Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

What a year, what a year!!! This has been a huge year in the World of Disney (and no, I don't mean the store). This year has brought us what I would like to call "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

"The Good": One huge good thing I would say would be the introduction of D23. This club was a great addition to the Disney Company. While I do believe that the club is slightly overpriced, I believe the perks that you get from a membership are completely worth it. In connection with D23, the major D23 Convention in September was another "Good". The experiences provided at that convention had never been seen before from Disney and there were some amazing announcements, including some of the other "Goods", including then announcement of the Fantasyland Overhaul, Star Tours 2, Cruise Line Announcements and so much more! This convention had many exciting and big pluses for this year.

This year's celebration and promotion "What Will You Celebrate?" seemed to come as a good success to Disney. Not as big as the "Year of A Million Dreams" maybe, but it still seems that many took advantage of the Free admission on your birthday or at least the "Birthday Fun Card". As for this coming year's celebration, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"...Well, I'll get to that in a little bit.

I continue with the good by mentioning the return of The Muppets to popularity! From being a part of the new Disney celebration, to the rumors of a future refurb of MuppetVision 3D, to their hilarious Youtube videos, you cannot deny that the Muppets are back and ready for action! Definitely what I would call a "Good".

My final mention is the return of hand drawn animation to the Disney Company with the movie release of The Princess and The Frog. This movie not only brought back an art thought lost by computer animation, but also brought a new princess to the collection to be loved by all!

"The Bad": In some way, this category should be called "The Tragic". Many tragedies befalling the Disney Company this year. They say that things come in 3's and that was certainly proven over the summer! First was that terrible monorail crash that killed a driver named Austin right after the 4th of July. A few weeks later, we had the sudden death of an actor named Mark Priest, who died after a fall he had while doing the Pirate Tutorial in Magic Kingdom. The third would be the accident during the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular practice that killed one of the actors of that show. Three tragedies that hit the company in less that 2 months.

Unfortunately, this would not be all of the deaths that the Disney family would have to endure this year. The final blow for the year came just a mere 2 weeks ago with the death of the beloved Roy E Disney. Crucial in many decisions in the Disney Company since the death of his uncle and father, Roy cared deeply about the family business and took pride in seeing that Disney kept the quality it has always been known for. He will be sorely missed.

The safely of the transportation has been questioned this year in Disney. Between the monorail crash, bus problems and a total monorail shutdown just the other week, it has many people worried, wondering if it is alright to use and questioning whether it is worth using. I personally think such issues can happen to anyone and it is just a bigger deal because it happened to Disney.

"The Ugly": There were some pretty ugly things that happened in regards to Disney, though we hate to admit it. The first would be the collapse of Stitch's Supersonic Celebration in Tomorrowland. While Stitch is cute and fluffy (though I know some people that would disagree on that), his show that lasted a mere 6 weeks is what I would definitely call "Ugly". They did not plan well for the show and spent a lot of money on something that will probably not get used often. A big blunder on Disney's part.

Another "Ugly", also from Tomorrowland, would be the new audio for the Tomorrowland Transit Authourity. The Space Mountain Refurb went pretty smoothly from what I know, but all did not go well with the TTA. The audio has been changed with a new voice and new sayings. The audio has been described by many as just downright boring! There is no talk whatsoever in Space Mountain and the famous reference to Tom Morrow has been cut completely, angering many veteran guests. It's really a shame.

The final under the "Ugly" category is Captain EO. Well ok, this is more of a personal preference for the "Ugly" category...let me explain. I do not know much about Captain EO, what I have seen seems very cheezy, I am not sure it will really work for today's audience and the only reason they are bringing it back is because of the outcry that was given for its return after Michael Jackson's death. I personally find this a ridiculous reason to bring back an attraction. There was no outcry for the Walter Cronkrite audio for Spaceship Earth after his death, why bring this back?

This finally brings us to the future segment:
What Awaits us in 2010???

What will happen with Captain EO: They are closing Honey I Shrunk the Audience in California on the 4th of January to bring this back in February and I cannot wait to see what happens to this attraction. It is suppose to only be a limited will be interesting to see exactly how limited.

The fate of Sounds Dangerous in Hollywood Studios: This is pretty self explanatory. An attraction on seasonal operation, closed for 11 months and opens just in these last 2 weeks planning to close again on the 2nd of January...why waste the space on it? If you are going to close it Disney, just do it! There are not too many people who will miss it, honest!

Studio Backlot Tour: This is supposedly going down for refurb in February to reopen again in March, but there are many rumors flying around that when it does go down, it will not come back. Ideas and concept art for a Monsters Inc. roller coaster have been circulating for a while online and it is utterly convenient that Backlot happens to be located smack at the end of Pixar place.

Fantaslyand Overhaul: Yea, we know, its happening, but when?? I would absolutely love to see a timeline for this. It is just a little broad for people when you say by 2012. I know I would like to know what will be closed, if anything, on my trip in June. The railroad is scheduled to be closed in 2010 for a few months because of this overhaul, but we don't know when yet. Will I be able to see Mickey and Minnie's house for the last time on my trip in June? Even just a brief idea of what is going to be tackled first would be great to have!

Marvel/Disney: I did not put this acquisition in the 2009 part because I am not honestly sure if this is good, bad or ugly. I will be very interested to see if anything happens with this combination in 2010.

Monorail/Transportation Safety: I will assume that Disney is and will be taking a good hard look at what happened this year in the way of Transportation around the park and will look into some safety features and updates that are needed to ensure that calamities like this year do not happen again.

So much of this and more is to happen in 2010, the only word of advice that can be followed is words from the great Walt Disney himself: "Keep Moving Forward!"

Thank you all so much for reading this blog and giving me the feedback that you do! It really makes it enjoyable to write and I hope you will continue to come here to The True Disney Fan for Disney news in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly NDM Post

Hey everyone,

Posting this a little late today, the holidays are getting the better of me. This week there is a blog up on the Disney Driven Life and it is about the past year and what lies ahead in the future! Check it out now at and also, later this week, as the year winds down, keep your eyes here on The True Disney Fan as I will be going into even greater detail about all of the big happenings this year and what I hope happens in 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!!!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! :)

From The True Disney Fan to you, I hope you have a great holiday!! Spend time with the ones you love or, if you are not able to, keep them close to your heart!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Technology Making Magic Happen

As us Disney fans know, the thing that makes Disney so appealing is the magic that you feel when you are there, the feeling that no matter how old you are, you can act like a kid there! And while Disney will do that all year round, there is a special time of the year that magic just seems to be everywhere....You guessed it, Christmas time!! Just the idea that Santa is coming around the world to spread happiness to all, the magic is seen on children's faces whenever the word Santa is mentioned, its just heartwarming!

For the last few years, I have been keeping an eye on something that makes the magic feel so real! It is a satellite that is ran by US-Canadian military organizations called NORAD that actually tracks Santa as he flies around the world! His position is updated as he makes his flights and even sometimes there is live video as he flies over major cities!

There are some great new updates to the site this year, including being able to track Santa's flight on Google Earth (check it out by clicking here)! There is a map of Santa's Village at the North Pole that allows the children to see which area of his village is the busiest that day and has some fun activities for them to play (click here). The site even gives facts about Santa, and if you come to the page on New Years Eve, you are able to see how many cookies Santa eats that day as he travels the world! (click here)

The best part about NORAD Santa Tracker, you are able to see your children's face light up when they see that Santa is getting closer and closer to their house! They may even go to bed voluntarily! (We can only hope anyway!)

To visit the NORAD Santa Tracker page and track Santa's flight on Christmas Eve, click here!
Follow the NORAD Santa Tracker on Twitter at
Check out the fan page for NORAD Santa Tracker at

Monday, December 21, 2009

Weekly DDL Post

Today is Monday and you know what that means: A new post on the Disney Driven Life from the Gossip Girl! (Thats me!)

This weeks post has to do with a rumor that has been going around for months and this past week, finally became a reality! Find out what I am talking about by reading the full article on the Disney Driven Life site!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sneak Peek of New Disney/Rayovac Commercial

As a blogger, I have been very lucky to have not only awesome readers, but the privilege to share new and exciting information with these readers!

This coming Monday the 21st, during Good Morning America, a new Rayovac Battery commercial, taped in Disneyland, will make its debut! Rayovac Batteries are the preferred battery of Walt Disney World and Disneyland, so it is fitting to have a commercial filmed there. The commercial features a little girl, dressed as Cinderella, who receives a magic wand with a Rayovac battery in it and the wand then allows her imagination to go wild around the park! This commercial promotes the magical side of Disney, the creativity and imagination that is Disney known for.

I am so happy to announce that, for all of my great readers, I have a sneak peek of this commercial! Enjoy!

Did you enjoy the commercial?? You can give Rayovac your feedback by going to their Facebook Fan Page at Those who visit their fan page will receive a $3.oo off coupon for batteries, just in time for Christmas!

Disney Dream Weddings Special

The one thing a girl looks forward to her entire life is her wedding! Just the idea of looking like a princess, walking down the aisle to her prince just seems like a living fairytale! fairytale....sounds like another place I know......Why of course! Walt Disney World!! (Like I could forget that!) I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend your living fairytale than in the one place where fairytales and dreams come true every day!

Why do I bring this up? No, this is not my engagement announcement, I bring this up because I just watched an incredible television special on the Disney Dream Wedding and I just have to share the great information in this with you!

The special, which aired on WEtv last week and was hosted by celebrity wedding planner David Tutera, followed a couple as they planned their dream wedding in Walt Disney World. It even showed you how it all came together on their wedding day! The couple picked one of the David Tutera's Couture collection for their wedding, the Simply Chic. I will be honest, it was not my favorite of his 4 collections, but it was still beautiful and the bride adored it when she saw it all come together.

This show covered everything you could think of, every detail that goes into a wedding! They showed the choices of a small or large wedding, the flower arrangements and how they are made, they even showed what a rehearsal dinner could look like! They talked about cakes, all the different kinds that you can have and even showed how, if the bride has a specific design she wants for the cake, they will follow her exact instructions. The couple they followed actually had a custom made cake that the bride saw in a magazine. This just shows that Disney will do ANYTHING to make sure that your wedding day is how you want it to be.

Wedding dresses were even covered! They visited a bride-to-be trying on some of Kristie Kelly's Disney Princess wedding gowns, which I am in love with by the way! Just to see the look on the bride's face when she found that perfect dress is a wonderful sight!

The Disney Dream Weddings special covered every aspect of a wedding and answered a lot of typical questions that a bride and groom-to-be would have. The showed the expensive and affordable sides to a Disney wedding and what makes a wedding in Disney unique from a wedding anywhere else in the world.

Oh, and a quick side note! Disney Weddings can not only help you plan your wedding and your honeymoon, they now have a new feature, Disney Engagements! Their website give you ideas on the perfect spot to pop the question and ways to make that magical moment more memorable than ever! They can even help you plan special surprises to highlight that perfect moment!

For information on Disney Engagements, visit their website by clicking here.

For more information on Disney Fairytale Weddings, visit their site here.
Click here to go to the specific link for David Tutera's Couture collection.
To Follow Disney Weddings on Twitter, click here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DVC Webcasts Confirm my Likes again!

This past Saturday, I watched a Disney Vacation Club Webcast called "Unwrapping the Magic". In this webcast, we were shown around all of the Disney parks and were able to see what the parks looked like and did around the holidays. They also spent time talking about getting a DVC, of course. They explained the prices, where to get one, how to get one, and what the points can be used for. They even give special offers to people who watch the webcast, incredible deals on DVC properties!

Chris and I have looked at DVC's in the past, hoping to get one in the future, and where we would want to get one has been debated back and forth. I had to say after watching this Webcast, I am starting to lean towards Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The rooms just look so beautiful, some even are Lion King themed!! I know we will be vacationing mainly on Disney properties, but just knowing that we can also use it for other places, like New York or Hawaii or Europe is really awesome!

Overall, i found the Webcast to be very entertaining, informative and fun and I will most definitely watch one again! I want to get as much information as possible before making such a big purchase. Another plus side to the DVC webcast, they give out great free prizes to those who are watching! This time, I actually won something (which is rare, I never win anything)! I got a gift package from DVC which included a Santa Mickey hat, mug, ornament, luggage tags, coffee, Shortbread cookies, pretzels, mustard, and a mickey shaped plate! It was a very awesome prize, i was so excited! Here are a few pics:

Here's the package!! :)

The Genuine Shortbread Cookies!!!!

Its a cute little Ornament

All the stuff that it came with

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Sad Day for Disney

TTDF would like to send their condolences to the Disney Family at the loss of a dear family member, Roy E Disney. Nephew of Walt Disney, Roy understood the magic that his uncle wanted in his parks and fought to keep the magic as the main drive in everything that The Disney Company did. Not only the Disney family, but every fan of Disney will miss his guidance and dedication. Thank you for all you did Roy! Say hello to your father and uncle for us all!

Temporary Holiday Change

I know I just started the Pin Memories on here, but due to the holidays, I made the executive decision (since this is my blog) to post some ornaments instead of pins and tell the stories behind them. I hope you all don't mind the switch and enjoy the ornaments. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tribute to Uncle Walt

While just 10 days ago, all Disney fans were celebrating the birth of legend Walt Disney, I would like to take a moment to remember a sadder time in Disney history, his death. 43 years ago today, the world lost a most treasured man, a man who's legend will never be forgotten. He spent his entire life making others happy and loved every moment of it! He gave the world most cherished memories that many hold dear to their hearts. His ideas, dreams and imagination will live on forever.

Thank you for everything Uncle Walt, we miss you!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Awesome Muppets Video

Ok, so the other week I posted that hilarious video of the Muppets singing Bohemian Rhapsody. Well this week, we have a new video that was just hilarious! Beaker, The Swedish Chef and Animal singing Carol of the Bells! Check it out!

New Posts for DDL

Starting today, I am going to have a weekly post on the Disney Driven Life about....what else, a Disney topic of course!!! I will put the link up here every week so that you can check out the post!

This weeks post: All Im gonna say is it has to do with Villains, a boat and music! If you want to learn more, go check out my new post over at the Disney Driven Life by clicking here. And keep your eyes here every week for what the new post is of the week!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

June Trip Update

This morning I got up at 5:30 in the morning to prepare to book my dining online!!.....only to find out that I could only book our first day and that if I wanted to book online, I would have to wake up every day for the next week and book the restaurants we wanted that day to ensure we got the restaurants that we want. I was very frustrated by this and after going back to sleep for a little bit, I decided I would try calling at 7 and see if calling made any difference. The worst they could say is no. But they didnt!!

Because Chris and I are staying at a resort on property (Animal Kingdom Lodge for those who are just coming into the trip report), we were able to book over the phone! We got everything we wanted with only a few changes in time! Here are our choices:

6/12- Cap'n Jacks for 6:30pm
6/13- San Angel Inn for 6:00pm
6/14- Boma for 6:05pm
6/15- Crystal Palace for 8:05am
6/15- 'Ohana for 9:30pm (Have to call again about this one, the schedule wasnt out yet so this is the only time they had. we are hoping for 7:30)
6/16- T-rex Cafe for 6:00pm
6/17- Chef Mickey's for 5:30pm
6/18 (Chris' Birthday)- 50's Prime Time for 12:05pm
6/18 (Still Chris' Birthday)- California Grill for 9:00pm

These are our restaurant plans!! We are so so excited to be doing these!! Once everything gets cleared up about 'Ohana, Ill post our basic itinerary!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Disney World with the Holiday Touch

I just finished watching "Behind the Magic: Disney Holidays" on HGTV and I was blown away! I knew a lot of the information (since I am minorly obsessed) and I've seen pictures and video of the parks at the holidays before, but it was all very well presented by the host, David Bromstad, and he helped to bring a new light to the holidays. I loved seeing the transport trucks that all of the decorations get hauled on and seeing all of the trucks and workers all over the Magic Kingdom. And, I will be honest, there were a couple spots that made me a bit teary eyed, just thinking about being there and seeing all of the magic and wonder.....its just so overwhelming and moving! It was a great television special and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to know what goes into making Disney as magical as it is.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Poems and Pins: New Features on The True Disney Fan

I have decided to start a few new features here on the blog to keep it fresh, interactive, and ever changing for you viewers.

The first feature is a showcase of pins that I have collected throughout my trips to Walt Disney World. When I go down to WDW, I get a new lanyard and fill it with pins that I like or one that have a meaning from that trip. For instance, I'll get pins from rides that I had gone on for the first time or new restaurants that I visited. I will put a picture of the pin in the side bar and write a little caption under the picture explaining when I got the pin and why. I would also like to invite anyone who has a favorite pin or a story about a pin, or even a comment about the pin that I put up to please email me at and I would be more than happy to put it up here on the site.

The second feature, and my favorite, is a poem of the week. Haiku writer extraordinaire J.B. Conway, known as Mouseofzen on twitter, will have a featured Disney Haiku every week here on the blog. He writes tons of poems related to Disney topics, past and current. You can even send him a topic and he will write a poem on it! He is currently working on a book with all of his poems compiled. The following is a description of the book:

Finding new inspiration, Police Officer J.B. Conway has revisited his passion for poetry and cultivated his fervor for Disney with Mouse of Zen. Always having been creative, Conway turned to writing as an outlet. He published a passionate book of poetry after the 9/11 tragedy titled Crime Scene Lyrics which explored themes of loss, despair, love, hope and joy. Conway’s enthusiasm and love for Disney was rekindled after he witnessed Cinderella's Castle through his young children's eyes back in 2006, creating a turning point in his life. Mouse of Zen was a natural progression of a love of poetry, the simplicities and complexities of the natural Japanese art form known as haiku, and a rapidly growing fascination with the entire Disney universe. This collection of Disney inspired, mouse-sized poetry envelops all feelings, sights, sounds, smells, beauty, love, and passion found deep in the nooks and crannies of Disney parks, movies, and attractions. These invigorating works of art will appeal to and offer a fresh perspective to the magic found in us all.

You can read more of his awesome poems by following him on twitter or on his facebook page, MOUSE OF ZEN. If you have any feedback, comments or questions for Mouse of Zen, you can email him at

I hope you enjoy these new features on The True Disney Fan! Look for these to be updated every week and please send your feedback to either J.B. or myself!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Walt's Legacy: Disney World and EPCOT

One of my favorite parts, if not my favorite part, of Walt Disney's legacy would have to be his "Florida Project", known today as Walt Disney World! In honor of his birthday, I thought I would share with you all the Disneyland USA show that he did describing his visions and dreams for his Florida Project, including all of his ideas for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT. This was his great dream! He used this video to show his ideas to the Florida legislature in order to get permission to start building and to receive the rights to self govern. How is the EPCOT that Walt visioned similar to today's Epcot? How is it different? Watch the videos and find out!

"To all who come to this happy place.....Welcome"

108 years ago today, in Chicago Illinois, a baby boy was born. It was not known then, but history will know that baby as one of the most talented and successful animators who every lived. It was not known then, but today, there is only a few people in the entire world who do not know his name. Today, he is on the list as one of the most influential people of the 20th Century. That man, that baby, born 108 years today, is Walter Elias Disney.

Throughout Walt's life, he worked to create happiness and to entertain the world, succeeding beyond his wildest dreams! From his creation of Mickey Mouse in 1923, to his idea for Full Length Animated Features with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to his inspired reinvention of amusement parks with the first theme park, Walt used his endless imagination to create joys that would stand the test of time.

Walt took a small company that he began running out of one room and created a mass corporation that not only creates quality cartoons and movies, but runs television stations, broadcasting companies, theme parks, resorts, a cruise line, radio stations and so much more! Walt's small company grew to be 100 times larger than I'm sure he ever dreamed it would be!

Walt Disney is not just a person. When people think of Walt Disney, they think of his imagination, creativity, endurance, energy, perseverance, and the happiness he has brought to the world. People know that when they hear the name Walt Disney, kindness, quality and smiles come along with the name. Whether you are 1 or 100, anyone can enjoy the surprises, adventure and fun that Walt and his company brings.

From every single Disney fan around the world, Happy Birthday Walt, and Thank You!