This Happy Place Blog » Blog

Masthead header

Howdy Partners | Kill Refurb Marry

Kill Refurb Marry

Greetings, pals! Hope you are doing well. Kill Refurb Marry is a game that Melissa of Mouse on the Mind founded last year where we pick a topic and tirelessly stress over which to discard, change, or keep forever. It can be painful, but it’s also wonderful and month after month (we host these the second Wednesday of every month) I look forward to the creative folks who dedicated some blog content to being silly.

This month, we are talking PARTNERS. Are you scratching yourself and asking: what does that mean, Estelle? Well, you are not alone. I’ve been sitting here most of the night wondering the same thing. We fretted over sidekicks two months ago, and that’s different because in that relationship, someone is always on top. With partners, you are more on an even playing field. So these “partners” or “best friends” do exist except so many of the ones I love I can’t kill. So basically my post may turn into a total lovefest. I’m going to try to be firm!


Flotsam and Jetsam are two people you don’t want working in your office. They suck up to the boss, and are all about the bad karma. Didn’t they know they were scary on their own? They did that weird eye trick! They could have taken down Ursula themselves but no they were lazy, lazy eels. They paid the price, and maybe I’m cheating, but you know what — good riddance.


Chip and Dale: Oh these two rascals. Or are they? Much like Mickey Mouse they’ve been softened up a bit. Have they grown up? Well, in real time, yes, but as cartoon stars… no. I would love these two return to their roots, make Donald Duck mad, and stop being so cute all the time. I say I want to see Chip and Dale reclaim their title as the most mischievous and possibly the most clever.


Lilo and Stitch: These two. They just balance each other out. They win because they are both stars, in their own way. Their both unique and quirky for different reasons. Lilo likes to feed peanut butter sandwiches to fish and take pictures of men eating ice cream, while Stitch is a closet Elvis fan, who wears bras as hats, and acts like a dog even though he’s an alien. They need each other and don’t even know it. They fill this empty piece that each of them has in their heart. They laugh, they light, and they connect.

runner up:

Baymax and Hiro: I just adored this movie. Baymax may not be a human, but he certainly helps Hiro heal from a devastating blow (as he was programmed to do… sort of) and I loved watching how wary Hiro was of him at first, and how important Baymax grew to be at this really critical point in Hiro’s life. The only reason I’m not picking them as my “marry” is because I would have wanted them to have a little bit of screen time and because, well, Baymax was essentially a computer.

Okay, friends, your turn! Tweet us with the hashtag #killrefurbmarry or if you choose to write a post, be sure to link it up over
at Mouse on the Mind… right here.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Happy KRM!

Melissa SueApril 8, 2015 - 8:15 am

!!! I can’t believe you got it down to two marries!! BRAVA, my darling.

Becky @ Disney in your DayApril 8, 2015 - 12:19 pm

<3 Baymax. And great point about the refurb, I would love to see them more mischievous again as well!

Stop and Stare | Kill Refurb Marry

Kill Refurb Marry

I have no idea what it is (winters’ fingers prying onto New York maybe) but I have been aching for a Disney vacation lately. I know I just got back from one in January but that already seems eons of years ago. (See? The cold ruins everything.) I’m making the best out of it here. It’s the second Wednesday in the month, Melissa and I are hosting another Kill Refurb Marry blog hop, AND I get to talk about one of my favorite vacation past times that you will not find in ANY guidebook. You won’t even find it on your Disney Experience. Nope. It has all to do with finding a shady place to sit and using your eyes.


Let’s face it — people from all corners of the world are roaming in Disney Parks. There’s so much to see. The couples, the families, the friends, and even the cast members. Non-stop entertainment folks, without the Fast Pass+ thingie. (And prime time to get your background loop listening in!) Maybe this is something I’m prone to do because of New York City and you can’t help but look when you crammed in a subway or walking down a street on a sunny day. This habit is one thing I do not leave behind in the North.

Time to hop to it!


The walkway from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. This could be a prime location to stake out and watch but there’s zero shade, the smell of exhaust from the Speedway is EVERYWHERE, and it’s always pretty crowded. In my wildest dreams, the Speedway would disappear and there might be some lovely trees, comfy benches. I hope this area gets some attention paid to it in the near future. It’s much more delightful to walk around in the dark … which kind of limits the people watching possibilities.


Fountain of Nations surrounding area. In January, James and I had some time to hang out in Future World and watch the amazing, wonderful, could it get any better Fountain of Nations show. Is there anything else more soothing? (I’ve loved it since I was a kid.) I don’t think so. But … the seating opportunities are slim pickings. With the Photo Pass moment facing Spaceship Earth taking up a ton of space, there are a few benches thrown around there — and you are lucky if you get to sit by them. How can this be fixed? I’m not sure. You COULD watch from inside the Fountainview Starbucks (not a terrible idea) but it’s still not the same as being outside, and even feeling sprinkles of fountain water on your face. Let’s give this space some love! (I wouldn’t mind if someone pitched a tent over here either… I could stay forever.)


Sunset Blvd in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As always, MARRY is the hardest EVER. I went with this one because I think Sunset Blvd. remains peaceful, even on the most crowded DHS day. People taking silly pictures in front of the Tower of Terror, in a panic before they head to the most intense rides of the park, and maybe those other special people taking the time to check out all the details on the way. We can’t forget the music. The old-time Hollywood feel is alive and well on Sunset Blvd. It’s the perfect place to have a seat, grab an apple turnover, and enjoy your morning coffee.


Harambe (near Dawa Bar) in Animal Kingdom. It can get a little tricky to plan this one right… but I really like that rock formation in front of the Dawa Bar — you get a great view of Burudika playing and oh gosh — the absolute best people watching moments unfold here. This band can get ANYONE to dance. (Not me, but just about anyone else.) There’s always a little kid moving and grooving like the world is not watching either. I love the band on its own, but the crowd certainly adds to reason why I see them multiple times in a park visit.

I can’t wait to hear about your favorite places to sit around the world!
Be sure to check out the blog hop landing page, and don’t be shy —
you can join in the linkup at any time! The page is live up until we do the next one.:)

Thanks for reading this, Kill Refurb Marry! See you again real soon.

Caitie FMarch 11, 2015 - 9:47 am

There should be a great people watching place there in the Magic Kingdom. I would say my favorite place to just sit and enjoy looking around is in Epcot right outside the caramel shop in Germany. There aren’t a ton of benches, but there are a couple of comfortable benches in the shade and it smells amazing.

Dan heatonMarch 11, 2015 - 10:04 am

I’d pick World Showcase in general as my place to marry, and it’s hard to pick one spot. That’s the best for people watching, and the paths are wide enough to avoid a bottleneck. That’s my issue in Harambe. It’s lively, and the band is great. However, it’s just a little bit too cramped for me. Still, I can totally see the appeal.

[…] that time of the month again! Another Kill Refurb Marry blog hop from Estelle and […]

AlexMarch 12, 2015 - 8:02 pm

Good choices! I completely agree with your refurb, too. I always attempt to sit outside of MouseGear on their weird seating {wouldn’t call it a bench…I don’t know what to call it} to watch but it never lasts.

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!

[…] are not alone. I’ve been sitting here most of the night wondering the same thing. We fretted over sidekicks two months ago, and that’s different because in that relationship, someone is always on top. With partners, […]

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