Brenda & Roger

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

World Series Winners At Walt Disney World!

In Dreams Come True on October 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Brenda, My Internet Bride, is a native of New Hampshire, where she lived almost her entire life.

I was born and raised on a Vermont dairy farm; I left as soon as I could.

I’ve seen the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s play baseball; but, being, like Brenda, a New Englander, I have two favorite teams:

  1. The Boston Red Sox, and
  2. Whoever’s playing the Yankees.

In 2004, Brenda was living–for the first time–outside of New Hampshire, and I had returned to the scene of my earliest crimes: Vermont.

And from our Vermont home we traveled for our second trip together to Walt Disney World during the 2004 World Series. So, while Brenda and I enjoyed our second dose of Disney World Magic, the Red Sox were producing some magic of their own.

2004 was Red Sox manager Terry Francona‘s first year.

Even before the World Series began, he had led to Red Sox to an historic victory.

The Red Sox were the American League “wild card” team; they had failed to win their division, but had the best overall record among non-winners in the American League. There are three divisions in both the American and National Leagues, so to have four teams for the playoffs, there is always a “wild card” team.

As my friend, and Toastmaster Humorous Speech Champion Mike Harris put it, to get to the World Series the Red Sox had to “go through” the Yankees. And that Yankees vs. Red Sox American League Championship Series was historic.

The Yankees won the first three out of seven games. Never in the history of baseball had any team down three to zip ever won any seven game championship. Never. Ever.

To be down three games to nothing was a death rattle–sports casters reminded every viewer over and over and over and over (“Repetition is very good; Repetition is very good; Repetition is very, very, very, very, good, good, good, good”): no team had ever won after losing the first three games of a championship series.

Until 2004.

The Red Sox won the next four straight games, defeating the New York Yankees, and hurtling the Red Sox into the World Series. They had not had such a chance for 18 years.

A chance to break “The Curse of the Bambino.” For the Red Sox had never won a World Series since they had traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees over 80 years earlier (1919). Before the trade, the Red Sox were one of baseball’s most winning teams–after, not so much.

Meanwhile, Brenda and I enjoyed Walt Disney World by day, and watched World Series Games by night.

 

Princess Brenda

 

 

Roger Crowned "Goofy"

 

The Red Sox swept the series.

So, not only did they become the first baseball team in history to win a championship after losing the first three out of seven games (just getting to game seven was an historic achievement!), after losing those first three games, the Red Sox won the next eight in a row, ending up as World Series Champions for the first time since Babe Ruth had not played for their team.

Brenda and I saw the last out of that historic game from the comfort of our bed in our hotel (I had to nudge Brenda awake to witness the victory–it was, after all, past 9 p.m.). The next morning we rose very early to bring Rebecca–who’d been our guest that trip–to the airport. We decided to have breakfast at Spoodles, where we had enjoyed our many honeymoon breakfasts.

 

 

Our Last Spoodles Breakfast: Delicious!

 

We had decided to “take the day off” from Walt Disney World, and spend the day relaxing at the resort.

But then Brenda said, “We could go to a park.” And we were off to a bonus day at Magic Kingdom.

 

2004 Bonus Day at Magic Kingdom: Note Hats!

 

We spent the day, and enjoyed the Magic Parade:

 

2004 MK Share a Dream Come True Parade

 

Usually, as the parade passes, Cast Members remove the parade ropes and barriers. But this time, they did not. Brenda asked me to find out what was going on, and so I asked a Cast Member why they weren’t closing the parade route. He asked, “Are you Red Sox fans?” Brenda shouted, “YES!” “Well,” the man said, “it’s possible there will be some Red Sox here soon.” Then he pointed to an empty spot and added, “If I were a Red Sox fan, I’d stand right there.” We thanked the man, and stood where he indicated.

In just a few minutes, there was, indeed, a second parade:

 

2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Champions
“Pedro Martinez, your team just won the World Series. What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to Disney World!”
“David Ortiz, your team just won the World Series. What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to Disney World!”

So, Brenda and I were able to “Share A Dream” that day in 2004. While the Red Sox had finally broke their “curse,” and were celebrating their historic victory, Brenda and I enjoyed another day filled with Disney Magic.

Now, I have no idea who will win–or even who will play in–this year’s World Series (and the Yankees are still in the race), and I also realize that all championships–indeed, competitions of every sort–are designed not to create winners, but to create losers (once you run out of losers, what is left is crowned the winner), but whenever anyone achieves a fantastic goal, they often say they will celebrate how? “I’m going to Disney World!”

Why?

Because Disney World is Magical. A place where anything could happen. A place where you leave your everyday, regular, normal world behind, and enter the world of Magic, Enchantment, and Where Anything Is Possible.

There is something about Disney World that simply says: “You are special.”

Brenda and I fell in love with each other, then we both fell in love with Walt Disney World. Our loves continue to grow, and the more time we spend at Disney, the more Magical it becomes.

Enjoy your own Disney Magic–where ever you may be!

Today’s Not-So-Hidden-Mickey:

 

 

Mickey Mouse is a Red Sox!

 

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Christmas at Walt Disney World!

In Christmas on October 17, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Lights, Christmas, Disney!

Brenda and I have heard how wonderful the Holiday Season is at Walt Disney World. And since We Love Walt Disney World! all the time, AND We Love Christmas!; it’s only natural we would think it would be fun to visit WDW during the Holiday Season.

Brenda and I recorded a travel show about Walt Disney World which included the Holiday Preparations, and when we saw the piece on the Osborne Family Holiday Lights, we KNEW we had to Go Back To WDW to join in the fun!

And finally, it is happening this year!

Well, sort of.

Brenda is going to WDW to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights!

It’s a whirlwind trip: Brenda will fly down Monday, December 6. and return Friday, December 10. I can’t accompany her because my “day job” requires me to work during that period. So Brenda will invite a guest (To Be Announced) to share this trip with her.

Brenda worries that I’m upset or angry that I can’t go with her, but I’ve never been the sort of person who doesn’t want YOU to have a great experience just because I can’t have it, too. Sure, I would love to go, but sometimes Reality trumps even Disney Magic (hard to believe, I know).

Meanwhile, I’ll figure this is my chance for ME to have a vicarious vacation. Brenda can regale me with tales about the beauty, wonder and amazement which I will be able to experience next year–we’re going back in 2011 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, as well as one of Brenda’s milestone birthdays (discretion prevents me from mentioning how many miles we’re talking about here).

It will be a bit of a departure for us anyway, since we normally are back in our room by 6:00 PM–but the allure of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights, as well as the rest of the Disney Christmas Magic–will lure us out late into the night, right up to 9:00 o’clock!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights, it started with a doting father granting the wish of his six-year-old daughter–three million lights and two additional property lots later, neighbors complained about traffic jams (caused by folks driving to see the lights) and other issues, and ultimately Mr. Osborne donated the lights to Walt Disney World.

For the full story, check out Wikipedia on The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights.

To get a glimpse of the lights, check out:

Osborne Holiday Lights

Or simple “Google” Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights and click on the U-Tube offerings.

There’s a lot more fun for the holidays at Walt Disney World. I’m sorry I won’t be able to participate in the 2010 celebrations, but I’m sure glad Brenda will have some Disney Christmas Magic to bring back home to me in New Hampshire!

Have a great trip, Brenda (My Internet Bride)! Sorry I can’t go with you! Can’t wait for our trip next year!

Today’s “Not-So-Hidden-Mickey”:

 

Merry Disney Magic Christmas from Roger & Brenda!

 

Celebrating Oktoberfest at Walt Disney World

In Food on October 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

Oktoberfest’s origins date back to October 12, 1810.

Five days after their wedding, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his Princess Bride Theres of Saxe-Hildburghausen celebrated publicly with a great horse race. The celebration was so much fun, it was repeated the next year, then lengthened to many days, and has continued annually–with a few exceptions due to war and epidemics–right to the present day.

 

Thank Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig) for Oktoberfest

 

 

Ludwig's (Donald's uncle?) Princess Bride was Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen

 

As pointed out in a previous entry, every day is Oktoberfest at Epcot’s Biergarten Restaurant.

 

Willkommen to Eternal Oktoberbest! Biergarten Restaurant, WDW Epcot World Showcase

 

And yes, they serve beer there!

