The Journey Continues: Toy Story 4 + Toy Story Land

Our family is excited for Toy Story 4 to be released June 21st. I’m also overjoyed to know that director Josh Cooley has confirmed that the late comedian Don Rickels, the voice of Mr. Potato Head is still part of the franchise with this fourth installment. There are a few new characters, faces and voices like actors Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Micheal Key and Tony Hale as ‘Forky’ – Bonnie’s new friend and toy. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you don’t want to miss the trailer!

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Also, if you have a chance to visit Walt Disney World, go ahead and head over to Hollywood Studios’ Toy Story Land. It debuted on June 30, 2018 and still has guests lining up to ride Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and snacking at Woody’s Lunch Box. Toy Story Land is meant to be a ‘toys-eye-view’ from Andy’s backyard. Unfortunately for that reason, there is very little shade throughout which can be refreshing on a hot Orlando day. If you go, be sure to wear sunscreen, take an umbrella or a hat to keep cool.

Are you a fan of Toy Story, which is your favorite so far – I’d love to know!

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Six Dollar Store Essentials For Disney Trip

Six Dollar Store Essentials For Disney Trip

I want to share with you these items that I consider to be essential  for any Disney trip / vacation. The best part of all is that they can all  be purchased from the Dollar Store.

This bottle caddy – I found this one on Amazon which also looks great. The plastic gets hooked onto the top part of any water bottle and it can be carried around your neck or across your body. The kids love carrying this and when they don’t – it happens, simply place the water bottle in the backpack.

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You want to take rain ponchos because you just never  know if it’ll rain – these are from Amazon, and small trash bags these are from Amazon. The children are constantly snacking at the parks and there isn’t always a trash bin around, simple start to fill up a bag, and as soon as a trash bin is in sight, simply toss the bag away! The children will also snack in the car on the way to Disney World, and all the trash in placed in these small bags. Also, yes I would agree, these are not  the best in quality, but again, this will keep you dry, and considering the overpriced ponchos being sold at the parks, you can’t  beat the price!

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These pop-up hampers – this 2 pack is from Amazon. I will usually purchase two, one for myself and my husband and the other for the children. When we arrive to our rooms, I’ll set these up in a corner. Then when it’s time to pack up and go, we simply pack these in our vehicle. It makes going back home so much more enjoyable. I get home, the clothes are in the hampers, put them in the laundry room, wash, and done!  No more dirty clothes mixed in with clean clothes.

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If you’re planning to stay longer than a few days – say 3 days, I’d suggest not over packing instead take your own detergent and wash clothes. The Disney resorts have self service laundry facilities on property. Just so you know, if purchasing detergent from the vending machine they offer are a single-use packet for $1 each. This bottle is enough for about three to four loads, which is more than plenty. On this day / trip, there was only this brand, but the Dollar Store carries other known brands such as Tide and Gain.

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And lastly, little ones enjoy all things glow in the dark, so these are perfect for the night time Happily Ever After show at Magic Kingdom or  any other fireworks and nighttime spectaculars at Disney World.

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Do you have any must haves or essentials you take on your trip to Disney World? Please share!

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Disney: The Best Character Signing Idea

Disney: The Best Character Signing Idea

Have you ever been to Disney and met the wonderful Disney characters? The Disney character ‘Meet-and-Greet’ are amazing, they’re smiling, they’re interacting, they’re excited to see you and they’re ready and willing to take a picture with you, only before you know it, the experience is over.

When I was planning our very first family trip to the parks, I knew I wanted to have the characters signature. I also knew I didn’t want the signature book that Disney World has to offer. As someone who doesn’t like to store things away I knew the signature book would eventually make it’s way in a box and be stored somewhere. Instead, I wanted something that would be displayed on our walls for us to enjoy looking at even after our trip.

I’ve included a few of the moments we’ve captured on camera from our experiences with the characters signing our frames.

Have the Disney World characters sign on a picture frame mat!

•  Prior to our trip, I simply purchase a picture frame that includes a white mat.

•  I include a sharpie for the characters to sign with – keep it inside the zip lock bag, don’t be shy, you can tell them where to sign if there’s a gap needed to be filled.

∗ Please know, not all Disney characters will sign – simply ask the cast member that’s with the character to know if they sign, characters like Olaf from Frozen will not sign, as he hasn’t been to school and can’t read nor write, Baymax from Big Hero 6, Belle from Beauty and The Beast at Magic Kingdom will not sign, however Belle at the EPCOT park will!

•  You can do more than one Disney trip for character signatures in one mat frame – as I have done in the past. I simply choose a different sharpie color per trip and write the date of the trip on the back of the frame. The front of the frame will remind you which character signature color goes with which trip.

•  I store the mat in a zip lock bag – gallon size, and pack it inside our backpack. Florida weather can be unpredictable and to avoid getting the mat wet on a rainy day, I like to place it inside a zip lock. If you ever visit the Disney World parks bring an umbrella, rain or shine, it’ll be useful.

•  Get back from your vacation, choose your favorite picture, print it and frame! If you have kids or not, this picture frame signature idea is the best! It’ll be a great reminder of an even greater trip!

A few character signatures we’ve collected over the years have been, Mickey – although we’ve met multiple ‘Mickeys’ we now just get one of their signatures, since the same character will sign the same way, Merida from Brave, Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Pluto, Gaston from Beauty and The Beast, Belle from Beauty and The Beast, Sofia from Sofia The First, Tinker Belle, Donald Duck, Jake from Jake and The Neverland Pirates, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Snow White from Snow white and The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Elena from Elena of Avalor, Woody from Toy Story, Buzz from Toy Story, Pocahontas, Timon from The Lion King, Tarzan and Daisy.

   Please know, the best way to guarantee having a character experience is to make reservations at a restaurant with Character Dining – they’re amazing, just be sure to book your reservation early!

Hope this has inspired you in preparation for your visit to the Disney parks.

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