Whenever we go to Walt Disney World, we try as many hotels as we can. Visiting Coronado Springs Resort was super exciting, as the Invictus Games were being held at ESPN World of Sports while we visited and many of the athletes were on the property. I find that this is one of the beautiful things about Disney – you meet so many interesting people from all walks of life and can learn so much. My kids chatted with a British wheelchair volleyball athlete and watched him remove his prosthetic leg as they stood in awe!
Since my last trip to Disney World two years ago, the resort has introduced magic bands. Mailed to your home prior to your trip so you have them on arrival, each Disney World ‘Magic Band‘ is engraved with the names of the respective members in your party. The bands come in 8 solid colours—pink, green, red, purple, orange, yellow, blue, and grey. Basically, the My Disney Experience website emails to let you know when your bands are being sent to your home (Don’t worry, if you make a last minute reservation you can pick them up at the resort when you arrive.) They’re sleek and pretty cool actually, but if you want something a bit fancier (think: Star Wars or Frozen) you can grab those online at the Disney Store.
Though Disney has received criticism for some of their Disney princess characters of the past—exaggerated in dimension, with tiny waists and huge eyes, they didn’t represent “real women” in shape. Despite this talk, however, I never looked down on these characters or their stories. Then again, you can find me on any given day flipping through pages of numerous fashion magazines, feeling inspired and proud of my gender, not angered at the logistics of airbrushing.
What’s New at Walt Disney World? The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is an inspiring and exciting event and as I sit in the Yacht Club Resort’s conference room, I am live blogging about all that’s new and exciting here.
Check Out What’s New at Walt Disney World for 2016/2017
Conception Drawing: Disney Parks
Well, not only cold and frozen things have been good for Disney over the past couple of years. After the 4 billion dollar acquisition of rights to Star Wars from Lucas Films, both North American parks broke ground for soon to be 14 acres each of Star Wars Land. April 14th, 2016 was the groundbreaking ceremony both at Disneyland park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida for the new Star Wars Land. According to the Disney Parks Blog, ” guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet inhabited by humanoids, droids and many others. Star Wars-themed lands will be the largest-ever single-themed land expansions at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.”
Nothing like Valentines Day to announce to the kids that we are off to Disneyland! I was honoured with an invitation to Disney Social Media Moms in April and decided to do a reveal to the kids on a romantic Valentine night.
We showed the kids our #DisneySide with Mickey hands, sparkly red heart balloons and mouse ears.
They ate Mickey Grilled Cheese and extra special cookies. I am such a kid!
Have you done a special Disney reveal for your kids? Tell us about it!
Every time I enter DisneyLand, Walt Disney World or one of the Disney cruises, pixie dust fills my lungs, families get giddy and stress is stomped like a marshmallow. This year I have been showered with love and good fortune and yet I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t always recognize the blessings around me. I allow myself to get stampeded by work and *gasp*, complain sometimes. In travels to California and Florida, Disney has taught me several things, and my goal for 2014 is to incorporate as many of the lessons into my own life as I can. Here are my 12 Disney-inspired New Year’s resolutions.
1. It’s good to be scared sometimes. A little push to boost the adrenaline can remind you that you always survive risks. At times we forget to truly ‘live’ and ‘feel’ when we get bogged down with the day-to-day. The Radiator Springs Racers in Disney’s California Adventure, Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom and the Test Track presented by Chevrolet at Epcot will all get your heart going again.
2. Even if you can’t travel you can still explore cultures. Epcot features countries from around the world and the people working at each pavilion are actually from the countries represented. You can create cultures and experiences with your kids at home by exploring foods, languages and styles of dress – even if you can’t hop a jet to China.
3. Stimulate all of your senses. My favourite ride in both parks is ‘Soarin’. The magic happens when you soar over California in a simulated hang glider and odours pumped into the air correspond to the images you are seeing on-screen. Orange orchards,the pacific ocean and cedar forests bring all of your senses to life.
4. Learn from the animals. Of all of the experiences I have had with Disney, the Animal Kingdom is still a favourite. I like to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a room that allows me to watch the animals in the Savannah all night long. The kids are given special checklists so they can find and learn about the animals during breaks from the parks. Giraffes rarely sleep and the interactions between the antelopes and other animals is mesmerizing. On the Kilimanjaro Safari in the Animal Kingdom you learn about habitats of the animals and see something different every time.
5. Don’t complain. One of the joys of being at Disney is that the staff are smiling and happy all the time. Even after long days and hot hours they treat each person like it’s the vacation of a lifetime. I’m going to try and do this every time I get gas, have a parking spot nabbed or am in the grocery checkout line.
7. It’s ok to make mistakes. Whether it is the Beast being nasty to Belle, Ariel agreeing to give up her voice or Woody being jealous of Buzz – we all make mistakes. Realize them, apologize, sing a song or two and move on. You’ll be much more fulfilled in life.
6. Dance often and spontaneously. The parades and dancing never stop at Disney and even the least co-ordinated visitors find their feet tapping. Every time there’s a show a whole community is created through the arts. Everyone is equal and experiencing something together.
8. Lighten your plate. Disney has taken a strong stance on healthy eating over the past year with their Mickey Check icon on nutritious menu choices and they even have healthy downloadable recipes to try. And squirt the ketchup in a Mickey shape once in a while.
9. Be a kid. Go ahead – pose with a princess, try to win a stuffed toy and go to Cinderella’s Castle for brunch. It’s ok to have fun and recreate the innocence and playfulness of childhood.
10. Go all in. If you’re going to do it, give it everything you’ve got. As an actor playing a role I’d have the proper coins in my pocket even when the audience would never know. But going all in made me more authentic. This is what Disney does at every turn.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post though UrbanMommies has been invited to Disney Parks in the past. All of our opinions are our own.
You know you feel special when a cruise line picks your hometown as a departure port. We luckily got to tour the Disney Wonder prior to her first Vancouver – Alaska sailing. The ship, like the Disney Fantasy was elegant, filled with mystique and the first class service Disney always provides. Here are our top 10 favourite tips when heading to Alaska on the Disney Wonder.
2. Crew members announce each family via microphone, making your little princesses, pirates (and Mom and Dad) feel special from the moment you step aboard.
3. Servers follow your family to each of the 3 dining rooms. This is a revolutionary concept in cruising, and ensures that your personal staff know your menu requirements. Knowing that you liked the dark beer last night, they may suggest a fun alternative. Being aware of kids allergies or gluten-free preferences adds an extra layer of safety to Disney’s already allergy-friendly alternatives
5. Before 9pm kids are allowed in the nightclubs so they can experience a taste of the adult spaces on the ship. Awesome for teaching.
6. Palo is an adults-only restaurant and brunch is over the top. Reservations are required and we’d recommend you make one as soon as u get on the ship!
7. Unlike the other Disney cruise destinations, there are no fireworks on the Alaska itinerary in order to honour the environment.
8. The Spa sells a limited number of passes for the Rainforest Relaxation Room. With water features, lounges and soft music our family will certainly nab a pass for our next cruise. Services in the spa include barber services for men and teeth whitening for women. You may become the 12th Disney princess.
9. Personal training is available as well as boot camps and body sculpting in the gym. The experts in the spa also offer footprint analysis.
11. ‘Ionithermie’ is a special treatment that flushes toxins out of the body and you could lose up to 8 inches during the cruise.
12. The child activity areas are incredible and while on the Fantasy, my kids never wanted to leave. Children are not only outfitted with a GPS so their location in the facilities can be determined immediately, but parents are constantly reachable via wave phone that is provided in the stateroom.
13. The Nursery is for kids from 12 weeks to 3 years and requires an extra fee ($6 per hour, per child). The Oceaneers Club hosts 3-12 year olds.
So head to Vancouver, grab an ocean-view cabin (you don’t want to miss the stunning views) and let the Disney Wonder sweep you off your feet. Your kids will be transfixed by Northwest culture, and you may lost up to 8 inches (if you can resist the glorious food).
Her mother Queen Elinor placed the crown atop her head as she yelled – “I am Strong. I am Brave. I am Merida and I am a Princess!” Tears, tingles and cries of joy from the crowd as we gathered to see Merida’s coronation as the 11th Disney Princess on May 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Celebrity gymnast Gabby Douglas graced the stage, and Sophie Grace and Rosie from Ellen sang before Merida entered on horseback, bow in hand. My two boys (who usually hide around princesses “They are so beautiful Mommy!”) were in awe at her stature, her smile, but mostly the poise and strength she exuded.
There has been controversy on Disney’s decision to give Merida a lovely, Princess-worthy outfit for the most important day of her life. That Merida looked beautiful on this day does not say that she is less outdoorsy, strong or courageous. She dressed for the occasion and in my view is no less a role model for girls everywhere. Disney has given us our 11th role model for girls and boys alike, and I was proud to have my boys and my own mother by my side for the coronation.
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
— A.A. Milne
If your kids are living with Type 1 diabetes, you’ve got a few extra challenges. We’re very excited about a Disney’s New Diabetes Resource from one of our favourite Disney sites. Disney Interactive has partnered with Lilly Diabetes to launch an online destination dedicated to help families affected by type 1 diabetes on Disney’s family lifestyle site Spoonful.com. Combining Lilly’s knowledge of diabetes with Disney’s robust parenting network has created a unique and powerful diabetes resource.
Through a mix of articles, videos and advice, site contributors (which include dietitians, psychologists, nurses and everyday families) cover a variety of topics all designed to help families manage type 1 diabetes in everyday situations, such as:
· Routines for families that manage type 1 diabetes while still letting kids be kids
· Important info on how to pack for vacations, sleepovers and other outings
· Talking tips about type 1 diabetes to share with friends, teachers and coaches
One of our favourite sections contains quotes from mothers about how they deal with everyday challenges such as sibling rivalry, glucose checks and keeping every day fun. There are even printables for the babysitter and great ways to care for the caregivers! Disney’s New Diabetes Resource is a great addition to the Spoonful roster.