Thursday, July 20, 2017

Golden Malted Waffle Mix {Review & Giveaway} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I recently learned that Golden Malted Waffle Mix is the brand used in Disney Parks to make Mickey Waffles. When I travel to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Lines, Mickey waffles for breakfast is a must! I don't always get to eat them everyday, but if I have the chance, I don't pass it up. When I found out I could actually make the same waffles or pancakes at home I was thrilled. Of course I jumped at the chance to review this product and offer a giveaway on my blog!
We came home from vacation to find the package of Original Golden Malted Mix and Golden Malted Classic Syrup at our house. This was perfect timing as I didn't want to go to the grocery store to buy dinner items. I decided to make pancakes instead of Belgian waffles because I could make them in a Mickey Mouse shape. I though this would help me get a better feel of eating the same brand mix used in the parks. 
The instructions were very easy to follow: measure the mix, add egg, water, and melted butter. Mix together and pour into the waffle iron or skillet. The batter was thick and creamy. It was easy to pour or spoon into the skillet. I used a Mickey shaped sandwich cutter as a mold for my pancakes.  It didn't work as I had planned, so I ended up making circle pancakes and cutting out the Mickey shape. 
The pancakes were thick, fluffy, and delicious. I even ate a pancake without syrup and I NEVER do that. These had just the right amount of sweet flavor that they could be eaten without syrup or toppings added. Everyone in my family ate them up. The syrup added the right amount of flavor to go along with the sweetness of the pancakes without making it too sweet. But, keep in mind I have a heavy sweet tooth and have never met a dessert or sweet treat I thought was "too sweet" and I very rarely turn down sweets. 
I look forward to using our Belgian waffle maker for our next batch. The "syrup pockets" in the waffles will be perfect with the Golden Malted syrup. Too bad I don't have a Mickey shaped waffle maker...  but Christmas is only 5 months away... ;)
Now it's your turn! You can enter to win your own canister of Original Golden Malted Waffle mix just like Disney uses in all the parks. Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Widget below for your chance to win. Open to US residents and will not ship to a PO Box. Once a winner is notified, they must reply within 24 hours before a new winner is selected.

You can order your own canister of Golden Malted Mix here if you don't want to enter the giveaway. You can also see the other products they have for sale here- I'm sure you won't go wrong with any of them. 

Thanks for entering!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Travel 2017 | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

This summer has been a whirlwind for me. I feel like I've spent more time on the road than I have at home. We started with a trip to Florida for a week on the Disney Dream. Then I took our Jr High youth to Chattanooga, TN for a week. We spent several days at the lake in Alabama. Finally, Jonathan and I spent time in New York City and Washington DC with the high school students from church. Now, it's time to slow down and prepare for school to start. 

During the vacations and trips, I've tried my best to keep up with all the amazing Disney news that has been released on the Disney Parks Blog and at the D23 Expo. I'm even trying to save my clients more money by applying the latest Disney discounts to current reservations. It's been a busy summer to say the least. 
Now, it's time to (hopefully) slow down and focus more on my family and my clients. I hope to be a part of helping your family make memories that will last a lifetime. I want to help put smiles on your kids faces. I want to do the grunt work, so you don't have to!  Call, text, or email if you need any help with your family travel memories. beth@exclusivetravelpartners.com (256) 476-2065

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

15 Things To Do Before Leaving for Vacation | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

On the Exclusive Travel Partners blog, I have shared "15 Things To Do Before You Leave For Vacation."

But, before you leave for vacation, you have to plan and book a vacation. I can definitely help with that part! I am more than happy to offer my FREE services to help you plan the perfect vacation for you and your family or friends. Please contact me so we can start planning!
Beth@exclusivetravelpartners.com
(256) 476-2065

Monday, July 3, 2017

Z Blok Sunscreen {Review} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I received free products from Z Blok in order to review for my blog. 
The opinions expressed here are my own.

This summer I was given several samples of Z Blok sunscreen for my family to try. Before receiving my samples, I had never heard of Z Blok. I immediately went to their web site to see what they were all about. After reading, I was certain this would be a product I would like... it was my boys I was worried about.

Everything I read about Z Blok sounded great.
"Z Blok's sunscreen's unique formula does not contain any fragrances or inexpensive petroleum based ingredients, which may cause your eyes to sting. Z Blok does contain zinc oxide, which helps protect against skin cancer and premature skin aging without eye irritation. Z Blok sunscreen also provides broad-spectrum sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is highly water-resistant so it stays on your skin instead of coming off in the water."
Now, it was time to see if what I read was actually true in the real world. My first thoughts were, "Zinc Oxide... Zinka.... wasn't that the neon blue, red, and yellow stuff we slathered all over our bodies in the 80s?" I sure hoped the Z Blok wasn't going to look like some crazy war paint from the 80s. Luckily, it didn't. I was actually very surprised when we first used the product. Yes, it was thick like Zinka, but it was white and was able to rub into the skin easily.
When I first put it on my 8 year old, he was thrilled. His comment was, "I like this stuff.  It doesn't make me smell like a coconut." He does not like the fragrances in a lot of sunscreen, so this was immediately a plus for him. It went on smoothly and easily and was not greasy. It was also very easy to reapply while we were at the pool and the lake. 

My 4 year old liked the face stick the best. He said it wasn't slippery like the others. This product was also thick, like the sunscreen. It went on easily, but was not as easy to rub in. In fact, in the right light, at the right angle, I could see the thin layer of zinc on the boys faces. When we would get in the water, I could see the water bead up. This stuff was great! I could tell it was doing it's job. 

The final product we received was the lip balm. This product was my least favorite because it went on thick and remained white. It was also very dry on my lips. I don't like dry lips. We could not rub it in enough to make our lips look natural. All of our lips were pasty white at the pool. I know I need to get over "how I look" and concentrate more on how well this product was doing it's job. I know my lips were not getting sunburned using this product. I just wish it were a bit more absorbing and creamy. I will continue to use it though and get over how I look wearing it.

Overall, I give this product 2 big thumbs up. I just wish it had come a week earlier so we could have used it on our Disney Cruise. These products would have been wonderful to have in the Caribbean sun out on the open water. I would also suggest using this on your trips to Walt Disney World.  The sun can be brutal in central Florida and this product will help protect your family from the rays. It won't make you smell like a coconut, it won't burn your eyes, and it won't feel greasy or slippery. Win, win!

You can find out more about Z Blok on their social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can purchase your own products on their web site.

I received free products from Z Blok in order to review for my blog. 
The opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Boma Cookie Decorating | A Disney Mom's Thoughts


Did you know Boma~ Flavors of Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offers free cookie decorating to kids of all ages every afternoon! Head to the restaurant at 1:30 for a 30 minute decorating session. Guests are provided with an animal shaped sugar cookie and decorating supplies such as icing and sprinkles.

This is a unique way to get a FREE cookie and hands on activity for your family at Walt Disney World.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Stroller Tips for Disney Parks | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I've traveled to Disney several times with strollers when my children were toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary age. We've brought our own, rented from Orlando Stroller Rentals, and used the ones provided in the parks. I've learned several things over the years of traveling to Disney with a child in a stroller.  Here are my top tips for families using a stroller at Disney.
1. Make your stroller stand out. There are A LOT of strollers at Disney parks. Wether you bring your own or rent a stroller, bring something to make your stroller stand out.

  • We like to tie a large obnoxious ribbon to the handle of the stroller so we can spot it in the sea of strollers when we exit an attraction. 
  • I've also seen families tie a helium balloon to the stroller to make it stand out. 
  • We also make a "name tag" for the back of our stroller that says "The Green's Stroller" with our favorite characters. Once laminated, this can easily be attached to your stroller with safety pins. Try a Google search for Disney Stroller Tags for inspiration. 
  • At night, tie glow sticks on your stroller, wrap a glow necklace around the handle, or attach battery operated Christmas lights to the stroller to make it stand out.

2. Keep your stroller safe. While stroller theft isn't common at Disney, remember it can happen. Disney doesn't like for guests to use bike locks. When strollers are locked to a fence or tree, Cast Members can cut the lock in order to move the stroller. 

  • If you insist on using a lock to deter others from stealing your stroller, lock your back wheels together so your stroller can be moved if necessary by Cast Members.
  • Do not leave any valuables in your stroller when you go on an attraction or in a restaurant.  Be smart about what you leave unattended. 
  • Do not leave opened food or crumbs in your stroller while you are away. Squirrels and birds may get in the stroller in search of food if you do this.
stroller from home
3. Keep your children comfortable.  Strollers are used for many purposes while in Disney Parks. Yes, you transport your children in it, but it can also be used for naps, holding all your stuff, eating snacks, etc. 
  • Disney Parks can be very hot during the summer months. Consider bringing a small clip on fan for your stroller to provide your child with a breeze. 
  • In the winter months, bring a blanket to cover your child at night or when they are napping. This can also double as extra padding if needed. 
  • Orlando Stroller Rentals provided a free rain cover for us when we rented their stroller. If you don't have a rain cover, consider bringing an extra poncho to cover the stroller when it rains. This will keep your child dry and if you are on an attraction, it will keep your stroller dry for when your child need to get back in it. 
  • Bring a light weight blanket or towel to clip onto the stroller shade to help block additional sunlight if your child is napping. 

stroller from the park
4. Know the "rules" for strollers at Disney. Crystal B., a Disney Parks Mom Panelist, give a great answer about strollers at Disney. While I've never seen an official list of rules, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Children need to be out of the strollers and the stroller needs to be folded when entering Disney buses and parking lot trams.
  • Most of the time, you can stroll your child onto the monorail and ferry boat without folding your stroller up.  The exception to this is during peak times such as Thanksgiving week and Christmas week.
  • Most attractions and restaurants do not allow strollers inside. There will be a designated parking lot for strollers outside each attraction that Cast Members will patrol. Part of their job is to move strollers around to make room for new ones. Remember that your stroller may not be in the same spot you left it. 
  • You will need fold your stroller on the train at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, but you can take it with you and not leave it parked.
What tips do you have for Disney guests using strollers? I'd love to hear in the comments.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Disney Crossy Road Collectables {Giveaway} | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I received free products in order to review and giveaway on my blog. 
The opinions expressed here are my own.

Moose Toys, the company who makes Shopkins, has partnered with Disney to create Disney Crossy Road collectables. These new toys were available in stores on April 2. My boys and I were sent some samples last month to review here on my blog. Now, we have been offered the opportunity to share these great collectable figures with one of you!
last month's Disney Crossy Road Surprises

this month's Disney Crossy Road Surprises
You can collect and play with these 8-bit style collectibles, plush and key chains. Series 1 consists of characters from Mickey Mouse and Friends, Toy Story, Big Hero 6 and The Lion King. I honestly can't tell you which character is my favorite.
One of my lucky readers will receive a 7-pack, a 4-pack, a plush, 2 blind boxes and 2 hangers. To enter, you just need to follow the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!! You have until Friday, May 19 to enter. Contest is open to residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and be notified by email. Winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.


I received free products in order to review and giveaway on my blog. 
The opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Unique Things to Pack for a Disney Trip | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

I'm excited to be sharing a list of "Unique Things to Pack for a Disney Trip" on the Exclusive Travel Partners blog today! Check out my list and see if there is anything you'd like to add. I always like good ideas of things you find unique to pack.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Walt Disney World Free Dining Fall 2017 | A Disney Mom's Thoughts


It's here!! I can help you and your family get the FREE quick service or table service dining plan for your fall 2017 Walt Disney World vacation! Read below for the details and contact me to help book this deal.  My services are always FREE to you which include keeping an eye on your reservation to look for additional ways to save you money, help with booking dining plans and fastpass+ reservations, and free incentives with a package of $3,000 or more. If you have questions about the Dining Plans offered by Disney, you can read this post from earlier today

Contact me to help book your next vacation: beth@exclusivetravelpartners.com or (256) 476-2065.

What is the Disney Dining Plan? | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Disney Guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with Magic Your Way Vacation Packages can choose a Disney Dining Plan. The Disney Dining Plans offer guests the opportunity to pre pay for meals throughout their vacation at over 100 locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Currently, there are three types of Dining Plans:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 25% off | A Disney Mom's Thoughts


Are you interested in visiting Walt Disney World and the new Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park? You can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights May 28-Aug. 31, 2017 when they book March 27-July 14, 2017.

Pandora – The World of Avatar opens on May 27, 2017 at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. You will have the opportunity to visit this new area and visit those classic favorites at the other three parks at Walt Disney World.

For a limited time, May 27-July 4, 2017, Guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can explore Pandora – The World of Avatar beyond regular Park hours.

Nightly Extra Magic Hours will take place from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. only in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This offering will provide Guests with an additional opportunity to enjoy everything Pandora – The World of Avatar has to offer – including navigating a mystical river, flying on a back of a banshee and walking under floating mountains. Please note valid Theme Park admission and a Resort ID are required.

Booking Window: March 27-July 14, 2017
Travel Window: May 28-Aug. 31, 2017

Please contact me if you would like additional information or if you're interested in booking a fabulous vacation for your family where you'll make memories to last a lifetime!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Boat Rides | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

One of our favorite FREE things to do at Walt Disney World is to take a ride on one of the many boats. Disney does an excellent job in transporting it's guests all around the Walt Disney World Resort. In addition to the boats, you can also use buses or the monorail. There are rumors that a gondola system is also being added to connect several Disney hotels, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Currently, there are several areas where you can utilize the free boat transportation:

  • Ferry Boats connect the Transportation and Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom. The ferries begin operating 30 minutes prior to park opening including Extra Magic Hours. They operate until 1.5 hours after park closing, including Extra Magic Hours.
  • Boat Launchers and Cruisers are used to transport guests from The Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom.
  • Friendship Boats carry guests from Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios to the Dolphin and Swan Resort, Beach ad Yacht Club, and the Boardwalk. 
  • Sassagoula River Cruise is a beautiful ride carrying guests from Disney Springs to Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West. There is also boat transportation between Disney Springs West Side, Marketplace, and the Landing. 
Which of these boat rides is your favorite?