Thursday, August 23, 2012

Magical Mouse Schoolhouse Book Review: A Hoot or Moot?

 Reading about fossils while in Dinosaur! Queue

I was excited to see this book arrive. Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse keeps things entertaining while remaining concise and informative. Each segment is short, but filled with an amazing amount of information and best of all, activities! We love activities! I see slime in our future.

 This book is not just for families who homeschool. I can easily see it being utilized for families who want to keep the thought processes alive during vacation without it "feeling" like education. And hey, even if you're a grown up, the book is fun!  The activities provided with each segment are also a great way to stretch the magic to cover the Disney Blues once you're home.

We all know what the Disney Blues lead to -- depression, anxiety, sadness, and finally booking another vacation. Skip over all the crappy feelings by reading this book, doing the activities and then forking over a wad of cash to the mouse and do it all over again, but learn this time. You know, it's not really splurging if it's educational, right?
Reading in Kilimanjaro Safari's Queue

Even if you're not as Disney-fluent as a DisNerdy person like me, Jodi has thought of that. She's included a Glossary to guide you through some popular terms relating to the Mouse. She doesn't stop there, just check out the last chapter where she goes above and beyond.

Our Magical Mouse Schoolhouse book is already showing signs of love. It went to Animal Kingdom with us recently and survived a Rain-Shower Drenching-August-Day-In-Florida. We took it back in time with us (twice!) and across an African Savannah. The best part was bringing it home and doing a "Today's Takeaway". I definitely recommend this book for anyone who visits a Disney Park; there's something for just about everyone inside the pages.It's a hoot for us, and I know it will be for you, too.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mixtapes Disney Style

Recently we took our car to a dealership to have it appraised for a possible trade. Being the Disnerds that we are, of course we have a Disney CD in our car. Just to feed your addiction, as well as my own, here are a few you will find on our mixtape.

This is an absolute staple! I can just imagine walking down Main Street USA and smelling the bakery, seeing the castle in the distance, all by the first few seconds of the song.

This isn't technically just a music video. I adore this family's way of preserving their vacation memories. Every time my son insists on listening to this song 285,343,532,091 times (in a row) I can't help but imagine the "hands" and "slow part" images from the video.

Lastly, you will find out why I mentioned the car dealership. Apparently there is a hidden DisNerd at this dealership because whomever it was listened to quite a bit of my mixtape. When we returned to our car, the cd was two songs later on this:

Other songs on our CD are "Tiki Room",  "Hawaiin Roller Coaster", "Mickey Mouse Club", "Just Around the River Bend" and most of the songs from "The Lion King". Do you have a favorite Disney CD or "mixtape" to listen to?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Disney World Mini-Golf Winter Summerland Review

Recently we crossed the "Halfway to Christmas" threshold. What better way to celebrate than to join Santa at Winter Summerland? 
 This is not the course we chose. We opted for the Winter course today which offered more traditional Christmas tunes to rock out with. Not that anyone rocked out. We mostly just sang badly. Very badly.

With three children, it's often a challenge to find something that we all enjoy. Mini Golfing at Walt Disney World is great because even though the course wasn't too challenging for even the youngest players, it was still challenging enough to ignite a little healthy competition in Mom and Dad. (Dad would have won if we had kept score, but don't tell him that). Eighteen holes chocked full of traditional mini golf fare with a little Disney flair thrown in makes for a perfect non-park day activity.

Everyone was treated to a nice peppermint candy cane upon finishing the course. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and we will most definitely return. 

Have you mini-golfed at Disney? Which course did you choose? Who is the better mini-golfer in your family?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Add Some Pixie Dust of Your Own: Candy Bar Wrappers

Cast Members spread the pixie dust everyday. What happens when you would like to spread some of your own for your kids while on vacation?

You break out the scissors, tape and candy bars of course! Just download these Disney Candy Bar Wrappers, print them and wrap mini-sized candy bars.

Leave a few on the bedside table for each kid to find when you return to your room that day. They'll think it's amazing.

Click on each of the pictures below to be taken to a .pdf you can save and print. Pass code for the file is adventuresinmousedom

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hidden Mickey Hair: Quick Hairdo for Girls

If you have little princesses of your own, you may be enticed to book a Bippidi Boppidi Boutique experience for them. If you do, you may be wondering what a great 2nd (or 3rd) day 'do for them would be. 

Even if you don't book a BBB experience, this Hidden Mickey Hairdo is a great quick fix in the mornings for girls with medium to long hair. 

