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Archive for the ‘Disneyland’ Category

I subscribe to a lot of Disney related websites, blogs, newsletters, etc., because, hey, I am a Disney geek. That’s right, I love all things Disney. Well, almost all things. I’m not a fan of Dole whips. (more…)

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School’s out for summer!!

Alice Cooper is one of the creepiest performers around, but everybody loves this song and it’s so apropos this time of year. It’s one of those classic, ageless numbers that every generation seems to know.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So we’re getting ready to hit the road; going to caravan about 2,100 miles with a 26′ U-Haul truck, towing a car, following another car, with a 75-year-old man who loves to nap and a 70 pound, 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, across the Mojave Desert, Arizona and Northern Texas during July. What could possibly go wrong?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, moving is a hassle. And I’m not just talking about the packing part, I’m talking about every single thing you have to remember to do. Like turning off all utilities, forwarding mail, remembering what gets auto deposited or debited into or out of a bank account that you’ve now closed. Stuff like that. Pain in the ass.

But with moving, comes excitement and anticipation of starting out new and fresh somewhere else. Finding new homes for your things, learning new routines, exploring new places. Fun, fun, fun.

Sad to leave friends I’ve had for 45 years and the town I grew up in and know like the back of my hand, but happy to discover new friends and new places.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled (in no particular order) of things that I am in NO way going to miss:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

1 – the 45-minute commute to work;

2 – the 45-minute drive home from work;

3 – wearing business professional clothes, heels and up-do’s every single day;

4 – being someone else’s employee;

5 – rationing water;

6 – the fear of a forest fire burning down my house;

7 – exorbitant taxes;

8 – extremist political leaders;

9 – everyone thinking you live in Hollywood or near the beach just because you live in California;

10 – everyone thinking you’re wealthy just because you live in California.

11 – not having to bring my own grocery bags to the store;

12 – the penchant to litigate everything.

Things I’m definitely GOING TO miss:

1 – Too many friends to mention by name;

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

2 – Disneyland;

3 – the weather;

4 – my local chapter of Romance Writers of America;

5 – my nieces and nephews;

6 – the ocean;

7 – Lake Tahoe;

8 – knowing all of the short-cuts and secret passages around town;

9 – being just 45 minutes from awesome snow skiing;

10 – some of the best wine in the entire world;

11 – The Olde Town Grill;

12 – my zumba class.

Tell me loyal subjects – uh, I mean followers, what would you miss most about your home town? What special “secret” things do you cherish about where you live? Would you travel across the desert in the heart of summer?

Word of the Day: Uncinate

Fun fact about me: I’m a planner; down to the smallest details. Yet, I love being spontaneous. Go figure.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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M, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, hump back, hump back, dotted letter.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in my blog that I’d hidden a clue in the post regarding my new home. The clue was this picture:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

The Magnolia State, home of the Rebels and the Bulldogs, birthplace of Elvis Aaron Presley (Tupelo, January 8, 1935), famous for the Natchez Trace and the Great River Road (Blues Highway), former home of Jefferson Davis, first and only president of the Southern Confederate States during the War Between the States (who, incidentally, despised war).

Photo courtesy Google Images

Beauvoir – Jefferson Davis’s home. Photo courtesy Google Images

 

 

Why Mississippi you ask? Because my friends, after we decided that owing a bed & breakfast held a certain appeal to us, we started researching and Mississippi proved to be the state that afforded us the most bang for our buck. We visited, explored, researched some more, and voila, we found the perfect place. Contracts were signed, paperwork flew across the internet, deals were made, and now it’s about to happen. Just a couple more weeks and it’ll be official – I’ll be a resident of Mississippi!

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

In the meantime, while you’re all planning your trips to visit me (you are right?), here are 10 lesser known yet fun facts about Mississippi:

1 – It is approximately 725 miles from Disney World;

2 – It is approximately 1,780 miles from Disneyland;

3 – Shoes were first offered in boxed pairs (1 left, 1 right) around 1884 at Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor on Washington Street in Vicksburg;

4 – It is the home of the International Hall of Checkers and the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum;

5 – The Vicksburg National Cemetery is the second largest in the country, the first being Arlington;

6 – The world’s largest pecan nursery is located in Mississippi;

7 – Vicksburg is home to the world’s largest hydraulic research laboratory and is operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers;

8 – John B. Stetson, honed the craft of hat-making at Dunn’s Falls, near Meridian, after the Civil War, forever changing the look of western headgear.

9 – S.B. Sam Vick, of Batesville, was the only man to ever pinch hit for Babe Ruth. He played for both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

10 – Most importantly, it is where you’ll find the Baer House Inn, circa 1870, my new home! (Almost.)

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

I hope you’ll all come and visit (but not all at the same time because I don’t have that much room) and enjoy some Southern hospitality and home cooked vittles.

Question: What is your favorite Southern dish? Ever been to Mississippi? Got a cool Mississippi fun fact? If you stay overnight, what would you like to eat for breakfast?

Word of the Day:  Taboret

Fun Fact About Me: I’ve only been to Mississippi twice. And no, that awesome car does not come with the house. (Dang it!)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2015. Photos courtesy Baer House Inn and Google Images

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Turning 50 was going to be huge; a really big deal; a cause for true celebration. And the day itself was all of that and more. I am now a half a century old and well on my way to becoming an old bitty.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Because I like you all, I feel it’s only fair to let you all in on a secret. Here’s what happens after the celebration, when reality sets in:

Hello and welcome to 50. We need to let you know that your driver’s license is going to expire this year and because it’s been awhile—34 years to be exact—we’re going to need to you re-take that written test. But, we’re not going to give you a new picture so there is a bright side, you’ll still look 49. (And because no one ever asks, I will still weigh 110 pounds.)

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

To make up for the possible loss of your driving privileges you will be issued an AARP card which won’t allow you to legally drive, but it might get you a nickel discount on Depends at your local supermarket and possibly a free cup of coffee at McDonald’s.

And hey, more good news, you now qualify for a colonoscopy, so don’t forget to get that little treat down on the books right away. And, if it hasn’t already done so, your vision will be changing. That’s right you’ll graduate from slightly blind to almost completely blind which will require the use of contact lenses and bifocals unless you’re trying to read something, in which case use whatever means are available to help accomplish that feat. Good luck with that because things will start to look like this:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Of special note, just for the ladies, you will also most likely experience some hormonal changes in your body. These are perfectly natural changes that every woman endures so just deal with them in whatever fashion works best for you. You might find sleeping a challenge, and possibly have moments when your body feels like it’s on fire. These moments will pass so just smile and open a bottle of vodka. You may occasionally want to rip someone’s head of and feed it to the dog, but we encourage you to simply take a deep breath and walk slowly away from the thing causing you the stress. During such times you may want to swallow a couple of Valium with your vodka.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

And finally, don’t despair when the pounds seem to pile on around your mid section and your hair starts falling out. These are natural occurrences and are not dire situations that require medical help. Add to the Valium and vodka about 140 ounces of chocolate and a dozen Oreo cookies on top of your largest mixing bowl full of ice cream. That should do the trick.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

We want you to know that you can and should continue all of your normal activities, like working your ass off and paying taxes for another dozen years or so. The social security people won’t come a’knockin’ for at least another twelve years so use this time to keep putting that fifty cents into your 401(K) each month. By the time those social security checks start rolling in you’ll have amassed quite a little savings account to supplement your meager government income. And with all the money you’ll be saving with those AARP discounts, you just might make ends meet if you never go to a movie or eat in a restaurant again.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Oh, and if we haven’t already said it—welcome to 50. Enjoy your golden years!

How about you my friends, any surprises as you age? Any words of wisdom to share?

Word of the Day:  Doglegs (no you don’t get them when you turn 50)

Fun Fact About Me:  I used to hate wearing shoes; now I rarely go barefoot.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images. Sarcasm courtesy Patricia Rickrode.

