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Princess Meets in Walt Disney World

The girl and I were watching Hercules today, and it got me thinking about character meets at Walt Disney World.  We did a ton of them, and plan to do even more of them in January.  But there are characters I’d have loved to have had the chance to interact with that just don’t do the meets.  Characters like Megara, whom I only caught a glimpse of for half a second during Fantasmic, and thus only got one really crappy photo of:

Terrible photo I know...  but it was MEG!  One of my favourites, and I only caught a glimpse of her for a second before she was gone.

Terrible photo I know… but it was MEG!

Or Giselle from Enchanted, Now THAT’s a princess I’d like to meet.  But rumour has it that we’ll never see her in the parks.  I did a little digging and it looks like Disney is simply unwilling to pay any royalties to Amy Adams (whom I adore and who originally portrayed Giselle in the movie).  Now, I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but if it is?  I’m not impressed.

And now?  Now it sounds like the sisters from Frozen, Anna and Elsa, will be removed from Epcot at the beginning of January.  At the same time as the holiday decorations get packed up.  I’m very much hoping those rumours are false too.

Disney has a host of Princesses that are so much better for our little ones to look up to, yet we don’t ever get to see them.  What’s up with that?  At least we still get to meet Vanellope – who, even though she hasn’t been officially crowned to the Disney Pantheon, is my favourite Disney Princess.

I don’t know.  The same few princesses over and over again are fine, everyone loves a classic.  But I for one would love to see some of the others.  How about Rapunzel joining the gang for meals at Cinderella’s castle?  Or Anna, Elsa, and Merida showing up at the Princess Storybook Dining in Epcot?  I’d love a character meet that included Mulan and Megara too.  I’m glad we get to meet Tiana, but let’s include a few others.  Lots of great ones that could be included!

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Disney’s Frozen

Last night we took our daughter to see the new Disney animated movie, Frozen.  I had heard very little about it besides being an adaptation of The Snow Queen and having been heavily inspired by Norway.  The Snow Queen was never one of my favourites (so I’m happy to report it’s a VERY loose adaptation), but the idea of Norwegian princesses???  I was beyond excited for.  Damon’s family and mine both, coincidentally, hail from Norway…  and I very desperately want to make a pilgrimage there some day.  So this was a movie I knew we’d be seeing shortly after it came out.  Knowing what I know of both Disney AND it’s princesses?  Well…  I was nervous.  They don’t exactly have a history of strong female leads.

While Frozen has it’s issues, one cannot argue the absolute joy I found in both Anna and Elsa’s characters.  Both completely unique, strong, believable, awesome female roll models.  These are princesses I would be happy to have Lily-Ann look up to.  They are truly wonderful, and they are NEVER overshadowed by the male characters who are very much there to support their story vs take it over.  In fact, one of my favourite moments, that made the feminist me shout out with a WOOT, was when the romantic male lead actually ASKS if he can kiss Anna.  He doesn’t assume that his advance would be welcome, he doesn’t just put himself into her space, he is worried and concerned and ASKS – allowing her character to take the reins and remain an autonomous individual.  It looks to me like Disney may finally be listening and realizing that Women are vastly different from one another and we all have different goals and dreams…  but that we ALL deserve to be respected for those very things.

And yeah!  The girl is now absolutely tickled when I call her my little Norwegian princess.  😀  Because while she’s a princess who has enjoyed excavators, lego, and swordplay… she really has always been a fancy dress-up playing princess who happened to be Norwegian.

Disney's Frozen

Thank you Pixar – Hooray for Brave!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but in this house?  Where we share our lives with an independent minded, little, red-head with spiral curls?  We’ve been waiting for the latest Disney Pixar movie, Brave, for the last year…  and not very patiently I might add.  😉  So, I probably should have blogged about it a couple weeks ago when we first saw it, but things are what they are.  LOL  And I’m blogging about it tonight.

Lily-Ann has been waiting with baited breath over a princess who looks like her (and lately, we get stopped in stores, out walking, or at the playground all the time by people who can’t believe how much she looks like Merida).  Myself?  I’ve been excited over the idea that she’s a princess who isn’t all about finding her happily ever after through a prince – because none of us could ever be complete without a man.  *gag & eye-roll*

Finally!  A Disney Princess worth letting little girls watch!  Okay, so there are a couple who aren’t so bad.  Mulan and Tiana come to mind.  But with the latest Disney Pixar release, Brave, we finally get a princess who is happy just being herself without needing a prince to complete her happiness.  THANK YOU PIXAR!  And even more than that?  And something I wasn’t expecting at all?  We have a beautiful story about unconditional love between a mother and daughter.

Seriously, I was totally caught off guard by the beautiful and touching moments between Merida and her mother.  It’s all about expectations, and learning to accept those we love simply for who they are.  So with my soon-to-be five year old in my lap (seeking comfort after a scary part) I’ll openly admit to finding a few tears running down my cheeks.

Moms?  Take your daughter, and your mom.  This is one for a gurlz night out!

Disney Pixar Brave - Merida

 

A Disney World Vacation

We’ve been thinking, for the last year anyway, that it would be really nice if we could work something out to take the kid to Disney World while she’s still young enough for it to be magical.  It’s definitely not MY first choice for a vacation, especially one that would cost THAT much.  I’m happiest in some remote location, free of tourists, where it is serene and quiet, and there is a real chance for animal encounters…  a photographers holiday.  But Lily-Ann is only going to be little for so long, and magic slips away so easily…  I figure if there is ANY way we can work something like this out while she is still young enough to be lost within it all, then we simply have to try.

Damon and I have been together for 15 and a half years…  and we have never gone on a vacation.  Not a real one anyway.  Not even a honeymoon.  We’ve gone places to visit family, or gone camping overnight…  but that’s it.  So this will be our first trip too.  It’s kind of an intimidating idea.

There are just so many things that we really need the money for, it makes it hard to think about spending that kind of cash on something that only lasts for a matter of days.  But there are only a few times in a persons life where the magic of a place like Disney World really is pure magic…  and that would last forever.

I remember going when I was nine (well…  to Disney Land though, not Disney World).  And already, by that time, I was very conscious about what was cool and what wasn’t.  As much as I wanted to go running up to Chip and Dale, I held back.  It wouldn’t have been cool for me to seem impressed by these costumed characters.  So I didn’t.  At nine, the magic was already waning.

All I know, is that if Lily were there right now?  If she saw Ariel and Cinderella?  They would really be Ariel and Cinderella!  They wouldn’t be women in costume, they would be the real princesses, and it would be magic!  If we can find a way to do that, how could we possibly consider not giving her that gift?

So…  we’re going to look into a Disney vacation.  If we can make it work, and we’re going to give it our very best, then we’re going to do it.  Because those things that need our attention will always need our attention, but our little girl won’t always be our little girl, and the magic of a place like Disney World won’t last long.

The upcycled cardboard dollhouse, fit for polly pocket sized princesses.

The last two mornings the girlie and I have been working on a craft project.  I see a sturdy, unused, cardboard box and all I see are possibilities.  🙂  So, this time, we made a three level dollhouse for all of her little princesses and polly pocket dolls.

The first day I found a box with a flap I could cut off to create the second floor.  Folded the ends under and trimmed a bit off, while the girlie painted wall paper and designed flooring.  We also washed out some juice boxes and set them out to dry.

Today we glued in all the flooring and wallpaper.  Wrapped up the beds, and cut out headboards and foot-boards….  glued them all together and glued the beds into place.  We made a table from a fruit cup container and a round piece of paper.  The girlie cut out plates and glued paper food onto each plate, which were glued onto the table (which was also glued into place).  A couple finishing touches – like the construction paper pool filled with tissue paper water.  And it was complete.

All in all, a pretty easy little project that I know Lily-Ann will enjoy playing with for quite a while.  Who knows how long it will last…  but hey!  It was made entirely from repurposed trash and paper,  so however long it lasts is good by me.  🙂

Here are some pictures of her new dollhouse:

first floor diningroom, second floor bedroom

three beds and a rug/bed for the cat

rooftop pool and "grass" covered patio

 

Princess Pinky, the Maiden in the Middle, and other finger friends.

A handful of fun friends came to visit with the wee girlie during a break at our Collective Kitchen leadership training today.  And they all fit onto her Auntie Riki’s hand (who also happened to be taking the training).  🙂

Four Friends

 

You can click the image above to bring it up larger if you’d like to see a little more of our four friends.  LOL

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