The Mickyard – Walt Disney World Speedway

The Walt Disney World Speedway is one of the few non-parks or resort locations that just about every guest passes on their way to the Magic Kingdom.  It takes a lot of space.  It took a decent amount of parking though that parking area is used on only the busiest of days.

Why was the Walt Disney World Speedway built?  Did any series any race at “The Mickyard?”  Why is still standing when other speedways have been torn down in the recent past?  Let’s take a look at the Walt Disney World Speedway.

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Christmas in the Walt Disney World Parks

The first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is just 16 days away.  My thoughts are already turning away from Halloween (not one of my favorite holidays) and toward Christmas (one of my favorite holidays).  Today, I’m just going to do a brief recap what guests can see and do in the parks that are Christmas related.  Some parks have more than others.  So, I go from the least “Christmas-y” park to the most “Christmas-y.”

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Arendal or Arendelle?

One of things I like to do outside of Disney is play a computer game called Football Manager where you take over as manager of a football team (think soccer not American football) and run the team.  A new version of the game is coming out in a couple of weeks and I was messing around on the current version to find a new team to play with when the new version comes out.

That’s great, Dad, why should I care.  How does this relate to Disney?  Good question.  I started my search in Southern Europe and left unimpressed and then moved north into Scandinavia and found a team in Sweden that tickled my fancy so I started a game with them.  I get to the first friendly/pre-season match and it with a small Norwegian side called Arendal Fotball.

Arendal looks a lot like a fictional city from a movie….Arendelle.  So, I did some more research into this Arendal and discovered that it is a real city within Norway.  Arendal can be found on the southeast coast of Norway with a population of just over 40,000 people.  In the mid-20th century, Arendal had a lot people mostly in the shipping industry immigrate to America and settle in the New York City area.  Before World War 2, Arendal was the 4th largest port in Norway.  During the war, Arendal was captured by the Germany navy and is no longer the port town that it once was.

Looking at the pictures of Arendal (seen below), it looked a lot like the pictures from Arendelle in the movie Frozen.

Arendal #1 Arendal #2 Arendal #3 Arendal #4

Next, I did a search of “Arendal Arendelle and Frozen.”  I came across this blog article from March, Norwegian Connections in Frozen.  I made attempts to contact the author of the article directly so he/she could share their thoughts on the subject.  Unfortunately, the author posts articles very infrequently and uses twitter even more infrequently.  There is not a contact e-mail on the blog making even harder to get in touch with him.  I’ve held this article in “my pocket” while making repeated attempts to contact him/her for their thoughts.  The author uses excellent examples of real-life Norway and contrasting it with Frozen.

LANDSCAPE

Real life town of Ardenal
Real life town of Ardenal
Arendelle
Arendelle

 

Elsa's Coronation - Church
Elsa’s Coronation – Church
Borgund Stave Church
Borgund Stave Church

Native Dress

Head Dress
Head Dress

FROZEN

The blog article does an excellent job of breaking down the movie and the town structure of Arendelle while doing side-by-side comparisons with the real Arendal.  Even going as far as stating that Norwegians would convert the Arendelle name into the real-life Arendal when writing and talking about the town.

Now, the author states that Disney did not just convert the real-life Arendal into Arendelle.  It took bits and pieces of other coastal cities for some of the of the Arendelle town-scape.  The church’s interior and exterior are strictly Norwegian…mostly Stave Church designs.  The dress of Anna, Elsa, Hans, and the townspeople are definitely Norwegian.

I really wish the author would have gotten into touch with me about this article.  I wanted to have a discussion with a Norwegian about Frozen and then going further into a Frozen attraction taking the place of Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion and would it be a proper fit.

So, before you brush off Arendelle as just “other Disney creation” take a look at the history, the archtechure, the town/city scapes, the dress of the townspeople.  In the end, you will see that there is A LOT of Norway and its history and culture woven throughout Frozen.

Feel free to leave me a comment on the blog, or in the Facebook group, or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Ranking the Lands within Magic Kingdom

While I continue to wait for a fellow blog author to get back me for comments about an article that they wrote a few months ago (this is why there was no blog article from me yesterday), I will forward today by ranking the lands within the Magic Kingdom.  All told there are six lands within the Magic Kingdom: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Main Street USA, and Tomorrowland.  All of them have their pluses and minuses.  However, some have more pluses than minuses which will be reflected in the rankings.  On to the show, after the jump.

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Why I Love the Contempo Cafe

Walt Disney World is full of great restaurants at both the table and counter service level.  There are so many choices.  A guest could make many trips and not double up on a restaurant.  Once a guest makes a couple of trips, they start to formulate what places they enjoy eating at and what others they do not.  The one restaurant that I make sure I eat at on every trip is the Contempo Cafe.  It is my favorite quick service restaurant at the Walt Disney World resort.  Let’s go into some of the reasons why.

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