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August 2008 Archives

August 14, 2008

Quest for the West - Adventures by Disney

This blog was originally scheduled to tell you about an exciting Adventures by Disney trip that I will be hosting August 25 - 31, 2009.

I planned to share some details about the trip to see if you might join me!

Like... it's an adult only trip.

Like...we'd be visiting Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons!

Like... Beci Mahnken of MouseFanTravel worked up an incredible deal for those who wish to adventure with us with the hopes we'd have enough folks sign up for it to be exclusive for us only!

Like Special Guests Steve Barrett (Hidden Mickeys) and Mike Newell (MouseWorldRadio and WDWToday Podcast) would be joining me on this Adventure.

"So what happened Deb"? you may be thinking.

This past Sunday I announced the Adventure on AllEars.net. By late Monday more than half the Quest for the West trip was booked.

Today, I am here to tell you the Quest for the West Adventure I am hosting is SOLD OUT.

Yes, within 72 hours, folks faxed their deposits to MouseFanTravel and we are now fully booked!

For those of you lucky enough to snag a spot... we are going to have a Fantastic Time! For those of you who missed out, MouseFanTravel is keeping a "waiting list".

And...for those families/adults that are still interested in joining an Adventure hosted by Beci and myself, fill out the blog comment form - be sure to select Deb's Blog and let me know what US Adventure you are seriously interested in.

We don't have any plans right now to add another trip, but you just never know what opportunities may present themselves!

Here are the US Adventures for 2009:

1) Golden Path to Yosemite: Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and San Francisco

2) Rocky Trails and Mountie Tales: Glacier National Park, Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park

3) Taming the Last Frontier Alaska: Fairbanks, Denali National Park & Reserve, Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage

4) Beantown: Boston, Newport and NYC

5) Backstage Magic: Hollywood and Disneyland® Resort

6) Spirit of America: Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Williamsburg

7) Southwest Splendors: Arizona and Utah: Sedona, Grand Canyon National Park, and Moab

August 24, 2008

Deb and Steve Cruise - Almost Time

Deb and Steve Cruise Logo

WOW! We have been planning this special cruise for well over a year now! Steve Barrett and myself are hosting a very special Disney Magic Cruise that begins September 1st. Originally we planned to do a 7 night cruise this fall, but when Disney announced this special 5 night cruise with 2 stops at Castaway Cay, we jumped on it!!

There has been a LOT of planning going on behind the scenes. And with that planning we hope we've included some Magic too.

Deb and Steve cruisers have access to special events designed just for them! Here are just a few of the planned events!

Steve will be doing Hidden Mickey Walk Abouts on the ship as well as hosting a Hidden Mickey hunt on Castaway Cay.

We have a Suite Tour set up for Embarkation Day with our cruisers having the opportunity to tour a one bedroom and two bedroom suite aboard the Disney Magic.

10 lucky folks had their cabin numbers drawn to dine in Palo's private dining room for brunch and also for dinner thanks to special arrangements by MouseFanTravel, the official travel agency of the Deb and Steve Cruise!

Oh and Steve and I are each hosting a boat of 10 folks to go Parasailing at Castaway Cay!!! That's always a special treat.

Oh and I forgot to mention the special dinner at the American Adventure that will be held on Sunday night August 31st! We even have some special magic thrown in for those attendees as well!

This weekend is time to pack the bags and get all the final items organized and ready to go.

LindaLou and I will be headed to Orlando on Saturday so look for blogs starting next weekend.

August 26, 2008

Epcot's The Land - Circa 1982-1984

This is another in my sporadic series of "Step Back in Time" blogs -- this one returns to Epcot and the Land Pavilion.

The Land opened in Epcot's Future World on October 1, 1982 and was sponsored by Kraft. When the initial 10 year contract was up, Nestle became the new sponsor November 1992.

When the pavilion opened, the following components were in the building:

Listen to the Land Boat Ride - take a gentle cruise through various climates and learn about the history of farming. As the ride continued, you were taken into the future to see new and innovative techniques of both land and sea farming. While the ride is basically the same today, it has gone through several rehabs where the music and narration has changed.

Harvest Theatre - Symbiosis, an 18 minute film, explored the relationship between humans and their environment. The Harvest Theatre is still part of the pavilion, but now houses the environmental focused Circle of Life - Lion King movie with Timon and Pumba.

