Thursday, June 30, 2011

Disney Warehouse Clearance Event Discount Code

I always love to get discount codes from the Disney Store, but even better, I love getting discount codes that I can use at the Disney Store Warehouse Clearance Event.  For our last trip to Walt Disney World, I was able to get all the kids new Disney t-shirts for $3 or less from just this type of deal.

So, if you are looking to make some Disney Store purchases, here are the details:

Code SALE40 will give you 40% off clothes
Code SALE30 will give you 30% off toys
Code SALE20 will give you 20% off home, collectibles and accessories

This offer expires July 3rd - good luck and hope you find some great deals!
Here's the link to get shopping: Disney Store

By the way, while you are here, make sure you vote in my Disney-Pixar Cars 2 Poll.  I would love to know what you think!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Good to the Last Drop


Just a side note, this is not normally condoned in our house and she had never done this before! :-)


Focused on the Magic

Have a Wordless Wednesday Video or Picture you would like to share?  Link in to The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop over at Focused on the Magic.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Disney-Pixar Cars 2 Poll

I was really excited to take the kids to go see Disney Pixar's Cars 2 movie in the theater.  We are huge fans of the first movie.  Plus, my children have never been to see a movie in an actual theater.  Leading up to the day we went, I tried to avoid reading any reviews, though I did read the mumblings out there about it not being so great.  I didn't let this get me down though.

Though Cars 2 did not have the emotional piece that the first one did, I still really enjoyed it.  My kids loved it, with Joey giving it a thumbs up and Hayley calling it her favorite movie.  I really missed seeing Doc Hudson in the movie, and I loved the reference to him at the beginning. 

I thought I would post a poll to see just what everyone thought about it.  Cast your vote in the poll to the right and let me know what you think!

Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
By the way, today is Magical Mouse Schoolhouse's Tiggerific Tuesday ~ Blog Hop . . . or Bounce!  Make sure you head over to meet and discover some new bloggers and their blogs!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Pursued and We Found the "Cars" Magic This Week

This week was all about Disney-Pixar's Cars.  Honestly, we just love the first Cars movie and were very excited to see the second.  So this week was dedicated to Lightning McQueen and friends.

Monday, I shared with you Joey's Cars Room Makeover.

Tuesday was Summertime Fun with Lightning McQueen.  I found a lot of great summer toys, bathing suits and such at our local dollar store.  I went off the beaten path just a little bit on Wednesday to share the non-Disney side of me by participating in Disney Bird's Something About Me Blog Hop.

On Wednesday, I showed you all the new Cars 2 party supplies for Joey's kindergarten graduation party.  Did you know they all have a 3D effect?  So, I even included a link to WDW Field Guide's instructions to create your own 3D glasses.

I also joined in Focused on the Magic's Wordless Wednesday Hop with a little video of Joey when he was just two called Joey's Love of Cars Began Back in 2007.

If you are looking to find some great books to add to your child's bookshelf, on Thursday I shared some of our favorites in my post A Library of Cars Friends.  I also just picked up some Cars 2 Step Into Reading books, which just arrived at our local Wal-Mart.  Also on Thursday, we had our Disney-Pixar Cars movie night to get ourselves ready for going to see Cars 2 on Friday.

Friday, I recommended that you check out the bonus feature Inspiration for Cars on the Cars Blu-ray.  I was very touched by the interview with John Lasseter and to see just how the first Cars movie came to be.  We also went to see Cars 2, which we enjoyed, though Doc Hudson was certainly missed.

Finally, Saturday, I shared some of the Disney-Pixar Cars products we use in our everyday lives, such as band-aids, snacks, and much more. 

Did you make it out to see Cars 2 yet?  What did you think of it?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Disney-Pixar Cars Week Day #6 ~ Cars,Cars and More Cars

Joey opening gifts at his Cars graduation party
We went to see Cars 2 yesterday.  I did enjoy it, but I will say that it is definitely missing the emotional piece that we saw in the first Cars movie with the Doc Hudson/Lightning McQueen relationship.  The most important thing about the experience for me was that Joey made it through the movie without a complete freak out (this is a big step for him-you can read more about that in my post over at Growing Up Disney about our Mickey's Philharmagic nightmare . . . I mean experience).  As we walked out of the theater, Joey gave it a thumbs up, Hayley told me it was her favorite movie and Emily was waking up from her nap.  Yes, she fell asleep halfway through, though know that is no reflection on the movie!  We definitely enjoyed it, but I did miss Doc Hudson.

For the last day of this Disney-Pixar Cars Week, I have decided to share a few Cars items we use in our everyday lives.  Not only are these great for around the house, we also bring many of them to Disney with us on vacation.

Cars Band-Aids
We have band-aids of just about every Disney character (you never know who will be the character to make a boo boo feel better).  I have some from the first Cars movie, but on a recent trip to WalMart, I saw they had two different Cars 2 versions of the band-aids as well. 



Friday, June 24, 2011

Disney-Pixar Cars Week Day #5 ~ Enjoy the Ride

I had a completely different post set up for today, but yesterday something happened, and I decided to push the original post to Saturday, so that I could share this.

Today, of course, is the release of Disney-Pixar's Cars 2 movie.  We will be heading to the matinee at 1 pm, and I can hardly wait!  To get ourselves in the spirit of things, we watched the first Cars movie yesterday as a family.  When the movie was over we explored a few of the bonus features on the Cars Blu-ray.  I don't know why I hadn't watched this bonus feature before, but Inspiration for Cars caught my eye. 

This bonus feature includes the story of how Cars came to be - the events and people who inspired the story.  But for me, most importantly, it was the heartwarming personal story of John Lasseter that tugged at my heart strings.  Maybe it was that we were celebrating Joey's kindergarten graduation or just the connection I made with John Lasseter's realization about family and how fast time goes by, but his interview for the piece really touched my heart. The story of Lightning McQueen is a favorite of mine, but after seeing the back story of how this was created and how it reflects John Lasseter's path in life, it makes it all that more meaningful.  So, if you haven't watched this bonus feature, I highly recommend it. 

I know sometimes I can lose sight of what is really important in my attempt to get everything done that needs to be done.  My children are growing up much too fast, and it would be easy to let that time get past me.  But it is so important to realize that life is the journey and how we get where we want to go is what's important.  Those are the moments we remember and cherish the most.  As John Lasseter says in the clip, "enjoy the ride." 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Disney-Pixar Cars Week Day #4 ~ A Library of Cars Friends

One of my favorite things to do with my children is read.  My husband and I have read to our children every night since they were newborns.  Over the years we have come across quite a collection of Cars books, and I thought I would share some of our favorites.  The links in the story titles will take you to either Barnes and Noble or the company that sells the specific book.

World of Cars
Have you ever wondered where the townsfolk of Radiator Springs were before arriving in this small town?  Well, wonder no more!  World of Cars has five different chapters and each is dedicated to a different character and where they were before arriving in Radiator Springs.  You learn about Mater, Doc Hudson, Flo and Guido & Luigi.  There is even one chapter dedicated to learning how Lightning McQueen came to be sponsored by Rust-eze. 

Mater Saves Christmas
In this very entertaining Christmas story, the townsfolk of Radiator Springs worry that Christmas isn't going to happen because someone has been stealing all the fuel.  Mater saves the day by making his way to the North Pole and assisting Santa Car.  This story is really heartwarming and Mater even sings some Cars-themed Christmas carols, such Frosty the Snow Plow and Ol' Timing Belt.  I was even able to find a set of diecast cars to go along with the story!


(This link will take you to the Random House site where you can see the books for each level, as well as the skills readers will need for each level)
Random House has a great selection of Cars books in their Step Into Reading series.  It is a fun way to encourage your child to learn to read with stories that include their favorite characters.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Joey's Love of Cars Began Back in 2007

Since blogger won't let me upload this little video clip (or any photos) of my Joey, here's the link to it on You Tube:


Join in for the fun at Focused on the Magic and share your link to your
Wordless Wednesday post!

Disney-Pixar Cars Week Day #3 ~ Cars 2 3D Kindergarten Graduation Party

Mater Pinata
As I type this, I am getting teary-eyed because tomorrow is Joey's last day of kindergarten . . .sniffle, sniffle!  Joey had a slow start as an infant and didn't actually start talking until he was about three and a half almost four years old, and even that was just a couple of words put together.  But I will tell you that he has had a great year in kindergarten and other than a few lingering issues with writing, he has completely caught up with his peers, much to my relief.  To celebrate his hard work and great success, we are throwing him a kindergarten graduation party tomorrow with a Cars 2 theme. 

With the release of Cars 2 on Friday (have I mentioned at all this week how excited we are for that??), there are Cars 2 party supplies everywhere!  I first saw the set in a birthday supply catalog, but as I searched my local stores, I found the things I needed at a much lower price.  Wal-Mart offers most of the items at $2 to $2.50.  But this week at Target, they are advertising the Cars 2 party supplies for $1.50 to $2.50.

