Over The Top Mommy

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What’s New at The Disneyland Resort in 2019?

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

It was a great end to 2018 for me as I got to spend the morning with my daughter at Disneyland for a few hours and later on at home we got to watch Disney Parks Blog’s live stream of New Year’s Eve fireworks from Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World! Disney Parks Blog also released their first digital wallpaper of the year and it’s adorable! You can download yours for either mobile or desktop HERE

Now that 2019 is off to a magical start, it’s time to take a peek at what’s going to be new this year at The Disneyland Resort! I feel like a kid in a candy store awaiting the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in summer. Meanwhile, the first few months look to be jam packed already with tons of exciting offerings! Starting in January and continuing throughout 2019, the Disneyland Resort will offer a collection of adventures, festivals, shows, food, Disney character interactions and more to inspire guests to join the fun with family and friends.Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration
2019 will kick off in true Disney fashion with Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie
Celebration, a party to celebrate Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the place where they first appeared for guests. Adored for generations, Mickey and Minnie Mouse have brought joy and inspiration to millions of fans around the world. Join in and toast their 90-year legacy with a magical, musical celebration featuring entertainment, Character Greetings, themed menu selections, merchandise and more.

Mickey’s Mix Magic – beginning January 18
Guests can light up the night with Mickey’s Mix Magic, a new, high-energy projection show celebrating the one and only Mickey Mouse. Held at Disneyland Park, this family-friendly event features the theme song, “It’s a Good Time” as well as dance-tastic takes on some of your favorite Disney hits and a virtual visit from none other than “DJ” Mickey, of course!

Watch state-of-the-art projections, lighting and lasers transform various parts of the park—Main Street, U.S.A., the water screens on Rivers of America and the façade of “it’s a small world”—into dazzling displays of sight, sound and color.

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – beginning January 25
Mouseketeers and Guests alike will fall head over heels for the returning fan favorite, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, a beloved park classic that’s back to mark one of the most exciting milestones in Disney history—Mickey’s 90th. The parade features popular Disney peeps, whimsical floats, music and lots of larger-than-life surprises. During a rockin’ new opening, Mickey leads the way with a giant celebration cake accompanied by Chip ‘n’ Dale! Celebrate Valentine’s Month with Mickey and Minnie – Jan. 22 through Feb. 18,
Join Disneyland Resort to celebrate the love of Minnie and Mickey for Valentine’s month. Guests will find a new Mickey Mouse flower “portrait,” and lovely and festive Valentine’s décor all along Main Street, U.S.A. Guests may also choose to partake in Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, a special scavenger hunt experience in Disneyland park. After purchasing a commemorative map and stickers at select merchandise locations, they may search for the hidden valentines that Minnie has left for Mickey around the park. Upon completion, maps can be returned to a designated location to redeem a special Valentine’s surprise.* Lunar New Year Celebration –  Jan. 25 through Feb. 17
Disneyland Resort will, once again, celebrate Lunar New Year and the Year of the Pig inside Disney California Adventure Park.  A joyous celebration of Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year celebration welcomes guests of all ages to commemorate the tradition with beloved Disney characters, and welcome another year of good fortune. Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, a limited-time offering during the Lunar New Year celebration, is a bright and bold parade hosted by Mulan and her faithful dragon, Mushu. As a special treat for the Year of the Pig, the Three Little Pigs will join the procession. Delicious Asian food and kid-friendly crafts and activities will be available as well.

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – March 1 through April 23, 2019
Discover a cornucopia of culinary fun—from Festival Marketplaces and tastings to inspirational cooking demonstrations. Whether you’re a foodie, aspiring home chef, wine enthusiast or just looking to glean a few cutting-edge techniques, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival delivers something for palates of all ages year after year.
will offer tasty treats and special entertainment for guests of all ages to enjoy. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for the latest updates on this year’s Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. Coming later in 2019
As I mentioned before, summer 2019, is going to be all about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park! For the first time ever, guests will be able to live their own Star Wars adventure at the highly anticipated new land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The opening will make Disney history as the largest single-land expansion ever at the Disneyland Resort. In this epic, new land, guests will live their own adventure in a galaxy far, far away and explore Black Spire Outpost. Once a busy crossroads, this spaceport on the planet Batuu is now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, including smugglers, rogue traders and exotic creatures traveling between the frontier and uncharted space.Guests will take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium
Falcon: Smugglers Run. On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests can join a battle
between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren. These two new incredible experiences, paired with the land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app, will invite guests to become galactic travelers and live their own Star Wars adventures in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.As you can see, there’s a lot that’s about to happen in this new year at the Disneyland Resort! What are you most excited for in 2019? Share with me in the comments!

Some images and logos are property of Disneyland Resort and used with permission. 

The 2019 Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Begins January 18

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

The Epcot®International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort, a celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts and is set to begin its annual run on Jan. 18, 2019 for the 3rd year in a row. The highly anticipated event has become very popular with Disney fans over the past couple of years and will continue for 39 days this year, through Feb. 25, 2019.  This year’s festival will feature more live music than ever before, along with fresh tastes to savor and new artwork to admire and bring home. This year, the festival will be held 7 days a week and is included with the cost of Park admission to Epcot. Guests at Epcot International Festival of the Arts have the opportunity to experience visual, culinary and performing arts at the festival. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the International Festival of the Arts is a “feast for the senses. The event offers visual arts experiences, interactive workshops and seminars. There are also opportunities to learn artistic techniques from professionals skilled in floral design, ink and paint, photography, and more. Seminars typically run 30 minutes and are included with park admission. Please note: Seminars can be reserved on the “day-of” at the Odyssey Festival Showplace. The 2019 Festival of the Arts will provide fun for the whole family every day, including mesmerizing performance art, complimentary seminars, hands-on activities and much more:

  • Everyone’s invited to grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
  • Guests of all ages will have the opportunity to literally step inside works of art and take fun photos, such as the “Washington Crossing the Delaware” Artful Photo Opportunity.
  • The Paint with a Disney Artist program invites guests to learn under the tutelage of a professional (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
  • Complimentary 30-minute seminars will give guests helpful instruction for producing their own artwork at home.
  • More than 50 visiting artists participating in the festival will be available to meet with guests and share insights on their work.
  • Gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics and many performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival.
  • International musical and variety acts will share their talents with guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany.
  • Guests can join in the fun of Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations.

2019 Workshops 
A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learned, guests will take their creations home with them. For more information on workshop and seminar offerings, please visit ArtfulEpcot.com.
Workshops are hands-on, interactive experiences that allow you an opportunity to create your own work of art to take home. Workshops run 75 minutes and are offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee. Also returning this year is the fan-favorite “Paint with a Disney Artist” experience. Offered select Fridays and Sundays, a talented Disney Artist will guide you in creating your own masterpiece! The event is perfect for seasoned painters and those just learning this beautiful art form. Bonus – continental breakfast is also included! For more information on workshop and seminar offerings, and to book your painting adventure, please visit ArtfulEpcot.com or call (407) WDW-TOUR.
Let’s Talk about the Festival Food
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus additional creative food and beverage offerings around Epcot with an expanded selection of delicious new tastes to savor including such delicacies as:

  • beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables (The Artist’s Table)
  • Smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs is sure to be a new favorite (The Painter’s Palate)
  • almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate (Pop Eats!)
  • Red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic (Cuisine Classique)

For a full list of food you’ll find at the Festival, please go HERETake home a piece of the Festival
Guests can bring a piece of the festival home. Art collectors and Disney enthusiasts will be delighted to browse different pieces throughout the park, at the Art of Disney store and in the Festival Markets, which will be available for purchase. Special festival merchandise will be available at Mouse Gear and other Epcot locations featuring the festival’s logo adorning shirts, mugs, totes and other charming items.New for The 2019 Festival of the Arts
New this year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series expands to seven days a week during the festival, providing more opportunities than ever before to bask in live Disney magic. Each week, different pairs of Disney on Broadway stars will take the America Gardens Theatre stage to sing favorite songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions. The lineup will rotate regularly, featuring music from shows such as “The Lion King,” “Frozen” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Some performers this year include:

  • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) and Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

The concert series is included with park admission; showtimes are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages are also available at participating Epcot restaurants. For a full schedule of shows and to reserve your show seating package, please visit Disneyworld.com. Reservations can also be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Some images are property of Walt Disney World and used with permission. 

 

New Coastal Spa “Drift” Opens at The Waterfront Beach Resort

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, announced the opening of Drift Spa, the latest addition to the renovated oceanfront resort and newest spa in world-famous Surf City. Drift is an 8,000 sq. foot full-service coastal spa that features an exclusive sensory experience designed to leave guests feeling calm and carefree.In addition to boasting nine spa treatment rooms and an extensive treatment menu that proudly offers organic and natural products, Drift features separate lounge and spa facilities for men and women that features spacious locker rooms, luxurious whirlpools, and eucalyptus and lavender infused steam rooms. Other lavish amenities include a vitality bar with tea elixirs, a delicious juice bar, and an enchanting spa garden with an outdoor fireplace and seasonal herb wall. Every element of Drift was thoughtfully designed to create a coastal sanctuary that engages all five senses for the ultimate spa experience.

“Drift offers guests a next-level spa experience, blending all natural elements that will elevate your senses and encourage deep relaxation. Every step of your journey with us – from the pre-treatment seashell release that carries your worries out to sea to the healing Himalayan Salt Stone Sauna – takes you one step closer to calming the mind, body and soul.” – Jennifer Reich, Spa Director

Signature treatments at the new Drift Spa include the Drift for Two couples massage with a Coastal Foot Bath, Himalayan Salt Stone Massage and the Vitamin Sea Brightening Facial. Professional treatment lines used at the spa include Naturopathica, Elemis, emerginC Scientific Organics, and Spa Ritual. For a complete list of spa treatments available and to book a spa appointment, please go HEREDrift is the latest addition at the resort, which opened the brand-new, nine-story Twin Dolphin Tower earlier this year. The “suite centric” tower features luxurious appointments, private furnished balconies with gorgeous ocean views, Hilton’s exclusive Serenity Bedding Collection, and pet-friendly rooms and amenities. The new Twin Dolphin Tower connects the current 285-room Huntington Tower, further solidifying the resort’s place as an iconic oceanfront fixture in Huntington Beach.

In addition to the Twin Dolphin Tower, the lobby/check-in area, fitness center, and all public spaces underwent a full makeover. The new pool area, known as Driftwood Beach Club, is a family-friendly oasis that features waterslides, private cabanas and fire pits. Finally, The Boardwalk, a new casual three-meal restaurant was added where guests can enjoy full ocean views as well as The Dock Bar – a great place to grab a cocktail or relaxing meal after a day at the beach.

For more info about The Waterfront Beach Resort, please go HERE. .

About The Waterfront Beach Resort
The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, features a 285-room and suite Huntington Tower and 152 all-suite Twin Dolphin Tower, and is an exquisite AAA Four Diamond property that overlooks 10 miles of pristine coastline with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The newly renovated oceanfront resort is home to Drift a Waterfront Spa, a full-service coastal spa; The Boardwalk Restaurant and The Dock Bar, offering one of the area’s best ocean view dining experiences; and Offshore 9, an exclusive rooftop lounge and dining experience that features sweeping, unobstructed ocean views. Guests can also enjoy a family-friendly tropical pool with waterslides, private cabanas, fire pits, a complimentary fitness center, and a variety of beach services and activities via Waterfront Adventures situated right on the sand just steps from the resort. The Waterfront Beach Resort is located at 21100 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, Calif. For reservations, call (714) 745-8000 or visit http://www.waterfrontresort.com for more information.

Images are property of The Waterfront Beach Resort and used with permission.

Gift Idea for Golf and Travel Enthusiasts: U.S. Open Tickets

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of USGA. All opinions are my own. 

The holidays are such a wonderful time of year to gather together with great friends and family and celebrate the season. This year, I’ve been working hard to pick out gifts to give that are less about “things” and more about experiences. In my opinion, experiences can provide the opportunity to create new, priceless memories that’ll last a lifetime, which is better than any tangible gift.With a few golf (and travel) enthusiasts in my own life, I found the perfect “experience” type holiday gift: Tickets to the U.S. Open! The 2019 U.S. Open Championship will take place at Pebble Beach Golf Links® in Pebble Beach, California, from June 10-16. and this year will mark the 119th U.S. Open Championship and the 6th time iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted the U.S. Open Championship. The world’s best golfers will converge and vie to win the coveted U.S. Open Trophy and tickets start at just $60.If you’ve never been to Pebble Beach, it’s part of a resort community on the Monterey Peninsula and is one of our family’s favorite places to visit, along with Carmel. The area is must-see location for golfers and travelers alike.Special U.S. Open Ticket Offer
Right now, all ticket orders placed through January 2nd include free shipping and a non-personalized bag tag. Orders placed by December 9th will include free shipping and a personalized bag tag. Please note: This offer is valid through January 2, 2019 or while supplies last.

U.S. Open tickets make the perfect gift this holiday season. Why not give friends and family something that will make them smile now and cheer about later in June? For more information about the 2019 U.S. Open Championships and to purchase tickets, please visit usga.org/tickets. 

Family Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

I’d been dreaming about attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the past few years, ever since I learned it even existed, I actually put it on my Disney Bucket List a few years ago. Our family lives very close to the Disneyland Resort, so we don’t have a specially ticketed party event for the holidays, just one for Halloween Time. I can’t think of any better way to kick off Thanksgiving week than with a trip to Walt Disney World and ours started off with our first night being THE most magical night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It was like a Disney dream coming true! If you aren’t familiar with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, it’s a specially ticketed event, that’s held on select nights during November and December at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World. There are several exclusive offerings for Guests in attendance at the party that are not to be missed, including Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade & other exclusive entertainment, “Holiday Wishes” fireworks, complimentary treat stops throughout the Park, rare character experiences and more. I want to share all about our Magical time at the Party with you because there is still plenty of time for you to grab a ticket for one of the remaining 2018 Party dates.  

2018 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates are as follows: 

  • November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, & 30
  • December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 & 21

Party Hours
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party officially starts at 7 pm and goes until 12 am. If you have a party ticket, you can actually enter Magic Kingdom Park starting at 4 p.m. I highly recommend getting there by 3:30 p.m. to get through the security bag check line and into the park right by 4 pm, so you can take advantage of those extra hours. It’s a great time to take some pictures in the daylight and also to grab a bite to eat, because you won’t want to take time out of the Party to stop for dinner.

Wristbands and Party Guides
As you enter the Main Gate, you’ll see signs directing you to the party wristbands. The Cast Members are dressed in special costumes and will put a special wristband on you which will later on indicate you are there for the party, when the regular Magic Kingdom hours end at 6 pm. This is also where you can grab an official Party Guide.

“Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade”
One of the biggest highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is getting to watch “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade”.The parade features a merry procession of everyone’s favorite Disney characters, gingerbread men, marching toy soldiers and even Santa. During the party, guests can watch the parade at either 8:30 or 11 p.m. Insider tip: The 2nd parade is far-less crowded than the first one, if you plan to stay late at the Party. Holiday Treat Stop Locations
One of our family’s favorite parts about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party were the treat  locations that are included in the price of your ticket! Yep! There are complimentary treats available during the party wherever you see the giant, inflatable candy cane sticks and all of the locations stay open until 12 am. Here are the 2018 offerings:

Adventureland

  • Snowman Soft Pretzel & Sno-Cone – Tortuga Tavern

Liberty Square

  • Ginger Molasses Cookie & Eggnog –  Liberty Square Ticket Office

Fantasyland

  •  A variety of holiday favorites – Pinocchio Village Haus
  •  Chilled Apple Cider & DOVE Chocolate – The Friar’s Nook
  •  Peppermint Crunch Cookie –  Storybook Circus Snacks

Tomorrowland 

  • Snickerdoodle Cookie & Hot Chocolate – Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie & Sno-Cone – Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

Allergy-friendly and alternative healthy options are available at the Party upon request. Menus and offerings are subject to change and availability. 

Seasonal Specialty Foods
In addition to all of the special holiday treats at the treat locations, there are also many jolly, holly dishes created exclusively for the season, available for purchase throughout the Park including the Sugar Rush Jumbo Cupcake & the Mickey Ornament Gingerbread Cookie (both available at Main Street Bakery) and the Vanellope Eclair (Gaston’s Tavern).

