On our first trip to Disney World, we stopped into One Man's Dream at Hollywood Studios. I remember thinking in part, that if we were going to go all of the way to Disney World, and enjoy the attractions and experiences there, wouldn't it be right to pay our respects and see how it all began? So many people were passing right by, not even glancing through the open doors. I was happy that we chose to go inside. You can see the amazing video that is shown, by going here to a previous post.
Walt Disney had humble beginnings but from the start he was filled with something the world could benefit more from. Hard work. Walt's desire to make something, and do something and never, ever give up was with him from a small child, until he lay in bed dying, pointing to places on the ceiling, telling his brother Roy how EPCOT needed to be laid out.
Walt was so determined to see his imaginings become successes he took many risks along the way, but what amazes me, is that he never seemed to doubt in himself or his abilities.
Do you know, when Walt Disney was trying to raise the money for the animated motion picture Snow White, no one at all thought it would be a success. They didn't want to give him the money. Medical professionals from everywhere were telling the public how dangerous it would be to sit through that movie. People swore it would bankrupt the company, and the Snow White project was nicknamed “Disney's Folly.” When the film opened however, it was an instant sensation, and all of the early Walt Disney films were done so well, that even today’s children sit and enjoy them, despite their lack of CGI.
Walt Disney was a very inspiring man. He was positive, upbeat, and always looking towards the future. I think we should all strive to be more like that, focused and determined.
If you’d like to read some of the Walt Disney biographies out there, or watch one of the Walt Disney documentaries, there are some great ones on Amazon.
I recommend the PBS Documentary, Walt Disney, the American Experience, (Also FREE on amazon prime) and the books How To Be Like Walt by Pat Williams, and Walt Disney, and American Original by Bob Thomas. There are even some great biographies for Children about Walt, for younger and older kids.
It’s hard not to read one of the many books about him, or watch one of the documentaries and not feel like you too, want to go out there and do something great. The charisma, and can do attitude transcend time, and death, when you read about Walt. There's a taste of that in the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, and I don't know as I will ever tire of learning more about him, and trying to absorb some of his amazing qualities!
I'm sure you know that Walt had many other creations, before Mickey Mouse but without a doubt, his short film series the Alice Comedies were groundbreaking in the 1920s, and were able to help him build up his studio after a previous bankruptcy. Using a live girl, and animation, Walt made 56 of these short films. Over the course of the series, Alice was played by four different little girls.
If you look hard enough, you'll find them on VHS, and DVD, but also, since the videos are now public domain, you will run across them on Youtube! I've included one below from Youtube for you to get a taste of.
Remember... these older cartoons sometimes portrayed things that today's cartoons might not, and could be considered not politically correct, or even violent. Please use your best judgment before watching, or allowing your children to watch.
It doesn't have to be a holiday to make a copycat Disney treat, but I really couldn't think of anything better than Halloween, and caramel apples. I FINALLY got one on our last trip, and for weeks after I dreamed of them! I tried to make my own, and I'm only slightly embarrassed to say the 8 I made were gone in 2 days. I'd like to say I had help eating them, but to be honest, only one of them went to my oldest. Yikes! This time, I made a dozen, with the intention of sharing! I've learned a few things since the last time I made these, so these tips are updated!
A quick note on the apples-- green apples last longer. They area little tart, so that plays well with the sweet of the caramel, so if you make these using red apples, they might not taste as good, and most importantly, they won't last as long. These can last several days (just not in my house!!) without any taste loss.
These are super simple to make. The hardest part is unwrapping all those caramels. I used the recipe on the back of the bag:
However, I did use milk, instead of water, and I felt like that worked better than before, when I used water.
Also, don't forget to make sure you wash and DRY your apples. If you don't dry them, the caramel won't stick!
Put the sticks in. I ran out of sticks, so I cut bamboo skewers (like for the grill) in half. Those worked great!
Next, get your pan ready.
Now it's time to decide how you want to melt the caramels. I've done it both ways, a bowl over simmering water, and also straight in the pot. I really prefer to just dump them all in my pot. It goes faster in the melting process I think, and then I don't have a bowl precariously balanced on a pot, trying to tip onto the stove.
Once you've decided how you want to melt your caramels, unwrap, put them in the pot and add your liquid. Stir, stir stir... it transitions... keep going until it's all melty. Don't leave it alone though! It could burn and ruin your caramels.
Eventually, your caramel should start to transition like my photographs.
Dip your apples into the caramel, no photo here, it goes quick and starts to harden fast! Roll into nuts if you like, but you could do chocolate chips or sprinkles too, and place on a sheet of waxed paper. They set pretty fast!!
Aren't they sooo pretty? Takes less than an hour to do these. If you have people helping unwrap the caramels, it will go much faster!
So delish, and easy, and pretty close to the Disney ones. It's not spot on, but in a pinch, or dire Disney emergency, these will do the job!
Be sure to keep them chilled just until serving, because the caramel might stick to the wax paper otherwise.
Happy Halloween everyone!!
This has been floating around for a little. I've no idea who did it, but it sure is heartwarming. I just can't stop loving this! Maybe Pooh didn't get his shirt this way, but whoever drew this, is one clever, amazing person!
Recently I’ve heard several people talking about how their Travel Agent charged extra to book their dining, and book fast passes. The agent in one case, didn’t book in the parks their client was going to for lunch and dinner, and another said the agent booked fast passes for roller coasters, and other rides her children were too short for. They were very upset, and understandably so. When you have a travel agent, it’s their job to help you with what you want, but I’m also here with a warning.
No travel agent selling you a Disney vacation should EVER charge you more than Disney does. They shouldn’t add on fees for booking for dining, or booking for fast passes. Now, yes, a few do, because let’s be honest, a travel agent puts a ton of work into making your trip go the way that it should, but IF, and only IF they are going to charge a fee for that, make sure you ask BEFORE you book, and then decide if that’s a fee you want to pay.
Be up front with your agent as to what your expectations are. If you want them to book your dining reservations, or fast passes, then have a list, and be specific, but give a range. Something like, I want to eat at this place, party of 5, between 8 and 10am. We all want a fast pass for this ride, in the afternoon sometime between 2 and 4pm. Doing that is going to make it easier for you to plan your day, and it’s going to make it much easier for your agent to meet your expectations, and you’ll both be happy.
Curious as to if you even need a Disney Vacation Planner? Go here, and read our article.
A good Disney Vacation planner is worth their weight in gold, but always be careful before just booking your reservation with someone you know nothing about. Research them online, use someone that’s recommended, and never be afraid to question charges. Lastly, if your agent DOES do something you don’t like, speak up, and before it’s too late. It’s much easier to ask them to change something 90 days before you go, than 10.