Friday, December 28, 2012

Magical Blogorail Green: Greatest 2012 Disney Moments


Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney Living and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.  This month, we are sharing our Greatest 2012 Disney Moments.

From a Disney point of view, I would say the release of "Wreck it Ralph"and "Brave" were great moments.  Of course the expansion of Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and the new Test Track at Epcot were high on the list.  But the Greatest 2012 Disney Moments for me revolved around our Disney family.

In February, my husband and I took a no kids allowed trip to WDW to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  We stayed at a new WDW resort- Port Orleans French Quarter, ate at new restaurants that are now our favorites- 'Ohana, California Grill, and Le Cellier and spent lots of time enjoying each other at Walt Disney World.  On this trip I was able to share some exciting news with Mickey Mouse!  He was the first to find out we were expecting another baby!  The look on Minnie's face is my favorite! :)

I also made a special video to share with my youth explaining our mission trip for the summer AND the big news.


In July, my husband and I took the youth group from church to Orlando for our summer mission trip and we spent 2 1/2 days at Walt Disney World.  It was so special to be able to be in my happy place with these kids I love so much.

Being 32 weeks pregnant at Walt Disney World in July is not something I would recommend!  While it was not exactly a pleasant moment at Disney, it was very cool to be down there again with my youngest boy! 

In September, we welcomed our youngest boy, "Big E" into our family.  

In October, part of our family dressed as the Toy Story gang for Halloween.  We couldn't convince dad or JAG to join in the fun. :(

Overall, this has been a fantastic Disney year for the Green family!  My middle son, C-man is already telling Big E about Walt Disney World, watching Disney Jr. and singing Disney songs to him.  We enjoyed seeing the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade earlier this week and it only got us more exciting about future trips.  Hopefully in 2013 we'll experience our first Disney Cruise!

What were your greatest 2012 Disney moments?

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:


1st Stop ~ Disney Living



4th Stop ~ Mouse on the Mind

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Destination Disney: Life's A Climb

"Life's a climb... but the view is great." 
~Travis Brody, Hannah Montana: The Movie

As soon as I read this quote, I thought about Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.  I thought about that initial climb up the mountain and the fantastic view of Walt Disney World before you enter the mountain.  I wish I could ride this attraction and get stuck a the peak of that first hill so I could get a better or longer view of WDW.  THEN, I wish I could climb out of the car and walk back down to the start of the ride. 

On our February trip, I learned I can no longer ride Expedition Everest.  Each year after I get off this attraction my head spins more and more.  Once upon a time, I could ride this back to back and be fine.  Then it was back to back and I was OK.  Then it was only one ride.  Now, I can't ride at all.  I get so sick feeling.  So, I've given up on Expedition Everest.  From now on, all I can do is remember the memories I have and watch videos of other people enjoying this attraction. :*(

Here is the photo of the last climb I made on Expedition Everest in February of 2012.

Here are the after shots of me riding Expedition Everest for the last time. 




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


To all my friends, family, followers, and visitors:

MERRY CHRISTMAS 
&
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Let there be peace on earth.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade


Dec. 25, 1983~ Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade is broadcast live from the Magic Kingdom for the very first time. The 90-minute telecast is hosted by Joan Lunden (of Good Morning America) and popular talk- show host Mike Douglas (the singing voice of Prince Charming in Cinderella).  The last year this parade was aired live was 1996.  In 2009, the name of the parade was changed to "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" since they were filming in both WDW and Disneyland.  Tune in to ABC on Christmas morning at 10am Eastern Time.

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies for Santa from Disney's Grand Floridian


Making cookies for Santa is one Christmas tradition we have at our house.  Last year we made gingerbread cookies from a Betty Crocker mix.  This year, I think we'll attempt to make our own gingerbread cookies from scratch!  I found this recipe online that supposedly comes from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.  At least this will help us get a little "taste" of Disney this season since we couldn't visit WDW!  Enjoy!



Gingerbread Cookies
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 



Makes about 36 cookies


2 sticks softened butter

2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted

2 eggs

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 2/3 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground star anise

1 teaspoon ground fennel

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground mace




Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth using an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix all until combined.

2. In a separate large bowl, sift all the remaining dry ingredients in and mix well. 

3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until a dough forms

4. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in refrigerator until firm, approximately two to four hours.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to sit at room temperature until pliable. (approximately 15 minutes.)

7. Divide dough in half and place on floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until about 1/8 inch thick. While rolling, flour the work surface and rolling pin as needed.

8. Cut out desired cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet, placing them about 1 inch apart.

9. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, approximately 10-14 minutes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Destination Disney: Bambi II Quote

“The colder the winter, the warmer the spring. The deeper the sorrow, the more our hearts sing.” ~from Bambi II

When I first read this quote I had no idea what to write about or even a picture to go along with it.   I haven't seen Bambi II so I didn't even know the context of the quote.  So, I turned to Google to see if I could get any inspiration.  And sure enough, I did.

Apparently, this is a song by Alison Krauss titled "There is Life."

Under the snow, beneath the frozen streams
There is life
You'll have to know when nature sleeps she dreams
There is life

And the colder the winter, the warmer the spring
The deeper the sorrow, the more our hearts sing
Even when you can't see it inside everything
There is life

After the rain the sun will reappear
There is life
After the pain the joy will still be here
There is life

For it's out of the darkness that we learn to see
And out of the silence that songs come to be
And all that we dream of awaits patently
There is life, there is life

Once I read the lyrics to the song, I realized what I would post about.  The children from Newtown, CT.  There is life in Newtown.  Life may be different for many people now, but there is still life.  It's easy for all of us to think about these precious lives in Newtown now because the tragedy is so fresh on our minds.  But what about next week, next month, next year?  Will we still remember there is life in Newtown?  That's my challenge to each of us.  To remember that there is still life in Newtown. After the cold of winter, there will be a warm spring and I hope our hearts will still sing for these people in the future.  

The lives that were lost bring tears to our eyes and makes our hearts ache, but those precious children still have life too, just a different life.  They are with our Lord.  I have no doubts that they are running around in heaven, skipping rope, drawing on sidewalks with chalk, singing at the top of their lungs, blowing bubbles, picking flowers and walking hand in hand with Jesus.  They know how wonderful their new, ultimate life is and they are waiting with open arms for all of us to join them!

Today, tomorrow and forever, remember these families in Newtown who are grieving.  Remember their children whose Earthly lives were cut too short, but wait anxiously for us to join them.  Today, tomorrow and forever, pray for these families, their community and for the day we will all be together, running, skipping, drawing, singing, and walking hand in hand with Jesus!

Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images / SF

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

July 2012 WDW Trip Report Day 2


On July 19 we had our first day in a park.  All 28 of us woke up early and loaded on the WDW bus to head to Epcot.  We were there prior to the gates opening and the first thing I told them to do was take a picture of the back of their park ticket.  Just in case it was lost, we'd have record of the ticket number.  (remember that!)
Once inside, everyone split into smaller groups to find their favorite attractions and grab Fastpasses.  I went straight to Living with the Land!  It's my favorite!  Once my husband and I rode that, we ate breakfast at Sunshine Seasons.  Then I got the call.  One of my youth had gotten sick on Mission: SPACE and needed to go back to our resort to change clothes.  I guess the only good thing was the cast member gave him a new shirt to wear!  He rode the "Orange" side and the shirt they gave him was a solid orange shirt... coincidence?  Maybe!

So, he and I took the bus back to Pop Century so he could change, wash his face and brush his teeth.  Being the trooper that he is, he was ready to head back to Epcot in about 10 minutes, max!  We got back on the bus, just the two of us and the bus driver, and made our way back to the park.  As soon as we got off the bus I hear, "Uh oh, Beth!"  I really thought he was going to yack again, but that wasn't it.  He had left his park ticket in the pair of shorts he took off at the resort.

Instead of panicking, I remembered he took a picture of the back of his ticket!  I was hoping this "tip" I had read about on blogs was true!  We went to guest services and told the cast member we had lost a ticket, but had a photo of the back.  He said it would be no problem, he just needed to see the picture.  We gave him the phone with the photo and zoomed in on the numbers... which were too blurry to read.  He said he couldn't do anything for us.  THEN, I remembered I had xeroxed all the ticket backs with the youth's names and had the copies in my bag.  I dug through, found the paper and gave it to the man.  BINGO!  It worked!  He said this was perfect and he replaced the ticket in 5 seconds!  I asked what would have happened if we didn't have the photocopy and couldn't find our original ticket.  He said our only option then would be to buy a new ticket.  Luckily it all worked out for us!

