Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bijutsu-kan: a museum space in Epcot's Japan pavilion

Are you aware of the museum spaces present in some of the World Showcase Pavilions? If not, make a point to check them out next time you visit. They often go overlooked by visitors, but they truly are worth seeking out. They house some of the more interesting finds in Epcot.

Tucked away in the Japan pavilion is Bijutsu-kan, a Japanese art gallery.

For the last few years, the gallery has been showing an exhibit on "Spirited Beasts", an exploration of the mythical creatures found in anime:

I was excited to find out that a new exhibit was recently installed, celebrating what's being referred to as Japan's "culture of cute". I look forward to visiting this exhibit in a few weeks, so stay tuned for an update.

Have you been to the museum spaces around World Showcase? Which exhibit was your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Plus the Magic visits Disneyland!

A recent work conference brought me to the west coast, and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Disneyland for a few days. I returned home overwhelmed by this amazing place, and I hope to share some of my experiences and impressions soon- after I sift through the 1300+ photos I came back with!

For today- a few brief thoughts:

  • Despite how difficult it is for me to get to Anaheim, I MUST return soon- a few days was not enough here
  • Disneyland Hotel just jumped to the top of my list of favorite Disney hotels  
  • It may sound cliche, but charming perfectly describes Fantasyland
  • I was pleasantly surprised by just how much fun was in store for me at California Adventure
  • I was unpleasantly surprised by how crowded Disneyland was, mid-week ( a rookie complaint, perhaps- but it was more crowded than I have ever seen WDW)
  • I am truly & completely in love with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

OK, back to sifting through pictures and pondering what to write about my #PtMatDLR trip! Stay tuned. But in the meantime- tell us about YOUR Favorite thing about Disneyland...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Flea Market Finds: Disney Edition

One of my favorite things about my neighborhood is a cool little flea market that sets up in an empty parking lot just a few blocks away. Every Saturday (except in the dead of winter), vendors pop up with all manner of trash & treasure. I go every week (always looking for globes), and very often, something Disney catches my eye. Here are a few of the Disney (or Disney-adjacent) things I spotted on a recent visit...

Seeing these books with 45s inside brought me back to my childhood. I had several 
of these, including that Robin Hood one on top. (Kids, a "45" was a short-form record 
that we used to... oh, nevermind.)

This Mickey hand puppet was propped up on a curb, dangerously 
close to a little pile of cigarette butts.

Is that an old All-Star Resort mug? Yes it is!

I was tempted by these World's Fair glasses- they were in great condition!

Princess bookends

This marble-base golf statue weighed about 5 pounds. The seller removed it 
from the table right after I took this photo, saying "I can't sell this, I haven't looked it 
up on eBay yet". OK, settle down, dude.

The rotary version of this was my dorm room phone. 
It was my roommate's most prized possession.

This table was filled with all sorts of little figures, and was a hit with 
a group of preschoolers waiting for their parents.

So, did I make a purchase? YES! I spotted this comic book, and after seeing the $1.00 price tag, how could I pass it up? It's a full length comic that features Mickey teaching Goofy about energy conservation. It's from 1978, and it's in great condition. I'm excited to dive in and see the 1978 take on this subject. Will the content be relevant, inaccurate, outdated, or still valid 37 years later? Stay tuned...

Have you ever discovered any Disney treasures at yard sales or flea markets? 
Tell us about it in the comments!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Running the World: Running Trail Signs at Walt Disney World Resorts

Have you noticed any of the Running Trail signs at Walt Disney World Resorts? The next time you're strolling through a resort, keep your eyes peeled for these helpful signs. I've been seeing more and more of them, and I think they're an interesting addition to resort amenities.

I used to think there were two kinds of people in the world- those who would never voluntarily run while on vacation, and those who were... crazy. Sometimes, of course, things happen in the least expected of ways. Such was the case when I slowly (and I do mean slowly) became a runner over the past few years. (Me! A runner! Practically unimaginable). I now understand that there are some really legitimate circumstances that might find people running while at Walt Disney World. Whether it's for basic fun and fitness or for more structured training, you're bound to see people out and about around the resorts. Just last week, I helped my brother-in-law figure out a place to run. He's training for the New York City Marathon, and his training plan required that he run 18 miles last weekend- right smack in the middle of his Walt Disney World vacation. A quick request for help to one of my supportive runDisney groups got us the info we needed in no time (thanks, RtD!).

With the ever-growing popularity of runDisney races, and the increasing number of runners in general, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing more ways that Disney supports guests in their efforts for fitness. A few years back, Running Trail signs started to pop up at various resorts on property. Sponsored by New Balance, these signs can be found along pathways, tucked under trees, and beside waterways around many Disney resorts.

The signs each feature a map of the area with a general trail sketched out, along with some running tips. There are a few variations of the signs, some with more information than others. Here are a few versions you might find around property:

This one can be found at Boardwalk Inn, and a similar one (with a different "you are here" dot, of course), is between Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts (see first pic). The Crescent Lake/Boardwalk area is  a perfect locale for running. This map features the distance of the trail marked off, which is a helpful inclusion. A loop around Crescent Lake will take you a distance of .8 miles.

Next up, we have the sign at Disney's Polynesian Village. This trail stretches between The Poly and The Grand Floridian. This one is pretty wordy, like the Beach Club sign, and includes extra tips covering hazards, sunscreen, wildlife, and more. Maybe those extra tips took up too much space, because missing from this Poly sign is a distance measurement. I wonder how far it is... 

This next sign comes to us from Pop Century. As with most of the other trail signs, this route covers two resorts, bringing us from Pop Century over to Art of Animation. Like The Poly, though, no distance marker can be found here. (Anybody know this distance?) They seem to have pared down the tips on this one, so the sign's a bit less busy. 

This is the latest sign I've seen- and the longest trail. This one stretches between Wilderness Lodge and across through Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, covering 2.5 miles (with a clear map of other roads and loops for anyone who wants to extend that run).

Whether you're running for fun, for fitness, or as part of a training plan, these resort running trail signs have you covered.

Have you seen any Running Trail signs at other resorts? What do you think about running while on vacation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Nature


Thanks to Deb @ Focused on the Magic  for hosting 
the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! 

If you hopped over, I invite you to check out my other posts, 

and please consider joining the blog or following on twitter.

Check out all the other Wordless Wednesday links by clicking below, 

and remember to share some comment love...

Focused on the Magic