It’s a very merry Christmas season at the Disneyland Resort! How can you navigate the crowds and still make sure to have a magical time? Follow these 11 tips on my most recent post at Traveling Moms.
It’s a very merry Christmas season at the Disneyland Resort! How can you navigate the crowds and still make sure to have a magical time? Follow these 11 tips on my most recent post at Traveling Moms.
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing our holiday gift guides.
There are thousands of Disney-inspired gifts for kids under five years old. So how do you know what will make the best gift for your little ones? When buying gifts, there are several things to consider: age appropriateness, probable longevity of the item and quality. And an important thing to me, practicality. Sure, those 3 foot tall dolls are cute, but how often will it be played with? Yes, that awesome, hot new toy is cool but if it’s over $100 how many times will it be used with to make it worth the value?
I love to think outside the box for my kids and buy them things that they’ll be able to use and enjoy over several years and that won’t end up at the bottom of the toy bin next week. Having something that is timeless and high quality is important too, especially if you have more than one child and the item could be handed down to the next child in time.
Here are my choices for the best Disney-inspired gifts for kids under 5, starting with babies. I’ll be having a little girl next year and already thinking of the sweet Disney-themed items I’ll be able to buy for her! Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.
What does baby love? Something useful like a teether or a blankie? Something fun like wooden blocks! Something soothing like a soundtrack of lullabies. And when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with an adorable outfit that dresses baby like a princess or Winnie the Pooh!
Books are one of my favorite gifts to give because they are truly enjoyed all year round by my little ones. We own the Cars First Look & Find and it’s a great conversation starter. Reading is also the perfect way to snuggle up with them at bedtime.
I’m all for giving new pajamas at Christmas. Often times it’s a gift I let my kids open on Christmas Eve so they have a crisp, new pair to wear in their Christmas morning photos!
We own Zak Designs melamine plates and bowls and they hold up so well over the years, even with dishwasher use. And truly, can you ever have enough cups for little ones?
Minnie Mouse Cup and Olaf Tumbler (both from DisneyStore), Disney Junior Miles From Tomorrowland Folding Flatware Set (Amazon)
Going on a trip to a Magical location? Or just to Grandma’s house for the night? Little kids love to tote their own necessities in Disney style.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Black | Holiday Gift Guides Loop:
What are your favorite items to gift to kids under five years old? Share below in the comments!
My family and I have always decorated for Halloween, it was one of my dad’s favorite things! He made tombstones that resembled those in the Haunted Mansion graveyard and placed them in the yard. A few eerily hung cheesecloth drapes and some dry ice fog really set the tone and kids would come from all over to see our lawn. I live on a busy street now and I don’t like to put out Halloween decorations that might be taken, so decorating inside is ideal. Here are some fun Halloween decorations that are easy and budget-friendly too.
Disney Family has some creative ideas (some with help from HP Printers) to craft entire party arrangements for Halloween. There are over a dozen ideas to make at home to set a The Nightmare Before Christmas themed gathering!
What other quick and easy Halloween decor ideas are out there for you to make? With the help of Etsy, Disney Store, Amazon and a few of my favorite online sites, I’ve conjured up some fun ideas for you to make at home (some of these are affiliate links).
Carve a Disney-themed pumpkin
Or paint your pumpkin instead…
Quick table decor
Using a store-bought black fabric table runner and silver fabric paint, these hand-carved Halloween stamps from Kindred Stamps set the stage for your party. Jack Skellington, Ghost Mickey or Haunted Mansion Wallpaper Design (images from Kindred Stamps)
Any flickering candlelight will do, but the eerie glow from a gargoyle candelabra will add just the right amount of Halloween to your table setting (this one is from Master Gracey Inc on Amazon). Top them with these Eerie Halloween Drip Candles also from Amazon for the perfect effect.
Treats and Tricks for Kids
Conjure Oogie Boogie with this glow-in-the-dark slime (from a Pumpkin & a Princess). Kids love playing with this stuff (and it might get their mind off the plethora of candy in their treat bag!)
Who wouldn’t love to bite down on a gold doubloon, ala Pirates of the Caribbean! Use gold food safe spray to decorate OREOs. Stack them up at a pirate-themed table setting.
