Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday: Tips for Embarking on the Cruise

Embarking on the cruise starting rather early for us!  Luckily, since my husband and I were staying at Disney World, we only had a few hours drive to get to Cape Canaveral, where the Disney Fantasy was “parked.” But we wanted to get there early, because a) we needed extra swimsuit things for snorkeling, and b) the sooner you get to the ship terminal, the quicker you get on the ship.

Now I believe my husband selected the earliest possible check-in time for us at the terminal, an option that he told me was on the vacation planning/cruise planning website.  However, I can’t give specifics, since my husband did most of the honeymoon planning, and my job was to help pick activities and excursions, then get back to planning our wedding.

This is definitely not the first you see of the ship.  It's huge!  It can be seen over buildings from quite a ways off.
The first full view of the ship.  It is huge!!

In case you’re about to head on the Fantasy yourself, here are some little tips for embarkation day that really helped us out!

Tip # 1: Continue reading “Fantasy Friday: Tips for Embarking on the Cruise”

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Fantasy Friday: Towel Animals & Personal Navigators

When I tell people that my husband and I did a Disney Cruise, one of the first thing they ask is “What kind of towel animals did they make?”  Towel animals are already a fun part of staying at a Disney hotel, but on the cruises, the towels get much more complex!

Snake!
Snake!

If you’re a guest on a Disney cruise, your own personal housekeeper comes in to make the bed, clean, and tidy up (which is AWESOME!  Husband and I are terrible about just leaving everything scattered around the room on vacations, and the housekeeper organized it all every afternoon.  She was amazing!).

In the early evening, about when we would be getting ready for dinner or a show, we would come back to our room to find an awesome towel animal, always accompanied by two Sleepy chocolates.   (As in Sleepy the dwarf, but you’re given the chocolates before bed… get it?)

DSCN0836
The chocolates are the snake’s eyes!

Continue reading “Fantasy Friday: Towel Animals & Personal Navigators”

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Into the Woods — Don’t judge a film by its production company

If you enjoy reading online articles and blogs, perhaps you have seen a father’s negative review of Into the Woods.  (You can read the article here.)  He begins by saying how much he enjoyed the first half of the movie, but had been grossly disappointed by the second half, since he had to explain the moral questions and cautionary-tale twists to his young daughters.

Here’s why this has been bothering me: this father, like so many other parents, fell into the trap of “Oh, Disney(or Dreamworks, etc.) made this movie, so it’s ok for my children to watch it without me knowing anything about the story!”

FALSE

First of all, those of us who already knew Into the Woods immediately realized that, despite Disney’s leadership, the play is far from kid-friendly–and honestly, that is part of what makes the musical fun.  It is all the fairy tales we know and love, but are more aligned to their cautionary-tale form; think of the Brothers Grimm originals instead of their Disney-fied counterparts.  Here, happily ever after isn’t what it seems.

Continue reading “Into the Woods — Don’t judge a film by its production company”

Disney World

The Sorcerer’s Hat is Gone!

Something big is going on in Hollywood Studios, and if you’re a serial Disney World guest, you probably already know what it is…

The Sorcerer Mickey hat is going away.

For a lot of people, including myself, that is the main icon they associate with Hollywood Studios, or at least the first big icon they notice when entering the park!  You see, the hat has not always been there, as some of us assumed.  (Oops.) Continue reading “The Sorcerer’s Hat is Gone!”

Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday: Look into the light

As with everything Disney, it’s in the details.

What’s in the details?

Well, everything.

If you’ve been to Disney World, you’ll understand what I mean.  From the bird tracks on the ground (not from a bird accidentally walking through the construction site, fyi), to the sounds you hear around the parks, sometimes even what you smell– everything Disney does with the surroundings has a purpose, to tell a story about the place where you’re standing.

So while it may seem odd that my first post about the Disney Fantasy cruise ship has to do with the lighting, it’s because I was so struck by the details in them.   The lights add to the mood and ambiance in beautiful ways.

The chandelier in the main lobby/atrium
The chandelier in the main lobby/atrium

This picture was taken from the 5th floor of the ship, which looks down into the main atrium, so you can also see how BIG the ship feels!

Continue reading “Fantasy Friday: Look into the light”

30 Day Challenge

What makes it a ‘Classic?’ – 30 Day Disney Challenge: Day 16

Today begs the unavoidable questions: what makes a Disney movie “Classic”?

Is it the older form of animation, all done by hand?

Or perhaps it requires it to be a musical, with at least three or four big numbers.

Must it be a princess movie, or can the dudes and families rule, too?

Left without a clear idea, I turned to one of my trusted sources:

Wikipedia.

No, really, it’s rather reliable when it comes to films and fandoms.  Trust me, if you post something incorrectly Continue reading “What makes it a ‘Classic?’ – 30 Day Disney Challenge: Day 16”

30 Day Challenge

My first ever Disney movie – 30 Day Disney Challenge: Day 15

How many of you remember the first movie you ever saw in theaters?  Anyone?

Well if you do, you are lucky.  Because I know which movie I first saw in theaters, and it was also my first Disney movie (that I know of, unless mom had me watch a Disney movie at home, before I was two, without my knowledge.  Sneaky.)

But though I know what my first Disney flick was, I don’t remember going to see it at all.  But since I trust my mother on this one, seeing as her mind was much more developed in 1992 than mine was, we’ll go with her memory banks.

First ever Disney movie: Aladdin

Apparently, my first Disney movie at 2 years old.
Apparently, my first Disney movie.

 According to reliable sources (aka mom & dad) my dad took me to see this, my first movie in a theater!

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why it’s still one of my favorites, and has my favorite Disney kiss, one of my favorite princesses…

Maybe why I have a thing for Disney thieves…

But I digress.

And I must give a nod to the first Disney movie I remember seeing in theaters, though of course by the time it came out, I was well into my career-level of Disney movie-watching, with dozens of rounds of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White under my belt.

First Disney Movie I remember seeing in theaters:

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii  don't know what they're SAYYYINNNNGGGG, but let's all sing aloooonnngggg…..
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii don’t know what they’re SAYYYINNNNGGGG, but let’s all sing aloooonnngggg…..

 

There were a lot of runs for more popcorn when we went to see this, that much I remember.  And that’s about it, besides a vague recollection of sitting next to my mom and seeing lions and Zazu on the screen.

Zazu
Gee, I wonder where my lifelong love of snarkiness came from? *Bazinga*

Of course, I’ve now seen this movie around 100 times (thanks, little sister!) and know the music and words by heart–thank you Elton John!

(*cough*Of course this is only his second-best animated musical… Dreamworks’ El Dorado was amazing, *cough cough*)

What was your first Disney movie?  I’m always curious how some people got to adulthood, let alone ten, before ever seeing a Disney masterpiece.  Whether you were itty-bitty, or not-so itty-bitty, I’d love to know what your first Disney experience was! 

 

30 Day Challenge

Favorite Disney Kiss – 30 Day Disney Challenge: Day 14

Snogging.

Macking.

Smooching.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Honestly, I forgot this was a category.  And there are so many Disney kisses, yet so little time!  No time to address the important questions, like…

Since when is an under-developed character kissing a ‘dead’ girl completely acceptable?

"It was in the original fairy tale, so a little necrophelia is ok!"
“But, he’s a prince!”     “It’s creepy.”       “It was in the original fairy tale!!”         “Oh, well, that’s ok, then.”

Why does no one remember how desperate Ariel was?

Lessons
Really, does no one else remember Eric pulling away here? #desperateteenager #resepectyourfather #terribleDisneymorals

Why is this still so cute…

"Aww, look at the cute little puppies, accidentally human-smooching!"
“Aww, look at the cute little puppies, accidentally human-smooching!”

…yet as an adult, this makes you want to cringe?

Wait, feel the WHAT tonight?  Ahhh, cover the children's eyes!!!
Wait, feel the WHAT tonight? Ahhh, children, avert your eyes!!!

And, of course, what we were all thinking at the end of Beauty and the Beast…

"Are you sure that's the same guy, Belle?  I wouldn't kiss him until you're sure, he looks REALLY weird."
“Are you sure that’s the same guy, Belle? I wouldn’t kiss him until you’re sure, he looks REALLY weird.  I mean, Beast wasn’t exactly blonde…”

But I digress.

FAVORITE DISNEY KISS

Honorable mention: Eugene Fitzherbert and Rapunzel

Eugene lives!
Eugene lives!  

You remember the moment.  We all thought he was dead, an entire college auditorium fell silent with tears, and several burly guys around us whispered, “But this is a Disney movie!”

And then sheer joy at Flynn/Eugene’s resurrection!  And we were all rewarded with the couple’s long awaited,

we-knew-it-was-coming-at-some-point-because-it-is-a-Disney-movie kiss.

But it’s not my favorite.

I realized, I love this kiss, by my favorite part of this scene is right here:

That hug.
That hug.

I don’t have a single snarky comment for that embrace.  It’s sheer joy, relief, and love all wrapped into one.  They’re just so happy he’s alive, the kiss is kind of an afterthought.

Favorite Kiss: Aladdin & Jasmine

The Disney kiss to measure all other Disney kisses.
The Disney kiss by which to measure all other Disney kisses.

This is the Disney kiss I watched over and over again as a kid.  Obviously it made quite the impression on me.

I love how it’s really Carpet’s idea to make the new couple smooch.

The look of surprise on both Aladdin and Jasmine’s face, which fades from “Wait, what?!” into “Oh, nope, this is good, kissing is good.  I can kiss more. “

Love it.

Oh, and about those weird Disney kisses you forgot about…

Bet you forgot this one, didn't ya?
Made ya look!

Personal recommendation: If you decide to google “Disney kisses” for whatever purposes, don’t go past page two or three, lest you wander into dark alleys of the internet.  *Shiver.*

 

30 Day Challenge, Magic Kingdom, Music

Least-favoite Disney song – 30 Day Disney Challenge: Day 13

Oh, how fitting that the worst of the worst should be on the thirteenth day of the challenge.  (Though really, shouldn’t today’s question be ‘what Haunted Mansion ghost is your favorite?’)

This is again an easy choice, but one that I know even die-hard Disney fans–the kind that would have a favorite HM ghost–would probably agree with me on.

 

It’s A Small World

Oops, did I make the title blood-red by 'accident?'
Oops, did I make the title blood-red by ‘accident?’

I feel that I must again state that I did not have the pleasure of visiting the happiest place on earth until about two years ago, so I did not tire of this song from too many rides as a child.  No, my loathing of this song came from its unwanted appearance on “Disney’s Best Songs” CD’s that I listened to growing up.  One moment you think, ahh, how lovely!  Bella Notte, The Second Star the the Right, When You Wish Upon A Star….

HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THIS LOUD SQUEAKY NOISE UNRAVELING MY PEACEFUL DISNEY SONG REVERIE?!?!?!

The first room is cute.  The first five rooms, I'll even admit, are cute.  By the time I reached the tenth, looked to the sky and cried, "I'll talk, I'll talk, just make it stop!!"
The first room is cute. The first five rooms, I’ll even admit, are cute. By the time I reached the tenth, looked to the sky and cried, “I’ll talk, I’ll talk, just make it stop!!”

Okay, so the ride wasn’t that bad.  The song is still the most annoying song I have ever heard, which, as a music major who has had to listen to a lot of modern, cutting-edge academic “music” (aka noises in patterns), is saying something.

My husband knows that this is the song to sing when anything else is in my head, since its aural stench is so strong that it takes up all available auditory room in the human brain.

Look, even Disney knows that no one likes their song.

Why else would they make this shirt?
Why else would they make this shirt?

People love to hate this song.  It gives park-goers a camaraderie, a camaraderie usually found only in the annoyance of waiting for an hour in the still Florida heat for the parades to come by.

Now, don’t think that I have a problem with the kum-ba-yah sentiment in this song.  It’s cool.  I willingly put forth that I am the first person to enjoy and even tear up a little at the small-world element in IllumiNations.

Why can't we all get along? (Sniffle, sniffle.)
Why can’t we all get along? (Sniffle, sniffle.)

But the singing dolls… Look, Mr. Disney, we all have a slight problem with dolls moving on their own.  We grew up watching The Twilight Zone and know that if dolls move by forces unseen, we’re all doomed to die.

Does no one else remember this?
Does no one else remember this?
Or worse, this?
Or worse, this?
There is a good reason that ventriloquist dummy is the scariest part of the Tower of Terror.
There is a good reason that ventriloquist dummy is the scariest part of the Tower of Terror.

And, of course, it being some anniversary of this ride, not only can’t you escape the song, but there are DOLLS.

That SING.

Dolls, dolls, everywhere!
Dolls, dolls, everywhere!

 

Okay, so those dolls are pretty cute.  And, I’ll admit, I love pretty dolls, and have my own older collection of American Girl Dolls packed away who are pretty.  But I still get creeped out by ventriloquist dummies (Except for Achmed the Dead Terrorist.  Him and his buddies are okay, minus that weird dude with the Prius.)

But I hate that song.

It has to go.