Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Chef Disney Creations ~ King Louie's Frosty Banana Treats

Our Little Chef Disney Creations, a series dedicated to getting the kids in the kitchen and cooking, continues this month over at Cooking with Mickey. With the warm weather approaching we thought we would share a fun and easy to make summertime treat.  The best part, everyone can personalize their creation with their favorite colors and flavors!  For the recipe, head over to:

If you try them out, let us know how you decorated them!  We would love to see them!

Disney Character Cricut Cartridge Reference List

I love Disney, and I love my Cricut.  I have used my Cricut to create many projects from Cars wall hangings to Disney themed cards to favorite character cake toppers.  But keeping all my cartridges organized and being able to find the images I want can be a little tricky.  Cricut has created several Disney cartridges with characters from the Fab 5 to Pixar stars to Disney classics and many more.  This guide is a list of all the Disney characters you can find on Cricut cartridges, which cartridge you can find them on and how many images of that character are available.  This includes just the main images, not the icons included with each image.  These are organized by the name of the character.  Below each character's name are the cartridges you can find the character on, followed by the number of images on each cartridge.

  • Abu (Aladdin) 
    • Dreams Come True (1) 
  • Aladdin 
    • Dreams Come True (2) 
  • Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
    • Disney Classics (4)
  • Anna (Disney Frozen)
    • Disney Frozen (7)
  • Ariel (The Little Mermaid) 
    • Dreams Come True (10) 
  • Atta (A Big's Life) 
    • Best of Pixar (1) 
  • Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) 
    • Happily Ever After (6) 
  • Baby Troll (Frozen)
    • Disney Frozen (1)
  • Bambi 
    • Disney Classics (4)
  • Bashful (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
    • Happily Ever After (1)
  • Beast (Beauty & the Beast) 
    • Dreams Come True (2) 
  • Belle (Beauty and the Beast) 
    • Dreams Come True (7) 
  • Bloat (Finding Nemo) 
    • Best of Pixar (1) 
  • Blue Fairy (Pinocchio)
    • Disney Classics (1)
  • Bo Peep (Toy Story, Toy Story 2) 
    • Toy Story (1) 
  • Bob Parr (see Mr. Incredible) 
  • Boo (Monsters Inc.) 
    • Best of Pixar (4) 
  • Boost (Cars) 
    • Cars (1) 
  • Bubbles (Finding Nemo) 
    • Best of Pixar (1) 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Disney Magic Times 3 ~ Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue Does It Again

I have talked a lot about the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review being one of our family's favorite things to do in Walt Disney World.  It is our tradition to spend our last night in Disney at Pioneer Hall enjoying the show and the food.  I have seen the show over 10 times and my children have been every trip.  Even better, all three of my kids love to play the washboard, clap and stomp along with the cast and twirl their napkins.  During our 2010 trip, Hayley was lucky enough to be pulled from the crowd and asked to ring the dinner bell.  As exciting as that was, this year, something even more special happened:

My kids were so thrilled!  The best part of this moment was that actually Joey was chosen to ring the bell.  He looked right at the cast member and said, "Can my sisters come too?"  It is by far one of my favorite moments of the trip because whether in Disney or anywhere else, my kids just love doing everything together and are always looking out for each other!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Cheetahs of Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Focused on the Magic
Today, I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  The theme this week is Nature, and I am sharing a photo, yet again, from Kilimanjaro Safaris.  As you may know this is one of my favorite attractions in Walt Disney World.  I was happy to capture this shot of three cheetahs resting in the shade. Much like my desire to see the lions in action along the safari someday, I would love to see the cheetahs up and roaming around. All my photos of them are of them relaxing.

November 2011, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris

Make sure you head over to Focused on the Magic to share your Wordless Wednesday post and check out what everyone else had to share today!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kali River Rapids Adventure

Here's the button on the bridge
For whatever reason, Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom always seems to be an attraction that some of our funniest Disney moments have occurred, from the first time my dad experienced it with my husband having no idea how wet he would actually get to Joey’s first trip in which he came off the ride looking as though he jumped in the pool to a fun incident (and discovery) on our most recent trip.

The water squirts from the trunk of the elephant
We celebrated many milestones this past trip and experienced many things for the first time.  All three of my children for once were tall enough to take a float down Kali River Rapids.  Unfortunately, as we approached the turnstiles, Emily and Hayley made a last minute decision to not experience the attraction.  I was slightly disappointed, since I was looking forward to all three of my kids experiencing a thrill ride together for the very first time.  But being a parent who does not push her kids to try an attraction if they don’t want to, the girls, my mom and I made our way over to the bridge near the attraction exit and waited.  Since there was no line, it wasn’t long until we saw the raft carrying my dad, my husband and Joey.  As they came toward us, Hayley yells to Pierre , “Daddy, I changed my mind, I want to go on the raft!”  Of course, Pierre did not hear her, but I told we would have to wait until daddy came off the ride to ask him.

As we waited a cast member came by and asked if we knew that we could have squirted the riders.  I had no idea what he was talking about, and he showed us this button right on the bridge that if you pushed it, the elephant trunks would squirt water!  Too bad he didn’t tell us just moments before because I would have loved to get my husband and my dad!  I had no idea these even existed.  So next time you are waiting on the bridge, look for this box and give the button a push!  I love when I go on Disney vacations and learn something new!

Well, Pierre came off the ride soaked, as did Joey and my dad, but that did not stop them from taking another round of it so the girls could have a turn too.  It was very exciting that in the end, all three of my kids experienced their very first thrill ride together, and we discovered something new about Kali River Rapids!

This article was orginially written for my Making Magical Memories column, which was published in WDW Daily News Newsletter #223 on March 20th.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Visiting Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney's Animal Kingdom

 My kids are big fans of Huey, Dewey & Louie, so they
were quite excited to spot on the way into
Camp Minnie-Mickey!
We tried many new things at Walt Disney World for the first time on our most recent trip.  One of my children’s favorite firsts was stopping in Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  In all our visits we had never made our way to this section of the park.  That is because this is the first trip all three of our kids wanted to meet the characters.  During our past trips, we have always had one, if not two, afraid of the characters.   I took full advantage of it and finally have some great photos of all three of my kids together with characters!

This was our first trip that Emily
would have her picture taken
with the characters.
Along the Character Meet and Greet trails, some of the characters we encountered were in their safari clothes, including Donald and Goofy (Mickey and Minnie were there too, but their line was very long!).  There were Photopass photographers assigned to each trail.  This was great because we were able to get pictures of our entire family.  Even better, not only did the Photopass photographers take photos with their camera, but they also offered to take pictures with mine!  (That is actually a good tip for any park and Photopass photographer - ask if they will take pictures with your camera, though I never had to ask, they usually asked me!)

My children tend to be very shy.  What I loved about the trails was that the characters were under a gazebo and the line of people was not wrapped around where the characters are.  This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for a mom of shy kids, this is a tremendous help.  Since my kids could not see all the people watching them while waiting for their turn, they were much more interactive, especially Joey who even pinched Dale’s nose!

Our entire travel party in one photo! My hair only looks
crazy because I just happen to be the lucky one
standing right under the fan!
Camp Minnie Mickey is a great spot to get some photos of the kids (and adults) with the characters.  We found the characters to be very interactive, which was a lot of fun, and the set up is great for shy kids.  Next time you are visiting Camp Minnie-Mickey make sure you take full advantage of the Photopass service.  When we ordered our CD, not only did the photographers capture some great shots of the kids, but also included were some fun bonus photos of the characters in Camp Minnie Mickey, including characters  we did not have a chance to meet.

This article was originally written for my Making Magical Memories column, which was published in the WDW Daily News Newsletter #221 on March 7, 2012.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Beyond the Attractions Giveaway Winner Is . . .

We were very excited to host our very first giveaway.  Thank you so much, Lisa, for allowing us to share Beyond the Attractions with our readers.  

Without further ado:

Congratulations, Christine Watson Huff! 

I have sent you an e-mail and will ship the books as soon as I hear back from you.  Thank you so much for participating and I hope you enjoy the books as much as my family and I do!

Appreciating Disney's Animal Kingdom

When Animal Kingdom first opened in 1998, I did not appreciate what this park had to offer.  Now it has two of my top ten favorite things to do in Walt Disney and having a child who loves animals, I have an entirely new appreciation for all that this park has to offer.  Walt Disney had a passion for animals, even wanting to put live animals in the Jungle Cruise.  They never worked out.  Luckily, Walt's love of animals was never forgotten and is now represented in Disney's Animal Kingdom.  It is a park that is entertaining, educational and brings attention to conservation efforts.

