Sunday Blog Showcase: Quest for the Vault Disney

The first question you might ask about this blog is “What is “the Vault Disney” supposed to mean?” And to get that, you have to be aware of the phrase “The Disney Vault”, referring to Disney’s business practice of rereleasing their films every few years for a limited time only, then returning them to “The Vault”.

 

As to how that relates to Quest for the Vault Disney, this blog – run by Jesse Stephenson – initially was started to chronicle the Disney releases and encourage them to “unvault” more of their huge untapped history of TV shows and movies, some of which haven’t seen the light of day in decades.  So hence, the name.  But the blog expanded from there as Jesse delved more into history as well, and now the blog covers not only Disney media but also history of the Disneyland park, and a lot more. It’s not defined on the “About” page, but he covers characters, company history, and even the infamous “Dining on $40 a Day” challenge made popular by (among others) Enchanted Tiki Talk podcast.

 

As a lifetime east-coaster, I do have a bias towards WDW. This isn’t a bias of “they’re just better!” but of familiarity; to me, “going to Disney!” equals Disney World.  Don’t ask me which is better: I can’t tell you, I can only say how much I love the one I go to regularly. 🙂 But, due to that bias of familiarity, I do frequent more blogs that keep that same bias and talk more about WDW.  This isn’t intentional and so I’m glad to find blogs that fill in the blanks and look at Disneyland, which is after all the original Disney Park.  And the history is that much more meaningful to Walt Disney fans.  Jesse previously ran an entire series on ExtinctAttractionLand (note: this is not the first post in the series, just one I liked), looking over some classic attractions that are no longer with us – or in some cases, attractions that have been brought back.

 

As I mentioned though, there is plenty of general Disney history to go over, including Dick Van DykeWalt Disney and the Oscars! And a personal fave, the early days of Disney video rentals. I am just young enough that I did not know this. 😀

 

OK, I have flung enough links at you. (Well, one more. Best of the Worst list, about Disney Villains, because I indirectly inspired it.) Now GO catch up for yourself on the blog!

Saturday Blog Showcase: Disney Kate

OK, Disney blog enjoyers, today’s Blog Showcase is one you’re sure to enjoy! (Actually I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy all of the ones I’ve put up so far, but I continue to be sure you will enjoy today’s as well!)  DisneyKate.com, run by someone whose name is not Kate… no, that’s a lie. I couldn’t resist. 😉  The owner of the site is indeed Kate, and she loves Disney!

The blog is organized in a unique way that makes it almost more like a full fansite than a blog, except that what is on it are blog posts, written essays about various aspects of the Disney universe (shall we say).  It is generally organized into three different sections: The Disney Culture, looking at films and music, plus other aspects of Disney in our culture – books, shopping items, things like that; the Wonderful World that Walt Built, which covers planning and news and general info for the vacation destinations; and Kate’s Disney, a more personal and fun-based look at Kate’s own Disney-styled life. Art, stories, social media and so forth.

Now, as I said, the whole thing is more like a website than a blog and as such it’s got big plans and is still under preparation in a lot of ways. For instance the Disney Culture section will examine and review each of the 53 Animated Features of the Disney company; so far there’s a review for Frozen and The Lion King, plus the upcoming addition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This section also has a page up for “Easter Eggs” in Disney and Pixar movies. On the other hand, Kate’s Disney’s multiple sections are all online and have content, but it’s clear there is much more to come! The Golden Stitchys – a social media award – is up and running and will give you some recommendations for other blogs and Twitterers, along with a super-doggone-cute award design. 🙂 (Disclosure: Yeah, I have one, but that’s really not the reason why I’m showcasing Kate’s blog. LOL.) There is also photography, personal stories, and artwork available. This section is really where you’d want to go to get to know Kate and to interact with her. Which you really should do;  she’s very friendly and lots of fun. 😀

The Wonderful World that Walt Built (aka the Disney Parks section) is the most complete so far with articles both on planning your trip, and on saving stress and aggravation. You really should put some effort into at least one or the other of these on your trip. 😉 Some people hate to plan, and that’s cool, but if you want a spontaneous trip (and that is possible at WDW!) you should at least know what to expect before you get there so that you minimize the stress!  So Kate has some good tips there. Finally, on the “Things to do at Disney” section you can get info on Pin Trading (always popular) as well as eventually some Hidden Mickey fun.

The blog has clearly got a lot more coming and I really enjoy wandering through it.  I suggest getting in there now and enjoying what’s there and what’s to come!  Kate has a great detailed writing style and her art is terrific too.  Stop by and enjoy, is my long-overdue recommendation!

