Friday, June 25, 2010

Thank You: One Year of Insanity and Counting!

For 1 year now, my general musings have been posted here on the Internet. You have heard about my health, my joys, my sorrows and, of course, my Disney obsession!

In the past year we have celebrated holidays, movies that have come out, books and video games have been reviewed and constant talk about none other than Disney itself. We have talked about sad deaths, interesting tales from my junior year of college, cool websites found online, big refurbishment news from Disney, sports, Mom's Panel hopefuls, Disney in the Classroom, and so much more! You have come along with Chris and I as we visited each other and planned our first Disney trip together! You have even put up with my slumps, where I would write only once a week!

All that I can say is Thank You! Thank you for making blogging millions of times more fun than I thought it could be! I started this blog just to have some fun and try my hand at writing. I honestly did not think that people would actually read what I wrote and enjoy it! I have had so much fun, been given so many amazing opportunities and have met so many incredible people because of this blog!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you and my promise to all of you is that if you will continue to be interested in what I have to say, I will continue to write and have just as much fun as I have had!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hapy Father's Day!

The sultan decrees that everyone should have a Happy Father's Day!

The True Disney Fan would like to wish all of the wonderful Dads a very Happy Father's day, along with some of the Disney Dads!

Thank you for being there to support your children!!

So sit back, relax and enjoy the day!

Cheers to you Dad!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vacation Time!!!!

Hey Everyone! That Disney vacation that I have been talking about for about 8 months now has FINALLY come!!! So from June 11th to the 19th, I will be in Walt Disney World with Chris! Because of this, the blog will probably be a bit quiet. In the meantime, check out these few sites for information:

For information on our trip, check out and follow me on twitter at for up to the minute happenings on our vacation.

Check out the links on the side of my blog, you can now pre-purchase tickets to Toy Story 3, coming out on June 18th, from Fandango!

Do not forget to join Chris and I for our Video Chat on Monday June 14th from our hotel room at Animal Kingdom Lodge! Join us on the Cosmic Reid Ustream page to watch and chat with us! Make a free ustream account to use the chat option, only takes a minute!

Thanks for checking out the blog and I hope you enjoy following Chris and I on our vacation!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hershey's Exciting Addition

Yea, I know, this is a Disney blog mainly, but I am a vacationer and I frequent Hersheypark because of how close it is to my house, so I figured I would share a cool experience I had with you all. Don't worry, I will get back to the Disney stuff after this, especially with the Disney trip coming on Friday!!

This past weekend I went to visit Hersheypark with my family for my younger sister Emily's 17th Birthday. We all had gotten season passes to the park, making it easier to go more often than we usually do, but this birthday visit is something that my family and I have done for years. We had gone earlier in the week with our passes and saw that a new interactive experience had opened in Chocolate World, right next to Hersheypark. This Interactive experience is called "Create Your Own Candy Bar" and, as the name might slightly hint to, the point of the experience is to create your own, one of a kind candy bar! My sister and I had been eyeing it all weekend and so, on Sunday morning, my mother was kind enough to take the time out of going to the park to do the experience.

The price for the experience is $14.95, which I know sounds like a lot, but once you see everything there is to do and you get to the finished product, you realize that the price is not as bad as it seems.

Note that I am not sure of the age restrictions for this. From what I saw, parents are not able to go in with their children unless you pay for yourself to go, but the children I saw doing this were 8 and 9 years old. I am not sure what the rules are if you have a younger child doing the experience or if a young child is able to. While parents may not be able to go in with their children, they are able to watch their child go through most of the process via outdoor windows looking into the factory.

After you get your personalized ticket with your name, you walk to the entrance of the factory, which has been built right next to the Bake Shoppe and underneath where the Kit Kat Cafe used to be. Once there, you show the factory worker your tickets and they give you hairnets to put on and for the gentlemen, beard nets if necessary. When you go inside, there are lockers to put your bags and jewelry in, but you are allowed to take cameras with you inside the factory. After putting your things away, get your apron, sanitize your hands, and you are taken to a room where you will watch a brief video on what you are about to do.

Once the video is over, you are taken to a room with touch screen computers. In this room, you are able to pick your chocolate to use and your ingredients. You walk up to a screen and scan your ticket so that your information will save. The chocolate choices are milk, dark and white, though when we were there, they only had milk chocolate. They had just opened this week so not everything was there. They say they hope to have the dark and white chocolate as choices later on in the summer months.