Kitchen Kaberet - these fun animated foods taught us about healthy eating and starred Bonnie Appetit, the Kitchen Krackpots and Hamm n Eggz. This attraction closed January 3, 1994 and gave way to Food Rocks on March 26, 1994 to make it more contemporary. Then on January 3, 2004, it was closed for good. Soarin now occupies that space once held by the singing fruits and vegies.

Farmer's Market - 8 fast food booths offering wholesome and nutritious meals and snacks. Now called Sunshine Seasons

Broccoli & Co. - the souvenir store. As always, there is a merchandise store in every area.

The Good Turn Restaurant - a 250 seat revolving full service restaurant. It's gone through several name changes (including the Land Grille Room) and today is the Garden Grill.

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The Land - Discover at Epcot -- Harvest new knowledge about man's relationship with planet Earth and dig into advanced food-growing technologies.

** Hydroponics
** Symbiosis and Resource Conservation
** History and Future of Agriculture
** Nutrition
** Aquaculture

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Here are some postcards from the early days ...

"LAND - Explore creative partnerships with the land. Set sail for "Tomorrow's Harvest". Sing along at a show that has the whole town cooking. And enjoy country-store fun, food and flavor."

The Land Epcot Postcard

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"Listen to the Land - in the "country fair" setting of the Land pavilion, review age old agriculture techniques. Then, sail through the environments of the world and glimpse Tomorrow's Harvest."

The Land Epcot Postcard

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"The Kitchen Krackpots - During your tour through The Land, you will see a wacky show which tells the story of nutrition in a very unusual way." Notice that this postcard does refer to the Kitchen Krackpots which was the name of the band that played at the Kitchen Kaberet.

The Land Epcot Kitchen Krackpots

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"Seasoned Performers flavor some spicy numbers on good nutrition at the Kitchen Kaberet, in the Land pavilion. Acts include Fiesta Fruit, Dairy Goods, and the hit of the Breakfast Circuit, Ham n Eggz".

Kitchen Kaberet - The Land Epcot Postcard

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The following photographs are digital images of the PanaVue slides that were sold at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot in the 80s.

The Land Epcot PanaVue Slide

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The Land Epcot PanaVue Slide

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The Land Epcot PanaVue Slide

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The Land Epcot PanaVue Slide

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The Land Epcot PanaVue Slide

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Here are some websites that offer photos and/or information about the early days of the Land:

All Ears Kitchen Kaberet Archives

Epcot Field Guide - The Land

Lost Epcot Features descriptions and photos from the early days of the Land.

Do you have photos from the 1980s of the Land Pavilion or any of it's attractions? I'd love to see them and possibly include them in a future blog. Please send to
allearsnet at yahoo dot com


August 28, 2008

A Bit of Magic for you and me

Every now and then I have the opportunity spread a little magic and support a great cause at the same time.... It's one of the really fun parts about being the All Ears guru.

Today, I have a very limited and very unique opportunity for 2 lucky folks.

Here's the scoop.

1) You must be in the WDW area on Sunday night, August 31, 2008
2) You must have your own admission into Epcot
3) You are TWO adults (both over 18)
4) You don't have dinner plans or you can cancel the plans you do have.
5) You must be free from 6:30pm until park closing.
6) You are interested in making a donation to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

So far so good?

Ok, Here's the deal. I have 2 tickets for the special private American Adventure Dinner Party hosted by Steve Barrett and Myself on Sunday night August 31, 2008.

These tickets were selling for $70/a piece, so it's a $140 value.

How this works....

By midnight tonight send me 25 words or less on why you'd like to attend the American Adventure dinner on Sunday night. Include the names of both adults who will be attending and where you are staying.

Mail this to allearsnet@yahoo.com Put AA dinner in the subject line.

I will do a drawing and select one winner who will receive 2 tickets. I will notify the selected email by email on Friday morning.

Once notified, you make an online donation to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Fundraiser. The amount is up to you, but a minimum of $10 is required by the Avon Website. Once that is done, I'll send you specifics on where and when to meet me on Sunday.

This is not a contest or a sweepstakes. All decisions final by me. Lost emails are not my fault. There is no complaining or anything else. It's a bit of magic for you and a cause near and dear to me.

Time is a factor so act VERY quickly.

Good Luck!

August 29, 2008

Winner Announced - A Bit of Magic for you and me

Thank you SO much to everyone you sent in entries for the American Adventure Dinner on Sunday August 31st. I wish I had enough tickets for all of you.

