Needing a Little Pixie Dust

Oh Lordy, have I been a busy girl. What I wouldn’t give for a little pixie dust right now! Or maybe a few little mice and birds to help me through.

I’m sad to say that I don’t think we’re going to get another magical adventure in this year. We’ve got a wedding to go to that will be about a 2 week vacation, and our little Mouseketeer will be starting Kindergarten in September. *sniff*

But that’s not going to stop me from planning — you never know when a last minute deal might turn into a surprise trip!

In the meantime, I’m working on launching something really big at work. Two somethings, actually, and until that’s stable my spare time is pretty much nil.

I am SO psyched that I’ll be going to BlogHer ’12 this year though. I’m a newbie (and it probably shows!) but I am SO looking forward to it. I even signed up for the 5k at 6:30am on the Friday. *facepalm*

It’s going to be a busy summer! But as dear old Walt said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

Disney - Cinderella And Blue Bird

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My Disney WOW Moment

At last, I’m catching up on my Disney podcasts, and right this very minute I have my headphones on, listening to Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Show.

In this episode they’re talking about their top “Wow” moments at Disney World–you know, those times when your breath is taken away by the magic, the sights, sounds, tastes, of something that makes you stop in your tracks.

Now, I don’t want to disappoint Lou, but my wow moment doesn’t have anything to do with food. (Amazing, but true.)

Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic KingdomWhile I have had countless Wow Moments in the World, but I think the one that really knocked my socks off and clean into the washer was the first time we saw the Main Street Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom.

My husband, son and I were sitting on the sidewalk in Frontierland, and the parade was coming around a corner, so we couldn’t see anything in advance. The atmosphere was literally buzzing with music and light-up toys, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

You know those little turtles and snails that spin around? One of them came right up to us, and interacted with my son. Shaking his head back and forth and “talking” with his beeps and boops. It made my son’s day.

That was my best wow moment so far. But we haven’t done everything in the World yet, so I fully expect many more to come. :)

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Review: Disneynature’s Chimpanzee

When I have a day off work I usually try to see a movie. I love going to the movies by myself in the middle of the day! Today I was so excited to see the long-awaited Chimpanzee from Disneynature.

Little Oscar is a chimpanzee living with a close “family” in the Taï Forest of Africa’s Ivory Coast. He learns how to find food (crack those hard nuts!) by watching his mother, and frequently hitches a ride on her back.

When tragedy strikes and Oscar cannot find his mother, he is rejected by the other chimpanzees with one surprising exception.

This movie had all the right elements to make it a phenomenal documentary:
1. Gorgeous photography. The brilliant shots of the rainforest panorama, sunsets, wildly growing plant-life, and the chimpanzees themselves were simply breathtaking.

2. Heart-wrenching story. From the moment you first see little Oscar, you can’t help but love him and root for his survival. There were moments when I wanted to reach out and hug him!

3. Educational bits. I learned so much from this movie – how chimpanzees interact with each other, what they eat, how they survive in the rainforest.

I have heard some people scoffing at Tim Allen’s role as the narrator, but I actually thought he was a good choice. He brought humourous elements to it where appropriate (even a Tool Time grunt!). And let’s face it, Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones can’t narrate every documentary, right?

Please do go see Chimpanzee if you have a chance. If you see it in the first week, Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute to help protect the chimpanzees.

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Top 6 Disney Quick Service Restaurants

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Here this girl was so gung ho to blog about Disney and she disappeared? Yeah, I know. Work, motherhood, illness, and general crankiness will do that to a princess. I’ve missed a couple of these weekly memes from Heidi’s Head, but I’m jumping in again, so here we go!

This week’s meme is to list your Top 6 Disney restaurants. This one’s a toughie for me because we’ve had the quick service dining plan on both our recent trips, so we haven’t actually been to ANY of the table service restaurants! So my list will focus on the quickies – maybe not as glamourous but it gets the job done, right?

Pinnochio Village Haus1. Pinnochio Village Haus (Magic Kingdom, Fantasy Land) This is by far at the top of my list. The menu is slightly more varied than other places, including pasta and salads. But the thing that pushes this restaurant above and beyond the others is the atmosphere. The dark wood interior sets the perfect mood, and there are a few tables with a large window view of the loading docks for it’s a small world. If you can’t grab a seat there, try the outdoor patio seating that offers a great spot to watch the carousel. It’s breathtaking at night!
2. Casey’s Corner (Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA) Batter up! It doesn’t get more all-American than a good ball-park hot dog with Cracker Jack for dessert! Seating is pretty limited, but if you time it right, there might be a ragtime piano player to entertain the diners on the outdoor patio.
3. Pizza Planet (Hollywood Studios, Streets of America) Okay, I can’t believe I put this on the list because the service was so slow, and it was completely crowded people were fighting for tables. However, this restaurant is so fun with an arcade on the lower level, and honestly the pizza was delicious!
4. Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom, Liberty Square) Mmmm…lobster rolls. ‘Nuff said.
Daily Disney - Saturday Sights and Sounds - Sonny Eclipse5. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland) You’ll find something that everyone will like here. There are three different “bays” with different menus, so your group might have to split up if someone wants chicken and others want burgers. But it’s the most spacious restaurant we’ve found there with lots of seating, and a great animatronic entertainer to boot.
6. Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA) I’m going to write about this one in it’s own post someday because oooh, the cinnamon rolls are to die for.

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9 Favourite Characters

Oh, I am SO far behind on posting! I’ve been away at a conference for work, and have been totally vegging out for a couple days to recover. Time to get back in the swing of things and catch up on a couple of posts.

Disney characters have been a part of my life since I can remember. I had all sorts of Disney merch growing up, from a Mickey tee to a set of dominoes with the fab 5 on them. In no particular order (because really, who can rank them!) here are my 9 favourite Disney characters as part of Heidi’s Disney Meme:

1. Mickey Mouse. Obviously must be on the list. I think I would buy just about anything with Mickey on it. Is that too much?

2. Donald Duck. Some of the classic Donald cartoons are my fave. Remember when he goes to the beach and is bothered by that little bee? So funny.

3. Timon & Pumbaa (they go together, you know) from The Lion King.

“What’d you want me to do dress in drag and do the hula?!?”

4. Nora from Pete’s Dragon. I can pretty much guarantee this won’t be on anyone else’s list, but I have loved Nora from the first time I saw this movie. I had childhood dreams of being her — living in a lighthouse, wearing long skirts, pining away for my long lost love, singing Candle on the Water.

5. Peter Pan. I love Peter’s sense of adventure. There’s also something so heroic about him when he takes on Captain Hook!

6. Tinkerbell, that feisty little fairy.

7. Rapunzel in Tangled. I’ve only just recently seen this movie (like yesterday), but instantly fell in love with it. Rapunzel is so loveable in her naive and awestruck way.

8. Pluto. I have fond memories of my Grandpa laughing hysterically at Pluto cartoons, and for that, he makes my list.

9. Woody, because he’s the rootin’est tootin’est cowboy in the whole world.

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My Top 10 Disney Attractions…so far.

When I stumbled across this Disney meme, I just knew I’d be a joiner! Although I haven’t gotten to my trip recaps yet, this will give you a great highlight into some of my favourite attractions.

P.S. – How do you like my fun new banner? Thanks, Barb!! :)

1. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland) This was by far my absolute favourite “show” that astoundingly, we skipped in our first trip there. I know, right? A few reviews I read online were just mediocre and people suggested we skip it in favour of Buzz Lightyear. I’m glad we took the chance on it for trip 2. In fact, we saw it twice — and that’s the beauty about this show–that you’ll always hear a new joke that will keep you giggling until Roz boots you out the door. Unless you’re that guy. ;)

2. The Enchanted Tiki Room (Magic Kingdom, Adventureland) Here’s another perfect example of discovering Disney for yourself, and not listening to what other people say you should skip. We discovered the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room on our second trip and loved it. It’s a wonderful little place to rest from the sunshine, as long as you don’t mind a few birds squawking about. The animatronics are amazing, and you can see Walt all over this show.

3. Toy Story Midway Mania (Hollywood Studios, Pixar Place) Do yourself a favour and grab a Fast Pass as soon as you get to this ride, because you’ll want to ride it again! Our three-year-old had a blast with this 3D interactive carnival-esque ride. (We did too!)

4. Carousel of Progress (Magic Kindgom, Tomorrowland) Ahh yes, another great attraction that makes you feel Uncle Walt’s presence. Maybe in my old age (ahem) I’ve come to appreciate the history of the American family because I was completely engaged with this attraction. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…

5. Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom, Adventureland) I have snippets of childhood memories from this ride, and I was thrilled to see the updated version that brilliantly meshes the old “classic” Pirates with the new Captain Jack Sparrow era.

Disney - Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D6. Muppet Vision 3D (Hollywood Studios, Streets of America) The Muppets make me giggle. There, I said it. I would proudly sport a Kermit THE Frog t-shirt to work if I wouldn’t get fired. Disney has done a great job folding the Muppets into Hollywood Studios, and this attraction is not to be missed. For some reason, I can’t get the Swedish Chef out of my head…Oh de poppin’ corn is…3D! Oh, de corn is poppin’ in yer face in de…3D! :-D

7. Disney Junior–Live on Stage! (Hollywood Studios, Animation Courtyard) Here’s a fun puppet show for your little Disney Junior fans. Join all the friends from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Handy Manny as they prepare a surprise party for Minnie. Fair warning though, moms & dads, you’ll be sitting on the floor for this one.

Disney - Fantasmic - The Brave Little Tailor8. Fantasmic! (Hollywood Studios, Sunset Boulevard) I am such a fan of this show that my Blackberry ringtone is the theme music. I know, I know. But it’s so great! Classic Mickey takes on all the Disney villains in a spectacular light and water show. Get there early for a good seat. We’re talking a good 60-90 minutes early! They’ve recently added in some pre-show entertainers to keep the crowd occupied during the long wait. Oh, and you simply must get one of the light up toys to help the ambiance. ;)

9. Main Street Electrical Parade (Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA and all points through Frontierland) You can feel the excitement in the air just before this parade starts! The performers are stellar, and the floats are just dazzling with their coloured lights.

10. it’s a small world (Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland) Everybody knows this song by now, right? This classic boat ride is more vibrant today than I remember as a child. We’ve been on this at least five times, and twice there was zero wait time! It’s a long ride, and you can relax and enjoy the view as hundreds (thousands?) of dancing dolls from various countries serenade you because it is a small world after all.

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Recap Story Mania

Disney - Monkeyin AroundIt’s been a month since our last trip to WDW, and only 5 months since our first “official” family trip. (The second trip was almost like a continuation!) And I’ve been trying to figure out a logical way to recap both trips together, without creating massively long posts.

I’ve also been wanting to explore areas that we didn’t get to on these trips–stuff that we want to tackle next time around– including the moderate resort that’s on our radar, Port Orleans Riverside.

What it’s boiled down to is that I don’t have a whole lot of free time to do all of my recaps quickly, so we’re going to take it one thing at a time…a virtual exploration, I guess you could call it.

Oh, and I’m also anxiously awaiting a new blog header that my friend is designing for me. She’s a fabulously talented designer that I work with, and she also happens to be a cupcake baker on the side.

Once that new header is up, I think it will be time to pull out all the stops and really get this blog rolling.

As Walt would say, “All Aboard!”

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