Vlogs, Walt Disney World

Figments In Time Episode 202 – Magic versus Imagination

In our new episode, we discuss the difference between Magic and Imagination, most importantly from the standpoint of what Disney delivers. The song ”You are the Magic” that is a part of the Enchantment fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom says we can go anywhere with our imagination because we are the Magic (they say you, meaning me, naturally). The anthem for the 50th Anniversary is ”The Magic Is Calling”, which I guess means we are calling ourselves!

How much of onus of the magic is really on the person at the parks? Do kids really need all the beauty of Galaxy’s Edge to see it as another galaxy? If that isn’t interesting, our Figment In Time this episode is Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween party. We are going to Boo Bash this week and will definitely show you some of what see there too.

In addition, since our previous episode, I have posted a video of the Jammitors:

As well as ValPalMickey’s changing opinion on Mickey’s Runaway Railway:

We are at Walt Disney World this week and will be back soon after we get home next week with a new episode covering all the stuff we see in the coming week (I am writing this blog on our first night, watching all the videos that I took today to see how well it came out. My reverse video from Everest is fun, and will definitely be posted sometime soon after we get home somewhere.)

TikTok

Want a daily dose of short Disney videos? Check us out on TikTok along with a LOT of other fun Disney content. What I have found I like about TikTok is it is it is like video Twitter. Easy to pick up, get a bit of content, and move on.

We have some fun ideas for where to take that (some of which we are filming this week), but it will always be a lot of what I have tried to bring to #Distwitter… simple views of Disney World to take you mentally away from your day and into your happy place for a few minutes a day. https://www.tiktok.com/@figmentsintime

Vlogs, Walt Disney World

Figments In Time Episode 201 and Updates

We are back with season 2 of our vlog on our Figments In Time Youtube Channel. The primary post is our first full episode (and if you aren’t into the whole video thing, the episode is available as a podcast on Podbean. I will be trying to expand where the podcast is published in the next few episodes as well).

In this episode, we talk about our last trip to WDW, discuss our feelings on the upcoming Genie+ (which will be updated in next week’s episode!), had pictures of Club Cool and Mouse Gear to celebrate their replacement, and had some video from the Jammitors:

Also on the channel, I put out a couple of other videos, including this one of a favorite ride that is going away for real:

And this one with the full video of Happily Ever After from the California Grill Balcony:

And if you don’t tell anyone else, Val and I did a few quick #FigmentsInTheCar episodes on our last trip and this is the result of one of them. https://youtu.be/Pk6ZpnI2YsA. None of our worsts were gross, so never fear, it is always PG rated in Figment Land.

Blogs

ValPalMickey: How Disney has Broken My Heart (or at least ruined my Happily Ever After…)

Ok…so maybe that title is a little dramatic, but it is the way I am feeling at the moment. I have a lot of Walt Disney World attractions that are very important to me that I would never want to lose (I am looking at you Haunted Mansion!) but shows, especially fireworks shows, are not typically on this list. I understand stage productions can become stale or dated over time and they need to be refreshed. And honestly, some things can run for too long. So, I will typically try to visit one last time to bid a show a fond farewell and look back on pictures fondly.

I was not a huge fan of Wishes and I totally understand that I just lost many of you with that statement. It was a great show, but because of some silliness from my husband, I really struggled with the music, and I didn’t love waiting for it. We had just seen it so many times that we often just worked hard to be on Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain for a special view of the fireworks. I didn’t like to wait in front of the castle, with a sea of people for Wishes – so I was excited to hear we would receive a new nighttime spectacular.

I thought I might enjoy Happily Ever After and watch it occasionally, but I was not prepared for what I experienced the first time I saw this show. There was something uniquely special about this production. It is not just that the projections are amazing, which they are incredibly so, or that the fireworks are timed well…they are, it is something else. The music…the music is incredibly emotional…unlike any other fireworks show I have seen. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular has an incredible score with music that we are familiar with…that reaches the fans nostalgia. (And I do love that show.) However, Happily Ever After uses its music in a more unique way to tug at our heartstrings. They utilize songs that we are familiar with (some more than others) but in an incredible arrangement that utilizes versions of songs that I have never heard in another setting.

Bear with me, I am going to make another controversial statement – I am not a huge Tinkerbell fan. I know…now you really hate me. (When I was a kid, I thought she was too mean to Wendy, and it just stuck with me…but I digress.) When Tinkerbell took flight in Wishes I thought it was really cool, but it didn’t strike me that much in the feels – it was early in the show. I remember watching Happily Ever After the first time and thinking…oh something must be wrong tonight and Tink is not flying. But then…when she took off from the castle…I started crying. The timing is spectacular… when Tinkerbell makes her flight…it is just perfect. I have never cried so much in a show with fireworks – not in all of these years of visiting the parks. (Even seeing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular was amazing, but I did not burst out into hysteric tears.) Happily Ever After became a must do for me. I would gladly wait in the heat, with a crowd, to get a great view.

I say all of this to say – Happily Ever After is going away too soon. We were not ready…we didn’t have enough time. I know the pandemic kept us from visiting as much over the last couple of years, but I don’t think more viewings would change my feelings of loss right now. I am not angry, and I do not hold it against Disney because I am sure they have their reasons…but I have a request. Walt Disney World…please at least give me an official soundtrack.

Blogs

DisneyPicADay: Why I am Glad Happily Ever After is Ending

This is my first attempt at writing a blog with a clickbait title. I expect on that aspect it will fail to take me to the viral levels of most clickbait (I suppose I could have said “Why I am Glad a Disney World Attraction is ending” so you wouldn’t know what I meant until you clicked, but I am new at this. Keeping with the clickbait tradition, I will reveal my reasoning at the end of the blog, but I won’t make you read two pages of text explaining to you what Happily Ever After is, WaltDisneyWorld.Com will do that for you just nicely.

I read a lot of people who Happily Ever After for various reasons. The music, the magic, the wonderful fireworks, or even a personal attachment. A good friend was proposed to during this show. That is a strong attachment. It was one of my grandaugther’s favorite memories from her first trip to Walt Disney World (okay, it was second next to the dessert party we went to first.) There are tons of amazing memories of this show out there. I personally love the show very much, and largely use pictures from the show in my sorta weekly #FollowFriday posts.

On #Distwitter and various YouTube channels, back room Discords, and probably around the water cooler in the Utilidors (has anyone actually worked at a place that had a water cooler that you stood around talking?), comparing “Happily Ever After” to “Wishes” to “Fantasy in the Sky” and other nighttime spectaculars. If you want to listen to one such debate, check out episode 160 of our Monorail loving friends at the Morning Monorail.

On that episode of the Morning Monorail podcast, my answer was read and I liked Wishes better, but that is not why I am glad to see Happily Ever After ending, I don’t even want Wishes to come back. I clearly love the visuals because for something that you have to wait an hour or more for that only happens once a day, I have a lot of pictures of it (and have spent a decent amount of money on dessert parties and camera equipment to get better views and pictures of it too!)

I did slightly prefer when the projection show was distinct from the fireworks, but that is a minor quibble. No, the one reason I am happy it is going away is for the simple reason that I want more memories. I love the familiarity of going to a theme park and seeing the same sights, hearing the same sounds, smelling the same smells, riding the same rides… But it is nice to get new sights, smells, rides too.

When I am scrolling through my pictures preparing for FollowFriday, I often hear the crescendo of the songs from “Wishes” and “Happily Ever After” in particular. I don’t remember the words of the songs, but I do remember “Star light, star bright… Wishes” and “Happily Ever After” (made all the easier since it is right there in the title). I selfishly want more memories to squirrel away in my brain.

As you can see here on Disney World’s website:

A crowd looks on as fireworks burst over Cinderella Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. is sprinkled with pixie dust
Credit Disney. Artist concept of new Enchanted show

I can’t wait to see this. And after the 18 months they tell us that the 50th celebration will go on, I look forward to the next spectacular “Enchanted”. After all… the title of the current show is more typically heard in the phrase “and they lived happily ever after” … at the end of the story… The memories of seeing this the first and last time will still be there without seeing it again.

