Friday, September 30, 2011

Walt Disney World Releases a New Disney Discount for Disney Rewards Visa Card Holders

Walt Disney World has released a new discount for Disney Rewards Visa cardholders.  Do any of these dates fit into your vacation schedule?

Disney Rewards Visa - Save up to 35% off a Walt Disney World Resort Stay

Available most nights 1/2/12 through 2/20/12
Must book by 12/21/11

  • 35% off Deluxe Resorts (except Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Resort)
  • 30% off Moderates (except Port Orleans French Quarter), Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Resort
  • 25% off Values (except All-Star Movies) and Port Orleans French Quarter
  • 20% off All-Star Movies

Fill out the Magical Journeys price quote form HERE to take advantage of this great deal.  

Magical Journeys is the official travel agency of Pursuing the Magic.  Make sure you let them know I sent you!

100 Things to Do in Disney #49 ~ Disney Racers by Joey

Today in our countdown to Disney series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, Joey is sharing #49 ~ Disney Racers.  These are by far his favorite things to collect from the parks and he saves all his money so he can add more to his collection when we return to Walt Disney World.  Here is what he has to say about his racers, followed by the pictures he took himself:

I like the Disney racers because they are cars.  I like to race them around, line up in them order and make up stories with them.  My favorites are the Star Wars ones, but actually I like all my racers.  I like to buy them at Once Upon a Toy, the store where mommy lost me once.  When we go to Disney, I am going to find more Star Wars ones like Darth Maul, Dumbo ones because I like the new Dumbo blu-ray and more Toy Story ones, like a Barbie one for Emily, if they have it.

Well, there you have it - Joey's thoughts on Disney racers.  I was interested to hear that he associates Once Upon a Toy with me losing him.  It was not my proudest mom moment let me tell you, but luckily, we had already talked to the kids when arriving in Walt Disney World about what to do if they are separated from us.  Luckily for once, he was listening!  In all honesty, Joey really saves every cent so that he can buy his own racers.  It has been a motivator for him to help around the house and also to work on his money counting skills. 

Just a note: Some of the racers in the photos are the Toy Story 3 racers you could purchase at Wal-Mart.  The rest are the theme park Disney racers.







Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday with Hayley & Emily's 1st Princess Dinner

Focused on the Magic

It is Wednesday, which means it is time to link up with Deb's Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop over at Focused on the Magic.  Each week she has a theme (chosen by her readers), though you do not have to stick with the theme, this week I am ~ Face Characters!

These photos were all taken in March of 2010.





If you want to see more, I have a full photo montage on my You Tube channel of all the princesses we met that night.  Feel free to check it out at

Make sure you check out all the great Disney Wordless Wednesday Photos over at

2008 ~ 40 Days to 40 Years Series


Today, you can find me over at DISTherapy for the 40 Days to 40 Years series I am co-hosting with Donna.  It is hard to believe our countdown to Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary is coming to an end.  In 2008, we traveled to Walt Disney World with my three children and had some very magical moments and proved that Disney magic is at work all the time!

You can read all about it in my post

While you are there, make sure you check out all the great posts from 1971 to 2008.  It is amazing the memories that have been shared through this series!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We Pursued & We Found the Magic This Week

Just five more weeks until our Walt Disney World Vacation.  We have continued our countdown this week, but I have also started looking back at my lists of ways to prepare the kids for a Disney vacation.  Just a year and a half after our last vacation and it is incredible how much they have grown, and how many things they can do for themselves!

This week's countdown posts continue with "It's All About 'Ohana" with #50, #51 and #52.  This is one dining spot we really enjoy as a family.  Even better, it is at Disney's Polynesian Resort, which we really enjoy visiting!

I also contributed a post about a special Disney milestone for Joey to the 40 Days to 40 Years series, which I am co-hosting with Donna at DISTherapy.  If you haven't seen this series yet, it is a countdown to Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary.  Bloggers from around the web have come together to share their magical moments, Disney details and favorite Disney photos from the past 40 years.

I shared my favorite Disney resort we like to visit, but not necessarily stay at.  I chose Disney's Beach Club because of all it has to offer guests.

Back in February, I shared a post about getting my children ready for Disney.  There were five items on my list that I expected my kids to be able to accomplish before our trip.  Great news - Joey and Hayley have definitely accomplished all five.  Emily has four of them under control, though number five is a tough one for her.  But considering she is just three, I think she is right where she needs to be.  You can check out my list at Getting the Kids Ready for Their Next Walt Disney World Vacation.

