Thursday, May 31, 2012

What is in the Tunnels?

I pulled this picture off of google images. NOT MY PICTURE!!!

 If you work at Magic Kingdom you park your car in the employee lot where you take a bus to the actual tunnels. You must show your cast member ID with Drivers license picture to Disney Security.When you first walk in it is the Aramark cast member cafeteria area on your right. I would normally grab food there & then bring it back to the Fantasyland break room area around the corner from the Tea cups behind the wooden gates. I believe HR is around the same area along with face character area as well(Next to cafeteria).Everyone is given their own locker. I could not check out more than one costume at a time. I wore the older Fantasyland costume. You would turn in your costume at the end of your shift. Every item of clothing is bar coded so if it went missing it was your butt! I got the top of my ear pierced right before my college program & Disney made me take it out. Security ALWAYS screened bags so you couldn't ever take anything home anyways. If you ever got caught taking pictures in the tunnels it was IMMEDIATE termination! There are signs posted EVERYWHERE that say that. No exceptions! It wasn't worth the chance to me.

All of the walls are color coded by Land so it was easy to get around. They have a HUGE trash system down there as well. That was the coolest thing I've ever seen.I  miss working there so much but I cannot convince my husband to move to FL. :(

In the back of Magic Kingdom next to the employee parking lot there is a huge tent where they sell overstock,discontinued items,slightly damaged goods to cast members at a huge discount between 50-80% depending on what it was. They call this place "Property Control."I got a bunch of snow globes,hoodies,tin Cinderella boxes for cheap. I still have all of that stuff to this day!

Right before my college program ended I discovered a beauty salon in the tunnels. It was VERY cheap & a small salon but it was a hidden gem. I think I just got highlights for around $50ish bucks back in 2000. It was nothing fancy inside. They only had enough room for 2 or 3 chairs but they did a good job & were super sweet ladies.

My WDW badge card and name tags over the two semesters I was there 
Cinderella tin from Property control I keep all my WDW keepsakes in!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Disneyland Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookie recipe

I like to try out the Disney recipes now & then. I have made these cookies a few times. This recipe is AMAZING! I use ch. chips instead of raisins. The recipe says it only makes 24 but I can make 73 regular sized cookies with it?! I brought them to work today & they were gone by 11am! The guys said "they are crack & are Pepperidge Farms quality!"I'm a HUGE baker to begin with. Most of the Disney recipes I try are very good. I've only had a few flops so far. I will continue to post my Disney cooking recipes with reviews. These are definitely a crowd pleaser! See below for the Recipe!

I highly recommend this attachment saves me time!

After mixing crisco,sugars,eggs...

After mixing all the dry ingredients except ch chips & oats


Here's an old-fashioned favorite from the "Happiest Place on Earth" - Disneyland. The recipe is easy and quick to prepare, and the cookies are a great snack food. You also can take them to a new level by substituting dried cranberries or cherries for the raisins.

3½ cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons shortening

1¾ cups packed brown sugar

1½ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups rolled oats

2½ cups raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add the flour and baking powder mixture to the shortening mixture and combine until everything is well blended, about 2 minutes. Stir in the oats and raisins to finish making the dough.

Divide the dough into approximately 24 balls, each containing about 2 ½ tablespoons (about the size of an ice cream scoop). Place each ball on a baking sheet and press down until the dough is about ¼-inch thick and about 3 inches in diameter. The cookies should be separated by about 2 inches.

Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blue Skies Greece Pavilion Part 3

We're into the middle section of the Greece pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase.  This is the historical section or "the Greece that was."  Greek history is such a huge subject that it would easily create dense clutter trying to cover too much.  It's not just history, but the legacy of science, mathematics and other fields that would be here.  One Disney connection already established is an old educational film called "Donald in Mathmagic Land"  Donald Duck spends quite a lot of time with the Pythagoreans, so there is a good reason to see him greeting guests.

The ancient Olympics provides some live entertainment with "Who Wants to be an Olympian?" I can see some performers showing proper form for throwing the discus.  Actually, most of the very old Olympics consisted of foot races.  Chariot racing would be difficult to stage, but performers could show up in a chariot.  The marathon was not part of the ancient Olympics.  That could be re-staged elsewhere with the story of Pheidippides although there should be some mention that it's never been proven that he ran from Marathon to Athens.

The architectural elements could lead guests backwards through time.  The columns in this area would start out Corinthian, then turn Ionic and finally Doric.   

One might have a chance encounter with a philosopher just hanging about.   Maybe Plato and Aristotle would be arguing about something important.  Also, the musical selections here would be played less with the modern instruments.  Interestingly, much of Greek music was prevented from modernizing for about a millennium (give or take) during the Byzantine period.  

As a guest looks towards the back of the pavilion, one might catch a glimpse of the Acropolis with the Parthenon restored to its full glory.  Behind that would be Mt. Olympus in the third section of the Greek Pavilion, mythical Greece.  That's where we're going next time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

So Long Snow White....

I'm very sad that I have to write this posting. I have a soft spot in my heart for Snow White's Scary Adventure. At first the ride scared me ( If you don't know me I'm a HUGE chicken!) Working at the attraction forced me to have to ride it after my shift on my "ride through" & we also had to do a walk through. I will share my pictures of my last few days at WDW. All the interns took pics inside of the ride scenes. It was a rare opportunity I'm glad I had a chance to have. They have since retired my old costume. I guess if I ever want to ride it again I will have to go to DL! RIP Snow White. I'm hoping the new mine coaster will be amazing! Sorry my pictures are bad quality. I was there pre-digital cameras! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Greek Pavilion Part 2

Diples :)P

Part 1 left off after describing the location of a Greece pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase and its breakdown into three sections: modern, historical, and mythical.  This was without regard to limiting matters such as funding or other naysaying.

The location of this Blue Sky thought experiment is in the area between China and Germany where Equatorial Africa could have been. Instead, Disney dared to dream bigger and built the continent of Africa section of Animal Kingdom. Well dare to dream big here too.

We'll proceed with modern Greece as it is the section closest to the lagoon and perhaps extends into it.  Much of Greek life still centers around the Agora (the marketplace). The modern section isn't the prime spot for rides and attractions.  Food, drink, dance and music are called for here. This is also as good a place for the inevitable gift shop.

Most appear familiar with souvlakia and gyros, but this is more of counter service fare. A high-end sit-down restaurant would serve a greater variety. The Taverna can also double as an area to display Greek dancing and music.

For drinks, Greece has some odd choices for alcohol. Retsina is that fine wine with a hint of.. pine?  There is the traditional Ouzeria which serves the ubiquitous Ouzo. Drinking around the world just got a new stop. Greek coffee keep you awake for the fireworks.

To go with your coffee, you'll need some pastry. People tend to think baklava, but there's much more. A personal favorite is diples (DEEP-lahz), a crisp shell with honey. 

Folk music and dance continues in the open air section leading.  Several other World Showcase pavilions have acts such as these.

A bit of edutainment may be blended in with this section.  Guests can learn something about the Greek language which could come in handy as they travel back in time to the historical Greece section.  That's where we're off to next time. - Jeff 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Adding Disney Details to your wedding

It was my dream to get married at WDW but we simply couldn't afford it plus I wanted a fall wedding. I had a surprise Mickey Mouse Bridal Shower & had a few details of Mickey at my wedding. My mom ordered a black & red cake for my shower. Being the mother that she is it had to be different as you can see in the wording. ;)My favors were Mickey wedding mini candles that my Maid of honor got off of Etsy. My mom made all the centerpieces herself as well. I got to wear my personalized Wedding MM ears. Luckily my best friend lives in Orlando & brought them to VA for my surprise shower!

I saw a picture of this MM ring online & thought it was to die for! Unfortunately QVC is sold out of them. :(------

My programs had the Mickey & Minnie Silhouette on them which I really loved. That was a surprise on the day of my wedding & I was very happy when I saw them! I just used MM salt & pepper shakers for my cake topper. My favorite Mickey item for my entire wedding was my Swarvoski Clutch I had made from etsy seller Jesrael. I still use my clutch to this day. It 
is all in the details! I'm actually happy we had our wedding in Virginia since the fall weather was so beautiful & it is exactly what I wanted. I did ask my husband if we could do a Mickey wedding but he said no so we changed it to fall themed. I tried though right?! 

We are going to WDW in October to meet my old Disney college program roommate & her husband to celebrate both of our wedding anniversaries!   

All of the wedding pictures are courtesy of ABrittonPhotography. They were amazing photographers for our wedding!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Casey's Corner Review...An Oldie but a Goodie!

I'd like to recommend a great lunch/dinner stop for your next trip. Casey's Corner is located at the end of Main street in the Magic Kingdom. I always get a plain hot dog and then add liquid cheese from the condiments bar to my dog & fries. AMAZING! It is to die for but I'm a huge dog fan myself. The best hot dogs I've ever had in my life have been @ WDW. They have some tables inside & outside or you can take a seat in one of the bleacher style seats while you eat & watch old baseball cartoons. I've never had a bad meal or experience here. The lines go by fast & are very efficient. I definitely hit up this place every trip I can. This gets an A+ from me!

The bleachers you can eat at inside. There are 2 of them inside.
The best hot dog ever!
Monika enjoying her chili cheese dog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ever see a Celebrity at Disney?

I have had the pleasure of meeting many celebrities at DisneyWorld. The first person I met was Vanessa Williams. It was actually on my first day actually working the rides instead of training. I remember it like it was yesterday...It was at Snow White's Scary Adventure. She had a HUGE diva attitude & I was very disappointed what she is really like. She had a VIP Tour guide where that lets her enter lines through the exit of any ride to immediately get on. I was trying my best to seat her party ASAP but it was spring break & packed. She kept rolling her eyes & sighing. It only took  two minutes if that for her to wait but apparently that was too long for her.

The only person I got real star struck over was Rob Lowe.He was SO nice and BEAUTIFUL. *Hubba Hubba* ;)  Evander Holyfield was another super nice guest. I tried to help him because all of these men jumped in front of him & started snapping pictures like paparazzi but he explained that it was ok & that he was used to it. Ashley Judd came to the park in no makeup and still looked amazing. We were trained to never ask for pictures/autographs & do not cause a commotion if you see a celebrity.I remember someone asking me if that was Ashley Judd & I just played dumb. :) I would've fainted if I ever met Justin Timberlake but alas I only ever got to see Lance Bass. A cool experience but I loveeeeeeeee me some JT!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bring Greece to Epcot!

First, a disclaimer.  I am in no way connected to Walt Disney Imagineering or any part of the Walt Disney Company.

I read the thread concerning what people might want to see in a Greece pavilion.  I'll outline my ideas here and fill in some of the details in later pieces.

A word about funding.  To paraphrase Marty Sklar, the former head of Walt Disney Imagineering, selling an idea is easy; funding an idea is difficult.  Lots of the discussion at focused on the economic crisis in Greece and the fact that they would not be able to enter into a sponsorship of a Greece pavilion at the World Showcase.  That's an example of "No, because..."  At the the Blue Sky phase of a project, "No, because..." doesn't exist.  It's "Yes, if..." instead.  So, to fund a Greece pavilion, it's "Yes, if the old model of sponsorships for the represented nation is discarded."  Remember when United Technologies sponsored The Living Seas?  How about Kodak and Journey Into Imagination?  No longer.  So, there's already a precedent.

Where does one put a Greece pavilion?  There is a sizable piece of real estate where The Output is between China and Germany.  That is where the Equatorial Africa pavilion was to have been.  Try finding funding from the nation of Equatorial Africa.  This is an even earlier precedent for the non-requirement of sponsorship.

That area is so large, that one could put pavilions within pavilions in it.  Break it down into three sections:  The Greece that is, the Greece that was and the Greece that never was.  That covers modern, historical and mythical Greece.  It also parallels the original concept of Disney's Animal Kingdom with its living, extinct and legendary animals although I'm still waiting to see some dragons there.  I can envision the sections running from front to back in the order of modern, historical and mythical.  You start at today and as you walk back, you journey back in time until you go beyond time itself.

I also see no reason why one has to stop at the area away from the lagoon.  A Greek restaurant could be situated at the edge of the lagoon.  Naysayers are going to shout, "No because the lights will interfere with the shows!"  This is Blue Sky phase.  It's "Yes, if they can control the lighting."

So, there's the overall layout, but what's in each section of this huge pavilion?  That's where I'll pick it up next time- Jeff 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pics in the Park After Dark

I was asked to answer a question from "leeshiebean" on She asked how WDW feels about people staying after close to try & take a lot of pictures. I can only talk from experience in Fantasyland. I know that five minutes before the park closes a cast member will stand at the end of the attraction ride line to ensure the ride closes on time. I occasionally would let people in line if they begged & pleaded. :) The attraction closing duties are to go on a "ride through" as well as a walk through to pick up any trash.That was the best part of my job! Getting paid to ride an attraction!I know that the Fantasyland Management are the ones to escort people out of Fantasyland after the park closes. I could see them letting you take a few pictures but after that Disney Security will make you leave through the castle & out towards Main Street where the shops stay open later than the rest of the park.After the park closes a lot of times the Imagineers come in to inspect the fine details of the attractions & fix anything that they can. I'm sorry to give you the bad news but that is the way it always has been unless you are friends with someone on the inside. Disney employees have lives too & would never get to leave if they let every guest do that you know? I'm sorry I didn't have a better answer for you but there it is. Have a Magical Day!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blue Sky Ideas

As a favor to Kate, I’ll try sharing some thoughts about additions to the Disney the parks I’ve come up with over the years.  

My background is that I’m a real-life engineer and a wannabe Disney Imagineer.  I’ve studied the parks and their histories extensively.
What is the meaning of Blue Sky?  The Blue Sky phase of a project is when the sky is the limit.  In Disney’s philosophy, one is not supposed to say “No, because…” at this stage.  Instead, one is supposed to say “Yes, if…” or even ignore the physical, financial or other realities of building a dream.
With that said, what sort of things have sprung up from my fertile mind and which ones do people want to hear detailed?  I can offer the following:

- A Greece Pavilion for Epcot (this one is huge, so I would have to break this up over several columns)

- A Mediterranean resort for Bay Lake

- A new continent for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  No, not Australia.  Antarctica

- New and different water craft for the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and other Disney waterways

- What to do about Hong Kong Disneyland’s lack of a Haunted Mansion/Phantom Manor which is in a different land in each of the other parks ( Tomorrowland and Adventureland are available)

Another idea I had was to bring it back as Return to Inner Space using the former Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World to house it. It would use the Body Wars simulators as Mark II Atommobiles.

I had a plan to replace the walkways of WDW with the surface inside The Boneyard and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play sets. That way your feet don't hurt after walking around all day. 
The other one was to use ultra-high performance concrete to make impossibly thin benches and bridges.

Unless there’s a huge response asking to do something else, I would like to start with Greece.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flower Power at the American Adventure

 On an April day in the spring of 1999 during my college program, I heard that there was going to be a series of “Flower Power” concerts. I don’t remember all the bands which were going to perform. They were all 60’s bands though, and one of them was Davy Jones! I told my friend Julie that we had to go! I liked Davy Jones from the Monkees TV show, and I also remember the time he was a guest star on the Brady Bunch, when Marcia promised her school that Davy Jones would perform. Anyway, I love Davy Jones! The Monkees had some pretty awesome songs, like “Daydream Believer,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Last Train to Clarksville.” Julie also loved Davy Jones, and we gathered up four other friends to go to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot to watch him perform. The show was amazing! Julie, our other friends and I had really good seats, and Davy Jones walked right in front of us and asked us to sing into his microphone when he performed “The Brady Bunch theme song.” After the show, there was a Meet & Greet session, where my friends and I stood in line to get his autograph and pictures. This was the same day as our WDWCP Formal. When I had my opportunity to talk to Davy Jones, get his autograph and some pictures, I told him that our college program formal was that same night, and I asked him if he wanted to go with me! I felt like Marcia asking him to the dance! Davy Jones said “Maybe,” and it didn’t seem like him going was a real possibility… but I still had the experience of asking Davy Jones out! Unfortunately, on February 29, 2012, he passed away. You are missed, Davy Jones, you are missed.- Monika    

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Le Cellier Review

 I'm not sure why I never went to eat at Le Cellier on my internship. Maybe it was because I was poor?!My first time dining at LC was in November of 2009. It was the best steak I had ever tasted! I did go back to LC in November of 2011 with Monika & it was still amazing as the first time but I did notice a huge change in the portion size. Can you tell?Maybe it is just me? :) Don't you just love the cast member jumping behind us in the picture? HAHA

Monika even said it was the best steak she's ever had. Myself & my husband have said the same thing. I think the filet mignon trumps any steak from Morton's or Ruth's Chris any day! We were just at Morton's actually. The steak was good just not as good at LC's.;)

I hate mushrooms personally but I love their mushroom risotto that comes with the filet.My last trip Monika & I ventured on to taste the famous Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. It was worth it. I will definitely get it next time. It is great to dip your pretzel bread in! I read online that you can buy that pretzel bread from a company in Canada?

 Monika sipped on a glass or two of one of their red wines & I enjoyed one of their Magical Star Cocktails that includes a glowing cube. It was an ok drink but I might just get a beer next time!

The first time I went was for myAnniversary. We got the Chocolate Moose!YUM. We also had Crab mousse as an appetizer but they have taken that off the menu. :( 
RIP Crab Mousse :( ----

I have had excellent service both times I've been here.Although last time I went they gave away our table to someone with the same last name!After sitting for 20 minutes Monika decided to go see what the hold up was.They apologized and got us a table within a few minutes. This is by far my favorite place to eat ANYWHERE in the US! I wish I could get this at home. After you have the filet you will know why this is the busiest restaurant on WDW property!  I will be back here in October. I'm counting down the days! I'm actually meeting up with one of my old Disney College Program friends so it will be great to catch up with her!

Le Cellier Tips:

Arrive 5-10 minutes Early to your reservation to check in. You check in at a kiosk outside next to the beer stand & then you go inside the building.

Book your reservation ASAP! Sometimes it is booked but if you keep trying someone will cancel & you will get in. It only took me one day to find a reservation during the week we would be there after they were booked solid! Yes, it is May & they are already booked for October!

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