Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet Disney Princess Anika Noni Rose ~ Tiana

Meet the voice of Disney's Ninth Princess Tiana

Anika Noni Rose (September 6th, 1972)


       Anika Noni Rose (born September 6, 1972) is an American singer and actress known for her Tony Award winning performance in the Broadway production of Caroline, or Change and her starring roles in the films Dreamgirls and The Princess and the Frog.
       Anika Noni Rose fulfilled a lifelong ambition with her Disney debut. "Since I was a little kid I wanted to work for Disney -- and I didn't need to be the Princess! I would have been a tick or a flea!"

          Born and raised in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Anika received classical training at the San Francisco American Conservatory Theater. She soon set her sights on the Broadway stage and was hired for the production of the musical Footloose. Her theatre repertoire also includes Eli's Comin', for which she received an Obie Award in 2001; the role of Lutiebelle in the Encores! production of Purlie; and roles in The Threepenny Opera and Tartuffe, which played at A.C.T's Geary Theater.

          For her breathtaking performance on Broadway in Caroline, or Change, Anika won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. When she reprised the role in the West Coast productions in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Anika won both the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award and an Ovation Award. Returning to the New York stage in 2007, Anika tackled Tennessee Williams as Maggie the Cat (the role made famous by Elizabeth Taylor) in a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, opposite Terrence Howard, James Earl Jones, and Phylicia Rashad.

          On television, Anika was cast in an adaptation of The New York Times best seller The Starter Wife (2007), which debuted to record ratings and earned multiple Emmy nominations. She moved next to the television series adaptation of another huge literary phenomenon, HBO's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008?2009) in the role of Grace Makutsi. More recently Anika has had a featured role in the CBS series The Good Wife.

          Anika's breakout role in films came in 2006 when she played Lorrell Robinson, the third member of the legendary trio at the center of Dreamgirls. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and shared a Grammy nomination with Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson for the Dreamgirls soundtrack album. Anika also played a role in the independent comedy feature Just Add Water (2008), directed by Hart Bochner and co-starring Danny DeVito and Justin Long. Most recently, she was in the ensemble cast of Tyler Perry's film For Colored Girls (2010).

          When Disney came calling, Anika dazzled as Tiana in 2009's The Princess and the Frog, making the song "Almost There" an instant Disney classic. "I always dreamed of being a voice in a Disney movie, but even in those dreams, I never once dreamed of being a princess," she once said. "I just wanted to be a voice. I feel like what an honor that this is how the dream comes true, bigger and stronger than I had even imagined it.

          "I feel like I am in such a beautiful spot right now," Anika acknowledges. "I feel like I'm living my fairy tale in this portion of my career."

Early life

          Rose was born in Bloomfield, Connecticut. In her freshman year in high school, she appeared in a school production and caught the acting bug. She then attended Florida A&M University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in theatre, and started studying drama at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, California.


          Rose moved to New York without a job. After three months, she secured the role of Rusty in Broadway's Footloose. She followed Footloose with numerous workshops and two musicals using pre-existing song catalogs, Eli's Comin' Off-Broadway and Me and Mrs. Jones with Lou Rawls in Philadelphia. Both of the full-scale tuners were rumored for transfers, but neither made it anywhere after their limited engagements ended. Rose's big Broadway break was getting cast as Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change. In 2004, she was awarded the Theatre World Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress, and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change.

          Rose's debut in movies came with the 1999 film King of the Bingo Game as "film noir female". In 2003, she played the role of Kaya in From Justin to Kelly, in 2004 she performed in Temptation, followed by Surviving Christmas as a singer in the choir. In 2006, Rose starred in Dreamgirls as Lorrell Robinson with Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. Rose appeared in the films Just Add Water, Razor, and Disney's 2009 animated feature, The Princess and the Frog, as the voice of the lead character Tiana; the character is Disney's first African American princess. Rose hosted a hometown screening of The Princess and the Frog for children from the Charter Oak Cultural Center, a non-profit multi-cultural arts center that provides free after-school programs in Hartford, Connecticut. Rose also stars alongside Jill Scott in The No. 1 Ladies Dective Agency directed by anthony Minghella.

