Friday, January 28, 2011

My First Contest of the YEAR!!!

Hello guys and dolls! Now that I am back from Germany (trip report soon I promise!) I wanted to start giving away some of the stuff I bought for you from Munich! So this is my first contest of the year! WOOO!  Be excited!

There are several ways to enter and each one counts toward how many times your name is entered into the drawing. First of all you have to read and comment on my interview with WDW Fan Zone!

Bonus entries come from following dragynally on twitter, following @WDWFanZone on twitter, liking WDW Fan Zone on facebook, and a pop quiz type question I will post on twitter. Many will enter one will win. The prize is a Germany gift pack that will include a Donald Duck graphic novel written in German. The last day to enter is February 11 so let's do this! :-)

Forgive the backwardsness!

So happy to be back and to share the joy and swag with all of you! ♥

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are you in "The Zone"?! @WDWFanZone

Hey all! Exciting news. Remeber how I told you 2011 was going to be awesome?! Well your very own Dragyn has big news! I will be a writer for a brand new Disney fan site! (Eeeeppp!) Started by Lisa Battista (@DisneyExplorer) and Stuart Sternberg (@Disneygeekdad).

When they asked me to write for their brand new site I thought what every young blogger does: "Are you sure you read MY blog?" But they have assured me they have and enjoy it! (Yay me!) So needless to say I am also a fan of theirs and appreciate this opportunity.

But enough about me. Let Lisa and Stuart tell you about themselves and the site in their own words:

DragynAlly: Tell me about yourself.

Stuart: I am a native New Yorker having been born and raised in Queens, NY. I moved to New Jersey 16 years ago with my wife and then 20 month old son now 17. A little over two years later we had our very own Jersey girl. I have always been an avid sports fan and a diehard Yankee fan. I bleed Yankee pinstripes but my pinstripes have Mickey ears.

Lisa: I was born and raised at the Jersey Shore and almost nothing is better than feeling sand under my feet and smelling salt in the air. I have three wonderful boys and am the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers. I love to be in the kitchen trying out new recipes. If baking and taste testing are involved, I have two very eager little helpers.

D: What sparked your love of Disney?

Stuart: I always had a fascination with theme parks although I am not a thrill ride person and I had never been to Walt Disney World. That all changed in May 1990 when as a young adult I got to experience the magic with my then fiancé, now wife for the very first time. We spent four days at Walt Disney World and I got to see the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the recently opened Disney-MGM Studios. To say this vacation was the start of a life changing experience would be an understatement.

Lisa: I visited Walt Disney World as a child and enjoyed it but didn’t have the passion for it that I do today. It was on our family honeymoon, when my stepson joined us at Walt Disney World and we became a family, that I truly appreciated the magic. Walt Disney World gave us something priceless –  memories and time together as a family where all the distractions of the “real world” couldn’t intrude. That gift continues today when my two small children spend time with their big brother, who they don’t see every day, on our family vacations to the World. 

D: What is the name of the new site?

WDW Fan Zone: WDW Fan Zone ( We can also be found on twitter (@WDWFanZone) and on Facebook.

D: Who was involved in the creation of the site?

Lisa: We have many people to thank for helping us make our dream into a reality. Stuart had the idea to create an inviting place that captures our love of Walt Disney World and lets us share it with others. We talked and talked and the ideas kept pouring out for a community people will want to return to every day for their Disney “fix.” Our families have been very supportive and we bounce ideas off them daily.

Stuart: Lisa has some experience with web technologies so she began working on the website while Stuart really developed the concept for the website and asked old and new friends in the Disney community to share their Disney passion as columnists. We are so fortunate to have a warm and welcoming group of people with diverse Disney experiences and views to share.

D: Where did the idea come from?

WDWFZ: We became Twitter friends who at some point realized we live in the same town in New Jersey. Well, this past spring Stuart organized a  Disney meet which was mostly an unofficial gathering for those attending Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Show Dream Cruise that takes place at the end of February 2011. Though Lisa is not going on the cruise she and her family attended the meet. After the meet Stuart and his wife got together with Lisa and her husband a couple of times. In speaking, we discussed each other’s ideas for starting our own websites. We don’t know exactly when or how it happened but we decided to collaborate on the website. It’s funny but, we didn’t use the original ideas we had for our own sites although we plan on incorporating those ideas into the website down the road. Stuart already had a name for my site so when we decided to do the site together the only thing Stuart insisted on was the name for the site which Lisa agreed to.  

D: What makes this site similar or different from other Disney fan pages?

WDWFZ: One thing we think you will notice is the clean, organized look of the site. We have also added a charity page, a contest and giveaway page, and there will be other features geared towards both the casual and most passionate of Disney fans added as we grow.
We also have regular columnists bringing their different perspectives and views together in one place.

D: What do you hope the site will bring to the Disney community?

WDWFZ: We are hoping it will become a daily fan friendly source of information for all Disney fans and ultimately a place to connect and interact.

D: Who is the intended audience for this site?

WDWFZ: WDW Fan Zone is a place for longtime Disney fans, people who have just fallen in love with the Mouse, and for future guests planning their trips. At WDW Fan Zone, our diverse group of columnists will help Disney fans keep the magic alive in between visits by sharing information and memories in a fun and personal way. First-time guests will find a virtual gathering place reminiscent of the local breakfast place where neighbors share their Disney experiences and advice over a cup of coffee. They’ll read about what worked and what didn’t from columnists with families like theirs.    

D: Who will the columnists be?

WDWFZ: Our columnists include some of the big names in the Disney community as well as a few up-and-comers who we strongly believe will become stars in the community in a very short time. We will have writers covering all the major aspects of Disney World along with a few surprises that are meant to entertain and inform our readers too.  

D: Seems like you have a nice mix of Disney fan vets and newbies. How do you think will play out on the site?

WDWFZ: We think it’s important to have experienced and fresh voices as part of our website. With a combination of Disney veterans and writers who are newer to the community but who love Disney just as much, our readers will get different perspectives on Walt Disney World. It’ll be fun to see different takes on the same topics.

D: What topics will the columnists cover?

 WDWFZ: Our topics fall into two main areas – bringing Disney into your every day and resources to plan your perfect Walt Disney World vacation whether thrill rides or stage shows are your thing.  To help spread some pixie dust in between visits to the World, our columnists will put a Disney twist on lifestyle topics such as fitness and running, photography, crafts, and cooking. Fans interested in Disney history, film, and technology won’t be disappointed. We even have teachers showcasing the educational value in Walt Disney World. To help our visitors plan their vacation, we’ll have information and opinions on the resorts, recreation, touring, vacationing with disabilities, and more.

D: I noticed a place on the site for charities. What do you hope will happen with that?

WDWFZ: We are very fortunate. We have healthy families and we have had the opportunity to travel to Walt Disney World and create priceless memories, the real souvenir from any vacation. We don’t want to lose sight of what we have especially in these times when so many are struggling. Oftentimes people remember charitable giving during the holidays but the need doesn’t stop when we ring in the New Year. By having a charity page on WDW Fan Zone, we hope we can give back to the community in some small way by spotlighting worthy charities our columnists support.

D: What is the future of the site?

WDWFZ: As we already mentioned we want our site to be a daily source of information and gathering place for all Disney fans. Our hope is to build a strong readership and relationship amongst Disney fans with a website the captures the essence of Walt Disney’s World

D: Where do you see it in a year? 5 Years?

WDWFZ: We are dreamers but we are also realists who know you have to crawl before you can walk. It’s hard to look at something in its infancy and know where it will be five years down the road. We started this site as a way to give something back to the Disney community and we’ll be around as long as there is a Disney community to give back to.  

Thank you Lisa and Stuart!

You can find out more about WDW Fan Zone at and make sure to follow them on facebook and twitter!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good morning from Germany!

Hey all! Can't talk long. Just wanted to say hi! Everything is going
well so far. I'm exhausted! I've done so much and it's only been a day
and half. I promise some real blog posts very soon! Won't be on
Twitter or facebook because I just do not have the time to waste. But
I will try to write about what's been happening.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane....

This will be an exceptionally short post because I am taking a shuttle to the airport in about 15 minutes! I can't believe I have been talking Germany for months now and it is really here! I am going to miss tweeting like a fiend and updating 4square every two seconds but it'll be nice to get away. My hope is that I will keep up my blog and have the most wonderful pics and stories to tell. I also hope that we can tinychat at least once during my stay. I want to say I'll miss you all but in this digital age I am never really far away, now am I? So feel free to comment and drp me a message on Twitter or facebook!

Let the next big adventure commence!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What would you ask the Disney Store President?

Hey all!

I have some very exciting news. As you may have guessed by the title I might have a great interview with Mr. Jim Fielding President of Disney stores (aka @DisneystorePrez on twitter)! Needless to say I am stoked!

I don't want to get my hopes too high. You know his people are talking to my people (and by my people I mean me) and we are working out the details.

In the mean time I am trying to come up with questions to ask him. I want to focus more on Mr. Fielding as a person and as I said in my post I wrote about him before I think he is a lovely man. I want to see what brought him to Disney and what he is really like.

However what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't also ask him about Disney stores and the other questions you all have.

So I ask you: If you could ask Mr. Jim Fielding President of Disney stores only one question, what would you ask?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Random Things About Munich Germany

Hey all! As the time draws ever nearer to my Germany trip I get a little more excited. I have been taking class and learning more and more about Munich's culture and history and I am fascinated! (I am a nerd.) I've decided to share some of the most interesting facts and random tidbits with all of you!

Hope you find them as interesting as I did.

  1. Munich is the capital of Bavaria
  2. Munich or Munchen mean monk or in this case special beer producing monks!
  3. Blue and white in a diamond pattern are Bavaria's colors
  4. BMW mean Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke)
  5. The entire country of Germany is smaller than Montana
  6. Munich is one of the top economies in Europe
  7. Most restaurants have brand loyalty and will only serve beer from one brewery
  8. Schindler made escalators- Yes THAT Schindler
  9. The Munich "new" town hall (Neues Rathaus) is about 100 years old
  10. Butter is sometimes served cut into cubes and floating in ice water
  11. Munich has over 900 fountains
  12. Some American expats call it  "toy town" because it is fun
  13. Munich zoo is only "geographic" zoo- animals located by where they are in the real world
  14. Deutches Museum is the worlds largest science museum 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Germany Trip

As many of you already know this time next week I will headed to
Munich Germany. (Eeeeppp!) the excitement is starting to build as I
prepare to leave. So since I can't seem to contain myself and I want
someone else to have to obsess with me I have a question for all of you:
What German food should I try?
There are a few things I have heard of some things that I know I want
to try but I wanted to hear your thoughts. Have you been to Germany
and tried some really good food? Have you been to Epcot's Germany and
wondered if Germans really eat that? Let me know!