Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010... Hello 2011!!!

I can't believe the year is over! How about you? Did you see this coming cause I sure didn't! But here we are at the precipice of 2011... So I guess it resolution time.














Truth be told I made only one resolution for 2010 (have a good year) and my life became EPIC! I went to England and to Paris. I worked on a friend's film. I went to Disney World for the first time since high school. Found an online community to talk to. Started this here blog!

So maybe I shouldn't fix what ain't broke and keep the same resolution.

But when it comes to this blog I have a list of resolutions I'd like to achieve.

  1. More contests.: Not too many but every now and then for fun.
  2. Write about a greater variety of topics.: Disney, coffee, food, life, etc!
  3. More pics!: Brand new shiny camera. YAY!
  4. Writing while in Germany.: It won't be a lot but I'll want to write a little so you guys can hear all about it.
  5. Start doing movie reviews.: My first love is film.
  6. Interview people who fascinate me.: Selfish I know but I hope if I find them fascinating so will you. Already have 3 really awesome interviews lined up!
  7. Do a few tag team blog posts. : There are some bloggers who's writing I am a huge fan of! To get 2 perspectives on one topic would be so cool!
  8. Write about people and places that I find interesting.: This will make more sense soon.
  9. Stay open and honest in my writing.: I have to stay true to myself. 
  10. Write pieces that are informative.: Speaks for itself.
  11. Write quality not quantity blog posts.: Better, more interesting pieces from this little Dragyn!
What do you guys think? What would you like to see in the Dragyn's Lair? More interviews? Reviews? More of the same?

And I hope everyone has a Happy and Healthy New Year! ♥

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This is only a test!

I can also now send blog posts via email! These can include pics and text up to a certain size. I am back to my original question... Simplifying or over complicating my life?

Apparently now I can send text messages that will post to my blog. This will either make life way easier or over complicate my life. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! aka Where in the World...



Where in the World are we and who are they? ;-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Special HoliDaze Wordless Wednesday!



Look at the above picture.... Can you guess what I love just by looking at it?











How about now? ;-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I want to @GetMyMagic!!!

So I was up late one night tweeting from my iPhone when I spied the following tweet: @DisneyWorlds A new venture has begun! www.GetMyMagic.com @ Just beginning - in progress - love ur feedback....

"Ooh I have to see!" I thought. Turns out our very own @ChefBigFatPanda has ANOTHER side project in the works. Between InnerMouse, the Disney Food Blog, and his work with Mystique Shopper I have no clue where he found the time!

Get My Magic Logo

I went to the site and it is a simple idea that is a Disney fan's dream come true! John will search out Disney World merch that you cannot find online and send it to your home! How cool is that?!

Let me start by saying I love John! He is an awesome person and an invaluable part of the Disney community. I was so fortunate to be able to interview him.

John himself!


John Saccheri first fell in love with Disney when he was 5. He grew up poor but at his dad saved money to take the family to Disney World. According to John seeing Disney world was a shock to his 5 year old brain and it was magical. He didn’t go again until he was 13 but it was still magical. As an adult John now lives 30 minutes away and despite people telling him he would outgrow it John still loves Disney.

It was out of this love of Disney that the idea for “Get My Magic” grew.  As he was sitting in Downtown Disney one day he overheard people talking about the December 17 2010 release of the new “Figment” vinylmation.  Some people even stated going to eBay with hopes of getting in on the presale of the item. John took a moment to research the eBay prices and saw an item that would normally sell for around $50 retail was selling online for $300 or more. It was then John realized that maybe there was a need for a cheaper way to get Disney parks exclusive merchandise.  Because John lives so close to the magic he realized he could be a sort of Disney personal shopper. 

When I said to John that I did not believe his idea was new or novel in any way he completely agreed. He actually stated that he was certain that a million people had this idea before him. The idea of a personal shopper is not new. What John believes is his main distinction is his love and proximity to Disney World and all things Disney. He also believes that his strong ties to the Disney community will give him a platform for his services at “Get My Magic”. I can personally vouch that John’s friends in the Disney community have great hopes for his service and cannot wait to see what happens next.   

