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100. Hug Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom

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As I sit here writing my final post for My Magic 100, I am feeling both happy and sad. Happy for the 100 new memories I have to carry with me, and for the fun it’s been sharing these adventures with you along the way. But also sad because even though the goal was always to knock everything off my Disney Bucket List, I will also miss this project and the fun, friendship, and magic it has brought to my life. I guess that saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” has a lot of truth to it.

To anyone who has read my blog, I want to say thank you for spending some of your time here. That really means a lot. To those of you who have left comments and words of cheer, I especially want to express my gratitude to you. Your kind words have been a true source of encouragement — you didn’t have to take the time to write, but you did. There are some of you that I’ve never even met in person, yet I feel like I’ve made a few new friends. I never had very many readers on my little corner of the web, but I’m pretty sure I had some of the nicest, and I hope you had fun here.

As I wrap up the completion of my Disney Bucket List, I want to wish each of you all the best as you strive to achieve any of the dreams you might have on your own Bucket List… Disney or otherwise :). I wish you strength, joy, lots of fun, and more than a little magic in your journey.

The “happy accident” that was Walt Disney said something I’d like to end with:

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.”

100: Hug Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom

100: Hug Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom

Thanks, pal :).

Your friend,
Wendy

Bucket List Bonus! Cast a Vote in the Lei Day Competition at the Polynesian Resort

Did you know that May 1st is Lei Day in Hawaii, and has been celebrated since 1927?

I didn’t! That’s why it was so cool to stumble across this Cast Member Competition at the Polynesian Resort, which celebrates Lei Day every year.

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The text in the sign below explains some of the beautiful sentiment behind the traditional Lei, and you can click on the image to enlarge and read the information (you can also click on any of the pictures of the leis below, to see them better).

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My favorite part reads: “Leis are much more than just a decorative necklace of flowers; they are also one of the nicest ways you can say hello, goodbye, congratulations, I salute you, my sympathies are with you, or I love you.”

The Cast Members at the Polynesian create leis for the competition, and guests place their votes for the winners (who have bragging rights until next May :) ).

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The display was divided up into categories. First, Natural Materials.

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Next, the Edibles, which I can only assume were created by the Poly’s Food & Beverage team.

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Major props for the roses made of BACON!

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The Haku is a lei made to wear on the head.

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The category with the most entries was “Creative,” where anything goes! If you look closely, you’ll see that this lei is made of Disney Park Maps :) .

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This one is made of cash! (Well, the buttons smartly say, “Copy.”;) It’s so cool how it is dual-tiered.

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It’s difficult to tell in this photo, but the medallions in this lei feature Tiki statues.

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Cast Members used everything from colorful beads to soda can tabs!

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Here’s the Magic Band Lei! The little note says, “Our Polynesian ‘Ohana (family) BANDS together!”

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Money Koosh Lei… sure, why not :) ?

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I would seriously wear either of these anytime.

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And I loved this truly unexpected crocheted lei.

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I cast my vote — which one is your favorite :) ?

 

79: Dine at Animator’s Palate

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Beauty and the Beast
The Jungle Book
Sleeping Beauty
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Peter Pan
Lady and the Tramp

What does your mind conjure when you think of these beloved Disney film classics?  Memorable characters, heartfelt songs, joyful moments, and… a little magical something called Disney animation.

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Animators Palate Disney Fantasy (40)
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Disney Cruise Line ships offer the truly unique experience of Rotational Dining: Guests rotate between three different restaurants for dinner, while their servers “rotate” with them, ensuring that they get to know their guests’ preferences and provide the best possible service. Guests sailing on the Disney Fantasy are in for a memorable dining experience at Animator’s Palate: the Animation Magic show. From the Disney Cruise Line website:

Animation Magic: An experience that’s exclusive to the Disney Fantasy, Sorcerer Mickey leads the fun as black and white explodes into color and “Be Our Guest” reaches new heights. Don’t be surprised if your own hand-drawn characters join the colorful production!”

Two things greet you at your table upon arrival. One: your menu, informing you of the magic to come (click to enlarge):

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Two: a sheet of paper on which you are asked to draw a character of your very own. Here is mine, filled in (you will see there is no need to be jealous of my artistic skills ;) ):

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Next, you will order your meal. PLEASE don’t miss out on the Corn Three Ways: Buttered popcorn soup, caramelized popcorn, and spiced cornbread. I know it sounds weird :). But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it—you’ll be surprised how well this works!

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Animators Palate Disney Fantasy Corn Three Ways (38)

And then… your surroundings will transform from black and white…

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… to COLOR!!!

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All of this accompanied by beautiful arrangements of Disney film scores! There was plenty here to already make this a dining highlight of our cruise. But then, somewhere around dessert, something even more amazing happens… that character you drew when you sat down at the table? He or she shows up on screen… and starts to dance :)!

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Animators Palate Disney Fantasy (83)

Not only that! He or she will then start to dance… with DISNEY CHARACTERS!

Oh, my goodness—I got so excited when Albert (that’s my character’s name, by the way :)) danced with JIMINY CRICKET HIMSELF that I didn’t even get a picture. I was too shocked… I may have even screamed—I won’t deny it! I did get the briefest shot of Albert dancing on the “Be Our Guest” cakes from Beauty and the Beast (bottom right in blue–you can see him if you squint :) )

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If you think it can’t possibly get better, think again, my friends… because at the end, every guest’s name flashed on screen receiving film credit as “Animators!”

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AND our drawings came back to us with new gold titles freshly stamped on the bottom: “Official Disney Animator”.

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Animators Palate Disney Fantasy (87)

For fans who love Disney animation, it truly CAN’T get better than this :).

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To learn more about what it’s like to sail on the Disney Fantasy, click here :).

If you would like to hear more about what it’s like to sail on the Disney Fantasy, give a listen to Episode #497 on the Be Our Guest Podcast (also found on iTunes)!

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