Magical Blogograil: What to do on Non-Park Days – Waterways

What’s more relaxing than enjoying the waterways of Walt Disney World? Many take a resort day to escape the crowds, but we like to board one of the many water craft, available at no cost, and chart a course!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are sharing fun things to do at Disney on non-Park days.


Hi Ho and it’s a pirate’s life for me! Well, not actually a pirate’s life, more like a passenger’s life!

Come aboard this post and enjoy the views of Walt Disney World from a different perspective:

Here we are aboard one of the many Water Taxis that take passengers from one resort to the next on the Seven Seas Lagoon. You can visit Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (pictured above), Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. And of course, ending up at The Magic Kingdom.

While on route, you can enjoy beautiful vistas and view your favorite attractions from unique angles, such as Space Mountain, above. Also above you can see one of the smaller water craft that you can rent for personal tours of the lake.

Seeing structures like the Contemporary from the water side is a rare treat, complete with a monorail sighting if you time things just right!

Above is a view of one of the Water Taxis arriving at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.

Sometimes you can see older attractions, or what’s left of them, such as this landing from the old River Country water park. The above picture was taken in 2008 so I wonder how much of this scene is left now.

Ferryboats run from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the entrance of The Magic Kingdom. You could take the monorail, but that wouldn’t be as wet!

Empty Ferryboat on Training Run

Other vessels also ply the waterways:

No matter which option you choose, the fun is the same! As hinted at earlier, you can also rent jet skis, paddle boats, canoes, and other water craft for solo or group adventures.

Sailboats Too!

And when the day is done, you will be treated to some of the most breathtaking images you can imagine!

So who’s with me? Will you take to the waters on your next non-Park day?

For more ways to spend non-park days at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Top Five List: How to Make Each Day Disney-ish

When a Disney Princess gets up in the morning, she just knows she is going to have a Disney day. I think it’s in her contract. She doesn’t need a top five list to help her achieve this goal. But we do!

We may not be Disney Royalty, but we all deserve to enjoy the fun and magic that comes along with a Disney day! So here is my top five list of things you and I would need to do to ensure that each and every day we have is just a little more Disney-ish:

NEED-TO-DO NUMBER ONE

DRESS THE SAME WAY EVERY DAY

Ever notice that every main Disney character never changes his or her clothes? Well, rarely anyway. One can only hope this single-minded fashion statement doesn’t extend to undergarments!

But just think of how much time you would save each morning not having to decide what to wear. And most important is the instant recognition you would receive everywhere you go!

Yes, dressing in the same clothes… forever… is the first step towards having a truly Disney day.

NEED-TO-DO NUMBER TWO

BURST INTO SONG UNEXPECTEDLY

Before you can amaze and startle everyone around you with your gifted warbling, you will need to pick a theme song that encapsulates your goals and spirit. Every Disney character is known for belting out a jaunty tune about themselves whether anyone wants to hear it or not.

So be sure to wait for the right moment. Perhaps while waiting in line at the grocery store. Or while seated in a crowded medical office (let’s be honest, sick people need to hear a good song!). Or perhaps in a packed elevator where no one can leave.

To make this a true part of your Disney-ish day, why not include some impromptu dance choreography? Be sure to add some pivots, turns, and lots of arm waving!

NEED-TO-DO NUMBER THREE

CHOOSE AN ANIMAL MASCOT

After years of selection, most of the cute little critters are already spoken for. Birds especially. Man, what’s up with Princesses and birds?

Being Canadian, I’ll pick a moose. Or a beaver. See what I’m doing here? Try to pick something that people in your region will identify with. Then travel with it everywhere!

Nothing says “This person is special and different” in quite the same way as walking down Main Street America with a bald eagle on your shoulder!

NEED-TO-DO NUMBER FOUR

IDENTIFY YOUR NEMESIS

We all have people in our lives that we don’t necessarily like. So why not pick one and elevate them to Nemesis status!

Perhaps that girl at the office who’s always hogging the copier. Or that guy at the gym who never wipes off the equipment when he’s done using it. Or how about that old lady in the grocery line who has a dozen expired coupons and then forgets where her wallet is only to find it in time to decide she needs 500 lottery tickets!!!

Yeah. She’s my Nemesis.

NEED-TO-DO NUMBER FIVE

DREAM BIG

Instead of taking the Worry Turnpike or staying on the Downer Highway be sure to swerve your hypothetical vehicle onto the Dreams Exit Ramp each and every day!

Even big dreams can be attainable. Remember, because you are having a Disney-ish day, all things are possible! And you probably have a cast of dozens there to help you. Every Disney dreamer does.

So what’s your Big Dream?


So there you have my top five list of things you and I would need to do to ensure that each and every day we have is just a little more Disney-ish.

Magical Blogorail: Disney Bucket Lists – Touring the Studios

Everyone can visit a Disney theme park anytime they want. For a fee, they can even get a special tour. But not everyone can get a VIP tour behind the scenes of the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. This should be one everyone’s bucket lists!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our Disney Bucket Lists and what you should add to yours.


Touring Disney  & Pixar Animation Studios

Wouldn’t it have been great to live back in the time when Walt Disney was eager to show people around his new studio? Any excuse to show off his thriving animation operation was taken with gusto! He even did promotional and theatrical films depicting life inside the studio in response to the demand from the public to see how his films were made.

Yes please.

The closest to a private behind-the-scenes tour would be the Walt Disney Studios Tour offered by Adventures by Disney. This is a three-day California experience where, in part, you can learn the story of The Walt Disney Studios during a privately guided visit, which includes The Walt Disney Archives.

If I can’t get my own private tour into restricted areas, the above experience would certainly be a good consolation prize!

And although Pixar Animation Studios hasn’t been around for as long as the Walt Disney Animation Studios, I think everyone would agree that it would be a fun place to visit! And something to add to everyone’s bucket lists.

Apparently there are no public tours of Pixar so getting past these gates is probably not going to happen. Or is it? Check out this link for seven ways that just may get you in!

One of the ways to get in mentioned in the link is to ‘know a guy’ on the inside. You can enjoy a pictorial tour by Ken Miyamoto or watch the cool video below from Keith Lapinig, both who used this method of entry:

34,761 people have already ran through the halls with Keith, to date, but there’s always room for one more guest! And there are literally dozens of tour videos from special guests and media outlets on the Internet so there are many ways to tour vicariously through others.

Could I get past the guard and sneak around?

Probably not. I’ve visited Walt Disney World and Disneyland, gone on a Disney Cruise, interviewed Dave Smith, and recently visited the birth place of Walt Disney in Chicago, IL. My Disney Bucket List is growing!

It’s only a matter of time before I add tours of the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios to that list. I hope!

For more Disney bucket list ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Magical Blogorail: Saving Money for Disney – Selling

Now I know you are probably going back to Disney to pick up even more treasures to add to your collection. And yes, some more memories too. But don’t rule out one of the best ways to generate capital to make that trip possible – selling off some of your existing Disney swag!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing ways to save money for your Disney vacation.


Selling Your Way to Disney

I’m going to do my post this month in the form of a Top Five List. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Reasons for Selling Your Way to Disney, which means selling some of your Disney collection to pay for your next Disney vacation:

Reason Five

Dusting

Do you like to dust? I don’t so my wife is always after me to dust my collectibles! I try to tell her that if I don’t dust, then when I pick up a collectible, I will know exactly where to place it down again due to the dust ring. And that is why men are more creative thinkers than women!

But you may want to clean the item up a bit before you sell it. Or have your spouse do it.

Reason Four

Space

Outer Space is infinite. Your shelf space is not. Sooner or later, or probably sooner than later, you will start to run out of places to put your Disney stuff. When your children’s toys are all over the floor because their toy chest is full of your collectibles and your spouse’s closet space is disappearing, it may be time for a purge!

Reason Three

Re-focus

Back in the 1980’s you were all about The Little Mermaid and Roger Rabbit, but now we are living in the Millennium. We now have Baymax and Hank the Septopus merchandise everywhere! No one wants to look at the same stuff year after year, right?

OK, maybe we do, but sacrifices must be made. We’re trying to get to Disney, people!

Reason Two

Demand

You have it. Everyone else wants it. That is basically how the demand for Disney collectibles goes. So why not take advantage of someone else’s obsession and unload some unwanted stuff?

They’ll thank you for providing a new-to-them treasure and you’ll add some much needed capital to your Disney trip jar!

Reason One

Money

You want it. Your unwanted Disney collectibles could turn into it. And seriously, if you want to go on a Disney vacation… you’re going to need lots of it! So get out there (or online) and sell! Sell! Sell!

And if you do, I’ll see you in the parks!

For more ways to save money for your Disney vacation,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Top 5 Non-Disney Disney-style Movies

How many times have you been talking about Disney movies and someone says that their favorite is An American Tail? Or when talking live-action movies another friend raves about how well Disney did with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

You see the problem here, right? Neither of those movies were made by Disney. So why do people think they are? Possibly because they assume if an animated movie is successful, it must have been done by Disney. Or if a live-action classic is still around today and shown on television once a year, it must have been done by Disney.

This is a definite tip-of-the-hat to the reputation of Disney but not something the other competing studios likely appreciate! But it does bring up a good topic for discussion. Which non-Disney movies really should have been, or could have been, released by Disney?

I’m going to focus on live-action movies that have become children’s classics. None of the movies in my Top 5 List will be from Disney, so I will provide the name of the actual studio responsible. For the sake of this exercise, I will assume that Disney has acquired the rights to each movie listed, as that is how it seems to most people anyway:

Acquisition Number Five

Dr. Dolittle: 20th Century Fox (1967)

Containing no less than 14 songs and a host of real and puppetry animals this movie has become a children’s classic that most have forgotten. It did poorly in theaters when first released but has gained a cult following of sorts.

Synopsis: The movie follows the adventures of Dr. Dolittle (Rex Harrison) as he transitions from a regular physician to a veterinarian. He is helped in this by a talking parrot who teaches him animal languages, thus enabling him to actually talk with the animals, ‘grunt, squeak, squawk with the animals’! This gets him into trouble with a local magistrate and sentenced to an insane asylum which he quickly escapes from. Now free, he embarks on a quest to find the Great Pink Sea Snail, which he finds near a traveling island. Stuff happens and he finds true love and is able to return to his home.

The highlights of the special effects are the Push-me-Pull-me lama-like creature and the Great Pink Sea Snail, which is huge and actually sails on the ocean!

Think of a man doing for animals what Mary Poppins does for children. Now that’s Disney-like!

Acquisition Number Four

The Sound of Music: 20th Century Fox (1965)

This is a no-brainer as it stars Julie Andrews who also played the part of the very Disney-like Mary Poppins.

Synopsis: Maria is a free-spirited young Austrian woman studying to become a nun. Her love of music and the mountains, her youthful enthusiasm and imagination, and her lack of discipline cause some concern so she is sent off to the villa of retired naval officer Captain Georg von Trapp to be governess to his seven children. They sing many songs (My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, Climb Ev’ry Mountain) have fun adventures, endure heartache, and eventually fall in love, get married, and then escape from the Nazis by climbing over the mountains. Just your average story!

The facts that it is based on a true story, and is played on television every year, makes this an enduring classic worthy of being considered a Disney movie!

Acquisition Number Three

The Wizard of Oz: MGM (1939)

The oldest movie on this list but perhaps one of the most well-known. There is a whole section devoted to this classic in The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but I don’t think anyone believes Disney did this one. But he should have! In fact, the Disney Studios did obtain the rights and released Return to Oz in 1985, but Walt was interested in this property much earlier and even planned a live-action movie starring the Mouseketeers.

Synopsis: Dorothy (Judy Garland) lives in Kansas with her family and her dog Toto. A tornado sweeps her off to Oz where she accidentally kills a wicked witch which understandably angers the witch’s sister! The movie plays out as Dorothy meets the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, and together they save Oz. Short version.

Wicked Witches. Funny side kicks. Flying Monkeys. And the Wizard of Oz. No wonder Walt wanted in on this classic!

Acquisition Number Two

Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Paramount (1971)

This is one of the best children’s musicals of all time! Forget the Johnny Depp remake and go back to the 1971 Paramount version for a stunning adaption of this wonderful series of books by Roald Dahl. Starring Gene Wilder as Wonka, there is just so much to love about this movie!

Synopsis: Willie Wonka realizes that he can’t care for the chocolate factory by himself forever and so goes about finding a replacement among the children of the world. He issues golden tickets and Charlie gets one. Of all the children tested for the job only Charlie shows the right stuff and wins the day!

A magical factory. Oompa Loompas. And chocolate and candies galore. Add a dash of songs like ‘The Candy Man Can’ and ‘Pure Imagination’ and you have a very Disney-like non-Disney movie! Oh, and Disney did do another Dahl adaption with James and the Giant Peach in 1996.

Extra: Read my review of the Commemorative Edition LIFE magazine about the life and career of Gene Wilder.

Acquisition Number One

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: United Artists (1968)

Dick Van Dyke without the cockney accent. Music by the Sherman Brothers. A flying car. Wacky characters and villains. This was the follow-up to Mary Poppins that Disney hoped for when the studio did Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Synopsis: The children of Caractacus Potts (Van Dyke) talk him into buying an old race car which he restores to better than new. And to even better than he thought as it turns out it can float on water and fly in the air! Along with love interest Truly Scrumptious and the children, Potts ends up in the far-off kingdom of Vulgaria where they have many adventures. In the end, they return home, and it was all just a story-like dream. Or… was it?

The real standouts in this movie are the music and dance numbers! From the title song to classics like Me Ol’ Bamboo, Toot Sweets, and Hushabye Mountain, Walt’s boys were in fine form!

Conclusion: A good Disney movie has a fantastic storyline, engaging characters, uplifting music, and great special effects. The five movies on this list have all of these things in spades! No wonder many people think they actually are Disney movies.

So why not put aside your Disney Movie Night and have a Non-Disney Disney Movie Night instead?