Fun Fast Food Toys featuring Disney Characters

Once upon a time, in a marketing deal long long ago, two big companies decided to team up to give the world some of the greatest little toys in the history of promotional giveaways. Disney and McDonald’s restaurants no longer work together, but what they left behind still brings joy to perusers of yard sale tables and collectible shops alike!

As an example, I bring you seven Character Viewers based on Disneyland attractions and shows:

Blurry because I had a little too much grog before taking the picture

This slide shows a staged scene from a show that had live actors portraying a battle between Captain Hook and his pirates and Peter Pan. You can see a short snippet of it in this YouTube video.

King Louie as a Captain on the Jungle Cruise. Nuff said.

The Lion King Celebration was a parade based on the animated film The Lion King. It was designed to tell the story of Simba as if it were a tale passed down in Africa for generations. Its parade featured six floats designed around different aspects of Africa, dancers dressed in animal costumes and a Pride Rock float featuring Simba. The parade ran at Disneyland from June 1, 1994 to June 1, 1997, after which four of the floats were moved to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Festival of the Lion King show.

This slide likely shows a staged segment of the parade that wasn’t necessarily in the actual procession. This parade replaced the Aladdin’s Royal Caravan and then was itself replaced by Hercules’ Victory Parade.

Mickey and Space Mountain: Great Combination!

When I first saw Winnie the Pooh riding a train, I was expecting a slide showing the Disneyland Railroad. But instead I was treated to this great shot of The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! So… did Pooh move from the 100-acre wood to the wildest mountain range of the old west?

The ultimate Toontown!

Now that Walt Disney World’s Toontown is gone, will Disneyland’s version soon suffer the same fate? As changes continue to come and expansion space becomes harder to find, it may be a good idea to visit this great area as soon as possible! Here is a link to Disney Dose that covers the attractions and postulates on the future of Toontown.

And now I’ve left my favorite to the last:

Splash Mountain

This slide shows the original configuration for the logs, with side-by-side seating. Interestingly, Br’er Bear seems to have thought ahead and predicted the change to a one-behind-the-other configuration. Here are Karen and I ‘enjoying’ our first plummet down the mountain:

So although we can’t go to our favorite Fast Food place and walk out with a Disney toy anymore, with the tens of thousands of Disney-related toys produced between 1988 and 2007, we can always check out eBay for those must-haves!

Check out the link for everything you didn’t want to know about the McDonald’s Happy Meal and the toys that came with them.

Christian Guide

A Christian’s Guide to WDW – #Review and {Giveaway}

Christian Guide

Jeff Chaves is back with a second edition to his excellent book, A Christian’s Guide to Walt Disney World Resort.  Jeff is an ordained minister, and as a result, he has incorporated ways that you can enjoy your Disney vacation while not checking your faith at the door (or leaving it packed in your suitcase).

I was privileged to be able to review his first edition of the book, which was available in a digital format only, and was pleased with being able to keep it on my phone and reference it.

This edition is available in both a paperback or Kindle format, and the paperback version is small enough that it won’t be like trying to carry around the Unofficial guide in your pocket!

I wrote these words in my initial review — but the sentiments are exactly the same now, and I am honored that Jeff chose to include my words in his book:

This book has so many incredible tidbits of information in it, all of which is designed to show you that, even though you are a family on your Walt Disney World vacation, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop, put your Faith and Christianity in a dresser drawer, and forget it until you get back home! Chaves does a great job of doing what so many of us forget to do when we are on vacation — getting us to slow down, examine the wonderful intricacies that is Walt Disney World, and gleaming the wonderful insites that Walt Disney and his Imagineers present to us, all while tying it into wonderful lessons from the Bible.

In the book, there are two devotionals that I truly felt the most connection with.  The first was the devotion tailored around the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Magic Kingdom.  In it, Jeff shares the Bible truth that can be found in Luke 15:13-24:

God accepts anyone who turns to Him. ~ The story of the Prodigal Son.

This devotion struck me because I, like so many of us, was once that lost son.  I did my own thing, I didn’t follow God, for much of my life I didn’t even go to church.  That has all changed now, but I remember who I was before I found and accepted Jesus into my life, and this devotional does a great job of reminding me that anyone, even a pirate, can still find God, that there is still time.

The second devotional that I relate with is also tied to a Magic Kingdom attraction, this one being it’s a small world.  The Bible truth that Jeff shares with us is a very important one:

Everyone must come to Jesus like a little child.

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.16And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. ~ Mark 10:13-16 (ESV)

I have always loved it’s a small world.  I love the song, I love the different scenes, I love the final scene where everyone is gathered and bathed in white clothing.  In his devotion for this attraction, Jeff reminds us of Jesus’ words about how we need to receive the Kingdom of God like children — because our children are full of innocence and belief, and far too often when we get older we lose that innocence.

A Christian’s Guide to Walt Disney World Resort is a great read, and worth the $8.99 cost for the paperback (or $5.99 for the Kindle version).  If you would like to purchase a copy, just head over to their Amazon page for more details.

In addition, Jeff has given us an extra copy to give away!  To enter, just complete the Rafflecopter information below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom’s Birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom’s Birthday!  Happy Birthday Mom!  This is a big day for you, and I hope that you have a wonderful day and weekend!

The pictures that I’m including in this post were taken when we took Mom to the Magic Kingdom for a day back on August 2nd, 2006.  This was Sophie’s second trip to Disney, and as you can see, my daughter already knew that she was a Princess!

Happy Birthday Mom

My Mom enjoying herself on the Carousel!

My Mom is not one for thrill rides, so riding something like the Carousel, and it’s a small world, and seeing the Country Bear Jamoree — those are right up her alley!  To her credit, she did try the Barnstormer kiddie roller coaster with Sophie (although she didn’t enjoy it at all).

Over the years, my Mom has been through a lot, and it is a testimony to her soul, and her kind spirit, and her upbringing that she is the person she is.

All of you that are regular readers know that I am a man of Faith.  My Mom is living proof of the evidence of God’s existence.

My Mom was bitten by a mosquito when she was about 1 year old, and contracted a very serious illness.  My Grandpa had to teach her how to talk and how to walk again, and she came very close to not being here.

My Grandpa was assigned to the Washington, DC area in the early 60s to manager the United Airlines hangar setup at what was to become Dulles International Airport, so of course my Grandma and their children moved to the area also.  It was while they lived in the area that my Mom and Dad met — on a blind date — were married on May 1, 1964 — over 50 years ago.

Sometimes I think it is easy for us to think that God has nothing special in plan for our lives.  I wonder if my Mom ever wondered that about her life?  What I know is that the events of her life, from early on until this very day, are proof of the special role that God has for her, and for all of us.

Mom, I love you with all of my heart, and I am proud to be your son.

Love,

Mickey