51 Days til Disneyland – Merida and Friends!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Hello everyone!  We are almost to the halfway mark in our Disneyland Countdown!  Today is Day 51, and today we are going to take a quick look at the Merida and Friends area!  Located in Fantasyland near the “it’s a small world” attraction, the Merida and Friends attraction is more then just a meet and greet.  This area includes areas for archery lessons and other outdoor adventures, as well as a chance to meet her bear cub brothers also!  Here is a map of where the attraction is located in Fantasyland in case you were unsure.  Thanks for stopping by!

Merida and Friends

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – Sleeping Beauty Castle!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Sleeping Beauty Castle & Matterhorn - Blue Sky

Image Courtesy and ©Disneyland Secrets Gold!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia! Today we are looking at Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland! Joining me are Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi from Heidi’s Head!

Did You Know…

That today in 1957, Shirley Temple takes part in the dedication of the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through at Disneyland. In attendance is Walt Disney and Temple’s oldest daughter Linda, son Charles, and youngest daughter Lori. (Back in 1939 child star Shirley Temple had presented Walt with an honorary Academy Award – one big Oscar & seven little ones – for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.)

My mom loved watching Shirley Temple movies as a kid, and I did too! Thanks for stopping by, please go check out the rest of the posts!


Tanya’s Tips for being selected as First Family at Disney!

image By Tanya.  Have you ever opened one of the Disney Parks? One of my Disney dreams is to someday have my family chosen to open the Magic Kingdom, ride in on Casey Jr. with Mickey and throw Pixie Dust over the crowd! What a spectacular memory that would be!

Our family has been chosen to be the first family in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and we opened the park with our son when he was 6. It ranks as one of our favorite Disney memories. We shook rain sticks, banged drums and then raced toward Expedition Everest while everyone else was fiddling with turnstiles and tickets! We also got a certificate stating we were the first to enter the park that day, our own Photopass photographer for the event and a free 5×7 voucher to choose one of our photos!

So just how are you chosen to open a Disney park? Disney would have you to believe that this is a random occurrence. And, while some “randomness” does come into play. I believe there are a few tips any family can use to up their odds so to speak.

First and foremost, arrive early, arrive early, arrive early. If you are not at the turnstiles well before opening, you will not be in the running. There is no chance to be chosen if you are not at the park’s gate well before opening time.

The next tip is to befriend the turnstile cast members. In my experience, there is usually a cast member or two that are “in charge” of making the selection. It’s hard to tell who they are exactly, but when we were chosen for Animal Kingdom’s opening family, it was clear there was a cast member that was in charge of the selection and she was roaming about the “early” crowd looking for candidates! Talk to the cast members, ask questions, tell them about your kids, your trip and where you are from. I believe this helps your chance of being chosen. Our son had fallen down after standing on a planter box and skinned his knee. A cast member was asking us if he was alright after I gave him a band-aide and we struck up a small conversation. It happened to be the same cast member who chose us for the opening….coincidence? While I don’t recommend tossing your child off a Disney planter box….it might help. Be lively! Be “the” Disney family. Make your presence known, but don’t be obnoxious….there is a fine line to walk here.

My last tip is to dress your family alike. I know, I know, I hear the collective sigh of every dad in America. Don’t be afraid to walk on the wild side here dads! Sacrifice your pride for a wonderful family memory. I can’t promise it will happen, but I do believe it helps! First of all, you will be able to spot your family and children in the crowd….and so will the cast member looking for a family to open the park!! While this is not the deciding factor…and not always the case, start watching the families who are chosen. Often they are dressed alike, in Disney gear, or in bright colors! When our family opened Animal Kingdom, you guessed it, matching shirts!

So, try these tips next time you go to a Disney Park. If you are selected to open a Disney Park, remember to be gracious for the honor! Thank your cast members, smile and live it up! After all you likely were selected for some reason. (And, matching shirts really might help!)

Here’s to Magical Memories,

52 Days til Disneyland – Games of the Boardwalk!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

For Day 52 in our countdown, we are taking a look at an attraction that is, in my mind, anyway, a morph between Toy Story Midway Mania and the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Now, I know that the Games of the Boardwalk isn’t a shooting arcade — and probably isn’t even close to one.  However, the look of the building, with it’s old school charm, reminds me in some weird way of the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, as odd as that is.  Of course, the Games of the Boardwalk, which is located in the Paradise Pier section of Disney’s California Adventure Park, appears to have more of the types of games that we play when we ride Toy Story Midway Mania — except, of course, that these games are not done on computer screens!  I think that this will be a fun thing to take a look at and see what it’s all about.  Do you all like it?  If so, please let me know in the comments, or give me a heads up and tell me to skip it if need be, and thanks!

Tanya’s Review of Fantasmic! at Walt Disney World!

Image courtesy & ©Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Image ©Disney Parks

By Tanya.  Fantasmic! is the premiere nighttime show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is truly a spectacular show which follows the storyline of what would happen if we could look into Mickey Mouse’s dreams and nightmares. Fantasmic is filled with pyrotechnics, water projections, music and live entertainment that rival any nighttime show in the Disney Resort. Any evening in the Hollywood Studios park should be capped off with this beautiful display!

Fantasmic! takes all that is wonderful about Disney and rolls it into one amazing adventure! I rank it among the best live entertainment Disney has to offer in the entire resort and highly recommend it for everyone. While this show is recommended for all ages, bear in mind that the show may be loud or intense for younger viewers. Don’t let this discourage you and your family, as young visitors will see every major Disney character (and some surprises) in one fun filled, beautifully choreographed show that ends with the good guys prevailing!

Walt Disney World Gallery Photo

Image ©Disney Parks

Keep in mind that this show has limited seating and is subject to the evening’s weather. Ask any cast member or check your park map for show times during your visit. I highly recommend you arrive at least an hour prior to show time and enjoy the pre-show entertainers, resting with your family, and doing the “wave” with the crowd. Consider grabbing dinner from a quick serve restaurant or snacking on goodies from the vendors inside the amphitheatre area for your evening dinner. You may also consider making reservations with one of the reserved seating dinner packages Disney offers.

Fantasmic! is an impressive display of Imagineering and a must see attraction in the park. This is not a “fireworks” show. It includes a cast of entertainers, characters, and oh so much more. Get your smile ready, put your camera down, fix your eyes on the stage, and enjoy all there is to take in during the amazing show! You’ll tap your toe, bite your nails, and believe in Magic when it’s all over.

Image courtesy & ©Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Image ©Disney Parks