Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wreck it Ralph

For a lot of families’ summer vacation just ended; so November seems very far away. However, if you escaped the heat by going to the latest Disney /Pixar blockbuster Brave, chances are good that you saw a sneak peek trailer for a movie called 
"Wreck -it Ralph."

I saw "Wreck- it Ralph" a while ago as a screening. It stars the voice talents of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman,  Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch.
 Ralph is the bad-guy character in a classic video game called “Fix-it Felix Jr.” He brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooting game and unleashes a deadly enemy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Wordless Wednesday

"D" is for....

Gayle-"D" is for....  Dumbo
Disneyland Entrance

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hakuna Matata Monday-Ariel's Grotto Birthday

A Birthday Fit for a Princess
Ariel’s Grotto

For my granddaughter’s 5th birthday, the whole family gathered at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland for an afternoon of fun and excitement with Pat E Cake and the main mouse himself, Mickey. This year however, for Moya’s 6th birthday it was decided that she needed something fitting of any true Disney Princess so it was off to Ariel’s Grotto located in Disney California Adventure Park. Ariel’s Grotto is a Character Dining experience at its best-especially if you happen to have a 6 year old princess. It combines fabulous food befitting of any royalty along with laughter, music and all the excitement that accompanies meeting all of your favorite Disney Princesses. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Author Sunday - Gilda Aliberti "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - It Is Not Just For Girls"

The Disney Gals would like to welcome Gilda Aliberti to
our Guest Author Ohana!

Everyone thinks of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as a place for your little girl to become a Princess (you can check out yesterday's post for more info on that).  However it is so much more than that and also a ton of fun for little boys to become a Knight in Shining Armor.  
In fact this is what we have done with my son for the last two years at age 6 and 7.  This year we were in Disney World on his birthday and I asked him what he wanted to do that day.  He promptly responded that he wanted to go to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and the Castle for dinner.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Disney's Family Fun - Bunny Blondies

Like many moms, I've found that I can't always interest my son in veggies.  He will eat them here and there, but not as often as he should.  I was delighted, then, when after a trip to a local farm where we picked some zucchinis, he discovered that he loves zucchini bread.  With that in mind, I am always looking for similar ideas when I saw a recipe in the September, 2012 issue of Disney's Family Fun magazine.

Bunny Blondies are a variation of Butterscotch "Scotchies" that so many of us are familiar with.  The big difference - Bunny Blondies have 3 cups of carrots in each batch!  While it changed the flavor some, they were still delicious.  Imagine carrot cake with butterscotch and you've got it.  Plus, they're easy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I can say that I Give Kids the World

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “ We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” This quote is a favorite of Give Kids the World (GKTW) founder, Henri Landwirth. I know it is one of mine, too.

Today I am writing about the adult side of GKTW - where the magic and the pain merge. I look at its glory through a mother’s eye. I’m not a stranger to community service but this combines my love of Disney with helping others. Some nights are hard, but it tugs at my heart so deeply that I can’t wait to go back.
One of my favorite places to help:the La-Ti-Da spa!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - "Disney Friends"

“Disney Friends” come in many shapes, sizes, colors, fur and no fur.  Some we would like to take home and others are scary, but they are still our “friends”!  Here are some of the Disney Gals “Disney Friends”.

Judy: When I think of "Disney Friends" I first think of the friends I share Disney with, my husband (the most important one), our sons and their wife's and then there are our friends that we met at a Disney Event over 10 years ago on the Disney Wonder and just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on the Disney Dream last May and of course they Disney Gals who have become family to me.  As we said "Disney Friends" come in all shapes and sizes (and locations).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Navigating Your Disney Cruise - Looking Over Overlooked Activities

In my last article we covered the Personal Navigator, or Bible, and how you can use it to plan the activities you would like to do. Today I would like to tell you about a few programs for families and adults that often get overlooked, but in my book they are a "must-do" every cruise.

The Mickey 200 - Veggie Car Races

Seeing the word "veggie" in the title may scare the kids, but don't worry, there's no eating involved, just building and racing. In this tournament, kids need to team up with an adult and create a race car. After all teams have checked in, they will be given a cutting board, knife, one potato, one carrot, toothpicks and 4 wheels. Racers have 10 minutes to design and build a car out of any and all supplies given. The only stipulation is the car can not be wider than your room key, so it fits on the track, and can not be so long that it will not fit behind the starting line.

Once building time is up, the cruise staff will call up the first three teams to race. Cheering and laughter fill the room as the veggie cars fly down the track, or when wheels fall off and cars get stuck. All part of the fun. The winning cars go on to the next round and the races continue until there is only one winner.

While the first place team will get a medal, there are also winner pins for best Disney design and best name. And ladies, don't be afraid to join in . My all girl team beat my dad, the ex-race car driver, and his all boy team!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hakuna Matata Monday-you can Give Kids the World

Amberville - GKTW

When you drive down Bass Road in Kissimmee, you’ll see a welcome sign that reads: Give Kids The World. When you go inside, you can do just that. Like the arches into the Magic Kingdom; when I get there… I am HOME.

 Give Kids The World (GKTW) exists to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Kids and their families come from around the world to stay at this whimsical 70-acre resort and enjoy a magical, memorable cost-free visit to Walt Disney World and other Orlando area attractions. While at the Village, fun and entertainment are endless. They are able to ride a themed carousel, play at Matthew’s Boundless Playground, eat ice cream for breakfast, and much, much more! When families return from the parks, they find the fun continues even after dark with pool parties and other nightly celebrations. In a nutshell, you could stay there, never leave, and still have the trip of a lifetime.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Guest Author Sunday - Lynne Hartke "Lessons Learned From Toy Story 3"

The Disney Gals welcome Lynne Hartke to our 
guest blogger Ohana

Toy Story 3 and a 1972 Trip to Disneyland

In the movie, Toy Story 3, Andy tries to decide which of his old toys he will give away and which ones he will keep as he gets ready to go away to college. The toys, led by Woody and Buzz, go on many adventures, including a run-in with Lotso Bear, before the final plot twist and unpredicted happy ending.

I cry buckets of tears every time I see it.

Before my husband and I moved to Arizona, I had a Toy Story 3 moment in my childhood bedroom in Minnesota as I sorted through girlhood belongings. I knew it was my best chance to pack things into a U-Haul without having to pay for shipping.

Soon my childhood bedroom was strewn with old school papers, report cards, and Barbies. I didn’t have a beloved Woody doll, but my childhood teddy bear that had long ago had all his fur loved off and was blind, with no eyes, went into the Keep Box. From a stack of papers I pulled out a childhood journal I hadn’t read in years – a black spiral notebook, stuffed with postcards, ticket stubs, and writing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop-Nighttime Magic

No matter what time of day it is, there's just something even more magical about nighttime at Disney. Whether it's the fireworks over the castle, or the Neon Lighting Ceremony in Cars Land, it's Disney at it's best. Join us on a journey of a nighttime Fantasmic as we travel on the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Gayle: The World is a Carousel of Color-need a reason to head west to where it all started-World of Color. This amazing combination of water, lasers and Disney magic is Imagineering at it's best! And yes-to answer the age old question, if you sit at water's edge, and where else would you sit, you do need a poncho. Need another reason-Ka Chow-Cars Land! Make sure you out in the middle of the street at dusk for the Neon lighting ceremony and get ready to be floored!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Birthdays at Disneyland-Hakuna Mata Monday

Birthday Celebrations Disney Style

Just being at Disneyland is cause for celebration all on its own, but if you’re lucky enough to be celebrating a birthday too, Disney can turn a magical day into an extraordinary one. Last June we celebrated my granddaughter’s 5th birthday Disney style with the “My Disneyland Birthday Party” hosted by none other than Mickey and Minnie and of course Pat E. Cake!  The party started as soon as we checked in at the Plaza Inn on Main Street right in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Everyone in our party was escorted to our special birthday table decked out with all the flair that a Disney birthday should be.  We each received our own party hat with a special one for the birthday girl, a souvenir cup served with an endless supply of a variety of drinks and our very own miniature Mickey birthday cake with frosting and sprinkles for each of us to complete the decorating process.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Anything Goes Saturday

Fun Facts and Trivial Knowledge - Walt Disney World

Sometimes my love of everything Disney fills my head with, well, I like to call it trivia, but my family teasingly (and with love) calls it "useless knowledge."  It's not always so useless.  I play a pretty mean Disney Trivia game.  Anyway, I thought I'd take this Saturday and share some of my favorite fun facts about Walt Disney World.  

Let's start with the iconic Cinderella Castle.  It appears to be made out of block, but how many were used to build the castle?  None.  Instead it is built of steel and fiberglass.  In fact, 600 tons of steel were used to build it and 10 of the spires were built off-site in an old fertilizer factory.

Of course, one of the best views of the iconic castle is from the rose garden between it and Tomorrowland.  Did you know that you can find over 13,000 roses throughout Disney World?  It takes more than 4,000 hours each year to remove dead buds, keeping them looking fresh and beautiful.

Moving on to Liberty Square, another of my favorite places in Magic Kingdom, you'll find a copy of the Liberty Bell.  This bell was actually cast from the same mold that was used to create the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Liberty Square wouldn't be the same without the Liberty Tree.  This tree was actually originally located about 6 miles from its present location.  At about 40 feet tall, 60 feet wide, and 38 tons, at the time, this was one of the largest trees ever to be transplanted.  In addition, it is actually 2 trees.  After it was transplanted, a smaller live oak was actually grafted to it to give it a fuller shape.

Speaking of trees, Disney World showcases more than 1,500 fully decorated trees for the holidays.  In addition, they decorate with 11 miles of garland, 3,000 wreaths, 300,000 yards of ribbon, and over 8 million lights!

Hungry?  Visitors to Disney World consume over 10 million hamburgers and over 5 million bags of popcorn annually.  They wash it down with 78 million Coca-Cola products!  For those looking for a healthier option, the Land Pavilion at Epcot produces 30 tons of fruit and vegetables each year, which is served in resort restaurants.  No worry about waste here, either.  Disney World donates over 50,000 pounds of prepared but unserved food per month to a local food bank.

Some of Disney World's unsung heroes are the housekeeping staff.  To keep everything stocked with clean towels, linens, and clothes, they wash more than 285,000 pounds of laundry and dry clean 30,000 garments every day!

Finally, have you ever lost anything at Walt Disney World?  Apparently, lots of us have.  On a busy day, the staff at Lost and Found sort through over 1,000 newly lost items!  A common item is sunglasses.  On average, 35,000 pair per year go through the Lost and Found; however, there are some other, more unusual items that turn up there as well. They have gotten everything from a glass eye to a potty training seat to a television!

I hope you've had as much fun reading my "useless knowledge" as I've had sharing it.  Join me next Saturday as I share information about Disneyland.

Friday, August 10, 2012

International Food and Wine Festival is coming to EPCOT September 28, 2012–November 12, 2012.

Epcot is a paradise for us Foodie folks. From Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion, to La Cantina De San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion, the food at EPCOT has been earning almost as much attention as the attraction.

Photo by Sammy Fries
During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, international kiosks are spread around World Showcase like pixie dust.

My favorite festival features top chefs as well as domestic and international wineries. There is something for every taste bud.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop - It's a Parade!

It's Wordless Wednesday at the Blog hop! Who doesn't  love a Disney Parade? We pulled together some of our favorites to join in the fun of this parade of Wordless Wednesday Photos just for you! Special thanks goes out to Deb from Focused on the Magic for hosting this weekly series.

Gayle: Is there anyone, anywhere that doesn't love the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade? I defy anyone not to clap and giggle with delight when they hear the iconic music! Whether you saw if opening night in Disneyland Resort in 1972, or when they brought it back to Disney California Adventure in 2001, or were lucky enough to catch it one more time at the Magic Kingdom, it's a must see for the Turners!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shades of Green - Disney's Military Hotel

Shades of Green

Photo from Shades of Green

I am sure that many of the guests that visit Walt Disney World every year have no idea that they have a military hotel right on Disney property - Shades of Green!  Shades of Green was originally opened in 1973 as a Disney-owned resort known as the Golf Resort, the resort expanded in 1986 and was renamed The Disney Inn.  The resort is also located in-between two championship golf courses, the Palm and the Magnolia, which is why the resort was built to begin with, as a place for golfers to stay.  The resort was really only used by golfers, and not that popular with Disney theme park guests to stay at, part of the issue was the location of the resort, it is out of the monorail loop, around a quarter mile away from the nearest monorail station at The Polynesian. 

In the early 1990's Army officials decided it was time to build a resort in the continental United States, Orlando was the top choice in a survey of soldiers.  On February 1, 1994 the US Department of Defense leased the resort and the land it sits on with a 100 year lease to use as a MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation).  The resort was renamed Shades of Green and in 1996 the resort was purchased outright, due to the high success of the resort, although Disney still owns the land on which the resort sits.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vegan Side of Disney California Adventure Park-Hakuna Matata Monday

Vegan Eating at Disney California Adventure Park

The Quest for a Family Meal 

Last week we explored the Vegan side of Disneyland. Now let’s take a stroll across the Disneyland Esplanade and discover how it is possible to be Vegan and still eat your way around Disney California Adventure Park.

Buena Vista Street:
       Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Café- As you enter the newly revamped Buena Vista Street, on the right hand side is this great quick service eatery with, cue the harps and the angels singing-Starbucks! For Vegans, this is the place to find all of your must have soy specialty drinks. We found a great roasted vegetable sandwich (actually it was a Paneer and roasted vegetable sandwich but without the Paneer) and several soup options including the Portobello Barley that would be great on those cold days. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Guest Author Sunday-Christy Dudley

Guest Author Sunday
 Christy Dudley

     Meet this week's guest author Christy Dudley. Christy is a single mom who still manages to make magic happen for her daughter, all while staying on a budget.  We are so excited that Christy had a chance to dust off her journalism degree and put it to great use by sharing her story with us.  Here's hoping this is the first of many posts to come!

The Exploits of a Single Mom With Lots of Love and Little Money!
Hi! When I define myself to those that don’t know me; the words Single Mom almost always escape my lips first. For me, it is a way of saying that I am highly organized, able to multi-task, live on a shoe –string budget, have to be creative and think outside of the box and always looking for affordable and fun activities for my daughter – all in one breath!
 I have been to Disney numerous times as a single adult. All of those times I stayed off site and thought I was being wise with my budget and for those that punch numbers; I’m sure that the cost can be less when staying off site. However, when I chose to take my daughter, then 4 yrs. old for her first Disney trip, I decided I wanted to do it big and do it all!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Disney’s The Odd life of Timothy Green opens in theatres August 15 but I was able to see it as a screening.  The movie is about a couple who desperately try to have a baby.  They write notes about what their perfect child would be like and Timothy appears in their garden that night.

We meet the characters in a small close-knit town named Stanleyville. You really get a sense of a simple lifestyle almost like New England in autumn. We even see a sign for Main Street.

Jim Green, the husband, works in the struggling pencil factory. I loved seeing the factory and it is almost like they are giving the viewer a tour of how pencils are made. His wife Cindy works in the pencil museum with a rude overbearing boss.

As a mother who tried very hard to have children, I could instantly feel their pain. When the doctor tells them there is nothing else that can be done Cindy, portrayed by Jennifer Garner, wants to move on but Jim, Actor Joel Edgerton, wants to have one last night of hope. It is very touching how together they dream and they laugh and they connect and they cry as they jot down all of the character traits they envision for their child and they collect the notes in a box and bury it in their garden.