I also asked John who he thought the services of “Get My Magic” were for. Honestly if you are someone who goes to the park even once a year what is stopping you from getting your own Disney World merchandise.  John was honest with me and stated that if you have easy access to Disney World products then this service may not help you. “Get My Magic” is for the rare, hard to find, limited edition stuff Disney is famous for.  John gave several examples of even small items Disney had in only a limited availability. Including a small popcorn bucket that’s availability was so rare it was only offered in the Smuckers store in Magic Kingdom. Items like this are what John hopes to find for his customers.

When I asked John where the name “Get My Magic” came from he simply stated that he knew it couldn’t have the name Disney attached to it and even though the idea came from the popularity of vinylmations John wanted to make sure that customers knew this was the site to go to for all of their exclusive Disney World shopping needs. 

So how would “Get My Magic” work you wonder?  Glad you asked! If you got to GetMyMagic.com you will see a list of links on the left hand side. Click the one that says “order magic now.” You fill out the lovely form and the process has begun.  After that you will receive a quote of how much the item (with tax and shipping) plus a small fee for John’s services. 

When I asked John about the fee he explained that it would be around $25-$50 depending on the item, its availability, and John’s ability to locate it. Simply put the rarity of the item determines the fee.

After the price is quoted to you there will be a link to paypal so that you can make payment. Then, hopefully, John finds your item and sends it to you. 

But wait, you say, what happens if the item is sold out or John cannot find it. I already paid him. Well that payment is guaranteed and if the item cannot be found you are refunded the total cost.  (Yay!)

When I asked John what he thought the future of “Get My Magic” he said it will either die a painful and fast death or become even greater than anyone could ever imagine. He compares it to Owner’s Locker. Someone saw the need and filled it and now a small idea is an amazing business. That is the hope for “Get My Magic.”

If you are interested in finding more or using the “Get My Magic” service check out John’s website. Or email him at John@getmymagic.com.

Thank you so much John for the interview. Hopefully John will be lurking on my site and if you have questions please leave them in the comment and John might answer them! :-) 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! aka Where in the World...





Where in the World is this?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog Contest! AKA Help Me Name My Teddy! Part 2

 
All the name options for my bear have been written in and I LOVE them all!!! (Good thing I'm not the one voting!) 
 
So I had to change up the rules just a little bit. Let me explain:

First if you look to your right you will notice a poll with a list of names. That is the first way you can vote.
 
Secondly you can also do write in votes (No NEW names!) But the catch is you CANNOT vote for yourself.
 
If someone writes your name in the comments and explains why they like it that counts as 2 (yes TWO) votes toward your name. So start bugging you friends now! 
 
Name with the most votes wins!
I decided to give you until 11:59pm Saturday December 18. So there is plenty of time!

Lastly what will the winner get?! Well I went to the Disney store NYC and got you this:


 
And for your reference here are the names and the reasons behind them! 
Have fun voting!

Christa said...
Plaidius Bear
Sarah said...
Elsa, like the blond in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. She should have a German name so you can always remember she was from the Germany trip :) Sarah
 
YoPaulieNJ said...
Harmonia Ursa Minimus. Harmonia is the Greek goddess of harmony and concord. Ursa Minimus being bad Latin for small bear. So, it's a small bear that brings you harmony. And her initials are HUM, which is fun. HUMmy, for short, maybe?
 
cherylp3 said...
Candace
 
NWinTN said...
Uma, short for Umarmen which is German for hug. -Nolan
tperlmutter said...
Pearl, for the earings
Princess Aurora said...
I choose Freddie which is a mash up of the real word for Friend in German "die Freundin" :) that way your friends are always with you!
 
JEBeyer376 said...
How about Flocke after Nuremberg's famous Polar Bear? I think it means Snowflake (and your bear is dressed for the snow). She's a very cute little bear that lives in the French Riveria now but was quite famous after being handraised even with the zoo's strict non-interference policy.
NDK_49 said...
You should name her Heidi, i named one of my teddy's Heidi, and she is from WDW Epcot Germeny! I still have her today! :D ~~@NDK_49~~
ashley said...
how about Bärchen which is a german term of endearment, which roughly translates to "little bear"
Brie said...
I would go with a Disney character name, like Eve from Wall-E or maybe Nala from The Lion King.
disneydiamondz said...
How about Adriana? Its the name of the actress who did the voice of snow white. Snow white is set in Germany and also has a tie to your love for Disney. :)
Anonymous said...
I hope I make it in! I think you should name her Karamell! -- @AmyBethCombs


Monday, December 13, 2010

Borrowed HoliDaze Gift Ideas

As the season is now in full swing, the time has come to have most (if not all) of your HoliDaze shopping done. But some of you haven't even begun to shop.  (I am no where near done my HoliDaze shopping!)

