Sunday, November 29, 2009

Presenting - The First Annual Four Sundays of Turismos!

As Christmas comes in full circle in the World (and as school ends in most of South America in a matter of days), I give you a weekly video of what's in store there - the first few weeks of a new turismo season!

You heard me, in those four Sundays of Advent, I'll be showcasing a video or a photo of interest of a feature turismo at WDW, and I'll be using footage of the fun (yet annoying to many) activities that the Brazilian tour groups (the most noted turismo, in my opinion) do in the World and elsewhere! Yes, they may be annoying, but they are fascinating for me to blog on!

I now present you, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the Four Sundays of Turismos

Our first video features one of the guides of this turismo dancing in World Showcase at Epcot, as their yellow-shirted participants chanted (Warning! Chanting Brazilian tour group alert!) as he shakes his groove thing against the backdrop of the World Showcase lagoon! As long as it is not demeaning to the South Americans, feel free to comment or rant over them!

Friday, November 27, 2009

ASD + WDW = WAT?




Walt Disney World has something for everyone, well increasingly, for those with developmental disorders.

Take autism, for example - I have it (hate to admit), as do 1 in 100 children, and I noted increases on articles and blogs on trips to Disney with those on that said spectrum. The main reason why is not just the increase of the disorder, but the resort harbors a plethora of sensory hurdles and flotsam - plenty enough to induce a meltdown. Add in the dance teams, Scholars (from Pop Warner), and the turismos (especially the all-too-familiar Brazilian tour groups a lot of us love to loathe), and you've created a tantrum entree!

A fellow Blogspot blogger wrote her trip report for her second Disney trip for January 2008, when turismos were on full force, and I had a blast reading it! She and her autistic son was less than enjoying it - with the latter being scared of most of the characters, becoming frightened of the villains part of Dream Along With Mickey, and tantruming as they wait for the monorail. As funny as it seems, it's a bit on the poor planning side, but what the peas - I enjoyed reading her report! (See her full story at http://asdqueenbee.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-so-magical-disney-trip.html .)

On the flip side, the Texan couple, Ray and Rachel Pilgrim, who have an autistic son named Josh and a neuro-typical daughter named Becca, conceived a website for families doing Disney with their children on their former child's side, speaking of the developmental disorder. As one section shows, adults are not the only ones involved in the touring and vacation planning - children on the spectrum participate too, as the authors provide social stories and picture schedules to prepare them. As with all families, whether their children are neuro-typical or autistic, the best advice is to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.

For the website, Disney For Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder, please visit http://www.wdwautism.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 Months of Youth Chaos - BRING THEM ON!!!

We heard all the promotions, got the emails, and grabbed the offers among our bills - we, if we are Florida residents, get 15 months for the price of 12 when they purchase or renew an Annual, Premium Annual, or Seasonal Pass! (See what I mean at http://bookwdw.reservations.disney.go.com/ibcwdw/en_US/specialOfferDetails?name=Promo&promotionCode=flres15for12&market=flres15for12&int_CMP=WDW_Homepage_FLRes15for12APTktOfferTile.) In my case, I'm doing so after Turkey Day, and I know what this offer means to me - more Disney magic, more ride experiences, more vlogs, and last but not least, more youth group chaos!




I know what you're thinking - besides the fiscal year of 12/09-12/10, I can do Disney on 1/11-3/11. That means that I can end the tenure by the season when cheer and dance teams virtually rule the park, as do the stentorian, flag-shepherded, summer-holidaymaking turismos! For the latter, that is another high season for them, despite the fact that January-March is pretty low for crowds! Who the Tetris cares anyway - I developed a naturally-acquired immunity of those uniform shirt/baggage 15-year-olds!

My third vlog by the way will not only cover Epcot's Holidays Around the World and The Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions, but I will be covering the turismos - so keep an eye out for it!

Happy Thanksgiving, and see ya real soon, for now!

PS - if you wanna see my montage of the turismos again, here it is! 

The Flexible Disney Vlog: Part 1

I just came back from DHS and decided to share my 2 cents on the day in general, as well as riding this indoor, former kryptonite of a dark ride known as Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. I also met those who lifted my spirits Up, no pun intended, in The Magic of Disney Animation! I also had succeeded in another challenge - scoring over 100,000 points (121,000) in Toy Story Midway Mania!

My 2 cents are realized in video form, as recorded by yours truly, the Whiz Kid Forte! I hope you enjoy prima parte!



Saturday, November 21, 2009

5K = Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Challenge

Today, I did my usual walking/running intervals, for 5K (that's 3.1 miles, give or take), in under an hour. I think it's one of my most glorious victories for me, and I got myself a goodie bag for that. It includes a pedometer, power bar, a packet of tuna, and other healthful things. I ate the bar, but that alone is just the prelude to my greatest reward for completing my first five kilometers -


starting a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios with Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

So why reward myself with a ride with more than a mere one inversion for an exercise challenge? Well, besides the fact that an epicurean reward backfires due to over-consumption of calories (Feeling scientific? Read the related study on that at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004515.), I reward a challenge with another non-exercise, non-food challenge. Of course, I have many thrill-ride milestones on my roster. I rode my first coaster with an inversion, the Scorpion at Busch Gardens, in 1995, then, I rode my first woodie in Morey's Pier, the Great White, in 1999. I proceeded to ride the first installment of Mission: Space in Epcot during my 8th grade field trip, before devoting to the merely-simulated (non-spinning) "green team" version. I rode Sheikra for the first three times in Busch Gardens last August, once in one day, twice in another. The latter experience and the 5K are impetuses in the thrill ride challenge for the weekend.

So that's what I'm doing in the few days before Thanksgiving - riding Rock 'n' Roller Coaster first thing at DHS (unless Muetti decides to start off with Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, if that mentally prepares me) but first, a party should be attended!

As Tigger puts it, TTFN - ta-ta for now!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things of Disney Past 1 - Remembering 'Twas



Over a week ago, the Magic Kingdom kicked off its annual Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and it first debuted its novel seasonal stage show, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, which featured the likes of Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, and Mike Wazowski. I for one have yet to see the show, but like many who missed the feel-good shows of old that featured a live band with saxes and horns galore (Kids of the Kingdom, anyone?), I know all too well that it is taking place this season where the old Galaxy Palace Theater used to be.

Well, back in 1996, I saw this gem of a show when I, my parents, and ex-cousin spent the day at the MK on a Christmas Day (bad idea, regarding out-of-towners and predominantly Brazilian turismos), and we used it to pass the time when virtually all the rides were ridiculously inaccessible in crowding terms. Despite it being the only time I saw it in full, it was really thrilling, with the choreography and all that. In the last two years of the show's run, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip, and Dale sported articulated faces to add to the live music-accompanied fun. If you miss the good old days, watch this multiparter of an entertainment relic.





Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Grand Floridian Started to Smell Like Gingerbread

Today's the day - for the opening of a huge-ape gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa!

I don't mind much Christmas creep and all (merely 11 days 'fore Turkey Feasting Thursday), but nothing's more lucrative and magical than a golden quarter at Disney, and the 21-year-old Victorian-themed gem adjacent to the Magic Kingdom boasts a seasonal, architectural, historic wonder comprised of 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of sugar, 1,050 pounds of honey (Winnie the Pooh would be more than proud) , and a cement-mixer full of Disney magic! Speaking of gingerbread, here's a recipe for the holiday baker!

Friday, November 13, 2009

That's (Disney) News to Me - I

Hey there, hi there, ho there - you're as welcome as can be - again!

I just read and signed on to the Disney Parks Blog - and it's 100% official! (Yes, official!) It just started 2 months ago and I happened to stumble upon it by chance and I gave it a shot. The very first post I read about was about the refurbished Space Mountain - which I last rode last Christmas season in the Magic Kingdom, when I saw the Brazilian tour group Lagetur! It's will be different from the original, and the ride is just the crust of the planet. The best upcoming features include brand spanking new lighting schemes, interactive games in the stand-by queues, and best of all, a ride photo system so I can see myself screaming as if I'm a member of the choir, The Sixteen (or see my face obscured by a someone who is defying Thorpe Park's "Say NO to BO" rule)! I predict that the new Space Mountain will be awesome, but I'd go for DAK first (weather pending temperaturewise) this month.

Oh, and the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, airing on 25 December on ABC, is now The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade - and I dig that name for it goes beyond Walt Disney World - it's broadcast there as well as Disneyland in Anaheim (and perhaps other Disney parks worldwide, in rare cases)! If we have energy to go to the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, I'd roll with it!

With a new TV parade name and a blog, that's what I'm celebrating!

See ya real soon, you Disney-crazed peeps!



Oh, and the official Disney Parks Blog is here:
http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let's See What December Brings...

Sorry if it's too early, but what does one think of December at Disney?

To me, that means everything - from the seasonal facades (think icicle-cloaked Cinderella Castle and the Osbourne display) to the characters wearing red and green scarfs, jackets, and Santa suits. Also, it means crowds, from large ones spawning the 20th of the month all the way to the 4th of January to lighter ones from between that and the day after Thanksgiving break. Of all the reasons why December is so intriguing at Disney, not counting all the Christmas galore, this month is an interesting one because of swells of groups elementary to high.

Yes, I tout early December as a great time to go, but alas, the groups one should keep an eye on are the Pop Warner Little Scholars. With its football playoffs and cheer and dance championships slated to go on respectively between the 5th and the 12th and between the 7th and 11th, those groups would keep many a vacationer wishing that they'll be the last of their worries. Seasoned and first-time visitors usually note time and time again that they are raucous, especially with the cheerleaders. Some of the Scholars (what I call the Pop Warner participants) are conversely polite, supervised by their chaperones. In any case, they should be watched.

Also, December is a summer month in South America, and when numerous schools close down for the season, the turismos (split into the Argentinean youth herds and most infamously, the Brazilian tour groups) come in full circle in the parks. When Santa Season comes, brace yourself with a barrage of flags, matching bags and tops, chanting, and line-cutting. Oh, and I have written a Hub (I write for Hubpages) dedicated to the madness of the Latin American teens of doom (see link below). Again, just be aware of the turismos and you'll have a great Christmas vacation in a pinch.

So Merry Christmas Creep, everyone!!!

Turismos: Tour Groups of Central Florida

Epcot's World Food Carnival Moves out Sunday!

If you haven't have the chance to check out Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, you're really missing out - it's moving out tomorrow! (Oh well...) By the way, Muetti and I had a lot of fun there - and nothing beats tired feet after two days on a fine Columbus Day weekend (Well, one measly Brazilian tour group, whose appearance is too early for that month, didn't spoil that excursion.) going around World Showcase and consuming excessive calories! (Ha ha!) I went there twice in one weekend - a full day at Epcot on Saturday, and after a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Yes, I headed to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror first!) on Columbus Day. Our Seasonal Passes seem to have the Park Hopper mechanisms, which enabled us to hop aboard one of the Friendship boats and sail our butts off to enlarge them with treats and dishes from around the world! I for one loved the tenderloin from South Africa, and it tasted like fall!

Well, here are some highlights from our weekend so far!




That's Spaceship Earth, not a snow cone!



I call this the "nostalgia fountain," a step up from the "snake fountain" I used to saturate myself, perhaps?



The soda fountain of free soda


 
Those guys like to flip with me! (Note the position of my hat.)



Epcot typo - ha ha!


 
 Do I see a Christmas creep - on Columbus Day?


 
 Product placement - on queue


 
 How would you like your taters - plain or pommes emcee?



Toto, I have a feeling that we're not in Milnrow anymore...



 
 More Christmas creep!


As you may know, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is on November 10, on a Tuesday (if you don't mind the Christmas creep and the fact that it's going to take place 17 days before Thanksgiving). Frugal? Head on down to Disney's Hollywood Studios for the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights for a free light display - it'll debut the same night!

So Merry Christmas, er - creep!