Tokyo Disneyland Plates featuring World Bazaar & Adventureland

I had all but given up on Value Village (a Canadian charity shop) for finding Disney treasures. Either people weren’t parting with the stuff as much anymore or more Disneyana fans had caught on to the great deals!

But now that I have moved to a different part of Ontario, I have access to new Value Village stores with new donated treasures. And so I am again finding a Disney treasure or two. Like these:

World Bazaar

In the North American parks, this would be called Main Street USA. But even though the name has been changed, the attractions are mostly the same with lots of eateries and shopping opportunities.

Mickey and Minnie seem to be enjoying a fall day in dapper style!

Adventureland

I love the Jungle Cruise setting for this hunting expedition, but I think our three intrepid hunters have picked the wrong prey in Sher Khan!

Kudos to Goofy for shooting with a camera.

The back side of plate

Unlike the North American products where the merchandise is stamped with both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland gets to issue these all on its own.

I wonder if there were plates for the other lands? Those being Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown, and Tomorrowland. Also, the 7 areas of Tokyo DisneySea could also have a plate each. The Internet yielded up no pictures to prove the existence of such plates.

Again, I am pleased as punch to again find Disney treasure on the cheap ($5.99 CAN each).

WDW 25th Anniversary Guide & T-shirt

I love finding unusual items for my collection, and when I saw this Special Edition release for the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, I just had to have it:

12″ x 12″ Presentation Box

One Anniversary Guide and T-shirt (medium)

This is from perhaps one of the most vilified promotions in WDW history. It included the hated Birthday Cake Castle, as pictured on the cover of the Anniversary Guide.

1971-1996

I for one wish I could have seen the Birthday Cake Castle in person, if for no other reason than to say ‘I was there!’ ‘I saw it!’ But my trips to WDW would bracket this promotion.

Let’s have a look at the contents of the Anniversary Guide. As we do, I’ll point out the new attractions that were offered for this promotion:

New: Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure

New: Remember the Magic Parade / ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter

New: Ellen DeGeneres Universe of Energy / Honey I Shrunk the Audience

I hear that as of 2016, the Honey I Shrunk the Audience attraction will be discontinued. Not perhaps the worse news?

I’d also like to mention that Epcot had some new Streetmosphere acts in the form of Stilt Birds and Moving Statues for 1996.

New: Toy Story Parade

New: Blizzard Beach

It’s also interesting to note that at this time, 1996, WDW had three water parks, as River Country was still in operation. Discovery Island was also open and the two attractions were advertised as two great places to be visited in one day.

New: Planet Hollywood

Old: The Disney Village Marketplace

Character Dining chart and map

WDW Maps: Three Parks (no Animal Kingdom yet)

Back Cover

I hope you can take the time to enlarge the above pictures and enjoy a look into the past of WDW as it was found in 1996!

But this great box set also contained a very nice t-shirt with the promotional logo and a special surprise on the back:

Autographs from four Big Celebs!

         

Mickey Inc. Made in the USA

I haven’t worn this t-shirt (it wouldn’t fit anyway!) instead choosing to leave it with the set. I enjoy opening it up from time to time for a look into the past of my favorite Disney park!

What Makes Disney, Disney

For this post, I wanted to take some time and talk with you about all of the things that we have encountered on our trips to Walt Disney World that truly make it our vacation spot of choice.

We have had several trips, as you know if you are a regular reader; Sophie has been six times in her nine years for at least one day.  It is as easy a decision for me to book this trip as any that we make.

We have had so many times where the Disney Cast Members (Disney staff are not employees, they are Cast Members) have shared with us the Disney Magic that I am certain to forget some of those great times.  However, here is a rundown of the ones that I remember.

  • When we took our first trip to Coronado Springs resort, that was during Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams celebration.  You may have heard about it; they were giving away gifts to random Guests, they included everything from free Disney Pins to spending the night in Cinderella’s Castle.  Well, we had our own special Dream happen to us while we were visiting.  One morning, as we were in the Main Street Bakery eating our breakfast, one of the Cast Members came over to us to talk to us.  She asked Sophie about her trip, and who her favorite Princess was.  When Sophie said Cinderella, the Cast Member then presented Sophie with a huge chocolate chip cookie that was a gift from Cinderella herself!  Cinderella had seen the Cast Member and asked her if she could give that cookie to Sophie for her!  That made Sophie’s day, and that cookie lasted us all day!
  • Some of the best experiences we have had at Disney are related to our dining.  The character dining experiences we have had have been second to none — being able to enjoy a fabulous dinner while having the ability to get autographs and pictures with our favorite characters has been great!  We have had so many more photos and autographs with the characters than we could have ever hoped to have by standing in line.  Take a look at the joy in Sophie’s face at this picture with Eeyore:
  • One day as we were leaving our resort to go to the parks, we were greeted by a Cast Member who asked Sophie about the trip she was having.  After we talked with him for a while, he presented Sophie with a set of pins — one for Sophie to keep, and one to give to her BFF, Riley.
  • In 2009, during our first trip to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter, nearly every day we were there we had the best pair of door openers you could ask for.  They were extremely friendly, really really knowledgeable, and every time that we would see them they would give Sophie Mardi Gras beads and coins for the wishing well.  Their outgoing personality truly fit the French Quarter lifestyle, and I was saddened when I didn’t see them during our second visit to POFQ.
  • As I have mentioned before, riding in the Monorail is one of the things that just keeps building the excitement of approaching the Magic Kingdom for a visit.  However, until just a couple of years ago, I had never ridden in the very front car of the Monorail.  Well, that all changed one year when we were able to ride in the front of the monorail twice!  It was a lot of fun, the pilot was really nice and answered questions we had.  Also, we got special souvenir cards documenting that we were official “Honorary” monorail pilots at Walt Disney World, and stickers with our “Monorail Wings”.  Sadly, with a monorail accident a couple of years ago, that practice is now discontinued, but I am glad that we were able to enjoy it.
  • In 2007, during our first Coronado Springs resort visit, I decided that my souvenir for the trip would be a pin trading kit so I could start trading pins.  In 2008, Sophie decided that she was ready to begin pin trading as well.  The excitement that child gets when she approaches a cast member to trade a pin is phenomenal.  Sophie will even make a bad trade for her, just for the experience of trading with a Cast Member!
  • Last year, when my niece Stephanie and I were waiting for our food at Cosmic Rays, we were greeted by a Cast Member who was extremely exuberant in his greeting.  He asked us if we were having a Magical Day, and when we asked him about his day, his answer was “A bad day at Disney is still a better day than anywhere else!”  He went on to ask, “Where else can you work where at the Happiest Place on Earth?!”  We were both extremely excited by his outlook, and that is just one of the things that separates Disney from everywhere else.
  • In 2009, while we were at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, we were there during extra magic hours.  We went to ride the “Three Cabalero’s” ride, and walked right on, since that ride isn’t heavily trafficked, especially in extra magic hours.  Anyway, we enjoyed the ride, and as we proceeded up the ramp, we asked the attendant if we could ride again.  Since she didn’t have anyone in line, she just continued us on, with us serenading her with a chorus of “Gracias, Mucho Mucho Gracias!”.  She just laughed.
  • Yet another thing that makes Disney truly magical occurred the last time we were visiting.  That was this past June, and that was the trip my niece Stephanie accompanied us.  We were there over Sophie’s birthday, and on the morning of her birthday, I woke up to find the phone message light blinking.  When I checked the message, it was none other than the King and Queen of the Mice, Mickey and Minnie, calling to leave Sophie a message wishing her a truly wonderful birthday!
  • In 2008, when we stayed at Coronado Springs for the second straight year, we were there for Sophie’s birthday.  On the day of her birthday, after we had left to go to the park for the day, Minnie Mouse and her team came to our room and decorated Sophie’s bed with birthday balloons and a birthday card (which included a picture of Minnie Mouse for Sophie to keep).  Additionally, every time we have come for Sophie’s birthday (which was 2008 and 2010), Sophie has been given a special desert at each sit-down meal we have each day of our trip, and this year, she also received birthday cards signed by her character friends.
  • Another thing that makes Disney Disney is how excited Sophie gets when surprise her with a trip to Disney.  I remember in 2009 it didn’t look like we were going to be able to go to Walt Disney World.  We were worried about the affect that the economy would have on our jobs.  Well, as the summer progressed, we were able to determine that we would be able to afford the trip after all, so we made our plans.  However, we kept that little secret from Sophie until the day we left.  I’ll never forget it.  One of the playlists I have on my iPod is called “Mickey Mouse”, and it is a collection of songs by Mickey and the gang.  Sophie told me that she didn’t want to hear the playlist again until the day we were actually in the car heading to Disney, so I didn’t play it — until the day we left.  Here is her reaction to hearing that music in the car:


Needless to say, it was quite a surprise for Sophie!

I know that I have left out a great many of the special times that have made up our trips to Disney, but all in all, I think you get the picture of why we love going to Walt Disney World.  There are so many other stories to tell, I can’t wait to relive those moments with you in the upcoming days.  Have a magical day, and may the sun never set on your Disney (or other) Dreams!  Thanks for reading!

Sophie’s Favorite Disney Character Meals

Disney Dining Reviews

Hi guys! It’s me, Sophie, and today I’m discussing my favorite Disney character meals!!! (I have five so I’m making it into a countdown.)

5) Epcot’s AkershusIt’s a restaurant in the Norway Pavilion. The characters there are Disney Princesses, such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Belle. By the way, did you hear that the Imagineers have taken out the ride in Norway? They’re going to replace it with a Frozen-themed ride. The Frozen ride had BETTER be at least twice as good. Or I’m going to be very disappointed in Disney.

Me, my parents, and my cousin with belle

Me, my parents, and my cousin with Belle

4)The Beach Club’s Cape May Café. It was a long time ago, but I remember when we went to the Cape May Café for breakfast. It features Minnie, Goofy, and Donald. The food was delicious. Best cinnamon bun EVER! It was covered in icing, and warm. Just like the doughboy one’s we made at home, only bigger. Oh man, just typing about it’s making my mouth water. And I’m not kidding.

the Mickey-shaped thing was my "b-day desert" Mom did NOT approve :)

the Mickey-shaped thing was my b-day post-breakfast-desert. Mommy did NOT approve :)

3)Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace. It’s nice to just walk into a giant Victorian-style green-house-like building. The Crystal Palace is home to the Winnie the Pooh characters. Every 15-20 minutes or so, they’ll host a parade. It’s not a sit-and-order restaurant. It’s more of a sit-and-wait-for-a-turn-to-go-to-the-buffet restaurant. That’s a mouth full. Try saying it five times fast.

My favorite Winnie the Pooh character!

2) Epcot’s Garden Grill Restaurant. The Garden Grill is probably, the best built restaurant in Disney, at least in my opinion. Name another restaurant that spins, allowing you to look at a jungle, desert, prairie and more. The Garden Grill is built on top of a ride known as Living With the Land. This ride goes through the hydroponic gardens, where they grow all the fruits and veggies that are used, cooked and eaten in the Garden Grill.

The Garden Grill Restaurant

The Garden Grill Restaurant

1) Contemporary’s Chef Mickey’sIf you ask me, there is no better place to eat breakfast than at Chef Mickey’s. The buffet includes original breakfasts in a disney style. Mickey-shaped waffles, disney brand jam and the cinnamon role shaped like a hidden Mickey. I personally think this is the best of all character restaurants!

Minnie Mouse make a superior waitress

Minnie Mouse makes a superior waitress!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now — why not comment on what your favorite character dining is? Ta ta! :)

Which of Disney’s FAB FIVE Are You?

Each of Disney’s characters has a distinct personality and qualities unique to themselves. Now you could waste your time taking an Internet Buzz Quiz to find out which Disney character you are most like… or… you could waste your time reading this post. I recommend the latter.

In this post I will summarize the primary reasons why you might like to be either Mickey or Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, or Pluto. Then, rather than having some randomizer program pick a character for you, you will have the information you need to make your own informed choice. Well, at least a choice. So here we go!

MICKEY MOUSE

Mickey is a little guy in a big world. He’s spent his fair share of time being picked on and laughed at, but despite that, he always comes out on top. He’s a natural leader with the charisma to draw almost anyone to his side. From humble beginnings as a steamboat Pilot to rising to become the world’s most well-known corporate Icon, Mickey’s done almost everything in-between.

And how about that love life? A one-woman man who’s earned the love and respect of one of the world’s sweetest females! And although he hasn’t been able to seal the deal with a proposal, you’ve gotta admire his stick-to-itivness!

And let’s face it, if your obituary could start with “It all started with… YOU!” how could you not choose to be Mickey Mouse?

MINNIE MOUSE

Minnie is one of the world’s first independent women. She has had many suitors over the years, but has decided to remain single. She has made it on her own in a variety of occupations, owning some of the most desirable real estate along the way. And when it comes to personality, who has more kindness, compassion, and love than our polka-dot Queen?

Although a modern woman, Minnie has made no secret of her love for that one special someone, but is content to wait until the time is right to press for committment.

Do you have a song written about you? Minnie does! And it’s a chart topper to remember. So if you choose to be Minnie Mouse, the song can be about ‘Yoo Hoo’ too!

GOOFY

What can we say about the Goof? He’s a fun-loving free spirit with no clue that he’s a fun-loving free spirit. In fact, he hasn’t got a clue… about anything. But that’s OK! Goofy knows the world owes him a living but has the class to never show up to pick up the pay check. He’s too busy being loyal, helpful, and the best friend anyone could ever hope for.

Goofy isn’t overly good with the ladies. Always a gentleman but never a boyfriend, Goofy is just satisfied to show respect and to lend a helping hand. How this guy ever ended up with a son will forever remain one of life’s little mysteries, right up there with the Bermuda Triangle and spam.

So far you may not think that Goofy is a contender for your vote. But imagine going through life without a care, with nothing bothering you, and being regarded as loveable by millions. Are you sure you don’t want to be Goofy?

DONALD DUCK

Certainly the most explosive personality on our list, Donald certainly knows how to blow off a little steam! And just steam in general. And steam in excess. Not one to hide how he feels, everyone around him always know exactly where he stands on the issues. There are no shades of gray for Donald, everything is just plain black.

His long-time and long-suffering girlfriend Daisy Duck knows the other side of Donald, though. Behind the bluster and blasting lies a heart of gold that motivates him to go above and beyond for his friends. A more loyal friend to have at your side one could not ask for, even if he would be cowering behind you instead.

Donald has stepped up and taken care of his three young nephews for years, and that has to be a big factor in making him a contender for your vote!

PLUTO

Sometimes it’s a dog’s life, and no one knows that better than Pluto. Starting out as a nameless mutt and finally finding a home with Mickey Mouse himself, this canny canine has defined loyalty for us all! From protecting his master from danger to saving kittens from certain death, this pooch has proven his prestigious pedigree.

Unfortunately ladies, Pluto has been known to play the field as the original Playa of the animal kingdom. Seen with many different partners, usually with more than just a few pups around, Pluto may have a problem with monogamy. But on the upside, he likes big families!

CHOICE TIME

Time to choose! Now that you know the pros and cons of each character, which one would you like to be?

  • Mickey Mouse: The little guy living big?
  • Minnie Mouse: The independent success?
  • Goofy: The oblivious free-spirit?
  • Donald Duck: The explosive heart of gold?
  • Pluto: The loyal playa?

Please take a moment to share your choice in the comment section. And if you have just a moment more, please let us know why!

Psst! I chose Goofy!