|Earliest: May 30, 2003||Latest: June 20, 2019||Total: 119|
Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Several Disney shows have been featuring the Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. My daughter asked me to write about this popular resort area.
Description from Disney's Website
Nestled on 750 acres of pine and cypress forest, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground evokes the timeless beauty of the American frontier. Teeming with such wildlife as deer, ducks, armadillos, and rabbits, the Resort welcomes you to delight in scenic woodland trails, exciting pool areas, rootin' tootin' entertainment, and hearty country eat.
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground first opened on November 19, 1971 (18 days after the Magic Kingdom opened.)
Six things that I learned about the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- You can get to the Magic Kingdom by Bus or Ferry. The fastest way to the Magic Kingdom is via Ferry. The ferry leaves the dock every 12 minutes. Starting about 45 minutes before the park opens. The Fastest way to the other parks would be the bus.
- Your not really roughing it in the cabins. There are lots of amenities; TV, kitchen, hairdryer, Iron and iron board, and more...
- The Meadow and Settlement Trading Posts store at Fort Wilderness offer unique souvenirs that are not found anywhere else in Walt Disney World. Rare plush, branded outdoor items and furnishings, and old-school artifacts are the specialties here.
- Horseback riding at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is available for any Disney guest. Must be 9 years old. Cost $42. Guest get to enjoy the tame horses on a gentle trail. It's a great way to go horseback riding if you have never done it before. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 30 days in advance.
- Every night there is a sing-a-long around the campfire. Any resort guest can join in - something fun to do on an off day. Enjoy marshmallows with Chip and Dale. Make sure to bring Gluten Free graham crackers for those with allergies!
- Every morning a family is selected to participate in the flag-raising ceremony. You do have to stay at the lodge to be eligible. (Seriously why would you wake up early just to participate in a flag-raising ceremony at a different resort?) When checking in at the Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, ask how to be involved in the ceremony.
Each Disney World trip usually results in getting something special at the Crystal Arts shop. It's the place to go to get something special to remember our trip.
From Disney's Website:
Remember your visit with porcelain giftware, lead crystal glassware and Pave crystal in Disney characters and themes.
The Crystal Arts store is located on Main Street USA in Disney World and in Disneyland. The store features lots of figurines and collectible items - including some that are made right in the store hot oven. There are some high price items, but there are many small items - quite simply they have just about anything to fit anyone's budget.
You can always ask one of the cast members about a gift that will your price range.
Sure we could just purchase a T-shirt or mug at the Emporium Store, but it doesn't have the same appeal as getting something nice at the Crystal Arts.
Fun Facts about Crystal Arts
- Crystal Arts was previously at the seating area of Main Street Bakery. It was moved to the former Market House location. The new location is bigger.
- On the sign it says it's established in 1875
- The Town of Orlando was established in 1875. (I couldn't find anything else that would be significant for Disney in 1875.)
- The Arribas Brother's have a their own website. You can read their story how their shop started in Disneyland and now have a store in all Disney theme parks.
- You can join the Arribas Brother's Collector's Club for $19.50 which entitles you to save 10% on merchandise that you purchase in their store. You'll also be part of Greenback savings network where you'll save money on other stores.
- Walk around the store and you'll see an area where someone does glass blowing or engraving. Also, note the porcelain giftware in the ally window. (Usually, find some very well done displays.)
- Items purchased at Crystal Arts can be picked up at the exit, or at your hotel room or even better shipped to your home. We always have selected the home option because we don't want to have to worry about packing it for the trip home. You pay a bit more for the ship-to-home, but it's well worth it.
Magical Extras at Crystal Arts
If you purchase your vacation package through Walt Disney Travel Company, you also get this benefit:
Receive 10% off purchases at the Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers stores at Disney Springs(R) Marketplace, Magic Kingdom(R) Park and Epcot(R). Exclusions apply. Not applicable to shipping charges. Some other restrictions apply. Discount may not be combined with any other offer.