One of my favorite things about Disney party supplies (the princess sets are the same way), they have several different styles in each pack of plates.  But what is MOST exciting about the Cars 2 supplies is that they have a 3D effect, though they do not come with 3D glasses.  If you want to make your own 3D glasses, check out Vacation Field Guides Make Your Own 3D Glasses (if you  have a Cricut machine, make sure you read the comments section). 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something About Me Blog Hop with Disney Bird


I am so excited to participate in Disney Bird's Something About Me Blog Hop!  There are so many people I have gotten to know through my blog, but yet, I only know their Disney side, which means they probably only know my Disney side.  So here goes:

1. I live my life by the saying: Do not sacrifice what you want most for what you want right now.  I think in today's society it is very easy to lose sight of this, and I have on occasion, but otherwise, it keeps me on track with where I want to be in my life.

2. I have three beautiful children.  There was a time that I thought we wouldn't be able to have children, so I appreciate every moment with them.  The best part is that they are the happiest three kids I know, and they make me laugh everyday.

3. Before even turning 30 years old, I had several health scares.  The third time around of tests I thought how can I beat these tests on three separate occasions in three separate areas of my body.  But I did, and it has made me more than thankful for my health, something I no longer take for granted. 

4. Everyone reading this probably already knows, I love Disney - the parks, the music, the movies, the books and anything else Disney you can think of. 

5.  I have never worn make-up, except when my mom made me wear lipstick to my wedding.  Other than one failed attempt in middle school, I have completely avoided it.

6. I love the New England Patriots! I am actually a fan of all New England sports teams, but the Patriots are by far my favorite.  I even carry a New England Patriots purse.  Even better, we met Bob Kraft while in Walt Disney World one year, and he was so kind and friendly that it made me love the Patriots even more!

7. I think I was a DJ and Bartender in a former life because some of my favorite things to do are listen to music and create custom playlists, while usually sipping on some drink concoction I have designed. 

8.  I love Wii - the workouts, the games, etc.  My favorite Wii game is Just Dance 2, though Epic Mickey is a close second.

9.  I've learned a lot of lessons in my life, but one of the most important ones I have learned is that it just takes one moment in time to change your life (good and/or bad).

10. I am very lucky to married to someone who understands my Type A personality.  Pierre is about as laid back as they come, which on occasion actually drives me crazy, but we are a good balance for each other!  We'll be married 15 years this year, and I can't even believe that time has gone by so fast.  Seems like just yesterday we were newlyweds.

11. I love decorating cakes! I am by no means an expert, but I really enjoy it, especially when my kids see the creations I come up with for their birthdays.  Since I do not have an artistic bone in my body, it is always a nice challenge for me.

12. I own a Cricut Expression, and it is one of my most favorite things to use for crafting!  I really need to make more time to create with it, but my three "helpers" always have different plans for my time! :-)

Well, there is my exciting life in a nutshell.  Hope you will join in Disney Bird's Something About Me Blog Hop!

Cars Week Day #2 ~ Summertime Fun with Lightning McQueen and Friends

Cars 2 Bathing Suit
Lightning McQueen is a character that, right now, you can find just about anywhere.  Today I am going to focus on my finds for some summer time fun.

I am excited to report that Wal-Mart has quite a selection of Cars 2 bathing suits.  Last year, I could not find a Cars bathing suit in Joey's size, but this year, he had 8 different suits to choose from!  I saw sizes that ranged from 12 months to size 8.  For $9, Joey now has a Mater and Finn McMissile Special Mission bathing suit for the summer.  Even better, it should fit him through our October trip to Walt Disney World too!

One of my favorite spots to find Disney toys, cards, games and books is our local Dollar Store.  With the release of Cars coming up in just a few days, they had an entire selection of Cars 2 products.  Here are a few of the products we saw:

Cars Beach Ball
Cars Arm Floaties
Cars Inflatable Surfboard
Lightning McQueen Water Gun
Lightning McQueen Bubble Wand with Bubbles

Cars Beach Ball (Boost is on the other side)


Cars Inflatable Surfboard
For only a dollar, I have no problem buying these for the kids.  These are the items I do not like to spend a lot on because they are all the things that are easily broken or popped.  (For you non-Cars fans, I will be sharing all the Tinker Bell and Disney Princess outdoor items I found next week!).  This week I am hoping to make the trek down to Target (over 45 minutes from here) because they have all sorts of Cars items on sale (this link will take you to Target's sales flyer for this week - too many Cars items to list!), including the one thing I really want to get Joey - Cars diving sticks.  He is learning to swim underwater, and though he has had fun diving for our princess diving sticks, I think he deserves some Cars ones!

