Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Photo Flashback! Unforgettable

This week's topic from Focused on the Magic is "Unforgettable." At first, I thought of the classic song by the same name and considered sharing photos from my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding.  My next  idea was to share unforgettable moments from many trips, but that's pretty much what we've been doing on this blog since 2010 so that was out.  I decided I'd share with you some unforgettable moments from one special Disney World vacation, Baby Minnie's very first trip in May 2012.  She was 11 months old.

Enjoying her First Visit button at Old Key West

First trip down Main Street USA with Granddaddy and Tink

I'll never forget how much fun Minnie had interacting with everyone at 50s Prime Time Cafe.  We were in a high-traffic area and it kept her very entertained.

I'll never forget how Granny was holding on to Minnie for dear life during the bumpy parts of the Kilamajaro Safaris.  The little one enjoyed every moment.

Tink thoroughly enjoyed Mulch, Sweat and Shears and wanted to share her snacks with them.  Watching her dance to the music was unforgettable.

Watching Minnie light up during her first meeting with her (nick)namesake was unforgettable. 
This was Minnie's very first character greeting and she adored Pluto.

Focused on the Magic

Friday, February 20, 2015

What makes it all worth it for me

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, castle
Cinderella Castle

It really didn't surprise me when Amy started this blog almost FIVE years ago.  She has always had a love for Disney, I guess, thanks in part to me.  When she started researching taking her first child, Tink, to Walt Disney World she couldn't find what she wanted to know in one place.  So out of her research began Growing Up Disney and out of Tink's first trip on her first birthday came the Growing Up Disney Logo.

Soon, her brother, known as Ridge here on Growing Up Disney, started posting and I would occasionally add a few articles (Check out Ridge's articles here).  Amy now has 2 beautiful girls.  And as a mom finds less and less time to write.  She has moved half way across the US, not once, but TWICE.

Ridge still goes on trips with us to WDW, but since changing jobs, has not been able to find much time to write.  So for a while most of our posts became sharing lots and lots of photos.  The first photos I have posted of WDW begin in 1971.

Over the years we have help from lots of friends from California to England and points in between who have contributed posts.  Disney has their Mickey Mom's but Growing Up Disney has had our Minnie Mom's (click to see their posts).  We have met lots of new friends through GUD.

Last year we lost the web site.  We missed renewing the site and someone jumped in and bought the domain out from under us.  For several weeks it no longer was our family photos.  It had some random "junk" on it.  It cost me way to much money to get it back.

Sometimes I wonder if it was worth the cost.  But then you get an email...

We recently received a email from someone who had just found our "home-away-from-home" here on the web.  They told us how much they enjoyed the old pictures and the family posts.  That is what makes it all worth it to me.  The late nights trying to get a last minute post done, searching through old albums to scan a photo, or trying to come up with a subject to post are all tiring and time consuming.  You wonder if you are really sharing with anyone, or just typing words into the computer.  Then someone will post a comment or send you an email.

I hope you enjoy our family posts on GrowingUpDisney.  Last week Amy posted several pictures of a trip and one of Mickey and me (click to see it).  One of these days I'll have to tell you all about the Old Man and the Mouse.

Everybody neat and pretty?  Then on with the show!   -- Mickey Mouse Club 1955


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Photo Flashback! Lights, Motors, Action!

On our last trip to Walt Disney World my wife and I watched Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show again at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I've seen it several times and still enjoy the show.  Since I've seen it before I know when to watch for the "big" stunts to try to get the "perfect" photo.  At this performance  we were sitting almost in the middle of the theater.  I managed to get a few good action shots.  Let me know what you think of these.

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Smoking Tires!

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Jumping Cars

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Falling Villians

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Fast Motorcycles!

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
 and my favorite --- FIRE!!!

Focused on the Magic

Friday, February 13, 2015

A New Year and an Old Problem

Disney's Old Key West Resort Lighthouse, Growing Up Disney
The Lighthouse at Disney's Old Key West Resort
our usual Home at WDW

Once again it's a new year and I have the same old problem.  No reservations at Walt Disney World.  I have several people I've seen this year that have asked me: "when are you going to Disney again?" or "when is your next trip?" Often the question is followed with "Take me with you!"  But right now, I have not made any reservations for 2015.

Oh, we have been talking, Amy, Ridge, and me. (Mom and Andy, neither being the trip planner, just go along whenever we tell them.)  Ridge and I have to plan around work and Amy has to plan around Andy's work and Tink and Minnie's school calender.  It's getting harder to put all the schedules together.  DVC has improved the Members site so it is easy to check availability when you are planning a trip.

As the Dad of the group, I feel blessed.  Our kids still go on vacation with Mom and me.  Not only our ADULT kids, but also my grand-kids, and my son-in-law go on vacation with us.  I love our family vacations to Walt Disney World!

We are Disney Vacation Club Members.  It is only with the Vacation Club we are able to afford a yearly trip or two.  It's been fun taking our kids, and now grand-kids to share in the fun at WDW.

That brings me back to my problem.  No reservations.  It won't be too much longer and we will have our plan complete, usually an October trip for EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.  If there are points left over from our annual allotment, then there might be a trip during the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.  But until then...

Do you have a favorite time of the year to visit Walt Disney World?  If so, share with us and let us know how you plan.

In the mean time,
  Here is a photo we inherited from my wife's uncle that he took in 1973.  Hope you like this "antique" photo of Cinderella Castle.

1973 Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, vintage Disney

Also below is one more of our unique 360 degree photos that I share from time to time.  This photo was taken in May, 2014.  I hope you like it.

Click on the picture or the caption to open the Theta360 website to view the interactive 360 degree photo of the inside of the Mexican Pavilion at EPCOT.

If you would like to see more of these unique photos be sure to enter "Spherical Photos" in the search box on our website.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Photo Flashback! 14 Examples of Disney Love

When I started doing Photo Flashback posts, the idea was to have a quick way to share a photograph and a memory with you.  Well, these days I don't have as much time for blogging as I'd like so when I get a photo topic, I tend to get carried away.  I still love to talk about Walt Disney World; the real world just likes to get in the way.  

Today is another time when I couldn't just choose one image.  In honor of "Disney Love" I have 14 pictures from my family's Walt Disney World vacation from May 2014.  My husband isn't in any of these photos because he had to stay home and work but he is certainly one of my Disney loves.

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, child enjoying teacups
I love sharing classic attractions with my children and watching another generation fall in love with the magic of Walt Disney World.
Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, Festival of Fantasy parade
I love watching parades with my girls.

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, Cinderella Castle
I love sharing this Disney obsession with my dad.

Seriously, this man loves the mouse.

Growing Up Disney, Grand Floridian, Walt Disney World, afternoon tea
I love going to tea at the Grand Floridian with my mom.  Tink was very proud to finally be old enough to go to tea and she adored the experience.

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, Old Key West
Sisterly love at the resort we love, Old Key West.

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, Soarin', Epcot
Tink and I love Soarin'.

Walt Disney World, Growing Up Disney, Merriweather, Festival of Fantasy
I love a certain feisty fairy with a penchant for the color blue.

Walt Disney World, Growing Up Disney, Jammitors, Epcot
I love the live entertainment at the parks.  (I'm still bummed that Off Kilter is gone.) 

Growing Up Disney, Walt Disney World, girl enjoying ice cream at WDW
Minnie loves Mickey ice cream bars.

Walt Disney World, alcoholic beverages, Growing Up Disney
I love a little afternoon break while the little one naps in the stroller.

Little girl enjoying band at Walt Disney World, Growing Up Disney
Minnie really loved these guys and couldn't resist joining in on the performance.

Be Our Guest restaurant, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Growing Up Disney, cupcakes
I love Disney desserts.  And yes, the gray stuff is delicious.

Walt Disney World, Buzz Lightyear, Growing Up Disney
I love that I still get to play at Walt Disney World with my little brother.

That's my list.  What's on your list of Disney Loves?

Focused on the Magic

Friday, February 6, 2015

A New Year and a New Vacation Club

You've probably seen the construction at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  Disney Vacation Club is growing again!

Bora Bora Bungalows

Going on general sale on February 9th (sales to DVC members began January 12th) and scheduled to open on April 1, 2015, Disney's Polynesian Village and Bungalows are the newest member of the Disney Vacation Club.

Phase one will include 20 over-the-water 2 bedroom bungalows that sleep 8 and 360 Deluxe Studio Villas that will sleep 5.

Disney's Polynesian Village and Bungalows have several FIRSTS for DVC and Disney Resorts.  These are the first over-the-water accommodations, the first accommodations to have a plunge pool for each bungalow, and the first connecting Deluxe Studios.

Information on Disney's Polynesian Village and Bungalows is available now for DVC members on the member website at  General information should be available after sales begin on the public website at

Note:  We are Disney Vacation Club Members and are not employees of or otherwise associated with Disney or DVC sales.  If you do have questions about Disney Vacation Club please leave a comment and we will be glad to share our experience as DVC Members.


Did you know that the name of Disney's Polynesian Resort has changed to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Photo Flashback! Love is in the air!

February is when Love is in the air
Disney World Magic Kingdom
Minnie and her Mickey
.  At Walt Disney World that reminds us of the World's most famous couple.  Mickey and Minnie are up in the air in Love... or at least they look like they are enjoying a balloon ride.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom
Mickey and Minnie in their balloon float - 2014
Mickey and Minnie have a wonderful hot air balloon parade float that they are able to "float" through the parade route in the Magic Kingdom.

These are 2 pictures I took of the parade last year on one of our visits to Walt Disney World.


Focused on the Magic