Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The hunt for Disney's Magical Express

We are safely in Orlando! Super tired after not getting much sleep last night or on the plane, but definitely on the Disney high!

The monorail-shuttle told us to proceed to baggage claim A, and instead of checking my travel binder we just followed the directions & crowd like good little lemmings... Of course we then found out we had to be on the opposite side of the airport! Oops!

Luckily, we are both in vacation mode and didnt get upset! Just laughed and turned around to head back.

Got to the Magical Express line eventually to be greeted by the best smiling faces! Only waited a few minutes before getting on the bus, and sounds like we are about ready to get on our way to Coronado Springs in just a few.

The music from the Electrical Parade was playing when we boarded and I most definitely hummed along with it! Bob looked at me like I was loosing it... Ha!

Well, bus driver Tito says its time to roll... So away we go!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First live check in!

Its the night before our trip and everything is set and ready to go! Well, except that Bob has yet to pack (only 8 1/2 hours before we leave, buddy!).
Aside from packing and dealing with all this excitement, I had to create our "flat pidge" to make the trip with us. Look for a photo below of the cute little guy!

I will try to check in with photos and such during the next 9 days... Pretty excited about it!
Feel free to ask questions or suggest "flat pidge" photo ideas in the comments below!

Have a magical night! °o°

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - The big list!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately - been busy getting ready for the upcoming trip! Only five more days until we arrive in the Mouse's House!

Previously, I mentioned a photo scavenger hunt idea for our upcoming trip. I've been really excited about this project! First of all, its helped kill some time before we leave. It's also set us up for great photos and some silly memories that we'll remember forever!
As promised, here is the full list of items we are hunting for. We still have a few blank pages in our book, so throw some ideas out and they'll be added!

  • Find a Cast member from Chicago
  • Find another couple celebrating their anniversary
  • High-five 5 different cast members
  • Find someone with a first visit button
  • Find someone with a birthday button
  • Take THREE in-ride photos at Magic Kingdom*
  • Find FIFTEEN hidden Mickeys in Magic Kingdom
  • Make a wish at the Castle wishing well
  • Try to remove Sword in the Stone
  • Silly hat photo in each of the 6 lands in Magic Kingdom
  • Take THREE in-ride photos at Epcot*
  • Find TEN hidden Mickeys in Epcot
  • Take a photo with a Flag in each country of World Showcase
  • Find the Pickle Tree in Epcot
  • Take THREE in-ride photos at Animal Kingdom*
  • Find TWELVE hidden Mickeys in Animal Kingdom
  • Take THREE in-ride photos at Hollywood Studios*
  • Find TEN hidden Mickey's in Hollywood Studios
  • Find Spock's handprints outside the theater
  • Sing in the Rain @ Hollywood Studios
  • Show off drawings from Animation Academy
  • Climb on a Giant Bug @ Hollywood Studios
  • Pull the rope in the well by Indiana Jones Show
  • Dance with any Character
  • Minnie & Mickey's Autographs
  • Dance with a Princess
  • Spot the Tron-o-Rail (TRON themed Monorail)
  • Take a picture with a Friendship Boat Captain
  • Be alone on a Disney Bus
  • Take a picture with Disney Bus Driver
  • Find anything with HOCKEY on it
  • Find FIVE hidden Mickeys at Coronado Springs
  • Alphabet game! Find an item/sign/etc that starts with each letter of the alphabet
*All in-ride photos must follow posted rules! Take the photo on outdoor rides, or without the flash!

As you can see, we're seriously lacking in Animal Kingdom photo ideas!! Hopefully someone can help us out with that. Either way, super excited to see what pictures result from these ideas. I'm not expecting ALL of them to be completed, but hopefully we have fun and get into it!

What do you do to shake things up on your vacations?

Friday, April 29, 2011


Shopaholics & Mouseaholics will be posted a day late this week! So sorry! :)
Check back with us later tonight for more great Mickey merchandise.

On a more serious note...
My thoughts and prayers go out to those in the Southern states that were hit by the tornadoes. I truly hope that those impacted are surrounded by family and friends at this time to help them cope with everything that has happened. I hope some pixie dust is able to find its way to the South to spread some magic and miracles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Magical Crafting - Tie Dye Shirts

Good evening, Disney fans!

Tonight I would like to share a super fun, easy, family-friendly craft with you! When in Disney Parks, its almost expected that you wear a shirt with our favorite mouse! Unfortunately, Mickey shirts can be quite expensive...
but thanks to the DISBoards, I was able to come across this great idea for tie dying Mickey shirts!

I'll give you the quick rundown, but for full detailed instructions please visit this post on the DISBoards.

Here's what you'll need to start:

  • Tshirts - 100% cotton will work best!
  • Stencil of Mickey Head
  • Dental floss & a Sewing Needle
  • Soda Ash (find this near the tie dye kits)
  • Tie Dye
  • Rubberbands
  • Plastic Bags
  • Bleach Pen (FYI - Tide-to-go does not contain Bleach and will not work)
(sorry I don't have photos of each step... I didn't think to document the whole process)
Step 1: Trace Mickey shape on the Tshirt with a washable marker (I used crayola and it washed out great)
Step 2: Baste Stitch around the shape of Mickey with the Dental Floss - make your stitches small and close together for the best results.
Step 3: Pull both ends of the floss as tight as you can. The Mickey head will be scrunched and bunched:

Step 4: Wrap 2 rubberbands around the floss line - This will prevent dye from getting to the Mickey outline!
Step 5: Soak in Soda Ash as directed in your product's instructions - usually about 20 minutes. Ring out excess water as much as possible
Step 6: Holding onto the puckered Mickey head in the middle of your shirt, start spinning until the entire shirt is wound up into a wheel shape. Wrap rubberbands around the wheel shape (it will look like pizza slices). Be sure to pull your Mickey head up and out of the spiral before continuing.
Step 7: Squirt your desired dye color onto only the Mickey head. Be sure to fully saturate your Mickey shape or you'll end up missing an ear! Also try to not get this color on the rest of the shirt. Then, wrap only the Mickey head in plastic
Step 8: Squirt the desired colors of dyes on the rest of the shirt in the pattern you want. Again, be sure to fully saturate the shirt and squirt into all the nooks and crannies. Then, wrap the shirts in plastic bags and let them sit as directed on your tie dye instructions (I let ours sit overnight)

Step 9: Unwrap the shirts and remove rubberbands. Rinse the dye out in a sink until the water runs clear - similar to when you dye your hair! Keep rinsing and ringing the shirts out until you feel like you've gotten most of the dye out. Then throw them in the washer with just a small bit of detergent. Let the shirts dry completely before moving on.


You may notice that the Mickey Heads aren't super clearly defined here. If that is the case with your shirts, continue on to the optional next step. If your Mickeys are surrounded by a nice clear un-dyed outline, then you are done! :)

Step 10: Slide a piece of plastic or cardboard inside the shirt. Using the bleach pen, outline the Mickey Heads with a thin line - the bleach will spread. Let the bleach dry, then wash the shirts again and ta-da! You have finished, custom Mickey shirts for a fraction of the cost - plus tons of fun memories from making them!

I'm actually hoping to make a few more of these for our upcoming trip (2 weeks from tomorrow!) but we've already made a pact to not wear them on the same day as each other. Matching shirts are cute when you have little kiddos, but its just too cutesy and matchy-matchy for us ;)

Please share any fun Disney crafts you and your family like to do - whether its leading up to a trip or just because!

Have a Magical Day today!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Have a Magical Easter!

Happy Easter!
(and if you don't celebrate Easter, have a FABULOUS weekend!)

Have a Magical day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shopaholics & Mouseaholics - Bookworm Edition

Welcome to this weeks installment of Shopaholics & Mouseaholics! This week we are focusing on some wonderful books about Disney World. As always, if you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

When it comes to books about Disney, it is really necessary to break them down into categories. This week we will feature four categories: Vacation Planning, History, Fiction and Personal Accounts. They're all pretty self-explanatory, so lets just jump right in to some good readin'!

Vacation Planning
Everyone has their own favorites here - and we all seem to be quite loyal to our favorite Guide to the Disney book! My personal favorite is the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
2011 Edition - Unofficial Guide
This series is a compilation from several different authors - a whole team, in fact! Every year they update as needed and release a new version. I'm actually still working off my well-loved 2009 edition. The book includes everything a Disney newbie or veteran may need to know during the planning stages, as well as what to do once you GET to the World.
They offer: Dining Reviews, Resort Reviews, Attraction Ratings & Descriptions, Touring Plans (tear out and bring to the park with you), Maps, Pricing, Reader Comments and SO much more. Not to mention suggestions of things to do off Disney property. 
I like this book because the authors tell it like it is - if something sucks, they tell you - but keep in mind, its only their opinion. They even share readers' opinions that differ from theirs to offer both sides of the story. There is a companion site to go along with the book, as well for even more updated information.

While this book isn't strictly "history", it has a lot of background information about various attractions and details throughout Disney World. The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom is a great collection of trivia and fun facts. 
Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World
A quick read, but jam packed with fun information. It'll highlight where Imagineers put their "signature" within attractions, explain the placement of certain details and put you in awe of the excruciating attention to detail that goes into a Disney Park. For example... the entrance and Oasis of Animal Kingdom is slightly uphill, to force guests to slow down and take in their surroundings without them even realizing it!

Obviously, when one thinks of Disney World fiction only one series comes to mind:
Kingdom Keepers!
Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark

Taking place INSIDE the Magic Kingdom at night, a group of young teens must defend the park from the evil "Overtakers" (the classic Disney villains come to life!). This series is popular with young adults and adults alike and offers a fun, different view of the Disney Parks. 
Ridley Pearson just released the fourth book in the series with a special event in Downtown Disney earlier this month!
Kindgom Keepers IV: Power Play
Personal Account
Is there anything better than reading about someone else's experiences with Disney World? Especially if that someone is from another country and takes the daring step to move to America to work in Disney World for an entire year! Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida is a wonderful account of one Cast Member who braves it all for a year with the Mouse!
Catherine Ryan Howard writes about her year-long journey to find herself by working in Disney World. She has a rough time getting situated, but takes everything in stride and comes out a better, stronger person for her experiences. This is a quick read full of hilarious wit and misadventures!

Thanks for stopping by for another edition of Shopaholics & Mouseaholics! Don't forget to leave your favorite Disney books in the comments below.

Have a Magical Day today!

Pixar Weekend - Disney Update!

The Disney Parks Blog officially announced Pixar Weekend this morning!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Honors Pixar May 13-15

The more I hear about this... the more excited I get! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mickey Mail! °o°

As if planning a trip to Disney World weren't exciting enough, the folks at Disney know how to help you build even more excitement leading up to your trip. They do this with...
Mickey Mail!

At about 30 days out from your trip (basically, once Disney has your full vacation payment safely deposited) you start to receive these wonderfully colorful THICK envelopes packed with information about your upcoming trip!

The first pack you receive contains all of your Disney's Magical Express information if you are partaking in this service (which we are!).
The next envelope is all of your reservation details and luggage tags. There are also a few pages of coupons for restaurants and activities in Downtown Disney and other places around the Disney area (water sports, mini golf, etc).

Today we received our third (and fourth) piece of Mickey Mail:
So exciting! I love all the silly characters riding the monorail - Stitch just cracks me up! :)
The top (monorail-themed) envelope gives us ideas to help enhance our celebration - which happens to be our 4th Anniversary for this trip! There are suggestions from the Disney Florists for in-room celebrations, as well as ideas of where to eat dinner (even though all of our dining reservations have been made for WEEKS)!

The bottom, red envelope is our customized maps. I order these before every trip, partially because I just like getting the big envelope of them in the mail. We never USE the customized maps, and they end up in the "Disney Vacation Memories" box in the closet... but I still order them.
I'm very disappointed in the maps this time around, though. They still include Mickey's ToonTown Faire, even though it has been closed and demolished for quite some time now! C'mon Disney, keep up with yourself, will ya?

Three weeks from today our magical Anniversary Celebration kicks off, and it certainly can't get here soon enough!
Don't forget to help us plan our Photo Scavenger Hunt here! Any suggestions WILL make it into the hunt, and those photos will be shared - the sillier the better ;)

Have a Magical day, today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pixar Weekend May 13-15 2011

Just announced in early April, Epcot will be hosting the first ever Pixar Weekend during the Flower and Garden Festival this year!
The topiaries that are scattered throughout the park already have a heavy Pixar theme and Pixar is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year - so all signs certainly point to a great event.

Stitch Kingdom announces Pixar Weekend
Attractions Magazine offers details on Pixar Weekend

It seems as though there will be characters abound throughout the final weekend of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival this year. Guests coming to the park May 13th - 15th will be greeted by Green Army Men and handed a special event map. The map is said to show where all of the special character meet and greets will be taking place! Here is a rundown of where meet & greets are expected to take place, according to Stitch Kingdom and Attractions Magazine:

  • UP - Carl, Russell and Dug @ Fountain of Nations Stage
  • Monsters, Inc. - Mike Wazowski, Sully, Boo and friends @ Universe of Energy Pavilion
  • Cars 2 - Mater, Lightning McQueen and Rust-eze Girls @ Test Track
  • A Bug's Life - Flik, Atta and friends @ Village Traders in World Showcase
  • Ratatouille - Remy and Emile @ France Pavilion 
  • Toy Story 3 - Buzz, Woody, Lotso and friends @ American Adventure Pavilion
  • The Incredibles - Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl @ Innoventions West
  • Finding Nemo - Living Coral and Stilt Walkers @ The Seas
And... drum roll please... Making his GRAND Walt Disney World debut...


WALL-E Makes his Meet and Greet Debut

Check out this video of WALL-E in Disneyland to get a taste of what his Meet & Greet experience may be like (the audio isn't great, but the video is too cute)

It seems to be that Meet & Greets will be the main focus of the Pixar event, giving guests a chance to meet and get photos with characters that rarely make appearances in the parks. Sounds as though the plans are to have characters on "stage" in 20 minute shifts and swapping out. For instance, at the Monsters, Inc. area - Sully will be available for autographs and photos for 20 minutes, then will go backstage while Mike Wazowski comes out for 20 minutes, and so on. My guess is that this will keep the lines moving faster, instead of each guest meeting with up to 5 characters at the same time.

This Disney Blogger will be at Epcot on Friday, May 13th and will hopefully be able to share some live-reports during the day! 

Which Disney-Pixar character would you be most excited to meet and have a photo with?