How The Disney College Program Changed My Life

Twelve years ago today, I walked into a small meeting room at the Vista Way Apartment Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida (if you know, you know) and checked in for my Disney College Program. I did not realize at the time how life-changing this experience would be, but it left such an impact on me and my future. I secretly wish I could go back in time and do it all over again, but ultimately I am so thankful for the Disney College Program and how it changed my life.

I applied for the Disney College Program in August 2008 during my first semester of college. At the time, to apply, you had to go to a DCP Presentation at your college and then apply and interview after. If your college didn’t offer a presentation, you could go to one at a nearby school or do the presentation online. The presentation at my school wasn’t until the very end of the semester. I was too anxious to wait, so I watched the online presentation and applied at the beginning of the semester, interviewed quickly after, and had an acceptance letter in mid-October 2008. I remember standing in my mom’s kitchen after receiving that letter and telling her, “I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t do the Disney College Program” (how 19-years-old of me).

Once you are accepted to the College Program, you pick a date to arrive, an apartment to live in, and a roommate if you have one (if not, they will assign a roommate). I wanted to get to Orlando as soon as possible, so I first picked a December 2008 arrival date. My brother was getting married on January 16, so I changed my arrival until after his wedding date. On January 25, 2009, my dad, stepmom, and I loaded down the car in Texas and drove 20 hours to Orlando, Florida. At the time, I knew who my roommate was, where I would be living (Chatham Square), and that I would be working in Attractions (but wasn’t sure which ride or park). On January 26, 2009, I checked in at Disney and soon found out that I would be working in Attractions in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom.

The next couple of weeks were filled with tours, training, and teaching. I ended up working in the “Stitch Complex” in Tomorrowland, which meant I worked at Stitch’s Great Escape, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Astro Orbiter. I quickly made friends with Sarah, who is still one of my best friends years later, and my future husband, Kalib. Out of the thousands of Spring 2009 Disney College Program Participants, Kalib and I found ourselves arriving on the same day, working in the same place, and training together, just the two of us (something we still laugh about to this day). We all learned the ins and outs of Magic Kingdom, and Tomorrowland were so excited to spend an entire semester there.

Sarah and I quickly became friends with another Tomorrowland CP, Kaelyn, and we spent every day together. Most of our Tomorrowland shifts were late in the evening, so we would spend our days together at the parks. We bought Universal Studios Annual Passes (they were like $150 at the time, haha) and spent so much time there as well. Every day felt like a vacation, and work was always fun, even when we had to stay at work Extra Magic Hours until 3:00 am. I still laugh about how much Kalib annoyed me on our College Program; he loved to be silly and play jokes on everyone during our shifts (I never thought he would be the one for me). No shifts in Tomorrowland were mundane because you were constantly moving around and interacting with guests. I spent my Disney College Program surrounded by fun people, magical moments, and Disney magic. I wanted to stay forever, but of course, all good things must come to an end.

In June of 2009, as our Disney College Program was ending, I decided that I would stay in Orlando for a bit longer. I ended up getting a boyfriend while I was at Disney, who shall remain nameless, haha, and he convinced me to stay. My parents were reluctant but ultimately supported my decision to stay in Orlando for awhile. I got an apartment, signed up for online college classes, got a job at Universal Studios (that I had for like a solid 5 days before I quit) and watched all of my Disney College Program friends head home.

Not long after my College Program ended, I received a job offer to work with Disney’s Animal Programs Education Team at The Seas with Nemo and Friends as an Education Instructor. I lived in Orlando and worked full time at the Seas until March 2012, and then I went home to Texas to finish college (and started dating Kalib). I continued as a Seasonal Cast Member with Disney until June 2014, returning twice a year to work and keep my Cast Member status. Disney decided to do away with most seasonal positions around that time, and I was no longer a Cast Member.

In June 2014, I had a Disney Fairytale Wedding at Walt Disney World and married Kalib (yep, the same guy that I trained with on my College Program and pestered me). Two of the bridesmaids in our wedding were Sarah and Kaelyn, and we are still the best of friends to this day. Although we all no longer work for The Mouse, we now get to experience Disney as guests, and I think we are all okay with that.

I might have been a little dramatic when I told my mom that if I didn’t participate in the Disney College Program in June 2009, I would “regret it for the rest of my life,” but it’s true. I made the most magical memories and incredible friends and learned hard life lessons when I worked at Disney, but it changed everything about my life. I would do it over again in a heartbeat if I could.

Sending love and magic.

Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll Cookies

If you have ever been to Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays at Walt Disney World, then you know how magical and fun it is. Last year my husband and I attended the festival for the first time, and it quickly became one of my favorite festivals that Epcot has to offer. A couple of weeks ago, we were able to attend again and try the Holiday Cookie Stroll for the first time, which is what I want to share with you today.

Epcot’s Holiday Cookie Stroll is a fun adventure through Epcot where you purchase five cookies in different countries, receive stamps for each cookie in your passport, and then redeem your passport a the end to get a free cookie. I enjoyed how leisurely it was, truly a stroll from country to country, and all of the yummy cookies.

Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie, Canada – 9/10

The first cookie on our stop was the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie from the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada. This cookie is definitely one of the most festive! It is a red and white swirled peppermint shortbread cookies with red and green sprinkles on the outside. Although I am not the biggest fan of peppermint in my baked goods, I thought that this cookie wasn’t overly pepperminty (is that a word?). This cookie was a great way to kick off our Holiday Cookie Stroll.

Gingerbread Cookie, World Showplace Events Pavilion – 3/10

The second cookie we sampled was inside of the World Showplace Events Pavilion. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I like gingerbread all that much, but I had really high hopes for this cute cookie. This cookie is a traditional Gingerbread Man cookie complete with frosting buttons and a face, but it was not my favorite. I didn’t like how soft the cookie was, and I didn’t even finish eating it. I probably wouldn’t purchase this cookie again, but it was a fun part of the cookie stroll.

Black and White Cookie, Morocco and France – 5/10

We found our next cookie, the Black and White Cookie, between the France Pavilion and Morocco Pavilion. I had really high hopes for this cookie but was not blown away. You will see that this is a traditional black and white cookie that has a super sweet layer of vanilla and chocolate frosting. Overall, I found the cookie to be too sweet and not very memorable, and I ended up not finishing this cookie either. It wasn’t the worst cookie of the bunch, but it also wasn’t the best.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie, The American Adventure – 10/10

The fourth cookie on our Holiday Cookie Stroll was the Chocolate Crinkle Cookie from The American Adventure. Wow, this cookie was SO good! This Chocolate Crinkle Cookie is a chewy chocolate cookie with powdered sugar on it; you can’t beat it. I loved everything about this cookie and almost considered getting a second one because it was that good. I want to try to find a way to make these yummy cookies at home.

Linzer Cookie, Germany – 8/10

The Linzer Cookie that you can find in the Germany Pavilion is a traditional Linzer sandwich cookie with raspberry filling. I have never been a raspberry fan, but I didn’t think that this cookie’s raspberry was too overpowering. By this time of the cookie stroll, I was over cookies but still managed to finish this one. It was the perfect cookie to end the stroll, and I would definitely purchase this cookie again.

Complimentary Minnie Peppermint Cookie, Showcase Plaza – 7/10

At this point, our passport was complete, and it was time for our free cookie. I stopped at the Showcase Plaza, where they directed me to the “Cookie Stroll Completer” Window, and I was presented with a Minnie Peppermint Cookie. This cookie is by far the cutest of the entire Cookie Stroll and, although you can purchase this cookie separately, it was much more fun to receive it as a “prize.” This cookie is a traditional sugar cookie with peppermint, and it is pretty good. My daughter loved this cookie and gobbled it down.

Overall, we enjoyed the Holiday Cookie Stroll at Taste of Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays and would absolutely do it again in the future. We loved strolling through the World Showcase, sampling fun cookies, and creating so many memories. I can’t wait to share more holiday fun from our trip, so stay tuned!

Sending love and magic.

Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Ornament

My dream has always been to work with Disney in some capacity, and my dreams come true because today, I had the honor of being featured on Disney Parks Blog. I wanted to share the craft that I created for Disney Parks Blog, my Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Ornament. This craft is so much fun to make, and it looks super cute hanging on your Christmas Tree. 

Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Ornament

Before starting, print out your Gingerbread Mickey Template and carefully cut out the exterior stencil, interior stencil, and face.

Step 1. Using your marker, trace two Gingerbread Mickeys using your exterior stencil on the brown felt. Carefully cut out each Gingerbread Mickey.

Step 2: Place the Gingerbread Mickey interior stencil on one of your Gingerbread men and trace around the outline with white puffy paint. Add paint squiggles on the arms and legs of the Gingerbread Mickey, let dry.

Step 3: Once your Gingerbread Mickey is dry, place it on top of your second Gingerbread Mickey. Using your needle and white yarn, carefully sew your two Gingerbread Mickeys together with a whipstitch. Before completely stitching up the Gingerbread Mickey, stuff with polyfill.

Step 4: Using your Mickey face stencil, carefully trace Mickey’s face onto your black felt and cut the face out. Hot glue the eyes, nose, and mouth onto your Gingerbread Mickey.

Step 5: Now it’s time to decorate! Using your puffy paint and ribbon, add buttons, rosy cheeks, and a bow tie (or a hair bow if you want a Gingerbread Minnie).

Step 6: Hot glue a looped ribbon on the back of your Gingerbread Mickey so that it can hang on your Christmas Tree!

I hope you love this Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Ornament as much as I do. I can’t wait to share even more Disney Christmas Magic this holiday season.

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie Night: Hocus Pocus

Halloween is a little less than a week away, and we are trying desperately to cram in as much spooky fun as possible! Last week for our Disney Dinner & A Movie Night, we wanted to watch another Halloween movie, and we settled on Hocus Pocus.

Hocus Pocus is a movie about a group of kids who accidentally frees a coven of witches. With a magical cat’s help, they have to steal the witches’ book of spells to make the witches go away forever. It is such a classic Halloween movie, and I love watching it. I knew that this movie might be a little over my two-year-old daughter’s head, but I still thought it would be a fun movie to enjoy together as a family.

I wanted to make ALL of the Halloween treats this week. I had a tough time narrowing down the foods I was going to make, but we ended up with a delicious menu. Let me share what we had!

For our main course, we had Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns. This super easy entree is one of my favorite things that I have ever made. I started by cutting off the top of 4 orange bell peppers and cleaning out the inside. Then, I took an Exacto knife and “carved” a jack-o-lantern face in each pumpkin. I browned some Italian sausage, added rice, marinara, and spices, and then topped them with mozzarella cheese. I baked these cute stuffed peppers in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes; they were cute and delicious!

For the sides, we had Witches Fingers, which were just frozen mozzarella sticks that I baked in the oven and served with marinara sauce on the side (yum!). I wanted to make some caramel apples (which I thought were perfect for Halloween) but then decided caramel apples could be too messy with a toddler. I ended up slicing some Honeycrisp Apples and served them with caramel dip. The perfect compromise!

I made some cute Witches Brew Brownie Bites for dessert, and they were so good. I wanted to share this recipe with you because it ended up being perfect! Funnily enough, I never planned on putting the brownie bites in cauldrons, but I had some laying around, and the brownie bites fit perfectly on top!

I found the tiny cauldrons that I used on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you purchase them from the link, I will receive a small commission.

Witches Brew Brownie Bites

Tiny Cauldrons

Brownie Bites

Vanilla Frosting

Green Food Coloring

Green Sixlets

Purple Sixlets

Green Sprinkles/Nonpareils in different sizes

I started by placing a brownie bite top of each little cauldron. Next, I added green food coloring to the vanilla frosting and mixed it around until it was the perfect green color. When the frosting was ready to go, I scooped and frosted the top of each brownie bite (this doesn’t have to be perfect, it can look like witches’ brew that’s bubbling over). Finally, I topped each little green brownie bite with different Sixlets candies and sprinkles to look like bubbles, and that’s it!

We only watched about half of the movie until my daughter decided that she had enough and wanted to watch something else, but it was still a fun night. This meal was full of things we don’t usually eat, but I think that we all enjoyed the food. We have one more week of Halloween fun; I can’t wait to share our next Halloween movie night (hint: it won’t be a Disney movie).

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie Night: Toy Story of Terror

It is finally October! This month I planned for my family to watch Disney Halloween movies, but unfortunately, Disney doesn’t have a massive selection. So I am making do with what is available. I remembered a short Pixar film I saw a couple of years ago, and I thought it would be perfect for Halloween! My daughter has always loved Toy Story, so this week I thought we should ease into Halloween movies by watching Toy Story of Terror.

Toy Story of Terror is a 21-minute movie that takes place in between Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4. This movie follows Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and all of the other toys on a road trip with Bonnie. Bonnie’s car gets a flat tire, so she, her mom, and the toys stop to stay at a motel until somebody can repair the tire. While they are staying at the motel, some spooky and mysterious things happen. But don’t worry, it all turns out fine in the end.

My daughter gets bored and antsy sometimes while watching movies, so I thought a 21 minute movie could be perfect for her. I also thought that this Bumkins Toy Story plate would be perfect for our Toy Story night! These Bumkins plates are our absolute favorite, we use them every single day. They are easy to clean, they stick to her high chair, and they are so durable. I also love that they have so many cute Disney options. You can purchase Bumkins on Amazon (please note, this is an Amazon Affiliate link and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase).

I wanted to keep it simple for this meal and make something that my family really seems to enjoy, and that would be a snack board. My husband and daughter are big-time snackers, so any time I put out various snacking options, they are happy. I wanted the snack board to be a fun and delicious mix of Toy Story and Halloween (just like the movie).

When making a snack board, I like to get a variety of items. For my daughter, I like kid-friendly things like fruit snacks, grapes, and cheddar cheese. For my husband, I get snacks like blue cheese, salami, and chips. When you put everything together, it’s a fun smorgasbord of treats, and everyone is happy!

We had a fun night watching Toy Story of Terror, and as it turned out, my daughter LOVED the film! It was such a short movie that kept her attention the entire time. Once the movie was over, we watched some other Toy Story shorts that we found on Disney+ to continue the Toy Story theme. It was the perfect Friday Night!

Next week we will have family in town and won’t be doing our movie night, but that just means that I have time to brainstorm our movie night on October 23. I would love to hear any Halloween movie ideas that you might have!

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie Night: Sleeping Beauty

You might not know this, but one of my favorite scenes of any Disney movie is in the movie Sleeping Beauty. I have always loved the movie’s final scene, Aurora and Prince Phillip dance together, and Aurora’s dress changes from pink to blue. To me, it is such a magical moment, and this week I was so excited to share the movie Sleeping Beauty with my daughter.

The Disney movie Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Aurora, a princess who is cursed to sleep for a hundred years by an evil fairy named Maleficent. In the end, she awakened by true loves kiss from a handsome prince, and they live happily ever after.

For this meal, I thought it was only appropriate that my daughter had a Sleeping Beauty dress. While I have always thought Aurora’s formal attire was beautiful, I love her Briar Rose dress even more. I was so excited to see that our favorite dress-up company, Little Adventures Dress Ups, has a Briar Rose Sleeping Beauty dress. This dress was absolutely perfect for our Disney Dinner & A Movie Night. My daughter loved running around the yard with her basket and making magical cupcakes in this dress; she did not want to take it off. Make sure you check out Little Adventures and use code “MVM15” at checkout to save 15% off your order.

I will be candid, I had no clue what to make for our meal. I then remembered that a few months back, I had ordered some Disney Princess Pasta from Italy (seriously, the instructions are in Italian). I decided to use my princess pasta for our meal. My husband is not a fan of red sauce on pasta, so I made my grandma’s homemade Alfredo sauce and ta-da! We had Aurora Alfredo. As a side for our pasta, I grabbed some blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries and made us each a bowl of “woodland berries.”

I was trying to be creative, so I also made some Maleficent garlic bread. When my husband first saw these come out of the oven, he said that I burned the bread, but I didn’t! I used black food coloring to create this effect. I started by taking tin foil and bending it into a horn shape. Next, I rolled out Pillsbury Crescent Dough and cut it into strips. I sprayed the foil horn with cooking spray, and then I loosely wrapped the crescent dough around it. Finally, I melted some garlic butter, added black food coloring to it, and painted the black garlic butter on each horn. I baked these in the oven according to the crescent directions, and they came out so good!

Our dessert was a very last minute idea, but it ended up being the highlight of our evening. I baked up some mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting using cake mix and vanilla frosting. I then grabbed some pink and blue sprinkles, and the fun began. Like the fairies in Sleeping Beauty, my daughter used the sprinkles to make the cupcakes pink or blue. She loved this! Yes, my kitchen was covered in sprinkles when she finished decorating, but it was such a fun activity and a yummy dessert.

After being out of town last week, it was great to jump back into our Friday family night tradition. My daughter loved watching Sleeping Beauty and really loved decorating her cupcakes. Comment below and tell me which movie we should do next.

Sending love and magic.

Disney Breakfast & A Movie: Lilo and Stitch

Once upon a time, I worked in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom at the attraction Stitch’s Great Escape. Stitch’s Great Escape is now gone, but it was a once a somewhat terrifying show about Stitch escaping into a chamber with you; he would spit on you, tickle you, and burp a chili dog in your face. When I worked there, I couldn’t see the appeal of Stitch, he seemed like a nuisance, and I was so confused as to why people loved him so much. Then I saw the movie Lilo and Stitch.

If you have never seen the movie Lilo and Stitch, it’s a heartwarming story about a little girl and an alien who become friends, and then ‘ohana (family). Stitch does start as a nuisance, but at the end of the movie, we see him as a loving, caring, and cuddly member of Lilo’s family. Because my daughter loves all things cuddly, I thought she would like this movie!

When trying to decide what we should cook this week, my husband and I brainstormed a few dinner ideas, but we decided that breakfast would be the best choice for this movie. So instead of dinner last night, we had a Disney Breakfast this morning! If you visit the restaurant ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, they offer a “Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch.” This meal includes an all-you-can-eat skillet, and I decided to recreate it.

One thing that you will find in this skillet is Mickey Waffles. If you know me, I am obsessed with Mickey Waffles and have spent years trying to make these waffles at home. If you want to do the same, I have good news for you; I have finally figured out how to make Disney quality Mickey Waffles at home. The key is this waffle maker and Golden Malted Waffle Mix (which is apparently what Disney uses, but who knows). This combination makes the best Mickey Waffles!

Along with Mickey Waffles, the skillet at ‘Ohana includes scrambled eggs, roasted breakfast potatoes, sausage and bacon, and ours did too!

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To go along with this breakfast, I also made the “Stitch Juice” that they serve at ‘Ohana. If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Juice, you might be familiar with POG Juice, Jungle Juice, or Liliko’i Juice (hint: they are all the same). This juice is a mix of passion fruit juice, orange juice, and guava juice, and it is delicious (it’s also amazing in a mimosa).

Our breakfast was so yummy, and my husband even said that our kitchen smelled like Disney’s Polynesian Resort. My daughter loved Lilo and Stitch, the Mickey Waffles, and she really loved dancing to the song Hawaiian Roller Coaster over and over.

It was so much fun having a Disney World inspired breakfast this week instead of dinner, and I can’t wait to do it again. I might have to try to recreate another Disney World meal for our next movie!

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie: Ratatouille

Last night I took the phrase “anyone can cook” literally and, for the first time ever, I made homemade ratatouille. For weeks my husband and I have been talking about how the only appropriate dish for the movie Ratatouille was, well, ratatouille. I was worried it wouldn’t taste good (spoiler alert, it does) and that my daughter wouldn’t like the movie Ratatouille, but it turned into a wonderful movie night!

Ratatouille is a really simple dish to make, just thinly sliced vegetables, tomato paste, olive oil and spices. You bake it and then serve it with some extra sauce and mascarpone cheese. It is really delicious! The most time consuming part is slicing the vegetables.

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Below you will find the recipe that I used to make our ratatouille:

1 small eggplant, thinly sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 yellow squash, thinly sliced

2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 can of tomato paste

tablespoon onion powder

1/4 cup minced garlic

3/4 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix tomato paste, water, onion powder, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread tomato paste mixture on the bottom of a 10×10 inch baking pan. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working towards the center. Overlap the slices a little. Drizzle the remaining olive oil of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Serve with mascarpone cheese.

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My husband is a meat and potatoes sort of guy, so I ended up grilling some chicken to go along with our ratatouille. After we gobbled down our meal, it was time for dessert! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE French desserts, and narrowing it down was harder than I thought. We ended up having creme brulee and mini macaron cookies. They were the perfect way to end our dinner and movie.

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My daughter loved the movie Ratatouille (and she also really loved the macarons) and we had so much fun trying a new dish that none of us had tried before. Leave a comment below and let me know which movie you think we should watch next Friday.

Sending love and magic.

