Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 396: FAF: Kilimanjaro Safaris

Time for the last Featured Attraction Friday of January. Rounding out our theme of "Starting Out," let's take a trip on the wild side and right over to Animal Kingdom, and specifically Kilimanjaro Safaris!

What's On The Map: 

Take a safari ride through the lush African Savannah to search for lions, elephants, giraffes and more. "Traipse along a twisting path amid a lush garden gateway and make your way to the rendezvous point of Kilimanjaro Safaris expedition, the touring company for your adventure into the wilds. Featuring picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands, the 100-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve is a spectacular sanctuary dedicated to the protection of African Animals.

Spot a shy hippopotamus nestled beneath a still pond. Behold a regal lion sunbathing on a rocky perch. Drive past a gentle giraffe grazing on a tall tree. Wave hello to a swinging baboon. Since animals have minds of their own, every Kilimanjaro Safari expedition is a unique and unforgettable experience" (WDW Website).

A Brief History Lesson: 

This week's History comes from Magical Mountain!

I suppose you could say that Kilimanjaro Safaris, along with the rest of Animal Kingdom, once again dates back to Walt Disney himself. We all know the story of The Jungle Cruise, and how Walt really wanted live animals, but realized that they would just be too difficult to control and maintain around the guests, so instead audio-animatronic creatures were installed.

Years later, Animal Kingdom was created, and "Imagineers wanted Kilimajaro Safaris to allow guests to feel like they were on a real African Safari. The Imagineering team visited Africa many times observing the wildlife in its natural habitat. Inspired by the sight of a leopard in a tree 300 feet away, the team decided that they could equal this thrill in our park. By the time the ride was finished, Imagineers spent over a year in Africa getting all the details they needed to create the perfect safari experience."

It's also worthy to note that Kilimanjaro Safaris would be the very first attraction to have the Fastpass system. Funny how the first park to switch completely to Fastpass+ was also Animal Kingdom!

Fun Facts: 

  • Environmental protection is of the utmost importance at Animal Kingdom for the sake of the land and for the sake of the animals. With that in mind, the Jeeps used for Kilimanjaro Safaris run on liquid propane, which helps keep emissions low. 
  • While you are out on safari, you may notice the grass is brown rather than a lush green, but it isn't a matter of neglect, it's a matter of design. Natural grasses have a cycle of growth and decline, both in Orlando and in the savannahs of Africa's in that regard, saving the landscapers the job of making the grass dry out for a more natural look. 
  • For the animal's safety, many of them must return to a shelter for the night. How do they know when to return? As you now know, each species responds to a specific sound. Out on the savannah, zebras return when the hear a cowbell, giraffes return to the sound of a sports whistle, most of the hoofed animals respond to a horn, and the Thomson's gazelles have the most unusual signal - they come running when they hear a goose call. 
  • Most of the landscaping throughout the savannah is real, but some of it is not. The termite mound, giant baobab tree, and those enormous ostrich eggs are less about the natural process and more about convenient engineering. 

My Thoughts: 

Just as I did with The Great Movie Ride, I've discussed Kilimanjaro Safaris before. Multiple times actually. I used to LOVE Kilimanjaro Safaris. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It was the reason that Animal Kingdom was my second favorite park, right after Epcot. The storyline was wonderful, and it was just so much fun going after the poachers and going over the old bridge and everything. 

But now, that stuff is gone, or partially gone, and it just makes me very very sad. I want Big and Little Red back. And that's all I have to say about that. 

Still, it's a great attraction, and you should go on it (especially in the morning if it's raining. That's when we've seen the most animals for some reason or another). No matter what: Kilimanjaro Safaris is still one of the greatest attractions at WDW! 

And so, Featured Attraction Friday is done for January. It only took me like two and a half hours to do the four posts, but now that I have everything worked out I can get one of these posts out in about a half hour or less. Much nicer than the hour it took me to do the first one. 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 395: Once Upon a YouTube

I haven't done a YouTube post in a while, so I figured that since we're all going insane with this hiatus, and I can't share any of the wonderful spoilers that I've found on Twitter...and there's a lot of those. But I won't share anything. We'll just watch some hilarious and wonderful YouTube videos that all start the same way...Once Upon a Time.

Don't Deserve You - Hook & Emma:

This is probably my favorite CaptainSwan video of all time (and yes you'll see a bunch of them on t
his post...because I ship them...and they're awesome...and, well...Hook). The song is wonderful and totally fits them. Actually, it was in this video exactly that I saw the kiss before it happened. I avoided that sneak peek video like the plague, but then unintentionally Megan watched this and saw it and then I was like "NO FAIR!" and I watched it too. And that's the story of that. Poor Hook though. 

