Many of us watched stunned as we heard Lucy scream, “I don’t want to go to Disney World”, as she suffered through a torturous experience with TSA. If you are not familiar with this incident please see LUCY’S ORDEAL, but be warned it will tear at your heart strings. I know my anger would boil with this mistreatment but to hear my child say they didn’t want to go to Disney World, well, that would bring out my fighting side. In situations like this I am usually careful at pointing fault with the screeners, but the TSA did admit responsibility and heavily apologized. However, there is a line between doing your job and being mean. Yes, this story has a happy ending, Lucy did go to Disney World, and she did get photographed with Mickey. Disney magic comes through once again!
How far have we come? It’s been almost 50 years since his “I have a dream” speech, yet I find myself, on the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, asking: How far have we come?
It is safe to say that the strides against racial intolerance have improved. Inequality in many forms is far from obliterated in our society, but the days of the ridiculous “separate but equal” (and the akin “don’t ask don’t tell”) are gone. It’s difficult to say that the undoing of a senseless law is progress, but there you have it. The United States got off to an unusual start. Truly it was a conglomeration of nationalities…but friction was nearly inevitable when everyone tried to scrape their way to the top, fight for power and autonomy and, in general, make a life. A nation built on freedoms? Well, with all due respect, I suppose that depends on whose perspective you’re viewing.
There was a young maiden who relaxed in her family room, surrounded by sisters and parents and domesticated canines, to laugh, to cry…to watch prime time T.V.
Ok, not the Fairy Tale you expected? This is my own 1980’s version. I reflect fondly on the days when whole families would come together to watch sitcoms. Nowadays, television seems to be primarily “adult” or “child” with no real middle ground…or “meeting” ground. Now, I happen to be a die-hard Phineas and Ferb fan, but lets face it, the days of real gather-together-TV seem to have gone out with the last season of the Cosby Show. Perhaps it’s because families don’t have time to sit down together at 8pm. Mark has football practice and Brittney has Gymnastics and dinner is consumed on the road between the two! Believe me…I know! A girl can wish though, can’t she?
photo credit: Ami B-E
Person #1: My life is so stressful! I have 4 kids, a dog, the laundry pile in my home has now been deemed the 8th wonder of the world and called Mt. Washmore. This wouldn’t be so bad except that my back is killing me all the time!
Person #2: Tell me about it! My 5 kids drive me crazy! My 4 cats have taken it upon themselves to rip my house to shreds. I can’t keep up with anything anymore! I need a nap!
Somewhere along the way, I think the story has been rewritten. I’m guilty of it too. I remember being a sanctimonious college student, all up on my feminist haunches. “Cinderella Ruined my Life” was the title of an article I once wrote for my school newspaper. I wish I still had a copy of that article…maybe. Though I’d probably cringe through the whole thing. Cindy gets a bad rap for being this girl who waits to be saved by some guy. But that really isn’t the story at all! Now don’t go getting your undies in a wad! Just like the bra–burning epidemic of the 70’s, sometimes it’s all about perspective.
One of my most beloved attractions in Disney World- Magic Kingdom specifically- sits in the center of Fantasyland. Mickey’s Philharmagic is an attraction full of intrigue and adventure. It is loosely based on the most popular scene from Fantasia in which Mickey “borrows” the blue sorcerer hat. Philharmagic portrays Donald Duck as the sneaky one this time, as the 3D film depicts Donald chasing the hat and taking you with him through some of the most exciting scenes within Disney Animation.
Photo Credit: Molly Beckley
This Neurotic Disney Family is currently 10 days away from their much awaited vacation to Walt Disney World. The kids and I are completely brimming with excitement and yesterday the husband even quipped, “We’re 11 days away. I’m actually pretty excited.” Swoon! What music to a Neurotic Disney Mom’s ears! I have reached the end of my months of planning the annual journey to my homeland, and I am currently in the final stage. Packing. This is the 4th time I as an adult have packed for a weeklong vacation to Walt Disney World. The first time it was just me and my husband on our honeymoon. The last two times it was for my family of 4. The new addition of our little princess came in January so this is the first time I will be packing for a family of five, including three children under the age of 5, two of whom are still in diapers, and one on a baby food diet. This can be quite an overwhelming task unless you attack it with complete organization and the realization that you might not sleep much the night before you leave. This doesn’t bother me much as I know I can catch a nap while sitting in The Hall of Presidents. So here are a couple tricks of the trade I have picked up over the years that help packing go a bit smoother!
Also posted in Advice, Children, Disney Driven Life, Home Photos, Lifestyle, Parents, Planning, Travel Tips, True Confessions of a Neurotic Disney Mom, Vacation Tagged amateur, attack, Avery mailing address labels, baby food, baby wash, band-aids, Bins, Children, clothing, collection, conditioner, diapers, Disney, Disney Lifestyle, ear hats, excitement, family, family size, garage, homeland, honeymoons, hotel room, husband, invest, Journey, L.L. Bean, labels, lotion, make-up, Mickey, Neurotic Disney Family, Neurotic Disney Mom, organization, overwhelming, Packing Disney Style, Personal Organizer, personalize, pin necklaces, pirate, Pirate and Pals Fireworks Cruise, Pirate's League, plane, planning, ponchos, princess, shirts, shop, sleep, swooning, The Hall of Presidents, tips, toiletries, Toys, tricks, Vacation, Walt Disney World, zip lock bags
Photo Credit: Molly Beckley
My three previous trips to Walt Disney World as an adult have been planned completely by myself with the exception of my foodie husband usually picking out the places in which we will dine. For this year’s trip, I got the added bonus of my son being old enough to have a lot to say about what he wants to do in Walt Disney World this year!
Here is your Disney Dozen for the things my almost 5-year-old Neurotic Disney Kid, must do on his trip to Walt Disney World this year, in his own words.
Also posted in Advice, Children, Disney Driven Life, Kids' Viewpoint, Lifestyle, Parents, Travel Tips, Vacation Tagged adult, Adventureland, bonus, dining, Disney Dozen, Disney Lifestyle, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Show, EPCOT, Fantasyland, foodie, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, Hollywood Studios, husband, Kona Cafe, liberty square, Luau, Magic Kingdom, Mexico Pavilion, Molly Beckley, Muppet*Vision 3-D, Muppets, Neurotic Disney Kid, Neurotic Disney Mom, Peter Pan's Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Planning with Little Ones, Polynesian Resort, The Hall of Presidents, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Real Disney Mom, to-do list, Toy Story Mania!, trip, trip planning, Walt Disney World
Grand Floridian pool
When I close my eyes and think of excellent customer service, very few companies come to mind. Topping that list is the Walt Disney World Resort, which should come as no surprise. From check-in to waiting in line for attractions, Disney cast members are famous for their hospitable nature (or maybe that’s training?). No matter which resort we choose or park we enter, I continue to be dazzled. A recent stay at the Grand Floridian astonished even more!
Fw: [Fwd: FW: Fw: just for you]
If you send this to 20 friends in 15 minutes, you will find $15,000 in your mailbox this week. If you don’t, bad luck will befall on you by three pm tomorrow.
We’ve all received these emails and text messages. I suppose they were created to give unrealistic hope, but usually they just provide guilt- that feeling that makes you want to forward it on because the text says you must. I see the way my 12 year old daughter frets over these messages. She worries that she will hurt the feelings of the one who sent it, but then doesn’t wish to make her other friends feel the way she did when she opened that message. Some of these spark fear with promises of bad luck if the message gets deleted but, for the most part, they are simply nuisances. I wonder if these notes act as a precursor to the more serious ones: The Cyberbully messages.
Photo Credit: Jean Caldora
One of the most important things to remember while planning a Walt Disney World vacation with little ones, is that you must stay organized! If organization is not a priority to you then it is very easy for chaos to ensue and for everything to fall to pieces. If you are a NDM then being organized should come as second nature to you. You plan out your trip down to when you will use the bathroom. You create detailed packing lists and find great joy in checking off each item as it gets stowed away in your Walt Disney World luggage. Then you arrive at your resort, and unpack everything while your NDH takes the NDKs down to the pool. You put everything in it’s exact spot. Then your Neurotic Disney Family bursts back into the room and in 3 seconds flat everything is laying all over the floor. But have no fear! This does not need to happen! Here is the first half of your Disney Dozen for keeping your hotel room as organized, neat, and tidy as the rest of your trip!
Also posted in Advice, Children, Disney Driven Life, Lifestyle, Organization and Plannning, Parents, Planning, Resorts, Travel Tips, Vacation Tagged advice, baggage, Bins, boxes, Children, clothing, collapsible, detail, Disney Dozen, Disney Driven Life, Disney Lifestyle, dollar store, folders, grooming supplies, hampers, hotel room, Ikea, laundry, liquid handsoap, lists, luggage, neat, Neurotic Disney Husband, Neurotic Disney Kids, Neurotic Disney Mom, organization, packing, paper work, parents, planning, plush, pool, potty seat, potty-training, Resorts, scrapbooking, souvenirs, step stool, suitcase, The Real Disney Mom, tidy, tips, toddler, Toys, travel, trip, unpack, Vacation, Walt Disney World, wipes
The scene is poignant. An older man, a hard worker, in a room lit by candlelight, gently snuggled with a small cat, kneels down and looks toward heaven. He desires something created, something that embodies love, something real. The Blue Fairy, in all her wisdom, flies down and proclaims that his own wooden puppet would become a real boy once he embraced certain valuable human characteristics: to be a good boy. She also mentions truth.
Also posted in Advice, Lifestyle Tagged authentic, being sincere, blue fairy, Disney Driven Lifestyle, life, Mulan, Pinocchio, Tangled, truth, Walt Disney
Wouldn’t life be easier if we all had a Jiminy Cricket?
Those tough choices would be answered and we wouldn’t even need to worry over them. The fact is we do all have a conscience. We can listen, but sometimes the message isn’t so clear.
“I only took two pens from the bank. Hey, I’m advertising.”
“That parking spot I snagged even though the lady was waiting with her turn signal on…no big deal. I’m in a hurry.”
photo credit: Ami B-E
To me, and so many Disney fans, the Walt Disney World Resort is like a little piece of heaven on earth. All in good fun, here is a list of “shalls” and “shall nots” when visiting this secular paradise.
- Thou shall not have any vacations before Disney.
- Thou shall not consume a Prime Time peanut butter and jelly milkshake and immediately ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster.
- Thou shall give up a seat on the bus for the elderly, disabled, or a person holding a baby.
- Thou shall not be Grumpy at any point- unless your hat or shirt warns everyone around that you are.
- Thou shall not hold a spot in line until the end and then call up the twenty friends who have been playing in the park while everyone else waits.
- Thou shall stay in a Disney Resort.
- Thou shall honor the memory of Walt Disney by going into “One Man’s Dream” at least once in each trip.
- Thou shall have, at minimum, one popcorn, one Mickey Bar and a Dole Whip while on vacation.
- Thou shall walk slowly down Main St., appreciating the vision that occurred so many years ago.
- Thou shall cry while watching Wishes.
Photo Credit: Ami B-E
The end of the school year is nearing to a close. We’re all busy with finals, spring concerts and last minute field trips. The kids have spring fever and, admittedly, so do I. All the buzz has me dreaming of our summer trip to Disney World.
When my kids were younger, it was a regular thing for us to pull them out of school and head to Lake Buena Vista for a week. We would go during non-peak seasons when crowds and costs were lower. The teachers were great about it, and my daughters caught up easily.
"Cinderlise" photo credit: Ami Brundcik-Eller
“The last fling of winter is over … The earth, the soil itself, has a dreaming quality about it. It is warm now to the touch; it has come alive; it hides secrets that in a moment, in a little while, it will tell.”
- Donald Culross Peattie
Also posted in Charity, Children, Lifestyle, Music, Parents, Relationships, Teens Tagged Children, Cinderella, Disney Princesses, Giselle, lessons, servant hearts, spring cleaning, Teaching
Imagine a chance encounter with Disney President and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Iger. You tell him you are a Neurotic Disney Person, and he nods knowingly which, in and of itself, is pretty gratifying. You get along very well, and at the end of your surprisingly pleasant encounter he offers you a job—any job your heart desires—at Walt Disney World. Salary, qualifications and career considerations aside, what is your response?
Also posted in Parents, Relationships Tagged Fantasy Jobs, golf, Mickey Mouse, Monorail, parades, Robert Iger, segway, Tinkerbell, tram, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World Jobs, working
How do ya do?
Have you ever heard the term : “Camping People?”
Photo credit: Ami Brundick-Eller
What comes to mind? Roughing it in the buggy wild? No air conditioning? Sleeping on the ground? The great Outdoors? What about manners? Kindness? Kids being kids?
I suppose it all depends on your perspective.
I grew up a “resort person.” My dad’s idea of camping was a Best Western where the doors opened to the outside instead of an indoor corridor. I was lucky enough to visit the Walt Disney World Resort pretty much every year, but we always stayed at the Polynesian or the Contemporary. I am unbelievably thankful for these experiences, and the Polynesian still lives in a VERY sacred part of my heart. I’m not sure I was even aware that there was a campground. Sure, I visited the Hoop-Dee-Doo and River Country, but I had no idea what was beyond. Little did I realize that “yonder” would eventually hold so many blessed encounters.
So you think collecting character autographs is just for kids? Think again! Plenty of adults like me will tell you that meeting a character and getting that autograph is akin to getting an autograph of a rock star or movie star, especially when it’s a rare character not often seen at Disney.
How do you get character autographs? First you’ll need something to autograph. Most people use autograph books, which you can purchase or make yourself. Why not use your imagination though? A Disney T-Shirt, hat, pillow case, or a poster makes a great keepsake filled with those awesome signatures. Keep in mind that a character will not sign anything you’re wearing. Also, bring something sturdy for lightweight objects to lean on for signing. You can use a paperback book, a piece of cardboard, or a clipboard.
Also posted in Collections, Hobbies, Lifestyle Tagged Adam Rush, autograph books, autographs, Disney Characters, Disney T-shirt, guide maps, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Photo Pass, StarWars weekends, Zeke and Luther
Photo Credit Meija Eller
What happens when the honeymoon is over and reality sets in? When the realization strikes that he snores, she never puts the cap back on the toothpaste, and neither can agree on which way the toilet paper should unroll? What about the husband who feels neglected by his wife even though he works hard to provide a decent life? Or the wife who spends hours cooking, cleaning, and carting around the kids only to hear criticism for what is undone? For so many, this is life. Where did those honeymoon feelings go?
Also posted in Advice, Gifts, Honeymoons, Lifestyle, Literature, Marriage, Psychology, Relationships, Weddings Tagged 5 love languages, acts of service, appreciation, Disney Lifestyle, gifts, honeymoon feelings, love, marriage, preventing divorce, quality time, reality, romance, touch, unloved