Just for Fun

All posts in the Just for Fun category

Hot tip for the Walt Disney World Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A.

Published September 4, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Walt Disney World Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A. is an attraction located in Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park. Just one look brings on feelings of classic Americana.

As I write this, it is September 2019, and the train is not circling Magic Kingdom park, due to track refurbishments. But when this happens, did you know you can still have a magical train experience? I want to say a special thanks to my friend Michael Broggie for the tip!

When in service, the steam from the locomotive will often be too hot to get up close. Sometimes the train is just moving too fast four our cameras. But when the attraction is undergoing a refurbishment – the train is often available as the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo at the Main Street U.S.A. station. You can enjoy a blast from the past by taking advantage of an enchanted photo opportunity with one of the park’s 4 meticulously restored, narrow-gauge trains—originally built between 1916 and 1928. Stop by, break out the camera and say “All Aboard!”

If you think about it, there just aren’t a lot of places where you can gather loved ones and strike a pose with an authentic steam-powered locomotive!

 

You can take a few moments to imagine the clamor of the engine, chug of the wheels and call of the Walt Disney World Railroad whistle!

Trains were Walt’s life long passion. He built his first railroad right in his backyard. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a 1/8-scale train, debuted in 1950 and featured a custom-built, steam powered locomotive that encircled his property.

Delighted with his miniature backyard railroad, Walt decided to share his love of trains with the whole world. The result was the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, a favorite of Guests since the park opened in 1955.

 

The Story of a Wannabe Disney Princess and a trip to Neverland

Published September 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com
The Story of a Wannabe Disney Princess and a trip to Neverland.

Once upon a time in land called Orlando, a Wannabe Disney Princess was called upon to write and narrate a project that was literally – what her dreams were made of.  She had always fantasized about guiding her friends to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. I guess you could call her a wannabe Disney Princess with Tinker Bell-like navigation skills!  

Disney fans all know what happens when you wish upon a star. Anything your heart desires, will come to you! 
 
My name is Krista Joy, and I am that wannabe Disney Princess! 

Along the way of achieving my dreams of becoming a real Disney Princess, I feel like I am (already!) the Princess of manifesting my own dreams. The truth is that it only comes with the blessings the Lord chooses to give me, my heart full of gratitude, acceptance, living with intentionally and the help of lots and lots of good friends – of course!! 

Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight all started with a dream – Jerry Cornell’s dream! Today we want to give you a little more of the backstory on how this dream turned into reality. It took a little more than faith, trust and pixie dust! 

It all started when my dear friend, the fantastic, amazing and awesome Jerry Cornell, producer of documentaries extraordinaire – had a dilemma. He was ready to produce a new spectacular DVD  for his Theme Parkology fans. “Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight” was to be a DVD that would pull back the curtain on this magical attraction – in all of it’s versions – in Disney Parks all over the world. As a bonus, Jerry wanted to take Peter Pan’s Flight from concept to construction, to changes through the years. It was no small task. Jerry’s other writers were not available, and that’s where I wanted to step in and help.
The Wannabe Princess hoped to be the heroine of this story! Of course in every fairytale there is always a villain or two. Time stealers, my daily responsibilities, and needing money to keep my household going, are always there… like the proverbial Maleficent to the Aurora’s baby shower of my Disney dreams…ready to impose at any time and wreak havoc! After all, this is volunteer work – and I knew I would not gain money from any of it, or the sales!
In spite of it all, I was inspired by my own childhood memories of the Peter Pan attraction, the Disney magic that ensues each time I ride it, and ALL that it means to me. I felt that it was very important to portray and tell the story in a way that would help bring that magic to others. I understood the significance, weight and the magnitude of the task. I STILL wanted to be the one to take it on – and give it my best shot. My determination was like the sword of Prince Philip and the encouraging voice of Jerry Cornell was like the magic that guided the sword in the fight. 
I explained to Jerry it would be my delight to help, at no charge, but I would probably need a lot of time. Jerry was very understanding, as he always is, and emailed me the outline to work from, along with some talking points he wanted me to cover. He assured me that I could take as much time as I needed. I took a deep breath, read his email, and whispered to myself, “Come on everybody, here we goooooo!”  
This project was on my mind and in my heart. There was no turning back now!
During the time span of several months, I worked on it in bits and pieces. To me, it felt like fighting Captain Hook and his crew. Wannabe Disney Princesses have a gift for sprinkling pixie dust and leaving a trial of sparkles and happiness where ever they go. Writing facts and figures and being historically accurate does not come quite as naturally. It was essential and beyond important – that I write the information in this project as timelessly and accurately as humanly possible. I was feeling the pressure because just like with my own brand, Disneyways, it is essential that Theme Parkology keeps it’s reputation as a trusted source for Disney content.
The pieces started forming over a span of a few months. Ultimately, the most work was done in the 2 to 3 days in a row that I was able to carve out of my schedule to make the writing a priority. I shut out all forms of distraction and got to work. I pieced together all of the research I had done, doing my best to not leave out any sections. I wanted the language to be breezy, conversational english, while trying to keep it as fun and light as possible.
THEN… I got to the parts where Jerry wanted me to get technical about the mechanics of the ride, physics, and the thinking process of the Imagineers. YIKES! 
I remember calling Jerry and asking him…is this REALLY necessary?! This stuff is so BORING to me! Who really cares about all this anyhow?? 
In his reassuring way – Jerry once again calmed me down and told me, “Yes Krista. It’s essential. Theme Parkology fans LOVE this stuff the most. The more technical and detailed you can get on this part…the better.” 
He acknowledged that out of “Fantasy” and “Technical” I am one of his writers that he puts in the “Fantasy” category. WOW isn’t THAT the truth?!! 
Even so, he believed in me, and gave me courage to give it my all. I reluctantly agreed to it, and then set out to explain pulley systems, physics, and the scientific creative process for Peter Pan’s Flight – in the best way I knew how. Judging by the success and sales of this DVD – I hit the mark. 
Overall, it was a project that stretched me, and flexed my creative muscles to the max! 
I have been reading aloud and narrating as long as I can remember. This is my wheelhouse and it’s where I feel very, very comfortable. Jerry used my narrating skills for the “Disneyland Secrets” DVD so he knew I could do this part with ease. It was all recorded in my own home and I sent it in separate parts to Jerry over email. Reading what I had actually written was a joy. I was able to put inflection, emphasis, energy and even pauses…in all the places I wanted them to be. Jerry’s editing, graphics, and music are fantastic and really tie the whole thing together. His entire team worked in harmony together for one cohesive and immersive experience. Watch it and see for yourself! 
I think you can really hear my heart and my feelings about Peter Pan’s Flight as you enjoy this DVD. My deepest hope is that you are taking the journey WITH me and feeling all the same magic and nostalgia that I feel when we take this ride together. I hope that I have brought you to a very happy place with my part of this work. I hope that you feel educated, too, in the parts that really tested me. I hope your curiosity about the mechanics of the ride is beyond satisfied. I hope that you will watch and enjoy this DVD over and over.
Through this Theme Parkology DVD… let’s travel off to Neverland together, for years and years to come. Normally, at his part, the Wannabe Disney Princess would ride off into the sunset with her prince and live happily ever after. But our story is not over! There’s so much more Theme Parkology fun to be had. Just like Peter Pan, we never really have to grow up and we are JUST GETTING STARTED!! 

This DVD is now available from Theme Parkology!

Click below for a sneak peek!

Come one everybody, here we goooo!! This whimsical documentary explores the history of the attraction and was written and narrated by the talented Krista Joy, intro music by James Presley, and animated title sequence by C. Andrew Nelson.

This will be a wonderful addition to your Theme Parkology collection.

While you are at it, why not add the Enchanted Secrets of Disneyland to your cart as well?

 

**Theme Parkology is a fan publication not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. I am not compensated for my work on these 2 projects. I was gifted with a few copies of them Parkology presents The Dark Rid Series Peter Pan’s Flight in exchange for my review. This in now way influenced my opinion and all thoughts are my own.***

Krista Featured on The Voice Of Hope Facebook Live Show

Published June 14, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Fast forward about 10 minutes in to see the interview!

A note from Krista:

Thank you for watching this interview! My dear friend Andrea asked me to tell my story in hopes of encouraging her audience. I hope it encourages you today as well.  We talk some Disney and at the end you will hear me sing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid.  We cried, we laughed, and we had a great time with this project. Thank you Jerry Cornell of Themeparkology.com for all you have done to encourage me in my Disney life and my Elvis life!

Thank you Peter Alden for encouraging me, loving me every moment of the day,  and helping me feel special and confident enough to do something like this. Truly out of my comfort zone! Thank you Andrea for honoring me and being my close friend every single day. I love you all to the moon.

Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective Written by Jennifer Bright Reich

Published March 8, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective
By Jennifer Bright Reich

My fiancé and I have four sons, Kevin (15), Kyle (14), Tyler (13), and Austin (almost 12). We all went to Orlando a few weeks ago in January. We were fortunate to get to spend time in both Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot and Universal Studios.

I’m a life-long Disney fan, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Universal Studios. I was curious what our teens thought about the parks. Some of their perspectives surprised me! Here’s what they loved—and what they didn’t love.

Universal Studios Rides

I preferred the Express Pass system at Universal to Disney’s FastPass. It helped us to get on a lot more rides. At Disney, you only get FastPass for a few rides.— Kevin
I enjoyed some of the rides, especially Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. It felt like you were really there, on that ride simulator especially because you had your own seat, so you really felt the movements.—Kyle
I liked the line for the Fast and Furious ride because it had a bunch of car parts, gun stuff to look at, and famous cards along the way. There was lot of eye candy to look at while you were waiting.— Kevin.
I didn’t like the Fast and Furious ride. It didn’t even feel like you were moving. —Kyle
I loved the Rip Ride Rockit Coaster! However, in general at Universal, I felt there were too many simulation rides and not enough physical rides. —Austin
My favorite Universal ride was Revenge of the Mummy because it actually “moved through space” and wasn’t just a simulator ride. —Tyler
One on our way out of the park, we were asked to take a survey, I thought it was great that they were asking for feedback. I felt that they really cared about our experience and how they could improve. I felt my opinion was taken into consideration, which was nice.—Kevin
I though the nighttime show was ok but not as good Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!—Tyler
I was disappointed that City Walk was so much smaller than Disney Springs. —Austin
But at least you can just walk to City Walk. You don’t have to take a bus like you do to get to Disney Springs. —Kevin

Universal Studios Food
I really enjoyed the churros. But they were a little dry.—Kevin
I disliked the food. We ate at Monster Café. —Tyler
The food tasted like it had sat out for a long time. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Rides
You can’t beat Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I even loved the stand-by line because there were so many things to look at. I especially liked the parts of the ride when you could smell things like the dirt.— Kyle
Because we stayed off property, we didn’t have the early access to FastPass, so we weren’t able to get FastPasses for Flight of Passage. We went there first thing, though, and only waited in line for around 45 min—Kevin
The wait was long for Flight of Passage.— Kyle.
Don’t take the Friendship Boats across World Showcase! It’s much faster to walk. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Food
I liked the food at better at Disney World than Universal Studios . Some of portion sizes were dangerous though, especially the Beastly Burger at Rainforest Café! I really liked the food at Epcot—Kevin
Epcot has the best food. I love the Japan Pavilion, especially the soup, and Coral Reef.— Tyler

Walt Disney World Shopping
Epcot is the most unique for shopping. You actually feel like you’re shopping, as opposed to just going to a gift store. —Tyler
I liked the Mitsukoshi Department Store. It was really neat.— Kyle
I really liked that the stores in Epcot World Showcase has to have people working there from those countries. It really felt like I was visiting those places for a little bit. —Kevin
I thought there were to many Disney-owned stores at Disney Springs. It felt like all of the stores were the same. I would like to see more nonDisney stores. —Kevin.
We bought grow your own bonsai trees and they didn’t grow!-Kyle

 

About the Author: Jennifer Bright Reich is cofounder and CEO of Momosa Publishing, a family- and veteran-owned hybrid publisher in Bethlehem, PA. MomosaPublishing.com. She publishes health, parenting, inspiration, and children’s books, including books for kids by kids, like The Adventures of the Rabbits in the Most Magical Place on Earth, The Adventures of the Squirrels in the Most Magical Place on Earth, and The Adventures of the Lions in the Most Magical Place on Earth—stories about the real animals that live in Walt Disney World, which are all written by her son Austin Reich and illustrated by her son Tyler Reich.

Mary Poppins Returns ~ A Spoiler- Free Review by guest author Joelle Heath

Published December 18, 2018 by Disneyways.com

Delightfully whimsical.
That is the phrase that comes to mind for this movie. It was a mostly sweet, sometimes teary, always sassy homage to the original. The songs are fun and in line with those of the original, with one exception being a tune just a bit more ahem mature than one might expect. You will notice many parallels in story elements that are classic to Mary Poppins and rather than coming across as simply repackaged from the original, those elements imbue authenticity for who Mary would still be, even after all these year. Though, don’t ask her age. That would be impolite.
If you still remember what it was like to be a child or need to be reminded, I hope you can find your way to the theater to enjoy this sweet holiday season treat. Keep an eye out for the many Easter eggs. You might even find yourself drawn to see it twice, just in case you missed something.

 

About the Author ~ Joelle Heath grew up in Pennsylvania and attended college at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. After graduating, she moved to sunny Florida. She teaches AP History at Cypress Creek High School and loves working with the great students and a terrific faculty.

FREE Story Time with a Disney Princess Only On May 10th 2018

Published May 3, 2018 by Disneyways.com

 

You don’t have to pay a fortune or stand in the heat to meet a Disney Princess if you are in Orlando on May 10th 2018!  The magic of learning meets the sparkle of live entertainment when a performer from Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream takes to the stage at the downtown Orlando Public Library with an animated reading session. Please note this is recommended for children ages 3-12. Registration requested. Call 407-835-7323 to register.

                      Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream skates into Orlando May 11-13, 2018 for six performances at Amway Center.

The reading will take place Thursday May 10th 2018 at 10:15am at the Orlando Public Library, located at 101 E. Central Blvd. Orlando FL 32801 and is completely FREE. You may want to bring some cash to park in the public parking garage close by, or some quarters for the parking meters. Media may be on hand to speak with you about your experience if you’d like to have your 15 minutes of fame! If you go to the event be sure to tag me on facebook, twitter or Instagram so that I can share your photos!

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