Animal Kingdom Happy Meal Toys: Part 1

Animal Kingdom Happy Meal Toys: Part 1

By Nick

While looking for Disney McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys on eBay recently, I came upon a set of Animal Kingdom Toys. I had no idea these existed until that moment!

They were released in 1998, the opening year of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World.

There are 12 toys in this set!

I found a set at what I thought was a reasonable price, and bought it.

Sadly, when they came, I was not at all happy with the condition the bags were in. Worse, upon opening them, I found that water must have gotten into some of the bags somehow, as there were actually rusted screws on a couple!


Another interesting thing about these toys, while they all feature some sort of interactive element, there is no indication as to what it is, or how to activate it.

Some activation methods are obvious, like on this zebra. Wind him up, and his front legs propel him forward.

Others are not as obvious, like this lion.
Obviously, his mouth opens, but how to get it open?
Lift his front paw!
A simple interactive toy. Lift the gorillas arms, and his baby flips around.
This Toucan makes a tweeting noise when you push in on his chest.
Dinosaurs weren’t left out.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what this Triceratops is supposed to do, or how to do it. Whatever it is, I’m assuming it’s noise related, because of these openings in his stomach.


This Iguanodon has an opening mouth feature, like the lion, but how to get it to work? No clue. It’s constantly in an open position, so perhaps the mechanism to activate it is broken.

Next Saturday we’ll see the remaining 6 toys from this terrific set.

For more Disney awesomeness, be sure to follow Nick, his wife Barbie, and friends:  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…well, you can probably guess.

Headed to Walt Disney World in 2016?  The Disney Exchange Podcast will be having a meet-up in February during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend!  Details will be available on The Disney Exchange’s Facebook Page and also on Twitter.  We’d love to see you there!!!

Busiest Time to Visit Walt Disney World – Into the Fray!

IMG_0059Ask any good source of Disney travel advice and they will all tell you NOT to visit Walt Disney World during certain weeks of the year – if you want to have a great visit, avoid Spring Break, Easter week, Thanksgiving week, and the week between Christmas and the New Year.  We’re ignoring this most important cardinal rule of Disney vacationing and bucking the system!  Raymond and I are headed to Walt Disney World on December 26th!

Busiest Time to Visit Walt Disney World – Into the Fray!IMG_0988

Why?  Why would we do this?  Glad you asked!  We could both get off work!  It’s as simple as that.  I get more flexible vacation days than Raymond does, but he’s always off (his work shuts down) from Christmas Eve through New Years Day.  We’re going to Walt Disney World because those days were available for us to be off at the same time and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend them together than at our favorite vacation spot!

We know this will not be without challenges!  We know we’ll need to keep a few things in mind to make this trip fun, relaxing, and worth the effort – oh, and it will take some effort to navigate the insanely crowded conditions we’ll be facing.  Here are the top five strategies we plan to employ:IMG_0971

  1. Patience – Lines will be long, pathways congested, attraction wait times ridiculous!  Knowing this going in will help us have realistic expectations and make it easier to practice patience – Raymond has always been much better at going with the flow than I have – it’ll be time to show that, after 26 years of marriage, he’s finally taught me a thing or two.  Maybe.  I hope.IMG_0970
  2. Flexibility – This is something we’re normally very good at in our day-to-day lives.  At Disney World during the Christmas season, it’s going to be imperative that we embrace spontaneity and be willing to abandon FastPasses in favor of not being late for our dining reservations (see #4).CoP-Christmas1
  3. Fewer “must-do’s” and More “off-the-beaten-path” Plans – The only must-do we’re counting on is seeing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights one last time.  We have booked 3 FastPasses per day, but know that it may not be possible to actually reach them all during the allotted time period.  I promise to try not to be disappointed.  I’ll gladly resort-hop to see all the wonderful holiday decorations if the park crowds become unbearable.
  4. Plenty of Time for Dining (outside the parks) – We are booked solid dining-wise.  After we booked all our dinner reservations, we went back and added a couple of lunches.  The only in-park dining we have planned is at 50’s Prime Time Café in the Studios – all other restaurant reservations are in the resorts or at Disney Springs.IMG_1135
  5. Finding the Magic – We’ll focus on being in the moment, soaking up those awesome Disney details, appreciating the Cast Members and the challenges they face when the crowds are über crazy, enjoying being together and ending the year in a place that holds such incredible memories for us!

Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope – We’ll keep you posted on how we do with The Plan!  Do you have any words of wisdom for us?



Feeling Thankful Disney Style

Castle-PictureThanksgiving is for counting blessings and I’m not sure I can count that high!  Of course I’m thankful for my family and friends, my work-family, and my home and health.  I’m also incredibly thankful for you.  Yes, YOU.  You regular visitors and those of you who stop by from time to time.  Most of you are fellow Disney fans, some are young parents, many are understanding empty-nesters (like me), others are co-mid-life-experiencing people who share in my confusion – how did we get here so quickly?  Where did the time go?

