Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day 850: Month Four? Already?

Where in the world is 2015 going? It's already May? How!?!

Then again, the end of April marks the end of another month of the Everyday Disney Challenge, and that means it's time to share the photos from Animal Kingdom month! This has been an interesting month, mostly in consideration of you never know which picture is going to be the most popular. Some of them definitely surprised me!

Of course, originally April was going to be Hollywood Studios month, but I switched it at the last minute to correspond with the birthdays for each park. It worked out well..aside from the fact that I forgot to take out one prompt because April has 30 days instead of the 31 I had spelled out for May. Don't worry though, I updated the one for May so we don't run out of prompts right before the end!

Which picture this month was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 849: When Did It Start For You?

One of my favorite portions of the #DisneySide campaign thus far has to be the When Did It Start For You? series. Over the past month or so, Disney has really had a focus on when Disney became a part of our lives, whether we be a cast member, an actress on OUAT like Ginnifer Goodwin or a regular Disney fan sitting at home, blogging on her couch. It takes something that connects all of us and lets us go back to our roots. It allows us to return to those initial moments when we really found we loved Disney, and that's something spectacular.

Now, originally I was going to do a video on my YouTube channel for #WDIS4U, but I haven't had a chance thanks to finals. So instead I figured I would share my story here, on my blog, because after a lot of debate, I think I really have finally narrowed it down to when it all really, truly started for me.

As many of you know well, I love music. I've always loved music. My family has always really encouraged my brother and I to play instruments and sing and be active in ensembles. I started playing the oboe during the summer before 5th grade, and during my freshman year of high school I picked up the saxophone, which is what I play now as a music performance major in college.

However, I think my love of Disney really took off when I was around 4 years old. Like music, Disney has, obviously, been a huge part of my life. My parents both went to Walt Disney World before they met, they went after they met, they went there on their Honeymoon, and when I was 15 months old, they took me for my first trip.

When I was 4 though, the Millennium Celebration started at Epcot. Many of my earliest Disney memories occurred that year. I remember taking pictures for Leave-A-Legacy and the giant celebration building that had a snowman with real snow and the Tapestry of Nations Parade with te puppets that were way taller than I was. One of them leaned down to shake my hand once and I hid behind my Dad, but the puppet-master waited a minute and after I reached out to shake the puppet's hand, I didn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night.

But what really had an impact on me was Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. We had this tape with the music from the show that my parents would put on every time we would drive somewhere, even if it was just the five minutes to town.We still have the original tape, but I'm pretty sure I listened to it so many times that it's long since worn out and we had to upgrade to a CD.

The music from throughout Disney Parks all across the world, Illuminations and the music of the Millennium Celebration included, has inspired me every single day, whether it be in the practice rooms, in a music theory class, in a parade block, or out on stage performing. I definitely still listen to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on a regular basis, sometimes when I'm happy, sometimes when I'm sad, sometimes when I'm angry, and especially when I'm driving somewhere.

That's when it started for me.

When did it start for you? Let me know in the comments below or share your story with the world by using #WDIS4U!

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 848: Creating Real Magic

Magical Moments are a huge portion of what I love about the Disney Parks, and they're one of the real reasons I can't wait to be a cast member. Of course, I realize that not every moment is going to be a chance for me to make a real magical moment like the one I'm about to share, but I firmly believe that as long as I keep the Disney spirit alive as I pursue a career with the company, magical moments will weave themselves into the ordinary, everyday moments that make up a shift. It's not always pixie dust, but working for Disney would be a benefit enough.

Anyways, my news suggestions on most websites is filled with news from Disney, and I stumbled across an article the other day about a magical moment at Disneyland. This story absolutely warmed my heart, and I really wanted to share it with you. You can read the entire post HERE, and I highly suggest heading over to read the story because it's well worth the effort!

It's magical moments like the one that Rob and his family experienced that keep Disney fans like myself coming back to the Disney Parks time after time. Personally, I can recount several of my own magical moments, such as the time we were upgraded at Disneyland to a Park View room or the experience I had marching down Main Street U.S.A. this past summer. And when I return home, it's those magical moments and those memories that keep me going through trips.

I do have to comment on the All Ears Newsletter for a second though, which you can subscribe to through the All Ears Website, found HERE. Once a month as a part of their Newsletter, the All Ears staff includes a few magical moments (they're always on the last newsletter of the month!). I literally look forward to reading these when they appear and more often than not, I can't get through them without crying. The magic that Disney creates every single day is spectacular, and it never fails to amaze me.

And you's one of the reasons I do believe that Disney is one of the best places in the world, whether it be Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California or one of the other Disney parks throughout the world. The people behind the scenes do everything to make your trip as magical as possible, and that's not something you're going to find everywhere. Disneyland is cited as the Happiest Place on Earth, and Disney World as the most Magical, and as a huge fan of both of them, I can certainly attest to the fact that they live up to their names. The Disney Parks are pure magic, as you can see through stories like Rob's that keep me going and keep me inspired as I grow closer and closer to applying for my own career with the company. It's a huge step, one that scares me every single day, but the chance to make real magic myself? That's an offer too good to ever pass up.

Have a magical day!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Day 847: Picture Crazy

As I drove home tonight, I spent a large portion of my drive thinking about Instagram. It's one of my favorite social media apps, and definitely one that I use every single day. But what do I really love about Instagram? The fact that it's like a journal of pictures. There's nothing quite like going back through your Instagram feed and remembering past Disney Trips or good times with your friends! It may just be another social media, but it's getting so many people to document their lives, and then I decided I should make a whole blog post out of it. So without further ado: 

The first time I Instagrammed about Everyday Disney HAS to be on this list! This was actually before the official blog began I about a throwback! Original design and everything! Things sure have changed a bit around here!

That time I made a giant Disney World Vacation countdown on my fridge...for the second time. I did it with the old fridge, which ended up breaking a day or so I had to move it all to the new fridge that we still have now! 

My November 2012 trip! Also before Everyday Disney began, this happened to be the first official time I Instagrammed a Disney Trip, and it was also the first time I saw New Fantasyland on a special preview! Annual Pass Benefits! 

One can't have my Instagram without my hard-core Star Wars phase. There's a ton of old pictures from 2012-2013 of Han Solo...although can there ever really be enough pictures of Han Solo in the world? 

That time I went to see the Broadway Tour of The Lion King. I'm absolutely thrilled that I'll be going to see Newsies at the same venue within the next year, but seeing Lion King is ALWAYS pure magic! 

That time I graduated from High School and my Graduation Cap was just about the most brilliant thing ever. It took some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it, but once I had a quote, it was a thrill to put together. I still love that hat...even if I don't really know where it is. It's around here somewhere though!

That time I visited Walt Disney World on my Birthday. As a July Birthday Kid, it seemed completely impossible for my family to head down to Florida for my birthday, partly because of the business we run and partly because no one in my family is a huge fan of the heat. But my parents surprised me with a trip in 2013 to celebrate my graduation and my birthday and it was one of the most magical things ever. 

That time I got sad about not being at the D23 Expo and started writing it everywhere...including on a painting at a friend's birthday party. Yeah...we also watched Star Wars and played Haunted Mansion LIFE. You could say I was a bit jealous of everyone who was there. Thank goodness I'll be at the Expo this August!

That time I got bored during class and decided that writing a countdown in my notebook was more important than Science Fiction...or American Literature...whichever class I happened to be in at the moment. 

That time when I realized my love for Once Upon A Time and Captain Hook was far greater than I had previously thought. Since then Colin's appeared on my Instagram time and time again, right alongside many of the other cast members of the show! He'll even be back later in this post!

That time there was a Pumpkin decorating contest at my college and some of the pumpkins were definitely better than all the others!

My March 2014 trip was absolutely amazing! It still ranks among my favorite trips to Walt Disney World, and that's saying a lot. I don't know what it was, but there was something just extra magical about that trip, and I'd repeat it in a heartbeat! 

That time I fulfilled a life-long dream of marching down Main Street U.S.A. with my High School Band. A part of me still doesn't believe this happened sometimes, but it's among my greatest achievements, and I couldn't have done any of it without the Seymour High School Band! 

That time when Colin O'Donoghue tweeted me happy birthday. As you know well, I have it framed on my makes me smile every single day. No I'm not crazy, it just really meant a lot to me!

That time when I watched Dumbo as a part of my Disney Rewatch of all the Disney Animation Films from Snow White to Big Hero 6. It's still going on, and I definitely plan on picking up where I left off (Winnie the Pooh) as soon as I'm back home and settled after finals!

That time when I got a Baby Sven on eBay and I loved him so much that I took this picture...which later Jennifer Morrison favorited. It was a wonderful day.

That time our door decs got a bit of Disney inspiration for Halloween. They've been inspired by several Disney films since then but just wait until you see what I have planned for next year!

All of those times when I've DisneyBounded, whether it be for the March DisneyBound Challenge, Once Upon A Time or just everyday outfits. DisneyBounding is absolutely one of the greatest additions to my life and I'm always thankful for Leslie and those behind it! 

That time I was missing home and wore my Magic Band at college even though, sadly enough, it won't open the door to my dorm or allow me to enter the caf. Wouldn't it be awesome to have fastpasses for registration? 

The Everyday Disney Challenge has become a HUGE part of my Instagram. I'm loving it so far and can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds when it comes to pictures! 

January 2015 was my second trip with my two best friends and it was another of the most memory filled, magical trips I've ever had! Plus I got that awesome Monster's University that's pretty cool. 

That time Stitch and I binge watched Gilmore Girls at college. Good times Stitch. Good times.

And finally, last but not least, Spaceship Earth Sunday! I've been doing this for over a year now, and I doubt it will end any time soon. With a trip in June to replenish my Spaceship Earth photo collection, I'll be good for a while! 

There you have it: 23 times my Instagram went Disney. Then again, with a username like EpcotExpert, the chances of your Instagram being filled with anything and everything Disney are pretty high. I have to say though, i really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and I encourage you to do the same thing! Go back through your Instagram if you have one! What are some instances of your Instagram going Disney? Share in the comments below! 

Have a magical day!