The Happiest Unofficial Disney Website on Earth

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find lots of great tips on how to have the happiest Disney vacation ever. Explore the side listings to find different topics, free downloadable brochures for you to use in the parks, and great recommendations for websites and other useful items. I am looking for guest bloggers and questions I can answer so feel free to contact me using the above tab. I will be posting new material often so subscribe for free to get the newest Goofy information in your box. Happiness squared.

No Work, All Play on New Magic Kingdom Ride

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Image from Disney Parks Blog

New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom has been open for a while and it seems to be very popular. I have not visited yet so I am trusting other people’s reviews. Even though the land was open there was one important attraction missing. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was under construction. It is now finished and everyone can check it out in this short video.

I look forward to visiting New Fantasyland now that it is complete. I plan on exploring everything to see what is worth a repeat visit and what isn’t. At first glance this ride looks like a variation on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but with swinging ore cars. I bet it will be a ton of fun.

Disney often repeats the ideas that work, like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Astro Orbiter. If I love Big Thunder Mountain (and I do, don’t you?) I’m sure I’ll love the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I think it would be even more fun if we could each be a dwarf working in the mine. I’d be Dopey. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: It goes without saying that any new attraction or area is going to get very crowded very quickly. To avoid standing in lines use Fastpass+ on these attractions or arrive first thing in the morning. If the lines are hours long remember that the attraction will be around for many years. Decide if it is worth it to stand in line or go do something else. If long lines make you more Grumpy than Happy I would suggest the latter.

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Celebrate Earth Day At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Image from Disney Parks Blog

If there is one place that celebrates the Earth and all the living creatures who live there it is Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Every day is Earth Day at that park. To celebrate Earth Day on April 22 Disney’s Animal Kingdom is going to have a Party for the Planet. At this party you can learn how to help animals living in your own backyard. There will also be information about Alaskan Brown Bears (they are so cute!) because of Disneynature’s new movie Bears that is in theaters right now. Check out this Disney Parks Blog post to learn more about Party for the Planet.

I like the idea that you can have a day of fun and learn how to help the planet. Education is better when it is entertaining and I think we would all do a better job of caring for the planet if we had fun while doing it. So why not join Disney’s Animal Kingdom wherever you live and have your own Party for the Planet? Even if all you do is plant a tree or hang a bird feeder it makes a difference. Happiness squared.

Goofy App: If you want to have a safari in your own backyard download this app from Disney Citizenship. The Disneynature Explore App provides you with a digital journal and workbook so you can explore your backyard and learn about animals in your area. If you have an iPad or other tablet this app looks like a ton of fun.

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Egg-cellent Ideas for Easter Eggs

IMG_1316Happy Easter! One of my favorite things to do at Eastertime is decorate eggs. I love to make marble eggs with foil, paper towel, food coloring, and hard boiled eggs. I place a sheet of slightly damp paper towel on a sheet of foil. I then squeeze a few drops of various colors of food coloring on the center of the paper towel. After I place an egg on the middle of the paper towel I wrap the egg up in the towel and foil. The foil keeps your hands from getting messy. I press the foil gently to the egg to make sure the paper towel has touched the whole egg. When the egg is unwrapped it will be marbled. If you want to you can then dye them in regular egg dye. It softens the colors and is really beautiful.

For more ideas check out this list from spoonful.com. From egg decorating instructions to egg hunt suggestions there are dozens of ideas that will help make your Easter eggs the best they have ever been.

What I love most about decorating and hunting for Easter eggs is that it has no age limits. My grandparents and parents helped me decorate eggs as a child and they loved to give helpful (or not so helpful) hints when my brother and I were hunting for the eggs. Why not make some Easter eggs and fond memories with everyone in your family? It is sure to make your celebration Egg-stra special. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: If you are staying somewhere where you can’t hide real eggs, like at a Disney Resort, have an egg hunt with plastic eggs. It is common to put candy in the eggs but you can put in anything small. Coupons are always fun and can be redeemed during the trip. Stickers, erasers, key chains, jewelry, the possibilities are endless and fun.

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The Website With the Answers

Don't be Goofy. Do your research.

Don’t be Goofy. Do your research.

I have just subscribed to a very helpful Disney website and I wanted you to know about it. There are a lot of Disney websites out there but this one is one of the most useful I’ve found. It is called Disney Questions and the title explains it all. Readers submit questions about visiting the Disney parks and knowledgeable people answer the questions.

Most of the questions I have read have been ones I have thought of but never knew who to ask. I know a lot about the Disney parks and I have learned even more from this site. If you are planning to visit the parks any time in the next year I would sign up to get this blog in your inbox or like it on Facebook. It is sure to make your trip much smoother and that is my wish for you. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: If you are planning to visit Disneyland you can have a good time if you walk in without doing any research, but that is not true at Walt Disney World. Disney has made huge changes at Walt Disney World and much of it deals with your trip planning. Do your research by reading blogs like Touringplans.com and Disney Questions. Learn about MagicBands and Fastpass+. Figure out if you need dining reservations. G. I. Joe said that knowing is half the battle. That is doubly true at Walt Disney World. Do your research so you are not frustrated when you get to the parks. Remember, happiness is the goal. Do the research.

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Memory Maker Makes Photosharing easier

Photo0019FourBySixWhen I visited Disneyland in 2012 I tried out Photopass+, which was a new program that saved you money on Disney photos. My group had a ton of great pictures taken by Disney photographers, way more than I would have taken if I was not using Photopass+. For the cost of the program I received a disc that contained every photo taken by the Disney photographers, all our ride photos (individually they are around $15 each) and a large number of stock photos of Disney characters and the new characters at Cars Land. I felt that I got a great deal and it was fun to put those professional pictures in my album and share them with my friends.

Since Photopass+ started technology has changed so Walt Disney World has rolled out Memory Maker. It is very similar to Photopass+ but you can download the pictures to your computer, tablet, or phone since all the pictures are 100% digital. The photos also connects to My Disney Experience which is the program that allows you to customize your visit.

Right now you can get Memory Maker for $149, which is $50 off. I think this is a bargain. While you are at the parks you can focus on getting great pictures of your entire group and not have to worry about how much each picture will cost. Once you get home simply download all the picture and share them however you wish. It really is a great way to make memories. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: Even though Memory Maker is a great program I would still carry at least one camera with your group. There are lots of photo opportunities that do not have Disney photographers standing nearby. And of course there are always selfies. My selfies are usually awful but no one takes a bad selfie wearing mouse ears.

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When Are Muddy Paws A Good Thing?

IMG_4222Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, but if you are getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame you can enjoy having dirty hands. Many famous human actors and actresses have placed their hands in the cement but did you know that non-humans have been honored, also. Mickey Mouse, Shrek, and several more have been so memorialized. However, today is the anniversary of a silly old bear getting his day in the sun. Winnie the Pooh got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 11, 2006. I would love to see this star.

If you happen to be on the other side of the country, perhaps in New York City, you can go see the original Winnie the Pooh and his friends. They are living at the New York Public Library. I got to see them last September and it was a dream come true. I’ll now have make a trip to Hollywood and add to my Pooh Bear experiences. Happiness squared.

Goofy Movie: Disney has made a great many Winnie the Pooh movies throughout the years and I would like to recommend two. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie stars Lumpy the Heffalump and Roo. It is a sweet story of friendship and Lumpy is the cutest animated character ever. The other one is the 2010 Winnie The Pooh Movie. It is sweet and funny and all the characters shine. Plus, you’ll love Winnie the Pooh all over again.

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Farewell Mickey Rooney

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

Mickey Rooney died April 6, 2014. He was 93 years old and had an incredible acting career that spanned most of his life. As I was looking through a list of his movies I learned that he was one of the voices of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt Disney created Oswald so that means Mickey Rooney worked with Walt Disney in the early days, right? Actually, no.

In 1928 Walt Disney lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to his producer, Universal. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t have Mickey Mouse so it was probably a good thing even though it must have been upsetting for Walt at the time. Even though Walt wasn’t animating Oswald any more Universal made almost 200 Oswald cartoons in the 1930s. Mickey Rooney was the voice of Oswald from 1931 to 1932. He was 11 years old.

Mickey Rooney acted until his death and even though he missed working for Disney with Oswald he did act in other Disney movies. He was the voice of Tod in the Fox and the Hound and he had a part in Pete’s Dragon and the 2011 Muppets movie. Mickey Rooney had an impressive career and will be memorialized on the silver screen. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: In 2006 the Walt Disney Company made a trade and acquired Oswald the Lucky Rabbit once again.  Since then he has joined Mickey Mouse in the video game series Epic Mickey and some of his cartoons have been restored. In the parks you can buy Oswald ears (they’re really big) and Oswald T-shirts. At Tokyo DisneySea you can even meet Oswald. He must have nine lives. I wonder if he is part cat.

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Have You Explored the Forbidden Mountain?

