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Approximately 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, and there's arguably no better place to take a trip with your loved ones than the Happiest Place on Earth. Some people love Disney parks so much that they wish they could live there. And in a certain way, some Disney fans have managed to do just that. They may not live in Cinderella's castle or on Main Street, USA, but they visit so often that the Magic Kingdom is like their second home. In many cases, these fans document their magical experiences on social media for all to see. A select few have even managed to create a massive following and foray their love for Mickey Mouse into full-fledged careers -- without ever working as a formal Disney employee.
AJ Wolfe doesn't even live in the Sunshine State. She resides in Texas, where she's been writing her Disney Food Blog for the past decade. But you'd never know she wasn't a season pass-holder, considering how frequently she posts and how in-depth her features can be. Her mouthwatering photos delight her social media followers, who engage regularly with her account to stay on top of all of the latest Disney park food trends. With 438,000 Instagram followers (and counting) and millions of monthly website readers, Wolfe was able to turn her passion for magical eats into a lucrative career.
Although Wolfe still resides in Dallas, she now employs staff members who do live in Florida. She also makes a trip to the parks approximately once per month to check out what's new. When she travels, she does so alone -- and she schedules four to five meals per day so she's able to try as many items as she can. Although her Disney days can last from 6 am to 2 am (far beyond the "rope drop to fireworks" mantra that many diehard Disney fans adopt), she told People that every experience is still as magical as it always was.
Wolfe explained, "I started the blog because I love the parks. They just carry a real enchantment for me. I always like to build in time for myself to hang out in the parks and ride some rides. That's part of the benefit of doing this as a job."
Not only does Wolfe live solely off her blog earnings (thanks to the in-depth Disney food guides she has available for purchase on her site), but she's also had a hand in making a number of new food offerings go viral. And unlike many influencers, she's been able to maintain a certain degree of anonymity; she purposefully tries to keep a low profile so that Disney cast members and others don't know who she is when she shows up to conduct her research. Although she says she's had managers offer to comp her meals, she always pays her way for the sake of transparency.
"I’ll go up to them and say, ‘I’m sorry, but this is something that we have to pay for in order to remain unbiased for our readers,'" she explained to People. "And frankly, it's better for them as well because if I have to write a review that says you paid for it and it's a good review, nobody's going to trust that."
And trust her, they do. Wolfe is seen as a food authority in all things Disney, due to her continued presence on various social networking and content creation platforms. You can scarcely conduct a search about eating at Disney World without stumbling upon one of her posts -- and many fans wouldn't dare plan a trip without consulting her blog or Instagram first.
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But Wolfe isn't the only one whose devotion to all things Disney has transformed into a professional path. Bloggers like The Disney Chef and influencers like Styled By Magic have found a bit of fame and fortune, thanks to Disney-related content. Disney has also made moves to embrace social media influencers, hosting events for content creators and forging partnerships to promote new offerings.
Of course, if you want to get in on the magical action, you can't simply email Disney's PR representative and request tickets -- not without having something to back it up, at least. You'll need to work on growing your audience and creating stellar content that will appeal to fellow Disney lovers. Not only will you likely need to outsource SEO services to ensure fans can easily find your blog, but you'll also want to focus on a specific niche of the Disney lifestyle to cover. Instead of food, that might be fashion (like new clothing lines sold in the parks or the Disneybounding trend) or hidden secrets of Disney history. While there are already successful bloggers and influencers doing both, carving out your little corner -- and doing it better than anyone else -- is one of the best ways to get noticed.
That's all easier said than done, especially given that these platforms are becoming more saturated by the day. What's more, it will take a lot of hard work to make your Disney dream a reality. But as Walt Disney would probably tell you, "it's kind of fun to do the impossible."
You finally did it; you took the plunge and got a tattoo. Whether it's been one you've been thinking about getting for years or you got it after a bet with a friend, you now have a piece of permanent art on your skin, and that can be exciting. Plenty of people have tattoos; 45 million Americans have at least one. Of course, now that you have that new tattoo, you'll have to take care of it if you want it to last. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your first tattoo and make sure it looks great for years to come.
Help It Heal
Your tattoo will take time to heal, and it can be frustrating in the meanwhile, especially if it's your first tattoo. It's probably going to be a little bit uncomfortable, but if you notice the healing process is painful, talk to a doctor; it could be a sign that it's infected. It's probably going to be a bit itchy, like a healing scab; do your best not to mess with it as it's healing. The more you mess with it, the more likely it is you'll impact how the tattoo looks once it's fully healed.
Instead, do your best to help it heal as quickly as possible. Keep the skin moisturized and clean, especially if you're spending a lot of time moving or in areas where your tattoo might get dirty. When washing your tattoo, be gentle, and avoid scrubbing at it too much. This will give it time to heal fully and have better, long-term results.
Keep Up With Care
Once your tattoo is done healing, you might think you can be less careful with it. However, this will result in a fast-fading tattoo with duller colors and less clear lines. Take good care of your skin, especially when it comes to sun exposure. Sun damage and sunburn can fade tattoo ink more quickly, particularly for color tattoos. Even if it isn't sunny outside, your tattoo can still be exposed to harmful UV rays just by increases in elevation (4 to 5% more UV rays for every 1,000-foot increase in altitude, to be exact). Sunscreen is your friend when it comes to tattoo longevity, so don't be afraid to use SPF regularly.
Tattoos might be permanent, but if you really don't like your tattoo, that doesn't mean you're necessarily stuck with it forever. If you still don't like your tattoo once it's had time to fully heal and settle, there are a few options for fixing it. Laser tattoo removal exists, but can be an expensive option. Instead, consider getting a cover-up tattoo. Around 5% of the U.S. population has covered up a tattoo with another one. If you still like tattoos, just not the one you ended up with, this can be a great option.
Tattoos can be a great way to express yourself and showcase your personality, but they do require a certain amount of maintenance and care.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top are celebrating their 50th year with a massive North American tour this summer. Kicking off the 50th Anniversary Tour August 16, the real Tres Hombres will play coast to coast and border to border. Cheap Trick and Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd will also join the tour as it snakes through the country into late October.
Hot on the heels of announcing their new album HELP US STRANGER (out June 21 via Third Man Records), The Raconteurs – Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler – have announced an extensive run of North American headline tour dates. These new dates, spanning from July to October, include previously-announced US festival appearances at Woodstock 50 and Railbird. The band will kick off their world tour with their first trip to Australia and New Zealand later this month, as well as stops in Japan, Europe, and the United Kingdom before returning to the US for their North American tour.
Whitesnake will release their new studio album "Flesh & Blood" via Frontiers Music Srl on May 10th. This week, the band issued its third single from the new album. Listen to “Hey You (You Make Me Rock)” below.
MIKE + THE MECHANICS released their ninth studio album, OUT OF THE BLUE, via BMG. It captures the evolution of some of the band’s most loved hits throughout their 35-year career with brand new recordings (on deluxe version), as well as introducing fans to the band’s future with three brand new tracks: “One Way,” “What Would You Do” and the album’s lead single of the title track. A video for “Out Of The Blue” was recently released and can be seen below.