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"When You Wish Upon a Wishbone" and other Turkey-related tales

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"When You Wish Upon a Wishbone" and other Turkey-related tales

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Are you like me? And after you finish carving the turkey ... Well, it looks like that once-beautiful bird has just been through the blender?

Let's face facts: Most of us haven't had enough knife time to properly carve a turkey. Which is why we make such a hash of things whenever the holidays roll around. Whereas Lenny DeGeorge -- Executive Chef for the Walt Disney World Resort -- has personally carved more than 200 roast turkeys. Which is why he's a guy that you really want to listen to before you begin hacking away at that bird.

DeGeorge also has some excellent ideas when it comes to those all Thanksgiving leftovers. Can you say Turkey Paninis?

But whatever you do, don't trip out on tryptophan. If you're hoping to find some real bargains at your local Disney Store, you'll need to be wide awake as Black Friday arrives. You see, over 100 Disney Stores around the country will be opening right at the stroke of midnight tonight. And this time around, if you snooze, you really will lose. (Click on this link to see the Disney Store in your local area is taking part in this special holiday sale.)

Copyright 2008 Disney. All Rights Reserved

On the other hand, if you're deliberately avoiding the malls for the next few days ... If you live in the Orlando area, I do have a different sort of suggestion as to how you might spend the Friday after Thanksgiving. You can actually make a little history by taking part in Florida's First Polar Bear Club Plunge.

Copyright 2008 Gaylord Hotels. All Rights Reserved

For those of you who don't know: A Polar Bear Plunge is something that we die-hard New Englanders do in order to raise money for our favorite charities. This seasonal fundraiser typically involves people paying for the privilege to watch some poor friend or family member freeze as they take a quick dip in the icy Atlantic in late December and/or early January.

Now given that Orlando is miles away from the ocean (more importantly, quite balmy this time of year), how exactly is Florida's First Polar Bear Club Plunge supposed to work? It's simple, really. Rather than throwing themselves into the Atlantic, participants must first find their way to the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. And then -- while wearing a bathing suit -- walk through ICE!

"And what exactly is ICE!," you ask. Picture 2 million pounds of frozen water that's been carved into pleasing holiday shapes. Now picture all of these beautiful ice sculptures being showcased inside of an enormous structure that's deliberately being kept at a brisk 9 degrees. And your mission is to stroll through this intensely arctic environment in just your skivvies.

Copyright Gaylord Hotels. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, there are a few rules to Florida's First Polar Bear Club Plunge:

  • All participants must sign a waiver of liability
  • All participants must wear shoes while on the premises at the Gaylord Palms.
  • All participants must wear tasteful swimwear (Translation: No thongs).

If you're interested in taking part, Florida's First Polar Bear Club Plunge gets underway at 8:30 a.m. this Friday. Before this fundraiser officially gets underway, there'll be a brief warm-up reception at the Gaylord Palms where participants will be offered hot cocoa and coffee. And those that actually survive their trip through ICE! will then receive a certificate making them official members of the Orlando Polar Bear Club.

Copyright Gaylord Hotels. All Rights Reserved

FYI: If you have absolutely no interest in walking through a building full of ice sculptures while only wearing a Speedo, you can still get in on the insanity. The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center will be running two webcams at Friday morning's event. So from the warmth & safety of your own home, you can still watch these good-hearted-but-still-frozen fools make their way through ICE!

Mind you, if you can't make it down to Orlando tomorrow to take in Florida's First Polar Bear Club Plunge, you've still got plenty of time to check out ICE! This seasonal exhibition runs at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center through January 4th. For further information on ticket prices as well as ICE!'s hours of operation, please click on this link.

Happy Turkey Day from the entire JHM family. Special thanks to the Walt Disney World Resort for
passing along the Thanksgiving Entertainment Tips videos that were included with today's article.
(If you have trouble viewing the videos above, click on these YouTube links.)

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  • Gosh, too bad there isn't a Disney Store in my area anymore.  Once there were three, now there are none...

    Not that I'd be going out at midnight anyway.  *shudder*

  • I'd consider going to the Disney Store on Black Friday if I thought there'd be anything worth buying. Sadly, that hasn't been the case for me in a while...

    The Orlando Polar Bear Club, eh? Ingenious. If I were in Florida, I'd be seriously tempted to do something that stupid. :) Can you sprint through the exhibit?  

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