Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Tour the Parks from Rope Drop to Fireworks

Every time I have a conversation with anyone about my Disney Trips, the term "Rope Drop to Fireworks" always comes up. For those of you who don't know, Rope Drop to Fireworks refers to guests who will go to the parks from the opening to closing. This idea of being at the park for that many hours to many people would seem like a daunting feet, but it can be done.

The first thing to know is that you will have to get up early. Whether there are extra magic hours or not, you will need to know what time the park will open its doors to guests. Check with the My Disney Experience App (available for iPhones and Android phones) the night before to make sure there are no extra magic hours for the next day's visit. If so, note that any opening show will happen during the magic hours, not usual park opening hours.

It is also a good idea to take into account what mode of transportation you will be taking to the parks and how long it will take to get there. This is a must when using park transportation from the resorts. Although park transportation is seemingly very efficient in getting guests where they need to go, there may be up to 45 minute wait times from a certain resort. Rule of thumb, the more time you give yourself to get there, the easier it will be to relax and not stress.

The next tip is go in with a game plan. Talk to the other members of your party and ask what are the must do attractions or experiences they are all looking forward to. By making a list of what attraction or experience to hit first, all the members of your party will know where to start walking to (or in my case usually, speed walking/running) once those gates are opened to guests.

During the afternoon, the parks will be the busiest. This is the time to hit up attractions with low wait times and get a snack or two. This is especially true when the 3 o'clock parade rolls in. It's best to get a snack and pick out your spot about 45 minutes to an hour before showtime and wait. If not, you might miss out on the show.

Keep in mind that magical moments will happen and as my next tip, I urge you to let them happen. Sometimes, you may find yourself running around the parks as if they will close the ride and not allow entry for the rest of the day. Make time to actually enjoy your visit. Sit on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and kick up your feet (if possible). You would be surprised at how relaxing a ride through the many attractions in Tomorrowland can be.

There are a lot more tips where that came from! Stay tuned for more tips on how to enjoy the parks!

Friday, March 17, 2017

To Anyone Who Ever Stopped Believing in Happily Ever After

To Anyone Who Ever Stopped Believing in Happily Ever After

Last year, after meeting a new colleague and being asked by a friend what kind of person he was, I replied "Don't worry, he's our people. He's real." That's what life is, right? We are all Velveteen Rabbits. We are all Woody and Buzz. Love makes us real. The magic of love somehow transcends time and space and make us more than we used to be. 

If we can acknowledge that there is magic in real life, why do we fail to acknowledge that we become less than when love hurts? That is what truly makes us real. Our pain and panic make us as real as our love and elation do. Our bad relationships shape us into being. And if we are lucky we don't grow older, we grow wiser. If we are lucky we stop standing at the edge of the water. If we are lucky we look back at the dark path through the forest and realize that dodging wild animals and being pricked by thorns was worth it when we reached the castle gates. 

How do you survive in the thick of it? How do you trudge on through the darkest days? How do you slay the grief dragon or outwit the sorcery of heartbreak? You must become the love you are seeking. You can't just forgive the person who hurt you, you must also forgive yourself. You can't just look back at memories with pangs of sadness in every fiber of your being, you have to look forward to what still awaits you and feel anticipation course through your body like pixie dust that will lift you off your feet.

Longing for adventure in the great wide somewhere is not the same as packing a bag and heading out the door. Remember, Merida fought for her own hand and Tiana lead the way to her own dreams. We are all dreamers, we are all capable of loving ourselves with the ferocity we can love others. We just forget that when we get lost in the fog sometimes. 

So to you, who may have stumbled upon this because you have lost your hope. To you who may have given up on love. To you who no longer believes Happily Ever After is a destination you will reach. I have some advice. And it is clear and it is simple and it is truer than any other words I have written or spoke. 

Happily Ever After lives inside you right now. 

This moment could be your turning point. And this one the one where you step in the directions of your dream. And then this moment still could be when you decide that the cliche is true: you won't catch your dreams unless you chase them. So throw open your window sashes like Scrooge on Christmas morning, leave your tower to see the lantern festival, go on a hero's quest even if you were written into the game as a villain. Whatever you do, put your heart into it. 

"Because," to quote Jiminy Cricket, "that, my friends, is where magic lives."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Something to bark about: Harvey's 101 Dalmatians collaboration!

It's pretty common knowledge that here at Picturing Disney we love Harvey's seatbelt bags and one of our favorite Disney couture collabs is the adorable Disney x Harvey's collections that we are wowed with each season!

This time around we had the best time checking out the new Harvey's 101 Dalmatian collaboration. No bones about it, you are gonna love these bags! Join Melissa and Michelle for a joint review and scroll on down for a fabulous giveaway! 

Last week I received the best fun mail ever!
Melissa sent me this Harveys for Disney Couture 101 Dalmatians streamline tote to review! (Also pictured is the matching coin purse!)

Isn't it adorable?

The tote is made of horizontally stitched seatbelts with dalmatian dot accents.  I love the red top carry handles and the fact that it comes with a detachable cross body strap.  The bag is both sturdy and fashionable.

I love the subtlety of this bag.  The fact that I can channel my inner Cruella while sporting it is fun but it is not over the top screaming dalmatians!  Those among us that don't like to Disney-bound might not even get the dalmatian reference.  That is until you look inside.

Just look at these cuties:

And let's talk about those convenient pockets.  One zippered pocket and two extra slip pockets to hold your cell and other necessities are key!

