Brenda & Roger

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

First Times At Walt Disney World

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 at 1:19 am

“It’s nice that we always get to do something new and different.”

Brenda Cheever Ford, My Internet Bride

After two score visits to Walt Disney World Parks, and Downtown Disney (since we can’t possibly spend enough money just going to the Parks alone), Brenda and I still find ourselves enjoying First Experiences.

First DTD (“DownTown Disney”) Water Taxi

Today, after parking past the Cirque du Soleil stage at Downtown Disney, we noticed there was a water taxi that would take us from one end of the Downtown Disney to the other: that way, we could ride to one end, then walk back to car, dropping a trail of cash and credit card purchases along the way.

First DTD Boat Ride

First Found Cell Phone

Unfortunately, the boat was just about to leave, but I was so anxious to make it, I actually almost ran! But just as I started my trot, Brenda squealed, “Look!” There on the ground was what Brenda thought was someone’s wallet, but it was actually a cell phone. It appeared likely that the cell phone belonged to someone on the boat, either from this trip or an earlier one. So I shouted to the Captain, and explained we thought we might have found someone’s cell phone.

He looked suspicious, but he tied back up. And then, from on board, a man squealed, “Oh, it’s mine!” So we returned the cellphone to the grateful owner.

Phirst Phound Cell Phone

So we handed over the phone, then added, “Actually, we would like to get on board, if possible.” It was, and we rode to the entrance.

DTD Welcome

I promised the young man with the Phound Cell Phone I would email his photo to him, but that wasn’t the Phurst Photo Email promised: that belonged to a delightful trio in phront of us, earlier that morning, in Disney Hollywood’s Toy Story Midway Mania. The young woman was kind enough to take our photo in front of Mr. Potatohead, the First Animatronic Character able to remove and replace one of his parts. While Brenda and I were posing in front of him, he yelled, “Freeze!” So we all “Froze” in this position:

First Frozen Automatron

First Family Photo Emailed

So later, after completing Toy Story Midway Mania, we happened to be right across that same family, and snapped their photo–3-D glasses and all:

First Family Emailed

First Found Hidden Mickey

Brenda and I bought a book about Hidden Mickeys, which we brought last time and this time, but we never seem to remember to actually look for Hidden Mickeys. This time, however, Brenda finally spotted one! Can you?

First Hidden Mickey

Here’s the Bar Code for Toy Story Midway Mania, which includes the date the concept was First Announced: 12-15-06.

Toy Story Bar Code

First Tie Score!

When Brenda and I finished Toy Story Midway Mania, and our scores were revealed, we were astonished! That’s MY 91,200 on the left, and BRENDA’s 91,200 on the right! It’s the first time we’ve ever gotten the exact same score in any game–but don’t worry. Brenda trounced me on the next round!

First Tie Score

First Pin Traded

It was also the first day we traded pins. We’ve had pins for a few years, but no one has ever asked us to trade. Thanks to our “Backstage Tour” last year, we’ve learned that the pins Cast Members have cannot be bought, so when I saw a Goofy pin with a cast member, I traded another Goofy (which I knew I could purchase at a Pin Trading Station).

First Pin Trade

We purchased a few inexpensive “trading” pins, and traded throughout the day. We even learned there was a trade opportunity every day at World of Disney, in the Villain’s Room in the Jewelry Department, every day from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM, and 6:30 to 7:00 PM–two trades per person. So Brenda and I both scored some great trades!

First Drawn Goofy (@ WDW)

While at Disney Hollywood, we went back to the Drawing Class. When asked what we’d like to draw, I yelled (like I always do): “Goofy!” Well, long-story-short, we had a vote: Goofy vs. Stitch. Goofy won! 9 to 8–so a close vote, but I was a winner!

Roger's First (WDW) Goofy

Roger's Goofy

So, even after so many trips to Walt Disney World, the Parks, and DownTown Disney, we still enjoy many firsts. And, even when they aren’t the Very First Time, the experiences are simply richer and more fulfilling.

We hope all your Disney Firsts become Disney Magic Memories!

Finally, here’s today’s “Not-So-Hidden-Mickey” #4: The Carpet outside the Drawing Class n The Magic of Disney Animation.

Carpet Mickey

Dripping Through Disney World

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 11:51 pm

The Magic Kingdom Gang: Dry

Disney is about Magical Memories, and as Kodak (a major sponsor of Magic Kingdom), would put it, “Kodak Moments.” That means photos.

One of Brenda’s and my contributions to the magic is to offer to take a group photo–one that includes the photographer–whenever we spot one person taking a photo of the rest of the group; this time I asked for the favor to be returned. It was, as you can see: The Magic Works.

Brenda and I asked one of the Cast Members (all employees of Walt Disney World are part of The Show) why she thought the park had such a low “census”; she replied that many people don’t care to visit the park while “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” is going on, because everyone (except those who paid to attend the Party) must leave at 7:00 P.M. Mental Note: check to make sure the parks close early when we plan our next trip.

The lack of crowds mean little (or no!) waiting in line.

Still No Lines! And THIS is in Magic Kingdom!

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And, it offers more opportunities for Kodak (or in our case: Cannon, Sony & Lumix) moments.

Walt, Mick, Brandon & Beck

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We took turns taking photos of one another.

Photo Op

Two Goofs

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

We took establishing shots:

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Action shots:

(Roger didn’t take any photos while on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, since he kept his eyes shut tight.)

B & B Backs of Heads

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Shootin’ Shots:

Roger Shoots: One Eye Closed

Bang-Bang Brandon

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Shots of Signs:

Brawny Explains the Mystery of Drying Your Hands with a Paper TowelSparkle’s informational sign, for those who have only used air blowers to dry their hands.

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Remember Signs:

Walt Disney asks us to remember who started it all: Mickey Mouse!

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And Signs of Things to Come!

Magic Kingdom Kranes

I have no idea what them big cranes are building, but I’m sure it’s gonna be Magic!

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Then, it started raining.

Rain Feet

It had been humid, and I thought my shirt was soaked, but it wasn’t–until the rain!

It came down in buckets, and we were all drenched. Still, we waded through 3-inch deep water running down the paths to our car, turned the heater up to high, and drove back to our Marriott and towels and changes of clothes.

We’d had a great day, we’d taken lots of photos, and we only got wet at the end.

Brenda and I have been to Disney Parks over 35 times, and though it had rained a couple of times (showers, really), this was the first time it rained like crazy.

Isn’t that Magical?

Here’s today’s Not-So-Hidden-Mickey:

Not-So-Hidden-Mickey #3: Jack o'Mickey

It’s Halloween in Disney World!

Drinking Through Disney World!

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

It’s Octoberfest!

“What?” you say. But it’s still September!

Pfffffft. What do you know? EVERY day is October fest in the Biergarten restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase’s “Germany.”

And there’s a little ditty they sing to get all to hoist a brew and sip the nectar of the Gods:

“Ticky-tocky, Ticky-tocky: Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!

Rebecca sips

Brandon Drinks!

Rebecca helped drain Brandon’s beer…

We sat at a table with a couple who now live near Boston (“Go Sox!), but grew up in Maine. Brandon is the Caretaker of 18 Caretaker Homes (he maintains the houses), and–Disney Magical Moment–the woman had grown up in one of those houses!

So, (cue music): “It’s A Small World After All….” Oh, wait, that’s today’s park.

But Brandon did most of the heavy lifting.

Of course, there was also eating.

Lot’s of German foods, plus mac ‘n cheese.

Just be sure you remember to visit the carving station (I always discover that after stuffing myself too much already–nice roast pork.

Luckily, no matter how much I eat, there’s always room for desert–because they have some mighty tasty treats in the Biergarten. My favorite? It’s a toss-up between the apple strudel and a light, tasty cake. Though I had three strudels to one cake.

We had our server take a photo of us as a gang.

Eating, drinking, and cooling off in Air Conditioned Comfort: Biergarten "Octoberfest" 2010

She insisted on clearing all the dirty plates off the table before taking the photos, I guess her idea was to “protect the guilty.” Let’s just say they wash a lot of dishes.

The “Oompa Band” had just finished playing, we were cooled down, overfed, and Brandon was ready for a nap (he grabbed one at the American Adventure, again, air conditioned comfort).

After taking OUR photos, we asked our server if we could take HERS.

Sabrina jumped into her pose, pulling her skirt out with a flair, just as though she was going to do that without our asking.

Our hostess, Sabrina

Brenda and I always seem to find that, “This trip has the lightest traffic ever.” That certainly seems to be the case on this trip. We don’t know how we managed to time it so perfectly, though I wonder if it’s because it’s the week before the Food and Wine Festival begins. So folks who thought about coming here decide to wait a week? Good news for us! And the F&W Festival has a “soft opening” September 30, and opens in time for us to attend if we choose.

My friend, boss, bromance, brother-from-another-mother, and fellow lover of all things Disney, Sean, suggested I do a blog on all the best restrooms at Disney–which of course I can, since I never pass one without taking a–we’ll say “peek.” In fact, on one trip, I took photos of all the different Men’s Room symbols, just for the record. There is also a list of “favorite restrooms” in Mousejunkies, which is written by a New Hampshire-ite Bill Burke, so should be purchased and read.

http://www.amazon.com/Mousejunkies-Tricks-Perfect-Vacation-Travelers/dp/1932361669/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285675445&sr=8-1

But here’s an idea of the kind of lines here this trip:

Bathroom lineup: Empty!

Very handy after “Octoberfest”!

And last, but certainly not least, Brenda and I are happy to report that once again, we are thin in the future.

Take a look:

http://sse.disney.go.com/media/ap/spaceship-earth/static/postcard.html#globekioskvideo/2010-09-27/8033eb8362191a23

So, next time you’re in Epcot, take a drink for us!

Here’s another “Not So Hidden Mickey,” this one from the “Behind the Seeds Tour” in the Land. I had to make it B&W, or it’s all red from the lights!

Not So Hidden Mickey #2: Hose Mickey: Epcot/Behind the Seeds Tour

Wheeling Through Disney World

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Let's Roll

Let's Roll!

