I’d Rather Be At Disney World

Id-Rather-Be-At-DisneyLet’s be honest, real life is hard.  There are tons of chores and stress in day to day life that sometimes it can be hard to find the tiniest bit of magic.  Even if you do happen to find it, you might be so worn down from cold, hard reality to appreciate it.

That’s one reason why I love Disney World.  Disney is like an ideal version of how the world should be.  You begin your day with excitement about what is to come ahead.  Your entire family heads off together instead of dad and/or mom heading to work while the kids go to school.  When you want to go somewhere, a bus, monorail, or even a boat arrives to carry you to your destination free of charge.

When you get to your destination, there are wondrous sights everywhere.  You could stroll down the same street a dozen times and see something new every day.  A ton of people are strolling by, all filled with excitement.  By all rights, with that many people, there should be garbage everywhere and the bathrooms should be a horror.  But, they are all clean as if pixies were hiding in the walls to scrub the surfaces and dispose of trash when nobody was looking.

There are fun games, rides, and shows for everyone to experience.  You can move at your own pace: rushing from attraction to attraction or slowly taking it all in.  Often even waiting on line becomes magical as Disney makes illustrations of instruments on a wall come alive.  And once the line has lead you to your goal?  Then, you get entertained in a manner that only Disney can.  When you get hungry, your only problem is which of the wonderful food choices should you go with.  Even the characters come alive and are there to great your kids (or grown ups who become kids once they see Tigger in front of them).

Then, as the day ends, you return to your room.  The beds are made.  The sink is cleaned.  Fresh towels have been put out.  Perhaps a towel Mickey or towel animal will be waiting for you.  All done without you needing to lift a finger.

The only bad part about Disney World is leaving.  Reentry back into the real world can be rougher than any airline turbulence.  Suddenly, your pace isn’t set by how you would like to take the world in, it’s set by how your boss/family/etc. needs things done.  The beds suddenly don’t make themselves and the bathroom isn’t cleaned by pixie-power.  Things left on the floor stay on the floor until they are tripped over.  Expenses for home repairs and other items that you need (versus that you want) pile up.  Life isn’t one fun adventure after another anymore.

The Disney magic can be quite addictive.  I’m already thinking about when we can next go there.  However, I’m a firm believer that it *is* possible to carry it home.  (And no, I don’t mean by trapping a pixie and smuggling it home… I’ve tried, those little sprites are hard to catch!)

First of all, I’d recommend purchasing a PhotoPass CD and taking full advantage of it.  At strategic locations around Disney, there are photographers who will take your photo.  Get one with Cinderella’s castle behind you.  One with Spaceship Earth ("that Epcot ball") in the background.  Kiss your loved one in front of the Eiffel Tower.  Scream near the Tower of Terror.  Disney magic can even be captured photographically as your group pointing to the ground reveals Stitch bursting out or as your little one’s cupped hands reveal that Tinkerbell paid a visit.  While you should definitely be sure to bring your own camera to take photos and videos, the PhotoPass will let everyone be in the photo at the same time.

Next, get some souvenirs.  You don’t have to stuff a suitcase full of new merchandise, but a few choice items to remember your trip can be helpful.  As I work, if I need a little Disney magic, I just need to look up at my Vinylmation collection.  (The newest members, Darth Vader and Boba Fett, seem to be getting along with Nerd Goofy, Waldorf, and the rest.)

Finally, get some Disney music and movies to view.  No, you won’t be physically transported back to the tea cup ride, but watching laughing as the Mad Hatter fixes the White Rabbit’s watch can help keep a glimmer of Disney magic alive in your house.  (At least, until I can figure out how to earn a living by staying in Disney hotels, eating in Disney restaurants, and riding Disney rides.)

Now, if we could only find that pesky Fast Pass ticket for the laundry room or that pixie who will clean the bathroom and make the beds for us.

A Smee Parenting Moment at #DisneySMMoms

My kids love getting Disney characters’ autographs.  Last year, at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, they were so happy that they got Captain Hook’s signature.  Smee had escaped us, however.  So when we heard that the first night was going to have a Swashbuckler Soiree, we knew we had to be prepared.

Except, we weren’t.

In all of the confusion, we neglected to bring their autograph books with us.  Smee was there with his captain.  This was quite possibly the last time we’d see him this trip.  Perhaps, our only opportunity to get his autograph, but we had nothing for him to sign.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but parenting ranks right up there too.  I couldn’t let my kids go disappointed, so I thought quickly.  I brought the kids to the table where they were serving drinks and grabbed a napkin.  Then, after Smee signed a girl’s book, I asked if we could borrow her pen.  Borrowed pen plus napkin equals two very happy kids.


