Archive for August, 2008

Disney PhotoPass

Today I finished up adding logos/frames etc. to our Disney PhotoPass photos and then ordered the Disneyland Photo CD for $59.95.

I uploaded the professionally-shot photos from our Easter Disneyland vacation plus a couple we took ourselves, then created a photo book on the PhotoPass website — there was a $20 discount available for that (the promotional code is SUMMERBOOK) so that wound up costing $49.95 for the book.



Click the images below to see them larger. These are just screenshots — the actually photo book pages will be much larger and sharper — so I’ll put captions below each image to help you know what text is on each page.

Our Disney Memories – Koster Disneyland Resort Easter & July 2008 Trips



On the left, the inside of the front cover. I don’t really know what it will look like until the book arrives, so I made it white for this representation of it. On the right, the text says “In 2008 we had a great Easter week vacation at Disneyland. We had such a wonderful time we went back to see more in July!”


Easter week is a great time to be there. The weather was nice and cool and it wasn’t too crowded.
The flowers and trees were in bloom. Even Tink was there!

When we returned in July, Tink greeted us again!
Can you guess which one of us isn’t quite believing Tink landed in our hands?


Michael enjoyed getting a mouse-eared hat complete with flashing LED lights.

It was Michael’s first time at Disneyland.
Mickey is pointing out that Michael won unlimited FastPasses as a Year of a Million Dreams prize!


Where Dreams Come True.
Disneyland Resort

Even after a week at the Disneyland Resort, we didn’t see it all — because we also enjoyed southern California sightseeing which included seeing Walt’s train barn. So we decided to return for five more days in July! We even had time to see WALL-E at the El Capitan Theatre along with a Disney stage show there.


In July we met up with some old friends again . . .
. . . like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy and Stitch!


We were glad we went back because we were able to finish up enjoying everything in the resort.


We spent plenty of time in Disney’s California Adventure during the July trip, riding everything we wanted to and seeing many things which will be changed or removed soon.

We all rode Soarin’ over California for the 2nd time (the first time was during Easter week) and the Sun Wheel plus Toy Story Midway Mania.
Carol and Rich even rode California Screamin’ and enjoyed it!

(No captions)


We stayed in July at the Disneyland Hotel on this side of the Dreams tower facing Downtown Disney. It was a free upgrade from the mountain view we had at Easter, because there wasn’t going to be electric power in the Magic Tower for most of the first night. C-PAP Magic!

Disney Magic happened watching WALL-E and the stage show at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, then we ate at Disney’s ice cream parlor next door.
Next we toured Walt Disney’s train barn again, did volunteer work and saw our engraved paving stone.

The end of a Disney vacation can come all too early, so it was with us.
We had to leave this wonderful place which had become a home away from home for us.
We spent one last night at Disneyland, enjoying “Wishes” fireworks from the front porch of Haunted Mansion, a last farewell to Captain Jack Sparrow at Pirates of the Caribbean, our last professional photos at night in front of the Castle and in front of the Train Station with Tink spreading Pixie Dust behind us.

We literally said goodbye to everything that night. Our Disney Rewards magically saved us money!


(No captions)

Our Christmas Card

Click the image to see the card much larger.

On the left, the front of the folded card. In the middle, the left of the inside of the card. On the right, the right of the inside of the card, where it says “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a magical, blessed New Year.
Rich, Carol and Michael Koster”

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1989 iPhone, As If… First Cell Phone Ad! (parody)

Imagine Apple created the iPhone back in 1989 and made a TV ad for it. Perhaps it would have looked similar to this Centel “Where people connect!” spot from the first cell phone ad ever made.

It is iPhone compatible!

I had to do some timing tricks to get the video to match up with the song. I’m pleased with how it turned out!

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My Earliest Memory Was at Disneyland

Everyone remembers their “earliest memory” of when they were a child, that memory of doing something or being somewhere that they know they were only X-years old and they can’t remember back farther than that.

But do not, under any circumstance, think of yourself as “old”… Unless you want to recite Lewis Carroll’s poem “You are old, Father William…”
If anything, we’re lucky to have seen a truly long view and maturation of the Disney Company and their theme parks and their evolution. We have the advantage of having been alive when Walt and his original Imagineers were and actively creating, and we have life perspective. We can see things, know history and background, that enhances our Disney fanship experience. And seeing how things go, sometimes you experience an aspect of Disney parks for a relatively short time, and the next renovation period comes along and that great experience gets scrapped for something else. Value this!

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Baby Boomer generation were the first to be marketed to about Disney since the medium of television came along and prospered when we were mere tykes. Our generation is what Walt used to tweak his ideas in the parks, consequently our generation were his first collaborators in the public, so to speak. That’s a proud memory and a proud generational partnership! Cherish it!


And today, I find “Wall-E” a profoundly moving, masterpiece film, touches raw essential human nerves and touches the heart of what it truly means to be human. And that’s a 2008 product of Pixar with Disney’s backing and support. I still choke up at the end of that movie, and it’s a contemporary film.


Proving it’s about the story, the characters, the “good character” in characters’ souls, and touching people’s hearts. If Disney succeeds in that, they “have you” not just for a moment, but a lifetime, and you willingly expose future generations to it because it’s a good thing, and a humanly connecting unifying thing among peoples, families, and nationalities and time.

-Carol Koster

This is what the construction wall outside the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough looked like in July when we were there. The wall will come down when the attraction reopens later this year, better than ever.

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The Princess and the Frog – Video

Here is Randy Newman singing the opening song, which will actually be sung by Dr. John in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog animated feature, along with stills from the movie still in production.  The video is from stills which will appear in the movie.
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Friday, Aug. 1st: A Magical Disney Day, then home Saturday

The end of a Disney vacation can come all too early, so it is with us.  No sooner have we acclimated to the two hour time zone difference from Louisiana and adopted this wonderful place as a home away from home than we have to leave it for Rich to return to work and son to start school next week and a Boy Scout meeting this Tuesday night.


But we had many Magical Disney Days — especially Friday!

Never saw year of a Million Dreams Prize patrol, but Disney Magic happened for us watching “Wall-E” at the El Capitan movie theater in Hollywood.  We toured Walt Disney’s Train Barn at Griffith Park again and even did volunteer work there for the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society which preserves Walt Disney’s and his other animator’s hobby trains for all to enjoy.  And we managed to spend one last night at Disneyland, enjoying “Wishes” fireworks from the front porch of Haunted Mansion, Bengal BBQ counter service, a last farewell to Captain Jack Sparrow at Pirates of the Caribbean, two last professional photos at night in front of the Castle and in front of the Train Station with Tinker Bell spreading Pixie Dust behind us.  We said goodbye to everything we passed, literally. and then we gave our Disney Visa Dream Rewards Card to the front desk to be sure to devote all of them to our hotel bill, some of the best magic of all, saving a few bucks!

Big highlight of Friday:  Seeing “Wall-E” at the El Capitan Theatre.  What a “Wow!” experience the organist and stage show were!  The movie itself is Oscar-caliber.  The theater is magnificent, historic, fabulously beautiful.  Took pictures and video of the show and organist.  Ate lunch next door at the Disney Soda Fountain and bought “Wall-E” and ice cream shop souvenirs.  The movie at the El Cap was a Disney Dream of mine to see, and to see it at the El Capitan exceeded our expectations by a kajillion!

But as the Mickey Mouse Club song goes at the end of the show, “…now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company…  M I C, Seeya real soon!  K E Y…  Why?  Because we like Disneyland!  M O U S EEEEEEE…!”

6:45 am PDT or 8:45 am CDT or 9:45 am EST or 2:45 pm London time (take your pick what you related to best) flight Saturday morning, gotta pack and return rental car at the airport and fly away home.  Rich has to work that afternoon and night at the TV station in New Orleans and Sunday too. Sad to go home, really sad.  But you’ve left Disney parks for home before too, and, well…  You know the drill…  Never say never, but say instead “Someday, yes, someday…”

Seeya on the flip side.

Be patient with us about posting, since Rich has to work right away and son returns to school.  We will be posting, just when we can.

See y’all! 

-Carol Koster

-From Rich: There will be blog entries detailing — with pictures — what we did on Friday. It was quite a day!
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This website is not affiliated with any part of The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney Echo at is your interactive online magazine to discover new wonders and share magical Disney memories.

The display on this page is set up to show the posts in reverse chronological order of when they were posted originally, so if you want to read the reports from the beginning, go to the last post on the last page and work forward. The first entry about the Koster family's July 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by clicking here and the first entry about their Easter 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by selecting this link.

That link goes to the very first travel-related article on this website: Welcome to our Trip Report.

The entry made after that first one is found after clicking the link named "Our Vacation Plans At-A-Glance" and that link is found above and below the first entry.

The third entry is similarly found after clicking the link above and below the second one, where the link is named "Packing Up"

One can read all the travel-related entries in the order they were posted by going to the next entry and the next entry the same way. Otherwise, this website defaults to displaying the most-recently-posted entries followed by older entries below it on the page as well as on the pages after it.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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