Monday, March 22, 2010

Would You Like to See Brer Bear Added Poll Results are In!

The recent Would You Like to See Brer Bear Added Poll has ended.

The results are as follows:

87% - Yes
8% - Maybe
5% - No

I will leave the results up for the Would You Like to See Brer Bear Added Poll for a few days for anyone who wants to see/compare the final results. As with previous polls, Blogger results never add exactly to 100%, so the accountant in me recalculated the results based on the number of people who voted in each category to the total :)

Thanks to all who participated!

La Cava del Tequila

La Cava del Tequila, the newest addition at Mexico Pavilion opened on August 28, 2009. Through the décor, art work, original artifacts and products served it will celebrate the heritage and tradition of Tequila making in Mexico.

Guests visiting La Cava del Tequila will have the opportunity to enjoy over seventy (70) types of authentic tequila from several major brands (ranging from the simplest to the rarest of them all), aged to perfection and made from the finest distilled spirits from the Agave Plant. A Tequila Ambassador will be on-hand to educate guests on the history of Tequila making and its rich Mexican heritage.

Exotic and unique-blended margaritas will be served introducing a variety of flavored salts, spices and tropical fresh fruits masterfully prepared by experienced mixologists.

A variety of quick tastes “Tapas style” will be available, including freshly made Guacamole, home fried Fresh Corn Chips , Salsas, Ceviches and Tostadas.

We visited La Cava del Tequila for the first time when we visited WDW in January, meeting fellow tweep Amanda for the 1st time (pictured at right with Mary & I). It is a perfect setting to get away from the crowds in the park, relax and visit with friends and check out the great selections they have to offer.

When planning our recent trip, we planned on catching up with Amanda again plus meeting another tweep/friend from Twitter for the 1st time, Aurora (pictured with Amanda & I below).

Friends of ours were already at La Cava, so we decided to all meet up there. What a riotous time we had, a lot of laughing, talking and singing as we did our own karaoke. You never know when Bob and his back up singers (Amanda & Rachel) will break out into song :)

We had SO much fun that day. Sometimes you just need to let go and have fun and that is exactly what we did. You only live once, so make each moment count! We SO can't wait to come down for more good times with you guys as this is the first of many!! Many more pics on Facebook :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nighttime Castle Pics

No matter how many times we go to WDW, taking pictures of Cinderella's Castle is always on the agenda. Be it during the day or night, it's always cool to test camera settings, try different angles, etc. Here are a few photos taken at night during our recent trip (click on each image for a larger view):

Glamping 2010!

It's hard to believe, three (3) weeks ago today we left for what was going to be one of the most memorable trips we've ever had at WDW! Mary, Amanda and myself spent the first week of March at the Treehouse Villas located at the Saratoga Springs Resort with seven (7) of our closest friends. We traveled from NY, PA, VA, MD and FL.

It was a cold, snowy morning here in Western PA the day we departed. Hard to imagine as I write this entry, looking outside at the awesome weather we're having this weekend. We left earlier than planned and kept faith our flight wouldn't be delayed or cancelled. After a half hour being de-iced on the runway, we were off and still ended up arriving eighteen (18) minutes ahead of schedule! You ROCK Southwest Airlines!

One of my favorite pics from the trip of the Gang after our Fireworks Cruise back at the Treehouses!

What are the Treehouse Villas??

Anyone who has ever taken a ride on the Sassagoula River connecting Port Orleans with Downtown Disney has probably noticed the Treehouse villas. Nestled, appropriately enough, in the trees on the far end of Disney’s Saratoga Springs resort, for many years these villas were vacant and in various stages of disrepair. While they were used at one time as housing for the Disney College Program, the decor remained a throwback to the 1970’s when the villas were first built as part of the Golf Course Villas.

The decor of the villas fits perfectly with it’s surroundings - lots of earth tones (shades of green and taupe) and wood trim carry the ‘treehouse’ theme throughout the villas. There are three bedrooms, two with queen size beds, one with bunk beds - each room contains a 32″ flat screen television. There is another flat screen in the living room, bringing the total number of televisions to 4. The villas will accomodate up to nine (9) people utilizing the pull out couch (sleeps two (2)) and chair (sleeps one (1)) in the living room. We put it to the test and found it quite comfortable.

Since their opening, most are familiar with the interior/exterior shots of the Treehouse Villas, so decided with this blog entry to share photos of our view (more photos posted on FaceBook), which were awesome! The weather was cooler than expected but we were fortunate a couple days to take advantage of the deck and view plus cookout one evening. Each unit comes equipped with it's own grill.

Our Treehouse

Our Deck

Our Amazing View!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remembering Fess Parker (1924-2010)

Fess Parker, the enormously popular actor who launched a coonskin cap craze in 1954 when he starred as Davy Crockett in the first of five hour-long episodes for Walt Disney's Disneyland TV series, passed away at his home in California's Santa Ynez Valley today, March 18, from age-related causes. He was 85 years old. Parker went on to play another iconic American hero in the popular Daniel Boone NBC TV series that lasted for six seasons and 165 episodes. In addition to his numerous successes in the world of entertainment, Parker became a phenomenally successful businessman, developer, and vintner through his Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort (in Santa Barbara), and Fess Parker Winery (in Los Olivos). Commenting on Parker's passing, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger said, "Like many kids growing up in the 50s, Davy Crockett was my first hero, and I had the coonskin cap to prove it. Fess Parker's unforgettable, exciting and admirable performance as this American icon has remained with me all these years, as it has for his millions of fans around the world. Fess is truly a Disney Legend, as is the heroic character he portrayed, and while he will certainly be missed, he will never be forgotten."

Noted film critic and author Leonard Maltin, added, "Fess had an enormous impact on a whole generation of kids. It's almost impossible to overstate how popular Davy Crockett was, and it made him an overnight star. The nicest part about meeting him in later years was discovering that he was just as genuine and likeable as he seemed on screen."

Visual effects artist, Disney veteran and Parker family friend Harrison Ellenshaw said, "Fess Parker was an icon to generations of kids with coonskin caps. He was also a wonderful husband, family man, role model, and a gentleman beyond reproach. I have personally known Fess since 1954, and I will forever remember his kindness and generosity; he will be terribly missed."

Pete Docter, Oscar®-winning director of Disney·Pixar's Up, observed, "Meeting him was a real high point, and I don't think I've ever met anyone that better fit the word 'gentleman.' He was patient and kind, both with me and all my questions about his career and collaborators, as well as with our young kids who had been obsessively watching the Davy Crockett DVDs for months prior. Though I'm sure he was a busy man, he spent the entire afternoon showing me and my family around his winery, treating us to lunch, and talking about his life. It was a day we'll never forget."

In all, Parker starred as Davy Crockett in five one-hour episodes for the Disneyland TV series on ABC. The titles were: "Davy Crockett: Indian Fighter," "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress," "Davy Crockett at the Alamo," "Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race," and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates." The first three episodes of the miniseries (the first in television history) were edited together as the 1955 theatrical film Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.

According to Disney A-Z: The Official Encyclopedia by Disney archivist Dave Smith, "The Davy Crockett craze started a run on coonskins, both real and artificial, as kids across America yearned to dress like their frontier hero with the telltale cap. 'The Ballad of Davy Crockett' rushed to the top of the Hit Parade, and remained there for 16 weeks. In all, the nationwide Crockett frenzy helped Disney licensees sell $300 million worth of merchandise."

In addition to his starring role as Davy Crockett, Parker also appeared in four other Disney feature films: Westward Ho the Wagons! (1956), The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), Old Yeller (1957) and The Light in the Forest (1958).

Born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in San Angelo, Parker served in the United States Navy during WWII and then returned home to Texas to graduate from the University of Texas-Austin in 1950. He was honored as a distinguished alum of the university in 1969.

A desire to act took him to California in the early 50s where hard work and great good fortune led him to be cast in Walt Disney's Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, co-starring the late Buddy Ebsen. While under personal contract to Walt Disney, Parker made numerous pictures for the studio including the prequel Davy Crockett and the River Boat Pirates as well as The Great Locomotive Chase. A successful television career in the 1960's followed with NBC's long running Daniel Boone show co-starring his friend and neighbor Ed Ames.

The early 70's found Parker eager to explore the business world as a real estate developer in Santa Barbara, California. After successfully opening three high-end mobile home parks, the 360 room Fess Parker Doubletree Resort opened in 1985. It is one of the most successful hotels on the Santa Barbara waterfront. A 150 room luxury hotel is also in the final stages of planning on an adjacent piece of beach front property.

In 1989, Parker and his family turned an interest in fine wine into an adventure now 20 years in the making. The Fess Parker Winery is a highly regarded and popular destination on the Foxen Canyon wine trail in Los Olivos, California. The family also farms over 300 acres of vineyard in the Santa Ynez valley. Creating a successful business with his family was one of Parker's proudest achievements.

Parker and his wife Marcella celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January of 2010. Their son Eli and daughter Ashley, as well as 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild spent a great deal of time with Parker in his final months and weeks. It should be said that Parker was always extremely grateful to his long time fans for their continued support and friendship over the years.

Article courtesy of D23.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The 2010 Production Mark Honors 'Sword in the Stone'

The Walt Disney Classics Collection features a yearly Production Mark that is incised or imprinted on the bottom of sculptures produced during the calendar year.

I, as well as many collectors have been wondering what this year's Production Mark would be, so I inquired. It turns out, the 2010 Production Mark information was announced to the sales force back in December and surprisingly, that information hadn't leaked to collectors yet.

Without further adieu, this year's production mark honors Walt Disney's animated classic The Sword in the Stone (1963) and the symbol is the sword in the stone (pictured at left).

The Sword in the Stone was originally released to theaters on December 25, 1963. The eighteenth animated feature, was the last Disney animated feature released while Walt Disney was alive.

Would You Like to See Brer Bear Added?

With the upcoming new scene from Disney's Song of the South, collectors are wondering, "where is Brer Bear?"

The new scene, sculpted by Ruben Procopio is a two-piece set that includes Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox.

Would collectors like to see Brer Bear added? Decided to create a poll (something we haven't had in a while), to gauge interest in adding Brer Bear.

Keep in mind, given the size of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, the piece could end up being quite large to keep in scale (therefore being more expensive), even if table was scaled smaller as they did with the Tea Party sculpture featuring the Mad Hatter and March Hare from Alice in Wonderland.

Let's Get Voting!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Scrooge McDuck is the 3rd Release in the Classic Comics Series!

Tycoon and tightwad Scrooge McDuck is the star of one of the best-selling comic books in history. And it’s no surprise that Donald Duck’s fantastically wealthy uncle out-supers the superheroes as he embarks on a globe-spanning series of adventures and odysseys.

But, as seen in this pricelessly sculpted piece—plussed with 21 separate pewter details and wire spectacles—based on the cover of Uncle Scrooge #5 (March 1954), drawn by Duck artist supreme Carl Barks, simple pleasures are still the best for this multi-trillionaire, and the ringing of the cash register is music to Uncle Scrooge’s ears.

"Cash Register Concerto" sculpted by Bruce Lau, is the Third Release in the Classic Comics Series and Limited to Production Year 2010.

Who Is Going to Get the Last Laugh?

Walt Disney loved the animal fables penned by Joel Chandler Harris in which clever Brer Rabbit constantly outfoxed crafty Brer Fox—but this time it looks like it’s the hungry fox who has the upper hand.

But never fear, quick-thinking Brer Rabbit will have the last laugh. First brought to life through Disney animation, these fanciful folklore critters have been immortalized in the classic Disney Theme Park attraction Splash Mountain.

