Monday, April 14, 2014

Runners/Writers Wanted for a Virtual Expedition Everest Challenge

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

Do you hear the drums?  Are you ready for the next Virtual runDisney endurance contest?  A virtual peek- registration to finish line- at the upcoming
   Expedition Everest Challenge

Attention runners!  If you have participated in this adventure, or like me, merely wanted to, we need you as our guide!  My co-host, (Andrea, @OnceUpon a Run1, and blogging at Once Upon a Run ), and I are looking for runDisney warriors who will join us in a Virtual runDisney Blog Hop on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  Each potential writer will choose a race topic, (from scavenger hunt details to Post-Race Party), and cover each wild detail, from an instructional and/or personal point of view. Together we'll map out the journey of the Expedition Everest Challenge, for both the benefit of first timers and to whet our wildest appetites.

Would you like more details?  Would you like to claim your favorite leg of this runDisney quest?  Please contact me HERE.  The blog hop is open to all species of bloggers and non-bloggers, elite runners and newbie mountain climbers alike. Remember, every post completes this wild narrative!

For reference:

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop

Virtual Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop

Virtual Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A 50 Year Cruise With "it's a small world"

"Children of the World" became "The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed" and then "it's a small world".  Whatever the name, this attraction seemed the perfect antidote to a post-Cuban missile crisis era.  The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair theme of "Peace Through Understanding" rung out in the voices of children; it became a "world of hope" in nine languages.

At the entrance of "it's a small world"; New York World's Fair April, 1964.  I remember well the "Bel-Gem Waffles"and the Vatican Pavilion's "Pieta", but at 6 years old, it was this most wonderful world of Disney that I remember best.

"it's a small world" makes its way from New York to Disneyland, and opens May 16, 1966.

Vaguely reminiscent of Rolly Crump's The Tower of the Four Winds in New York.  Sadly, this 200,000 pound, 120 foot tall moving edifice did not make the trek west.

                                                                 The Magic, Memories and You

Opening with the park on October 1, 1971, this Magic Kingdom version starts a new tradition; the debut of one "it's a small world" attraction per decade!

Photo courtesy of our hostess, Focused on the Magic!

Tokyo Disneyland "it's a small world" opens in 1983 on April 15th.

Disneyland Paris "it's a small world" opens on April 12, 1992.

Marking the entrance of "it's a small world", Disneyland Paris.

In 2008, three years after the park's introduction, "it's a small world", (along with the addition of 38 Disney characters created in Mary Blair style), was unveiled in Hong Kong Disneyland's Fantasyland on April 17th; guests simply demanded it!.

In this new decade we will have yet another cruise to look forward to; Shanghai Disneyland opens its doors in 2015.

As we both celebrate a birthday, I know what I'll be singing all day tomorrow... #SmallWorld50   Me and about one million of my closest friends!

Focused on the Magic

Walt Disney and Mary Blair~ Their Grand World

Welcome to those of you joining me from Heidi's Head and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Today, the Golden Anniversary of "it's a small world", is the perfect time to reflect on treasures we cannot take for granted.  This "Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed" has brought untold smiles to children and adults around the world for 50 years.  Its happiness coefficient might not have been so remarkable had it not been for the friendship, respect and affinity in this collaboration.  The relationship spanned 25 years, and was much, much, more memorable than the iconic colorful singing dolls themselves.  Walt Disney and Mary Blair were visionaries, and artists, true.  They were also international goodwill ambassadors and leaders in the feminist movement!

Disney Co.

Creative Projects:
-  Mary Blair's distinctive and innovative style influenced the early classics, such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella.  It is said that Walt was particularly drawn to Mary's use of color and abstracts to tell a story.
-  A mere 11 months before the opening of the 1964 New York World's Fair, Walt Disney was approached to design the Pepsi sponsored UNICEF pavilion.  In this "salute to the children of the world", Walt selected Mary Blair as the point person for style, concept and color.  She worked alongside such legendary personalities as Rolly Crump, and Blaine Gibson, (who sculpted the dolls under Walt's direction).   "it's a small world" is and was regarded as the most successful pavilion in the fair.
-  In the 1960's, Walt personally choose Mary to re-design the mural in Disneyland's Tomorrowland to portray lightheartedness and optimism for the future.
-  Sadly, when Walt passed in 1965, Mary's work with the company also ended, with the exception of The Grand Canyon Concourse in Disney's Contemporary Resort.

International Goodwill:
_  After early work at Walt Disney Studio, (for Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp), Mary briefly left to work in commercial advertising.  (She also is credited as set color designer for the Broadway show "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" during this period.)  Walt and Lillian, invited her to accompany them to South America to do research for FDR's Good Neighbor program.  This initiative was intended to promote unity amongst North and South American countries, and seen as a counter to the Nazi propaganda that was infiltrating South America during World War II.  As a result of this trip, Disney produced The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos.  Guess who was named art supervisor on both productions??  This "peace through understanding" theme would continue through Mary's work for the New York World's Fair.

Early Feminists:
- Frozen made Disney history because it featured the first female director in Disney Animation history.  Yet, in 1941 Walt gave the following speech to his Burbank studio employees: (LA Times, November 29. 2013)

“If a woman can do the work as well, she is worth as much as a man,” Disney said, according to studio archives. “The girl artists have the right to expect the same chances for advancement as men, and I honestly believe they may eventually contribute something to this business that men never would or could.” 

In a time when many males animators were being drafted for World War II, Walt recognized the value of his female collaborators.  He recognized talent- pure and simple!

Together Again:
-  San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum's Mary Blair Exhibition entitled, "MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the World of Mary Blair".  (March 13 - September 7, 2014)  In over 200 works, this exhibit showcases the modern art that captivated Walt Disney; the work that he promoted first in his films, and then in his theme parks.

Today, the 50th anniversary of this, their most famous collaboration, I celebrate too!  I share this birthday, and remember well the April day when I took my first happy cruise at the New York World's Fair.  What a joyful legacy this duo left behind.  How grand.  How golden.

Explore Mary Blair's work on Facebook and Pinterest!  Read more about the artist at Designing Disney!

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Return to Disney.

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~     A Disney Mom's Thoughts
2nd Stop~    Heidi's Head
3rd Stop~     DIStherapy  (You are here!)
4th Stop~     Return to Disney
Final Stop~   Home is Where the Mouse Is

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Road to a Marathon at 60

It's a month of birthdays here at DIStherapy.  I hearken back to my very first post; my blog kick-off during the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party.  Blogging to Go the Distance #UBP11 would end up being so much more than a metaphor for my life.  I was attracted to this annual 5 Minutes for Mom blow out because its sense of community.  As you get older, this is increasingly important and relevant.  As children move off to college, and the soccer games, boy scout meetings and family dinners suddenly STOP, you find yourself needing more of a support system, not less, (as naturally happens). New mommies appreciate their "virtual sandbox" for tips on everything from cloth diapering to getting baby to sleep through the night.  Old mommies?  Nada.  Zip.  Despite being a predominant force in the consumer market, we are not wooed or enticed.   Folks over the age of 50 are responsible for over half of all discretionary spending in the America.  Yet, there are no "Boomer Twitter Parties" or blogger conferences geared to the gray generation.  Not yet.  The post-50 generation is charting new territory.  With expected advances in genetic medicine and stem cell therapies, our life expectancy will be quickly approaching 100.  So how will you spend the second half of life?!

That's me in the pack with 69 year old Olympian Jeff Galloway.  (Photo courtesy of runDisney.)

It is up to our generation to REDEFINE the aging process.  (Go ahead, enter the Giveaway while you're at it.)

Come April 10th, I am officially closer to 60 than 50, and I'll be darned if I spend the next several decades looking backward. As DIStherapy turns 3, it is time to plan.  It is time to be the change...  In short, it is time to get busy!!!  My goals?

-   I am approved for my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.  I'm going back to school!!!  What better way to advance my interest in "Boomer Medicine", and to teach my kids by example.  Learning never ends; education is important.  And you know what they say- "use it or lose it".  I'm hoping my brain will thank me.
-  I intend to chronicle my journey and Top PT Tips with others here and in future blogging homes.  After all, there are more 100 million of us oldsters in the US, and that number is expected to more than double in the next 20 years.  So many new readers!

-  When I penned "Blogging to Go the Distance" I had never, ever run a step, let alone race in an endurance event.  I thought I was simply using an analogy.  Later that year, I ran my first 5K; an attempt to buoy my struggling college student, and entice him with the perk of running through a Disney Park.  (To be honest, it enticed me too!)  I continued racing with Autism Speaks and Special Olympics; two nonprofits that I had personal and deep connections with.  5 half marathons, 1 10-miler, 2 10Ks and 2 5Ks later, I've come to the realization that I am a runner.  What started out as a means of supporting others has turned into a way of life.  And just in time.  I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and now I run for myself.  As with most things in life, when you set out to do good for others, you inevitably end up getting more in return.  Bingo.

On the road forward, I know I need to set a new goal.  I also know I need to build up my general fitness level, continue to restructure my diet and lose weight before I take the next BIG step.  What better way to work towards my next life milestone.  Hold the 60 candles, I'll take my very first marathon medal instead please.  You are on notice runDisney. I'm giving you a couple of years lead time to decide exactly where your next destination marathon will be held.  Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa perhaps?  ALOHA.  Now, that will be a party!