The Main Street Mayoral Election of 1995

Disney History!

How many people remember way back, almost 20 years ago, when Walt Disney World held an election on Main Street for a “Mayor”?  The two candidates were Captain Hook and Winnie the Pooh, and park visitors could actually submit their ballots.  The buildings in Main Street were decked out with banners supporting one candidate or the other!

My first visit to WDW was that summer, and so the banners and décor show up in a few of my old pictures (none of which are scanned. Hey, kids, has anyone ever told you about how you used to have to wait to see what your pictures looked like? It was CRAZY!), but I don’t remember voting, don’t remember who won, and don’t remember ever seeing anything more about it!  In fact, for a while I didn’t remember the election at all and Googling it got me very little information.  Except this one: you can buy copies of the ballot on eBay!

This picture is also from that auction, and is not one of mine. Click on it to be taken to your chance to buy a bit of Disney history! Disclaimer: I don't know this seller & am not recommending them. Just, hey, cool memorabilia. :D

This picture is also from that auction, and is not one of mine. Click on it to be taken to your chance to buy a bit of Disney history! Disclaimer: I don’t know this seller & am not recommending them. Just, hey, cool memorabilia. 😀

In spite of the sticker announcing “I voted for Captain Hook!”, I’m going to go with a  gut feeling that Winnie the Pooh won this one.  I’m also going to go with a gut feeling that I did, in fact, vote for Hook. 😀

This entry is a part of the Frontierland Station FastPass to History Blog Hop!  If you got here via the blog hop, here’s your link to return to it!  If you came here directly why not give the blog hop a try?  Thanks Kimberly for hosting it!

Is Free Dining Coming to Walt Disney World in Fall 2013???

You actually can get that much food on this plan if you know what you're doing.

There is a rumour that it might be… but I don’t know!  WATCH THIS SPACE, and when we know for sure, I’ll say so! 😀  I’m hearing that it will be announced (IF it is going to be announced!) in August.  So hang tight for another few weeks and we’ll know!

If it does come out, why not get some assistance snapping up your dining quickly with some expert advice?  As a travel agent I’m trained with Disney destinations and can happily book you a great – dining included – stay!  Or if you book your own trip and transfer to me within 30 days of booking, not only do you get assistance, you get a transfer “thank you” gift of $25 or more! 🙂  See http://fairytalejourneysbyrebecca.weebly.com for more info, or email me at rebeccak@fairytalejourneys.com.   But mostly let’s just cross our fingers that the free dining comes out! 😀

Time for a New Top 5! D’s Top 5(6) Epcot attractions!

In preparation for our trip, I’m making my daughter do all kinds of planning stuff without actually telling her we’re going for sure.  Because she lives in a perpetual state of “maybe we’ll go soon!” anyway, and I feel like giving her a specific day is going to drive her nuts. 😉  I’m going nuts enough for the both of us!

 

Anyway, last night we made our first “Must Do” list, which since I’m me and I love Top 5 lists, we made as Top 5s. Not that she has any idea what a Top 5 list is.. yet.  Oh, but she will soon enough. 😉  I asked her which park she wanted to look over, and she picked Epcot; I found the results really interesting and not exactly what I had expected!  The first two were actually exactly what I had expected, but then she kind of deviated from what I thought a 7-year-old would gravitate towards…

 

Oh, and you totally know the ride is exactly like this, right? Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

Oh, and you totally know the ride is exactly like this, right? Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

1: Soarin’.  Boy did she love Soarin’ last time!  We used a baby-swap so she got to ride twice in a row, once with me and my friend Amanda, then again with her father and Amanda (lucky Amanda, lol).  I’m not sure if she’ll take well to not getting on twice in a row this time. 😉  In spite of her excitement for Soarin’, she doesn’t actually remember it all that well, though she remembers the idea.  She loves to hang out of the car window – as much as we’ll let her, anyway – so I can see why this one holds a big appeal for her.  So this was not a big surprise, though I was taken by surprise that she chose it for her #1… I had thought that the #1 slot would go for the next one.

 

Test-Track-Pavilion1

Photo credit from disneyspectrum.com.

#2: Test Track.  For weeks, nay months, nay YEARS, this was D’s favourite Disney World attraction.  She thought it was the greatest thing she’d ever seen!  Again, that whole ‘Hanging out the car window” appeal is showing. 😉 I’m not sure why D’s ranking changed slightly when we made this list, but it might just be because the memory is fading and she likes the idea of “flying” now a little bit more than a fast car ride.  She also is aware that the stuff she remembers from the first trip isn’t there anymore – well, most of it.  The part she remembers best is the loop outside, and I know that hasn’t gone anywhere. 😀  She still does refer to Test Track as her favourite ride, but it doesn’t seem to be the one she’s most anticipating anymore, that’s all.

 

Yeah, I know most people don't remember Living With the Land for this scene. But my daughter does. *G* Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

Yeah, I know most people don’t remember Living With the Land for this scene. But my daughter does. *G* Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

#3: Surprise number one: her next choice was Living With the Land!  I recall she had liked this ride a lot when we did it before but I didn’t think it would stick with her.  I mean everyone likes being on a boat (I, well… that’s a generalization, but you know what I mean), but when you’re making your “MUST DO!” lists, and you’re the kind of kid who enjoys sticking her head out of moving cars, do you put a slow-moving boat ride in your precious limited space?  Apparently you do if you’re D, who remembers the ride going past the Garden Grill restaurant and thinking that was just SUPER COOL.  She also likes the whole scene with the buffalos where the storm is in the background.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing on Living with the Land in any way, shape or form. I love it! And I think it’s a great ride for kids! But I expected her to pick, like, The Seas with Nemo or Mission Space or something.  Nope!

 

#4: Surprise number two, D turned the rest of her attention to the World Showcase for the remainder of her list. So no Seas with Nemo at all!  Her first choice? “O Canada!” in the Canada pavilion. 😀  Since her father is Canadian, I’m not surprised, but I am pleased. 🙂

Enjoy this full-size image from , because I say so!

Enjoy this full-size image from interactivewdw.com, because I say so!

 

My American Adventure awaits! Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

My American Adventure awaits! Photo (c) The Walt Disney Co.

#5: And the final choice was, without hesitation, “The American Adventure” in the America Pavilion.  You know what?  I have NEVER SEEN THIS.  So it will be a first for both of us together. 🙂  I love that she wants to celebrate and explore her dual heritage by poking around Epcot’s World Showcase.  I love that she wants to poke around World Showcase to begin with!  This is a reminder to me that kids naturally *do* want to learn.  It’s often up to parents and other adults to keep that interest in learning going, instead of assuming “Oh, she’ll think that’s boring” and letting it extinguish.  D surprises/reminds me of this all the time.

 

I think it's completely understandable that I would want this. Who wouldn't want this?

I think it’s completely understandable that I would want this. Who wouldn’t want this?

#6: Well, she insisted on getting a bonus one. But she couldn’t pick what other World Showcase country she wanted, and I told her I was still going to do my list so why didn’t she see if there was another Future World attraction she liked.  Then she remembered Journey Into Imagination with Figment, so TA-DA!  I think D likes this ride more because I love and repeatedly sing the theme song than because of the ride itself. Though she certainly does remember the scene with the skunk smell. XD  I have a weird sort of pendulum emotion towards this ride.  I don’t recall ever having gone on the original, but I’ve become obsessed with the Dreamfinder.  I miss him without having any idea what he was like in the ride. 😛  So I like this ride but I feel like it’s sorry in comparison with what it was… which I never experienced.  Oy.

 

For the sake of comparison, here’s my list (done after hers, so not too much crossover):

#1: Spaceship Earth
#2: Soarin’
#3: Mexico/Gran Tour Fiesta
#4: Norway/Maelstrom
#5: Universe of Energy

 

We intend to walk through the full World Showcase this time too, since we barely set foot in it last time, but we’re making a point to definitely do the ones on the lists this trip.
Got an Epcot Top 5?  Favourite World Showcase country?  Any comments at all?  Leave me a note! 🙂

Actual Disney News: Rapid Fill

Hey, you know how sometimes I actually post news about Disney, and resorts and things here?  Did… did anyone know that?  Um…

 

Anyway, sometimes I do.  Like right now!  On Sunday, July 7, it was announced that Disney World is changing their policies with refillable mugs. In a really cool futuristic kind of way!  If you’re familiar with RFID (radio frequency identification) chips, they are being introduced all over the Disney resorts and parks – and have been in use in various ways for a while already – well, they are adding these to the refillable mugs in a program they’re calling Rapid Fill.  Previously, guests at Disney World resorts could purchase a big ol’ plastic mug for approximately $15 and it could be refilled for the length of the stay.  Rules were that the refills could only be done at the resort you stayed at, and you could only use the mugs from your current stay – no bringing them back year after year.