Also, thanks for stopping by here… hope you enjoyed. 😉

Saturday Blog Showcase: Mouse on the Mind

It’s time, after a multi-week hiatus, for my blog showcase this weekend! And this week’s showcase is a long-0verdue nod to a blog that doesn’t really NEED a boost in traffic, since it’s a long-standing and popular one, but regardless a very deserving referral!

And that is to MouseOntheMind.com, by Melissa! Updated daily with pictures, reviews, opinions, LOTS of pictures, did I mention pictures?, and more, MotM follows weekly topics but doesn’t feel forced or locked into any routines because of it.  Right now, series include reviews of the in-park scavenger hunt-style games, such as Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, or Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot; the sharing of a picture from each country in the World Showcase of a thing that makes Melissa happy; a Weekly Roundup of blog posts that caught Melissa’s eye; and of course the very popular monthly feature, “Kill, Marry, Refurb” that Mouse On the Mind co-posts with This Happy Place Blog (which I showcased waaaaay back when)!

Of recent posts, this review of the Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom is a favourite since I’ve actually done this and really enjoyed it; a post about the benefits of an in-resort coffee kiosk is interesting even though I don’t drink coffee; thoughts and ideas about Disney-inspired nail art bring out a lot of creativity.  There’s a lot more – like many of the best Disney blogs, there is always something!  Go and browse and enjoy! Leave comments, too… Bloggers love nothing more than to get comments and feedback!

Happy weekend!

Saturday Blog Showcase: The Disney Freak Blog

This post is a bit late in coming today, but it is still Saturday as I write (and will still be, in the US, for several hours yet).  The blog I was originally going to feature today has not, I found out to my regret, updated in a month or so and although I do intend to keep it on my reading list, when I feature things I want to be sure it’s more or less active (at least at the time of the feature). I know I’m not one to talk about not updating much – and I also know I say this every week – so it’s not a judgment, just that I am going to wait a little bit on that one and come back to it. 🙂

Meanwhile, instead of my original (but great) choice, I’ve found a different great one! Today we’re looking at The Disney Freak Blog!  The blog has just celebrated its 2 anniversary, like within the past month, so clearly I’m stumbling onto it late. But it is going strong, and the author, Molly, has a great handle on running things.  She combines written posts with vlogs, giving reviews and updates and things that way.  She has a review of “Saving Mr. Banks” and some thoughts on the upcoming “Maleficent”, as well as other Disney- and movie-related news, scattered throughout.

She also loves “Frozen” and so there is a lot of content there.  Rather than be one-note about it, it’s all legitimately interesting and well-put together, fun and engaging. She uses plenty of photos and YouTube clips to illustrate her posts, and there are topics ranging from how to emulate Elsa’s smexy braid ‘do (that animated gif of Elsa letting her hair down. Cannot. stop. watching.), to kids little kids covering the songs from the movie, to a review of the Frozen Free Fall app. Which I have heard is essentially video game crack and makes me glad I don’t game on apps. I’d kill my phone battery in a couple of hours. 😉

There are also all kinds of things in between, breaking news from the World O’ Dis, photos of pretty things, and more.  Go, browse, enjoy!

Saturday Blog Showcase: 365 Days at Disney

So, to be fair, I have KIND OF showcased this blog before, but not on Saturday Blog Showcase. And it had just started at the time so it deserves a revisit!

What, you may ask, does the name mean? 365 Days At Disney? What’s that about? Well, it comes from the blogger (Wes)’s desire to spend a year at Walt Disney World and write about it.  The plan is still in development, but that was the impetus for the blog: to figure out the logistics of spending a year at WDW, without actually moving permanently to Florida, and spending at least part of every day in at least one park.

So I followed for this, to see how that would go.  The blog has meanwhile blossomed upwards into a more widely-varying Disney blog, with thoughts on quite a lot of different topics.  Not just movie reviews and those kinds of things, but “When should you take your young children to see Frozen“. Not just “How I plan a trip to Disney” but “Surviving Someone Else’s Disney Trip“, which is itself an odd kind of planning post.

Wes has currently quite a few things going on in his personal life so the blog updates are not all that regular, but look at ME and you’ll see why I can’t talk. 🙂  What is there is great, and it is worth checking back for updates, whenever they may come!  Particularly because Wes IS still actively interested in the blog and has some great plans for 2014!

If you are interested in helping him out with his efforts to actually accomplish the title of the blog, let him know. More support, the better!  Tell him I sent you and I will get absolutely nothing in return, but it makes me sound pretty impressive! 😉

Saturday Blog Showcase: Castles, Capes and Clones

So the name represents the basic triad of the Disney Universe as it now stands: Castles (traditional Disney with the princesses etc), Capes (Marvel superheroes), and Clones (Star Wars). Though one could also argue that perhaps the resemblance between Anna from Frozen and Rapunzel from Tangled NOPE, not going there! ;D

(Okay, for the record, I’m kidding. I don’t think the two characters look all that alike beyond a similarity in animation style that limits the way the faces look.  I was looking for an easy joke. MOVING on…)

So there you have it: The blog I have most recently discovered, http://www.castlescapesandclones.com/!  The subject matter covered is widely varying, with those three themes in common.  So you’ve got reviews of Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., a TV show I have not watched (but given that I have a background as an 80s Marvel geek, one I am still peripherally interested in, in the same way I’m interested in the Avengers movies); Disney parks news; movie news and speculative essays on the roles of women and non-Caucasians in Disney releases;  and photos from all over various Disney parks, including Hong Kong Disney, so who is envious NOW huh? 😛 Sorry; that just slipped out. 🙂

The blog is updated regularly and thus far there’s a LOT to read up on.  I find the writing style engaging too, not just standard news reporting but with some real thought to it, like the post I linked to about Disney’s upcoming “Moana”.  It goes into a lot of detail and just in general some great pensive thoughts. The same can be said for all the posts I’ve read, even the Throwback Thursday about Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.  The other thing is that the variety of post topics available keeps the blog from running out of steam or getting stale.  It’s just good content all around; check it out today!  Why not? It’s Saturday – new blog day! 😀

Saturday Blog Showcase: Get Ready For Disney

Guess what? I found a new blog! 😀

Well, lots of blogs are new to me… heck, I’m still finding out about blogs that have been around for years. Because I’m like that.  This one, though, actually is new – just started in 2014!  The downside is that there are only 6 entries so far, but the blog is consistently updated (look at my blog and shake your head disapprovingly… go on, shake it, that’s OK) and the topics are great.

The point of the blog is to get you ready for your next trip and answer questions you may have. The writer definitely writes opinion pieces though (which, as we all know if we follow my Saturday Blog write-ups, is a favourite thing of mine).  Obviously, review posts are opinions automatically, but I love it when you get a bit of personality into a review or just a general blog news post.  Yes indeedy, we have that here!

I think what really caught my eye was the most recent post, about Fort Wilderness… which, as we again all know, is among my favourite resorts and I camped there on my last trip!  My visits have always been tent camping, and I don’t get to spend as much time in the actual resort as I would like since they’re always short trips; this post has a perspective of a cabin visit, which I have never done, and it lists all the recreational activities at Fort Wilderness. Or at least, most of them; it’s true that there might be more. 🙂

Other topics include informational posts, such as the 2014 Disney Dining Plan list of participating restaurants; tips, like on using FastPass for the Be Our Guest lunch; and funny little mini-posts like “Here’s Your Ears!”  There are also subpages of the blog, including planning info, reviews of hotels, dining, recent Disney news, and some Frequently Asked Questions.  Still new, as I said, but clearly with some great plans and potential for growth!

Visit Get Ready For Disney here today and check back often for new content!

Saturday Blog Showcase: Living A Disney Life

Well, and aren’t we all? (To varying degrees, probably most of you reading are.  Some, perhaps not. I could have a bit more but – wait, what am I doing? NOT the point of the post, Rebecca.)

Today’s blog showcase focuses on a blog by Lisa Green, Living a Disney Life, which has been a pleasure to discover and dip into! Lisa is every bit as Disney obsessed as so many of us are – and let’s face it, if you are looking for Disney blogs to read, you probably are at least a LITTLE obsessed – and she updates frequently, with LOTS of information.  A DVC member and frequent Disney visitor/cruiser, Lisa is “Empty nesting with pixie dust” and her posts range a wide variety of topics.  I am jealous, her posts range such a variety!

A quick glance over the first three pages of her blog will give you reviews of old Disney vinyl soundtrack albums, GREAT first-person experience reports on cruises, a list of recommended podcasts (there are so many great ones! I think I’ve only heard half of the ones she lists), Disney Dining tips, and firsthand information on MyMagic+… 2 out of 3 parts of this have been posted so far and I’m linking to part 2, because it links to part 1.

And that’s actually not even everything you can find!  I jumped around a bit to keep you guessing. 🙂

Best part, the informative posts are written simply but expressively, and Lisa is not afraid to weigh in with her own opinion as well.  Until I was digging around the blog, I had NO idea it’s only a few months old.  It reads like a seasoned site that has been around for a while and earned its ears (as they like to say); this one is definitely on my follow list and I hope it pops onto yours, as well. 🙂

Saturday Blog Showcase: Disney For Five+

To Disney, the average family coming to visit their resorts  is two parents and two kids.  You can see this reflected in their price estimates when they are marketing offers (family of four – always, family of four) and in the fact that relatively few of their resorts, outside of the Deluxe Villas, can accommodate more than 4 in all, unless the fifth is an infant.

And this is fine; this is standard. But just because they operate on the default assumption that you’re going to be coming with four people or less, that doesn’t mean that Disney is necessarily hard to navigate if you have more people.  It does, though, mean that it’s good to have resources and advice from someone who regularly does navigate with five or more, and that is where today’s Saturday Blog Showcase comes in.

Heather’s Disney For Five + is, first of all, written by a mother of three – so there is plenty of first-person experience.  Heather says that she is not only sharing her own experiences, but actively seeking input from other larger families, so if this mirrors your experience and you haven’t found her blog before now I’m sure she’d LOVE to hear from you – and you can only have a great time checking out her blog to begin with. 🙂

Much of the content on Heather’s blog is in the form of reviews (like this one for Be Our Guest, or this one for All-Star Music Resort), announcements of news (and breakdowns of the promos), which can apply to anyone travelling to Walt Disney World so don’t write the blog off just because you say “Eh, I only have one kid, I won’t have anything to read.”  Not that I think anyone would say that but y’know what I mean. 😉  One of the other reasons why I recommend Disney For Five + is because, as with so many of the blogs I showcase, I love her writing style.

I also love her choice of content.  I don’t mention it much but Mousekeeping (the term used for the housekeeping staff on Disney properties) are generally wonderful and if you have a great experience, they deserve to hear about it.  The latest post as of this writing is an entry on Mousekeeping and ways to show them some love if the person tending to your room goes above and beyond with a bit of extra pixie dust.  Another recent entry is a glowing review for Gaston’s Tavern that makes me crave pork. 😀

Unlike some of us bloggers (ME), Heather is able to keep many of her posts short and to the point, so you’ll get some nice bite-sized entries, easy to keep up with.  Definitely put her on your follow list, and enjoy!

Hopefully I will see you next week with another inconsistently-scheduled Saturday Blog Showcase! 😀

Sunday Blog Showcase: Relive The Magic

I’m far, far behind on Blog Showcases and there are a lot of people I’ve intended to get to for some time, so this weekend gets a two-fer! 🙂

Relive The Magic is actually both blog and podcast; you can find the podcast on iTunes, or collected here (for anyone who, like me, doesn’t use iTunes), and you can also get videos of the podcast recordings on the RtM YouTube channel. The podcast is hosted by Dallas Thompson, and he covers a wide amount of news on theme parks, Disney-related news, and very much more.  The podcast is well-informed, Dallas even attends events and records them live for you, and he also covers Disney Infinity and other fun things. 😀

Right now, though, I’m going to focus the rest of this post on the blog portion, because this is a Blog showcase – though I make up my rules so if I wanted to expland it to blog/podcast I COULD, but the other reason is because RtM keeps up the blog pretty regularly and in-depth, and I think that deserves as much of a shout-out as the podcast!  Blogging on a regular basis is HARD, and Dallas puts a lot of information and makes an effort to be thorough rather than just report the basic headlines of whatever news is released.

For instance, here is the RtM blog post on the Avatarland concept art.  As you have seen from my post on the subject (I should say “may have seen” since you might not have), everyone and their mother can post these pictures just to say “Hey look!”  Dallas cropped and enlarged them to examine details that are missed when you look at the whole thing in its original size.  That’s a great thing to do, too, because those concept art images are so full of rich detail that they DESERVE to be called out.

As of this week, Dallas is reporting on the newly-reimagined Disney Magic cruise ship, including the Avengers Academy experience for younger guests, and a description of the “AquaDunk”, the new water ride experience on-board the reimagined ship.  Both of these blog posts offered more information and detail than I have seen in most other forums, particularly Disney’s own official releases, so I find them really useful and I’m looking forward to the next posts.

Definitely keep coming back to Relive The Magic’s blog, and sign on for the podcast as well.  (Particularly the October ones, Dallas and I share a Halloween enthusiasm, and he’s been focusing on Halloween events lately!)