Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday, It’s A Small World!

It’s A Small World turns 50 this week. Amounting to this celebration, Disney has posted pictures and history to their blogs and spread the cheer throughout social media. “The Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed” was originally created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. It was created in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  It was transferred to the Disneyland Resort and opened on May 28, 1966. This E-Ticket attraction has been re-imagined for each of the Disney Parks around the world.

This attraction is definitely a staple to each of the family vacation to Disney World. Recently, I was finally blessed to be able to trek out to Disneyland and ride the original (or at least its latest reincarnation). As the first It's A Small World attraction, it has undergone many updates. The 2008 refurbishment brought in a cast of 37 familiar faces to the Disney community. In each scene, characters from Disney and Pixar films can be found amongst the other 300+ dolls that had been in place since opening day. During the holiday season, It's A Small World undergoes a holiday transformation including songs featured in the attraction. They have also created a nighttime presentation on the outside facade of It's A Small World, which also undergoes its own Holiday treatment.

As in Picturing Disney fashion, here are some photos from It’s A Small World in Disneyland.

Unlike the loading bay in Walt Disney World's version,
Disneyland's loading bay is outside.

Peter Pan & Tinkerbell (she is flying next to the crescent moon) in
the beginning of England.
Alice & the White Rabbit in England
Cinderella, Jack, & Gus in France 

Pinocchio & Jiminy Cricket in Italy
Aladdin, Jasmine, & Abu in the Middle East
<3 <3 <3 My Favorite <3 <3 <3
Mulan & Mushu in China
Simba, Timon, & Pumba in Africa
Each time I tried to get a shot of Timon he went back into the
prop next to Pumba and Simba. However if you look closely,
you can catch his little face popping out ever so slightly.
Donald, Jose Carioca, & Panchito Pistoles in Mexico
The Three Caballeros
Ariel & Flounder in the South Seas Room. Although she is not really
 recognized formally at all in Andrina, one of Ariel's Sisters. Attina has also
been included but was not there when I made my visit.
Marlin & Dory in the South Seas Room
Lilo & Stitch in the Polynesian Scene

Woody, Jesse, & Bullseye in North America
Finale Room. It differs a lot from the Walt Disney World version as there more
colors instead of the white, gold, and blue hues.

In California, the ride exits through a small shop called
It's A Small Toy Shop.

In the next post, I'll share some photos from the It's A Small World Attraction in Walt Disney World.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Muppet Most Wanted Review: Grain of Salt Required

This is going to be an honest review without any spoilers (Well maybe one..). Note that I have not seen the most recent 2011 Muppets film with Jason Segel and Amy Adams.

As much as I loved watching The Muppets when I was a kid, this film didn’t capture the humor and silliness that I remember. The only thing that kept me going throughout the film was my childhood nostalgia for the franchise when The Muppet Show and Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies used to play on the television channel Nickelodeon.

To be frank, there was some points of the film that were very boring and I actually found myself looking at my watch to see if the ending was near. I am happy to report that The Muppets warn you casually in their opening scene that sequels do have the reputation not to be as great as the first.

**SPOILER** Beginning Sequence Song!!

So take this review with a grain of salt. If you are a fan of the franchise, by all means go support this film. Franchises like this need your support in order to not be lost to future generations.

I love the Muppets but next time, I may wait to see it on Netflix.

Muppets Most Wanted Trailer

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two new ways to save this summer at Walt Disney World!

Save this summer on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights June 15-Aug. 28, 2014.
Save up to 30% when you stay up to 5 nights*
Save up to 35% when you stay 6 nights or longer*
Plus, save even more when you upgrade to a Magic Your Way® room and ticket package with minimum 6-day ticket.**
Book through June 6, 2014. 
You can get Memory Maker for free! Stay at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort hotel, including 3 nights in a standard room and a 2-day Magic Your Way base ticket, and pay only $899 for a family of 3 for stays most nights Aug. 15 – Sept. 30, 2014! Lots of other resorts and package combinations available as well! Book through April 20, 2014. 

What's the best way to take advantage of these great offers? With a Disney exclusive travel agent, of course! To get more information on these offers, or for your free, no-obligation quote contact Amanda at It's All About the Mouse Travel™

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Win a Disney & Doctor Who Inspired Tea/Coffee Cozy!

