Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Great Movie Line

 Spring Break was the first time in my Disney journeys that I experienced the need to wait on a line for The Great Movie ride.  The total wait was under 20 minutes but they had us entering around the perimeter of the Chinese Theater.  It gave a great glimps of different angles of the area- I particularly liked the view of the Sorcerer Hat peaking in around the corner. And for the first time I noticed the off center sign for the ride! lol!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beautifully Disney Nail Polish :)

Well, you know I am picky with shades and quality when it comes to nail polish. And the new Beautifully Disney line passes my tests! The colors are rich and polish isn't too thin, the names/themes are great and I love the mini set! By far my fave is Off to the Ball-- I actually made my own nail polish in this exact shade before I got married because my "something blue" was my pedi! This line is beautiful and amazing Disney quality as expected!  I took pics featuring each of the four colors you can find in the mini-set for $19.95 around the parks and on the Disney Store website! :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blue Skies across World Showcase Lagoon

Nothing like a relaxing stroll along World Showcase for a lazy Sunday.  
Where would your first stop be today?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My favorite topiary: Rafiki!

How can you not love The Lion King topiary?

Thursday, April 25, 2013



1.  Disney Visa Rewards Card 
Current Earnings: $71 in Disney Dollars (Only earned 1 dollar this month! lol!)
Goal: Pay for our park tickets + Christmas Party tickets- $650 

Still need: 579

2.  Starwood Rewards American Express Card 
Goal: Cover our stay at the Swan and Dolphin for 4 nights- 40,000 points
Current Earnings: 12,983 (the equivalent of a 1 night stay!) 
This card offers a bonus 15k points if you spend 5k on your card in 6 months.  My goal is to do this by the end of the school year so I come in at just under 5 months time. Currently with 2 months left I have spent (and paid off weekly, mind you) 2,983 / 5,000 Still Need: 28890 total

3.  Jet Blue American Express Card 
Goal: Pay for our flights- 40,000 points
Current Earnings: 16,290 points (After our Spring Break Trip- My husband has another 4,000 we can transfer for $50 if need be also so I dropped the total needed to 40,000!)
Still Need: 27,710 points

4.  Discover Escape Card       
I don't spend enough money to use another card for everyday purchases and save money so I didn't really earn anything this month and won't be using it for this experiment any more!

5. Paypal Savings
Goal: This was originally planned for extra spending money and then I realized that we don't have access Disney's Magical Express shuttle service! We will need to pay for the Mears transportation shuttle to and from the airport and the Swan (or Dolphin) which will cost $34 per person, so roughly $70 total.
SavingStar: $2.90    Ibotta: $5.00
Current Earnings total: $7.90
Still Need: $62.10

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Smokehouse at the America Pavilion

As lover's of Food and Wine Festival my husband and I were pleasantly surprised by the delightful food booths at Flower and Garden Festival this year.  We stumbled upon the Smokehouse by accident but loved the pork! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Snow White and the Flower & Garden Gnomes

I loved this set of topiaries at Flower and Garden fest this year!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Night & Day Week: People Mover (Night)

Not even two months before our trip my grandma had a severe stroke.  After some slow recovery she had an infection in her brain which required surgery on our travel day.  I had spent such a huge amount of time this winter worried about our trip being canceled because of snow (we live in the Northeast and are schoolteachers so when we use too many snow days we lose days off of Spring Break) it suddenly seemed trivial.  I am normally so easygoing and optimistic but I really needed a vacation and I was so worried I would have to postpone until summer.  This trip seemed so perfect and so well deserved that I lost sleep and stressed even though in retrospect that was so silly.  On the day of our trip when my grandma was having brain surgery I prayed so much that I felt so stupid for caring if snow would ruin my trip- all that really mattered was if my grandma would be okay.  My grandma is the kind of grandma that that could make everything okay.  She would yell at us and then five minutes later distract us with something in a sing-songy tone or do something so silly (not always on purpose) that we would be on to the next thing before we knew it.  She had candy hidden everywhere and is present in so many of the important memories of my life.  I can't picture my life without her in it and on the cold New York day I didn't know if I could get on the plane with out knowing she was okay.

Just before we boarded I got a text from my mom saying she made it through surgery.  The road ahead is still long but she is still holding my grandpa's hand and giving us hope for a recovery that I know she has left in her.  To distract ourselves from worry my husband and I reminisced about a Disney World story starring my grandma.  My grandma and grandpa have a condo on Anna Maria Island in Florida and they used to go down during the winter to escape New York for a while.  On one trip they headed up to Disney World.  One of my favorite stories is about my grandma on the People Mover.  She saw the track and saw the cars moving around Tomorrowland including over by Space Mountain.  Not knowing the name of the ride but seeing the track she hopped on the Space Mountain line AND RODE IT thinking she was on the People Mover.  It makes me laugh just thinking about it and the People Mover is even more special to me knowing her mistake!  I snapped these pics on the People Mover during Wishes on our last night in Disney in March.  :)

Night & Day Week: People Mover (Day)

There are few rides I love as much as I love the People Mover.  I love to relax, I love to people watch, I love the way Tomorrowland feels like a 1950s version of what the future may bring (how did the manage to make it nostalgic for someone who was not born until 1983?).  This is a must ride for me, multiple times each trip. Here are a few of my favorites from 2013:

(PS- I was totally excited about the red bow earrings I am wearing in this shot)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Night & Day Week: Spaceship Earth (Night)

Pictures like this make it worth spending the money on a DSLR alone. No edits needed when the parks are this beautiful. :)

Night & Day Week: Spaceship Earth (Day)


I am going to be spreading the Social Networking love with a small series of vinylmation giveaways! The first ends today! Tinkerbell Vinylmation Instagram Giveaway!
Here's how to enter:
1- Follow Picturing Disney on Instagram
2- Repost this picture of Tink with the tag #PicturingDisneyGiveaway
3- Keep your eye on our IG account for the winner announcement on Friday!
If you are the winner, email me at: with your name and address!

Starting today is the Dumbo Vinylmation Twitter Giveaway! 
Here's how to enter:
1- Follow Picturing Disney on Twitter
2- Retweet the Dumbo vinyl picture from this morning with the tag #PicturingDisneyGiveaway and mentioning me @PicturingDisney!
3-  Keep your eye out for the winner announcement on Twitter on Wednesday!

And next week you will have the chance to repin on Pinterest to enter to win the Repin Pinnochio Vinylmation Giveaway!
1-Follow Picturing Disney on Pinterest
2-Look out for the Pinnochio Pin on Wednesday!
3- Repin with the tag #PicturingDisneyGiveaway
4-Keep your eyes on the blog for the announced winner!

Good Luck & Pixie Dust! :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Night & Day Week: Cinderella Castle (Night)

As we headed out of the park at 3am after a great night of extra magic hours during Spring Break I snapped this shot with my phone.  There is something magical about the way the castle pops in the dark night sky.

Night & Day Week: Cinderella Castle (Day)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Night & Day Week: Be Our Guest (Night)

Night & Day Week: Be Our Guest (Day)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Night & Day Week: Rapunzel Tower (Night)

Night & Day Week: Rapunzel Tower (Day)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Night & Day Week: Main Street USA (Night)

Night & Day Week: Main Street (Day)

View from the front of the castle

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Night & Day Week: Ariel's Undersea Adventure (Night)

Night & Day Week: Ariel's Undersea Adventure (Day)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gaston's Tavern Review

I have been dying for the Beauty & the Beast area of the Fantasyland expansion to open since I was about 10 and wanted to be part of that world (excuse my Little Mermaid reference, but I love her too).  There has always been something about Belle! I lovedher as a heroine, I love that she is a brunette bookworm, I love the story and I was obsessed with it as a kid.
On our recent trip we finally got to experience Fantasyland.  Our first stop was Gaston's Tavern. Disney captured the essence of Gaston's Tavern perfectly! From what I read in other publications I feel that they totally underrated this spot. Every detail is themed perfectly down to the dartboard where Gaston is kicking Lefou's butt.  Even included are the portrait and chair of the hunky villain.

Next thing of note is that the food is tasty! We had some "snacks" here and wound up so full we skipped lunch!  My husband had the lamb and I had a cinnamon roll.  I would go so far as to say that the Lamb Shank is tastier than even the infamous turkey legs!  I loved the hot cinnammon rolls which are bigger than Gaston's biceps! t was great eating on the lodge style tables and relaxing during such a busy time of year at the Magic Kingdom.

"Lefou's Brew" the signature drink is a frosty apple flavored drink with a marshmallow topping. It is often compared to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Butterbeer.  I did not make the connection until someone posted it on our Picturing Disney Facebook page. I do not think the two drinks are coparable. Yes they come in souvenir mugs but they are otherwise completely different.
And I like them both!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Oh Canada!

I don't know what it is about Off Kilter but even if I have made 5 laps around World Showcase and heard the days set before I always find myself stopping for a listen! 

Everything You Need to Know if you're Staying at the Poly in 2013

The Polynesian is arguably the most beautiful of Disney World Resort hotels, but it is currently undergoing some huge resort renovations that, without the most up to date info, may lead you to losing a little magic during your trip! First and foremost only two buildings are re-opened and freshly renovated (many of the longhouses which have not been renovated yet still remain open).  The two renovated ones are Hawaii and Samoa longhouses.  We recently stayed in the Samoa building during Spring Break (the week leading up to Easter) and it had JUST reopened... but more importantly was that there were renovations currently going on in TWO other buildings! Rarotonga and Niue are currently closed for renovations.  If you are looking at a map this means they started with Hawaii and followed right around the pools in their renovations.  The castmember checking us in also let us know that Tokelau is next! I think it would be safe at this point to assume they may continue to the east of Great Cermonial House and renovate Rapa Nui and Tahiti once Tokelau is done. 
So what does that mean for travelers? If it were me and I wanted to ensure I got a new room and did not have to walk through unsightly construction going on (the workers will likely enter and exit the premises with supplies out into the parking lot along side Rapa Nui) I would request SAMOA.

Samoa was a great location, nice proximity to the pool, beach, and Great Ceremonial House.  Additionally, there are still four longhouses over on the Luau Cove side of the resort and a rumor that the Poly mind build DVC space.  I HIGHLY recommend that if you are staying at the Polynesian this year prior to your room request in online check-in you call the hotel directly and ask which longhouses are currently renovated and under construction so you can plot out a way to avoid the wrong areas and request the right ones!  Anyone staying at the Poly should also know that this is one of the most convienent and luxurious resorts.  Not only can you hop right on a monorail to travel to Magic Kingdom but you can walk out to Ticket and Transportation Center (or monorail over) and head into Epcot! Additionally, one of the only 24 hour quick service stops is located here.  You can't get hot food 24 hours a day but you can find great refrigerated choices like sushi from Kona and salad & sandwiches.

All visitors to the Poly should make plans to eat at one of their three table service locations (I recommend all three!).  Kona Cafe and Ohana are both located upstairs in the Great Ceremonial House and serve great dinners.  I prefer Ohana for the breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey, however! Also, if you are on a budget you can get some of the Kona breakfast favorites (like Tonga Toast) at the quick service location, Capt. Cook's! Luau Cove is home to the last dining location, a dinner show called Spirit of Aloha- in the spirit of luaus that can be found all over the 50th state! :)

Also, be sure not to miss some time wandering around the resort. The lush beautiful flora and tropical scents and touches are relaxing enough to be a vacation unto themselves.  The beach is beautiful even if just for a short walk or to take in Wishes after a long day.  I am a huge fan of this resort.  After we stayed here in 2011, I could not wait to come back.  At other resorts I have had a great time, truly enjoyed my trip, but was ready to try the next locale.  Here at the Poly I feel like I could escape into the tropical oasis for days! I love the torches at night and the music, I love the shops and the tiki carvings, I love the hidden mickeys and the room theming (both new and old are wonderful)!  If you are planning a trip here and have any questions, feel free to ask and I will answer as best as I can (or post some more pictures to help you envision your upcoming vacation)!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why? ;)

Someone asked me this morning "Why do you blog?" and I thought it was a strange question since I have been asked in the past other more specific questions like "Why Disney?" or "Do you make any money blogging?" and I have no qualms telling people how I feel-- but to be put on the spot I felt like I really had to think about it and it came down to me feeling like I really needed to tell my readers. 

There are some things you will NEVER find on my blog.  You will never find regurgitated articles that can be read in their original form on the Disney Parks Blog or other official Disney sites (though I may share links to spread the word about awesome happeneings on our Facebook page).  You will never find me complaining or bashing anything or anyone because I have nothing to complain about and the types of people who are doing wrong don't deserve my time.  You will never find me trying to make a buck off of all of you! When I am approached by someone who wants me to review their product I ALWAYS give them the stipulation that they must provide an additional item for me to give away to my readers.  (Any reviews that don't come witha  chance for you to win mean that I purchased something with my own money and felt it was worthy of giving to you.) 

What you will find is a middle class American girl who loves Disney and her family & friends (and treats her Lab mix like he is her child).  You will find the opinion of a 30-year-old history teacher who somewhere along the way learned to never grow up and always look for the silver lining.  You will read anecdotes and stories about my life filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after.  And above all else there will be PICTURES, glorious, pictures to help bring you on an instant vacation every single day!

So if you are new here or have been here from the start, thank you for reading along and please know that the reason why I blog is because you have supported me through reading, commenting, liking, sharing, pinning, and just generally being here.  If I had no readers, than I wouldn't be able to blog at all so maybe the real way to answer "Why?" is because you have allowed me to share my Disney love with you.

Thanks again for reading!