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December 2013 Archives

December 18, 2013

Magic Kingdom Walk About - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Testing Video

Deb's Digest Blog

December 17th was a picture perfect beautiful weather day so I headed to the Magic Kingdom. (Click on any photo for a larger image)

It was great to see the Christmas tree on Main Street. It wasn't up on my last Magic Kingdom visit in late November due to upcoming Christmas Day Show taping.

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With the beautiful blue sky, all the holiday decorations just popped. It wasn't too crowded in the park during the morning, since Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was in the evening.

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Work continues on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Many workers were on the mountain doing exterior work. I'm guessing there was plenty of action inside as well :) The Vultures from Snow Whites Scary Adventures are in place. It will be interesting to see how they fit in with the landscape.

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In Liberty Square you could still purchase Halloween Mickey popcorn buckets are well as Santa Mickey ones!

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Beautiful view of Big Thunder Mountain

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It seemed as though a number of carts were being set up around the park for the holiday crowds. Here is one right next to Westward Ho Refreshments.

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Tortuga Tavern was open with their regular "taco" menu, not the holiday buffet.

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I finally got to experience the Jingle Jungle Cruise. Let me just say I was totally UNDERwhelmed.

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More photos of the Jingle Jungle Cruise HERE

The decorations were sparse.... basically only in the queue.....

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.....and if you used FastPass you missed one of the larger holiday displays.

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The boat names were changed, but only one side of the sign was altered.

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Our Skipper, Allie, was absolutely great and she definitely made the cruise!!!! But other than her, I was like, really?! It just seemed like it was thrown together to say there was something "new".

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Before heading out, I went up the train station to get a view of Main Street. It really is beautiful!

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After leaving the Magic Kingdom I went to the Grand Floridian and caught the Gingerbread House making demo and then wandered to the Polynesian to check out the holiday decor.

Here is a tour of the Polynesian Holiday Decor:

December 31, 2013

Deb looks back at 2013 .....

Deb's Digest Blog

Every year is amazing... is it not? Things you expected, things you didn't, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. 2013 was no different. Personally it was a much more difficult year than I would have liked, but that's part of living! As I reflect back, much of the year now blends/blurs together. Here are a few miscellaneous thoughts ...... These are not all inclusive, far from it, but some things I'd like to share.

Team All Ears
The year began with Team AllEars running strong during the WDW Marathon Weekend in January. This amazing group of folks raised over $78,000 to fight breast cancer and continued to make themselves healthier! A fantastic group of folks with hearts bigger than you can imagine.

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Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
In May, I participated in the Washington DC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. 13 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday. You all have been tremendous supporters of my efforts and always come through when I hold my Collectables for a Cause Auctions!!!!! Thank you!

With your help and that of Team AllEars, I reached the $500,000 mark in donations raised since 2001. Here I am with Elosie Caggiano, the head of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
I loved the Flower and Garden Festival this year and especially enjoyed the addition of the food and beverage kiosks. They weren't over whelming but added a nice touch to spending a few hours enjoying the beautiful flowers and topiaries! Plus, I got to share the Festival Try It Foods with 2 of my favorite kids!

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Limited Time Magic
The Disney Parks theme of 2013 was Limited Time Magic (LTM). I really enjoyed some of it, others I thought were lacking. While I didn't necessarily mind the merchandise LTM, I felt it really overshadowed the entire experience. My favorite part was the special Character Meet and Greets. In fact my favorite moment was during Long Lost Friends #2 when I did a virtual ride on Splash Mountain with Brer Bear and Brer Fox.

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I love Animal Kingdom
and taking photographs in the park.

In February I was so thrilled to see both Collared Lemurs out and about. In my many many visits to Animal Kingdom, I think I have only seen them 3 or 4 times.

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This is one of the Cotton-top Tamarin that I took in April, when the exhibit reopened.

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Raglan Road

In March I began my love affair with Raglan Road I had gone once when it first opened and didn't have such a great experience. I can't even tell you why... and from then on when someone said "Let's dine at Raglan Road", I gave it an immediate thumbs down. But in March, a colleague invited me to experience Raglan Road during the official Mighty Festival for St. Patrick's week. Well, that's all it took. I fell in love with the whole experience (and it is an experience). From the music (sometimes live) to the incredible dancers, to the food it's now on my "Let's Go" list, instead of thumbs down.

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Adventures by Disney Scotland!
By far, the best Disney part of 2013 was taking the Adventures by Disney to Scotland. I know I kept promising to blog about it but everytime I started, it was overwhelming. It was an AllEars hosted Adventure with the help from our friends at MouseFanTravel!

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Epcot's Food and Wine Festival
The Cranberry Bog - Yes, I put on those heavy rubber waders and went into the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog during the Food and Wine Festival. What a fun experience that was indeed!

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As I said at the top, there was so so much that I experienced in 2013 (Disney Fantasy Cruise, D23 Expo and Disneyland, weekly visits to my laughing place) I couldn't possibly mention everything.

I do want to take the time to thank all of you for being such wonderful AllEars fans. It is always a pleasure meeting you.

I also want to thank everyone who works for AllEars and the advertisers that support the website and newsletter.

I'd like to end with this....

I played around with some photo collage programs and this might just be my favorite.

It's from the July 4th Voices of Liberty Show at the American Gardens Theater.

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May 2014 be the best year yet. I wish you all a Happy New Year - one filled with precious memories, health, and happiness.

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About December 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in December 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2013 is the previous archive.

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