Coming Home to Walt Disney World

September 16, 2017 1:00am
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Even though admittedly I still tend to snicker at the Welcome Home!” slogan aligned with the Disney Vacation Club despite now being a member myself for several years, today I found myself feeling an unexpected sense of ease as we made our first trip to the parks in a couple of months not to mention our first visit since we evacuated for the hurricane last week…

We were riding Journey of the Little Mermaid at the Magic Kingdom – I had Matthew in one clam shell, Sara had David behind us, and my Mom had Christopher in a third shell – and as we were tipping backwards to enter the first part of the ride, it was almost akin to that same feeling when we had pulled into our own driveway at 7:30am a day prior to find that everything (for the most part) was safe and sound, and that we could finally begin to start getting things back to normal again.

Sure, it was super hot out, and we were already pretty exhausted from our long car ride back from Memphis, but it was nice to be back someplace familiar where we knew that we could have a good time in our own special way between taking in a few snacks, going on some rides with the kids, and just enjoying the unique atmosphere that Disney World has to offer.

Our home survived Hurricane Irma just fine, and now that we’ve confirmed that our second home also did ok, it’s enough to put our minds and ease and get back to having fun living in the Sunshine State! 😉

Over the weekend I’ve spent some time rethinking productivity and trying to reassess the different things that I want to be writing because truth be told, I’m really not writing as much as I would like to be right now.

And while it’s too soon to say for certain, the hunch that I’m riding on at the moment is that realistically I could be getting a lot more done by curbing the procrastination and a good chunk of the time that I waste griping about things on social media because if you were to really take me to task over how I’d like to be able to look back at my time, which do you honestly think that I’d rather be able to boast – a portfolio of great writing over all of these subjects that I’m passionate about, or having posted some really great zingers arguing with my Republican friends (and even complete strangers) on social media?!

I really want to try to refocus on creating and leave the petty bitching for those other people online who don’t create.

So going back over my repertoire, I’ve already tried to post a thing or two this weekend on Just Laugh, and eventually my rarely weekly humor column should stumble back into that fold, too.

I’ve also got this really swell Thing-a-Day project that I haven’t blogged about here or linked to just yet, but I’ve really been enjoying that because it sort of forces me to write at least something every single day!

So the question from here is … what else???

Though I’ve had fun with the editorials that I’ve been occasionally writing, I really want to keep them a limited engagement for topics that I find myself motivated to write more serious and in depth about, as opposed to it becoming a regular feature where I have to actively hunt for stuff to comment on every single week.

The one that I keep circling back to is Disney World, although at this point I admittedly have conflicting thoughts about it…

  • Pros:
    • love Walt Disney World.
    • I always find myself overwhelmed with things I could write about whenever I’m there.
  • Cons:
    • It’s a great place to unwind for me and I’d hate to interfere with that by adding deadlines, scheduling, etc…
    • I’ve tried a few different ideas in the past and none have really caught on … humor, reviews, general commentary.
    • There’s always the possibility of hurting my other projects by further segmenting my time instead of really focusing on one or two things.

But then again, it could just be that I haven’t found my beat with regards to writing about Disney World yet and I really do feel like there’s a project in there somewhere that could be a whole lot of fun, so maybe I just need to put a little more time into it and really think about some of the things I’d like to read about that I can address in a unique way, and also don’t require twice-weekly, rigorous trips to the World and/or reposting the same park updates and press releases that a lot of other WDW bloggers already do today!

Who knows – maybe it even involves dumping and trying an entirely different approach using a nice, simple (and already done!) WordPress theme that I don’t have to spend a year custom coding to get exactly the way I want, only to later become horrendously outdated until I just want to scrap the whole thing and try something else a few years later!

This is clearly going to require some thought, so in the meantime – here are a few fun pics from recent trips this year that will hopefully serve to motivate me, and I guess you can feel free to enjoy ’em if you’d like, too… 😉





A few photos from our visit to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party the other night!

The evening was fun, but it seemed like there was more going on than at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which made it kind of hard to enjoy just because it felt like we were rushing and splitting up a lot to hit the things that we wanted to hit. I think if you just did characters and trick or treating it might’ve been better, but we also fit not really that many attractions into our evening (maybe 3???) and the sacrifice was decent viewing areas for both the fireworks and the parade.

I think that was hands down the biggest challenge to me – you have to go deeper into the park for everything else, yet you really want to be on Main Street for the parade and fireworks, and when you’ve only got 5 hours to work with, it’s simply too much running back and forth if you’ve also got a couple of strollers in tow.

Although I’d probably be willing to give it another try, I’m not sure what I’d change at this point … 5 hours is really rough with how big the Magic Kingdom is. But at least we all had fun! 😉

So where to begin???

Apparently we were on a trip to Disney World with some friends and family – we started off in a park that was kind of like but not actually the Magic Kingdom, and we found ourselves getting separated a lot.

One ride that we went on had you sitting individually in a car that went under the water, meaning that you got wet, and it had different sections of the ride where you’d ride for a bit then get out and wait in line some more. Not everyone went on this one because my Dad wasn’t able to, and I found myself separated from the group and melded into another couple of guys’ group instead.

Somehow I guess one of the guys knew an Imagineer who worked there and that guy suddenly showed up and whisked us all away to an area off stage where he was showing off whatever he was working on at the time … yet for some reason I got the impression that it wasn’t exactly a sanctioned Disney project, but more like he was just doing his own thing on company time!

Eventually we wandered back to the queue and skipped ahead of everyone else in line to jump into the next boat to get soaked once again and finish the ride. When we got off and went our separate ways, I was in the process of trying to figure out where everyone else had went when I ran into someone I knew from camp and got in line for some safari ride with him … until we caught up with the rest of his buddies – whom I couldn’t stand – and bowed out to go find the rest of my own family & friends…

By the time I found everyone, it was starting to rain really hard and they wanted to go back to the hotel to take a break.

The hotel was weird because our “room” ended up being more like a cabin tent – very similar to the ones we stayed in at scout camp, but much, much larger – and there we hung out for a while until the group began bickering among itself about whether to go back to the park or not because some felt they’d be wasting $100 admission by only going for a few hours and missing out on the evening fireworks.

I eventually got tired of the arguing and left on my own to go wander and explore the resort a bit, which was apparently all decorated up for the holidays – in particular, there were tons of Legos and Christmas decorations everywhere. The resort also seemed to have a lot of tiny passages which made them hard for guests to traverse, and as a result there were several of the more themed areas that weren’t at all packed with people.

At one point I wandered into a staging area for a short karaoke show that they were going to do, which didn’t really interest me in the slightest except for behind me in line on the escalator was a guy and his girl … who happened to be a very undercover Nicki Manoj … even though in the dream she was very white, which goes to show you subconsciously how much I actually know about Nicki Manoj!!!

Anyways, the guy she was with was prodding her to enter and sing a quick song, and once I “realized” who she was I jumped onboard and offered to split the massive $12 entry fee with him, so we each paid $6 and she agreed to perform. But then she didn’t … the contest was weird … I don’t really know what happened, but as they were going to leave, I followed behind and awkwardly asked if I could at least get her autograph or something, which apparently made her even more uncomfortable and the two quickly disappeared.

So I continued exploring the resort and gawking at all of the decorations. They had a really cool mini Lego store filled with all sorts of sets I didn’t have, so that was neat. Then I found a small greeting area where kids were getting their pictures taken with Santa, so I broke down and texted my friend to see if they at least wanted to come and meet Santa because there was hardly any line whatsoever.

As I was walking back towards the “tent area,” I got a little lost so I asked a young cast member for directions and she seemed very eager to show me in person where I needed to go. Along the way she pointed out a few things that were slightly in disarray, like they had a couple of huge ice skating rinks that were supposed to be open, but instead they were still filling them with water, and then we passed by a huge bundle of red Christmas lights that had just been left on the sidewalk and never put up…

…and that’s when I pulled her aside and asked her discretely if things at Disney were kind of getting run down lately, which she quickly but nervously agreed to. The girl shared a bit more until one of her bosses walked by and quickly pulled her away, almost as if he knew she was telling me things that she wasn’t supposed to, and I never saw her again.

Then on my way back it suddenly got really weird!

Somebody shot me! But not with a regular gun – instead, this gun had these strange, green, cone-shaped bullets that seemed to hurt even more than a regular bullet, but I pulled it out of my leg and limped back to the tent where my friends and family were, along with a bunch of other random people by that point. It seemed that we represented some sort of unwanted race, like mutants or something, and the green cone-bullets were very deadly to our kind, though I turned out to be fine.

We showed how dangerous they were by throwing a few of them into a nearby dirt pile and each of the cones exploded as they landed, and one guy really pissed me off by jokingly coming at me with one of the cones like he was going to throw it at me.

It was then that I pushed my way to the back of the tent where my family was and announced to everyone that we had to go – now – and you could hear a ruckus outside of something happening. Though it was unclear exactly what, we knew that it couldn’t be anything good and that it probably had something to do with us. When I was packing my backpack to bring, I found a brand new revolver and at first I went to stick it in the back of my jeans, but someone warned that they might search us and I put it in my bag instead … even though my Dad at that point was carrying a rifle or something in plain sight.

Before we had a chance to leave, a sheriff showed up and pushed his way to the back of the tent where we are and after talking, he tried to escort us out. I don’t remember exactly what happened after that point, but I know that it suddenly got very crazy very quick and it soon became clear that we were nowhere near Disney World anymore…

Having triumphantly returned from the vacation that included spending (almost) 24 hours at the Magic Kingdom, it seemed only fitting that I share 24 photos from those 24 hours of fun!

Going into this we wondered how the little guy would take to being up and about for such an extended period, but between taking his own impromptu naps whenever he desired as well as a quite reasonable amount of mild crankiness, overall we both thought that he did pretty well. Probably his most amusing moment was when we rode the carousel with him at around 3:30am – you can see below in the pic right before the one of him trying to pull the sword from the stone, he found himself overcome with this very bizarre sense of euphoria which we weren’t sure it was joy or being overwhelmed or what, but it sure was crazy to stand there and watch… 😉

Anyways, check out my post for more commentary on the 24-hour event itself … given a proper night of sleep myself, I do say that I’d probably try it again, but ooof, is it becoming painfully apparent that I’m certainly not 22 anymore!!!

Soarin’ Over Springfield!

January 19, 2015 7:51pm
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This is great! 🙂


Purchased and personalized at Disney’s Days of Christmas at Downtown Disney






In the many years that we’ve been going to Disney, one thing that we’ve never done is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, so this year we made special plans to take my sister and her family over for a special bit of holiday cheer while they’re visiting this week!

The highlights included:

  • Character greetings with Goofy & Minnie.
  • Watching my niece yell, “Hi, <insert character>!!!” to every character that passed us during the Christmas parade.
  • Watching my niece’s jaw thoroughly drop when Santa pointed at her and shouted back, “And thanks for being good girl this year!”
  • Snow on Main Street USA.
  • Holiday Wishes is always a treat!

We also managed to get a nice handful of attractions in as well because it was my niece’s first trip to Disney World in general, though I think in the future we’ll try to stick to the party-specific activities to maximize our return. Still, it was a whole lot of fun and the adorable pictures proved that nicely.

More tomorrow!


I guess you can say that I’m turning into an old man because in our recent couple of trips to Disney World, out of all the possible souvenirs that I could set my little sights on, this holiday serving set is the one that I just had to have!

For what it’s worth, I just really like the old school artwork on them and thought they’d make a fun addition to our ever-growing array of holiday housewares. Not to mention, once you start you can’t not collect the whole set, of course. 😉

I guess this means I’m going to have to acquire some sort of cheese log to serve on these babies before the year is through…

…and no, I don’t want to talk about how much they actually costed… 😯

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