Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all of you out there! There's nothing better than celebrating the holidays, any holiday, at a Disney Park. It doesn't have to be on the day of the holiday, Disney plans ahead and makes sure their parks are decorated well in advance. If you can plan to vacation at Disney during the holiday season, I certainly suggest it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disney's Hitchhiking Ghosts, An Early Morning Project

This morning my husband asked me if I could print these out, from the Disney Parks Blog site, so that we could make them together. Yeah for Disney crafts day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barely Reluctant Today

This morning, my husband, sitting on the couch declared, "We should take this artwork down and put up some more Disney artwork." Just like that. The lovely antique prints and mirror I've had for years, relegated to the attic, so the husband could have more room for Disney.

No. Please, Honey!

Not this time. Let there remain a little bit of my influence over the decorating of the house.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favorite Lunch

Disney's Animal Kingdom has a great restaurant called the Tusker House. It was at one time a quick service restaurant. I would look forward to our visits to that park because I knew we would stop at Tusker House for my favorite lunch, the vegetable pita sandwich. Heavenly!

Imagine my disappointment when my husband told me one year (2007) that the Tusker House would be changing it's format into a buffet restaurant and their menu would obviously be altered drastically. I thought to myself, nothing could be a good as that veggie pita! Nobody will make me change my mind, I refuse to like the new place: I can be ridiculous and stubborn at times.

I wrote to them letting them know how heartbroken I was, that if I couldn't have the vegetable pita sandwich there, then maybe they could send me the recipe and I could make it at home? Well, Disney is accommodating with reasonable requests if nothing else, and I was immediately e-mailed back with a friendly letter letting me know that I would love the new Tusker Buffet and the recipe I asked for. Here is the recipe.

1/2 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 medium tomato quartered and thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1/4 red pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1/4 green pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
6 kalamata olives, pits removed, chopped
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 oz fresh spinach
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Pita, sliced

Mix garlic, lemon juice and olive oil together. Keep separate. In large bowl toss tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and peppers together. Season with salt and pepper, add garlic dressing and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning. Finish by tossing in spinach and feta. Stuff your pita pockets with the mix. Enjoy!

The Tusker House Buffet is a wonderful place to take your family and friends. The staff there is super friendly and even though I still mourn the loss of my lovely vegetable pita sandwich, Tusker is a great place to go.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad

Being married to a Disney Lover, there are certain rituals that you have to follow, reluctantly or not. The DVD "The Adventures of Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad" comes out of hiding and is welcomed into the Disney movie rotation every October. This set of animated shorts is a tradition for us every autumn. Mull some cider, pop some popcorn and set up the couch to settle in for a great night. This is a Disney tradition I can really embrace and recommend!

Ichabod Crane is the new lanky schoolteacher who dreams of wooing the town's most lovely maiden, Katrina off her feet. The town bully, Brom Bones, who also has a thing for Katrina, doesn't like this one bit and gets himself involved trying to break up their budding romance. The ghostly tale of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman is told at a party one evening by Brom. He makes sure that Ichabod is listening to the tale. Spine tingling things happen next...Bing Crosby supplies the narration, character voices, and songs. (1949)

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is brimming with high-spirited adventure, brilliant animation, and captivating music. The Wind in the Willows follows the wild ride of J. Thaddeus Toad, squire of Toad Hall. Smitten with all things mobile, the wealthy and reckless Toady drives his closest friends Mole, Rat and Badger into an all out frenzy! Can they save their friend Toady from any whim that strikes his fancy?

"Lonesome Ghosts" from 1937, is an animated cartoon short featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy working as ghost-busters. They get a call from some lonesome ghosts hoping to prank the ghost hunters. Hilarity ensues, and one of the fab three even exclaims, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts!" (I would say that "Ghostbusters" the movie, was highly influenced by this short!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween at the Disney Parks

Holidays are a special experience at the Disney Parks. I'm specifically talking about Halloween for this post. Disney really knows how to put on a party, and if you get a chance to go to "Mickey's Not So Very Scary Halloween Party," I highly recommend it! The Magic Kingdom is cleared out at 7:00pm for official party-goers only. The Park stays open until midnight and there are two showings of the "Boo to You Parade," which I think is the best parade Disney has to offer. The music is catchy and fun, the characters are dressed up and you get to see many of the ghosts, villains and other assorted creatures that aren't allowed in any other parade!

Now the park has been decorated for the season with all of the Halloween trappings, pumpkins, scarecrows and the like. There is no end to holiday decorations and revelry. It's the guests and their costumes that make the party such a treat to attend. Many of them put a lot of time and effort into their looks. I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of the Halloween parties and I had a blast planning and dressing up for the events.

The first Halloween Party I went to I was caught unaware, and unprepared. But when I was told I was going to another "Mickey's Not So Very Scary Halloween Party" I went as a hippy, while my husband went as Fred Flintstone. I should have planned that one better and dressed up as Wilma, but I really wanted to show off the overalls I found at a thrift-store. How often do you get to wear something like those out and about? Many of the party-goers ribbed me about that!

"Where's Wilma?" they kept calling to my Fred. Well, my Fred found a Wilma! Can you believe that; and she looked awesome with her Fred, Pebbles and BamBam in tow.

This is your chance to be a kid again, and did I mention the candy stations placed around the park where everyone goes trick or treating? Ah yes, this could certainly make a Disney Lover out of even the staunchest protester.

Here is our group. We definitely planned things better this year! The Big Bad Wolf, Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and the Huntsman, Shrek, Puss and Boots and our Belle.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Your Disney Pins–What to Do Next!

So now you love pin trading as much as I do. It can really enhance your whole vacation experience, right? But now you're home and have a sack full of pins and you don't quite know what to do; put them away in a drawer or suitcase until your next trip; absolutely not! Let me give you some options that I have found to keep the magic alive longer.