          In 2010, she played the role of Yasmine in the movie For Colored Girls. One critic described Rose's performance as "especially fierce".

          Rose has been cast to play Sara Tidwell in the upcoming A&E miniseries based on Stephen King's novel Bag of Bones.

          Rose was named a Disney Legend on August 19, 2011.

Awards and nominations


·         1998: Dean Goodman Choice Award – Valley Song

·         1998: Garland/Drama Logue Award – Valley Song

·         1999: S.F. Bay Guardian Upstage/Downstage Award – Valley Song and Threepenny Opera

·         2001: OBIE Award – Eli's Comin'

·         2004: Clarence Derwent Award – Caroline, or Change

·         2004: Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress – Caroline, or Change

·         2004: Theatre World Award – Caroline, or Change

·         2004: Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical – Caroline, or Change

·         2010: Black Reel Award – Best Voice Performance – The Princess and the Frog

·         2010: Black Reel Award – Best Song (Original or Adapted) "Almost There" – The Princess and the Frog

·         2011: Black Reel Award – Outstanding Ensemble – For Colored Girls

·         2011: Disney Legend Award – Animation (voice) – The Princess and the Frog


·         2004: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical – Caroline, or Change

·         2007: Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Dreamgirls

·         2007: Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture – Dreamgirls

·         2008: Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Mini-Series/ Television Movie – The Starter Wife

·         2008: Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media- Dreamgirls

·         2009: Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Comedy or Television-Movie or Mini-Series- Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency

·         2010: Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture - The Princess and the Frog

·         2010: Black Reel Award- Best Ensemble- The Princess and the Frog

·         2010: Image Award- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series- The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency

·         2011: Black Reel Award- Best Ensemble- For Colored Girls

·         2011: Black Reel Award- Best Supporting Actress- For Colored Girls

·         2011: Image Award- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture- For Colored Girls



Valley Song
Veronica Jonkers
Hydriotaphia, or the Death of Dr. Browne
His Soul
Threepenny Opera
Polly Peachum
Carmen Jones
Cindy Lou
Eli's Comin'
The Woman
Me and Mrs. Jones
Caroline, or Change
Emmie Thibodeaux
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Maggie "The Cat"


King of the Bingo Game
Film Noir Female
Leonard Bernstein's Mass at Vatican City
From Justin to Kelly
Surviving Christmas
Lorrell Maya Robinson
Just Add Water
The Princess and the Frog
Princess Tiana (voice)
For Colored Girls
As Cool As I Am


100 Centre Street (1 episode)
Third Watch (1 episode)
The Starter Wife (miniseries)
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Grace Makutsi
The Good Wife
Wendy Scott-Carr
Law & Order:; Special Victims Unit (1 episode)
Miriam Deng

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!
You can find for all formats at
And for the Nook at
It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Capturing Magical Holiday Memories at Disneyland

Capturing Magical Holiday Memories at Disneyland

                So you want a memorable Christmas picture taken of your family at Christmas time. Where is the best place to take it? You have many choices and what you choose depends on you.

                At sometime during the holiday we take a trip to Disneyland and we take extra clothes with us just for our Christmas picture. Knowing that usually the weather here in California is too warm for the "typical Christmas outfits" we take them with us and change out of them after the picture. That includes our Disney Santa hats. If the weather is cooler we will leave them on.

                If you like the feel of Main Street at Christmas there is the giant Christmas tree to use as a back drop. There are usually several cast members there ready to take your picture for you. They will be glad to use your camera or take the picture with theirs for you to purchase. You can also find Mickey and the gang around Main Street dressed in their Christmas outfits to pose with.