 

Nick Samples Biergarten's offerings

 

Plus, they entertain:

 

Oompah Band at Biergarten

 

Some of the Oompah Band’s music is ancient and traditional:

 

Oompah Band plays traditional Bavarian horns

 

Here’s a “taste” of Oktoberfest entertainment:

Biergarten’s Oompah Band

The Oompah Band shares details about Oktoberfest: such as the ceremonial “tapping of the first keg” by the Mayor of Munich–an element since 1950. Wikipedia describes the now traditional festival opening:

“A twelve gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 by the incumbent Mayor of Munich with the cry “O’ zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!” in the Austro-Bavarian language) opens the Oktoberfest. The Mayor then gives the first beer to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria.”

And, of course, the Oompah Band teaches everyone the Okto-beer salute:

Ticky-Tocky, Ticky-Tocky, Ticky-Tocky: Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!

Followed by the quaffing of the brew.

Here are some Oktober-facts borrowed from Sean Aiken’s book, The One-Week Job Project:

  • Beer is the third most popular beverage worldwide after tea and water.
  • Approximately 1.85 million gallons of beer are consumed at Munich’s Oktoberfest.

Oh, and there is even more beer served during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

So, if you love beer, be sure and visit The Biergarten at WDW’s Epcot World Showcase. Bring your ID, and come thirsty! Ich werde Ihnen Geld geben – You will be rewarded!

Until then, Auf Wiedersehen!

 

Rebecca, Brandon, Brenda & Roger at Biergarten's Oktoberfest

Danke- Thanks for celebrating WDW Oktoberfest!

 

Today’s Not-So-Hidden-Mickey:

 

Mickey Mouse Icon in Epcot

 

Vermont Wedding Magic includes Walt Disney World

In Dreams Come True on October 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Brenda and I witnessed a beautiful fall Vermont 10-10-10 wedding yesterday.

 

A lovely scene for a lovely couple

Beautiful setting for a beautiful wedding

 

There was food:

 

A cake too beautiful to eat--but we did

The beautiful Vermont Wedding Cake

 

There was fun:

 

This man wore a special hat

What's FOB?

 

 

Mystery solved!

FOB = "Father of the Bride"!

 

Family:

 

DS = Disney Survivor: meaning, they survived a trip to WDW with Brenda & Roger

Tyler, DS Kenny, DS Nancy, Cortney

 

 

Walt Disney World Survivors All!

Nick, Jennifer, Rebecca & Brandon

 

 

The Girls

Brenda, My Internet Bride, with her daughters, Jennifer & Rebecca

 

 

Marcia, grandmother of the Groom (but she had no "GMOG" hat)

Marcia, grandmother of the groom (without hat) & Brenda

 

Photos:

 

A pretty pink camera takes pretty photos!

Weddings mean lots of photos!

 

And Disney:

 

Table place cards: The sign says "The Great Escape"

Disney was represented at Cory & Amanda's Beautiful Vermont Wedding!

 

 

... the frame says, "Best Friends": and is all Disney!

Mickey and Pluto wish Cory & Amanda a Magical Life Together!

 

It was a lovely, festive event. Cory wept tears of joy over finally wedding the love of his life; Amanda shared how she fell in love with a man she met in Australia (even though they lived less than 10 miles apart!). It was beautiful.

Particularly moving for me, though, was a conversation around our wedding table (we were seated at the “Australia” table). Disney Survivors Jennifer, Rebecca, Nick, Brandon, Kenny and Nancy shared memories of the Disney Trips. What they liked most, when they went, how hot/cold it was. This was a conversation that occurred totally independent of myself–a confirmed Disney-holic.

I suddenly realized Brenda and I had helped to bring so much joy into so many lives by inviting them to join us on a trip to Walt Disney World.

For me, that moment, that discussion–though very short–was very powerful: and Magical.

Brenda had brought our 2010 photo album: which included photos from the trips we shared with Nick and Jennifer; and Rebecca and Brandon. It allowed her to share those trips with her entire family, and it sparked magical memories from everyone who had been to WDW.

Our next trip, in March 2011 (unless Brenda makes it to Walt Disney World in December of this year without me), will be just the two of us.

We do love going down alone, together: but we also love being able to share our–possibly whacky–love for Walt Disney World.

For, make no mistake about it: We Love Walt Disney World!

And speaking of LOVE,

 

All Our LOVE to Cory and Amanda!

Cory & Amanda: Have a Love-Filled, Happy, Wonderful, Magical Life!

 

Last, but certainly not least,

The happy couple:

 

The Bride & Groom: Congratulations Amanda & Cory!

A Match Made In Heaven; A Wedding Made In Vermont

 

No “Not-So-Hidden-Mickey” today, but I do have another hidden treasure:

 

Brandon survived his WDW trip with Brenda & Roger in Flip-Flops; but a wedding requires more formal footwear: Sandals

Brandon got formal: he wore his dress sandals

 

Cory & Amanda! You just got married! What’s next?

Are you going to Walt Disney World?

Nope. Off to Aruba.

Not a bad second choice!

What’s So Great About Walt Disney World?

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Brenda and I got home to New Hampshire to a crisp fall afternoon.

 

We got home just in time for the autumn colors!

View from our driveway

 

 

Can Home Ever Be As Sweet As Walt Disney World?

 

By 5:oo P.M. we were settled, unpacked, and “Chill-axing.”

By 9:00 P.M., we had booked our next trip to WDW.

“We’re Going (Back) to DisneyWorld” in March 2011.

 

It's Disney Time!

 

What took so long?

Let me break that down into two parts:

Why wait until March?

Brenda found some great airfares and room availability in December–and we’re desperate to visit Walt Disney World when it’s decked out in Christmas splendor–but December is a very busy time for retail, and my day job (when I’m not visiting and blogging Disney) is as Assistant Manager of a Brooks Brothers Factory Store here in New Hampshire.

As a bonus, in March Brenda will be able to enjoy the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-flower-and-garden-festival/

We went this past March–it’s spectacular!

 

Topiary Tink: Epcot Int's Flower & Garden Festival 2010

 

We also did the “Behind the Seeds Tour” at “The Land.” Everyone introduced themselves:

“My name is John, and I love to garden.”

“My name is Brenda, and I love to garden.”

“My name is Roger, and she loves to garden.”

 

Roger never interferes with Brenda's garden!

 

And 2011 is a milestone year for us: Brenda’s having one of those “aught” birthdays: you know, 30, 40, etc. AND, it’s our ten year anniversary. Both are in November, so I lobbied to forego  renewing our annual passes, and simply purchase new ones that will cover next November (ours expired the day after we returned home).

Brenda says she may go to Disney World without me in December (since she does not have any retail restrictions), and I sure won’t blame her! She deserves it!

Why did it take 4 hours (from 5 to 9)?

Simple: I had to have the trip “OK’ed” by my Brooks Brothers Boss, Sean (and, brother from another mother). He’s a Disney fan too (has his own Mickey watch), but there’s only so much he can do for me!

Which brings us back to the question I posed earlier: Why? Why go back to Walt Disney World?

Or, put another way:

What’s So Great About Walt Disney World?

I can give my answer (and please, post your answers!) in three words:

People,

People, and

People.

Three types of people make Walt Disney World Great:

1.  Imagineers

2.  Cast Members

3.  Guests (that’s you!)

Imagineers

Those are the folks who dream all this up, who hide the Mickeys, who plan so much rich detail that–according to one estimate–you could live in WDW for an entire year and never see the same thing twice. I’ll have more to say about these creatives (including Walt himself) in future posts, but let’s move on (and out of order).

Guests (like you and me and Brenda, My Internet Bride!)

I’ve mentioned how Brenda and I offer to take photos of people with their “peeps,” plus I’ve mentioned a few fine folks we met this trip in my blog, but we’re only beginning to discover how much fun it is to meet other Disney Addicts (it’s an Addiction to Good). You can be sure I’ll be looking to meet you on our (yours and mine) next adventure.

Cast Members

Brenda and I share a Not-So-Secret desire: to work at Walt Disney World. That means we would become “Cast Members.” WDW employees are called “Cast Members” because they are all part of “The Show.”

“The Show” is the experience you enjoy from the moment you enter Disney property (so if your room is booked on Disney property–one of their hotels or resorts–then you’re already immersed in “The Show.”

Brenda and my first trip together to Walt Disney World was in 2003–for our Honeymoon (for those of you doing the math, we were married just over a year before we went on our honeymoon).

Brenda owns a time share here in New Hampshire–which she has never been to. So she belongs to Interval, and back in 2003, you could “exchange” our NH time share for a Disney property condo. Brenda called and asked if there was such a Disney opportunity, and the Interval people laughed–those rooms are booked years in advance. Brenda asked if she could be put on a waiting list, she was, and three weeks later, we were in Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Resort.

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/disneys-boardwalk/guest-services/

 

 

Note: Roger wearing Goofy golf shirt

Honeymoon Disney: 2003!

 

We checked in, got our “keys” (those credit card-like thangs), and were directed to Room 4112.

 

Disney Boardwalk Resort Room 4112

 

Brenda was shocked. She had been told there would be a full kitchen–stove, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, cookware, pots, pans, plates and dishwasher to clean them all, plus a washer/dryer, and a whirlpool bath.

Instead, we were looking at a hotel room, with a bed, TV and bathroom.

“Honey, baby, sweetie,” I said, “Chill-ax. We’re in the Happiest Place On Earth. They’ll make everything OK.”

We returned to the lobby, and met Amy.

 

Amy, our Honeymoon Hostess

 

Seconds later, Amy had straightened it all out: Our key also opened Room 4114. “I don’t know why they didn’t explain you have two rooms.”

 

THIS is YOUR room!

 

Crisis averted.

 

Everything Honeymoon Disney Guests could need

 

I told everyone we were enjoying a “Disney Honeymoon.” If I had known about the Mickey Wedding Ears, I would have worn them! And everyone went out of their way to make our Honeymoon Disney special.

Dining:

 

Liberty Tavern with Honeymoon Heart

 

 

Disney Honeymoon Heart: It's Mick-fetti!

 

 

Liberty Tavern Honeymoon Disney Certificate: Tink Approved!

 

When we ate at Hollywood and Dine, we discovered we could get reserved Fantasmic! seating. Which was, well, Fantasmic!

 

Fantasmic's 6,900 seat Hollywood Hills Amphitheater filling up

 

 

Fantasmic's Hollywood Hills Amphitheater full: standing-room makes 9,900

 

One more Cast Member Mention today–and many, many more to come.

To commemorate our Honeymoon Disney, Brenda and I had a Mickey & Minnie drawing created just for us:

 

Our Honeymoon Disney Momento: Disney Art

 

 

Disney Honeymooners as Mickey & Minnie

 

 

Disney Honeymooners Roger & Brenda: 2003

 

And the young man who translated our Honeymoon Disney Kisses into Honeymoon Disney Art: David Mitchell.

 

Disney Honeymoon Couple with Disney Drawer David Mitchell: Thanks David!

 

So I’ll leave you for today, but I will be back–I just can’t get enough Disney, and need to spread it around, which means sharing it with you.

Until we blog again:

 

Make Every Day Magical!

 

Today’s Not-So-Hidden-Mickey–Lampshades at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort:

 

Boardwalk Resort Lamp: All part of "The Show"!

 

 

Not-So-Hidden-Mickey: Close up of Boardwalk Lampshade

 

Have a Disney Day!

Roger

Last Day @ Walt Disney World 2010: A Park Too Far?

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2010 at 1:39 am

Our last day at Walt Disney World on our Annual Pass (& for 2010?) was the first day of Epcot’s Fifteenth Annual International Food and Wine Festival.

Rebecca and Brandon prepare for their Last Day at Epcot; First Day of the 15th Annual Int'l Food & Wine (& Beer) Festival

It was also Rebecca & Brandon’s last day, so we pointed them toward Epcot’s World Showcase and set them free!

Brandon & Rebecca go off on their own

Brenda and I had to hang out in Future World until we could pick up our boarding passes (thought we hated to leave, we couldn’t stay–this time).

So, we went Soarin’!

Soarin' Ag'in

There is so much we love about Walt Disney World, and Soarin’ alone ranks in the Top Ten. While some people stress about waiting in line (Tip: go when the crowds are low–we barely had to wait anywhere!), we love that Disney Imagineers have provided entertainment for you in the lines.

There are either props to admire, videos to view, or, in the case of Soarin, games to play.

Soarin' Game: Note Sensors at top

There are a variety of games, all of which require the audience members to move their arms around–waving, throwing, etc.–to achieve various goals.

It keeps the sugar-laden blood pumping, and provides a distraction from simply waiting. It’s all done with Magic–and, I think, sensors.

Close Up! Soarin' Game Sensors--Or Magical Thangs

And they are so polite about your participation!

Soarin' Game Thanks You!

We always hit Soarin’ a couple of times every trip to Epcot, so armed with our FastPasses for later in the day, we occupied ourselves in Future World.

First, we noticed signs of wildlife: in this case, Chip and Dale.

Signs of Wildlife: Chipmunks!

We had drawn Dale while at the Animation Academy. Our instructor asked which we wanted to draw, Chip or Dale? Brenda and I assumed this was just a joke–we thought they were identical.

Brenda's Dale Drawing

They are NOT.

Chip’s nose is shaped like a chocolate chip (hence the name), his eyes are open and alert, and his teeth are centered in his mouth; Dale’s nose is oval and red, his eyes are a bit droopy (Dale takes things easier), and his teeth are spread (the instructor explained Dale never bothered to have braces to straighten his teeth).

Chip's nose IS a "chip," Dale's a bit drowsy (note drooping eyelids)

Right outside, we spotted Chip ‘n Dale in Chipmunk!

"In Chipmunk" is like "In Person," but with Chipmunks, not people!

They were on their way to a quick character break, and as they passed I told Dale, “We drew you yesterday.” Dale spun around, and gave me some Chipmunk Love (much less stinky than Muskrat Love), in the form of a hug.

Brenda and I kept our eyes open for more interesting bits.

Brandon had pointed out that there’s a bit of the past in the Future: Pay Phones. “Think about it,” he said, “how often do you see a pay phone nowadays?”

For the youngster’s out there, here’s what they look(ed) like:

No one every talked on one of these babies while driving!

How Superman changes from Clark Kent in the future, I don’t know.

We paused to be entertained by a Kitchen Gadget Percussion Band.

JAMMitors: Kitchen Klangers

Banging pots & pans with kitchen utensils never sounded so good!

More wildlife! A rare spotting of a flock of Segways, following their Mother Segway, probably to eat the crumbs and dropped delicacies in the World Showcase.

A Segway flock heads to the 15th Annual Food & Wine Festival

Speaking of which, here’s a bit of a contradiction: In Disney’s film Mary Poppins, she sings, “Feed the Birds.” But here at Epcot, birds are discouraged from pestering the guests. How? That’s what those shapes above your head are for.

Not those purple things--the shapes behind them

I believe they are trapazoids? The shape, that is. Like a kite.

These things--so birds don't bother folks at Epcot

More wildlife! There’s Jiminy Cricket! He wants every day to be Earth Day.

Jiminy Cricket! It's Jiminy Cricket!

And in Innovations, they really stress not making waste. Recycle. Reuse. Practice Waste Management.

Don't Waste It! Cans

They really don't want you to waste it!

Their trucks tell the story

Impressive Waste Management!

But, as Brandon pointed out before he and Rebecca hoofed it to the Fifteenth Annual Food and Wine Festival, inside the parks, they beg you to “Waste, Please!”

Now they WANT us to Waste! They even say "Please"

Another Contradiction.

And another form of Wildlife, peculiar to Walt Disney World and it’s folks: Pin Traders.

Signs of Pin Traders--look for thick black books on tables

Janet (and, by marriage, Tom) has been trading pins since 1999, when pin trading first began.

Janet's been trading pins since the beginning: Fall of 1999

She had an amazing assortment of pins, so check her out next time you’re at WDW. She had pins valued at over $3,500! Brenda told Tom, “You must have a lot of money tied up in pins!” Tom answered, “Yup. We could by another house with what we’ve spent on pins.” But he loves it, because he loves Janet, whose passion is clearly Pin Trading.

Brenda and I have got a long ways to go!

Roger's Puny Pin Collection

Bob, another Pin Trader, is passionate about Tinkerbell.

Pin Trader Bob Loves Tinkerbell: Those are all Tink! AND they are hanging from his hat around his head

He’ll tell you–in case you don’t notice it on many of his pins–”I love Tinkerbell.” Bob is festooned from head to toe in Tinks. I told Bob Brenda loved Tinkerbell, and Bob reached into his pocket for a gift for Brenda, a cell phone sock adorned with Tinkerbells.

Bob's gift to Brenda: Tinkerbell Cell Phone Sock. Thanks, Bob!

By then we had our boarding passes, and headed to the Fifteenth Annual Food and Wine Festival.

Signs of Celebration: 15 Years of Food 'n Wine Festival

Our first stop was Canada, where we purchased a thimble-full (well, not FULL) of Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Soup. It was tasty, but I began to suspect–at $4.00 a morsel–an entire meal would cost us $10 Billion. Not that I’m complaining about the price–I know this is WDW. But Brenda and I decided we would visit a restaurant we hadn’t been to before in the World Showcase.

We’ve been to Germany’s Biergarten many times, China’s Nine Dragons once, and we had sandwiches in Norway–all of which were delicious. But we figured it was time for something a little different.

By the time we got to the American Adventure, it was nearly Voices of Liberty’s showtime, so we decided to have some entertainment.

The American Adventure building is one of the forced perspective buildings. From a distance, it appears to be two stories high.

It looks like a two-story buidling

But, as you can see with me standing in front of them, the doors are much higher than normal!

Look at how high those doors really are!

Inside are more special effects.

Next time you visit, check out the Plane painting. As you walk along the grey line in front of it, notice how it follows you! It’s like it moves!

No matter where you go, this plane points at you!

Same with the painting of the immigrants: the man and three children follow you with their eyes.

The Eyes of this painting are upon you!

We enjoyed the Voices of Liberty, as we always do.

Great Costumes, Great Voices, Great Entertainment

Then, we had lunch. We had never eaten at the American Restaurant. Even though this was during the Fifteenth Annual Food and Wine Festival, the restaurant was not crowded–we were able to get in right away.

Almost as empty as the men's rooms!

We even got a window seat!

Enjoying the 15th Annual Int'l Food 'n Wine Festival

The meal was, indeed, international, and multi-meal. Bacon (Canadian?), usually served for breakfast, was paired with cheese, ordinarily an hors’deouve, on a hamburger (named after a German village), and placed between to pieces of bread they called: buns. And as a side, I enjoyed a South American dish: Chile.

Our International Meal

So we were able to enjoy a multi-international meal all at once!

After eating, we were entertained by: Voices of Liberty!

Back in March 2009: Bradley chose Brenda to be Susannah!

We did see Bradley. Last year, Bradley included Brenda in the show. She was “Susanna” of Oh, Susanna! If you haven’t seen this gag, make sure you check it out on your next trip to WDW.

Next stop, Italy. There we were entertained by Serjio the Italian Clown. Here he is floating by.

Serjio in his Gondola

He was multi-talented: here he walks the tight rope!

On the tightrope: notice, NO SAFETY NET!

Here he juggles four balls (eventually he does five).

How Serjio goes from 4 to 5 balls is in itself hilarious!

And he had a beautiful young lady assistant.

Serjio's assistant: Sweet, Cute, Pleasant, Charming--and Talented!

As a recovering Clown College Graduate (Blue Lake, California, Dell’Arte School of Physical Comedy–many years and many pounds ago), I heartily recommend Sergio’s show!

Brenda and I had deserts in Germany: Brenda had a chocolate/caramel covered pretzel; I had a caramel covered yellow cupcake. The cupcake was topped with a tall heap of what I thought would be merrange, but turned out to be confectioner’s sugar frosting. Those of you who’ve seen me eat cake know I scraped that frosting off, but first I had to eat the caramel stuck to it.

So, another visit to the men’s room, this time to wash my face, hands and arms.

We checked in with the kids, and they were beat. They said they loved WDW, but this last day was more than they bargained for–they should have started resting to recover from their vacation. Apparently, this was “A Park Too Far.” But, no worries! Brenda and I were fine with leaving, since we know we’ll be back!

On the way out, we stopped at Mouse Gears.

Here’s some more Not-So-Hidden-Mickeys:

Not So Hidden Mickey: Mouse Gear

Not So Hidden Mickey Mouse Gears 2

In Mouse Gears, we met Flora from Shanghai, China. She invited us to visit her in China, and she would act as our guide–and interpreter! Since they are, I’m told, opening a Disney World in China, we’ll take her up on that!

We'll be Shanghaied: Flora promises to guide us through--and translate--China!

And, of course, on our way out, Brenda and I went Soarin’!

I’m writing these final words from our home in New Hampshire. Brenda’s other daughter, Jennifer, and her husband, Nick (they went with us on our last trip–which I meant to blog but only made a couple of entries) took care of our 19 pound “Grandkitty,” Shadow.

Shadow's packed

They surprised us with this sign:

Jennifer and Nick welcome us back!

Thanks, Jennifer and Nick!

So, we’re back home, and our Disney World vacation is over. Ended. Finished.

But my blog is not!

Stay tuned. I have to work for the next few days, but I will be back to offer some more thoughts, photos, observations, factoids, and even a few surprises!

Until then, thanks for “Soarin'” with us!

And Thanks For Reading Our Blog!

Finally, one more “Not So Hidden Mickey”–this one from our International Lunch, an American Child Booster Seat:

Not So Hidden Mickey: Child Booster Seat

Getting Into The Act @ Walt Disney World: Disney Hollywood

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Yesterday, Brenda and I returned to Disney Hollywood, but for Brandon, it was his first day at that Park. Brandon tried to behave, but the strain of being good all week finally got to him, and he made a break for it. Here, you can clearly see, Brandon has crossed the line.

Brandon Crossing the Line

We did our best to track Brandon, but he’s pretty quick in those flip-flop shoes.

Signs of Brandon

When we saw this sign, and the damaged roof, we knew we were on the right track.

Brandon Ignored the clearly written warning and chipped the arch with his hard, hard head

Then Brandon started ignoring every sign he saw.

First, he ignored this sign:

Do Not Look Here

Then, this one:

Do Not Look Here Either

Causing the signs to ask the misbehaving Brandon:

Even the signs tried to make Brandon toe the line

Finally, the signs had the last laugh. Not that Brandon cared, he wasn’t following any rules!

Brandon didn't even listen to Simon!

We tracked Brandon to Toy Story Midway Mania. We figured that would be a good place to track him, since he was acting like a maniac.

Andy offered his toys as helpers in catching Brandon, and Andy drew up this Command Post plan:

We got our bearings for superior Brandon tracking

We checked the area, to see if Andy’s plan for trapping Brandon was in place:

Speller: Check!

Buzz: Check

Scrabble: Check

Andy’s plan was in place, so all systems were Go!

Go! Check!

Viewmaster reported spotting Brandon heading for New England, mumbling, “Enough of this great weather, helpful people, and Magical Moments!

Brandon headed for less hospital country

While in line to chase Brandon through Toy Story Mania, Brenda and I met a family from Heiskell (pronounced: “High-School”–they didn’t know why, either), Tennessee. The two young girls were named Sara Grace and Faith (three names, but only two girls). Faith knew a lot more about our pins than we did.

Roger's Pin Collection

Faith pointed out that some of our pins had hidden Mickeys!

Hidden Mickey in Goofy's Leg!

Goofy’s ready for his Close-Up: not a great photo, but what do you want when I’m on the run, chasing Maniac Brandon?

Can you see it now?

Then, just as we boarded our car, right in front of us, was our quarry! And, he had captured the Fair Princess (and yes, she really IS quite the Princess): Rebecca!

Oh no! Toy Story Maniac Brandon has captured the Fair Princess Rebecca!

We raced after them, but Brandon escaped, with the Fair Princess Rebecca in his evil clutches.

He ducked into:

Brandon's taking the Fair Princess Rebecca into that show!

We pursued.

We couldn’t figure out where the Evil Brandon had taken our Fair Princess Rebecca, but finally Brenda spotted him driving a red car, and thanks to her quick reflexes and split second timing, was able to “capture” Brandon!

Brenda captures Brandon, midair, on camera!

The Fair Princess Rebecca was able to calm Brandon down, and led us all to one of her many admiring subjects, like This Guy:

One of the Fair Princess Rebecca's loyal subjects

He told Her Royalness that she was need On Stage! She was to pick the $100,000 winner of America’s Funniest Home Video!

And she invited us all to watch her choose!

Ooooooh, TV

And, being that she is so Fair, the Fair Princess Rebecca let us all have one vote (to her 10 million, of course).

We got to vote for one of these: They were all funny!

By then, Brandon was ready to eat. We had no Tequila–Brandon’s usual food–so we treated him, and, of course, the Fair Princess Rebecca, to a feast at Hollywood and Vine. Then, as a finale, we went to the show at Hollywood Hills Amphitheater.

It was Fantasmic!

Today’s Not-So-Hidden-Mickey, at the Crossroads of the World, just as you enter Disney Hollywood:

Sign on the post as you enter Disney Hollywood

There’s this column:

See how the ear on the left sticks up higher?

Look up!

One of Mickey's ears is higher--it's a lightning rod!

Notice how one ear is higher than the other?

He’s a lightning rod!

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