This Blog Is Moving

*PLEASE NOTE: All posts are moving to www.disneydonnakay.blogspot.com I will continue to post in both places until the end of June. Begining July 1, 2011 I will post solely on the other site. I hope you will follow me there. Thanks!!















Thursday, June 30, 2011

#15 Ursula - The Little Mermaid (Disney Blog Hop)

#15  Ursula - The Little Mermaid
Hi! Welcome to everyone who is stopping by from the Disney Blog Hop hosted by Babes in Disneyland. Please join in and visit everyone on the blog list and say HI! The theme this week is "Under The Sea" and I couldn't think of a better time to turn to my list of Favorite Disney Villains and Ursula.

Ursula is truly evil down to the core, she would do anything to get rid of King Triton. From her gray skin to her ruby red lips Disney created a great villain you love to hate. She truly loves adding to her "collection" of Poor Unfortunate Souls. This clip is when she starts to formulate her plan to get rid of King Triton using Ariel's love for Prince Eric.  Hope you enjoy it!! Have a Magical Day!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Beth - A Disney Moms Thoughts

Beth - A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Blog: www.adisneymomsthoughts.blogspot.com
Twitter:  @adisneymom
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/adisneymomsthoughts

Welcome to Mentoring Mondays!! Today's featured blogger is Beth Green of A Disney Moms Thoughts. Beth holds a special place in my heart, she is the very first person to follow my blog. I think she accidentally found me right after Auburn won the national championship when I posted the Auburn Fight Song. So you see, we share three very important things, our love of Disney, our love of Auburn University (War Eagle Beth!) and we are both Alabama girls. But I have to tell you, even if we didn't share these I would still love her blog. So I will step aside now and let you read what you really come here for.

1. Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
My name is Beth Green.  I’m a mom of two boys ages 10 and 2.  While I am the “Disney Freak” in the family, all my boys support my obsession and we try to travel to WDW at least every other year, if not every year.  When I’m not blogging about Disney or being a mom, I am a full time youth minister. “A Disney Moms Thoughts” is now 15 months old!  Through my blog I try to share my thoughts, ideas, tips and experiences about Disney, particularly Walt Disney World.  Many of my posts deal with our past travels and traveling with children.


2. What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging for 1 reason: to attend the Social Media Mom’s Conference at WDW!  I read Disney blogs and followed the Disney Mom’s Panel members on twitter for over a year.  When I read about the SMM Conference I knew I had to start being a “social media mom” in order to attend, so I started blogging and soon a twitter account and facebook page followed.  Now it’s an obsession!  Maybe in 2012 I’ll be fortunate enough to attend! :)

3. I know you write for the Magical Blogorail Green, and are a guest blogger on occasion, how are these post different from your regular blog post?
My Magical Blogorail posts aren’t that much different from my regular posts.  I write about what I know and what I’ve experienced.  I know I do a better job of editing my Blogorail posts since I know more people will be reading and I’m linked to other writers- even though I’m sure you will still find type-os and grammatical errors in them…  I think sometimes my Blogorail posts are longer because I put more thought into them.  We have our topic for several weeks before we go “live” so I have plenty of time to think about the topic and do research if needed.

4. Any tips for those who would like the opportunity to write for other blogs?
Don’t be afraid to ask and put yourself out there!  When I first ran across the Magical Blogorail I thought it was amazing!  It wanted so much to be a part of it so I put myself out there and asked about being a part.  When other bloggers ask for guest bloggers, put yourself out there and volunteer!  When someone asks for a co-host for a blog hop, put yourself out there.

5. How important are photos to your blog, how many pictures do you usually use in a post?
Photos are important to my blog.  I try to use at least one photo on each post.  Sometimes I use more.  I am a visual person and I like to have photos to accompany the text.  I like photos (on other blogs) when they are writing about something I haven’t experienced and I try to remember that for my readers.  Everyone hasn’t experienced all I have, so when I write about something at WDW, I try to add photos for those people who have never seen or done it.


6. You are a Mom of 2 and Youth Minister for your church and still find time to blog, you must be very organized, any organization tips for us?
This question makes me laugh because I am made fun of often at work and home for how organized I am!  I have multiple calendars, to do lists, files, binders and spreadsheets going at all times.  My organization tips are 1) keep a calendar and write everything on it- when you have appointments, parties, dates, meetings, birthdays, etc.  I even write on my calendar when special events are at WDW so I will remember to blog about it at the right time!  2) keep your computer organized.  Utilize folders and create good file names so they are easy to find in the future.  3) stay on top of things and don’t let anything get too out of hand (housework, shopping, couponing, laundry, yard work, etc).  Do a little each day or week and don’t put it off until it’s too big to handle.  4) once all your “life stuff” is  under control, take time to write several blog posts at once and either schedule them to post or keep them to edit before you’re ready to post.


7. I know you use social networking (Twitter/Facebook) and post very regularly.  Which do you feel has been more beneficial to you in relation to your blog and why?
Personally, I like Facebook better.  I’ve been using facebook for years and it’s familiar.  But, I get more visitors from twitter, so I guess it’s been more beneficial.  It wasn’t until I started using “tweetdeck” that twitter became a useful tool!  I can now schedule my tweets ahead of time directing others to my blog.  There’s another organization tip!

8. You are currently planning your 16th Disney vacation. Please share a favorite Disney vacation memory.
Wow!  What a hard question!  I have so many so I’ll make a quick list for you~ taking my sons for the first time, running in the marathon (03) and half marathon (08), going on the pressed penny hunt with my friend Heath, spending time at the MK with my husband, and driving the monorail!


9. Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?
Be prepared.  Have all the “stuff” you think you’ll need at your resort or in your backpack.  Be familiar with the parks, the distance between things, and how long it takes to get places.  Know the park hours, parade times and your dining times before you arrive and plan accordingly. Don’t think you’ll be able to do it all- you won’t!

10. Anything you would like to add?
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your Mentoring Mondays.  What an honor to be interviewed with these other bloggers that I admire myself!  If any of your readers have specific questions for me, feel free to ask and I’ll answer- either with my own experiences or after some research!  You can contact me through my blog, email, facebook or twitter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

#16 -Prince John - Robin Hood

#16 - Prince John
Money is truly the root of all evil isn't it? When King Richard is tricked into going on a crusade, Prince John quickly moves to assume his brother's throne. Due to his excessive greed, the new ruler moves to take everything of value from his subjects with his unjust taxes.  At the same time his is almost childlike in his mannerism, having a habit of sucking his thumb. Humiliated after he was fooled and robbed by Robin Hood and Little John, he is more cruel than ever to his subjects. He is probably the wimpiest Disney Villain there is, but he is truly villainous just the same. The clip below depicts Prince John as who he truly is. I hope you enjoy it. Have a Magical Day!

Magic Moments - Disney Blog Hop

Hi everybody!! It's Thursday so that means it's Disney Blog Hop day hosted by Lisa at Babes in Disneyland and co-hosted this week by my friend Manda of Manda's Disney Blog.  Welcome to anyone joining the hop for the first time and Welcome Back to everyone who has visited before. I really appreciate all of you stopping by.

This weeks theme is Magic Moments. I try to be a glass half full kind of girl, and find magic in life's little moments. Having Dakota want to sit down and watch a Disney movie with me, or flipping through the channels to see that Monster's Inc. is on Stars (there's something special about finding it on TV and not watching the DVD weird I know).

Mike is not a huge Disney fan, we are going to Walt Disney World for me and I am well aware of that. It's such a small thing, but having him ask about Disney restaurants or say something about wanting to ride Peter Pan's Flight are magical moments for me.

Reading Disney books to my kids when they were younger was really magical for me. They loved the pictures and the stories, even though they had every video Disney ever produced, something about the books and reading them together was so special. To this day Ashley & Dakota love to read, I attribute it to the Disney books we read when they were small. Now Ashley is reading the stories to Lexi, and it looks like I am going to have another grandbaby to read to in February.

Actual Walt Disney World magic moments, I think my most magical moment was seeing the Walt Disney World sign for the first time. There is something so magical about seeing it and knowing you are actually there. My palms were sweating and my heart began to beat a little faster, there was even a tear in my eye. I hope it's just as exciting this time around, and somehow I think it will be. Another magical moment was seeing Main Street for the first time, we were going to breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace and it almost seemed as though we were the only people there. I think it was like you went back to a time when life was a whole lot simpler. It's amazing how you forget the rest of the world even exists when you are there.

I hope you will all take the time to try to find a little magic in everyday!  You all make my days more magical, I'm glad I have so many new Disney friends.  I hope each one of you has a Magical Day!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Chad - Days In The Park

Chad - Days In The Park
Twitter: @DaysInThePark

I am pleased to have Chad here today from Days In The Park. His blog hasn't been around as long as some of the others featured here on Mentoring Mondays but you will find that it is always interesting, and his true love of Disney really shines through. He has a fabulous sense of humor and the pictures on his blog are always great. I doubt I will ever get to see Disneyland for myself, but Chad makes me feel like I've already seen it. I know you are going to enjoy is Mentoring Mondays interview.
  1. Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
My name is Chad Elliott and I’m the co-creator/founder of a blog entitled Days In The Park.  Days In The Park is a blog all about the random fun, adventure, and “Days” we spend at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  We try to be a bit different than a lot of websites that deal with Disney in that we try to be more personal, or relational, than informational.  We like to write about our own personal likes and things we enjoy doing around The Parks, and we try to use that to set us apart to some extent.  It’s not to say we never report on any news items, but the ones we do report on are the ones that interest us the most and have a personal tie to us in some way.  We try to keep it fun, lighthearted, and humorous in any way that we can because we feel that’s where we’re able to do our best writing.

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
I had been doing my own personal blog for a while when we began Days In The Park, but other than a few personal friends and family members, there wasn’t much traffic going on.  I really enjoy writing a lot, and I really only do it for myself, but at the same time it is enjoyable having others reading what you’re writing.  I had written a few articles about The Parks on my own personal blog and couldn’t help but notice that those were the ones that got the most traffic, so I figured I might be on to something there.  My friend Mark, who writes on our blog along with me, and I had been spending a lot of time in The Parks together at the time, and were having a “texting” conversation one day in which I mentioned I was considering starting a blog solely aimed at Disneyland, and he said he’d like to start one, too.  Rather than do two separate ones, and since we spent many of our “Days” there together anyways, I approached him with the idea of combining our efforts and just doing one together.  The rest is, as they say, history.

  1. What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?
I think that the best way to attract new readers/followers is to do your best to constantly have new content for people to keep coming back to.  It’s easy when you’re first starting to fall off a bit, but the downside of that is if you have new readers checking you out, if you do it’s easy for them to fall off too.  I think it’s really important to continue churning something out as often as you can.  It shouldn’t be stressful but if you’re having trouble doing something substantial every day, do something lighthearted and easy so people have something to come back to.  Secondly, I think it’s important you just be yourself and who you are.  With so many websites/blogs dealing with Disney out there, a lot of the information gets repeated on a lot of different sites.  It’s important to take whatever you are writing and infuse your own voice into it.  I think that people really respond to that and love seeing it in a blogger’s writing.

  1. What attributes do you think make a good blogger?
I’m kind of piggy-backing what I just said just a little bit, but I think one of the best attributes a blogger can have is to just be themselves.  Readers are pretty smart, and they can easily tell if someone is being themselves in their writing and I think that they respond to that.  Inject as much of yourself and your personality into what you write and you’ll never go wrong with what you’re trying to convey.  I also think that bloggers need to be knowledgeable as well about their source material.  As a blogger you owe it to your readers to be as correct in what you say as you can.  Also, for me, it’s really important (and it may just be me) that you write as professionally as you can.  I go to a lot of trouble and re-read what I write several times to make sure my spelling, grammar and structure are all correct.  When I’m reading other blogs, I notice things like that right away, so I try to do the best I can to make mine what I’m looking for in others’ writing.  I think that’s really important to make your blog match up with what you want to see in other’s work.  We’re not perfect, and we don’t have to be, but it doesn’t hurt to strive for it!


  1. If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice what would it be?
I’m probably sounding like a broken record at this point, but I’ll say it again; just be yourself!  It’s okay to look other blogs and see how they’re structured and what other people are writing about, but it’s really important to make your blog yours and infuse it with as much of you as you can.  I think it’s really important too to not get discouraged, but keep at it.  When you first start blogging, you’re probably not going to have a lot of readership (that comes with time), and it’s easy to get discouraged because of it.  But if you are writing for yourself, and because you enjoy doing it, then it becomes easier to take the good days and the bad days when you’re blogging.  Pay attention to your numbers (stats) so that you can see what’s working for you in terms of your writing and what isn’t, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers.  Just write about what you enjoy writing about, and if anyone wants to come along for the ride with you, consider it a blessing and do your best for those people that are reading you.  It’s supposed to be fun, so do everything in your power to keep it just that: fun!

  1. How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging?  Any advice on getting followers/likes?
Social networking is crucial to your success as a blogger in my opinion.  Nothing will ever beat “word of mouth”, and if you have a presence in the social media world and people reading you, they’re almost sure to tell other people (friends) about you and you can pick up quite a following that way.  It’s probably the #1 way to increase readership of your blog.  When you write a new article, let people know on Twitter and Facebook and invite people to come read your articles.  As for getting more “likes” and followers, it’s just a matter of getting out there and interacting with people.  If you’re on Twitter, spend some time interacting with people, let them know you’re there, and always respond to them (do your best not to ignore them).  If they get to know you there, and like you there, the odds of them reading your blog are much higher.  Same goes for Facebook!  Lots of interaction is a good thing.  And don’t be afraid to advertise yourself or “fish” for new followers too.  Don’t spam the Twitter Stream to the point of annoyance, but don’t be afraid to try and gain a few new followers here and there either.  It sure can’t hurt!

  1. Do you thing being a male blogger is an advantage/disadvantage and why/why not?
That’s actually a great question and one I’ve wondered about myself from time to time, mostly on days when my numbers haven’t been very good – LOL!  I think it’d be really hard to prove one way or the other, but I like to think that we’re all just bloggers and as long as we have great content and something worth reading, it doesn’t matter one way or the other in terms of quality of what we’re able to put out.  Some of my favorite bloggers are women, and some of my favorite bloggers are men, so I think that in the end it all shakes out.   

