Thoughts on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

In the same way I’ve developed a peculiar mental routine on Space Ship Earth, my enjoyment of The Carousel of Progress has now also become based on certain habits I’ve developed over the years.  Raymond is included as part of my amusement on this attraction.  Here’s how it goes.RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Selfie

Thoughts on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

We’ll be in Tomorrowland and will have either just gotten off of Space Mountain or the PeopleMover and I’ll look longingly towards Carousel of Progress then make eye contact with Raymond.  No words necessary, he will either heave a sigh of resignation or raise an eyebrow while motioning me with one hand to lead the way.  As we enter the theater, I’ll look back to be sure he’s still with me and, grinning madly, beeline for the front row.  Raymond and I both know why I’m doing this – so there’s nobody in front of me that will be subjected to my enthusiastic singing along with the show.RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Exterior

Promptly after the Cast Member spiel, I will sneak my phone out of my pocket so I can take pictures even though I’ve got dozens already and there’s nothing new to see.  Raymond will nudge me, I will show him that the flash is off and we’ll settle in to watch.  (And sing.)

Valentines Day!  I love this scene and I this is Dad’s best outfit.  Hey…when this show was first shown at the 1964 World’s Fair, my mom was THERE!  Aaaaand expecting me!  So, the Carousel and I are totally connected!  carousel-of-progress-dadOh, LOOK!  Rover is so cute!  (Awww…I wonder what Junior’s doing now.)  Wait!  I totally get the theme of this show, but now I remember how the mysterious automatic appliance demonstrations are scary!  Singing along with this show is the BEST!

The 4th of July!  Ohhhh, no, I don’t like this part…the appliances become possessed and the neighbors unfriendly after the fuse-blowing part.  Patricia’s going to dress up as the Statue of Liberty and be whiny before Dad makes THE best pun about carrying a torch.  carousel-of-progress-dad2Uncle Orville!  Yes!  Voiced by Mel Blanc (do I detect a hint of Bugs Bunny in there somewhere?)  Can we please just go back to singing the song now!

Halloween!  This would be awesome if only the terms “rat race” and “commuting” weren’t mentioned.  Those two words alone have the ability to pierce the Disney Bubble!  Cool! We had a cuckoo clock just like that one when I was a kid!carousel-of-progress-dad3Focus, Lisa, Patricia and Babs, dating Wilfred (the slug) and Howard (the clodhopper),  are going to the Halloween party.  Yep, got it.  Patricia’s trying to lose inches with that ancient exercise machine!  Some things never change.  Dad, you need to get up off your patootie and help Sarah with the wallpapering.  Singing!!!!carousel-of-progress-christmas-scene

Christmas!  Memo to me: the grandma and her virtual reality game acumen are going to freak me out, so I should focus on cool details like the Christmas tree and how adorable the dog looks in this scene.carousel-of-progress-rover-at-christmasStop with the voice-activated oven before you burn the turkey! Never mind.  Quick!  Check for Mickey Mouse under the tree.  YES!  Still there. carousel-of-progress-christmas-tree

Y’all sing along with me now!

There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away

Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
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

Carousel of Progress!  Are you a fan?  What’s your favorite scene?



Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 12 Hours of Fun!

animal-kingdom-selfieI’m well aware there are certain people who do not appreciate Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a full-day park.  My family and I are not among them.  We were thrilled recently by the opportunity to spend 12+ hours in the amazingly themed, action-packed,  fun-filled Animal Kingdom.  From rope-drop to park closing, we had an amazing day and still did not see and do it all.animal-kingdom-sign

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 12 Hours of Fun!

Pre-planning:  We booked two ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) at 180 days pre-vacation at Tusker House for breakfast and Tiffins for an early dinner.  If, by some miracle, Rivers of Light would have come online for our trip, we were ready to turn one of these meals into a dining package.  As it turned out, Rivers of Light was still a no-show.  No matter, we enjoyed both of these restaurants and were very pleased with the choices.  We had also booked three FastPasses:  Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Primeval Whirl (Dinosaur was under refurbishment).tusker-house-breakfast-daisy

What we did for 12+ Hours

Morning:  We arrived early for breakfast and enjoyed Tusker House’s buffet which had both unique and traditional breakfast offerings.  We met Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy – all were awesome and spent plenty of time with us for pictures.  As much as I love Donald, Goofy was extra entertaining.  tusker-house-goofyAfter breakfast, we waddled over to Kilimanjaro Safaris and visited with the friendly Cast Members there while we waited for the attraction to open.  Our group of seven and a family of three were the only ones on our safari and it was, hands down, the best experience we’d ever had on this attraction…even though the giraffes (except for one) and elephants seemed to be sleeping in that morning.  We were very excited to have an excellent view of the new African Painted Dogs!  Gorgeous!kilimanjaro-safaris-african-painted-dogsPost-safari, we explored the Gorilla Falls trail, used our Expedition Everest FastPass, strolled the Maharajah Jungle Trek, caught It’s Tough to Be a Bug, and took another safari (with FastPass) to see the previously missed close-up giraffes and elephants.

Afternoon:  We stopped by the Harambe Market in case anyone was hungry, but we only got drinks.  I guess we were still full from Tusker House.  dak-musicianWhile we were enjoying our beverages of choice, we were serenaded by a musician and it was wonderful!  He was very talented and made us feel special.  Then we explored Zuri’s Sweet Shop where we all bought souvenirs.  Zuri's-Sweets-ShopHats, toy Komodo Dragons, and stuffed African Painted Dogs were popular items with our group.  After that we hopped the train for Rafiki’s Planet Watch.  rafiki-meetingWhile there was not a lot going on in the animal care area, the Cast Members were chatty and informative, the animals in the petting area were cute, and Rafiki himself made an appearance and was very charming!rafikis-planet-watch-affection-sectionWe could have seen Festival of the Lion King instead, but Rafiki won out in the group vote and we were happy with our excursion to this seldom-visited section of the park.rafiki-teaching

As we took the train back, we noticed the sky was darkening.  By the time we exited the train and donned our ponchos, a torrential downpour was upon us and all areas of shelter nearby were packed.  I decided we should take a chance on Nomad Lounge (by Tiffins), hoping nobody else would realize it would be open.  nomad-lounge-in-the-rainYES! The place was virtually empty.  We found a table on the patio and ordered drinks and snacks which we made short work of as the rain let up and we headed back out for more fun.  nomad-lounge-snackWe wrapped up the afternoon with a series of rides on Primeval Whirl since there was no wait.  Before long, it was time to return to Tiffins for our early dinner reservation.primeval-whirl2

Evening:  Tiffins, which I will give a full review for soon, was delightful and delicious (truthfully, it was incredible)!  Once the sun began to set, we began what was the completely-new-to-us time of the day – we’d never been able to stay at Animal Kingdom so late before.  The park wouldn’t close until 8:30 and we were going to take advantage of every minute.  Kali-River-RapidsFirst, everyone (except Raymond and I) took multiple trips down Kali River Rapids (no wait).  Then we enjoyed Expedition Everest at night…amazing!everest-at-duskWe took our third Kilimanjaro Safari of the day to see the hyenas and all the nighttime effects before wrapping up this epic day by watching the Tree of Life awaken.tree-of-life-awakens

More than 12 hours after we arrived, we caught the bus back to Bay Lake Tower.  Sure, we skipped things like Finding Nemo The Musical, Festival of the Lion King and Flights of Wonder, but we rode awesome thrill rides multiple times (no wait), had all the safari experiences possible, enjoyed some fantastic food and soaked up all the incredible theming and ambiance Animal Kingdom has to offer.  When the World of Pandora opens and Rivers of Light finally launches, we’ll have to make multi-day plans here on every visit!

What are your favorite things to do at Animal Kingdom?  Are you looking forward to the parks upcoming additions?

Disney Sleeping Beauty Figurines

Yay for the weekend! I don’t know about you, but this workweek seemed to last forever to me.  Post-Disney depression is in full swing and shows no signs of letting up.  That’s what made me choose these particular items from Nick’s collection to feature today – they are certainly adorable and were a gift from Jill!  Jill is Barbie’s cousin and Nick’s friend and now my friend, too.  She and her husband, Zach, have been at Walt Disney World with Nick and Barbie on the last two times we were there together.  Disney friends are the BEST!  Y’all have a great weekend…Lisa

Disney Sleeping Beauty Figurines


By Nick

My friend Jill gave my wife and me several ceramic bisque figurines that had belonged to her mother.

These are of Princess Aurora, who by the time she meets Prince Philip is now Briar Rose, and who will eventually be Sleeping Beauty.


They are 6 1/4″ tall.


We aren’t sure where they were purchased, but they originally sold for $12.99. Searching online, they are supposedly hard to find. Made in Japan.

Maleficent is 7 1/4″ tall.


I’m assuming she was the same price.


You can follow Nick, his wife Barbie, and all their friends on their many 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.

Disney World! Always New Things to Try

Walt Disney World – Trying new things and revisiting old favorites is what makes every visit different from the one before.  I’m committed to adding something new to every trip…our most recent Disney vacation was no exception.

Disney World! Always New Things to Try

Most of the items on this list rate their very own review in the future (please stand by).  Today I’m going for a quick rundown of what was new (to us) and what our initial impressions were.  Please feel free to weigh in on what you’re looking forward to trying for the first time on your next Walt Disney World visit.

  1. Mad Tea Party.  Yes, that’s right, Raymond and I have never, not once, taken a spin on this most iconic of Magic Kingdom attractions.  Now we can say we’ve done it. Aaaaaaand that’s pretty much all I have to say about that…for now.on-the-tea-cups
  2. Disney Springs’ new offerings.  We didn’t have a great deal of time to spare, but we did manage to grab lunch at Morimoto Street Food (new walk-up counter service at Morimoto Asia) and check out a few of the new stores in the new retail shopping section.  Lunch was great, the stores were okay.  In spite of all the fancy, new high-end offerings, I found myself pulled back to my old favorites like the Marketplace Co-Op and Disney’s Days of Christmas.  That’s where I spent my money.  schweitzer-falls-fanI was inordinately happy with my Schweitzer Falls t-shirt buy…can you blame me?tiffins-exterior
  3. Animal Kingdom’s Nomad Lounge and Tiffins – Guys!  We give these new places a resounding, unanimous vote of approval!  I promise more details later, but if you’re on the fence about trying one or both…get off the fence on the side of definitely going.via-napoli-pizza-slice
  4. Epcot’s Via Napoli – Raymond and I enjoyed a special dining experience here during the 2014 Food & Wine festival, but had never made a regular ADR for a meal here until this visit.  I’d been skeptical of reviews that said the pizza was fantastic (Disney pizza is typically anything but fantastic) and the food excellent overall, but I’m a believer now and cannot wait to go back!  We were very happy!sci-fi-dine-in-menu
  5. Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater – All I can say in my own defense was that I thought it would be unique and fun.  Yeahhhhh….not so much.  Didn’t hate it, but now that we’ve given it a try, there’s no need to go back.  For the price, service level, and menu, there are too many superior choices…we’ll put this in the “once and done” category.  I’ll go ahead and add that for us, the service was subpar and the seating less than ideal for a party of more than four.frozen-ever-after-figures
  6. Frozen Ever After – Raymond and I managed to score a FastPass for this and ride it on the first day of our vacation.  I hate that we couldn’t get FastPasses for the rest of our party!  This attraction is outstanding.  Let’s not debate its suitability for the Norway Pavilion in Epcot and just focus on the experience alone…wonderful!soarin-new
  7. Soarin’ – This was THE one thing I was most looking forward to.  I’ve always been a fan and could not wait to check out the new version.  I was both delighted and disappointed in equal measure.  Have you ridden it yet?  What did you think?

Okay, now it’s your turn.  Have you tried any/all of these yet?  Where do we agree and disagree?