The Perfect Birthday Gift – Disney Flea Market Treasures

Yay for the weekend!  This week’s Saturdays With Nick is more Saturdays About Nick because it’s written by Barbie – Nick’s oh, so amazing better half.  Enjoy!

The Perfect Birthday Gift – Disney Flea Market Treasures

By: Barbie

Today, I am writing about a flea market find that I needed to do a lot of work on to get it in present-worthy condition. Let me just say that I nearly jumped for joy when I saw this on the vendor’s table.  Finally, I found a gift for Nick that I knew he didn’t have! My knees were shaking and I immediately got a stomach ache. I figured there was no way I would be able to afford this little bit of Disney awesomeness! Or keep the secret if I was able to get it!

I got up the nerve to ask the vendor what he wanted for this and he said $60.00, which I said was absolutely fair. I told him all I had was $40.00 and maybe I would be back. That usually never works. If I wait, I loose out, every time I hesitate! I had a terrible time going through the rest of the flea market! On our way back, I told everyone that I had to go back and see whether my item was gone, and lo, it was still on the table. I asked Nick for a tenner and offered the guy $50.00, which he took, graciously.

I took this beauty home and carefully started cleaning off of my present to Nick. (ps: He already knows what it is, you can’t hide any present from him, he has a 6th sense about presents!)

That’s right! It’s an original 1977 R2D2 cookie jar with the original liner intact, in perfect condition, except for a ton of tape, tape goo and some small paint splatters that needed to be removed with as much care as possible.


 So when you find yours, here is a helpful hint for you, be very careful around R2D2’s red eye, as that has been hand painted on, and could scratch off, or worse, wipe off. If you use Goof Off, as I did to get rid of the stickiness (I had tried alcohol wipes), it will take any hand painted, unglazed details right off!

And in conclusion, Astromechs are awesome! Mech mech!

You can follow Barbie AND Nick on all their Disney adventures:  Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, On Instagram, On Pinterest.  You can listen to Nick, our friend Dave and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about all things Disney.

Headed to Walt Disney World in October (2016)?  Don’t miss our official Disney Exchange Podcast meet-up on October 7th at 3:00pm in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion – We hope to see you there!



Nighttime Animal Kingdom Speculation

Animal Kingdom Animal CarvingsWe are days away from our next Walt Disney World vacation and all the speculation about what’s happening with the Animal Kingdom at Night is making me crazy!  I’m on a roller coaster of excitement followed by crushing disappointment…then hope…then despair…then excitement again.  What’s the deal?

Nighttime Animal Kingdom Speculation

There are many unofficial Disney websites along with news and social media outlets that broadcast doom and gloom.  They started announcing that Disney will be discontinuing the new nighttime offerings at Animal Kingdom after one summer of late night fun.  According to these sources, until Rivers of Light launches, Animal Kingdom’s nighttime activities and attractions will be no more.  Then suddenly, these same sites have had to walk back those statements when the reduced October park hours once again expanded into the evening.

While I’m not ready to shun social media for confusing me with all these somewhat sketchy prognostications, I’m going with what I do know – officially.  And I’m cautiously optimistic!

We are (and have always been) planning a day-and-a-half at Animal Kingdom…because it is more than a full-day park to us (and should be for you too!).  We started our planning by booking our ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) 180 days pre-trip for an 8;30 am breakfast at Tusker House and a 4:30 pm early dinner at Tiffins – both new experiences for us – on our full day, open-to-close Animal Kingdom visit (with our half-day visit scheduled for a few days later). mde-nighttime-animal-kingdom

Shortly after we selected our dining options, we learned Rivers of Light was delayed, but all the rest of the nighttime activities like the Tree of Life Awakens, Kilimanjaro Safari at Night, and the street parties (Harambe Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnivale) were in full swing (and we expected them to continue).  Jungle Book: Alive With Magic (the temporary replacement for the delayed Rivers of Light) was not enticing to us, so we had planned on riding Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safari after Tiffins before hitting one of the street parties.mde-animal-kingdom-at-night

Then the park hours changed.  I started paying attention and saw Animal Kingdom suddenly closing at 7:30 pm during the week of our visit.  While some social media chatter had the park closing in October at 6:30 pm, I faithfully checked the My Disney Experience app and never saw closures earlier than 7:30 pm for our trip.  While this was a little disappointing, I still believed we’d have time between dinner at Tiffins and park closing to squeeze in some attractions and thought maybe the Tree of Life would still “awaken”.

