Disney Cruising with Fairytale Journeys by DisDads: Episode 19

Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Christopher Lingren, Mark Pratt, James Mathieson, Mark Harbeson
Special Guest: Susanne Hayes, Owner, Fairytale Journeys

Podcast Episode 19 is our second installment featuring a podcast team of independent Disney Specialist travel agents with Fairytale Journeys travel agency, discussing Disney travel planning. In Episode 19, we were joined by the owner of Fairytale Journeys travel agency, Susanne Hayes, as we discussed cruising on the Disney Cruise Line.

As always, special thanks to our Producer/Engineer Josh Haas, who also created and recorded our intro music. The DIS Dads Podcast is edited and mixed at Pi Productions by A Veil Lifted.

Note: Apologies to anyone who had difficulty downloading Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. We had a file format problem. It’s now been fixed. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Monday Poll: How long is your ideal WDW vacation?

The question says it all. We all joke about wanting to stay in the World perpetually. But we have other obligations and responsibilities that mean we need to eventually get home. And I know that my kids, on a constant Disney schedule, would eventually get pretty unpleasant to be around. So taking all of those things into consideration, how long is your ideal Walt Disney World vacation? Why?

How long is your ideal WDW vacation?

  • 8 days (42%, 14 Votes)
  • Longer than 8 days (30%, 10 Votes)
  • 7 days (18%, 6 Votes)
  • 6 days (6%, 2 Votes)
  • 5 days (3%, 1 Votes)
  • 3 days (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 4 days (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 33

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Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. So, there was a bit of controversy over on the discussion boards this week. I don’t want to go into too many details of that here, but I did want to thank my fellow DISDads for the overwhelming support. I was blown away by your kindness and generosity.

2. The time may have come for the clubhouse to have it’s own message boards. I think we need a place where we can just hang out and be guys, a place where the standard is more, “what you’d say out at a sports bar with your buddies” than “what you’d say at Chef Mickey’s surrounded by small children.” Would you be willing to pay a very small subscription fee – say $1/year – for access to message boards here at disdads.com? This would serve multiple functions: a) assure that only adults are accessing our boards; b) create accountability, by tying screen names to real identities; c) help defray the one-time cost of the message board software and the ongoing hosting and support costs; d) cut WAY down on spammers and trolls.

3. TouringPlans.com has announced improvements to their Crowd Calendar estimation model, which should help make their Crowd Calendar less subject to last-minute changes. Essentially, they’ve compiled several years worth of Walt Disney World final park hours schedules. This information is being used to more accurately predict future park hours, which are a key component of Crowd Calendar estimates. (Disney often releases initial park hours, but then extends the hours as dates get closer).

4. To celebrate their 1 year anniversary, Kingdom Strollers is giving away a FREE 7 day rental on any stroller along with a $100 Disney gift card. The rental is valid until December 31 2012 and the gift card will be mailed once a winner is announced.
To enter, just head to the Kingdom Strollers website and then “Like” them on Facebook. You will automatically be entered into the giveaway.(Full disclosure: I won a previous Kingdom Strollers giveaway, and found the owners to be friendly and responsive and their product to be of excellent quality).

5. I’m headed to WDW for Reunion in just 12 days. This will be a trip full of firsts for me: first solo trip, first December holiday trip, first trip without a dining plan. I already have plans for the Osborne Family Lights (thanks to a special event that’s part of Reunion). What else is a Disney holiday must-do? Anything in particular I should take advantage of with this being a solo trip?

Preview Review: The Muppets

Thanks to a tip-off on Twitter, I found an opportunity to register for a free pre-release screening of the Muppet Move via fandango.com last Monday. We are all HUGE Muppet fans, so even though it meant going to a 7:00 p.m. movie on a school night, there was no question we were all going. I don’t want to spoil the movie before it’s even released, so I’ll focus on some general things about the movie, and on my kids’ reactions.

First, the movie is WONDERFUL. Jason Segal gets the Muppets. It is obvious that the movie was written by someone other than Jerry Juhl (screenwriter on every other Muppet film, except Muppets Take Manhattan), but the feel is still authentically Muppet. The Muppets are as real as people. The movie is chock-full of pop culture asides and self-references. The fourth wall exists only as much as it is necessary (and that’s not much). And the script is full of both humor and heart. I really appreciated that the movie had a sense of its own history, with explicit references to songs from The Muppet Movie (Rainbow Connection) and Muppets Take Manhattan (Together Again). And the big song and dance production numbers reminded me of The Great Muppet Caper. I’m sure there were many, many more. One reason I’m staying away from a detailed review at this point is that the movie was so full of cameos, asides and call-outs that I’m SURE I missed tons of them on first viewing.

The kids loved the movie almost as much as I did. I couldn’t really watch Mikaela (age 9) during the movie, as she was sitting on the opposite side of my wife, but I could hear her laughter. I was sitting next to Jonathan (almost 5), and it was interesting to observe his reactions. I’d been a bit worried about bringing him – it was going to be late for him, and the last couple of times he’d been to movies in a theater, he’d needed to go out of the theater for part of the movie, because he just got too antsy. But The Muppets kept him rapt in his seat. He was smiley and giggly during the early part of the film. And as the inevitable crisis befell the Muppets, his “eyes leaked” as he put it (and rather profusely, I might add). He had to be consoled and encouraged to stick it out and see how it all worked out in the end.

Bottom line: We all loved The Muppets. We’ll probably see it again at some point during Thanksgiving Weekend with extended family. Assuming it hangs around in theaters long enough, we’ll see it again over the Christmas holidays when we visit my in-laws in Iowa. And we’ll be pre-ordering the Blu-Ray (I’m very interested to see the extras that make it onto the disk), for frequent Family Movie Night viewings.