There are two attractions in the Africa section.  As soon as you enter Africa, guests are strolling through the African Village of Harambe and heading toward the Harambe Wildlife Preserve, where you can experience an African safari in an open-air jeep.  As you exit Kilimanjaro Safaris, the entrance to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is straight ahead.  If you want to get even closer to the animals, as of 2010 a Wild Africa Trek has been added to list of Disney magic you can experience for an extra cost.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is an attraction that has gone through story line changes over the years.  When originally opened, it had a story line of capturing poachers and saving Big Red, and even had wardens aboard the jeeps.  Today, the focus of the attraction is more on the animals along the safari with the poacher story line taking a back seat.  For me, I actually enjoy just listening to details about the animals.  I wouldn't be bothered if the story line were dropped completely.  Though I have never been to Africa and experienced a true African safari, I can say that I feel like this is just what it must be like.  As you make your way around the Harambe Wildlife Preserve in your jeep, you observe animals in habitats that Disney created to replicate their habitats in Africa.

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is one of the places where I really have learned to take my time through the park.  There are so many amazing displays, but there is one spot I could spend a lot of time just watching, and that is the Gorilla Research area. There are a few types of gorillas, but the silverbacks are amaing to observe. It is hard to imagine how big they actual are until you watch them interact with each other and their surroundings.

I no longer consider Disney's Animal Kingdom a half day park. We take at least an entire day to take everything in, talk to cast members about all the types of animals and enjoy all that it has to offer.  It is an amazing way for the Walt Disney Company to bring Walt's love of animals to life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Magical Blogorail Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower

Welcome to the first stop of our Special Edition Magical Blogorail loop and our virtual Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower!  I happen to love baby showers and creating them with a Disney theme, just makes them even more special!  I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for a Winnie the Pooh theme, because it just so happens that my baby shower for Joey had a Winnie the Pooh theme.  Hard to believe that was over 7 years ago!

It seems lately that so many people I know are having babies, and when Amy at Growing Up Disney suggested we host a virtual baby shower for our online friends who are pregnant, I jumped right on it.  We are dedicating this loop to our friends Jenn of Disney Babies Blog and Beth of A Disney Mom's Thoughts.  I have been so lucky to connect with them through our Disney blogs and cherish their friendships!  I cannot wait to "meet" their little ones!

I am sharing Winnie the Pooh themed baby shower invitations.  I love making and personalizing  invitations!  It is such a great way to share the theme with your guests and get them excited for the shower. Now I know not everyone has time to make baby shower invitations, especially if they are hosting a large gathering, so I have tried to make these very simple and quick to assemble.  But also know, there are plenty of absolutely adorable Winnie the Pooh invitations sold at party stores that you can't go wrong with either!


  • Printed Card Stock (pastel green with polka dots, though you could easily personalize this color if you know the sex of the baby)
  • DCWV Yellow Glitter Cardstock
  • White, Yellow and Red Cardstock
  • Cricut Pooh Font Cartridge*
  • Cricut Alphalicious Cartridge*
*If you do not own a Cricut machine, the images and phrase I used for this project can easily be printed from your computer or you can purchase pre-cut letters and characters from your local craft store.


  1. Create a 5.5x4.25 card using the polka dot cardstock
  2. Cut the white cardstock into a 4.25x3.75 rectangle (I used a punch to create the decorative edge)
  3. Using the Pooh Font Cartridge, cut the sleeping baby Pooh at 2"
  4. Using the Alphalicious Cartridge,cut the phrase "You're Invited" at 2.25"
  5. Adhere the "Your Invited" to the white rectangle
  6. Adhere the white rectangle to the front of the card about half an inch from the top.
  7. Adhere the sleeping Pooh at the bottom of the front of the card
  8. Personalize the inside with details of the baby shower

Congratulations to Jenn and Beth!  This is such a special time for you and your families and I couldn't be happier for the two of you!

