Sunday, August 28, 2011


My mouth is already watering. My tummy is growling and I am ready for some delicious eating.  You can get excited too!  This week Free Disney Dining dates were extended!  Wahooo!   That is exciting news!  I love the free dining incentives!  I am a huge fan of Disney food.  I love trying out new restaurants and new dishes each trip.  So, what are the dates for free Dining?   

Most nights from:

October 1-6th
October 22-November 3
November 12-17
November 26-December 15
January 8-12
January 12-February 6
February 11-16
March 3-8
March 24-29

So what does this all mean for you?  Well it means that you can take advantage of some awesome eating and if you get on those ADR's (say and see what exactly an ADR is in the DIS-tionary!).. asap then you can use some of those table service meals to secure some of the hottest dining dates (ehh, hmmm...Princesses, pooh bears, and Mad Hatters oh my!).  If you already booked within these dates and the were previously outside of the "Free Dining " deal, you can call to see if your stay qualifies for free dining.  Many people do and they get some extra magic in the form of the Free Fairy! 

Alright, let's wrap up this little chat with 3 pluses and a wish.  We do this all the time in the education field.  Basically I am writing down 3 things I love and 1 thing I wish was there...

+ Table Service credits can be combined to do special meals that would other wise cost an arm and a leg!

+ Having the dining plan (especially for FREE) takes a lot of stress out of your day.  There are so many options and I guarantee you won't get hungry!

+ With the exception of the gratuity at table service meals, there is no money exchanged.  All you have to do is take out your room key and your meals are deducted from your meal banks!

I wish...
the plan was free all the time.  You definitely get spoiled so it makes it hard not to want it when you don't have it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ellen's Energy Adven...zzz...zzzzz...zzzzz........

Okay, so this one time I made a terrible, horrible, rotten decision.  It was the first time back at Disney in a LONG time (like since childhood) and we had the day to spend at Epcot.  We did some amazing things.  I made paper from recycled paper pulp, we rode Soarin' a couple of times, We ate cinnamon glazed almonds and then we made what I might call the worst decision in the World. We rode Ellen's Energy Adventure.  As the title of this post infers, it was a snooze at best. This is just my story...
It started innocently enough.  We were wanting to find something with a quick wait.  It was hot so an inside experience was preferred.  I like Ellen and I love me some Bill Nye, what could be so bad about that?  So we make our way into the pre-show where there were masses of people strewn about the floor.  The pre-show left a lot to be desired but, the show is usually the meat and potatoes anyway so we waited through the show and began to cue up.  As we walked toward the loading section of the ride a cast member gave an ominous cry "this ride is 45 minutes long if you need to use the restroom or if you have dining reservations you might want to wait to ride later" by the time this resonated, we were positioned directly in the middle of a packed seating situation.  Each of the three massive "ride cars" began to fill up and be roped off.  The warning came on again.  It was my own fault.  I remember verbalizing "45 minutes.  They are just kidding".  Friends, there was no joke   The next 45 minutes of my life are a blur.  I was scared I would never see my family again (okay, that's a bit dramatic).  But seriously this ride was L    O   N   G   and boring.  Seriously it was not good at all.  I could look to my left and right and count tons of sleeping riders. I am sure they were having nightmares about being stuck in a parallel universe where they were forced to ride a long ride with no real point...oh wait...maybe that was real life...maybe that was me.  hmmm...
All I know is that when we (finally) got off, my brother and Dad thought we had abandoned them,  the sun hurt my eyes, and Spaceship Earth had added the past 10 years worth of technology that I missed during my stint on the Energy Adventure.  

Perhaps I should give it a second shot. I mean this ride did provide me nearly an hour out of the hot sun.  I got in a much needed nap.  I learned a little, I think. And for sure the music for the attraction is beautiful.

Nahhhh...I think I am going to stick with my gut and stay away from this attraction. What do you think of this "adventure" and yes,I use that term very, extremely , loosely?

Here's a little preview of the 45 minute...adventure?
from cousininmiami's youtube channel

oh and by the way..

If I step on any toes in this article please keep in mind that Disney World is my place...I mean no disrespect to the park of my heart but this ride is seriously horrible. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Make-up Magic! Heros and Heroines!

Alright, I came up with a few hero and heroine tutorials!  These were harder to find but they are just as amazing as the last set of gurus!

Mulan (as Ping)

Once again Promise works her magic!  I love her tutorials!  She can seriously transform herself into a different person!


Another great one from Promise.  I love this Pocahontas look complete with costume make over and forest pictures!

Jack Sparrow
by Kandee Johnson

Oh my goodness, I love me some Kandee Johnson.  In this tutorial she transforms herself to the ever so lovable and quirky Jack Sparrow.  I love it when she acts like the person she  is transforming into...she is a bird!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mementos of the Magic!

I love souvenirs.  My favorite place to purchase park goodies is the Magic Kingdom's Emporium.  I love looking at all the goodies and picking out the perfect gift for my friends, students, and family back home. I will admit with no embarrassment that I am on that buying list.  I love buying stuff for me.  Usually the things I buy are fun and have an amazing ability to teleport me back to the parks!  But, when I want something that makes me remember that particular stay I turn to the mementos off the "free" persuasion  (I know that one could fight that I actually paid for these "freebies" but I would push back and say that I took advantage of some extras).  I love these kinds of take homes because they take you back exactly to that particular day in the parks and they put a smile on my face and help tie me over until my next days in the park.  
Here are some of my favorite mementos to keep my Disney magic and memories alive!

Mickey Stickers

I love these things!  You can find cast members doling them out to eager guests.  I am always in this line!  I love to wear my Mickey proud and I usually ask for one on the paper backing to take home!

Magic Wand

I loved eating at Cinderella's Royal table.  We got these wands from our waiter.  Mostly the little girls had them but, I am going to ask for one too every time.  After all, I am a kid at heart!

Wishing Star

Each person gets a wishing star upon entrance into Cinderella's Royal table.  I put mine on my desk and I remember that day each time I see it!


I love the Mardi-gras beads you get at Port Orleans French Quarter.  I bring mine home each time and wear them in the parks!

Duffy Bear on a Stick

I take advantage of the kids activities at Epcot, for example the Duffy Bear on a stick.  I got one last time and colored him quickly.  I took him around Epcot and got a stamp from each country and then brought him back to show the children in my class.   It was like they were there with me!

Disney's Art of Animation Finished Drawing

I stinkin' love the Art of Animation.  I have never done the same drawing and that's what makes going each time so much fun.  I like to sign and date my work so that I can look back and remember that trip! 

Celebrate Buttons

What are you celebrating?  Chances are Disney has a button for that!  I make sure to pick up a new button from guest relations each time I go!  They even have fill in the blank buttons!

Character Autographs
I don't really "do" character autographs but, for kids or first time visitors these are cute and savor your memories of the magic!  I have seen some really cute ideas with autographs for example scrap booking and shadow boxes!

Park Tickets

Keeping your Key to the World card or park tickets is a good way to remember the trip.  I keep all mine, I love to add another card to the collection after each trip!

Okay, so do you have something that you keep as a memento of the magic that I didn't list?  Add it to the comments below.  Share your ideas to spread the magic!