Five Friday Favorites: Traveling with a Baby

As a mom and travel agent, I get a lot of questions about if or when people should bring their kids to Disney. My daughter will be two in September and has been to Walt Disney World four times. Each time we go brings it’s own challenges (like when she was still drinking formula from bottles and I had to sanitize bottles each night), but we also create wonderful memories. I am a big believer that you should bring your kids to Disney no matter what their age, they might not remember it, but you will.

I think the most important thing when traveling with kids is to be prepared! Below you will find my five favorite things to bring when traveling to Disney with a baby or toddler. Please note that I make a small commission if you purchase through my Amazon affiliate links, or you can find these products on your own.

Fan

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This fan is the number one thing that you need when traveling to Disney with a baby or toddler. Not only is this fan easy to clip onto a stroller, it will also stand up on a table if you need it to. I’ve learned that a hot toddler = cranky toddler, so having this fan handy can help calm the situation down. My husband and I have also taken turns using this fan when it gets too hot in the Florida sun.

Travel Bottle Rack

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The first two times we went to Disney World, my daughter was still drinking from a bottle. This traveling bottle rack was a lifesaver! It’s very compact for packing in a suitcase, but so handy when you are in your hotel room. Once she transitioned from a bottle to a sippy cup, I still brought this bottle rack along to dry sippy sups at night.

White Noise Machine

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From the time my daughter was little, she has always slept with a white noise machine (and so have I), so bringing a white noise machine to Disney has always been important to us. But, over the past couple trips, I have learned how helpful that white noise can be! White noise machines help to drown out other noises, which can be very helpful when staying in a hotel room. During the day (ie nap time), there is often construction going on around the Disney resorts and this machine can help your child to sleep through it. At bedtime, this white noise machine can help to drown out the sound of fireworks that you might hear from your room. We have also clipped this to her stroller to help with nap time in the parks while walking around.

Stroller Tag

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I have learned that when you are at Disney, it’s hot, you’re tired, and your kids are tired, all strollers look the same! Bringing a stroller tag, whether for your personal stroller or a rented stroller, will help make finding your stroller a whole lot easier. We have this stroller tag that I purchased from Etsy and I love it because not only is it cute, but it’s great quality.

Travel Mattress

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If you are staying at a Disney owned resort, they have complimentary cribs that you can use for your children. One thing I have recognized with my daughter is that she needs a little extra comfort when sleeping in a crib that’s not hers. I purchased this foldable travel mattress for traveling and it has been a lifesaver! It easily packs into a suitcase and then unfolds to fit perfectly in a Pack n Play or crib. I also wash a crib sheet at home and bring that with us to put on her mattress which makes a difference.

Bonus: Bring your patience.

Even if you have visited Disney 1,000 times, traveling with a child will make it much harder. Pack your patience and lower your expectations when traveling with a baby or toddler. Remember that they will need breaks and naps (and honestly you probably will too), so take it slow. If you have any questions about traveling with a child, leave a comment below.

Sending love and magic.

Disney Dinner & A Movie: Monsters, Inc.

I have come to the conclusion that my toddler might love Pixar movies a little more than classic Disney movies, with Toy Story 2, Cars and Finding Nemo being at the top of her list. This past week we decided to share another one of our Pixar favorites, Monsters, Inc., with her (I also had to dress her up like Boo, because why not?).

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This kid is getting pickier and pickier with her food choices, so I wanted to make something simple for dinner that she would eat. To start, I concocted a really fun “Mike Wazowski Punch”. I mixed equal parts Sprite and Pineapple juice and then stirred in half a packet of Kool-Aid Lemon Lime. I poured the punch into mason jars and tape on a Mike Wazowski eyeball.

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Our “Mike” was made, so now we needed to add something “Sully” to our meal. In a bowl I whipped heaving whipping cream with half a pack of Berry Blue Jello powder. Once the whipped cream formed stiff peaks, I stirred in some sliced up blackberries. I’m not even sure what to call this, but it was delicious.

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If you’re familiar with Monsters, Inc., then you know that Mike and Silvia eat at a sushi restaurant called Harryhausen’s. I really love sushi but decided that a toddler friendly version would be PB&J “Sushi”. This was really easy to make. I started by flattening my bread, then I spread peanut butter and strawberry jelly, finally I carefully rolled and sliced. It was a hit!

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Our Monsters, Inc. night was so much fun, I forgot how great this movie is. My daughter really loved the movie (and the PB&J Sushi). I can’t wait to figure out what we are doing next week!

Sending love and magic.