Archive | April, 2011

Daddy’s Movie Day – The Avengers Volume 1 and 2

30 Apr

Being the parent of a 4 year old princess, my movie collection is generally filled with all things pink and princess.  However every now and again, I am able to persuade my little lady to watch something out of her normal genre.  When we received The Avengers Volume 1 “Heroes Assemble”, and Volume 2 “Captain America Reborn” cartoons (available now on DVD), I knew watching would be an uphill battle since most of my available movie time coincides with my Zoe time.  To my delight, Zoe looked at the covers and immediately wanted to pop them in the DVD player.

Five hours and 13 episodes later we were still wanting more.  Being a bit of a comic book collector in my youth, I was already a big fan of the Avengers, so keeping my attention wasn’t hard.  However, all 13 episodes kept Zoe glued to the screen well past her bed time.   The mix of quality story lines, well developed characters, and fantastic audio and video quality make this DVD series one of the best I have seen in a long time.  It is a show that can entertain both young and old fans of the superhero genre.

Zoe and I definitely give it two big thumbs up!!!

Note:  Series does contain mild cartoon violence, and might not be suitable for younger children.

The Avengers Volume 1 “Heroes Assemble”

Join the best of the Marvel Universe for the first seven episodes from season one of the electrifying new animated series, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Get ready for nonstop action as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Ant-Man, The Wasp, Hawkeye and The Black Panther join forces to battle a legion of villains bent on the total destruction of humanity.

Experience The Avengers at their very best in this spectacular collection, complete with an exclusive sneak peek at the secrets of season two. It’s a must-have for Marvel fans of all ages!

EPISODE1:  Iron Man is Born!
EPISODE3:  Thor the Mighty
EPISODE3:  Hulk Versus the World
EPISODE4:  Meet Captain America
EPISODE5:  The Man in the Ant Hill
EPISODE6:  Breakout, Part 1
EPISODE7:  Breakout, Part 2
The Avengers Volume 2 “Captain America Reborn”

Get ready for more action-packed adventure with The Avenders: Earths Mightiest Heros!, Volume 2.  The excitement reaches new heights as the best of the Marvel Universe stand together to battle Klaw, Baron Zemo, The Enchantress, and a horde of the Leader’s Gamma-Mutated Monsters.

Bring hime six sensational episodes from Season One of Marvel’s newest animated series.  With an exclusive bonus feature – a sneak peak at the secrets of Season Two – for every fan of thrills and adventure.

EPISODE8:  Some Assembly Required
EPISODE9:  Living Legend
EPISODE10:  Everything Is Wonderful
EPISODE11:  Panther’s Quest
EPISODE12:  Gamma World Part 1
EPISODE13: Gamma World Part 2

Advertisements

A Look Around the Newly Refurbished Lego Store at Downtown Disney

29 Apr

The last stop on our week of firsts, is a look at the newly refurbished Lego Store that Opened earlier this week at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

The store looks amazing!!! They have added several new sculptures around the outside of the building and spruced up the activity tables outside. Also, you’ll notice that they removed the playground area…

I loved this dragon and knight sculpture!!!

A closer look at the bottom of the dragon and knight sculpture...

A look at the dwarf sculpture...

More dwarfs....

And finally Snow White kissing Dopey, which was my favorite of them all!

One of the spruced up tables outside where you could race your Lego cars!!!

The inside of the store also received a MAJOR overhaul!!! There are new cute Lego dioramas, activity areas, and an innovate way to look at what your Lego creation will look like once it’s assembled.

A look at the new check out areas and Lego showroom

Another view of the inside of the store.

In the gaming area you could build and play with you creations on several computer stations.

The second activity area was a large table chocked full of various Lego bricks that could be closed off from the rest of the store.

This is an example of one of the SEVERAL Lego dioramas that are scattered throughout the shelves.

Now this was the absolute coolest addition to the refurbishment…The Digital Box!

After all, You’ve got a friend in me…at the Lego Store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Woody & Buzz!!!!

A First Look at Discovery Cove’s Grand Reef – Opening June 2011

28 Apr

Continuing on our week of firsts, I take a look at Discovery Cove’s Grand Reef opening this June.

Opening in June 2011, The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures, from white sandy beaches, to snorkeling among thousands of tropical fish and rays in canyons inspired by reefs from around the world.

Discovery Cove is the boutique of boutique parks in Orlando. It is an all day resort-like experience that only allows in 1,000 guests a day to participate in up close encounters with birds, rays, and of course dolphins.

A view of a group during the Dolphin Experience in the Dolphin Lagoon.

It is hard to imagine, but The Grand Reef is really going to be cherry on top of what is already a really amazing place!!!

Construction on the Grand Reef is moving non-stop and around the clock!

The Grand Reef will be 2.5 acres with sandy beaches and almost a million gallons of salt water that will be home to approximately 10,000 animals representing 125 different species of fish), rays, and sharks. Another unique and exclusive part of the Grand Cove will be the removable coral which will be repositioned to create new experiences every visit.

A close of up of the removable coral that will be inside of The Grand Reef.

Thousands of colorful fish will dart and school through crystal clear waters creating a rainbow under the sea. The fish include angelfish, butterflyfish, wrasses and tangs, and larger hogfish and filefish that will eat almost 150 pounds of food a day!!!

Spotted eagle rays, who are usually found in Caribbean and Pacific waters, will take their place among the dozens of rays who will call the reef home.

There are three showcase moments when you will come face to face with a few guys that belong behind glass! The first moment happens when you can get a new perspective on the venomous and invasive lionfish. Then you will come face to face with a not so pretty or friendly group of eels who will make their home with grouper and triggerfish. And finally you will get an exciting view, both in and out of the grand reef, of Zebra/Australian leopard, nurse, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks.

Some say it's like walking on the moon - but surrounded by fish. SCUBA certification is not required.

SeaVenture will be the crown jewel experience of the Grand Reef! This innovative experience is an underwater walking tour where guests, wearing dive helmets, will be able to walk the reef as an inhabitant. After climbing down a latter, guest will set foot on the reef floor where they will come face-to-face with sharks through a full, 8 foot talk, 21 foot long panoramic window. Along the way, guest will be able to really explore the reef, its showcases, and be able to touch starfish & sea urchins along the way. The adventure will end with schools of fish feeding around the divers with the massive open reef as a backdrop. This hour long program will be for groups of up to six people per excursion, and cost $59 per participant.

The dive helmet looks heavy, but it has been designed to be extremely light under the water.

The Grand Reef will also offer eight new cabanas for rent as the water’s edge to add a touch of luxury to an already amazing day!!!

I personally CANNOT WAIT to experience the reef and the SeaVenture!!! It is truly going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what it is like to live under the sea!!!

Wordless Wednesday – First Kiss

27 Apr

Rides with Friends – A First Ride with Zoe

26 Apr

The thing that I was the MOST excited about when we decided to move to Orlando was not having to endure a few months or even a year of waiting for Zoe’s next Disney Milestone. She got her first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop, she rode The Barnstormer as her first roller coaster, and learned that fairy tales come true when she met the Fairy Godmother as her first character experience.

And while Zoe is a lover of all the mountains (Space, Thunder, and Splash), there was one thrill that she still had on her list (that she is tall enough to ride)…The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

So after months of debating, she finally agreed to ride The Tower of Terror!

We walked the cue in silence sharing quick glances, waiting for her to chicken out. Then as we walked through the lobby, we realized that it was really going to happen we all got nervously excited. As the preshow “movie”, as Zoe called it, ended she led us to the elevators. After being strapped in, she took a death grip on both mine and Dave’s hands…and the rest is history!

I have to thank Shalon (@shalongiven) for videoing this special moment for us!!!

I hope that you all enjoy sharing the terror and joy that was Zoe’s first ride on Tower of Terror!!!

Wishes!

22 Apr

I thought that I would end this week with a bang…at least through some pictures! 🙂

I don’t think I have ever made it through Wishes! without crying, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!!!

A Walk Through the America the Bountiful Garden in EPCOT

21 Apr

The America the Bountiful Garden is a whimsical look at gardening with a focus on the 3 R’s (Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle) located to the right of the American Adventure in Epcot and only here during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which continues until May 15th.

Goofy, Donald, and Pluto welcome us into the America the Bountiful Garden!

I loved these vertical planters!!! Some had flowers, while others had strawberries and herbs.

A Close up of the sign.

Goofy on the go!!!!

I loved these flowers in the kiddie pool!

Spare bale of hay???

Or a spare tire laying around? Try using them as an innovative planter!

Who says scarecrows have to be stuffed?

Or that they can't be cool dudes?

Donald is my fave!!!!

But Pluto is sooooo cute....

These buckets o' flowers really were a great touch!!!

I was so close to having a Bon Jovi moment here!!! 🙂

Believe it or not, there is a bathtub underneath all those flowers!

You cant forget the sink!!!

Just outside the Garden, Mickey & Minnie are waiting with arms wide open!

Wordless Wednesday – Celebration Words of Wisdom

20 Apr

Rides with friends by Betsy (@Floridamingo)

19 Apr

It has been called many things over the years: WEDWay PeopleMover, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the Blue Line, Highway in the Sky, and now Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (or TTAP as I affectionately call it). This beloved attraction that traverses the upper levels of Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorites. Sure, it isn’t as exciting as Space Mountain, doesn’t promote the competion of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, or inspire the singalong that is There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow on Carousel of Progress (well, unless you’re amongst my friends), but it is a classic.

For those not familiar with TTAP, let me give you a little run down. The ride is a relatively slow moving, open air tram ride (think elevated train a la the “L” in Chicago, sort of). Its station is located on the second story of Rockettower Plaza, pretty much smack in the middle of Tomorrowland. You travel up an elevated moving walkway to the loading platform where cars are constantly moving, slowing down just enough to allow people to board. The cars comfortably seat four adults, but Cast Members have been known to occasionally squish in another if you are a party of five (not fun, trust me). Once you have boarded, you zip off to ride around and through several of the ride buildings in the land. The aerial view is incredible, especially at night.

View of Cinderella Castle from TTAP

So why do I love TTAP? Let me count the ways … 1) it is a fun ride that allows you to see most of the attractions of Tomorrowland, typically without any wait 2) even in the heat of the day, it is often a cool ride since the track is covered and you travel inside air conditioned buildings 3) I like hearing the page for Mr. Tom Morrow 4) the view of the Castle is unique and is a pretty cool photo op, but probably my favorite is 5) you can carry on a conversation with your friends/family while riding.

Some of my favorite park memories have been on TTAP. After having only met the illustrious Shelley Caran once before, our friendship was forged after a couple of memorable back to back rides in December. While Space Mountain was being repainted, we caught a glimpse of a worker taking a nap on the side of the building. After forgetting to snap a picture when we re-emerged from SM, we decided we needed to ride again. This was the beginning of many TTAP rides together, and a beautiful friendship.

Painter on Space Mountain - missed the pic of him taking a nap

Another favorite ride was the trip with my best friend, her husband and daughter, Katie. This was Katie’s first trip and we finally got to ride TTAP on the last day of our trip. I have been known to be a bit of a goofball and to act like a big kid, so when I go around bends in the ride, I throw my arms up in the air and yell “wheee!” I taught this tradition to Katie and even got the whole family to embrace it on our trip around the Highway in the Sky. They loved it and it provided me with some of my favorite pictures of the trip.


Now as for the whole conversation thing, I have certainly had some interesting ones on TTAP. Almost everything has been brought up from what has been your favorite thing you’ve done of your trip so far to the existence of God and philosophical and theological discussions that ensued. I tend to favor the more laid back conversations, or even the singing in the round. A few of my friends have a tradition of singing the song “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” one word at a time sung by each person. This can be quite humorous, based on the varying degrees of singing talent and whether or not you remember your word when it is your turn. We’ve also played the alphabet game when we go around and have to name a Disney ride or character that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

Friends deep in conversation while riding

TTAP is different each time based on who you are riding with at the time. I’ve had some truly epic and unforgettable rides, but there have been some I’d also choose to forget. The thing is, no matter what your motivation for riding, the scenery will never be exactly the same. Sure, the view is pretty much the same, but you may not look at the same thing from the same angle each time. The people watching from above is always entertaining. Then, of course, there is the audio track that accompanies the ride if all else fails. I hope you all will take a look at the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and see that it doesn’t just move people, but it can bring people together. So, whether you ride it to take a break from the sweltering heat, to get out of the rain, just to sit for a spell without having to wait in line first, or if you want to have a conversation with some friends, show the TTAP some love next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom and I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.

Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure is Definitely Pink, Fabulous, and Fun!!!

18 Apr

Everyone's favorite Diva Sharpay Evans takes on the Big Apple and Broadway in Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure available on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 19, 2011.

In my house there is one reason for watching High School Musical, no not Troy Bolton…Sharpay Evans!!!! Zoe is obsessed with all things Sharpay, pink, & fabulous, so when received a copy of Sharpay’s Fabulous Adbventure for review her eye’s lit up like it was Christmas!!! And I am super excited to say that Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure is great!!! Zoe and I both give it two thumbs up!!!

Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure is an all-new Disney comedy adventure starring the multi-talented Ashley Tisdale, as Sharpay Evans, in a hilarious fish-out-of-water tale about a small town Diva and her dog’s mis-adventures in New York City!

Just how fabulous do you have to be to make it big in the Big Apple? One aspiring diva is about to find out…the hard way! Ashley Tisdale shines in this totally captivating comedy.

After a talent scout spots her performing with her dog Boi at a charity gala, Sharpay Evans (Tisdale) sets off for the bright lights of NYC, convinced instant fame and fortune are in the bag (designer, that is). But the theatre is a dog-eat-dog world, as she and Boi discover when they encounter the devious owner of a pampered Pooch named “Countess” and a scheming Broadway starlet who will do anything to crush the competition. Fortunately, Sharpay also meets Peyton (Austin Butler), a handsome student filmmaker who finds Sharpay nearly as fascinating as she finds herself.

Want to find out up to the minute information? Make sure to follow the brand new Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure facebook page and Twitter handle @DisneySharpay which have launched to provide Sharpay’s fans easy and fun access to the latest news, sneak peeks and messages from some of the cast members.

Make sure to check out this Sneek Peek at Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure and to pick it up on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 19th!!!

%d bloggers like this: