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June 30, 2009

Yachtsman Mickey The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 30, 2009

I think this boat has some kind of kid magnet in it.  No matter how many times our family has been to Disney's Yacht Club, our daughters have always gone to the shop to see this boat with Mickey in it.  I personally think that it's the neat way the have created a wake for the boat.  The flashing red light on the bouy is also cool  To me, this is Disney at its best.  Something extremely well done that just enhances your experience.


VFPV Yacht Mickey Boat.JPG Yachtsman Mickey (if that's what he's called) is located in the shop called "Fittings And Fairings Clothes and Notions" in Disney's Yacht Club Resort.  The shop is to the right of the main lobby.  Walk by it with your kids and let me know if they make a detour.



June 29, 2009

The Mickey Pose-O-Matic At Disney's Contemporary Resort The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 29, 2009

I wonder how many family photos have been taken here? Don't you wish there were some sort of counter to let you know how many kids had sat in those ears? How many parents had stood in the middle in the back? How many couples had held hands across Mickey?

VFPV Contem Mickey photo.JPG

I jokingly call it the Mickey Pose-O-Matic and it's behind the Contemporary Resort near the marina. It's made of stainless steel and the ears are seats with plexiglass behind them to keep you from falling backward. It's been there for as long as I can remember. My kids would insist on a picture there every time we came to the Contemporary.

There are lots of photo spots where the scenery or background is stunning. But this one is just for people. I wonder if this is the only photo taken here with no one in it?

June 28, 2009

Drummers In Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 28, 2009

It was hard to miss the drums in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House this morning as I was delivering Lockers. The huge lobby is a bit of an echo chamber anyway and the sound of these drums really carried.


It didn't take long to find the source. Down the stairs outside of the restaurant Boma, these South African drummers (and their able little helper) were entertaining folks who were enjoying their breakfast.

What a treat. And I guess that it's obvious that the sound of the drums fit right into the decor!

June 27, 2009

The Old Key West General Store The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 27, 2009

All resorts have a shop and this is the General Store at Disney's Old Key West Resort.

VFPV OKW General Store.JPG

It looks pretty simple and I guess it is. They carry papers, magazines, beer, wine and liquor as well as grocery items and resort-related clothes.
The General Store has lots of special memories for me and my family. We've been staying at Old Key West since 1992 and in many ways, my kids grew up there. The kids had to have donuts from the General Store for breakfast and I've bought many a newspaper and Diet Coke there over the years.

We would eat lunch in Olivia's almost every day while on vacation and the girls would invariably ask if they could go to the General Store while we were waiting for our food. I honestly think they memorized every item on every shelf. We got to know all of the clerks and it was always exciting when they recognized the gang when we came back.

I stop by General Store several times each week when delivering Lockers to Old Key West. I still see familiar faces and always smile as I leave.

Funny how something so simple could have so many pleasant memories.


June 26, 2009

The Back Door Of Wilderness Lodge The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 26, 2009

The entrance to Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Villas (Like Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom Lodge) appears to be on top of a hill. You round a corner and see this majestic structure rising above you. It's not really a hill, though. The entrance is actually on the second floor and Disney has in effect surrounded the front of the building a ramp of dirt and landscaping up to the entrance. A similar techniques was used in the construction of the Magic Kingdom which is built on top of an underground tunnel structure. Keep in mid that Central Florida is very flat!

But let's talk about the back of Wilderness Lodge.

VFPV Wilderness Lodge back door.JPG


This effect also allows for a rather spectacular back side of these three resorts. They all have what is in effect a walk-out basement. But these are no basements! And there are just fantastic views from the rear of the lobbies of all three resorts. And I think the back door of Wilderness Lodge is even more impressive than the front.

I find it really hard to drive the purple van up to Wilderness Lodge and not take a few minutes to enjoy some of the fantastic spaces of this resort. This morning I couldn't resist taking the ramp down by Artist Point and walking outside to the pool area just to enjoy what you see here. It only took 5 minutes.

I have a very tough job!


June 25, 2009

Capt. Cook's At The Polynesian The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 25, 2009

I don't know about you but every time my family visits Disney's Polynesian Resort, a stop at Capt. Cook's is mandatory. Our kids love the place and at this point dropping in is something of a tradition. I have a preference for the Barefoot Pool Bar...but that's for another time

VFPV Capt. Cook's.JPG

Cap't Cook's is located in the main building at Disney's Polynesian Resort that houses the lobby but it also has an outside entrance that makes it feel like it's part of the pool area.

It's had various names over the years and it's currently called Capt. Cook's Snack Company. Here's what the menu looks like from Deb Wills' AllEars site.

I like to stop by sometimes early in the morning after dropping of Lockers to grab a quick snack--like I did today. Somehow, simple things just taste better coming from Capt. Cook's. You've got to admit, it looks awfully inviting,


June 24, 2009

While Mom And Dad Check In, The Kiddies Catch A Cartoon The Everyday Adentures Of The Purple Van June 23, 2009

Most of the resorts at Walt Disney World have a kiddie theater in the lobby so the little ones can watch a cartoon (Mickey Mouse, of course) while their parents are dealing with checking into or out of the resort. It's much easier on the parents not having to deal with impatient kids tugging on their shirt tail or skirt.

And it's pretty obvious from this photo that the kiddywinks think it's a good idea, too!


This is the Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House this morning. While parents are sorting out their rooms, this gang appears to be having a much better time.
The purple van makes the delivery run early in the morning and it always puts a smile on my face to see how many kids are chilling out watching cartoons.


June 23, 2009

You Know You're in Walt Disney World When...The Everyday Adventures OIf the Purple Van June 23, 2009

You know you're at WDW when you see the Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror sign in the median of World Drive. The 3-D elevator shakes violently with broken cables dangling, there are strobe lights tracing its fall from the top and there's a flashing red "4" indicating the number of drops on the attraction.


There are lots of landmarks that let you know you're back in Disney but this is one of my favorites.

And, if you drive by it a lot, as some of us do in the purple van, you can also use it as a clock. The elevator starts shaking every morning at 8:15.


June 22, 2009

The "Back Door" To Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 22, 2009

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is the last non-timeshare resort that has been built as a part of Walt Disney World and it's a beauty.  It recently underwent a name change and is now officially known as Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House.  An annex has just opened that is called Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village which is a Disney Vacation Club Resort.


The entrance is impressive and the 5 story lobby is just amazing. But if you walk to the back of the lobby and down a flight of stairs, you exit onto a viewing area where you can see some of the animals that surround the resort.

I've got to confess that I always linger a bit in the lobby when the purple van is delivering to Jambo House. And if I can spare 5 minutes, I go down the stairs outside to see what animals are out.

And when I head back to the lobby, this is what I see. Isn't it amazing? And the is the BACK door to Jambo House.

When I was a kid growing up my mom had a small sign on the back door to our house that said "back door guests are best." Maybe Disney should put a sign up like that!

June 21, 2009

I'll Bet You Recognize This! The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 21, 2009


You may recognize this as being from the sign at the entrance to the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom.  But I'll bet you've never looked at it long enough to appreciate the incredible detail of the castle in the center of the sign.




If you're staying on property and taking Disney Transport, your bus may not even pass through the main gate.  But whether you're in a bus or in a car, chances are that you're so anxious to get to the Magic Kingdom that the last thing you want to do is stop and study this sign.

But, if you're driving a purple van that goes through this gate a couple of times a day, your perspective changes and you come to appreciate the amazing attention to detail that seems to be everywhere at Walt Disney World. 

So, even if you're trying to make the rope drop, get behind the longest line of cars so you can have a good look and appreciate this special Disney touch.


June 20, 2009

The Waterbridge The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 20, 2009

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 20, 2009 The Fountain at Downtown Disney


I've always been fond of this fountain at the entrance to the Downtown Disney shops.  It's made up of seveeal clay pots with water pouring out of them.  And it's always planted with tons of flowers.  Downtown Disney has been through lots of changes but this fountain has been there as long as I can remember.


VFPV Downtown Disney fountain blog2.JPG



So what's the purple van doing in Downtown Disney?  It's not like there are any resorts there.  Well, an Owner's Locker Member had been staying at one of the beaches on Florida's East coast and was passing back through Orlando on their way home to Illinois.  So we agreed to meet at Downtown Disney to pick up their Locker.

They wanted to do some shopping so we just coordinated by cell phone and made the pickup.  Easy...and I enjoyed seeing  that fountain again.






June 19, 2009

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 19, 2009 A Library at Wilderness Lodge?

Yep, this is a library table.  But this is no library.  That's the lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge in the background.  Not a bad setting.  One of the things I love about the Disney resorts are nooks and crannies like this.  They're everywhere...in all of the resorts.  And I'm lucky enough to be at the resorts every day so if I need a place to get away to do some writing, it just doesn't get much better than this, in my view.  This desk is on the second floor..just  above the main entrance to the resort.  There's a set of stairs next to the entrance to Whispering Canyon Cafe.  When you get to the second floor, make a u-turn and you'll pass a small cozy fireplace and then you'll see this library table.  There's usually someone curled up with a book by the fireplace, but the desk is almost always empty .  The view is fantastic and if you'll love the music in the background...it's usually Aaron Copeland's Grand Canyon Suite.

VFPV Wilderness Lodge desk.jpg


June 18, 2009

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 18, 2009 Artist's Palette


Not surprisingly, the purple van pulls up to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa almost every day.  And on most days, we're there at least twice.

VFPV Artist's Pallette.jpg


After dropping off Lockers and having the great folks in operations note your reservation, I'll often walk through Artist's Palette to grab a diet coke or, uhmmm, make a pit stop.  I really like the light fixtures--particularly in the early morning light.




The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 18, 2009--How do you valet park a crane?

No, that's not an Owner's Locker dangling from that crane--it's not purple.



VFPV Beach Crane.jpg

Pulling up to Disney's Beach Club Resort and Villas this morning was interesting for the purple van.  The work that is often done at quiet times when no one would notice was rather hard to miss.  And was quite an obstacle.  We got our Lockers delivered (of course) but I really felt sorry for the poor valet crew trying to deal with rush hour and no place for guests to pull in. 

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