Sunday, August 31, 2014

#Disneyland60......Today In Disneyland History.............August 31, 1948

Early Design Notes of Disneyland Created
August 31, 1948

On August 31, 1948, Walt Disney shared a memo with Disney Studio artist Dick Kelsey describing ideas for an amusement park, which he called "Mickey Mouse Park."  It is one of the earliest detailed descriptions of an amusement park concept that would ultimately become Disneyland. Early on, Walt Disney came up with the concept of Disneyland after visiting various amusement parks with his daughters in the 1930s and 1940s.  Walt Disney was visiting Griffith Park in Los Angeles with his daughters Diane and Sharon. While watching them ride the merry-go-round, he came up with the idea of a place where adults and their children could go and have fun together, though his dream lay dormant for many years. He may have also been influenced by his father's memories of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, as his father worked at the Exposition. The Midway Plaisance there included a set of attractions representing various countries from around the world and others representing various periods of man; it also included many rides including the first Ferris wheel, a "sky" ride, a passenger train that circled the perimeter, and a Wild West Show. Another likely influence was Benton Harbor, Michigan's nationally famous House of David's Eden Springs Park.

 Disney visited the park and ultimately bought one of the older miniature trains originally used there; the colony had the largest miniature railway setup in the world at the time.  The earliest documented draft of Disney's plans was sent as a memo to studio production designer Dick Kelsey on August 31, 1948, where "Mickey Mouse Park" began to take formation and become a reality, all based on notes Walt made during his and Ward Kimball's trip to Chicago Railroad Fair the same month, with a two day stop in Henry Ford's Museum and Greenfield Village, a place with attractions like a Main Street and steamboat rides, which he had visited eight years earlier.   Walt’s earliest ideas would also include a Main Street around a railway station, all built around a village green.   It was one of the earliest detailed descriptions of the amusement park that would one day become The Happiest Place on Earth, the Disneyland Resort.  And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history.  

Disney "Diet" for everyone

For as long as I can remember, Disney has been the one place where you can "diet" without even thinking about doing it. Disney has become nutritionally conscious and in every restaurant whether in resort or one of the theme parks there is something for everyone.
 Vegetarian, carb free, gluten free, sugar free, or just free to eat whatever you want, Disney has that!
I always try to pick "healthy" choices whether at home or away but Disney makes it super easy.
      In Disney,a Mickey pop on Main Street is on my "healthy" eating list. So is Bratwurst in Germany Showcase, Kaki- Gori in Japan , Nachos In Mexico , Mickey Waffle at Trail's End Buffet, Salads at Living With the Land Pavilion, Turkey Leg in Frontierland and everything in between Magic Kingdom. Epcot. Animal Kingdom. or Hollywood Studios.

      It's not a Disney vacation without indulging in a Disney treat or two. So "Diet" can be whatever you want it to be!
  The meaning of diet is, The kind of food a person, animal, or community habitually eats!
  That sums it up for me, eat what you want, eat what makes you happy, eat what makes you feel good.
 That's what the "Disney diet" means to me. After all this is my vacation.
 Eat dessert first, then add some veggies!

Picnic In A Box- #GoPIcnic! The Healthy Alternative

A Healthy Alternative To Meals On The Go!

Like moms all over the country, with school back in session, these are busy times.  Between work, school, sports, dance, music, martial and the hundreds of other things families are involved in these days, eating a healthy meal on the go is almost impossible.  Enter GoPicnic, a healthy alternative to the daily fast food grind. GoPicnic are tasty, ready-to-eat meals ready for the pickiest of eaters or the hardest of food allergy challenges. The entire collection of meals features meals designed for specific diets from Gluten-Free, Vegan, All-Natural, Kosher, or Free from 7 Major Food Allergies. All of their delicious meals are free from Trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, added MSG, artificial flavors, or colors!  Best yet, they need no refrigeration-what more could a family on the go ask for.  This weekend, we sampled the Turkey Stick and Crunch Meal and the vegan eater in the group tried the Hummus and Crackers.  Both were satisfying, filling and the perfect lunch on the go alternative.  All we needed to do was open our picnic boxes, add a drink, and lunch was served.  The ways to use these healthy alternative are only limited by your imagination. Whether you keep a supply on hand in the kitchen, at work or in the car, you’ll never be hungry again.  GoPicnic can be found at your local Target stores or ordered online at the GoPIcnic website.  With so many varieties to choose from, soon your entire family will be a GoPicnic family.  Be sure to check out the website and Groupon for additional coupons and savings.  It’s the perfect picnic in a box.  #ad

