Friday, December 30, 2011

Brave Concept Art

Are you a Disney Movie Fan?  Check out this list of ten upcoming 2012 releases from Disney Motion Pictures!  I'm most looking forward to the release of BRAVE, and hope to see it while I'm in Florida at Downtown Disney's new AMC Fork & Screen. Which movie are you most looking forward to?
  • January 13: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D, also in Disney Digital 3D
  • March 9: JOHN CARTER, also in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D
  • April 20 (Earth Day): CHIMPANZEE (Disneynature)
  • May 4: MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, also in 3D and IMAX 3D (Marvel Studios)
  • June 22: BRAVE, also in Disney Digital 3D (Disney/Pixar)
  • September 14: FINDING NEMO 3D (Disney/Pixar)
  • October 5: FRANKENWEENIE, also in Disney Digital 3D
  • November 12: WRECK-IT RALPH, also in Disney Digital 3D (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Honors for Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream

The Disney Cruise Line is highly honored by the cruise industry, winning over 50 awards since it's launch in 1998.  From operations to dining and entertainment, youth activities and spa facilities DCL continues to be a notch above with it's high end facilities and entertainment.  Read on for the list of 2011 honors given to the Disney Cruise Line.  As usual, Disney's vision and standards have created a family travel experience that is both luxurious and family friendly.  It's no wonder that I'm just dying to get back on board!

2011 Honors:
  • Travel + Leisure magazine ranked Disney Cruise Line the No. 1 Large-Ship Cruise Line for Families and the No. 4 Large Ship Cruise Line overall.
  • Condé Nast Traveler magazine recognized Disney Cruise Line as the No. 3 Medium-Sized Cruise Line.
  • Cruise Critic recognized the Disney Dream with awards for “Best New Ship” and “Best Inside Cabins” as well as the entire Disney fleet for “Best Standard Cabins.”
  • Porthole Cruise Magazine named Disney Cruise Line “Best Entertainment,” “Most Family-Oriented Line” and “Best Children’s Programs.”
  • The Themed Entertainment Association awarded Disney Cruise Line the “Ingenious Use of Technology” award for the new “Animation Magic” show at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Fantasy.
  • Travel Age West awarded Disney Cruise Line an Editor’s Pick award for “Cruise Line Providing the Highest Client Satisfaction (Big Ship)” as part of the 2011 WAVE (Western Agents’ Vote of Excellence) Awards.
  • A 2011 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Award was given to the Disney Wonder for “Best for Entertainment” in the mid-sized ship category.
  • The World Waterpark Association presented an Innovation Award to Disney Cruise Line for the AquaDuck.
  • Cruise International magazine gave Disney Cruise Line the “Best for Kids” award.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Very Pink New Year!


A little creative editing to toast in the New Year brings #WineWednesday and #WordlessWednesday together.

This display of bottles can be found on board the Disney Dream in the luxurious Champagne Bar Pink! This fantastic bubbly was created especially for the Disney Dream, and will set you back $91 a bottle, or $20 a glass. It's most similar to the Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Rosé and is an absolutely beautiful glass of wine.

Blended from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, this cherry-pink delight is a succulently fruity, supple and aromatic Champagne with fine bubbles and a crisp, refreshing finish of extended length. 12% alcohol.

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Are You Doing New Years?

Toast the New Year In at Walt Disney WorldIt started when I was a little girl, the desire to spend New Year's Eve at Walt Disney World, and Disney... they're the ones who put it into my head.  A scene in Carousel of Progress where the family gather's around the TV on New Year's Eve and they're watching all of the festivities that are being "reported" on the celebration at Walt Disney World started the dream.  I would get upset back at home because I could never find that station on my TV, I wanted to watch what was going on so very badly.  Surely if they showed news coverage in the Carousel of Progress it must be broadcast on my TV, right?  Alas, I never found the channel and went year after year without knowing what was going on in the most magical place I knew.

