Disney Vacation, and why I was ready to come home...

That title is a little misleading. OF COURSE I didn't want to leave Disney World! To me, it is the most magical experience. Every time I see Cinderella's Castle, I transform into a kid again! This time around, I felt like I was walking through a cloud of inspiration. Yes, I still jumped up and down when I saw Donald Duck (see below), but I saw EVERYTHING at Disney as an opportunity to learn. How the cast members treated their guests, what things looked like behind the scenes, branding, trash pickup, etc. If you're a business owner, YOU SHOULD GO THERE FOR RESEARCH! Maybe I can write this trip off as a business expense... ;)

Donald Duck

Have you been at that point when you just need a vacation? Yeah, me too. However, I do not believe vacation is a right. It's something you have to work for. I am of the school that one should not go on vacation if they haven't saved up for it....do not take on debt to go on vacation. {off soapbox.} My husband has worked for 2.5 years without taking time off. Yes, a day or two here and there, but essentially, he has worked 6 or 7 days a week for the last year and some change. Cal manages a delicious restaurant in Norfolk and works part time at our church. I finally put my foot down and said we were skipping town for a while.

Some of my favorite things at Disney happen during the Holidays. If you've never been, Christmastime is a great time to go. The Osborne Lights, the gingerbread houses, the Candlelight Processional...there are so many WONDERFUL things to see and experience.

Gingerbread Carousel

Gingerbread Carousel

Osborne Lights

Osborne Lights

At Animal Kingdom, there were TWO baby gorillas! One was so small, I couldn't get a picture that actually looked like anything more than a furball on the ground. It's amazing how social these animals are. They remind me a little of us humans in that we thrive in a community setting.

gorilla
Priorities...a girl and her Mickey pretzel

Priorities...a girl and her Mickey pretzel

flamingos

Being at Disney with an iPhone 6 will make anyone feel like a photographer...sort of. If you've never done the safari ride in Animal Kingdom, it is filled with photo ops at a much less expensive rate than a real African safari!

Elephants
Tree of Life
Tinkerbell at the Mainstreet Electical Parade

Tinkerbell at the Mainstreet Electical Parade

Goofy

One thing I really noticed was the consistency at all the parks. Again, I've been to Disney World many times, but I manage to learn something new during every visit. This place is a lesson in branding, something I'm still working towards understanding and implementing. Call me weird, but I couldn't wait to take pictures at the Tangled restroom stop. That place was perfectly themed. Since I consider Rapunzel my spirit cartoon, I spent extra time just soaking it all in!

Tangled tower
Tangled restrooms

Tangled restrooms

Tangled

Another activity I recommend would be the Animation Station at Hollywood Studios. This little gem was stumbled upon by our family several years ago. It is a MUST DO if you love to draw, or even if you don't. Please enjoy our Minnie Mouse sketches. Hahahaha!

Minnie Mouse sketch

Cal and I met up with my sweet friend, Sharra and her boyfriend, Darin.

friends
Mickey Mouse
Enjoying LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern! A frozen apple juice with mango cream topping!

Enjoying LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern! A frozen apple juice with mango cream topping!

Casey's Corner

Casey's Corner

Castle

I could write for days about this vacation. It was restful and busy all at the same time. I was glad to come home because I AM EXCITED ABOUT THIS NEW STEP IN MY LIFE! Starting a business is SCARY and confusing. Even though I've already booked weddings since launching in October, I can tell you I'm excited to grow into a business that attracts brides that will become my friends. My brand will not be perfect for everyone (even Disney isn't, i.e., my mother), but it will be perfect for my brides and clients.

I'll leave you with this quote from Walt Disney, which has been important to me over these past few months: The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Main Street