Sunday, July 31, 2011

Giveaway from Carey Sutton!

Carey Sutton is giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky follower of "A Disney Mom's Thoughts"!!!

Who is Carey Sutton?  Carey is a friend of mine from Decatur who specializes in Disney Travel.  She works with Sterling Travel and will be able to help you and your family plan the perfect Disney Vacation.  She is helping me plan a trip for 2012 with my youth right now!  Any time I have had a question about Disney resorts, dining or reservations, she has been able to give me an answer.  She's awesome!  When you call for her services, don't forget to tell her Beth from "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" sent you!


One "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" reader will win this $25 Disney gift card courtesy of Carey Sutton with Sterling Travel!

There are several ways you can enter to win this gift card!  Please leave a comment to let us know the different ways you have entered with your name and email address.

Ways to enter:
1.  Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect.  You can find this on the right side bar.  (1 entry)
2.  Follow "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" on Facebook. (1 entry)
3.  Follow "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" on Twitter, @adisneymom.  (1 entry)
4.  Tweet about this giveaway and link back to @adisneymom.  Include the URL in your comment (click on the time stamp to get the URL)  (1 entry per day)

Please leave a separate comment for each entry with your name and email address.  The deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Sunday, August 7, 2011.  Ramdom.org will choose the winner.

Good Luck from Carey at Sterling Travel!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will...


Cruella De Vil is probably one of the best villains in Disney movies.  What makes her so bad, to me, is the fact that she could actually exist in our world!  She's real.  I don't like her.  Well, I do like her, but she scares me, so I don't like her!

I met Cruella at MGM Studios during our New Year's Eve trip to ring in 2002.  She was outside the Sorcerer's Hat with some other characters.  My sister in law, Lisa, and I got our picture made with her and she asked a question right before we had our picture made.  I think she asked something along the lines of, "Are you mean too?"  That's why I have a scowl on my face.  I told her I was mean and she didn't believe me.  Oh well...  She signed my book after the photo and I was set!

I have not ever seen any other 101 Dalmatians characters in the parks.  Have you?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Disney Flashback Friday- Fairy Godmother


Thanks to Sarah from Magical Days With The Mouse for hosting this fabulous new blog hop "Disney Flashback Friday!"  I love the idea of linking up old Disney photos to share with other Disney Lovers!  

This week, my photo is from February 2006 when we ate at Cinderella's Royal Table for dinner.  I'm not sure if the format is the same now, but in 2006 we met Cinderella on the first floor to have photos made, then we took the staircase up to the dining room to be seated.  While we were eating the supporting characters from Cinderella would come out every 20-30 minutes when a specific song played (I don't remember what the song was, sorry!).  I remember the Fairy Godmother and the two mice, Suzy and Perla.  They would "dance" around and briefly stop by at the tables.  Once the song was over, they were gone.  There was no interaction with the "dancing" characters and no time for autographs or posed photos.  This was a bit disappointing to me.  This photo below was the only picture (besides the ones downstairs with Cinderella) that I could get with a character.  However, I totally missed the real photo opportunity!  I was about 1 second too quick.  Right after this was snapped, she finished her kiss to JAG's forehead!  

Destination Disney: E



Welcome to this week's Destination Disney hosted by Heidi!  I really enjoy participating in these "hops" and encourage you to do the same!  You can learn a lot about Disney from other Disney Lovers by reading and participating in these weekly hops.  

This week's "letter" is E.  I went through my old photos that have been used somewhere in my blog and chose all the E pictures, except the elephants and Expedition Everest photos- I added them new just for this post!

Esmeralda

Epcot

E Scavenger hunt: Epcot and Envelope from AKL

Electrical Water Pageant

Emporium

Eeyore

Elephant

My boys on the front of Expedition Everest!

Don't forget to visit Heidi's page and see all the other "E" entries!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless(ish) Wednesday: Club Cool

Focused on the Magic



In honor of my recent mission trip to Costa Rica, I'm featuring a photo from Club Cool in Epcot with "Fanta" from Costa Rica!!  We had Fanta a few times while we were down there, but I preferred a good ole Coca-Cola Light or a Fresca!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Split your stay

When our family traveled to Walt Disney World in 2008 we stayed for 8 nights.  We wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but knew we couldn't afford 8 nights at that resort.  Instead, we booked 4 nights at the All Star Music, 2 at AKL and 2 at Pop Century.  This was our first time to stay at AKL and Pop.  (The reason we spent time at 3 resorts instead of just 2 was because of availability at the resorts!  In a perfect world, we would have stayed 6 at All Stars and 2 at AKL- and in hindsight, we would have stayed at Pop over All Stars!)