Or you could be thinking "That DragynAlly is a wonderful person and I'd sure like to get her a present. I just don't know what.". ;-) Or maybe you still haven't figured out what to get you mom or auntie. In any case you need ideas!

Well instead of you racking your brain I have decided to help you!  There are a lot of great lists of what to get people this HoliDaze season. Three of these are written by familiar faces in the Disney online community.

First off lets start with Lisa aka @DisneyExplorer's article for Chip and Company where she list the top 10 Disney stocking stuffers. (note Lisa also has her own site http://www.beyondtheattractions.com/)

http://www.chipandco.com/2010/11/top-10-disney-holiday-stocking-stuffer-guide-by-lisa/

I love this article for giving ideas for the smaller gifts for your Disney fan. I also appreciate how Lisa breaks down the gifts by family member using her own family as examples. (Very cool!)

Next is my friend AJ aka @DisneyFoodBlog's article on her own site The Disney Food Blog. AJ has a two part article about Disney food gifts.

http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2010/11/26/disney-food-blog-holiday-gift-ideas-part-i/
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2010/12/07/disney-food-blog-holiday-gift-post-part-2/

I love this 2 part post because, like the website, the focus is on food. (Dana like food!) Even the wearable gifts are food related. My personal fav being candy cane Mouse ears!
 

Lastly there is Suzannah aka @zannaland's 5 day Holiday gift guide on her blog http://zannaland.com/.

If you search the tag Holiday Gift Guide it'll show you all 5 parts. (As of this I think 4 out of 5 are up.)
http://zannaland.com/tag/holiday-gift-guide/

With blurays/DVDs and Video games being at the top of the list each day this gift guide speaks to me inner geek! (I love film!) Each day is further broken down into book, couture, and "other gifts".


I hope these lists help with your last minute HoliDaze shopping. You should check out these lists in their entirety and the websites to get the best ideas.  Special thanks to Lisa, AJ and Suzannah for letting me borrow their lists!

And remember, if it gets too close to the wire, all Disney fans accept plastic! ;-)



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blog Contest! AKA Help Me Name My Teddy!

I am 25 years old and cannot sleep with out my Teddy bear. I have had her since I was 8 and we are rarely apart. I say rarely because when I take long trips I don't bring her with me for fear I will lose her. Knowing this my mom has been working on finding a bear for me to take to Germany with me. Well mom found one!

This is a picture of the teddy bear my mom found:













She has no name. :-( SO seeing as I am headed to the Disney store NYC this Saturday and can buy a nice prize, I decided to make a game out of naming her! :-)

From now until Monday December 13 I will be accepting posts with name suggestions. Just leave a comment with what ever you think would be a suitable name for her. (A few hints: She's about the size of my palm, she's going to Germany with me.)  Tuesday December 14 I will have a new blog post up announcing the prize for the contest and a list of names for people to vote on! (Cool right?!)  Votes will be in the form of a comment with the name you like best. Name with the most votes wins! :-)

A few rules:
  1. Please keep the name G rated
  2. Please only one name submission per person (So think hard before you post.)
  3. Contestants must be in US (So that shipping doesn't cost me a mint!)
  4. Comments on this post are the only accepted form of submission. 
  5. You have from now until Monday December 13 at 11:59pm to post a name.
  6. A second blog post will be up December 14 with a list of names. That's when voting starts.
  7. Voting will end December 17 at 11:59pm
  8. A picture of the prize for this contest with be posted in the December 14 post.
  9. A "vote" is a comment with the name you you like best and why. 
  10. Voting will be limited to the number of names available to be voted on (I.E. if there are 5 names to choose from you may vote 5x)
  11. The person who's name gets the most votes wins the prize.
  12. Many will enter (I hope) but only one can win.
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Let's have a little pre-HoliDaze fun shall we?!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! aka Where in the World...