These fun-filled sculptures are plussed with a bronze fork and pewter neck on Brer Fox and a pewter pole for Brer Rabbit.

"Cooking Up a Plan" (Brer Rabbit) and "Last Laugh" (Brer Fox) are a two-piece box set, sculpted by Ruben Procopio that will be Limited to Production Year 2010.

Who do YOU think is going to get the Last Laugh between these two? :)

New WDCC Tinker Bell Sculpt Captures Her Creating a Little Mischief!

“The little fairy Tinker Bell glows like a firefly,” said Walt Disney of one of his most popular characters, “as she flits about with the speed of a hummingbird.”

Plussed with a bronze foot and a magnet to hold Tink in place, this delightful sculpture prettily portrays the twinkling sprite as Peter Pan’s pixie pal daintily dips her tiny foot in Captain Hook’s inkwell.

"Mischief Maker" sculpted by Margi Wray is a two-piece Open Edition sculpture.

Bambi & Thumper: Pure Gold!

One of the Walt Disney Classics Collection first releases when it was introduced in October, 1992 was Bambi and Flower (the skunk) in the flowers when they first met. Flash forward eighteen (18) years later, the Walt Disney Classics Collection introduces a new sculpture of Bambi and Thumper in the meadow.

Ever enthusiastic and eager for a special treat, Thumper is in clover as he explains to best buddy Bambi that the best way to feast upon a forest repast is to gobble the blossoms and leave the reens. Good thing the young Prince of the Forest has such a beguiling guide to the marvels of their woodland home.

It’s no wonder that upon first seeing the animation of these two unforgettable characters, Walt Disney proclaimed them to be “pure gold.”

"Just Eat the Blossoms. That's the Good Stuff!" sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales is Limited to Production Year 2010.

Two New Releases Marking the 60th Anniversary of Disney's Cinderella!

As part of the Summer 2010 announcement by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, two (2) sculpture releases will honor the 60th Anniversary of Disney's Cinderella.

Arrayed in her miraculous, luminous gown, Cinderella never looked so radiant as the aptly named Prince Charming kisses the hand of the surprised scullery maid in disguise.

Walt Disney had originally intended to spotlight the Prince in a lighthearted introductory sequence, but still this royal romancer shines in the Ball sequence as the guest of honor charmingly sweeps the mystery guest off her feet. This exquisite sculpture is plussed with metallic and opalescent paint and real pearl earrings on Cinderella.

"Royal Introduction" sculpted by Kent Melton is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750.

Two tiny heroes have a mission most impossible: hoisting a key up a massive staircase to rescue a princess-to-be from her attic-room prison.

Gus and Jaq are celebrated in this irresistible sculpture, plussed with pewter arms and wire tails, complete with a base authentic to the Tremaine chateau floor, at the start of their daunting knight-errant’s errand of mercy.

"Saving Cinderelly" sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales is Limited to Production Year 2010. Both sculptures will bear a 60th Anniversary backstamp.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

D23 Expo & DESTINATION D News!

Disney's D23 Celebrates Disneyland's 55th Anniversary
with All-New, Two-Day DESTINATION D Event

2011 Dates for D23 EXPO Also Announced
as the Official Community for Disney Fans Marks First Year

BURBANK, Calif. – March 10, 2010 – It’s a milestone year for the Disneyland® Resort, and D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans is celebrating with the premiere of DESTINATION D, a brand-new, two-day event exclusively for D23 Members that illuminates Disney’s fascinating history.

D23 announced its latest members-only event on its first anniversary – capping a year in which Disney’s first-ever fan community grew to encompass tens of thousands of members from all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries worldwide.

The inaugural DESTINATION D, whose theme is “Disneyland ’55,” will be held this Sept. 24-25. DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will take D23 Members on a journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world’s first Disney theme park. The first DESTINATION D will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.

DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that let fans meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland’s history. Future DESTINATION D events will explore other important aspects of Disney’s creative legacy. Following its premiere in September, DESTINATION D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 EXPO.

The next D23 EXPO is set for Aug. 19-21, 2011, returning to the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the 2011 D23 EXPO will go on sale Aug. 19 (one year in advance), with specially priced tickets available exclusively to D23 Members. In addition, D23 Charter Members will have access to a special Charter Member Lounge at the 2011 D23 EXPO, at no additional cost.

The first-ever D23 EXPO attracted nearly 40,000 Disney fans when it debuted last September, bringing the entire world of Disney under one massive roof. During the D23 EXPO, fans were treated to appearances by superstars like Johnny Depp, Miley Cyrus and John Travolta; explored exciting, new concepts and attractions from Disney Parks and Walt Disney Imagineering; peered into Disney’s history at special panels, presentations and displays; and discovered the newest entertainment, products and events from throughout The Walt Disney Company.

“The first D23 EXPO surpassed all of our expectations, and our 2011 Expo is already shaping up to be a jaw-dropping, not-to-be missed showcase of the best and brightest Disney has to offer,” said Steven Clark, head of D23.

“We’re very excited to also be creating an entirely new event with DESTINATION D, which will bring Disney’s fascinating history to D23 Members in ways no other Disney fan can experience,” Clark said. “There’s nowhere on earth quite as special as Disneyland, and we want fans to see it as they never have before.”

The D23 team is in the midst of developing exclusive programming for DESTINATION D – but an early peek at plans reveals a host of special speakers, presentations and panels throughout the two-day event, including:

· “Disneyland: The Way We Were” – Disney’s Chief Archivist Dave Smith will look back at highlights from Disneyland history;
· “Disney Undiscovered” – An exploration of never-built projects and attractions developed for Disneyland;
· “23 on 55” – The Walt Disney Archives celebrates Disneyland’s 55th anniversary;
· “Weird Disney” – A showcase for some of the quirky, little-known facts, places, people and ideas that even the most avid fan might not know.

More details on the programming and events planned for DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 – as well as details about the 2011 D23 EXPO – will be available soon at Tickets will go on sale early this summer.

DESTINATION D joins a lineup of special events throughout 2010 designed exclusively for D23 Members. Among them are free screenings of classic Disney movies during the “50 & Fabulous” film festival at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank; members-only tours of the famed Walt Disney Archives; an exclusive Sip & Stroll event during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival; and holiday-themed Magic and Merriment weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the wonder and excitement that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official community for fans in Disney’s 85-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at; a collectibles line, The Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year. Fans can join D23 at, select shops at Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort, and

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

B&W Two Gun Mickey Rides into the Sunset!

Sales Reps and Authorized Dealers were advised today of the retirement of the black and white scene from Two Gun Mickey (1934). Mickey Mouse ("Quick Draw Cowboy), Minnie Mouse ("Cutest L'il Cowgirl") and the Cactus, sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons plus an Opening Title were released in March, 2004 as an Open Edition release.

A few months later, a colorized version based on the colorized re-release of the animated short, was made available by special commission to event guests attending the 2004 "Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics" Convention held May 14-16, 2004 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.

Please check with your authorized dealer for availability regarding the black and white version that was retired today!

Upcoming Figment Event Announced!

The Art of Disney Parks has updated their website with information regarding the upcoming release of Figment in Tuxedo ("Top Hat and Tails") from the Walt Disney Classics Collection.

Event Date: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Event Times: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Event Location: Art of Disney, Epcot®

Slip into your showstopping finest and join impresario Figment as he invites you into the world of imagination. The act of creativity is a never-ending adventure, especially when Figment is around. A Numbered Limited Edition of 750, sculpted by Bruce Lau, Figment is based on an original attraction reference.

A limited number will be available for pre-order. To pre-order, please contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 827-7600.

Walt Disney Event Services is open Monday–Friday from 9:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Guests may only purchase up to two (2) Figments. All orders will be processed and charged on Friday, April 23rd. Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

Product release information listed above is subject to change without notice. Separate admission is required to enter Epcot®