On this, our 7th Disney Trip together, Brenda and I invited Rebecca (Brenda’s daughter) and Brandon (Rebecca’s Beau).

We’re having a great time together. Brandon, who admits to having some flight fear, dosed himself and slept from Manchester to Orlando–but failed to fall asleep fast enough to miss the pilot’s claim that our delay was due to an engine light, which apparently (and mysteriously) went off, and so we would take off.

For some reason that announcement (joke? Brandon said he saw a technician next to an engine, staring, poking, scratching his head) upset Brandon. But pharmacology gave him peace.

Our first Disney Day was Animal Kingdom. Brandon took 214 photos. I think he enjoyed it.

Rebecca has mobility issues, so we got her a wheelchair. We all took turns pushing Rebecca through the park.

Interestingly, having someone in a wheelchair improved the experience. It forced me to slow down, and when you slow down at Animal Kingdom, you start to see a lot of creatures who have been there all along, but who you did not see on first, second, third, even fourth glance. They sort of suddenly “pop!” out of the background, to reveal themselves (in a good way).

And I’m not just talking about tiny, itty-bitty teensie weensie little creatures–I’m talking three hundred pound gorillas. I wheeled Rebecca up to the glass enclosure to view a large gorilla sitting in the middle of the space. We watched him for a few minutes, then Rebecca said, “Oh, look! There’s another one!” Indeed, there was another gorilla, sitting right out in the open, which we had not noticed before. “Oh, there’s another one!” And here was one, sitting behind a log. “Oh, another one!” Yup, there were four–not one–gorillas all sitting right in front of us. Had I been walking, I’d have looked at the first one, then moved on–missing many more than I saw.

Also more visible are the many Disney Details (Dis-Tails?). Markings on the walkway, for example. Here’s my first “Not So Hidden Mickey”: an image of the Mouse-That-Started-It-All Brenda spotted in the path while she was rolling Rebecca. It’s actually water in the shape of Mickey Mouse (no idea how they did it–some very wet stencil?).

Not So Hidden Mickey #1: Water Mickey on path in Animal Kingdom

Plus, with the wheelchair, we got some primo seating.

Of course it’s a bummer not being able to walk without pain, but it’s nice to know that for just a few bucks a day, Disney provides the means to make the day pleasurable not only for those who have limited mobility, but for their entire party.

So the next time you see someone at Disney–in a wheel chair or on one of those motorized carts–count your blessings for not being the one in them, help out when you can to make their journey easier, and think: “Roll On!”

First Timer Brandon & his gal, Rebecca (pre-wheeler)

Why Go Back To Walt Disney World?

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Greetings from Walt Disney World!

Why?

When I told my brother, Jim, that Brenda and I were going to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon, Jim asked, “Why are you going to Disney World?”

“To celebrate our honeymoon.”

“Why are YOU going to Disney World?”

Repeat that loop more times than I care to admit, and finally, I realized, he wondered: Why go to Disney World—at all?

After all, I had gone 28 years earlier.

Now Brenda and I embark on our 7th trip to Walt Disney World—three in the last 12 months on our First Annual Pass—and we’re already talking about renewing the pass, which would mean we’d want to return at least three more times in the year ahead.

So, Why ARE we going (back) to Disney World?

Of course, it’s because We Love Disney World!

Brenda and I drafted Netflix to help us feed our Disneyholicism, by watching old Disney films we enjoyed as kids: The Adventures of Davy Crocket, The Castaways, Those Calaways, That Darn Cat, Toby Tyler, to name just a few. Of course we also own a few Disney films: Mary Poppins, Enchanted, and the one which really started it all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

But to say We Love Disney World! (which we do), doesn’t finally answer the question: WHY do We Love Disney World?

I believe it’s because Walt Disney World is a World of Positive Energy.

Brenda and I are those annoying types who believe there’s always something positive in every situation. We’re dopey enough to strive to make the best no matter what the circumstances. We’re those bummer types who always want to build you up—not tear you down. In short, we’re optimists and morning people (though Brenda would say rising at 7:30 A.M., and then requiring an hour to fully awaken makes me more of an afternoon person—but the point is once I get out of bed I’m already drearily cheerful).

Walt Disney World is full of optimists.

Everyone who works there is positive. The guests are their most positive in that environment. And Brenda and I are incorrigible contributors to the sickingly sweet, sticky happy-to-meet-you attitude that pervades Walt Disney World. When we see folks posing for a photo, we offer to take the picture so everyone can get in the shot. When we see a three- to five-year-old girl with hair glistening and gooey with “Bippity-Boppity-Boutique” glitter, clearly dressed as a Disney princess, Brenda and I say, “Good morning, Princess.” In short, we contribute to the Disney disease. And we do so happily.

Walt Disney World is a place where everyone is committed to making everyone else’s day just a little bit brighter, a little bit happier, a little more magical, and by doing so, making their own lives a lot more pleasant.

We love Walt Disney World because, to us, it’s what the world should aspire to be—a place where everyone is nice, cheerful, pleasant, and making the best even better.

And we love to participate in building a better world for everyone.

And so, we’re back! Again!

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