Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 151: Star Wars Month

Alright, it's the last day of Star Wars month...which means that I need to get some Star Wars out of my system before the month turns over...because that will totally work...NOT!

Either way, I'm still going to take this time to put more Star Wars into this blog, because I can do that now, because it's Disney now.

Anyway, I was having trouble trying to figure out what to do with today's blog post, so I again turned to Pinterest and found a few of my favorite Pins on my Star Wars board. I didn't go through the whole thing, which ironically has 365 pins on it (get it? I have a blog called Everyday Disney...nevermind).

This is probably my favorite joke of all time, and I love telling it to people when they're like, "You like Star Wars?" Sometimes they don't get it though, because they, in fact, haven't seen Star Wars. Still...I think it's punny. 

And this one is probably the truest thing ever. Is it strange that the main characters are vastly outnumbered and yet the never get hit? (Ok, Leia gets hit once...but that was just a stray shot if you ask me). Yeah...Stormtroopers have terrible aim, which honestly makes me wonder how Boba Fett turned out so awesome. 

Han and Leia. 'Nuff said.

And this one...I just couldn't not share this one. It's too awesome. I still don't understand it, but it's pretty funny. 

Here's today's Disney History: 2008: Toy Story Midway Mania opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios. A carnival-inspired 4-D interactive attraction, it is based on the Toy Story films. Park guests wear 3-D glasses, or Carnival Games Goggles, as they ride spinning vehicles that travel through virtual environments based on classic carnival Midway games. The following month, a second version will open at Disney California Adventure. 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 150: Sleeping Beauty Castle

There are some times in my life when I feel like I really would be a great Imagineer, or that I'm at least a little similar to Walt Disney. This is easily one of those times.

It is said that Walt would dream up these ideas that didn't seem possible, but that he had this picture of it in his head, and he wouldn't let go of it. Yeah...that happens to me once and a while. So when my College Credit English Teacher said we were going to read an independent book, my mind turned to Walt Disney right away. I've been reading biographies on him since eighth grade, so it makes sense that for my final book in High School, I'd read one on him again.

I ended up choosing "How to Be Like Walt" by Pat Williams, and I'll do a review of this amazing book as soon as I can. But you see, along with reading the book, we also had to do a project, either create a poster or make a powerpoint or something. I decided on the poster, and in order to create something amazing, I had this idea in my head to expand the definition of a poster and make a 3D poster symbolizing Sleeping Beauty Castle.

According to the project, the poster or presentation had to represent the book somehow, and there was nothing more obvious to me than Sleeping Beauty Castle. Of course, Mickey Mouse, but I feel like Disneyland was completely Walt's dream, as was Disney World. Mickey Mouse was created out of necessity, and while he was extremely important, he wasn't Walt's "dream." That said...I still adore Mickey, I just didn't use him for this project.

My dad and I set to work creating this...well...masterpiece...or monster depending on how you look at it. We were up until four in the morning the night before working on it...not because I didn't start early enough, but because I just didn't have time until the night before. Either way, it got done, and I have to say that it looks pretty awesome.

I even managed to fit all the necessary information onto the poster, and it really brought a smile to my teacher's face when she saw it, which totally made my day. I gave "How to Be Like Walt" four out of four Disneyland flags, which also matched the theme of the poster, and pretty much all the information is in a location that resembles a flag that exists in real life, or did at one point.

Thankfully this was the last of my final projects, because seriously...I was tired. I even had to write a paper after staying up almost all night. But, my vision worked out, and it looks just as I pictured it in my mind...although Megan would say that it lacks some pyrotechnics.

Here's today's Disney History: 2003: The Disney/Pixar animated feature Finding Nemo is generally released. The underwater adventure, directed by Andrew Stanton, features the voices of Alexander Gould as Nemo, Albert Brooks as Marlin, Willem Dafoe as Gill, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory and John Ratzenberer as Fish School.

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 149: Last Day

You know what's incredibly sad?

Your last last day of high school.

While most people are in the stage of "I can't wait to graduate!" I'm still stuck in the "I don't want to leave" stage. I think it's largely because I'm happy where I am. I've actually enjoyed school for the first time in many years. There were many days when I couldn't wait to go to bed, just because it would make school come faster. That's a mindset I haven't had in a very long time.

So now, as I sit here in my English classroom, after seniors have technically been dismissed, I realize that I don't necessarily want to leave. I, instead, want to stay. But at the same time, leaving means that summer is beginning, and it means I'm one step closer towards becoming an Imagineer.

The past few days have certainly been interesting, filled with final projects that I have to say are some of my best projects in all of high school. When I go to college, I won't necessarily have the time or opportunities to continue making things like those I've made in the past few days, and that's part of the reason why I spent the last two nights working with very little sleep.

But there are other reasons as to why I worked so hard on my final projects, which, once I catch up with my blog, will be on the previous days that I finished them. My castle, which I created for my College Credit English final, was made because our assignment was to read an independent book, and I read How to Be Like Walt by Jim Denney. In a day or two I'll share my review of the book, but it taught me a lot, both about Walt, of course, and about myself. I put the extra time and effort into the projects not because I wanted praise, but because I knew it would make my teachers smile. It's just like how Walt didn't create Disneyland for people to praise him, but because he knew that the guests visiting would love it and it would make them happy. And my projects did that. Both my Poem Video, Memories, and my Sleeping Beauty Castle, brought smiles to the faces of the teachers that I have looked up to for the past four years. As I explain on the post about my video, I reminded the teacher why he loves teaching, and that was more rewarding than anything else he could have said. I make these things because it's fun to see what I can come up with next, and I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of people who make my dreams become a reality.

