Friday, March 24, 2017

Would You Rather

As part of some research I've been recently doing for some recordings I've been asked to do with our friends over at the Mousecapades Podcast, I came across a website that had a fun game of Disney Would You Rather. 

We've all played this game right? You're asked to choose between two things. Usually, these things are not very pleasant so you're choosing between a bad thing or a worse thing. In this Disney version, one of the questions was you can only choose one for the rest of your life, so would you rather only ever be able to eat Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bars or a Pineapple Dole Whips?

Mickey's Premium Ice Cream/ Pineapple Dole Whip

What a hard question to answer! I hate the thought that I would have to choose but there is a clear winner for me. This question, however, got me thinking about all the other Would You Rather questions that could be asked about Disney. I'm not going to go into them in this blog because I'm saving them for an upcoming episode of the Mousecapades Podcast but I would like to pose a question to everyone. What would Disney be like without some of these things?

It wouldn't be the same, that's for sure. So many of them are iconic and although I may not like riding Spaceship Earth, I can't imagine Epcot without it. The park wouldn't be the same.

Back in February, on the last night of my trip down to Disney World, I had planned to head back to the Magic Kingdom. I always try to end my trips at the Magic Kingdom so I planned all my fastpasses for that evening: Peter Pan's Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Splash Mountain.

I was staying at the All-Star Sports Resort this trip and after a long morning at Hollywood Studios that, I headed back to the resort to avoid the rain and to take a nap. I woke up around four and honestly, I didn't feel like doing anything. I was just going to stay at the resort, have dinner, and pack my bags to head home in the morning.

Just before six, I decided that I did want to go back out so I jumped into the shower, got ready, and quickly made my way to the buses. My last fastpass was for Splash Mountain from six to seven so I had about thirty minutes to make it. I rushed off the bus, into the park, down Main Street, and with just a couple minutes to spare, I was able to get on the ride.

After Splash Mountain, I didn't feel like staying in the park any longer. There weren't any other rides that I felt like standing in line for so, I decided to head back to the resort but there was one thing I wanted to do before I left the park and headed home.

I wanted one final Pineapple Dole Whip Float. So yeah, I made a single trip to the Magic Kingdom for Splash Mountain and a Dole Whip. For me, Disney World wouldn't be the same without the Dole Whip.

Pineapple Dole Whip Float

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Feeling Grateful

The past few weeks have been tough for me. I've had some trials and tribulations come into my life that have knocked me back but my faith, my family, and my friends have kept me moving forward. I had to have some surgery and the toll it took on me was far greater then I expected.

I have a lot to be grateful for: My amazing wife, beautiful kids, fantastic job, supportive friends and just a week ago, my wife and I welcomed into this world our fifth child and fourth son aptly named Walter Phillip. If you think you can figure out the two people for which he's named, send me an email and I'll send you some swag.

I want to apologize to all of my loyal readers during this time away. It wasn't intentional but sometimes, life gets in the way and there isn't much we can do about it. I hope it never happens again.

During my downtime, there's been a lot of things happening in the world of Disney. Lots of exciting changes are underway and exciting lands are about to open. Yes, I'm finally coming around on the world of Pandora and am actually looking forward to seeing it when I'm there in June.

I last visited the magical world of Disney back in February for the International Festival of the Arts and I do have some stories to tell from that trip so look for some of them in the next couple of weeks. It was a great solo trip and I finally had a chance to stay at the All-Star Sports resort.

I also want to announce some major changes that are in the works for The Magical Mouse. I can't really discuss any of the details just yet but I can say that I will be launching a new website soon which will help transition this blog into more of a Disney informational and planning site and not just a blog. Don't worry though, I will continue the blog on the new site.

These are exciting times and I'm so grateful that I can share them all with you guys.

Thank you all for the support, love, kind words, and as always, thanks for reading.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Flying Home

The alarm went off way too early this morning; not that anyone should feel sorry for me. Today is the day I'm returning home to Disney World and as the internet meme says, "I'm only a morning person on the day I go to Disney."

I gleefully showered, packed a few last minute items, and headed for the airport. It isn't a long drive and at this early hour, it was a peaceful one as well. My wife and I talked about my plans at the parks and I told her that I wished she was able to come but at eight months pregnant, she wasn't about to try. Instead, like the loving, supportive wife she is, she kissed me goodbye and told me to have fun.

When I walked into the terminal, a wave of emotions came over me. I was sad to be leaving my family but excited to be headed back to Orlando. Then, as I approached the ticket counter to drop off my bag, I was struck by another emotion; Joy. Pure, unadulterated joy.

There must have been a dozen of them. They were all lined up single file against the counter and one of the ticketing agents was hurriedly trying to process them all. I could tell that even at this early hour, they were beyond excited. Most of them probably hadn't slept a wink the previous night because these children and their parents were also on their way to Disney World. 

As I looked on at these little children, I could feel their excitement as they talked about what they were going to do first and who they wanted to see. One little girl said she just couldn't wait to meet Mickey while a slightly older one said she wanted to meet Princess Anna from Frozen. Another excitedly told her mother that she just couldn't wait to go in the Haunted Mansion to see how scary it was.

As often as I've been to Disney World, it is moments like this that help make these trips so special. These children are so innocent and their emotions were so raw that I couldn't help but smile and share in their joy. It was their joy and excitement that put me in the mood for my trip and got me through the long day. It is also a reminder for me that no matter how hard life gets or what obstacles I may encounter, joy can be found, in family, and at Disney.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The First Time

Unless you were a little kid, you probably remember your first trip to the Magic Kingdom. Walking down Main Street, hearing the Junk Man Rag in the background, and then, setting your eyes upon, in all its glorious beauty,  the castle.

If you're a parent like I am, you probably remember the first time you took your little ones to the parks for the first time as well. For me, watching the excitement in their eyes was as much fun as any ride or attraction at the park.

1st Visit Pen

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of taking my youngest son on his first visit to the Magic Kingdom. He was only 19 months old at the time and he isn't going to remember the trip but his mother and I will. My hope is that he will remember the good feelings from his time there.

Like many little kids, our son loves Mickey Mouse so our primary goal was to visit Town Square Mickey so that he could meet his hero. He had never met a character before so we were worried that he would get scared and that our pictures would turn out terrible so we decided to hit up the Crystal Palace first so that he could meet Pooh and Friends.

It was magical! His face lit up as each of the characters visited our table and he even played peek-a-boo with Piglet. It was so much fun watching him interact with play with them. It relieved all of the anxiety we had of him meeting his big eared hero.

Henry with Pooh Bear

We were attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the park was extremely crowded so we decided to head straight over to meet Mickey since that was the one thing that we felt that we must do and the only reason we brought him with us. Luckily, the line wasn't long.

Again, it was pure magic. Little Henry was so excited and the smile on his face showed that. The two were high-fiving and Henry was even able to give him a kiss. It was one of the sweetest things I've seen at the parks and something that his mother and I will never forget.

Kissing Mickey on the Nose

One of the best things about this whole thing, is that we'll get to do it a few more times before he remembers and with another little boy about to join our family, we'll get to experience it with him too.