Friday, April 26, 2013

Disney Project: Mickey Light Post


Project Idea: Fortfiends Craft Forum
Mickey Light Plan: Carol-anne
Fabric Used: Old Milk Jug, Pvc pipe, lots of Spray paint,  Newport Coastal White Post Top Globe, 
Westinghouse 6” Opal Globe with neck, Westinghouse 12” White Acrylic Globe, Extension cord, plastic tubing, and masking tape. 
Time Spend: 4 days due to painting and sanding the jug. 
Step 1-4
  1. Find a Milk Jug and sand all of the paint off till smooth. This is a good job for a power sander.
  2. Mask off the top of jug and spray the bottom red. Repeat with sanding between coats so that it is smooth. 
  3. Repeat step 2 with black on the top. 
  4. Repeat step 2 with yellow paint strip.
  5. Paint the PVC pipe black. 
  6. Find the Disney Font online and then print off all of the names you want on the jug.  
  7. After printing names cover the name with masking tape 4 times and than use X acto knife to cut the names out. 
  8. Find Mickey buttons online and then enlarge the image with print preview. Next print follow step 6.
    Step 5
  9. With the stencils place on jug and spray the jug name by name.
  10. Next fix up the names that had over spray by painting with a brush with red paint or black. 
  11. Spray with clear gloss spray paint.
  12. Cut the top of the milk jug and then we added fuel hose tubing around the hole so we could remove the post without scratching the post paint.
  13. Next we followed  Carol-anne instructions on building the post.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Disney Project: Sewing Snow White Dress

Dress: Snow White
Sewing Pattern: Simplicity 2563 
Edited Sleeve Pattern:  Craftinessisnotoptional
Fabric Used: Joann's fabric-
  • Skirt and Main part of Top- Broadcloth
  • Sleeves, Cape, and Collar- CHEAP Costume satin (Get the better satin. Cheap satin will shred) Lesson learned. 
Sewing Time: 2 days
Wearing time: She tries to wear the costume all the time! Totally worth it! :)

Notes: Maddy really wanted the Snow White dress so I ran to the store and grabbed the fabric. The dress wasn't difficult but the costume satin fabric was a nightmare to deal with. Now when I make any outfits that I know she is going to wear all the time I will get the more expensive stuff.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Disney Trip Planning

Everyone always has questions when it comes to planning a great Disney vacation. After going the last 4 years I have found a process that seems to work best for me and my super planning ways. I have found that planning early gets you the upper hand when you are dealing with lots of people added with 2 children under 5. Here is what I do step by step,
  1. Pick a date
    • Our family loves when there are less people to deal with at the parks so we searched the Forecasted Disney crowds calenders online and found September was our prefect match this year. It offered all of our needs, hot enough for waterparks, low cost season, Mickey's Halloween party, and less forecasted crowds. To find the best weeks I look at the following sites,
    • Disney tends to offer free dining packages with on-site stays which is the best deal Disney offers on certain low crowd level months but not always. We stay at the Fort Wilderness campground so we are excluded from this option. 
    • Special Events- Disney offers many special events all year like Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween, Marathons, Holiday events, and Concerts. 
  2. Pick Your Stay
    • This may change your date because prices are different for on-site and off-site hotels for different seasons. There are great sites that help with the season pricing,
    • Research the hotels before you choose. 
      • Off-site Property
        • Does it have a shuttle to Disney? If so how often or long does it run?
        •  Are you renting a car?
          • Daily Parking at Disney cost 
            $14.00 - Car/Taxi/Shuttle/Limousine/Motorcycle
            $15.00 - Camper/Trailer
            $18.00 - Bus/Tractor Trailer
      • On-site Property
        • How far from Disney Parks is the hotel located
          • This will affect how long the Disney buses takes to get there and back from the park. 
            • We stayed at the Pop Century which was one of the farthest from Magic kingdom so it would usually take about 45 mins with wait for the bus and transport there to get to MK.
          • If you are driving you can park at all of the Disney parks for Free. 
      • We always book with AAA but check around for discounts before booking.
  3.  Plan Your Park Days
    •  I used the same websites that I used to pick my dates to map out which park we will go to each day.
    • If you have little children try picking only one main park a day. If you have the Park Hopper pass then you can go to another park through out the day.
    • Make sure to look at the fireworks and parade times and days because some are not offered everyday. 
    • Look at Extra Magic hours if you want to go earlier or later. We found that the late night Magic hours seem to be more crowded than the morning.
  4. Make Dining Reservation
    • Disney will offer free meal sometimes and this make getting reservation a HUGE must because you will be fight all of the people staying on-site. 
    •  Use your week park plan as a guide to choose where to dine.
    • There are tons of online information about all of the restaurants Disney offers.
    • Make reservations online at Disney Dining.
      • You DO NOT have to stay on-site to make reservations.
      • You can may reservations 180 days in advance. 
  5. Start Planning Disney Outfit!
    • Matching shirts
      • If you are crafty make some! or Find someone crafty! There are so many options.
      • I find some great cheap Disney shirts at target that I get for the girls each year.
    • Princess outfits
      • Buy on ebay
      • craigslist
      • Sales online
      • I love to sew so I make a bunch of dresses before we leave. 
    • Super Hero
    • Dressing up is not get for the young one. Have fun with your little one. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Enjoying Disney World while Pregnant

We had our trip for November of 2010 plan since the ride home from the last Disney trip so when we decided to try for our second child a few months later we were surprised how fast we got pregnant and if Disney would be out of the question. After all of our research I found that I could ride the same rides as my 1.5 year old daughter, Maddy. So we packed extra pillows and bought some new walking shoes then headed to Disney. Now this year my sister and her husband are coming to Disney and are also expecting. So I decided to type out what I learned,

  1. The Disney World experience changes from a ride based trip with everyone going on rides multiple times and switches focus to more added shows and parades along with the kid friendly ride. 
  2. You can ride all the rides the younger ones can ride. The big rides in Magic Kingdom you will miss are Splash mountain, Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain.
  3. Most of Disney's rides have indoor waiting lines with air conditioning and fans so you wont have to worry about over heating. 
  4. The train is your friend at Magic Kingdom when you are pregnant. Come in the front of the park and then take it to the back to Fontierland then start the rides from there to tomorrow land. 
  5. Have a game plan the night before of what everyone wants to ride including the rides to are not riding and what shows or parades you wanted to make. 
  6. Spoil yourself with all of the goodies! You are taking care of you and a growing baby so they need to know what Disney is like! My favorite is the Dole Whip floats. I think I have 2 every time we are at Magic Kingdom.  
  7. Book multiple character meals to meet the characters instead of waiting in line at the park. This way you are off your feet while they are able to see their favorite character plus you get to eat too. The meals also seems to last a lot longer since you have to wait for each character. When I was pregnant we went to Chef Mickey and the Crystal Palace. 
  8. Do not book dining reservation outside of your planned park that day. This is just going to cause you to walk  a lot more than you need. 
  9. Explain to your family or husband that they can ride the non-pregnant friendly rides once. A lot of 2 time trip on a ride seem like no big deal to them but with the wait usually around 15 minutes that is 30 minutes when they go twice. EVEN with a fastpass. 
  10. You can use your Disney ticket card for non-pregnant rides too. This way your husband can get a fastpass for rocken rollercoaster and Tower of Terror in the same hour. This way they can ride one and then just jump on the other without waiting for the next fastpass time to be ready. 
  11. Pack an UMBRELLA for the PARADES. Even when we went in November it still would get really hot waiting in the sun for a parade and everyone is pushing for a shaded spot so just bring a small dark unbrella to stick in the stroller or backpack. Plus if it rains you are ready too. 
  12. ALWAYS go back to the hotel or campground and put your feet up in the middle of the day. If you go too long on your feet you will just injury yourself and it wont get better. You need the recovering time even if you dont think you do. 
  13. Bring lots of high fiber snacks like granola bars and a water bottle. 
  14. Find Pregnancy Disney shirts. I found a bunch before at the maternity store before I left. 
  15. Get Disney trading pins online before going to Disney and trade them while you wait. My daughter Maddy and I would do this all the time and it was so much fun. It was like a easter egg hunt. We would look for Tinkerbell or pirate pins. They have all kinds! Now everyone in our family is hooked on it.
  16. Try and not stay up too late with the extra magic hours the next day it wont feel like it was worth it. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Disney World Tips

  • Book trip at least 180 days in advance- More is better! 

    • Disney lets you start booking your dining reservations 180 days in advance. If you are staying on property then you can book out 10 days from that 180 day mark. 
  • Stay on property if you can afford it.

    • You have to pay for parking everyday if you stay off property which I think is around 15 dollars a day. 
    • You can drive to any Disney property free if you are staying on property.
      • Great if you have children so that you can drive back for a nap or rest time and then back to the park in no time.     
  • If DRIVING - Book through AAA and get a Diamond parking pass. 

    • When you book the package through AAA, depending on how busy the park is you will get a Diamond parking pass in the booklet. We stay at the Fort Wilderness campground and we just drive to every park besides Magic Kingdom and get to park in the front of the park or pretty close because of the Diamond parking pass. 
    • With young children this is a lifesaver. We don't have to worry about waiting 45 minutes to get back to the campsite for naps or down time. We use that time and we are back out to the parks. Saves us loads of time and energy carting the stroller with us too.  
  • Bring an extra pair of hands.

    • We brought my parents the first 2 times we went with the girls and it was a lifesaver. You get a break and you also get to ride with your older child together while they wait with little ones.
    • Last year we had 14 of us which was lots of help and fun but 2 extra people seems to be the best of both worlds.
    • No one is left out. 
    • You can also have a night out in Disney away from the kids.
    • More stroller hands. :) 
  • Get well versed on how Fastpass works. 

    • A Fastpass ticket is what you get when you use your Disney ticket card in the machine in front of a popular ride. These stations are labeled "Fastpass Distribution" if you look around the front of the attraction.
    • The ticket will you give you a period of time to come back and wait in a MUCH shorter line for the ride.  
    • Note that the ticket is only good for that time period listed.
    • You can only get 1 Fastpass in a given hour. 
    • Have someone run to the Peter Pan ride get Fastpass tickets for everyone and meet you at another ride then ride and then go to Peter Pan. Works like a charm, and you end up waiting around a lot less!  
  • Get well versed in how Child Swap works. 

    • Child Swap is a type of Fastpass you get when you come to the front of a ride line with ALL OF THE GROUP and show them that you want to ride the ride while someone waits with the kids that are too small to ride. They will give you 2 to 3 Fastpass tickets depending on how many you need to the person waiting while you wait in the REGULAR ride line. This was great bc my parents could ride with Maddy while we waited and then Geoff and I could ride it with her. 
    • The CHILD SWAP ticket is good that day and not just a time period like a regular Fastpass! So if the Fastpass line is too long or you need to do a diaper change or see a parade just leave and come back later. 
    • If you love a ride I would suggest getting the Fastpass at the beginning and then waiting in the regular line (we alone wait if is around 25 mins) and then get a Child Swap too!! You get 3 rides in the period it takes to stand in line for a single ride.
  • Try to book a Disney trip in lower crowd months.

    • Undercover tourist and other sites are great for this, though we did go to Disney the week after Thanksgiving based off of this and it is always crowded now. This time we are going in September. It will be hotter but there should be less people, and that is more important for our family.  
  • Plan park days FIRST, then dining reservations.  

    • We learned this the hard way! You do not want to have to race from park to park to get to a reservation. It is a lot of energy and time wasted and becomes very stressful. 
    • Pick one table meal in the park you will be in or a nearby resort
    • Parks also have special events and extra magic hours so use that as a guide on the parks you want to go to.
    • I use the Disney crowds calenders to find the ones with least amount of people that day. The calenders tend to push you away from the parks with extra magic hours. 
    • We found that the parks that close early because of special events tend to be the best in the morning.    
  • Plan one day off in the middle of the trip. 

    • With all of the rides and running around you get really tired, so take a day off and go to a water park or to the pool. You will need it! 
    • Walk around other resorts. 
    • If you get the Water park and More ticket you can go to the water park on your off day and it won't count against your "park days."     
  • After picking the parks, make the dining reservations ASAP.

    • The more time you have before your Disney trip the better chance to get a reservation at a certain time and place. 
    • We plan out all of the park and dining locations 2 weeks before the 180 day mark so that when the day comes I can call in all of the reservations. 
  • Make your reservations for dining ONLINE. 

    • You DO NOT need to be staying on property to make a dining reservation. 
    • On the Disney dining website you can pick which park it needs to be in and so much more. 
    • You may also cancel reservations online. I will make all of the reservations and sometimes change my mind, so I can just log in and see what else is available.  
    • Use the guides online like TripAdvisor and blogs to find out the best meals for your family.
  • If you do not have the meal plan bring your own food with you. 

    • We found that just throwing bread, jelly and peanut butter in the stroller with chips and fruit was great. We could just find a quiet spot and relax. 
    • You do not have to wait in long lunch lines or try to go at a certain time.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle and propel or crystal light packets.  

    • We would bring one large water bottle for our family and a bunch of propel packets so we could just refill and go. 
    • When you don't want to carry heavy water just pour out. It was perfect.  
  • Bring your own dress up outfits. 

    • I love sewing princess dresses so the girls have lots of princess dresses. 
    • Remember the magic will wear out faster than you think.
  • Go to Disney when they are young.

    • A lot of people will say to us, "Well we want to wait till they are older so they remember," but the trip is so worth it because you remember everything. Disney is like Christmas morning everyday. They look at their favorite character and think they are the real thing. I can't explain it but I'll just say that I have cried many times at Disney and oldest, Maddy, is only 4 years old.
    • Kids under 3 are free which is great since the tickets are pricey. 
    • You can eat at a buffet and under 3 can eat free. We did a bunch of character meal buffets and Maddy was always free when she was 2. So we just had to pay for Geoff and I.
  • Get the Disney Premier Visa Card  

    • When we signed up we got a $200 of Disney Reward Dollars that we used for a down payment for our trip. Keep an eye out on promotions as we have seen them offer anywhere from $50-$200 as a bonus for signing up.
    • We use it for everything and last time we had enough Disney dollars for Maddy's ticket and our whole Princess meal was covered.
  • Get to the parade 30-45 minutes before that parade. 

    • We like to go in the Frontierland for the parades since it is less crowded.
  • Go to the Electric parade! It is amazing! Best parade ever.  


Our Disney family

 Our Disney Family

Disney December 2012

Waiting for Expedition Everest at AK
Our Disney family started in 2008 when my husband Geoffrey and I ( Jennifer) decided to head to Disney World. Geoff had not been to Disney World since Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom  and since I had gone several time with my family I wanted to take him there before we had any children. This was part of my before children bucket list. We decided to go on February 14th because we wanted to go when it was less crowded so that we could get as much miles out of all of our favorite Disney rides. The trip was amazing and super tiring. We got off of our early morning plane ride and headed straight to the parks. For 4 days we were racing from ride to ride with our daily table serve meal being our primary break. The first day we even did the Pirate and Princess Party at MK till midnight just riding all of the rides. After our first Disney trip together we were so exhausted but knew that we both had equally amount of excitement for our next trip to Disney. A year later we had our daughter Madelyn. After a year with her we decided that we wanted to buy a pop-up camper to take many family adventures in. We both came from camping family but we didnt want all of the camping experiences. :) So we bought our first camper and with my husband being the nerd he is he found all of the pop-up camper forums. One day he came across a post about Fort Wilderness at Disney and how much people loved camping on Disney property. Geoff quickly found it was very affordable and that Maddy was free at Disney till she was 3 years old so we booked our first family vacation. Soon after booking our trip we found out that we were expecting our second daughter Hadley and since my parents love Disney we decided to see if they wanted to come with us. They accepted almost immediately. So with the five of us we head down to Disney in October 2010.

Disney October 2010
We had a great time and on our way back from Disney Geoff and I discussed how much we looked forward to our last 2 Disney trips all year that we would make it our yearly vacation. This was one of the best decisions we have made as a family so far in my view. We went back to Disney in December of 2011 with my parents and 2 daughter (6 months and 2 years) and then in December 2012 with 14 people in tow!

We have loved every minute of our Disney trip but have learned some many things each time. So after many asking for advice on their Disney trip I decided I would write a blog explaining what work in our family and what didnt. I look forward to spreading my love of our Disney family with yours.