Walt Disney World Novelty License Plates

Today’s Saturdays With Nick installment brings us some adorable novelty license plates.  Nick’s collection of Disneyana constantly surprises me in its depth and variety and these license plates are just plain cool!  Don’t forget you can find Nick’s Disney Musings on all your favorite social medias:  Disney Musings Blog / Disney Musings on Twitter / Disney Musings on Instagram / Disney Musings on Facebook

Walt Disney World Novelty License Plates

By: Nick

A few months ago I found these license plates that I’ve had since the early to mid 90s in the garage.
The first 2 are from my first visit to Walt Disney World in 1992.
Disney World celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary in 1991.

Epcot was still Epcot Center. I loved the old Epcot Center.

These next 2 are from 1996.
I was at the Magic Kingdom on October 1st, 1996, it’s 25th Anniversary.
Interestingly, it was not nearly as crowded as October 1st 2011, it’s 40th Anniversary. Maybe people were staying away from the pink castle?

This next one is from the “Company D” store, a shop for Disney Cast Members. I was a Disney Store Cast Member at that time. CMO stands for Cast Member Only.

HONK if you love Disney!

Just Back From Disney World – 10 Things I Learned

RM-WDW SignWhat an amazing, surprisingly unusual trip to Walt Disney World we just had!  I knew it was going to be different because I was participating in my very first runDisney events, but so many wonderful and unexpected things happened that have forever earned this vacation a special place in my heart.  I’ll be writing individual reviews on restaurants, attractions, and activities over the next couple of weeks, but if you read anything here and you have questions or want more information – shout it on out in the comments section and I’ll do what I can to oblige.

Just Back From Disney World – 10 Things I Learned

1. The Walt Disney World sign still makes my heart beat faster – Even after all these years, there’s nothing more thrilling that visual proof that you have arrived at your favorite place to be (away from home).RM-Frozen-5K-2015

2. It can be freezing in Florida in February – I live in Louisiana, I know we get an occasional cold snap, but in Florida?  I honestly wasn’t expecting wind chills in the 20’s.  Luckily, we packed for just about every possible weather and were prepared.  I only wished my homage-to-Donald “costume” for the Frozen 5K (appropriately named, for sure) had included a bit more coverage for my knees.RM-Flag-Retreat

3. The Flag Retreat in Magic Kingdom makes me cry – I’ve heard about it for years and have never found myself in the right place at the right time to experience this unbelievably touching, patriotic ceremony.  I tried to sing along to God Bless America with the Dapper Dans, but I was too choked up to croak out even a few bars.  This is a must-see and you should put it on your Disney to-do list right now.RM-Lisa-and-Glass-Slipper-Sign

4. The hype you hear about runDisney events is well-deserved – I have participated in dozens of races over the past 17+ years and some of them were pretty amazing and well organized.  Nothing – not even in my wildest imagination – could have prepared me for the truly magical execution that makes a runDisney experience far superior to any other event.  Unless you have your heart set on a personal record, then you should know, that goal would be very challenging during a runDisney race.RM-Fiesta-Donald

5. Donald Duck is still my favorite Disney character.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

6. Il Mulino at the Swan is an absolutely fantastic restaurant – This place was so special – everything about it was perfect to us and a full review of our dining experience will be written very soon.

7.  Being Stranded at Walt Disney World induces euphoria – I’m sure for some people, being iced-in and unable to get home, even from Orlando, would be a major inconvenience.  For us, at this particular time, it was the gift of not one, but TWO extra Disney days to enjoy – and enjoy them we did!  Ferris Bueller-style, we packed so much extra happiness into those two days, you won’t believe it…story to follow, so check back.RM-Polynesian-Village-Resort-Lobby

8. The Polynesian Village Resort’s renovated lobby is gorgeous – I’m not insensitive to the long-time Polynesian fans who are heartbroken by the changes to their favorite resort, but to me, the new Poly is a beautifully improved Poly.  I think the colors, furniture and décor, and overall feeling of welcome is lovely.RM-Hat-Shopping-Downtown-Disney

9.  Disney Springs is coming right along.  Sure, the construction walls are a big ugly pain to maneuver around, but something in the atmosphere has changed – there’s now an air of expectation and excitement.  We can tell the Downtown Disney area is going to be better than it ever was before.  The new hat shop’s a gem – of course I’ll write a post on that too.RM-New-Tree-of-Life-Roots10.  Animal Kingdom is starting to reveal what the future holds – and if the new details to the Tree of Life are any indication, this park (that I love SO much) is going to be even more incredible.

Please let me know what you want to hear most about in greater detail.  Check back over the next couple of weeks for more scoop on what made this latest visit to Walt Disney World a truly extraordinary Disney vacation.

Disney World for the Anti-Disney

RM-Be-Our-Guest-GargoyleI know this guy.  To protect his identity, let’s call him Brad.  Brad’s a nice guy – young, married, couple of kids, avid sportsman – Brad hunts everything for which there’s a season, including alligators.  Recently, Brad overheard another friend ask me about a recent trip to Walt Disney World.  Brad stepped on up to join our conversation and said, “My wife wants to take our kids there.” and then…Brad actually shuddered.  In dread.  He proceeded to explain that he sincerely hoped that his in-laws would be up to the task so he wouldn’t have to go (on vacation with his children).  Hunh.  I’d heard these Anti-Disney-ites exist, but had never actually come face-to-face with one until Brad.

