Saturday Blog Showcase: Mickey Mutineers

This is my fourth blog showcase and it’s about time I got around to showcasing a blog that’s not written and run by women. πŸ˜€ After all, there are plenty o’ men in the Disney fandom too!

So I’ll say, first of all, that if you’re in a certain age range (or maybe outside a certain age range), the Mickey Mutineers might not appeal to you. Maybe. I guess mainly I mean if you are a parent who thinks of Disney as something always family-friendly and appropriate for kids of all ages, and you think that ever referring to it any other way is offensive and wrong, you won’t like the Mutineers. I’ll put it that way. πŸ˜€

With that out of the way I think they are HILARIOUS. Oh my freaking LORD. They do both a blog and a podcast, and the podcast is not really safe for work listening unless you have headphones – and I do listen to it at work with headphones and even then sometimes there are problems but I make due – but the blog is not so much of an issue. Mostly the blog is just hilarious.

The main thing to know is that the Mutineers – there are three of them – are irreverant, bizarre, and let the pop culture references fly thick and fast. All of this appeals to me and my sense of humour. They are also occasionally immature and obscene, but that is more for the podcast and not so much in the blog. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, they are also all well-acquainted with the Disney parks and are big fans, and so the blog covers more seriously some topics that they genuinely admire or support – it’s not ALL irreverant satire or anything, it’s just the writing style that tends to entertain. Like in this post about It’s A Small World, which you keep expecting to be against IASW and then it’s ultimately for it. *G* They’ve also covered the monorails at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, some of the resort options with details, and comparisons of Space Mountain at each park. And then occasionally you get your Planet of the Apes reference, or your Arrested Development quip, and you (meaning me) are happy for the rest of the day.

They also cover well for the fact that they’re genuinely nice guys, and a lot of fun to talk to on Twitter. πŸ™‚ Of note, I’m pretty sure the Twitter account is mostly just Jake, but he represents all of them and talks in the royal “we” so hey. It’s fair. πŸ˜‰

So final thoughts! I can’t actually definitely say that the Mutineers are absolutely for everyone, since after all they are “inappropriate on so many levels”, but they are among my favourite reads (and listens) in the Disney community right now, so if you don’t get offended super easily I think they are for you. I know I’m not the only one who finds them very entertaining, in any case.

Disney Podcast updates, 3/29/13

Boy, this just gets later and later. Though if you notice, I wasn’t exactly on the ball this week for blogging in general; rough week. I’ll be back on board next week I hope!

Podcast Updates:

Things I’ve Learned from Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy, circa the early 80s I think

Miss Piggy, circa the early 80s I think

As a girl I loved Miss Piggy. I loved the Muppets in general, really, and I wouldn’t say I loved Miss Piggy best of all or more than most or anything. I was partial to her because she was pretty much the only girl, and because for a pig she’s quite pretty, and because she’s funny – speaking her pretentious French, alternating between “Kissy-kissy” and “HIYAA!”, all that jazz.

Growing up, I’ve maintained a healthy love for Miss Piggy, and over the years been a little disappointed with how her characterization has shifted as the Muppets’ movies have passed around and the Muppets themselves became a bit directionless post-Jim Henson. (I’m not going to make this a rant about post-Jim Henson. I COULD, but I won’t.) I’m not the only person to have noticed it, I know that from reading articles on ToughPigs.com and other places, but it rankled me a bit.

The thing is, the characterization of all of the Muppets has suffered (IMO) in the past decade or so; Kermit is a bit more of a flat nice guy, Fozzie is dumber than he was before, stuff like that. (Oddly enough, they have the secondary characters down pat. Dr. Teeth? Rowlf? Made of win.) But somehow these things don’t bother me as much as the

"Nice eyes, sturdy legs, and it may have been my imagination but I think she found me attractive." --Kermit, "The Great Muppet Caper"

