Rides with Friends – Monina takes a spin on the CoP

Today Monina Wagner a new member to the WDW Mom’s Panel and awesome gal takes us on a spin on her favorite ride…The Carousel of Progress!!!

It is one of my faves, and I am absolutely looking forward to riding and singing with her soon!!!

Also, a super huge thanks and hugs to Betsy for the use of her pictures!!!

Until then, Enjoy!!


The Magic Kingdom has evolved through the years – new attractions, restaurants, and shows. But one attraction that has remained a staple inside Tomorrowland is the Carousel of Progress.

But it’s an attraction that’s often overlooked.

Just not for my family. We ride the Carousel of Progress as much as we can when we visit.

It’s a Small World is quintessential Disney. Nearly every guest flocks to the attraction at some point during their visit. The bringing together of many cultures under one roof in an attraction that can be enjoyed by every single family member. That’s Disney.

But to me, Carousel of Progress is quintessential Walt.

This attraction literally has Walt’s hand print on it. He was the ultimate Imagineer. Initially built for the a pavilion in the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt introduced the entire animatronic family to the world. It was a hit – and I question how it could it not be! With a fabulous storyteller in “Father” and a huggable dog in Rover, you instantly become immersed in the story. I don’t need flashy lights or a vertical drop to be entertained.

And its catchy tune doesn’t hurt.

“It’s a great, big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day…”

Although I’d like to know what the Norwegian hoochie-koochie is. Ohh la la!

Sure, the fourth scene needs some extra love. In the days when we can no longer keep up with our iPhones and bluetooth technologies, the virtual reality games and talking ovens no longer seem futuristic. But the Carousel of Progress offers a glimpse into our history that other attractions cannot.

I still remember my parents taking me on the Carousel of Progress as a child. And while there are other attractions that I know my daughter loves, I want her to appreciate the CoP. Why? Because it really exemplifies the history of Disney. And of Walt.

So you’ll hear the theme song on my daughter’s iPod. And during our next trip to Disney, you can find my family circling the generations. Why? Because “tomorrow’s just a dream away!”

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Daddy’s Movie Day – Lemonade Mouth

“Daddy! Daddy! I love Lemonade Mouth!  It’s my favorite movie!  What’s Lemonade Mouth?”  The best thing about  Zoe, is that a 30 second trailer on the Disney channel can change her life.  All I have heard for the past two weeks was how much she loved Lemonade Mouth even though she had never seen it.

Another odd thing about Zoe is that she has surprisingly good taste in movies.  When Lemonade Mouth arrived in the mail, I was expecting a half-baked knock off of high school musical meets revenge of the nerds.  Your classic case of the social outcasts of the high school vs. the popular elite.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie focused on inspiring kids to embrace their talents, stand up for what they believe in, and fight to have their voices heard.

Be Heard.  Be Strong.  Be Proud

It’s time to turn up the music and have some fun with an all-new Disney Original Movie, starring Bridget Mendler and Adam Hicks and introducing ten awesome new songs.

When five ragtag freshmen first meet in detention, it seems they have nothing in common.  But, through music, they form an unbreakable bond and discover they have the makings of the greatest high school garage band in history!  In the face of incredible odds, Olivia, Stella, Wen, Mohini, and Charlie find they can make a real difference when they learn to lean on each other and let go of everything holding back their dreams.

Although the story is quite fantastical, it is a fun movie full of catchy songs sure to stick with you long after the movie ends.   Lemonade Mouth is family friendly, fun, and carries a good message.  I would recommend this to anyone, not just fans of the High School Musical and Camp Rock style movies.

Lemonade Mouth available on 2-Disc Extended Edition DVD + Digital Copy May 24, 2011. Be heard. Be strong. Be proud. It’s time to turn up the music and have some fun with an all-new Disney Original Movie starring Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks. Turn the world into your own stage with Lemonade Mouth: 2-Disc Extended Edition DVD + Digital Copy, available May 24, 2011. It features 10 awesome songs from the #1 Soundtrack Debut and an exclusive extended music scene that you can only get with this release!

Here is Zoe’s favorite song from Lemonade Mouth…’More Than a Band’!!!!


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Hidden Gems: Making Earth Day Everyday in Innoventions

It is really easy to walk by, and goodness knows that I had done it many times,  but you really should stop by Innoventions East and try your hand at making Everyday Earth Day by creating paper!

Some fun environmental facts are on display around the area.
The first step was to scoop up the cellulose with a strainer.
Once the cellulose was placed into a form, it was dunked into another water bath.
As the form was lifted out of the bath, you could see the paper taking shape.
Zoe after she moved her form over to the rolling area.
Getting closer... The vacuum really helped start the drying process.
And now to roll out as much of the leftover water as you can from the 'paper'. Zoe was able to do this part all by herself!!!
And the paper was really starting to take it's shape! It was super soggy at first, but she was able to peel it off of the drying area and ready to be dried some more in an oven for a few minutes.
Zoe and her paper!!! She was soooo proud of all of her hard work!!! 🙂

And now the best part….DECORATING!!!!!

And now a look at the finished product!!!

The whole process did take about 20 minutes, but it was a great break from the heat and the hustle & bustle of a day in Epcot!!!

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Daddy’s Movie Day – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Great Outdoors

As long as I can remember, my little princess has been in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so we were definitely excited when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse:  Mickey’s Great Outdoors came in the mail.  Just as we expected it did not disappoint.  We go hours of entertainment and enjoyment out of the set and the new interactive remote.  Zoe was excited to be able to use the remote to interact with episodes and the bonus feature.

Both of us would highly recommend this great set to any Disney fans with little ones to entertain and educate.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse:  Mickey’s Great Outdoors

For the first time with Digital Copy, this Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD is ready for the summer fun and on-the-go adventure!  Available on May 24th, Mickey Mouse and his famous pals (Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy and Daisy) join efforts to inspire preschoolers around the country to enjoy the outdoors by camping, fishing and exploring nature in Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s latest DVD release, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Great Outdoors.

As a great value for parents and a fun, portable play set for kids, Disney has packaged Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Great Outdoors to include a DVD, a Digital Copy and a Mickey Mote –making this the ultimate Play Set. The Mickey Mote (a child-friendly handheld remote control) provides hours of interactive fun that allows kids to engage with their favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters while watching Mickey’s Great Outdoors.  And the Digital Copy allows parents to download all the episodes onto a secondary device for easy, portable on-the-go access. Just in time to kick off the summer, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Great Outdoors features four episodes from the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV show plus one all-new, never-before-seen “Mickey’s Fish Story” episode and comes packaged as a special DVD Play Set (DVD + Digital Copy + Mickey Mote) that will retail nationwide for the suggested price of $29.99 U.S. / $35.99 Canada.

The never before seen episodes are fun for the whole family!


All-New, Never-Before-Seen Bonus Episode:

  • Mickey’s Fish Story – Daisy wants to find a fishy-friend for her goldfish Goldy – and we help her find other goldfish in the Jungle where we’re aided by the mysterious conga drummin’ Jungle-Pete!  Boom-boom-bap-boom!

Episodes From “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV Show:

  • Mickey’s Camp Out – Today Mickey and his friends are going to earn Clubhouse “Camp Out Badges” by completing two tasks – setting up camp and fishing for Gummy Fish.  Everyone’s planning to camp with a “Tent Buddy”, but Donald decides to camp by himself – and he soon learns that camping with friends is much more fun than camping by yourself.
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Jungle Safari – Minnie is determined to snap a photo of the rare Hula Hibiscus that only blooms once a year.  So the sensational gang go off on a jungle safari and explore new territory to find this legendary flower.
  • Daisy in the Sky – On Balloon Day, Daisy grabs a large batch of balloons and gets literally carried away along with Minnie and Pluto, who couldn’t hold her down. Mickey, Donald and Goofy kick into high gear to save their friends: they use a Giant Candy Cane (to rescue Pluto), a Party Horn (to warn animals out of the way), a Piggy Bank (to weigh down one side of an elevator so that Mickey can reach the top of the lighthouse), and a Toy Hammer (to fix the Ferris wheel).
  • Daisy’s Grasshopper – Daisy has a new pet grasshopper named Wilbur, but the playful hoppin’ fella hops away – and we help all our Clubhouse friends hop after him and find him before the end of the day.  Boing-boing!

About Disney’s Mickey Mote

The Mickey Mote works with any Disney Preschool DVD that includes Discovery Mode(tm), the interactive “Watch & Play” feature on the DVD!  All parents have to do is program the remote control – there’s an easy and quick set-up guide in each DVD- and select the Discovery Mode feature on the menu screen.  Within minutes, kids will be easily responding to questions, throughout the story, about scenes they just watched (such as “What color is Goofy’s hat?”) by pressing one of four color-coded buttons on the device — a yellow star, green circle, orange triangle or blue square – to click in their responses.  Discovery Mode features include two levels of play, which provides more challenging questions as the child grows.

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Rides with Friends – One Last Ride on the Barnstormer

I seriously cannot believe that Mickey’s Toontown Fair closed a little over 3 months ago…

So for today’s ‘Rides With Friends’ I decided to post some pictures and video from our last ride on the Barnstormer.

It was Zoe’s first roller coaster, so it was a super special ride for us. Even though it will be re-themed, we will greatly miss looking for our favorite little details!

As you walked towards the Barnstormer, you knew that this would be no ordinary flight...
A Jelly Jar...what else would it be?
A look at some of the graduates of Fido's Fearless Flight School...

Class is in session...you might want to watch out...
The class schedule
I loved how these chicks would cluck as the Barnstormer went by!

Looks like someone has been hard at work here!
Finally, a look at Goofy in action...and it might not be an encouraging look...

Join us as we take one last flight…


And as an extra surprise, they were giving out these little beauties to everyone who rode on the Barnstormer one last time!

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A Look at the Destination D Archives Exhibit

Good gravy! Destination  D was JAMMED pack with tons of great presentations and information!!!!

The highlight of Destination D for me was the Archives Gallery that housed a nice variety of Walt Disney World documents and figures!

I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did!!!

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Taking it Easy at the Magic Kingdom!

It is sooo easy to get carried away in the Magic Kingdom, and before you know it you are roaming the parks with a glazed look in your eye and a fist full of fastpasses.

But on this beautiful day, John, Betsy, and I decided to take is slow and focus on enjoying ourselves and taking some photos of our favorite things.

So here is are some of the photos that I took from our day around the Magic Kingdom.

By law, you are required to take this picture every time you visit the Haunted Mansion! Look it up...Google it! 😀
And you HAVE to take this picture, too!
The twins are my favorite busts!
This makes me giggle every time!!!
It isn't a ride on Haunted Mansion without paying your respects to Master Gracey.
The Captain
I could stay here all day...even though I don't get the rhymes right all the time...
The back of the Poetess' crypt.
Campbell is my maiden name...
I love this shot of the head stones!!!
Madame Leota
The new chicken out sign at Haunted Mansion!
It's Country Bear Jamboree time!!!

How do you not love this little guy....errrr bear?
I love Country Bears and I don't care what you say!!!
This is Betsy's favorite part of the show.
Big Al
Country Bears Finale!!!
I love this little spot outside of Pirates of the Caribbean!!!
A larger picture of La Fuente Serena.
They have added some POTC 4 portraits to the Pirates gift shop.
Pirate Tutorial
I love how this sign just blends in with the theming.
That is quite an interesting mailing address...
You have to look closely for this guy...
Inspiration Falls
How can you tell we are in Africa?
Time to go to the watering hole.
1971 Impalas
FYI, you really can't out run a rhino!
Ginger and Smiley
Hungry, Hungry Hippos!
I love these guys!
The backside of water.
Good thing I caught this guy with his trunk on!
Any way you slice it or dice it...
One of my favorite plants here in the jungle...
Rum and Hennessy...what else do you REALLY need on a jungle trip?
I love this board as you exit the Jungle Cruise!
I can't leave without at least one castle picture!
Celebrate Today...Indeed!!!
And a Dole Whip at Captain Cooks is the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thanks for joining us on our slow, but relaxing trip through the Magic Kingdom.

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Rides with Friends – A Peek from Dumbo

I thought I would do something a little different today, and take you along on a ride of Dumbo the Flying Elephant to take a peek at the progress on the Fantasyland Expansion.

First off, it was an amazingly beautiful day with John and Betsy!!!!

It really doesn't get any better than this!

Things are REALLY starting to come along!!!

The rock work that is going on around Beast’s Castle is really making the castle look the right size (I was a little worried at first, to be totally honest!).

And now it was time to ride Dumbo!!!! I haven’t ridden in awhile, and it was a blast as usual. I can’t seem to ride Dumbo without a big grin on my face!

I hope enjoy the video and pictures!!!


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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Merchandise

If you are anything like me, you are counting down the days until Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens on May 20th!

I was stoked to find all sorts of new merchandise for POTC 4 at Mouse Gears the other day.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite items. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did!!!

Special Edition Mouse Ears that include a special box to keep them in and pin.
The back of the POTC 4 Special Edition Ears.
The top of the box for the POTC 4 Ears.
The pin included with the POTC 4 Ears.
I thought this shirt was pretty funny!
This might be my favorite shirt!!!
A look at another one of the men's shirts...
Pirates & Pink? Yes, please!!!
Here's a peek at some of the Legos and action figures.

UPDATED!!! The maps at Magic Kingdom now feature Captain Jack Sparrow!!!

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Rides with Friends with Shalon

This week’s Rides with Friends is by Shalon Given and features pictures by Chris Ridgeway (who has another amazing Walt Disney World blog http://www.growingupdisney.com).

I hope that you enjoy it!!!!

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An essential part of any trip to Disney World is hitting a few rides.  Although I love so many of the rides and could do them any time day or night I always have the most fun when I get to share a ride with a friend….or twenty.  Much to my delight Disney announced they would be doing a special pass holder event to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Expedition Everest.  Without even thinking I signed up for the event mainly because it was occurring after the park closed and being in Animal Kingdom after sunset is a rare treat.  There were several meet ups during the day inside Animal Kingdom leading up to the event and this allowed new and old friends to connect and plan out our attack for the evening’s festivities.

Once the time came for the parks normal closing hours we all headed for the entrance to get our special wrist bands for the event.  Within minutes we were all rushing to get the first ride of the night in on Everest.  Knowing this event was limited to a smaller group we couldn’t wait to see how many rides we could get in that night.  The first ride of the night was fun with several familiar faces, but at this time the crowds were still a little heavy.  To break up the night we decided to bounce between Everest and Dinosaur which was also open for the event.

The view from the top of Expedition Everest!

As we headed over to the Dinoland area we were greeted with the growing sound of dance music as we got closer and closer.  Much too many of our delights Disney had set up a mini dance party area with a DJ, lights and free goodies.  On several of our journeys between the two rides that night we stopped for a dance break.  This may not count as a “ride” but I definitely took away some great memories from dancing with all of my friends in the park.  After we got our groove on it was time to take on Dinosaur.

Party People!!!

Being that Dinosaur holds fewer guests than Everest we were able to secure a vehicle with all of our friends occupying it.  Of course we had all been on this ride numerous times so we tend to try and find new ways to “spice” it up.  This came in forms of grown men screaming like school girls and everyone doing their best “I’m scared to death” faces when the big Dino roars at us.  Needless to say we had a few very memorable photo ops from those rides.


As the sun finally set we decided to head back over to Asia to get a ride that most of us had never experienced, Expedition Everest at night.  Many people know that for the past few years the large Yeti audio animatronic hasn’t been working properly.  These days he sits motionless in the mountain with only fans blowing his fur and strobe lights illuminating him.  Because of this many Disney fans have affectionately nick named him, Disco Yeti.  On this last and final ride of the night I believe the entire Everest train was filled with familiar faces.  Since we all knew each other we were much more comfortable “goofing” off on the ride without fear of ruining it for a first timer.  I was lucky enough to sit in the very front seat on this ride and as we started up the first small light hill a light bulb went off.  Since it was night time the entire ride was basically pitch black, the only lights we’d see would come from the aforementioned “Disco Yeti”.  Thanks to technology I quickly pulled out my iPhone and turned on a strobe light app I had and pointed it towards all my friends riding on the train behind me, which was instantly followed by laughs of my nearby passengers.  We had successfully boarded the first disco train in Disney history!  This night and that particular ride on Everest will go down as one of my most memorable and cherished Disney memories thanks to all my wonderful friends.

The gang on Expedition Everest earlier in the night.

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As always, if you are interested in sharing your ‘Rides with Friends’ story and pictures, please feel free to drop me a line at shelley@onthegoinmco.com!!!

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