Monday, August 26, 2013

Disney Infinity Power Discs

First, I told you I'd drive you nuts with my latest obsession. Let me just put it out there.

I was speaking with a couple of friends, Matthew and Sharon, about the Disney Infinity Power Discs, and I didn't know where to keep my list of extras and the ones I still need, so I thought I'd just create a living post about it so I know where to find it and others can see what I have and need.

First, I found a site on Google+ called I Heart Disney Infinity, and they have a site where you can trade your extra Power Discs listed by country. I put mine out there and still have to hear back from anyone. First come, first served!

As of September 3, 2013

These Are My Extras:

Fix it Felix\'s Repair Power (1)
Cinderella's Coach (1)
Mickey\'s Car (1)
Sugar Rush Sky (2) (1)
Alice's Wonderland (1)
Tulgey Wood (6) (5)
Marlin\'s Reef (1)
Nemo\'s Seascape (1)

I Still Need These:

C.H.R.O.M.E\'s Armor Shield
Pieces of Eight
King Candy\'s Dessert Toppings
Rapunzel\'s Kingdom
Rapunzel\'s Birthday Sky
Rare Discs 1 - Buzz Lightyear\'s Astro Blaster Vehicle
Rare Discs 2 - Dumbo Flying Elephant Ride
Rare Disc 3 - Abu as an Elephant

Now some of you know that there are ten exclusive Power Discs available only through Toys R Us.  The site below says EB Games carries them as well, but I don't think so in the US. I keep checking. I think that is only for international markets. 

I Still Need These:

Tron Animated Power Circle
Tron Animated Power Hexagon
Stitch Surfing Power Hexagon
Merlin's Magic Power Hexagon
Zurg Power Circle
Peter Pan + Jolly Roger Power Hexagon
Tron Animated Power Hexagon 2
Mike's Car Power Hexagon - Add Mikes Car to Toy Box 
Mc Millan Target Power Circle
Scrooge McDuck and Lucky Dime Power Circle 

To get a better look at them and read more about these exclusive discs, you can check out the unofficial Disney site at

Keep in mind that these are just Series 1 discs! More are on their way. In fact, if you go to the last link I posted, you'll see pictures of Frankenweenie, Jack Skellington and Disney Tram power discs.

I'll be updating this post frequently. If you are looking for any power discs to trade, please feel free to contact me.

 *Best Tip of the Year!

I just read this in an article by Sebastian Haley.

Find out what discs are inside the random packages

It’s not bad enough that the in-game unlocks are random, but the $5-a-pop Power Disc Packs sold in stores are also randomized. You won’t know what you get until you open them, and even then many players are reporting a substantial number of doubles (ie., getting what you already had instead of what you actually wanted).

There’s a way around this, but only if you can access the game before leaving the store (such as a demo kiosk). The Disney Infinity base can read discs even while they’re in the package! So lay the pack down on the base on one side to reveal the identity of the first disc, and then flip it over to reveal the second. (Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?!?)

[Note: I tried this today at Target and it didn't work. I'm going to try a few other places. They may have figured this out and make the packaging different so you can't cheat. You can still scratch the discs to see if you can feel grooves, and know you have a holographic disc.]

Oh, another helpful thing I picked up was the Disney Infinity Prima Guide. I found mine at Toys R Us, but you can order it online, too.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Disney Infinity: I'm Hooked

Today, after a week of waiting for my game, buying figures, moving TVs, setting up and gearing up to actually play Disney Infinity, it finally happened. I got to play. What one word can I use to sum up my experience? To use a typical Disney word: 'Magical'.

After scouring the Twin Cities for the best deals, including a $50 Target gift card I won at a networking event this week, I have the entire Series 1 set, including the exclusive crystal Lightning McQueen from Toys R Us.

If you read my earlier post, and I wasn't kidding, I haven't gamed since the 1980's. Lots of things have changed.

For example, a joystick is now a controller, and it actually vibrates with effects in the game! (Some of you are rolling your eyes, but some of us didn't have that feature with our gaming system.)

It took me some time to just get through the intro, but that really was a fun part that had me laughing out loud. It reminded me of Animator's Palette on the Disney Cruise Line, where the story unfolds.

Disney really put some thought into the storyline, for which they are known of course. But they used it to show you what worlds you can play and what to expect, as well as to teach you how to play the game.

After playing for hours (It felt so good to do something like that. I haven't done that in years!), I've only played Mr. Incredible and am learning that each character you play has their own set of games. In fact, there's a vault in the Incredible world to which you must bring each character in order for it to unlock.

As Mr. Incredible was solving his missions, you passed 'videos' of other characters and things only other characters can unlock. I've learned how to use the controller, but I've also learned I can't drive Mr. Incredible's car.

I knew I'd get hooked, and I'm sure many of my friends thought I would as well. This is going to entertain me for years to come.

Now I need to trade some of my extra Power Discs to get the ones I'm missing. Have some extras you want to trade?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Band of Sisters

You know what they say about any group of people that work or serve together in the 'trenches', both figurative and literal. You create a special bond. You look out for each other. You have lifelong friends.

On August 1, 2013, I posted about meeting up with one of my former training groups from American Express Financial Advisors. Tonight at Smack Shack, I met up with some friends from the other point of view: the trainers and performance managers.

Emily, Courtney and I try to meet up every so often, but it's never often enough. When we weren't in our classrooms, we were out at lunch, happy hour or parties. Nothing too wild, mind you. But you lose something when you don't see your friends on a daily basis. Time passes, and it's great to reconnect, but you also realize you shouldn't take your friendships for granted because we aren't guaranteed anything in life.

That's why I treasure these two friends. We can pick up where we left off from the last time we saw each other as if no time had passed. And yet while our memory is started to play tricks on us with some names and facts, we had plenty of laughs remembering some of our coworkers as well as the colorful cast of characters for whom we were responsible. Well, at least shaping their professional careers.

We've been there for each other during good times and bad times, which is why that bond of friendship is so strong and will continue to be there. I learned so much from these two wonderful, intelligent, and strong women. And I'm most certainly proud to call them my sisters.

Jakub, our server who took our pictures for us, told us to strike a pose, and of course we were willing to oblige. 

To read my review of Smack Shack, click here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's This? The Pumpkin King Arrives!

It shouldn't be a surprise about this piece, but now we have a date. You can pre-order Disney Infinity's Jack Skellington exclusively at Gamestop for most of October.

Disney announced the next wave of playable characters for the Disney Infinity Toy Box mode, including Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey, and characters from Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and Phineas and Ferb. These new character figures will be rolled out beginning this October, through 2014. Each character will also come with their own "Adventure." Each Adventure is unique to that character and allows them to play a short game. Players can invite friends to play through Adventures with them, with two players on split-screen or four players online.

But for now, we know we get to start with the Pumpkin King!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Disney Infinity (And Beyond!)

The Disney Marketing machine knows how to job and do it well. They know how to strike the Obsessive-Compulsive chord in me, as well as thousands of others. They always know I need something before I do.

Today was the release of the video game, Disney Infinity. I've been waiting a long time for this game, and I'm not even a gamer. The last time I played games, I had an Atari. Some of you may remember this, while others want to know what kind of antique is this. Oh the fond memories.

But in keeping with the times, I did my research and knew I was going to buy a PlayStation 3. (Thanks to everyone who helped me decide, especially my friend, Jon, who is a game developer and steered me away from the WiiU I was considering.) Funny thing is, I pre-ordered the game before having the system. Typical me. Buy socks and build the wardrobe around it.

Heading over to Best Buy to keep a Minnesota-based company in business and keeping my friends employed, I had outstanding service from a sales person named Ramsey. That's a review in and of itself, so if you're interested, head over to Yelp to read my review.

But I digress. I went in to buy the PS3. Seeing a few different models on the shelf, Ramsey helped me decide on which PS3 was best for me and if there were any other accessories I needed in order to play Disney Infinity. For a few bucks more, I opted for the one with more GB.

My Disney Infinity game hasn't arrived in the mail yet, because if you pre-ordered, you received the starter game set, another free game figure, and Power Disc Pack. With all those freebies, I can wait. Besides, thanks to Ramsey, I bought a new TV for the living room and moved the current TV into the Disney Playroom so I'd have a bigger screen on which to play Disney Infinity.

Setting up two TVs and a new game console went a lot more smoothly and quickly than I imagined. I even had time to throw in a load of sheets and towels to wash, dry and fold. I was proud of myself for being so productive without a nap and staying off Facebook most of the day!

Anyone who knows of me and my Mr. Toad type of mania finding holy grails and limited edition pieces won't be surprised that I went all over the Twin Cities to pick up game figures. So let me share some of those as well as some deals.

First, I had to go to Toys R Us because they are carrying an exclusive Crystal Disney Infinity range of figures. The first to debut is Lightning McQueen. Not only that, you can also pick up exclusive Series 1 Disney Infinity Power Discs.

I also picked up the Disney Infinity Prima Guide to help you play Disney Infinity, because I've lost my edge playing video games (Whatever happened to plain ol' Frogger?), as well as an exclusive Disney Infinity Power Disc Album to store all this exclusive stuff I'm buying. Both are pictured below. Currently if you go to Toys R Us (store or online), you can buy one and get one half off. Stock up now!

After hitting Toys R Us is when I actually went to Best Buy. You already heard that story. From Best Buy, I had to pick up a few things at Target. Just on a whim, I decided to see if they had anything. Sure enough, they carried it all. Currently the Lone Ranger and Cars Play Set packs are half off, so I couldn't turn down that deal! That's two for the price of one!

I sure hope that the game arrives tomorrow so I can start putting all this stuff to use. More reviews of Disney Infinity to come, I'm sure. If you learn of tips while you play, please share!

Friday, August 16, 2013


Are you surprised?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Today I received an the Weekly Yelp email blast, entitled Yelp's Sushi Smackdown, and I noticed that Obento-Ya is only six miles from where I work. I mentioned to my friend and coworker, Jack, who is always up for Sushi. So we decided to give it a try.

At first we didn't see many people in the restaurant, but our worries were quelled when we found out they have a patio out back. Since Jack had already had a fair amount of sun from his golfing excursion yesterday, we opted to sit inside. (That last bit has nothing to do with the review of the restaurant, and you'll never get those 15 seconds back in your life.)

Our server was Jesse, and we told him we were here because of the Yelp email. Apparently they didn't know about getting highlighted (yet), but Jesse was very helpful explaining the menu to us.

Let me tell you, there are so many options on this menu, there's even something for people who don't typically like Sushi.  We both ordered the Fish Bento, which was Salmon, and ordered a side of Spicy Hamchi/Yellowtail.

There was enough food, because it also included Miso Soup, but it was just the right amount. We didn't leave hungry (for once), nor were we completely stuffed and useless going back to work.

We found out this building had trouble keeping business going, having frequent turn-over, but Obento-Ya has been at this establishment/location for about six years. I hope it continues to do well, because it's a great neighborhood gem.

Jack and I were glad it made Yelp's email today!We'll be back!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Right On Time

Proud. That's how I'd sum up this post. I'm proud of two of my Disneyland friends.

First, a little back story. The Ink & Paint Cel program, which is very popular and that I love at the Walt Disney World Resort, has finally made its way to the Disneyland Resort. The first work being released by the 'West Side' is so appropriate, Uncle Walt would be very proud, too.

Entitled, Right on Time, the Main Street Train Station sets the stage for a hand-painted Conductor Mickey with Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Goofy as part of the background.

I'll get back to the piece in a bit. The information came out, and because this was the first release for Disneyland, the program still has a few bumps to work out. Take a look at entries #6 and #8 on The Disney Parks Blog and you'll see a familiar name.

I made a comment that they deleted, because I mentioned one artist by name, and that is my friend Todd. They want to give all the artist equal recognition, and I get that. So I can call out Todd here. Todd, great job and thank you so much for contribution to this wonderful piece!

Above is a close-up of the postcard autographed by the artists, Eric Scales, Dave Smith, Charles Landholm, and Todd Wiesenhutter.

So, given that I have several of the these cels from Walt Disney World, I had to have the very first cel from Disneyland. If you did go to The Disney Parks Blog, you'll see I was disappointed that this program couldn't offer the same options as the one in Florida. I actually received a phone call and had a long discussion with a Cast Member about how they are sorry the two programs aren't the same, and yet they should be. But that's when my other friend, Pat, came to my rescue.

Pat was one of the first people who befriended me and took me under her wing when I started working at Disneyland. She has been a true friend of my family for many years. With one message, Pat worked her magic and well, look at the wall in my office.

(That empty spot with Mickey's head is where a pin should go, but they don't offer that yet at Disneyland. Hopefully they will in the future!)

This is why I'm proud. Of course it's a little bit about the piece. But what it's really about is now every time when I look at Right On Time, I think about Todd and Pat, as well as the fun times we had working in Tomorrowland many years ago. After all, isn't that what it's really about?
(I say yes!)

Support these artists and the program, so we can see more works in the future. To read more about the new Ink & Paint program and Right On Time, click here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Yelp Review of the Day

All that eating out and commenting about it finally paid off. I was honored with Review of the Day today on Yelp! 

Here's a link to the full review:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lucky 13

Just like my time with Disney, working at American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA) allowed me to meet so many great people.

As a corporate trainer and performance manager, I had to balance having fun in the classroom with being the role-model and first leader these new cadets had at the Company. Originally the training sequence was almost three months long. (Yikes!) Eventually, it was refined and scaled back to about six weeks.

I saw many people come and go. Having the ones not being able to pass the Series 6 Exam after two attempts and being let go was tough. But I always gave the same message to each one of my trainees: I failed the Series 6 on my first attempt, and was able to pass on the second try. If I could do it, so can you.

Sure, I was responsible for giving all these people new knowledge about mutual funds and certificates, but in return they gave back something to me. They gave their best to fit into the corporate structure and became, what I call, great brand ambassadors for the Company.

The Company's name has changed from AEFA to Amerprise, and while I have moved on, some of my former trainees have remained loyal to the Company.  One such class still gets together every year to celebrate their anniversary with the Company.  And they are nice enough to invite me back to help them celebrate.

13 years ago, I was the performance manager and trainer for these fine group of people. Today I consider them my friends. Happy 13th Anniversary, Leslie, Eric, Kevin, Micah, and Melissa. You still do me proud!