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Staten the Facts // Blog

Adventure is Out There!

Daniel Staten

Today my best friend Patrick starts an amazing adventure to New Zealand. A true test of friendship is the support and excitement you feel for them when a new opportunity arises. One of my favorite adventures with Patrick was running the 2013 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon. I'd never ran that distance before, but we both finished the race and had an amazing time.

The Walt Disney World Half-Marathon was quite the adventure.

Patrick will be detailing his journey on his new blog at www.patrickgelinas.com. Be sure to check out a Kiwi in the making. Have fun, Pat and remember – adventure is out there!

Fireworks Friday: Buena Vista Street

Daniel Staten

It's time for another edition of Fireworks Friday! I have so much on my mind since returning from Disneyland last week. There's so much I want to share! The Disney Parks give me such a creativity boost. I didn't take quite as many photos as usual, but some of the shots I got were amazing! 

Reflecting on this vacation, I didn't do quite the amount of planning that it requires to visit Walt Disney World. We had a few plans, like the Dumbo Double Dare and dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant, but other than that we were open to spontaneity.

Spontaneity allows you to see new things, experience the unanticipated and tour at a more casual pace. The Disneyland Resort is well suited for that.

One spontaneous moment we had was walking out of Disney California Adventure for the evening, only to see the fireworks begin across the esplanade at Disneyland. I hadn't taken too many night photos and I had my tripod with me, so I figured why not stop and take a couple of shots?

This photo ended up being one of my favorites. I love the way it showcases the bustle of Buena Vista Street on a holiday weekend. As a very patriotic American, the Independence Day decorations made the park even more enjoyable. 

On your next vacation, I hope you take some time to be spontaneous. It's worth every second.

2014 Disneyland Goals

Daniel Staten

Disneyland Goals

One of the things I've focused on in my personal life lately is journaling. I want to look back and be able to speak to the progress I've made over the years through different experiences. The same can be said for travel. Traveling is a pleasure. It shouldn't be taken for granted. With that being said, there's a few things I really want to accomplish at Disneyland this year:

Finish the Dumbo Double Dare.

Eat at Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Ride Radiator Springs Racers.

Experience the newly refurbished Alice in Wonderland attraction.

Walk through the doors of the Grand Californian Hotel.

Drink any drink that qualifies for a souvenir tiki glass from Trader Sam's.

That's a pretty reasonable list, right? Completing the first item on the list is going to have a major impact on the rest of the week! One commitment I want to make is to blog about these things every day! I think it will be more authentic and help me keep my thoughts pure and unfiltered. 

Confessions. A Disney First: Citrus Swirl.

Daniel Staten

I have to admit a secret. I may no longer be considered the credible Disney food fanatic that many of you have come to know me as. Why you may ask?

It wasn't until May that I sampled one of the most legendary Disney snacks of all time. The Citrus Swirl. 

The famed Citrus Swirl. Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

The famed Citrus Swirl. Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

I regret my actions. I regret the lost time. I regret waiting in the sweltering sun at Aloha Isle while Sunshine Tree Terrace sat empty. 

Please forgive me. I now know what I've been missing. The Citrus Swirl is refreshing. It's cool. It exceeded my expectations. 

All hail the Orange Bird. I'm looking forward to a fruitful relationship in the near future.

Disney Food: Frozen Treats with Anna, Elsa and Olaf

Daniel Staten

As it turned out, I never found the time to see Frozen in theaters. The days went on and time passed by and before you knew it, I opted just to order the movie on iTunes and be done.

Anna, Elsa and Olaf make a daily appearance in the Festival of Fantasy Parade – 3 hour wait not required.

I'm a fan of the movie – I struggled at times to grasp its popularity until my sister brought up a point that I'll run with: Frozen was the first movie focused on a Disney Princess not to feature a Disney Prince that had to perform a rescue, true love's kiss or any of the other things that go along with a traditional Disney narrative. It was empowering to young women. I see that.

Disney has made an insane amount of money on Frozen and it's quickly become one of their most successful properties ever. Today we're taking a look at some of the food items available at Walt Disney World.

When we first arrived at Pop Century, I was a little surprised to see no Frozen merchandise. Just these pre-fabricated – and unappetizing – "crisped rice treats." The expiration date was for three days later. I passed.

These just don't look appetizing. I wonder if the limit was needed for these items?

In Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, you can purchase a souvenir Frozen frozen beverage with Olaf gracing the cup. This was tempting, but I didn't want to carry it around all day! I guess you can say I just let it go. Do they offer package delivery for food?

Olaf is cool, but I'd tire of carrying this after the drink was gone.

Finally, on Main Street USA, these "holiday apples" grace the top right of the display case of the  Main Street Confectionery. Disney may call them apples, you may call them primitive folk art, either way, they're instantly recognizable and highly coveted.

I'm just glad that the nose wasn't made of Bugles!

Speaking of being highly coveted...each guest was limited to five of any item per day. One morning after strolling underneath Cinderella Castle, I noticed huge line stretching outside of Sir Mickey's in Fantasyland. Sure enough, the store was packed with families buying Elsa wigs, Olaf ink pens and autographs prior to joining the line to meet Anna and Elsa. I stopped by later in the afternoon and the pickings were slim. I was able to get my coworker's daughter one of the Olaf pens for $4.95.

As the Frozen juggernaut continues to draw fans to the parks, I'm looking forward to more treats and hopefully an attraction one day! Until then, I think next time I'll grab a Frozen Coke in that Olaf mug.