” to anything. So I pick the limit of SSE to once per trip. Because on my last two trips I’ve only managed to ride it once anyway. :P  I’ve only had 2 Dole Whips in my entire life but I like having the option.

I’ll take the Deluxe upgrade on my suite thanks.

OMG the third question is HARD. I have NO idea what I would answer.

Dan, you are so lucky you have never seen any ads or anything of those stupid Buddies movies.  Ugh. No. You’re wrong about it, Dan. You’re just WRONG.

Dan: “Secret time, I don’t like kids very much…”
This is the worst-kept secret on earth, Dan. ;)  This is even worse-kept than when they used to call the DVC the best-kept secret. XD

And this inspires a great performance from Annie.

 

Episode 9:
“This is Episode 9, can you believe it?”
“No!”
“She can’t.”

Life before Twitter… It’s like the Time of Legends!

I have the same reactions to a lot of things as Annie does with Cinderella – yeah, I know I saw this as a kid, but then when I watch it I’m like “OH GEEZ this is burned into my memory now!”

Incidentally the term “burned into my memory” is appropriate with this one; it was never a favourite, but my sister watched it perhaps once a day every day one summer, so I had it kind of memorized. And I don’t like it.  I don’t know if it’s because I saw it so many times (even peripherally) at age 10, or if I just think it’s bad, but I’ve shown it to my kids perhaps twice and I just go leave the room. Bleah.  Regardless, I KNOW I will remember it well enough to enjoy your discussion. :)

The trailers on Cinderella DVD… Chicken Little, Cinderella 3, Disney Princesses: A Christmas of Enchantment. This is just scraping the bottom of the barrel. :P

You guys actually make me want to watch it again to look at the animation.  I haven’t paid too much attention to it since I’m not (notnotNOT) into the mice at all, but the Mary Blair parts make me interested.  My memory in the parts that I saw last time were that the animation was just meh.  Like it looks like the direct to video stuff in terms of quality.

Frog & Toad? The Fabulous Mr. Frog? LOL.

YES! It is like Tom & Jerry shorts in the start of the movie, BAH.  All the reasons I dislike this movie are flashing through my mind. XD

And also, I LOVE Alice in Wonderland. Just in case anyone thinks that, like, I hate fun or something.

This clock segment! Dear God XD

“I don’t think her life was that bad.”  Heehee. I’m kind of loving the turn this is taking. XD  I never bought Cinderella’s “so kind and loving that she’ll take everyone’s s***” attitude. Something else is up there.

I’m going to go to the Country Bear Jamboree someday! I never have. Ever. But I’m totally going to go!  I’ve tried to go the past two trips. LOLOL.

This Cinderella talking to the mice thing is one of the things that has always REALLY bugged me. Well ever since I was like 18 or so. ;)

Oh SWEET! More intermission music! The sad part is I legitimately bop around at my desk while this is going on.

And now I got to the part where the episode title comes from. Douchey nudist chickens. :D  The hierarchy of the animals makes no sense. Too much of this movie has no thought in it and makes no sense! There is NO LOGIC!  Aaargh, HATE MOVIE!

No no, you guys, the cat’s name is “Lucy Fur”. I’m totally lying. But you could make that claim!  Maybe Lucifer is just what Cinderella calls him because she hates him so much.

I do love Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo. I actually totally do. XD

Dan: “You’ve become very antagonistic.”

That dress is not blue. It’s the colour of moonlight thank you.

Your final decision on this movie is much, much kinder than mine would be. There are a handful of good musical moments but I don’t share your liking of Cinderella – I’ll take Snow White over Cindy any day just because Cindy has no real personality. I’m sorry but as much as Snow might be an out of it baby-woman, at least she’s got a personality.
Episode 27:
The episode begins with Annie and Dan introducing themselves in NEARLY the same voice! Hmmm. You know – when I was on Skype with them, I could only see Annie. Dan’s video was not showing up for some reason. I am now convinced that Dan is not a real person, just a creation of Annie’s.

And then I brag about my legions of followers who do whatever I say. LOL. That’s so not true. XD

And begin the R. Kelly jokes! Whoop! Never gets old. ;)

I’m going to confess that I was very nervous about having the buzzer. Then I let Annie peer pressure me into using it constantly. Although it does seem that until you buzz Dan, he just keeps going, so I’m not sure WHO was right here.

