Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 1397: Perry

It's time again for another round of "That Thing in Class That Mysteriously Related to Disney!" 

This time it was in Intro to Computer Programming, which I'm taking to fulfill my last general education requirement...the second of which (math), I was supposed to complete by the end of my second year of undergrad. I'm a first semester senior right now, so you can tell how well that worked out for me. 

Regardless, throughout the semester in addition to doing labs and attending lectures, we're expected to create several programs that will run on the computer. We're usually given instructions and basic code to help us start writing our program, but ultimately a lot of it is up to us, and I'm particularly excited about this next one! 

For our fourth program, we're creating a sort of basic adventure game. Think sort of like the really simple old ones where you have to run into certain objects and avoid others to gain points. You'll lose lives if you hit the bad things, and when you run out, the game is over. Pretty simple, right? The rest of the program, including the theme and story, is up to us, and our professor showed us several examples in class today. The first one? Perry The Platypus. 

As the game started up, there was some pretty intense Perry The Platypus music, and the game was run where you had to run into Doofenshmirtz to stop him while avoiding Phineas and Ferb. It actually seemed like a lot of fun, and I quickly snapped a picture to prove that yes, indeed, I'm not lying. 

What I'll be doing for my own game has yet to be determined, but expect it to have at least something to do with Disney. I figure something with the parks could be especially fun, but that might include a lot of coding if I did it the way I want to. So perhaps The Lion King will come into play, or another classic Disney movie. I don't know about you, but I played a lot of those simple kinds of games on the computer as a kid, and this seems like the perfect chance to relive some of those memories! 

If you have any suggestions as to what kind of game I should do, leave them in the comments below! 

Have a magical day!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 1382: Camera Flash

At the conclusion of each trip, I'm frequently found going through the pictures from the various cameras that went with us, and eventually I share some of my favorite shots here on Everyday Disney. It's always interesting to see the differences in style, topic, and view between my parents, brother, and I, but ultimately we just all love photography! So here are some of my favorites from our October trip to Walt Disney World:

Personally, I'm a huge fan of candid photos, some of which you can see above. There's certainly a difference between a candid and a posed photo, as the former really gives you a better idea of what's really going on. It's real life, and a look at what really happens behind the scenes on Disney trips, because believe it or not, there's stuff I cut out of even my vlogs. 

Plus, pictures are just plain fun to look at down the road! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 1381: Paperman

Writing fiction can be pretty difficult, especially when you're writing a lot of it all at once for a class. But occasionally, things slip into our writing without us even knowing it. For instance, a piece by one of my friends reminded me of Mulan 2 the other day, and we've had more than a few horror movie moments. 

But for one piece of fiction written for my class, I could only think of one thing: Paperman

The short written by one of my classmates instantly reminded me of the short by Walt Disney Pictures. If you haven't seen it or just wanted to watch it again, you can watch it below, and you'll get the basic idea of the story she wrote.

Now, she didn't write Paperman specifically, and actually, her short was no where near close to what actually happens in the film, but it certainly was a reminder of it. And in fact, another short, The Blue Umbrella also came to mind for much of my class as we read through her story. And really, it's kind of fun when that happens, because it shows just how realistic these ideas coming from Disney and Pixar are, and it also showcases the idea that we too could become writers like that. 

And that's a pretty amazing idea. 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 1380: How Time Flies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a magical day!  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 1379: Food & Wine - Part 4

The 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival technically isn't my first. My family attended one many years ago, but I don't remember much of it, and there's no arguing that this festival can get a lot more fun once you're 21 years old. That's actually part of the reason my family went this year, because for me, Food and Wine really does mean Food and wine

Having turned 21 in July, I had my sights set on a few alcoholic beverages across the festival, although we only got to try a couple of them due to time (and the intense heat that made you want to drink nothing but water), but they were worth it and definitely got me even more excited about future festivals where I'll be able to try more! 

First, in Ireland we tried the Bunratty Meade Honey Wine, which I liked. I use a notorious amount of honey back home, whether it be in tea or in dishes I make, so having it in a wine was really a different experience!

We also tried the Neige Premiere "Apple Ice Wine" from Quebec at the Canada stand, which sort of just tasted like fancy apple juice to me, but my mom liked. It's not that I disliked it, but more than it was a bit too sweet for my taste. Still, I'd say it's a great wine for someone who hasn't tried much wine before! 

Finally, we made a stop at the Craft Beers stand in the Odyssey Center for the one beer I really wanted to try at the festival - the Two Henrys Blueberry Vanilla American Wheat Ale, which is made in Plant City, FL. None of us are huge beer fans, but I actually really liked this ale, which definitely had a hint of blueberry! 

Otherwise, that was about it. I was finally going to try the dole whip with rum, but the machine was down when I went to go grab one, so that'll just have to wait for another day. Just a bit of a reminder though - as possible as it is to try all the different dishes at the food and wine festival, always remember to drink responsibly. It's impossible to try everything in one day, so split it up, even if the serving sizes are small. It'll make your trip around the showcase easier and you'll feel better because of it! 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 1378: Food & Wine - Part 3

If I didn't express it enough in my previous posts about the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, this is probably my favorite event at Epcot. No, it is my favorite event at Epcot. There's just something extra spectacular about being able to try foods from all over the world - and have them all be delicious. Of course, since it was one of our top reasons for heading to Florida in October, we made sure to add in an extra afternoon for trying the various cuisines, even with the hurricane! 

Our first stop on Day 2 of our Food and Wine Festival Tour was Greece, where we shared the Loaded Greek "Nachos," Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce (and Oikos Greek Yogurt) and the Oikos Greek Yogurt Vanilla Cake Soaked in Ouzo with Yogurt Whipped Cream and Pistachios. While all three dishes were absolutely delicious, I do believe it was my least favorite of the booths we were able to stop with, proving that even at Disney there has to be a least favorite. Greek just isn't my thing really, but that didn't stop me from loving the Nachos especially! 

Then it was onto the ever popular Canada, the home of the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup that I kept hearing about for years prior to actually attending the festival. I'm happy to say that the soup was indeed one of my favorite dishes I had, and I also really enjoyed the "Le Cellier" Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce. It wasn't quite as good as the Lamp Chop from Australia, but I still really liked it! I also must say that it was a bit odd to be eating filet mignon from a cardboard plate while sitting with a duck in World Showcase...but when at Disney, right? 

Since we had gone the other direction around World Showcase the day before, we headed off towards England, which brought us to Scotland and some more wonderful food. I wasn't able to fully test out the Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream because I'm allergic to salmon, but my parents liked it, and the part of the pancake I had was great! The Traditional Scottish Lamb Stew with Neeps & Tatties was great as well - and I learned what Neeps & Tatties were. Finally, we had the Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked Cake with Lemon Cream and Toasted Oats, which was, surprise surprise, also delicious! 

Then (finally) it was onto Ireland, which I love and adore despite the fact that I've never been there. Lucky for me though, the Food & Wine Festival brings Ireland to me, so we tried everything we could! The Seafood Fisherman's Pie was great, although a bit weird. I've never had fish in a pie before...or a pie made half out of potatoes. Either way, I liked it! The Irish Cheese Selection Plate was a hit with us too, and the Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard was probably my favorite dessert we had! We also got a chance to try the Bunratty Meade Honey Wine, but I'll talk more about that later.

And that concludes the food we were able to try at the 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. I'm all about going back for a second year in 2017 (and hopefully I'll be there on the college program anyway), where I hope to slowly make my way around World Showcase and try all the different dishes (and eat more than my share of lamb chops, sliders, and poke). As you can see, by our second day we got pretty good at how to make the festival work, including my Dad's silverware transportation system and my careful cutting of filet mignon. 

There's more than just delicious dishes at the festival though, and let me tell you, there's more to share about this amazing festival in blog posts ahead! 

Have a magical day!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 1377: No Lost Time

In the face of a hurricane and the parks at Walt Disney World closed for the day, one might think there would be some lost time. Luckily, we're annual passholders, which means that it doesn't really matter what days we go to the park, and while I absolutely felt for those that missed out on a day at the most magical place on Earth, there was still plenty to see and do! 

Fortunately, we were staying at The Boardwalk for this particular trip, which was especially lucky since we were on the waiting list for months and it went through only weeks before our flight to Florida. This meant a couple of things. First, that we'd have the surrounding resorts to explore once the curfew was lifted, and second, that we had a few special extras offered at the resort while the parks were in lockdown, like Goofy and Pluto, who walked around The Boardwalk for hours keeping guests entertained! 

Plus, there's definitely something to be said about basically having forced time to spend at your resort. The resorts that make up Walt Disney World are all spectacular, unique in their own ways, and definitely worth exploring in their own, but even I must admit that they sort of get the short stick most of the time I spend in Florida. After all, there's usually so much to do in the parks that I don't spend much time at the resort, with the exception of frequently spending time around Old Key West. I spent extra time at Coronado Springs when I stayed there in July as well and between these two trips, I've really found a new enjoyment in exploring the places we stay.

So maybe next time spend a morning or afternoon looking around your resort, even if there's not a hurricane to force you to stay. Try out some of the restaurants, relax by the pool, or, if you're like me, get some work done in a little nook or cranny that most people don't recognize. It's a great way to spend an afternoon where you don't really want to mix and mingle with park goers and will open your eyes to a whole other side of Disney! I know I'm excited to explore a new resort in January - All Star Music! 

Have a magical day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 1376: Hello Hurricane

In the weeks leading up to my October 2016 trip to Walt Disney World, the thought of a hurricane never really crossed my mind. In fact, I was so busy with school that I didn't even really realize that there was a hurricane heading our way until we were already on our way to Florida (my dad brought it up on the drive to the airport). Anyone who knows me knows that I hate storms too, so I'm pretty sure I lived in denial of an actual hurricane for the first couple of days of our trip. 

Once the rain really started though, it got harder to deny the seriousness of the situation. 

Hurricanes, like other natural disasters, are not something to be messed with, and everyone in Florida was blessed with Matthew's shift to the East late the night before landfall. If not for that shift, much of the state would have been dealing with a direct hit, and while it was definitely still close, things could have been a lot worse. 

I guess I didn't really know what to expect though. In Wisconsin we have snowstorms and blizzards, which are probably the closest we come to a hurricane, and Matthew didn't prove me wrong. The stores, as far as I could tell, were cleaned out and the roads were filled with people evacuating. At Disney, the announcement that the parks would be closing didn't seem all that odd, despite the fact that it's only happened a handful of times in history. The winds didn't really throw me for a loop either, and neither did the rain, because that was exactly what I expected from a hurricane based on prior knowledge. 

The most surprising part, I suppose, was the attitude toward the storm. On one hand you had government officials insisting that "this storm will kill you," and on the other hand you had the cast members at Disney keeping everyone calm and reassuring everyone that everything would be fine. After a few hours of watching the news in our wonderful room at the Boardwalk, it got sort of confusing as to what to believe, but I know for a fact that that was just a part of being a Disney Resort guest during the storm. 

When the curfew was lifted, we did venture out to various locations around Walt Disney World, specifically the nearby resorts and, in the evening, a brief trip to Disney Springs, which was crowded with resort guests wanting out of their rooms. Aside from some down branches and bark from the trees and the lingering wind and dark skies, everything seemed, once again, normal, and that was a trend that only continued over the following days. 

Overall, living through a hurricane wasn't anything what I expected it to me. I spent a good portion of the night, when the worst of the storm passed by, up terrified by the wind, but that's more due to my extreme fear of tornadoes and storms than anything else. I know for a fact that outside the limits of Walt Disney World, the story could have been and was entirely different, but I'm thankful that the damage from Hurricane Matthew, at least in Florida, was less than expected. 

Have a magical day!