As time went on, opportunities seemed to pop up again & again....and again. Some smaller in scale, like shopping days at Mickey's of Glendale, and some bigger, like a whirlwind 5 night anniversary extravaganza! In the end, we were left with some pretty amazing memories and unforgettable experiences. I am thankful for every single moment. Here are some highlights of our magical year!
We stayed at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa for the first time ever! A Disney friend & DVC member posted on FB that they had a 2 night reservation for a studio they were looking to rent out for $250. Surely they meant $250/night, which is a very good deal. Nope! They were looking for $250 TOTAL!! I couldn't believe our luck! Since we're local, we rarely book a stay at DL, let alone ON property. The cherry on top was our fabulous view. Standing on our balcony we could see the fireworks over DL to the left, and to the right we could see (most of) World of Color!
|View of DCA from our studio at the Grand Californian|
1) D23 Shopping Day at Mickey's of Glendale - while we don't really get to go behind the scenes when D23 opens up this Imagineer exclusive store to it's members, there's something exciting about just being on the campus. Plus, I get to play personal shopper for some out-of-state friends & family, and who doesn't love shopping with other people's money? ;)
2) Visit to Walt Disney's Barn in Griffith Park. We don't venture out to L.A. very often, but we happened to be staying in the area during a weekend the barn was open - it's only open one Sunday a month for 4 hours.
|Walt Disney's Barn|
|Walt & Roy's offices, each on the top floor.|
|Disney Legend Dave Smith guiding us through the Archives|
1) We took a trip to Florida to attend D23's Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th with a few friends. Daniel, my dad & I stayed at the always lovely Animal Kingdom Lodge - one of our favorite resorts. In addition to the D23 event, we also enjoyed the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot, took the Behind the Seeds tour, and won an opportunity from the Disney Parks Blog to join an after hours Star Tours Re-Launch Party!
2) As Annual Passholders, we won an opportunity to preview the new Little Mermaid attraction at DCA before it opened to the public
|Our favorite presentation at Destination D, hosted by Imagineers Jason Surrell, Alex Wright & Jason Grandt|
|The ACTUAL Dreamfinder, Figment and Richard Sherman sing "One Little Spark" at the event's finale.|
|Cinderella & Prince Charming at Epcot's annual Flower & Garden Festival|
|The Papa enjoying some fresh cucumber during the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot's Living with the Land attraction|
|The hubby and Chewy discuss the trials & tribulations of being taller than everyone else.|
|"There, you see her....."|
My 33rd birthday, Father's Day & our first viewing (of many) of the new Soundsational Parade
|The Papa on Father's Day|
|The Mary Poppins finale float in the the Soundsational Parade|
The D23 Expo was full of highs & lows. The best part was connecting with friends as we made our way through the different presentations & events. During this weekend trip, we also took a (free!) tour of the Lilly Belle. This was something I didn't know was available to the general public, my dad actually turned us on to it!
|Kermit & Rowlf singing "Rainbow Connection" during the Disney Legends ceremony where Jim Henson was honored. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.|
|Our favorite place to hide fromt the lines at the Expo - the Parks & Resorts pavilion|
|Our good friend Rob on the Lilly Belle|
|Enjoying some Canadian goodness at Epcot's annual Food & Wine festival|
|Our brick makes its debut at Disneyland, just in time for our 1st wedding anniversary!|
|Artist & Show Designer Kevin Kidney shows off some amazing paper maquettes used in the concept layouts for the Soundsational Parade|
|Spreading our holiday cheer. :)|
|Our first visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during DISapalooza!|
|Tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite during D23's Magic & Merriment event|