DSC00947Expedition Everest-Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, the biggest thrill ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened today in 2006. This attraction is the reason I never miss this park. I do like seeing the animals and the other attractions and shows but Expedition Everest is something special. First, it is themed so well that I feel I have jumped continents even before I get to the line. Secondly, the initial climb takes you so high you can see the other parks. I swear I can see my house from up there. Third, you go backwards which is something you don’t experience on many rides.

Expedition Everest is also an engineering marvel which I appreciate. Here are some fun facts to celebrate eight years of Yeti yells.

Five fun facts about Expedition Everest:

  1. The mountain is almost 200 feet tall making it the tallest of all the Disney mountains. In contrast, Disneyland’s Matterhorn is only 147 feet tall.
  2. The entire attraction takes up 6.2 acres and the mountain itself covers 1 acre. No wonder I feel like I walked all the way to Asia by the time I get there.
  3. The mountain is not Mt. Everest. It is a forbidden mountain, part of the story created by the Imagineers, meaning it is representative of mountains like Mt. Everest but it is not the famed mountain itself. Mt. Everest is actually in the background on the far right. It is the peak with no snow.
  4. More than 1,800 tons of steel were used to build the mountain. I am speechless.
  5. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive roller coaster in the world. Cool.

I always make a bee-line to Expedition Everest when I visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is so much fun. Close your eyes if you have to but don’t miss this thrill ride through the land of the yeti. You’ll be sure to see me there. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: I haven’t talked about FastPass+ yet because it is still having the kinks worked out of it and there are a ton of Disney websites providing first hand information about this new program. But, if you are using the Magic Bands and FastPass+ consider choosing Expedition Everest as one of your passes. Then you can just wander the park when it opens and not hurry over to Asia.

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Easter Egg Hunts Disney Style

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Image from Disney Parks Blog

As a child I loved hunting for Easter eggs. We always spent Easter at my grandparents’ house in Lake Havasu, AZ. My brother and I would wake up Easter morning and hunt for Easter eggs. The coolest part was that we didn’t just have one hunt, we had two. The first hunt was inside for candy eggs. Grandma kept these eggs from year to year so we never ate them. We also found our Easter baskets as we hunted for these colorful candies. After we found them all we would go outside. Our second hunt was for the real eggs that we decorated the day before. It was safer hiding them outside in case we didn’t find them all. That Easter Bunny is no fool. I love hunting for eggs and am thrilled that I can soon hunt for Easter eggs at the Disney parks.

From April 10 – 20 Guests at Epcot, Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland can purchase a map for five dollars and then hunt for eggs around the parks. When you find an egg you put the matching sticker on the map showing where you found it. Once you have found them all you can turn in your finished map and get a surprise. (I have no idea what the surprise is but I want to do this soooo bad.)

This sounds like a fun way to slow down and explore the park, especially for people who tend to run from ride to ride. The eggs are decorated like Disney characters and are really cute. And like Easter morning at my grandparents’ house if you are visiting the Disneyland Resort you can do two hunts for twice the fun. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: For more scavenger fun you can have an egg hunt in your hotel room. Buy some plastic eggs and put a small Disney surprise in each. Then hide them around the room and have the kids find them. This is a good activity when it is too early to go to the parks but the kids are wide awake and too excited to sit down. Okay, maybe I am describing myself.

Posted in Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland, EPCOT, Goofy Trivia, Things to see, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Feast for the Ears

IMG_1257I was walking through the Magic Kingdom with my friend, Randy, in January 2012 and he brought up music. At that moment we were crossing over the bridge from Adventureland to Main Street U.S.A. Now I know that the music changes depending on where you are in the park and I often find myself dancing to the different tunes but Randy heard something different. See, he is brilliant in a technological way and he started talking about audio concepts I had never heard of and never thought of. It was cool to learn about different speakers and changes in the music. It opened my ears to something I had just accepted as normal.

Now, my hearing is okay, but things like Bose Wave radios and other high end music systems are wasted on me. I guess that is why I never thought to work in the audio world. But there are people whose job it is to make the music come to life in the parks, not just the overall park music, but at the parades and other live shows that happen every day. Disney Parks Blog has a fun interview with one of these stage technicians. I was amazed at how much fine tuning they do for each event. It looked like a fun job.

As you walk through the parks it is easy to admire the buildings and landscaping that makes each land special. Next time you are there take some time to listen to the music. It is chosen as carefully as the color of the paint on a door. Happiness squared.

Goofy Tip: If you want to entertain your ears, your eyes, and your whole body then check out the best show in all of Walt Disney World. Of course I am talking about Ye Haa Bob! at the River Roost Lounge at the Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. It is a spectacular treat to listen to and I can’t wait to hear him again.

 

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