Category Archive:

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van



September 13, 2010

Tie Dye 60 At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 13, 2010

If you've ever been to Pop Century, you're familiar with the huge icons at the front of the resort representing the decades of the "Classic Years." Here's a link to an earlier post to refresh your memory.

VFPV Pop 60blog.JPG

But you may not have noticed that the back of the main resort building, Classic Hall, also has huge icons representing the decades including this tie dye 60. You would think that something this big and colorful would be hard to miss but I noticed it for the first time today...and the purple van is at Pop Century at least once every day! There's just a lot to see at this resort.

To check this out, exit the lobby from the rear and head to the main pool and then turn around...as you face the rear of Classic Hall, it will be on your left...
john

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Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

September 12, 2010

Carved Wooden Horse At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 12, 2010

It seems like I'm always going on about what a hidden gem Coronado Springs is. This carved wooden horse is just one more reason to put this resort on your list.

VFPV Coronado Horseblog.JPG

This horse it on your immediate left as you enter the main El Centro building at Coronado Springs. It's about five feet tall. But, there are so many things that catch your eye in this lobby that it's easy to miss something as big as this horse. In fact, it's a lot easier to see going out of the lobby than it is coming in.

So often, we're so anxious to get to our room or to a park that a lobby is just a place to dash in and dash out of. I think the lobbies at the Disney resorts are destinations worth a visit and this is just one more reason to slow down and enjoy the atmosphere the imagineers have created. You don't need a park pass and there's never a line to get in...
john

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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September 10, 2010

Hawaiian Holiday At Disney's Polynesian Resort: the Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 10, 2010

This is a hand painted cartoon cel that hangs in the lobby of the Polynesian.

VFPV Poly cartoon cellblog.JPG

There's a brass plaque beneath it that reads, "This xerographic-line, hand painted cel has been recreated from Scene 1 of the 1937 Mickey Mouse cartoon short Hawaiian Holiday: Mickey strums a steel guitar as he watches Minnie dance the hula. Limited Edition of 500 1991"

You can find the Hawaiian Holiday cel on the ground floor of the Polynesian in the right rear of the lobby, between the elevators...
john

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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

September 9, 2010

"When The Saints Go Marching In..." At Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 9, 2010

This is part of the check-in desk at Port Orleans French Quarter. The building is called the Mint and the check-in area is designed to look like bank teller windows.

VFPV French Quarter notesblog.JPG

But, look closely at the railings between the windows...
......they form a five line musical staff...
...and the notes?
...the opening bars to "When the Saints Go Marching In"...of course...
john

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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September 8, 2010

Chairs In The Lobby Of Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 8, 2010

In case you haven't guessed already, there are a few hints which can help you figure out which resort has these chairs in the lobby. There's the modern rug for one. I think there are only two resort lobbies with marble floors (and these chairs aren't in the Grand Floridian...



VFPV Contemporary chairsblog.JPG

And there's only one resort that has an escalator in the lobby...
...yep, it's the Contemporary and these neat chairs are right across from the check-in desk...
john

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Disney's Contemporary Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

September 6, 2010

Longboat Key Sunset: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 6, 2010

You won't find this beach at Walt Disney World.
I occasionally like to share non-WDW photos as a reminder that there are beautiful things outside the bubble.
This is tonight's sunset on Longboat Key near Sarasota...about two hours west from your favorite vacation place. Those are seagulls on the beach in the foreground



VFPV Sarasota sunsetblog.JPG

Your trusty purple van driver took a break today and headed to my favorite beach on Longboat Key. Interestingly, I'm staying at the Longboat Key Club which played an important part in the birth of Owner's Locker. This resort is something called a condo-hotel which means that each unit is owned by an individual. They can stay in their unit two weeks per year and the rest of the time it is placed in a rental pool so people like me can use it like a hotel. I stayed here in the early 1990's and was fascinated that there was a locked closet in my room. The front desk told me it was the owner's closet...a place where the unit's owner kept all of their vacation stuff so they didn't have to haul it back and forth. Sounded like a good idea to me!...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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September 4, 2010

A Bridge At Alligator Bayou At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van September 4, 2010

Port Orleans Riverside is divided into two sections: Magnolia Bend, where the buildings look like Southern plantation mansions, and Alligator Bayou where the buildings resemble rustic lodges in a bayou. From this photo, I'm sure you can tell that today's bridge is in the Alligator Bayou section of the resort:

VFPV bridges Riverside alligator abyoublog.JPG

The landscaping at Alligator Bayou can best be described as dense. There's lots of water and quite a few bridges like this one. A quiet pool is in the left rear and you can just make out one of the lodges in the right rear of this photo...
john

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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August 31, 2010

African Totem At Uzima Pool At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 31, 2010

The main pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is called Uzima.
It's an 11,000-square-foot, zero-depth entry pool and includes a 67-foot long slide.

VFPV Jambo African Totemblog.JPG

It's surrounded by lush vegetation and theming like these banana plants and this stone African totem that seems to be keeping a watchful eye...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 28, 2010

Key West Theming At Disney's Old Key West Resort: the Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 28, 2010

Old Key West is themed to look like the real Key West at the turn of the century and these items are a good example. Old fashioned oars and bicycle along with a street sign from the main drag at Key West, Duval Street that has seen better days.



VFPV OKW Bicycleblog.JPG

The rusty sign in the shadow says "Hurricane Warning" and Resolute was the name of a naval supply vessel that travelled between Key West and Havana in the early 1900's.

You can find these items in the covered walkway between the two building know as the Hospitality House. they are right across from the Conch Flats General Store...
john


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Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 27, 2010

Please Touch This Door At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 27, 2010

"Please Touch Me"
That's a sign you don't see very often, but that's what the small plaque to the right says....and you can tell that a lot of people have done just that.

This is a door from Nigeria and it's mounted on the wall of Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House between the two doors where you exit the lobby in the front.


VFPV AKL Doorblog.JPG

This wooden door was made by the Nupe tribe in Northern Nigeria, who believe that touching the door will send you safely into the future.
"Have a Good Journey" it also says...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 26, 2010

Antique Model Ferris Wheel At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 26, 2010

This antique model ferris wheel looks like it would fit right in with the amusement park theme at Boardwalk, but you'll find this one at the Grand Floridian.

VFPV Grand Floridian ferris wheelblog.JPG

You can find it on the second floor near the entrance to Victoria and Albert's and Citricos. The brass plaque nearby describes it as a "Metal Ferris Wheel--American--circa 1890" which I guess explains why it's at the Grand Floridian...it fits right in with the Victorian theme...
john

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 25, 2010

The Bridge At Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van August 25, 2010

Walt Disney World isn't the only place where we'll find resort bridges.
This one is located at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.



VFPV Bridges portofino bayblog.JPG

This is the bridge to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, one of the three hotels located on Universal Studios property.

It spans the waterway that water taxis use to take guests to and from the hotels and the Universal parks...
john

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Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is located at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 22, 2010

Cannon Goofy At Disney's All-Star Sports Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 22, 2010

Goofy is all decked out in his baseball uniform at All-Star Sports.

VFPV Goofy home run hotelblog.JPG

All-Star Sports has almost two thousand rooms and is located behind Blizzard beach along with All-Star Music and All-Star Movies. The resort has two pools. This is the smaller one in the Home Run Hotel section. It's called the Grand Slam Pool and it's shaped like a baseball diamond. Goofy is on the pitcher's mound. He has a pile of baseballs and his glove is in his back pocket. But, instead of pitching balls, he's manning a cannon that squirts water...

john

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Disney's All-Star Sports Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 21, 2010

The Purple Van Marks 100,000 Miles: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 21, 2010

Today's adventure is not very ordinary or everyday...it only happened once and I was the only person to see it.

The purple van completed 100,000 miles of driving around Walt Disney World this morning at 10:56.



VFPV 100,000 milesblog.JPG

The purple van took to the roads in May, 2007 and has taken a little over three years to clock this many miles delivering and picking up Owner's Lockers and Magic Strollers. As we have grown, it's on the road more and more and more so our second 100,000 miles should come a bit quicker.

Note that it was already 90 degrees a little before eleven this morning. Also notice that I had the good sense to pull over and park to take this photo...
john

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click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 19, 2010

Johari Treasures At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van August 19, 2010

This is Johari Treasures, the shop at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village:

VFPV Johari treasuresblog.jpg

The shop is located in the lobby of Kidani Village, just to the right as you walk in the door. While everything at Kidani Village is much smaller that its big brother next door, Jambo House, in many ways, this is a much more intimate resort.

There are lots of african artifacts at the Kidani including the ones you see in the niches here.

To the left is a puppet from Mali. In the center is a Nigerian sun mask and to the right is a Nigerian moon mask...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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August 13, 2010

This Way To The Boardwalk: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 13, 2010

Down these steps lie the wonders of the Boardwalk.
The entrance to Boardwalk Inn and Villas has been artifically built up so that the lobby is actually on the second floor of the resort.
Which means you have to go down these steps to the Boardwalk itself.

VFPV Boardwalk arrow signblog.JPG

These steps (and this neat sign) are locacted next to the entrance to the Boardwalk Inn and the Boardwalk Villas.

The Boardwalk is actually a very wide wooden walkway that goes around Crescent Lake. Along the Boardwalk you'll find restaurants, bars and arcade games as well as the other EPCOT resorts: Beach Club, Yacht Club, the Swan and the Dolphin. That's also where you'll find the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT World Showcase...
john

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Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 12, 2010

Chairs At Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van: August 12, 2010

The more time I spend in the resorts, the more things I notice. And, I guess over time, it's the more subtle things that catch my eye. Like these chairs in the lobby of the Polynesian.

VFPV Poly chairsblog.JPG

Where else would you see these?...and the side table with the woven basket?

The thing that amazes me is that the imagineers have gone to so much trouble to add touches like this when I'll bet 9 out of 10 people walking through this lobby will never notice them.
But I did today...and I've got to tell you that there are a lot of unique chairs in the various lobbies...I think I feel another series coming on...resort chairs...
john

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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 11, 2010

The Bridge At Bay Lake Tower At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 11, 2010

Now, here's a resort bridge that's hard to miss. It's the new walkway from Bay Lake Tower to the Contemporary

VFPV Bridge bay Lake Towerblog.JPG

On the right is Bay Lake Tower, the new Disney Vacation Club Resort and the bridge allows guests to access the monorail at the Contemporary, on the left. Interestingly, the brdge starts out on the 5th floor of Bay Lake Tower and ends up on the 4th floor of the Contemporary in the Grand Canyon Concourse...
john

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Disney's Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 8, 2010

The Lobby Bridge Over Silver Creek At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 8, 2010

In the rear of the lobby at Wilderness Lodge is what looks like a hot spring bubbling up complete with steam. This is the headwater of Silver Creek which eventually flows out of the lobby, over Silver Creek Falls and into the pool.

VFPV bridge Wilderness Lodge lobbyblog.JPG

This small bridge spans the hot spring and is a favorite of any kid who's ever been in the Wilderness Lodge lobby...
john

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 7, 2010

A Shop Window At Jackson Square Gifts & Desires At Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 7, 2010

We all know to check out the spectacular shop windows at the Emporium on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom...

...but there are some pretty neat shop windows at the resorts, too.

Like this one at Port Orleans French Quarter:

VFPV French quarter shop windowblog.JPG

This is a window from Jackson Square Gifts & Desires in what is called the Mint Building at Port Orleans French Quarter. This resort has a decidedly New Orleans/Mardi Gras flavor and this window is no exception, featuring a jester and the bright green purple and gold. Jackson Square is the centerpiece of the real French Quarter in New Orleans...sorry about the reflections in the glass, by the way...
john

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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August 4, 2010

The Peninsular Road Bridge At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 4, 2010

This bridge is at Old Key West. It's on the main road into the resort, Peninsular Road.

VFPV bridges Old Key West peninsular roadblog.JPG

The photo was taken from the main pool at Old Key West. You can see buildings 17 and 18 in the background... john

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Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

August 3, 2010

Y-a-c-h-t C-l-u-b Flags At Disney's Yacht Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van August 3, 2010

How do you spell Yacht Club?

Like this if you're using international maritime signal flags that represent each letter:

And if you want to get technical, it's:

Yankee, Alpha, Charlie, Hotel, Tango and
Charlie, Lima, Uniform Bravo.

VFPV Yacht flagsblog.jpg

That's right, the flags on the left represent the letters y-a-c-h-t and c-l-u-b are on the right.

You can click here to see what the flag alphabet looks like.

And notice that it's not a typical flag pole but looks like the mast of a ship.
These flags are at the entrance to the Yacht Club and ar off to the left...
john

Disney's Yacht Club Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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August 2, 2010

The Bridge At Samawati Springs Pool At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van August 2, 2010

Here's another in our series of Walt Disney World resort bridges...this one is at the pool at Kidani Village.

VFPV Bridge kidaniblog.JPG

Kidani Village is one of the new Disney Vacation Club resorts and is part of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Kidani's pool is called Samawati Springs and features a 128 foot slide. You can see the end of the slide under this bridge. The pool is a very large 4700 square feet and has a zero entry feature at one end.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 31, 2010

Golden Oak At Walt Disney World Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 31, 2010

I noticed this morning that the name of Disney's new residential community, Golden Oak, had gone up on the signs at the entrance.

VFPV Golden Oakblog.JPG

The entrance to the new community, located on the site of the old Eagle Pines golf course has been completed for some time but it doesn't appear that there has been much other construction that can be seen from the road.

Disney describes Golden Oak as "a new community of luxury custom, single-family homes in Walt Disney World Resort with access to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando."

It's located between Fort Wilderness and Port Orleans Riverside at the intersection of Bonnet Creek Parkway and Vista Boulevard...
john

Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 30, 2010

Welcome To Conch Flats At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 30, 2010

As you enter Old Key West, this sign welcoming you to Conch flats is off to your left.

VFPV Conch Flats signblog.JPG

Old Key West was originally named Disney Vacation Club and in classic Disney fashion, an elaborate backstory was created which included the fictional town of Conch Flats.

This sign is reminiscent of what you might see entering a small town. The resort did indeed open in 1991 and it is 98 feet above sea level. Walt Disney World is surrounded by wetlands that are the headwaters of the Everglades. All of the water at you see at WDW slowly flows south down toward sea level in southern Florida.

I particularly like the Latin phrases on the sign. Caesar's famous veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) has become I came, I saw and I came again and again and again.
And pro bono publico (for the public good) has become for my personal benefit...
john

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Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 29, 2010

The Kitchen Sink Fountain At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 29, 2010

That is indeed a kitchen sink in the center of this photo--spouting water up through the drain creating a fountain.

VFPV Riverside pool fountainblog.JPG

This could only happen at Port Orleans Riverside.

The main pool at Riverside (the resorts has 6 pools!) is part of the 3.5 acre Ol' Man Island complex that also includes a rustic playground and fishin' hole.

The imagineers have made the place look like something right out of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer...
john


Click here for a satellite view of Ol' Man Island.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 25, 2010

The Bridge At Stormalong Bay At Disney's Beach Club Resort And Disney's Yacht Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 26, 2010

Here's another bridge for you. This one is from Stormalong Bay, the fantastic pool complex shared by the Beach and Yacht Club:

VFPV Bridges stormalong bayblog.JPG

Stormalong Bay is by far the largest pool at Walt Disney World, covering over three acres. It has a sand bottom and contains over 750,000 gallons of water...
john

Click here for a satellite view of Stormalong bay from Google Maps.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Beach Club Villas and Stormalong bay are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 24, 2010

Pool Shower At Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 24, 2010

This isn't one of the tiki gods you can see scattered around the Polynesian...look closely, it's a pool shower.



VFPV Poly poolshowerblog.JPG

I'm always amazed at how the imagineers manage to constantly turn the ordinary into something special and this is yet another great example.

In case you needed any hints that this was the Polynesian (other than the building in the background) there is one of the many tiki gods in the bushes and you'll also notice one of the torches to the right.

You'll find this pool shower near the quiet pool at the Polynesian...
john

Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 23, 2010

Lobby Detail At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 23, 2010

Here's another example of the amazing degree of detail you'll find at Coronado Springs.

VFPV Coronado lobby statueblog.JPG

The main lobby/check-in building at Coronado Springs is called El Centro. As you walk in the front doors, you enter a rotunda featuring a large fountain. The main lobby is off to the right, the shop is to the left as is a hallway leading to a bar and restaurants. Above the fountain is a highly decorated dome.

My point is that there is a lot going on in this space...and then you have this feature in the right rear of the rotunda that can easily go un-noticed.

But, check out the level of detail that the imagineers have included: the small statue; the tiled floor; the colorful tiles behind the statue; and the frame around those tiles.

As often as i am in Coronado Springs, I continue to notice things like this that haven't caught my eye before.

You really should check this resort out on your next trip to WDW!...
john

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 22, 2010

A Modern Chair At Bay Lake Tower At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 22, 2010

I wanted to share a photo of this really cool chair and this little girl and I played a waiting game over whether she was going to move or be in the photo. She won.

VFPV Bay lake Tower chairblog.JPG

The wooden chair is in the lobby of Bay Lake Tower where everything is cool, sleek and modern. If you look closely, you can see that the chair is made up of numerous planks pressed together. I have no idea how they managed to curve the wood in the chair...I can tell you it is very heavy.

A few "Disney" references have been snuck into Bay Lake Tower with the artwork and carpeting...and the table sitting beside this chair...
john

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 21, 2010

The Boardwalk Bridge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 21, 2010

Another bridge...this one is on the Boardwalk. The Beach Club Resort and Villas are to the left and The Boardwalk Inn and Villas are to the right.

VFPV bridge Boardwalkblog.JPG

The boat you see is one of the Friendships heading toward the International Gateway at EPCOT....
john

For a satellite view from Google maps click here.


Disney's Boardwalk, Disney's Boardwalk in and Villas and Disney's Beach Club Resort and Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 20, 2010

Mickey Welcomes You To Walt Disney World: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 20, 2010

Unless you arrive at Walt Disney World by helicopter or parachute...or seriously know some back roads...you'll recognize this Mickey Mouse welcoming you to your favorite vacation place:

VFPV Mickey Welcomeblog.JPG

At each entrance to Disney World, you'll find a Mickey just like this one letting you know you have arrived.

There are five of these entrances. This one is the newest. It's on Western Way just off of the new 429 Highway. This entrance drops you off on Buena Vista Drive between Coronado Springs and Bizzard Beach...
john

If you'd like to see this entrance from Google Maps, click here

This Mickey is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 18, 2010

The Serpent Slide At Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 18, 2010

A post from a couple of months ago featured a sea serpent's tail sticking out of some bushes at Port Orleans French Quarter.

And if you've been wondering what was on the other end of the serpent's tail, now you know:



VFPV French Quarter slideblog.JPG

Port Orleans French Quarter has the neatest pool called Doubloon Lagoon. The centerpiece of the pool is this sea serpent slide with King Triton sitting atop the serpent's head.

Stroll straight out of the back of the French Quarter lobby and you'll be on the path to Doubloon Lagoon...
john

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 16, 2010

Wyoming State Flag At Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 16, 2010

This is a Wyoming state flag from 1890, the year Wyoming became a state. And when you check it out up close, it LOOKS that old. The current Wyoming flag has the state seal in the middle of the bison (I like this one better).

This flag in the Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge.

VFPV Wilderness Lodge buffalo flagblog.JPG

The Territory Lounge is my favorite bar in Walt Disney World. It's off the left rear of the lobby next to Artist Point. This flag hangs on the wall on the right hand side of the bar. An earlier Everyday Adventure featured its pendant, or mate, that's to the left of the bar.

Even if bars aren't your thing, the Territory Lounge is definitely worth checking out...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.

The Territory Lounge and Disney's Wilderness Lodge are located in Walt Disney World.
j

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July 15, 2010

The Clock Tower At Loew's Portofino Bay Hotel: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van July 15, 2010

There are three great hotels located on Universal Studios' property. This is the clock tower Portofino Bay. (The other two are the Hard Rock Hotel and the Royal Pacific).

VFPV Portofino Bay towerblog.JPG

Portofino Bay is Italian themed and has 750 rooms including 45 suites. Since it is connected to the Universal parks, there's complimentary transportation and guests have access to special ride access.
A lot of my Orlando friends say this is their favorite area hotel for a romantic getaway...
john

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j

July 13, 2010

Bridge To Magnolia Bend At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 13, 2010

OK, I'm into bridges now! Isn't this one impressive. It's at Port Orleans Riverside.

VFPV Bridges Riverside Magnolia bendblog.JPG

This bridge takes you across the Sassagoula River to the section of Port Orleans Riverside known as Magnolia Bend. The theming of this part of the resort is plantation style mansions.

Since you don't get a particularly good view of a bridge while you're crossing it, to get this view, you need to head towards the lobby of Riverside and look to your right...
john

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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July 11, 2010

A Gazebo At Shades Of Green On The Walt Disney World Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van July 11, 2010

Shades of Green is the U.S. Military resort located across from the Polynesian and between the Palm and Magnolia golf courses.

VFPV Shades of Green shelterblog.JPG

The resort has its own buses but a lot of folks heading to the Magic Kingdom walk to Ticket and Transportation Center. This gazebo is a great resting place along that walk...and the view isn't that bad either...
john

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Shades Of Green is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 10, 2010

Leaping Horse Libations At Disney's Boardwalk Inn And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 10, 2010

Now, THAT'S a pool bar.

I think you have to agree that Leaping Horse Libations, at the main pool at Boardwalk, is probably Disney's most elaborately themed pool bar!

VFPV Boardwalk leaping horseblog.JPG

The main pool at Boardwalk is called Luna Park Pool and it is named after an amusement park at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. The imagineers obviously weren't shy in theming Leaping Horse Libations to look like a carousel. It's not far off of the carousel in the Magic Kingdom...only this one serves a mean margarita!

Luna Park Pool is behind located in the Villas portion of the Boardwalk resort. As you enter the lobby, head to your left and go down a level...

john

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Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 8, 2010

Tramp At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 8, 2010

A couple of months ago, in an earlier post, there was a photo of a huge Lady at Pop Century.
Well, if you've been wondering if Tramp was far behind, here he is--just opposite his sweetheart:



VFPV Pop Trampblog.JPG

Tramp, of course, is from the 1955 film "Lady And The Tramp" and both of these 30 foot tall characters are in the 1950's section of Pop Century...
john

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Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 7, 2010

Torch Wall Sconce at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 7, 2010

One of the things I enjoy noticing in the Disney resorts is the light fixtures. Resorts like Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House have spectacular lights hanging in the lobby.
But, there are also neat lights like this wall sconce throughout the resort.



VFPV Jambo sconceblog.JPG

I think these torches are an excellent example of the detail the imagineers go to in the resorts. Isn't it neat that you can pretty much guess that this is from Animal Kingdom Lodge as soon as you see it?

They are only about a foot tall but they really add to the atmosphere of Jambo House. There are lots of these sconces around. This one is by the elevators between Boma and Jiko...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 6, 2010

A Bridge At The Entrance To Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 6, 2010

Every once in a while someone will tell me that I will one day run out of things to share with you in The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van.

Not a chance!

I just like to show you what catches my eye, but you've probably noticed that many of the Everyday Adventures fall into categories...like landscaping, architectural features, or items on display in resort lobbies.

Well, today (finally) it hit me that I should occasionally focus my camera on a few bridges...

VFPV Bridges Polyblog.JPG

Water is everywhere in Walt Disney World and where you have water you've got to have a way to get across it. And bridges are just one more thing Disney has done with style.

So here's our first bridge. This one is for people (and luggage carts) and it's at the entrance to the Polynesian. To the right is a fountain and there's a waterfall on the right.

I'll set up a separate album for resort bridges on the Owner's Locker Facebook and Flickr pages and, of course, they'll occasionally be showing up here in the Everyday Adventures...
john

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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

July 5, 2010

"Valaria" At Disney's Yacht Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 5, 2010

This is the two masted schooner yacht "Valeria" and, according to the brass plaque, its owner was Stephen H. Schoed, it's designer was Harold Elmont and its length was 115 feet.



VFPV Yacht Valariablog.JPG

A prominent feature in the lobby of the Yacht Club is the collection of intricate model ships. This one is in the far right alcove behind the front desk...
john

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Disney's Yacht Club Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

July 4, 2010

Independence Day At Gaylord Palms Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 4, 2010

This display in the lobby of Gaylord Palms Resort says it all...

Happy 4th of July!

john

VFPV Gaylord 4thblog.JPG

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click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

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j

July 3, 2010

Peter Pan, Wendy And John At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van July 3, 2010

Here's another one of the new marble medallions that have been installed in the lobby of the Grand Floridian:

VFPV Grand Floridian marble peter panblog.JPG

This medallion featuring Peter Pan, Wendy and John is one of my favorites and it's sort of difficult to find. It's on the far right of the lobby, behind a staircase near an exit. Don't know why they manged to hide this little gem...
john

Other medalions featured so far are the Grand Floridian logo, Cinderella and Prince Charming and Mrs. Potts.

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 30, 2010

Sandcastles, Bucket and Shovel At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 30, 2010

My English friends often refer to a trip to the beach as a "bucket and spade" holiday...I wonder if this is what they had in mind?

VFPV Old Key West bucket and spadeblog.JPG

The kiddie area at the main pool at Old Key West has a sandcastle theme complete with this rather large bucket and shovel (I'm sorry...I just can't call that red thing a spade). The big sandcastle you see in the foreground is permanent...it's just covered in sand. In the background is the relatively new sandcastle slide.

My girls loved this play area when they were growing up. They used to hide in the bucket...ah, memories...

You'll find the kid's area to the right of the pool behind the Hospitality House at Old Key West...
john

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Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

June 27, 2010

Neon Mickeys At Fantasia Shop At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 27, 2010

So, which Disney resort has these neon Mickey's displayed on the wall of its shop?

You might be able to recognize the resort from the carpet or the metal structure in the background. But even if haven't been there, the Contemporary is the logical answer and it goes to show you how carefully Disney designs its resorts.



VFPV Contemporary Neon Mickeysblog.JPG

Can you imagine these Mickeys in Wilderness Lodge, Caribbean Beach or Kidani Village?

If you think about it, they just fit right in at the Contemporary. Just like a monorail passing through...

The shop, Fantasia, is on the fourth floor of the Contemporary.
john

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Disney's Contemporary Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 26, 2010

Trail Rides At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort And Campground: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 26, 2010

These horses are all saddled up...looks like its about time for a trail ride at the Tri Circle D Ranch.

The trail rides are 45 minute guided tours of the woodlands at Fort Wilderness.

VFPV Fort Wilderness trail rideblog.JPG

Tri Circle D Ranch is also where the horses from Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and the ponies that pull Cinderella's carriage make their home. It's located in Fort Wilderness and the trail rides are right at the front of the resort...
john

The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort, The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and the Tri Circle D Ranch are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 24, 2010

Proverbs Are Like Butterflies At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 24, 2010

Proverbs are like butterflies
Some are caught
Some fly away
-Ghana

VFPV Kidani proverbsblog.JPG

Sometimes I get really annoyed with myself for not noticing something sooner.

If you have been to Kidani Village, you will probably recognize the kerosine lanterns at the entrance to this new Disney Vacation Club resort.

The purple van is at Kidani about every day and on many days more than once.

I have noticed many proverbs written in gold on the walls inside the resort and a cast member had pointed out that each proverb is marked by a brass butterfly.

And now I know why. For the first time today, I saw the key to the proverbs and the brass butterflies. It was right at the entrance to the resort all along...proverbs are like butterflies...some are caught...some fly away.

I guess this is another reminder to just slow down and taken in the amazing detail in the Disney resorts...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

June 23, 2010

A Quiet Courtyard At The Walt Disney World Swan: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 23, 2010

Tucked away in a side door off of the right rear of the lobby of the Swan is this quiet courtyard...

VFPV Swan courtyardblog.JPG

The Swan, and its sister resort, The Dolphin, are located on the Boardwalk but they are not owned by Disney. Both resorts were designed by architect Michael Graves. The two 60 foot tall Swans that sit atop this resort make it rather hard to miss...
john

The Walt Disney World Swan is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 19, 2010

Mickey's Sandcastle At Disney's Beach Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 21, 2010

Who's that waving to us from this sand castle?

VFPV Beach sandcastle mickeyblog.JPG

It should come as no great surprise that Disney's Beach Club Resort and Villas have a beachy theme. Lots of pastel colors and, at the resort's restaurant, Cape May Cafe, there are lots of sand castles like this one. Note the beaded board wall that sand castle is hanging on...it's what you might see in a beach house.

There are several of these three dimensional sand castles in plexiglass frames in the walkway that surrounds Cape May Cafe. I like this one because of the little fellow waving to us from one of the parapets.

The Beach Club and Yacht Club are separate resorts one the one hand. But on the other hand, they're connected and share a great pool, Stormalong Bay.

You really can't walk between the resorts on the front. But in the rear of each resort, there's a walkway that connects the two. That's where you'll find Mickey's sand castle...
john

Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Beach Club Villas, Disney's Yacht Club Resort, Stormalong Bay and Cape May Cafe are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 17, 2010

Here Comes The Palms Solar Express: the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 17, 2010

Here comes the Palms Solar Express!

Marriott Vacation Club has a number of resorts in Orlando including three that are on the grounds of Marriott's Orlando World Center, the 28 story hotel complex you can see from Downtown Disney. The three small vacation club resorts are called Sabal Palms, Royal Palms and Imperial Palms.

And the best way to get from one resort to another is on this cute yellow vehicle.



VFPV Palms solar expressblog.JPG

The Palms Solar Express is an electric vehicle that is partially powered by photo voltaic cells that convert sunlight to electricity. What looks like a black roof rack is actually an array of solar cells.

Since it's powered by sunlight, the solar express is appropriately painted bright yellow. There are some other famous brightly colored vehicles in this photo...The red one is nice, but my favorite is the purple one...
john

Marriott's Royal Palms, Marriott's Imperial Palms and Marriott's Sabal Palms are located in Marriott's Orlando World Center.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 16, 2010

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort At Sunrise: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 16, 2010

'twas early this morning not long after sunrise...and there were very few creatures stirring at Port Orleans Riverside...

VFPV Riverside sunriseblog.JPG

...and I just liked how the main building looked in the early morning light. The tower on the lobby building has always caught my eye (have you ever noticed the door and tiny balcony at the top?) and in this light it seemed extra-special...
john

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 15, 2010

Herbie, The Love Bug At Disney's All-Star Movies Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 15, 2010

It's Herbie, from The Love Bug, at All-Star Movies.

VFPV Movies herbieblog.JPG

All-Star Movies is divided into five sections of about 200 rooms each. Each section is themed to a Disney movie and has two giant icons (like this Herbie) between buildings. This is obviously from The Love Bug section of All-Star Movies. The other icon is the rear half of Herbie...but that's another adventure for another day...
john


Disney's All-Star Movies Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

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June 14, 2010

The Essence Of Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 14, 2010

Let's see...

 tiki god...

 torch...

 flowing water...

 tropical landscaping...

Could it possibly be the Polynesian?

VFPV Poly torchblog.JPG

It is indeed.

I've always loved the torches at the Polynesian and I was struck while walking into the lobby and looked to my right and took this picture. The essence of the resort was right there in the frame....
john



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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 13, 2010

Maestro Mickey At Disney's All-Star Music Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 13, 2010

The shop at All-Star Music is called Maestro Mickey's and here's why:

VFPV Maestro Mickeyblog.JPG

All the way in the back of the shop is this painting behind a counter of Mickey ready to conduct an orchestra. But what I really like about the painting is how it changes from two to three dimensions with Mickey's face and right arm...
john

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June 11, 2010

Crape Myrtles At Walt Disney World: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 11, 2010

By now you know that I think one of the real treats of driving the purple van is appreciating the fantastic landscaping the Disney horticulture gang have provided for us to enjoy.

It seems like just this week, the crape myrtle trees have exploded with blossoms.

VFPV Crepe Myrtlesblog.JPG

I've seen crape myrtles in every resort, all of the parks and along many of the roads at WDW. This is hardly scientific but I'd be willing to bet that they are pretty high on the list of "most common plants" in Walt Disney World.

They are in bloom for about a month this time of year but the trunks and especially the peeling bark make them special all year long.

These three specimens are at Boardwalk. If you walk out of the lobby onto the porch at the rear that overlooks Crescent Lake, these crape myrtles will be on your right...
john

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Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
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June 10, 2010

Cinderella Wedding Coach At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 10, 2010

You just never know what you might see cruising around Walt Disney World in a purple van. This morning I was coming out of the luggage room at the Grand Floridian and saw the Cinderella wedding coach getting it's final preparations.

VFPV Grand Floridian coachblog.JPG

A few minutes later the bride and groom would board the coach and the six white ponies would take the very lucky couple to the wedding pavilion next door.

As a father of daughters, I'll admit I shuddered to think of what that must have cost!...
john

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney's Wedding Pavilion is located in Walt Disney World.

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June 9, 2010

Dumping Buckets At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village's Samawati Springs Pool: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 9, 2010

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village has a pretty amazing pool called Samawati Springs Pool and it has a kiddie area that includes these buckets that fill with water and tip over dumping their contents on unsuspecting children.


VFPV Kidani kiddie pool2blog.JPG

This section of the pool also has the water cannon, in the foreground, the fountains to the left and the snakes that spray water. This kids play area rivals what you'd find at one of the water parks...and, what you see here is just part of it...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

June 7, 2010

Electric Carts At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort And Campground: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 7, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines...
This isn't the starting line at the Indy 500 and these carts are electric motors rather than engines...

It's a line of carts waiting for arriving guests at Fort Wilderness.

VFPV Fort Wilderness golf cartsblog.JPG

These carts are parked outside the Reception Outpost at Fort Wilderness and may be reserved up to a year in advance by guests at the resort's campsites and cabins,

You may recall from an earlier post that one of my dreams is to open a bar in the Reception Outpost. I love that building.

Fort Wilderness is a 750 wooded area behind Wilderness Lodge on Bay Lake. Guests stay in cabins or their own tents, campers and recreational vehicles...
john

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The Campsites At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and The Cabins At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

June 6, 2010

Resort Directory At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 6, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me how the Disney imagineers can turn so simple into something so special. This is a directory at Port Orleans Riverside.

VFPV Riverside directoryblog.JPG

It does what a directory should do, of course, but it also fits right in...and then some.

There are lots of riverboat references at Riverside and the the smokestack plumes on the top of this directory are a good example. And, the red and black on the posts with the gold detail really let you know you're looking at something from the turn of the century along the Mississippi (make that the Sassagoula!)

You can find this directory to the right as you exist the lobby from the rear...
john

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Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 5, 2010

Kiddie Pool At Disney's Boardwalk Inn And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van Jun 5, 2010

First you pat the tummy of the elephant for good luck and then you head into the pool...



VFPV Boardwalk Kiddie Poolblog.JPG

This is the kiddie pool at Boardwalk and the fellow getting his tummy patted is one of several elephants you see in the Luna Park Pool. The pool is named after the Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn that featured elephant rides in the early 1900's.

The pool at Boardwalk has lots of amusement park theme elements--notice the bright primary colors. It also features a bar that resembles a carousel and an infamous clown slide...but those are other adventures for another day...
john

p.s. this pool is really shallow and the little boy in the foreground is fine...he's just playing a game with his little brother!
j

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Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 4, 2010

New Lobby Fountain At Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Sea World: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 4, 2010

The lobby at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at SeaWorld has just undergone a major rehab...and the centerpiece is this new fountain which features streams of water coming from a spiral and lots and lots of sparkly, crystal stars.

VFPV HGVC Sea World fountainblog.JPG

Built in 1995 on 33 acres adjacent to SeaWorld, this resort has almost 500 units made up of studios as well as 1,2 and 3 bedroom suites...
john

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Hilton Grand Vacations Club at SeaWorld is located adjacent to SeaWorld and is approximately 5 miles from Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

June 2, 2010

The Barefoot Pool Bar At Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van June 3, 2010

Well, summer's almost here which means swimming pools...and pool bars!

VFPV Poly pool barblog.JPG

This is the Barefoot Pool Bar and you can find it at the main pool at the Polynesian. I think they serve one of the best pina coladas on property here.

The Barefoot pool Bar looks like a tropical tiki hut and is tucked away at the left rear of the pool as you approach from the lobby. It seems a bit dwarfed by the relatively new volcano slide you can see in the background though, doesn't it?
john

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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

June 1, 2010

Tropical Tower At Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van June 1, 2010

I don't know which is prettier...the beautiful blue sky today or the tropical colors in this tower at Caribbean Beach

VFPV Caribbean Beach towerblog.JPG

This tower is in the Martinique village of Caribbean Beach, a 2000 unit resort between Pop Century and EPCOT. It's made up of clusters of two story buildings and is divided into six villages named after islands in the Caribbean.

The landscaping is lush and tropical at Caribbean Beach and at times almost completely hides the buildings..but not the towers. I think this one has a bit of a "Small World" look...
john

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Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 31, 2010

Patriotic Mickey At Shades Of Green On Walt Disney World Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 31, 2010

In the lobby of Shades Of Green, there's a photo spot with Mickey.
And, it's not a small Mickey, either. You can gauge the size by the young lady walking into the lobby on the right.

VFPV Shades Mickeyblog.JPG

This morning was the first time I was in this resort when there wasn't a family posing with Mickey for a photo so I grabbed the opportunity and took what is probably the only photo of this patriotic Mickey standing alone!

Take a close look and you'll get a feel of how this Mickey fits right in at Shades Of Green, the resort at Walt Disney World just for members of the U.S. Military.

Mickey's feet feature text from the Declaration of Independence and Mickey's outfit has a flag superimposed on it. The flag carries over to Mickey's leftt ear and you can make out fireworks on both of his ears.

I thought this was rather fitting for Memorial Day, don't you?
john

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Shades Of Green is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 28, 2010

Rocking Chairs At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van May 28, 2010

The only thing missing from this picture is...
...you...
...and your friends and family.

Great resort, great chairs and great view.

VFPV Jambo rockersblog.JPG

These neat rocking chairs, including two junior-sized models, are on a balcony off the main lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and overlook the Arusha Savannah. There are two of these balconies...one on the right and another on the left rear of the lobby.

I rarely see anyone in these...I have no idea why they're not more popular...they certainly look inviting to me!...
john

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 27, 2010

Buckle UP! The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 27, 2010

There are lots of things that make Walt Disney World special. I have always liked the road signs. You know instantly when you're on property when you see the distinctive purple signage. (you can't go wrong with purple!)

VFPV Buckle UPblog.JPG

This Buckle Up sign has always been one of my favorites. There are a couple of the that you see as you leave property. This one is on State Road 536 as you head to the airport...
john

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This Buckle Up sign is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 26, 2010

Lady At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 26, 2010

This rather larger than life-sized Lady is at Pop Century, where she seems to be looking down on the cute litlle girl posing for a picture in front of her.

