Give Kids the World Auction Item #8 – Minnie Mouse Watch

What’s more perfect for a New Year’s Eve auction item than . . . time? This item, donated by DISDad and Fairytale Journeys travel agent Mark Pratt, is a woman’s Minnie Mouse watch. It’s new in the box, never worn, and has a leather strap.

The auction for this item will close on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at at 10:00 p.m. Central Time.
(If the purchaser is attending the DISDads Convention, Mark will deliver the item personally at WDW).

To bid, just post your bid amount as a comment to this post.
The detailed rules for our Give Kids the World auction are listed here.

Monday Poll: Which are your favorite Disney Parks roller coasters? (Pick two)

On the Favorite Roller Coasters podcast, we talked about coasters from all of the U.S. Disney Parks, and a few overseas as well. It’s hard to pick just one from this kind of variety, so choose two. Tell us why they’re your favorites and/or what you think is missing from Disney’s roller coaster portfolio, in the comments below.

Which are your favorite Disney Parks roller coasters (pick 2)?

  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) (28%, 19 Votes)
  • Rock-n-Roller Coaster (Hollywood Studios) (25%, 17 Votes)
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) (16%, 11 Votes)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (U.S. Parks) (12%, 8 Votes)
  • California Screamin' (California Adventure) (9%, 6 Votes)
  • Space Mountain (Disneyland) (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds (Disneyland) (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Space Mountain (Disneyland Paris) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Primeval Whirl (Animal Kingdom) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • The Great Goofini (Magic Kingdom) (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Disneyland Paris) (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Goofy's Sky School (California Adventure) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Wheelchairs at WDW – A personal pre-trip note

Tracer-SX5-Desk-Arms-9153637780-Manual-Wheelchair-by-InvacareAs those of you who read/participate over on our discussion boards know, my personal DISDads Convention plans were thrown a bit of a curveball when my 10-year-old daughter injured her leg. She’s on crutches right now, and by the time we leave for Walt Disney World, she won’t even be quite half-way through her prescribed physical therapy. All that means that we have to presume that she won’t be ready to walk around the theme parks at Walt Disney World nine days from now.

She’s been using crutches now for over a month, and while she’s getting adept at using them, using crutches to maneuver around the parks would be exhausting. We considered renting an ECV for her, but 1) I don’t really trust a 10-year-old without much experience using one driving an ECV around WDW; 2) ECV rental would run us over $100 for the week; 3) ECVs have to be kept charged up; and 4) ECVs are relatively heavy to load in/take out of a car trunk (we’d already planned on renting a car for this trip). So instead of an ECV, I decided to rent a wheelchair. I think it’s the safer option, we won’t have to deal with charging, and it’ll be easier to get in and out of the rental car. (Ed. Note: Turns out I didn’t really need to go through this internal debate. I have since learned that Disney requires ECV drivers to be over the age of 18).

It was unclear to me whether the new rules regarding “approved vendors” and ECV delivery/pick-up at Disney resorts also applied to wheelchairs, but I decided to go through an approved vendor, just to play it safe. Approved vendors are permitted to drop a wheelchair at bell services at Disney resorts for guest pickup, and will retrieve the wheelchair from the resort at the end of the vacation. Working with an unapproved vendor means that you have to coordinate receiving the delivery and returning the wheelchair to the vendor personally. We’ve previously experienced the convenience of pickup/drop-off through bell services with stroller rental, and it really makes things easier.

I first contacted Buena Vista Scooters – or, rather, tried to contact them. They are recommended by the folks at, and I’ve heard good things about them generally. But my own experience was very disappointing. First, I went to their website for information. They offer lots of good information and the pricing was reasonable. But when tried to make an online reservation, I was greeted with the message that, “This product is currently unavailable for online rental.” Frustrating, but their phone number was prominently displayed. I called the phone number and the recorded message told me that the company had office hours from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. but that no one was available to take my call, and asked me to leave a message. OK. An additional hassle, but no big deal. So I left a message. Two-and-a-half hours later, I still haven’t gotten a return phone call.

So I decided to try another approved vendor about whom I’d heard good reports, Apple Scooter. Apple Scooter already leapfrogged Buena Vista Scooters by offering multiple sizes of wheelchairs. I was able to specify a chair that will likely be much more comfortable for a 10-year-old, as the seat is less deep. I did run into problems with Apple’s online reservation system as well. It kept throwing database errors. But this time, when I called, a live person answered the phone immediately. He was happy to take my reservation over the phone, and assured me that it was no problem to have the wheelchair delivered to one resort, but picked up at another (since we’re staying at Pop Century before the Convention, and Port Orleans-Riverside during the Convention). Thank you Apple Scooter. I’ll post another review after we get back from the Convention, looking at the service and quality we receive after the sale was made.

Note: I am renting this wheelchair as a regular consumer, paying full retail rates. I have not received any promotional consideration for using or reviewing any particular wheelchair or vendor.

Disney New Year’s Resolutions: Episode 60

Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Mark Pratt, Kevin Crossman, Terrence Hawkins

In Episode 60, we discuss Disney New Year’s Resolutions – both our own Disney-related resolutions and resolutions that we wish Disney would make. In addition, we used this episode to do a test live-broadcast. The unedited version of the live show can be found on our Mixlr site. Thanks to everyone who listened live and how called in via Skype to participate!

Special thanks to our Producer/Engineer Josh Haas, who also created and recorded our intro music, for this edited version of the episode. The DISDads Podcast is edited and produced by Josh Haas/Wizard of Haas Production.

We’d love to hear your comments about the podcast – Email us at; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards. If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.
(If you didn’t enjoy the podcast, you can just ignore that last link).

DISDads Podcast is now also available on Stitcher Smart Radio.

Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

It’s an all DISDads Convention Friday Five this week:

1. We’ll be broadcasting the DISDads Podcast LIVE from the DISDads Convention on Saturday, January 12 beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To listen in, just point your browser to our Mixlr page. You can join in with the LIVE fun in our Mixlr Shoutbox, and we plan on taking live callers via Skype during the broadcast as well.

2. The best way to keep track of specific plans during the convention is by subscribing to the Plancast feed. If you let us know that you’re planning to join us for an event, by clicking the “Count Me In” button, we’ll know to watch out for you before proceeding.

3. Special thanks to our DISDads Convention sponsor, Fairytale Journeys Travel and Susanne Hayes; and Fairytale Journeys travel agent hosts Aaron Rittmaster, Mark Pratt, Mark Harbeson, John Thomas

4. It’s been nearly two years since anyone has reviewed the DISDads Podcast on iTunes. Reviews make it easier for new listeners to find the show. We’d really appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to write us a review! (If you do, we’ll give you a shout out during the live show).

5. A reminder about a few closures during the DISDads Convention: Main Street Bakery begins it’s Starbucks remodel on January 6; Mad Tea Party and Splash Mountain will be closed in the Magic Kingdom; Epcot Character Spot will be closed; Kali River Rapids will be closed; and Blizzard Beach will be closed.

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