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September 2012 Archives

September 3, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Wreck-it-RalphA.jpg
The Production Gallery at the Magic of Disney Animation is now showcasing concept art from Wreck-it Ralph!
Wreck-it Ralph


THE STORY

Wreck-it Ralph

For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

Wreck-it Ralph

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero's Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day-but can he do it in time?

THE CHARACTERS

Ralph is a heavy-handed wrecking riot with a sensitive soul. For thirty years, day in and day out, he's been working as "The Bad Guy", in the arcade game Fix-it Felix, Jr. But it's getting harder and harder to love his job when no one seems to like him for doing it.

Suffering from a classic case of Bad-Guy fatigue and hungry for a little wreck-ognition, Ralph sets off on an adventure across an incredible arcade game world to prove that just because he's a Bad Guy, it doesn't mean he's a bad guy.

Wreck-it Ralph

Fix-it Felix, Jr. - As the titular star of "Fix-it Felix Jr.", Niceland's hammer-wielding maintenance man is a beloved local celebrity. This gold-medal winning Good Guy is idolized by the Nicelanders and envied by Ralph.

When he's not busy fixin all of Ralph's wreckin', Felix spends his days helping everyone out. Hard-wired for niceness, anything other than being a Good Guy just doesn't computer.

Wreck-it Ralph



Sergeant Tamera Jean Calhoun
- in the sci-fi battle zone of "Hero's Duty", Sergeant Calhoun is more than just a pretty face - she leads the charge for humanity's freedom. When she's not offering in-game intel, she's training her troops for the next attack wave.

The unrelenting commander will stop at nothing to protect the arcade from a virulent Cy-Bug invasion.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph



Vanellope von Schweetz
- This raven-haired rascal is convinced she was destined to drive. With a racer's spirit embedded in her coding, Vanellope is determined to earn her rightful place in the starting lineup.

Years of rejection have left Vanellope with a wicked sense of humor and a razor-sharp tongue, however, somewhere beneath that hard shell is a sweet center just waiting to be found.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

Taffyta Muttonfudge, (voiced by Mindy Kaling "The Mindy Project," "The Office") as an accomplished racer and Vanellope's nemesis.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

King Candy (voiced by Alan Tudyk (ABC's "Suburgatory," "Dodgeball") All hail King Candy - ruler of the race track, captain of confectionery, sovereign of sugar. Not surprisingly, the most powerful figure in the Sugar Rush game is also the best racer on the track.

He may look noble enough, but he doesn't exactly welcome Ralph with open arms. The king is ably assisted by his strong-arming security team, and his diminutive henchman Sour Bill, a tiny little ball of bad.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph


September 5, 2012

Magic Kingdom Walk Around

My next walk about takes place in the Magic Kingdom. I went over last Thursday, August 30th and it turned out to be the perfect time to visit.

Lately instead of taking the monorail, I have been enjoying a trip from TTC to the Magic Kingdom via Ferry Boat.

Magic Kingdom Ferry Boat

The view from the waterway gave me a great look at the Grand Floridian Disney Vacation Club construction going on.

Magic Kingdom

First thing I noticed is that fall has arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Or, more specifically, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party will begin on September 11th and the decorations are already taking shape.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Even thought it was Extra Magic Hour morning for resort guests, I still found the park fairly slow when I arrived at 9am.

Magic Kingdom

Main Street is lined in shades of orange flags and pumpkins.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

This is a photopass spot which offers a great view of the Pumpkins and the Castle!

Magic Kingdom


And the Scarecrow folks are back!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

There are all kinds of headwear for the season too, like this Mickey Pumpkin Ears:

Magic Kingdom


Pumpkins can be found on the roofs of many Main Street Stores and many are themed, like these:

Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom

Can you tell what this is and which store it can be found at?

Magic Kingdom

A must do for me at the Magic Kingdom is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority or TTA which will forever be known to me as the Wed-Way People Mover. I couldn't believe how empty Tomorrowland was. At 10am there was only a 10 minute standby line for Buzz!

Magic Kingdom

Over to the Fantasyland Expansion and this appears to be where many folks have congregated.

As previously reported, there is a sign at the entrance directly folks who want a Fast Pass for Dumbo to head to Mickey's Philharmagic!

Magic Kingdom

The Big Top Souvenirs sign now adorns one of the big tops.

Magic Kingdom

The Casey Junior Splash n Soak Station was not too crowded. There was a Cast Member stationed right near the "Rules Sign" to make sure people followed the directions!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

..... and I read just today, there is now a large Storybook Circus sign as you enter the area.

The Fantasyland Expansion seems to be moving along quite rapidly. Lots of workers could be seen painting here, installing lights there..... Here is the Little Mermaid Area.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

The Seven Drawfs Mine Train.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

And the entrance to the new Fantasyland has changed the landscape forever....

Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

The new bathrooms across from Peter Pan are moving right along. This will really be great once they open!

Magic Kingdom


It was nearing lunch time so I headed over to the Columbia Harbour House for my favorite lunch:

Magic Kingdom

Outside a colonial man was signing Happy Birthday to a delighted girl.

Magic Kingdom

Continuing around, the Yankee Trader was in full scrim with a sign that they were still open.

Magic Kingdom

The Liberty Square Market area had lots of festive pumpkins

Magic Kingdom

As I entered Frontierland the Country Bears were taking a break.

Magic Kingdom

But this band was playing right in front (tho not listed in the Times Guide).

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Pecos Bill signs looked fresh and clean from their recent refurbishment

Magic Kingdom

The Frontierland Mountains was the other location that was quite crowded.

Magic Kingdom

On my way out through Adventureland, Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial was entertaining guests.

Magic Kingdom

Then I got to say hello to Princess Tiana as I made my way back to Main Street.

Magic Kingdom

One last task, I had read some folks were getting Magic Dumbo FastPasses when they got Meet Mickey Fastpasses on Main Street. At 12:40 in the afternoon, so did I!

FastPassDouble.JPG

One important note about Service Animal Relief Areas.

In July, Walt Disney World announced that service animal relief areas in the theme parks would be moving from backstage areas to onstage areas for easier access. A week or so ago, the Magic Kingdom made the transition. After exploring the MK last week, AllEars® highly recommends that anyone with a service animal visit City Hall FIRST, before venturing into the park, as these areas are not currently shown on the Guide Map for Guests with Disabilities. Make sure the cast member gives you very specific location information. In addition, since it is a new program, a number of cast members were unaware of the location of the new relief areas. The one land that does not have a service animal relief area is Fantasyland, due to all the construction.

Lastly, I understand that Enchanted Tales with Belle is not only open on a limited basis for Cast Member Previews, but that some Magic Kingdom Guests have been able to experience it as well. If you get to see the new Enchanted Tales with Belle, let me know about your experience!

Til Next Time.........

Hope you enjoyed this walk around.

September 12, 2012

Epcot - Sculpting the Spirits of America -Looking Back

As we move closer to October 1st and the 30th anniversary of Epcot, I thought I'd dig into my archives and share some images and information.

Over 300 sculpted art works, including 154 in World Showcase, helped theme the brand new park. Blaine Gibson, head of the WED sculpting team, explains "There are many things that have to work together in creating sculpture. The art must conform to our purpose and relate to the surrounding architecture and period."

The American Adventure theater has 12 "Spirits of America". The life-size sculptures include cowboys, pilgrims and scientists symbolizing the spirit making up this great nation!

The photo below is a Disney sculptor at WED Enterprises in California creating one of the "Spirits of America".

Spirit of America American Adventure Epcot

And as they are today:

These statues range in height from 5'5" to more than 6'. Each sits atop a 3' square base. Here is a list of the Spirits and who was chosen to represent the different categories.

Spirit of Adventure - Seaman
Spirit of Compassion - Doctor
Spirit of Discovery - Mountain Man
Spirit of Freedom - Pilgrim
Spirit of Heritage - Native American
Spirit of Independence - Colonial Soldier
Spirit of Individualism - Cowboy
Spirit of Innovation - Scientist
Spirit of Knowledge - Teacher
Spirit of Pioneering - Aviator
Spirit of Self-Reliance - Farmer
Spirit of Tomorrow - Woman and Child


Spirit of America American Adventure Epcot

Spirit of America American Adventure Epcot

To read more about the America Adventure attraction in Epcot begin HERE!

September 22, 2012

Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge Lunch Review

Deb Wills

wcc-signa.jpg


A few days ago, Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge introduced new menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I stopped by on Thursday to get the new menus and also to have lunch!

Special thanks to our server, Cajun Chad, and Chef Junior for their great service during our lunch!

Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge

Several important notes about the menu changes before I get to the actual review...

Breakfast is basically the same as it has been.

The biggest lunch change is that the All You Care To Eat Skillet is gone! The breakfast and dinner "All You Care To Enjoy" skillets are now called "Platters".

At dinner, there are no more entrees to select from, everything is a Build Your Own All You Care To Enjoy Family Platter at $32.99/per person. The platter includes choice of 3 items (ribs, chicken, beef strip loin, fish or sausage) along with sides of fresh vegetables, Yukon gold potatoes, baked beans and corn on the cob. A dessert sampler is also included in the price!

One of the new menus items is the Fried Fish and Country Chips. With my shellfish allergy, I had to ask about the fryer oil. Unfortunately, everything fried (spring rolls, french fries and fish) is now done in the same fryer oil. I was assured there was no shell-fish in that oil, but there was fish. If this presents an issue for you, upon request, the chef can heat up a separate pot of oil for your food. However, it was explained this would take extra time.

For the kids, not much changes. There is a new item "Multigrain Grill Cheese Dippers" which turns out to be what was described to me as a grilled cheese sandwich on multigrain bread and a small serving of tomato-like soup.

Vegetarians and those with special dietary requests should make notation when you make your reservation and speak to a chef upon being seated. A few options may be available including the off menu entree Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes. Also, at the time of this writing, the restaurant was still working on its vegetarian options.

Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes - with Edamame Salsa $16.99

Now, on to our review :

We wanted to try several different items in each category, so in addition to those, we also requested take home containers (which nicely provided us dinner).

New starters on the menu include the Yukon Potato Leek Soup and Flash Fried Navajo Bread. Now gone is the Cheddar Cheese Soup, Citrus Brine Oak-smoked Trout, and Venison Chili.

Yukon Potato Leek Soup - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Yukon Potato Leek Soup - topped with candied smoked-bacon $7.49

The Soup was yummy! It was creamy, almost thick, with a slight smokey flavor. Both of us really enjoyed it. Sometimes soups are over-salted for our tastes but this one wasn't. It was "bowl-lickin" good.

Slow-Smoked Pork Spring Rolls  - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Slow-Smoked Pork Spring Rolls Sweet Chili dipping sauce $11.49

We found the pork spring rolls to be a disappointment. While they certainly looked like there was pork inside, we never tasted any. Dipping it in the accompanying sweet chili sauce did nothing to enhance the pork flavor. This starter was more like crispy spring roll (minus the filling) dipped in the sauce. If there had been more pork, there hopefully would have been more flavor.

The new sandwich on the menu is the Chuck Wagon Angus "Bacon and Egg" Burger. New entrees include the Western Salad, Fried Fish and Country Chips, Tuna Melt, Smoked Salmon Quesadilla and the Kansas City-style Smoked Pork Ribs.

Gone are the Grilled Barbeque Chicken and Field Greens Salad , Griddled Meatloaf Sandwich and Whiskey Maple-Glazed Trout

Our Selections:

Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich  - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich - Cowboy Beans, Cucumber Salad $12.49

We both really enjoyed the pulled pork. It was slightly sweet, but not too much. Very lean (little fat) which is a huge plus for us. The one thing the menu didn't say was that the pork came topped with cole slaw with a kick! So, if you don't like spicy heat, ask for the slaw on the side or not at all. The pork sandwich also came with Cowboy beans - nothing of note to report here expect there were not overly sugared (yea). The cucumber salad was a pleasant surprise, sweet, tangy and flavorful. Almost like being bread and butter pickles.

House-smoked Turkey Sandwich  - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
House-smoked Turkey Sandwich - toasted Multigrain bread with arugula, Tomato and cranberry mayo $12.49

When the sandwich arrived I wondered, where is all the turkey You'll understand why when you see the next photo. It's the Turkey and Swiss sandwich from the Magic Kingdom's Main Street Bakery that I enjoyed last week!

Main Street Bakery Turkey sandwich" />
Turkey and Swiss Sandwich - Main Street Bakery - Magic Kingdom $6.99

Needless to say, before I even took a bite, I was quite disappointed. I found the smoked turkey was not at all tender and for me, the smokey flavor was overpowering. I eat smoked turkey sandwiches at lots of places, but this one just didn't do it. That said, the sweet potato fries were great!!!

Smoked Salmon Quesadilla   - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Smoked Salmon Quesadilla - with arugula, frisee, tomato, goat cheese, mozzarella and a side of pepper jam $16.99
Smoked Salmon Quesadilla   - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge

The salmon quesadilla was very rich with lots goat cheese -- it was very filling and went a long way. The pepper jam jelly was not spicy and nicely complimented the quesadilla It would actually make an excellent breakfast or brunch dish.

Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes - with Edamame Salsa $16.99

Sautéed Red Quinoa Cakes - The winner on this dish is really the edamane salsa - it is full of flavor! Just the right mixture of edamane, corn, red pepper, cucumber, and onion. The sauce was a little spicy with a bit of heat and that enhanced the flavor of the quinoa cakes. I had this item when it was first introduced some time ago. I give kudos to the chefs for creating an entree that is not the normal vegies and pasta or vegies and tofu. Even as a non-vegetarian, I really enjoy it! I was glad to learn while not on the menu, it is usually available upon request.

And now dessert.............

Jalapeno-Lime Cheesecake - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
Jalapeno-Lime Cheesecake - with candied jalapeno $6.99

When it appeared in a short mason glass and not the traditional wedge on a plate we were surprised. Creamy, thick with real pieces of jalapeno inside. Tangy but not hot. The brownie on the bottom was hard to get to but complimented the cheese cake nicely.

No Sugar Added Seasonal Mousse - Whispering Canyon Cafe - Wilderness Lodge
No Sugar Added Seasonal Mousse - $6.99

The no sugar added berry mouse is by far one of the best I have tasted. Actually, both of us really enjoyed it! Full of flavor, not overly sweet, and the berries were fresh and tasty!

All You Care To Drink Milkshakes are still available!

Overall we really had a fun time at the Whispering Canyon Cafe. There was lots of ketchup shuffling going on between tables and folks seemed to be having a good time.

Remember our taste buds are not yours and experiences vary. I would recommend giving lunch a try!

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About September 2012

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

August 2012 is the previous archive.

October 2012 is the next archive.

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