“Nice eyes, sturdy legs, and it may have been my imagination but I think she found me attractive.” –Kermit, “The Great Muppet Caper”

degeneration of Miss Piggy, which I suppose is what helped me to realize that she’s a little bit of a role model to me.Miss Piggy is, of course, a comedic character. Of course she is – she’s a Muppet. Any Muppets that are not intended to be funny are, IMO, at heart a mistake. Unless they are intended to be fantastical – that is permitted. But Piggy is not fantastical, she is a glamourous and ambitious talking pig, and thus she is funny. That’s not to say she is without heart, or without realistic qualities, only that she comes from a caricature and is meant to inspire humour. Piggy’s character is one who has climbed from nothing to achieve her dreams, and her method of getting her dreams is to visualize herself as having already accomplished them. She thus lives in a bit of a haze of self-delusion, as in the Muppet Show she considered herself and Kermit either already an item or on the verge of being one, herself a glamourous star, and her lifestyle one to be admired. She dresses and carries herself to match her intentions – get there by living it, I guess, is her motto. But the delicate and often helpless beauty queen is a facade covering a woman who has fought for herself because no one else will, who has a will of iron and will never give up, and who will take absolutely no guff.

Piggy's eyes are a defining feature; I love how they're designed to be "catching the light" even without added lensflares.

Piggy’s eyes are a defining feature; I love how they’re designed to be “catching the light” even without added lensflares.

The mistake, I think, is when you take Piggy’s healthy ego (and yes, she has it; she makes sure that she is the recognized star at all possible moments) and turn it so that it defines her. Piggy thinks of herself but not to the point of being unlikeable. Occasionally unpleasant, but not outright nasty. Piggy also follows her star to the point of doing foolish things, but to paint her AS a fool, to humiliate her because she’s blinded herself to reality, is to diminish the character and what she has genuinely accomplished for herself.

In short: you do not make it look like Piggy is nothing. That makes her look pathetic and sad, not funny. You make it look as if she is something, but only because she is CONSTANTLY promoting herself and perhaps about half of her adoring audience is there because she may have arranged it in order to look more famous than she is. πŸ˜‰ She’s always on top of such things.

My original OTP.

My original OTP.

Piggy and Kermit… I think they are my original ship. Looking back, I can’t think of any romantic pairing I supported overtly before Piggy and Kermit. It’s led to my liking of romantic links that happen specifically because one of the pair is so determined to win over the other one. The relationship is very delicate, because to have Kermit overtly swooning over Piggy is out of character for him, but over the many years of their – uh – “courtship” it’s undeniable that he’s become a lot more fond of her. From what I’ve heard the Muppets now have them as canonically a couple, which is… I’m not sure… I think I like it undefined. But at the same time part of me is like “YES! Way to go Piggy!” πŸ˜‰

“The Muppets”, the 2011 movie, went a long way in reframing Miss Piggy and getting her back to her roots. A lot of her dignity is restored, the idea that she is more successful of any of the other Muppets post-show falls directly into what I was saying: Piggy will pursue her star and make it happen; she is driven and when she runs into a blockade in her life, she relocates to France and becomes a high-powered fashion editor. I also love, LOVE, how she takes over when Kermit drops out. There were scenes when she became a bit too, IMO, maudlin – I thought portions of the movie did that repeatedly – but Piggy was fundamentally herself, high-spirited and iron-willed, tough as nails behind a “delicate flower” routine, and ultimately devoted to… herself first, Kermit second. πŸ˜€

So with all that said… things I have learned from Miss Piggy.

1. Believe in yourself. No matter what happens, believe it and then make it happen.
2. Behave, dress, and present yourself as the person you want to be.
3. Don’t buy into how “everyone” says you should look. Love yourself, find your beauty, and present it. Know you’re beautiful, and you will be. Slug the people who say otherwise in the gut. πŸ˜‰
4. Take care of yourself. It’s good to know when to let someone else help you, or at least let them feel like they can, but don’t wait for your prince to come and take you away from everything. Make it happen yourself and don’t let anyone stamp you down. Fight back.
5. Play to your strengths. Find the thing you love and know it inside and out. Own it. If you understand fashion then by golly, use that understanding to show the world how great you are.
6. Love yourself.
7. Love others. Love them passionately. Don’t miss your chances to say so.
8. Knowing a little bit of French never hurt anyone.
9. When in doubt, fake it, and look as if you know what you’re talking about. BSing can get you a long way.
10. Be enthusiastic, be emotional, just be yourself. You will only be happy in life if you are yourself. Even when you’re presenting yourself as the person you want to be, that person should still fundamentally be YOU. Maybe with a better hairstyle and a nice pair of heels.

Keep believing, keep pretending.

Keep believing, keep pretending.

Saturday Blog Showcase: Psychosocial Disney Culture

For my third week of blog showcases, I’m going with something a bit different: not just Disney-themed, not just thoughtfully Disney-themed, but intellectually Disney-themed. Psychosocial Disney Culture is what it says it is: Celeste, the author, looks at Disney through lenses of psychology and sociology, and both its impact on and reflection of American culture, pop culture, and modern day life in general. As an example, the current most recent entry (as I write this) is about Disney Junior’s latest offering, Sofia the First, and it discusses the series not from a standpoint of child-friendly content but from the perspective of blended families, as Sofia is a princess by her mother’s marriage to a new husband in another country. She also looks at the racial aspect, which I was unaware of, and makes great points all around.

I’ll admit that I come from a psychology/sociology background myself and that’s a huge part of the appeal; I also like reading posts from fans of Disney who nevertheless don’t automatically take a “Disney apologist” role, since there is so much more to the company than “This is really good ’cause it’s Disney, and they’re always quality!” Plus of course, I think I am just generally in agreement with a lot of Celeste’s conclusions, and you know, that helps for the purpose of enjoyment, when you’re sitting there going “Yes, yes, TOTALLY!”

If there is one possible downside to this blog, it’s just that it’s not frequently updated, and I can’t complain about that. This is the kind of blog that gets updated when you have an idea for an essay, not when you have a second to dash out a quick idea (ahem; let’s not comment on the blog you are reading right now no matter how apt the opportunity). SO, can’t blame her, but I’d always love to read more; which is a good sign, right? πŸ˜€ Check out Psychosocial Disney Culture when you have the chance, it will make you think, and I personally think that’s always a good thing.

…I am NEVER going to get to showcase all the blogs I enjoy on here when I’m doing this once a week. Ahem. Bloggers, don’t take it personally if I don’t get to you for… months. ^^;

Limited Time Magic: Spring Fling!

Spring Fling with the Bunnies, Easter and Mrs. Easter! Image (c) The Walt Disney Co.

Spring Fling with the Bunnies, Easter and Mrs. Easter! Image (c) The Walt Disney Co.

Next week’s Limited Time Magic is still looking ahead to Easter and the start of Spring, with a week’s worth of Spring Fling activities!

This spring, things get hoppin’ at Walt Disney World Resort when Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny come to visit. Delight in an array of family-friendly festivities, from egg hunts to season-themed processions to greetings with the floppy-eared coupleβ€”and more! Valid theme park admission is required.

Running from Monday, March 25 until Sunday, March 31, both WDW and DL are offering a variety of Spring activities at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot to add some fling to your spring. (see what I did there?)Β  At WDW, you can meet the Easter Bunny and his wife at the Magic Kingdom, or see them in a springtime procession before the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade each day; at Epcot you can see Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at the UK pavilion (because… they’re English!? uh, okay), hunt for easter eggs and run relay races; and they’ve got special rabbit-themed accessories including Oswald ear hats.

I’m just going to repeat that, okay? OSWALD. The LUCKY RABBIT. EAR HATS.Β  You can find them at MouseGear in Epcot, while supplies last.

EAR. HAT.  Image (c) the Walt Disney Co.

EAR. HAT. Image (c) the Walt Disney Co.