Following my jaunt back to the resort, I met back up with my husband and we rode Spaceship Earth and walked around Future World.  We used our meal vouchers to eat lunch at Sunshine Season's and then met the youth to start our tour of the World Showcase.  We went to Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy and America.  Then we all hit a wall.  We were exhausted.  After traveling by bus without air conditioning, working on homes for 2 days and sleeping on air mattresses, we really needed a day to relax, but instead we were touring Epcot!  So we decided to take a break.  I encouraged them to drink lots of water and sit.  If they wanted a nap, I suggested the 45 minute Universe of Energy attraction!

Following our break, we continued touring the World Showcase: Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada.  While at each of these countries we had a lesson.  We learned a bit of history, statistics and missions for each country.  This was a great tie in since we just finished our mission trip helping others.

We ended our day with a bit more free time, dinner vouchers (I ate at Electric Umbrella) and viewing Illuminations.

Wordless Wednesday: JOY

Germany Pavilion, World Showcase 2010
Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Photographs at WDW

Recently my friend Michael sent me a link to a blog post about the top 5 photography mistakes seen at Disney.

5. Parents being cross at their kids.
4. Missing out on being in photos.
3. Using flashes in nonsensical ways.
2. Taking too long to hit the shutter.
1. Living their vacation through a screen.

The article is a great read if you are preparing for a Walt Disney World vacation.  All of us need to remember these tips!  Thanks Elizabeth!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Contemporary Gingerbread Tree

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
There are so many things I love about Christmas at Walt Disney World!  One of my favorites is the use of gingerbread at the resorts.  You can see a gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian, a gingerbread carousel at the Beach Club and a gingerbread tree at the Contemporary.  

Did you know the display at the Contemporary Resort uses:
  • 1,050 lbs of Honey
  • 800 lbs of Flour
  • 600 lbs of Chocolate
  • 600 lbs of Powdered Sugar
  • 140 pts of Egg Whites
  • 35 lbs of Spices
  • and LOTS of Disney Magic and Pixie Dust!

What is your favorite gingerbread display at Walt Disney World?

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Epcot Christmas at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse


Magical Mouse SchoolhouseHead over to Magical Mouse Schoolhouse to read my guest post about "An Epcot Christmas!"  Learn more about the Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World!



Candlelight Processional
Nowell from Canada
Father Christmas, United Kingdom

Giveaway from E Diaper Cakes


Since having my baby in September, I have been reminded of how many diapers a baby goes through in a day!  Crazy!  I've also been using all of the gifts people gave us at his birth.  So when ediapercakes.com contacted me about sharing their product with my readers I agreed.  I know how important the essentials are with a new baby and was excited to see they had Disney themed diaper cakes on their site.

If you are planning a baby shower for a friend or family member, these diaper cakes would make an adorable centerpiece and provide the new mom with essentials she will need on a daily basis!  Ediapercakes.com are the only ones who make diaper cakes out of children's books.  Some of the brands used in their cakes are: Pamper Swaddlers, Gund, Kid's Preferred, & TY. Each diaper cake is different, but there are usually 4-6 different baby products in each diaper cake (socks, mittens, brush & comb, manicure set, wash cloth, pacifier, or spoon).

Now, you can enter to win a $25 gift certificate towards your purchase at ediapercakes.com!  The giveaway is for U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Destination Disney: Walt Disney's Quote

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique. ~Walt Disney

What a fabulous quote!  There are so many reasons I admire Mr. Disney and this quote makes me like him even more.  I wish I believed this quote, oh maybe 25 years ago!  At 38 years old, that would have made me 13.  What a horrible age.  Junior High, awkward, hormonal, in between, puberty, yuck.   I did not like myself, was always trying to be someone else and trying to fit in.  Maybe if I had just tried to like myself more, I would have realized how unique God made me.  The older I get, the more I truly believe in this quote.  Even though there are things I would like to change about myself, I do like love myself and am glad I am not like anyone else.  I hope and pray that I can pass this on to my boys.  

Walt Disney was an amazing man and we all need to slow down a bit and read, reread and reread this quote.  Maybe if more people did like themselves and saw themselves the way God does we wouldn't have so many problems in our society.  Better yet, maybe we all need to stop what we are doing and head to Walt Disney World where we can escape so many of the pressures and stress of this life and learn to like ourselves again!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Tips from Garden Grocer

Holiday Meals Delivered

My friends at Garden Grocer put together some tried and true tips that will help you have a safe and happy holiday season, especially if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World!

Security
Use your home burglar alarm system.
If you plan to travel for the holidays don't discuss your plans with strangers this includes announcing your plans on social media sites.
Do not leave a spare key in a “hiding place”. Burglars know where to look.
Have a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

Holiday Decorating & LightingKeep candles away from decorations and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Do not overload extension cords.
Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed or use a timer.

Trees
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."
If a live tree is more to your liking, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.
Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
Make sure the base is steady so the tree won't tip over easily.

Holiday EntertainingBefore you start your holiday cooking – test your smoke alarms.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for your guests, remember to keep an eye on the stove and oven.

FireplacesBefore lighting any fire, check to make sure the flue is open. Remove all greens, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area.
Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Children and PetsPoinsettias although absolutely beautiful - they are poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out-of-reach, or avoid having them.
Watch children and pets around space heaters or the fireplace. Do not leave a child or pet unattended.

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia- WDW Christmas By The Numbers


This was shared on the Disney Parks Blog  in December of 2011.  The numbers may be a bit off for 2012, but it's still amazing to me!  If only we could all decorate as much as Walt Disney World!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Giveaway Prize Pack from Pixie Vacations

Happy Holidays!!  I've teamed up with Pixie Vacations and some additional Disney Friends to offer you this great Holiday Prize Pack all from Pixie Vacations!  We hope this prize will get you in the Christmas Spirit and introduce you to some new Disney Fan Site on Facebook.

Good Luck!
Please visit our friends and LIKE their Facebook pages:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chip & Co- Tips for Flying

Check out the Tips and Tricks for Flying to Walt Disney World I shared on Chip & Company this week!

Magical Blogorail Green: Thankful at Disney


Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Green. Enjoy the ride as we share what we are most thankful for at Disney Resorts.

When I think about Disney, there are so many things I'm thankful for!  One thing I'm most thankful for is the friends I've made through my love for Disney.  This group, The Magical Blogorail, has almost become second family to me and I'm so thankful for the love and support they have shown me over the past few years.  But, this post isn't about friends, it's about Disney resorts so... on with the post!

One of the many things I'm thankful for at Disney Resorts, whether that is Walt Disney World or Disneyland (I've never been to the others) is how they take care of their guests.  Disney does an OUTSTANDING job looking out for people with physical and mental limitations, people with food issues and people in unique situations.  I have several friends who even write blogs solely devoted to traveling to Disney in wheelchairs, traveling with autistic children or special needs children and traveling with members who need special diets- gluten free, dairy free, nut free, etc.  It always makes me smile to know that Disney has taken care of these guests and I'm thankful for that.


I'm also thankful for the fact that Disney is always changing.  While I do miss several of the attractions of days gone by, I'm always looking forward to what is next.  Of all the trips I've made to Walt Disney World, no two have ever been alike due to new attractions, new restaurants, new resorts, special events, new races, etc.  There is always something new on the horizon at Disney and I'm thankful for that.


Having a place where my family can visit and not worry about all the things we've left behind is another reason I'm thankful for Disney.  When we set foot on Disney property we know we are in our happy place and things in the outside world seem to disappear.  When we travel to other places, that doesn't happen.  I'm not sure why this happens at Disney, but it does and I'm thankful.


The last thing I'm thankful for is Disney memories.  The memories I have over the years from Disney vacations top almost all of my other family vacation memories.  Maybe it's because we've been so many times.  Maybe it's just because Disney is THAT good at making memories!  Either way, I'm very thankful for the memories I have.

If you're curious what the rest of my family is thankful for at Disney, you can read about my husband here, my middle son here and the oldest & youngest boys here!  What are you thankful for?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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: 




Final Stop ~ Disney Living