« July 2012 | Main | September 2012 »

August 2012 Archives

August 3, 2012

Landscape of Flavors and Colors - AllEars Meet and Greet July 29, 2012

On Sunday, July 29th, over 65 folks gathered at the Art of Animation Resort - to experience Disney's newest resort at Walt Disney World.

Art of Animation Resort

In between dining and chatting, everyone got an opportunity to tour the resort and see one of the Cars Suites. Many thanks to the Art of Animation resort Cast Members for making the visit a special one!!!

All Ears Team Members: Deb Koma, Jack Spence, Kristin Ford, Mike Scopa, Linda Eckwerth, and Michelle Scribner-MacLean were on hand to greet everyone.

It was great to meet everyone and fun to meet some of the AllEars Facebook members too!

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

The tour began in the Art of Animation, Animation Hall - which is where the story begins.

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

After Animation Hall and the Big Blue Pool, the tour made it's way down Route 66 and the Cars area!

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort

The next area to open is the Lion King section on August 10th. AllEars will have full photo and video coverage!

We have videos and stills galore of the already opened sections:

Lion King Sneak Peek: http://land.allears.net/blogs/debwills/2012/07/simba_roars_at_the_art_of_anim_1.html

Fact Sheet and Resort Videos http://allears.net/acc/faq_artan.htm

Our Resort Overview: http://allears.net/acc/issue663.htm

Recreation Activities: http://land.allears.net/blogs/kristin-ford/2012/06/disneys_art_of_animation_offer_1.html

Extensive photo blog: http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/06/art_of_animation_resort.html

The Grand Opening Report: http://land.allears.net/blogs/debwills/2012/05/the_art_of_animation_resort_of.html

August 12, 2012

DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Make sure you make the most of your time at Disney World's Food & Wine Festival!

Now is the time to make plans for Epcot's Food and Wine Festival and the best resource in e-book format, is the DFB 2012 Mini-Guide to Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This great e-book debuted last year to great reviews (including ours).

Festival Booking Begins Tuesday, August 14th! Be Prepared!!


The DFB Guide e-Book is 160 pages of in-depth information, including significant updates and 35 pages of brand new information! If you were one of the many who bought the guide last year, you know how important these details are.

We've noted all of the new marketplace booth menu items, new events, and more! Plus, we've added a brand new FAQ section and even more bonus items (including new booth crawls and touring strategies)!


Don't get shut out of popular events, and don't wait in winding lines! We've had years of experience with the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and we're excited to share our most exclusive information!

Remember, if you only have a few days (or less) to spend at the Festival, you want to be sure you're making the right choices!


Special Features in this edition!

Each World Showcase booth has its own page, complete with photos of the booths AND food as well as a full menu.

Full chapter on What's NEW at the 2012 Festival is great for veterans and those who have been to the festival before.

Brand new FAQ section answering broad and not-so-broad questions like "Are the booths open in the rain?", "Are the booths open during Extra Magic Hours?", and "Is there a way to pay one price for an all-you-can-eat option?"

Eleven themed booth crawls, including one for kids.

Customized touring strategies that let us do the planning for you! These include visiting for one day, two days, half-days, with kids, on a budget, and more.

Click on our link and receive a $3 discount when you enter the code ALLEARS!

August 18, 2012

Animal Kindgom Walk Around Tips and Tidbits

Deb Wills

The entrance is beautiful this time of year with flowering vines.

Animal Kingdom Entrance

Always pick up a times guide - not all areas of the park open at the same time and you can save yourself some steps.

Animal Kingdom Times Guides

But, not everything can be found in the times guide. I specifically looked for appearances by DiVine and none were on the guide. However over at the main Animal Kingdom Times Board, I found DiVine's hours under Hot Tips! It pays to double check!

I always love the view when you come out of the Oasis and enter Discovery Island, seeing the Tree of Life!

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

I had planned to walk around Camp Minnie-Mickey, but the times guide told me it wasn't opening until 10am. Just before you head into the Camp area, there is a Disney Vacation Club Kiosk area. Right behind it are 3 fun cut out frames for photo ops!

Animal Kingdom

These zebras looked great against the blue sky. I remember many of these pieces actually being painted on my very first visit to Animal Kingdom, during a Cast Preview.

Animal Kingdom

My goal today was to ride Kilimanjaro Safari at least twice to get a good idea what animals are out in the summer heat! First stop, FastPass! There are signs now on each machine reminding you to return during the one hour window on your FastPass (so pay attention).

Animal Kingdom FastPass Signs

I headed over to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see what was happening.

While I have seen signs like this along the trail before, I hadn't really stopped to read them.

Animal Kingdom Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Upon entering the aviary section, you can't help but notice all the activity from the Africa Golden Weaver birds! Their nests are built up-side-down to what we think they should be to keep predators away! Check out Photo Blogger Scott's great photo of these birds!

Animal Kingdom Africa Golden Weaver birds

A Hippopotamus enjoying the sun and the waterfall.

Animal Kingdom Hippopotamus

Soon I was in the Meercat Viewing area. When the park first opened, you could not only see Meercat's and Gerinuks here but also Dik-Diks, a very small antelope. The Dik-Diks were only in Animal Kingdom for a short time.

Today when I looked around the only critters to be found were the Meercats. And then a huge fence in the distance.

Animal Kingdom Meercat Viewing

Animal Kingdom Meercat Viewing

While the Cast Member stationed there didn't know for sure what was going on. She speculated that work was being done on the trees OR perhaps they would have a new animal viewing area soon.. she said the rumor was "lions". Now, I would have normally just thought that was pure rumor, but earlier in the day, a Cast Member told me that Animal Kingdom recently acquired 4 Lion Cubs - so who knows?! That same Cast Member also indicated that occasionally a cub could be found in the Lion section (although on my two trips, I didn't see any). Again - pure rumor - I really have no idea what is going on.

Many of the Gorillas were out and about including this female and also the 2 year old.

Animal Kingdom Gorillas

Animal Kingdom Gorillas

It was nearing time 10:30am for my Kilimanjaro Safari FastPass so I headed over to check the return times. FastPasses were being given out for 11:15, so I went back to the machines and got another one so I could ride, kinda of back to back.

Lots of animals and birds were out. I spotted over 20 during the ride.

Disney sets the scene of the savannah up beautifully with this first look as you turn the corner.

Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safari

Lots of giraffes on both sides of the road. Animal Kingdom now has two kinds of giraffe, the Reticulated (which has been there since park opening) and the Masai. Can you tell which is which?

Animal Kingdom giraffe

Here is how.... Look closely at their patches.

The Masai giraffe has jagged edges along their patches.

Animal Kingdom Masai

The Reticulated giraffe's are smooth.

Animal Kingdom Reticulated

Ok, now look at them again :)

Animal Kingdom Giraffe

The elephants were having a great time with the water and throwing sand on their backs (for sunscreen - really!). Elephants of varying age were out too!

Animal Kingdom Elephants

A Cast Member in the KJS area had told me that there is a baby White Rhino sometimes out so to be sure and look for it. Unfortunately, I didn't see the baby Rhino.

Animal Kingdom White Rhino

We had a treat and got to see both the male and female lion walking around.

Animal Kingdom Lion

Near the end of the ride is the new area being prepared for the Zebra. The drivers have gotten the "story" about the new herd integration into their spiel. One even said the Zebras are expected in October. That goes along with "fall" time frame first reported.

Animal Kingdom Zebra area

When the first ride was over I only had 10 minutes to wait for my second ride. Just about all the same animals were out, some in different areas. I did see a Mandrill the 2nd time.

This time, the lions were sleeping. I could see the male, but the female was hard to spot.

Animal Kingdom Lions

While I miss the rickety old bridge bit during the ride, I really enjoy that the jeep is now able to spot, no matter how briefly, for photo ops.

One animal I did miss was the Thompson's Gazelle. I asked one of the Kilimanjaro Cast Members who told me they have been removed from Animal Kingdom and taken to Animal Kingdom Lodge. I'd love to have someone to talk to from Animal Kingdom about the animals.

Before leaving the park, I stopped by the Beastly Bazaar. This shop has been closed and will become a Character Meet and Greet. I asked 2 different Cast Members in the area what was going on in the store and neither had any information to share.

Animal Kingdom Beastly Bazaar

All too quickly, the heat started to get to me, so I headed out.

Animal Kingdom Exit

So,do you like "walk around" blogs like this one?

August 28, 2012

Kids Splash Area at Grand Floridian - Construction

Over the weekend I dined at the Grand Floridian resort. While wandering around the 2nd floor of the main building, I saw this splash area under construction.

Clearly it is an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Alice in Wonderland Splash Area Construction at Grand Floridian

Alice in Wonderland Splash Area Construction at Grand Floridian

Alice in Wonderland Splash Area Construction at Grand Floridian

Alice in Wonderland Splash Area Construction at Grand Floridian

Alice in Wonderland Splash Area Construction at Grand Floridian

Return to Blog Central

About August 2012

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

July 2012 is the previous archive.

September 2012 is the next archive.

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