Monday, July 31, 2017

Epcot's World Showcase- Left or Right?

You're visiting Epcot. You're done with Future World, and you head toward World Showcase. You find yourself standing at the X below, gazing out at the country pavilions surrounding World Showcase Lagoon.



Which way do you turn? Left or right?



                                           left                                                               right

There is a correct answer here!

(Just kidding. I suppose you could go either way- but I never do...)

So- left or right? Tell us in the comments!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Creatures in the Castle

No doubt you've admired the spectacular murals inside Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The murals, designed by Imagineer Dorothea Redmond and installed by a team led by artisan Hanns Scharff,  line the walkway that runs through the castle.



The richly-detailed murals tell the story of Cinderella, in carefully-crafted tilework. Small creatures play important roles in the story of Cinderella- so it's only fitting that they're well-represented here in tile. Have you noticed the animals in the mural? Creatures large and small are represented throughout the work. Next time you visit, see how many you can find...















Have you noticed the creatures in the castle? Look for them next time, and 
come back and tell us how many you found...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

runDisney: The Half that (Almost) Wasn't

I've been immersed in runDisney info these past few weeks, following along with friends running Star Wars Half Marathon- The Dark Side last weekend at Walt Disney World, and Tinker Bell Half Marathon coming up soon at Disneyland.

My friend Vanessa- badass runner and Dark Side devotee-
nearing the finish line during the Star Wars 10K

I've been working on plans for my next rD race (the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Challenge in November!), and I've been training for a local race happening in a few days, to get a proof of time for Wine & Dine.

All this race talk had me thinking back to (what was supposed to be) my most recent runDisney race. If you follow runDisney news at all, you've certainly heard about the cancellation of this year's official runDisney Half Marathon, scheduled for January 7, 2017. When fellow runner and blogger Patty at My No Guilt Life put out a call for stories about it for her Tuesdays on the Run series, I shared my sory of The Half that (Almost) Wasn't. Start reading it below, then click over to read the full story...

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Threatening skies over the boardwalk- Yacht Club, Beach Club, and Crescent Lake


We’d all been watching that extended forecast for weeks- hoping for a last minute change. Lightning and thunder were solidly hovering for the wee hours of January 7, right at the time that thousands of Walt Disney World Half Marathoners would be heading to buses, monorails, and cars, making their way over to corrals to await the start of the race....

... click here to continue reading about The Half That (Almost) Wasn't



Were you registered for the runDisney Half Marathon in January 2017? Have you ever trained for a race that ended up being cancelled? Have you ever had to run a race in extreme weather conditions? Tell us about it in the comments...

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Attention to Detail: Masks

Masks. They're a universal part of human culture, found the world over and spanning history. They've held a variety of uses and meanings over time- sometimes artistic or ceremonial, sometimes functional or practical, always unique and distinctive to their respective cultures.

Much as you can find masks in all corners of the world, you'll find masks in all corners of Walt Disney World.

The first masks I remember encountering at Walt Disney World are the Venician masks found in Epcot's World Showcase, in the Italy pavilion.





In addition to the artisan masks in Italy's shops, masks are also featured in parts of the Kidcot children's area in this pavilion.

I started noticing masks in various places as I made my way through recent visits. Here's a sampling of masks I found in the parks...

African Outpost, Epcot's World Showcase:




China pavilion, Epcot's World Showcase:




Tusker House, Animal Kingdom:




Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom:




Mitsukoshi, Japan pavilion, Epcot's World Showcase:




In addition to the parks, masks can be found featured at resorts across property...

Coronado Springs Resort:




Moon Mask, Animal Kingdom Lodge:




And let's not forget Mardi Gras! The masks below can be found on display (and for sale) at 
Port Orleans French Quarter:




Have you taken notice of masks in Walt Disney World? Where else have you spotted them? 
Tell us about it in the comments...

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Here's a bonus shot, featuring masks on the wall of a study. Bonus points to anyone who can guess where in the parks this shot was taken. Do you think you know? Comment with your answer!



Saturday, February 25, 2017

What's next for Plus the Magic?

That 4 Year Itch...

If you spend any time on blogs dedicated to niche markets or specific realms of fandom- especially small blogs without a sponsorship/ad revenue model- you often see the same thing start to happen. As time goes by, it inevitably gets difficult to keep things fresh, to present content in a unique way, to do something different than a hundred other blogs are doing. Sometimes readership and engagement drop off, sometimes a blogger gets stuck in a rut and/or doesn't find the same joy in the process anymore. Sometimes a blogger's perspective or experience changes, and the original concept is no longer a good fit. Whatever the individual circumstances, a time often comes when things need to go in a new direction.

That's where Plus the Magic has been for a while.

I'm planning to change things up a bit in the coming months. I'm not exactly sure yet what that change will be, but getting to decide for myself is part of the fun (and part of the challenge).

I'm not planning a radical departure from my typical content, but I'm excited to explore some new avenues. I hope some of you stick around to see where the winds of change take us...