Disney Cruise Line Decorative Pillow

If you’ve read our trip report about our first Disney cruise, then you know that the best part of it was getting the decorative pillow shown in this post. Click the link to read about our horror story… if you dare! Don’t worry, there are lots of good experiences too.

But we have truly enjoyed seeing this pillow on our bed each day:

Corduroy with Gold Braiding

Corduroy isn’t used much these days due to its association with that ugly decade called the 1970’s. For those unfamiliar with, or trying to forget, this fabric: Corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that, when woven, lie parallel (similar to twill) to one another to form the cloth’s distinct pattern, a “cord.” Modern corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel (bare to the base fabric) between the tufts. Corduroy is, in essence, a ridged form of velvet.

The detail, specifically the characters, doesn’t stand out too much at first. It takes a little closer examination to appreciate the work that went into the design. Let’s take just such a closer look:

Mickey in the spotlight

There isn’t too much detail in each character rendering due to the limitations of the thread, but would it have been more appropriate to have Mickey in his Captain uniform?

Next we see three characters each to the left and the right of Mickey. These are mirror images of each other with the exception of the first two characters, each directly next to Mickey. Here they are together:


Daisy to the left, Goofy (?) bodyboarding to the right

Daisy could be in Victorian beach wear with her parasol (literally: For the Sun). And the next character might look like Pluto at first, but it seems to be Goofy bodyboarding. And that is defined as: Bodyboarding is a water sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard on the crest, face, and curl of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore. Bodyboarding is also referred to as Boogieboarding due to the invention of the “Boogie Board” by Tom Morey. The average bodyboard consists of a short, rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam. Bodyboarders typically use swim fins for additional propulsion and control while riding a breaking wave.

Again, for some reason, these two characters are not mirrored. But the next two are:


Pluto romping in the waves


Mickey Mouse on a Jet Ski

I would have thought that this would have been Donald Duck, as he is one of the Fab Five and a main character used by the Disney Cruise Line. But from the ears in silouhette it certainly more closely resembles Mickey. I guess Donald wasn’t up for a day at the sea!

Oh, and if you’d like a little information about what Mickey is riding: Jet Ski is the brand name of a personal watercraft manufactured by Kawasaki. It was the “first commercially successful” personal watercraft in America, having been released in 1972 (after reaching a license agreement with the inventor of the Jet Ski, Clayton Jacobson II when his license agreement with Bombardier expired). The term is sometimes used to refer to any type of personal watercraft.

So we have a pillow with a mystery. Why are some of the characters mirrored and others not? And why is Minnie Mouse missing along with Donald Duck? We may never know.

To conclude, I’ll leave you with the inspirational saying found on the back of the pillow:

Book Review: Donald and the Big Cheese – Netherlands

There’s a title for ya! This book is part of Disney’s Small World Library series which featured original stories based on the geography and customs of twenty-eight different countries. You can view the covers and read reviews for each book on goodreads. But only I will bring you a review with pictures!

So please read my very own review of one of these books, featuring the Netherlands:

Donald Cheese 1

7 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ with 36 pages

This series is very well illustrated and inserts some of your favorite Disney characters into a storyline created to highlight the nation being featured.

Inside leaf, back and front

Donald Cheese 3

Owner page and Title page

I was happy to see that the child who owned this previously didn’t believe in marking up books, so the owner page is not filled in with a name.

So time to look at the story: Daisy wins a trip to the Netherlands by entering a cheese recipe in a contest. She sculpts the cheese into a windmill! Soon her and Donald are on their way on the plane:

Once there, a handsome tour guide meets them. Daisy is smitten and Donald is jealous! Hans, the tour guide, takes them on a journey throughout the Netherlands.

Donald Cheese 5

Hans is making quite an impression on Daisy leaving poor Donald to struggle just to be noticed. He ends up getting into all kinds of trouble as he shows off for attention, usually ending with Hans saving him, much to Donald’s chagrin. He begins to dislike Hans!

But when Donald makes yet another mistake and Hans covers it up so that Daisy doesn’t see it, Donald has to reassess his thoughts about the tour guide.

Donald Cheese 7

Near the end of their tour, a big cheese (hence the book title) ‘escapes’ from its handlers and is going to crush Daisy, but Donald trips into its path and saves her. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type!

Donald is a hero and once again he has the complete affection of his love, Daisy. And so the story ends.

A nice feature of these books is the four-page spread of Did You Know? facts about the country being featured. So let’s see how many facts you know about the Netherlands:

Donald Cheese 9

Well, I guess if your cows can produce a lake of milk, you may as well make cheese!

Back Cover

I would give this book, and by extension this series, a 4 out of 5 Stars. I’m not impressed with how stereotypical some of the titles are, playing on common perceptions and using outdated myths for many of the countries. For example, we have the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Mounties in Canada, leprechauns in Ireland, and painting in France, just to name a few offenders. Although these things are a part of each country’s heritage, it would have been nice to see a less obvious approach to creating the stories.

Overall though I would highly recommend this series for your children! Many of the titles can still be found on Amazon and eBay.

Monday Topics: Disney Tutorial – Learning to Draw

W E E K     T W O


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!


Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends

A Book Review

Drawing MM & Friends 1

This great how-to book was published by Walter Foster in 2015 and was written by David Gerstein and illustrated by John Loter and the Disney storybook artists. If you’ve ever wanted to draw your favorite Disney characters for yourself, this book is for you!

There are three main character designs featured as the book takes us on a journey through the decades. Early, or vintage. Classic. And Contemporary, or modern.

