Monday, March 31, 2014

Press Release: Carowinds In Bloom

Carowinds has some pretty cool stuff planned for this spring and summer. The Carowinds In Bloom is a new week-long festival set to debut on April 11. It looks like it's a not to be missed event!

Charlotte, NC- Carowinds debuts a new festival this year featuring food, thousands of flowers, bluegrass, and special activities for kids. “Carowinds In Bloom” takes place in the Carolina Showplace area of the park from April 11-20. Admission to the festival is included with park admission.

“It’s been a cold winter we‘re ready to celebrate Spring and what better way to do that than with the music, flowers, food, wine and craft beer of the Carolinas. All that plus our coasters and other attractions our guests will have so much to enjoy, “said Bart Kinzel, Carowinds general manager, adding “we look forward to making “In Bloom” an annual event.”

Carowinds In Bloom Special Events 

  • Topiary Tasting Garden - A Taste of the Carolinas- Sample some of the areas finest craft brews, in the topiary tasting garden. Sunshine, open air, and a beverage handcrafted in the Carolinas, there’s no better way to enjoy Spring. 
  • Johnson and Wales Cooking Demonstrations- Culinary masters from Charlotte's own Johnson and Wales University impress and educate during daily cooking demonstrations. 
  • West End String Band- What's a Spring festival without some good, toe-tapping' bluegrass? The West End String Band is sure to capture your heart, put a smile on your face, and get you moving with just a little bit more of a spring in your step! 
  • Kids Flower Planting Zone- Sponsored by Home Depot, The Kids Flower Planting Zone captures the essence of Spring getting your hands into the dirt to help make the world a little prettier. The Planting Zone will also feature a Kids Scavenger Hunt with great prizes from The Home Depot. Come on kids let’s get to work and have some Spring fun! 
  • A Never-ending Shower of Spring Celebrations- With a steady stream of springtime celebrities - like the Easter Bunny and Snoopy, the Easter Beagle - along with jugglers, acrobats, magicians and more, the fun will never stop. Kids can also create Spring magic at the Easter Coloring Wall and the Easter Basket Creation Station. 

There's a little something for everyone this year at Carowinds In Bloom!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Press Release: Disney Legends And Luminaries Celebrate Theme Park Favorites Of Yesteryear At D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind

Now that we have more details about the event in November, I'm pretty excited! This looks like the type of event that Walt Disney World fans have been clamoring for and won't be disappointed. I'm very excited about the Archives presentation and getting to see and hear Bill Cotter discuss the New York World's Fair!

Are you planning on attending?



BURBANK, Calif. – March 26, 2014 – Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Pluswill take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it’s a small world andCarousel of Progress.

Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World’s Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley—and more to be announced.

During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.

The weekend will end with an exciting evening event—Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.

Plus, for the first time, Mickey’s of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels. 

Highlights of D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus will include*:
  • Disney Goes to the World’s Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
  • Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World’s Fair that never came to be
  • Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
  • That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets, availableWednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964–65 World’s Fair in New York City. A limited number of “Top of the World” tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more.

More details about the program and tickets for D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus, as well as a special offer just for members of D23, can be found at Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In My Backyard: Mr. Barbecue Review

I know, there's no obvious Disney connection and there won't be. Just wanted to highlight some things that are closer to home, so to speak, and I'll be using the In My Backyard tag. So, if you do find yourself near the Piedmont, Triad area of North Carolina, give me a shout out and maybe we can have a Disney meetup.

After almost 30 years, we decided to try Mr. Barbecue in Winston-Salem. This local eatery has been in business since 1962. The restaurant is actually called Mr. Barbecue and Miss Fried Chicken and there are always cars parked out front. Honestly, I've never stopped by simply because we're always heading somewhere else. With the fifteen year-old's growing obsession with pulled pork barbecue, I wanted to try it out.

There's ample parking that should more than cover the inside seating. I imagine that if the parking lot is full, your best option is takeout. You know it's going to be good if you can smell the barbecue smoke from the parking lot.

You order at the counter which is soon as you enter the door. During peak times, especially during our Saturday lunch, there was a small crowd of people waiting by the doors to order. The menu is pretty simple; you can use the order board of a paper menu. Once you place your order, it's called into the back and you pay. The cashier advised my family to sit at a booth while I waited for the food which came relatively quick. My wife and youngest son ordered a hot dog (with chili and cheese) and a cheeseburger, respectively. It did take longer for their food to be prepared.