But, for now, as I finish out my last day of high school...ever...I know that what I look forward to most is this: sleep. And after that, I can't wait to spend a summer with my friends, to travel back home to Disney World, to prepare for college, and to dream new dreams. Plus, with no homework to do, I have a lot more time to read, write and blog.

There will be plenty of time for the bittersweet thoughts of Graduation, but for now, here's today's Disney History: 1917: John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth United States President, is born in Brookline, Massachusetts. THe youngest elected to office, at the age of 43, events during JFK's administration include the Space Race. One of the 10 wealthiest U.S. Presidents, visit him and all of the U.S. Chief Executives at Disney World's the Hall of Presidents.

Have a magical day and remember to keep moving forward!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 148: Memories

Today marked our first day of finals for seniors, which is, honestly a day I've been dreading for the entire school year. Finals means the end...and that means graduation...and that means leaving, and that's terrible. But finals also means that it's my last chance to make a lasting impression on those in the school, and it requires a little backstory.

Throughout high school, I, often times along with my best friend, Megan, have produced a great number of over-the-top projects. We made the Silent Film, The Amazing Chase, which was 8 hours of editing and two days of filming to create what really appears to be a silent film from the 1920's. There was the Les Paul National History Day Project...which is honestly the most stressful project I have ever done, but I'm proud of it none the less. There was our American Bandstand skit...which was just awesome. The Julius Caesar Project and Animal Farm Scrapbook, in which many sophomores still want to hunt us down with pitchforks for. Freshman year, Megan and I dominated in our Public Service Announcements, and our debate was a rift of only one vote between us (she won, but it was still a lot of fun!). And during this final year, while we had less projects, in psychology we were still on top, and our English papers were some to remember!

And so, when it came to my final semester of my senior year, and specifically my final projects, I wanted to keep going. I wanted to create projects that really showcased my hard work.

Now, it gives me great pleasure to share with you the first of my two final projects (The other will be in a blog post this Thursday), Memories. For my final in Creative Writing, we had three parts. First, the memoir I discussed on Sunday, second, a short story we wrote, and finally a collection of three poems. Earlier in the semester we had to write a total of ten poems, but for the final we were instructed to edit and digitally produce three of these poems to present to the class. It wasn't hard to decide on three poems: One I wrote on the Gettysburg Address, another on Google Chrome (Oh, I love thee!), and the last on my memories of Disney World.

But when it came to how to digitally produce each one, it took me quite a while to decide. The first two I created using Animoto, but the Disney one, I wanted to make that one special. My teacher, who I am absolutely and completely lucky to have as a teacher, hadn't seen some of my other projects. Megan and I didn't take the advanced English course our Freshman year, which he taught, due to some interesting circumstances, so I never had him up until creative writing this year, which I took both to have him as a teacher and because the class sounded like a great class for me to take. I spent most of Saturday attempting to figure out what to make for this Disney video, and came up with nothing. So on Sunday, when I was on my computer trying to figure out what music to hit me. Stop motion and the tilt shift video.

If you have read my blog for a while, I have a series of posts on Disney inspired Youtube videos. The first videos I shared were the Disney Parks tilt shift videos for Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Each features a great soundtrack with music I love, and the music from the MK video was perfect for what I wanted to do. So I jumped in my car and went to shopko, picked up a big white board, came back and had my dad set up the camera and lights and went to work on my video.

Here is the finished project:

When it came to presenting it in class, I was a little nervous. My Creative Writing class is filled with a lot of really inappropriate people, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of them even politely asked me about how I made it and said honestly that they liked it. But it was the comments from my teacher that made it worthwhile. 

Back in January, during my last finals, a teacher said to me "I don't think it's childish," five small words about my love of Disney that really meant a lot to me. This time around there were more words, but there are few that really stood out. I won't share them all here, but one was that it was projects like this and people like me that remind him why he loves teaching. 

It sounds really strange, but I honestly don't like it when people lavish praise on me, and as I read How to Be Like Walt, it came to my attention that Walt was the same way. He didn't like to have all kinds of praise. He just loved what he was doing. He wanted to make people happy, and as I look back on all my projects in high school, I feel the same way. If I can bring a smile to someones face, often times the teacher, then my job is done. I have accomplished what I set out to do. It's things like reminding them why they love teaching that makes me want to do what I do, and that's hopefully something that will never ever change. 

But along with that, this project opened my eyes to a few more things. It reminded me why I love Disney. It gave me a chance to reflect on why I personally love the company, and it brought me closer to home. It reminded me why I want to become a Disney Employee. And most of all, Memories sums up everything I have done so far, and it lays the foundation for what I want to achieve in the future. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1994: Disney's Wilderness Lodge opens at Walt Disney World. The 728-room lakeside deluxe resort (inspired by the beautiful early American National Parks) features an 80-foot tall fireplace in its lobby. Only a mile away from the Magic Kingdom, the resort is surrounded by 56 acres of oak and pine trees and includes and artificial geyser and hot springs. 

Have a magical day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 147: Memorial Day

It seems that this time of year holds a lot of "lasts," and today is no exception. This morning I marched in my final Memorial Day parade in my hometown, and it was, as all of my senior performances have been, special. I absolutely love my role as drum major, and getting to lead the entire band one last time was a bittersweet moment. I can't express how proud of them I am and how far they've come both over the past four years of my high school career and especially within the last one.

Even in just our Memorial Day Performances, I have noticed a drastic change. We have the parade and then a standstill, and the respect our group showed off this year was great...even if we couldn't decide whether to stand or sit that one time. But the steps were high enough and everyone sounded great. Standing on top of my ladder for the last time, I couldn't help but smile. We were making a lot of people really, really happy.

Having the privilege to direct at that ceremony brought a lot of joy to me, because that's what it was, a privilege. There was a fifth grader who gave an absolutely wonderful speech about her favorite freedom, the freedom of religion, and I totally agreed with her. But her speech encompassed more than just that one freedom. I think she really was talking about all freedom in the words she spoke, and it was honestly the best essay I have ever heard at a Memorial Day Ceremony...and I've heard a lot of those speeches.

Either way, I am very proud to be an American, and I want to take a moment to thank all of our Veterans, fallen soldiers, those currently serving and those who will serve in the future. You keep our freedoms, well, free, and you give everyone great opportunities, including me and my opportunity to lead my band over the past year. Thank you for everything you do.

Here's today's Disney History: 2011: Mickey's Soundsational parade makes its official debut at Disneyland. Yesterday, May 26, guests were given an unannounced preview of the new parade. The nine-float affair kicks off Disney Soundsational Summer, which will also include the openings of The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure and Star Tours, along with the new experiences at the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier.

Have a magical day!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 146: The Magic, The Memories, and ME!

As I've been discussing for a while, the school year is almost finished, at least for me since I'm a senior. That means I figured I'd share some of my Disney inspired finals with you. This, of which, is only the first. 

For my creative writing class, the first of our three parts to our final was our Memoir, which we began writing at the beginning of the semester. The thing is...when I get to writing...I get to writing, and within the first few weeks of working on it I had 13,000+ words. That's right...13,000. That was about double what anyone else had...if not triple or more. There was only one person that was even close.

Either way, we finished that and started to work on something else, so I kind of put it on the back burner. It wasn't in the forefront of my mind to be editing and finish it, although I had a copy printed out, sitting on my desk, waiting for me to edit it by hand, like I generally do with my writing. I never got around to it because there's just so much else to do, but either way, I didn't finish.

And then my final came around, and we were instructed to finish it. So I started me rewriting, and for a week I spent a couple of hours every day, and then on the last day about 6 hours, reworking my memoir. It took a lot of time, rewriting all 13,000 words...but in the end I ended with 16,000, which felt strange since I sometimes cut entire sections, and I didn't always replace it. I added in a lot of quotes though, so that's probably where it came from.

So here's a few excerpts from my memoir, titled The Magic, The Memories and Me at the suggestion of my best friend Megan. The basis of the memoir, which I plan on keeping and possibly revising into an actual book someday, is how Disney has made me who I am.

In a letter written to me at the end of my senior year of high school, one of my good friends wrote an entire paragraph just about me and my love of Disney. While I could probably earn a fortune if every time someone mentioned my love of Disney in my yearbook, there was one portion of this paragraph that got me thinking. She says, “When I first started high school if someone would have asked me what I thought about Disney I would have responded with something like, ‘That’s so childish...’” The rest of the paragraph goes on to explain how I’ve changed that initial mindset and shown her that Disney is so much more. Either way, she started with a different impression of Disney than I did, since I have never seen Disney as “childish.” 
In that same letter, she started at the very beginning, a very good place to start, and told me of the first time we met, an experience I barely remember. When it comes to Disney, one could say my beginning was at 15 months old, when I took my first trip to Walt Disney World, but at the same time, my parents had been vacationing there long before that. After my first trip, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World 22 times, making a grand total of 23, and I traveled to Disneyland once. I have literally been surrounded by Disney my entire life, and if my word isn’t enough to prove that fact, my bedroom is. There isn’t going to be anyone else in the world with the exact same history as me. Just like my friend’s initial reaction to Disney, we are all going to see differently. For instance, the icon of Epcot, Spaceship Earth, is my absolute favorite attraction, but to one of my friends, it might be the most boring thing in the world. In the same way, I’m not a big fan of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but my brother still enjoys it to this day. And so, to some, Disney might represent the Princesses, and nothing more. It discourages so many people from witnessing the magic I have seen, magic that might not ever be there for them, and because of this, they might write off this book as silly to begin with. And to others, for those obsessed with Disney on the same level I am, Disney might be their life too, and this book might speak the absolute truth.
And so I began writing on the topic of how Disney has changed me. In the end, my life has been filled with lessons from Disney, and the topic is no longer really how Disney has changed me, but instead how it has made me who I am.

This first passage is my prologue. It hasn't changed much from the first version of the memoir, but I did partly rewrite it to cut some parts and add different ones, such as the letter at the end of my senior year. Hopefully she doesn't mind that quoted her!

Walt Disney taught me how to be adventurous, and to explore things far beyond the Jungle Cruise. He wanted to improve the world around him, and knew that he would have to take risks to get there. Now, Disneyland and the other Disney theme parks throughout the world are some of the most visited places in the world. He knew that just because someone said it wasn’t possible, didn’t mean that it was impossible. For me, without Disney, I wouldn’t be adventurous, and I would probably listen to those naysayers, or judge books by their cover. In fact, I’d probably sit in a safe place refusing to try anything new. If that were the case, I’d have never watched Star Wars, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t get past the first episode. Without Star Wars, I wouldn’t have discovered ApprenticeA Productions, and without them I wouldn’t have the hobbies I do now. I wouldn’t have tried so many different foods, and I certainly wouldn’t know how to make sushi.
 Without Disney I wouldn’t be writing this memoir, period. I wouldn’t be writing at all, and that’s something I can no longer see my life without. If it weren’t for the adventurous Walt Disney, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

From my chapter titled "Becoming Adventurous," I talk a lot about how Disney has made me, well, adventurous. There's discussion on sushi, and a whole portion on Star Wars, but how in the end, I wouldn't be as outgoing and adventurous as I am today if I had never gone to Disney World.

Leaders can come from anywhere, and leaders can be anyone. They don’t have to be like Walt Disney and run a company, and they don’t have to be on band council. For my friend, I explained to her that maybe the place that she’s going to be most useful is right where she is, a leader in the important position of welcoming the freshman into the group. She makes sure they have their music, she explains the processes of uniforms and pep band and band concerts. She enables the rest of us to go out and make the correct decisions, because we know that everyone is going to be cared for no matter what that decision is.
She asked me if she should run for council, and while I told her that she’s the only one who can make the decision, I personally feel that she is already a leader in the high school band. Being on council isn’t going to change that. Her job is just as important as mine, and that she should never forget that, even after I’m gone. Because if I have done my job correctly, the Seymour High School Band will go on and be successful long after Lizzie.
In my chapter on Leadership, I discuss how I had a conversation with a friend, and how my advice to her on our "band council" went. I break it down into section, but in the end, it's about how she doesn't need to be on band council to be a leader and a good person.

If my life was a movie, like I sometimes wish it was, that moment would look like this. I’d be standing in the middle of the room, my uniform on and my marching hat in my hands. I’d spin slowly, looking at the room around me in slow motion, but the room around me whirls by, the red and black of their uniforms blurring against the white room. And as I complete my turn, everything stops, and I’m the only one left. The lights are turned off, the doors closed, the music stopped and the voices gone. That moment went by faster than I wanted it to, and now I sit here writing, thinking about how this only happened hours ago, and yet even that time seems like ages. I’m not done with the group, as I’ll be back in the future for more performances, but it’s like a part of me is gone. Like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, a weight I want back. I didn’t stop to smell the roses, and now my chance to is gone.
For my final quote I decided to include a section from "Stop and Smell the Roses." The section talks about how we walk through life too quickly, and a prime example of this has been band for the last four years. I wrote this portion just after Memorial Day, so it was something that was prominent in my mind at the time, and I got the idea of the movie and what it would look like. And I'm not joking, that is what it would look like if my life was a movie.

And so, someday, if I actually revise this again and decide to publish it, you can read the entire thing. If you are seriously interested in reading my 6 chapter, 41 page book (as in it looks like a 41 page English paper...just with more pictures and it talks about Disney all the time), then feel free to contact me. I'd be more than happy to share it with you. =)

Here's today's Disney History: 1990: Mickey's Starland opens in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Originally known as Mickey's Birthdayland in 1988, it will later be renamed Mickey's Toontown Fair.

Have a magical day!

This post was written on May 31, since I was unable to write for about a week due to finals.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 145: Jedi turns 30!

Today is the day that most Star Wars fans have been waiting for for quite a while. That's right! It's the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. If you're anything like me, this is a big deal, because it's one of my favorites in the series. It's second, right behind Empire. Plus, it's also the 36th birthday of the original Star Wars film, a New Hope, so it's a pretty big day.

What does this mean? Time to watch Star Wars! Too bad I don't have time to watch it!

If I was able to watch it though, these would be my favorite moments:

Anyone know what happens right after this? I do!

"How we doin'?" ... "Same as always" ... "That bad huh?"

You see, this Han/Luke quote is one that my friends and I do once and a while, but will be doing more in the future. Everytime I come back to the band room after this year, this is how we'll great one another. Makes sense, huh? Ok...maybe not.


Tell me that you don't laugh at that face...or at least smile a little bit. I mean...come on. Priceless Harrison Ford right there. 

And then there's these moments. The first always reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean, but obviously since Jedi is 30 now, this one happened first. And the second always makes me think that Han is just super angry at Luke for interrupting his moment with Leia. Makes me laugh every time.

But this part is by far my favorite of the entire movie. I think it really sums up how their relationship has changed. There's like the moment when he starts to walk away, which is what he would have done before, but then he comes back, and that's how it's changed. Meanwhile, Leia goes from very withdrawn to this position of needing someone else, something we never really see with her before.

And there's always this great expression...the number one priceless Harrison Ford expression.

And this is just absolutely adorable. I flail everytime I see it. I probably shouldn't, but I do anyway.

Those are my favorite parts of Return of the Jedi. You may notice a theme...but you already know that Han is my favorite character, so it shouldn't have been hard to figure out anyway.

I'll skip Disney history for today because I think it's obvious what it will be anyway...that in 1983, Return of the Jedi premiered!

Have a magical day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

144: Youtube...The Star Wars Edition

As we begin to round out the month of Star Wars, I remembered that I did promise to share some of my favorite Star Wars inspired Youtube videos. I mean, I already have two blog posts explaining the Disney inspired ones...but by far my largest playlist (because I'm silly and don't save all my favorites to playlists), is my one for Star Wars. So here are some of my absolute favorite Star Wars themed ones:

How Star Wars Should Have Ended:

You may have seen the series before, but it's honestly one of my favorites. I remember that the first time I watched these videos, I just could not stop all. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I's just hilarious. 

George Lucas Strikes Back: 

The same goes for this video, which made me laugh for longer than I probably should have. Short Round and Chewie and Leia...and a George Lucas that wonders what a cell phone is? Priceless. Plus there's the part about Bret Farve that just made me crack up. 

Star Wars TV Intro: The Friends Version: 

I love Star Wars, and I also love Friends, so this is just pretty awesome. My personal favorite part is when Han hits the Falcon when the lyrics talk about second gear. Overall it just really describes the series pretty well, and everything fits together perfectly. Now who which character would be I have no clue, but it's still one of my favorite Star Wars themed videos. 

Jedi Kittens: 

Oh come on, I know you can't resist Star Wars and kittens combined. There are three Jedi Kitten videos overall, but this is my personal favorite. The kittens are super adorable too. And they're Jedi...adorable.

And so, those are some of my favorite Star Wars themed Youtube videos. I might have a few more, but I'll discuss those some other time. For right now I'll just have to stop because there's already a ton of videos on this blog post. So Enjoy!

Here's today's Disney History: 2007: Thousands of colorful fireworks fill the nighttime sky over Barcelona, Spain as, for the first time, the Disney Magic cruise ship enters the Spanish port city. It is Disney's first-ever foray into the European cruise market. 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 143: Free the Goat

A while back, Disney did a brilliant promotion for their newest and most popular attractions, "Free the Goat."

It was, after all, about a goat from Big Thunder Mountain, and that's easily one of my favorite attractions at Disney. It's been the one roller coaster I think I've always gone on...which is a pretty big thing for me, or at least it used to be, when I never went on stuff like that. I've moved up to the bigger ones Everest. Billy was a bit more adventurous than I am though...

Zero to Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh in 3 seconds!

I think he got the description of that attraction pretty correct. 

But that's not all Billy did once he was free for three lovely days! He also tried one of my favorite dishes, sushi...which apparently isn't terrible once you've tried flip flops. 

He also took some time to visit Epcot, which is pretty obvious since he had sushi. But the flowers are also good there...not that I'm going to try any the next time I'm I'll just take his word for it.

But by far my favorite picture from his trip is this one...I think it captures so much of classic Disney, and really shows how much fun he had. Sadly...he lost the Mickey Ears once he got bolted back down. Hopefully he gets them back!

To see more of Billy's Adventures, you can visit the official website. And his thank you video is down below!

Here's today's Disney History: 1910: Character actor, singer & dancer Scatman Crothers - the voice of Scat Cat in Disney's 1970 release The Aristocats - is born in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 142: Awards Banquet

Tonight was my senior Academic Awards Banquet, and I have to say that while it was pretty long, it was also pretty great. I haven't always had the best grades, but my work has still shown through and I got several awards and scholarships. The best part of the night though? All the talk of Disney!

It seems that every time I was up on stage, someone was talking about Disney and me...well, every time it was just me they were talking about. It came up at least three times...well four depending on how you look at it. First as I got my Business Department Award (Outstanding Computer Student), my Business Teacher gave a bit of a shout out to this blog, which was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. She also talked about how I went to National FBLA with her and we went to Disney, which is still one of my favorite Disney trips to this day.

And then, as I got both scholarships, Disney came into play. For one, the presenter wished me luck with my internship at Disney (College Program and hopefully an Imagineering internship), and that really meant a lot. Second, as I got a Memorial Scholarship, my Creative Writing teacher, who was presenting the scholarship, mentioned that I was receiving the award because of my love of "reading, writing and Disney." He should know plenty about my love of Disney since I'm writing my memoir on it! Speaking of that...I should probably keep working. I'm only on chapter three and I have seven chapters total...unless I write more, which at this rate is quite possible.

Either way, it was a successful night for me, and I have a pile of certificates and a plaque and cords for Graduation now sitting in my house. Now I just have to stop denying the fact that I'm graduating I suppose.

Here's today's Disney History: 1998: Disneyland officially unveils its newly renovated Tomorrowland. New additions include Rocket Rods (a high-speed attraction running on the former PeopleMover track), Redd Rockett's Pizza Port (a restaurant located in the former Mission to Mars attraction), NASA Space Experience and the short "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience." Also re-opening is the Astro Orbitor attraction, having been relocated to the entrance of Tomorrowland and placed on ground level, thus making the ride the new focal point as guests step from the main plaza of Disneyland into Tomorrowland.

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 141: Disneyland and Instagram

I'm amazed at how that rhymes. Disneyland and Instagram. It just works.

And that's why I'm sharing news that recently came out of...well...Disneyland. Since the resort is the most Instagramed place on earth, they launched a Disneyland Instagram account, and it's going to feature guest photos from the resort. How cool is that? My new goal in life...probably to get a picture in on this...but that means going back, once again, through all my Disneyland pictures...something I really don't have time for at the moment. Still, I suppose it's one of my many summer projects (whether or not I'll actually get all those summer projects done or not is a great question).

I mean, still though, this is pretty awesome. Now all we need is for Disney World to make something like this...and then I will be super happy. I mean, then every Sunday really WOULD be Spaceship Earth Sunday!

If you'd like to follow me and my crazy bunch of Disney pictures, you can find a link to my Instagram on the left side of my blog. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1928: Walt Disney's trademark application for "Mickey Mouse" is filed with the United States Patent Office.

Have a magical day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 140: MCO

Now, this might seem like kind of a strange post for today, but trust me, it does have a bit of a point.

This last week, one of my friend's parents took a trip to Florida, and of course they flew in through Orlando International Airport. And since my own Disney trip is quickly approaching, I figured I'd make a post just about it...the airport that is.

The Orlando International Airport is the place most Disney-goers fly through, including myself, and that makes the airport all part of the great adventure each time we go. If you've been there, especially more than one, you know that there are plenty of little things that makes the airport all part of the Disney vacation itself. 

The first one is obvious...the Disney Store. It always makes me smile to see Spaceship Earth and the rest of the icons on that wall. I know I did get some video it the last time I went, for the vlog, but it didn't make it into the actual video because I didn't do one for the first day...that will change for this next trip though...since I already have an idea for my first video. But either way, it's a little piece of Disney that's there early, or, if you forgot to grab something from the parks, it's a great last chance to get that extra souvenir.

But if you're like me, you also know that the very first (and last) "attraction" of a Disney vacation is also at the airport...the tram ride of course! Or monorail...I'm not absolutely sure what it's called, at least not off the top of my head, but it's still awesome. I mean, it's a little sad when you don't get that front window seat (although my brother and I always used to like run to get it), but it's still fun to be able to take a ride! I'm pretty sure we have film of this from just about every vacation too...just saying. 

And so, MCO is really a big part of the Disney vacation experience, unless you're driving, because that's an entirely different story. But if you do fly, between the Disney store and the monorail and the way the suitcases click on the tile floor (I don't know why it always reminds me of vacation...), it's certainly another great thing you can experience on your trip. And then there's the rental car or Magical Express or a Taxi, or whatever you use to get to Disney, but I feel like that's another post entirely. Maybe I'll do that on a later post, sometime after I've made that trip again. It is only a few months away, after all!

Here's today's Disney History: 2011: Star Wars Weekends returns to Walt Disney World for the 2011 season, the same day as the much anticipated Star Tours attraction reopens with a grand ceremony. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours, so guests can enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 139: Hyperspace Hoopla!

If you are in the Disney loop at all, you know very well that this weekend was the start of the 2013 Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios...and if you love Disney AND Star Wars as much as I also know that it's certainly something to celebrate!

As we make our way through Star Wars season (which starts May 4th and goes through the end of Star Wars Weekends at Disney...but includes the release of all current 6 Star Wars films!), there's always a lot to celebrate, especially this year with the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. And you know what, there's nothing I love to do more to celebrate everything than watch the yearly brilliance that comes out of Disney with Snig & Oopla's Hyperspace Hoopla!!! I mean...come on...even THEY got the whole Return of the Jedi memo!

I highly suggest you watch the below video...but do make sure you're in a place where you can laugh hysterically without making too much noise for other people to hear. I generally watch it with my brother, so we are as loud as we want...and we may or may not dance along (although I'm limited at the moment because of shin splints). Either's the 2013 Hyperspace Hoopla...and all I have to say is that you need to watch all the way to the end because I don't think there's been a better HH EVER.

Soo...what did you think? I honestly can't decide if my favorite part was Lobot, Chewie doing the splits, Thrift Shop, the Harlem Shake or Jedi Mickey. It's just so hard to decide. Well...actually...the entire thing was great.

The only things I would change are this: Get rid of the characters no one knows, and bring in HAN. I mean, COME ON! AND LUKE! And let's have Leia be...well, Leia...for once...and get rid of Padme (although I have to say, I very much enjoy the yearly Vader/Padme song/dance). But seriously...HAN. Get on that. Now. 

Other than that, I love these, and I really wish I could be at Star Wars Weekends myself sometime. Maybe when I do the college program I'll apply for the spring so I can finally go to this! 

Here's today's Disney History: 2000: Plans for Disney's newest attraction Mission : SPACE (to be completed in 2003-2004) are launched into space aboard Atlantis, NASA's International Space Station shuttle flight. The crew, made up of six American astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut  will spend nearly 10 days in space.

Have a magical day...and may the force be with you!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 138: Disney Conversations

This probably isn't what you think it just keep reading.

Last night, I told my friend that this was going to be today's blog post, and I'm keeping my word because I think it seriously is something that totally works for a blog all about how Disney impacts my everyday life.

I think this is a pretty good picture to help explain...

To say I speak in movie quotes is an understatement. It's like all I speak in, and with my friend's, it's no exception. So when last night my friend and I had the following conversation, I just couldn't not make a blog post about it!

Friend: A is transporting to a new location, she will be with you again shortly.

Me: Your time machines could begin moving again at any moment. Please remain seated. 

Yeah, not a huge conversation (although there is more...but that's the important part), but do you get it? That's right...if you've been on Spaceship Earth anywhere near (ok...probably even just once or twice), you might already know that what I replied with is the narration that comes over when they have to load a wheelchair onto the ride! It's ok though..."Your time travel is resuming now" is what happened later. 

But that's not all the funny conversations we have. At my school, and while it has literally nothing to do with me, whenever there's a drill of some sort where we have to stay in the classrooms, our vice Principal goes over the system when it's over and says "You are free to more about the cabin!" and I crack up just about every time!

Many of my friends and I have a back and forth thing where one of us says "I love you" and the other says, you guessed it, "I know!" And next year when I return to visit my friends still in high school, I already know that as soon as I walk in I'll go "Together at last! How we doin'?" and they will go "Same as always" and finally I'll return "That bad huh?" Oh yes...Return of the Jedi still reigns. But more Star Wars will certainly come in tomorrow's post! 

But one final "conversational movie quote" we have and use almost every day comes from Mulan...when Mushu goes "Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your family! Dishonor on your COW!" Considering we live in Wisconsin this shouldn't come as a surprise honestly. 

Either way, I could go on for hours and hours and blog post after blog post about all the random movie quotes that pop up in my life...many of which are Disney, but I couldn't help but share that with you...and these few. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1993: The hit TV series Full House goes to Disney World in Part 2 of "The House Meets the Mouse." (Note: This is one of my two favorite episodes of Full House of ALL TIME!)

Have a magical day!

Oh, and one more thing...I will raise the safety bar for you...and a ghost will FOLLOW YOU HOME!!! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 137: Ranting

You know, I've written this blog post about three or four times now...and each one was totally different.

There are just sometimes those nights when you need to rant, and for me, writing has always been a great way to get my frustrations out. I tend to get caught up in the moment and write a bunch of nonsense anyway, so I might as well write something that no one's going to see anyway, right? 

Well, tonight's rants consisted of a variety of things, but one of the main themes I in both was learning from experience. There's recently been a lot of backlash over the redesigned Princesses, especially Merida, and I honestly think a lot of it is just outrageous people being completely rude, but one of the things I mentioned is that the person who created these designs must be feeling terrible right now (or if they're awesome, they're embracing and learning from it). People are saying they should be fired and that they don't know what they're doing and that their sexist. How is that even fair to them? It's not! So the population didn't like the redesigns, say your piece politely and move on, they'll fix it if there's really that much upset. They don't need to fire anyone, because everyone is going to learn from the experience anyway!

The same thing then applied to learning by yourself, as one of my friends had a really bad day in our creative writing class (We're in separate hours, but it's the same basic class and group of people). There are just a lot of people who don't care and don't do their work in the class, and she was frustrated because they were distracting her. I feel awful that she had to go through that, and she was most upset over the fact that the teacher did nothing, but at the same time, I feel like she overreacted. I know how hard it is to be in a class like that, since I'm in the same position the following hour, but the teacher didn't say anything because in a few weeks, we'll be out on our own, having graduated, and there won't be a teacher there to save us from an annoying person sitting next to us any longer. We have to learn to fend for ourselves, and that's what he's really teaching us. I initially was going to drop out of my class period and switch to a different hour, but I didn't, and now I'm glad that I made that decision. I have learned so much, both about my writing and about how to deal with people, and I feel like she just overlooked that lesson a bit. But like I said, she'll learn through experience, and eventually everything will work out.

Disney has taught me to learn from experience, and that it's ok to make mistakes, because it's only going to make me stronger (Now I have the song Stronger in my head...). I am defined by the experiences I have in life, and I wouldn't change them for anything in the world. But at the same time, people need to understand that others do make mistakes, and that they can't just give them a hard time because of it. Friendly suggestions and advice is ok, but saying that you should be fired or something of the same matter is never ok, and I think that's a lesson that everyone needs to learn. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1921: Disney legend Harrison "Buzz" Price is born in Oregon City, Oregon (through he grew up in Southern California). A research economist who recommended Anaheim to Walt Disney as the location for Disneyland, Price later formed Economics Research Associates and conducted studies for theme park clients. He also had a helping hand in the finding the location for Walt Disney World. 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 136: Indiana Jones...the Fourth One

As I am often known to do, I put in a movie to play while I worked on my homework. That's right, I love movies so much I watch them while doing homework. Granted, most people would get distracted, but since discovering Star Wars, I've learned how to make it so I can still work and watch at the same time (granted...I generally watch Empire and I only pay attention to the parts Han is in anyway).

So what did I put in? Indy of course! I've been wanting to watch the Fourth one for the last few weeks and decided it was about time...and I realize a few things while watching:

1. If Harrison can play Indy...he can play Han.

I think there's been a lot of talk about if Harrison Ford can accurately reprise the role of Han Solo...and the same goes for the other original actors. But personally I think that if any of them can do it...Harrison can! Easily! I mean, at 60 something he was still doing some of his own stunts for something like an Indy movie...which isn't exactly light stuff. Granted, he has a stunt double for some of it, but he's always been one to do many of his own stunts, and he's still in pretty good shape. Yeah, he's older and obviously looks it, but there are still those times when he really does look like his younger self. My brother and I would just go "He looks like Indy...there" because it's true...all of a sudden it's like he's 30 years younger.

Now if the others can do that, I'm not sure. But Han Solo...he'll be just fine.

2. The movie would have been so much better without the aliens.

One of the things about this movie is that a lot of people don't give it enough credit. Yes, it was made how many years (30?) after the original Indiana Jones film, but that doesn't make it any less of an Indy movie! There are certainly some things that could have been better...but in the grand scheme of things, my order for the Indy movies goes like this (from favorite to least favorite): Raiders, Last Crusade, Crystal Skull, Temple of Doom. Why? Because of the storylines! I just felt that Temple was really weak, and the one thing I really hated about it is that it didn't have a ton of historical references like the other three. Crystal Skull had that, just as Raiders and Last Crusade did! They had a historical portion to it that really made it seem more believable.

That believableness was killed though, by the Aliens.

Now, I'm not saying that the ending was all together bad, because it wasn't. I loved the idea that their treasure wasn't gold, but knowledge instead. But something with the alien idea (if that's really what they were...since it never really says I guess) just didn't sit well with me and kind of ruined the whole thing. Granted, HF is still amazing and it's still very much an Indy movie (one filled with too many priceless moments to count!), but I just felt like it could have been a lot better than it was.

3. It's set up for a sequel, and therefore...they should get on that.

Harrison's in, Spielberg's in...Lucas...get your act together! Enough said.

That's what I guess I got out of half-watching the movie, since I was working at the same time. It certainly won't be the last time I watch it (I think I watch Star Wars and Indy every few months...and that goes for the other movie I'm watching tonight: Tangled), because can never have too much Indy.

Here's today's Disney History: 1990: Muppet creator, filmmaker, and television producer Jim Henson dies of pneumonia less than 24 hours after being rushed to a New York hospital. The fifty-three-old was misdiagnosed earlier in the week and had he been put on antibiotics only 8 hours earlier, it is believed Henson would have survived. A memorial service for Henson will air on PBS and draw millions of viewers and dozens of celebrities in reverence for his life and work. He was completing negotiations with the Disney company to include his Muppets at their theme parks at the time of his death. Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3-D will open at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park a year later.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 135: What to write about?

Today is just one of those days where I have absolutely no idea what to write about. I really have no clue.

Sometimes, when I have no idea what to write about I go on Pinterest, and I look there, because often times I can find something on one of my Disney boards, and I looked, and I eventually found this...but this post is about what I do when I can't figure out what to write about, so I'll just do a short bit on it.

I found this pin a while ago, and it now sits on my "Laugh Floor" board, which is my Disney humor (yes, I like to do epic names for each board...even if it confuses others). Now, while it's Disneyland and not Disney World, I really think it goes for all the Disney Parks. One can't just go to Disney and not be in a state of eternal despair when they leave. It's just not possible.

And sometimes, when I can't come up with the post, I'll go to Youtube, as you very well know. Yesterday I posted one of my Disney trip vlogs, which I plan on continuing when I go in July. Either way, whenever I pull one of these up, I end up watching a whole bunch of them just because it's like "Hey! You were at Disney! Remember when you were happy?" (Note: Refer to above picture). I was watching one of them with one of my friends the other day, and we decided that they're pretty entertaining mostly because of two things: My brother and my voice. It seems I have a good, hilarious voice for doing such things. Granted, it's also pretty funny when my brother hits his face on the camera. Either way, I can't wait to do more videos come July. If you have any ideas on what I should include this next trip, let me know and I'l do my best to include them!

But by far the thing I write about the most when it comes to my blog is just how Disney is randomly in my everyday life. It happens ALL THE TIME, which is probably pretty obvious since I've been doing this for over four months now. Disney seems to always be around, which I think is pretty cool, and there are plenty of ways that it's in my life that I haven't even begun to talk about yet. There's just too many! Good thing I have the rest of the year to go on and on and on! Hopefully you'll stick with me! 

And that's what it's like when I try to come up with the topics for these blog posts. It doesn't always work, and there are probably a ton of other ways I come up with ideas (randomly looking at Disney maps included). I mean, there's band and all the craziness that comes up with that, my brother, my family, my bedroom, my friends, school and just basically life. But, as we all know, Everyday is a Disney day anyway!

Here's today's Disney History: 1998: Bill Nye - one of the syndicated television show Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy - wins a Daytime Emmy for Performer in a Children's Series. 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 134: Teaching

At last night's concert, I received several gifts and notes from friends, all wishing me my best as I leave the group (it was our last concert after all...although like I said, it's not technically over yet). One of my friends gave me a four page letter, and she talked briefly about how if she hadn't met me, she probably wouldn't think anything more about Disney other than it's "childish."

Now, she put it in a great way in the letter, which I don't have here, but it did make me realize just how much I teach my friends about Disney, and how it can be so much more than the Princesses and Long Lines everyone makes it out to be. They can see how Disney has really impacted my own life, and now it's starting to impact theirs as well, even if they have yet to travel to Disney World like I have.

The same goes for my best friend, who I am always insanely proud of when she makes a reference to something Disney just because I talk about it all the time. I have a lot of friends that can do that now, how without ever having been to Disney, they can tell you about a certain experience or attraction easily. It's funny because on my last vacation, my brother was very adamant on announcing that he knows Disney just as well as I do (which he doesn't), and that people can trust him with important information on the 2014 Band Trip. On one of the days, which is embedded below, we have this entire conversation about how my best friend, Megan, knows more about Disney than my brother does, which is probably partly true.

I've taught my friends a lot of things, and many of those things center right back to Disney. They know that the parade starts at 3 sharp, and that it has no technical 90 degree turns like on our usual parade route. They can identify what or who I'm Disneybounding as on any given day (in fact, combined, Megan and I are Old Key West today...and she came up with it, I didn't!). They can tell you my favorite attractions and somewhat name what some of them are without thinking too hard. And there's quite a bit of Disney history they know now too.

I guess it's just interesting to see just how much my friends have learned from me just talking about Disney, and that they now know that it's more than just a childish thing. That makes me feel pretty proud, because I've always felt that one of my goals is to bring others into the Disney experience, and show them what it's really all about. There's always going to be that person that doesn't believe me and still thinks it's all Princesses, but if I can change just one person's mind and make them a Disney lover too, then that's a job well done.

And considering I've now got a circle of Disney loving friends, it seems that I'm doing a pretty good job.

Here's today's Disney History: 1944: Filmmaker George Lucas is born in Modesto, California. His popular Star Wars and Indiana Jones adventure movies are the inspiration for the Disney attractions Star Tours and Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Lucas was also the executive producer of Captain EO. One of the most successful and celebrated filmmakers in cinema history, his film career is dominated by writing and production. The animation studio Pixar was first founded as the Graphics Group, one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm.

Have a magical day!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 133: Bittersweet

You know what's one of the saddest things ever?

Playing your last high school band concert.

That was my night, and honestly I'm proud that I managed to get through the entire thing without crying. There aren't many things in my life that are more important to me than Disney, but band is one of them. I've spent the last four years of my life with this group, and tonight was super bittersweet because I was honored for all my work, but now it's almost over.

Granted, really, it's not over since we still have another parade, graduation and a Disney audition to prepare for...and after that we have the band trip and then the summer stuff before I come back for next summer's trip to Disney.

This concert was probably my favorite concert I've played in high school though, because not only did I get to play my feature piece in Jazz Band, but we also chose "Brave" as our senior selection, meaning that we got to play songs from Brave at the concert! Along with this we got to play a selection called Hollywood Milestones, which had everything from Jaws to Back to the Future and Beauty and the Beast. It has 11 songs in it total, so it was pretty awesome. Especially since 80% of those songs were by John Williams.

Either way, it was a pretty sad time, but it was still amazing. And I couldn't ask for a better group to have spent my last concert with.

Here's today's Disney History: 2001: The Wonderful World of Disney airs "Child Stars: The Shirley Temple Story."

Have a magical day!