When I read on the Disney Parks Blog that Josh Agle, better known as SHAG, would be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for the first time to sign deluxe prints of the 40th Anniversary Map I knew that I had to be there!
I got to Uptown Jewelers at around 10:00 am and found myself sixth in line to purchase the print to be signed by SHAG. It was really exciting!
The confectionery was sending over samples of goodies, and some of the citizens of Main Street USA came by to offer a visit. The wait was made to be enjoyable thanks to the humor of Fire Chief Smokey Miller…
At 11:00 am we were able to buy our items to be signed. There were prints, Haunted Mansion decanters and glasses, and Haunted Mansion aluminum water bottles available.
Then it was time…but just as SHAG was about to begin signing the good Fire Chief had a surprise! He joined the Dapper Dans in a serenade of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for SHAG!
The Print itself features the icons and resorts that were present as Walt Disney World opened 40 years ago. From the Polynesian to water skiing to the sky buckets…it’s all there!!!! And to top it off, he was a super cool guy who graciously signed and spent time with each of us.
It was definitely an experience that I won’t soon forget!!!
Yesterday the ‘Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun’ Parade stepped off for the first time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The ‘Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun’ replaces the popular and high energy ‘Block Party Bash’ Parade with a lack luster eight minute blink and you missed it “parade”.
Let’s start with the similarities between the current offering and ‘Block Party Bash’…
Starting time – Both parades begin at 3:00 pm.
Starting location – Starting on Hollywood Boulevard and ending near Star Tours the route snakes its way around the center of the park.
Slightly rethemed parade floats – The large floats are all the same, while the smaller floats have gotten a fresh coat of paint.
Reused costumes and props – Okay, the costumes, props, and scooters are pretty much EXACTLY the same…
So if all that is the same, what’s new?
Music – The songs we all loved to hate have been replaced by a tweaked “I Don’t Want to Work”…over and over again.
Characters – While the large floats have the same characters from The Incredibles, A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc, and Toy Story, Carl, Russell, and Dug from Up, Remy from Ratatouille, and Lotso from Toy Story 3 have been added.
While I really enjoyed the characters that were added, but I can’t help but miss all the excitement that ‘Block Party Bash’ brought to the streets of Hollywood Studios.
So being new to Orlando, I decided that maybe I should make some resolutions to try in 2011…so here goes…
1. To figure out where in the world I am!!!
Sure we have been coming to Walt Disney World for years, but not Orlando. So as a result I need to learn how to get around this place!!! There is so much that this city has to offer, and it has been a lot of fun finding my way around.
2. Say yes to “Fluff”!!!
I always lamented “If I only had more time…”, but guess what? I have it now and I need to use it. I plan on going to Disney Quest, watching shows, and doing anything else that was deemed to be “fluff” for past trips. I’m always looking for more fluff…so if you have some suggestions I would love to hear them!
3. Run, Shelley…Run!!!
I have signed up to do the 5K during Princess Marathon weekend, and I am totally stoked!!! I never realized just how many races were offered at Walt Disney World, but now that I do I have another reason for keeping up with my resolution to get in shape!!!
4. Let it Go!
I always find that in a new situation, I used to hang back in the wings and let things happen. Not so much now. I have let go of being nervous, and have decided that I would rather look silly but take a step towards making my dreams come true than stand still and let opportunity pass.
5. Meet More Friends!!!
When we moved down here, I knew one person here who is gone for a large majority of the year. So now whenever I see there is a meet up or if I someone I talk to on Twitter is saying they’ll be in town I am doing my best to be there. It has been so absolutely amazing meeting and making new friends! I am overwhelmed with the generosity, friendliness, and overall awesomeness of everyone I have met!
A few weeks ago, we were invited to our first birthday party at Walt Disney World.
I have to be honest, that when I read the invitation and it said that the party would be at the Never Land Club at the Polynesian I freaked out a bit. I mean who has birthday party at Walt Disney World? But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense!
The birtday party lasted for two hours, and there was never a shortage of things to do!!! During the party, the kids had free reign over the club where they could play dress-up, play Wii or Playstation, color, and could even play in the nursery from Peter Pan.
The party was also “hosted” by two cast members who greeted and directed party guests, led activities and crafts, served the food, and did all the general party duties.
Included in the cost of the party in the basic package ($34 per child with a minimum of 10 children) is Use of the Never Land Club for two hours, Lunch (Two slices of pizza per child), Drinks (Juice Boxes), Birthday cake, Goody Bags, Decorations, A cast member led activity/craft, Disney video (shown during lunch), and Disney video games. If you want to kick your party up a notch, you can upgrade to the Premium level ($69 per child, with a minimum of 10 children). At the Premium Level you get everything in the basic package plus a visit from a character for one hour (broken into two 30 minute sets). If you would like extra characters, it is an additional $400.
There are six party themes with characters available to visit during each one…
Luau – Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy
Mickey/Minnie – Mickey and Minnie
Pirate – Captain Hook, Smee, Peter Pan, Wendy, Mickey, and Minnie
Princess – Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, and Mulan
Sports – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy
Tinker Bell – Tinker Bell, Mickey, and Minnie
Birthday Parties can be booked a few weeks in advance by calling (407) WDW-BDAY.
I have to say that this was an AMAZING experience that we will all remember for quite some time!!!
So as I am sitting here panicking about the fact that Christmas is two days away and I am NO WHERE near ready (yes, we are a Menorah and Tree family), my thoughts flashed to where I was a year ago.
We were in Virginia, it was cold, and I felt like there was something that was missing from my life.
While a lot of my friends have given me a lot of crud about moving to “Disney World”, what they don’t realize is that I moved for something more than Mickey…I moved to follow a dream.
Now I know it may sound Hokie (after all I am a proud Hokie! Go Tech!), but what was missing was a quality of life. While Richmond was nice, safe, and full of friends and family I had known most of my life, I never felt the happiness that I did while I was in the sun in Florida. Long gone are the days of “What do you want to do?” meh, because we are always meeting new friends and finding our way in a new town.
It hasn’t been a smooth move, but it is one that I wouldn’t trade for all of the world!!!!!
As some dear friends have reached the 5 month point before their move (You can read all about the Petermann Family at the www.therelocatedtourist.com), I can only hope that if it really is your dream to be here that you find the courage to make it happen…and when you do I’ll be here to share a ride or laugh with you!!!