Thursday, March 29, 2012

Destination Disney: 9 Favorite Characters

It's time for Destination Disney again with Heidi!  Thanks for hosting, again!!

This week, our theme is "9 Favorite Characters."  This is a hard one for me (almost as hard as last weeks!).  I LOVE meeting the characters.  My goal is to one day meet them all... which I know will never happen because some just NEVER come out!  Anyway, here are my 9 Favorite Characters that I have met in the parks:

#9 Clarabelle Cow  I think I like her because she's classic and so rare.  I've only seen her once on all my trips to WDW.  Now that she has made a "come back" on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, my youngest even knows who she is!

#8 Esmeralda She is another "rare" character now. I really enjoyed the movie "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and LOVED the stage show at MGM Studios back in the 90s.

#7 Queen of Hearts  Part of the reason I like "the Queen" so much is the memory that goes with meeting her!   When we met her several years ago, she was so fun to interact with!  She wouldn't just "smile" for a picture, she continued to try to take off my head...

#6 Cruella DeVil  Yes, she is mean and she frightens me a bit!  She's a great villain to meet at the parks.  Being a "face character" she will interact more with you and talk to you.  She NEVER gets out of character and I love to hate her! :)

#5 Anastasia/ Drizella Yes, this is technically 2 characters, but it's hard to find one without the other, so I'm lumping them together.  While I've met them both to get them to sign my book, I somehow lost the picture, so this parade photo was the best I could do!  These two are hilarious to meet!  They are just the same in person as you would think after seeing the movie!

#4 Mr Incredible   I have met Bob Parr, AKA Mr Incredible several times at the parks.  But, one "conversation" we had makes him rank in the top 9 of Favorite Characters.  Do you know how many kids Mr Incredible has?  Apparently, he doesn't!

#3 Belle  I couldn't make a top 9 list without including at least 1 princess!!  While I'm not really a "princess" kind of gal, I do love Belle.  She is my favorite princess and if I were to be a character at the parks, I would want to be her.  I think I'd rather wear her blue dress and apron rather than the yellow ball dress too! :)

#2 Naveen  I love the movie "The Princess and the Frog" and Naveen is my favorite prince!  He has been the best prince, BY FAR, to actually meet.  He is hilarious and I love how he continuously "ribbits" while he's talking to you!  Plus the fact that he offered to let us come back to meet them when my son wasn't crying made my day!

#1 Mickey Obviously, my favorite character is Mickey Mouse himself!  While I've met him many, many times, it was the last time I met him that was the most special to me.  I told him I was pregnant with this baby before I had even told my own parents!!  He graciously took a picture with me while patting "the baby!"  (and Minnie's face is quite priceless too!) 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: April Showers

April Showers Bring May Flowers!!!
Disney's Hollywood Studios, February 2012

Thanks for the hop, Deb!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chip & Co: Easter Worship and 10 Free & Cheap Things to do at WDW

I've had two new posts over at Chip & Company this week!  See what I have to share about:

Easter Sunday at WDW and 10 Free or Cheap Things to do outside WDW Parks.

20 Days to 20 Years: Disneyland Paris 2007

20 Days to 20 YearsBon Jour!
Today I'm happy to share with you my guest post at :DISTherapy!  Donna is hosting a 20 Days to 20 Years countdown with Beth from Pursuing the Magic and Amanda from Manda's Disney Blog to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris!  I'm sharing a few things about the year 2007 when Disneyland Resort Paris celebrated it's 15th anniversary.

Click HERE to read all about 2007!

Au revoir!

Tuesday's Tip: Keep Your Shirt Down

This tip comes from my youngest brother!  Last week, he and his girlfriend spent the week at Walt Disney World.  On Monday night, they were taking advantage of the Evening Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  While they were riding Tower of Terror, the ride came to a stop right before they were to take the first fall.  A voice came over the intercom and said (I'm paraphrasing), "The ride has temporarily stopped.  Please lower your shirt so the ride can resume.  We will not continue the ride until you put down your shirt.  Thank you."  Mark said there was a guy on the front row with his shirt pulled up.  I guess he was ready to flash the camera!!  Once the ride was over, there were 2 Disney Cast Members waiting for "the guy" when he got off.  They didn't kick him out, but they did give him a "stern talkin' to" according to my brother!!

So, while you are on a Disney attraction, remember to keep your shirt down so the ride won't temporarily stop! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

PINspiration: Disney Nursery Art

My friend Amy at Disney Living hosts at PINspiration Blog Hop each Monday.  I haven't participated yet because I haven't created any of my Disney Pins yet!  But, I did pin one thing months ago that I wanted to look at again...

Subtle Disney Princess wall art for a nursery.  If I have a baby girl (and I'll know in 5 weeks!) these may need to be recreated for the nursery!  Another idea I had was to do 4 pictures with the four WDW Park Icons: Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, Sorcerer's Hat (or maybe the Earful Tower) and The Tree of Life.  That would be better for a boy's nursery, I think! 

I'll let you know which I decide to do and if when I do it, I'll show you the final product and then you can "pin it" on your boards!

Thanks for the fun hop, Amy!
PINspiration Blog Hop

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thoughts for the Week: March 19-24, 2012

I'm still trying to get caught up with all my thoughts from my trip in February.  I have several posts started, but can't find the time to finish and add the pictures.  Ugh.  Leap Day didn't seem to help me at all giving me an "extra day!"

A few fun Disney things that happened this week... C-man saw Ratatouille and Princess and the Frog for the first time.  He enjoyed Ratatouille but was scared of the Shadow Man in Princess and the Frog.  I can't say I blame him!  He's one of the creepiest villains in my book!  I also got my PhotoPass pictures in the mail today! :)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
For my Tuesday's Tip today I wrote about the path along the Rivers of America from Frontierland to Liberty Square.  Do you take this path or the main path?  I was told if you're lucky you can even see the gator that lurks in the waters!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Disney Icons was the theme for Wordless Wednesday with Deb at Focused on the Magic.  I shared several of my Castle shots through the years!
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Heidi at Heidi's Head brought back the Destination Disney Meme!!  Today's theme was Top 10 attractions.  Did your favorite make my list?
Friday, March 23, 2012
I joined my friends on Magical Blogorail Green and posted about the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot this spring.  What is your favorite part of this festival?

Other Disney News around the web...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Magical Blogorail Green: Flower and Garden Festival

Welcome to those of you joining me from Adventures of a Disney Princess and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I'm so excited about this topic!  Not because I have a lot of personal stories to share, but because I've never been to the Flower and Garden Festival and can't wait to go one day!!

The festival began in 1993 and from what I can tell through my research is that it hasn't changed very much.  It's still just as awesome today as it was in 93.  The festival features beautiful gardens, Disney topiaries, presentations from HGTV stars, concerts and programs.  This year it began on March 7 and will continue through May 20.  If you are at Walt Disney World during these times, I would encourage you to take advantage of the excitement going on at the Flower and Garden Festival:

(You can follow this link to the WDW web site and click on the links on the left to get additional info on each of these bullet points!)
  • Throughout the festival you can see your favorite HGTV and DIY Network designers sharing their tips on gardening.  
    • John Gidding
    • Sabrina Soto
    • Jason Cameron
    • Camille Styles
    • Dan Faires
    • Brandon Johnson
    • Meg Caswell
    • Monica Pedersen
    • Antonio Ballatore
    • Carter Oosterhouse
    • Genevieve Gorder
  • You can also enjoy a nightly concert during the "Flower Power" Concert Series featuring different singers from past decades.
    • Jose Feliciano
    • Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
    • The Guess Who
    • The Spinners
    • Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
    • Paul Revere & The Raiders
    • The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie
    • Chuck Negron Formerly of Three Dog Night
    • The Orchestra Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO Part II
    • Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
    • The Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz
  • Visit the Festival Center located in the old "Wonders of Life" pavilion between Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE where you can see presentations, grab some refreshments and gather resources.
    • Intermissions CafĂ©
    • HGTV Designers Stage
    • Greenhouse Stage
    • HGTV Theater
    • Ask an Expert
    • Planting Pointers
  • Check the schedule and see what "themes" will be present while you are at the Festival.
    • Art in the Garden
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Specialists
    • Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
    • Fresh from Florida Weekend
  • View the special displays located throughout Epcot's Future World and World Showcase.
    • Babi's Butterfly House
    • Sustainable Beauty
    • English Tea Garden
    • Haiti: Garden of Many Colors
    • Other Unique Gardens
    • Topiaries
    • Epcot Gardens of the World Tour
  • If you have kids, make sure you check out the different children's activities at the festival just for them.
    • Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden
    • Bambi's Butterfly House
    • Let's Get Moving
    • Haiti: Garden of Many Colors
    • Backyard Play Garden
    • Toy Story Alphabet Garden
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is 

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Destination Disney: Top 10 WDW Attractions

I can't tell you how excited I am that "Destination Disney" meme is back!!  My sweet friend, Heidi, hosts this and she's taken a break from hosting this meme for a while.  I love the themes she provided in the past and was thrilled when she asked for ideas and actually accepted mine!

