55 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching The 1955 Disneyland Opening Day Broadcast

I hope that in the flurry of excitement over my most recent trip report you haven’t forgotten about my Thoughts While Watching series – I know I haven’t!

Last time we watched The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland, so I thought it would be appropriate to follow it up with a viewing of the 1955 Disneyland Opening Day Broadcast, which was televised live on the very first day of Disneyland’s operation. 

This one’s a little longer at an hour and thirteen minutes, but well worth the watch for any Disney parks enthusiast. Presided over by Uncle Walt alongside a smattering of reporters and celebrities, you could tell it was live because of all the times things didn’t go quite Disney perfect. My favorite example is probably when the guy can’t find – actually, you know what? Click play and follow along!

And now – 55 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching The 1955 Disneyland Opening Day Broadcast:

  1. The Disneyland press room doesn’t look too magical.
  2. I don’t care for Art Linkletter standing ON the railroad tracks like that, and neither would OSHA, I think.
  3. I am loving this early television “We’re totally going to mess this up, guys” disclaimer. Pardon me while I adjust my bustle.
  4. In a different universe Art crossed the railroad tracks and was immediately taken out by the train.
  5. Oh, right, I forgot that Ronald Reagan was a movie star first. BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA, BE GREAT!
  6. I knew opening day was dire, but did the heliport and parking lot count as attractions?
  7. Wait, was the fire station actually a fire station?
  8. Next time I’m in the Emporium I’m definitely getting myself some nylons and a buttonhook.
  9. Way to spoil the forced perspective illusion, guys.
  10. Who brings a mandolin to a canoe ride?
  11. Getting serious “how do you do, fellow kids” vibes from this announcer. Twenty-three skidoo!
  12. Awww, look at Walt in his little conductor’s cap and bandana.
  13. Stand up, straight, Mr. President; have some RESPECT.
  14. It is time for THE SPEECH. 
  15. That was Gettysburg-esque in its succinctness. Walt did love Lincoln.
  16. I did not expect this religious angle. They let a reverend AND a priest talk, but why didn’t they let the rabbi say anything? Corollary thought: is there a joke in there?
  17. If this were happening today some big shot pop star would definitely sing the anthem.
  18. Oh, hey, Fess Parker is back.
  19. Did he just say Buddy Ebsen is there? Was Buddy Ebsen in Davey Crockett? [Looked it up later and evidently he was! I’m glad he finally got the nickel out of his lungs]
  20. Awww, all the parade sections splitting off to their respective lands is pretty cute.
  21. “This is one of the greatest parades – man-made parades – I’ve ever seen.” As opposed to the alien-made ones? What do you know that we don’t, Bob Cummings?
  22. Ah, shoot, have all the individual lands had dedication plaques of their own this whole time and I’ve just never noticed? Or is that just at Disneyland?
  23. I’ve read that Disneyland didn’t have background music loops the first couple years, but based on the soundtrack for this special I think that the subsequent music loops have done a great job preserving the spirit of what Walt had in mind.
  24. Fifties youth say: “Screw Disneyland – WHERE IS FESS PARKER????”
  25. Oh. Oh dear. I see we’ve reached the “well, it was a different time” portion of the program.
  26. Are all the lands going to get their own musical numbers or is this special for Davy?
  27. I’m not saying Big Thunder Mountain isn’t awesome, but… I wanna ride a mule around Frontierland!
  28. Pecos Bill is here! I wish the Diamond Horseshoe was still a year-round attraction.
  29. And the Mark Twain riverboat was never that full again.
  30. I was told Ms. Dunn would be adjusting her bustle.
  31. “The Rivers of the World! America, that is!” You’re just ahead of your time, Art.
  32. Ronnie Reagan has sure made himself at home.
  33. I kind of wish WDW had a New Orleans Square.
  34. Was Aunt Jemima a walk-around face character? Hmmm.
  35. Implied kissing? Scandalous!
  36. Can you imagine, guys? Tomorrowland! The future! 1986!!!!
  37. Awww, Walt’s face. “I thought I got a signal.” That was ADORABLE.
  38. “1986! That’s WAY ahead!” That’s what I said.
  39. “… predictions of things to come.” [Camera cuts to Autopia] “Well… uh…”
  40. Oh, hey, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.! Finally some celebrities I’m familiar with. 😜
  41. “The women drivers are given special space, just as they are on the highways.” … What?
  42. I half expected to cut to Ronald Reagan with his coat off and his shirt unbuttoned.
  43. We get to virtually ride Rocket to the Moon?!
  44. Don’t get to comfy, Capcom – Gina Torres could replace you at any moment.
  45. Hey, that knight kinda sounded like Thurl Ravenscroft…
  46. Is that Cinderella? Is that Sleeping Beauty? Is that the Blue Fairy? WHO IS IT?
  47. That Dumbo costume is AMAZING. They should really bring it back.
  48. I bet that fade transition from live camera to cartoon and back was cutting edge for the time.
  49. Did I miss a sequel where Snow White and Prince Charming have a kid?
  50. MARJORIE MAIN!!! Now that’s a celebrity worth highlighting!
  51. “And I think if he ever gets a microphone we’ll be able to talk to him – ” Gotta love a live show.
  52. Just add my voice to the cacophony lamenting the loss of Mr. Toad in WDW.
  53. “I can’t tell you the ending because it would violate the Hays Code.”
  54. Thank GOD Mickey and Minnie experienced a glow up.
  55. Maybe if you hadn’t let Fess Parker stage an entire musical number you would’ve had more time to explore Adventureland instead of just saying “Uh, sorry!” and rushing off in a tangle, guys.

