What would Dory do?

Another Disney-loving blogger invited me to be a part of A Month of Finding Dory to celebrate the release of Disney’s Finding Dory – so be sure to check out everything from fun activities for your guppies to how to Disney Bound as Dory – right HERE!fdaf489687

Now, I don’t know about you, but Dory is an amazing hero. I mean the girl can’t remember what she is doing from one minute to the next, but she somehow doesn’t stop. She musters up her courage and her posse and she gets it done. Whatever “it” is.  Dory believes in her own courage even when she can’t remember what she is actually up against. This speaks to me.

I want to be that person. The one who can deal with things on my own terms. When things get rough, I want to feel like I have what it takes to handle it. And I want a group of people around me who know all my issues and who cheer me on anyway.  Nothing standing between me Continue reading

Your #DisneySide Is Showing, Again!

*I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration from the great folks at Disney Parks and MomSelect. The opinions here are my own.*

If you are here, you know that I’m a little biased towards the magic of Disney. I love it. I’ll tell anyone about it. Heck, I tell everyone about it! So when the folks at MomSelect and Disney Parks offered the opportunity to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration, I immediately raised my hand!

Hosting a celebration is more than just having a party. It is a chance to connect with other Disney-loving folks who like to celebrate their Disney Side. It is also a chance to try out some great products like HP Photo Printing products, Soy Vay® Veri Veri Teriyaki® (just like they use at Epcot Theme Park!), All laundry mighty pacs, and Twinings of London® Tea (another Epcot favorite!). All of that and much more were provided in the @Home Celebration Kit.

Our celebration was multi-generational – grandparent, parents, teenagers, children, and even a little one who learned to say, “Mickey!” just in time for our party in honor of that timeless Mouse himself! Yes, while his appearance has changed over the years, Mickey Mouse is timeless and he is the icon of all things Disney for me. No matter how young or old you are it seems that you have some memory of Mickey!

Mickey was all smiles at our party!

Mickey was all smiles at our party!

Our party was the perfect mix since our favorite Walt Disney World Resort Vacation memories are made up of all ages sharing the magic together. And actually, while we aren’t related, I have made trips to Walt Disney World with all the families who attended our Celebration with the exception of one – though I’m often “on call” to help out that one family while they are in Walt Disney World. Our party was a great opportunity to reminisce about some pixie dusted times and to remember that, “It was all started by a mouse!” So, lets get the party started!

Bring on the games! #DisneySide Bingo, Pin-the-smile-on-Mickey, and Disney Trivia. One of the highlights of the evening was during trivia when we were seeing who could name the most Characters from The Little Mermaid. After several of the Characters were named, one of our youngest guests said, “And of course, the evil sea witch, Ursula!” Well, of course!

Follow the blue arrow to our Ursala-wise guest!

Follow the blue arrow to our Ursula-wise guest!

And then the food! The big hit of the night was a homemade version of the famous Dole Whip! Thanks to the folks at The Disney Chef, we found an easy and spectacularly yummy alternative to the soft serve that we crave. We paired it with some Mickey shaped pound cake (with toppers from The Suburban Mom) and it was divine!

Yum!

Yum!

And finally the photo booth! Seems that everyone got in the swing of things when the props came out. Thanks to some practically perfect printables from MerrimentDesign and Atypical Familia we all showed our #DisneySide!

photo booth

Check out the goodies those gals have come up with!

Buzz Lightyear made a special appearance!

Buzz Lightyear made a special appearance!

Everyone got in on the fun!

Everyone got in on the fun!

I’m so grateful to have been able to bring a bit pixie dust into our corner of the world with our #DisneySide @Home Celebration. I would love to link up to your Celebration if you had one – so post your link below! And as our pal Mickey likes to say, “See ya real soon!”

I Second That Emotion…an encounter with Disney magic

Not too long ago I was asked what made a Walt Disney World vacation special to me and my family.  It wasn’t the old, “You know there are other places in the world to take your family on vacation, right?” <said with a sense of satisfied smugness>.  And just for the record: Of course I know that! My family has been fortunate enough to go to some amazing places on vacation.  Instead, the question was a sincere desire to understand why we love  Walt Disney World so much and why we return year after year. Very simply, I can sum it up with this fabulous little video, which interestingly enough wasn’t even filmed at Walt Disney World! It was at a mall in Long Island, New York, a world away from Central Florida and yet overflowing with Disney pixie dust.   Over on Oh My Disney there is a  brief interview about the making of the video. You may have already seen it floating around Facebook or Twitter, but it is worth watching again, so go ahead and cue it up. So what is it? What is it that keeps up going back to Walt Disney World (or Disneyland or motivated us to explore Disneyland Paris or Disneyland Hong Kong or plan for a trip to Tokyo Disney)?  I think it can be summed up in four words: emotion, connection, inspiration and imagination. Just like the faces of the children when Mickey and Gang walk out from behind those doors in the mall, something about Walt Disney World elicits emotion – joy, surprise, love.  Which leads to connection, like the way that soldier connected with Mickey in a dance-off (who knew Mickey could bust those moves?). So much of a Walt Disney World vacation is about connecting as a family, connecting with Cast Members, connecting with other Guests, connecting with our memories and even inspiring us to look into our future. And inspiration gets us every time we are there and we have Mr. Walt Disney to thank for that. Our family’s favorite Disney quote, “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” resonates in our minds over and over again as we take in all that a Walt Disney World vacation offers. Like those who passed by that storefront window and realized that it was more than it appeared, curiosity goes hand-in-hand with inspiration. Those unsuspecting shoppers let their guard down and let their imagination loose. They explored and were rewarded with… joy. Well, now we are back to that emotion word again, aren’t we?  I’ll second that.