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”
“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, Amazon, streaming services and wherever music is sold. For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, like us on or follow us at

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.