Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ink & Paint Does It Again! Hollywood and Dine Cel

I blogged about this on June 17, 2013, so that means this took six weeks. Just as Disney promised.

On Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Animation Gallery inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios,  the Disney Studios' Ink & Paint team released their Hollywood and Dine cel.  This piece features Minnie, Mickey and a hand painted Goofy as they celebrate the golden age of Hollywood at the iconic Hollywood Brown Derby located inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The first 750 framed cels ordered came with a special limited edition pin to commemorate the release of Hollywood and Dine, as well as a postcard signed by the Ink & Paint artist. Naturally, who had to have that? The cel edition size was 1,000, and the pin edition size was 750.

Now to show off a little bit. I have this piece hanging in my office at work, right next to the 2011 Ink & Paint release, Key to the Kingdom, commemorating Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary.

And yes, that is a record I made into a clock.

Here's a closeup of the Hollywood & Dine piece.

And here it is framed. I wish they had shown more of Simba's and Brer Fox's face, but at least they made the piece!

For some reason, they didn't attached the CoA to this piece, so I'll have to do that at some point. However, that meant I could scan it and offer it as evidence that I did indeed make this purchase. As if there would be any doubt!

A great big thank you to Disney Studios' Ink & Paint Artists, Theodora M. DeLaney, Erin Magill, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger, and Sharon K. Vincent for yet another wonderful piece and great subject matter!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boating on the St Croix

A friend and his wife offered to take me out on their boat today since they were trying out retirement for a week (AKA: staycation) Who am I to turn them down?

Let me start out by saying that the trip almost didn't happen. Leave it to the continued wacky weather we're having this short Minnesota summer for it to pick the same weekend we picked to go boating for it to be cold.

Fortunately, the weather quickly warmed up, not a heat wave as it should be this time of the year, but warm enough to enjoy the St Croix River.

Part of the fun I had was looking at all the names of boats. Of course this one struck my sci-fi geekness chord. This vessel boldly goes. (Apparently owned by a three-time divorcee)

The St Croix is a tributary of the Mighty Mississippi Rive, and it serves as a border between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Little islands dot the river, so it reminds me of a time where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn rafted down the Mississippi. People still camp out on these islands. In fact, here's a modern-day Tom, Huck and Becky. Well, kind of.

Of course you can't go boating without some liquid refreshments. Since it was an early day, it was perfect for Mimosas! (As well a few other drinks) But we had a laugh about the warning on top of the champagne bottle.

We also had a good laugh at the five-step warning/instructions on how to open the bottle.

All, in all, it was a fun day. Although I'm sure Thurston Howell III wouldn't approve of my wardrobe.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Afternoon Humor

Caribou Coffee locations (and the upper right hand corner of their website) typically have a trivia question of the day, and if you get it right, you get 10% off. I'm not as thrilled about getting 10 cents off my order as much as giving the correct answer to the question. And I should add the discount is only in store.

Anyway, some locations also put up another chalkboard for people to doodle or answer random questions. Today at the Lexington and Larpenteur location, the question was, 'What is your favorite National Park?'

Here are some of the answers. There was a customer, who was as sassy as I am, who left an answer in the bottom left hand corner that still has me laughing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good-Bye Pleasure Island! Making Way for Disney Springs

I just read this on Thrillgeek: demolition began at the former Pleasure Island to make way for the new Disney Springs.

Sure, Uncle Walt was all about change and said his Park(s) would never be finished. I look forward to the new, but oh, the memories of the old.

The first time I went to Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island was a Disney Store Cast Member trip back in 1994 with my good friend and former Disney Store Assistant Manager, Tom. Being a huge Jessica Rabbit fan, I think for me, one of the best things to see, and come back to see, was the big Pleasure Island sign.

 During the day, it was fun to just walk around the empty streets and poke around the few shops that were there.

At night, that's when the party began. In fact, every night at midnight, it was New Year's Eve. Those of you who know I can't stay up late, also know that I only saw this a few times.

I remember that for this Cast Member trip, they hosted drinks and snacks for us at the Neon Armadillo, a country music club that only lasted a few years. I think that was the first time I spoke with a person who would turn out to be one of my dearest and life-long friends, Mike.

Two other places that would hold fond memories for me are 8TRAX, a 70's-80's dance club, which still is the soundtrack of my life; and Mannequins Dance Palace, which was a multilevel techno dance club with a huge revolving dance floor like a turn table. Boy, all the trips I spent dancing there. I wish I could go back one night and boogie the night away.

One little bit of trivia is about the name of Pleasure Island. Most Disney fans will tell you that it's the name of the island where naughty boys who do bad things go in 'Pinocchio'. That is very true, but the name for this Pleasure Island was actually based on the fictitious legend of its owner, Merriweather Adam Pleasure. Not only did he inspire the name of this island, he, of course also inspired one of its most famous clubs. You guessed it: Adventurer's Club. 

This club was a 1930's British explorers-type club filled with improv actors and actresses. I wish I spent more time there than I did. Talk about entertainment value. It was so much fun! If you want to know if anyone still remembers that club, just walk around the Walt Disney World resort and yell out, "Kungaloosh!" See what happens.

Speaking of Kungaloosh, the drink was very popular. I have to admit I'm a fan of the original recipe, but I certainly had my share of the 'newer' one. The Disney site, Allears.net shows both recipes, and WikiHow shows how to make both recipes including pictures.

So while we have to wait until 2016 to see what Disney Springs has in store for us, it's time to say good-bye to an old friend. You will remain alive in our memories, our hearts, our tired eyes from staying up after midnight to see fireworks, and sore feet from all that dancing. But it was worth every precious second.

And since I'm going down memory lane, Mike actually posted a picture they took of our Cast Member trip. If you really can't find me in this picture, look for the Disney geek wearing a Lion King Shirt. Tom and Mike are in the middle row and in the middle. That's because they are stars in my book!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrating Milestones: Remembering the Magic

I heard a great public speaker last year at an event my financial advisor hosted. Paul Batz is an author, speaker, and executive coach, who also has a blog, which you can follow here.

In a post last week, entitled What Would 150 Years Look Like To You?, Paul makes the first inaccurate statement I've heard from him: he says that Happy Birthday to You is the most contagious tune in the Western world. Every Disney fan will affirm there is one song written by the Sherman Brothers that's a bigger earworm than what we sing before we get cake. I won't mention it, or we all will be singing it the rest of the day.  Too late.

Forgive me, Paul, for poking a little fun at you. Paul does ask a great question, as he does with every post, about what significant milestones are we celebrating. At first nothing major came to mind. You know, something that ends in zero or is a big deal. It wasn't until a few days later when I was reading Paul's next blog entry that the pieces came together for me.

On July 17, 2013, Disneyland turned 58. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that old, but later this year on October 16th, the Walt Disney Company turns 90; on November 18th, Mickey and Minnie are turning 85; and on December 5th, Uncle Walt would have celebrated his 112th birthday. Now we're getting somewhere.

So why all the fuss? On Disneyland's birthday, and thanks to social media, for some reason a great group of former Cast Members and friends became very nostalgic this year for some odd reason. We posted pictures of us back in the days when we worked at Disneyland, reminisced about funny stories and dear friends who have since departed us. 

What we discovered is that we didn't fully comprehend the memories we were making for not only Guests, but also for each other. The bonds of friendship have withstood the test of time and spanned years. We didn't fully appreciate what we had back then, but we all are looking back with gratitude and smiles in our hearts.

Working at Disneyland not only made great friendships, but for so many of us, it laid the foundation for our professional careers. The skills we learned at a theme park taught us how to be good and effective leaders. Even with strict rules, we learned how to think outside of the box. It empowered us.

Sure, turning 58 is an accomplishment, but it wasn't a milestone birthday. But one other thing we learned last week was you don't need a milestone birthday to celebrate. Do it while you can and cherish those memories.

I end with a rare treat. A blast to the past. I really should save this for Throwback Thursday, but it's already making its way around the Internet. A friend posted this of me, circa lat 1980's after Star Tours opens at Disneyland. May the Force Be With You!

Monday, July 22, 2013


So this is how the past 24 hours start.

Breakfast with bottomless Mimosa's at Granite City. Derek, the server, was so good to me, he kept the drinks flowing. Perhaps he was a little too good, because I lost track of how many I actually had.

For dinner it was Beeritas at a restaurant where I had bad service two times in a row, I'm not going to give them free publicity on my blog. But my friend, Dani, wanted to come here to try these drinks I should have stopped after one. 

This morning. Well, you know you're feeling rough and that it's going to be a long day when you can't remember how to spell 'Sulley' (that's only part of my password) and lock yourself out of your computer for 30 minutes. Yes, since then I've changed my password.

I should remember that Tequila is not my friend.

I think Edna Mode says it best for me today.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Queen That's Pure Evil

Snow White is my favorite Disney princess, but I think that the Evil Queen is probably one of favorite Disney villains too. Perhaps because both set the tone for all the Disney princesses and villains who would follow after them.

The Evil Queen also inspired non-Disney villains. Her regal beauty is shadowed by her hatred and jealously.

If you frequent any Disney Park, you know it's always the 'good' characters who get the limelight. That's why it's refreshing to see a pure villain getting some well-deserved face time.

Take a look at the link below that a friend sent to me. You'll view it from an adult's perspective, and think it's hilarious. But when you look at it from a child's point-of-view, it's, well, take a look for yourself.

Dedicated Disneyland Employee Owns Her Role as the Park's Evil Queen

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy 58th Birthday, Disneyland!

Any Disney geek will tell you what happened on July 17, 1955. It's a day that changed theme parks, attractions, and truthfully, the world. It's the day Disneyland opened. Sure that first day didn't start of as magical as Walt had hoped. You've all read the stories about no drinking fountains (he wisely opted for restrooms instead) and women's heels getting stuck in the asphalt on Main Street. But soon, all that would be forgotten.

Sure, many people these days think of Disneyland's sister Park in Florida, but to me, and to many others, Disneyland is and always will remain special because it was the original. Walt walked through the Park, a point that still hasn't be lost on me every time I did and do walk through the Park. Now we have so much more to celebrate at the Disneyland Resort, too.

I was going through some recent PhotoPass CDs for a fun picture to post on Facebook for my profile and cover to celebrate the day, and I decided to post a few more here.

Happy 58th, Disneyland!

As your bonus picture, here is a copy of what was sent out and signed by Walt inviting you to his new Kingdom. Can you imagine receiving this invitation?!?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's Not Your Type

Early this morning, I received a request to fill out some paperwork, but it had to typed on their form. Really? Fortunately, or perhaps a bit scary, we have a typewriter at work. My typing class skills from years ago had to be channeled, and it was kind of spooky how quickly they came back.

I think the saying shouldn't be about riding a bike, but rather about typing on a typewriter. I guess I'm lucky it was electric, although I learned how to type on a manual. Same with driving.

Now if only to find that box of Mimeograph paper since we're all out of carbon paper.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hallmark Premiere Weekend

This is the time of year that is always fun and a little disheartening. Mid-July isn't really the time of the year to start thinking of Christmas, and yet thanks to Hallmark, it's become just that.

The annual Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere is, at least for me, one thing I look forward to so that I can get my fix of 'must-have' ornaments. They've also started releasing a limited number of ornaments during Premiere Weekend. That means I join a few other Hallmark geeks collectors before the mall and the store opens to get our hands on the limited number ornments.

I've cut my Dream List way back over the years, since I have enough ornaments to set up at least five trees, but only have room for one tree.

Having said that, it didn't stop me from picking up ornaments. Only this year, and it probably is a first, I walked out with more Star Wars than Disney ornaments!

Thanks to the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, you can see why I had to get them all. 

Leia as Boushh was the limited release, only available this weekend while supplies lasted.

Here are the Disney ornaments I had to have. I've always love The Band Concert, so this one was a no-brainer.

Dusty from Planes is really cool. I like this one a lot.

Finally, Jaq and Gus were the limited release, only available this weekend while supplies lasted.

Sure, I may go back and pick up a few more ornaments, but these were the ones I really needed to have...for now. You see, Hallmark releases the rest in October, which means I'll be back to pick up the others that were on my Dream List!

Click this link to see the entire 2013 Hallmark Dream Book.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Red, White, and Blue

Well, my version of it tonight!

Happy Force of July!

It's baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, with a twist.

Happy Force of July, y'all!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Will You Celebrate?

I can tell by traffic and the dwindling numbers of bodies at work that it's almost time for America to celebrate its birthday. 

In light of recent events in the news, there is so much for which to be thankful. So as our country gets ready for baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, how will you celebrate and for what are you thankful?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fruity Ice Cubes

This idea is too good not to share. It's so easy and yet brilliant.  My friend, Anna, blogged about this over at Tastefully Simple, so please check it out.

And you don't even have to make these with the mix. I plan on just using the fruit ice cubes for my water bottle at work. I've been freezing fruit, but this is an equally fun way to flavor up your water!


Monday, July 1, 2013

The 'New' Tomorrowland

A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying Man's achievement. A step into the future, with predictions of constructed things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure and ideals. The Atomic Age, the challenge of Outer Space and the hope for a peaceful, unified world.
                                                          —Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955

It's amazing to me that less than 10 years after Disneyland opened, Walt and his Imagineers knew they had to rethink their vision of the future. Little did everyone know that there would be, as of now, four 'new' versions, not to mention the variations that would be created for the other Disney Theme Parks.

Today we celebrate the 46th anniversary of this second 'new' Tomorrowland. The News from WED below is an great blast-to-the-past of Disneyland history, showing costs of the investment that would be well worth every penny spent by the Company as well as the millions of Guests coming through the gates.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Tomorrowland, which is why I was thrilled that I was cast to work in that area of the Park.

Happy 46th 'new' Tomorrowland!