Guest Star Day | Focused on the Magic : Guest Star Day


Guest Star Day

It's Guest Star Day here at Focused on the Magic. Grab a cuppa and get comfy while we chat with a dear Disney blogging friend of mine, fellow Magical Blogorail member, writer and homeschooling Mom to four special children, Tricia creator of Return To Disney. 
Focused on the Magic Guest Star Day

Welcome Tricia and thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate your taking time away from your busy schedule to share a little bit about yourself and your blog, Return To Disney as our Guest Star.

Focused on the Magic Guest Star Tricia
Where did your love of Disney come from?
Even as a child, I was always drawn to Disney’s perfectionism – every detail is so carefully attended to! That appeals to my artistic soul. The way they take every possible opportunity to tell a story appeals to my inner writer.

Are you a WDWorlder or DLander?
All of the above! I grew up in California, so I went to Disneyland several times as a child. I moved to Illinois for college, and didn’t go back to a Disney park until I took my own children to Walt Disney World in 2010. That was a whole other experience, so both places have a special place in my heart.

What’s your favorite park?
It really depends on the situation. If it’s just me and DH, my favorite park is Epcot. With the kids, I’d have to pick Magic Kingdom….or maybe Animal Kingdom….or Disneyland!

What is your favorite park attraction and why?
Haunted Mansion – the first time I experienced it, I was so drawn in by all the details. I was enchanted by the elegance of the mansion, and terrified at the same time. I half believed that some of those ghosts weren’t completely made up! Even as an adult, I can still almost believe the mansion isn’t totally deserted late at night….

What’s your park touring style? Commando or laid back?
Laid back, definitely! Our normal schedule is so packed and structured, that when we go on vacation, I want to relax and take it easy. That doesn’t mean we don’t end up with aching feet at the end of the day, but we do try to remember that the goal is to enjoy time together, not necessarily to check things off a to-do list. We can do that at home!

Are you a park early bird or a night owl?
Neither, I guess. I do not set an alarm clock on vacation! We get up when we get up, eat breakfast, then get to the parks when we get there. We go back to the resort when we’re tired. Sometimes we’ll go back out to the parks after dinner for the fireworks and parades though, but we don’t push it. If everybody’s exhausted, then we don’t.

What is your favorite Disney restaurant?
Tough call! Kona at the Polynesian resort is my first choice for breakfast. It’s got the best coffee at Walt Disney World! For lunch and dinner…there just aren’t any bad choices.

What is your favorite resort on property?
I’m a deluxe kind of girl J. My top choices would be either the Grand Floridian or Polynesian. I’m just not that impressed by the Contemporary resort.

If you could work for the Walt Disney Company, what would be your dream job?
Pastry chef! I’ve always loved to bake, and it’s a wonderful way to make someone’s day that much brighter.

What is your favorite Disney park memory?
My favorite memories are the little, unplanned moments. Even I can’t orchestrate everything, and sometimes every detail just falls into place perfectly. Those are the moments that I love to remember.

Return To Disney

Let’s hear about your blog. Do you have a niche or specialty?
I write about Disney for “Special” families like mine – ones affected by autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and food allergies. I also write for parents of large families – traveling with a crowd is a little different than traveling with one or two kids!
Why did you start your Disney fan blog?
I was going crazy. When we took our family to Walt Disney World in 2010, I never dreamed it would lead to obsession! After all, I had been to Disneyland several times, and it was nice, but nothing life-changing. But six months after that trip, I needed to talk about it, and needed to find a way to go back to Disney. That couldn’t be a once in a lifetime trip. So really, I started blogging because I needed to talk about my experiences at that magical place. In the past 18 months, I’ve found that not only did I gain a lot of sanity through blogging about Disney, but I’ve been able to offer advice and information for parents of special kids, hopefully making their own Disney trips a little easier!

Focused on the Magic Guest Star

Tricia Ballad is a writer and homeschooling Mom to four special children. 
She writes about the magic of Disney at

You can find her on Facebook at and on Twitter @ReturnToDisney. 


  1. Thanks for featuring Tricia this week! It was fun to learn more about the inspiration behind her blog.

  2. DisneyDonnaKay8:46 AM

    Another great interview!! Glad I got to know Tricia a little better.

  3. Great stuff, Debra and Tricia! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The interview was a lot of fun and so interesting. Tricia is a great inspiration for me, as a special needs mom. She's amazing!

  5. Tricia...we could soooo travel together. Our styles match almost completely.


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