Last week, the celebration began. The celebration of what? This post- yes the one you are reading this very instant- is my ONE HUNDRETH POST on this website! Triple digits! Wow. Plus, on top of that, as of December 12, I will have been writing for WDW Radio for exactly TWO YEARS. That’s a lot of time, energy, heart and soul that I have gladly put into WDW Radio. You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun!
I am celebrating these two milestones by sharing my Top 100 Disney Memories. Last week, I shared half of them (1 – 50). This week, I am sharing the other half of my list (51 – 100). So come reminisce with me as I tell you guys all about my favorite Disney moments.
51. Asking Little Girls Dressed As Princesses for Their Autograph
One of my absolute FAVORITE Disney memories in the history of Disney memories happened this previous trip. I made myself an autograph book that said “for princesses only” and I approached little girls dressed like princesses and asked them to sign my autograph book. The parents were always smiling when I asked and the girls were always surprised that I thought that THEY were a real princess! When I approached a little girl named Jane, her brother was so jealous that I let him sign it, too. It was so cute and I know they will have a story to tell back home – even if they don’t remember forever.
52. Glow with the Show…. from home?!?
This event occurred just last Thursday. I was in my room, watching the Sound of Music Live when a flash of green caught my eye. I looked over to see my Glow with the Show ears doing the Little Mermaid segment from World of Color! First of all, my ears weren’t even on. Second of all, they should just be slowly changing colors like they usually do unless you are in a section where they are activated. I screamed and thought it was the coolest thing that my ears were still glowing with the show from the other side of the country!
53. The Blog Nomination
The blog has recently been nominated for the Sunshine Blog Awards! We have been nominated for three categories, including BLOG OF THE YEAR!!!! You can go vote for us here! (http://forum.flblogcon.com/sunshine-awards/ )
54. “This elevator goes straight to… THE GIFT SHOP!”
When waiting for my first visit to the Twilight Zone, I was terrified. I really don’t like regular elevators, so I don’t know WHAT possessed me to go on Tower of Terror! During the preshow, there is a dramatic pause between the words “this elevator goes straight to…” and “… the Twilight Zone.” Someone decided to be funny and scream “THE GIFT SHOP!” in this pause. It made me both laugh and be MUCH less nervous about the ride.
55. Dancing with Sulley
I happened to meet my favorite monster a few weeks ago. As we were hugging and taking photos, the Red Car Newsboys were riding right on by singing “California Here We Come.” Sulley started fist pumping with his right arm. So I decided to join in the party and I began to dance with him!
56. A Scream (almost) as Bad as Scott Otis’
I used to loathe riding the Haunted Mansion at night when I was younger because it made it seem much scarier. In the stretching room, when you hear the shattering glass and it gets really dark, two teenage boys that were standing next to me screamed like girls! They were obviously joking and they weren’t actually that scared, but it made me feel good about myself because I wasn’t as scared as the boys who were older than me were pretending to be.
In Disneyland, some characters don’t have set meeting times like in its sister park in Orlando. These characters include the Mad Hatter, Alice, Captain Hook, and the ever famous Peter Pan. They just roam around the park and can go- and do- what they please (or so it seems). These characters are pretty hard to meet because you never know where they will be. So imagine my excitement when I saw that red feather and green hat from a distance! My friend, Courtney, and I took off running to meet him and grabbed a photo before he ran off to chase Captain Hook, who was a few feet in front of him. I felt pretty lucky to see Peter our first time in the parks.
58. Making Long Waits Bearable
While waiting in line for the princesses on the WDW Radio Cruise 2.0, I became friendly with the family behind me. They asked about my yellow lanyard. Let’s face it, with over 500 people walking around wearing them, they were pretty hard to miss! Although getting to know the people around you is a great way to pass the time while in line, this was really great because I got to expose this family to WDW Radio and the experience that brought us all together.
59. Meeting Makenna!
When we were visiting Grand Cayman during a Disney Cruise in 2006, we happened to meet another Makena on our bus. Although her name was spelled with two n’s, I was very excited because I had never met another Makena before. The icing on the cake was that she was my age! For the rest of the cruise we kept running into each other, and we exchanged addresses so that we could write each other letters (no, I didn’t have e-mail when I was 8).
60. Making Children Feel Better
I love making nervous, younger kids feel better before hopping on rides. Once while departing our test vehicle in Test Track, I told the little girl who was taking my seat in the car how much fun it was because she looked terrified. Later on that day, the same thing happened in Mission Space with a younger boy, and I told him how cool it was to be a Navigator, which was his role in our flight crew. That made him smile!
61. My first turkey leg
I remember taking a few bites of my first turkey leg while wandering around World Showcase in Epcot. It looked much bigger in real life than it did on TV! We had to split it between my family, and we STILL had some left over.
62. Critter Chris
This Disney personality came up to our table at Storyteller’s Café last month with a plastic fish. My “mother for the week” (my guardian) said that he should hit me with the fish. Instead, he started hitting HER with the fish saying that it was rude to ask him to hit people with fish. Eventually, I ended up getting hit with a plastic fish. Wow, I never thought I would say that.
63. Red Car Newsboys and Tacks (Yes, that’s his name)
The Red Car Newsboys is my newest obsession. I find the story and use of music to be creative and fun. Plus, you get up close with the performers. In fact, while the trolley which they were riding in was pulling away, I waved to Tacks, one of the newsboys, and gave him a heart (I loved giving hearts to performers no matter what they were doing. You can go up to a character and tell them how much you adore them, but you can’t do that with performers. This was my way of getting across to them that I appreciate them). He gave me a heart back, as he pointed to his eye, than his chest, then me: I love you. I thought it was really sweet of him to respond back instead of just smile like the others.
64. The Axe Fiasco
Since our local Disney Store closed, we have to drive about 45 minutes to the Cherry Hill Mall to visit our favorite retail location. It was during one of these visits when we were in the Disney Store checking out the new Disney fragrances when my brother said “this one smells like Dad’s Axe,” referring to the popular mens’ fragrance line. Well, the manager Mimi, who was showing us the collection, thought that my brother said something else… and her reaction was priceless! She backed up, put her hand where her heart is, looked at my mother and said, “This is a family store, and we don’t use language like that.” It took my mom a few minutes before she had stopped laughing enough to explain what my brother had actually said.
65. Being Crazy in Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is full of people soaking up every last minute of their Disney vacation. You have those determined to buy everything that can be jammed into a suitcase, those trying to relax and put the hustle and bustle of the day behind them, those looking for a great meal in a nice surrounding or those who are completely nuts. This last category describes us on our last night before our last day in Disneyland. We could only be described as INSANE. We were giggling at every little thing and dancing around, and I’m pretty sure people thought we were crazy. BUT OH WELL! It was SOOOOO much fun!
66. Our Faces in Epcot
At the end of Journey into Imagination with Figment, there used to be the opportunity to Leave-A-Legacy. This means that you could have your photo printed on one of the marble slabs outside of Spaceship Earth, similar to the names placed on bricks outside of the Magic Kingdom but they were only supposed to stay for a few years. My brother and I had this done, and it is funny to think that we are permanently (temporarily) a part of an Epcot exhibit. It has become a tradition to hunt out our faces and get our pictures taken with our pictures on every trip.
67. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
What’s not to love about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Hot chocolate, cookies, a special parade, a dance party, fireworks, characters that are hard to find on other days and rides all night long! I talked about my experience at this party of a lifetime over here. (http://www.wdwradio.com/2012/07/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party-in-july/#.UqUNRE2A2M8)
68. My Australian Partner
In 2011, I wanted to get one last ride out of Expedition Everest before we left, so I hopped in the single rider queue. I was seated next to an Australian who was super nice and was asking me questions about me and the ride while we are on it. It was a lot of fun chatting with him.
69. Presenting the check
If you were on the WDW Radio Cruise 2.0 that took place in November of 2012, you might remember this moment at the farewell party. I shocked Lou, and almost everyone else in the room, by standing up in the middle of the party and presenting over one thousand dollars to The Dream Team Project, a branch of Make-A-Wish that sends children to Walt Disney World. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work that I undertook as a way of showing Lou and WDW Radio how much I appreciate being part of their family. I wrote a blog all about it in “The Journey of the Big Check on the WDW Radio Cruise 2.0.” (http://www.wdwradio.com/2012/12/the-journey-of-the-big-check-on-the-wdw-radio-cruise-2-0/#comments)70.
70. Dancing with Goofy
When I met Goofy in Disneyland, he was in his Five and Dime inspired green dapper outfit. I knew that if I asked him to teach me how to dance, I would get some interesting results. And I sure did! Luckily for me, the Photopass photographer kept taking photos, and I ended up with one of my favorite candid shots from the whole entire vacation!
On our first Disney cruise in 2004 to the Bahamas, I had the opportunity to swim with dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island! The dolphin that my family got to swim with was named Fat Man. I’m not kidding. I will NEVER forget that!
72. Scaring Courtney in the Stretching Room
While piling into the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion in November, Courtney’s father decided to put his hands on her shoulders and do a maniacal laugh, which made Courtney jump and the rest of us die laughing (pun intended).
73. Meeting Australians Before World of Color and Being In the Game Test Group
While waiting for World of Color to begin, we chatted with the family next to us. They were from Australia, so their accents were pretty awesome. The night that we saw the show also happened to be the night of the game testing. Disney was creating an interactive game for people to use while waiting for World of Color as a fun way to pass the time. The object of the game was to repeat the colors that were being displayed on Mickey’s Fun Wheel onto your smart phone. The Australians didn’t have a smart phone so we worked together as a group and played the game, which was a ton of fun.
74. My Peter Pan Hat
I got the coolest hat in the history of hats in Disneyland. It is Peter Pan’s iconic green hat with a red feather, and my name stitched on the side. I love it so much!
75. One of the First People on Soarin
Due to the Extra Magic Hour only available to Disneyland resort guests, my party got into Disney California Adventure before it opened to the public. We hopped in line for Soarin and were the third party in line. It was pretty cool seeing an empty queue line that you know is only empty at that time in the morning.
76. Our Hidden Mickey Hunt
In 2011, we made it a goal to find as many Hidden Mickey’s as we could, including the smallest Hidden Mickey on property. Do you know where that is? We searched the parks, stores, restaurants and resorts. We cataloged our finds in pictures and made a complete album out of it. When people ask what we still find so exciting about Disney after all of our trips, it’s great to show them a part of Disney that most of them didn’t know existed.
77. Winning the Trivia Contest
At the WDW Radio On The Road Meet of the Month in Edison, New Jersey this past June, I won the WDW Radio trivia contest! Initially, the only two people to get all of the trivia questions correct were Lisa Simons (known as elbug10 in The Box) and myself. Having been narrowed down to two people, we went to the front of the ballroom and went head to head one question at a time. It came down to the second to last tiebreaker for Lisa to make a mistake making me the winner. It was so much fun but you have to wonder, is it possible to know too much about WDW Radio?
78. Driving to WDW
In 2011, we decided to drive to Walt Disney World instead of fly. This lead to a 16 hour roadtrip, which lead to many extra memories being made. We played games, sang, tried to prove that we all know more about Disney than each other and even tried to convince my dad that visiting Senor Pedro at South of the Border is a must do (it didn’t work). It was great, fun family time. We all agree that we prefer driving over flying.
79. Giving Pluto a Bone
I gave Pluto a real dog bone when I was in California. He was pleasantly surprised and waltzed with me around Goofy’s Kitchen restaurant for at least five minutes. Our waitress, Ashely, actually came by and took our drink order while totally ignoring the fact that I was a little busy, which I thought was hilarious! It was definitely one of my favorite character interactions ever!
80. The D23 Fanniversary Event
In 2012 I went to the D23 Fanniversary event in New York City. As luck would have it, our blog editor, Christy Viszoki was also attending so we got to spend some time together and it was here that I first encountered Tony Caggiano in person. I learned a lot of things and met a ton of people: including accidentally meeting my first Box Person, MickeyWaffle71 aka Lindsey Diamond.
This one is self-explanatory. I danced with characters over at the Backyard Barbeque at Fort Wilderness! I knew when we went that it was a hoedown but I didn’t really understand what would happen. I was seven at the time and couldn’t believe that I could dance with Chip ‘n Dale! This was my first experience dancing with characters and I have been dancing with them ever since!
82. Winning the auction
During the 5 Hour Show, Lou and the gang got a caricature and put it up in the next auction. I happened to win said auction and I now have the caricature hanging up in my room! It makes me smile to remember all that Lou, Beci, Tony, Scott and Glenn had to do that day at the request of The Box!
