Hope At The House of Mouse (Disneyland 2018)

My Day At Disneyland

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The blazing Southern California heat couldn’t touch stop us from having the time of our lives. When the world thinks of Southern California residents, they have a certain image of us. They see beach dwellers, Hollywood obsessed actors and non-stop party goers. They see the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, and the pitfalls of crime and horrors on the streets of our cities. Thanks to social media, a lot of people also tend to assume that anyone who lives in Southern California goes to Disneyland all the time. They would be wrong.

When I was a kid, trips to Disneyland were a once a year adventure. They were ingrained into our childhood memories, like sand mixing into the fibers of a carpet. No matter how hard you try not to dwell on the past and yearn to return to a happy time, those memories just won’t go away. For someone like myself, who struggles with physical disabilities 24/7, getting down to Anaheim and the Happiest Place On Earth is no easy task.

Entering The Park

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For the first time, I got to experience a day at Disneyland and California Adventure like never before. Setting out with my fellow Disney obsessed fans (who happen to also be my mother and sister) we ventured into the park and experienced it like it was the first time. From our first time eating lunch at the famed Carnation Cafe to the soothing ride on the classic attraction Jungle Cruise, the day was like someone scavenged through the memories of my childhood and plucked it out of my mind.

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Honoring My Grandfather

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The highlight, (one of many), of the day for me came in New Orleans Square. Years ago on Christmas Eve, my family and I had the misfortune of having to say goodbye to my grandfather, my mother’s father. He was a kind, caring family man who may not have been perfect, but he loved his family dearly. He was the kind of man who wouldn’t let you get into his home without bombarding you with affectionate hugs. He gave my mother, sister and I our love for cheesy horror movies and musicals. He is the man who introduced my mother, and subsequently me, to the works of Stephen King, the author who would inspire me to become a writer in the first place. He was an amazing soul who worked his entire life as a carpet layer to provide for his family, and gave everyone a lifetime’s worth of memories to cherish.

It was one of those memories that led to this momentous day at Disney. While in New Orleans Square, my mother surprised my sister and I with a glass figurine each. We learned that as a child, her father would take her to Disneyland, and together they would watch the glass figurines being made in that shop, the Cristal d’Orleans. Then he would buy her one of the figurines. It was a symbol of the great memories she made at the park with her father, and for years she dreamt of passing it down to us. After a decade away from the park, we finally had the opportunity to learn of this experience she had, and together we had an emotional bonding moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.

California Adventure

Then we continued our fun in California Adventure. An area of the park we never experienced as children since it had yet to come into existence fully, we explored the fun and excitement of the park. It was Pixar Fest, and we got to see some amazing sights. We traveled back in time to the days when boardwalk games were still popular and won some fun prizes. We listened to amazing Mariachi Music, including a wonderful rendition of our current favorite Disney tune, “Remember Me” from Coco. We shopped and dined, and together we experienced one of the best days of our lives.

Some may not understand fully why a day at Disneyland could be so magical to a family of adults, but to us, honoring our childhood and the memories we shared, is something everyone should experience throughout their lives. The world of Disney helped shape part of our lives, giving us the means to explore masterful storytelling, emotional highs and lows in life, and best of all, discovering the magic of hope. In our daily lives, we experience physical pain from our disabilities, emotional pain from those illnesses and the despairing world around us, and mental pain knowing those things aren’t something we can change overnight. Yet in that one day, we got to experience nonstop wonder, excitement, fun and best of all, hope.

A Day To Cherish

We laughed. We cried. We made memories together, and we made promises to one another. Promises to honor the day we had with one another and make it an annual trip (hopefully) in the future. To make it a goal to get to the park at least once a year, and honor the memories we shared with one another. To honor those who are no longer with us in body, but remain in our hearts. To look adversity and pain in the face and smile, as the hope for a brighter tomorrow races towards us. For myself and my family, that is what the happiest place on Earth means to us. That’s what Disney has done for our family.

What is your favorite childhood memory? What’s one place you will never stop wanting to go to no matter how old you are? Leave your comments below.

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/

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It’s A Bright World TO Feel Lost In by Mawson Bear Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

We all had that one special toy, that one stuffed animal that was always a source of comfort, friendship and love when we were children. In author Mawson Bear’s book It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In, adults and children alike can reconnect with that special connection we all shared with that special toy in our lives, and remember what it’s like to search for love and your place in the world. Here’s the synopsis:

Are you feeling a little lost? Got that ‘left in the spare room’ emptiness about you? Mawson does too.

He sits atop his cushion and ponders about baffling things.

The world is a funny place for a curious teddy bear to live in. Friends approach him about their own dilemmas. They seek instant answers that will make everything all right. Mawson does his best. But after he ponders deeply, most things remain for him just as baffling as they were before.

Take a moment out of your day to pawse with him and explore the world. For the many frazzled readers who feel, secretly, much the same, he offers the comfort that the world is a bright place to be.

This book has a surprising emotional pull for adults that you wouldn’t expect just looking at this book’s cover. While it features a stuffed animal bear as the narrator, the story takes a wonderful journey of self discovery as we explore what it means to be needed and loved. It highlights the simplistic yet care free nature of being a child, and the painful process of growing up. The theme of the story reminds me a lot of the overall theme of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. It’s the story of growing up, and finding a way to still be wanted or needed in the world.

