Thursday, July 12, 2012

Characters Welcome: Donald Duck

I just finished reading a collection of old Donald Duck comics and it served as a reminder of why he is one of my favorite characters.

Of the Fab Five, he is easily my favorite.  Minnie is a girl, Pluto is a pet, Goofy is okay and, let's be honest, Mickey has zero personality these days.

I like what they did with Goofy in the 90's with Goof Troop and A Goofy Movie but I've always been drawn back to the duck.

Like I said, between Mickey and Donald, Donald actually has a personality.  Mickey has become a caricature of what he once was, and maybe Donald has to in some ways, but he still retains what made him Donald - namely his temper and his rivalry with Mickey.

I think my love of Donald also stems from my love for the Disney Ducks in general as well.  Ducktales and Darkwing Duck were huge parts of my childhood, more so than any other of the aforementioned characters (I liked Goof Troop, but I like Ducktales and Darkwing a lot more).

As I've become more interested in both comic book history and Disney history, Donald has continued to grow my affections thanks to Carl Barks who wrote many of the famous duck comic stories.  In fact, he is the creator of Scrooge McDuck.

Who is your favorite Fab Five character?

Donald in the parks, through the years

Monday, July 9, 2012

Disney Parks with a baby

On our honeymoon, my wife and I scoffed at the parents who brought kids that seemed to be too young to comprehend where they where, much less get enjoyment out of it.  By our second trip, we were scheming ways we could make that situation work for us.

Well, this past trip was our first attempt at seeing how this would play out.  It was good is some ways, hard in others.

My first piece of advice is to take it slow.  It was not possible for us to keep the same pace we used to (much to my frustration at some points).

Also, take full advantage of the Baby Care Centers.  There's one in each park and, while I don't know where they are in the other parks, in Epcot, it's located conveniently in the middle of the park, right between Future World and World Showcase on the Mexico side.  My wife will have a more detailed review of the Baby Care Center soon, but I will leave you with this: it was probably the best tool we had in our arsenal that day.

One of the things we did was buy her an autograph book that had a place for pictures.  We would get a character to sign one page and then we will print off a photo of us with said character and put it on the page next to the signature. It will be a fun memento to put in her baby box.  Of course, she was more interested in the pen than seeing the characters, but she did really well.  The only time she freaked out was when she thought my wife was about to hand her over to Daisy (really, my wife was just leaning in for the picture).

On the rides: We were lucky enough to have my parents down there with us and my mom isn't a big fan of the rides anymore, she just loves being at Disney with her family.  She watched our daughter while we rode the rides.  If you're not as lucky as we were, you can always use the baby swap system.  You both stand in line, when you get to the front, one of you rides while the other stays with the kid, when your spouse returns, you swap.

The other part we thought would be an issue was the fireworks.  At the end of a long day, the baby was tired and fussy and we had already decided that we would leave the fireworks early if she couldn't handle it.  Turns out, she loved them.  Her giggling and laughing brought the attention to everyone around us.

One thing I wouldn't suggest is park hopping.  Stick to one park for the whole day.  If you leave, go back to your room, not another park.  That was probably the hardest part of the day for us.

Over all, the day was a lot of fun - but we definitely learned how to do things a little differently next time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Movie Review: The Bear and the Bow...I mean, Brave

Let's talk about Pixar's first attempt at a princess movie - the genre that put their parent company on the map and has more than once pulled Disney out of animated slumps.

I haven't met a Pixar movie that I didn't like, and Brave is no exception.  That said, it didn't blow me away like I was expecting.  Maybe I've placed Pixar on too high a pedestal - I don't know.  It was by no means a bad movie, I would recommend it to anyone.

It was visually beautiful, the story was good, the music was phenomenal (I bought the soundtrack).

But there was something about the movie that left me a little wanting and I can't quite put my finger on it.  My wife suggests that perhaps it's because the movie is a story mother-daughter coming together story and that doesn't resonate with me.  True enough.

The story is not geared solely towards girls though, there is plenty there to appeal to boys as well.

At the end of the day a bad Pixar movie is still a good movie and, while it may not be Pixar's best, it's far from being bad.

What did you think of the movie? Have you experienced either of the Brave related attractions in the parks (the story and meet and greet at the MK or the Highland Games Tournament at Epcot)?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On Epcot

I said before that the reason I wanted to visit Epcot this summer is to gain a better appreciation for the park.

At the end of a very long day, with a very fussy baby I came away having a slightly better appreciation for the Epcot, but still not feeling like I was able to give it a completely fair shot.

A combination of a lot of factors led us to not be able to experience the park as wholly as I would have liked.

We got to spend a good amount of time in Future World, but even so, we didn't get to do everything that I wanted to do.  And by the time we got to the World Showcase, we didn't have much time to explore.

All of that said, as a day in a Disney park, it was a lot of fun.  Mission: Space is still one of my favorite rides and watching my daughter enjoy Illuminations that night was great.

I'll be expounding on my thoughts throughout the summer, I just wanted to get down my first impressions and general thoughts on the day.