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Category Archives: theme parks

The Florida Project: A Review and Discussion of its Disney Elements

Every year there are films that get past me on their trip through big screen release even though I’m aware they exist and identify them as something I’d like to see. This year Sean Baker’s The Florida Project was one such movie. Thankfully, this entrancing and heartbreaking slice of life focused on a six-year-old girl’s adventures in and around the low budget motel where she and her mother are living did grab an Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe and thus ended up a high priority once it became available for rental yesterday. Unlike some of the other films I’ve been main-lining over the past several weeks, The Florida Project is already taking up space in my brain for several reasons.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film yet, I’m going to begin this article with a spoiler-free review of The Florida Project and some information about it that shouldn’t interfere with your appreciation of it once you do sit down to take it in. Not that the movie contains any really unexpected twists, but I am sympathetic to some moviegoers who want to go into a viewing experience with only the information needed to understand its context and whether or not they want to see it. I’ll be providing that right up front, and then I’ll be going into a bit more detail after what I hope will be a prominent enough clue, and this will include an examination of the movie’s relationship with Walt Disney World and some elements of the film that might be considered spoilers to some.
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Park Hopping with Daffy Stardust Part 7

Here it is. The last video about my recent one-day trip to Walt Disney World. Today we take a quick jaunt over to Hollywood Studios and then have an extended talk about a couple of issues I encountered. One is a specific mistake I made myself that will inform how I pack my park bag in the future, while the other is just general retail etiquette. Join the wrap up and feel free to throw stuff at me in the comments section.

Park Hopping with Daffy Stardust part 6

Well if you were hanging on the edge of your seat to find out if I was going to decide to hit Animal Kingdom next, the title card for today’s video serves as a bit of a spoiler, doesn’t it? Join me as I take a half-assed swipe at visiting Walt Disney World’s fourth theme park, enjoying a couple of dark rides and taking in a little liquid sustenance at the Nomad Lounge. Cracks begin to show in my armor this time around, as I name the thing that has been bugging me for most of the day. Will I deal with the problem or just push on through? What would you do?

Park Hopping with Daffy Stardust part 5

Join me today as I roll out of my big lunch and hit a couple of the highlights of Walt Disney World’s big second gate, Epcot. The first is an iconic opening day attraction that is still one of the beloved vestiges of the ambitions of that version of the park, even though it’s been “updated” a few times over the years. The next is a much more recent, but also very popular attraction that got its first update back in 2016. If you were going to try to cover the core experiences of all four Walt Disney World parks in a single day, you just might choose these rides as a part of your day. I did.

Park Hopping with Daffy Part 4

You might have noticed that I recently added one more table service restaurant to my rankings of Walt Disney World’s offered sit-down eateries, and now you get to share some of that meal with me here. Of course I didn’t actually save any of it for you, but you get to see me enjoy it myself, and that’s almost as good, right? No? Well, hopefully it’s fun anyway. You also get a little footage of Club Cool and Journey into Imagination if that’s more your speed.

Park Hopping with Daffy Stardust Part 3

Today’s video is mainly about two different things. Firstly, it’s a quick visit to the Magic Kingdom’s version of Tomorrowland and its best attractions (see if you agree with my assessment on that). Secondly, it’s an exercise in the actual park hopping that this particular series is named after. I use two pieces of Walt Disney World transportation to get from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot and neither one is a bus! That makes this installment transitional in nature, but that’s okay because there’s still more where this comes from. You might also glean from the video’s title that I’m referencing the thematic crossover between Tomorrowland and Epcot’s Future World. For a good long while the distinction was that Tomorrowland was more Sci-Fi in nature while Future World was more about real life futurism and edutainment. But that distinction looks to be further muddled in the coming years, and it will be interesting to see exactly how Walt Disney World’s imagineers manage to differentiate them.

Park Hopping with Daffy Stardust Part 2

My single day at Walt Disney World broken into multiple videos continues as I take advantage of sparse early crowds to knock out a few of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Join me as I enjoy mild thrills on Big Thunder Mountain and mild chills in the Haunted Mansion. There is talk about one of the Mansion’s primary old school special effects, and then we take a quick tour of Adventureland. So glad to be sharing my Disney fun with you readers again!