Get out your crayons and have kiddos (and adults!) decorate these coloring pages from I Am a Mommy Nerd. Hang them up around the house for cute and creative Halloween decor.
Hope you have a Happy Halloween!
Isn’t this Sorcerer Mickey Mouse costume Fantasmic!, err…fantastic?! And it’s budget-friendly and fairly easy to make as well. It’s all about the sorcerer hat, naturally. The rest of the costume is extremely easy to pull together last minute.
My son was Mickey Mouse last year (see the quick and easy DIY Mickey costume tutorial). He’s been telling us all for months that he wanted to be Mickey again this year too. I showed him the animated short, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and he was excited to switch things up a bit costume-wise and be Sorcerer Mickey this year.
Working from top to bottom, Yen Sid’s sorcerer hat is the winning part of this costume. I will give you several different options for creating this piece and you can choose, depending upon your skill level and craftiness.
These are the things you’ll need for the sorcerer’s hat-
1. Cut two pieces of blue cotton from the cone hat pattern. Cut one piece of buckram from the same pattern. Sandwich the buckram in between the two blue cotton pieces and baste around the edge to hold all three pieces together.
2. There are several ways to make the mouse ears. I cut mine out of stiff black felt (just simple circles with a tab on one side to attach to the hat). Curve the hat around your child’s head to see where the placement should be for the ears and mark it with disappearing ink. I sewed the tab on to the hat (facing the back of the hat) but you could hot glue as well.
3. To create the stars and moons on the hat there are two options:
Option A – Free hand draw these designs onto Heat n’ Bond. Iron the shapes onto white cotton fabric. Cut out on the lines and iron directly onto one of the blue cotton pieces of the hat. Take care not to place the pieces too close to the edge where the hat will be seamed together.
Option B – Draw the designs onto a piece of pattern to create a pattern. Using the patterns, cut out the shapes with felt and then hot glue onto the blue cotton. Take care not to place the pieces too close to the edge where the hat will be seamed together.
4. Curve the cone into a conical hat shape. At this point you have several options for seaming together.
Option A- I turned my hat inside out and machine sewed down the seam, then carefully turned right side out.
Option B- You could also overlap the hat seam and use heavy-duty staples to seam it shut. You could then cover the seam with a hot-glued strip of blue ribbon.
5. For the padded hat band, measure the child’s head circumference where the hat will be worn. Add about 10 inches to this measurement as the band will tighten once the stuffing is added. It’s also easier to cut the band down in size than to add another piece of fabric.
6. Cut a piece of blue cotton 6″ high X the head circumference, plus 10″. Fold the cotton in half (so it’s now 3″ high), right sides together and sew the long end of the fabric, creating a tube. Do NOT turn the piece right side out, you will be stuffing this tube while it’s inside out.
7. Place a safety pin about an inch in from one side, closing off the tube. Stuff the tube with Poly-fill through the opposite end, using a dowel or chopstick to lightly push the stuffing down. You want the tube lightly padded but not bursting at the seams.
8. When the tube is padded, compare this hat band to the bottom of the cone hat. You may need to remove some of the fill and trim some of the tube fabric if the tube is too long. Once you have the tube an appropriate size to fit the hat, sew the tube ends together making a circle.
9. Placing right sides together, pin the hem of the tube to the outside of the cone hat and baste. Then using a sewing machine zipper foot, sew the hat band tube closely inside the basting line to secure the band to the hat. Trim excess and roll band down. Ta-da!! Your sorcerer’s hat is complete!
ROBE & BELT
For the rest of the costume. I’d had all intentions of making an authentic red Mickey tunic that matched the costume he wears but when it came down to cutting it out, I found I didn’t have enough red cotton. I dug through my drawer and found this red tee shirt which fits my son nicely and doesn’t drag on the ground or cover his hands (I had to turn the tee inside out because it had a logo on it). I paired the tee with black leggings and brown sandals, though any brown shoes would work.
For the belt, you could choose to purchase a bit of brown rope to knot at the waist. I had brown cotton that I sewed in a strip long enough to wrap around and knot.
And that’s it, a fairly quickly put together Halloween costume. I was able to create the hat in a few hours time and the rest of the outfit was thrown together very fast. And all pieces are very budget-friendly. The hat fabrics didn’t cost me more than a few dollars!
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing Halloween craft ideas.
Do you love having custom boutique clothing for you and your kids when you visit the Disney Parks? Me too! I’ve been creating and selling appliqued tees for years in my Etsy shop, The Painted Butterfly Studio. However, I know not everyone has the time or inclination to perfect satin stitching or proper technique for seamless applique. I came up with a technique for applique that anyone with a sewing machine can accomplish!
1. Take your coloring page or design and flip the page over. Outline the bold details with a Sharpie marker. This is the side that you will trace on.
2. Place a piece of fusible bond (bumpy side down) onto your design and trace out each individual shape using a Sharpie marker (ball point pens or pencils will smudge or smear off onto your iron, so a Sharpie is best).
You’ll have a piece for the pumpkin, the stem, the leaf and the individual pieces of the jack-o’ lantern face.
3. Cut around each piece of fusible bond but NOT on the Sharpie line (see image above on left). Iron them (bumpy side down) onto the appropriate color of fabric.
4. Cut out each piece on the Sharpie line.
5. Lay your shirt down and iron out any wrinkles in the design area. Starting with the orange pumpkin and brown pumpkin stem, peel off the fusible bond backings and place down onto the tee. Tuck the brown stem slightly underneath the orange pumpkin. Make sure the design is centered and straight. Do not iron yet!!
Lay your coloring page down (the original side, not the one that you traced) on top of your design to make sure the pieces line up before pressing with the iron. I flip the page back and forth quickly so I can compare the design and make sure I have pieces in the correct position. Use a smooth pressure to apply the pieces to your tee shirt with the iron on a “cotton” setting.
6. Moving on to the leaf, use the same technique, comparing the coloring page to the fabric design before ironing in place.
7. Repeat with jack-o’ lantern pieces, matching the correct position by comparing to the coloring page before ironing in place.
8. Once you have all your pieces securely ironed on, cut a piece of stabilizer slightly larger than the size of your design.
Carefully turn your shirt inside out and follow the package instructions to secure to the inside of the shirt (some stabilizers must be pinned on; I use one that can be ironed on and easily removed).
Turn the shirt right side out. Do not skip this step of using stabilizer! Stabilizer holds the design straight while you sew to avoid warping, puckering or rippling.
9. Thread your sewing machine bobbin with the same color of thread as your t-shirt. You will start by sewing the pieces on top, the black jack-o’lantern face. When appliqueing, always sew the smaller pieces on top first to avoid puckering. Thread the machine with black thread and set the machine for a tight straight stitch.
10. Carefully sew each jack-o’ lantern piece close to the outside edge. Change thread colors and complete by sewing the green leaf and brown stem.
11. Taking your disappearing ink pen and comparing to your original coloring page, draw any detail lines for the pumpkin directly onto your fabric design.
12. Using orange thread, sew around the outside of the pumpkin first, then sew up and down the design to add the details. Make sure to back stitch before and at the end of each strand to secure stitches.
13. When all sewing is complete, spritz the design lightly with water to remove the disappearing ink lines. You may have to repeat this process several times. Do not iron until the ink lines are gone to avoid setting them permanently.
14. Turn shirt inside out and remove all pieces of stabilizer. Turn shirt right side out.
14. When disappearing ink lines are gone, press the design with iron to sink and tighten the stitches. Your shirt is ready to wear!
Straight stitch applique advice:
It is important to stick with cotton or knit fabrics only when straight stitch appliqueing. Because the edges of the applique pieces are not covered, there is a chance that the edges of your cotton fabric may fray or curl slightly after a wash and dry. As long as you’ve properly stitched the pieces securely, slight fraying or curling should be fine and create a fun look to your design.
Taking applique to the next level:
Once your practiced straight stitch applique, try using a satin stitch (aka: a very close together zig-zag) around the edges of your applique pieces to secure them. This will create a more smooth and polished look. You’ll be able to add more detail and the look will last a long time. Cover the stitches inside (because they will be thicker and potentially more itchy to the wearer) with a soft fusible Poly-mesh backing.
Prefer to buy? I’ve got you covered because this design (with name personalization) and others are sold in my Etsy shop 🙂
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | Halloween Crafts Loop:
This post contains affiliate links
Have you visited Disneyland during the fall season? Stop over at the Traveling Mom’s website and read my newest article, 8 Reasons Why Halloween Time at Disneyland is a Treat!
