Thursday, March 22, 2012

Growing Up Disney's Minnie Moms ~ Our Favorite Disney Photos

The Growing Up Disney Minnie Moms are a group of moms who share their tips on planning and enjoying Disney vacations with their children.  Each month we share our perspectives on a different topic. This month, we were asked to share a favorite Disney photo.  To see which one I shared, head over to:

Destination Disney ~ Top 10 Disney Attractions

I am so excited that Heidi has brought back Destination Disney!  Every Thursday she invites everyone to share a post on a particular topic.  This week's theme is:

Top 10 Disney Attractions

Here is our family list in no particular order:
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: By far my favorite!
  • Haunted Mansion:  I absolutely love this attraction!  My kids have never experienced it, but Pierre and I wouldn't miss it!
  • Buzz's Space Ranger Spin:  Another favorite of the entire family
  • Prince Charming's Regal Carousel:  Hayley and Emily would spend the entire vacation on the carousel with maybe a stop or two to hop on It's a Small World
  • It's a Small World: Hayley has loved this attraction since her first ride through when she was two.
  • Rock N' Roller Coaster: Pierre's Disney vacation would not be complete without at least experiencing this once if not twice per trip!
  • Toy Story Midway Mania:  The entire family loves this one!
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris:  Hayley and I have the safari ranked a the top of our lists!
  • Tomorrowland Speedway: Joey rides this at least 3 times per trip!
  • Star Tours: Pierre and I love the update to this attraction!

I know that this list really could go on and on, but these 10 are things on our must do list every trip!  What are your top 10 Disney attractions?  

Make sure you head over to Heidi's Head to see everyone's top 10 lists!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We Pursued & Found the Magic This Week with Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, a Splash Mountain First, Pocahontas le Spectacle and a Disney Flashback

Another fun week here at Pursuing the Magic.  I finally had the chance to start my posts about Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and was able to join in a few Disney blog hops.

On Tuesday, I shared our Disney Splurge, which was the decision to purchase tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

On Wednesday, the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop theme was Frontierland.  I shared photos from Hayley's first trip down Splash Mountain.

On Thursday, I shared a quick video I captured at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party of the Headless Horseman.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Disney Flashback Friday ~ Free Fun with Hats Around Walt Disney World

Focused on the Magic
Today I am joining in on the fun of the Flashback Friday Blog Hop hosted by Deb of Focused on the Magic.  I love this blog hop because we are always looking back through our trip photo albums and watching our vacation montages.  It is funny what catches my eye.

One of the things that we keep an eye on the most while in Walt Disney World is Hayley overheating.  It isn't that we do not worry about Emily or Joey, but Hayley very easily becomes overheated when it is barely 80.  So in 2008, when Hayley was just 2, we were in the Magic Kingdom and she was giving us all the signs of a kid who was unhappy and about to meltdown from the heat.  We originally made the decision to leave the Magic Kingdom and head back to the hotel for a swim, but she wasn't going to make it.  We decided on our way past the Emporium that this would be our solution - an air conditioned place with lots of distractions, i.e. toys!  But what we found that it wasn't the toys she loved, it was the hats!  The Emporium has a section of all the Disney hats in bins.  She could easily reach the ones she wanted to try on. This ended up being the perfect solution.  She tried on every hat she could and within 20 minutes, she was cooled off and back to her happy self.
The Emporium ~ October 2008

The Emporium ~ October 2008

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Headless Horseman at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

During our 2011 trip, we attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time.  I was really impressed with everything the party had to offer, though unfortunately, the night we attended was so busy that we missed out on many things we had wanted to see.  It also just happened that my daughter got sick starting that afternoon, and by 8 that night, she was asleep on my husband's lap on the side of Main Street waiting for Hallowishes to begin.  It was surprising to both Pierre and I because Hayley is our night owl.  It was the other two we had been concerned about falling asleep, since both Joey and Emily barely make it to their 7:30 bedtime.   But clearly, Hayley had a slight fever and we were only two days in of our 8 day vacation.

Luckily, all of us were able to see the Headless Horseman, who makes an appearance just before the beginning of Mickey's Boo To You Parade (which you will see in a future post has become my children's favorite part of the evening).  I just happened to be able to catch a quick video of him:

I was excited to get a video of the Headless Horseman, especially since I was told before leaving to be ready because he comes and goes quickly, which was very true.  I thought my kids may have been afraid of him, but not so!  All three watched him ride by.  Of course, I did field many questions the rest of the night and the next day about why he was carrying his head!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ A Frontierland First with Hayley's Splash Mountain Experience

Focused on the Magic
Today, I am joining in on the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme is Frontierland and as soon as I knew this was it, I knew exactly what I was going to share.  This trip was Hayley's very first experience taking a trip on Splash Mountain.  I had a few pitures of her, but many of them were far away, so many thanks to Bryan of The CanaDisney Blog for his photo editing advice!  It paid off and here are a few fun photos from the experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Disney Splurge ~ Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

This article was originally written for my Making Magical Memories column in the WDW Daily News newsletter #199 published on September 27, 2011.  I am going to use this as the kickoff to a series of posts on our experience with Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party because this article explains exactly how it all began (and was written before we attended the party)! 

One of the things I try to do when planning my trips to Disney is find plenty of places to save money, yet still be able to experience everything we want to. There is so much to do out and about in Walt Disney World that you can vacation in Disney on a budget and have an amazing experience. But for our upcoming trip, we have splurged on one thing I never thought we would. We will be attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Monday, March 12, 2012

20 Days to 20 Years ~ Counting Down to the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris

20 Days to 20 Years
Today is the day!  Donna (DIStherapy), Amanda (Manda's Disney Blog) and I are co-hosting a series to help countdown to the 20th Anniversary to Disneyland Paris.  Today, Wendy at Your Highway in the Sky is kicking off the series with "1992."  Make sure you head over to read her amazing post!

If you want to participate in the project, we are still looking for people who would like to write about Disneyland Paris.  You could share a trip report or choose the year that your favorite Disneyland Paris attraction debuted and share your special memories of that attraction.  Either way, if you want to share your Disneyland Paris thoughts, we would love to have you.  We only have a few years left to fill, so you can contact me (Beth) for more information!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Few of My Favorites from Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival has just begun down in Walt Disney World, and I really wish I were there.  It is by far the most beautiful time of year to visit Epcot.  The topiaries and displays around Epcot are just amazing. I have written about this festival several times on Pursuing the Magic, so I thought today I would share some of my most favorite displays over the years.

As you might have guessed, the Beauty and the Beast displays are always my favorite, though my list of favorites is pretty long.  The year we visited in April, Belle's dress was in full bloom and a beautiful, bright yellow.  It is definitely one of my most favorite moments

 Belle's Dress in Full Bloom ~ May 1996

Belle's Dress Early in the Season Before It is in Full Bloom ~ April 2003
As you enter Epcot, each year the front area has a new display to fit the theme of the festival.  In March 2010, the entrance was decorated with Goofy, Donald and Daisy "Celebrating the Great Outdoors."  The display was adorable with Daisy roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

March 2010 ~ Celebrating the Great Outdoors ~ March 2010
Around World Showcase, you can find many character topiaries at each country from Aladdin near Morocco, Lady and the Tramp near Italy and Peter Pan near the United Kingdom.  It is amazing how these topiaries capture the true spirit of the characters and the movie moments they are representing.  Now to figure out how to get one or a few of these in my yard!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Lady & the Tramp at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival

Focused on the Magic
Today I am joining in on the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme is flowers and gardens just in time for the start of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival (one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World).  We are big fans of Lady and the Tramp, so on our 2010 trip, I was quite excited to see them make an appearance at the Italy Pavilion.

Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival ~ March 2010

Make sure you head over to Focused on the Magic to see what everyone else shared today!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Is In the Air at Epcot Part #1 ~ Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival
March 2010
I enjoy visiting Walt Disney World during pretty much any season we can, but there is one time of year that Epcot truly stands out.  It is in the spring during the Flower and Garden Festival.  This festival only takes place in Epcot and usually begins at the beginning of March and ends in May.  During this time, the landscape is transformed by beautiful flowers and topiaries.  I wish I could create something like that for my yard, but for now, I have to just enjoy them at Epcot!

In May of 1996, Pierre and I traveled to Walt Disney World for our friends' wedding.  It was my very first experience seeing Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.  I had no idea what it was at the time, but I know that what I saw literally took my breath away. Every corner I turned, there was something new to see - Pumba and Timon hidden in the trees, Beauty and the Beast in full bloom, with Chip near by blowing bubbles and so many more character topiaries.  I will admit I had never seen anything like this in my life.

Rafiki & Simba ~ March 2010
The festival isn't just a time for Epcot to be decorated with beautiful displays.  Disney offers up many seminars to help improve your gardening skills, whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out.  Even celebrities from some of the most popular HGTV and DIY shows are part of the festivities.  I personally have not had the opportunity to participate in one of the seminars, but I definitely always see a few on the events schedule that I would love to attend and certainly things my yard could benefit from!

Another popular offering of the Flower and Garden Festival are the Flower Power concerts, which offer a variety of artists performing each weekend from Chubby Checker to Paul Revere to Herman's Hermits and more.  They are a great addition to the festival at the American Gardens Theater.  Every trip, Pierre and I definitely make time to have a night out in Epcot (courtesy of my parents - our free babysitters!).  We always enjoy a stop to take in whichever artist may be performing.  It is really such a relaxing way to enjoy a night out in Epcot.  Of course, it is also great that you are in such close proximity to plenty of places to get a drink and snack to enjoy while watching the performers!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Disney Deal ~ Free Dining Offer at Walt Disney World Resort

Looking to book your vacation for late summer or early fall dates?  The latest Disney deal has been released:

Magic Your Way Package with 
Free Disney Dining Plan

  • Purchase a non-discounted 4-Night/5-Day Magic Your Way package - with accommodations and Theme Park tickets induded - at select Disney Value Resorts and get a FREE Quick-service Dining Plan
  • Stay at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts and get a FREE Disney Dining Plan
  • Booking Dates: Now - May 18, 2012
  • Arrival Dates: August 25 - September 29, 2012

  • The number of packages available at these rates are limited.
  • Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use unless park hopper option is purchased.
  • No group rates or other discounts app!y.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages
  • Children ages 3-9 must order from children's menu if available.
  • Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

Contact Magical Journeys to book your trip!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

We Pursued & We Found the Magic This Week

It is hard to believe that March is here already!  Spring break is in the air in Florida and yet, we just had a major snowstorm - almost as big as the storm that hit here in October that arrived the night before we were to fly to Walt Disney World last year.  Of course, with the mild winter we have had, I can't really complain!

If you missed any of our Disney magic, here is a quick recap:

Monday: Deb of of Focused on the Magic shared photography tips for capturing photos along Kilimanjaro Safaris for Part #3 of our On Safari in Harambe series.

Tuesday: I shared another Disney milestone for us - Going Stroller Free in Disney.  This trip was quite nice without lugging a stroller on and off the buses!

Wednesday: I joined in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  The theme this week was "March Calendar Photos."

Friday: I joined in another one of Deb's blog hops, the Disney Flashback Friday Blog Hop.  I am looking for a little advice about taking an adults only trip to Walt Disney World, and my flashback is from Pierre and I's last adults only trip before kids.

Other Disney Fun:
Have you ordered your free Disney Vacation Planning Video?  We just received the 2012 version in the mail yesterday.  Of course, we watched it right away, and all of us spent the rest of the day talking about Disney and trying to decide when to plan our next trip.

20 Days to 20 Years
Have you been to Disneyland Paris?  If so, Donna at DIStherapy, Amanda at Manda's Disney blog andmyself are hosting a project called 20 Days to 20 Years.  We are counting down the days until the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Paris.  If you would like to participate, you can find more details over at DIStherapy's post 20 Days to 20 Years Invitation.

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

Friday, March 2, 2012

Disney Flashback ~ Our Last Pre-Kids Trip

Focused on the Magic

Today, I am joining in the fun of the Disney Flashback Friday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  I know I say this every week, but I love this blog hop because I get to go back through my Disney photos and reminisce about our previous trips.  Even better, the kids usually join me on my trip down our Disney Memory Lane.

Visiting Walt Disney World with children is such a magical way to experience the parks.  Since our first trip as parents in 2006, I have had the pleasure of seeing Disney through the eyes of my three children.  The memories we have created are certainly some of my favorites.  Lately though, with talk of participating in a runDisney event, Pierre and I have been discussing taking an adults only trip and leaving the kids home.  As much as we would both love to, Pierre says he would feel too guilty.  I think I would feel guilty, but I also know there are a lot of things we could do that we just can't when we have the children.  This is no reflection on their behavior because our kids are really great and we can take them anywhere.  It is just that things like strolling through World Showcase would have no appeal for my kids, even though it is something Pierre and I love.  So this got me thinking back to our last trip before becoming parents.  It was the trip that one of my most emotional Disney moments happened - the moment I thought I just may never have the chance to bring my own children to Disney.  Luckily, as you can tell, that thought never became a reality!

In February of 2004 (I cannot believe that was 8 years ago!!), we made the trip to Walt Disney World.  It was beautiful the entire week we were there.  We stayed at Disney's Caribbean Beach resort in South Trinidad and really had one of the most relaxing vacation we have ever had.  Here we are . . . in our younger years!

If my children weren't such Disney fans, this would be an easy decision.  But since we have been home from our last trip, all three kids have asked constantly when we are going back. I think that is what is making me so torn on planning an adults only trip!  Have you made a trip to Disney and left the kids home?  How did your kids deal with it?

Make sure you head over to Focused on the Magic to see everyone's Disney Flashbacks!