Disney Journal No. 6, Magic Kingdom continued

OK, so I’ve set the stage for the Magic Kingdom.

Now it’s time to tell stories.


OK, first, note the button on my shirt. That’s the “I’m Celebrating” button. It’s important.

The entrance to Bonjour! Village Gifts

The entrance to Bonjour! Village Gifts

So I had some time, after riding rides and eating in the Tavern, and I began my souvenir shopping with Bonjour! village gifts above. This store is basically all Beauty and the Beast all the time, and they have some high-level souvenirs here, including original artwork that is priced in the three figures. But they also have fun t-shirts and other items. So I selected a few things and headed to the check out.

A guy about 23-24 checked me out and noticed my button. He asked what I was celebrating. I briefly said lung transplant, eight years ago. Most people if you give them this they’re flabbergasted enough; they don’t need superflous detail. Well this guy knew what I was talking about.

“Single or double?”




(Clearly, by this point I knew I was dealing with someone who was familiar with transplant.)

Kit (the guy) said that he had just had his double lung transplant–eight months ago.

I mean, what the heck, right? He’s from a small town in Michigan. So we talked about that for awhile. He was really nice and super-sweet, evening giving me some Beauty and the Beast stickers gratis. It was a real pleasure to meet him and get to talk to him!

After this I headed over to storybook circus, where I bought my brother and his girlfriend small gifts, as well as purchased TWO dinglehoppers. (They are excellent hairbrushes, by the by, with soft rubber bristles, so they wouldn’t hurt a baby or a little girl. Or a big girl, for that matter!)

By that time, it was time to meet Dad back at Gaston’s.

In the big chair!

In the big chair!

He also had LeFou’s brew and we then got in line for the Little Mermaid ride.

Little Mermaid queue

Little Mermaid queue

queue theming

queue theming

A little high-tech seek and find in the line

A little high-tech seek and find in the line



Boarding the ride: It's like the Haunted Mansion, except with Clam shells.

Boarding the ride: It’s like the Haunted Mansion, except with Clam shells.

Mambo! :)

Mambo! 🙂




double Yikes

double Yikes



Ariel gets her voice back

Ariel gets her voice back

"how much I'm going to miss her."

“how much I’m going to miss her.”

happy endings

happy endings

We had a lot of fun on this one. Since this is one of my favorite movies, I really enjoyed it. The queue moved fast, too, since this is a constantly loading ride.

Afterwards I introduced Dad to the wonders of Philharmagic.

Then, then it was time for Be Our Guest. I was so looking forward to this dinner.

We checked in and they saw my button, and again, asked what we were celebrating. I gave them the cliffs notes version. They were all duly flabbergasted and noted it on our reservation slip, which is conveyed electronically to the restaurant and the waitress.

Once our buzzer went off, we went to the castle doors at the other end of a gargoyle-adorned bridge. And then, we got into the dining room.

Outside Be Our Guest

Outside Be Our Guest

Dad and the gargoyle

Dad and the gargoyle

Mosaic inside the castle

Mosaic inside the castle

The ball room

The ball room

rose napkins

rose napkins

the chandeliers

the chandeliers

The theming in this place is incredible. It really is the movie brought to life. The Beast also poses for photos in the library, and comes out into the restaurant.

Here’s what we ate:

dessert, chocolate cream puff

dessert, chocolate cream puff

Dad's ratatouille and quinoa

Dad’s ratatouille and quinoa

my meal: pork chop with mac and cheese and veggies

my meal: pork chop with mac and cheese and veggies


Let me tell you, the food was exquisite. I loved my pork chop and the au jus sauce that came with it. The veggies were perfect. I didn’t get much of the mac and cheese because as you can see, it’s a BIG PORK CHOP.

We ordered dessert, too. And then the best part of the meal came.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The grey stuff.



People. This was exquisite.

The Grey Stuff isn’t on the menu. You only get it if you’re celebrating something. Those are edible pearls on the top. And the “try the grey stuff”? ALSO EDIBLE. It’s like chocolate gloss.

The grey stuff is cookies and cream panna cotta. It’s amazing. I mean, I was in food heaven. Life fulfillment, I’m telling you.

So after that, I got my picture taken with the Beast (that’s coming later, sorry!) and sadly, we were done with dinner.

The talking knights

The talking knights

gregorian chant in the library. Just too cool.

gregorian chant in the library. Just too cool.

"Lady and the Unicorn" tapestry in the castle foyer.

“Lady and the Unicorn” tapestry in the castle foyer.


And once we got outside, it was POURING.

So we ran to Fantasyland proper and bought ponchos, then rode Haunted Mansion. By then it was nearing 10, so we, not being fireworks people and not being ones to stand in monsoon, headed for the buses and went back to the Beach Club.

