Thursday, September 16, 2010

La Hacienda de San Angel

La Hacienda de San Angel has finally opened. DFB as usual comes to the rescue with all the info:

La Hacienda de San Angel Menu - I note that it seems ridiculously expensive. I wonder if they're counting on hype? Or maybe they're pricing in the good view of Illuminations?

Here's DFB's take on the opening. What's sad is even though I think it's over-priced, I'll likely still try it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wilderness Lodge Pictures

The Wilderness Lodge Fan Site has some fantastic Wilderness Lodge Pictures. It is one of the most striking resorts and it's also very reasonably priced, both for a deluxe resort and for a Magic Kingdom resort.

The photo to the right is one that was sent to me of the resort at Christmas. Another subject in itself.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Investing Round-Up

I've been writing a lot about Disney World so I thought I'd take a break and do some finance links. The abrupt shift in gears is what makes my reader (singular) such a big fan (Thanks Mom!)

First here's a good list of articles about investing.

This message board appears defunct, but their post on covered calls vs. selling puts is very useful.

Also, this was a great edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance.

Check em out.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Extra Magic Hours at Epcot

I have to say that Epcot Extra Magic Hours are ultimately my least favorite EMH out there. I don't mind jaunting over there in the morning, but I always find the evening offering to be disappointing. Soarin' is still too long of a line, Test Track was never a favorite. I do kind of get a kick out of riding the Maelstrom at night, but then the "waterfall" part is not as compelling. Ultimately I think Epcot's Extra Magic Hours are a bit overrated.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Best Disney World Restaurants

I get asked a lot by first time visitors to Disney World what the "Best Restaurants" are. Of course that's an impossible question to answer. Best can mean a lot of different things to different people and even in different circumstances. If I have rambunctious kids, fine dining might be out of the question. If I don't like seafood, that might eliminate others. Fortunate the Disney Food Blog has a great collection of articles in the Best Disney World Restaurants series.

It's a great collection to help you figure out where would work best for you on your vacation. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Disney and the iPhone

Disney is doing apps. Disney Droid Apps. Disney iPhone Apps. I know this because Disney just bought Tapulous a maker of iPhone and iPad games. They clearly recognize this is a big deal. I'll be anxious to see if they make quality apps or just more thin marketing junk. Why buy a company that's good at it if you're just going to have them make garbage?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Now that we're into the dog days of summer, I can start thinking about Disney World again. Unlike most people I won't come within a mile of Disney during the summer. I hate crowds, so I skip the whole summer. The 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival marks the start of Vitaly's Disney World year. Epcot rules, food rules, wine rules. It's a win-win-win. That link is for the Disney Food Blog's coverage, which is by far the most comprehensive anywhere, including Disney itself. This includes something I'm quite excited about: The New Booths

I can imagine what wonderful new foods will await me there. Until then I continue to wait for the summer vacationers to get out of my homeland!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Animal Kingdom Lodge Primer

I was researching the Animal Kingdom Lodge today and I thought I'd share some resources I found, or have always liked. Obviously the first thing you need to know about is the Animal Kingdom Lodge Unofficial Fansite. This is a great place to get a broad understanding of what the Lodge is like. Personally one of my favorite characteristics about the Lodge is that it's VERY impressive, but not terribly expensive. While the rooms are fairly small, the amenities, lobby, etc are fantastic. It has many of the advantages of the Wilderness Lodge, but is even better in my opinion. The Wilderness Lodge does however have easy access to the Magic Kingdom, which is a consideration. For more information check out this thread on Animal Kingdom Lodge vs. Wilderness Lodge.

The next question is whether you want to stay in Kidani Village or Jambo House. While Kidani Village is the DVC members area, you can still stay there if you want. Here's a good Kidani Village Review to help you figure out if you want to venture over there. Personally I'm always going to pick Jambo House, because I love both the Boma and Jiko restaurants.

Another interesting consideration from staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Safaris. There are several of them including the Wanyama Safari and the Sunrise Safari. They have differing constraints on who can do them though so be sure to do your research.

Overall I think AKL has the best combination of price, amenities and style. It's biggest negative is that it's a bit out of the way and it's second biggest problem is that the rooms are small. Fortunately neither of these are huge on my priority list, so it's the perfect resort for me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Got too much money?

If you're trying to get rid of some you could eat here. There are plenty of good places to eat in WDW, so I've never managed to work up the nerve or financial responsibility to eat there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


You like cupcakes? I got some cupcakes for you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jon Secada

You probably think I don't like Jon Secada. Well you're wrong:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good Post

If you like your patriotism sprinkled with pixie dust. Check out this post on Meltdown Free Disney:

To Honor America, Disney Style

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Contemporary Resort Pictures

If you're looking for a place to stay in Disney World and can afford it, the Contemporary Resort is a big winner in my book. You can walk to the Magic Kingdom quickly and the monorail runs through your freaking hotel!

If you want to see tons of Pictures of the Contemporary the Fan Site has a ton of them. Click the link and check out all the pics. They also have some good articles on staying there. Be sure to check out the California Grill while you're there. The food is delicious and the view is amazing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Disney Employee Swiping Credit Card Numbers

If you've been to Saratoga Springs or Old Key West you might want to keep an eye on your credit card statement. Apparently a front desk worker was skimming credit card information. If you want to read more you can check out the story on DisZine:

Walt Disney World Employee Caught Stealing Credit Card Information From Hotel Guests

Personally I think it's a testament to Disney that this kind of stuff doesn't happen more often. When you think about how many resorts they have worldwide it's surprising this isn't commonplace.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Disney World for Couples

Honestly when the wife and I go anymore, we do what pretty much everyone else would do at Disney World. We don't go out of our way to do a bunch of romantic stuff. That being said, I think there's plenty available for you if that's your desire.

Here's a good article on Disney World for Couples. It has all the obvious ideas, but plenty of others for those who's definition of "romance" isn't so mainstream.

Personally we think riding Splash Mountain together on a chilly night is romantic, but maybe that's just us?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Preferred Rooms at Pop Century

I always like a better room, so I was curious if I should have any interest in the preferred rooms at Disney's Pop Century. My conclusion is they're not worth it for me. I actually like DisneyZane's logic. Which led me to a couple of useful articles:

Pop Century Preferred Rooms on WorthyPosts and
Are Pop Century Preferred Rooms Worth the Money on the Pop Century fan site.

I still can't tell whether you have to pay extra for a King Room though.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Christine McVie

Christine McVie! I love everything Fleetwood Mac and everyone in Fleetwood Mac does:

I honestly thought this was a Fleetwood Mac song...but I digress. I thought I'd admit I had some taste after the Ke$ha admission!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Disney's Pop Century

Looking around at the Pop Century Resort Fan Page and found some interesting stuff on the Pop Century Resort Layout. Although it's on the site, that article doesn't make any mention of the rotting husk of the Legendary Years that sites across the lake from the rest of the resort. Pretty weird.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Visions of the "Future"

Came across this cool post about an artist in the late 1800's vision of the "future" in the year 2000.

Looks about right to me, eh?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Disney Hotels Fan

If you're looking for great pictures of the Disney Resorts, check out this blog:

He finds the best pictures and puts them up on his site.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

AKL Info

Reading an interesting post on AKL on a blog I found through the Disney Blog Carnival. He writes really detailed articles, which I think is great.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What is a Touring Plan?

Generally when I go to the parks I don't have much of a plan. I was checking out information about Magic Kingdom Touring Plans and it got me wondering if I was missing something. If you don't know what a touring plan is, it's simply a pre-determined approach to maximizing the amount of attractions you see while you're in a park. I'm pretty experienced so I don't need them as much, but for neophytes it can definitely help to have a plan before you go. Even a "pro" like me can still make mistakes in the heat of battle.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wilderness Lodge Flag Family

I was reading about the Wilderness Lodge Flag Family and I was curious if a solo traveler can be the "Flag Family." I'm not sure I could handle the responsibility but it seems kind like an interesting idea. At a minimum I'd love to get up on the roof of the Wilderness Lodge.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm just going to admit it. I love this crap:

And yes, I admit it's crap. But fun crap!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mavericks Offseason

I haven't lamented the Mavericks this season. I basically wrote them off at the end of the season, although they did get me to buy back in enough to pay a little bit of attention in the postseason. I'm sort of feeling like a fair-weather fan these days. I can't bring myself to watch unless I feel like they have a shot. Maybe I've been burned too many times.

I'm going to be watching the offseason with a lot of interest. It seems like they could make a lot of moves, but I'm not sure how far we can go with a decomposing Jason Kidd running the show. He really understands the game of basketball, but he simply isn't quick enough to do anything useful in the half court anymore.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Disney Movie Scandals

On DisMarks I found a fun article on Disney Movie Scandals. Like anything going back as far as Disney does there are going to be some unsightly blemishes from a different time. Generally I don't get too worked up about most of these, but they're interesting to see.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Disney Dream

Cool video on some new technology used on the Disney Dream. I think it's great that people are giving up room upgrades because they want to stay in the room with their "virtual porthole."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Disney Resort Blogs

The Disney Resort Fansites have started blogs and I thought I'd mention a few:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants

Disney Food Blog has some great restaurant page resources. They have the menus for the restaurants as well as tons of articles on them. I thought I'd pick a couple of my favorites fromm the Magic Kingdom:

  • Liberty Tree Tavern - I have a thing for colonial/revolutionary period stuff, plus I love pot roast, so this is obviously going to be a winner in my book.
  • Cinderella's Royal Table - Ok honestly the food here is mediocre, but I love eating inside the castle. Plus I think the field mice are fun characters to have around when you're eating.
  • Crystal Palace - Once again, mediocre food. This time it's a buffet and you get Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore (Piglet too, but who cares about Piglet! J/K)
Those are the standouts in the Magic Kingdom, at least for Table Service. Counter service is another story and actually the MK is pretty weak in the counter-service department.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mutual Funds vs. ETFs

I increasingly find myself interested in ETFs more than Mutual Funds. Mutual Funds tend to come and go and I don't want to analyze every mutual fund that someone dreams up. It's even less appealing when you know that if it does poorly, they'll just shut down that fund to hide their results. Index funds are much more appealing and in that vein I've started putting more and more ETFs in my portfolio. Now obviously I wouldn't touch a leveraged ETF with someone else's money, but I can get into buying treasuries in my brokerage account instead of going through a bunch of hassle.

Obviously much like a mutual fund, I'm going to wind up paying for things that aren't strictly the investment, but their goal is to track whatever it is they track. As such fees seem to be reasonable since they'd have no hope of doing so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two of My Passions

Great article on WorthyPosts that hits on two of my favorite subjects: Green society and Money.

The article Green Savings Strategies, discusses some "do it yourself" ways to both help the environment and save money. I'm all in favor of that, but I am very anxious for our government to provide more incentive to do it. I feel like every time I use a CF lightbulb I'm just helping congress ignore the issue for another year.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Links for Friday

I've found that link lists tend to be my favorite way of producing content and other people seem to like them too. Easy and fun, so lets do one:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Selena Gomez Getting Paid

I'm reading about what Selena Gomez is earning and I was thinking to myself it says something about what we pay for in society. It's very odd that personalities are worth so much. There are tons of people who would be happy to do what she does for free, yet she can command millions to do it. And she's not even a particularly highly paid actress. I wouldn't think her VORP (to steal a baseball term) would be this high, or any actor's for that matter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Boma Pictures

I haven't written in quite a while and I need to address that. Sadly this will just be a quick check in pointing out a great collection of pictures of Boma in the AKL. You should go check them out.