disney parks

disney parks

Fall into Reading this Autumn with Disney!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Disney has really outdone itself with the amazing art and stories this season! We are totally loving the new empowering Disney Princess campaign we are seeing all over and the new book releases focus on just that: brave, strong, fierce heroines teaching girls to overcome challenges, never stop loving, and to always be brave and kind! 

My favorite this season is Moana! Find her featured in one of the new and amazing Art of Disney Coloring Books! This one features sea life, polynesian style art, and of course all the great characters from this upcoming release! 
My idea of a great night in!
She is also featured in the fabulous novelized version of her feature story that focus on her bravery during her adventures! It is a beautiful hardcover that is canvased with nice printing and great design.

Moana isn't the only new princess on the scene this season! Elena of Avalor is on fire! Her show is one of the only both our 7 and 12 year old BOTH get excited for and she is here for some great fun! 
Featured here is the Elena of Avalor Christmas Book Feliz Navidad: A Royal Christmas and a lift the flap book called A Palace Fit for a Princess both of these are great finds this season (and any) I love the art style of the books.  We've previously reviewed Sofia the First books similar to the Christmas one, the art is sketchy and bright, and the hardcover is bound with fabric.  These really make swell gifts! And the lift-a-flap book will surely occupy any Elena fan as both my girls had fun checking it out!

A review of Disney Publishing releases features brave, strong female characters could not be complete with the new quintessential classic, Frozen! Disney and paper artist Matthew Reinhart have really outdone themselves with this AMAZING pop-up book! Every page opens up into a beautiful world and almost every page features pull tabs to transform part of that world along with the story itself.  Art and Disney at it's very best. 
The attention to detail is incredible!

Also being released this season is the original Disney girl, the one and only Minnie Mouse.  This compilation art book titled The Art of Minnie Mouse features some of my favorite current artists and I've snapped a few sample pics.  Any Minnie Mouse or Disney Parks fan in your life will love this awesome coffee table book and your imagination will soar as you page through it! 

I think this is my very favorite in the entire book!

When Fairy Tales Do Come True: An Up-Themed Disney Engagement Party!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I am many things.  Three of those many things are: someone who life has broken in the past, a true believer in fairytales (and the heroines that rule them), and a cynical optimist (yes, you read that correctly, I both doubt it will come and believe in happy endings at the same exact time).  So there you have it. I am for all intents and purposes a typical middle American: a hard-worker who loves her job teaching, a dreamer of impossible things, and a lover of love. I will come right out with it: I got engaged in Disney World this summer.  There are lovely details to this story, but they are for me and my family and friends, not the entire internet.  I will share this:

So you may know of me if you have followed Picturing Disney from when I started it (and we were still located at blogspot.com lol) and you may have figured out my personality from the way I write, review, share, and photograph.  Whether this is your first read or you figured this out long ago, let me say... this was the single best moment of my life thus far. 

We came home from Disney World and bought a house! While, I know that seems simple... anyone who is reading this who has bought a house can vouch for me that it has not.  It was the single most stressful process of my life so far (and I am previously divorced and have lost people I love dearly).  I am not demeaning other people or my own pain.  This was just such immediate stress and such a long process that it really was not as simple as "and then we bought a house" might make it seems and I wanted to attest to that. 

Newly Engaged + New House = Party Time

I was immediately in touch with my girl, Monique, at her company Only One Mark Inc! She designed and printed announcements and invites for our celebration!

I used a Shutterfly code for 10 Free Magnets and used the 4 mini square design, ended up with 40 two inch by two inch magnets, used adhesive circles to attach them to the announcements and VOILA! If you enjoy that idea, the magnet coupon has long since expired but you can get a Free Photo Book with this link!

