Friday, March 29, 2013

Saving for Disney: Blog Giveaways and Contests

One way I like to try to save money for Disney trips is by entering Disney blog giveaways for Disney gift cards!  If you have the time you can find all sorts of giveaways on different blogs for these gift cards.  You can try a google search for "Disney Gift Card Giveaway" or search twitter for #disneygiftcard.  If you have a "blogroll" on your web site, you can see when a friend posts about giveaways.  Chip and Co is another resource that often has Disney giveaways that may consist of a gift card.  There are also incentives from many travel agents that include gift cards.


In addition to entering to win gift cards, you can enter to win a vacation to a Disney destination!  While I haven't won yet, I keep entering!  My friend Bruce has a great web site where he keeps a running list of current Disney Contests and Sweepstakes.  Pixie Vacations is another source that has frequent contests and giveaways.

So, best of luck to all of you who are trying to win a Disney Gift Card or a Disney Vacation! :)

Here are some other Disney saving ideas:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Walt Disney World's Le Cellier Review

Hubby and I were fortunate enough to eat at Epcot's Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.   What a treat!  We immediately had a new favorite restaurant.  While we did have ADRs for lunch, we still had to wait for about 20 minutes for a table.  Once we entered the front doors, we sat in the waiting area.  The hosts and hostesses were keeping us entertained by asking Canada trivia questions.  If you got it right, you "won" a Mickey sticker.  It was fun, educational and helped pass the time. I earned several stickers just because nobody else was willing to answer.  I guess they were all too old and "mature" for such childish games!  More stickers for me!! :)

Le Cellier actually means "the cellar" which is appropriate since the stone restaurant seems to sit underground with no windows and many wine bottles are used in the decor.  The lighting is poor- again, no natural light.  Once we were seated we had a chance to look around the restaurant.  I quickly realized why we had to wait 20 minutes.  This place was pretty small!  I would guess there were about 40 tables and they were pretty close together.  At our table for 2, we could literally reach over and touch the table next to us.  It was a good thing we didn't want to have an intimate or private conversation!  The lighting and the close proximity of the tables were my only complaints about the place. 

For starters we got a basket of breads.  The pretzel bread was a-maz-ing!  I was hoping we could get additional loaves to last the week!  But, I had heard great things about the meal, so I restrained from filling up on the bread. This was also the restaurant where I discovered my love for the pomegranate lemonade at WDW!  Being pregnant on this trip I couldn't indulge in the "adult beverages," but the pomegranate lemonade was delicious.  Hubby on the other hand fell in love with the Moose Head Pale Ale beer.  We learned that Le Cellier is the only place in the USA that carries this beer on tap.  You can find it in bottles, but nowhere else on tap!


For dinner we both ordered the "Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon."  The menu says it's a 8 oz. Canadian AAA Beef Tenderloin with wild mushroom risotto, white truffle butter sauce and Micro Chervil.  It sat on a bed of mashed potatoes.  This was the most tender, well cooked steak I'd ever had.  It literally melted in my mouth.  I don't even like mushrooms, but this was outstanding.  I don't think I would ever order anything else off this menu!  Hubby also ordered a side of the baked macaroni and cheese.  Since I don't eat cheese, I didn't try it, but he said it was good- just not as good as the steak!


When I made our reservations I made a note that we were celebrating our anniversary.  We were pleasantly surprised when the waiter came out with our desserts that included a white chocolate rectangle that said "Happy Anniversary."  I ordered the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and hubby ordered the Maple Créme Brulée.  Apparently the créme brulée is also a "must have" on the menu- along with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, Pretzel Bread, and Le Cellier Mushroom Filet Mignon.

Overall this was an outstanding choice for our anniversary lunch.  The food was outstanding and the service was great.  The waiter took the time to introduce herself to us and share a bit about the city and Province she calls home.  We had great food, great conversation and learned a bit about Canada in the process.  Each time we mention going back to Walt Disney World, hubby always brings up Le Cellier!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: 101 Dalmatians

According to the film's animators, you'll see 6,649,952 black spots every time you watch the movie 101 Dalmatians.  (From the book "Who Knew?" by David Hoffman.

Thanks for the hop, Jodi, Mike, Heidi and Jenn!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Easter at Epcot

Monday, March 25, 2013

PINspiration: WDW Weenie Art

A year ago tomorrow, I pinned some Princess Silhouette Art that I wanted to use in the baby's nursery, if the baby were a girl.  Well, he wasn't!  Since I had a boy, over 6 months ago, I didn't want to use the Princess art in his room.  Instead, I decided to use Disney Weenie's for the silhouettes.  If you're not familiar with what a Disney "Weenie" is, it's a visual icon in a Disney Park that draws in guests.  Think Spaceship Earth, Cinderella Castle, Tree of Life and The Sorcerer's Hat.

So, I made my own Weenie Silhouettes!  I failed to take pictures of the full process.  I only have the final product.  :(  But, I'll give you the details of how I did it!

First I did a Google Image search for each of the icons.  I searched for "Disney Spaceship Earth Silhouette" until I found an image I liked.  For the Tree of Life and Spaceship Earth, I had to find a picture of those icons on a trading pin.  For the Sorcerer's Hat, I found an embroidery design I liked.  Once I found all my images, I saved them, cropped them and printed them on a full 8.5x11 sheet of paper.

Next, I placed the printed copy of the icon on the colored card stock paper.  I used an exacto knife to cut out the outline of the images on the printed copy.  Then I was able to see the faint indention on the colored paper and used the exacto knife again to cut out the image.