Finally, this week has been rainy and dreary here.  This usually means a lot of arts and crafts and cooking with the kids.  The kids wanted to make me dinner the other night, so they made our Little Chef Disney Creations - Mr. Potato Head's Pizza Planet Treats for Pierre and I.  I love that they love to cook!  It is such a fun family activity, but the more we cook together, the more I find them attempting to try new things and be more creative in their recipes.

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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #50, #51 and #52 ~ It's All About 'Ohana

Today in our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, we are sharing #52 dining at 'Ohana, #51 the Back Scratcher at Tambu Lounge and #50 the dessert at 'Ohana. 

#52 ~ Dinner at 'Ohana in Disney's Polynesian Resort has been a favorite of our family for many years, but this is definitely on the top of my dad's list of things to do.  We've never stayed at Disney's Polynesian Resort, but 'Ohana is a great excuse to visit!  I have shared my thoughts already on this dining spot, so I won't repeat it, but you can find that post at Bringing a Little 'Ohana to the Dinner Table.  We have even created 'Ohana inspired dinners we create here at home, which I shared over at Manda's Disney Blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Disney Resort I Love to Visit Every Trip!



There is one Disney resort that someday, I hope we get to actually stay at, but for now I am happy to visit it each and every trip.  Disney's Beach Club Resort has so much to offer guests.

Here are a few of my favorite reasons to "stop by" the beach club each Disney vacation:

The Kitchen Sink, March 2010
The Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream
On our last trip to Walt Disney World, we decided that we just had to try the Kitchen Sink, an 8 scoop sundae covered with all the toppings in the "house" and a full can of whipped cream.  This delicious treat is served at Beaches and Cream, which is a short walk from Epcot's International Gateway.  After spending some time making our way around Epcot, we can walk over to Beaches and Cream for our Kitchen Sink and then take a quick stroll back and walk our sundaes off while enjoying World Showcase.  With seven of us, this is great family fun and something we already have on our itinerary for our October trip.

Our 1st Character Meal
February 2006
Goofy's Beach Club Character Breakfast at Cape May Cafe
The character breakfast at the Beach Club is by far our favorite character meal.  Cape May Cafe has a very relaxed atmosphere, and it is by far one of the places where we have the most amazing character interactions.  We have an emotional attachment to Cape May too, because it is also the spot of our very first character meal on my son's very first trip to Walt Disney World.



Waiting for breakfast, October 2008
The White Sand Beaches
While waiting to be seated for our character breakfast or after we have our Kitchen Sink, we love to just walk around the grounds.  The resort is along the white sand beaches of Crescent Lake.  It is an amazing place to just relax and take in the sights of the Boardwalk across the lake.

But even better, this resort is a quick walk or boat ride to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Plus, you can visit the Boardwalk by strolling around Crescent Lake.  This resort is just a beautiful place that has a very relaxed atmosphere.  A stay at this resort is on my Disney Bucket List, but for now, I will enjoy our visits to this amazing resort with so much to offer!

Which of Disney's resorts do you love to spend some time visiting?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

40 Days to 40 Years ~ The Magic Carpets of Aladdin Debut in 2001


Yesterday, I participated in the 40 Days to 40 Years series with a post about an attraction that debuted in 2001 - Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  You can find our family's special memories of this Magic Kingdom attraction at


While you are over at DISTherapy, make sure you check out all the great posts that have been shared by bloggers from across the web!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We Pursued and We Found the Magic This Week

I cannot believe that we are just 6 weeks away from our Disney vacation!  I am sure the time will fly by, so I definitely need to get going on our trip preparations! This week I have continued our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, as well as a few other things across the web.

 
100 Things to Do in Disney:


Other Places You Could Find Me This Week:
  • The kids and I were featured over at Cooking with Mickey for our monthly column - Little Chef Disney Creations.  Each month we share a Disney-inspired recipe that is fun for kids to create in the kitchen.  Monday, we featured Chicken Little's Stuck in the Crosswalk Treats.
  • Have you been counting down to Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary with Donna at DISTherapy and I?  Bloggers from across the web have come together to share their Disney memories over the years.  If you have missed any of the wonderful posts so far, head over to 40 Days to 40 Years and take a stroll down Memory Lane.  So far, we have featured articles from 1971 to 1998.
  • Did you know that I also write a column for WDW Daily News, which is featured every other week in their newsletter?  Make sure you sign up for the newsletter to make sure you keep up to date on all the Disney news.

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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #53 ~ Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Today in our countdown to Disney series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, we are sharing #53 Kilimanjaro Safaris.  This is one of Hayley and I's picks and is one of our favorites attractions in all of Walt Disney World.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is located in the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  You are transported to Africa in a safari truck that takes you through an African landscape filled with many species of animals.  My personal favorites are the giraffes, though I love seeing the elephants and lions as well.  Inside the ride vehicle, there is a chart of all the animals you can potentially see along the safari.  It is a great reference.  Though the attraction does include a story line of saving a young elephant from poachers, the thrill for us is seeing the animals up close in what we can only imagine would be also be what their native habitats would be like in Africa. 

I was lucky enough to one year have the experience of a giraffe being right next to our ride vehicle.  This was an amazing experience because we stopped until the giraffe had its fill of the nearby tree.  Ever since that close encounter, I am always hoping to experience it again.  That is the thrill of the safari - you never have the same encounters twice.  Even better, ever since Hayley experienced this, she loves it!  She just happens to be an animal lover, so this attraction is the perfect one for her.  The only thing that I think would make it better in her mind would be if the princesses rode along with her!




What is your favorite animal to see along the safari?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #54 ~ Festival of the Lion King

Focused on the Magic
 
Today in our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, I am sharing #54 as part of the
Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop
hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.
 
 
 

#54 ~ The Festival of the Lion at Disney's Animal Kingdom is one show we have never seen in Walt Disney World.  I am not sure how we always seem to miss it, but it is on my "must do" list for this year.  I have read nothing but rave reviews about it and look forward to experiencing it this fall.  Here is a photo I took at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival in March of 2010 of one of the Lion King topiaries that was on display.
Rafiki & Simba
Don't forget to head over to Focused on the Magic to see all the great Disney Wordless Wednesday photos!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #55, #56 & #57 ~ The "K"s of Disney


Today in our countdown series 100 Things to Do in Disney I am sharing the "K"s we are looking forward to experiencing this fall in Walt Disney World as part of Destination Disney hosted by Heidi at Ramblings, Reflections and Reviews. It just so happens that these will all be new experiences for us!





This picture has nothing to do with the
Kim Possible Adventure, but it is
one of my favorite pictures taken
in World Showcase,
February 2006, Joey age 14months

#57 ~ Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is something Joey has wanted to try out ever since he saw a segment about it in the Disney Vacation Planning Video.  We have never watched Kim Possible, and honestly, I have no idea who she is, but for whatever reason, the quick clip on the DVD caught his attention and now it is on our list to test out on this trip.  Now that I have done a little research into it, this just may be my key to keeping the kids interested in World Showcase for enough time so that I might be able to enjoy some of the offerings of Epcot's Food & Wine Festival.  My fellow Magical Blogorail member Dave over at YourFirstVisit.Net wrote a thorough review of the adventure.

#56 ~ Karmell Kuche in Germany's Pavilion is at the top of my list of new things to try in Walt Disney World.  I love the Germany Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, but adding in a spot that makes fresh caramel popcorn takes my love of it to a whole new level!  I know they offer many other treats than the caramel popcorn, but when I saw this on Melissa's Makin' Memories photo blog, I knew I would be testing it out as soon as we get into Epcot.  Melissa has some great photos and a video of all the candy making in action in her post Karamell-Kuche: Sweet Treats Part 2

#55 ~ Kidcot Fun Stops around the World Showcase are on Hayley's list of things to try for the first time this trip.  She spotted these in the Disney Vacation Planning Video and is excited to get to "color at Disney" as she calls it.  I am not so sure that Joey and Emily will be as into these spots as Hayley is, but we will see. For more information about the Epcot Kidcot Fun Stops, you can check out Jodi's post at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse.  She gives a very in-depth description of just what these spots have to offer.

Since these are all new to us, feel free to let me know your experiences with any, or all, of theses "K"s of Disney that we plan to experience on our next Walt Disney World Vacation.

Don't forget to see all the Destination Disney entries for the letter K at Heidi's Ramblings, Reviews and Reflections!  Have your own list of Disney "K"s?  Link in and share them!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little Chef Disney Creations ~ My Cooking with Mickey Column

Today, you can find the kids and me over at Cooking with Mickey. We have a monthly column, Little Chef Disney Creations, in which we share Disney-inspired recipes we create here at home.  This month we focused on one of our favorite characters - Chicken Little.  To see this month's recipe, head over to


If you missed any of our previous recipes, you can find them at Little Chef Disney Creations.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Pursued & We Found the Magic This Week

On display at the American Adventure in April 2003

Today, I am thinking of all the heroes of September 11th. There were many people that day who comforted, assisted and saved other people's lives. Many people sacrificed themselves for others and that is something that is heroic and should never be forgotten. It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. I am sending prayers for the family's of the victims and cannot imagine what this day must be like for them. I was in Walt Disney World when a flag found in the rubble of September 11th was on display at the American Adventure. To this day, I tear up whenever I see this picture.


We have had a great week here at Pursuing the Magic! Our countdown to Disney series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, continues. The 40 Days to 40 Years series I am co-hosting with Donna at DISTherapy has turned the corner into the 90s. It is hard to believe that seven weeks from today, we will be arriving in Walt Disney World!

100 Things to Do in Disney:
  • #66, #67 & #68 For Destination Disney's ABC series, hosted by Heidi at Ramblings, Reviews & Reflections, I shared the "J"s of Disney we are looking forward to seeing on this next trip
  • #63, #64 & #65 I shared some areas of the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot's Future World that my children are looking forward to experiencing
  • #61 & #62 For the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic, I shared a photo of one of Joey's favorite things, the Main Street Vehicles, and also one thing our entire family is looking forward to experiencing for the first time, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • #58, #59 & #60 For Disney Flashback Friday, hosted by Sarah at Magical Days with the Mouse, I shared the three Walt Disney World parades we are looking forward to seeing, as well as my flashback to Walt Disney World's 15th Anniversary Parade, which we saw on our first trip.

In addition to continuing my countdown of 100 things to do in Disney, I also shared their Disney Dream Job.  I will admit I was very surprised by my final choice!


Other sites you could find me this week:
  • DISTherapy: It was my turn this week to share my memories of my very first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986 in the 40 Days to 40 Years project
  • Growing Up Disney: I am part of Amy's Minnie Moms. This month we shared out best tips for traveling to Disney with a Multi-Generation/Multi-Family group
  • Jedi Mouseketeer: I shared details of LEGO's recent release of their Star Wars Super Star Destroyer set

40 Days to 40 Years:
This week, Donna at DISTherapy and I have been very excited to share so many magical memories from so many Disney bloggers from around the web.  This week the countdown brought us from Walt Disney World 1984 to 1990.  We have passed the halfway mark to Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary!

Hope you have had a great week!  How did you find Disney magic? 
I would love to hear about it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #58, #59 & #60 ~ Walt Disney World Parades


Today in our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, we are participating Disney Flashback Fridays hosted by Sarah at Magical Days with the Mouse.  There are three parades we are looking forward to experiencing that we have never seen before.  I have listed them below, but my flashback is to the Walt Disney World 15th Anniversary Parade in 1986 - my first trip to Walt Disney World.

#60 Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade is one parade we have never seen.  We normally leave Disney Animal Kingdom before the parade time of 3:45.  We have vowed this trip we will make an effort to get to the parks to see it.


#59 The Boo to You Parade is a parade that runs during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom.  Since we will be experiencing MNSSHP for the first time this year, it will be our first vieing of the Boo to You Parade.  Thanks to Donna at DISTherapy for the tips on great viewing spots!

#58 The Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary Parde is something I am not sure will exist, but I hope it does!  When we visited for the 15th Anniversary in 1986, the parade was amazing!  I think my mom was singing the song months after returning (alternating between that and "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow").  If you read my article for the 40 Days to 40 Years series on 1986, you will also know why it is so special to my family. 

Rather than rewrite what I shared for the 40 Years project, here are some photos from the 1986 15th Anniversary Parade in the Magic Kingdom:


My Disney Dream Job

Disney's Wedding Pavilion,
May 1997
I think maybe most of us have had a thought or two of what we would consider our "Disney Dream Job."  There are certainly plenty of Disney careers to choose from.  Of course, I started thinking of my favorite attractions, but then realized at some, my job would be loading and unloading guests from dream boats or pirate ships.  I wasn't so sure that would be something I would want to do all day long every day.  Then, I started thinking about some of my favorite live shows, but that idea quickly was dismissed since I have no acting, singing or dancing skills that need to be displayed beyond the walls of this house.  But then it hit me, what is one job, day after day, that gives me the opportunity to help people create the most magical moments and work on a very personal level with the guests?  A Disney Wedding Specialist with a slight twist.

My Disney dream job would be working to help create the perfect dream come true wedding for brides and grooms from around the world.  Not only would I be doing something I love - planning and organizing - in a place I love, but I would be getting to know the guests I work with very well.  Whether planning an intimate gathering or an over the top celebration in a resort, a theme park or at the Wedding Pavilion, I know I would love the challenge of creating the storybook wedding of the couple's dreams.  Besides, how great would it be to have Franck's Bridal Studio as your "conference" room when meeting with the bride and groom?

