I am talking about ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort! It is a chilling 9 degree’s of ICY Christmas Magic. Two million pounds of ice have been hand carved and are on display in this majestic Winter Wonderland (just a few miles from Walt Disney World.) Step right into the middle of some of your favorite scenes from the holiday classic A Christmas Story. Don’t forget to check out the ice slide and tubing area for some added fun. Other activities also include: photos with Santa, Elf on the Shelf Character Breakfast, Build A Bear Workshop, and the Christmas Tree Trail.
Make sure to dress warm…jeans, gloves, a sweater, and closed toe shoes. Parka is provided with ticket. This will allow you to enjoy your icy adventure to the fullest.
And PLEASE remember to be courteous to the ice by keeping your hands to yourself. If you are visiting ICE! with youngin’s keep in mind there is a height requirement for the slide. (see photo to the left) Safety is a top priority in the village. Ice! runs through January 6th.
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It is no secret that I live the single momma life. Which means one income pays all the bills. Life can be a little tight around here. BUT we always find that extra bit of money to get our Disney fix on. It isn’t easy but it is possible. So how do I do it? How do I do Disney on a budget? I ask myself this all the time….here is what I came up with. I mean, this is how I do it:
- We are Annual Passholders. My first year I purchased our Disney passes through AAA. There is a slight discount that saved me about $25 per ticket. However, you must be a AAA member to qualify for the discount and tickets must be paid in full. Renewing I opt to pay Disney direct and I utilize the flex pay. Paying for Gold status a little each month. This really helps stretch that dolla!
- We eat before we go to the parks. Let’s face it Disney food can be quite costly for a single momma with two very hungry kiddos. Our favorite place to stop for a quick bite is Chick-Fil-A. We get a great meal for a fraction of the Disney price AND leave with a full belly. Definitely can make it to lunch without hearing those three money eating words, “Mom, I’m hungry.”
- We bring snacks. Yes! Disney will allow you to bring a few munchies into the parks. Now, don’t pack your whole fridge. Bring a few apples, grapes, carrot sticks, maybe even a Gogurt. Anything that will fit in a small lunch bag. Then put this bag in your back pack. You may even want to freeze a bottle of water to keep the snacks cold. It is Florida and we are known for those warm summer temperatures all year round. Well, for the most part. We aren’t called the Sunshine state for nothing.
- We get ice cold water from Disney for FREE! That’s right ya’ll! Free water at Disney. The magic words are, “May I have a cup of ice water, please?” Just say this magical phrase at any F & B stand or restaurant where they serve fountain drinks and you will get it for free. You will thank me for this one later.
- We buy souvenirs only for special occasions. We only visit WDW EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. So, I limit purchases. It is ok to say no most of the time. Then when you purchase a goodie the lil one’s cherish it more.
So now you know, how I do Disney on a Budget. Don’t get me wrong it is so fun to spend that money in the parks, but to feel that squeeze in my bank account later is not so fun. And for anyone worried that we are missing out on Disney Treats and Dining. We definitely are not. Occasionally I do purchase treats in the park and make reservations for Disney Dining, BUT only for special occasions. It is ok to limit these purchases.
I truly believe, magic is in the eye of the beholder.
Have you ever wondered the struggles Walt Disney experienced before becoming the Walt Disney we know today? Walt’s Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney written by Doreen Rappaport shares the secrets of Walt’s life that many of his admirers may not already know. From life on the farm to Disney’s early days as an animator. We are given an open window into the struggles that this one man overcame and how he succeeded in leaving a magical legacy that will live on for ages to come.
Read more from Disney Hyperion Books:
“Walt Disney ‘s name is synonymous with family entertainment. Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Disneyland, and numerous other creations have inspired generations of children the world over.
From his childhood in rural Missouri to his legendary stature as a film and television icon, Walt governed his life with imagination, ingenuity, and scrupulous attention to detail. Faced with both public failures and massive success, he revolutionized the art form of animation, always seeking innovative solutions, cutting edge technology, and new ways of storytelling.
Charting Walt’s progression from farm boy to actor to artist, animator, director, and entertainment celebrity, Walt’s own words are presented and contextualized within Doreen Rappaport’s signature compelling prose. Illustrated with vivid authenticity by animator/painter John Pomeroy, this stunning entry in the award-winning Big Words series reveals a man of deep and varied passions with a constantly evolving vision, and a storyteller above all.”
Truly an inspiring piece that will live long in the hearts of everyone who reads it. Imagination is the spark in all of us; breathe life into it and the end result is something magical.
Thank you Disney Press for the complimentary copy of Walt’s Imagination: the Life Of Walt Disney.
By now you have probably heard TOY STORY LAND is open! If you haven’t…you know now. Unboxing day was June 30th with a soft opening June 29th. If you didn’t arrive early and I mean early; the park surprised guests with a 6 am opening on Saturday; then you were stuck waiting in a very long queue. Crowds waited 90 minutes and longer just to enter the land. The line for Slinky Dog Dash wrapped around the old Toy Story Mania queue, The Great Movie Ride Queue, and ended near ABC Commissary. Waiting nearly 6 hours! I decided to play it safe and wait til the hype ended…I didn’t attempt visiting the new attractions til the day after it originally opened. Here are my thoughts about Toy Story Land:
Be prepared to wait in long lines for all three rides. When we entered the queue for Slinky Dog Dash we were informed it was a 265 minute wait (only 10 minutes after park opening- to the general public.) Yes! This was an extra magic hour morning for resort guests. HOWEVER, the queue moved quickly and we waited only 110 minutes. Definitely worth the wait. Most of the queue is open with minimal coverage. I would recommend bringing an umbrella, wearing a hat and lots of sunscreen for protection from the sun and other elements. This ride is perfect for kids of all ages with a minimum height requirement of 38″.
Toy Story Mania is the same ride and still holds an extensive wait time. The queue now begins inside Toy Story Land. As you exit the ride keep your eyes open for the NEW Popsicle Wall and Checker Wall. We waited 65 minutes to ride. Of course if you download the NEW Disney Play app for Android and iPhone the wait time flies by. This app is interactive with games, trivia, and music.
Alien Swirling Saucer is the third ride in the all new Toy Story Land and had a wait of 75 minutes. Due to the heat (there is like no shade in this area of the park) we decided to wait til next week to ride when we can utilize our FastPasses.
NOW how do you score a fast pass? Book a resort stay and you can reserve your FastPass 60 days in advance. Resort guests have a better chance of grabbing a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash. If it is not available definitely grab one for the Alien Swirling Saucer. FastPasses are a little more difficult to get for Annual Passholders, as we can only reserve 30 days in advance. Remember FastPasses open at 7am 30 days out. It is possible to get FP’s for Alien Swirling Saucer or Toy Story Mania 30 days in advance. But not both as all rides in TSL are Tier 1. I have yet to see one available for Slinky Dog Dash.
There is so much to see as you meander through Andy’s backyard. New Disney Walls, Green Army Men, Over-sized Toys, and more magic then you can ever imagine. And don’t forget to enjoy a special treat at Woody’s Lunchbox. This is where you can try the new S’mores French Toast Breakfast Sandwich.
Remember Buzz and Woody are always looking for new recruits and you are on their radar! I hope these tips help you. If you would like to book your future resort stay at WDW please send me a direct message. I am a Pixie Planner and I can’t wait to sprinkle some pixie dust on your next vacation.
Crayola Experience salutes True Blue Heroes with FREE Admission
ORLANDO, Fla – Crayola Experience salutes active, veteran and retired military personnel* and invites them to enjoy a free day of hands-on, creative fun through the family destination’s True Blue Heroes Program. Additionally, their immediate family (spouse, children, and grandparents) will receive 25% off General Admission.
Regular admission to Crayola Experience is $24.99 at the door or $21.99 online. Children under 3 are free. Annual Passes are now $30.99. Families of four can take advantage of Crayola Experience’s Annual Pass sale: 4 Annual Passes for $104. For tickets and info go to CrayolaExperience.com
*with valid I.D.; Wednesday, July 4, 2018 through Sunday, July 8, 2018.
This summers hottest party are exclusively at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. WDW is hosting not just one but two hip hopping parties (included with regular park admission.)
Donald’s Dino Bash: Donald is taking over DinoLAND U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a prehistoric party that is a rip roaring dino thrill. Come celebrate Donald’s recent discovery that ducks are actually descendants of dinosaurs. With special appearances by Donald himself, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Launchpad McQuack, your favorite uncle- Scrooge McDuck, and Chip ‘n Dale!
Incredible Summer Dance Party: The Incredibles takeover Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom with a “Super” dance party. Special guest appearances by: Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, and Edna Mode. Don’t forget to stop by PhotoPass for your chance to be in the movie with backdrops from this summer’s biggest SMASH hit!
ORLANDO, Fla. – Crayola Experience has a gift for dads this Sunday: A free ticket and a day of creating unforgettable family memories. This Father’s Day, June 17, all dads will receive free admission to the family destination (with the purchase of a child’s admission.) “Families are the base of our Crayola world and dads are a huge part of that world – especially when it comes to creative development,” Marketing and Sales Manager Jackie Vasquez said. “We’re so excited to provide this small token of our appreciation, and we hope they make amazing memories that will last forever!”
Regular admission to Crayola Experience is $23.99 at the door or $20.99 online. Children under 3 are free. Annual Passes are now $30.99. Families of four can take advantage of Crayola Experience’s Annual Pass sale: 4 Annual Passes for $104. For tickets and info go to CrayolaExperience.com
This book review is written by my daughter, Allison. She is also known as Duffy’s Doodles on Instagram.
“Welcome foolish mortals, to the lonesome library of the Haunted Mansion”. In this hair raising book, you will be reading the frightening tales of the Fearsome Foursome. The Fearsome Foursome are the four main characters who try to out-spook each other with grim fictions of their own.
This blood curdling book is crafted around the narrator and librarian of the Haunted Mansion, Amicus Arcane. Arcane tells and narrates the stories of the four friends, as well as enticing the reader.
The plot of the story revolves around middle school friends Tim, Willa, Noah and Steve. With a common bond of seeking out and crafting ghost stories, the four form a club for telling of such tales of terror – The Fearsome Foursome. A mysterious accident destroys their club house and lands each with an invitation to visit a particular haunted mansion. There they meet the spirited home’s librarian Amicus Arcane. He regales them with his own tales of terror from one of the many ghostly tomes in the old library. Very special tales, about each of them.
The stories themselves, come across as fun campfire tales of terror woven around a loose connection to the Haunted Mansion itself. References (like a secondary character named Rolly) and use of familiar Haunted Mansion lines remind the reader that this IS a tome from the Mansion’s own library.
I actually was very entertained by the story line and illustrations that appear on every other page. Peppered with deliciously dark drawings (along with fun ghostly images), Amicus Arcane’s first volume is a feisty macabre read and the perfect pick for those tweens who enjoy a good ghost story. I personally would recommend the book for ages 10-13. The read is light, but can a little graphic. (But no more than a PG horror film).
Thank you to Disney Press for the complimentary copy of this book for this review.
The happiest 5k on earth!!! We definitely had a blast running through the color zones…4 to be exact! PLUS a bubble zone, color blast after party, and cleaning station. It is recommended to arrive early to allow time for parking. This is a very popular event and traffic gets quite heavy. Runners have the flexibility of picking up the run packet the day before the event or morning of. We chose to pick up the day before at the CHECK IN PARTY and it was as easy as 1, 2, 3 and no wait! Plus you get first dibs on all the cool race swag! Found at the COLOR RUN RACE SHOP. Make sure to have the QR code for all runners, no QR code no bib. On race day you will have the opportunity to take pictures with the best mascot ever Runicorn! This character experience was quite fun. We danced together, hugged, and jumped for joy. Super cool! ALSO, There are several photo opportunities and back drops set up for the perfect race day photos. Definitely must do before and after the race. As you maneuver through the course you will be blasted by a rainbow of colors, Our fave was pink and blue, or was it yellow, no GREEN, definitely purple and orange! I suggest you run to the far left or right of each color zone to get the most color. And have fun! WE spun around, danced, even made color angels in the color dust.
At the end we each got our very own UNICORN finishers medal.
WOOT WOOT! But Of course nothing makes the Color Run more fun then running it with family. YES! THE COLOR RUN is fun for kids of all ages. Although I have to admit we walked most of it. Simply because the course was a bit dippy and weaved in and around it self. This is the only downer. The Color Run Hero Tour Orlando was held at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL and weaved in and around the grassy parking area. To ensure no one twisted their ankle we walked.
All in all a fun experience! Don’t forget to snap this iconic photo!
Thank you to my friends at THE COLOR RUN HERO TOUR 2018 for the complimentary race entries for my children and I. We had a great time and for a great cause!