Sunday, March 31, 2013

April 1, 2013: Happy April Fools' Day

There is absolutely one April Fools Day joke you should never pull. Never tell someone they’re going to Walt Disney World and then pull the rug out from under them with an April Fools. Pain and suffering will surely follow and it will be yours. However a great April Fools Day joke is let someone know that you are going to Walt Disney World. It will take them days to believe you because you told them on April Fools Day. Always trying to be helpful.

On this day in 1946, Weight Watchers formed. As I type this, it occurs to me that anything I blog today may be taken as an April Fools joke. This is no joke Weight Watchers has been around for 67 years and, honestly, don’t you think we’d all be skinny by now? I know that Weight Watchers has helped a lot of people but the only way that I have been able to lose weight and keep it off is walking. About an hour of vigorous walking each day does me a world of good. If you are a Weight Watchers dieting person, Disney can work for you. Every table service restaurant and most counter service restaurants have good options for people with many dietary considerations. I have peanut allergies and I am diabetic and my wife had bariatric surgery and we have done well on all seven of our WDW trips. Chefs will even visit your table and talk with you about options if necessary. But stop and think for a moment, you will walk at WDW, then you will walk and finally you will walk some more. I tell you this because you might need a few extra calories while visiting the world and that, in and of itself, might be reason enough to visit WDW.

There are three Apple Stores in Orlando. There is no Apple Store on Disney Property. We always thought that one would show up in Downtown Disney some day and maybe, with Downtown Disney changing over to Disney Springs, it may still happen some day. Apple Computer, now Apple, Inc., was founded on this day in 1976. Steve Jobs was a board member of the Walt Disney Company and his estate is the largest single Disney stockholder. I was at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco in 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and I guess I drank the Kool-Aid. We have a couple of iPhones, 3 MacBooks and an iMac desktop. There are apps that you can use for entertainment and efficiency while at WDW and most areas of the World have wireless available. Now, just listen to me carefully, put up all your electronic stuff and enjoy WDW. Don’t spend thousands of dollars to walk around staring at your phone screen. Just saying.

Congratulations to our little brother in the west, Louisville for advancing in the NCAA tournament and a special thank you for beating dUKe. On this date in 1996, UK beat Syracuse 76-67 to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Refer to earlier blogs if you need to know why this is a perfect excuse to visit WDW.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 31, 2013: Easter.

Today is Easter.


It looked like everyone had made a horrible mistake. An entire group of Jews had moved on from their traditions and beliefs and backed a guy named Jesus who they thought was the messiah. The guy they thought would lead them to throw off the shackles of Rome, the guy they thought would ascend to the throne of King David and lead them to glory, the guy who had saved so many others but could not save himself. How had things gone so wrong?

All the signs were there: fulfilled prophecy, healed people, demons cast out and a man who spoke with an authority like no other before Him. But the Pharisees, working with the Romans, put an end to all of that. A kangaroo court found Jesus guilty of blasphemy against God and crimes against Rome and the Romans settled the entire affair in their thorough and effective fashion, crucifixion.

Nothing says, “Don’t mess with Rome,” like crucifixion. Crucifixion was a very public way of making sure everyone understood what would happen if you stepped out of line. Even in crucifixion it seemed that Jesus fulfilled prophecy, there was darkness, the veil of the temple was torn in half, the dead walked the streets of Jerusalem and, when the soldiers attempted to break Jesus’ legs to hasten his death they found him already dead. The soldier proved it by piercing his side with a spear and blood and water came out of Jesus’ chest. He had died the horrible death of crucifixion, drowning in the fluids of his own body. One of the soldiers witnessing the event said, “Surely, this was the Son of God.” No matter, Jesus was now dead. How had things gone so wrong?

The Romans were in a hurry to end his life and take him down from the cross because Jewish tradition demanded that he be buried before sundown and the beginning of the Passover. He was buried in a hurry, in a borrowed tomb, his body not even completely prepared for burial. How had things gone so wrong?

On the dawn of Sunday, the first day of the week, the third day of Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary traveled to the borrowed tomb to finish the preparation of Jesus’ body when there was a great earthquake on their way to the tomb. What else could go wrong? That’s where we pick up the story in the book of Matthew:

 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.

I’m sure that as these events unfolded that Satan was watching these events saying, “How had things gone so wrong?” It looked like Satan had won, after waiting down through the ages he had thwarted God’s plan to redeem mankind but, just as Jesus promised, He arose on the third day with victory and all power. When we are tried and tested just remember Jesus rose from the grave. When Satan and the world would tell you happiness is not possible just remember Jesus rose from the grave. When you feel like all hope is gone, that your life is a wreck, that there is no way for you to redeem yourself, Jesus rose from the grave.

You have hope in Him. We talk about dreams coming true and wishes being granted but I always point out that God has something greater than magic and wishes, faith and hope. With faith and hope we can receive salvation through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Whose power was proven in His resurrection.

If you are at Walt Disney World this Easter, then you are at the most magical place on Earth. WDW is about a wonderful a place as man can come up with but God has a home for us in Heaven that for which there exists no comparison on Earth.

Today is Easter.

Happy Easter.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 30, 2013: Hey Gomez, want to see my water bed of nails?

Ahhhhhh… Spring Break. Nothing to do except: my niece Cayla’s wedding, my son’s DeMolay meeting, my daughter Allison’s musical, Smoke on the Mountain, at Kentucky Christian University, my son’s “voluntary tennis practice”, an appointment to sing with our family group. There’s nothing going on, it’s Spring Break. Oh well, normally we’d do all this stuff and work all week. Some time in this week needs to be set aside to just do nothing and rest a bit. That’s why vacations are important, getting away, as long as we are home we are being tugged at by responsibilities that we have in the community. We took one trip to WDW where I locked my phone in the safe and never even checked it the entire trip. I have ten phone calls from work, in the middle of a two-month summer vacation while they knew I was at Disney. Take some time, relax and disconnect.

On this date in 1822, the unified government of Florida was established with William P. Duval from Kentucky as its first Territorial Governor. Spain owed us a huge amount of cash, $5 million in 1821 money, and we took Florida as part of a deal to cancel their debt. Pretty sweet deal I say. I’ve said this several times, visit Florida as well as Walt Disney World. Explore the territory.

“They’re creepy and they’re spooky, mysterious and ooky, they’re all together kooky, the Addams Family.” On this day in 1930, John Astin, Gomez Addams, was born. In addition to being spooky he also has supplied voices for Disney’s Higglytown Heroes and Recess. May I suggest two natural choices to celebrate Astin’s birth, The Haunted Mansion at The Magic Kingdom or The Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios. Take some time and lose your mind.

It’s Celine Dion’s birthday, she sang “Beauty and the Beast” with Peabo Bryson. Go watch the show at Hollywood Studios.

Warren Beatty was born on this day in 1937. Beatty was Dick Tracy in Dick Tracy. Get a yellow rain coat and hang out on a rainy day at WDW. Some of our best days have been rainy days and I have never been dry when I eat at Chef Mickey’s.

Pierre Lacock was born on this date in 1927 in Huntington, West Virginia. There is a college in Huntington, a famous college, Marshall University, the subject of the movie We are Marshall. And Pierre took the name of the school as his stage name and we know him by his more famous name, Peter Marshall, the host of The Hollywood Squares. So let’s just hit Hollywood Studios again in Marshall’s honor.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 29, 2013: John Tyler, Pearl Bailey, Eric Idle: Always look on the bright side of life.

Today is our last school day before spring break and I have some friends leaving by the end of the day for Walt Disney World. I love them; they are my friends. I am jealous. We have been to WDW at the same time as them before and we have a particularly pleasant memory of watching Fantasmic together at Hollywood Studios. It okay though, I am just about ready to make plans for summer and, if everything works out, we will be taking another person to WDW for the first time. I really need to be on the payroll, stay tuned for further details.

On this date in 1790, John Tyler was born. Tyler was the tenth President of the United States of America. When William Henry Harrison died just a few weeks into his term as President, Tyler became the first person to become President upon the death of the incumbent. Tyler’s biggest issue was probably his commitment to the annexation of Texas, accomplished under his successor, James K. Polk. As always, visit the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom and celebrate all of our Chief Executive Officers.

It’s Pearl Bailey’s birthday. What a voice! Born in 1918, Bailey won at the Tonys and the Emmys, and is fondly remembered for her turn as Maria in Porgy and Bess. In our little corner of the world, Pearl was Big Mama in Disney’s The Fox and the Hound in which she sang, “Best of Friends,” “Lack of Education,” and “Appreciate The Lady.” In honor of Pearl Bailey and our old buddy Copper from The Fox and the Hound, let’s go around WDW and press some copper pennies to collect. The machines are everywhere and you can even get a book to save your pressed pennies in. Woo Hoo, defacing currency.

Always look on the bright side of life… today is Eric Idle’s birthday. Born in 1943, Idle has had an awesome and diverse career. Monty Python’s Flying Circus made Idle a star but he has moved on to movies, stage and WDW attractions. We don’t even have to ponder what to do to honor Eric at WDW; he is the featured scientist, with Figment, in the Imagination pavilion and the Journey into Imagination with Figment attraction. To quote the Sherman Brother, “One little spark, of inspiration. Is at the heart, of all creation.”

Some quick bits:

Today is Knights of Columbus Founders Day. Ride Spaceship Earth and enjoy its depiction of the Sistine Chapel.

Today is the National Day of Unplugging. We went to WDW one trip and locked up all the electronics. When our trip was over and I checked my messages I was so glad we did.

National Mom & Pop Business Owner’s Day: Main Street, USA is set up to represent a turn of the 20th century town. Enjoy.

1918: Sam Walton: all God’s children go to Wal-Mart. When we stay at Pop Century we go to the one in Kissimmee.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 28, 2013: Reba McEntire, Lady Gaga and Minnie Mouse: It's a circus in here.

Today’s blog is dedicated to my nephew, Ben Hayes. Sunday we were eating at the Old China Buffet in Louisa and Ben said, ”The other day I thought I would read your blog but then I started and it was too long for me.” Today’s shorter blog is in honor of Ben who I love dearly and I hope he will read all of today’s blogs. Hey, there are pictures.

We love ya Ben.

Today is Barnum & Bailey Day and to honor the circus go to the Dumbo / Casey, Jr. area of Fantasyland and act like a happy monkey.

On this dare in 2001, the Sorcerer’s Hat debuted at Disney-MGM Studios. Eventually the hat replaced the Earful Tower as the symbol of the park. Although many people despise that hat and the fact that it: A. covers part of a huge aerial view hidden Mickey and B. hides the Chinese Theater from view as you enter the park. In honor of those folks, who are Disney purists, let’s ride the Great Movie Ride and relive the Hollywood that never was.

It’s Reba McEntire’s birthday. Out of respect, we’ll not give the year but let’s honor her by seeking out another redhead at WDW, Jesse from Toy Story. One Good place to find Jesse is at the exit of Splash Mountain. Get a picture, smile real big and say, “There’s a snake in my boot.”

It’s Lady Gaga’s birthday. Lady Gaga was part of Minnie’s fantasy to be a high fashion model while Mickey was buying her a new dress. They made a cute video promoting different designers and you can watch it here:

Now go shopping for clothes at WDW. It’s not just t-shirt and ear hats.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.