Archive for June, 2008




Welcome! This week the theme of the Destination Disney Carnival, held by Jennifer from Snapshotis all about Walt Disney World’s fireworks shows.  

Because Fantasmic!, Disney’s Hollywood Studios’s mixed-media spectacular, is such an amazing and unique show, many people consider seeing this show to be the highlight of their Walt Disney World family vacation. Parts of the show are staged on an island that sits opposite a giant amphitheater; some of it takes place on a waterway that falls in between the island and the amphitheater; and much of it is projected onto a cloud of mist which hangs in the air like a curtain near the waterway. The show, which stars Mickey Mouse who is playing his Sorcerer’s Apprentice role from the classic movie Fantasia, combines lasers, fireworks, lighting effects, and music to create an especially magical and entertaining show. Although the amphitheater holds almost 10,000 people, you should expect to arrive extra-early to secure a spot for your family. While this show is certainly a not-to-be-missed-event, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If the temperature feels chilly, try to sit or stand in the back two-thirds of the amphitheater to avoid the cool damp mist from the “curtain” which can be blown out into the amphitheater area. Families with small children should take into consideration that many of Disney’s villains make appearances during this show and the villains may frighten some children. The children will see Mickey himself fighting evil. Children who believe in Mickey may take comfort from being let in on the “secret” that Mickey comes here to the amphitheater every day to play this role and that he always wins! Children who choose to make it through seeing the villains during the show, are rewarded with a very special and happy ending including Mickey and dozens of his friends that won’t be forgotten!


IllumiNations is the nightly spectacular which takes place on the World Showcase Lagoon and lights up the sky above Epcot. During the show a massive three-story tall and twenty-eight feet wide Earth Globe, which is covered with video screens, sits in the lagoon. This Earth Globe, which was built by Walt Disney Imagineering, is the world’s first spherical video display system. It has more than 15,000 light-emitting diodes that form the shapes of the continents and it rotates on a 350-ton floating island that moves with the help of an infrared guidance system. As this hopeful story of the world unfolds, the Earth Globe itself actually opens up like a blossoming flower. Thoughts of new life and fresh hope for the future may be on the minds of many viewers. Watching IllumiNations is enhanced when an unobstructed view of the lagoon is chosen.  Also, select a location that is not downwind from the lagoon, so as to avoid the smoke created by the show.


When Walt and his sister Ruth were children they once peered through a fence to see a July Fourth fireworks show. I am guessing that while they stood there they were hoping to see and hear something like what the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular is. When you watch Wishes, don’t be surprised if your inner-child comes out to play and helps you to believe in your wishes. Few people who have experienced Wishes are unaware of the specialness of this nightly fireworks spectacular. Wishes, which is the biggest spectacle ever shown in the Magic Kingdom, replaced Fantasy in the Sky which ran in the Magic Kingdom for twenty-seven years. Whether or not you find yourself believing in your wishes by this show’s end, hakuna matata [no worries], because believers and nonbelievers alike are sure to enjoy viewing this stunningly beautiful nighttime spectacular which uses Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece. If I could choose to forever remember only one memory of an event or an attraction, from one of my Walt Disney World vacations, I would pick Wishes. I would be standing halfway down Main Street, hand in hand with my family, and Cinderella Castle would be centered ahead in my line of sight. However, hopefully I will never have to make this choice, as I would be super-reluctant to lose any of my many other wonderful vacation memories! Anyone who has seen Wishes likely will agree there is truly something extra-magical to be felt. Standing in a sea of people, anticipating the beginning of Wishes, is the perfect ending to a perfect day for me. Seeing the wonder on my children’s faces and feeling the hopefulness of the show always reminds me of the reasons I brought my family to this magical place. Noticing the hundreds of happy faces on the people around me, that have joined with me to focus on the same special thing, feels awesome. I think Wishes can touch almost anyone’s heart. When the Blue Fairy calls out explaining that when stars are born they have the power to make a wish come true, it would be difficult to stop my heart from being swept clean away in the magic. A child’s voice sings the familiar rhyme, Star light, Star bright…, and seems to pull all of the longing hearts together into the magic. As if Jiminy Cricket were reading the minds of any adults who might still be trying to stop their hearts from being swept up in the magic, he tells the guests that he too didn’t always believe that wishes could come true.  He continues with his hopeful story about what it was that made him believe. Then, suddenly, Tinkerbell appears on a Castle turret and proceeds to fly across the nighttime sky. When I hear the Wishes music, and the message it sends, it envelops and lifts my heart. The dazzling fireworks are perfectly synchronized to the score and embody the uplifting message of this special music. My favorite fireworks are the star-dusted ones that linger in the air over the Castle like a blanket of pixie dust sent to reach down and touch every guest. Jiminy tells us of the parade of wonderful wishes that have already been granted, almost daring the crowd to let themselves join him in believing in their own wishes. Like every other Disney story, there comes a moment when evil tries to interject itself; however, we already know that whenever things look bad, fate will step in and see us through. Predictably, the day is saved. After which, the Blue Fairy asks that we remember to believe in our wishes and that we all join our hearts together to make a wish come true. Wishes is a powerful thing!


Don’t forget that some holidays bring extra tag-ons to these regular shows, and the hard-ticketed parties in the Magic Kingdom additionally offer their own special twists, if not their own fireworks complete with unique music. Whenever you attend any of these events, it is important to take small children by the hand and to set up a meeting spot for your family in the case you become separated while exiting the area. Enjoy the show!



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Character Pictures


My family and I, in February 2008, with Walt and Mickey’s Partners Statue in front of Cinderella Castle.    


My girls with Chip at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary resort.

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Meme about me

I found an open invitation to this meme on Darcie’s Such the Spot blog.

What is the worst meal you ever had?
That would be the one I served at a party in my house that had plastic wrap melted in the food.  It appears that catering companies like to put plastic wrap under aluminum foil.  Who knew?  Doesn’t everyone take it home and put it in their oven to keep it hot? 

The one place you could vacation every year?
I am stealing Heather and Darcie’s answer-  Disney World!

5 things that drive you crazy?
-Whenever I melt something, that was not supposed to be melted, when cooking.
-Bugs in computer programs that can’t be easily replicated, but are real issues.
-Whenever I burn/under cook something because I forgot to set the timer or look at the clock when I began heating it.
-Whenever I burn my hands on a hot pan because I decide the Mickey dishtowel on my oven door will do the trick.
-Whenever I fill the dryer with wet clothes but forget to actually start the machine.

Name 3 people from your past that make you stop and think, “Hey, I wonder what ever happened to…”
-I spent the summers of my college years directing my town’s sailing program.  I wonder how all of those kids are doing.  
-The woman to whom I reported while volunteering at the local aquarium while at college.  
-Dreamfinder 🙂

Kids TV show you might actually enjoy more than your kids do?
There are no TV shows I enjoy more than my children.

Worst movie I have ever seen?
American Beauty

Most under-rated TV show you watch regularly? 
I don’t watch any shows anymore.  My hubby turns on different news shows at night, while I play on the computer. 

Most popular TV show you never watch? 
American Idol

Celebrity whose looks you’d like to have? 
I will steal Darcie’s answer, Keira Knightley.  I think it would be fun to also have her accent. 

Celeb you can’t stand? 
Britney Spears

What did you do today? 
Cuddled with the girls.  Helped pick out their outfits.  Showered/dressed/made myself up for a work day.  Had breakfast with the girls.  Packed snack and water bottle in my oldest’s school bag.  Braided the girls’ hair.  Put my oldest on the school bus after hugs and kisses.  My youngest and I walked our dog.  I changed into work shoes.  Packed up their bag of stuff for the day.  Dropped off my youngest with the girls’ bag of stuff and more hugs and kisses.  Drove to work listening to a new WDW Today podcast.  Worked.  Talked with the girls on the phone.  Worked.  Drove home listening to another new WDW Today podcast.  Picked up the girls.  Bath time.  Brushed and then braided their hair.  Cuddled and chatted with the girls and hubby.  Storytime.  Once they were ready for bed I tucked them in bed.  Heated up some leftovers and ate with hubby.  He started to watch TV and I started to play on the computer.   

I am tagging anyone who wants to play along.

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This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival held by www.dismarks.com.  Visit there for more great Disney posts!

In our house, bedtime always gets my children chattering.  It is the time they finally decide to tell my husband and me about their day.  Sometimes I think I have accidentally trained my children to save these stories for bedtime by allowing their chatter to continue beyond bedtime because I am very curious about their day.  I treasure this time with them.  During these times, they tell us all about their hopes and fears, and sometimes they ask us some questions about the things they may have heard or seen during their day.  This is certainly not their only opportunity to talk with us, although it does tend to be the most productive.  For some reason they aren’t in the story sharing mood in the morning before we leave home for the day.  Then when I call them on the phone, after they have returned from school, they share no real news with me.  I receive general statements about their having a good day and an over the phone hug and kiss with a wish for me to come home as soon as I can.  I know they want to get off of the phone so they can change their clothes and play outside before supper- and homework-time rolls around.  I don’t press them for details as I would rather see them happy while we are working than see them sad and missing us.  I know if I am patient they will spill all of their details later while I try and put them to bed.

A few days ago, I could tell something was different about my oldest daughter’s story du jour from the get go.  What I didn’t know was how her story would rock me to my core.  It started with, “I saved my friend’s life today.”  What?!, not wanting to interrupt the flow of information, I nodded, and she continued with details about how she and a neighbor’s daughter were playing back and forth between the two yards when their ball rolled onto the neighbor’s hard top pool cover.  She said her friend started to walk toward the ball and my daughter yelled, “Stop – that’s not safe!”  Okay, so now I was almost dying with fright, but I wanted to hear her whole story so I kept quiet.  My daughter said her friend’s dad came over and pushed the ball off the pool cover with the big pool stick.  (Up until now I was worried sick that they somehow were playing all alone.  They were not alone, the dad was in the backyard and my mom was on her back deck watching them.)

I asked my daughter what it was that made her tell her friend to stop and her answer really hit me over the heart.  She said, “You know that little voice inside that tells you what is right, you know, like Jiminy Cricket – your ‘chonchunce’?  It yelled STOP to me!”

Well, my friends, I am now wondering if I have been teaching my children to listen to their conscience enough or if I have been teaching them to listen to me.  I realized that it is imperative they have a good and strong inner voice that can be there guiding them as I can’t be with them all of the time.  I am so grateful Walt made this movie and that I have shared it with my children.  I am not so sure my children would know much about listening to their conscience if Walt hadn’t picked this story to plus into a movie.  Walt planted this seed for my children, and in turn I promise to help it to grow.  From now on, I will try even harder to encourage my girls to listen for and follow their Jiminy Cricket voice that lives inside of them. 

In the back of my mind, while I know there were adults watching them, the thoughts I had while I listened to the story still seem scary.  As scary as these “what ifs” are, since all worked out fine, I can now be thankful I wasn’t there at that moment.  I know if I were there, I would have immediately told them to let the ball go before they even had a chance to think about what they should do.   Although this would have kept them safe for the moment, it would have robbed them of a valuable life lesson.  I now wonder how often I have inadvertently stolen opportunities for their inner growth in an effort to guarantee their safety.  I want her to have these opportunities to get to know and learn to trust her Jiminy.

While this story already had a happy ending, here is a little bonus for you.  I gave her a reward of a Webkinz that night.  I thought she deserved a tangible prize to go along with the real prize I knew she had already received.  She took the Webkinz and gave it a big hug.  I asked her what she was going to name it.  She looked at it and said, “This is Jiminy Kitten, can I register him this weekend?”  And so it goes……

— In December 2009, I met Eddie Carroll and got to tell this story to him and his wife Carolyn.  Sadly, Eddie died in April 2010.  He will be missed.  Read this post to see a picture from a fantastic day in December 2009, when I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Eddie Carroll:  https://tinkertell.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/jiminy/

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Feed the birds

The Walt Disney movie Mary Poppins touches my heart each time I see it. The scene where Mary settles the Banks children into bed is especially moving for me. She carries a golden waterglobe, with a miniature version of St. Paul’s Cathedral inside its core, over to the children. She overturns it, with a gentle twist of her hand, causing the little birds inside the waterglobe to fly and swirl around the Cathedral, then she begins to sing the words to the beautiful Sherman brothers’ song, Feed the Birds.


Feed the Birds is truly a significant song; it reminds us that the small, simple, and thoughtful ways in which we help others mean the most.  We should make time to practice random acts of kindness daily. Walt loved this song, it is how he lived his life, and it is how many still remember him.


Listen for what it is that calls you in your daily life and don’t hesitate to act upon it. Teach your children well; allow them to guide you toward a call, if you miss hearing it. While you may never know the specific good that grows from your random kindness, keep in mind that everything is connected and you’re making a real difference for someone. The possibilities are endless!  Look for them and live your life to your potential.  As Walt Disney once said, “If you live right, things happen the way they’re supposed to.”  I believe this to be true, and as Walt would say, “That’ll work!”  

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