Thursday, May 31, 2012

Disney vs Universal

My oldest daughter is participating in the Disney College Program in Orlando, FL until August. We decided to go out to visit her for her birthday a few weeks ago. May is a perfect time to visit. We walked on most rides and compared to other times we have visited Disney World, the crowd was relatively small.

We went to all the parks: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. I like each of the parks for different reasons. My favorite rides are Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom and Rockin' Rollercoaster in Hollywood Studios.

I like Magic Kingdom, but I have to be honest, it doesn't have the same magic for me that Disneyland has. I'm sure it's because I grew up going to Disneyland regularly. I remember back in the day when we had to use tickets to get on the rides and the Matterhorn was the "big" ride. Disneyland makes me feel like a kid again. I have so many memories there and I love it. Magic Kingdom in Orlando is fun, just not as magical for me.

We also went to Universal's Islands of Adventure. Some of the coolest rides ever. LOVED Harry Potter World and I'm not even a Potterite (though my daughter is and she was in heaven--just like a little girl even though she's 23). The ride through the castle is probably the best ride I've ever been on because it makes you part of the world. You are following Harry through a Quidditch game and flying around Hogwarts, then you're in the spider's lair (which squirts water at you). We hardly waited in line, but going through the wait area is so cool because it has so many things featured in the books. AWESOME ride.

I also loved the Spiderman ride for the same reason. You become part of Spiderman's world and the ride is interactive--a bad guy plugs a big cord into the car you're in and it starts shaking, you feel heat when the Goblin throws fiery pumpkin heads, and you're sprinkled with water when the bad water guy comes after you. Of course, at the end Spiderman saves the day. AWESOME ride.

I also loved the roller coasters in Harry Potter World called the Dueling Dragons (I think). Fast, smooth, upside down at times. The front seat is the best spot. There's a blue one and a red one--my favorite was the blue one.

I did not like The Hulk Rollercoaster. Too jerky and each time I rode it, I ended up with a headache.

As for Disney vs. Universal:

Disney wins for atmosphere and ambiance hands down. But Universal wins for awesome rides. I wouldn't go to Universal with really young kids because they'd miss out on a lot of the rides, but for older kids and adults, you just can't beat those Universal rides.

A very fun trip!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Life is Crazy

My life has been crazy lately so I haven't blogged much. Or at all. I'm going to hit a few highlights in my upcoming posts. I attended the LDStorymakers writing conference a few weeks ago. A-ma-zing. Such a great conference. I loved seeing friends, meeting new people, and learning how to improve my writing skills. There's something so exhilarating about being in a room with hundreds of people who talk to themselves, write story ideas on pieces of paper, research how to kill someone with poison, and can carry on a conversation about their characters as if they are real people who live down the street.

This conference just keeps getting better. If you love to write, you definitely want to come to this conference. The classes are exceptional. The venue is great (Marriott Hotel in Provo, UT). The food is yummy. And you just can't beat the company!

I loved being an instructor at bootcamp. The ladies at my table were all so talented. It was a pleasure to work with them and learn from them. I had so much fun and the time just flew by. What a fun way to spend the afternoon talking about stories and characters and how to improve writing skills. Loved it! Bootcamp was definitely one of the highlights for me.

I attended the cover design class by Crystal Liechty and Sandra Tayler--very knowledgeable ladies who taught me a lot. I also enjoyed listening to the keynote speaker, Kevin J. Anderson. I'm an X-Files junkie and was happy to learn he's written a couple of novels for X-Files fans. He spoke about his productivity, which blew me away. That man writes like crazy--5-6 books per year. Wowza. I'd love to do that, but with a husband, so many kids to raise, a house to care for, and other commitments, it's not realistic for me. But it was great listening to him. I also loved hearing from the agents and editors. Holly Root is so bubbly and energetic. I pitched my current WIP to her and she was so fun and encouraging. I learned a lot from listening to their panels.

Great, great conference. So much fun!

You can check out information about the 2012 conference (as well as past conferences) and the 2013 conference dates at