Sunday, November 26, 2017

Beignet Dash at Port Orleans

Most people don’t want to think about running while on vacation, unless they are signed up for a RunDisney event. But, the Beignet Dash is such a fun, unique event that happens every Sunday at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I saw it on Facebook several months ago and started searching on the Walt Disney World web site for specific details. I continued to fail at finding anything straight from The Mouse. That was, until just a few weeks ago. I searched one more time on and finally found some details from a question asked to the Mom’s Panel.

So, you’re asking “What is the Beignet Dash?” Well, it’s a 1.5 mile run through Port Orleans Resort every Sunday morning. It begins and ends between building 5 and Doubloon Lagoon Pool. Check in is at 7:30am and the run begins at 8:00. The entry fee is $15 for each participant. When you register you will receive an official race bib. When you complete the run, you will get a plastic medal, a goody bag with Mardi Gras themed trinkets, and a voucher for beignets at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory!

From what I’ve read, you can walk or run in this “race.” It’s very low key and enjoyable. Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t a guest at Port Orleans. The one thing I could not find was if strollers were allowed.

Would this be something you would be interested or willing to do on your next Walt Disney World Vacation? I personally would love to try this adventure. I’m always up for trying something new at Disney and the beignets are just the motivator I need!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Top 10 Tips To Help You Not Lose Your Mind With Your Christmas Elves | A Disney Mom’s Thoughts

  1. Keep it as simple or elaborate as you want.
  2. Have a plan for your elf. Make a list of all the “things” you may have your elf do during the season.
  3. Buy any supplies needed for your elfcapades at one time and have them ready to go.
  4. Make a calendar of what your elf will do each night.
  5. Note when a child is sleeping at a friends house so the morning they are away the elf isn’t doing anything too grand that he’ll miss out on.
  6. Be flexible and willing to change plans last minute.
  7. If the elf has the kids do something- like a scavenger hunt- don’t do this on a school morning.
  8. Set up a reminder on your phone if you need help remembering to move or stage your elves.
  9. Don’t stress about outdoing your friends elves. Pinterest has some amazing ideas you can copy!
  10. If you have an Elf Magic Elf, make sure YOUR KIDS remember to give it water and a cracker each night! Put that off on your kids… if they forget, don’t move the elves. The kids will quickly remember to do their job!

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. It's been a busy summer to say the least. 

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, April 24, 2017

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:

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?

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Fox and the Hound Family Movie Night | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

 The Fox and the Hound was next on our 2016 Disney Movie Resolution. We sat down and had a great Family Movie Night at the end of June. This movie was released on July 10, 1981. I'm pretty sure anyone who saw this movie in the 80s named their new puppy Copper. I always wanted a hound dog named Copper because of this movie and I'm still waiting!

 For our snack we had Happy Birthday cupcakes. I didn't want to do "dog" themed snacks since we did that with 101 Dalmatians. So I visited for inspiration. 

In the movie Widow Tweed has a photo of Tod with his birthday cake when he was younger. This was the inspiration for our snack. While I would have loved to make a cake with "Happy Birthday Tod" on it, I ran out of time... cupcakes were so much easier!