WDW 25th Anniversary Commemorative Plate

The collectible plate market crashed many years ago but manufacturers are still producing them like nothing happened. Prices for new plates can still reach over $50.00 but most often retail for just under $30.00 for most designs.

Disney-themed plates can always find a market. Today I am sharing a release from 1996:

    

Nice box packaging

This was a release to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World opening in 1971. It features the infamous ‘Birthday Cake’ Castle that Disney fans love to hate! I regret not being able to see it back then and feel that kudos should be given for taking such a promotional risk with an icon like Cinderella Castle.

Let’s have a look inside the box:

I was happy to find this in its original packaging with the price tag still attached. It sold for $35.00 US in 1996 but I paid only $12.50 CAN in 2016. Again, this is evidence that plates just aren’t a good collectible investment so buy what you like and plan on keeping it.

Below is an enlargement of the promotional spiel and a blurb about the artist, Charles Wissig:

Below are pictures of the front and back of the plate:

    

Very nice colorful design

If you are a plate collector you probably noticed the absence of a firing day limit. A low number of firing days means that the plate is rarer than those with a higher number of firing days. This was used to promote plates back in their day and was supposed to drive after-market prices higher. This worked initially but fell off quickly.

The fact that no firing limit is noted for this plate means that many were made which directly contributes to the plate being common and easily obtained in the after-market on eBay and other selling sites. In fact, you can find one on eBay right now (June, 2016) for just $15.00 CAN.

Value aside it is a very nice plate that I am glad to add to my growing collection.

Mike’s Favorites: The TTA

TTA

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

My Favorites: The TTA

By Mike Ellis

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s look at some of Mike’s Favorites!  On Tuesday we explored Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, and today we’re continuing over in Tomorrowland by looking at the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, also known as the TTA!

When it comes to relaxation at the Magic Kingdom, I am hard pressed to find something I enjoy as much as the TTA.  This incredible moving attraction takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland, with unique views within Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and incredible views over the walkways of Tomorrowland.  Some of my favorite views of the Magic Kingdom have been seen from the TTA at night, with the incredible lighting of Tomorrowland, Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, and the Astro Orbiter.  Here are some of my best TTA photos that I would like to share with you.

TTA

Space Mountain.

 

TTA

A different section of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

 

TTA

A view of Tomorrowland as seen from above.

 

TTA

The model of what Walt Disney envisioned for EPCOT.

 

TTA

The Tomorrowland Speedway.

 

TTA

The Astro Orbiter is just above the start of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.

 

TTA

A shot of Space Mountain from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.

Closing us out is a great ride video from Central Florida Sights and Sounds of the TTA at night.  Enjoy!

What do you think of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover? Must ride, can’t stand it, or meh? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks!

How the Grand Floridian Captured our Heart

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are reviewing Walt Disney World deluxe resorts.


Grand Floridian from Boat

In July of 2013, my family was able to take advantage of a special rate and stay at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  I was a new Pixie Vacations travel agent, and they were having an agent get together, so we were able to get a good rate to stay at the resort.  We had been here once before, but just for a dinner, and had never imagined that we would be able to actually stay here.  My wife and I, after that first visit for dinner, had made a resolution that we would stay here to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  We were actually able to stay here just before our 13th wedding anniversary, cutting that time in half!

The Grand Floridian is the flagship resort of Walt Disney World, but oddly enough, it isn’t an original Walt Disney World resort!  It didn’t actually open for business until June 28, 1988, nearly 17 years after the Magic Kingdom opened!  When I learned that, it astonished me.  This resort isn’t even 30 years old yet.

However, this isn’t about the facts and figures of the resort.  This story is the story of how the resort reached out, grabbed Cindy and I by the heart, and pulled us in.  As I said, we were able to stay here much more quickly than we thought we would, and we were instantly impressed with the Victorian charm of this classic resort.  It’s the flagship resort for Walt Disney World for a reason, and we quickly found out why when we walked into the opulent lobby of the resort.

Grand Floridian Grand Piano

As we entered, I kept thinking to myself, we wouldn’t be able to stay here if we didn’t have that special rate.  It’s almost like the Disney Magic had been cranked up on high for us, not just for our trip, but so we could stay at this resort.  The room fit Sophie, Cindy and myself perfectly — we had no issue with space or anything like that.  We had a small balcony that we could go out on, but we spent most of our time away from the room to enjoy that feature.

The amenities are incredible at the resort, from signature restaurants to incredible views, great perks such as taking the boat or the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

This trip, though, and the appeal of this resort, wasn’t in the room, or the lobby, or the amenities, or even so much the location.  The beauty of this resort is that it captured my imagination, it offered me a taste of what it would be like to stay here, and it did so in such a way that it welcomed us with open arms, and invited us to stay there again.  Next month is our 15th wedding anniversary, and ten years after that — we’ll be back at the Grand Floridian, staying there for our anniversary, unless we get back there before then.

For more information on Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Reviews Loop:

Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide – Astro Orbiter

Astro Orbiter

 

In our Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide series, we’ve covered Main Street, U.S.A. and Fantasyland, and now we’re switching our attention to the futuristic land, Tomorrowland.  It is purely by coincidence that we are looking at this land today, the day that the Tomorrowland movie is released, but it is very appropriate nonetheless.  Astro Orbiter is first in our list, here are the details for this ride that is nearly out of this world:

Attraction Name: Astro Orbiter
Attraction Type: Slow Rides, Spinning
Height Requirements: None
Location: Tomorrowland
Hours of Operation: All Day
FastPass+: Not Available

I like this attraction, but it does have some drawbacks, so I thought I would share the pros and cons for this attraction with you:

Pros:

  • It is situated above the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, so you can get some good views of the park because of the height.
  • It isn’t so fast that you are going to make yourself sick, and you can get good pictures because the speed isn’t so great that your camera can’t focus.

Cons:

  • Being so high up, you get to the attraction by elevator, and the loading process is very slow, which leads to long waits.
  • The rockets are not very big, so for people like myself, it’s a tight fit.
  • The ride doesn’t last very long, so it seems like a long wait for little reward.

While I do like the attraction, it isn’t my favorite, and I’ll gladly choose the TTA over the Astro Orbiter any day, and twice on Sunday!  Do you and your family like the Astro Orbiter?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide – Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

 

After a hiatus because of various other commitments, today we are back continuing our Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide series.  Today we are taking a look at the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.  This attraction used to be known as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, but it was renamed to the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel on June 1, 2010.  Along with the name change, Walt Disney Imagineers rewrote the entire backstory of the attraction.  Here is the official story:

Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella’s Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called “carrousel.”

The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight’s training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard – its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending.

Here are the attraction details for the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel:

Attraction Name: Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Attraction Type: Slow Ride/Spinning
Height Requirements: Any Height
Location: Fantasyland
Hours of Operation: All Day
FastPass+: Not Available
Interactive Queue: No

This is a good ride for young children and those that like a slow moving attraction.  It’s not a very long ride, just two minutes, and it can be slow loading, so be aware that there can be long lines.  For us, my wife and I will ride it sometimes, usually when there is a 10 minute wait or less.