<![CDATA[The Mousekebeers Podcast - Thaddeaus]]>Tue, 02 Feb 2016 21:35:05 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[D23: Expectations and rumors]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 01:04:30 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/d23-expectations-and-rumors
Search "D23 Expo 2015 Rumors" on google right now, and you will receive a dizzying array of wishes, dreams, rumors, and speculation. It's insane!

So, we're going to try to narrow some of the speculation down for you, and present what is likely to happen during this event. We do this so that we can have written proof that we were wrong and that Disney through us for a loop. That's all part of the fun. D23 is like getting a Christmas present wrapped in a big box, but the gift inside is small, only sometimes the box is actually Mary Poppins' tote and the gift inside is way bigger. They're masters in the art of deception and wonder.
First things first, the schedule. This is where most of the solid speculations begin. We look at this and think, "hmm... what piece of news might they present there?" This is also where there's the most disappointment in years past, such as in 2013 when everyone thought they'd be releasing the casting for Star Wars during a Lucasfilms presentation—it would have been awesome, it would have fit in nicely, but Disney didn't do it.

In an effort to keep everything organized, while frantically trying to stay up to date, we will separate the rumors into multiple categories—Marvel, Parks, Pixar, Star Wars, and Video Games. We will start with Parks, because the rumors there have at least a little to do with everything else.

Parks

We can start with what we do know. The Expo will give an indepth look at what can be expected from Shanghai Disneyland, as well as what's going on with Avatarland. After that, we'll devolve into speculation.


SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND
For a great breakdown of what has been revealed, go to the source—D23.com. It seems that one of the items that has garnered the most excitement is the TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller-coaster. It's always exciting when Disney comes out with a coaster, because they don't do many of them, but they do them well. There's also a lot of excitement around two immersive experiences, one will throw guests into an unparalleled cinematic experience with Star Wars, and the other allows guests to get inside the Marvel Universe. The property will house two resorts—one themed after the Lion King and the other Pixar/Toy Story. And, if you were wondering which princess will get a castle in Shanghai, the answer is all of them. That's right, Storybook Castle will represent all of the princesses.

AVATARLAND
Disney has released a model of the Animal Kingdom expansion for the first time, as well as a lot more detail about what will be included. Regardless of how you feel about Avatar (I can't stand it, and think this is a terrible idea), if the end result looks anything like the model, the park is going to be incredible. So far, no word on the specifics people were hoping for. The official viewing for this starts tonight, but if you paid $2000 extra for the Sorcerer package, you were able to go on an early tour of the expo last night. If you think you hear a touch of envy in my voice, you are correct. Many are hoping they will be announcing the rides, dining, nighttime entertainment, and a firmer opening date. They may tease some of this throughout the weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath for an opening date.

DISNEYLAND / CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
MiceChat has certainly done it's part to fuel the rumors around Disneyland. Disney just bought several pieces of property around it's current property, so it only makes sense that much of what is "backstage" now will become "onstage" space, and the "backstage" offices and such will move across the street. Why would Disney do this? In order to add more Star Wars and Marvel to the parks of course. I'll be honest, most of the rumors sound reasonable, and I would love for them all to be true. We do know that when Innovations re-opens it will include a scaled down version of the Star Wars Launch Bay, which was created for Shanghai Disneyland. It also makes sense for Disney to capitalize on its Marvel properties in Disneyland. Contractually, they can't have Marvel characters in their Orlando park, but having it only in Disneyland might play in their favor. Suddenly, there's a huge draw to go to parks on both coasts.

Disneyland is also expected to receive a MyMagic+ announcement, thereby removing their freedom and autonomy, err... I mean, thereby removing the burden of carrying a parkpass, debit card, and ID.

And, all parks containing a Soarin' ride are expecting the ride to receive a new film before the next Expo. Since we know it's been filmed already, and that the digital conversion of all the theaters has been completed or is nearing completion, it's possible they will reveal a launch date for the new film.

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Everyone is hoping for confirmation that Disney's will be getting a comparable expansion to the one in Disneyland. The park has seen several attractions shut down recently, and seems to be a prime candidate for a Star Wars expansion. It would also make sense for them to expand the Pixar portion of the park. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for this one. DHS seems primed for a major overhaul, and if it doesn't get one soon, all those vacant attraction buildings are going to kill it. I would expect that there will be good news during this Expo.

NOTE: I wouldn't expect too much in terms of details about rides, etc. on these two possible expansions, because the rides are tied into the movie plotlines of films not yet released. So, really, we're just looking for solid confirmation.

NIGHTTIME SHOWS
California Adventure just received a new show, celebrating 60 years of Disneyland, and Animal Kingdom is preparing for their new nighttime show—River's of Light. The other parks are getting a little jealous and want their nighttime shows refreshed. I don't know that we'll see anything on this front. Disneyland is locked into its 60th anniversary. DHS just received an update to their Fantasmic. It's possible EPCOT gets something new, but their show still draws crowds and works for that park. I could be wrong, but I think this will be a no go.

VIDEOGAMES

If you are looking for information about Infinity 3.0, they just had a Toy Box Summit earlier this week. So, I imagine any news on that front has already been reported, but they will certainly have devoted space to show guests what's new. You can see the video for 3.0 here. It has some great new updates. It also includes Star Wars, which means Star Wars is getting two new games, because it's in Infinity 3.0 and It's own game Star Wars: Battlefront. You can be sure Lucasfilm and Disney will take the time to highlight this new game.

PIXAR

Be on the lookout for news about The Good Dinosaur, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4. All of these are likely to make an appearance this weekend.

Marvel

Since Disney nearly no-showed at Comic Con, you can guarantee they'll use their own stage to pitch the upcoming projects for their Marvel properties. There's sure to be some footage from Civil War, especially after that credits tease from Ant-Man. We will likely also get information on Spidey and Doctor Strange. If you were hoping for an appearance from The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 you will be disappointed to hear that their will not be anything on that front at the Expo. Although, some are hoping for A Chris Pratt/Indiana Jones announcement.

Star Wars

You can bet this Expo will be filled with Star Wars. Disney is not going to let their franchise go the way of 1,2, and 3. They're going to hype it up, and then exceed your expectations. Get ready. I'm saying this even after J.J. Abrams said no new footage will show at D23. I dont believe it. There's no way they disappoint on this front two Expos in a row. It's coming. And, when it does, I'll have a date stamp on this post to say I called it. If it doesn't, I'll edit this post to say that there would be no new footage and leave it at that. But, trust me, it's coming.
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<![CDATA[D23: A Collector's Dream]]>Fri, 14 Aug 2015 23:04:12 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/d23-a-collectors-dream

D23 is the spot to get a crack at new merch, and even find exclusive items

Whether you are looking for Vinylmations, Tsum Tsum, handbags, or pins, the D23 Expo has it all. There's no way we could cover everything they have available, but we're sure going to try. For now, we're posting things as we see them pop up on social media, but that will all change on Sunday, when Elaine will give you a first hand look at what's available. Here we go...

Vinylmations

They have a crazy amount of new vinylmation collections available, which is good news for me. I was starting to get worried that they were being phased out, since the display inside Mouse Gear has shrunk considerably over the last year.

It looks like they are here to stay. They've released collections for Star Wars, Avengers, Aristocats, Toy Story, and even an expo-exclusive mickey Tsum Tsum.

Disney also released some a new Vinylmation Jr. set via The Disney Store this morning, and it's recently been announced that there will be vinyl Pop! figures for the Pumpkin King and Sally.

Follow @vinylmationworld on instagram for all the vinylmation information you could possibly need.

Tsum Tsum

The Tsum Tsum are here to stay as well. I've been noticing a growing assortment available at my local Target, but it looks like this phenomenon has just begun.

Soon, stuffed animal lovers will be able to receive exclusive Tsum Tsum collectibles mailed directly to their doorstep.

I have to say that the fantasia hippo is pretty stinking awesome. 

Handbags

The newest Dooney line features Mickey and Minnie in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle, while the newest Harvey line features the old alphabet tickets.

What's great about the Harvey line is there's a men's wallet. That's a great way for a guy to rock his Disney side. And, you have to know your Disney history to even know what the design is. Good Stuff.

Pins

I'm sure this isn't even scratching the surface of what pins will be available, but this is a pretty cool collection of pin sets. There will be some full sets available in frame, but most of these pins will be sold blind.

Maybe I just have baby on my mind, but how cool is that alphabet block pin set?

Odds and Ends

Don't think that's it. There is so much more for the lover of all things Disneyana. They have paintings, and action figures, and statues.

It's one of those things where you can do some dream window shopping, but I don't think anyone leaves without buying something. How can you pass up all this limited availability merchandise?

I'm just hoping Elaine only comes back with a few items, and not the whole store. She's justify it by saying, "Look what I got for Asher," but I don't think our bank account could handle that right now. Although, I would love to have that statuette of Mr. Toad, and the Gracey Manor groundskeeper, and the Harvey wallet, and...
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<![CDATA[D23: It's Here!]]>Fri, 14 Aug 2015 22:08:10 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/d23-its-here
For those who have been counting down—yes, it is finally here. Over the last six years, Disney has developed the D23 Expo into what truly is The Ultimate Fan Event. And, never has there been more hype surrounding the event than this year. Why is that? Well, the answer is three-fold. First, this is the fourth expo, so even casual fans are really starting to catch on to what's happening here. Second, Disney had very little presence at San Diego Comic Con this year in comparison to other years, which suggests a shift from revealing big things at that event to keeping it in house. Third, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Lucasfilm first appeared at the last D23 Expo in 2013, but didn't reveal as much as many fans wanted—this time, they are guaranteed to present The Force Awakens, as well as their new video game Battlefront. Marvel has been part of the expo since 2011, but  as the Disney influence over that universe grows, so does the fandom, and with Civil War on the horizon, fans are looking for a sneak peak into anything Marvel.

So, this event is more hyped up than ever before, and expectations are soaring. We'll give you a glimpse into the rumors, but first, let's start with what we do know. Check out this article for what's been revealed so far.
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<![CDATA[runDisney Enchanted 10k]]>Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:01:49 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/rundisney-enchanted-10kPictureIMAGINING we were finished in mile six.
This is my obligatory "If I Can Do It, You Can Do It" post. 
With that said, I'm going to come at it from a different angle.

In preparing to do this run, I went on a handful of walks and a few short runs—not the best training method. And, if you've followed The Mousekebeers Podcast for any time, or seen any photo of me, you know I'm a big guy and do very little strenuous exercise, if any. I'll let you know that the food I brought with me during the run consisted of Fig Newtons and gummi bears (Elaine found a website that suggested these items as food to pack in your running belt and I was all about that).

It irritates my wife to no end that I go out and do these runs without training, while she works at running. It concerns my mom that I have the "weekend warrior" strategy, which I know often leads to heart attacks, and other medical issues. And, I can't blame either of them. They're both right. I should train, and I shouldn't go out and push myself like this.


But, let's look at the flip side. I finished! I ran 6.2 miles, and I had a blast doing it. I now know that I can run that distance, and not hurt that badly when it's all said and done. That's what makes runDisney events so great. If running every day was like running at Disney World, I wouldn't have any trouble running each day. Running at Disney makes me want to run. 


The other benefit is that I now have a time to beat. I have something to train for. This time around, I knew I could run it. I knew I could finish. And, with that being my only real goal, I didn't have much to train for. Next time, I've got a time to beat. This time around, we stopped a lot to take pictures with characters, mile markers, and in a fairly empty park. We'll do that next time too, but we'll run faster in between. This time, my time was horrendous. It took over two hours to complete the 10k. Out of 1249 guys in the race, I was number 1238. But, we stopped to take pictures with Tinkerbell, Marie (the cat from Aristocats), Jiminy Cricket, Goofy, Donald, every mile marker, etc. We probably waited 15 minutes to take a picture with Tink, and 5 or so minutes each for the others. And, that's great. That's what makes these runs fun. That's why I had such a good time.


I don't really care that I was only faster than eleven other guys. That's not the point. I also don't really care how long the race took in total. That time will always include our wait time. What I care about for next time is the time it takes me to get from one character to the next. 


