Magical Blogorail: Best Live Entertainment – Epcot

Disney has always plussed the guest experience with a wonderful variety of live entertainment around the parks. Epcot is perhaps unique in that it offers colorful selections from around the real world around the World Showcase!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of the best live entertainment at the Disney Parks.


I’d like to share some of the live entertainment acts that I have seen around Epcot over the years. Just like the other attractions in the parks, these acts have come and gone in an ever-changing line-up of talent.

Live Entertainment Morocco

MO’ROCKIN

This was a 6-person Moroccan musical act that played in the Morocco Pavilion. The group was often accompanied by a belly dancer. Unfortunately, Disney decided to discontinue this act and it played for the last time on September 27th, 2014.

Live Entertainment Extra

Sometimes this version of Mo’Rockin would be playing in the Morocco Pavilion.

Live Entertainment Off Kilter

Off Kilter

Off Kilter is a high-energy Celtic rock band founded by Jamie Holton, bagpiper, in 1996. The band is a unique blend of traditional Celtic tunes and songs with a rock twist, popular covers arranged with a Celtic rock feel, and original songs. Instruments consist of bagpipes, Irish whistles, electric guitar, bass, fiddle, drums and vocals. The band played for 18 years as one of the most popular bands at Walt Disney World in Florida (Canadian Pavilion, Epcot), and currently tours the country performing at many different venues.

Live Entertainment Quartet

Quartet

I wish I could remember which country these four entertainers represented! They were quite good.

So, I’ve shared acts that aren’t in Epcot anymore. I include them to show the variety of acts that have been offered over the years.

The official lineup now is as follows:

  • British Revolution (English groups cover band)
  • JAMMitors (Percussion group)
  • Jeweled Dragon Acrobats (Chinese acrobatics)

Live Entertainment Acrobats

  • Mariachi Cobre (Mexican band)
  • Matsuriza (Japanese drumming)
  • Rose & Crown Pub Musician (Piano)
  • Voices of Liberty (American vocal group)
  • Wies N Buam (German Oomph band)

This is by no means an exhaustive list. You can check out this official Disney site for show times and other entertainment offered.

I hope this wets your appetite for live entertainment at Epcot!

For more must see live entertainment at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange  | Best Live Entertainment at Disney Loop:

‘Walt Disney’s Disneyland’ Book Review

Walt Disney was a master of promotion. His Disneyland television show was basically a weekly commercial advertising his upcoming theme park. And in that theme park, he continued this self-promotion with the release, each year, of souvenir booklets, pamphlets, and hardcover books, all designed to keep guests dreaming about Disneyland long after the visit was over!

This post is a review of one such publication:

Walt Disney Book Cover

This 70-page book has no ISBN number and no publisher but does reference Walt Disney Productions. It was printed in the U.S.A. possibly in February of 1971. However, the copyright date is 1969.

Walt Disney Book Introduction

This book was first published in 1964 and was re-released every year afterwards. For how long, I don’t know. Slight changes to this publication likely would have been made as new attractions were added to the park and others removed.

Walt Disney Book Jungle Cruise

The book is filled with beautiful two-page spreads of popular attractions. The Jungle Cruise, above,  is a personal favorite!

Walt Disney Book Skyway

One of the best reasons for purchasing such an old book is because of the history it contains. Attractions like The Skyway, now gone (but rumored to be returning to Walt Disney World), are fun to see again!

Walt Disney Book Collage

Young and Old Enjoy Disneyland

Walt Disney Book Panorama

A panoramic shot like this one shows both the Columbia and the Mark Twain. Would you like to be sitting on one of those benches right now?

Walt Disney Book Riverboat

Beautiful!

Walt Disney Book Small World

The book covers many of the classic attractions with colorful pictures and informative text.

The book actually starts with a brief history of the construction of Disneyland. It then covers each of the cardinal lands in turn: Fantasyland; Adventureland; Frontierland; Tomorrowland; and of course, Main Street U.S.A.

Next it covers the first and second decades of the park in their own sections. New Orleans Square and the updated Tomorrowland are also featured. The book ends with a ‘what is to come’ page featuring the soon-to-be opened Walt Disney World.

COOL FACTOR: 4.5/5

For the casual Disney fan, this book would be a fun read. For the diehard fan, it is an essential read of the history of Disneyland!

I would have given it a higher rating if not for the fact that it is merely a reprint of earlier, essentially the same, publications. But even so, I highly recommend it!

I picked it up at a thrift store for just $5.00 CAN.

If Florida is more your destination, why not check out my review of the book Disney’s Adventure Guide to Florida. It’s got pictures, too!

Lady and the Tramp II – Scamp Lithographs from The Disney Store

Here we have another direct-to-video sequel of a Disney classic. Scamp’s Adventure centers on Lady and the Tramp’s only son, Scamp, who longs for freedom from house rules and desires to become a “wild dog”.

Adventure ensues, as the title suggests, with a happy ending for all. In case you’re wondering, Lady and the Tramp had four puppies, named Annette, Collette, Danielle and Scamp.

Let’s have a look at the lithographs released by The Disney Store to commemorate the release of this movie:

Scamp Folder Cover

Both Sides of the Tracks

I vaguely remember this movie but do remember that I wasn’t particularly impressed. Most direct-to-video releases seemed to be rushed and merely produced to generate revenue, not memorable stories.

What is worth remembering is this beautiful folder:

Scamp Folder Unfolded

Which Side Are You From?

This is a basic grass-is-always-greener story with dogs. I guess we could say that Scamp has a strong urge to piddle in someone else’s lawn!

Of course, there is a love element to the story, as seen in the recreation of the iconic spaghetti scene from the original classic:

Scamp Print SpagettiScamp Moonlight BarkScamp Escape from PoundScamp Togetherness

The Plot in 4 Lithographs

My recommendation would be to skip this effort. But if you could pick up a set of these lithographs, that would be worthwhile!

Scamp Folder Back

Back of Presentation Folder

I also have a great set of Disney Store lithographs featuring the original cast of Lady and the Tramp. Definitely worth a sniff!

Cars 3 Diecast Characters from Pixar

Pixar has been pretty regular with the milking schedule for the Cash Cow that is the CARS franchise. The first movie was a sensation, the second movie had to grow on you, and who knows how Cars 3 will be received?

But already the merchandise is filling toy shelves! What I noticed right away is that all of the old characters are simply being enclosed in Cars 3 packaging and sold as if they were new. They aren’t. No new poses or paint jobs for the most part.

So I kept looking and found a few new characters that were interesting enough to add to my Radiator Springs diecast collection. The first being:

Cars 3 Jackson Storm Face

Jackson Storm

Here is the story synopsis for the movie: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Mr. Storm appears to be the main competitor that McQueen will have to face.

Cars 3 Jackson Package FrontCars 3 Jackson Package Back

Rather Generic Packaging

Cars 3 Jackson Storm ProfileCars 3 Jackson Storm Bumper

Tough Styling

So just who is this guy? Jackson Storm is fast, sleek and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it.

Well, okay then!

The next racer to challenge McQueen for Piston Cup supremacy is Tim Treadless:

Cars 3 Tim Treadless Face

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Cars 3 Tim Package FrontCars 3 Tim Package Back

Same Uninspired Packaging

Cars 3 Tim Treadless ProfileCars 3 Tim Treadless Bumper

Very Nice Paint Job

Not much is known about this character as yet. He isn’t even mentioned on Disney Wiki in the list of characters for the movie. He’s probably the right-hand car or at least a good friend of Jackson Storm.

Next we have another character, who although mentioned on Disney Wiki, isn’t given a bio:

Cars 3 Smokey Face

Smokey

Cars 3 Smokey Package FrontCars 3 Smokey Package Back

Seriously. Just a Cars 3 Logo?

Cars 3 Smokey ProfileCars 3 Smokey Bumper

Just on first blush, I’d have to say that this guy looks like a counterpart for Mater.

Cars 3 Smokey Side

I Just Love Old Trucks!

Cars 3 Smokey Top

Will He be Friend or Foe?

Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th, 2017. I’ll be in the audience hoping that this third trip to the motor pool will be a successful one. I’m sure the toys will be! These diecast models were made by Mattel.

For more racing fun, check out an issue of Collecting Toys magazine that features slot racers.

P. T. Flea Diecast Character from Pixar’s Cars

It’s a given that none of us usually likes a flea. But that changes when they’re performing in a circus. Then. They. Are. Amazing! To go one better, what if the flea is the Ringmaster? Well, get ready to cheer for the one and only P. T. Flea:

P. T. Flea FrontP. T. Flea Right SideP. T. Flea BackP. T. Flea Left Side

Ya-da-dada-dada-da-da-dah-dah!

In the 1998 Pixar movie A Bug’s Life we meet our diminutive promoter as he tries to wrangle a less-than-successful group of circus performers.

