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The Beloved Sidekick | Kill Refurb Marry

Kill Refurb Marry

Kill Refurb Marry Day is always a good day. I like this subject a lot. I crowd-sourced a bit on Twitter before I wrote this and reasons why people love sidekicks seem to range from loving the actor who voiced them to remembering those feel-good characters.Which sidekick would you want for your best friend and which one could you live without? (This is starting to feel like a therapy session.) There’s also the question of who exactly is the sidekick in a duo like Buzz and Woody. (No one wanted to choose between the two so this became April’s KRM topic.) You’re welcome.

Enough dillydallying! Time to get this post started…


I’ve always been pretty vocal about my disdain for Iago. When I first saw Aladdin I probably didn’t give him too much thought so the final nail in the coffin was brilliant “under new management” years at The Tiki Room. Gilbert Gottfried is talented, don’t get me wrong, but no one wants his “singing” to infiltrate a relaxing and classy attraction. I’m sorry. It makes sense as the villain’s sidekick that Iago doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. When you spend your time following the bidding of an evil mastermind, it’s not surprising. Good riddance, Iago!


LeFou, I can’t deny that you are a good friend. You are extremely devoted to Gaston even if he’s always a shit to you. You don’t mind looking like the butt of all the jokes, but do you? DO YOU? I want to know your life story, LeFou, because I imagine it’s a pretty interesting one. How did you meet Gaston? What did you do after his death? Was it all an act? Even though you are pretty one-dimensional in the film, I have a hunch you are a complex. You might be having an affair with one of the triplets. Who knows? You might even be working in the castle right now (where I’m pretty sure the Beast is no longer a beast but the parent company of this whole creation seems to be confused about).


I love how I’m talking about so many of my childhood favorites in this version of Kill Refurb Marry. I think that’s saying something. Even though I could easily pick Pascal from Tangled or Louis from Princess in the Frog, maybe even Pegasus from Hercules, I’m sticking with an old love of mine. Meeko from Pocahontas. This rascally raccoon never speaks, but doesn’t have to. His expressions and actions say it all. He’s protective, he’s hungry, and he’s a big old mush.

Can’t wait to hear about your picks! Don’t be shy. Leave a comment or write up your own blog post; the more the merrier!

Be sure to head over to Mouse on the Mind‘s blog for her standout sidekick choices.

Caitie FFebruary 11, 2015 - 11:00 am

I totally agree with your Kill and Refurb. And that is a very solid choice for Marry. Meeko would easily make my top 5 (along with Piglet, Goofy, and Sebastian), but my ultimate winner would be Thumper.

Becky @ Disney in your DayFebruary 12, 2015 - 1:36 pm

I think the LeFou issue is true of a lot of sidekicks… makes me think of Smee as well!

Charge It, American Express | Muppet Monday

This is the week I am always my most anxious. All my bills seemed to be due around the 10th, and it’s a headache. It really is. But I checked all of that off the list (sigh), settled down for some nighttime TV with James, and one of my credit card companies surprised me with a commercial that made me smile (and tweet excitedly).

Keep a close eye on .05!

Jim Henson in an American Express commercial?! Who knew?

Of course, I went searching… YouTube is my savior.

The full-length spot from the late 1977s featured Muppets like Scooter and Floyd Pepper in the “Do You Know Me” campaign by Ogilvy & Mather agency. (Extra points if you seek out Miss Piggy.) Coincidentally, it was recorded 38 years ago this week. (I love when things like this call into place.)

Jim mentioned shooting the commercial in his Red Book — the journal he kept until 1988 with important activities he took part in. He actually signed an affidavit that the statements he made in the commercial were the truth. (Crazy!) These American Express commercials reemerged in 2008 for a “Members Only” project, and, it seems that Jim made the cut yet again.

Oh, how far we have come…

Celebrating 30 WDW Favorites

Well, we all have to turn thirty sometimes. Right? RIGHT?

Ahem. I’m well-rested from an extended trip to Orlando (thanks to “blizzard” Juno)… even a week later. So I say that’s a pretty good trip, huh? I plan on talking about my November and January trips super soon (I’m going to stretch out these recaps because I don’t have another trip coming up) but first, this milestone of a day. Frankly, I’m less concerned with the number (seriously) and more like, how did this happen when I still feel so young? I hope I always feel this way. I know my love Disney and the Muppets and the joy I feel when I am in a Disney theme park certainly contribute to the “young at heart” vibe I have going on. The best medicine, I say.

Today I’m sharing 30 of my favorite parts of WDW — whether it’s because of sound, sight, or fun — and believe me, it was difficult to narrow this list down (and find all the pictures but that’s another story… must organize my photo albums).

Without further ado…

30 WDW Favorites for 30

1. Harambe at Animal Kingdom | 2. BoardWalk Resort | 3. MuppetVision

4. Music on Sunset Blvd in DHS | 5. Epcot at night | 6. Walkway from Crescent to United Kingdom

7. Friendship boats | 8. BBQ Dingers at ESPN Club | 9. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night

10. Kiss Goodnight at Magic Kingdom | 11. World Showcase at sunset | 12. Buying a new pair of Mickey ears

13. Fountain of Nations | 14. Live music at Animal Kingdom | 15. Riding Expedition Everest 3x in a row

16. Breakfast at Tusker House | 17. The smell of Yacht & Beach Club lobbies | 18. The smell of food at Mama Melrose’s

19. Dawa Bar | 20. New Fantasyland at night | 21. Dinner at Rose & Crown in time for Illuminations

22. Illuminations globe | 23. Future World background loops | 24. Tangled bathrooms

25. Browsing in Mouse Gear + Trend-E | 26. Resort TV loops | 27. Adventureland

28. The prayer flags in Asia | 29. The printing press scene in Spaceship Earth | 30. An extra long ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris

And because I think celebrations are more fun when you can share the love, I’m hosting a giveaway this week. I picked up a few awesome pieces of merchandise on my trip last week and they’ll go to one lucky winner. The gift pack contains: an Adventureland napkin, plastic Fantasyland plate, Space Mountain coaster, Small World magnet, 2015 postcard, and Mickey Mouse keychain. Due to shipping costs, this is open to readers in the United States only. Good luck!

Happy Place Blog Birthday Giveaway 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MelissaFebruary 5, 2015 - 10:02 am

Happy birthday!!! Here three of my favorites: 1. Mornings on the BoardWalk 2. International Gateway background loop & 3. Crew’s Cup Lounge

Brandon MillerFebruary 5, 2015 - 10:09 am

Narrowing down the best to 3 (or even 30 is tough)! On our last trip in November, we had Dole Whip with Rum in Animal Kingdom while listening to live music and watching the crowd. That’s definitely up there on my list.

Dan HeatonFebruary 5, 2015 - 10:54 am

Hooray for Future World background music! I could just walk around there all day. I’m on board with so many of these, especially the Fountain of Nations, Big Thunder at Night, EPCOT at night (I’m sensing a theme), and even the Tangled bathrooms (strangely enough). We just got back on Sunday, and I’m ready to go again!

VikkiFebruary 5, 2015 - 11:14 am

Hmmm … Big Thunder Mountain at night, seeing my husband SCUBA dive in the Seas, and the male lion growling on the Safari

AshleyFebruary 5, 2015 - 12:00 pm

I love this idea! You’ve got some good choices in there– I spy lots of Animal Kingdom!
Happiest of birthdays to you. I love being in my thirties, and dare I say enjoy the World even more? I think you’re onto something with that ‘young at heart’ philosophy. Cheers!

Caitie FFebruary 5, 2015 - 1:44 pm

This is among my favorite posts ever – what a fun way to celebrate!

Hmm top 3 favorite things will have to be 3 of my favorite things because I can’t choose just 3!

Lefou’s brew
Germany pavilion
Muppet statue

MollyFebruary 5, 2015 - 1:57 pm

My Disney Top 3 – Dole Whip, Arriving EARLY for Early Entry, and riding Expedition Everest – I can’t get enough!

James MFebruary 5, 2015 - 2:07 pm

Space Mountain, Epcot, and the Art of Animation resort we stayed in last year!

Krissy @ Shiawase LifeFebruary 5, 2015 - 2:25 pm

Top 3:

– running through the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights during the Wine and Dine Half Marathon
– pretzel and a beer from Germany in Epcot
– Top of the World lounge!

Morgan @ Gone with the WordsFebruary 5, 2015 - 2:28 pm

Love love love this post! And happy birthday! I went to WDW for my honeymoon a couple years ago and had so much fun! My top 3 for WDW:
1. Pirates and Thunder Mountain- different from Dland and really fun, especially the lines!
2. Finding Nemo ride at Epcot, wish we had it at California Adventure.
3. BE OUR GUEST RESTAURANT; I was so happy I wanted to cry! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie and it’s gorgeous in there. The food was fantastic too.
* Just generally contrasting and comparing to Disneyland, it was so much fun to spot the differences and similarities.

My Disneyland list!! I’ve been going since I was a toddler and had annual passes many times growing up. My husband and I had a bunch of dates at Disneyland too with our SoCal passes and sprung for Premier when we got married!
1. The snacks: churros, popcorn, Dole Whip, beignets!
2. Space Mountain
3. The Animation Room in California Adventure. I could sit in there all day watching Disney clips and singing along.

Can you tell I love Disney ;) Thanks for the amazing giveaway.

Steve BurnsFebruary 5, 2015 - 2:47 pm

That’s a good list! I would change out a few things for my list, but I agree overall.

And Happy Birthday! I wish that I were just turning 30! :) Hope it’s a great year for you!

Ria EFebruary 5, 2015 - 5:56 pm

Happy birthday! My own top three would be watching Wishes from the Polynesian beach, eating a Mickey waffle for breakfast, and seeing baby elephants on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

AlexFebruary 6, 2015 - 9:27 am

Hope you had the happiest birthday! <3

Just three things? This is so hard. I'm going to pick a theme and go with three of my favorite things about the BoardWalk, since we both love love love that place. 1) friendship boats 2) early morning walks to hollywood studios {so peaceful!} and 3) the hallway carpet that has mickey riding a rollercoaster. adorable.

[…] of This Happy Place Blog, in celebration of turning 30 (welcome to the club!), shared 30 favorite parts of Walt Disney World. She’s also hosting an awesome […]

Christina FairleyFebruary 6, 2015 - 9:38 am

Pirates of the Carribean
Wandering the shops of World Showcase
Minnie Mouse ears

Kevin EFebruary 6, 2015 - 1:13 pm

My top 3 are: breakfast at ‘Ohana, riding Expedition Everest multiple times is a row, and riding Tomorrowland Transit Authority when Space Mountain lights are on.

RogerFebruary 7, 2015 - 7:46 am

Love your posts, they always make me sir, or laugh!

Meeting mickey
The castle, in all its views!

KJ @PlustheMagicFebruary 7, 2015 - 11:16 am

Hmmm… my top three today- off the top of my head- I’ll go with Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, and strolling WS.

LindseyFebruary 7, 2015 - 2:34 pm

My top 3 (sooo hard to choose) are:
1. Boardwalk
3.Spaceship Earth

tracey aFebruary 7, 2015 - 11:57 pm

Lemon tarts at Les Halles
The movie loops at Sci-Fi Dine-In
seeing the joy on the padawans faces

Becky @ Disney in your DayFebruary 9, 2015 - 12:46 pm

This is definitely a toughie! There are so many things that I love. I’m sure it will change every time I think about it, but for now I guess I’ll go with… Kilamanjaro safaris, dinner at Be Our Guest, and watching Wishes.

Jenn @ Fairest Run of AllFebruary 9, 2015 - 12:57 pm

Wait for me! I join your club in December. :)


1. The Festival of the Lion King
2. Hanging out in World Showcase snacking and drinking stuff
3. The feeling that I am home

[…] from This Happy Place Blog a very Happy 30th Birthday! In honor of her three decades, she’s giving away a gift pack, and you still have some time to win. And even if you don’t enter, you can still join in on a […]

ColleenFebruary 11, 2015 - 5:14 am

Happy Birthday! So hard to choose! But here it goes…..1) Festival of the Lion King 2) when you used to be able to ride up front with the engineer on the monorail 2) dinner at Rose & Crown on the patio for a perfect Illuminations view.

Kyle GFebruary 11, 2015 - 8:31 am

Hmm…There are so many things to choose from. I think I’ll go with:
1) Illuminations
2) Window seat at Sanaa
3) Listening to BGM on Center Street in MK

Into the Puppets & Sondheim | Muppet Monday

I fell into Stephen Sondheim fandom when I was a freshman in college. It wasn’t a seamless love. It took some time. Our awesomely challenging theater direct chose to put on COMPANY that fall. I went with my new roommates and my boyfriend at the time, and when it ended, we all looked at each other because we didn’t get it. I’ve never been a person who didn’t let not getting something stop me from finding out more, so I did. Then our summer musical happened. FOLLIES — another Sondheim show. It’s the story of a reunion at an old theater that is about to be closed down for good. At the same time, our college campus announced it was closing because of monetary problems and we were all on the edge of our seats, knowing we had one year left and would never see it again. Getting into FOLLIES made me revisit COMPANY even more, so I guess you can say  my fascination and admiration for this man’s music and creativity had been fully realized.

What does this have to do with the Muppets?

Well, in the past, the Muppets have been known to utilize some Sondheim music on The Muppet Show: Oh So Pretty & Comedy Tonight.

But I was still surprised to see that Sondheim and Jim Henson had discussed a puppet-centric movie version of INTO THE WOODS back in the day.

According to a recent article published on, Sondheim shared: “The animals were going to be played by puppets. It was going to be a combination of puppetry and real people. Then, Jim Henson died and the movie went into studio limbo for a while.”

Wouldn’t that have been something? I still have yet to see Disney’s INTO THE WOODS and I’m looking forward to the 10-person Roundabout Theater production currently on stage in New York City, but the thought of a Sondheim/Henson collaboration that didn’t happen kind of breaks my heart a bit.

While we mull over that, here’s one of my favorite songs from WOODS, “Giants in the Sky”, performed by Newsies original Jeremy Jordan:

Happy February!

Muppets in Movies | Muppet Monday

Greetings, friends! Last weeks, the Muppets and I observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day but we’re back in action today with another post about MuppetVision at Hollywood Studios. I’m actually nervous to see how many times I’ve written about this attraction on the blog — it’s a big number, I’m sure — but I can’t help it if there is always something “new to me” to share.

Back in November, when I was hanging out for Wine & Dine weekend with some friends, there were lines for MuppetVision. Seeing this always makes me silently clap because a) people love the Muppets! b) maybe they are reading this blog and love the Muppets even more, and then a tiny voice reminds me that it’s probably because of MyMagic+. Whichever the reason, it’s nice to see my guys getting the love they deserve. It also means I get to stand in line and hopefully find something new to take a picture of.

What can I say. Miracles happen.

Around the side of the theater, I was the annoying person holding up the line to take these following pictures. A few weeks ago, I discussed the wonderfulness of Muppets and parodies — something they have been executing since their early years and it’s very nice to see this tradition folded into the details at MuppetVision in Florida. (I only wish there was a simpler way to spot them!)

Aren’t these movie posters fun? I was squealing before I even got into the show!

Here are two other bonus discoveries from that day too:

It Called From Outer Space MuppetVision Muppet Parody PosterPirates of the Amphibian Muppets Parody Posters MuppetVisionThe Bride of Froggen Schwein MuppetVision Muppet Parody Poster

MuppetVision Eye Details Walt Disney World

They are watching… always watching.

MuppetVision Sweeper Detail Walt Disney World

How adorable is this? James said we need to get one for our house. (We don’t even have a broom so this might be a worth while investment. Hey Disney, are you listening?

And that does it for another version of Did you see THIS at MuppetVision? It’s certainly best to keep your eyes peeled around these parts.

Happy Muppet Monday!

[…] Estelle, the pretty lady who writes This Happy Place Blog, snaps some shots of the Muppets’ rarely-seen extended queue. […]