Brenda & Roger

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Home Safely WDW Animal Kingdom Lodge 2012

In Dreams Come True on May 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I would like to thank The Universe at this time for a safe trip home to NH. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is absolutely a very magical place. Our room was spacious and quite excited to find we had a washer & dryer in our room… how wonderfully convenient.

Looking from ground level up in lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House.

We did learn that with the Fast Pass, Disney is now enforcing the time stamped on your Fast Pass.  Previously, guests could come back anytime after the first time punched.  Now, it is our understanding, you most likely will get in 5 minutes before and up to 15 minutes after the second time.  As you’ve read on a previous day, at Disney Hollywood, there was no rope up near the Sorcerer’s Hat, and no escort to keep guests from running over each other.  There was no 30 minutes line at the Fast Pass machines.  Also no rope at EPCOT.  There was a rope at Animal Kingdom.  At Magic Kingdom, after watching the familiar opening ceremonies with Mickey and the Gang, all guests joined in for the countdown to Park opening; off we went.

We have had many magical moments this week… Moments I’m quite thankful for.  Many times, I feel so overcome with joy, I think I shall bust, but usually brings tears of excitement.  We enjoy sharing our pins with kids beginning their collection, it’s magical for us as well.  It’s best to speak with parents first, then they are more comfortable with us carrying on a conversation with their children.

Guess Who?

We look forward to our next & new adventure.


Reflections on a Walt Disney World Vacation

In Dreams Come True on May 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

People often ask, “Why do you keep going BACK to Walt Disney World?”

Let’s think about that.

Gawrsh, what was I thinking about?

Well, let’s start with remembering the great times. And to remember, you have to make memories.

And where’s a great place to start building memories?

Magic memories begin where?

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

And why do Magic Memories begin in the Magic Kingdom?

Leave today behind to find Magic

Because you have permission to leave the “real world” and enter a Magical Place, where people make magic.

Where you battle evil.

To Infinitiy, and Beyond!

Shoot the right targets, and rack up a nice score!

Shoot the high target overhead when you first begin the game for 100,000 points!

Watch for unexpected treats.

Time for It’s a small world: The clock strikes 10:15!

And when the time is right, and you accept the welcome,

Welcome to the Magic!

you will experience the wonder.

It’s a world of wonder, well, you know the rest

And believe that your dreams can come true.

There’s even a parade to encourage your dreams

Learn to celebrate the little miracles.

Gawrsh, it’s Goofy!

And remember, sometimes Magic needs helpers.

Sometimes, magic needs helpers

And who to better help make magic happen than YOU?

Brenda and Roger love to share their pins by giving them to kids who are just starting out their collections. And when some Disney cast members found out we were “sharing the magic,” and that Roger was celebrating his birthday (which was three weeks ago, and yet it’s OK to celebrate it all week at Disney World–more magic!), they treated us to some free chocolate peanut butter cups.

Cast members spread the magic around

And so, the magic works because people come to Walt Disney World to experience, receive, share, and give back the magic. People come to celebrate the wonders of possibilities.

Celebrate the Magic!

And for everyone who contributes to the magic,

A tip of the hat from Goofy and Goofy

So, from Brenda and Roger, take a chance and let your dreams come true!

Let your dreams come true

P.S….  Roger was being considerate to me when he neglected to mention the fact that we played 5 times at Buzz Lightyear…  yes, 5 times through…  He beat me every single game… and not by a little, but by A LOT!!!  So, as you can see… my game is Toy Story Mania, Roger’s game is Buzz Lightyear…  “To Infinity… and beyond.”


Animal Kingdom & Rain 2012

In Dreams Come True on May 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

The day started out early… headed to the bus stop at 6:45 a.m.  Now, I’m not complaining… I’m just sayin.. we waited at least 30 minutes for the Animal Kingdom bus.  This surprised me by first of all being this much time between buses, second is that Animal Kingdom had Early Magic Hour, letting us into the park @ 8 a.m., there should have been more busses, not less!!  Anyway, we made it, we certainly were not the first ones at Animal Kingdom this time as we have been in the past.

Once we got into the park, we headed straight for Kilmanjaro Safaris.  We had a very relaxing journey

You may think it a Rhino Parade, but no, just out for a stroll.

We enjoyed breakfast @ Pizzafari.  While Roger brushed his teeth & braces, I ran to Kilamanjaro Safari to get a Fast Pass for later.  Turns out it wasn’t quite as “later” as we would have liked.  We visited some other exhibits and then turned in our Fast Pass to get on our next Safari.

When that was completed, we again had to hustle right over to see The Festival of the Lion King, live theater we really enjoy.  The costumes & singing are excellent, just as you would expect.

From Lion King we again had to hustle over to see Nemo, The Musical.  This is live theater we love so much, it chokes us up every time.  Some are the same actors we have seen for years.  Nemo even came up to say “Hello” to me!!!

Finding Nemo….

We could see the sky getting darker.  Roger just had to go back to Asia and get his favorite from Yak & Yeti restaurant.  It started to sprinkle.  Fortunately I had packed our ponchos, hoping just be packing them it would keep the rain away.  Well, that didn’t work… it POURED.  How cute is he???…

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, The Old Man is…

Now, my poncho has a history.  Some 20 years ago, when going to a Red Sox game, thinking it was going to rain, I bought a poncho.  Have carried it each & every trip we’ve made to to Walt Disney World.  Today I had to open that package & use it!!!  Roger was afraid it might have rotted in the package, being almost an antique!!

This is quite a good look, don’t you think?

Animals visiting at Animal Kingdom Village, Jambo House

In Dreams Come True on May 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

So, it’s 7:15ish pm.  I open our sliding door and go out onto our balcony.  There were a couple of Roan Antelope…  (click on photos to enlarge)

Roan antelope feeding in the Savannah outside our window.

I gaze around and see a couple of zebras…. this is so cool…  there were 5 actually.

Is this a zebra AND a giraffe??? how absolutely incredible.

Then I see a giraffe coming to feed..

Strolling down the Savannah… a giraffe…

then another….

and another…..

3 giraffes… count them… this is becoming pretty incredible!!

What’s this strutting down the road??

How can this be happening???

Now, really… did you expect to see this??  we sure didn’t… but we aren’t done yet…

Along comes an Elan Antelope…

more & more…

Amazing, incredible, unbelievable, awesome, OMG, Holy S__T!!!

animals living in harmony!!

Eventually the giraffes left, the zebras left, the ostrich left…. Good Night Moon…

Flower & Garden Festival, Day 3, EPCOT 2012

In Dreams Come True on May 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Today EPCOT opened @ 8 AM for Disney Resort Guests.  I got Roger up @ 6 AM!!  He wanted to get an early start.  We did better today, got to EPCOT about 45 min early.  Once we got through the gates it was a mad rush to Soarin’.  This is what Roger looked like, trying to recover!!

Roger recovering after our dash to Soarin’!!!

Just kidding Sweetie!!!

As you know, this is the Annual Flower & Garden Festival.  I love the colors & smells and the imagination working to complete these works of art.

Butterflies made of flowering plants…

Floating gardens…. I gotta go home & build a pond…

Save me your chair frames & garden hoses… I’m going to make a set of these…

Aren’t these cool??   Great ideas… like

What a great way to use cement blocks!!!

We always love to listen to Voices of Liberty in The American Adventure.  If you don’t know, they are an accapala  group singing American folk songs and patriotic songs.  They are excellent to the 1000th degree.

Here’s Roger & Goofy… can you see the difference?

It was hot again today… really zapped our energy.  Back to Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Lodge by 4 pm.

Toy Story Mania 3T!

In Dreams Come True on May 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I got up to use the restroom, and Brenda asked, “Are you getting up?”

“It’s 3:30 AM! No!”

I was wrong: it was 3:50 AM. Still, I went back to bed. And to sleep. Brenda was up by 5:15.

I, on the other hand, slept in until 6:30. Our plan: to get to Disney Hollywood by 8:00 AM for the 9:00 AM park opening (we like to get there early).

Didn’t work out. I was too slow. We didn’t get to the park until 8:40. Security, then waiting in line, so I made a quick restroom run. When I got back two minutes later, Brenda was nearly through the turnstile to enter the park! They were letting us in early!

So, Battle Plan. Once we got to the rope (they let you in the park early then make you wait at a rope before entering the entire park), I would grab the annual passes (our admission) and head for the Fast Pass machines, while Brenda would surge ahead (she’s faster than I am) to wait in the line.

NO ROPE! We’re off!

I got to the Fast Pass machines–hardly any line!

Fast Pass in hand, the wait was only 10 minutes! Which we spent weaving our way to the ride!

And through Toy Story Mania for the first time in 2012.

Toy Story Mania Score Screen

Toy Story Mania Score: Game One

Brenda’s score’s on the right–as usual, she beat me.

There was only a 45 minute wait, which turned out to be really just 15 minutes, so we went right back in!

I noticed the safety warning is “stapled” to the wall–and like everything else, sized to make you game sized!

Stapled Safety Warning

Note the staple at top of warning!

And, we’re off! Game 2:

Toy Story Mania: Game 2

Roger makes a comeback!

OMG! That’s Roger’s score on the right! Sure, it’s nothing compared to the 500,000+ high score, but still, he beat Brenda at Toy Story Mania! First time ever!

Break. Cruise WDW. Until Fast Pass Time (WDW is now enforcing the one-hour time period to return with your Fast Pass).

Game 3. With the fate of the universe at stake.

Brenda pointed out this was the “rubber” match. Whoever won this, was the Grand Champion.


Toy Story Mania: Game 3

Final Game — For this trip!

Brenda won. Her score on the right. I put up a good fight, and it was up and down, but finally, she pulled ahead.

