Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guest Author Sunday: Two Generations of Disney Birthday Parties by Lynne Hartke

The Disney Gals are thrilled and honored to welcome back Lynne Hartke to Guest Author Sunday!

Two Generations of Disney Birthday Parties
By Lynne Hartke

When my children were growing up, they enjoyed choosing the theme for their birthday parties, and it was no surprise that Disney characters were often the master of ceremonies. With the help of a file of ripped out magazine clippings, our imaginations, and a few party planning books, we were able to create some fantastic memories:

            A 101 Dalmatian party when Zach was six, complete with construction paper ears and collars with dog tags and a dog cake with oreos for the spots.
            A Little Mermaid party when Katelyn was five that included looking for treasure in the backyard.
            A Peter Pan party with pirates, a search for a ticking alarm clock and an alligator cake.
            A Lion King party when Aleah was six with animal masks for all the guests.
            A Minnie Mouse party when Katelyn was seven, where guest played, “Pin the hair bow on Minnie” and ate a Minnie cake with frosting so black it did creepy things to everyone’s teeth for their photo moment in front of the camera.
My youngest is now a senior in high school and my other three children are grown. My days of party planning for my children are over, I am sad to say.
But wait, now I am a grandma!
And with the help of Pinterest, online sites, themed blogs and still the good ol’ imagination, my grandson, Micah, had a fabulous first birthday party, planned by his mom, themed around Winnie the Pooh.
Balloons greeted guests when they walked in the door.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dine With an Imagineer

My sons turned 21 this summer. I wanted to get him a very special gift- what I wanted was a Disney memory. He is finishing his education in TV and film production at NYU. Ever since its inception I had been trying to book an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) to Dine with an Imagineer for him. Trip after trip I tried calling and booking online but my efforts were fruitless.
I was on a mission… I had never eaten at Disney’s Hollywood Studios  Brown Derby. This warm wood-paneled restaurant celebrates the Golden Age of Hollywood and it’s home to the original Brown Derby Cobb salad, and famous grapefruit cake.

When the 180-day mark hit I woke up at 4 AM. Primed and ready, I sat with my laptop and my cell phone.  The Cast member on the phone was very helpful. I told her our dates and we were in luck. For his birthday gift we would Dine With an Imagineer!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DIS and DAT Thursday

As I was thinking about what I could post today, I wanted everyone to know how excited I am to finally meet the rest of the Disney Gals!  In the past few months many of us have bonded over this blog and getting up and running with Ezra, Phineas, and Gus playing games with our posts, family issues, illnesses, and as Gayle said earlier this week one of us returning to work and leaving a cute little one behind at daycare, another out trying to find a new job and a new knee (which I will be testing out over the weekend on it's first trip to Disney).  We have held each others hand (virtually) over all kinds of issues and handed each other tissues "through the computer" when we needed them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Port Orleans Royal Guest Rooms

 When I went to booked our room at Port Orleans Riverside last May for a weekend trip for just my husband and I and the Disney agent said I could upgrade to the Royal Guest Rooms for a little more then the regular room, I was so excited.  Now I don't have any little girls, I have two grown sons, okay I have two great daughter in laws, but no little princesses. My husband did buy me a sign for our room that says: "Because I am the Princess, that's why", and that is how he treats me, he was okay with staying in the Royal Guest Room and in fact he was the one going around the room taking all the photos. 
Bathroom Sinks and Dressing Area

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hakuna Matata Monday-Family + Friends=Disney Gals

Dreams Can Come True

Once upon a time last June a lone gal who never wore bows, who shuddered at the thought of wearing glitter or sparkles and whose favorite princess happened to be Ursula made the off the cuff comment (as she often does) “Am I the only person in the universe left that doesn’t have a Disney Blog?” Suddenly from out of the forest came the 11 most amazing, gifted, talented and more importantly kindest and caring Disney princess loving, pink and sparkly gals that ever walked the planet and the Disney Gal team was born.  Truthfully, how does one even begin to find the words to adequately define something so indescribable?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Guest Author Sunday-Lottie Ferguson

Guest Author Sunday

Lottie Ferguson

Guest Author Lottie Ferguson is back with the Disney Gals this week for another great article. Welcome back Lottie!

