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January 2008 Archives

January 2, 2008

Por Favor - Purchasing the Monorail T-shirt

My latest blog about the monorail T-shirt has generated a lot of interest. Many of you have written to ask where I purchased it. In my case, I bought it at the Boutiki shop in the Polynesian Resort. However, I suspect it's also available at the other Disney resorts, especially the monorail resorts (Contemporary and Grand Floridian).

To my knowledge, it is not available from Disney's website. However, you can call Disney and purchase almost anything that can be bought in the parks and resorts and have it mailed to your home.

Phone: 407-363-6200
Fax: 407-352-6369
e-mail: wdw.mail.order@disneyworld.com

Something I have learned since I moved to Orlando and started visiting Disney World on a regular basis is, if I see something I like, I better buy it NOW. If I wait, it won't be available later.

Por favor Tshirt

January 11, 2008

Pizzafari

I ate at the Pizzafari restaurant in the Animal Kingdom January 10th.

When I got to my table I noticed a small plastic card on the tray along with my order. The card featured Timon and Pumba with the inscription, "Do not feed the animals. Your yummies are not good for our tummies."

Don't Feed the Animals Safety Card


I thought this was a very cute way to remind us not to be tempted to share our meals with the creatures around us. The other side of the card said, "Disney's Wild About Safety. Safety Tip 14. In cooperation with Underwriters Laboratories." I'm guessing that Disney has a new corporate sponsor and additional safety tips will be passed out in other areas.

Disney's Wild About Safety.  Safety Tip 14


Speaking of Pizzafari" Did you know that this restaurant has four dining rooms, each with its own theme? (Not to mention Hidden Mickeys)

One room features animals that use camouflage to hide from one another.

Pizzafari Camaflage Room

Pizzafari Camaflage Room


A different room has animals that carry their home with them in some way.

Pizzafari Animals Carry Their Home Room

Pizzafari Animals Carry Their Home Room


The third dining area displays creatures that prowl the night.

Pizzafari Night  Animals

Pizzafari Night  Animals

And the fourth room exhibits animals that live much of their life upside down.

Pizzafari Room Animals Live Upside Down

Pizzafari Room Animals Live Upside Down

Also, listen to the music that is played here. All of the songs are about animals. Here is the song list.

Baby Elephant Walk
Black Bird
Feed the Birds (from Mary Poppins)
High Hopes
Mr. Ed
Octopus Garden
Ol' McDonald
Puff the Magic Dragon
Rockin' Robin
Skylark
The Lion Sleep Tonight
Tie Me Kangaroo Down
Tiki Room (from Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room)
Whale of a Tale (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
Yellow Bird


Pizzafari Menu

January 14, 2008

Disney Monorail T-shirt

I have received a number of emails telling me that the "Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas! T-shirt cannot be found anywhere at Disney World, so I decided that I better check this out for myself. I spoke with a cast member at the World of Disney Store at Downtown Disney and was told that the shirts were briefly available in December but they sold out almost immediately. I asked if they would be receiving a new shipment anytime soon. The cast member just shook her head and said, "I wish I knew."

Sorry folks if I got your hopes up for nothing. However, I did find the following monorail T-shirt during my search. I admit it's not nearly as exciting as the Spanish language shirt, but at least it has a monorail on it.

Monorail T-shirt

January 16, 2008

Disney Dining Experience - Heads Up

Heads Up - Disney Dining Experience

As of January 1st, an automatic 18% gratuity will be added to checks when guests use their Disney Dining Experience card *.

In the past, tipping was left up to the guest's discretion. Now that the policy has changed, I wanted to give all of you who use this card a friendly "heads up." I have used my DDE card four times since the beginning of the year. On every occasion, the server has NOT informed me that the gratuity has been added. Instead, I'm presented with three pieces of paper. The original, itemized bill. A second, itemized receipt that also displays the discount and the tip. And a final draft that ONLY has the total and a place to add a tip and sign my name.

When I'm presented with the final bill, the first two pieces of paper have been neatly placed (sometimes folded up) on one side of the server's folder. The receipt that requires my signature is placed on the other side of the folder and is eagerly pointed out to me. Of course, the TIP section of the bill has been left blank so that I can add an additional amount if I wish. However, since the server doesn't tell you that the gratuity has already been added, I believe that many guests will mistakenly tip an additional 15%-20%, not realizing that they have already been charged for this service. I realize that the automatic gratuity is printed on the second receipt, but I feel its being hidden from me when I'm presented with my bill. And unless you read you're receipt carefully, it's easy to overlook.

I'm not saying that anyone is trying to get away with anything. But I feel the servers should be upfront and inform the guest that the tip has already been added.

* Disney Dining Experience is a dining discount program for eligible Florida Residents and Annual Passholders 21 and older and is good for 20 percent off food and beverage at a number of Walt Disney World Resort hotel and theme park restaurants and lounges. The discount is good for up to 10 persons in your party.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT FROM DEB WILLS: To reinforce what Jack has stated, I just returned from a weekend at WDW and used my Disney Dining Experience card many times. Only one server talked to me about the new policy and explained that the tip was automatically added.


Disney Dining Experience Receipt

Disney Dining Experience Receipt

January 17, 2008

Main Street's City Hall Gets a Face Lift!

In order to keep Walt Disney World looking as good as it looks, attractions and buildings must be occasionally closed for refurbishment.

In years past, plywood panels would be erected around the building so workmen could clean, repair, and paint the building out of sight of the guests.

But a couple of years ago, Disney came up with a great idea. They decided to print a picture of the building being rehabbed on a large canvas and position it in front of the structure. This was far and away more attractive than plywood panels and the intrusion on the guest was minimal.

Currently, City Hall in the Magic Kingdom is undergoing rehab. These pictures show how well this new technique works.

City Hall on Main Street

City Hall Rehab

January 21, 2008

Pacific Electric Railway & Disney

Years before Los Angeles was famous for its freeways, it boasted the largest mass transit system in the world, the Pacific Electric Railway. Locals affectionately called the trolleys either the P.E. or the Big Red Car. The system spanned southern California with over 1,100 miles of track that ran between Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties. The system was begun by Henry Huntington as a way of opening up new land to developers.

Over the years, the many communities of Southern California grew and became congested. This increase in traffic ultimately doomed the Big Red Cars as it became more and more difficult for the trolleys to maneuver on crowded city streets.

As driving a car became more economical and far more convenient a solution to the growing roadway congestion was needed. In 1937, the Automobile Club suggested building a freeway system between communities and eliminating cross-traffic congestion. And in 1940 the Pasadena Freeway was opened and the Los Angeles freeway system was born.

In the late 40's, General Motors, Standard Oil, and Firestone began buying up other electric trolley systems around the country and replacing them with buses - thus increasing their profits. This became known as the Great American Streetcar Scandal and in 1949 a Federal Grand Jury found the three companies guilty of conspiring to replace electric transit systems in 45 cities with buses. In the end, General Motors was fined $5,000, which was nothing more than a slap on the wrist. But the damage was done and street cars were doomed.

So, what does all of this have to do with Disney? Well, the answer is three-fold.

First, at Disney's Hollywood Studios you can find a billboard, perched high above Mickey's of Hollywood at the beginning of Hollywood Boulevard. Here you'll see and advertisement for the Big Red Car.

Big Red Car Billboard

At the other end of the street, behind the Tip Board, is a map of the Pacific Electric Railway.

Pacific Electric Railway Map


And on Sunset Boulevard you can find a scaled-down trolley parked on the street which sells merchandise.

Trolley Car

The tracks embedded in the street are all but paved over, signaling the end of an era.

Trolley Tracks in Street


Next, at Disney's California Adventure, Sunshine Plaza is being redesigned. The Sun Sculpture will be replaced with a reproduction of the Carthay Circle Theater and show an updated version of the Walt Disney Story.

In addition, this will be the starting point for a new attraction featuring the Big Red Car. Here guests can catch the trolley for a trip down Hollywood Boulevard, passing the Tower of Terror, and finally dropping them off at the entrance to the new Cars Land.

California Adventure

And finally, the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was loosely based on the Great American Streetcar Scandal. In the film, Judge Doom, played by Christopher Lloyd, schemes to buy the trolley system and shut it down so he can build a network of freeways in Los Angeles.

Roger Rabbit

A bit of trivia" The trolleys used in the movie were actually buses that were modified to look like the Big Red Cars. At one time, you could see one of these props while riding the Back Stage Tour at the Disney/MGM Studios.

So, there you have it, the connection between the Pacific Electric Railway and Disney.


January 24, 2008

Boardwalk Castles

Anyone who visits a Disney theme park knows that it's the details that set them apart from all other amusement venues. Well, this attention to detail doesn't stop at the parks. It extends to their hotels as well. Case in point, the Boardwalk Resort.

Boardwalk Lobby


In the lobby, above the check-in desk are three ornate gold frames.


Gold Framed Castle

Within each frame is a pastoral setting with a castle nestled in the background. Close observers will notice that these castles are actually the castles at Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland.

Castle

Castle

Castle

If you're wondering what happened to Hong Kong's castle, well, it didn't exist when the Boardwalk was built. However, since it's a copy of Disneyland California's castle we can just make believe it represents both.

January 27, 2008

Rawlings Baseball Bats

Did you know that you can have a custom-made baseball bat made at Disney World? Well you can. Tucked in a corner inside the Team Mickey Store at the Marketplace section of Downtown Disney, you'll find a Rawlings shop. Here, a craftsman will create your one-of-a-kind bat while you watch.

Opened last September, this shop is divided into two sections, a sales area and an enclosed room where the bats are actually turned on a lathe. Two large windows look into this enclosed space affording a great view of the bat-making process. The craftsman wears a microphone and he describes each step of the process as he turns a piece of dowel into a bat.

After your bat has been created, you can have your name, signature, and/or your amateur team's logo laser-engraved or embroidered into the wood. Other items are also for sale like a bat display case, a baseball and display case, and various helmets. Some of these items can also be engraved.

Baseball%20Bat%2001.jpg

Baseball%20Bat%2002.jpg

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Baseball%20Bat%2005.jpg

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About January 2008

This page contains all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in January 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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