Every Halloweentime at Disneyland, Guests are able to celebrate the season in a unique and only-slightly-spooky way. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that allows Guests of all ages to dress up in their Halloween finest, to trick-or-treat throughout the Park as well as enjoy rides and attractions.
Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticketed event, so that means on the day of the parties, Guests are required to purchase an event ticket that allows them to stay inside the Park and participate in the event. This ticket includes admission to Disneyland up to three hours before the start of the party, free parking and access to all Party activities. I confess that my family and I have never had the chance to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. Though we’ve visited the Parks during Halloweentime (including last year during a Family Media Day), we’d love to someday be able to dress in costume and attend this ticketed event, it sounds spooktacular!
Photo stations set up through the Park allow guests to take pictures with their favorite characters, who are also dressed up in their Halloween costumes! There are trick-or-treat stations set up throughout the Park with candy and healthy treats. Bags are provided to all Guests to carry your load and everyone (even mom & dad) are able to partake. I’ve heard from past Guests that there is always a big haul by the end of the night. Too much candy? A dance party will get everyone moving!
Special Halloweentime treats and eats are available throughout the season. Last year I indulged in this amazingly delicious pumpkin spice cupcake. See the edible sparkles?!
Disneyland’s newest parade, Paint the Night, is a delight for all and the evening will close with the amazing Halloween Screams fireworks show. Nearly all rides and attractions will be available throughout this special event, including Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday.
Get your costumes ready for the big night! Keep in mind that though everyone can dress up, there are guidelines on the Disneyland website on what is and isn’t allowed. Be creative and consider dressing as a team. Choose a favorite Disney movie and have each person in your party represent a character. Since even grown-ups can wear costumes to this event, it gives you a chance to think outside the box and just have fun with it! If you’ll be riding on attractions, consider how you’ll get in and out of the seats. The rule for comfortable shoes still stands too. Nobody wants to be hobbling to the car with blisters at the end of the evening!
Consider sewing your own costume or Disney-Bound with items from your own closet. I was able to whip up my son’s Mickey costume easily and my daughter’s Vanellope costume was culled from items purchased online (see links for costume tutorials).
This is an event that sells out every year so get your tickets early. Mickey’s Halloween Party starts Sept 25th, 2015 and ends at the stroke of midnight on Halloween night, October 31st.
Check out this post about the 8 Reasons Why Halloween Time at Disneyland is a Treat for additional fall fun at the Parks.
Welcome aboard the Magical Blogorail Green. Today we are talking about the best Character interaction in the Disney Parks and on the Disney Cruise Line.
It’s the Springtime Roundup at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch! Starting March 20th, 2015, the Springtime Roundup returns to the Big Thunder Jamboree area in Frontierland. According to the Disney Parks Blog, “Several times each day, a group of dancing cowboys and cowgirls comes together for a lively hoedown and “bunny hop” that will get you off your feet and joining right in. Springtime Roundup brings all that excitement, plus fresh spring talent from Disney Performing Arts, egg decorating demonstrations, fun crafts, yummy treats and more.”
My family visited Disneyland last year during the very first Springtime Roundup in 2014 and enjoyed the beautiful spring decor and Character meet n’ greets. In the Big Thunder Ranch area, my daughter met up with Jessie. Once inside the Jamboree area we met with Roger Rabbit, Rabbit from “Winnie the Pooh” and Br’er Bear. Pluto, wearing bunny ears, and Baloo from Jungle Book came out to dance while there was singing and piano music.
And of course, Minnie Mouse. This was one of the very best character engagements we’ve ever had at the Parks. The PhotoPass photographer must have snapped about 50 shots!
Minnie was completely smitten with my son and she swept him off his feet! Within minutes they took off together, hand in hand to explore the Jamboree area. It was decorated so beautifully for springtime. You can see in these photos the expansive space and the pretty flowers decorated throughout the area.
Minnie and Dillon wandered the Jamboree, “smelling” the flowers and tossing apples to each other. They ended on a bench, playing peek-a-boo under the picnic table! It was a moment that we cherish.
Because this area is rather tucked away, it just doesn’t seem to get as crowded as the Character meet n’ greets in other areas of the Park. The Big Thunder Jamboree area is behind the petting zoo, so to find it walk past the goats and keep going into the back section. There is a stage area, picnic benches in the shade and snacks for sale.
This year, expected to make appearances are Thumper, Br’er Rabbit, Roger Rabbit, the White Rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland,” and Rabbit from “Winnie the Pooh.” And most certainly the Easter Bunny (but only through Easter Sunday, April 5).
The Springtime Roundup happens every day until April 12th and then on weekends only until June 7th. Hop on over before it’s gone!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Best Disney Character Interactions Loop:
I love holiday baking and a Disney-themed recipe is the icing on the cake! These ideas and recipes are perfect for adding a little Disney magic to your festivities. I’ve included edible decor, cookies & cakes, gift giving treats as well as special recipes to serve on Christmas morning.
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
These Frozen trees make great decorations or cake toppers (and are made simply with a frosted sugar ice cream cone, flaked coconut and a spice drop).
Warm up with a cup of what is called the World’s Best Hot Chocolate, served at Napa Rose at the Disneyland Resort. Recipe to make it yourself, from The Disney Diner.
If you can’t make an enormous gingerbread house like they do at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, you could still make a mini version at home! I love this gingerbread recipe from Sweet Sugar Belle.
COOKIES & CAKE
Using Sweet Sugar Belle’s gingerbread recipe & paired with her royal icing recipe, this is a sweet treat that is sure to delight! You can even cut your gingerbread boys & girls into Mouseketeer versions like they do at Disneyland.
These pretty green holly leaf cookies have a Hidden Mickey surprise! Fan them out on a platter to create a delicious wreath.
Bakerella has the original cake pop recipe (she invented them). These silhouette Mickey cake pops are precious!
A treat bag filled with Cinnamon Glazed Almonds would be a delight. These are sold throughout Walt Disney World.
I love seeing these holiday themed caramel apples throughout the Disney Parks. Oh My Disney! has the instructions on how you can make a Disney-style caramel apple at home!
Wrap up a Frozen-inspired popcorn ball studded with candy & snowflakes for a sweet treat to give to friends.
Greet the family on Christmas morning with these adorably delicious Mickey shaped cinnamon rolls!
I have a penchant for banana bread and this one doesn’t disappoint; it’s also the same recipe they serve in the Disney Parks!
I just bought my first doughnut pan and think I’ll have to try this one out…isn’t it cute!! These are Mickey’s Apple Cider doughnuts with a chocolate glaze.
I have pinned more ideas on my Very Merry Christmas Pinterest board.
What is your favorite dessert or delight during the holidays? Share in the comments below and please consider signing up for my newsletter to receive indication of future posts.
It’s so magical to include Disney themed ornaments and decor in your home during the holidays! Whether you make ’em or buy ’em, there are thousands of beautiful ornaments and decor ideas to make this season a little more merry! From left to right, Disney Store, Hallmark, Lenox & Disney Store
HANDCRAFTED BY YOU!
Pinterest has a plethora of fun ideas, of course!
If you haven’t the time or talent to make your own this year, many incredible Disney-themed ornaments can be had online! From left to right, Disney Store, Lenox, Disney Store and Hallmark.
Lenox has some beautiful designs and high quality you’ve come to expect from them. I love the expressions on Disney’s Ariel’s Best Friend ornament from Lenox. And the pretty gold scales on her tail, so lovely!
Hallmark has been a go-to for our holiday ornament shopping for years. My kids have a collection of fun designs with a Disney twist for the holidays. I like that there are some not-so-typical designs this year, including Baby Mine and True Love’s Kiss.
HANDCRAFTED BY ARTISANS
Over on Etsy, a quick search under handmade for Disney Christmas Ornaments and you can find some beautifully crafted items that support small business.
Personalized Mickey or Minnie ornaments by KeepsakesbyNicolina
Handpainted Buzz, Woody or Jessie ornaments by PaintnPly
Do You Wanna Build a Snowman ornament by MelaniesCrafts
Embroidered Felt ornaments in Mickey or Minnie design by StubbyTailCreations
Do you have any Disney ornaments on your tree? Stop over at my Saving UP for Disney Facebook page and share with me!