Category Archives: General

The new WDWPRINCE blog is up and running

If you are still being routed here, clear your browsers cache.  Or click here.

The new blog is the same address.

Let me know what you think!

This version of the blog will no longer be updated.


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Celebrate. WDWPRINCE Turns One.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of wdwprince, I am completely refreshing the site. You can never start too soon! I’m working hard behind the scenes to bring you a new layout and new features.

Stay tuned for exciting changes!


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iTinerary-Free Planning with Disney & iPhone

There are many books and apps out there that will help you plan your next Disney vacation…for a price. Do it for FREE through the Disney website. Then upload your itinerary to the iBooks app. Easy, efficient, cost-effective and easy to access.

Planning for your visit to the Disney Parks is essential if you want to maximize your experience. Did you know that Disney offers an excellent way to plan an itinerary?

Here is how-

1) You must create an account on the Disney website. It’s free and takes minutes.

2)Once you create your account, sign in and click on My Disney Vacation.

3)On the dropdown menu choose Itinerary. Here you can build an itinerary for each day of your vacation. You can add anything from which parks you’ll visit, favorite attractions at each park, resorts, activities, even dining and reservations and more! The list is comprehensive. Just check off the info and it’s added into your itinerary. You can even type in your reservation number for ADRs. No more hassle to find it. There is also a blank box for notes to add reminders or anything else you’d like to put there.

If that wasn’t great enough, I took the itinerary one step further toward convenience. I emailed each itinerary as a pdf to my email account and saved it to the iBooks app.

Here’s how-

1)Choose print on the upper right hand corner of the itinerary.

2)Click on PDF. Choose Mail PDF from the dropdown menu.

3)Mail the itinerary to your email account.

4)Open the email on your iPhone and click on the pdf.

5)Next, Click open in iBooks.

You now have an itinerary for each day easily visible and locatable on the shelf of your iBook app. One click on my iPhone is now all I need to locate every detail of my daily itinerary!

Try it. The itinerary is free through the Disney website. The iBook app is free in iTunes. This the most effective and convenient tool I’ve found. And the price is definately right.

PS WDWPRINCE coined the term iTinerary. There isn’t an actual app with this name.

This post is part of the <a
href=”“>Disney Blog
Carnival</a>.  Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and

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Back to The World

It’s official. Wdwprince is going back to WDW.

The dates are Sept 20-24. Originally I was planning on going the last week in Sept like I’ve done for the last 2 years. I was intent on staying at my resort of choice for this trip, the Swan/Dolphin. When I went to book today, both resorts were sold out.

I’ve decided to go with the flow. I booked the trip a week earlier. The money I saved by shortening the trip, I put toward an annual pass. So even though I won’t be able to do both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Food and Wine Festival in one trip, like last year, I will be able to make as many short trips as I like with my annual pass.

So maybe I’ll go to Food and Wine and Mickey’s Christmas Party in November! I love creative thinking.

I’m already planning and will be asking for some suggestions as the date nears.

Update 7/28

I’ve come up with an itinerary for my trip. As of now it goes like this-

Monday Sept 20

  • Pick up Annual Pass and MNSSHP tix at Magic Kingdom
  • MK from noon-3pm Lunch at Columbia Harbor House.
  • Rent a boat from Sammy Duvall and cruise Seven Seas Lagoon until 4:30
  • Back to Dolphin Resort. Swim in pool. Late lunch at The Fountain or Cabana Bar.
  • Epcot 7-9pm. Dinner at Tokyo Dining or Flying Fish. OR go to Hollywood Studios 7-10pm for Extra Magic Hours.

Tuesday Sept 21

  • Breakfast at Fresh Mediterranean
  • Animal Kingdom 9am-3pm then Dolphin pool OR Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon, stay until 3pm.
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show 5:15pm at Poly
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Late dinner Pecos Bill.

Wednesday Sept 22

  • Kouzzina for breakfast.
  • Dolphins in Depth in Epcot stay until 2pm. Lunch at San Angel Inn.
  • Dolphin Resort pool until 4:00
  • MK 430-8pm. Dinner at Liberty Inn.
  • Downtown Disney-Characters in Flight, shopping 9-11pm

Thursday Sept 23

  • Breakfast at Fresh Mediterranean
  • Open choice of park morning-afternoon
  • Parasail at Contemporary 3:30pm
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Dinner at Tony’s Town Square.

