Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Eats Disney Style Chapter 2 - Just Desserts

Let's get back to Walt Disney World and all the wonderful food there! They really go all out when it comes to desserts. I snapped a few pictures on our recent trip of some of the goodies we had.

Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort is one of my family's favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. A world class buffet is served up while Chef Mickey and his pals roam the restaurant visiting each table. The food is great, including Parmesan Mashed Potatoes which are just about the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. Your meal is capped off with their fabulous Sundae and Dessert Bar. In the picture above, the mouse ear items are a rich Chocolate Creme sitting on top of an Oreo cookie with mouse ears made of solid milk chocolate. They are even better than they look! There's also a fudge brownie with Mickey sprinkles (nice touch) and a Key Lime Tart that is fantastic. I'd say they have about a dozen other such pastries for your choosing, as well as Krispie Kreme donuts, fresh fruit, cookies and candy.

This is the Chocolate Wave from The Coral Reef in Epcot. It's a moist chocolate cake with a hot chocolate syrup center. It is served with brandied cherries and a Mickey chocolate. We thought the presentation was really nice. Jennifer had a Bailey's and Jack Daniel Mousse and I had a Butterscotch Creme Brulee. (I know it's gay, but I like creme brulee.)

We thought this was neat. This is the Kids Kabob dessert at the Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club Resort. It features a rice crispie treat, brownie, strawberry and marshmallow all served up kabob style on a Mickey Mouse krazy straw. It also came with some chocolate mousse for dipping. The kids got to keep the krazy straw!

This beautiful dish is also from the Captain's Grille, a Vanilla Creamery Cake - vanilla cake infused with maple syrup served with fresh berries. Nice...and gorgeous. The Captain served up all sorts of beautiful desserts, I had an English Toffee Mousse Cake with whipped cream and caramel sauce - sooooo good!

Finally, you're looking at a crazy good Chocolate Cake from the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. The Pepper Market is our newest discovery and I can't wait to go back there. I had the absolute best Spicy Crispy Beef I have ever had. Plus, all their desserts were way over the top. Joey got some sort of danish that was the size of his head!
Good eats all around from Mickey and his friends!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson Was As Awesome as Gremlins, Smurfs and Pac-Man

I realize that I'm a couple of days late to post a Michael Jackson tribute on my blog, but I wanted to do something more than just mention that I liked him. Here at WWoB, I can go on and on about things from my childhood like Gremlins cereal, or Smurf figures but I've never once mentioned how much Michael Jackson played in my life at that time. When I was in the 5th grade is when Thriller became huge and Michael Jackson became the superstar that he was. I can remember buying my Thriller tape at Bradlee's with the money I won for selling the most candy bars at school. I listened to that tape a million and a half times and as every other kid my age, I knew the words to each and every song on that album. Of course for me, I couldn't just have the album...I had to show my appreciation for things by buying everything under the sun I could get my hands on related to Michael Jackson! I chose the picture above because I remember having a yellow sweatshirt from Ocean City - with Ocean City, Maryland written on the front and this picture of MJ sunscreened on the back. That was style, my friends.

In the good ol' days, nothing was a "thing" unless it had trading cards. I don't recall the Michael Jackson trading cards in my neighborhood being as big as Gremlins cards or Dukes of Hazzard cards, but I know I had a stack of MJ cards that let me read up on all sorts of fun facts about him and his career. Each pack of the cards came with a sticker...some of them are seen here. My official collecting rule is that you save the sticker cards with the rest of your cards, but doubles were open for using as stickers on whatever you wanted. I can still picture a handful of these purple babies on various items of mine.

I read this book, and a few others like it, a dozen or so times. These hack biographies spread 7 or 8 pages of information over 200 pages. I know often on a reread I would skip all the stuff about The Jackson Five and Michael's first album and just get to the part where Thriller came into the play. I can remember sitting around with some of the kids from the neighborhood and reading this aloud to them. Wow! That's strange, isn't it!?

Now some of your more die-hard fans went the "jacket route" to profess their love for Michael. I knew a handful of kids at school that had the "Beat It" jacket, which was red and had zippers all over. I managed to get my hands on a Michael Jackson jacket, except I had the "Thriller" model (as seen here). I don't think mine was quite as elaborate as this one, but I do remember that you could see me coming a mile away in my big leather V, and I think the whole Thriller boat had sailed a few years ago before I got this jacket. I think I wore it once or twice and then couldn't take the teasing anymore and retired it.