In addition to the summer items, we also picked up a Cars 2 sticker book with a few packs of stickers.  We already have the sticker book called "World of Cars," though we are missing a few stickers from it, since they have stopped selling the stickers.  But the first sticker book was a great introduction to all the Cars from the first movie.  I am looking forward to gathering all the stickers for the Cars 2 version!

If you missed Day #1 of Cars week, I shared Joey's Cars bedroom makeover.

For the rest of the week, I will be featuring a lot of Cars things we find here around our house, details of our Cars 2 kindergarten graduation party for Joey, our library of Cars books, our Cars Wii Games and much more.  I'm quickly realizing I shoud have started this last week, since I have at least two weeks worth of posts just about Cars items!

Don't forget, Cars 2 will be in theaters on Friday, June 24th!  I can't wait!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Officially Cars Week here at Pursuing the Magic ~ Day #1 A Cars Room Makeover

I cannot begin to tell you how excited our family is about the release of Cars 2.  My son, ok I am too, is obsessed with the first Cars movie.  We have Lightning McQueen, Mater and their friends everywhere in this house.  I decided to get in the true spirit of the release of Cars 2 to spend the week sharing all our Cars household items, toys and collections.

Today, I am sharing with you my son's Cars Bedroom Makeover.  I figured I would kick the week off with this so that you have plenty of time before Friday's Cars 2 release to complete a room makeover in your own home. If my son had his way, the entire house would be themed with Cars, but for now, we have contained it to just his bedroom.

This article actually is a combination of two previous posts on my home blog.  Here's Part #1 from September 2010:


Paint Colors - Bone White & Three Cheers for Pooh
We decided to redecorate Joey's room with his favorite Disney characters from the Disney Pixar Cars movie.  It is amazing how well he knows the cars ~ their numbers, name, etc.  He first saw Cars when he was two and now it has become his most favorite of all Disney movies.  We started collecting the die cast cars for him and I believe he may have just about every car in the collection, and I am not kidding.  There are only a few that I know he doesn't have.  At this point, I am not sure who is more obsessed with finding all of them ~ Joey, my mom or me!  Of course, once we think we have them all, Cars 2 will be out in theaters and we will be starting the collecting all over again!  He had such an interest in these cars that I actually used them to teach him colors and numbers.  People thought I was crazy to buy him all 8 or 9 Ramones, but there is one in every color of the rainbow!  Same with the Piston Cup racers ~ I used these to teach him his numbers. 


Wall Clings from Lowe's
Because of his love of all the cars in this movie, it was only natural to create a Cars room for him.  Since I have been without a paycheck for the last four years, I had to be a little creative in what we were going to do because we are on a strict budget.  My dad had already installed chair rail in this room, since it was actually a Disney princess nursery and we were changing over from pink and white to red and tan.  A few years ago, I found on the clearance rack at Lowe's the wall clings of all the Radiator Springs characters and signs from the movie.  We found a Cars comforter on clearance at K-Mart's online store.


Comforter from K-Mart.com
For the paint, we only use Benjamin Moore paint.  But Home Depot, who carries the Disney specific colors, does not carry Benjamin Moore.  So, I took some of the Mickey Ear paint samples (these are also good for scrapbooking by the way) and brought them to my local hardware store.  Now the red we chose was called "Three Cheers for Pooh."  They scanned the sample and were able to match the color perfectly.  We already knew for the "tan" color that we would be using Bone White, a Benjamin Moore color we have used in other rooms. 



Snotrod, Wingo, DJ and Boost made with my Cricut
The room came out great, but it was missing a few things.  First we need to find fabric for a valance.  Luckily, my mom is a sewer, so she is going to make it for us.  The problem is I saw the perfect fabric at WalMart and didn't buy it because I wasn't sure how much I needed and when I went back to buy it, they didn't have anymore, story of my life.  So, now I am searching for something new, though I don't seem to be able to find anything I like.  The other thing the room needed was a few more characters.  I couldn't find many of the characters that Joey liked and the ones I could find were just too expensive, so I decided I would make them.  So I took out my Cricut Disney/Pixar Cars cartridge (by the way, I found this in the clearance section for $19 at WalMart) and went to work.  Joey requested Boost, Wingo, DJ and Snotrod.  They came out pretty nice and I think people wouldn't even know they were homemade, unless you looked really closely!  Joey has now put in a request for Mac, Chick Hicks and The King.  We'll see how those come out!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Pursued and We Found the Magic This Week

Lots happening this past week and a lot to look forward to this week!

