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2019 UnMeeting Keynote with Disney Legend Tony Baxter and Michael Broggie

Published September 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Join me, won’t you? Let’s check out the keynote address of the Carolwood Society’s annual UnMeeting with Disney Legend, Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador, and inaugural “Heart and Heritage” honoree, Tony Baxter together with Society Founder, Michael Broggie the morning of Friday, September 27, 2019 at the Disney Springs AMC 24 theater at the Walt Disney World Resort!

Catch our interview with Michael Broggie about this interview in podcast form HERE

Doors will open at 9:15 am and this address will begin promptly at 10:00 am.

When I first found out about this event, I skimmed over it, and assumed it would be held in California. Upon closer look – it’s happening right here in my backyard. I couldn’t be more excited. You read that right! You can catch this amazing panel in the Orlando area!! Event check in will be at the AMC Theater entrance near Splitsville (not the one near Planet Hollywood) and parking in the Orange garage is suggested.

Society member seating is SOLD OUT but general admission tickets are still available HERE. General admission tickets ($35) are available to all who are interested in attending and can be accessed from this page. And every attendee will be provided with popcorn and a beverage!

Even if you (not unlike myself) don’t think trains are “your thing”, this event promises to give us all a charming insight into what was such an important part of Walt’s life. I spoke to Jim VanOstenbridge – the event organizer. He explained to me in great detail that he hopes this meeting will be a stepping stone to more frequent Carolwood Society events. He’s inspired by monthly meetings that are happening at Walt’s Barn in California.

“Animators, Imagineers, historians, authors, Disney Legends, and fans come to Walt’s Barn to enjoy each other’s company, but really, it’s to spend time with Walt Disney. Diane Disney Miller, on the barn’s dedication in Griffith Park highlighted that “our heart and heritage are here in this place”. So, that’s what I’m hoping this group will evolve into. Not just a group that assembles with railroad interest, but one that celebrates the path that led to and through the barn and those who carry the torch to this day.”

Jim says he wants to do it in a way that helps bring people together in a real and genuine way. Who wouldn’t want to support that?? Let’s get in on the ground floor, together. All Aboard!!

More on Tony Baxter: This is a great opportunity to learn about the design and creation of the range of Big Thunder Mountains at Disney Parks around the world from Tony Baxter, the man who brought them to life!Throughout Tony’s 47 year career at Walt Disney Imagineering he made numerous contributions and offered guidance and leadership that is evident at Disney Parks the world over. Among his best known achievements is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Join us to hear the story of how this attraction came to life and how the distinct characteristics of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris helped to make each one of these attractions remarkable in it’s own right.

More on Michael Broggie: Micheal has been featured in our series DISNEYWAYS MAGICAL SPOTLIGHTS: DISNEY LUMINARIES  You can read about him in great detail HERE!

The 2019 UnMeeting Keynote with Disney Legend Tony Baxter and Michael Broggie

 

More on the Carolwood Society:

The Carolwood Society is a private worldwide membership organization dedicated to preserving the personal railroad legacy of Walt Disney.

“We accomplish through our members’ love of railroading which is shared with everyone; to teach our children to understand the role that railroads served in building this great nation, and to encourage the continual appreciation of railroading.”

Carolwood hosts several members-only social events each year which have resulted in the creation of lifelong friendships.

Did you know The Carolwood Society has a membership program? Check it out HERE and consider joining Club 173! Same dues since 1995!

Follow Carolwood Society on facebook HERE.

Check out the event page on facebook HERE.

The following video will take you on a tour of Walt Disney’s Backyard Train Railroad The Lilly Belle (aka The Carolwood Pacific) as Walt himself narrates and describes what it took to build this amazing miniature locomotive. Images are Courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

Captain Marvel – A SPOILER FREE MOVIE REVIEW! WRITTEN BY PETER ALDEN GRIGSBY

Published March 6, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Captain Marvel – A spoiler free movie review written by Peter Alden Grigsby

You really have to admire the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have managed to take Comic Book Superheroes, and make them one of the most viable franchises in modern cinema. They have been so successful in fact, that they have enough productions to sub-divide into phases. As of now, we are coming to the end of phase 3, which will culminate with “Avengers: Endgame”. Shifting from big league hitters such as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk to characters that have not received as much attention such as Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the lynch pin, Captain Marvel. Spider Man, quite possibly their most popular character ever, has also recently re-acquired from Sony, so he will also figure prominently in the new phase.

When we left what was left of the team after “Infinity Wars”, we learned that Nick Fury had sent an emergency signal to Captain Marvel, just before being vaporized by Thanos. But who is Captain Marvel? Why was she not included in “The Avengers Initiative”? How can she help, when some of earths ‘Mightiest Heroes’ have already been vaporized? These are just some of the questions that this film sets out to answer. While giving the ‘basic gist’ of the story, I’m not going into too much detail; I want to present this review with NO SPOILERS! So buckle up true believers, here we go!

Right off the bat, THIS is an ‘origin’ film! Simply stated, don’t expect too much of a plot. Take this film as a “hi, nice to meet you”/first date kind of experience. We start out in the middle of the story, where we learn that a race of people called ‘Kree’ is in a war with another race called the ‘Skrulls’. We learned a little about them in “Infinity War”, but we get more of an insight in this film. The Skrulls are shape shifters, and can control their appearance. This is where we first meet “Vers” played by Brie Larson, who comes off fairly well. She presents a “girl-next-door” type of personality, while also being perfectly believable as a woman that can handle herself in any situation. At times she comes off a bit ‘wooden’, but hey, it’s a superhero movie, not “Titanic”. Vers is dealing with reoccurring nightmares about people she feels she knows, but can’t explain why. She also has a mysterious power that even the Kree don’t understand, but properly harnessed could make her one of the most powerful beings in the Universe. Her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is doing his best to help her figure out both who she is, and how to control her powers. Training her to control her emotions, as that is how she can ultimately control her powers. Jude Law is certainly capable, and believable in what he is being asked to do. That said, it’s not much! His character is certainly not explored to the degree it could have been. The chemistry between Law and Larson is not quite Luke Skywalker/Obi-Wan Kenobi caliber, but acceptable. Much like an older brother helping his younger sister. After learning that the Skrull commander, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) has captured Soh-Lar a Kree spy. Vers joins Yon-Rogg and a Kree rescue team to retrieve Soh-Lar. Of course, things go terribly wrong and Vers winds up separated from her team, and on a collision course towards Earth. For me, Ben Mendelsohn comes close to stealing this film! He gets some of the best lines in the movie, and delivers them brilliantly. This character, sadly, is not explored much either, but Mendelsohn managers to capture a menacing presence, without coming off as a typical ‘casting couch’ villain. He also demonstrates some brilliant comic timing.

Marvel uses a great ploy of ‘going back’ to move forward! Back, meaning to earth in the mid-90’s, (those familiar with the time period will enjoy the many ‘inside jokes’ that are presented.) and there are some genuinely funny moments. This is where we meet a young Nick Fury (Samuel A. Jackson), sans eye-patch, and a ‘rookie’ Shield agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). I’ve never really been a fan of the ‘de-aging’ CGI effects to make older actors look younger, I’ve never thought it looked real, but I will say it was done fairly well, and doesn’t really distract too much. Talos has followed Vers to earth, and is now after her. Sadly, this is where the ‘1990’s’ shtick becomes burdensome, and takes this film into a TV superhero feel. Not ‘camp’ but more like the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno ‘Incredible Hulk’ series. We learn Vers real name is Carol Danvers. She has a mysterious relationship with a Scientist (Annette Bening) she barely remembers. To me it seems that Bening was used for her ‘star power’ and very little else. What should have been a pivotal character was, again, never explored enough to the point that we actually cared anything about her. We also meet her best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashanna Lynch). Maria Rambeau is extremely likeable, and presents her character as the kind of friend we would all like to have. However, other than being Danvers best friend, there is not much for her to do. Danvers and Rambeau, we learn, are kind of like a female version of “Top Gun”. Yes, there is even a mascot named ‘Goose’! It’s almost as if the writers got a bit lazy during this ‘middle section’ and just went into an auto pilot mode, burping up cliché’ after cliché’ and really over using what could have been a fun little plot point. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some laughs, but all in all, the movie drags a bit here.

The last 30 minutes or so ramps up, and we get more of the action sequences we were expecting from the trailers. This is where I have to be careful because, as I said before, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say, we DO learn how Captain Marvel will fit into the MCU in “Endgame”, as well as some interesting little twists along the way.

 

So, in going ‘back’ to move forward, “Captain Marvel” has set the stage for phase 4 of Marvel’s cinematic franchise. While certainly not Marvel’s best ‘solo’ hero movie, it’s certainly not the worst, (that dubious honor belongs to “Iron Man 2” in my opinion) and it’s certainly enjoyable as sort of a ‘Saturday afternoon matinee’! Story line, what little there is of it, is a bit contrived and confusing at times. As for character development, there were so many, so none of them was really explored in-depth. It was certainly nice to learn more about Fury, and how everything ties in together. There were a few moments in this film when I felt that it was heading into a ‘preachy’, feminist, “#metoo” direction, but thankfully it pulled itself back. It’s going to be tricky, moving forward with this character, to not fall into that trap. I hope Marvel can do it, because Captain Marvel could be a very interesting character. I would still recommend seeing it to fill in the last gaps before “Endgame”. This movie does at least explain why Danvers has been absent, and that was satisfying. So, in short: Dull story, some funny dialogue, mediocre villains, and a predictable plot. CGI was well done.

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on Monday March 4, 2019 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy at Disneyways.com. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Alden Grigsby is a Florida native. Pete has appeared in an episode of the Mickey Mouse club, was a Jungle Cruise Skipper, “friend” of the Rocketeer, tram driver on the backlot tour, and opening day cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). When he’s not writing movie reviews, he is performing as a singer and tribute artist all over the world and currently has a cover album of Disney songs called Kingdom Classics

As seen on major Disney Fan sites such as Disney World Enthusiast, WDW Hints, WDW Magazine, City Surfing Orlando, Disneyways.com and many more! Rave reviews from all major Disney influencers and talk show hosts are online now – for Peter Alden’s Kingdom Classics CD.
Get ready for Classic Disney songs, with a retro rock vibe!! Peter Alden captures the ‘classic’ feel of the golden age of rock and fuses it into some of your favorite Disney classics!!

Goodies and Prizes at the Ganachery in Disney Springs ~ by Guest Author Kimberlee Thompson

Published December 8, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Goodies and Prizes (brought to you in part by MouseMingle.com) at our Disneyways meetup at the Ganachery in Disney Springs
~ by Guest Author Kimberlee Thompson

I’ve always thought there was something classy, and even romantic sounding about the word “ganache”. Maybe that’s why hanging out at Disney Spring’s new “Ganachery” during their upcoming Grand Opening Tuesday with all the other “cool kids” from Disneyways sounds like the really swanky thing to do.

ganachemeetup

If you have never experienced the heavenly mixture of melted gourmet chocolate and cream you don’t know what you are missing. Thankfully, The Ganachery will showcase SIXTEEN in-house made varieties of this decadent treat, so you can quickly acquaint yourself by sampling flavors like their signature Florida orange dark chocolate. In addition to their unique array of ganache flavors, The Ganachery will feature other house-made chocolate confections for the discriminating palate which will be wrapped in fanciful little packages, as well as nine unique flavors of chocolate bars designed to pay homage to Disney Icons and Destinations. Disney Pastry Chef, Stefan Riemer, who has passionately searched for the best chocolate worldwide, has professed that the quality of chocolate will be akin to that of fine wine. To this end, a knowledgeable chocolatier will greet guests and an expert will be on stage fashioning the edible works of art as visitors observe.

This sounds like the makings of a fabulous date-locale…which may be why MouseMingle.com, has sponsored door prizes and goody bags for this much anticipated Disneyways Opening Day Meet Up. MouseMingle.com is the ingenious online site that has combined the merits of online dating with the Magic of Disney, aspiring to help Disney fans near and far make romantic connections through their mutual love of all things Disney.

You won’t want to miss this event, which has all of the elements of both class and romance, just like it’s name would suggest. Anyone wanting to join should arrive at 2pm on Tuesday, December 15th 2015. Goody-bags are limited, so don’t be late. The Ganachery is located in the Landing Section of Disney Springs near favorites like the Boat House and Joffrey’s Tea Traders.

A note from Krista: Please be advised that prizes and goody bags are available only while supplies last and you must be present at the meetup to win. MouseMingle.com has provided a donation to help offset the cost of these prizes but this is NOT a singles meetup. Everyone is welcome! Please visit the event facebook page or contact me (Krista) with any questions. Comments left on this blog post may not be seen in time. Thank you!!

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kimberleeKimberlee Thompson is a Central Florida Native who has grown up “Living the Dream”. She has completely lost count of the number of times she has visited Disney Destinations and she considers herself very blessed to be able to say that. Kimberlee continues to reside in Central Florida with her husband, also a Florida native, and her two children.

Portobello Italian Restaurant Disney Springs Review by guest author Sharon Judy

Published September 10, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Recently I enjoyed my first visit to Portobello at Disney Springs! It was my first time dining at this lovely little place. I was in the company of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers group.

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As we came through the door were  warmly greeted and offered a signature drink… Honey Lemonade. This is made with locally sourced honey from Winter Park Florida. I am here to tell you this was SO good. Usually I am not a fan of lemonade because of its tartness but THIS lemonade was so smooth and sweet that I had 2 glasses!  I asked our wonderful hostess Emily if you are able to get a to-go glass if you were just strolling by and did not have a dinner reservation. She said “absolutely just come on in!”

The smoky smell of this restaurant is wonderful. They make wood fired pizzas that are amazing. I sampled the Margarita Pizza and Mushroom Pizza. Both were very tasty and had that lovely smoky taste.

  
Next our hostess Kristy brought around Goat Cheese and Radicchio Crustinis. This was crunchy and savory and sweet all at the same time. They were so good that I actually I ended up eating 4 of these little Crustinis of goodness!! I probably would have eaten more but figured I really needed to share with the rest of our group.

We had a buffet of meats,cheeses and all the fixings. Can just I say… I didn’t want to stop eating?!

  
  
  
The food was so delicious and the level of customer service we experienced was top notch.

Portobello at Disney Springs – I look forward to visiting again soon!!!!

Disclaimer: In exchange for time and efforts in attending this event and reporting my opinion within this blog, Portobello Italian Restaurant provided me with complimentary food and drinks. This did not influence my opinion and all thoughts are my own.

A Note from Krista:
Sharon Judy is not only a regular contributor to Disneyways – she is also the official hair stylist of Living The Dream Podcast as well as WorldSecrets.TV and Disneyways.com! Sharon is a licensed cosmetologist by the State of Florida. She works in the Grand Floridian, Yacht and Beach Club, and other resorts on Disney property.  She has a magical, pixie-dusted touch that she carries into her own salon as well. Contact her today via her facebook page for a consultation and appointment!

World Secrets: How to Get a Free Appetizer or Dessert in Disney Springs

Published July 29, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Today I found a World Secret that I thought was pretty special – an offer for a FREE appetizer or dessert (or $25 to spend on whatever you would like!) at your choice of Fulton’s Crab House, Portobello, or Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe in Disney Springs. BONUS perk! Walk into any of them without a reservation and totally get a table! Whaaaat? Could this be true – or are we in Fantasyland here?

I am one of those people who looks for the fine print and thinks there always has to be a catch. There are some great posts and articles all over the internet about cheap eats at Walt Disney World – but how often do you hear about anything being completely free? I read the fine print for you just now, and here’s the deal.

Fulton’s Crab House, Portobello, and Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe belong to a group called Levy Restaurants. Levy Restaurants says that nobody loves your more than family, and they want us to be a part of their family. They will treat you as one of their own when you become a Levy Restaurants Orlando Preferred Member. Here are some of the perks:

        • NO RESERVATION REQUIRED! Can you imagine? Walk right into any of these restaurants and get a table without calling ahead!
        • First glimpses at menu updates and special events
        • Tips, trends, and recipes for you right from the chefs
        • Preferred rates on all events at any of the three restaurants
        • After you get your free sandwich at Earl’s…this magical card will get you a special birthday treat at one of the Levy’s
        • A special card you can pick up on your next visit to the restaurant

LevyCard

1) Enroll online by simply filling out the online Registration Form and you’ll receive a confirmation email that will contain your temporary card number. Give your temporary card number to your server on your next visit and you’ll receive a physical loyalty card in its place.

2) You can also enroll during your next visit to Fultons, Portobello, or Wofgang Puck’s Grand Cafe locations in Disney Springs. Just let your server know you’d like to join the program. You’ll receive your loyalty card upon signing up and then you can register it online.

For every dollar you spend at these dining facilities, you receive 1 point. So when you get home from dinner, go ahead and redeem your points, or check your balance of points, by logging in to your personal account and navigating to the redemption page. Be sure to register your card and provide your email address to take advantage of these offers. You can also check your point balance by calling 1-888-272-7068.

So here it is!! At every 250-point increment, you may add $25 reward dollars directly onto your preferred card. You can redeem the reward dollars online and use them for a future dining experience at one of these participating locations!

A couple of my (other) dream point levels to score:

6,000 points – Perfect Night Out
Enjoy a night out on the town for four (4) with a four-course Chef’s Tasting Dinner including wine at the Levy Preferred restaurant of your choice. Transportation to and from your dinner is included. (Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance; excludes Spiaggia) *

35,000 points – Disney Family Getaway
Treat the family to a magical Disney Vacation! Includes airfare for four (4) to Orlando, a 3-night stay at a Disney Hotel, four (4) Disney theme park passes, one (1) lunch at Fulton’s Crab House and one (1) dinner at Portobello. Includes mouse ears!*

Still have questions? Get full details HERE.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO GET YOUR CARD AND BE ON  YOUR WAY TO YOUR $25 REWARD!

Do you have the card yet? What have your experiences been with this? Leave me a note in the comments below!

“Yacht Club” Club Sandwich at the Boathouse Resturant  Disney Springs … Review by Sharon Judy

Published April 15, 2015 by Disneyways.com

 Emily (my daughter)and I shared the “Yacht Club” Club. This is big enough for 2 to share and at $15.00 made it a good price. We even had leftovers to take home. 

It was really good. Roasted Turkey, bacon, cucumber, lettuce, tomato,chipotle honey mayo… Just a hint of spice. The bread soaks up all the mayo and blends all the flavors really well. I will order this again. The French fries were very crispy and buttery tasting.

Lawrence from Texas was our waiter and he made sure that we were all taken care of and answered all my questions.       

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