Fifty-five thoughts for the 1955 opening! That one got me right in the feels. I’ve read the stories – Day One was a minor disaster – but dang it if it wasn’t the start of something beautiful. We’ll take a look at that blessed progression in the next one. See ya real soon!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

35 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching The Pre-Opening Report From Disneyland

Today I am excited to continue my Thoughts While Watching series, where I document my thoughts while watching old school Disney parks media. I thought it might be good to tackle the next batch in chronological order, so today we’re going to start with The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland. We’ll follow it up with the opening day broadcast and ten year anniversary special, but for now, cast your mind back to when Disneyland had yet to open its gates….

It’s more fun when you watch along! The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland can be viewed on Disney+ here if you have a subscription, or watch it on YouTube below:

And now, 35 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland:

  1. They sure were big on the sponsors back in the day. Cars and milk – so American!
  2. I like how Tink got more airtime than Mickey at one point.
  3. Wait, there was another TV special about Disneyland before this one? Shoot, now I may have to go backwards…
  4. Ha, I never realized how many rides are kinda technically monorails.
  5. I had no idea they made the riverboat completely from scratch. That looks intense.
  6. Um… is anyone getting weird colonial vibes from getting the plaster mold on this guy?
  7. But harnesses still exist – why would harness making be a forgotten art? Saddleries are a thing.
  8. PONIES!!!!!!
  9. I’m bummed I never got to try Rocket to the Moon. Those models look sweet.
  10. I’m beginning to see why Disneyland’s construction ran over budget.
  11. From now on I will be describing myself exclusively as an “older-type youngster.”
  12. Mr. Toad! Awww, I miss Mr. Toad.
  13. No, wait; from now on I will be describing myself exclusively as a “feminine craftsman.”
  14. Hmmm. Yes, I can see why the Jungle Cruise is being redone.
  15. … There’s a beaver in Lady & The Tramp…?
  16. All roads DO lead to Disneyland. All roads STILL lead to Disneyland.
  17. They sure are dedicating a lot of time to L.A. highways.
  18. Is that Fess Parker? I’m assuming that’s Fess Parker. My dad always gets excited when his wine shows up on restaurant menus.
  19. Awww, Disneyland has Baltimore lampposts? Good ol’ Baltimore.
  20. Ah, yes, the fabled real working drawbridge. 
  21. I want Disney to write me special versions of their more industrious songs for when I go to work.
  22. I don’t see any of these high-speed construction workers wearing safety harnesses. Maybe that’s the lost art they were talking about earlier.
  23. I understand and support why Splash Mountain is being redone, but I must confess I’m gonna miss the soundtrack.
  24. Wow, they’re really pushing Davy Crockett. I wonder what those autographed photos are worth nowadays.
  25. Win a trip for three to Disneyland! Leave your little brother at home.
  26. This whole “mother or dad” thing is really throwing me off. Why not “mother and father” or “mom and dad”?
  27. Oh, hey, it’s the “it was all started by a mouse” quote from the entryway of One Man’s Dream!
  28. So Mickey is a mouse the same size as a bear? Interesting.
  29. Are we just straight up watching Mickey cartoons now? Because these are actually pretty good. Gooseflesh 9000!
  30. I like how Walt says “thee-ay-ter.”
  31. Hooray, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia! Classic.
  32. Some imagination, huh?
  33. And that’s why enormous skirts are both beautiful and functional.
  34. Ohhhh, this Alice music is in the Main Street background loop. I never realized that before.
  35. THREE glasses of milk a day? Gross.

Okay, well, that wasn’t quite as Disneyland-focused as I might’ve liked in the back half, but then as I understand it they were scrambling to get it done as it was.

I’ve been nosing around Disney+ and have found all sorts of additional interesting behind-the-scenes specials. I hope you’re enjoying this series, because I think it might go on for a while!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Shares Her Long Run Disney Parks Playlist

Pray for me now and in the hour of my 17 mile training run.

I will appreciate those prayers when the time comes (tomorrow), but as they say: the Lord helps those who help themselves. In addition to prayers, I shall try to make my long run as painless minimally painful as possible with the help of such items as KT Tape, mocha Clif Shots, a spare water bottle, and, of course, music.

I will start out with my usuals from Amazon Music (Aerosmith!) or my own personal iTunes stash (J. Roddy/Floggy Molly/Jukebox the Ghost), for at the absolute least the first nine miles or so. But when the going gets tough, I’m gonna bust out that big guns. You know what blog you’re reading, so of course you already know it’s Disney music.

But not just any Disney music – Disney parks music and parks music only! But not the background music loops; they’re designed to create ambience, not capture your attention. For running, performance music is where it’s at. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more transportive than a good show soundtrack. I’m talking fireworks, parades, nighttimes spectaculars – you know, with the stirring orchestral scores and catchy medleys, the ones that immediately thrust you back in time and put your imaginary feet on Main Street. You’ll forget you’re running at all

Want to follow along? C’mon, we’ll run together – I put together a playlist special. It’s unlisted, but I’m willing to share it with my bloggy buddies.* If the below embed gets wonky or you lose me at any point, here’s a direct playlist link. Lace up and step into the magic!

*You know, all these other people think I’m talking to them, but I’m really just talking to you!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Timehop Throws Shade At Disney???

Holy smoke Rocky, guys, I know I just posted, but I saw the FUNNIEST thing in my Timehop yesterday and I had to share!

You guys know Timehop, right? The app that shows you all the stuff you posted on this day on your various social medias and that stuff? In addition to populating with your own on-this-day photos and tidbits, it also sometimes shows some historic events and such that occurred on that day too. Various Disney park openings and movie debuts have sometimes been included as the day’s fun fact, because, I always assumed, many of Disney’s accomplishments are objectively historical.

As of today, though, I begin to wonder if a Disney blogger moonlights as a Timehop exec, because this is some niche humor:

Timehop Epcot

Ha! Today we call it EPCOT and it has a Frozen ride…!

I mean, we all know the story about why Epcot never became the Epcot as Walt envisioned it. It’s the Frozen dig that kills me. That is some vintage late-2014, still-bitter-about-the-closing-of-Maelstrom, why-is-there-IP-in-Epcot-it-doesn’t-belong-here shade. I’m surprised they didn’t have that little dinosaur guy dressed as a Viking at the end. 

I can’t wait until the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster opens and we find out what Timehop has to say about that. I’m guessing with all the ousted dinosaurs it’s gonna get real personal real fast.

Disney, man. You find it in the darnedest places!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Saw Those Yellow Minnie Ears Coming

 Hey, guys, I’m psychic!

That’s right – I asked the universe for yellow ears and BAM! Two weeks later, Disney serves ’em up. Clearly I am a person of taste with my finger on the pulse of fashion trends. Disney Dandy powers, arise!

Anyway, there’s a new pair of ears I want. Initially I was disappointed by the lack of sequins, but I’m really coming around on the velvet.

Hmmm. Let’s see if I can pull this off again, shall we? What’ll be the next color trends to emerge from the hit-and-miss minds of Disney merchandising execs? Let’s do a trifecta horse race betting style, so as to give myself better odds of winning at least some, I don’t know, internet clout or whatever:

  1. Royal blue
  2. Lime green
  3. Periwinkle (we haven’t done that one yet, have we?)

Brb, just gonna run down to the Haunted Mansion to consult with Madame Leota on this one…

What do you predict will be Disney’s next quote-unquote color trend? 

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 11/05

Trip report time! See all the posts in this report.

And now for the final day of the trip report. Boo hiss.

We got up early to shower and finish packing before dragging our luggage to the airport check-in desk and heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

There was a very long line for the DAK bus, but several buses arrived one after the other to get us going quickly. I realized why too late: DAK had Extra Magic Hours this morning. I had totally forgotten to check. Amateur move.

Oh well! I resolved to keep a close eye on available FastPasses, and we kept on with our day. Obviously since we had missed the start of EMH the Flight of Passage line was too long. 🙁 I later thought I had picked up an FP for it but it turned out in my haste I just got a River Journey FP. I swear I remember it being FoP when I booked it but what can ya do.

Anyway, back to the morning at hand: River Journey was only about 25 minutes so we did that instead. I know this ride is much maligned but I rather like it. It could definitely stand to be longer with a more involved story, but I think it does a wonderful job creating a sense of place.

After communing with the strangely atonal Shaman of Song we stopped at Pongu Pongu for breakfast. Erika got a breakfast sandwich that seemed perfectly serviceable. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to check off one of my bucket list food items: the lumpia, a sort of egg roll with pineapple and cream cheese filling.

I understand that this, much like River Journey, is a somewhat controversial item, with those who try it falling into distinct love-it-or-hate-it camps. Well, somehow i still managed to be straight down the middle – I thought it was pretty good with a crisp sugary crust and creamy filling, but it could be improved with some more textural contrast on the inside.

Next I intended to lead Erika to Kilimanjaro Safaris, as I had previously seen in the MDE app that the line was too long. Unfortunately after our breakfast I saw that the wait time had jumped a fair bit during that short time, so I instead steered our little party toward Dinosaur, which had practically no line. In the meantime I picked up a safari FP and all was right with the world. 

I had also previously obtained an Expedition Everest FP, so we headed over to Serka Zong for a trip through the mountains. I always like to visit with my friend the Disco Yeti.

We had some time to kill before our safari FP, so we took a spin through Gorilla Falls, which nabbed us some particularly nifty views of the… mongooses? Mongeese? Those and the gorillas.

Our FP time opened up and we boarded our safari. Our driver was very good; his delivery was friendly but not too squeaky-enthusiastic if you know what I mean. We got to see a couple of teen giraffes having a fight, and a mother hippo and her baby sunning themselves.

Post-safari we popped into Zuri Sweets so Erika could get a chocolate snack, and then Dawa bar for a Ngumu jungle juice for me. This used to be POG juice mixed with rum but they now use peach schapps instead. It was still good but I think I might prefer the rum slightly better.

Refreshments in hand, it was time for my FAVORITE THING: Festival of the Lion King, of course! For some reason part of the standby line was routed through the back door, which put us in the giraffe section, but I asked the Cast Member nicely and she let us walk across to the lion section (I like doing the weem-aways). We got tumble monkey high fives and all was right with the world.

Lunchtime was upon us, so I unceremoniously dragged Erika to my beloved Nomad Lounge. More on that to come!

From there we headed back to Harambe to see the Harambe Village Acrobats, and act I had wandered past before but never stopped to watch. It was good! None of the tricks were mind-blowing but the stacks of humans they created were impressive all the same, and their energy was really good. Erika and I even allowed ourselves to be pulled onto the stage to learn a dance.

We took a bathroom break at my favorite WDW bathrooms by the FotLK theater (CLEAN!), at which point I discovered the Avatar FP I thought I had wasn’t. Blast and damnation. But there wasn’t much to be done about it so late in the day, so we pondered our alternatives.

Here I am pondering my alternatives.

Initially we thought we’d sneak in one more ride on Everest, but as we headed in that direction we happened to walk by the Theater in the Wild just as the Finding Nemo musical was about to start. Great believers in providence, we took in the show instead.

Then it was time to say goodbye to all our company. We boarded a bus to Pop, grabbed some snacks, took one last lap around the gift shop, and hopped on the DME bus to the airport. Plane ride and home. The end.

Thanks for slogging through this trip report with me! I still have a couple more related posts up my sleeve including food reviews, so keep an eye out. See you for the WDW Marathon 2019!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 11/04

Trip report time! See all the posts in this report.

I was able to wander right onto a Pop bus post-half marathon, and I rolled on back to my room and immediately hopped into a much-needed hot shower. (I don’t care what the experts say about ice baths and crud – you can pry my hot shower from my HOT DEAD HANDS.)

By the time I emerged, I figured I might as well stay awake until Erika got back, so I riffled through my snack box and watched the ubiquitous Friends marathon until she appeared. She took her own shower, and then it was nap time!

I woke up about 3 hours later, which is without question the longest nap (of, like, 3 total) I’ve ever taken at WDW, but I’m learning to chill now so I can party later, y’know?

Erika wasn’t far behind me, and we chilled in the room for a bit while a sudden Florida rainstorm came gushing down. After a bit – as is so often the case – it subsided to a drizzle, and we took advantage of the lull to duck over to the Pop food court and snag lunch.

After lunch we killed time for a bit before heading out to the Wine & Dine Half after party. It officially started at 10pm, but the official word was that mix-in began at 8pm. Being a paranoic, I had hustled us over half an hour too early – but I was delighted to discover that cast members had just begun handing out party wristbands at 7:30pm. That’s a 30 minute bonus to us!

I was overcome by a sudden thirst, so we took a quick trip to Club Cool followed immediately by the Light Lab for a cider flight. I didn’t care for the blueberry peppercorn, but then I don’t like blueberries so I saw that coming. The berry one was pretty good – predictably sweet – but the rose cider was my surprise favorite. It was much more dry than the rose ciders I’ve had in the past, and I enjoyed it immensely. 

Erika had gotten a full-size rose cider, and I gave her my rejected blueberry sample. I picked up my two remaining minis, and we double-fisted into the night and over to World Showcase.

First up: a ride on Mexico’s Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride with the Three Caballeros. Erika, a Brazilian native, reinforced something I’ve been thinking for years: what are you doing in Mexico, Jose Carioca? You belong in Brazil! Maybe that long-rumored Brazil pavilion will open and he’ll finally have a proper home?

