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Vinylmations on eBay

Posted by Ashley Rae on June 9, 2012

This post is short and sweet.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am selling what is left of my Vinylmations on eBay.  If you look up account ARFischer12889 you can see what’s there.

I also have other if they are not up right now.

The ones I have are from Park Series 1-3, Urban 1, and Toy Story.  Along with some Nightmare Befor Christmas’.


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Sorceress’ Guide to the Magic – Weekly Spell Casting

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 4, 2012

With Jeremy returning to work and my hours increasing, we have had less time to venture to the Parks this week.  Luckily, with the assistance of friends, our cards collection continues to grow.

We are now two cards short for our collection.  We are still on the lookout for Nib’s Neverland Assault & Simba’s Roar.  I try not to think about the 61+ cards since they are no longer available.

I’ve learned two helpful things over the past few weeks –  First, you can receive cards with just your park pass. (I left my key cards the one day.)  They were willing to give me a new key.

Second –  we ripped apart one of the key cards and found that Confidex is the maker of the tracking system.  According to their Website –

“Confidex is the world’s leading supplier of high-performing contactless ticketing and RFID tag solutions and services to make supply chains, transactions and authentication of goods and people more efficient and secure. Today, we are innovating and exploring with our customers how our solutions can help people and companies to address their problems and challenges by fusing strong combination of RFID tag design competence, RF engineering and customization to manufacturing experience.”

This is how the key cards are tracking game play throughout the park.  I wonder if the “xPass” creation will hold a similar technology.

* Ashley

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Sorceress’ Guide to the Magic – Day 7

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 3, 2012

After a full week of wizardry, I successfully leveled up.  What does this mean?  I’m not entirely sure, since I’ve yet to play any levels as an experienced sorceress.

Today we battled, and defeated, Ursula and Jafar .

In theory, I should have finished the level vs. Hades/Chernabog in Fantasyland, but we got re-arranged.

  I battled Jafar and was invited to fight against more villains in… nowhere.  At the end of each round, you are directed to your next location.  Apparently they haven’t created a special screen for the player to return to Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe or the Firehouse once they level up.   I’m sure this issue will be fixed in the futrure.

I went to the Firehouse to get my new level (Medium).

Sadly, there was no fanfare.   I simply told the Cast Member I thought I was advancing, she said “Congratulations” and manually increased my level.  I then got five new cards.  There was no confetti, nor did a band bust through the door playing ‘Hail to The Chief‘.  Unfortunately, all the new cards were doubles.

We got a fairly successful grouping of cards in the morning and only traded twice.  We got Tinkerbelle and Tritan for more common cards from our collection.  Surprisingly, the cards we have multiples of are coveted from other players.

Later that night we took a prilgrimage to Staples and for a total of $10.20 got 30 sheets of clear trading card pages.  Now I have our collection broken into three categories, first full set, second full set, and the tradeable cards.

This adventure happened between 1230-1430 on Thursday and the crowds were by far the least crowded.  In fact, some portals in Fantasyland, which have thus far been the busiest, had no other players in line.  Again everyone seems eager to talk, compare, and trade while waiting in the lines.



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iDisney – Where’s My Water?

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 2, 2012

Welcome to iDisney (trendy title, right?)!  The cast of nerds behind iD will poke their geeky fingers at the technology side of Disney – applications, gaming, and interactive Disney attractions.  

This week, Ashley takes a look at some mobile apps available on iPod and Android.

Swampy the Alligator needs a shower.  And I’m going to be the girl that makes sure he get’s clean.  Helping Swampy means I’ve been playing Disney Mobile’s Where’s My Water? a lot.

Swampy the Alligator

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for extra bright and bubbly displays a la post 8-bit Mario or Epic Mickey.

As described by the Disney Insider,

Where’s My Water? Is a challenging physics-based puzzler complete with Retina display graphics, Multi-Touch controls, and an amazing soundtrack.”

The Lite (see: FREE) version introduces the player to Swampy, our eccentric underground dwelling reptile.  The majority of the sewer peeps think he’s odd – a classic Outsiders-type, yearning for acceptance and a nice hot shower.  It’s your job, gentle player, to get him that shower.

The Lite version offers 20 levels of increasing challenge, in which players move water from it’s source to the shower head in the dirty gator’s tub.  WMW? is comparable to games like Cut the Rope in both technique and graphics.

An interlude advertisement promises  more  ’free levels’ will become available, but have not been included on game updates in the past few weeks.

Having played it on both my Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the HTC Sensation, I prefer the tablet.  It’s IMAX compared to HTC’s, well, cell phone screen.  Some levels require detail that is simply easier to view in the larger format.

Where’s My Water? sits on the mantle of too-simple-to-not-be-addictive  games (Angry Birds, anyone?). Unfortunalty, it seems to lack the certain playablity that has you salivating to get back to playing.

In the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the $0.99 full version. Until then, I will struggle with achieving a perfect three star ranking at bathing reptilian.  If I fail – I think there are some little green pigs that need bashin’.

See Ya Real Soon,



If you know of any Disney tech that you would like to see reviewed – or have reviewed any yourself, we’d like to hear from you.

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Sorceress’ Guide to the Magic – Day 6

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 1, 2012

The beautiful spell-caster, Ashley, is back with the daily Sorcerers of The Magic Kingdom update


Six days in and we now have 38/70 unique cards.  I’ve yet to see cards numbered 61+ in person.  I’m now fighting to get a look at people’s binders.  Yes, binders. We’ve seen many homemade books for fanatics to carry around their cards.  Realistically, if we could take a minute to go to Target, we would have some cardholders as well, but we’re not rushing.

  • The Day’s Magic Lesson…

First, there is a definite end to a level.  Unfortunately, I beat that level as number five in my round.  So now I’m backtracking.  Not sure what makes this occur.  In line, we were told by a person that was in the Testing Phase, that he was able to level up early because of it, while others in line said they were just directed to their next stop.

I heard rumors that a level up would lead to more cards.  Level 2 = 7 Cards; Level 3 = 12 Cards.  I was able to debunk the rumor and a player only receives five cards with each increase.

Apparently if you level up at the Fire House, they will ring the bell for you.

Today Jeremy took the time to battle Ursula on his Key Card, while I fought all of the Villains in Fantasyland and Yzma in Adventureland.  This solidified that Frontierland has two missions; Adventureland and Fantasyland have three missions, while Main Street USA has one battle.  This might explain the congestion in Fantasyland and Adventureland.

Finally, we took on trading cards today.  I wanted to wait it out and see how we did on our own after 70 cards were collected, but trading just seemed so much fun.  We broke the ice with a young man who had some doubles. I traded him a Mickey’s Apprentice Card (Rare) cards for a Blue Fairy Card (Common).  Another serious player actually traded me for anything I needed which grew us three new cards.  We increased our collection by 10 unique cards by trading, and the addition of some from a graciously donated Eyes and Ears Magazine.

Everyone has been very friendly in dealing with the game so far.  Day Guests are quick to notice the long lines and inquire about the game, everyone will direct you to your next portal, and trading occurs in the lines to pass the time.  The biggest disappointment is noticing semi-costumed Cast Members in line, complaining about their day.  A novice might not be aware, but the black pants and black shoes are a dead giveaway.  I’m hoping the park will soon crack down on this.

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Forum FAQ – Cake Hotline

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 31, 2012

The First “Forum FAQ”

After working at Walt Disney World in Food & Beverage for over three years, I’ve been able to tackle many different Guest questions.  I always said I liked to experience the parks from the Guest prospective so I could better direct a Guest during their trip.  Now, I hope to scour different forums and remove the assumptions from people’s questions.  Since I’m no longer a Cast Member, I can’t be as robust with my answers as I would like, but hopefully I will remove a little bit of the mystery.

On a popular site, I found a question that pertains to ordering a customized cake on property.  Fortunately, I manned this aspect of the business for a few days.  First of all, Walt Disney World manages not all restaurants.  For example, the Italy Pavilion, the France Pavilion, Portobello’s Yacht Club, and T-Rex are all Operating Participants.  Although they might be placed next door to a WDW managed location or even within a park, Disney does not have very much control over their policies and procedures.

The Cake Hotline can be reached at 407-827-2253.  This will get you to a directory for the entire WDW Resort.  I will speak here for Epcot’s cake options.

There are chocolate and vanilla varieties for each cake.

The 6” round cake is NOT customizable ($21).  The location might have a celebration disk, but since 2010, these have become rare.

There are 8” ($32) and 10” ($45) square cakes.  These are layered cakes that are made with a custard cream between layers.  These can be “customized”.  Disney’s version of customization is the use of an edible screen that can be laid on the top of the cake.  This can include an image of a character (most likely Googled) and a message (Happy 1st Birthday).

The next cake is about 10” big and shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head ($48).  This cannot be customized.  If you’re lucky, the location of your reservation might have chocolate icing so that they can write on the plate.

**Add Gratuity and Tax to Each Price.**

Now I know you have two more questions…

Is that enough cake for my party? AND What if I want to do something a little bit MORE special?

Very, very rarely have I ever seen a family even finish the 6” cakes.  They wind up handing their slices off to neighboring families, or even offer the Servers the remainder of their cakes. The standards say the 6″=4 People, 8″=8 People, 10″=16 People.  Remember if you are on the DDP, the cakes are an additional price and you will STILL have the option of getting your included dessert.

**But as a side note, I think the 8” cakes are tastier and the small image is always a nice touch.**

If you want to do something MORE special, it is always up to the discretion of the Park or Resorts Pastry Chef.  If the time and materials are available, they will do everything in their power to help you.  I’ve seen people get White Chocolate Castles ($110 not including the cake), Haunted Mansion scenes, and “Surprise, You’re a Big Sister!” cakes.  But I’ve also seen people get denied, so it’s a matter of good timing and original ideas.

I originally mentioned that there are Operating Participants.  This is because it is not the operator’s fault if you do not hear back from an Operating Participant.  After you call the Cake Hotline, the operator forwards your message and might not know if you were ever contacted.  Remember, at the end of the day, Disney is a Business and there are efficiency standards being adjusted all the time.

See Ya Real Soon, Ashley

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Sorceress’ Guide to the Magic Kingdom – Day 1 to 5

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 29, 2012

As promised, here is the timeline of our adventure so far.  A number of days coming at you here to get you up to speed –


Day 1 – February 29 – One More Disney Day

Jeremy and I planned to embark on many adventures for  One More Disney Day.  First we purchased Premium Annual Passes and bee lined to the Fire House on Main Street USA to join forces with Merlin against Hades and his allies.

We signed up to battle separately, guaranteeing us two sets of five cards.  The cards came in resalable packs with the back of the cards masking the items inside.

The Cast Member helped us with a tutorial, and set us on our way down Main Street USA.

We quickly found that the real pros here were the Guests who were already a week into the game.  We quickly labeled the  ’Regular players’ with nicknames as they jovially gave us advice.  I was coached through my initial battle and told about the secrets of combining cards for stronger attacks, pairing alike cards, and strengthens cards through extra use.

On Day 1 we played against Cruella De Vil on Main Street USA and Dr. Facilier in Frontierland/Liberty Square.

Long lines made each battle take about an hour and Jeremy got exhausted while wearing Teagan through the park, so we left at 8PM.

Crowd Level at Mk – HIGH

Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom Portal cues – MODERATE (10-20 minutes per Portal)

Day 2 – March 1

Jeremy and I planned on a recon mission to collect some new Spell Cards without playing any missions, so we split up at the Contemporary so that he could rush over.  Unfortunately, Jeremy arrived at the Magic Kingdom to find the Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom starting point closed.  When he inquired with a Cast Member, he was told that they stopped distributing at 7PM even though the park closed at 9PM.  He was a little relived to not have to strap on the baby and watch me play games.

Day 3 – March 3

We returned to the park to face our new enemies.  Excited to begin, I was surprised when the Cast Member told us that our cards were no longer connected to our Park Passes and were showing that no missions had been completed.  He was able to give us completely new keys, sync them, and give us our two packs of cards.  I told him about our completed missions and he did have the ability to add those missing games and send us on our way.

We managed to finish one round against Scar in Adventureland before returning home.

Crowd Level at Mk – MODERATE

Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom Portal cues – MODERATE (10-20 minutes per Portal)

Day 4 – March 4

Our third day revealed a lot of differences in the system.  The first of which included new wrapping on the Spell cards.  The resealable bags were replaced with sealed bags.  I’m happy about this, because it removes any mishandling by Cast Members.  It’s no secret that Cast Members are taking a special interest in this game and we’ve seen them everyday that we’ve been there.  Some are playing in their disheveled costumes (inappropriate) while others chitchat with the working Cast Members as they collect their daily Spells.  There have also been Spell Cards for sale on E-bay in complete sets, likely the handy-work of Cast, and also inappropriate.

We returned to Frontierland to battle against Governor Ratcliffe.  At the first Portal, we were told we needed to move to another location.  Odd, but we did as we were told.  At the Shooting Arcade, I tried to battle against the drumming soldier.  To my dismay, the system wasn’t reading my cards and he won.  Pretty embarrassed by my failure, I was sent to the portal next to the Hall of Presidents.  I prepared my cards and once again was defeated by the militia while I was coached by those around me at what I might have done wrong – which was nothing, but everybody is an expert, right?  Jeremy and I stood and watched as the same issues occurred with the family behind us.  We went to Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe for assistance.  They started us at Fantasyland and said we would have to finish Frontierland again at a later time.

Due to Teagan’s mood and attendance in the park, we watched the initial portal for the Maleficent storyline and went home.

Crowd Level at MK – MODERATE

Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom Portal cues in Frontierland- MODERATE (10-20 min per Portal)

Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom Portal cues in Fantasyland- HIGH (20 + min. per Portal)

A long and girthy line at a Fantasyland Portal

Day 5 – March 5

Today was much more successful as we reached our 40th Spell card.  I wanted to do a small study on the probability of getting unique cards.  There are 70 in the collection, although I’m not sure if you can get the last ten yet, or if they are not yet released.  Out of the 40 we have, 28 are unique cards and 12 are duplicates.  The make up of each Spell card pack seems to be one Star, one Moon, and three Planets.  (The symbol designates the rarity of the card, which I will discuss later).  When I went to pick up our cards, we were told that if we didn’t fulfill a mission on our one Key card, we would not be able to receive any more cards for it. (We have two cards, but have just been focusing on one.)

With shorter lines, we were able to successfully battle Maleficent and Governor Ratcliffe in a fraction of the time it took during previous days.

With my newfound enthusiasm for the Parks, we will continue collecting cards and battling Villains.  This will hopefully allow us to best describe the experience as a participant.

Crowd Level at Mk – LOW

Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom Portal cues – LOW (under 10 minutes per Portal)

* Ashley


Posted in Adventureland, Attractions, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sorceress’ Guide to the Magic – An Introduction

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 28, 2012

Ladies and Gentleman, Ashley is back.  This time with an incredible diary detailing WDW’s wonderful new game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.  While we are not the first to write about the experience, this guide aims to inform our friends of the secrets, magic and fun of the new game.  Here you’ll find instructions for play, rumors, game-play tips and more!  So, dust off those pointed hats, don your finest clock and grow some awesome facial hair and  enjoy.  Happy spell-casting!


Walt Disney World’s newest interactive experience, The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, has arrived.  For the past week, Jeremy and I have taken to the offensive and began an epic battle against Hades and his crack-squad of lowly villains. Merlin the Magician has trained us (mainly me) to successfully protect his crystals from the menacing masterminds.

  • The spells of the trade… 

To begin the adventure, guests must go to the Fire House on Main Street –

or Liberty Square, behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe  –

Beginner Sorcerers, or Sorceress, obtain a key card, map and Spell Card pack, containing 5 cards.  A new pack of cards can be acquired each day, or earned with the conquering of a level of play.  Do note – you MUST present your Key and Park Entrance Ticket in order to ‘learn’ spells.

The Cast Members handing out magic are happy to give you a tutorial if you need any assistance in learning the ropes.

Card pack, containing 5 spell cards –

Guide Map, showing where the Portals are located –


Key Card to open portals –

Sorcerer's Key Card

  • Portal, portal – on the wall…

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom combines a scavenger hunt-like premise with the uber- popular card games of my generation  (i.e. Pokémon, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Ho).

At the start of each new phase you are directed to a specific portal.  These hidden screens are where the story is viewed and the battles are fought.

Each portal is labeled with an icon, for easy reference on your guide map (see above).

For example, in Frontierland, the Country Bears Jamboree portal is labeled with a lizard icon on the map. If you forget the image or icon, you can scan your Key on any Lock and it will show the correct location.

  • Lock and Key…

Your Key card holds the progress of your adventure, and here’s where it comes into play.

As guests stand at the Portal, on the ‘circle of power’, they will hold their Keys to a ‘Lock Box’.  Here’s one now –

The Portal will then open, and you are confronted with one of many Disney Villians collected by Hades to swipe the Crystals of the Magic Kingdom.

  • A game of spells…

Although each land has five portals, each storyline has four portal stops, so there is less traffic with the extra space.

First, a note on casting spells.  Once prompted, simply hold your desired Spell Card facing the portal, where the image is captured by cameras and translated to video sequences on the portal screen.  Sorcerers can also use combination attacks by aiming multiple cards at the portal (more on this in a different post).

Ashley - one of the good guys.

When opened, the initial portal will set up the storyline.  This normally includes Hades convincing a villain to help him snag crystals from Merlin.  The second portal will have you face a minor villain by using your Spell Cards.  The third portal has you use the Sorcerer’s crest (the image on the back of the card) to weaken the main villain.  The final portal has you use your Spell Cards to battle and beat the villain, once again saving the crystal from being taken by the slimy hands of the badies.

After each complete phase, you are invited to journey to another land to help Merlin face another nemesis in a new battle.  There are 9 phases per level.

The attraction has not reached Tomorrowland as of yet.  You’ll find portals on Main Street USA, Frontierland, Adventureland, Liberty Square and Fantasyland.

  • Don’t fall asleep in class…

What keeps this interesting?  After battling through the nine stories, a Sorcerer “levels up”.  With this, the villains get more difficult to beat.  The good news is your cards gain power  the more they are used, and you get more cards!  Again, with each level up, the Sorcerer returns to the Fire House or Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and receives more Spell Cards.

Hopefully that will help you begin your adventure into the wide world of magic, crystals, and crazy villains.

I intend, in the coming weeks, to showcase a Spell Card per day – and show you how to read’em – and a time-line of our adventure.

* Ashley


Ashley has looked at some of the finer details of the parks, and was a leading source on Vinylmation – that information can be found next door

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Forum FAQ – Allergy & Special Requests

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 27, 2012

After a long hiatus Ashley is back to answering your most-asked Forum questions.  A former leader in Food and Beverage at Epcot, Ashley is an expert on the standards and practice that SHOULD happen during your dining experience at Walt Disney World. 


It’s been almost two months that I’ve worked for the Mouse and I’m feeling much more relaxed as things seem to settle down around the house.  Honestly, I needed a tad more time to pass before I could objectively talk about my experiences within the company.  So without further ado…

Many Guests like to brag about the great experiences that they’ve had at Walt Disney World Restaurants when they have a Special Dietary Request.   Although I do not struggle with any allergies, I can relate with having a need for some accommodation.  As a Restaurant Guest Service Manager, I even looked forward to some special occasions if I knew in advance what to expect.  I’m going to now try to walk you though the Special Request process.

Hopefully you have planned for your vacation whether its four weeks or 24 hours. You’ve created your packing lists, picked your resort, and reserved your restaurants.  If you haven’t gotten the latter finished, now offers the option of reserving your “Priority Seating” online, Guest Relations or a Concierge can assist you, you can call 407-WDW-Dine (or *88 on any pay phone in the Parks), and most recently Disney Mobile Magic makes reservations easy to access from a Smart Phone.

You can let any podium Cast Member know that you have an Allergy or Intolerance at the Podium of the restaurant of when you book your reservation.  Even if you did tell the reservation line, please confirm with the Podium Cast Member.

Those requests are printed on your seating ticket and passed onto the Server.  It is the Server’s responsibility to confirm the notes on the seating ticket with the party.

The Server than speaks to a Chef (or a Manager in Quick-Service locations) and NORMALLY a Chef should come to the table.  The Management and Chefs have to take an online module to help us better understand your special request.  But if the Allergy is as common as Peanuts or Tree nuts, the Chef might just limit the items you can choose from the menu.

It becomes a matter of how busy the restaurant is.  Of course the Chefs enjoy making something special – it’s why they became chefs – it’s just not always possible.

Most importantly… do NOT pretend you have an allergy!  We are trained to treat all intolerances and allergies with the same respect since you never know when a person might have an allergic reaction to something, but saying you have a tomato allergy when really you do not like tomatoes, takes away from everyone in the situation.  Please just ask your server to not include the tomatoes.

Allergies are big business at Walt Disney World.  I’ve seen Servers get disciplined for not following the guidelines properly.  This ranges from them carrying an allergy dish to a table at the same time as another dish.  (An allergy dish should be carried alone.)  The Server might have forgotten to add the “ALLERGY” detail to the item when they ordered it, but the Guest was never hurt.  Or maybe the Server and Chef did everything they were supposed to, but a Guest can still get hurt.


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Spins The World

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 6, 2012

After an 18 month hiatus, I’ve returned to the Disney blogging world. It took leaving the company, purchasing an annual pass, and playing hours of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom to rekindle that spark.

Besides my new career, I’ve gotten married, graduated from college and had a baby. ( A lot of new changes that can affect time and attention.

What I hope to accomplish now, is to continue with my writing while taking on new challenges, like being a mother, a wife and teaching myself to knit. Some roles are more difficult than others.

A lot of my writing will be moving to my husband and my new blog at but I’m going to backtrack my articles here, while I think of more original content.

I invite you to take a chance with us one more time and venture vicariously or side by side as we explore not only everything Walt Disney World, but everything Central Florida as we pass our time in the best backyard anyone could have.

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