Once I had all of my icons cut out of the colored paper, I placed them on a sheet of white paper and framed them.

Once I get them hung in Big-E's room, I'll take another picture!

For my next Silhouette project, I may do the Toy Story Characters: Buzz, Woody, Jessie, etc!

PINspiration Blog Hop

Friday, March 22, 2013

Magical Blogorail Green: My First Walt Disney World Vacation

Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney Living and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

When I first heard the topic for this month's loop, I wasn't sure I could write much!  But after looking through pictures, sorting through scrapbooks and talking to my mom, we were able to piece our first trip together.

My first trip to Walt Disney World was in March of 1983.  It was spring break week.  At that time my family consisted of my mom, dad, brother (4) and myself (8).  We traveled by car from Huntsville, Alabama to Orlando, pulling a pop up camper behind us!  None of us can remember where we camped but we know it was not Fort Wilderness.  It was some KOA campsite in the area.  We drove to the parks (Magic Kingdom and Epcot) each day.

The line of cars waiting to get into Walt Disney World!  
We were shocked at the number of people!

When we got to Epcot we quickly realized we didn't have "a bag."  Everyone else had some sort of bag  or backpack with their stuff for the day.  So, like any good mom, my mom went back to the car and found a canvas Tylenol duffle bag (my dad was a drug rep at the time), a towel, and an umbrella.  She added her purse and our jackets to the bag.  We felt official! 

Notice the Tylenol bag in the left photo!

One thing we weren't prepared for was the crowds.  I mentioned the cars lined up on the highway waiting to get into Walt Disney World, but look at the crowds at Journey Into Imagination, Tom Sawyer Island and The Liberty Square Riverboat below!  I don't think I've ever seen that many people in line or on any of those attractions since!

I really don't have too many memories of the attractions.  I vaguely remember being on Tom Sawyer Island and I remember loving Journey into Imagination (along with the crowds!).  Apparently we did the Skyway and Swiss Robinson Treehouse since we have photos of the castle from both attractions! 

In looking at the photographs, I am quite surprised that my parents bought us souvenirs.  I don't remember buying these, but I do know my folks were cheap frugal while we were growing up!  In the photos below, my brother an I are 1) eating popcorn from the park and 2) wearing t-shirts and a visor from the parks.  Crazy that they bought more than our park tickets and food for the day!  (Remember how I said we camped...)

The one tangible thing I found during my scavenger hunt from the WDW trip of 1983 was a bag from Epcot.  Apparently we bought something rather small, like a postcard or two, to fit in this bag- or else I begged the store cast member to give me one!  I'm not sure why I thought I should save an Epcot bag, but now I'm glad I did!

So, there ya have it.  My very few memories from our first Walt Disney World vacation in March of 1983- 30 years ago this week!!  What memories do you have from your first WDW Vacation?

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Green this month. We will be back Friday, April 26th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
2nd Stop ~ Mouse on the Mind
4th Stop ~ Disney Living 

Saving for Disney: Couponing

One thing I wish I was better at is couponing!  I know how to do it, I just have a hard time finding time to do it.  One of my inspirations to learning how to coupon is Kristen Cooper from Couponing to Disney.  She has figured out how to save money at the grocery stores and drug stores by cutting coupons.  With the money she saves, she adds it to her Disney fund.

Couponing to Disney

So, if something costs $4 and she has a $2.00 off coupon, Kristin will pay $2 for her item, but put the $2 she saved into her Disney fund.  So, she's still using the same amount of money, but part is used on items and the other is put in her fund.  She has great ideas, tips and trip reports on her blog Couponing to Disney!

Here are some other Disney saving ideas:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Magic Kingdom Park Map 1986

 I've been going through old scrapbooks and photo albums looking for memorabilia from my first Walt Disney World trip in 1983- you'll see why tomorrow! :)

During my scavenger hunt, I found the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Guide Books from our trip in 1986.  I love looking at the old maps and information from this trip!  While so much is still the same, so much has changed as well.  I love remembering all the stores and entertainment located on Main Street USA.  I also like reading the information section of the guide- "Wonders of Walt Disney World" for students 10-15!  You could send your kids on their own backstage tour.

What is your favorite part of this 1986 Guide Book?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Disney Characters

Did you know Dumbo is the only Disney animated movie whose title character doesn't speak?

Did you know the first movie where the title character wasn't played by a woman was Peter Pan?

Did you know the "villain" in Bambi is never seen on screen?

Did you know The Princess and the Frog was the first Disney animated movie to feature an African-American protagonist?

Now you do! :)

  Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Epcots Norway Pavilion

Friday, March 15, 2013

Saving for Disney: Savings Jar

I very rarely use cash to pay for things.  So, therefore I very rarely have change!  But, when I do have change, or find it in the washing machine, in the couch cushions or on the sidewalk, I keep it.  "Finders Keepers," right?  When I do have change, I don't spend it.  I stash it.  I have a bowl where I keep it all.  Once I collect enough change, guess what I do with it?

Yep, I buy a Disney Gift Card!  

While my bowl is very boring, there are many more fun, creative ways to stash your "Disney change!" You could  make your own Disney Trip Savings Jar, like the one below made by Jodi at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse.  Or you could purchase a Disney themed piggy bank from the Disney Store.


How does your family store your saved cash or change for future Disney trips?

Other posts on Saving for Disney: