Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide for the Soul

Despite making a list and checking it twice, there is always that last-minute, present that
needs to be bought.  Pronto!  Consider one of these easy-to-buy gifts that give thrice; something for THEM, something for a noble CAUSE, and something that will fill YOUR soul.

Pinterest Holiday Gift Guide for the Soul

1.  Books that inspire, support your favorite charity, and provide hours of entertainment for the recipient.  My top choices:
Fully Alive by Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver.  All net proceeds will support Special Olympics. 
Thanks & Giving: All Year Long; a children's book by recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Marlo Thomas.  All proceeds will support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

2.   Apparel, makeup, sporting equipment and more; these gifts can be proudly displayed while the charity uses your dollars to further their cause.

3.  Buy the athlete or couch potato in your life a race entry through a charitable organization. For me, runDisney is the only way to go!  During the year, over 40 charity groups participate in runDisney's 8 event weekends.  Better yet, register as a team!  Give the gift of health AND a good deed.

Why I Team Up! with Autism Speaks
4.   Monetary Donations  Make a small (or large) in a friend/loved one's name.  They will receive written notification of your gift with a description of their charitable work.  At Charity Choice, your recipient can actually select their own charity from a listing of over 250 well-known local or global organizations!

Save the Children is one such charity.
5.   Spread the cheer on social media.  Over the next week, folks will be scrambling to find that "perfect gift" or quickie present.  Share charitable gift guides.  (OK, you can start with this ONE! :D)  Retweet and share your favorite charity's giving suggestions.  Your holiday spirit of virtual generosity may just inspire someone to do the same.

It's not too late.  Peace to men (and women) of good will.  Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Musica

Have a Feliz Navidad in Disney California Adventure Park this holiday season.  Now through January 6th, Paradise Gardens comes alive with music, dancing, and Disney Characters during Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party.  I spent a couple of lively hours at this fiesta during Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend and it was a thrill for the senses.


Mariachi musicians
Samba musicians

Folklórico dancers

Los Tres Caballeros

Donald Duck, Panchito from Mexico and Jose from Brazil
"Viva" is so appropriate; this colorful song and dance show is pulsating with energy and traditional Latino musica.  Take a listen from last year's party!

Focused on the Magic disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Have a Very Merry Carsmas on Disneyland's Route 66

Welcome to those of you joining me from Rolling with the Magic and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Season's Speedings from Cars Land!

One of the unexpected highlights of our Avenger's Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend road trip was the electric holiday theming throughout Disneyland Resort.  From Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle to Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink to World of Color- Winter Dreams, each  area of the parks was custom-built for maximum Christmas enjoyment.  Beyond compare, the spot that really revved our engines was Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park.  Innovative and ingeniously-themed, every inch of Radiator Springs brought a smile to our "grill."  Come start your engines and take a spin through Route 66 with us!

Those recycled white walls sure get put to good use- Happy Holidays!
Running past Fillmore's Taste-In in the wee hours.
Pile those tractor tires high Mater!
A patriotic tree at Sarge's Surplus Hut.

Santa Mater!!
Flo's V8 Cafe shines with its 45 rpm vinyl "wreaths."
Even Luigi has been busy!
End of the road!  (What else to do with those errant hubcaps??)
I hope you can appreciate the top-level detail and theming of each destination along your trip; the Imagineer elves really outdid themselves in Monument Valley- not a clunker in the bunch.  Come jump-start your holiday at Cars Land and have a very merry Carsmas!!

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Ashley Aspires.

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 ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is - The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
2nd Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic - Holiday Background Loops at the Disney Parks
3rd Stop ~  DISTherapy - Carsmas at Disneyland  (You are here!)
Final Stop ~ Ashley Aspires - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Walt Disney's Apartment Decks the Halls

Look who has decorated for Christmas!  We all know Walt Disney's apartment will normally have a lit antique lamp in its window overlooking Disneyland's Town Square.  It is a tribute to the man and his dream, and it signifies that his spirit remains in his beloved park.  Folklore has it that the only time the lamp's light would be extinguished would be if Lillian or one of Walt's daughters was visiting Disneyland Resort.

As this park transforms into a twinkling and sparkling winter wonderland, Walt's apartment is not overlooked.

The Hook and Ladder Company performs Christmas ditties outside Walt's window.  I bet he's listening!!

We can feel it; Walt Disney walks here; most especially during #DisneyHolidays.

Need more history?  The Disney Parks Blog takes you on a virtual tour of Walt Disney's apartment HERE.

Focused on the Magic disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop