WDW 2014 Day 3: Relaxing by the pool, Magic Bands, pin trading, and Fast Passes

So, one of the biggest innovations at WDW this year was the idea of the Magic Bands. At first I was a bit skeptical about this, but as the trip went on, both Dad and I agreed they made life pretty awesome for us, and a lot easier.

When we arrived at the Yacht Club, we received our magic bands in a box, already engraved with our names, and activated. The default color is gray (which we got), but they sell Magic Band “bling” to personalize yours. I chose Cinderella’s coach and a Princess Minnie icon.

The Magic Band is a lot of things–it’s your room key, your park admissions, your FastPass+, and you can charge things to it, which made life pretty awesome for us, since it meant we didn’t have to carry cash with us when we went to the parks, or really, anywhere (we did carry some, however, we didn’t just us the Magic Bands. Danger Will Robinson, that.). We didn’t have to worry about losing our room key or our park passes or even getting Fast Passes printed out; it also made Fast Passes easier to get, since we could reserve them ahead of time and they were saved to our bands. The bands are waterproof (I never took it off when I was swimming), they are adjustable  and feel basically like wearing a plastic watch. They weren’t heavy and even on very humid days, they weren’t sticky or annoying on our wrists.

So on Monday, I started out by relaxing at the pool, having lunch at Hurricane Hannah’s (the pool restaurant at Stormalong Bay), and then heard to Downtown Disney for some shopping and pin trading

Downtown Disney Marketplace entrance

Downtown Disney Marketplace entrance


Pin trading shop at Downtown Disney

Pin trading shop at Downtown Disney

(There will be more on pin trading later. It deserves its own post.)

So Downtown Disney is three parts: The Marketplace, the West Side, and what used to be called “Pleasure Island”, but is now part of the “Disney Springs” renovation project (well, really, the whole thing is being renovated, but this is where you notice it). Cirque du Soleil has a permanent show here, and there’s a pub, the Earl of Sandwich, a Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Cafe, a carousel, bandstand, the largest Disney Character store in the world, and lots of other shops. There’s also Disney Quest, which is supposedly some sort of virtual reality playground, which I don’t really understand, and haven’t visited. The entire Downtown Disney area is accessible either by private car, taxi, or Disney Transportation (bus line) if you’re staying at the resorts. I took the bus.

So I hit the pin trading store, Disney Design-a-Tee, where I made a shirt with the Three Fairies from Sleeping Beauty, Once Upon A Toy, and The World of Disney.

World of DisneyI wasn’t hugely impressed with World of Disney–the one in NYC is much bigger, I thought, and had a much better selection. However, there was some Frozen merchandise here, which made it a big hit with about everyone, and there were limits to how much you could buy. There weren’t any costumes, but there were plenty of DVDs/Blu-Rays and CDs (everywhere. Really, everywhere, this stuff was there), iPhone covers, books, and the Barbie-ish dolls (not the Toddler ones or specialty dolls). It was fun to look around but I thought Once Upon a Toy, where you could make your own Disney Potato Head, or a personalized light saber, was a lot more fun. (I mean, I had a lot more fun there, and the kids looked like they were too) There was also a Duffy the Disney Bear activity happening which seemed like fun.

Around 3:30 I headed back to the Yacht Club also via the bus, which took a lot longer for some reason–the bus for the Yacht, Beach, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin came maybe every 20 minutes. So the stop at Downtown Disney could get pretty crowded. But it wasn’t like I had other things to do. 🙂

That night, Dad and I wanted to have dinner at Beaches and Cream, but we found out that now you needed reservations to do this, so we couldn’t get in, and went tot he Yacht Club’s Captain’s Grille instead, which was good (I had crab cakes and dad had a pasta dish). It’s listed as “casual”, but it’s a pretty upscale environment, and in a t-shirt and a skirt I felt sort of under-dressed in there.

After dinner, we bought my theme park tickets for the week–I was doing the Magic Kingdom the next day–and we made more reservations for Beaches and Cream. Back in the room, I was able to make my Fast Pass + selections. Basically, if you have a Magic Band and are staying on Disney property, you can make Fast Pass + selections early. I was able to get them for Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, and–amazingly–a Meet and Greet with Anna, Elsa, and Aurora at Princess Fairy Tale Hall. Since I’d heard insane things about the wait for this, I had no idea how I got one, but I seized it.

And with that, I was prepared for the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday….



Day 27: Fairy Tale Poll!

OK, so now that we’ve discussed these tales, included how they’ve been changed, what version is your favorite?

Let’s have a poll!

Feel free to explain your answer  in the comments!

Day 19: Sleeping Beauty

Love's first kiss

Love’s first kiss

The 1959 Disney movie doesn’t change too much of Perrault’s original tale, La Belle au Bois Dormantexcept for a few details:

The original tale is two parts.


  • There are seven fairies, not three as in the film
  • The spell’s reversal is slightly different: the last fairy says that the princess will fall asleep for 100 years, and will be awakened by a prince’s kiss
  • The Prince isn’t betrothed to the princess at the beginning of the story. He seems her 100 years later in a vision and is inspired to rescue her.
  • The Princess doesn’t go into hiding; she lives with her parents her entire life. When she is fifteen or sixteen, and her parents are away, she comes upon an old woman, who has not heard of the kingdom’s ban on spindles or spinning wheels. The Princess, who has never seen one, (since her father banned them), asks to try it, and thereby pricks her finger.
  • The good fairy who changed the curse’s result is summoned to the palace, and, distressed by the fact that everyone the princess knows will be dead by the time she awakens, places everyone in the palace in the same enchanted sleep. They will awake when the princess does.
  • Maleficient’s “Forrest of Thorns” isn’t hers; in the original story, the good fairy summons it to protect the princess and the palace from intrusion before the 100 years are over.
  • 100 years later, the Prince hears of the sleeping princess from his courtiers while he is on a hunting expedition. He decides to brave the thorns and forrest to find the princess. Entering the palace, he finds her chamber, and kisses her. The spell is broken.
  • Instead of rushing right to get married, the prince and princess talk for a long while, while the rest of the castle awakens. They are then married privately by the royal almoner.

PART TWO: this is entirely omitted in the Disney version–for obvious reasons!

  • The prince continues to visit the princess, who bears him two children “Aurora”, and “Day”. (The Disney story took the princess’ daughter’s name, and gave it to the princess, making her Princess Aurora. In the original story, the princess and prince do not have names.). The prince has kept his wife and children a secret from his step-mother, who is part ogre.
  • Once the prince ascends his throne, he sends for his family.
  • The Ogress Queen Mother sends the princess and her children to a house in the forrest, and orders her cook to prepare the boy, Day, for her supper. The cook substitutes a lamb, which satisfies the Queen Mother, but then she asks for Aurora to be cooked for her. Again the cook tricks her, offering a goat. Finally, the Queen Mother asks for the young Queen to be killed and cooked; the Queen, instead, offered her throat to be slit, since she believes her children dead (they were taken away and hidden to keep the Queen Mother from guessing the trick.). The cook, however, takes the Queen to his house, where she sees her children and they are reunited. The cook then prepares another dish for the Queen Mother, who, after eating it, realizes she has been tricked.
  • In a fury, the Queen Mother prepares a pit full of vipers and other horrible reptiles and plans to throw the Queen and her children into the pit. The King, however, arrives just in time, and pushes the Queen Mother into the pit, where she is destroyed.

In the Brother Grimm’s version, the Princess becomes “Briar Rose”, which Disney used as the Princess Aurora’s “code” name in hiding. Their version of the story is called “Little Briar Rose”, and the tale ends where the movie ends–with the arrival of the prince and the reawakening of the princess and the castle.  No children of the couple are mentioned.

Day 17: Going French

So we leave the Grimm Brothers behind (for a moment! We’ll be back there shortly) and head to France, where, a hundred plus before the Grimms, Charles Perrault was writing his fairy tales.

Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was a member of the Academie Francais, and laid the foundation for the genre of “fairy tales”, as we know them. The Grimm Brothers took inspiration from him, as we’ve seen, when compiling and writing their own tales. The Grimm Brothers also re-wrote some of his tales in their own fashion, namely his most famous tale: Cinderella.

Perrault published Tales and Stories of the Past With Morals in 1697, but known by the more famous name Mother Goose. The publication of this introduced the genre of fairy tale, and expanded his fame well beyond his literary circle in France.

Tomorrow we’ll start discussing his tales, especially Cinderella, but here’s a list of his best-known stories:

  • Cinderella (first published by Perrault)
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Puss in Boots
  • Bluebeard
  • Sleeping Beauty (La belle du bois dormant)–an original tale by Perrault


Pocket Princess 21 – BEARS

Note: Pocket Princesses is still TECHNICALLY on hiatus, I just had a brief moment and an idea and thought I’d share while I can.


Pocket Princesses #22 – Merida’s First Tea Party

Delighted to say that Pocket Princesses will be making their debut at San Diego Comic Con!! I’m not going to say HOW, because I want it to be an extra-special treat for comicon attendees. Come by booth 1804(APE Entertainment) or our Artist Alley table DD11 to see an all-new Pocket Princesses piece.

I’ll post it here after the con is over.

James Silvani will also have a new Stitch piece available at DD11, so stop on by!!

Different strokes for different…princesses.


Pocket Princesses 23. DARN it, she’s gone AGAIN!!

Ariel gives the smackdown!


Pocket Princesses No. 25.

Reblog, don’t repost!

Brave trivia

I believe it is the fifth Disney movie where the protagonist has BOTH her parents. 

The others: Sleeping Beauty,  Mulan, the Incredibles, and Tangle

To run down the others that come to mind: 

  1. Ariel: mom’s dead
  2. Bambi: mom’s dead
  3. Cinderella: BOTH are dead by the time the story really starts
  4. Aladdin: Orphan, Jasmine: mom dead
  5. Snow White: BOTH, again. 
  6. Pinnochio: Well, Geppetto’s his dad, I guess? 
  7. Pocahontas: Mom’s dead
  8. Belle: Mom’s dead
  9. Peter Pan: (he’s the protagonist, not the Darling kids) No parents that we know of
  10. Robin Hood: No parents. And Maid Marian is parentless, too. 
  11. Lion King: Well, we remember how that turned out, don’t we? But I suppose one could argue that there are two parents at the beginning. 
  12. Great Mouse Detective: Basil’s technically an adult, right? Olivia, however, only has her dad. 
  13. Alice: Well we never see her parents….so I guess she might count in the “two parent” camp. 
  14. Toy Story: Andy’s Dad is nowhere to be seen
  15. Nemo: Mom dies in the beginning. Ouch. 
  16. Ratatouille: No mom for Remy. 

Any other ones I”m missing?