Walt Disney’s Carolwood Pacific Train Set

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an item from the Joseph Green Disneyana collection.  You may recall the Disney lunch boxes, the vintage Disney vinyl, and this much-loved comic book.  I recently rediscovered today’s featured treasure tucked away in a bedroom closet.  Unique for its perfect condition and has, in fact, never left the box it came in.

Walt Disney’s Carolwood Pacific Train Setdisneys-carolwood-pacific-locomotive-and-car

Before we take a look at the train set, I should provide some back story for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Walt Disney and the Carolwood Pacific.  Walt Disney’s love of trains began at an early age and continued throughout his life.  As a means of transportation and later, an employment opportunity for Walt’s dad, his uncle, and finally Walt himself, trains started and remained an important theme and source of inspiration for many of Walt Disney’s cartoons.  This fascination with locomotives culminated in 1948 with Walt’s decision to build his own 1/8-scale steam engine named Lilly Belle in his wife’s honor.  He also had plans at that time for building a theme park for families that would feature a railroad station.  Walt named his backyard train the Carolwood Pacific Railroad.  More complete information can be found here.disneys-carolwood-pacific-lilly-belle

Joseph’s train set was manufactured by Bachmann and is HO scale.  The set features the Lilly Belle engine, two gondolas, one boxcar, and a yellow caboose.  disneys-carolwood-pacific-locomotive-and-car disneys-carolwood-pacific-boxcar disneys-carolwood-pacific-cabooseThe headlight on the engine is advertised as a working one.  The track will make a 47-38″ oval and other shapes.  This makes it suitable for placing around the base of a Christmas tree.  Not that I’d know first-hand or anything on account of the unopened box situation.  That’s the thing with collectors like Joseph – sometimes items become much-loved and well used and others, for reasons unknown to me, are destined to remain in mint condition.

Do you have any Disney collectibles that have never left the box?  Do you have a train that runs around your Christmas tree?  Let me know what that’s like!


DisneyBounding My Way

It’s less than a week until our next Disney World vacation and that means I’m already packed.  I always pack early, which is completely out of character for me as I’m a notorious procrastinator.  Packing makes the trip seem closer.  I’m excited about seeing and doing all the things.  We’ve got dining reservations, FastPasses and I’m ready to get going!

DisneyBounding My WayCinderella Castle

Most of you probably already know what it means to DisneyBound (See here for sample outfits), but in case you’re new to the concept, it’s the idea of dressing in a way that’s been inspired by a Disney character or attraction.  Touring Plans does a great job of explaining DisneyBounding here.  I’ve always thought this sounded like a lot of fun and am in awe of the creativity and, well, artistic way true DisneyBounders achieve their looks.  The accessories alone are incredible!

I want to give DisneyBounding a try, but in my own way.  For this first attempt I decided to draw my inspiration, not from characters or attractions, but from the lands in Magic Kingdom.  My goal is to dress in a way that’s comfortable, age-appropriate, and fun!  Here’s what I’ve packed for my DisneyBounding outfits…

Main Street U.S.A.outfit-inspired-by-main-street-usa

I always feel patriotic and nostalgic on Main Street.  To capture this, I’m going with red, white, and blue.  Navy & white paisley shorts, red mixed media top, and well-loved Reef slip-ons.  I’ve got quite a few Disney pins I can incorporate into this ensemble.


I’ve got the perfect shirt!  It reflects the colors of the Carrousel of Progress t-shirt I bought for the attraction’s 50th Anniversary.  I’ll pair this long top with some white denim capris (it IS okay to wear white after Labor Day in Florida, right?) and some comfortable sandals.


I love the colors of Fantasyland.  I’m also a fan of it’s a small world.  I know, I’m among the minority, but, like Carrousel of Progress, it’s a small world and I are the same age.  For Fantasyland’s outfit, I’m drawing from the colors and have two outfits to choose from.  The first one pairs floral shorts and a navy polo.  The second option combines a colorful, geo-printed maxi and a light-weight navy top.

Liberty Squareoutfit-inspired-by-liberty-square

This past February, I ran the Princess Half Marathon in a Haunted Mansion-inspired outfit.  Drawing on that same idea, I’m combining a pale blue tunic and black jeans as a nod to the Mansion’s famous wallpaper.  Adding a pendant necklace and black sandals to complete the look.


This one might be my favorite.  This red gingham shirt and navy pants automatically make me think Frontierland.  Yes, I will be stopping in Grizzly Hall for a visit with the Country Bears.


While it would have been easy to embrace Adventureland’s bright tropical colors, I decided on a Jungle Cruise-inspired outfit instead.  I’ll fit right in among the foliage along the riverbanks in an olive t-shirt and floral cammo cargo capris.

What do you think?  Too subtle?  If you’ve giving DisneyBounding a try, what characters or attractions did you use for inspiration?

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?