Disney Apps

I was fortunate enough to receive an iPod Touch for Christmas yesterday!  I am so excited!  It is the latest generation model, with the 4.2.1 OS, and 32 GB of storage capacity!  Instantly I started thinking about the various apps that I can get for it for Disney information!  I already have some, here is what I’ve got so far.
Disney Gift Card app — This handy free app will allow you to store gift card numbers on your device and then check the balance of those gift cards.  The one drawback I see with it is that I can’t use it for my Disney Rewards Redemption Card.


Disney Movies app — This free app will let you view trailers and bonus information for Disney movies, past and present.

Totally Tangled app — This little app has some Tangled related games, as well as the trailer for the movie.

Toy Story 3 app —  This incredibly cool app (which is also free) has a ton of things you can do with your iPod Touch, including getting a special greeting from Woody himself, customized to your name, skill, and other things!  Give it a try if you are a TS3 fan like I am!

WDW Radio app — My friend Lou Mongello from WDW Radio has created an app for his site.  This app contains all sorts of information from the website, contained in app form!

Undercover Tourist— This awesome app contains all of the wait times for the major Disney World attractions!  As far as I’m aware, it is pretty accurate — I’ll find out in June!  However, it also gives information on dining, parade schedules and park hours, and ticket information.  The one I’m using is the free version, they also have a paid version.

Mousewait — This is a similar app to Undercover Tourist, but it is focused on Disneyland.

At this point, this is all I’ve got, but what I do know is that there are some others that I will be looking to add.  What Disney apps do you have, and which ones do you recommend?

Merry Christmas from My Dreams of Disney

On this Christmas, my wife, daughter and I would like to take a moment to wish you all the very best for this holiday season. We have been very blessed by Jesus, and I hope that the blessings that Jesus provides are also yours.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours, and Happy New Year!

My friend Chip from Chip & Company is going to have a lot of Disney related Christmas greetings for you all day, so if you get a chance to visit, head right on over!

Attitude is Everything…or “A Spoonful of Sugar”

Much has been made of the negotiations between Disney and the services union, so I’m not going to get into that discussion very much.  However, I would like to add my own perspective to how I approach things that I don’t like but need to do for my job.
The other day I was driving to pick up my daughter from school, listening to one of my favorite Disney related playlists on my iPod – the music of the Sherman Brothers.  I was thinking at the time about how things are kind of crazy for a lot of people in their job environments.  Some people have jobs, but don’t like them; some people don’t have jobs at all, and would love to have one; some people want to improve their job but can’t because of the economy.  As for me, I like my job, and am not looking for another, but there are still things about it that I don’t like to do.  For example, I don’t like getting caught up in the political battles that erupt at my place of work; unfortunately, I have been caught up in them a little too much lately.  Anyway, I was thinking of my most recent battle that I have been working on when the following song came up on my playlist:
A Spoonful of Sugar”, as sung by Julie Andrews during the movie “Mary Poppins”.
As it started playing, I was immediately drawn to the opening words of the song:

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.  Find the fun, and SNAP—the job’s a game!”

It instantly hit me how right Julie Andrews (and by extension, Disney) is in this assessment.  No job is fun 100% of the time; in fact, for most people, it probably isn’t even close.  However, that isn’t the point.  The prospect of work is that it is a necessary evil for us to be able to move on in our lives, to be able to support our families, and to be able to allow us to enjoy the time off that we get to do the things we love to do.  The quicker we find the fun in a task, even if it is just the simple satisfaction of being able to look at the end of the task to know that it is done, the more we will be able to move past it.
It continually amazes me how much in the way of life lessons Walt Disney and his creative genius have given to the world.  Now, when work isn’t going as well as it should, I immediately take five minutes to sort through my thoughts, think of a favorite Disney song, play it, and immediately my mindset is adjusted to make the task I’m working on manageable so that I can complete it.  If only all of us were able to find something to take our mind off of that difficult task we need to perform.
Thank you, Walt Disney, for the leadership you showed your team as you created the Disney empire for all of us to enjoy.

World Showcase: China Pavilion

China Pavilion

My trip around Epcot’s World Showcase continues as we investigate the charms of China.  China is home to the Circle-Vision 360 production “Reflections of China”.  This movie was done such that the theater completely surrounds you and you can get the view from several different vantage points.  I really like the movie, and enjoy watching it every couple of years.

In addition to “Reflections of China” the dining choices for China include the Nine Dragons Restaurant and the Lotus Blossom Cafe.  My family has never eaten at either of the restaurants, so I’m not sure how good they are.  If you know, please comment!

For my family, this is one of the countries that we have under-appreciated the times that we have been there.  Most of the time we come to see the movie, but don’t make time to look at the other things that China has to offer.  Next time, perhaps we’ll stay longer!  Thanks for reading!

World Showcase: Norway Pavilion

“Off with his nose!” at Norway Pavilion

Our journey around the countries of the World Showcase continues with our next stop at the Norway Pavilion.  Norway is one of our favorite countries for several reasons, and it starts with one of my favorite Character Dining restaurants: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

Our Group Picture

Akershus is home to Princess Storybook Dining, where you and your Princess are able to visit with many of her favorite princesses.  In addition to the princesses coming to your table, you and your party are also able to have a group portrait taken.  Better yet, you receive prints of the picture as part of the price of your meal!  In addition to all of that, though, you are able to have your picture taken with the princesses at your table.  Check out these photos from our last visit to Akershus!

Stephanie with Cinderella and Sophie
Sleeping Beauty with Sophie and Stephanie

Snow White with Stephanie and Sophie

Ariel with Steph and Sophie 

Norway, though, is so much more than a wonderful restaurant, as good as Akershus is.  Norway is rich in tradition, with it’s Viking roots, it’s off-shore lifestyles, and it’s boating heritage, and all of that is reflected in the lobby that is the queue for Maelstrom, the attraction for Norway.  Maelstrom is a boat ride in the manner of the Three Caballeros over at Mexico, but with a much different theme!  Maelstrom has it all; some creepy scenes involving trolls; a trip through the North Sea with an oil rig; and an exciting drop down the ramp back into port.  After you disembark, you are able to watch a short five minute movie about Norway, but the last few times we have been there they haven’t been showing the movie.

In addition to Maelstrom, Norway is home to some really good gift shops, including the one that prompted the Troll attack from Sophie!  There are some lovely things for sale, both for kids and adults, so take the time to look around and find something of Norway to take home with you.
I hope that you have enjoyed your trip around Norway.  A lot of people look at Norway as just Maelstrom, or just Akershus, but it really is a lot more than that.  Norway is a compilation of all of the things that make the country such a special place, and if what I have seen in the Epcot country of Norway is anything like the Scandinavian country, then I would love to travel there one year — but during the summer months!  Our next trip around Epcot’s World Showcase will take us to China!