Dan: “I have an inappropriate thing I want to say. I want it to be clear that I was the first person to ask you to be on a podcast.”

Sadly, not true. :) But he wants it to be, so I think he gets major points for that.

Annie points out my favourite thing to do with these recaps, which is to take some of the funniest things they say and quote them without any context at all! It’s AWESOME. “Teachers are pedophiles all the time!”

And Dan is just sitting there patiently waiting for us to stop talking about bows. XD  But he’s not allowed to buzz!

And now somehow we end up on pee stories. See how can you not love a podcast that will spend a good 5 minutes talking about various kinds of pee stories? :D  By the way my husband had a ton of follow-up questions on Dan’s story.

I’m not sure what I was buzzing.  I mean we weren’t talking about news anymore, just pee, so…

So then I got to firsthand experience how sometimes Annie will just challenge Dan on the news he’s reading as if he invented it and is like “But that’s STUPID! Why are you so stupid?!” in all but the words she uses. And sometimes in the words too. Oh, I love you guys, you’re very amusing. XD

Oh, and by the way, I have no concept of how much Legos actually cost. My “like $100″ price tag is completely realistic and reasonable, thinking back.

Annie wouldn’t want Suri Cruise to be the prototypical rich kid to get her Spaceship Earth Lego set, once developed, because “She’d kick it over!”

I can’t believe how annoyed Dan got over the Tron comparison with Test Track and the announced Shanghai Disney (? was it that or Hong Kong) Tron Roller Coaster. “They’re not comparable. Not comparable!” The mean part of it is that I really did get what he was talking about, but I think Test Track is very Tron-inspired, so I just stuck with that argument. I’m not sure if it counts as trolling if it was done without malice… ;)

Oh here we are. “So R. Kelly, tell us about yourself…” and this is where I get embarrassingly bad here and say “Make something up.” I, augh, I cannot believe I did that. XD  Please don’t judge me!

On this podcast I learned that airplanes are just basically like big flying toilets. I mean between the pee stories and now the next discussion that has come up… This was supposed to be a discussion about travel agent stuff and here – I just… Well!

And here comes the Dining Plan discussion. This is probably what you most want to tune in for, guys. Here’s me trying not to encourage either Annie or Dan into arguing, which didn’t work. XD

Annie: “The Dining Plan is worth it if it’s free…”
Dan: “You know what else is worth if it’s free? A lollipop.”

Comparison = apt?  You decide, listeners!

Puttin’ me on the spot with questions about what kinds of surprises I’d do for Disney “Experts”, stuff like that… This poor guest sounds so nervous ;)

Oh, how I loved the best resort for a girls’ (adults) trip question.

Annie and Dan are so nice though. Everything I say they’re really nice about. They’re clearly taking pity on me. XD

“If you had to live in a ride like a bum, what ride would it be?”  My husband was in the room for this question, and he was like “Well, where else would you live? For all those reasons!”

Anyway… Sigh. :) I can probably be funnier/more interesting on my next appearance. It was awesome. A++ would guest again! Especially for singing, although that would probably go best if I got some liquor in me first. :D

 

Episode 28:
Nice opening music!

So ANNIE is Adele Dazeem. I thought it was me!  And I agree… that was just… SO BIZARRE. Hilarious and bizarre.

I was not watching the Oscars, I got my info JUST from Twitter, which was kind of hilarious.

Good point about the Croods – THE CROODS – being nominated over Monsters U. I think it’s politics. Like “Well Pixar just won last year and we’ll look like we’re just nominating it because it’s Pixar. We need another movie!”  Pffff. Monsters U was good.

ERNEST SCARED STUPID. :D

St. Patrick’s Festival is ALREADY ON! Dude! It’s been on for 5 days already!!

I agree with Dan, this description sounds like ChumbaWumba. Dropkick Murphy? I haven’t heard of them. Apparently they sing about kicking things, according to Annie. XD

The rule about the 7 days’ worth of reservations in a 60-day window actually isn’t so bad, because it’s a rolling 60-day period rather than a set period. So you can do 7 days of reservations on Monday, then when you’ve used the first day you can go right in and make more if you want.

Why did Annie make me buzz Dan so much last show?  She hasn’t buzzed him at all this time. I feel like I was tricked into buzzing the poor guy. XD

OOOH! TWENTY QUESTIONS!  Attractions, questions, or resorts. I CAN DO THIS. I sucked at Birnbaum Blitz but that was Mickey Mutineers!

