bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Where to Buy WDW postcards?

I am a member of a number of boards and groups and am not the best participant in any of them but every once in a while I see something in one of them that gets me to write something back that goes fairly in depth, this long response was in reply to a very short question in the earstoears yahoo group.

A lot of the things said in this thread are quite accurate as answers to the question "where can you find postcards", but some of it also depends on what kind of cards you want, the types of cards offered do tend to change over time and there may be certain cards you have seen in the past that you won't see nowadays, also since cards with special elements that people are willing to pay more for have a higher profit margin it seems there have been a lot of those in recent years. Still here's an over view as to some locations and general information about buying postcards on WDW, First I'll go over locations, in the second part I'll talk about types of cards. It also gives me an idea for a photo essay next trip "where to buy postcards at Walt Disney World"

 First of all if you are staying on-site there will almost always be some in you hotels gift shop, if you don't see them ask because sometimes they can be hidden away, also if you are staying at a deluxe or moderate resort there is a greater chance that they will have a card that features your resort hotel, but, sometimes it won't be with the other postcards it will be with the resort specific merchandise for that hotel, once again if you are hoping to find a card like this and you don't see one in your resorts gift shop it can't hurt to ask. At the parks there are a couples of places you will find cards, first off, almost all of the parks have a gift shop "outside the gates" the one for the Magic Kingdom is actually at the TTC, in the building to the right of the ticket booths as you get off the trams (as if you are heading towards the TTC bus area if I have my memories in order) the one for Epcot is off to the right of the entrance gates in an enclosed building, but was rumored to possibly be closing at one point, so I'm not sure if it's still there, the one for the studios is quite visible as it is a more Indoor/outdoor location off just past the leftmost turnstile as you are headed towards the entrance, the one for Animal Kingdom is in a Stand alone building outside the gates (I think it may even be before you get to bag check, but I'm not certain). At the Magic Kingdom just after you enter the gates there are a pair of souvenir stands off to each side before you even go through the entry tunnels and these have postcards too. All four parks have a large gift shop in the front half of the park, Emporium at Magic Kingdom, MouseGear at Epcot, Island Mercantile at Animal Kingdom, and  Mickeys' of Hollywood at the Studios, though at the Studios for some reason I also remember getting cards across the street (celebrity 5 and 10 I think).
These  locations usually have the best selections in each of these parks, but they aren't the only locations that have cards! far from it. There are also many other locations in the parks that have postcards but often the types at those other locations will be much more limited, one exception to this is the gift shop back near the Toontown Country Fair Hall of Fame, I have seen a larger and wider variety of cards there than in most other locations. In most of the parks there is a location where you can get "art of Disney" series postcards, these are a bit more pricey (3.00 or perhaps 3.50 now), but have some beautiful artwork of the characters and icons of the parks, in the Magic Kingdom these are in the new art of Art of Disney Store located in the Main Street Cinema, at Epcot the Art of Disney Store is located just past the camera shop (and before the lockers) to the right of Spaceship earth as you enter the park. In the studios the shop that has art of Disney postcards is at the end of the Animation tour, at the far side of the Animation  Courtyard,but you don't have to go on the tour to visit the gift shop it has an entry off the animation courtyard (but don't confuse this shop with the souvenir stand on the nearby building that houses Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Additionally almost all of the parks have some postcards specific to attractions that are in small gift shops at the exits of the attractions, in past years I have seen pirates of the Caribbean postcards in the shop at that rides exit, and Splash Mountain ones at the exit to that attraction, but not on my last few trips, so once it again it never hurts to ask, but try not to be too disappointed if you favorite attraction does not have a card dedicated to it, other attractions on this "Attraction Specific" list I have seen in the past are Stitches Great Escape (buy again not recently), Tower of Terror (this has been more consistent than most attractions), Mission Space, Dinosaur, Mickey's Philharmagic (only back when it was new though), the cart neat the exit to the Haunted Mansion, The Cart across from the Country Bears (That was many years ago), Star Tours has been fairly consistent, though often more of the cards there are Star Wars movie cards rather than related to the attraction,  Rock N' Roller Coaster, the cart across from Who Wants to be a millionaire (obviously a while back!), additionally in the past the countries in World Showcase all generally had a card that was available somewhere in each of those countries, nowadays, instead of having cards in each individual country there tend to be a few World Showcase related cards in the "Disney Traders" and "Ports of Entry" gift shops that are near the Friendship docks at the Future World End of World Showcase Lagoon, Another park that has seemed to focus more on having one shop in each land that has cards rather than a shop at the exit to each attraction is Disney's Animal Kingdom, Chester and Hester's  Dinosoar Treasures in Dinoland, Mandala gifts in Asia (surprisingly good selection for its small size), and Mombasa Marketplace in Africa tend to have selections of cards that focus on their park and even there specific "land" for some of them, there is also a "land specific" shop in Tomorrowland I THINK that it's Merchant of Venus rather than Mickey's star traders that has the better postcard selection if I recall correctly. Additionally the water parks, and Disney quest have had postcards generally over the years, though I have not spent enough time at those parks to know where the best places to ask for them are, but of course it never hurts to ask. Downtown Disney has two good locations for postcards, one is in the World of Disney store, the other is the Art of Disney Store, there have been times in the past when in addition to the "Art Of Disney" cards I mentioned earlier they have had some of the "regular" postcards sold in the other gift shops.

Now on to the types of cards while the least expensive types of postcards, single photo views of the parks, have become less common in recent years, these have been replaced to some extent by foldout folders or folios of cards, that while they cost more up front are actually cheaper when you break them down to a "per card" cost, additionally a lot of the reason Disney has been able to fill more of the locations they stock with postcards with higher priced cards is that they have come out with some beautiful and fantastic looking cards, there are shiny foil cards, lenticular cards that feature a look that gives a card sometimes much greater depth, sometimes a sense of movement, and sometimes a little of both. They also sell more larger sized cards as compared to the normal 4 x 6 or continental sized cards, there are 5 x7 cards, and there are the oddly shaped die-cut postcards and many of these cards too are lenticualar or foil cards as well. Then there are the "Art of Disney cards" I have mentioned a couple of times now these are 5 x 7 and are embossed to give them the look of matted artwork, I think you really could just pop a lot of these in a frame as is. The past few years there have also been special "boxed sets" of postcards one popping up every year or two, often when I go to WDW at Mousefest new merchandise has just been rolled out in the past few months, and I've even gotten the "next years" card with the year on it at a couple of mousefests, where the cards had either been "just put out" or appeared during my trip, and since I have NOT been at WDW since last December, and have not been tracking down every possible lead on the Internet for new releases this year, I'm expecting my next trip, for Mousefest to be a very good trip for postcards indeed! Though I did just learn about one new release, and this one has the best price of all, it's FREE! If you are passing by a DVC sales kiosk ask them if they have any sample art of the new Bay Lake Tower  you can take with you, they will probably give you a postcard!
bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Why didn't I think of that before?

I have a lot of fun sharing the stuff I see and hear in the parks on the Internet, weather it be through my trip reports, podcasts, or videos on youtube and google video. Now seeing that statement above you might wonder Why on earth would anyone need BOTH a you tube AND google video account, well although I do pay to share some of my stuff on the web I've been trying to limit my videos to free hosting services only, the first of these I discovered was You Tube, it only has one limitation for free accounts the videos are limited to 10 minutes or less, at first this did not matter, every video I have shared has been taken with a camera that is primarily planned as a still photos camera, if fact to take videos with it over 30 seconds in length I have yo use "Type II" or faster SD memory cards, and besides that I learned early on that taking videos with it does something to the batteries that is analogous to taking a bottle of soda and turning it upside does not take long to drain all the energy from the batteries, which is why I seem to have so many seemingly "incomplete" videos, but over time I have learned the tricks to taking longer videos:

1.Try to be aware and plan when I might be taking a video, and before I do
A. change the batteries.
B. insert a memory card that still has a lot of capacity left on it.
2. And even beyond changing the batteries, I've found that those fancy schmancy super expensive lithium batteries really do last longer, especially in that high power drain situation I described above!

But all that may be a moot point now, as I've just bought a new HD video specific camera (though it will take stills also), but that's not what this post is about. My discovery of all this tips and tricks resulted in me taking a 20 something minute video of a set of the citizens of Hollywood performing a shit on Hollywood Boulevard, I was elated to get the whole set, but I was also unsure of how I would post the video, I had seen other folks on you tube with multi-part videos to keep each part under the 10 minute limit, and I figured I COULD try to learn some software to edit my videos, but before I had to do that I learned about Google Video, at the time google was trying to move into the video hosting market and lure folks to its service that might otherwise go to youtube by offering a service that hosted videos WITHOUT a time limit, this seemed like a logical place for me to put my video, and as long as I was at it I went ahead and put ALL of my videos there from that trip (June 2007)...