This is my itinerary as of now. I may add a tour or event. Since my trip is so short, I’m not sure I want to commit 3 hours or more to a tour even though I really want to try one. You may have noticed that my itinerary is MK heavy. That is not by chance. I’ve decided I need to be there at least once every day of my trip, lol. And yes I’m going twice to MNSSHP and I can’t wait. Although I’ve done Spirit of Aloha, that is also worth a repeat visit even though I could be trying something different. I like it that much.  So that is how things stand for now. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

See ya real soon!

PS Rumor Alert. As I sit here in Starbucks in the theater district of Times Square typing this post, I over heard a guy near me talking to another. One of the guys is the lead actor in the puppet musical Avenue Q. (No, they’re not muppets). The other was telling him that his next show would be with Disney. And it’s Freaky Friday. Has anyone else heard of Freaky Friday coming to Broadway? You heard it here first.

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The “Story” in Splash Mountain-From Bumbling Bears to Thorny Bowels

Splash Mountain is one of my favorite attractions in Walt Disney World. Although the story centers around Brer Rabbit, what I always remember most from the attraction is Brer Bear. Why is he hanging from some sort of sling contraption? Why is his butt sticking out from a thorny bush full of bees? What the heck is going on with this bear?

Is there a story here and if so, what exactly is it?

There is indeed a storyline to the Splash Mountain attraction.

There are many clues to be found if you look, both before the queue and inside the queue. Within the attraction itself, the story reveals itself if you view it with a little bit of history.

Splash Mountain is based on the animated sequences of Walt Disney’s 1946 animated-live action film Song of the South. According to “The Disney Mountains” by Jason Surrell, “The film had three of the key ingredients that Imagineers looked for in a potential theme park attraction: beloved and colorful characters in Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear; lush, richly detailed settings, from Brer Fox’s lair high atop Chick-a-Pin Hill to the thorny bowels of the briar patch; and memorable music that included the Academy Award-winning “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

It dismays me somewhat to know that as riders of this attraction, we are headed into “thorny bowels” but let’s move ahead and look for some clues as to who these characters are.

The story begins as far out as the sign that directs guests to the attraction, much before you even get to the queue of the attraction itself. Clue number one-if you look atop the sign post flanked by two copper hurricane lanterns; Brer Rabbit is perched and on the lookout. His expression is fearful and wide eyed with a grimacing mouth. His posture is frozen as if taken from a film chase sequence. Somewhere out there, someone is engaged in the hunt. Without question, the game is on.

Closer to the entrance of the attraction, the following sign provides more information and a second clue. Brer Rabbit’s bag is literally packed and he’s set to explore. A bear print ominously marks the spot below him. He is a traveler who may be heading for some trouble.

As you come to the entrance of the attraction, the three main characters appear together for the first time. Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit are united in a vignette which hints at the whimsy as well as varying degrees of intellect of our central characters, which will become apparent once inside of the attraction. There’s that big goofball of a bear. Did he escape from The Country Bear Jamboree? Seinfeld voice, Just what is going on… with that bear?!

Let’s enter the gate and check out the queue for more clues. C’mon!

Passing through the turnstiles, we enter a courtyard and are immersed in the feeling of the Deep South. Lanterns hanging from trees and perched on posts, birdhouses strewn playfully amongst the trees, rustic wooden fence railings. This area is enchanting at dusk. In my opinion, it would be great to put an outdoor restaurant here serving southern food, fried oyster po’boys, jambalaya, cheese grits…

A sign with the names Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear points guests through to the barn.

The barn contains plenty of detail which further sets the scene of being in the Deep South. Although there are no characters, there are plenty of tools for farming; rugs and ropes draped over railings and hung on nails. Exiting the barn and following through a winding path, we come to the dark entrance of a descending cave. Take time to look at the pictures hung on the walls as well as the vignettes of Brer Frog’s interior home. The basics of the story of the Song of the South are hung here along with portraits of the main characters. Below are some of the pictures but there are many more to explore.

Splash Mountain is based on the three animated stories and songs of the film Song of the South. My synopsis of the animated part of Song of the South is as follows-

  • Brer Rabbit runs away from his home in the briar patch.
  • On his travels, he falls prey to Brer Fox by stepping into his trap.
  • Brer Fox is intent upon making a meal of Brer Rabbit.
  • Brer Rabbit escapes the clutches of Brer Fox and his sidekick Brer Bear.
  • He outwits Brer Fox by repeatedly tricking Brer Fox’s bigger, stronger but less intelligent friend Brer Bear into releasing him through the use of reverse psychology. Brains over brawn, good over evil.

The story in the attraction is told as a composite of the stories of the film. The structure corresponds to the three songs “How Do You Do”, next “The Laughing Place” and lastly “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da”. Let’s see how this plays out in the attraction.

