Cinderella Tea Set & Movie Comments

RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-BoxBack in February, long before the live action Cinderella movie opened, Raymond and I were very typically spending an evening at home watching TV and working on our respective computers; sharing companionable silence with an occasional comment on this or that.  I noticed something in my Facebook news feed that caught my eye and I turned my screen around to show Raymond the beautiful blue and white Cinderella Tea Set for sale through the Disney Store online.

Raymond, in his usual way, managed to convey volumes in as few words as possible.  His comment, as he studied the picture through his reading glasses was, “You need one.”  Haha, I thought.  Very funny.  I did then notice that the production number was 3000 and mentioned that it was a limited edition set and that it came with a steep price tag.  This time he looked at me over those reading glasses, one eyebrow raised, and said, “Get it.”

We have a few tea pots, but I wouldn’t really call them a collection.  Teapot 1I have two that are Disney, like this Dalmatian, and three others that were given to me as gifts and are all very beautiful.  I enjoy hot tea very much, but I certainly didn’t need this pricy Cinderella tea set.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it though.  It’s hard to hold out against temptation when I have Raymond’s encouragement to cave!

The box arrived a day before we left for Walt Disney World, so I didn’t have time to do anything but check to make sure the pieces were unbroken.  When we got home, I took the time to appreciate the beauty of both the box and its fragile contents more completely.RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Certificate-of-Authenticity2 RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Certificate-of-Authenticity1  RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-BoxedI have to say, Raymond was right – this was a great purchase.  The certificate of authenticity is written in French on one side and English on the other.  The shape of the teapot is elegant, the cups and saucers dainty and beautiful.  Sadly, there are no cream and sugar servers in this set, but the gold design on a blue and white background is gorgeous and depicts many of the Cinderella movie’s best moments.RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Teapot RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Saucer RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Detail RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set-Cup

Speaking of the movie.  We didn’t see it on opening weekend due to prior commitments.  During the movie’s first week post-release, I read many ridiculous (to me) blog articles about this unexpectedly controversial film – one mother wrote an entire post on why she wouldn’t be taking her child to see Cinderella, basically because there are moments dealing with death and loss, moments dealing with unkind behavior, moments dealing with falling in love, moments dealing with people consuming (presumably) alcoholic beverages, playing card games, and so on and so forth.  When we finally got to see Cinderella this past Saturday morning, I had no idea what to expect!  All that drama over a fairytale?  Maybe Disney ruined the story!

Here’s my two cents:  This isn’t a movie for small children, but not because it deals with actual things that happen to people in real life or make-believe, magical things that don’t.  Small children may find the movie boring and the subtle parts of the film that I found touchingly beautiful might be outside a pre-school-aged child’s ability to understand.  One little one sitting near us in the theater (which was heavily packed with princesses under the age of 6), loudly exclaimed, “I hate this movie!” about halfway through.

Cinderella is visually stunning and true to the story I grew up with.  It also offers a modern touch that, while keeping the story timeless, allows us to see the characters in a deeper, more genuine way than the run-of-the-mill fairy tale usually offers.  The main lesson in the movie?  Be true to your convictions and your heart.  Love, kindness, and courage will help you prevail in the most difficult times, even when it’s impossible to understand what motivates others to be hurtful.  As far as a story’s moral goes, what could be wrong with that?RM-Cinderella-Tea-Set



RunDisney Race Recap – 2015 Princess Half Marathon

Princess-Half-Marathon-Shirt-2015(2)Finally, the day had come!  Of the three races I’d entered for the weekend, this was the big one!  The final race, the longest distance, the event that would make me a Glass Slipper Challenge finisher and show me exactly what runDisney is really all about.  Friday’s Frozen 5K was fun, Saturday’s Enchanted 10K was fantastic, and now, February 22nd, 3:15 am, it was time to get busy.  I’m not going to lie – in spite of careful park-touring plans designed to minimize walking and a post-10K restorative massage at the Senses Spa (Grand Floridian) – I was indescribably tired when the alarm went off.

