Category Archives: Chip Panel
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot’s fireworks spectacular, is more than just bursts of color in the nighttime sky. It, like other Walt Disney World attractions, not only entertains—and wows—but also tells a story.
Utilizing pyrotechnics, a revolving globe and laser projections all synced to a booming symphonic score, this 14-minute show integrates fire, earth and water (and wind on a breezy night) to celebrate our planet and its people. The story is “told” in three acts:
- Act 1: Chaos —The Inferno Barge launches balls of fire 60 feet into the air depicting the dawn of time and the creation of Earth.
- Act 2: Order —Earth Globe glides to the center of the lagoon, glowing with great people and achievements throughout time.
- Act 3: Meaning —Earth Globe opens to reveal a torch; fireworks begin and laser lights fill the sky, propelling us into the future.
The stage is set in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon and is visible from pretty much any vantage point in the park. However, one of the best viewing spots is the patio of the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. Located at the United Kingdom Pavilion, Rose & Crown sits right on the water and is designed in three different architectural styles—one reflecting pubs of the late 19th century, one modeled after pubs from the 17th century and one modeled after contemporary country pubs.
To an adult, Epcot’s World Showcase Pavilions provide an unparalleled trek around the globe. Only at Walt Disney World can travelers walk from Mexico to Morocco! Nowhere else is there such a complete panorama of international culture and cuisine wrapped up in appealing authenticity.
But to a child under age 10, the World Showcase may be little more than pretty buildings and people who talk funny. To kids, Norway’s trolls terrify and standing for O Canada! tires tiny feet, the food tastes plain weird at Morocco and the plastic tiara at Mouse Gear is way cooler than Italy’s “do not touch” Venetian masks.
Of course, Disney has a solution to keep the youngest Guests interested: Epcot Kidcot Fun Stops. These kid-sized craft tables located at each Pavilion are designed specific to the nation represented. Each is staffed by international Cast Members who, through Epcot’s World Fellowship Program, work in the Park for a one-year commitment, bringing the world to Walt Disney World.
To coincide with the 3D theatrical re-release of the 2003 Disney•Pixar hit Finding Nemo and inanticipation of its Blu-Ray DVD debut, Disney Publishing Worldwide has released two exciting NEW apps — Finding Nemo: Storybook Deluxe and Finding Nemo Interactive Comic.
I turned my six-year-old son, Adam, loose with the iPad and said, “See what you can do!” He had a blast with Finding Nemo: Storybook Deluxe, because all the activities appealed to him. The story is told in panels, and the animation looks almost like clips from the film. Kids can choose to read each page silently, have the narrator (Albert Brooks, voice of Marlin) read to them, or—and my son really liked this option—record their own voice and play it back. Adam is an early reader, so he played around with it a bit, but then decided he wanted Mom’s voice on there. I think that feature’s great. If parents are away for whatever reason, kids can still hear Mom or Dad read them a bedtime story, or they can practice their own read-aloud skills.
I recently had the opportunity to try out Disney Publishing’s Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 app for iPad, and I’m really impressed with it!
Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 presents a whole new way to learn a foreign language with this read-along app based on the international teaching method Diglot Weave. My kids and I have started learning Chinese with this engaging, story-driven app that teaches you while you’re having fun.
With Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3, my kids are experiencing the excitement of Toy Story 3 with Buzz and Woody while gradually transforming it from English to a story they understand in Chinese and Pinyin, mixing the new with the known by playing with 5 progressive levels of the story:
Level 1. English only
Level 2. Beginning Chinese/Pinyin (25%)
Level 3. Intermediate (50% Chinese/Pinyin)
Level 4. Advanced (75% Chinese/Pinyin)
Level 5. 100% Chinese/Pinyin
Are you like me? Not quite a Disney Addict, but start going through withdrawal a few months after that last trip. What to do? I am a lover of all things Disney. My first trip to Disney World was as an adult with my husband. All subsequent trips have included my children. I love the family time we spend there! If I could I would live in Cinderella’s Castle and stroll up and down Main Street USA on a daily basis. But since I don’t have the means to do that, here are a few things I do to keep the Disney Crazy at bay. Some of these I’ve only “heard” from other people and have never tried myself of course. Don’t judge, cause I know there are more of you out there worse off than I!
- Admit it, you’ve done this too. Book an imaginary trip to Disney on Disney’s website. You pick your hotel, dining plan and maybe even look into some dining reservations. Then you realize Disney does not accept Monopoly money and you close out your computer. Or maybe you sit and think, “Wow, that’s not a bad deal” and you convince your family that you MUST go back to Disney even though you said you would wait 2 years. You only need REAL help if you order and WATCH the planning DVD with no plans to go to Disney.
- Go to the Disney Store. This is a small help if you are just having “one of those days”. The smell, the music, the twinkling floor tiles. Not sure what it is, but I feel better afterward. I watch the vintage Mickey shorts on the TV, sniff the Disney air fresheners, talk myself out of another Mickey Mouse coffee cup. The usual. Or so I hear.
- Immerse yourself in Disney. Have your Travel Mugs from the Dining Plan? Drink out of them and close your eyes and pretend you are at your resort. Not working? Got your Mickey PJ’s on and have a Disney Film Festival on a Saturday morning. I hope if you are a true Disney fan, your iPod holds some Disney Music. Turn it on and get your day going!
- Cook like Disney. OK, I’ve really never done this. However there are recipes out there for Tonga Toast and Dole Whip Floats. If you don’t already have a Mickey Waffle Maker…trying not to judge, but why? Whip up some Disney Magic in your kitchen for breakfast!
- Get Crafty! Craft stores and Department stores have Disney Craft kits galore! Pick up a few and sit down with the kids for some family fun. Is it the same as riding Splash Mountain? Nope, but maybe you can get enough of a Disney fix to keep you going.
Sadly, none of these will permanently keep away the wish to go to Disney World every few months. Unfortunately, my kids do need to go to college, and eat, and they insist on needing bigger clothes. These are my crazy, fun ways to get my Disney fix. What are yours? Please share…I need more ideas before I get out the Disney Visa!
- The Five Senses at Walt Disney World (wdwhints.com)
- Disney Quick Tips – How to interact with a Disney Addict (chipandco.com)