Disclosure:  I received GoPicnic products free of charge in exchange for an honest review of their product line.  All opinions expressed are my own.  No other compensation was offered or received for this review.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS

Now Playing Under the Big Top
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls of all ages, now playing under the Big Top, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDSLast week I was able to carry on a tradition that started back in my childhood and has been carried on to my children’s youth and now to my grandchildren as we made our annual trip to see the circus when it came to town.  The magic was still alive with its preshow interactive opportunities for families to all the thrills that go along with the greatest show on earth. Behold the living legends! Children of All Ages will believe in the unbelievable with the all-new circus spectacular, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS as it continues to play at the Cow Palace here in San Francisco through September 1 before continuing its tour throughout the United States. 

Iconic Ringling Bros. stars meet fabled mythological creatures at the place where legends live…The Greatest Show on Earth®!  Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing circus athletes perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries.  Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living circus legends from around the world…along the way encountering the fantastical Pegasus, a Unicorn and the remarkable Woolly the Mammoth! 

Featuring over 100 performers spanning 25 countries plus more than 85 animals from nearly every continent around the world, the Ringling Bros. 144th Edition features several unique acts including:
     China National Acrobatic Troupe from Beijing perform several impressive acts including balancing 20 people on two bicycles, fast-paced hoop diving and graceful Diabolo juggling skills
      Introducing the Double Trapeze, especially designed for Ringling Bros.with the attempt of four consecutive triple somersaults in a row

Plus additional circus legends highlighted in the show such as Big Cat trainer Alexander Lacey; edge-of-your-seat Cossack Riders equestrian stunts; Globe of Steel motorcycle daredevils; of course no show would be complete without the Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and treasured performing pachyderms!

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Vicki Zsilak, Exotic Animal Trainer for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey and mom extraordinaire who has mastered the art of “juggling it all”.  

Debuting this year for the ultimate circus fan, check out the exclusive and intimate fan experience within the Ringmaster Zone.  Access to this VIP area is only available to select ticket holders and offers guests an unprecedented look “behind the curtain” of The Greatest Show On Earth. Fans have the opportunity to walk the Ringling Red Carpet, meet Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and the stars of the show, step inside the Globe of Steel, take photos on the Ringmaster’s float and have an up-close elephant encounter.

Be sure to arrive early to experience several exciting interactive elements before the show starts included with the ticket price – visit the Animal Open House to get up-close with our amazing animal stars and the All Access Pre-Show where families can step onto the arena floor to meet our performers, learn circus skills, try on costumes and much more!
 Isn’t  it time you went to the circus-or back to the circus.  Now playing under the big top, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS.  To find out when LEGENDS will be playing in a town near you, click on the tour schedule here.

TICKETS:     Ticket prices range from $20, $27, $40 (VIP) and $105-$115 (Ringmaster Zone)

#Disneyland60.....Today In Disneyland History...................August 30, 2007

ASIMO Debuts At Innoventions
August 30, 2007

On August 30, 2007 Disneyland guests experienced the newest version of ASIMO at the Honda ASIMO Theater inside the Innoventions attraction.  Guests visiting the popular Innoventions attraction at the Park could now see ASIMO in an all-new live science show with the all-new ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility)
For the first time, guest were treated to a demonstration as ASIMO interacted with a live host and operated in a modern home environment by using all of its unique technological capabilities, including walking forward and backward, climbing and descending a flight of stairs and taking direction from a person. The 15-minute high-tech demonstration was designed to offer visitors a glimpse into a not-too-distant future when humanoid robots, like ASIMO, will assist humans in their homes.

When ASIMO first made his debut, Koichi Kondo, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. stated, "We are excited to showcase ASIMO's remarkable capabilities in Innoventions at Disneyland, where visitors gain first-hand experience with cutting-edge technologies. Our hope is that ASIMO will inspire young people to dream of what technology will make possible in the future."
Matt Ouimet, then president of the Disneyland Resort added, "We are very pleased to welcome ASIMO and Honda to Disneyland as we celebrate the park's 50th anniversary. Walt Disney always looked for creative ways to showcase the latest technology to guests, so Innoventions is the perfect place to demonstrate ASIMO's advanced abilities."
Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO shows still take place several times daily in the Honda ASIMO Theater in Disneyland, the only permanent installation of ASIMO in North America. 

So just what is Innoventions? Located in the heart of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, Innoventions continuously transforms itself to represent the ever-changing world of technology. Here, Disney celebrates the breakthroughs in science and technology that inspire us in the new millennium -- everything from exploratory medicine to personal global communications to the ultimate in home entertainment. At Innoventions, guests are entertained while they discover tomorrow's technology today through hands-on experiences that activate the imagination and renew our hope for a better tomorrow.  Be sure to stop by and visit ASIMO, as well as the latest visitors from the Marvel Universe on your next visit to the Disneyland and see what the future may hold for you. And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history. 

Look Fabulous With #Gleam by Melanie Mills

Gleam by Melanie Mills
A New Way to Look Fabulous

Anyone that is an educator, or is a family member of an educator or knows an educator knows the chaos and excitement that goes along with the return to a new school year.  Classrooms and curriculums are readied; preparations are made for incoming students and sadly, last on the list is yourself.  Luckily this year the solution arrived in my mailbox last week in the form of Gleam cosmetics and magically I could look as put together as my Kindergarten classroom looked.  Truth be told, I am not a makeup person, and until recently, had never really worn makeup of any kind but Gleam has made this so simple that even a Kindergarten teacher can master the art of looking fabulous in a matter of moments. 
Gleam was created by Emmy Award–winning makeup artist Melanie Mills, one of Hollywood’s leading style-makers and beauty consultants, known for her glamorous flair, supreme talent, and vivacious personality.  Today, Melanie is one of the most sought-after makeup experts in the industry. With more than fifteen years of experience, Melanie is a master of her craft, sculpting faces and bodies into true works of art in a variety of mediums, including television, film, and editorial. In 2007, Melanie was selected as the Makeup Department Head for ABC television’s global phenomenon “Dancing with the Stars,” where she defined the look of the series and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup Design in 2008. Melanie’s superior talent has earned her nine career Emmy nominations for her work on various projects in the entertainment industry, including two double nominations.  With more than fifteen years of experience, she is one of the most sought-after makeup experts in the industry. Melanie developed her products with her high-profile clients’ needs in mind. If they could trust Melanie and the Gleam product line, so could I.
Everything that I had read about Gleam ahead of time, proved to be true and then some.   The three products I received were silky and light, with a smoothing way of enhancing natural beauty without weighing skin down or making you look overdone. As a teacher of 4 and 5 year olds, plus a mom constantly on the go, I needed something to make me look and feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. These three products were just want the doctor ordered.

Gleam Body Radiance has long been an industry secret as the go-to professional face and body makeup that hides imperfections and improves skin texture. This creamy lotion is lightly tinted in four shades with added shimmer. It absorbs readily and evenly into the skin, instantly perking up the wearer’s tones without being thick and obvious. It makes you look and feel you just stepped off of a relaxing day on the beach or at the park!

Body Radiance does not stain and does not transfer- key to when you’re in the classroom... It can be used as an all-over moisturizer, and even gives your arms and legs that polished look. It’s the perfect accessory for any occasion whether it’s a night on the town, or a hectic day spent with students.

Gleam Lip Radiance glosses were added to the line in 2012 and are perfect for choosing just how bright and fun you want your look to be. They are offered in seven different shades, ranging from a subtle nude with peach undertones to a vibrant, jewel-toned purple. Like the other Gleam products, the Lip Radiance was both moisturizing and hydrating, didn’t bleed as other lip glosses tend to do and lasted all day, an extra bonus thanks to the stain that is part of the mixture. 
 I’ve learned that putting on makeup doesn’t have to be an extra chore on the to-do list anymore. Thanks to Gleam by Melanie Mills, I discovered a makeup that is silky, weightless, yet so very rich. The Gleam lip, body, and face products make your skin and lips look alive and irresistible for any occasion. Lightly scented with natural vanilla essence, Gleam Body Radiance, Radiant Dust, and Lip Radiance provide an instant confidence boost for an overall radiant glow. Its ease of application and instant transformation proves that if I can do it, so can you. 

Want to know more about Gleam by Melanie Mills? Simply head on over and visit the Gleam website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure not to miss the Twitter Party on September 10, 2014, starting at 9:00PM Eastern Time. There will be Complete Gleam product line prizes, gift cards, and more! Use the hashtags #GleamGirl and #Gleamalicious for the event. #ad

Disclosure:  I received Gleam by Melanie Mills’s products free of charge in exchange for an honest review of their product line.  All opinions expressed are my own.  No other compensation was offered or received for this review.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Fat Girl's Guide to DisneyBounding.

It's been a long, hot summer, but if you close your eyes and take a deep breath, you can almost detect the faint scent of Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the late-August air. That's right, ladies! September is on its way, and with it comes the two big highlights of any Disney blogger's year: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, and Type-A Parent Conference, sponsored by Disney Parks, in Atlanta.

Both of these exciting events have one majorly festive thing in common: DisneyBounding, or using items of clothing from your own closet to create Disney-character-inspired outfits. DisneyBounding  is an incredibly popular trend, and it's pretty easy to do when you have access to lots affordable, trendy clothing at your local mall. 

For us plus-size girls, though,  it's a little tougher. As with most fashion trends, larger women tend to find themselves left out of the DisneyBounding phenomenon. If you're over a size 16, you're usually happy to find clothing that fits, let alone adorable outfits that make you feel like your favorite Disney princess.  However, if you know where to look, it's never been easier to rock your plus-sized #DisneySide. 

The first outfit I put together is a Minnie Mouse inspired ensemble I plan to wear to the #DisneySide Welcome Reception at Type-A Parent Conference. It features a dress and blazer from Torrid, a plus-size retailer available at many local malls. I rounded it out with sequined Minnie ears and my favorite Dooney and Bourke bag :

If you're a little more sophisticated than I am, then I suggest this Ursula-inspired outfit I created around Kiyonna Clothing's best-selling  Luna Lace Dress. I have this dress in teal, and it's one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever owned. If you're rocking an ample bosom, you should know that the lace is lined, making it extremely bra-friendly. I paired this dress with the Madison Bag by Coach and some fun purple patent heels:
For the more casual outing, like MNSSHP, I put together an easy, breezy Elsa-inspired ensemble featuring a maxi dress I scored at Nordstrom Rack a few weeks ago, an open cardigan from online retailer Jessica London, and my favorite gym bag from Athleta, which I have field tested and  found to be completely sufficient for an evening at the Magic Kingdom with two kids and a husband who refuses to acknowledge his own pockets:

These items should all still be available for sale at the listed links, but I encourage you to be creative! Like many other types of fun to be had at Walt Disney World Resort, your size should not deter you from DisneyBounding for even a moment. I can't wait to see what you come up with-- please tell me about your amazing DisneyBound outfits in the comments, or post photos on the Disney Gals Facebook page!

#DIsneyland60.....Today in Disneyland History...........August 29, 1955

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship & Restaurant Opens
August 29, 1955

On August 29, 1955, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant made its debut in Fantasyland in Disneyland.  Sponsored by Van Camp Seafood Company’s Chicken of the Sea tuna, this iconic restaurant was the home of the only takeout tuna sandwiches at Disneyland Park.  Built of wood in the middle of concrete with a small amount of water surrounding it. Tuna sandwiches, tuna salad (served in mini boats), tuna burgers, and hot tuna pies were all served at the Pirate Ship Restaurant at the counter below the deck. The ship featured a blonde mermaid figure-the mermaid was the sponsor’s trademark.

In 1961, The Skull Rock Lagoon was added and served as a scenic backdrop and seating area for patrons of the restaurant. Based on Skull Rock from “Peter Pan,” you could enjoy your food while listening to music & the cascading waterfall. Kids were often chased by Captain Hook behind the waterfalls and through the small caves. At night, the eyes of the Skull glowed green. Skull Rock & the Pirate Ship were both demolished in 1982 to make way for the “new” Fantasyland. The original intent was to move the Pirate Ship near the Storybook Land entrance and recreate Skull Cove, however, the ship (which had either been replaced by a concrete version which was more stable or reinforced with concrete) could not be moved in one piece without damaging it. There was no money in the budget to rebuild her, so she was taken apart instead. The mermaid figurehead was to be removed and saved, but fell out of the sling and broke into many pieces from an Imagineer’s truck when it went over a speed bump. In 1969, the restaurant’s name was changed to Captain Hook’s Galley, when Disneyland Park took over its operation. The ship remained until 1982, when it was demolished for the remodeling of the Fantasyland Area.  When the “new” Fantasyland reopened in 1983, the classic pirate ship was replaced by the new, updated version of Dumbo.  

Luckily, the Pirate ship and Skull Rock are more than just a memory as Imagineers created an incredible new version in Disneyland Paris.  And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#Disneyland60 ..... Today in Disneyland History................August 28, 2003

Lucky the Dinosaur Roams the Park
August 28, 2003

On August 28, 2003, Lucky the Dinosaur, the first Audio-Animatronic figure to walk freely and interact with park guests, debuted as a test in Disney's California Adventure Park after first premiering at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  Approximately 8 feet tall, Lucky was a green biped dinosaur who pulled a flower-covered cart and was led by Chandler the Dinosaur Handler.  Lucky was the first free-roving creation dreamed up by Disney Imagineering team.  The flower cart Lucky pulled actually concealed Lucky’s computer and power source. Lucky was capable of moving, “talking” in dinosaur language, and responding to guests! Imagineers even went as far as to add thumping sounds that were in sync with Lucky's feet to simulate what a heavy dinosaur might have sounded like when moving.  

In the summer of 2005 Lucky back his cart and traveled to the east coast where he made appearances at Disney's Animal Kingdom in DinoLand USA.  After interacting for a time with guests there, it was time to back his bags once again when he traveled to the other side of the world to Hong Kong Disneyland for the park's grand opening.
Lucky wouldn't be spotted again until the
D23 Expo in 2009 - but his technology enabled another free-roving attraction - Muppet Mobile Lab to wow park guests at various Disney theme parks around the world.
With more and more advances in computers, software, miniaturization, and electronics, there’s no telling what the future holds for the Disney Imagineers where the only limits are imagination. Time will tell what new friends we will meet roaming the Parks, but on August 28, it was all about a dinosaur named Lucky.  And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history. 

A Walk on the Wild Side- Wild Africa Trek Disney's #Animal Kingdom

#Animal Kingdom -  Wild Africa Trek

            In April 2011, Disney opened one of its most exclusive experiences-the Wild Africa Trek in Disney Animal Kingdom. During this three-hour tour, safari goers pick their way through the wooded overgrowth, peer over a cliff at pools of hippos, cross a rickety bridge high above Nile crocodiles and dine in a safari style camp on five star cuisines. Having always dreamed of being on safari in Africa, for me going on the Wild Africa Trek was a dream come true when I was lucky enough to go on an adventure of a lifetime.

             My day started bright an early on a beautiful sunny morning as I was allowed entry to Animal Kingdom before the park opened. Wandering through the Park with no one else present is an amazing experience all on its own. Once crossing the path into Africa, I headed to check in at the Dawa Bar located behind Tusker House. As soon as everyone that would make up our safari had checked in, we were on our way up the path to meet our guides, be outfitted in our safari gear complete with water bottles and given our first task of the day-the practice rope bridge. Now let me just say that crossing over a rope bridge 6 feet off the ground in no way prepares you mentally for the two suspension bridges we would travel over later in our trek. Once our training was completed, we were treated to "jungle juice", sunscreen and bug spray, filled up our water bottles and were off to embark on our trek of a lifetime. 
        Our journey began with a quick walk through Harambe met with the envious glances of the other park guests all wondering what we were getting to do. Before we knew it, we were off the beaten path and on the Pangani Forest trail.  You are immediately struck with how the outside world all but vanishes, the sudden stillness, and you totally forget that 5 minutes before you were amid the hustle and bustle of Animal Kingdom. Our guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. As it turned out, Jenny, one of our two guides was until recently from Sacramento, which is located 90 miles east of me. It truly is a small world after all.  Each trip is tailored to the needs of the individual group, in our case ranging from children to a couple in their seventies.  
Even with our diverse group, they managed to find a happy medium of not too fast, but not too slow.  Along the path, we were educated on the history of Animal Kingdom as well as the animals we would be seeing up ahead.

            Before we knew it, we were at our first of two "tether over cliff" spots of the day, the Hippo habitat. Your vest allows you to be tethered to a track, which is fun in itself.  Once secured, you are able to literally "hang" out as far as you dare over the
exhibit right up to the very edge. At the hippo pool, we were fortunate enough to be met by a naturalist doing an internship with Disney, who along with our guides educated us on the hippos both here at Animal Kingdom and in the wild.

             The next stop on our journey was the overhang above the Nile Crocodiles. Once again, we were tethered to a track so we were able to lean out as far as we dared. Unlike the cuddly hippos, most of us were slightly more cautious approaching the edge to catch our first glimpse of these powerful creatures, especially once we found out that they were only 10 feet below us. One of the many things we learned about these amazing creatures is that while it appeared that the crocodiles were "smiling" at us, keeping their mouths open was actually part of their natural cooling system. Our guides also joked with us that while we were
tethered, it was still possible for us to slip over the edge if we ventured out too far and while the tether would not necessarily save us, it would make it easier for them to remove our remains from the croc pit so it wouldn't scare the next group of adventurers!

          The next part of our trek was where our real courage kicked in, as we faced not one but two suspension bridges that were overlooking the hippos and crocodiles that we had just met face to face. 

 Although we had trained earlier on a practice bridge, nothing can quite prepare you for this until you are actually on it. Both bridges span 100 feet in length are 30-40 feet off the ground.  The bridges have the feel of an old, rickety and weathered bridge that you are convinced will collapse at any moment.  As you can see from the picture, there are missing boards and broken planks. It dawned on me that this is Disney's way to get you to look down from your unique vantage point and marvel at all it has to offer. It only took a moment or two, and maybe a few jumps up and down, to relax and take in the entire splendor.

     Now that we had safely traversed the Pangani Forest trail, it was time to take off our safety vests and board our own open-air safari truck to continue our trek. Soon we found ourselves "off road" through the savannah itself.  Talk about the ultimate in animal adventures!  As we drove along on this privately guided expedition, we were so close we could almost reach out and touch giraffes, elephants, and rhinos just to name a few. Our driver provided us with many extended stops to allow us to take pictures to our hearts content.
When it came time to eat, Disney of course pulled out all the stops. We were taken to our own private overlook area and were served an amazing catered meal from Tusker House. After a leisurely 45-minute lunch, it was time to complete the last leg of our journey.  Once again, we boarded our truck and were led through the area where many of the big cats roamed.  Disney is so meticulous in their camouflage techniques that unless they had been pointed out to us, they would have been undetectable. Animals are separated from one another with almost invisible fences, rocks, and moats.

      All too soon, our truck was pulling up to the platform where the Kilimanjaro Safari groups also exit their trucks.   One of the many special things that the Wild Africa Trek does is to take a portion of your tour fees and donate them back to various conservation groups to help preserve wild animals and their habitats.  
     All in all the Wild Africa Trek is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I would do this again in a heartbeat and would not hesitate in recommending it to all of you!  Thank you Disney for bringing the heart of Africa to me. For more information on this tour, call 407-WDW-Tour or 407-939-8687 to book your own adventure. Wild Africa Trek is not included with standard park admission to Disney's Wild Animal Kingdom Park and is open to all guests age 8 and older. Are you ready to book your walk on the wild side?

A Wilderness Lodge Resort Holiday

December 2013

    Holidays take on a new meaning as you walk into the lobby of any Disney World Resort. The Wilderness Lodge lobby has become our favorite resort to visit over the past 19 years because of the splendor of the decor. The lobby Christmas tree reaches almost as high as the 8 story lobby and the woodsy decorations that adorn the tree are spectacular. There are deer antler decorations, tee-pees, feathers in deep hues of browns ,greens and colors of wind blown leaves in fall. 

    Along with the lobby tree are numerous other holiday decorations that adorn the rainings of the open floors to the lobby below. A favorite spot is a large black bear made of wooden rustic branches with evergreen trees which provides the perfect backdrop for that photo of your family.
   The feeling of "home" is best felt here for the smells of Whispering Canyon Cafe BBQ beef and chicken spills into the lobby and the coziness of the limestone layered 82 ft. fireplace with rocking chairs brings you into the story of the wild west. 
    The lodge was imagined after the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park and the Native American artifacts that dress the lobby with the rich history of these lodges is evident in every detail.
  If Disney is on the list for your next family holiday vacation let me say "Welcome Home", the Wilderness Lodge is that place my family feels the warmth of Christmas and the beauty of the wilderness come to life!