Disneyana: Limited Edition Viking Vinylmation

Troll-in-NorwayHappy Saturday Disney Fans!  Having just returned from Norway, a little something (or I should say someone) caught my eye over at Disney Musings when I was looking for a Saturdays With Nick article to share with you.  Trolls!  I always suspected the many trolls in the Norway pavilion were a way to tie Norwegian folklore into the country’s little corner of Epcot and that trolls wouln’t be as plentiful in the actual country of Norway.  I was wrong!  Trolls abound in Norway!  Fat trolls, skinny trolls, trolls that climb on rocks, tough trolls, sissy trolls, even trolls with chicken pox…oh, wait…sorry, got carried away. (Bonus points if you known what just happened there!)  Sure, they’re in souvenir shops, but in a lot of other places as well.  Nick made a great find and, as he tends to do, a great bargain for this particular addition to his Disneyana collection…

Disneyana:  Limited Edition Viking Vinylmation

 By Nick

Why am I posing with a family of strangers holding this Vinylmation?

This is a funny but true story, and I have pictures to prove it!

While in Walt Disney World in 2012, we stopped in to The Puffin’s Roost, the shop at Epcot’s Norway Pavilion.

They had a really great Viking Hat, with Mickey ears.

Making this an even cooler collectible, was the exclusive viking Vinylmation figure that came with it.

His shield on his back. There is a tiny little scuff mark on his helmet, no doubt from when he was in some battle!

AND it’s limited to 1000 pieces. 2 artists names on this figure, Doug Strayer and Maria Clapsis.

AND, it was marked down, from, if memory serves from $60 to $20!
While considering this purchase, another family was also looking at the hat, but they just wanted the hat, they had no interest in the Vinylmation Viking. In fact, they had no clue as to what Vinylmation was.

Shocking, I know.

While the hat was funny, the truth was, neither my wife or I would wear it often enough to justify just the effort of getting it home.

But I wanted the Viking.

As we were contemplating our next move, the family decided they would buy the hat. SO I offered to split the cost, if they were willing to part with the Vinyl Viking. They were!

Making the deal even better was the fact that as a Premium Annual Passholder, I got a 20% discount. So we each got what we wanted for a fraction of the original price!

A happy ending for all at the Happiest Place on Earth!

So many Disney treasures in Nick and Barbie’s collection!  To see more, follow them on all their social medias!!!  Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, On Instagram, On Pinterest.


Disney’s Magic in Norway – Bergen

Bergen-sceneryOn Thursday, June 11th, we arrived at our final port of call, Bergen.  All ashore time was scheduled for 7:45 am and we were to be back aboard by 5:15 pm.  Our family intended to make the most of the time we had in this incredible city!  Of all the things we’d done and the amazing places we’d visited on this vacation, Bergen was my favorite port.

We were up, had eaten breakfast in Cabanas, and were waiting at our assigned group meeting area in Fathom’s for the day’s excursion:  Walking tour of Bergen (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with a visit to both the Hanseatic Museum and the overlook on Mount Floyen. Bergen-Ship-in-Harbor Bergen-Norway-Waterfront Bergen-Norway Bergen-Norway-Buildings We love history and Bergen has wonderfully well-preserved buildings dating back to the 18th Century in the Bryggen area of the wharf.Bergen-tour-guide

Our group headed off the Magic and found our guide, Elena, waiting for us on the dock.  Elena, originally from St. Petersburg and married to a Norwegian, was cheerfully enthusiastic and full of interesting facts about Bergen’s past and present.  She was a wonderful guide and took time to answer questions and make sure everyone had plenty of time to take pictures of all the amazing things we saw that morning.  Bergen-TowerWe walked from the ship to the museum, stopping along the way to learn about Bergen, which was originally founded on a Viking settlement in 1070.  We walked past the Bergenhus Fortress and Rosenkrantz Tower and learned about Bergen’s medieval history before making our way to the Hanseatic Museum.  Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum-ExteriorHere we were able to see how the German merchants who ran the sea trade in Bryggen lived and worked.  One building,  Finnegården, originally owned by merchant J. W. Olsen, gives visitors an excellent look at living and working conditions during Bryggen’s heyday.  Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum3 Bergen-Hanseatic-Museum2 Bergen-museum-old-photo Bergen-museum-seals If you’re into history, this place is incredible!  Norwegian fishermen supplied the stock fish for the merchants, cod being the most popular.  The fish, once dried, had a shelf-life of 4-5 years and was shipped all over Europe.  Cod liver oil and other fish products were also produced. Bergen-Hansiatic-Museum1 Bergen-Museum-artifacts

