Top 5 Reasons for Disney-themed Top 5 Lists

Who doesn’t love a Top 5 list? Throw Disney into the mix and you’ve got yourself a piece of Internet Heaven on a stick. Or… something really, really, good!

So sit back and be amazed at the Top Five Reasons you didn’t know existed for every website and blog in the universe to continually post Top Five Lists:

Reason Numero Five-0

Counting Practice

With the deterioration of today’s educational system, more and more children are finding it hard to do even the most basic of academics, such as counting. But thanks to the draw of Disney and Top 5 Lists, children the world over can now count to five!

And thanks to Disney Nouns, and our Top 5 Lists, they can do it backwards too!

Reason Numero Four-0

I Got Nothin’

Nope. Still nothing.

Reason Numero Three-0

Education

Who has time to break out the old Encyclopedia Britannica set in this busy day and age? And one can only Google so much! So Top 5 Lists are a perfect way to get a small piece of highly-biased information about a nonsensical subject in just two minutes or less.

You’re welcome, Internet!

Reason Numero Two-0

Fun

Hey, if Walt Disney says it’s fun… it’s fun dagnab it! Of course, for this reason to be valid, you have to replace ‘family park’ with ‘Top 5 List‘. But you can work with me here, right?

Reason Numero One-0

Traffic

Let’s be honest, we bloggers are egocentric glory-seeking megalomaniacs with a desperate need for attention and… you guessed it: Traffic!

We don’t care why you come to our sites as long as you come! So we’ll post a Top 5 List about anything. Seriously. Anything. But only a complete nut would post a Top 5 List about the Top 5 Reasons for Top 5 Lists!

Hey, at least I’m honest.

Top Five Disney Theme Park Weather Conditions

You’ve spent months planning the perfect Disney vacation. You’ve accounted for every possible contingency. You’ve packed enough stuff to outfit an expedition to the real Mount Everest. You’ve psyched your entire family into a Disney-induced preoccupation.

And now you’ve arrived at your chosen Disney destination. And there’s weather.

Do not despair! I have compiled a complete list of Disney Weather Conditions along with What-to-do-about-it ideas. So without further ado, and before this post is called on account of weather, let’s start with:

CONDITION NUMBER FIVE

COLD & RAINY

Tut, tut, it looks like rain! Nothing says ‘fun’ like riding an attraction in a deluge of Biblical proportions. We like riding Splash Mountain or the Grizzly Bear Rapids to get wet, but Autopia or The Magic Carpets of Aladdin? Not so much.

Here’s what to do: Do not leave the park! Everyone else will, so this is the perfect time to do indoor attractions that usually have long lines. Also, it’s a great time to shop because the stores will be less crowded, and the Cast Members will be able to give you better attention. Grab a bite at that busy restaurant that you can never get reservations for.

In short, continue to have fun. Oh, and wear a Mickey Poncho!

CONDITION NUMBER FOUR

ANYBODY’S GUESS

Those who live in Florida have a saying: Don’t like the weather? Wait a few minutes, it’ll change! Remember earlier when I said you planned for every contingency, and packed everything you’d need? Well, that’s great. But if you get up in the morning and it’s sunny, so you wear shorts and a t-shirt with no coat, but two hours later it’s cloudy and windy with a wee nip in the air, followed by one of Florida’s famous downpours, followed minutes later by scorching temperatures, you quickly realize that this weather condition isn’t much better than a full rainy day!

Here’s what to do: Watch the skies. Sometimes the weather is merciful and gives a few moments warning of what it has planned. Learn to roll with the punches and deploy that famous sense of humor of yours. You have one of those, right? It won’t help!

CONDITION NUMBER THREE

WINDY

Hang onto your Mickey Ears because it’s about to get blustery! This isn’t one of the worst weather conditions you can face at Disney, but it does present some challenges. You may want to rent a locker and stow the hats and other loose articles. Do up the coats. And get ready to acquire a taste for dust!

The main problem with this weather condition is that some rides may be shut down, such as Characters in Flight in Disney Springs.

Here’s what to do: Just keep having fun and try to make a game of dodging debris.

CONDITION NUMBER TWO

CLOUDY

Now we’re getting closer to the ideal weather conditions for a perfect Disney vacation! When the day is overcast, but not raining, usually the temperatures are moderate. The sun isn’t beating down on you and the blonde-haired person in your party isn’t a bright red yet.

Here’s what to do: Go on as many of the slower outdoor rides that you can. Driving with the top down (the cars, not yours) on The Tomorrowland Speedway for example is much more enjoyable without depleted-ozone induced cosmic rays killing you! It may also be the time to rent that watercraft and get out on the Seven Seas Lagoon. If it’s windy too, don’t rent a sail boat or you may end up in another State!

CONDITION NUMBER ONE

HOT & SUNNY

Ding! Turn me over, I think I’m done. California and Florida can get pretty hot when the sun shines in the middle of Summer. So you may think that this would be the worst time to be at a Disney park, right? Wrong!

Here’s what to do: You can use the heat for an excuse to scarf down a dozen Mickey Bars. You can ride a water-based attraction and get soaked. No problem, you will be dry by the time you get to the next attraction. If all else fails, you should be able to talk your family into some pool time back at the Resort. And trust me, you’ll quickly learn how to bathe in a drinking fountain.

Also, bright sunny days provide the best conditions for taking awesome photographs!

Sure, you’re going to suffer. But enjoy the sun while it lasts. Remember, you’ll be back at work in the middle of Winter before you know it!

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So there you have it, my Top Five list of weather conditions that you may encounter at a Disney park. And maybe I’ll see you there some day. I’ll be the one shaking my fist at the sky and screaming ‘WHY’ over and over again!

Monday Topics: Best of Disney – Characters

W E E K     T H R E E

BEST OF DISNEY

Our friends over at Love Our Crazy Life have asked some of their blogging friends (like me) to participate in a Blogging Challenge. So for four weeks in April, on every Monday morning, I will be covering a different Disney-related topic. You can click the link above to find all of the other participants and their entries. Enjoy!

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Top Five Best Disney Characters

A good thing about Disney movies is that they are populated with great characters. You can cheer them on and delight in their life journeys. Some even touch your heart and stay with you for a lifetime! But who are the best of the best?

Please check out my Top Five List of the best Disney characters, and my reasons why:

Number Five – Mickey Mouse (The Little Guy)

Mickey Mouse

Photo Credit: Disney’s PhotoPass CD

The underdog has always been an endearing character in history. Charlie Chaplin certainly took his Tramp persona to unprecedented levels in the silent era of film, and in so doing spawned a long line of imitators–of which Mickey Mouse is certainly one of the best!

Mickey led the world out of the Depression. He taught our children how to be nice. And he showed us all that good guys don’t always finish last. He was the little guy who never gave up.

What really endears this mouse to my heart is that he never puts himself first. In a world where selfishness and Me-ism seems to be the norm, even celebrated, Mickey just keeps on showing that when you put others first, that’s when you gain real happiness!

Number Four – Uncle Remus (Song of the South)

Photo Credit: Copyright 1958 Walt Disney Productions

At a time in history when there were many justifiable reasons for hatred and resentment, one African-American man decided to show unprecedented love. No matter the skin color of the child in need, he was there with a story to make everything better again!

Song of the South is presently ‘banned’ from release due to alleged racism in its content, but I see a very different story within this important film. I see an older man of color respected and relied on by his former owners, a leader amongst his own people, and a person who shows just how big the human heart can be. Uncle Remus is a man everyone in this present world needs to meet and learn from!

James Bassett deserves better than to be robbed of his due for his portrayal of such a pivotal character in the Disney canon.

Number Three – Anna (Frozen)

Mention the Disney movie Frozen and everyone will immediately think of Elsa, the Ice Queen, who finally learns to ‘let it go’ and be her true self. Sounds good on the surface, but have they actually seen this movie? We have a person who damages her own Kingdom, runs away instead of staying and trying to fix things, abandons her duty and her sister, almost kills her sister (twice!), and basically adopts the attitude that it’s not her problem anyway. And this is a woman for little girls to look up to?

Anna, on the other hand, has no negative qualities. From childhood, she desperately tries to make a connection with her sister. Even though she is alone and rejected for years, her love never cools. When the Kingdom is in trouble, she steps up. She tries again and again to save her sister. And in the end, she is willing to die for someone who has done nothing to deserve such a sacrifice. This is a woman for everyone to look up to!

Just because a character has a hit song doesn’t mean they are one of the best Disney characters. Billions at the box office doesn’t do it either. Anna is one of the best Disney characters because she exhibits qualities that we all should strive to emulate!

Number Two – Baymax (Big Hero 6)

“Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.” Those who dedicate their lives to serve others, like nurses, are to be commended and respected. And although Baymax is a robot who was programmed to serve, we learn as his story unfolds, that there is more to him than computer code!

Two things emerge about Baymax during the film Big Hero 6. He will bend over backwards to do what he is asked by a ‘patient’ up to the point that it would harm them. Then he refuses to comply and explains why. Secondly, at the end of the film, we see that he is willing to lay down his own life, or terminate his program, to save others. Again, self-sacrifice is a big part of why Baymax is on this list!

“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this character?”

Number One – Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

Practically Perfect in Every Way. Using the word ‘practically’ means that there are a few things, or at least one, about this Nanny that could be better. I guess she is a bit full of herself, but in a prim and proper way! So why is this lady number one on my list of the best Disney characters?

First, she is selfless. She has given up a life of her own to serve and protect the children of the world. We find hints that she loves Bert and could pursue a relationship with him, but not without compromising her mission. So she goes on alone.

Secondly, her love of children is strong, but she can never have any of her own. In the final scenes of the movie, we see her shed a tear as she has to leave yet another set of children whom she has come to love as her own. Imagine going through that pain each and every time you accept a posting, knowing that you will have to leave!

Thirdly, even though she is a bit of a bossy flossy, she usually lets her hair down and joins in the fun.

Oh, and Supercalifrajalistic makes her expialidocious. And who else can you say that about?

Bonus Character – Herbie (The Love Bug)

Just look at that face! Adorable and plucky, this little VW Beetle probably has one of the most endearing personalities of any Disney character. Whether it’s bringing two people together, winning a race, foiling a plot, or falling in love himself, Herbie does it all with a ‘Meep Meep’ and a ‘Vroom Vroom’!

Perhaps no other character better personifies the no-quit spirit. He has been sabotaged, stolen, ripped in half, and heart-broken, but never has he been beaten! Sometimes it’s the smallest amongst us that have the biggest hearts.

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Be sure to check out all four of my posts in this series of Monday Topics:

Topic One – Disney Essentials

Topic Two – Disney Tutorial

Topic Three – Best Of Disney (You are here)

Topic Four – Looking Back at Disney

Monday Topics: Disney Essentials for Collecting

W E E K     O N E

DISNEY ESSENTIALS

Our friends over at Love Our Crazy Life have asked some of their blogging friends (like me) to participate in a Blogging Challenge. So for four weeks in April, on every Monday morning, I will be covering a different Disney-related topic. You can click the link above to find all of the other participants and their entries. Enjoy!

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For Collecting

So you just love Vinylmations! You look for them everywhere you go: Disney Parks. Flea Markets. Yard Sales. But are you really ready to sensibly add to your collection? If you’re not careful, you could lose the find, or pay too much, and be disappointed!

Here are my Top Five Essentials that you must have to be a great collector:

Number One – Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your collection of Disney matchbooks be!

How much would owning each one of these cost you?

There are two factors that play on completing a collection: Availability and Price. Availability is usually more of a problem if what you are collecting is vintage, like postcards or Park Maps. It could take many years to find each piece of a set by searching eBay and local sellers. Price can make things difficult to complete a collection quickly if the line of merchandise is extensive, such as the flat plushes above.

So it is best to have patience and be happy with what you have found to date, and thrilled when you find each new piece, year after year. And… it usually does take years to complete a comprehensive collection of anything worthwhile!

Number Two – Organization. Have you ever bought something only to find that you already have it? Twice! This can lead to disappointment and inconvenience as now you have to liquidate your new find in order to invest in the next.

One too many “Oh no! I bought one too many!”

Using your Smart Phone is the best defense against this problem. Simply use a notes app to list what you already have, or take photographs. You can upload these images to iCloud, or some similar service, and retrieve them when you need to check your stock.

Number Three – Budget. A find might be worth the world to you, but that is way too expensive, so haggle! Many times it is all too easy to get caught up in the moment and overpay for an item. Before you even leave your home on a buying trip, settle on the maximum amount you will pay for an individual piece, and the total expenditure for the day.

Money Whirlpool

Don’t let your budget get caught in a money whirlpool!

Always remember that paying the mortgage/rent, buying food, and clothing your family is a tad more important than having a shelf full of trinkets!

Number Four – Curb Your Enthusiasm. The actual action thereof, not the television show! If you let a seller know you just have to have something they are selling, the price may go up (if not labeled) or at the very least there will be no price negotiation.

True Story: I was looking at a Disney Monorail Watch at a flea market. I was playing it cool by showing only mild interest and was about to start the negotiation process. At that moment my wife came up, saw the watch, and started to gush about how much I loved monorails and that I should definitely buy it! The man looked at me and smiled… and I paid his asking price.

Zip It

Tip: If you are accompanying someone on a buying trip… zip it!

Number Five – Display Space. If you have nowhere to show off your latest find, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy!

Those who collect big items know this problem only too well. A collection can outgrow available space quickly. So if you have limited space, it may be best to choose a smaller item to collect, like ephemera.

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Top Five Disney Misconceptions That ‘Everyone’ Believes

We know everything about Disney, right? With so many books written and so many more websites sharing insights and information, the ‘truth’ is out there, right? Not really.

Sometimes urban legend and rumor can overshadow simple fact. So here is my list of the Top Five misconceptions about Walt Disney, his company, and his characters:

NUMBER FIVE

DISNEY PARKS ARE ‘DYING BY DEGREES’

Disney Park Maintenance

This is true-ish, but mostly false, for all intents and purposes. Many Internet sites point out every burned-out light bulb, notice every piece of blowing garbage, and pick away at the overall cleanliness of the parks. I admit these things are present, but no more-so, and probably less-so, than at any other competing theme park.

Are Disneyland and Walt Disney World less maintained than when they first opened? Yes. Are there less new rides being added year after year? Yes. Are there less extra offerings than in past times? Yes. Hmm, It seems I’m discrediting my own case!

But is it really that bad? Park attendance is at an all-time high with the off-season all but gone. Disney parks still have a rabid following. Internet sites about the parks are growing in number and readership. What are we to conclude from this?

That a Disney park is still better than any other theme park… period. But admittedly, that could change. Universal Studios has had enormous success with the Harry Potter franchise and many other parks have better roller coasters and thrill rides. As the demographics of theme park attendees grows younger, this could cause a change from wholesome entertainment (Disney) to more vibrant and exciting offerings (the competition).

For now though, Disney parks are not dying, by degrees or otherwise!

NUMBER FOUR

TOM HANKS IS WALT DISNEY’S LOVE CHILD

Question Man

What, am I the only one who’s heard this rumor? To sum it up: It’s not true.

NUMBER THREE

DISNEY IS JUST ABOUT THE MONEY

Walt Disney Dollar Bill

OK, at times, The Walt Disney Company can seem a little money-hungry. OK, maybe a lot money-hungry! Many criticize the company as having lost the focus of its founder, Walt Disney, for he himself famously said:

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.” “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” “Money doesn’t excite me, my ideas excite me.” “Disneyland is a work of love. We did not go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”

This orgy of evidence seems to damn the billion-dollar corporation that is Disney today. But there is something people are missing, and it’s exposed in this last quote about money from Walt Disney: “I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life… it’s money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true.” (italics mine)

So with that in mind, what way do we want it? Do we want The Walt Disney Company to cut profits and make less money for its shareholders so as to appear to be more Walt-like, or do we want the magic to continue? Times have changed and things aren’t financed on a shoe-string and a handshake, like in Walt’s day. Now there are Unions demanding higher salaries, contractors with higher running expenses, skyrocketing costs of goods, and many more building codes and hoops to jump through than in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Could Disney pay their front-line Cast Members more? Yes. Does Disney need to charge so much for admission tickets? No. Could the company learn more from its founder? Yes. Are any of these things going to happen? Not likely.

But dreams cost money. Even Walt admitted that. So yes, The Walt Disney Company is about the money, because it has to be to survive in these modern times.

NUMBER TWO

IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE

Mickey vs Oswald

Not quite. Oswald, whose hand you see holding the sign on the t-shirt above, would have something to say about that! But even Oswald has to take second place to Alice from the Alice Comedies, the little live-action girl who played in a cartoon world.

But even before these two competitors, Walt was working on Laugh-O-Grams, re-making old fairy tales into modern stories. Oh yeah, and he did advertising before that. So Mickey wasn’t first in the chronological sense.

But… he did ‘start’ the ascension of Walt Disney as the premier genius of animation. With Mickey Mouse came a whole new era of character and innovation that set the rest of the animation studios scrambling to keep up! And without Mickey Mouse, there wouldn’t have been a Snow White feature-length film. Without that, there wouldn’t have been a Disneyland.

So Mickey Mouse did start a lot, but he just wasn’t the very first something that Walt Disney created.

NUMBER ONE

WALT DISNEY IS CRYOGENICALLY FROZEN

Cryo Tanks

Picture by David Kadlubowski

This urban legend needs to die. Seriously. I heard a speaker state this as an absolute fact during a lecture once, which caused me to doubt his authority in anything else he had to say!

It is true that Walt Disney loved technology and perhaps he researched this possibility at one point, but there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive evidence to support this. I’ve read many books by people who were close to him during his last days and none mentioned cryogenic freezing as Walt’s final resting place.

His family state that he was interned, and that’s good enough for me!

So why do rumors like this get started? Perhaps it’s because people like to believe the incredible, especially if it involves a negative or strange thing about a celebrity. Walt-bashers like to use this to show how weird Walt was and as an excuse to mock him. Although Walt wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t given to unrealistic fancies. The technology he used had to be tested and true, and then perfected, before it was used anywhere in his empire. Therefore, it is very unlikely that he would have placed his very life in the hands of such an uncertain technology.

So what do you think of my list? Would you add anything? Or do you disagree with anything I’ve included? After all, I could be wrong about Tom Hanks. If so, let us know in the comment section below.