On Sunday, I shared with you the rate increases from Disney.  Did you know you can now start booking the new Disney's Art of Animation Resort, as well as the Port Orleans Riverside Royal Rooms for your 2012 trip?  You can find all the details in my post Walt Disney World 2012 Rates Released.

On Monday, I shared episode #3 of Little Chef Disney Creations over at Cooking with Mickey.  This month, the kids and I made Snow White's Sweet Apple Crisp.

Also on Monday, my interview for Mentoring Mondays was posted over at Disney Donna Kay.  Donna Kay has a weekly series that features bloggers sharing their best advice for blogging, as well as their special Disney memories.

On Wednesday, I shared a special picture of my children with Grampa

On Thursday, I wanted to  highlight someone that I feel is so giving to the Disney community and has really created a great resource for all bloggers.  I wrote about Disney Donna Kay and some highlights of her blog.  She is definitely someone you want to follow!

This coming week will be yet another busy week here.  Of course, we are kicking the week off with Father's Day.  I will be posting my special Disney Dad memories here soon.  My son graduates from kindergarten on Thursday, and what better way to celebrate than a full out Cars 2 party.  I will be sharing all the Cars 2 party supplies I have found.  Of course, this leads into the big day Friday, which is the release of Cars 2.  Joey is obsessed with Cars and cannot wait to see the sequel.  Of course, after an incident at Mickey's Philharmagic one year in Walt Disney World, I wasn't sure he would go back in a movie theater.  After weeks of telling me he'll see Cars 2 when it comes out on Blu-ray, I am excited to announce that as of this past Friday, he told me he would go to the theater to see it.  Fingers crossed that happens!

I hope that all of you have a
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Have you checked out Disney Donna Kay?

Have you checked out Disney Donna Kay?  If not, I would highly recommend that you do.  She has a lot of great things happening over there, including all sorts of Disney lists, Mentoring Monday Segments and much more.

Right now she is listing 25 Disney Villains - start at #25 Hopper!  She also has other Disney lists, such as Reasons I  love Disney A to Z and Disney Songs, so make sure you check out her blog and see if your favorites made her lists!

On Mondays, she features different bloggers in her series Mentoring Mondays.  She has featured many bloggers who have shared their Disney memories, advice for blogging and much more.  So far she has featured:
Kristen from Cooking with Mickey
Sarah from Magical Days with the Mouse
Amanda from Disney Go To Girl
Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
JL Knopp from The Disney Driven Life
Stuart of WDW Fan Zone
And this Monday was . . . me! You can find my interview at Beth Doda - Pursuing the Magic and The Magical Blogorail

This week she invites you to join in with a favorite Dad Disney memory.  Check in on June 17th for her Disney Dads Blog Hop.  What a great way to celebrate Father's Day!

I've told her this before, but I think Disney Donna Kay is such a wonderful person and an inspiration to us all!  Her kindness and love of Disney shine through every post on her blog and I always look forward to reading.  If you aren't following her, I recommend you do!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little Chef Disney Creations At Cooking with Mickey ~ Snow White's Sweet Apple Crisp

It is the second Monday of the month, which means my kids and I are being featured over at Cooking with Mickey.  This is the third article in my series Little Chef Disney Creations, a series of posts in which I share Disney inspired recipes I create with my kids.  This month's recipe is inspired by Emily's love of Snow White and Hayley's love of apples.  Head over to Cooking with Mickey to see this months creation:



If you missed other creations in this series, here they are:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We Pursued and We Found the Magic

We kicked off this week with some unusually hot weather for New Hampshire - it was in the 90s a couple days in a row!  We normally don't hit those temperatures until July if we hit them at all during the summer!  On Tuesday, as we sat outside on our deck, Pierre says to me, "All we need now is some music piped in from the Caribbean [Beach Resort]."  I knew I had him converted to a Disney fan, but now it is really official ~ he is thinking Disney during everyday moments! I was very proud to say the least, and even more surprised that he would have thought something Disney before I did!

On Monday, was the premiere of the very first episode of HGTV's My Yard Goes Disney.  Since the Bruins were on that night, I had to DVR it but was able to watch it Tuesday morning.  I loved the first episode and look forward to this week's, in which I believe they are creating an Animal Kingdom/Safari themed yard.

For Wordless Wednesday, I joined Deb over at Focused on the Magic for her Wordless Wednesday Hop ~ Disney Style.  Emily just loves Joey and Hayley's Toy Story friends!

On Thursday, I shared my thoughts on some of the Disney moments I thought would be highlights of my children's first trips to Walt Disney World that weren't quite what I expected.  I realized that some of my favorite Disney memories happen at some of the most unexpected moments.

On Friday, I shared my one Disney "must do" for each and every trip, which has become a family tradition for us.

For all you Lego fans, I recently found that the WalMart near us has put all their Toy Story 3 Lego sets in the clearance section.  I was able to pick up a few sets for a good price:

  • Construct-A-Buzz $12
  • Construct-A-Zurg $12
  • Army Men on Patrol $7
  • Woody's Round Up $35
  • Trash Compactor Escape $35 (I didn't purchase this one, but it was also in the clearance section)


For all you Cars fans, as you probably know, Cars 2 is coming to theaters soon, and we can't wait!  If you are looking to redesign a room with a Cars theme, feel free to check out my post Joey's Cars Room to see what we did. On the topic of Cars, we have already picked up several of the diecast Cars from Cars 2.  It seems like we just finished collecting all the diecast Cars from the first movie and Mater's Tall Tales, and now we are starting over for Cars 2!  Let the obsession to collect them all begin!

How did you find Disney magic this week?  I would love to hear about it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Disney Must Do ~ Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

October 2008
Trying to come up with just one "must do" thing on my list was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I started by listing everything we do each trip.  As I looked over the list, there were my kids' favorites, my parents' favorites, my husband's favorites and of course, mine.  I originally decided, for once, to write about myself and one of my favorites, but as I began typing up that post,  my mind kept wandering to something else, something more family oriented.  There is one thing my family has experienced every trip since I was a teenager.  Our first time experiencing this, there were four of us - my mom, my dad, my brother and myself.  Now, 25 years later, there are 11, almost 12 (my sister in law is expecting another little baby in November), of us.  I still love it to this day as much as I did as a teenager, though what makes it even better now is that I can share it with my children.

In the end I have decided to share with you my family's "must do" dinner show.  It is our family tradition to spend our last night in Walt Disney at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness.  This all you can eat and drink dinner show is interactive, fun and just a tad bit corny at times.  I've written about Hoop Dee Doo before and you can check out all the details of the show, how to get there and the food in my post Family Traditions in Walt Disney World.  For today I decided to share the memories and moments that make this place so special to us and why we keep going back.

March 2010
In 1989, I was just 16 and my brother was 14.  At a point in the show, the sound of a jackass blared out of the "crowd."  The spotlight immediately came across the room and shone directly on my brother.  He was embarrassed to say the least, but I really enjoyed that moment as his face turned bright red - oh the tribulations of being a self conscious teenager!  Then, just a year later, at the same point in the show, the spotlight came across the room again, and who should it land on?  My brother again!  This time around he took it in stride and enjoyed it as part of the show.

In 1995, it was my husband's first trip to Walt Disney World and his first time experiencing Hoop Dee Doo.  We sat at a table that was right up against the stage.  Great seats and so fun being so close to the action!  We actually had a lot of the performers come to our table and chat with us.  Then, it happened.  No spotlight this time around, but my brother, twenty years old at the time, was chosen to play the Indian in the show.  I honestly didn't think he would do it, but he got up on stage and did an amazing job.  I was shocked and so happy he got to be part of a show that had brought us so much joy over the years.  I don't think I stopped laughing until at least the next day.  I will admit even today thinking about it, I had a nice chuckle out of it!

March 2010
Our 2010 trip brought about one of my most favorite Disney memories of all times, which just made Hoop Dee Doo even more special for us.  As we waited in line to enter Pioneer Hall, a cast member came out and asked my son to ring the dinner bell.  Joey, our extremely shy child, refused, but Hayley stepped right up, and the cast member brought her up on the porch.  Hayley peaked into the door of the hall, did a few practice rings of the dinner bell and then proudly waited near the top of the steps.  They announced her name over the loudspeaker and she rang that dinner bell with a huge smile on her face.  It was so special to have her part of something that means so much to our family. 

We haven't missed Hoop Dee Doo in 13 trips, and it is already scheduled for our 14th trip in October of this year!  What is your one "must do" at a Disney theme park?  I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

High Expectations for Perfect Disney Moments or Just Right?

With some quick moves & help
from my mom, this was the best
picture we were able to get!
Every time I post a Wordless Wednesday entry, I have to force myself to keep it wordless.  But I decided that my Wordless Wednesday entry from last week - Joey's 1st Mickey Ears - has made me think back a lot about the expectations I have had as a mom for certain Disney moments with my kids.  There are a couple of specific moments I remember thinking were going to be the highlight of our trips, but then they really fell well short of my expectations.  Of course, our trips have always been amazing, but I was wondering if anyone else ever felt like I have in the same situations.

Joey's first trip to Walt Disney World was in 2006 when he was 14 months.  Having been in a position that I really thought I wasn't even going to be able to have children, his first trip was in the making the day I found out I was pregnant.  I had all these visions of these perfect memorable moments we would experience together.  Though there were many moments of that trip that were just perfect and over 5 years later are still some of my favorite Disney memories, there is one that just didn't turn out the way I expected.  One of the first things we did upon entering Magic Kingdom was to purchase Joey his first pair of Mickey Ears.  I could not wait to see his cute little face, framed by Main Street and Cinderella's Castle in the background, proudly wearing his Mickey Ears (this was my vision for the first picture of him wearing his Mickey Ears).  My camera was ready for the big grin I just knew he was going to give me.  Well, that isn't quite what happened.  We showed him the Mickey Ears, which he grabbed and put in his mouth.  Then, once I took them from his mouth he reached for them again, held onto them for a moment and then dropped them (I know, gasp!) onto the ground.  Trying to put them on his head was no easy feat either, though he quickly removed them as soon as I had them on. So this perfect Disney moment didn't quite turn out as expected, but it is still a moment I remember vividly.  Of course, being almost six months pregnant for Hayley at the time, my emotions were probably running a little higher than normal!


This was not the expression I was
expecting from Hayley!
In 2008, we took all three children to Walt Disney World for Hayley and Emily's first trip.  Hayley was just two at the time and loved anything that had to do with princesses - costumes, stories, movies, and music.  I knew our most memorable moment was going to be when Hayley saw the castle.  I could envision her big smile, eyes sparkling and lots of excited giggles.  As we came under the train station onto Main Street, I went ahead of my family so that I could get the perfect picture of Hayley's expression as she saw the castle.  Well, as my dad pointed out the castle to her (she was busy looking in every direction at once to take everything in), she didn't say or do anything.  My mom then asked her what she thought and all she said was, "Castle."  No big grin, no sparkling eyes, nothing.  I took a few pictures, but the expression does not show anything other than a little girl who saw so much, she couldn't focus on anything.  Much to my relief, the next day when we went back to Magic Kingdom, she had the exact expression I had been looking for, only this time my camera was not ready! 

Of course, this isn't me complaining, because though these moments weren't what I thought they would be, there are so many more memories of things I never expected would become as special as they have.  Besides, if I have learned anything since being a mom, when it comes to the kids, nothing is a given!  I can rarely predict what they are going to do or how they will react to something.  This post was more my curiosity to see if I was the only Disney "nut" this has happened to! 

Have you ever envisioned a Disney moment that you believed was going to be the perfect Disney memory that turned out completely the opposite?  Or, is there something in Disney you had a low expectation for, but it turned out to be one of your favorite Disney memories?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tonight on HGTV ~ My Yard Goes Disney

Don't forget that tonight on HGTV there is a new series of shows.  It is called My Yard Goes Disney, and it begins tonight at 8pm (EST).  I am really looking forward to this, how about you?

You can check out all the details at HGTV's website.  There is also a link to enter to win a "Disney Inspiration Vacation and take home Disney memories for your backyard."

Do you already have a Disney yard?  I don't, but I would love to have a few of the Flower and Garden Festival topiaries out and about!  Which theme park or park event would inspire your Disney yard?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

We Pursued and We Found the Magic

As always, it was a busy week here at home.  I had my 20th high school reunion, which I must admit snuck up on me.  It is hard to believe that I graduated 20 years ago.  The school I attended does an amazing weekend long schedule of events for alumni of all years.  One of the things I organize for the weekend of events is an alumni soccer game in honor of one of my teammates who passed away in 2007 of leukemia.  Her mom, sister, husband and son all attend the event every year.  It is a family fun soccer game, so all kids, including mine can participate.  The best part about this year's game was Diane's son scored the winning goal.  Diane is someone I lost contact with, and that is something I really regret.  So if there is someone out there you think it is too late to get back in contact with, I say don't wait.  You just never know.

There was a lot of Disney things happening here this week:

For Wordless Wednesday, I shared a photo of Joey wearing his first Mickey Ears, which he was not nearly as excited about that moment as I was!

On Thursday, I continued my series of In Flight Fun for the Kids posts with Leap Frog Tag Reader, an easy to pack and fun to use toy for the flight to Walt Disney World.

On Friday I participated in Destination Disney over at Heidi's Reviews & Reflections.  The topic of the week ~ My Kids' Favorite Disney Memories.  I was a little surprised, as usual, by what my kids had to say!

Also, Friday night I logged into WDW After Dark, a vidcast for Disney discussions geared more toward the adult side of Disney.  If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend you do.  It is a lot of fun!

This week, I have also started some plans for Hayley's Little Mermaid birthday party coming up in July.  Since my two nephews will be here from Texas to help celebrate, we have also decided to include some pirate elements to the party, including a Golden Doubloons Treasure Hunt.  I've already started designing the cake and creating a treasure map of our yard.  Since Hayley has had already had two Ariel parties so far, I am trying to come up with something different.  Over the next few weeks, I'll keep you updated on my party finds and plans.

How did you find Disney magic this week?  I would love to hear about it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Destination Disney ~ My Kids' Favorite Disney Memories

As you can probably tell from my blog, I love to talk about my kids.  Over at Heidi's Reviews & Reflections, she has posted for Destination Disney the topic "Kids' Favorite Memories."  If you haven't heard of Destination Disney, it is a segment she posts every Friday that gives everyone an opportunity to link in with one of their own posts on the topic. 


It is always funny interviewing my kids because honestly, I never know what they are going to say and generally I am pretty surprised by the things they remember as their favorite.


Joey (age 6.5):  There are several attractions I thought Joey would say were his favorite, especially the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Speedway, since he makes us ride it at least 10 times over a week's vacation.  To my surprise, he responded with "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin."  He is a huge Buzz fan, but honestly I never expected for him to choose this attraction.  When I asked him why it is his favorite he said, "because I get to shoot things and beat Daddy's score."  He is a pretty competitive kid, so I probably should have guessed he would like something he could "win" at. (By the way, I have no photo of Joey riding Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, but here is a photo from the first time he met Buzz in 2006!)




Emily (age 3.5):  I really did not even need to ask Emily about favorite, though I did just in case.  Her immediate response was the merry go round.  Though her choice was not surprising, the wording of it was.  In all our Disney talks, Emily has always claimed the "horse-go-round" is her favorite, so I was surpised that she actually called it a merry-go-round.  Of course, Hayley quickly corrected her and let her know it is Cinderella's carousel.  Hayley is our stickler for details, so I didn't have the heart to tell her it is now Prince Charming's Regal Carousel.  I will admit that this is another attraction we experience at least ten times a trip. 

Hayley (age almost 5): This is the most surprising response of the day.  Not because of her choice of favorite attraction but for the reason.  Hayley's favorite attraction is Playhouse Disney Live, though now it is Disney Junior Live.  She loves to dance and sing with the characters.  But when I asked her why this was her favorite, I kid you not, here was her response: "I love to dance with Mickey and someday I am going to marry him."  So who knew, Mickey is Hayley's Prince Charming!

I look forward to our October trip to see if they discover any new favorite memories.  If you want to link up and share your child's favorite Disney memory or you just want to read more special kids' memories, head over to Reviews & Reflections

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In Flight Fun for the Kids ~ Leap Frog Tag Reader

I read to my children every night and have since the day they were born.  Reading is something that I have always loved and hope to instill that same love of reading in my children.  So a few years ago when my mom gave the kids a Leap Frog Tag Reader, I was a little skeptical.  Why did I need something that reads stories to my children?  Well, my skepticism is gone because I quickly realized it does so much more than read stories.

I've added this in my series of articles about things that are great for flights because it is small, easy to carry and we can bring a selection of books without overwhelming our carry on.  Plus, you can use headphones with it.  This is a great feature since I try to be very respectful of other passengers by not having toys that make a lot of noise. 

Joey's Favorites
We have a large selection of Tag books, which include titles from Disney, Star Wars, Dr. Seuss, learn to read phonics books and many other popular characters.  My kids love it so much that last year when I saw one in the clearance section at Toys R Us, I had to buy it, so we now have two.  One reader has all our Disney stories on it and the other has all the educational books and maps on it (the maps are great but not for a carry on!).  Even better, you can purchase the books just about anywhere.  Once you purchase the book, you connect your Tag reader to your computer, go to the Leap Frog site and download the audio.  Each reader is limited to how many stories you can add, but both of ours hold a significant amount.