Moving on from the museum, we walked a short distance to the building where we would catch the funicular to Mount Floyen and end our tour with a spectacular view of Bergen.  The crowds were heavy and Elena did her best to keep us entertained while we waited for our turn to board the funicular.  Bergen-funicular-viewBergan-to-Mt.-FloyenThis enclosed tram runs up and down the mountain all day and is a popular mode of transportation for the people who live on Mount Floyen as well as tourists.  The view was spectacular, but it was cold and windy on that mountain!  Thanking Elena, we headed back down to Bergen to find the fish market and lunch!Bergen-View-from-Mt-Floyen

This was such a treat!  At the fish market, customers can check out the different vendors’ fresh fish, select a meal combination, and wait at a patio table for the selected fish to be cooked and served.  Bergen-fishmarket-counter Bergen-fishmarket-selectionThe choices were amazing!  Cod, shrimp, whale steaks, oysters, crabs, salmon, and much more – cooked while you wait.  Our seafood was served with potato salad, a green salad, and a couple of slices of rye bread.  Bergen-fishmarket-display Bergen-fishmarket-seatingWe ordered what our server called “light beer” (due to the low alcohol content street vendors are restricted to serving) to enjoy with our meal.  As we placed our orders with the sweet young lady at the counter, she had one question for our family, “Are you from the Disney ship?” When we told her we were indeed sailing on the Magic, she wanted to know what was a Disney ship? We had fun explianing it to her!  Bergen-fishmarket-tableI feel terrible for not taking a picture of our food for you!  One minute we were waiting for our meal, then the server brought our plates, and the next thing I knew, I was scraping up the very last bit of potato salad with my last bite of bread.  Delicious!!!Bergen-Street

Until reaching Bergen, we really hadn’t done much shopping for souvenirs.  Fortified by our excellent lunch, we had plenty of time to explore Bergen’s shops – and explore we did!  The shopping in Bergen was really fantastic – we were glad we’d waited.  (No, we didn’t purchase any Disney dolls, but there were plenty to choose from!)  Bergen-Window-Shopping Bergen-shopping-area Bergen-Moose-Leather-shopCraftsmen and artists had workshops attached to small shops selling everything from jewelry to moose-leather goods.  We shopped in antique stores, Christmas stores, clothing boutiques and the artists’ shops.  Bergen-manhole-cover Bergen-cobblestones

Dried Fish Statue

Dried Fish Statue

Megan and Joseph went one way and Raymond and I another – we had as much fun exploring as we did picking out our souvenirs and even had time to relax over beers in an Irish pub.  When we found the giant dried fish statue, we were able to tell some puzzled tourists what it was and its significance to Bergan’s history.  Bergen-Irish-Pub Bergen-Pub-interiorOn the way back to the ship, I stopped trying to resist the lure of the bakeries!  Megan and I selected treats to munch on while we walked.  Bergen-bakeryI can tell you this:  Skolebrod (School bread) in Norway is incredible!!!  Dense, moist, loaded with custard and generously sprinkled with coconut, it was the perfect snack and a wonderful way to end the day.Bergen-Skolebrod-wrapper Bergen-Skolebrod

Ahead of us that evening would be the Freezing the Night Away deck party and the next day would be our last at-sea day – our vacation was winding down, but we felt like we were getting to see and do so much fun stuff!!!  I’ll be back to let you know how we ended this fabulous vacation.  Thanks for reading!DCL-Frozen-Menu

As always, if you have any quesions about this trip (or any of our other ones), I’ll be happy to tell you what I can.

Links to the other parts of this trip report:



Disney’s Magic in Norway – Geiranger

Disney’s Magic in Norway – Geiranger

This particular day of our vacation was so bazaar!  Commodore Tom had made it clear – the ship’s arrival in Geiranger was NOT to be missed and strongly recommended we make our way to the ship’s upper-most deck at 5:30 am.  Yes, 5:30 IN THE MORNING!  On vacation!  But we were completely swept up in the excitement and did indeed rise (certainly without one whit of shine), bundle up, and make our way up-top to see the famous Seven Sisters waterfall on one side and another waterfall named The Suitor across from them.  RM-Geirangerfjord-WaterfallIf it had been sunny instead of raining, the view would have been absolutely breathtaking.  Even in the rain, it was pretty darn amazing.

