Blog Archives

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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Shiny New Shoes

More than any other item you pack for a Disney vacation, your shoes have the potential to make or break your trip.  You will be walking more than you’ve likely ever walked before.  Disney is not a lay around on the beach vacation, it is a get up and move and don’t stop until you drop vacation.  You will come home exhausted (yes, you may need a vacation after this vacation).  And your shoes will either keep you in good spirits or have you grumbling and miserable.

We are a DAWGS family.  The classic beach/garden clog is ugly as sin… seriously, they are the most butt ugly shoes out there, but they are so stinkin’ comfortable.  And they have gotten a whole lot better.  Half the time when I’m in DAWGS, only other DAWGS fans even recognize them.  They’ve come a long way from that first ugly shoe (though they still make them, and we still love them for putzing in the back yard or at the lake).  So when I decided the girl and I needed new shoes for our January Disney trip, the DAWG store was where we went.  And seriously, how cute are these?!?!

And yeah…  get yourself some new shoes for WDW, but break them in BEFORE you go.  Trust me!  😉

Our Advent Calendar

Just like last year, we’re keeping our trip to Walt Disney World a surprise until Yule.  This year though, we’re leading up to the reveal with her advent calendar.  We bought a whole bunch of Disney pins off eBay, and have put them inside dated Disney ornaments:

Disney ornaments from Target

Disney ornaments from Target

So every day the girl gets a new pin.  

She loved the first one:

Wearing her Mickey Mouse pin on December 1st.

Showing off her Mickey Mouse pin.

But by the third was catching onto the theme and finding it less than fun.  Last year her advent calendar included little baggies filled with little toys, MLP clothes, LPS accessories, and other odds and ends with a lot more playability.  Then, by about day five, she realized these are the same pins they use for pin trading at WDW…  and a world of possibilities came flooding in on her.  Now she’s excited to see which one is inside each ornament, and likes to think about which might be keepers and which might be good for trading.

Her first five pins.

Her first five pins.

I am so looking forward to the big reveal on the 21st.  I know she’s just going to be over the moon to learn our next trip is coming up so quickly.  It’s going to be amazing!

WDW Here We Come… again!

We are now one month our from our second trip to Walt Disney World.  We loved our first trip (in January/February of 2013) sooo much, that shortly after returning we began planning for a return visit.  This time we’ll be heading off on January 14th, once month from today, and will again be staying for ten days (two of which are devoted to travel).  Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to bring my sister along this time, but I’m sure it will be just as magical though very different without her.  Oh!  And the girl doesn’t know about the trip yet, so don’t spill the beans.  We’ll be revealing the surprise on Yule!  hehehe

Anyway…

To get in the spirit of things I’m planning to blog “30 Days of Disney”.

I realized in my WDW posts from our last trip that I had barely scratched the surface.  There was still SOOO much I hadn’t shared, and just a ton of pictures that never made it onto the blog.  I can’t wait to start talking Disney with the kid, but until the 21st I’m stuck trying to keep my excitement bottled up.  I’m hoping y’all won’t mind being a bit of an outlet for me.  I am crazy excited about this trip.

So this is the first of 30 Walt Disney World posts.  For now, let’s just recap where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/disneys-magic-kingdom/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/disneys-animal-kingdom/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/disneys-hollywood-studios/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/epcot/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/downtown-disney/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/disneys-art-of-animation-resort/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/character-meets-at-walt-disney-world/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/from-youngling-to-padawan-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/disney-nighttime-magic/

Each of the above posts is graphic-laden.  Tons of photos!  And I highly recommend clicking on the pictures to see them a little larger than the thumbnails allow.  They are worth it!  I promise.

And just for good measure, here’s a favourite post of the Pinterest crew:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/doing-disney-the-smith-way/

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

More Disney? or….

Today I’m writing with a question.  Do you want more on Walt Disney World from me?  Want to know our favourites at every park?  Want to know what rides/attractions to skip?  Or are you getting tired of all the Disney stuff?  Do you want me to get back to just sharing whatever is on my mind?  At this point I could go either way.

On one side, I’ve really loved sharing about our Disney experience.  It’s allowed me to continue our adventure, reliving all the great moments even though we’ve been home for over a month now.  I’m enjoying sharing all of our pictures and stories.  After all, it was a week and a half that rocked our worlds pretty damn hard.  😉

On the other side, I do miss sharing my other passions.  Talking about the kid.  Sharing projects I’m working on.  Doing a little advocacy and fighting (as always) for justice and equality.  It’s nice just following my muse wherever she happens to lead me that day.

So really, I could go either way.  I love writing about Disney, but I love writing about my life and passions too.  And we are coming up on April again….  how would you feel about me doing the A to Z challenge for a second year?  I want to hear from you!  That’s one thing about the Disney posts, while they get y’all talking on FB, they sure don’t generate blog comments – and I’m missing the back and forth!  LOL

Disney + Nighttime = Magic!

Another “must do” at Disney are their nighttime spectaculars (the voice in my head says it with a thick Italian accent and REALLY rolls that R).  Meaning get your butt a spot to sit, or find yourself one square foot of space to stand, and ensure you’re there – because even the crappiest of spots is still magnifico!  Truly!  You haven’t seen fireworks until you’ve seen them at Disney!

But do be warned, Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios is not for everyone.  Young children, or those who are impressionable may find it too scary.

The Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan, get it, use it!  I love it!  Seriously.

Having the quick service dining plan made our lives so much easier.  We didn’t have to carry cash, or watch prices.  It was great!  And the amount of food you get with this plan is crazy!  In addition to your main course and side dishes you get dessert with every meal.  Not into sweets?  Get grapes, apples, or a mixed fruit dish.  These are super handy to take with you both in your room and at the parks.

The quick service plan includes two quick service meals and a snack daily.  And I’ll admit, before getting to Walt Disney World I was worried about whether it would be enough.  The kid and I tend to be grazers, and like to eat throughout the day.  I was concerned about the dining plan meeting our needs – but it did, with a bunch left over at the end.  We’d always pick up some fruit or other portable snack item as our dessert, so we always had something healthy to munch on whenever the urge struck.

I’m so glad Karla (our travel agent) recommended the dining plan.  It really did make things so much easier…  and we always had a ton of food, smoothies, and great snacks whenever we needed them.  If we make it back (we certainly hope to, and soon) we’ll definitely get the dining plan again.

Out Sick.

So, right after I promise to get y’all caught up on our Disney trip with all sorts of tips and stories I end up sick in bed…  and I’m still sick in bed.  I’m hoping in the next day or two to be right as rain, but until then I’m afraid I’m not much use to anyone.  I’m just grateful this flu bug decided to wait until we were back home before it settled in and knocked me out for the count.  😉

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