Monthly Archives: February 2013

Taking Memorable Photos in Walt Disney World (That are going to be some of your favorites!)

So you’re going to Walt Disney World. And you’re going to take your camera. You might even take advantage of the Photo Pass program and have Disney photographers take your family’s preserved memories. But if you’re like me, you have lots and lots of pictures of the castle, the big golf ball, the big tree and that larger than life sorcerer’s hat. So what else do you take pictures of that will make it to the scrapbook worthy pile?

I challenge you on your next trip to the “World” to look for the unexpected photo opportunities. Of course you’re going to stand in line for pictures of your kids with their favorite characters. And who are you kidding? Of course you’re going to snap yet another picture of Cinderella’s castle. No worries there.

But on this next trip, think “stationary objects”. What do I mean by that? Well, Disney has placed things all over their 4 parks that just scream “Take a picture with me!” For example, see this picture of my daughter. We found this park bench with a Goofy statue just sitting on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.

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And see if you can find my son in this Lego family that is just outside the Lego store in Downtown Disney.

 

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It’s Tax Refund Time Again, What Are You Doing With Yours?

It’s that time again. January 31st has come and gone, and now by law, every type of paper or form that is required by law for tax information should be in the mail to you. Time to start talking refunds, if you’re expecting one! (I know this doesn’t sound like my normal blog, but stay with me, It’s coming…)

So what do you do with your tax refund? Most likely, you invest it in some way. (Key word tonight is going to be INVEST, lol.) I don’t know very many people who just stick it in a bank account and let it sit there. Maybe you are planning on investing it in your home, with some sort of home improvement or new furniture. Maybe investing in a new appliance to replace an outdated one. Possibly, you’re planning on investing in a new car and using it as a down payment. Or maybe you’re going to invest it in the future, like in a retirement fund or a college fund. All of those are great investments for your refund check.

But, may I make a suggestion for a way to invest your refund? Hey, I figure that every car salesman, furniture store, and any other store that has large items to purchase can make commercials telling you to come spend your refund with them, so why can’t I suggest something, right?

May I suggest that you INVEST your tax refund in your FAMILY? I know you’re saying, “Interesting thought, what exactly do you mean?”, right? Well, I will tell you. I suggest that you invest your refund in quality time spent with your family. What better way to do that than a family vacation? You most likely will only get 18 years of summertime with your children, before they are off to spend their summers with college roommates or other friends. Why not make lasting memories that will reside in your family’s hearts for years to come?

Family vacations, in my opinion are imperative to a healthy family. Just as you need time off of work to keep you from getting burned out, your family needs time away from the daily norm to keep from getting frustrated, irritated, and even torn apart. There is just something that happens when you take your family, remove the daily stresses of work, school, bills, all those things on the to do list you don’t have time to do, and everything else that keeps you running here and there and everywhere, and prevents you from just relaxing and enjoying each other. 

There is some sort of magic that happens when you’re able to escape the daily grind and just get away. Not saying they won’t argue on vacation, but I find that my kids are usually so absorbed in experiencing all the stuff that they don’t get to do at home, that they simply don’t notice the things about the other that normally irritate them so much.  And I find that I don’t really get near as aggravated with my family, when I’m not stressed out from a long day at the office, and just desperate for a few minutes of quiet that I can’t seem to find. As a whole, we’re nicer, we laugh more, we hug more, we enjoy each other more. MORE. And it is wonderful.

So if I decide to invest in my family, where do we go? (You know I had to bring you full circle back to here, right?) Well, of course, I am going to say Walt Disney World! But why should I spend my tax refund there? Well, let’s be honest. Disney is expensive. Sure, it just is. Most families I know simply can’t afford to take a vacation to Disney World every year. For lots of families, this type of vacation is a once in a lifetime vacation, or at least a once every several years vacation. Even my family can’t get there but every other year. But we make it a priority to go as often as we can, and we certainly use our tax refund to cover the cost of the trip, or at least as much of it as we can. We believe that our family gains a closeness that we just can’t get anywhere else but in Walt Disney World. We spend our whole days, from sun up to way after sun down riding rides, taking in shows, enjoying “special occasion” food, and just loving life together. You know, when you’re having fun, it is so much easier to not get short tempered, or snap at each other, or even argue!

When my children are my age, I want them to think back about their childhood, and remember the good times we’ve had. I don’t want them to think about being quarreling siblings, but the day they rode Tower of Terror and clung to each other for support. I don’t want their first thought to be the day one gave the other a black eye (though I don’t expect that will be forgotten), but rather the excitement of waiting for their favorite characters to appear in the parade, or the awesome firework show, or the day they shared that super size ice cream sundae after swimming in the pool at the resort. We value quality time spent with our family, and it is that quality time that makes happy memories. I know my family could create lasting memories on any vacation, but I believe that the memories we create at Walt Disney World will always mean just a little bit more, simply because they’re magical.

If you are interested in investing in your family this year with your tax refund, I’d love to talk with you some more. If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, and have any questions about it, I can talk Disney all day long, and I’d love to share with you why the parks mean just so much to us. Our Disney vacations truly are an investment, an investment of our money, yes, but an investment into the future of us. And trust me, the return on this investment is priceless.

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