Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Week's It Came From Disney!

My article on the Disney Dispatch this week is all about my Mickey Camera Strap! As you know, I use my camera A LOT, so to see if the camera strap puts up with my extreme level of wear and tear, check out my review!

Weekly DDL Post

This week on the Disney Driven Life, I talk about the possible additions to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World! What are these possible additions? Read my article to find out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Interactive Queue Ideas: Epcot

Here are my suggestions for attractions that could use the interactive queue boost in Epcot.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Granted, I have not bee on this attraction for a while, so I will have to check in July, but since this entire ride is in need of a serious update, I will assume that the queue does as well.

Test Track – This is a relatively boring queue. I know it has those GM tests to watch, but watching the tests can only be fun for so long. When you are waiting in one area of the queue, you can only watch the leg bend so many times before you get bored with it. An update would be good, even something that allows guests to touch and interact with different parts of a car.

Seas with Nemo and Friends – I do like this queue and I think it should stay the way it is, but I would like to see some characters added, images of animals floating around you as you walk through the underwater part of the queue, it would be cool!

Malestrom – The only good thing about this queue is the mural! This really could use some kind of interesting…..something! Trivia about the country, find the troll games, anything! And having something prior to the Norway movie for the waiting area would be good too.

Whether in a queue or not, I would love to see more facts about the World Showcase countries. Maybe a walking path through the pavilion with fact posters or trivia games in the queues of the pavilions attractions, something that is fun and will help educate about the countries. I don’t know maybe it’s the teacher in me. What do you think about these queue ideas? Leave me a comment and let me know and tell me if you have any other ideas too. Look for the final installment of this series soon on Animal Kingdom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Over the Edge for a Good Cause

Quick little post here to help a friend! My co-op, Rachel, from my current special education placement is hosting a fundraiser for Special Olympics.  She is aiming to raise $1000 by May 12th and if she does, she gets to repel down a 17 story building in Wilmington, DE!! Our students have gone to Special Olympics several times and it has always been a great experience for them! Please help with the goal to raise $1000! To donate, go to Rachel's FirstGiving site:

Thank you for your help!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Interactive Queue Ideas: Hollywood Studios

Continuing the Interactive Queues Discussion, here are some attractions in Hollywood Studios that could benefit from this addition.

Great Movie Ride – Yes, I know, this is relatively interactive already with the movies and all, but if nothing else, they need to add movie trailers! If you are in the queue for over 15 minutes, which is more than likely the case, you are going to keep seeing a repeat of the same 10 or so trailers and it gets boring after a while.  Please add new movies to that queue, they don’t all have to be just the ones for the scenes in the attraction, there can be others as well!

Voyage of the Little Mermaid – If not the inside part of this queue, at least the outside needs some sort of entertainment.  Maybe a screen wall that shows different pictures of sea creatures floating by or a giant interactive touch screen that allows people to poke and make ripples in the water with fish going by. 

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster – Different queue ideas have been tried for this before and I was not preset for these, so I am not sure how they turned out, but this queue could use some kind of boost.  I still think I like the queue idea for this like the one they are going to use for Dumbo, where you are part of a group and you are able to wander around the queue area until your group is called to board.

Those are the rides I suggest for this park.  I have also seen people suggest Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania, but I say Heck NO! because they have such an interesting and visually appealing queue with so much to look at.  Interactive stuff in those queues would just take away from them. (See my post on Toy Story Mania's Queue)  Feel free to leave a comment below to let me know if you agree or disagree with my ideas or if you have some of your own!

Oh, and I have heard from several sources that Disney has confirmed that there will be more interactive queues to come in the future, so maybe these possibilities will become a reality!  We shall have to wait and see.  Look soon for my Epcot Interactive Queue.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

unKNOWN Actors: John Fiedler

The voice of John Fiedler is a voice that, every time I hear it, it makes me smile because it makes me think of one of my favorite little characters.  John, born February 3, 1925 and died June 25, 2005, is best known for being the voice for the lovable little Piglet from Winnie the Pooh!

In fact, providing the voice for Piglet is what got John started in the Disney voicing business.  His first Disney gig was in 1968, voicing Piglet for Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.  After that, every single thing with Piglet has John doing the voice, all the way up to 2005! You can hear him as Piglet in everything from Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), all of the different Winnie the Pooh Holiday specials, the television show The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991), The Tigger Movie (2000), Pooh’s Big Movie (2003) and even Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005).  He even voiced Piglet in other shows, such as the TV show House of Mouse (2001-2002), the show’s movie House of Villains (2001) and in the Kingdom Hearts Video game. 

While he may be most known for this beloved character, that is not the only Disney film we hear or see John Fiedler in. 

His first non-Piglet film was Robin Hood in 1973 playing the Churchmouse Father Sexton.

During Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, John has two appearances.  First was in 1973 as Bill Wasdahl in The Mystery of Dracula’s Castle and the other was in The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton (1974) was Charles Blackburn.

He next was seen in The Shaggy D.A. (1976) as Howie Clemmings.  This is the last live action film that John does for Disney.

The Rescuers (1977) brought his next voice acting movie outside of Piglet, lending his voice to Deacon Owl.  There is a porcupine in The Fox and the Hound (1981) that John voices as well.  He seems to favor animals….

The last set of Disney movies we hear John in is The Emperor’s New Groove (2000).  He give a voice to the old man who was thrown out the window by the emperor.  We later find out in the sequel, The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove (2005) that the old man’s name is Rudy, as John voices him as well in this movie.  This will be the last movie that he voices before his death.

This is the Disney voice and acting history for John Fiedler.  Next time you watch one of these movies, listen for his voice and see if you can pick out its distinct resemblance to any of these other characters, especially little Piglet. I know I hear it!

If you have any extra facts about John or any of the other actors I have previously researched, please feel free to email me or just leave a comment below! I love sharing information with everyone and I love learning just as much! Also, if you have any suggestions of people you would like to see me research, let me know that as well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This Week's It Came From Disney!

My article for the Disney Dispatch this week is a little different than it usually is.  Instead of talking about something that I have, I am talking about something I want, my wish list in a way.  This week, I talk about a Mickey Bread Box and Toaster that just looks soo cool!! Check out my article to get more info on this great package!

Weekly DDL Post

This week on the Disney Driven Life, I talk about the new additions that have been made to Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion queue. There is a lot in this new interactive queue, so click here to read all about it and to watch a video of the area made by WDI.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day Video

Here is a bit of St. Patrick's Day Humor for you from the Muppets! Hope the Luck of the Irish shined on you today!

Student Teaching Shenanigans: Job Fair Woes

Today was the Greater Philadelphia Teacher Job Fair in Valley Forge, PA.  I had been dreading this to begin with because I had heard that this would be a waste of time, plus it was a day away from my class that I love!  Well, it turns out those people that warned me about these were absolutely right!!

There were so many booths you couldn't tell where the lines started, ended or what school they were even for.  There were soooo many people! The one Florida school was only looking for Secondary Ed positions.  Half the booths weren't even doing interviews, just passing out information! Oh, and here is the big kicker: I had been prepared for a lot of walking and waiting in long lines, but what I was not prepared for was waiting in the line just to find out that the school district has no positions available or that they are currently not accepting resumes or that they would rather the applicants check online and send their resumes electronically!!! If you would rather have it electronically, then why the heck are you here?! What happened to being personable and talking face to face?! There was even a school district that had a booth that was not doing interviews, but passing out paperwork for their own job fair and open house in May! Out of all the booths I tried to visit, only 2 did interviews; one was a scripted paper that a guy filled out and one was a woman just asking questions based on my resume.  Quite honestly, I think I bombed at least the first one if not both.  I was just not comfortable and had trouble concentrating with all of the noise around me.

At this fair, I did not feel like myself.  I felt like a number in a suit with stats written above my head that employers looked at.  I was uncomfortable and anxious and didn't even feel like I was in my own body.  I felt like they were interviewing someone else and I was just sitting there watching.  It was a terrible experience and I do not wish to go to any more job fairs.  I would really like to see the stats of people who actually get hired at these things! Please, if you have been hired from a job fair before, please comment and let me know, I am very curious about this!

You would think after this crappy part of my day that my woes would be over....guess again.