Here is the Little Mermaid cake I created
for Hayley's 2nd birthday - it's no wedding
cake, but it was great funto create!
Now here is the twist!  One of my absolute favorite hobbies is decorating cakes.  I am certainly no Cake Boss, but I would love to be a part of the team at the Grand Floridian that creates the wedding cake masterpieces that are created there.  Their cakes range from breathtaking to classic elegance to some of the most unique cakes I have ever seen.  I can also say that the best wedding cake I have eaten was at Disney's Grand Floridian for our friends' wedding.  So, I would love to be a Disney Wedding Specialist and cake decorator for the Grand Floridian!  I know I would be busy, but I know I would love every minute of it.




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #61 & #62 ~ Main Street Vehicles and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

Focused on the Magic
 
Today in our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, I am sharing #61 and #62 as part of the
Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop
hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.
 
 
 
 

#62 The Monster Inc. Laugh Floor in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland ~ We are all looking forward to experiencing this for the first time!


#61 Main Street Vehicles ~ Joey's Favorite



Don't forget to head over to Focused on the Magic to see all the great Disney Wordless Wednesday photos!

40 Days to 40 Years & Jedi Mouseketeer

Today I am contributing over at two other sites.  First, the 40 Days to 40 Years Project I co-host with DISTherapy is going strong as we are halfway through the 80s on our way to the 90s.  I am sharing my very first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986, which was during the 15th Anniversary of the resort.


Are you a Star Wars fan and a LEGO fan?  We are here at home, so I am always excited to share any new news that combines those two topics.  Over at Jedi Mouseketeer, I posted a link to a new release ~ LEGO Super Star Destroyer.


Feel free to check them out!

100 Things to Do in Disney #63, #64 & #65 ~ It's All About Imagination . . . Epcot's Imagination Pavilion

Joey & Hayley, Leap Frog Fountains, October 2008

Today in our countdown series, 100 Things to Do in Disney, I sharing three things from the Imagination Pavilion.  I will admit these are not my favorite, but they are certainly favorites of both of my girls.

#65 The Leap Frog Fountains, just outside of the Imagination Pavilion, are a favorite of all three of my kids.  In 2008, my children literally entertained other guests while they laughed and giggled at each "flying" spout of water.  Joey was just three, Hayley two and Emily 10 months.  We could not tear Joey and Hayley away from this spot.  It has become a quiet spot to take a break from all the action each trip into Epcot.

2010 was a completly different story.  It was freezing cold and windy.  The spouts of water were being stopped midair by the wind, much to my children's dismay.  Emily was then 2.5 and refused to leave until one of the spouts made it across.  Well, that never happened, but once her teeth started chattering (yes, it was THAT cold), we moved on!

Leap Frog Fountains, March 2010 - That's the wind blowing the water backward!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Contributing to the Minnie Moms over at Growing Up Disney

After taking a summer vacation, the Minnie Moms are back.  This month we are sharing our best tips for traveling to Walt Disney World as a large group or multi-generation group.  To see what Natalie from Meet the Magic, Amy from Growing Up Disney and I have to share, head over to


Sunday, September 4, 2011

100 Things to Do in Disney #66, #67 & #68 ~ The J's of Disney


Today in our countdown series 100 Things to Do in Disney I am sharing the "J"s we are looking forward to experiencing this fall in Walt Disney World as part of Destination Disney hosted by Heidi at Ramblings, Reflections and Reviews



#68 The Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom is one of the attractions we all look forward to every trip to Walt Disney World.  I love the corny jokes and though the animals and characters along the cruise put on the same show every trip, I make sure we never miss this attraction. When we began making the list, all three kids asked on separate occasions to add this to our Disney to do list. That is always a good sign!



It looks like Aladdin is also saying,
"Where's Jasmine?"


#67 As you may be able to tell from this blog, my little Emily loves each and every princess.  On this trip, she would like to meet Jasmine.  On our last trip, we spotted her at one point in World Showcase, but as we got into line, we were told that the line was closed.  I had hoped we would spot her on another occasion, but no such luck.  Hopefully, this year Emily will finally get to meet her.



#66 During the fall season, the Magic Kingdom is decorated top to bottom with all types of decorations.  My personal favorites are the Mickey Mouse Jack-O-Lanterns, which I cannot wait to see in October.  I wish my pumpkin carving skills were a little better (ok, much better) because I would attempt to recreate some of these here at home! 




Make sure you head over to Heidi's Ramblings, Reviews and Reflections to see everyone's "J"s of Disney!