We next meet him in a brief cameo, in the guise of a car no less, in the 2006 Pixar movie Cars. In both movies, he is voiced by Pixar’s lucky charm, John Ratzenberger.

P. T. Flea Package FrontP. T. Flea Package Back

Contained for your pet’s protection!

Okay, I had to let him out for this post, didn’t I? As far as I know, no one was bitten while this post was being prepared. I’m not sure about the animals.

P. T. Flea Undercarriage

Made by Mattel

P.T. Flea is a Nimbly Company No-See-Um LX that is painted brown. I don’t know what that is, nor do I know what the ‘Z S D’ on his license plate is supposed to represent.

I guess a few mysteries in life are fun!

For more diecast fun from the world of Cars, check out Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze from an earlier post.

Lilo & Stitch Lithographs from The Disney Store

Disney’s Lilo & Stitch was a surprise hit when it debuted in 2002. The little blue ‘dog’ found its way into everyone’s heart, but most of all into the heart of a girl named Lilo.

With a story that features the value of family, this movie became an instant classic! The Disney Store released a wonderful set of lithographs to commemorate the release of the film on video:

Stitch Folder

Like some of these releases, this one featured an inventive cover folder. When opened, it yields a nice Hawaiian panorama.

Let’s lift the first flap:

Stitch Folder Open

Lifting the first flap reveals a beautiful pastel sky and a surprised Stitch being kissed by Lilo. Now there are two flaps that open sideways. Below is how the folder looks from the back when fully opened:

Stitch Folder Back

And next we see how the folder looks from the front when fully opened:

Stitch Folder Front

Surf’s Up!

The prints tuck in behind the sand in the middle. And now for a look at the prints themselves:

Stitch Print OneStitch Print TwoStitch Print Three

Did you enjoy Lilo & Stitch when you first viewed it? Has it become one of your Disney favorites?

For more fun with Lilo and Stitch, check out a WDCC figurine featuring Stitch, and a Disney Animator’s Collection doll featuring Lilo.

Mini Eggs Globe Candy Bank by Nestle

Being as we will be taking a tour around the world shortly, we should stock up on some energy food. I suggest a package of Nestle Mini Eggs:

Mini Eggs Packaging

Smart Choice!

Now just where might we find a package of this tasty treat? How about inside a vintage 1990’s tin Globe:

Mini Eggs Container Open

Empty!

A package of candy, like the one pictured above, would have been stuffed inside the tin. It’s probably just as well that it’s missing, being as candy from 1990 might be a tad stale by now!

Mini Eggs Container Base

But fortunately this little globe has other uses, both educational, and practical. Apart from displaying an edited version of our earth, it also doubles as a piggy bank:

Mini Eggs Globe Bank Slot

Larger coins only, please!

This could be a fun way for children to learn about geography while saving up for a trip.

Mickey appears around the world in different ethnic garb. Let’s have a look:

Mini Eggs Globe AsiaMini Eggs Globe Pacific OceanMini Eggs Globe Atlantic OceanMini Eggs Globe Europe

The Globe rotates on the base

Mini Eggs Globe Stand

I hope you learned something today. I learned that the planet is smaller than I thought!

Check out this other globe featured in an earlier post. It is covered with even more Disney characters.

Winnie the Pooh Lithographs from The Disney Store

I’ve gone on record to state my dislike of sequels. Direct-to-video being the worst offenders. And even though Walt Disney himself didn’t like them, or repeating himself (“You can’t top pigs with pigs.”), I have come to realize that a business like Disney (the company) must do what it has to in order to remain in the black. And so we have ended up with a series of lackluster outings into The Hundred Acre Wood. The one featured here is known as Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (released August 5th, 1997).

Winnie the Pooh Folder

Front of Folder

The Disney Store released a nice set of four lithographs to coincide with the video release. Each is on archival stock paper and presented inside an amazing folder.

