Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Amy!!!

Walt Disney World
Amy and Minnie at the DVC Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge in November 2012
This weekend is Amy's birthday was her idea and has become a family endeavor along with the many contributors who have become part of our online family and friends.  We live many miles apart and I will not see her for her birthday this year so I wanted to take today's post to wish her a Very Happy Birthday!  So again I have gone into the Way-Back Machine (my old photo albums) to post some pictures of Amy as she was Growing Up Disney.  I guess as her mom and dad, we started her out early in the Disney Tradition.  So to my wonderful daughter, I want to wish her 
Happy Birthday!! 
We love you,
Mom and DisneyDad

walt disney world magic kingdom
Amy in the Lobby of the Polynesian
This may be part of the reason she loves the lobby there.

cinderella's golden carrousel
Amy on  Cinderella's Golden Carrousel
Starting her early at the Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World
Amy and DisneyDad on Main Street USA
Love that pose!

mickey mouse walt disney world
Amy's second birthday and her Mickey Mouse cake

walt disney world
Amy's Second Christmas - in her Pooh PJ's
This may be part of the reason Pooh is her favorite

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Photo Flashback! Cinderella Castle, 1975

For this week's Photo Flashback I've pulled out Mr. Peabody's Way-Back machine... otherwise know as old photo albums.... to find 2 pictures of Cinderella Castle from 1975.  I think the trees have grown just a little since then.  

Hope you enjoy these old photos.


Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle from 1975

Growing Up disney magic kingdom 1975
This photo was taken from the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House in 1975

Focused on the Magic

Monday, March 25, 2013

Five Photos: Main Street U.S.A

 These are photos I took the end of September, 2012.  I love the details in the buildings on Main Street U.S.A.  The signs and windows on Main Street tell a story on their own.  The names are all people who were significant in working with Walt Disney and Disney World.  I especially like the windows over the Arcade.

Growing Up Disney Walt world

Growing Up disney World MK

growing up disney world MK

Growing Up Disney World MK

Friday, March 22, 2013

Minnie Moms: What If I Gave You A Huge Disney Gift Card?

I gave the Minnie Moms quite a challenge this month: to choose what Disney merchandise they would buy if I handed each lady an unlimited Disney gift card.  The catch was that it had to actually be available and be somewhat reasonable, so buying themselves the Castle Suite forever or a lifetime supply of Disney Vacation Club points didn't count.  With this mission, we have chosen our personal Disney splurge items.

Amy:  I went straight for the diamonds.  They are a girl's best friend and when you put three of them in the shape of Mickey, it's a lifetime relationship.  With my fictional unlimited gift card, I would select the diamond and platinum Mickey Mouse necklace from the Disney Dream Collection (fitting name, huh?) At $3,600, it is far more than I would spend in the real world but it is lovely.  If I could use the card for someone else, I'd by DisneyDad that ginormous wooden Mickey statue that was in Art of Disney for years.  I think it was about $8000.

Natalie:  During many of my vacations to Disney World's Magic Kingdom, my son and I have enjoyed viewing the Art of Disney in the Main Street Cinema. You can often find many painting and collectibles in this store. My son really loves going in there to watch one of the Disney classic movies while coloring a Disney picture. I have frequently appreciated the art found there and mentally hung one piece or another in my house, thinking how good it could look!   Though I have fallen in love with many of the pieces of art found in this Main Street attraction, I found another piece of art which I would much prefer if money were no object! On our last vacation to Disney, my son and I decided to stroll through the Crystal Arts to see all of the crystal and glass art pieces. It was then that I discovered the piece of art that is TOP on my list of items I would purchase should money be no object. The piece of art is this "Limited Edition Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle Structure by Arribas Brothers"Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle by Arribas Brothers 
Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle by Arribas Brothers

This piece of art includes 28,255 dazzling Swarovski(r) crystal stones which are hand set by the Arribas Brothers artists. The entire piece measures 20'' H x 11'' W x 12 1/2'' D. The cost of this beautiful piece of art is $37,500! What do you think? Would you was this very expensive piece of art if you could afford it?

Janine:  What would I buy with an unlimited gift card?  Since I am not allowed to choose renting the whole of the Grand Floridian for the night, I think I would like a really nice keepsake of my favorite park, The Magic Kingdom.  And what better than a Cinderella Castle miniature?  With a price tag of almost $400 you can bet your bottom dollar it will never actually find its way into my home, but boy it sure is pretty!

Danielle: If given a virtual unlimited Disney gift card, I would definitely be high-tailing it over to The Art of Disney at Epcot to buy one of their large, framed pieces of art to put over my couch. Whether I'm at Walt Disney World or on a Disney cruise ship, I always make sure to peruse the beautiful art work for sale. It's all simply phenomenal, and a large piece like that would serve as a beautiful focal point in my home to represent the level of importance that Disney plays in our family's happiness. Until that virtual gift card arrives, though, I will settle for my unique piece of photographic Disney art that I purchased on Etsy to display over my couch.

