Having Adventures in the Great Wide, Somewhere…

Two posts in two days?! I am spoiling you guys 😉

But I did promise to share some of my fun adventures that I’ve had so far on my program, and I always keep my promises.

So, without further ado, it’s time for DCP Adventures with The Theme Park Princess ❤

1) My coworkers are some of the most amazing women I have ever met, and I LOVE spending time with them. About a month ago, six of us (plus a few other people) went to breakfast at Trails End, located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge and Campground. Trails End is a country themed restaurant that offers an all you can eat breakfast buffet (so delicious and SO worth it!). This breakfast was the first time we all really got to know each other, and we bonded over good food, funny stories and our ever present awkwardness. To say we’ve been inseparable ever since would be an understatement; not only do I see them all the time at work, but we also have a ton of ‘WOD Squad’ dates and sleepovers. I can’t get enough of these girls! That was the day I realized I had made friends for life, and I will be so sad to see the majority of them leave in May 😦

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2) You would think that because I am beyond obsessed with Disney, an annual pass holder AND a cast member that I would have gone to every Disney park in Orlando. Oddly enough…you would be wrong! Up until a few weeks ago, I had NEVER been to a Disney water park! Luckily, my roommate and I changed that and we went to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon! I’ve only ever been to one other water park, and it’s a very small one right by my house in Naples, Fla., so it really doesn’t compare. But I loved every minute of being at Typhoon! I loved the wave pool (even though I got knocked down every time), I loved all of the water coasters and the lazy river was SO relaxing! The great thing about the water park is that you can get a lot done in a short amount of time and still have the rest of the day to do other things, like visit Downtown Disney 😉 If you’ve never visited a Disney water park, I highly suggest making that part of your next trip! Now I just have to conquer Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach!

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3) Aside from my obvious love for theme parks, I also love baseball! I grew up going to Yankees games and when I moved down here to Florida, I obviously stopped going as frequently. Last week, I went to my first baseball game in about two years, and seeing my team play in the most magical place on earth was a wonderful experience! The next day I went to yet another baseball game, this time it was the Braves against the Marlins, and while I’m not a fan of either team, I just love watching the sport and being with my friends. We also went to Hollywood Studios that night (after a much needed nap), and I got to experience my friend riding all the major attractions for the first time. I love watching someone’s face the first time you drop on Tower of Terror, or when you get launched on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Baseball and Disney are two of my favorite things, so the fact that I got to combine both over the course of two days was truly magical. (Plus, I got to see my roommate hard at work since she works at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!)

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These are just a few of my favorite adventures so far, so I promise to have another post in the near future! But none of these amazing experiences would’ve been possible without the wonderful group of people featured in this post, so a huge thank you to Katherine, Katie, Erin, Denning, Abby, Deanna, Tyler, Ryan and Jake for making my program as fun as it has been. You guys are the best.

Here’s to many more memories to be made at the most magical place on earth! ❤

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Adventure Is Out There

I’d like to start by apologizing for being so MIA since I moved to Orlando to participate in the Disney College Program, but I am about to make up for it right now!

I did begin my program on the 19th of January, and it has been a challenging, but highly rewarding, experience thus far. I am living in Chatham Square with four lovely roommates and I am working merchandise at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney, which is the largest Disney store in the world.

*pauses for dramatic effect*

My work location has been the most challenging part so far, mainly because the store is composed of 11 rooms. This means that I have had A LOT to learn, and you only get about a week of training (or, really, four-five days). I will be the first to admit that I had a hard time the weeks following my first initial week (where you go through Casting, Traditions, and get a feel for everything before you start on the job training) trying to find my place and I wondered if I had made the right decision in coming here. I felt overwhelmed from all of the training plus trying to keep up with my classes, and I felt excluded because my hours at work differed from all of my roommate’s hours, so I barely saw them.

But then something happened:

I remembered I am at Walt Disney World completing an internship that thousands of college students around the world would give up anything to do.

I started to find the positives at work, whether it be interacting with more guests or reaching out to and getting to know more coworkers. In fact, some of the best times I’ve had here so far have been with my coworkers.  Even on days when it’s not that great, I know that there are four magnificent parks waiting for me on the days that I’m off, and that alone makes the experience worth it.

This adventure I am on is one I was meant to take, and I am sure of that. The lessons that I am learning and the experiences I am having are going to shape who I am and help me become the best version of myself.

Is it scary? Absolutely.

Is it tiring? Of course.

Can it be frustrating at times? Yes.

But the friendships I am making, the magical moments I am having and am able to create…they make it all worth it. I mean, where else in the world can I go casually visit Magic Kingdom before work or have breakfast with the Fab Five?

Adventure is out there, you just have to go for it and don’t look back ❤

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*I will do a post about some of the fun things I’ve done since I’ve gotten here soon, and if anyone has any questions about the DCP I can do a question/answer post too, just let me know!*

Disney Update!

Walt Disney World has certainly been the center of attention lately, hasn’t it?

It’s easy to miss something when it feels like an announcement is coming every few days!

So here is your Disney Update Cheat Sheet!

1) Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has begun at the Magic Kingdom!

On select nights from now through Dec. 19, Magic Kingdom will transform into a winter wonderland from 7:00 PM to midnight for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Guests will be able to meet their favorite Disney characters dressed in their wintery best (including, for the first time, Sandy Claws!), watch Elsa, along with Anna, Kristoff and Olaf, cast an icy glow on Cinderella Castle during A Frozen Holiday Wish, wave to Disney friends as they pass by in Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, see the sky explode into glorious colors during Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies while they walk down a snowy Main Street! This is my favorite time of the year and my favorite hard ticket event at Disney, so make sure to check it out! I’ll be going on Monday, so be on the lookout for a post and if you see me, say hi!

2) The Sorcerer’s Hat in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Will Be Removed in Early 2015

No, this is not a rumor. Disney has announced that the Sorcerer’s Hat, placed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2001, will be removed in early 2015. I can’t tell you how many people didn’t know this was happening or thought it was a rumor, but it isn’t. Personally, I’ll be sad to see it go since I’ve only ever known DHS with the iconic hat, but I’m sure whatever Disney has planned will blow us away!

3) Maelstrom, Studio Backlot Tour, and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Have All Closed

Maelstrom and Studio Backlot Tour both closed a few weeks ago, but you’d be surprised how many people are still unaware of that! The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, in Disney’s Hollywood Studio, closed Thursday. It’s unknown on what will replace this, but seeing as it is right next to Pixar Place, one could speculate that Disney is gearing up to expand the area that houses Toy Story Midway Mania. At least, that’s what this girl is hoping for!

4) Toy Story 4 Is Coming To A Theatre Near You in 2017

Toy Story fans, get ready to continue the adventure with your favorite toys because they’re coming back! John Lasseter, the director of Toy Story 1 and 2, will be directing the 4th installment, which is slated to be released in June of 2017, seven years after Toy Story 3 was released. Now, I admit I was a little upset when I first heard that a fourth movie was being made because I thought, like many other people did, that Toy Story 3 ended the trilogy PERFECTLY. However, after reading several interviews with John Lasseter in various articles, it’s clear to me that these movies meant just as much to him as they did to the fans. I have faith that this movie will wow us. (But Toy Story 3 was still the perfect ending.)

5) Big Hero 6 Is Now In Theatres!

Big Hero 6, the newest movie from the brilliant minds at Walt Disney Animation Studios, is finally out in theatres! I’ve heard EXCELLENT reviews, some claiming that this is the best animated movie Disney has ever put out! This is actually the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel characters, so Marvel fans will be pleased! I can’t wait to go see the movie. If you’ve seen it, did you like it?! Let me know in the comments below!

6) The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Is Getting A Little…Frozen

The coast-to-coast Christmas Day Parade, hosted by the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, is getting a new name: Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration!

If you’re a fan of the popular film, this is exciting news! If you’re absolutely over the hype, this is upsetting to you. All I can say is this–Frozen is popular and is a film that transcends age, which is not something every film can accomplish. At the end of the day, Disney is still a business, and they have to capitalize on what brings in the most money, the most views, the most people. When was the last time a movie made THIS big of a splash? While I know it’s upsetting to see Frozen taking over a lot of things, I don’t think they’re sacrificing the magic of Disney in any way. People LOVE meeting Anna and Elsa in Princess Fairytale Hall; they love to sing along to movies from the film in ‘For The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Celebration’; they still get excited to see the sisters during Festival of Fantasy. In fact, Frozen merchandise is STILL selling like hotcakes. It’s more popular now then when it was first released, and if people didn’t love it as much as they do, Disney wouldn’t continue to build on the excitement.

I personally love the film. I loved Frozen Summer Fun, I still go to the sing along, I still wait in line to meet the princesses, and I’m BEYOND excited to see them during MVMCP lighting the castle! I don’t agree with taking out Maelstrom to replace it with a Frozen inspired ride, but otherwise, I’m excited to see what else they come up with. Let the storm rage on, right?

If you know of any other huge Disney updates, tell me in the comments so I can add to this list!

Are you excited about the changes?

Which change is the most exciting/most upsetting to you?

30 Day Challenge in 3 minutes

Do you ever see those 30 day challenges and think to yourself, “I am so going to do that next month!”?

I do. And then I never make it past the first week or two.

So, instead, I’m going to do a 30 day challenge in about three minutes. It’ll be a fun, quirky post and a good way for you all to get to know my #disneyside ❤

Let me know if we share any favorites!

*Side Note: I am REALLY bad at picking favorites….so honestly…I may have anywhere from 1-5 favorites. Bear with me. It’s hard.*

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1. Favorite Character- Buzz Lightyear (but I also love Elsa–but she’s a queen, so she gets her own category. Oh, I also love Marie from The Arisocats.)

2. Favorite Princess Aurora (although I think Anna may be become my new favorite–we are SO similar. Oh wait, also love Rapunzel)

3. Favorite Heroine Anna, hands down

4. Favorite Prince- Philip

5. Favorite Hero- Hercules

6. Favorite Animal- Pegasus

7. Favorite Sidekick- Olaf ❤

8. Favorite Villain- Maleficent

9. Favorite Original Character- Mickey Mouse

10. Favorite SongOkay. I have a few. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” “Let It Go,” “When Will My Life Begin” and “Go The Distance.”

11. Favorite Love Song“I Won’t Say I’m In Love” and “See The Light”

12. Favorite Villain Song- “Poor Unfortunate Soul”

13. Least Favorite Song- Honestly, anything Snow White sings. I can’t stand her voice. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

14. Favorite Kiss- Belle and the Beast after his transformation

15. First Movie You Saw- I THINK it was The Lion King? I know I was obsessed with it when I was younger!

16. Favorite Classic- This is WAY too hard. I love Sleeping Beauty (as a classic princess movie), but I also love Toy Story, which I totally consider a classic.

17. Least Favorite Classic- Pinocchio. I dislike this movie so much.

18. Favorite Pixar Film- Toy Story, but also Monster’s Inc. LOVE THEM.

19. Least Favorite Pixar Film- Probably Cars

20. Favorite SequelThe entire Toy Story trilogy. So well done. Love it.

21. Overrated Movie- Cars, and Tarzan.

22. Underrated Movie- The Aristocats. Can we give some love to this movie, please?

23. Movie That Makes You Laugh- Monsters University

24. Movie That Makes You Cry- Oh. My. God. Toy Story 3. If you didn’t cry…are you even human…?

25. Favorite Scene From Your Favorite Movie- I have a lot of favorite movies, but…my favorite scene is the lantern scene from Tangled. It makes my heart so incredibly happy.