But no one could take away my Thriller View-Master reels. To this day, View Master gives me a little chill. I think it's just a great toy! When they came out with reels of scenes from the music video for Thriller, I was so there! The video for that song is still the greatest video ever made, and since I didn't have a VCR at the time - reliving the thrill on my View Master was good enough. As yes, more than one time, I used my View Master projector and played the song while I scrolled through the pictures. That's View Master artistry at the highest level!

And then we come to Captain EO. Michael Jackson was so cool he got his own Disney Theme Park attraction! Captain EO was a 3-D film that played in EPCOT and Disneyland. It was kind of a Michael Jackson version of Star Wars, with little creatures and odd aliens and a couple of musical numbers thrown in for good fun. The movie was even produced by George Lucas, for Darth's sake! None of it really made any sence but I always loved the music that was in the finale of the film! Captain EO opened in September 1986 and ran in EPCOT's Journey Into Imagination pavilion until 1994. Michael kept on dancing at Disneyland for another 3 years and closed up there in April of `97. (It also ran in Tokyo and Paris.) For some odd reason, MTV showed the film once after it had been removed from the parks...I taped it, and it's a treasured piece of my Walt Disney World memorabilia collection.
It's sad that in recent years, Michael Jackson's legal problems and odd tabloid stories became more popular than the music and entertainment that he provided. With this passing, it seems people everywhere are starting to remember what a special place he once held in our hearts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Week In Movies - Muchos Caballeros

The Three Caballeros (1944) If you know me you know that I love a good plotless movie. Walt Disney's 7th animated feature film does not contain the classic storytelling that her perfected years earlier with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio. The Three Caballeros is a 71 minute feature film which starts off with Donald Duck recieving a large present. Inside the box Donald finds many smaller presents. First he finds a film projector and some movies. He then watches the movies which are a couple of animated shorts. Then Donald's friends pop out of the box and take him on a tour of various Latin American countries. Sounds bizarre, doesn't it!? It's actually a very fun and upbeat film with tons of meandering musical numbers and live action footage of our neighbors to the south. At the time this film was produced, the U.S. government had sent Walt Disney and his staff of artists to South America on a Goodwill Tour. This film (along with another feature Saludos Amigos and a handful of shorts) were the product of their lengthy tour. Nowadays, this film stands out as a strange counterpart to some of Disney's more well-known films but it's very enjoyable and starting to receive a bit of a cult following some 60 years after it was released. They even recently added a ride based on this movie at EPCOT in Orlando.

The Hangover (2009) Everyone you've heard from is right...this is one funny movie! The story of three guys who wake up from a night of partying and have no idea what happened the night before is incredibly entertaining and quick moving due to a simple premise and a great cast. The show is really stolen by comedian Zach Galifianakis (he's the one with the baby in tow on the poster). This new Bradley Cooper guy is pretty good and Ed Helms from The Office is a real stand-out too. The cast also includes Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Rachel Harris, Rob Riggle, Brian Callen and as you've seen in the trailers: Mike Tyson. Tyson's first appearance would have been one of the funniest moments in the movie had the trailers not given away his presence. There's also a fella in this picture named Ken Jeong, you might have seen him in Role Models or Knocked Up, he's fantastic in this movie and I think we'll be getting more familiar with that name in the next year or so.

Daddy Day Camp (2007) What road did I travel down that resulted in my seeing this Eddie Murphy-less sequel? I was feeling pretty lousy after two days of being sick and coughing and not having any energy. I wanted to watch something with the kids where I could just totally shut my brain off. This movie did the trick. It's actually not as bad as you'd imagine, but it's probably just as not good as you'd imagine. But, you've got to hand it too a film that can pull off gags about pooping, peeing, gas, and vomiting - all in the same film!

Classic Commercial Sunday - 6/28

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Week In Moives - Catch Up Edition

I didn't get a chance to post My Week In Movies before I went to Florida so here they are for the week starting Monday June 1...