However, I soon noticed the lack of a google videos "user page" for instance on youtube if you view any of my videos you can then click on a link to my "channel" a sort of home page for my videos on youtube:

on google video the closest thing to that is a tab in a pane next to the video pane that says "more from user" this tab is usually in the back, details for the video that is playing are on top, if you click on that tab view will show you four videos at a time, and a scroll bar that will let you see a total of 16 if you scroll down, just a very minimal bare bones approach when compared you youtubes sort of "community building " approach (that reminds me a lot of Flickr which is another service I use), anyhow there is a page on my site called "other bigBrian stuff on the web" there is a link to that page in the site in that big coral colored menu bar up at the top of the main page and the other "section header" pages well on that page are links to my flickr page, articles I've written for AllEars, my profile on various message boards, and of course my google and you tube video pages, the link for my you tube page was simple, but how to link to my google videos? Well eventually I figured out that if I did a search within Google video for bigBrian most of my videos would come up, but it also brought in links to a few of my youTube videos, still it wasn't too bad and I figured eventually Google would add something more like you tubes "channels", well after Google bought youTube I realized that might not happen, but figured at some point Google video would make some kind of changes, but up until this point any change has been slow, and in the interim other folks have had their videos start to turn up in my search (like a weight lifter also using the bigBrian moniker). Today I was looking for a video I keep in my google videos and saw the mish-mash of results coming in on that search and I resolved to do SOMETHING better, like so many problems it really wasn't that tough once I focused on it and I'm very pleased with the results, I squeezed out the other big brians by making the new search I linked to one that links to my exact google video user name, and I even managed to remove my youtube video results by adding the term to the search viola! a search where the number of hits is exactly equal to the number of videos I have on google! It's still not a page like the ones for user of you tube, but for free hosting of my long videos I'm not going to complain!

All of which led to the question I asked in the title of this post!

just for fun heres another one of the google videos from there:

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Angry (Please don't be Angry)

As a guy who loves to record live entertainment groups at the Disney parks for use on my podcast, I really like to share the names of the songs with my listeners on my web site, however if you've glanced down very many lists of songs on my site over the years, inevitably you will come to a listing that looks something like this one from one of Alan Thomsons sets (this one appeared originally back in Episode 21:

  • Stormy Weather
  • Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Tennesee Waltz
  • Solace
  • Disney Medley
    • Bella Note
    • So This is Love
    • Once Upon A Dream
    • Someday My Prince Will Come
    • Cruela De Ville
    • When You Wish Upon A Star
    • Wouldn't have nothin if I didn't have you
  • Unknown
  • Cheek to cheek
  • I'm In the Mood for Love
  • Unknown
  • "Maybe" welcome cowboys (and friends and neighbors) from the OLD Horseshoe
  • Coney Island Warshboard
  • Grim Grinning Rag
Now even though I knew the names of most of those songs, you can see the word "Unknown" twice, and a "maybe" in there, well if you looked at this list six months ago there would have been ANOTHER unknown, as the ragtime version of "Wouldn't have nothin' if I didn't have you" just did not strike a chord with me, UNTIL a "tale of the tune" segment I heard on the Mouse Guest Weekly podcast rung that bell for me, I had accidentally hit the button on my mp3 player right in the middle of that song, and as I put my finger on the thumb wheel and FFwd through the episode to get back to the song, I heard the melody in my head, but NOT being sung by Randy Newman as they had been playing it, in my head as I waited for the MP3 to fast forward, I heard it being played on piano, and had an AH-HA! moment, recently I had another of those AH-HA moments, and this one will take that "MAYBE" off the list and replace it with the real song title (and it wasn't  the one from the Horseshoe). I purchased a CD of the Magic City Jazz Band, a group made up of several former WDW musicians and at least one current one, the name of that song is actually "Angry" and on this CD it's sung by Ed Cuneo (pronounced COO-NEE-OH). This CD is one I would reccomend to anyone who thinks they MIGHT like some of this kind of fun jazz, becuse they do seem to capture that fun, most of the songs are instrumentals, but a few (like Angry) do have the lyrics as well, there are also some samples on thier site (though regretably not one of Angry). one side note you can also purchase their CD through CD, and that is the way I purchased it

Anyhow, it's hard to really capture music with just words, so here's a link to a SHORT companion episode to this blog post

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Postcard Discoveries - Disneyland Jumbo

Once in a while, as a collector of Disney theme park post cards, I'll find out about some little tidbit of Disney postcard information that I want to share with other collectors, sometimes these tidbits don't fit neatly into my existing web pages, and while I'm member of a yahoo group based on Disney postcards using images of cards in posts to those groups used to be impossible and still has its challenges, when I started my podcast I even did a postcard segment at the end of many of the episodes, as it was easy to stick the pictures in at the end of the show notes, still after a while it seemed to me that was not really a good fit (for reasons that are more about my podcast than postcards), with this blog it will be easy to do occasional pieces on postcards here, and I can then place links back to the article here for other groups I tell about the post.

This POSTCARD DISCOVERY came to me from Kevin Hughes, whom I have long corresponded with in regards to Disney Theme Park cards, Kevin has an extensive collection himself, and since as a dealer in postcards (Including Disney pars cards found at his easy to use web site ) he goes to visit many shows where he makes some FANTASTIC finds, like this recent one he told me about:
Been enjoying your articles, podcasts etc. Keep up the good work!
I came across two nice Disneyland postcards yesterday and looking for more info on them...
They are both "oversized".
J-2 Submarine Falls
J-6A Jungle Adventure
I was excited to find them in mint condition in someones 25 cent dealers box!

Now any time you find a Disneyland card in a 25¢ box you probably made a good find, if it is anything other that the most common of Disneyland cards 
I would upgrade that to a GREAT find, if it  is from a rarer series or type of cards (like the Jumbos!) I would call that a FANTASTIC find, the first of these two cards he found I would put in that category, as the Submarine Falls J-2 card is one of the easier to find cards of a card series that can have very long periods of time between when you run across cards to add to your collection, but the other card? Well that was a find that goes even beyond the power of the word fantastic to describe it adequately, not only is it a card from one of the rarer older types and series of cards, but it is a rare enough view that this card was not even listed in the "nickel Tour" as a jumbo! That said it still may look familiar too you because, like MOST jumbos,  it also appeared on a smaller card, and that gives some clue possibility to its rarity, but first let's take a look at it:

Disneyland Jumbo Postcard J-6A

Back side od Disneyland Jumbo Postcard J-6A

Now that card appeared as a regular sized card too, and there were TWO versions of the front side (there were probably more backs depending on how many times it was reprinted over the years). In one that sign read just as it does on this Jumbo size card JUNGLE CRUISE, but in the other version of the card it reads ADVENTURELAND, on that sign, so it is a nice early example of a cut and paste edit on a Disneyland postcard (back in the era when they used real paste!), the fact that the card is numbered J-6A, means it was a replacement for an earlier card, otherwise it would have just been numbered J-6, the original J-6 is listed as THE EXPLORERS BOAT, (same image as Nickel Tour number 0272), which is a card that always struck me funny because right in the center of the card there is a guy who is definitely NOT keeping his hands and arms inside the boat!

so perhaps that is why the first version of J-6 was retired, and this later version might not have been out as long both because that first card was out for a while, and I wonder if also the difference in how the sign was printed might have played into it being out for a short time too, if the printing on the sign on this card was not the way they preferred that sign to appear that might have caused it to be retired more rapidly, or also just the fact that they rotated in new views more frequently back then than they do nowadays, anyhow I want to thank Kevin for letting me share these images here, and once again suggest his site as a possible source for all you postcard collectors out there.


bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Mousefest planning Spreadsheet


About a month ago I started my Mousefest planning in earnest, in fact looking back I had my room booked by the middle of September. Not as good a deal as in past years, but $46 a night isn't bad either. This years hotel is Holiday Inn, Main Gate East, we actually stayed at before, it was a ONE night, extension added on to the start of our trip for 2004 Mousefest (or was it 05?) before we moved to another hotel for the balance of our stay, I remember thinking at the time that it was it was a little bit borderline on getting run down, but I don't think it was a Holiday inn at the time and I've noticed driving past it on intervening trips that it looks like it's been spiffied up quite a bit. anyhow, booking the room only got me more interested in planning for Mousefest, so I kept on checking in on and when the schedules began to appear I began looking at them, and quickly realized that RADP was not yet on the schedule, so I went over to RADP and asked and they did give me a TENTATIVE schedule as of this writing the RADP site still lists Mousefest 2008 as "coming soon", but the RADP meets are now in the schedules, so you can verify the times for yourself there,  I worked with the tentative schedule to come up with some sort of plan, and have been revising and addding to it almost daily since then.

     I soon realized that I would NOT be able to fit everything in, the hardest thing to cut was the Christmas Party, I really wanted to catch the Rusty Cutlass pirate band, and they only play at the Pirate and Princes, and Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Parties, and I knew I wanted to do the DPN Yehaa Bob meet Thursday night, and the Mouseplanet and RADP meets on Sunday night, while getting this post together i looked again at the listings for the Christmas Party and I see that not only is the MCMVP being offered on Thursday and Sunday nights as I had thought but ALSO Friday night as well, so I may have my first change for the revision of the scedule shown above, if so then I will pass on the Ho, Ho, Ho lotta lights.

