Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Episode 4 - Value Resorts and more

So here comes episode 4 which sees the ladies embark on a couple of discussions; the first being all about Disney's Value Resorts and the second covers the new Disability Access Service Card with special guest Kathy Kelly from Special Mouse Podcast

So what Value is there to Value Resorts?

Basically Disney have a recipe for what a value hotel looks like, e.g. a pound or vanilla sponge and for each hotel add a flavour such as chocolate chip for movies, or lemon poppyseed for Pop. So each resort has the same basics but with some slight differences. Standard rooms have the basic facilities of the usual items plus: a tiny table/2 chairs, TV, drawers, hanging space, wall safe, iron and ironboard & hairdryer. You will also find a food court, choice of pools and larger than life themeing. Standard rooms are approximately 260 sq foot though at Art of Animation is 277 sq foot. Art of Animation and Pop both have their one bus stop; whereas the All Star Resorts share a bus between the three, which can be disadvantageous.

Jeremiah Good from Window to the Magic, contacted us with his thoughts about value resorts;

Downsides to the Value resorts are
1. You get what you pay for, don’t be expecting a spa!
2. No room service other than pizza, but that’s not just the values that offer that.
3. It is a value resort and as such it attracts a lot of $ conscious guests and families
4. The placement of the hotels, Pop and Art of Animation are pretty close to the parks so they are not too bad, but All Star Resorts are put down in the south point of the property which, unless you're going to Animal Kingdom, is quite a distance from the other parks.
5. Large groups tend to use the values whether cheerleaders or bands, if they are on property they are at a value because that is, as it states, the best value for them.

Upsides to the Value resorts are
1. Themeing is great in all the values, they have the most "fun" theming with the large icons and fun pools.
2. Food Courts (I know this can be a downside also) offer a variety of food offerings to the point where even the pickiest kid can find something.
3. Most visitors go to WDW to go to the parks, while it would be great to be able to spend hundreds a night to see the Castle across the Seven Seas Lagoon, I would rather save the money and be able to see the Castle in person while playing every day. I have always said that if you are on a Disney Vacation you need a bed and a shower because most of the time is in the park so why not book a value?
4. You may be paying for the value resorts, but no matter what you are still at Disney so you have a CM just a phone call away.
5. Disney, even value, is better that off property hotels!

Have a listen and see what you think!

Kathy Kelly from Special Mouse Podcast then joins the girls as they talk about the recent changes to the Disability Access Service offered by Disney and whether the new system is working as well as previous systems.

Check out the Disney Parks Blog for more information about the Disability Access Service Card.

You can follow both Kathy & Jeremiah on Twitter @KathyKellyRN and @jeremiahgood

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Episode 3 - Storybook Circus and New Year Resolutions

Storybook Circus at New Fantasyland

Initial Appearance
Step right up to join us as we tour Storybook Circus, an area inspired by the travelling circus acts and sideshows of the late 19th century as well as classic films like Walt Disney’s Dumbo. There is a grand entrance with theming in reds, yellows and blues; you will find hypo-allergenic peanut shells and animal foot prints in the ground and a personal favourite is the red and white popcorn bag styled trash cans. Cast Member’s wear circus style livery. And for when you are low on juice, there is a phone charging station in this area too.

In no particular order, we start with Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. This is a lovely nod to the cheerful train from Dumbo and the playful elephants and giraffes provide water soakment for all! Check out the numbers on the sides of the carriages - 71, 82, 89 and 98!! The next attraction is The Barnstormer featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini, this junior roller coaster for those over 35” or 89cm is a re-theming of an attraction from the days of Mickey's Toon Town; beware that unless you are incredibly slim you will have to squeeze in to be together to ride. Then on to Dumbo The Flying Elephant, whilst the original ride was an opening day feature, the duel Dumbos have settled in this part of the park since 2012. It’s a cute ride, lasting 1 minute 30 seconds and each carousel rotates differently, one clockwise and the other anticlockwise. What sets this attraction apart is the indoor interactive queue, which is basically a soft play area for the little ones. Fabulous place for children to cool down that enables them to run around whilst waiting for their turn to ride the attraction. 