Dan: “See if you can beat us to the knowing.”
Annie: “I bet you can beat Dan.”
Dan: “How dare you.”

I love it when he says that! :D

Annie: “Next week we’re going to play Monopoly.”
Dan: “But we’re not gonna narrate or anything, we’re just gonna play. Quietly. Just the sounds of the dice and the paper money…”
Annie: “And then the sound of me swiping the whole board off the table in a rage… and then the quiet sounds of Dan’s last breath.”

That escalated quickly! :D

I should also mention there is this elevator music in the background and just… lol XD

Are there parades at Epcot?! :P  Oh – I thought this was at Epcot. Never miiiind…  Annie’s AGONIZING over what she doesn’t like, hahaha.  Geez Annie! You gave up early! LOL!

GO DAN! He got it! :D  The tension was incredible!

IS IT FORT WILDERNESS? IT IS ISN’T IT?  Oh.  I’m going to go with Annie’s reaction here. XD  “Does the name offend you?” Haha.

Annie gets bored, Annie starts singing her answers.

You guys really mess with me. Did Dan not ask “is it in Hollywood Studios?” Did Annie not say yes? But it wasn’t, it was in Animal Kingdom! So lost over here…

WAIT! I call foul! You can’t ask a question that is not yes or no! Dan you cheater!

Dan: “When did Dumbo come out? Like 1939?”
Annie: “Yeah, what were you, like, 25 when it came out?”
Dan: “Well, more like maybe 30?”

Timeless ride: Yeah it’ll totally be Haunted Mansion, or Pirates, for me.
Least timeless: would that be timeful? Anyway… I think American Idol Experience. That’s my thinkin’. Honestly though anything that ties into something current.  I keep praying that in another 5-10 years nobody will be into American Idol anymore. It’s not going to work that way for me. Sigh.

I can’t believe how well the I Dream of Jeannie music fits at the end here. Wow.

That’s it for this time but there are another two recent episodes I’m just not posting my write-ups on yet… I’ll try to have more earlier episodes too :)

March 2014 Giveaway: from Sew Cute by Cheeky!

Hellooooo everyone, happy Spring!

This month my giveaway is coming a little bit late in the month, but there’s still more than a week of  March left so we’re still good!  I’m really pleased to offer the prize I’ve got this time around, too!  My friend Carrie is a handy crafty sewing type and she has a lot of great ideas, so she has begun a little sewing-type craft shop to earn some extra money to get to Disney. :)  (Don’t we all want to do this…)  Carrie’s niche is decorated, Disney-themed towels and other items!  And for this month I have a FREE set of her items to give away: a tea towel and matching potholder, both Star Wars themed! (I have a second set too, and it’s even cooler, but I’m doing this one first!)

Enter the March Giveaway here!

STAR WAAAARS! (guest-starring my kids' arms to show these babies off!)

STAR WAAAARS! (guest-starring my kids’ arms to show these babies off!)

That’s right – because Star Wars Weekends is approaching at Hollywood Studios, because May the 4th is Star Wars Day (yes, I know it’s March, I’m building excitement early), because Episode VII is in development, because… Star Wars is cool!  For all these reasons and MORE, from 12am EST on 3/24 (as in, pretty much now) until 12am EST on 3/31 (ie next Sunday night basically), you can enter to win these items for free courtesy of Carrie and myself!  The cost of the above items together, including shipping, is normally $15 – win them and they are totally free! :D  Please also check out Carrie’s inventory for sale at her Facebook Group, Sew Cute by Cheeky. This group is closed but you can be added easily.

Here are some samples of Carrie’s other items – with many more on display at her group:

Halloween style!

Halloween style!

More Halloween - Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas! (This is just TOO perfect!)

More Halloween – Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas! (This is just TOO perfect!)

Utterly adorable Lilo & Stitch!

Utterly adorable Lilo & Stitch!

Sorry folks, the Princess & the Frog ones are for ME. ...Oh okay, you can request them too. I won't mind. :)

Sorry folks, the Princess & the Frog ones are for ME. …Oh okay, you can request them too. I won’t mind. :)

This is an evil pillowcase! And I want it! :) Pillowcases are $18 including shipping!

This is an evil pillowcase! And I want it! :) Pillowcases are $18 including shipping!

Counteract the evil pillowcase with fairydust. :) $18 including shipping!

Counteract the evil pillowcase with fairydust. :) $18 including shipping!

Muppet Shorts: Wilkins Coffee

Well before there was a Muppet Show or even a particularly well-defined cast of characters (other than “Sam & Friends”), the Henson company started getting recognition for 10-second TV spots promoting Wilkins Coffee.  As has been pointed out, when you only have 10 seconds to get your audience’s attention, you have to get creative.  Fortunately that was Jim Henson’s speciality.

The result is a long string of amazing, amusing and just plain weird spots of two Muppets – Wilkins and Wontkins – talking about Wilkins Coffee. By “talking” I basically mean Wilkins would say how great it is, Wontkins would disagree, and somehow Wontkins would then have some great bodily harm come to him, either by Wilkins or just by an act of “God”. :D

I don’t need to explain much more than that; once you watch a few you pretty much know what to expect. Except you don’t, because there are easily 40-50 of these or maybe more, and at least half are original ideas.  I won’t show them all here, but you can find collections on YouTube if you search. Enjoy!

The ol’ cannon gag:

Similar, but a different punchline, and Jim did the voices differently:

You would NEVER see a commercial like this today!

Merry Christmas!:

Someone’s Top 10 collection (I disagree, there are others I’d put in here):

Top 5 or 10: Jim Henson Muppet Characters (2 of 2)

Yesterday I posted my picks for numbers 10 to 6… now here are the Top 5!

5. Swedish Chef

Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue, Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue, Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

What separates the Swedish Chef from the other characters who didn’t make it into the Top 5? Is it the fact that he exuberantly and gracelessly destroys things (including his ingredients) left and right while cooking?  The fact that he speaks something similar to gibberish but with a mock Swedish accent? Is it the mustache?  Actually, in my mind, it’s the fact that he has live human hands.  The rest is just gravy. Also there’s the recurring gag that if he is not being a Chef, he is inevitably running a projector. (“The Muppet Movie”, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, and “MuppetVision 3D” all show this to be the case!)

4. Cantus the Minstrel

This is Cantus's winter wear look. (I'm not kidding, either.) He really rocks the fingerless gloves.

This is Cantus’s winter wear look. (I’m not kidding, either.) He really rocks the fingerless gloves.

What’s this!? A show with Muppets that is NOT the Muppet Show???  But yes! Many Muppets aficionados may remember Fraggle Rock, a Jim Henson Co. production from the 1980s.  Jim was heavily involved behind the scenes, but rarely performed – he was not one of the regulars, but he did have two recurring characters (not in more than a handful of episodes each, as I recall). Of the two, Convincing John and Cantus, I prefer Cantus… he’s sage, laid back, full of “implacable calm”, and also delivers sage, laid back, implacably calm verbal smackdowns whenever the Fraggles require it. :D  In addition, his songs are usually really beautiful.

3. Ernie

What can I say about Ernie? I've always just kind of wanted to hug him.

What can I say about Ernie? I’ve always just kind of wanted to hug him.

The other not-The-Muppet-Show TV series that Jiim was really heavily involved with: Sesame Street.  AS IF I could not have Ernie in the top 3!  I knew Ernie before I knew ANY of Jim’s other Muppets (although I know I was aware enough to hear Kermit and Ernie sounded the same).  I’ve always thought of Ernie as a friend. He was like somebody I just knew liked me. He’s also, I realized as I got older, a merciless prankster and total pest to his friends (or at least, to Bert). But he gets away with it because he’s always so happy!

2. Rowlf

OK this one time I saw one of the original Rowlf puppets on a museum tour and OMG. Life. Made.

OK this one time I saw one of the original Rowlf puppets on a museum tour and OMG. Life. Made.

Rowlf the Dog is my number 1 Muppet. I love his voice, his delivery, his piano-playing, and his fluffy fur.  I also love it when he meets other dogs who can’t talk and he communicates in Dog. “Oh yeah, Woof Woof! Yeah, Bark Bark!”  Rowlf, like many of Jim’s best characters, is kind of laid-back and cool, not prone to stressing out.  Because he’s not among the higher-strung characters, he gets a lot of “reaction” lines to other characters who ARE a bit more… insane… and he plays off of them really well. But for me, Rowlf’s highest moment is still way back in “The Muppet Movie” when he befriends Kermit and Jim Henson sings a duet with himself, “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along”. :D 

“Stay away from women… that’s my motto.”
“But I can’t.”
“Neither can I. That’s my trouble.”

Rowlf is a very “adult” character, which is not to say that he’s profane or inappropriate for kids, only that he follows an adult sensibility. And, well, he does get away with a few risqué lines here and there.  But you don’t notice because you’re just sitting there thinking, “I wish MY dog could play the piano!”

1. Kermit

I really have nothing in particular to say except Hey Look! It's Kermit The Frog!

I really have nothing in particular to say except Hey Look! It’s Kermit The Frog!

Even though Rowlf is my own personal #1, I cannot fake it. The real life truly true number 1 HAS to be Kermit.  I don’t really totally subscribe to the idea that Kermit IS (was?) Jim Henson, but regardless, he came to be the most strongly associated with Jim and there’s clearly an identification there.  Kermit was initially just another odd little puppet created for “Sam and Friends” in 1955 and over the years ended up making at least an introduction or something in nearly all of the Muppet productions up through the mid-80s.  He never appeared in “Fraggle Rock” but he interacted with the Fraggles anyway, in “A Muppet Family Christmas”.  Kermit is the “brand” Muppet, the leader, the top banana, the boss; he holds together chaos and does it with, at least, some semblance of understanding.  And what Kermit really wants is not to be rich and famous – he understands that other people want that and he’s happy to help them, but it’s not his thing. He wants to make millions of people happy, and I can’t believe that Jim Henson would’ve given that as Kermit’s motivation if it were not, at heart, what he really wanted as well.

Thanks, Kermit and Jim, for making me happy. :) 

Top 5… or 10?: Jim Henson Muppet Characters (1 of 2)

On the heels of my biography post about Jim Henson, I thought I’d try to do a Top 5 of his best characters!

…Only all his characters are great so it’s kind of a fail. And I have to make it a Top 10. And then I had a really hard time ranking them. So if you disagree, just remember, I struggled with this! ;)  Here is the first half, numbers 10 to 6.  Top 5 will follow tomorrow!

10. Link Hogthrob

I just noticed that his design makes him part Kirk and part Spock. :D

I just noticed that his design makes him part Kirk and part Spock. :D

 

Link is a wonderful character, because he is attractive and masculine – I like the fact that the majority of the most stylish and attractive characters on The Muppet Show are pigs – and also self-adoring and dumb as a post.  His voice just kills me.  After rising to fame as the Captain of the Swine Trek on “Pigs In Space“, Link showed up regularly backstage and in the background of other sketches; he was also in the 2011 movie, performing a barbershop quartet rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  The other thing that amuses me most about Link is how Miss Piggy seems not to be able to stand him.  I guess it’s the battle of the egos. :D

9. Muppet Newsman

And now, a Muppet News Flash!

And now, a Muppet News Flash!

Semi-ubiquitous, the Muppet Newsman was usually in extremely brief skits where he’d come in with breaking news and fall victim to the news as the punchline. In genuinely ridiculous ways, like “the worst blizzard in 60 years, barometers are falling sharply!” and then a bunch of barometers fall on him. Not a lot to say about a quick recurring gag, but he’s a sharp dresser, and evidently dedicated to his job. :D

8. Mahna Mahna

What a fluffy guy!

What a fluffy guy!

So here’s a secret: as a kid, Muppets with eyes like his (or like Floyd Pepper’s) freaked me way out.  I later decided that Floyd’s eyes must have been dark glasses (which may have been wrong, but it helped me get over my fear of the character as a kid), but I still don’t know what Mahna’s are. I mean he blinks, so… not glasses?  ANYWAY! The slightly growly voice is a standard of Jim Henson’s (there’s not a huge difference between Mahna and Rowlf, for instance), but the design sets this guy apart.  That and the fact that all he ever really says is scatting. :D  He’s just basically a big furry… music-lovin’… free spirit!  I think he might be kind of a hippie mountain man who loves jazz! Or something. :D  It doesn’t really matter, does it?  He tried to follow the rules, but the love of music and rhythm keep leading him down into improvisation and the melodies filling his head.  What a joy!  Rules, schmules!

7. Dr. Teeth

Golden teeth and golden tones, welcome to my presence.

Golden teeth and golden tones, welcome to my presence.

Teeth is among my favourite characters ever, anywhere (but attempts to remain unbiased put him into the second half of the top 10 instead of closer to #1).  Iconoclastic and lyrical at all times, Dr. Teeth is the perfect front man for Electric Mayhem.  He’s loud, showy, and kind of a guru.  Love, man!  It’s all about love! And peace! And probably some stuff that the kids shouldn’t know about. :D  He’s a born leader and has a pretty amazing sense of fashion. I can’t say “style” but I can say “fashion”! So what are those on the top half of his eyes: eyelids, or lenses?  It’s a pretty amazing design touch: even though his eyes don’t close per se, he always has a sort of relaxed look to him when the ‘lids’ are down. And they can be raised to give him a change of expression. I always loved the Muppets who had moveable eyelids, but Teeth’s are an extra step of cool.  Even cooler: his general look is based on Dr. John, the blues musician from New Orleans.

6. Waldorf

Waldorf is the shorter one. With the mustache.

Waldorf is the shorter one. With the mustache.

Waldorf, of course, is one of an inseparable pair so if you just hear the name “Waldorf” you could almost be like “Huh? Who dat?” And then you hear “Statler and Waldorf” and you’re like “THE OLD GUYS IN THE BALCONY!” of course.  Since Waldorf is just half of the “character”, basically, it’s hard to single him out as one of the best; but their role is one almost everyone loves.  These two guys have devoted their entire twilight years to planting themselves wherever the Muppets are performing, and heckling them mercilessly. They get no greater pleasure in life than telling the Muppets how unfunny they are. They especially love tearing Fozzie apart, possibly because Fozzie really is just not funny, and because he takes all of the comments so personally. In addition to having an entire balcony seat dedicated just to them every week on “The Muppet Show”, they have travelled to Hollywood to view (and mock) the screening of The Muppet Movie, entered and won (or lost?) a contest to attend Muppet Vision 3D, and now spend much of their days watching Muppet YouTube videos and mocking those as well. :D  Some trivia: Statler and Waldorf were each named for famous New York hotels (Waldorf-Astoria, and Statler – later renamed Hotel Pennsylvania).

Tune in tomorrow for the top 5!

Biography: Jim Henson

I know, I haven’t been as constant with my Muppet posts as I wanted to be. It’s really tricky to stay daily! But I’ll do what I can. :)

I want to have, in addition to Muppet skits and reviews and such, some biographies of the people who bring the Muppets to life. Naturally this means I’d start with Jim Henson, the brains behind the entire venture!

Love.

Love.

Jim Henson was born in Mississippi in 1936, but his family relocated to Maryland when he was ten; due to this I tend to think of him as a “local boy” and this seems to fuel my unfounded sense that I know or understand him more than others. ;)

I live like 30 minutes from this and have never been to see it. I think I would cry.

I live like 30 minutes from this and have never been to see it. I think I would cry.

Following high school, Jim enrolled at the University of Maryland – where there is still a statue of him and Kermit, to this day! – where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. I’m not joking. :) However, he was working in puppetry and on television throughout his time at UMD, and even before; he and his friend, Russell Wall, began doing some shorts on a local morning show during the summer before he began college, and this eventually led to 5-minute live segments called “Sam and Friends” following the news twice a day on a local NBC affiliate.

“Sam and Friends” ran from 1955 until 1961, and is the reason that many DC natives knew Jim Henson’s name and work – particularly Kermit, who was created for this show, though not considered a frog yet – even before The Muppets grew to great fame. (I’ve heard quite a bit about “Sam and Friends” from my father.) It was also during production of this show that Jim Henson met Jane Nebel, whom he would later marry. They had five children together, and though they separated in 1986, they remained close friends and never divorced.

Jim soon (while still attending college) extended from just “Sam and Friends” to creating puppets and performances for other companies as well, including commercials for Willkins Coffee, and later, La Choy noodles.

Strange things happen to people who don't drink Willkins Coffee.

Strange things happen to people who don’t drink Willkins Coffee.

Just tell 'em the La Choy Dragon sent ya!

Just tell ‘em the La Choy Dragon sent ya!

In the late 50s and early 60s, Jim met Frank Oz and Jerry Juhl and began partnering with them as well; Muppets Inc, the company he had created, spread to include Rowlf the Dog, who appeared on the Jimmy Dean Show and began to give the Henson creations a national presence, leading to appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and elsewhere.

