Diz Thru Brown Eyes

Diz Thru Brown Eyes -

Up, Up, and Away with Disney Characters

Balloon1

I have always wanted to experience Characters in Flight, the helium Disney decorated balloon located at Downtown Disney (Walt Disney World).  I can recall walking by it several times saying “I want to ride” or “One trip when there is time, I will ride”.   Well my wish came true on my March trip.  I discovered Groupon was offering a coupon for 2 adults to ride for $20.  The regular price is $18 per adult.  My sister was hesitant due to my nephew being only 2.  I talked her into it and on top of that stated he was free.

During our trip the weather was “iffy” most days.  So we planned to ride as soon as possible in case the weather was not permitting during the remainder of the trip.  In my research I read “the balloon will not fly if winds exceed 22 mph or if there is a storm” When we first went by the ride, there was a sign that stated they were closed due to weather. That was understandable because I could see dark clouds nearby.  After we walked around and shopped, we came back by and it was open.  This was our chance!

After showing our coupon, we were asked to park the stroller and take any valuables with us.  A photographer took our picture in front of the balloon and then it was time to board. You could see the cable in the ground that was anchoring us to the platform.  We ascended up slowly. Our “driver” informed us of when we would feel a little jerk due to the balloon reaching its maximum height of 400 feet.

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He told us we could walk around if we wanted to.  Due to having the 2 year old we just stayed in our little area. The nighttime view was breathtaking.  I could see Epcot in the distance. Of course I tried to pick out different places.  My nephew and sister appeared to have a good time also.

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Our “flight“ lasted about 10 minutes.  We arrived safe and sound back on the ground. Remember the photographer I told you about, after disembarking our photos were waiting on us to view.  My sister ended up getting the package that included 1-5×7, 4-wallet sizes, and 2-clear key chains to put pictures in. She stated the digital copy was thrown in per the cashier.   So we are able to download more copies as needed.

I enjoyed our “flight” and would do it again in the daytime.  I would also take the time to walk around to look at different views.  If you would like to know more about Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile,  information can be found on the Walt Disney World official website .

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A runDisney Newbie and 13.1 Magical Miles by Mel C.

It all began on December 31, 2012. My 29th birthday.

Every year my friend Monica has a NYE brunch. At some point during the brunch everyone is asked to tell their goals for the coming year. A few of the ladies at the party were triathletes. At this year’s party I said that I wanted to become a runner and do a race. They were excited that I was “joining the ranks” of running.

When January 2013 hit I bought running shoes and begin running with no real plan in mind. As the year wore on I continued training. I began searching for races in my area. I found one: the 2013 Relay for Life 5K Glow Run. As the race date neared my excitement grew. I called my brother to see if he wanted to run with me. I really wanted to run a race with my big brother, but he declined. Race night came. I donned my Nikes and ran my fastest 5K ever: 31:33 with a pace of 9:34 per mile. Albeit solo, I was excited that I had accomplished a goal.

Soon after that my brother calls me up. “Still want to run a race together?” He asked. “Of course!” I said. “It’s a half marathon. The Disney Princess Half,” he said. He signed us up. The 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon. Looks like I couldn’t quite hang up my Nikes.

I continued with my training, taking it to the streets of the city instead of the trails in the park. “Didn’t I see you running down Berkeley Boulevard?” my coworkers ask. “Yup!” I proudly replied. My love for running grew.

As race day neared I grew nervous. A half marathon? What was I thinking?! Eek! Going from 3.1 to 13.1 miles? Clearly I’d been sniffing too much Elmer’s glue! (LOL!)

February 21 arrived. It was time to hit the road to Orlando. Despite the torrential rain we encountered in South Carolina, my mother and I conquered the 600+ mile drive. My mother, brother and I spent Saturday enjoying EPCOT. Bedtime arrived. Soon after 3:00am arrived. I can’t remember the last time I had to get up at 3:00am. My alarm for work doesn’t go off until 6:30am. I don’t get out of the bed until 7:00am. This was going to be a long day.

Photo Credit: MC

Photo Credit: MC

My brother and I took the shuttle to the starting area. Soon after we separated. I was in corral L. He was in E. I grew nervous. Tears welled in my throat. Though we were running the same race we wouldn’t be side by side. The race began. Fireworks shot into the air as each corral crossed the start line.  Soon L was at the start line. I was happy to see a familiar face in my corral: Elantrice. My friend Lisa was running as well, but she was in corral I. Fireworks exploded in the sky above us as we took off. I was pumped.

It was an exhilarating experience to be running with so many people. It was like a giant party. Disney does it like no other. Photo shoots and DJs along the race trail to keep you pumped. People dressed in full costumes. The course was crowed as we began, but thinned out as we approached the gates of the Magic Kingdom. I was still pumped up. I continued to run, but walked when I grew weary. My feet never stopped moving. I snapped pics along tie course and stopped at every beverage station. I think I had about 30 cups of Powerade and water!

Photo Credit: MC

Photo Credit: MC

Photo Credit: MC

Photo Credit: MC

 

As I entered the last part of mile 13 my right foot began to cramp. I stopped to stretch my foot for a bit and continued running. My phone had been in airplane mode for a good portion of the race. I turned my signal back on and saw messages from my brother: “Keep going.” “You can do it.” “Proud of you.” “Keep pushing.” “Keep going.” I didn’t quit. I looked up. I saw the finish line in sight. I crossed it. I did it. I ran a half marathon. I was overjoyed when I saw my brother’s face at the finish line.

Photo Credit: MC

Photo Credit: MC

I have to say that running my first half marathon, my first Disney race, was an experience that I will never forget.

Mel C. is the Creator/Owner of  Eclectic Jewelry & More .

Kingdom Keepers VII Book Tour 2014 Thru My Brown Eyes

At the 2013 D23 Expo, Mr. Ridley Pearson stated that the Kingdom Keepers series would end with book seven.  It was sad to hear that news.  This book series was full of adventure, fun, and even had me looking at certain rides in a different way.  On April 1, 2014, the final book, Kingdom Keepers: The Insider was released.  However, the book was released early at book signings at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  I was able to attend the signing on March 27th due to that being the first day of arrival for my most recent trip.  So that meant I had to be in the car no later than 2:30am because I wanted to make it to Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the park opened.  We (my sister, 2 year old nephew, and I) piled into the car as planned and off we went.  I wanted us to have the time to get gas, have bathroom breaks, and of course make our usual Starbucks stops.  We did get sidetracked due to our usual Starbucks location in Gainesville, FL being closed due to what appeared to be remodeling.  Since we did not get that memo, we had to find another Starbucks. My sister opened the Starbuck App and we were able to find another store.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

We arrived in the parking lot of Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the scheduled opening time of 9am.  Once the MagicBands were scanned we made a mad dash for the Writer’s Stop.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

There were more people at this signing that I have seen in previous signings.  I was able to purchase the book and then the nervousness set it.  We had been told that due to time and the length of the line, Mr. Pearson may not be able to autograph everyone’s book. There was a little groaning,however, with pixie dust I was hoping I would be able to get in.  Well the pixie dust worked.  I got my book autographed and had the chance to speak to Mr. Pearson briefly.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

I knew there were other stops on the book tour. I just did not pay attention to where the tour would be visiting.  I was informed Mr. Pearson would be in the Atlanta area.  He would be visiting The FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA on April 8th.  I looked up the directions and saw it was less than a forty-five minute ride from my home. I make my own work schedule and arranged that I would be able to get to the book signing before it started.

I have never been to Woodstock, but found where I needed to be without any issue. There was already a line of excited children and adults.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Mr. Pearson arrived and made his way through the crowd thanking people for coming and shaking hands.  He spoke about how fun it was to write the Kingdom Keepers, being in the parks doing research, and how this adventure could never really end. I brought three books that I wanted Mr. Pearson to sign in order for me to have the entire series autographed by him.  We chatted about my adventure to make it to the book signing at Walt Disney World from Georgia two weeks ago.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

I considered myself to have some pixie dust sprinkled on me to be able to attend two signings on the Kingdom Keepers VII Tour.  Mr. Pearson is very nice and appears to enjoy talking to us readers. I have met him over three times and never felt rushed during his book signings. I hope everyone has a chance to meet Mr. Pearson on this tour.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

If you have read the books, which was your favorite, and why? If you have not, you should check them out.

Being Picky at the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

I am not sure if I have exposed my picky eating habits to you.  My name is Elantrice and I am a very picky eater.  If it looks funny or smells bad, I will not even taste it.  Eating new foods is a challenge.  I must know the ingredients and better yet those I can pronounce.

Now that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has added even more food choices, I began to wonder what I would eat.  My sister is a foodie and will eat anything.  She had her list ready to go.  She attempted to make a list for me, which was very short.  On the top of my list was a certain cupcake.

Are you curious to what type of food review a picky person like me could offer?  Here you go:

The Smokehouse: Barbecue & Brews: “Pigglicious” Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting & Pretzel Crunch Frosting featuring Nuskey’s Applewood Smoked Bacon – I removed the “pretzel crunch” and dug into the cupcake. It was delicious and full of the right amount of bacon.  Sis got the Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens & Jalapeño Corn Bread. I tried the brisket and it was ok.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Buttercup Cottage: Freshly Baked Potato & Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare. -  This was wonderful and filling.  I could not eat all of it.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Fleur de Lys: Macaron a la Fleur d’Oranger – This was my first time trying a macaron.  I will admit I have been missing out. The orange flavoring was not that overpowering.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

Lotus House – Sis got the Beijing Sytle Candied Strawberries.  I tasted some of the candied coating due to the fact I do not eat strawberries.  It was good. Sis said the entire treat was great.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

It began to rain and the adventure was cut short. Would I of tried more? I am not sure.  I scanned the Garden Passport and the items above were a “must eat” for me.  Stay tuned for what this picky eater will have at the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall.

Photo Credit: EH

Photo Credit: EH

 

Mean Muggin’ Monday

Today’s coffee mug seems fitting for the upcoming anniversary of “it’s a small world”.  My sister, JoVonn (@jhgive), loves this ride and had to have the coffee mug.  The mug was purchased at World of Disney at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World.  The mug retails for $14.95.

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

If you would like your coffee mug on Mean Muggin’ Monday, email pictures and description to DizThruBrownEyes@yahoo.com.

 

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Grand Opening Offer from DiF

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Grand Opening Offer from Destinations in Florida!!

The first wave of Family Suites at the brand new Cabana Bay Beach Resort  opened March 31st at Universal Orlando. The new resort is the 4th onsite hotel at Universal Orlando and will have 2 pool complexes with sand beach and interactive features, a themed lazy river, and 10-lane bowling alley. As with all Universal Orlando Onsite Resort hotels, guests at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be just a brief walk from the Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk. They will enjoy benefits that include Early Theme Park Admission, transportation to the theme parks, a Universal CityWalk party pass, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the Universal Orlando Resort to their hotel, and resort-wide charging privileges with their room key.

Travel back to the 1950’s and 1960’s for endless family fun at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. With its ideal location near Islands of Adventure and fun retro atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy everything the Universal Orlando Resort has to offer, at a price you are sure to love. The value and moderate accommodations feature both family suites (sleeping up to 6) with kitchenettes and standard rooms (sleeping up to 4).

Family Suites open on March 31, 2014 and Standard Rooms open on July 31, 2014. Stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort during the Preview period of March 31-June 14 and get a Family Suite at a Standard Room price! Do you prefer to travel in the Fall instead? On select travel dates between 9/1 – 10/2/14 and 11/30 – 12/11/14, discounted rates start at $131 per night in a family suite or $90 per night in a standard room. A minimum 4-night stay is required.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando, get a $50 Gift Card or a $50 discount off your package price for all Cabana Bay Beach Resort packages of $2500 or more booked between now and April 30, 2014. This is in addition to any promotional offers being offered by Universal Orlando! Book your Cabana Bay Beach Resort package today by clicking on the banner below to request a quote!

Dates For The D23 Expo 2015 Are Announced

Below is the official press release from D23: The Official Disney Fan Club

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 18, 2014 – All the magic and excitement of the past, present, and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again under one roof when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of Aug. 14–16, 2015. Each of Disney’s wonderful worlds will unite to celebrate what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, games, and films, including Pixar, the Muppets, Star Wars, and Marvel.

“The D23 Expo is the ultimate Disney fan event, created to honor and celebrate your love of all things Disney,” Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger told shareholders and D23 Members at the Company’s Annual Meeting today in Portland, Oregon. “And we hope to see you there.”

The fourth event promises to be the biggest ever, following the success of D23 Expo 2013, which drew more than 65,000 Disney fans for three star-studded days and nights. Fans were treated to appearances by such superstars as Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Billy Crystal, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston; watched performances by Idina Menzel, and R5 featuring Ross Lynch; enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime concert from Disney Legends Alan Menken and Richard M. Sherman; explored the inner workings of Walt Disney Imagineering; looked back at Disney’s rich history through extraordinary panels, presentations, and exhibits; and discovered the newest entertainment, technology, and products from The Walt Disney Company.

Highlights planned for D23 Expo 2015 include the 2015 Disney Legends Ceremony, which honors the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a collection of one-of-a-kind assets, props, and costumes curated by the Walt Disney Archives; and the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise. Once again the event will feature a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what’s on the horizon for Disney around the world—and guests may run into their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators, and filmmakers. Plus, the event will once again feature StagePass, the popular ticket distribution system that allows attendees to obtain a guaranteed seat for some of the Expo’s most popular presentations.

Advance tickets for D23 Expo 2015 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning August 14, 2014. D23 Members will receive special pricing on both one- and three-day tickets to the event, which is open to the general public. D23 Gold and Silver Members will also be entitled to early admission to the Expo show floor. D23 Charter Members will enjoy access to the Expo’s Charter Member Lounge. Members will also have an opportunity to purchase the Sorcerer Package, which provides a host of special benefits and amenities.

About D23 Expo 2015

The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2015 news, visit D23Expo.com. To join the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter and use #D23Expo.

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Mean Muggin’ Monday

Today’s coffee mug is from the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  The mug retails for $12.95 and can be found at the Festival Center and Festival kiosks.  To me this mug helps represents #EpcotInSpring.  What do you think?

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

Photo Credit: JG

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Photo Credit: JG

 

Disney Archivists, Imagineers, & Legends will come together at D23 Destintaion D: Attraction Rewind

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The following is a press release from D23:

BURBANK, Calif. – March 26, 2014 – Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club  will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it’s a small world and Carousel of Progress.

Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World’s Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley—and more to be announced.

During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.

The weekend will end with an exciting evening event—Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.

Plus, for the first time, Mickey’s of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels.

Highlights of D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus will include*:

  • Disney Goes to the World’s Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
  • Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World’s Fair that never came to be
  • Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
  • That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964–65 World’s Fair in New York City. A limited number of “Top of the World” tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more.

More details about the program and tickets for D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus, as well as a special offer just for members of D23, can be found at D23.com/events. Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.