Have you ever had a moment where you had to think quickly to help your kids get something they really wanted?

The #DisneySMMoms Report: Swashbuckler Soiree

Note: To see all of my posts on DisneySMMoms 2012, go here.

After we left the introductory cocktail reception, I headed over the the beach near the Yacht Club.  (B and I had actually gotten separated during the Adventures By Disney.)  There, I found B, her parents, and the kids.

We were each given a bandana (which some of us fastened around our heads pirate-style) and drinks were offered with cool light-up "ice" cubes.


As we entered, we were serenaded by a pirate band and the centerpieces on our tables included a treasure chest.  (NOTE: We didn’t try digging up the beach looking for buried treasure.  That’d be bad form.)  Even the food was being guarded by a pirate.


Luckily, the pirate food guard didn’t mind us chowing down on some grub.  And what food there was!  A feast fit for a Captain (Hook)!


Many of the dishes had a decent kick to them.  Not burn your mouth spicy, mind you.  Disney wasn’t trying to get us to soak our mouths’ in the nearby waterway.  The food did have a spiciness about it that felt perfectly appropriate for a pirate party.  After all, what pirate would choose to eat bland food?

This wasn’t even all of the food, mind you.  There was also a kids table with corn (a non-spicy version), hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, and, of course, Mickey-roni and Cheese.

Of course, there were plenty of people to meet.  I had finally met Rene Syler (aka Good Enough Mother) in person at the cocktail reception, but we took the opportunity to have our photo taken.


(Hmmm…. Is that dadarocks in the background checking his smartphone?  I believe so!)

See this calm looking spot over here?


Well, it wasn’t calm for long.  They called all the kids over and started playing some pirate games.


Yes, those are hooks on their hands.  Just like a certain Captain had.  Speaking of whom, he made an appearance with Smee and Jake.  Sharkey and Bones couldn’t make it – I think they were busy cleaning the Jolly Roger – but a pair of singing pirates helped get the kids dancing.


Finally, there were amazing desserts including a fantastic bananas foster and, of course, Mickey Ice Cream Bars.


With the sun setting and the kids getting tired, we headed off of the sand for some much needed sleep.  It was a long, but very fun day at Disney World and our trip was just getting started.


Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

The #DisneySMMoms Report: Epcot and Introductions

Note: To see all of my posts on DisneySMMoms 2012, go here.

After we checked in for Disney Social Media Moms, we had some time.  Given that the Yacht Club resort is so close to Epcot, we walked on over.  We had two goals in mind: Playtime and Lunch.  Actually, lunch was at the top of the grown-ups’ list, but the kids just wanted to play in the UK.

Lunch took priority, though, and I knew a nice little spot in France.  Thanks to the magic of Disney, France is but a short walk away within Epcot.  We went into Boulangerie Patisserie and got some food:  Vegetable Quiches for B and me, pizzas for the boys… Ok, we were in France so they called them cheese tartines, not pizzas.  Still, it’s bread with sauce and cheese.  (Plus, the boys do better when you use familiar terms.)


Next, we walked from France to the UK.


Here, B and her parents went shopping while I supervised the boys as they ran through a small hedge maze.


We also saw some topiaries, sand art, and Duffy.  (More on these later.)


Some more shopping and walking later and it was back to the hotel for us.  After all, B and I had to head over to a introductory reception.

I’ll admit, this is precisely the kind of thing that I was dreading.  A social function where you don’t sit quietly listening, but rather talk to various people… people you may have met online, people you may have met in person, or people you may not have met at all.

All in all, I think I did pretty good.  I almost went up to someone I didn’t know, mistaking them for someone I knew and I introduced myself to one person whom I had met before, but by and large I survived unscathed.

The reception included some nice features like a guy playing the ukulele, some nice food to eat, and a few speakers talking about Adventures By Disney.


Adventures By Disney, by the way, is a Disney-fied tour of far away lands.  You get to see the sights without such mundane worries as how you will carry your luggage.  Trust me, once you’ve tried Disney’s Magical Express for your Disney World luggage versus dragging it all around yourself, you’ll appreciate "magical luggage transportation.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave for the Swashbuckler Soiree.  As we headed out, we each got a PhotoPass+ card and disc.  These would come in very handy later on.

One last photo before I close out this post.  Can you guess whose nails these are?


Those would be the nails of Jackie Gailey (aka @jjzmgailey aka Jackie’s Magical Moments).  Very impressive!

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

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