Disney vs. Disney

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I finally got to get my happy butt to the original Disney property this year. It was pretty cool to see finally, especially with the Disney craze that has been this house the past few years. It got even better when I had company, who happened to be an experienced Land-goer. Honestly, Disney World is still tops for me, mostly because it’s my first Disney memories, where I’ve taken my kids…but Disneyland most definitely now holds a special place in my heart. Disneyland: Walt walked these streets. He lived in the apartment above the fire station when he did. He mingled with guests. His light is still on, always on, to show that he’s there. Always there. Disney World: Walt inspired the concept of the parks, he was in the minds of the designers, and remains so, as they expand and change. He never walked the streets, he unfortunately passed away before it was built. Disneyland: California Adventure Park.  Once a bit of an embarrassment, it is pretty awesome these days.  (Let’s just not talk about what they did to the Tower of Terror, ‘kay?). Cars land was really neat to see, as immersive as Hogsmeade at Universal…so, so cool. I spent a bit of time in Cars Land. The pier with the fair themed games and rides really made me happy. I loved every ride I went on here, pretty much. Disney World: Epcot. Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios. Three parks to one. It’s sort of tough to beat. I have always been a huge fan of Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Not so much Animal Kingdom, but it hasn’t really managed to get a good, thorough visitation from me for many reasons. Although, Mt. Everest is way, way at the top of my favorite rides. We’ll talk about the construction downsides soon. Disneyland Magic Kingdom: Cramped. Nostalgic, yes…but cramped. Dead ends everywhere. Weird rides bundled together in a loosely-tied theming…just to keep ‘up to date’. Really liked my guided tour with my buddy learning the facts and one word: Matterhorn. I don’t know, it just felt like a cramped mishmash. I did really enjoy going on several classic rides and the Matterhorn, though. Single Rider is a lifesaver there, though. Do it, even if you’re in a group. You’ll save a TON of time. Disney World Magic Kingdom: More open, less confusing, and really, I just prefer it, even if they don’t have the Matterhorn. 😉  The lands make more sense with the theme tie-ins, and the rides feel like they haven’t been shoved in because there’s no room to grow. Downtown Disney vs. Disney Springs: No comparison. Disney Springs (although at times seems too big) wins. The end. Construction in the midst of magic: We all know Disney has to innovate. I was fortunate enough to not see too much construction in Disneyland (I didn’t approach the SW or GotG construction areas), but scuttlebutt going around is there is about to be some pretty hefty work going down in DCA in 2018.  Disney World has been overrun with construction. Last time I went I didn’t even venture into Hollywood Studios but for about two hours to do Star Tours and have lunch because there was so much closed. In the coming years, Epcot will be seeing a ton as well. Although, that needs it…but still. It’s a lot. A lot, a lot. Clearly, going as an adult has its downside. You’re an adult and you notice these things. My kids? Not so much. Still, I love both parks in their own way.  I can now say I’ve been to Disneyland, enjoyed myself, and it will hold a special place in my heart. I’m not in a huge rush to return, though. Disney World, on the other hand…I’m going later this month, and I just went in September…so, I think it’s still a winner, winner chicken dinner in my book.     Read more »

Welcoming Change

I have always hated change. Changes, much like social situations, make me nervous. Looking back, it seems weird to be so uncomfortable with change, considering how much I faced it in my youth.  We moved many times in my life.  When I was 8, 13 (halfway across country), at 20 I moved halfway across the country again for school, then had a baby and moved to another state again, and six months later we moved again, then two years later we moved again.  (Hey, have I  mentioned my dad is a nomad? Yeah…) Somehow as an adult with three kids, a husband, a cat and a dog, I’ve turned into a hermit that fears change. I’m kind of sick of it.  I’m sick of accepting toxicity because my social anxiety keeps me hidden. I’m tired of accepting a job I hate and shoddy treatment because where else will I go? I’m sick of being afraid. You might have seen me mention a few times around here (or if you’re new, here’s your intro), but 2016 SUCKED. HARD. It was an awful year full of bad things, bad vibes, and a drop (for me) into depression I couldn’t shake for the first time in my life. By accepting where I was, and making active moves toward changes, 2017 has turned into the year I begin reaching for change. And I don’t just mean my bucket list (which we will visit soon enough)…I mean change. I quit my job. Without a backup. It’s led to some hard financial times…but now has blossomed into better things. First, I am not completely miserable. Second, I am starting a new job on Monday that is WAY outside of my banking comfort zone. I was sick of banking, sick of my lazy boss that blamed me for his ignorance. I’m going into a completely new field (on Monday!), and to be honest, it’s a lot-bit scary…but in the best way. I’m going to be learning things I’ve never thought I would, doing things I never thought I would.  It’s going to be an intense, high-pressure job, and it’s only going to be 2-3 days/week. I’m finding .  Oola, in case you didn’t know, is a method of finding balance in the key 7 areas of your life to create the sense of happiness…the “oolala” sort of life. I got a copy of it free via netgalley (the Oola for Women book)…and have since bought a print copy for myself, and a print copy of the original book for my hubby.  We are examining our wheels, and making plans for changes. Big changes. I brought my youngest home to “homeschool” (online school). That was a huge step for me, because I treasure my alone time during the day.  We’re several months in and we’re still adjusting. Some days she insists she wants to go back to brick and mortar. Some days I want nothing more than to ship her back to brick and mortar.  Other days, it’s pretty darn awesome.  We’re finding a groove, and making it. We’ll revisit where we’re at once summer comes, but we’re in it to win it right now. Nowadays I’m looking forward to the changes coming. 2017 saw me taking charge to come out of my depression and face life again. If I were the type that chose words to represent a year, this year would be growth. 2018’s, I expect, will be change. I’ve got a lot of plans for writing, a lot of plans for changing the way our family lives, a lot of plans to head toward our biggest goal/change of all…our big move to Florida. It’s a huge mind-set change to me, a big challenge…but I’m going for it. I’m going to welcome change, and embrace it like a new friend. It’s high time I remember how exciting it can be. Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

My Happy Place

  Florida. Sun. Sand. Palm Trees. Oh, and those little places called Disney & Universal. My son is down there now, and I have every intention of packing up to follow him as soon as is possible. (Unfortunately I’m no longer 19 and packing up to take off is a bit more complicated than it was for him). Now, before you go saying, “it’s your vacations that make it so relaxing.” It’s not about that. It’s about a sensation. An instinct. I’ve been there for other purposes. I’ve worked my ass off there for a week & never saw a single vacation destination. Never saw anything beyond the convention center. I still felt it. Recently Erik and I got to go down for his 50th birthday (for my 40th we took a trip around the state & visited a haunted spot. He got to drink around the world for 50 😉 ). We got to spend some time with our son after not seeing him for six months. Within minutes of seeing him, he was already annoying us with his antics, his puns, and snark. I loved every annoying minute.  He planned surprises for hubby. He planned out our perfect spot for the fireworks shows. He showed us where he lived, where he worked, and in general spent a lot of time with us. It was fabulous. Erik and I got to lay out in the sun. Go on a date. Relax. Talk about moving. Or not. When, or how. Enjoy the sun. Enjoy the parks. Discuss our next trip. Next time we go back will be at Christmas. This trip will be about a lot more than Disney. Of course, we will go for a couple of days…but we’ll do more. We’re going to take the girls to see more of Florida. Take Erik to see more of Florida. Because there’s more to life than the theme parks (though they are awesome). And if I ever hope to move there, I want to see it all.   Read more »