Tuesday, May 12, 2015


 Building ME through this journey!  
This may be off my "usual topic" but it comes from my heart.
During my time away from blogging, I went through a series of struggles.  I lost my Mom, Dad & Husband within 8 weeks.  This consisted of my entire family, best friend and the man of my dreams.  When things happen, it is important to allow God to work through our bumps in the road to allow us to still be grateful for our blessings, be positive and continue to look for GOOD in the world around us.  I'm thankful that this year as I'm beginning to hit the 1 year anniversaries of many difficult moments in my life's journey. I had a friend share a podcast that put me in a good place as I got ready for church on Mother's Day:  The "RobCast" is Rob Bell's podcast and a lot of what I am sharing today comes straight from him in this show: http://robbell.podbean.com/  
When we encounter "detours" in the road leading toward our dreams, we truly do need to acknowledge and embrace how awful the situation was.  Don't skim over it - it truly was important.  Understand and embrace that the realization is that the worst moments in life are the reasons that your story is so great.  It's not getting rid of or forgetting what happened, but you can retell your story in a positive way and allows you to help others who are currently in or passing through difficult times.  
Remember:  The worst moments in life are the reasons your story becomes great!  It's because you get up and keep going!  Life is a series of unrelated fragments that come at you.  The way you choose to handle them develops your future.  You can choose to be better or you can let your situation make you bitter.  I hope you choose to grow in spiritual maturity.  You can choose JOY!  Life will always bring you twists and turns, but you're still here!  There is always a way to "Retell" a negative experience.  Be thanful when you are past it.  Make peace with it.  Don't allow yourself to close down.  Decide to open up. There truly IS a light at the end of our tunnel.  Keep your focus on the positive and build your body, mind and spirit until you get to the place where you want to be.  And when you get "there" then it's time to set a new goal that is higher.  This Disney Girl in Orlando had some "truth moments" this week  Always work toward the positive and making yourself stronger every day!  Thank you for taking the time to read this.  If you are not in a storm right now, that means there is one on the horizon, as we all tend to go through the circle of life.  I hope you take a piece of this with you along the way.  I am thankful for the encouragement I receive and I hope you have that as well.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm Comin' Back, BABY!

Sometimes, life comes at you at an overwhelming pace and you have to just hang on for the ride until you can catch yourself...regain your footing....and blast off to places that you've never dreamed of!

That's what happened to me.  And I found that no matter what knocks you down, try to keep looking for something to make you smile every day.  Always thank God for the blessings and opportunities in those difficult days because of the place that it is bringing you into.  That's just my two-cents.  
I am still very much a DISNEY GIRL IN ORLANDO...but now, I know that dark days make the sunshine feel brighter.  
I almost feel like a completely different person from the girl who used to do this blog.  
Today I'm just going to say I'm BACK!

Since I've been away, I've made my first trip to California with a "few" of my closest friends and had the opportunity to run a Half Marathon...right past Walt's apartment with my WDW Radio Running Team.  Thanks to Lou Mongello for bringing so many close connections of Disney "family" into my life.

I've also had some wonderful opportunities to become a small part of the Walt Disney Birthplace Restoration.  In the midst of that pinch-me moment, I shared Martinis with Disney Legend, Bob Gurr...the creator of the Monorail and so many Disney attractions.  He truly felt like the closest person I would ever meet to Walt Disney himself.  His attention to detail from everything down to the positioning of our photo was meticulous.
 I have had the honor of meeting Jeff & Gregg Sherman, sons of Richard & Robert Sherman "The Sherman Brothers" and become a member of the World Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club.  With this wonderful organization, I get to experience more opportunities to see talented Artist, Alex Mahr; Disney
Historian Jim Korkis (always a treat) along with Robbie Sherman (another son of the Sherman Brothers who played and sang wonderful songs for us.  I was honored to meet Greg Ehrbar, with over 30 amazing years and projects in the Disney company.
I couldn't be more thankful for the amazing experiences that I have been honored to take part in...
But above all, I thank you,  my wonderful
friends who have held me up when I didn't have the strength to
stand on my own and keep my head held high when I wasn't sure how.  YOU INSPIRE ME!  THANK YOU!  You have given me the strength to keep running and told me to just put one foot in front of the other and you have held my hand the entire way.  I wouldn't be back here without you...and I wouldn't be able to move forward without you.  I have some excellent times ahead!   
I will be traveling to Alaska for a week-long cruise in a few weeks.
I have more Run Disney and non-Disney Running events.

I'm planning a Group Meet Up --- YES, I'm planning an EVENT!  And YOU are welcome on Saturday, July 18 to join us for Cirque du Soleil at Downtown Disney.  More details will be out soon.  We will gather before the show to talk & have fun and we'll all get our own seats.  

I also plan an Aqua Car event by the Boathouse in Downtown Disney.  We will meet, fill the cars and split the price.  Bring cash that day for your portion so that we can get a better value and maybe even race our friends.  No date is planned for this event yet.

I also have some great plans at Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, which I look forward to sharing with you.

Thank you for believing in me along the way.  Thank you for your support, friendship....and keep watching to see what sorts of amazing experiences that I look forward to sharing with you.  This Disney Girl in Orlando is BACK!  And I have YOU to thank for your inspiration...more to come!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios

For the first time in forever, we had the opportunity to                                          see Arondale's Royalty  in Hollywood Studios!  At the park entrance, Cast Members were giving out Take-Along Olafs so that we could all take photos of his first summer vacation.  We were encouraged to share those pictures on Twitter or Instagram and post #olafsummervacation.  Hollywood Studios will post some of those pictures tonight before the fireworks.  Another fun part about Olaf is that on his back, you have his autograph along with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff.    There is an App that can help in your Frozen Summer Festivities, so check out the Aurasma App if you have a Smart Phone or Tablet.  The Royal Welcome was a wonderful celebration and we had the honor of even seeing several Disney Park executives enjoying the festivities.  Olaf came out to have some fun on the screen and we all wished for it to be a little bit cooler, so it snowed in front of the stage.  
Queen Elsa & Princess Anna are taking a goodwill tour of neighboring kingdoms this summer and made their grand entrance on a horse-drawn sleigh, which is truly a fantastic sight!  I enjoyed the dancing snowflakes, skiing group that came through and even the ice harvesters chopping through. One of my personal favorite parts was seeing Kristoff - he's DREAMY!  
If you have the chance to go to this event don't miss the Frozen Sing-Along!  It happens 7 times daily at Premiere Theater and was even better than I expected! They were giving away tickets to the Sing-Along outside the theater.  The tickets were being handed out in chronological order and once all of the tickets were given out, there would be no more that day.  But even for us on the first day, we came out of the first show a little after 1pm and immediately got a ticket for the 2:30p show to see it again...yes, it was that good!
And they still had plenty of tickets to give away.  Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland has an ice-skating rink and you can skate for a $10 fee.  There is also a play area with real snow so you can make your own snowman.  You can get an Olaf cupcake which is Carrot with Vanilla Buttercream marshmallows and white chocolate.  You can get the Olaf cupcake at most quick service locations throughout the park.  Most of the merchandise is in Wandering Oaken's Trading Post - but bring your patience.  Due to capacity limitations, the wait to get in was approximately 2 hours to shop or ice skate.  This is open from park opening to closing, so this may be something to come back later and check out.  In the late afternoon, check out DJ Chill as he hosts a Dance Party & music from the Ice Men of the North.  Then you can close out your Frozen Summertime day with a special Fireworks Spectabular set to music from Frozen.  I had a blast and I hope you get the opportunity to see this event for yourself!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rainy Day Parade in the Magic Kingdom

As we come into the "rainy season" at Walt Disney World, I recently came across a parade that happens in the Magic Kingdom that is not on your Times Guide.  But if you don't stay around during the

rain, you'd never know it exists.  In fact, after asking around I've heard this back up parade has been happening for quite some time.  But after 14 years of frequent Walt Disney World visits, I experienced the "Rainy Day Cavalcade" for the first time.   What a fun parade!  I love that the Cast Members skip and dance along wearing their raincoats, galoshes and holding umbrellas.  It seems that when a parade is about to happen and rain comes through, the characters fill the Main Street Vehicles and make the most of it!  The parade that we would have seen was the "Move It!  Shake It!  Celebrate It!  Street Party" -- so the characters in the vehicles were only the ones that would have been seen in that parade.  

 I've since searched online to see that they do the same thing for the regular 3pm parade.  It seems that those parade characters pile into the vehicles and come down Main Street if that parade is rained out and they don't bring out the parade floats.  So make a note if rain comes through, just throw on a poncho and make the most of your Disney Day!  You'll be singing for days!  The music alternates from "Singin' in the Rain" to the special song for this parade...and one that has a wonderful tune!  You'll be singing "Jingle Jingle, Splash Splash!  Tell me how long with this rain last.  The rain keeps droppin'.  There ain't no stoppin'.  Tell me how long will this rain last."  Such a great catchy tune!  


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Downtown Disney's new store: Marketplace Co-Op

Downtown Disney is one of the ever-changing and growing places to enjoy while you visit Walt Disney World.  One of the newest additions is Marketplace Co-Op, a really great new store that has everything for the classic Disney enthusiast to the sports enthusiasts, to stylish ladies and even the young girls who may be more interested in makeup & fresh new looks.  So basically this store is for all of us!  I parked in the "B" Section and was right at the entrance to this wonderful store.  It is in the area where Team Mickey Athletic Club & Rawlings Making the Game used to
be.  The new store, Marketplace Co-Op opened on Friday, June 6.  It is a "testing space for new Disney retail concepts" and they have areas inside that include 6 unique boutiques:  Cherry Tree Lane, Disney Centerpiecee, Zoey and Pickles, Beautifully Disney, D-Tech on Demand and The Trophy Room.  You can select items from each boutique and walk around to all of them so that you only make one transaction in the end - which is nice. As I walked in, my first stop was in Cherry Tree

Lane and I immediately wanted to whip out my credit card!  This was an

extremely crowded store...but it's new, so I completely expected the crowds.  And, trust me, I was thrilled that I went!  The sun hats, scarves and beautiful costume jewelry fit right into my
summertime attire and the Dooney & Bourke section is fantastic!  They have Vera Bradley and all sorts of wonderful designs for Disney ladies, like me. By the way, I have selected one of the Dooney & Bourke handbags for my wish list...as every Disney girl must have an endless wish list.  If you'd like to see my personal favorite, here it is!  My next stop was to Disney Centerpiece and let me tell you, these two were my personal favorites of the 6 boutiques featured.  

Disney, if you make them complete stores, I would be thrilled!  Disney Centerpiece has homeproducts that I have been missing for a while.  Nice kitchen and collectible items to Disney-up your own home!  

Plus a special splash of classic Disney attractions.  I was thrilled to see a lot of really great items to purchase from Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Adventureland's Aloha Isle and it's famous Dole Whip...not to mention that sweet Little Orange Bird who cheerfully thought happy little organge thoughts as I purchased several items from that section of the store.  I even saw and couldn't resist a wonderful Mr. Toad to bring home.  You can get plates, coffee mugs, shot glasses or regular sized glasses of all sorts.  There are pillows and signs from different areas of the parks...I could truly go on and on about how every classic Disney fan needs to visit this store!  

The next store I went to was the
Trophy Room.  It has vintage-
inspired sports clothing and collectibles.  

Then I walked across the hall to D-Tech on Demand.  This was a very busy store where people were personalizing and accessorizing all of their high-tech devices.  The designs were great and you could do all sorts of personalizing.


The next boutique was Beautifully Design.  This was a fun store with makeup, fragrances and all sorts of beauty accessories.  They even had a chair where you could really see what the colors would look like on you.

My last boutique to check out in the new Marketplace Co-Op was Zoey and Pickles.  That is a store for the kids.  It includes the rends and fashions...and even has shoes.  If you're planning a Walt Disney World vacation, you must try to work in some shopping time at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.  

 They're working on a new parking garage & will change the name to Disney Springs in the upcoming months...but you can add Co-Op Marketplace to your favorite shopping stores like World of Disney, Once Upon A Toy, The LEGO Store, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and so many more magical places to smile and bring home small pieces of the magical memories that you make while you are in this happy place.