Friday, September 30, 2016

Walt Disney World Resort | The First Forty Years

On October 1, 2016, Magic Kingdom Park turns forty-five!  It seems like just yesterday that forty Disney bloggers celebrated the fortieth anniversary; personal, magical stories marking each attraction opening, landmark debut, and entertainment premiere.  No step onto Main Street, U.S.A. is complete without the understanding of who and what walked that path before.

Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.

1971~   DIStherapy                                     Beginnings
1972~   The Magical Mouse Pad                 E-Ticket Attractions
1973~   Growing Up Disney                       The 12 Adventure Ticket Book
1974~   Pursuing the Magic                         Hoop De Doo Musical Review Debut
1975~   The Disney Chick                           Space Mountain
1976~   Disney-Lovin Spectrum Mom        America on Parade
1977~   Heidi's Head                                    Main Street Electrical Parade
1978~   My Dreams of Disney                     Mickey Mouse's 50th Birthday
1979~   Bringing the Sunshine                     Haunted Mansion Memories
1980~   Beyond the Attractions                    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Opens
1981~   The Disney Babies Blog                  Walt Disney World Tencennial Celebration
1982~   The Real Disney Mom                     EPCOT Center Opens
1983~   My Dreams of Disney                      Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Debuts
1984~   DVC Mom                                        Michael Eisner Becomes CEO
1985~   My Dreams of Disney                      Tinker Bell Takes Her First Flight to Cinderella Castle
1986~   Pursuing the Magic                          15 Years Celebration
1987~   The Disney Driven Life                    EPCOT Center Turns Five
1988~   Heidi's Head                                     Mickey's Birthdayland Opens
1989~   CanaDisney                                      Disney MGM Studios Opens
1990~   Jedi Mouseketeer                              The Disney Decade
1991~   Focused on the Magic                       The Magic Kingdom Club
1992~   Mandas Disney Blog!                       Disneyland Paris Opens | Phantom Manor
1993~   jackie's magical moments                 Hall of Fame Plaza Installed
1994~   DIStherapy                                        The Legend of the Lion King Opens
1995~   Cooking With Mickey                       Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Debuts
1996~   The World of Deej                             First Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
1997~   Disney on Wheels                             25th Anniversary
1998~   WDW Fan Zone                                Disney's Animal Kingdom Opens
1999~   A Disney Mom's Thoughts               Millenium Celebrations
2000~   Disney Go To Girl                            Tapestry of Nations
2001~   Pursuing the Magic                           TheMagic Carpets of Aladdin Premiers
2002~   This Happy Place Blog                     Walt's 100th Birthday Celebration
2003~   Disney Donna Kay                            Family Firsts
2004~   CanDoItMom                                    Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Opens
2005~   In God We Still Trust                        Soarin' Debuts
2006~   Magical Mouse Schoolhouse            Expedition Everest Premiers
2007~   Growing Up Disney                          Year of a Million Dreams
2008~   Pursuing the Magic                            Special Children
2009~   My Pixie Dust Diary                          What Will You Celebrate?
2010~   Return to Disney                                Jack Sparrow's Pirate Crew
2011~   Babes in Disneyland                          Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland

Thank you to each of these Pixie Dusted authors.  Their love of The Most Magical Place on Earth is enchanting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sleep Like an Athlete | National Women's Health and Fitness Day

I've just returned from the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, and I can tell you that sleep was at a premium this past week!  Though proper restorative sleep is a necessity for optimum athletic performance, the six-hour time difference and excitement of touring another Disney Park made seven to nine hours sleep a night next to impossible pour moi.  Did my half marathon time suffer as a result?  You bet your Euros it did.

Shared with permission and by request of

If runDisney race weekends are notorious for being PR busters, this is most likely the culprit.  If you look at the graphic, professional athletes aim for ten to twelve hours of sleep a night.  Imagine what our running times would look like after a good night's sleep!  Though "race jitters" also may interfere with the sleep cycle, proper night-before preparations will help put your mind to rest: train well, set two alarm notifications, lay out your running clothes (including completing the info on the backside of your bib and pinning it to your race shirt), and setting out your pre-race breakfast.

Training, nutrition, hydration, and SLEEP- all are equally necessary for prime athletic performance.  On National Women's Health and Fitness Day, make the notation and make sleep a priority for your next race!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Get Fit this Fall with Groupon Things To Do

** This is a sponsored post for a company I know, use myself, and luv.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

Unfortunately, as summer comes to an end, so does much of our outdoor fitness; going for a run along the boardwalk, kayaking on the lake, or biking to the beach becomes a bit more challenging for many folks across the country.  NOW is the perfect time to find your best, most convenient, and amazingly affordable alternative.  Enter Groupon Things To Do!

I found my gym on Groupon!
Don't lose your hard-earned health and fitness gains this fall- find a gym, personal trainer, yoga studio, Zumba class, or CrossFit center right in your own neighborhood.  Studies prove that exercise that is convenient and easy-to-use is most likely to be repeated.  Add in affordable, and you have your recipe for fitness success.  (For instance, at the gym I joined last week, a one-month membership normally costs $150.  The Groupon rate for that same month is only $19!) 

Top PT Tip:
Going on vacation and don't want to lose your motivation or momentum?  Research Groupon Things To Do deals for the city you plan to travel to.  You may find the perfect opportunity to try a new fitness vehicle (body boot camp anyone?) at a can't-be-beat price.  Never lose a step while on vacation!!  We visit my son in Washington D.C. often; the Groupon selections there are vast. Kickboxing seems to be quite popular in our nation's Capitol.

Kayaks for rent on Long Island.
Of course, Groupon also offers substantial discounts for everything from jewelry to electronics, clothing to hotel stays.  (And if you are tempted to give back some of those fitness gains, everything from wine tasting to a meal at your local steakhouse is also offered!  Not to tempt you, but many of our favorite high-end restaurants are also on the site...)

Groupon Facebook:

Groupon Twitter:

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Global Marketplaces at 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a closer look booths at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

A longer than ever- September 14, 2016, through November 14, 2016- event, this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is about to kick-off its 21st season.  For the very first time, the festival will move outside of Epcot into the on-property resorts.  (For instance, I sure wish I could get to Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto!)  Once again, Future World will host many of the newer booths.

New Global Marketplaces for 2016:

-   The CHEW Collective
Inspired by ABC's The Chew, last year's Chew Lab and Sustainable Chew have returned with a new name and new menu:
Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots, and Feta Cheese
Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce (Returning from Sustainable Chew's menu.)
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle
Festival Chardonnay
Festival Cabernet Sauvignon

-   Wine & Dine Studios
California-inspired, this booth has overtones of Disney California Adventure for me!
Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Puree, Brussel Sprouts, & Wild Mushrooms
Pork Tenderloin with Cannellini Bean Ragout & Zinfandel Reduction
Trio of Artisan Cheese
Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese
Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Kurt Russel's GoGi "Goldie" Chardonnay  (Isn't that adorable??)
Vinum Cellars Pinot Noir
Robert Mondavi Winery Maestro Red Blend
Conundrum White Blend 20th Anniversary
Michael David Winery Seven Deadly Zins Zinfandel!

-   Chocolate Studio

Come to mama!
Red Wine Chocolate Truffle
Ghiradelli Chocolate Rasberry Torte
Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel (Returning from Chew Lab.)
Fonsesca Bin No. 27 Port
Justin Cabernet Sauvignon
Rosa Regale Sweet Sparkling Wine
Blandy's Alvada 5yr-Old Madiera

-   Greenhouse Guru hosted by Village Farms

Another healthy and fresh option folks!  (Sustainable and eco-friendly food, as well.)
Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with Lump Crab Meat
Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-roasted Salsa
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, and Micro-Basil
Mini San Marzano Tomatoes  (Buy a bag and eat them instead of candy!)
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling
Acrobat Pinot Noir

-   Islands of the Caribbean 

Some delectables from 2015- Frozen Dominican Pina Colada and returning Pescado con Coco.
Last year's Dominican Republic Marketplace was one of my favorites; the menu, atmosphere, and eating areas were, in my mind, the best of 2015.  SO, I am hoping this "new" area will be more of the same.  (If only they were bringing back that Frozen Dominican Pina Colada!!!)
Pescado con Coco: Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas, and Rice with Coconut Sauce  (Delicious.  Again!)
Jamaican Beef Patty
Mojo Pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Pickled Red Onions
Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce  (Looks like a HIT!)
Presidente Pilsner
Frozen Mojito  (A variation of an old festival favorite.)
Caribbean Sangria

New Menu Items From Your Old Favorites:

-  China                       Sichuan Spicy Chicken
-  Farm Fresh              Chicken and Dumplings
-  France                     Gruyere and Cognac Onion Soup
-  Greece                     Vegan Loaded Greek "Nachos"
-  Hawai'i                     Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine
-  Hops & Barley         Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast

Pull up to a virtual bar table along World Showcase Lagoon and join me.  May I ask, what is your must-eat favorite at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival??


For more about the Food & Wine Festival, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Around the World | Food & Wine Booths Loop: