Pirates! Skeleton Crew Figures

Pirates!  Skeleton Crew Figures 

By Nick

In my last post I shared a few Disney Parks Pirates of the Caribbean Action Figures. I have one more to share from that line, and some more skeletal pirates in Vinylmation form.

To me, one of the most memorable portions of Pirates of the Caribbean, the Walt Disney World version, (yes, there is a difference between the WDW and Disneyland versions) is the Helmsman.

The Helmsman’s accessories include an anchor, a cutlass, a lantern and a knife.

I really love the detailing on these figures.

He stands 7 inches, or 17.78 centimeters, tall.
Vinylmation Parks #5 Series also has a Pirates Helmsman.
I don’t really think it resembles the figure above, very much. Or at all.

By Maria Clapsis.

The ever popular Helmsman makes a return appearance once again in the Pirates of the Caribbean Vinylmation Series, this time with some mates.

Left to right, we have the Skeleton Helmsman, the Skeleton Captain, and the Blue Bandana Skeleton.

This series is by Casey Jones.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your look at the pirates, me mateys, please come back aboard soon!

To read more about Nick’s amazing Disney collectibles and his many Disney adventures, visit the Disney Musings Blog (where this article first appeared).  You can follow Nick on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.  You can also listen to Nick, our friend Dave, and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about our love for all things Disney – new episodes every Sunday morning.

Press Kit – Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary

Nick has the most amazing and unusual items in his Disneyana collection!  What a wonderful trip back in time he takes us on with this look back at WDW in 1991!  Check out the ticket prices!!!  If you were around then, what do you remember most about that year? (Oh, and did anyone besides me LOVE Dinosaurs the TV show?  “I’m the baby!”)

Press Kit – Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary

By: Nick

I don’t know where I got this Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary Press Kit. I also don’t remember what I paid for it.  What I do know is, it’s a fascinating look at a very exciting time in Walt Disney World history.

Let’s turn the handle and see what pops up.

Roger Rabbit! A character now sadly absent at Walt Disney World.

Inside is a packet of information, and a small calendar covering park hours for the 3 gates at that time, The Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, and Disney-MGM Studio from October 1991 to January 1992.

The information included would make anyone interested in Disney park history, drool.

  • An overview of some of the new surprises awaiting guests, such as “Spectromagic” and “Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3-D”.
  • 20 reasons to visit Walt Disney World, such as “Surprise in the Skies” a daytime extravaganza above and around Epcot’s World Showcase, and “Sorcery in the Sky”, a fireworks display at Disney-MGM Studios.
  • 2 pages of Milestones, Attendance Marks, and Attraction Opening dates.
  • Park statistics and employment info. 33,000 employees at that time!
  • Pricing. A one day ticket? $33. 4 day pass? $111. Annual Pass? $190!
  • Personalities available for interviews, such as Michael Eisner, Frank Wells, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy E. Disney.
  • A list of the celebrities that would be in the “Parade of Stars” in the 20 Year Homecoming Celebration at Disney-MGM Studios. Stars such as, Sally Struthers, Art Linkletter, and Eva Gabor!
  • Golf Course info
  • Information about a new concept in family vacationing called the Disney Vacation Club.

And if that wasn’t enough, there is a plethora of 8×10 glossy photographs, with information on the back.

The 20th Anniversary “Surprise” Celebration Parade.

Dinosaurs, I confess, I never ever watched.

Before it was Old Key West, it was the Disney Vacation Club Resort.


I miss Spectromagic!

I had the great fortune to see most of the attractions described and shown here, and I must say, a lot of it is missed. The “Surprise” parade in the Magic Kingdom was amazing, and “Surprise in the Skies” at Epcot was also spectacular. And while I know “Fantasmic” is incredibly popular, I am not a fan of the crowds, and preferred “Sorcery in the Sky” at the Studios.

Also included is a Vacation Guide.

The back cover of the folder.

I hope you enjoyed this trip with me down memory lane.

To see more of Nick’s excellent Disney collection and read about his Disney adventures, please visit the Disney Musings Blog and follow Nick on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Defending Bambi, a Walt Disney Classic

Today’s article begs the question – What’s your favorite Disney movie (from your childhood) and why?  Mine is Mary Poppins and Nick’s is, well, a touchy subject….

Defending Bambi, a Walt Disney Classic

By Nick

Why am I writing an article defending my love of Bambi, a true Disney classic, and one of my favorite animated movies of all time? I’m asking myself that very question to be perfectly honest. I’m only too happy to do so, as it deserves praise, but I’m just shocked I have to.

If you’ve listened to Episode 11 of The Disney Exchange, (If you haven’t, you should, it’s great, but, really, they all are.) then please go ahead and do so, and then come on back here.

Back? Good, then you heard Dave and Lisa criticize my choice for favorite Disney film pre my birth year, Bambi.

Were you as surprised as me to hear it being described as “cheesy?”

I chose Bambi for a few reasons.