Meet and Greets
The place to be is Pete's Silly Sideshow. Firstly, theming! There is a fortune teller style booth at the side of the entrance which has brass instruments inside and above reads TOOT, PLUNK, WHISTLE, BOOM which is an easter egg to a Walt Disney productions animated short from 1953's Adventures in Music, which was the first Walt Disney cartoon released in widescreen cinema scope and won the 1954 academy award for best short. The credits are a who's who of Disney legends, directed by Ward Kimball and animation by Marc Davies. (You can find this to watch on You Tube). Once inside Pete's Silly Sideshow you will be able to meet The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot), The Astounding Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer), Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Madame Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortune teller).

Live entertainment 
The Storybook Circus Giggle Gang intermittently provides the entertainment and if you suffer from Coulrophobia, this may be one to miss! There's regular clowning around from the trio of Chuckles, Buffoo, McMonkeyshine III and his protégés, Winifred “Whinny” Horselaugh and Snort with stunts by Wowzer. Music is provided by the silly saxtet. Very much your slapstick humour but well worth stopping by to catch the show or maybe end up being part of the show!

The place to be is Big Top Souvenirs and make sure you wander round and not just look at the merchandise but also the wonderful theming. You can get ear hats stitched, clothing, plush and lots lots more.

Food and Beverage
Inside Big Top Souvenirs you will find Big Top Treats, which is the place to go for caramel apples, cotton candy and treats galore. Whilst wandering Storybook Circus you will find a few food carts. There is a cart selling hot dogs, pretzels and churros and at $4.50 who could not want a Mickey pretzel! There is the obligatory popcorn cart that also sells Nestle ice cream products and the lovely frozen choco nut banana.

Incredible theming as the trains turning spot or engine shed with red brickwork and arched large door ways. Curiously the water here is non-potable, meaning don’t drink the water!

Train Station
The station is a nod to the miniature railroad Walt Disney had in his back yard. If you look closely you will see the sign for Carolwood Park and again the theming for the area is simply stunning.

New Year Resolutions

We are then joined by Lisa from livingadisneylife.com as we discuss and chat some Disney inspired New Years Resolutions.  See Lisa's list in full here - Top 10 New Year Resolutions

You can follow Lisa on Facebook and Twitter @life_of_green

If you have any Disney inspired resolutions email them to us at info@disneydreamgirls.com and we might just include them in our next show!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Art of the Disney Dream Girls

We have had lots of lovely comments about the artwork used here on our blog, our Twitter profiles, iTunes feed and Facebook page so we thought we'd let you in on how it all came about!

Jayne's husband, Simon, has a bit of an artistic flair and something he has put to good use over the past 29 years working in the video games industry as well as in his spare time.  And whilst Simon's artwork is diverse and varied there has been something of a Disney theme in the past few years ever since Jayne challenged him to draw a Mickey a day for 365 days back in 2011.  So when Jayne decided to launch her own blog (www.jp2mk.co.uk) back in August 2012 Simon stepped in to provide the artwork and icons...
A little Disney dreaming...
After meeting Michelle via the power of podcasts and social networking Simon was given the challenge of re-vamping the then Minnie Minxes website as well as providing some artwork for a WDW Radio UK Fan Group meet.  It then seemed only logical that the Disney Dream Girls would turn to his talents as our podcast was launched.

Simon wanted to make sure that the images used represented both ladies, as well as what the show was all about.  Michelle opted for her favourite princess, Snow White, as inspiration while Jayne went for a hidden Mickey/Disney Couture inspired design. Armed with a ton of imagery for both ladies Simon set to on designing something fabulous for us!

So Simon not only designed the two ladies iconic images but the various logos, backgrounds, text, colour schemes in fact anything that needed a bit of artistic flair! This meant having to come up with different versions of the same artwork to meet all the different constraints of Twitter, Blogger, Feedburner, Facebook etc, etc....why is it every site works differently to each other?  Thankfully Simon's expertise in the world of computing meant that this wasn't an issue and the results now speak for themselves!
You can find more of Simon's amazing artwork over on his website www.simonphipps.com or you can follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @simoprh  Simon is always available for commission work and can be contacted via his website or email at info@simonphipps.com for more details.