Sunday, November 6, 2016

#JazzLovesDisney {Review} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts


This is a sponsored post from Disney Music and One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

I love a great Disney album. In fact that's about all we listen to in our car these days. Everyone in the family loves the music, knows the words, and the songs bring back such wonderful memories from past trips to Disney parks or movies we've seen. The album Jazz Loves Disney is no exception. From the moment I listened, I was in love. The songs are beautifully done and have an authentic jazzy feel to them.


Listening to Disney music goes back to my childhood. I remember watching Disney movies and singing along with my brothers as a child. I also remember watching The Wonderful World of Disney with my grandparents and parents and how excited I became when a familiar song was played. Hearing these Disney songs on Jazz Loves Disney brings back memories of my childhood, but in a more "adult" way!

My youngest boys, ages 4 and 7, liked hearing the familiar songs from Jazz Loves Disney, but didn't appreciate these as much because "they weren't right!" They like the original songs sung by the characters in the movies. I have a hard time getting them to truly enjoy anything that is different from the norm. But, they didn't ask me to change it either! 

My favorite songs on the album were definitely Everybody Wants to be a Cat from The Aristocats and He's a Tramp from Lady and the Tramp. I thought these sounded most like the original but with a great jazz sound. While I appreciated all the tracks, these stood out as my favorite. All the songs found on the album are:


1. Jamie Cullum – "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" – from The Aristocats
2. Melody Gardot – "He’s A Tramp" – from Lady And The Tramp
3. Stacey Kent – "Bibbidi Bobbodo Boo" (French version) – from Cinderella
4. Gregory Porter – "When You Wish Upon A Star" – from Pinocchio
5. China Moses – "Why Don’t You Do Right" – from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
6. Raphaël Gualazzi – "I Wanna Be Like You" – from The Jungle Book
7. The Rob Mounsey Orchestra – "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" – from Cinderella
8. Hugh Coltman – "You’ve Got A Friend In Me" – from Toy Story
9. Anne Sila – "Let It Go" – from Frozen
10. Melody Gardot & Raphaël Gualazzi – "The Bare Necessities" – from The Jungle Book
11. Laika – "Once Upon A Dream" – from Sleeping Beauty
12. Nikki Yanofsky -"Someday My Prince Will Come" – from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
13. The Hot Sardines – I Wanna Be Like You (French & English version) – from The Jungle Book (US release only)

If you love Jazz and Disney Music, this is a MUST buy album! You can find it on iTunes or Amazon starting November 18, 2016.

This is a sponsored post from Disney Music and One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie: Hair Glitter | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

FREE hair glitter at Magic Kingdom can be found in several different locations. While we have not had the pleasure of experiencing this yet, I still suggest you seek it out on your next trip! You can visit Castle Couture or Sir Mickey's gift shops in Fantasyland. Find a cast member to sprinkle some "Pixie Dust" in your hair!  I've also heard that if you can find a "Fairy Godmother in Training" at Bippidy Bobbidy Boutique you can get a free pixie dust sprinkling here too!

Several years ago (in the photo above) we were able to pay $5 to get colored hair gel and Mickey sprinkles from Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA by the Fire Station.  However, I'm not certain they still offer that service.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Elf Magic Elfcapades with Raleigh and Grover 2014 | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Last week I shared with you our Elf Magic Elfcapades from last Christmas. Today, I'm going to share what happened in 2014. This was the first year Raleigh and Grover, our Elf Magic Elves, came to visit our house during Christmas. We had so much fun with these guys and look forward to what they have in store this year!

If you are looking for ideas for your own Elf Magic or Elf on the Shelf Elves, feel free to use or modify what happened at our house.... most of these ideas are from Pinterest anyway! 

The Elves arrived with a letter from Santa instructing the boys to clean out their toys and donate to charity. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie: Flag Retreat | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

While technically this event does require park tickets, it's free for guests once you are inside Magic Kingdom Park.  This FREE event is the Flat Retreat at Town Square every night at 5:00pm.  




Each morning when Magic Kingdom Park opens, a US Veteran is chosen to have the honor of lowering the flag at the end of the day. This is quite a production. Cast members block the road between the flag circle and the railroad station. The Magic Kingdom Philharmonic Band is also at the station both upstairs and downstairs. The band begins playing patriotic songs. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Elf Magic Elfcapades with Raleigh and Grover 2015 | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

On Tuesday I introduced you to Raleigh and Grover, our Elf Magic Elves. These two little guys have become such a fun part of our Christmas traditions. Last year, we had a lot of fun seeing what they would get into. If you are doing Elf Magic or Elf on a Shelf and need ideas, feel free to use these... I got most of them off Pinterest anyway! :)
They told us they were back written with candy!

Tic Tac Toe with marshmallows and food writer markers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Elf Magic Elves at Christmas | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Most of my friends have the Elf on the Shelf at their house. While I'm not "against" the Elf on the Shelf concept, I thought there had to be a better option than an elf spying on your kid all day and not being able to be touched. That wasn't for me... plus there had to be a way to tie the TRUE meaning of Christmas into the Elfcapades...
Enter Elf Magic. These elves are not creepy, in fact they are cute! You can get boy or girl elves and you can choose the color hair your elf has. You can also love, hug, and play with these elves.  But the best part is that the poem that comes with these elves tie in the story of the birth of Jesus. I mean, come on... we wouldn't even have Christmas and elves without Jesus!

We have two elves that come visit our youngest boys each year: Raleigh and Grover. These elves come to you with a name, like the Cabbage Patch kids did do. Each night you leave the elves a cracker (which reminds them of the crunch of the snow at the North Pole) and water (which reminds them of melting snowflakes). Then you sprinkle them with magic north pole snowflakes which come with the elf.  While your child is sleeping, the elves report to Santa on what a good day your child had and return by morning usually doing something silly or bringing a small gift.

We I had so much fun with our Elves that when we started counting down to our Walt Disney World vacation, Santa sent Chewbacca to help us count down in an Elf Magic way!

Stay tuned later this week to see all the Elfcapades Raleigh and Grover got into the past two years as we anticipate their return this year!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Hide and Squeak


The last time our family was at Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was 2014. We were just one year too early to participate in Remy's Ratatoulle Hide and Squeak game! If you and your children are headed to the Food and Wine Festival this year, you still have a few more weeks to play this fun, interactive, scavenger hunt game at Epcot.  This is a great way to get your kids excited about the Food and Wine Festival and the World Showcase!

For $9.95, you can purchase a map and stickers. Using the map, head to different locations in the park and search for Remy statues and the ingredients needed to make his famous dish, Ratatouille. When you locate each Remy, find the sticker with your map that matches the food Remy has at this location and stick it on your map. Once you have all the ingredient stickers on your map you can return your map for a limited edition Remy pin. 

Guests can purchase the map and stickers at the following locations: Disney Traders, Festival Center, Pin Central and World Traveler (International Gateway). Note: Maps, stickers and pins are available while supplies last. No discounts apply. Purchasing limits may apply.

If you don't want to return to collect your pin, you can ask for your pin as you purchase your map.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Celebrate Winnie The Pooh’s 90th Anniversary with Favorite ‘Poohisms’ | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Winnie-the-Pooh is the world's most famous bear, and has been beloved by children around the world for 90 years. He appears in two storybooks – Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner – and two poetry collections – When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six – written by A. A. Milne and definitively illustrated by E. H. Shepard. With a rich storytelling heritage, the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood represent friendship, simple joys and the curious and gentle nature of a child’s imagination.

Lady and the Tramp at Walt Disney World | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

After watching so many Disney animated movies with our New Year's Resolution this year, I began thinking about how many movies don't have representation in the parks.  I wish more had a presence in the parks.  While I have never seen Lady and Tramp walking around for meet and greets, they do have quite the presence to be over 60 years old!

If you want to see glimpses of Lady and Tramp at Walt Disney World, there are a few key places you need to go: Pop Century Resort, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.

At Disney's Pop Century Resort you can find oversized statues of both Lady and Tramp (see above photo).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

101 Dalmatians Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts


Disney's 101 Dalmatians was released on January 25, 1961. This is the 18th movie in our Disney New Year's Resolution. Our family actually watched this movie way back in early May, but I'm just now blogging about it! We had a fun night watching this familiar movie. In fact, 2 years ago we dressed up as Cruella, Horace and a puppy for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Six Things Every Mom Needs To Do Before A Disney Trip | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Let's be honest. While you do have to take vacation time off of work to go to Walt Disney World, it really isn't a vacation.  At least it isn't for my family. When we go to any Disney park we hit the ground running and we don't stop. We are there when the parks open and we usually shut them down too. We don't take breaks, unless you count the times we sit on the curb to hold our spot for a parade, and we don't take naps, unless you count the short snoozes during particular attractions. Being the mom, I'm typically the last one to bed and the first one up each morning trying to get everything done for everyone else. When we get home from our Walt Disney World vacation, we need an "at home" vacation to rest from our trip and prep for the next work day!

So, to properly prepare for a Walt Disney World Vacation, so that it actually feels like a vacation, I suggest every mom do the following things before leaving home.

1. Get a mani/ pedi.
2. Get a facial.
3. Get rid of any unwanted facial hair: lip, brows, etc.
4. Get a massage.
5. Get any hair color/ roots touched up.
6. Take a long, hot bubble bath.

Depending on your budget, after you have paid for your Walt Disney World vacation, you can pay a professional to do these things for you or you can do them yourself in your own home. Have fun, relax, and pamper yourself before you leave on your magical Disney vacation. I promise you'll appreciate it later! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Protect the Pridelands Game {Review} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

We have a new "favorite game" at our house. It's called Protect the Pridelands by WonderForge and it can be purchased at Target. This game is perfect for my boys, ages 4 and 7, to play together. In fact, we all play together and it provides me with the perfect opportunity to discuss strategy with my boys. This game is not like others where you are competing against the other players to win. In this game, everyone works together to accomplish one goal- to move Kion to the top of Pride Rock before the outlanders take over. When we all work together, there is no fighting or tears involved!! That's a win win for all of us.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Guest Skipper Cards | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Many times, young children are asked by the Jungle Cruise skippers if they would like to "drive the boat" or be the skipper. Two of our boys have had the pleasure of doing this in the past, but of course we can't find the pictures. oh well. While driving the boat isn't technically FREE, you can get a FREE guest skipper card after completing the task of being skipper.  While our boys have been able to "drive", we haven't ever received the card, but I have read about on different sites such as this one

Have you ever been the guest skipper on the Jungle Cruise? Did you get the free guest skipper card?  I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Things I Miss: River Country | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

There are so many things from the past 45 years at Walt Disney World that have come and gone. Many we miss. Others we are glad they are gone. With this new series, I'm going to share some of my favorite things I miss from Walt Disney World.

The top thing I miss is River Country. This water park at Walt Disney World opened in 1976 as a part of Fort Wilderness Campground. I was lucky enough to visit this park one time in 1998, I think. This "water hole" was exactly that, a good ol' fashioned swimming hole that used water from Bay Lake in many of the rides and pools. You could find Slippery Slide Falls, White Water Rapids and Whoop 'N' Holler Hollow. You could enjoy water slides, swings, a beach, a lazy river, and more. 

In 2001, this water park closed. There are several rumors still circulating as to why it closed. Some are because of the death of a child in the 80s, the building of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, the 9/11 attacks, and a Florida law about prohibiting un-chlorinated natural water from being used in water park attractions. 

I still hang on to the memories I had from my one day at River Country. At that time, I didn't take my camera to a water park for fear of losing it or it getting damaged, so I have no personal photos. I only have the page above from a book purchased many years ago at the Magic Kingdom. There are also a few vintage photos in this Disney Parks Blog post.
River Country today via Google Maps satellite
In 2015 however, I had a day to myself and I visited Fort Wilderness.  While I was wandering around I found a fence near the area I thought to be River Country. I couldn't see over or through the fence, but I kept walking.  I finally found the gate and was able to take these photos through the opening in the gate. It was shocking! I would love to walk around this abandoned park one last time, but understand why we can't.


Here are some additional photos taken from a rented Disney boat on Bay Lake and taken by a drone with a go-pro.  

I'd still like to know why Disney is letting this park deteriorate rather than "tear it down." Ideas?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sleeping Beauty Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Sleeping Beauty was our next Family Movie night as a part of our New Year's Resolution. This movie was released in January of 1959. She was Disney's third princess following Snow White and Cinderella.

Surprisingly, my boys LOVED this movie. They had not seen it prior to this viewing. I was worried it would be too girly for them but it wasn't. Disney did a great job making this princess movie appealing to boys too through the humor and fighting scenes. Mine thoroughly enjoyed the end of the movie when Prince Phillip battled the dragon. They were actually jumping up and down cheering for Phillip.

For our snack, we made Sleeping Beauty Snack Mix.
  • Pretzel Sticks- fairy wands
  • Mini Vanilla Wafers- spinning wheels (Or you could use Honey Comb cereal)
  • Marshmallows- pillows for Aurora
  • Cheetos- Dragon's fire
  • Hershey Kisses (True Love's kiss)

You can find additional games and activities on Disney Movies' web site for Sleeping Beauty.

What's your favorite part of Sleeping Beauty?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Balloon Replacement | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Did you know if your child's balloon pops at Walt Disney World, you can take the popped balloon back to the vendor and get the balloon replaced for FREE? This is a great tip since these balloons tend to cost so much!  Currently, the Mickey Ear Balloons inside the clear balloon are $10 and the mylar character balloons are $15. I wish I had a tip for getting one for FREE the first time around!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lady and the Tramp Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Lady and the Tramp was movie #16 in our Disney Movie Resolution for this year. This movie was released on June 22, 1955. This is one of those movies where I can't always remember the details until I'm watching it.  Then I'm immediately reminded of how much I enjoy it! I also can't ever eat spaghetti without thinking of this classic scene from the movie:

For our family movie night we obviously ate spaghetti for dinner. We actually used my great grandmother's recipe from Italy. For dessert, we also had "spaghetti" in the form of a cupcake.

These cupcakes were actually really easy to make. Our family likes chocolate cupcakes better than yellow, but yellow cupcakes would actually "look" better than chocolate. These are the ingredients you'll need:
  • box of cupcake mix and necessary ingredients to make cupcakes
  • canned vanilla icing
  • yellow food coloring
  • Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates unwrapped
  • strawberry preserves
  1. Make the cupcakes as directed on the box and let cool.
  2. Tint the vanilla frosting yellow and use a small icing tip to pipe the icing "noodles" on the cupcake. If you don't have icing tips you can put the icing in a ziplock bag and snip the corner of the bag off to make a small opening.
  3. "Roll" the unwrapped chocolates in a bowl of strawberry preserves until coated. Place one chocolate "meatball" on each cupcake and drizzle remaining preserves over the top of the cupcake for sauce.  If you're having a hard time getting the preserves to drizzle, try heating it for a few second in the microwave to make it thinner.
One thing I didn't think of until after the fact was to grate white chocolate on top to represent parmesan cheese.

Disney Movies web site has great ideas for additional activities, recipes, crafts, and more for your family.

What's your favorite part of Lady and the Tramp?


Friday, August 12, 2016

Peter Pan Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

 Peter Pan was released on February 5, 1953 and is the 15th movie in our list. I don't remember the first time I saw this movie, but it's always been a favorite. I remember seeing the play when I was a girl and then saw the traveling Broadway style performance when I was grown. The characters are fun and memorable, the songs are catchy, and the story is lovable. 
My boys and I actually watched this movie together back in April in keeping with our 2016 New Year's Resolution. Big E helped "decorate" the mantle with our copy of the Peter Pan golden book and his character figurines. We've done well keeping up with watching the movies.  Maybe blogging about the movies should have been a resolution as well!

This movie had lots of fun snack ideas. We made apple and cheese pirate ships, ate "pixie dust" and had Tick Tock Crock cookies made out of Nutter Butters dipped in green chocolate waffers.  Too bad my youngest thought our cookies were Larry the Cucumber... 
Disney Movies has wonderful ideas for crafts, foods, games, activities, coloring sheets, and more to tie into this movie.  You can always search Pinterest for great ideas too!

Have fun in Neverland!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Elena of Avalor Soundtrack Review and #Giveaway | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

 
I was sent a complimentary copy of Elena of Avalor for review. This giveaway is sponsored by A Disney Mom's Thoughts with prizes provided by Walt Disney Records. The opinions here are my own.

Today, August 11, is a special day for Disney Junior fans who love the newest princess, Elena of Avalor. At 10:45am, fans will be able to see Elena's Royal Welcome at Magic Kingdom Park. You will be able to see streaming of the crowning of Elena in a special ceremony.

With the celebration of Elena's crowing at Magic Kingdom Park, we are giving away the Elena of Avalor Soundtrack from Walt Disney Records to one lucky reader! 

When we received our copy of the soundtrack, my boys (ages 3 and 7) were excited! "Another Disney CD!" They both loved track 1, the theme song, Elena of Avalor. In fact, after only hearing it twice, they were singing along. By the time we got to song 3, they were becoming less interested in this CD. When "Sister Time" came on, they (the 7 year old) asked for it to be changed. I think they had had enough of the "girly" songs. I however, loved it! I thought the sound and music was so original. It has a great Latin sound and makes you want to get up and swing your hips a bit! The sound is very festive.

