Celebrating The Launch Of Disney Junior’s Give A Book, Get A Book Campaign

Give A Book Get A Book

Photo Credit: @hyku

Celebrating The Launch Of the Disney Junior
Give A Book, Get A Book Campaign

I’m really excited to share the brand new Give-A-Book, Get-A-Book program that Disney Junior launched this week and announced during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I attended earlier this month.

I was looking forward to our breakfast sponsored by Disney Junior that morning because my little 2-year old nephew was with us and he’s a huge Disney Junior fan. Genevieve Goings from Disney Junior’s Choo-Choo Soul kicked off our breakfast. It was fun to see all the moms out there who were so excited to see her. Since my kiddos are 12 and 16 and watch more of the “older” Disney shows, I’ve never seen Choo-Choo Soul, but Genevieve was a firecracker on stage and I loved her, so, I may or may not have watched Choo-Choo Soul after my kids went to school. I’m just saying. I had a chance to meet and hug her at a party later that day and she is just a doll!

Genevieve Goings

We also heard from Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide; and First Book Board Member, Dr. Martha Bernadett who gave us some insight into this new wonderful program that would provide the donation of up to one million books by putting codes on specially marked Disney Junior books, products and receipts where you’ll be able to donate a book directly to First Book! Once you donate a book, you’ll be given access to a free digital book from Disney Publishing Worldwide for your own family to enjoy. Also, there will be lots of fun things going on locally in your communities at public libraries and Radio Disney events where bookmarks with redemption codes to donate a book to a U.S. community of your choice will be distributed. It’s going to be really easy for us all to donate and to be a part of getting books into the hands of children who need them!

DisneyJunior FirstBook

Photo Credit: @hyku

Our next speaker to take the stage was LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow! Now, I wasn’t allowed to watch a whole lot of TV growing up, so it took me a moment to make the connection with Reading Rainbow. But, as soon as the theme song played, I recognized it and it was so fun to hear the excitement in the room and to hear his voice! I totally remember seeing an episode or two…maybe at a babysitter’s house.

As soon as LeVar took the stage, he applauded all of us moms which was so cool! He talked about his mom and about the importance of fostering a love for books with our children at a young age. You guys, this man is so passionate about reading. You can just see it right here in his expression as he applauded us…

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Photo Credit: @hyku

I just wanted to get up and hug him! I did some looking and actually found a clip of one of the episodes of Reading Rainbow that I remember seeing with Kermit the Frog! I absolutely love it! It made me smile from ear to ear watching it and how LeVar knows exactly what’s going on but Kermit won’t fess up to it. Watch below and see if you remember!

What a truly amazing man who is still out there doing what he loves so many years later!

After a fabulous breakfast, we met up with our families where we were in store for some more celebrity magic! David Arquette (voice of Skully in “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”), Ariel Winter (voice of Sophia in “Sophia the First”), and Tim Gunn (voice of Baileywick in “Sophia the First”) took to the cozy living room chairs in front of the stage where all the kiddos were hanging out in bean bag chairs to read us a story! It was pretty awesome.

Photo Credit: Disney Junior

Photo Credit: Disney Junior

LeVar pulled up his own cozy chair and read to us from the Reading Rainbow app on a tablet! I loved how all of the kids could see that you can still read a book from an iPad or other electronic device…especially in this day and age!

It was such a fabulous morning and I’m so excited to be a part of helping with this unbelievably important cause! Please do everything you can to redeem those codes!

Deep Blue — The First Book in Disney’s New WaterFire Saga

DeepBlue

Deep Blue — The First Book in
Disney’s New WaterFire Saga

 

I am so excited!! Guess what I just finished reading?! A new book that Disney Hyperion is about to release next week on May 6, 2014 called Deep Blue. It is book one of four in a new series called the WaterFire Saga. I am going to be really honest here, I am not the kind of person that reads books absolutely all the time…I wish I was! But when push comes to shove, I really am not. So that being said, when I tell you that I could barely put this book down to do things like, give my toddler a bath… it really means something!

First off, this book is written by Jennifer Donnelly, who is a New York Times Best-Selling Author. She has written other award-winning books for both adults and youth in the past including A Northern Light and Revolution. Her other best selling books were The Tea Rose The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose.

 

Deep Blue is the story of a magical mermaid princess, Serafina, or Sera, for short. Her mother is the regina, or queen, of the waters off the coast of Italy called Miromara. Serafina is coming of age and preparing for her special Dokimí ceremony where she shows her kingdom and important royal visitors that she is in fact the rightful princess and successor of her mother. But a surprise attack on the kingdom changes the world as she knows it. As the story unfolds, we see Sera learn who she is, how to put others first, and become the leader she was born to be.

I think this is a great saga. I love the way in which the protagonist is written. Her character practically jumps off the page and into your room. Though she is a mermaid, Serafina is a character that teenagers can relate to. She has obligations and rules that she is required to follow that she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand why her mother sets such a high standard for her. She has some best friends and some not-so best friends. And I love that she is really just trying to make the best decisions she can for herself, her friends, and her kingdom. There is hardly a dull moment and an adventure at every turn. Serafina is a wonderful heroine to rally for as you read about her new and dangerous journey.

To get a sneak-peak read of the first few chapters or to pre-order Deep Blue, go to WaterFireSaga.com

The bad news? Book two, Rogue Wave, doesn’t grace us until 2015!

Follow @DisneyHyperion on Twitter to keep up with any updates.

Also, if you haven’t heard about Disney Junior’s new Give-A-Book Get-A-Book program, check out my post about it!

[Disclosure: I was provided an advanced copy of this book at DisneySMMoms for review.]

Wordless Wednesday: Our Disney Side Treats

DisneyTreats

Wordless Wednesday:
Our Disney Side Treats


Focused on the Magic

Wordless Wednesday … Showing More Of Our Disney Side

DisneySide

Wordless Wednesday … Showing More Of Our Disney Side


Focused on the Magic

Semi Wordless Wednesday … Showing Our Disney Side!

Wordless Wednesday …
Showing Our Disney Side!

You may have seen some fun going on yesterday at the Disneyland Resort in California. It was a special day indeed as the Grumpiest Cat in the World met the Happiest Place on Earth! In case you missed it, check out this great post on the Disney Parks Blog where some Social Media All-Stars show their Disney Side!

I thought I’d share some of my family’s Disney Side with you all today too! Even our cat has a Disney Side…maybe not by her choice, but she’s got one nonetheless.

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So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and share your Disney Side! Be sure to use the hashtag #DisneySide when you post!

Monstrous Summer Preview – The Most Amazing Thing EVER Happened At Epcot!

Last week, I was so excited to be in attendance for Disney’s Monstrous Summer Media Preview! After a special Illuminations Dessert Party, we were asked to be at the front entrance of the Park for a special announcement. I had no idea that what was about to happen next would be the coolest thing I’d ever seen take place ON Spaceship Earth! Don’t believe it? Well, have a look at my video below!

How unbelievably AWESOME was that? I’m so excited that I was right there at the front of the action for the special announcement and I sure hope that you will be able to make a visit to one of the three-park all-night parties happening at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California. The parks will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time.

Keep an eye out on the Disney Parks Blog and the Monstrous Summer site for upcoming details!

My Thoughts On The Disney Limited Time Magic Campaign

LimitedTimeMagicHorizontal

My Thoughts On The Disney
Limited Time Magic Campaign

I’ve been holding off on writing about Limited Time Magic for a while because I wanted to experience some of the magic before forming my own opinion on it. You see, I’m the type of person who will wait to form judgement until I’ve personally experienced something, despite what the majority thinks or says. I’ve read so many articles since the Limited Time Magic campaign was announced. It always continues to amaze me how many people judge things before they’ve experienced them just simply because they don’t think it’s a good idea.

You all know that I’m a huge Disney fan, but there’s more to it than just that. I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “Jackie would never say anything bad about Disney”, right? Well, here’s the thing…we all have choices about how we’re going to view things. I’ve read about how people were so excited about Limited Time Magic and CHOSE to set their expectations very high. You see what I did there…THEY made the CHOICE to set such high expectations and that was THEIR choice. It’s magic, people! There was no promise made of how big or small the magic would be…only that there would be magic! Stop being disappointed and simply enjoy it already, would ya? Do you all remember Syndrome, the “bad guy” from The Incredibles? Remember when he said “when everyone’s super, no one is”? This sort of falls into the same guidelines for me, if EVERYTHING was spectacular, then NOTHING would be. Let’s just go back to the basics here and enjoy it for what it is. Sometimes you’ll get a Strawberry Ear Hat, sometimes you’ll get Long Lost Friends. Disney even let their fans help choose next year’s logo by letting us vote on it! When have they EVER done that? The way I see it, you can’t please everyone all of the time, but if you are able to please most people most of the time, you’re doing pretty darn good!

I also feel that the folks at Disney have a pretty smart marketing team with all of us extreme planners out there. I’m the first one to admit that I am a lot more confident about our vacation when we have a plan. Here’s the thing about that though, when something unplanned and unexpected would happen right before our eyes, there was no feeling in the world that could top that! We felt like the luckiest family on the planet when our daughter got to draw her very own Stitch with a broom and water along with a little help from a Custodian Cast Member at Magic Kingdom Park. If you’ve never seen this amazing artwork before, check out Thomas Smith’s article on the Disney Parks Blog about it. It wouldn’t have been quite the same if we’d had an appointment to do that. Think about this for a second, can you imagine the line that would form if Guests knew ahead of time that this was going to happen? That’s why I think that Disney had a real good plan when they decided that they weren’t going to announce all of the Limited Time Magic for the entire year, because then it wouldn’t be quite as special. Random Pixie Dust is super fun, I promise!

So, all that being said, I was fortunate enough to be on vacation with my family at Walt Disney World during “True Love Week” and since my husband and I are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary this year, it was pretty special for us! We even got to attend the special Disney Parks Blog Meet-up that was held on Valentine’s Day! We really enjoyed seeing Disney Character Couples around the Park and we had a fabulous experience. I just loved having our picture taken with my parents right in front of Cinderella’s Carriage along the new walls surrounding the entrance to New Fantasyland during broad daylight!

CinderellaCarriagePic

Now, I’m not saying that you’re not entitled to have your own opinions and state them…good, bad, or indifferent. I’m just merely suggesting that you keep an open heart and an open mind. Allow yourself to be surprised by what magic you might find while you’re on a Disney vacation! With a little bit of Pixie Dust and imagination, anything is possible!

Will You Disney Fans Help Give Kids the World? #DisneyFansGKTW

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Today is a really special day for Disney Fans because we are kicking off our annual Give Kids the World fundraiser! If you’ve never heard of this unbelievably, magical place, let me tell you about it. Give Kids the World is a village in Central Florida that inspires happiness and hope! It’s a magical place where children with life threatening illnesses and their families can experience a cost-free fantasy vacation in the heart of the Happiest Place on Earth…just when they need it most. Please take a few minutes to watch this video below. It means the world to us!

Nothing can bring you to tears faster than seeing an enormous smile on an ill child’s face, especially when a nearby parent shares with you that this child endured the excruciating pain of a bone marrow transplant that has recently failed. An instant, unspeakable bond of love and support exists between the parents of very sick children and other families staying at Give Kids the World. Many lifelong friendships are formed during the time spent vacationing at the Village and you can be a part of making these Pixie Dusted dreams happen for these families. The world of chemotherapy, needle sticks, doctors visits and long hospital stays seems to melt away and a lifetime of memories really can be created in one week! Some of these priceless moments will be the last time a parent sees their child laugh, play, sing or dance.

I’m really excited to help make 2013 our best year yet for making a big difference for these children and their families and WE NEED YOUR HELP!! We’ve set a lofty goal of raising $15,000 for this very special cause. Every single donation counts and no amount is too small! Please “like” the Disney Fans Give Kids the World Facebook page if you haven’t already so you can follow along with the great things we’re working on to create magic for these families! To donate to this wonderful cause, just click the banner at the top of this post and it will take you right to our special donation page!

Thank you! We can do this, but we need your help to succeed!

Turning Up the Romance at Walt Disney World During True Love Week for Limited Time Magic

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

 

Turning Up the Romance at Walt Disney World
During True Love Week for Limited Time Magic

Love is in the air at Walt Disney World Resort as fairytale Princesses find true love with their Princes, and “happily ever after” becomes reality. It all happens during True Love Week February 11-17, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Last week, I shared some Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Extra Special at Walt Disney World and now that we’re just a few short days away, I wanted to share some more info with you!

The week long love fest is all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks, where each week in 2013, Guests will be treated to a sprinkling of Disney magic where unexpected surprises and delights enhance vacation memories. Something magical already happened this week in preparation for True Love Week! The Disney Parks Blog announced a special meet-up to take place at the Magic Kingdom on Valentine’s Day! It’s called ‘A Celebration of True Love‘ and I am excited that I happened to be at the right place at the right time to get registered! This is going to be such a special morning for my husband and I because it’s this year, in April, that we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage! I can’t think of a more fun way to celebrate! I’ll take lots of pics and share the magic with you all as I can!

During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resort, from limited time Valentine’s merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts – all for a limited time only.

The week-long event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:

Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn the Magic Kingdom.

Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of pink, red, lavender and blue bathe Cinderella Castle with themed lighting synced to a musical melodies adding to the ambiance.

Dinners for Two: Candlelit dinners for two with prix fixe menus at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year. Specially-created menus at Artist Point (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort); The Wave…of American Flavors (Disney’s Contemporary Resort); Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios); Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort) make an ideal setting for a romantic evening. To book visit Disneyworld.com or call 407.WDW.DINE [939.3463].

Valentine’s-themed Takeaways:
Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations available at select merchandise locations.

Royal Gathering: The rare opportunity to get a photo with Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses to enchanting character greeting locations.

In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.

Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:

Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella’s Glass Coach situated by the new Castle wall for True Love Week.

Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella’s Wishing Well creating the perfect backdrop for a cherished moment.

Rose Walk: The Rose Garden in Central Plaza is all decked out with enchanting decor.

And more…

Romantic Touches: Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, the finest champagne, or scattered rose petals create a romantic scene for lovebirds, all available through the Disney florist at www.disneyflorist.com.

Elegant Oasis for Relaxation: An aromatherapy couples’ massage is just the escape after a day with the kids in the theme park. Couples’ massages are available at the newly opened, full-service Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Perfectly Princess: Join your prince for the ultimate fairytale come true with a customized Disney wedding or honeymoon getaway. More than 1,000 couples get married, or renew their wedding vows in romantic settings in various locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort every year. Visit DisneyWeddings.com for more information.

Be sure to stay “in the know” with the 52 weeks of Limited Time Magic happening in 2013 ~ follow along on Twitter by following @DisneyParks and using the hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic on all your social media outlets!

Are You Ready For The Year Of The Ear At Disney Parks?

Photo Courtesy: Disney Parks

 

Are You Ready For The Year Of The Ear At Disney Parks?

It’s really no secret, I LOVE Mouse Ears! I am a believer that if you add Mouse Ears to just about anything, it will make whatever it is even better! I’m so excited about the new Disney Parks “Year of the Ear” campaign that was announced for 2013. It’s going to be a super fun year! Starting in January, new, limited-release Disney couture Ear Hats will be available every month as part of Disney Parks’ Limited Time Magic.

Limited Time Magic kicks off at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL with a “Bling in the New Year” dance party – a chance for dreamers of all ages to celebrate the start of 2013 and will continue through January 5th. The party will include live entertainment on Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, the dance party will feature Disney characters dressed in their New Year’s best! So much fun to be had! Please share your experience in the comments if you’re going to be there this week enjoying the festivities!

Check out the official Limited Time Magic website for more information and be on the lookout, or stalk like I do, the Disney Parks Blog for future announcements! Also, be sure to follow along with the fun on Twitter using hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic.