Sunday, January 31, 2016

Day 1126: Picture This

One of the best ways to remember your Disney trip is through pictures, and God knows my family takes enough of them for half the world. BUT, I also love that we take a lot of pictures these days, or at least more than I used to. Getting home and finally having a chance to sort through the newest pictures is always an exciting opportunity, and since I recently went through the pictures from my latest trip, I figured I'd share a few of my favorites! 

Above you can obviously see me as an Extra at Indiana Jones, and you'll find another Indy picture below, where I'm filming Indy saying hello to our friend Megan back home! Also below is a moment with my pal Chewie, who absolutely loved the camera! 

Meeting Larry Dotson is always a pleasure, and I always try to have my picture taken with him if I can too! On the right above you can see a behind the scenes moment from an upcoming YouTube video which may or may not feature some Beverly. Below you'll find a couple of shots my mom took of the audio animatronics in The American Adventure, including my favorite fictional Civil War family! 

Teacups and squirrels for days, am I right? On the left above you'll see me checking out Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian (which I blogged about HERE), and on the right I've got a good classic Disney Squirrel picture. Down below there's another lovely shot of me at a restaurant, this time Chefs de France, and then yet another behind the scenes moment of me peeking through a window at the construction taking place at Animal Kingdom! 

We're all about the candid shots this trip I guess, with the above right featuring Frank, Clint and I during our chat at Animal Kingdom, and on the right the only caption I can come up with that seems appropriate is "Chewie, we're going home." Down on the left I'm in the process of sharing my version of Star Wars in under a minute, which you can see on a vlog coming soon, and on the right I'm lounging around at Old Key West on our first day! 

Trash can pictures are bound to become the next big thing...or so I think. Regardless, after this picture I'm sort of determined to take future pictures with as many of the Disney trash cans as I possibly can. Seems legitimate, right? And below you can view a beautiful Florida Sunset over part of Epcot and a pre-Indiana Jones selfie that's become tradition for Frank and I! 

Finally, I encountered a first at Magic Kingdom this trip: Baby Ducklings! It's a sure bet that you'll find ducks at Walt Disney World, but ducklings are a bit harder to come by. This little group of them, however, seemed to pop up multiple times, as we saw them the next day as well leading Festival of Fantasy. Yes, they walked in front of the parade. 

There are plenty of other spectacular pictures from my trip that will be shared over time, I'm sure, but these were just a few of my favorites. Personally, I love seeing the candid photos of me filming, because the vlog has become such a crucial part of my Disney trips, and it's almost like proof that the vlog is right there with me through pretty much everything! Speaking of vlogs, you'll be able to catch the first from this trip very, very soon on my YouTube channel, so keep an eye out for that! 

Have a magical day!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Day 1125: The Newest and Indyiest

Back in 2014, I blogged about a Facebook tradition I have: only changing my profile picture and cover photo after a Disney trip, and I'm happy to say that even now, the tradition continues! You can read the original blog post on Day 609, but since I've had four Disney trips since then, I figured it might be fun to do a bit of an update, especially since I just changed my profile picture and cover photo the other day!

This time we'll work backwards though, mostly since the combination you see above is the one currently on my Facebook page, and it'll stay there until whenever I next head to a Disney Park (most likely either July or October). As I went through pictures from my trip this January (more of which you'll see in a later blog post), I fell in love with the picture of me as an extra at Indiana Jones, so it wasn't even a competition for which picture would end up being my latest cover photo! As for the profile picture, I didn't think there was a picture that described happiness better than my picture with Chewbacca, so there wasn't really any competition there either.

Previous to this January's trip to Walt Disney World, I of course headed to Disneyland back in August, which means that for the past 5 months or so, Leo and I have graced my Facebook Profile Picture, and since World of Color is one of my absolute favorite things at Disneyland, I figured it would make a brilliant cover photo to go along with it! 

Before Disneyland there was a brief two month interlude of Disney World after my trip in June, which featured two of my favorite fandoms: Once Upon A Time and Star Wars! Seeing Mr. Gold's Pawnshop with all the props from OUAT was simply spectacular, and when I found that my Dad had taken a number of wonderful photographs of said props, it was an instant upload for my cover photo. Like my most recent encounter with Chewie, he made my cover photo as well, especially since meeting him in June was an absolute dream come true! 

And finally, after last January's trip to Walt Disney World I went with a pink and blue sort of color scheme that featured my new favorite hat (and one of the last pictures I took that trip) and Wishes, because who doesn't love Wishes! I will say that this trip took a long while to decide on though because there were simply so many amazing options for profile pictures and cover photos. Regardless, I narrowed it down and these pictures graced my profile from January until June! 

Which brings us back to June 2014, the last profile picture and cover photo set I shared with Everyday Disney! Updating my profile picture and cover photo after each trip has become a tradition, habit, and super exciting moment, although the thought and pressure of picking a combination I might keep for months on end is sometimes daunting. I will say, however, that I went back through my pictures and it occurred to me that I've been on seven Disney trips in the last three years. When I was a kid I went on, maybe, one a year (so three...or two) in that same time span. Gosh, if only 5 year old Lizzie could see the future. 

Have a magical day! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 1124: The Twentieth Century - Bring It On!

What's even better than a normal day of Music Theory class (it's my favorite course if you haven't figured that out already)? A day a Music Theory that begins with a Death Star and Holst! 

While I usually walk into class plenty early, today I happened to walk in right before we started, only to find that I had apparently been missing out on enjoying this lovely view of the second Death Star! As we begin our new semester here at SNC, we're moving along in the course of Music History from the Romantic Era right into the Twentieth Century and the destruction of tonality. If you have no idea what any of that means, don't worry, I don't really know what it's all about yet either, but I do know it means more modern music, and with that more modern music comes some of my favorite Star Wars! 

Honestly this is going to be a really short blog post, but I like to go back to the roots of what Everyday Disney is all about sometimes: finding little bits of Disney in your everyday life, and this is most definitely an example of that! Thanks Dr. Henson for making this Star Wars Fan's day! 

Have a magical day! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Day 1123: The First Backup System

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been sitting in a class and Disney pops up...only it doesn't. Well, it does in my mind, even if the actual topic of discussion is miles away from anything that seems related to Disney. Today's victim of Disneyization (Yes it's a word I just made up): Geography.

This semester I'm fulfilling a couple of general education credits by taking a geography course immediately followed by an Environment and Society course, and during a recent discussion, my professor was telling us about how Geographers have been around for a long, long time. He put up a slide relating cultures that relied on Geography in the past, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Germans, British and so on. At first I didn't think much of it, but as he went on to describe how Arabs are extremely important to Geography, my ears perked up and thoughts began to align.

The Romans, of course, learned from the Greeks, and contributed significantly to Geography, building a system of roads all over the known world. Sounding familiar yet? My professor then went on to explain how the Arabs helped save many of the documents that were thought to be lost when Christianity took over Europe, such as when the Library of Alexandra was burned.

And then it all clicked. Of course I thought, realizing that the Greeks, Romans and Arabs were obviously all important to Geography along with many other areas of study, as they provided the first backup system, or at least that's what it's called on Spaceship Earth. Oh yes, because of my love of Spaceship Earth, I instantly completely understood exactly what my professor was trying to say, and now it's a portion of the class that I won't forget any time soon, if ever.

Maybe I should relate all of my classes to Disney...

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 1122: Frontierland

The sense of smell can be pretty powerful, and I find that when I happen to relate it to Disney, it gains even stronger. In fact, I think this is certainly something we all end up doing, since I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who talked about the distinct scent that is the "Burning of Rome" or the flavorful aroma you get right before taking your first bite of a beloved Dole Whip. Even things like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion have very distinctive smells that seem to only exist in those locations.

Apparently, Frontierland is another of those locations.

When I moved about a week and a half ago, it meant walking into a brand new building for the first time...again. And of course, this place was supposed to be my new home. When I moved into the Townhouses, I continuously had the feeling that I was at Old Key West or, even more so, Saratoga Springs, but that was more about the setup than the smell. Now, living in a dorm called Riverside, I walked into the building and instantly felt at home because the hallway had the most distinctive "Frontierland" smell I've ever found outside of Walt Disney World.

I figured the smell would disappear over time or I would get used to it, but nope. Even a couple of weeks later the hallway still reminds me of Frontierland, and honestly, it's sort of a nice relief to come home to Riverside after a long day and have it smell like home.

What smells like home to you?