I’ve met people who have been to Walt Disney World and found it not to their liking.  I’m okay with that!  They tried it, (usually with no planning whatsoever) didn’t like it and don’t want to go back.  I think, “Yay!  One less person to take up space in line!”  I respect their opinion and understand that they probably need to go somewhere that requires little to no advance Belle and Gastonplanning or research.  But Brad has never been to Walt Disney World or any other Disney theme park.  His opinion is that Disney parks are just a bunch of carnival rides for little kids with some Disney characters thrown in and he’d rather stay home and do sportsman stuff.

Here’s the deal – I would never try to convert an Anti-Disney person.  Certainly none of them are reading this now.  I would, however, be completely sympathetic to the families of these rare, closed-minded and stubborn individuals and would like to offer some potential enticements for the Anti-Disney-ite in your life.  The idea here is that they join you for vacation and during the day, you go with the children to the parks while the Anti-Disney-ite takes in other activities.  At least you could all meet up at the end of the day and share a nice meal.  You’d all be on vacation together technically, and everyone would be having a good time.

IMG_3020Disney World for the Anti-Disney

While the family is riding Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, their Anti-Disney-ite could be…..

Fishing – One option is some serious bass fishing.  Sure it’s catch and release, but this awesome package for the angler in your family also includes a guide, rod, reel, tackle and so much more!  For a more relaxed and on-your-own experience, dock-side fishing is also available (catch and release).  Read all the details here.

While everyone else is exploring Africa in the Animal Kingdom, the Anti-Disney-ite can be….

Boating – They can take their pick!  Canoes, catamaran, motorized boats in a huge variety of sizes – there are a bunch of boats to choose from and some wonderfully beautiful waterways to explore.  Check out all the details here.

You and the kids might be having the time of your lives meeting Stitch and your beloved Anti-Disney-ite can be enjoying…

A Segway Tour – The Wilderness Back Trail Adventure is available for some off-road exploration!  At the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, your Anti-Disney-ite can not only learn to ride a Segway (if they don’t already know how), they can experience a scenic tour off the beaten track, far away from theme parks and characters.  Interested?  Get the scoop here.

While the family hunts the elusive Yeti, your beloved Anti-Disney-ite can go…Expedition Everest Queue Yeti Museum

Bowling – Not just any bowling, but retro bowling with the added bonus of an incredible menu!  Splitsville in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs is the place to be for folks who like to bowl or eat or listen to live music.  Explore the possibilities here.

To the Movies – There is one of the coolest theaters I’ve ever heard of at Disney World!  Near Splitsville, in Downtown Disney, you can find a dine-in AMC 24 Theater.  If your Anti-Disney-ite cannot find anything else to do (or the weather is lousy), this may be just the ticket (see what I did there?).

Golf – Raymond has played a round of golf at Disney World and really enjoyed the beauty and challenge of the course (The Palm).  He mentioned that the service in the pro shop was excellent and the rental clubs were of high quality.  Two thumbs up for golf at Disney World from my favorite golf enthusiast!  Everything you need to know is here.

RM-Rose-and-CrownLounges – When all else fails, there are a staggering number of lounges, bars, and pubs at Walt Disney World.  Places to watch sports, hear live music, sample interesting wines and beers from all over the world – if your Anti-Disney-ite wants some relaxation indoors, away from the kid-filled crowds, there are some really great places to enjoy adult refreshments and soak up the atmosphere.  For any and all Disney beer-related information, Beers and Ears is the place to go.

What did I miss?  Do any of you have an Anti-Disney family member or loved one?  Have you coaxed them on a Disney vacation yet?



Great Waits at Walt Disney World!

RM-Dumbo-Ticket-to-WaitA while back I touted the joys of some of Disney World’s standby lines in this post Today I’m going to continue that discussion.  If you don’t have a FastPass, there are plenty of rides and attractions worth waiting for – simply because the wait itself is part of the fun!  If I have to spend time in a standby line, I want that wait to be an entertaining one!

Once again, I’m using the same criteria for today’s queue selections:

  • Existing ride successfully refurbished to provide a vastly better standby experience
  • Brand new ride with a wildly entertaining standby line
  • Not-so-new ride with an original, well-themed queue

Dumbo – Just because I couldn’t make it through the new, interactive standby line (I almost rodeRM-Dumbo-Rockets Dumbo once, story here) doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate how brilliant the new queue area is for families with small (or small-ish) children.  The technology is cool, the colors are bright, and there’s a variety of activities available for time-killing. I might not have cared for the experience, but for kids?  Genius!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – The ride appeals to multiple senses – full of colors, it’s visually stunning, the sway of the mine train cars and the smooth ride are physically enjoyable, the sounds – both in and outside the mine – are a wonderful part of the overall experience.  The queue sets just the right mood for what’s to come.  Sort gems, spin barrels for some cool projection effects – there’s a lot to enjoy in the mine long before the train takes you off on a new adventure.

Muppets in Disney's Hollywood StudiosMuppetVision 3D – The queue for this area is one of my most favorite places – not just in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but in all of Walt Disney World!  I love the net full of Jello (a funny tribute to Annette Funicello) and dozens of other clever sight gags.  The pre-show “show” is full of classic Muppet jokes and bits.  If you grew up with the Muppets like I did, the queue for MuppetVision 3D takes you back to the good old days of Muppet glory!

Which queues are your favorite?  Which would you recommend for a future standby line post?