Tuesday, February 28, 2012

24 Things I Want to do at #Disney24

Blah Blah Blah let's get to the list!

  1. See my friends
  2. Meet friends I've only talked to via twitter
  3. Ride the Jungle Cruise at night
  4. Get on rides that have abnormally long lines faster
  5. Ride Haunted Mansion 
  6. See Disney characters... in PJs!
  7. Watch the castle show at 5:30 am
  8. Actually take time to watch the parades
  9. Enjoy the hours between 1am until 6am
  10. Ride rides I usually skip because I don't have much time
  11. Just BE at MK 
  12. Occupy waffle sandwich!
  13. Ride Pirates of the Caribbean
  14. Dance down the middle of Main St.
  15. Look at the castle upside down... I'm odd
  16. Ride the peoplemover more times than I ever have before!
  17. Look at the details that I normally glance over
  18. Take more pictures than I ever have before
  19. Ride the Carousel of Progress
  20. Ride the Carousel... Never have.
  21. Give away prizes in the parks
  22. Have dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern
  23. Ride Stitches Great Escape... I am the ONLY person I know who likes it.
  24. Smile, laugh, scream, cheer, enjoy, live life!

Monday, February 27, 2012

You're going to Disney, AGAIN?!

I get asked this question A LOT. And now I get asked "how are you able to go this much". Honestly over the course of my life time I have only been to Disney 8 times. I know that's still more than most but if I average it out over the years of my life that's like once every 3 years (give/take).

In any case I get that the question is valid especially considering that the majority of these 8 trips were taken over a 12 month. The last 4 being every month since November.

So how am I doing it? As the song says "I get by with a little help from my friends". I have a lot of wonderful friends who let me surf their couches whenever I need to. Trust me having some place to stay that isn't a hotel cuts cost significantly.

Another thing I have going for me is a great family. I will be renewing my Annual Pass this month and that is because the funds to cover said pass were a gift from a family member. And trust me when I tell you I truly appreciate it. My family keeps telling me to travel now while you're young and you still love Disney (as if that could change!) They do what they can to help make trips happen.

When you have an AP and great friends the rest just seems to fall into place. The hardest part of it all of flights. I have to pick times of year where the flights are cheap or wait for a sale to happen. It's really luck of the draw with that part. Sometimes I get lucky and there will be a sale for a time that I really need. Other times I have to wait and trip another time. But It's worth it to wait.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I make Disney trips happen. I am at a place in my life where the ONLY responsibility I have is for myself. I have no significant other, no children and a lot of freedom. I decided to use that freedom to do what I love and to be with those very wonderful friends I've made. In fact I think I've gotten to the point where I go to Disney more to see my friends than to actually be in the parks (even though being in the parks is awesome too!)

But that's my life right now. Freedom and Disney. And until I decide to do something else this is what I am going to do. Period.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

#Disney24 #giveaways!

Hello again Guys and Dolls! As many of you know I am doing a rather large giveaway for Disney's 24 hour day. Well I'm not the only one. I am excited to inform you that two friends of this little Dragyn are ALSO doing giveaways! Awesome. I wanted to give you a bit of info about each giveaway and link to my friend's respective sites.

First Diz Thru Brown Eyes is doing an in park giveaway (you have to be in MK to win). Follow her on twitter and at some point during the day she will tweet out her location via foursquare. First person to find her gets a $24 Disney gift cars.

Second there is 24 Hours in Disney who is doing a massive in park and at home giveaway. You have to follow him on twitter and every 2 hours he will giveaway a prize from Mouse Surplus. The winners will be chosen at random.

Check out both their sites for rules and additional info and if I were you I'd follow them on twitter right now! :-)

Delicious @RosaRegale Jello!

I did it! I created Rosa Regale jello!!!! I knew I could do it. :-) As you guys and dolls know I am a HUGE fan of Rosa Regale. So much so that I declared it the wine of 2011... And 2012 seems like it will also be a great Rosa Regale year.

A little while ago I was watching cooking shows and I say a dude turn wine into jello.... My first thought? ROSA! I knew that the beautiful red and sweet wine would be a great jello. YUM.

Below you will see pics of the cooking process. The description of the pic will be part of the recipe. After the pics I'll sum up my final thoughts on the finished dessert.

Yum Rosa Regale!

Boil about 2ish cups. You need 1 cup of boiling wine and boiling wine causes it to reduce. WARNING: sweet alcohol when heated might cause bad things to happen. Use cation.

I used this special jello that says you can add your own "soda"... I used wine. :-)

The instructions are on the back just in case.
I needed 2 boxes for this recipe.

Jello powder.

You need 1 cup of boiling and 3 cups of cold wine.

Dissolve the powdered jello in the boiling wine for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the 3 cups of cold wine. It will get frothy!

Pour wine into a container of your choice. I recommend disposable wine glasses found at any dollar store. This recipe makes 6 of those.

Used about a bottle and a glass of wine...

And one for the chef! ;-)

After about 4 hours you should have solid jello. Yes, I am holding it upside down for effect.

Doesn't she look pretty?!

Jello should be firm but not hard and should still wiggle.


A few thoughts about the finished product: It took me a bottle and a glass of a Rosa Regale. As many of you know this wine is not cheap. The final product was 6 plastic party wine glasses. So consider that when making it. It's not nearly as sweet as I would have thought. However it is very refreshing and tastes sweet and tangy. You can still taste the fizz, which is good. If you do not like Rosa Regale (how dare you! ;-) this recipe intensifies that flavor so you might want to consider a different wine. It goes straight to your head when you eat it... You WILL get buzzed!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

.@RosaRegale Jello: The pics

So here are just the pics of my attempts at Rosa Regale jello... If it works out I'll post the recipe. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blogging Leftover Sunday

Haven't done one of these in a while... But I think it's been a bit CRAZY in the Lair recently and I just wanted to get everyone up to speed. For the sake of not doing one of these since last year I will do the entire month of February... (That's 18 days for those of you keeping count.) The link to the post will be bold.

1st: I shared a pic and instagram told on me!
3rd: A thought about how Disney helped my mom quit smoking.
4th: Disney Princesses as Sailor Scouts
7th: Playing games.
8th: Countdown to Fun!
I asked you to be my Valentine.
9th: My fear of running a 5K.
The Dragyn's Lair running team.
10th: The "new" fastpass system.
We also talked food and fashion.
11th: Wrote a follow up to 5K running.
We also got silly.
12th: We got introduced to some fresh blogs.
14th: I declared it Celebrate Love Day.
We talked pasta recipes and pics.
16th: We had a running team update. (Free running skirts!)
We introduced a Disneyland writer to the Lair.
17th: We started a group giveaway for a $100 gift card.
We wondered how the Simpsons has a Disney connection.
18th: Welcome to the Dragyn's Lair! (Again :-) PS: giveaway
We also got silly with Goofy.

Yay! The entire month in review. Check out the posts. Let me know what you think. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Silly Saturday

All credit to http://diablo2003.deviantart.com/
Lie to me and tell me this doesn't make you smile... Even just a little bit!

Welcome to the Dragyn's Lair!

Hey guy and dolls! And welcome brand new guys and dolls!!! So happy to have you in the Lair!

 In honor of all of the brand new "likes" and "follows" I have been receiving due to the contest I am running with other bloggers I decided to do a smaller (MUCH smaller) contest on my own.

I am so glad to have new people enter the Lair and I am going to do what I can to keep them. I also want to make sure that the guys and dolls who have been around since the beginning are still finding new reasons to enter the Lair.

So I wanted to hear from you. To enter this contest you will see a form below. First you have to like and follow the Lair's sponsor Between the Ears Travel then after that I have a few questions for you. I really want to hear feedback about what you want to read here in the future.

I have a ton of ideas that I want to get down on paper (or in computer) and share with all of you. I want to talk more fashion, food and fun. Every post should feel like an adventure and hopefully I will write things that will make that happen.

This isn't just MY blog anymore. It's ours. And it's important to me to engage you and keep you involved. Please help me do that.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Simpsons and Disney by: @rwmead

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first appearance of the Simpsons on The Tracey Ullman Show. And this week, their long-running television series reaches its milestone 500th episode. The Simpsons has taken its own signature comedic look at American culture and institutions over the years, so it's no surprise Disney has been poked fun at multiple times over the years. Here are some of my personal favorite moments of Disney-related satire from the yellow-skinned Springfieldianites. (I apologize for the quality of some of the included videos!)

 "Selma's Choice" (Season 4, Episode 9F11)- Most of the latter part of this episode takes place at Duff Gardens, a beer-soaked theme park which features a number of parodies of Disney attractions. The most memorable being "The Little Land of Duff", which spoofs "It's A Small World", and is quite possibly as annoying and creepy (if not more) than the real thing. (I kid, of course- I can't complain about "It's A Small World"- though I can see why others can- though I'm sure many can relate to Selma's reaction to Bart wanting to get off: "We can't! We still have five more continents to visit!")

 "Homer Bad Man" (Season 6, Episode 2F06)- Perhaps one of the show's funniest episodes (although this is a hard statement to make, as many of the show's episodes from this period are great ones), the sensationalist news media is spoofed here as Homer is falsely accused of sexual harassment. (If anything, this episode proves that the "news" was just as bad 15 years ago as it is today- if not worse). In a bizarre leap of logic only Homer can make, he decides at one point to escape the media circus by moving under the sea, leading to a fantasy sequence in which he sings a parody of "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid while eating a number of friendly musical sea creatures. Apparently, this isn't the first time he's suggested this, as Marge comments afterwards, "That's your solution to everything- to move under the sea. It's not gonna happen!" (Homer's rejoinder: "Not with that attitude.")

"Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" (Season 6, Episode 2F18)- As the title implies, this episode takes its general plot inspiration from One Hundred and One Dalmatians, though its most memorable Disney moment is inspired by another film entirely, as the villainous Mr. Burns explains his plot to kill a gang of puppies to a tune close to that of "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast. One of many great examples of the series's musical director Alf Clausen's ability to write in a number of styles as well as parody a number of various familiar songs as close as legally possible without getting sued.

 "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" (Season 8, Episode 3G03)- A sillier episode than usual (and given how silly the Simpsons universe can be, that's saying something), this twisted take on Mary Poppins was coincidentally written by two Simpsons staffers while they were working at Disney. The Simpsons family finds themselves in the presence of Sherry Bobbins (who insists she is "a completely original character, like Rickey Rouse or Monald Muck"), leading to more great Alf Clausen parodies of the classic Sherman Brothers songbook. Not surprisingly, Sherry's suggestions are more in line with the modern American family than the Victorian Mary Poppins- rather than a spoonful of sugar, her suggestion to getting a job done is "don't pout, don't slob, just do a half-assed job." (Homer's iconic "d'oh" is written in episode scripts as "annoyed grunt", which explains the unusual title.)

"Special Edna" (Season 14, Episode EABF02)- A majority of this episode takes place at EFCOT Center ("when everything else is booked"), an obvious (and dead-on) parody of Disney's EPCOT Center. As Homer remarks, "it's even boring to fly over it!" Satires of EPCOT's educational- and heavily-corporate-sponsored- attractions ensue, including its equivalent of Spaceship Earth, the Futuresphere ("what people in 1965 imagined life would be like in 1987"), which predicts a future in which Eastern Airlines achieves world domination to the soothing music of The Turtles. (The now-defunct Eastern Airlines was the official airline of Walt Disney World and sponsored EPCOT's "If You Had Wings" attraction.) By the episode's end, a fed-up Homer "crosses the border" into the Magic Kingdom and pays the price- in the form of a $14 churro. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSBfiulE9TA

 Even the Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios is filled with jabs at its Orlando neighbor. Set up as a decrepit theme park run by the corrupt Krusty the Klown, the queue area for the ride features such fictional- and familiar-sounding- attractions such as "It's A Long Line" and "The Haunted Condo" (complete with 999 unhappy employees). Even EPCOT's now-defunct Kitchen Kabaret is given an homage in an faux advertisement: "Now hiring: dancer to play punk-rock grapefruit in Four Food Groups Singing Spectacular. Must have singing grapefruit experience."

There's more great Disney-related jokes in The Simpsons throughout the years besides these, just as there are a lot of great jokes about all bits of pop culture and society at large. Some of them may be cynical, but in most there seems to be a bit of truth. And through it all, no matter how mean-spirited they can be, it's clear that for the most part, the satire is best summed up by Krusty himself: "I kid because I love."

Want a $100 Disney Gift Card?!

Alright guys and dolls I would LOVE to tell you I saved up $100 just for you but this is a group giveaway. Me and a bunch of other Disney bloggers got together and decided to hook our readers up with an AMAZING prize. So here's the deal it's a Rafflecopter so you have to "like" and "follow" some really great sites (Trust me they are worth the following) and then you're entered. Easy peasy! There are some rules I have to tell you about. It's only open to my US and Canada followers (Sorry!) You have to be 18 or older (Kids ask your parents to enter!) And the gift card will be mailed to the winner. I think that's it for rules. Frankly I am hoping one of you wins this! You are the best readers a blogger like me could ask for and I mean it when I say I love you! Alright enough from me. Enter NOW!

P.S. A special thank you to Theme Park Mom and Disney Every Day for organizing this group giveaway!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Disneyland by: @imaginearwishes

 Disneyland. The one and only place I can immerse myself into another time, another dimension, and completely forget about my problems of the “real world”.  Every time I hand over my entrance ticket to a Cast Member and walk through the turnstiles, I feel like I’m part of a gigantic story constructed by Walt Disney himself, complete with a magical castle centered around eight themed lands: Main Street USA, New Orleans Square, Adventureland, Frontierland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Mickey’s ToonTown, and Tomorrowland. From a bird’s eye view, you could say the park symbolizes a clock, stalled in a timeless dimension, helping to preserve the parks magic for millions of guests each year.
My absolute favorite part of entering the park is passing through the archway, and reading a plaque that many people tend to miss. “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy”. These simple words have resonated deep within my heart, and a rush of nostalgia passes over me as soon as I finish reading the last words. I take a deep breath, and take a few more steps until I can see the entrance to Main Street USA. Then, an overwhelming feeling of excitement floods my body as I immerse myself into another world.  Walt Disney accomplished his dream by creating a magical place for children and adults alike, and while I’m there, I feel like possibilities are endless, and my dreams become reality.

The buildings on Main Street USA mimic Walt Disney’s world as he saw it, complete with an ice cream parlor, mini fire station, City Hall, a theater, a joke shop, a jewelry store, fictional business such as dentists and realtors, an arcade, a candy store, and much more. Each building created is actually an optical illusion. The first floor of the buildings were built to scale; however, the second and third floors were built to 7/8 and 7/8 scale, which gives you the illusion that the buildings are much taller than they actually are! The Train Station, the Welcome Center, and City Hall, however, are all built to scale. The Train Station most importantly was kept to its normal size to block views of Sleeping Beauty’s castle from those who were passing by the gates outside the park.
As closing time draw’s near, I’ll wander back to Main Street USA and spend as much time as possible in and around the shops, admiring how calm and peaceful the atmosphere is. I’ll listen to the music, sit on a bench and people watch. Main Street USA is open one hour after rides close down. If the park were open until 12 A.M., Main Street USA would be open until one A.M. for those who forgot to do their souvenir shopping! I always take advantage of this time to stand at the entrance of Main Street USA and look down the road leading up to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The magic and beauty of the park, especially at night, is indescribable. Next time you’re there, take a moment to pause for a second and take in your surroundings. You’ll be surprised at how serene you feel, and how you can almost feel Walt Disney standing right beside you, showing you that dream’s really do come true.

Team Dragyn Running Team Update

Hey guys and dolls! I just wanted to do a quick check to see who was still interested in joining the team Dragyn running team. If you are please leave a comment below. I am trying to get together something special for the team. Since most of the interested people seem to be female I have decided that everyone who joins can have a free team Dragyn run skirt! (as made by my mom) How cool is that?! Skirts won't be ready until later this year but I still want to see who's interested and work on a training schedule and support system. By the way if you are a guy and want to be a part of team Dragyn you can either have a run skirt or I'll think up something else special for you. :-) Let me know in comments. So excited to work on being a healthier Dragyn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Lair needs a Disneyland writer

Hey guys and dolls! I need your help. You know I love writing Disney and have been to WDW a bunch so I have a lot to say. But this little Dragyn has never been to Disneyland... EVER! Actually I don't think I've been too far west of the Mississippi.

But I love the idea of Disneyland and want to know more about it. And I would love for my other readers who don't know about Disneyland to learn about it too. My hope is that one of you reading is a Dland addict and expert and wouldn't mind being the official Disneyland correspondent for the Lair.

What I would require (wow that sounds grown up) is a monthly post about ANYTHING Disneyland. The post would only have to be 4 paragraphs long and hopefully include pics. In the future I'd love to have a global group of writers in the Lair talking all things Disney.

If you're interested in writing about Disneyland please email me thedragynslair@gmail.com. Or if you think you would like to contribute other things please contact me. You know I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pasta Recipes part 2

In honor of Lady and the Tramp I decided to make Valentine's day pasta night. This post is just the pictures of the dinner I cooked. I will sometime soon (tomorrow?) write the full recipe down. And the pics are completely out of order... (sigh) In any case here they are and trust me it's delicious! Ask questions and I'll answer them in the recipe post.