Why do I appreciate you?  That’s easy – Life’s full of ups and downs.  We don’t always know what’s going on with strangers we encounter, often we’re unaware of difficulties and challenges our own acquaintances and casual friends are dealing with.  I’m like you and my life is full of unexpected twists and turns.  Being able to share my little corner of the word and my love for all things Disney with you has been rewarding beyond measure.  Your comments, feedback, kind emails, good-natured debates, and constant support have kept me going during some stressful times over the past two years.  You get me in a way many people, who don’t share our Disney passion, can’t.  For that, and your friendship, I’m indescribably grateful.RM-Mickey-Heart-Ornament-Front

I appreciate the fellow Disney fan bloggers and podcasters who came to my rescue when I was saying goodbye to my mom in June – their support and guest post contributions kept me and this blog going – I’ve said it before and it’s absolutely the truth – the Disney fan community is a loving and caring place to be a part of.IMG_3869

I’m thankful for those of you who lend me your ears – The Disney Exchange Podcast as grown over the past year to encompass a humbling number of regular listeners, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends.  I’m so fortunate to have Nick and Dave to be my friends and co-host the show with me…we talk Disney and have a great time every single week.IMG_2293

Happy Thanksgiving, Disney Friends!  May your blessings be bountiful and your home be filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after…Lisa


Disney Collectibles for Me!

RM-Junior-SnugglesRecently, right on schedule, I again celebrated the anniversary of my arrival on Earth.  You’d think after so many years, my birthday would have become less of a thing.  It would be just another day, ho-hum, yeah, yeah, I’m another year older. But NOT in my family!!!  That’s one of the best things about us, we love a good birthday and know how to make each and every one unique and special.

Some things are always a given on your birthday at our house – you’ll be treated like royalty, you’ll receive gifts that are complete surprises, you’ll get at least one serious card that will make you cry a little, and you’ll be celebrated and made to feel loved.  Oh, and you’ll get food.  And cake.  Not so different from other families probably, but this is how we do it.

Disney Collectibles for Me!

So, my birthday rolled around and as usual, the first words I heard upon waking were “Happy Birthday!” from Raymond.  This year, I took the day off so I could enjoy a 3-day weekend and have some relaxing time hanging around with Junior while everyone else was working.  That was my gift to myself.  I ended up cleaning house and giving aforementioned canine companion a much needed haircut and bath.  That probably doesn’t sound very special or relaxing, but I knew I could expect a family gathering and Junior and I were ready, looking our best, when the time came.RM-Junior-New-Haircut

As expected, later that evening, folks showed up with food and presents.  Megan, Grant, Joseph and Raymond put dinner together while I sat on the couch, munching on appetizers and watching TV.  We ate, we laughed, we caught up and then it was time for birthday cheesecake and presents.  Let’s talk about the presents!!!

Raymond’s gift was something I’d wanted for a long time and wouldn’t buy for myself.  He initially didn’t think it would be a good idea to give his wife this item as a present.  He was afraid it would be saying something negative about me and that’s not his style. Ever.  Anyway, since I’d been dragging him to look at Fitbits every time we were in a story that carried them, he knew I really wanted one and he made the potentially risky decision to buy me one.  I was ecstatic!  He was relieved.  RM-FitbitSo far, so good since then – I’ll give it a couple more weeks and then do a full review on how Fitbit changed my life (I hope).  You know I’ve been carrying around a few extra pounds and I’m ready to tell them goodbye.  I also got a couple of pairs of my favorite running socks – THE most wonderful running socks in the world! (Balega Socks)  Good job, Raymond!!!

Megan, Grant, and Joseph went in together on a joint gift – I should say GIFTS! How exciting it was to unwrap each treasure – and treasures they were.  All vintage Disney collectibles!!!  Here they are:Birthday-Vintage-Mugs

Milk Glass Mickey and Donald Mugs!Birthday-Winnie-the-Pooh-BankWinnie the Pooh Bank!Birthday-Vintage-Snow-White-Play-Kitchen Birthday-Vintage-Snow-White-Play-Kitchen-Sink Birthday-Vintage-Snow-White-Play-Kitchen-Stove Birthday-Vintage-Snow-White-Play-Kitchen-FridgeSnow White Play Kitchen – Sink, Stove, and Fridge!Birthday-Vintage-Metal-Walt-Disney-World-TrayWalt Disney World Metal Tray!Birthday-Goofy-DAK-BoatGoofy and one of the original Animal Kingdom Boats!

Softens the blow of turning another year older, let me tell you – Great company, good food, fantastic gifts – all in all, being 51 is fantastic!!!  Best family EVER!

What are your family’s birthday traditions?