Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MiƩrcoles Sin Palabras- Mayo

The obligatory Mexican hat pose...
An early Cinco de Mayo!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Earth Day

Respect all living creatures- or
"It's Tough to Be a Bug"
(In the interest of conserving energy, this is an 8 second video...)

Focused on the Magic

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 6th stop on our Special runDisney Edition of The Magical Blogorail.

"You can run. You can run. You can run."

Few running enthusiasts will forget the drum roll prior to the official announcement of this inaugural event; Disney sleuths were whipped into a frenzy with the runDisney Facebook mystery challenge- 10 clues that would reveal their newest race before the April 19th, 2011 news conference at Disneyland.  Personally, I knew from the first hint that this exercise would not be my forte:

Game aside, it was quite apparent that Disneyland needed another endurance contest.  Last September's Disneyland Half Marathon reached capacity in record time.  Disney runners coveting the Coast to Coast medal had only one West Coast option.  Building upon the huge success of the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and acknowledging that women are the most rapidly growing population of racers also made perfect sense.  Looking for a feminine yet spunkier attitude, Disney announced its new race, the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, would be held January 27th- 29th, 2012 at the Disneyland Resort.

Sold out in less than 4 months, this Half Marathon would host 12,000 runners (of those, 920 were "Lost Boys"), and the entire weekend welcomed 17,000 participants.  

2012 Itinerary

-   Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo  Friday, January 27th 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
                                                                                    Saturday, Jaunuary 28th  10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Conveniently located in the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, the Expo included Packet Pick-up, health and fitness speakers (including Jeff Galloway and the new runDisney Moms Panelist, Lori Lovell), the runDisney Official Merchandise store, Dooney & Bourke Tinker Bell specialties and the expected running gear bonanza.

-   Never Land Family Fun Run 5K   Friday, January 27th   10:30 pm Start
runDisney's first-ever evening 5K coursed through the Disneyland Resort- beginning at Main Street, U.S.A and ending at Disney California Park.  Each participant was given one Twilight Theme Park Ticket (good for either Disneyland Resort Park) that was valid for one entrance after 4 pm through Monday, January 30th.  Was that a bargain at $99 or what?!

-   Disney Kids' Races    Saturday, January 28th   8:00 am Start
Diaper Dash, Kids' Races (according to age group) and 1 Mile Run.  Children 13 and under enter the appropriate race at the Disney California Adventure Park.

-   Tinker Bell Half Marathon   Sunday, January 29th   5:45 am Start
Kicking off on Disneyland Drive- near Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, and finishing in the Simba Parking Lot, also alongside the hotel.  NOTE:  If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, there is no need to allow extra travel time for buses, as this area is in walking distance from all three of their hotels! 

The Pre-show outside Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel
Corral B!
The 13.1 mile course traversed the Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, the City of Anaheim, and then through Disney California Adventure Park.  Nine beverage stations, offering water and PowerAde, and one refuel stop distributing Cliff Shots were positioned throughout the race.

Charging the castle!!
Fairy Finish!!
While this Half Marathon did offer its spectators ChEAR Squad packages, these reserved viewing locations (outside the AMC 12 Theaters in Downtown Disney and the Finish Line in the Simba Parking Lot) did not include any zones inside either park.

In addition to the usual Disney entertainment and character interactions, I must give a shout out to the City of Anaheim, and its hordes of high school cheerleaders, local marching bands, a military rock band and beautiful young Hawaiian dancers who gave us a much-needed boost through the later miles.  I was so impressed by these young people- they redefined hospitality!  Of course, it should be noted that the well-deserving Anaheim Community Foundation was the Disney appointed charitable beneficiary of this weekend. 

Also of note, was the two-person team category.  These runners each completed the 13.1 race (not as a Relay), and received Commemorative Team Bibs and eligibility for special Team awards.

Registration for the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon started at $120, and for my yardage, was worth every dollar.  Since so many folks are vying for their Coast to Coast Challenge medals, I suggest keeping your focus aimed at the second star to the right.  I'm betting the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon will sell out faster than you can say Pixie Hollow. 

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail is Tips from the Disney Diva.