“Holiday Wishes” Fireworks
If you haven’t had the chance to watch “Holiday Wishes” light up the sky in Magic Kingdom, it’s a must-do. The entire sky lights up high above Cinderella Castle with this holiday fireworks spectacular. It’s absolutely beautiful and our family is hoping to go back and watch them again one day.Other Entertainment Options & Times During the Party

  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Castle Forecourt Stage) – 7:40, 9:25, 10:30 & 11:55
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish (Castle Forecourt Stage) – 8:15
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas (Rockettower Plaza Stage) – 7:45, 8:35, 9:25, 10:45 & 11:35.
  • The Edge Effect (Rockettower Plaza Stage) – 8:10, 9:00, 10:20 & 11;10

Dance Parties 

  • Club Tinsel (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe) – 7:00 – 12 am
  • Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jingle Jam (Storybook Circus) – 7:00 pm – 12:00 am

Special Character Experiences
Each year at the Party, there are several exclusive character experiences to find throughout the Park, some include rare characters that aren’t spotted very often. Lines can have a significant wait time but if you plan ahead you can fit many of these character experiences into your night. To locate the special character experiences, look for the Mickey heads on the Party Guide map or check for more details on the My Disney Experience mobile app.

There are usually PhotoPass photographers on hand to take your photos at these locations, which is so convenient for downloading off the app and sharing on your social media channels. You’re also allowed to use your own cell phones and cameras for photos but as a courtesy to other Guests waiting in line behind you, have your equipment ready.

Exclusive Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Event Merchandise
During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Guests have the opportunity to purchase festive event keepsakes at select locations including apparel, ornaments, an event trading pin and a MagicBand. The event merchandise is only available to Party Guests with a valid wristband and is available while supplies last.

Attractions Open During the Party
A majority of the Park’s regular attractions are open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Although there are no FastPasses available during the actual party, we found that the lines for attractions were significantly lower during the Party. Be sure to take a ride on the Jingle Cruise, which is exclusive to Magic Kingdom during the Holidays. For a complete list of the attractions operating during the Party, please check the official Party Guide and/or the app.

Here’s a short video recap of our night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:

Know Before You Go
I have a couple of “insider tips” for you after experiencing the party myself, although I will fully admit that I bet attending the party on more than one might would probably allow you to discover even more!

  • Definitely Arrive Early – One of my biggest recommendations is to play ahead and arrive early to the Party. Since guests are allowed to enter Magic Kingdom with their party ticket starting at 4 pm, why not get there and take advantage of those 3 extra hours? Plus, I find that it’s a great time to get some photos while there’s still some sunlight. It’s also a good time to grab some dinner so you don’t have to stop and do that during the official party hours, because that 5 hours goes by quickly!
  • Make sure you have the Disney Parks Mobile app downloaded and set to go  before you get there. The app is very handy during the party to do things like check attraction wait times, mobile order food and/or drinks, locate the special character meet & greets, find entertainment times and locations and more.
  • Tell a Cast Member at the treat stops  if you have any allergies or dietary sensitivities. Disney is so good about these kinds of situations and if any of the treat stops have something that might affect you and/or a family member in a negative way, Disney has alternative treats they can offer you. They really think of everything!
  • Read through the Party Guide as soon as you get one and make a plan for the night. It might seem silly but you’ll accomplish far more by mapping out your night at the party in advance.
  • Consider adding on the Holiday Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party during the Party- Although we didn’t do this, we have experienced a Fireworks Dessert Party during regular park house and it was magical. It also allows you to have a great view of the fireworks, without having to camp out early, giving up some of your time to do other things.
  • Watch the 2nd parade (if possible) – Many of the guests gather around to watch the first parade so if you are planning to stay at the party late, you’ll definitely have an easier time getting a great view to watch it.
  • Dress in layers – This is something I wish we had thought of before attending. I was honestly expecting it to be very warm on the night we attended, because it usually is, but it was the exact opposite. Luckily we just went and purchased heavier Disney sweatshirts, but having some extra layers with us that night would have come in handy. Just plan for the weather.
  • Wear comfy shoes – This is always a must for visiting any Disney park. There are still times I don’t even follow my own advice here and I always regret it.
  • Purchase event merchandise early before it sells out. This was another one that I didn’t do and most of the items were sold out by the time we went and looked.
  • Don’t forget a portable cell phone charger/battery pack – This is a must for me because I always take so many photos and videos wherever I go.
  • Do seek out the Disney PhotoPass photographers – Throughout the Park there are special, festive photo opportunities available, which include Magic Shots where characters can appear in your photos when you locate them through the mobile app. At some of the locations, photographers also offer holly jolly photo props you can use.
  • Don’t forget to stop and take it all in! – I think this is the most important tip of all. The Party will probably go by so fast so don’t forget to stop, from time to time, and just take it all in! It’s truly a magical experience and something that not all Disney fans have an opportunity to experience, so cherish every moment of it!

