Thursday, December 26, 2013

Magic Kingdom Year End Review

Year End Review-2013 Magic Kingdom

Join Honorary Gal and Official Disney Gal Travel Agent from Destinations Florida Dawn Gosdin as she wraps up this year at the Magic Kindgom!
Yesteryears Fantasyland blossoms into “The New Fantasyland”
Character Meet & Greets are now possible & the really cool part, you can visit with them in their designated land, 2 new themed regions. Check em’ out
1.     Enchanted Forest Attractions;
Be Our Guest Restaurant (Love at lunch time, cheaper & easier to get a reservation than dinner)
Gaston’s Tavern (Lafou’s Brew, really sweet goodness)
2.   Storybook Circus Attractions;
The Barnstormer  (Sadly, my hubby’s favorite)
Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station (Not my fave, kids get wet & then wet the seats on the non-water rides)
Pete’s Silly Sideshow (Love the name)
Fantasyland Station (Choo, choo)

Also Princess Fairytale Hall opened September 2013, with a one stop shop to meet your favorite Princesses.

In 2013 and beyond, you can look forward to new additions of fun in New Fantasyland. Upcoming...ReYou want moreght up to the classic American circus in an area that evokes the spirit of the classic..., here you go- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is nearing its debut, sometime in 2014, not sure when, as its hush-hush.  I read recently, they’re in the cart testing phase, woot. (Speaking of hush-hush, I’m not telling my hubby much about it or he would skip it all together—CHICKEN, if the seven dwarfs can do it, so can he, LOL)
This spring 2014, Magic Kingdom will unveil a new parade named "Disney Festival of Fantasy.” This new parade will feature magical music with festive themed floats. Some of the movies included in this parade are: "The Little Mermaid", "Sleeping Beauty", "Brave" and other beloved Disney movies, old and new. (Hello- all our faves) Out with the old & in with the new, “The Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade will end this month, making way for the new parade. (Boo hoo, not really sad, not a huge fan of parades, hoo hah.)
Walt Disney would be very proud with the evolution of the Magic Kingdom & Disney overall. The future inevitably looks extra sparkly with a side of pixie dusted rainbows, morphing the future of The Walt Disney Company into the stratosphere. See ya real soon!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - December 25, 2013 - JOY!




Joy is the holiday season at Disney and being able to spend time at Disney with Family and Friends anytime of the year!  Merry Christmas to everyone!

Special Thanks goes out to Deb from Focused on the Magic for

hosting the weekly blog hop!
Focused on the Magic

Disney Gals Favorite Holiday Memories

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's from the Disney Gals!
Disney Gal Judy: 
We live in Chicago and downtown we had a Marshall Field's (yes is a Macy's now just not the same), every year Paul and I would take a day off of work and take the boys out of school and take them downtown to see the Christmas windows and have lunch in the Walnut Room around the big tree.  They would both get a hot chocolate the came delivered in an

Uncle Mistletoe mug , which they got to take home. 

Over the years they got a new mug (and it changed over the years to the Santa Bear) and when they left and got married, those mugs went with them as a memory of when they where little. 

Disney Guy Paul:

It's hard to have one Christmas memory. Christmas means many different things to me. I rarely get home for Christmas so any time I do I enjoy watching the crazy family time the holidays inevitably bring. Trying to split our time between my family and my wife's family gets entertaining. 

My favorite tradition is going to see the windows along State Street with the family. They are no where near the same as they were when I was younger. Stores are renamed or simply vanished like the ghosts in a Christmas Carol. We always made sure to get our picture with Santa and get some lunch. 

Renee and I announced our engagement on Christmas Eve, I had asked her close to the holiday and I remember how beautiful the city looked that December night from the Hancock Observation Deck. 

My favorite work related Christmas memory was the first Chicago's Christmas Ship event. It was so cold and we didn't know how it was going to go. I had flown in from Traverse City, MI., after filming the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw loaded with trees heading to the city. We drove the tape around to all of the tv stations to make sure they had the footage. 

When the ship arrived we spent all day decorating it on Navy Pier so we could hold the welcome ceremony and hand out the first tree. The event became a tradition every year I was stationed in the Great Lakes and continues now 14-years later.

Disney Gal Kelly:

I have to chuckle reading Judy & Paul's memories because I often reminisce of time spent taking the bus Downtown with my Grandma to see the windows and eat at the Walnut room. Truly a Chicago tradition for many.

However, my favorite recent memory is sending my parents to WDW for their 50th anniversary. I had gone to see all the Christmas decorations with my mom the previous year, and upon our return, my dad looked so sad hearing our stories, like he had really missed out. Thus the anniversary trip was born. 

Dad didn't want my brother & I spending a lot of money so he booked a room at the Marriott with his rewards points. I did convince him that they had to do the Candlelight Processional and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party so he let us buy that for them. But what he didn't know is I cancelled his Marriott reservations and booked them a room at the Boardwalk overlooking the water! When I drove them to the airport, I gave them an itinerary of everywhere they needed to be, times and confirmation numbers, including their Boardwalk information. They were told not to open it until safely on the airplane. 

I wish I could have been on the plane to see their faces! They got a quick call in before the plane took off, full of excitement followed by "You shouldn't have". So glad we did, they enjoyed every minute of their trip and have plenty of pictures to prove it. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Guest Author Sunday- Welcome Back Leanne Tomala

Guest Author Sunday

Welcome Back Leanne Tomala

Disney Gals are thrilled to welcome back Leanne to our Guest Author Sunday Writer's Chair. This week Leanne shares a special magical encounter from her recent Disney Cruise.

You Just Never Know…
I recently returned from a seven day cruise on the Disney Fantasy.  The trip was everything I hoped it would be and more.  I planned, and planned, and planned, from the time I booked in January 2013 up until cruise day in November 2013.   Dinner and brunch reservations were made, as well as port excursions, almost to the point that I knew what I would be doing every single day.  The magic, however, came at a totally unscripted moment. 
After a mid-afternoon nap in my stateroom, I was craving those delicious Mickey pretzels that are served on Deck 11 at Flo’s.  I popped out of my stateroom and hit the “up” button for the elevator.  The bell dinged, the door slowly opened, and I am face-to-face with none other than Mickey Mouse!  He’s all alone in the elevator, except for his cast member escort.  I am so taken aback by this discovery that I’m not sure what to do.  I regain some semblance of composure and hop into the elevator cursing to myself that I am without my phone/camera to capture this moment. 
While riding up to four floors to Deck 11, I’m feeling like a school-girl who bumps into her crush in the school hallway and is at a loss for words.  Mickey “asks” me if I am having a good time, and I really don’t remember what I said because the moment was so surreal.  Being the gentleman that he is, Mickey kissed my hand when the elevator door opened at my destination.  I did not want to get out because I wanted Mickey all to myself for just a few moments more.  I floated out of the elevator and wanted to shout “he likes me!” just like I would have done at thirteen years old.  It was not quite my fifteen minutes of fame; more like fifteen seconds. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Clean Eating at Disney Parks

Once upon a time, I ate a Twix and drank a Sprite for breakfast daily.  I spent more time in fast food restaurants than the gym.   I grew up in my family’s fresh fish markets and restaurants, so I knew how to cook and what healthier options were, but had gotten lazy...really lazy.  All of a sudden, life changed.  Due to the dietary needs of my husband and daughter, I had to figure out how to feed my family without being a short order cook.  My family began eating clean to not only for health reasons, but to save my sanity and some money, too.
My beloved Dole Whip Float
I am often asked how we continue to eat clean while visiting Disney Parks.  The short answer is that it is dang near impossible.  The long answer is…well, long.  The best thing to do is explain what eating clean is, and then those of you who are frequent guests of Disney parks can form your own opinion on the subject.

There are basic principles of what we consider eating clean.  In my opinion, it’s eating real food including lots of fruits and vegetables, specifically those that are organic.  Meat is definitely allowed, but preferably right from the butcher and not pre-packaged meat products.  Avoid processed food.  Processed food contains a million extra ingredients necessary in preserving it over long periods of time.  If you must buy processed, read the labels.  If there are contents that are difficult to pronounce, leave it on the grocery shelf.  Do not shy away from grains.  There is a lot of information about why grains should be avoided, but sticking to complete, organic grains are a safe bet.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saving Mr Banks

Saving Mr. Banks

As you know Kelly and I were able to see a preview of Saving Mr. Banks a few weeks ago.  We thought since the movie is opening world wide we you re-post our review and give you a few links to check out:

This past week, Judy & I had the honor of pre-screening Saving Mr. Banks, thanks to D23 and the Music Box Theater. I can safely say, we both thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

For those unfamiliar with Chicago's Music Box theater, it was built in 1929 and has restored it's original architecture and decor. Being surrounded in the past was the perfect set up to enjoy the first feature, Mary Poppins. For as many times as I've seen this movie at home, it just seemed funnier and more endearing when watching with hundreds of others. It was wonderful hearing the whole crowd laughing out loud and offering up a huge round of applause at the end. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - December 18, 2013 - Disney Inspired Letter "R"


Disney Gal Beth:

Disney Gal Kelly:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Runners/Writers Wanted for a Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop!

Attention experts, pros, beginners and wannabes, we want YOU! My co-host ( @Distherapy of :DISTherapy fame) and I are looking for runDisney lovers who will join us in a Virtual runDisney Blog Hop on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014. Each potential writer will choose a race topic, (from Runner Tracking to the Disney Family Fun Run 5K to the Cool Down Party), and cover each pixie dusted inch of it, from an instructional and/or personal point of view. Together we'll map out the journey of the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend, for the both the benefit of first timers and to get the adrenaline pumping for ourselves!
Would you like more details? Would you like to claim your favorite chapter of the runDisney fairytale? Please contact me HERE. This blog hop is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Remember, every post is magic

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nothing Says Christmas than Something Made From the Heart

Christmas Handprint Calendars

     Christmas is right around the corner and you don't have to spend a lot to create the perfect present and one that they will cherish for years and years to come.   The only thing you will need for this easy, easy project is paint and construction paper (both available at any Dollar Store), a paint brush, felt pens and glitter to decorate with and a willing child.  My calendars have evolved and changed over the years, and at one point we actually painted feet as well as hands to make some of the pages,  but the sentiment is always the same-to create a "handprint" memory of your child that year. There are literally thousands of ideas online right now and Pinterest is once again my new best friend. I've included directions to a more detailed version that includes poems for each month below but the ones I made with the girls yesterday as well as with my class are without the monthly poems. The only thing you are limited by is your imagination! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - December 11, 2013 - Character Encounters


Disney Gal Kelly:

Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Poster

This past week, Judy & I had the honor of pre-screening Saving Mr. Banks, thanks to D23 and the Music Box Theater. I can safely say, we both thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

For those unfamiliar with Chicago's Music Box theater, it was built in 1929 and has restored it's original architecture and decor. Being surrounded in the past was the perfect set up to enjoy the first feature, Mary Poppins. For as many times as I've seen this movie at home, it just seemed funnier and more endearing when watching with hundreds of others. It was wonderful hearing the whole crowd laughing out loud and offering up a huge round of applause at the end. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Welcome to the Disney Christmas House

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Disney Christmas 
Here In Northern California

            Nestled  in Sonoma County, some 50 miles north of the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, residents from hundreds of miles around are treated to Scott Weaver’s little slice of Disney Christmas heaven.  Each year for the past 16 years, Weaver has transformed his Rohnert Park home into a castle with over 300 handcrafted characters, 40,000 lights, a waterfall, a tower, a train and a bubble machine. His self-described "Weaver Winter Wonderland" gets bigger every year. The display, a labor of love, takes Scott over a month of 12-hour days to set up . Each year Weaver is allotted five weeks of vacation from his job. He sets aside four of those weeks for preparation. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Dec. 4, 2013

Disney Gal Judy:

Disney Gal Kelly:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Disney Classics - 4 CD Set Review

Disney Gal Judy (writing from Port Orleans Resort with sketchy internet):

I am reviewing two of the four disks, Disney Timeless Classics and Disney Television Classics.   I think my favorite is Timeless Classics; this disk has all the music from my childhood along with a few from our sons.  Who can pass up A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes?  Along with one of our sons favorite from when they were really small; Ugly Bug Ball (okay I might be showing me age now).  

The second CD brings in the music from all the different Disney TV shows, again it runs the range from the 1950's to Mickey Mouse Club House and Zorro to Wizards of Waverly Place.  I might not know all the shows but this gives everyone in the house a chance to know a song on the CD.  I would recommend purchasing this set if you are a Disney "person" as it will cover all the bases!

Disney Gal Kelly:

My two disks to review were Disney's Modern Classics and Disney's Theme Park Classics.

My first mistake was listening to the Theme Park Classics while driving. Each song takes you back in your mind to your happy place; sailing with pirates, hang gliding across California and finding your inner child with a little purple dragon called Figment. I don't remember much else of the drive down I-294 except for conducting (yes, I admit it) the instrumental tracks.  The nice part about sitting down to listen to these songs, is you hear parts you've never heard before. Instead of paying attention to the characters or worrying about when the drop is coming, you can enjoy every detail the songs have to offer. You will be amazed how much you miss while on the rides and appreciate them even more on your next visit. I have to tell you, there are a couple tunes on here that I did not recognize, but that is the beauty of the CD, you get to enjoy songs from both parks. I figure if I ever get over to Disneyland, I won't look so much like a tourist if I'm singing along.

My second disk was the Modern Classics. My daughter actually asked for this one when I told her Judy and I were sharing the set. These are the songs she grew up on, movies from the 1989 until present. Out of the 23 tracks, there were 3 songs we couldn't sing every word to. Give us a week, we'll have it down. Every big Disney musical movie from the last 25 years is represented on here starting with The Little Mermaid all the way through Tangled and Toy Story 3. If I had to find one thing I would change, it would be to add more tracks, because one song is just not enough from those movies. But then again, I guess that's what movie sound tracks are for. We had a ball with this CD playing "Name That Tune". I would give my kids just a few of the opening notes and they would give me song title and movie, then everyone sings along, sometimes in the worst voices possible. Yep, that's our #DisneySide.

If you are looking for a great gift, or something to add to your music collection, look no further. These CD's will delight your kids, make those all-too-cool teens silly for just a bit, and bring back magical memories for you. is already sold out, but Amazon has them in stock for $32.09. Enjoy! 

*We received a free Disney Classics Box Set for review purpose. We also received compensation from the company. All opinions are our own and not influenced in anyway. Our reviews are our personal and honest opinions. 

Judy is a Disney Gal who loves picking up hitchhiking ghosts, sailing the rivers of the world in search of the ever elusive backside of water and singing with the tiki birds while enjoying her dole whip. She is the mother to two sons in the military and their wives. She has several furry grandchildren and cherishes how her husband reacts when he hears "Welcome Home". To learn more about Disney Gal Judy go here.

Kelly is a Disney Gal who loves finding fun and adventure on the High Seas aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Whether it's pampering, para sailing or the unlimited Diet Coke, she enjoys all the ships have to offer. She is currently wearing down Commodore Tom to allow her to blow any of the ships' musical horns. As of now, he is disinclined to acquiesce. To learn more about Kelly, click here.