Your next stop along our Special Edition Magical Blogorail loop is 

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop and Virtual Baby Shower should you happen to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Invitations with Pursuing the Magic (You are here)
2nd Stop ~ Decorations & Gifts Ideas with Disney Donna Kay
3rd Stop ~ Winnie the Pooh Cakes with Growing Up Disney
4th Stop ~ Drinks & Snacks with Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane
5th Stop ~ Party Favors with Disney on Wheels
Final Stop ~ Pooh's Inspirational Thoughts with DIStherapy

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beyond the Attractions Review and Giveaway (Giveaway Now Closed)

Traveling to Walt Disney World with little ones is absolutely one of the most magical experiences I have had.  Seeing Disney and the magic it holds through their eyes makes every moment of planning and every penny spent worth it.  But the key is planning!  Before having children, I wouldn't say I was an expert on Disney, but I could certainly get around to our favorite attractions, restaurants and shows without a problem, even traveling during some of the busiest seasons.  But I realized in 2008, when I traveled with three little ones (ages 10 months, 2 years and 3.5 years), that vacationing in Disney with kids is an entirely different vacation.  I won't say I wasn't prepared, but I will say bringing three kids in diapers, two strollers and one diaper bag made for a very busy week.

If you are planning to take your little ones to Walt Disney World, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Lisa Battista's "Beyond the Attraction"  Disney guidebook.  This book will help you plan your trip to Disney, starting with a discussion on whether or not your child is ready for a Disney trip.  She then shares steps to planning your magical vacation with your preschooler from the perspective of a mom who has been through it herself.  This leads into preparing your child for this type of a vacation and other valuable tips for advanced planning.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Joey's Disney Hats from His First Trip

Focused on the Magic

Today, I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme is "Hats."  Since I just did a flashback post about hats in Disney, I decided to look back at Joey's first trip to see what were some of his first Disney hats.

Joey's 1st Mickey Ears 
(which he refused to wear in Disney)

February 2006

Joey's Favorite Disney Hat ~ Buzz Lightyear Cap
(if it still fit him, he would still wear it!)

February 2006

Joey's Patriots Hat
(he was wearing this when we had a chance meeting with Mr. & Mrs. Kraft one day in the Magic Kingdom ~ he wore this hat until it no longer fit him)

February 2006

Looking back at these photos, it is hard to believe my little Joey is now 7!  We have all these hats packed away and maybe someday his little boy will get to wear them!

Make sure you head over to Focused on the Magic to link up your Wordless Wednesday post and see what everyone else had to share!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Destination Disney ~ Top 9 Characters

Today I am sharing my top 9 Disney characters as a part of Destination Disney hosted by Heidi over at Heidi's Head.  This was really difficult to pick just 9!  Like last week's entry, this is a list of our family favorites and they are in no particular order:

Rapunzel, Flynn, Maximus and Pascal:  We are all huge fans of Tangled.  These characters are so funny, heartwarming and caring that how could we not love them?  We listen to the Tangled soundtrack all the time and my children act out all the songs and scores from the movie.  

Sleeping Beauty:  Princess Aurora is Hayley's favorite Princess.  She loves that Aurora dances with the animals in Prince Philips clothes.  Even better, she loves the colors blue and pink, so what better princess than one who had a dress that was changed back and forth from pink to blue.  Of course, it does make me proud when she asks why Sleeping Beauty toys are always pink when mostly in the movie her dress was blue.  

Princess Tiana: Emily just loves Princess Tiana.  She sings the songs from the movie all the time.  But I realized how much she loved the movie one afternoon while she was playing with her kitchen and pretend food.  I asked her what she was cooking and her response, "I am not cooking, I am mincing!"  

Woody and Buzz: I cannot separate these two. They are Joey's very first Disney loves!  From the first time he watched Toy Story, Buzz and Woody quickly became household favorites.

Lightning McQueen:  As soon as Joey saw Cars for the first time, he was obsessed!  We started collecting all the diecast cars from the movie, which we then used to teach Joey his colors (all the racers were different colors) and numbers (all the racers have their own numbers).  To this day, Cars has a prominent theme in this house - Joey's room is a Cars theme and you can find several Cars around the house on any given day.

Belle:  From the first time I watched Beauty and the Beast, Belle became my favorite princess.  I loved that she stood up for herself and loved to read.  Even better, she had brown hair, something no other princess had.  Add to that being able to see people's inner beauty without judgement of what they looked like on the outside is a tremendous trait to have.

    Make sure you head over to Heidi's Head and see what everyone else shared for Destination Disney ~ Top 9 Characters!