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Jentasmic! on Disney Travel for the Frugal

8 Nov

I am the 99%! So one shouldn’t be at all surprised to know that I try to keep my travel budget low. When traveling to Walt Disney World, I tend to stay off-site (either using hotel points or a timeshare my family bought when the market tanked), and book flights with frequent flier miles.

My last two Jentasmic! columns at StudiosCentral have tips for the frugal Disney traveler:

The Joys of Trip Planning

9 Sep

Sometimes I think I enjoy trip planning more than I enjoy the trips themselves. And science backs me up on this! This week in Jentasmic on StudiosCentral: The Joys of Trip Planning.


Busby Berkeley Awareness Weekend, Please?

12 Aug
Footlight Parade, image courtesy of Wikpedia

Footlight Parade, image courtesy of Wikpedia

Now that ESPN The Weekend has been cancelled at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are a few new weekends I’d like to see. From this week’s Jentasmic! at Studios Central:

Sure, you’ve been on The Great Movie Ride, so you’ve heard of Footlight Parade, and might even know that Busby Berkeleydance numbers were a key feature of the film. But have you actually *seen* any of his films? C’mon people, this is the man who directed classic performances including Judy Garland’s “I’ve Got Rhythm” and Carmen Miranda’s “Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat.” Let’s encourage Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get back to its old school Hollywood roots with some outrageous production numbers in the main hub in front of the Sorcerer’s Hat. How about a few film screenings, perhaps in the moonlight over Echo Lake? And just imagine the merchandise potential. I want my Tutti Fruitti hat, gosh darn it.

And just think: The Sci Fi Dine In would be perfect for a Monster Movies Weekend. C’mon, Disney!

You Kids Don’t Know How Good You’ve Got It!

17 Jun

This week in my Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 1970s lately, as I’ve been working on a panel for the upcoming ConnectiCon convention, Middle-aged Geeks Tell All! In preparing for this panel, I’ve been running back through my childhood favorites, both on TV and in the movies. And thinking back, I’m surprised at how little Disney entertainment was available, especially compared to the media saturation of today.

I remember tuning into Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights, watching Tinkerbell fly over Sleeping Beauty Castle in the opening credits. I remember cartoons and branded Disney characters being on the show from time to time, but just as often it would be a live-action feature, which (in my eyes at least) usually seemed to have nothing to do with Disney. Maybe it would be a movie, split up across two weeks (The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit! Monkeys, Go Home!). Maybe it would be a nature program, in which case I’d probably go looking for Star Trek re-runs instead. The opening credits often felt like a bait-and-switch. But every now and then there was a special: Julie Andrews at Disneyland! Disney Parade! It felt like opening up the Cracker Jack box and finding a real toy, instead of those lousy tattoos.

Disney Channel? TiVo? Disney Afternoon? A 1970s youngster knew not of these things.



Head on over to StudiosCentral to read the rest. And tell me about walking up hill six miles to school, wouldya? Why, I remember tying an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time . . .

Jentasmic! Disney Handbags I’d Like to See

3 Jun

Handbags are my obsession, and these days they might just be my primary vice. So, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that I’ve got a wish list for designer collaborations I’d like to see, themed to attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At the top of my list is a popular designer heavily influenced by Japanese kawaii culture:

Tokidoki Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Collection.Tokidoki‘s my current favorite handbag company, for their whimsical prints and imaginative characters. They’re often at their best when pairing disparate elements, as you see in their logo (a heart-and-crossbones). In fact, Disney’s already borrowed heavily from Tokidoki’s style with the “nerd” bags you’ve probably seen on Disney campus, which some fans have affectionately dubbed “Mickeydoki.” Tokidoki and Disney already have one collaboration, on merchandise themed to Marvel characters, suggesting that the necessary business ties already exist and they’ve likely developed some knowledge of lessons learned and successes from the collaboration. So why not take it the next step? Love Aerosmith, love Tokidoki, hellooo. . . .

Head on over to Studios Central to read the rest.


Jentasmic: The Joys of Solo Travel

20 May
Mickey and Me

Hanging with Mickey on a solo trip to Disneyland, January 2011.

My kid’s growing up, which means more solo Disney travel is on the horizon for me. So, this week’s Jentasmic! includes some of my favorite things about solo travel.

Touring my way. I can be very particular about my touring needs. It just doesn’t feel right to miss rope drop. I want to ride Mr Toad’s Wild Ride five times in rapid succession to earn my Nowhere in Particular badge on Disneyland Lines. I might choose my lunch location strictly on the availability of power outlets for recharging my phone. And while I’ll happily compromise on most of those to be with friends and family, if I’m gonna go alone, I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of my autonomy.

Lemonade Mouth: Bitter With the Sweet

25 Apr

Lemonade Mouth sounded right up my alley: Rebellious teenagers starting a garage band, finding their own voice. But given the track record of the Disney Channel Movie series, I had to keep my expectations low. My review of Lemonade Mouth is in my Jentasmic! column on Studios Central. A brief highlight:

Perhaps in part due to these moderate expectations, and my legendary avoidance of any spoilers, Lemonade Mouth did not disappoint. (So hey, if you’re going to watch the movie, go do so now before reading the rest of this article. I can wait here, no problem.) The story is engaging, the acting is above-par for Disney Channel standards, and the anthem of “Be heard, be strong, be proud” is a healthy message for the tweens who will find the movie most appealing. I can only hope that the Disney Channel Rocks show at the Studios will soon include a few numbers from Lemonade Mouth.

And in related news: Chris Colfer has sold a pilot screenplay to the Disney Channel. I love Colfer on glee, and hope that he can bring some of that same style and sensibility to his future projects as well.

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