Thursday, January 31, 2013

Disney Cruise Line ~ When to Book Your Shipboard and Port Adventures

Disney Cruise Line ~
When to Book Your Shipboard & Port Adventures

            The more popular Shipboard and Port Adventures fill up quickly therefore it is wise to book early. You can book your Shipboard and Port Adventures online from home. First-time cruisers can book their Adventures up to 75 days in advance. Returning Castaway Club members can book further out depending on their club level. Check current policy to see how far in advance you can book your Adventure.
            Booking early also applies to the adult only restaurants Palo and Remy. Both of these adult only romantic restaurants fill early. If you do not book online or by calling in before your cruise you most likely will not get a reservation.
            Spa and Salon treatments can be booked before the cruise. There are also wine and ale tastings that you can sign up for.
            You can also book your Port Adventures for every port at home. This does help with knowing your final cruise cost. You can prepay for your Port Adventures before the cruise or know the amount you will need at the end of the cruise.
            You can even reserve snorkeling equipment, cabanas, bicycles, watercraft and Port Adventures on Castaway Cay before your cruise. Thus ensuring the availability of these for your day Castaway Cay.
            Port Adventures that sellout the quickest are things like dolphin encounters and visits to popular tourist spots.
            Planning your Port Adventure may seem a chore but you can turn it into a party. It can be a way to build anticipation for your upcoming cruise. You can gather the family or friends that are going and look online at all the Port Adventures available at your ports of call. You then can discuss and vote on what you will do as a group.
            You do not have to plan your Port Adventures ahead of time. You can wait until you get on the ship and go to the Port Adventures desk and see what is available. You can also wait until you get to your ports of call and talked to the locals at the port that offer tours. Personally I would not do this. You have no way of verifying the tour operator’s safety record or of making sure that they will have you back to the ship on time. If you miss the boat is up to you to pay to get to the next port of call or to get home.
            If you go with a Disney Cruise Line offered Port Adventure you know that Disney has researched the tour company for safety and quality. You also are assured that the tour operators understand when you have to be back to the ship and will endeavor to make sure you are back on time and do not miss the boat. It is in their best interest to make sure you are back on time otherwise Disney will no longer advertise their tours to their guests.
            You do not have to book any Port Adventures. You may choose just to walk around the port area. I would advise that you do not leave the tourist area while in any port for safety reasons. You don’t even have to leave the ship if you do not wish to. You may choose to stay on board and swim or explore the ship. Exploration of the Disney ship is an adventure all its own. Another good reason to stay on the ship is the fact that the spa and salon have specials on days ship is in port. Be aware that the ships shops are closed while in port.

Click the following link to see what Port Adventures are available at your ports of call: 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Every Disney Hero Has a Voice ~ Westward Ho the Wagons ~ Fess Parker

 Every Disney Hero Has a Voice
Westward Ho the Wagons
Fess Parker ~ John ‘Doc’ Grayson
August 18, 1924 – March 18, 2010