  1. If you could be a Disney Villain for a day which would it be, and why?
Fun question!  And really hard to answer!!  I think I’d probably go with my favorite Disney Villain of all time (and one I’d love to meet one day), Prince John from “Robin Hood”.  Up until the end of the flick he’s really living the good life there – riding the countryside, pet snake, sucking his thumb and ruling England!  Oo-de-Lally, sounds like a party to me!

  1. Do you have a Disney Day Trip tip you would like to share with our readers?
My tip is pretty much always the same; take it easy, relax and just enjoy the magic.  I see so many families (and used to get caught up like this myself) that are worn out by noon (complete with kids lying in the ground throwing a tantrum), because they just run around like crazy thinking that everything has to be done ASAP so that “everything we need to do” gets done, and to me the tradeoff has never been worth it.  I honestly don’t see how you can enjoy what you are seeing if your thoughts are constantly on the next thing you need to get to, a la Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”.  So I guess my tip is to focus more on the enjoyment of what you are doing and less on what you “have” to do, if that makes sense.  It has certainly helped me enjoy my time in The Parks more!

  1. Anything you would like to add?
I just want to say a personal “thank you” to Donna for asking me to interview for her.  I haven’t been blogging very long myself, so to be included alongside some of these other bloggers is mind-blowing, and I’m not entirely sure I’m worthy of that quite yet, but I hope that my answers do help in some way.  Thanks so much again for the opportunity!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Disney Blog Hop - Family

Hi to everyone returning from previous Disney Blog Hops & Nice to meet you to everyone stopping by for the first time.  Thanks to Lisa at Babes In Disneyland for hosting the blog hop each week. You should really check out her website and book if you haven't already. When you leave Disney Donna Kay today don't forget to visit the other bloggers who are Disney Hopping today!

Today's theme is Family. I thought I might introduce you to mine. I don't post personal things here very often, so indulge me.

Ashley
I had my "Baby Girl" on June 11, 1987. I was a single parent, much to the disappointment of my father (Papa). She is definitely one of the best things that ever happened to me and I would do it all alone again. By the way, she is the apple of Papa's eye and she feels the same way about him. The Disney character that Ashley reminds me of the most is Ariel. She is strong and independent and determined to do things her way, no matter what. She is curious, intelligent and loves to learn new things.

Little Mermaid Wallpaper  Disney Image

Mike
Mike and I got married  December 16, 1995 after dating for 8 months. When it's right you know. I think the Disney character Mike is most like would be the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Probably an odd choice I know, but here is my reasoning. Mike can seem a little short tempered and selfish sometimes. But, deep down he is a softie who loves us more than he wants anyone to know. He's kind of old school in feeling like showing affection is a sign of weakness. I know his heart is in the right place.
Beauty & the Beast
Dakota
Dakota is my biggest unexpected blessing, he was born on June 27, 1997. Mike and I were in agreement that Ashely was going to be an only child. I took my birth control pills religiously. Well, let me tell you, it is true they don't work when you take antibiotics. God is smarter than all of us, because Dakota is the most amazing person. He is so loving, kind, generous and smart. He is somewhat shy, and is a huge fan of 60's & 70's music (disco not included). His guitar is his prized possession, and he's pretty good with it. He's probably the hardest one for me to pick out a character, but I am going to choose Simba from The Lion King. Dakota has a strong sense of responsibility even now at almost 14. He likes to have a good time and goof off, but when it comes down to it, he's always going to accept his responsibilities and do what is expected of him to the best of his abilities.
The Lion King and Horus

Donna Kay
Wow, who am I? I was born August 19, 1963 on my mother's 27th birthday. I was the "Baby Girl" (at least until Ashley took over). I come from a large family, 5 sisters, 2 brothers. We are all fiercely competitive, and love nothing more than beating each other at games. I am extremely devoted to my family and friends, you'd better not mess with them. I think quick on my feet, and I can handle whatever situation is thrown at me. But which Disney character am I most like? After much consideration, I think I am going to go with Wendy from Peter Pan. I think she was a mother figure to her brothers, Peter even wanted her to be a mother to the lost boys. She enjoyed having a good time, but she still understood that you have responsibilities you must keep. She believed that she could fly, and that all her dreams would come true. All I'm doing is waiting for Tinker Belle to come by and sprinkle some Pixie Dust, then I'm off to Neverland...

I know I was a little long winded today, I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Have a Magical Day!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#17 - The Queen of Hearts - Alice in Wonderland

#17 Queen of Hearts
Temper, Temper, Temper!  My goodness, the Queen of Hearts is quite the Diva isn't she? I wonder how many times she actually said "Off with his head?" I love that Alice finally puts her in her place by calling her a "fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant." Everyone else, including her husband seems quite content to live in absolute fear of her. This clip is from Alice's trial. The queen is still being her "charming" self. Hope you enjoy it.  Have a Magical Day!!

 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Beth Doda : The Magical Blogorail & Pursuing The Magic

Mentoring Mondays - Beth Doda Magical Blogorail & Pursuing the Magic

Blog - http://www.pursuingthemagic.com/
          http://www.magicalblogorail.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/magicalblogorail
Twitter: @MagBlogorail

So I worked up the nerve to ask Magical Blogorail to participate in Mentoring Mondays, I think my heart was about to jump out of my chest. As I typed out the DM on twitter my palms were seating. I had to remember my own advice, the worst that could happen is they could say no.  It didn't take long and I had my answer, "Of course, what do I need to do."  Well, she sent me her email and I about fell out of my chair - it was Beth.  How did I not know Beth had founded the Magical Blogorail??? After I got over feeling like the worlds biggest idiot, I laughed at myself.  Beth is the sweetest person, we follow each other on twitter and read each other's blogs. How did I not know this, I am still befuddled.  I know you all are familiar with the Magical Blogorail, I hop aboard all the time and she has some incredible people writing at each stop. Her blog Pursuing The Magic is just as wonderful. I almost forgot she writes for the WDW Daily News as well, Beth you're such a slacker! I am thrilled to have Beth here on Mentoring Mondays, and I am very happy to call her my friend.  Thanks Beth!!


  1. Introduce yourself and describe your blogging network.
My name is Beth, and I am a stay at home mom of three little ones.  I organize the Magical Blogorail and also write my own personal blog called Pursuing the Magic.  The Magical Blogorail is a place where Disney bloggers can come together and share their love of Disney with all Disney fans.  Once or twice a week a group of five or six bloggers comes together for a “loop” to share their perspectives on a single topic.  Whether you travel to Disney regularly or have never been, you can find a great collection of Disney information all in one place.  Pursuing the Magic is my personal blog where I share all of the ways my family brings Disney magic to our home in between trips.  It is also a place I share all the lessons I have learned traveling to Walt Disney World as a mom and traveling to Walt Disney World with a large group, since our trips are always a large family outing. 

  1. What inspired you to start The Magical Blogorail?
At the time that I started the Magical Blogorail, all three of my children were under the age of five and not in school yet.  I loved reading Disney blogs, but I just didn’t have the time to keep up with the blogs I loved and keep up with the kids.  One day as I read through a scrapbooking blog hop, I thought why couldn’t I do a Disney blog hop?  It would be a much easier way for me to get from one blog to the next.  I wasn’t sure who would want to join, so I was very hesitant about reaching out.  I finally e-mailed a few people I had connected with on Twitter, who were as excited about the idea as I was.  Once we had our first loop, I started getting a lot of people requesting to join us.  So what I thought would be a group of five or six bloggers coming together once a month, has turned into 30 bloggers coming together in small groups each week.  Not only has it been a great way to share our love of Disney with everyone, but it is also a community of people who help each other out daily, whether it be needing some advice with a technology related question, looking for a particular picture to enhance a blog post or just a spot to share personal triumphs.  The Magical Blogorail has more than exceeded my expectations. I am so thankful for everyone who is participating and sharing their blogs, and appreciative of all our readers who are interacting with us during the week with our daily recaps and weekly blogorail loops.


  1. Do you feel social networking has been beneficial in the success of the Blogorail? Explain.
Absolutely!  One of the great things about Twitter and Facebook is that you can connect with people who have the same interests as you do.  You can share with an audience that has followed you because they like the content you are offering them and have a personal connection with that, which in our case is a love of Disney, whether that is our Disney stories, pictures or information we share.

  1. How important is it for bloggers to network with each other?
I think networking with other bloggers is very important.  Bringing so many people together does a couple of things.  First, it gives readers several different perspectives on one topic.  On the Magical Blogorail, we have family blogs, mom blogs, photo blogs, food blogs, some are based in Walt Disney World, some in Disneyland and many more.  Therefore, when we discuss a topic, you will read about it from many different angles.  Not only will you get a lot of information, but also our personal stories and experiences that go along with that.  We also have created a community where we have become a resource for each other, and members feel comfortable asking each other for advice, asking for information or sharing successes they have had.

  1. What attributes to do you look for when adding a blogger to the Blogorail?
When someone requests to join the blogorail, all I look for is a blog that was created to share someone’s love of Disney.  It doesn’t matter if someone has been blogging for years or just days.  I always say that I could talk Disney all day long, I just need to find someone who can listen as long as I can talk about it.  I use my blog to get my Disney energy out between trips.  You will find that, though we may not all word it the same way, the blogorail members all have their blogs for that same reason, just wanting to share our personal Disney memories, knowledge and the Disney lessons we have learned.

  1. With so many different Blogorails each week and so many different topics, how do you keep it all organized?
Each Magical Blogorail line is assigned a color that corresponds with a color of the monorail system used by Disney.  By grouping bloggers into small groups, it is very easy to manage.  Each line has their own schedule as to when they will have their loop.  I will admit it took me some time to really get a system down that works, but I have a lot of Excel spreadsheets and a desk calendar that I cannot go without checking at least a couple times a day. Most importantly, I am very lucky to have such a great group of people on the Magical Blogorail.  They are always supportive and ready to help out whenever I need it.  

  1. Share with us why you feel it is important to give readers several perspectives on a certain subject?
There are so many experiences you can have in a Disney theme park and so many ways to plan where you are going to dine, how you are going to tour the parks, which guidebooks to read, and so on that it can be difficult for someone to decide what is best for them.  When someone reads my personal blog, they are going to read how I plan our vacations and what our favorite dinners and attractions are.  But that doesn’t represent the only way to enjoy a Disney vacation.  By offering different perspectives, someone can see pros and cons to many things. The Magical Blogorail is based on sharing personal experiences with all things Disney, so though we do offer a lot of Disney information, we are offering our personal perspectives and experiences during our loops.  By having so many different perspectives, a reader is going to find many ways to approach planning and enjoying a Disney vacation.


  1. You have so many topics each week for your bloggers, how do you come up with so many new ideas?
The topics are created by the Magical Blogorail members each week.  Normally, they are chosen by the group members, though we have also polled our readers and used the poll results to choose our topic.  With thirty people working together to create topics, we have a very diverse set of ideas to choose from. 

  1. What is your favorite Disney souvenir?
Besides our photos and memories, there is one souvenir that really is emotional for me.  There was a point that my husband and I thought we wouldn’t be able to have children, though fortunately we were able to overcome that.  As soon as I was pregnant for our first child, I was already starting to plan his first Disney vacation.  We took my son, Joey, for his first trip when he was 14 months old.  We decided that we would go to our family’s first character meal at Cape May CafĂ©.  My son fell in love with Chip and Dale and could have spent the entire day just playing with them.  As a reminder of that day, I purchased a Chip and Dale Christmas ornament for my son.  To this day, over 5 years later, it is one of my favorite ornaments to hang on our tree.  My Disney dream, which I wasn’t so sure was going to come true, was always to bring my children to Disney, and this ornament represents my dream coming true.  Even better, it reminds me of the smile he had on his face every time he saw Chip and Dale turn the corner and come toward our table.

  1. Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?
There is so much to see and do on a Disney vacation.  I always recommend taking your time and enjoying all the little details.  Enjoy and appreciate the moments with your friends and family as you are experiencing the attractions, shows and parades.  When you reminisce about being in Disney, you aren’t going to talk about the time you made it to Splash Mountain and the wait was five minutes or the time you walked up to a show and were first in line.  You are going to remember the special moments, which for me are seeing Joey’s face the first time he “drove” a race car at Tomorrowland Speedway or met Buzz Lightyear for the first time, when Hayley played peek a boo with Donald when she was two and watching Emily dance at Hoop Dee Doo, Crystal Palace and in the middle of Adventureland when she was just 10 months.  Had we been rushing from attraction to attraction to get it all in, these are some of things we may have missed. 


  1. Anything you would like to add?
I want to say a big thank you to all the Magical Blogorail readers.  I get a lot of e-mail from people who are enjoying what we are doing, and our blogorail members are getting a lot of comments on their Magical Blogorail posts.  I would also like to say that I am so very thankful for every member of the blogorail.  They took a chance on an idea and have made it what it has become.  I feel very lucky to have made so many new Disney friends, who are so supportive and who love Disney as much as I do!  Finally, Donna Kay, I think Mentoring Mondays is a great concept.  I have learned a lot from reading about all the mentors you have featured so far and look forward to reading more.  I think we always have opportunities to learn, and you have created an amazing tool to help build community amongst bloggers.  I am very appreciative of you letting me share my experiences!   

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summertime - Disney Blog Hop

Hi everyone! It's Thursday and that means the Disney Blog Hop, one of my favorite days of the week. Thanks to Lisa for hosting every week and my friend Melissa for co-hosting this week.

This weeks theme is "Summertime" and it is especially poignant for me because this summer I am going to Walt Disney World.  So I thought I would list the 5 ways I plan to cool off this summer while at WDW. 

1.Storm Along Bay - I am staying at the Yacht Club, and it has the most awesome pool in all of Disney World! I think the Disney website describes it perfectly. "Stormlong Bay is a beachside water park that offers up 3 acres of aquatic fun for the whole family. Catch currents in an expansive sand-bottomed pool or a lazy circular river, explore the "Shipwreck" and slide down one of the highest hotel waterslides at Walt Disney World Resort, or simply lie on the elevated tanning deck and soak up the sun's golden rays.
With 750,000 gallons of water comprising an impressive complex of pools that range from swirling to placid, open to secluded and cool to warm, every member of your family can find a place to make a splash at Stormalong Bay. Guppy Bay Kiddie pool lets even the youngest of Guests in on the fun."

Pools

2. Blizzard Beach - We didn't do a water park last vacation (we were there in January) so we want to be sure to experience one this trip, and I am sure we will need the cool down in the July Florida heat! Quoting the Disney website again "Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, as well as slides and rides for the whole family—like a kid-sized, snow-castle fountain play area with scaled-down versions of the more thrilling attractions.
The story behind Disney's Blizzard Beach begins with a freak snow storm that blanketed Florida. Within the blink of a snowflake-tipped eye, a ski resort sprang up with slalom courses, toboggan slides and iceberg walkways. Then, just as quickly, the weather shifted back to hot. The whole resort started to melt. What to do?
An enterprising alligator saw an opportunity! Clad in a scarf and hat, this Ice Gator slid down the snow-less ski jump, shouting 'Yahoooo!' all the way. With a big splash he landed in a pool of melted snow below the mountain. It was at this moment the slushy, slippery slopes became an exhilarating Water Park with a ski theme."
  
3.  Mickey Premium Bars - A quick snack you can find almost anywhere at Disney World. And they are so darn cute with the Mickey Mouse Ears!!
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4.  Beaches & Cream - Again, we're staying at the Yacht Club...way too close not to try it out. Dakota is a milkshake aficionado, he can spot them from a mile away. I don't think he would let me go home without checking this place out.
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5. Kali River Rapids - Quoting the Disney website again: "Kali River Rapids is an adventurous river raft ride for big kids, teens and adults that journeys through the rainforest on the churning Chakranadi River in the Asia area of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

The Kali River Rapids raft covers some choppy waters, and then there's a startling change in scenery. Hazardous debris left behind by illegal loggers litter the riverbanks. A few infernos blaze through the landscape. Scattered across your path: evidence that renegade logging companies are threatening wildlife and destroying delicate rainforests.
Escape the devastation by rushing down a 30-foot waterfall. As your raft floats under the bridge, beware the smiling faces that look down from above—you may get a soppy surprise. There are signs before boarding Kali River Rapids warning that you will get wet. You will. Maybe even soaked. Such a pleasant respite on a hot day."
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So what do you to to cool off while you're at Disney? I would love to know, just leave a comment.  Hope you are have a Magical Summer!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#18 - Pete - Mickey Mouse Cartoons

#18 - Pete

Pete first appeared February 15, 1925 and has been around longer than any other Disney continuing character, he's even older than Oswald.  He loves to antagonize Mickey, Donald and Goofy. In the 1930's he even tried to woo Minnie (despite the fact that he is a cat). Pete has had a lot of occupations over the years from boat Captain to outlaw to sheriff. In the cartoon below he takes the role of sheriff, and he is evicting Mickey and Donald.  This one may not be the best showcase for Pete, but I love Goofy battling with the piano and Donald fighting with the plunger. Hope you enjoy!  Have a Magical Day!!

 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Stuart WDW Fan Zone

Twitter: @WDWFanZone

I am thrilled to have Stuart of WDW Fan Zone featured this week on Mentoring Mondays. I love the website, there is so much information there, and so many great contributors. The absolute love for all things Disney really shines through on this site. But I have to say Stuart is so nice and supportive. He is always the first to comment on the upcoming Mentoring Mondays on Facebook. He is always so positive, absolutely one of the most amazing Disney people out there. Stuart, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us, I am very honored to have you here.


  1. Introduce yourself and describe your website.

Hi I’m Stuart Sternberg, @DisneyGeekDad on Twitter and co-founder of the WDW Fan Zone . I currently live in New Jersey with my wife and two children. Our hope is to follow our dream and someday move close to Walt Disney World.

The WDW Fan Zone is an inviting community website where all Disney fans are welcome. Our columnists are group of passionate Disney fans who have come together as a family to share their knowledge and perspective of all things Disney from trip planning to its history.

  1. What inspired you to start WDW Fan Zone?

In February 2009 I started the Disney Geek Dad Blog as a way to keep the magic alive between Disney trips. Over the course of the next few months the purpose of my blog changed from keeping the magic alive to using it as a way to give back to the most wonderful community of people I have ever known. However, having my own blog wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to reach more people and find a way to do more for the community while giving others an outlet to express themselves. So, along with Lisa Battista we founded the WDW Fan Zone.

  1. What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?

I think the best way to attract new readers and followers is by having a good product and maintaining a good product but, most importantly by word of mouth from your readers, writers, and friends.

  1. What is the best/worst advice you have ever received?

I have to say the best advice was my own to pursue my dream to start the WDW Fan Zone. Since Lisa Battista and I never sought the advice of others there is no bad or worst advice to mention.


  1. What is the biggest mistake most new bloggers make?

I think the biggest mistake most new bloggers make is that they will publish one or two posts to their blog then disappear for a weeks before returning with a new post. For a blogger to be relevant and build a readership they have to regularly publish new articles.
  1. How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging?  Any advice on getting followers/likes?

I think social networking is very important to blogging. It’s a way for people to get to know who you are and what your blog is all about. My best advice to get followers/likes is get involved in conversation, be yourself, and let it happen naturally.

  1. Do you thing being a male blogger is an advantage/disadvantage and why/why not?

I never thought of myself as a male blogger. I’m just someone who loves Disney, the Disney community, and writing about it.

  1. What attributes do you look for when choosing a columnist?

I just go with my gut instincts when choosing a columnist and I think that has worked out very well. We have a great group of writers and I am so proud of every single one of them for their amazing contributions.

  1. What is your favorite Disney Vacation memory?
I actually have two favorite Disney vacation memories. The first took place in June of 2001. At the time my son was 8 and my daughter was 5. We were waiting in Disney’s Hollywood Studios then known as Disney MGM Studios to meet up with my brother’s family. As we were waiting Snow White came out of nowhere and walked over to my children. She was so warm and friendly to my children and although it was a brief conversation it was long enough to leave a lasting impression. My other favorite Disney memory was the entire Lou Mongello WDW Radio Dream Cruise. It was the greatest non-Disney World theme park vacation I’ve ever been on. It was a humungous family gathering and one in which so many life lasting friendships were made.

  1. Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?

Whether or not you are a seasoned veteran of the Disney parks managing your time to get the most out of your trip and to have a great vacation takes research, planning, and organization. Always develop a touring plan for your Disney trip. There are several excellent guide books available and a number of great websites such as AllEars.net, TouringPlans.com, and PassPorter.com providing excellent advice and assistance in planning your vacation.
  1. Anything you would like to add?

There has been a tremendous growth in the Disney community since I started getting involved a little over two years ago. I love seeing friends and new comers to the community taking an active part in it whether it’s starting their own website, blog, podcast, or just contributing to one. The Disney community has endless boundaries with room for everyone to add their own touch. My hope is more and more people will become actively involved.

Donna Kay I wish you the very best of luck with your blog and I am truly honored that you thought to include me as a participant in your Mentoring Mondays. Thank you so very much!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Disney Blog Hop - Disney Firsts

Hello! It's Thursday and that means Disney Blog Hop hosted by Babes In Disneyland. You should visit Lisa's blog it's full of lots of great info, especially if you have younger children. You may also want to check out her book while you are there, she is offering a discount right now.

The topic for today's Disney Blog Hop is Disney Firsts.  I thought about posting about my first Disney movie Sleeping Beauty. She is my favorite Disney Princess you know.

Then I thought I may post about the first Disney ornament I bought for my Christmas Tree, it was Mickey made of wood and hand painted. Then I thought, no that's just not right either.

Then I decided to write about my first trip to Walt Disney World. Really didn't like that idea either, you guys heard a lot about it in my The Good, The Bad and The Ugly post. Finally I decided to tell you what I am going to do for the first time when we go to Disney World next month. Thanks for the idea Beth.   ;0)
*
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Love these movies, but have never ridden the ride.
  • Soarin' - We were in WDW in 2003, Soarin' opened in 2005.
  • Tower of Terror - I am not a thrill ride person, I am going out on a limb and trying this one.
  • Yacht Club Resort - Last visit we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and loved it. This time we are changing it up and staying at the Yacht Club Resort.
  • Typhoon Lagoon/Blizzard Beach - In 2003 we were at WDW in January, not exactly waterpark weather. This time we are definitely trying them out. If you have been let me know your favorite.
  • Coral Reef - We had reservations last time, but the lovely family we were with didn't want to eat there.
  • Fantasmic - My hubby isn't much on the shows, but Dakota & I have talked him into Fantasmic this trip.
  • IllumiNations - If you read my post about my first trip you know I missed fireworks due to being sick. I am really looking forward to seeing them this time.
  • World Showcase - The day I got sick was out Epcot day last time. I am very excited about visiting all of the countries this time.
**
Reading all the firsts I have on my list you would think I didn't do much on my first trip wouldn't you. I can't wait to get there and blog all about it!

*Picture of Barbosa is from www.intercot.com .
**Picture of IllumiNations is from www.wikipedia.com .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#19 Yzma - The Emperor's New Groove

#19 - Yzma - The Emperor's New Groove
Yzma is the Emperor's advisor, she is calculating, selfish, power hungry and delusional! She actually thinks she is beautiful, maybe her mirror reflects what she wants to see (if there is such a thing can I have one too?). She overthinks everything, and she plans really big elaborate schemes to get rid of Emperor Kuzco so she can take over, but the plans fail because she overlooks the small things.  Part of the reason I love Yzma is that she is voiced by Eartha Kitt. Her voice is so unique, I remember her as Catwoman from the old Batman television series from the 60's. I watched it every afternoon after school with my Dad, it was my favorite part of the day. I hope you enjoy the clip. Have a Magical Day!!