Overall this was a wonderful story. Filled with heart, emotion and a unique picture book style with photographs in lieu of artwork. The story felt personal, emotional and incredibly powerful. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Mawson Bear’s It’s A Bright World to Feel Lost In today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Its-Bright-World-Feel-Lost/dp/1922200441/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522411782&sr=1-1&keywords=9781922200440

 

 

Japanese Sensation YO-KAI WATCH Hits U.S. Shores on Nintendo 3DS

The YO-KAI WATCH Video Game Has Sold More Than 8 Million Units in Japan Alone

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Do your socks go missing in the dryer? Are you constantly shopping for useless stuff? Or maybe you can’t stop spilling all of your secrets? All of this could be caused by Yo-kai! Hundreds of these sometimes spooky, sometimes cute and usually mischievous Yo-kai secretly inhabit our world. They can’t be seen by the human eye, but they’re hiding everywhere! In YO-KAI WATCH an original game from top Japanese entertainment company LEVEL-5 Inc. which launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Nov. 6, you must explore the in-game world to find and befriend more than 200 of these Yo-kai, each with unique skills, strengths and personalities.

Japanese Sensation YO-KAI WATCH Hits U.S. Shores on Nintendo 3DS (Photo: Business Wire)
Japanese Sensation YO-KAI WATCH Hits U.S. Shores on Nintendo 3DS (Photo: Business Wire)

“After selling millions and becoming a cultural phenomenon in Japan, YO-KAI WATCH plans to make a big splash in the U.S. as part of a broad entertainment blitz, including a video game, toys, a comic book and an animated comedy series,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “People will find it easy to love this charming game and its memorable characters.”

After selecting to play as a male or female character, you begin an adventure in an expansive world filled with hidden Yo-kai waiting to be discovered. As you explore the world, you will encounter Whisper, the self-proclaimed “Yo-kai Butler,” who entrusts you with a Yo-kai Watch. With this special watch, you’ll be able to see Yo-kai everywhere in town and even befriend them. Befriending new Yo-kai is not always easy, though – in many cases, you will need to battle with them and impress them during your battle. Once befriended, you’ll receive a Yo-kai medal as proof of your new friendship. Then you can summon your new friends with their Yo-kai Medals, form a team and challenge troublemaking Yo-kai or solve the problems of people in need. Finding all the Yo-kai in the game (especially the rare ones) and seeing their inspired names and charming designs is all part of the fun.

As you collect Yo-kai throughout the game, you can form teams of six Yo-kai at a time. Since each Yo-kai has different abilities, it will take strategy to form the right team and gain the upper hand when confronting particularly troublesome Yo-kai. By strategically initiating Soultimate Moves and purifying your friendly Yo-kai using the touch screen of the Nintendo 3DS system, you can gain the advantage in battle. You can even feed your Yo-kai food, beverages and medicine in battle to heal them. Your assistance and leadership in battle is crucial to success.

Be part of the newest cultural phenomenon and buy YO-KAI WATCH in stores, in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS or at Nintendo.com on Nov. 6 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. If you want to try before you buy, a free demo of the game is now available to download in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. For people looking to get the game along with a Nintendo 2DS system, an amazing bundle is also available in stores on Nov. 6 at a suggested retail price of $99.99. The bundle includes the Nintendo 2DS system and a pre-installed version of YO-KAI WATCH. For more information about the game, visit http://yo-kai.nintendo.com.

Alongside the video game, the YO-KAI WATCH animated TV show is being broadcast on Disney XD, Mondays at 5 p.m. Full episodes will also be appearing on the Yo-kai Watch Official YouTube Channel on Nov. 5. At the same time, VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint is bringing the original manga series to the West for the first time. Starting in January, Hasbro, Inc. will introduce an innovative YO-KAI WATCH product line featuring a system of play centered around the YO-KAI WATCH accessory and collectable medals, along with board games, plush and figures. Fans can pre-order the YO-KAI WATCH accessory at select retailers starting on Nov. 6 and running through Dec. 31. People who pre-order from select retailers will receive an exclusive* Jibanyan “Paws of Fury” medal, while supplies last.

*The exclusive medal is available at Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, GameStop and HasbroToyShop.com. A deposit of $1 to $5 is required to pre-order the watch, while supplies last. See clerk for details. Pre-order availability: Nov. 6 to Dec. 31. Coming January 2016.

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One of my all time favorite @disney movies is #beautyandthebeast so I made myself into the beast. #disney #disneymovies #belle #beast #disneyaddict

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Was in a @starwars mood, so I used a @disney app to make this awesome Darth Maul video. #fun #StarWars #DarthMaul #Disney #DisneySide #funny

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Here is the first in a series of future videos I’m calling Dubsmash Compilations! This one features Game of Thrones, Lilo and Stitch and What Does The Fox Say! #GoT #video #Disney #YouTube (at Avina Vlogs: Link in Bio!)

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My #tbt is a series of #pictures of Jack and Clark as #puppies with an old school #Disney song from A Goofy Movie! #memories #YouTube (at Avina Vlogs: Link in Bio!)