Lately, there has been a lot of media attention over a women’s right to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants, with nurse-ins staged at numerous businesses and government offices.  You will be happy to know that no one will complain and send you to the nearest restroom (eww!) if you nurse your little one anywhere on Disney property!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a great set of breasts, but I’m not game for sharing them with the world, whether I’m nursing or not. It’s just an issue of modesty for me.  (For the same reason, you won’t find any photos of me nursing in this post.) There are tons of innovative covers and wraps for mothers to buy or make, and I suggest taking at least one with you if for nothing else but shielding your child from the sun, or for extra warmth inside chilly restaurants.

You can nurse anywhere on Disney property.  It’s a great opportunity pay attention to all of the fabulous Disney details while nourishing your child. These are my favorite places because they are cool, comfortable, and convenient.  If you are bottle feeding, these places will work very well for you, too!

All Parks: Baby Care Centers – I’m pretty sure I talk about these in every post that relates to small children.  There is one in every park; I wish there were more!  Find them on a map prior to arrival. They are one of the best kept secrets at Disney World.  They are air conditioned, private nursing rooms here that are quiet and well kept.  Problem is, most are near the entrance, and if you’ve ventured your way to the back of the park, it just isn’t convenient to make the trek all the way back to the front.  However, if you are nearby, take advantage.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Goofy's Travels to Chicago

When you go to Germany you don't expect to come home with Goofy! Now when I say Goofy I don't mean a small stuffed Goofy like you would take home from Walt Disney World, I mean a 4 foot tall Goofy. 

Here at Goofy Teddy-Paradise - See his friend Pooh?
Let me start at the beginning; we arrived in Frankfurt, Germany and took off for Römer - Frankfurt City Hall Square.  Within that square is a store called Teddy-Paradise, which is a wonderful Teddy Bear store this store as one of a kind Teddy Bears, Steiff's (which are carried at the Germany pavilion in Epcot) and many other kinds of toys.  As I was eyeing a hand-made Teddy Bear in a antique purse, (yes along with Disney plates, Art Classic pieces, Disney art work, Disney dolls and a few Disney pins I also collect a few teddy bears, yes and this would also be thanks to the Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Weekend), I hear my husband in another room say you need to come here!  As I turn the corner I see him standing there in the corner holding a tray in in his hand, the biggest Goofy I have ever seen and the look on my husbands face, it was something to see.  My husband said to Volker, the owner of the store, (this was the second time we had been to the store), was Goofy for sale? Now I am looking at him like how in the heck are we going to get Goofy home?? He said yes and that he would be sorry to see him go, but happy he was going to a good home, and I am still looking at him wondering how he is coming home with us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dining with Dinos

Earlier this year, a friend and I had a "mom and son" trip to Disney World and we were looking for a special place to take our 8 and 10-year-old "dates."  It had to have a great selection on its kids' menu, be unique, and not have a sign of any princesses anywhere near.  We settled on T-Rex in Downtown Disney.
From the moment we walked in, the boys were in awe.  One of the first things I noticed was the nautical-themed bar area.  There are giant jellyfish hanging from the ceiling and it appears that the bar patrons could easily be lunch for the octopus that owns the legs suspended above them.  There, of course, were also giant, animatronic dinosaurs as well as a woolly mammoth that captured the boys' imagination.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

VIEW Conference in Italy this October!

The Disney Gals have recently learned of an amazing conference held in Turin, Italy which is geared toward computer graphics, digital cinema, 3D animation, gaming, VFX and interactive techniques.

Sounds like something some of our fans might be interested in, doesn't it? Especially those of you that love Pixar Animation Studios and are dying to know the inner-workings of how these movies are made. Well, just in case some of you have the means to get to Italy from October 16-19, 2012, you won't want to miss this!

Featured Speaker:

MARK WALSH, Director and Supervising Animator Pixar Animation Studios

Mark Walsh is an animator, actor, storyboard artist, writer and director at Pixar Animation Studios. Beginning as an animator in 1997, he quickly moved up the ranks to supervising animation, then directing teasers and commercials for Pixar features. Mark makes his theatrical debut with “Partysaurus Rex”.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hakuna Matata Monday-Happy Birthday Zack

A Birthday Wish

            Most of you know me as the Disney Gal Grammy but long before there were grandchildren, and we all know how much I adore my four grandchildren, there were five of the best children that God could ever bless any mommy with.  This week it is “the baby’s” birthday. Zack is going to be 17 years old on Saturday so this week, if you will allow a mommy’s small indulgence, is my way of saying how much I love him, and how proud of the incredible young man he has grown into. Now for my other four children who are reading this and right now are saying, “Why does he get to be in mom’s article? He gets everything! That’s so not fair !!"  May I just take this moment to remind you that mommy wasn’t a Disney Gal on your last birthday, and your turn is coming!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Disney Gal Roll Call Nighttime Shows

Gayle - Any day at Disney is a special day but when the sun goes down, that's when the real magic. happens. Being the California Gal in the group, nothing says Nighttime Show for me quite like "Fantasmic".

From the lights going out, to that opening notes, to Mickey defeating all evil, this is my can't miss show. I cry and applaud and giggle just as though I was seeing it for the first time.  I am not afraid to admit that I have staked out my spot 3-4 hours in advance at the Rivers of America at least several hundred times now, but in the last few years I have truly been spoiled by the Fantasmic Reserved Dining Dessert Package. 

Of course now with the addition of "World of Color" over at Disney California Adventure Park, for a while the choice was a difficult one and I must hang my head in shame when I tell you that opening weekend of this magnificent melding of lights, water and sound, that alas I spent all weekend at "World of Color" at the expense of my beloved "Fantasmic".

But fear not readers, there is a solution! I have now found that it is totally possible to see the first showing of "World of Color", watch Fireworks as you are walking from one Park to the other and still make the 10:30 pm showing of "Fantasmic". The perfect end to an always perfect day. It's Disney at it's best!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Then and Now At Disneyland

Halloween Then and Now at Disneyland

Disney Gals Lori and Gayle Look at an Evolving Tradition

"When the hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls.  Whenever the candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still. That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror of ghoulish delight!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

"Magical Memories"

Disney Gal Judy with familly and friends freezing during the IllumiNations Birthday Cruise in December

Our daughter in laws first visit to Disney, with her favorite friend (she chased him).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A look at Americana at Disney

The Disney Gals come to your computer or electronic device from all over the world. I live in The United States of America.

To hail the spirit of America I do not have to look far. A national tribute of remembrance and honor to the men, women, and children killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. For me it was personal. My mom’s friend lost a son that day. Not a faceless name.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Partysaurus Rex and Finding Nemo 3D

Partysaurus Rex and Finding Nemo 3D

Most of us have committed three addresses to memory: the house we grew up in, our current address and P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney! If you don’t know the third one, or it’s been a while since you’ve heard those words (or if you just need an excuse to see one of your favorite PIXAR films on the big screen again), then you’re in luck. Finding Nemo is the next PIXAR film to be re-released in theaters... in 3D!

I was privileged to see Finding Nemo 3D and the accompanying short Partysaurus Rex before they are released in theatres. Very cool seeing it early, but even cooler were the special 3D glasses  we were given to use during the screening. They look like scuba goggles! I think they are super cute. 

photo by Sammy Fries

The promo to turn your phone off was genius. I will not give it away but they fooled me.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Guest Author Sunday Rebecca Bew

Guest Author Sunday

Rebecca Bew

Meet this week's Guest Author Rebecca Bew here with some tips from an Orlando native of other things to do when visiting this beautiful area.

Going Native
So, you are visiting Walt Disney World and have some extra time on your hands.  You ponder to yourself whether or not people actually live in Orlando and what those odd souls do in Orlando.  Perhaps you want to see what the Orlando area has to offer without a lot of fellow tourists.  As a resident of Orlando for the past seven years, here are some of my family’s favorite activities…
SAK Comedy Lab – Tucked away in an unassuming building in downtown Orlando lays one of Orlando’s hidden treasures.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights around 7:00 pm (shows start at 7:30) you may spot a line of locals waiting to buy tickets to one of the few family friendly comedy clubs anywhere.  Up the stairs is a small theater.  Although “family friendly comedy club” seems to be an oxymoron, this spot nails it.  The show is much like TV’s improv show “Whose Line is it Anyway?”  In fact, Wayne Brady got his start at the SAK lab.  The show features two teams of hilarity duking it out in games of spontaneous wittiness.  No two shows are alike.  All of the humor is small child appropriate.  We started taking the Teeny Wahini as an infant (she loved it and the cast worked her antics into the skits.  She was even picked to be a judge!), but even my mother loved it.  If anything seems remotely un-kid friendly, the contestant gets the “smut box” placed over their heads.  We have seen this invoked only once.  A cast member misspoke and awkwardly blended the words “to what” into one.  Just be certain to dodge the flying tootsie rolls!

Guest Author Sunday-Lottie Ferguson

Guest Author Sunday

Lottie Ferguson

Meet this week's Guest Author-Lottie Ferguson. Lottie Ferguson is a baby wearing, breastfeeding & cloth diaper advocate that also happens to love all things Disney.  She and her husband are raising two little princesses to be earth friendly Disney lovers.

I'm no stranger to a camera.  In fact, I almost never leave the house without my Canon DSLR.  Photography at Disney can be an amazing thing if you remember to take photos of these overlooked things while on your Disney Vacation.
I’m not just saying this because I’m a  self proclaimed Foodie.  Disney consistently delivers wonderfully excellent food presentations.   Many of my fond memories of Disney vacations are around an empty plate. What better way to remember a wonderful meal than to photograph it before it jumps into your belly? When I need inspiration in the kitchen, food pictures help out a ton.  Look at the steam rising off the noodles at Teppan Edo! Yummity, Yum Yum!  Just be sure to take pictures of you and your full stomach, struggling to leave the restaurant afterwards.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Cheated on Disney

Anyone that knows me knows I am a hard-core Disney fan. Cut me and I bleed Mickey Mouse red. However, I have friends that don't get the whole Disney thing (gasp!). Comments like "Let me guess where you're vacationing this year." and "Really, aren't your kids too big for Disney?" have been escalating as my kids get older. I just tell them I only do 1st class vacations, pack up my van and head down to Florida for 10 days.

This year my 2 high-schoolers had activities that went all through June and started back up in August. Combine that with baseball and softball and you've got a jam-packed summer. Vacation, who's got time for that? Then the voices of my non-Disney friends, combined with guilt of no family time, got the best of me. So I did it, I cheated on Disney.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday looks at September

Welcome to the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop with the Disney Gals! This week's theme is Your September Calendar Shot. 


September is Childhood Cancer awareness month. Wish kids love to visit with Mickey

Wish Granted

Hanging out with a Goofy friend is the best medicine 

At Give Kids The World they get tickets to go to WDW.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hakuna Matata Monday-Disneyland Fun Facts

Disneyland Fun Facts

In honor of Labor Day, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the behind the scenes “secrets” that make Disneyland the magical place “Where you leave the world of today and enter the world of yesterday, today and fantasy.”  In talking about the beginnings of Disneyland Resort, Walt would recount, “I first saw the site for Disneyland back in 1953. In those days it was all flat- no rivers, no mountains, no castles or rocket ships-just orange groves and a few acres of walnut trees….We believed in our idea-a family park where parents and children could have fun together.  Disneyland is a show…the star, everything else is the supporting role. Disneyland will never be completed.  It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”  Here are some secrets, fun facts and even some pieces of trivia about the “Happiest Place.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Guest Author Sunday - Kathleen Christensen

Guest Author Sunday

Kathleen Christensen

Meet this week's Guest Author-Kathleen Christensen.  Kathleen's first trip to Walt Disney World was in 1984 with her husband and then 10 month old son and of course, it was love of Disney at first site! Enjoy her article on one of her more romantic journeys to Epcot.

Disney World is known for being " The Happiest Place on Earth" I can't deny my family has been there more times than we can count, we've been very lucky.

My first visit to the Magic Kingdom was in December of 1984, our son was only 10 months old, we drove over from Tampa, went to the Magic Kingdom for the day and fell in love with it immediately! Every visit since then is just as special as the first time! We've been lucky enough to share the experiences with both of our sons many, many times and have also enjoyed our couples only trips. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Special Blog Post

Today we would like to share a post with you from the Disney Gals (especially Lori's) favorite place -

Give Kids The World

Please click on the link and go over to their blog page to read today’s blog about:

Mission Moment: Because of Hope