       In the mid-1950s, when Fess parker first donned a coonskin cap to play the American historical character Davy Crockett for a three-part Walt Disney television show, little did he know he was about to become a hero to Baby Boomers across the nation.
More than 40 years later, in 1997, Fess described the profound influence his popular character had on young viewers. “Folks tell me over and over how much that character shaped their lives,” he said. “I have to believe that the impact of those programs was due as much the values inculcated in them as to their entertainment quality.”
Fess was catapulted to fame almost overnight after “Davy Crockett Indian fighter,” “Davy Crockett Goes to Congress,” and “Davy Crockett at the Alamo” debuted on the “Disneyland” television series, beginning in 1954. Even the ditty he recorded for Disney and RCA records, “the Ballad of Davy Crockett” was on the lips of every young boy (and girl) in America at the time, winning the actor a gold record. And when Disneyland opened in 1955, his personal appearance on horseback, as Davy Crockett, proved to be a huge crowd–pleaser.
Born and Fort Worth, Texas, on August 18, 1924, Fess grew up on a farm in San Angelo, Texas. Named after his father (“Fess” means “proud” in Old English), he graduated from the University of Texas in 1950, where he studied law and business administration. He then moved to Los Angeles, to pursue an acting career and studied drama at the University of Southern California. Shortly thereafter, he made his film debut in “Untamed Frontier,” sterling Shelley Winters.
 In 1954, Walt Disney spotted the actor in a film called “Them!” and quickly signed Fess to a Studio contract. He went on to star in such Disney films as “Westward Ho the Wagons!” “The Great Locomotive Chase,” “Old Yeller” and “The Light in the Forest.” He also starred in two additional Davy Crockett television shows: “Davy Crockett’s Keelboat Race” and “Davy Crockett and the River Pirates.” Much later, in 1978, Fess appeared in “NBC Salutes the 25th anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney.”
After leaving Disney, Fess donned his coonskin cap once again to play Daniel Boone. For six years, beginning in 1964, he starred in a popular television series by the same name and record five that’s most popular episodes.
Later, he went on to become a successful businessman in real estate developer, Fess owned a winery in Los Olivos, California (near Santa Barbara) where he could often be found signing his autograph for wine and Disney lovers, alike.
Sadly, Fess Parker died on March 18, 2010 at his home near Santa Barbara, California. He was 85.
Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. (August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010) was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney 1955–1956 TV mini-series and as TV's Daniel Boone from 1964 to 1970. He was also known as a wine maker and resort owner-operator.
The Fess Parker Winery is one of the wineries along the famous Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.

Early years

Fess Parker was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and reared on a farm in Tom Green County near San Angelo. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the latter part of World War II, hoping to become a pilot. He was turned down because he was too tall at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m). He then tried to become a radioman gunner, but he was found too big to fit comfortably into the rear cockpit. He was finally transferred to the Marine Corps as a radio operator and shipped out for the South Pacific shortly before the atom bomb ended the war.
Discharged in 1946, he enrolled in Hardin-Simmons on the GI Bill. He was stabbed in the neck by another driver during a post-collision argument. He was an active member of the H-SU Players Club and transferred to the University of Texas in 1947 as a history major and continued to be active in dramatics. Parker graduated from UT in 1950 with a degree in history. He had been initiated into the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Having one year remaining on his GI Bill, he studied drama at the University of Southern California, where he studied for a master's degree in theater history.


Parker began his show-business career by summer 1951 when he had a $32-a-week job as an extra in the play Mister Roberts, although he is credited with the voice of Leslie, the chauffeur, in the 1950 film Harvey. Within months, he was on location with a minor part in Untamed Frontier with Joseph Cotten and Shelley Winters.
Parker became a contract player with Warner Brothers appearing in small roles in several films such as Springfield Rifle (1952), Island in the Sky, The Bounty Hunter and Battle Cry. In 1954, he appeared as Grat Dalton in the Jim Davis syndicated western anthology series Stories of the Century in the episode The Dalton Brothers.

Davy Crockett

According to Parker himself, when the Walt Disney Company was seeking an actor to play Davy Crockett, James Arness, thereafter cast as Marshal Matt Dillon on CBS's Gunsmoke, was first considered for the title role. Parker had recently graduated to a contract weekly actor, but listened to his agent and appeared in a B movie called Them! which required only one day's work. He had a small scene in the movie as a pilot put into an insane asylum after claiming his plane had been downed by giant flying insects. Arness appeared in a larger role in the same film.
During the screening of this film, Walt Disney looked past Arness and discovered Parker. Disney was impressed by Parker's portrayal of a man who was unswerving in his belief in what he saw despite the forces of authority against him. Parker was asked to drop by the Disney Studio. When he did, he brought his guitar, met Disney, sang a song, then said goodbye. Several weeks later Parker was informed that he had been selected over Arness and several other actors for the role, including Buddy Ebsen who eventually played Crockett's companion, George Russell.
Disney's three episode version of Crockett depicted his exploits as a frontiersman, congressman, and tragic hero of the Alamo. It has been called the first television miniseries, though the term had not yet been coined. Davy Crockett (1954–55) was a tremendous hit and led to a merchandising frenzy for coonskin caps and all things Crockett.
Parker became a contract star for Disney and appeared in The Great Locomotive Chase, Westward Ho, the Wagons!, Old Yeller, and The Light in the Forest. He complained they were all basically the same role. Disney refused to loan Parker for roles outside of that persona, such as The Searchers and Bus Stop.
Parker made guest appearances on many television programs, and composed and sang. He performed the occasional role of Tom Conrad, editor of the Diablo Courier in the syndicated western series, Annie Oakley (1954–1957), starring Gail Davis, Brad Johnson, and Jimmy Hawkins. In 1962, he starred in the title role of the TV series Mr Smith Goes to Washington. Parker took to the stage in 1963, in a traveling production of Oklahoma! as 'Curly'. The movie roles he sought were elusive.

Daniel Boone

Parker's Daniel Boone television series portraying another historic figure of America's frontier days began filming in 1964. Over its six years (1964 to 1970) as one of the highest rated shows of its time, Parker was not only the star of the series but also the co-producer and director of five of its most popular episodes.
Ironically, having been under contract to Disney, Parker became interested in opening a Davy Crockett-themed amusement park. In the late 1960s, he optioned land in northern Kentucky at the confluence of Interstate 71 and Interstate 75, with the intention of building Frontier World. However, when the Taft Broadcasting Company of Cincinnati, Ohio began building Kings Island Amusement Park in nearby Mason, Ohio, less than a 2-hour drive from Parker's site, financing for Parker's venture dried up.
Turning down the title role of McCloud, Parker retired from the film industry in the 1970s, after a short-lived 1974 sitcom, The Fess Parker Show.


Fess Parker was nominated for best new personality Emmy in 1954, but lost to George Gobel. He was never nominated again, nor was his show Daniel Boone.[15]
In 2003, Parker received the Texas Cultural Trust's "Texas Medal of Arts Award", established only the year before.[16][17]
For his work with Disney, Parker was honored in December 2004 with his own tribute window on a façade in the Frontierland section of Disneyland.

Fess Parker Winery

After his acting career, Parker devoted much of his time to operating his Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos, California. The winery is owned and operated by Parker's family, and has produced several different types of award-winning wines. Parker's son, Eli, is President and Director of Winemaking & Vineyard Operations while daughter, Ashley, is Vice President of Marketing & Sales.[19]
The Parker operation includes over 1,500 acres (610 ha) of vineyards, and a tasting room and visitor center along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. In addition to wine, the winery is known for sellingcoon skin caps and bottle toppers, inspired by Parker's Crockett and Boone characters, and for appearing in the movie Sideways.
In a reminiscence of his acting days, Parkers' wine labels have a logo of a golden coonskin cap.

Personal life

Parker married Marcella Belle Rinehart on January 18, 1960. They had two children, Fess Elisha Parker III and Ashley Allen Rinehart...along with 11 grandchildren and a great-grandson.


According to a spokesperson, Parker died of natural causes on March 18, 2010, at his home in Santa Ynez, California, near the Fess Parker Winery.
He was buried with his parents at Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dining on the Disney Ships

Dining on the Disney Ships
Should I Skip the Main Restaurant?

            Every night you have a choice where to eat dinner. You can choose to eat in one of the following the main your assigned to, one of the quick service locations, the buffet which is turned into to a sit down restaurant in the evenings or even your cabin. All of these options are no extra charge. You might even choose to make reservations at one of the adult’s only restaurants before a leaving on the cruise. Be aware both Palo's and Remy’s are usually booked solid by the time the ship leaves port and both cost extra. You can also eat at one of the lounges or bars but once again those cost extra.
            The question is should you skip the main restaurant in favor of the adult only restaurant. Here are some things to consider.
Every night is an adventure in the Main Restaurant. Every restaurant has a unique show. Every show is done only once during the cruise. You are not told the schedule of the shows before boarding. The shows are not to be missed, in my opinion. On a seven night cruise you will repeat each main restaurant with the second night not being the main show for that restaurant.
Even the non-show nights are special in the main restaurants. Those are the nights there is the Golden Mickeys with Formal Night, Simi Formal Night and Pirates IN the Caribbean night. None of these should be missed by the first time cruiser!
So what should you do if you still wish to have adult time and enjoy the adult restaurants? The adult restaurants are not to be missed either! Palo is the adult only restaurant on all four of the Disney ships. Remy’s is a second adult only restaurant on the Dream and Fantasy.
What I would suggest is do Palo for brunch or high tea if offered! Check out Remy’s, on the Dream and Fantasy does not offer brunch or high tea. On our past cruises on the Magic and Wonder Palo offered both brunch and high tea.
Both adult’s only restaurants do cost extra. Palo is $20 per person for brunch or dinner. The last I checked Remy was $75 per person. Both locations serve wine and alcoholic beverages at an extra charge.
Palo's serves Northern Italian cuisine with a brunch buffet. Remy’s serves to a nine course French meal.
No matter where you eat you are sure to enjoy. Bon appétit!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Castaway Club

Castaway Club

What is it? How do you join it? Why would you want to be a member?
Once you have been on your first Disney Cruise you are a member of the Castaway Club. It is free to join and automatic for all members of your party.
There are 3 levels of Castaway Club members. Silver Members are on their 2nd to 5th cruises. Gold Members are on their 6th to 10th cruise. Platinum Members have sailed 11 or more times on Disney ships.
Castaway Club members have special privileges based on the number of cruises they have taken. Your privileges start at home with access to a club member section of the Disney Cruise website. All Castaway members get to book cruises earlier than non members. How far in advance you can book depends on what level you are. At the terminal there is a special line for Castaway members to check in.

            On the Castaway Club section of the DCL website there is the Compass Newsletter and some fun downloads such as a couple of recipes and coloring pages. This section can also keep track of all your past and booked cruise information. You can go to this section to book Port and Shipboard Adventures once your cruise is booked. I will be honest and say DCL does not do a good job keeping the Compass Newsletter updated. It has been almost a year since the last issue. The recipes and coloring pages are the same ones that they had there when I first became a member in 2005. They have never been changed. They have taken some things away such as computer wallpaper and digital post cards to send via email to friends. Still this is a great section to have access to.
            Your Castaway Club Member number is a good thing to keep track of. DCL no longer issue membership cards. Instead they just give you a number. Once you have it add it to your DCL profile and if you forget it you can always find it there. DCL can also find it if you tell them the dates of your last cruise. While on the cruise ships your Castaway Club information is linked to your reservation number and stateroom key.
            When you check in at the terminal besides having a Castaway Club line you are given a lanyard that indicates what level of Castaway Member you are. When you finally get to your cabin you will find a wonderful gift! For our second cruise we received a Castaway Club backpack with a welcome home note, 2 Rice Crispi treats shaped like flip flops, 2 Castaway Club sipper cups and a Castaway Club key chain. How many of each item you receive depends on how many people are in your cabin. Everyone in your stateroom gets something.

            If you take someone along in your cabin that has not been on a cruise they will receive the same Castaway Club privileges as the highest level club member in the cabin.
            The higher the level the more perks you receive. There is a special area on the ships for Platinum members and they also get a gathering with the officers of the ship on the longer cruises.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Of Magic, Memories, and You

Of Magic, Memories, and You

            Coming up at the end of this month is an anniversary I’d rather forget yet I also find much joy. 15 years ago I received the phone call that no one wishes to receive. My husband had an accident.
My beloved husband and best friend had been visiting his brother while he worked. His brother is a general contractor my husband is a Respiratory Therapist. His brother asked him do a simple thing as a favor so they could go to lunch quicker, all he needed to do was removed a lit exit sign. Not an incredibly hard job nor an overly unsafe one as long as safety guidelines were followed, and they were.
The power lines were traced back to the circuit breaker and disconnected and the light went out. No power to the sign. Still a nonconducting fiberglass ladder, insulated wire cutters and rubber soled shoes were used. My husband claimed the ladder and cut the wire confident there was no power. As he cut the wire so much power was running to the line that the new pair wire cutters he was using exploded! Pieces embedded themselves a half an inch deep cement ceiling just above his head.
My husband climbed down the ladder calling out for help, telling everybody, “I’ve just been electrocuted. My wife is going to kill me!” He had that right! He has a heart condition I told him to stay away from electricity that very morning! He sat down at the bottom of the ladder and again reiterated that he had been electrocuted. Within 30 seconds of the shock he was in full arrest and CPR was started by workers on the job site. Paramedics were called as he crashed and arrived within five minutes. Paramedics took over CPR and transported him to a hospital that was just around the corner. CPR was continued by doctors at the hospital ER. It took a total of 40 minutes of CPR to get his heart going again. He had taken 277 volts triple phase!
It is a miracle to survive CPR being done for over 10 minutes. It is almost unheard of to survive without major brain damage when CPR is done for over 10 minutes. When I finally saw my husband he was showing all signs of being brain-dead with the no hope of recovery.
24 hours after the accident the doctor said my husband was fighting life-support and actually hurting self and the nurses. There was nothing more they could do. They said his brain was dead but his body did not know it yet. They requested my permission to take off life support 12 hours later. I told the doctors my husband is in God’s hands and His Will be done. 36 hours after the accident they took him off of life support to let his body die.
This is where things get interesting. Instead of dying he woke up! When I was finally allowed into the room he was sitting up in a chair telling the nurses about his complicated medical history and asking if he had been electrocuted! So much for him being dead! So much for being told he would be nothing but a vegetable, a brain-dead shell of a person wasting away in a long term care facility!
The accident happened on a Saturday afternoon, he came out of his coma on Monday morning. He was moved out of ICU on Wednesday and discharged from the hospital completely on Friday. 30 days after the accident he was back at work saving lives!
As miraculous as all this was there was and still is some neurological damage. Fine motor skills had to be redeveloped, particularly fine control of the hands. He also had to learn, as did I how to deal with a near constant feeling of agitation along with short-term memory loss.
Part of his therapy for recovery was finding a way to improve fine motor skills. Doctors asked me he had any hobbies. I told them he enjoyed woodworking, he still does. They said a quick and emphatic no to woodworking because of power tools. Lack of control of the hands and power tools combined, bad combination until he retained fine motor control. So I got to thinking what other hobbies had he done or what had he stated interest in doing.
I then remembered he had always stated interest in drawing, cartoons to be exact. I also remember what he said about his own attempts to draw even stick figures. His words not mine, “They look like a crayon was given to a three-year-old.” I decided he had to try his hand at drawing.
I went out and got him the book, “Drawing For Dummies”, a good set of colored pencils and a high quality sketchpad. I brought these into him at the hospital and suggested he get to try. He looked at me as if I was crazy but gamely said, “What do I draw?” I then remembered in our daughter’s bag of things to do that day I had packed a Disney coloring book! I pulled out the coloring book and suggested he try to draw one of the characters. Once we got home I purchased a collection of Disney coloring books for him. It took about three months but he went from childish stick figures with shaky lines to beautiful adaptations of classic Disney characters.
Ariel drawn .by my Pan daMan, after his accident

While he was drawing these beautiful Disney pictures he remembered more and more of the beautiful times they had spent at Disneyland and how we had fallen in love there. This led to us purchasing our first Disneyland Annual Passports.
Trips to Disneyland also played a major part in his healing and still do to this day. Part of the permanent damage caused by the electrocution is a constant feeling of agitation and anger. Frequent trips to Disneyland give him a chance to unwind and remember to laugh. Being in the crowds has helped him learn to deal with impatience and know his limits.
Pocahontas drawn by my Pan daMan after his accident.

It is impossible to walk under the sign that says, “Here you leave the world Today, and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy.” and hang onto the stress and pressures of normal daily life. Disneyland has become the safe haven for us individually, as well as a couple and the family.
I hope by sharing this I can encourage someone struggling to remember miracles happen and no matter what is going on in life take time to be creative, attempt to new skill, be brave and remember in doing so and most of all take time to laugh.
Drawn by me. Yes I would sit and draw with him.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Disney Parks Magic Band

