Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Christian Devotions for Family Vacations: A Review

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Recently I was honored to be asked by Jeff and Peggy Chaves to read and review their book, "A Christian's Guide to Walt Disney World Resort", a devotional book for you family vacation. Jeff Chaves is an ordained pastor and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education. Jeff is currently the Chief Creative Officer of a video production company, Grace Pictures Inc., which he founded along with his wife. Jeff and Peggy live in Las Vegas, Nevada with their four children. You can find out more about Jeff through his website:  www.jeffchaves.com

The brief description on the books back cover gives the perfect summary of what you'll find inside; "For most families, a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort is a much anticipated, fun-packed trip. A Christian's Guide to Walt Disney World Resort is a great way for parents to ensure they are building their family's faith while touring the parks. Jeff Chaves uses the rides and attractions at Disney World as examples of biblical truth. The Disney Parks were designed to tell stories - now parents can use this resource to remind their children of the greatest story in the world."


I must agree, the way that Jeff lays out each chapter and devotion is the perfect compliment to help you enhance your vacation at Walt Disney World Resort while also continuing your family's daily devotional time. 

My family, like any other, thoroughly enjoys our vacation times together. We look forward to spending uninterrupted time with each other and having as much fun as possible. And while we are a strong Christina family, I admit that during our family vacations - especially those to Walt Disney World Resort - we are not diligent to continue our devotional time. There just always seems to be so much to do and see and before we know it, vacation has ended as fast as it began.  But wait, what if we could find a way to continue having fun while at the same time seeking to grow in our faith through devotion with God. That is exactly what will happen when you incorporate A Christian's Guide to Walt Disney World Resort into your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

Just imagine, waking up in your resort room and as you get ready for the day taking a few moments to read through the devotion together as a family before you head out the door for your days fun. The devotions are concise and organized by park so you can customize each days devotion to match what ever Walt Disney World theme park you will be visiting that day. You can even seek out specific devotions to compliment the rides and attractions you will be visiting that day. There are actually many different ways you can use the devotions, they do not have to just be a morning activity. Some families may choose to use the devotional in the morning to talk about the day before. While others may find it better to talk at lunch, dinner, or even in the evening before you settle into bed. Whatever works best for your family, you will find a great time not only family growth coupled with fun at Disney World but also Christian growth and fun together going through God's word.  You just might find yourself doing more than one devotional per day!

The book is set up in chapters pertaining to each theme park at Walt Disney World plus and "Around the World" section and an Introduction and Epilogue.  The Introduction will set the tone for what to expect and get you started by giving a suggestion and brief guide to use the book. The Around the World section provides devotions to use at Walt Disney World but outside of the theme parks, here you'll find devotions for anything from Hidden Mickey's to Water Features and more.  Then under each theme parks chapter the devotions are set up by ride or experience, for example, in the Magic Kingdom chapter you will find devotionals for Space Mountain, The Hall of Presidents and It's A Small World (and lots more) while in the Animal Kingdom chapter you will see Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids devotions to name a few, the same can be found in both the Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios Sections. Finally, the Epilogue will wrap everything up and give suggestions on continuing your devotions once your family is back home. The devotions, while simple and short, are not lacking in biblical truth, content and lessons.

Each devotion has four sections:
1) Bible Truth and Bible Reference
2) Know-Before-You-Go Section (helpful information on the ride or attraction, with interesting or historic tid-bits)
3) Connect It (connects the Bible truth to the ride or attraction)
4) Discuss It (questions and answers that will help your family to discuss and apply the Bible truth)

Though we are not currently at Disney World, my family and I have taken the time to read through and discuss several of the devotionals...we have made so many visits to the Walt Disney World Resort over the years, it was easy to imagine we were there while practicing the devotionals.  We found them to be a great added tool to our at-home devotions and really enjoyed them. We can't wait to put them into action and use this devotional on our upcoming Christmas visit to Disney World.  I am sure you and your family will enjoy them too! If you would like more information about the Christian's Guide series or would like to know how you can purchase your own volume, visit:
www.achristiansguide.net

Until Next time...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Disney Magic Bands

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The Walt Disney resorts and theme parks instated a new program last year to help guests get the very most out of their Disney vacation. The 'My Disney Experience' program, along with the new Fastpass+ and Magic Band systems are wonderful. Below is some information to guide you through each aspect of My Disney Experience, Fastpass+ and Magic Bands:

What do they do?

· Magical Express Voucher:  For those utilizing the Magical Express your flights and resort information is on your account and will allow you to check in for the express with a simple scan of your band.  This means that your band does need to be in your carryon luggage so you can have it handy at the airport.

· Room Key:  No more digging in your bag or pockets for your room key.  Simply touch the Magic Band to the Mickey head and you’re into your room. 

· Dining Plan:  For guests who have added one of the Dining Plans you will find your credits are loaded onto the bands as well.  After ordering, tap your band and you’re ready to go.

· Park Ticket:  Your park tickets will be loaded onto the band as well.  When you enter the parks each day you hold you band to the sensor and then a quick finger scan.    You can even load special event tickets onto your band for Mickey's Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party or Mickey's Very-Merry-Christmas Party. 

·  Fastpass Plus:  This may become your FAVORITE feature on the bands.  Fastpass Plus allows you to schedule your times for some of the most popular rides and attractions even before leaving home! No more mad dash to Toy Story Mania! No more worrying about losing your Fastpasses while waiting for your return window!

·   Photopass and Memory Maker:  The ability to link your Photopass pictures to your Magic Band, eliminating the need to carry and keep track of the Photopass cards. 

· Credit Card:  As with the Key’s to the World card you are able to assign a credit card to your band for in park purchases.  And if your band is lost don’t worry; no one can use it but you. At check in you will set up a PIN code for your band, every purchase made with it…even if it’s just a soda, requires the PIN to be entered correctly.  Different people in a room can have different cards linked to the bands.  For example, if Grandma has come along and is staying with you she can have her credit card on her band for her charges and you your own. 

How do I get them?

· The first thing you must do is set up a My Disney Experience Account on www.startmydisneyexperience.com
You must have an account in order to customize your bands and set up the Fastpass Plus. 

· 60 Days prior to your trip you will be able to customize your magic bands. 

· You will have a variety of colors to choose from and you can change your mind…and if the colors aren’t enough there are of coarse a variety of accessories available at the resort to truly make your band your own.

· Bands will ship a few weeks prior to travel. 

· Don’t worry if you don’t customize your bands before leaving, standard gray ones will be waiting for you at your resort when you check in.

How do they work?

· Parks, Resorts, Dining, and Shops have been updated to accommodate the new technology. All you do to use your Magic Band is locate a sensor pad, and simply match Mickey head to Mickey head….wait for the green light, and you are set to go!

· If you are making a purchase, after getting the green light you will enter your PIN code.

What if I have a problem?

·  Because this is a relatively new technology, and as with any new technology, there are bound to be a glitch or two.  I recommend asking for backup Key’s to the World Cards upon check in, allowing you back up access to your dining credits, room, and park tickets.

· Find a cast member.  The ones carrying I pads or that have the Magic Band symbol on their shirt are the best ones.

· Don’t panic.  Most issues can be resolved within minutes.

So now you have the basics about Disney Magic Bands. Ready to try it out for yourself?
Contact me for a free vacation quote or to book and plan your next Disney Adventure. 
robin.fretwell@ymail.com

Monday, August 4, 2014

Skin Care tips:

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Tips for skin care. The most important part of your day should be your skin care routine. Start the day off and finish up with caring for your skin. 

I have outlined some great tips and products that I use in the video below:
http://www.youtu.be/OAb7hXC_o44

Or you can follow this outline: