Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WYWHW: Monorail at Walt Disney World Postcard

Wish You Were Here Wednesday: Monorail!

One of the most unique forms of transportation, "The Monorail" transports you to the Magic Kingdom Park to Epcot with stops at some of the famous Disney Resort hotels in between.
This postcard has a rather odd juxtaposition of the monorail, Tomorrowland and Cinderella Castle. I'm assuming the vantage point is between the Magic Kingdom bus stop and the Contemporary Resort.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DVD Review: Unidentified Flying Oddball

We received a copy of the Unidentified Flying Oddball from the Disney Movie Rewards Club for redeeming points from Blu-rays. I'd never seen it before and it's been on our shelves for more than a year. After a violent storm, we lost internet, so I pulled this one out to watch while we waited for internet to start working.

The film was released in 1979 and was originally entitled A Spaceman and King Arthur. It's a take on Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court which was published in 1889. I've not read Twain's novel but I'm familiar with the story and I had a few expectations.

The story centers on Tom Trimble and his work with NASA. A space shuttle called Stardust that can travel faster than any ship before has been developed by NASA. Instead of sending a person into outer space on a journey that could take 30 years, they decide to create an android duplicate. Tom Trimble, the lead scientist (I think), creates an android duplicate of himself. Trouble ensues during launch sending the android and Trimble to England in the 600s.

Unidentified Flying Object is a fish-out-of-water story in which any amount of sophistication on the part of any of the characters would have resulted in a different film all together. There is some charm, but the characters seem so out-of-touch that I spent half of my time dismayed at the choices they made. Trimble is an awkward leading man and an even more awkward scientist. He tends to take each situation without regard to his life. He spends time telling King Arthur and Sir Gawain the history of the world until the 1970s, which would prove nothing to anyone.

Merlin was played rather nefariously, which is interesting since it's out of character for what we always perceive as the court wizard. Sir Mordred, played by the amazing Jim Dale, is the best part of the whole film. He's campy, over-the-top and laughably evil (and I mean that in a good way). His character is a splinter of Doc Terminus from the wonderful Pete's Dragon. To me, he's the only actor in the film that really stepped up and gave his best performance.

Overall, the movie seemed to miss on quite a few levels; I just couldn't get past the obvious lack of a thought process by the characters. As I mentioned earlier, there was some charm, but not enough to give the movie the heart that it needed. It felt like it was another film that Disney put out because they were too afraid to break with the films of Walt Disney or the stereotype of a Disney live-action film.

My ten year-old had no interest in the film, but he did stop to watch some of the action scenes, including the android jousting and Trimble being burned at the stake. If you're looking for a decent family film without any presuppositions, then it's a good choice. There's not too much that's overtly offensive, except a very ditzy blonde with a gander.

Did they have ditzy blondes in England during the 600s?

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Disney Library: Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook by Kimberly Button

The Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook by Kimberly Button was released in 2006 and was one of the first titles to address the issue of waiting in the queue. The book offers a short description of the attraction and the estimated time of the ride. The majority of the book is dedicated to trivia questions and scavenger hunts to use during the queue.

My only gripe about the book is that she uses the word queue and line together. Seeing as how the book is almost ten years old, there's no reason to purchase a copy since it hasn't been updated. Unless you're a completist, like me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

That's Not at Disneyland by Dominick Cancilla as ruined by Horatio Q Liar

That's Not at Disneyland by Dominick Cancilla (as ruined by Horatio Q. Liar)

We just got our review copies and I'm really excited about diving into this book. Basically, Horatio Liar took Dominic's scrapbook of his various trips from Disneyland and messed them up a bit.

We reviewed Horatio's book 396 Pure, Unadulterated, Dyed-in-the-Wool, 100% Made-up, Completely Fake Disneyland "Facts" during our Season One Finale of Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Carowinds New Giga Coaster Fury 325!

Carowinds has been teasing us for a few weeks about a big announcement that was supposed to transform the park. At their media event, they released the details on the new giga coaster set to debut Spring 2015.

Fury 325

  • 325-foot hill
  • 81 degree first loop
  • Speeds up to 95 miles per hour
  • 6,602 feet of track
  • three and a half-minute ride time
Fury 325 is designed and manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard (B&M) of Monthey, Switzerland, a recognized industry leader in roller coaster development and the same firm that brought Vortex to Carowinds in 1992, Afterburn in 1999, and The Intimidator™ in 2010.
This will be the world's fastest and tallest giga coaster and should help breathe a lot of life into Carowinds and make it more of an international draw for coaster enthusiasts.

Another part of the press release discussed revamping the entrance plaza, which will include walking through the Fury 325 track. The new 8.2 acre main entrance complex that includes a "state–of–the–art ticketing and season pass processing area and expanded guest service facilities."
Fury 325 is part of a planned $50 million dollar multiyear investment to bring new life to founder Pat Hall’s original vision for Carowinds. The park will be revamped from top to bottom to celebrate Carolina culture including new rides and attractions, signature Carolina food offerings and entertainment.
Honestly, this section of the press release excited me the most! This is a true opportunity for Cedar Fair to make Carowinds stand out and not just be a regional coaster park. It's a great step to becoming a true theme park, like Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm.

Check out the flyover of the new entrance, the park and the Fury 325!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WYWHW: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Postcard

Wish You Were Here Wednesday: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Postcard

"Hang on to your hats and glasses 'cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness." Travel on this rollicking mine train through an Old West mining town for a rip-roarin', thrill-a-minute ride.
This is an interesting postcard image because of it's non-traditional shot of the attraction vehicle. Maybe it's that the train is going down a small hill instead of the more traditional lift hill shot.

What do you think about this postcard for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Press Release: Vinylmation Pixar Villains Series 5 Descend on Disney Store!

I've never been a big collector of the Disney Vinylmation characters, but there are quite a few that I've not been able to resist (usually ones related to my favorite theme park attractions). Disney has just released Villains Series 5 that contains eight villains from Disney Pixar films, including a mystery figure.
Each blind-boxed package contains one of eight different designs in this series. You won't know which one you've got until you open the box!
Figures in this series include: Syndrome - The Incredibles (Artist: Enrique Pita), Mordu - Brave (Enrique Pita), Thumper - A Bug's Life (Marvin Lao), Charles Muntz - Up (Gerald Mendez), Darla - Finding Nemo (Gerald Mendez), Waternoose - Monsters, Inc. (Marvin Lao), Dean Hardscrabble -Monsters University - with neck extension (Enrique Pita), plus Mystery Figure.

Do you collect the Vinylmation figures? Which one is your favorite of the Disney Villains Series 5?

My Disney Library: Disney Creative Arts

This is an interesting book that's related to a program for 10-15 year-olds that Walt Disney World Seminar Productions featured in the late 1970s and early 1980s called the Wonders of Walt Disney World. It was sort of like a day program that kids could participate in that took up several full days. Basically, the kids looked at how art was featured in Walt Disney World.

Disney Creative Arts is a large book that takes you through the creative process--at Disney and throughout the art world--in order to show you how art is everywhere and how you can create art. It was published in 1979 with a reprint in 1984. It's 104 pages.

It's a neat book but the real reason to own it is because there are some pretty cool photos of Walt Disney World that I haven't seen in other places.

Did you ever get to experience the Wonders of Walt Disney World?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Disney Dining on the World Famous Jungle Cruise

Not that dining on the World Famous Jungle Cruise is a reality, yet, but there are some fanciful nods to food among the other jokes, tributes and hilarities.

As your skipper will often inform you that it could be a three-week cruise, are you wondering about the possible dining options? Of course, there's no need to tap your MagicBand for a dining credit at this attraction.

Yet, anyway.

As you navigate the queue, pay attention to the signs, reference and crates which help tell the story of the Jungle Cruise and its crew. Right before load, you will find a sign detailing the Lunch Menu for the crew of the Jungle Cruise.  

Monday—Fricasse of Giant Stag Beetle (tastes like chicken)
Tuesday—Barbecued Three-Toed Skink (has a chicken flavor)
Wednesday—Consomme of River Basin Slug (poultry like)
Thursday—Fillet of Rock Python (chicken-esque)

On second thought, maybe the Jungle Cruise isn't the best place to grab a bite to eat during lunch.

Anybody up for chicken?

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Disney Library: Designing Disney's Theme Parks by Karal Ann Marling

Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance edited by Karal Ann Marling was released in 1998 and is comprised of seven long-form essays about Disney parks. It's a great read and offers a lot of insight into Disney theme parks and their design.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Muppets Bonus Clips!

Celebrating the release of Muppets Most Wanted on blu-ray, Disney has released the following film clips!

Tina Fey Bloopers

Ricky Gervais Bloopers

I really enjoyed Muppets Most Wanted a lot more than I thought I would. If you're a Muppets fan, then you definitely need to add this blu-ray to your collection.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Massive Disney Blu-ray Release Song Clips!

With the five blu-ray releases this week, Disney is offering a few film clips of some of the songs.

Which one is your favorite?

Tarzan: Strangers Like Me

Tarzan: Son of Man

Hercules: Training

Bedknobs And Broomsticks: Substitutiary Locomotion

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: Merrily On Our Way

Don't forget that The Reluctant Dragon is part of the Ichabod and Mr. Toad blu-ray release. It's an incredible look at the Disney Studios in 1941 and worth the price of the blu-ray. alone!