Friday, May 30, 2014

Malificent review: Spoiler alert!!!

Photo copyrighted Disney all rights reserved

 I just got back from seeing Maleficent, and I have to say first of all I was in tears before the movie even began. There was a #DisneySide commercial that was so sweet, I looked like Pumba.

 Ok, back to the movie. The movie starts out with Maleficent as a very pretty young girl. She still had horns, but she was a very pretty winged creature. They showed her meeting a boy, who later betrays her and she takes everything out on the humans because the one she fell in love with betrayed her by cutting off her wings so he could become king.

 This is where Aurora comes into play. As she is born and given to the fairy creatures to take care of her until the day after her 16th birthday Maleficent puts a curse on her. 

 She lives with the "aunties", and low and behold Maleficent is not the bad winged creature we all thought. She protected her and became her fairy godmother as Aurora calls her. She spends lots of time with Maleficent and they develop a bond.

 The aunties then let it out that her father is alive. Her father has turned cold and super mean after trying to send out all his armies to kill Maleficent. After she kills or hurts hundreds of men, Aurora is brought back to her dad, and is locked up. She escapes, and the curse has taken hold as she is back the day of her 16th birthday. 

  Now, all through the movie, I never thought I would actually feel bad for a supposed 
 villain. I felt bad for her as she was the one looking after and protecting Aurora.

 Aurora then pricks her finger on the needle, and falls into her sleep, and supposedly only true love's kiss can save her, but low and behold, it's really an act of true love.

 So, after the act with Maleficent, she awoke, and then as they are escaping to live with the Moors, she is captured. This is where the dragon comes into play. More people are killed or hurt and just when you thought Maleficent was done for, Aurora comes and saves her by letting her caged up wings go, and they reach to her, and Aurora is now the victor... and you know how the story goes, they lived happily ever after....

 Now, this is just a brief run down on what happened. It was very much like a few movies rolled into one. You had the fairies from Tink, though not the same ones, just pixies, and then creatures that looked like they were from Avatar, and some of the time I swore I was watching Narnia, so that was cool.

 The graphics were amazing. It was a very dark movie. Most of the time it was black and grey, with touches of light. 

 It really surprised me in the end...I really liked it, I give it 4 out of 5 Mickey heads. Angelina Jolie played a good part, the castle scenes were good and I loved the Moor's land. 

 Would I recommend this to kids? Maybe 10 and up depending on maturity and other similar movie experiences. Younger than that, I don't think they would understand. I didn't find it very scary at all.

 The biggest thing I will take away from this movie is I now see Maleficent in a whole new light.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Around the World: Main Street, USA

"Main Street, U.S.A. is America at the turn of the century - the crossroads of an era. The gas lamps and the electric lamps, the horse drawn car and the auto car. Main Street is everyone's home town...the heart line of America." - Walt Disney

The first of the Magic Kingdom's lands is Main Street, USA.  Inspired by Walt's home town, Main Street has introduced the world with its 20th century small town America. It is full of unique shops, horse-drawn transportation, architectural details and the smell of fresh baked cookies. 

"All Aboard" is heard as soon as you enter through the tunnel, under the railroad tracks. Walt was a big fan of the railroad. The Walter E. Disney," "Lilly Belle" (Walt's wife), "Roy O. Disney" (Walt's Brother), Roger E. Broggie (Disney Imagineer) are the names of the steam engines of the Walt Disney World Railroad. The engines were bought in Yucatan and shipped to the Gulf Coast to be renovated. Now each engine pulls passengers  around the Magic Kingdom for a one and a half mile ride with stops in Frontierland and Fantasyland.

As you enter, you will see City Hall and the Fire Station to your left. Have you ever noticed that the Fire Station is No. 71, marking the year that the Magic Kingdom opened? Next to the Fire Station is the Harmony Barber Shop. This is a live working salon where you get everything from pixie dust in your hair to having your "Baby's First Hair Cut." I did this with two of my kids and it's a memory I will always cherish. They supply you with his/her Mickey Ears with " My First Hair Cut" stitched on the back with a certificate. On your right as you enter you have the "Theater." This is the most popular place to meet and greet with Mickey Mouse.

As you walk down Main Street, the second story windows have the names of Disney executives, contributing artists, and family members. These men and women were very important in the development of Walt Disney World. Walt's window is facing the Magic Kingdom because he wanted it to represent him waving as each guest was exiting the park. The architectural details of the buildings uses a technique called forced perspective giving the illusion that the buildings are taller than what they really are and appear further away, drawing you in. (Editors note: Conversely, upon exiting the Magic Kingdom the same technique is used to make the Train Station appear closer when you're tired!) When you first enter the Magic Kingdom, the ground is red to represent the feel of a red carpet. Walt wanted everyone to feel like that were going to a show. The tunnels represented the lobby which consisted of posters displaying the next feature film. The second story windows are the opening credits.

Keep an eye out for Main Street performers that appear throughout the day.  To avoid crowds, it's best to not to visit this area during parades and closing of the rides.

There are no other words to describe this very magical place other than " The Magic Kingdom." It's where yesterday, today, and tomorrow touches the hearts and minds of everyone. I remember walking down Main Street when I was 13 and telling my parents I want to work here some day and 20 years later my dream did come true. Every time since then, when I walk down Main Street I have flashbacks of that day. Dreams really do come true!

OPENING DAY: Disneyland ~ July 17, 1955, Walt Disney World ~ October 1, 1971, Tokyo ~ April 15, 1983, Disneyland Paris ~ April 12, 1992.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who's Who Wednesday: Maleficent

I’m here to tell you about a certain villain. One we’ve all grown up with and have probably been scared of at one point or another in our childhood. This villain is Maleficent, the queen of all evil and probably the most feared Disney villain known to date. As a kid, I loved watching Sleeping Beauty. It was one of my favorites (just behind Cinderella). Well, the scene where Maleficent transforms into a giant fire breathing dragon used to scare me to death. Just seeing Maleficent was scary to me, she was what a real villain looked like in my eyes.
In a book series about the Disney Parks, known as the Kingdom Keepers,  Maleficent plays the role of the main antagonist, looking to make Disney World a place where nightmares come true instead of dreams. But she doesn’t want to stop there. No, Maleficent wants control of the world outside the parks, and will stop at nothing until she has it.
Maleficent is featured in quite a few things Disney related that I am a fan of. She also features as a pretty impressive villain in my favorite video game series known as Kingdom Hearts. In these games, Maleficent was the very first villain we encounter in the whole series, and she’s not even the main bad guy! But she is set on ruling the countless Disney worlds that make up this awesome series.
As you can see, Maleficent is a serious villain and when I was little I ran into her at the Magic Kingdom. Now remember, I was like four years old at the time and this is one of my earliest memories I have at the parks. This was back when you’d see princesses and other characters just walking around out in the park, so of course they could walk up to you and talk if they wanted.
Well, anyway, my mom and I were looking at the princess pins in Fantasyland while my dad and older brother were off riding something in Tomorrowland. That was back when I wouldn’t ride anything but the carousel. So here I was just a little kid looking at Sleeping Beauty pins. At the time I had an obsession with, as I liked to call her, Sleeping Judy. While I was picking out which one I liked most (and which one had the most sparkles), Maleficent walked up to me. She pointed at a pin of herself and told me I should get that one. Needless to say, I started bawling my eyes out right then and there and ran to hide behind mom. I think I spent the rest of the day afraid of running into her again.

Now that I’m older, Maleficent doesn’t scare me at all. Like a lot of people, I stopped being so scared of this villain, and now I think she’s actually a pretty cool bad guy and I’m excited to go see the movie about her being released this week. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

24 Hours at Disney World

  It's that time of year where another 24 day is happening at Walt Disney World, and Disneyland/DCA for our friends on the West Coast. The first one was 2 years ago on Feb 29th, "Leap Day", it was called "One More Disney Day", and at the time it seemed like a one time thing, though most thought they would do it again. Then last year, well they did do it again, on May 24th, for the "Monstrous Summer All Nighter". Now once again they are doing it this year on May 23rd, and it's pretty clear this will be a yearly event. This year it is called the "Rock Your Disney Side" 24 hour event. This year is a little different because, much like during MNSSHP, you can dress up in costumes!

  I will be attending this years event just as I have the previous 2, and will all future ones as long as I can! I attend these events by myself because I wife doesn't want to go and my son is only 4 1/2 so he wouldn't last. The first year was fun, it was something that was being done for the first time and was something to be part of. I got to the Magic Kingdom at about 5 am and figured there wouldn't be too many people, but I was wrong. The entrance was packed, not only with other guests there for the day but with news outlets, websites, and cast members. They had Mickey and Minnie out for the cameras in their pj's and had a special "rope drop" show, then everyone entered. I remember this very clearly, mostly because of how unclear the morning was. It was so foggy in the morning that from the end of the Main Street where you come out of the train station you could barely see Cinderella Castle. As I made my way down Main Street I decided to head to Tomorrowland and ride the Astro Orbiter since I don't ride it much when I'm with my family. From there I headed to Space Mountain and then just made my way around the park. I got through most of the rides then got some food and rode some more rides. About midday I just sat and rested and people watched. I found myself an outlet, which can be difficult, (though not so much now that they have the charging stations in the Tangled area, and the new "phone charging lockers") charged my phone up and after a while I started all over again.

  Now just because I went by myself doesn't mean I was alone. Disney addicts are some of the friendliest people, so I was never short of "new friends". Some of the best people to talk with were the Cast Members, especially as it got into the wee hours. Lots of them were there in the morning having fun, then back in the evening to work. As it got into the late/early hours the park really took on a "party" atmosphere, from the dance party from about 1am on in the Castle Hub, to the Cast Members not being so strict on some of the rules, still doing what needed to be done for safety though. Mostly what I'm talking about is letting you stay on rides longer, and the shows were a lot more relaxed. For example I did the Country Bear Jamboree at about 3 am and it was me, two other guests and a bunch of off duty Cast Members and the guy "running" the show, just kinda said "No Smoking or eating, otherwise enjoy", and left off other parts of the pre-show speech. Let me just say it was the most fun I had watching that show ever, everyone was up and dancing, clapping, and singing along. If everyone could experience this attraction like that I think it would be packed all the time.

  The night slowly wound down, I didn't leave right at 6am. I took my time getting out of the park. I had a really good conversation with an older gentleman all about Disney and the history of the parks on a slow walk down Main Street to the exit. One of the oddest things was that all the shops were closed up. I've never seen that. It really showed that they wanted people out so they could get ready for the day that was coming very soon.

  Last year was much the same, though this time I had some friends I spent most of the day with. It was nice to have others with me, though they did take a midday break and went back to there resort, and they left about 2am, so I still had some time to myself which I also enjoy. The theme was "Monstrous Summer" in honor of the Monsters University coming out. I enjoyed seeing all the monster stuff, i.e. cupcakes, merchandise, characters. My first ride this year was also the Astro Orbiter, mostly by chance, but none the less it has now become a tradition for me that it will always be my first ride for these events. My day again was rides, food, rides, break, rides, with lots of fun throughout. The last ride I rode was The Carousel of Progress, and it was just before 6am and I dozed off and when I woke the ride was over. When I exited I saw the Cast Member working the attraction, but no one else, Tomorrowland was empty, I wish I had gotten some pictures, but my phone and camera were both dead at this point. Needless to say it was kinda creepy. All I could think was "I shouldn't be here and need to leave." So I made my way towards the Hub and as I was walking I saw more and more people so I felt calmer. I took the opportunity to get some pictures of Cinderella Castle with no one around and a few other random shots then made my way out. One other neat thing was the the bus driver who dropped me off at the Magic Kingdom the morning before was the same one who picked me up to take me back to my resort!

  Both times though it was a "24 hour event" it was more of a 25 - 26 hour event for me, and I loved every minute. I can't wait for this year, especially with the addition of the Hero's and Villians, and getting to see all the costumes people come up with. If you're thinking about doing it I would definitely recommended it. Though it's a long day, it's lots of fun and if you must nap there's plenty of places too do that, though I think napping is kind of cheating lol. So have you done any of the past events? Are you going to be going this year? Do you hope they do more in the future? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. As always have a Magical day and see you real soon!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Princess Hair Bling- Review

I received free products to review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I couldn’t have been more excited to have an opportunity to review the Disney inspired ribbon sculpture headband.  I had seen items similar to this in the past but was never quite sure where to get something like this.  I have learned that the website is the place to go when I am looking for a similar item in the future.  Not only are there Disney themed headbands and barrettes on this page, but there are countless items that would please most any little girl.

My daughter is seven and her eyes lit up as the headband came out of the envelope.  She knew exactly who the ribbon represented and tried the headband on immediately.  The metal headband was covered with a shimmery metallic green ribbon.  The tips were covered with black rubber, which provides comfort and keeps the ribbon in place.  The character design is about three inches tall and one and one half inches wide.    It is made of colorful ribbon that matches the traditional colors of the character perfectly.  Iridescent ribbon was used to create the wings.

When my daughter put the headband on she said that it felt comfortable.  It wasn’t too heavy and didn’t slip on her fine hair.  I was worried that the metal design and lack of teeth on the headband would cause a problem for her but she seemed to prefer it to a more traditional headband.  She wasn’t excited about taking the headband off but was enthusiastic to learn about the other designs available through the website.  She quickly named the large number of additional designs available and asked which other ones she could purchase.  My daughter is extremely picky and quite fashion conscious.  This was quite the compliment for these headbands.  She started thinking about any outfit that she had that had some green so she could wear the headband multiple times throughout the week.  I would recommend this item to others.

I received free products to review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Flower and Garden Festival: The Smoke House Smoked Beef Brisket

This was another one of my husband's favorite spots: The Smokehouse. I tried it last year and was not that thrilled with the pulled pork sandwiches; so this year we figured we would try the beef brisket.

The Brisket came with collard greens and  jalapeno corn bread on the side. The collard greens were so good, I could have taken just a big ole' bowl of those!

The brisket was good and the collards were soo yummy, but the corn bread was just too dry. This dish costs $6.75.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Who's Who Wednesday: Tara Lyn

As my first entry, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Tara, a wife and a mother of three. I have been going to Disney ever since I was 5 years old. My dream job was to be a computer animator for WDW. I was fortunate enough to do the Walt Disney World college program in Fall '98 and lived out part of my dream. While I was there, I networked with a lot of Imagineers and received a Ducktorette from Disney University. Yes, they have their own Disney University. After the program was over, I went back to Georgian Court College to finish getting my BFA in Graphic Design, hoping one day to return to Disney. During this time,  I met my husband. As both of us were trying to decide what to do after we graduated, both of us applied for the WDW College Program Summer 2000. The waiting process went really fast and we were both accepted. However, I was the only one who accepted the offer.  As time went by and we both had to make a decision where our relationship was going, we moved to Orlando, Florida to start pursuing my dream. We eventually got married in Downtown Orlando. It was a very small wedding with just family. Subway catered it with 2 six foot subs. The reception was at my parents Westgate timeshare. Our honeymoon was spent at the Magic Kingdom with dinner at Chef Mickey's. Although it was the best time working for Disney, I needed more than just working in the theme parks. I got a Graphic Design job in Kissimmee, FL and was maintaining a part time status with Disney. About 8 months later, we were at a point in our lives when we wanted to start thinking about kids. We both decided to move back home, closer to family.  In 2006, we had our first son, 2008 our second son, and in 2010 our little princess. Our kids have been to Disney every year since they were born with the exception of the year I had my daughter. We are hoping to renew our vows on our 15 year anniversary in 2016. That's my story in a nutshell.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Flower and Garden Festival: Hanami Frushi and Pineapple Paradise

This is one of those items I could eat 100 of. I was so excited to see this back on the menu as this is my ultimate favorite little dish.

It is located at the Hanami booth, and it's called Frushi. This little one bite snack is like sushi for kids. Its coconut rice sourrounded by a light sushi like soft covering. In the middle is seasonal fruit and somewhere is also has some toasted coconut; but it's not even noticeable. It is then placed on a drizzle of raspberry sauce and a nice little dollop of whipped cream. The price this year has gone up to $4.50, but they added another piece.

For a drink at Hanami I got a Pineapple Paradise with Yuzu slushi. This is a frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and cream flavored with yuzu citrus juice. This was one of the strangest slushies I have ever had. It was like foam, not icy slush. It was pretty good taste wise. It was $8.50 for the glass.


         Pinapple Paradise drink

Sunday, May 4, 2014

MAYleficent Giveaway

We're very excited about our MAYleficent giveaway! We've partnered with some great Disney Pals to bring you all these awesome Maleficent inspired items!

Strip Work peasant dress from Prickly Pear. Choose any combo of the villains fabrics pictured. Sizes for most from 12 months to 10 years.

Kleenex tissue holder from Lizzie's Right Brain

Headband from Smart Moms, Sassy Daughters

Gift card/Ticket/Resort Card wallet from Lizzie's Right Brain

Personalized Luggage Tag from Lizzie's Right Brain

Neck Lanyard from Lizzie's Right Brain

T-Shirt with Maleficent applique from Ava Baby Co. 
(Choice of sizes available and T-Shirt color and brand may vary from picture.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flower and Garden Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with Pineapple soft serve

There were some really good new items this year at the Flower and Garden Festival.

This year at the Pineapple Promenade they had a sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve on top. This was really one of the best things I have ever eaten! With the warmth of the waffle and the cool of the pineapple dole whip ice cream on top it was like they were meant to be together.

The waffle was kinda small, but ohh so good, and crisp. The pineapple ice cream was smooth and creamy. This only cost 3.50 and worth every penny!