Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Few Brief Messages

by: ZZUB

I love Sunday mornings.  Before Mrs. Z and the girls wake up, I have the house to myself.  It's quiet.  I can rest.  And write.  I enjoy writing. 

After a spell, my girls get up and lately they've enjoyed sitting with me in my study, looking up Disney things on You Tube.  Although none of us have seen La Nouba and probably won't (for the obvious reasons), we're familiar with parts of it from Resort TV.  Ask ZZUBY if "amazing can be a souvenir?"  And she'll tell you, "actually, yes!"  They like the part with the guys on the bike.  And the people jumping in and out of the windows on the building.  If you've ever seen the show or seen parts of it on TV or the Internet, then you know what I'm talking about.  We are big fans of You Tube.  There are tons of old Disney commericals, videos from "my Contemporary" (as Li'l Z calls it) and of course, fireworks. 

NM and family are in WDW, the LaLas have just returned and Great Biscuit is currently on his trip as well. I'm hopeful LaLa starts up her TR soon.  You KNOW she's got some embarrassingly funny stories.  I'm willing to bet one of them got sick and either hurled or wanted to hurl.  Because that's how they roll it.  NM will try to post some live pictures from her trip as well.  And today I have posted my review of Toy Story 3.

So there's a lot of new stuff coming to ZZUBWorld, The Coolest New Disney Fan Site on the Net. TM.   Frickles raised a good point (which shocked us all), that some people might not want to read anything about TS3 until they see it.  For that reason, my review is on a separate page (see tab above).  Although I don't believe it contains any spoilers, if you, like Frank Costanza, prefer to go in fresh, you might not want to read it.  And by placing it on a separate page, people can discuss it freely without fear of spoiling it for others.

If either NM or GB decide to post live updates and pictures from their trips, a new page tab will appear.  So check there.

The Trip Reports will run in this space and we'll alternate between the four of us.  We plan to have something new up here at least once a week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where in the WORLD?

By NicoleMarie

Well, the packing lists and last minute errands are in full swing around the NM household. We leave for the World on Friday, and we couldn't be more ready or more excited.

One of my favorite things in the world - and THE World - to do is to take pictures. I have thousands on my computer hard drive, and even though they are backed up, I still can't take them off because I love being able to look at them at any given time.

In other words, I'm attached.

Even when I edit or crop a picture, or change the coloring, or use any of the other effects available to me in iPhoto, I STILL save the original.

Ridiculous? I'm sure.

But out of this love for all things preserved in a JPG file, I have uploaded some pics to this blog that I thought might be fun for you all to identify. Some seem pretty easy peasy to me. But then again, everyone who reads this might not be the EXTREME Disney nerd that I am. And I DID take all the pics. But some might be tricky. They are taken in the parks and at the resorts, so to get ALL of them, you need to at least have done your Disney research and looked at lots of pics. Or paid attention to the details in the parks.

So post your answers, and try NOT to cheat!!! It's hard not to see other posts, but when you get to the comment section, scroll down REAL FAST until you get to the bottom and can post your own answers.

There's no prize for the most correct answers, but here's the scale.

1-3 Correct: Book a trip. ASAP. You're a Disney Rookie, but this can be changed with just a few more trips under your belt and some time on the DIS Photography Board.

4 or 5 Correct: You've been a few times, but you ain't quite a Disney nerd yet. (The jury is still our on whether or not that's a bad thing.) Stop booking your beach trips, or your trips to the mountains or the lake...or really any other place you'd spend vacation money beside Disney World. After you've spent at least three years worth of vacations at WDW, and brushed up on your Disney photo trivia, you can take that trip to Dollywood or Six Flags. They'll always be there.

(Or will they?)

6 or 7 Correct: You're getting there!!! Next time you go to the World, spend less time refining your itinerary and collecting FASTpasses, and more time smelling the flowers. And noticing the details. Take it from's a great way to enjoy the World. Well, I would assume it is, anyway. I've never been able to pull myself away from my laminated and color coded Excel spreadsheet schedule long enough to try it out.

8 or 9 Correct: Congrats!!! You know as much as ZZUB, but not QUITE as much as me, LaLa and Great Biscuit. ZZUB may be the host here, but that doesn't mean he's the biggest Disney nerd. Biggest general nerd? Probably. But DISNEY nerd? I'm claimin' that for myself.

ALL 10 CORRECT: WOW!!!! You know you some Disney World!!! You've probably stayed in almost all of the resorts, visited most of the restaurants and ridden every ride that would let you on. No doubt you've taken out a second mortgage to finance your addiction, and Crocs, refillable mugs and Baggalinis (what the heck are those, anyway?) line your closet. Your AP is currently burning a hole in your pocket, and you have at least three trips booked, two of which you hope actually materialize. The marketing geniuses at Disney laugh daily at your drinking of the Kool-Aid, but you couldn't care less because you LOVE you some Disney World and plan on dumping your money there for decades to come.

Welcome to the club.

Number 1:

Number 2:

Number 3:

Number 4:

Number 5:

Number 6:

Number 7:

Number 8:

Number 9:

Number 10:

Submit your answers and let's see who's a FULL ON Disney Nerd!!!

NO CHEATING! You can read the post without looking at the comments, then post your comment and see how you compare with other Disney Nerds!

Have fun!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forty Reasons to Celebrate

by: LaLa

My husband is on the cusp of turning forty.

Hard to believe it’s been forty years since God decided to show some Yellow to the world and grace us with his presence. Not that I was there for the blessed event or anything. Wasn’t even born yet. Because I am MUCH younger than he is. Let the record show.

Way younger.

Not that much younger.


For some time now, my not yet middle-aged husband has equally looked forward to and dreaded this birthday, I believe. He’s looked forward to it because he says getting older makes him feel more distinguished. And he likes feeling distinguished. Beats the pants off feeling undistinguished. He’s dreaded it, well, because he’s not thirty anymore. Even though forty IS the new thirty. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, fortieth birthdays only come around once and it’s something to celebrate in our house. Heck, ANY birthday is something to celebrate in our house. We are the original architects of Birth Week, for crying out loud. The idea being one day just ain’t enough. We need a whole week to celebrate.

Which brings us to Disney.


And figuratively.

Some time ago, we decided that we’d take a trip for my husband’s fortieth birthday. Have us a little getaway and do it up proper. Now, being the distinguished (see?) world travelers that we are, we could’ve gone anywhere. For this momentous occasion. The world was our oyster. We could’ve done Sandals St Lucia. Which looks very cool. Although I’ve got a feeling I’d need to buy stock in Lysol first. Could’ve hopped a plane to Bora Bora. If we liked to fly. Which we don’t. So scratch that. I hear everyone who’s anyone is headed to Dubai these days. We’re someone, so we could’ve done Dubai. Or Dallas. Dublin. Destin. Dollywood. Detroit.

As you can see, the options were LIMITLESS.

But then again, they weren’t. Not really.

Because in reality, the only place we ever really considered for longer than about a nanosecond (which I hear is the same thing as two shakes of a lamb’s tail) was Disneyworld.

Same as it ever was.

Fittingly, it was the man who actually suggested it first. As in, “Hey, why don’t we go to Disney for my birthday?“ And that was all it took. I was on it like white on rice and just like that, plans were set in motion. Reservations were made, ADRs were booked and the Charlie Brown was done a time or two as the anticipation officially began. And it has not let up for roughly six months now. In fact, it has reached a fever high pitch in our home where most every conversation these days is interrupted by at least one high pitched squeal as realization sets in that we’re getting closer and closer to Go Time. The more excited, the higher the pitch. We’re running at four broken glasses and three moanful dog howls right about now.

It’s pitiful, really.

As D-Day gets closer and the links on the Countdown Chain grow shorter, we realize we’re looking forward to this trip for many different reasons. So in honor of my insanely handsome, hard working, and still very young husband turning forty, and because his birth ALL THOSE MANY YEARS AGO was the catalyst for our upcoming trip (pfff… as if we needed a catalyst), I thought I’d jot down a few of the things we’re looking forward to the MOST on our trip to Disneyworld.

Starting with the top forty.


Surprisingly, this list didn’t take very long to write. Which means two things, the more relevant of the two being: I have more. But I feel pretty certain ZZUB will find a way to start charging me per word before long. So forty it is. Some are unique to our family, but I’m betting the vast majority are not.

I do have one request : I’d like for you to add YOUR favorites to the list. Things that you love doing, that you can‘t imagine NOT doing while you‘re there. Should be fun seeing what everyone looks forward to on their vacations and it just may give us some ideas of new things to try while we’re there.

So without further adieu, this week’s top forty hits (in no particular order) are:

1. Seeing this place for the first time and hearing our daughter STILL mispronounce the name of the park. This time on purpose…

2. Yelling “Ticky tocky ticky tocky OY OY OY!” and hearing our favorite Biergarten guy’s voice telling us to clink glasses with our neighbor

3. Clinking glasses with our neighbor

4. Remembering the time we watched a young German waitress mop up chocolate milk and a broken glass mug after clinking glasses with our neighbor. With a little too much exuberance. Apparently.

5. Eating funnel cakes and licking the powdered sugar off our fingers as we walk/boogie to the beat of the band du jour playing at the American Gardens Theatre

6. Watching the colors on the castle change from blue to green to purple to pink and feeling blessed beyond measure that we’re all together, we’re all healthy, and we’re all able to enjoy a pretty dang awesome vacation together

7. Feeling the cold, hard seats of a Disney bus on the backs of our legs as we zoom past the purple road signs and immaculate landscaping on our way to a new adventure each day

8. The thrill of Crush ‘n Gusher baby!

9. B to the O to the M to the A

10. Walking around Frontierland and hearing the screams coming from all the suckers riding Splash Mountain

11. Stopping on the bridge to watch sad suckers get their ride on while anticipating our own Fastpass return time and the opportunity to scream like a bunch of banshees while being watched and pitied by complete strangers

12. Walking a few more feet and hearing the low, moaning sound of the Liberty Belle whistle

13. Feeling familiarity surround us at every turn while at the same time anticipating new, undiscovered experiences

14. Walking around the park sharing a bag of Goofy Candy Company sour Mickey head gummies while listening to the Innoventions Loop play in the background and discussing where we want to head next

15. Playing “Spot the Disney Sign” on the drive down to Orlando and making up the rules as we go

16. Having a non stop, seven day Dork Fest with the three people in this world who mean the most to me

17. Seeing the beautiful smiling faces of my children. Up close and personal. All week long. With no interruptions from school, homework, work or deadlines

18. Hearing “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” and zooming smoothly and quickly into a night filled with fun

19. Watching my husband’s handsome yet smug face as he realizes he’s beaten the pants off all of us on Buzz Lightyear. Yet again.

20. Letting my smug, yet handsome husband beat the pants off me on Buzz Lightyear.

21. Ohana. Bread pudding. ‘Nuff said.

22. Watching my son go from being a cooler than cool middle schooler to a kid who is so happy in his surroundings that he temporarily forgets it’s no longer cool to walk around holding your mom’s hand in public. For a little while, anyway. In other words: until he spots a cute girl. Then all bets are off.

23. Hearing “SLAP ME THREE TIMES, WE’RE IN DID‘NEH-WHIRL!!!” coming from the backseat as we pass underneath the arches

24. Passing underneath the arches

25. Finding our resort and spending some time exploring the grounds with Perma Grins plastered on our faces

26. Kicking our shoes off and rubbing our bare feet on the ‘hard carpet’ in the hotel room for the first time (that one’s for the boy)

27. Spotting our first Disney bus (for the girl)

28. Singing along to the songs in Philharmagic and coaxing the girl into reaching out and trying to catch Ariel’s jewels as they float toward us in midair

29. Looking like a bunch of goobers in Philharmagic, yet not giving a flying flip about appearances

30. Dole Whip Floats (no longer elusive)

31. Strawberry Swirls (newly elusive)

32. Pulling off the last link on the LaLa Family Countdown Chain and doin’ The Stanky Leg

33. Watching Chip and Dale do the ole “balance the autograph pen on the nose” thing while the kids laugh like it’s the first time they’ve ever seen it. Again.

34. Watching Magic, Music and Mayhem again (this time for FREE…well, kinda) and experiencing the ridiculously awesomeness of perimeter fireworks

35. Riding Test Track while throwin’ our hands up in the air and waving’ ‘em around like we just don’t care

36. Watching as our son walks into the French gift shop, grabs a miniature French flag, waves it around and yells, “I SURRENDER!” Yet again.

37. Snuggling up to my husband and watching Illuminations while feeling the beat of the fireworks in my chest and a cool breeze floating off World Showcase Lagoon

38. Watching toddlers chase the lights embedded in the walkways on the way out of Epicot and reminiscing about how our kids did the same thing at that age

39. Hearing, “Hang on to your hats and glasses folks, cause this here’s the WILDEST RIDE in the wilderness!”

40. Hearing my not yet middle-aged husband’s booming laughter as he checks his stress at the door, forgets about work and responsibilites, and turns into a kid again

And one to grow on…Counting the many blessings God has given us in remembering all the fun and special times our little family has had together over the years at our happy place and making new memories that our kids will hopefully hold close to their hearts, no matter HOW fast time flies by and turns them into adults.

Right before our very eyes.

After several long months of anticipation, our trip to see Mickey and the Land of Yellow will be here before you know it and we could not be any happier about it. Hopefully our family will be able to experience all of the things we’ve looked forward to and more. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. If so, maybe I’ll be back to spill a story or two about our adventures there.

Or at least post some out of focus pictures. Plenty. Of out of focus pictures. Cause that’s how I roll.

So stay tuned.

And remember to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Welcome: Great Biscuit, LaLa, NicoleMarie!

I like to write Trip Reports and I like to read them too. I enjoy creative non-fiction as a genre. It occurred to me awhile back that there are probably a good number of other people who enjoy the same thing.

Some of them posted comments on my Trip Reports and some of them wrote their own.

One thing I really enjoy about writing and reading Trip Reports is the interchange between the author and the readers. The back and forth exchange itself is frequently fun to read and the interplay woven inside the Trip Reports adds intrigue. Or not. But mostly it does.

I’ve asked a few friends to join me in this venture. LaLa, NicoleMarie and GreatBiscuit are now contributing authors here at ZZUBWorld. Both LaLa and NM have upcoming trips to WDW so you might anticipate a Trip Report from them. GreatBiscuit has a whole different kind of vacation planned and you might expect to read about it here, too. The ZZUBs head back to WDW later this summer so our Trip Report will begin in the Fall.

Each of us will "label" our work and you can find all of the posts we write by clicking on the name of the author in the label list on the right.

So on with the show!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What Ever Happened to Squeeze Parkay?

I used to LOVE that stuff!  My mom and dad would never buy it, preferring the cheaper, but more impossible to use, stick butter.  Which always ripped your toast into shreds.  I HATED stick butter/margarine.

My cool as all get out aunt and uncle had Squeeze Parkay.  They were my Godparents and everything they did, and everything they had, was awesome.  I remember staying at their house and loving me some Squeeze Parkay.  On toast.  On potatoes.  On corn on the cob.  It was so easy.  So good tasting.

But my parents would NEVER buy it.  My dad was kind of cheap.  He never bought Coke or Pepsi.  Never bought name brand paper towels or napkins.  Or toilet paper either.  GFAMT!  So he CERTAINLY wasn't buying no Squeeze Parkay.  What did I think we were, rich people?!

I remember in high school thinking to myself, "man, when I move out, I'm buying whatever I want!"  Because when you're in high school, you have no sense of money.

Still, when I went away to college and lived on my own, although money was tight, I always bought Squeeze Parkay.  Because I LOVED it.  And because I could. I bought Coke, Kraft Mac n'Cheese and Squeeze Parkay.  Everything else, I stuck with store brands.  Except Mayo, that was either Hellman's or Kraft because you don't mess around with Mayo.  Know what I mean?

I was buttering some toast the other day.  We buy tubs of whatever now.  And it occurred to me that I haven't seen Squeeze Parkay in the stores.  Have they stopped selling it or is it just one of the things you can't get on the left coast.  Like Cracker Barrel.  Or sweet tea.  Or Sonny's.  Or Hellman's mayonnaise.