Monday, October 5, 2020

Characters ARE Universal

In the current state of the world, I decided to look back at a day in 2018:

For many years I felt such a loyalty to Disney theme parks that  I felt like a traitor for wanting to enjoy the other wonderful theme parks that Orlando has to offer.  This year, I decided to take on a new adventure by checking out the character side of Universal Studios, Orlando.  Because "Character is Universal" as the billboards boast as you drive down Interstate 4 in the Orlando area.  And ya know what?!  I had FUN!  Come early in the day for the most character interactions.  Characters at Universal never seem to have long lines.  Many times, they use the
sidewalk areas so there isn't a queue that gets longer as the day progresses.  Many times, characters are out for 15 minutes...but some of the more popular ones are inside for longer portions or rotate out.  Check the park map for times and locations.  I found out the the characters at Universal are great choices, no matter if you're young or old.  It was nice to see characters for the older generation, like Marilyn Monroe & Lucille Ball or check our the Betty Boop store before you eat at Mel's Diner.   There's the Mystery Machine and the whole Scooby Doo bunch if you're lucky enough.  Sometimes you can just catch Scooby and Shaggy - but if you're like me, you can pull the Team Member assisting the characters & they'll be happy to give you all the details for their park that day.  They have a list of characters and times that you should get the whole team or just one or two of the bunch.  

Some of the younger kiddos will love the Universal Superstar Parade.  They can see Dora the Explorer & Diego; SpongeBob SquarPants, Patrick & other fun underwater friends, Barney & his pals & there's even a fun float for the Secret Life of Pets.  Such a fun parade!  You can find Trolls & several of the other characters for your photos in the Character Party Zone.  One thing that you don't want to miss is the Minions!  Even if you don't ride their attraction, you can pop through the store to meet them & get a photo.  Team Members are always happy to take your photo with your own camera in case you don't want to buy their photos.  But the one thing that you don't want to miss is green screen photos that you can get at the E.T. attraction in Universal Studios and at Spider-man among some other Amazing friends at Marvel Super Hero Island.  
If you do the green screen photos, you will have to purchase them in order to have the finished product.  But the photos that you can create are definitely a fun keepsake of your visit!  
Some of my favorite interactions were with Shrek, Fiona & Donkey!  Donkey definitely is a riot & Fiona has a fun way to engage with him and their guests.  
It's most definitely a show every 15 minutes as the Transformers change out between Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron.  

On the Islands of Adventure side, you'll want to see the Super Heroes including Captain America, Spider-man, Storm, Green Goblin and Doctor Doom come riding in to make a spectacular entrance!  Or have a fun Raptor Encounter at Jurassic Park.  And don't miss the whimsical Seuss Landing where you can have photo opportunities with all sorts of your childhood's favorite stories.  Classic Comic Strip characters come out to say hi at Toon Lagoon.  You can sometimes see Popeye & Olive Oyl.  

If you're interested in meeting some of the Animal Actors.  You can see Kelly, the dog from Bad Moms or Frank, the dog from Men in Black or pat Beethoven, the Saint Bernard on your way out of the show.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Rock & Brews: A Fun Dog-Friendly Restaurant in Orlando

If you enjoy bringing your dog with you for dinner as a family or on vacation with you, I have a fun place for you to try!

Rock & Brews is a chain of restaurants featuring American food with a Rock 'n Roll atmosphere!  Two of the owners in his partnership are Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley of KISS, so if you're a fan of rock 'n roll at all, you'll love the decor throughout the restaurant.  Right now, there are two located in the Orlando area:  Orlando & Oviedo.  There are plans to open another location in October in Kissimmee which will be even closer to the Disney theme parks!  
But what makes it extra-special in my family is that the
patio is dog friendly.  Not only is it just ok to bring your dog, but they have a Doggie Menu.  The "DOG SIDE of the Menu" consists of Bowser Brew in Cock-A-Doodle Brew or Beefy Brown Ale Man's Best Friend can even share a drink with you.  My tradition with my own pup is to take him there on his birthday & we've done this for three years
now.  He loves both the flavors of Bowser Beer & he also loves "Addie's Feast" which includes Homemade Roasted Chicken, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato & Veggies...a meal fit for anyone wanting to eat a good clean healthy meal.  But you could also select Bacon or Burger Patties.  This is a great place where your dog can enjoy water, brew or food with you.  Whether you live in Orlando or want to bring your pup here on vacation with you, I think Rock & Brews is a great choice.  The Orlando Rock & Brews is located near the Orlando Airport
(MCO) and coming soon (estimated for an October opening), there will be a
location in Kissimmee near the Disney Theme Parks.  I'll be keeping track of the opening in hopes that Gene Simmons will make an appearance.  My dream would be to get a pic of him with my pup to see who's tongue is out the farthest.  And if you travel here for vacation, stay tuned because Sulley has his first stay at Best Friends Pet Resort coming up in a few weeks and I'll be happy to share our experiences. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Walt Disney World Pro Golf Tournaments

With the 100th PGA Championship going on right now & the recent rain-
out that happened with my guys at the Disney's Magnolia & Oak Trail courses, I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time at the Clubhouse and learn a bit about the history of PGA Golf at Walt Disney World.

Disney Golf has gone back a long way!  It was founded in 1971, but the Walt Disney World Open Invitational played
under many names throughout the years.  The Walt Disney World Golf
Classic was played at Disney's Palm and Magnolia courses through 2012.  The Children's Miracle Network Wall of Fame winner's pictures are still posted inside Minnie's Boutique.  And for Ladies, it's a fun place to find all the cute Women's clothing and golf accessories. 

For those of us who don't know much about Golf, you'll even find
photographs of people you know & recognize among the walls of the

Another item that you may not know is that a very popular golfer has a locker in the Men's Dressing Room.  In October of 1999, The reigning US Open Champion & Orlando Local Pro, Payne Stewart played on Friday.  He didn't make the cut to play out the weekend.  He wanted to get a head start preparing to play in Houston the next week, but his plane crashed on the way & his last game was played right here at Walt Disney World.  Stewart's locker has been kept in the Men's Locker Room just as it was on the day that he left...although they changed the front to allow us to see inside.  Tiger Woods won the Tournament that year.  

There are so many "Disney" moments in PGA history.  Come by the Clubhouse on your next trip to find out a new side of Disney that you may not have experienced yet.  

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Walt Disney World Golf

With all the things to do at Walt Disney World, there truly is
something for everyone!  

Today, I was going to play a round of golf with my guys.  Unfortunately the skies were not kind to us and we did not get to finish our game.

Some Disney Annual Pass and DVC Discounts are available if you qualify when looking into pricing to play.  
It's always great to see the Mickey Mouse Golf Cart on display.  Seeing Mickey's gas pedal, glove box & all the fun stuff inside is truly something that I will leave for you to experience yourself!  You can sit in it, take photos and it's such a magical bonus to a Disney Golf Experience!

Oak Trail is a 9-hole walking course and a bit cheaper than Magnolia or Palm.  We were granted a Magical Moment by a Cast Member on a slow Saturday afternoon.  We were going to play Oak Trail, but were upgraded to play Magnolia & even got two golf carts and Junior Clubs for free for our little guy.  Sometimes Disney can make the most magical experiences even better!
Magnolia used to be a part of the Pro AM tour.  It still has Tee Box spots where the Pros would tee off.  And then normal Men's, Women's & Junior tee locations.  

Magnolia also has a very recognizable 6th hole.  The "Mouse Trap" is a
"Hidden Mickey" with a plaque to tribute Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.   

After we got there, all play was suspended due to lightning in the area.  There are signs that have their inclement weather policy.   When this happens, you can wait out the storm or take a rain-check to come back & play 9 holes on a different day within a year.  Each course varies as to the timeline to claim your rain-check.   That's what my guys did.

We will go back, but I truly enjoyed the experience of Disney Golf!  Have you ever played golf at Walt Disney World?  I'd love to know what you think of the courses.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Disney's Christopher Robin movie review

Image result for Christopher Robin movie photo
First of all, THANK YOU to my friend Krista Joy at for allowing me to attend to this movie preview with you!  This beautiful movie that was so special to me and it felt like I've waited my whole "adult" life to see it!  

A Spoiler-Free Movie Review from a life-long Winnie the Pooh fan.  It was truly a joy to watch my favorite silly ole bear come to life on the big screen interacting with real people in today's world!  The movie begins around the time that the original story is about to end.  You'll see a few of your favorite moments with Christopher Robin as a real child playing with his Hundred Acre Wood pals before he goes off to school.  Sometimes life has a way of making children grow up quickly.  Christopher has a lot of difficult things to deal with during the chapters of his life from the time the story that we all know and love ended until we get to the point where this story begins.  But there comes a time in everyone's life when we can get so engrossed in the urgency and responsibilities of adulthood that we can lose that part of us
that made time to simply do nothing and enjoy the moment.  It's in those precious moments when we allow ourselves to relax in the thing that we love most about life, that refresh us and allows us to be a better person for every aspect of our lives.  This movie had a few difficult real-life moments and if you're prone to crying at movies, you may want to bring a tissue...but every bit was kid-friendly.  In the end, it helps you think about prioritizing the things in life that truly matter and see things the way we always really have from deep down within ourselves.  That person that we were long ago is always inside us.
Ewan McGregor does a nice job of bringing Christopher Robin to life as an adult and Jim Cummings is a spot-on voice of Pooh, and Tigger too!   Also, make sure you stay through the credits for some extra-special appearances.  
The Sherman Brothers,  made up of Richard & Robert Sherman, were the duo that Walt Disney called on to create some of the most memorable songs in the world.  Robert passed away in 2012 but Richard Sherman, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, makes a special appearance and wrote some new music for Christopher Robin with the same type of catchy lyrics and tunes that "The Boys" were known for back when Walt still worked in the studio.

Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this moving on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy of  The free admission in no way influenced my love for this movie.  All opinions are my own.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Beatrice Denis moved to Florida in 2010 from North Carolina, due to her love for all things Disney.  She recently had a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding on Land and Sea at both Walt Disney World and on the Disney Wonder on Alaska water with beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background.  In her spare time, she is "A Disney Girl in Orlando" and you can click this link to follow her upcoming adventures: 

Again, Krista of  - thank you for allowing me to post for you and for my little ole page too.  I encourage my friends to check out your page and hope they enjoy it as much as I do.  Thanks for all you do!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Christopher Robin brings Winnie the Pooh to life in a new way!
From my 7- week old photograph to one taken just a few weeks ago, Winnie the Pooh brings out the comfort of an old friend that I've had throughout my entire life.  We all have that favorite childhood toy that makes us feel like the world is a bit better just by sitting in a quiet place and hugging it...and for me, that's my Poohbear!
With the movie "Christopher Robbin" coming out on August 3, 2018, I've been inspired to look through the decades of memories and moments this silly ole bear has gifted me with throughout my life.  

He coached me through my first steps and thankfully lived to tell about it, along with decades of Hundred Acre Hugs...Never get too old to hug your teddy bear.   
-  He's taught me that the meaning of life is simple.  
- Think.  Think.  Think.  But don't stress. 
-  Sometimes you have to work for what you want.
-  Don't be afraid of the what-ifs (even if they sting)
-  Enjoy food (to an extent) or you'll get a bit rounder
-  Always love yourself!
-  Make time to exercise every day.  
-  Get excited about the things that make you Hunny
-  Never be too busy for a hug.
-  Choose friends wisely & be true to those friends
-  Even when your personalities differ, friends help each other.  
-  Celebrate the little things and the big things.
-  Even when you grow apart, always remember the valuable lessons those friends taught you.
  After decades of wear and tear on my very favorite Winnie the Pooh, I can't wait to find out how the decades of my own life will be enhanced from what is to come in the movie next week: 
"I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I've been"  -  Winnie the Pooh

Jim Cummings has truly embraced our childhood characters and I can't wait to see how their legacy is brought to new life as he voices our dear friends Pooh (& Tigger too) from our childhood stories, plush and movies out of Hundred Acre Wood and into our world today.  Let's see where they take us as grown ups in the weeks to come.  I have my dress, my purse & my Poohbear ready for his live-action debut in the world of 2018.  Some of us may never grow up.  And that's ok too.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

There is no better place to heal after a tragic week than the Magic Kingdom

I don't know about you, but the Magic Kingdom has helped me through my own personal tragedies by taking me into a magical land where bad things don't happen.  After this tragic week in Orlando, I believe that we all felt the need to stand united as Disney fans, some as Locals, some who worked with or knew the victims of the shooting in the Pulse nightclub.  We needed to support our City and each other through our own sadness and/or loss.  A post came out that on Saturday night, exactly one week after the shooting, there would be a special "goodnight kiss" in the Magic Kingdom.  This was not a "Disney Event" but it was approved and a very special way for us to gather in support of our friends, our City and heal from this in our own way together.  After the park closes each night, the Magic Kingdom always has a "goodnight kiss" to those who wait around to enjoy...and on this night so many of us did.  Disney Cast Members did the usual "goodnight kiss" effect on the castle 3 times (as of my count).  But so many people came with battery operated candles and glow sticks and flags...and what we did as a community was such a special feeling.  I have never FELT such a reverence, respect for all people, and somber love for everyone as I did last night.  Everyone was quiet.  Some that did speak talked about coworkers and friends who were lost.  We made hearts out of glowsticks and put candles inside the hearts.  

There were candles by the Partners statue...There was love.  Someone made a flag to support the victims & people were taking pictures in front of the flag.  As we were leaving Cast Members were handing out pins.  And sometime after I went in, the entrance had been dressed with the patriotic stars & stripes.  It was a beautiful tribute to the victims and their families.  Some family members were in attendance on Saturday night enjoying the parade, fireworks and a little bit of pixie dust to get them through this difficult time.  I think this beautiful vigil was a perfect way for so many of us to feel like WE are going to grow from this horrible act and stand strong as a City and united as Disney fans...and just be there in our special place in respect to everyone affected by the past week.  I was honored to be there and among so many friends who felt the same way.  Thank you Walt Disney World for allowing us to come together as fans, as Cast Members, as Locals, as families who love to travel here...this is our safe place, this is our happy place.  This is where we come to work on our own healing.  Thank you for allowing us to do that together in a very special way.  Thank you for making our heart smile through the tears.