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A true Disney rumor

I had always heard that at Disney you go to bed on October 31 and the parks are decorated for Halloween and when you wake up the next morning they are decorated for Christmas. Because I live in the show me state I wanted to see this for myself. It worked out well because Halloween was on a Wednesday when we visited. Our back stage tour was on Tuesday so one of the other couples asked our guide and she said yes it would happen. She said everything but the trees would be up on the first and the trees would be up on the second. I found this totally incredible considering the park was open until midnight on Halloween and probably closer to one before everyone got out of there and then opened again at nine am. We went to Magic Kingdom on the second and since pictures speak a thousand words I’m ending this with them.

 

Mole Moral ~ Seeing is believing!

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Creative Costuming

Part of my love for Disney is the costumes that they have. I was very excited to go behind the scenes to see where everything is made. Now the workers uniforms that work say in Space Mountain are made off site by another company. The others like Woody, Jasmine, all of the outfits on the dolls in It’s A Small World are made on site at Creative Costuming. Creative Costuming 3
The outfits hanging up as prototypes were fantastic. They even find stuff to look like leather to make costumes lighter weight. They couldn’t find the right fabric for the sash in this picture so they sewed the red and white material together to make the stripes. I can’t even imagine what a nightmare that was.

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They do a lot of embroidery work. However they have big machines to do it that are run by computers. Someone has to program them to do what they need.So at creative costuming not only were real people using real sewing machines but other real people were working on computer programs as well.Creative Costuming 1Emily said I needed to get a job there. I said heck no, my neck is on fire just thinking about being hunched over a sewing machine, sewing stuff together wrong and having to redo. DSCN9910
I was blown away by all of these thread colors. I cannot imagine having access to all of this at once. Go big or go home I suppose.

Mole Moral ~ My job at Disney would not be in this place, I better stick to being a nurse.

 

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Epcot and American Adventure

Every time I have visited Disney, I felt that Epcot was by far the lamest of all four parks. The rides are mostly educational and nothing at all in the thrill category. After the Backstage Magic Tour, I have a brand new appreciation for Epcot.
For starters Epcot and The World Showcase were suppose to be two separate parks. I believe it was a financial decision to make them one. The World Showcase was Walt Disney’s idea of how to show people not to be afraid of other cultures. In the original park design America was supposed to be between Canada and Mexico and a five-story building. However where the showcase joins Epcot is where America should have been so they had to move it across to the opposite side of the showcase. However a five-story colonial building would look like a huge eye sore between Japan and Italy. Here is a picture of it and it is indeed five stories.IMG_4839.jpgI will share the Disney Magic with you. First of all the first floor is underground. If you pay attention when you are walking towards the building, the ground goes uphill. More magic of how four floors look like three. It’s call forced perspective. From a distance and if you aren’t paying attention the doors on the outside look normal size. Now look at Emily standing next to the door. They are huge.IMG_4840On the inside it looks like there is a cathedral ceiling.IMG_4841However the ceiling is actually flat and it’s painted that way. Above this is the theater that presents a show about the history of America. There are no windows in the next level because it’s actually between the third and forth floor but the outside makes it look like the second floor.IMG_4842When we had our tour Epcot was not open but they were doing a test run on the show. The show has a movie in the background with animatronics that pop up. George Washington and Ben Franklin are the hosts. There was a cast member watching to make sure all the animatronics were working and all the clothes and things were in the right place. We then got to go back behind the screen and the stage and see how it all runs. It is still run by a computer from the 1980’s. Those huge ones that are as tall as people. It runs the scene changer which starts completely under the seats and moves back one scene at a time. The animatronics pop up in time with the movie. It is huge and yet you cannot feel or hear it moving when watching the show. Someone asked why they didn’t update the computer. If they updated computer they would have to update the scenes, the animatronics and on and on. It works just fine so there is no reason fixing something that is not broken.
If you ever wondered why Epcot had sponsors for the rides and things we learned the  answer. When they first built Epcot the way to save their money was to offer up cooperate sponsorships and get part of it paid that way. Why pay for something, if you can find someone else to do it.                                                                                                       We also learned that in the nighttime show Illuminations Reflection of Earth there are two people in the earth that floats across the water.  The earth eventually opens up into a flower with a torch in the center. Emily and I had to watch the show after hearing the back story. Somewhere there is a lead-lined sitting area that two people are in during the entire show. This is how they drive it across the lake. They do not come out until everything is cooled down and they get the ok. That alone would send me into a claustrophobic panic attack.

 

Our tour girl was totally into pyrotechnics so we learned a lot. No, Disney does not make their own fireworks but it is heavily regulated and they must have all sorts of permits. If it is raining they can get the entire firework show set up in two hours, otherwise they normally take their time. It was interesting during the day to watch the lake and see as the fireworks had been added. We even got to see where the flower is kept during the day.

Mole Moral ~ It only took five trips to Disney for me to appreciate Epcot which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.

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Textile Services

Eight years ago when I went to Disney with the family, I took a four hour walking tour called Keys to the Kingdom. I was able to see a lot of behind the scenes at Disney and it was just fantastic. I then read about Backstage Magic which was seven hours long and I knew one day I had to do it. This was the year and I made Emily go with me. It was super expensive but worth every penny to me. We visited five different areas so this blog is about the laundry at Disney.
Disney currently has thirty-six resorts and I have no idea how many restaurants that use linen, tablecloths etc. They have four different laundry facilities on site all of which operate sixteen hours a day every day. The other eight hours are maintenance for the machines. Each facility services specific resorts because you cannot mix the high thread count linens with the low count. We visited the one that is in charge of the value resorts as we stayed in Toy Story at All Star Movies.
The laundry is trucked into one side of the building where it is then hand sorted by employees so that each type is washed by itself. Meaning towels with towels, pillowcases with pillowcases etc. They drop into these huge laundry bags that then run along a track hanging from the ceiling.

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Does this remind you of anything? The doors in Monsters Inc. came from this set up. Although the Disney artists never visited textile services it was based on industrial laundry facilities.  They then flow over to the washing machines. The linen has a chip in them which tells the washing machine what item it is and then sets the cycle for that type. It then goes to the dryer and they have automatic folders for sheets, towels etc.
The employees then put them back in the same bins they arrived in. But the bins go through their own wash and dry machine as well. The bins are loaded back onto the trucks that dropped the dirty stuff off and back to the resorts it goes.
If you are looking at the laundry facility, the dirty arrives on the right and the clean leaves on the left. There is no cross contamination. No photos were allowed but our tour girl could take some which I downloaded off of a special website.

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Here’s the kicker. At just one facility if you did the amount of laundry they do in sixteen hours one load at a time, twenty-four hours a day, how long do you think it would take you? SEVENTY-TWO years. Now that’s a lot of laundry!

Mole Moral ~ There should be no more complaining on Sunday’s about six loads of laundry that the Mole house does.

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Toy Story Land

As most people know my two favorite Disney movies are Monsters Inc and Toy Story. It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned from the most fantastic graduation trip with Emily. It’s been about eighteen months since she became a Physical Therapist and she could have time off for vacation. We both love Disney and Halloween so what better time to go then over Halloween. We also heard the park goes to sleep on Halloween night decorated for Halloween and awakens the next morning decorated for Christmas. That indeed is true which will be a different blog post.
Toy Story land opened in Hollywood Studios over the summer and I was so excited. The three-dimensional shooting game that was already there was incredible and major fun. I was looking forward to riding the slinky dog roller coaster. Walking into that section was like the movie had come alive. There was a giant woody greeting folks as they came in.

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Up by the rollercoaster was a giant Jenga game with Rex on top who also spoke.

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Standing in line for the ride was like being in the box the roller coaster would have come in. The attention to detail was mind-blowing including the wall of “stickers” with some missing. They had artwork of Andy’s and how the coaster would go together. I must say it was the smoothest roller coaster I have ridden to date.


It was just the two of us so of course I needed photos of us with Buzz and then Woody and Jesse.

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When the first movie came out, Emily was three years old. She refused to go to the movies to see it. I finally saw it when I bought it on VHS. It would be a few years later before she admitted she was scared of the cowboy (Woody). So to get her to be in the picture I told her she could be by Jessie and I would be by Woody. I walked up to Woody and hugged him. I was so excited, like a kid at Christmas and then I stepped on his boot. This caused me to lose my balance and I almost fell. He grabbed my arm and saved me. Although he never spoke a word, I could tell he was very concerned by his body actions which was really cool to me.

Before we started the photo’s, Jessie noted that I had a bucket o soldiers in my hand. A green army man just happened to be walking by so she waved him over to show him the bucket of soldiers. While we were busy taking pictures he autographed my bucket o soldiers. While walking around the park a guy my age asked where I found them and then proceeded to tell me he would light his on fire when he was a kid. I informed him he was just like Sid in the movie. After I got home, I opened the box and sure enough, the injured soldier that Andy’s mom stepped on was in the bucket.

Mole Moral ~ Never let a trip and near fall stop you from having your photo taken with the scary cowboy.

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Meet the Flintstones

Growing up Brian’s favorite show was The Flintstones. I’m pretty sure he’s seen every episode. One of his favorite expressions is “that Barney Rubble, what an actor.” Sometime after I had picked out my new fifty mile marathon, I was scrolling through Facebook when someone posted that the Flintstones RV park in Arizona was for sale. I clicked on it and started reading about it. I discovered the owners also owned one in South Dakota that has been sold about a year ago. They are now in their seventies and ready to retire. So I looked up the one in South Dakota and discovered it was located in Custer. I was so excited and decided I would surprise Brian when we arrived.
About a week before we left I was looking up the address to the place. Someone posted that it has been torn down and there was nothing to see. I was so disappointed and told Brian what had happened. It was another Schleprock strikes again. Schleprock is a character from Pebbles and Bam-Bam show. (Pebbles was Fred’s daughter and Bam-Bam was Barney’s). Schleprock always had a dark cloud hanging over him and everywhere he went so did bad luck. During our twenty-five year anniversary trip is when I was given the nickname Schleprock by Brian.
As we were driving into Custer the billboard for the Flintstones RV park was still up so we decided we were checking it out. The park was about a quarter-mile from our first hotel.

This is what we saw when we first walked up.

IMG_5182I texted my friend Meg and said we were going in. She volunteered to pay our bail. The place was so cool for kids. It’s a shame it’s been bought and left to fall apart. We enjoyed visiting Fred and Barney’s house and all the play areas they had for kids. Even the bathroom was cute. Brian and I both enjoyed it and worth the risk.

 

Mole Moral ~ Just because it’s on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

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The Journey Home

Yesterday was an extremely long day. I woke up at 5:30 am Denmark time which was 9:30 pm Missouri time. For the last time i had bacon and fresh-cut pineapples for breakfast. The pineapple was the best. Mom and I were off the boat by 7:45. We were herded onto busses to take us back to the airport. There were four buses total to take us to a tent where our luggage was located. Of course we ended up being the very last people in line to go in the tent. This made it easy to find our suitcases and the fact that they are orange helped a lot too. We then walked twenty miles into the airport. During the time we were waiting to get our luggage people were sneaking into the tent through a different entrance. We were scheduled to fly home Air Canada and guess what their desk did not even open until 9:15 to check luggage. So all those jerks that were in such a hurry had to wait anyway. We could not check in via the little machines because US passports do not have a bar code. So we stood in line forever to check our bags. I had done online check in but couldn’t print boarding passes because no telling what the cruise would charge to print. (haha) We then came across 7-11 and stopped for drinks and snacks. I found it so funny there is a 7-11 in Copenhagen airport. We then walked forever to our terminal. The flight was seven hours long. We left at 12:15 and arrived in Toronto at 7:15 (Copenhagen time) but it was now 2:15 in the afternoon. I watched three movies. My favorite all time cheerleading movie Bring it On, Despicable me 2, and Wild. Now I had read the book Wild, it’s about a girl who went hiking on the Pacific Trail Coast with zero experience and used it as therapy to get over her divorce and the death of her mother. The book was so much better but I enjoyed watching it. I didn’t sleep at all. After we landed in Toronto the adventure really began.

We got off the airplane and walked a really long way before we reached the area for going to the united states. We walked up to computers where you had to scan your passport and answer if you were bringing wildlife into the country. That took forever to get it to read our passports. We then entered the line for security which  was huge and the folks were crabby and made everyone take off their shoes. Of course I had to pull my computer out and everyone had to take off jackets. We finally managed to get through that to another line to go through customs. By this time it’s 3:30 and our flight was due out at 4:15. We got moved to an even longer line because we had an X on the paper that printed after the passport scanning. Finally mom went and complained we were going to miss our flight so we got moved to a priority line. I am not sure what was wrong with our passports but it was fixed within five minutes. So we go to find our gate and it now says our flight is cancelled. I’m thinking if I’m stuck in Canada until tomorrow I’m going to kill someone. I just wanted to get home and see Brian and Allyson. So we go to the desk and find we’ve been put on another flight that will be a half an hour later and had new boarding passes printed.

The flight to St. Louis was uneventful. I think I may have slept 45 minutes but it was that time where I was dreaming I was awake. Mom was convinced our suitcases would be lost but they showed right up on the carousal. Brian waited until right before we landed to leave so we only had to wait about five minutes till he picked us up. This worked out nicely since mom hadn’t smoked a cigarette since the suitcase line in Denmark. He forgets he is taking her home and takes 55 instead of 270 so we had the scenic tour. We dropped her off and headed home. I was so glad to be home and fell asleep around 8:30 after being up for about 22 hours. I haven’t done that in at least 16 years when I use to do an occasional overnight shift in the burn unit.

 

Mole Moral~ It’s always an adventure to go on vacation with me. Any crazy thing that can happen probably will. This trip was no exception and left us with many fun memories.