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 1121: Trailer Music

It should be no surprise that, as a music major, I tend to jam out to whatever song Disney has come up with to feature in the newest movie trailer, and since we're entering the Twentieth Century and more modern music in my music history and theory course this semester, it felt like the perfect time to share some of my favorite trailer songs!

Inside Out | Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith

If we're talking about trailer music, then we'd better mention Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith that's featured in the trailer for Inside Out. I remember crying the first time I saw this trailer simply because the sadness part got to me. I think it probably got to all of us (the Toy Story 3 and Up portions especially).

Cinderella | Aeon - Nick Murray

Easily one of my favorite movie trailer pieces, I used Aeon for a segment of the band trip video last year, and while a lot of times I end up hating the piece after using it for video editing, I still adore this one! It's elegant and emotional and simply perfect for the trailer to Disney's 2015 live action remake of Cinderella

Big Hero 6 | Top of the World - Greek Fire

Big Hero 6 had a lot of awesome music surrounding it, which came as a pretty decent surprise to me. I wasn't really enthused about the idea of Big Hero 6 to begin with, but it grew on me, and now I'll watch the adventures of Hiro and Baymax any day, and I think a lot of that has to do with "Top of the World," which caught my attention in the trailer! 

Saving Mr. Banks | Lost and Found - Katie Herzig

Similar to "Aeon," the piece used in the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks caught my attention, as though I wasn't already completely emotionally invested in the film. The music in the film as a whole is certainly one of my favorite soundtracks, but then again, the fact that it's one of my favorite movies probably has something to do with that. 

Wreck-It Ralph | Good Feeling - Flo Rida

The trailers for Wreck-It Ralph had a lot of great music, including the one featured in the teaser trailer, "Good Feeling," but also "Some Nights," which was used in the trailers that followed. What do I love about it? It's upbeat, it's catchy, and it certainly gets stuck in your head. If that's really a good thing I'm not quite sure, but we'll say it is.

I could probably go on forever about my favorite music in Disney Movie Trailers, because almost every time a new trailer comes out I end up with a new favorite song to listen to all the time. I have realized how dangerous this is though, because now I want to go and watch all these movies (Wreck-It Ralph's been too long). Alas, I'll have to postpone such movie watching for a later date! 

Let me know in the comments below which trailer songs you love! 

Have a magical day! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 1120: A Fresh Start

A new semester is upon us and while our new apartment is a bit more cramped, the weather is much colder (and snowier) than it was in Florida a week ago, and the work is already piling, things are indeed looking up. In fact, now, 25 days into 2016, it finally feels like a new year is starting and things are changing. A great first day definitely helps with that feeling, and I hope it's one that will continue into the busy weeks ahead.

However, I'm also trying to make little changes that will keep things more lighthearted around here. Due to a lack of an English class this semester, I'm hoping to keep up with my writing and reading by staying on top of Everyday Disney, doing a 365 day writing challenge (there's an accompanying book), and reading at least one shorter story (like a fairy tale or something out of the collection of Civil War stories I recently came across) everyday. In addition, I'm trying out meal planning so I can spend a couple of hours on Sunday making my food for the entire week, which then requires only a bit of work to put together right before I eat it or take it with me for a busy day at college. I'm attempting to be more organized with elements such as the Momentum Dash Board (pictured above), which takes your new tab on your internet browser and turns it into a beautiful motivation tool!

But more than anything, I'm going to try and keep myself focused on participating in the happy moments and the things I love more than letting the grey get me down. In other words, it's not always about the work I have to get done or how much time it's going to take me to make the copies for concert band and Winter Band Fest, even after an entire day of school and meetings...but rather about the awesome music I'll get to listen to while I do it (Mahler here I come)! Instead of thinking about the past and the terrors it holds, I'm going to think about the future instead, like the possibility of two more Disney trips this year and the new experiences and adventures they might hold. And if worst comes to worst, I can always think about going to go see Star Wars again sometime in the near future...because four times just seems like one too little.

What are some ways you've been starting fresh this year or semester? Let me know in the comments!

Have a magical day!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 1119: America The Beautiful

When I was a kid there were a few videos I watched over and over again, all of which I've mentioned before here on Everyday Disney. My personal favorite, of course, was "A Day at Epcot Center," which I still watch regularly because it features some of my favorite old Epcot memories from The Living Seas, Spaceship Earth, and even Innoventions. There is, however, one section of the short video that impacted me more than others: The Voices of Liberty. 

Our church hymnal is made up of over 600 various hymns, many of which I've come to know by heart, but like every member of our congregation, I have my own personal favorite hymns. After I realized my love of the Civil War era, I always enjoy a good sing through of Battle Hymn of the Republic. There is one other hymn that I love even more though: America the Beautiful. 

You see, on that old VHS tape of "A Day at Epcot Center," the Voices of Liberty are featured singing that song, and for some reason, I was always in awe of them performing it. Somewhere along the line it became my favorite hymn, and, fast forward a number of years, you can just imagine how I felt when the Voices of Liberty performed America the Beautiful as their last piece of the set I saw on my last day in Florida this January. In fact, I almost cried as they had us sing along, because even though it was a regular part of their day, singing my favorite hymn with the group that made it my favorite was an absolute magical moment. 

I wish now that I had gone up to one of the singers and told them how much it meant to me, but I'll be sure to tell them my story the next time they sing America the Beautiful. 

Have a magical day! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day 1118: Cleaning Up the Past

As I make attempt to move on with my life after the chaos of recent weeks, I spent some time this weekend cleaning up my bedroom, which was scattered with stuff from my Townhouse that needed to go to my new apartment, as well as a still half-full suitcase from Florida and the regular items that remain in my bedroom even while I'm away at college. Needless to say, things were an absolute mess, and that led to a continuation of the thorough cleaning I did just before Christmas. 

This time, however, I wanted everything put away, or at least as much as I could without the furniture that makes up my apartment at college, and I came across my old wallet, which I replaced months ago because after three years of use it was finally wearing out. When you change wallets you tend to not transfer everything, especially in my case, as I was downsizing my wallet, and when I opened up the old one, I realized that I'd actually left quite a few Disney gems in there. 

For starters, I found all of my tickets and receipts and room keys from Disneyland this past August, which only fueled my desire to go back more. I also happened to find room keys from trips to Walt Disney World that occurred before MagicBands. Because yes, we used to use actual tickets and actual room key cards. So long ago. There were also a number of receipts from trips in 2012 and 2013, which have mostly faded away so I didn't take any pictures, but I will say that it's pretty impressive how I can know exactly what I was buying and where and why without looking at anything more than the items listed on the receipt. Unless it was bottled water...I buy that much too frequently to differentiate between purchases. 

In the end, unlike most people, I couldn't just get myself to get rid of all the park tickets and receipts and room keys, and while I did dispose of a number of the faded ones that I assume were from 2012, I also threw a good number of them in a memory box I started in my room, which features important and meaningful documents and small items that I happen to find while cleaning. I will say that finding these things made cleaning a lot more fun though, even if I did waste about a half hour looking at each individual receipt. But come on, this is Disney we're talking about, and as we all know well, even little trinkets like receipts can hold memories of magic.

Have a magical day! 

(Note: This blog post was written on January 25 due to travel).

Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 1117: Textbooks

It's amazing what you can find in textbooks. 

If you're anything like my family, you tend to look through your textbooks the second you get your hands on them, and then again when your dad really wants to know what you're learning about in Earth Science or World Regional Geography. From there you can spend anywhere from 5 minute to 5 hours going through the book and other textbooks that he unearths from the depths of the basement and the storage room turned library that's filled to the brim with old books. 

Of course, you can find all kinds of references to things in such books, but one in particular has been spotted more than a few times, and maybe, if you've seen it in our own textbook, you can guess what it is. Or you could just look at the picture below. That would work too. 

For some reason, textbooks love Spaceship Earth. Most recently, it did indeed appear in my brother's Earth Science book, for a reason I don't entirely understand. Back during my time in high school, it appeared in a Geometry textbook, for more obvious reasons, and in fact, it was even part of an actual textbook homework assignment. Not that we did that specific assignment...

Either way, it's just another example of how Disney really does pop up in our everyday lives, even when we least expect it! Which puts the question out there for you: have you ever spotted something Disney in one of your textbooks? If so, what did you spot? Let me know in the comments below! 

Have a magical day! 

(Note: This blog post was written on January 25 due to travel).

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Day 1116: Turkish Delights

Saying goodbye never gets any easier, so that's why I tend to say that it's not goodbye at all, but rather "see ya real soon." You, my blog readers, probably recognize this as a common response from our favorite mouse, Mickey, but it's the only way I could ever get myself to leave Disney, with the knowledge that somehow, I'd be returning. I've come to a point now that I'm starting to have to say very real "see ya real soons," especially as my friends from college head off into the real world, even if just for a semester. 

Jessica, on the left in the above picture, is heading to Italy for a semester of studying abroad, and I couldn't be more excited for her and the adventures she's sure to have. Personally, I'm unable to study abroad due to the number of credits I need in order to fulfill the requirements for both of my majors, but I absolutely understand the importance of travel, especially at a time like this in our lives, when responsibilities like school and literally take place in the place we travel. It doesn't make the farewells any easier, to know that she's about to go off and have the time of her life while I'm stuck here doing pretty much the same thing I've always done, but she'll be back soon enough, and in the meantime, there's plenty of memories to recall, including one of our last before she walked out our door for the last time before heading to Italy. 

After forgetting a sweatshirt, Jessica ended up coming back to our new apartment with food in hand, specifically a treat brought back by a friend who lives in Europe. We agreed quickly to try out chocolates with her, because who turns down something like that, and were pleasantly surprised to find two varieties of sweets before us: a chocolate and a powdery sort of confection that we were unsure of. 

The chocolate was indeed delicious, as are most things from Europe, but as we moved onto the second, covered in powdered sugar, we couldn't help but think of The Chronicles of Narnia. If you remember, in one of the films, Edmund is basically addicted to Turkish Delight, and after a comment from Jessica about the treat, I double checked the box, only to realize that it was, indeed, Turkish Delight! 

After trying it out we looked up what it's made of, because if you've ever eaten Turkish Delight, it's a pretty weird experience. We're even more confused about the treat now though, because apparently it doesn't taste good half the time and this stuff was delicious. It seems Edmund knew what he was talking about. 

Either way, I still have a chocolate on my desk that Jessica shared with me, and it has plans to stay there until she comes back...or at least until I give into the temptation to eat it. If you want to check out some of Jessica's Adventures as she tours across Italy, you can follow her own blog HERE!

Have a magical day and Jessica, the best of luck in Italy! 

(Note: This blog post was written on January 25 due to travel).

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 1115: Growing Up Disney

The six weeks of J-Term/Christmas Break have really been a time of reflection and thought for me. After the stress that piled up last semester and throughout the last couple of months, I was forced to really ponder the choices I had made, as well as the ones I am making, and I really came to the conclusion that I take a lot of my life for granted, which I think I mentioned briefly in a previous post. 

Nonetheless, it also got me thinking about all the things in my life I have and do take for granted. Many of them, obviously, rotate around my family vacations to Walt Disney World, such as going to the parks themselves or, more importantly, air travel. I've grown up in airports, and I now realize that many people my age have never even been on a plane. If they have, it's usually only once or twice, and I lost count years ago of how many flights I've actually been on. Likewise, I've been ordering off a menu and putting napkins on my lap since I was about three, so restaurants are a part of my nature as well. 

Even closer to home, however, there are still unique and extraordinary things that I've grown up with, like living nearby an NFL team. The Packers aren't the center of my universe, but I realized recently in a sort of ridiculous way that people from all over Wisconsin (and the world) are Packers fans, not just those of us who live near Green Bay. I grew up in the country in a large house, and even more so, my family ran a business, meaning somewhat flexible hours for both of my parents while some of my fellow students attended after school programs or were on their own until their parents actually got home after work. We took consistent trips to Milwaukee and Chicago and Door County and other nearby tourist locations, and even my time spent so near to Lake Michigan feels like a privilege. 

Long story short, as I headed to Walt Disney World this January I really thought about the ways that Disney has impacted the "normal" that is my everyday life, and I encourage you to do the same the next time you're in the parks too. After all, if it hadn't been for my trip to Disneyland, I'd never have watched Star Wars, and if not for my time spent listening to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, I might not be a music major. What would my life be like if Disney wasn't such a key part of my life? 

What would yours be like? 

Have a magical day! 

(Note: This blog post was written on January 25 due to travel).