As Maleficient said, it was a “Most gratifying day.”


Disney Journal No. 5, Tuesday (AKA Magic Kingdom Day!)

OK this is going to be long and picture heavy. So it will be two parts.

First, some of the “hidden mickeys” I saw throughout the Beach Club:


Bathroom wallpaper


chair pad!


resort carpeting in the hallways


more bathroom wallpaper

So Tuesday began with my normal routine: up early, lauds, breakfast, then off to the pool. That day for lunch I went back to Beaches and Cream and had a fantastic hot dog with coleslaw and fries. They did offer fruit, instead of the fries, but it was heavy on the grapefruit and cantaloupe  which I can’t eat, and don’t like.

After that I went back to the room and prepared for the MAGIC KINGDOM!!!! Our tickets were good starting at 4:00, so around 3:30 I headed down to catch the bus would would take me to the gates.

we're hereeeee!

we’re hereeeee!




Since we were also celebrating my 8th transplant anniversary, I stopped by the Town Hall and got an “I’m Celebrating” button. (This plays into several stories later on!) Then I made my way down Main Street USA. It was overcast, as you can tell from the pictures, but it wasn’t raining (yet).

Snow White window on Main Street USA

Snow White window on Main Street USA

Cinderella--I love the Duke.

Cinderella–I love the Duke.

Little Mermaid  window

Little Mermaid window

Castle from Main Street.

Castle from Main Street.

My main object was New Fantasyland, so I booked it up Main Street and headed for Fantasyland. On the way I found some great things:\

Cinderella's wishing well

Cinderella’s wishing well

Castle mosaic

Castle mosaic

Cinderella fountain

Cinderella fountain

This was in one of the shops, and yes, it changed from pink to blue.

This was in one of the shops, and yes, it changed from pink to blue.

Window display in Fantastyland

Window display in Fantastyland

I was basically grinning ear to ear a la Cheshire Cat. I was meeting my dad around 6:00 at the Gaston Fountain, so I had a bit of time, and decided to ride “Small World.” Not a whole lot ever changes in that ride, but it’s always fun. Then I rode a new ride, Mickey’s Philharmagic which I loved. It’s more of a 3D experience than a ride and was just great fun.

Theming in line for Mickey's Philharmagic

Theming in line for Mickey’s Philharmagic

love this.

love this.

After that–time to head into New Fantasyland.

Beast's Castle

Beast’s Castle

Belle's cottage

Belle’s cottage

Dopey and Doc, in front of the under-construction Dwarves' Mine Ride (opens next year)

Dopey and Doc, in front of the under-construction Dwarves’ Mine Ride (opens next year)

I was in love with the detail, the theming, everything. The soundtrack from the movie and the show of Beauty and the Beast played all over that area, which was divine.

My first stop was Gaston’s Tavern.

Gaston and LeFou play darts

Gaston and LeFou play darts



Once inside I ordered a LeFou’s brew, as well as a chocolate croissant. I had so much fun here. The LeFou’s brew definitely involved apple juice, had a great foamy top, and was wonderfully cold and slushy. And what can I say about a chocolate croissant other than c’est magnifique? 🙂

Some more examples of the great theming in the general area: 


“Hunting equipment”




Gaston and LeFou play darts

Gaston and LeFou play darts

That’s it for Part I, because Part II is going to be really awesome with lots of stories and….




7 Quick Takes Friday Vol. 2



I’m GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! OK, no, I didn’t win the Super Bowl. Last year, my parents attended the IBM Conference in Orlando, where my dad was a presenter. They stayed at a Disney World resort. It was an ENTIRE WEEK OF DISNEY. Well, OK, it could have been for my mom, because my dad was in conference all week. At night they were free to do things. I was very jealous that they got to go.

Well my dad is going again this year, and is, again, presenting.  But this year, my mom doesn’t want to go. Disney’s not exactly her bag (although she loved the pool at the hotel). So this year, EMILY GETS TO GO.

Do I even need to tell you how excited I am?


The last time I went to Disney was in 2000, for high school choir tour. I was a senior and this was the highlight of a great senior year for me and my three best friends, who were also in the choir program at PHS. We took charter buses down, stayed in an all-suits hotel, went to Typhoon Lagon, Disney World, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, and had a blast. Oh, and kicked butt at a national competition. And read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on the beach at Typhoon Lagoon, because we had to have it read by the time we were back in Ohio. Let’s just say a lot of us fell asleep reading. (I hate Portrait very, very, VERY much.) Anyway, that trip was awesome, and I haven’t been back since.


We will be staying at this hotel. This hotel has awesome pools and a SPA. One of the things I left off my bucket list was my desire to go to a real spa and get a massage and facial. So I can cross that off while my dad is at a programming session. 🙂 I am totally looking forward to this.


