Hi! I'm Anita!
Anita, we love, love, love your column, and my family and I appreciate your taking the time to write it. We just finished a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic (our 5th Disney Cruise). Could you provide some details on Castaway Cay for us, such as how many employees actually stay on the island and whether or not there are any future plans for a permanent Disney resort there? To us, it is the best part of each cruise. Thanks.
I too love Castaway Cay! I've been there four times, and been rained out on three of those occasions! Finally last November, Flo and I were blessed with a sunny day on the island -- and it was too cold to swim. We had to make do shivering in the hammocks on the adults-only beach. Oh, well... I guess I'll have to try again? Tough job, but someone has to do it.
So anyway, you didn't want to hear about that, you wanted to hear about the island itself. You didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you a bit about the history of this wonderful island anyway, just because it's so interesting.
Originally called Gorda Cay, the first known European settlers probably arrived around 1783. It's thought that the pirates Blackbeard, Anne Bonney and Mary Read may have made many visits to the Cay. The Spanish Galleon San Pedro is also thought to have sunk in nearby waters.
In the 1960s, part of the island belonged to a private owner, a man who made his fortune in oil. This owner built the 2400 foot airstrip for his own plane to land on when he and his family visited. He sold his part of the Cay in the mid-1970s and that's when it began to be known as a popular place for smuggling. This continued until the mid-1980s when Disney bought it. These days, as you know, it's used solely for the enjoyment of Disney Cruise Line guests.
Island facts, figures and info:
Castaway Cay is located in the Bahamas near Great Abaco Island. It measures 3.1 by 2.2 miles (approximately 1000 acres) and remains mostly undeveloped. In locations tucked away from guest areas, some 40 Cast Members live and maintain the island assisted by various crew members when a ship is in port.
Strangely enough, one of the 1980s owners wanted to build a private resort on the Cay but it never happened. As far as I know, Disney has no current plans to develop one either, but you never know. I imagine two of the biggest issues would be how to get guests to and from the island efficiently, and how to get enough supplies there to sustain a resort.
My last visit was in 1992. My mom and I ate these wonderful cinnamon buns at a restaurant next to It's a Small World or maybe the Peter Pan ride (you could look down into the ride). Is this restaurant still open and what is it called? I would love to take my family there this December on our trip. Can you help me please? Thanks.
The restaurant you visited back in '92 was and is still called Pinocchio Village Haus. Just as you remembered, there is a large window in the restaurant that looks into the loading area of It's a Small World.
Even though the name hasn't changed, the menu has, and Pinocchio Village Haus now features mostly pizza and chicken nuggets, but no cinnamon buns. Sorry!
Hi Anita! I love your column and I read it every week. I finally have a question to ask you. My husband and I just got back from eight wonderful days at Walt Disney World. We had the chance to ride Spaceship Earth after the refurbishment. In one of the scenes there is someone writing a message using Morse code. I was wondering. Do you know what that message is? Thanks!
The message being transmitted in Spaceship Earth is the announcement of the driving of the Golden Spike near Promontory Summit, Utah, which symbolized the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The Transcontinental Railroad linked the east of the U.S. to the west and the Central Pacific Railroad with the Union Pacific Railroad. The actual message telegraphed around the country in May 1869 consisted simply of the word "done" but it seems like the message in Spaceship Earth is longer than that. I don't know Morse code so I don't know exactly what is being tapped out, only what it is supposed to be announcing.
Who directed 'The Lottery'?
The correct answer is entertainment Renaissance man, Garry Marshall. Marshall is a producer, writer and actor as well as being a director of films and TV.
This week, I think we had the largest ever number of correct answers. Those clever people are, in no particular order:
Glenn, Crissy, Chris, Kara, Kimberle, Nancy, Ranee, Tom, Sue, Linda, Bob, Kristin, Jason, Dana, George, Lynn, John, Sabrina, Eric, Becky, Emily, Keith, Reagan, Joanne, JK, Harrison, Mellinda, Mat, Mary, Jeffrey, Sabrina K, Teri, Kathy, Giesela, Jamie, Christine, Jeff, Cathy, Michael, Bobbie Ann, Dan, Amy and Maureen.
Also I want to thank the 200 or so of you who took the time out of your busy week to send me a note, either with your questions, trivia answers or separately. Each and every one was appreciated more than you know. Thanks! All Ears readers rock. Until next week...
That's it for this edition!
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