Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stars Fell on DISNEY FANS from Alabama

I've been writing "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" for a year and a half now.  During this time, I have met some amazing Disney fans and awesome writers.  I can honestly say many of these men and women have become  my friends.  Even though we may not have met in person, I still consider them friends and I feel comfortable talking to them through Facebook, twitter, blogs and email about more than just Disney.

When looking at my list of "Disney friends" online, I realized I had quite a collection of fans from my home state of Alabama.  Some grew up in Alabama and don't live here anymore, but still have ties to our state through family.  I started thinking about this group of friends and decided I needed to do something to tie us all together and feature all my Alabama Disney Friends.  So many wonderful things come out of our state but usually others across the country only see the negative aspects.  After emailing these friends, many decided to participate in this adventure on my blog and will be featured once a week on Wednesdays throughout the fall.  This will give us the opportunity to share with our Disney community the positive, wonderful and fun things that come from Alabama!  You will hear from Walt Disney World bloggers, Disneyland bloggers, a Disney Mom's Panelist, a Disney Radio DJ, and many more!

I hope you will join us each Wednesday as one of our Alabama Disney Bloggers is featured on A Disney Mom's Thoughts!

If you are an Alabama Disney blogger, author, podcaster, radio show host, etc and want to be a part of this adventure, please contact me at!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday:Pirates & Princess Parade

Pirates & Princess Party Parade- Magic Kingdom, February 2008

Focused on the Magic
Thanks for hosting Deb!! :)  Check out the other blogger's posts at Focused on the Magic!

Tuesday's Tip: Infants at WDW

Recently, I had an anonymous question on my blog about traveling to WDW with an infant and 4 year old.  She wanted any tips, especially for breastfeeding moms.  She's familiar with WDW, but not as a mom to an infant!  Hopefully she will see this post and will get the answers she needs!

My first tip is to be flexible!  Traveling with an infant and 4 year old will require mom and dad to be flexible.  Don't get upset if you miss an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) because one of the kids was asleep, needed to go back to the resort or is just being a pill!

Familiarize yourself with the Baby Care Centers.  This is where I would spend my time with an infant in all the parks to breastfeed, rock, change diapers and rest.  This will be a great place for the 4 year old too.  There are TVs that show Disney cartoons and Disney Junior shows throughout the day.  There are also toys, child size chairs and puzzles to keep little ones busy.  If you forget any of your baby supplies in the resort, there is a small "gift shop" here to purchase last minute supplies: formula, diapers, wipes, etc.

Another tip is for you and your husband to utilize the Rider Switch program at WDW.  This can be used on rides your infant is too small to ride on but your 4 year old is tall enough to ride.  You and your husband can each ride the big rides with your 4 year old without having to wait in line twice.

One of my favorite sites for information on traveling to WDW with an infant/ baby is Disney Babies Blog.  Jenn does a fantastic job discussing traveling with infants, "wearing" your baby, and tips for planning and being in the parks with your baby.

Good Luck and have fun making new memories with your family! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

23 days to go!

Here is what we have accomplished since I posted an update last:
1. Playlist for the car ride.
2. Completed our Countdown to Disney poster.
3. Started gathering supplies for our MNSSHP costumes.
4. Started packing.
5. Made luggage tags.
6. Made a stroller sign.
7. Made our itinerary spreadsheet.
8. Made plans to have a "Kitchen Sink" with Melissa from Disney on Wheels while we are on vacation at the same time!

Things we still need to do:
1. Find the Campfire Movie Sing a long schedule.
2. Complete our costumes.
3. Make our tie dye t-shirts.
4. Make our Mickey inspired snacks for the trip.
5. Pack.

Butterfinger Cupcake Recipe

Remember last week, I said I was doing Weight Watchers?  Well, I still am and I'm still craving sweets!  I've been searching the internet for good desserts and snacks to purchase at Walt Disney World for our upcoming trip and I ran across this recipe for the Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Roll's at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Last December, when we were there last, this cupcake wasn't available, so I "settled" for the marble one!  Hopefully in September I'll be able to try the Butterfinger one! 
The chocolate marble cupcake from Starring Roll's.
Starring Roll's 
Butterfinger Cupcake

1 box Devil's Food Cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake
1 can fudge frosting
4 cups chocolate chips
6 Tbsp canola oil
3 (3.7 oz) King Size Butterfingers

Quick Butter cream Frosting
18 Tbsp butter, softened
6 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
6 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Prepare cupcakes as stated on the box. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Using a sharp knife, cut a cone shape out on top of the cupcake. Make sure your cut goes about halfway into the cupcake. Remove the cake and fill the hole with fudge frosting. Add the cake you removed to the top of the cupcake, making sure that the pointy cone end is sticking up.

Prepare the butter cream frosting. Mix together all the ingredients and beat on medium for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Ice your cupcakes. It may be easiest to use a piping bag for this. Let the frosting set up for 30 minutes.

While the frosting is setting up, use a food processor to crush up Butterfingers. It may be easiest to use frozen Butterfingers.

Combine chocolate chips and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir and continue to heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before using. Dip the frosted cupcakes into the chocolate - I used a spoon to hold the frosting into place to make sure it didn't fall off the cupcake. Immediately coat the cupcake with the pulverized Butterfingers - just smash it all over the chocolate. Repeat until all cupcakes are dipped and covered. Refrigerate approximately 1 hour to allow the chocolate to set up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Destination Disney: I

Destination Disney with Heidi is all about the letter "I" today!  I didn't have as many "I" pictures as I thought I would, but that's OK!  It was still fun looking through all my pictures.  Link up with Heidi and share your "I" pictures that deal with Disney or share your thoughts that start with the letter "I".  It'll be fun! :)



 Scavenger Hunt: "I" 
Iago and Internet directions


 Ice Cream Sandwich

Flashback Friday: Journey into Imagination

Thanks again to Sarah for hosting this blog hop.  Make sure you check out her blog, Magical Days With The Mouse, to link up or visit the other Flashback Friday bloggers!
Journey Into Imagination, June 1991
Today's Flashback Friday takes us to 1991.  I went to WDW with my family and my high school boyfriend.  He had just graduated high school and I was approaching my senior year.  Little did I know, this relationship would end in the next 6 months! One of my favorite attractions at Epcot in 1991 was Journey Into Imagination.  I loved Figment and Dreamfinder.  I loved the Sensor Rainbow Corridor (pictured above), pin tables and the stepping stones in the Image Works Playground of the Future!  I could, literally, spend hours at this attraction just playing with all the interactive things.  I'm just glad they still have the "jumping water" out front!

Too bad they went and changed it all.  Maybe one day, they'll bring it all back... maybe??

Magical Blogorail Green: The Attraction I Miss Most

Welcome to those of you joining me from Adventures of a Disney Princess and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

When I first read the topic for today's loop, the attraction I miss the most, I immediately started thinking of all the amazing attractions that have been removed from the Walt Disney World parks: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Skyway, Body Wars, the original Journey into Imagination, Horizons, World of Motion and many others.  But the more I thought about it though, there is one attraction I only saw a few times because it was so short lived, but it was incredible!  That attraction was The Hunchback of Notre Dame~ A Musical Adventure at MGM Studios.  

This was a 30 minute stage show at the Backlot Theatre on New York Street at MGM.  This was a beautiful show that incorporated live actors and puppets to tell the story of Quasimodo.  Before the show even began, you were entertained by "Matt the Juggler", a streetmosphere character at the studios.  He would juggle and tell jokes to entertain the crowd leading up to the performance.  The stage included a long runway that came out into the crowd (similar to the Finding Nemo- the Musical stage at Animal Kingdom) so the cast and characters could really interact with the crowd and make them feel a part of the show.   The costumes, songs, set design, acting, puppetry, lighting and pyrotechnic special effects used in this show made it a theatre geek's dream!!   
The blurb from the Park Guidemap says, "A cast of mideival-style puppets, 19 live performers and a series of elaborate set changes brings the story of the bell-ringer Quasimodo and the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda to life.  Songs from the film were recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra especially for the 32-minute show, performed daily at the Backlot Theater."

I think one of the many reason's this show holds a special place in my heart is because we were able to see it for the first time during its soft openings.  We saw it on June 19, 1996 (according to the date stamp on my picture) and it "opened" on June 21, 1996.  I remember feeling as if I were a part of the show when I was watching it.  The set and vibrant colors took my breath away and the singing could rival anything on Broadway.  I really miss this production at MGM Disney's Hollywood Studios and would LOVE if they would bring it back... along with some of the other attractions I mentioned at the start of this post! :)
The only photo I had from this production!
Were you lucky enough to see Hunchback of Notre Dame~ A Musical Adventure?  What'd you think?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Walt Disney World: Not Just for Kids.

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monkeys, Bears, and Gorillas- OH MY!

As I'm winding down the list of characters I have met, I've realized I have quite a few monkeys, bears and gorillas left to share!  Enjoy!
I have met Baloo and King Louie many times on vacations to Walt Disney World.  This photo happens to be during the 2003 WDW full marathon.  It was somewhere around mile 20ish in Animal Kingdom.  I was DYING at this point so seeing this pair lifted my spirits!  I jumped in line, enjoying the break and got a quick photo.  Obviously, King Louie can't sign his name due to his enormous plastic hands!  But, Baloo lovingly signed my book during our trip in February of 2006 while we were at Animal Kingdom.

 I met Terk from Tarzan during my trip in December of 2001 ready to ring in 2002!  We were at Animal Kingdom near the trail that leads to Camp Minnie Mickey.  My brother, Mark, and I stood in line to meet her and she signed my book.  I was a tad jealous of her fur on this day because it was so chilly!!

