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WDW Weekly News Update

This week isn’t even over yet but Disney has shared a few different pieces of exciting news with the public.  In chronological order…

February 12th: Rivers of Light show opens.  The long anticipated show that was supposed to open last summer is now ready to go.  This date is based on Fastpass+ bookings which recently were added to the system.

img_3089March 17th: Although this date was announced a while ago, I am so excited for The Beauty and The Beast movie!

May 11th: Final showing of Wishes which is the nighttime fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
I really hope I can see Wishes one more time before it ends because it is a fantastic show and there is nothing like the soundtrack.

May 12th: “Happily Ever After” replaces Wishes as the new nighttime show.  I expect Magic Kingdom will be absolutely packed on this night.

img_3014May 27th: The opening date of Animal Kingdom’s Pandora!  We have not been able to see much of the construction, besides the one very tall tower structure so I am interested to see what Disney has done with Avatar, even though it was not my favorite movie.  I will definitely need to watch it again before May 27th.

2019: At some point in this year, the Star Wars Land portion of Hollywood Studios will be opening!

In conclusion, this summer is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World parks.  2019 will be a fantastic year to go if you are a Star Wars fan, or you can wait until 2020 when the hype decreases a little.

5K Part 2 and half marathon disappointment posts coming up soon!

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Greenwich, Gin, and Gulls

img_0949Well the title is an alliterative quick summary of the past week here.
Last Wednesday we went to Greenwich (not the preppy Connecticut town, but the one here in England) to the National Maritime Museum.  The museum had a variety of exhibits, but I enjoyed seeing Nelson’s coat from the Battle of Trafalgar
the most.  img_0945 It was the one he was wearing when he got hit, and then later died from the wound.  They also had his blood stained stockings.  It’s a bit crazy how blood stained stockings have been saved for more than two hundred years.    img_0975
On Thursday, we took a toimg_0978ur of the Beefeater Distillery Tour.  We definitely were able
to see more when we toured the apple cider mill in France and I believe we did as well at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.  We did see much on this tour other than the ingredients they use to make the gin.  They gave us a free gin and tonic but I was not a huge fan.

img_0983Sadly for Friday, I couldn’t come up with word beginning with “g” for our Sherlock Holmes walking tour.  We saw different sites all around the city and heard about how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the short stories in the Strand magazine, which then made the magazine very popular.  One of my classmates mentioned “The Great Mouse Detective” on the tour and now I really want to watch the movie again!  The voice of Sherlock Holmes in the movie is actually voiced by an actor who went on to play Sherlock Holmes in many different mediums and his name is Basil Rathbone.  And we learned about the origins of Holmes’ hat and pipe.

Our second all day field trip was on Saturday and we took the train to Brighton where we saw sea gulls.  img_0993The day started out sunny and bright when we arrived at the beach town.  We had a few minutes to take photos of the beach before we started our sewer tour.  Yes, sewer tour.  Sewer tours are a thing and supposedly you have to book them way in advance because they are so popular.  I was shocked that vacationers actually did this.  Our professor had signed us up so we had no choice.  img_0996We wore hard hats and gloves (because there are rats in the sewers…yay).  First, the workers/tour guides gave us a quick introduction about the sewers and we saw a short film.  They gave us advice to take a deep sniff to numb our senses as we walked in but it did not really help.  We walked through different overflow areas (which had been hosed off before the tour but just use your imagination on how well that worked).  After an hour and a half, we were ready to head back into the sunshine so we climbed a staircase and we emerged from a manhole (like Amy Adams does in Disney’s Enchanted).  You should’ve seen people’s faces walking by as they asked what we were doing and we said “a sewer tour.”  After the tour, we had a pub lunch where I had a good pulled pork sandwich.  My friends and I then went shopping around town and stopped for ice cream, but unfortunately the weather had turned and it was now pouring.

I spent Sunday meeting up with family friends and going on a tour around London led by a family friend/connection and that was really fun.  I walked 11.68 miles on Sunday!    Monday, we went to the Alexander Fleming Museum at St. Mary’s Hospital (where many members of the royal family have been born).  This hospital looked very old and different from the hospitals I’ve seen back home.  We couldn’t believe that royals had been born here.  The museum was up a few flights of windy stairs and not air conditioned.  The last week or so has been brutal without air conditioning, especially when you are listening to a tour guide or packed in with lots of Londoners on the tube.

Yesterday, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is my favorite museum in London but unfortunately our tour guide got the time mixed up so we started the tour late and were all hot and exhausted.  I am hoping to head back to the museum if I have time this weekend, since I was not able to see much.  I met up with two friends from high school who are also studying abroad in London for dinner and we got a great deal at an Italian restaurant with 10 pounds for two courses and wine!

Hope everyone’s week went well!

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First Update from London!

I made it safely to London and am all set up.  I got a UK phone which was easy to do although it is not an iPhone so I am still getting used to how it works and clicking on the wrong thing half the time.  Good news is so far I have not discovered anything that I have forgotten to bring.

Usually at this point in a trip, I have found out that I have forgotten a hair brush, deodorant, toothpaste, or all of the above.  Yesterday was the day I flew in and other than getting a phone, I did not venture out much as I wanted to relax a bit.

Today, I met up with my roommate for the next month and we ventured out to Pizza Express for lunch (a family favorite in London) before going grocery shopping.  
I had dough balls which are a must for any visit to Pizza Express and tried one of the seasonal pizzas which was a delicious pineapple pie.

Here are some photos to make any reader hungry!  I also passed by the Gherkin which I had seen on previous trips from the top of St. Paul’s and from the London Eye.

Tomorrow the rest of my seminar class arrives and then on Tuesday we begin class!

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Where did the summer (and this blogger) go?

Summer 2016 is officially over for me.  It was fantastic but flew by.  I did not post this summer, mostly because I had a Disney Professional Internship (yay!) and was very busy.  We went to Walt Disney World in June (trip report to come) for a week, then I had my internship, and we were just back at Disney for a day before dropping my sister off at college.  In between those events, I went to a sidewalk chalk festival, went to see An American in Paris on Broadway, visited friends and family, and more.

This weekend, I fly to London for the start of my semester abroad in England which I am very excited about. Over the next few days, I will highlight more of my plan for London and the first few free days I have and then will use the blog when I am abroad as a way to update my family and friends on my experiences.  I also made a public Instagram account if you want to follow my travels.  The account is travelonmymind_mc

Here’s a fun photo from our June trip when my sister and I met Chewbacca because I couldn’t post without including one photo from the summer.

IMG_0150

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Here’s how to procrastinate today

Since it is a Monday, I am guessing many of you are procrastinating at school or work and so I urge you to watch this video.  It’s about a little more than an hour so maybe you can’t watch the whole thing right now, but definitely pull it up on your computer and let me know what you think!  The video has lessons for all ages.  I first watched it in 9th grade but have read the book years later and took different lessons away from it.

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving your Childhood Dreams

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When Plans Crumble, Think of Cookies

When plans crumble, remember that cookie crumbs still taste good, even though they are not what you originally intended to eat.

I realized yesterday that this was the semester that I had been planning to participate in the Disney College Program.  As you can see, instead of hanging around on hotel rooftops and taking selfies in front of the Magic Kingdom…IMG_3510

I am stuck in the middle of nowhere at my college drinking away my sorrows.  IMG_2918Okay, that’s not accurate at all as this photo was not taken at my college, is with cranberry juice, and I am really enjoying this semester but thought it would be funny.

As I said, since 7th grade I was going to spend this spring in Florida at my dream company working hard and having fun in the parks.  I am a Capricorn and plan out every little bit of my life to the last minute.  A recent EliteDaily article titled “If You Know An Intimidating Woman, She’s Probably A Capricorn” almost perfectly describes me (at least in the first few sections), especially when the author writes: “She has a vision for her life, and she knows that only hard work and ambition will get her there.”  I had wanted to work at Disney since forever and since the College Program was highly recommended on many of the Disney Intern job postings, I was going to do it.  Nothing was going to stop me.  When I did not want to do homework in middle school because I thought it useless (which sometimes it honestly was looking back), I made my goal the Disney College Program and that was my motivation.  I repeat, not the goal of getting into a good school, but being able to participate in the Disney College Program.  Yeah, I was a crazy kid.

Due to some rules at my college I had not known about, the Disney College Program started to seem less likely after the first week I spent talking to the academic office.  After spending a lot of time following one of my favorite quotes-Raundy Pausch’s quote from his book “The Last Lecture”- “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people” and trying to knock down the brick wall my school was putting up, I had to stop.  After speaking with some high up officials with the school, I realized that the rule could not be changed and I was not willing to risk reapplying to my school after completing the program.  I found out it was not feasible for this semester, but that I could definitely apply my last semester I was in college for the following semester.  I made a new goal to graduate a year early from college (which is going to happen) and modified my life plan that I had focused on for years.

If I had done the college program this semester, I would not have had the chance to go on the trip to Orlando with my school which was absolutely amazing and provided some great networking opportunities.  I would not have been able to go on the trip to Nebraska I will be going on in a few months.  I would not have joined a community service co-ed fraternity.  I would not have been able to present the research I had worked on last semester with a professor.  Yes, the Disney College Program would have provided me with lots of amazing things and I love reading about current DCP bloggers who are there, but at this time, it was not meant to be for me.

I remember dreading this semester after my first semester at college because I knew that I would be wishing I was in Disney.  But, being that it took three weeks for me to realize that THIS was the semester I had planned to be there shows that I guess I have committed to a changed plan and locked that new plan in.

Would I have still gone to this school if I had known I could not participate in the one thing that I had made my goal for years?  Hmmmm….not completely sure of the answer to that but I am fairly sure it would have been a definite no.

This change might not be as drastic as some other people’s changes in college plans, but to me it was a huge change I had to get used to.  Change happens and whether it is because of someone else or because you have a realization, everything will turn out okay.  People say it will, but it actually does.

I started off this post with an analogy (albeit somewhat of a bad one) but I should probably end with it too.  My perfect cookie cutter plans crumbled.  But I picked up the pieces that I could and designed a new plan.  The old plan and the new plan still taste like the same cookie, the Mary Cate cookie, but they are different forms of my goals.  It was a bit crummy at first, but I have accepted and grown to like that I am on campus for the semester I never intended to be.

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Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit.  It’s the first day of February! I don’t have a picture of a rabbit, so here’s a fun sign instead from my summer trip to England! IMG_1095

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