Monthly Archives: February 2012

There’s an app for that.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I just got my first Apple iPhone and the thing is fantastic!  I especially love Suri because I can ask or tell her anything and she immediately obliges.  She is my new best friend.  In addition to Suri, my next favorite app is “Shazam”.  Shazam will listen to any music that is playing and immediately tell you the song name and artist.  Shazam will even link you to iTunes to download the song.  I love technology!

I’m looking, however, for the best Walt Disney World app.  There are several out there, but I’m not sure which one is the best.  I’m hoping that my blog readers can point me in the right direction.

Tell me about your favorite or best Walt Disney World app.

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The Island of Walt Disney World

I’m not sure what made me think of this, but after several minutes of rumination I realized that Walt Disney World is surrounded by water.  Every hotel is surrounded by lakes, lagoons, rivers or creeks.  At the parks, more of the same. plus two water parks.   Maybe it’s because water has a calming effect and the folks at Disney want everyone to be calm and relaxed while they’re there.  The better to help you forget about how much money you’re spending to have that relaxing vacation.

The first of my favorite bodies of water at the resort are Bay Lake, which surrounds the Magic Kingdom resorts of  The Contemporary, The Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge and the Campgrounds.  From the Walt Disney World website:

Walt Disney World Resort offers a fleet of motorized and non-motorized watercrafts for vacationers looking to make a splash.

Sea Raycers by Sea Ray® boats, sailboats, SunTRACKER® pontoon boats, Boston Whaler Montauk boats, pedal boats, kayaks and canoes are just a few of the available options for rent at various Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

And because you know that I am a Boardwalk Villas lover, Crescent Lake takes my breath away every time I visit.  It is a great lake for a morning walk, contemplation, people watching and relaxation.

Where do you like to spend your water-time at Walt Disney World?

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DVC for all!

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (Photo credit: BestofWDW)

One of my followers, in response to the “Cheap and Fun” post, mentioned a money-saving tip for accomodations at Disney World; renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club)points from DVC owners.  This is a fabulous idea and one that I had not thought of previously; probably because I am a DVC owner.  The process of renting was daunting because while there are a lot of honest and responsible DVC owners, there is always a bad apple.

Under the heading of “why didn’t I think of that?”, comes “David’s Vacation Club Rentals”.    His service takes all the guesswork and angst out of point rental and acts as middle-man between the owner and the renter.  My brother recently made reservations using the service and was able to book Boardwalk Villas, preferred view accomodations for October.   This is pretty good considering that Boardwalk Villas is hard to book during the Food and Wine Festival.  In addition to being in a prime spot, he also saved several hundred dollars over the cost of a hotel room at another nearby non-Disney hotel.

A preferred view studio at the Boardwalk at the end of September runs about $585 for 4 nights with David’s service.  Booked through Disney, the price is $1,164.  That’s quite a savings!

DVC owners will opt to rent their points rather than using them for several reasons;  unable to bank or use their points, renting points for cash to pay for a cruise, or simply as a cash generating enterprise.  I can’t say that I ever thought about renting my points, because I’m always using them and always borrowing from future year’s points.  However, it does seem like a good deal for both owner and renter.

If you are looking to test-drive DVC, looking for more room for your family, or just want to save some money, check out the point rental services.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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You can be a star!

The American Idol Experience

Image via Wikipedia

Ever wondered what it’s like to audition for American Idol?    All you have to do is visit Walt Disney World and walk to the American Idol theater and sing your heart out.   From the Walt Disney World website:

The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park offers you the chance to watch, perform and vote for favorite singers.

Watch: The excitement unfolds before your eyes. This exhilarating attraction features all the glitz and glamour of the hit television series’ stunning set, and gives you an opportunity to experience the thrill as if really at the show.

Vote: Decide who has what it takes. Determine the destiny of the singers onstage by voting as a member of the attraction audience on your interactive keypad at your seat. See how far your favorite singer can go!

Perform: The challenge of auditioning. The rush of being onstage. A star could be born— who just might be you! The American Idol Experience provides select Guests with an opportunity to audition and sing onstage!

And if your audience votes you the best singer of the day at The American Idol Experience finale show, you will receive a Dream Ticket (see eligibility restrictions below). If you are eligible to use the Dream Ticket, you will have an opportunity to make a reservation to sing in front of an American Idol* representative at an actual regional audition of the American Idol TV show, where it’s your moment to shine!

Several times a day, aspiring performers chosen for their talent, sing in front of a live audience (you, the guest).  Votes are tallied and if you win for your time-slot, you get to move to the final round.  The final round is made up of the winners chosen earlier.  The winner of the final round receives a “Dream Ticket” and gives the winner a chance to audition for the real American Idol.

If you happen to be older and always wished for your big break, this is not the venue for you.  Performers must meet the American Idol age requirements of between 15 and 28 years of age.    Don’t give up hope, you still have “America’s Got Talent.”

So, head over to the “American Idol Experience” and  flex your voting fingers for the best new talent.  When he or she becomes the next American Idol, you can say “I knew them when”.

My all time favorite contestant on American Idol;  Daughtry

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Cobb Salad

We have a joke in my family that we never allow my mother to order Cobb Salad at a restaurant because she is always disappointed when it arrives, and rightly so.  Just because a salad has egg and bacon in it does not make it a true Cobb Salad.  The origin of the Cobb salad from Wikipedia:

One says that it came about in the 1930s at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, where it became a signature dish. It is named for the restaurant’s owner, Robert Howard Cobb. Stories vary as to whether the salad was invented by Cobb or by his chef, Chuck Wilson. The legend is that Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, and so he mixed together leftovers he found in the kitchen, along with some bacon cooked by the line cook, and tossed it with their French dressing.

This salad is faithfully recreated today at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant at Hollywood Studios, Disney World.  What makes the salad so special is that all the ingredients are finely chopped and then layered in a bowl.

The "real" Cobb Salad

Disney Family Fun Magazine has provided the recipe if you would like to duplicate this at home.  For me, I’ll just wait until my next visit, and I need to bring my Mom.

1/2 head iceberg lettuce

1/2 bunch watercress

1 small bunch chicory

1/2 head romaine lettuce

2 medium tomatoes, blanched

and peeled

1 1/2 cups cooked turkey breast, diced

1 avocado

3 eggs, hard-cooked

1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

6 strips crisp bacon, crumbled

2 tbsp. chopped chives

Chop all greens very fine (reserve some watercress for presentation) and arrange in salad bowl. Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds and dice une. Also dice the turkey, avocado and eggs. Arrange the above ingredients, as well as the blue cheese and bacon crumbles, in straight lines across the greens. Arrange the chives diagonally across the above lines. Present the salad at the table, then toss with the dressing (below) and place on chilled plates with a watercress garnish. Serves six.

BROWN DERBY OLD-FASHIONED FRENCH DRESSING

1/2         cup water

1/2         tsp. sugar

1 1/4      tbsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2         cup red-wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2         tbsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. English mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups salad oil

Blend together all ingredients, except oils, then add olive and salad oils and mix well. Blend well again before mixing with salad.

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I’m Going to Disney World!

It’s Super Bowl Sunday.  My favorite part of the games is the commercials, but even better than that is the commercial the winners do when the game is over.  Let’s celebrate that famous line, “You’ve just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?”

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The belief in a thing makes it happen

The belief in a thing makes it happen.”  – Frank Lloyd Wright.  I really like this quote.  It affirms what I have thought all along that sometimes wishing makes it so, especially since today is my birthday.  I am on a quest this year to have dinner with Marty Sklar.  I’m hoping he doesn’t think that I am some kind of cyber-stalker.  I’m just a middle-aged woman who has loved Disney her entire life and would like to have a conversation with someone who was there with Walt Disney from the beginning.

It may not even happen this year, or next, but I know it will.  Just like my belief that someday I will be on the Disney Mom’s Panel.  I have applied three years in a row and have not made it past the first round.  Some of the 2012 Mom’s Panelists were in my same shoes, and they made it to the big-time.  It can happen to me, too.

I didn’t ever think I would write a blog, but here I am.  I don’t know how good it is, but I have put myself out there.  I am striving to be a better writer and hope that my Creative Writing class is improving upon that.

The other thing I believe in is getting my college degree.  I’m getting closer and I know that one day I’ll be walking the stage in cap and gown accepting my degree and graduating summa cum laude.

And my last belief is that I will work at Disney World someday.  It will probably be sometime in my retirement years, and possibly only seasonal, but I can SO see me telling guests “Have a Magical Day”.

What do you believe in?

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