Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Disney Rituals

I was recently asked about my Disney Rituals, and I have to admit that that topic gave me pause.  Should I tell about what I love to do when I'm on an adults only trip?  Should I share what I love to do with my family when I go with them? Do I even have Disney Rituals?!
Vinymation window at Pop Century

During my family's Thanksgiving 2010 trip, I began collecting and trading Vinylmation. I think I started with 3 Vinylmation right before dinner, and I traded them all before we got back to our resort that night! Then and there a ritual was born! Whenever I go to Walt Disney World, or a Disney Store for that matter, I trade Vinylmation. Sometimes I buy a Vinylmation just to get to trade! (I did this in a Disney Store in San Antonio last month, and I ended up pulling the exact one I was hoping to get in an open trade!) There's a rush you get when you open a Vinylmation blind box: what will I get? Will it be the chaser? Will it be the one I was hoping for?! There's also a rush when you go to trade for one you've spotted in an open trade box that you've been dying to find. Even better when a neat one comes out of a blind trade box! It turns my trips to Disney World into a more interactive game where I'm jumping from shop to shop to see what trades I can make! I don't think I'll ever tire of the hunt!

Other rituals center more around food. My sister and I shared a Ghirardelli Cable Car Sundae on that trip, and we've been dying to go have another together. I've been to the World without her twice now, but it doesn't seem right to have one without having her there to share it with. No trip is complete for me without my "breakfast cupcake", as a friend dubbed it! I am not a breakfast eater (unless it's the one day during the trip that I have Mickey Waffles), but around 10 AM I get hungry, and for some reason a cupcake always hits the spot! Oh and what kind of trip would it be without a visit to the Boulangerie Patisserie in France in Epcot? The Napoleon there is to die for! Looking back, perhaps my Disney Ritual is eating my way around the World...

One of my favorite memories of trips with my family, especially my niece and nephew, is riding various attractions with them and singing along. I do not believe in keeping quiet on favorite rides, and I very much so believe in keeping the magic alive during trips, so we joyfully sing along (quietly). My niece and nephew once walked through Epcot with me singing The Seas with Nemo and then Journey into Your Imagination! What could be better than seeing an attraction through the eyes of a child?

it's a small world is another family favorite!
As I look toward my future, I think about new Disney Rituals I'd like to create. I hope to one day take the love of my life to Walt Disney World and get photos made with princesses and their princes. I want to make it a tradition to share a kiss during Wishes in front of Cinderella Castle. I hope that one attraction becomes our "special" one that we always go back to and smile quietly while holding hands. Yes, it's mushy, but it's the part of Disney I've never been able to have. I want to have rituals I'd never thought of having before. I'm a great lover of tradition, and I look forward to new and exciting traditions to come!

So what's your Disney Ritual? Can you really have just one?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Ways to Make the Days Go By Fast

As of today, my family and I have less than 140 days until our first Disney Cruise. To some people that probably sounds like a long time. For me, I break it down into shorter chunks, so that it feels like it comes quicker. In my head, as a teacher, I've just got to get to the end of summer, and then Thanksgiving will be here before I know it! Thankfully I also have plenty to occupy my mind between now and then. However, there are other fun ways to make the time pass.

One of my sister's and my favorite ways to pass the time is to create t-shirts for our vacation. A few years back my sister introduced me to the DisBoards, the Creative DISign boards in particular. There you can find wonderfully generous Disney fans who create and personalize designs, or DISigns, for FREE!  With these designs, they also share great ideas for crafts like t-shirts, pillowcases, CM thank you gifts, fish extenders (we'll talk more about those another day), pressed penny money carriers, gifts from Tinker Bell, window clings, and much more. Surfing the boards can be addicting, so I warn you before you head over there that you may find yourself going to craft stores much more than you ever have before!

While on the DIS, I found that I had a natural talent for PhotoShop, and I became a Creative DISigner myself. If you're from the DIS, you might know me as everydaymathchick. Here is my DISign album and thread, but I warn you, DISigning for free was taxing, and I eventually had to stop. Because of Disney's copyright, DISigners work for the pure joy of spreading pixie dust to other fans going on Disney trips. I loved seeing finished products that used my designs! A lot of what I did was personalizations which are really fun for kids since it allows face characters to call them by name.

So let's get to what all this means for you and your countdown, shall we? For starters, shirts are fun when you're going as a family since the whole family can have the same shirt for a day!
Our lime green Thanksgiving 2010 shirts got a lot of love
and attention from cast members and guests alike!
My sister and her family made Incredibles shirts as well! Keeping
with the theme, I made my "Super Stitch" shirt which was my
favorite by far!
By adding a border to some artwork from DeviantArt,
I was able to help my sister make some cool shirts
for her and my brother in law. This design combined
their love of Disney and Marvel comics!
 Now that you've seen some examples, you can see the shirts aren't obviously handmade. In fact, by making your own shirts, you can customize them to be more "YOU" than one you by in the store.

The best part about all of this is these shirts take weeks to make. You get to enjoy the fun of the hunt for the perfect designs, the joy of supply gathering, and you get to take your time actually creating your final products. You end up with a shirt (or other creation) that you'll enjoy on your trip, definitely get compliments on, and will be unique to you and your family!

I recommend you start by exploring the Creative DISigns boards. From there you can get ideas and tips on how to create your shirts as well as what supplies you will need. Learn right there from the experts! Pretty soon you'll be making items like my sister and I did; here's a few of my favorites:
Sweatshirt designed by me for my sister and I
Shirt designed by yours truly.
Sometimes grown ups want their names on their
shirts too! This was really only fun in the Parks...
I also used some other DISers' designs to make pillowcases
for the kids and me since we shared a room! The Stitch on
top is my design though.
My sister also did some amazing shirts for her and my
niece. She HAND-JEWELED those mouse ears! (The
tiaras and words were pre-made, but still amazing!)
Having a special bag can be fun too! That shirt on the right
says "What Do You Mean I Have To Go Home?"
I'll leave you with a few of my old DISigns (click on them to make them bigger) and the encouragement to countdown your days by crafting! Enjoy!

Tinkerbell Sitting on NameWall E by nameStitch EarsPooh & Pals Hanging From NameMinnie Red BowMickey StandingMary PoppinsAriel Sitting on NameMaleficent EarsSpace Mountain Survivor