Friday, August 22, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Hidden Mickeys

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it all started with a mouse."
--Walt Disney

The geometric shorthand for Mickey Mouse--a large circle representing the head and two smaller ones for the ears--may be found throughout the Disney theme parks. During our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World, a hand towel and two wash cloths appeared in a familiar arrangement each day on the bed. The same arrangement had greeted us at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort a few years earlier and may be present in most or possibly all of the resort hotels.

Hidden Mickeys are worked into the design of the shower curtains in the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The carpeting appears to have an African tribal design.

On closer inspection, the pattern to each of the four colored sections includes some hidden Mickeys.

The above carpet design alternates with a diagonal geometric pattern:

On closer inspection, a trio of hidden Mickeys are readily visible in each rectangle.

Note:  Aw, shucks! More Disney World posts are available at no extra charge.

Gaudeamus Igitur! As the new academic year begins, here's everything you need to know about the world's most famous student song.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Last week we stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World. Here are a few photos from the hotel.

The lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Antelope Couple
Beaded Bird Headdress, Bamileke People, Cameroon and Equestrian Figure, Ewe People, Togo
We stayed in Jambo House. This is our balcony view. The Kidani Village is visible across the way.

Reticulated giraffes



Note:  See more from Walt Disney World.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Donald Duck Merchandise

Here's a small sampling of merchandise featuring Donald Duck. These items were seen last week at Walt Disney World. Donald's irascible personality always makes him a best seller.

"This is my happy face" baseball cap

"I don't tweet, I quack!!!"
The same idea on a trading pin:
"I don't tweet, I quack!!!"
Disney trading pin

Bad Donald and Good Donald

"Donald's Better Self" (1938)
Walt Disney Productions

Note:  Unlike Donald Duck, I do tweet. You can follow @doc_nad on Twitter.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oh, Snap!

Here is just one of the many Disney trading pins sold at the Disney parks. It's based on Walt Disney's "Peter Pan" (1953) and it contains a delicious surprise.

Disney trading pin

Disney trading pin

"Never Smile at a Crocodile"
from "Peter Pan" (1953)

Note:  See more of this blog's exploration of Walt Disney World.


Monday, August 18, 2014

The Return of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

One thing I never foresaw was the return of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the Disney fold. The popular animated character was created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney in the 1920's. When Disney was fired from Universal, he and Iwerks had to come up with a new character. That character, of course, is Mickey Mouse, clearly a descendent of Oswald, and the rest is history.

Disney buffs have long been aware of Oswald, but he's been forgotten by the general public for decades. The Walt Disney Company obtained the rights to Disney's Oswald cartoons in 2006, and the rabbit was included in the 2010 Epic Mickey video game, introducing him to a new generation. The company has thus preserved an important part of Walt's legacy and somehow given it a bit of contemporary relevance.

During my visit to the Disney World resort last week, I noted that amid the thousands of mouse ears, there were a handful of elongated rabbit ears. There was some choice Oswald merchandise as well.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Disney pin

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit sculpture

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in "Trolley Troubles" (1927)
Walt Disney

Disney Epic Mickey
Behind the Scenes Video: The History of Oswald

Note:  This  blog has a lot more to say about Walt Disney. You'd better have a look-see.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Disney's MagicBand

Set of four Walt Disney World cards, June 2013

Last year, entry to the Disney World parks required a card. This year, almost everyone staying at a resort hotel or with an annual pass is using the MagicBand but cards are still available as an alternative. One MagicBand is issued for each family member. They arrived in the mail before our trip, each personalized with first name on the inside and in a color we selected. Of course, I chose gray.

Here's how it works. The mouse emblem has to be touched directly to a reader and that can require a little bit of coordination. It worked quite well for hotel room entry, theme park entry, FastPass+, the Disney Dining Plan, and PhotoPass. It could be set up to allow room charges at merchants throughout the parks.

The wristband also allows Disney to track your location from a distance. It is used to automatically add photos from the rides to your PhotoPass account which is an outstanding enhancement to the program. It can certainly help identify a lost child and I suppose it might even be used at some point to track and locate lost children.

My left wrist festooned with MagicBand, Fitbit, and wristwatch. The Swiss Army watch is the reminder of just how dated my ways truly are.

Note:  Don't miss my earlier posts about Disney World.


The Orlando Weather Report

Last week, as you may have noticed, my blog fare was not especially ambitious. I shared a few amusing license plates and published my first short interview, if you can call it that. In fact, I was deliberately keeping to a light schedule while enjoying a family vacation in Walt Disney World.

Now that it's over, I see that Disney World offers a multitude of opportunities for a blogger as well as several potential pitfalls. The resort is already one of the most photographed areas of the world. I couldn't begin to sort through all that's already online in order to present entirely new content. Still, my selected experiences might be of some value in their own right.

I begin then with the weather in Orlando. Here is Monday's forecast for our vacation week:
The weather forecast in Orlando, FL for Monday August 11, 2014.

That's hardly an auspicious beginning. Thunderstorms were predicted for every day.

In fact, there was thunder and rain every single day, but generally not for very long. We never succumbed to the temptation to carry ponchos or umbrellas, although I personally was weakening. Our vacation time was only mildly disrupted by the inclement weather. On Tuesday, the thrilling airplane finale of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios could not be performed because of rain. The famous stone in the opening scene didn't roll either, maybe because it was wet. Then on Thursday in the Magic Kingdom, lightning forced the temporary shutdown of Splash Mountain. Otherwise, we weren't really affected by the weather all that much.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Interview with Thomas Pynchon

Q:  We live in the age of publicity. All manner of celebrities, the famous and the not-so-famous, seek to promote their careers through the relentless pursuit of coverage in the mass media. As a genuine cultural icon, isn't it time for you to capitalize on your blue-chip literary name and exploit your public persona in the various news, entertainment, and social media? To be sure, you've toiled nobly at your craft for decades. Why not finally cash in?


Q:  Mr. Pynchon?


Friday, August 15, 2014

Northern Exposure

Here's an intriguing Southern license plate with an evident Northern history.

North Carolina license plate

Note:  Be sure to keep up with Attempted Bloggery's growing archive of amusing license plates.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

1977: It Was a Very Good Year

Ah, 1977....

Things seemed simple to me back then. I figured all I really needed in order to be happy was to drive a Corvette and marry Marcia Brady. At that point, I should basically be set for life.

New York State license plate

Note:  As it turns out, I never drove a Corvette or married Marcia Brady.