Living a Disney Life – 2015

You guys are the best!  I don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you.  Another year has come and (nearly) gone – it’s hard to believe it!  2015 was incredibly busy and also full of life’s joys and sorrows.  I know sad times are necessary for us to truly appreciate happy ones, but that knowledge doesn’t always make those tough times easier to bear.  What did make a difference in my life in 2015 was all of you.

Through this blog and the Disney Exchange Podcast, on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – you and I have formed friendships.  In many cases, we’ve shared life’s challenges and successes and cheered and supported each other along the way.  Our common interests brought us together and the kindness of the Disney fan community is humbling and amazing.

Living a Disney Life – 2015

In February, I ran in my first three runDisney events and you were there via social media with words of encouragement.  From the Frozen 5k (very appropriately named as the weather was certainly freezing) to the Enchanted 10k and the Princess Half Marathon…I shared my view along the way tweeting pictures as I ran and your responses kept me going when I got tired.  Thanks for that!Princess-Half-Main-Street

In June, family tragedy struck.  Just before The Fam and I sailed through the fjords of Norway on the Disney Magic, I lost my mom after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  This blog would have gone dark for weeks if not for my Disney friends’ help.  Mike and Gary from the Por Favor Podcast, Keith and Sean from Enchanted Tiki Talk, Andrew from The Mouse for Less, Curt from Geekin’ on WDW, and of course Nick and Barbie from Disney Musings all provided entertaining and informational Disney articles for your reading pleasure.  They also offered me kind words of friendship and support during a difficult time in my life.  That meant more than I can say.Mount-Floyen-Selfie

In September, Raymond walked Megan down the aisle and suddenly our little Princess became a grown-up married woman and our family of four became five.  The entire pixie-dusted wedding was as perfectly perfect in every way as any of our imaginations could have dreamed up.  We are as proud to call Grant our son as Joseph is to call him brother.  After a honeymoon at Walt Disney World, the newlyweds have settled well into their new life together.  Thank you for all the well-wishes and kind words during that time.Father-Daughter-Wedding

The year is coming to a close – Many months ago, Raymond and I decided that we couldn’t let 2015 end without one last visit to our favorite vacation destination.  In a year packed with hellos and goodbyes, we consider ourselves blessed with the very best family and friends any two people could ever wish for.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!  We love you guys!  We’ll be back with more Disney adventures in 2016 and we hope you’ll be along with us again!  Wishing you a very Happy New Year – LisaDCL Norway Raymond and Lisa

Meet My Friend Nick from Disney Musings

RM-Nick-and-Lisa-at-EpcotIf you happened to catch this post about how much I enjoy meeting new and not-so-new friends at Walt Disney World, then you’ve heard me mention my buddy Nick and his wife, Barbie.  Nick and I both are contributing writers at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos, which is how we met.  Nick and Barbie live in New Jersey and have their own blog called Disney Musings.

One of the things I like about Nick and Disney Musings is that he and I are often of differing opinions on Walt Disney World restaurants and attractions.  It makes for fun debates and good-natured ribbing.  For example, Nick and Barbie consider the Hollywood Brown Derby one of their all-time favorite Disney World restaurants, me?  Not so much.  It’s also great to know, after meeting them, that Barbie and Nick are as kind and fun in person as they seem to be on Disney Musings.  It’s fun reading other Disney fans’ views on various aspects of Disney travel and entertainment.  Disney Musings also has a RM-Barbie-Nick-Lisafew other contributing writers who offer many different perspectives on a huge variety of Disney travel topics – including Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line.

Nick and Barbie have some incredible Disney collectibles and amazing Disney Christmas decorations I’d love to show you.  And I will!  Show you, I mean.  Starting next Saturday, I’ll share one of Disney Musings’ blog posts here for you to read each week.  I know you’ll enjoy following along with Nick and Barbie on some of their Disney adventures as much as I do.  Wait until you see some of their awesome Disney Halloween and Pirate Night costumes!

Check back on Saturdays for some extra Disney fun!  If you want to get a jump on exploring all the goings on at Disney Musings, click here.

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Confessions from Nick at Disney Musings

operaPlease welcome today’s guest, Nick! Nick’s got a great Disney blog with awesome photographs over at Disney Musings – be sure to check it out!

The Most Emotional Hour I Ever Spent at a Disney Park

I’m going to share a secret with you. I’m an emotional guy. When I encounter something that touches me, I lose it. A movie. A song. A bench. What type of bench would make me break down? I’ve actually talked about this very topic in my review of the Walt Disney Family Museum. I sat down on one of the benches from Griffith Park, where Walt would sit and watch his daughters on the carousel. It was on these benches that Walt envisioned a park that families could enjoy together. The act of sitting on a bench that Walt himself likely sat on made me burst into tears. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let me take you back to a trip I took to Disneyland back in late September of 2010 with my wife and friends, Todd, Meghan, and our Godson, Flynn. On the last hot afternoon of our 3 day stay at the Grand Californian, the group went back to the  rooms to escape the heat and take a nap. I stayed behind and decided to visit attractions we hadn’t gotten to yet, including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, located at the Opera House at the front of Disneyland.

Upon entering, I saw this:Bench

The plaque reads: The Actual park bench from the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in Los Angeles, where Walt Disney first dreamed of Disneyland. Yes, I started to cry. On another plaque nearby, under a picture of the carousel:


Walt Disney’s Dream “It came about when my daughters were very young and Saturday was always Daddy’s day…So we’d start out and try to go someplace…I’d take them to the merry-go-round and I took them different places and as I’d sit while they rode the merry-go-round – sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts – I felt that there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise, where the parents and the children could have fun together. So that’s how Disneyland started.” Walt Disney I started to sob. As there was still 15 minutes until the next Lincoln show, I stepped outside to get air, just as the Flag Retreat Ceremony was starting! This is so patriotic and moving, my crying just intensified.


I finally got it together, somewhat, and entered the theater to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Due to knowing that this was an attraction Walt was personally involved with, the patriotic nature of the show, and the moving “2 Brothers” Civil War Segment that people who have visited the American Pavilion in Epcot will be familiar with, I broke into tears once again. I was thankful that my family and friends were not present to see what an emotional wreck I’d become! Happy Anniversary to Disneyland, which opened on this day in 1955, and thank you Walt! -sniff-

For more great Disney stories, reviews, history and more, be sure to follow Nick in all these places: