Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quote the photo!

I was going to save this photo for a Wordless Wednesday post but decided I'd let readers quote the photo!  


Can you think of a funny caption for this photo?  Post them in the comments!




Friday, January 20, 2012

Disney Foodie Blog Hop: Hot Disney Drinks

Today I'm co-hosting the Disney Foodie Blog Hop with Tricia from Return to Disney.  I was so excited when she asked me to co-host since Disney food is one of my favorite topics!

This week's theme is Hot Disney Drinks.  Perfect timing with all the cold weather we're having!



Looking through all my Disneyland photos, I realized I didn't have any photos of a hot Disney drink!  So I remembered that I had a Disney Candy Cane-flavored Cocoa.  I warmed up some milk on the stove and added in the mix.  It was so yummy!  The candy cane flavor wasn't as strong as I thought it would be.  It overall tasted like a peppermint hot chocolate.



By the way, this photo was super awkward to take.
I normally take photos  with my left hand and since the mug only showed Ursula
on one side with my right hand being forced to hold it, I had to take some practice shots!
 This happened to be Take 3!



What is the Disney Foodie blog hop? 
First – let’s get our terms straight. What, exactly, is a Foodie?
Foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food. — Wikipedia
So what’s a blog hop?
A blog hop is an event where bloggers gather to share their posts on a given theme. At the bottom of the Foodie Friday Blog Hop post, you’ll find a list of participating blogs. It’s a fun way to discover new blogs and revisit some old favorites. Be sure to leave a comment on the blogs you visit, follow the bloggers on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Friend Connect – if there’s one thing a blogger appreciates, it’s knowing that people read and enjoys their work!
Who Can Participate?
Any blogger who writes about food, Disney, or both. You don’t have to follow the weekly theme, and your blog doesn’t have to be all about food or Disney, but you should only link up posts that relate in some way to Disney food.
When Does the Blog Hop Run?
I’ll announce the following week’s theme on this page every Monday morning. The blog hop will open on Friday morning, and last until Monday evening – giving you plenty of time to cook up a storm on the weekend and blog about the magical results!
Spread the Word!
You can help the Disney Foodie Friday Blog Hop by posting the blog hop button on your blog.  You can also tweet about it, mention it on Facebook, and post about it on your blog.  The more Disney Foodie bloggers who participate, the more fun we all have!


Disney Foodie Blog Hop
<a href=”www.returntodisney.com/disney-foodie-blog-hop/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.returntodisney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Disney-Foodie-Blog-Hop-button.jpg” alt=”Disney Foodie Blog Hop” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>
 





Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Plan of attack for February 29

As I announced not too long ago, I'm going on a solo trip to Disneyland on February 29 to experience 24 hours at Disneyland.


Disneyland has not released the Entertainment Schedule yet for 2/29 and 3/1 (really, what's taking them so long?!).  In any case, I've got my plan of attack nearly down thanks to the help of several blogger friends of mine.  Here's the run down!


1. Fulfill my photography To Do list.


2. See how many times I can ride the Mad Tea Party without throwing up.

3. Try a Baked Potato from Troubadour Tavern.


4. Find 10 NEW Hidden Mickeys - that's a lot without a guidebook!


5. Stake out a prime location for fireworks display photos.  I've NEVER been in the front center of the castle for the fireworks.


6. 
Mail postcards to fellow bloggers from various Disneyland mail boxes.  

7. Try and get a ride on the Lilly Belle.



8. Buy and wear a new Disney hat.  I might go old school and buy the classic black Mickey Ears hat.


9. Find fellow Disneyland bloggers.  Shout out to Days in the Park!  Thanks to My Dreams of Disney for this one!


10. Take a photo of the same spot or as many hours as I can ever hour.  Thanks to Capturing Magical Memories for this one!  I'm thinking I'll shoot Main Street or find a clock every hour from a different location.


11. Film my ride experience on Splash Mountain and the Grizzly River Run with my new water-proof video recorder.


12. Stock up on Red Bull and take a couple power naps to ensure I'll be awake during the wee hours.


13. Ride Star Tours until I've been through every planet/experience.


14. Find all the Kodak Photo Spots and take a photo posed just like the example.


15. Have a drink (or two) at Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Wake up, sleepy heads!

Wouldn't it be nice to enter Disneyland and just walk onto the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage or the Indian Jones Adventure?  


Good news is that you can!


And here's the secret: You have to wake up early and be there when the park opens!


When you arrive at 8:00 in the morning, you're going to enjoy the E-ticket rides with little to no wait.  Trust me.  In that one and a half hour after opening, you can do more than being there during the day once all the sleepy heads have rolled into the park.


If you're with little ones, you can talk a power nap in the afternoon and once you return, you won't be to frantic to "do it all" because you already did a lot in the morning.  It's a nicer way to enjoy the park knowing you're not in a rush.


Here are some the rides that you should consider riding on first thing in the morning to avoid lines later:


DISNEYLAND


1. Peter Pan's Flight.  This is Fantasyland's most popular attraction and it does NOT have FASTPASS.  Do this first if you have little ones that NEED to go on this.


2. Finding Nemo Submarine Adventure.  This also does not offer FASTPASS and the lines can get quite lengthy.


3. Star Tours-The Adventures Continue.  You can kill two birds with one stone by getting a FASTPASS first and then walk towards Finding Nemo or Matterhorn Bobsleds since both are right around the corner.  


4. Space Mountain.  If you're visiting during Halloween Time, this rollercoaster gets a spooky Ghost Galaxy overlay which makes it more popular.  Jump on the coaster first thing or at the very least grab a FASTPASS.  


5. Indiana Jones Adventure.  During the summer, this is one of the longest lines where standby can get over 60 minutes and FASTPASSES can run out mid-day.


6. Matterhorn Bobsleds.  This roller coaster has two lines, one on the left and one of the right, and does not offer FASTPASS.  The left always seems to be more popular a line.





CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
NOTE: California Adventure opens at 10:00 AM, so be sure to get there on time as this is when the sleepy heads start to roll in.


1. Toy Story Midway Mania.  Outside of first thing in the morning, I've never seen the line for this less than 45 minutes.  And there is no FASTPASS, which is crazy to me.  Of all the attractions in DCA, this NEEDS one.  So, make this the #1 ride in the morning.  I cannot stress this enough.  Save yourself a headache because the queue is long and not very interactive once you pass Mr. Potato Head in the front of the queue.  Little ones will get bored if you're stuck waiting in a 45+ minute line.


2. California Screamin.  If you arrive early, I suggest to get a FASTPASS and then rush over to Toy Story Midway Mania.  They're practically next to each other so you might as well save time and attack both.


3. Soarin' Over California.  One of the most popular attractions, the lines can get crazy busy for this.  Either grab a FASTPASS on your way to another E-ticket ride or jump on and be the first to ride.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick Photo Tip: Turn off your flash!!

Are your photos of birthday cakes not coming out as you expected?  You probably have your camera's flash on.


When you leave the flash on, the photo gets somewhat washed out and you don't capture the glow of the candles. 


This photo was taken indoors with all the lights turned low (as you normally do with carrying the cake lit with candles).  My camera's flash really washed out the photo.





Try turning your flash OFF and turn up your ISO to 800 or 1600.  
























See how much better the photo came out?  It's the same camera in a similar setting with low indoor light.  


This setting really captures the candle glow better and looks more like how I saw it with my own eyes.  This really helped taking my dad's birthday dessert from Steakhouse 55.  And doesn't it look delicious?



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Celebrating 60

I recently came back from Disneyland to help my father ring in the big 6-0.  We had such a good time and found lots of ways to make it special for him, especially since he hadn't been to the park since 2001.


We started off the day by first taking a photo in front of the castle.  Last Christmas I had purchased a Kermit Mickey Ear Hat for my dad.  Since Disneyland is THE perfect place to wear it, I made him bring it for this trip.  


Nice nose-picking action from my daughter.


After doing a few rides early before the lines got longer, we went for a Character Breakfast at the Plaza Inn.  It was the first time my parents had ever been to a Character Breakfast.  During check in, I asked for a birthday pin for my dad and put it on his t-shirt.  As we were eating, Chip started to creep up behind my dad.  Chip then placed his hands on my dad's shoulders and my dad turned around and was spooked!  He leaned back so far and his face was sooo surprised, he didn't realize what was going on!  Chip in turn started "laughing" and jumped for joy since he successfully surprised him.


Oh yes, I made my dad wear a t-shirt with a big 60 on it!


Later in the day we went over to New Orleans Square.  While my mother went to the restroom, my dad, daughter and I went strolling through the streets.  We saw Jack and Sally walking towards the Court of Angels.  We immediately followed because I knew it would be a fun photo and really wanted to see Jack again since he takes the time to talk to you.  My mom met up with us in line so we were all set to take a family photo with them.


Jack saw my dad's birthday pin and immediately wished him a "horrible" birthday.  Jack then started talking to my daughter.  After she didn't respond, he told her that she's very wise to not trust the Pumpkin King right away!




For dinner that evening, we had reservations for Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel.  I'll post a review on that later.  Unfortunately, the food was not as good as I expected.


Throughout the day, Cast Members, guests, and even kids were telling my dad "Happy Birthday!" and commenting on his age like, "You don't look a day older than 59".  lol!  This really caught my dad off guard because he didn't expect so much attention!  He couldn't believe how many stopped to wish him a happy birthday and that he'd never had so many people wish him happy birthday in his life.  This alone made me so happy because I knew it made this birthday special for him.


Over at California Adventure, my dad and I hopped on Tower of Terror while my mom watched my daughter.  OMG, it was SO MUCH FUN!  We screaming so much during the drops and at the end of the ride my dad said, "That was AWESOME!!"  Although the photo doesn't show it, he really did have a good time!


This is the face of fun


Just yesterday, my dad told him that he really enjoyed the trip and was so appreciative that my daughter and I could join him to celebrate.  He also enjoyed all the little things during the trip to make it a memorable birthday.


If you're planning a birthday celebration at the park, consider the following:

  • Wear a t-shirt or hat that lets people know it's your birthday.
  • On top of the t-shirt or hat, get a birthday pin.  These are free and can be picked up at City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. or at most restaurants inside the park.
  • Make reservations for a table service restaurant or a Character Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.  When you make the reservation, be sure to tell him you're celebrating a birthday.  Here are my favorite places: The Plaza Inn (breakfast only, Disneyland), Blue Bayou (Disneyland), Cafe Orleans (Disneyland), Ariel's Grotto (California Adventure), Storyteller's Cafe (Grand Californian Hotel).
  • Meet "face" characters like Jack Skellington and Tinker Bell.  Face characters are able to talk and engage with you.
















Thursday, January 12, 2012

Disney Blog Hop: Here comes 2012!




Welcome and thank you for visiting from the Babes in Disneyland Disney Blog Hop!  

This week's theme is what we look forward to in 2012.  I've been cooking up a lot of Disney plans for this and there's a lot of new things in general that happening at the parks.  Here's the run down:

1. Disney California Adventure Enhancements
DCA has been going through a lot of construction to make it even better.  There's the new Buena Vista Street, DCA's version of Main Street U.S.A.  The concept art for this looks AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.  

Cars Land also opens this summer and is sure to add some good fun to the park.  All new rides and eateries are always good!

2. February 29
I have a solo trip down to Disneyland to experience 24 hours in the park.  It's so crazy I can hardly wait.  I've got my To-Do list and it continues to grow each week.  Disney Parks hasn't released the entertainment schedule yet for 2/29 so it'll be interesting to see what they have lined up for the whole day.

3. Walt Disney World!
I've got a big birthday celebration this year and what better place to spend it than WDW!  I haven't been since my honeymoon in 2006 and look forward to seeing the new Fantasyland when it opens.

What's on your 2012 list?  Share below in the comments!  And if you're going to be at Disneyland 2/29, I'll see you there!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where are my Mickey Waffles?!

Carnation Cafe is home to the famous Mickey Waffle.  Yes, I know you can get them at Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian and the Plaza Inn serves mini Mickey Waffles, but Carnation Cafe is the only place inside Disneyland that serves them like this:






As of tomorrow, Carnation Cafe will be closed until Summer 2012 for renovation.  The next door neighbor, Blue Ribbon Bakery is being transformed to the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and moving further down Main Street.  Carnation Cafe will use the old Blue Ribbon space for indoor dining.


This is a major bummer for since I'm going to Disneyland this weekend and cannot get my Mickey Waffle!  On the flip side, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is opening this Saturday, January 7 so I will be one of the first to check it out.  But I will sure miss those waffles!  Summer can't come soon enough!

24 Hours in Disneyland!

Many of you have already heard that Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will be open for 24 hours on February 29 for the Leap Year.  When I heard the news I first thought, "Ok, that's kind of cool" but I wasn't serious about going.


Fast forward to this morning when I got a JetBlue email announcing a $39 each way sale.  Out of curiosity, I looked to see if Long Beach would be on the list and if February 29 qualified for the $39 fare.  After checking, it indeed was on sale!


I called my husband and asked if I could do a solo trip to experience 24-hours at Disneyland.  He was ok with it so off I went to book my flight!  After taxes it was $99.  Next, I had a 10% off Hotels.com coupon and booked my hotel for $65.  So for $164, I booked a flight and hotel.  That's cheaper than driving!


Now that I've got my solo trip booked, I need to fill my day with activities!  Here's my list so far but I NEED YOUR HELP!  Let me know in the comments if you have fun challenges or activities that you'd like to see me do and I'll post a follow up after my trip!  Can't wait to see what you all come up with!


1. Find fellow Disneyland bloggers
2. See how many times I can ride Space Mountain in 24 hours.
3. Try a Baked Potato from Troubadour Tavern.
4. Find 10 NEW Hidden Mickeys - that's a lot without a guidebook!
5. Stake out a prime location for fireworks display photos.  I've NEVER been in the front center of the castle for the fireworks.
6. Get photos with as many characters as possible.
7. Try and get a ride on the Lilly Belle.
8. Fulfill my photography to-do list (that's a separate post)





Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Most Embarrassing Moment


Welcome to those of you joining me from  Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane  and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.


When I read that this month's topic would be to describe our most embarrassing moment, I knew exactly what I would be writing.  I've been telling this story for years!


In 2001, several members of my family came to California to visit us from Peru. We had 6 family members staying at my mom's house for a total of 10 people!  Since it was summer, we decided to go on a road trip down to Disneyland since my uncle had never been.  It was also my brother and cousin's birthday and figured it'd be a good time.  So we packed everyone is our minivan and off we went!


For starters, you should know that my Peruvian family is very loud, funny, and crazy.  As a child, I have so many memories of just laughing with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  So I knew this road trip would be full of fun.  


But being such a large group, not everyone could go on the same ride at the same time.  We had to be broken up.  Take this Splash Mountain photo for example.  Before they installed individual seating in the log, we were able to squeeze in 8 adults!  You can barely see my mom in this photo (she's wearing a blue t-shirt).  






But we were able to find a ride that held all of us: Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes.


I don't know what came over my family but as soon as they sat in the canoe, they would not shut up. They were speaking SO loudly in Spanish that the Cast Member leading the canoe kept telling them to keep it down as he was trying to go on with his spiel.  I think that only fueled them to become louder because the next thing I know, they're singing "Happy Birthday" to my cousin and brother in English and Spanish and banging their paddles around the canoe to make music.  I looked over to my brother who was sitting next to me and we buried our heads in our lap as we were mortified.  We did not want to be associated with the crazy family in the canoe.


The poor Cast Member kept trying to shush them that he eventually gave up, sat down, and paddled the rest of the way.  My family basically took over the canoe and I was so sorry for the rest of the Guests on the ride who didn't get to experience the Explorer Canoes as they were meant to.


Once we got back to the dock, my brother and I quickly jumped off the canoe and started walking away.  We felt so bad for the Cast Member who was just trying to do his job.  




Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is  Disney in Our Blood .




Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Joanna and her Amazing Technicolor Interwebs
2nd Stop ~ Can Do It Mom AKA Mouse Fan Diane
3rd Stop ~ 400 Miles to Disneyland

Final Stop ~ Disney in Our Blood

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012: Monthly Disneyland Photo Scavenger Hunt List

Happy New Year!


The January Scavenger Hunt list is here! 

This month's hunt has a snap shot of the item you're tasked to find in each land. Once you find it, snap a photo with it as proof that you found it.  Don't forget to click the image to enlarge and print. 


CLICK TO PRINT




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. If you’re stuck on something, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide a clue.

Good luck and have fun!
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