There are two seating areas (not including the outdoor dining) and it felt like Mr. Barbeque could hold about 60 people. There are booths and tables with a mixture of two- and four-people seating. It seemed like the restaurant had been updated within the past ten years.

I ordered the chopped plate (usually, I will get the tray since it's less food and more manageable) which comes with BBQ slaw, fries and hushpuppies. I substituted green beans for fries. When my ordered was ready, I noticed that I was missing the barbecue slaw and I had fries. The hostess was very apologetic and ordered slaw for me immediately. It was ready very quickly and she didn't charge me for the accident.

It's a bit browner than I'm used to for Lexington Style (I'm also very partial to Eastern Style) so I was a little apprehensive at first. Sadly, my wife dug into mine before I had a chance and she proclaimed that it was spectacular. It was a bit sweeter than expected, but it was very moist and the pork separated very easily. I'm assuming they use molasses or a brown sugar, but I'm not sure. I was extremely impressed with the sauce since it wasn't as spicy as normal Lexington Style. It was a great alternative to standard barbecue that you see in the Piedmont and the taste was more than enough to bring me back for more.

The hushpuppies were a pleasant surprise. They were well-breaded and had a touch of sweetness. The barbecue slaw was another great addition. Growing up in Ohio, I never had pulled pork or barbecue slaw until I moved down here as a teen. I'd had regular cole slaw and I've loved the barbecue slaw the moment I first tasted it.

I included a shot of the chili and cheese hot dog that my wife ordered. She gave the chili two thumbs up. It had a little bit of spice to it and had a great overall taste. Not quite Skyline chili, but a close second for North Carolina.

Mr. Barbecue
1381 Peters Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Monday, March 24, 2014

Press Release: Destination D: Attraction Rewind DATE CHANGE

Destination D: Attraction Rewind

I posted a press release from February about an amazing event happening at Walt Disney World this summer. Shortly after the release, D23 announced a date change.

I attended the last Destination D that celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World and it was not to be missed. I have a feeling this one will be just as spectacular.

Are you planning on going?

Today D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced the date of Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O plus at Walt Disney World Resort will shift to November 22 and 23. Check-in and exclusive shopping opportunities will begin on Friday, November 21.

In addition to this news, D23 is thrilled to announce Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr and other popular Disney Legends who worked on the Walt Disney shows for the New York World’s Fair will be taking part in the event this fall.

Additional ticketing information—including discounted hotel and park ticket rates for guests attending the event—will be posted later this spring on

About Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O plus:
Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions and entertainment of yesteryear. Destination D: Attraction RewindNovember 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort, will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and revealing stories. In addition, several presentations will be dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which spawned beloved attractions like it’s a small world and Carousel of Progress.

All D23 events, dates, and talent are subject to change.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Press Release: The Muppets Take Disney Club Penguin

Do you play Disney Club Penguin? My kids played it briefly before moving onto other sites and before they started playing MineCraft. Being a huge Muppet fan, I thought this was a great way to promote the film and bring the characters to a younger audience.

The Muppets Take Disney Club Penguin

The Muppets World Tour comes to Club Penguin Island March 20 through April 1

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, March 20– The Muppets are taking over Disney Club Penguin, the #1 virtual world for kids, for a two-week event where members will be able to dress up like and perform with their some of their favorite Muppets to celebrate the all-new, big-screen adventure Muppets Most Wanted, in theaters March 21. In the movie, the entire Muppets gang takes off on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. And now, penguin players can make their own international performance debuts alongside the Muppets in exotic locations like Paris, Mexico, India, and Germany. Club Penguin members will even get to dress up like the Muppets, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Swedish Chef and more.

Starting on March 20, players will embark on quests, traveling across the island to take the stage and perform alongside the Muppets. Players will have to master performances like singing a duet with Miss Piggy in Great Britain or throwing cream pies with Fozzie in Germany. Along the way, penguins will earn exclusive rewards for their quests. On March 28, penguins will unite for a Grand Finale performance at the Muppets Theater hosted by Kermit the Frog.

During the Muppets World Tour on Club Penguin:

  • Members can leave the dressing room in style with exclusive character costumes including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and more.
  • Members can fill their igloos with the Club Penguin Airliner, Air Pilot’s Seat, Check-in Terminal, Stage Curtain, and Grand Stage Arch to prepare for the Muppets World Tour.
  • Members can collect exclusive items like a floral shirt, tourist camera and straw hat.
  • With the one-of-a-kind Muppet Maker, members can create customized Muppet costumes for their penguins to wear on the island.

