Win A $100 Disney Gift Card For The Holidays

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Win A $100 Disney Gift Card For The Holidays

 

Hi, everyone! I’ve once again partnered with some blogging buddies of mine to bring you a chance to win a $100 Disney Gift Card! On top of this great giveaway, my Dragyn friend has been working really hard to provide some pretty awesome products this year for her annual “Dear Santa…Love, Dragyn” event! Read on for all the details….

DragynAlly has been really good this year and she’s sharing her wish list with the world in the “Dear Santa…Love Dragyn” holiday gift guide. Featuring over twenty giveaways from brands that are good for guys, dolls, adults and kids the Dragyn’s Lair is coming at you with fun and exciting products for all ages! Products from the likes of Safari Ltd, May Designs, and Playmates Toys.

Starting today you can have the chance to win books, toys and personalized gifts. There’s even a resort stay at the Valley Forge Hotel and Casino. A fan of more “grown-up” fare? Then you can win a gift certificate to go towards a bottle from Plagido’s Winery or a cool product from Curvy Bride NJ. From now until December 11th you can enter to win these great products and even a gift card for $100!

DragynAlly wants to help you find the hottest, coolest, and sexiest gifts for the holidaze season in time to make your shopping list before Black Friday even rolls around. Now you’ll know what to ask Santa for this year or have the perfect idea for a gift to make a special someone’s wish come true! So come on over to the Dragyn’s Lair to see all the fun!

We’ve got a simple Rafflecopter entry for you again! Wishing you all the best of luck!

Thank you: The Fronkensteen Lounge MapleMouseMama DISTherapy Pursuing the Magic Magical Mouse Schoolhouse Jackie’s Magical Moments Return to Disney Tricia Ballad Author My Pixie Dust Diary

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Who Wants To Win Some Disney Christmas Souvenirs?

wdw-souvenir-giveaway

Who Wants To Win Some Disney Christmas Souvenirs?

 

Those of you who know me, know that Halloween happens to be my VERY FAVORITE holiday and the fact that the folks at Walt Disney World make it last for almost TWO months? Well, that’s the best ever. But the instant Halloween is over and the last Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is over, it’s Christmas at Magic Kingdom Park!

In fact, the very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was held on November 8th and the Park is looking very festive all dressed up in its Holiday finest! I can’t wait to go down and enjoy a few of our family’s favorite activities like watching it “snow” on Main Street USA, touring the monorail Resorts and looking at the amazing Gingerbread House creations!

We were never able to visit Walt Disney World during the Holiday season before our move across the country. We’d come once a year and usually chose to come in the Fall because of Free Dining promotions that were available. Well, now that we live in Florida, we head over more often so we get a chance to take in all of the gorgeous sights and sounds of the season.

If you’re not heading to Walt Disney World this Winter season, have no fear! I’ve teamed up with some of my blogging buddies to offer you a cheery prize pack full of Disney Christmas Souvenirs! We’ve got a real simple Rafflecopter entry below.

One Lucky Winner will receive a Walt Disney World Holiday Popcorn Bucket, a Walt Disney World Holiday Coffee Mug, A Light-Up Mickey Mouse Necklace and a pair of the all new Light-Up Mickey Ears!

Best of luck to each of you!

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This Is Halloween…This Is Halloween…Happy Halloween!

JackSallyMNSSHP

This Is Halloween…
This Is Halloween…
Happy Halloween!

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!

Make Valentine’s Day Extra Special at the Walt Disney World Resort

Limited Time Magic was announced a few months ago on the Disney Parks Blog and I’m very excited to see and participate in as many of the fun happenings that I can each week this year! Coming up on the agenda is Valentine’s Week. Not just Valentine’s DAY, but Valentine’s WEEK!! Woo Hoo!!

Photo Courtesy: Disney Parks

Photo Courtesy: Disney Parks

 

True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet Park Guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine’s collectibles will be offered for the week.

Can you magine a Valentine’s Day that becomes a Valentine’s Week with Disney Castles blushing pink, surprise meet-and-greets with Disney Princes and Princesses making for some great photo shoots, and candlelit dinners for couples in love? There are even going to be a few merchandise events going on in February at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland that you may want to check out!

Occasionally when I see characters around the Parks, I sometimes see them with their respective Prince or Princess. Whenever I do, I’m REALLY excited to get pictures with the happy couple! Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are my absolute FAVORITE couple! I’d love to know who your favorites are and which couples you’re most looking forward to seeing during Valentine’s Week if you’ll be visiting.

Our friends over at Walt Disney World Floral & Gifts have some unbelievably beautiful Valentine’s Day creations for you too. Will you be visiting during Valentine’s week with a little one who has never been to Walt Disney World? Check out these magical offerings, My First Disney Visit – Valentine’s Day – Mickey Mouse and My First Disney Visit – Valentine’s Day – Minnie Mouse. If you are looking for a gift fit for a Pirate or a Princess, well, Disney has you taken care of there too. Check out these fun options.

My First Disney ValentineMy First Disney Valentine MinnieThe possibilities are truly endless at the Disney Florist. There are many traditional Valentine’s Day surprises to choose from that have just the right dose of Disney added to make your gift truly magical. There are some over the top options too, if that’s your thing! Be sure to check out all the Valentine’s Day gifts as there are over 25 options pictured! One of my favorite things is that the Dream Makers will work with you to create your very own magic if you have something different in mind than what is pictured. Just give them a call at 407.WDW.GIFT [939-4438] today!

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.

A Disney-Inspired Halloween at Home with Jack Skellington

I don’t know about you all, but my very favorite time of the year is the Fall. It’s been really different for me living in the south because here it is, almost Halloween, and the leaves haven’t even started to change color yet! Speaking of Halloween, which happens to be my absolute favorite holiday, I’ve got a few fun things to share with you courtesy of my friends over at Spoonful.com to help you bring Disney into your home for Halloween!

I’ve been noticing that some of you have already carved your pumpkins. Well, when we lived in Seattle, we would normally have them carved by this time too. The thing is though, it was 83 degrees here today, so if our pumpkins were carved, they’d have cooked outside…so we’ll wait a few more days.

What’s this?! A spooky but fun carving template featuring your favorite skeleton, of course! We’ll be carving this one at our house…but not until next week!

Photo Courtesy: Spoonful.com

Do you want one too? Ok, here’s how you can make yours. First, click on the link below to download the template:

jack-skellington-pumpkin-carving-template-printable-0910

There are two ways to transfer your design onto the pumpkin. One is to copy it freehand onto a clean, dry pumpkin with a water-based marker (mistakes can be easily corrected with a paper towel). The other is to tape your template to the pumpkin, then score the design into the skin by poking holes through the template with a nail or plastic poking tool (available in some pumpkin-carving kits).

Carve by starting at the center of your design and working outward (this avoids putting pressure on areas already carved). Begin with the innermost and smallest details. As each shape loosens up, gently push it out of the pumpkin with a finger or a dull pencil point (a good job for young kids). Tip: If you cut something you didn’t intend to, perform an ad hoc pumpkin surgery by sticking a toothpick through the flesh side of the piece and fit it back into place.

Lastly, put your jack-o’-lantern in a place of honor (away from flamables), and remember to blow out all candles before you go to sleep.

Now, check out this awesome, printable door decoration of Jack Skellington! Isn’t he so awesome? I’m working on getting him printed up because my kiddos completely adore him and will LOVE to see this guy on the inside of our front door!

Photo Courtesy: Spoonful.com

He’s REAL easy to make too! Clicking on the link below will take you to the PDF template of Jack, so open that up first. I’ll wait here.

jack-skellington-door-decoration-printable-0911

Ok, now, you can print him out on regular paper or cardstock, I prefer cardstock so he’ll last longer and be more sturdy. Next, you’ll need to punch holes where indicated on the template. Then, using small brads, construct Jack from top to bottom. Start by securing Jack’s head to his torso. When Jack is complete, hang him on a door and put him in any position you like! These poseable figures with brads were my favorite when I was a kid!

How about a great Nightmare Before Christmas Playset?

Photo Courtesy: Spoonful.com

All you need to do is print the playset [by clicking on the link below] on regular paper or cardstock and cut out the pieces. Do not cut along the dotted lines — this is where you will fold the paper.

Tim-Burton-Nightmare-before-christmas-playset-sf-printable-0912

Next, fold each character in half along the horizontal dotted line. Using glue or double-sided tape, secure each piece so the design is two-sided. Do not glue or tape the tabs at the bottom, these will be used to make your characters stand. Then, butterfly the tabs at the bottom of the characters outward; the characters should stand when finished. Finally, cut out the background and secure to a piece of cardboard or a wall and get playing!

I hope you enjoy these fun activities with your kiddos! Be on the lookout for another post later tonight with some more last-minute ways to bring Disney into your Halloween Home and be sure to follow Spoonful on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook to stay in the loop with all their fun!

The Season of Halloween – Disney Style!

I have to tell you all, fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year! I just love all the colors of the leaves changing, that nip in the air, and HALLOWEEN!!! Especially Halloween!!! Fall has been really different for us the last two years since moving here to Savannah. When Halloween is here, it’s still hot out. The trees don’t really start changing color until November-ish. It’s pretty peculiar to me, but I’ll get used to it eventually…especially because Disney Parks extends the Halloween season by an extra month or so! See, tonight is the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is undoubtedly my VERY favorite event on the planet!!! This event is not-to-be-missed if you are planning on being at the Walt Disney World between 9/11/2012 and 11/2/2012. There is an extra cost for admission to this very special party and it is worth every penny, in my opinion! Check out the official pricing details along with the Event Guide by clicking here.

I also want to share the brand new party map with you as well so you can possibly print them early and get your planning on [because I know you are all serious planners like me]!!! You’ll notice that there is some very fun NEW entertainment happening this year and check out the early peek of some of the special Party merchandise! Just click on the pictures if you want to view them larger.

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

The first time I attended this special party, we ran around like crazy trick-or-treating, attending dance parties, and riding tons of rides since the lines were so short. Disney only sells a limited number of party tickets, so the Magic Kingdom isn’t filled to capacity which makes it an extra special treat. Now, my ultimate goal is to hit the party twice in the season so I can be 100% sure that I don’t miss a single thing…because I’m sorta nutty like that when it comes to MNSSHP! You don’t HAVE to do it twice, but I highly reccommend it! I just learned today that there will be more candy this year than EVER BEFORE!!! And if sweets are not your thing, there will be healthy options as well. All you’ll need to do is bring your candy that you’ve collected at the treat locations to City Hall, and they’ll exchange your goodies for candy that fits your dietary needs, such as sugar-free candy, treats without nuts and healthy options too! Pretty awesome, right?

Speaking of planning, I sure do like to surprise my kids, but it’s getting really hard to that the older they get because they have my number now…too many surprises over the years apparently! The great Dream Makers over at Disney Floral & Gifts have made a really special “Spirited” Halloween Surprise with teens in mind that includes a special blacklight flashlight for some “to die for” fun!

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

The Disney Florist has a whole bunch of absolutely fantastic gift ideas for kids of all ages if you’re inclined to add an extra touch of magic to your fall vacation. I love how thoughtful they are too, for example, the Trick or Treat Pumpkin is collapsable so you can transport it home easily and enjoy for years to come! You’ve just got to LOVE Mickey Ears on a pumpkin! I have seen most of the products offered by Disney Floral & Gifts and they are made of the highest quality and everything is just beautiful. You really have to see it to believe it…check out the article about my special visit to the Disney Events Group by clicking here.

I hope you all have a “Spooktacular” Halloween season and please let me know in the comments below what your favorite part of MNSSHP is if you go!

Mardi Gras ~ Disney Style!

I have always wanted to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras because it looks like a whole lot of fun! I am also in love with New Orleans Square at the Disneyland Resort! I miss it so badly when I’m at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Here’s the thing though, I’m so excited about my upcoming weekend (2 more sleeps!!!!) because my Princess friends and I are going to hang out one evening at Port Orleans French Quarter where it’s always Mardi Gras! Woo Hoo!

Right next door at Port Orleans Riverside, they’ve cooked up a celebration of their own and I wanted to share it with you all! It’s Bananas Foster Angel Food Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream!!!! Please come back and let me know how yours turn out and ENJOY!!

Boatwright’s Dining Hall Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
Angel food cake
Vanilla ice cream
6 Fresh mint Sprigs

Bananas Foster Sauce
4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons banana liqueur
1/4 cup dark rum
Angel food cake, for serving
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
6 Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Mint Simple Syrup
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3/4 cups water
3/4 cups sugar

Preparation:
Bananas Foster Sauce:

Cut bananas in 1-inch pieces. Top with 2 tablespoons water and set aside.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and cinnamon and cook, stirring until sugar is almost dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Add banana liqueur (mixture will bubble). Carefully add the rum; the alcohol will flame on its own, then die down.
Add bananas and water to the skillet, turning bananas with a spoon as the liquid caramelizes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Mint Simple Syrup:

Puree the mint in a blender.
Bring water to a boil in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Add mint and steep for 10 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Keep the water, discard the mint.
Bring the mint water back to a boil and add the sugar, boiling about 3 minutes until clear and reduced to a thin syrup.

To Serve:

Place two slices of angel food cake in a generous serving bowl. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the side.
Pour Bananas Foster sauce over the angel food cake.
Drizzle mint syrup over ice cream; garnish ice cream with a sprig of mint.

*NOTE: This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version.

This recipe, and many other tasty treats, can be found in the Delicious Disney Desserts cookbook.

Happy Halloween Everybody!

The VERY FIRST Disney Parks Blog Tweet Up!

Back on September 20th, the Disney Parks Blog announced that they were throwing a party, actually, a Trick or Meet-Up! This private party would take place at the Magic Kingdom just after the park closed to the public. As you would expect, attendance was limited, so you would need to act quickly. I have been pretty busy the last few weeks but I was lucky enough to be home that morning and thanks to my expert twitter-stalking skills, I was able to get registered in time to make the cut!

We parked at Blizzard Beach that evening and were entertained by a DJ while we waited for our buses to arrive. Once we boarded, we were taken through a backstage area where the floats for various parades were stored…that was REALLY cool to see! We entered the park through a backstage entrance by Splash Mountain and were guided over to the Hall of Presidents where guests dressed in costumes posed for pictures before they went into the attraction. I was very excited that the photographer that evening was Gene Duncan! You can see some of his work here.

I was also excited to see Thomas Smith dressed as Indiana Jones as we walked in to the theater to sit down for the presentation, especially because he recognized JL and I! I’m always tickled when a famous Disney celebrity recognizes me! Inside, Leanne Jakubowski started off by welcoming us all and introducing the members of the Disney Parks Blog who were present, including Gary Buchanan [who was dressed as a giant turkey leg WITH Mickey Ears], Jenn Fickley-Baker, Laura Spencer, and Jennifer Wilkes. Next, Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Surrell talked to us about the history of the WDW Haunted Mansion. He took questions at the end of his talk and gave informative and quite a few entertaining answers!

We walked out of the Hall of Presidents to a fabulous dessert buffet of cheesecakes that looked like eyeballs and brownies that looked like little spiders. There were also rice krispie treats in the shape of Mickey heads along with bottled water and soda.

We made our way over to the Haunted Mansion attraction where Pete Carsillo and Eric Goodman were giving small tours of the new interactive line queue that I hadn’t seen yet! Really good stuff…this was such a treat! I loved listening to Miss Carlotta go on and on as we waited in line!

Miss Carlotta

She was so cool and I even had a dance with her later in the evening. There is a really funny pic of her and I over on the Disney Parks Blog costume page. What a kick!

I was over by the Diamond Horseshoe when a “special guest” was set to appear. I found Dr. Facilier lurking about and Donald and Daisy on the porch. I visited with them for just a little bit and a very nice Cast Member did his best to get a couple of pics for me. Sorry they’re a bit dark and blurry, but the memory is really fun! The one with Mickey and Minnie is too blurry to post, but fortunately I’ll be attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party later this month so I’ll have another chance.

Our special guest turned out to be the Headless Horseman trotting through Liberty Square which was so cool, especially on this eerie night in the Magic Kingdom! What a treat!

Thomas Smith put together a great recap of the event, including more pics and a video here. I want to thank everyone at the Disney Parks Blog who worked so hard to put on such a fantastic event and I’m really glad that I got to be a part of it!

Be sure to check out the new Disney Parks Blog Facebook Page as there are some more pictures of this fabulously fun event! Give them a “like” while you’re there!