Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

In honor of those who serve, please take a moment today to thank the members of our military, both past and present for the sacrifices they make to keep us safe. Many members of my family have served and continue to serve today. I am grateful for all that they do to protect our freedoms. As Walt Disney once said, "Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life." Thank you to our military for keeping those ideals alive.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Star Wars toys

Every year, just in time for Star Wars Weekends, Disney releases a new set of Star Wars toys. This year, they have a set of 4 die-cast racers, the fourth set to be released. These new racers feature Yoda, a Clone Trooper, Battle Droid, and Jedi Master Plo Koon. Each car will be available for $5.95. There is also a new set of Disney characters dressed as characters from Star Wars. This years characters include Mickey as Luke Skywalker complete with green lightsaber, Minnie as Princess Leia in her Boushh disguise with removable helmet and thermal grenade, Donald as Han Solo with a staff and encased in a block of carbonite, Goofy as C-3PO, and Pete as Boba Fett with removable helmet, jet pack and blaster. Each figure will be packaged individually and available for $8.95. Some time later this year, Disney will be releasing a Star Wars themed vinylmation set. So far, only three images of the set have been released: Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, and Lando Calrissian. I can't decide if I like the vinylmations. Some of them are really cute, but they have a lot of weird ones too. However, the pictures released for the Star Wars ones look pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Star Wars Pins

There are several new Star Wars pins that have been created just for this years Star Wars Weekends at Disney World. Several of the individual pins feature key scenes from the Empire Strikes Back including a dimensional AT-AT being circled by a Snowspeeder. A massive jumbo pin in the shape of the number 30 is filled with characters from the movie. A boxed set of six characters and there vehicles has been created. There's also a set of Muppet Star Wars pins, a R2-MK (like a red R2-D2 but with Mickey ears), and a special limited edition pin. My favorite is the passholder limited edition pin which features Han Solo in carbonite. Finally, there's a limited release pin featuring the logo for the Star Wars Weekends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lightsaber Chopsticks

Now the Force can be with you even while eating sushi... introducing Lightsaber chopsticks. Japanese toy company Kotobukiya has created an entire line of Lightsaber chopstick sets. The blades are cast in a translucent material and each pair of chopsticks comes with a translucent chopstick rest featuring the Star Wars logo. The Luke Skywalker (available in green or blue), Darth Vader (red), Mace Windu (purple), and Darth Maul (red) sets are over 9" long, suitable for adult use. The Darth Maul set also attach end to end like in the movie to create one long lightsaber. There is also a Yoda (green) set, which is shorter and intended for use by children. The chopsticks are available directly from Kotobukiya, on Amazon, and from Star Wars Shop. Amazon has sets are available now, while the others are on pre-order until August. These would make great gifts for your favorite Star Wars fan!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Photo of the Week

In keeping with this weeks Star Wars theme, here is a photo of the outside display at Star Tours. They have a large Ewok village and a full size AT-AT. I sure hope they keep it when they change the ride.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Star Wars Pancakes and More!

Just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the Empire Strikes Back, Williams-Sonoma has created some awesome Star Wars themed cookware. They have three new items: a kids apron with characters embroidered across the bottom and the Star Wars logo across the top, a set of four cookie cutter/embossers, and a set of three pancake molds. What better way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of a true classic than with pancakes shaped like Darth Vader and Yoda? The set is hilarious! I can't wait to see it in the store.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Star Tours

Well, its that time of year again... Star Wars Weekends. Every year, I say I'll go, but I never seem to make it. This year guests will have a chance to ride one of the last trips to Endor on Star Tours. The ride is scheduled to close July 27 at Disneyland and September 8 at Disney World. They are going to be "reimagining" the ride with a new 3-D experience taking guests to familiar places in the Star Wars universe. They're also hosting a special "Last tour to Endor" party on August 14 during "Star Wars Celebration V" at Disney World. As this is one of Bean's favorite rides, I am rather sad to see it change. Sometimes I think Disney gets carried away trying to keep up with the latest and greatest. However, if it lives up to the promise and becomes an immersive 3-D trip through the universe of Star Wars, it may be alright. I just hope they don't totally change the outside of the ride as well. I love the Ewok village and AT-AT that shoots water from it's guns. Also, every year when we go, we take a picture of Bean on the speeder parked outside. It's a fun way of seeing how much she's grown. Here's hoping that the new ride is as much fun as the current one!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Win a trip to Disney Parks

Rayovac batteries is giving away a trip for four to either Disneyland or Disney World! Let Rayovac power your vacation and enter for a chance to win.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Favorite Time of Year

I know it's a little early to be thinking about Halloween, but I figure you need to start planning early for trips to the World. My favorite time to go to Disney World is the end of September-beginning of October. It's a chance to experience a lot of Disney fun in one quick trip. We've gone to Disney three times during September/October and loved it every time.

It's fun to go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, dress up in Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating around the Magic Kingdom. Bean's favorite part is the Boo to You Parade. The parade begins when the Headless Horseman rides down the parade route on his horse and holding a flaming pumpkin. At the end of the night, cast members will top off your trick or treat bag. The last time I went, they were topping off with Ghiradelli caramel squares... the big ones. We always come home with a huge pile of candy, some of which we give out at Halloween, as there is always too much.

For the adults, try the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, which runs during this same time period. It's a great chance to try a lot of food from a lot of different nations and see what appeals to you. My favorite mini plate is the cheese plate with three types of cheese, brown bread, Irish butter, and chutney from the Ireland stand. I eat it every time I go. I liked it so much that I have started buying Dubliner cheese at home too. My sister's favorite is the lamb slider from New Zealand. There are so many fabulous things to try that it would be impossible to pick just a few. I would recommend going as a group and having each person purchase one food from each nation and then everyone trying a bite. That's what we usually do and you get to try so many more things that way without getting overwhelmed.

You'll probably find something that you may want to eat even after you get back home. Fortunately, there are several websites that have recipes from the Festival. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but they sound fantastic. Several of the countries offer demonstrations of various recipes and styles of cooking popular in their homelands.

Each year is themed, so a few years ago, there were stock pots and characters from Ratatouille everywhere. Another year was Alice in Wonderland. This year's theme is "Delicious Discoveries". They are changing the Goebel store in Germany to a Werther's Candy Shop and the new Via Napoli restaurant in Italy opens in September. There are also a lot of beautiful displays and decorations representing each of the countries. In all, its a fabulous Festival with something for everyone. And that's what make this my favorite time of year to travel to Disney World!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Princess and the Frog Cake

I've seen a lot of different Princess and the Frog cakes out there lately, but this one has to be my favorite. I spotted this cake on the Cupcake Blog and just had to share it. I love that the cake is the dress without the doll stuck into the top. It's much classier this way and besides, it's so CUTE! Whoever created this cake is quite talented. I love it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day today. I love having a special opportunity to celebrate my Mother and all of the wonderful experiences that she has shared with me. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and near-mothers out there!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Photo of the Week

I love the Twinings Tea Garden at the Flower and Garden Festival. Various plants used in their teas are grown in teacups behind the Tea Caddy shop.