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~  Disney Babies Blog
2nd Stop~ Adventures of a Disney Princess
3rd Stop~ The Disney FAITHful
4th Stop~  A Disney Mom's Thoughts
5th Stop~ Growing Up Disney
6th Stop~ DIStherapy   (You are here.)
Final Stop~ Tips from the Disney Diva 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The One Year Blogoversary Ride- #UBP12

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Yup- I’m on the other side of 50; a time to take stock and redirect. Using the roller coaster analogy, I am potentially on the other side of the hill.  My mind is immediately drawn to my first serious coaster ride- the Cyclone in Coney Island.  Essentially, the highlight of the ride is the slow ascent up the initial 85 foot hill.  At the precipice of this climb is a post that reads “stay seated”. Gulp.  The steep plunge that follows is a 60 mph drop, and after that, anticlimatic bumps.  Double gulp.  Surely the best that life has to offer is not behind me on that hill.  I’m hoping my next 50 years more closely mirror the Expedition Everest attraction at Walt Disney World; after reaching the top of the mountain, you are thrust backward, in darkness, only to change direction once again, looping twice with twists and turns along the way.   Life should continue to be a wild ride!
This blog will pull the threads of my journey “til now together- a means to share my experiences and loves, build a like-minded community and steel myself for the next drop.  Thanks for the therapy!

That was my first-ever post on :DIStherapy published during last year's Ultimate Blog Party.  Speed ahead one year, and boy, did the therapeutic "powers" of blogging come in handy!  I tried to stay true to my personal mission of pulling the various "tracks" of my life together, despite roadblocks and near-derailments.

My 17 year old son and I were fortunate to be able to travel to Athens, Greece this past June to volunteer at the Special Olympics World Games.  Devin worked with special athletes at the softball venue, and I put my physical therapy training into practice.  I shared Maria Shriver's inspiring message about the "power of one" in The Top 10 Highlights and Lessons From the Special Olympics World Games.

As in talking turkey.  (Not a typo!)  From Athens, we headed for Paris, France, where we proceeded to sample every culinary pleasure in sight.  10 Things Walt Disney World Fans Will Love About Disneyland Paris ticks off those gastromic pleasures (add in our meal at Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower which you see above).  Mais oui!

Yup- I took my 53 year old self and ran my first 5K, then Half Marathon Relay, and finally, my first full Half Marathon for Team Up! Autism Speaks at January's Inaugural Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  I bare my soul (and tutu) at I Won't Grow Up... 53, Tinker Bell and Me

40 Days to 40 Years

20 Days to 20 Years

In the past year, I have been blessed to have met many, many wonderful Disney bloggers.  I have to thank the over 50 bloggers from 11 different countries, who participated in two separate series hosted on my blog;  40 Days to 40 Years and 20 Days to 20 Years.  Talk about sharing the love!  My Disney high point was participating in this year's Disney Mom's Panel Search, and  in reaching the final round.  Boy, you learn quite a bit about yourself when you are in a pool of 30,000 other passionate, talented Disney lovers.  I am so thankful for that experience.

Bring on the G-forces in the year ahead!  Who's with me?!

I'm hoping that one of my readers will win my $50 Disney Gift Card through the Ultimate Blog Party 2012.  Won't you enter to win here?  

The One-Disney Experience- Happy 20th Birthday Disneyland Paris!

Growing pains hurt!  Certainly EuroDisney, now Disneyland Paris felt its share.  If you had tuned into our recent series, 20 Days to 20 Years, you know the history well.

20 Days to 20 Years

My recent post, Disneyland Paris- A Fairy Tale Finally Come True?  summarizes the story, chapter by chapter.  This parks' many ups and downs may rival Rock 'n' Roller Coaster's, but the recent rehabs, refurbishments, new parades and spectacular new state-of-the-art Disney show belie the rocky start.  They also are visible realizations of the "One-Disney Experience" that was announced in February of 2009 by Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  No longer does each Disney Park across the globe operate in isolation; Fantasmic! grows into World of Color, which morphs into Disney Dreams!

World of Color
Disney can now pivot and capitalize more fully on their successes, and can more seamlessly offer guests an experience that they have come to expect.  The holiday lighting of Paris's Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle) was such a hit that it became an international trend at their castles around the world.  Toy Story Mania opened at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Parks simultaneously.  The synchronized on-board audio track of Space Mountain: Mission 2 was the precursor for the remodeled Space Mountain in Disneyland, and so on.

For true Disney fans, this is a magical strategy.  In the 1950's, Walt Disney sought a global viewpoint for his park.  Through his many experiences abroad, he had witnessed the commonality of man.  During our 20 Days to 20 Years series, bloggers from 11 different countries networked together to share our passion for a man and his dream.  A special thanks to our new and familiar international friends is required:  Designing DisneyMandas Disney BlogEuro SouvenirlandThe Brit TravelerDedicated to DLPphotosmagiquesThe CanaDisney Blog@DisneyNineDVDisney Fan, and Disneygraphy.

We have proven it once again.  You guessed it- it's a small world after all...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Adventure

Yup- an adventure just for kids!

Focused on the Magic

Magical Blogorail Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower

Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels, and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail!

Long after the diapers have been banished to the Genie, and the Piglet onesies no longer snap closed, it is A. A. Milne's gift of inspiration that will grow with baby.  Ironically, it is the lovable bear of very little brain that provides simple words of wisdom for life.  And that is a Pinterest present every parent of a little Roo will cherish...

                                                                                              Source: bit.ly via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                           Source: Uploaded by user via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                      Source: justalittlenote.posterous.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                                   Source: themombot.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                   Source: disneyandquotes.tumblr.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                                     Source: bit.ly via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                                     Source: google.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                               Source: etsy.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                                              Source: google.com via Didi on Pinterest

                                                                               Source: wanelo.com via Didi on Pinterest

Thank you for joining us for our virtual Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower.  If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

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 ~ Invitations - Pursuing the Magic
2nd Stop ~ Decorations and Gift Ideas - Disney Donna Kay
3rd Stop ~  Winnie the Pooh Cakes - Growing Up Disney
4th Stop ~ Drinks and Snacks - Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane
5th Stop ~ Party Favors - Disney on Wheels
Final Stop ~ Pooh’s Inspirational Thoughts -DISTherapy

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Walt Disney's Land- Main Street, U.S.A.

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Yellow.  Enjoy the ride as we share with you our favorite Magic Kingdom land, and our favorite attraction in that land.

I tried, I really did.  In my mind, I ping-ponged between the 5 conventional lands at the Disney Parks; Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  How could I possibly choose a number one?   Worse yet, how could I ever select a favorite attraction??  I'm weak, indecisive.  I love them all too much!  In my mind, I walked through each area of the park; across the pathways and along the Rivers of America.  And then it hit me, of course.  Where does the magic first appear?  When are you introduced to the electricity?  By design, Walt's "show" begins when you submit your ticket.  The opening curtain (the dark tunnel passage under the Railroad Station) blocks your view until the very last minute.

Curtain up!
As you step through the underpass, you are now in the theater; Main Street, U.S.A. is revealed and your new adventure begins.  The familiar aroma of freshly popped popcorn is your greeting. You walk along the "red carpet" under foot and read the opening credits on the windows above; most folks know that the names painted on the buildings represent the Imagineers and others who helped create the park.  (In Disneyland, there is a window above the Main Street Emporium honoring Elias Disney, Walt's father and inspirational force.)

Main Street Emporium Walt Disney World
The setting culminates in the star of the show- the "weenie" that mesmerizes and pulls you forward, or the Disney castle.

Notice that red carpet?
Metaphors aside, Main Street U.S.A. is "America at the turn of the century- the crossroads of an era.  The gas lamps and the electric lamps, the horse-drawn car and the auto car.  Main Street is everyone's hometown... the heartland of America."  (Walt Disney)  Whether modeled after Walt's beloved Marceline, designer Harper Goff's Fort Collins, Colorado or your neck of the woods, it is a slice of Americana; "For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories.  For younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of their grandfather's youth."  (Walt Disney 1955)

Walt Disney World's Town Square

From Town Square, with its City Hall and Fire Station, to the Harmony Barber Shop, souvenir emporiums and eateries, this area of the park sets the mood for your day.  You are transported to a time and place that is distinctly different from that you are most used to.  You can feel that the possibilities are endless!

Disneyland Fire Department
But it is not just a pretty face- there is entertainment galore in this 2 block piece of real estate: The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet, the Mayor of Main Street, character greetings, daily Flag Retreat ceremony, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and daily parades.

The many and varied Main Street Vehicles get you where you are going, but not without a loooong look-see along the way.  And THAT is my favorite attraction in this land- people watching.  And the best way to accomplish that in my book?  Over a good meal, at a table with a view.  While the outdoor tables at Tony's Town Square are a nice option, my absolute favorite at-the-curb hot spot is the Carnation Cafe in Disneyland.

Disneyland's Carnation Cafe

NOTHING beats having breakfast outside here, while pouring over your park maps and the endless magical possibilities ahead.  Nothing.

Main Street, U.S.A.- where the promise of a new day meets  the bittersweet "'til we meet again".  It is the sixth Land in a Disney Park and my personal favorite.  Walt walks here.

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Delightfully 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 ~ DISTherapy  (You are here!)
2nd Stop ~ Delightfully Disney
4th Stop ~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
5th Stop ~ Return to Disney

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Hats, Caps, Bonnets & Bows

"Balloon Man" at Narcoossee's

"Star Wars" Hat...

Mickey & Minnie "Heart"

Focused on the Magic