Mouseaholic Shopping Services
If your a Disney fan you know all the good stuff are available in the parks before they are available on the Disney Store. This is particularly true for attraction specific merchandise.
Case in Point: The Momento Mori has a lot more Haunted Mansion merchandise that Disney.com.
Wouldn't it be great to have a personal assistant to get you something that's available in the park? There is... Mouseaholic Shopping Services
Here's a description from their Facebook page:
Searching for a way to access all of Disney's amazing and exclusive merch without leaving home??
Look no further! We are your one-stop shop for all things Disney Parks - Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Springs! Our personalized shopping service is your wish upon a star to make your dreams come true! Simply send us a message with the 6 Disney Parks or Springs items you are looking to purchase and we will tirelessly work to acquire your special items and ship them right to your door!
Please note that we do not have any personal inventory. The items you request are sourced and located right from the Disney Parks at the time of a request.
Thank you for your interest and I look forward to making your day magical!
-Lindsey and Sabrina
New Starbucks Disney Mug
Recently we saw Disney selling a Starbucks mug with a new Disney Design. We were pretty excited about it, and were disappointed that it was only available in the park:
We liked the new design and didn't want to wait until our next Disney trip to get one.
We reached out to Mouseaholic Shopping Services and they were able to secure a mug for us. The price was very reasonable - your not paying an arm and a leg like you would when you deal with some eBay sellers. Note: The mug is very hard to find, but Mouseaholic Shopping Services was able to find us a mug.
Haunted Mansion Piano
At the Haunted Mansion waiting line is a piano. Most people when they walk by just hit the keys to hear the music.
Recently I thought - wouldn't it be cool if you played the famous Haunted Mansion organ music?
Nothing happens when you play the right tune. But what if one day that did happen?
Haunted Mansion Song
The official song of the Haunted Mansion is Grim Grim Ghost. However, most people will probably recognize the organ music. You hear this as you walk in the Haunted Mansion and as you're waiting for your doom buggy.
Here are the first ten notes to the organ music, by Anna Maliszewski:
If your, not a piano player, then here's a cheat sheet guide for you:
Playing the Tune...
It's actually pretty easy to remember just the basic notes:
Perfect Practice Prevents Poor Performance
Practice a few times on a regular piano. When you get in line at the Haunted Mansion, you'll impress those around you.
Many years ago I found a list of ?My Favorite Things at Walt Disney World.? written by a diehard Disney fan.
Here?s my ten things that I look forward to at every trip at the Magic Kingdom:
- Walking down Main Street USA, making the turn by the Emporium and looking down Main Street.
- Walking through the doors at the Haunted Mansion. Feeling the cold air and that distinct Haunted Mansion smell
- The smell of popcorn on Main Street USA
- Feeling the mist in the Pirated of the Caribbean ride
- The smell of gasoline at Tomorrowland Speedway
- Seeing the park transform at night.
- Playing a game of chess with my daughter at Tom Sawyer Island
- Enjoying a Dole Whip while watching people ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
- Watching the Carousel of Progress show - always see something new.
- Enjoying breakfast at the Crystal Palace as the first big meal of the Disney Vacation.
The orginal list:
My Favorite Things at Walt Disney World
This is just a fun list I brainstormed one day when I was "homesick" for WDW. I posted the list in rec.arts.disney.parks and was amazed at the huge response as a lot of other people posted their own personal lists of favorite things. Since I don't have the permission of those folks, I'll stick with my original list here, but you might want to put your own together just for fun.
