Saturday, September 24, 2016

Day 1363: World Market

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

And it was. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a magical day!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 1362: Which Three?

The latest craze to sweep across social media led me to more than a few nights on intense pondering. Describe yourself in three fictional characters? Only three? How are I expected to sum up a lifetime of identification with television, film, and literature characters by picking only three? Plus, platforms like Twitter and Facebook don't really give me the space to go on and on about why these characters are obviously me. 

Luckily I have a blog and readers here to ramble on to, right? 

Emma Swan of Once Upon A Time

This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, although I must say that over the years it's probably more of me becoming Emma Swan than Emma Swan ever embodying who I was. Regardless, today Emma Swan and I share a number of characteristics beyond our wardrobe of leather jackets. We're absolutely both confident, but are haunted by inner demons, and that's something that has really proven true this year. We tend to want to run in tense situations, but often stay because we know it's the right thing to do. Also, Emma tends to claim she's not sentimental when in every reality we know she totally is, and while I probably don't want to admit it, my room probably speaks the same for me. 

Leslie Knope of Parks & Recreation

Of the three characters on this list, Leslie Knope is probably the character that embodies me the most. My friends comment that I'm no where near as obnoxious as Leslie is on a daily basis, and they're right. I'm usually not that obnoxious...on the outside. Truth be told, I regularly have ridiculous ideas and schemes and words that, unlike Leslie, just don't come out. But that doesn't mean I don't think them. And it also doesn't mean that Leslie's upbeat, high-spirited, dedicated personality doesn't mirror my own. 

Rapunzel from Tangled

This character trio certainly wouldn't be complete without a Disney character thrown in there too, and while there are tons to choose from, I just kept coming back to Rapunzel. Tangled spoke to me in a way no Disney film ever has before, and Rapunzel had a lot to do with that. The way she so eagerly follows her dream, is a bit naive while pursing it, and is just a bit over-dramatic about everything is pretty much an embodiment of me. Plus, the fact that her hobbies so directly line up with mine probably isn't a coincidence either - baking, cooking, reading, painting, playing guitar, and the list goes on! 

So there you have it, the three fictional characters that best describe me, as according to me. There were more than a few runners up, including Tiana for her hard work and love of cooking, Kathy Selden from Singin' in the Rain because on stage we're pretty much the same, Hamilton from Hamilton because we both write like we're running out of time, and also a bit of Monica from Friends because as much as we'd both like to deny it, we have OCD tendencies. 

Now, if I could just find Captain Hook or Flynn Rider or, better yet, Ben Wyatt...

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Day 1359: Why I Love Being a Disney Fan

Being a writer for The Odyssey Online sometimes has its perks, and one of those is articles that work for both there and here on Everyday Disney. Recently I wrote an article about why I love being a Disney fan, and since this blog is pretty much fueled by Disney fans, it only feels right to share those same reasons with you! 

1. Disney fans have some special treats that the rest of the world doesn't know about - and they're super delicious.

Dole Whips, Mickey Premium Bars and School Bread; you name it! And of course, there's also those wonderful churros, Butterfinger Cupcakes, Afternoon Tea, and on and on and on and on. 

2. You always have somewhere to vacation! It doesn't matter if it's Disney World or Disneyland, you'll go every chance you get and you'll never be disappointed!

Only 14 days until I get to go again!

3. When you're a Disney fan, you're part of a worldwide community.

From DisneyBounders to Cast Members to YouTubers, we can all agree on one thing: WE LOVE DISNEY!

4. There's always a trip or movie to look forward to!

And if you somehow run out of things to do, just play Disney Monopoly! 

5. There's something for everyone!

Even Darth Vader can find his happy place! 

6. Disney is pure magic! 

And we're the lucky ones who get to experience it up close and personal! 

Some might gawk at the idea of vacationing to Disney World over and over again, or find little interest in watching Disney movies day in and day out, but for those of us on the inside, there's no question that we'll be Disney fans for life! 

Do you have any other reasons you love being a Disney fan? 

Have a magical day!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 1358: A Tale as Old as Time

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

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

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

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

And did I mention Alan Menken is on piano? 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 1345: Memento Mori

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a magical day!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 1344: Giraffes!

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

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

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

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

Have a magical day!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 1340: Take a Chance

I originally wrote this for The Odyssey Online, but I thought it would be important to share here as well, largely because Everyday Disney has been a crucial part of my journey through college, and it's been here that I've learned that taking risks can sometimes lead to the best parts of your life. 

It's barely a week into my senior year at SNC and something in the air feels different. 

Yes, many of my professors have changed, my on-campus job has left me more than a bit frazzled as we adjust to endless changes in the department I work for and the friends I had a year ago are now absolute strangers, but that's not what I'm talking about, at least not entirely. As I look back on memories from a year ago, when I thought for sure that I had my life together, I realize that I'm not the same person I was back then. Not by a long shot. 

Backstory time. Way back in middle school, I quit choir because of a grading situation that left kids in band and choir with lower grades than those just in choir. I loved singing, and I still love singing, but I couldn't let my GPA suffer, and since the day I walked out of the choir room, the amount I've sung for others consists of anyone who has spent more than a few hours with me in a car and the extremely forgiving ears of my church congregation. 

Fast forward to college, where I have almost religiously attended performances by a vocal group called Knights on Broadway. It's a select group of college singers from all over campus that come together to perform Broadway songs old and new, and since the first time I saw them sing, I've been in awe. By the end of my junior year, I was occasionally referred to as the KOB Groupie, a title I wore with pride. 

Which brings us to two weeks ago, when I watched The Sound of Music for what seems like the 400th time and realized that maybe, just maybe, I could audition for Knights on Broadway. A couple of days later, I found myself in the office of the group's director, gathering all my courage to mention that I was considering auditioning for the group. 

I ended up making it to callbacks. 

Now, I'm sitting in my small apartment overwhelmed as what I just did starts to set in. I auditioned for Knights on Broadway. This is absolutely something I would have never thought of doing a year ago, and while, yes, I was more terrified walking up on that stage than the time I watched Psycho alone in an empty house, it was so incredibly worth it. 

I'm still not sure exactly what it was that inspired me to even think of auditioning, and I won't know for a few days if I got in, but taking chances like this has made me realize that I should be making the most of the doors that are still open to me. I may be a senior, and taking risks is always frightening, but what kinds of wonderful experiences am I letting pass me by? 

So I'm taking a vow this school year to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way. No matter how terrifying or impossible it seems, these are experiences I'll never have again, and I want to make the most of every moment I have left in college. Even if some things don't work out, even if I don't get into Knights on Broadway, the important thing is that I tried. 

And so, the air may feel different this year as I take chances I never dreamed of and make the most of every second I have left with my college family, but I'm OK with that. It's a good thing, because above all else, I'm so much happier than I was before, and that's all that really matters. 

Have a magical day!

Update: I got in!