Our Dinner With Dreamfinder

Published January 13, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Most Disney fans are familiar with the the way that Epcot opened ceremoniously on October 1, 1982. In the early days, there wasn’t a Disney character in sight! Can you imagine? But then, from 1982 – 1987, the one and only Ron Schneider, Epcot’s original Dreamfinder, helped to change all of that. To this day, Dreamfinder is one of the world’s most iconic theme park characters. He is loved by Disney fans all over the world, and how could he not be?

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With his top hat, beard and loveable sidekick Figment, Dreamfinder had a mission to encourage children of all ages to use their imagination. He brought wonder and excitement to Disney guests of all ages. As a child of the 1980’s I was one of those (probably millions!) of kids whose favorite part of the original Journey Into Imagination attraction – was seeing and hearing Dreamfinder. To meet him outside of the attraction – was not an encounter that one could ever forget.

Fast forward to January 2015, when my friend Shelby suggested that we have an event with Ron Schneider. We thought it would be really fun to celebrate Ron, and the gift of joy he has given to so many. I contacted the original Dreamfider, and although he is VERY busy, he was incredibly gracious and agreeable to taking time out of his day to meet with us. January 8th 2015  – a handful of us sat down for an excellent meal at the Garden Grill – and had an absolute blast being in the presence of this man.

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Ron was so cool, he even let me put on his hat! OK…well maybe I just put it on when he wasn’t looking. Still…he could have very well told me not to…but he didn’t.   :)

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As we finished up our meal, we had drawings for some fun gifts, sponsored by Travel Planner Mary Morales. Thanks Mary!

By this time, I had grown quite attached to the hat, and decided it made me feel in charge as I handed out raffle tickets!

I knew this would be a great time, and I knew it would be special because of Ron, and just being at Epcot with so many good friends – new and old. But during dinner, one of my (other) very favorite parts of the night began to happen. I met and spoke with Leo for the first time ever. My new friend Leo, over at the end of the table, with tears in his eyes, began telling me how much this event meant to him. Leo has loved the Dreamfinder character almost all of his life. He showed me his photo with Ron from long ago. LOOK at little Leo!! I can’t even take the cuteness in this photo.

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My heart was so full as I was able to take Leo’s photo with Ron, and recapture the magic of that day so long ago!

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After dinner, we all followed Ron to his attraction in the Imagination pavilion. Leo and Ron sat together in the front seat!

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Of course a few shenanigans may have ensued along the way. As we exited the ride and visited with Ron, there seemed to be a some sort of signal spreading like wildfire among the cast members that there was a celebrity in the building! Everyone from sales associates, to leads, and everyone in between, started approaching him for photos. There may even have been an Imagineer or two!

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Our group spent some more time together at Epcot until finally, we all had to say goodbye. I don’t think any of us will soon forget this magical night! Our thanks to Ron, our server Barry, and all the people who had a part in making it so very special! It was truly something that Disney dreams are made of.

Join Us For and Afternoon with Robbie Sherman!

Published December 28, 2014 by Disneyways.com

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Pencil in Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 12:00-3:00pm for this wonderful event and join us for an afternoon with Robbie Sherman! Brunch is included and a cash bar is available. This event will take place at Howl at the Moon, 8815 International Dr., Orlando, Florida 32819. Robbie Sherman will take you on a musical journey through four generations of the Sherman Family. He is a talented songwriter and has written songs and/or scripts for film, TV commercials and the stage. Robbie is the son of the late great Robert Sherman, from the famous Academy Award winning Disney songwriting team, the Sherman Brothers. He will also discuss the book he edited for his father, “Moose,” Chapters of My Life and a new book written by his late grandfather, Tin Pan Alley songwriter, Al Sherman. “Moose,” Chapters of My Life will be available for purchase and signed by Robbie Sherman during the event on March 15th.Contact Adria Smith for more information at Bsmith9953@aol.com or call 407-256-3936. Tickets are just $50 for this amazing, intimate event and only a few remain. You don’t have to be a Disneyana Fan Club member to attend. To get your ticket, you will want to make out a check – payable to World Chapter Disneyana Fan Club. 

The last day for ticket sales is February 15, 2015 – so don’t wait!! If you want to save the stamp – message me on facebook for details on how to pay via paypal.

Click on the graphic below to be taken to our interview with Robbie on the Disney Parks Podcast.

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“Inside Out” Themed Holiday Activities!

Published December 23, 2014 by jpmdo

Looking forward to the release of the new Walt Disney Pictures Studio movie “Inside Out” next summer? We are too!!!  In the meantime, enjoy these fun holiday activities! You can download them by clicking HERE.

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Holiday Craft Ornaments

(This is just a preview – click the link above to go to the real thing!)

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Spot the Difference!

(This is just a preview. Click on the link above to go to the real thing!)

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Breaking News! Very Limited Tickets Now On Sale! Paige O’Hara Voice of Belle and Disney Legend Bob Gurr in Orlando

Published December 20, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Disney Legends Paige O’Hara and Bob Gurr are coming to Orlando for two very exclusive events on March 7th and 8th 2015! Tickets are very limited, and you will not want to miss this once in a lifetime Disney fan’s dream come true!

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Please note!! You will need to direct questions to ticket or the  facebook page HERE.

