Monday, April 02, 2018

Efteling Tops Disney World In World's Best Theme Park Tournament

Efteling Castle

Theme Park Insider just completed their annual single elimination tournament to determine the "World's Best Theme Park". The event coincides with the NCAA's Men's Basketball Tournament, with each crowning a champion at the end. There was some tough competition, as many peoples favorite parks didn't make it into the finals. Such runner ups include Europa Park, Cedar Point, Islands of Adventure, Tokyo DisneySea, and Disneyland Paris. The finals pitted the World's most visited park, Disney World's Magic Kingdom, against last year's winner Efteling. And, to much surprise across the US, Efteling defended its crown.


Many people in the US, already spoiled with the plethora of amusement parks found across the Country, were quite surprised to see the all might Mouse taken down by a European theme park, and one that had many readers ask "What is Efteling?"
Efteling Theme Park - Netherlands

Efteling mascots

Efteling is located in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, which is about an hours drive outside of Amsterdam.  It is a fantasy-themed amusement park, with a colorful cast of characters created from "elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore.  It's first opened way back in 1952, when the Efteling Nature Park Foundation opened their first attraction "Fairy Tale Forest".  One interesting rumor that has been floating around for years is that Walt Disney traveled to Europe, and drew inspiration from Efteling.  We can't confirm whether or not that is true, but we can confirm that Walt opened his first theme park, Disneyland in California, just three years later.


If any of our readers have been to Efteling, please share your experience with us in the comments section.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Disney World Welcomes Google Street View Trekkers

Traveling to Disney World in Orlando is the best part of the year for many people.  For some, it's a trip they're only able to experience every few years, or even once in a lifetime.  If only Orlando was just around the corner for everyone, and didn't cost any money to travel to, or to gain admission into the parks.

Well, thank you Google, because now anyone can go walking down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, or walk up to Spaceship Earth in EPCOT.  Well, in a different type of reality, but one that you're able to do well wearing your pajamas and sitting on your own couch.

By now, we are all familiar with Google Street Views, and most of us have seen the Google Street Car driving around with the green camera atop its room.  Those cars have literally mapped and photographed every street in America.  And, now, they have mapped and photographed all the streets of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Now we can all go right to Cinderella Castle, walk around, and explore the park just as all those lucky vacationers were doing on that beautiful sunny day...

Or, how about visiting EPCOT...

This is such a cool thing for many reasons.  For one, this makes the parks immediately accessible to anyone and everyone.  But, for those of us who are planning an upcoming trip to Disney World, this gives people a resource to help familiarize themselves with the layout of the parks before they actually arrive.

So, a big thank you to the Google Street View Trekkers (like the one pictured below).  Although, who wouldn't have wanted to do that job?  Sign me up!

Google Street View Trekker

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Happy Upcoming Birthday Mickey Mouse - The BIG 90

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse
Ninety years ago this year, Mickey Mouse was introduced to the World.  On November 18th, 1928, Disney premiered their Steamboat Willie cartoon, and, in a starring role, the great Mickey Mouse.  Now, hardly to be forgotten, many people forgot that this was also Mickey's girlfriend's, Minnie, coming out party.


To celebrate the past 90 years, and hopefully the next 90, Disney has planned a whole bunch of celebrations and events across a huge network of venues and platforms.  These include:

  • This fall, ABC will air a star-studded celebration of Mickey in honor of his birthday, with special guests, musical performances and more.
  • Disney Channel will debut season five of the Mickey Mouse animated shorts, taking the series total to more than 90 shorts, including a special seven-minute extended-length birthday episode that will air later this year.
  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts around the world will celebrate Mickey’s 90th on November 18, marking the day with commemorative merchandise, photo locations and more.
  • Beginning in late 2018 and into 2019 the World’s Biggest Mouse Party, saluting Mickey and Minnie, will take place at Disney Parks worldwide.
  • Disney On Ice will salute Mickey as the “True Original” host of Disney On Ice since its inception in 1981 by creating Mickey’s 90th pre-shows for productions touring the United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
  • Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Special Celebration, a new production showcasing Mickey Mouse’s memories throughout the years, will launch in Japan in July 2018 and continue touring throughout the Asia-Pacific region until August 2019.
  • In France, 38 design and art schools will take part in “Mickey Is Art,” a unique contest in which students will craft works of Mickey, inspired by their favorite artistic movement. The winning designs will be displayed this summer in 12 major train stations in France and for sale this September at Galerie Glénat in Paris.
  • Disney store will continue to celebrate milestone moments for Mickey Mouse with the Mickey Mouse Memories Collection (launched Jan. 2018), a monthly, limited-release series of 12 collectible plush, mugs and cloisonné pins inspired by Mickey’s most memorable movie roles.
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide will introduce more than 30 titles globally as part of Mickey’s 90th, including books, arts & crafts and comics.
Happy Birthday Mickey!  and Minnie...

Friday, January 05, 2018

Freezing Temperatures Hit Florida, And Frozen Iguanas Are Falling From The Trees

Happy Orlando Iguana

If you're planning on visiting the Orlando area soon, and you've been monitoring the local forecasts, then you've probably been stunned at some of the reports.  For example, early morning temperatures have hit freezing temperatures.  When considering the wind chill factor, those temperatures are much lower.  Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly wouldn't travel to Orlando for a vacation and expect to have a lovely January morning in New England.  So, just how low and how long will these conditions last, and when can we expect "normal" Florida weather to return?  The good news is... very soon!

Candace Campos, of News 6 WKMG Orlando, reported the following brutally cold morning temperatures recorded in central Orlando...

How are these temperatures affecting people?  Well, just look at what they're doing to the poor iguanas... they are freezing into immobility and falling from the trees!

Fortunately, Frank did later tweet that this iguana was warmed in the glorious Florida sun, and walked himself to cover later in the day.

Candace has good news for us though.  Orlando temperatures are expected to climb into the mid 60's by Sunday, and back into the 70's by Monday.

Thanks goodness!  Hope to see you all in sunny Florida soon!

Thursday, January 04, 2018


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