It was my first movie, or at least the first movie I remember clearly. I can picture very distinctly Bambi and Thumper’s banter, Bambi’s father telling him “Your mother can’t be with you anymore,”  the forest fire, and Bambi’s standing on a cliff with his father at the end. (Excuse me a moment, I need to compose myself. -sniff-)

Bambi is a very well balanced film of beauty and darkness, with happiness, sadness, laughter, and love.

It’s beautifully animated. In the early 90’s, I had the opportunity to work at an Animation Art Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa. I got to see some of the inspirational art by Tyrus Wong, as well as animation sketches and production work. I am, in fact, the proud owner of an animated sketch of Bambi, from the “twitterpated” sequence, and a Sericel of Thumper.

A lot of Tyrus’ work, along with many works from other animation legends can be found in the excellent book “Walt Disney’s Bambi, The Story and the Film” by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of Walt’s “Nine Old Men.”

Believe me, if I could afford it, I would have many more animated pieces from this wonderful movie.
I do have many collectibles around the home representing Bambi, however, such as several Walt Disney Classics Collection pieces.

What are your thoughts on Bambi? Please leave a comment telling why you enjoy it, or just tell Lisa and David they are wrong, either is fine.

This article was originally posted on The Disney Exchange, a blog and podcast which write and co-host with Lisa Green and David Hodges.


To read all about Nick’s Disney obsession, visit the Disney Musings Blog and follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.

Headed to Walt Disney World in 2016? The Disney Exchange Podcast will be having a meet-up in February during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! Details will be available on The Disney Exchange’s Facebook Page and also on Twitter. We’d love to see you there!!!

Epcot’s World Showcase – Holiday Storytellers

Epcot’s World Showcase – Holiday Storytellers

by Nick

I love Santa Claus. Always have, I am, after all, named after the Saint himself.

I also enjoy hearing and reading about the various gift givers that different cultures have.
One of my very favorite things about the Holiday Around the World at Epcot is the storytellers that several of the countries have.

My wife, friends, and I caught as many of the offerings as possible on our recent trip, and I’ve shared a brief look in my trip reports, but I thought it appropriate to share a more in depth look at them on this Christmas Day.

Heading around to the right of World Showcase, we’ll start with Father Christmas, who can be found in the United Kingdom.

Each pavilion’s storyteller has a scroll describing customs and traditions from that country, and you can find appearance times in park guides.

Father Christmas shares a few of the traditions that started in the UK, such as the sending of Christmas Cards in 1843, and the hanging of mistletoe which dates back to the Druidic ceremonies of the Winter Solstice.

Many storytellers also pose for photos with guests.

Left to right: Barbie, Nick, Father Christmas, Jill, Nicole, and Josh

Moving on to France, we find Père Noël, who delivers gifts to children on Christmas Eve.

He tells of the importance of the Creche, or Nativity Scene. Traditionally, candles are lit around the Creche, or a special Yule Log is burned on the fire.
He continues telling us of le reveillon, a feast after Midnight Mass, and how children set our shoes around the Christmas tree in anticipation of a visit from le Père Noël.

Continuing on to Japan, we learn about O-Shogatsu, the Japanese New Year. lasting from January 1st through the 3rd. An important symbol of the New Year is the Daruma Doll. There are no pupils in the Darumas eyes. The tradition is to make a wish, and paint a pupil in the left eye. If the wish comes true, you paint in the right pupil.

We’ll come back to The American Adventure later. Our next stop for now will be Italy.
To me, the most heart wrenching tale of a gift bringer is that of the kind-hearted witch La Befana who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany, January 5th, to grant gifts to good children.

As her story goes, the Three Wise Men visited Befana at her home and asked if she knew where to find the baby Jesus. She did not, but offered them shelter for the night. The magi invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the little baby. -sniff- This story gets me every time I hear it.

In Germany, we meet Helga, who teaches us how to say Merry Christmas in German. She explains how many Christmas traditions such as the advent calender and Christmas trees began in Germany. She also tells us of her first nutcracker.

Norway has, in my opinion, one of the most entertaining gift givers, Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome.

But before we meet him, we meet Sigrid, who cannot see Julenissen, only we, the audience can at first.

While we learn of the traditions of Christmas in farm communities in Norway, Julenissen gets up to mischief, and plays tricks on poor Sigrid, with the help of the audience, until, in the end, he reveals himself to her.

Back to The American Adventure, where Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are represented, both of which we never did get to see this trip.

Here, you won’t hear a story from Santa, but instead, get to sit on his knee, and tell him what you’d like for Christmas. He is joined by Mrs. Claus.

Did we get our photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus? Of course!
In fact, Barbie made the dress she is wearing for just this occasion!

Regardless of how you celebrate, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Don’t miss a moment of Nick and Barbie’s Disney adventures!  Follow along at the Disney Musings Blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest. You can listen to Nick, our friend Dave and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about…well, you can probably guess.

Headed to Walt Disney World in 2016? The Disney Exchange Podcast will be having a meet-up in February during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! Details will be available on The Disney Exchange’s Facebook Page and also on Twitter. We’d love to see you there!!!