For this race, I figure my actual running time was around 14 minutes per mile. That's the time I'm looking to improve. I'm also looking to improve to amount of time it takes me to recuperate after a run. I've already gleaned a few things just by participating in runDisney events and being around the expo. I'm already sold on a method for improving--Jeff Galloway's Run, Walk, Run.

Jeff Galloway advocates a run/walk method using a timer. Elaine is much more knowledgeable on this than I am, but based on what she knew and a presentation we heard Jeff give at the expo, Elaine and I decided to use a split of 40 sec./20 sec.(running for forty seconds, walking for twenty) during our run. This helped out a lot. By taking breaks to walk early and often, you allow your body to erase muscle fatigue mid-run. Having a short run time is helpful for me, because I can make myself do it. It's difficult for me to run with any speed for a full minute and a half. But, for forty seconds I can run as fast as I can. So, I'm concentrating on that forty seconds of running and making that forty seconds take me further. Jeff also talks about running with short, low strides, which will likely increase your speed and lower the risk for injury. Eventually, I'd like to work towards a split like 90/30, or 60/20, but for now I'm concentrating on running faster for that forty seconds. Alternating walking really does help. After running in the morning, as long as I don't sit for too long, it's not a problem to walk around the parks the rest of the day. You can finish a run, and feel great.



If you're ever at a run, look for Elaine and I. We'd love to meet up with some people. We're already set to run the Everest Challenge in May, and we'll be signing up for the Food & Wine Half as soon as they open up registration.


Here are some photos from our run this weekend:

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<![CDATA[Steve Hulett and his Untold Tales Now Told]]>Tue, 09 Dec 2014 20:15:19 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/steve-hulett-and-his-untold-tales-now-toldPicture
Steve Hulett worked for Disney during what many refer to as the Pre-Renaissance Era—a time forever blighted in Disney histories by the departure of Don Bluth and the commercial failure of Black Cauldron. This was also when Disney's "Nine Old Men" were either on their way out, or had already left, meaning the core of Disney's animators and writers were now gone.

In an effort not to reveal any spoilers, I'll just say this would be both a very difficult and incredibly interesting time to be working in Disney's animation studios. It would be a stressful time, full of heartbreak, where Disney's best just didn't seem good enough, and their progress was overshadowed by the successes of rivals who had once been part of their team.

Steve Hulett has been releasing his memoir of these times in a long-format serial written for Cartoon Brew. Steve's articles are part of a new segment they've started called Untold Tales with Steve's being the first tale to be released. The first chapter of Hulett's "A Mouse in Transition" was released in May, and the most recent chapter (released yesterday, December 8, 2014) deals with the entrance of Mike and Frank, the two who rebuilt the house of mouse, only to have it fall like the House of Usher, divided between Katz(enberg) and mouse, though Hulett doesn't go into all that. He writes of his experiences in the early eighties, when Eisner and Wells were fresh from Paramount and Warner Bros., respectively.

Steve Hulett provides a unique opportunity to peer behind the curtain and see Disney through a writer's eyes. What's refreshing is that he is not overly cynical. Nor is he looking at Disney through rose colored lenses. His memoir appears to be an honest telling of the events as they unfolded, as the author saw them. If you're a fan of Disney history, I highly recommend giving this memoir a read. Also, poke around Cartoon Brew's site—there's some good stuff there. 

Check out "A Mouse in Transition: Disney's Newest Hire" (Chapter 1)



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<![CDATA[Star Wars Weekends and Dining]]>Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:46:11 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/star-wars-weekends-and-dining
Following up on last weeks release of the Star Wars VII trailer, Disney has announced the dates for Star Wars Weekends. They are:

  • Weekend I: May 15-17, 2015
  • Weekend II: May 22-24, 2015
  • Weekend III: May 29-31, 2015
  • Weekend IV: June 5-7, 2015
  • Weekend V: June 12-14, 2015


If you want to get the special dining packages, you should do that now. Make these reservations through Disney Dining by calling (407) WDW-DINE or going online. If it were me, I'd call to make sure it doesn't get messed up. I'd also make a note of who I talked to and when as backup, in case something happens.


There are two Star Wars Dining options available. 


You can go to Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine.
The costs for that are $57.99 for an adult, $34.99 for a child, or two Disney Dining Plan table-services per person.



OR


You can go to Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast
The costs for this one are  $49.99 for an adult, $31.99 for a child or two Disney Dining Plan table-services per person.
For more information, you can keep an eye on Disney's Star Wars Weekend Page. For a review of past Star Wars dining experiences and more information than Disney has posted, visit The Disney Food Blog.

Whatever you do, if you want to reserve one of these dining experiences, do it quickly. Space is extremely limited and in high demand.
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<![CDATA[Toy Story: The Special I (almost) Forgot To DVR´╗┐]]>Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:45:01 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/toy-story-the-special-i-almost-forgot-to-dvrPicture
I showed up to record the podcast last night and was immediately reminded that the Toy Story That Time Forgot special was airing last night. Thankfully, there's an app for that, so I was able to set my DVR to record. I love technology.

Originally, this special was just supposed to be a six-minute short, but John Lasseter, Pixar's Chief Creative Officer, thought the storyline was good enough to turn into a 30-minute special.

I have yet to watch it in its entirety, but I did catch glimpses of it while recording. It looks great. I can't wait to watch it. 

Without giving away any spoilers, which I was also trying to avoid seeing, it seems like most people loved it. After watching it. Share your thoughts in the comments and answer our poll below.

If you missed it, it will be playing on Disney Channel on Friday, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th. Check your local listings for times, but the listings I found said 7:00 CMT for the 12th and 6:30 CMT for the 13th.

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<![CDATA[Merlin's Beard, this Weekend was Great!]]>Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:39:05 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/merlins-beard-this-weekend-was-great

Another 72-hour Disney Trip

This weekend, Elaine and I decided to go on a somewhat impromptu trip to WDW. We had requested off from work, but our Thanksgiving plans fell through. Rather than stay at home and get stuff done, we decided we'd leave early Friday morning and come back Sunday—something we're known to do and others find crazy.
We were well aware that the crowds following thanksgiving would be somewhat crazy, and there were few FP+ availabilities and even fewer dining reservations, so we decided to visit the parks in a different way than we typically do. We avoided the many of the "E" ticket attractions, only going on such rides if we happened to score a FP+ or if we were fortunate enough to pass the attraction at a time when the wait became too short to pass it up.

The rest of the time, we did things we hadn't done in a long while, or we'd never done before. We watched the Main Street Electrical Parade. We watched Elsa freeze the castle. We went to the last showing of the night for Country Bears Jamboree. It was a lot of fun, and no stress. If something had too long of a line, we just moved on. That's the benefit we've found with being Annual Passholders. The parks don't get old or boring by going more often, they become far more enjoyable. It wasn't a big deal that we didn't get to ride Space Mountain; we just rode it a couple of weeks ago, and in a month or so we'll ride it again. It's not stressful when our 72-hour trips are not rushed or hurried. It makes it fun.

Time to do Something New

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Since we weren't on a tight schedule, we decided to give the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game a shot. Our thinking was two-fold 1) no one from the podcast has played the game, so we haven't been able to personally review it, though we have stated that it looks like fun and is something we would like to do, and 2) we're in the park without an agenda, so now would be a good time to try it.

It was a blast!

We could immediately see the draw to the game. It's an RPG/Trading/Collecting/Scavenger hunt mashup. Wow, that sounds way too nerdy. It's not as nerdy as I just made it sound. First, you have to understand that Elaine and I don't do pin trading/collecting, so we're not super into that kind of stuff. As close as we get to that is we each buy a vinylmation on every trip, but we don't trade them, and we don't collect whole sets. We just buy them. Also, though we've gotten into Disney's Infinity recently, we're not gamers. I've played dice RPG's a few times, but neither of us was ever into Pokemon, Magic, or D&D. That's not us. Now hunting for stuff at WDW, we do love that—hidden Mickey's, the Everest Challenge, that kind of stuff is just fun.


Anyway, living with your parents and wearing a cloak are not pre-reqs for enjoying this game. Initially, it takes very little skill, though the game progresses with you. If you've played before, you may know far more about it than I do. In that case, feel free to add to what I miss in our SOTMK forum, or correct me if I'm wrong. If you haven't played before, I'll provide you with more than you need to know to get started.

GamePlay

Hades is recruiting villains to help him overtake the Magic Kingdom. In order to take over the kingdom, Hades has to get a crystal that is in Merlin's possession. He's employing all of Disney's best baddies to get that crystal, resurrecting them from the dead when necessary. Merlin needs help fighting off all of the villains, so he's training up sorcerers to help him out.

Playing this game does not require spending any additional money. It's included in your park entrance. That's why you'll see a lot of locals and snowbirds playing the game. While we were playing, we saw a girl gain the ranking of "Master Sorcerer Gold." I don't know how much play that takes, but as far as I know, Elaine and I have no ranking at this point.

Each day, you can go to the Volunteer Fire House on Main Street or to a kiosk behind Liberty Square and get a deck of five card. You collect these cards in an attempt to build a full deck of 70 cards, but with just five cards you'll be able to get started.

The first time you get cards, they'll give you a key card, a map, and training on how to play the game. They'll also give you your first starting location, somewhere on mainstreet. During training, you'll see a short video segment which will give you your starting location by showing you a building facade and a unique portal symbol. Simply match up the symbol with a location on the map and make your way to your first portal.
When you find the first portal, touch your key card to the portal's padlock, step back so you're standing on the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom Crest, and then follow the on-screen instructions. It may just tell you to go to another portal to chase down a classic villain, or it may tell you to cast a spell. 

Early on, the game typically only takes one card at a time to play. The opponents you face are not that strong. Often all you'll need to show is the back of a card, which is emblazoned with the Sorcerers' Crest. As the game progresses, you'll need to hold up multiple cards at the same time, combining the cards' abilities. When playing at the highest level of difficulty, you'll have to match the right type of card with the right villain. Sometimes you figure out which card to use through trial and error. Other times, there may be cues in the video. For example, if I villain mentions being "spotted," you may need to play a 101 Dalmatians related card.

This game is self-paced, so you can do it fairly quickly, or play a little here and there. To continue an adventure simply visit the next portal. If you cant remember which one you need to go to, visit one of the two kiosks or go to any portal, tap your key to the lock, and it will tell you where you were supposed to go.

For great videos on how to play, visit Inside the Magic.
For all the info you could possibly need visit the The Sorcerers App.

Have any questions or comment? Join the discussion in our forums!

For the Impatient Types Who Enjoy Spoilers

While not an official way to play the game, you can find all the high resolution copies of all the card images online, and download them into a photo album on your phone. When asked to cast a spell, you can hold up your phone. I have not tried this, but did see some do this. I don't know how it would work if you were trying to combine spells. If you want to get all the cards, you can get them from The WDW Planner.

I won't think less of you for taking this option, but I'm not going to. I enjoy the luck of the draw aspect of the game. Also, I don't trade pins or anything else, so I may try my hand at card trading.
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<![CDATA[Haunt Your Disney Side Sweepstakes]]>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:42:55 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/haunt-your-disney-side-sweepstakesPicture
This year, Disney is all about showing your Disney side, and for Halloween, they're challenging you to Haunt your Disney Side. Participation in the sweepstakes is fairly simple. For many of us, we don't have to do anything we wouldn't do already. For more information on the sweepstakes, visit disneysidecontest.com, but here's the gist of it.

There are four different categories for the contest—Disney Halloween Decorations, Treats, Carved Pumpkins, and Costumes. There will be a winner for each category that will receive an awesome gift basket full of the latest Haunted Mansion collectible and merchandise. So, all the cool stuf that they just came out with for the opening of the Haunted Mansion gift shop could be yours. The way you enter is by submitting a picture to their website, or post via Twitter or Instagram. If you post by Twitter or Instagram, tag your submission with #DisneySideContest. The entries must be submitted by November 4th. Disney posted some guidelines along with their official rules.  Here's their do's and dont's:

And, Now For The Best Part... You could Win the prize of all prizes!

A Private Haunted Mansion® Party:
All of our happy haunts are just dying to meet the winner! One family of foolish mortals will attend a private party, hosted by 999 happy haunts inside Haunted Mansion®. After Midnight strikes, and all the supernatural surprises have been sprung, you'll retire for one comfortably creepy stay in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom® Park, at Walt Disney World® Resort.
Normally, I would keep this information to myself and hope that having less people enter might increase my chances of winning, but it's already October 22nd and I have not decorated my house for Halloween at all, and despite my best intentions will probably not get to it. Also, if I tell you about it, maybe you'll feel like making me part of your party. Then, I win either way!

Top help you win, find pumpkin carving ideas here. There are a ton of treat ideas here. You can find decoration ideas here. And, for costume ideas, you can go here.
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<![CDATA[Should Disney Create A Disabled Princess?]]>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:00:30 GMThttp://www.mousekebeers.com/thaddeaus/should-disney-create-a-disabled-princessPicture
Disney often gets accused of not having much diversity among their princesses. I typically think that such an accusation is a little ridiculous. I get that everyone wants to have a princess that represents them, but at what point do you stop? It also does not make sense to alter a story in an effort to make sure every group is represented. Beauty and the Beast is a French tale from the 18th century. It would make very little sense if this movie had used characters of African descent. Even today, Noirs de France make up less than 4% of the population. In the 1700's that number would be significantly lower.
Some may argue that Disney uses a fair amount of artistic license in other areas, why not do the same when it comes to race? I don't always disagree. When a story can be adapted to another culture well, Disney can and will do it. Look at The Princess & the Frog. In general, there is nothing wrong with taking a story from one culture and placing it into a different setting, with a different cast. Would it have been appropriate to take the story of Pocahontas and change the race of the main character? Absolutely not! So, the standard is to keep stories in their cultural setting. 
That may mean that Disney should cast a wider net when looking for stories, and I think they have done a fairly good job of that in the past several decades. Since the late 80's, there have been ten princesses; six are Caucasian, one is Asian, one is Native American, one is Arab, and another is African American. I'm not saying those numbers could not be improved, but I am saying that Disney is not as whitewashed as many may claim. There are still many cultures that are not represented, but I'm sure Disney also has many more films to make.
One group that is not represented are those with disabilities. The 2010 U.S. Census shows that 18.7% of the U.S. population is living with some sort of disability. That means the subset of our population living with a disability makes up a greater percentage of our population than African Americans. The are more people with disabilities than there are those of Hispanic or Latino descent. Obviously, disabilities are not constricted to one race or ethnicity. So, with nearly one in every five people in the United States having a disability, you would think one of the last ten Disney princesses would have a disability (having to wear gloves for fear of freezing everything doesn't count).
Right now, there's a petition going around the internet, and I do not disagree with its aim. The goal is to convince Disney to make a movie that represents a child with Down syndrome. I think that would be great. It would be awesome if all children had a Disney hero they could see a little of themselves in. But, I don't think it would be without its problems.
Cartooning typically relies on exploiting a stereotype or a prominent feature in order to create characters. It requires more to draw characters of different races than simply changing skin color. Disney has had some trouble with this before. Many lauded Disney for making the characters in Lilo & Stitch less skinny. But, doing so also created a backlash. There were Pacific Islanders who were offended that many of the characters were drawn on the thick side. They saw it as racial stereotyping. I fear this would happen if Disney animated a character with Down syndrome. How would they clearly depict the character as having a disability, without overgeneralizing, or playing to stereotypes? They could have the best of intentions, and there would be those who would still get upset.
But, I think there is another solution. Right after Guardians of the Galaxy came out, I read tumblr post written by the sibling of a child with autism. The author was thrilled that her little brother was able to connect with Drax, who is not necessarily autistic, but does exhibit some common traits. In particular, her brother identified with Drax's inability to comprehend metaphors and uncanny ability to take everything in the most literal sense. I think Disney could do a great job of portraying disabled characters in their live action films. While Drax does not have any disability explicitly mentioned, Disney could certainly use characters that do explicitly portray different disabilities.
I wish this cause the best, and I hope they get the disabled character they seek. I just hope Disney is able to do it in such a way that it does not trivialize the hardships these individuals face, and in such a way as it does not cause offense—a very difficult thing to do in this day and age.

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