For the inside of your bar, you have 6 choices of what to put in and you can only choose 3. The options available when we were there were rice crispies, chocolate cookie bits, vanilla chips, blueberries, graham cracker pieces and rainbow sprinkles. We were told these choices will probably be around for a while and for your nut lovers out there, do not expect to see peanuts or almonds added to the choices of ingredients any time soon due to allergies.

After you make your choices for your candy bar, the next room is the large factory room. You scan your ticket once again and the chocolate shell is placed on a conveyor belt, into which the ingredients you selected are dropped into. With your ingredients in place, the shell of the bar is moved into this, what I will call a chocolate waterfall, causing chocolate to pour over the entire candy bar and fill it in. The bar is then put on a shaking belt that evens out all of the chocolate and ingredients and then it is moved into a cooler, a slow moving belt, where your candy bar will be for about 10 minutes to harden.

While you are waiting for your candy bar to cool, you are taken to another room with touch screens where you can create your own wrapper for your candy bar! There are templates that you can choose from or you can create your own using different colored backgrounds and pictures supplied.

When your candy bar is done being cooled, you are able to watch it slide into the container area, where it will be put in a small box that is personalized with your name and then it is slid down to where a worker is waiting with a nice metal tin to put the box in and your wrapper design is put around that.

Once you receive your candy bar, you can take your hairnet and apron off, get your belongings out of your locker and off you go to enjoy the rest of the day in Hershey!

I found this experience to be a lot of fun and educational about how chocolate is made. It is fun for all ages, as I said before I am not sure how young the age limit is, if there is one, but definitely from about 7 and up are able to do this and enjoy it. In the group with my sister and I, we had a woman and her older mother, proving it really is for any age! When you go to Hershey, I would highly recommend this Create Your Own Candy Bar experience!

To see a virtual tour of the factory, click here.

To see the main page for Create Your Own Candy Bar, click here.

To see everything that Chocolate World has to offer, click here.

To see other websites related to the Hershey area, along with pictures and a trip report from there, visit Chris' and my vacation site,

Weekly DDL Post

This week on the Disney Driven Life, I tell the new story behind the new name of the Carrousel in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland. I also give you a little history behind the name "Carrousel", so to read up on some history, check out the article!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fun New Download by Disney

My computer has tons of Disney stuff on it, from countdowns to trip guides to just pictures galore! Today, I found a new downloadable goodie by Disney that is just so fun that I have to share it with you!

Before I continue, let me just say for my international friends that unfortunately Disney has cut you guys off again, requiring a valid US Zip Code for participation. This is due to the weather feature that is on the desktop screen. Sorry friends :(

It's called Disney Vacation Connection and it downloads right onto your desktop. This download give you fast information on Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruise Line, and the Disney Vacation Club. After you download the feature, which only takes a few moments, you are asked a bunch of questions that personalize the widget for you, including where you are, what parks you are interest in receiving information about and if you have a trip planned.

I selected the feature saying that we have an upcoming trip planned (with Chris and my vacation a mere 9 days away!) After I selected this, it asked details about the trip, including where it was, what resort you are staying at and for how long the trip is. After this is all filled out, you are taken to the main screen, where news and videos flash up for you to enjoy. There is currently a video about the Disney Dream's progress.

Some of the other screens include a planning screen to help you get ready for your vacation, a list of events that are going on in the parks, articles about different insider information to read, and, as mentioned before, a weather feature, comparing the weather where you are to WDW's weather. My favorite feature is on the bottom of the suitcase looking icon. There is a trip countdown calendar on there, counting down the days, hours and minutes until your trip.

Coming soon on the feature, there will be a gallery of pictures to look at and a section where you can answer questions and polls to get points towards downloadable wallpapers and other Disney Downloads.

I am have quite a good time playing with this new widget on my desktop and I think you will too! Check it out by clicking here! Feel free to let me know what you think of this download.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Taking Vacation to the Next Level

For a little while now, Chris and I have had a blog called "The Many Adventures of the Vacation Nerds", where we would update our trip information and talk about our vacations together. I had become a bit frustrated with that blog because I had some ideas of what I wanted to do with it and it just wouldn't let me! So for the last week or so I have been feverishly working to bring you the brand new website!

On this site, you can see write ups on past trips, pictures from those trips as well, and information on the present trips that we are going to take! There is a HUGE page devoted to the links that we use to plan our vacations and links that, we hope, will help you to plan a vacation to some of the places we have visited!

One thing that Chris and I both love is feedback and questions! If you have any questions about places we have visited, if there is anything you would like to see on the site, or if you have an idea for a place we should visit, please send us an email to

Chris and I will have lots of information about our upcoming Disney trip on the site, there is a lot already on the Present Vacation Plans page.

We both hope that you will enjoy reading about our adventures on