What we loved about crowding at the railing to see the ship make her way along the fjord toward Geiranger was the number of familiar Cast Members we saw – their excitement was contagious!  RM-GeirangerfjordAs we approached the quaint and tiny town at the end of the fjord, the excitement built and so did the number of people on deck to watch the show.  Finally, the ship actually spun around – seemingly in place – to be in the right spot for the floating dock to come out and meet her.

We were exhausted.  Exciting excursions, early starts and late nights were taking their toll.  Luckily, our excursion for this day in Geiranger was not until after lunch.  While we normally are the family who does not slow down on vacation, we needed to be more rested for our Sky to Fjord bicycle adventure – I got some strange looks when I suggested a nap, but nobody disagreed that it would be a huge help.  At about 7:00 am, we headed back to our cabin and promptly fell asleep.  Three-and-a-half hours later, we were feeling much better and ready to get out there and discover what Geiranger was all about.Geiranger-Guide-Bicycle-Tour

We met our group in Fathoms at 12:45 pm, bundled in layers.  Our guide was waiting on the pier to lead us on a short walk to the bicycle tour headquarters where we would get our helmets, vests, and gloves.  Bicycle-Tour-PrepIt was cold and misting, but we were genuinely excited about the adventure ahead of us.  Once we’d received our gear, we boarded a bus for the trip up the mountain above the town.  Geiranger-Street-Signs Geiranger-RoadwayAs we made our way along what felt like an endless series of switchbacks on the narrow roadway, our guide (I know, I should know his name, but I don’t) filled us in on the history of Geiranger – which happens to be such a popular vacation destination that the 250 year-round residents are nearly all employed in the tourism industry.  During the short summer months, the population swells with seasonal workers and tourists.

Our guide was excellent and sprinkled his history lesson with safety information – if we see a bus coming as we’re bicycling down the mountain, we should stop well before any switchback as the bus will take up the entire road to make the turn.  Hmmm- Good to know!  We were also informed that due to the steep grade, our bicycles were equipped with hydraulic disc breaks rather than the usual ones.  This was the first indication that this adventure might be terrifying extra exciting!Geiranger-Bus

We kept getting higher and soon, we were above the trees in a wide-open, completely frozen landscape.  The snow walls along the roadside were incredibly tall!  RM-Geirangerfjord-Snow RM-Geirangerfjord-Bicycles Geiranger-Sky-to-Fjord-Frozen-Lake There was a frozen lake right next to the area where our bicycles were set out.  Our first task was to find a bicycle the right size for each of us.  This took a while – long enough for us to start getting very wet from the sleet that was falling.Geiranger-Meg-on-the-MountainThen we were off.  At first, in spite of riding into a stiff wind, I was doing a pretty good job of keeping up with Raymond and Joseph.  Megan was not far behind me.  This lasted only a short time.  I was shaken by the warning signs along the road about the steep grade – I rode very conservatively, breaking regularly to slow my speed on the slick roads.  Especially after that first stop where I learned that Joseph had wrecked and would be sporting a bit of Norwegian road rash as a souvenir.  Geiranger-Family-PhotoStill he was thrilled about this excursion and later announced that is was the best and most fun vacation adventure we’d ever had.  As we rode down that mountain, my attention was completely focused on two things – how hard I was shivering and how much I did not want to plummet to my death.

When we finally reached Geiranger, I felt elated (and traumatized) – Raymond, Megan and Joseph were waiting for me in the bicycle barn.  We spent a few minutes in town looking around in some shops.  We found the merchandise heavy on the cheesy souvenirs with  “made in China” labels.  We decided to wait until the next port to do our shopping.  Soaked to the skin and still freezing, I left everyone else behind and ran the length of the floating dock all the way back to the ship, visions of a hot shower in my head.

Luckily, we managed some first aid for Joseph’s poor elbow (the worst of his injuries is under the Band-Aid) before we left our stateroom for the evening.  Geiranger-Road-RashWe were back in Carioca’s for dinner which was the “Captain’s Gala” and very delicious.  The show that night, The Magic of Light, featured a dance act that had been featured on Italia’s Got Talent called Evolution. Carioca's-Captain's-GalaShow-Magic-of-LightLobster-TowelHonestly, we were too tired to enjoy the show as much as we might have otherwise.  The next day we would reach our final port, Bergen, for yet another big day of excitement and adventure.  Stay tuned!

I was too nervous to even try to film with my GoPro as we rode, but I did manage to film some of our stops.  You can see that video on YouTube here.

Links to the other parts of this trip report: