10 Super Easy Walt Disney World Tips and Tricks

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I absolutely love Disney!! I also firmly believe there are simple things that you can do when you visit to make your life easier. Here are a few of my tips I use when going to the parks, that make my life easier.

1// If you've been to the parks before, get a park hopper!! If you have never been to Disney before, I think you should really do one day at each park. It helps you not to feel rushed and you can learn about each park. If you have done the parks before, the park hopper is such a lifesaver! Since Pandora is new, the lines are crazy right now! So when I went to get on the rides and it said, 127 minutes I decided to go to another park for a few hours and then come back and try the line again. When I came back it was 60 minutes. Such a time saver!! If you only have a day, you don't want to spend it waiting in a line! Bonus Tip: Get the app, you can check on wait times and not have to go back and forth to parks guessing on what the wait time will be like. 

2// Keep your parking receipt when you park hop. You only have to pay for parking once each day. Keep your receipt and show the next park and your parking is free! Also, if you have a pass or you're going with anyone who has a pass, your parking is free. 

3// Get your fast passes before you enter the park. Theres always a huge line just to get fast passes in the parks, so download the app and plan out what you want to do before you enter. Pick the rides that normally have a long wait time. If you have any questions on what those are or my tips on what to get a fast pass for in each park let me know in the comments! 

4// Bring an extra pair of shoes and an extra outfit to keep in the car. On hot days, you get so hot!! I mean it is Florida after all. Make sure you're drinking a lot of water, but also bring extra clothes. After about half a day of walking around, it's so nice to change between parks. 

5// Similar to number four, bring a small umbrella into the parks and keep rain boots in the car. Check your weather, but honestly if you're going in the summer, unless the rain chance is zero you'll probably get rained on. Don't let that deter you, that's when you can get some food and wait for a little bit. People tend to leave the parks when it rains so you can end up getting on rides faster!! If you're in Magic Kingdom it's a perfect time to go to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride or the Peter Pan ride, they're both inside. Bonus Tip: bring a ziplock bag to put your phone and wallet in, you'll thank me later! 

6// If you buy something in the shops they can either hold it at the front of the park or send it back to your hotel, if you're staying on property. No need to lug around your purchases. I would suggest talking to the cashier and making sure you have the right timing, but more than likely if you don't leave tomorrow you should be fine to send it to the hotel. 

7// Check to see what's happening in the parks before you go. Around this time of year there is Mickey's Not So Scary, and later in the year it's the Christmas Party. If you're at Magic Kingdom and you don't have a separate ticket for the party, they're going to ask you to leave at like seven pm. That almost cuts your day in half, and you don't get to see fireworks. On the flip side, if you're going to Epcot there are so many different fun events that involve really good food. Maybe you'll be there during Food & Wine?!

8// If you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary or family event, the shops have free pins you can wear. There's nothing like being wished happy birthday by fifty cast members. So great!! Side tip: If you see someone wearing a birthday pin, it's ok to say happy birthday to them too!! Keep the magic alive!! 

9// If you're out of fast passes for the day, Parades are the perfect time to go on rides! While everyone is watching the characters pass by, you can run to the ride you've been waiting for. This is also the best time to shop, no lines! If you've never seen the parade before, it's fun to see. If you have, it's going to be the same. Get on those rides!! 

10// Remember that Magic Kingdom is a "dry" park. If you're looking for a drink with lunch, or wine with dinner go to Epcot. They have great drinks in Mexico and Italy! You can always take the monorail back in time for the fireworks, or hang out for the rest of the day walking around the world showcase in Epcot. 

These are tips I use every time I go to the parks!! So simple, but really do make a huge impact on how the day goes. If you're planning on going to Walt Disney World let me know! I'm always happy to answer any questions about the parks. 

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Be Kind To Yourself Now

Be Kind To Yourself Now - AVintageJoy

I was recently looking back at old photos and videos of myself and I was so much more kind to my past self. I was noticing how my hair looked better than I thought it did at the time, and how the same photos I had disliked, I now was so grateful that I had. This photo is me trying my very first homemade pop tart. I was on the trip that helped me decide Denver was the right place to move to. It was the first time I had looked at a place other than Florida and thought that it could eventually be home. However, after taking this picture, I hated everything about the picture.  

We do that so often in life. We look at all of the things in life that we "should" be doing better at and we don't appreciate the season of life that we're in. Growing and maturing is so necessary, but at the same time being grateful for where you are at brings such a peace. It's having the faith to know that this isn't forever, but also to be grateful for the now. Give yourself some grace in the now. I know when I'm looking at a picture of myself that I just took, I notice how if I had only worn a different color shirt, or mascara, or smiled like this instead, or whatever it may be at the time that I'm insecure about, the picture would have been so much better. In those moments all I'm doing is tearing myself down. I'm not speaking kindly to myself. How is it that I can be so kind to others in pictures and always love the candids, yet when I see my own all I see are my imperfections?

Let's not wait until years down the road to appreciate the "now." Let's not wait until we're looking back over memories and we finally see how we actually looked vs. what our minds were trying to tell us we looked like. Realize the beauty you have now, no matter your weight or haircut. You are so blessed to be you. You're the only one who will ever be like you. We see so much beauty in others, don't forget to be kind to yourself too!

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October Goals (10 in 30)

October Goals - AVintageJoy

Hello beautiful people! It's amazingly cool outside, and right now I may be a little in a "rose colored glasses" world, but I'm so excited to have seasons this year. My goals this month are definitely geared towards growing as a person, and loving the season.

1// Decorate my apartment! I really want this year's fall to feel like fall. I know I'll be working a lot so my apartment being "in the spirit of the season" I know will help.

2// Burn down two candles. This time of year always makes me want my home to smell like pumpkins and fall things! I say two candles because one I think I could do without much effort, but two means that I'm burning candles every night. I know that will help my stress level stay low.

3// Finish a podcast. I've been listening to Chip Ingram and I really want to finish one of the many series he's going through.

4// Apple pick or pumpkin patch it up! I'm not sure if apple orchards are a thing here or not, but I really want to do fall things this year.

5// Carve a pumpkin. This is very close to the above, but I didn't carve one last year and it made me sad. I want to have fall memories made this year.

6// Wear my new hunter boots! I splurged a little and bought green hunter boots that I love, but now I just have to wear them. I talked myself into them by promising myself that I will wear them throughout fall and winter. I'm sure I will, but I want to make sure that I do.

7// Do something every week. Taking myself out of my box is something that I actually like to do, but I have a bad habit of being sucked into work too much. I want to make sure that at least one time a week I step out and do something new.

8// Make my coffee at home. I will say, I have been getting better at this one, but I can continue to get better. I don't need to go to a coffee shop for coffee, I have a pot at home. 

9// Be a blessing to my friends. I really want to send fun little gifts to at least two-three friends this month. Being across the country is hard, but I recently had a friends send me something out of the blue and it was really nice. I want to do that for them!

10// Go to church or small group multiple times. This month I really want to create more of a priority of going to small group. I know I need that more in my life. 

What are your goals this month?

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My Bucket List

My Bucket List - AVintageJoy

I read this post recently from Rachel Emily and it reminded me of how much I love bucket lists...or what I like to call a life list. She has so many great goals, I added some of hers to my list too! I have lists for every month goals, it's time to update my overall goals. 

I've always heard the term "bucket list" and never really like it.  I just kept thinking what happens if I actually do all those things like I'm planning to do...I die? So instead I call this my Life List and every time I cross one of these off I'm going to add another because it's so much more fun that way! There are major things I want to do in my lifetime, like follow God with all my heart and mind, get married, and have children are the most important things to me, but these are more of the random things I really want to accomplish, in no specific order. 

  • Work at Disney!!! First goal down
  • Spend at least a month vacation in California
  • Get a black belt in martial arts
  • Be able to communicate in Spanish
  • Be able to communicate in French
  • Be able to communicate in Italian
  • Have a home library of books I've actually read
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Take dance lessons
  • Have a spa weekend-and relax
  • Own a classic Burberry trench
  • I want to say to bungee jumping- but I feel like it would freak me out too much- so it's half way on the list (yes I can do that it's my list)
  • Go on an awesome road trip
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • See The Northern Lights
  • Visit at least four of the seven wonders of the world
  • Visit the Louvre
  • Participate in the La Tomatina food fight
  • Go to Seattle's Pike Place Market
  • Read all the lord of the rings books
  • Build a habitat for humanity home
  • Have my own garden- both a eat out of one- and a pretty flower one
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • See a Broadway Play
  • Go to Vancouver Canada
  • Take my dad to Scotland
  • Hold or pet an owl
  • See the ball drop on new years eve in time square
  • Sponsor a child in need
  • Ride a camel
  • Go on a safari
  • Drink milk fresh from a coconut
  • Bike through Amsterdam
  • Visit a tulip field
  • Visit a lavender field

What's on your Life List?

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Why Asking "Why" Is So Important

Why asking why is so important - AVintageJoy

I was in a meeting recently and the person leading the meeting kept asking "why." He asked us why we do what we do. This is a question that in society we tend for forget about. He was trying to make a point that in life there are so many times that we don't allow ourselves to figure out why we choose something or why we are doing something. We focus on how to do things or the best way to do something, or how to cut costs to do it, but do we ask why? Not nearly as much as we should. 

Even though people don't always think about why they are doing something, if you ask people "why" you can eventually get to the core of why they are really motivated. It will take a few times of asking why to get to the core of the reason, but it's important to do this. If we don't understand why we are motivated, it's easy to lose momentum when things start getting hard. 

For example: 

As a society we tend to focus on the what and where vs. the why and how. We focus on the immediate what do I need to do at work, and weeks start to slip away. We're focusing too much on the immediate and not on how the immediate is effecting the future and eternity. 

What you are doing today will form how your future is. It doesn't define your future, in that you can change and refocus on what you need to, but it's important to keep at the forefront of your mind the "how" and "why" of your decisions. 

The What: The what of life is what you're doing right now, you are working or going to school. You are getting groceries etc. It's factual. 

The Where: It's where you're at the time. The where can be important in that if you don't feel like this is where you need to be and you've been feeling lead to go to another place, maybe you should start seriously thinking about your where. On the other hand, don't let your where stop you from doing what you want to do. You may not have to be in a certain location to start making steps towards what you want. Location can be important but it isn't everything. 

The How: The how is the constant planning phase. The more you can get ahead of something the more proactive you can be and the less reactive. The more you can sit down and spend time thinking through how you're going to accomplish your goals or plan your trip the less you will be stressed once you are there. The more you can think of different ways to do something the more options you'll have to succeed. 

The WHY: The why, to me, is the more important question. It's time to let the two year old in you out. Ask why? Put yourself in the hot seat and go down to the core of why you do the things you do. It's so easy to stop asking why and start going without realizing. Your reasoning why is what truly motivates you. In the hard times of your career, job, school, moving, traveling, it's your reasons and convictions that keep you moving forward.

The WHY needs to be at the core of your mind when you have a bad day, because it's fact that bad days are going to happen. You're going to have setbacks during your time trying to make progress. If you're trying to open a store, you'll have times when the loan won't go through, or the pipes will burst, but the why is what keeps you going. If your why is to make money to support your family and give back to the community, keep that in mind when your shipment gets pushed back and now you have to figure out another way to get your product. 

Now it's your turn, ask yourself 

Why do you do what you do? 

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