Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. March Madness is my favorite sports time of the year (especially in years like this one, when my Jayhawks are in the Final Four – Rock Chalk)! This year, a couple of my favorite Disney sites are getting into the March Madness spirit. Over at WDW Solo Meets, Turkey Leg Jeff has been conducting a Twitter-poll-based Disney Dining Madness tournament. California Grill knocked off ‘Ohana in the first semifinal match. Currently, Le Cellier is facing Sanaa in the second semifinal. Meanwhile, over at WDWToday, Matt, Mike, Len and Mike have been arranging Walt Disney World attractions into a bracket. As of yesterday’s episode, they’d worked down to their final four. Now is the time to catch up on those episodes – I expect that they’ll be announcing the winner on Monday’s podcast.

2. Another blog that I haven’t mentioned enough here is Tom Bricker’s Disney Tourist Blog. Not only does Tom take and share excellent photography from Disney theme parks, he also offers well-written reviews and shares many of his tips and tricks for taking great photos.

3. Thanks to all of our participating DISDads, especially recent podcast first-timers David Juart, Dave Compton; and Mark Pratt for his help keeping the new message boards moderated.

4. Speaking of the new message boards, come on over and join in the discussion! Our goal is to generate a different atmosphere than is present on the larger, more open boards. If the DIS is conversation that would be appropriate on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, the DISDads boards are a conversation among the guys hanging out at a sports bar. We have put most of the content boards behind a subscription pay wall, but we’ve left the barrier to entry low. You can purchase an annual subscription for just $1. The reason for doing this is that the pay wall has proven to be the only effective tool for keeping out spammers and trolls. You can purchase other subscription levels, and recieve premiums like a DISDads T-shirt or coffe mug, with the higher cost going to help over the operating costs of the site. If you haven’t registered for the new boards yet, come on over, we’d love to see you there!

5. I just returned this week from a Preview Cruise on the new Disney Fantasy. She’s a truly amazing ship! But if I had to choose the single most impressive thing about the ship itself (as opposed to the CMs, who were incredible the whole time) it would have to be the new show that’s part of the dining experience at The Animator’s Palate. The ability to take artwork created by hundreds of guests and turn it into animated characters who dance and march along with classic Disney characters in a show in just over an hour is incredible. And seeing the reactions on the faces of children as they recognize their drawing dancing along up on the screen is absolutely priceless.

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