Disney on a Budget

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:

  1. Annual-Pass 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!
  2. 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.”
  3. fruitWe 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.
  4. disney waterWe 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.
  5. 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.

 

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Get Your Party On This Summer!

 

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.)

ddDonald’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!

 

iIncredible 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!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Favorites!

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Like Olaf. we are really big fans of Summer.  But the Florida heat can be too much to handle.  If you are looking to stay cool…fashionably cool check out my Summer Favorites!

  1.  Dole Whip Minnie Ears from Bibbidi Bobbidi Loot ($28):  Just as delicious as they are sweet!  Show off your favorite Disney treat with these adorable ears.  Made of yellow and white yarn, a light weight headband for children of all ages (including the young at heart!) and adorned with a yellow bow topped with a pineapple (of course!) Sarah is an artisan with a great big Disney heart.  She originally designed  her ears  to celebrate the best part of being a Disney Princess – Princess Hair! They are styled to look like swirled braided hair formed into Mouse Ears showing off your favorite Princess, Character, or Treat!
  2. Rapunzel Choker from Clarke’s Geek Bowtique ($8.01):  Your princess will find happiness where the sun shines in this beautiful choker by Clarke’s Geek Bowtique.  Inspired by our favorite Tangled princess it is designed with soft purple velvet and embellished with a delicate sun burst charm.   Vikki, shop owner and designer is an aerial circus performer by day and by night you will find her delicately handcrafting jewelry and hair accessories for you! Another favorite from her shop is the Dole Whip Choker.IMG_20170707_213727_312
  3. Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Tee from Planet Orlando ($17.99)  I scream, You Scream, We all scream for Mickey Ice Cream!  Oh my Disney!  With three scoops of ice cream and topped with the most magical mouse ears ever; this tee is naturally sweet!  Also available in Donald Duck and Tangled flavors!  Perfect for the whole family.  We also love the Star Wars Mickey tee for boys!
  4. Animal Charm Bath Bomb from Georgia Charms ($5.25) Looking for a little R & R in between Disney Play Days?  Just drop a Georgia Charms Bath Bomb into your warm bath water and enjoy!  These bath bombs are full of luxurious fizz that give off lots of beautiful color, calming aromas, and a pinch of biodegradable sparkle.   Each bath bomb comes with a surprise charm.
  5. Pink Lollipop Minnie Mouse Ears from Shiny Sky Rainbows ($34.99) Oh the good ship Lollipop; It’s a sweet trip to the Candy Shop. These ears are sugary sweet and are perfect for strolling along Main Street USA.  Made with a hot pink and white satin ribbon swirled together they replicate the iconic swirl pops found in Magic Kingdom’s Confectionery.  lollipop2

 

 

When you Wish Upon a Wire

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When you wish upon a wire
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you

Have you ever wished upon a star with all your might only for your dreams to come true?  How about wishing upon a wire?  As mystical as it may seem,  magical things are conjured when you Wish Upon a Wire.   Anything your heart desires: Dole Whips, Mickey balloons, or Cinderella’s Castle- that’s right your dreams of the perfect Minnie ears have finally come true!  Jen is the fantastical wizard behind the wire Minnie ears.  She intricately designs and creates customized wire Minnie ears even the Blue Fairy fawns over.

There is nothing this gal cannot do!  Even I tried to challenge Jen, but she is a true master of the art and the end result of my customized ears ruffled some feathers. Before I reveal the whimsical ears that were designed for me; I’d like to share the ordering process.

To start Jen asked me what theme I wanted.  There was no doubt in my mind, I needed Dole Whip ears!  So, I requested something with a Dole Whip on one side and anything magical on the other.  I was very vague,  simply because it was too hard to decide.  I just love everything Jen creates.  I feel like I need one of everything!  It all started with an idea that turned into a sketch and finished with a little touch of pixie dust!   Throughout the design process Jen would send me magic mail to my gmail inbox teasing my ever wishing heart with sneakie peeks.

The whole process was spellbounding.  I felt connected to Jen and the fabrication of my ears.  Ordering from Wish Upon a Wire is truly a unique experience I hope to endure again, and again in the future.  Everything right down to the delivery of the finished product is simply MAHVELOUS!  I was thrilled to receive my ears in tact and in perfect shape after shipping.  Jen packaged the ears in bubble wrap and tissue paper which protected the shape of the ears.  Wire ears are incredibly delicate making it it very easy for the ears to bend;  so packaging is extremely important!

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Jen’s design intermixed my love for Adventure, Dole Whips, and the Enchanted Tiki Room.  I just couldn’t wait to take my ears on their first adventure…and when I did cast members and park guests couldn’t help but ask where I got my ears from.  Wish Upon a Wire’s work is literally breathtaking.  I had one park guest chase me down Main Street USA to inquire the craftsmanship of the ears and she could hardly catch her breath.  The brightly colored flowers caught her eye, but when she saw the delicate wire work of Pierre and Collette she was amazed.

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And you can be too!  I have so many beautiful words for Jen and her wire talent.  She is just the sweetest and her ears will bring so much added magic to your Disney Day.  Check out Wish Upon a Wire on Instagram.  Don’t forget to give this shop a follow to stay updated on new designs and the official store opening!

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Forget the star, make your next Wish Upon a Wire

Celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World

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Happy HOLLYdays!!!!  Christmas is here!  I just love all things Christmas and I truly cannot get enough of all the beautiful lights, smells, and sounds of CHRISTMAS that flood the streets of Disney World.  Christmas is the best time of the year!!!  I am so excited that I can’t stop saying Christmas!

Here are just a few of my favorite Disney Christmas Traditions that you must experience this season.  Make sure to bring your family to share all the Christmas magic with!

EPCOT:

Candlelight Processional:

“A spectacular and wondrous pageantry that unites people from around the globe.

Spellbound audiences will experience pure holiday magic as special guest stars recount the biblical tale of Christmas interwoven with rich orchestral music and song that’s nothing short of heaven sent. An American Sign Language interpreter will translate on stage so hearing-impaired.” (Disney, 2016)

Candlelight Processional, November 26, 2016; Narrated by Steven Curtis Chapman

Holidays Around the World:

“Discover a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of our 11 World Showcase nations. Holidays Around the World surrounds you in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season as celebrated by cultures near and far.” (Disney, 2016)

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian:

Gingerbread House:

The most delectable house is viewable in the lobby of the Grand Floridian.  It takes about 2 months to build and it smells so sweet!

 

Magic Kingdom:

Jingle Cruise:

Ride the world famous Jingle Cruise with new jokes that will make your yuletide gay!

 

The fun doesn’t stop there!  Check out Jingle Bell Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios and Cinderella’s Castle all decked out in lights!  There is so much Christmas fun to make your season bright!

Wishing your and your family a Blessed Christmas season!

The Mystery of the Purple Wall

is-2Of all the beautiful photo spots throughout Disney World, one of the most popular today is the Purple Wall. The purple wall stretches from the Tomorrowland Terrace and into Tomorrowland.  It is part of a hidden walkway leading guests from Main Street to Tomorrowland. When I first heard of the purple wall I was intrigued and thought there must be something special about this wall. Before knowing where it was located within the park of Magic Kingdom my children and I searched and searched. One day we stopped to take pictures at what we thought was the notable  wall,  just outside the bathrooms near the Tomorrowland Speedway. I couldn’t understand why so many people would stop to take pictures outside the entrance of the women’s restroom. It was quite awkward with very little space to pose while guests where going in and out of the restroom.   Just the same we managed to snap a few pics and felt very strange doing so.  A few visits later we walked past a much longer purple wall and realized we had found it!   It stretched for what seemed like miles but I’m sure was more like 1/4 of a mile.   The joy that we felt over this accomplishment!  It was  exhilarating!

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After taking some pictures, laughing at how silly we were before, and how exciting it was to finally find this hidden treasure I sat to watch the passersby. Many walked past not noticing the beauty of it while others stopped to pose making a funny face and some with props.   I could only wonder what made this wall so special?  After all, it has been the backdrop for thousands of pictures and has it’s own Instagram page!

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Sadly, according to cast members there is nothing special about it.  It is just a wall that was painted purple in 1998.  The color purple is a bright color used to express the future and replaces the old yellow of yesterday.  It is a contemporary color and matches the color scheme used at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  When asked about the popularity, cast member Ricky stated, “It is an Instagram trend.  Guests will take pictures for the trend.”

Trend or no trend…this wall is making history!  So grab a camera and put on your best smile and join the “Instagram Trend”!  Think of it as a little added magic!

 

 

Once Upon an Ear

fd8755385ef64b33b2e2fcae675b965bOnce upon a time, in a land far away there lived a beautiful princess with long brown hair and big brown eyes.  The princess lived in a beautiful and very enchanted castle with her mother,  the Queen and her brother, a brave knight. The castle was tucked deep in the Enchanted Forest and life was perfect.  This princess was like no other, she enjoyed archery and boots over a spot of tea and petticoats and never wore a crown.  No, this princess wore mouse ears upon her head instead.  Her collection was quite complete with a different pair of mouse ears to wear each day.  She had a plethora of ears covered in sparkles, bows, flowers, and lace.

 

One day the princess received word that she was to take a journey to a foreign land called Magic Kingdom, which was full of mysteries and spell bounding thrills.  Her quest was quite simple,  to triumph over the pleasantries of Magic Kingdom and she was to bring along with her the finest crown of her land and present it to the Sparkle Fairy in return for a reward.  The princess took on the quest in hopes that her kingdom would finally have a name.  She was quite excited and knew she would need to represent her kingdom well.  This was a chance of a lifetime and would finally land her family’s castle on the map.   The princess wanted to share the story of her enchanted castle with the Sparkle Fairy and got busy spinning away using only the finest of cloth materials, fillers, and decorative bits and pieces. In just a few days she conjured up an adorable pair of ears.  The headband provided a tight fit and was very durable given her the ability to wear them on her long journey and withstand her quest.  The ears were firm not flimsy and were covered in a soft, white fabric that sparkled in the sunlight.  In the center of the ears was a pink and a purple bow with a small teapot applique.  This applique represented one of her dearest friends, Mrs. Potts who has made the enchanted castle her home since the fall of the princesses father,  the King who was known throughout the land as the Beast.  Mrs. Potts was not only a friend, but also the princesses closest confidant and the queen’s hero.  She is also known as the best tea maker known in all realms of the world.

 

After  a long and thrilling journey through Magic Kingdom, the princess completed her quest.  Although not a crown, the Sparkle Fairy was intrigued with the spellbinding ears.  The sparkle fairy granted the princesses wish and named the kingdom, “Once Upon an Ear,” the land of fanciful ears.

Since that day, Once Upon an Ear has been making fantastical Minnie ears that can be customized to meet your fancy.  Customized ears can take up to 7 days to make, so order early.  Ready to ship ears are available on storenvy and most ears found on Instagram can be remade.

 

 

Minnie:  “Mr. Disney, where ever did you get your ears?”  

Walt Disney: “Once Upon an Ear