Park Hopping with Daffy

 

When I decided to take one full day at Walt Disney World over the winter holiday, I thought I might get enough footage to fill one or two videos for the folks here at LeBlog. Apparently I haven’t been paying much attention to my own videos over the last fifteen months. So here we are with the first part of several as we prepare to ring in the new year. My brother’s family lives in the Tampa area, so I took the opportunity to drive over to Walt Disney World early the morning of the 23rd. I paid for one night at a value resort there for a couple of reasons. First, it would allow me to stay as late as I liked in the parks without having to worry about the hour-plus drive back. Secondly, it would allow me to take advantage of some of the valuable benefits they offer to guests – most notably access to their transportation and an early morning extra magic hour at the Magic Kingdom. Join me as I start the day there and enjoy a few attractions!

Digital Nonsense: LeBlog’s New Podcast!

Join Lebeau and Daffy Stardust as they reboot LeBlog’s podcast in a new format! Each month the pair plans to look back at and look forward to some of the pop culture of the previous and coming months. This will typically include discussions of superheroes in a variety of media, Disney topics, the Oscars, and a “potpourri” section which allows them to talk about whatever the heck they want to! This time that means Star Wars in advance of this month’s release of The Last Jedi.

If you don’t want to sit through an hour plus of these numbskulls with faces for radio, you can use our handy-dandy time reference below and skip forward to the topics that most interest you! Hope you enjoy it!

Superheroes- 4:50

Disney- 19:46

Potpourri (Star Wars)- 33:35

Oscars- 59:10

Kings Island Winterfest 2017

After a twelve year hiatus, Kings Island has brought back the popular Winterfest event.  The holiday-themed celebration ran primarily through the 1980’s featuring live shows, ice skating and lots of seasonal treats.  I had never personally attended any of the previous incarnations of Winterfest, so when the park announced its return I was interested in checking it out.  As it so happens, we had an unseasonably warm holiday weekend, so it seemed like the perfect time to visit Kings Island.

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Under-rated Orlando: E.T. Adventure

Among the many great rides and attractions in Orlando, E.T. Adventure is not well-regarded.  Rumor has it that the only thing preventing E.T. from being replaced is the direct intervention of Steven Spielberg himself.  The movie the ride is based on was very personal to him and he has been involved in the development and evolution of the E.T. Adventure.  Putting that aside, Spielberg is right to protect this attraction because contrary to popular opinion it’s actually an important part of Universal’s line-up.

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Say Goodbye to Hollywood – Daffy Does Disney

With my flight back to North Carolina looming, we spend the morning of our Labor Day weekend trip at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With so much of the place either behind construction walls or simply closed down waiting for attention it’s easy to forget the park’s still substantial charms. If you’re a fan of classic Hollywood aesthetics, DHS offers plenty for your eyes to appreciate. Hopefully once they’re done with
Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and whatever else they’re going to do but haven’t officially announced yet I’m hoping they never fully abandon the “Hollywood that never was but always will be” concept for the park’s entry and main spokes. Follow us in for some last-minute vacationing before we say goodbye.

Hopping to Magic! – Daffy Does Disney

With our morning and afternoon in Animal Kingdom in the books, we head back to the Poly so we can “hop” via monorail back to the Magic Kingdom. For the uninitiated, “hopping” is theme park parlance that means roughly: “moving from one park or resort to another park or resort during a single vacation day.” Well, that’s in the neighborhood of accurate, anyway. On a base ticket a guest to Walt Disney World has to decide which of the theme parks they want to visit that day. And then that’s it. You can re-enter the same park you went into first, but if you want to visit a different park in the same day, then you’ll need to have either a special park-hopper ticket (which costs a little more) or be an annual pass holder (exactly how expensive that is kind of depends on how many days you spend in a Disney World park over the course of the year.)

For a first-time visitor staying for a decent number of days, park hopping may not be all that necessary. I never used to do it at all. I’d just decide on which park I wanted to visit each day and be done with it. Of course that was before Hollywood Studios started closing attractions like wildfire and before I bought my annual pass this year. We’ll see how I feel about it when I let my pass expire. I might really miss being able to park hop after having the ability to do so for just one year.

On this trip, park hopping became really necessary for a couple of reasons: the new fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom “Happily Ever After” and the dinner reservation at ‘Ohana that had popped open when I was searching out dining arrangements. If you have ever sat down to get dining reservations for your Disney vacation then you know this is the sort of spot where you grab the table and ask questions later. Only a few places like Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and California Grill are perhaps more difficult to get good tables at than ‘Ohana. What this meant was that since our Magic Kingdom day was on the same day as that dinner, if we wanted to see “Happily Ever After” we’d need to go over for it on a different day. And that meant park hopping.

Join us, won’t you?

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