Sunday, July 31, 2011

CLUES: July 2011 Scavenger Hunt

Finding yourself a little stuck on July's Photo Scavenger Hunt list? Below are a few clues to help you out!

[ ] A suitcase

When you meet Duffy the Bear, there are quite a few pieces of luggage

[ ] A red tricycle
You can find this by going down one of the nooks and looking up

[ ] One of the 101 Dalmations
One of the pups is found in the window of the Fire Department

[ ] Mr. Bluebird's House
This little house is right outside a store

[ ] Woody
You'll have to turn your head to find Woody on a cereal box

[ ] A Yellow No. 2 Pencil
There's quite a few of these pencils around a bug's land

[ ] Carrots
If you find the other side of this little door, inside your find a place full of carrots

[ ] Walt Disney

This one's a little tricky.  You have to look back and up to find this portrait of Walt.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Disney Bucket List

I've had a Bucket List since I was in high school.  I made a list and added the date to everything that I was able to accomplish.  As I got older, my list started to get really Disney-heavy so it's now become a Disney Bucket List.  Here are some of the things I want to do/see before I die (I say some, because it's always growing!)

1. Visit every Disney park in the world.
I have 3 down and have 2.5 more to go.  I need to make a trip and see Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and by the time I have enough money saved for the trip, Shanghai Disneyland will be open.  It'll be one great Disney-Asia tour!

2. Find Maynard at Disneyland
This is something I just accomplished this past February.  I couldn't believe my luck!  I've read about Maynard online for the last 10 years.  He's been a celebrity in the Disney-geek world.  He's really a Cast Member extrodanaire.  For any attraction he's assigned to, he really gets into the character.  And he's known for his signature photo pose!  So as I was exiting the Enchanted Tiki Room, I noticed that the Cast Member clearing the room out looked oddly familiar.  I asked if he was Maynard and he said Yes!  So I asked if I could take a photo of him to cross it off my Disney Bucket List.  He laughed and said of course.  Here's the photo with his signature post!

3. Visit Club 33
Club 33 is a private club and restaurant inside New Orleans Square.  You can find the door near the Pirates of the Caribbean exit and is marked by the number 33.  One day I will find someone with membership and beg my way inside!

3. Go on a Disney Cruise
Some find this surprising, but I've never been on a cruise.  I'm really not a boat/out to sea kind of gal but I will make the exception for a Disney cruise! 

4. Make a Photography Field Trip to Disneyland
One of these days, I'd like to take a day and just walk around the park shooting photos.  There's a lot of architectural beauty in the park and I'd like to capture as much of it as I can.  I can only do so much with my daughter or other friends/family around.  One of these days I'll do it.  I don't have many photographer friends that are into Disney that would go with me, so I'm pretty much stuck to doing it myself.

5. Stay 1 night at the Grand Californian Hotel
This hotel is a real beauty!  It's built right next to California Adventure and is huge!  The theming is similar to the Wilderness Lodge in WDW.  I've never stayed at a Disney property in Anaheim since there's really no reason to.  The hotels are not like WDW where it feels like a resort and there are a lot of things to do.  Disneyland is more of a local park than it is a resort, and as a result there are a lot of hotels right across the entrance that are much, much cheaper than the Disney hotels.  And they are a closer walk to the entrance!  So I've never been able to justify paying $300-400 a night for a Disney hotel when I can just pay $59 to stay across the street and walk 5 minutes.  But one day I will.  And I'll make my husband pay for it!  :-D

6. Take my daughter to Disneyland Paris
My mom took me to Paris when I was a senior in high school because I was taking French.  As part of the trip, I begged and begged and begged to do one day at Disneyland Paris.  We did and it was so much fun!  I remember the park being pretty empty but loving the castle (they have a fire-breathing dragon down below!), Alice's labyrinth, and different versions of the rides from Disneyland.  It was a beautifully done park and a fun trip that was just my mom and me.  One day I'll take my daughter to do the same.

7. Visit Disneyland during every holiday
I think it would be fun to say that I've experienced the park during every holiday.  So far I've done Christmas, Halloween, New Years, President's Day, and soon Thanksgiving.  Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July and St. Patrick's Day would be fun to add to the list.  My favorite so far has been Halloween. 

8. Beat my husband's Toy Story Mania score
This ride is favored towards men winning.  If you've been on the ride and know what it takes to do rapid-fire moves, then you know what I'm talking about.  I'l leave it at that.  But I still want to beat him!!  One day, when he's old and moves slower, I'll swoop in and beat him fair and square.

9. Start a funny picture tradition on Splash Mountain photos
When my daughter is tall enough to go on Splash Mountain, I want to start doing really funny, stupid faces on the ride photos so we can build out a fun album from our trips.  I did this with my roommates many years ago, just taking funny faces, and it was hilarious!  I still look back at those photos and laugh at loud!

10. Buy a Mickey Waffle Maker
Do you know how expensive these things are?  They don't sell them at stores and I've only seen them at eBay for $100-200 a pop.  The minute I see it in a store or at the parks, I will snatch up one of those puppies so I can enjoy Mickey waffles every day.

11. Retire and serve Mickey Waffles on Main Street
Did I mention that I love Mickey waffles?  Once I get old and retire, I'll convince my even older husband that it's a good idea we move south.  Then I'll work at Carnation Cafe on Main Street and serve delicious Mickey waffles to guests.  It would be the greatest job!

12. Find Peter Pan and take a photo with him
I found him once and I can do it again!  Last time, there were some rude parents that cut in front of my daughter and I as we were waiting for a photo and a story (Peter was telling each kid a fun story instead of just posing for pictures).  Well, right before it was our turn, 2 sets of parents swooped in and cut rushing towards Peter.  It was so unfair.  At that point my daughter was getting fussy so I didn't make her wait anymore.  I snapped a photo of Peter but was disappointed it wasn't with my daughter.  So, every visit I keep my eye on the look out because you never know when you're going to spot him. 

13. Write a book or planning guide
One day when I'm not busing working 50 hours a week or being a full time mom and wife, I will find time to write a Disneyland planning guide or book.  Not to make extra money but because it's my passion.  I love sharing planning tips with people who ask.  With all the great guides and books out there, how will mine stand out?  I'm a person who doesn't have a lot of time or like to over pack (I just bring the essentials) so this guide will be for busy folks like me who don't have a lot of time to read.  Easy on the copy writing keeping it simple with bullet points, easy itineraries/schedules and lists.  So keep your eye out for it! :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Bengal BBQ

I remember seeing the Bengal BBQ in Adventureland when I was a kid and asked my dad if we could eat there. I don’t remember the reason why, but we never did and I never went there until recently. Boy, have I been missing out the one of the best eateries in Disneyland!

After reading a few other blog posts on this place, I made it a point to check it out with DH. Bengal BBQ is located right across from the Jungle Cruise and is a counter service eatery. That means you stand in line, order your food, and find a place to sit. Seating is very limited so I recommend that one person in your party snag a table while the other waits in line to order.

The menu items consist of different barbequed skewers. We tried the Cheiftain Chicken (in Polynesian sauce), Banyan Beef (hot & spicy), Bengal Beef (sweet Zulu sauce), Safari skewers (bacon wrapped asparagus), Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel, Mickey Mouse Pretzel with cheese, and Tiger Tails (grilled breadsticks). All items are $3.99 or less and combined with an Annual Pass discount, it's a bargain!

Cheiftain Chicken...not my favorite but my hubby liked it

Bengal Beef in sweet Zulu sauce.  It's Zulu-licious!!!

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

Pretty self explanatory: Mickey Mouse Pretzel

One bite of the chicken and beef skewers and we were in heaven! My personal favorite was the Bengal Beef in sweet Zulu sauce. It very tasty! We even dipped our Safari skewers in the Zulu sauce to make it extra tasty.  Unfortunately, I don't have a good photo of the Safari skewers, because we were busy gobbling them up!

Safari Skewers: Bacon wrapped asparagas...mmmmmmmmm.....

The only item I was disappointed in was the Tiger Tails. In reading other blogger’s reviews I had high expectations for these grilled breadsticks. I’m not sure if it was just our order, but the bread was so rubbery and dry that I didn’t want to finish eating it. I did try using it as sandwich bread for the meat, but I couldn’t make myself eat this horrible dryness.

Tiger Tails...aka dry bread!

Tiger Tails aside, we loved this place so much we went back the next day to do it all over again! And of course my daughter loved the skewers as well! Next time we’ll be trying out the Outback Vegetable Skewer (and of course, taking pictures of the asparagas skewers)!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party

I LOVE themes!  Which is one reason why I love Disneyland.  Everything down to the trash can and exit sign is themed to its land.  So when it came to my daughter's 1st birthday party, I knew I had to go all out.  Choosing a theme was pretty easy because I wanted the party to have lots of color.  And what better movie to pick than Alice in Wonderland!  Lots of fun characters, lots and lots of color.

I started with making a banner using my Cricut machine.  I bought a view Jolee's Boutique Alice stickers but used my Cricut to cut everything else (banner tiles, letters, confetti).  It took a couple months to make the whole thing, but it turned out beautiful and is one of my proudest DIY projects.

Next I printed out a bunch of clip art of the characters so I could decorate the park posts.  Every post in the park area I reserved had a character and crazy arrow signs.


Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the picnic tables, but each table had a different color cover.  There was one table that I made everything red, black, and white in honor of the Queen of Hearts.  That table was used as a coloring station for the kids with Alice in Wonderland coloring pages.

During my daughter's first year, I didn't have the heart to toss or recycle the baby food jars.  Their so cute and ever so useful that I knew I could use them for something.  That something ended up being party favors!  All the jars were cleaned out and then the lids were spray painted different colors.  I designed a few strips that said "Thank You" and printed them on sticker paper and wrapped them around the jar.  Each jar was then filled with Skittles and were set on all the tables to double as decorations. 

And finally the cake!  I found a wonderful bakery down the street that specialized in decorating.  I told them I wanted a sheet cake using Alice in Wonderland figurines that I had bought on eBay.  And that I also wanted a smash cake for my daughter.  A smash cake is a tiny little cake just for baby so they can "smash" it, eat it, and get messy.  When I picked up the cake on party day I couldn't believe what a beautiful job they had done! 

Every one had a great time at the party and I had a ton of fun theme-ing it out.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and inspired your creative side if you're planning your own party.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Ariel's Grotto World of Color Dining Package

Ariel's Grotto is a table-service restaurant at California Adventure.  Set along the Paradise Pier, guests can dine with the princesses during lunch.  For dinner, the princesses are not around but you can score a Fastpass for Preferred Viewing sections of World of Color. 

World of Color is a night time show at Paradise Pier using amazing water and light technology.  Think of it as a grander scale of the water projection piece from the Fantasmic show but multiplied by 10 and with a lot more color!  It's absolutely beautiful!  And it's so worth getting a Preferred Viewing section that is in the center of the viewing arrangement. 

Back to Ariel's Grotto.  Dining is on the more expensive side but you have to remember that you're paying not just for dinner but for Preferred Viewing tickets.  That means you don't have to wait in line first thing in the morning for a Fastpass ticket. 

Dinner for adults is $39.99, $20.99 for children ages 3-9, and free to children 2 and under.  Annual Pass discounts can be applied.

To view the first World of Color show, dine from 5:00-7:00 pm.
To view the second World of Color show, dine from 7:05-8:30 pm.

The dining package is a 3 course meal and the food is fantastic!  The first part is an Antipasti Tower.  The 1st tower is filled with salami, cheeses, and veggies.  The 2nd tower has jello and watermelon.  The 3rd tower is a mixed green salad.

A bread basket with 3 dipping sauces is also served.

You then have your choice of entree.  I also go with the tri tip because it comes with the most delicious garlic mashed potatoes ever!  I'm getting hungry just thinking of it!

Santa Maria Tri Tip with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies

After your entree, you are served a tray of assorted desserts.  My favorite part is the white chocolate film strip!

Assorted dessert tray.  The film strip is edible as it's white chocolate!

For kids 2 and under, they can have a plate of spaghetti w/fruit or mac n cheese w/fruit for FREE!!  Yes, FREE!  It's one of my favorite delights from this restaurant.  They really take care of the families with little ones.

The FREE spaghetti and fruit for kids 2 and under.  It came with a meatball on a stick!
After you take care of the check, your water will hand you a Fastpass for each person.  Be sure to show up at least 30 minutes before show time to find a spot in your designated Preferred Viewing area.  The closer to the front you are, the wetter you'll get!  Our favorite spot is in the middle on the stairs so we have a place to sit while we wait. 

No trip to California Adventure is complete without food from Ariel's Grotto.  I always look forward to the food and service (mostly the mashed potatoes). 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Something About Me Saturday Blog Hop

I'm so excited to be joining Disney Bird's Something about Me Saturday Blog Hop! Bird is one of my favorite bloggers and has awesome posts on WDW!  Please be sure to check her out!

So for my first blog hop post, I figured I'd start with some fun, random stuff about me. 

Who am I?
I'm a twenty-something almost thirty-something mom who has a full time day job and 24/7 job as mom and wife. 

What was your Disneyland hook?
I have my parents to thank for for bring Disney into my life.  My dad has always appreciated the Disney art and film and as a result I grew up watching all of the movies and original cartoons from the 20's, 30's and 40's.  And I thank my mom for being the one to make sacrifices so our family could go to Disneyland.  I went twice as a kid and then there was a long break.   We finally when back when I was a senior in high school and I remember driving down asking my mom, "Why is Disneyland so popular when none of their rides go upside down?" (I'm a thrill junkie).  I don't remember her answer but once we got there, I understood it.  I reconnected with the magic.  And once I took my daugher for the first time, I became OBSESSED because I felt the magic and saw it through her eyes.  Lucky for her, she's been 13 times to the park, more than I've ever made in my childhood!  But I guess part of that is because kids under 3 are free!  :-)

Favorite Disneyland Ride
It's a toss up between Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion.  HM was always my favorite ride because of the ghosts but JC is up there because I love the cheesy jokes.  I ride it over and over looking for that special skipper that's going to deliver the best cruise.

Disneyland or Walt Disney World?
Disneyland!  I know it's way smaller than WDW but it's more special because it's the first and the one that Walt built.  I've been to WDW twice and I don't feel the magic as strongly as I do Disneyland.  I still like WDW, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't have the same feel or nostalgia as Disneyland.  I know folks who have been visiting WDW and once they make their way to Disneyland their unimpressed because it's smaller and less to do.  But it's special to me in many ways.

Favorite Disney Movie
Sleeping Beauty, Emperor's New Groove, and Toy Story.  I love SB for the beautiful animation.  Even though I've never solved the mystery of why Aurora and Prince Phillip don't utter a word during the 2nd half of the movie. 

Scrapbooking, photography, snowboarding, blogging, and building playlists in iTunes.  I'm a music junkie and have about 100+ playlists for every mood and event I could think of.

That's all for now.  I'll think of something more creative to share for next week! :-)

BONUS LIST: Kid's Disneyland Scavenger Hunt

Why should all the older kids have the fun with the photo scavenger hunts?  I designed this list with little ones in mind.  Print out this list and have fun watching your mousketeer go on their hunt!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Computer Has Arrived! Back online on Saturday, 7/23!

Hello readers!  I'm very excited that say that I received my new computer today and I will be back to posting starting this Saturday, 7/23!  And for anyone that's interested, don't get an HP Desktop!  This is the 3rd fail in 3 years and I'm so glad to get kicking it to the curb.  Looking forward to my new Dell! :-)

I sincerely apologize for the long delay as this has been the longest I've ever gone without my computer (borrowing one today to post this).  I've been missing following up with readers and checking out everyone else's blogs for the last few weeks.  I will be spending a lot of catch up this week and can't wait to get back in touch with everyone!

Here's what you can look forward to reading daily starting this Saturday, 7/23:

-A Kid's Scavenger Hunt (a junior-sized list for little ones)
-Review of Ariel's Grotto and World of Color Dining Package
-Alice in Wonderland birthday party ideas and photos
-Review of Bengal BBQ
-Clues from July Scavenger Hunt
-Continuation of 30 Day Disney Photo Challenge
-My Disney Bucket List
-Photos from Soundsational Summer including new parade
-August Scavenger Hunt

See you Saturday!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Computer Crash!

I sincerely apologize for being MIA the last week.  My computer crashed big time last week and I've been trying to fix it so I can get all my files back and start posting again. 

Well, after today's last attempt, my computer just gave out.  So I've ordered a new computer so I can get back up and running. 

In the meantime, any posts between now and the next couple of weeks will be limited as the majority of my posting materials are out of commission (i.e. Photoshop).

Again, I apologize for the lack of presence but I'm working hard on getting back online!


Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2011: Monthly Disneyland Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The July Scavenger Hunt list is here! 

Need to find the rules to the Photo Scavenger Hunt?  Visit the tab at the top of this blog for a printable Rules page.

Print out your list and go hunting for the items on your next Disneyland/California Adventure visit.  Clues to items will be posted mid-month but if you’re stuck on something, comment below and I’ll be happy to provide a clue.

Don’t forget to subscribe or follow this blog.  You’ll be notified when new lists, clues, and bonus lists will be posted.
Good luck!
Click to print
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