Beauty Within the Beast

Beauty Within the Beast

All of my memories of the Magic of Disney are found in the stories, movies, and lessons taught by each Character and their lives. One of the first movies to touch my heart was Beauty and the Beast. The tale of a young, beautiful, spirited woman named Belle, who accepted with confidence that she was different in many ways from the people around her. Then we meet Prince Adam, most well known as, The Beast. This character is what creates the story. 


Anyone who has seen any interpretation of “Beauty and the Beast,” knows the story begins with an old woman, looking for shelter during a storm. When she gets to the castle, she is turned away by the Prince. This arrogant mistake causes the witch to cast a curse upon the Prince and his palace, that he wears the ugliness of his heart on his skin, for all to see, only ending when he receives “True Love’s Kiss.” This curse cascades throughout his palace transforming all his servants and workers into the item they are most connected to in their daily chores. Here begins the tale of finding Beauty Within the Beast.

The tone is set by the inability to see past the surface and deeper into the heart of another. This theme runs rampant throughout most of Disney. We can see it in how the Settlers of Pocahontas treat the Natives, and in movies like Cinderella, in how the Evil Step-mother treated the title character. The theme of Unconditional Love is popular with Disney, not surprising; however, when they work so hard to promote genuine equality. However, back to Beauty and the Beast.

Belle meets the Beast, and though the original meeting is… less that joyous, she begins to get to know him, see him for what is beyond his, more than aggressive, exterior. She learns that he is a sweet, caring, protective, and intelligent creature. Something that people didn’t get to notice the Prince when he was “beautiful,” perhaps because it wasn’t something he shared, yes, but unnoticed non-the-less. As Belle and the Beast get closer and closer emotionally, love begins to spring from within them, leading to the long-awaited “True Love’s Kiss.” Which breaks the old woman’s curse, freeing the Prince from his beastly exterior. What this story teaches, is not just “True Love Conquers All,” but that UNCONDITIONAL Love Conquers All. Love is only True, when it is Unconditional, after all. Think about the greatest love in your life. Was it from a parent, who you genuinely felt loved you? What about a pet? What about a Soulmate? Now, what about a BEST FRIEND? Love is only True when it is Unconditional.

So, what IS Unconditional Love? Well, let’s look at Disney for examples. Sticking to Beauty and the Beast. Let’s start with the servants. They were cursed along with the Prince, but in the movie, you can hear how they all speak so highly of him. They are aware of his habit to be prideful, but they all love him, they all genuinely want him to find love, not only so the curse ends, but because he needs it to be happy. Second, Belle trades her life, for her father’s. To set him free, she agrees to be the prisoner, this is iconic unconditional love. The ability to care for another’s well-being over one’s own. What is so important about unconditional love though? Well, it is the foundation of true happiness. 

In Beauty and the Beast, it becomes apparent that Belle and everyone could be completely happy together, even if the curse never broke. We see this in the general upbeat behavior in the characters, and the willingness to just BE together. This is why Unconditional Love is so important, it allows for all people to be together, united, and cohesive without judgment of each other. We can see that idea portrayed so gracefully in many Disney tales, where different walks of life find common ground and therefore love for one another. What makes this so Magical, is that acknowledging the inherent and natural unique Beauty within each and every person, regardless of their outward appearance can only bring us happiness and light, where closed minds and shut eyes, only keep us within the dark. The dark confines, of a castle, built on superficiality. What wonders could have been waiting had the Beast welcomed in the old woman, and what misery would have been in store had Belle NOT seen the Beauty within the Beast?

When in any Disney story did Love lose against Hate? In what story is someone better for NOT seeing the Beauty Within the Beast?

Sean Michael Rutherford

Disney/Pixar’s Coco: A Review From A Skeptic

Disney Pixar’s Coco: A Review From A Skeptic

© 2017 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I have to admit that I was not interested in seeing Coco. There, I said it. But having been disappointed by Book of Life, an animated movie that also featured characters who traveled into the land of the dead on a mission, can you really blame me? I am not a member of the Hispanic community. However, I have studied the culture and language. I find the Hispanic culture, as well as the celebration of the dead, fascinating. Therefore, I was really excited to see Book of Life. About 30 minutes into the movie, I was dissatisfied. Then, when I saw the trailer for Coco, the storyline seemed…familiar. I wasn’t interested in being let down again.

In spite of these reservations, we took my 5-year-old godson to the movies and decided to see Coco. This time, I was not disappointed. First of all, let's talk about the artwork. Disney's Pixar is known for its incredible attention to detail. Pixar out did itself in Coco. The colors were perfect, and they did not miss a single facet.

Not only was the artwork and animation far superior to Book of Life, the storyline was spectacular. The story starts with a young boy who has a dream of being a musician, despite his family’s long-standing aversion to music. Through a series of events, he finds himself in the land of the dead and has to find his great-great-grandfather before sunrise, or he will be unable to return home to the living.

Coco held not only my attention but also my godson's. It had the perfect mixture of humor and depth. It made me laugh and cry. At which point my sister teased me. What can I say? I'm sensitive, and Pixar got me right in the feelings. The audience takes away more than one lesson from this animated film.

While I didn’t think I’d be seeing this feature, let alone writing a review for it, I highly recommend seeing it and bringing your entire family – everyone is sure to love it!

Cassidy Sonnier
Social Coordinator

© 2017 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Fantasmic Fashion: Lilo & Stitch

Fantasmic Fashion: Lilo & Stitch

This series focuses on creating Disney-inspired outfits that are suitable for wearing while you spend the day in a Disney theme park. Whether the complete look is subtle or obvious, the goal is to inspire you to use your creativity to put together your own looks to wear based on your favorite Disney characters. 

The first article of the series focused on fashion inspired by Mickey Mouse. Today’s outfits will be inspired by a movie that holds a special place in my heart, Lilo and Stitch. Although I’m more of a princess movie girl myself, my sister’s favorite movie as a child was Lilo and Stitch, which means I watched it over and over and over and over until I grew to love that crazy little blue alien myself.


Outfit 1: This first outfit is inspired by the dynamic duo. Hot Topic has a great line of Disney-inspired merchandise where you can find this replica of Lilo’s dress. I added a messenger bag and a cool Polaroid camera, which is inspired by Lilo’s character.  When you’re on your trip to any of the Disney parks, you can bet that you’re going to experience at least a little bit of rain, so the Stitch umbrella and rain boots will definitely come in handy.


Outfit 2: The second outfit is inspired by Lilo’s older sister, Nani. Nani dresses in a way that is very effortless, so I tried to embody her cool, simple style with this heart tee, jean shorts, Hawaiian print backpack, and hiking boots. 


Outfit 3: Before Lilo adopted Stitch as her “puppy,” we were introduced to him as Experiment 626, the illegal genetic experiment created to cause chaos across the galaxy. Like Experiment 626, this outfit is a bit unpredictable, but somehow it works. 


Outfit 4: The final outfit is inspired by Lilo and Stitch’s dancing outfits at the end of the movie. I paired a pleated green midi skirt with a crop top and some tropical accessories, including this adorable Stitch backpack. 


Have you ever created outfits inspired by Disney? Would you wear any of these? If so, which one? What character or movie would you like to see looks from in future articles? I’d love to get feedback from you guys, so be sure to leave a comment! 

Calli Dugas
Fashion Coordinator


5 Ways to Make the Most of a Walt Disney World Proposal

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Walt Disney World Proposal


There I was, in front of Cinderella’s Castle, with my family standing in front of me in matching t-shirts. My boyfriend and I were supposed to be posing for a picture together when he suddenly bent down on one knee and held up a small wooden box. 

It was the moment I had imagined so many times, in so many ways, but I could never have imagined the way it felt. It was...magical. Although, the feeling was only intensified seeing as I was in the most magical place on Earth. 

Getting engaged is one of the most special occasions in a person’s life. Getting engaged in Disney World though puts the experience on an entirely different level. I felt like we got to celebrate our engagement for three full days, rather than one. Everywhere we went in Disney, we got the chance to celebrate. 

Here are some special ways you can celebrate your engagement in Walt Disney World:

celebration button.JPG

1. Celebration buttons.

The easiest and quickest way to let everyone know you just got engaged is to stop by the front desk at your resort, guest relations at any park, any shop, or kiosk that has celebration buttons. Any of the cast members will be happy to give you, your partner, and entire group buttons designed just for celebrating an engagement.

2. Sit for a caricature.

Right after we got engaged, my mom suggested we sit for a caricature to commemorate the moment. While a caricature was one of the more expensive souvenirs we took home, it is now our favorite reminder of that day. 


3. Go to a special dinner.

Disney is exciting, face paced, and...crowded. Not to mention that agreeing to spend the rest of your life with someone can be emotionally exhausting. Take some time for just the two of you (maybe somewhere quiet). Go to a special dinner at a nicer restaurant. Le Cellier, California Grill, and Victoria and Albert’s are all romantic options for a dinner for two. 


4. Collectable pins.

My family discovered pin trading several years ago. Searching for special pins is one of our favorite park past times. Last February, Disney offered 3-5 engagement and wedding themed collector’s pins. Half the excitement was finding them in each of the parks. 


5. Photos with characters.

You just got engaged! Tell the world! Every time we met a character, one of our family members would happily announce that we just got engaged (my sister and brother even came up with a song and accompanying dance moves). Each character then proceeds to exclaim his or her congratulations. While I tend to be shy when it comes to public attention, it was fun to get excited all over again every time we met a character. 

So remember, whether you get engaged at Walt Disney World or perhaps just visit shortly after getting engaged, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the big moment. I'd love to hear about the magical ways you celebrated your engagement at Walt Disney World. Let me know in the comments below! 

Cassidy Sonnier
Social Coordinator

Bar Hopping with Julian, Chapter One: Petals

Bar Hopping with Julian, Chapter One 

Petals at Disney's Pop Century Resort // 28.3504° N, 81.5430° W

For the better part of the last decade, the evil elixir of life that the rest of the world calls alcohol and I have had some crazy nights. I've slept in bushes, ended up on rooftops four stories high, and broken countless items that didn't belong to me (and those are the mild memories). But nothing quite compares to the magic of drinking around the Walt Disney World Resort. 

I can’t even begin to count how many times I've told one of my Disney bar stories and got a confused “There's booze in Disney World?” look in return. For those of us who have had the privilege to sip the devil’s nectar in the shadow of those great mouse ears, well, we've all got our favorite bars in mind. And I’m sure most of us have probably experienced the chaos that is drinking around World Showcase in Epcot, and if not, don't worry…we will get to that eventually.

From here on out, my job is not to convince any of you that my favorites are better in any way, shape, or form. It is simply to share with you the stories of an old cast member, and to give recommendations of incredible bars and drinks on Disney property. So, here's hoping some of you guys are inspired to take a break from the fast-paced rides, shows, and meet-and-greets, and join me for a cold one at one of Walt Disney World’s many great watering holes.   

Now, on to the good stuff. For my first post, I struggled with what drink to write about. I struggled to pick just one of the many bars to focus on. I've shared so many memories in so many of them. I have been kept company by so many drinks there, but once I really sat down and thought it over, the option was actually quite clear: Bacardi Mojitos from Petals Pool Bar at the Pop Century Resort.


I know, I know… The bar itself isn't the classiest, or the best themed, or even inside for that matter. And I know the Bacardi Mojito is a simple drink that’s served resort-wide at most, if not all, Disney World bars, but I had to. I HAD to. I've consumed more of those mojitos by that pool than most people have consumed water in a lifetime.

Back when winning prizes at arcades was still a thing in Florida, those mojitos elevated me to a realm of mental aptitude that allowed me to clean shop. I’d leave with armfuls of arcade prizes that I’d hand out like a thin Santa Claus to my niece and nephew.


There's a fuzzy memory that sticks to my brain like a quick flashback in a movie. I'm sitting behind the wheel of some crazy tank game where you had to defeat a giant sea monster, I believe. (And possibly giant wasp?) I’m sure someone out there knows what I'm talking about. The name of the game escapes me. Anyway, I'm sitting there, 6 mojitos deep and yelling at a complete stranger who could not have been more than 12, telling him to hold his own. "I can't kill this squid all on my own, boy!” Luckily the kid (as far as I can remember) laughs in my face and proceeds to get a higher score than I do. It turns out I was shooting at a tree for 3 minutes straight. I mean, if that isn't first post material then I don't know what is.

That being said, I recommend everyone take a bus ride down to Pop Century Resort, relax by the pool with a refreshing mojito, and when that blistering Florida sun overpowers your will to swim, then proceed into the arcade and have yourself one heck of a night. (Just don't yell at kids, please.)

Julian "Papa Teasly" Blanchard
Lifestyle Coordinator

P.S. To the kid I was yelling at… If you’re reading this, sorry little dude.

Any form of mojito - seriously, drink a few and jump in the pool...okay, maybe drink one and swim responsibly!
— Papa Teasly's Drink Pick

Fantasmic Fashion: Mickey Mouse

Fantasmic Fashion: Mickey Mouse

Like many people, my Disney obsession began before I can even remember. As a child, I knew the words to every Disney movie, made my parents call me “Belle” most of the time, and of course, I dressed up like a Disney princess every chance I got. Now, even though I’m too old to get away with wearing Disney costumes in my everyday life, for certain occasions I plan my outfits with inspiration from my favorite childhood movies and characters.

I’m going to focus on putting together Disney-inspired outfits that are comfy enough to wear when you visit a Disney Park (or just needing to add a little character to your day). Some will be subtle, some will be obvious, and some will just include pieces of the awesome merchandise that’s available featuring our favorite characters. The point of these articles is just to help you create your own inspired outfits for your next Disney adventure!

We all know that “it all started with a mouse,” so for my first article, I decided to create outfits inspired by the one and only Mickey Mouse. Mickey can be seen in several different costumes and environments throughout the years, so the inspiration is endless. I’ve created four looks that barely scratch the surface, but it’s a good place to start!


Outfit 1, Classic Mickey: This first outfit is inspired by the classic image of Mickey Mouse. Therefore, I put together some classic pieces (the solid top and skirt, wayfarers, Chelsea boots, and backpack) and added some magical Mickey touches with the hat and watch. I actually own this awesome hat from H&M and I wear it, like, all the time, even when I’m not at Disney World.


Outfit 2, Casual Mickey: Here we have a subtler Mickey outfit. This outfit includes the classic Mickey colors and a tiny image of him on the cap. Also, what’s more comfortable than Converse in the parks? Like, nothing. 


Outfit 3, Travel Mickey: I planned this outfit around this precious shirt featuring our favorite mouse available at Uniqlo (which recently opened a location in Disney Springs, so you can potentially pick one up on your next visit). Also, brb. I’m about to order those shoes right now.