  1. Divide the hair in half, from ear to ear. If you're working with thinner hair, be sure to make the bottom half end higher on the head, closer to the crown. Clip or tie each half loosely. 
  2. Spritz the bottom half with water or spray gel to contain fly-away. Comb out to smooth everything down. Using a small elastic create a ponytail. Keep in mind that this will be Mickey's "face" so you will want this to be pretty high on the back of the head. Once you have the pony tail, you're going to twist into a bun, tucking the end underneath. Put an ouchless pony band around the bun to secure it.
  3. Divide the top section into two halves. Tie or clip each away from each other. 
  4. Begin with one side and spritz it with water or spray gel. Comb it back toward the bottom ponytail and use a small clear elastic to tie back into a pony. Get it as close to the bottom bun as you can without causing loose strands. 
  5. Twist the entire strand until it's tight. Then twist the twisted strand into a bun, only ONCE around itself. On the last twist around, take the strand down the middle and around the bottom bun. Use a bobby pin to secure the end.
  6. Repeat with the other side but do not twist around the bottom bun. Before twisting, take the bun if it's becoming tall and double it over itself and then twist the strand around it. It will give the bottom bun a fuller look and create the style above. 
  7. OPTIONAL: Add a bow to one side to make this a Minnie 'do! 
I like to finish with some Aussie Sprunch Spray and then top it all off with some glitter hair spray.

How do you fix your princess's hair for the parks? Do you do something special? What is your go-to style for Disney World?  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Staying Offsite: Shortcut to the Parks


With a family of five, staying on property isn't always easy for us. Although with the new Art of Animation Resort opening, it has become easier, yet pricey.

Staying offsite is a must for many larger families. You can rent a 3+ bedroom with a private pool for less nightly than what you would pay at a value resort. Along US 27S, there are many communities that offer short term rentals that are great for saving money without sacrificing the comfort of your family. 

Many families ask, though, is it worth the time spent to stay offsite. Driving from many of the communities above can range from 15-48 minutes from Disney property. Which end of the spectrum you end up on depends on whether you listen to your GPS and take I-4 or US192 or if you listen to me and take a lesser known route. 

First, you can trust your GPS to get you to Florence Villa Grove Road. 

View Larger Map

This will bypass US192 aka Land of the Neon. Not only will you miss all the neon, you will miss only half of the inhabitants of all those vacation homes/condos/hotels heading toward Disney. Ha ha ha suckers.

You will turn RIGHT onto Florance Villa Grove Road. You will follow it for approximately 1.5 miles.
Turn LEFT onto Westside Road. Contine through the stop light. Westside Road turns into Avalon Road/Co Rd 545. 

View Larger Map

Watch very carefully on the right for a small road. Hartzog road looks like it may lead to only residences, but that's not the case. Find Hartzog after about a mile and turn right.

It's bumpy. It's unmarked. There are orange groves. Nothing too exciting. Don't speed though. Even as tempting as it might be, please refrain from speeding. You might hit an animal, or a cast member. Please don't hurt Mickey's friend on the way to work. That wouldn't be cool.

Hartzog eventually turns into a civilized looking roadway. Follow it to the stoplight and turn RIGHT onto Western Way.

Once on Western Way, turn your air conditioning (or heat if you're so inclined) on recirculate. You will thank me. In about a mile you will pass under the Walt Disney World "gates". Once you pass under those signs, it's even more important that you have your vents on recirculate. Trust me.

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the waste from the Animal Kingdom? Disney reuses it, of course. If you want to find out how elephant/rhino/giraffe poop smells as it's turned into fertilizer, then don't turn your vents on recirculate.

Follow Western Way to a stop light where you must make a decision. Animal Kingdom or one of the other three? 

Two roads diverged by a red stop light,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, after a long flight
And looked down one as far as I might
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, to make rope drop,
And having perhaps the better chance
Because it was early we might park hop;
Though for the babe, we'll use kid swap
Had to take a nap, all the same,

And all that morning equally lay
In heaps of blankets in the sack.
Oh, I kept the other for another day!
Yet knowing now it was time to play,
I doubted if I should ever come pack.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere days and days since
Two roads diverged in Disney, and I—
I took one and don't know why,
And in the end, it made perfect sense.

Turn RIGHT for Disney's Animal Kingdom. Turn LEFT for Magic Kingdom, Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

Follow the signs, GPS doesn't always work well on property. You can thank me later for saving you the time and headache of travelling US192 or I4 during busy drive times. 

If you get lost, though, that's your fault. I'm much too smart to get lost. My husband, however... well, we won't discuss that. Everyone knows men never need directions. Yeah, right. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hidden Mickey Hunt: The Lone Bus Ranger

Once upon a time, many Hidden Mickeys existed in the bus fleet. However, now there is one Lone Ranger.
I tried to Google the answer, but I could not find an accurate one.

So, I found the bus.
That says 4815