Corby:  I have a confession, I'm one of those that goes to Disney World and rarely buys souvenirs.  I know, crazy, right?  I let my kids pick out one souvenir each trip and they usually choose some sort of candy.  Do I get off easy, or what?  I have started purchasing a Christmas ornament from each trip that fits that particular vacation's theme.  The year, we cruised on the Disney Dream I got an ornament that looked like the ship.  The year we stayed in the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness I got a rustic looking ornament that reminded me of the campground.  You get the idea.  I don't wear Disney clothes/accessories, collect vinylmation and I'm not an avid pin trader so I had to think about what I would purchase if given a gift card.  Personally, I would use the gift card for some yummy Disney food/recreation.  Perhaps a meal at Victoria and Albert's, one of the Backstage Tours such as Keys to the Kingdom or maybe Dine with an Imagineer.  These are things that are on my wish list of to dos for future trips.  I would also normally use the gift card for another vacation!   However, Amy said this is “virtual window shopping” so since I am shopping for something that is actually in the stores/online for purchase I'm going for this.  I do believe that would look oh so cute on my shoulder, don't you (hint, hint to my husband)?
Beth:  If money were no object, there are certainly plenty of things I would purchase during our Walt Disney World vacations.  But on our last trip, I discovered something really unique that I had never noticed on previous trips.  While at Disney Pin Traders in Downtown Disney, I noticed they had pin collages.  They had cut out silhouettes of Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell, which were framed.  Inside the silhouettes were “colored in” with all different kinds of official Disney pins. 

My ultimate souvenir would be each and every trip to get a pin collage.  The silhouette would be of the year of our trip.  Then, each number of the year filled in with the pins from every attraction we experienced, show we watched, resort we visited, character we met and so on so that we had a pin for every single thing we experienced.  I would hang them up our staircase and have one for every Disney trip.  It would make for a great way to preserve our Disney memories year after year!

Product images in this post are from or Danielle's living room or Beth's imagination.  We don't get anything for this other than the fun of a little dreaming.  

Many thanks to Natalie from Meet the Magic, Janine from Growing Up Disney & Meet the Magic, Danielle from Life as a Disney Mommy, Corby from Travel with the Magic and Beth from Pursuing the Magic for window shopping along with me today.  Please visit our Minnie Moms page to learn more about our Disney-loving moms and read our past articles.

Now it's your turn.  Dear reader you have been given the same imaginary unlimited Disney gift card.  What would you purchase? ~Amy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Photo Flashback! Mission: SPACE Passholder Preview

In 2003, Ridge and I took a brother/sister trip to Walt Disney World for the Annual Passholder Preview of Mission: SPACE.  We rode it over and over.  Ridge survived more trips to Mars than I did.  After about three in a row, I was off looking for some Sprite while he took another trip.  We met a young teen in line who was pretty much spending his whole vacation there trying to see how many times he could ride this attraction.  I really enjoy Mission: SPACE but with pregnancy and then trips with babies, I haven't been able to ride it in years.

Here we are playing with one of those disposable wide shot cameras.

What do you think about Mission: SPACE? Are you Team Orange or Team Green?  Or Team Walk-On-By?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Five Photos! Cinderella Castle

One of my favorite sights at Walt Disney World is Cinderella Castle.

These are a few of the photos I took in November 2012.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Magical Blogorail: Best Disney Photo Spots

Welcome to those of you joining me from A World View and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Today the men of Growing Up Disney look at some of the best Disney Photo Spots.

First up, Ridge gives his Ideas for photo OPS at Walt Disney World.
Disney does a good job of providing signage for photo spots around the parks but there are other great places to get a photo that may not be marked.

  • The Castle, this great icon doesn’t have a terrible spot, recently I have gotten to where I love the back of the castle with all of its windows more than the front. It looks especially nice at night. 
    Growing Up Disney World
    Cinderella Castle
    New Fantasyland, Gaston’s fountain is a neat spot and with it lined up just right the antlers on the sign to the tavern give the statue an awesome look. It’s a nice bit of whimsical. The front doors at Be Our Guest, with the lion statues are going to quickly become a favorite.
  • The Rose garden, you can shoot the flowers or people from many angles and still come up with a magical shot that takes minimal effort. Anytime I can sneak the castle in the background I’m going to try.
  • Extra standalone features like the Smoke Shop Indian on Main Street or Casey’s Corner statue of Casey are fun little extras to take a picture with or of.
  • Epcot has an endless variety of things and people and backdrops to choose from.  Italy, Germany, even the fountain or garden in France. Anywhere in world showcase can be inspiring for pictures. All the features and details that have been placed will make for great pictures.
  • Almost anything at night! have tripod will take night pictures. After Illuminations, closing time is coming but you have an hour or more before you start getting swept up from World Showcase. It’s worth the extra lap to get some night shots with no one in them!
    Growing Up Disney world
    Tree of Life detail
    Animal Kingdom is so full of ideas it’s hard to pick just one. I like to walk off the main path and stay near to the “river” when the water is clean and not covered with algae.  I’ve gotten a great shot in Asia, that now hangs over my couch and is my current desktop background at work that just was an absolute find.

The Best Photo Spots from DisneyDad:

To me the best photo spots are some of the most photographed and least photographed spots in The World.

growing up disney world
Close up of Cinderella Castle
First Cinderella Castle has got to be the most photographed spot at Walt Disney World.  I have pictures dating back to 1973 of the castle. My favorite photo spots are from the left or right of the castle rather than a straight on shot down Main Street.  You can either take an interesting picture of the Castle from here or have a great background for your favorite subject.

growing up disney world
Monorail inside EPCOT
At EPCOT there are hundreds of places to take interesting photos.  I have lots of shots of Spaceship Earth taken from different angles, daytime and night.  But one of my favorite shots are of the Monorail as it goes through EPCOT.  There are several places you can take some nice pictures with the monorail.

growing up disney world
Butterfly at Disney's Animal Kingdom
At Animal Kingdom I have many photos of the Animals.  And why not.  It is the ANIMAL Kingdom after all.  There are several spots to take some very nice shots of the animals.  Of course PATIENCE is a must to get that special shot as the animals don't always pose just right for you.  And there are so many places to put your favorite subject in front of some beautiful landscapes.  And don't forget not all animals are behind the fence.  Watch for the small animals like a butterfly.

Detail of Chinese Theater
at Disney's Hollywood Studios
For Disney's Hollywood Studios the building facades Down Hollywood Boulevard make some interesting shots.  And of course the Chinese Theater of The Great Movie Ride.  Don't forget the details of the buildings.  Most people rush by and miss the details Imagineers put into the buildings.

Sign on Christmas shop in Liberty Square
Details, Details, Details.  That is what sets Disney apart from regular "amusement parks".  Everything is there for a reason.  Disney has a back story for everything.  Walt Disney said, "A good story can take you on a fantastic journey."  Take time for the details they can make some great photos.

Know the significance of Kepple?

Thank you for joining us today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is My Dreams Of Disney.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
2nd Stop ~ A World View
3rd Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
Final Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Five Photos: Disney's Animal Kingdom

These photos were taken November, 2012 on the
Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom 

Growing Up Disney AK Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Disney's Animal Kingdom Harambe Wildlife Reserve

growing up disney AK giraffe
Disney's Animal Kingdom Giraffe
growing up disney AK rhino
Disney's Animal Kindom Rhinoceros

growing up disney AK elephant
Disney's Animal Kindom Elephant

zebra AK growing up disney
Disney's Animal Kingdom Zebras

Growing Up Disney AK Wildebeest
Disney's Animal Kingdom Wildebeest

OK.  Actually for this Five Photo there are six photos.  One of a sign on the Kilimanjaro Safaris and five of animals. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photo Flashback! Disney's Animal Kingdom

growing up disney AK deer
Disney's Animal Kingdom November 2012
The major attraction of Disney's Animal Kingdom are the animals.  Some of the animals you see on the Kilimanjaro's Safaris or the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  Others like this Eld's Deer may be seen on Maharajah Jungle Trek.  This is one of the pictures I took of a beautifully majestic deer.

Tomorrow I'll post some of my favorite animal pictures from this trip.

 This was taken November 14, 2012.


Focused on the Magic

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Walk Around The World With Ridge -- Picture Day!

In honor of Star Wars Weekends beeing only 10 Weeks away, here are 10 fun photo's from my Last Weekends Adventures.
keep up with me as we get closer to trip time for ideas on how to have a fun and event filled Star Wars Weekend. This year I'll be going with a friend who has never experienced Star Wars quite like this.
R2-D2 is out for a morning stroll to meet his fans.

Chewbaca.. you're taller in person.

C3PO and R2 still giving each other the business on reopening day.

Capitan Rex.... oh, that explains a lot.

Mickey uses his Jedi mind tricks to get us all to keep spending money.

One of my favorite things is an AT-AT looking through the trees.

Dang it man! Always and I mean always let the Wookie WIN!

Anthony Daniels  putting on, I mean hijacking the show.

Who doesn't need an Ewok with a Slash complex?

Did anyone know that Boba Fett's mom worked here on weekends?