Wordless Wednesday – Character Movie Stars

Starting with the original Face Character Star -- Snow White!

Starting with the original Face Character Star — Snow White!

By Mike Ellis.  Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop post! Like last week, today I’m filling in for Deb as she enjoys her time off and visits Walt Disney World!

This week we are taking a look Character Movie Stars — and there are a ton to choose from, so you almost can’t go wrong with your selections! Take a look at some of the ones I’ve run across in my days, and share with us your choices also!

Gotta Love Belle! Such a classic star!

Gotta Love Belle! Such a classic star!

Cinderella with Stephanie and Sophie, such a great picture!

Cinderella with Stephanie and Sophie, such a great picture!

Mickey & Minnie taking a 40th Birthday Stroll!

Mickey & Minnie taking a 40th Birthday Stroll!

I've only shared this about a million times -- Sophie and Princess Jasmine!

I’ve only shared this about a million times — Sophie and Princess Jasmine!

Pocahontas with Sophie at Rafiki's Planet Watch!

Pocahontas with Sophie at Rafiki’s Planet Watch!

Pinocchio and Geppetto greeting Sophie!

Pinocchio and Geppetto greeting Sophie!

The Goofy Statue with Sophie!

The Goofy Statue with Sophie!

Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar with Sophie!

Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar with Sophie!

This last picture you might think is a bit of a stretch, but Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar have been in Disney shorts together.  Check them out in the Disney Cartoon “The Band Concert”!

Thank you for stopping by! Hopefully our link issues this week will not hinder us, but at the least, you can check out Deb’s post! Just click on the button, and thanks!

Focused on the Magic


53 Days til Disneyland – Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular!

disneys-aladdin_alt

Image ©Disney Parks

Today, at Day 53 of our Countdown to Disneyland series, we are taking a look at Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular!  This show, which feels to me like the types of shows we can see at Walt Disney World, is one that I’m looking forward to because I’ve never see Aladdin protrayed on the stage like this before.

In this Broadway-style production, Aladdin meets and falls in love with the incredible Princess Jasmine, and then later on finds the magic lamp and meets the Genie!  Will Aladdin win Princess Jasmine and free the Genie, or will Jafar win and take over the thrown from the Sultan…and the power from the Genie?

This 40 minute production is performed in the  Hyperion Theater in Hollywoodland at Disney’s California Adventure park.  During some times of the year, the production isn’t put on daily, so make sure you check the Entertainment Schedule to see when it is playing.

One of the best things I’ve read about this is that Alan Menken, the composer of the original soundtrack, actually wrote a brand new song — “To Be Free” — just for this show!

So tell me, what do you think about Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular?  Is it a show that you can’t wait to see each time you visit, or do you skip on by?  If you’ve seen this show and the shows at Walt Disney World, specifically, Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, Finding Nemo – The Musical, or Festival of the Lion King, where do you rank this show with those?  In fact, let’s do a quick poll, tell me which is your favorite, and thanks!


Magical Blogorail Red – Best Disney Photo Spots

Magical Blogorail

Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Hello everyone, and thanks for joining us this month on the Magical Blogorail Red line!  This month we are talking about our best (or favorite) Disney Photo Spots!  There are so many locations to take incredible photos at that this one is going to be a tough one to narrow down! So, as a result, I’m going to share with you several of my favorite spots, and highlight them with pictures!

For my first photo spot, I think a trip on a boat makes for some incredible photography.  Perhaps my shot here will convince you of that?  For this boat ride, we had a date with ‘Ohana for breakfast to keep, but even if you don’t, there is no reason why you can’t hop the water taxi to the Polynesian yourself for a little Resort Hopping!

My Dreams of Disney

This shot was taken from the water taxi on our way to the Polynesian Resort for breakfast at ‘Ohana!

Another place I like to take a picture is right by a parade route.  Who doesn’t love a good parade?  The beauty of parades is that there can be hundreds of incredible photo locations — for me, though, I seem to get my best pictures in Town Square.  Perhaps you like these?

My Dreams of Disney

Mickey & Minnie walking around Town Square in the 40th Anniversary Opening Day Parade, October 1, 2011.

My Dreams of Disney

Pete’s Dragon, part of the Main Street Electrical Parade

As you know, though, boats and parades aren’t the only things to photograph at Walt Disney World.  Some of the best shots are simply candid shots, when those being photographed don’t realize that it is happening.  Such was the time when we came upon Princess Jasmine in Morocco of Epcot’s World Showcase.  Sophie had literally five to ten minutes of Princess Jasmine time because she and the Genie had just come out, and no one else was there.  It was truly a magical Disney memory, and the picture just sums it up best.

My Dreams of Disney

Sophie whispering to Princess Jasmine how she was going to buy a Princess Jasmine costume during this trip. That was the only souvenir she wanted!

One great photo spot, that unfortunately isn’t around any more, is the love seat in Minnie’s Country House, in what used to be known as Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  While that land is no more, the memory of Sophie with her Meemaw remains, and I’m sharing it with you now.

My Dreams of Disney

Taken when we took Meemaw to Disney, August 1, 2006 — almost 7 years ago!

Have you ever had your picture taken at a block party?  I’m sure many of you have had that happen over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  But how many can say they danced the night away with Chip over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?  Sophie can!

My Dreams of Disney

Dancing at the block party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during rare evening Extra Magic Hours.

Of course, sometimes the best photo spots are when you are just relaxing in Epcot’s World Showcase, at the tables in front of the American Adventure pavilion.  Hey, who put that picture in here?

My Dreams of Disney

The Goofy Creator, Editor, Author, blah blah blah of My Dreams of Disney

Oh, you know what?  I hear getting your picture taken in front of Cinderella Castle can be kind of neat.  Tell me, what do you think?

My Dreams of Disney

I love you two! Shane, thank you for being Stephanie’s Prince Charming!

I hope, in a roundabout way, that I have answered the question of where the best Disney photo spots are.  The truth of the matter is that wherever your camera is pointed is where the best photo spot is!  These pictures bring a smile to my face, and in some cases, a tear to my eye, as I remember the wonderful memories that these pictures remind me of.  Thank you for indulging me as I took my trip down memory lane!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Donna Kay.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
2nd Stop ~ A World View
3rd Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
4th Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney
Final Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay

My Favorite Disney memories

One of the things that really makes Disney our premier place to vacation is, without a doubt, the incredible memories that we make each and every time we visit.  I have touched on this subject in a roundabout way before, particularly with my post “Why we go to Disney World”, that I published back on February 10th, 2011, and also in my post “What Makes Disney, Disney”, published on September 20th, 2010.  However, this is certainly not just a rehash of old blog posts!  Read on and I hope you will learn why the memories I’m listing here are my favorite Disney memories!

Before I get started, I want to say that these memories are not in any order whatsoever, other than being in order of the ones that I think of first.  I guess that the case can be made that the ones I list first, since they were thought of first, could be my favorites.  However, I think it is just as safe to say that the memory I list first may have been chosen because it happened most recently!  Anyway, enough banter, let’s talk about memories!

Favorite Memory #1, Midnight at the Magic Kingdom.

Last June, during the trip when we took Stephanie to Disney with us, we spent all day at the parks.  First we started at Animal Kingdom, then we went over to Epcot for dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, then we went back to our resort, changed out of the wet clothes we had been in, and went back to the Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade and evening EMH.  Even though we had been at it all day, that little break at our resort, even though it was only for an hour, really rejuvenated us, and we were ready to tackle the rest of the evening.  We had never stayed out that late with Sophie before, so this was almost like a right of passage for her, and we had a great time.  The highlights of the night were many, with the best being when we were able to get some great late night shots of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse riding with some park Guests on the Dumbo ride.  Even though they weren’t riding with us, just seeing them make some children excited beyond their wildest dreams really made it a memory that all of us will treasure for years to come.

In addition to that awesome memory, there was really something tranquil about being in the parks past the witching hour.  There had been rain during the day, so the ground was wet, but the rain had stopped by that time, and I think the bonus was that the crowds were lighter than they normally would have been.  Sophie and Stephanie were inseparable, it was almost like Sophie had a big sister for the trip, even though there is 11 years between them, and as a result, Cindy and I were able to enjoy our own company, even as we walked with them.  All of those reasons add up to one of my favorite Disney memories.

Favorite Memory #2, Sophie’s Reaction

Another memory that I have is one that didn’t actually take place in a park.  In 2009, we gave serious consideration towards not taking a Disney World vacation that year.  We were concerned about the state of the economy, and whether there would be any job cuts that we need to worry about.  However, by mid summer, we decided that things were okay, and that we could take a trip, so we planned one for August of that year.  The best part about it was that we decided that we would surprise Sophie with the trip, and that she wouldn’t know about it until the day we left.  When we did get in the car and start to leave, we recorded Sophie’s reaction to our trip, and here it is for you to enjoy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gveXkYyV6Ww

Favorite Memory #3, Sharing Secrets with Princess Jasmine

In 2008, we were over at the World Showcase walking through the Morocco Pavilion.  As we rounded the corner, who should we see but Princess Jasmine and the Genie!  Better yet, there was NO LINE to see them.  Sophie had been talking all vacation that the only souvenir that she wanted was a Jasmine costume that she could wear for Halloween.  So to round the corner and see Princess Jasmine with no line to wait in was a truly memorable occasion.   Sophie was able to spend about 10 minutes talking with Princess Jasmine and the Genie, and we were able to grab that memorable photo to remember the visit by.  In the photo, Sophie is whispering to Princess Jasmine that she is going to be getting her costume later on in the trip!

Favorite Memory #4, Celebrating Sophie’s Birthday with Riley

In 2008 we were down at Disney during Sophie’s birthday, and for this birthday, Sophie’s best friend Riley was at Daytona Beach.  We were able to arrange for Riley to come to the park with us on Sophie’s birthday, so the two of them were able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom together for Sophie’s special day.  For that day, we didn’t really do a whole lot that required fast paced action, we kept that day casual and leisurely.  We spent some time at the Park, then we went back to our room to go to the pool for a spell during the hot afternoon, and then went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern.  That visit was when they still had character’s at the Tavern, and we were able to get this memory preserved with this photo (and others that aren’t shown here).  In addition to dining at the Liberty Tree Tavern, we also took in the Haunted Mansion (Sophie didn’t like it then, but does now!), watched the parades, got locked in the stockade out in Liberty Square, went on all of the rides we would normally ride, such as it’s a small world, and really just had a great time, with all of us just enjoying the Park in a relaxed way.


Favorite Memory #5, The Animal Kingdom Nighttime Block Party

Our first trip to Disney World where we stayed at a Disney resort was in August, 2007, when we stayed at Coronado Springs for the first time.  During that trip, we spent one day at the Animal Kingdom, and it was a day that had evening EMH.  It was during those extra magic hours that we got to enjoy the block party over in Dinoland, U.S.A.  Sophie had so much fun with the characters that were there!  There was Goofy, being his normal Goofy self.  There were Chip & Dale, making all sorts of mischief.  And there was Sophie, putting herself right in the middle of the party, along with all the other kids and their families that were there.  The block party produced some good photos, but these are the best, I think.

One of my primary reasons for starting My Dreams of Disney was so that I could keep all of the memories I have of our trips to Disney available for anyone that wanted to read them, and also so that I wouldn’t forget them myself.  I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane, as I remember my favorite Disney memories!