Archive for the Random Musings Category

Disney’s Aladdin as Told by Emoji

November 4, 2015


I admit I didn’t quite get the whole Emoji thing for a while.  But I’m starting to use them more and more.  And I’m really loving this fun and creative version of Aladdin as Told by Emoji!  Check it out:



The video is the third installment of Disney As Told By Emoji, a new collection of videos that retell popular Disney stories by recasting our favorite characters as emoji living within a mobile phone. The series kicked off in February with Frozen As Told By Emoji and was followed by Tangled As Told By Emoji. Disney As Told By Emoji is just one of the ways Disney Interactive is bringing beloved Disney stories to new platforms for existing fans and new audiences to enjoy.

Fans can join in the fun and send their own Aladdin emoji by downloading Disney Gif, a mobile app that lets users easily send gifs and emojis of their favorite stories and characters via text, email, and other messaging and social platforms. Aladdin gifs and emoji will be coming to the app very soon! Disney Gif also features content from Disney’s “Frozen,” “Star Wars”, Marvel, ABC’s “Scandal,” Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out,” classic Disney films, and much more. Disney Gif is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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Innoventions at Disneyland is closing!

March 10, 2015
Innoventions in Disneyland

Iron Man Tech on display in Innoventions at Disneyland (presented by Stark Industries)


I just found out that Innoventions at Disneyland is closing.  This location, which was the first home to Carousel of Progress after the Worlds Fair, is currently home to Meet and Greets for several Marvel superhero characters, including Captain America and Thor.  There’s also a cool display of Iron Man technology.  Apparently, Innoventions at Disneyland in its current form will be closing permanently on March 31, 2015.


Since I won’t be at Disneyland this year until August for the D23 Expo, I am really glad I got to experience it last year.  (I call Walt Disney World my home Disney Park, and they can’t have Marvel characters there yet.)  But the big question for me is, “What are they going to put in there next?


Innoventions at Disneyland

The god of Thunder meets the god of Disney Vacation Planning.


I don’t have much in the way of speculation.  There is plenty of talk about the Innoventions building becoming part of a new Star Wars area, but I have a feeling Disney is reserving the lion’s share of Star Wars for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

If I had to guess, I’d say Disney is going to keep Marvel characters in play at this location.  They can’t use Marvel characters at Walt Disney World, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to continue to exploit such a great concept in at least one of their theme parks.  I don’t think Tomorrowland is the ideal location for Marvel, but the theme of Tomorrowland is already diluted enough that it isn’t going to make much of a difference at this point.

Of course, maybe there is going to be some tie-in to the Tomorrowland movie being released in May.  I don’t know enough about the film to even speculate about what Disney could do with that, but it’s certainly a possibility.


Another reason why Disney Cruise Line is the best!

January 9, 2015

Disney Cruise Line is the best

I have been saying for years that Disney Cruise Line is the best cruise line out there, especially for families.  I’ve given plenty of reasons for this over the years, but there is a new reason which is too fun not to share:

People are literally jumping off of other cruise ships to get on board Disney cruise ships!

Well, not really.  The Disney Cruise Line Blog reports that a man sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas went overboard and was picked up later by the Disney Magic.  According to the report, he was washed overboard by a giant wave.  Personally, I believe the man just really, really wanted to visit Castaway Cay.

Click here to read the original article.


What about my claim that Disney Cruise Line is the best?

Click here to learn more about your options for a Disney Cruise.

Click here to request a free, no-obligation quote on a Disney Cruise!


The Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will pull a vanishing act next year!

October 25, 2014

“The Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that Disney will dismantle the eyesore permanently. The last remnants of the Millennial Celebration have been swept away…”

I make no secret of the fact that I have never been a fan of the Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  To me, it simply doesn’t belong there.


As originally designed, Hollywood Boulevard is an idealized, classic Hollywood. The Chinese Theater completed the illusion that you were in Hollywood of the 1920s – 1930’s. It was the Movie Palace equivalent of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. In fact, the distance from the turnstiles to the Chinese Theater is exactly the same distance as the distance from the Main Street Train Station to Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.

The Sorcerer’s Hat was originally built as a temporary (yes, temporary) structure for the Millennial Celebrations, and (conveniently) blocked the view of the Theater while some legal issues between new owners of the original Chinese Theater (in the actual Hollywood) and Disney got worked out. It completely shatters the immersive illusion that you have just walked into Hollywood.



Look at this view as it was originally and tell me you aren’t transported to “the Hollywood that never was and always will be.”


The original view down down Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's MGM Studios

Photo Credit:


And now let us compare that view with this view from January 2014…


The Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2014


Can you see why I’m happy that the news has become public that they will be dismantling the Sorcerer’s Hat in early 2015?  I’ve been waiting and waiting since last January for the cat to be let out of the bag, and now I am rejoicing.


Canadian Lumberjacks Show at Epcot

October 16, 2014
You won't find them on a Disney Cruise...

You won’t find them on a Disney Cruise…


The Canadian Lumberjacks show is now officially appearing as World Showcase Entertainment in Canada.  These lumbermen, representing Canada’s great timber and logging areas, demonstrate their skills in time-honored games of the great forest — axe throwing, chopping, sawing, beaver skinning, and lots more.


And it’s a good thing the Lumberjacks are experts with axes; it’s the only thing keeping disgruntled Off Kilter fans from storming the stage and lynching them.


Retro EPCOT Center Merchandise!

October 10, 2014
Retro EPCOT Center Merchandise!

Retro EPCOT Center Merchandise!


You know I’m an old school, EPCOT Center guy.  My first visit to EPCOT Center was in 1983 and I bought into Walt Disney’s vision of the future in a big way.


Yeah, I’m one of those people who mourns the loss of Horizons, World of Motion, and The Dreamfinder & Figment.  (I’m talking about the Figment with a dash of childish delight, not the current one with the heavy helping of annoying self-centeredness.)  So any time I see retro Epcot items, I go out of my mind!


When Disney put out the retro artwork in 2012 for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot, I shelled out the cash to get some.  I plan to do the same with this stuff.  My wife thinks I have enough Disney clothing, but I tell her a Disney Vacation Planner can never have too much Disney clothing! MouseGear, here I come!!


Disney Frozen 8-Bit Cinema

October 8, 2014

Frozen 8Bit

You probably know that I’m an old-school gamer.  I grew up in the 80’s, after all.  So when I saw this telling of Disney’s Frozen in 8-bit video game format, I just had to share it!


Winter Holidays at Disneyland

September 24, 2014

Disneyland and Walt Disney World both have special decorations for the “holidays,” and both do an awesome job.  But for some reason, I prefer the way Disneyland does it.
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s the closer, more intimate feeling of the smaller theme parks.   Or maybe it’s the way they enhance certain attractions in addition to the general decorations.
Whatever the reason, it sure is wonderful.  Take a look:



Ready to head to Disneyland for the holidays?  Contact me.  I’ll hook you up.

Construction begins on “Rivers of Life”

September 6, 2014

Rivers of Light Concept Painting


You’ve no doubt heard about “Rivers of Light” at Animal Kingdom. Or maybe you missed that announcement in your excitement to hear more news about Avatarland. Or maybe Rivers of Light is part of Avatarland. Who knows anymore? The official announcement says that Rivers of Light is part of the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I interpret this as being part of the Avatar expansion.

So what is Rivers of Light? I don’t know that either. All I know is the official announcement said that it “promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” Whatever it is, if it keeps Animal Kingdom open later than 5:00pm and is even half of what “World of Color” is at Disneyland, I will be a happy camper.

At this point, the only people really being affected by the construction are smokers. (It amazes me that there are still people who smoke.) Construction walls will be installed in Asia and additional walls will be installed around Discovery River throughout Asia and into DinoLand U.S.A.. As a result, the smoking location across from Expedition Everest will be removed as the wall is installed. The smoking location at Rafiki’s Planet Watch also will be removed. For those of you reading this who smoke, remaining Guest smoking locations can be found near Pizzafari in Discovery Island, behind Dino Sue in DinoLand U.S.A., and next to Rainforest Cafe outside the main entrance. Given the inconvenience, it’s probably just easier for smokers to quit smoking.

The construction wall in Asia also will impact the Wilderness Explorers Telescope Badge activity. Instead of taking part in the assigned activity (using a telescope to determine the height of the Forbidden Mountain Peak),Wilderness Explorers can identify the correct answer on a Himalayan Vista image that will appear on the construction wall and earn their badge.

Halloween Decorations at the Magic Kingdom

August 30, 2014



Halloween Decorations are already up at the Magic Kingdom!  While you or I could never get away with putting up Halloween decorations two months before Halloween, no one seems to mind when Disney does it.


Now I know that there are a lot of people out there who love the creepy and/or gory Halloween decorations.  I understand that people are fascinated with death and such.  The popularity of events such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando prove that there is a tremendous market for that kind of Halloween stuff.  But I’ve just seen too much real gore to be grossed out by the fake stuff, and I’ve dealt with enough dead bodies and real death that I find the whole “horror” aspect of Halloween very juvenile.


Don’t get me wrong — I love a good “dark” story, and my favorite Disney attraction is the Haunted Mansion — but there’s so much real evil in the world that I just can’t get into Halloween activities that are designed to generate fear and disgust.


So the way Disney handles Halloween is much more my style!   Give me the fun scarecrows (my personal favorites at the Magic Kingdom), and the inventive jack o’lanterns!  Show me the Villains!  Bring out the Haunted Mansion Grave Diggers!   And give me candy!  I like my Halloween to be Not-So-Scary! Enjoy the pictures, and the video  of the Halloween decorations at the end of the post!