I could not agree with Michele more! The three things that I love most about Harvey's are always the same: subtle classy style, versatility with how you can wear the bags, and the amazing pockets! This pattern is just for the dogs! It's pupsational! Its a regular Dalmatian plantation of arm candy! I could not contain myself from getting some help with my review. 

Two mutts and their humans agree: this is a must have line! The lining is always my favorite, and I do not think I have loved the great styling inside so much on any bag I own. (Although my Alice Harvey's bag is a close second!)

Besides the tote and coin purse, there is a Crossbody Messenger bag offered. (We reviewed one of them here.) And a fourth bag on the way that may be the cutest of them all! The Puppy Foldover bag is available for pre-order on the Harvey's website and is expected to come out this Friday March 17th! Reserve yours now! 

So head on over to today to nab a coin purse or foldover puppy bag before they sell out! And because we love you like Pongo loves Perdi head on over to the Picture Disney Instagram account for your chance to WIN a sold out Medium Streamline Tote!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beauty & the Beast Bookworm Breakdown!

If you grew up like I did... a beauty but a funny girl... then one of the most relatable and charming things about Belle was her love of a good book! When Disney Publishing sent some new Beauty & the Beast releases for to review I was overjoyed!

The countdown is on for this amazing adaptation and I know I am not alone in having waited since the moment it was announced. I don't even know how I am going to sleep on March 16th knowing it will be on its way!!! Disney is really hitting on all my nostalgia these days and all I can say is keep the memories coming!

As huge fans of Disney's Art of Coloring series, we were ecstatic to see this included! Just as beautiful as any of the other books in this series and filled with fun and whimsy! 
(Pick up your copy from Amazon today!)

Once upon a time I read and coveted a book called "Disney's Art of Animation from Mickey Mouse to Beauty & the Beast". I read it over and over as a Disney-obsessed youngster (and still have my copy today). This is the first book to come close to that quality since my childhood. It included beautiful art and even some awesome info about the now retired Broadway musical. (Pick up your copy from Amazon today!)

For younger audiences, we were able to check out the movie tie-in for middle grades as well as the step into reading. Additionally, we received a copy of the book on CD and this amazing and adorable quote book called Belle's Library. It features classic literature quotes and Belle's notes about them! Truly well thought out and adorable!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Part of Your World: A Mermaid Themed Baby Shower

 Like most people party planning, when we found out we would be throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law my tween daughter and I took it to Pinterest for some pinspiration! We nearly immediately decided on a mermaid theme! We pinned our hearts out and here is the result! 

Fisherman's netting is sold in most craft stores and paired with some color themed balloons made a great backdrop for our main table (used for food and favors
I took some of the netting, cut and glued it around mason jars, and then wrapped the tops with hemp (also hot glued on). Then I made tiny signs for forks (dinglehoppers), knives (whosits) and spoons (whatsits).
My daughter painted a mermaid with no scale details on her tail for the guest book. We put it out on our main table with ink and wipes so people could "sign in".  It filled her tail with beautiful scales and was a great keepsake for mama.
Party favors were mini bubbles. I tied a card on them with a beautiful image I found on Pinterest that says "We got no troubles, life is the bubbles under the sea" on one side, and on the other I put the date and shower information. I printed everything on card stock and tied the bubbles on with hemp.
Another awesome Pinterest find was this easy to make octopus! We decorated the living room (where gifting was planned) with under the sea touches like this. All we needed was a balloon, some cardstock, and pink streamers. We also used constructions paper to make fish swimming around the room (below) and green ribbon and streamers and twisted them up by the fireplace to create seaweed!
For our cake we had a small layer cake and some cupcakes. I followed this recipe for the turtles and my daughter found the cute crabbies on, but of course, Pinterest.
We also had sugar cookies (not pictures) with 5 sliced almonds placed on top to look like sand dollars and these little clams which only required Nilla Wafers, icing, and candy eyes to create!

Party Playlist
To the Sea - Jack Johnson
For the Summer - Ray Lamontagne
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Kiss the Girl - The Little Mermaid
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
A Drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope
Wonderful World - Iz
How Far I'll Go - Moana
Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride - Lilo & Stitch
Lava Theme - Lava
High Tide or Low Tide - Ben Harper
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson
Bubbly - Colbie Caillat
Chasing the Sun - Hilary Duff
Sunshine - Matt Costa
Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid
Wouldn't it be Nice - The Beach Boys
Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
That's How You Know - Enchanted
Under the Sea - The Little Mermaid

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Disney Magic with Alex and Ani!

Alex and Ani signature bracelets have become a fun staple in park souvenirs over the last few years. I have nabbed up some special ones over the years, but I think my favorite is finding charms that represent my favorite Disney memories (or getting them as gifts for my favorite people)! Here's a round up of my favorites!

For Pocahontas Fans
Feather Pull Chain Necklace, 14Kt Gold Plated
Price: $78.00
Buy Now

For Dumbo Fans
Feather Post Earrings, Sterling Silver
Price: $48.00
Buy Now

For Aladdin Fans
Lamp Of Light Charm Bangle | A Wish Come T...
Price: $28.00
Buy Now

For Little Mermaid Fans
Seahorse Pull Chain Bracelet, Sterling Silver
Sale: $47.60
Jellyfish Charm Bangle, Shiny Silver Finish
Sale: $22.80
Mermaid Ring Wrap, Sterling Silver
Price: $28.00
Buy Now

Alex and Ani is great for Disneybounding, gifting, and collecting while you are in the parks! Keep an eye out for some Alex and Ani links and news here on Picturing Disney as we have becoming affiliates! And be sure to order through our links so we can help keep the magic alive!