Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs: Our First On-Site Disney Property

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our reviews of the moderate resorts at Walt Disney World.


Coronado Springs

In 2007, my wife and I were planning our first trip to Walt Disney World where we would stay on property at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.  This was exciting for us, as we had only stayed off property before, but the question was, which resort should we stay at? Originally we were looking at staying at one of the All Star resorts, but we ultimately decided that we would elect to stay at a Moderate category resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  It was a decision we would never look back on with regret!

We actually stayed at Coronado Springs for two years in a row, 2007, and 2008.  The first year, we had a great room that was located right by the bus terminal, easily within just a few minutes from our location.  That section of Coronado Springs is called the Cabanas, and our room was located in the building closest to El Centro, so it was a very convenient location for us.

Coronado Springs has an incredible layout, as you can see from the map of the resort:

Coronado Springs
For Dining options, Pepper Market is considered a quick service eatery, but we really enjoyed it.  Located throughout that establishment was great options for everyone, and it really did feel like you were in a Mexican style market setting.  For table service locations, Maya Grill is available for dinner only, while Las Ventanas is open for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Other options include Cafe Rix and Siestas Cantina for quick service options, and the Laguna Bar and Rix Lounge for unwinding.

In addition to being a Disney resort, Coronado Springs also serves as one of the Convention Resorts for Walt Disney World.  As a result, the property is huge, with a combined 1,921 rooms and suites available.  In our two years of staying at Coronado Springs, we never had a situation where we were staying while a convention was going on.

Coronado Springs

The entire resort has a walking path that makes for some great walking excursions to the different areas of the resort, but perhaps the best part of the resort is the main pool, affectionately known as “The Dig Site.”

Coronado Springs

In my opinion, the Dig Site is near the top of my list for pools at Walt Disney World.  I obviously haven’t experienced all the pools, but this one is cool, features a Mayan style pyramid, a water slide, and is huge!

To me, it seems that Coronado Springs gets a bit of a bad reputation because of the Convention Center; don’t let that discourage you, give it a shot, you might find your new Disney Destination!

For more Walt Disney World moderate resort reviews,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Jungle Book ’67 vs. Jungle Book ’16

It’s a battle 49 years in the making but the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ has finally arrived! Today we are pitting the 1967 original animated film against its 2016 live-action remake. So we have classic animation vs. CGI and tried-and-true voice actors vs. today’s A-list talents.

Who will win? To find out we are going to pit these two films head-to-head in five categories. The one who wins the most categories will be the best. The original film will henceforth be referenced as JB-67 and the new movie as JB-16.

~ SPOILER ALERT ~

Although I don’t go into too much detail about the new film, I do mention certain plot points that may ruin things for you if you haven’t seen it yet. You are warned!

CATEGORY ONE

Premise

Random Tiger Attack vs. Shere Khan Murder Plot

    

Both movies stick pretty close to the same plot: Mowgli is abandoned in the jungle, he is raised by wolves, the tiger hates and fears him, his friends end up removing him from danger. Hi-jinks ensue between these events.

JB-67 keeps opens by having Mowgli lost in the jungle after a random tiger attack whereas JB-16 has Sher Khan killing Mowgli’s father and continuing his murderous vendetta against the son. Sher Khan simply hates man in JB-16 and his fear of fire isn’t really the driving force behind the villains actions, which helped to make the reasons for his actions realistic and understandable in the original. In fact, I felt his motivation was a bit unfocused which hurt the new film somewhat.

Also, Mowgli ends up leaving the jungle in JB-67 by going to the Man Village which doesn’t happen in JB-16. For this reason I think the original film had a more rewarding ending.

The winner of this category is JB-67 for delivering a satisfying movie with more heart.

CATEGORY TWO

Characters

Old Interpretation vs. New Interpretation

    

JB-67 definitely has a lighter tone than JB-16. It rolls along smoother with more fun and with much more engaging character development. Let’s take a look at the main characters one by one:

Shere Khan – You just can’t beat Sebastian Cabot’s voice work on this character! The tiger in the remake looks like it has the mange.

Bagheera and Baloo – Again the original voice actors did a marvelous job of bringing these characters to life, especially Phil Harris with Baloo! But Bill Murray gave a game performance and I’d have to say that no one else could have pulled the big bear off as well.

Kaa – Swapping genders for certain characters in remakes is all the rage now and I agree with it to add more diversity to the cast. But again, poor Scarlett Johansson had a big voice box to fill in replacing Sterling Holloway!

King Louie – Here Christopher Walkin just didn’t do it for me. Louis Prima knocked this character out of the park in the original. However, I have to say that having Louie be a rare giant orangutan was one of the highlights of the new film!

Most of the other support characters were fine in both films and we’ll cover Mowgli next. So obviously I’m going to award the win in this category to JB-67. The original voice talent was just too perfect for anyone to successfully replace them!

CATEGORY THREE

Mowgli

Bruce Reitherman vs. Neel Sethi

    

All through the remake I just couldn’t warm up to Neel Sethi as Mowgli. I’m not alone in feeling that the original movie was as close to perfection as a Disney movie gets and this was certainly in no small part due to the voice actors! Bruce Reitherman was able to imbue Mowgli with a greater range of wonder, courage, and fear.

I have to award another win to JB-67 for simply outclassing the new talent.

CATEGORY FOUR

Music

Original Versions vs. Remakes

The Sherman Brothers. What can you say? I was both glad and worried that the remake kept some of the iconic songs in the movie. Unfortunately it was my disquiet that won out as the new versions played. Because the songs were butchered! Sorry, but it has to be said.

I can’t even bear to talk about it so I’ll just give the win to JB-67 and move on.

CATEGORY FIVE

Effects

Animation vs. Live-action/CGI Hybrid

Both movies are visually pleasing. The animation of JB-67 was basic but immersive while the live-action/CGI effects of JB-16 were done quite well, although some of the animals could have had more realistic movements.

But I think I can finally award a win to JB-16 here! Technology has indeed come a long way since 1967.

RESULTS

Winner: JB-67

I have to admit I am not surprised by the 4-1 outcome in favor of JB-67! I just didn’t have as great a connection with the remake as I did with the original. JB-16 tried hard but just didn’t quiet achieve the emotional level of JB-67.

Remakes are hard to pull off and I really believe, although it did good business and got fair reviews, JB-16 is not a worthy addition to the Disney canon. Do you agree?

Magical Blogorail: How We Know We’ve Arrived at Disney – Check In

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing How We Know We’ve Arrived at Disney.


STAYING ON-SITE: CHECK-IN!

Nothing says “You have arrived!” like seeing a giant sign with the name of a Disney resort on it. This is where you will be staying and from where all the Disney magic you experience will start from. From parking the car to checking in to finding your room, don’t rush the process!

I’m going to show you how you can make the check-in at your resort a truly magical way to start your Disney vacation. If you follow my suggestions, you will truly know that you have arrived at Disney! I will be using Disney’s Art of Animation Resort as our model, with one picture from Pop Century thrown in for good measure.

FIRST: Approach the Check-in Desk.

Here you will meet your first friendly Cast Member. Enjoy the smiles and get ready to see more of them! These wonderful people are there to make your stay a memorable one.

SECOND: Get Your Bearings.

These maps are handy to find your building but also to familiarize yourself with the entire property. You’ll want to find the pools, restaurants and food service locations, the bus stop, and the resort retail store.

THIRD: Find Your Home-Away-From-Home.

         

         

Squaring away your things before you set out to explore is always a good idea. You can also use the time to relax and freshen up after your long journey to Disney. Once you have put everything away, it’s time to…

FOUR: Explore Your Resort.

    

This is a great way to get your first taste of Disney magic and to take those vacation photos that everyone back home will be waiting to see. So take lots of shots and pose with everything in sight!

FIVE: Visit the Resort Store.

You will visit many retail locations during your visit. Some of these you will visit voluntarily while others will be thrust upon you. For example, after most big attractions you will exit into retail spaces and be jostled by some rabid shoppers and many others who just want to get out of there and hit the next ride! Visiting your resorts retail location will give you a chance to browse the merchandise at an unhurried pace.

In conclusion, the basic idea here is that checking into your on-site resort will whet your appetite for everything to come. Usually most of us arrive at the resort later in the day and after an exhausting drive or harried plane flight. Try to resist the urge to rush right off to a park. Instead, relax and enjoy your check-in  experience, for it truly is how you will know that you have arrived at Disney!

For more ways we know we’ve “arrived” at Disney, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Disney’s Goofy Folk Art – Paint on Board

We all love the artwork turned out by the Disney Studios and the many artists that are commissioned to render our favorite characters. But some of us are inspired to try to create pieces of our own.

This unknown artist created a silhouette out of plywood and painted one side. See if you can recognize the character from the back:

Obvious, if the title of this post didn’t give it away already!

So it’s Mickey’s faithful old friend, Goofy:

And he’s in a hurry to get nowhere!

This was on a wall in a mechanics garage for years. It was mostly buried behind odds and ends and parts when I glimpsed the familiar shape. My friend, who owns the garage, gave it to me knowing my love for Disney.

I’m not going to touch up the paint or repair it in any way. It will be hung on one of the walls in my new office/studio when it is completed.

Coming Thursday: Our Next #BlogorailChat

fall-time-at-disney-parks2

Coming this Thurday, September 22, 2016, from 9PM – 10PM Eastern Time, our next #BlogorailChat being run on Twitter!  This month, we are chatting about Fall at the #Disney Parks — whether it be #Disneyland, #WaltDisneyWorld, or even one of the other great parks!  Come join in the fun!

This month, we’ve even got a great giveaway, a unique gift that only the Blogorail can provide!  What it is for now is a surprise, but we think you’ll like it!

So remember, Thursday, September 22, 2016, starting at 9PM Eastern Time, login to your Twitter account and search for the hashtag #BlogorailChat.  We’ll be talking about Disney in the Fall!  We look forward to chatting with all of you!