As you can see from this list I plan on arriving the day before Mousefest starts and enjoying some of Epcot, which has gotten the least time from me the past few Mousefests, I want to catch the World Showcase Players version of "A Christmas Carol" and see some of the Christams around the World stoytellers, catch some of the live entertainment at Biergarden and see an early showing of the Candlelight processional, before going to Ft. Wilderness to catch the Hoop Dee Doo revue, this will be a first for me, heck having two advance Dining reservations the same day will be a first for me too.

On Thursday, if Scott and Tracy of the Disney, Indiana podcast get into WDW early the Thursday of Mousefest then the Piano mans first or second set might be a kind of unofficial meet, then I MIGHT hear over to the contemporary for the chairmans opening, if not then I'll probably get to Aloha Isle a bit before the official opening of the Dole Whip meet, and stick around until just before Clintons laugh floor meet at 3:30. After that meet I go to my THIRD reservation of the trip, and the first where my wife will actually be joining me, dinner at Citricos! and follow that up by hanging with the DPNers at the River Roost at Port Orleans French Quarter to catch Ye-ha Bob.

Friday It looks like most of the meets I attend will be with the RADP, especially since this year All Ears decided not to do the Kilamanjaro Safaris meet. I'd like to go to festival of the Lion King, but if I do I won't have time to catch any streetmosphere at the studios, so that part of the schedule is still up in the air, if I go to the MCMVP that will probably make this a fairly late night for the THIRD night in a row, so I'll just have to leave that off just so I can get some sleep between those LATE nights.

Saturdays schedule is sketched out in Big loose blocks, Mega meet (no plans to helps work any tables yet, but who knows), RADP chat time followed, by LTAD drink around the World, I'm one of the member podcasters and I want to stick around for the whole thing, but if time permits I really want to join my buddy Lou and all my DWT friends as well, I think it is likely much of the LTAD crew may join the "DWT family reunion". Bryan Ripper's great idea to have Jelly Rolls for an end of the night closer should make for a late close to the evening.

Sunday, again there were some hard choices, but it looks like RADP meets will dominate with a smattering of others, which seems to be a running theme for me! I think that mix should make for a very fun day.

Monday will be a special day, my wife has seen probably less than half of Epcot, and many of the things I think she would like the most she still hasn't seen, full days in the park tend to be a bit much for her she likes her Disney parks in small doses, so I'm trying to pick the things I think she will enjoy the most.

Thanks to Will from the Magic Never Ends, as I doubt i would have done a Master planning Spreadsheet without his inspiration.
bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

The only constant in life...

Things change, as much as we sometimes think we would like it things won't stay the same forever, changes come, and as a fan of WDW entertainment groups, it might seem right now like all the news lately was bad with a large number of things going away:
    • Family Fun Day Parade
    • Woody's Cowboy Camp
    • Four for a Dollar
    • Pocahontas and her forest friends,
    • Inkas Wasi:Music And Dance Of The Andes
    • the Karuka Acrobats in the Africa section
    • and Wes Palm (talking, roving palm tree)
    • Orisi Risi Interactive drum circle and African folklore at the outpost in World Showcase
    • Spelmanns Gledge from the Norway pavilion.
BUT! we have not yet heard yet what NEW ENTERTAINMENT is being put into the parks, and even when we do find out what they are it may take a few trips of EXPERIENCING these new entertainments to make up our minds how we feel about them, I have an example in mind that makes me think this is true.

In 2000 there were at least two HUGE changes in WDW live entertainment;
    • The end of Epcot's Future Corps
    • The end of the WDW Marching Band (or Magic Kingdom band)

and, that second one had greater fallout two, as for part of the day the WDW marching band used to break up into smaller sub groups like;
As you can see the number of folks in those bands adds up to 19, and looking at he old pictures I see of that band it looks like that is about how many there were. At the time the marching band went away some folks bemoaned the loss of the band, but soon we learned that there was another story here, and that is the new entertainment that was coming

from an old Disney press release that I found a quote from on Intercot:

The new groups include The Main Street Philharmonic, a 12-piece brass and percussion ensemble playing in Town Square, The Tomorrowland Blast belting out rock 'n' roll tunes, The Fantasyland Woodwind Society, a quartet of saxophonists playing Disney favorites, and The Notorious Banjo Brothers...and Bob, two banjo players and a tuba player, who entertain guests in Frontierland with a comical twist.

Now there are a few things in that press release that I need to elaborate on, the Fantasyland Woodwind Society was the original name for the group that is now know as either Cinderella's Royal Saxaphonists or the Toontown Tuners depending on which costumes they are wearing when you see them, The Tomorrowland Blast was a bit like a pared down version of the Future Corps, and it later changed its name to the Tomorrowland Countdown and I believe was not discontinued until 2006 or 2007.

Now if you look at just the case of the Magic Kingdom by itself you can see that this was not in the end a cutback, after all before you had a marching band for part of the day, and three smaller bands for part of the day, all using the same 19 member cast, but with the line-up that started in 2000 you have a 12 piece band all day long, plus a five piece sax quartet all day long, plus a three man band in Frontierland all day long, which actually adds up to 20 pieces right there, that said early on I was not a big fan of the Philharmonic, not because of the musicians in it or anything like that, but because the material they were performing was very limited, and focused on a sort of comedy that was ok, but didn't seem to have a lot or value for repeat viewing for me, for a long time it seemed like every time I saw them they were doing the little "take me out to the ballgame" set where there was sort of an organized chaos, of a very disorganized band heading up main Street, and then marching back, still more focused on interacting with the audience than performing songs, and there were only just 2 or 3 songs I ever heard them do for several years, then a few years ago I began to hear that they were sometimes performing other sets, since then I've made a point of taking them in a little bit more often, and yes they do more songs now, but it seems very tightly scripted, and the show has not changed much in the past few years other than the fact that there is a different set they do for the Christmas season, I still have a lot of hope for them because although I miss having a band like the old "traditional marching band" the newer version of it does more "modern" arrangements that, ironically enough, remind me a bit of the STYLE of the other band that disappeared in 2000 Epcot's Future Corps, I like that style and think they execute their songs VERY WELL, still, I would still like to hear them do a little rotate a few different songs into the act each year (perhaps my timing has just been bad?), but overall, I still like what they are doing.


One of the other bands from this crop that came in 2000 score very high with me and many others in part BECAUSE they have a fairly wide repertoire, and that is the Notorious Banjo Brothers and Bob, they too use humor in their act, and make a point of interacting with guests so I see them as a sort of "best of both worlds"


the Sax quartet (occasionally they perform as a quintet too) weather you call them the Tuners, Royal Saxophonists, or Woodwind Society, seem like a pretty versatile act to me too, though I'd like to see them a bit more to see just how versatile they are.


The cutting of the Future Corps to me just seems to be a bit of a different case, it seemed that perhaps somewhere along the line it was just decided that the focus on live entertainment in Epcot should be more in the World Showcase, and in recent years it seems as if perhaps Future World perhaps it may be felt that almost no live entertainment is needed in Future World, there used to be MANY more acts in Future World, many have come and gone:
  • The EpBOTS
  • Kristos
  • Cast in Bronze (used to appear seasonally)
  • Epcot Vybe (later incarnation of American Vybe)
  • The Cyber Groove

and it seems that at that same time the Magic Kingdom decided it would be a good idea to start a similar band of it's own, the Tomorrowland Blast, which may have given some of those former Future Corps members an opportunity to move over to the Magic Kingdom, all these years later I still miss the Future Corps.

I guess that as fans, we're not going to necessarily agree with every move that the Walt Disney Company makes, but, although I may miss American Vybe, the Future Corps or Spelmanns Gledge, I look forward to what NEW things may arise, there may be a future favorite beginning soon that I will come to know and love.

dAY3-4 (12)

day4b (11)

The pictures of the old version of the WDW Marching Band near the top of the page are from my Sept. 98 trip report:

Steve Soares site was invaluable in helping me learn about the way the Magic Kingdom Band used to be organized.

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Pat Terry Sr. and Pat Terry Jr. - follow up part I

After my post about Pat Terry Sr. and Jr. that stemmed from the postcard I found of them, Pat Junior was nice enough to send me a few items that illustrate a bit more about him, his dad and their work with Disney. over the next few weeks I'll be sharing these. I'm glad to say I was able to help Pat out a little with one of these items, in 2006 Pat Terry senior was inducted into the Banjo Hall of Fame, as a part of that a video was put together briefly summarizing his dads career, brief though it was it was a bit over 10 minutes, and Pat Jr. wasn't sure of a way to host it without a monthly fee, it is well know that youtube has free video hosting, with the limitation that videos posted cannot be more than 10 minutes long, many folks don't know that the OTHER video service Google owns, Google video, allows LONGER videos, and since I HAVE a google video account in addition to my you tube account , with Pat Juniors permission I posted the tribute there, not to go off on too much of a tangent here but the only thing i don't like about google video is there is no way that i know of to link to a nice list of all my videos there, if you watch one of my videos on google video there will be a tab on thegoogle video page that says "more from this user" but there is no way I have been able to find to open that list as its own page.

I believe that Pat would still like to do some editing on the video, like adding a "title" at the start of the video, so if any of you fans of the Disney parks out there have some video editing experience you might want to get in touch with him through his web site.
bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Mickey's "Costume Change"

Recently as I've been getting organized about following Disney blogs, I've been going back and reading many older posts in some of the blogs I enjoy, one of those blogs is called 5 Kingdoms . 5 Kingdoms has an interesting angle on the Disney parks comparing the 5 Magic Kingdom style parks, and often taking one element of them and seeing how that element is executed in the five parks are all five very similar? do some of them have differences or lack this feature? or is this feature unique to just one park? Occasionally CheriBibi will stray from this format if it will provide an interesting post, one such post was on the evolution of the character costumes with a special focus on Mickey and Minnie :

Once the attire for these mice was perfected in the late 1970's the changes pretty much came to a halt, yes Mickey gets different outfits on occasion, but if you read her post you'll see that is not what she is speaking of. From some time in the 1960's until 1978 Mickey was generally seen in what I call his straight-legged look, in that the pants he wore looked as if they could be worn by you or me, as in pants any typical human might wear, but in 1978 his costume evolved to reflect his origins as a cartoon character made up of circles. The writer at 5 kingdoms wasn't quite sure of when that change was made, but I recalled hearing that it was tied to Mickey's 50th birthday, and I've got some postcard scans that support this memory, first here are a few cards from the mid 1970's before the change:


and here are a few 1978 or later images:


The pictures in this post are from the "History in postcards" side of my web site specifically the following pages:


but here's one last one for anyone who still has a doubt that Mickeys dud's had changed by the time of his 50th:

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Disney Like Details seen outside the parks (WAAAY outside) - part III - Old Fort Topiary

In the previous posts in this series I've shown you a few look alike structures, this post is still about a sort of a look alike, but it's not a structure, and it is certainly NOT a dead ringer for the version of this found in the Disney parks. In fact in the case of this post you might say it's all in my head, because it is just something I associate with the Disney parks and that is Topiary. Growing up near Disneyland I always associated Topiary with the It's a Small World attraction as that is where most if not all of the Disneyland resorts topiary was when I was a child in the 1970's.

Nowadays my resort to visit is normally Walt Disney World where the topiary is a bit more widely distributed, and on a personal note I much prefer the older style topiary, the sort of box hedge trained to grow just so, rather than the newer "ivy on a form" technique, some of those can be cute, but it still seems somehow just not as good on some level.

In fact although topiary can be found in the world outside the Disney parks I myself have only run across this type of thing very rarely, and most of those had probably been at hotels near Disneyland (seen as we passed in our car) where they were obviously trying to give their hotels a bit more of a fun "Disney" feel.

In 2001 I met Carlene, and we married in 2002, at the time her mom was till with us and we spent many weekends at the house Carlene's dad built just outside Marion North Carolina, right near the Pisgah National Forest, when we first started going up there whenever i went to run an errand I go into the town of Marion, at some point I realized that the town of Old Fort was just as close, and although it is MUCH smaller than Marion, it's Mc Donald's was just as close as the one in Marion, and the Hardees in Old Fort is much closer to her parents place than the one in Marion, so Old Fort became the preferred direction for a breakfast trip.
On one of my breakfast runs as I approached Old Fort something on the right hand side of the road caught my eye, on the way back breakfast in hand I got a closer look, at TOPIARY! I told myself "I need to remember to bring my camera next trip" it was actually a few trips later (and it was probably 2003 by this time too) when I finally got to take some photos of these, since I was using a film camera I didn't go nuts but I still managed to get a few good shots of what I saw.

This first shot is just to put the view from the road into perspective (though at least two of the topiary are visible here):

Old Fort Topiary 001

I wonder if the person who grew these is a truck driver?

Old Fort Topiary 002

Old Fort Topiary 003

This one looks like it took a bit of a beating, but it looks pretty good just driving by:

Old Fort Topiary 004

These last two were a bit further back, but I think I stayed close to the road and just used my zoom, my cannon sure shot did have a pretty decent zoom on it, but even if i had needed to step in closer I might have been tempted to because for years my mom used to drive a jeep that looked a lot like the profile of this topiary, as a part of her job with the United States Postal Service, we all remember those old postal jeeps right? Well at least those of us over a certain age do.

Old Fort Topiary 005

Old Fort Topiary 006

If you happen to be in that part of NC here's a map that will get you pretty close to this stretch of US 70, the intersection at the star is not an exact match for this house, but it's probably within a mile or less (less I'm guessing).

By the way Alan Huffman has been talking about a similar topic on some of his recent episodes of the park Hopping podcast he calls them Dis-sensory experiences, things you hear or smell outside the parks (or in my case SEE), that remind you of things IN the parks.

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Entertainment Cutbacks? Leon and others

Earlier in the week I used a blog post to echo the announcement of a new episode of my podcast, as a simple copy of the shownotes to the blog. I'm undecided as to if that is a good idea or not, and since for the next episode (releasing today) I have some other material that is somewhat related from a few recent posts I've made in another forum (specifically the picture a day thread on I've decided to use that here, though there are actually links to two episodes in this post, so be aware that the link to the new episode is down below the picture of the guy on the piano (LEON).

I listened to the most recent episode of WDW Radio yesterday and heard the bad news about the FURTHER entertainment cuts, and while I'm a bit sad about them I'm still hopeful for the future, but just for anyone who has not heard about all the cuts in addition to the elimination of the Family Fun Day Parade, Woody's Cowboy Camp, Four for a Dollar, Pocahontas and her forest friends, Lou Mentioned these additional cutbacks, at Disney's Animal Kingdom;
  • Inkas Wasi:Music And Dance Of The Andes
  • the Karuka Acrobats in the Africa section
  • and Wes Palm (talking, roving palm tree)
In Epcot:
  • Orisi Risi Interactive drum circle and African folklore at the outpost in World Showcase,
  • Spelmanns Gledge from the Norway pavilion.
It's always a bit sad to see these down times, let us all hope the economy turns around quickly and they can return to a period of growth in entertainment soon!

I remember back in 2001 when they cut all the early entry and went to having character cavalcades at the resorts, then by the time I visited in October 2002 things had started to turn around, the park was back to opening earlier, and they had added things at the Magic Kingdom like the morning opening ceremony, and the trolley parade, (that may have also been around the time they began to add Main Street Streetmosphere characters, but it wasn't on my radar if they did) here's hoping that when this downturn they are bracing for now, comes to an end that once again they will make those sort of improvements.

Of the groups and shows that are leaving I will probably miss Spelmanns Gledje the most, I used thier audio on an episode of my podcast.
Mousin' it Up! °O° Season 2008 °O° Episode 34- Norwegian Constitution Day

That picture is part of my June2007 trip report:
bigBrians Disney trip reports index page

and this specific page:

June 2007: A Return to WDW - page 35: Voices and Spelmanns Gledje

that was the first of two post related to recent cutbacks here's the second

good news / bad news

In this time of economic downturn with Walt Disney World seemingly, battening down the hatches for a slow down in business by cutting back on some of its live entertainment groups (as I detailed in a previous post
Post a Disney picture a day), it is nice to hear that some folks from the Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse may have other jobs on property, I recently leaned that Carol, a talented keyboardist who worked at the Comedy Warehouse, got a job at Rose & Crown Pub, while I was quite pleased to hear this my next thought was, "Does that mean that Pam Brodie has went into full retirement? (she works two days a week in a sort of semi-retirement position), or are they getting rid of Leon Gregory?", it then occurred to me that perhaps there was another option too perhaps they would add some earlier sets, I then I realized in the current economic climate that was quite unlikely, and when I got the opportunity to chat with some other fans asked if any of them had heard what the story was, unfortunately it turns out they are getting rid of Leon, in fact his last day has come and gone. Unfortunately times of unemployment seem to be an unavoidable fact of life for most musicians. You know, when you think about it Walt Disney World allows an almost unheard of opportunity for musicians to have regular work without having to travel. I'll miss Leon and hope he lands on his feet, and with his talent and experience, think that he may have a better chace at that than most folks would in his situation, with some luck I may get to hear him play again someday. As for Carol I only caught her once, as for me I only made my first trip to the comedy warehouse for the first time last December (and decided I needed to visit it more on future trips, oh well, so much for that!) even from that brief exposure it was clear she is one talented individual. So the next time I'm at the pub in the Great Brittan Pavilion I'll enjoy Carol (or Pam Brodie if it is one of her days) but I'll pause and think of Leon Gregory in a silent toast to him.

Now with that announcement about Leon being gone I felt the need to share the audio of him NOW which led to the second episdoe of the week (but first of the month!)

Show Notes Episode 42 The Extraordinary Leon Gregory

If you want to download the show manually (instead of using a podcast aggregater such as Itunes) then follow this... Link to the shows libsyn page OR right-click on this link: and choose SAVE TARGET AS to save the file to your hard drive.