- "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...da da da da da (couldn't remember the words) and warm woolen mittens...brown paper packages tied up with string"...none of these can compare with my favorite things at WDW:
- Entering the turnstiles, walking under the train station, and viewing the castle for the first time every trip
- The turn-of-the-century music in the town square of Main Street
- The big dill pickles you can buy in the cul-de-sac east of Main Street
- Smelling the bakery and the candy shop
- Breakfast at the Crystal Palace (Puffed French Toast)
- An evening at the marketplace, browsing the stores, especially the kitchen store, the character shop, and the book store
- Pirates of the Carribean...especially the dirty foot of the one Buccaneer that sits on the bridge toward the end of the town sceens
- Strolling past the lawns and gardens surrounding Cinderella's castle
- Browsing in the Yankee Peddler
- "Helping" my wife mix purfumes in the Old Antique shop
- Tony's Town Square Cafe
- Slowly strolling the World Showcase Promenade... when everyone else is walking fast
- Sitting in the lobby of the Grand Floridian...watching all the people that can afford to stay at this hotel and wondering if someday I'll be one of them
- Soaking in the atmosphere at Dixie Landings
- Riding the mountains (Space, Splash, and Big Thunder)
- Impressions De France
- The impromptu plays and events in World Showcase (the Chinese Jugglers, skits in the United Kingdom)
- Listening to the phone "conversations" in the Main Street Market House
- The organ music as I walk by the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
- The jungle cruise at night
What About Your List?
What's on your bucket list? What are your favorite things that you look forward to each Disney World trip?
Swiss Family Robinson Tree
The Swiss Family Robinson Tree is a walk-through attraction in Walt Disney Adventure Land.
The attraction allows guests to see how the Swiss Family Robinson lived. The attraction is based off the book series and 1960 movie.
The attraction first opened in Disneyland in 1962. (Two years after the movie release)
This is a fun attraction for those kids that might be scared of dark fast moving rides - such as the nearby Pirates of the Caribbean. Also fun for kids that are just starting to learn to read, as there are information signs which describe each area of the tree.
Some fun facts I found from other people from planning previous trips:
- The tree in which the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse resides is called a Disneyodendron Exiums, or "out of the ordinary Disney tree," so dubbed by the Imagineers who built her. It is classified as a building, so is subject to the same safety and building codes as all of the other structures in Walt Disney World. Also, the tree contains 800,000 fabricated leaves, which each cost $1 to produce!
- Swiss Family Treehouse has concrete "roots" that stick 42 feet into the ground, and a steel superstructure. That tree is gonna be there a while.
- Swiss Family Treehouse -- Maybe it's because Swiss Family Robinson was one of my favorite books growing up, but I love this attraction.
- The treehouse is a different experience in the bright sunlight when you can look out over the surroundings, or at night when you walk through Robinson's home in the flickering candlelight. I always go twice: once in the daylight and once after dark.
- Sometimes there's a line, but it doesn't last, so if you see a line, come back by later.
- In Disneyland, the attraction was closed in 1999 and reopened shortly after as Tarzan's Treehouse. The Swiss Family Treehouse is still alive in Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.
- We noticed a hidden Mickey on the Swiss Family Treehouse. This was on the actual bottom part of the tree, where the moss is starting to appear on it. There was several hidden Mickey shaped moss on the tree, we noticed it going up, but double-checked going down.
- As you walk around the trunk of the tree before you get to the first room on the side of the tree is a side silhouette of Mickey.(not tri-oval) It is white with green moss splotched on it. I confirmed it with the cast member attendant who said he was told it was white and on the tunk. Another way to find it is lookup at the prayer room and you will see an oar sticking out of the bottom, the blade of the oar points to the place on the trunk.
- There is a silhouette of Mickey positioned about halfway up the back of the tree trunk. Darker moss forms the outside part of the silhouette outline. You pass it in easily viewable spots the first time you are heading up the stairs and the last time you are heading down the stairs.
- If you look at the candlestick and the two mugs, they look like a Hidden Mickey.
- I noticed a Hidden Mickey in the carved design on the chair backs in the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. It was in the room with the shell sink, which I believe is the dining room, and the distinctive three circles are there.
Police Phone in ToonTown
In Disneyland Toon Town there are various props to make it a fun place to visit. Just outside the Post Office is a mystery red phone. When you pick up the phone you can hear some pretty funny police conversations.
Here's a bit of the conversation that I captured back in 2000. To capture this audio, I actually brought a removable telephone pickup recorder that I got from Radio Shack. Luckily that the area wasn't too busy and I was able to capture this audio clip.
The entire clip I captured was 5 minutes long. (I waited to make sure that I had the entire recording.) If you want a copy of the entire track let me know.
Throughout the year there are special days in the World of Disney. Here are a summary of important days:
Main Character Birthdays
|Mickey Mouse||November 18, 1928|
|Minnie Mouse||November 18, 1928|
|Donald Duck||June 9, 1934|
|Goofy||May 25, 1932|
|Daisy Duck||May 16, 1940|
Fourteen Princesses Birthdays
These are based on when the films first were released. Actual birthdays have never been announced.
|Snow White||February 4, 1938|
|Cinderella||February 15, 1950|
|Aurora||January 29, 1959|
|Arial||November 17, 1989|
|Belle||September 29, 1991|
|Aladdin||November 25, 1992|
|Pocahontas||June 23, 1995|
|Mulan||June 5, 1998|
|Tiana||November 25, 2009|
|Rapunzel||November 24, 2010|
|Merida||June 22. 2012|
|Anna||November 27, 2013|
|Elsa||November 27, 2013|
|Elena||July 22, 2016|
|Walt Disney||December 5, 1901|
|Roy Disney||June 24, 1893|
|Disneyland||July 17, 1955|
|Disney World||October 1, 1971|
|Epcot||October 1, 1982|
|Disney Studios||May 1, 1989|
|Animal Kingdom||April 22, 1998|
Walk Around The World Bricks
As you walk into the entrance at the Magic Kingdom you may have noticed some names on the pavements. These brick names were part of "Disney's Walk Around the World" a feature where you can forever be part of the Disney experience.
Sample stone names that you would see as you walk into the park.
Ten things Things I learned about the "Walk Around the World" bricks
- The stones reach from the bus station to the monorail, originally they were supposed to go completely around the lagoon.
- There are some bricks at the Transportation and Ticket center, and at the Polynesian and Contemporary hotels.
- The bricks program started in 1994 and stopped in 2000. A few years later a new "Leave a Legacy" was introduced at Epcot.
- On the top of each brick it shows the date of purchase.
- Some bricks were refurbished in 2007 at the request of sponsors. The bricks were placed back with the new date.
- The bricks cost between $85 and $250 depending on the size and location.
- There are 8 Walk around the World bricks dedicated in memory of the children who died in the Oklahoma City bombing. They are located near the Bus stop and the Contemporary Entrance.
- You can ask at the Info Desk for locations of any bricks. They have a map of the location of all the bricks.
- It's possible the bricks will be removed as Disney may redesign the entrance. They committed to at least having them there for ten years.
- There were 20,000 bricks sold.
Once upon a time at the Magic Kingdom they had live animals. It was part of Mickey Birthdayland from 1988 to 1996. They even had a special cow. What made the cow special was that it had a Disney marking on it.
On one of my visits in the early 1990s I took a picture of the famous cow:
In fact there were 2 cows, one in Disneyland (Minnie Moo) and one in Disney World (Mickey Moo).
At the time they had a sign about the cow at Disneyland:
A neighbor, walking past a dairy farm in North Whitefield, Maine noticed that the spots on one side of this handsome Holstein bore a striking resemblance to Mickey Mouse. See for yourself. It's right there in black and white.
The Petting Area was closed in 1996 and all the animals were moved to Disney?s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The Petting area was transformed into the Barnstormer at Goofy's Wise Acres Farm. If you look at the sign you can see Mickey Moo!
Minnie Moo died at the Disney?s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in 2001. The Petting Zoo was closed in 2005 and the remaining animals were moved to Animal Kingdom.
There is a plaque for Minnie Moo on the wall in the trophy room at the barn at Disney's For Wilderness Resort & Campground.