Fun Fact Friday! #186

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Hurricane Matthew is making a mess down in Florida, and as we speak, the Walt Disney World theme parks are shut down and preparing for the storm. Folks on vacation at the magical land must be disappointed to miss visiting the parks and the MNSSHP events, I would be! Some comments have been made that it’s risky to travel to WDW during hurricane season, however, it should be pointed out that it is a truly rare occasion that the parks have to close due to the weather.

A flyer handed to all guests exiting the parks on August 13, 2004 explains admission refund policies. Image from Chris Barry. Source: MousePlanet.com

Hurricane season in Florida runs from the end of June to November, believe it or not! But since opening in 1971, the parks have only been closed because of the weather a few times. Hurricane Floyd rushed through in 1999. and this caused the all four parks to close down for the first time in WDW history! And then in 2004, which was a crazy hurricane season in Florida (I know, I was there for Hurricane Charlie!), the parks saw a few different full-day closures.

My trip wasn’t interrupted, however, we were leaving the day it got really bad. But I remember seeing the cast members, all calm and collected, as they had to prepare to shut down some of the attractions. Obviously the rides that are outside get shut down first.

Being in Florida during a hurricane can be unbelievably nerve-wracking! In 2004, during Hurricane Charlie, my family and I were staying with my grandmother who lived in Kissimmee at the time. We were there to help move her up to Boston so should could live with us. Of course, my family planned a couple of nights at the Walt Disney World parks, and, we actually stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort!

That resort is absolutely GORGEOUS and I remember feeling very posh and important whenever I walked onto the property!

Anyways, Hurricane Charlie rushed in, and my whole family (including the dog) had to bunker down in my Grandmother’s pantry! It was crazy. There was six of us all huddled together in an 8×8 room, holding hands, praying, and panicking. The destruction was craziness! My Grandmother’s trees were pulled from the ground, roof shingles were littered all over the yard, but the worst thing was the weather afterwards.

Obviously, we had no power, and the humidity was super oppressive. Without AC, we were getting pretty snippy with one another. Also, we were packing a house full of things by candlelight, mind you, so it was just awful! I remember the need for ice was also in high demand, and the lines… oh my GOODNESS the lines to get ice, gas, just the necessities. It was completely surreal for a New England gal like me.

Don’t get me wrong, we have our Nor’easters to contend with. But to be honest, it’s easier to make a fire and warm up then go without the use of a fan or AC. Horrible.

While I understand that Central Florida does not usually get hit by this Hurricane Season, having lived through one 10+ years ago, my thoughts go out to everyone who is being affected by this right now. I hope that proper aid and help comes swiftly, and everyone remains safe.

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Fun Fact Friday! #185

Up, up, and away!

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Boy what a week this has been. What made it even harder to concentrate at my desk job was knowing that my wonderful parents are vacationing at Walt Disney World as we speak! #Jealous!

It’s cool, though. They totally deserve time at the park and, seeing as I have been there multiple times without them, I really can’t complain (too much…).

But maybe just knowing that they are in the happiest place on earth is causing me to daydream, and in my daydreaming I am flying around, up and over the magical park. So naturally, today’s Fun Fact relates to Up!

Russell’s Wilderness Explorer sash dons several tribute pins.

One badge has a burger with a candle in it, referencing director Pete Docter’s favorite bakery, Merritt Baker, in Oakland. Another pin shows a perforated paper, typically used by 2D animators to line up drawings correctly. Lastly, there is a multicolored pinwheel reminiscent of Apple computers’ “hang” icon.

Super cool, huh? Those sneaky peeps at Pixar never miss an opportunity to add some hidden messaged in their movies! That’s what keeps them so interesting!

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Fun Fact Friday! #184

It’s all about Quasimodo this week!

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Ever wonder what the piously buoyant protagonist might have sounded like had he been blessed with a different set of pipes? Perhaps from someone more… swordsman-like?

I’m talking, of course, about the infamous character Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.

If you didn’t know that, I suggest you take a long, hard look at your life choices. >:[

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Ok, so, obviously Montoya wouldn’t be able to voice Quasimodo. I’m talking about the real-life-human who played him… Mandy Patinkin!

The role was offered to Patinkin, who was eager to take the job. However, one of Patinkin’s favorite actors is Charles Laughton, who, for all you movie buffs out there, played the original Quasimodo in the 1939 live-action movie. Patinkin was ready to bring that darker version to life, but we’re talking Disney, people! The producers of The Hunchback of Notre Dame wanted to create the character to be more friendly. This was ultimately the deciding factor which brought Patinkin to decline the offer.

“They had their own Disney needs,” Patinkin told the Los Angeles Times.

Although I love me some Princess Bride references, I can’t pretend to be upset that the actual voice-actor ended up being Tom Hulce. You know, the adorably silly  Academy Award nominee guy from Amadeus (one of my favorite movies ever!). His voice was perfect-o and he really was just a super cute-pie!

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Ya see… it all works out in the end. Take the Muses from Hercules. Originally, they were going to have the Spice Girls voice the articulate-ladies. I’m a 90’s kid and all, but I got to say, that just would not have fit in as well. Sorry Baby, Sporty, Scary, Posh, and Ginger. I gotta tell ya what I want, and what I really, really want, is for you to stay out of animation.

Fun Fact Friday! #183

It’s all about Zootopia! Oh boy, this was an instant favorite of mine. Perhaps that is because when I saw the film, I was in DISNEY SPRINGS!!! But seriously, this movie is awesome sauce and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check it out! My review for it will be up soon enough 🙂

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I found an excellent collection of little fun facts about the making of the movie here, at Oh My Disney.

My favorite? 

While working on the film, director of cinematography-layout, Nathan Warner, got more than he bargained for when caretakers introduced filmmakers to a rescued, real-life cheetah during their research trip to Africa. The big cat seemingly wasn’t fond of the camera Warner carried, and leapt up to let him know. Note: Neither filmmaker nor cheetah were harmed during the encounter.

Maybe the cheetah was made because he knew he was being used as a reference for Clawhauser, and didn’t want to be represented as the chubby big kitty!

We love you Clawhauser <3

                                                                                  We love you Clawhauser ❤

Fun Fact Friday #181

Well, who knew. Angela Lansbury, the voice of Mrs. Potts, did not think she was suited to sing the ballad Beauty and the Beast. She recorded one take at the director’s request, to have for a back up if nothing else worked, and that one recording ended up in the film.

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I can’t imagine any one else doing a better job. Can you?