Author: queenmouse

Making that Mickey Cake.

Did you know that Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to get his own star on the Hollywood walk of fame?? Born on November 18th, 1928 at the premiere of Steamboat Willie in Manhattan, Mickey received his Hollywood star for his 50th birthday in 1978.

Although the first words Mickey ever spoke were “hot dogs!!”, we’re going to talk about cake.

I’ve definitely seen more detailed cakes out there, but this cake is my go to cake right now for a family party or friend’s bbq (where kids are involved, of course). Kids seem to appreciate my eccentric design method. I am absolutely not gifted the way some people out there are, as I have seen many different ways of making Mickey, even making him into Minnie.

The common theme in almost all of the cakes is the famous Wilton Cake pan, pictured here:

For roughly $12.00, you have a mold that will last a lifetime – I think I may have even bought it for less.

So with that in mind, I used the basic white cake recipe from my Joy of Cooking Cookbook, depicted at JoyofBaking.com, click here. Note:: I did not use her cream cheese frosting idea.

Then, a simple buttercream frosting.

  • In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
  • Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.

Add chocolate chips around the ears and nose (delicious to add!!)

Sprinkles along the mouth. There are a ton of different ways to decorate the Mouse – be creative and have fun!!!

Wondering why the toothpicks are there? Well, it’s a rather odd shape to travel with – and I have to cover it with aluminum foil -the toothpicks keep the aluminum foil from ruining my creation!!!

The two people who created the voices for Mickey and Minnie were married in real life, and I’m pretty sure with some creativity you can convert this Mickey pan to a Minnie – If you’ve made this cake, feel free to comment with decorating tips or send me images, I will add to the post!!!

 

Tic Toc Croc. Why are Disney visitors still treating crocodiles as an attraction?

The other day at Disney I was walking across the Epcot Bridge and I saw a mom and her two young sons looking at a crocodile and throwing it food.

I thought to myself “What on earth??” This is after recent tragic events that are so horrible that they can’t even be spoken. Crocodiles and Alligators are not safe.

PEOPLE should not be feeding the wildlife. People should not be feeding crocodiles or alligators. They are extremely dangerous.

There are now small flimsy fences up at all the resorts and signs that say “no swimming”. Yet still people play at the edge of the beach and try to “feed” their new friends.

From what I hear, Disney employees wake up every morning before the sun rises to try and beat these new friends away from the resort. This is because they are dangerous. They do not want any more tragedies to occur.

Alligators are opportunistic feeders that will eat whatever is around and easily overpowered. It’s illegal to feed wild alligators because that causes them to lose their fear of humans.  

My advice: stay away from all natural bodies of water at the resorts and parks.  Disney has now wiped out references and depictions of alligators from its storied attractions but that does not mean the real ones don’t exist. They do exist. What feels like paradise can easily turn into an absolute nightmare.

Click here to see an Orlando Police Officer and a gator!!! (not at Disney)

disney sign free

Please play with bath toy crocodiles instead.

 

To Costume or Not to Costume?

Kids like to dress up.  Disney is the perfect place for it – and Walt certainly profits from it. If you go to a resort, costumes are everywhere. At the end of every ride and in every hotel you’ll be confronted with new and exciting ways to spend your $$$$. 

Do you save your hard earned cash to spend at every gift shop? Absolutely not. While one or two treats for the kids per trip may be a nice gesture, the trip is exciting enough. And there are more places than Disney to find ways to dress up your kids – (Target, Etsy, Amazon). While you may have a heavier suitcase, your wallet will be heavier as well.. It’s a win-win!! I like to pack the costumes way in advance and surprise my kids with them hanging in the closet when we get to the hotel. It’s so much fun to see the Disney characters and cast members respond to your children in their costumed attire.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so it was a disappointment to find that Disney parks have never allowed guests 14 and older to wear costumes at any parks during regular hours. However, many Disney guests have skirted around this issue by “DisneyBounding”, which means wearing regular clothes that look like something a “real life” Disney character would wear. They wear outfits that recall real life Disney Outfits but can pass for street clothes as well

Even though wearing street clothes that look like Disney characters is OK, anything that has multiple parts or is layered in any way is not allowed under the new rules. Disney’s official statement on the matter singles out Jedi Robes as something that would not be allowed. Click here for Disney’s Official Theme Park Costume Guidelines.

