Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Photo Flashback! Disney at The World and At Home

My parents and brother are at Walt Disney World this week. My family of four wasn't able to join them on our regular fall trip but we have enjoyed getting photos from DisneyDad and Ridge. I don't want to steal their thunder but I would like to share a couple of DisneyDad's photos. 

As usual they are staying at Old Key West and this time, their villa has a canal view. Looks like a very relaxing spot for morning coffee to me. 

DisneyDad and Ridge went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Sunday. DisneyDad is usually behind the camera but this selfie proves he was there...and having a ball. 

Around here, I had a couple of Disney sightings this week. My husband and I went out for ice cream on Saturday and spotted this sign. Crystal Palace was my work location during college program so I instantly felt at home. 

My crew recently attended a parade in a nearby town. The high school band is performing a Lion King halftime show this year. I loved their flags and I'm hoping to get to a game to see the whole show.

And if you like the Haunted Mansion, be sure to click the link below to check out DisneyDad's 360 degree interactive photo of the exterior of HM. 

Hope everyone is having a good week! And to my family, see ya real soon! 
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Friday, October 3, 2014

October at Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World does a wonderful job of decorating for seasons.  October turns the Magic Kingdom orange for Halloween and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  There is special entertainment and the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and the Happy HalloWishes fireworks. October means the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is in full swing.

Magic Kingdom Halloween 2012

Sunday night, Ridge and I, (Mom decided to skip this) will be at the Magic Kingdom for MNSSHP.  I hope to post some and tweet (@DisneyDad28) some from the Party.  I'll do what I can but Amy normally does the live posting, but unfortunately she was not able to be on this trip.

Train Station Halloween 2012

The rest of the week Mom, Ridge, and I will be having some fun the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.  Unlike some trips we only have one meal reservation.  We have a Fast Pass for lunch at "Be Our Guest".  We were fortunate for our last trip and this one to have an invitation to use the Fast Pass for BOG.  You don't just get a time to go to the restaurant, you go ahead and order your lunch on line.  You check in at the Fast Pass entrance, verify your order, pay and find a seat.

If you have never been to Be Our Guest Restaurant, there are 3 massive dining rooms that seat a total of about 550 guests. The dining rooms are easily recognizable from Beauty and the Beast.  You may dine in the Grand Ballroom, the Rose Gallery, or if you dare, the West Wing where you may catch a glimpse of the enchanted rose.

October has been a family trip for years, but this year Amy and her family won't be with us.  So no granddaughters on this trip. :-(  So without children we don't have to try to keep to the kiddo's schedule. And can dine places you wouldn't want to take a small child (like the BOG West Wing).  But this also means we have not scheduled any character breakfasts or meet-and-greet with any characters.  

Olivia's at Old Key West Resort 2013

It also means we will spend more time trying out the different offering of the Food & Wine Festival. For the 2014 EIF&WF there are 25 Global Marketplaces where you can "Taste Your Way Around the World".  I always love to start in Canada where they have Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce.  Wow!  What a way to start!  This year they have 2 new booths and a lot of returning favorites.  New this year is Farm Fresh that is "straight from the farm too you" and Patagoina where you can sample some South American cooking.  Check out a full list at the official F&WF website at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/food-wine-marketplaces/

At each marketplace there is also a selection of beer and wine representative of the countries.  And Hanson (who performed in September at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series) has their craft beer - Mmmhop - at the Fife and Drum at the American pavilion.

EIF&WF 2012

I'll also try to give an "unbiased" review of the Lumber Jack Show replacement for Off Kilter which is reported to begin next week.  I'm not sure how unbiased I'll be as I absolutely loved Off Kilter and am very disappointed Disney has gotten rid of them after all these years.


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

Birthdays tend to come and go.  When we are young they don't come around fast enough and as we get older they fly by and sometime we even forget them.

October 1, 2014 is the 43 Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World. 

Orlando's WESH TV has some historic photo's of how Walt Disney World came to be.
I don't know how long they keep these on line so enjoy them soon.


--DisneyDad Pin It

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Photo Flashback! Disney Seasons

Today's blog hop theme is "seasons."  I started to choose four images, representing each of the calendar seasons but changed my mind.  Walt Disney World makes their own rules when it comes to seasons anyway.  Halloween decorations start appearing in August for crying out loud.

Some of the following may be attached to a time of year and others just looked like fun as I was going through old photos.

What's your favorite season at Walt Disney World?

