Six Years of My Dreams of Disney

mdod320x250

Today, my friends, marks the 6th anniversary of the date I started My Dreams of Disney.  Throughout the past six years, the site has seen some changes, and of late, posting has been less frequent than it was in the past.  However, devoting six years to any blog is, in my eyes, a big deal, and today, I want to spend the anniversary taking some time out to thank those that have been along for the ride and helped me along the way.

1) My Family

This blog would not have been possible at all without the support of my family.  You may remember that My Dreams of Disney started as a way for me to document the memories I had of trips to Disney, but when it took a life of it’s own, my wife Cindy and daughter Sophie were there for the ride with me.  In fact, Sophie is even one of the author’s on her spare time, and Cindy, well, Cindy is part-time cheerleader, part-time proofreader, part-time content generator, and full-time love of my life!  Add to that mix Stephanie and Shane and some of the content they have provided, and it becomes obvious that My Dreams of Disney is a family-run site!

2) The Blogorail

Outside of my family, one of the groups that I am most involved with is the Blogorail.  That group of bloggers from around the world is more than just a group I hang out with; they are an extended family.  Friends such as Heidi, Mary, Melissa, Rosanne, Becca, Lee, and countless others help me laugh, comfort me when I’m down, and support me in crazy hair-brained schemes day in and day out.  They are special to me, and if you haven’t seen their sites, go check them out and find out for yourself how special they really are.

3) Pixie Vacations

pixie-vacations-disney-quote

In February 2013, Lisa and Steve Griswold, the owners of Pixie Vacations, hired me to be one of their part-time travel agents.  On that day, my love of all things Disney came full circle as I began helping families all around the country plan trips to their favorite place, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and even the occasional Disney Cruise. Being a travel agent isn’t all roses all the time, but hearing about the memories that my clients have made on trips that I’ve helped them plan has more than made up for it, and I thank all of my Pixie Family, but especially Lisa and Steve, for giving me the opportunity to join their family.

4) Walt Disney

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; without the influence that Walt Disney brought to this world, this site — none of the countless Disney fan sites, in fact — would not exist, and as a result, it is to him that each and every one of us owes a debt of gratitude to.  I think perhaps two of my all time favorite posts are the one that finished our series “100 Days to Disneyland”, titled “It’s all about Walt” and my special post that my friend Didi allowed me to contribute for her 60 Days to 60 Years series titled “Happy Birthday Disneyland!” In each of these posts, they express what this site is all about in my eyes, at least — sharing our love of Disney and saying thanks to the man that started it all.  One of Walt Disney’s famous quotes is that it all started with a mouse, but in reality, that’s not true — the reality is that it all started with Walt Disney.

5) Chip and Company

header-logo-chipandco

I would be remiss at this point if I did not take time to thank my friend Chip from Chip and Company for the help that he provided to me early on in my days as a blogger.  He was always a good friend to me, and while we don’t speak as much as we used to, I still consider him a friend, and hope he feels the same.  Life tends to get in the way sometimes, and that is the case here, but at the end of the day, I know that if I have any questions I can call on Chip for assistance, and he can do the same.  So, to Chip and all of the team at Chip and Company, I say thank you for the help over the years.

6) You, Our Friends

Lastly, my friends, but certainly not least by any stretch, I would like to take time to thank you for supporting us throughout the years.  It has been a great ride these six years, and while the blog was started as a way to document our memories of trips to Walt Disney World, it became something more because of the passion and excitement that you all contributed in your many comments, well wishes, questions, and even guest posts, and the blog became as much your site as it is ours.  I always said that My Dreams of Disney existed to help you make My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney, and it has done just that!  So, my friends, thank you for joining us these past six years, and here’s to at least six more years of fun covering all things Disney and beyond!

 

 

 

Spaceship Earth

Blogorail Orange: Spaceship Earth Architectural Details

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite architectural details at the Disney Parks.


architectural details

Spaceship Earth stands proudly over Epcot!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Orange Loop!  Today we are taking a look at some of the incredible architectural details that you can find at Walt Disney World and the rest of the Disney Parks!  For me, I’m focusing on one of my absolute favorite attractions at Epcot (or any Disney Park, for that matter) — Spaceship Earth!

From a technology perspective, Spaceship Earth combines some incredibly cool — I would almost say geeky — stats as well as some technology from yesteryear.  Let’s dive into them just a little bit, shall we?

  • Spaceship Earth is 180 feet tall, and weighs in at about 16 million pounds!
  • The skin of Spaceship Earth is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic-alloy triangles!
  • Did you know that the water from rain that lands on Spaceship Earth never falls to the pavement below? There is a special system in place that takes the water and drains it into World Showcase Lagoon!
  • Spaceship Earth has a diameter of 165 feet, a circumference of 518.1 feet, and a volume of 2.35 million cubic feet!
  • As part of the attraction, though, did you know that Spaceship Earth incorporates an old 1A2 key system phone into one of it’s props?  Now that’s old school!
architectural details

The scenes inside the attraction are my favorites!

For me, though, more than the numbers, more than the technology, more than the incredible photo opportunities, what I really like about Spaceship Earth is the attraction, the ride itself.  Somehow, knowing that you are climbing into the belly of the “big golf ball” and heading all the way to the top is just really cool to me.  Reliving all of the exploration of how communication has adapted over time is really neat, and the sites, smells, sounds of it all just bring you there as if you are experiencing it firsthand.  That’s why I like Spaceship Earth so much.  Man, I miss this attraction!

I hope you have enjoyed our look at Spaceship Earth!  Tell me, what do you think of this attraction?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!  Now go check out the rest of the loop — we’ve got some great posts for you to read!

For more architectural details at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Dealing with Problems at Disney Loop:

V8 Cafe

The Blogorail: Flo’s V8 Cafe at Disneyland Resort

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are telling you all about some of the best quick service restaurants at Disneyland.


V8 Cafe

The Neon at Flo’s V8 Cafe makes this a great spot to photograph at night!

Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to work through all of the posts for this month’s Magical Blogorail Green line — the Best Quick Service Restaurants at Disneyland!  Now, I know that Flo’s V8 Cafe isn’t at Disneyland — it’s at Disney’s California Adventure Park — but to me, I was reading this to be about the best Quick Service Restaurants at Disneyland Resort, not just at one of the parks, and to me, not many things can top the atmosphere, food, and incredible theming of Flo’s V8 Cafe, so it’s my choice to close us out!

Located in Cars Land, of course, Flo’s is a great restaurant to enjoy.  The food is incredible, it wasn’t terribly busy both times we ate there, and there is plenty of seating.  It’s a great place to relax, take a load off, and just take in the scenery of Cars Land.

V8 Cafe

Pot Roast, Turkey, and every child’s favorite, Mac and Cheese!

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Flo’s V8 Cafe is worth a try if you’ve never eaten here before, and I’ll tell you, I’m sure it tastes much better than oil and gas that the cars “ate” in the movie!  For more information, check out the restaurant page on Disneyland’s website, and this link will take you to the menus so you can navigate through them.

So tell me, have you eaten at Flo’s V8 Cafe before?  If so, what did you think?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!

 

For more great quick service restaurants at Disneyland,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Best Quick Service Restaurants at Disneyland Loop:

Museum Park

On the Road at the NC Museum of Art

NC Museum of Art

The West Building of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Image Credit: On the Road with Mickey.

On the Road at the NC Museum of Art

By Mike Ellis.

Yesterday we talked about the Museum Park that exists on the grounds of the North Carolina Museum of Art; today, we continue our look at this museum by exploring the museum itself, and tomorrow, to wrap up our look at this great museum, we are going to talk about the special exhibit that is wrapping up soon, featuring works of M. C. Escher and Leonardo Da Vinci.

The NC Museum of Art features two buildings; the West Building and the East Building.  East Building is where the special exhibits are featured, and where the Escher and Da Vinci exhibits are housed.  Today, Cindy and I explored the West Building, which is home to the permanent collection.  I don’t know exactly how big it is in terms of square footage, but it houses a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and more, including the tranquil Rodin Garden.  At just two miles from my house, the Museum of Art is conveniently located to be able to get over for a visit almost any time.

Background History

In 1947 the state legislature appropriated $1 million to purchase a collection of art for the people of North Carolina. The appropriation, which was unheard of at the time and drew national attention, was in response to a then-anonymous challenge grant from noted philanthropist Samuel H. Kress of New York through the persuasive efforts of Robert Lee Humber. Humber was an international lawyer and native of Greenville, N.C.

Humber worked tirelessly with the legislature to ensure the bill’s passage. An amended bill was finally passed in the waning hours of the last day of the legislative session. Rep. John Kerr of Warren County, in support of the bill, famously said, “Mr. Speaker, I know I am facing a hostile audience, but man cannot live by bread alone.”

The initial $1 million legislative appropriation was used to purchase 139 European and American paintings and sculptures.

The Kress Foundation matched the $1 million appropriation with a gift of 70 works of art, primarily Italian Renaissance, adding the Museum to its program of endowing regional museums throughout the United States with works from the Kress Collection. The Kress gift to the Museum became the largest and most important of any except that given to the National Gallery of Art. The Museum’s original collection, along with the Kress gift, established the North Carolina Museum of Art as one of the premier art museums. (NCMA)

Until today, I had no idea that North Carolina’s art heritage went back that far, or that the State had such an early attention towards the arts.  That in and of itself is pretty cool to me.  What follows is some of the pieces that I enjoyed the most, I hope you like them, and that it is a driving force towards getting you over to the Museum on a visit of your own one day!

NC Museum of Art

Lines that Link Humanity, El Anatsui, 2008

 

NC Museum of Art

Indian Fantasy, Marsden Hartley, 1914

 

A201 Ribat, Jackie Ferrara, 1979.

A201 Ribat, Jackie Ferrara, 1979.

 

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Michael Richards, 1999.

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Michael Richards, 1999.

 

Untitled, Kay Hassan, 2013

Untitled, Kay Hassan, 2013

 

Egungun Costume, Artist Unknown, 20th Century.

Egungun Costume, Artist Unknown, 20th Century.

 

NC Museum of Art

Coffin of Amunred, Egyptian, Possibly from Heracleopolis, Third Intermediate – Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

 

Inner Coffin of Djedmut, Egyptian, possibly from Thebes, Third Intermediate - Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

Inner Coffin of Djedmut, Egyptian, possibly from Thebes, Third Intermediate – Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

 

NC Museum of Art

Sawfish Headdress, Artist Unknown, 20th Century

NC Museum of Art

 

NC Museum of Art

The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, Modeled circa 1881-1882, cast later.

 

NC Museum of Art

Part of the Rodin Garden, a tranquil setting outside the NC Museum of Art.

 

NC Museum of Art

The Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Pierre-Jacques Volaire, 1777

 

NC Museum of Art

St. John the Baptist, Jusepe de Ribera, circa 1624.

I hope you have liked exploring the NC Museum of Art with me.  There is a lot to see and do here, and it is well worth your effort to make the trip if you are a local or in the area.  Have you been to the Art Museum? Tell me, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

 

Mike’s Favorites: Carousel of Progress

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite shows!

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite shows!

My Favorites: Carousel of Progress

By Mike Ellis.

The other day it dawned on me that we haven’t been to Walt Disney World since June 2014!  This past summer was when we went to Disneyland for the 60th Birthday, so it has now been roughly 18 months since our last trip to Walt Disney World.  That’s crazy to think about, so as a result, these next series of posts are going to be looks at some of my favorite attractions, rides, shows, whatever you want to call them, at Walt Disney World.  Today we kick it all off with a look back at the past and the “future” with the Carousel of Progress!

To me, CoP (as the Cast Members know it as) is as much about history as it is about entertainment.  In each of the scenes, you experience what life was like in a certain segment of time in American history.  While the actual year is not displayed, you can figure some things out.  For example, in the opening scene, John talks about those Wright Brothers, so dates things at around 1902, 1903, somewhere in that timeframe.  Then, in the next scene, if you look closely, you can see on the back of the Niagara Falls fan that he is using the year. That year, my friends, is 1926.

Of course, the biggest debate among Carousel of Progress fans is whether or not the ride should be updated, especially regarding the last scene, with the futuristic programmable ovens, virtual reality, and all of that.  There are reasons for and against on both sides of the aisle for this one, but as for me, I’m of the opinion that it should not be updated.  This attraction is one of the last that Walt Disney personally worked on, and to me, despite the words of Walt himself that the parks would never be completed, puts me in the camp of not changing this attraction any more than it has been in the past.  But enough of what I think.  What do you think?  Should the Carousel of Progress be updated?  Or should it stay just as it is?  To be (updated) or not to be (updated), that my friends is the question!  Please let me know by leaving us a comment, and thanks for stopping by today!  To close us off, have a look at the attraction in it’s entirety, courtesy of bigfatpanda.com!