magic kingdom

Am I Too Old For Magic | Walt Disney World Photography by Rachel Abrahams

I absolutely adore reading. I have always been an avid reader and didn't let the "required reading" of school/college even try to beat that out of me but I also have learned when I get sucked into a book everything else in my world disappears. That can be both a good and a bad thing - I am engrossed in other worlds I could never imagine on my own but that also means my real life can get ignored. This isn't so bad if you can do it in healthy doses but healthy doses of reading is not something I am prone to do (so far this year, I've read 16 books. My goal for 2015 was 30.....).

It does mean I sometimes have to say to myself "you can read for 20 minutes AFTER you take care of X, Y, Z adult/boring life requirement" and the bargaining (typically) works. It's just like what my parents would have to do with me as a kid.  BTW - My mom once learned to be super specific in bargaining with me. She once said "No TV in the morning until you are dressed with your shoes on". The next morning she came out to me watching TV, in my pajamas, with my shoes on, and no socks. But I had my shoes on like she said!

I think it's healthy for adults to keep their childlike wonder and imagination. I absolutely admit I am the first to line up to see the movies with fantasy, superheroes, and magic (yup, I have almost every Disney animated movie, the extended edition Lord of the Rings trilogy, all the Marvel Avengers movies, and all of the Harry Potter movies as well and that's just the tip of the nerd-collection-iceberg).

I also love living near the theme parks and have been an avid lifelong Disney fan with annual passes and also recently added Universal Studios to my favorites list. I run inside just as fast as the kids and giggle and scream like I was 10 years old (to the embarrassment of those with me - I know they love me and tolerate my idiocy with some deep sighs and probably a little side eye too).

Books spark the flame of magic and then movies and theme parks take those amazing worlds even further by actualizing them into what you always imagined. I find it all to be perfectly complimentary, honestly.

As I was home sick for a week with a cold, I needed comfort and I reached out immediately to my favorite books and movies which I realized were all intended for young adults and kids. I wondered - is this lame? Am I seriously in denial of trying to be an adult and instead disappearing into these alternate worlds where I can fly, do magic, and even battle evil with superpower skills I could never have in real life?

My answer - a resounding hell to the yes. Why? Because it's awesome. Do I really need to explain myself? Nope. Am I too old for this magic and wonderment? Some might say yes but those are also people who are lame or unwilling to admit it's UBER FUN to be get sucked into these alternate worlds.

I know I am not alone in this.

Now, if you'll excuse me I am going to get back to my book I promised myself I could keep reading when I finished this post.........

Fantabulous Fall Fun At The Magic Kingdom | Disney Photography by Rachel Abrahams

AspiringImagesbyRachel-WaltDisneyWorld-MagicKingdom-FallDecoCastle

During the fall season, I get very jealous of the beautiful weather happening up north. Florida's fall weather consists of cooler temps (70's), some rainy days depending on the fronts moving through, and the official ending of Hurricane season (yes, we Floridians celebrate the end of Hurricane season - especially the "dry" years). The major photographic bonus of fall are some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

As a result, I fill my home with red/orange/yellow hued fall decorations to help get myself in the spirit of the season and I also make the time to go to Disney to see their wonderful fall and Halloween decorations. When I see their decorations up, then I know fall has arrived!

Magic Kingdom always adds the sparkle with multiple decorations, especially up and down Main Street. Mickey pumpkins are in every corner, fall leaves abound, and it definitely gets you in the spirit. When these decorations go up, it's not only seasonal but it indicates Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party has arrived! This is a specialty party requiring a separate admission ticket and I love going because it means adults can dress up too and trick or treat! I'm all about socially accepted adult trick or treating. Yet another reason why Disney is awesome (yup, just letting my Disney nerd flag fly right now).

At night, the park gets even more into the Halloween spirit with specialty lighting and Halloween music playing. I truly believe Disney's most magical time in the parks is at night. If you haven't seen the park at night (or only when you're crazy exhausted from hoofing it through the parks all day), then you're missing out. I am such a fan of visiting at night. Can you tell?.

........And here's a bonus set of pictures showing my cousins and I dressed up for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. We had a blast coordinating as a group and made lots of people smile and laugh with our colorful nerd costumes. EVERY SINGLE character we met tried to spin the propellers on our hats. Buzz Lightyear did it repeatedly, which cracked me up. It was loads of fun. We have already started throwing around some ideas for next year.

FYI, I'm in the green.

20131112-105125.jpg

Magic Of Main Street | DISNEY PHOTOGRAPHY by Rachel Abrahams

AspiringImagesbyRachel_Disney-MagicKingdom-MainStreet-wCastle

To me, this is the classic Walt Disney World memory of Magic Kingdom: Walking up Main Street, Cinderella's castle lit up in the distance as a beacon of imagination, balloon vendors selling the classic Mickey balloons, families stopping in the middle of main street to pose for the Disney Photopass Photographers, and crowds meandering along the sides where the shops are to either do some window shopping or find the perfect souvenir. I absolutely love to stop here and take it all in but sometimes it can just be too crowded to take a moment and enjoy this. I was so happy I could capture it this lovely evening. We were entering the park for Magic Hours (12AM-3AM) so most people were clearing out, exhausted, and ready to go back to their hotel beds. We were just getting started - fresh and energized!

I have Disney on the brain lately. I haven't gone that much this year (well, MY definition of not that much) because it was just SOOOOO hot. I'm telling you, the locals don't go to Disney when it is so hot. If we do, it's because our relatives are visiting since their kids are out of school. We are lucky enough to be able to delay and go when the weather is better and this is the time of year for it. (Insider's Tip: February and March are also great times to go and the crowds aren't as massive then.The weather can be a bit unpredictable but I trade that any day for crazy long lines and heat.)

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is going on at Magic Kingdom right now and so is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Soon enough, the holiday decorations will go up and all the holiday activities will begin. I get super excited when that begins. Disney's Christmas decorations are amazing. So, it's "Disney Season" for me. It's time to get over there while the weather isn't too hot and before the HUGE holiday crowds show up in December.

When you visit Disney, what is "The Thing" you have to do that makes it real and allows you to know the magic has begun? Is it Main Street as well? Or is it a certain ride? Restaurant? Classic Disney treat? I'd love to know. For me, seeing any of the Disney parks at night and lit up is an absolute must. That's when the magic really happens for my trip.