All is right with the universe.

Crisis averted.

So, you may think that with all that Toy Story Midway Mania going on, we never had time for anything else.


We attended Animation Academy. Twice. Before we entered, Brenda had a giveaway for the artists.

Brenda's Tubes

Brenda with hands full of paper tubes.

Brenda packed ten extra paper tubes to present to fellow artists.

Brenda gives away tubes

Brenda presents the first tube to a mom and artist.

Brenda presented all her tubes to the people going into the Animation Academy. All were very pleased and thankful, and one woman described how their previous visit, when they folded the drawings, resulted in distaster. So, disaster averted.

First we drew Buzz Lightyear (who’s original name was Lunar Larry), and the second time (we simply left the room and circled back to the entrance) we drew Donald Duck.

The man drawing Donald was named Don (coincidence?). Don was a wealth of information, such as that it takes 24 drawings to create a second of film, so until you’ve drawn a few million drawings, don’t worry if they aren’t perfect.

Don informed us that Donald Duck was the only Disney character to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and that when he joined the Army, we learned his middle name. And if we could tell Don that middle name, we would win Don’s drawing of Donald Duck (I like having all those “d’s”).

I raised my hand, Don called on me, and I said, “Fantleroy.”

Or at least I said something close enough so I won the drawing.

Don Donald's Drawer

Don, Donald Duck’s Drawer

Don's Donald

Don’s Donald Duck Drawing

Don signed and personalized his drawing for us, and then, to make sure our drawing was protected, he presented us with–wait for it!–a paper tube!

So we lunched at Sci Fi Diner.

Roger & Brenda at Sci Fi Diner

Roger & Brenda at Sci Fi Diner

Sci Fi Diner Seating

Sci Fi Diner Seating

Where we were regaled with cautionary tales of criminally creepy creatures from the crypt, space, and beyond. All seemingly wanting to capture cute young men and women due to their (the aliens / monsters) inability to procreate on their own.

We ended our day at Downtown Disney. We now needed to purchase a frame for our free drawing, which we did, and we also managed to pick up a few other items. It poured while we were in the store, spurring us to find more to buy.

Downtown Disney Drops

Downtown Disney Drops

During the downpour, I noticed a dramatic duel between a Lego Dragon and Knight.

Lego Fire Breathing Dragon

Lego Fire Breathing Dragon Duel

Lego FBD dramatic

Oooooooh, dramatic dragon duel photo.

The rain let up, and we headed to Goofy’s Candy Company for fuel, and after packing up a good sized goody bag, the Goofettes greeted me with a great special rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Goofy Candy Co Goofettes

So, after a full day of characters, conflict, competition, creatures, awards, and much much more, we’re off to bed so we can do it all over again tomorrow.

At Epcot.

See you there!

Off to Walt Disney World

In Dreams Come True on May 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

So, it’s 3 AM Sunday, we’re loading the car with luggage, I’ve locked the house up…  Roger says to me, “Your backpack in the car?”  OMG, NO, IT’S STILL INSIDE!!!  I couldn’t believe it, in making sure lights were on, water off, luggage, stuff on the table for Jennifer.  So you ask, “what’s the big deal?”  Inside my backpack is my computer, my Disney Annual Pass, my camera, my phone, extra clothes in case our luggage is lost!!

I really do have Some-tymers…

Bonus Day! Early To Rise, Afternoon at Epcot!

In Dreams Come True on May 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm


We’ve been up since 3 AM!!  So, if you can’t make any sense of this post, wait until tomorrow!!! Errr, I mean, maybe WE’LL make more sense tomorrow!

Our plane left Manchester on time and arrived early in Orlando.  We boarded the Disney Magical Express for Walt Disney World, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House… it is beautiful!!   (click on pictures to enlarge them)

Our condo living room & kitchen & dining room. Bedroom, bath, & washer & dryer down hall on the right

Bedroom & bathroom, washer & dryer down the hall to the right!!

Jambo House Lobby!!! it’s amazing

Our luggage hadn’t arrived yet, but we had packed stuff in our carry on… so we were ready.   Off to EPCOT & to see some of the amazing flowers, topiaries, etc. there… there were many more topiaries than last year…

Fantasia topiaries…

We had a great dinner at Via Napoli…  (ssshhh don’t tell Roger… there was an Italian male stud there….  take a peek….

OOHHH… back to my story…

We are celebrating Roger’s birthday!!  He has received his birthday button, so people walking by say “Happy Birthday, Roger.”  It’s pretty cool.  He had a birthday “cake” & the waiters & waitresses sang..

Roger received a very special phone call…  Thank you Kathy, from Rapid City, South Dakota, and Marissa from Ventura College…  A birthday call from Goofy!!!

A special phone call from Goofy to Goofy, oh, I mean Roger.

I’m getting drowsy…  will write tomorrow..  We’re off to Disney Hollywood Studios tomorrow.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment!!!

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