                Cinderella's Castle is a wonderful backdrop for your family photo any time of your but at Christmas it is extra magical. The Castle has snow on the roof and at night it is covered in lights.

                If you want a more western feel go into Frontierland and look around for some of the gorgeous decorations there to pose in front of.

                New Orleans is covered in amazing decorations. There are numerous places to take your photo.  The New Orleans Train Station a fantastic place for a picture as is the Haunted Mansion. You may even find Jack Skellington outside the Mansion if you time it right! We usually have our picture taken in a little alcove behind the Christmas shop, just down the street from the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean. There is a beautiful set of stairs there that lead up to a cast member only area. You are always welcome to sit on the there for a moment and take your picture.

                If you are in a more playful mood head over to Toontown and see if Santa Goofy is there at the band stand. You can also take pictures in front of Mickey and Minnie's homes as they are always decorated for the holidays. Goofy and Donald also put up decorations but in my opinion not as much. Mickey and Minnie even have Christmas trees in their front yards! Even the front of the shops in Toontown are decorated and can be a interesting place for pictures. The Christmas tree in front of Toontown City Hall is a fun photo op as well.

                It's a Small World is all decked out for the Holidays and is a whimsical backdrop of your family photo for Christmas. With its fun clock adorned with a Santa hat it is a fun picture.

                For a more traditional feel you can always head over to Santa's Reindeer Roundup and get your picture taken with Santa in his western home. Mrs. Claus also shows up for pictures from time to time. Even after Christmas Santa will be at his house for pictures, without his red suit. After Christmas Santa changes from his traditional red suit to a green and red plaid suit with more of a mountain man feel.

                If you wish you can go into the hotels and check out their decorations and see if they are more to your taste for pictures. The Grand Californian has been the place for our family a couple of times.

                Wherever you choose to take your picture it will be wonderful. Just remember the best pictures are the ones that are in your mind and never got taken with a camera.

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!
You can find for all formats at
And for the Nook at
It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone
It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

Monday, November 28, 2011

Disneyland Annual Pass, Is it a Good Deal??

Disneyland Annual Pass, Is It a Good Deal??

            At this time of year many people consider getting a Disneyland Annual Pass as a gift for family or friends. Is it worth it? I think it is and let me tell you why

            With the AP (Annual Pass) you have the freedom to go to the park as often as you want (within the limits of your pass' blackout days) without having to worry about paying for each visit. Depending on the type of pass you purchase you may have Blackout Days where you can't go. If you are live in Southern California you can pay for one day one park and change that into an AP with monthly payments ranging from between $10 to $36.

            Depending what level of pass you choose to get you get special discounts and a newsletter. Free parking comes with the Premium Pass, but can be added onto the other passes for an extra fee. The discounts range from 10% for the lower level Pass' to 20% for the Premium Pass at most of the shops and from 10% for the lower level Pass' to 15% for the Premium Pass at most restaurants. All pass' get discounts on Disney Resort Hotel rooms. Even the local "Good Neighbor" hotels around Disneyland offer Disney AP rates!

            In general I believe the level of pass you get depends on how many days during the year you think you will be going to Disneyland. Even the most expensive pass pays for itself in four days at the park. When I figure that I take the price of a one day park hopper ticket, plus the price of parking and use that at what a day costs. Then consider the added discounts and it gets even better.

            If you are coming for a seven night stay at the park from out of state I still say consider one person in your group gets a Premium AP to take advantage of all the discounts. This can save you money in the long run. If you think you will have a good chance to come back for a second visit in the next twelve months consider getting the AP!

            If you are a total Disney Fanatic and planning on going to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World then the top of the line Platinum Pass may be the best for you. I figure seven nights and any Disney Park in the United States and it pays for itself with savings on admission and discounts.

            Now for another interesting side to leaving near a Disney Park and having an AP. You don't feel as rushed. You can take the time to sit and wait for the best seat for a show, parade or fireworks display. You can just drop in for a few hours and ride a couple of rides and go home. You don't feel like you have to do everything in one day.