I am a huge fan of Karen Hallion's Doctor Who and Disney Mash-ups.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney

Photo from
One of my absolute favorite places to eat in the Walt Disney Resort is located in Downtown Disney (soon to be called Disney Springs), right next to the Days of Christmas Shoppe. It is an extension of the ever popular Wolfgang Puck Restaurant located on the West side of Downtown Disney and is essentially an “express” version of the popular restaurant chain. I am talking about Wolfgang Puck Express.

This counter service dining location offers both inside and outdoor seating. Their menu consists of soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, & some really yummy desserts. They offer a great kids menu as well as a breakfast menu. Once the food is ordered at the main counter, guests can grab a drink and take their seat. Within a few minutes, their food is brought to them by a server and get anything else that may be needed for this wonderful meal.

Tortilla Soup made with Avacado, Tortillas, Goat Cheese, and Cilantro.

Crispy Chicken Tenders with French Fries
My favorite dish is the Cavatappi Chicken Alfredo. Gus really loves the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf.

Above is the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf that consists of Mashed Potatoes,
Port Wine Sauce, & Crispy Onions. Below it is the
Cavtappi Chick Alfredo which has Bacon, Baby Peas, and Parmesan.

This casual dining location is guaranteed to have guests leave content and satisfied with both the quality and portion of their meal.
Our tummies are always happy after a visit to Wolfgang Puck Express.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dealing With Transportation: Part 2 - Getting Around

Our Park Mantra is “Rope Drop to Fire Works”. On all of our trips to any park, my husband and I have always agreed that if we were going to spend time in the parks, we are going to experience as much as we can in the allotted time available.

As previously mentioned, on this trip to California, we would be without a permanent form of transportation. Unlike our trips to Walt Disney World, Disneyland was proving to be a little more difficult to plan. Disneyland is like its own shopping mall. Everything there is within walking distance. So at least in terms of the days we spent at the Disneyland Resort and attending D23 Convention, there was no need for the cost of a car rental or other form of transportation. 

As for the day we were going to visit Universal Hollywood, the situation was a bit different. It turns out that unlike how most of the parks in Florida are mainly in Orlando/Kissimee, Universal Hollywood was closer to Los Angeles. This is about 1 hour away from Anaheim. When looking for transportation, we asked our concierge about what most guests did in this particular situation. They mentioned that Greyhound, a major bus company, offered a service to and from your hotel. The problem was that rope droppers like my husband and I would not benefit from their system at all. A bus will pick guests up at 9:00am from their hotel and drive them to the Greyhound headquarters. From there, they will drive guests to their destination. We would not be guaranteed arrival to the park until after 12:00pm. There was also a chance that we would arrive later depending on how many other guests went on our same route. Guests would also be required to come back prior to 6:00pm in order to get back to their hotel. After finding out this information, we had to look for other options. There was no way that we would be sacrificing time in the parks when we did not know when or if we would come back to visit Universal Hollywood.

I called our hotel again and asked to speak to their concierge. After explaining our situation, he suggested that we use a Select Rent A Car. Select Rent A Car works directly with the Best Western Family of Good Neighbor Hotels in the Anaheim area. Their service includes the following:

·  A pick up from your hotel to their location.
·  Guests are only responsible for the payment of the rental for the car and the cost of any gas used while during the time of the rental.
·  At night instead of having to return the car to their location and walking home, they will allow you to park the car at your hotel. They will pick it up in the morning at no extra charge to you and the hotel will not charge a guest for a parking fee for that night. All you will have to do is leave the keys with the hotel staff and everything else is taken care of.

They also offered us a $5 promotion because of the referral from our hotel. The gentleman who runs the company is very polite and accommodating.  I highly recommend their services.

Next time, I will focus on something that was a first time for our family: Flying.

What have you done during a vacation to get around? Any other recommendations?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Parades of the Magic Kingdom: When the Unexpected Makes a Lasting Memory

Disney changes aspects of an attraction, parade or show over time to keep experiences fresh for guests.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Parades of the Magic Kingdom: Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party

The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party is a joyous celebration of fun!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Parades of the Magic Kingdom: Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade

In Celebration of the New Festival of Fantasy Parade, I thought it would be cool to revisit some of the beloved parades of the past. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano: Where Italy Meets California in the Heart of the Backlot

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano is one of the best restaurants within Disney's Hollywood Studios.