An Opinion: The “Retirement” of Wishes!

Good morning, folks!  Before I go any further with my “two cents”, I’d like to direct you to our latest show … Episode 358 – Happy Mothers’ Day and Our Weekly News!

In this episode, like every other Sunday, Doug, Dennis, and John discuss all the latest news from around Walt Disney World.  This week, though, they also covered the end of Wishes and the beginning of Happily Ever After.

It got me to thinking … how do I feel about the “retirement” of Wishes?  A future member of All in WDW’s “Hall of Fame”, perhaps?  Hmm.  Maybe.

Actually, up until a few years ago, our family liked the nighttime spectacular.  We didn’t love it.  We were turned off by the throng of people one had to endure in order to witness the event.

In addition, we held much, much fonder memories of Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  An umbrella table in Italy.  A glass of wine.  The soundtrack.  The fireworks.  Way more enjoyable, for us.

Then, we “moved” to Orlando.  Yeah, I wish.  Actually, for two years, Mrs. All in WDW and I leased an apartment just off Disney property.  It was a wonderful place … with a balcony that faced the Magic Kingdom!

There, we got the opportunity – night after night – to view Wishes countless times!  Did we miss the soundtrack?  No.  I downloaded it to my iPhone and made a game of pressing ‘play’ at just the right time.  Just when the show should start.

From the comfort of our own “home”, we got to enjoy phenomenal shows at New Year’s Eve and 4th of July.  We enjoyed HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes many, many times.

So, how do I feel about the “retirement” of Wishes?  Well, to tell the truth, so much is changing in The World these days, I’m kind of numb.  Its “termination” was destined to happen sooner or later, no?

You know what I’ll really miss, though?  Illuminations – if they take that out next.  Oh, the rumors have been flying around for years, so I think I have a right to be worried.

My friends, change – as Disney has demonstrated in multitudes of ways – is inevitable.  Wishes is just the latest example.  Having said that, I hope its memory will last ‘… ever after’.

“Magical” Trivia Revealed! A Video Answer To Yesterday’s Question?

I want to thank Pat Jeanetti of the The Mickey Dudes Podcast for the lead in to today’s post.  In a comment, yesterday, he said …

“Now I see the ‘trick’ in the wording … as many of these were Opening Day attractions.  Four out of the five, in fact.  But, actual ‘physical age’ … that is the key to unlocking this answer!  Great question!”

Thanks a lot, Pat!  You are exactly right!  What I asked was … “in physical age, what is the oldest attraction in Magic Kingdom?”

Folks, currently closed for refurbishment, from late April through mid-May , Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, is not your everyday ‘merry–go–round’!

Yes, formerly known as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, it was built in 1917 for the Detroit Palace Garden Park.  It was later moved to Maplewood Olympic Park in New Jersey.  That’s where Disney designers discovered it!

Of course, they turned it into the wonderful attraction it is today.  As a matter of fact, it’s one of Mrs. All in WDW’s favorites!

[]

So, my friends.  Was the question, itself, too “tricky”?  Was it much too hard?  Most people think about Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress being designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair and think … that’s old!

There were two potentially correct answers to our trivia question.  Carrousel, naturally.  I think that’s the right answer, for the record.

However, one of the Walt Disney World Railroad’s locomotives – the Roy O. Disney – was built in 1916.  The rest of the attraction, though?  Well, let’s just say it can’t beat Prince Charming!

If you chose Magic Kingdom’s ‘Regal Carrousel’ when you selected an answer, give yourself a ‘gold star’.  The railroad?  Humbly accept a ‘silver’.  Great answer, but not quite the park’s oldest attraction!

“Quick Magic” Trivia! How Well Do You Know Mickey’s Kingdom?

Good morning, everyone!  We all know that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened its doors for business on October 1, 1971.  Over 45 years ago, folks!

Having said that, how well do you know the ages of the park’s attractions?  Got ’em memorized, do ya’?  Well, let me ask you this … in physical age, what is the oldest attraction in Magic Kingdom?

I promise, folks.  It is not a trick question.  The “video” answer to this challenge comes tomorrow, my friends!  Drop back in to see!

“Paddling” to Victory! The WDW Table Service Draft Champ is Crowned!

Good morning, folks!  Happy Monday?  I know.  I’m not very happy about the fact, either.  Let’s talk about something more pleasant, shall we?  How about … Disney Dining!

Every good “competition” needs a re-cap, doesn’t it?  Well, here is my handful of “cents” as to why this past weekend’s Table Service Draft poll ended up as it did.

Did you listen to the show?  Did you vote?  Did you catch the results?  If you need some reminders, click these links …

The “Live” Podcast!
The “Scoreboard”!

What a wild ride!  You know, just after the draft ended, I found myself convinced that this was going to be an epic “horse race”.  Having said that, I was confident in my “team”.

Before I tell you why, let’s take a look at the culinary “empires” constructed by my comrades …

Dennis Conroy built an impressive collection of MY personal favorites.  The BOATHOUSE.  Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room.  Kona Cafe.

All of them are phenomenal … and, all of them are home to some of my favorite dishes on WDW property – Firecracker Shrimp, Bangers and Mash, and Pan-Asian Noodles with Chicken!

To see pictures of these three delicacies, check out the “still being built” WDW Main Street Pub Menu!  Yum!

Hey!  But, shouldn’t Be Our Guest Restaurant have put him over-the-top?  Belle and her beast weren’t quite enough, it seems.

John Peters capitalized on the character-filled popularity of Tusker House Restaurant, Chef Mickey’s, Cape May Cafe, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and Cinderella’s Royal Table to power his conglomerate.

Of course, it didn’t end there.  Excellent strategy led John to claim several Signature favorites – Le Cellier Steakhouse, Flying Fish, and Victoria & Albert’s.  Strong effort, John!

With a group that included Jiko – The Cooking Place, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Morimoto Asia, Yak & Yeti Restaurant, and Spice Road Table, Doug Davis was true to his heart.  Only the “theft” of his Rose kept him from his own personal “Dream Team”.

Finally, that brings me to my “crew”.  What logic did I follow as I selected my restaurants?  Well, first, I owe Mr. Davis my thanks.

Why?  He kindly passed on my centerpiece – the “Crown Jewel” of Disney Springs.  Yes, my friends, Paddlefish led the way for my group!

I saw one comment from a reader – Curt Stone of the Geekin’ on WDW Podcast.  He summed up his feelings with, “Bob, you’re the only one with O’hana.  You win!”  Thanks, Curt!  Its selection was very intentional.

The science behind my choices was pretty straightforward, to be frank.  I mixed some traditional, old favorites – ‘Ohana, California Grill, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Whispering Canyon Cafe, and Liberty Tree Tavern – with some brand new “attractions” – Paddlefish and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’.

At the same time, I worked hard to cover the spectrum of cuisines and experiences – seafood, character opportunities, buffets, Signature dining, Italian, steakhouse, homestyle, barbecue, and bowling!

What did that all get me?  Well, it certainly was a clear-cut recipe for a hard-fought victory!

My friends, thank you from all four of us for your dedicated participation over the last few days.  We hope you enjoyed the show.  We hope you had fun with the vote!  See ya’ again … sometime really soon!

Pick the “Winner”! It’s the 2017 WDW Table Service Restaurant Draft! VOTE!

It’s Friday, folks!  Yahoo!  So.  How should we celebrate?  Well, with a good old traditional All in WDW poll, of course!

Let me ask you this … have you had a chance to catch our last show?  What?!  You haven’t?  Oh, you have to listen to this one …

WDW Main Street – Episode #350 – The EPIC Disney Table Service Restaurant Draft!

It’s phenomenal!  Trust me.  Why?  It was a controversy-filled blast!  For instance, which restaurant did I steal from Dennis?

Who was Doug mad at for half of the night?  Who saved John from losing an opportunity to pick his beloved Cape May Cafe?

It was ten rounds of fun-filled banter, my friends.  During which, we each tried to build the best collection of restaurants in “The World”!

Having said that, who gets to judge our work?  Why, you do, of course!  We’ve created four enviable culinary “empires”.  Here they are!

Doug

  1. 50’s Prime Time Café
  2. Jiko – The Cooking Place
  3. Boma
  4. The Hollywood Brown Derby
  5. Morimoto Asia
  6. Yak & Yeti Restaurant
  7. Narcoossee’s
  8. Spice Road Table
  9. Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  10. The Crystal Palace

Dennis

  1. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
  2. Biergarten Restaurant
  3. The BOATHOUSE
  4. Be Our Guest Restaurant
  5. Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
  6. Coral Reef Restaurant
  7. Kona Cafe
  8. Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
  9. Teppan Edo
  10. Tutto Italia Ristorante

John

  1. Le Cellier Steakhouse
  2. Flying Fish
  3. Victoria & Albert’s
  4. Chef Mickey’s
  5. Tusker House Restaurant
  6. Cape May Cafe
  7. Cinderella’s Royal Table
  8. T-REX
  9. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  10. Chefs de France

Bob

  1. Paddlefish
  2. ‘Ohana
  3. California Grill
  4. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
  5. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
  6. Yachtsman Steakhouse
  7. Sanaa
  8. Whispering Canyon Cafe
  9. Liberty Tree Tavern
  10. Splitsville Dining Room

Now, you get to VOTE!  What do you think?  Which collection is the most enticing?  Which “team” is the best?  VOTE in the poll below!