Disney Parks Magic Band
MyMagic+ and Fastpass+

Picture from the Disney Parks Blog

For the past couple of years rumors have bounced around Disney Fandom about a new system of Fastpass and Disney Park experience. For a while it was called XPass or XGen. Now Disney has formally announced it and revealed its proper name, MyMagic+ with Fastpass+.
Simply put this is a new system to allow guests a more “seamless experience” at the parks. It will be everything from your ticket to the park, room key, payment system and Fastpass. It will also allow a more “personal and interactive experience” while in the park.
Would you like to see your name on a tomb stone in the Haunted Mansion’s grave yard as you walk through the line? Do you like the idea of Scuttle talking to you directly and calling you by name as you walk past on your way to the Little Mermaid ride? When you or your child walk up to your favorite character would you like them to call you by name and if celebrating a birthday wish you happy birthday? They this system is totally for you!
The way they are talking you signup online at and fill out just the information you wish to share. You can share your full information yet decide to limit what you share about your children. You may not like putting your credit card information on the system or you may love it. It is your choice to do it or not at this time. You can then pick and choose the experiences you wish. You can also download an app for your smart phone to help you plan and keep track of your chosen FPs and ADRs.
Once you have signed up and have made your reservations (you can make them from this site or with the smart phone app or link existing ones you do with a TA) you can tell them what days you plan on being in what park and select Fastpass’ and make dining reservations.
Here is a listing of what is available to do on the site:
Get Ready!
Find Things to Do
Make dining Reservations
Book a Resort
Link Existing Reservations & Tickets
Pre-Arrival Checklist
Make the Most of Your Experience
Link reservations to your account.
Find things to do.
Select a park and plan activities for each day.
Make dining reservations.
Purchase park tickets or passes.
Browse Special Event tickets.
Guests at WDW Resort hotels may also:
Check-in online up to 60 days before arrival.
Just think! No calling at 6am EST the day ADRs are available for the restaurant of your choice! No getting up early while on vacation to run to the park to grab a Fastpass. All you have to do is click on the computer or your phone app and it is DONE from home months in advance!
All of your reservation information is put on a rubber bracelet with a RFID (Radio Frequency ID chip) called a Magic Band. This Magic Band becomes your room key, park ticket, Fastpass holder and even your wallet acting as your single swipe credit card! You simply hold your wrist up to your door to unlock it. Tap your wrist at the park entrance to validate your ticket for entrance. Tap at the Fastpass entrance to use your Fastpass and tap at the checkout to pay for items.
This all sounds so wonderful but I have concerns. This technology has the ability to tell Disney where you are in the resort at any moment. Yes they have cameras all over the place so you could say your privacy is a moot point anyway. But think of this. Besides your location (remember I said it can tell the HM to put your name on a tomb stone or tell a character your name?) it keeps track of what you purchase, food and merchandise, what characters you choose to see and those you skipped.
You would not think twice about limiting the information a company gathers about you online so why do you think it is on in “real life”? I’ve actually seen people post reply’s about this topic on various online forums and social networking sites saying, “What are you worried about? It’s Disney and Disney would do nothing to hurt us!” Really?? As much as I love and trust Disney I’m not that trusting or stupid!
There is no privacy statement as of yet for these Magic Bands telling guests exactly what information is gathered and if it is shared outside of the Disney Family of Companies. No I don’t think Disney has a nefarious plan to take us over I just don’t feel it is wise to give any company too much personal information.
Disney is run by people and it is a fact of life that no matter how well any company screens the people it hires some bad and downright dangerous ones will be hired by mistake and oversight. Would you like some creep that just happens to work for Disney to be able to know where you and/or your child is in the resort at any time?
I’ve had problems with a stocker before so I think about things like this. It turns out my stocker was a cashier at a market I regularly shopped at and would get my phone number and address when I used a check to pay or when I gave him my phone number for ‘club’ discounts. Before we figured out who he was and how he got the information even moving and changing phone numbers did not stop him. He did show up at my home one night and had to be dealt with quite forcefully. If this could happen 20+ years ago without the technology of RFID and lose privacy on the internet I shudder to think of the added ‘risk’ with the RFID. I’m sorry as I said before, “I’m trusting but not that trusting.”
Here are more things to think about. I’m an Annual Passholder at DLR (MyMagic+ is only at WDW at the time) and if this system were to come to DLR how would it effect the APs? Full information is not yet out on how it will affect WDW APs and yet it starts to roll out in the next couple of months. Would we have to get Magic Bands to use the Fastpass system? Usually we don’t plan our trips months in advance. We just hop over for a day when we wish. We usually don’t schedule visits more than a couple of weeks in advance and often don’t know we are going until the night before. Would we no longer be able to get Fastpass’? Would the guests booking months in advance clean out all the FPs for the most popular rides?
I’m a planner but I don’t schedule every moment of every day. I’ve been to WDW once and when I went I did not know what day I’d do each park. I just went with what we felt like doing when we woke up. That would be harder fully using the Magic Bands. I’d have to decide weeks if not months in advance what parks I’d be going to on what day as well as what rides I’d go on and where I’d eat. How do I know what I want to eat on a day a year in advance? I’m sorry I don’t. What if the weather is cool on a day I planned to go to the water park? Darn! I can’t change my precious schedule because I’d lose out on my Fastpass! I need to have flexability.
I’m going to give this a wide birth at this time and watch to see what happens. I’m going to watch what is going on with Congressional bi-partisan Privacy Caucus demanding answers from Disney on what information they are gathering. I’m going to listen to the chatter from other fans on how they like it. I want to hear from WDW APs on how it is working for them. I will withhold final judgment for now but say I’ve got concerns.
I’m in the process of planning a trip to WDW and DCL in 2014 so I’m looking closely at this information to help me make wise choices. I’ll keep you all updated.
Here are some links for further information on the subject:
Disney Parks Blog:

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Film Strip Friday! Tonka

It’s Film Strip Friday!
Release Date December 25th, 1958


         Sal Mino stars as White Bull, a young Indian brave who captures and tames a wild stallion and names him Tonka. But when White’s Bull’s cruel cousin claims Tonka for his own and mistreats the horse, White Bull sets it free. Tonka finally finds a home with Capt. Keogh and the 7th Calvary, and in 1876, rides into the Battle of the Little Big Horn with General Armstrong Custer.


Tonka is a 1958 Walt Disney Western adventure film about the US cavalry horse that survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn; it stars Sal Mineo as a Sioux who fought there. It was filmed in Bend, Oregon and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures.
The film was based on the book Comanche: Story of America's Most Heroic Horse by David Appel. It tells an imaginary story of the Indian and US Cavalry owners of the horse of the title. It has also been released under the title A Horse Named Comanche.

·        Sal Mino as White Bull
·        Philip Carey as Captain Myles Keogh
·        Jerome Courtland as Lieutenant Henry Nowlan
·        Rafael Campos as Strong Bear
·        H.M. Wynant as Yellow Bear
·        Joy Page as Prairie Flower
·        Britt Lomond as General George Custer
·        Herbert Rudley as Captain Frederick Benteen
·        Sydney Smith as General Alfred Terry
·        John War Eagle as Chief Sitting Bull
·        Gregg Martell as Corporal Korn
·        Slim Pickens as Ace
·        Robert "Buzz" Henry as Lieutenant Crittenden

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the Blue Sky Cellar - Princess Fantasy Faire

In the Blue Sky Cellar - Princess Fantasy Faire

            Disney California Adventure has a wonderful place called the Blue Sky Cellar. The name reflects what Walt Disney called Blue Sky thinking. It stands for putting no limits on your thinking.
            This location was used for a long time to show video, macaques, mockups and drawings of the upcoming changes to DCA. At this time the space is being used to show what is changing at Disneyland.
            Over a year ago the Carnation Gardens next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was closed and construction began on a new guest experience, Princess Fantasy Faire. While I am saddened that Carnation Gardens was closed because of the historical significance of the area I must say Princess Fantasy Faire does look beautiful.
            Carnations Gardens posted swing dancing every weekend since 1958 tell the time it was closed for the construction of Princess Fantasy Faire. Jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong played there while Walt and Lillian Disney dance with the guests.
            While construction has been going on the dancers have been going full swing in Downtown Disney. In fact the ranks of the dancers has swelled and more are coming each weekend. Disney has promised to put a stage with the dance floor in the Princess Fantasy Faire area. Swing dancing will return to the inside Disneyland to the same area where it has always been.
            Now on to Princess Fantasy Faire! Princess Fantasy Faire will be a tribute to all Disney Princesses that have graced the stage and screen. Here will be your opportunity to meet and greet them in their own “Royal Court”.

           There were also the stage that will have to rotating shows, Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel with Flynn will come out at different times to tell their stories. This is also where the swing dancers will dance on Friday and Saturday nights.

            I hope you enjoyed the pictures of the mockups and drawings of the new Princess Fantasy Fair that graced the Blue Sky Cellar.
            Below is the video they show in the Blue Sky Cellar: