45 Years

Disney Magic — It’s Why We Go to Disney!

Disney Magic

Walt Disney World features thrills, rides, shows, and something known as Disney Magic!

You know, every so often I get asked, “Why do you always go to Walt Disney World?  Why don’t you go to other places on vacation?”

Well, as you can see in the title, there’s one simple answer — Disney Magic.  While those two words don’t necessarily mean anything to anyone who hasn’t been, or who didn’t get it, some of the stories that I’m sharing with you will hopefully give you an insight into what Disney Magic is all about.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Merida

Disney Magic

Image ©Jennifer

My friend Jennifer shared a story about her daughter and Merida, and how they interacted, and how Merida turned a tearful little girl into her normally bubbly self, and in doing so, showed what the famed Disney Magic is all about:

Let me tell you about my friend Merida. You know my daughter (name omitted by editor)…sometimes you cannot even tell she has aspergers, and then sometimes, like today, things get tricky. She gets something set in her mind and it must happen. Today, she wanted to finish coloring her picture for Merida because she LOVES her. Her turn came to meet her so soon, though, and she couldn’t finish the picture. Tears. Meltdown. And usually that means the end of the day for us. But Merida saw this and took my daughter to the side so they could finish the picture together, like friends. And she wiped her tears and pushed her wild hair off her face (Merida knows about wild hair) and listened to her. That Merida. She’s so beautiful, inside and out.

What Merida did for her little daughter, in my opinion, is truly what Walt had in mind for Guests of his parks.  He wanted anyone — and I mean anyone — to be able to come to Disneyland (or, in our case, Walt Disney World) and to be able to put aside, to forget, if you will, what their problems are, what their aches and pains and maladies might be, and in doing so, to remember what it is like to be a kid.  Jennifer’s story touched my heart because my daughter suffers similarly to her daughter, and there are times when she has trouble like Jennifer’s daughter does.  So when I read a story like her story, I shed a tear, and I give God thanks for people like Walt Disney, who opened his heart and shared his imagination, his skill, his creative genius, and his heart with all of us.

Donald Duck

Disney Magic

2007: Sophie (age 6) and Donald Duck dancing with excitement!

The year was 2007 — it was the first trip we took where we stayed on property.  Sophie was 6 years old, and was absolutely in love with Donald Duck.  We must have a 100 pictures of Sophie and Donald Duck in various outfits from that trip.  This particular picture was taken in Mickey’s Toontown Fair, and Sophie was so excited to see Donald Duck that she literally started bouncing with anticipation!  That started Donald Duck bouncing, and the end result is a whole set of dance moves that they did together!  I wish I was better at joining them all together, I’d post it for you.

Princess Jasmine

Disney Magic

Sophie was sharing secrets with Princess Jasmine in 2008!

We were at Epcot in the World Showcase.  For some reason we decided to explore the Morocco Pavilion even though we almost never stop to look.  We were at the back of the pavilion, and came around a corner, and there she was — Princess Jasmine and the Genie — with no one in line to see them!  It was pure Disney Magic.  Sophie was able to spend probably 5 or 10 minutes (it felt like an eternity to me) visiting with Princess Jasmine, and the Genie — he was doing everything in his power to get Sophie to acknowledge him, but she would have none of it.  Out of that time, this picture emerged, still a favorite after all of these years.

Goofy being Goofy

Disney Magic

Sophie and Goofy checking out pigtails and ears!

This picture, which takes us back again to 2007, was taken at Restaurantasaurus.  At that time, the restaurant was a character dining restaurant, not a counter service location like it is now.  We had a reservation for breakfast, and during that time, when Goofy came to visit us, Sophie took Goofy’s cue of pulling his ears out and did the same thing with her pigtails!

Stephanie and Shane

Disney Magic

Shane proposes to Stephanie in front of “her” Castle.

Of course, no exploration of Disney Magic would be complete without sharing once again the story of Shane and his bride Stephanie.  As Shane wrote in his own words, his dreams came true in 2012 in front of Cinderella Castle when he proposed to his wife Stephanie.  We all were in tears, and the Disney Magic was so thick you could slice it with a knife.

Walt’s dream when he created Disneyland was to be able to create a space where parents and children could go together, where they could ride the rides together, where they could be a family together, and where they could let their imaginations take them back to their childhood.  The stories I’ve shared today are proof to me that his vision has been achieved, and that Disney Magic, even today, is alive and well.  What stories do you have to share that prove that Disney Magic exists?  Please share in the comments, and thanks!

Photography and Disney Photo Pass Tips

… that you can find many interesting things just by looking up, down, or behind the obvious photographic opportunities? Today I’m going to share Four Tips that I used when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010:

DID YOU KNOW NO. 1

Little details are everywhere

Just after you enter the Park but before you start down the main street, you can find this survey marker (but I’m not going to tell you just where.) It’s obvious that it doesn’t mark the center of the Park, but must be used, or was used to map out the sections at one time or another. It’s a great little Hidden Mickey that most just step on or over on their way to the E-ticket attractions.

So keep your eyes open for what others may miss!

DID YOU KNOW NO. 2

Characters can be photographed on their own

If you’re patient and then very quick! Often I don’t want to wait in a long line to pose with a character but still want a picture of them. Sometimes there is a lull between guests, perhaps when a child is a bit shy, and must be coaxed to approach. Usually the Cast Member will stay on model and continue to act and move like the character even though there is no guest immediately in view to interact with.

Have your camera ready and capture that one-of-a-kind shot!

DID YOU KNOW NO. 3

Many attractions have a unique feature

I had visited this attraction, The Tower of Terror, many times before I noticed this fantastic (and eerie) smoke effect. At first it may simply appear as if the sprinklers have come on to water the foliage, but Disney wouldn’t do that and soak guests in line. Once again, it’s something that only patience and/or timing will allow you to capture.

DID YOU KNOW NO. 4

PhotoPass Photographers will shoot in any direction

I know! As a photographer, you like to be the one taking the pictures. But sometimes you want to be in the shot and so you avail yourself of the PhotoPass option. Most PhotoPass Photographers have their tripods set up to face a particular Disney backdrop. In the photo above, the PPP was actually facing the opposite way so that the Sorcerer’s Hat would be behind us. We hate that hat! So we asked the PPP to swing his tripod around and use the Crossroads booth for our backdrop. After a moment of silence (complete with stunned look) he complied.

This gave us a unique shot that perhaps no one else has, and gave the PPP a new story to tell. Win win.

So did you know these things?

runDisney

#DisneyTrivia – runDisney

runDisney

Image ©runDisney.com

Hello everyone, I’m back!  After a few week hiatus from #DisneyTrivia, I’m proud to rejoin my friends Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse and Heidi from Heidi’s Head to take a look at the best Disney Trivia available!  Today I’ve got a special look at runDisney, the athletic arm of Disney, and we’re going to look at some great facts and figures about all of the runDisney events.  In addition, I’ve got a special announcement about this as well, so keep reading!

  • Did you know more than 163,000 participants run in runDisney events (currently around 26 different races!)?
  • Did you know that there are two women-focused runDisney events?  The Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon allow men to run, but the first two corrals are for women only, and only women can win prizes (except for coed running teams).
  • If you like race medals, and are up for a challenge, you need to look into the Dopey challenge!  This challenge requires you to run the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon all in the same weekend event — that’s 4 medals for running the races, plus you get the Goofy Challenge medal (for running the half-marathon and marathon on consecutive days) plus the special Dopey challenge medal!  All told, 6 medals, and 48.6 miles of running over 4 days!  Crazy!
  • Did you know that if you run in one of the races, you can dress up in a favorite character costume?  You can’t do this normally at Disney — costumes aren’t allowed except for children — but doing so during the race is quite common!
  • Most of the half-marathon and marathon races start in the late evening — like 10PM or so, and run (pun intended) until around 4AM!  Afterwards, there is a party to celebrate and enjoy some good food!

Have you ever run in one of the runDisney events?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences, because my daughter Sophie and I have decided to start training to run in a Disney 5k of our own!  Our training starts today, and we’re utilizing the Couch-to-5K free app for our iPhone.  Tell me what you thought of your race experience, and thanks!  Now, please check out the rest of the entries and we’ll see you later on with more Disney content!

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Mickey Mouse Club Push’em Car (Laundry Cart)

But just what is a PUSH’EM CAR?

I saw this in a small town antique shop years ago. It’s approximately 16″ x 24″ and the artwork is painted onto a masonite-type board. It has eight holes drilled around the edges and displays the Walt Disney Productions trademark, which dates it before 1987.

I didn’t know if it was an advertising board that would have been displayed in a store to sell some kind of pedal car, or if a Push’em Car was something that appeared on the original Mickey Mouse Club television show. The price was a little high, but I was able to get it down a little, but I still feel I paid too much. But it looked cool, so I took a chance.

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you take a chance on something like this, and this time… I lost!

After researching on the Internet, I found that a Push’em Car was a mobile toy chest. It had two of these boards, one on each long side, and two other boards half the length on the ends, creating a rectangle-shaped box on wheels. The boards were screwed onto metal framing. It stood 22″ high at the top of the handles:

This was offered for auction with a starting bid of $25.00 in 2008

Final sale price not known, but estimated value is between $50 – $125.00

So as I only have one of the boards, it is pretty much valueless except for curiosity sake.

Why should I have known better? First, if it were an advertisement for a toy or pedal car, the product would have been pictured on the board. Second, no sign board would be affixed to a wall in a store with eight screws, thus damaging the wall for what would probably be a temporary promotion. I’m a more seasoned collector now, and I can truthfully say that making mistakes like this one has made me a more successful buyer!

That said… I love this board! I have it hanging in my solarium where I can look at it every morning while I drink my coffee. So not a complete fail, I guess.

Game Night: Vintage Disney Edition

Who likes game night? I’ve never been big on playing games so it may seem a little bit weird that I love to collect vintage games. But of course, I especially (read: only) collect Disney games:

    

    

    

Who knew there were so many Disney board games?

    

Could there be even more??

    

    

And I still have more!

So no matter who your favorite character is, or what type of board game you prefer, Disney probably has a version out there for you! And me!

Who wants to roll first?