Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Look Back at Our 2014 Disney Side for the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Focused on the Magic
Today I am joining the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Focused on the Magic.  As we look back over 2014 and all the ways we showed our Disney Side, there is one photo that comes to mind.  It was my "little" Emily's seventh birthday, which of course, was an all out Frozen affair.  We built a fireplace out of boxes, red vinyl tableclothes and white electrical tape.  Add in a Princess Elsa/Emily and Olaf, and it made for a great way to celebrate my youngest's birthday!

From our family to yours, we hope your 2015 is filled lots of Disney magic and family fun!

To see what everyone else had to share as they looked back over 2014, head over to

Join in with your own photo or take a virtual "stroll" through this online photo album!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Rooms Now Accommodate Five!

Disney has just started allowing families of five to book rooms at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.  The only other moderate that accommodates families of five is Disney's Port Orleans Riverside.  I am quite excited about this news.  As a family of five who cannot afford the cost of the deluxe resorts, this gives us more options to book a room we can fit in.  Even better, our 2015 vacation was actually booked at Port Orleans, but since we moved to the Caribbean, we were able to save money since we could get a standard room instead of a pool view room.

Of course, we love both of these resorts, so as long as we are at Disney, we are happy, but when we can save money and use it for something else, such as souvenirs or character meals, it makes for an even better vacation!  To see my reviews of both these moderate resorts that now accommodate families of five, use the links below:

What do you think of this new offering from Disney?  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Little Halloween Fun with "That Evil Emperor Zurg"

Today I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Focused on the Magic with fun a photo we took at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party back in 2011.  My husband was good sport in his Buzz Lightyear costume!

Make sure you head over to
and take a stroll through this vurtual photo album of Disney villains!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Enter for Your Chance to Win a Copy of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2015

I have written many posts about my love of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, including a full review of the 2015 edition.  I consider this a tremendous resource for everyone planning a their next Disney vacation.  With that said, I have been given the opportunity to give a copy of this planning tool to one of my readers.  From dining and resort profiles to attraction rankings and touring plans, there is everything you need to know to create a magical vacation for you.

Follow the Rafflecopter directions carefully below to enter for your chance to win your very own copy!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2015 ~ A Review of My Favorite Guidebook

I love this year's cover photo!
Through the year, there are many dates we look forward to - birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and for me, the release of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.  This guidebook is by far my favorite reference to have by my side when I am planning our family vacations, which if you have been following my blog for a while, you've read about my love of this book before!  I discovered this gem back in 2008 and have purchased it (and read it cover to cover) every year since.  Upon first glance, this book could seem like an overwhelming amount of information, but once you read it, or pick through the parts that particularly interest you, you will see what a valuable resource this truly is.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is a yearly publication, with Bob Sehlinger (author) and Len Testa (Coauthor) leading a team of writers, statisticians, data collectors, hotel inspectors and more.  With so many working together to create this amazing resource, they are able to give you not just the where and what of a Disney vacation but also a how and why.  The in-depth review of restaurants, attractions and resorts gives you plenty of information to create a vacation that works for your family.

I am a planner AND a numbers person, so I love The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.  Everything is ranked with numbers or percentages based on historical data, as well as the results of the reader surveys.  For example, not sure if a restaurant is right for you?  No worries, this book includes a profile of every quick service and table service dining spot.  With that profile is included a ranking for quality, value, portion size and reader survey responses, as well as signature items, the atmosphere, recommendations and more.  It makes it quite easy to take a peek at one of the profiles and see if they offer something that would be a good fit for your family.

Monday, July 28, 2014

In Flight Fun for the Kids ~ Disney Themed Word Search Books

In Flight Fun for the Kids is a series of posts focused on sharing great items to pack in your child's carry on bag when flying to Disney or any other vacation destination.  Today, I am sharing yet another great find from The Dollar Tree, as well as an update to a previous post in this series.

The Dollar Tree tends to be my number one source for some of our carry on items.  On our last trip to The Dollar Tree, we found a wide selection of Disney themed word search books.  Not only did they feature some of our favorite characters, but they were smaller than regular sized coloring books or notebooks.  They would easily fit into the kids' backpacks in the front pockets without weighing them down.

Unlike the Disney-themed Play Packs, featured earlier in this series, which include their own set of crayons, you would need to also pack your own crayons or writing utensils.  The good thing is, there is no shortage of Disney themed crayons at The Dollar Tree either!  From Disney Princesses to Cars to Disney Junior characters to Monsters University, you can find crayons to suit the likes of your child.  Though, after testing out all the ones you see in the photo, I do not recommend the confetti crayons.  They crumble as you use them because the colors were not melded well together (or at least that's my non-expert opinion on why they crumble).

Back to School with Olaf, Anna, Elsa and Friends for the Frozen Blog Hop

I am very excited to be participating in the Frozen Blog Hop! You will find many posts by many bloggers talking about Frozen crafts, parties, clothes and much, much more!  Make sure you check out all the great articles in the links below!

Growing up, I always loved going back to school shopping.  I wasn't necessarily excited about all the clothes buying, but I looked forward to picking out that perfect Trapper Keeper (does this give my age away?  Do they even still sell these?), cute and colorful folders, new pencils, fun lunchbox and of course, a new backpack! Now as a mom, I still LOVE shopping for these things for my own children.  And today, compared to when I was younger, there are so many options to choose from!

My children all love Disney's Frozen (I have yet to meet someone who doesn't!) and we have been in search of bringing as many "warm hugs" and Frozen fun to our back to school shopping excursions as we can.  Unfortunately, where we live EVERYTHING is sold out.  That's right, every store in my area is clean out of anything remotely related to Anna, Elsa, Olaf and friends.  Even travelling almost an hour away to go to the larger stores, we came home with just three things ... a Frozen backpack and two lunchboxes.  Add to it, it was the LAST of the backpacks and we purchased the last two Frozen lunchboxes.  Luckily, Hayley was fine with Emily having the backpack and they each have a lunchbox.  So needless to say most of what I am sharing today, I have found online and check back weekly at our local stores in hope that something, anything Frozen shows up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Bats of Maharajah Jungle Trek for the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is one of my favorite parts of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  There is so much to see and learn. As a mom of a child who absolutely loves learning about animals, we particularly like that we can just stroll through this attraction and enjoy the sites at our own pace.  I was excited to find this fun bit of trivia for this week's Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Dreams of Disney and Heidi's Head.

The bats in the Maharajah Jungle Trek are all trained to respond on cue.  A dog whistle signals to them that the doors are opening and they can go in. Critics said it couldn't be done, but Disney proved them wrong.

Who knew you could train bats?  It is no surprise to me that Disney succeeds at something they were told was impossible!

I found this little tidbit of trivia in the Walt Disney World Fun Facts app, which I downloaded from the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, it seems to no longer be available, but if I find the link, I will update this post to include it!

What is your favorite part of the Maharajah Jungle Trek?

Make sure you head over to
to all the trivia everyone shared.  Who knows, maybe you will learn something new today!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Christmas in July with Hallmark's Ornament Premiere

Our Disney Tree ... I can't wait to put it up
this year!  
Hallmark is host to their own ornament premiere every year in July.  This begins the availablility of certain Christmas ornaments.  July is the first premiere followed by another in October and then another in November.  We visit the Hallmark premiere every year to see which Disney and Star Wars ornaments are available.  Usually every year if you visit during the premiere, there are limited edition Star Wars and Disney ornaments, but this year, there actual are not.  We are looking forward to the release of Olaf (at the October premiere) and Elsa (at the November premiere).

If you have a Hallmark Store in your area, be sure to check out the new ornaments available today.  Here is the link to the Disney ornaments available at each of the premieres:

The Edna and Sleeping Beauty ornaments top my list of ones I would love to see make a "debut" on my Disney tree this year!  Of course, we will countdown to the release of the Olaf and Elsa ones too.  

If you love Star Wars as much as we do, you will not be disappointed with this year's selection.  Not only does the Cantina Band make a debut, so does a Yoda Peek Buster.  And as always, they have a Lego Boba Fett ornament, that I know Joey will be looking forward to getting.  The Yoda Peek Buster will not be available until October, but the rest are available begining at the ornament premiere in July.  You can see all those here: Star Wars Hallmark Ornaments for 2014

There are lots of great choices this year for all Disney fans.  I can't believe we are already talking about Christmas, but I will admit I love it!  I am almost tempted to break out our Magical Fireplace DVD ... ok, maybe not, but we are pretty excited!  

Which of these ornaments are you looking forward hanging on your Christmas tree this year?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Pocahontas Birthday Party Part 1: The Invitations

Hayley was SO excited during our 2011 trip when we just
happened to be in Epcot and crossed paths wth Pocahontas!
We are getting ready to celebrate Hayley's eighth birthday this month (can't believe it!!!).  She has chosen to have a Pocahontas theme and has been busy creating all kinds of fun games and crafts for her party.  She and I worked together to create her Pocahontas invitation, which she chose the colors and embellishments and lucky me, I was left to only being her "puppet" to work those things into a Photoshop project.  Of course, I don't mind that at all because she is my artsy child and can create just about anything and has an eye for coordinating colors ... a skill I lack!

I quickly realized that there is very little Pocahontas items out there.  Since I could not find a clip art image that she liked, I went through my scrapbooking supplies and found a Pocahontas embellishment from a Disney Princess kit that I scanned in and cleaned up in Photoshop.  Since some of the activities Hayley has created will take place in our woods, she wanted to keep the color scheme with browns and greens.  As I looked through my digital scrapbooking kits, I came across Autumn Charms by 3 Lil Monsters Designs.**  The colors are perfect and even better, it includes a coordinating purple paper, and of course, Hayley wouldn't create anything without her favorite color .... purple.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Our Disney Side ~ Celebrating with Disney Themed Birthdays for the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Focused on the Magic
We have many ways to show our Disney side, but today, we have actually been hard at work at one of our favorite ways to show our love of Disney ~ planning a Disney themed birthday party for Hayley's upcoming 8th birthday.  It got me thinking back over my children's birthdays.  So for the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic, from Cars to Mickey to Disney Princesses to Winnie the Pooh (and many more in between) here is how we show our Disney side with our birthday celebrations!

Make sure you head over to
to see how everyone else is showing off their Disney Side!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Princess Hayley

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 "July Calendar Shot."  For us, July is the month that our Princess Hayley was born.  So I decided to share a few photos of her from her four trips to Walt Disney World.

Make sure you head over to
to everyone's July Calendar Shots and add in your own favorite!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia ~ Audio-Animatronics at the Magic Kingdom's Pirates of the Caribbean

Today I am joining in the fun of the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Dreams of Disney, Disney Babies Blog and Heidi's Head.  I happen to love Disney trivia and when I learn something new about one of my favorite attractions, well, it is a good day for me!  As you may recall from the In Pursuit of Pirates series I hosted here on my blog a couple of years ago, Pirates of Caribbean is a favorite Disney attraction of mine!  Here is a fun bit of trivia that I found on the Walt Disney World Fun Facts App:

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is home to 125 Audio-Animatronics.  65 of them are pirates and villagers while 60 of them are animals and birds.

There certainly are plenty of things to see while experiencing this Adventureland attraction!  Is Pirates of the Caribbean on your "must do" list while visiting the Magic Kingdom?

Head on over to
Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
and see what everyone else shared this week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Review of Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort at A Disney Mom's Thoughts

A Disney Moms Thoughts
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is one of my family's favorite resorts in Walt Disney World.  If you want to know why, head on over to 

and check out my review!

Beth and I have become friends over the last few years.  We have found that we have more than just the name Beth and our love of Disney in common, so I was quite excited to be invited to write a review for her!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Focused on the Magic
The theme for this week's Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, hosted by Focused on the Magic, is the Letter W.  Well, there is one W that some people may dislike, but we have found ways to make this "w" not so bad.  That is "W"aiting.  We have found some fun ways to make waiting just as much a part of our vacation as the thrill seekers' thrills, ok maybe not.  But here are some of my favorite photos of us waiting for dinner or the monorail or a bus or just waiting for someone else to make their way back to our group.

Make sure you head over to
to share your favorite Disney photo and to see what everyone else shared!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 Dates

It's here - the dates and tickets for Walt Disney World's ticketed event - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  We attended the party in 2011 and all dressed as Toy Story characters.  It was a lot of fun and something we look forward to doing again someday!

If you plan to attend, here are the dates for 2014:

  • September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28
  • October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31
From Hallowishes (an amazing Halloween themed nighttime spectacular) to the Boo to You Parade (our favorite Disney parade) to characters in costume and so much more, it is a great event!  It was a Disney splurge for us, and something we would definitely do again!

Do you plan to experience Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party this year?  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How To Sign Up for Jedi Training Academy in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Joey was awfully smiley for a Padawan about to face
Darth Vader! Here the Padawans waited before
heading up to the stage.
In 2011, there was just one thing on Joey's "must do" list for that trip.  He just HAD to experience the Jedi Training Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Unfortunately, I was not prepared for just how the system worked and Joey did not get into one of the shows the last day we were in Walt Disney World.  I had some serious mom guilt, since Joey rarely asks to do anything and just enjoys being in Disney.  So my mission for our following trip was to get myself together, make a plan and get Joey into the Jedi Training Academy.

In 2013, the number one thing on my "must do" list was to make sure Joey had the opportunity to battle Darth Vader.  I did not want to see that very sad look Joey had on his face again.  And, since I don't want any other mom (or dad) out there to experience seeing that face on their own child, here is what we learned during our 2013 trip.

First, if you want to experience Jedi Training Academy, be at the turnstiles prior to park opening.  The day we went, Disney's Hollywood Studios was opening at 9am.  We were at the turnstiles by 8:20.  It was my dad, Joey and I.  We left everyone else behind at the Polynesian to get ready and have breakfast.  Just after 8:30 they started letting people through the turnstiles.  As we walked down Hollywood Boulevard, there was a cast member directing people to the ABC Sound Studio where the sign ups were.  There were several families running to the sign up spot even though cast members were asking them not to.  Funny enough we walked and arrived just behind the runners and waited in line.  We were at least 20 people back when we arrived.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Magical Bloggers Eggstra Special Giveaway (Closed) ~ Enter For Your Chance to Win a $150 Disney Gift Card ad Disney Parks Exclusive Pin Set

I am so excited to be joining in with a group of my fellow Disney bloggers to bring you a fun giveaway.  You can use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance to win a $150 Disney Gift Card and a Disney Theme Park Exclusive Pin.

Our giveaway will run from March 31st until midnight on April 7th.  All winners will be chosen through Rafflecopter.  All entries will be verified before notifying the winner by e-mail.  The chosen winner will be given 48 hours to respond and claim their prize.  This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and must be 18 years of age and older.

This giveaway is brought to you by the following blogs:

  • Focused on the Magic
  • Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane
  • Disney Day by Day
  • Home Is Where the Mouse Is
  • My Pixie Dust Diary
  • Pixie Dusted Treasures
  • Mickey Plans
  • Taking the Florida Plunge
  • The Disney Twins
  • Special Mouse
  • Margaritas, Miles and the Mouse/No Guilt Life
  • Jackie's Magical Moments
  • Addicted to Mickey
  • Great WDW Tips
  • Disney Mamas

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

U is for "Us" ~ The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

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 the Disney Letter U.  After much searching for anything that might start with u, I came up with only umbrella, Ursula and Uncle Scrooge.  Well, not having any pictures that include any of those things, I came up with what Disney is all about to me ... "Us" meaning our family.  I decided to choose one photo from each of my trips as a mom to show how our family has changed since Joey's very first trip back in 2006 as a 14 month old.  We have made some amazing memories over the years and I can't wait to go back to make more!

Make sure you head over to 
to see what everyone shared and join in with your own favorite Disney photo!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia ~ Plants, Trees and Shrubs, Oh My!

Today I am joining in the fun of the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Disney Babies Blog, My Dreams of Disney and Heidi's Head.  In honor of Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival, I am sharing a fact from the Walt Disney World Fun Facts App from the Google Play Store.

More than 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs are planted for the International Flower and Garden Festival.

Now that is a lot of flora!  Epcot gets all dressed up to celebrate the displays found throughout the park.  The topiaries seem to get better and better ever year and who wouldn't want their own yard to have flower beds as bright and beautiful as Epcot's during this amazing spring time event?  We won't make it to the festival this year, but we have been several times in the past.  It is definitely one of my favorite times of year to visit Epcot.

Head over to 
and learn something new today by seeing what everyone shared and then add in your own favorite bit of Disney trivia!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ The Flower and Garden Festival Display at the China Pavilion

Focused on the Magic
Today, I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Focused on the Magic.  This week's topic is the Flower and Garden Festival, which is absolutely one of my most favorite times of year to visit Epcot.  The displays around the park are amazing, and it always gets me thinking about how these characters are brought to life through topiaries.  Actually, I wish were visiting the festival right now!  The photo I am sharing is from the China Pavilion.

If you are like me and won't make it to Epcot this year to experience the festival or you are waiting for your spring trip to get here, head over to 
and take a virtual tour of the displays over the years!  Then link up with your own favorite!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

1900 Park Fare ~ A Royal Review

Every trip to Walt Disney World, we attempt to try at least one new dining spot, if not two.  Last trip, we were lucky enough to enjoy a dinner at 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort for the first time.  This character meal was a lot of fun, and I can say we all truly enjoyed the selection of food, especially the desserts!  Of course, my girls were quite excited to dress up in their favorite princess costumes and couldn't wait to meet Cinderella and Prince Charming.

When you arrive at 1900 Park Fare, you check in to let them know you have arrived.  We had a very short wait between checking in and being seated.  We were directed to a photo area. Unlike the other princess meals we have experienced, there is no character in the photo, but still, I really love getting photos of the entire family.  These were then brought around to our table while we were eating, and of course, I purchased the photo package.   The photos were presented in a 1900 Park Fare folder.  This included a large photo, along with several smaller ones and a recipe card for their signature Strawberry Soup.  On the back of the folder is a brief overview of carousels in America with the title "The Year is 1900, the golden age of the carousel in America."  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ Our Disney Side

Focused on the Magic
Every Disney fan has a Disney side, and we are no exception.  Each member of our family has their own favorites when it comes to our vacations.  But there is one thing we ALL have in common.  We love spending time with our favorite characters at as many character dining experiences as we can squeeze into one vacation!

Here we are showing off our Disney side over the years:

Thanks to Deb at Focused on the Magic for hosting another great week of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!  We love showing off our Disney side, and this is the perfect way to share ours!

Head on over to
to share your Disney Side and see what everyone else shared!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia ~ Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run

Today, I am joining in the fun of the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Disney Babies Blog, Heidi's Head and My Dreams of Disney.  I love learning new facts about Walt Disney World, and the one I share today, I had never heard before!  I discovered this fact from the Walt Disney World Fun Facts App, which I found in the Google Play Store.

The original name for Splash Mountain was going to be Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run.

Which name do you prefer?

Head over to
to see all the great Disney trivia shared this week and add in you own!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day Giveaway ~ Enter for Your Chance to Win a $50 Disney Gift Card and Disney Parks Pin

Today we are kicking off a fun giveaway.  I have partnered up with some great Disney bloggers to bring you the chance to win a $50 Disney gift card, as well as a Disney Parks pin.  You can enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below.  Even better you can come back each day for more chances to enter!

Our giveaway will run until 11:59 pm on Monday, February 10th.  The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and notified once we have verified all the entries.  We will then notify the winner by e-mail, and he or she will have 48 hours to respond and claim the prize.  To enter, you must be 18 years old or older and be a resident of the United States.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chip and Dale and a Couple of Pigtails ~ The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Focused on the Magic
Today I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme is Disney Sidekicks and first to pop into my mind for this topic were Chip and Dale.

Chip and Dale were always a favorite of Joey's during his first visit to Walt Disney World.  And in 2011, they continued their shenanigans by trying to tie the girls' pigtails together!  By the way, in this photo, Joey had just asked Dale, "Do you remember when you played peek a boo with me?"  He and Chip and Dale had played several rounds of peek a boo at Cape May Cafe .... in 2006, which was 5 years before this picture was taken.  And of course, Dale nodded yes!  It was a very cute moment!

Head over to
to see which Disney Sidekicks everyone shared and join in the fun with your own favorite photo!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade ~ The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Today, I am joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Focused on the Magic.  This week's theme is Parades, and I am excited to share photos from the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World during our 2011 vacation.

Make sure you check out all the great photos shared this week at
and join in by sharing your favorite Disney photo!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Character Breakfasts in Walt Disney World ~ Part 3: How To Find the One That's Right for You

As you can probably tell from this series, our family loves character breakfasts (really, any character meal!).  Before each trip, we choose just one or two that we want to experience.  The process of deciding takes some time with five of us, including two princesses and one who wants nothing to do with a princess meal.  There are many factors that come into play when we are trying to narrow down our choices.  From the restaurant location to the characters we can find to the food options, there is much to think about before making our final decision!

Location, Location, Location
I use the Touring Plans Crowd Calendar to determine which parks we head to on which days.  Once we know which days we will visit each park, we then determine our dining options based on the park we will be in.  If we are going to be in Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios, we have always chosen to have breakfast at Cape May Cafe at Disney's Beach Club Resort.  With its close proximity to both parks, we can finish breakfast and walk to Epcot through International Gateway or hop on a friendship boat to Disney's Hollywood Studios (or take the boat to Epcot if we are too full to walk!).  With my children being early risers, we can get an early breakfast time and still be in the parks by the time they open.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Character Breakfasts in Walt Disney World ~ Part 2: A Twitter Discussion of Favorites

In part one of this series, I shared my family's favorite Walt Disney World character breakfasts.  That article was prompted by a fun conversation had over on Twitter when I asked my followers which character breakfast was their favorite.  I enjoyed an entire day (and then a second day) discussing this, since I was given many new suggestions of places we must try on our next Walt Disney World vacation.

For the results!  First of all, seventeen people weighed in on the discussion with 23 different votes - even I couldn't list just one!  Next, the only character breakfast not included as someone's "favorite" was 1900 Park Fare.  Finally, I added in which characters, no matter the dining spot, are most popular of the Disney fans who weighed in on the topic.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Character Breakfasts in Walt Disney World ~ Part 1: Where to Find Them and Our Favorites

I love when I ask something on Twitter and I get a fun conversation that lasts throughout the day (and into the next!).  I have always said I could talk Disney all day long, I just need to find someone who can listen as long as I can talk! And yesterday was just that!

I asked on Twitter what everyone considered their favorite character breakfast in Walt Disney World.  The responses were awesome and got me thinking about new breakfasts spots we just have to try on our next trip.  As a mom of three, character breakfasts not only bring a lot of magical moments to our trip, but I can use it for something more.  We always schedule a character breakfast for the first morning of our trip.  It has become a fun tradition and a great way to "kick off" our trip, or as BRGUEST (@Florida407wdw) said on Twitter yesterday, "It's like the opening ceremony of a Disney vacation" - that says it perfectly!  It also has become a way for me to check how my children will react to the characters.  If any one of my three are intimidated by the characters, I know once we enter the parks, there is no point in heading to a meet and greet area.  It saves us time and helps me avoid having a scared and crying little one in our travel party. On the other hand, if no one is afraid of the characters, I know waiting in line for a meet and greet with a favorite character will be worth it!  Finally, should we be short on time in the parks, if we have already met a character at our breakfast, I can usually convince the kids we do not need to stand in line to meet them, because we have already spoken with them.  For us, character breakfasts prepare me, as a mom, for a week of meeting (or not meeting characters) and bring a little fun to start our vacation.

Before I get into the conversation from Twitter, here is a list of the character breakfast options you to choose from when visiting Walt Disney World:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia ~ The Voice of Madame Leota

Today I am joining in the fun of the Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Blog Hop hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Disney Babies Blog, Heidi's Head and My Dreams of Disney.  I used the Walt Disney World Fun Facts App to randomly select a tidbit from the Magic Kingdom about one of my favorite Liberty Square attractions.  I would love to add the link to this great app, but it appears it no longer exists in the Google Play Store.  It is too bad, because it is a great way to learn some fun facts about Disney.  Do you have a favorite Disney trivia app?  If so, let me know in a comment.  I am always looking for new ways to learn more about Disney!

In the Haunted Mansion, the voice of Madame Leota coming from the crystal ball is Eleanor Audley, who also did the voice for Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Lady Tremaine in Cinderella.

The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite attractions in Walt Disney World.  During our 2013 trip, Hayley and Emily finally were "brave" enough to experience it, though Joey still opted NOT to join in the fun.  As our children have gotten older, it has been nice to continue to experience more attractions with them and see their appreciation for them.  Emily loved it so much, she rode it a second time with my aunt and uncle!

To see what other fun tidbits of Disney trivia everyone shared, head over to

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop ~ My January Calendar Shot

Focused on the Magic
Today, I am kicking off the new year by joining in the fun of the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic.  The theme this week is our January calendar shot.  Well, here is mine.  My two beautiful princesses awaiting dinner at 1900 Park Fare.  This moment wasn't about thrill rides or a spectacular show.  It was all about two sisters who love each other and were doing what they love to do most - dress up as princesses.

To see what everyone has shared this week, head over to