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January 2012 Archives

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

In case you didn't see this great photo of Big Al on the Disney Parks Blog......

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

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January 14, 2012

Animal Kingdom Walk Around

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Thursday I went to Animal Kingdom. I really had wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom. However my TouringPlan subscription reminded me it was Extra Magic Hour at MK and a park to avoid.

My second choice was Animal Kingdom which was not crowded at all! My main reason for visiting the park was to take menu photos to update AllEars.

Actually, the parks are not crowded right now. Most Marathon folks have headed home and there is a couple day lull before the 3 day weekend coming up.

I had a great spot in the parking lot, very unusual for me - second car in. Don't you always feel like you are at the end of the LONG row? I do, but today I lucked out.

Despite the low crowds the turnstiles to enter the park were a bit backed up.


Animal Kingdom

I enjoy walking through the Oasis checking out what animals and birds can be seen. There are a few different trails, so take time to explore. I love when there are Cast Members around to talk to about the various birds and animals. Today, a Cast Member was showing a skull from a Babirusa.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom


There is also a great little seating area off by the Baribusa area. Quiet and out of the way.

Animal Kingdom

I love seeing the Tree of Life as you come out of the Oasis. Today's blue sky made for a great photo!

Animal Kingdom

One thing I have noticed over the years is that artist or author park appearance are rarely announced in advance. A few years ago I was so excited to happen upon none other than Joe Rhode signing books in Animal Kingdom. His appearances at Animal Kingdom are VERY rare, but it always pays to ask at the "Times Board" and check out the stores yourself. There just might be an author or artist you would like to meet.

Animal Kingdom

Creature of habit, I generally start on the left side of Animal Kingdom and make my way around. Today, I decided to head right and begin in Dinoland USA.


Animal Kingdom

The longest wait I saw was for the photo op with Pluto and Goofy!

Animal Kingdom

There are lots of "dinosaurs" to be found in this part of the park so be sure to look all around, even up! This dinosaur can be found in Restaurantosaurus!


Animal Kingdom

A couple of dinosaurs can be seen on the Cretaceous Trail.

Animal Kingdom

There is also a nice quieter area with benches and shade. This would make a good spot while you are waiting for others to ride Dinosaur.

Animal Kingdom


A couple dinosaurs are also near the Dinosaur Fast Pass area!

Animal Kingdom


Next I wandered over to Primeval Whirl. Pretty much a walk on. There are 2 areas to measure height, this one is cute with the animal paw prints where a child should stand.

Animal Kingdom

Things were really quiet in the arcade game area. Just curious, do any of you play these games?

Animal Kingdom


Really short lines today for Expedition Everest as well, about 10 minutes when I went past around 10am. Also the single rider line was closed.

Animal Kingdom

I was glad to see the "test seats" still available for folks to see if they can transfer in from their wheelchair or if they will fit with the lap bar. It's nice and out of the way of the mainstream.

Animal Kingdom

The last thing I did was journey along the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Be sure to pick up a guide with info about the animals along the trail.

Animal Kingdom

You can also get a guide to the birds as well.

Animal Kingdom

The Komodo Dragon was out sunning himself. I didn't see the Tapir - come to think of it, it's been a long time since I saw her. Anyone see the Tapir recently?

I went through the bat area, there was lots of fruit hanging for them to eat.

A couple of the tigers were out. I had a nice chat with Cast Member Dennis about the Tigers. I've said it before but these Cast members are a wonderful resource of information about the animals and birds. Don't hesitate to ask questions and engage in a conversation.

Animal Kingdom

I left the park around 11:30am. You can see from the Times Board the waits were still pretty short!

Animal Kingdom

A beautiful morning in my favorite park.


January 31, 2012

Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage - the Merchandise

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On March 31st (just 2 months from now), I'll be on my 2nd Maiden Voyage of a Disney ship, the Disney Fantasy. I'm very excited about it especially since it is a 7 night cruise. There should be plenty of time to explore the ship.

If you happened to be "with me" on the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Dream, you know what utter chaos and insanity the Maiden Voyage merchandise created. I was quite appalled at some of the behavior I saw from what are usually well-mannered adults.

A ship has only one Maiden Voyage and has an Inaugural Season. Merchandise on the Dream was for both.

It all started fairly organized before the cruise, when Disney Cruise Line offered an Random Selection Process (RSP) of the limited edition merchandise. The RSP is designed to offer everyone the same chance to purchase highly sought after collectables. All in all, this process went fairly well from beginning to end. Disney has certainly done their share of RSPs on other cruises (Panama Canal Cruises) and pin events.

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So I and others had high hopes there would be plenty of other unlimited merchandise for sail in the shops. We couldn't have been more wrong. There were several Maiden Voyage items includes a couple different t-shirts, sweatshirts and hat. All I wanted was a hat from the Maiden Voyage.

When the shops opened they suddenly were packed with people scooping up racks of clothing and arms full of hats. It was like super market sweep only on bad drugs. What upset me most, besides the behavior I witnessed, was that it became obvious these weren't all personal purchases. A fair number of the items were on e-bay before the end of the day. I felt bad for the Cast Members in the stores. It was nuts!

I couldn't bring myself to walk in the store and finally I left. By the time I returned the stores were a mess and all the Maiden merchandise was gone. What a disappointment.

I tell you all this because Disney Cruise Line heard the message loud and clear and is now offering Maiden Voyage merchandise for PRE-ORDER! YEA! YEA! YEA!

"We are offering Maiden Voyage guests a way to have select merchandise available in their staterooms once they board the ship," explained Holli. "This new 'pre-sell' opportunity was based on best practices from the Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise and feedback from our guests. Our goal is to make shopping a convenient and enjoyable experience."

Now through February 14, Maiden Voyage guests may place orders by telephone or complete an online form and send to Disney Cruise Vacations by fax or mail. You can download the form by visiting the Disney Cruise Line website. Once a guest has completed the process, the merchandise will be delivered to her or his stateroom on the first day of the Maiden Voyage.

These photos include both Maiden Voyage and Inaugural Season merchandise.


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A variety of tee-shirts, golf-style shirts, women's apparel and hats will be available with sizes ranging from small to 3-XL. Youth shirts will also be available.

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Hats Available for Pre-Sell for Guests Sailing on the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Fantasy.

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Simply call the Disney Cruise Line. Have your reservation and cabin number handy as well as a credit card. Be sure to do this before the cutoff date of February 14th!

For those of you looking for more upscale and limited merchandise, a Random Selection Process is being held, once again.

The RSP Form and Catalog can be found at: http://www.disneynow.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKwebID=0x247779117&varPage=home

Items available on the RSP include limited edition pins, ear hats, jewelry charms, art & collectibles created by celebrated Disney artists and more!

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For more on the Disney Fantasy check out our News Blog!

Stay tuned to AllEars for Disney Fantasy coverage of the Maiden Voyage!!! Laura Gilbreath and I will both be posting photos and blogging! The Fantasy sets sail March 31, 2012!

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About January 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in January 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

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