Then the hours suddenly extended again to an 8:30 pm closing time, Facebook ads by Disney continue to promote Nighttime at Animal Kingdom, and rumors started up about Rivers of Light suddenly being much closer to a launch date.  Last week, we received our fall edition of the Mickey Monitor (pass holder newsletter) and it contained a section promoting Animal Kingdom at night.mickey-monitor-fall-2016-animal-kingdom-at-night mickey-monitor-fall-2016-animal-kingdom-parti

I’m stepping off the roller coaster of speculation and believe we will get to experience at least some of the new nighttime offerings at Animal Kingdom on our visit.  I’d be crazy to hope that Rivers of Light would somehow be ready for a soft opening (at least) 10 days from now, but with 9:00 am – 8:30 pm hours on our full day at Animal Kingdom, I’m sure we will not leave disappointed!

What about you?  Are you looking forward to Animal Kingdom at Night on your next visit?

Happy Meal Toys – Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary

Happy Saturday, Y’all!  I’m so glad it’s September!!! While it’s still in the 90’s during the day here in Louisiana, there’s a very tiny, but definite, hint of fall in the air early in the morning and after the sun goes down.  Time for another installment of Saturdays with Nick and  I cannot stay out of Nick’s Disney collectibles!  Once again, I’ve found some unique and funky little treasures – How I wish I had paid much, MUCH more attention to McDonald’s Happy Meal toys through the years!  Have you got any of these?

Happy Meal Toys – Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary

By: Nick

As Disneyland celebrates it’s 60th Anniversary today, I thought we’d look back at a truly excellent set of Happy Meals Toys released by Disney and McDonald’s back in 1995, celebrating Disneyland’s 40th.

This set is a viewer set, like a mono viewmaster, featuring Disneyland park attractions.

These first two were for totally different attractions than what I’d assumed they were. Here we have Peter Pan. This must represent Peter Pan’s flight, right? Nope

It is actually for Fantasmic.

The next one, I thought must have been from a parade, but it is actually from a dinner show called Aladdin’s Oasis, that ran during two summers and on selected weekend days during other seasons.


This last one is pretty easy to guess. Mickey is riding Space Mountain.

Happy Anniversary Disneyland!

Happy Meal Toys – Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary

You can follow Nick, his wife Barbie, and friends on all their Disney adventures:  Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, On Instagram, On Pinterest.  You can listen to Nick, our friend Dave and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about all things Disney.

Headed to Walt Disney World in October (2016)?  Don’t miss our official Disney Exchange Podcast meet-up on October 7th at 3:00pm in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion – We hope to see you there!


Walt Disney World Lagniappes

Here in Louisiana, we’re very familiar with the concept of lagniappe (pronounced lan-yap).

At Oxford’s online dictionary, Lagniappe is defined as “something given as a bonus or extra gift.”.  ORIGIN:  Louisiana French, from Spanish la ñapa.

We like to think of it as anytime you unexpectedly receive a little something extra.

Disney World clearly understands and embraces the idea of lagniappe and I’ve created a short list of my favorites.

Walt Disney World Lagniappes


Celebration Buttons and Surprises – When you book a reservation at a Walt Disney World resort or restaurant (by phone), you’ll be asked if you’ll be celebrating anything when you visit.  If the answer is YES, you’ll most likely receive a celebratory lagniappe!  Upon checking in at your resort, you may be presented with a complimentary celebration button (if not, just ask for one!).  In a restaurant, you’ll often receive an acknowledgement of some type that will make your dining experience even more magical!RM-French-Regional-Lunch-Dessert

Photos with your camera – While we’ve purchased Memory Maker a few times (before it came with our Annual Passes), we’ve always appreciated how willing Cast Members and Disney Photographers are to take our picture with our own camera or smartphone.  Some of these pictures have been among our favorites and It’s a great way to immediately share your happiness with friends and family on social media.Chewbacca-Meet-and-Greet

Electrical Water Pageant – If you’ve seen it and didn’t absolutely love this adorably cheerful nighttime spectacle, I’m afraid I simply don’t understand.  This nightly parade of floats on the Seven Seas Lagoon is awesome! The floats are made of dancing light effects and the music is perfectly peppy! Plus, you can watch the pageant from outside the parks – just visit the boat dock at one of the Magic Kingdom resorts at the appropriate time. (Get all the details about times and best viewing spots here.)  Since this is a free show with no park ticket required, it’s a perfect first day activity if you’re not going to a park. It may be only 15 minutes long, but this little show’s a gem – don’t miss it!electrical-water-pageant-serpent-2 electrical-water-pageant-fish

Random Character Interaction – Lately Disney news has been full of performer contracts being cancelled (Most recently Scoop Sanderson in Magic Kingdom), but there are still prime opportunities to happen upon some extra special Disney magic in the form of wandering or unexpected characters (like the Dapper Dans!). Keep your eyes peeled!RM-Dapper-Dans

Thank You Card – When you get home from your Walt Disney World stay, the surprises keep coming!  We’ve received a very nice thank you card after the last few visits that includes Disney artwork suitable for framing.disney-thank-you-minnie

What are your favorite Walt Disney World lagniappes?