Our first Disney World trip, we were standing at Magic Kingdom in the drizzle for an hour in order to claim the most perfect spot to watch the Wishes fireworks show over Cinderella castle. A few minutes before the show, a family comes from behind, pushing everyone in their way, including us. To our dread, the mom then opens this massive automatic umbrella, one that propels open at super speed, proceeding to poke me in the eye as it goes up, my then, 1 year old in the head, and several other people nearby. It was THAT big. When people tried to get her to close it, she just shrugged, and kept it open. Frustrated, the complaints kept up, and one person even pointedly waved his closed umbrella towards them. Eventually, that family moved off to the side, maybe feeling nervous because people kept shouting at them, but not before I got hit again, and gave her the stink eye of death, which, according to my oldest, is scarier than anything else in the world.
The point is though, while umbrellas (small ones!) CAN have a place at a theme park when getting from point A to B, really they can be a bother, as Pooh might say, because an umbrella isn't just rain protection, it's also a nuisance.
Think about it. You’re already a little crowded, it’s hard not to hit someone (or be hit!) in the head, and the umbrella holder almost never notices when they’ve whacked someone. Then there’s the whole going inside a shop or ride, and shaking it out (on the person standing behind you, because there’s no other way to do it in the queue) the puddles it leaves on the floor, the seat (totally not fun to sit on!), then of course the hassle of holding it on a ride, or oops, which table did I leave it on during dinner? Don't forget that rain doesn't usually fall straight down, it's often sideways, so how much good is that umbrella of yours really going to do?
Umbrellas just aren't cool at Disney, folks. Yes, I know they sell those darling little ones covering in Mickey heads, but just don’t, please! Be kind, and considerate and use a poncho!! We have a great one we recommend, click here to read about it. It’s cheaper, lighter and easier than an umbrella!
There’s nothing like a bunch of tired, wet, people all jostled together to make the umbrella holder the target of their frustrations when they get whacked! If you do have to bring your umbrella, get the smallest one you can find and please be kind to everyone else around, and put it down during a show, like the fireworks, so you don’t take out anyone’s eye, or their baby!
I’m thinking one of these umbrella hats might be fun! Can’t really bump into anyone with one of those! Just take it off before the show starts!
Do you have any other fun ways to protect yourself in the rain?
Do you believe in fairies? It sure seemed like Walt Disney did. How often do you see a fairy appear in his films? Many have leading roles! Could it be a mere coincidence that he was also one of the members of the Fairy Investigation Society, founded in 1927?
We might not really know for sure how much Walt believed in the unseen magical world but there is no doubt that he did have that special gift of noticing things easily over looked, and turning them into something special, something magical.
There are so many unexplained things in this world, why not fairies?
In 1947, Walt went to Ireland to learn all he could to help with his upcoming movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and I wonder just what he saw! There is no denying that fairies play a huge role in Disney movies, tv shows and theme parks.
If you’d like to see some great pictures from Walt’s trip to Ireland, click here!
Want to find out more about the Fairy Investigation Society? Click here!
Now that the weather is warming up, and birds wake me up every morning, gardening has been on my mind! A few months back, we enjoyed watching the Disney special on Hulu called Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic. (It's still there if you want to see it) and it showed the incredible number of people and how much year round effort goes into into making Disney's parks so magical, but one area that really surprised me was the gardening department.
While every time we have gone to Disney, I've enjoyed the wonderful scenery, it's been just that, walking along, thinking how nice everything looks. I had no idea how LONG it takes to make it all look so wonderful!
Disney Horticulturists do so much, but today I am just focusing on the topiary.
Every Disney topiary starts with an idea, then multiple sketches. Once those are approved, a small statue is made, in the shape of the final product. Welders take over the next step, making a steel frame in the exact shape of the statue, and this part can take several months. Once the frame is made, the inside is stuffed with moss, then thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of plants are put on the frame. Once the topiary is completed, it still needs to be maintained to look it's best for guests, so they are constantly being taken care of.
Because it takes so long to make a topiary, once one is no longer on display (say, a special holiday made one), it is taken back to the Disney World Nursery, and taken good care of until it is needed again. If taken care of, the topiary can last for decades! Check out a few of my favorites!
I stumbled upon a really neat video where Martha Stewart gets taken into the Disney World Nursery, and gets to work with them to create a topiary. There you can see how it goes, from beginning with a sketch, then a statue, then a frame and the final product! For some reason, my computer is playing it funny, I have great sound, but the video is speed up a little. Hopefully it plays well for you! Here is the link.
If you'd love a few more pictures, you can visit Disney's website by clicking here, and get more information on their Flower and Garden Festival, where you can see old favorites, new creations and more flowers than you never knew, you never knew!
Stop by on facebook and share a few of your favorites, I'd love to see them!
Spotlight Sunday: Walt Disney Company $100M Plan To Reinvent Patient Experiences at Children’s Hospitals
A while back, I did a post on the incredible philanthropic acts that the Disney company and it's employees do. If nothing else it's worth a peek to see the surprise of WHO designed the Toys for Tots logo!
A few days back, I stumbled across this, and just knew I needed to share it.
Disney plans to reinvent the experiences that children and their families have when in children's hospitals around the globe. Over the next five years Disney's Imagineers are going to be working to make those stressful hospital visits more relaxing. Everyone knows you heal better, and faster when you aren't as stressed, and are in a comfortable atmosphere, and I can't say as I've ever been in any hospital where I felt comfortable and stress free. It's all so sterile looking, so pale and not the least bit relaxing so I am so excited to hear that this extra spacial magic from Disney, will be shared with these kids and their families!
My favorite of the ideas the Imagineers have is this:
The first Children's hospital to experience this will be in the Texas Children's Hospital. If you'd like to read the whole article, click here, it will take you right there.
Way to go Disney! I'm still a little mad about those new parking fees, but it's the stuff like this that reminds me you've got a good heart!
I've mentioned before how I do tend to overpack but there are some things that I will always pack, even if space is tight, for this very reason!
Someone, at some point is going to get hurt, or sick.
It might be something little, like that poor skinned knee from skipping excitedly down the sidewalk, or the lovely case of the stomach bug that hit just as you pulled into Magic Kingdom. There is nothing, nothing at all, worse than being sick, or hurt, and then having to do track down what you need.
It's easy enough to pack a few essentials with you before you leave on your trip, and then you'll have them, just in case. What do I think are essentials?
Bandaids in assorted sizes
Tylenol or Advil, both children and adult
pepto bismal or some other sort of upset stomach/anti diarrheal
benedryl, both children and adult
any prescription medicine
If you want to get fancy, and have a little extra room, I add some alcohol wipes, larger gauze pads and some medical tape, and an anti itch cream.
You might be wondering, why worry about benedryl? Or Tylenol? The chances you'll need it is slim, and can't you get it anywhere? Yes, chances are slim, and sure, most places sell it, but when it's 9pm, and you are in a strange place and have discovered your child got bitten by something, or is allergic to a new food, or it's 2am and they have a fever, it's VERY hard to find a place within minutes that will have children's medicines.
It doesn't take much space, but I promise you, once you start packing a few of those supplies with you, you'll not only realize how much you've come to rely on them, but also how much money you save, using your own Advil for that splitting headache, instead of the overpriced giftshop bottles!
My little first aid bag is pretty small, it's the one that every year, Target gives free when you purchase 3 first aid items. Next time you see it in the store, get your bandaids, ointment and gauze, plus a free bag! They are great for on the go, or at home.
One last tip! As we are approaching the warmer months, and you are planning your summer vacations, click here to read so you don't forget about the number one way to ruin ANY summer fun! Know the warning signs in advance, and take precaution now!
If you have any suggestions of things you'd put in a mini med kit, let me know! I might need to add them in mine!