My outfit for the Princess Half was my favorite of the three races’ ensembles – In purple and black with a Princess-Half-Waiting-Selfiecrown attached to my visor, I was channeling my inner Evil Queen.  I was up, dressed, and headed for the monorail once more before 4:00 am.  I felt a bit less lonely this time for two reasons – one, the crowds on the way to the race were both more plentiful and more excited than they’d been the two previous days and two, Raymond would be on the course today cheering me on.

With  other runners, I made my way to the initial holding area.  Streetmosphere Citizens were adding fun and the building crowd was enjoying the distraction.  Princess-Half-StreetmosphereI met a group of friends with awesome Frozen-inspired outfits!  Princess-Half-Frozen-FriendsBy far they had the best Frozen costumes I’d seen (and I’d seen hundreds!).  Then I stopped and spoke with precious twin sisters who were going to run together in gorgeous princess dresses their mom had made for them (yes, Pinterest).  Princess-Half-PrincessesThese two were beautiful and sweet and I enjoyed talking to them for a while.

Announcers encouraged the sea of runners to begin making their way to the staring area.  After what seemed like a very long walk, I finally stepped into corral F and immediately felt the pre-race excitement.  Princess-Half-Corral-F Princess-Half-Corral-F-SignIt was kind of surreal there in the darkness – waiting with thousands of others to begin something truly special.  Every runner unique, but all focused on the road ahead.  Finally, I was starting to feel more awake and visited with some of the people around me while we waiting for the National Anthem and then the other corrals to start every two minutes until it was our turn at the starting line.  Princess-Half-Waiting-To-Start Princess-Half-Starting-FireworksEvery group begins the race with fireworks, which is an amazing way to start a race!

And we were off!  Everything you’d expect during a runDisney event was there…and so much MORE!  The aid stations, water/sports-drink stations, and port-o-johns were plentiful.  I expected there to be characters along the way, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.  Princess-Half-Pirate-ShipThere was a pirate ship and Jack Sparrow, high school marching bands and church choirs, Princess-Half-PrincesPrincess-Half-VillainsDisney Princes, Disney Villains, DJ’s playing music, Cast Members cheering, Drummers from China, Princess-Half-Arm-Maneven a cheering Toy Story Green Army Man.  So many people and things to see along the way!

With the added entertainment, there’s an emotional factor that began building when we ran beneath the Magic Kingdom’s entrance sign.  Princess-Half-Magic-Kingdom-Sign Princess-Half-Road-to-Magic-KingdomThe road took us under the water bridge and past the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower resorts.  This is where I saw Raymond waiting to take my arm warmers from me.  Due to security, there aren’t a lot of places along the race course where spectators can get close to the runners – and this was one of them.  A kindly security guard helped me out and delivered got my arm warmers to Raymond for me.  I yelled out, “I love you, honey!” to Raymond and then so did the security guard – which was really funny and made the crowd laugh.

Before long we were entering the Magic Kingdom.  Nothing can describe the feeling of running down Main Street U.S.A.  Princess-Half-Main-StreetCheering crowds are lining the street and the park looks beautiful in the early morning light.  From Main Street, we ran through Tomorrowland and behind the castle.  Princess-Half-Tomorrowland Princess-Half-Buzz Princess-Half-Gaston-RunnerI know I’m not the only one who felt a swell of emotion because in Fantasyland, right by Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel, we passed a long line of Cast Members, each holding a box of tissues for those who might feel a bit overcome by the experience.  (I was running behind a man dressed as Gaston and he was owning that look!)  Princess-Half-Castle Princess-Half-Frozen-CharactersWe left Fantasyland by running through Cinderella Castle where Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff were waiting to wish us well (and talk about ice).  Princess-Half-Selfie-Frontierland-GuysAfter leaving the castle, we ran through Frontierland (where I stopped for a selfie with some of the bicycle-riding support staff), Princess-Half-MK-Trainsaw one of Walt’s beloved trains, and headed back out onto the road toward the Grand Floridian and Polynesian.

