Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Anyway, to business. In the last Tip Tuesday post, I told you about pressed pennies all across Walt Disney World and where you could find a list. I had a question for you -- would any old penny work? The answer is both yes and no. Sure you could use a shiny new 2008 penny and it would look good, but the best pennies are those made before 1982. Why? Well according to PennyCollector.com, pennies dated 1982 and newer create silver streaks when they are pressed. This is because newer pennies are mostly made of zinc with only a copper coating. Older pennies (pre 1982) are made mostly of copper with a little bit of zinc. Also newer pennies apparently don't polish as well.
I tried this myself and they're right.
OK, so there's a catch. A lot of times old pennies LOOK like old pennies - they're tarnished and dirty. What's the best way to clean them and get them into shiny shape before they're pressed?
The folks at PennyCollector have listed several cleaning methods. Personally, I use the vinegar/salt and baking soda method. It's a bit messy -- alright, it's very messy and the vinegar stinks, but those pennies come out really shiny!!
As for finding old pennies - isn't that what piggy banks are all about? We all have jars of coins around the house - start going through them and look for those pre-1982 coins. You'll be surprised how many you'll find. If you're going to get into collecting pressed pennies, it's a good idea to check your pennies you get as change a few times a week as you're emptying your pockets. I keep my "pressable" pennies in a baggie in a drawer - that way I know they're not for regular use. It saves time later on.
One other tip I found from the folks at PennyCollector.com, if you want to use a special year (i.e. birth year) and have that year remain on the pressed penny, place the "heads" side of the penny away from the quarters when you put them in the slots.
Have fun with your collection and check back for next week's Tip Tuesday!
Good luck and happy pressing!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Did you ever wonder where they went next? Well for a turkey, I guess being pardoned by the President (and, thus, not being eaten) is akin to winning the Super Bowl. And where do Super Bowl winners go? You guessed it, Walt Disney World (or Disneyland)!!!
This new tradition started a few years ago at Disneyland and later Walt Disney World. Last year's turkeys are alive and well at Animal Kingdom. The turkeys to be pardoned in a month from now will go to Disneyland.
Find out much more on this interesting and unusual Thanksgiving tradition from this CNBC article.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
(Image copyright Disney, all rights reserved)
Of course the big Epcot holiday event is the nightly Candlelight Processional. This event features a choir of castmembers from all across Walt Disney World. In her latest Disney holiday special, Samantha Brown interviewed a family of five who all work at WDW (none in entertainment) and all sing in the choir. Based on some of the video I've seen, it's a fantastic concert. There are three shows each night and a special celebrity reader. Since this is not a hard-ticketed event, I may have to catch this a few times.
Beyond the candlelight processional, there is Holidays Around the World. In nearly each pavilion in World Showcase, guests can meet each country's version of Santa Claus and learn more about that country's holiday traditions. As Christmas is my favorite time of year (and I play Santa for a school during the seasons -- SHHH don't tell anyone!), I really get into Santa stories and legends.
Epcot has it's share of lights, and the walkway between Future World and World Showcase is where Epcot shines best. That along with the daily lighting of the Epcot tree should be a great experience.
Epcot is known for it's music and the holidays are no different - a great Christmas music track will be a joy to listen as we walk around this park.
Check back for more of my thoughts and anticipations as the Disney holiday's approach!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
According to a DCP news release, "Disney is ringing in the holidays with a dazzling selection of award-winning toys and electronics that are topping hot industry holiday lists and already generating a buzz with retailers, toy experts and parents alike. Disney's holiday toys and electronics are available at a variety of retailers nationwide, Disney Store locations throughout the U.S., and DisneyShopping.com. "
Much of the emphasis this holiday season is on (no surprises here) High School Musical 3, TinkerBell and Pixie Hollow and Hannah Montana.
So if you're looking for some Disney-related holiday ideas, check out the "most wanted" gift list.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
CNBC is reporting that some analysts think a slowdown is coming for the Disney parks. Due to all the current economic mess (I will leave out of this post my own thoughts on how this happened), though they did admit there is no evidence yet of a slowdown.
Personally, I don't buy it. I have a feeling park attendance is going to slightly increase or stay flat at the worst, especially from guests in the south and along the East Coast. Why? People will want to get away from all the stress in their lives and Disney is the first place that comes to mind. Trips to Europe and Hawaii are out, the airfare is too much. If they're within a decent drive time, I think Disney is a solid option, especially with gas prices continuing to drop (knock on wood that this trend will continue).
I may be an optomist - but there you are. You can decide for yourself.
Here's a great example of a pressed penny, thanks to Presscoins.com.
Each penny press usually has three designs to choose from. These are great items for kids to collect - they only cost 51-cents a piece (unless the price goes up) and you can only get them at a Disney location (parks, resorts or World of Disney). Nearly every machine has a unique design, so you aren't likely to come across the same one in two different locations.
These are fun to collect and make a very good souvenir. Everytime I talk to someone who's going to WDW for the first time, I suggest they bring pennies and quarters to have on hand for the penny presses. Like I said, my kids love collecting them and it's a great excuse to go visit other locations - especially the resorts.
I can hear you saying it now: "If there are hundreds, where in the (Walt Disney) World do you find them all?" I'm glad you asked (or kept reading).
Presscoins.com has a great checklist of penny presses that they keep updating from time-to-time. Some designs have been retired to make way for new ones. If you really going to get into collecting penny presses, I highly suggest printing this list to help you keep track of which pennies you already have and which ones you want to get. Oh, and don't think you're going to get to all of them in one trip - just can't happen. There are WAAAAY too many of them.
Parents, take a tip from the DisneyDaddy - this is a great way to keep your kids engaged while at Disney and a fun way to make some memories.
Now I can hear you asking another question: "Will any old penny do?" For the answer to that, check back for next week's Tip Tuesday (and get ready to get your hands messy)!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is one film my kids can't wait to see. To be honest, I can't either. It's refreshing to see the musical format once again take center stage, or screen, in this case. The HSM series tells the story of a high school friendship and romance (yes through rose-colored glasses), and doesnt' have one ounce of sex, drugs violence or language. Yet it has an enormous appeal. HSM is proof that a good story really does make all the difference and that a film doesn't have to be sex, drugs and rock-and-roll to appeal to tweens and teens.
As one song in the movie states, "this is the last chance" to enjoy a good family-friendly movie.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Even though Mickey and Minnie may never get married, the two voices did - and now they're Disney Legends. Also inducted were Frank Gifford, Barbara Walters and several others.
More from the official Disney news release.
There's so much going on at Very Merry, from the parade to the fireworks to hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies to special shows. And then there's the castle itself, that's what I'm looking most forward to seeing in person. The pictures and video online look amazing, but I can only imagine what a true spectacle Cinderella's Castle looks like in person with all those lights. Mickey's Twas the Night Before Christmas show sounds interesting. That is one of my favorite holiday stories, along with Mickey's Christmas Carol. I also can't wait to see it snow on Main Street. Being from the mid-Atlantic, I've seen my share of snow, but there's just something about snow at Walt Disney World that is just amazing.
(Image copyright Disney, all rights reserved.)
In the midst of all these events is another element - short lines! It's a tough choice, see the parade, stage shows, fireworks and all that, or take advantage of the opportunity to hit attractions with little wait times. Given when I'm going (early Dec.), I'll take the events, since the daytime lines are expected to be fairly short. Another element that I'm looking forward to is my kids visiting with Santa. They're getting older, so they're not as eager to sit with Santa as they used to, but I have a feeling this time they might be more eager. Besides, it's a great picture.
Speaking of pictures, anyone know what enhancements PhotoPass will have for the holidays? I know that for the Halloween season, you can add some of the Haunted Mansion ghosts to your shots.
Well, I'm sure there's so much more for me to discover at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. More thoughts on other holiday events to come!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
(Image copyright Disney, all rights reserved)
Think it's not too soon for the holidays? Think again as the Disney folks have been hard at work getting ready for the Christmas season since the beginning of August.
It's going to be a magical time to be at Disney. More to come in future postings!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Still, it sounds plausible. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney did have some plans on the board to give some major attention to Fantasyland, which is looking rather stale. Given all the economic mess going on right now, I also wouldn't be surprised if any or all of those possible plans were put on hold.
The next few years are going to be interesting for Disney. With a mega-renovation project getting ready to start at Disney's California Adventure (DCA) and with a slew of new movie projects underway, Disney probably doesn't have all that much capital to play around with to plan projects at WDW. Toss in the falling stock prices and it's anybody's guess what could happen next.
Like the stock market, Disney fans should adopt a "wait and see" attitude.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
- Standard pens don't work well - characters can't see what they're writing
- Regular sharpies mark all over the place
When the Sharpie folks came out with the click-sharpie, I knew this was the perfect writing tool for getting character autographs. Many characters have large hands (Mickey and Minnie are great examples), so they have a hard time signing books. With a sharpie, the line is thicker and bolder, so characters can more easily see what they are writing. But sharpies by themselves can leave marks where you (and the characters) don't want them. With the click-sharpie, a character can easily have it ready to use and then retract afterward. No lid to worry about - no fuss.
One note -- DON'T get the ultra fine point - the line it draws is too thin. The fine point is what you need.
Try this the next time you're getting character autographs. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
Come back next week for another Tuesday Tip!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Just remember Simba -- what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! If you see a lion sitting at the slots, don't be too alarmed.
According to a spokesperson, this means HKDL can now focus on expanding the park, which currently only has four lands (Main Street, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland).
I guess this is good news for them. HKDL is a pretty small park, so whatever they can do to expand should help out.