Friday, January 28, 2011

Hello Disney Lovers!!

I can only assume you are all following this blog because you too love Disney World!! So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and being a part of this!!!

I have not had as much time as I would have liked to work on this blog and get it as sparkly as I'd like. But it's coming along, slowly but surely!! If you haven't had a chance, check out my Dining Reviews page and also my Attractions page!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do you do matching shirts????

I admit, when I saw them on people, I did think they were kinda corny. But my daughter begged to do the tie-dye Mickey ones. I caved. And then decided to do two for each member of our family, since the kit did like 20 shirts. One would be a rainbow Mickey, the other a red and green Mickey, to take a pic in and use for our Christmas cards.

But then my crafty mind wandered and thought of some other ideas for matching shirts, by cutting out a shape on a t-shirt and sewing fabric behind. Like say, the shape of Lightning McQueen, then sewing lightning fabric or Cars fabric behind it. I shared my idea with hubby, for use on another trip, and that snowballed into making 4 more shirts for each member of our for each park with it's icon.

Yay...we were THAT family.

But, I have to say, it was really fun and we got lots of compliments on them. (Which my hubby totally loved!) It was easy to find each other. And easy for outfit planning each morning.

So here are some pics of our shirts! Please keep in mind I am not a seamstress what-so-ever. I just happen to know how to run a sewing machine.

The rainbow tie-dye:

these were kind of a pain, but they did come out pretty good. here is the link I followed when I made them: click here! This is the spiral design, which I prefer, but you can just as easily do the concentric circles one. This video does a pretty good job a showing you how to do it.

The red and green tie-dye:

Magic Kingdom, this one was the biggest pain:

Hollywood Studios:


And Animal Kingdom, which were my fav:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you do pin trading???

This last trip we dove into the wonderful world of Pin Trading. Well, our daughter did.

Back in April, my husband and I took a trip to Disney all by ourselves (wonderful!!) and one of the souvenirs we bought home for our daughter was a starter pin-trading set. She'd been doing autographs for a couple years and we could tell she was "over" it. We hadn't done pins yet...autographs had been enough- one thing at a time- and it seemed kinda pricey. But then after visiting my favorite online community, Passporter, and found that authentic Disney pins could be bought on ebay for a fraction of the cost (Sweet!), we decided to try it.

And she loved it!! She was shy at first, but then she got the hang of it and really enjoyed it. It was a challenge to find all of a certain set. We got her a book to keep her pin collection in. For future trips, we'll get some pins from ebay and she can trade for pins to add to her collection.

We did stop by the pin store at Downtown Disney too. They have SOOOOOOO many awesome pins...ones that I would never ever want to trade!! I bought myself a Tower of Terror pin...a Hollywood Tower Hotel Key pin that I put on my little backpack purse. My daughter bought a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad pin, her favorite ride, and also a mystery box. Overall, we were very happy with our first pin-trading experience!!

So, do you do pin trading?? Any secrets or tips for us???

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Can't believe this is happening!!!

It's no secret, we are huge Disney World fans and love to share it with anyone who is willing. In 07 I took my mom for her first (and only) trip ever and she loved every minute! Since then we have been trying to convince my dad he will love Disney too. No all. I never knew what his real reasons were, but he often threw out the easy excuses of "We don't have the money" or "it's too expensive".

But the last time we talked about the possibility of them going with us, he only gave one of his famed excuses once. And actually sat and seemed to listen intently as we talked about our favorite attractions and restaurants.

Then today....they stopped over and my dad asked about when we were going to Disney next. I said "It depends. If you go with us, we'll go in November (my mom really wants to see Christmas decor and such) and if not, we'll go in January." He then asked, "Well, when in November?" So I gave him some specifics and told them the approximate costs, then later turned my laptop on and gave them an exact quote from Disney's website, without a promo, so they know the absolute max it would cost. (But we're really really hoping for free dining promo for fall!!!) I wrote the dates down and he is going to check with work to see if he can get those days for vacation or not.

I am beyond excited!!

But also stressed.

My dad is not a crowds kind of guy. And we all know Disney can get crowded. The time we want to go, after Christmas decor is up, but before Thanksgiving, is Jersey week. I have never been that time of year and some websites I've checked say it's manageable, others say it's horrendous. And I worry about airfare costs too....if we try to avoid Jersey week, we have to go weekend to weekend and flights are always higher those days, compared to flying Tuesday thru Thursday.

Last thing I want is the trip to be awful and my dad to feel like he wasted his money.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love being the advice giver!

Whenever anyone in my family or circle of friends, or even my 200 Facebook friends, which includes high school classmates, writers group members, message board friends, and even kids I went to kindergarten with, is planning a trip to Disney, or even thinking about it, they call or email me! I love love love being the one they can turn to for great advice on all things Disney!

I've been told I should become a travel agent or something. But I think that would take the fun out of it!! But, I'd actually get paid for the advice I give. Honestly though, it's more of a privilege for me to help people plan! No payment necessary!! And I LOVE having someone come home from the trip and tell me how much my advice helped. And how they weren't real sure of even going to begin with, but now they love it and can't wait to go back!

Another reason for starting this blog was so I can have all my advice documented...maybe save myself some keystrokes from having to type the same emails over and over! LOL!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Morning person or night owl??

At home, I am most definitely a night owl. I just cannot seem to get myself in bed before 11:30-12, on a weeknight. Sometimes I try but if I am not tired and ready to conk out, I lay there awake, much longer than I would have if I'd just stayed up an extra half hour.

But in Disney, boy is that all different!!!

I am always up early and out of bed minutes after the wake-up call. (At home, I lay in bed trying to force my eyelids open, sometimes for a half hour.) For days we want to get to the parks before rope drop, I set the wake-up call for 6:30. I get everyone up and start getting myself ready. I get the kids breakfast, finish my prepping, then get the kids ready. We are out the door by 7:45.

Hubby will sometimes stop by the food court to refill his mug, but if not, we proceed directly to the bus stop. Sometimes we have to wait a while, but most of the time, we are on a bus by 8:10-8:15, and the bus is usually near empty. Which is great when you have two kids, a double stroller and a few bags.

We get to the parks before most and we are usually first in line at the turn-style (which I love!) Magic Kingdom has my absolute favorite welcome show and I have to see it every trip. My eyes always tear and I am filled with uncontrollable joy! It's usually our first morning...we always go to Magic Kingdom our first full day. Pic above is me and the kids before the hordes of people got there, when you could still get a decent pic in that spot.

We do not stay late at the parks. Our kids don't really nap anymore, so the chances of them still being chipper past 8 are slim. We usually eat dinner between 5-6:30ish, then after that do one or two more things, then head back to the resort. Some nights we might swim or something, but usually, that is just our time to unwind, the kids get baths and maybe watch a little TV. I empty out the stroller, diaper bag, and my little backpack purse and get them all ready for the next day. I shower, write in my travel journal and then turn in. Lights in our room are usually out by 10 at the latest! Hubby will keep the TV on for a little while, but usually not long.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I kind of have this obsession...

Yes...I'm one of those people. Disney nerd, Disneyphile, give me your best...I've heard them all! And I don't care.

I used to though.

Back in 05, my mother-in-law had the idea to go to Disney World at Christmas time. She'd pay for our airfare as our Christmas presents that year. My daughter was 2-1/2. Seemed like a good time to go, so we said we were in. I had been to Disneyland in California back when I was 12, and had only been to "the World" once before, with hubby in 2000. Just us, before we had kids. It was just one of the things I wanted to do before having kids (along with another cruise, which we did do in 2001). We didn't stay on property then, didn't know you even could. We got a great deal on park passes and an off-site hotel. We got a steal of a rental car from Priceline- Name Your Own Price. And air was pretty cheap. We had a lot of fun.

But the trip in 05, that changed it all. I did my research. I bought some travel books. I planned our days. The whole planning process was so much fun! And when we got there, it far exceeded what I'd remembered. And I had been bit by that Disney bug!

Since then, we have returned six times. Most of those as a family, but one trip was just me and the hubby, one just me and my mom. Can't help it...I love it. I'd go every other month if I could!

But not everyone in my life shared my excitement. It started to really annoy me when someone would say "You're going there AGAIN?" or "Aren't you sick of that place?" I'm the kind of person who sticks with the mantra: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So I just stayed quiet, while inside wanting to say, "But you go to Vegas every year- a place where prostitution is legal and people blow thousands of dollars gambling, but Disney isn't worthy of a yearly visit?"

But it's been a few years and I think people have finally accepted the fact that I am obsessed, it's my's just me.

So sit back and share in my obsession with me!