How runDisney isn’t as bad as you think…

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail. Enjoy the ride as we share our experiences, tips, and info to help you runDisney.

Image ©Disney
Image ©Disney

The Princess 5K.  My daughter and I are going to be running in the Princess 5K on February 20, 2015.  We did much of our training for the race during the summer/early fall, and now need to do a quick recap of the training in the month before our big event.  As we contemplated doing this, one thing that we both started thinking about was how crazy it seems to be going to Disney to do a race. What were we thinking?!

After a brief moment of panic — and I mean very brief — we both stopped and regrouped to get our bearings.  The first thing that I reminded Sophie about was that we weren’t doing a marathon or a half marathon — we were simply doing the Princess 5K.  The 5K is just 3.1 miles.  No sweat.  I’ve run 5Ks before, and when we visit the parks, we easily walk upwards of 10 miles in a day, so there isn’t any reason why we couldn’t do the runDisney Princess 5K.

In addition, I told myself that doing this event isn’t just about doing the run.  This is a moment when my daughter and I can connect on something that just she and I are doing.  Sophie is a typical 13 year old teenager — so if you are a parent of one that age, you know that the days when your baby wants to hang out with you and do things that you like to do together are starting to be few and far between.  This race has been a great way for the two of us to spend more time together, to do the things together and to extend that bond longer.

Also, the race is Frozen themed — and we all loved seeing Frozen so much that we saw it more times in the theater than I think we ever saw any other movie.

Lastly, when you do the race, you’ll receive one of these special medals — depending on which race you are doing:

Image ©Disney
Image ©Disney

So, in the end, the takeaway I have with the runDisney experience will be this (I hope):

runDisney: It isn’t as bad as you think!

What do you think?  Have you ever done a runDisney 5K or some other runDisney race?  What did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Home is Where the Mouse is.

Merry Christmas 2014

Main Street USA-3

From all of us here at My Dreams of Disney, to all of you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas 2014, and a Happy New Year too!  May you remember in your hearts the reason that we have Christmas, and may all your dreams come true, whether you be at Disney or not.

For me, I thank God for all of you, for stopping by, for saying hello, for caring, for showing me each and every day what a blessing you all are.  I also give thanks to God for my family, for my friends, and for everyone that has hugged me when I needed a hug, laughed with me when I needed a laugh, cried with me when I needed a cry, and loved me — even if I don’t always deserve love.

For my Disney friends, I have several, but in particular I have some that I would love to mention by name today.

  1. To my friend Amanda, the original Disney’s Cheapskate Princess, I salute you, and love you for all of the friendship you have shown me over the years.
  2. To all of my friends on the Magical Blogorail, both past and present, I love you all — we have laughed quite a bit, cried when necessary, but most of all, we have loved one another — and I wouldn’t trade any of you for anything!
  3. To my friend Andy — the incredibly talented and generous photographer also known as the WDW Shutterbug, I salute you.  You are a great photographer, but even more, you are an even better friend.
  4. Lastly, but by no means least, I give thanks to my friends Steve and Lisa Griswold, owners of Pixie Vacations, and to all of my fellow Pixies.  You all are great people, and I am a better person for having known you.

I could go on and on, but I know you might have some last minute shopping to do or quality time to spend with your family than spending it online, so I’ll let you go.  Once again, Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for all that you bring to the site each and every day!

Magical Blogorail – Dreaming of a Disney Christmas

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Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Green. Enjoy the ride as we discuss Dreaming of a Disney Christmas.

Walt Disney World at Christmas

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

For so many people, Walt Disney World at Christmas is the perfect time to visit.  Since I’ve not been fortunate yet to be able to visit during the Christmas season, I’m dreaming of a Disney Christmas — and perhaps adding a few touches here at home to allow my family to have a bit of a Disney Christmas without leaving home!

My friend Andy is the creator of the Facebook Page WDW Shutterbug, and it is thanks to his wonderful talent and generosity that I’m able to share with you many of the sites that I could picture in my minds eye, even before he sent me these photos.  At the top is one of my favorite pictures of all time, featuring Cinderella Castle nestled at the end of a lit up Main Street, U.S.A.  For this post, I’m going to share with you some of the wonderful scenes you will be able to enjoy when you visit Walt Disney World during the Christmas season!

Magic Kingdom

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Cinderella Castle is all decked out in twinkling lights. This year, they have added a Frozen motif to it, and it looks incredible.  The picture above is from last year, but is still just as incredible to me.

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

One of my favorite ways to take photos at Walt Disney World is by including the reflection in the water in the shot, as my friend Andy did here.  Stunning, that’s all I can say about this shot…

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

As you can see, it’s not all Christmas lights at the Magic Kingdom.  Here, a Toy Soldier is proudly on display among all the great Christmas decorations on Main Street, U.S.A.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

The Christmas Magic isn’t limited to just the Magic Kingdom, though.  Here, you see part of the scenery for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!  What an incredible display of scenes to capture the imagination with!

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug
Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

The picture of the Nativity Scene is, to me, what Christmas is all about, and I really like this picture.

Epcot

Image courtesy and ©Denny
Image courtesy and ©Denny

In many ways, though, I think the true Spirit of Christmas is on display over at Epcot with the Candlelight Processional that is performed throughout the Christmas season.  Each night, a celebrity guest tells the Christmas story with the help of musicians.  I think that this will be my favorite part of Christmas at Disney when we are able to experience it for ourselves.  Special thanks goes out to my friend Denny for sharing this picture with me.

Back at Home

Of course, a Disney Christmas doesn’t have to be spent at Disney — although, that’s the way I want to do it one year.  For us, since that isn’t in the cards this year, we have decided to add a little Disney right here at home.  My neighborhood is big on Christmas lights and decorations, so we have added two significant Disney characters to our “blow-up” collection.  Here are pictures of them for you to enjoy!

Minnie adorns our front yard this Christmas!
Minnie adorns our front yard this Christmas!
Olaf is one of the ways we celebrate a Disney Christmas -- at home!
Olaf is one of the ways we celebrate a Disney Christmas — at home!

His name is Olaf, and he likes Warm Hugs!  It’s not like being at Walt Disney World, but my neighbor Harry told me that Olaf is the talk of the neighborhood!  What is your favorite way to celebrate a Disney Christmas?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Heidi’s Head.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ My Dream’s of Disney – Dreaming of a Disney Christmas
2nd Stop ~ Heidi’s Head – Dreaming of a Disneyland Christmas
3rd Stop ~ Mommy To All Girls – Dreaming of a DCL Christmas
4th Stop ~ Frugal Mouse – Dreaming of a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Final Stop ~ Superheroes and Teacups – My Dream Christmas Trip to the Walt Disney World Parks

Magical Blogorail – Traditions of a Mexico Pavilion Christmas

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Rolling with the Magic and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Image courtesy and ©DISTherapy
Image courtesy and ©DISTherapy

When it comes to Christmas at Disney, I think my favorite part will be when I get to experience Epcot’s World Showcase.  I know that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is over the top, and so is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but to me, I think the true meaning of Christmas is seen most clearly at Epcot.  Did you know that each of the pavilions shares their own traditions with us on how they celebrate the Holiday season in their native land?

In the Mexico Pavilion, the Three Kings greet you and tell you how they celebrate the Holidays.  The Mexico term for Christmas is La Navidad, and the main celebration is known as Las Posadas (Posadas is Spanish for “inn”).  The story revolves around the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, and their attempts to find a room at the inn.  Included in the celebration in Mexico is Three Kings Day, which takes place on January 6th, the day traditionally known as the day that the Three Kings arrived to see the Baby Jesus.  In our country, we sometimes call that day “Old Christmas”.

I’m a real fan of all of the lights that you can find at the Magic Kingdom and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but as I’ve gotten older — notice I didn’t say wiser — I really appreciate the traditions of Christmas, and I think that the World Showcase does the best job of reflecting what the true meaning of Christmas is.

What is your favorite part of the Holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Home is Where the Mouse Is.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic – Germany Pavilion
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney – Mexico Pavilion
3rd Stop ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is – Holiday Treats from Around World Showcase
4th Stop ~ Journeys from a Follower – Holiday Happenings: How to Bring EPCOT’s Holiday Celebration Home
Final Stop ~ Mommy to All Girls – Candlelight Processional

Magical Blogorail – Best Resort for Fireworks!

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Heidi’s Head and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain as seen from the Top of the World Lounge
Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain as seen from Bay Lake Tower

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today as the Magical Blogorail takes a look at the “Best Resort for…” series!  For my subject, I have chosen the “Best Resort for Fireworks!”

When it comes to Walt Disney World, there are a number of great resorts that give incredible views of fireworks, whether it be Wishes or Illuminations: Reflection of Earth.  I’m going to focus on the Magic Kingdom resorts, and attempt to give you some information that will help you pick the best place to see fireworks from your resort!  For this post, I’m going to take a look at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

This modern DVC resort is situated right next door to the Contemporary Resort, and features a Skyway bridge connecting the two resorts.  As you can see from the picture above, it offers up incredible views of Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain (and the rest of the Magic Kingdom), and for those staying there, you can go to the Top of the World Lounge for appetizers, drinks, and to see Wishes from the rooftop balcony.  The nice thing is that the music and narration of the show is also piped in so you are able to experience it all.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The California Grill is a rooftop restaurant located at the top of the Contemporary, and is a great place to enjoy dinner while also watching Wishes.  It is highly recommended that you get reservations when wanting to eat here.  The nice thing is that you don’t have to be eating there right when the fireworks start.  If you have, say, a lunch reservation, you can go, eat, enjoy yourself, and then come back that same day, and you will be given access to the rooftop balcony to watch Wishes.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This signature resort for Walt Disney World is an incredible venue, and is located right next to the Magic Kingdom.  Like all the true Monorail resorts, you can watch Wishes from here too, and one popular place to watch them at is right by the water.  The music is piped in here, also, so it’s a great relaxing way to just sit down and enjoy the fireworks without a huge crowd.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

In my opinion, though, the best resort to watch Wishes at is the Polynesian Resort.  Mind you, I’ve never done this, so I could be way off base, but I have always heard that going down to the beach with your special someone, watching Wishes and listening to the great narration of the show, that this is a true bucket-list item.  The romantic in me imagines it to be right up there at the top of the scale for romantic date activities.

What do you all think?  Am I pursuing a good idea, or is it nothing to write home about?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is In the Mouse House.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Heidi’s Head – Best Resort for Animal Lovers
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney – Best Resort for Fireworks!
3rd Stop ~ In the Mouse House – Best Resort for a No-Parks Disney Vacation
4th Stop ~ Love Our Disney – Best On-Site Resort at Disneyland
Final Stop ~ Dad for Disney – Best Resort for Transportation