Character Interactions

I don’t know about you, but I love to visit the characters! Every time I go, I have a list of all the characters I want to visit. Last time we went, I even had an autograph book. Just because you’re in your 20’s doesn’t mean that you can’t get excited to see the Disney characters anymore. I still haven’t seen Merida, Gaston, or Peter Pan!

You can see the Character Questions post I did back in 2014 to compile a list of fun things to ask your favorite characters.

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Things you should know about meeting your favorite characters: 

  1. You probably have to wait in line. It’s almost guaranteed. There is, however, a way to get around waiting for an hour or more. When you enter the park, make sure you pick up one of those times sheets. They will tell you exactly what is happening in the park that day and when it will be happening.Toward the bottom (or on the back) they have character names and the place and time they will be available for greeting. To get the best spot in line, you might want to be there at least 15-20 minutes early. Yes you will be waiting there for 15-20 minutes until the character actually shows up, but on the bright side, the people piling up behind you will have to stand there for an hour or more if lucky. It is totally worth it, believe me.
  2. Some of the characters might take days off. This doesn’t happen often but when it does, the little kids can get disappointed when they get their hopes up. If it’s at all possible (and if you have little kids that want to see all characters) try to plan around when the characters will be in their spots.
  3. For the prince and princess lovers out there who are looking forward to seeing both prince and princess at the meet and greet spots, you should know that not all princes come with their true loves. When a princess is first introduced into Disney, they stay with their prince most of the time. However, after a while, they take the prince out and only put him in the meet and greet spots every so often. The only “prince” you will likely see all the time with his princess, is Aladdin. He is always fun to see. You will just have to do a little research on when the princes are available for meet and greets with their princesses.

With all of that said here is a list of all the wonderful characters Disney has to offer (the characters in black are ones that I am not sure whether they are still there or not):

  • Captain Jack Sparrow (I am not sure if you can meet him and get his autograph but I do know that he does a show in MK in Adventureland)
  • The Incredibles (Hollywood Studios-Animation Courtyard)
  • Alice (Epcot-UK, MK-Fantasyland)
  • Aladdin & Jasmine (Epcot-Morocco, MK-Adventureland)
  • Buzz Lightyear (MK-Tomorrowland, Hollywood Studios-Pixar Place)
  • Anna & Elsa (Epcot-Norway)
  • Chewbacca (Hollywood Studios-Animation Courtyard)
  • Ariel (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Baloo & King Louie (AK-Asia)
  • Baymax (Epcot-Future World)
  • Tarzan (AK-Discovery Island)
  • Woody and Jessie (MK-Frontierland)
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale (AK-Rafiki’s Planet Watch, MK-Liberty Square)
  • Cinderella (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Elena (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Belle (Epcot-France)
  • Rapunzel (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Disney Pals (MK-Fantasyland, MK-Main Street U.S.A., Epcot-Future World, AK-Discovery Island)
  • Goofy & Pluto (AK-DinoLand U.S.A.)
  • Joy & Sadness (Epcot-Future World)
  • Mickey (MK-Main Street U.S.A.)
  • Mickey & Minnie (Hollywood Studios-Commissary Lane)
  • Donald Duck (Epcot-Mexico, AK-DinoLand U.S.A.)
  • Gaston (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Tigger, Pooh, & Eyore (AK Discovery Island, MK-Fantasyland)
  • Mary Poppins (Epcot-UK)
  • Flik (AK-Discovery Island)
  • Merida (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Mulan (Epcot-China)
  • Peter Pan (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Pocahontas (AK-Discovery Island)
  • Aurora (Epcot-France)
  • Rafiki (AK-Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
  • Tinker Bell (MK-Main Street U.S.A.)
  • Ralph & Vanellope (Hollywood Studios-Animation Courtyard)
  • Russell (AK-Discovery Island)
  • Snow White (Epcot-Germany)
  • The Disney Fairies (MK-Adventureland)
  • The Stars of Disney Junior (Hollywood Studios-Animation Courtyard)
  • Doc McStuffins (AK-Rafiki’s Planet Watch)
  • Tiana (MK-Fantasyland)
  • Olaf (Hollywood Studios-Echo Lake)

I hope you will find the time to meet some of these great characters during your next trip! Don’t forget to check out my post from 2014 on how to interact with the characters.

What were your experiences when meeting a character for the first time? I was so excited to meet Cinderella for the first time (8 years old). I remember almost crying. It’s such a magical thing to see your favorite character for the first time in real life!

Have a magical day,
Amanda

Summer Food Must-dos

Summer has finally arrived at the Disney parks and Mickey and all the new, delicious treats are waiting for you.

With the opening of the new Pandora, the World of Avatar, there are many more new additions to the world of Disney food. Here are some of the best new treats that Disney has to offer this Summer!

Best quick breakfast: Mickey Mouse Cinnamon roll

This mouth watering treat is the perfect start to your day and is sure to satisfy your taste buds. You can find this fairly large sweet treat at the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom.

Cinnamon roll

Best pizza on the go: Frusta

This new treat, located at the Cooling Station in Tomorrowland, is a hybrid between a flatbread, pizza, and a turnover. You can choose between a traditional cheese or a meat lovers pepperoni and sausage. It can be enjoyed as a tasty snack or as a simple lunch.

Frusta

Best galactic vegetarian: Curry Pods

These futuristic pods are a healthier choice among all of the sweet treats at Disney. They are bao buns filled with vegetable curry and then wrapped up into a cute little package.

Bao

Best new treat for Dole Whip fans: Northwest Berry Whip

For all those Dole Whip lovers out there, here is a tasty new take on the famous treat. This treat is offered at the new Geyser Point lakeside restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge. It is a sweet berry slushy and there is even an adult option topped with black cherry vodka.

Berry

Best new dessert; Navi’i Blueberry Mousse

Back in Pandora, this new dessert is a big hit. This dessert is a Blueberry cream cheese mousse served with passion fruit curd. The fun part about this is when you cut into it, the sky blue outside turns into a deep purple color. It’s pretty and tasty!

Pandora

 

These milkshakes are truly supernova. They are huge! Found in Disney Springs at Planet Hollywood, these drinks are decked out in sweet things galore.

Supernova

Featured above is the Strawberry Big Bang, the Chocolate Comet, and the Cosmic Cotton Candy.

 

Located near the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland, these colorful treats are perfect for a tea party. It is a sweet croissant filled with chocolate and cream. Yum!

Cat taila

 

I hope I have given you something to look forward to on your next Disney trip. At least food wise. Have wonderful day!

See ya real soon!

Julia

Getting Crafty

Today Julia decided it was time to start putting together some DIY projects that will get us psyched up and ready for our Disney trip. Some of these crafts, I found online almost a year ago and have been keeping them tucked away for closer to our vacation. I am going to share some of our ideas with you and then later I’ll show you how it turned out.

Also, be sure to give us some ideas on what we should do leading up to our vacation. Or while we are in the Disney parks.

We also need ideas for what to do in our videos. Do you have any challenges for us? Or maybe some foods or drinks you would like us to try? Or an event that you would like to see us attend?

What do you think? I am excited to get started on these projects! Check back soon to see how they worked for us.

Have a magical Disney day,

Amanda

The Best Things at Walt Disney World

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You can’t help but wave back with a smile 🙂

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Woohoo!

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We laugh every time

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Eeewww

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I cry every time 😉

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Is this bad or good?

Oh Disney! I can’t wait to go in August! We are still getting our videos planned and will be posting our first video sometime next week. Keep your eye out.

Have a magical Disney day,

Amanda

Our Mickey Plans

Good morning everybody! So sorry no one has been posting. It’s been super, crazy busy here with Julia and Adam finishing up school and I am publishing a book. However, I hope to pick up writing again as things start to calm down a little.

We are getting so excited for our trip to Disney in August! It’s coming so fast I can hardly believe it. It seems like just a week ago it was Christmas and we found out we were going to Disney.

Anyway…Josh and I have put together a YouTube channel called “Why We’re Not Home.” I’ve been waiting for so long to put this project together and now it’s finally coming together! Basically our channel will be vlogs and fun videos of our adventures (because we love to travel). Our first series will be our Disney trip (trips, actually because we have an annual pass). Next week I will be planning our intro video and our vlog stops, which is super exciting!

While we are in Disney, we will not only be blogging (almost every day), we will also be making fun videos. In these videos you will get to know our family and what we are like, tips and tricks for your Disney vacation, fun food and drinks we find, super cool rides, and so much more. I hope you check them out. We will try to post the first video in the next week or so, so keep your eye out.

Do you have any suggestions on videos you would like to see?

What are some fun things you would like to see us do in Disney?

Should we offer a Disney-styled giveaway?

All of us Howard kids hope you are having a magical Disney day!

Amanda

Mickey, where are you?

Hello, hello fellow Disney lovers! I wanted to share with you one of our favorite things to do in Disney World: finding hidden Mickey’s. This is so fun to do, it’s like a big game of hide-and-seek! I won’t completely giveaway all of the Mickey’s but here are some of the ones we’ve found.

The Three Caballeros ride

On this ride there is a floating souvenir boat that says Viva Donald. Look for the three bongos in the bottom right corner. What do you see?

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

In the lobby, search the floor. There is a Mickey in the tile and it’s big enough so you can see it easily.

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The Carousel of Progress

In the final scene of this ride the family is celebrating Christmas. Underneath the Christmas tree you can see a plush Mickey among the presents. It’s a bit hard to spot, so look carefully!

The People Mover

Towards the end of this relaxing ride, when you are coming out of the Buzz Lightyear attraction, there is a futuristic woman getting her hair done. On her belt buckle there is a hidden Mickey.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

On the carpet in the lobby you can see Mickey’s decorating the carpet.

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And as a bonus,

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

As you are exiting the ride and you come outside, look to your left at the stone wall. There is a Tinkerbell engraved in the rock.

Tink

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and are ready for some hidden Mickey fun!

See ya real soon!

Julia

Princess Spotlight: Giselle

I don’t know about you, but Enchanted is one of my favorite Disney princess movies. I could watch it over and over without getting tired of it! The songs, Amy Adams, the storyline, Pip, everything!

Today I would like to give this often-looked-past princess a little love. There is nothing to not like about Giselle. She is so happy and has a beautifully positive outlook on life. Nothing gets her down and she doesn’t let little things (like being sent to another, strange world) cause her to lose hope. For everything there is a song, and we see that Giselle takes this very literally. 🙂

At first, Giselle lived in a perfect fantasy where she never felt things like anger, jealousy, and sadness. She believed that everyone could be good and believed that everyone should live happily ever after. As she learned about the “real world”, Giselle discovered that things are much more complicated than in Andalasia.

She starts to become a sort of mother figure for Morgan and grows close to Robert. Throughout the film, no matter how much Giselle grows and matures, she still retains that beautiful innocence, kindness, and optimism. She is the perfect mix of many of our favorite classic princesses.

Other characteristics that are worth mentioning are the fact that she is so open to making new friends. When she sees what the animals are like in our world, she is quite confused but decides that making new friends is great too. She is also courageous and independent. Remember Giselle climbing up the building to save Robert from Queen Narissa? That takes a lot of bravery.

I love it how she makes her beautiful dresses herself. She creates these lovely dresses out of materials she finds around the house. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when she is surrounded by little girls in her new shop, Andalasia Fashions. It is brilliant that the writers put that in their. I bet her fashions are fabulous!

What is your favorite characteristic of Giselle’s?

Did I miss anything?

I hope you have a magical day,

Amanda

Cleanest Bathrooms in Disney World FL

Let’s be honest, this is one of the most important travel to know before you go to Disney. Because we are constantly going to bathroom throughout our day at the park, it is super-duper important to know which ones are cleanest (especially for us girls). So, here you go-the cleanest bathrooms to visit throughout all four Disney parks.

Magic Kingdom

  1. First Aid/Child Care restrooms near Casey’s Corner and The Crystal Palace
  2. Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean restrooms in Adventureland

Restrooms you DO NOT want to go in because they are either really dirty or crowded-

  • City Hall restrooms near City Hall and the fire station
  • Adventureland Breezeway restrooms across from Swiss Family Tree House
  • Rapunzel Tower

 

Epcot

  1. Odyssey Center restrooms
  2. Imagination! restrooms
  3. Fountain View restrooms in Innovations West building near Club Cool
  4. The Seas with Nemo and Friends restrooms
  5. American Adventure restrooms at the American Pavilion near the Kidcot station

Restrooms you DO NOT want to go in because they are either really dirty or crowded-

  • Future World East restrooms near Test Track and Mission Space
  • Refreshment Port restrooms near Port of Entry and Canada Pavilion
  • Germany Pavilion restroom near miniature train set

 

Hollywood Studios

  1. Streets of America restrooms outside Lights, Motor, Action! (I know that this show is gone, so I’m not sure whether these bathrooms are still here)
  2. Animation Courtyard restrooms
  3. Hollywood Brown Derby restrooms

Restrooms you DO NOT want to go in because they are either really dirty or crowded-

  • Studio Catering Company restrooms near old Backstage Lot tour
  • Pizza Planet Arcade restrooms near Muppet 3D entrance

 

Animal Kingdom

  1. Child Care/First Aid restrooms outside entrance to Africa
Most are crowded and I haven’t really found one that isn’t just a little stinky. However, I don’t remember the bathrooms in this park very well.

 

I hope this helps you with your Disney planning! It is definitely worth it to know where the best bathrooms are, believe me 😉

Have a magical night,

Amanda

My Thoughts on the New Beauty and the Beast

So this past weekend, as you all know, we went to see the Beauty and the Beast movie in D.C. Even though Julia already shared with you what we thought of it, and what her thoughts on the movie was, I wanted to share with you my thoughts and favorite scenes.

Starting with the original Beauty and the Beast, I never really loved it as much as my mom and Julia did, but it was still on my favorite Disney movie list. My favorite scenes in the original were the Be Our Guest scene, the ball, and most of all, when Belle comes back when Beast says to her, “You came back.” That particular scene just sticks out in my memory as being really powerful.

I was excited to see the new Beauty and the Beast! I had seen small clips, interviews, and parts of some songs. The movie was nothing like I thought it would be. It was ten times better! The Beast looked amazing, Belle was so perfect, and Gaston was brilliant.

Now I get to my favorites from the live-action movie. Forevermore (Dan Stevens) is my favorite song, made me cry and still does when I listen to it. It was sung so beautifully and powerfully that you can almost feel the way Beast feels in that very moment. Something There was such a sweet scene and song. This was also one of my favorite original songs and I enjoyed it just as much in the remake. I loved the Gaston song. It was just as funny and entertaining as it was in the original.

My other favorite scenes were Be Our Guest, the ball, and the end when Beast is dying and then transforms. I don’t know why but it is still so powerful to me and they made it so beautiful I couldn’t help but love it.

Anyway, I loved the movie! I can’t wait to add it to our collection at home. Everything was so perfect and I loved how they gave a little more background on Gaston and the Beast (oh and Belle’s mother).

What were your thoughts on the movie?

Have a magical Disney day,

Amanda

 

Beauty and the Beast 2017

This past weekend we went to D.C. to see the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. I had been looking forward to it ever since I saw the first teaser trailer and I was really excited to finally watch it! I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

I thought it was wonderful! I loved that it kept mostly to the original fairytale, but also that it added more depth to the Beast’s background. The songs were classic and fun and I really liked the new song they added for the Beast. Speaking of the Beast, I really enjoyed Dan Stevens’ performance and Emma Watson did a wonderful job as Belle. Also, Luke Evans and Josh Gad were perfect, they portrayed their characters so well and added lots of humor.

One of my favorite scenes was the classic ballroom scene. It was so beautiful and enchanting, it actually made me tear up. The Be Our Guest scene was also fabulous! They did a great job in bringing it to life.

BATB

Altogether, I think this movie deserves 5 stars and a place in our movie collection! I hope you will get a chance to see Beauty and the Beast and re-live a “tale as old as time.”

See ya real soon!

Julia