At Disneyland, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny will be appearing on Main Street as well as in a Bunny Hop dance with Mickey, Minnie, and the Dapper Dans; the Easter Egg Hunt will take place at Disney California Adventure, with the Wilderness Explorer Egg Hunt in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.Β  If you find the eggs you win a badge!

The Oswald Ear Hats are available at Oswald’s Service Station in DCA.

So.Β  Reaction paragraph time!Β  I like the sound of this and I’d have a good time doing this with my kids.Β  I wish they’d have more events like this each week instead of waiting for, you know, “occasions” to pull these things out for.Β  As far as I’m concerned this is the kind of thing that LTM is about, getting to have an experience that you can’t plan too far ahead for, but that is a little extra added fun.

I find it interesting that from the descriptions, Disneyland has a slightly better experience offered.Β  Getting a badge for the egg hunt? Pretty cool!

Disney Podcast Updates, 3/21/13

Thursdays are normally my “day off” on DWM, but I forgot didn’t have time to do the podcast round-up for the week yesterday. And I really do like doing this, even though I’ll confess I can only listen to 2-4 of these per week, but I do alternate between them all! You should try at least one new one each week if you haven’t listened to all – you might find your new favourite! πŸ˜€

Podcast Updates:

Join me next week to hear me say “Why aren’t there more hours in a week so I can listen to all these dang things?” And as always, if you have a podcast and you’d like me to post when you update, leave a comment or gimme a ring! πŸ™‚

Oh, one last thing: anyone looking for any kind of partnership/mutual endorsement thingie, I’d be happy to do that. Get in touch to discuss!

Get that Star Wars! Catch it now!

Artwork (c) the Walt Disney Company 2013.

Artwork (c) the Walt Disney Company 2013.

Weekends between May 17 and June 9 at Hollywood Studios are Star Wars Weekends!Β  Warwick Davis (<3) and Ray Park will be guests this year, along with others to be announced; in addition there are dance parties, autograph opportuntities, and more.Β  Every year, this looks more fun.Β  The merchandise involved is amazing, and I’m enough of a geek that even the high crowd levels aren’t enough to scare me away entirely.

There IS still time to book a trip during Star Wars Weekends – what’s more, for two more weeks you can still book it at a discount!Β  A 3-day weekend in late May will cost only $898 for two adults with 4-day single-park tickets… If you’d like more information or a rush booking before the spring discount booking period ends, get in touch with me!Β  (http://fairytalejourneysbyrebecca.weebly.com or rebeccak@fairytalejourneys.com)!Β  Anything booked in time for the Spring discount will also be booked in time for my March start-up promo, which will get you a free gift of at least $25!

Top 5: Places to get Cupcakes at Walt Disney World

In the past few years WDW has entered into the Cupcake Game. The whole idea of oversized gourmet cupcakes has taken off and Disney has dived right in, which is… not a bad thing at all, really.

I’m going to be honest up front: I have never had one. Not a single one. I haven’t even seen them in person. I have to watch my sugar intake, so the most I’ve ever done has been to drool over pictures. I WILL have one, one day, but at this point picking one out of 50+ is like… picking a favourite child.

Meanwhile, though, there are already plenty of lists out there of the best cupcakes. You don’t need me for that, so it’s okay that I haven’t tried any. Instead, at the suggestion of Natalie from The Ink and Paint Blog, I’m going to list what I think are the Top 5 locations to get these cupcakes on WDW property. This was researched from several sources, namely the Disney Food Blog, the Ultimate Disney Cupcake Guide on A Pinch of Pixie Dust, and this post on the Disney Tourist Blog (Top 5 cupcakes. How coincidental, eh?).

Based on these and other minor inputs, here’s my Top 5 places to go to get some really good, really huge and extravagant cupcakes at Walt Disney World! As with all Top 5 lists, your experiences and tastes may vary!