Dancing Season

Bear Hunting Season

Gingerbread Castle Season

Tonga Toast Season

Birthday Season

Kilt Season
(Goodbye Off Kilter! You will be greatly missed.  Glad I have all your CDs.)

Growing Season

Luau Season

The Season of the Illusive Van Dyke Beard

Golfing Season

Wedding Season

Focused on the Magic
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photo Flashback! 'Ohana means Breakfast with Family

What is better than breakfast?  Breakfast with Family!  
'Ohana is a wonderful place for a family breakfast 
plus there are some pretty neat friends that stop by too!
 Breakfast at 'Ohana - November 2013

The girls love the Mickey Waffles!

Even with all the Friends who stop by

Breakfast is a winner!

and you get to visit with Lilo and Stitch!

Pluto and Mickey stop by too!
Of course any day Granddad gets to have breakfast
 with Family AND Mickey is good!
And the food at 'Ohana is good too!

This is really good!
Focused on the Magic
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Photo Flashback! My Favorite View

I have been going to Walt Disney World ever since it opened in 1971.  My first trip was actually to the Preview Center in 1970 before the Magic Kingdom even opened.  My first view of the Magic Kingdom is still My Favorite View.  There is nothing like walking under the train station and walking out onto Main Street USA.  Looking down Main Street and seeing Cinderella Castle never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Main Street USA - May 2014
And, of course, there is probably nothing more photographed at Walt Disney World than Cinderella Castle.  The view from the walkway to Tomorrowland is one of my favorites.

Cinderella Castle - May 2014
And I have a new favorite view on Main Street.  My cute granddaughters.  Tink took her first steps on Main Street on her first birthday holding my hand ( see the GrowingUpDisney logo ). Minnie didn't make it on her first birthday, but for her first steps on Main Street I was holding her hand too.
Tink and Minnie on Main Street USA - May 2013

Mom and I will be going in October to Walt Disney World for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.  This will be the first trip we have made since Tink came along 5 years ago without having our granddaughters along.
I already miss them.


My Favorite View
Focused on the Magic
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Great New Disney Games: Review and Giveaway

There is an awesome new line of Disney-themed games available from Blue Orange.  When I was offered one to review (and one for YOU!), I knew we were going to love this.  Spot It! is a line of circular card games with many themes ranging in difficulty from age 3 through adult.  There are a couple of ways to play but the basic concept is that you are looking for matches between two cards.  For my girls, I chose Spot It! Words Disney Princess.

Seriously, what's not to love about this game?!? It's…

* Educational: The "Words"version of the game includes written words and images.  The match can be two words, two images, or the word and image for the same thing.  Spot It! Words Disney Princess is recommended for ages 6 and up.  Tink is 5 but the ability to match images on some card sets helped keep her interest as she quickly picked out two matching princesses on some hands and faced challenges with sounding out words on other sets.
*Low-tech: As much as I love my iGadgets, it's really nice to have a fun game that doesn't require me to keep it charged or maintain accounts, etc.  This is just a straight forward game offering parent and kid time.  Tink and I played it for the first time at our local library while killing some time before heading off to her dance class.
*Low-maintenance: If you lose a card, no big deal.  The game will still play just fine.  This is awesome because we all have games/toys in our homes that don't work because some small piece went astray.
*Small: The cards come in a nice tin that won't take up much room in your bag or your kid's backpack. This makes it a great game for on the go.  Perfect for that time while you are waiting for the next activity/class.  What a terrific way to keep children entertained at a restaurant!
*Disney: Enough said.

The other themes in the Disney Spot It! line are:
  • Disney Planes Spot it! Alphabet
  • Disney Frozen Spot it! Alphabet
  • Sofia the First Spot it! Alphabet
  • Doc McStuffins Spot it! Numbers and Shapes
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates Spot it! Numbers and Shapes
  • Disney Pixar Spot it! Words
  • Disney Princess Spot it! Words 

Also available are story-telling card games.
  • Tell Tale Disney-Pixar Toy Story
  • Tell Tale Disney Princess

Since I haven't played the Tell Tale games personally, here's the description from the press release, "Imaginations come to life with Tell Tale, a creative storytelling game. Players weave wacky and whimsical stories using cards showing a variety of settings, characters, and objects. Players can choose from four storytelling guidelines or even come up with their own. Lay out a story board, build on another player’s tale, or improvise with random cards and watch the magic happen!"

Now it's your turn to get in on the fun, enter today to win your own Spot It! or Tell Tale.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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