We took a couple minutes to explore the Dia de Muertos exhibit at the front of the pyramid, which was surprisingly cute. 

Our feet carried us out of Mexico and deeper into World Showcase, where we finally found ourselves in Japan’s Mitsukoshi department store… just as it started to rain. Like, kinda hard. After thoroughly examining the shop’s contents, we took a spin through the Kawaii exhibit and… it was still raining. Boo.

I turned over some options in my head and was just suggesting that we head to Morocco’s indoor exhibits when I witnessed some brilliant people walking up to the second floor of the Mitsukoshi building. IllumiNations was starting in about 15 minutes, and that platform had a protective eave. I dragged Erika up the stairs and we staked out some of the last spots available for the show.

Unfortunately the rain was causing more trouble than driving people indoors: an announcement rang out that IllumiNations was postponed due to weather. My heart sank – this was my last chance to see it before it was replaced. Luckily it went off about 15 minutes later. Whew! 

I’ve since been informed that the show may be delayed as much as 2 hours without getting cancelled, but I wouldn’t want to spend 2 hours holding my spot! The one thing I don’t get is that it was raining at the official start time, and it was still raining when the show started. What changed that it could run after all? Go figure.

The rain showed no sign of stopping, so we decided to be brave little ducks and venture out into the open. The time of Food & Wine Festival snacking was once again upon us.

To begin we stopped at the Japan booth right in front of us for teriyaki buns, which had delicious steamed dough although I found the chicken mixture inside a bit too sweet.

Next up was the Brazil booth. Since Brazil doesn’t have a resident pavilion, the kiosk was staffed by regular cast members. Erika helpfully taught them how to say the names of the foods they were selling in Brazilian Portuguese, and the CMs invited her to stay awhile and coach them.

Alas, she had to decline, as we had delicious pae de quiejo to eat. Erika tells me this awesome cheese bread is usually eaten as a snack. Also she has a bag of them in her freezer, so I’m thinking party at Erika’s house?

The ears-over-hoodie look is very big in Brazil.

We made a stop at France so that Erika could pick up some of the raspberry creme brulee, which she deemed to be very tasty. Then we abandoned World Showcase for Future World and Mouse Gears as I wanted to make some purchases before it closed.

My first order of self-indulgent business was selected a new Minnie ear headband because NO CERTAINLY NOT YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH. I hemmed and hawed between the rainbow and Dia de Muertos versions before deciding on the latter on the principle that it might be discontinued soon.

I also wanted to get some embroidered mouse ears for Pat’s niece, but they’ve moved the embroidery station since I last used the service and I had to search around for it a bit. The cast members at the station were lovely and helped me add the cheapest possible item so I could get to my Disney Visa discount threshold (a reusable tote, since you asked). 

Sadly the weather was starting to get to us. Erika resorted to buying the world’s most expensive poncho in Mouse Gears. My hoodie, increasingly damp, wasn’t keeping me as warm as it had earlier in the evening. Visions of Splash ‘n Dash danced in my head.

So I did this day what I did that day: rode indoor rides to keep off the rain and chill. First Spaceship Earth, then Soarin.’ And that was all lovely, but when we were done it was still raining and we were getting cold. 

I halfheartedly asked Erika if she wanted to go one more round of snacks in World Showcase, but she vetoed in favor of going back to the room. This sounded like a plan to me. Dammit, one of these days I WILL shut down Epcot!

We picked up a bus to Pop pretty quickly and basically went straight to bed, one more day in the most magical place on earth ahead of us.

Next up: the last day. 🙁

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Has A Favorite WDW Park

And now we honor Disney’s Animal Kingdom in its 20th birthday week. Dear DAK, I mean every single word of this.

It can be hard for a Walt Disney World enthusiast to pin down a favorite thing. The categories are so broad that narrowing down even a top three can seem daunting.

The hardest question of all may be this: which park is your favorite? I mean, how do you begin to compare them? Epcot’s got the World Showcase, and that’s incredible, but the feeling you get on Main Street, the castle on the horizon, is hard to match. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is so beautifully, intricately themed, and an animal lover’s dream, of course.

And the Studios suck. I’m kidding! Kind of. Let’s just say I’m really looking forward to the upheaval of all the upcoming new lands and refurbs.

Anyway. For the longest time I, too, had trouble pinning down my favorite park. Until November 2016.

In it for the drinks and chips.

Yup. I’m saying it. I may be in the minority, but the Animal Kingdom is my favorite park.

It’s not the attractions – mostly. Everest is probably my favorite ride on property, and Festival of the Lion King is definitely my favorite show, and Dinosaur is pretty fun too. But what really does it for me is the incredibly immersive environments.

Of course that’s what Disney’s Imagineers DO, but DAK is so impressively seamless in a way that even MK’s lands or Epcot’s World Showcase can’t duplicate. In those, you move from one land to the other so quickly that you never quite shake your knowledge of the larger context. DAK’s Harambe village, or Serka Zong, the Maharajah Jungle Trek… they’re so expansive that you can lose all ties to the idea of being in a theme park at all. Just LOOK:

And when I sat on that bench and sipped a drink and watched Burudika do their thing, I knew: Animal Kingdom, I love you most of all.

Could you ever pull the trigger on a favorite park? Which would you choose?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Is Prepped For WDW

Things to do tomorrow:

1. Go to Walt Disney World.

In the wise words of Lavender Gooms:

Things not to do on this WDW trip:

1. Run a runDisney race.

Which makes me feel all weird. You mean I don’t have to immediately bolt for the expo as soon as I get there? I haven’t had a non-race trip since… December 2013, the last time I took my mom. Hmmm.

Here are an assortment of things I do intend to do:
  • Since my mom only rides the green side anyway, let’s check out the new Mission: Space
  • Get some margaritas from the new stand in Mexico
  • Enjoy the elephant and Behind the Seeds tours for the first time
  • Try some of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays food booths, with an emphasis on those smoked salmon things from Alsace, the mochi cake from Japan, and all the fancy drinks
  • Investigate the inevitable train wreck that is the new Hall of Presidents (Never mind, probably)
  • Take in Flights of Wonder one last time (I hope I get my favorite Guano Joe!)
  • Watch the France movie, since my mom’ll dig the soundtrack and who knows how long it has to live
  • Get some Hightower Rocks from Nomad Lounge
  • Watch the new MK fireworks show
  • Finally catch Rivers of Light
  • See Guinan recite the story of Jesus’s birth, or the script of “Yesterday’s Enterprise;” whichever
  • Accept, with resignation, that Pandora is a thing and, like, go there, I GUESS

It shall be awesome! Be on the lookout for mad tweets and instas so you can follow along. See ya around the World!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which There Was Blood On The Saddle

So there I am, minding my own business at my parents’ house. Am I there because in the morning my dad is going to drive me to the airport so I can go to Walt Disney World? I don’t remember. Probably. Statistically likely.

Anyway, I come out of the bathroom next to the computer room and: there it is. I’m briefly uncertain. Is it…? It totally is. I grab it and bring it to my dad. “Do you know who this is???” I demand.

“Sure,” he replies immediately. “That’s Big Al from The Country Bear Jamboree. Your grandfather loved him!”

Guys. There is a Big Al piggy bank chilling in my parents’ house. That my grandfather bought in WDW! The Country Bears are my family legacy! Who knew? Well, my dad, obviously, so maybe the question is more why didn’t he tell me???

I get the idea this item was pretty common – a brief internet search yields the same model for $20 to $30. I’m guessing it’s from the ’80s but I’m not sure.

On a related note, this car is always parked at the gas station near my ballet studio:

I guess you could say Al and I frequent the same places.

Ever found any random Disney merch in an unexpected place?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!