Wednesday, April 23, 2014

So Just Try to Relax...

Confession time: I am a true-blue, textbook introvert. How is this pertinent to a Disney blog, you ask?

Well, quite fortunately, it means that I am perfectly content-- nay, pleased-- to spend a day all by my lonesome in a Disney Park. As I've said many times before, there are few things I enjoy quite as much as a leisurely day exploring the Disney parks. Strolling around with no timetable, no other preferences to satisfy, and no meet-ups to coordinate make a day at the park more like a personal day. (In fact, I often tell friends that I'll be "hanging out at Disney" for the day!)

However, the downside to this is that after a few hours, the "crowd factor" can get pretty overwhelming, and finding a peaceful place to recharge isn't always the easiest thing to do. Luckily, a little bit of poking around will reveal a plethora of places to take a breather in and around the parks. So, in the interest of lending a hand to introverts like myself, I thought I'd share of few of my favorites!

Disclaimer: Since I still have yet to make it to Hollywood Studios (shameful, I know), it won't be making an appearance on this list. However, I will be paying it a visit very soon, so any quiet-place suggestions would be much appreciated!

Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney World Railroad

The Magic Kingdom, while it may not appear so at first glance, is host to a ton of places where you can kick back and relax. This particularly spot was discovered around 5 o'clock on my most recent trip, when I was beginning to fade after a full day in the parks. I was determined to catch Wishes that evening, so some battery recharging was definitely in order. I grabbed a drink from Starbucks on Main Street and, just wanting a place to rest my tired legs, hopped on the train to take a relaxing ride around the Kingdom.

Guys, it changed my life. The half hour or so that I spent sitting on that train was just what the doctor ordered. As I sat sipping my coffee, the gentle breeze fanning my face, I was able to sit back and reflect on what a magical day it had been, and feel grateful for the opportunity to be in my favorite place in the world. When it came time to use a FastPass (Plus?) in Fantasyland, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the final stretch of the day!

Epcot: The Boardwalk

Okay, so my Epcot spot isn't technically in the park, but it's worth a short walk from the International Gateway to get away from the crowds and hang out on Disney's Boardwalk. Just a stone's throw form the World Showcase, the boardwalk provides a welcome respite from the crowds along with some of the best people-watching opportunities you'll see all day. Grab a treat from the Boardwalk Bakery and sit a spell on one of the many benches overlooking the water. You tastebuds and your aching feet will thank you.

Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree Barbecue

Unlike some of the other parks, its fairly easy to find quiet spots in Animal Kingdom. In the sprawling park, crowded sidewalks are really crowded, but I've often found myself wandering a trail or side path completely alone (I'm not sure how the park's upcoming construction will affect that, but we'll see!). My spot of choice is tucked away in the seating area behind the Flame Tree Barbecue counter service restaurant. Shade-providing pagodas and plentiful greenery provide a lush and calm environment, but my favorite place is just by the water, across from Expedition Everest. I usually time my meals here a little bit off of standard times so I can be sure to snag a bit of solitude while I enjoy a gentle breeze, a stunning vista, and tasty barbecue. 

Get a load of that view!

Do you have favorite resting spots in the Disney parks? Let me know in the comments... and also about Hollywood Studios! :P

Love and Pixie Dust,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Celebrating Springtime: A Few Flowers!

Hello, princes and princesses!

With all of the wonderful spring weather that has finally come to my neck of the woods (and the not-so-wonderful spring workload), I haven't had a ton of time to blog. I can't make it up to you guys just yet- the end of the semester is nigh-, but I can share a few photos from my favorite Spring celebration in Walt Disney World- Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival! I can't believe it's been running for over a month now, and I can't wait to get back just before the festivities end. Here are a handful more of my favorite snapshots:

And, if you need a little something more to get you into the sunny, springtime spirit, here's another one of my favorite ditties (seriously, Bambi is a goldmine). I recommend playing this one while traipsing through a meadow, picking flowers, or any other variety of twitterpated activity! 

Again, I am terribly sorry for the posting slack- you all are so fantastic! Now, what are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy this lovely spring day!
Love and Pixie Dust,
Becca :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Celebrating Springtime: Little April Showers

Happy Spring, princes and princesses!

Yeah, yeah, I know- Spring technically sprang a few weeks ago (March 20th, to be precise). However, it would seem that Mother Nature only just got the memo; as of last week, the Polar Vortex/Snowpocalypse of the winter is no more, and the season of budding blooms is here to stay! Spring is one of my favorite times of year- I just adore the feeling of freshness that comes with new life bursting from formerly barren flora-, and it's taking over the blog this week! All week long, I'll be sharing little tidbits of springtime (all with a Disney spin, of course!) to celebrate this most cheery time of year.

Thus far, April is living up to its reputation ("April showers bring May flowers", and all that); I am currently writing to the soundtrack of drops pitter-pattering on the window pane, with the forecast only predicting more of the same. Not that I terribly mind- there's nothing better to me than curling up with a cup o' coffee and watching the window on a rainy morning.

... what?

You mean I have to go out in all of that wetness?

Okay, maybe it's not all wonderful, but at least I have a tune to hum while I trudge through the puddles. "Little April Showers" from 1942's Bambi is my favorite song for a rainy day. The merry melody compensates for the gloom of gray skies and celebrates the springtime's special showers. It puts me in the perfect mindset for facing the gales outside; rather than grumbling about the raindrops tumbling, I'm more likely to leap through puddles on my way to class.

How do you handle April's showers? Sound off in the comments below!
Love and Pixie Dust, 
Becca :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Forgotten Disney Princesses: A Tribute

There is one truth we know to be self-evident: that in the vast, varied frontier of the Disney canon, some fantastic characters fall through the cracks. Everyone knows and loves the usual lineup- Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, et cetera, et cetera-, but what about the unsung heroes (or in this case, heroines) of Disney films gone by? What of these grossly under-appreciated gals, whose films have been glossed over in lieu the box-office giants of the nineties (cough- The Lion King- cough)? All three of these girls hold a very special place in my heart, and today, they get their day in the sun. So, without further ado,here is my little tribute to the three most egregiously looked-over Disney ladies!

3) Odette, The Swan Princess (1994)

Guys, this movie is great, and it deserves so much more attention than it gets. Adapted (albeit rather loosely) from Tchaikovsky's ballet of the same name, The Swan Princess presents the ultimate fairy tale, with a heroine whose character resonates beyond just a pretty face. Odette, while still adhering to some very princess-y tropes, understands that beauty shouldn't be the only important feature in finding a mate* and takes fate into her own hands when held captive by an evil sorcerer.

*This is probably fantastic news to Prince Derek, who sports a very silly 'do throughout all three Swan Princess films.

The only thing that surprises me more than Odette's complete obscurity in the Disney community is that her trusty anthropomorphic sidekicks don't get any attention whatsoever! Odette's token sidekicks- General Puffin, Jean-Bob the frog, and Speed the turtle- are an untapped merchandising goldmine. I want all the plushes, and I want them now!

2) Thumbelina, Thumbelina (1994)

I'm always stumped when I see the lack of love for this little lady, especially since she shares a voice with another, far-more-popular princess! Jodi Benson's Thumbelina is sweet and optimistic, though perhaps a bit too apt to trust complete strangers (then again- what good princess isn't?). Her travails can prove a bit too whimsical for some, but Thumbelina's story offers a colorful cast of character's that just can't be beat. Throw in music by Barry Manilow (check out "Let Me Be Your Wings"), and this movie is sent over the moon.

Like the aforementioned Derek, Thumbelina's prince- Cornelius, by name- has got some slightly problematic hair going on, but he's so sweet that it's pretty easy to overlook. Besides, I feel like his cool factor compensates with the fact that he's got wings and a sweet bumblebee as a ride.

1) Anastasia, Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia's lack of recognition in the Disney community is downright puzzling to me. In fact, anytime you try to look her up, all you see is this girl:

 (Seriously- what is she even from?)

 Anastasia is just amazing; she's headstrong, adventurous, and has considerably better taste in princely hairstyles than the previous princesses on this list (I'm sorry- this quality is just really important to me). Based on the real-life tale of the lost Romanov daughter, this movie is a Disney lover's dream. The score is stunning, the animation breathtaking, and the villain is among the best of the best (Maleficent, meet Rasputin.). I suppose some of the movie's criticisms could come from its highly fictionalized retelling of a historical tale, but Pocahontas has fared just fine in similar circumstances. Come on, Disnerds- we've got to step it up!

Who are your favorite under-appreciated Disney girls! Let me know in the comments!

Love and Pixie Dust, 
Becca :)

P.S.- Before the comment wars begin... just check the posting date! ;)