Updates about Snitching and Food inside the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World

My goal is not for this site to become a day-to-day tracker of what’s going on with the NBA at Disney World (you can follow the NBA Bubble Life twitter account for that). Still, the topic is at such an intersection of my different interests that I end up running into different stories in all of my news sources.

Today’s find is this column from Jay Busbee about the NBA’s “Snitch Line.”. Yes, there is a phone number that players can use to rat out other players who have broken the safety protocols. Yahoo reports that the line has already received multiple calls. In a (slightly ridiculous) hypothetical, Busbee points out how the line could be abused as we move toward to the playoffs:

What happens if, say, the night before Team X plays Team Y in a deciding Game 7, the tip line gets a call reporting that Team X’s star player was seen drinking out of everyone’s beer mug at a Kissimmee Applebee’s? Or that Team Y’s star was spotted, shall we say, entertaining some visitors who did not clear quarantine? How will the NBA ferret out real calls from false ones? So far, the league has only handed out warnings. But how many warnings does it take to earn a fine? How many fines does it take to earn a suspension?

Joe Vardon from The Athletic also provided an update on the food situation in an article entitled Food scandal was overblown, though not all made up. The article starts with some quotes about how players prepared for their quarantine:

The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, seeing the carnage on his phone from colleagues who’d reached the Bubble before his team, bought a panini machine for the trip. “I just wanted to eat comfortably here,” he said. The Thunder’s Steve Adams said his wife baked a couple batches of lasagna for him to take “because I’d seen a photo of the food they were giving us online.”

But goes on to explain that part of the reason for the poor food photos is the method of the food’s delivery and subsequent presentation:

The Disney service workers delivering the food do not operate under some of the same protections, so the food being served must be carried in packaging that ensures sterility. That means tightly sealed plastic and wrapping, plastic cutlery, and packaged fruit. Entrees must come in cartons. The workers, wearing not only masks and gloves, but plastic shields over their masks, can deliver the food in paper bags, with thin handles pinched together, carrying the bags between two fingers with those handles. They stop at your door, drop the food on the ground, knock once or twice on the door, and then walk away.

This type of procedure does not exactly lead to the artistic plating of entrees.

Vardon also points out that the players can order full-on room service or delivery from other local restaurants, as long as they do not walk too far to get it.

At least all of this down time is giving the players a chance to learn how to fish:

Also, I am sure the food situation will improve once this initial quarantine is over and the players can sit out and enjoy a drink at Three Bridges.

Sasha Banks Reported to be in Season 2 of the Mandalorian

In a (semi-rare?) intersection of my interests, it is being widely reported that Sasha Banks will be in Season 2 of the Mandalorian. Currently, there is no information as to what character she will play (I love Sasha, and I love Sabine, but probably not the right fit), but I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Sasha Banks as WWE Champion (Copyright WWE)
Sasha as the Champ (Copyright WWE)

A Morning at Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs

If you follow Elyssa and Me on Twitter, you know that we had quite the issues with travel last night. The short version is that a storm in Baltimore delayed (what would have been) our plane from Raleigh / Durham to Orlando for over 5 hours, and Southwest couldn’t guarantee that if that plane made it to RDU that it would actually fly to Orlando. To try and salvage this quick weekend trip, we decided to switch to a flight to Tampa, change our rental car reservation accordingly, and then drive up to Orlando. It was stressful, the overall travel took way longer than we thought it would, but we made it to our condo late last night so we could still enjoy a weekend away.

As a lot of Magic Kingdom mornings do, we started the day at Kona. Some Tonga Toast and a press pot of coffee always feels like a good way to start the day (even if the waitress kept telling us we looked tired.)

Tonga Toast FTW
Tonga Toast FTW

Given we were a little run down from last night, we went pretty easy on our Magic Kingdom touring. Thankfully, being there for park opening (along with some Fastpass+ refreshing) allowed us to get in Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, the People Mover, and visit with Mickey and Minnie in their fancy new outfits.

I have no issues with a fierce redhead.

I have no issues with a fierce redhead.
Not sure what’s cooler: Minnie’s outfit, or Elyssa’s popcorn bucket...
Not sure what’s cooler: Minnie’s outfit, or Elyssa’s popcorn bucket…
After we left the Magic Kingdom, we headed over to Disney Springs. We debated trying a view different options, but ended up at our favorite stop: Homecomin’. As always, it was delicious. I think the Thigh High chicken biscuits at Homecomin’ compete with the Slider at BoAtHOusE for best meal value on property.

It’s either Sweet Tea or Apple Pie for me.
It’s either Sweet Tea or Apple Pie for me.
Thigh highs.
Thigh highs.

We did try something new, though: the cookie dough from Aristocrepes. It was quite good as a quick dessert (and surprisingly filling.)

Cooke dough...topped with cookies.
Cooke dough…topped with cookies.

Overall, it was a pretty good morning (and it did a good job of washing away the hassles from last night.) We’re not sure where we’ll end up tonight, but I think we’ll consider this day a success, regardless.

Disney to Live Stream Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve Fireworks

It’s become an annual tradition at this point, but Disney is once again going to stream the Magic Kingdom Fireworks tonight as “the ball drops” on 2018. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to update this post with the video link, so I recommend going to the Disney Parks blog later today (normally around 20 minutes before the turn of the year) to find it.

Happy New Year everyone! I’m hoping next year will involve more than the handful of posts that I had time for in 2018, but we’ll have to wait and see on that.

Happy New Year!

Live Stream of Minnie’s “Rock the Dots” Send-Off on Sunday, January 21 at 12:55pm Eastern

Disney is doing a special spend off for Minnie has she heads to Hollywood to get her star on the Walk of Fame. It’s take place at Hollywood Studios on January 21, so you can either join in person or via the livestream that Disney is going to do of the event (the special buttons are only available if show up in person, obviously.) Congratulations to Minnie!

Disney Fashion

Merry Christmas, Y’all

A little Merry Christmas from Elyssa and I, here at Rope Drop [dot] Net HQ. We’re celebrating Christmas at home, before we head down to enjoy some New Year’s festivities at Disney World.

Enjoy your holiday!

Christmas isn't Christmas if you're not in a craft beer hoodie
Christmas isn’t Christmas if you’re not in a craft beer hoodie

Disney World Summer Discounts Announced

I’m sure you’ll see this everywhere today, but I know friend-of-site Howie from Maryland has been looking forward to this. I’ll credit Dave from yourfirstvisit.net as the first place I saw it. The discounts are pretty much what you’d expect, based on previous years:

Save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights May 28-Aug. 31, 2017 when you book March 27-July 14, 2017.

Disney Live Streaming the Spaceship Earth to Death Star Transformation Tonight at 10:25PM Eastern

Disney is live streaming the “Spaceship Earth becomes the Death Star” transformation tonight at 10:25 pm Eastern. As has become the norm for Disney live streams, they Disney Parks Blog will put a new post 10-15 minutes the event that contains a link to the stream. I’ll try to update this post with that information as well, but always check the Disney Parks Blog if you don’t find streaming link here.

UPDATE: Here’s the Disney Parks Blog page and here’s the video:

In other Rogue One News, there is now a Rogue One section in Star Wars Launch Bay. (See also, WDW News Today’s coverage.)

Speaking of Rogues...
Speaking of Rogues…

May 2016 BOATRIDE Club Fleet-Up

Phasma!!
Phasma!!

In late June of 2013, the TouringPlans podcast network introduced me to a new (to me) Disney World-centric podcast, Mighty Men of Mouse. It featured three guys from Rhode Island, talking about Disney World, statistical analysis, and a little bit of Boston sports. I was hooked. I listened to the show’s entire back catalog and I declared it my favorite Disney Podcast. Since then, Elyssa and I have become friends with show hosts Russ, Kip, and Dutch, and even appeared on the show a couple of times. Through interactions Twitter and a series of Disney-related drafts , we’ve become part of a larger community that Russ, Kip, and Dutch have built, the BOATRIDE Club (hat tip to the Bullet Club.)

During Elyssa’s and my various trip to Disney World, we’ve met up with locals like Gosh and The Admiral (and their lovely wives, Carye and Kristi.) We’ve even run into fellow BOATRIDE Club members like Howie from Maryland while traveling to other parts of the country. But we’ve never had a situation where other BOATRIDE Club members planned specific trips to Disney World so we could all be together. That changed this past weekend.

Sacrifices (for me and her career)
Sacrifices (for me and her career)

In order to satisfy my “I have to go to Disney World every 4-5 months to stay alive” requirement, Elyssa agreed to a weekend trip during the heart of wedding season if I would be okay with her doing some photography work while on the trip. Around that same time, Wes was also planning a trip to Disney World and we suggested that we try to get those trips to align. It wasn’t much longer before Howie also committed to joining us. Throw in locals Eric and Josh, and we had the makings for a pretty nice BOATRIDE Club “fleet-up” (term credit to Eric.)

The Skillet
The Skillet

Elyssa’s and my first fleet-up event was saying hello to Eric on arrival night, followed by closing down the Magic Kingdom with Wes during the After Dark even. That was followed up by a safari with Howie and Wes on Friday morning, dinner at Via Napoli with Howie, Wes, and Josh on Friday night, and then drinks with Howie, Lite ‘Em and Brandon Glover at Jock Lindsey’s to close out the day. Saturday we got to see the child-like (?) excitement of Howie getting to see Captain Phasma in person, including epic “behind the scenes” periscopes of the event by Wes. The main event, however, was the epic Whispering Canyon dinner with Howie, Wes, Josh, Carye, Eric, and Kristi. We talked over beers and skillets. We joked about Josh’s punctuality (or lack there of), and truly converted friendships that developed online to friendships that existed “IRL”.

We followed up the skillet meal as only BOATRIDE club members could, with rides on Pirates and Splash. 8 friends, filling the 8 seats in one of Disney’s signature (boat)ride vehicles. All of us brought together because 3 guys in Rhode Island started talking about Disney World and putting it on the Internet.

The MMoM listener community is one of those things that’s good about the Internet. It consists of people who are friendly and supportive, even during tough times. Elyssa and I feel lucky to have found it, and even luckier to be included as such a part of it. I am sure we are not alone when we say a huge “Thank you” to Russ, Kip, and Dutch for what they have built.

NOTE: If you’re thinking your late October calendar looks suspiciously devoid of Disney World trips and that you need to correct that, drop Elyssa or me a line. Maybe we can try to do something like this again.

BOATRIDE Club, baby!!
BOATRIDE Club, baby!!

And We’re Back!

Elyssa and I are back from our latest Disney World adventure. We finished our 10K plus half-marathon “glass slipper challenge”, got to hang out with some of the members of the BOATRIDE club, and had a pretty “magical time” overall. We’ll have some trip thoughts and other posts coming up soon! Thanks to everyone  who followed along with on social media.

Mid-Race Selfie
Mid-Race Selfie
Geez. Get a room.
Geez. Get a room.

Disney to Live Stream the Magic Kingdom Fireworks on New Year’s Eve

Continuing their trend from the past year, Disney is going to live stream a major fireworks event.

This is normally the part of the live streaming post where I encourage people to bypass going to the Disney Parks Blog homepage when looking for the livestreams, and, instead, going to the Disney Parks Live channel on Youtube. Unfortunately, with the last stream, Disney didn’t update that channel page with the video, so my tip may no longer be valid. We’ll have to see how they handle this event.

That said, no matter where you have your New Year’s celebration, Elyssa and I hope you have a great one. (And go Clemson!)

Disney to Live Stream the Osborne Lights at 10:30PM Eastern, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NOTE: The title of this post originally said the stream was on Thursday (since I can’t read a calendar).

Disney has announced that it will be live streaming the Osborne Lights at 10:30pm on Thursday, November 18, 2015 at 10:30pm. For people who won’t have a chance to get down to Disney World in next few weeks to see the last performance of the Osborne Lights, this stream is almost a can’t miss opportunity (though I hope Disney is going to do it at least 1 more time before the lights go away.)

Elyssa and I were recently at Disney World and went to the Osborne Lights a couple of times (including running through them during our “quarter” marathon.) I didn’t get the best pictures of them, however, since I intentionally didn’t bring my camera the last time we visited. I wanted to just take in a really special experience, that, sadly, we won’t have the opportunity to enjoy again.

Snow Falls on the Streets of America
Snow Falls on the Streets of America

Morimoto Asia – Review

On our recent trip to Disney World, Elyssa and I stopped by the new-ish-ly opened Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs for dinner.

Morimoto Asia
Morimoto Asia

Context

Neither Elyssa nor I would ever claim to be sophisticated connoisseurs of Asian cuisine. (Elyssa would probably be classified as “not a fan”, which means I might end up getting pad thai from a local place once or twice a year or I might occasionally stop by a certain well-known franchise.) That said, we were looking for a place to have dinner with Elyssa’s father (who did not have any park admission) and we’d already eaten at The BOATHOUSE, so we figured we’d give it a shot.

Ambiance

View from 2nd Floor
View from 2nd Floor

As you’ve probably read 15 times by now, Morimoto Asia is housed inside the same building as the former Mannequins Dance Palace (one of Pleasure Island’s dance clubs.) This means, if though the restaurant is nicely laid out, that it can feel a bit like (as Elyssa’s father pointed out) you’re eating in a warehouse.

We were seated upstairs in a section of reconfigurable, glassed-in hallways and mini-rooms. It’s kind of an interesting layout (it allows them to re-arrange the way doors are opened or closed to allow for some level of privacy between certain tables or groups), but I wonder if having nearly the entire “second floor” limited to an extra-wide walkway around the perimeter might have created an unnecessary limit on the restaurant’s capacity.

Personally, I enjoyed the privacy provided by restaurant layout. It is a welcome change from those places at Disney World where you are seated so close to the party next to you that you feel like you could reach over and grab an item off one of their plates. (NOTE: Josh from easyWDW did find the downstairs a little more chaotic.)

Meal

Being non-adventurous eaters, Elyssa and I wound up sticking with some fairly basic items from Morimoto’s expansive menu (which we’ll get to them in a second.) To start of things, Elyssa’s father ordered a cup of miso soup and an order of the pork dumplings. He said they were quite good, but, though I tried one of the dumplings and enjoyed it, I have no particular comparison with which to make.

For dinner itself, we decided to share the black pepper steak, the kung pao chicken, and the spicy thai basil fried rice. (Since Elyssa is not a fan of mushrooms, we told the waiter “just treat our entire order as if it’s for someone who’s allergic to mushrooms.”) On a whim, Elyssa also added the spicy king crab to the order at the last minute.

Black Pepper Steak
Black Pepper Steak

The black pepper steak consisted of a nice, tender meat that came with a flavorful sauce that added just a bit of spice. The kung pao chicken (not pictured, unfortunately) was our favorite item, and again had nice bit of spicy kick to complement the flavor from the cashews. Finally, the spicy thai basil rice actually had a pleasant, almost sweet flavor to it that paired well with the other dishes. I could see us ordering all 3 of these dishes again.

Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice
Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice

(NOTE: My tolerance / preference for spicy food is not particularly high. If I thought the food had a nice kick, I would assume some people would think it was not spicy enough. )

After sampling the above listed items, the spicy king crab was a disappointment. The sauce was more tangy than spicy and it overpowered any meat we were able to extract from the crab legs (this was exacerbated by the large amount of sauce they added). I doubt we would ever order this again.

Spicy King Crab
Spicy King Crab

Conclusion

Morimoto Asia continues the trend of solid, new dining experiences at Disney Springs that was started by The BOATHOUSE. I would recommend again giving it a shot, even if you’re not particularly a fan of Asian cuisine.

You can make reservations via Disney’s ADR system or OpenTable (though the OpenTable method allows for easier cancellations and no $10-per-person cancellation fee.)

Other Resources

If you want to read more about Morimoto Asia, I suggest checking out Josh’s 2 reviews at easyWDW here and here, and this review from Len Testa at TouringPlans.

Probably should have gotten the Peking Duck instead of the crab
Probably should have gotten the Peking Duck instead of the crab

What Disney Princess are you?

I know John wants this blog to give you Disney news and really good insight, so I’m going to help with that, by telling you to take this quiz to determine what Disney princess you are!

I found this quiz on Oh My Disney, which is like Buzzfeed for the Disney crowd. This particular quiz purports to determine which Princess you are based on your zodiac sign. Drumroll please…..

Elyssa is Merida

I’m Merida. Which, let’s face it, I already knew:

Ginger Princesses

Which princess are you? What other Disney quizzes should I waste time on? Who wants to know which princess John is?