You're My Mate - Hook & Charming: 

I've shared this one before, but it's just too priceless to not share it again. I mean, it's just HILARIOUS. My friends and I actually now call each other "mate" all the time because of this video and the prince and the pirate. Gosh CaptainCharming (or Hooking or Davey Jones...but officially CaptainCharming) is great. 

Once Upon a Time 'In Neverland' Song Spoof/Crack Video: 

Once Upon a Time (yes I'm starting this this way), Megan and I were sitting in our dorm rooms working on homework. She texted me to tell me she was sending me a video. And this is what she sent me. Note, there's a lot of swearing and such, but at the same time this is honestly one of my absolute favorite Once videos, and most certainly my favorite of the crack videos. My favorite parts: I'm On A Boat, Poker Face, Kung Fu Fighting, Guess Who's Back (BAHAHA NEAL), I've Got the Power with Regina, All the Pirates of the Caribbean References, and then the Lion King Part with Rumple. Also the #DidNotSaveHenry was great, as was the Spongebob with Hook and Emma and the One, Two and Three Hours later because that is SO what happened. Oh CaptainSwan. 

Once Upon a Time Cast at ComicCon: 

Of all the interviews there are out there with this vast, this is by FAR my absolute favorite. I LOVE this video. Seriously, can Colin be any more adorable? Can ANY OF THEM be any more adorable? Favorite parts of this one: the whole first interview, and then totally the part with Josh Dallas where he has a Harrison Ford Fangirl moment. That makes my life every single time. 

The Season 2 Blooper Reel:

Ok, I couldn't have a Once Upon a Time YouTube Video post without the Blooper Reel. This thing never fails to make me laugh. Specifically the part with Jefferson, Whale and Regina all screaming followed by a Colin and Robert Carlyle Bromance. And then Colin's laugh. BAHAHAHA gets me every time. Plus let's not forget about the Evil Panda, every time JMO says "Oh God" or the time when she's like "Did you know the whole time? Where I was? Who I was from?" Oh...and that time Jamie forgot to put on the parking break. Best. Sheriff. Ever. 

Happy Birthday Colin O'Donoghue: 

Here we have what is probably my current favorite of my Once videos on YouTube. It was created for his birthday last week, but I watch it all the time because it just makes me smile, and we all need that. I mean, to quote Ginny, he does get "super super super Irish all the time," and it's awesome. Plus I am in love with the song that is on the video too. 

Honestly, unless you want me to post another huge set of CaptainSwan videos, that's all I've got at the moment. I'm sure there are more out there, and maybe I'll do another post someday when I find them (or we get new awesomeness because of S3B).

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 394: Experience It

I haven't done a Pinterest post specific to one particular picture in a while. I mean, I do the ones where I have a whole bunch of pictures on one board, but I haven't done one like this recently. It's one of those times when I go on Pinterest and find a post that I can just sit down and write whatever I want about it. 

This is something I tend to talk about a lot actually. I can't count the number of times I've said to someone that Disney isn't just something you can talk about. I can talk about going to Walt Disney World all day long and yet you still won't be able to experience it the same way I do just through my words. 

In fact, it's something I've talked more and more about with the Band Trip to Walt Disney World. A lot of people have questions about why you should go to Disney World because either they have been there before or they have some sort of idea about what it is. In reality it's normally not the truth. 

The only way to really experience Walt Disney World is to go there for yourself. To see and experience everything through your own eyes. And since every Disney Vacation is different, you're going to have different memories. My favorite experiences come from the entire range of my trips, not just the first couple I remember. Every time I go it's more magical, and I can't wait for my two trips this year because they both promise to be great. 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 393: No Class

Here in Wisconsin, it's so cold that our college actually CANCELED classes and closed campus. I'm not kidding..they did, and that alone should be amazing enough in itself, considering the fact that we like NEVER close here. Most of us live on campus, so it has to be cold enough for it to be dangerous for us to walk simply from one building to another...which is normally no more than a 5 minute walk.

So what did I do on my day off, you ask? Honestly, I really just did homework. I slept in and watched some HIMYM, and then got up, took a shower, ate some brunch I suppose, and then sat down to do my work. I did end up watching an episode of Once with my friend Jessica in the middle of the afternoon, but other than that I really just worked for about four hours straight.

And then, of course, since it warmed up enough by 5, we ended up having Wind Ensemble. I'm cool with that, except for I was really looking forward to spending an entire day inside the warmth of my dorm room, and that just did not happen, but that's alright. Heading to the music building for wind ensemble and then the caf for dinner meant that I got to watch another episode of Once with Jessica (we're catching her up so she can watch with us when it returns on March 9...she just watched Good Form). And then I headed back to my dorm for more homework: philosophy to be specific.

Luckily I finished my Fairytales reading on Monday, so I didn't have to worry about that. I have to say though, Sleeping Beauty HAS to be one of the most disturbing stories I think I've ever read. I mean, it's awful. In one version we read there were instances of rape, birth of twins while asleep, cannibalism, attempted murder, stripping, adultery and burning at the stake (twice). Yeah...not the best story if you ask me.

In other words, it has finally 100% occurred to me WHY the Disney versions are often so different from the original fairytales, and in many cases, I think it's ridiculous for critics to get on Disney's case about it. These are stories that have been passed down for generations, and there are multiple versions of each because they all end DIFFERENTLY. Therefore, the Disney version is just another version of the story. Either Walt's or the Company's take on the classic story that's written in print.

But if you think about it, it's basically impossible for Disney to accurately represent the story in it's original form. Go back a couple paragraphs to what was included in the one version (the earliest we have) of Sleeping Beauty. In no way could a film, live action OR animated, present all of that and not get some sort of terrible criticism. You can't just have all of that in one movie and have it be ok...especially when Walt's original goal was for his films to be viewed by adults and children alike (when he began it was really for adults...and now society has made it into "only for children." Although I'm pretty sure at least half of college students would argue otherwise. We love Disney here).

Tomorrow I'll read Cinderella...and if you know anything about THAT story you'll know that it's not exactly the cleanest story either. The whole chopping off the foot to fit it in the shoe thing might turn a few people off. But surprisingly, I'm really enjoying reading these fairytales. Let's just hope *knock on wood* that my "contract" to not watch Once Upon a Time unless I read everything for this class actually isn't all that hard.

I mean...with everything I know is coming, I really want to be sitting in front of my TV at 7 PM on March 9.

Have a magical day!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 392: A New Beginning

It's Monday...and since apparently it's still warm enough out for us to have school, that means that classes start today. I'm going to split this blog post into two parts, mostly because I have a few minutes to spare right now and am not really feeling in the mood to go and practice my alto quite yet (I'll have plenty of time for that later today), I figured I would sit down and go do some work on my laptop...and there's plenty of work for me to do.

But you see, I can't accurately describe all my classes when I haven't had them all yet. In fact, as of right now I've only had two: Philosophy and Music Theory. Theory is pretty close to the same as last semester, but I have to say that it was really awesome finally getting to see everyone again. It's been a long six weeks without my music theory people. I can, on the other hand, talk about Philosophy, because I'm pretty certain already that I'm going to like that class.

First off, it's an 8 A.M. class, one that I didn't really want to take (we avoid 8 A.M. like the plague around here), but when I looked through the philosophy professors on Rate My Professor, I found that one stood out from the rest, the one that I now have. Since I have theory at 9, and he only taught an 8 or 9 A.M. class, I didn't have much of a choice unless I wanted to take an afternoon class with a different professor. So I sucked it up and decided on the 8 A.M.

I guess that was a good decision. Backstory time: I don't swear a lot. I mean, hardly at all. Sometimes I'll throw in a few of what I call "Star Wars Swears," which is basically a bunch of words that mean the same thing as a swear word but that no one knows or recognizes as a swear word. I also really like to add food in instead of swear words, snickerdoodle being one of my favorites. But since watching Once Upon a Time, I've found that I tend to add in "Bloody" before things a lot. Thanks to Hook and Will (Wonderland) for that I guess.

Well, my philosophy professor seriously was talking today and said "Bloody well" and I totally had this floored look on my face. I mean, really, not a TON of people say that these least that I hear. MY PROFESSOR SAID BLOODY. Honestly that sentence kind of seems weird, but it was AWESOME.

Also, there was this point when we were talking about opinions and he was saying something and I had what I now have termed Disney Deja Vu. It occurred to me right away what it was reminding me of: The Carousel of Progress. He was using this example of people in Iowa or something, and the words themselves didn't really remind me of it, but the tone of his voice and how he was saying it really reminded me of the Father in the Carousel of Progress. I'm not kidding, it's was awesome.