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989) My love for this movie has not shrunk over the last 20 years. I first saw this when it came out in theatres and I thought it was just great then, and I still think it's a really well done movie. If you're not familiar with this classic Disney film, a wacky inventor comes up with a machine that can shrink things down to the size of an ant. When his kids, along with the neighbor's children, accidentally get shrunk and thrown out with the trash...the four kids must venture across the backyard to reach their home. They eat from a giant cookie, they slide on grass blades, they sleep in Legos....it's a good time! I shared this gem with my kids to perhaps get them a little ramped up to check out an attraction in Walt Disney World based on the movie. At Disney's Hollywood Studios there is a Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Movie Set Adventure where once you enter everything is gigantic as giant blades of grass tower over you and you everyday objects are the size of houses. Well, the kids loved the movie and couldn't wait to check out the overgrown playground...which they also loved! I've gotta also mention that as much as I love this movie, I love it's 1992 sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid ten times more.

Spring Breakdown (2009) Watching this movie reminded me of why I stay clear of films that go directly to DVD. It was made at least two years ago and sat around on the shelf until it was quietly dumped onto home video a few weeks ago. The idea is promising: three woman decide to go to a Spring Break resort town and have the kind of experiences they didn't have as nerdy college girls. The cast is even more promising with Saturday Night Alumni Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch along with Parker Posey but this film just doesn't cut it. The stars are all likable but the material is pretty flat. It even looks like half way though the movie, they knew it wasn't going to work and the last half hour was just thrown together and edited on someones laptop. Pretty bad. Rachel Dratch also co-wrote the script, and this film's failure didn't help her post-SNL career at all. I really like her, so hopefully she'll be able to get her act together and find another good project soon. As for this film, you'd be better off to skip on this unfunny mess.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ed McMahon was Awesome

I guess we'd be remiss if WWoB didn't acknowledge the passing of broadcasting legend Ed McMahon yesterday. I never really considered myself a fan McMahon's...I didn't necessarily get excited when I saw him on TV nor did I ever seek out his appearances. Yet he was always around in one role or another as a very likable - always welcome - TV friend.

McMahon, of course, is best known as the sidekick to Johnny Carson on 30 seasons of The Tonight Show. I never saw too many actual episodes of The Tonight Show but as a child I religiously watched Carson's Comedy Classics which was a syndicated half-hour package of clips from early episodes of The Tonight Show. I was also a loyal viewer of TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes which Ed co-hosted with Dick Clark. (I thought that show had been on for many, many of my childhood years, but it turns out it was only on for three seasons.)

Ed also appeared as himself on an episode of ALF, where Alf ends up hosting The Tonight Show. Then many years later Ed and Alf teamed up again when Ed sat in the co-host chair again for the short lived (and not too great) ALF's Hit Talk Show which ran on TV Land.

My other stand-out Ed McMahon memory is a fantastic 1980 made-for-TV movie that I saw one afternoon 20 years ago called The Great American Traffic Jam, where he sits in a car with Rue McClanahan for two hours. I wonder if the casting decision to have McMahon and McClanahan play husband and wife was based on the fact that both their last names start with the "Mc" prefix!?!

He's guest stared on everything from C.H.i.P.'s and Newhart to Sabrina The Teenage Witch and even Higglytown Heroes (that's a Playhouse Disney show for those out of the loop!) Here's a great piece from The Tonight Show when Ed was able to steal the show from Johnny....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good Eats Disney Style - Chapter 1

I thought I had taken alot more pictures of food in Walt Disney World but after reviewing the 700+ pics I brought back, it turns out most of those pictures are of desserts. So I'm going to start our culinary tour of Walt Disney World with a rundown of the table service meals we enjoyed while sweating our mouse ears off in 100 degree weather.

This is the delicious breakfast served up at Ohana's inside the Polynesian Resort.

They start your meal off with a glass of Passion Fruit Juice and a basket of warm breakfast breads including a Pineapple Bread that is worth the price of admission alone. Then they bring out a giant skillet for your table loaded with some of the best scrambled eggs you've ever had, fried potatoes, sausage links and bacon. While you're chowing down on all that, another server makes their way around the restaurant delivering freshly made Mickey waffles. It's all good eats! While you are enjoying your meal; Mickey, Pluto, Lilo & Stitch visit tables for photos, autographs and hugs. Ohana's gets a big recommendation from my family!

One spot that we ate at which was new to us was Coral Reef in Epcot's The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion. We had the best meal of our trip here. We dined on delicious food while we had an awesome view of the pavilion's massive aquarium. We saw sharks, and giant sea turtles and even a Scuba class. The food was outstanding. Jen and Joey both had the NY Strip Steak, which they both thought was just about the best steak they've ever put in their mouths. I had...

...Blackened Catfish served over pepperjack cheese grits, topped with a smoked tomato compote. Outstanding! I had something along the lines of pepperjack cheese grits last year in Vegas and they were so good, I was eager to have them again - and the fish couldn't not have been an ounce better!

One of the few complaints about the resort we stayed at, Disney's Yacht Club, was that the food selections were very limited. There were two table service restaurants, one of them being very fancy, and a snack bar out by the pool which closed at 9. After a day at the parks, sometimes you just wanna come back "home" and have a burger and fries. There is a little malt shop at the adjoining Beach Club resort, which had about 8 tables but it was a little bit of a hike from our room. One night we ended up ordering...
...room service. We got some sandwiches which were pretty tasty, but the reason I took a picture was just because of our setup. The girl who brought our food up came into our room, set the table and hooked us up with a little room service experience right out of a movie. It was pretty cool.

And here's the only other non-dessert food picture I've got...

This is from The Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club. The Classic New England Lobster Roll - served on a butter toasted split-top bun with Vegetable Orzo Salad. I likes me some orzo....this creation was a bit vinegary for my tastes, but it was still good.

Coming up...I'll show you what we ate after the main course!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Among all the things we brought back from our week in Walt Disney World, the one thing we didn't pick up in a gift shop is the nasty horrible illness that my wife and I have both been fighting since we got back. Jennifer started getting sick on Tuesday when we left Orlando, and it hit me pretty hard Friday. I haven't felt like doing much but I'm dragging myself to the computer to finish the post that I uploaded pictures for a few days ago.

For the last handful of Disney trips that we've taken as a family we've always stayed at one of Disney's Value Resorts. We like them and they are perfect for those traveling with little ones. This trip we managed to snag a pretty good deal since all the rooms were booked at the Value resorts and they offered us a room at Disney's Yacht Club, one of their Deluxe Resorts. Needless to say, it was very nice and we were a little blown away by how fancy it all was. The picture above is the main entrance and if you look closely you can see my family standing on the balcony right over the check-in area. That was our room. We had a beautiful room with a gigantic balcony. It was actually shared by three other rooms but it was still bigger than you could imagine.

Here's some pics I snapped of the property. You can click on the pictures to see them larger.

Behind the resort is a private beach and across the water Disney's Boardwalk resort serves as a backdrop.

Mickey light in our room.

We had dinner poolside one evening. There is a two-acre pool area with slides and pools and a lazy river (which the lifeguard needed to rescue us from)

Unmade beds, but here's a glimpse of the nautical theme of our room.

The lobby was gorgeous. There's a boat captain standing in the lobby greeting everyone as they enter and among the various items sitting around the lobby is this giant globe. The kids are busy looking for a Hidden Mickey on the globe.

I'll have better Disney World posts for ya when I feel better. For now, back to the sofa for another episode of The Golden Girls.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho

And we're back...from another exciting week in Walt Disney World! We had tons of fun even though we had to battle record high temps and larger crowds than I've seen in years. When things settle down around here I'll get up some posts about some of the phenomenal food that we ate and I'll show you the gorgeous Yacht Club Resort that we stayed at. I also took plenty of dumb pictures of all sorts of little Disney details that I'll share with you as well! Until then, I've got a Jungle Cruise in my front yard that needs attending to!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

See Ya Real Soon...

Wonderful World of Blog will return the weekend of June 19th. Until then, enjoy live updates from Walt Disney World via Twitter either at the top of this page or on your cell phone.

Monday, June 08, 2009

To Honor ALF

Another globetrotting image from around the world...Here's an ALF statue that's in Sweden. I've got no other info on it except that it's awesome. It looks like E.T. is in the background. Perhaps this photo is from Swedish Alien theme park or something like that. I wonder if they have a statue of The Great Gazoo?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday - Hardee's & Disney

The funny thing is Hardee's couldn't afford a Disney promo nowadays if they sold all the Six Dollar Burgers in the world!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My Week In Movies - Another Parody

Dance Flick (2009) Surprise! Surprise! Yet again, I paid eight bucks to see one of these highly mediocre parody films at the theatre. Dance Flick mostly takes on You Got Served, Save The Last Dance, and Step It Up...none of which I've seen. Luckily, that doesn't really matter because as with most of the parody films of recent past, this movie is more about silly slapstick, pop culture references and mild gross-out humor. (There's also little digs at Fame, Hairspray, Flashdance and just about any other dance related film of the last 30 years.)Fortunately what this movie has working for it is the talent of the Wayans Brothers. While they're not the funniest group of guys in Hollywood, they are alot better at making this type of film then the team that has brought us Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie and Date Movie. Those guys kind of suck!

My Fake Fiance' (2009) As a rule of thumb, Made For TV Movies are absolutely no good. Unless the movie is about a real-life kidnapping that you can be guaranteed a TV-film is going to be boring and drawn out. This romantic comedy debuted on ABC Family a few months back. I caught the commercial in passing and was intrigued because it started Melissa Joan Hart. I've always enjoyed her work, going back to the Clarrisa days, and hadn't seen her in a while so I decided to TiVo it. It sat on my DVD for a while and before I deleted it I figured I'd watch the first five minutes on the off chance that it was any good. Well, the first five minutes did pull me in and what followed was actually a really charming and funny little film about two people who meet at a wedding and decide to fake their own wedding to receive all the cash and gifts. Joey Lawrence plays the other half of the couple, and him and Sabrina...I mean Melissa...have some real chemistry. At times the movie is a bit far-fetched and illogical, but if the creators had taken a little time and reworked the script a couple of times they could have had a theatrical release on their hands. Either way, it's an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes (two hours if you don't have a TiVo). Between the chemistry of Hart and Lawrence, the good ratings the premier airing received, and ABC Family's history of making sequels - I'm sure there will be another outing for these two in the near future. The movie is still airing on ABC Family, give it a chance if you happen upon it!

The World's Greatest Lover (1977) Let's talk about cable outfit AMC for just a moment. I came to this movie while searching for some Dom DeLuise roles that I hadn't seen before. Usually I stay away from movies when they air on commercial TV, but I just wanted to pay some respects to Dom and figured I'd grab the movie for free while it was on. Now AMC bills itself as a channel for movie lovers. I ask you, what movie lover likes to have their movie interrupted with commercial breaks every 5 minutes AND have advertisements for the same two shows popping up on the bottom half of the screen every two minutes. What a distracting way to watch a film! That aside, The World's Greatest Lover is a real comedy gem from the 1970's that I had never seen before. It stars the great Gene Wilder and the always entertaining Carol Kane as a depression era couple who travel to Hollywood to break into silent pictures. Dom DeLuise plays the over-the-top head of a failing movie studio. The film was written and directed by Gene Wilder and has very much the same feel as some of Mel Brooks' earlier work. However, watching the movie on TV I feel I didn't really get into it. Even skipping commercial breaks with TiVo, the breaks chopped up the continuity and I have a feeling some stuff was cut for television. If this movie were to air on one of the commercial free movie channels I would probably watch it again! Good old fashioned silly humor!

Fanboys (2008) Most recent road trip movies have one motivation for said road trip: sex! If it's not tracking down a girlfriend that has moved on to another relationship than the reason for the trip is to lose virginity to anonymous girl from internet. Fanboys has all the fun of these road trip movies but replaces the sex with Star Wars. It's 1999, and four friends decide to make a cross-country trip to break into George Lucas' house and see Star Wars Episode 1 before anyone else. For anyone with even a passing knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the Star Wars universe will find this movie pretty humorous. There's lost of gags about the feud between Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans, there's plenty of discussions about things that happen in the SW movies, and there's lots of cameos from Star Wars alumni and other familiar faces.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Might As Well Call It "Not Down"

There's always some DVD sitting on the shelf trying to ride off the promotional blitz of a big budget theatrical film. This one kind of takes the cake! In case you can't wait 4 or 5 months for Pixar's Up to come to DVD you can grab a copy of What's Up: Balloon To The Rescue! I wonder if it's better than The Jungle King, A Cars Life or A Bug's Tale? When I worked at a preschool in the mid-90's we watched one of these crappy video knock-offs of Pocahontas. It was quite possibly the worst cartoon I've ever seen!

Monday, June 01, 2009


Just fishing for some material for the good ol' blog here, I collected some random photos. First up, this homemade Flintstones-style mailbox which is actually located at the entrance to a quarry in Australia. It sure beats my lame-o mailbox with butterflies painted on it.
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