Rowlf on Jimmy Dean:

A string quartet that is not, on the Ed Sullivan Show

A string quartet that is not, on the Ed Sullivan Show

Jim Henson always wanted to be considered an entertainer for all ages and strove not to be categorized as childrens’ entertainment in spite of his use of puppets. With that being the case, his involvement with “Sesame Street” beginning in 1969 was a little dubious at first since it would, guaranteed, tie his name directly to children’s television. However, he ended up (with others in his company) designing the Muppets used on the show, and performing many of them himself, even using Kermit, the character who would eventually be most closely associated with Jim himself.

In the last 1970s, The Muppet Show was contracted as a half-hour comedy variety show. Jim, still interested in providing adult entertainment that was appropriate for children (rather than children’s entertainment), ended up getting away with a lot of wink-wink material that apparently made it past the censors just due to their being puppets and nobody paying close attention. :) The format worked and served not only to introduce numerous characters who remain famous and well-known today, but also to make Jim Henson a household name in television and, eventually, movies and other medium as The Muppets created a springboard opportunity to branch out.

First Appearance of the Swedish Chef, in 1975′s “Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” pilot

Unfortunately, and frustratingly for Jim, few of the projects that he spearheaded that did not have the core Muppets in them were as successful as The Muppet Show and its film counterparts. Efforts at fantasy films, like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, or more fantastic television shows like The Storyteller, were met with less enthuasiasm and generally relegated to cult status.

If you're over 30, you've probably seen this movie, and may have been kind of traumatized by it (like me).

If you’re over 30, you’ve probably seen this movie, and may have been kind of traumatized by it (like me).

Regardless, the strides that the Henson Company has made in puppeteering and special effects in general have been amazing. Jim Henson was known as a creative genius, always pushing the envelope and trying to keep doing new things rather than settle into a rut of sticking to what worked. Jim continued to work with the Muppets, and in 1990 was working on an agreement to have the characters and distribution rights bought by Disney; they made a 3D movie, MuppetVision 3D, which has been running in Hollywood Studios since 1989.

Sadly, the deal was not completed as the agreement grew complicated, and in the midst of negotiations Jim neglected what at first appeared to be a cold that blossomed into what was deemed walking pneumonia. On May 16, 1990, on the point of collapse, he was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead less than 24 hours later. The business was taken over by his adult children – Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John, and Rachel – and by Jane Henson. The deal with Disney wasn’t closed until 2004, and does not include characters created for Sesame Street or other PBS shows. The Muppets have gone on to make numerous other movies and TV specials, and Steve Whitmire took over performing Kermit (which had been arranged in advance: all Muppets typically have an “understudy” which I guess nobody ever thinks will need to be used.)

In the 24 years since Jim Henson’s death, the company has had its ups and downs, but Jim’s influence and presence can still be felt, even as recently as 2011′s “The Muppets”… Jim’s picture and voice are woven subtly throughout the film.

 

Jim Henson & some friends

Jim Henson & some friends

 

Trivia:

- In addition to the Muppets, Jim did multiple short films and animations for Sesame Street, most famously the “Song of [number]” skits. If you grew up in the right era you will remember these as the Baker skits, where every one ended with the Baker singing what he was carrying, then falling down the stairs. :D Jim provided the voice of the Baker, but a different actor did the falling.

- Kermit was, originally, made out of an old coat that belonged to Jim’s mother. Jim chose it because he liked the colour. (Funny part of that being that “Sam & Friends” was initially in black and white.) Kermit was not designated as a frog until shortly before he began regularly appearing on “Sesame Street”.

- Jim and Frank Oz performed Muppets on the first season of Saturday Night Live, in a bit called “Land of Gorch”. The content was not written by the Muppets Inc writers, thus apparently the Muppet performers never really felt quite like they “fit”.

Gilda Radner and a character from Land of Gorch

Gilda Radner and a character from Land of Gorch

King Ploobis from Land of Gorch

King Ploobis from Land of Gorch

- Jim enjoyed making short movies and on occasion made non-Muppet commercials, such as the Bufferin commercial he produced (“Memories”) with a musical score by Raymond Scott (known for the music he produced for old Looney Tunes cartoons).

- Jim performed over 175 Muppets in his career, including 50 on The Muppet Show alone. Many of these are “anything” Muppets used in the background.