Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 1380: How Time Flies

It feels like just the other day I was starting the semester, or even better, just the other day that I was in Florida for National Youth Event at the end of July, and here I am now having completed another trip last week. 

But the world (and work) must go on, and I've found myself once again falling victim to the lapse in blog posts, which is a constant strain since I'm always aware of the fact that even when my homework is done and the latest vlog is edited, my music is practiced and plants watered, there's still something I need to be doing. Problem is, I'm usually too tired to sit down and write one blog post, much less the 50+ that are now missing from Everyday Disney

It probably doesn't help that I've been writing other places too, and most of my free time these days, what little there is, is spent sleeping, actually eating a meal, or with my friends. It's a constant balance, but at the same time, being at Disney last week reminded me that I sort of miss writing for this blog. It was easy, exciting, and while occasionally a lot of work, still just as, if not more fulfilling than some of the other work I do during the week. 

This does put me in sort of a pickle though. I hate not having my blog up to date, but the thought of postponing work on Everyday Disney until next January or later seems appalling, especially with the prospect of applying for the Disney College Program in a few short months. And truth be told, Everyday Disney got me through my last major transition in life - high school into college - and moving ahead without it feels absolutely wrong. 

So I'm exploring new ideas about what to blog about, sort of like the scientists in Living With the Land are exploring new ways to grow crops, or Walt Disney Imagineering is exploring new attraction ideas for the parks. There are a lot of days to fill, but luckily there's one thing we aren't running short on, and that's Disney. 

Dual blog posts begin tomorrow, with a current post and a make-up post every day of the week! 

Have a magical day!  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Day 1363: World Market

When one of my friends suggested that we go to World Market on our Saturday off, I agreed right away, despite the fact that 1. I'd never been to World Market before and 2. I really had no idea what World Market even was. She was in Italy last semester though, and from the sounds of a store called "World Market," I figured she knew what she was talking about and that whatever was in the walls of the store, it would be great. 

And it was. 

Basically, the idea of World Market is exactly what it sounds like. It's a store filled with items that are found internationally, and according to my friends recently back from Italy, there are definitely some things you can't find elsewhere. 

Of course, me being me, I took it upon myself to photograph anything that I typically have found at Disney, since that would be the obvious comparison with never having been to Europe (or anywhere else really) before. You can find so many wonderful foods all around World Showcase, and it seems that I can find several of them right in my own backyard! 

The Marzipan is what I found first, and I soon after picked up some to bring home. They actually sell this same brand in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot, and it's been one of my favorite treats to bring home! 

It's not really hard to find Pocky, but I still took a picture of it, and the Green Tea Kit Kats were also something I found in the Japan Pavilion to bring home for my World Showcase Chocolate challenge! 

Those that have been to the Germany Pavilion know that it's riddled with chocolate though. The Milka bars are famous for being simply amazing, and I've brought home chocolates like these for people more than once in the past! 

Even though Germany has a ton of chocolate, some of my favorite treats come from the Tea Store in the United Kingdom Pavilion, including the Aero chocolate, and of course, Twinnings Tea! 

Finally, there was a display of various Japanese items that simply reminded me of the wonderful store in the Japan Pavilion. There were plenty of items like this, that weren't food at all, throughout the store, but it was this one that brought me right back to World Showcase. There were even various different sets of chopsticks! 

So now I've been introduced to World Market, and while I certainly won't be going there all the time, it'll be nice for when I need a pick-me-up in between Disney trips. Whether or not that's the intention of a store like World Market - to provide things I can find at Disney World - I'm not entirely sure, but I'm definitely excited about the prospect! 

Have a magical day!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 1358: A Tale as Old as Time

As far as Mondays go, this was a pretty bad one. 

It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right. I found out early on in the day that my computer science class has exams outside the class period, which is annoying in itself, but even more annoying when you have a full schedule and you won't be able to take the exam with the rest of the class at the scheduled afternoon time. 8:00 a.m. exam here I come. 

Then it was off to conducting, where we've been stuck on the same lesson for the last three weeks and it's getting kind of frustrating, and so by the time we got to my favorite class of the day - jazz band - I was ready to find a cup of tea and a nice warm bed. Things just sort of got worse from there until I finally returned home after 8:00 p.m, the sky outside already dark and the air cool as we head into fall. 

But there was one bright moment of my day, and it has everything to do with Angela Lansbury singing "Beauty and the Beast." As we approach the official 25th anniversary of the classic film, the celebrations continue, and this one might just be my favorite yet. Honestly though, if you're part of the population that has yet to watch this video, do yourself a favor and watch it right now because it will bring you directly back to your childhood and will brighten your day considerably. 

And did I mention Alan Menken is on piano? 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 1345: Memento Mori

In the Victorian Era, there was a phrase, "Memento Mori," which reminded people to "live life to the fullest, as everyone is mortal." 

Of course, it's also the name of a little shop just a stone's throw from The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom, and little did I know that there's really more behind the name of this shop than we might initially realize. 

While sitting quietly in my fiction workshop course today (although, we're usually not quiet at all), I was more than a bit surprised when the term "Memento Mori" came up in discussion. The short story we'd been ready had a reference to the idea and the term, which, of course, led to further discussion, since a "Memento Mori" was also known as a photograph...of the dead. 

I won't share any specific pictures here, but if you want to check out some for yourself, you can do so HERE, and really I'm not sure you'll be able to fully grasp the concept until you check out at least a couple of the pictures. Either way, with the art of photography quickly growing, but still too expensive for most to afford, the picture of a deceased family member may be the only opportunity for them to preserve the memory. In the early days of this post-mortem photography, the deceased were often posed to look as though they were still alive, which, honestly, gives the whole idea a pretty creepy feel. 

As for the store at Magic Kingdom, you won't find any post-mortem pictures, but you can get your own photograph taken, which changes from your mortal state to the afterlife faster than you can say "Boo." The shop, according to The Disney Parks Blog, is also known as the former home of Madame Leota, who disappeared, although her belongings still reside in the shop along with a portrait of her...before death. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the shop's name was officially inspired by a gravestone found in the graveyard scene inside The Haunted Mansion...which was probably inspired by the portraits, or at least the saying, from the Victorian Era. 

So that's your weird fact for the day - that there's a shop (and a tombstone) at Magic Kingdom based off an old tradition to take pictures of people after they died. Do what you will with this information - share it with friends, dive deep into Victorian Era history, or, you know, take it to the grave. 

Have a magical day!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 1344: Giraffes!

Way back at the beginning of the summer, my friend Brian and I said that if there was one thing we wanted to do this summer, it was go to the zoo. What it was about the zoo that pushed it to the top of the list, I'm not sure, but we did finally manage to complete our one summer goal...even if school already technically started. 

We saw all kinds of spectacular animals at our local zoo, the N.E.W. Zoo, which is actually fairly large for a small, rural area like ours. Heading there early on Labor Day was a good idea, as the longer we were there, the busier things got, but we had plenty of time to visit with the Otters, Lions, Moose, Owls, and Swans! 

The highlight of the day was definitely the giraffes though, which you can feed year round for $1 at a special platform. Despite the numerous times I've seen giraffes thanks to Kilimanjaro Safaris, I've never actually fed or touched one before, so this was a new experience all around and totally worth the whole trip out there! 

And so, summer might be over, but at least we fed giraffes! 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day 1329: Closing Ceremonies

Tonight we say goodbye to another Olympic Games, and while there have been games in the past I've watched more attentively than I watched these, I've certainly spent more than a couple of hours sitting in front of my TV watching people more athletic than I. I mean, while they're grabbing world records in swimming or running at insane speeds, I'm sitting on my couch eating Hot Pockets, but I feel like that's part of what the Olympics are all about. 

There's been some debate about the NBC Coverage of the games, and while I wasn't a huge fan of it myself, it's still amazing to be able to watch talented athletes from all over the world compete, especially when some of the events are so graceful and inspiring. There were the hilarious moments, heartwarming moments, and heartbreaking moments, and yes, Simone Biles moments, but ultimately, these games are about so much more than just fencing, golf, or table tennis. 

Perhaps it's the immense amount of time I've spent walking the paths of world showcase, but events such as the Olympics are a simple reminder that everyone in the world can indeed get along and celebrate together. That we can work together, even if we're competing against one another. This is an idea we experience every day in the Disney community alone, as along with the numerous Disney Parks around the world that celebrate the unique cultures and international relations, Disney fans period come from everywhere. I frequently meet international guests at Walt Disney World, and, obviously, Disney employs students from all over the world as Cast Members. But even outside the parks, internationally so many of us quickly bond over characters, music, films, and ideas, and that's something special. 

The Disney references don't stop there though, as if you watched the opening or closing ceremonies, you might just recognize that light contraption behind the Olympic Flame. While I'm unclear as to what it really is, it certainly reminds me of the final float in Paint the Night at Disneyland! 

What was your favorite part of the Olympic Games? I personally always love watching the Swimming, but I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 1317: Disney At College

It's been a wild three years since I was sitting at home, desperately trying to figure out how to decorate my first college dorm room. Agreements as to who would bring what had already been made with my soon-to-be roommate, I'd picked a relative color scheme, and I had basic dimensions of the tiny box I would call home for the first nine months of my college career. But even a little tiny box has white walls to fill, a desk to decorate, and Disney to incorporate. 

With another year of college just around the corner and an entire new class of Freshman getting ready to move into their first dorm, I couldn't help but recall the days of frustration, searching across the internet for that perfect idea on how to make my room mine...and that most certainly includes Disney. There seem to be thousands of dorm room ideas out there, but only a select few include elements from the Disney franchises, and for those of us that can't imagine a room without a bit of magic, it's sometimes difficult to determine what to do. 

So here are a few ideas for how to bring Disney into your dorm room: 

Keep It Simple and bring in a little Disney at a time. My freshman dorm room featured a desk that was Disney, but not overly Disney, a motto that I've taken with me throughout various other housing on campus. By bringing in a Disney-themed quote, park map crafts, and some vinylmation, I was able to have reminders of Disney on my desk while also keeping things professional. I went with a black/light blue/red color scheme, bringing in a custom-made shelf for my knick knacks and a canvas idea I got off Pinterest to complete the look. 

Utilize Disney Home Merchandise like this Once Upon A Time/Happily Ever After pillow I found in the Disney store. While Disney merchandise might not be as cheap as that pillow you can get from Walmart for four dollars, if you plan strategically with a couple of items here and there, they can really make a house feel like a home, and they have items for every room, from the kitchen, to the bedroom, and even the bathroom!

Use All Your Space. This is extremely important, especially in a small dorm room. Every space in the room is unique, from that spot on your futon, to above your desk, to the wall near your bed. While there's a time and place for a blank wall (I have one above my current desk), sometimes you can find a spot just waiting to be filled with some Disney. In my freshman dorm, we had our beds lofted (below), and the wall next to mine was perfect for some daily reminders of my friends, family, and Disney through Instagram Photostrips. 

Make It Unique by adding pieces of Disney that are distinctly you. I have a love for vintage Disney items, whether they be from the parks or films, so items like my Jim Shore Teacup or the vintage attraction posters I added last year are a must. But I'm also an avid fan of Once Upon A Time, so in addition to the toy yellow bug on my desk, there are tons of little references to the show throughout my college collection. If there's a specific item you collect, make it a part of your decor, because that's what college decorating is all about in the first place: being yourself. 

Do It Yourself and create items for your dorm. My apartment is now filled with various canvases themed to everything from Once Upon A Time to Hamilton, and it's one of the easiest ways to add both some color and character to a blank wall. If painting a canvas isn't quite your style, try making Disney Park Map Coasters or filling a picture frame with a meaningful quote. Just because it's DIY doesn't mean it has to be impossible. 

Small Can Be Big in a dorm room, no matter how well you think something's going to fit. It's here that some of the smallest merchandise in the Disney Store can make the biggest impact on your room, like the Vinylmation on my desk or the Tsum Tsum collection that now sits on my mantle. These are especially great for those that don't want to even come close to over-the-top Disney, because they're not always immediately recognizable as Disney, but still bring a big of magic to the party.

Keep Moving Forward with decor you can keep adding to. While not entirely focused around Disney, I recently added the quote canvas below to my bedroom wall. The wall reminds me that while there are million things I haven't done, there are a lot of adventures I have had too, and as the days go on, I keep adding to the wall. It helps me to keep moving forward, and allows for continuous change in my room, which is nice, especially after a few months of living in the same small box. Change can be good sometimes. 

While there are plenty of other secrets to my college decorating, many of which you can find here on Everyday Disney, these were just a few of my favorite tips. I hope that, if you're moving into a dorm soon, that some of these ideas helped inspire you, but I want to hear your ideas too! Let me know what some of your favorite college decorating tips are in the comments below! 

Have a magical day!