And now it is the second half of the day (meaning that everything previous to this paragraph I wrote at 10 this morning, and everything from now onwards I am writing at 3).

First I had sociology, which I think I'll enjoy well enough. I mean, it is a class that's basically about social things in our culture, and I do seem to study on screen love triangles and relationships as a hobby, so parts of the class should be interesting for sure. Plus I want to work for Disney, so maybe I'll learn something interesting that will help me with that as time goes on.

And then I had Classic and Contemporary Fairytales. This is probably the class I'm most excited for this semester, and it's all the fault of Once Upon a Time and the fact that I have friends in that class already (a bunch of us also took Science Fiction and Fantasy last semester). I wasn't actually originally going to take the class, but my friend talked me into it. I mean, Disney and Fairytales seem to go well together, but often enough critics get angry with Disney for what they do to the fairytales (I have FRIENDS who get angry and I'm like really?) But I'm going to look at the class with a different perspective. WHY did Disney change the fairytales in the way that they did? It goes right along with Philosophy and Sociology honestly, and I think it's going to help me in the long run.

My big goal for this semester: to actually read EVERYTHING I need to for Fairytales. I didn't read a lot of the stuff in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so I am determined to get it all done. In fact, my friend Rachel and I signed an agreement today, a mission if you will, that says "I will read all the required books for Fairytales or else I will not watch Once Upon a Time." Pretty big consequence there if you ask me. That show is like my life right now. So it will be interesting to see exactly how Adam and Eddy adapted the fairytales for the show as well. I'm particularly excited about Peter Pan, for obvious reasons, but today we did talk about our favorite fairytales, which I'll talk about further in a previous blog post that I'm about to make up that I missed. Click here to go to that one.

I still have one class to go, although I don't really consider it a class, because it's Wind Ensemble and that's an hour of playing my alto and that's just awesome. Now to get a headstart on my homework so I can spend tomorrow watching HIMYM because I have no class!

Have a magical day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 391: Colin O'Donoghue

Today is a very big day! Now, last year, if you remember correctly, on July 13th I had a post dedicated to my absolute favorite actor, so it only makes sense to have one dedicated to my OTHER Favorite actor, Colin O'Donoghue!

That's right, today's his birthday, and that means that I just went through all my stuff to find some of my favorite Colin things on the internet (honestly there are tons and tons more, but here's some of it for sure!) I mean, he's like the greatest Captain Hook there ever was, and that deserves plenty of credit!

Ok, you can't have Colin Appreciation without talking about his eyebrows. So let's just stop and thing about this for a moment: here we have just a few of the greatest eyebrow moments from Colin: 

And then there was that time at Comic Con where he knew all the answers to the trivia question and just blew us all away and we were just like going crazy. That's by far my favorite of the interviews, although PaleyFest was pretty great too. 

And then I found this today, that time when Colin did the worm apparently. It's a thing...and now it's on my blog. 

Since we've reached the end of this particular Colin Appreciation Post, I'd like to wish the man himself a very happy birthday, even if at the time I'm writing this it's already mostly over. I hope it was a great one then, spent with family & friends! Can't wait to see you back on our TV Screens come March mate! =)

Also, my roommate would like to say hello to all my readers! She told me to mention her in my blog today, so I am right now! =) 

Have a magical day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 390: Back to College

On this lovely Saturday I did one thing and one thing far at least...and that one thing is move back into college. Of course, that includes a lot more than just walking into your dorm room (and mine for one was a serious mess). I had to unpack everything, and set my TV Back up, reorganize, get my books for the new semester, type up my schedule so I know where I'm going come Monday and now work on my know that thing that I've been slacking on for like the last two weeks.

It seems that when I'm home I don't really work on my blog as much, although you can obviously now see that the new design is up (not too different from the old one, but still new!) And it's got the new header as well as the new icons on the side to the left. At least I got that part of stuff done over break. Granted, I got plenty of other stuff done too, but it does actually annoy me when I have to catch up on my blog. I mean, I love writing, but when you have two weeks of blog posts to write it just gets to be a bit much.

I think the thing I'm most grateful for here at college must be just the fact that I'm here. I come back and once everything is put away, I feel so organized again! I mean, when all my books are organized neatly on my shelves and my food is put away and the clothes are back in the closet, everything just looks so normal again!

So now, time to focus back on actual work. The stuff that isn't just sitting around my house hopelessly checking twitter all day for any new information on Once Upon a Time. I'm talking like homework, and band trip stuff, and Disney stuff in general, and this blog! All of it! And boy do I have plenty of work to do!

In the words of Walt Disney, I should "Quit Talking and Begin Doing!"

Have a magical day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 389: FAF: The Great Movie Ride

Time for another Featured Attraction Friday, and this time we're headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios. I've talked plenty about The Great Movie Ride before (remember that day that I realized the Hologram table from the Falcon was in the queue and Harrison Ford touched it?), and honestly it's become one of my favorite attractions! But I'll talk more about that later!


What's On The Map: 

Journey into some of Hollywood's most famous films on the ever popular Great Movie Ride. "Stroll onto a soundstage designed to recall 1930's-era Hollywood and board a tram for a captivating tour of some of Tinseltown's greatest film scenes. Glide beneath a flashing movie marquee and cross over into a world that could only exist in the movies.

Be part of such classic films as: Alien, Casablanca, Fantasia, Mary Poppins, Raiders of the Lost Art [!], Singin' in the Rain, Tarzan the Ape Man, The Public Enemy, The Wizard of Oz.

Your informative tour guide will set the stage for the scenes you'll visit. Just don't be surprised if something unexpected happens along the way. Keep telling yourself, it's only a movie" (WDW Website).

A sketch of the original design for The Great Movie Ride at EPCOT. 

A Brief History Lesson: 

This week's history is from Studios Central and Walt Dated World!

The history of The Great Movie Ride is another kind of interesting one: at least I think so. And believe it or not, it holds a very close connection to Epcot of all places! Originally though, the idea goes all the way back to Walt Disney himself, and his ideas for Disneyland. It was a tram tour at the Universal lot that got Walt's mind going. Of course, we all know that he didn't make a lot tour, but instead broke ground in Anaheim and created Disneyland.

So in the early 1980's, when "a team of Imagineers led by Marty Sklar and Randy Bright had been given an assignment to create two new pavilions for EPCOT Center's Future World section," they came up with two ideas: The Wonders of Life Pavilion and The Great Movie Ride Pavilion. This is where I'm sure you're just like "WHAT?!?" because that was just about my response too. The Wonders of Life was created as planned, but the idea for the Great Movie Ride was caught by Michael Eisner.

"Originally to be placed between The Land and The Journey Into the Imagination pavilions, The Great Movie Ride pavilion was designed to look as a movie set background. With a soundstage background and a small ticket booth entrance, the falseness of Hollywood was embraced int the project's facade." However, the attraction would never make it to Epcot, as Eisner decided to create not only a new pavilion, but an entire park around the idea of film.

Each of the parks opened with a focal point. For Magic Kingdom, it was Cinderella Castle, and for Epcot, Spaceship Earth. Later, Animal Kingdom would open with the Tree of Life. Therefore, The Great Movie Ride was changed in scale, and it was crafted after one of Hollywood's greatest landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theater.

The Great Movie Ride opened in May of 1989 with the rest of the then named Disney-MGM Studios. In the late 1990's, Disney built a large replica of Mickey's sorcerer hat from the film "Fantasia," a decision that is most likely due to legal issues concerning the theater (I actually didn't know that!)

Fun Facts: 

  • As you approach the Chinese Theater, look down. Many visiting celebrities have left their signatures and handprints in cement squares. See if you can find George Lucas, Dick Van Dyke, Roger Rabbit, C-3P0 and others. You may even find the distinct prints of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. [OR HARRISON FORD!!!!!!!!!!]
  • The Great Movie Ride offers two distinct scenarios, one with a cowboy theme, and the other with a gangster theme, so if you have a preference, ask a Cast Member to direct you to the correct line. 
  • If you opt for the gangster version, notice the license plate number on the car in the shootout scene. It's 021-429, a variation on February 14, 1929, the date of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. 
  • The town you travel through in the cowboy version of the ride certainly recalls Tombstone, Arizona, "The Town Too Tough To Die." Cochise County Court House (indicative of the county where Tombstone is actually located) is on your right, covered in Wells Fargo posters offering rewards for the Most Wanted Outlaws. 
  • Guests with an exceptionally quick eye may notice some of the hieroglyphics on the walls in the Egyptian scene have some rather surprising icons. See if you can located R2-D2 and C-3P0 from the Star Wars movie or Donald Duck as an Egyptian Servant offering a slice of cheese to Pharaoh Mickey Mouse. 
  • In the Alien scene, if you are sitting on the left side of the tram, you may be able to read the computer monitors if you peer over the edge of your vehicle. The screen titled Crew Status Roster shows a listing of the Imagineers and designers of The Great Movie Ride. Notice each crew member's current status; some are listed as missing while others have humorous notations next to their names. 
  • You may recall having seen the rear half of a Lockheed Electra 12A Airplane as you made your way around the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom, and you certainly can't miss the front half, which features prominently in the Casablanca scene. It isn't the original plane used in the movie, however. The Lockheed Electra 12A in the movie was actually a mockup, not a real airplane. 

My Thoughts: 

As I said earlier, I love The Great Movie Ride. As a kid, and still today actually, I am terrified of the Alien portion (when I'm with my dad I literally put my head so I'm basically looking into his shoulder. When I was a kid I HAD to sit next to him so the alien wouldn't get me. One of those good memories from when I was a kid...even if I was terrified the whole time). In fact, it's one of the few attractions that gets the honor of being one I would love to work for, right up there with Spaceship Earth and the Jungle Cruise. I'd just really enjoy going through the movies...even if I do have a specific script to follow. It still sounds fun to me! 

I also feel it's a good point to mention that because of The Great Movie Ride, I've found some of my all time favorite films. It is because of the attraction that I first watched Singin' In the Rain, and that's now one of my absolute favorite movies, just as it is for many of my friends. 

Also, I literally freak out every single time I go through this attraction and there is any reference to Harrison Ford. I may also love Colin O'Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison, but come on, let's be real here: my favorite actor will always be Harrison Ford. 

Which brings us to the end of another Featured Attraction Friday post. You know, now that I've gotten going on these I kind of enjoy it. Learning about the different attractions and stuff. Each one takes FOREVER to work on I'm going to make sure I get ahead and then just go from there. Once March comes around I'm not going to have time to sit all day and work on my blog when I get behind! But hey, I'm going through my Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World book again and that means that there's plenty of stuff I want to go find when I go in March! Super excited! 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 388: Disney Jazz

It's honestly been a while since I've played some real jazz. Since I'm not in the jazz band here at SNC, you just don't play a lot of it otherwise (Wind Ensemble is fun but it's more classic stuff, not really the whole jazz thing...the most we got of jazz there was in Sleigh Ride). But today, as I'm sitting in the music lobby making up blog posts and doing homework in between classes, Megan texted me to tell me how awesome one of my CD's is: My Disney Jazz CD.

Now, I have a few different ones, but the one I know she's talking about (and that I'm now listening to as well), is Disney Jazz: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat. I've had it for a few years now, and listen to it on occasion (I tend to listen to Disney Parks music when doing homework of course), but I felt that I should blog on it, since I haven't actually blogged on it previous to right now.

There's tons of various songs on it, most notably Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat by Roy Hargrove. It's my personal favorite song on the CD, mostly because of the wonderful saxophone solo stuck in the middle of it, plus the fact that that song is basically the most classic Disney Jazz song of all time. But you've also got Chim Chim Cher-ee, Some Day My Prince Will Come, Find Yourself, You've Got a Friend In Me, He's a Tramp, Feed the Birds, Alice in Wonderland, The Bare Necessities, It's a Small World, Belle, Circle of Life, and my other favorite, Gaston.

Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast originally, is honestly probably the strangest song on the entire album. It's just plain WEIRD. Like parts of it make no sense whatsoever. It's just this big jumble of notes and sounds. But the funny thing is: IT WORKS. For some reason that song is so strange that it all blends together in this really weird way and it sounds AWESOME.

Other than those two I don't think I can really pick a favorite because I love them all. Disney and Jazz are both such important parts of my life that they fit together perfectly, and I really do suggest at least listening to the CD. I have Gaston tagged on below this for you to listen to, because...well...I just explained this!

Have a magical day!

(Note: This Blog Post was written on January 27, 2014). 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 387: Classic & Contemporary Fairytales

As I'll talk about in a post down the road a few days (but really I'm writing it at the same time as that other one), I am just starting a new semester here at SNC. That means plenty of new classes, including one special topics course I'm taking titled Classic and Contemporary Fairytales.

I was hesitant to take the course because of the disconnection between Disney and the actual original Fairytales, as many critics despise Disney for how he (and now they) have adapted the stories into film. But my friend convinced me, and thanks to Once Upon a Time, I found that I really DO love Fairytales. And that's why, at 1:40 this afternoon, I found myself in a classroom talking about just that: Fairytales.

What I found was interesting though is just how much Disney HAS impacted how we, as a culture, see Fairytales. Personally, I don't think these stories would be as popular as they are today if Walt Disney hadn't began making the classic animated films such as Snow White in 1937. These stories have withstood the test of time, yes, but would we have things like Once Upon a Time today? No, I don't think we would. Disney has helped keep these stories alive, and that's obviously seen through the list of favorite fairytales my class had.

As we do in every class with that professor, we started out by a huge get to know you discussion. We said our names (Lizzie), our major (English & Music Performance Double Major), Unique Fact (My name is actually spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate: Eliazbeth instead of Elizabeth), Favorite Fairytale (Rapunzel & The Wizard of Oz...although I like pretty much all of them to be honest), Where we first heard that fairytale and why we like it (WoOz I watched a TON as a kid, so that's easy, and Rapunzel I read in my book "Once Upon a Time," the one with the forward by Adam & Eddy that I got because I watched OUAT...I have no clue why I like them so much), and then a definition of a fairytale (I said: a story that has been passed down through generations, such as a folk tale, can include fantastical elements, but doesn't HAVE to).

Our Prof listed the different "Favorite Fairytales" on the board, and I took a moment to jot them all down, 100% for the purpose of writing this blog post. I found it interesting how Disney seeps its way into these fairytales, as many of them were on the list because people loved the movie as a kid (myself included). So here's the list of different fairytales that we talked about briefly today:

Paul Bunyan, Sleeping Beauty, Princess & The Frog, Brave, Beauty (& The Beast), Goldilocks, Jack & The Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, Peter Pan, Phantastes, Hansel & Gretel, Stardust, Irish Fairytales, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Twelve Dancing Princesses, Frozen, Rapunzel, Wizard of Oz, The Swan Princess, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and The Princess Bride.

Now if you just look through that list, there are bunch that are Disney films, and at the same time, a bunch that aren't. I know with OUAT, people are always asking "What are they going to do next?" It's a fair question, because on the show we already have everyone from Ariel to Pongo (and hopefully Cruella in the future!), so what's left? The truth is, there are a lot of fairytales that we HAVEN'T explored. Like hundreds of them. It's kind of crazy honestly.

Throughout the semester, you'll see plenty of posts comparing the different classic fairytales that I read to the actual Disney movies (Sleeping Beauty is coming up first...and quickly). I figured it might be interesting to see just how different things are (I know they are a lot in most cases), and HOW they are different. Either way, it should be an interesting long as I can keep my head out of arguing for Disney. ;)

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on January 27, 2014).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 386: EpcotExpert

Today something SERIOUSLY AWESOME happened.

First, watch this video...and tell me if you notice anything:

Did you notice it!?! BECAUSE I DID! 

First off, a HUGE Thanks to MrCheezyPop himself for the kind comments. It seriously made my day and got me back to the point where I'm like "DISNEY!" again. Just that one little comment like made my life. 

Now, I realized that I don't think I've ever told the story of how/why my "Username" is EpcotExpert. I mean, I sign it at the bottom of every blog post, and it's my username for just about everything, so I figure I might as well actually tell you the story. 

As you all know, I love Epcot in general. Spaceship Earth is my absolute favorite attraction. And a number of years ago I wanted to get a new email, but wanted to come up with the perfect email, and since I used to answer questions on Yahoo Answers, that came into play too here. So one day, and honestly I don't remember how or where it came from, I came up with EpcotExpert, and that just became my email and my username for my YouTube and then my blog name and everything else. 

Now, am I really an EpcotExpert? Probably more than most people, but I certainly don't know everything. It is my favorite park though, and I love learning about it as time goes on. My brother likes it too, so we spend more than enough time talking about it, that's for sure. 

And that's the basic story. But Max, I'm really happy you love it! I love it too! =)

Have a magical day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 385: Frozen Appreciation

I saw Frozen again.

Yeah, that's about all I'm going to say about that because right now it's time for some Frozen Appreciation: AKA All of the awesome Frozen posts that I've been finding on Tumblr and Pinterest. Seems like a good time, right? Also, note that if you have yet to see Frozen, there will probably be spoilers on this post. So, with that said, let's start things off with some Hans Appreciation, because even though he's super evil, I still love him.

I admit, the top one is just a picture of Hans, but I liked it, so I figured I would share it anyways. And then the Lion King Mash Up just made me laugh. The Douche comes from "Smolder, By Flynn," which I shared not too long ago. It's totally true though. And then that bottom one just hits you right in the feels and you're like darnit! 