Now to start out, I wanted to have the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom on here. But given that it’s closed and becoming a Starbucks… well, I can’t bring myself to do it. 😦 Now it’s SAID that the offerings will remain the same, but until the new place is open and everyone says “These are the cupcakes I remember!” I don’t think it’s fair to put this on here. Plus, I must say, the idea of having a Starbucks recommended as a place to buy cupcakes at Disney, when there are so many other great places that aren’t corporate chains (I appreciate the irony of what I just said, don’t mistake me) just sits wrong with me.

Anyway…!

Between the sugar, the chocolate, and the coffee beans, you'll be awake for a week.

Between the sugar, the chocolate, and the coffee beans, you’ll be awake for a week. Photo (c) pajamapenguinproductions.com

#5: Okay, if I had to pick ONLY one resort to go to for cupcakes, it’s going to be the Boardwalk Inn. First of all, two of the top 5 selections on the blog list I posted above (from the Disney Tourist Blog) came from their Boardwalk Bakery – the Cappucino and the S’mores cupcakes; second of all they seem to have the widest selection of any bakeries selling these sugar bombs. However, the reason this is at number 5 on the list is because, in looking around for reviews, I saw a few that suggest that the Boardwalk cupcakes aren’t always as good as they could be; whether standard experience or not, there were a couple of “dry cake” reviews and so I thought, well, what’s variety if the quality isn’t up to snuff? Not ALL were like that, but y’know. So Boardwalk Bakery makes the list, but doesn’t top the list. (Also, to be fair, Boardwalk Bakery is currently closed for refurbs and won’t open again until April 26 2013.)

#4: Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery, in Animal Kingdom.
This shop is home to three amazing cupcakes: the Cotton Top Tamarin cupcake, the White Chocolate Elephant cupcake, and the Zebra cupcake. Let me tell you an important secret: you want these cupcakes. Look at them. Now I haven’t seen these cupcakes topping any of the all-time best cupcakes list, but for style/unique design you cannot beat these. That’s some good theming, here. So Kusafiri Coffee Shop is the place to go for cupcakes you want to take a picture of before you so much as touch it.

This counts as foreign food which means I'm adventurous for eating it.

This counts as foreign food which means I’m adventurous for eating it. Photo is from a post by danicaca at Disboards.com

#3: Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort
From what I have read, most of Contempo Cafe’s cupcakes are seasonal; but they appear to be really fancy-pants ones and the few that remain year-round apparently include Pina Colada, Black Forest Cherry, and Dos Leches. Now I think those are subject to availability, but honestly, if I had my choice of any one of those I couldn’t pick between them. Contempo seems to have a very appealing selection of cupcakes that is more than worth going back for. Here’s a review someone wrote of the Black Forest cupcake including photos, and some of the other cupcakes as well.

It's got fruit on it. It's healthy, right?

It’s got fruit on it. It’s healthy, right? Photo (c) MainStreetGazette.com

#2: Sunshine Seasons in the Land at Epcot.
This place has a great menu, period. Lots of variety, a good alternative to fast food, and the cupcakes – while I’m not pretending they are HEALTHY, mind you – are quite unique. Often fruit-themed, such as guava cream cheese or pineapple coconut, these are combinations you’re not going to see at an average bakery. You might need to be a bit brave to try them if you prefer the old yellow-cake-with-chocolate-frosting, though. πŸ™‚

Here it is: Mount Butterfinger.

Here it is: Mount Butterfinger. Photo (c) DisneyFoodBlog.com

#1: Starring Rolls at Hollywood Studios.
This is partly based on my own preferences: although I’ve never tried it (and may never get to try it), Starring Rolls is known for the Butterfinger Cupcake, which just looks like heavenly death on a plate to me. They also have peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, which is a similar kind of pleasant end to meet. I hear great things about Starring Rolls, but the only reason I put it at number one is, honestly, because that Butterfinger cupcake looks like it’s got to be amazing. Plus, out of the park-based places to get cupcakes (which are predominant on this list just because I think more people spend time in all parks than at resorts they’re not staying at), Starring Rolls appears to be the best one; it’s the one I hear most about, anyway.

 

As always, leave me your own opinions if you agree or disagree!Β  I can only research so much. πŸ™‚