My First Disney Cruise: Six Revelations about Living on the Mouse’s Boat

When my parents were talking about taking everyone on a cruise, I did wonder what it would be like. I’ve never considered the idea of a cruise before. I’m either the kind of vacationer who likes to travel to a location or experience a location, I’m not the pampering kind of person. And that is how I imagined a cruise, me being pampered and lying down for a long time.

That is not a Disney Cruise.

Wait, let me correct that. I’m sure if people wanted to they could just lie down and eat all day. (There was sections of the ship “quarantined” just for adults and good food is everywhere), but I found the ship to be exciting with things to do every hour. The idea of lying down for more than an hour would feel like a waste for me.

From the 5K I ran on Castaway Cay (and I was pretty happy with my time) to the big slide on deck to the movies in the theater. A Disney Cruise is an adventure.

In typical Scott fashion, I have to get my thoughts about the experience down quickly, capture these great feelings I have about it… (Oh, and thanks mom and dad for the trip!)

Story vs. Celebration

Anyone who follows my blog, knows I have a thing about Disneyland. There is this post about my adoration for that little location in Anaheim, and this post that might be my favorite on the entire site about having a quiet moment alone in the park as it awakes. The reason for this love is very simple.

See, with Disneyland, I like to think that Walt found a new way to tell a story. The equivalent of the first person who decided to tell a story on a stage or put it on paper. He took stories from a sterile and controlled environment and put it around you. And when a ride (like Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted Mansion or an atmosphere (like Adventureland, Tomorrowland needs work) succeeds, it is as special to me as laying on a couch on a lazy Saturday discovering a great book for the first time.

With the cruise it is something different. It can’t be about a story, that would have been hard to pull off; what you get instead is a celebration of Disney and its history. Continue reading

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Putting Away My Disneyland Stuff

25_forwebWhen you get home from a trip, sometimes you slowly, slowly empty your suitcases as if a part of you doesn’t want to admit that the trip is over. It’s a thankless task as you have to decide what to keep as a treasure, a memory, or what would be better left thrown away. This decision is especially difficult after a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, especially if it dares to have the name “Disneyland” printed someplace on it.

That is where I am right now, doing my best to get back to normal life. Just look at last week on the site! To prove everything is back I wrote two articles on the art of writing. Two!

(By the way the art of writing is something I worked hard at NOT thinking about when I was on the trip.)

So… now that I am home and the suitcases are empty, as a final little bit of goodbye to that time, I thought I would share the links to some of the articles I have written on Walt’s park below. After this I am going to take a break from the mouse and Fantasyland (even though normal life can sometimes feel so boring without rides and jungle cruises).  I hope you enjoy them.

Hey! I was the letter H in the #AtoZChallenge!

Me and TonyThis post is a day late since I have only recently gotten home from a vacation with the family. We just spent five days in the happiest place on Earth. Yup, I’m talking Disneyland. Want proof? Here is a picture of me with a surprisingly silent Tony Stark. (I have two posts planned for next week around Walt’s gift to the world, so stay tuned!)

The Masquerade Crew each April honors different bloggers that first are nominated by their readers. I was honored to be nominated by Marshall and Tracey Best (@ancumer) and I am this year’s letter H!

The H is to represent “Honesty” and “Humor” in my posts. Now, I’m sure my parents and maybe some ex-girlfriends will debate the honesty bit, but I do admit I do see a lot of eyes rolling when I make jokes here around the house. I must save the best material for my posts.

You can check out the page about me on The Masquerade Crew’s site here. And please, check out the other writers as well.

Thank you again for supporting my site Bests and all of my other fellow readers! This really means a lot to me! Thank you!

Learning to Share Disneyland

Walt at the ParkSo last night I had a dream where I met Paul McCartney at Disneyland.

I was standing in line at the Peter Pan ride with my family, and he was standing behind me with his family and some big bodyguards. I, of course, realized at once who this was, and when a pause happened in his conversation, I politely excused myself and said thanks. Thanks for everything since his music means so much to me.

Paul was very gracious in return and we lightly talked. He asked about me and I told him about my writing and how I listen to his music a lot when I create and how it is a soundtrack around our house. He seemed to really appreciate that, especially the idea of his music inspiring other artists. I even asked him if the rumor that The Beatles were approached to be in The Jungle Book was true (I don’t remember his reply, but in many ways that is only an urban legend at this point).

It was in this moment of the dream that my wife tapped me on the shoulder and asked who I was speaking to. I turned her around, and casually introduced her to Sir Paul.

…And then my wife fainted in a very dramatic fashion.

She even made a “whoosh!” noise as she collapsed, sounding almost like air escaping a tea kettle.

Now, my wife is not the kind of person to faint for any reason (I would faint before she would faint), and it was that realization that woke me up. So I didn’t get to talk to Sir Paul anymore, or even get on the ride.

All that standing in line for nothing. Continue reading

Finding Comfort in Possessions: 14 Days Until 40

Back to the FutureOne of the films I loved growing up was Back to the Future.  I’ve owned the trilogy a few different times now, and have the current version on Blu-Ray. I believe I bought it that opening week when it came out. Yeah, I’m one of those kind of collectors. I like things fresh off the shelves like fruits and vegetables.

Well, a few years ago I was reading an interview with one of the creators. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was Robert Zemeckis or one or the producers or writers, but the speaker complained about the importance of greed in the film. If he had a chance to go back, he argued, he would have made it more about family as compared to the acquisition of possessions at the end.

In other words, Marty’s family didn’t have to be rich and successful and Marty didn’t need the sweet new truck. Just getting his family back together should have been enough.

Being a child of the 80’s, this idea kind of blew my mind. And between you and me, I feel like Marty had earned that truck… but now as a dad trying to imagine a better world for my kids, I side with that speaker. I would like my kids to see it that way. Marty won without the truck.

Yet, with 40 fast approaching, I seem to be finding comfort in some of my possessions. They help me turn off my brain, focus my thoughts. And, in a way, define my journey up to this point and where I would like to see myself go. Of course, being the blogger I am, I have written about most of these things before.  So I will link to an original post and then give you an update on where I am now. Therapy? Partially. Helpful? Definitely.  These are my sanity as I step slowly towards this halfway mark… Continue reading

For the Love of Disney

WaltOn Friday I made a major sacrifice for me. My wife took my son to see Monsters University while I stayed home.

They needed some alone time together, which is understandable, and I watched the toddler, not at all imagining with extreme jealously the wonderful new Pixar film they were experiencing together.

On Saturday. I went to a wedding for a really great couple, one of my favorites. During the evening, I found myself standing around with a group of parents and the new Pixar film came up. The parents who saw it already fawned over it, one even declared it the best they have done.

Breathe deep, Scott, breathe…

Since starting this site I have written a few times on Disney and my fascination. Here are a few posts to check out:

Have a magical day!

Walt and Me

I was not a Disney kid growing up; I became a fan of Mr. Disney as an adult.

It seems weird to say it, like I should be having my official “literary snob” business cards taken away, but this is one of my quirks (possibly embarrassing) and it was not something I was planning. I am a fan of the man and mainly that all stems from Disneyland.  Let me explain this better:

It was February 2000 and I had just moved from Michigan’s snowy winter to the surrealism that is Los Angeles. I was starting mid-term in the graduate program in writing at the University of Southern California, which definitely put me in an odd position. I was the new kid and many of the cliques were already formed in the autumn, when everyone else started. Plus, to be honest, programs like this are not exactly a place where people make friends; there is a lot of competitiveness in the writing world. You want to have the respect of your professors and be in with the good writers, you do not want to be part of the other groups, trust me.

So to say I was lonely and feeling out of sorts at that moment would be to put it mildly. I was not on my A game.

Anyway, I was watching TV in my grungy graduate apartment (seriously, my roommate was one of the messiest people I had ever met; I was terrified to get near the kitchen, deciding to live off food from the local Starbucks and canned goods), when an ad came up for Disneyland. Continue reading

Why Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Kind of Disturbs Me

I’m a Disney fan.

If I had to make a list of three people I would like to meet alive and/or dead, Walt would be on that list for me, just for the sheer creativity he had in his life. I also had season passes for Disneyland when I lived in Los Angeles. Heck, thanks to an app on my iPhone I can tell you right now that there is a 20 minute wait to get on Space Mountain; and I am in Michigan as I write that fact. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

When it comes to the movies, I lean more towards THE JUNGLE BOOK and the Pixar films (especial WALL-E and THE INCREDIBLES) as compared to the princess movies (We’ll see how that changes when my daughter starts watching things at age 2), however I have seen all of their animated films at one point or another. Yet, of all of the films it is always BEAUTY AND THE BEAST that leaves me scratching my head in confusion. Continue reading