VFPV Pop Ladyblog.JPG

Lady, of course, is from Lady And The Tramp. And, since the animated feature was released in 1955, you can find her in the 1950's section of Pop Century. Huge statutes and icons like this are all around Pop Century and it's fun to just walk around the resort to see what surprise you find when you turn a corner...

And, don't worry about Lady being lonely...Tramp is there, too...but that's another Adventure for another day...
john

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Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 25, 2010

There's A Crab (Sebastian, That Is) In This Carpet At Disney's Beach Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van May 25, 2010

There's a crab in this carpet. That's Sebastian and some of his fishy friends from The Little Mermaid that are featured in this this carpet at the Beach Club.

VFPV Beach Club carpetblog.JPG

I think we all expect to see things in the Disney parks that we would never see any place else.

But I wonder if people realize that it's the same way in the resorts. In fact, sometimes I think the imagineers put even more effort into the Disney resorts.

The next time you're in one of the resorts, have a close look at the light fixtures, furniture and wall coverings and see if you can recognize anything from some other hotel or public space you've been in. The chances are VERY good that you won't because the vast majority of things you see in the Walt Disney World resorts have been custom made just for that resort.

This medallion that has been woven into the carpet in the hallway at the Beach Club is a good example. Something tells me you and I would not be able to find this in any carpet shop...
john

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Disney's Beach Club Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 24, 2010

Bird's Nests At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 24, 2010

Fans of Old Key West might recognize this wrought iron chandelier. It's one of eight that hang in the walkway between the two buildings known at the Hospitality House.

This morning, I heard a bird and looked up...

VFPV OKW birdsblog.JPG

...to see that a bird had made a nest in one of the lamps on this chandelier.

I mentioned it to one of the bell staff and they said that actually there were TWO nests.

Look closely...they were right...
john

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Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 23, 2010

Richard Petty Driving Experience Car At Best Western Lake Buena Vista: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 23, 2010

If you've ever noticed the roar of a race car as you pull into the Magic Kingdom parking lot, here's the culprit:

VFPV Pettyblog.JPG

As you head to the Magic Kingdom on World Drive, just inside the main gate to the parking lot is the Walt Disney World Speedway. You can't see it because of landscaping but you certainly can hear it.

That's where you'll find the Richard Petty Driving Experience--where you can drive or ride shotgun in a NASCAR-style stock car at speeds up to 120mph.

I noticed this race car this morning parked outside of the Best Western Lake Buena Vista, one of the hotels located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard next to Downtown Disney...
john

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The Best Western Lake Buena Vista and the Richard Petty Driving Experience are located in Walt Disney World.

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The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 21, 2010

The Tower Of The Four Winds At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 21, 2010

Geez, I'm glad I stopped to read the plaque at the lower left of the display case at the Contemporary this morning. It's says the sculpture is "designed to represent the Tower Of the Four Winds-a magical, ever-turning mobile which graced the outside of the Small World pavillion during the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair."

You can barely see the plaque in this photo which also shows Walt standing next to the sculpture.

VFPV Contempory sculptureblog.JPG

The plaque doesn't make it quite clear but I suspect that this was a concept model for the 120 foot tower that eventually stood outside the Pepsi pavillion that featured "It's A Small World" at the New York World's Fair.

Here's a photo I found of the pavillion with the sculpture:

Fair Kineticsblog.jpg

You can find the Tower Of the Four Winds at the Contemporary Resort of the fourth floor, just as you exit the elevators...
john

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Disney's Contemporary Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 20, 2010

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Street Lights At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 20, 2010

A while back, I shared a photo of the street lights at Fort Wilderness. As soon as you saw them, you just knew which resort they were from (sorry I ended that sentence with a preposition!)

And you probably didn't need to see the resort in the background of this photo to identify these lights either.

VFPV Grand Floridian lightsblog.JPG

Let's see...these lights look very turn of the century, very highly detailed...you could even say they look grand.

Yep, they're at the Grand Floridian and isn't it impressive how far Disney goes to make sure things at the resorts "fit."...
john

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May 19, 2010

A Stunned Donald At Fulton's General Store At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 19, 2010

Poor Donald has the crazed look because he's just been whacked in the head by Chip and Dale (with more than a little help from Huey, Dewey and Louie).

VFPV Fulton's Donaldblog.JPG

These antics are going on every day at the shop at Port Orleans Riverside, Fulton's General Store. Donald's nephews pull on a rope which is connected by pulleys to the platform Chip and Dale are on. The chipmunks get a fun ride and poor Donald suffers the consequences.

Many of the shops at the Disney resorts have features like this to catch your eye. The one at Fulton's General Store is a bit unusual because it moves. But then again, the Port Orleans resorts have lots or features and surprises that you won't find even at the deluxe resorts. Riverside and French Quarter are well worth your time for a visit...
john

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Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 17, 2010

Silver Creek Falls At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 17, 2010

Inside the lobby at Wilderness Lodge, there is a small stream that bubbles up from a rock formation. It forms a small stream that flows from the rear of the lobby outside.

VFPV Wilderness Lodge silver creek fallsblog.JPG

By the time it nears the Wilderness Lodge pool, this small stream, with a little help from the Disney imagineers, has become this not insubstantial waterfall.

This is Silver Creek Falls and that's the rear of Wilderness Lodge you can see in the background...
john

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Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 15, 2010

Sea Serpent's Tail At Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 15, 2010

Why is there a sea serpent's tail sticking up out of these bushes?

Because it's at a Disney resort and you should expect things like that.

VFPV French Quarter tailblog.JPG

The pool you can just make out in the background is Doubloon Lagoon at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. It features a huge sea serpent ridden by King Triton that contains a slide that ends with a trip down the sea serpent's tongue. You can see a part of the slide in the far right of the photo.

And in true Disney fashion, to give you a feel for just how big the sea serpent is, the tail is way over here in the bushes...
john

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Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 14, 2010

Tiki Gods Are Everywhere At Disney's Polynesian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 14, 2010

You don't have to look very hard to find tiki gods at the Polynesian...they're all over the place. Of course, there are so many things to catch your eye at this resort that it IS easy to miss some of them...I just noticed this one today and it's not exactly hiding in the bushes!

VFPV Poly tiki godblog.JPG

This little fellow is on the right as you head to the pool from the lobby. The rocks in the foreground are from the stream that meanders along the sidewalk...
john

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Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

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j

May 13, 2010

Mount Mickey At Disney's All-Star Sports Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 13, 2010

Disney's All-Star Sports resort has 5 themed sections and where three of them meet you find this statue of Mickey Mouse:

VFPV Mickey at all-star sportsblog.JPG

I'm not sure why, but on the resort map, this is described as Mount Mickey. (sounds more like something you'd see in Fantasmic, if you ask me!)

You can find him at the center of Hoops Hotel, Surf's Up and Center Court...
john

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May 12, 2010

The Grandstand Kids Water Play Area At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 12, 2010

They're at the starting gate...and they're off...

This is the kids play area at one of the quiet pools at Saratoga Springs.



VFPV Saratoga Grandstand kids play areablog.JPG

Saratoga Springs is a Disney Vacation Club resort located between Downtown Disney and Old Key West. It's themed around horse racing and is named after the famous thoroughbred horse racing capital of the same name in upstate New York. The resort is divided into sections and this pool is in the Grandstand section.

Race track starting gates have the name of the race course and numbered slots for each horse just like this one. Of course, they don't have fountains and horse head water cannons at most tracks...
john

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Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

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May 10, 2010

Model Train At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 10, 2010

The real beauty of Old Key West is on the outside with the lush, tropical landscaping. The Hospitality House, which is where you'll find the check-in area as well as Olivia's Cafe and the Gurgling Suitcase, is simple compared to some of the other Disney resorts but it's metal roof and pastel colors are very much in keeping with the Key West look.

VFPV Old Key West trainblog.JPG

There may not be a six story atrium, but Old Key West has a very homey feel and there are lots of items around to remind you of the real Key West. Like this G Guage model train in the check-in lobby. The train is from the Florida East Coast Railway (which still exists) and the bridge is the Long Key Viaduct according to the brass plaque on the glass case.

The FECR built the first railroad bridges to Key West. They have been rebuilt into road bridges for vehicle traffic and are now known as the Overseas Highway....
john

Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 9, 2010

The Smoking Porch At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 9, 2010

We all know that everything is extra-special at Disney's flagship resort, the Grand Floridian...
But just how special is it?
Well, it's so special that even the smoking porch has a great view.

VFPV Grand Floridian smoking porchblog.JPG

Yep, this is a dedicated smoking area at the Grand Floridian. It's on the second floor of the main building. Take the stairs at the right hand side of the lobby and you'll find it...complete with a view of the beach and the Polynesian in the background...
john

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 8, 2010

Crow Warrior Headdress At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 8, 2010

Isn't this American Indian headdress amazing?
It's in a display case in the lobby of Wilderness Lodge.

VFPV wilderness lodge crow warrior headdressblog.JPG

I think you should be able to earn school credit for walking around the lobbies of Disney resorts.There's so much to see and learn.

Wilderness Lodge is one of my favorite resorts anyway. I stop dead in my tracks every time I walk through the door (which is about every day!).

You eyes are immediately drawn toward the ceiling 70 feet above you as you enter this majestic resort.

After you're finished looking up, I suggest having a seat in one of the comfy chairs and just scoping out the neat things on display around the lobby.

The label on this display case says it was inspired by a 19th century Crow warrior headdress. All I can say is that it's a lot more impressive in person. The headdress is in the center rear of the lobby...
john

Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 6, 2010

Antique Truck At Disney's Beach Club: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 6, 2010

Have you ever noticed the antique vehicles around the Walt Disney World Resort?

I won't go as far as to say they're everywhere but there's more than you might think.

You may remember the old Cadillac in front of the Grand Floridian featured in an earlier Everyday Adventure.

Well, here's another one. This old truck is at the Beach Club:

VFPV Beach Club truckblog.JPG

It's an old Chevrolet and it's tucked away in a corner to the right hand side of the lobby entrance to the resort. It's not locked so it's a perfect place for a photo...
john

Disney's Beach Club Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 5, 2010

The "Front" Of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 5, 2010

If you ask me, the animals have the best view of Kidani Village...take a look:

VFPV Kidani frontblog.JPG

I'm willing to bet that a lot of visitors to Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village never see the resort from this angle. The only way to see it (unless you're one of the animals on the savannah) is to go down the steps in the lobby and walk out to the fire pit and turn around and look back at the resort.

Kidani Village is the only Disney resort that you approach from the rear so i'm always a bit confused as to whether this is the back or the front of the resort. Regardless, it's a stunning view!...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 4, 2010

The Mickey Phone At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van May 4, 2010

So, where can you find a forty foot tall Mickey Mouse phone?

Why at Pop Century, of course...right outside the '70's buildings.

VFPV Pop Mickey Phoneblog.JPG

Pop Century is one of Disney's "value" resorts but just because the prices are small doesn't mean anything else is!

There are loads of huge icons like this all around Pop Century, a sprawling complex of ten four-story buildings, with a total of almost 3000 rooms. The buildings represent the last five decades of the 20th century.

This Mickey phone is right outside of building six, which, along with building ten represents the '70's. I think it's worth the time to walk all around Pop just to see what surprises are around every corner...
john


Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

May 3, 2010

Themeing At A Fort Wilderness Bus Stop: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van May 3, 2010

Isn't it amazing how Disney can make something like a bus stop look special?

You probably don't need me to tell you that this bus stop is at Fort Wilderness.

It's right outside the Reception Outpost (one of my very favorite buildings on WDW property...I want to turn it into a bar, but that's another story!)




VFPV Fort Wilderness bus stopblog.JPG

But have a close look at the work that has been done here. The benches are made of huge logs and are unlike any you'll see anywhere else.

And check out the rustic roof on the bus shelter that matches the building in the background. The trash can is themed for Fort Wilderness as is the resort directory.

Don't miss the lamp post in the background and the newspaper and soft drink machines to the left that have been made to blend in as much as vending machines can.

A lot of effort by Disney on really simple things that add up to a great guest experience...
john

The Campground at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 29, 2010

The Frog Band At Lowe's Royal Pacific Resort At Universal Studios: The Everday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 29, 2010

There's a covered bridge at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios that you walk across to get to the hotel lobby from the parking lot.

The bridge spans a stream whose banks are lined with exotic south seas trees and plants.

And, along the bridge itself is a collection of frogs playing musical instruments.

VFPV Royal Pacific frogsblog.JPG

The frogs are only about six inches tall and and each has a different instrument.

The Royal Pacific has 1000 rooms and is one of three hotels Lowes operates at Universal...the others are Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock Hotel...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 28, 2010

Sassagoula River Cruise: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 28, 2010

There are lots and lots of impressive things about Walt Disney World. One of the things that has always amazed me is the transportation infrastructure. Of course, there are the monorails and busses and even a train. But there are also boats...lots of boats.

In addition to the ferries to and from the Magic Kingdom and the EPCOT Friend Ships, there are several fleets that serve some of the WDW resorts. The Sassagoula River Cruise is one of them:

VFPV Sassagoula River cruiseblog.JPG

Here is a map of the "ports" served by the Sassagoula River Cruise ferry service. This photo was taken at the Port Orleans French Quarter dock and you can see two of the ferry boats...one is tied up while the other is just departing.

There are 14 boats in the Sassagoula fleet with names like Cresent City Queen, Delta Lady, Louisiana Lady, Saratoga Queen, Memphis Miss, Azalea Bloom, Magnolia Blossom and Blossom Queen. Each boat seats approximately 30 guests.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 27, 2010

This Building At Disney's Polynesian Resort Has Eyes...And A Nose...And A Mouth: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 27, 2010

My earliest memories of the Polynesian are of catching fleeting glimpses from the monorail as a college student as it was returning from the Magic Kingdom.

A lot of the buildings have colorful designs in the gables and a couple have faces like this one:

VFPV Poly faceblog.JPG

You can't see this face from the monorail, however...it faces the other direction.

It's on the building that houses the Neverland Club. Classic Disney: serious theming with a little fun thrown in...
john

Disney's Polynesian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 25, 2010

Sprucing Up A Goose At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 26, 2010

One of the Disney horticulture crew was busy sprucing up one of the topiary Canada geese at the entrance to Wilderness Lodge very early this morning. They do an amazing job keeping Walt Disney World looking in tip top condition...
john



VFPV Wilderness Lodge gooseblog.JPG

Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 24, 2010

The EL Centro Dome At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van

I'll bet I've been in the lobby of Coronado Springs over a hundred times. As soon as you walk in the door of the El Centro building, there's a fountain that immediately catches your eye.

And I had never bothered to look up...until this morning...and here's what I've been missing:



VFPV Coronado domeblog.JPG

The fountain I now know sits in a rotunda with this amazing dome overhead.

Coronado Springs is one of my favorite resorts. The theming is really a testament to lengths the imagineers will go to enhance guests' experiences.

And now that I've noticed the dome, I've got to put it right up there with Wilderness Lodge and Jambo House as worth a special visit.

And, yes, I was lying on my back on the floor to take this picture...and I still couldn't get it all in the frame...
john

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 23, 2010

Earth Day At Disney's Boardwalk Inn And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 23, 2010

The gang at Boarwalk had a contest for cast members to create something out of recycled materials (in other words, trash) in honor of Earth Day.

The winner was the recreation department with this model of the slide at the Boardwalk Villas pool.

VFPV Boardwalk recyclingblog.JPG

It's made of room keys...very clever! (I know that Earth day was yesterday but I just noticed the display this morning)...
john

Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 22, 2010

Time Capsule At Nickelodeon Family Suites: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 22, 2010

I wonder what that glowing green stuff is inside this time capsule at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort?

VFPV Nickelodeon time capsuleblog.JPG

It looks like slime to me...

This "slime capsule" is located just outside the front entrance to the Nick Hotel as it's more commonly known.

Its located near WDW and has 777 one, two and three bedroom suites. It's won lots of awards for being kid friendly and, yes, they have daily "mass slimings"...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 20, 2010

Bottlebrush Tree At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 20, 2010

I know, I know, it's another tree. But after a really rough winter (for Florida at least) the trees are now blooming with a vengeance.

Take the Bottlebrush tree at Old Key West:




VFPV OKW bottlebrush treeblog.JPG

One look at the bright red blossoms and it's obvious where this tree gets its name.

I don't know whether you can tell from this photo, but the Bottlebrush tree is a fairly unremarkable specimen...but it more than makes up for it in the spring.

This one is located across Peninsular Road from the Hospitality House near building 62. If you've never been to Old Key West, check out the railings around the balcony...
john

Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 19, 2010

More Artwork From Bay Lake Tower At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van April 19, 2010

A little over a month ago, I shared with you some of the artwork in Bay Lake Tower and commented that the art is a major theming tool in the new tower next to the Contemporary. Click here to the earlier post showing the piece on the right hand side of the lobby entrance.

This is the companion piece on the left side of the lobby entrance.

VFPV Bay lake tower artblog.JPG

Like it's mate, it's a six panel photo montage of Cinderella Castle...
john

Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 17, 2010

The Ship's Helm Station At Disney's Yacht Club Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 17, 2010

Have you ever wanted to pilot a sailing yacht?
You can get your chance in the lobby of the Yacht Club.

VFPV Yacht Pilothouseblog.JPG

On the left side of the lobby near the entrance to Captain's Grill (formerly Yacht Club Galley) you'll find this "Mohagany Ship's Helm Station circa 1920"...so, while you're waiting to be seated, grab the wheel, close your eyes and steer your yacht into port...
john

Disney's Yacht Club Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 16, 2010

How Big Is That Pop Century Sign? The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 16, 2010

So, how big is the Pop Century sign? I knew it was big but I don't think I had a full appreciation of just how big until I saw these guys doing some touch-up work this morning...
john

VFPV Pop signblog.JPG

Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 13, 2010

Welcome To The Pepper Market At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 15, 2010

Why is there a rather large pink dog welcoming you to the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs?

VFPV Coronado pepper market Dogblog.JPG

The Pepper Market is the food court at Coronado Springs and is located in the main building, El Centro, at the resort and this little fellow stands right at the entrance. the red peppers you see decorate the gate to the food court. One side is open.

On the assumption that there might be some Mexican symbolism that would explain the use of a pink dog, I asked around and even spoke to the restaurant manager who was from Mexico City.

And, the answer?? She shrugged her shoulders and says she just thought Disney was being cute.

Symbolism aside, he is memorable!...
john

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 10, 2010

Woody At Disney's All-Star Movies Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 10, 2010

It's Woody from Toy Story...
It's a VERY BIG Woody from Toy Story...
It's a 30 foot tall Woody from Toy Story...
...and you can find him at All-Star Movies.

VFPV All-Star Movies Woodyblog.JPG

Disney's All-Star resorts are famous for their huge icons like Woody.

All-Star Movies is divided into five sections themed after different classic Disney films.

Woody, of course, is in the Toy Story section of the resort.

All-Star Movies was the last of the All-Star resorts built and opened in 1999. It has almost 2000 rooms.

Note the toy soldiers standing guard on the roof and the letter blocks to Woody's left that are also from the film...and, speaking of film, the fence around Woody, as well as the balcony railings, look like strips of film.

Just like in the movie, "Andy" is written on the bottom of Woody's boot...
john

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 9, 2010

The Lobby At Shades Of Green On Walt Disney World Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 9, 2010

There's a real hidden gem of a resort at Walt Disney World that you may not even know exists. It's called Shades of Green and this is what the lobby looks like:

vfpv shades lobbyblog.JPG

Shades of Green is something called an Armed Forces Recreation Center owned by the US government to provide R&R for military and Defense Department personnel and their families. It became Shades of Green in 1994 and was expanded in 2004 and now has 586 rooms.

The resort has a very interesting history. It opened as a golf clubhouse in 1971 for the Palm and Magnolia courses across from the Polynesian. You'll note that the lobby still has a bit of a golf clubhouse look. 150 rooms were added in 1973 and it became know as the Golf Resort. An additional 150 rooms were added in 1986 and the resort changed its name to The Disney Inn with a Snow White theme.

Unless you're a golfer or are actually staying at Shades of Green, it's difficult to get a look at the resort You really can't see the building from its entrance near the Polynesian resort, and, as you might imagine, there's a good deal of security at the entrance!...
john

Shades of Green On Walt Disney World Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 7, 2010

Golden Trumpet Tree At Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 7, 2010

One of the things I enjoy most about driving a purple van around WDW is the landscaping. it always looks great. But it's even better if you get to see it every day, season after season.

Take this tree with the yellow blossoms at Caribbean Beach, For just a couple of weeks every spring it looks like this:

VFPV Caribbean beach trumpet treeblog.JPG

It loses its leaves in the winter...but every spring before any leaves come out, there are tons of yellow flowers. The tree is stunning and I think the yellow carpet of flowers underneath is pretty cool, too.

It's called a Tabebuia or Golden Trumpet Tree and it's native to the Caribbean (natch!). There are several areound Caribbean Beach. This one is just to the right as you enter...
john

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 6, 2010

Fantasia At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 6, 2010

This is Fantasia, the gift shop at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

This photo was taken from the 9th floor. The shop itself is on the fourth floor of the Contemporary.

VFPV Contemporary Fantasiablog.JPG

The Contemporary was the first hotel to open at Disney World in 1971 and has about 500 rooms in the main tower. There are an additional 250 rooms in the South Garden Wing. The North Garden Wing was recently replaced by Bay Lake Tower.

Although you check in at ground level, everything else you'd expect to find in a hotel lobby is on the fourth level...including this shop.

One of the things you wouldn't expect to find in a hotel lobby, however, is a monorail.

In the upper left of the photo, you can see monorail gold just entering the building. It is coming from the Magic Kingdom. To its right is the empty track for the monorail service from the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom...
john

Disney's Contemporary Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 5, 2010

Shuttle Launch: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van April 5, 2010

Here are a couple of shots of this morning's shuttle launch taken from the purple van. The first was taken before dawn as the shuttle cleared the trees near the Owner's Locker office:

shuttle 1blog.JPG

click here for a high(er) resolution version of this photo.
This is the exhaust still in a cloudless sky as the sun was coming up...
john


shuttle 2blog.JPG

Click here for a high resolution version of this photo.


The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j.

April 4, 2010

Easter Towel Animals at Disney's Boardwalk Inn And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 4, 2010

Take a look at these cute Easter towel animals that were on display in the lobby of Boardwalk this morning.

VFPV Boardwalk Easterblog.JPG

Happy Easter from your faithful purple van driver!...
john

Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Boardwalk Villas are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 3, 2010

Tools At Boatwright's Dining Hall: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 3, 2010

There are enough woodworking tools on these walls to build a boat.

And that's exactly the point.

They are part of Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

VFPV Boatwright's toolsblog.JPG

The main feature of Boatwright's is a life-sized boat under construction suspended above the dining tables and the tools on the surrounding walls are ones like the craftsmen would have used to construct the vessel

You can see the boat under constrtuction in a prior everyday Adventure by clicking here.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

April 1, 2010

Easter Ostrich Eggs At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van April 1, 2010

When I was delivering Lockers and strollers this morning to Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, I was asked by one of the front desk staff why yesterday's Everyday Adventure featured the Easter eggs at Kidani Village. Jambo House cast members had been decorating ostrich eggs, too, I was informed!

Indeed they have...and here they are:

vfpv jambo eggs blog.JPG

The Jambo House cast has come up with some fantastic designs.

There's an Aladdin-themed egg but the others has more African designs.

The one at the lower left is titled "Egg Kole Cattle" and comes complete with horns and bunny ears.

Like the eggs at Kidani Village, there's a silent auction for these decorated ostrich eggs...minimum bid $25...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 31, 2010

Easter Ostrich Eggs At Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 31, 2010

How about the size of these Easter eggs!?!

Actually, they're ostrich eggs that have been decorated by cast members at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village.

Vfpv kidani eggblog.JPG

I noticed this display in the lobby of Kidani Village this morning. They're a bit hard to see but they are very well done. The egg at the upper left features an Alice in Wonderland theme complete with a tea cup handle while the others have Lion King and African themes. The resort is holding a silent auction for the eggs. The box is on the left is for bids...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 28, 2010

Cinderella And Prince Charming At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 28, 2010

Here's another one of the neat medallions that have recently been installed at in the lobby of the Grand Floridian.

Disney has put an amazing amount of new marble flooring at the Grand Floridian and it's fun to walk around the lobby and check out all of the new additions.



VFPV Grand Floridian marble--cinderellablog.JPG

This one features Cinderella and her Prince Charming. It's at the bottom of the large staircase in front of the elevator doors on the right hand side of the lobby (the side opposite the huge bird cage.)...
john

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 27, 2010

Disney's All-Star Resorts Luggage Cart: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 27, 2010

Only Disney would theme...
...a luggage cart!

At the risk of sounding a bit like a broken record, the attention to detail at Disney resorts never ceases to amaze me. It's like the imagineers wander around trying to find anything that might remind us of the real world and transform it into something that makes us smile.



VFPV All-star luggage cartblog.JPG

There are lots of groups that use the All-Star resorts so I guess they need large luggage carts like this one. But, rather than having the big ugly ones like you see at airports in the very front of a resort, Disney has made their carts look like huge suitcases complete with destination stickers and a handle on top. Just one more little touch that makes Walt Disney World special!
Note the purple van trying to hide behind this one...
john

Disney's All-Star resorts are located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j

March 26, 2010

Railroad Hand Car At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van March 26, 2010

You never know where you'll see a railroad car turn up in Walt Disney World. Walt's fascination with trains shows up in the most unlikely places. This railroad hand car is in the lobby of Wilderness Lodge but it looks like it would fit right it at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, doesn't it?



VFPV Wilderness Lodge hand carblog.JPG

Hand cars like this were often used for maintenance on railroads and were powered by two people pushing and pulling the seesaw-like handles up and down. You can find this one in the left rear of the lobby next to the giant fireplace. Note the Wilderness Lodge bear logo...
john

Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j

March 25, 2010

Elephant Family At Westgate Vacation Villas & Town Center: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 25, 2010

If you've never seen these elephants, I'm not surprised. You won't find them in Walt Disney World at all. They are at Westgate Vacation Villas & Town Center which is just off WDW property near the Animal Kingdom.

vfpv westgate elephantsblog.JPG

Westgate Vacation Villas is a huge timeshare resort with over 2500 units ranging from studios to four bedroom suites. This bronze elephant family is just outside the main check-in facility to the right.
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j

March 24, 2010

Mariachi Band At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 24, 2010

Coronado Springs has a definite Latin flavor. Disney describes it as "Southwest-themed...that evokes the spirit and romance of Spanish-colonial Mexico."
I'm not really sure what that means but this Mariachi Band is from the State of Jalisco in Western Mexico.

VFPV Coronado mariachiblog.JPG

Like the other Disney resorts, the lobby of Coronado Springs is a mini museum. This band model is in a display case of Mexican artwork. When you are standing at the check-in desk, it's just to your right...
john

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j

March 23, 2010

Garden Cottage At Disney's Boardwalk Inn: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 23, 2010

Most of us think of the Boardwalk as a lively, bustling lakeside resort with a clown pool. And we think of the Disney Vacation Club units located there. But that's just one half of the resort--Disney's Boardwalk Villas.

But did you know there's also Disney's Boardwalk Inn...and did you know they have cute garden cottages like this?

VFPV Boardwalk Inn garden cottageblog.JPG

The Boardwalk Inn really is a well kept secret. Some hotel ratings rank it the highest at Walt Disney World.

If you enter the Boardwalk lobby and turn right instead of left, you cross a bridge and things start to get quiet, stately and intimate. Past the elevators are some double doors that open to a large porch with stairs down to courtyard. Suddenly, all of the noise and activity from the Boardwalk are gone and you see little gardens in front of cottage doors with little gates like this one. Charming is the word your looking for.

You can't miss the Mickey above the gate. I also think it's neat that the room number is on the little birdhouse by the gate...
john

Disney's Boardwalk Inn is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers
j

March 22, 2010

The Tooting Stink Bug Sign: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van: March 22, 2010

How can you not smile at this sign with the tooting stink bug?

This sign is advertising the "It's Tough To Be A Bug" attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom and it's located on World Drive just as you exit the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

Then purple van passes this sign at least a couple of times a day and I always smile. Day or night; rain or shine...the stink bug's behind is always releasing these white puffs of...well, you get the idea...
john

VFPV Tough to be a bug signblog.JPG

This tooting stink bug sign is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 20, 2010

Street Lights at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 20, 2010

Ok, this is a street light...and just why am I taking pictures of street lights?

Well, this isn't just any street light...you'll only see it at one resort in all of Walt Disney World.

And that's the point.

Did you know that every resort has its own distinctive street lights? Even if you've never seen this one, it's pretty easy to guess that it's from Fort Wilderness.

VFPV Fort Wilderness lightblog.JPG

And that's why I took the picture this morning. Just like in the parks, Disney adds layer after layer of theming in all of its resorts and the Fort Wilderness street lights are a great example.

I doubt that anyone would have complained if there were "regular" street lights used at the Fort, but I think little touches like this really enhance the experience of being in the Disney resorts...
john

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.

March 19, 2010

The New "Tron" Monorail On The Way To EPCOT: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 19, 2010

As a driver of what you may call a big purple rolling billboard, I naturally have an appreciation for taking advantage of an opportunity for exposure. I mean, the purple van is all over the place every day delivering and picking up Lockers and strollers...so we may as well use the opportunity to show off a bit...

Now, the ultimate vehicle that's all over Walt Disney World day and night plying the highway in the sky has begun taking the opportunity to plug the new Tron movie.

VFPV Tron monorailblog.JPG

The monorails serving EPCOT are sporting a new "wrap" and I noticed the first one this morning as the purple van was headed to the Magic Kingdom Resort area...
john

The Walt Disney World monorail system has 15 miles of "track" and carries 150,000 passengers every day in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 18, 2010

The MarketPlace At Marriott's Cypress Harbour Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van March 18, 2010

No, this isn't a new addition to Old Key West resort...it's the MarketPlace at Marriott's Cypress Harbour Resort.

VFPV Cypress Harbour Marketplaceblog.JPG

The MarketPlace is next to the check-in center and is where you buy all of the resort goodies and groceries you'll need for your stay at Cypress Harbour.

Cypress harbour is Marriott Vacation Club's original resort in Orlando. It's located close to SeaWorld and has about 500 two bedroom units surrounding a lake. Pastel colors, tin roofs, lush landscaping...yes it does look a lot like Old Key West...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 17, 2010

Carriage And Cadillac At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 17, 2010

Talk about kid magnets!

Whenever we would come to the Grand Floridian for dinner (at Narcoosee's or Grand Floridian Cafe) when our kids were growing up, I can guarantee you that this car and carriage would play a role in a picture at some point in the evening.

VFPV Grand Floridian vehiclesblog.JPG

If you think about it, these vehicles from the early 1900's do an excellent job of letting you know what's in store during your visit to the Grand Floridian. They capture the time period with modes of transport that were coming in and going out; they're VERY elegant; and they're white...like just about everything else in the resort. And just to remind you it's the 21st century, they are right under the monorail.

You can find the carriage and Cadillac where the cars pull up outside the lobby...
john

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 15, 2010

Mowgli And Baloo At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 15, 2010

Where can you find a 35 foot tall Baloo?

At Disney's Pop Century Resort, of course...

VFPV Pop Balooblog.JPG

Pop Century is a huge resort by anyone's definition. At almost 3000 rooms, it's one of the largest resorts in the U.S. It's divided into 5 sections which represent the last 5 decades of the 20th century. Pop Century is known for it's huge icons and Mowgli and Baloo are in the 1960's section of the resort.

They're from the Disney animated feature, the Jungle Book, which was released in 1967...
john

Disney's Pop Century Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 12, 2010

Lobby Fountain At The Walt Disney World Swan: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 12, 2010

This swan fountain is loacted in the lobby of...you guessed it...the Walt Disney World Swan...

VFPV Swan Fountainblog.JPG

The Swan, and its sister hotel the Dolphin, are located on Disney Property but are not owned or operated by Disney.

Both were designed by architect Michael Graves and are described as "entertainment architecture." The Swan has 756 rooms and is located between Boardwalk and the Yacht Club.

The interior design of the Swan is definitely worth a side trip as you're walking along the Boardwalk It's hard to miss...there are two 47 foot swan statues on top...
john

The Walt Disney World Swan is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 11, 2010

Animal Carvings At Disney's Villas At Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 11, 2010

The lobby at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge is a real gem. The main lobby at Wilderness Lodge is immense. And, while the lobby at the Villas is small by comparison...it's almost intimate...it's loaded with great details and theming.

VFPV VWL beaverblog.JPG

It feels like a rather large log cabin and everywhere you turn, there's something interesting to been seen...like these animal carvings on the end of the logs in the lobby structure.

The beaver, hawk and mice are just some of the carvings...there are lots more.

The Villas were added to Wilderness lodge in 2000. There are 136 units in this Disney Vacation Club resort.

To get to the lobby, exit from the right rear of the main Wilderness Lodge lobby and wind your way down a covered walkway. It's well worth a visit...
john

Disney's Villas at Wilderness Lodge is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 9, 2010

Artwork At Bay Lake Tower At Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 9, 2010

Bay Lake Tower is the latest Disney Vacation Club resort. Sitting next to Disney's first resort, the Contemporary, this 16 story curved building would not look our of place in New York or London.

VFPV Bay Lake artblog.JPG

It's shiny and sleek and looks, well...contemporary. If the Polynesian looks South Seas, Bay Lake Tower looks modern. Where you see Disney touches is in the artwork, like the piece you see here...a daytime/nightime, color/black and white photo of Cinderella castle.

It's to your right as you walk in the doors to the lobby.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 7, 2010

The Princess Half Marathon: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 7, 2010

...and not a boy in sight!

the Princess Half Marathon was run this morning. Here are some of the runners heading toward EPCOT from the Magic Kingdom...
john

VFPV Princess Marathon1blog.JPG

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 6, 2010

The Windmill At Stormalong Bay: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 6, 2010

The windmill you see here is from Stormalong Bay, the amazing, one-of-a-kind pool/waterpark/themepark shared by Disney's Beach and Yacht Club resorts.

VFPV Stormalong Bay windmillblog.JPG

This is the first pool-related pic I've been brave enough to share with the recent cold weather we've been experiencing.

It was still a bit chilly to be swimming today but it's a beautiful, sunny day and they say it is finally going to start warming up. Let's hope...
john

Stormalong Bay is the pool shared by Disney's Yacht Club Resort and Disney's Beach Club Resort and Villas. It is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 5, 2010

The Time Capsule At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 5, 2010

The Everyday Adventures is all about things that catch my eye as the purple van makes its daily rounds to resorts. Today's adventure is a bit different...this didn't catch my eye at all...I had to go looking for it!

I had heard that there was a time capsule in Jambo House. I was even told that it was in the Sunset Lounge, one of my favorite hideaways. I still had never noticed it. So this morning, I was on a bit of a mission and I've got to say that if it weren't for the small black plaque, I'd still be looking!



VFPV Jambo time capsuleblog.JPG


The plaque reads:
"We the original cast of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge take pride in our contributions to this unique resort. Enclosed in this capsule, to be unearthed on April 16, 2011, are mementos on the creation and opening of a resort new in concept and design, dedicated to the celebration of the earth, its animals, and the spirit of Africa."

Well, it's not exactly buried...it's in a locked cabinet on the right had side of the Sunset Lounge. To get there, head to the left rear of the lobby in Jambo House.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 4, 2010

The Drawing Room At Disney's Beach Club Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 4, 2010

Here's another great hideaway many people don't take the time to notice. It's called the Drawing Room and it's part of Disney's Beach Club Villas.

The Beach Club (and Villas) were designed by architect Robert Stern to have a turn of the century look and the Victorian doll house in the glass case fits right in with this theming.



VFPV Beach Drawing Room blog.jpg

The Villas are a 200 unit addition to The Beach Club that were added in 2002 by Disney Vacation Club. Guests use the Beach Club front desk to check in but there is a separate lobby for the Villas. The Drawing Room you see here is off of that lobby...
john

Disney's Beach Club Villas is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 3, 2010

Goalie Goofy At Disney's All-Star Movies Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 3, 2010

Here's Goalie Goofy ready to block a shot at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort. (I won't make any ice jokes but you'll note that there's no one in the pool and it wasn't exactly sunny today!)

VFPV Goalie Goofyblog.JPG

This is the small pool, known as the Duck Pond, at All-Star Movies. It's located in the Mighty Ducks section of the resort.

The All-Star resort complex is located behind Blizzard Beach and is made up of All-Star Sports, All-Star Music and All-Star Movies. Each of these resorts has over 1900 rooms.
All Star-Movies is divided intwo five themed areas: Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Fantasia, The Love Bug and The Mighty Ducks...
john

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 2, 2010

Waterfalls In The Walt Disney World Dolphin: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 2, 2010

There are waterfalls in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Dolphin. On either side, just as you walk in. You might not notice them as the giant dolphin fountain that's in the center of the lobby catches your eye. You can see a couple of them here behind the columns.

VFPV Dolphin waterfallblog.jpg

Even if you're not staying there, stop by the Dolphin and take the time to enjoy this part of the lobby..and don't forget to look up at the blue sky with stars (you can just make them out at the top of this photo).

The Dolphin and its sister hotel, the Walt Disney World Swan are managed by Starwood and are great examples of "entertainment architecture" by famed architect Michael Graves. They are located between Disney's Boardwalk and Yacht Club resorts.

The Walt Disney World Dolphin is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

March 1, 2010

Mardi Gras Float Lady At Disney's Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van March 1, 2010

In case you weren't in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, this will give you a taste of what you missed...

It's a figure like the ones you would see in the Mardi Gras parades.

VFPV French Quarter ladyblog.JPG

This is one of the huge props you'll find hanging from the ceiling at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, the food court at Disney's Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter...where they celebrate Mardi Gras all year long.

When it came time to theme the food court, the Disney imagineres wanted the place to look like one of the warehouses where floats are assembled for the many parades each year in New Orleans held during the period leading up the the day before lent starts---Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. I must say that it sounds better in French!

If you look at photos of Mardi gras parades, you see that lots of the floats have figures similar to this one.

Apparently, some of the figures hanging in the food court actually came from New Orleans and were used in parade floats...
john

Disney's Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 27, 2010

Mickey's Golf Cart: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 27, 2010

If Mickey Mouse had a golf cart, I guess this is what it would look like...

VFPV Mickey golf cartblog.JPG

I took a break from driving the purple van today to have lunch at the Sand Trap Bar and Grill at Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course and look at what was parked in front of the clubhouse.

I've been there several times and have never seen it before so i don't know how long it will be parked out front.

Osprey Ridge is located next to Fort Wilderness. The Sand Trap Grill is a great lunch place, by the way!...
john

Disney's Osprey ridge Golf Course is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 26, 2010

Tea With Mrs. Potts At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 26, 2010

Disney has been installing lots of marble in the lobby of their flagship Grand Floridian Resort...including this rendering of Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast.

How appropriate that Mrs. Potts is at the entrance to the Garden View Lounge where afternoon tea is served...

VFPV GF Mrs. Pottsblog.JPG

You can find the Garden View Lounge and Mrs. Potts at the very rear of the lobby at the Grand Floridian in the center. But take your time and look down. There are lots of panels in the new floor that feature characters. Some, like this one, are obvious. Others you'll have to look for...but that makes it fun...
john

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 24, 2010

"Welcome Home" Lights At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van February 24, 2010

The proverb on the wall reads:

"One who goes back to his home
does not consider the night too dark.
He knows his way" -Uganda

This light standard is just inside the door of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village.



VFPV Kidani light standardblog.JPG

Kidani Village is a new Disney Vacation Club resort and I think this saying from Uganda is an interesting twist to the usual "welcome home" you see at DVC resorts.

Though it looks like a candelabra that would be on a table, this light standard sits on the floor and is about five feet tall. It's one of a matching pair that flank the entrance to Kidani. The lights are covered with mesh that makes them look like candles. And, don't miss the tiny African figure wearing a ceremonial hat.

The saying about darkness is one of over 200 African proverbs that you'll see around the resort. After each is the African country it came from. They don't jump out at you but once you start looking for them, you'll find them around every corner.

You can't see it in this photo, but each proverb also has a small brass butterfly stuck to the wall which makes them easier to find...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 21, 2010

Mail Box At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van February 21, 2010

Only Disney would theme a mail box...

VFPV Jambo mailboxblog.JPG

And when the imagineers do it, they do it right. Take this mail box at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House with the hungry hippo ready to take your letter.

One of Disney's hallmarks is to have so many layers of theming that you'll always be able to notice something new no matter how many times you visit. We know they do it in the parks. But the same thing happens at the resorts and this mail box is an excellent example.

You really have to look for the hippo mail box. It's in the left rear of the lobby just as you head into the kudu trail of rooms.

Recently, someone asked me if I thought that I would run out of things to include in the Everyday Adventures...I don't think so!
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 20, 2010

34 Star Flag In The Territory Lounge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 20, 2010

Yep, this flag looks a bit funny.
If you think it is missing a few stars, you're right...
...instead of having 50, it has only 34 stars...

VFPV Territory flagblog.JPG

The small brass plaque in the lower right had corners says it's from 1861...and it looks it!

This flag is hanging in the Territory Lounge at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. If you go to the left rear of the lobby, behind the huge fireplace, and head toward the restaurant, Artist Point, it will be on your left.

The Territory Lounge is my favorite bar at Walt Disney World...but that's another adventure for another day...
john

Disney's Wilderness Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 19, 2010

The Lighthouse Sweetery At Marriott's Grande Vista Resort: the Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 19, 2010

Here's a lighthouse you may not have seen...it's at Marriott's Grande Vista Resort near SeaWorld...

...and it serves ice cream!

VFPV Grande Vista lighthouseblog.JPG

Grande Vista is Marriott's largest resort in the Orlando attractions area with over 1600 rooms. A series of 5 and 6 story buildings are clustered around a large lake and golf course.

The Lighthouse Sweetery is a candy and ice cream shop near the main clubhouse...
john


click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 18, 2010

Pineappleas At Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 18, 2010

Why is there a pineapple on top of this column at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort?

And this isn't the only one...once you start looking for them, you'll find pineapples everywhere around the resort.

VFPV CBR pineappleblog.JPG

Pineapples were widely grown by the Carib Indians and were noticed by Columbus in one of his voyages. They became a prized delicacy in Europe and later in America and began to be featured in displays on dining room tables.

Gradually, the pineapple became a symbol of friendship and hospitality used by architects. And that's what you see all over Caribbean Beach Resort...the pineapple a subtle way of saying "welcome'.

Click here for a link to a fun history of the pineapple in the Caribbean...
john

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 17, 2010

Minnie Mouse Welcomes You To Walt Disney World: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 17, 2010

I'll bet you recognize this one...it's Minnie Mouse welcoming you to Walt Disney World.

Minnies like this one stand at each entrance to Walt Disney World. This one is on World Drive...the road thae ends at the Magic Kingdom entrance.

VFPV Minnie entranceblog.JPG

I don't know about you, but our kids were always excited to pass through an entrance like this. It was the proof that they needed that they were back in Disney. I smile each time I drive through one of these entrances because I remember my daughters counting down as we approached...10...9...8...7...6...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 15, 2010

Parterre Place At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 15, 2010

Come on...tell the truth...how many of you would recognize this as a Disney Resort?
It's Parterre Place at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside.

VFPV Riverside parterreblog.JPG

Riverside is the larger of the Port Orleans resorts and has a little over 2000 rooms divided into two main sections: Alligator Bayou--which is rustic and Magnolia Bend which is made up of majestic buildings like this one.

Parterre Place is one of four huge manor houses in the Magnolia Bend area or "parish."
Each has about 250 rooms. As you drive into Riverside, you can see Parterre Place and its fountain off to your right.

A "parterre" is a formal garden usually associated with a large manor house...it looks like Parterre Place is appropriately named!...
john

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 14, 2010

Drive-Thru Check-In At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort And Campground: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 14, 2010

OK,how many resorts allow you to check-in without leaving your vehicle?

There's only one that I know of: Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

VFPV Ft Wildreness checkinblog.JPG

In fact there's even a sign asking that you NOT get out of your vehicle!

This is the Reception Outpost at Fort Wilderness and this is where folks in campers and other recreational vehicles check-in.

It's hard not the like the outstanding theming at Fort Wilderness. Look closely at the amazing detail of the Reception Outpost and make sure you check out the high clearance for big RV's!

(There is a separate check-in area for the cabins where you do have to get out of your car.)...
john


Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 11, 2010

A Nautical Theme At Disney's Old Key West Resort? The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 13, 2010

This glass case contains the menu for Olivia's at Disney's Old Key West Resort. It sits atop posts from a pier and is flanked by a ship's telegraph and wheel.

VFPV Olivia's menublog.JPG

I've got to say that I've never understood quite what these items have to do with Olivia's or Old Key West.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Old Key West. The buildings with tin roofs and the lush landscaping definitely have a Key West feel. But there are a lot of things like this that seem a bit random...but maybe that's just the Key West look...
john

Disney's Old Key West Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

The Fire Pit At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 11, 2010

A warm fire pit might seem like the last thing you'd want in hot, steamy Florida...
But when it's 37 degrees outside...like it was this morning...it can be pretty inviting...

VFPV Jambo fire pitblog.JPG

This is the fire pit just outside of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House lobby, which you can see in the background. In the evenings, this area is used for story telling around the fire. The fire usually isn't lit during the day...but it was this morning And you can just make out a mom and her trying to stay warm today.

To get to the fire pit, just head to the back of the Jambo House lobby and go down the steps that lead to the Arusha savannah. It's just on your right...
john

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 9, 2010

The Murals in Disney's Contemporary Resort: The Everyday Advenures Of The Purple Van February 9, 2010

Way back in the dark ages of 1971, there was a new hotel that opened along with Walt Disney World called Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Burdened with the obligation to look...well..."contemporary", the hotel was always in a race to be cutting edge and has gone through transformation after transformation. Over the years every surface inside the Contemporary has changed at least once...except the ceramic murals.



VFPV Contemporary muralblog.JPG

This mural of ceramic tiles is one of several that begin on the fourth floor of the Contemporary and extend 90 feet up in what was originally called the Grand Canyon Concourse. The Pueblo Indian theme fit in well at the tme.

The mural was created by Disney Imagineer Mary Blair who was also the person who designed the "look" of Small World (see the resemblance?).

The murals may not seem too "contemporary" these days, but I'm glad they're still there...
john

Disney's Contemporary Resort is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 8, 2010

Referee's Whistle At Disney's All-Star Sports Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van February 8, 2010

In case you are wondering, this giant red thing is a referee's whistle that is part of the theming at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort.

VFPV sports whistleblog.JPG

The barrel of the whistle is "see through" and you can see the not so little brown ball inside that you'd have to peek through the slot of a real whistle to see.

The All-Star Resorts feature huge icons like this whistle and I think it's fun to walk around them...you never know what you might seen when you round a corner.

To get a feel for its size, the building itself is about 30 feet tall and those basketballs are three feet in diameter.

In earlier posts, we've featured a larger than life Mickey sorcerer hat from the All-Star Movies Resort and jazz drum set from the All-star Music Resort.

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort is a "value" resort and consists of apprioximately 1900 rooms and is divided into 5 sections. You can find this referee's whistle in the Hoops Hotel section. All-Star Sports is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 5, 2010

Mickey Mouse Racing Silks At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort And Spa: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van February 5, 2010

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is named after the horse racing town in upstate New York of the same name...and you'll find references to thoroughbred horse racing all around the resort.

The table service restaurant at Saratoga Springs is called the Turf Club...and the hallway leading back to the restaurant is lined with framed racing silks like this one.

VFPV Saratoga Mickey Silksblog.JPG

Since medieval times, riders in horse races have been identified by their colorful outfits...which were originally made of silk. Racing stables still choose special colors and now have special satin racing jackets designed for jockeys to wear when riding their horses.

So, if Disney had a racing stable, I guess this is what their racing silks would look like.

You can find these racing silks and several others in the Carriage House at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort...just follow the signs to the Turf Club restaurant...
john

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is located in Walt Disney World.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 3, 2010

The Krewe Of Port Orleans At Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van February 4, 2010

Port Orleans French Quarter has lots of references to New Orleans...and to Mardi Gras...like this jester guarding the rear entrance to the lobby.

VFPV French Quarter rearblog.JPG

On either side of this jolly fellow are sides of a coin...one with Bacchus labeled Port Orleans and the other side with a jester noting the year French Quarter opened (1991) labeled Krewe of Port Orleans. Krewes are the masking and parading clubs for which New Orleans is famous.

You might also note that there is no reference to "French Quarter"---the name that was later added to this resort...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

February 2, 2010

Lanterns At The Entrance To Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van February 2, 2010

There's lots to like about Kidani Village, the new Disney Vacation Club addition to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This wall of niches with lanterns is at the entrance of Kidani and I think sets the tone of what you'll find inside.

VFPV Kidani lanternsblog.JPG

While the main Animal Kingdom Lodge, now called Jambo House, is huge and majestic, Kidani is more intimate.

The wall looks like it's made of mud and has an informal, comfortable feel to it.

It's a great preview of what you'll find as you head into the lobby.

The new Kidani Village is a bit out of the way, but it's worth the trip just to see how well it is themed...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 31, 2010

A Video Tour Of Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 31, 2010


Today's Everyday Adventures is something different...it's a video.

My friend, Rick Howard, asked if he could ride along with me in the purple van and do a video version of The Everyday Adventures at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

I prefer to be on the other side of the camera but said OK for this one...



twr-2-600.gif

So, if you're interested in seeing a moving version of the Everyday Adventures, hang on to you hats and glasses....and click HERE...
john

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 30, 2010

New ESPN Wide World Of Sports Sign: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 30, 2010

Next month, Disney's Wide World Of Sports will become ESPN Wide World Of Sports.

The transistion has begun...here's the main sign at the entrance...
john

VFPV ESPN Signblog.JPG

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 29, 2010

World Premier Food Court At Disney's All-Star Movies Resort the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 29, 2010

Remember the days when movie theaters weren't inside malls? They used to feature these great marquees that listed the movies that were showing...and there were lights...lots of lights.

Lights all over the sign and underneath the marquee. It made going into a movie theater exciting.

Well that's the look imagineers were going for at the World Premier food court at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.

VFPV Movies food courtblog.JPG

Each of the food stations has a name you used to see on movie theaters...the Grand, the Roxy, The Rialto, etc. One of the signs even has the movable letters.
And, the ceiling is full of lights just like an entrance to a movie theater in the good old days. The only thing missing is the searchlights...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 28, 2010

A Walt Disney World Monorail Work Tractor: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 28, 2010

Now here's something you don't see very often...one of the Walt Disney World monorail work tractors...
In fact, as much as the purple van cruises around WDW, I had never seen one of these vehicles until today.

VFPV Monorail work tractorblog.JPG

It turns out that there are three of these monorail work tractors and they are, in effect, tow trucks, used to bring monorails experiencing problems back to the maintenance area. They are diesel powered so they can operate even if the electric monoral system loses power.

Monorail work tractor 3 was heading to EPCOT this morning...whether it was routine maintence or a monorail needed a tow, I'm not sure...
john


click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 27, 2010

Disney's Boardwalk At Night: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 27, 2010

There are lots of neat things about Disney's Boardwalk and the hotels and restaurants built around it.

One of my favorites is the reflection of the Boardwalk in Crescent Lake. The stretch of buildings from ESPN to Atlantic Dance are close to the water which means they are always reflected in the lake. Beautiful in the daylight; but completely different after dark.

At night, the lights along the Boardwalk and on the buildings really have a special effect.

VFPV Boardwalk at nightblog.JPG

This view is from the Boardwalk behind Disney's Beach Club...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 24, 2010

Early Walt Disney World Memorabilia At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 24, 2010

Ever wonder what the front page of the Orlando Seninel looked like on the opening day of Walt Disney World?