We held a random drawing this morning and the winning email belongs to

Chris and Jenny Murray!!!! Congratulations.

Thank you everyone!!!!!


August 31, 2008

Deb and Steve Cruise Adventure Day 1

Deb and Steve Cruise Logo

Linda and I left a very quiet BWI airport on Saturday morning. We couldn't believe how empty the parking lot was at the terminal. Our skycap told us that number of travelers for Labor Day Friday and Sat, compared to last year, was down over 50%! WOW.

Same was true for our Southwest Flight. Can't tell you the last time I was on a fairly empty Southwest flight to Orlando... our plane yesterday was about 1/3 full.

We arrived to a very rainy Orlando. Got all our bagage, did the grocery stop thing and arrived at the Beach Club about 1ish.

The Magic began right away for us. While Linda took care of the luggage, I went to check in. Here's where I was quite impressed with the Beach Club... As I entered the foyer area from the outside, just before the doors to the lobby itself, a Cast Member came over and greeted me..

Checking in? Why Yes. And your last name? Wills. Come with me. I'll be honest, I was a bit dumbfounded. This hadn't happened to me before. He escorted me to the line at the front desk and then said.. this is too long, let me see what else I can do. He disappeared and returned a few minutes later and had me move over the Lobby Concierge for check in. I don't think in all the years I have been coming to WDW, that has ever happened!

Cast Member Grace checked me in and she was outstanding. Oh, your room isn't ready, let me find one that is for you. And with that, she picked up the phone and got me a room! I was thrilled. She let me know my Owner's Lockers were in storage ready for me. Had we checked our luggage? She take care of that. And soon we were ready to head to the room.

Beach Club Room

On the way we had our first sighting of Deb and Steve cruisers in the lobby, Jill and Carolyn!! These two ladies are just amazing with their magical spirit. They always make me smile. I got to meet their children and Jill's mom Brenda. We chatted for a bit and then saw our luggage making it's way down the hall...so off we went.

Jill, Carolyn, Deb and Brenda

Our Bell Services Cast Member was also great.... I think his name was Robert? Without us realizing it, he had stopped and got ice for us so that when he put the luggage in the room, he filled our ice bucket. Great touch!!!!!

WOW -- This is the Disney service I have missed. Throughout the day, there were cast members in the lobby making sure things were going smoothly. Asking if we needed any assistance, etc. Oh and the gentleman that escorted me to check in, saw me later in the day and called me by name. Ok, whoever set this up at the Beach Club -- KUDOS!!!!

We went to the Captain's Galley in the Yacht Club for lunch. My grilled chicken sandwich was good. Linda was disappointed with her Fish and Chips. The fish batter was overly spiced and overly peppered....and Linda loves pepper.

We had a reservation at Brown Derby, but once we saw the weather, decided for plan B (cancel Brown Derby and go to a resort restaurant). I was pretty amazed that on a Saturday night of a holiday weekend, we were able to get a table for 4 at Flying Fish at 6pm.

Errands followed and at 5:30 met up with Beci and Annette to head over to Flying Fish for dinner. We had a great dinner, awesome bottle of wine, John Anthony 2004 Napa Cab. It's a splurge bottle, but a great one I highly recommend.

A special hello to Cast Member Penny former seater at Flying Fish and before that Artist Point. I asked where she was and they told me she was now part of the Dream Squad! She's going to be awesome!!!!

From dinner we went to Martha's Vineyard for relaxation. We were joined by Matt Hochberg and Marissa and Mary and Mike Newell (WDWToday. Podcast).

I was disappointed in the lounge. It had been a while since I was there, but gone was the wonderful wine list and instead, the standard Disney cocktail bar menu. The place was packed with families as it now seems to be the overflow waiting area for the Cape May Clam Bake. Also, a private party, complete with DJ, was happening in Ariels.

While there we spotted Deb and Steve cruisers Michelle and Jimmy and spent some time catching up with them.

All in all a wonderful first day!

It's now Sunday morning. Not raining, but supposed to today. I've decided to change my plans once again and not go to Animal Kingdom this morning.

We just got breakfast from the Marketplace -- it's ok and decent for quick service. Very limited breakfast items (unless you want pastry). The premade cheese omelets had a slice of ham added to them and put on a croisant.

I wanted to get this online... and now it's time to get ready for today!~

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About August 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2008 is the previous archive.

September 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.