And while watching fireworks on TV can’t compare to the real thing, if you need your memory refreshed… Disney already has that for you.

Happily Ever After on Youtube
Blogs

Teacups In A Tempest

Three months ago, we wrote a blog entited “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?” discussing the pros and cons of planning to go to a theme park like Disney World during the pandemic we are current in the midst of. It wasn’t an easy topic then, nor is it exactly an easy topic now. But for me, I have decided it is time to give it go, so Saturday, Septempber 20th, I will be on my way to Orlando for a week at Disney World and I am cautiously excited. Obviously there are reasons to be excited, I mean, it’s Disney Freaking World, right? I have a new camera, and I am truly excited to expand my picture inventory, especially catching some pictures of things that I don’t have nearly enough of (like my extreme lack of pictures of the teacups!)

I expect crowds to be rather low, especially since school is back in, and frankly the parks are only open 8 (AK and EP) or 9 (MK and HS) hours a day. It is rare that I spend that few hours in the parks in a day, unless something interesting is going on (like a certain meetup in January reduced one of our days, another trip it was illness, but usually I go at least 12 hours a day).

Obviously the title alludes to the saying “a tempest in a teacup” which means a small event blown way out of proportion. But this is clearly not that. It is a true tempest, something my wife and I take seriously. We canceled multiple trips before this because we were uncomfortable with the situation on our planet, most importantly Tennessee and Florida (and also somewhat Georgia, since I will drive through it from top to bottom getting to Florida.) This week felt like the best time to go, so we made our plans, and were both planning to get in the family truckster and head south before colder weather arrives and situations possibly change.

Unfortunately, I use the word I instead of we because non-Covid  things have gotten in the way for one of us, in that Valerie’s brother had a cardiac event recently, and she doesn’t want to risk being away and out in the world so soon. He has progressed past the fragile state (or I would cancel my trip), but is still a long way from OK. So we are planning a trip together  in November for Christmas décor.

As such, I will be lone wolfing it for the week. This is sad for us, but will also be a little fun too (and perhaps for any of you that want to help determine my fate.) The last time I went to Disney World without Val (she was furiously writing her dissertation for her doctorate!) she prepared missions for me. This week will be the same.  The last time we did this (chronicled here: https://disneypicaday.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/my-husband-went-to-disney-world-alone-so-he-had-to-suffer-a-little/), the hardest missions for me were the meet and greets. It is a very dorky feeling as an lone adult standing in line waiting to meet Sofia! And the picture bears out that dorkiness as you can see:

Some of the ideas she has had so far include:

  • Standing in front of the fountain outside of Imagination and singing “One Little Spark”
  • Pictures of obscure things
  • Livestreaming walks around some areas
  • Asking our Twitter followers for ideas

Yeah, that last one is the most concerning of them all!

Of course, like last time I was there by myself, I won’t be going to the Halloween party. This time for much different reasons. My schedule for the week is as follows.

  • Sunday 20 – EPCOT
  • Monday 21 – Hollywood Studios
  • Tuesday 22 – Magic Kingdom
  • Wednesday 23 – Animal Kingdom
  • Thursday 24 – Hollywood Studios (Considering changing to Animal Kingdom, depending on how Monday and Wednesday go)
  • Friday 25 – Magic Kingdom
  • Saturday 26 – EPCOT

The whole thing has me a bit concerned about how it will go, but from my experiences at Dollywood over the past few months, plus knowing how strongly Disney has been enforcing their rules, I feel confident that if I keep mostly outdoors that things will be just fine. I also understand the people who say that it isn’t time for them to go, it is complicated. I know this won’t be a normal trip as I will be spending almost all of my time outdoors except when going on a ride. This can be an interesting proposition in mid September Orlando as if I recall correctly, it can be a bit warm, but keeping safe is still very important. According to weather.com: