5.24.2012

1900 Park Fare Dining Review


Restaurant - 1900 Park Fare
Location - Grand Floridian - You must either take the monorail from Magic Kingdom or the boat from Magic Kingdom. The monorail stops at three other stops before reaching the hotel - so give yourself some time to get there!
Characters - Cinderella, Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, Lady Tremaine (sometimes the step sisters are there)
Food - Dinner buffet - Food was fabulous! My husband and I both thought it was great. Lots of choices and the kids even have their own area for kid foods.
Pros - The Grand Floridian is gorgeous so look around while you are waiting! They have kid seating areas near the old fashioned looking elevator. 
Cons - Traveling to the hotel, it seemed like it took longer than some of the other places we visited.
Tips - Make an evening reservation that ends near the parade time and then hop on the monorail and the very next stop is the Magic Kingdom! 
Favorite Memory - Meeting Lady Tremaine was so fun! She was hilarious and made me laugh! I kept watching her interact with other people there and would chuckle watching them with her too! She truly stole the show! The Fairy Godmother told my little one some little rhyme and had a moment with her which was very sweet too! I think that at some of the dinners the characters feel rushed to move on to the next table, but some of them took time to make a memory with my children, which makes me super happy!
Would we do it again? - Yes! We might go at another time of day to meet other characters, but we loved meeting these characters and the food was delicious - so even dad gives it a thumbs up!
Any other questions? Just ask!
She was so excited to meet Prince Charming!
Waiting for our reservation

Kid seating area at the hotel
Meeting Cinderella



The Fairy Godmother having a moment with my little one!
Of course she wouldn't smile, and kept trying to cross people's arms! Loved meeting her! My daughter told her that she wasn't very nice and tore Cinderella's dress and Lady Tremaine corrected her and said "actually my daughters tore her dress!"



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Crystal Palace Character Dining

We did 7 character dinners, yes 7! We hadn't done any dinners before and had the Deluxe dining plan and probably won't do this many again, so why not! We can say that we have done the more popular ones and there were ones that we loved and some, not so much!

Restaurant - Crystal Palace
Location - Magic Kingdom, located on the left side behind Main Street just before you get to Adventureland
Food - We ate the breakfast buffet (fresh fruit, eggs, waffles, cereal, toast, pastries and more!)
Characters - Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger
Pros - If you think about how long you would stand in line to meet all 4 characters individually, you might be saving time, plus you get to eat while you wait!
Cons - Lasts an hour, that's a long time for a breakfast with two little ones. We waited 20 minutes, after we were done eating, for Tigger to finally get to our table and they we were out of there!
Tips - Make a reservation before the park opens that day and you get into the park early! No people in front of the castle with you and you feel like you have more time to spend in the park that day. Also, bring your autograph book!
Favorite Memory - I loved seeing my 3 yr old with the characters. You can see the love in her face and how excited she was to meet them! There is nothing better than a momma seeing her baby so happy at Mommy's Happy Place - Disney World!
Would we do it again? - Yes! We liked the food and the location, but next time we will make an earlier reservation!
Any other questions? Just ask!
She saw Piglet coming up next... 
Didn't care for Pooh Bear!

My girl loved meeting the characters!

Piglet tried to get her to warm up, but she wasn't having it!

She thought Tigger was well worth the wait!

Finally warming up to a character! She touched his nose and gave him a high five!
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5.23.2012

Get great pictures and no melt downs at character dinners!

I found that when looking at other peoples pictures from character dinners at Disney there were a few things that I wanted -
1. No food or a dirty table in the pics
2. Not a bunch of people eating in my background!
3. No crying scared children!
4. Great pictures!
Here's what I did to make sure that my pics looked like this -
1900 Park Fare
Tusker House - After a few visits she let him touch her, which was progress for her!

- not this!
I don't want to torture her!
  

Food is distracting!


1. Decide where your kids will sit to get the best pictures, that meant that sometimes I sat in the corner to be across from them for the best shot.Think about your background and foreground!
2. Move the dishes or have the child get up from the table to get a better shot!
3. Zoom in to get rid of the others in the shot or the table if need be!
4. Get down on their level - if Pluto gets on his knees to visit and give hugs, shoot from there too!
5. If you have a child scared of the characters let them sit facing where the characters come from. Your server knows which direction they come. This way they see them and know it's about to be their turn. We also sat our reluctant one on the inside so she was further away.
6. Don't force them -  if we wanted the hesitant one in the pic we got up with her and held her. She was much more relaxed that way. So as long as she was in some of the pics somewhat happy, I was happy! I wanted to avoid her having a meltdown as shown above! She cried when Pooh came to our table, but by Tigger's visit she was ready to give him a high five! At least she touched him! This was at our first character dinner, after our 7th character dinner she was a pro!
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5.02.2012

To PhotoPass? Or not to Photopass?

Photopass!
 Disney Photopass... is it worth the money? How can you save some $$ - preorder! I went online and pre-ordered my Photo pass package deal before my trip to save over $50! What mine included was the Photo pass CD and the book. These are pages from my previous trip book. I love that you can use any of the pics they take in your book! I find that the Photopass people have the best photo spots picked out and they don't mind if thy take a pic with your camera too! One night I was quizzing a Photopass guy about his Nikon camera and the nighttime settings that he was using. He gave me pointers, tips and some tricks with my Nikon. I got some great shots with his advice! I recommend Photopass, how about you??
Top two are Photopass

All three photos are Photopass!

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4.11.2012

My Disney Bucket Lists -

My Disney Bucket List - 
See Lion King on Broadway
See Frozen on Broadway
Visit HongKong Disney
Visit Tokyo Sea Disney
Visit Shanghai Disney
Go on a Disney Cruise
Visit the Walt Disney family museum in San Francisco, California
Become a mom on the Disney Mom Panel
Attend the Very Merry Christmas Party
Attend a Not So Scary Halloween Party
Run the Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Be at the parks for the taping of the Disney Parks Christmas Parade
After retirement or when my kids are grown work at Disney! : )

Disney Bucket List DONE!!- 
Take my daughters to a Disney on Ice show- Nov 2012
Husband golf at Disneyworld - May 2012
Take my youngest daughter to Disneyworld - May 2012
Do character dining at the parks and hotels - May 2012
Attend a Grand Opening of a Disney Store  - 2011 at the Galleria Houston
Go to a Disney Store on the day of a birthday - Jan 2012
Visit Disneyland Paris - June 2007
Start a Disney blog
Visit a Disney Store outlet - San Marcos, Cypress and Webster - all in Texas
Go on a tour of the Magic Kingdom -
February 2014 Keys to the Kingdom 
May 2015 - Marceline to Magic tour
Run a Disney Half Marathon - Tinkerbell Jan 2014/ Princess Feb 2014
Earn a Coast to Coast medalFeb 2014
Visit DisneylandJan 2014
Attend a Disney Social Media Moms event - August 2015


What does your Disney bucket list look like?





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4.10.2012

Button shirts and hair clips

Mother/daughter button shirts

I finally got around to making a matching button shirt with my girls for our upcoming trip! I had plenty of buttons left over from my $1.97 bag of mixed buttons from Wal-Mart and I also enough for some hair clips too! I can't wait to wear our shirts! I'll have to snap a pic before we eat anything~ Ha! For the tutorial on how to make your own shirts check out this post!
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4.02.2012

Planning a Disney trip? Part 1


To get this shot with the castle behind - place camera lower than the child and angle up.
She was sitting on the ground, so that we had no other
people in her pic either!
One of the first things I do when planning a trip is decide when I want to go. This year we knew that we wanted May, school is in session and as a former teacher, I wanted less crowds and less heat. We decided to visit WDW again, instead of DL because I wanted to wait til my kids were a little older and taller and the unknown is scary, but exciting too! I'm almost thinking I would love to go on a girls trip to DL! Who's in?
After decided on when we wanted to go, that's when I start planning! I love to plan my own trip and feel like I'm in charge! I made multiple reservations through the Disney website and then saved them for price comparison. I also contacted a few travel agencies to see what kind of pricing they could give me too! My dad found that United.com had travel vacation packages too and they honored discounts that Disney was promoting, so I made a travel plan through that website to see what price I would get.
8 days at a value resort (We love to stay at value resorts because typically I don't spend much time here!) Although this time I'm thinking naps are a must everyday to keep everybody happy!
Deluxe dining plan You prepay for all or some of your meals based on the plan you choose. We have never done deluxe, but we wanted to have character meals this time! related post coming soon!
Magical Express (where Disney picks you up from the airport and takes care of your bags) related post coming soon!
Flight to and from Disney
8 days park hopper I wanted the flexibility to go anywhere for dining any day. I also wasn't sure how my girls would like some of the other parks, so this lets me have the option to return to favorite places any day! We might start off at Animal Kingdom and then end with fireworks someplace else!
I priced the package with cutting a few days off the park hopper and it did change my price, but after you buy 6 days, the price isn't that much more or less. I wanted to be able to hit the parks on the day we leave, which is later in the evening and when we first arrive, which is early afternoon. I also wanted the flexibility and mind set that we aren't going to see everything and we can go at a more relaxed pace on some days and maybe just go a few hours, then swim, nap, and then go back. This will be my first vacation with two little ones, a husband who is planning to golf, and no extra adult help. Rider swap will be my friend and I'm planning to do less, in the hopes of getting more out of my vacation and to not be so stressed! I want to go and make happy memories, not memories of melt downs and crying on any one's part!
After all the packages and price comparison, I decided to go with United.com. They were able to beat the Disney price by a few hundred dollars and I was happy with that!
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3.30.2012

Disney Store dancing!

Today we went to a newly renovated Disney Store to make a return and find a bathing suit for our Disney trip. Our store didn't have much to choose from in my oldest daughters size and I got her a bathing suit during the 25% off sale, but I thought it would cover her belly and it didn't! She doesn't like her belly to show, but I thought for potty training purposes a two piece would be best. So we picked out another suit and while we were there they had a little dance session. My girls love to dance and even though there were lots of little kids around only three kids danced. At the end everyone who danced and watched got a foam mic (seen in the cast members hand during the dance) My girls love them and we had someone at another store ask how we got them! So next time you are the Disney Store stick around for the dancing! You never know when you might get a little something!


video
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3.27.2012

25th Anniversary of The Disney Store!

I love the Disney Store! I am so glad that we live nearby to not only 1 or 2 or 3, but 4 Disney Stores in a one hour vicinity! That includes 3 stores and an outlet! On March 28th there is going to be a celebration in honor of the 25 years of the Store - online and in store! So even if you aren't near a store you too can get deals, but sorry no silvery Mickey ears! 25% in store and online and  prizes throughout the day - according to my local Disney Store manager! Are you gonna check it out! I had my eye on a shirt for my husband for our trip and an autograph book for my daughter, so I'll be shopping online for those two things! Also, here is the link to win a trip to the new Aulani Disney Hawaii resort!
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PINspiration Blog Hop

I am headed to Disney in just a few short weeks and I wanted to make shirts for myself and my girls. I have found multiple things on Pinterest which have them inspired me to go and make something! One idea was my Mickey Damask shirts - tutorial found here - Mickey Damask shirt I love how they turned out and can't wait to wear them! The pin on Pinterest wasn't the same fabric or with a bow, but I made it my own and tried something new!
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