My dear friend Nicole was nice enough to offer to take me from the job fair to our Thursday night class.  She was still doing interviews, so I waited for a while in the lobby of the fair.  She eventually texted me when she got out to her car and got her phone so I would know she was there and ready.  As I was walking out I get a message from her saying that her car would not start.  When I got there, she let me hear the noise it was making; sounded like a tin can was inside of it.  The two of us, not knowing anything about cars, thought it would be a good idea to try to give it a jump, thinking that would work.  This great guy saw we needed help and offered to help out, which was great since I was staring at the clips and the battery trying to figure out how the heck they went on. (I decided that my Dad needs to teach me a couple things about what is on the inside of a car)

We tried to start the car a few times, but it just would not work, so it wasn't the battery.  We thanked the guy and I proceeded to call my all-knowing Dad to have him listen to the sound to see what was the problem.  He guessed an air filter, which meant that the car would have to be towed.  Nicole's family said they would come out and take care of the car later tonight, but we could not wait because we had to get to class, so my awesome Mom came all the way up to Valley Forge (a 45 minute drive without traffic) to pick us up and take us to our class.

Not only was today a waste of a day, it was an overall crappy day! Now that I have written it down, I am prepared to wipe it completely from my memory! I can't wait to see my kids tomorrow!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Interactive Queue Ideas: Magic Kingdom

In the last few days, pictures have started to surface of the new Interactive Queue at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion and WOW does it look cool!! They have kept the theme to it and yet they have made it fun for everyone! I am really liking these photos that are being posted and am so excited to try this in July!

I have noticed that Interactive Queues are becoming steadily more popular in the parks and people are really enjoying them! We have Soarin, Space Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, and now Haunted Mansion, with Dumbo in the future! These rides all needed this update and they have even made the ride experience more enjoyable! People don't use the fast passes as much anymore because they would rather go through the awesome queues and explore!

This got me thinking.....What other rides could use an interactive queue?  So I have decided to go through the parks and look at each ride and decide what rides would benefit from this experience and maybe even throw out an idea or two!  All of the parks will be covered, but in this post, we are going to just look at Magic Kingdom.
The old Skyway building

Peter Pan's Flight- PLEASE!!!!!! I mean, the ride is cute and all, but the line is RIDICULOUS!!! They need something in that queue to make me more motivated to get into that line.  Good news about this is that there has already been talks about this one! According to rumors, there have been permits out for work to be done in that area.  The supposed plan: Expand into the bathroom area next to the ride and make an interactive queue.  The bathrooms will be moved across the path where the stroller parking and old Skyway building currently are.

Pirates of the Caribbean - When this question was posed on twitter, this was a very popular answer, and I agree to an extent.  I believe there are some great interactive things that could be added to this queue, such as an interactive cannon that makes noise like the cannon went off when you pull the string.  I also believe that the queue has some unique parts that should not be tampered with, such as the stalemate chess game in the dungeons.  As long as they are careful with this one, I do think an interactive experience could be beneficial.

Jungle Cruise - I am saying no to this one and I will tell you why; the theming in this queue is already so vast and there are so many hidden gems such as the cheezy puns that an interactive queue would take away from all of the visual exploring.  Plus, having tech stuff in that area kind of defeats the idea of it being separate from everything and in its own world, which plays into the theme of the attraction.

Splash Mountain - There is so much space here and so many fun things they could do!! Create a bog scene, have jumping fountains and animals popping out of holes! This could be such a huge playground, let your imagination go wild!

Big Thunder Mountain - I go cross-eyed in this place with all of the switchbacks! This queue needs something, anything really!! I would like it to tell some of the story of Big Thunder, not too many people know the story behind this attraction and it deserves to be told in some fashion! (If you want to find out about Big Thunder, check out Issue 8 of Celebrations Magazine, it was the featured attraction)

it's a small world - for interactive fun for this ride's queue, put touch screens along the switchbacks that tell short fun facts about different countries around the world and what children do in those countries.  It could be a precursor to what is inside the attraction and help kids understand more of what they see during their ride.

Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - This is a long, hot wait and it needs some kind of boost! For race fans, screens with car facts may be good, but that is not something everyone will want to flock to.  Some kind of interactive race game would be fun, a game that allowed competitive play between people in the queue, similar to the Space Mountain queue. 

Astro Orbiter - This line is long even at 2:30 in the morning! (Chris and I can vouch for that!) It is quite a boring line too, I am not sure what could be done for this line, but it could really benefit from something!
Taken in the queue cuz I was SO bored!   

That is my list for Magic Kingdom.  If you agree or disagree with my suggestions, leave a comment and let me know! If you have any ideas of your own, I would love to hear from you also!  In the next post, we will take a look at Hollywood Studios Queues.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Week's It Came From Disney!

I told the people on twitter I would post about it, and here it is! I experienced Bambi on Blu-Ray with the new Disney Second Screen and it was AWESOME!! Find out more about Second Screen and my experience with it on the Bambi Blu-Ray by reading my article on! And while you are there, don't forget to check out all of the other great articles as well! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekly DDL Post

This week on The Disney Driven Life, I wrote a post about a "Meet of the Minds" featuring some of our favorite Disney authors! Find out who some of them are and where they met by reading my article here!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Student Teaching Shenanigans: Please Touch Museum

This week, I started my new placement in a special education room! The class mostly has students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, leaning more towards severe cases.  This experience is completely different than any experience I have had so far in all of my school practicums.  I have worked with my co-op before, she is actually the one who got me interested in working with students with severe disabilities.  I have already learned so much so far and cannot wait to begin more one on one work with the students!

The main part of this post is to talk about the awesome field trip we went on on Tuesday! We visited the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.  This is a childrens museum that is very interactive and has tons of rooms for them to explore and enjoy! There were all different rooms, including a room that was like a town, an Alice in Wonderland themed room, transportation room, water play room, and even a carousel! It was a lot of fun and quite honestly, I want to find someone with kids so that I can take them there and play some more!!  Here are some pictures of the museum for you to explore:

The front of the Museum
The sign
Inside the little town area
I have always loved little towns, I thought this was soo cool!
Great Grocery Store
Soo cute inside!!
The Arches all children can recognise
Captain Noah!! I watched this when I was a little girl
Such a good childrens show!!
Alice in Wonderland
Part of the door and mirror maze
This flamingo moved just like the croquet ones
"Do you play croquet?"
A bush maze
Looking down on the Mad Tea Party
Looking down on the Alice in Wonderland area
The kids love spotting the cat in the tree
Remember the movie Big? The piano on the wall is the original one from the movie!
This was an area for the students to see what it is like to be blind.  There was also a wheelchair they could sit in to see what being in a wheelchair was like
I love Carousels!
The Waterplay area
In the lobby center was this Statue of Liberty Arm
Looking over towards the Transportation room
Towards the Waterplay room
The Lobby
Transportation room again
Close-up on the Statue of Liberty arm...Made out of tons of different objects
The kids could sit and drive part of a Septa bus
Did you think I would not find any Disney here? Check out this Dinoco Helicopter!
Toys that were on display
These playsets are rides from Walt Disney World!
Rockets Away! Air cannons are used to shoot foam rocket pieces into the high ceiling of the room
On our way back to the exit after a fun trip! This last picture is of the ramp that acts as the "Rabbit Hole" near the Alice in Wonderland play area.

This Week's It Came From Disney!

This week on the Disney Dispatch, I look at some of the Disney mugs that my family and I have bought over the years and try to pass on some "Mug Wisdom" to all the readers!  Click Here to read the article.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekly DDL Post

This Week on The Disney Driven Life, I look at two exciting events that happened in Epcot last week! To find out what they are, click here! (Hint: They both smell very good!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Student Teaching Shenanigans: Saying Goodbye Part 1

Before I begin my story, let me explain why this is "Part 1".  As I am getting my degree in Elementary and Special education, I have to do two placement for my student teaching; one in regular education and one in special education.  While this is good because I get two wonderful experiences with different types of students, it also means that I have to say goodbye two different times. Saying goodbye is hard enough once, but having to do it twice is even more painful!  One of my two sets of goodbye's happened this past Friday as I finished up my regular education placement with the little first graders.

The kids knew that I was leaving, they had been told at different points during the week, though every time they were told, they acted like they didn't know. Even on Friday, some of them didn't understand that this was my last day.  I was not teaching too much in the class anymore, I even left the class a couple times to observe other classrooms.

As the end of the day on Friday drew near, my big goal was to not cry in front of the kids when I said goodbye.  I was hoping that this would be easy because I was not really leaving, I am staying in the same building, just going to a different classroom.  I should have known that my co-op wouldn't let it be that easy! I knew that the class had done something for me, they were teasing it and trying to tell me all week, but I just pretended that I was oblivious and didn't know what they were talking about.  When the end of the day on Friday came, there was a big pink bag that I was supposed to open.  All the kids gathered around as I pulled out this picture frame.  The frame held a paper that said "Thumbody Loves Ms. Clawson" and all over the paper were they kids' thumbprints, decorated to look like them! It was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen and I was just so happy! As if that was not enough though, there was even more in the bag! My co-op gave me fancy paper to print notes on, a few books for my classroom, a notepad that she had that I had been admiring, a Reader's Theater book and a book with some teaching ideas in it! I could not believe she had gotten me all of this and it was at this point that I had started to tear up! All of the kindness that she had shown me in the last 7 weeks and then doing all of this for me....I was completely speechless! I was good though, I composed myself, said goodbye to the children as they left to go to the buses and did not cry in front of them.  When my co-op came back, I thanked her from the bottom of my heart and gave her a little surprise of my own.

This first experience was by far one of the best I have ever had and I will never forget a single one of the students that I had! With the ending of this first experience, it means that I am half way finished my student teaching, which is beyond unbelievable!! I barely remember it beginning! Tomorrow morning I walk into my new placement, my special education room, with new adventures to begin! My first adventure: a field trip on Tuesday! Can't wait!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

unKNOWN Actors: Hermione Baddeley

The unKNOWN actress that we have today is one who is probably known moreso for her live action roles than her voiceover, especially since she only did a cartoon voice once.  Nonetheless, she is a Disney actress and should be recognized.  Its Hermione Baddeley, born November 13, 1906 in England and died August 19, 1986 in Los Angeles, CA.

Her first Disney role was as the Domestic named Ellen in Mary Poppins (1964), the maid who ends up having to take care of the children every time they get rid of a nanny.

The Happiest Millionaire (1967) is Hermione’s next live action role, and her last one in Disney, playing Mrs. Worth.

Her final Disney role is the one voiceover she did, giving a voice to Madame Adelaide Bonfamille in The AristoCats (1970).  A short Disney resume, but a good one for Hermione Baddeley.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Student Teaching Shenanigans: Third Observation and Mid Term Meeting

Last Wednesday was my third observation and my final one in my first placement. It was for a reading lesson, I was being observed for my questioning techniques.  I had the entire lesson typed up and it was ready to go! And then...naturally...the snow came, canceling school on Tuesday.  This snowday moved my entire lesson back a day, so instead of the students reading the story for the second time and answering the questions, they were reading it for the first time! As the lesson went on, I was just making up the lessons on the fly, coming up with prediction and open ended questions to ask the students.  It turned out that my supervisor liked what I did on the fly even better than what I had planned! She understood that the lesson was different because of the snow and said I did fine adapting.  In this visit, we also had a small meeting with my second co-op, the teacher that I will be going with next week.  You will be hearing more about that very soon.

My Mid-Term Meeting...something that I was honestly not sure what to think about.  I did not know if I should be nervous or worried, so I just went in confidently and hoped that was the way to go!  It was just a small meeting with my supervisor where she went over my binder and over the evaluation forms that she filled out, that my co-op filled out and that I did.  She said my binder was very well organized and was looking good (Yay!) and as far as grades, looks like I am off to a very good start! My co-op and myself both gave me in the B+ range for a grade (I always grade myself on the low end, I hate grading myself!) and my supervisor almost gave me a perfect score! I was beyond shocked, but very happy!

As for today, I finished my final day of solo teaching in my first placement, which is beyond crazy! Where has these last 7 weeks gone?! Now all that is left is the report card day tomorrow, Thursday I start transitioning the class back to my co-op and Friday, I say good-bye to the class. :(

This Week's It Came From Disney!

My next article on Disney Dispatch has been published and it is all about a very fun and park affiliated wallet that I bought last August!  It's durable, looks good and shows off my love for a certain Walt Disney World park! Read more about it by clicking here!

If you have not checked out Disney Dispatch yet, you don't know what you are missing!! There are so many interesting articles, including ones written by two Disney Legends, Rolly Crump and Tom Nabbe! Check it out today!