And the BEST part, of all the best parts? The new Fantasyland. People. This is like a girl child of the 90s dream come true. First off, they built Prince Eric’s palace. Inside: A ride. They build the Beast’s castle! You can eat in it! And you can eat at Gaston’s Tavern which  has “antlers in all of [its] decorating!” You can visit Belle’s house.  Do I even need to tell you I will be eating at Be Our Guest? They built Belle’s village. I am in love. I may never leave.


OK, so now that I have established myself as a Disney nerd…the other thing I’m really excited about is EPCOT, because, although I’ve been there twice, I’ve never really been able to explore on my own. First time I was a kid, and my brother and I fell asleep. Second time, it was riot with Tiff and I ending up eating cherry cordials and drinking Coke in the America exhibit. EPCOT was a lot of loony fun, but we blew through it. So I want to spend some time there. Dad is also probably much more partial to EPCOT than the Magic Kingdom. 🙂


The first time we went to WDW, my brother fell asleep every time we were in line for “Peter Pan’s Flight”. I doubt the every really experienced it. We also greatly enjoyed eating Mickey Mouse ice cream treats outside the Jungle Cruise and the Parade in the evening. But this time, I want to ride the Tiki Bird Room, because I’ve never done that. And I want to do the Jungle Cruise again. 🙂


In EPCOT, I don’t know where best to eat. Suggestions? They all look soooo good to me. Last time I was here I got my picture taken with one of Cinderella’s mice in the French section, which was awesome fun.

So yes, this 7QTF was brought to you by…Disney world. 🙂

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 22: Under the Sea

The “real” Little Mermaid doesn’t get her prince….

I really wish that The Little Mermaid’s ending was as happy as the Disney version’s.

Sadly, that is not the case…

Andersen’s Little Mermaid is a bit longer, and a lot darker. (Gee, where have we heard that before?). The story was also originally written as a ballet; the story was published in 1837.

Here are the differences:

  • Once The Mermaid reaches 15, she will be able to go above the water and look at the world above, on land.  All her sisters have gone before her, and told of the wonders they have seen above. But after they have seen the world, they are content with their lives in the sea.
  • The Little Mermaid finally turns 15, and she sees the young prince (also nameless) on his boat, celebrating his birthday. A storm comes, and she saves him and takes him to shore. She hides herself in the waves, watching to see what becomes of him. A girl comes upon him and helps him back to the castle, and he does not see the mermaid who was his true rescuer.
  • She becomes infatuated with him; her sisters eventually show her where he lives, and she spends many days watching him and learning about him. She becomes curious: since the prince didn’t drown, can human beings not die? She asks her grandmother:

 “If human beings are not drowned,” asked the little mermaid, “can they live forever? do they never die as we do here in the sea?”

     “Yes,” replied the old lady, “they must also die, and their term of life is even shorter than ours. We sometimes live to three hundred years, but when we cease to exist here we only become the foam on the surface of the water, and we have not even a grave down here of those we love. We have not immortal souls, we shall never live again; but, like the green sea-weed, when once it has been cut off, we can never flourish more. Human beings, on the contrary, have a soul which lives forever, lives after the body has been turned to dust. It rises up through the clear, pure air beyond the glittering stars. As we rise out of the water, and behold all the land of the earth, so do they rise to unknown and glorious regions which we shall never see.”

 “Why have not we an immortal soul?” asked the little mermaid mournfully; “I would give gladly all the hundreds of years that I have to live, to be a human being only for one day, and to have the hope of knowing the happiness of that glorious world above the stars.”

     “You must not think of that,” said the old woman; “we feel ourselves to be much happier and much better off than human beings.”

     “So I shall die,” said the little mermaid, “and as the foam of the sea I shall be driven about never again to hear the music of the waves, or to see the pretty flowers nor the red sun. Is there anything I can do to win an immortal soul?”

     “No,” said the old woman, “unless a man were to love you so much that you were more to him than his father or mother; and if all his thoughts and all his love were fixed upon you, and the priest placed his right hand in yours, and he promised to be true to you here and hereafter, then his soul would glide into your body and you would obtain a share in the future happiness of mankind. He would give a soul to you and retain his own as well; but this can never happen. Your fish’s tail, which amongst us is considered so beautiful, is thought on earth to be quite ugly; they do not know any better, and they think it necessary to have two stout props, which they call legs, in order to be handsome.”

  • The mermaid decides that she wants to win an immortal soul, and so goes to the Sea Witch, of whom she has always been very much afraid. The witch tells her that she can turn the mermaid into a human, but there is a price:

“Your tail will then disappear, and shrink up into what mankind calls legs, and you will feel great pain, as if a sword were passing through you. But all who see you will say that you are the prettiest little human being they ever saw. You will still have the same floating gracefulness of movement, and no dancer will ever tread so lightly; but at every step you take it will feel as if you were treading upon sharp knives, and that the blood must flow. If you will bear all this, I will help you.”

     “Yes, I will,” said the little princess in a trembling voice, as she thought of the prince and the immortal soul.

     “But think again,” said the witch; “for when once your shape has become like a human being, you can no more be a mermaid. You will never return through the water to your sisters, or to your father’s palace again; and if you do not win the love of the prince, so that he is willing to forget his father and mother for your sake, and to love you with his whole soul, and allow the priest to join your hands that you may be man and wife, then you will never have an immortal soul. The first morning after he marries another your heart will break, and you will become foam on the crest of the waves.”

  • And, the witch says, she must also give the Sea Witch her voice. The princess will only have her graceful manner to help her in making the prince fall in love with her. The mermaid agrees, and the witch cuts off her tongue (Yes, the taking the voice into the seashell image is a lot nicer!)
  • She surfaces, drinks the potion, and the prince does find her. He takes her back to the castle and soon she is wearing beautiful gowns and being treated as a princess on land. Her sisters came to visit her every night and tell her what was happening in her old home.

Edmund Dulac: “The Mermaid and The Prince”

  • The Prince must wed, and he wants to marry the woman who rescued him, not knowing it was the mermaid. Instead, he is betrothed to a princess from a neighboring kindgom–who is the woman he thinks rescued him, the woman who found him on the beach.
  • The night after the wedding, the mermaid’s sisters return, their heads shorn; they have given their hair to the sea witch in exchange for a way to regain their sister. They give her a sharp knife; with it, she must kill the prince, before sunrise. His blood will wash onto her feet, and they will again become her mermaid tail, and she will be able to come, with her tongue restored as well.
  • However, the mermaid cannot do it. The sun rises, and she becomes a “daughter of the air”:

. “A mermaid has not an immortal soul, nor can she obtain one unless she wins the love of a human being. On the power of another hangs her eternal destiny. But the daughters of the air, although they do not possess an immortal soul, can, by their good deeds, procure one for themselves. We fly to warm countries, and cool the sultry air that destroys mankind with the pestilence. We carry the perfume of the flowers to spread health and restoration. After we have striven for three hundred years to all the good in our power, we receive an immortal soul and take part in the happiness of mankind. You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your whole heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds; and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul.”

  • After three hundred years of being a “daughter of the air”, she will gain an immortal soul, and go to heaven, which is what she truly wanted all along.

The story is definitely dark, and definitely religious, so it’s understandable why it was altered for mass consumption. While the mermaid gets her wish–the eternal soul and life in heaven after her “death”–she pays an enormous price for it.

Originally, Andersen ended his story with the mermaid dying; later, he added the ending containing the “daughters of the air.”  The code has been condemned by some scholars. PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, called the ending “blackmail”: “‘But a year taken off when a child behaves and a tear shed and a day added whenever a child is naughty? Andersen, this is blackmail. And the children know it and say nothing. There’s magnanimity for you’.”

The last page of Andersen’s Little Mermaid manuscript

The mermaid is also an untraditional heroine, in that she has an adventurous spirit and longs for a world beyond her own. She si also willing to pay a high price to get what she wants. She wants to discover things she doesn’t know. Most other fairy tale heroines-Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel-don’t consciously want this, nor work specifically to get it. If they flee, it is out of necessity, not curiosity.

PL Travers quote taken from wikipedia “The Little Mermaid” entry:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid

Day 20: In the state of Denmark

The last of the “big three” fairy tale writers, as least as we know them here, is Hans Christian Andersen. 

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen Harbor

Hans Christian Andersen’s stories are the most spiritual, most obviously “Christian”, so to speak; almost all of his tales invoke God in some way, and quite explicitly.

Andersen was born April 2, 1805, and was an only child. There is some speculation that he was an illegitimate son of the Danish Royal Family. Originally accepted to the Royal Danish Theater because of his excellent boy soprano, he seriously began to pursue poetry once his voice changed.

During 1835, Andersen published his first volume of his Fairy Tales. More stories were published in 1836 and 1837. Although the quality of the stories (like those of many authors) was not recognized immediately, they eventually became a worldwide favorite, being translated into more than 150 languages.  However, by the time of his death in 1875, the people of Denmark had embraced his art and the government declared him a “national treasure.”

Some of his famous tales are:

  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Thumbelina
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Red Shoes
  • The Princess and the Pea

We’ll explore several of these tales over the next few posts: The Snow Queen (since it is being adapted into a feature film by Disney), The Little Mermaid, and The Red Shoes.

Princess Charades


Pocket Princesses No.6

No Tail, No Talk.

Yes, there are rules in this little world too.