Since the narrator, Uncle Remus, of the film is not represented in the attraction, his sidekick the character of Brer Frog is cast as his narrator/stand in.

X Atencio character study of Brer Frog for Splash Mountain Copyright (C) Disney

Brer Frog is the first animatronic character, of which there are 68, that we encounter as we ascend the first hill of the attraction. Rocking in his chair on the porch and smoking a pipe, he sing-songs his tales as we pass by in our comfy log. Next, we are outside looking into the “thorny bowels” (thanks Jason Surrell) of the briar patch. Here is foreshadowing of how things end up in the film and how they will end for you the rider. See that briar patch? See the thorny bowe…well you know the rest.

“How Do You Do” As we witness the sights and hear the sounds (and screams) of people racing down the slope of the mountain in their logs, we round the bend and head up the second of five hills. Along the banks of a serene river, high above Frontierland, we wander along to the intro of “How Do You Do” while enjoying a glimpse into the everyday life of Brer Rabbit and Brer Frog. The horn from Big Thunder Mountain blowing in the distance only adds to the dimension of setting of the south. Then we go down the first drop, Slippin’ Falls, and into the cave.

OK so how does Brer Bear end up tied up in a ball hanging from a rope while Brer Fox stands below him with an ax?

Take a look a these rarely seen clips from Song of the South. Here is the full story of Brer Rabbit running away and the “hanging bear” during the “How Do You Do” sequence in the attraction.

“The Laughing Place” What is the laughing place? Where is it? How does Brer Bear end up face first in a bee hive? The story is below.

“Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” The final part of the attraction is the homecoming of Brer Rabbit after the largest drop of the attraction. Here Brer Rabbit celebrates coming home to his friends. The happiest Disney song, Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah, closes out the attraction as it also closes the film.

On my next visit to Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, I will have a better appreciation for this attraction. And when I see a scene like this,

I won’t be thinking, “What the heck is going on with that bear!!?”

Splash Mountain in Walt Disney World opened on July 17th, 1992. It will be celebrating it’s 20 anniversary in 2012, just in time for the grand opening of the expanded Fantasyland!

For information presented in a fun way about the grand opening of the original Splash Mountain attraction which opened in Disneyland in 1989, check out this mock documentary produced by Disney. “Earnest Goes To Splash Mountain” chronicles the adventures of  the first “Splashtranaut” to conquer the mountain. Brilliant marketing of the then new attraction. (Look for the original “get to know your neighbor very well” single file seating design of the log flume in part 3).

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival 6. Head over there to see more great posts like this.


Filed under ATTRACTION REVIEWS, General

Bonita Verdad in Mexico Pavilion

As Disney World is in a constant state of evolution, as it should be, some cherished details may disappear with each refurbishment.

World Showcase in Epcot is currently adding a new pizzaria in the Italy Pavilion and Mexico’s Cantina de San Angel is transforming into Hacienda de San Angel. With the refurbishment of this dining location, one of my favorite details is currently missing. I’m referring to the little boat known as Bonita Verdad.Will it return? It remains to be seen. Most likely if it returns, it will become part of the interior of the restaurant as the “shore” is currently non existant.

Nestled on the stony shore of the Cantina de San Angel, the Bonita Verdad was one of the details that added depth and story to the Mexico Pavilion. A miniature version of the boats of Xochimilco that float the canals and carry the party atmosphere of people eating, drinking and listening to live music. Xochimilco is a district located within Mexico City. It is known for it’s series of canals down which these festive boats float.

Although the Bonita Verdad was mostly a haven to pigeons trying to shade themselves from the harsh sun of World Showcase, the charm of this little boat and the stories that it sparked in my imagination will not be lost,  even if it doesn’t return.

I want it to return. Do you?

Here is a tribute to the Bonita Verdad, taken just months before the refurb began.

For a glimpse into the the festive atmosphere of Xochimilco-

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Filed under General, LOST DETAILS OF WDW

Daily Prince Report

Disney Customer Service-Makes for Better Employees

“As I have said before I when I went to Disney I was pretty green. The classic Cast Member background, Small town upbringing, family focused, small circle of school friends and I didn’t know what I didn’t yet know. By the time I joined the Guest Relations team at Disneyland Paris (as it then was) I worked to the top of a few serious learning curves. I had encountered and become friends (even shared an apartment) with openly Gay people, I’d worked out you could date girls you hadn’t grown up and gone to school with, and that not everyone was the same –- different nationalities, different religions, different ways of life but at heart we all had something in common”. More…

Disneydork Tees-Awesome.

First Time in WDW/Anniversary Trip Report…

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