A sampling of the refillable resort mugs. Photo credit (c) The Disney Food Blog.

A sampling of the refillable resort mugs. Photo credit (c) The Disney Food Blog.

 

As you can imagine, this is hard to enforce.  Disney’s latest RFID venture solves the problem of enforcing the rules and also offers flexibility and new options to the deal!  So the mugs will now have RFID chips embedded within them, and those chips are programmed with a guest-determined length of use for the refillable option.  The price of the mugs varies based on how many days of refills you have, from $8.99 for a single day to $17.99 for four days or more; the time period is determined by the guest, so you can choose fewer days than your full length of stay if you want!  The chips can be programmed for up to 14 days – must be consecutive and you must actively be staying for that length of time – but more days can be added if you are staying longer than that.

 

The mugs will now be able to be refilled at ANY resort beverage station, not only the resort they were purchased at!  The mug’s chip will communicate with the refill dispenser and display how many days remain on the free refills; if the deal is expired, the dispensers just won’t work.  Past mugs can’t be reactivated, and right now the refillable mugs can’t be used at the water parks, or at the theme parks. There are plans to include the water parks as an add-on (for an additional price), but no plans yet to include the theme parks… let’s wait and see how the program does!

 

For those wondering: of course the mugs are not mandatory, and guests can still purchase paper cups too.  Non-refillable paper cups. 😉  The refillable mugs will also still be included on the Disney Dining Plan and there’s no added cost based on days included, you just get ’em.

 

More information can be found at this link announcing the change, and you can ask me questions too!  If it’s not covered in the link I probably don’t know the answer, but you know, I can try. 🙂  What do you think?  I can see where this would be unpopular among people who have been habitually using the old mugs because Disney didn’t enforce the rules, but from the perspective of people who accept the rules, I see only one downside: the $17.99 price tag on these babies for 4 days or more.  Guys! In 2005 these things cost like $9.99!! I’m not kidding!  It MIGHT have been 11.99.  Yeesh!  Also, I wish they’d bring back the resort-specific designs, because those were cool.  The only one I got was a Port Orleans – Riverside one, but it’s a prized possession.

More vlog cramming: #5 and #6

Still behind on posting the vlogs I have actually recording leading up to my October trip.  Here are the two I did last week, while camping in Maryland. 🙂 They were both done on the same night!

#5: Second Interview with Special Guest D

She has some awesome PJs. 😀 Btw, she has this habit of compulsively clearing her throat b/c she usually has some kind of scratchiness in it, that’s why there’s this constant “hem” noise that she makes during this. She was getting it a lot on the camping trip due to pollen. 😛

#6: Evening Camp Tour

All camping makes me think of Disney World, which I usually try not to tell my husband. Because it makes me look obsessive, which I am, but maybe he doesn’t know that yet… 😉 I ended up using YouTube’s alterations options to lighten this because it came out WAY too dark. This is about how it looked to me while I was taking the video. 🙂

So, going to try to make the next one tomorrow (12 weeks left!), and if anyone wants to ask me any questions, about anything Disney-related, I will try to answer them! Leave a question in the comments! The next one will be just me, and the one after that will be another interview with my daughter, so you can leave questions for her too if you want. 🙂 I have one for her already. 😀

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

It’s not that often that I get to see new movies. 🙂  The reasons are lengthy but boil down to: I only see 1-2 movies in a theatre per year and at least one is a child’s movie, I don’t have cable, and I only have streaming Netflix and not the discs so basically, if it ain’t on Netflix, the chances are not that great that I’m going to see it. Plus I split the kids-movie detail with my husband, so I see about half of the main releases. (This means that to date I STILL have not seen Wreck-It Ralph. I know.  No, really, I know. ^_~)

Anyway!  When I recently took a long work trip to San Francisco, I had a six-hour flight both ways.  Lucky me. 🙂 On the return flight the DirecTV option was free for some reason!  So I took advantage, and although “Wreck-It Ralph” was available, I (for reasons that are valid but I won’t go into) opted to save that for later and selected “Oz The Great and Powerful”.

I'm sure if you actually see it in 3D, it's like being inside this poster.

I’m sure if you actually see it in 3D, it’s like being inside this poster.

When I heard of the movie’s upcoming release, about a year or so ago, I wasn’t sure what I thought about it.  I am well-used to Disney doing really awful live action movies.  Even the recent ones that I’ve enjoyed (“Tron Legacy” for instance) have been more like… “I’m not sure why I’m enjoying this, because I can see EVERY SINGLE TURN this script is going to take, but I like it anyway!”  On the other hand, Sam Raimi and I are old friends who go way back.  Yep.  We are buds.  I won’t take this line of thinking so far as to let anyone think I’ve actually met him, oh no, but like… I saw “Army of Darkness” when I was in college, so… 😉  No, but seriously, I did discover the whole Evil Dead thing when I was the appropriate age, and I have a fierce love of Bruce Campbell – as everyone should – and you can’t really separate Bruce from Sam. I mean, if you love Bruce you have to at least like Sam because Bruce is in nearly every movie Sam makes; conversely, if you love Sam, you have to at least like Bruce, for the same reason. *G*  It doesn’t hurt that I adore Bruce, who comes across as the most incredibly snarky yet still honestly NICE guy ever, and Sam is a really INTERESTING and inventive director.  I – um… this is really turning into an unnecessary digression, isn’t it. 😦  *Ahem*

So the thing I like about Sam Raimi is that he’s got a very recognizable style. I really appreciate and like directors where you can look at a movie and say “Yep, that’s Sam Raimi!” or substitute, say, “Wes Anderson”, “Tim Burton”, etc.  So my hopes were mixed for this film, because Sam Raimi is a great director, but Disney has – pardon me but it’s true – ruined films by good directors before this.  I also dislike prequels as a rule, but that is not a subject I’ll go into here. 🙂  SO – I was wary.  I heard good reviews but I was still wary, because a lot of times I and the general movie-going public disagree. *G*

Well, here’s the spoiler-free Teal Dear (TL;DR = Too Long; Didn’t Read) summed up version: I liked it.  I had issues with a few things, but I liked it over all and I call it a solid film from Sam and a successful live action film from Disney. Yay!

She is never not adorable. Seriously.

She is never not adorable. Seriously.

Here’s the spoiler-free longer, but still not too long, version: I really liked it as a standalone movie.  I went into it without any spoilers so other than most of the cast I didn’t know what to expect.  I did have some issues with a little bit of the casting but most of it was excellent, particularly Rachel Weisz.  The film was a little bit pat in spots, but one of my favourite things was the China Girl – not for how cute she was, though she is adorable, but for the way that she links back to the opening sequence.  Also, an issue that I have with 3D movies is that I normally don’t see them in 3D (remember what I said early on about not seeing them in theatres often, and even when I do I usually opt for the cheaper 2D), and when you view a film in 2D that was created for 3D, the sequences with the 3D effects usually stand out. Painfully, sometimes (like “Hugo”).  But Sam Raimi’s visual style lends itself extremely well to 3D, and as a result, there are very few moments where the scene’s effects fall flat without the 3D aspect present.  In particular the twister scene is excellent; I can see how it would be enhanced with 3D, but it’s really well-composed even without it and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

I was less impressed with the hat flying out at you, since that was more obvious, but ya know.  Raimi likes flying objects. 😉

I wasn’t able to view this film as a prequel, or as related to the Oz books by Baum.  Why?  Well, although Disney had to avoid all direct references to the MGM movie from 1939, they still seemed to follow that film’s continuity rather than the books’.  Having read the books a lot throughout my youth and now going back to them with my kids, the movie bears very little similarity to the books.  The Wicked Witch is not green in those books, Glinda is not the witch of the North, lots of other things.  They DO pick up extra details from the books: the Quadlings, the China Dolls, some of the beasts that the Wicked Witch commands.  There are also direct visual cues that clearly are inspired by the MGM film even though they’re not replicas of them: Glinda travelling by bubble, etc.  So – this movie feels like it’s intended to be a prequel to the MGM movie even though, by legal rights, it can’t be.  It isn’t based on any existing Oz stories and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be linked to that world.

The Wizard himself... duh. :)

The Wizard himself… duh. 🙂

Having said that, it does not work for me as a prequel either, and here’s why: James Franco.  I think he gives an excellent performance and is a real natural; but if you look at his performance in this movie, and then you look at Frank Morgan at the end of “The Wizard of Oz” and how he presents the character, it’s night and day. I cannot see James Franco developing into that man, pure and simple. 🙂  I mean, it would be nice for Franco’s Oz to say, in his old age, “No my dear, I’m a very good man, I’m just a very bad wizard”, but that’s not who this character is.  There are also aspects of the Oz and Glinda relationship that make me want, on a personal level, to keep this movie separate from the MGM film.  And I’m not talking about a romantic relationship, but if I go into it, I’ll be giving spoilers. I’m trying to avoid the spoilers.

My casting issues are mainly with the Wicked Witch of the West.  I just don’t buy her.  I actually love her origin but I don’t buy her performance, I’m afraid.  Not her fault, I think she was just miscast.  If you don’t know who plays her… DON’T look it up.  It’s worth not knowing for the scene when you find out. 😀  That was one area where I was kept guessing for a little while, and I enjoyed that.  I liked Glinda, but I thought the interpretation of her character was a little one-note.  She’s smart and strong, and that’s great, but she also ends up boring.  There are ways to have a female character be strong and inspiring and GOOD without having her be dull.  I felt the women characters in this didn’t quite make the grade; the most interesting ones are evil, and the good ones are uninteresting. 😛

The Oz Ladies. There are differing reasons why I feel like each of them is kind of an incomplete character, but they're also all kind of awesome in their own way.

The Oz Ladies. There are differing reasons why I feel like each of them is kind of an incomplete character, but they’re also all kind of awesome in their own way.

So!  I recommend this movie, I think it’s appropriate for kids ages… let’s say, ages 8 and up?  I think anyway… And I’d like to see it again.  I’m really looking for someone I can discuss it with, but nobody I know has seen it yet, so if you want to have an in-depth discussion in the comments I am ALL for that! 😀

 

I actually like how they "updated" the whole travel-by-bubble effect from the MGM movie.

I actually like how they “updated” the whole travel-by-bubble effect from the MGM movie.

 

I do hope that Disney does something else with the Oz rights, though.  The books are SO good, and I love that they tried to adapt “Ozma of Oz” before – back in the 1980s with “Return to Oz”  – but it’s too bad that film turned out the way it did.  I love it, and I loved it when I saw it in 1985, but it really is messed up.  They took what was already a story with a few slightly weird/frightening elements and made parts of it downright sinister – changing the gnomes from funny little elf-like guys into giant creepy rock faces, having Mombi take over Oz, and LORD ABOVE, committing Dorothy to an asylum at the beginning for electro-shock therapy…!  WHO MADE THESE CHANGES? 😀  There’s so much whimsy in the Oz books, and some of it is dancing the edge of creepy, but it’s never sinister.  I hope Disney knows enough to blame the creative changes and NOT the original content for the failure of Return to Oz, because they have huge amounts of material to mine in order to make another Oz movie and I’d hate to see that wasted. Especially since they’re basically holding those stories hostage so that no one else can do them, either. 😛

Vlog Cramming: vlogs 3 and 4

So remember I said I was going to be vlogging the weeks leading up to my possible-but-not-yet-definite Disney World trip in October?  And then I posted two and didn’t post any others?
SURPRISE!  I DID record others!  And they ARE up on YouTube! I just have failed at promoting them because I am so unbelievably busy.  So, to catch up, here are vlogs 3 and 4; #3 dates back to before my recent trip to San Francisco (which sort of kicked off my “Falling off the face of the earth” phase I’ve been stuck in since mid-June), I believe it was on 6/10:

My interview with my daughter, in which I ask her questions about what she remembers from our last trip (February 2011, right before her 5th birthday; she doesn’t remember that much *G*) and what she’d like to have come up on the next one!

#4 was indeed recorded on time, on 6/17, while I was in San Francisco. I even got it up on YouTube right away. Then I was utterly not able to blog it up here. My goodness I’m overwhelmed with work! Anyone who follows me on Twitter is probably really sick of me saying that by now. XD

I was put up in the Marriott Marquis, a LOVELY hotel in the Union Square area of San Francisco and just a short mile-or-so walk to the waterfront. As I mentioned in the video, I did indeed get to take Wednesday afternoon off and walk around. 🙂 BUT my camera died about halfway through the walk so I didn’t get to take any pics of the huge Disney Store two blocks from my hotel. 😛

So that’s it! I have vlogs 5 and 6 uploaded and ready to post soon, too!  For the record, my YouTube channel is here and I have a few (very few) non-vlog videos there.  Mostly about my kids though.  Might get more interesting when I have more to post, lol, we’ll see. 😉  Subscribers welcome!  I sub back! ;D