Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Growing Up Disney - The First 5 years


Walt Disney knew the power of a good story.  Here at Growing Up Disney we have tried to share our story for the past 5 years.  Amy began this effort with her first post on April 26, 2010 (click here to read the first post).  What began with Amy has grown over the years and included many friends and family sharing their story here.

Walt Disney

A good story can take you on a fantastic journey. --Walt Disney

   We have shared lots of photos on Growing Up Disney.  Lots of photos! Photos from our trips and our contributors as we all have shared our experiences with Disney.... TV, Movies, Disney Parks and more.  I hope you read about the "Family Behind the Blog".  Take time to visit with our "Minnie Moms".  Go "Around the World with Ridge".  Or learn about Disney Vacation Club. (we have been members since 1993.)  Or check out one of our other pages.

Thank you for allowing us to share our story and I hope you get to feel you are a part of our "Fantastic Journey".

Below are a few pictures that we have shared here on Growing Up Disney that tell part of our story.


Honeymoon at Walt Disney World
DisneyDad and Mom on their honeymoon 1973

Walt Disney World
Amy 1979

Walt Disney World
Disney Weddings at Walt Disney World
Amy and her Prince Charming 2005

Disney's Old Key West Resort
DisneyDad & Mom with Tink and Minnie

EPCOT Walt Disney World
Ridge and his cell phone

Mickey Ear Hat Walt Disney World
the end
Growing Up Disney
Thanks for visiting!
Focused on the Magic

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disney Frozen Beauty Collection

I love make-up.  I'm not one of those hard-core girls who use multiple shades of contour, but I do enjoy having a bunch of fun colors to choose from.  When I was a kid, I was thrilled to get the big box of crayons with the built-in sharpener.  I can't wait until my girls are big enough to take care of one of those.  Right now, my three-year-old still likes to break the crayons so we have boxes of random bits.

Elsa makeup collection from Elf available at Walgreens, Growing Up Disney

Frozen, especially Elsa, is still really popular in our house.  The girls have dresses and dolls and like to pretend they are the famous sisters.  They like to sing "Let It Go" and twirl around.  Tink's dance class gets a freestyle break each week to the ubiquitous Frozen song.  It's a hoot to watch a room full of five-year-olds giving it their all, complete with full Elsa attitude.

Tink as Anna with our friend, "Elsa," before Disney On Ice
If you or the girls in your life also enjoy makeup and Frozen, there is a new makeup collection just for you.  Available at Walgreens, this limited edition collection features some great colors for spring.   I've tested all of the products below, except for the eyelashes and those may get a night out soon.

The shadows go on well and have decent lasting power.  The colors are soft so don't be intimidated by the bright colors.  You won't end up looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.  You can build for more intensity but they aren't overpowering.

The eyeliner really lasts.  I had it on recently when my family had an experience that resulted in lots of tears and my liner was still in place.

The cream shadow below in the round pot is a soft sparkly pink.  Tink got to wear a tiny bit to kindergarten one day when she was hanging out with me while I was "fixing my face." (My grandmother always used to say that.  I loved watching her do her makeup.)  I've also used it as a cream base for a powder shadow and it stayed on all day.

I think I have used the Icicle Face Palette most often.  I'm normally a pink blush girl but this peachy shade is really nice.  I've also enjoyed having the bronzer and highlighter in the same kit.

The beauty book is a nice all-in-one set and would make a terrific gift.  And if Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique isn't in the budget for your next Walt Disney World vacation, this would be a really fun way to DIY the princess makeover.  

Elsa makeup from Elf available at Walgreens, Growing Up Disney
e.l.f. Disney Elsa Snow and Ice Beauty Book

Need ideas on creating a new look? Simply lift the mirror.

The colors in the book have familiar names. 

Elsa makeup collection from Elf available at Walgreens, Growing Up Disney
Blush/highlighter kit, eyeshadow kit, lip glosses, and cream shadow

Elsa false eyelashes, Elf at Walgreens, Growing Up Disney
Black and purple false eyelashes

My little models.  Tink was wearing last year's dance recital costume and Minnie is rocking the princess jammies.

Thank you to Disney Consumer Products for providing me with these items so I could review them for you.  These are my honest thoughts and no other compensation was offered or received.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Photo Flashback: More Signs!

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
"Signs" -- Five Man Electrical Band - 1970

In 2013 I posted several pictures of SIGNS at Walt Disney World.

Signs come in all shapes and sizes at Walt Disney World and are used for all sorts of reasons.

I take a lot of pictures of signs.  Disney's Imagineers put a lot of work into designing the right look for each sign.  They try to give each sign the best design to convey the look and information for each situation.
Here are a few pictures of signs I've taken over the years.

Old Key West Resort
A sign can tell you where you are, like Old Key West.

A sign can draw you into a favorite store.

Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom
A sign can welcome you.

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
A sign can encourage you to participate.

Signs are everywhere. Some rarely get noticed.
Have you ever noticed the signs on the trashcans?

The World Showcase trashcans have a medallion that looks like a compass point as you travel through all the country pavilions.  

EPCOT Trashcan medallion

Trashcans on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom have their own unique look.
Magic Kingdom Main Street USA

The Main Street Trolley is on the trashcans on Main Street.
Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom

Most people walk all over Disney World and never notice the signs.
AKERSHUS Royal Banquet Hall at EPCOT

Or at least not until they want something to eat.

Next time you are at Disney World notice all the signs.


Focused on the Magic

Friday, April 10, 2015

We Split into Smaller Groups at Disney World and You Should Too

If you are traveling to Walt Disney World with anyone other than yourself, take note of this tip....split up!  While you planned a lovely group vacation, you'll enjoy it more if you don't try to keep up with your whole gang all of the time, unless you enjoy walking backward with a small flag.  Consider breaking into smaller groups and then meeting up later for a meal to discuss the fun you all had.

If you are traveling to Walt Disney World with anyone other than yourself, take note of this tip....split up!  While you planned a lovely group vacation, you'll enjoy it more if you don't try to keep up with your whole gang all of the time, unless you enjoy walking backward with a small flag.  Consider breaking into smaller groups and then meeting up later for a meal to discuss the fun you all had.

On a past Disney vacation, our travel party was myself, my two girls and my parents.  I asked Mom and DisneyDad in advance to take Minnie for a morning so Tink and I could visit Magic Kingdom alone.  She was four at the time, really loved Fantasyland and, of course, loved having mama all to herself.  It was nice to spend time with just one child and focus just on her.  And speaking of focusing, I left my "big" camera in the bag for the majority of the day.  On this day, I wasn't a blogger, just a mom, but I still made her humor me with iPhone selfies.

With no stroller and a smaller bag than normal, Tink and I boarded a bus to Magic Kingdom, arriving early but after rope drop.  Since our whole goal was Fantasyland, we headed straight for the train.  I asked Tink to stand by the railing for a quick picture and this is how she posed. This is now a traditional shot for us.

Tink enjoyed the old games in the waiting area of the train station and loved the ride around the park to New Fantasyland.

Our first stop was The Barnstormer.  I am a roller coaster fanatic and couldn't wait to share this ride with Tink.  I did try taking photos of the queue and attraction however Tink was impatient so that was the end of the nice camera for the day.  The image below was before the coaster left the station.  I videoed the actual ride but Tink was scared so I won't be sharing it.  I don't think I'll be getting her back on The Barnstormer any time soon.  Admittedly, it is a little zippy for a kiddie coaster.

Next up was some playtime before riding Dumbo.  There wasn't a wait for the flying elephants so Tink was able to play as long as she liked and then we jumped into the line for the ride.

Ready to fly!

After Dumbo, it was snack time.  This was one of the best simple pleasures I've enjoyed at Walt Disney World since I became a mom.  Tink and I shared a box of the world's best popcorn while sitting on a wall in the Magic Kingdom on a truly lovely day, just watching the World go by.

Batteries recharged, we headed out to explore more of Fantasyland.  We spied Alice with a short wait.  This quick detour was part of the beauty of a smaller group.  If she and I wanted to change directions or plans, we could do so without coordinating with anyone else.  I thank the two college-aged girls who were in line in front of us for helping entertain Tink through the line.  Being a few feet from Alice but still having to wait your turn is awfully hard when you are little.  

Alice taught Tink how to drink her tea.  A skill she said she learned from the Mad Hatter.

"it's a small world after all.  it's a small world after all."

Time to meet our favorite mermaid.

Hooray for Fastpass.  We could never wait through the long lines for Peter Pan.  On this particular day, my oldest baby and I got to fly over London.

A couple of silly shots in Philharmagic.  It turns out that Tink HATED this show.  Poor thing tried to hide behind the seats as soon as it started and before long, we had to leave.

Tink really enjoyed riding in the giant honeypots...and being cool in her shades.

Once we made it to the bus back to Old Key West, it wasn't long before my girl was OUT.  I rather enjoyed holding her while she slept on the way back to Old Key West.  However, I didn't know if I could carry her from the bus stop to the villa without waking her.  I texted my dad for backup and he met us at the bus and carried Tink back to the room.

Even with a long day, a nap means we need to burn off some energy before bed.  Thank goodness for the pool/playground/sand at Old Key West's feature pool.  After some playtime, both Tink and Minnie were ready for a good night's sleep.

I had a wonderful day touring the Magic Kingdom with just one child.  And don't worry, Minnie wasn't mistreated.  She had her own adventure with Granny and Granddaddy.  We are planning a big family trip for this fall and I'll be including some time in the schedule for each girl to get her own time with Mom and Dad and also with Granny and Granddaddy.

We typically travel as a multi-generational group and it's really nice when we can split up into smaller subgroups.  It's easier to get around and to make decisions but mostly it's nice to be able to enjoy the company of the people you are vacationing with and focus on one or two of them at a time. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Photo Flashback! 4 Favorites, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Edition

Next week, my husband and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.  Our Disney Fairy Tale Wedding was truly a dream experience.  I wanted to share 4 Favorites from this day.

Favorite Wedding Location: Disney's Wedding Pavilion
Having Cinderella Castle as a background for the ceremony and photos is amazing.

Favorite Bit of Disney Wedding Magic: Majordomo
There is a GREAT story about him...When You Wish Upon A Star

Favorite Wedding Crashers: Mickey and Minnie
My dad managed to surprise me with some very special guests at our ceremony.  For this Disney kid, it doesn't get much better.  
For more on the cake: My Own Wedding Cake Wednesday

Favorite Bridal Photo Location: grand staircase at the Grand Floridian
I had seen many brides take photos in this location before it was my turn.  I love the Grand and love having these special memories there.

Focused on the Magic