(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – A Hug For Eeyore

It’s a moment that will stay in my mind forever. I didn’t need to know who this little girl was. I just know when I got off of Splash Mountain that morning, I saw this happening. For the longest time, this child clung to Eeyore and wouldn’t let him go. Nor did Eeyore try to go. It was as if they had bonded in that hug – they just needed each other at that moment. The magic of a place like Disneyland was embodied in that moment, as many others gathered around, just smiling and enjoying the moment. Ten years later, and this image still stays fresh in my heart and mind.

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A Running DisNerd, Part 1: I Don’t Run.

RunDisney Logo Copyright The Walt Disney Company

RunDisney Logo Copyright The Walt Disney Company

If you frequent Disney Parks or follow the Disney Parks Blog (or many other blogs for that matter) online, I’m sure you’ve heard of RunDisney. In case you haven’t, RunDisney is Disney’s, you guessed it, running division. If you’ve heard of a marathon, half-marathon, 10k, or 5k taking place within the confines of Disney-owned property, it’s a RunDisney event. Countless numbers sign up for these events many months in advance to run different themed competitive and non-competitive races throughout the parks. The races have been known to sell out in days, sometimes even hours! At any RunDisney event, you will see all types of runners, including many costumed runners, depending on the theme of the particular run they’re participating in. These races seem to be the perfect type of events for Disney fans, young and old, who are into running as well. And I’ve always thought to myself, “Well, that’s nice for them.”

But not for me. I’ve never been a runner.

Okay, there was that one fifty-yard dash in fifth grade, where I managed to come in fifth place, and actually got a ribbon. However, my running days pretty much began and ended there. I’ll admit, I’m out of shape. I’ve been meaning to do something about that. But running has never been one of my preferred methods. Do I run? Maybe when chased, but that’s about it. Therefore, is RunDisney for me? Had you asked me previously, I would tell you it was not in the cards. At least, this was the case up until last summer, when Mrs. DisNerd mentioned that registration was going to be opening up for the Tinker Bell Half-Marathon weekend in May 2015. The event that specifically caught our attention was the Never Land 5k. If you’ve been reading Confessions for any amount of time, you know through posts such as “Still Living In Never Land” and “Real Character (Or, How Peter and Jake Made Wendy’s Day Perfectly Darling)” exactly how much Peter Pan and his Never Land family mean to us. With that being said, if there were a RunDisney event I was willing to participate in, the Never Land 5k would be the one.So, on that August morning, as registration opened, I registered our family to run in this event, with full intent of getting in shape for the run.

I’m ashamed to admit, this hasn’t happened yet for yours truly, and I’m running out of time. A little more than a month out, and this DisNerd is nowhere near ready. I could blame injury (not the best knee in the world, a sprained ankle at one point), I could blame allergies and sickness, but in all honesty, what I blame most of all is me. Between everything else, there still should have been time to train and prep. It just hasn’t happen, and I can only point the finger at myself.

With that realization out of the way, I feel there is still time to ready myself for a 5k without killing myself. I know I could walk at a brisk pace even. But this is RUNDisney, and now I have something to prove to myself. So begins a month and a half of training, to get into a decent running/jogging shape, and cross the finish line to earn my first 5k medal.

Will winning this make me an honorary Lost Boy? Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

Will winning this make me an honorary Lost Boy?
Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

I plan on posting an occasional update on my progress here, as well as sharing my overall experience with a RunDisney event. I’d like to ask you to join me on this journey. I’d also like to hear from you, fellow DisNerds. Any other RunDisney participants out there? I’d love to know your stories or experiences – maybe we can inspire each other! Can’t wait to share with you all at the finish line!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – Soundsational!

Welcome to the return of (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday! I recently took a trip to Disneyland (more to come in future posts), and had a great spot for Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. With no heads in the way, and no area lighting to shine into the camera, I had an opportunity to get a few shots of the great moments this parade can offer. I figured with (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday being conspicuously absent for the past few weeks, this would be a great time to return in a super-sized way! Hope you enjoy!

He's the Leader of the Club!

He’s the Leader of the Club, and He Can Do This With His Eyes Closed!

Pluto "Pawses" For the Camera!

Pluto “Pawses” For the Camera!

Drumming Up Som Soundsational Fun!

Drumming Up Some Soundsational Fun!

Ala...err... Prince Ali Greets the Admiring Crowd!

Ala…err… Prince Ali Greets the Admiring Crowd!

Flipping Your Fins, You Don't Get Too Far... Unless You Have an Awesome Parade Float!

Flipping Your Fins, You Don’t Get Too Far… Unless You Have an Awesome Parade Float!

Jose Carioca - One of My Three Favorite Caballeros!

Jose Carioca – One of My Three Favorite Caballeros!

Royal Greetings From Disney Royalty!

Royal Greetings From Disney Royalty!

Walking on Stilts is Hard to Do. I Really Look Up to This Guy.

Walking on Stilts is Hard to Do. I Really Look Up to This Guy.

Louis Is Takin' Us All the Way!

Louis Is Takin’ Us All the Way!

Either Hook is Searching For Something, or Smee Just Tripped Him!

Either Hook is Searching For Something, or Smee Just Tripped Him!

Peter Stepped Out of the Parade (Again) To Talk To My Daughter - "It's a Pleasure To Meet Me!!!"

Peter Stepped Out of the Parade (Again) To Talk To My Daughter – “It’s a Pleasure To Meet Me!!!”

Tink Gives the Parade an Ample Sprinkling of Pixie Dust!

Tink Gives the Parade an Ample Sprinkling of Pixie Dust!

It's a Jolly Holiday With Mary and Bert!

It’s a Jolly Holiday With Mary and Bert!

I Am Absolutely Enraptured With this Kevin Kidney and Jody Daley Designed Float. It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

I Am Absolutely Enraptured With this Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily Designed Float. It’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Over the Moon! Step In Time!

Over the Moon! Step In Time!

Thanks For FOllowing Along Today, Fellow DisNerds! Hope These Pictures Helped Give You a Sense of the Soundsational Fun!

Thanks For FOllowing Along Today, Fellow DisNerds! Hope These Pictures Helped Give You a Sense of the Soundsational Fun!

D23 Invites Fans To Let Their Creative Side Show

Copyright The Walt Disney Company

Copyright The Walt Disney Company

Hey there, hi there, ho there, fellow DisNerds! Just wanted to take a minute to share this with you. I know I have many creative friends out there who may be interested in these two contests from D23 running in connection with the upcoming D23 Expo. If you do, feel free to pass this along! There are some great prizes, and I can’t wait to see all of the entries at the Expo! Let us know if you plan on entering as well, and good luck to everyone!

(Click on the links to each contest for official rules)

From D23:

D23 EXPO INVITES FANS TO JOIN IN TWO CREATIVE CONTESTS THAT CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF ALL THINGS DISNEY 

 

Mousequerade Dares Disney Fans to Create Costumes Inspired By Disney’s Many Wonderful Worlds for a Grand Prize Trip to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

 

D23 Expo Design Challenge Encourages Artists to Interpret Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle for a Chance to Win “D23-Hundred Dollars”

 

BURBANK, Calif. – March 5, 2015 – To highlight the creativity and passion fans have for all things Disney, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is holding two remarkable contests in celebration of D23 EXPO 2015, which takes place August 14­–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

 

Mousequerade* invites participants to create their own Disney-inspired costumes and compete in the following categories: “Heroes Unmasked,” “Once Upon a Costume,” “The Wonderful Worlds of Disney,” “Best of Star Wars,” and “Weird, Wild, and Goofy!” The winner will receive a trip for two to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Anyone interested in participating must visit d23expo.com/mousequerade to complete an entry form and find out more about how to enter. The closing date for entry is April 30, 2015. Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of creativity and originality, quality and craftsmanship of costume, and relationship of costume to the contest theme. The Live Contest will be held Friday, August 14 in Stage 23 at the Anaheim Convention Center and will be 90 minutes in length. The number of Finalists is limited to 15 contestants per category for a total of 75 contestants.

 

D23 Expo Design Challenge** will honor Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary by encouraging artists young and old to depict Sleeping Beauty Castle. Twenty-three pieces of finalist artwork will be on display throughout the D23 EXPO weekend on the show floor, located in the Walt Disney Archives area. The winning artist will be chosen prior to the start of the D23 EXPO and will receive a cash prize of $2,300. Anyone interested in participating must visit d23expo.com/designchallenge to submit sketches of proposed artwork (and to find out more about other entry requirements) no later than April 30, 2015. Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of creativity, originality, and artistic expression.

 

Finalists in both competitions will receive one (1) complimentary ticket (and one (1) for a guest) to attend D23 EXPO 2015. Contestants do not need to be members of D23 to enter either contest.

 

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. From January 1–June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23Expo.com.

Disclaimer: Mousquerade and D23 Expo Design Challenge are contests presented by D23 and are in no way affiliated with Confessions of a DisNerd.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – A Visit to the Past

Greetings, and welcome to another (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday. Today, I have a special treat I hope you enjoy.

First, to preface: Yesterday, I turned 40. I don’t know why, but I feel there are certain age “milestones” that make one look back, putting them in a reflective and sometimes nostalgic mood. This has definitely happened with me. On Sunday, while at my mother’s house celebrating said birthday, she brought out a box of old photos, many from trips to Disneyland between 1974 (the year before I was born) and 1980. I seized the opportunity to borrow many of these pictures to scan, touch up, and share here. As I continue to look back and reflect upon my life, I realize how much Disney has played a big role in that, and I owe a lot to my parents and these early childhood trips to the park. So with thanks to both of them, as well as a thanks to Disneyland for being so magical, here are a few snapshots from Disneyland past. I apologize in advance for lack of resolution – these were small pictures, not negatives. Therefore, while much of the color has been retouched and restored (amazingly, our world was not as yellow as old pictures would have us believe!), I could only work with the size I had. I hope you enjoy them nonetheless!

A view from Disney California Adven...er... the parking lot, circa 1974

A view from Disney California Adven…er… the parking lot, circa 1974

 

With my mom and sister on a first trip to the Happiest Place On Earth!

With my mom and sister on a first trip to the Happiest Place On Earth! – 1977

 

Ready to ride Dumbo with my dad - 1977

Ready to ride Dumbo with my dad – 1977

 

A view of Disneyland as seen while riding Dumbo. - 1974

A view of Disneyland as seen while riding Dumbo. – 1974

 

This one I miss the most - I have some fond memories of the Skyway, all the way through my early teens. - 1974

This one I miss the most – I have some fond memories of the Skyway, all the way through my early teens. – 1974

 

It's a Small World in all of its 1974 glory!

It’s a Small World in all of its 1974 glory!

 

I love this shot of the sub and Monorail, and I can't help think about the fact that there were no digital cameras to be able to tell if you got the timing right or not. You had to wait till you got home! - 1974

I love this shot of the sub and Monorail, and I can’t help think about the fact that there were no digital cameras to be able to tell if you got the timing right or not. You had to wait till you got home! – 1974

 

My sister with Winnie the Pooh in the Hunny Pot of the Future, aka Tomorrowland. CHeck out the amazing Mary Blair mural in the background!

My sister with Winnie the Pooh in the Hunny Pot of the Future, aka Tomorrowland. Check out the amazing Mary Blair mural in the background! – 1977

 

I know this shot will make a lot of people nostalgic. Many see this as Tomorrowland in all its perfection. I kind of agree, but am excited to see what the future may hold! - 1974

I know this shot will make a lot of people nostalgic. Many see this as Tomorrowland in all its perfection. I kind of agree, but am excited to see what the future may hold! – 1974

 

Tongoroa outside of The Enchanted Tiki Room - is it just me, or does this area look as sparse as the rest of the jungle used to? - 1974

Tongaroa outside of The Enchanted Tiki Room – is it just me, or does this area look as sparse as the rest of the jungle used to? – 1974

 

A young DisNerd enjoys the magic of Disneyland and looks forward to what the future may bring! - 1980

A young DisNerd enjoys the magic of Disneyland and looks forward to what the future may bring! – 1980

There you go, fellow DisNerds. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me! Feel free to share with your friends, as well as leave comments below!

 

 

Diamonds and Surprises – A DisNerd’s Thoughts on #Disneyland60

I’m sure like me, many of you were up last night glued to Twitter feeds or various Disney news sites, looking for updates on the media event and announcements for Disneyland’s upcoming Diamond Celebration for its 60th anniversary. As I scrolled through the Twitter feed searching for the latest news using #Disneyland60, I noticed a common theme amongst other users: excitement. Rumors had been swirling for months now, and after an event last year that revealed the Diamond Celebration logo, fans were hungry for more. When Tom Staggs took the stage and introduced Steve Davison, boy, did we ever get some exciting news!

We get a new World of Color Show with “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney.”

World of Color, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

World of Color, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

Both Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle Theatre will be decked out with a diamond touch!

Sleeping Beauty Castle 60th Anniversary Concept Art, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

Sleeping Beauty Castle 60th Anniversary Concept Art, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

 

Carthay Circle Theatre 60th Anniversary Concept Art, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

Carthay Circle Theatre 60th Anniversary Concept Art, Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

 

We’ll see a new nighttime light parade in the form of “Paint the Night.”

 

Tinker Bell in "Paint the Night." Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

Tinker Bell in “Paint the Night.” Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company

 

And we’ll also get a new firework extravaganza, complete with digital mapping projections and experiences throughout the park with “Disneyland Forever!”

 

"Disneyland Forever" Concept Art. Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company.

“Disneyland Forever” Concept Art. Picture copyright The Walt Disney Company.

I have to say, this all looks amazing, and I can’t wait to see it in person. Add on the fact that “Disneyland Forever” will feature a brand new song – “Kiss Goodnight” – by legend and one of my Disney heroes Richard Sherman, and I am in DisNerd heaven!

However, the most exciting news of the night for yours truly came from Tom Staggs (Chairman of Disney’s Parks and Resorts division), who said, “Of course we want to leave a few surprises…”

Why was this my favorite part? Glad you asked.

I feel in this internet age of instant gratification, we sometimes feel as though we need to know everything, and know it as soon as we possibly can. We’re four months away from the 60th anniversary kickoff, and we find ourselves wanting to know what shows will be added, whether there will be any special promotions or merchandise, if there will be changes to rides with long refurbishments. I do get the fact that many of us will be planning our trips based on this information,  and it’s good to know we definitely have new things to look forward to. Of course, one of Walt’s favorite words to use was “things,” and when he said it, it was more in reference to what cards he had yet to show. He would talk about Pirates of the Caribbean and say, “Of course there’ll be pirates and things…” Of course there would be pirates in a pirate attraction. But what other “things” was he talking about? Well, these were the “things” that made the attraction magical. The surprises around every corner. The amazing technology of audio animatronics. X Atencio’s rollicking “Yo Ho, a Pirate’s Life For Me.” Things that were meant to be experienced, not just talked and written about. If you ask me, we need more of these little “things,” surprises we’re not expecting.

I know many of us (myself included) tend to search for and scour over every piece of news regarding changes at the parks as much as we can. But some things need to be seen with the eyes, to be heard with the ears, to be taken in from every angle that words on a website can’t describe. For a long time, it’s been rumored that the much elusive Hatbox Ghost will be making a return to the Haunted Mansion. We’ve begged Disney for an announcement on the matter. But how amazing would it be if it were to just be put back into the attraction without notice? That a guest could be on the ride, and just… see him standing there, head in hatbox and all? “Did we just see….?” Imagine the surprise! I realize the word would spread fast, but what an awesome way to experience it!

When it comes to the 60th, I’m glad to know plans are being made. I’m genuinely excited for what’s been announced. But what I’m most excited for is being able to be there and see things for myself. I want surprise when I step through the gates. I want to be wowed by something I haven’t read about.

As my friend and fellow DisNerd Debi told me, it’s definitely a balancing act. “What is announced has to be big enough to draw the crowds (not a critique – Disneyland is an expensive park to run) while saving enough to keep us surprised, delighted and satisfied with our experience.” Disney, if you’re reading this, I’m sure I can speak for more than just myself when I say, we would be more than delighted for these surprises you have yet to reveal!

How about you, fellow DisNerds? What are you looking most forward to? Do you want to be surprised by some “things” as well? Sound off below, and feel free to share!