Monday, September 30, 2013

Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival

image from Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray Treats Epcot Guests to a Healthy Dose of Cranberry at the 18th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Ocean Spray Bog is back with tips on how to incorporate cranberries into everyday living

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (Sept. 25, 2013) – This fall, Disney fans can enjoy the great taste and healthful goodness of the exceptional cranberry every day, everywhere, every way – especially at the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Park guests are getting a chance to learn how the cranberry’s big, bold taste and endless versatility make it the perfect addition to any snack or dish.

From Sept. 27 through Nov. 11, chefs at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will showcase the delicious versatility of Craisins® Dried Cranberries through select chef demonstrations and private events, at certain restaurants and at the Hops & Barley Marketplace. From savory dinners to simple side dishes and breakfast too, there will be a cornucopia of ideas for adding a healthy dash of cranberries into meals, morning, noon and night. In fact, adding a 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (the equivalent of a 1/2 cup of fresh fruit) to cereal, granola or oatmeal in the morning can help meet 25 percent of your daily fruit needs for the day. 

Looking for a lower-calorie snack alternative? Try Craisins® Dried Cranberries, the official fruit snack of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.  Available in a variety of flavors, reduced sugar and 100 calorie portions, it’s a tasty, healthy way to add more fruit to your day.

“The beauty of the cranberry isn’t just what you see on the outside, it’s how it makes you feel on the inside,” said Ken Romanzi, COO, Ocean Spray Global. “Through our sponsorship at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, we can illustrate the many ways cranberries can be incorporated into snacks and meals every day, and educate guests about the healthy origins of the fruit.”

Farmers in the Ocean Spray cooperative take pride in delivering fresh-picked fruit to families around the world so they can enjoy the exceptional cranberry taste and healthy goodness.  Delivering a true farm-to-fork experience, guests are invited to see how cranberries are grown and harvested at Ocean Spray’s cranberry bog exhibit at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Filled with more than 1,000 lbs. of fresh, floating cranberries, the bog presents an opportunity for guests to bask in the beauty of a harvest while learning about the taste, health and heritage of the fruit from Ocean Spray farmers and Disney Cast Members. 
Can’t make it to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Visit www.oceanspray.com for delicious everyday ideas and seasonal inspirations from around the world. Cranberry lovers eager to share their stories and recipes are encouraged to tweet @OceanSprayInc or post on Ocean Spray’s PinterestFacebook or Instagram pages.
image from Ocean Spray
A Healthful Fruit from a Good Place
Families everywhere are enjoying the great taste and healthy goodness of Craisins® Dried Cranberries. Fat-free, cholesterol-free, and with no artificial flavors, preservatives or trans-fat, cranberries can be part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Craisins® Dried Cranberries are a good source of fiber and help curb hunger longer than many snacks.  The health benefits of cranberries are well documented and Ocean Spray is committed to providing excellent, healthful products. Whether you are looking to add more fruit to your diet, increase healthful snacking or reduce calories, the cranberry is exceptional and full of whole-body benefits.  From Diet, to 100% Juice, to Craisins® Dried Cranberries, Ocean Spray has a wide variety of product choices for every taste and preference.
For more cranberry health information, visit www.cranberryhealth.com.

About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada, and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world’s leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries, and is the best-selling brand in the bottled juice category. The cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured in more than 1,000 great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 50 countries worldwide. With more than 2,000 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. In fiscal year 2012, Ocean Spray posted record-high gross sales of $2.2 billion and net proceeds of $338 million.

About Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, immersed in detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling. His vision now includes a collection of five of the world’s leading family vacation destinations – Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-VallĂ©e, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, located on Lantau Island. A sixth resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, is currently under construction in Pudong New District, Shanghai. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-classDisney Cruise LineDisney Vacation ClubAdventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world’s most popular destinations; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts, cruise ships, entertainment and attractions.

Disneyland #CHOCWalk October 13

Every Step Counts for Kids

November 10, l990 was an important day for Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).  As patients were moved through tunnels and halls from the original building, built in 1964, to a new, six-story building, nearly 1,000 men, women and children walked past the hospital for the inaugural CHOC/Disneyland Community Walk.

The first CHOC Walk stretched over five miles, starting at Main Place Mall in Santa Ana past CHOC and through neighborhoods to the Disneyland parking lot. By its third year, the Walk had outgrown its route and moved to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa for the next nine years.

ln 2002, the CHOC/Disneyland Resort Walk returned to the Disneyland Resort where walkers had the unique opportunity to stroll a 5K route through Disneyland Park, Disney's Califonia Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District.  lt was the first event of its kind to take place at the Disneyland Resort and this new venue proved a huge success for the Walk.  This walk was the biggest in its history, raising more than $550,000 for CHOC and CHOC at Mission.

The Walk has continued to enjoy annual growth and in 2004, it became CHOC's first-ever million dollar event. To date the walk is still a favorite among Southern California residents and during its 23 year history has raised more than $21 million for CHOC Children's and CHOC at Mission.

ln 2012 the CHOC Walk raised over $2 Million dollars with 800 teams and over 15,000 participants coming together for the Children of community.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Magical Blogorail Green: How We Know We've Arrived



Welcome to those of you joining me from Walt Disney World: It's Not Just For Kids and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

This month's topic is "How we know we've arrived [at Walt Disney World]."  I spent some time thinking about this topic and several different things popped in my mind.  But the more I thought, there really was just one thing that made me realize I had really ARRIVED at Walt Disney World!


Here was my thought process for this post:

After driving 9+ hours to Walt Disney World, I always breath a sigh of relief when I pass under this sign!  I know I've made it once I get to this point, however, I have not yet "arrived."

When we check into the resort, I know I'm getting closer!  I am getting settled into my new Disney life for the week and starting to feel the pixie dust, but still, I haven't "arrived."


There is something absolutely magical about walking down Main Street USA!  I love all the sights, sounds, smells and feelings associated with it.  I know I'm "home" when I walk this stretch towards Cinderella Castle and I always try to start my vacation with this walk.  But... I've still not "arrived."

THIS is when I've arrived!!  When I first get on my favorite attraction, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, I have "arrived" and my Walt Disney World vacation has truly begun!

No trip is complete without multiple trips on the Peoplemover! :)

How do you know when you've arrived at Disney?  I'd love to hear in the comments!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Heidi's Head.

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 ~ Mouse on the Mind
4th Stop ~ Heidi's Head
Final Stop ~ Disney Living

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disney "O"

inside the "O" at California Adventure, 2010
Inside the 0 at Pop Century.
I guess technically this is a zero and not an "O", but oh well! :)


Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Disney on Ice Let's Celebrate Performers

image from Feld Family Entertainment
In the Disney on Ice, Let's Celebrate! show that will open in Atlanta, Georgia in October, there are a lot of performers and rehearsals!

Did you know there are 14 male skaters and 23 female skaters in the production who range from 19-42 years old?  These skaters rehearse for a total of 240 hours. 

That's a lot of skating!!  Make plans to head to Atlanta to see the show. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Disney's Guest Assistance Card Changes Coming


As many of you know, rumors have been circulating recently about Disneyland and Walt Disney World doing away with the Guest Assistance Cards (GAC).   Many people have been providing opinions and wrong information about these changes.  In trying to help others plan for future trips, here is some information provided from Leanne Jukabowski at Disney.  Thanks to Kuleen from The Disney Kids for sharing this letter.

Dear Disney Social Media Mom,
In our continued efforts to keep you in the loop of Disney experiences that touch families, we would like to share an upcoming change in the Guest Assistance Card. Disney has an unwavering commitment to making our experiences accessible to all Guests. After careful consideration, we will be replacing the Guest Assistance Card with the new Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities. Until Oct. 9, we will continue to use Guest Assistance Cards. We look forward to sharing more information about the Disability Access Service Card as we get closer to implementation.We know that you often share news from Disney with other moms so we have prepared the following questions and answers.

We appreciate your support and look forward to sending you more details as we get closerto October 9th.

Sincerely,Leanne Jakubowski

Frequently Asked Questions:

How will the new Disney program work?  The Disability Access Service Card will offer Guests a return time for an attraction based on the current wait time. Guest Assistance Cards will continue to be in effect until Oct. 9. We look forward to sharing more information as we get closer to implementation.

Did Disney receive assistance in developing the Disability Access Service Card?  Yes, Disney is engaging disability groups, and Autism Speaks was instrumental in providing feedback as we developed this new process.

Why is Disney making these changes?  Given the increasing volume of requests Disney receives for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process beginning Oct. 9 so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.

Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?  Our goal is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).

Will Guests on wish trips also use Disability Access Service Cards?  No. Guests who are visiting through wish-granting organizations will have access through a separate program.

What should Guests do if they have concerns?  Guests should contact Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.

For additional information, please see this article on Babble.   Also, as always, if you have questions of your own, contact Disney Guest Services directly to get answers from the source.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Magical Blogorail #Disney #Giveaway!


Don't forget to enter for your change to win one of two Disney Giveaways!  A Disneyland Dooney & Bourke Wristlet, Pin Trading Set and Resort Toiletries OR a Walt Disney World Dooney & Bourke Wristlet, Pin Trading Set and Resort Toiletries!

Winners will be announced on September 27.

GOOD LUCK!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Minnie Walk Event Recap


Last week, my friend Lisa from Babes in Disneyland shared with me some awesome information on the "Minnie Walk" that took place at CHOC Children's Hospital in Orange County.  Being in Alabama, I was not able to attend the event and I will not be able to attend the actual CHOC walk on October 13. Thanks to Lisa for providing this information to all of my readers!

2013 "Minnie Walk" Event Recap

The 2013 “Minnie Walk” on Thursday, September 12, continued a decades long tradition at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, California. Disney star Minnie Mouse, assisted by Disney VoluntEARS, led a group of young patients on a special parade through the second floor of the hospital’s new Bill Holmes Tower, which includes an inviting lobby space sponsored by Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

Featuring the participation of over 200 kids, Minnie and her entourage of young admirers were cheered on by CHOC staff and sponsors of the CHOC “Walk in the Park” event, presented by Disneyland Resort held early in the morning before the official opening of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. In the hospital’s on-going efforts to help kids be kids the event offered the children who are inpatient and unable to walk in the upcoming CHOC “Walk in the Park” event (Oct. 13) the opportunity to walk in their very own “Minnie Walk.”

The “Minnie Walk” brings the magic of the CHOC “Walk in the Park” event directly to the young patients at CHOC—many of whom directly benefit from the monies raised at the event each year (launched 23 years ago in 1990). To date the event has raised $21 million and attracts over 15,000 walkers each year, including participants from throughout the United States and around the world. It is CHOC Children’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is the largest and most unique pediatric fundraiser in the country.

“Last year, we had 800 teams, and over 15,000 participants who raised $2 million dollars for the CHOC “Walt in the Park” event, presented by Disneyland Resort. It’s the largest pediatric walk in the nation. People come in from all over the world to be a part of this experience because of what it means to the children.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Big E!

So "Big E" is one.  We had the Finding Nemo Party a few weekends ago and I've finally had time to finish his Birthday video.  Starting on the day we brought him home from the hospital, we took a photo each night of his first year.  I compiled these photos into a video for his birthday- a few weeks late! :)  I tried to find a good Disney song to put it to, but my love for "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart, won.  Mickey was borrowed from big brother for the past year to help measure how big Big E was getting.  C-man was happy to get "his Mickey" back when Big E turned one and I quit taking the photo each night!

Happy Birthday baby boy!  You have brought us so much joy and I cherish each day I get to snuggle with you.  I love you more than you'll ever know.  May all your wishes come true.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Disney Halloween in Hollywood

  

It’s Halloween in Hollywood – the stars and their kids are getting ready for the season! Last night, Disney Store hosted a celebrity Halloween BOOtique event to treat parents and their children to a night of Halloween fun.


Jackson Oliver Fox, on the left, age eight, dressed as Thor, and James Nenninger, dressed as Hulk, pose at Disney Store’s Halloween BOOtique Party on September 16, 2013, in Glendale, CA. Jackson is the son of actress Beth Litteford, The Daily Show and Dog with a Blog and James is the son of actress Angel Parker appearing on the Disney XD sitcom Lab Rats.


Actress Constance Marie Lopez poses with her daughter Luna who is dressed in a Sofia the Firstcostume.


(L to R): Mia Talerico, Charlie Duncan in Emmy-nominated Goodluck Charlie, wears a Rapunzel costume and McKenna Grace, Crash & Bernstein, tries on an Elsa costume from Disney’s Frozen, coming this November.


Angel Parker, right, and her son James Nenninger, dressed as Captain America, post at Disney Store’s Halloween BOOtique Party.


Hal Sparks (Disney XD’s Lab Rats) strikes a pose with Minnie Mouse at Disney Store’s Halloween BOOtique Party.

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Family Favorites

JAG's first WDW trip, Feb. 2006

C-man's first WDW trip, Dec. 2010

Can't wait for Big E's first trip!  Coming in 2014... sometime.  

Focused on the Magic

Disney On Ice Let's Celebrate! Atlanta, Georgia


It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains, a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe. Come join the party when this spectacular ice show visits your hometown.


image courtesy of Feld Family Entertainment


Playing at Philips Arena October 9 —13, 2013

Performances: 
Wed, Oct 9, 7:30 pm 
Thurs, Oct 10, 7:30 pm 
Fri, Oct 11, 10:30 am 7:30 pm 
Sat, Oct 12, 11:00 am 2:30 pm 6:30 pm
Sun, Oct 13, 1:00 pm 5:00 pm 

image courtesy of Feld Family Entertainment


Tickets : $75 ● $50 ●$35●$30●$25● $15

Visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/gassouth to save 20% on your order!

image courtesy of Feld Family Entertainment

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Disney on Ice Let's Celebrate

The Disney On Ice, Let's Celebrate! tour will begin in Atlanta, Georgia October 9, 2013.

Here are a few fun facts about the shows production and team:
  • It takes 12 hours to set up the production.
  • It only takes 4 hours to tear it down.
  • 13 crew members travel with the production.
  • 14 concession members travel with the production.
  • 11 trucks are needed to transport the production.
  • The average size of the ice skating surface is 140x60
  • 5 computers are utilized by management.
  • 189 performances are in the 2012-2013 tour.
  • 25 cities are on the 2012-2013 tour.
  • The tour will travel 8876 miles during 2012-2013.
  • The average distance between cities is 355 miles.
  • The longest trip of the tour is 930 miles from Athens to Zagrab.
  • The shortest trip of the tour is 33 miles from Den Bosch to Utrecht.

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday #DisneyTrivia: Disney Princess Movie Books

Mousetrips App iPhone Review

Recently I was asked to review the new Mousetrips App for my iPhone.  This is an app I will truly enjoy when we start planning our next trip!  That said trip is still so far away, I made up dates for the sake of learning the app.  

When you first open the app, you can see the home scree with "My Trips", "Important Info" and "Add Trips."  When you scroll down you can see the dates when you can start making dining reservations and how many days you have left until your vacation.  


  

When you click on "Add Trips," you'll see a list of all Disney vacations you have planned.  You can choose from the following destinations: Aulani Resort, Hawai'i, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, Hilton Head Island Resort, Vero Beach Resort, and Walt Disney World.  Hopefully in the future, they will update it to offer planning for all the Disney Resorts around the world, not just the USA locations.  Once you add the destination, you can add your arrival and departure dates, a description of your trip, and other information.  The app adds the address of your destination automatically.    When you have added the trip, it is then listed under the "My Trips" tab.

Once your "Trips" are in place you can start adding additional information about your specific vacation such as Dining Plans, Entertainment, Flights, Ground Transportation and Hotels.  You can save all confirmation numbers here.  It also includes the addresses and phone numbers automatically of the airline, hotel and restaurants.  

Once your trips are all in place, you can start adding additional "Important Information" such as your PhotoPass, Annual Pass, Tables in Wonderland and Other card numbers.  You can take a picture of the card on your phone and have the app save the image of the card in the "Important Information" section.  Just remember to take the picture of the side of the card with the important numbers!

One of my favorite parts of this app is the ability to sync the information to your calendar.  This was super easy to choose which parts of the vacation you want to sync with your calendar (I was using ical).  When I synced my dining plans, it even added an alert 15 minutes before the reservation- which is nice if you are in a hurry or in line for something when you should be heading to your reservations!

The other part of this app that I love is the countdown on the icon! On your phone's home screen, you can see in the corner of the app icon how many days until your next Disney vacation.  I love the fact that you don't have to open the app to be able to see this important number!