I think after we have a chance to watch the show, the music will be better for my boys. That always seems to be the case. Once we see a movie or TV show, the soundtrack becomes more "real."
Elena of Avalor track listing:
1. “Elena of Avalor”
2. “Ready to Rule”
3. “Festival of Love”
4. 
“The Magic Within You”
5. “Sister Time”
6. “My Time” (Bonus Track)
7. “My Time” (Instrumental)


Set in the enchanted fairytale land of Avalor, the series tells the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen. Elena's journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.

Elena of Avalor soundtrack EP was released July 22nd and is available at iTunes http://smarturl.it/eoast1, Amazon http://smarturl.it/eoastam1, streaming services http://smarturl.it/eoastws1 and wherever music is sold. For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, like us on Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow us at Twitter.com/disneymusic.


The winner will be chosen on August 15th at 12:00am! The winner will be notified by email (the one used to enter the giveaway) and will be announced here. If it comes to this blogger’s attention that the winner of this giveaway has won this prize on an additional blog, this blog reserves the right to choose another winner. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize delivery as it will ship directly from Walt Disney Records and not from this blogger. Only open to U.S. Residents.

Good luck to everyone entering to win this soundtrack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent a complimentary copy of Elena of Avalor for review. This giveaway is sponsored by A Disney Mom's Thoughts with prizes provided by Walt Disney Records. The opinions here are my own.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fast Flip from Blue Orange Games {Review} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I received free products from Blue Orange Games in order to review for my blog. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I am always looking for fun, quick, easy, educational games for my boys to play. When I find one that meets all these requirements, I'm thrilled. Recently when I received the game "Fast Flip!" from Blue Orange Games, I realized I had found a winner. 
There are actually 2 ways you can play this game. 1) "Flip It." You flip over the top card and place it face up next to the pile. You'll be able to compare the group of fruit (on one card) to the number or picture of an individual fruit on the second card. The person who can count the number of fruits on the group of fruit card to match the number or the picture wins. 2) "Token Grab" is the second game which is similar to Flip It. The cards are arranged the same where the top card is flipped face up next to the pile. The 10 tokens which show 5 fruits and 5 numbers are scattered around the pile of cards. Instead of calling out your answer, you grab the token. When you have 4 tokens, you win. 

This game is for ages 7 and up. My 7 year old loved it when we played, even though he lost because I was faster! :) But my three year old was too young to play it the way it was designed. However, it was easy for us to adapt the game for him and to let him get a head start.
 When we adapted, the boys would flip one card over to show the group of fruit. I would call out a number (1-5) or a fruit name for the boys to start counting fruit. The youngest would get a head start at counting while the older one closed his eyes.  For the token game, they would choose which number or fruit they would look for in each card before looking at the card. It made it easier for the 3 year old.
This game is so easy to set up and play. It comes packed in a nice, small tin box that can easily slip into a purse or bag. We like to take games like this with us to restaurants to play while we wait for our food. This would be another excellent game to throw in your Disney day pack to play while you are waiting on parades, shows or meals.  I definitely give this game two thumbs up and encourage anyone with elementary age children to pick it up!

I received free products from Blue Orange Games in order to review for my blog. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle #ChickFilAMomsDIY

As a member of the Chick Fil A Mom's Panel, we were given  the opportunity to participate in a DIY project using a washed salad bowl from the new Spicy Southwest Salad. I had several ideas for the project such as an herb garden, a terrarium, or a bird feeder, but my boys had other plans so I let them decide how to reuse or recycle the salad bowl.  Below are their ideas!

My seven year old immediately said we could use it as a snack bowl. We were watching Jungle Book as part of our 2016 New Year's Resolution and we added our Jungle Book snack mix to our Chick Fil A bowl. When I asked what else we could use it for he suggested a container to hold all of his Minecraft guys. It was a perfect fit for all his guys... I guess we don't need any more since there's no room in the holder now! :)


When I asked my three year old what we could use the bowl for, he suggested a crayon holder. I'm always telling him to pick up his crayons, so now they are all in one place.  The next suggestion he had was a bed for his Disney Tsum Tsums. We need to eat more salad though since only 6 Tsum Tsums fit in one container and we have at least 20 Tsum Tsums at our house! 


If you haven't had a chance to try the new Spicy Southwest Salad from Chick Fil A, I suggest you do. And then, save your container, wash it and find a new way to reuse or recycle your bowl. Have fun!