I still haven't made it there for New Year's Eve, but it's on my Disney Bucket List.  Just in case you're wondering, or will be in the area on New Years Eve, Disney has offered up this great list of the fantastic activities that you can participate in at the Walt Disney World Resort.  

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store on Dec. 31, 2011:
  • Magic Kingdom presents a double helping of pyrotechnics: “Wishes” nighttime spectacular with a holiday overlay at 8:30 p.m. and “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:51 p.m.
  • Epcot‘s “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” delights revelers with a salute to the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m.
  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the 25-minute spectacular “Fantasmic!” that combines water, fire, lights, lasers, fireworks and music will be presented at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the popular “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display at midnight.
  • At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney,  there is a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. Kids are entertained with a  DJ and dance party, plus unlimited access to all the games and DisneyQuest attractions including Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters, Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain.  There’s a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also get a coupon for a pizza, hot dog, chicken casesar wrap or hamburger, plus chips and soda.  Price is $45 advance purchase –  or $55 day of, including tax. Call 407-934-7639 to reserve tickets.
  • At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, all guests attending the Dec. 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407/WDW/SEAT
  • Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment. At Narcoosee’s restaurant (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $149, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing at 8:30 and 11:51.
  • Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with video DJ Tony Zapulla.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!


When out in our hall there arose such a clatter
the men sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
What to their wonderous eyes should appear,
but Mom in a heap at the bottom of the stair.
Packages and bows scattered all around,
there she lie in pain on the ground.

Yes, folks, at Midnight last night, in an effort to move Santa presents downstairs in a clandestine manner. I fell down the *** **** stairs. So stupid. I really hope nothing in the packages broke. I’m a little bruised and twisted my knee, but overall ok. Just very annoyed with myself.

I hope that everyone out there is having a lovely holiday weekend.

Our Chrismahaunukwanzaka is going well. Everyone has managed to surprise me so far, and I’ve gotten some very nifty things. The family has been together and getting along. Erik is cooking breakfast too so I can rest, it’s going to be a wonderful day.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Take me away!!

Junk-a-noo Beach
I'm so done with the cold and gray here. Let's all run away to the Bahamas!

Focused on the Magic

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Interview With Santa

What a special treat for us all today from @Disneybigsis Heather! I'm so thrill to have her on board here at DVC Mom, she continue to brings special and unique holiday warmth to all. It took a lot of effort but she went the extra miles in order to bring you this extra special holiday interview! 
DCA Santa
@FortuosityGirl and her PaPa at DCA
Everyday when I go to and from work during the Christmas season I pass one of Santa’s houses. I get to see children with an excited glow about them as they wait in line for their visit. Some of them wait with quiet anticipation and others are dancing like elves. I see some of them are dressed up in clothes they would never wear for a dare and others have hair that makes you wonder how much product is in it to keep it looking like that. Passing by Santa’s house is one of my favorite parts of my day. It got me thinking about when I was little and when I would go see Santa. I was always preoccupied with being sure that I would ask for the toy I really wanted. I began to wonder about Santa the man and what he thought of the Christmas season. I stopped in one day and asked if I could ask Santa a few questions. Thankfully, Santa took a few minutes to answer some of my questions:

Me: What is your favorite movie about you?
Santa: Well, as you know I’m pretty busy all year long so I don’t get to see too many movies. Usually the ones about me are shown during my busiest time of the year. But there is one movie that is shown over and over again on my day off after I’m done delivering presents. I really enjoy that one. I’ve delivered plenty of BB guns to boys and girls.

Me: Have you worried about them shooting their eye out?

Santa: Some, but not really.

Me: Since there are so many movies about you, which actor would you like to see portray you in a movie?
Santa: John Wayne. I think he really could keep the reindeer in order. They can be a handful at times.

