When Did It Begin For You

Something that I heard when I was attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was a question of “When did it begin for you?”  That question has been on my mind since I heard it.  I have been vacationing here in Walt Disney World for a little over a week and have been enjoying every minute here with my family.  We have done many of our favorite things, and have also tried some new things that we haven’t done yet.

So when did it begin for me?  When I was young, my best friend who lived next door went to Florida on vacation.  Her grandmother lived in Florida so when they went to visit her they went to Disney World.  I never understood what Disney World was, but it always sounded so interesting and magical and special.  She would go to this amazing place and come home with cute souvenirs.  I most envied her Mickey Mouse dangle earrings.  She did give them to me when we got older and I have to see if I still have them somewhere.

Then when I was 14 my parents said they were going to take us to Disney World!  They have friends in Lakeland, Florida so we were going to rent a car and drive to Florida and visit them, go to Daytona Beach, Universal and Disney World.  It is a fuzzy memory for me; but I’ll never forget the looong drive, the South Of The Border signs that seemed to appear for days, the sunburns, shopping for new clothes and brand new sneakers just prior to going away, and piling into the back seat of a car for the longest car ride of my life.

But it was worth it.  From what I can recall, I remember driving to the parking lot of Magic Kingdom and seeing the gates welcoming us to the Magic Kingdom park.  That now is still one of my favorite things to take a picture of during my marathon and half marathon races because it stems back to that time when I saw it for the first time as a kid. I also remember seeing the castle, walking down Main Street, the Barber Shop Quartet, the horse and carriage, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Skyway Ride (gondolas in the back of the park), the lines in the roped off ques that zigged and zagged forever, the cinnamon rolls on Main Street and the smell coming from the bakery, and the building for Space Mountain stands out strong in my memory.  I also remember fondly the Electric Light Parade at night and standing on Main Street seeing these amazing floats going by all lit up and the music playing loudly throughout the park.  It was something I had never seen anywhere else before.

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As I write this post and think hard of the memories, they are coming bac to me in bits and pieces.  Is that when it began for me?  Or is it when I started to come to the parks with my husband before we were married.  He and I began coming to the parks together in August of 1998.  We had a blast coming here together for the first time.  Then we made it a yearly tradition, and sometimes we came twice during a year for a long weekend getaway.  Each time we came we learned more and more about Disney and people would often ask us why we kept going to Disney.  They didn’t understand that each time you go there is always something different you can do or something new to see, or a restaurant to eat at that you haven’t gone to before, shopping to be had and much, much more!  The same holds true when you come here with your children. First, when they are younger, you do the children’s rides with them, they as they grow bigger you can do more of the thrill rides with them, you can take them to more restaurants and the water parks.  You can stay out later with them!

Then of course, my husband and I met with a wedding planner in 2001 and he secretly booked our wedding date after we left our meeting with them.  So then the magic continued as we had our wedding at the wedding chapel 13 years ago today, and our reception in Epcot at the French pavilion outside for the Illuminations show.  So when did it begin for me?  It may have been that time when I was 14 and saw the Magic Kingdom for my first time and got a taste of it.  Only to have more and more exposure each time we came.  I couldn’t get enough of it and I still can’t!  We have to leave this amazing vacation tomorrow and we will always be looking forward to the next return trip back.

When did it begin for you?

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Being a Boston Marathon Spectator

On Monday, April 21 I plan on going to the Boston Marathon as a spectator.  There are three friends that I know who are running the race.  Eddie McCoy, Michelle Scribner-MacLean and Linda Ambard.  I set them up with runner tracking in my phone.  I hope I get to physically see them at the race! I have to get my kids off to school first, then I am driving up.  I have been chatting online with friends of Eddie and Michelle and we are hoping to all hook up and figure out where and how to do this spectating bit!  We have all never been there before.  I am also using the road trip to figure out what I will be doing for the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on June 8th with Kimberly Markey and Gail Savidge!  There is a downloadable spectator guide on the Boston Marathon site that I using for reference. bostonmarathoncoursemap I have my computer open with Google Maps, Boston Marathon’s webpage and a marathon pace calculator trying to figure out when people will be taking off, when to expect to see them and where I need to be at what time.  I think being a spectator is harder work that being the actual runner (well…. not exactly).  But it sure is easier to show up at the start line on race morning because you know where you have to be and what time you have to be there and then you follow the rest of the people all the way to the end!  Pretty simple. There are guidelines on what spectators can bring to the race so I need to take these rules into consideration.  I was planning on packing a lunch and having food and drinks with me so I have to study these guidelines and plan accordingly. bostonrules Eddie is a fast runner and will be going out of the start around 10:25.  I believe Michelle and Linda are going at 11:25. I expect to arrive in the area sometime before noon (if I don’t have traffic issues) and I am hoping to watch the race from Heartbreak Hill.  So according to my calculations Eddie will be at the hill around 1 pm and Michelle and Linda will be there around 3:30 .  Parking is something I still haven’t figured out yet. I am making runDisney signs from the #DisneySide party planning kit that I received in February, and I can’t wait to be a part of the excitement of the day and to experience a side to races that I have never done before – cheering others on!  I know that while I am there and feel the energy of this race, it is going to fuel the desire I have burning inside me to one day qualify for this race. Since I have zero knowledge of the area, do you have any advice to give for spectating this awesome event?

My #DisneySide Part @Home Celebration was a hit!

I had my #DisneySide party on Monday, February 17 and it was SO much fun!  Friends arrived late in the afternoon and we served chips and salsa, veggies and dip, popcorn and pretzels with pumpkin dip.  My daughter and my friend’s daughter immediately became friends and shared their dress up costumes.  My daughter let her friend borrow her Elsa dress and Maddie’s face lit up!  My daughter put on Maddie’s Cinderella wedding dress and also fell in love!  They played dress up and did each other’s nails and makeup in my daughter’s room while all of the boys did boy things in the playroom downstairs.
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The adults enjoyed finger foods and then it was time to serve the main meal of the night which was a waffle bar.  The kids decorated their waffles with fruit, whip cream sprinkles, syrup or whipped cream.  I think the Mickey waffles were a huge hit!  I also made a salad for the adults to have with dinner.
Then it was time to kick the sugared up kids outside for a awhile for some sled riding which they also loved. What do you do after kids come in from the cold?  Serve them ice cream of course!  We did our ice cream/candy bar where everyone made up their own ice cream concoctions.  I also served the Dole Whip recipe which was a delicious addition to bringing a piece of Disney to the party!
After dessert we all got together to make our Saving for Disney banks where the kids decorated glass jars with stickers.  Despite having bingo and trivia games to play, everyone was having such a great time talking about their past and upcoming trips and all things Disney.  The kids enjoyed their activities and playing.
I would love to host another #DisneySide party in the summer and let the kids enjoy swimming.
They had a blast!  And I think the adults had as much fun as the kids did, too!
I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration – I am having a party!

Show Your Disney Side

I was selected to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration.  What is it?  It is a party you host at your house to show off your Disney side (like I really need to do that with a party?!).

I plan on having a candy bar and ice cream sundae bar, Dole Whip, and some healthy choices of food as well!  I sure do wish I could make the Magic Kingdom popcorn here. That’s one of our favorites!  There will be games, crafts and time to share our favorite Disney stories! Everyone will go home with a goodie bag, too!  Let me know if you would like to come on the evening of February 17.

Stay tuned more details to come in the upcoming weeks!  Subscribe to my blog for details!

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I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.