So, for this weeks "Destination Disney" we are highlighting our TOP 10 Attractions!  This was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I mentally walked through each park and each "land" thinking of all the attractions- which one's I loved, which ones I liked, which ones I tolerated and which ones I skipped!  I think I've come up with my final list, but I'm still not sure I have all 10 in the proper order, with #1 being my top choice.... but, here is my list anyway!
10. Spaceship Earth
Depending on the day I'm asked, Epcot is my favorite park along with Magic Kingdom.  To me, Spaceship Earth exemplifies Epcot.  The "ball" is the first thing I think of when I hear the word Epcot.  Everyone in my family enjoys this attraction and I like the changes that were made a few years ago.  I like the addition of the interactive ending.  It reminds me a tad of Horizons!

9. Splash Mountain
This is one of the best attractions because of the length and use of audio-animatronics!  While I have been known to skip this attraction on cold days and evenings (due to getting wet), it still ranks in my top 10.  On a hot summer day, it's the perfect way to cool off!

8. Living with the Land
For some reason, our family loves this attraction.   I think for me, it reminds me of Walt's original idea for Epcot.  The crops grown on this attraction are actually used throughout the restaurants in Epcot.  While Epcot as we know it is not a true community as Walt wanted, this ride shows community by providing the food.  Each time I go on this attraction, I see something new and learn new things.

7. Haunted Mansion
This is a classic!  I loved the way it was, but I love it more after the recent renovations to the actual ride and the queue.  The back story is awesome and everyone can ride it- unless the little ones are too scared!  While I haven't taken my 3 year old on it yet, I look forward to the day he rides for the first time.

6. Jungle Cruise
Maybe I should say "Jungle Cruise at Night" is one of my top 10 attractions!  While I love this ride during the day, it's 10 times better at night!  I think later in the day the skippers get a tad cornier and the ride through the rivers are a tad creepier.  This is another attraction all of my family enjoys and looks forward to riding.

5. Toy Story Mania
This ride is fabulous for anyone who has any type of competitiveness in their blood!  When I go on this ride I even find myself "competing" with guests I don't even know!  Again, everyone in my family enjoys this- even when my son was 2.  The theming of the queue is outstanding and the attention to detail in the actual ride is great.  The only downside to this one is the wait times.  You have to be there first thing in the morning to grab a Fastpass or else you're standing in line for well over an hour.

4. Space Mountain
This roller coaster has moved around over the years on my "top roller coaster list."  When I was younger, it was my least favorite at WDW.  For some reason now it's number 2 on my roller coaster list!  Maybe it was the refurb a few years ago, or maybe it's because I'm getting older!?!

3. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Hands down, my favorite coaster at WDW.  (It still doesn't compare to California Screamin' at California Adventure though!!)  I love the music, the speed, the theming, the twists and turns.  I'll continue to ride it as long as my body, equilibrium and stomach will allow!

2. Kilimanjaro Safari
This is the only Animal Kingdom attraction on my top 10 list, but it made it to #2 overall!  While I do find the story of "Little Red" hokey (and I'm glad there are rumors that this will be ending soon) I love this attraction!  Each time I've been on this attraction it's been totally different.  I've only seen the male lion walking around once and some animals I've never spotted- even though the tour guide has pointed them out!  The theming and attention to detail, again, make this attraction fantastic!  While I've never been to Africa, and probably never will, I feel like I've experienced part of Africa by going on this ride.

1. Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
My top attraction is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.  While the name has changed several times over the years, I still call it the WEDWay Peoplemover!  I'm not sure why this is my favorite.  There isn't a lot of theming, it isn't a thrill ride and it doesn't scream Disney, but it's still my #1 go to attraction.  Maybe it's the corny jokes (Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow!), the wind blowing in my hair, the views of the castle or the idea that there is hardly ever a line... I don't know.  But if I go to WDW I have to ride this.  If I could only choose 1 ride to ride on a trip, this is it.  Call me crazy after looking at #10-2, but I love the WEDWay Peoplemover!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Icons

I don't think it matters how many times I've been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland or how many pictures I have of the Castles.  I'm still going to take at least a dozen each trip!  Below are several of the photos I've made through the years of Cinderella Castle and and above are a few I made of Sleeping Beauty Castle.  

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Take the Path

While in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, did you know you can walk along the Rivers of America to travel from Frontierland to Liberty Square?  Many times this is a quicker option if you are trying to get from point A to point B in a short amount of time.  Usually there aren't as many people on the wooden walkway from Splash Mountain to The Liberty Square Riverboat as their are on the "main street."  Plus, you get to see the River up close and you can catch glimpses of Tom Sawyer Island.  Another good time to use the walkway instead of the street is when a parade is in progress or about to start!  People line the street making it hard to get through, but the walkway by the river doesn't have people standing still waiting for a parade!