Thursday, March 29, 2012

Destination Disney - 9 Favorite Characters

This week's Destination Disney challenge is to name our family's 9 favorite Disney characters.  Nine?  If it were just me, my list would read, 1. Mickey, 2. Mickey, 3. Mickey... you get the point.  I'm all about The Mouse.  My kids, however, have more eclectic tastes when it comes to characters from the Disney palette.  Don't get me wrong, Mickey is on their lists, he just doesn't occupy each and every spot.  (What a shame!) 
On with the countdown...

9.  Lilo   
Our trip to the airport was about an hour long so I popped Lilo & Stitch into the kids DVD player for the trip, because I knew they were the first characters they'd meet at our O'hana breakfast the following morning.  Watching their faces as Lilo grew closer and closer to our table was awesome.  Then, when Lilo topped her "i" off with a flower in our 3 year old, Sami's, autograph book... priceless.  With that little flower, she became an instant favorite.

8.  Stitch
Following just behind Lilo at O'hana, was her pal Stitch.  Playing around, getting into trouble, the little joker made the kids (and adults) laugh.  Stitch is one of their favorites in the movies, and he lived up to hype.  Yet, his soft side emerged, just as on film, when he kissed Sami on top of the head.  Both the kids love Lilo & Stitch so much, they were part of one of our vacation planning movie nights.  Take a look!

 7.  Aurora
Until our children's first visit to Walt Disney World, Aurora was just another Disney princess.  After, and she's become "our" Disney princess.  When she approached our table at Cinderella's Royal Table, she planted a kiss right on our 5 year old, Stephen's, cheek.  He was so incredibly proud of that kiss, he refused to wash his face and had to make mirror checks throughout the day to make sure it hadn't rubbed off.  It was so memorable for him that he still asks us "Hey, remember when Aurora kissed my cheek?"  Of course we do, buddy.  Of course we do.
6.  Minnie Mouse
The place?  Chef Mickey's.  The dress?  Polka dots.  Sami could see her coming a mile away.  Her favorite Mouse.  Those dresses. Those shoes.  Those bows!  As Minnie finished up visiting the table before ours and moved in our direction, Sami actually shivered with excitement!  And to think, I thought she'd be scared of all these big, bold characters.  Boy, was I ever wrong!

5.  Buzz & Woody
The wait to see this dynamic duo was nearly as long as the line for Midway Mania, but there were lots of fun photo-ops along the way to keep the kids busy.  We didn't tell them what was at the end of the wait, which made it that much more fun when they came into view.  Buzz & Woody were so fun and took LOTS of photos with the kids.  For more Buzz & Woody fun, check out Stephen's Midway Mania party!
4.  Daisy Duck
Noticeably missing from Chef Mickey's (can't pull one over on my kids), Mom planned ahead and also booked Donald's Safari Breakfast at Disney's Animal Kingdom to right this wrong.  We were thrilled to make her acquaintance.  They kids got really excited to see her, as I don't think they expected to.  She was just as sweet as could be and really happy that the kids were so excited to see her.

3.  Cinderella
The "queen" among princesses, Cinderella is a hot ticket at Walt Disney World.  After getting her make-over at the Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique, Sami couldn't wait to meet her doppelganger on our way up to Cinderella's Royal Table for breakfast.  Cinderella couldn't have been sweeter to both our Princess Sami and our newly knighted, Sir Stephen.  My only complaint... we didn't know she wouldn't be joining us for breakfast, so we didn't get her autograph.  Boo.

 2.  Tink
She wasn't easy to find, but we did it.  Pixie Hollow was closed due to the new construction taking place at The Magic Kingdom and she'd been uprooted to a corner in EPCOT.  Not the nicest digs for such a sweet little fairy!  We waited quite a while to see her but it was SO worth it.  She discussed dresses and shoes with Sami for a good 5 minutes and took lots of pictures with both of the kids.  I only wish her fairy friends had been there with her.  Sami LOVES Tink and her friends.  Take a look at her Tink party.

 1.  Mickey Mouse
The kids had their say, now it's my turn.  After all, we mustn't forget, it all started with a mouse!  My absolute favorite, forever and always.  The big cheese, Mickey.  For those of us that love Disney, I don't even need to explain why.  This photo is of me and Mickey on my 30th birthday.  My love for all things Mickey has rubbed off a bit onto my children too.  Stephen's 3rd birthday was even Mickey themed.
 Honorable Mention:  The "Rare" Characters

From my very first visit in 1987, to my honeymoon in 1997.  I LOVE meeting the "rare" characters.

Wasn't that fun?!  Check out last week's list - Top 10 Disney Attractions.  And be sure to check back next week for our family's 8 favorite "Lands" inside the Disney parks!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Destination Disney - Top 10 Disney Attractions

My mission, as I've chosen to accept, is to name my family's top 10 Disney attractions. 

 laid her first Destination Disney mission upon me, and who am I to argue a chance to talk Disney!?  As you've seen here, Disney is my favorite topic!  You did see our vacation planning party, didn't you?