PaPa & Santa
My dad w/ Santa at the Circle D Ranch in Disneyland
Me: What are the most popular toys this year?
Santa: Mostly electronic games. Like Kinect for Xbox 360. I’ll bet with your hat and your ears you would like to have the Disneyland Adventures game.

Me: What is something you want people to know about you that we may not know?
Santa: Hmmm let me think on that one for a bit. Well, when the parents place their precious child in my arms and they begin to cry I feel so bad for the child. They don’t know me yet. They’re scared. They will get to know me better in the future, but at that moment they are frightened. I give my best smile so the picture can be taken quickly and then they can be happy with their mommies and daddies.

Me: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked to bring someone for Christmas?
Santa: I think I remember the ones better where children want to help other children. Yesterday I had a little boy who wanted me to bring him his own toy factory so he could give children who didn’t have many toys new toys all year long. There was also a little girl who wanted a doctors’ office so she could help all the sick kids feel better and not be sick anymore.

As I was thanking Santa for his time and for all he has done he said to me “You haven’t asked me the most popular question.” I laughed knowing what question he meant. A little nervous for his answer I asked it anyway. He answered with a ho, ho, ho and twinkle in his eye.

Me: Is there always time to get off the naughty list?
Santa: Yes, but mind you it might not take effect until the next year!

Um, I don't want this in my stocking!

As I left Santa’s house I continued to think on past Christmases and even though many things have changed since I was a little girl some things have remained the same. This is still a busy time for all of us, especially Santa. However, whether you get to visit him at a Disney park or on your very own Main Street he is always happy to see you and hear your Christmas wish. I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. May you be found on the nice list, your stockings be full, and your dreams be pixie dusted.

Heather & Hannah at the North Pole
All the Holiday Best from @DisneyBigSis and @FortuosityGirl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dessert Party at Home: Sweet & Drink Pairings

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.

I love to bake at the holidays, but my family really doesn't need the extra calories that it brings. My solution is to entertain! As most of us Disney fans have learned, if you bake it, they will come. So why not through a dessert party at home? Decorate the house with festive trimmings from World Showcase pavilions and show off some of your favorite wines. Set up small dessert stations through your house to keep your guests moving and mingling, each should feature holiday decor and a dessert or wine from it's theme country.

Dessert TableDessert Table

Here are a few of my suggestions for pairing the right wine with your desserts:

Custard and vanilla
Flavors are mild and light, these should be mirrored in both the dessert and the wine. I would pair a sweet Riesling with this, Germany has some wonderful Rieslings, but my favorite is from Washington State and made by Pacific Rim. Sparkling wine is always a hit in my house and what Disney often chooses to pair with desserts at the Food & Wine Festival. Choose an Extra-Dry Sparkler, but in general stay away from anything labeled "Brut" with desserts.

Fruit and spice
Though once only in the realm of German wines, the introduction of Canadian vintages has fueled Ice Wine’s recent, tremendous rise in popularity. A fruity apple and brown butter tart would be the perfect pairing for a silky, ultra sweet Canadian Ice Wine from Inniskillin or Jackson Triggs. "Duncan Heinz Apricot Cream Cake" would also be a spectacular pairing with an Ice Wine.

When pairing sparkling wines with dessert you should remember this rule; as the color of your desserts get darker, so should the wine that you pair with it. If you're serving a deep dark chocolate, nothing quite pairs with it light the Disney cult favorite, Rosa Regale. From the piedmont region of Italy, it's overtones of raspberry and rose petal in this sparkling red brachetto make it a spectacular pair with "Duncan Heinz Decadent Triple Chocolate Cake" with a rich chocolate Glaze.

I hope that this post has helped to give you ideas for your own holiday dessert party! If you try any of my pairings come back and leave me a comment to let me know what you thought. Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website www.duncanhines.com to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Strolling Through Epcot's Canada

Merchentile Sign
O Canada
IMG_1776Canadian Beer
Northwest Totems
Total Pole
Northwest ArtworkTotem Face

Victoria Gardens in October
Victoria Gardens Cottage

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dessert at the Contempo Cafe

Like many Disney fans, I have discovered the beauty of the many variety of cupcakes available all around Walt Disney World. Thanks to the Disney Food Blog, I even know about the brilliant Cupcake Crawl they designed designed to put you in a sugar coma by the end of the day. Sadly, I often have to skip out on the sweet goodness because I have issues with sugar. There's one cupcake however I had been wanting to go try for at least three visits and just hadn't gotten there. This was the Black Forest Cupcake at Disney's Contemporary Resort's Contempo Cafe.
Contampo Sign
Siting beneath the iconic Mary Blair Mosaic, The Contempo Cafe is located on the Grand Canyon Concourse, just to the right of the entrance to Chef Mickey's. This counter service option offers standard counter service fare of pizza and burgers, with a sound addition of the healthier items that Disney has been incorporating into their menus. The thing that struck me however was the with a wide variety of dessert options.

As I browsed the tempting offerings before me I saw it, sitting there amongst the sweet treats was the thing that we had come to the contemporary to try, the Black Forest Cupcake. My husband bought one and we headed to our seat. Contepmo Cafe seats about 114 people in the middle of the concourse, modern tables and chairs are decorated with Mickey icons. However to me, the best part is enjoying a nosh while the monorails slide by a floor above. It's a magic that I remember from my childhood that I will never tire of.

Contempo Dessert Case

At first I thought that I would have to scrape the giant mountain of frosting off of my half, but as I cut into it Geordon noticed that the center which had been hollowed out to make room for the cherries, was upside down on the main cake which created a base for the mound of vanilla buttercream frosting. Inside of the cake was a delicious tart cherry filling. You can never have enough cherry filling in my book, but it seemed to be enough to balance out the devil's food cake (which I thought was just a tad dry). I had never eaten a cupcake with a fork before, but this decadent, colossal treat was way to big to bite into and more than enough to share.

Black Forest CupcakeBlack Forest Inside

Though the Black Forest Cupcake is the only one that I tried, the Contemp Cafe' had a sweet to fit just about anyone's palette. It's well worth it to hop off of the monorail at the Contemporary in order to discover the delicious treats available at this Cafe. My husband said that he wants to try the Dos Leches next time we're there. Luckily, I booked our room at the Contemporary! Which sweet treat do you think would be your favorite? Leave me a comment below!

Red Velvet
Dos Leches
Black Forest
Dirt & Worms Dessert

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DVC at Grand Floridian Announced!

Oh my gosh! DVCNews.com is tweeting from the Members Annual Meeting and just said this! I am *so* excited that this has been confirmed! Now, I just need to find an extra $3500...

So Exciting Grand Floridian DVC Announced!! 

Update from the Orlando Sentinel Here

End of 2013 or 2014 Current Estimate for Opening!  I'm getting conflicting reports on the date, but I have a call in to my DVC Guide.

Win with War Horse!!

 Check out what I had in my email this morning!

Let WAR HORSE send you on a journey home for the holidays! Now through Sunday, December 11th, tweet a holiday message to your loved ones with #WarHorseMovieAD for a chance to win and you could ring in the New Year with family and friends!

Not on Twitter? You can still enter! Send a holiday greeting to WarHorseSweeps@thainteractive.comalong with your first and last name and a daytime telephone number.

For the official Journey Home Sweepstakes rules visit here

WAR HORSE rides into theatres this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Pickle Tree, Semi-Wordless Wednesday

I don't have one of these ornaments... but I really want one!

Pickle Tree
Pickle Christmas Ornaments
Focused on the Magic

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Deck the Halls with Lots of Mickey

With many different spiritual beliefs honored by the members of my family, we tend to celebrate the winter festivals all December long.
I'm always happy to celebrate Trees, Santa, Reindeer and Mickey Mouse!
So come take a peek inside my house...