Winnie the Pooh Folder Back

Back of Folder

Sometimes, The Disney Store provides a fun package for the prints, and this release is certainly a good example. Let’s begin to open the folder:

Winnie the Pooh Folder Open

Top Flap Opened Upwards

Winnie the Pooh Folder Map

Close-up of Map

Winnie the Pooh Folder Long

Folder Opened Completely

I haven’t seen this movie in years and so don’t remember if it managed to capture the magic of the first series of Shorts. But here is a brief synopsis of the storyline: The story begins on the last day of summer. Christopher Robin is unable to tell his friend Winnie-the-Pooh some sad news, that he is going off to school and won’t be around as much. Pooh doesn’t understand the absence of his friend and goes to Owl to get a note, left by Christopher Robin to explain, interpreted. Owl deduces that Christopher Robin has been taken to a distant, mysterious and dangerous place called “Skull” against his will, to a cave where the monstrous “Skullasaurus” resides. Owl equips the group with a map and sends them into the “Great Unknown” of the Hundred Acre Wood. There are mishaps aplenty until Christopher Robin returns from school and finds them. They return home, and that evening, Christopher Robin says he will return to school the next day. Pooh declares that he will always be waiting for him.

Whether the movie was good or not, the prints in this set are excellent! Let’s have a look:

Winnie the Pooh Print ThreeWinnie the Pooh Print OneWinnie the Pooh Print TwoWinnie the Pooh Print Four

All’s Well That End’s Well!

This adventure of Winnie the Pooh and his friends would definitely appeal to the younger Disney fan!

Can’t get enough Pooh? Then eat more fiber and check out these posts featuring the little yellow bear in pewter, egg form, and all lit up.

Well, tut tut, it looks like the post is finished. Oh, bother!

Bell-shaped Disney Salt & Pepper Shakers

I love collecting. And Disney Salt & Pepper Shakers are an easy and inexpensive way to grow your collection. These bell-shaped sets are a good example as they are readily available at charity shops and online.

I have two sets (unpacked, more in storage!) to show today:

Bell-Shaped TinkBell-Shaped Tink Back

Tinker Bell / Disneyland Castle

First we have this Disneyland set by Walt Disney Productions featuring both Tinker Bell and a very nice representation of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

This set has a six-hole pattern in the back instead of the more common two holes for salt and three holes for pepper, but each can have more, although the proportion of bigger and more holes for salt is almost always observed.

Next is another set from Disneyland:

Bell-Shaped CastlesBell-Shaped Castles Back

Castle / Carrousel

Here we have stylized representations of Sleeping Beauty Castle and King Arthur Carrousel (now called Prince Charming Regal Carrousel). They are reminiscent of Mary Blair designs.

This set has six holes for salt but only five holes for pepper.

I just couldn’t resist lining them up for a group shot:

Bell-Shaped Together

Group Shot. Say: “Ding-a-Ling-a-Ling”

In the shot above you can clearly see the similar shapes of the ‘bells’ but note the thicker gold banding on the base of the set on the left. And the diameter of the gold rings just under the handles are slightly different.

Bell-Shaped Comparison

Disneyland Logo x 2

You can also see that the handles themselves are also different, not in shape, but in thickness. This makes it easy to know if a Seller has mixed-and-matched a bell-shaped ‘set’ for resale. This does happen! Also, the stoppers can also be missing, as with the Tinker Bell / Castle set in this post.

These bell-shaped salt & pepper shakers can sell from $5.00 to $10.00 US on Internet selling sites.

For a more complete look at my Disney Salt & Pepper Shaker collection, click the link, or click Huey Dewey Louie Shakers for another set of spicy little collectibles!

Snow White Lithographs from The Disney Store

We’ve covered some of the other Princesses in an earlier post, and now it’s time for the original, the fairest of them all, to have her turn. In this post we have Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (what can I say, they go everywhere together!)

I am featuring two different lithograph releases. The first has four prints:

Snow White Set Folder

Regal

The envelope that contains the prints is made of a very heavy museum-quality paper with a nice texture. The prints are also rendered on better quality paper than some Disney Store lithographs.

And speaking of lithographs:

Snow White Set 3Snow White Set 2Snow White Set 1Snow White Set 4

‘Hi Ho’ and there you go! Even though Snow White was released back in the 1930’s it still contains some of the most breathtaking imagery of any Princess movie!

Snow White Set Folder Back

Above is the back of the folder which sports a very famous fruit.

The set above was released in 2001 to commemorate one of the many re-releases of this most classic of classics. The single lithograph below is an earlier release from 1994. Neither release coincides with a major anniversary of the film:

Snow White Single Envelope

Over-sized Envelope

Unfortunately, this lithograph has been damaged by moisture. However, it is unique in that it’s one of the few releases to be bigger than the 8×10 format of most other Disney Store prints.

Snow White Single LithoSnow White Single Litho Back

Lithograph & Back of Frame

So when asked which lithographs are the fairest of them all, I think you will agree that these ones, featuring Snow White, are certainly the front runners!