Feel free to join in.  Heidi will give us a new topic each week, for the next 10 weeks.  How fun will this be?!

So, here goes (in no particular order)....

10.  Pirates of the Caribbean

This classic was a bit intense for my 3 year old, but the 5 year old loved it!  He enjoyed comparing it to his Wii Legos Pirates of the Caribbean game at home.  We did the Pirates League just before riding, so he looked and felt like he fit right in with those swashbucklers.  Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirates life for us!  Stephen's always been a pirate fan, take a look at his 4th birthday party.

9.  Kilimanjaro Safari

One of my very favorites, I couldn't wait to share this attraction with my children!  We always do it first thing, as the animals seem more active then.  The gasps and ohs and ahs were priceless.  Kilimanjaro Safari will be the first ride we go on every time we visit Disney's Animal Kingdom.

8.  The Festival of the Lion King

I have to be honest, this last trip was the very first time I've done The Festival of the Lion King, but I'll do it every time now!  It was beautiful and fun and just what I'd picture a live-action version of the movie to be like.  The show made us laugh, sing and I even teared up a couple times.  The outfits and performers were breathtaking.  The whole family loved this one!  When the show was over, my 3 year old wanted to get up close and personal with Simba (left). 

7.  Fantasmic!    Fantasmic! gets the majority vote for nighttime show with my family.  The extensive cast of characters, topped off with the big time roll Mickey plays, puts this show at the top of the list.  The water, fire, light show... those are all just the sprinkles on top.     
6.  Toy Story Midway Mania
As is commonly the case, when we arrived at Hollywood Studios this trip, the FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania was empty.  Did that stop us?  No way!  Our wait was only about 40 minutes, not bad considering, but the fantastic queue kept the kids (mostly) occupied the whole time.  My 5 year old, the "gamer" in our family, just LOVED this one.  So much so that his 6 birthday party was Midway Mania themed.
5.  The Great Movie Ride
The kids have never experience the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios since we thought the "Alien" segment might be too intense for them, but it definitely makes my and Hubby's list!  We're both big movie fans and this attraction highlights so many of the greatest films of all time.  Plus, it's fun to play in the footprints out front.
4.  Spaceship Earth      Who would have ever guessed that my 5 year old's favorite Disney attraction would be Spaceship Earth?  He and his Dad rode it lots of time and he just loved it!  He even drew pictures of it days later.  I've done Spaceship Earth in the past but since I stayed with our 3 year old while they rode, I haven't seen the latest updates.  I'm hoping to get a chance on our next trip... I need to see what all the excitement's about!
3.  Splash Mountain
When asked about his favorite "exciting" attraction, our 5 year old chose Splash Mountain.  He rode (in the FRONT!) with his dad, lots of times!  That drop makes my toes curls, it amazes me how much he loved it.  I think I may have a adrenalin junkie on my hands.

2.  It's a Small World
This was my 3 year old's favorite before we even left for vacation!  She LOVES this song.  When we boarded those little boats and she heard her favorite song, she was so excited!  The cherry on top?  DOLLS!  Moving dolls!  What 3 year old wouldn't be in her heaven?

1.  Mickey's PhilharMagic    The boys in our family love Donald Duck.  The girls love Disney music.  What attraction fits them all better than Mickey's PhilharMagic?  A 3D & 4D adventure, starring Donald Duck, is loaded with the best of the best from Disney's soundtracks.  The only thing that could make it better would be pie.  Mmm.. pie.

Honorable Mention - The Monorail    Though it's not an official "attraction", my kids love the monorail just as much as another "ride" at Walt Disney World.

Friday, March 9, 2012


an easter invitation
I found this adorable invitation online and did my best to recreate it.  The basket and eggs were cut on my Cricut.  The basket is made of 2 pieces, leaving a pocket in between for the invitation to slide into.  I then stuck some Easter grass on to complete the basket effect.
the kids table
The kids will love this table!  The adorable chick banner was inspired by Supermom.  My kids loved helping add the googly eyes. 
Each setting includes fun plastic dinnerware from Target, crayons and Disney touches found at  I've used the egg wrappers as place-egg holders.  The eggs are plastic, which I wrote each child's name on.  Not until right this moment did I think, it'd have been fun to put some little surprises inside those eggs!  The place mats are Mickey & Friends Easter activity pages.
The centerpiece on the kids table is a wooden basked I purchased at Michaels.  In one side you'll find "bunny tales" (donut holes) for the kids to snack on.  In the other are bunny tales for the kids to wear.  I got this great idea over on the HWTM blog.
easter appetizers
Alouette garlic & herb spreadable cheese with crackers, cucumber & dill stuffed tomatoes, crescent veggie pizza, veggies with ranch dressing and my Mom's deviled eggs.
easter desserts
Birds nests, Easter bark (instead of the jelly beans called for in the recipe, I used Toll House Mini Toppers), rainbow cookies, fruit pizza, mini cheesecakes.