            So is a Disneyland AP a good deal?? I think so! I highly recommend it to any Disney fan living near enough to take advantage of the fun.

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!
You can find for all formats at
And for the Nook at
It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone
It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
I remember as a child many happy hours spend running around Tom Sawyer's Island. I remember searching for Injun Joe's cave and other hideouts. The frightening swaying bridges and other places to run and play were a place of joy and laughter. Gone are many of the caves and other hysterical historical elements. Fort Wilderness was closed, torn down and rebuilt never to reopen for guests. Still this area is a great place to bring kids of all ages in need of a place to run free after hours of confinement in lines. There is only one wan on and off the island so parents don't fret. You can find a place to relax near the raft dock and wait while the kids that are old enough run around. I know my mom waited for me near the dock knowing I could get in little trouble (she knew I would follow the rules) and I could not get off the island without her seeing me.

The Island was originally themed on the classic Mark Twain character, Tom Sawyer. As the years have gone by fewer children know the story of Tom and Huck and their exciting adventures. The theme was changed to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme in 2007 due to the overwhelming success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. You may ask how can the two themes exist together. It is an easy mix if you remember that the Pirates of the Caribbean often came into Louisiana and sometimes went up the Mississippi River. Tom and Huck had some adventures with pirates in their books so it does fit.

I feel the pirate theme adds a lot of appeal to the old island. You may get to see Captain Jack and sometimes there is a pirate band playing at the landing.

Discover a rustic island overrun by thick wilderness foliage ... and pirate treasure! Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island recalls the plucky adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn when they ran away to a remote island to live the carefree life of a pirate. Sail across the Rivers of America on a raft, wander forest trails, explore secret hideouts and brave mysterious caves rumored to contain cursed treasures left by generations of greedy rogues.


In a lush setting reminiscent of the Missouri wilderness, you'll encounter numerous landmarks that are perfect for pirate adventures:

·         Enter, if you dare, a dark and foreboding cavern haunted by ghastly apparitions inside Dead Man's Grotto.

·         Get a scenic view from atop the secret hideout of Tom and Huck's Tree House.

·         Bounce across a rope bridges and uncover hidden secrets in Smuggler's Cove.

·         Climb to the peaks of Castle Rock or descend below the surface to find a subterranean treasure trove.

·         Unearth a mass of pirate loot at the Treasure Dig.

·         Inspect the ingenious gears and inner workings of the Blacksmith Shop.

Hours of Operation

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island closes at dusk to protect your cargo from wanton acts of piracy.


The area opened in 1956, one year after the opening of Disneyland Park.

Prior to the debut of Fantasmic! in 1992, when the south end of the Island was re-built to facilitate the nighttime show, Tom Sawyer Island saw very little change. The Island received major upgrades, new show elements, and a complete re-theming in 2007 when it re-opened as Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The re-theming eradicated much of the previous Tom Sawyer theme in favor of characters and elements from and inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island's opening coincided with the theatrical release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Geography and features

Guests visit the island, surrounded by the Rivers of America, by traveling on a motorized raft which is piloted by a Disneyland cast member.

While aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia or Mark Twain Riverboat, Disneyland guests travel clockwise around the island. Looking to starboard, they can see the many areas and adventure opportunities of the island. To port, they see Disneyland itself and from time to time will see a Disneyland Railroad train passing by. At the northern end of the island, inaccessible to guests, is the Burning Settler's Cabin, a cabin that used to actually burn by spewing fire from its roof. Despite guest complaints, the park no longer ignites the roof of the cabin with propane each time a watercraft passes by. The Walt Disney World version lasted until 2006, where the pipes (the originals from 1971) were damaged by age and being turned off while the Riverboat was under "rehab".