 Even though I have not seen the movie Brother Bear, I still met Kenai and Koda at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot during my trip in November of 2006.  Mom and I were dipping out of our conference this day when we stumbled upon these two.  Nobody was in line or even near the duo.  They were playing around and pretend fighting when I approached them.  They both "jumped" as if I scared them when I walked up!  Too bad we didn't have a video camera rolling!  They were both excited to take a picture and sign my book.  I guess they were bored without any kids around waiting on them...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yummy WDW Resort Recipes

I started weight watchers 2 weeks ago.  I'm doing fine and may even reach my goal by my WDW trip (if I can stay on track!!!).  But, all this counting and pointing has me pretty hungry at times!  I've found 2 fabulous Disney recipes I'm dying to try.  I may just have to make them, try them, count the points and move on!!

Strawberry Shortcake
Hoop-de-doo Musical Review

Yield: Approx. ½ Sheet Pan (17" x 12")
Yellow Pound Cake Step 1 
1 ¼ pound Cake Flour
1 ¼ pound Granulated Sugar
¼ ounce Baking Powder
Pinch Nutmeg
½ ounce Salt
½ pound Shortening
¼ pound Butter
8 ounces Milk
Step 2 
6 Eggs
4 ounces Milk
½ ounce Vanilla
(Almond Extract can be substituted for vanilla)

1) Sift and blend all dry ingredients from Step 1 together. Add shortening, butter, milk, and mix 5-7 minutes at low speed.
2) Combine all ingredients from Step 2 together and blend lightly.
3) Add liquid mix from Step 2 to Step 1 in three parts, scraping down bowl between. Bake at 350 degrees until tester inserted into cake comes out clean.

Topping: Add whipped cream and Smucker's Frozen Strawberries (thawed) to taste.

Tonga Toast

Kona Cafe


2 or 4 slices sourdough bread, cut 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
1 banana
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
oil or shortening for frying
whipped butter and/or syrup

Cut a 1-inch pocket in one side of each bread slice. Cut banana in half crosswise, then split each piece lengthwise. Remove peel and stuff two pieces of fruit in each pocket of bread; set aside. Mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Mix together well the egg, milk and vanilla.
Heat about 4 inches of oil in a pan to 350ยบ F. Dip stuffed bread into egg/milk mixture and let it soak a few seconds to let penetrate bread. Fry bread on both sides in hot oil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels or wire rack. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kilimanjaro Safaris: African Forest

Here is the last "segment" of my Kilimanjaro Safaris wish list of animals!  I've shared the Savannah East and Savannah West collections.  Here you can see who I've met in the African Forest.  I still need the following:
Egyptian Goose
Helmeted Guineafowl
Northern Pintail
Yellow-backed Duiker

Yellow-billed Stork
Black Rhinoceros
(Maybe I don't need this... remember the picture of the White Rhino on Friday? Maybe he's actually Black??)

There are a lot more birds in this section.  I know why I'm missing so many... I don't find the birds very interesting!  I'll pay better attention in 30 days while I'm down there and see if I can complete the African Forest section.  Wish me luck!

African Forest


Pink-backed Pelican

Saddle-billed Stork

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kilimanjaro Safaris: Savannah West

Here is part 2 of the Kilimanjaro Safaris Animals I want to capture with my camera!  Yesterday, I shared with you the Savannah East animals.  I've done well collecting all of those guys!  I need to work on my Savannah West collection.  I still need to find the following animals:
Greater Kudu

Savannah West

Common Waterbuck 

Grant's Zebra

Greater Flamingo

Mhorr's Gazelle 

Nile Crocodile

Nile Hippopotamus 

Reticulated Giraffe

Sable Antelope

Thomson's Gazelle

White-bearded Wildebeest 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kilimanjaro Safaris: Savannah East

In planning for our vacation in 32 days, I've been making lists of what I want to see and do in each park.  I'm making lists of photos I want to take, "research" I want to do for my blog, and foods I want to try.  When I started working on my Animal Kingdom list, I realized I had quite a few photos of the animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris, but was still missing a few.  I found several lists on the animals through a google search that all listed the same animals.  I compared the photos I had to that list.

The list was broken down into 3 sections: Savannah East, Savannah West and African Forest, with many animals listed in each section of the attraction.  I'll start with the animals from the Savannah East section, since I seem to have photos of all 8 of these animals.  Throughout the weekend, I'll share the Savannah West and African Forest photos I have.

Hopefully, after our September trip, I'll have ALL the animals captured on film disk and I can update these posts to include all the animals! :)

Savannah East

African Elephant

African Lion 




Scimitar-horned Oryx


White Rhinoceros
(I'll have to double check when I get down in September to see if this is actually a White or Black Rhino...)

Destination Disney: H

It's Friday, which means I get to go through all my photos and choose the perfect H pictures for you to enjoy!  Thanks to Heidi for hosting this hop and thanks for all of you for reading.  Check out Heidi's blog to find other great entries for the letter H!

Haircut, 1

Haircut, 2

Haircut, 3


Hollywood Tower Hotel


 Hollywood Studios


H Scrapbook Page: hopscotch


Haunted Mansion

And the best...

Hidden Mickey