Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Epcot Corn Chowder Recipe & Review...

This recipe was SO easy to prepare. Some soups can be very detailed & tedious. This recipe was to the point & easy to make even for a beginner. It is very sweet & has a homey flavor. We loved it! It needs a lot of salt for flavor though as FYI. Just be careful & add a little at a time. :)

Did anyone ever have this corn chowder at Sunrise Terrace Restaurant in Epcot?

Quick tip for any soup. Be patient! The flavors build over time so you cannot rush making soup.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

William Sonoma & Disney....

I live near a William Sonoma Outlet & venture in from time to time. You can find some really nice stuff at a reasonable price in there! I noticed some baking Snow White & Star Wars items I wanted to share with you. Has anyone here ever gotten any Disney Items from them before?

I then went into Swarovski & saw this adorable crystal Mickey!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Disney's Chicken Asiago Pasta Recipe...

The recipe is in this book

I have heard great things about this dish so I decided to try it. This was VERY easy to make. The main work is shredding the cheeses by hand. You can easily make this quick if everything is done ahead of time. You will need a meat mallet for this recipe as FYI. My husband instantly started "Mmmmmmmmmm" as soon as he tasted it as did I! This is another keeper recipe! After the chicken was fully cooked I cut it into strips.


Please contact me with any questions for this recipe! 

Please feel free to ask any questions!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue Sky- The Frozen Impact

Photo courtesy of

I tried to ignore this urge to assess the success of the movie Frozen on various Disney attractions, but I found I couldn't let it go.

So, let's talk a whirlwind trip around the world and see what the Imagineer-in-Waiting can conjure up.

Magic Kingdom - Sure Princess Anna can join in at Cindy's breakfast table, but I was also hoping the Christmas parade might get a new lead with Queen Elsa as well.  I'm sure Olaf the snowman will try to get the crowd to join him with his rendition of Frosty.  And, is there an extra member joined Santa's reindeer team?  Sven might just want to ride in the sleigh.

Epcot - Hmmm... let's see.  What country pavilion might best fit with the city of Arendelle.  Oh yeah, Norway.  I believe Akershus fortress even makes a cameo appearance in the film.  They already have shops, but re-theming one to be more like Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna would add a frozen touch.  They could explain that the sauna is unable to except on snowy Florida days.  The Maelstrom has trolls, but not the cute versions from the movie.  I would like parks to seriously reconsider bringing back the Viking ship.  Other than Norway, it would be very interesting to have a multilingual "Let It Go" performance with each of the pavilions taking part.  I suppose, there need to be three instances in English (US, UK and Canada) and two in French (France and Canada).  For an idea of what it might be like, there's this:

Animal Kingdom - I'd like to see Antarctica get its Snow Queen, but that's on the wrong side of the world... and it hasn't been built:

Disney's Hollywood Studios - This was a bit tough for me to get something thought up.  It's high time something permanently replaces the spot for "Sounds Dangerous," but Echo Lake just doesn't seem to be the right location.  In the Animation Courtyard, the show can always be plussed with inclusion of new characters.

Those are the major theme parks, but I think the concept can be extended to some of the minor areas as well.

Blizzard Beach - Ice Gator has been the kind of/sort of mascot for a while.  Maybe Olaf can join the snow family at the water park.  It's certainly his kind of place.

Winter Summerland mini-golf - Sven can certainly head over the winter section and Olaf (with his protective cloud) can make an appearance in summer.  Well, before I break out into another song from the billion-plus dollar blockbuster, I'll leave it there. -- Jeff C.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Miss ToonTown!

Does anyone else miss  ToonTown at DisneyWorld?! I don't really care for the new fantasyland. I could live without it all personally. I much prefer going to Mickey Mouse & Minnie's houses. I miss the big tent gift shop where you met the characters. Don't get me wrong I love the new Big Top Souvenirs shop. Maybe I just like the classics? Maybe I'm in the minority here? :)

On my Disney College Program I got to be a Character Greeter a few times as a fill in. I loved doing that job! The costume was awesome! It was jeans shorts & red/black collared mickey shirt. Best costume ever! 
photo courtesy of

My friend worked at ToonTown and was "friends" with Pluto. Whenever I got homesick I would go to MK to ride Space Mountain and go see Mickey at his house. It ALWAYS cheered me up & put me in a better mood. Sometimes I would even do that by myself if I was feeling extra down & couldn't find anyone to go with. :) 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Donald & Daisy were married cast members in real life that worked at ToonTown? :) How sweet! 

Is the DisneyLand ToonTown any close to the one that was at WDW? I haven't been to DL since 1996! :( 

Do you miss Toontown too? Let me know! 

Remember this at Pete's Garage?!

My Disney roommate Sunni & I

My old Disney roommate Rachel in front of Minnie's House

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Monday, April 21, 2014

DisneyLand Piccadilly Cafeteria Carrot Soufflé Recipe & Review...

This was extremely easy to make. This was the first time I ever had a souffle besides a chocolate one. This is the first time I ever baked one myself! This is extremely good! I did not like it when I first tried it but that was only because I did not chill it first. Put this in the fridge a few hours before serving. I sprinkled some powdered sugar on it just before serving. This is SO good we ate the whole thing ourselves! It is so light & wonderful! Prepare to be addicted!

Carrot Dessert (Carrot Soufflé)

2 pounds carrots
½ cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking POWDER
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and scrape carrots. Cook until soft. Drain well and mash carrots. Add margarine, vanilla, and eggs and mix well. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar; add to carrot mixture and blend until smooth. Spray a 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish with PAM cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and bake for 45 minutes. Top with sifted confectioner’s sugar 

                                    I mashed carrots in my mixer with whisk attachment

I used whisk attachment for this



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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dream It! Do It! Book Review by Jeff ...

We have a departure from the usual daydreamings at Blue Sky.  Here's a Book Review of Dream It! Do It!

Dream It! Do It! - My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms by Marty Sklar, 1st ed., 368 pages

Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney s...
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If you're asking "Who is Marty Sklar?" simply obtain a copy of this book at your earliest convenience.  In the illustrations opposite page 304 of this edition, there is "Ripley's Believe it or Not" picture of Marty Sklar wearing mouse ears.  The caption reads "Marty Sklar, a Walt Disney Imagineer for more than 50 years is the only Disney employee who has attended the opening and has contributed to all 11 of Disney's major theme parks!"  Shanghai may force that to read "first 11" although that's another story.  

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Marty Sklar has been involved with far more than just the theme parks as the reader will discover.  The biographical and historical accounts here impress for a number of reasons.  Marty Sklar has worked as a writer, but he claims it hasn't been on his resume for the 40 years prior to the book's 2013 publication.  There is no "with (fill in the name of the actual writer)" on the cover after his name.  It is roughly chronological, but themed.  In that respect, it is self-exemplary of the work he did for decades.  

He holds back on little.  For example, anti-Semitism is confronted on page 44.  He states, "One thing I did know from personal experience: nothing in my relationship with Walt Disney or his brother was influenced either positively or negatively because I'm Jewish."  Both good and bad business decisions by the company are also detailed.

Probably least interesting is the compulsory early biographical material.  Fortunately, the author knows not to overload (Mickey's 6th Commandment, page 324).  Again, this is where the book isn't just about the various Imagineering processes, it is also an example of the result of those processes being applied to its content.

I have several favorite moments from the numerous accounts he gives from his long career.  On page 161, he speaks of how AT&T (or Bell System prior to its breakup) and not IBM became the sponsor of Spaceship Earth.  IBM had already decided to pass, but Marty Sklar and the people he was with called up AT&T and told them they had one last opportunity to beat IBM to the punch.  They went for it.

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Chapter 13 is dedicated to famous/infamous words that were spoken in an office conference room.  This reminded me of when a group of my friends used to keep a running "quote sheet" of funny things people in the group said like "let's split up into pairs of three."  It's good to know that others say things equally ridiculous like "This thing won't work unless it functions." - Jeffrey Katzenberg.

On page 204, there is an account of what Harry Gray of United Technologies, the original sponsor of The Living Seas, did to get a Disney team from UTC's Hartford headquarters to JFK airport to catch a commercial flight back to Disney's California offices.  If Homeland Security had been around back then, numerous arrests would have been made after a corporate helicopter landed next to an American Airlines jet.  

I'm glad he took time to mention some of the other smaller parks and projects such as Blizzard Beach.  We seem to agree that DisneyQuest, the indoor interactive theme park, should have been given more of a chance to succeed.  

Disney Concept Art - DisneyQuest
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There is no mention of the never-built Disney's America which was to have been constructed in Virginia even though other aborted projects like the Mineral King ski resort are.  

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In my opinion, Disney's America would have been done in by Virginia's weather.  75 degrees one day in April, 35 degrees the next.  A nine-month operating schedule was extremely optimistic.  Even an eight-month operating schedule would have been tight.   Actually, parts of Disney's America were incorporated into Disney California Adventure, but Sklar doesn't mention this either. 

There is heavy criticism of Paul Pressler's time overseeing Disneyland and the skimping on the initial version of Disney's California Adventure.  Apparently, he violated Mickey's 10th Commandment, "Keep it up! (maintain it)."  There is also much said of DCA's extensive and expensive recovery as Disney California Adventure.  A personal takeaway I must remember is the 10th item of the Leader's Bible (part 2) on page 326.  "Remember:  the last three letters of trend are E-N-D."  It seems Mr. Pressler didn't remember that either when buying off-the-shelf amusement park rides and overlaying a little California theming.  

To whom would I NOT recommend this book?  Perhaps the very young and people who don't want to know about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing at a major entertainment firm.  If you think that castles just magically appear, then you might not want to read about all the nitty-gritty, hard work, and creative genius that goes into making it happen.  If, on the other hand, you are a Disney fan who can't get enough or an Imagineer wannabe, then go ahead and enjoy.  

I have another recommendation too.  If you work in customer service, especially in the entertainment area, you might want to take a look at Marty Sklar's practical advice in Chapter 18.  Finally, the photo opposite page 177 with Marty and the Matterhorn has a caption which sums up his advice well.  It reads, "If you're not having fun in the fun business, you're in the wrong business." 

- Jeff C.

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