Our night out at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was a truly magical one and I really hope to attend again next year! Have YOU been before? What was YOUR favorite part of the Party? Share with me in the comments.

For more information about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, including ticket purchases, please visit HERE.

 

Celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland Resort Nov. 9 – Jan. 6

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 
The Holidays are about to begin at the Disneyland Resort. Starting November 9, visitors ro the Happiest Place on Earth can experience seasonal magic in both parks. Guests plan their seasonal visits, year after year, to experience beloved holiday traditions and all the festive cheer at Disneyland Resort. From snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A., to glistening décor, Disney-themed treats, holiday entertainment and the one-of-a-kind transformations that create “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. Other festivities include favorite holiday experiences and entertainment such as Disney Festival of Holidays and the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular. The heartwarming Festival of Holidays honors the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas, Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day, which will be celebrated at Disney California Adventure Park for an additional two days, running through Jan. 8, 2019.Holiday Experiences at Disney California Adventure Park

  • Disney Festival of Holidays brings the spirit of the season to life through special
    entertainment, along with delicious food at the Festive Foods Marketplace, which
    features a mix of holiday dishes and beverages that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions.
  • Festival of Holidays entertainment includes musical and dance performances by the mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers, Mostly Kosher, Blue13 Dance
    Company, The Sound, and the GRAMMY® Award-winning Mariachi Divas.
    The Three Caballeros host the popular “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” street party
    celebration, featuring folklórico and samba dancers, live musicians, and Mickey and
    Minnie in their fiesta best.
  • Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival welcomes the adventurous and kindhearted Princess Elena of Avalor, her magical friend Skylar and royal dancers as they share the joy of the holidays in this charming musical celebration.
  • The residents of Cars Land decorate for the holidays, too. Each address along Route 66, Flo’s V8 Café, Fillmore’s Taste-In, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more, gets a holiday makeover that reflects the personality of its “Cars” character resident.
  • Two attractions put the holiday cheer into overdrive, transforming into Luigi’s Joy
    to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.
  • Guests can enjoy special holiday-themed activities with Santa Claus and his sleigh full of mischievous elves at Santa’s Holiday Visit at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail through Dec. 24. (From Dec. 25 through Jan. 6, guests may encounter Santa Goofy in this festive location.)
  • When night falls, guests may stroll through the Grizzly Peak area to experience a
    magical touch of winter, with an occasional snowfall!
  • A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments. 

Holiday Experiences at Disneyland Park

  • Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle enchants from day to night with its shimmering icicles and twinkling lights. After dark, “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular and its magical snowfall finale create lasting holiday memories.
  • Mickey, Minnie, Disney Princesses and Santa celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music and marching “tin soldiers.”
  • Guests will be amazed by the 60-foot tall Christmas tree in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A., a picturesque sight where friends and family gather to take holiday photos each year. This year, the tree includes new lighting and décor, with 3,500 multi-color lights, 1,500 Victorian-inspired ornaments and 100 faux candles that range from 12 to 22 inches tall.
  • Disneyland guests definitely will want to experience the popular seasonal
    transformations “it’s a small world” as it becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday with dolls and toys representing children around the world enjoying the distinctive holiday traditions of their countries.
  • Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday,* with Jack Skellington
    and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” causing a
    collision between Christmas and Halloween.

Don’t forget to stroll through the The Downtown Disney District shopping, dining and entertainment promenade during your visit.  The Downtown Disney District the Hotels
of the Disneyland Resort also join the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments,
holiday displays, special entertainment and holiday-inspired eats and treats. For more information about the Holidays at Disneyland Resort, please visit their site HERE.

Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Celebration Returns Nov. 24 – Jan. 4

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Great Wolf Lodge will, once again, ring in the howliday season with its annual Snowland Celebration this year from November 24, 2018 to January 4, 2019. Adults and children alike will be merry and bright as they arrive at Great Wolf Lodge’s winter wonderland complete with hundreds of twinkling lights, Christmas trees and other jolly decorations in the Grand Lobby.
Great Wolf Lodge is spreading cheer to families this year with such wondrous offerings as daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby, visits from Santa Claus, and the centerpiece of the Snowland Celebration, a life-sized Gingerbread House, constructed from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread dough, 1,300 pounds of sugar and hundreds of candies. Also, for a truly delectable experience, guests can dine in the life-sized gingerbread house with a small donation to the Ronald McDonald House. For reservations for this limited offering, please go HERE.
At Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Celebration, visiting families will get into the spirit of Christmas and be able to splash in the 84-degree waterpark, all while creating special holiday memories together that will last a lifetime. Snowland will return this year with some of guests’ favorite complimentary activities including:
  • Hot Cocoa with a GreatWolf Kid – the weather outside might be frightful, but the Lodge’s delicious hot cocoa bar will warm even the chilliest of guests up;
  • Cookies with Mrs. Claus, where children have the opportunity to decorate cookies in the Gingerbread House with Santa’s leading lady.
  • The Polar Wolf Walk – a tour of the lobby that teaches children about polar bears penguins and more.
  • Festive Family Flicks  – Families can wind the night down by cozying up to watch a holiday movie in the Grand Lobby during Festive Family Flicks.
  • Santa’s Letter Depot, where kids can mail a letter to Santa in the Grand Lobby
  • North Pole University, where kids complete fun, holiday-themed assignments around the resort for the chance to earn a Snowploma.
Visits from Santa are also available for guests staying at The Lodge
During the howliday season, children’s activities such as Story Time, Yoga Tails and Paws on Projects will also get dash of Christmas cheer.
In addition to two days of play in the water park for each night stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, all of the Snowland activities are included complimentary as part of an overnight stay. Activities vary daily and based on location.  A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule provided to guests upon check-in, or verified in advance by calling the location directly.
For more information about Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowland Celebration and to make a reservation for your holiday stay, please visit HERE.
Images are property of Great Wolf Lodge and used with permission. 

World of Disney Reopens in Grand Style at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Whether you’re at the Disneyland Resort in California, or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, World of Disney is the ultimate shopping destination for all things Disney. Now both of these two dynamic retail experiences are unveiling complete transformations that make shopping easier and more fun, with a dash of pixie dust on top for good measure!

After more than than a year in design and development, World of Disney reopened today, Friday, Oct. 26, at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort. Tomorrow,  Saturday, Oct. 27, World of Disney at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World will officially reopen.This grand World of Disney makeover touched every feature and function in the store, as if the Fairy Godmother outfitted the store herself. From displays to signage to lighting and much, much more, the new World of Disney creates an exciting, dynamic shopping experience where the products are the stars and guests discover magical Disney storytelling wherever they look.

“We saw World of Disney as an opportunity to reimagine what Disney retail is today. “The new store design highlights the best of what is current and new, while also celebrating classic Disney heritage based in storytelling.”” – Alysia Kelley, vice president of visual merchandising and location strategy for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

The major transformation includes with the store’s exterior, featuring new marquees and magical window displays. When guests step inside, they discover an open, loft-style atmosphere with such great visibility they may even fall in love with an item from across the room. The merchandise also serves as décor in the new World of Disney. In one area, a giant Mickey Mouse Club ear hat beckons guests to the new Mickey Mouse Club Collection. Several spaces throughout the store will change regularly, showcasing the newest and hottest Disney offerings of the season. When new displays debut, their stunning impact will leave guests feeling as if an entire section of the store was reimagined all over again.Complementing these displays are enchanted flourishes inspired by the history of the Walt
Disney Animation Studios and the “Nine Old Men,” the legendary animators who created classic films such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Peter Pan” and “Fantasia.” For instance, ink jars suddenly swirl with color and animate artwork on the walls. Out of nowhere, blank pages fill with pencil sketches as if drawn by an invisible hand. Magical movie posters twinkle with pixie dust before coming to life.When making purchases, eagle-eyed guests may notice the store’s sales counters are inspired by the desks and furniture used by animators of generations past.The new World of Disney is more than a retail experience – it’s truly a Disney experience.
World of Disney will regularly roll out exclusive Disney Parks merchandise, reinforcing its
reputation as a must-visit shopping destination for devoted Disney fans. Unveiled earlier in October was a new Mickey Mouse Club Collection with apparel and accessories featuring a vintage Mickey Mouse from the original television show. Also revealed with the store’s grand reopening is the Nordic-inspired Disney Parks Holiday Collection 2018, complete with Disney-themed holiday décor, ornaments, apparel and more.World of Disney stores at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World now offer guests the option to purchase new reusable bags, rather than use plastic bags. This program is part of The Walt Disney Company’s global commitment toward significant single-use plastic reduction by mid-2019. Featuring artwork of beloved Disney characters, these reusable bags are offered in three sizes for a nominal fee. Traditional plastic bags are still available upon request at no charge.

World of Disney is an anchor location at both Downtown Disney District (Disneyland.com) and Disney Springs (DisneySprings.com). Theme park admission is not required. Select products may also be found at ShopDisney.com.

Store image property of Disney and used with permission. 

Plan Your Fall Getaway to Big Bear Lake’s Oktoberfest

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Have you visited Big Bear Lake before? Located in the mountains of Southern California, Big Bear Lake is just a couple of hours by car from Los Angeles and Orange County and about few hours away from San Diego or Las Vegas.Big Bear Lake is  a beautiful vacation destination for families, couples, and even large groups. The area offers a variety of seasonal activities to its visitors including:

  • fishing
  • water sports
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • horseback riding, tours
  • winter sports

and more!When planning your getaway to Big Bear, it’s important to have peace of mind you’ve secured a clean, reliable and affordable vacation rental. With more than 350 properties, ranging from single-room cabins to entire lodges, Big Bear Cool Cabins Vacation Rentals has the perfect lodging for your adventure.Did you know that each Fall, Big Bear has its very own Oktoberfest?  It’s a festival like no other that runs from September 8 through October 27. Guests in attendance are treated to “Knockwursts” direct from the German butcher, and enjoy the very same beers poured at Munich’s Oktoberfest for more than 150 years! If you haven’t been before, it’s the perfect time to visit Big Bear.Big Bear Cool Cabins is the Official Lodging Partner for the 48th annual Oktoberfest! They offer have multiple packages for visitors to choose from for 1, 2 and 3 night stays, as well as the ultimate way to Big Bear’s Oktoberfest: The Burgermeister Party Pack!  Keep reading and you’ll find a special discount code below that you can use when you book your own Oktoberfest package. First let’s take a look at what each package includes and the discount it’s offered at.

  • Oktoberfest 1-night stay packageThis Exclusive Package includes a 5% discount on 1-night lodging, discounted Oktoberfest tickets, 2 free 2-hour bike or kayak rental from GetBoards and 10% discount on Scenic Sky Chair or Golf.
  • Oktoberfest 2-night stay packageThis Exclusive Package includes a 10% discount on 2-night lodging, discounted Oktoberfest tickets, 2 free 2-hour bike or kayak rental from GetBoards and 10% discount on Scenic Sky Chair or Golf.
  • Oktoberfest 3-night stay packageThis Exclusive Package includes a 15% discount on 3-night lodging, discounted Oktoberfest tickets, 2 free 2-hour bike or kayak rental from GetBoards and 10% discount on Scenic Sky Chair or Golf.
  • The Burgermeister Party Pack – Available for visitors 21 years and older, the Burgermeister Party Pack includes Oktoberfest admission both Saturday & Sunday, an annual commemorative 16 oz. beer stein, one beer ticket, one German meal ticket, and a set of party beads.

The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest offers a complimentary shuttle that runs from the downtown Big Bear Village to Oktoberfest on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you have a little too much Oktoberfest fun, let O’Douls do the driving. The O’Doul’s Complimentary Shuttle begins running on Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. and provides door to door service anywhere you are staying within the Big Bear Valley throughout the night. I love that you don’t have to worry about driving and can fully enjoy Oktoberfest.

The special discount code for these packages is OKTOB1, which you should apply at checkout. To book your own Oktoberfest package with Big Bear Cool Cabins Vacation Rentals please go HERE. You can also call or text them directly at 909-219-9681. For visitors who speak Spanish, se habla español y se puede llamar a 909-217-3144.Connect with Big Bear Cool Cabins on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To see if they are offering any additional discounts right now, please go here.

Images and logos are property of Big Bear Cool Cabins and used with permission.