A Diva Update!

So far, 2017 has been great for this Disney Diva! I have been able to go to the homeland itself, Walt Disney World, twice – AND! – I am planning one more trip before the year is out!

My obsession has only continued to grow. My goal is to join the DVC by next year, as it appears I might have the flexibilty to get down to WDW more often. *Fingers crossed*

Here are some pictures of my trips this year. I spent a week with my sister and friend at the Art of Animation in the beginning of February. The AoA has become an instant fave! I’ve stayed at a few of the resorts and let me tell you, this one has it all! If you’re like me and love to remain submersed in Disney 24/7, this is the place to stay! We even found some Hidden Mickey’s in the shower! 🙂

We enjoyed every park! It was great to go with someone who has never been there, and experience the parks through their eyes. I wanted to make sure we did all the best attractions and Disney faves! We enjoyed the Fantasmic show, utilized the FastPasses, and stopped to meet some of our favorite characters – including Moana and the sisters from Frozen!

We also did a few firsts, even for me. We got celebration pins for one of our birthdays, which brought on some unexpected free treats! We got to try Mike’s Laugh Floor which I will absolutely do every time, it was adorable! We also did the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party, which was great! That time of year was chilly at night, though, so maybe it would be better in the summer. Also, although you have a great view of the fireworks, you can’t really see the show projected on to the castle. We also ate at Japan, which was delicious and beautiful! Speaking of food, I just have to share some food pics from my February AND March trip! 🙂

When I went back in March, I took my mother and we stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter. The resort was really beautiful, and we took advantage of the boat ride from Disney Springs (which has been gorgeously updated btw!) back to the resort. It was great! We got to ride by the Treehouse Villas (#goals) and it was very relaxing.

We also got to enjoy the beginning of the Flower & Garden Fesitval at Epcot, which is always beautiful. It was getting crowded at that time, but not too bad. My mother and I are not roller coaster people, so, we never have to deal with crazy lines. We did great at Magic Kingdom, too. We were there open to close, and got to essentially do the part twice over! It was a great time and I have wonderful memories!

We actually rode on The Little Mermaid ride about 6 times that night, because there was no line!

I cannot wait to bring my mother back for the Food &Wine Festival. She’s never been to it and we are both foodies so I know it will be great! Til next time 🙂

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Fun Fact Friday! #186

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Hurricane Matthew is making a mess down in Florida, and as we speak, the Walt Disney World theme parks are shut down and preparing for the storm. Folks on vacation at the magical land must be disappointed to miss visiting the parks and the MNSSHP events, I would be! Some comments have been made that it’s risky to travel to WDW during hurricane season, however, it should be pointed out that it is a truly rare occasion that the parks have to close due to the weather.

A flyer handed to all guests exiting the parks on August 13, 2004 explains admission refund policies. Image from Chris Barry. Source: MousePlanet.com

Hurricane season in Florida runs from the end of June to November, believe it or not! But since opening in 1971, the parks have only been closed because of the weather a few times. Hurricane Floyd rushed through in 1999. and this caused the all four parks to close down for the first time in WDW history! And then in 2004, which was a crazy hurricane season in Florida (I know, I was there for Hurricane Charlie!), the parks saw a few different full-day closures.

My trip wasn’t interrupted, however, we were leaving the day it got really bad. But I remember seeing the cast members, all calm and collected, as they had to prepare to shut down some of the attractions. Obviously the rides that are outside get shut down first.

Being in Florida during a hurricane can be unbelievably nerve-wracking! In 2004, during Hurricane Charlie, my family and I were staying with my grandmother who lived in Kissimmee at the time. We were there to help move her up to Boston so should could live with us. Of course, my family planned a couple of nights at the Walt Disney World parks, and, we actually stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort!

That resort is absolutely GORGEOUS and I remember feeling very posh and important whenever I walked onto the property!

Anyways, Hurricane Charlie rushed in, and my whole family (including the dog) had to bunker down in my Grandmother’s pantry! It was crazy. There was six of us all huddled together in an 8×8 room, holding hands, praying, and panicking. The destruction was craziness! My Grandmother’s trees were pulled from the ground, roof shingles were littered all over the yard, but the worst thing was the weather afterwards.

Obviously, we had no power, and the humidity was super oppressive. Without AC, we were getting pretty snippy with one another. Also, we were packing a house full of things by candlelight, mind you, so it was just awful! I remember the need for ice was also in high demand, and the lines… oh my GOODNESS the lines to get ice, gas, just the necessities. It was completely surreal for a New England gal like me.

Don’t get me wrong, we have our Nor’easters to contend with. But to be honest, it’s easier to make a fire and warm up then go without the use of a fan or AC. Horrible.

While I understand that Central Florida does not usually get hit by this Hurricane Season, having lived through one 10+ years ago, my thoughts go out to everyone who is being affected by this right now. I hope that proper aid and help comes swiftly, and everyone remains safe.

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Fun Fact Friday! #185

Up, up, and away!

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Boy what a week this has been. What made it even harder to concentrate at my desk job was knowing that my wonderful parents are vacationing at Walt Disney World as we speak! #Jealous!

It’s cool, though. They totally deserve time at the park and, seeing as I have been there multiple times without them, I really can’t complain (too much…).

But maybe just knowing that they are in the happiest place on earth is causing me to daydream, and in my daydreaming I am flying around, up and over the magical park. So naturally, today’s Fun Fact relates to Up!

Russell’s Wilderness Explorer sash dons several tribute pins.

One badge has a burger with a candle in it, referencing director Pete Docter’s favorite bakery, Merritt Baker, in Oakland. Another pin shows a perforated paper, typically used by 2D animators to line up drawings correctly. Lastly, there is a multicolored pinwheel reminiscent of Apple computers’ “hang” icon.

Super cool, huh? Those sneaky peeps at Pixar never miss an opportunity to add some hidden messaged in their movies! That’s what keeps them so interesting!

Source

 

Mickey’s New Look at Disneyland!

Mickey Mouse is strutting his stuff and looking newer and fresher with an updated appearance that was revealed at the end of Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration! Check out that fresh face and big, animated eyes! I love it!

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At Inside the Magic’s page, they have a great clip of the “new” Mickey Mouse as he trots down Main Street and meets with his adoring fans. Check it out below. I wonder if he will make the trip over to Disney World so that I can get a picture with him next time I get down to Florida. Or maybe I’ll just need to go back to Disneyland for trip #4 – no complaints there!

Just hearing the sounds of the Magic Kingdom makes me so nostalgic. It’s always a bittersweet journey to scan through the thousands and thousands of Disney park videos, both professional and amateur ones. *sigh*

#OrlandoStrong

 

 

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There are no words to describe the feelings of sadness and loss after Sunday mornings mass shooting in Orlando. I am confused that such a horrible, violent act could ever happen in the first place. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the 50 souls that were taken too soon. In memory of them, I will keep this post short. I hope that God was there with them that night, to welcome them Home and bring them peace. Now it is up to us to help heal those who are suffering a loss. Pray for them. #OrlandoStrong

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Spring: Day 2. Nor’easter…..

Whhhhhy! For those of you not stuck up here, let me give you a quick weather report. This morning as I left for the office I had to shovel snow off my car… yes, SNOW! The plows and salt trucks are out, and snow is dropping like it’s the middle of January. We’ll get 8″-12″ by tonight. Oh, and did I mention that since yesterday, it is officially spring?

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Well, you know, there is a silver lining I suppose. I’ll be in glorious Florida next week! Yippee!

And the best part is, my father and I are taking a half day to visit Epcot! Woo hoo!!!

I’ll keep that happy thought with me as I trudge through the snow banks to my car this evening…