Monthly Archives: October 2011
The undead are more popular (and relevant?) than ever. It’s easy to take them for granted now, but not so long ago zombies and vampires were the stuff of fringe groups. Cult movies and black and white comic books. I never imagined there would come a day when either vampires or zombies would come to be embraced by the mainstream. Much less both classifications of the undead!
With Halloween looming (and lots of zombie talk around Le Blog these days) I figured the time was right to pit these monsters against each other and see who comes up on top.
In Part One of this series, I discussed my belief that Disney World was at one time a great deal for your vacation dollar. And I raised the question of whether or not that is still the case. A Disney World vacation includes many different elements. The first one I will examine is the price of admission.
In 2003, I planned my first trip to Walt Disney World. My fiance was a Mickey Mouse fan who had never been to Disney World before. I had been as a kid, but only for day-trips during a beach vacation. Our honeymoon was the first time I had to worry about footing the bill.
At the time, I thought it was a pretty good deal. Granted, I was only paying for 2 adults instead of a family of four. We were going during the off-season (back when Disney World had a true off-season) and the tourism industry was still in its post-9/11 doldrums. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for a week in late September. All told including food, air fare, souvenirs and park tickets, I think the trip cost around 3K.
Today, I’m a lot more savvy when it comes to finding Disney deals. I made a lot of rookie mistakes in 2003. But Disney’s gotten a lot more aggressive when it comes to their bottom line. More and more, I find myself asking is Disney World still a deal?
Regular readers of my What the Hell Happened articles know that sometimes the comments section takes on a life of its own. For reasons unknown, we have discussed Michael Keaton fighting just about every actor who worked in the 1980’s. The most recent entry focused on Michelle Pfeiffer. Blogger, Paul S brought up the idea of comparing Pfeiffer’s career to previous WtHH subject, Meg Ryan. This resulted in an excellent article on Paul S’s blog devoted to the two actresses comparing their careers.
I started typing up a response to the article. It may not surprise anyone to know I rambled on and on. My final comment was practically an article unto itself. But then tragedy struck. Blogger.com (which doesn’t seem to like me very much) ate my comments! I left an abbreviated version of my original comments and vowed to come back later for a more detailed analysis.
You’re clever folks. You have probably already figured out that those comments morphed into this article.
Some co-workers and I were discussing the newly announced title for Die Hard 5, A Good Day to Die Hard. Once the fits of laughter died down, one of my co-workers commented that his favorite Die Hard movie was Die Hard With a Vengeance. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I had to fight the urge to beat some sense into this co-worker John McClane-style.
About a month ago, I spent a weekend reading all of the Walking Dead comic books. I found them gripping reading and I could not get enough. Since then, I’ve been in a zombie state of mind. I’ve been seeking out above-average zombie entertainment wherever I could find it until the next issue of the comic book or the start of the new season of the TV show came around to fill my Walking Dead fix.
Long story short, my expectations may have crept up a little too high…
Yesterday, I posted my immediate response to a change in the reservation policy at Walt Disney World. Essentially, Disney will now require a credit card hold for any reservation at their signature dining restaurants or any restaurant that hosts character dining. If reservations are cancelled for any reason without at least 24-hours notice, the credit card will be charged a cancellation fee of $10 per diner.
When I posted yesterday, I tried to represent both sides of the issue as best I could. I reasoned that the new policy might have the benefit of making difficult reservations easier to get. But after thinking about this for the last 24 hours (probably more than is healthy) and having debated the issue with several other Disney World fans. I have come to the conclusion that this new policy is nothing more than a cash grab by the Mouse.
I was planning to write a puff piece about the joys of Disney World dining. That article is still in the pipeline. But before I could get to it, Disney announced a change to their dining policy that prompted me to speak up. Beginning October 26 2011, guests will be required to provide a credit card in order to make a reservation for “signature dining” restaurants across the Walt Disney World property. If the reservation is not cancelled at least 24 hours in advance, the credit card on the reservation will be charged $10 per person.
Comic book fans know Batman: Year One as Frank Miller’s definitive version of the Batman origin story. In 1986, Miller redefined Batman as a grim, gritty character with The Dark Knight Returns. Dark Knight examined Batman at the end of his career coming out of retirement for one final ass-kicking adventure. The next year, Miller showed Batman at the start of his career with Year One. Of the two, Dark Knight is probably the better-known title. But I would argue that Year One is the more influential.
The big news out of Walt Disney World these days is the deal to bring an Avatar-themed land to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I haven’t bothered writing up this development for a few reasons. One, not much is known beyond the fact that there will be an Avatar-themed land in the Animal Kingdom. And two, it is so far off in the future that it is irrelevant for the time being.
I bought Josie’s first Kings Island season pass in 2009. She was 4 years old at the time and her younger sister had just been born. The idea was that during the summer, I could take Josie to the park while her mom stayed home with the baby. Since then, Kings Island has been one of our special places. Occasionally, others would come with us. But more often than not, we had daddy/daughter days at Kings Island to ourselves.
Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood. She starred opposite Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson. The image of Pfeiffer cracking a whip as Catwoman is iconic. And then, she disappeared for seveal years. Recently, Pfeiffer has resurfaced. But her days on the A-list appear to be behind her.
So, what the hell happened?