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So April is national poetry month. I’m a little behind the ball, but still snuck in just under the wire. I’ve never really been into poetry, but I do like some stuff. Since I’m a fan of Walt Whitman, I will incorporate a piece from his Leaves of Grass in honor of national poetry month. Here’s my rendition with photograph visuals to help you understand the meaning of Walt’s words (yeah right):

Electric Water Pageant. Seven Seas Lagoon - Walt Disney World. 2009

Electric Water Pageant. Seven Seas Lagoon – Walt Disney World. 2009

“I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear

Fire dancer - Polynesian Resort - Walt Disney World - 2011

Fire dancer – Polynesian Resort – Walt Disney World – 2011

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong

 

German Pavilion - Epcot - Walt Disney World - 2012

German Pavilion – Epcot – Walt Disney World – 2012

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam

Tea House at Vikingsholm Castle - Emerald Bay - South Lake Tahoe - 2011

Tea House at Vikingsholm Castle – Emerald Bay – South Lake Tahoe – 2011

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work

Jungle Parade - Animal Kingdom Park - Walt Disney World - 2009

Jungle Parade – Animal Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2009

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,

Captain Jack Sparrow - Magic Kingdom Park - Walk Disney World - 2012

Captain Jack Sparrow – Magic Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2012

the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

Meerkat - Animal Kingdom Park - Walt Disney World - 2012

Meerkat – Animal Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2012

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench,

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World - 2010

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Walt Disney World – 2010

the hatter singing as he stands,

Brer Fox and friends - Critter Country - Disneyland 2010

Brer Fox and friends – Critter Country – Disneyland 2010

The wood-cutter’s song,

Draft horse topiary - It's A Small World - Disneyland - 2012

Draft horse topiary – It’s A Small World – Disneyland – 2012

the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,

New Orleans Square - Disneyland - 2010

New Orleans Square – Disneyland – 2010

or at noon intermission

Cinderella Castle - Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World - 2009

Cinderella Castle – Magic Kingdom – Walt Disney World – 2009

or at sundown

Critter Country - Disneyland - 2010

Critter Country – Disneyland – 2010

The delicious singing of the mother,

Momma and baby - Animal Kingdom Park - Walt Disney World - 2012

Momma and baby – Animal Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2012

or of the young wife at work,

Me and my washboard - Hoop Dee Doo Revue - Fort Wilderness - Walt Disney World - 2009

Me and my washboard – Hoop Dee Doo Revue – Fort Wilderness – Walt Disney World – 2009

or of the girl sewing or washing,

Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse - Main St. USA - Magic Kingdom Park - Walk Disney World - 2009

Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse – Main St. USA – Magic Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2009

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

Me at the Not So Scary Halloween Party - Magic Kingdom Park - Walt Disney World - 2012

Me at the Not So Scary Halloween Party – Magic Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2012

The day what belongs to the day —

A scene from Mary Poppins - The Great Movie Ride - Disney's Hollywood Studios Park - Walk Disney World - 2009

A scene from Mary Poppins – The Great Movie Ride – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park – Walt Disney World – 2009

at night the party of young fellows,

My sweetie pie after his first ride on Expedition Everest - Animal Kingdom Park - Walt Disney World - 2012

My sweetie pie after his first ride on Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2012

robust, friendly,

Donald Duck bronze - Mickey's Philharmonic - Magic Kingdom Park - Walk Disney World - 2009

Donald Duck bronze – Mickey’s Philharmonic – Magic Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World – 2009

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.”

So as you can see, sometimes I find poetry inspiring.

What about you – do you “get” poetry? Are you a fan? Who can you relate to?

Word of the Day: Jejune

Fun fact about me: With the exception of Alaska (which I shall rectify this fall), I have been in every State west of the Mississippi river. (And almost all of them east of as well.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt April 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode and C. Rickrode.

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Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Have you ever wanted to be a race car driver? Come on, show of hands, who’s wanted to be a race car driver? I think I’m a race car driver every day. Even in my little cross-over Nissan Rogue, I’m secretly a race car driver. Maybe it’s because I’m a little speed demon, or maybe I like how a powerful car engine feels and sounds when you rev it up. In any event, I think you should all know that I have this compelling urge to drive a race car. It’s on my bucket list.

I’ve included a video at the end of this link that I shot while “racing” on the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure Park a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was assigned the back seat, so I didn’t have best filming advantage, but I think it turned out pretty good. You can enjoy that after this month’s edition of Take It Or Leave It – Race Car Style.

Here’s a reminder of the rules: Post your guesses (would I take it, or leave it) in the comments section below. I will post my responses Thursday. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Would I, or wouldn’t I:

1) Park in a handicapped spot;

2) Run a stop sign;

3) Tailgate (like a good race car driver would);

4) Text while driving;

5) Talk on the phone while driving (w/o blue tooth);

6) Deliberately drive slow in the fast lane to slow traffic for a known speed trap area;

7) Tap my brakes for a tailgater;

8) Drive without my seatbelt fastened;

9) Double park;

10) Use the carpool lane to pass a slower driver.

Good luck. Now here’s the video I told you about:

Word of the Day:  Intumesce

Fun fact about me: I have a clean driving record (knocks on wood)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original video by P. Rickrode via YouTube.  Original photos by Patricia Rickrode

 

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I’m back from a fabulous trip with my sweetie to the happiest place on earth. Yes it was crowded. Yes it was cold. Yes I had a fantastic time. Here are some of the highlights: (Please keep in mind that I’m on vacation, not a lot of make-up action going on.)

Birthday mimosa! Photo by Corey Rickrode

Birthday mimosa! Photo by Corey Rickrode

You all know there’s going to be alcohol involved. This was my first day brunch at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.

Mickey and the Magical Map. Photo by P. Rickrode

Mickey and the Magical Map. Photo by P. Rickrode

Cool new stage show with singing, dancing and awesome special effects. I love me some good theater.

A princess and her castle. Photo by C. Rickrode.

A princess and her castle. Photo by C. Rickrode.

I’m waiting for my ladies’ maids to bring my tiara and glass slippers. Pay no attention the crowd behind me. I invited them all into my home for tea.

Birthday happy hour! Photo by P. Rickrode

Birthday happy hour! Photo by P. Rickrode

Did I mention there was going to be alcohol? Hey, I turned 50, there was lots of alcohol. This was my birthday happy hour celebration at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Yes, this was my second drink. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was refreshing.

Happy birthday to me. Complimentary dessert for the birthday girl at Steakhouse 55. Photo by C. Rickrode

Happy birthday to me. Complimentary dessert for the birthday girl at Steakhouse 55. Photo by C. Rickrode

Yes I am wearing my birthday button and yes I did get a lot of free desserts. Wish there’d have been free alcohol, but I’ll take what I can get. This was the end of my delicious birthday dinner at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. Yes, it’s chocolate.

Me and Mr. Potato Head. Photo by C. Rickrode

Me and Mr. Potato Head. Photo by C. Rickrode

Just some clowning around while we wait – for a very long time – in line.

My home of the future, complete with self-playing piano. Photo by C. Rickrode

My home of the future, complete with self-playing piano. Photo by C. Rickrode

Had I known self-playing pianos were going to inhabit every home in the future, I would not have wasted 20 years on lessons. And yes, I am bundled up – inside – because it was freaking cold.

Spring gardens at California Adventure. Photo by P. Rickrode

Spring gardens at California Adventure. Photo by P. Rickrode

Come on – you knew it was coming. I can’t go anywhere without photographing the foliage.

Mickey beignet at Cafe Orleans. Photo by C. Rickrode

Mickey beignet at Cafe Orleans. Photo by C. Rickrode

Did I mention free desserts? Hey I milked that birthday button for all it was worth. I’m 50 damn it – give me my free stuff.

So there you have it. A glimpse of my So. Cal. experience. Absent is a photo with Jenny Hansen. We met at Enchanted Sam’s Tiki Bar for drinks, but in my excitement I forgot to snap a photo. What a lovely treat to meet a lovely lady. Thanks for the birthday ginger pear martini, Jenny. The next round’s on me.

Have you ever been to Disneyland? What’s your favorite birthday memory? Do you take advantage of free stuff?

Word of the Day: Hexapod

Fun fact about me: My ears are pierced 3 times.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original photos by the family Rickrode.

 

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Take It or Leave It Image courtesy Google Images

Take It or Leave It
Image courtesy Google Images

New year – new game. Last year you enjoyed learning a little more about me through a game called What Haven’t I. This year I’m going to ask you to determine whether or not I would accept or decline the totally random selection of things I list in a game I’m calling Take It or Leave It. That’s right, all you have to do is guess whether I would, well, take it, or leave it.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

My amazing powers of deductive reasoning led me to that awesome title and description.

The rules are simple, just post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post the choices on Monday and my responses on Thursday. The person with the most guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Good luck and have fun.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Here we go with the very first installment of Take It or Leave It.

1 – Sing karaoke at a biker bar
2 – Skydiving
3 – Deep sea diving
4 – Bungee jumping
5 – Spelunking
6 – Parasailing
7 – Ride a bucking bull (a live one, not a mechanical one)
8 – Surfing
9 – Ride the Tower of Terror at Disneyland
10 – Eat a bug

Word of the day: Wittol
Fun fact about me: I used to change my own oil in my car.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2014. Images courtesy Google Images

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That’s right folks, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s contribution to the 1964 world’s fair – his “little boat ride,” sponsored by Pepsi to benefit Unicef.

Disneyland's It's A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s It’s A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

“When we completed ‘It’s a Small World’ for presentation at the New York World’s Fair, we felt that we had accomplished what we’d set out to do. We wanted to foster a better understanding among the nations of the world by showing the dress, the customs, the language, the music, and a little of the culture of our neighbors around the world – – and we wanted to show it to be a very happy one. And I think it’s safe to say that having fun has universal appeal.” -Walt Disney

Who would have thought that this delightful little one minute boat ride, complete with animated dolls and a musical ditty in multiple languages would have survived the test of time? Did you know that when Mr. Disney had the ride dismantled and moved to its permanent home in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California he called upon dignitaries from more than 50 different countries to help fill the water canal for his “little boat ride?” That’s right, 50 children from 50 different countries brought water from their native countries to pour into the canal that carries millions of people annually through the magical small world of animated dolls.

Now imagine if Walt wanted to complete this project today and asked 50 little kids to bring water to California. Can you just see them trying to explain to the TSA officers at various airports around the world, “Yes, it is only water that I’m trying to bring on board with me. I’m taking it to Mr. Disney to pour into a canal for a new exhibit that’s opening in Disneyland. No, I’m not going to make explosives with it. It’s sacred water, symbolizing the united bond between all countries around the world.” Yeah right. That’ll work.

But, I digress. It’s A Small World was not Walt’s first exhibit to be featured at a world’s fair. In 1958, in conjunction with General Electric, Walt debuted his “Progressland” attraction; a revolving theater that sent audiences on an historical musical journey through the evolution of electricity. That very same attraction still exists in the form of The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World Florida.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot - Disney World - Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot – Disney World – Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Also appearing at the 1964 world’s fair were the magic skyway attraction, an aerial ride narrated by Walt himself that toured Earth’s past from the dawn of time through the age of the dinosaurs, culminating in a glimpse of Walt’s vision for a futuristic space city. Does this sound familiar to you Disney buffs? That’s right, a similar time travel attraction exists in the form of Spaceship Earth at Epcot at Disney World. And a similar time-travel experience can be had riding the Disneyland railroad around the park. The skyway ride at Disneyland, however, no longer exists for various reason, all of which are too discouraging for me to mention here. Suffice it to say, the sky buckets were a popular attraction for amorous lovers and bratty “camel-like” kids, if you know what I’m saying.

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

And last, but not least, one of my all-time favorite attractions also got its start at the 1964 world’s fair; Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. I love this show and the similar show at Disney World – The Hall of Presidents. Very inspiring narrative and ingenious use of audio-animatronics, the first ever of its kind. If you haven’t seen Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and have a few minutes to spare, or if you have seen it and just need to see it again, here’s a link:

So that’s my Disney history lesson and tribute to a family-favorite Disney ride (well one of mine, the hubs isn’t so keen on it), It’s A Small Word. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.

So, how about you, are you a Disney nut? Do you like to ride It’s A Small World? What’s your favorite Disney attraction? Come on, spill it. I’m dying to know.

Word of the day: Vermeil

Fun fact about me: My favorite Disney ride is the Peter Pan flight.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Photos courtesy Disney Parks blog, Google Images and Wikipedia. Video courtesy YouTube.

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