Where in the World were these taken?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disney Store NYC Tweetup!

December 11, 2010 at 1pm I am planning a tweetup (meet up) at the Disney store in NYC's Times Square! Very exciting and the first large scale event I have ever tried to plan. Now for those of you who read my first Disney store NYC post you might be wondering why I said all of the critical stuff I said and am now going back.

 Well truth be told I love NYC and Disney and I am just using this as a excuse to be as close to both as possible! I also wanted to meet up with a few tweeps (Twitter + Peeps) and talk Disney.

Now here in lies the problem. I have never run a tweet up before. Besides shamelessly advertising and trying to get people to meet up and share in the joy of NYC and Disney I have no clue what I am doing.

I know that I want people to be at the Disney store around 1. My hope is that after an hour of shopping everyone will be hungry and want to have lunch near by. Lastly anyone feeling ambitious (see:crazy) after lunch is welcome to grab the subway with me and head over to Babycakes in NYC. Not a bad plan.
I guess I am worried about what I need to do at the tweetup. Do I introduce myself and my blog to people attending? Should I have giveaways? I really want to turn DragynAlly into a brand of some sort but I need a mascot. (In other words no DragynAlly merch to giveaway.)

Another reason for this trip is to try to get a second look at the place I judged so harshly. I was asked by WDW Field Guide to do a review for her blog (YAY I am somebody, lol). I want to give people a full perspective on the store and what is good/bad and interesting about it. I also want way better pics now that I have a new camera!

My last reason for this tweetup is to see Babycakes NYC (The original!) There has been so much talk about DTDBabycakes NYC (Downtown Disney Babycakes NYC) that I really wanted to see what all the hub bub is about... Bub! I wanted to try a vegan cupcake and vegan cookies and write about them here! :-) I also wanted to bring so home to test on my family so I can get reviews from several people.

So to recap:
  1. Dana is going to NYC December 11 at 1
  2. First she will meet everyone at the Disney store
  3. There Dana will take pics and notes while people shop
  4. The "group" will snag lunch somewhere
  5. Any brave people will schlepp over to Babycakes NYC
  6. All will go home happy
  7. Dana will write more blogs....
Well it was all fun and games until that last one! ;-)

To find out more click HERE or contact Dana at twitter.com/dragynally

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm going to Germany!!!

As many of you already know I am going to Germany come next month and I am SUPER excited about it. So I decided to share in the excitement with all of you. Below I have posted the tentative schedule for my trip. (BTW typing all of this into tripit is one eck of a chore!)

Now the crazy Disney planner in me (See even when I leave the country I take Disney with me!) wishes that this schedule was a little more organized.

I wish that there was less "free time" and more structured activities. I also wish the addresses were listed for every place we are going (Oh don't worry I'll know the addresses once I get over to google!) The price ranges of the restaurants my prof is taking us too would be nice I really would like to know how much $$ I'll need. Lastly (and I guess we have to figure this out for ourselves) what restaurants, attractions, and historical sights are near our hotel. You know for when that "free time" comes up.

I know I am being way too anal. I just need to sit back relax and enjoy. But I really like having a touring plan! ;-)

What do you guys think? Have you been to Germany? How much spending $$ did you bring? What do you like to know before you go on a long trip? Do you like free time or do schedules make life easier?

Tentative Itinerary [as of 12/04/10]:

4-7 January                                          1-4 pm                on-campus preparatory sessions           
                                                                   
Sunday 9 January                                                                  [optional, at own expense, $79.00/room,
                                                                                              spend    night at Hyatt Dulles near airport and sleep until noon before flying out]

Monday 10 January                                   4:30 pm                 meet near Lufthansa counter at 
                                                                                             Washington/Dulles     
             
                                                                 7:05pm               Lufthansa # 415 nonstop to Munich

Tuesday 11                                               9:05 am               Arrive Munich’s Franz-Josef-Strauss airport
                                                                                                  Falcan chartered bus to Hotel Olympia

                                                                    11:00 am              Arrive at hotel

                                                                    noon                     U3 subway to Marienplatz

                                                                    12:30 am               lunch at Donisl, (ph 29 62 64

                                                                    afternoon             walking tour of city center; pick up opera 
                                                                                                  tickets;
                                                                                                  opportunity to buy water, phone cards, etc.

                                                                    evening                TBA
                                                                   
Wednesday 12                                         *9:30 am                   Leave hotel to go to Olympia-Stadion
                                                                                                  BMW exhibit 

                                                                    1:00 pm                 Döner lunch near Münchener Freiheit

                                                                    2:30 pm                 Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, incl. 
                                                                                                  White Rose Exhibit

                                                                                                  free time

                                                                    7:00 pm                 concert: Hochschule für Musik & Theater
                                                                                                  (Strauss, Offenbach, etc.)


                                                                                                 
Thursday 13                                              9:00 am                 Alte & Neue Pinakothek & der Moderne
                                                                                                  Munich’s world-class art galleries

                                                                    eve                        Cinema (tent.)

Friday 14                                                    *8:00 am               Leave hotel

                                                                    9:27 am                 EC-63 train to Salzburg, Austria

                                                                    10:54 am               Arrive Salzburg
                                                                                                  meet with former Hollins assistant,
                                                                                                  Melanie Friedrich, and Salzburg writers
                                                                                                  Christine & Eberhard Haidegger;
                                                                                                  walk to Salzburg old town;

                                                                    12:00                     lunch at Stern-Bräu, Salzburg’s oldest
                                                                                                  brewery;

                                                                    1:30 pm                 tour of city by Frau Haidegger

                                                                    7:03 pm                 EC-62 train to Munich

                                                                    8:34 pm                 Arrive Munich
                                                                                                  dinner in Munich                                                              

Saturday 15                                               morning               Schloss Nymphenburg tour 

                                                                    afternoon             late fast-food lunch at Viktualienmarkt
                                                                                            Lenbachhaus: exhibit:  
                                                                                          Kandinsky and other “Blue Rider” group works   
                                                                   
                                                                   
Sunday 16                                                 10:00 am               meet with Klaus’ friends, (Norbert. Inge, 
                                                                                               Matthias Fischer) for walk through
                                                                                                 Waldfriedhof & Schloss Fürstenried
 
                                                                    1:00 pm                 lunch at suburban restaurant

                                                                    afternoon             walk through English Garden city park
                                                                                                  Haus der Kunst

                                                                    6:00 pm                 dinner at Weisses Bräuhaus  (ph: 29 98 75)


Monday 17                                                9:00 am                 Hellabrunn Zoo, the world’s only
                                                                                                  “geographic” zoo

                                                                    afternoon             Münchener Residenz tour

                                                                    evening                dinner at Wirtshaus zur Brezn (39 00 92)
                                                                                                 

Tuesday 18                                               9:00 am                 Dachau concentration camp

                                                                    afternoon             free time

                                                                    evening                Cinema
                                                                   
Wednesday 19                                              9:00 am                 Bavaria Film Studios tour

                                                                    1:30 pm                 lunch at Viktualienmarkt at own expense

                                                                                             afternoon               free time
                                                                   
Thursday 20                                              *8:30 am               day trip into Alps by chartered bus to                                                                                                Oberammergau, Abbey Ettal, Wieskirche
                                                                                                  Schloss Neuschwanstein tour

                                                                    5:30 pm                 dinner in small Bavarian village   (Raisting)  
                                                                   
Friday 21                                                    *9:30 am               downtown, TBA

                                                                    12:00 noon           lunch at Hofbräuhaus
                                                                                                   free time for shopping
                                                                   
Saturday 22                                               all day                  revisiting Munich sights; lunch on you
                                                                                                  with some last-minute morning shopping;   
                                                                   
Sunday 23                                                 *9:30 am               breakfast, then free morning
                                                                                                  revisiting Munich cont’d; packing!

                                                                    7:00 pm                 Opera: La Boheme by Puccini,
                                                                                                  Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz

                                                                    10:00 pm               Maxhof  late dinner

Monday 24                                                6:30 am                 breakfast

                                                                    7:30 am                 chartered bus to airport

                                                                    11:35 am               Lufthansa # 414 nonstop to    
                                                                                                 Washington/Dulles

                                                                    3:10 pm                 Arrive Washington/Dulles