#DisneyMovieMonday – Steamboat Willie

Image ©TheWaltDisneyCompany.com

Image ©TheWaltDisneyCompany.com


Hello everyone, and welcome to a special #DisneyMusicMonday.  Today also happens to be the 4th anniversary of when I started My Dreams of Disney, so on this day, I’m sharing with you a video that really was the start of it all for so many of us in this business.

On November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse stars in Steamboat Willie, the first commercially successful animated cartoon to use synchronized sound. Disney’s third Mickey short (but the first with sound) debuts as a sneak preview at Universal’s Colony Theatre – located at Broadway & 53rd Street in New York City. It is shown before the feature film Gang War. Steamboat Willie is co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks and features the first appearance of Minnie Mouse. It is animated by Ub Iwerks, Wilfred Jackson and Dick Lundy. The short also features the work of inbetween artist Les Clark (who will go on to be one of “Walt’s Nine Old Men”). Walt himself supplies the voices for all the characters – although there isn’t any real spoken dialogue just whistling, grunts, laughter and other vocal sounds. Walt sits nervously at the rear of the theater to gage the audience’s reaction. To his delight, the Colony echoes with laughs and giggles throughout the short! Steamboat Willie will be shown every night for 2 weeks. (Despite the fact that this is not the first Mickey cartoon made or released, it is still considered Mickey Mouse’s true debut … and birthday!)

It’s not every day that we celebrate an anniversary for our blog, and I never imagined that my little blog would grow into the site that it is — or that it would even be still around after four years!  Our first post (and posts) were written as recaps of the memories that I have from my original visits to Walt Disney World, but as the months went by, our posts became more about reviews, and lists of favorites, dining reviews, and so on.  It’s crazy to imagine that we have published 1,513 posts now (with this being number 1,513)!  Well, enough about the blog — today is #DisneyMusicMonday, and I’ve got two videos to share with you — the first is the intro music for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and the second is the actual Steamboat Willie cartoon.  I hope you have time to enjoy both of them, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts below.  Also, special thanks as always to my friend Tim from Dad for Disney for co-hosting with me!

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Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

2 Days: Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

The smile on River’s face speaks volumes about how incredible this treat is! Image courtesy my friend Neal!

Today we are taking a look at my wife Cindy’s favorite Disney treat — the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!  Shown here with our friend River, this delicious treat has been known to put a smile on even the grumpiest dwarf!

The bar is a technological marvel in it’s simplicity.  Vanilla ice cream, dipped in chocolate syrup, frozen, and with a stick for easy holding!  As you probably already know, everything tastes better if it’s on a stick! :)

You can get them at almost any vendor spot in any park, but perhaps the best place to enjoy them is as a dessert at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ!  They had a freezer filled up with them, you could have eaten as many as you wanted!  Not that I would do something like that, mind you — but you could have!

What do you think of this treat?  Where does it rank in your list of favorites?  Do you like the Dole Whip better than this, or how about my favorite, a freshly popped bag of popcorn?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

Jungle Parade

Jammin’ with Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade!

Jungle Parade

Mickey invites you to jam with Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade! Image ©Disney Parks

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day64 of our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Today we are taking a look at Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, which has been a staple at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park since 2001, but, sadly, will be ending sometime during the summer months this year.  Originally it was thought it would end in June, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel, but if you look at the parade times online at the Jungle Parade website, I was able to see times for as late as August 31st…

Whichever day it ends, if you are going to be around the Animal Kingdom park during the upcoming months, you might want to take one last look at the parade.  It’s had a great run of it, but like most things Disney, this parade wasn’t ever meant to be a permanent fixture at the park.

This parade isn’t something that I see very often — in my mind, Animal Kingdom has always been sort of a half-day park, but I remember one year, very early in our journeys to Disney World, we were at Animal Kingdom, and were about to head out for the day, when all of a sudden we heard the parade coming, and somehow, we were in a prime spot (at least, I think it was) for us to witness the parade, right up at the front where the rope is laid out.  So we watched it, and had a fun time of it.

Now tell me, if you will, what do you think of the parade?  Do you watch it with your young ones, or do you skip it by?  Are you sorry to see it going, or is it long past time for it to leave?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by today!  I’ll close with a great picture of the parade, courtesy our friends at Disney Parks.

Jungle Parade

If you haven’t seen it, come check out Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade — it’s going to end this summer! Image ©Disney Parks


The Maelstrom Trolls: Day 66


Maelstrom: #Day66 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!

Hello everyone, and thank you for stopping by today in our #DisneyWorldCountdown series!  Today is Day 66, and for this day, we are taking a look at Maelstrom, that boat ride that explores all of the things that make Norway special and unique.  I don’t know about you, but I love this attraction!  I love the  Hidden Mickey in the mural — see if you can see it here:


Find the Hidden Mickey — it’s easy to spot!

In addition to the mural, I like the different scenes exploring Norway’s arctic upbringing, and water background.  But the best part about Maelstrom to me is the trolls!  I love the way we end up in their domain, and how we have to get away fast before they cast a spell on us!

The Maelstrom Trolls. Image Courtesy & ©Makin' Memories

The Maelstrom Trolls. Image Courtesy & ©Makin’ Memories

Special thanks to my friend Melissa for sharing her photo with me!  You can find more of her excellent work on her Flickr account!

Then, at the end, I like how we emerge in a Nordic village.  If I had one thing that I wish they would do, it would be that they would update or fix the movie that they have at the end, because I really enjoy those sorts of things that share a bit of the culture of the country we are visiting.

Do you and your family like to ride Maelstrom?  If so, what is your favorite part?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!


Disney Birthdays – it’s a big deal!


Celebrating your birthday at Disney includes special desserts — even for breakfast!

Hello everyone!  Today is my birthday!  I turned 46 years old today — and I realized the other morning that this is the 35th year since my very first trip to Walt Disney World, way back in 1979!  Wow, time flies, and so much has changed since that first visit — but one thing remains — Disney Birthdays are as cool now as they have always been!

Officially, I have never been to Walt Disney World for my birthday — although, the official Disney policy is that you can celebrate your birthday up to 6 months after your birthday, or you can celebrate your birthday up to 6 months before your birthday — so all of us, if we choose to, could celebrate our birthday no matter when we visit!

Celebrating your birthday as a Disney Birthday means wearing a Happy Birthday button — having strangers wish you happy birthday! — having Cast Members wish you a happy birthday — having characters wish you a happy birthday — and, in some cases, even getting special desserts at a restaurant when you eat there!  For example, take a look at the special treat that Sophie got when we ate at the Cape May Cafe for her birthday — oh, and by the way, did I mention that we were having breakfast that morning there?

In addition to special desserts, you also sometimes get great birthday cards at these restaurants, signed by the characters that came to visit you!  How cool is that?


Sophie celebrated her 9th birthday with Mickey & Minnie at Mickey's Backyard BBQ!

Sophie celebrated her 9th birthday with Mickey & Minnie at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ!

In 2010, Sophie wanted to eat at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ for her birthday, so that’s what we did!  Sophie loved seeing Mickey & Minnie all decked out in their western garb, and they both loved seeing Sophie’s new t-shirt that she created with Minnie Mouse!

The Birthday Button is the start of a great Disney Birthday!

The Birthday Button is the start of a great Disney Birthday!

Having your birthday button decorated with your name makes it easy for people to wish you a happy birthday!  Sometimes, though, water rides, heat, sweat, and stuff like that can cause your name to wear off — if that happens, see if you can get one of the Disney Animators to redraw it for you — we had this done at Hollywood Studios — the artist just said “here, let’s fix that for you!” — and we still have that button to this day!

Sometimes great Cast Members will give you a surprise treat!

Sometimes great Cast Members will give you a surprise treat!

The Pirate bandana — and eye patch and sword in the next picture — were given to Sophie when we rode the water taxi from Port Orleans French Quarter to Downtown Disney.  The Pilot noticed Sophie’s button as we were getting off, and he wished her a happy birthday, then said hold on for a moment, went into his locker, and came out with that for Sophie!  It was so unexpected, it truly made her day!


Sophie sporting the eye patch and sword to go along with her Pirate bandana!

Whether it be a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ from a Cast Member — or total stranger — or something more like the gift Sophie received from the Pilot on the Water Taxi — just the fact of celebrating your birthday as a Disney Birthday truly makes your celebration that much more fun.  Thank you for stopping by!  How do you celebrate your birthday at Disney — if you have?  Let us know in the comments, and remember everyone — go out and make every day a Disney Day!