Have you seen the matchbook covers from the original Walt Disney World resorts?

Do you remember the Look and Life Magazines cover stories about WDW?

How about an early "doggie bag" from one of the Disney restaurants?

All you have to do is stroll through the lobby at Disney's Pop Century Resort and you'll see all of these things along with tons of other memorabilia of the last half of the 20th century...it's like a mini-Smithsonian.

VFPV Pop WDWblog.JPG

Nobody themes a hotel lobby like Disney and Pop century is no exception. It's a bit of a shame that most of us think of hotel lobbies as a place to quickly pass through at the beginning and end of our vacation. The Disney resort lobbies are true destinations and are well worth the time to linger and check things out.

By all means, head over to Pop Century and relive your childhood on the wall with a timeline from 1950 t0 2000.

The photo you see here is in the 1970's section of the wall...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 23, 2010

The Elephant Hotel At Disney's Boardwalk Inn And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 23, 2010

Why is there an elephant above this fireplace at Boardwalk?
And why does he have windows in his tummy?



VFPV Boardwalk elephantblog.JPG

The theme of Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas is Coney Island and there are lots of references to carnival rides and "entertainment architecture."

This elephant is a model of an actual elephant hotel, the "Colossal Elephant," that was built in Coney Island in early 1900's. A small plaque on the wall notes that is was 150 feet long and 15 stories tall. The legs enclosed circular staircases that took you to the 43 rooms!

The fireplace and elephant are in the lobby of Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas and are to your right if you are standing at the check-counter...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 21, 2010

Beach Umbrellas At Cape May Cafe At Disney's Beach Club Resort And Villas: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 21, 2010

There's a walkway that runs between The Beach Club and The Yacht Club that seems to go on forever...part of it is even outside. But it's a very scenic journey.
These colorful beach umbrellas are one of the sights you'll see...




VFPV Cape May Umbrellasblog.JPG

They belong to Cape May Cafe, a breakfast and dinner character buffet spot in the Beach Club.

The hallway is in the rear of the hotels and starts right behind Cape May and heads toward The Yacht Club lobby passing other restaurants and Stormalong Bay on the way.

I've always been particularly fond of these umbrellas...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 20, 2010

The Pirate Ship At Lake Buena Vista Resort Village: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 20, 2010

If you're going to open up a resort in the Orlando attractions area, a feature pool is a necessity if you want to compete with Walt Disney World.

Something like this will do:

VFPV Lake buena Vista resort poolblog.JPG

This pool with the pirate ship belongs to the new lake Buena Vista Resort Village located near the intersection of the 417 and 535. It's a new condo hotel complex made up of suites up to four bedrooms...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 17, 2010

The Fireplace In The Lobby Of Disney's Villas At Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 17, 2009

Does this setting look cozy or what?
It's the lobby of Disney's Villas at Wilderness Lodge.



VFPV VWL fireplaceblog.JPG

The Villas are 180 Disney Vacation Club units that were added onto Wilderness Lodge in 2000. Guests check in at Wilderness Lodge and then head down a covered walkway at the right rear of the lobby. The Villas has its own four story lobby that you see here. Lots of wood and stone and this fantastic fireplace. You can also notice some of the animals that have been carved into the wooden logs...but that's another adventure for another day.
j

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 16, 2010

The Star Lantern Hallway At Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 16, 2010

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is one of my favorites for spectacular theming. The lobby building, El Centro, in particular is worth a visit just to walk around.

This hallway with the neat star lanterns leads off of the main lobby to the bar, Cafe Rix, the Pepper Market food court and Maya Grill at the end...
john



VFPV Coronado star lanternsblog.JPG

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 15, 2010

Family Album At Disney's Old Key West Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 16, 2010

Maybe it's because there's a picture of three of my daughters taken in 1994 up there, but I just love these photos of Disney Vacation Club families at Disney's Old Key West Resort.

VFPV OKW Family Albumblog.JPG

When DVC first started in the early 1990's, what's now called Old Key West was the only Disney Vacation Club Resort. And to say that it was homey is an understatement. All you had to do to get you picture on the wall was to mail one in and they'd frame it and add it to the collection. It was fun to enjoy looking at all of the photos while eating at Olivia's.

That was then. Now DVC is much bigger an they're not adding any more photos. In fact, they took a lot down a few years ago when they repainted the walls. A shame.

These photos are in the lobby area just outside the entrance to Olivia's...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 14, 2010

Recovering From The Cold Snap: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January, 14, 2010

Well, the recent cold snap is over and the horticulture crews were fanning out across Walt Disney World today to address the damage caused by almost a week of subfreezing temperatures at night.

As I was coming out of Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort this morning, the landscape crew was cutting back these severely damaged tiboucina (or princess flower) trees.

I love the landscaping at the Disney resorts...particularly the lush plants at Caribbean Beach. And, these trees in particular are some of my favorites. The usually have dark green leaves which are now crispy brown and are often colored in bright purple flowers.

VFPV Caribbean freeze damageblog.JPG

I guess it's good news that the trees are just being severely cut back instead of being removed entirely like the banana trees. Hopefully, in the next few weeks we'll see them return to their purple glory...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 13, 2010

A Carved Wood Panel At Disney's Polynesian Resort: the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van January 13, 2010

If you were familiar with Disney's Polynesian Resort, and I asked you where I would find a seven by eight foot carved wooden panel in the lobby (with a face sticking its tongue out no less!), I'll bet you would say that I must be mistaken...

But you'd be wrong...and here it is:

VFPV Poly wood carvingblog1.JPG

The lobby at the Polynesian is dominated by waterfalls and lush plants along with the check in area and shops.

But it also has some beautiful artifacts from the South Pacific...like this panel. Look closely...can you see the face?
I wish I could tell you more about its origin but I haven't been able to dig anything up yet...maybe you can help?

Oh, and if you'd like to see this panel in person, it's on the ground floor of the lobby right next to the elevator. And, if you're like me and never use the elevator, it's on the right hand side of the lobby...
john


click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 9, 2010

Disney Half Marathon 2010: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 9, 2010

It was not a warm and pleasant morning for the Walt Disney World half marathon today...
It was cold, wet, raining and sleeting. The temperature was in the low 30's
Check out the warm gear many of these folks were wearing this morning...



VFPV Marathon2010blog.JPG

It was also wasn't the best of mornings to be driving a purple van. This photo was taken from World Drive heading toward the Magic Kingdom--which was pretty much a parking lot. And notice how brown the grass is in the median. That's the result of the cold snap we've been experiencing...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 8, 2010

Disney's All-Star Jazz Band Drums: The Everyday Adventurs Of The Purple Van January 8, 2010

When it comes to Disney's All-Star Resorts...you need to think BIG...REALLY BIG. Take this drum set...they're slightly large than life size. In fact, they're 40 feet tall. But they certainly help you find the Jazz Inn section of Disney's All-Star Music Resort.

VFPV All-Star Music Jazz Innblog.JPG

Each All-Star Resort (Sports.Music and Movies) has 1600 rooms. And, each resort is divided into five areas.

At All-Star Music, these sectons, are Broadway, Calypso, Country Fair, Rock Inn and the one you see pictured here: Jazz Inn.

I like walking around the All-Star resorts...it seems like every time you turn a corner, you run into something like this. It's like a gigantic stage set.

You can get a feel for the size of these drums by noticing the railings on the floors of the buildings on either side...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 6, 2010

Grand Canyon Rock Display At Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 6, 2010

This is no ordinary box of rocks. It's a display detailing the different types of rocks and minerals found in the Grand Canyon.

The huge fireplace in the lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge...the base of which you can see in the background...goes from the floor of the lobby up over 60 feet to the roof.

Disney's imagineers have crafted the fireplace to simulate the layers of rock that you would see in the Grand Canyon and the rocks in this display case provide more detail.

You can see a diagram of the fireplace on the left side of the case.

VFPV Wilderness lodge rocksblog.JPG

The fireplace itself is rather hard to miss...it's in the left rear of the lobby as you walk in. This display case is just to the right...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 5, 2010

Antelope Scupltures In The Jambo House Museum: the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van Jan 5, 2010

You probably don't think of the Walt Disney World resorts as museums...but in many ways they are.

OK, maybe museum is too strong a word..how about a gallery?

Whichever word you prefer, the lobbies of the Disney's resorts contain an amazing amount of really interesting stuff.

Take these antelopes in the lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House...

VFPV Jambo antelopesblog.JPG

This pair of antelope sculptures has always caught my eye. They're right inside the door, just to your right. You can see the entrance to the Jambo House shop in the background.

For most of us, lobbies are just places to pass through...but slow down the next time you're in Jambo House...or make a special trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge...and just check out all of the neat things on the walls and in display cases...it's well worth your time...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 4, 2010

The Sassagoula Water Taxi At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van


The sign reads "Sassagoula Steamboat Company"...but it's really the entrance to the water taxi at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside which serves Downtown Disney, Saratoga Springs and Old Key West in addition to the Port Orleans resorts.

Followers of these Everyday Adventures known how much I go on about the fantastic theming at Port Orleans and here's one more example of why I think these resorts are so special.

VFPV Riverside ferryblog.JPG

With the building, the water towers and the landscaping, this could well be the entrance to an attraction in one of the parks. But it's just another example of how the imagineers have made something simple...in this case a boat dock...look beyond special.

I've said it before...the Port Orleans Resorts (Riverside and French Quarter) are worth a visit just to walk around. Stop by for a meal or a drink and take plenty of extra time to soak up the atmosphere...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van--Holiday Edition is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 3, 2010

A Carriage At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort And Spa: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa has lots of references to horses and thoroughbred horse racing...which makes sense as it is themed after the horse racing capital with the same name in upstate New York.

The check-in building is known as the Carriage House and this equine conveyance sits right outside the front door.



VFPV Saratoga carriageblog.JPG

With over 800 rooms,Saratoga Springs is the largest of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts. It is located on Lake Buena Vista across from Downtown Disney.

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van--Holiday Edition is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

January 2, 2010

A Rather Large Cell Phone At Disney's Pop Century Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van January 2, 2010

Now that we have completed the Holiday Edition of The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van...it's back to business...

Our first stop for 2010 is Disney's Pop Century Resort which is where you'll find huge icons like this 50 foot tall cell phone.

Pop Century is one of the largest hotel complexes in the U.S. and has almost 3000 rooms. So large landmarks like this are very helpful navigation tools!



VFPV Pop Cell phoneblog.JPG

Pop is one of Disney's "value" resorts and is themed around the last five decades of the 20th century. This cell phone lets guests know that these rooms are in the 90's section. To get an idea of its size, the rollerblade is about 10 feet tall.

Believe it or not, there are several of these phones, and in true Disney fashion, each is displaying a different message...this one features the phone number for Disney Dining...
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.

The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van--Holiday Edition is brought to you by Owner's Locker and Magic Strollers.
j

November 13, 2009

The Other DVC Tower: The Everyday Adventures Of The Purple Van November 13, 2009


It's hard to miss this tower at the intersection Of Buena Vista Drive and Bonnet Creek Parkway advertising Disney Vacation Club.

VFPV DVC Towerblog.JPG

Believe it or not, when it was first installed, you needed it to find what is now called Disney's Old Key West Resort! OKW was called Disney Vacation Club in the old days and, when it opened in 1991 there wasn't much else in the area. Downtown Disney was a much smaller Walt Disney World Village and there was no Bonnet Creek Resort. The DVC Tower was sort of out in the middle of nowhere! And, with Old Key West pretty much hidden by trees, this was a handy landmark of where to turn!
john

click here for a high resolution version of this photo.
j

November 11, 2009

Wendy White Cougar At Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort: The Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van November 11, 2009


When I was passing through the lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge this morning, I had to check out what everyone was looking at. And I've got to say that the American Indian describing jewelry, animal skins and antlers today fit in perfectly at Wilderness Lodge. This is Wendy White Cougar.

VFPV Native American heritageblog.JPG

She is part of the Native American Heritage Celebration, a week-long series of activities in the lobby of Wilderness Lodge. She was describing some amazing artifacts to a very appreciative audience.
Just one more reason to stop by Wilderness Lodge Resort if you're in Walt Disney World in the next few days.
john

Click here for a high resolution version of this photo.
j

August 1, 2009

The Roller Coaster In The Lobby Of Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas: the Everyday Adventures Of the Purple Van August 1, 2009

Nope; it's not a real roller coaster. I don't even think the Disney imagineers would try that one!

It's a miniature model on display in the lobby of Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas in a plastic case..

VFPV Boradwalk rollercoasterblog.JPG

I'm sure there is additional information about this model somewhere but I certainly can't provide any details.
I always notice it as I head out of the luggage room and through the operations department where we leave notations for our Members' reservations letting them know that their Locker has arrived.

I can say that it does not look new!

But you know, the Disney Resorts are so chock full of stuff like this, you almost wish there was a guide book or audio guide like you see in museums so you could appreciate the incredible items on display.

To see the model roller coaster, just look to your left when you enter the Boardwalk lobby. It's near the fireplace.

john

click here for a higher resolution version of this picture.
j

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