Friday, August 26, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Guest Skipper Cards | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Many times, young children are asked by the Jungle Cruise skippers if they would like to "drive the boat" or be the skipper. Two of our boys have had the pleasure of doing this in the past, but of course we can't find the pictures. oh well. While driving the boat isn't technically FREE, you can get a FREE guest skipper card after completing the task of being skipper.  While our boys have been able to "drive", we haven't ever received the card, but I have read about on different sites such as this one

Have you ever been the guest skipper on the Jungle Cruise? Did you get the free guest skipper card?  I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Things I Miss: River Country | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

There are so many things from the past 45 years at Walt Disney World that have come and gone. Many we miss. Others we are glad they are gone. With this new series, I'm going to share some of my favorite things I miss from Walt Disney World.

The top thing I miss is River Country. This water park at Walt Disney World opened in 1976 as a part of Fort Wilderness Campground. I was lucky enough to visit this park one time in 1998, I think. This "water hole" was exactly that, a good ol' fashioned swimming hole that used water from Bay Lake in many of the rides and pools. You could find Slippery Slide Falls, White Water Rapids and Whoop 'N' Holler Hollow. You could enjoy water slides, swings, a beach, a lazy river, and more. 

In 2001, this water park closed. There are several rumors still circulating as to why it closed. Some are because of the death of a child in the 80s, the building of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, the 9/11 attacks, and a Florida law about prohibiting un-chlorinated natural water from being used in water park attractions. 

I still hang on to the memories I had from my one day at River Country. At that time, I didn't take my camera to a water park for fear of losing it or it getting damaged, so I have no personal photos. I only have the page above from a book purchased many years ago at the Magic Kingdom. There are also a few vintage photos in this Disney Parks Blog post.
River Country today via Google Maps satellite
In 2015 however, I had a day to myself and I visited Fort Wilderness.  While I was wandering around I found a fence near the area I thought to be River Country. I couldn't see over or through the fence, but I kept walking.  I finally found the gate and was able to take these photos through the opening in the gate. It was shocking! I would love to walk around this abandoned park one last time, but understand why we can't.

Here are some additional photos taken from a rented Disney boat on Bay Lake and taken by a drone with a go-pro.  

I'd still like to know why Disney is letting this park deteriorate rather than "tear it down." Ideas?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sleeping Beauty Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Sleeping Beauty was our next Family Movie night as a part of our New Year's Resolution. This movie was released in January of 1959. She was Disney's third princess following Snow White and Cinderella.

Surprisingly, my boys LOVED this movie. They had not seen it prior to this viewing. I was worried it would be too girly for them but it wasn't. Disney did a great job making this princess movie appealing to boys too through the humor and fighting scenes. Mine thoroughly enjoyed the end of the movie when Prince Phillip battled the dragon. They were actually jumping up and down cheering for Phillip.

For our snack, we made Sleeping Beauty Snack Mix.
  • Pretzel Sticks- fairy wands
  • Mini Vanilla Wafers- spinning wheels (Or you could use Honey Comb cereal)
  • Marshmallows- pillows for Aurora
  • Cheetos- Dragon's fire
  • Hershey Kisses (True Love's kiss)

You can find additional games and activities on Disney Movies' web site for Sleeping Beauty.

What's your favorite part of Sleeping Beauty?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Balloon Replacement | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Did you know if your child's balloon pops at Walt Disney World, you can take the popped balloon back to the vendor and get the balloon replaced for FREE? This is a great tip since these balloons tend to cost so much!  Currently, the Mickey Ear Balloons inside the clear balloon are $10 and the mylar character balloons are $15. I wish I had a tip for getting one for FREE the first time around!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lady and the Tramp Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Lady and the Tramp was movie #16 in our Disney Movie Resolution for this year. This movie was released on June 22, 1955. This is one of those movies where I can't always remember the details until I'm watching it.  Then I'm immediately reminded of how much I enjoy it! I also can't ever eat spaghetti without thinking of this classic scene from the movie:

For our family movie night we obviously ate spaghetti for dinner. We actually used my great grandmother's recipe from Italy. For dessert, we also had "spaghetti" in the form of a cupcake.

These cupcakes were actually really easy to make. Our family likes chocolate cupcakes better than yellow, but yellow cupcakes would actually "look" better than chocolate. These are the ingredients you'll need:
  • box of cupcake mix and necessary ingredients to make cupcakes
  • canned vanilla icing
  • yellow food coloring
  • Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates unwrapped
  • strawberry preserves
  1. Make the cupcakes as directed on the box and let cool.
  2. Tint the vanilla frosting yellow and use a small icing tip to pipe the icing "noodles" on the cupcake. If you don't have icing tips you can put the icing in a ziplock bag and snip the corner of the bag off to make a small opening.
  3. "Roll" the unwrapped chocolates in a bowl of strawberry preserves until coated. Place one chocolate "meatball" on each cupcake and drizzle remaining preserves over the top of the cupcake for sauce.  If you're having a hard time getting the preserves to drizzle, try heating it for a few second in the microwave to make it thinner.
One thing I didn't think of until after the fact was to grate white chocolate on top to represent parmesan cheese.

Disney Movies web site has great ideas for additional activities, recipes, crafts, and more for your family.

What's your favorite part of Lady and the Tramp?