Paige will arrive on March 7th at 6:00 PM at the Celebration Golf Club for a one night only celebration. Enjoy an enchanting dinner and exciting Q & A session with Paige, followed by an autograph opportunity and silent auction. One-Of-A-Kind items for the silent auction are being provided exclusively for this event – with proceeds benefiting The Walt Disney Birthplace. You will also have access to a cash bar. Tickets are very limited for this private affair, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Click here to get your tickets for Day One: An Affair with Paige O’Hara

You may also reserve 1 of only 10 paintings, painted by Paige O’Hara, for an additional $300.00. The paintings are hand embellished by Paige, who is a Disney fine artist. She has embellished each one to give all of them a personal unique touch. The painting is signed, numbered Limited Edition Giclee’s. An inscription may be added to your painting at no extra cost.

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March 8th is open to a very small group of only 15 people. Day Two: Lunch and Private Magic Kingdom Park Tour with Disney Legend Bob Gurr, will include a $25 dining certificate for your lunch with Bob – at Liberty Tree Tavern. He will then personally guide a whimsical 3 and a half hour tour of the Magic Kingdom explaining his involvement in the creation of the park – and sharing his fun facts along the way! Many Bob Gurr attractions will be experienced such as: The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Carousel of Progress and It’s a Small World. You will also get an autograph and photo opportunity with Bob. Theme Park admission is not included. Day Two: Lunch and Private Magic Kingdom Park Tour with Disney Legend Bob Gurr tickets are now available.

While supplies last, you can save $20 by booking The Ultimate Disney Legends Package! This includes all of Day One and Day Two!

Don’t wait! Click HERE for more details and to get your tickets before they are gone.

*These are private events not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. All tickets and donations for silent auction items are non-refundable. Rides with Bob are subject to availability, and theme park admission is not included. Questions and comments left on this blog post will not be answered. Please direct questions to facebook event page or the “Contact Organizer” button on the ticket site HERE.

This event has been sponsored in part by YourMagicalVacation.com and DestinationsInFlorida.com

This event has been sponsored in part by Destinations in Florida and Your Magical Vacation. Contact them to book your rooms or packages for this amazing event!

The Best Christmas Trees at Walt Disney World 2014

Published December 14, 2014 by jpmdo

Recently Tony and I mentioned some of our favorite Christmas trees on property at Walt Disney World. I thought it would be fun to bring  you some photos too, so you can see for yourself how beautiful some of these trees and decorations really are. Click on each photo for a closer look! Be sure to leave a note in the comments to let us know some of your favorites from this year!

Fort Wilderness

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Boardwalk Resort

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Yacht and Beach Club

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Special thanks to Jennifer at OrlandoConnections.com for the awesome photos! You can check out the podcast episode with our picks for favorite Disney Christmas trees HERE. 

 

Book Review: Jeff Heimbuch’s Main Street Windows: A Complete Guide to Disney’s Whimsical Tributes by Jennifer Vichko

Published December 1, 2014 by jpmdo

There’s no greater feeling of excitement than when you’re ‘walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA.’  There, after walking under the train station, you’ll get first official sighting of the Castle, catch a sweet smell from the Confectionary wafting through the air and maybe even have to step aside for a Trolley or two.  Some guests like to make a beeline to rides and attractions right after rope drop – which is a great strategy! – however I can’t help but take my time and enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of the street I wish I lived on!

It’s no surprise that the Walt Disney Company pays attention to little things.  From Hidden Mickeys in the parks and resorts to Easter Eggs in movies, Imagineers and Animators alike truly reward their fans for noticing the tiny details.  One of the lesser known hidden gems for guests at Disney Parks are the cryptic tributes in the advertisements in each of the windows that line Main Street.  I’ve walked up and down this Street many times and was shocked to find out how little I actually knew about this huge honor!

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In his new book, Main Street Windows: A Complete Guide to Disney’s Whimsical Tributes, author Jeff Heimbuch takes us on tour of all the Main Street windows of Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.  Much like Hidden Mickeys, Disney has not produced a full listing of the windows anywhere else in the world so Heimbuch’s gorgeous pictures and descriptions now serve as the official catalog.

Each page features a full-color photograph of a window (or two) and a breakdown of the names featured and meaning behind it.  Though most people are well aware that Disney pays attention to even the smallest of details the fact that almost every window pays tribute to someone that contributed something special to the Disney organization is incredible!

For example, one window in Disneyland has the following advertisement:

Ragin’ Ray’s

River Rafting Expeditions

Experienced Guides since ’55

Ray Van De Warker

Owner Guide

The author goes on to illustrate the meaning behind this particular window, describing the career path of Ray Van De Warker.  He started his tenure at Disney as summer help in 1955 and eventually became head of the Davy Crocket Explorer Canoes where he inadvertently helped start a yearly Disneyland tradition of Racing Around the Rivers of America.  I love the humor behind these tributes and am sure the honorees are incredibly grateful for the acknowledgments.

I can’t even being to think about all the time and effort Heimbuch spent in creating this guide.  From obtaining stunning photographs of each and every window in all of the Magic Kingdom-esque parks to researching the details behind the advertisements, his hard work certainly has not gone unnoticed.  Main Street Windows: A Complete Guide to Disney’s Whimsical Tributes is a great addition to any Disney fan’s library and I can’t wait to take it with me on my next trip to the Magic Kingdom to spot some of my new favorite features of Main Street, USA.

Jennifer Vichko is a lifelong fan of all things Disney and is thrilled to be reliving the magic through the eyes of her one-year-old daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her Husband of 6 years where her hobbies include decorating, DIY and planning her family’s next Disney vacation.

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