It was very easy for us to move from resort to resort!  When we travel, we still live out of our suitcases.  Some families totally unload their belongings into the dresser drawers, but we don't.  This made it extremely easy to swap resorts.  At the beginning of our last day at All Star Music, we loaded up our suitcases and took them to the lobby.  We told the concierge we were moving to Animal Kingdom Lodge and he took care of the rest.  We then hopped on the bus to Epcot.  When we left Epcot, we took the bus to AKL and our luggage was waiting for us there!  All we had to do was check in and take our luggage to our room.

This was a great option for our family to be able to experience a new resort without paying for a full weeks stay!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Make the Route to WDW FUN!

Two very unique web sites I have stumbled upon in my late nigh surfing are both geared towards making your road trips more fun!  If you aren't in a hurry and want to make a few detours or side stops, these web sites are for you.  You can choose your state, area, or location to see if there are any unique things to do or restaurants to eat at nearby.  While I have not had the chance to use these sites personally (other than check out the cool things to do in parts of our wonderful country), I think they would be so much fun to incorporate into a road trip!

Best of the Road by Rand McNally- You can click on a state and it will tell you the best places there!  If one of these towns or places is on your route and has something cool and unique to do, make a detour to check it out!

Roadside America is your online guide for offbeat tourist attractions!  If time allows, make plans to stop and see some of the oddities!

Have you ever used these sites or others similar to make your road trips more fun?  I'd love to hear about it!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Make the Drive to WDW FUN!!

Being in North Alabama, we are only about 9 hours from Walt Disney World.  It's a very easy drive.  I've been able to break it down in three, three hour chunks: Three hours to Atlanta, Three hours to the Florida line, Three hours to Orlando!  Of course when we are traveling with the kids it always takes longer- restroom breaks, play breaks, food breaks, and gas breaks that include browsing the candy isles!


If you are able to drive to Walt Disney World, there are many ways to make the drive FUN!

1) Plan for breaks to play, run around and stretch.  It will make the hours in the car much more enjoyable!  If possible, stop at a playground, a park or a rest stop with lots of open space.  Pack a picnic for one of your meals on the road for extra fun!

2) Pack goody bags for the kids!  I'm always on the lookout for items to put in the boys bags for trips: crayons, coloring books, reading books, a new DVD, mad libs, candy, snacks, etc.  I try to make them all Disney themed to make the treats that much more special!

3) Bring snacks for the car.  If you don't pack snacks in the goody bags, bring extra snacks for the trip: rice krispy treats, trail mix, fruit roll ups, gummies, goldfish, etc.  Also bring a small cooler, if you have room, and throw in some juice boxes and raw veggies to snack on!

4) Make up games to play in the car.  We play car bingo, the ABC game, I Spy, the license tag game and Hiway Lotto (a game my grandfather made up!).  You can also buy travel size games now that are magnetic so the pieces don't get lost as easily!

5) Bring DVDs to watch if you have a portable DVD player or one that is installed in your car.  If this is not an option for your family, consider getting books on CD for the family to listen to as you drive.

What does your family do to make the long drives more fun!?

"Missing Quote Challenge" from years past

Recently, I was reading about extra things to do at the Magic Kingdom on wdwplanner and found info about "Disney's Missing Quote Challenge" in Adventureland.  Here is the blurb from the web site:
  • Takes place several times a week - check the Guide Map for exact dates and times.
  • This is a trivia quest - You are given a list of about 18 questions.  Some of these you will know, others you will have to visit the attractions to get the answers.  Some of the attractions in the past have been:  Swiss Family Treehouse, Hall of Presidents, the Liberty Belle Riverboat, Tiki Room, and the WDW Railroad.
  • You then return to Adventureland with the answers in the afternoon, at about 2:30 pm.
  • Prizes for this can be:  Front of the Line passes (3 for each of you - for everyone who participates); winners also get something else like their choice of more Front of the Line passes, or VIP treatment for the parade (reserved curbside seating, free popcorn, and free soda). 
I did additional searches online and read on a discussion board that this challenge has not been done in many years. Did any of you have a chance to participate in this at any time?  If so, I'd love to hear details!


It sounds like such a fun idea!  It sounds like a poor man's version of the D23 scavenger hunt last May!  I wish Disney would bring this challenge back- or something similar to it.  Or is there something like this already that I've been missing?!?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Magical Blogorail Green

Thank you to Melissa from Makin' Memories for filling in for me today on the Green loop!  Make sure you check out the Magical Blogorail Green's loop on "Memorable Character Experiences in the Park" today.  You won't be disapointed!

If you missed the Magical Blogorail Red loop last week on Modes of Dinsey Transportation, it's not too late to board! 

I look forward to reboarding with my fellow Green Blogorail writers next month!

Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas!

Destination Disney: D



This week our Destination Disney theme with Heidi is the letter D.  Here are some photos of things that start with D from DISNEY!!


DVDs

Donald and Daisy

Dopey

Dumbo

Disney Vacation Connection

D Scavenger Hunt: Dale

Dapper Dans

DiVine

Duffy the Bear

DINOSAUR!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blog Hop: Babies


Today's theme for the Blog Hop with Lisa at Babes in Disneyland is "Babies."  I thought about posting all the adorable pictures of my son when we went to WDW when he was 23 months old, but decided against that!  However, I will post one of the two of us on It's a Small World! :)


For today's theme, I decided to post pictures of Babies from some of the Disney Cartoon Movies.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Baby Herman from Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?

Baby Molly from Toy Story.

Big Baby from Toy Story 3.

The Cupid Babies from Fantasia.

Baby (did she have a name?) from Lady and the Tramp.

Boo from Monster's Inc. (technically a toddler...)

And finally, a picture of the "main characters" as babies!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Child Proof Your Room

If you are traveling to Walt Disney World with a toddler or small child I would consider bringing some of your child proofing gadgets from home for your resort room.  Even on vacation, kids can get into things they shouldn't!  Bringing a few extra things may save a few headaches during your trip.  A few things to think about packing for your trip:

1. Electrical outlet covers.  I think all families have these in their homes to keep small objects and fingers out of the plugs, but do you think to cover these outlets on vacation?

2. Door Mouse.  We use these things all over our house!  They can be a pain when you do want the door to close all the way, but it's nice knowing little fingers won't get stuck in the door jamb!  We use these on the bathroom door.  If you are in a DVC resort, you can use these on other interior doors as well!

3. Door knob covers.  These are perfect for older toddlers or young children who can open a door, but can't open a door with the cover!  If you want you child to stay in the room or bathroom, put these on the interior of the door to keep them inside!

4. Cabinet Locks.  If you are staying at a resort with a kitchen, you may want to lock the cabinet doors to keep curious kids out!  These are small and easy to pack!

Other things to consider when you arrive at your resort:
1. If your child is too big for the pack n play that Disney offers to guests, make sure you request bed rails.  Disney offers these too.  We also asked for extra pillows on our last trip to lay on the floor by the side of the bed C-man was sleeping on... just in case he rolled off!

2. Put the waste baskets on top of the counter or dresser.  Toddlers are notorious for taking trash out of the can to "play with."  The baskets are also lined with a plastic bag that does not need to be over your child's head.

3. Check the room for small objects that are lying around that could be choking hazards or just dangerous for children: writing pens, shampoo, bars of soap, etc.

4.  Always use the top security lock when you are inside your resort room.  It gives me peace of mind knowing C-man can't reach that lock... just in case he learns the new trick of opening the hotel room door!

What are other ways you keep your child safe in your room while on vacation?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's Memory: InspEARations

In March of 2005, I took some of my youth from church on a Citizenship Seminar to New York City and Washington DC.  In my planning for this trip I found out that the 75 InspEARations to celebrate Mickey's 75th Birthday would be on display at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trace Center on Pennsylvania Ave!  I was more than excited to learn this tid-bit!  The display was free AND it was the only location in all the USA (besides WDW and DLR) where all 75 statues would be on display together!

If you missed out on this event, you can see some of the photos I took below and you can visit this web site to see all 75 Mickeys.

The Mickey statue program was made up of Disney artists, actors and legends along with athletes, actors and musicians who created their own Mickey inspirations.  Some of the artists of the life size Mickey's were Ben Affleck, Annette Funicello, Elton John, Tom Hanks, Ellen Degeneres, Chris Berman & Dick Vitale, Raven and many more.  After then end of the statue tour, each statue was auctioned off with the proceeds going to the charity of choice chosen by the artists.

My favorites were: The Red Sox Mickey by Ben Affleck, the Policeman Mickey and the WDW Tourist Mickey!  Did you have a chance to see the InspEARations in 2004-2005?  If so, I'd love to hear about where you saw them and which were your favorites!