For any Disney fan planning a trip to a US Disney location, I suggest this app.  It's fun, easy to use and it holds all your information for your vacation in an convenient location.  You can download this app from itunes for $2.99.  It requires iOS 6.0 or later.  It's compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Disclaimer:  I received the MouseTrips app free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation from the app developer, nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions are mine. For more information, visit www.mousetripsapp.com.

Monday, September 16, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Post Trip


Post Trip Items.  Most people spend their time planning before their trip and once the trip is over, it's over.  Not me!  When I get home from a trip to Walt Disney World there are several Post Trip Items/ Things I have to do.  Here they are in no particular order!

  • Collect all the small things: ticket stubs, fastpass tickets, park napkins, park maps, photopass cards, etc and add them to my binder
  • Make lists from the trip:
    • What we loved and want to do again.
    • What we don't want to do again.
    • What we didn't have time to do and still want to do.
    • What we'll do different next time.
    • What was everyone's favorite part(s).
  • Organize pictures on the computer and PRINT the ones we love.
  • Add autographs to the scrapbook.
  • Brainstorm lists of blog posts about the trip.
  • Start the trip report posts from the trip.
  • Wash clothes.
  • Start planning the next trip!!! 
What do you do after you return from your WDW vacations?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finding Nemo First Birthday Activities

The first part of every first birthday party are the obligatory photos.  Photos with the parents, the grandparents, the siblings, the great-grandparents, etc.  I won't post all of them, but this one was cute of all three boys and their only living great-grandparent.
After the photos and lunch it was time for cake!  After singing "Happy Birthday" we stood waiting for Big E to do something, anything with the "smash cake" his KK made for him.

Finally, Success!!

 Once the cake was devoured, it was time for the Finding Nemo Slip n Slide.  What fun that was!  None of the kids could actually run and slide on it, but they had fun running and falling on it.  

My niece even tried taking a nap on it, while playing with the wind up, swimming Nemo and Squirt toys!

Since we couldn't quite figure out the whole run, slip, slide concept, we decided to try to "drink" the water as it shot out of the holes!  

We even had a few Disney Jr. friends stop by to play on the Nemo slide!  Jake, Izzy and Cubby were found swimming in the pool and playing in the puddles.

And of course, we opened presents.  C-man was a big help.  Big E got a new Finding Nemo plate with a spoon and fork, 2 Finding Nemo sippy cups, a new lunchbox, bath towels, an Auburn jersey, his own remote control and a set of car keys!  I think he's set.

Two of my boys, playing in the water.  My they grow up fast!


Happy Birthday Big E!  May all your wishes come true!
(Cue "Wishes" soundtrack!)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Finding Nemo First Birthday Party Food

We've covered the Etsy purchases for this party and the decorations.  Now it's time for the food.  Most of the inspiration for this party, especially the food, came from my Pinterest Board!
I am very lucky that my mother can bake a mean cake and do some awesome decorating.  She made and decorated all of my birthday cakes growing up and I'm honored that she can do it for my boys now!  The Nemo cakes were adorable and delicious!  As always, chocolate cake with white icing! :)  Big E loved his baby "smash cake!"  Those pictures will be in a future post...
 Since this party was family only and we had it start at 11:00am, we decided it would be kind if we served lunch.  Since it was Nemo themed, we had "Submarine Sandwiches."  I made a deli tray and let everyone make their own sandwich rather than make them ahead of time and have everyone pick off the things they didn't want.  I wanted to tie in the "Nemo touched the butt" somehow, but couldn't figure out how.  So we just settled with Submarines.  It was still nautical.
The sides to the sandwiches were pasta salad, fruit salad and goldfish- and lots of them!  I used seashell pasta and called it "Pearl's Pasta Salad."  My husband didn't even realize that octopus had a name.  For the fruit, we decided to try to make a shark out of the watermelon.  It turned out OK, but the fin looked more like a mow hawk, so we took it off!  So we served "Bruce's Fruit Salad."  For the goldfish we had 7 different flavors and they could pick and choose what they wanted from the "Goldfish Bar." I also threw in some Finding Nemo gummy snacks, for good measure!







 For the food tents, I used the scrapbook paper purchased from Etsy and added some Nemo stickers found at Hobby Lobby in the "old school" scrapbook section!  This was my first attempt at this type of craft and I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome.  

Next up- our activities and family shots!