My first option was to put my pins into pin bags, designed especially for Disney pins. I found some on ebay and I found my favorite one at a thrift store! Into these books went many of the pins, categorized and lovingly placed. I pull them out and add to them on occasion. My husband calls this "Pin Joy."

Another option is to go to your local arts–craft store and buy a stretched canvas which you can hang on the wall. Poke your pins through the canvas and replace the backings. Here is my Pluto board and a close up of it.

You can make designs out of your pins, maybe a hidden Mickey head even, and presto! Instant artwork! I have canvases hanging all over my workplace wall and everyone who comes over loves to check out my pins! I even got a few co-workers hooked on pin trading. Does that make me a pusher? Here's my Mickey board. I wanted to make a Hidden Mickey head, but didn't have enough room with all my pins, I decided to add photos of our Disney vacations to the boards instead.
Here is a side view of my Stitch board. If you like this idea, remember to get the stretched canvas with the wooden frames.

If you have limited wall space, or already have artwork up on the wall, you can use the pins in place of thumb tacks on your bulletin board.

Many people use a single pin as jewelry on their lab coats or clothing, rotating the character daily depending on their mood. One lady wears her lanyard as her ID holder. She is hardcore!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pin Trading

Pin trading is an interactive, face to face experience at Disney World and the Disney Parks. You can go up to any cast member wearing a lanyard or a hip bag with pins and ask them-politely of course-if you may look at their pins. They are always glad to oblige. Here I am on my very first day of pin trading. I can't wait to see how this works.

My husband needed a way to get me to interact with others at Disney World on my first trip with him. I can be extremely introverted when placed in new or stressful situations. He's one smart cookie. He brought home a bag full of Disney pins and a lanyard and told me to have some fun.

Some people collect series pins, some collect hidden Mickey pins-where there is a little "hidden" Mickey head on each pin (it's not really hidden), some collect characters; there's no end to what you can collect if you get involved. These folks from Belgium came up to me because they admired some pins on my lanyard from an old series they were collecting. They had some awesome Stitch pins from DisneyLand Paris I wanted and so we all walked away happy! Be careful, pin trading is addictive! Not only do you get to meet and speak with the most fascinating people, you get to trade pins with them as well. Each resort has a pin board, book or even a special persona you can trade with. Just ask!

Animal Kingdom Lodge has "King Pin," his appearances are scheduled, so make sure you get to see him if you are over that way.

I found one I was searching for! The thrill of the hunt is another reason this can be such an addictive past time! Trading with other park goers can be an especially rewarding experience. I once traded a Baloo Bear to a guy who got a tear in his eye, he was so happy to have the pin! I keep the pins I really love back at the room and wear all the traders on my lanyard, that way if anyone wants something off the lanyard, they are more than welcome to it! Everyone is happy. Another perk to going up to a cast member and interacting with them is that you may get more than you bargained for! In this instance, I asked to see this cast member's pins and when he didn't have what I was searching for, he asked if I would like to be in the Jungle Jammin' Parade! Can you believe that?

My husband and I showed up at the scheduled time and our cast member not only had the pin I had been looking for, he placed us in the first float of the parade with Rafiki! What a special day that was! All because of pin trading!

This little boy was walking past me one evening and craned his neck so hard to see my pins as they were hurrying by, I remarked, "I sure do love to pin trade!" He made his mother stop and I turned around and offered up my lanyard for inspection. He was so thrilled to be trading with a "regular person!" He told me his whole life story and gave me a patriotic Minnie which I will cherish. All his pins were of a patriotic nature-his father was serving in the Armed Forces.

Of course, in the parks you might see anyone from a beginning pin trader to an all-out collector; you can see that some people just love to wear their pins everywhere! These people love to talk about their pins and show them off, but rarely are they for trading, admire their collection and let the folks know how awesome they look!

Disney has pins for every occasion, you could really get overwhelmed buying pins. Make a plan and try to stick with it. Pick your favorite characters and collect them, collect events, holidays, rides, resorts, oh my, the list goes on forever...many of these pins are limited editions so you need to keep that in mind as well.
Does this cast member look familiar? She was in the third photo from the top. We kept running into her each time we visited the park! You were guaranteed to have fun with her and her friends if you pin traded with them. If you decide that this seems like fun, buy a "lot," a large grouping of pins, from ebay. You will significantly cut your start-up costs. You can also find some of the more rare and unique pins there as well. Happy pin trading!

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 1st, 2011, 40th Anniversary of WDW

Even for the reluctant Disney lover, Disney has ways of sneaking into your heart and home. I am one of the ones who have resisted the lure, the siren song for years. Sure, I loved watching the "Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday nights as a child, and we had many of Disney's records in our rec room. I even had a stuffed Donald Duck that I dearly loved as a child; but as an adult, I never had anything to do with WDW. Until I got married. My husband is a bona-fide Disney connoisseur, and with that comes the trappings of being a lover of all things Disney. Thankfully my Disney Husband started off by bringing Disney into the house slowly and in thoughtful ways that wouldn't send me into shock. After all, I had been against adding anything related to the "Happiest Place on Earth!"

These ceramic plates and cup are vintage inspired pieces, so right off, my interest was piqued. This would fit into my decor, I mused. Why the cup could be used to hold toothbrushes in the bathroom! The plates would work in the kitchen hanging on the wall. They even state on the back that they are dishwasher safe for those of you who bought them to use more functionally. My husband didn't even need to encourage me to look at these items, as soon as I saw them, I was intrigued by the colors and styling. They are lovely and so well made. They will be enjoyed for years to come!

Disney Musings; The Happiest Place on Earth