26. Saddest Death- Oh gosh. There’s so many…but probably Mufasa.

27. Favorite Quote“They say if you dream a thing more than once it’s sure to come true.” ❤

28. Favorite Theme Park- Magic Kingdom

29. Favorite Theme Park Attraction- Yeah…and here we come to a problem. I have a lot. Space Mountain, Test Track, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania. (I know, I have two for Hollywood Studios. But I love them both SO much.)

30. Favorite Theme Park ShowIf it’s a nighttime show, Wishes. If it’s just an entertainment show, probably Finding Nemo the Musical at DAK, or Festival of The Lion King.

Are you going to take the challenge? What are your favorites?

l Am On My Way; I Can Go The Distance

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way–implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney.

To piggyback off of Walt, I would like to begin by saying that believing in yourself, first and foremost, is one of the most important things you will ever do in life. Believing in yourself opens up so many doors that will lead you down new and exciting paths, and those paths will help shape who you become.

Truthfully, I have always struggled with my self esteem. Some days I feel on top of the world, and other days I feel like there’s the ground, 50 feet of dirt, and then me.

However, and this may sound silly, finding my dream has helped me feel better about myself. Having a dream gives me a sense of purpose, and having a sense of purpose makes me feel…important.

I’ve mentioned my dream briefly a few times, but to refresh your memory, I would ultimately love to work in social media/communications department for Walt Disney World. I very much enjoy interacting with people on social media platforms and figuring out how to use the platforms to my advantage.

With this in mind, I decided to apply to the Disney College Program. Yes, I am aware that I won’t gain experience in social media this way, but I am also aware of the fact that many cast members started their career with Disney by doing the program.

And, honestly, the magic starts in the parks. So why wouldn’t I want to begin my journey there?

After a web-based interview, a phone interview, and a month and three days of waiting, I finally got the email I had been waiting and wishing for:

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On Sept 29, I was accepted into the Disney College Program for the Spring 2015 semester. My role is Merchandise, and I am so beyond excited!

I, of course, accepted my offer, and will be participating in the program from Jan. 19 until May 15. I am ready to earn my ears, network, make new friends and learn about the history of my favorite place on this earth.

I will probably post on here periodically to document my journey, so I hope you will all follow along!

*If anyone would like a separate post on the application process from applying to accepted/not accepted, please let me know and I can do that!*

I am FINALLY on my way, and I am going the distance! I can’t wait for this new chapter in my life to begin!

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A True Disney Delight

The gates open and the crowds rush in; the smiling faces of cast members fill the sidewalks along Main Street; the castle gleams and glistens in the sunlight; the whimsical music invites guests to ‘leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” For Giana Beverly Austin, this is just another day at the office in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Austin is a 17-year-old who has been going to Disney since she was three months old. She credits her parents for instilling a love for Disney inside of her, and that love grows stronger every time she visits.

“[I love] how it feels seeing the castle for the first time ever, or that day,” Austin said. “How you can’t help but want to dance to the music piped through the parks; how you can always get emotional meeting Mickey Mouse or twirling with your favorite princess; how you can be a kid again, no matter if you are 2 or 202.”

Recently, she has taken that love and combined it with her other true love–photography.

“I have always been passionate about photography and Disney World,” Austin said. “So once I realized I could combine the two, at the beginning of the year, I was just the happiest.”

At the beginning of March, Austin started an Instagram account called ‘Disney World Delights’ where she could post pictures she took while at Disney. Much to her surprise, the account skyrocketed. She now has 10,000 followers and receives anywhere from 300-500+ likes on a single picture.

To me, that’s A LOT.

Not only has this young (only 17, remember that), up and coming photographer made a name for herself, she has also managed to grab the attention of many cast members that she takes pictures of.

“It started out with some wanting to thank me for my photos by meeting up on their breaks to buy me coffee or have lunch,” Austin said. “I am still shocked and amazed at what it has now turned into.”

Her cast member connections even tell their managers about her.

“Their managers watch my page and review some of my friends on their character performances by my videos and photos, which is an honor and also a tad nerve-wracking,” Austin said.

On top of being friends with so many cast members, which is something I am just slightly jealous about on the down low, she’s also made some very close friends through this account, one of them being a young woman named Meghan Mueller.

“I originally followed Giana on Instagram and loved her pictures,” Mueller said. “A few weeks after we originally met [at Magic Kingdom], we would see each other around the park and we began to spend more time together. By the end of the summer, we were spending the entire afternoon and night together! Now, we are extremely close friends and we talk almost every day.”

A beautiful friendship tied together with magic and pixie dust. I love it.

Interestingly enough, Austin does not live in the Orlando area. No, this determined photographer makes the four-hour trip to Disney twice a week so she can get her dose of magic and new content to keep her page fresh and up-to-date. However, it has proven to be a challenge.

“Driving four hours, twice a week, is expensive and tiring,” Austin said. “It’s certainly been an obstacle, but it has not gotten in the way of doing what I love!”

Because Austin does visit the kingdom twice a week, she has developed a precise schedule, which makes her giggle when she thinks about it.

“I normally get there at 10 sharp where I proceed to watch the 10:10 trolley show, followed by 10:35 castle show. Then the Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it street party starts at 11 that I never miss. Usually after that, I go see Alice. After I visit her, I get Starbucks and I sit at the Tomorrowland Terrace. I bring my computer so I can edit photos right there. It’s the best to be able to work with a view of the castle!

“I catch the 12:30 street party and then roam for photos until the 2:05 castle show, which is my favorite show time of the day to watch for some reason! After that it’s straight to Frontierland to wait for Festival of Fantasy, which I proceed to watch twice by running to the end of Main Street! After the parade, I grab more coffee and attempt a 10 minute nap at the Terrace while I wait for some friends to clock out from the parade where we sit and hang out. [This is] one of my favorite parts of the day, getting to see my lovely friends and relax for a while!

“I catch 4:55 Hoedown, 5:15 castle show and then 5:40 street party. And after the last street party, from 6-8:30 I attempt to eat something, go visit characters for photos and then by 9 I have a spot for DEP [Disney’s Electrical Parade]. 10 is Wishes, and 11 is usually the second DEP where I do not take photos. I just stand and wave and be silly to some friends. It’s the most magical way to end a busy and fun day!”

There was no way for me to accurately describe a day in the life of Giana better than she did, so I had to give you her entire answer.

Quite a day, huh?

I bet you can’t guess how many photos this girl goes home with at night. Hint–it’s A LOT.

“In a single day of shooting at Disney, I normally come home with about 2,000 photos,” Austin said.

Yes. 2,000 photos. And she goes twice a week, so make that 4,000 photos.

And then comes the editing process.

“I spend 20 minutes on each photo. And with over 2,000 to go through, well, you do the math! (If I could put emoji’s, I would’ve inserted the laughing-crying one),” Austin said.

Is she not the cutest?

But even though the rest of us think she’s awesome and incredibly talented, Austin still doesn’t really get it. She is incredibly modest and humble, and even that is an understatement.

“I minimally have 10 people a day stop me in the parks to tell me they love my photography and normally they ask for a selfie,” Austin said.  “I question if they have the right person because to me, I’m a dorky, weird-looking ‘nobody’, why do they want a photo with ME?!”

But don’t worry–even though she is modest, Austin is incredibly grateful for all of the support and kind words she receives.

“I gush and tell them they made my day because they DO!” Austin said.  “It never fails to make me smile when someone goes out of their way to approach me and spread kindness.”

But the most rewarding part of what she does?

“The friendships alone are the most amazing payment I could’ve ever dreamed of,” Austin said. “And seeing the genuine smiles from people when they see a photo they love..it is unreal how rewarding that feels.”

Mueller is proof that Austin holds her friends close to her and values their presence. She recalls the last time they saw each other this summer, which just so happens to be one of her favorite memories.

“I had bought a Mickey balloon and wanted my picture with it in front of the castle,” Mueller said. “I handed her my phone and asked her to take a picture for me, which she did, but then she grabbed her camera and said, ‘Let me take some on my camera so you can have some good ones too!'”

“It’s nothing glamorous, but it’s one of those little moments that I absolutely love.”

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I don’t know, these seem pretty glamorous to me! ❤

Because Austin is only 17, it’s safe to say she has her whole life, and photography career, ahead of her. However, as Cinderella would say, they cannot order her to stop dreaming, and she is excited to see where her life takes her.

“I would love for Disney to hire me as an official park photographer, which is a huge dream right there! But as for right now…I am so happy and content with where I am. Things can only go up from here!”

You can follow Giana Beverly Austin on Instagram at ‘DisneyWorldDelights’ and on Twitter here.

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Having a Moment

Do you ever wake up and realize you’re three days away from turning 21?!

No? Okay, maybe it’s just me.

I’m currently having a moment. Growing up is scary–really scary. But that’s why I’m spending my 21st birthday in Walt Disney World, because not only is it my happy place, but it has no age limit.

Since I leave Thursday for my magical weekend, I decided to share one of my favorite Disney moments with all of you. Who doesn’t love to hear about magical moments?!

Here goes:

I am a Disney Princess. I may not be an official one, but I’m totally an honorary one. However, as much as I love princess interactions, I was so excited to meet Mickey Mouse, for the first time, during my last trip to Disney. Everyone remembers the first time they met the mouse that started it all, and I made it a priority to meet him.

My family, boyfriend and I were walking through Epcot and were passing the Epcot Character Spot. The wait time said five minutes, so we decided to head inside because really, who can resist such a small wait time? We had NO idea what character(s) we were going to meet, which only increased the anticipation. I didn’t have an autograph book, but I had a fanny pack my boyfriend had bought for me with a Mickey Mouse stitched on it by my mom. I whipped out my sharpie as we rounded the corner, and I gasped as I saw who we were in line to meet: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy.

I completely freaked out. I was about to meet the big cheese, the boss man himself. When it was our turn, Mickey hugged each of us, joked around with my boyfriend and dad, and took a picture with us. When we got back in line to continue meeting the rest of the characters, I realized I hadn’t gotten him to sign my fanny pack. My mom flagged him over, and he LEFT his meeting spot and came to us in line. He happily took my fanny pack and the sharpie, signed the entire front of my fanny pack, handed it back to me and hugged me. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t crying right now thinking back to that moment.

You can say that it’s childish and silly, but to me it’s a memory I will cherish forever. One day I hope to be a Cast Member, and I can’t wait for the day that I can call him my new ‘boss.’

Okay. NOW I’m excited for my birthday. Let the magical festivities begin!

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Do you remember the first time you met Mickey Mouse?

What has been your favorite character interaction?

Big Summer Blowout Indeed!

Can I, just, say something crazy?!

(I hope you love crazy!)

Disney is giving you the chance to ‘finally do what frozen things do in summer’ starting July 5 when “Frozen Summer Fun–Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios” debuts!

This summer-long event, beginning on July 5 and ending on September 1, gives guests the chance to experience the world of “Frozen” in a way they’ve only dreamed about–until now.

Here’s a list of the cool events and experiences you can partake in if you’re heading to DHS this summer:

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome– Everyday at 11:00 a.m., your favorite royal sisters will make their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh, greeting guests along the way! Kristoff will be there, too, along with various ice skaters, skiers, and more. Once Anna and Elsa reach the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, they will officially welcome their royal friends to ‘Hollywoodland.’

Olaf on Summer Vacation– Oh the sky will be blue, and hopefully you’ll be there, too! Olaf is finally letting off steam and enjoying his very first summer vacation, and you’re invited to join in the fun! Pick up a Take-Along Olaf from various locations throughout the park (TBA) so he can be part of your summer adventures during your day at DHS. Don’t forget to snap some photos and upload them to your social media sites using the hashtag #OlafSummerVacation. You may even see your pictures displayed later on that night!

For The First Time In Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration–

I mean, it’s crazy.

What?

We finish each others–

LYRICS!

Anna and Elsa invite guests to join them in the Premiere Theatre for a retelling of their kingdom’s history along with sing-along moments from “Frozen.”

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland– Yoohoo! Big Summer Blowout! Soundstage One has been taken over by Oaken and his cousins who have created a frozen funland, just for YOU! Inside you will find cold weather activities, fun photo opportunities, and much more! There’s even a frozen pond where ice skating demonstrations will be held, a “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” play area for children, plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen” inspired foods and beverages.

“Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party– For the first time in forever, I’ll be dancing through the night…at DHS! At 5:30 p.m. each day, a DJ and live band take over the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage to bring you classic and contemporary summer rock ‘n’ roll hits. They’ll even play a medley of “Frozen” songs to get you dancing!

“Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular– Is your day at Disney ever complete without a fireworks show? Mine isn’t, and Disney has prepared for that! At 9:45 p.m. each night, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf will come together on the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to end the day’s festivities. But, of course, the real finale will be the thrilling, and enchanting, fireworks display set to music of “Frozen!”

I will rise like the break of dawn out of my bed to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for “Frozen Summer Fun” this summer! How about you?

Will you guys be there, too?!

Hopefully a trip to the wonderful world of “Frozen” is in your immediate future! ❤

*All information featured in this post can be found on the Disney Parks Blog!*

 

 

 

 

 

Why Disney Reigns Supreme

It’s no secret that I love Walt Disney World. It’s the Most Magical Place On Earth and my favorite place to be. I have dreams about it, talk about it constantly and I am always planning my next trip because I can’t get enough.

But that isn’t why Disney reigns supreme. This is:

Last year, Magic Kingdom saw an estimated 18,588,000 people walk through its gates. Yes, you read that correctly. Over 18 million people visited Magic Kingdom last year, which happened to be the highest theme park attendance rate for 2013.

Isn’t that crazy? Magic Kingdom beat out every other Disney park, including its predecessor, Disneyland, which has many of the same attractions. But have no fear–every Disney park made it onto the Top 20 list of Theme/Amusement Parks in North America. In fact, Disney filled up the first six spots on the list with Magic Kingdom coming in 1st, Disneyland in 2nd, Epcot at Walt Disney World in 3rd, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 4th, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 5th, and Disney’s California Adventure in 6th. When you add up the numbers, an estimated 74,841,000 people visited Disney parks last year. 74,841,000.

And that doesn’t even include Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parks, which ranked 1st and 2nd on the Top 20 List of Water Parks in North America. Typhoon Lagoon had 2,142,000 visitors and Blizzard Beach had 1,968,000.

You may not like Disney. It may not be your favorite theme park to visit, but the numbers don’t lie. People visit Disney parks more than they visit any other amusement park in the country.

But the real question is–why?

I could probably write an extensive essay on why Disney continues to come out on top despite Universal having the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Busch Gardens having thrilling rides and roller coasters. But the answer can be summed up in one sentence:

Disney appeals to and has something for everyone.

Disney is marketed as a theme park for all ages. It’s a place where families can come and enjoy time together–together being the operative word. Many theme/amusement parks cater to an older crowd with thrilling roller coasters and less rides for the entire family to enjoy. This is where Disney comes in to save the day. Disney has several parks that house a variety of shows, rides, and other entertainment that will keep everyone entertained. Even those die-hard Disney haters (yes, some do exist) will find SOMETHING they like.

And, if you thought Disney’s theme park success started and ended here in the United States, you were wrong. Disney reigns supreme throughout the world.

Tokyo Disneyland had 17,213,000 visitors last year, which is more than Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., Tokyo Disney Sea had 14,084,100, Disneyland Park in Paris had 10,430,000 and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris had 4,470,000.

In fact, Disneyland Paris is said to be the most visited attraction in Paris, beating out the very famous Eiffel Tower. That. Is. Crazy.

And if you’re STILL not convinced that Disney reigns supreme, allow me to list just some of the things that The Walt Disney Company owns:

Lucasfilm (aka STAR WARS)

Pixar Animation Studios (Responsible for many movie favorites, such as Up, Wall-E, and Toy Story)

Disney-ABC Television Group

ABC Family (How many of you love Pretty Little Liars?)

A&E

ESPN (Hello, sports fans.)

Marvel Entertainment (Hello, Avengers fans.)

Disney Interactive Media Group

I could keep going, but the entire list is long and in depth. Plus, I think you see where I’m going with this.

I love Disney because the magic in the parks translates to EVERYTHING they do outside of them. Even if Disney isn’t your favorite place to visit, I guarantee at least one of your favorite things has a little bit of pixie dust sprinkled on it.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the short version (yes, this could be longer!) of why Disney reigns supreme ❤

 

*The theme park attendance figures mentioned in this post can be found here, and a list of Disney’s assets can be found here.*

 

Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put Me In Summer And I’ll Be A…

…HAPPY PRINCESS!

Hello friends, and welcome to my blog!

Also…

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!

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Somewhere in Arendelle, Olaf is a VERY happy snowman!

It’s only fitting that my very first post should be about how today is the first day of summer, because summer means no school, no homework and having PLENTY of time to visit theme parks!

Living in Florida gives me access to some of the best theme parks in the country–Walt Disney World, Universal, and Busch Gardens. Even though I can visit these parks whenever I want during the rest of the year, it’s easier to go during the summer because I don’t have to worry about missing class or having to get an assignment done!

This summer is especially exciting because in just 17 days, Universal Studios Florida will officially open the Wizarding World of Harry Potter–Diagon Alley!

Diagon Alley comes four years after the initial grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter–Hogsmeade, which opened on June 18th, 2010 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This ‘world’ features the famous Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which houses the very popular Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. You can also have a Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, get a wand at Ollivander’s and stock up on Chocolate Frogs at Honeydukes!

Diagon Alley promises to be just as, if not more, amazing as Hogsmeade. You will be able to dine at the Leaky Cauldron, make your way down Knockturn Alley, and go on an adventure in Gringotts on the new ride Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts.

Is this not every Harry Potter fan’s dream come true?!

But it gets even better. Universal also brings the Hogwarts Express to life this summer, giving guests who have a park-to-park ticket or an annual pass the opportunity to travel between the two ‘worlds’ and experience the ride of a lifetime. When you enter the train station at Hogsmeade, you even get to walk through the wall to get to Platform 9 3/4 😉

This summer also brings us a completed New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World thanks to the addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which opened on May 28th, 2014.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family friendly coaster that brings you swinging cars, advanced audio-animatronics, and your favorite seven dwarfs! You even get a glimpse of the dwarfs dancing with Snow White in their cottage at the end of ride–and the Evil Queen lurking outside.

We can also expect to see Falcon’s Fury: The Ride open some time this summer at Busch Gardens Tampa. This freestanding drop tower stands at 335 feet, making it the tallest freestanding drop tower in the country. If that wasn’t scary enough, you pivot 90 degrees before the big drop so that you plummet 60 mph to the ground–face down.

If you’re heading to Florida this summer, there are SO many new things to experience. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen to protect you from the sun, a poncho to protect you from the daily showers, and your sense of adventure.

Happy Summer, theme park goers! ❤

Where are you headed this summer? Let me know in the comments!