Monique and I designed the cards together, my fiance and I are huge fans of "Up" for many reasons, some are personal and private, others are the same as the reasons you love Carl and Ellie. We went with an Up theme for our announcements and invites and really our whole party (and probably our wedding)! I added a touch of Doctor Who to the back of our announcements because... well, anyone who has watched any 10th Doctor episodes knows I do not need to finish that sentence! Also, the party invites were not flawed at all- they are and were perfect! I just had to block out our phone numbers so haters and trolls won't hate and troll. lol. 

In any case, onward! We moved in and love our home! We were truly a couple that is meant to be. Every happy line from every sappy country song literally describes us.  One of our first projects together was the purchase of a white mailbox so we could do this:

It's even cute when I look at the pictures again! 

Onto the big PARTY! Because that's why you are here! I tried to photo document as well as I could so enjoy my captions and shoot us a message or comment if you are planning and have any questions! We tried to keep it DIY and personal.  Homemade, but with so much love that was the key to our planning. 
The metal ampersand light up ($7 on clearance at Target) and the Hello frame ($5 on clearance at A.C. Moore) are both are battery operated and switch on and off.  I had them at one end of our drink table which was also on the porch when people walked in.
I handpainted "Paradise Falls" on a mason jar then filled it with change.  We put Sharpies for labeling drink cups in the jar as well!

Another awesome frame find was this kickass photobox frame in Target! It was only $7 and has 4 mini shadowboxes on the sides and is a pin board.  I put our magicbands and buttons from our trip in the shadowboxes and other trinkets. Then I used a Carl & Ellie pin we had bought on the trip and a Walt Disney World one I'd had to pin our engagement photo up and put it in the middle of our food table!

I handpainted a big mason jar with a likeness of the Up house and then used cookie pops shaped as balloons to fill it up so that we had our own mini (and edible) Up house at the party!

We served some chips before dinner and fresh made popcorn from a home popper! We got the machine plus the popcorn boxes plus kits to make about 200 cups of popcorn for about $200 on Amazon.  I think that most people end up shelling out around $50 for party snacks, and this is only an investment once.  The next time we have a party, for about $20 or so we can feed everyone awesome popcorn snacks! an investment, yes, but a good one! 

We got popcorn and cookies and of course had dinner... but what do we all love best? CAKE! My mom made us this awesome book! It was perfect and beautiful and delicious (I am literally eating leftovers as I type)!

Favors? ELLIE BADGES of course! I attached a soda cap pin (made with printouts and epoxy on metal) to a piece of white cardstock and then glued a black backing piece of cardstock to secure it and neaten it up.  The Highest Honor We Could Bestow was a huge hit.  

Almost as big of a hit as the "balloons out front marking the house" :)
We couldn't have an Up themed party without balloons on our chimney! 

What's next? Happily Ever After, I think. 

Miles from Tomorrowland Mission Rover Review

Friday, September 30, 2016

What's better than flying around in space?  Getting out of your ship and exploring extra-terrestrial terrains in your own Mission Rover!  Planning a trip to the Moon, Mars or Venus?  You will certainly need your own Mission Rover to work up samples in your mobile space lab.

My son was so thrilled when Disney sent us a Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere to review that he was too busy jumping around to see the amazing Mission Rover sitting on the bottom of the box.  Once I reigned him in he was ecstatic to be able to play with both.

Like the Stellosphere, the Mission Rover is sturdy and durable.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this as a mother.  I am constantly finding broken toy pieces around the apartment.  I don't expect to see many broken Mission Rover parts.  The toy is appropriate for younger children as there are only a few small pieces (4 space instruments) that are non essential to play.  The instruments can be taken away and hidden until the child reaches an appropriate age.

The Mission Rover opens up to reveal a mobile space lab.  Miles and his family easily fit into the lab and can run experiments on space rocks and foreign objects.  The Mission Rover has two cool robotic arms that can move in different directions.  One arm can blast away space jun with its flash beam launcher and the other arm can pick up the debris for inspection.

Logan really liked the green Terra Skiff which rolls off he back of the Mission Rover to help Miles explore exotic locales such as Mars.

The Mission Rover retails for $39.99 and will provide your child with many hours of interesting and imaginative play time.

Official Product Description:
Miles and his friends are all part of the Cosmic Explorers who use the Mission Rover as a mobile space lab. Once the Cosmic Explorers reach their destination they can open up the back of the Mission Rover to reveal the mobile space lab. Inside the lab, Leo can give Miles missions with the touch of a button. To help Miles complete any mission the Rover has 2 Robotic Arms that can be moved to different locations on the vehicle to blast away obstacles with the flash beam launcher, or move space debris with the grappling claw. Miles can use the Terra Skiff for any missions that require him to leave the safety of the Rover. Once Miles is ready to use the Space Lab, it is equipped with 4 space tools, including robotic IO, to help with whatever they may need. Join Miles as he explores Mars in his Rover!
Available in stores now.

Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere Review

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere
I would imagine living in space is tough.  It's dark, you are in cramped quarters and life can get pretty uncomfortable up there.  Luckily, I don't think the Callisto family faces these issues in their Stellosphere!  Not familiar with the Callisto family?  They are Miles from Tomorrowland's family and they explore the galaxy from their big space station called the Stellosphere.   

Disney recently sent us Tomy's Stellopshere to review.  My son Logan was thrilled when a giant box arrived at our front door a few days after returning from Walt Disney World.  I have to admit I though the box might just be full of bulky packaging.  When we opened the box I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Stellosphere is a nice, big size.  Miles is included with the ship but you can purchase the rest of the family (Loretta, Phoebe and Leo) and Merc the robo-ostrich (Mechanical emotionally responsive creature) separately.

Logan's favorite feature about the Stellosphere is that it transforms into 3 separate ships.  The main ship acts as home base for the Callisto's and opens up to reveal a command center.  The command center is spacious and has room for multiple action figures.  

The main ship may be slightly big for little hands to fly around the play room, but the Mini Starjetter is perfect for shorter trips in little hands.  The Zip Ship was Logan's choice for longer missions to the outer limits (his bedroom).

Each component opens up for Miles or one of the other action figures to comfortably sit inside and explore space.  Not once over the course of an hour did I hear any complaints about pieces breaking off or needing to be adjusted.  Not having to constantly be called to fix toy pieces is a big win for this mom!

Another fun feature is that each ship lights up and makes sounds with the help of a moveable XVR system that attaches to each ship.  Parents might have to help younger kids maneuver the system but it is worth it.  The sounds and lights really make the ships come to life!

I have seen many toys come through our apartment and many are flimsy, break easily and are not worth the price.  The Stellosphere however is certainly well worth its price point ($29.99).  Each smaller ship is sturdy in its own right.  They each easily connect or fit into the main component.  The main component is big, and holds all of the other ships, and accessories in a neat, good looking package.  This is one toy I don't mind having around Logan's bedroom!

Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere & Mission Rover

Much thanks to Disney for sending us Tomy's Stellopshere to review.  We are going to be checking out the Mission Rover next, so be on the look out for our review on the blog!

Official Product Description:
The Callistos are on a mission to connect the universe.  Explore the galaxy on the Stellosphere, the home base space station for the Callistos; where they relax, recharge, and receive new missions from the TTA.  The Stellosphere comes apart into 3 separate ships to make space explorations easier.  Open up the large Stellosphere plates to reveal the Castillo's command center where Miles and the Cllisto family (figures sold separately) can receive missions from the TTA.  For short and quick missions, take the mini StarJetter that is stored in the Stellosphere.  For longer missions over greater distances, take the Zip Ship, which can be removed from the top of the Stellosphere.  To boost any ship in the line with lights and sounds, remove the XVR system from the bottom of the Stellosphere and attach to the other ships.  With so many ways to explore, no mission is too difficult.  
Available in stores now.

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