October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is very close to my heart and I wore at least one pink item for almost every day in October. I also decided not to wear my watch. While it is hot pink and a staple of my wardrobe, I wanted to omit it because you never know how much time you have left. This doesn’t just apply to cancer; few people wake up in the morning knowing that they won’t come home that day.
Have you ever thought about running a Disney race? Marathon, half marathon, whatever… If you are like me, your main problem is motivation. Running a marathon sounds all fine and dandy, but you actually have to get up and DO something. Therein lies the problem. I will write the training schedule on my calendar, so I make sure I know what the training plan is everyday. I start laying my clothes out in the evening, making sure they are ready in the morning for the 6 am start time. Then morning comes.
Don’t think that because you’re budget-conscious, you can’t enjoy the excellent table service dining at Disney World. While these meals can be quite expensive, there are ways to lower the costs. Just as with the counter service restaurants, portions at the table service restaurants are large enough to make sharing feasible. Three people can split two entrees, or two people might share an entrée and appetizer, or even three appetizers. Not only do you lower your cost, you get to try a wider variety of what the restaurant has to offer. If you’re a light eater, you might also consider having an appetizer for your main course.
Vacationing at Disney World on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the convenience and experience of dining in the parks. While it is no doubt cheaper to eat food from outside the resort, there are a number of ways to save money on the food you purchase inside the parks.
The counter service food, while still more expensive than comparable fast food you’ll find at home, is way less expensive, both in terms of money and time, than eating at the table service restaurants. We eat almost all of our meals in the counter service restaurants. We come away with our bellies full without our wallets being empty and are back on the rides quickly.
At 50’s Prime Time Café inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios there is an awesome dessert called the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake. Either most of you just went yum or gross! This cold concoction is so refreshing on hot day and filling as well. I usually go there just for this shake. When I am missing the Studio’s I put together this easy recipe to make these shakes at home. It’s a great one to get the kids involved too. Enjoy!
As usual, I had to get up ridiculously early. Since I was staying off property I tried to give myself plenty of extra time to get to the Epcot parking lot. The only other times I had stayed off property for a race I was not the driver. I guess I left early enough, though, because I had absolutely no problems getting into the parking lot, and I was parked not very far from the entrance to the staging area. I had to run back to my car at least twice to grab things that I forgot, but it was close enough that I didn’t feel like I was wasting energy with each trip.
I’ve previously blogged on ways to save money on your transportation to and from Disney World, on your lodging, and on your tickets. Those are the big three expenses in a trip to the theme parks. But another significant expense, one that comes up every day, is eating. Disney, like most theme parks, malls, airports, and other venues where you’re a captive audience marks up its food prices in order to maximize profit. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money on food.
Last month I had the honor of attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. One of our dinners was called the Magic of Healthy Living Celebration. Disney has launched a healthy program promoting happy, healthy children who are making smart choices for eating and and who are getting plenty of exercise. We were treated to a special dinner with extremely healthy choices. Some of the other guests that were in attendance were the winners from the Healthy Living national essay contest.
With Spring in full force and Summer just around the corner, many kids are hitting the soccer fields and baseball diamonds for the fun of participating in team sports. With this phenomena also comes the parents who volunteer or are asked to coach a team. Many volunteer coaches think they need to know the game inside and out in order to be a successful coach, but most of the recreation leagues out there do not keep track of wins and loses. If the kids have fun, that’s a win!
Walt Disney World is always in a state of flux. You never know when a cutting-edge attraction, show, or store will make its appearance. That‘s what makes the World such a magical place; guests are continually experiencing unique and exciting things. Case in point? A tasty new shop called “The Spice & Tea Exchange” which opened in Mickey’s Pantry on November 9th, 2010 in the Market Place in Downtown Disney. This new store is a wonderful addition to Disney’s culinary arsenal, and is conveniently sandwiched between The Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express. The spices and teas available here are a cut above anything you will find in your local grocery store. Every product is natural with neither preservatives nor chemicals, ensuring top flavor and freshness.
Staying fit isn’t just for the Disney runner, but in leading a Disney Driven Life it is important to keep the whole Neurotic Disney family healthy. During this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, festivalgoers will have the opportunity take part in the Go Challenge sponsored by GoGo squeeZ.
Do you know why I love Disney World….Land….Paris? (Probably the others, too, but hey- I haven’t been there so I’m withholding judgment) It’s because I can escape. No, I don’t have a particularly distressing life. I work hard, my husband and kids do too, and we enjoy throwing away reality and diving into a fairy tale. Every once in awhile, though, I stop and think about those whose lives are, well….traumatic. I mean, can you imagine? More than that, can you imagine what a trip to Disney World would mean to them?
As I have mentioned before in my sports blog, one of the best experiences in my 28 years was running the Disney World Marathon in 2010. 26.2 miles in the Happiest Place on Earth was worth the year of training I endured.
Recently, in an attempt to get myself motivated to go on a long run, I started thinking about all the things that I loved about running the marathon. I came up with a long list of reasons why I should be out running instead on sitting in my recliner watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. So, out I went on a 6 miler to clear my head and continue my work toward an eventual Goofy Challenge finish.
Previously I have written about my first race experiences here. Since then, I have gotten another three Disney 5Ks under my belt. I would like to talk about the most recent of these experiences, the Champion® 5K at Dick’s Sporting Goods Presents ESPN The Weekend (ESPN 5K for short). The race was held the first Saturday in March, only a week after my previous race, during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Read about our own NDH #19 Todd Perlmutter’s recap of that race on the Touring Plans blog here.
My grandmother would not have liked Epcot’s Italy Pavilion.
To be sure, she would have adored the shops and the opportunity to buy something made in or about Italy. She would have enjoyed watching “The Ziti Sisters” and would have found much about them humorously biographical. The architecture alone would have brought her to tears. She always talked about how she wanted to visit Italy as an adult but never had the time or money. She was too busy taking care of her family.
Edible souvenirs are some of my favorite things to bring home from Disney World. Not only is inexpensive, but it also can be a fun mission to find something new you’ve never tried before. There are so many to choose from in all the different parks and resorts. I will name three of my go-to selections.
The Giant Rice Krispy Treat from the Confectionery on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom is a must for me. It usually takes me about a week to eat, but it really is delicious. It’s worth the price for the gigantic treat rather than buy several of the smaller variety. I love the one completely dipped in chocolate. It also comes in half dipped, plain, or with little candies on it.
Do you ever wonder what you can do to recreate a bit of that magic in your every day life when you aren’t at one of the Disney Parks? I admit, I go to the parks more often than your average NDP. However, this does not mean that I don’t miss the magic of Disney just as much as the rest of you who don’t live as near to WDW as I do.
Recently, I found myself missing Disney and regretting that I don’t live closer. Yes, I can hear you now, “But, Betsy, you only live an hour and a half away, you can go whenever you want.” Yes, I do live that close, but no, I can’t go whenever I want. Even living this close, there are still concerns such as free time and money.