Disney Social Media: blogs roundup 2/28/13

Hungry? Eat some blogs! That actually sounds rather rude, I apologize. Just read them, and please enjoy.

More to come tomorrow!

Downtown Disney Hotels Magic Memories Contest

Downtown Disney and Instagram: two great tastes that taste great together! Or, well, I suppose. I’m not on Instagram (yet) but boy is it popular.

Anyway: thank you, Downtown Disney Hotels, for alerting me to this contest via email two days before it ends. How nice of you. How useful!

Wait, shouldn't that guy's finger be blocking out his wife and kid's heads?

Wait, shouldn’t that guy’s finger be blocking out his wife and kid’s heads?

Here is a Facebook post/photo which will give you more specific detail, but to sum up, in the next two days you can upload your favourite vacation photos on Instagram with the hashtag #MagicMemoriesContest, and try to get your photo into the top 20% of the entries! You still have time to pay a LOT of people to vote up your photo so go for it!

What do you get? According to the email I got TODAY (9_9), you win a free 5-day/4-night vacation at WDW Resort with park tickets, Disney Quest tickets, and breakfasts inclusive. That’s it, I’m going out looking for sweepstakes and contests from now on, since obviously Disney doesn’t WANT me to know about them until it’s too late for me to do anything. …Not that I’d have entered this one anyway, but still. I’d have shared it here!

Disney Podcasts Updates, 2/27/13

For your weekly listening pleasure, here are the most recent Disney-themed podcast updates:

I know for a FACT that there are more that I just am not aware of so please, feel free to leave a plug in the comments.ย  Thanks!

Disney Top 5: Live Action Films

Okay, we started our Top 5 feature with an easy one but now we’re going to jump into a less-travelled path. I’m going to count mixed-media films in here, not strictly live-action only, but something like “The Three Caballeros” is out even though I love it because it’s mostly animation with a bit of live action. On the other hand, something like “Mary Poppins” is mainly live action with a bit of animation, and that’s okay.So without further ado, here we go: my top 5 picks!

Isn't this how you were with your sister growing up?

Isn’t this how you were with your sister growing up?

#5: The Parent Trap. I’m referring to the original, starring Hayley Mills, although I have to give some props to the remake with Lindsay Lohan. I watched that while I was working at a video store while in college and I was sort of surprised by how charming it was and it still kills me how cute that poor girl used to be. Wow. But I digress! The original is goofy, and dated, but it’s honestly a fun movie. And I wanted to have some classic films represented on here, not just the more recent fare. I can do without the silly duets with herself, but Hayley’s two different characters are pretty well-played and it’s fun to see them “swap”. Plus of course you want to see them succeed and repair their parents’ marriage. The likelihood of this setup, really, seems pretty farfetched but that’s what movies are for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kirk Douglas, the Singing Tough Guy

Kirk Douglas, the Singing Tough Guy

Honorable mention to: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which would’ve been my other choice for an earlier live action movie if I had more room. The difference is because I like family comedies more than adventure films and although I enjoyed this one, it went a little slow for me. But it has Kirk Douglas singing in it, and the song is great, so see it just for that if you haven’t yet. ๐Ÿ˜€

The poster makes it look all wholesome and non-disturbing.  Don't be fooled.

The poster makes it look all wholesome and non-disturbing. Don’t be fooled.

#4: Return to Oz. I think everyone and their mother thought this was a weird and not great movie but I love it. It’s actually relatively faithful to the two books it’s based on, “The Marvelous World of Oz” and “Ozma of Oz”, although liberties are taken. The effects are marvelous. The downside, and this is a valid complaint, is that it is an intense and freaky movie. Even before the Wheelers, the many heads of Mombi the Witch, and the Gnome King we start out with Dorothy being commited to a Sanitorium for shock therapy! This went over my head as a child but I loved the sort of creepy feel to it regardless. And as I said, many of the creepiest elements are straight out of the books (which is what makes Ozma of Oz one of my daughter’s least favourite Oz books right now). I still recommend it, just know what you’re getting into before you show your kids – some of the Gnome scenes are pretty heavy.

Honourable mention to: Flight of the Navigator, another 80s Disney movie I loved as a kid. We used to watch it over and over and OVER on the Disney Channel. Honestly this is an overlooked gem, IMO. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is more like "TROOOOON!" which would rhyme with "KHAAAAN!" so there you go.

This is more like “TROOOOON!” which would rhyme with “KHAAAAN!” so there you go.

#3: Tron. I didn’t really care for it so much as a kid but somehow now that I’m older… maybe it’s because of my growing love for Jeff Bridges, maybe because I just appreciate the subtler aspects or the nostalgia of it, I’m not sure. But in any case I have a growing love for this movie, the idea behind it, the look and feel of it – everything! Even the music! I can’t in good conscience put Tron Legacy on here even though I honestly loved it. The thing is, it’s not actually a GOOD movie, it’s just a really fun and entertaining one. I had so many moments of “HAHA WHAT” while watching it but loved it all through. Especially ol’ hippie Jeff. ๐Ÿ˜€ But well. “Tron” falls short of its Legacy in a few ways but totally wins over it in many others. It’s exciting and well-acted, and oh David Warner. It transcends its rather goofy start to be really great in spite of a somewhat silly concept, in my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pirates and guns and skulls.  Seems legit.

Pirates and guns and skulls. Seems legit.

#2: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. So first of all, this movie is responsible for igniting my love of Walt Disney World about 8 years ago. Secondly though, it was just SO MUCH BETTER than I thought it would be. Johnny Depp is… he’s unexpected. He’s hilarious and poetic in his role. Orlando Bloom is less than that, the show is definitely all Jack Sparrow’s, but both Bloom and Keira Knightley (who, I must admit, I am not a big fan of most of the time) are really great in spite of all that. And the backup cast! And OH Geoffrey Rush! Everyone. Just everyone! Come on, this is Pirates, I don’t have to explain any of this to you. ๐Ÿ˜€

Honourable Mention to: Enchanted, with Amy Adams. Pirates Vs. Princesses, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Fact is, though, I really enjoyed this movie… but not enough. It felt to me like Disney wasn’t quite sure how to poke a little fun at itself and its conventions without skewering them, so to avoid skewering them they went too far and honoured them a bit too much. There’s a little too much “Aren’t we being funny? Look how we’re making you notice that this is a thing we always do!” but it’s done with SO MUCH LOVE that it kind of… I don’t know, it felt wrong somehow. Don’t get me wrong, the parts of the movie that are NOT being self-referential are actually wonderful. The music is great. Amy Adams is great. The love story is great. EVERYTHING is great except that the whole “We are Disney and you know you love us” attitude hurts me a little. Even though I do love them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I would love to see more Giselle love in and around Disney parks though. ๐Ÿ˜€

Practically Perfect in every way!

Practically Perfect in every way!

#1: Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins. This film seems to me to capture everything that Disney is about. The message is subtle, the music is marvelous, Julie Andrews is shiningly gilded with sweetness and a tiny bit of snark you’ll miss if you blink. It’s funny, it doesn’t talk down, it’s deeply layered with things I didn’t get until I was a parent. The animated sequence is a standout but some of the best moments are with Mr. Banks and are quiet. Also, if you haven’t read the books you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing, but if you HAVE, you’ll catch a few little nods that they tucked in. Very few of the actual Mary Poppins stories are precisely followed, but several are referenced rather slyly. It’s fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

Honourable Mention to: Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This film is NOT on the level of Mary Poppins, however, it’s still really fun and holds a nice place in my heart. My kids watched it recently and really enjoyed it, the Sherman Bros music is great as always, but I also was watching it when I got some very good news and now I associate it with that. Haha. So there you are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Disney News Roundup 2/26/13

Morning all… Best Disney parks-and-more headlines from the past week!

WDW News:

Disneyland News:

Disney/Park Rumours:

Disney General News:

Flame Tree BBQ – A Review

It’s Review Day at Disney With Me! I’m trying not to only do restaurants but BOY there are plenty of restaurants at WDW to review. (By the way, did anyone see my Boma review before WordPress ate it? I’m not kidding, it’s GONE. I’m peeved, it was an early post but a GOOD one. Anyway.) So today I thought I’d do a counter service restaurant, so as to get a little bit of variety in.

I had researched our dining options in Animal Kingdom in advance to try to figure out what would probably be the most family-pleasing, budget-friendly, and still thoroughly delicious place to grab quick food. I chose the Flame Tree Barbeque (or as you plebes would spell it, Barbecue, but I like my fancy-pants spelling better and will stick with it, unofficial or not), because first of all, “flame” and “barbeque” in the same cluster of words makes me drool.ย  I have no clue why. It just sounds so… so… flamey.ย  And barbequed.ย  It’s funny, because I’m not a meat fanatic and I’m not even that big on actual BBQs but… somehow that combo hits all the right spots in my brain to make me REALLY crave it.

Uh, but I digress (I think this is one of those “don’t type hungry” moments).ย  I picked this counter service restaurant out because they had a good variety of options and I was definitely looking for something non-pizza, and because the reviews on it were consistently very good.ย  After reading the menu at AllEars.net, I was doubly sure I had picked the right place.ย ย Chicken?ย  Pork sandwich?ย  Ribs?ย  I am a ribs fanatic so they had me at “hello”.ย  (Ironic spoiler alert: I did not actually order the ribs.ย  Go figure.)ย  The kids’ menu was good, because although my children both love mac and cheese, it’s ubiquitous at WDW and I wanted someplace with OTHER options.ย  Same deal with chicken nuggets.ย  So the baked drumstick and the hot dog were music to my ears.

So what we ended up with was a drumstick for my daughter, a 1/2 chicken for me, 1/2 ribs for my husband, and my 1 1/2 year old son shared my chicken.ย  My daughter didn’t finish her chicken, but that was pretty standard for her at the time.ย  My husband said the ribs were very good, and I tried a bit so I know it’s true.ย  I loved the chicken.ย  I ’bout died over it.ย  Oh wow.ย  I know I said I’m a rib fanatic but I’m glad I got the chicken.ย  (Yes, you can get a rib/chicken combo; I didn’t because I have a weird thing about getting something different from what the hubs gets.)ย  It did not cost that much, and I had a hard time finishing it because it was so large.ย  There was no problem giving my son some without me feeling short changed.ย  Also, the beans and coleslaw that came with it were GOOD.ย  I don’t consider myself a big fan of coleslaw, but when it’s GOOD, I really like it.ย  This was some good slaw.ย  Beans aren’t all that hard to get right, so I don’t have a lot to say there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Funny thing: I don’t remember having dessert.ย  I’m pretty sure we did but I have NO idea. According to the menu, the desserts are mousse, and I just don’t remember having any mousse.ย  Chalk this up to a poor memory and not to it being underwhelming, okay? *G*

We also got two conservation pins, one for each kid, and a beautiful outdoor seating area with birds wandering around on all sides.ย  I don’t have any pics of my own to share so rather than nip off with someone else’s, here are the results of a Google Image search for you to enjoy!ย  (That chicken. I’m dying here.)

If ever in Animal Kingdom, this is my first and most vehement recommendation for a dining location.ย  Good food, good location and good prices.ย  I didn’t try the chicken salad but based on the quality of the food we did have, I’m willing to bet it’s great.ย  I have yet to read a bad review of this restaurant. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Admittedly, it is not the ideal place for a vegetarian to dine, but other than that – go!ย  Enjoy!

Vegetarians: Bradley Falls and Tamu Tamu Refreshments have a few good, and not-just-cheese-pizza, options.

A quick plug

Dual promotion!ย  Today another blog recommended me (this is like, huge for me, lol) and they are a great blog themselves!ย  And the review was awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Disney With Me Another blog for all things Disney (why do I keep writing that? I’m pretty sure these all are all things Disney blogs!) But it is not to be missed! Trust me. I get bored when I read, but not at Disney With Me. Always a good time!

That is just the BEST review, folks, because I’m always worried that I’m boring. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  (Welcome to How My Mind Works 101.)ย 

Meanwhile, check out Mickey Mutineers, the blog-slash-podcast that provided this lovely shout-out – they are also not boring!ย  Among many other things (irreverant, amusing, kind of crazy all come to mind).

ย 

Thanks again, guys!

Limited Time Magic: Dapper Boys?

Well, I spent some time hunting around last night to find out the next Limited Time Magic event that will be starting this Monday, 2/25.ย  And… it was hard to find advance word!ย  All I got were rumours, which meant it was being played pretty close to the chest, which meant essentially that it’s not meant to drive attendance to the parks so it’s going to be pretty small.ย  This morning the rumours were confirmed, and here is what we’ve got:

The Dapper Dans tip their hats to a new kind of music that they discovered while “strolling through the park one day.” Watch for this winsome quartet and their all-new medley that will have “Everybody” seeing “What Makes You Beautiful.” But they won’t be saying “Bye Bye Bye” to barbershop completelyโ€”after all, the Dapper Dans are the “Original Boy Band.” Part of Limited Time Magic, this musical time warp is a can’t-miss experience at Magic Kingdom park in Florida.

The Dapper Dans at Disneyland. Hey, that rhymes!  I did not take this photo and I don't own the rights.

The Dapper Dans at Disneyland. Hey, that rhymes! I did not take this photo and I don’t own the rights.

So beginning on Monday and running through Sunday, March 3, get set for some videos of the Dapper Dans (who, by the way, are one of the unsung gems – you see what I did there – of Main Street USA) barbershopping their way through … Boy Band music.ย  So there will be some expert harmony on stuff like that.ย  Kind of a waste. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  This, by the way, is concurrent at both WDW and DL.

What do you think?ย  Is this a fun Limited Time Magic or just filler?ย I think it’s a little bit weak – easily missed and well, frankly, although I wouldn’t walk away from it if I saw it, it’s not so “magical” that I’d feel bad if I didn’t catch it.ย  I will say one thing though, and I am completely serious about this: Barbershop is HOT.

Disney Social Media Round-up: Blog Posts 2/22/13

So I only got through half of the recent blog posts yesterday, lol. I’m going to assume you zoomed right through them and so here are some more! Enjoy!

Enjoy everyone! If I can keep this up I’ll start the roundup again on Tuesday with more podcast updates! If not, well, I apologize in advance! ๐Ÿ˜‰