So go wild dressing up your kids 14 and under – they’ll definitely have a blast. But keep the Jedi attire in-house. Thankfully, what’s done in the privacy of your own home still remains there.

 

CAPE MAY CAFE REVIEW

If you’re staying at the Beach and Yacht Club you probably have a kitchen area in your room – I know we did. That’s a huge benefit because with kids you never know when they will actually eat. And snacks/meals in the room definitely make life a lot easier.

When we arrived at the Beach Club, I know how crazy it sounds but I didn’t have any desire to go to a restaurant. The first year, we used the Garden Grocer for easy food deliveries – click here for their website.  Second year, I took a ride to Celebration City and went grocery shopping with my MIL.

So with the fridge and cabinets stocked with snacks and a few easy meals for the week, why go to the Cape May Cafe in the hotel lobby for breakfast? Although it took a bit of urging from the rest of my family, I can assure you that once I saw the array of delicious food displayed at the buffet, and realized that we would meet Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Minnie before the characters headed out for a day at the beach, the 34.00 price for adults (kids 3 and under eat free) was right on the money.

This was unlike any other breakfast food buffet I have personally seen at Disney, and hands down better than Chef Mickey. The traditional items were present, along with healthy frittatas and omelettes. A small area for the kids with plastic plates, mickey waffles, and scrambled eggs completes the buffet. At one dining credit for those on the dining plan, this is a breakfast surely not to be missed before you head to the pool or park! Don’t leave before the dance party starts!!

*** ONE WARNING** – for those paying with your magic bands, gratuity is not included. That placed us in the awkward situation, without wallets, of not being able to tip right away. Luckily, staying at the hotel, I came back later with a few dollars for our server.  Also, it is really hard to get a reservation some times, but we were able to walk in right when it opened around 8am.

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO DISNEY’S MENU

 

Harmony Barber Shop

Upon entering main street in the Magic Kingdom, almost behind the fire station on the left, by the character entrance exit, stands a tiny secret: The Harmony Barber Shop. 

Not only does the storefront look like a 1900’s barber shop, but it is one. It is a functioning barber shop with state licensed cosmetologists. They will give quick haircuts to adults and offer an array of services that make toddler haircuts a breeze – literally (they give out toy fans and other fun gadgets to distract young ones while their little heads get molded and trimmed.

The Harmony Barbershop provides haircuts for any age, but specializes in first haircuts. The cost for a standard haircut is $15 (child 12 and under) or $19 (adult), while the first haircut package is $19. Its hours are typically 9 a.m.to 5 p.m., you should definitely call Disney Guest Services and make an appointment. You may be able to stop in and make an appointment the day of your visit because walk-ins are welcomed, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to obtain a time.

  • f you want to make an advance reservation, call 407-939-7529 for an appointment
  • If you do make an advance appointment, there is a $10 fee for a no-show or if you cancel within a day of your appointment.
  • Water may be sprayed on the hair during a haircut, but there is no shampooing, so make sure that the hair is clean.
  • The barbershop is not spacious – only three chairs, but there is a window seat for those that are watching the haircuts or waiting for their own.
  • Be aware that tips to the barber can only be given in cash.
  • You can pay with your magic bands.

We highly recommend making an appointment around the 3pm parade – so that you are guaranteed a good spot by the Barber Shop door.

The “my first haircut” does not require proof that it is in fact a first haircut – and it comes complete with a certificate, a lock of your little one’s hair, and pixie dust! We get it every time. Click here for a menu of services, posted on Disney site.

 

Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot – A new fantastic sight to see!

Wasn’t sure quite what to expect when we walked in here – we happened to stop in on our search for Princess Jasmine — but it was beautiful, amazing, entertaining, and quite filling!! We didn’t reserve a table and luckily, there were plenty. The entrance is beautiful, with two hostesses in traditional Moroccan garb in a carpeted and ornate entryway – the children were fascinated.

Visitors have a chance to sample exotic Moroccan cuisine while enjoying Moroccan entertainment (see belly dancer, below – she even came over and invited the kids to dance!). The belly dancer performs once an hour all day.

Surrounded by scents from the mid-east, visitors can sample Bastilla appetizers (meat or seafood baked in a thin pastry with vegetables or almonds), traditional couscous and kabobs are also on the menu. Click here to link with the official restaurant menu on Disney’s site.  Try the appetizer sampler for two and don’t miss the Moroccan Mint Tea. Come with an appetite!! This place is really filling.

 

When is a straight line NOT the shortest distance between two points?? When you’re at Disney

Staying at a Disney Resort is great. So great, in fact that one tends to get spoiled because getting from place to place barely takes any effort at all. 

Your bags disappear at airport check in with the promise that they will meet you IN your hotel room. You get picked up personally at the airport by a Magic Bus that takes you directly to your Resort. 

Once at the Resort you have a pool, refreshments, and entertainment. You don’t even need your wallet – everything FEELS free, because your magic band picks up the bill. 

When it becomes time to get to the park, though – things get a bit complicated. How do you get there? All resorts have bus transportation to the parks. And that’s great. But getting on a bus with a crowd of people and a stroller that must be folded up is a pain in the neck.  While we should all be thankful for the door to door service, I avoid the buses AT ALL COST.

If you have stroller age kids, the buses are aggravating.  We buy park hopper passes. We walk through Epcot to get to the Magic Kingdom and avoid the bus from the Beach Club. We walk through the Magic Kingdom, through Epcot, and through the Beach and Yacht to get to Hollywood Studios.  You can also take the ferry from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studio. Not only are you getting exercise but it works! it’s easier! Your kids will sleep! 

The one park not yet accessible by ferry or shuttle is The Animal Kingdom. I have yet to find an easier way there – 

Here are the boat routes: 

Boat Routes:

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, and Epcot. 
The Resort Monorail, makes the following stops:
  • Magic Kingdom park.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)

 

HOW TO RIDE SWITCH

roller coaster

Can’t get on a Disney ride because someone in your party doesn’t meet the height requirement? Why miss out on the fun?

Want to go anyway, and have another adult (hopefully someone you know) watch your child while you ride that roller coaster?  Well, so do a lot of people!! Which is how “RIDE SWITCH” was born.  With Rider Switch, one adult can wait with whoever does not want to or cannot ride, while the rest of the party takes the plunge and experiences the attraction.  Rider Switch is available at select attractions at all 4 Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Here’s the list, with links to the rides: 

Magic Kingdom Park
The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Splash Mountain
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

Epcot
Frozen Ever After
Mission: SPACE
Soarin’
Test Track

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
DINOSAUR 
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain® 
Kali River Rapids
Primeval Whirl

How do you do it? 

 The entire party must first tell a Cast Member at the ride’s entrance that they are, in fact, switching a ride.  That Cast Member will want to see your entire party and will give the “waiting adult” a Rider Switch Pass. 

The first adult will then wait in line for the attraction and ride the attraction.  Often the first adult will be given a second rider switch pass somewhere along the way, to prove that they waited in line.

After the ride, the adult who just experienced the attraction will give the “waiting adult” the Rider Switch Pass and take over watching the non-riding party members. 

The second adult will approach the Cast Member with the rider pass and skip the line!

Why spend time in line to wait on a ride that you have to go on alone? Isn’t half the fun on a roller coaster grabbing your friend or family member’s hand and hanging on for dear life?  I think so. I haven’t tried this yet and am hesitant to go on a roller coaster and literally take my life into my own hands.

Keep in mind, though, that many of the Disney rides, like Tower of Terror, sit you next to perfect strangers anyway. What better way to meet someone than during a 13 story plummet?   Or how about singing an Aerosmith duet as you accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 2.8 seconds?  – And if it’s Space Mountain, don’t worry. In the dark you won’t even know who’s next to you.

 

 

A new world hits Animal Kingdom.. Do we dare enter Pandora, the World of Avatar?

A world where every living thing that crawls, flies or squats in the mud wants to kill you and eat your eyes came to Disney on May 26th, 2017. Word is that select annual pass holders have even previewed the world.. and lived to tell their story. 

Click here for Disney’s official page  Click here for Disney’s latest announcement!!!

 

Guests will be able to experience flying on top of a banshee, follow the Na’vi River, and walk under floating mountains. 

The adventurous may try to sample the international cuisine at the Satu’li Canteen. All energy is mainly borrowed, so to conserve energy at the canteen folks will be able to try out the relatively new Mobile Order system from Disney and skip the lines. You will actually be able to order and pay for your food using the Disney Experience App – click here to read about it on Disney’s official blog! All you’ll have to do is tap an “I’m here” button to pick up your food. 

Rumor has it that Disney is still working out the kinks.. for instance all rides may not yet be handicap accessible or accommodate the large boned, heavier group of visitors that may cross Pandora’s border...

Rumor also has it that lines are incredibly incredibly long..!! I hear that there may be an unknown back gate that people haven’t discovered with shorter lines…

Things to look out for: 

  1. Matching with a Banshee – For the low price of $49.95, guests will be able to take home a robotic shoulder banshee. A leash will wrap around the owner’s waist as the banshee responds to commands such as flying. Pick them up at the Wintraders shop in Animal Kingdom. 
  2. Also at Windtraders, by a set of Na’vi ears, a Na’vi tail, or a Na’vi translator to learn the language. 
  3. Interact with a collection of instruments at the Sacred Place of Song, Swotu Waya. 
  4. The Na’vi River Journey Boat ride with bioluminescent foliage and a singing Shaman of Songs at the journey’s end.

As they say, sometimes, your life boils down to one insane move.. Do you dare enter? I think we will, but my mind is not made up yet.

 

 

LEGGINGS AREN’T JUST FOR LITTLE KIDS… AND NEITHER IS DISNEY!!!

disney-california-adventure-lularoe-partnership-leggings-theme-style-shirts-design

photo credit: lularoe

Why leggings? Leggings are fun. They are comfortable. You only live once. Why not wear those dinosaur leggings to a kids birthday party?? The kids around you will appreciate them. And maybe just maybe in a world of chaos, political horror, and stress, the kid in you will appear for a few minutes. Plus you don’t have to button or zip anything.

Disney also has the ability to bring out the kid in you. So I guess it’s not much of a surprise that A partnership between Disney and Lularoe has just been announced. It’s not going to be just leggings. The collection will also include shirts and dresses with disney designs.

Frequently described as “buttery,” brand enthusiasts contend that LuLaRoe’s leggings are the best in the world. They’re soft, durable, and thick enough to be worn as pants, especially with one of LuLaRoe’s long tops or cardigans. Popular with everyone from working moms to college students, LuLaRoe’s leggings have helped launched a brand that now includes comfortable skirts, dresses, skirts, and shawls/sweaters. They are only sold through social media!

As of now, there is no official word on when exactly this clothing line will be made public.

But I believe it will be in the next few weeks.

Also, the prices are going to go up—I was hoping they wouldn’t, but they are. Not sure how much yet.

I may not become the crazy lady on the street wearing mickey leggings to work YET but I do plan on picking up one or two pairs to wear for fun on a weekend or at a kids birthday party. Why not?

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