Sunday, September 3, 2017

But For The Grace Of God

"But for the grace of God".    An expression that pertains when something bad almost happens to a person.   I know, some people might say "I was lucky".   But I think that lucky refers to something good, like winning the Lottery.   I had my "But for the grace of God" experience on Thursday while at Disney World.    I was heading to the screening metal detectors at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.
I knew that I would have to take everything metallic out of my pockets and put them in the little white plastic container.   So I started taking them out and holding them in my hand as I approached the metal detector.   I had a celfone and wire frame glasses in my shirt pocket.   I also had my Annual Pass in my shirt pocket.
Yep, you guessed it.   The Annual Pass came out of my shirt pocket and fell to the ground.     That was bad enough but to make matters worse, I wasn't aware of what had happened and went merrily walking along.   When I went through the metal detector the security guard told me about dropping my Annual Pass and one of the security guards brought it to me.   I was shocked to say the least because the Annual Passes don't come cheap.   They have something at Disney called wrist bands.
They come in a variety of colors.
They contain a chip that the identification detectors can sense.    The chip contains all the identity information like the chip in the Annual Pass card.
I decided that NOW was the time to get a wrist band of my own so that I wouldn't have to use the card for security identification purposes.   Plus, you can use them for FastPass entry to rides and attractions.   So my first stop was City Hall where Guest Services is located.   This is where all of your questions can be answered.
But they were busy.   They are always busy.   There always seems to be a line.   I was in a pinch for time because I had a FastPass reservation for the Haunted Mansion.
I decided to try the Chamber of Commerce next door.
No lines and no people at all and two cast members in the lobby.   I just wanted to know where I could get a magic wrist band at.   Just a simple question which I hoped that they would be able to answer even though this was really not the right place for that.   By the way, the Chamber of Commerce is where you can have your packages of purchases in gift shops sent to so they can be picked up later.
It is really a nice convenience so that you don't have to lug purchases from the various gift shops around all day.   The gift shops will transport your purchases to the Chamber of Commerce for you to pick up later.   The Chamber of Commerce is close to the entrance as well as the exit of Magic Kingdom.   The cast members in the lobby not only told me that I could get a wrist band at the nearest gift shop which they pointed to but one of them actually went and got the wrist band for me and programmed it with their laptop computer to identify me.   I didn't have to do a thing.   I thought that they were really great by going over and above in helping me.    What did the wrist band cost me?   It was free.   Even better the cast member got me a blue wrist band which is my favorite color.   This is the wrist band on my hand.
Off to the Haunted Mansion I flew to meet my reservation time.   I made it and I got to use my new wrist band for the FastPass and it worked just fine.   The cast members had also given me two free FastPasses that I could use for any ride and so I went on the Jungle River Cruise ride and used my wrist band again for the FastPass scanner.
Now this was really great because the last time that I went on the Jungle River Cruise I had a 45 minute wait.   But not this time, thanks to FastPass.
So what did you do on Thursday?   See ghosts at the Haunted Mansion?   Take a boat ride through the jungles of Africa?   Disney World is always an adventure and the cast members are always so pleasant.   Have a great day wherever you may be.   Lew
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sleepy Hollow

This is a picture of the Sleepy Hollow kiosk.   I actually think that it is a bit large for a kiosk and is more like a walk-up restaurant.   From the tables there is a fabulous view of Cinderella Castle.   Today I had lunch there and got a:

Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich

served with Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
Here is a picture of it from the Disney Food Blog which is a great source for "eats" at both Disneyland and Disney World.
The waffle had a really nice flavor.   Much better than most waffles.   The fruits were strawberries, bananas, and blueberries.   But did mine look like this one when I got it?    Yes it did.   But unfortunately I started eating it before I remembered to take a picture of it.   I had already ravaged the waffle sandwich pretty good.   But it really did look just like the one above before I attacked it with gusto.
There was a chocolate-hazelnut sauce spread over the waffle (delicious).   Nutella?   The next time that you visit Magic Kingdom be sure to try one of these treats.
Surely you must be getting hungry right about new.
 
Just think, this could be you about to devour one of these treats with  a wonderful view of Cinderella Castle from your table.   Folks, it just
   doesn't get much better than this.    Hope that you can manage to get to
Disney World to try one.   As they say at Disney, "Have a magical day".   Lew
 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Street Performers

Street performers.      At Hollywood Studios in  Disney World they have lots of street performers.     They do a terrific job and are very entertaining, and the people gather to watch them.   Last week when I visited Hollywood Studios I stopped and watched these two street performers.  
The guy on the box was running for Mayor of Hollywood and was giving a speech.   Can you read "Mayor of Hollywood" on the box?   Plus he also had a handful of money in his left hand.   He had passed out some of the money to about 4 or 5 people that were watching.    Then he didn't hand out any more money.   He had a lot of money.   You can see the thick stack of bills that he had.  
Some people in the audience made humorous comments to him and he just made impromptu humorous replies.   It was really great to watch.   I finally decided to speak up.   I asked him in a loud voice if he wanted me to vote for him.   He said that he did.    I told him that he would have to give me some money if he wanted my vote.   He handed me a $50 bill and I reassured him that I would vote for him.    I took a few steps away and looked at my $50 bill and this is what I saw.   I had a good laugh.   But here is the real "kicker".    As soon I was handed the money just about everyone in the large group of people watching immediately started asking for money.   And the guy on the soapbox was busy passing out  money to all of those people who were clamoring for "a piece of the pie" as they say.   I guess that I was the one who broke the ice on asking for the money.
    I wasn't expecting real money but I was hoping that it would have something about Disney on it.   But it doesn't really matter.   I will add this bill to my collection of Disney items.    It will always bring back a wonderful memory of my visit that day and these two great entertainers.

The temperature hasn't gotten beastly hot yet and the humidity isn't sweltering.   Each time I visit Disney it seems like I always have fun and these street performers are always so entertaining.   Have a happy day.   Lew

Friday, May 5, 2017

Star Wars Imperial Walkers


I went to Hollywood studios on Wednesday and had lunch at a restaurant called The Backlot Express.  
It is the least expensive sit-down air-conditioned restaurant that I have found in Hollywood Studios.   After having done a lot of walking and standing in lines in the Florida heat it just feels so good to sit down in an air conditioned place to rest and get cool.  
I had the Angus Bacon cheeseburger with french fries.   The condiment on the right is ketchup which is for the french fries.   The darker condiment on the left is barbecue sauce which went on the burger which then made it a barbecue Angus bacon cheeseburger.   I have an annual pass so I got a 20% discount on my meal which is a pretty good deal.   I know in the picture it doesn't look like a lot of food but it really is.    You won 't leave the table hungry.
The Backlot Express restaurant is located between the Indiana Jones stunt show and The Star Tours attraction.
After eating I left and headed to the Star Tours ride and gift shop.   And then I saw it through the trees.   It looked like an Imperial Walker.   I snapped a quick picture of it.
Yes, it was definitely an Imperial Walker.
They have a stage in front of the Star Tours where they let young children interact with Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters.    I think that they call it a Jedi training academy.   It must be awfully hot inside that dark colored Vader costume.   The Florida sun, heat, and humidity are a terrible combination.   Hopefully they have a cooling room for the individual.
I had a really fun day and enjoyed myself.   There is just something magical about Disney.   As they say, "The happiest place on earth".   So true.    Here is a picture that I got off the internet showing an Imperial Walker in the parking lot.
If you have ever visited a Disney Park then you know about the long single line of cars following the directions of the parking lot attendants.   It is actually a very efficient that they have and they are able to park a lot of cars really quick.   Hope you enjoyed the blog.   Hope even more that you get to experience Disney for yourself in the near future.   Have a nice day and keep an eye out for those Imperial Walkers.   LOL.    Lew

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Suspension Bridges


The other day I was remembering a suspension bridge that I use to go on in San Diego.   One day I had the whole family with me which is unusual since they are scattered around the country.   My mom lived in Phoenix and my brother lived in Lakeland.   Going from left to right is my daughter, my brother, me, my late wife, and my mother.
Out of curiosity I did a search on the internet for the suspension bridge to see if it was still there and what condition it was in.   I believe it is called the Spruce Street bridge.  This was a real suspension bridge that swayed and undulated up and down  when I walked across it.   But it wasn't one of those rope bridges with broken rotten wooden planks to walk on.   Not like the one in the picture below
It was a modern one.   Although I did have a small amount of apprehension about the wooden planks.
The bridge was pretty high as it passes over a canyon below.
So exactly where is it located?    Well one hint is that it is on spruce street in San Diego.   If you come in on the east side you will be right at one end of the bridge where the picture was taken with my family.
If you look right in the center of the photo below you can actually see the suspension bridge.    Isn't Google great?    I use it all the time.
I also stumbled across a terrific site with lots of pictures of the suspension bridge and canyon that it goes over.


Years ago Mary and I were at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Mary was a good sport to go out on this primitive-style suspension bridge so that I could get a picture.
This isn't the only suspension bridge that they have at Animal Kingdom.   This one really looks even more primitive.

Take a close look at the planks in the bridge.   Do you see a broken one?   Scary. 
So you think this is just a decoration and not really used?   Gong!   Wrong, it really is used for the Wild Africa Trek that people can go on.   Oh yes, alligators and crocodiles.
I think that anybody who crosses this rope-style bridge should get a certificate of bravery.

If you should go on this please don't trip and fall sideways over the side between the wires.
But wait, there's more.   The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful Disney resort hotel with an Africa theme to it located right next to Animal Kingdom.   And they have an actual suspension bridge inside the hotel.   Incredible.   I haven't seen this bridge in the Animal Kingdom Lodge but perhaps on one of my future trips to Animal Kingdom I will go to the Lodge to see it.
Well, I guess that you have heard enough about suspension bridges.   You can see them in San Diego or Walt Disney World near Orlando.   Have a great day.   Lew

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Duisney Springs Music Stage

Disney Springs and the Pink Flamingo
I went to Disney Springs earlier this week.   While there I went to the musical stage to watch some bands play.   I listened to two bands play.   They were both High School bands and they were very good.   The first band was from Wisconsin.
I couldn't help but wonder if that in addition to being a concert band if they might also be a marching band because the music was so loud, which is great.    It sounded like whoever the fellow was beating the kettle drum and bass drum was beating the heck out of them.   Whoever he was he got a really good workout. 
But some of the loudness may have also been due to the microphones scattered throughout the band and the large speakers facing the audience.   And notice the blue lights on the ceiling.   I have no idea what they were for.  
 
And periodically they would change color.   Now they are red.   For what purpose?   It was such a bright sunny day.
And then a medley of colors.   Anyone with any theatrical experience know why they would do this?   Just curious.
I took a look around at the people listening to the concert.   There weren't more people because the sun was terrible on an already hot day.
And then I saw it.   I couldn't believe it.   Can you see it?   I know, how could anyone miss it.
Let's get a closer look at this.    Don't ask me because I don't know why he is wearing a flamingo hat.   I have never seen these flamingo hats at Disney but I suspect that they must be for sale somewhere.    But the important thing is that he is having fun.   And if he is happy wearing the flamingo hat then "what the heck" why not.  
A girl started to conduct  the band.   Maybe she was a student conductor.   I don't really know.    But right in the middle of her conducting, the volcano of the Rainforest Cafe started to erupt with flames, smoke, and noise.
 
I left the music area for a while and when I returned there was another high school band playing also.   This band was from Massachusetts.  
They finished their concert with a medley of John Philip Sousa patriotic marches.    Arthur Fiedler would have been proud of their performance.   It was like listening to the Boston Pops on the Fourth of July.    Now, I have never been to a performance of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops but I have listened to them many times on CD.    And this high school band sounded just like the Boston Pops.   The people gave a standing ovation with a long period of applause.    Yeah, I was standing and applauding also.    In fact everyone stood and applauded.   I looked around and didn't see anyone sitting.   It was a really grand finale.    I spoke to the conductor that ending the concert with some Sousa marches really got the people enthused.   He smiled and agreed with me.   So the music was over and it was time to go home.
I have heard it said that Disney is the "happiest place on earth".   I agree, it is.   Lew