Early designs feature the look of the characters in the 1920’s.

Long-billed Donald Duck, primary shapes

Classic designs cover the years of the 1930’s to the 1980’s or so.

Beanstock Mickey, roughed in

Contemporary designs feature the Disney characters as they appear today.

Daisy Duck, full rendering

The book also contains an Animation Timeline, Film Facts, the Inside Story for Disney’s most famous characters, and lots of drawing tips.

At 130 pages, this book is easy to read because it is mostly pictures, in keeping with the how-to theme. To conclude, here is the 6-step process for drawing the full body of Classic Mickey:



Drawing Classic Mickey Body 5          Drawing Classic Mickey Body 6

And… it’s just that simple!

This is a great book for the closet-animators among us. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. However, I thought the 6-step system was too minimal for someone to really learn how to draw a Disney character. More on the reasons for each step would have been nice. For example, every lesson starts with a basic shape featuring a guide line. Some explanation of why these shapes are used, and what a guide line is and why it is important, might have enabled a beginner to later draw these characters without having to look at the book, and copy.

Who would you like to draw?


Disney Dollars

95 Days: Collecting Disney Dollars

Disney Dollars

Collecting Disney Dollars has become a fun little pastime for me!

Hello everyone, we’re down to Day 95 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown, and for today, I’m sharing with you a new favorite pastime that I have — collecting Disney Dollars!  These fun little collectibles are great ways to start a new collection for you to have at home, but if you want to give them to your kids for them to spend, they can do that too!  They cost face value, so the $5 Disney Dollar bill you see above costs just that, $5, and that makes it a neat way to get a souvenir without spending a whole lot of greenbacks.  I really like them because they look so much like real money, just done up the Disney way!  As you can see, this particular $5 bill features Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on the front, and on the back you see a great picture of Cinderella Castle.

Disney Dollars

The back of a $5 Disney Dollar Bill.

Not all Disney Dollars are the same, though!  I’ve got some $1 Disney Dollars that feature Dumbo on the front and Sleeping Beauty Castle on the back — these special Dollars are to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland!

You can get the Disney Dollars in $1, $5, and $10 denominations, and if you want to look up more information on them, they have a Frequently Asked Questions page on the Disney Website.  In addition, the website DisneyDollars.net is a great source of information about all the different varieties that have been featured over the years!

Do you collect Disney Dollars?  If so, do you spend them or do you keep them, and if you keep them, how do you display them?  I’d love to know because I’m fairly new to collecting these!  Thanks for stopping by, and go have a great Disney Day!

Wordless Wednesday – Disney Parades!

Daisy rides tall on top of the Fire Engine in the Disney Family Fun Day Parade!

Daisy rides tall on top of the Fire Engine in the Disney Family Fun Day Parade!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Wordless Wednesday post!  I would like to thank my friend Deb from Focused on the Magic for hosting this great series, I’ve been absent the past two weeks as things caught up with me, but today, I’m back and ready to enjoy this week’s series of posts!  The theme this week is Parades!  There are some great Disney parades out there, and I thought I would start with one that we saw way back on June 18, 2008 — nearly six years ago!  What I really like about the Main Street Family Fun Day Parade is that you get a great shot of the Fire Engine, and even better shots of Daisy Duck, that sassy duck that you don’t see that often in the parks!  Here’s another shot of her that I think you’ll enjoy as well!

Daisy Duck waves to the crowd in the Family Fun Day Parade!

Daisy Duck waves to the crowd in the Family Fun Day Parade!

Of course, in my opinion, nothing compares to this parade — the Main Street Electrical Parade!  I know that some of you love it, and some of you don’t, but for me, it is my favorite!

The Main Street Electrical Parade is incredible with it's improved lighting!

The Main Street Electrical Parade is incredible with it’s improved lighting!

I’m having a memory cramp and can’t remember what the name of this parade is, so if you know, please let me know in the comments.  What I do know, though, is that it had some great floats and characters to take pictures of!

Goofy enjoys the parade with the rest of us!

Goofy enjoys the parade with the rest of us!

Jessie from Toy Story fame is enjoying her part in the parade!

Jessie from Toy Story fame is enjoying her part in the parade!

For me, I think my favorite character is Minnie Mouse — and this picture of her was taken from the parade that we going by the Liberty Tree Tavern right after we finished lunch there.  It was Disney Magic at it’s finest, and I was fortunate to be able to get the picture!

Minnie Mouse waves to the crowd by the Liberty Tree Tavern

Minnie Mouse waves to the crowd by the Liberty Tree Tavern

In a seldom seen character shot, Jiminy Cricket was holding balloons as he marched along Main Street, U.S.A., as part of the procession of champions for the 40th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World!  It was great fun to see him and the other characters!

Jiminy Cricket walks in the Champions Parade for the 40th Anniversary of WDW!

Jiminy Cricket walks in the Champions Parade for the 40th Anniversary of WDW!

Last, but certainly not least by any stretch, I’m sharing a picture with you from the Pixar Pals Parade over at Disney’s California Adventure Park.  I can’t believe it’s already been seven months since we were at Disneyland!  The time has flown by way too fast, but at least we are fast approaching our next trip in June!

Sully beats to his own drum in this Pixar Pals Parade!

Sully beats to his own drum in this Pixar Pals Parade!

Thank you everyone for stopping by this week and visiting with me!  Now, please click on the button below and check out the rest of the great entries for this week, and thanks again for stopping by!

Focused on the Magic