I just have to comment on the two above this, because it's happening again and it's the truest thing ever. I mean really, ETERNAL WINTER EVERYWHERE HAPPENED! 

Ok, as a college student, that one is totally a description of how we feel at the end of the semester. Like so much. We always tell ourselves that we'll be determined to do our work but that never happens. Hopefully I can beat it this semester though! (See what I'm doing already). Then I must comment on "HOW DOES ELSA DO THAT WITH HER HAIR!?!" I wish I could do that. We also all need a little Pocket Princesses in our lives, right? And finally, again...that last one hits you right in the feels. 

And yes, we all need more Olaf in our lives. So there's lot of him...cause he's awesome. I love Olaf. 

Also I did a second Frozen Disneybound for this time going to see it, Kristoff! 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 384: Fastpass+

Since my HS Band is going to Walt Disney World in June, I've taken it upon myself to spend a bunch of time learning about the system to make reservations and the My Magic Plus system in general, just so if there are any questions when we get closer to the trip, I can hopefully help answer them. It's one of the reasons I'm going to WDW In March, just so I can learn a little bit about this stuff and have some hands on experience.

Not long before my parents left on Vacation, I learned all about Advanced Dining Reservations: How to book them and so on and so forth, including the creation of instructions for the band if they want to make reservations for when we're down there. But there's the other aspect of My Magic Plus that I have yet to learn at all, and that's Fastpass+.

Our day to make Fastpass+ Reservations was before my parents came home, so after some instructions from mom I made the reservations myself. To say it simply, the system is like one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen. The entire site is super high tech, and it takes absolutely everything into account from your entire trip.

This is how it works: You pick the day you're getting Fastpasses for and then choose up to a certain amount of them depending on where you're staying. There may be more than one category, where you can only choose one in the one category but two in the other. It all makes sense, and then it gives you time selections, which you can change later if you want, and if you have a dining reservation stuck in there at a time that will conflict with a fastpass, it lets you know about that too!

And everything is just so beautiful! There are incredible graphics that totally do the parks justice and I honestly sat there and texted my friends like "This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen."

Now, do I think Fastpass+ in general is a good idea? Yeah, once everything is worked out I think the system is going to work great when combined with everything else. I guess I'll really miss the original Paper Fastpasses, just because that's what I've grown up with and now it's all changing, but ultimately change is good sometimes, and I'm going to hold my faith in this one. We'll see what happens in March when everything finally works out, and then let's cross our fingers that everything will work perfectly come June!

Have a magical day!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 383: Presents from Parents

As of January 18th, my parents have been home, because I'm writing this on January 26, like just over a week later. Either way, they've been home, and when they did get home, it meant just about one thing and one thing alone for my brother and I: PRESENTS.

Ok, so maybe we were happy they were home too, but they did just take a vacation without us...sooo...presents.

What did I all get, you ask? Well I don't have pictures of it all, but a lot of it was this little stuff. I did get a new towel (which I have here at college) that's a Disney Cruise Line Towel, and then my parents also brought me a new Disney scarf (anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE scarves). And then I kind of picked through the other stuff they got, pulling out just about anything that has to do with Captain Hook (I found his Disney likeness on a bag of Jellybeans and got that...haven't eaten them yet though), and then they had robes from the cruise line and I have one of those. Oh, and they got me the Magic of Disneyland Imagineering or something like that. I can't remember the specific title of the DVD. But we have the Magic Kingdom one, so I'm happy to have the Disneyland one now too. And finally, I got a new phone case for my phone, which I'm sure you'll see in good time.

But there's one other thing they brought back that I can now talk about since it's been shown and delivered to the band!

You all know that my high school band is headed to Walt Disney World this June, and my parents found Mickey and some of his friends, who all had well wishes and are excited about the fact that we'll be there in just a few months. I was astonished at this because seriously over half of these I have never ever met. Lilo & Stitch, Woody, Buzz & Jessie, CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW! Oh...and this one...

I may or may not have freaked out a little bit with this one. I mean, it seriously is EXACTLY how Hook would sign his matter if it's Colin on Once or the Captain Hook of the Disney movie. It just seriously screams him. Well it should because it is his signature. It being on there honestly just makes me want to meet Captain Hook even more come June. I really hope it happens. 

Funny how a character I never really cared much about is apparently one of my new favorites...thanks Adam, Eddy and Colin. Thanks. No really...I love the show (I can't say it enough with all the hate and the arguments going on in the fandom right now, but that's a blog topic for another day).

Have a magical day!