Catch the show at

Friday, March 21, 2014

Press Release: Oh My Disney and Mondo Present "Nothing's Impossible" Gallery Celebrating Disney Films’s pop culture blog, Oh My Disney, partnered with Mondo, the collectible art division of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, to unveil "Nothing's Impossible," a gallery event at this year's South by Southwest Festival that celebrated classic and contemporary Disney films with more than 30 original and fresh posters.

Oh My Disney brings classic and current Disney characters to life for digital audiences through humorous and heartfelt original artwork, stories, articles and videos. 

I chose just a few to share but you're welcome to follow the link and check out the rest of the posters. They are quite spectacular!

Which poster would you like to have on your wall?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kristin Bell Weekly

So, we went ahead and changed our beloved Communicore Weekly to Kristin Bell Weekly. Make sure to check out the new theme songs and Kristin Bell references!

Direct Download:

We discuss the history of Frozen and look back the changes the film went through over the years.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Very Important Post: Foxxfur and the Polynesian Village Resort

Hunting down the lost and forgotten parts of Walt Disney World history is a singular passion. Surprisingly, there are still some elusive areas, like the locations of certain shops and restaurants at the Contemporary, Polynesian and Golf resorts. I took an unofficial tour with a friend who worked at Walt Disney World in the 1970s and he was able to point out where all of the lounges and shops were.

I've taken several tours with Foxxfur from Passport to Dreams (which is incredible, by the way) but we always had questions about the layout of the Polynesian.

Foxxfur recently acquired an employee notebook from the Polynesian Village opening that had floor plans!

Check out her post and make sure to leave her a comment. Seriously, it might be one of the best posts of the year.

Want to start learning about Walt Disney world history? Check out Jeff Kurtti's great look at the first 25 years with Since the World Began.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Last Standing Magic Kingdom Ticket Booth

From the beginnings of Disneyland, you had to purchase tickets in order to experience an attraction (some attractions were sponsored by corporations and were free, like Adventures Through Inner Space). The seminal term for an amazing experience, an E-Ticket, was coined based on the 1959 additions to Disneyland. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, tickets were used as well. It wasn't until the late 1970s, when Disney experimented with a multi-day passport and eventually shuttered the ticket system when EPCOT Center opened. One of the reasons was that every attraction that debuted at EPCOT Center was considered an E-Ticket.

At the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, we're down to one free-standing ticket booth. The previous one was located outside of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh but was removed when the tree from Pooh's Playful Spot was relocated to directly in front of the Pooh show building. The last ticket booth is currently being used as a Disney Vacation Club information kiosk. I have had a question about a remaining booth that was in or near the Yankee Trader. Any thoughts?

It's also used as a landing pad?

Fitting with the inter-galactic theme of Tomorrowland, Disney Vacation Club welcomes visitors to earth with a few choice images. Including one the local population being stabilized, apparently.

I'll end with a few random shots.

It looks like the door hasn't changed much over the years.

Check out my Mice Chat article on the differences between a 1975 Walt Disney World vacation (with ticket books) and a 2014 vacation.

How often have you walked past this piece of Magic Kingdom history?

 Looking for a great title on the first 25 years of Walt Disney world? Check out Jeff Kurtti's Since the World Began.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Art of Disney Frozen by Charles Solomon

I just finished The Art of Frozen (Chronicle Books) by Charles Solomon. It truly was a gorgeous book that shed a lot of light onto the creation of Disney Frozen. If you're a fan of the film, then you need to pick up a copy of the book. A full review is coming to Communicore Weekly and Mice Chat.

Other books by Charles Solomon:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Press Release: Clip: Frozen's "Love is an Open Door" Performed by Kristen Bell & Santino Fontana

Disney has released a teaser clip of Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana singing the incredible song, "Love is an Open Door." It's hard to imagine anyone that hasn't seen Frozen, yet, but our review is coming to Mice Chat and Communicore Weekly.

Love Is An Open Door by Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana from Frozen - Disney Movies Anywhere - Disney Video

Monday, March 3, 2014

World's Fair Books by Bill Cotter and Bill Young

I received three review copies from the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing all focusing on the two New York World's Fairs. The authors are Bill Cotter and Bill Young. I'm in the process of on enjoying the books and can't wait t do a full review for Mice Chat and Communicore Weekly.

These titles are particularly timely since it is the 50th anniversary of the 1965-1965 New York World's Fair. The Fairs were also very influential on the planning and design of Walt Disney World and Epcot Center. All three books are full of great photos and great history.