83. Ridley Pearson Book Signings
I have had the privilege of going to a Ridley Pearson book signing two times in the past two years, and both times I have had interesting experiences. The first time I asked for a hug, and the second time we took a selfie together! His signings are different than most because he takes time to talk, tell stories and answer questions before moving onto signing books. There’s no feeling rushed, either. Mr. Pearson talks to each and every person who walks up to his table. If there was ever an author to make sure to visit, it would definitely be him.
84. Our Deck
On all of our Disney cruises, we spend a lot of time on Deck Four. There is a section with shuffleboard and chairs for you to just to sit and relax. The funny thing is, it’s always empty. I’m not sure if not a lot of people know about this or we’re just incredibly lucky but it is usually vacant when we go and chill so we began calling it “our deck.”
85. My Haunted Mansion sign
My parents managed to get me a miniature replica of the sign that hangs outside of the Haunted Mansion which was made for Cast Members. This is one of the centerpieces of my ever growing Disney artifact collection.
86. Richard Sherman took my picture?
On the WDW Radio Cruise 2.0, I visited the table where the Mongello’s, Beci and the Sherman’s were seated during dinner. My intention was to give Beci her fish extender gift (I didn’t have access to her room to place it outside her cabin door), but I ended up talking to Lou. Lou told Richard Sherman about me, and Mr. Sherman insisted that we take a photo together. Afterwards, I asked to have a photo with Lou and, to my astonishment, the one and only Richard Sherman offered to take the photo himself! So, Lou and I are some of the only people who can say that Richard Sherman took a photo of us!
87. “Dreams Really Do Come True”
When I was on the way to the airport for my first vacation to Walt Disney World ever, I was asleep. It was an early morning flight, so it was around the middle of the night when we left. I had no idea that we were going to an airport or on vacation. Apparently when I woke up at the check-in counter, my parents told me where we were going. I responded, “Dreams Really Do Come True” in a dreamy voice before falling back asleep. Although I don’t remember this, I know it is true because my parents repeat it all the time! How adorable was I?
88. Suggesting Mickey Would Propose to Minnie Tonight
When meeting Minnie Mouse, I asked her why Mickey hadn’t proposed yet. I then suggested that maybe he would propose “tonight.” She then ran to a window and looked at her reflection as she fixed her bow and kept pointing at the ground as if to say “tonight?” Then she danced and waved goodbye as she skipped away. Sometimes the characters can make your day delightful with just a few seconds of interaction.
89. Riding the AquaDuck with Marion
On the Disney Dream last year, I had the pleasure of riding the world’s first water coaster with Miss Marion Mongello. It was supposed to be just a fun ride above and around the deck but I will never forget screaming because of how cold the water was. And I am from New Jersey! Brrr!
I will never forget the one dinner on the Disney Wonder when I wasn’t hungry for dessert. I insisted that I wanted nothing. Our waiter kept insisting that I should get something, but I refused. He was the best man ever, and decided to return with nothing… written in chocolate on a plate! But you know what? I licked all the chocolate off, so I guess he was right!
91. Magic, Memories and Me?
Imagine our surprise when, at the end of a long day at Magic Kingdom, my face appeared on Cinderella Castle as part of the Magic, Memories and You Celebration. It flashed by quickly but not before we all saw it and started screaming in excitement. Who ever thought that would happen? Certainly not us. After all, there are thousands of pictures taken every day in the park. Two days later, we waited for yet another Magic, Memories and You presentation. We were still giddy because we saw me. Guess what happened that night – my brother popped up on the castle! You got it. Two days in Magic Kingdom and two nights on the castle.
92. Scaring Courtney
Courtney is a very curious person so, of course, as we were strolling through Toontown she was pulling, pushing, and tapping everything in sight to see what it would do. When she tried to pull down the door of Minnie’s mailbox, her father made a noise that sounded like the Pillsbury doughboy. She jumped back from the mailbox like it had shocked her as the rest of us laughed. If you see a theme here with scaring Courtney, it was usually her father and it was all done in fun!
93. Witnessing a Year of a Million Dreams
While waiting for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian exhibit (remember that?) we witnessed a family win one of the “Year of a Million Dreams” unlimited fastpasses. It was neat to watch the cast members just appear out of nowhere and randomly select a family and it was pretty cool to see the surprised looks on their faces. What may have been one of the funniest things that I’ve seen in the parks is the cast members practically running away afterwards because hoards of people came running up and bombarding them asking if they could have some too.
On the Disney Wonder, we decide to participate in a very interesting challenge. You received a carrot, a potato, toothpicks and wheels and tried to create the fastest car you could. You would then place your car at the top of a ramp and see whose really was the quickest! My father and I were a team and my mother and brother were a team. My father and I lost the first round (although we did have a cool car with a seat cut out for the “driver” and a number carved in the side”), but my mother and brother made it to the second round! Who won? A man who got the biggest potato and biggest carrot and just stuck them together. I suppose we should have thought about what really makes a car go down a ramp quickly before we started cutting up our vegetables.
95. Planning a cruise
Remember Kiley? My cousin who looks like me that I mentioned in memory 3 from last week’s blog? Well, that was her first time on a cruise, let alone a Disney cruise! I will never forget spending one whole day just going through her closet and helping her pick out her dinner outfits. Our goal was to try to coordinate her family’s wardrobe so no one clashed in the pictures. Although we started with the idea of picking out her clothes, we practically repacked everyone! It was a very productive day and I shared all sorts of Disney Cruise Line secrets so that she could act as her family Cruise Director once onboard. To top it off, we also talked for hours when they were driving to the terminal and we were already heading home. Maybe someday we will cruise together!
96. “WE NEED KETCHUP!”
Do you eat ketchup with your fries? At the Whispering Canyon Café, if you need ketchup you have to scream for it. Then whoever has it, must bring it to you. All that for one bottle? No. All that for TWENTY bottles. I’m not exaggerating here. Once you have the ketchup, you have to wait for someone else to scream “WE NEED KETCHUP!” and then you have to run and give them all twenty bottles. Talk about a bonding experience!
97. The White Shirt Family
My mom LOVES to have my whole entire family dress in the same exact color every single day (on vacation). It keeps us organized, and if we ever lose each other we can just point at ourselves and say “they were wearing this color.” While we were walking through Tomorrowland in 2011, we ran into Push, the talking trash can. He began to sing “the white shirt family…” as he followed us for about a minute or so. You guessed it, we were all wearing white shirts that day!
98. Grandpa was Picked for the Laugh Floor
My grandpa didn’t believe us when we told him just how interactive the Laugh Floor was. He thought it was prerecorded and the people weren’t chosen randomly. It was almost as if someone overheard us (anything is possible in there), because he was chosen for one of the segments – you know the one. He was “that guy.” The look on his face was priceless.
Every single time we visit Animal Kingdom, we take a photo in front of the gorilla diagram. My brother and I are both double jointed in our ankles, so we even go as far as turning our feet fully out just like the gorilla does! It’s fun looking back and seeing how much we have grown between visits.
100. Finding Out I Was Writing for the Blog
How could this not make the list? It all started with a mouse –oh, wait, that’s a different story. Actually, it all started with entering a “My Thanksgiving Went Disney” contest for WDW Radio (I made a Duffy cake and people “waiting for a parade wearing Mickey hats and hold balloons” sugar cookies for dessert). I was excited because it was open to kids and I was only 13. Christy Viszoki called my mom a few weeks later to see if I would be interested in being their “teen correspondent.” Of course I said yes! I was so elated. I knew that people didn’t receive opportunities like that often, and I was so grateful. I loved writing, and now I could do something productive with it! That was it. The contest entry and phone call that changed the course of my life –or at least my teen years!
I can’t believe it’s been one hundred blogs and two years already. Writing for this website had changed my life. I have had the chance to go on adventures I could have never dreamed of, meet people that have impacted me in a very positive way and have shown myself that I am good at something. This also gave me an outlet to achieve one of my biggest dreams: to inspire someone. Through WDW Radio, I know that I am touching people’s lives whether just a little bit or dramatically. And that makes me the happiest girl in the world. <3
See ya real soon!
Quote of the Week: “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” ~ Walt Disney
Makena is a 15 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. You can follow Makena on twitter @Makattack98 or on Facebook (Makena Wolcott). Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.