Over the years, there have been theme changes to the cabin itself: originally, it was said to have been set afire by a hostile native tribe. This storyline was eventually changed due to complaints from Native American guests, so it was said to have been the home of a moonshiner who had fallen into a drunken stupor when he should have been minding his still; later, after the live flames were eliminated, the fire was described (at least in the Mark Twain steamboat narration) as the result of unspecified carelessness, and as having left not only the cabin's owner homeless, but also some of the local wildlife.

The most prominent structure on the island, viewable from Frontierland, Adventureland and New Orleans Square, is Lafitte's Tavern, which was formerly Harper's Mill.

The Landing

Many a pirate's boot has trod upon this slip of land. And many's the adventure begun here. Keep your wits about you in your travels on the island, for there's treasure and danger here in equal measure. X Marks the spot you seek. Good luck, matey!

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

The Landing on the island consists of a small dock in which the Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island travel to from the mainland. Guests exit the raft here, and then guests waiting in the dock's small switchback queue enter the raft to travel back to the mainland.

Lafitte's Tavern - Pirate Point

Here be a safe harbor from all manner of storms. A wild and boisterous place, no doubt, but a place to learn the ways of the sea and the arts of the master sailors.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Lafitte's Tavern is the former Harper's Mill which has been part of Walt Disney World's Tom Sawyer Island since its inception. The outside walls and porch of Lafitte's Tavern features various swords and the salty pirates visiting this place are asked to stow their weapons outside. Despite the Explorer's Map's lively description of the place, Guests cannot actually enter the Tavern.

The small pirate stunt show takes place on the stage area in front of the Tavern, and between shows The Bilge Rats, a band of pirate musicians entertain guests with lively sea chanteys.

W. Turner Blacksmith

The tools of me trade are forged in iron with fire and smoke. Give me a length of steel in one hand and a fair wind to guide me. Aye, there's nothing better - and nothing more a pirate needs.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

W. Turner Blacksmith features props and show elements reminiscent of the blacksmith shop from Pirates of the Caribbean" The Curse of the Black Pearl in which the character of Will Turner is introduced.

Dead Man's Grotto

The Dead Man's Chest in Dead Man's Grotto, part of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Tread carefully these dark and winding caves. Though none will argue there be treasure here in great abundance, ghostly apparitions do haunt these corridors of stone. And every jewel is guarded well by forces none may know.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Formerly Injun Joe's Cave, Dead Man's Grotto infuses more of the Pirates of the Caribbean film mythology into Tom Sawyer Island. The cave features several prominent interactive elements that feature state-of-the-art lighting and sound technology. The first thing guests will note is that Captain Jack Sparrow has left a note of caution for explorers above the entry. The first major interactive feature guests will encounter is the Chest of Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Upon touching the chest, lighting will change, Davy Jones' disembodied voice will utter words of warning, and guests will be able to feel the heartbeat of Jones' heart from within the chest. Skeletons of previous explorers and pirates litter the pits of the cave, implying danger to those who continue to press onward.

Additional features in the cave include "pop-up" gags featuring Pintel and Ragetti from the Pirates of the Caribbean films who are guarding cursed treasure as well as other effects featuring disappearing treasure and a genie in a bottle guarding treasure.

The end of the Dead Man's Grotto cave features an Audio-Animatronics figure of a cursed pirate prisoner. The pirate's cursed state is in reference to the first Pirates film, but is not representative of any specific character or scene. The cursed pirate comes alive in seemingly random intervals, warning onlookers of the danger of the cursed treasure, asking for help, or sometimes dealing threats. A small, high-up window in the prisoner's cell will occasionally reveal a full moon through the clouds in a dark night sky, which transforms the prisoner into his cursed, undead form.

Smuggler's Cove

Here be the site of many a dark deed by moonlight. And in these waters, who can tell how much plundered coin lies below in the hold of scuttled ships? And who can tell what forces guard these treasures still?

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Smuggler's Cove is a remnant of the original Tom Sawyer Island, however, has been changed dramatically for the Pirate's Lair makeover. The area now appears to be the site of the wreck of a small sailing vessel which was carrying much pirate loot. Smuggler's Cover features several interactive play features including:

·         Capstan Wheel: When turned by eager explorers, the capstan wheel hoists a treasure chest out of the watery wreckage, with the skeletal remains of a pirate still holding onto his beloved treasure.

·         Bilge Pumps: Bilge pumps allow guests to pump out some of the water from the flooded ship, revealing skeletons of long-dead pirates still guarding their treasure in their watery grave.

·         Bone Cage: The bone cage serves as a photo-op for guests and is a smaller replica of the bone cages featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest feature film.

·         Suspension Bridge: The suspension bridge is an element from the original Tom Sawyer Island, and crosses overhead, above the bilge pumps and bone cage feature.

·         Pontoon Bridge: Rocking and splashing in the water, the pontoon bridge crosses the water for daring explorers near the capstan wheel wreckage.

Castle Rock

The treacherous shoals what surround the island have claimed many a fair vessel and her crew. Here lie broken beams and planks, worn and weathered to serve as memorial, shelter, and lookout perch alike. While below, 'tis said, there lies a king's ransom, hid in some dark passageway, too narrow for most to navigate.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Castle Rock is a large rock structure which features stationary telescopes, giving guests views of specific scenery and points of interest back on the Frontierland and Critter Country mainland. The area was mostly unchanged during the Pirate's Lair re-theme, and only features a couple of hidden pirate chests and themed barrels bearing the East India Trading Company stamp.

Pirate's Den - Shipwreck

No fearsome storm did leave this shipwreck high upon the rocks at Pirate's Den, they say. T'was something monstrous that stirred the sea that day and tore this mighty ship in twain.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

That official description of the Shipwreck alludes to the Kraken creature featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The shipwreck is a minor feature, only being a small walk-through feature with no interactive elements. Inside the Shipwreck, Davy Jones' ghostly voice can be heard whispering warnings to those who dare inspect the wreckage. The inside of the wreckage features more state-of-the-art LED lighting design, similar to what is seen on a larger scale in Dead Man's Grotto. The wreckage is littered with barnacles, a skeleton, weaponry, and other features from a pirate ship.

The Captain's Treasure

Somewhere beyond Smuggler's Cove and Castle Rock, a fabulous treasure lies. Steady as you go, mates - for it be guarded by the fiercest of pirates. Gather your knowledge of the island well, for all who happen upon this treasure shall be asked to account for themselves. Them what pleases the guards, they say, may be allowed to join the pirate brotherhood and take the solemn oath.

— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

The Captain's Treasure is a large mound of loot at the furthest end of the Island accessible to guests. The area is a photo-op in which guests can pose with the mound of treasure, and often Captain Jack Sparrow can be found posing for photos with guests.

Tom & Huck's Tree House

Tom and Huck's Tree House is the only major guest-accessible feature on the Island not to be notably featured on the Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The Tree House is a remnant of the original Tom Sawyer Island theme, and is arguably now irrelevant in regards to the Island's pirate theme. The Tree House was mostly unchanged during the Pirate's Lair re-theme, except for a couple of small pirate additions themed to appear as though Tom and Huck made them in the tree house.

Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness is an original 1956 feature of Tom Sawyer Island. Previously a guest-accessible feature of the island, Fort Wilderness was closed after the island re-opened from a refurbishment in 2003. In 2007 Disney demolished the original 1956 Fort Wilderness due to long-neglected termite and weather damage. A new Fort Wilderness was constructed; however, instead of being constructed with authentic hand-hewn logs, it was built with standard milled lumber. As of June 2008, the new Fort Wilderness is still incomplete. The new Fort Wilderness will not be accessible to guests, and will instead house break rooms for island Cast Members and performers.

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!

You can find for all formats at

And for the Nook at

It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone

It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon