Monday, August 27, 2012

Sleepy Hollow Dining Review

I'm over at Tips from the Disney Diva today talking about one of my favorite places to eat at the Magic Kingdom: Sleepy Hollow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Disney Nature Chimpanzee

Bean and I watched Disney Nature's Chimpanzee today as part of her homeschool unit on African animals. This is one of the most sensitive and beautiful nature films that I have ever seen. Narrated by Tim Allen, Chimpanzee tells the story of Oscar, a young chimpanzee and his family group. The film covers their heartache and triumphs as they live amongst the wilds of a rainforest in Africa.

The relationship between Oscar and his mother, Isha, is beautiful. Bean was amazed at how much chimpanzee children are like human children. They play, get in trouble, don't like bedtime, and love their mothers. Much like humans, chimpanzees learn how to survive by watching their family members go about their daily lives; gathering food, making and using tools, finding places to sleep, and protecting each other. By the end of the film, you will have a greater understanding of these amazing creatures.

Disney has created a 19 page Activity Guide with activities, games, and educational sheets to help teach children more about chimpanzees. The guide has activities for several different age levels and would be a great supplement to keep kids talking about chimpanzees and the natural world. The guide can be downloaded from Disney's Chimpanzee website here. At the Chimpanzee website, you will also find an Educators Guide for grades 2-6, a photo gallery, wallpaper downloads for your computer, and more. Disney also has links to the Blu-ray, DVD, Chimpanzee Book that offers a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, and even 13" Oscar plush. When you purchase the Oscar plush, a $1 donation will be made to the Jane Goodall Institute to help them protect chimpanzee habitats, educate schoolchildren, and care for orphaned chimpanzees.

This film is by turns happy and sad. I won't spoil the story, but be aware that there are attacks by rival groups, and even some deaths, that my be hard for young children to understand. I would recommend previewing Chimpanzee before sharing it with young children, but I think this film is a wonderful way to help introduce children to the wonders of the natural world.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No talking during the movie!

AMC theaters have teamed up with Disney and Pixar for their new policy trailer about using cell phones during movies. I love this new trailer! I really don't like it when people talk on their cell phones or text constantly during movies; it's so rude! I think this Finding Nemo trailer has the perfect solution.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Flame Tree BBQ

I'm over at Tips from the Disney Diva today talking about one of my favorite places to eat at Disney World: Flame Tree BBQ. And I've included a recipe for you to try at home. Please stop by and let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tusker House at Animal Kingdom

Musicians perform near the waiting area for Tusker House
After this last trip, I have a new favorite restaurant at Animal Kingdom. Flame Tree BBQ is still my favorite counter service, but for table service, Tusker House can't be beat. We went to Tusker House for lunch on a very rainy day. Because of the rain, they were taking the included Photopass photos out front by the windows, but normally, they take the photos by the wall of masks in the back. After the photos, we were seated and our drink orders were taken.

Tusker House is a buffet full of foods inspired by Africa, with some American foods for picky eaters. The food was fantastic! For Bean, who is a picky eater, there were mini corn dogs, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, cold cuts, corn, green beans, and even a peanut butter and jelly station to make your own sandwich. For the rest of us, there were a wide variety of foods. They had many different salads, such as Tunisian couscous salad, curried rice salad, and green salads with dressings. There were also several breads: pitas, multigrain rolls, sliced bread, and an interesting African bread filled with chocolate and dried mangoes. A wide variety of meats were available including roast beef with horseradish sauce, peri-peri salmon, Cape Malay curried chicken, roast pork, and a seafood stew with tamarind. There were also several sides to choose from: sambals, hummus with pitas, Marrakesh couscous, vegetable samosas, and Basmati rice with toasted almond slivers. There were tons of other items as well and everything we tried was delicious.

There was quite a selection of desserts as well. There were cookies and brownies, mini chocolate lava cakes, warm banana bread pudding, berry cobbler with warm vanilla sauce, mini chocolate mousse cups with zebra straws, baklava (which I found to be overly sweet, although it's usually one of my favorites), macaroons, lemon bars, tiny fruit topped tarts, and plenty of fresh fruit.

During lunch, the characters make there way around to all of the tables. We saw Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy all dressed in safari gear. Each one came to our table to give a hug, pose for photos, and sign autographs. And about halfway through the meal, all of the children were handed animal shaped tambourines and paraded around with the characters. They turned on some fun music and the kids sang and danced. It was a great way to get the wiggles out.

At the end of the meal, a cast member brought us a large photo in a fun paper frame and 4 4x6 photos, one for each member of our party. My sister was rather disappointed with the photo and asked if it was possible to have it retaken. They said sure and after a little figuring, sent us out near the masks for a new photo. A few minutes later, a new photo had been printed and brought to us. They even gave us one of the original photos, too. I've heard other people say that the photos weren't included in the meal price and that the package we received was an additional $31, but no one told us that it wasn't included and we weren't charged extra for the photos, so that may have changed recently.

Everyone at the Tusker House was super nice and very helpful. The food was wonderful and different from anything else at Animal Kingdom. The atmosphere was exciting and the characters were great. I would definitely eat there again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TinkerBell the Secret of the Wings - Sisters

This past Sunday, Disney released a new clip of Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings, just in time for Sister's Day. The clip celebrates the new-found relationship between Tink and her sister Periwinkle.

Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings will be released to video on October 23, 2012. Disney has created a fun collection of printables to get your little one excited about the new movie. Click the image below to download the Secret of the Wings Activity Pack.

And for more Tinker Bell winter fun, visit They have several printables, including boxes, a mobile, ice pop toppers, a playset, and more. They also have recipes and crafts, such as gorgeous quilling strip snowflakes, too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Disney Dream Portraits from Annie Leibovitz

I love the photos taken by Annie Leibovitz over the past several years for Disney. She does a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the characters as well as the celebrities that are portraying them. Today, Disney released two new photos and they are fantastic!

The first features Russell Brand as Hook. And I love the caption, "Where every moment leaves you hungry for more." Peter Pan is one of our favorite movies, so I know Bean will get a kick out of this one.

The second photo features three great comedians: Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and Jason Segel. They are representing the three Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion: Phineas, Ezra, and Gus. And the caption is perfect, "Where you can go on the ride of your afterlife." I love this photo, and the expressions on their faces are just hilarious!

Both photos, as well as additional photos that have not yet been released, will be available as part of a special insert in the fall issues of O (Oprah's magazine), GQ, InStyle, Essence, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, and People. I can't wait to see what's next!