Showing posts with label Buzz Lightyear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buzz Lightyear. Show all posts

Monday, April 2, 2012

Disneyland Paris Planning with Nine: Part 7, Walt Disney Studios Park

Today Janine continues her series with us as she plans her family's first trip to Disneyland Paris.  She's also participating in the 20 Days to 20 Years series at DISTherapy and co-hosted by Pursuing the Magic and Manda's Disney Blog.  All of the lovely photos in this article are courtesy of Donna at DISTherapy.  (THANKS!)

2012 is a very special year for Disneyland Paris.  Not only does it mark the 20 year anniversary of it's opening, it is even more importantly the year of my first visit!  I am honoured to be part of this anniversary blog special, as not only is it great fun to write, it has been helping me to plan my trip also.

2006 was a pretty uneventful year for DLP.

2005 had seen the opening of Space Mountain Mission 2, the Wishes premiere and the PanoraMagique Balloon.

There were plans galore ready for 2007, including the opening of my personal favourite, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (I can not wait to try this out).

But the only significant event for 2006 was the opening of the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast on the 8th of April, in the Disneyland Park.

The attraction features everyone's favourite Space Ranger and 88 targets for guests to shoot at, with the aim of scoring as many points as possible. Once certain targets have been hit, others are revealed within the sets.  There are now 5 interactive Buzz Lightyear dark-rides around the world, one of the few selected attractions to be featured at every Magic Kingdom Park.  This will be one of the rides my DD is most looking forward to because, for the moment anyway, she LOVES Toy Story and especially Buzz, whom she calls 'brum brum' - think car noise, well, he does have a jet pack to fly with, she's only 2, work with me here!

But enough of the Disneyland Park - for those of you following my planning series here on Growing Up Disney (and if you're not, why not huh?) you'll know this month it is time to look at Walt Disney Studios.

This park is not unlike the Hollywood Studios at WDW asides from it is much smaller.  It is split into 5 distinct areas - Front Lot, Production Courtyard, Toon Studio, Backlot and Toy Story Playland.  If you've just read my above comment regarding my DDs current obsession with all things Buzz and Woody, you can guess where we'll be spending most of our time.

Production Courtyard holds 2 must do's for us - Playhouse Disney Live on Stage (we will all enjoy this) and for me of course, the Tower of Terror.  I was unable to ride this last time I was in WDW as I was pregnant with Tink so I am extra excited about this one.  In fact, I would forgo all other rides and attractions just to experience this, to see how it compares to the one in Florida.  I will also be having a good look in Tower Hotel Gifts to pick up a few goodies.

Backlot holds the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.  We are big fans of this at HS and would like to try it in France.  Again I was unable to ride it last time so will be good to try this.  We are travelling with DMIL and DFIL who are also enjoy this one, so we will definitely be making use of Baby Switch and Fastpass.

In Toon Studio I would love to do the Art of Disney Animation.  I love the version at WDW.  But it may not be too much fun for a 2 year old.  I think our best bet here will be Animagique.  This is a stage show combining puppets and live action and most importantly for Tink, features Mickey and a naughty Donald.  What more could a 2 year old want huh?  We will definitely take a look in the Disney Animation Gallery to try to pick up another print to add to our collection of Disney Artwork.

Most importantly for the smallest member of the family will be Toy Story Playground.  Fairly new, it only opened in 2010, she's either going to love it and never want to leave, or be over awed and hate it ... Those of you with toddlers know you can never 100% predict which it will be.  I can also see a lot of Euros being spent in the shop here ...

So there is a lot to look forward to whilst touring the Studios.  However, as with Disneyland Park, any rides and attractions we get to see will be a bonus.  It'll mainly be a walk around and time to soak up the atmosphere.  And find a few characters.  And spend some money!

Thanks for reading along!

Contributed by Janine P. of Swindon, England. She is a proud wife, mommy to Felicity and one of our Minnie Moms.  Follow along throughout this monthly series as she plans her first trip to Disneyland Paris.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Post: Growing Up Disney

So, the other day, Growing Up Disney celebrated their first anniversary. I want to first congratulate them, as I know how much work and dedication goes into this endeavor. And also how much Love you have to have to continue doing it. I have been fortunate enough to have met Amy and Ridge, if only online and have had the honor to write a guest post (or two) for this wonderful website in the past. When Amy asked for another guest post, I knew exactly what I was going to write about; the name of this website; Growing Up Disney.

Getting to know Ridge (Chris) and Amy and reading their father’s words, they truly grew up Disney. A few weeks ago, Ridge posted a picture on Twitter of a pile of stuffed animals from his childhood. Believe me, they could have lost Amy’s “Tink” in the pile, it was that big. I made the comment that they truly did Grow Up Disney. Then Amy and I had a conversation about a guide map from the Magic Kingdom that she used to have hanging on her wall, when she was a kid. (I still actually have mine; I know she’s jealous of that.) They mention on the site that they visited Disney World often as kids (I’m jealous of that). Their Father is still a big Disney enthusiast; I mean he writes for the site. Again, I think, “Wow, they did Grow Up Disney.”

I didn’t have that Disney experience. We did go twice to Disney World when I was a kid. I was 12 and 14 when we went; Epcot wasn’t even open yet. I fell in love with the most magical place in the world on those trips. I went back on my senior trip in high school in 1985, then got back again in 1990. It would be another decade before I made it again. That is when I realized I couldn’t live without going every couple of years. I needed to go to Disney World, so I bought in to the Disney Vacation Club.

Because of that, my son, John, hasn’t gone more than two years without going to Disney World since he has been eight (that was when we took our first trip as a family. You can read about it on this site.)  So, I consider that he has been Growing Up Disney. He has undergone many changes, since then; he is 15 now, a true teenage boy, and you can see that in his room (which I try not to look at). But when it comes to Disney, he is still the same kid that got excited about driving the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway car by himself. He has his favorites as we all do, but if we don’t get to them, he doesn’t pout like he did years ago, because he knows it is only a matter of time, before we will be back again.

His favorites have changed a little over the years. He still likes the attractions, and although we haven’t driven the Indy cars in years, (I think they are a little too slow for him) he still likes the cars. Test Track is in his top five favorites, as is Expedition Everest. He has made me go on Mission Space with him a few times and he really enjoys Toy Story Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin; I think that’s because he competes against his mother and I. I don’t think he really likes some of the attractions that we go to, The Country Bears and Mickey’s Philharmagic for example, but he is good about humoring us and not being much of a teenager when we are in Disney.

John’s favorites now are more of the non-attraction variety: The Boardwalk, Winter Summerland mini-golf, Downtown Disney and of course the FOOD! John helps me write an article on Tuesdays on my website called Tips from a Teenager Tuesday. Every week I ask him to tell me something that everyone should know about in Disney World. The first article we wrote together was called Food, Food, Food. Most weeks he wants to talk about another restaurant, but I keep putting him off. His food favorites are varied. He really likes Le Cellier and the Nine Dragons (He loves Chinese food) and he enjoyed when we ate at Teppan Edo, the Japanese Restaurant in Epcot, but he also includes in his top five the Pepper Market in the Coronado Springs Resort and Big River Brewing, on the Boardwalk. He likes these for the different choices they give him and in the case of Big River, the burgers.

It is very cool, to travel with him to Disney World now, not that it wasn’t when he was younger, but then he wouldn’t share with us what he wanted to do, as kids sometimes do, and then when we couldn’t read his mind, he’d be disappointed. Now it is much easier. He’ll either tell us what he wants to do, or where he would like to eat or he just tells us he’d rather not go. When we were down last summer with our friends, John and his friend decided they wanted a night in. It was funny, two 15 year old boys not wanting to go out at night in Disney World. But they both were tired and in need of some down time, so they stayed in and watched our friends’ little girl and the four of us went out for the evening to a nice dinner and a stroll of Downtown Disney. If John hadn’t been Growing Up Disney this whole time, I don’t think he would have stayed in, he would have forced himself to go out and then the next day he would have been even more tired, which in turn would have probably made him grumpy. And the best part is, he still gets excited about going to Disney World and still wants to go.

What is funny is that I know some kids whose parents guide them in a certain direction when they are young. I have a friend whose siblings all attended a major university, because they grew up being brainwashed, by their dad, to go there. I remember my friend’s sister threatening that she wasn’t going to go to that university, once when she was having a fight with her parents. I have seen this with other things also, but I don’t force John to like Disney, I don’t make him sit and watch Disney movies with us or discuss what is happening in Disney World, but sometimes he does sit with us and watch a Disney movie and sometimes he does bring up the Fantasyland expansion, but he does it on his own. I think it is because, even though it isn’t cool as a fifteen year old, Disney is in his blood. Not just because of the Disney objects we have around the house, but because he has been Growing Up Disney. And I hope that like Amy and Chris, John will look back on these family trips and the things we did in Disney World with happy memories of great family times and I hope that when he has kids I can be like DisneyDad and enjoy walking them up Main Street USA.

Contributed by Bruce G., husband to Heather, proud father of John, and creator of The Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World. Pin It

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Minnie Moms: First Attractions

Amy: Tink's first attraction had to be "it's a small world."  I love that ride and yes, even the song that you just can't get out of your head.  I sing it to her occasionally at naptime.  This attraction is classic Disney and what little girl wouldn't love room after room full of dolls?  My husband, Dad, Chris, Audrey, and I rode "it's a small world" together after a late breakfast at 1900 Park Fare.  I guess the combination of a full tummy, being comfy in Daddy's arms, and the gentle boat ride was the perfect set-up for a nap.  She saw about 75% of it before falling asleep.  I really appreciated Audrey's Entourage on this trip.  When we emerged from the ride into the bright sunlight, Uncle Chris had retrieved the stroller and Granddaddy took her off for a nap behind the Christmas shop while the rest of us headed off for Haunted Mansion. has some great history on "it's a small world."

Corby: We took our son to Disney World for the first time in September 2007. He had recently turned 4 years old. In one word the thing that stands out most to me about this particular trip is…characters!!!!! I should have known since he had a love for all things plush that seeing real live stuffed animal looking characters would be his dream come true! The other word that comes to my mind that trip is…hot! It was in the middle of September and I’m pretty sure it was at least 120 degrees! He and I waited in line after line to meet the characters. We bought an autograph book and had each character sign it and I took a picture as well. He absolutely loved it! I’m pretty sure we met every character that trip from Mickey to Horace and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum! We invested in the Disney fan that sprays water and drank many frozen drinks that trip. Seeing the joy on his face was absolutely priceless and worth every moment, no matter how hot and sweaty those moments were!

Heather: Our first family trip to Disney was last November around Veterans Day. We took our then 3 year-old after much planning and debating how to get the most out of 5 day trip via train from Raleigh, NC. The first night we arrived at we wanted to do Magic Kingdom and let Ben see the castle before any rides. Luckily we got there in time for the early showing of the SpectroMagic parade. We found our spot along the parade route and watched his eyes light up with joy at seeing all the characters he recognized from multiple viewings of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He is partial to Daisy Duck so when she appeared in an array of light and waving to the crowd, his heart melted. My husband have both done Disney as kids and again as a married couple but this was a very special trip to be able to see Disney through the eyes of a preschooler. We are returning with our now 4 year old and 4 month old baby in late October in time for the Food and Wine festival as well as Mickey’s Halloween party. Our 4 year-old will be sporting a pink Daisy Duck lanyard for some pin trading with Dad.  We are excited for our family to experience the magic of Disney again.

Janine: What am I most looking forward to showing Felicity (F) at WDW? Well it’s a tough choice between visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) at the Magic Kingdom (MK) or taking her on the Haunted Mansion (HM). I can’t even watch a video of BBB on YouTube without filling up with tears. Just the thought of my little Tink being made into a full-fledged princess for the day warms my heart beyond imagination. But I also can't wait to take her on Haunted Mansion as not only is it my favourite ride at MK (and of course MK has to be her first park), it was also my first ride. Thankfully Ddaddy’s first ride no longer exists (ExtraTerrorestrial) as there’s no way I would take her on that!

So it’s a choice between taking her into the castle to meet her fairy godmother and be made up to look even more beautiful than she already is (and making both mommy and daddy weep with joy) or riding though the HM with our ghost host hoping not to join the 999 spectres!

You may be thinking HM would be a little scary for a tot but you see I doubt we’ll be going to WDW until F is 4 and I think by then, being our kiddo, she’ll be more than ready. We love Halloween so she’ll have already seen a few ghouls and ghosties! I love the thought of sitting with her in the doom buggy and singing along as we make our way through the house. Id love to see her face when she realises we’ve picked up an extra passenger at the end!

But … no, the BBB has to win as the thing I am MOST looking forward to doing with her. Just the sight of F all dressed up with glitter in her hair and waving a wand … sniff, the keyboard is going to get damp in a minute as I sit here thinking about it! Her nursery is already decorated with princess and it will be the theme of her first birthday party. So although it isn’t actually a ride or attraction this is the thing I dream about doing with F when we get to WDW, except for her first steps on Main Street of course … but that’s a whole other story.

Kelly: My son Shawn’s first attraction was Buzz Lightyear at the Magic Kingdom. He was 5 the first time we brought him to the House of Mouse for a two week vacation and we had a blast. My son already loved Buzz Lightyear the character so it was not to hard to get him on the ride, add in that he could shoot things and that was all he needed to hear. We must have ridden that ride a million times over the course of the next two weeks but it was worth it! As I think back and remember it now he had this silly look on his face and was so happy to go on it over and over. At the time he was an only child and was loving all the attention but little did he know his brother was on the way. I hate to admit it but even back then he beat me a few times and now that he is 11 he beats me even more. It has become a competitive sport with my sons and husband, with my husband usually winning. I pulled out my Disney Picture Album from that vacation and pulled out a couple of my favorite pics to share and I as went through them it brought back such fond memories for me.

Click here for more info on our Minnie Moms.  Please let us know if there is a topic you'd be interested in seeing or a trip planning question we can answer for you! 

If you have a first attraction story you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it.  Please leave a comment below.
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