Monday, June 6, 2016

Disney Game Review: The Lion Guard, Protect the Pride Lands

Growing Up Disney, The Lion Guard, game box

The Lion Guard premiered as a regular series on Disney Junior in January 2016.  It was instantly a hit with my children.  The girls were 6 and 4 at the time and they preferred Kion’s adventures in the savanna over Sofia’s more refined problems.  (Sofia and Doc, we still love you.)   I can’t tell you how many times they have wrestled in the living room claiming it was a “moshingdano.”  I have no idea how that should be spelled but it’s how the kids say it.  An early episode showed two animals competing to rule an area and have rights to eat the fish there but it becomes a giggly ‘fight’ in my house.

Growing Up Disney, The Lion Guard, back of game box

 I like the show too. The short movie that launched the series explained that the Lion Guard had always been made up of lions.  Kion is Simba’s son and he forms his Lion Guard in a new way, with a variety of animals.  The friends work together as a team and each brings his or her strengths to the task of protecting the pride lands.

Growing Up Disney, The Lion Guard, game pieces

 My friends at Wonder Forge have created a game that translates this teamwork and adventure to a board game.  It’s called The Lion Guard: Protect the Pride Lands.  The board itself includes a cardboard version of Pride Rock and looks pretty cool when it’s all set up.  I warn you to prep this game before the kids are ready to play for the first time.   It doesn’t really take that long but it’s irresistible to excited preschoolers.  We had a play date the morning after I received the game in the mail so I thought it would be fun to have Minnie’s friends help us test it out. 

Growing Up Disney, The Lion Guard, children playing board game

We had 3 4-year-olds, two girls and one boy, and one 7-year-old girl and they immediately started claiming one of the four character figures.  Once we started learning how to play, we quickly realized no one plays as any one character exclusively.  It’s all about teamwork.  This really pleased my friend who is the mom of the 4-year-old twins.   On a child’s turn, he or she draws a card and completes one action for the heroes and one for the Outlanders.  There is an element of strategy involved as the children decide which moves will help them most, as they try to limit the number of Outlanders on the board while helping Kion to climb to the top of Pride Rock. 

The Lion Guard board game, Growing Up Disney

Protect the Pride Lands is recommended for ages 4 and up and can be played by 1-4 people.  All of the kids at the play date enjoyed playing the game.  It’s easy enough for preschoolers to play but the strategy makes it a fun game for young elementary school kids too.  It takes about 20 minutes to complete a game so you'll be able to keep the little ones engaged.  And Kion is fabulous. 

Growing Up Disney, The Lion Guard, Kion on Pride Rock

Many thanks to Wonder Forge for providing the game for my review.  I didn’t receive anything other than the game and these are my honest thoughts.   If you’d like to buy the game, here is a link.  (I don’t make anything on that.  It’s just for your convenience.)  

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy 6th Anniversary Growing Up Disney!

Growing Up Disney is 6 today.  In 2010, we took "Tink" to Walt Disney World to celebrate her first birthday.  We splurged on Disney Vacation Club points to book a Grand Villa at Old Key West.  I planned character meals for the whole group and a 5th anniversary date night.  My parents baked a Mickey birthday cake and smash cake and drove them down from Alabama.  Andy, Tink and I flew to Orlando from Oklahoma.  Even though I had been visiting the World since I was three, I had lots of questions when I first started traveling with my own children.  I went to many different resources to find the answers and when I returned home from our trip, I decided to share what I had learned and Growing Up Disney was born.

the Growing Up Disney family, Disney character meal photo
The Growing Up Disney family at 1900 Park Fare in April 2010

We have shared some really good kiddo tips over the years but I am glad the blog has grown well beyond that one focus.  DisneyDad offers his thoughts as a lifelong WDW fan, old school DVC member, and grandfather.  Ridge has entertained us with stories of his travel.  We have been honored that friends from across the United States, Canada, and England have graced us with their own memories and special travel tips.  

My own family has grown to include Minnie since we started the blog and the girls have been to the World 9 and 7 times.  My husband and I just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary at Aulani.  So as often our busy real world life allows, we will continue to share our Disney adventures for many years to come.  

Many thanks to the Growing Up Disney family and all of the friends we have made over the last 6 years.  Our "World" is a better place because of you all.

Wishing you love and magical memories, 

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Photo Flashback! We're Going to a New (to us) Resort with Lots of Palm Trees

Almost 11 years ago, this handsome guy and I said "I do" at Disney's Wedding Pavilion.  It was a beautiful April day and the setting could not have been better.

couple exiting Disney's Wedding Pavilion, palm trees, Growing Up Disney

Since then, we have had two babies, lived in 7 places in 4 states, and moved 8 times (long story but we moved into one house twice.)  We've been blessed with lots of joy and many tears of frustration. 

2015 was a rough year for us so a tenth anniversary trip didn't happen.  But now it's 2016 and things have settled down.  Our girls are old enough to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a week without us.  We haven't taken a trip alone since our first anniversary.  

couple at Disney's Wedding Pavilion, Disney Fairytale Weddings, Growing Up Disney

So when my husband asked if I'd like to go to Hawaii this year, I was thrilled.  We drug our feet on planning (no idea why) but now we have planned a trip to Oahu.  Aulani, here we come!  I am excitedly researching things to do and see and eat.  Our week's stay will be split with 4 nights at Aulani in the more relaxed area of Ko Olina and 3 nights at a resort amid the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach.  

If you have been to Aulani or Oahu, I'd love any tips you'd like to share!

Focused on the Magic
I'm so happy that Deb is back to blogging!  Please head over to Focused on the Magic and leave her some comment love.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Photo Flashback! My Calendar Shot

Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
Mom and DisneyDad
If I am putting together a calendar, it must include a shot of Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom at night showing Cinderella Castle.  This one just happens to have been taken of Mom and me last week at the 25 and Beyond Bash to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Disney Vacation Club.

Focused on the Magic

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Photo Flashback! Hall of Presidents

Every four years we have a national competition to select the next person we want to enshrine on the stage of The Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World.  There is an addition every four or eight years. With this election year we will see a new addition to the cast on the stage.  It's been on TV a lot just in case you have missed it.  Once again it's an interesting competition to see who is added next.

Walt Disney World Hall of Presidents
George Washington

Walt Disney World Hall of Presidents
Abraham Lincoln

Walt Disney World Hall of Presidents
Andrew Jackson

Walt Disney World Hall of Presidents
George Washing delivering his inaugural address

Walt Disney World Hall of Presidents
Great Seal of the United States

The Hall of Presidents is one of the original attractions which opened in 1971.  It was the further growth of the 1964 Worlds Fair show Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to include all 43 of the people to have served as president.  (Yes, President Obama is the 44th President.  Grover Cleveland served 2 non-consecutive terms as 22nd and 24th President.)

The pre-show atrium contains portraits of presidents as well as memorabilia from presidents and their wives.  The history on display is worth the few minutes it takes to look around.   I have taken lots of pictures here over the years.  These photo were taken in October, 2015.


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