Fear of the Unknown

The Disney brand is closing due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Fear of the Unknown

All of the news lately has been about the spread of the Coronavirus, and what we as a nation and world should do to attempt to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, the NBA has suspended it’s season, the NHL has paused it’s season, MLB is not starting it’s season on time as planned, and the NCAA has cancelled it’s tournaments, both the conference tournaments and March Madness. The list goes on and on.

But for my family, the biggest blow came when Walt Disney World announced yesterday that it was going to close its parks. For a family that was slated to fly down to WDW on Sunday, that was a hard reality that really struck home the seriousness of what is going on.

Is this an over-reaction? Perhaps, perhaps not. It’s not for me to judge whether it is or not. What I believe, though, is that what we really have is a fear of the unknown, of not knowing what will happen next, and when a place like Walt Disney World — which this closing will be I believe only the ninth time it has closed since it opened in 1971, and by far it’s longest closing — closes its parks, the whole world takes notice.

The Christian in me believes that the world doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know who to turn to, doesn’t know what is going to happen next. I mean, if Walt Disney World can close, if every single Disney Park is closed, if Disney Cruise Lines is suspending operations, then what could be next?

My friends, I don’t have the answers to what comes next. What I do know, though, is that my faith is in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know what my Bible tells me; throughout His Word are words of hope, of words of comfort, of a promise that He will be with us. So at the end of the day, I turn to God, and to these verses:

‘for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’

2Timothy 1:7

‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

Joshua 1:9

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’

Psalms 27:1

‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord , and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord , and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.’

Jeremiah 29:11-14

‘Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:32-33

Putting these Bible verses here for you is, I hope a comfort for you, as it has been for me. The world is chaotic right now, but when I read these verses, I remember Who is truly in charge, and as a result the fear of the unknown that I wrote about has turned into the Peace of God.

If you need to talk about any of this, or if you need any help with anything, leave me a comment, we’ll talk off-line afterwards, and we’ll work on doing what we can to bring order out of chaos. Also, feel free to check out our Prayers for the Week Facebook Group — request to join, and in that community we have many prayer warriors that will pray with you and for you.

Together, we can all make it through this.

We’re On the Road with Mickey!

Artwork ©Sophie Ellis

On the Road with Mickey

Today my daughter Sophie and I unveiled to the Internet our brand new podcast, known to us and the world as On the Road with Mickey. This travel podcast is going to focus primarily on Disney topics, but we are also going to talk about Universal Orlando Resort and local/regional destinations — ones that we can get to fairly easily, just a short ride away, maybe trips that are ideal for a long weekend of exploring.

Much like when I started My Dreams of Disney, we figure we are speaking to an audience of three — me, myself, and I (or would that be an audience of six with Sophie included?) — but that doesn’t matter to us, it just gives us plenty of room for growth!

Today is Episode 1, our introduction of ourselves and why we decided to start a podcast, and if you want to have a listen, you can head over to our podcast website, On the Road with Mickey, to play the podcast there. We’re still working on getting it added to Apple and Google and so forth, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I hope you like the podcast, and please feel free to leave us a comment so that we can learn what you like and don’t like. Thanks, now go have a great day!

Preparing for Spring Break 2020!

Spring Break 2020

Spring Break 2020 Here we come!

We are so excited! As of today, November 11, we are 125 days out from our trip to Walt Disney World for Spring Break! As often as our family has been to Disney, our schedules have never provided the opportunity to visit during this time. Now, I know that a lot of you will be thinking, “Who wants to visit Walt Disney World during Spring Break? That sounds insane to me!”, and you know what, when all is said and done, I might agree with you. I don’t think I will, simply because of the old adage — “A day at Disney is better than a day anywhere else!”

There are several things that excite me about this trip. Here is just a short list of things that we want to celebrate on this trip!

  • My birthday is in February, so this will be a birthday celebration for me!
  • My wife’s birthday is in March, so we will be celebrating her birthday as well!
  • Our daughter will be on Spring Break from college, so we’re going to celebrate that as well!
  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 4 – June 1, 2020, and we’ve only seen bits of it after it was over, so it will be fun to experience this as well!
  • Star Wars Land will have been open for 7 months or so, and we want to experience that as well.
  • Believe it or not, we’ve not even experienced Toy Story Land, so that’s high on our list also!
  • But most of all, Cindy and I want to visit Disney with our daughter Sophie. She’s 18 now, and will be fast approaching 19 when we are there, so we wonder how many more of these family vacations will we have, just the three of us.

In addition to all of those things that we want to experience, we are also going to try out some old favorite restaurants of ours as well as some new ones that we’ve never tried before! How’s this list of reservations sound to you?

  • We’re having lunch once again at Be Our Guest
  • Tusker House Lunch, tied to the 1st show of Rivers of Light
  • Dinner at the Garden Grill, a family favorite!
  • Lunch at Mama Melrose with 1st show Fantasmic seating! This is a first for us.
  • A first for us, dinner at California Grill! So excited to experience this for ourselves!
  • Lastly, dinner at the Rose & Crown. We’ve never tried this restaurant either, it’s one we’ve had on our list for quite a while!

What do you think of our dining selections? Are they your favorites as well, or would you choose different restaurants? Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Friends, thanks for stopping by today and reading about our upcoming trip! Tell me, what is your countdown to Disney looking like? Send me a comment with how many days until your next trip, or if you want help planning a trip, read below! Thanks!

Can I help you plan your next Disney trip? If so, send me an email to mike@pixievacations.com, or feel free to request a free, no-obligation quote online today! Thanks for spending time with us today, and please tell me in the comments what your favorite Walt Disney World attraction is! Thanks, and have a great Disney day!

Prayers for the Week: It’s all about Love

Prayers for the Week: Love

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

A four year old girl battles a rare form of cancer and looking for a miracle.
A family struggles with how to live life after their husband/father passes away.
A friend with two teenage children is put in hospice from a cancer diagnosis.
A middle aged woman struggles with doubt, wondering if she will be given the opportunity to show what she knows in a new job situation.
A very close friend is experiencing seizures, and they can’t figure out why.

These are just a handful of the prayer requests that we see during the week. Over six years ago, on March 3, 2013, I wrote the first Prayers for the Week post. It was a simple post, mentioning that I was feeling led to lead us in a weekly prayer post. Other than a period of about a year when I felt like it wasn’t something I was to keep doing, our weekly prayer posts have been going on since.

Over the years, our prayers for others have shown others that they aren’t alone; that the huge problems they are facing have others facing them with them, at least in prayer. Our prayers have shown the world that there is something to be said for praying to God for help when we need it. Lastly, our prayers have shown the world that God loves them, and that He is using our hands and feet to love the world for Him.

For many of our prayer requests, the end result was not the result we wanted. Many of our prayer recipients have passed away, and we grieve their loss. However, the sorrow we felt in losing them was replaced with God’s Peace, that Peace that defies understanding, that takes our grief and sorrow and gives us in return a calmness, a knowing that our loved one is better now, and that he or she has a perfectly healed body, mind, and soul, and that they are with Jesus, waiting for our turn to come home to Heaven.

It is because of that Peace that we pray for others in their need, and why they pray for us in our need as well. It is because of that Peace that we know that our worldly afflictions are light and momentary, despite their severity, because we know that our glorious reward will be so much more in the end.

Lastly, we pray because we know that Jesus came to save us from ourselves, from our sin, and He paid the ultimate price — His life — so that we could be forgiven if we but Believe in Him. That ultimate sacrifice of Love is a reminder to us of just how much God loves us. That is why we shared John 3:16 with you today — as a reminder of His love for us.

That is why we have our prayers for the week posts, and why we have our Prayers for the Week Facebook group. Join us in the group by clicking the link, and leave us a comment and let us know what we can pray over for you and your family. Now, please pray for this week’s prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • We start off our prayers with a call for prayer for Georgia Mae. Here is what I wrote: “Georgia Mae is a beautiful 4 year old, she is the granddaughter of the pastor of Kipp’s church in Knightdale. This wonderful child of God needs our prayers in a huge way. She has been fighting cancer for a long time, and just when they believe that they have it beat, it rears its ugly head again. Please be in prayer for this wonderful girl and her family. Pray for healing. Pray for peace. Pray for comfort. Pray for strength. Thank you.”
    • If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area, there is a prayer service for Georgia Mae Sunday night at 6:00PM. Here is the info: “Please join us this Sunday night, September 29th, at 6:00 PM at Cross Point Community Church, 1001 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale, for a prayer service lifting up Georgia Mae Webb and her family. #prayforgeorgiamae
  • Ivon has a prayer request: “My prayer warriors.. I come asking for prayers for a very special, dear friend of ours, she is more like a sister to us, and she is currently in the hospital because she’s been having seizures and the Dr’s can’t figure out why? Please pray that she gets better soon and that the Dr’s find out why she is seizing. Her name is Christina. Please say a special prayer for her and her family. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.”
    • Update: “My wonderful prayer warriors.. Thank you so much for your prayers! God certainly heard you loud and clear.
      Update: Our Dear Friend/Sister Christina is finally out of the hospital.
      She had an MRI, CATSCAN, 2 EEG’s, blood work, you name it, it was done. The Neurologist found an abnormality in her brain waves. Consistent to epilepsy, however she’s not epileptic. It’s called Epileptiform to keep it short.
      These are Her words: “God is good! I am doing well. Thank you for praying. I share my time because I am thankful and grateful for the God I serve. I have not one complaint. Every nurse, doctor, specialist… took great care of us. I surely felt the favor of the Lord in every part of this. I laughed quite a bit with them all. These types of times are perfect times to let God show up!” Again, Thank you all!”
  • Lori has a prayer request: “Not doing so well tonight. Everything was going well today until the computer started slowing down. Unfortunately for me, it was the same time my boss came out and stood behind me. I looked like a moron.
    I get in my car every day and Pray for His guidance and help. I KNOW I am not too old to do this job, but if they cut me, I know I cannot do another round of unemployment.

    I can’t do or withstand anymore , Lord.”
  • Scarlett has a prayer request and praise for us: “Please pray for Mike’s family as Mike lost his valiant fight with cancer! Mike, age 50, leaves behind a beautiful wife and four children! He was blessed with friends and he was a blessing to many!
    Thank you!”
  • Jodi asks for prayers for her brother’s family: “Please keep my sister-in-law in prayer this weekend. She has sold all belongings except what she needs and, of course, special items, and she is moving from their family home in Dallas to an apartment in Oklahoma. Her hope is to gain employment with the University of Oklahoma where her daughter now attends, thus having free or greatly discounted school tuition for both kids (son would transfer), as well as steady income and benefits. She also has family in the area and is originally from the area, so this helps, but as you can imagine, this is a HUGE adjustment for all of them as they continue to go forward from the loss of my brother. Please also continue prayer for both kids. I understand my niece had a pretty good breakdown the other day and is struggling emotionally. Thanks!”
  • Lori has one last prayer request for us: “Please add Tammy to your prayers today and tonight. She’s a beautiful woman who beat Heroin addiction for 5 years and I know she can do it again. When she reached out to me just now in Houston, I can do nothing but ask for Prayers. At least she promised me that she would call me tomorrow.”
  • Lastly, please pray for those who don’t know what to ask for, as well as for those that are lost, and don’t know Jesus in their lives. Finally, please continue praying by praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.

The Lord’s Prayer
Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World
The fall decorations at Walt Disney World are incredibly cool!

Visiting Walt Disney World in the Fall!

The cooler temperatures. The crisp sky. The decorations. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. These are just some of the reasons why visiting Walt Disney World in the fall can be an absolutely incredible experience for you and your family.

This year — shoot, next week, people! — my wife, daughter, and I are going to be doing just that! We will be staying at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort from Thursday – Sunday, and visiting with our friends from California! Such an exciting time, and full of some experiences that many of them have never encountered before!

How’s this for a list of firsts:

  1. This will be the first time we have stayed in a Wilderness Cabin.
  2. For everyone except me, this will be the first time we will taking in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
  3. For everyone except me, this will be the first time they will have been to Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
  4. For my family, we are taking this trip also to explore schools in the area, so this will be the first time we have done that.

For all of those firsts, there are a lot of things that we have done before. We have been to Walt Disney World in the fall before, and absolutely love it! This will be another great reunion of our two families, and we are so excited about it. Also, it is a great time to remember what living is all about, and to give thanks for all of our blessings that we have been given.

So, what about you? Do you have any travel plans coming up that you want to talk about? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by! Last thing — get ready for a contest with a super awesome prize (at least, it is in my mind, hopefully you agree!) in the next couple of days!