Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Disney's Frozen Review

Wow.  I could start and end the review right there.  I walked into the theater knowing absolutely nothing about this movie.  I had only seen the movie posters, but not even a single commercial.  The first 5 minutes caught me and I was hooked until the end.

First let me say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Idina Menzel, so hearing her voice turned my already smiling face into a smile from ear to ear.  The songs were beautiful, the visuals were stunning, the story was entertaining and heart warming.  I really fell in love with Tangled and Frozen gave me the same feelings.

Elsa's character is just beautiful.  Do I detect a little Elphaba in there?
The story took me by surprise.  Being a children's animated movie, I didn't expect much more than a fun snow ride with cutesy and funny characters thrown in.  The sisters were enchanting and their story of love melted my heart.  There were a few moments in the film when I didn't know which way it would unfold.  Olaf, the snowman, provided the comic relief of the movie and it was really exciting to see my son laughing when he was on screen.  There were few parts that were dark in nature, but overall Frozen was completely captivating.

The ice formations were dazzling all throughout the film.

I will definitely be taking my husband to see this and I'll be the first one in line to buy it when it comes out on DVD.

Frozen opens in theaters TODAY!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Magic of Disney Animation

This little gem is located in Disney Hollywood Studios. In the Art of Animation building you will find many Disney characters in a big meet and greet spot, but to the right side is the Animation Academy. You are seated in a little waiting area and this class repeats about every 30 minutes.

While we waited, we were entertained by guessing which character was being drawn on the screens located overhead in the waiting area. When it was time to go into our class, we were led into a room with drawings all over the place and many lighted "drafting looking" tables with light up boxes on them. On the top was your fresh clean sheet of paper. You just put it on the hooks, grab your pencil and you're ready to go.

Light up boxes so you can see what you're drawing.

There is a real animation artist at the front with the camera on their page, which is directed to a big huge screen for you to see what he or she is doing. The class is only about 15 minutes long, but it is super fun. I have been wanting to do it for a long time.

Big screen at the front. You can go up and ask questions at the end.

One of the pics around the room.

So, our character of the day was Rapunzel from Tangled. (There are different characters taught at different times.) It was really fun to learn how to draw a character and I hope to go again next time I am there.

Hubby all ready to go.

My finished product!

Remember to get to the spot early, the class only holds so many people. This makes for a really nice free souvenir!

On the way out you can meet and greet with a lot of the characters and even see some really neat new art concepts. Also, the store on the way out has some really cool art, drawing kits, pens, pencils, etc... to fit all of your imagination!

One of the art pics in the store on the way out. This one was $695.00

 We had a ton of fun doing this, and you will too!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Disney Home

     Hi everyone!  I haven't gotten to blog for a bit and have missed you all. Let me remind you a
about me, I was born and raised in California, my parents took me to Disneyland when I was about six months and every few years or when they could afford it.  We did take one trip to WDW when I was 13.  When my husband and I got married and had children we started taking them to Disneyland and continued to go at least once a year. We go more when we can but the Army likes to station us far, far away from all the parks!  So in March, while moving from Hawaii to Kansas, we decided to spend my husband's leave time in WDW.  We stayed for 21 days at Shades of Green and bought season passes and spent every day in a park, it was fantastic!  We had planned on going back in February before my husband deploys and before our passes run out.  One night we were sitting around with our kids and discussing our next trip when all of us decided that we wanted to go to Disneyland instead of WDW.  It was a weird and surprisng decision that made us all very happy.  This made me wonder, if we all have a park that is "home" to us? Do other Disney parks just not hold up?  So let me say this, we LOVED WDW!!  Loved it, had a blast and would never change that vacation.  There were things in WDW that Disneyland doesn't have, like the pirate tours our kids did and being in WDW the whole trip was amazing. However, the whole time I was there, I found myself saying "if only they had this part of Disneyland in WDW it would be perfect!"  It's funny to talk to people who grew up in Florida and that is their home.  I had a friend say "no Figment in DL?  That is terrible!"  If you are from DL you most likely don't even know who Figment is, but after our last trip and seeing my youngest fall in love with him, I can see how that is something that would be hard for a WDW baby to not have.  For me, it was Fantasyland at WDW. Small World was so small,  I missed Mr. Toad and Storybookland so much my heart hurt a bit. Alice and Pinocchio and Casey Jr.'s train, all hard to not have. But the New Fantasyland was great. I loved Belle's Enchanted Tales and eating at Be our Guest and the soon to be done mine train ride for Snow White looks so fun!   I don't think it is fair to compare the two parks. They are both full of love, magic and dreams. I don't think either fails to inspire Disney magic and honestly I don't think there is another vacation that could ever compare!  I feel as though Disney needs to build a park, preferably in Kansas, and I will help plan it.   So what park is your home park?  What magic would you like to see at a different park?  

Magic kisses and hugs!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Birthday!

*UPDATE*  We ran this article two years ago today. Today we have almost 5,500 Awesome Amazing Disney fans and friends! There have been a few other changes in writing staff, but everything else is still pretty much the same. We are a Disney O'hana, helping each other through the good times and the not so good, and laughing and loving each other each step of the way. One other change... Shannan is now a Disney Travel Specialists! She can now help you book that wonderful Disney trip of a lifetime and share her love of all things Disney and help you to have the best time possible with her experience and concierge service! All that said, Happy Birthday to our own Shannan! LOVE YA!

We've often said that we have the BEST fans in the "Disney fan community"... which is absolutely true! ;) But, part of that comes from having an AWESOME page owner that fosters a feeling of community, respect and belonging. We are blessed to have that in our page owner Shannan! And... today is her birthday!!! Not only has she brought together a great group of over 3,000 Disney (or Mickey) Addicts, she has brought together an amazing group of writers and contributors. She makes us all feel like family! Many of us in the writer's group have met "in real life" at the parks and I think most of us would claim each other as true friends. (Even though many of us, surprisingly, haven't actually met Shannan!) We support each other, laugh together and cry together as a group about everything, not just Disney things. Most of all, we have an awesome group of people to "talk Disney with" and who understand our... high level of "fandom" ;) Without further ado, here are just a few words that we wanted to share with you about one of the nicest people and Disney page owners out there!  (Warning, grab your tissues! ;) )

From Adam: "Shannan is a great Disney loving lady. She brought me on to write for A2M a little over a year and a half ago, and I am ever so grateful she did. In that time I've met her one time, and of course it was at Disney World! It is because of her that my love of Disney has grown and involvement with with other things Disney, outside of this page, have happened. I'm very thankful that she started this page and that she brought me on when she did! She loves Disney, her family, and Duck Dynasty and for that I say "thank you", have a magical day, and that I would gladly buy her a "Disney apple" any time!"

From Amy: "As a newbie to the A2M team, I have never met Shannan, but I already know that she is one of the most supportive and kind individuals whom I have ever been lucky enough to encounter. I wish her all the joy and happiness she can handle on her special day and I look forward to making Disney memories with her!"

From Angela: "Seems so crazy to say I have not yet met Shannan. I feel as though I know her so well through Facebook and messages. Shannan is so open and lets you into her wonderful world and love of Disney.  I am so grateful for Shannan inviting me into this special group of Disney lovers. It is so clear to me what a loving, devoted mother Shannan is. I love seeing pictures of her kids and everything she does for them. I hope your birthday is as fantastic as you are!"

From April: "I have never actually met Shannan but I have become closer to her than some people I see face to face on a daily basis! She always sends me a quick pick me up and nice words when I need them and without asking! I am so looking forward to seeing this chick in the upcoming year and go on all the adventures we have planned!! Love you Shannan!!!"

From Darleen: "I am blessed to count Shannan as a friend. (OK, I call her a "Disney Sister" and DBFF) I have had the opportunity to meet up with her (at WDW of course) not once, but three times now! I recently asked her if she remembered how and when we first 'met' because it seems we have known each other much longer than the year and a half or so that we have. I've enjoyed getting to know her not only in person but also through Facebook and our frequent chats. She is not only one of the biggest Disney fans I know, but also an amazing mother and friend. She is a truly caring person that is the first one to offer encouraging words, prayers and Pixie Dust before you even know you need it! I am so thankful that she brought this awesome group of Disney lovers together as a Disney O'hana! Shannan, you deserve all the happiness and Pixie Dust you can handle for your birthday and I wish you a year filled with Wonder and Happiness!"

From Dawn: "I have never met Shannan, but we share this Disney bond, and that is what makes her even more special to me. I love my Disney friends. Shannan always has something uplifting to say, and is such a huge supporter. She took me on as a writer, and for that I am so grateful to her. I love reading about her love for Duck Dynasty and the love of the South in general. She is a true family mom, and I hope one day to meet her and tell her "Thank You" face to face! Have an awesome happy happy happy day girl!!"

From Heather: "I met Shannan through a Disney website where I entered a contest. The prize was a postcard from a character that my kids would be interested in. She contacted me to ask who I would want the postcard from and when we were planning to return to Disney. Not too much later, I liked the Addicted to Mickey website. At that time, Shannan asked if anyone was interested in writing on the blog. I was so excited to have the opportunity to share my love of Disney with other Disney lovers. People tend to think that my addiction to Mickey and all related things is crazy. People who belong to Shannan's group understand my craziness. I loved the chance to write weekly reflections in trips and tips that I have taken to Disney World, Disneyland and on the Disney Cruise."

    From Karla: "Happy Birthday to a lady I met online getting ready to plan a Disney trip. Even though my trip got cancelled, we continued to talk and become friends! She prays for my family and sends Pixie Dust just at the right time! One day I hope to meet up with her and her family. If we are lucky maybe it will be at Disney World! Happy Birthday my friend!" 

    From Kayla: "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Shannan before, but I just want to thank her for welcoming me and adding me to the A2M team. She and everyone in the group has been very supportive of my time at the Disney College Program and I enjoy every article I am able to put up for the blog. Happy Birthday Shannan!!"

    From Shelby: "The first time I met Shannan I was taking her photopass picture at Hollywood Studios. She was so open and inviting for me to come join her blog. I will never forget that first meeting and the couple of times I have spent at WDW with her!"

    Shannan, we love you! Thank you for being such an awesome "page owner". You are an Amazing woman and we want to thank you for bringing all of us together and we hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Who's Who: Will Bumgardner

    Greetings from the West Coast! My name is Will and I am a serious Disney-aholic. I'm 36 years old and have been married for 13 years to my darling wife, Julie. We have an 8-year-old son, Morgan, who loves Disney just as much as we do. Being in Nevada, we get to Disneyland more often than we get to Disney World. However, we do try to get to "The World" once a year. We also own in Disney Vacation Club, so that definitely helps us get to Orlando.

    Outside of Disney I am currently homeschooling our son. I also umpire baseball, announce for various sports in the area,  and am also a judge for the card game Magic: The Gathering. So, I do keep busy.

    I look forward to not only sharing some of my knowledge with everyone, but also learning new things from other people.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Who's Who: Amy Decker

    Welcome aboard! My name is Amy Decker, and I’ll be your skipper, your lion tamer, alligator wrestler, and if you don’t laugh at my jokes, your swim instructor. Oh wait, we aren’t on the Jungle Cruise anymore! Even though I may have hung up my skipper uniform well over ten years ago, my love for Disney will never be put on the shelf, and I am so excited to share my love of Disney with you as a part of the Addicted 2 Mickey team! I am a wife to my Prince Charming, Mike, and mommy to my two adorable little ones, Arabella and Axton.

    Loving all things Disney, for me, started at a very young age, when every year my Dad and I would take a very special trip to Walt Disney World all the way from our home in the Seattle area. My love blossomed through my teen years and through college when I decided to attend UCF so I could work at the happiest place on earth.  Since then, I have been a devoted annual pass holder and my husband even proposed on Disney property! To say that we are a Disney loving family is very much an understatement. We frequent the parks at least once a month, and every time we go, something new and magical is experienced. In my spare, non-Disney time, I train for and run half marathons. RunDisney races are my one true love when it comes to fitness, they are the absolute best! For me and my family, Disney is more than just theme parks with smiling faces and heartwarming characters; more than blockbuster movies, enchanting resorts, and the most enjoyable races on the planet. Disney, much like Santa, or the spirit of holidays, has an intrinsically magical quality for us. I am a proud Disney addict, and I can’t wait to share my magical experiences with you!