At this point, we’d passed the halfway point, the sun had risen and the day was heating up.  I’d stopped to take pictures all along the way and actually Tweeted them out as I ran.  Princess-Half-Meeting-FriendsAn Instagram friend was working along the course and I found him waiting exactly where he told me to expect him – of course we had to have a Disney fan selfie!  Princess-Half-Glass-Slipper-Men Princess-Half-Mary-PoppinsRaymond had planned to be roadside by the Polynesian, so after I took some pictures near the Grand Floridian of the Glass Slipper Men and Mary Poppins and Bert, I started looking for him.  Turns out, I was looking too late!Princess-Half-Twitter-Conversation

The two previous days’ early mornings finally caught up with me around mile 8 and I felt I needed (deserved!) a couple of walk breaks.  My-Other-Shoes-Are-Glass-Slippers Princess-Half-Mile-10-SignSo I ran and walked alternately for a bit, taking the time to enjoy the encouraging signs.  Around mile 10, I felt ready to run steadily to the finish line.  Princess-Half-EpcotI remember one of my favorite moments during this part of the race was passing by MouseGear in Epcot, which is one of my all time favorite places to shop.  All of the Cast Members were outside, enthusiastically cheering for runners during the final push toward the end of the race.

Nothing in the world compares with the feeling of seeing the finish line just yards ahead and hearing the announcer say your name!  Princess-Half-Marathon-Medal Glass-Slipper-Challenge-MedalElated runners all around me, I was welcomed by the most amazing group of friendly volunteers who made sure I received food & water, and my finishers’ medals for both the Princess Half Marathon and the Glass Slipper Challenge.  Princess-Half-Post-Race-PartyRaymond texted me his location and I easily found him – the two of us relaxed for a while at the post-race party where we enjoyed a couple of beers and the beautiful weather.  By the time we’d started the long walk back to the monorail, I was already planning to be back again in 2016.

Results:  Official Half Marathon finish time: 2:40:59.  #5514 out of 18,515 women finishers.  In the 50-54 women’s age division, #259 out of 1106.

Disney’s Disneykins – Grumpy

Hello Disney Friends!  It’s the weekend and that means another contribution from our friend, Nick from Disney Musings.  This week, Nick shares another treasure from his extensive Disneyana collection and once again, I’m jealous!  Enjoy!

Disney’s Disneykins – Grumpy

Disneykins were miniature hand painted plastic figures from the Marx Toy Company, manufactured  from around 1960 thru the early 1970’s. They were sold individually or in packs. To this day, they are hot collectibles, and there are several sites dedicated to them and their history. Originally, individual Disneykins sold for $.15 each. I got this Grumpy Disneykin at an antique shop about 16-17 years ago, and while I can’t remember the price, I am absolutely certain it wasn’t for 15 cents.

My favorite thing about them, to be honest, are the graphics on the boxes, this one featuring Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


This box has seen better days.

The other thing I love is the great little character sheet.

Another favorite thing about this line; they from an era when Walt Disney was alive. This was likely something he had some supervision of, even if it was small (no pun intended). There is something very special about that to me, and makes this one of my favorite little collectibles.

Do you collect anything Disney-related?  What’s your favorite item?

Ode to Disney World’s Carousel of Progress

CoP-CurtainAs we know, a lot of great things (and people!) came out of 1964.  Walt Disney’s imaginative and innovative contributions to the World’s Fair in New York that year were not just the technological beginnings for many of the modern rides and attractions we enjoy today, but also the debut of a few of the most beloved and enduring attractions that remain near and dear to our hearts.  One of those is Walt Disney World’s Carousel of Progress.

After the World’s Fair, the Carousel, originally named Progressland and sponsored by General Electric, moved to Disneyland and was renamed Carousel of Progress.  Guests (up to 3600 per hour) at Disneyland enjoyed the attraction until 1975 when it moved to Disney World and opened with a new song, “The Best Time of Your Life“.  GE’s corporate sponsorship officially ended in 1985.  A 1994 refurb returned the attraction’s original music, the song we all know and love, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow“.CoP-Dad2

The Carousel of Progress gets a bad rap.  Kids think it’s boring, thrill seekers think it’s simply a cool spot for a nap.  I’ve heard “boring”, “old-fashioned”, “antique” (that one really hit a nerve!) and “never seen it” when I asked some folks about one of my favorite Tomorrowland attractions.  A few of you, though, are firmly in my camp – we, the lovers of Dad, voiced by Jean Shepherd of “A Christmas Story” fame, Mom, Son and Daughter, Grandmother, Grandfather, Rover, and Cousin Orville, think Carousel of Progress is wonderful.  How can you not adore the dialog and carefully crafted scenes that illustrate how inventions over the past century changed the daily lives of a single family?

CoP-Dad-With-FanI asked and you were more than up to the task!  A call across social media for haikus paying tribute to the Carousel of Progress was answered with enthusiasm!  While not every entry was necessarily from a Carousel fan, all the poems were heartfelt and creative!  Way to go, Disney friends!!!  Prepare to be amazed…

Ode to Disney World’s Carousel of Progress

Rotate through the years
Uncle orville in the tub
Feel Walt’s touch throughout. – Dean (@CT_Mickey_Man) of the WDWNE Podcast

Nineteen Sixty Four
An innovative display
In New York City – Andrew Carrieri (@AndrewCfran) of The Mouse for Less blog

“Walt Disney presents”…
Those words mean so much to me CoP-Dad3
This was Walt’s project

Quickly time passes
Everything getting better
Don’t burn the turkey.

Do people still ride
The carousel of Progress?
I wish they all would – TRIPLE entry by poetic genius Wesley Snyder (@365DaysOfDisney)

Dad is in a chair
He celebrates holidays
Grandma Shoots Spaceships – M. Parrish (@Schmadvertising)

CoP-Christmas1So the seats rotate.
It’s the Christmas Story guy!
I am so sleepy. – Chad Reno (@Chad_Reno13)

Electric servants
Improving family life
Progress with each turn – HowBowers/LiquidLuau (@GoawayGreen) 

Now is the best time
So the new old song proclaimed
Shining at the end – Paulie (@YoPaulieNJ) of the WDWNE Podcast

On this New Years Eve
Virtual Reality
Is still The Future – Trish (@Babbletrish)CoP-Grandma

So what, the stage turns.
Wait, the theater can turn?
My mind has been blown – March Dizwireness (@Dizwire)

“Are you awake, dear?”
“Give ‘im a left, ya big lug!”
Grandma is on fleek – The Redhead (@TheWickedWench)

Lonely in the back
Tommorowland’s old relic
Smells like a barnyard – Jerusha (@OrangeBirdSwirl)

Beautiful refrain,
running endless through my brain,
just a dream away…. – Heather Brainerd via Facebook

O, moving circle!
Rest and breathe nostalgia.
Comfort me, again – Lyn Maszk via Facebook

CoP-MomSpecial shout-out to my buddy Sean (@1MinDisneyDream) from the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast who could not contain his enthusiasm for Carousel of Progress into a haiku and submitted this poem instead:

Carousel oh Carousel ur always progressing.
Let it be known ur lines are short but ur message is long and clear
it’s a great bit beautiful tomorrow.
The end.

Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun!  Sing with me now….

“…Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a realityCoP-Rover
It’s a dream come true for you and me

So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away…”

Watch for more opportunities to join the fun on Facebook and Twitter.

Which attraction do you think needs to be featured on our next “Ode to” article?