Magical Blogorail Green Loop


Welcome to those of you joining me from DISTherapy and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail. To celebrate the new and improved Magical Blogorail, we’re sharing our DisneySide moments.

What is DisneySide anyway?

To me, DisneySide is that part of me that never quite grew up. The part that – every once in a while – drops everything to go out for ice cream because it’s Monday, and Mondays require ice cream. It’s the whimsical, silly, impossible side that sticks its tongue out and laughs at this serious grown-up world we all try to live in.

When I tried to think of how my DisneySide comes out, I came up with a few examples that seem silly and unimportant, and yet they make all the difference in the world. And really, that’s what DisneySide really is all about!

Make a Little Magic

I’ll tell you a secret. But don’t tell my kids, ok?

We’re going to Walt Disney World. Tomorrow. (SQUEE!!!)

The kids know we’re planning a trip, but they have no idea that when they get home from school tomorrow that I’ll have a Mickey-themed snack ready for them to eat in the car on our way to Florida!

I’ve got a little hint prepared for each of the kids. Their teachers are going to slip it to them at the end of the day, just to let them know that

Winds in the east, mist coming in.

Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin.


For my oldest, who is in Jr. High now (gasp!), I’ve saved this scroll he got from Captain Jack Sparrow on our trip three years ago. One of his teachers is going to slip it into the lock on his locker while he’s in another class, so he’ll find it, having magically appeared there 🙂

For my middle boys, their teachers are going to slip these surprise bags into their mailboxes with their homework and other things to bring home.


My little princess is very into formal correspondence right now, so she will get a very proper notecard from the Princesses telling her how much they are looking forward to meeting her again very soon!

 Princess NotePrincess Note Inside

Sure, it would have been easier to let the kids know that the trip is coming. We wouldn’t have to be so careful about being vague about the dates when talking about it in front of them. We could make them do their own packing!

But this way is so much more magically fun, don’t you think?

Tell a Story as Old as Time

If Walt Disney did only one thing, he told stories. He took fairy tales we all loved and made them new again. He also failed, and failed again, and laughed and got up and took another risk and told another story until he found the one that only he could tell.

I’ve taken so much inspiration from Walt Disney’s early career. He wasn’t the rising star of an important family. He was just an ordinary person who knew he could do extraordinary things. Once upon a time, I thought I wanted a nice, simple, straightforward career – the type where I majored in something in college, got a job in my field, rose through the ranks, then retired, having reached the pinnacle of my industry. (Did I mention I tend to be ambitious? Another Walt trait I guess!)

That’s not how it worked out. I majored in Computer Science and English in college. My first career was in web development. Then I wrote technical books. (They’re on Amazon. Unless you want to secure web applications, you probably don’t want to read them.) Over the years, I’ve been the second-largest cloth diaper importer in the U.S., owned a web hosting company, edited a slightly crazy neo-hippie website, and opened a travel agency.

I realize now that all that dabbling got me to where I am today. I’ve fulfilled a dream I’ve held since I was four years old – I wrote a really good novel (at least that’s what everyone who has read and reviewed it says!) that I could not have written if I hadn’t wandered around through life. And on the road to Walt Disney World, I’ll be brainstorming revisions to Book 2! Walt Disney didn’t graduate from high school and immediately open his studio. He had to do a handful of other things first, and watch those projects crash and burn, before he could do something wonderful.

When I sat down to write that first novel, I wanted to do more than just write a book. I wanted to create a new world, a new mythology. I wanted to tell stories that felt so real that you forgot they were just stories. After all, if Walt could do it, why couldn’t I?

Dream an Impossible Dream

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

When I started writing Return to Disney, I wrote because I was staring at an impossible dream: I needed to go back to the Disney magic. At the time, I thought this would be a blog about freelance writing and working from home! But over the last few years, it has morphed into a place where I can share what I’ve figured out about traveling when the simplest things are never simple. My once-impossible dream is coming true this week, and now my hope is to help other parents with families like mine realize that vacations aren’t just something that other people get to do. We – autism parents, homeschooling (and not!) families, families with more allergies than we can count, and families with more than one or two kids – really can travel, take vacations, and relax. It might be a little more complicated, but we can figure it out. That’s what we do.

I know how impossible it can feel to even imagine taking a vacation. Three years ago, I dared to dream it into reality, and that vacation changed me. If I can help another parent dream an impossible dream, then I will have done something worthwhile. I think Walt would approve, don’t you?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is A Disney Mom’s Thoughts.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Heidi’s Head
2nd Stop ~ DISTherapy
3rd Stop ~ Return to Disney
4th Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts
Final Stop ~ Frontierland Station