Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monstrous Summer for Disney

© Disney
 On April 24, Disney announced the upcoming kick off of their "Monstrous Summer". Mike Wazowski appeared on Spaceship Earth to let everyone know about the special event occurring May 24th: a 24-hour "All-Nighter" to celebrate the release of Monsters University in theaters everywhere. This means that the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Disneyland, and California Adventure will all be open for 24 hours, from 6AM to 6AM. Disney held one of these open 24 hour events last year to celebrate Leap Day and it looked amazing. There will be monstrous merchandise, special entertainment, and frightening food available this one day only. Special entertainment and characters from Monsters University will round out this amazing day.

All summer long, you can meet Mike and Sulley in their college roommate gear. Mike wears a ballcap from his alma mater and Sulley wears a letterman jacket. They can be found in the new Monsters University themed area at the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure. And be sure to look for the all new "Monsterail", a Monorail that has been decked out in Monsters University characters. I love the wrapped monorails. The Tron and the Avengers monorails were awesome.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Argo

I watched Argo last night and I have to say I completely understand why it won an Oscar for Best Picture. What an amazing story! At first, I was a little leary about watching what could have been a horrible disaster with the death of everyone involved. But after learning that the six Americans in hiding during the 1979-81 Iran hostage crisis were all safely rescued, I decided to give it a go. I am truly glad that I did. there are some films that are so quietly powerful that they make a lasting impression and lend a greater understanding of an historical event. Argo is such a film.

Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers about the film. If you don't want to know what happens, you shouldn't read the rest of this post. Argo was the name of a sci-fi/fantasy film that was scouting for filming locations in Iran. The entire film was a CIA cover. With the help of makeup artist John Chambers and a Hollywood producer, Lester Siegel, CIA agent Tony Mendez came up with and sold the idea as a way to smuggle the hidden six out of Iran. Mendez traveled to Iran alone to rescue the six American Embassy workers who were hiding in the home of the Canadian Ambassador and his wife. With the situation in Iran being as bad as it was, I am amazed that any of them made it out alive.

John Chambers worked with the CIA on several occasions. He and Tony Mendez even developed a makeup kit to be used by agents to quickly change their appearance if needed. The "Identity Transformation Kit" was based on Chambers' work on the Mission Impossible television series. I saw one of the kits on the show Hollywood Treasure a few months ago and thought it was amazing. John Chambers was a true genius.

I have long thought that if you want to learn more about history, you should find a way to experience it. I believe that good movies can provide that experience. I would recommend that everyone watch movies like Argo (at the appropriate age; it is rated R and does use the F-word frequently.) Such films can give the next generation a better understanding of what has brought us, as humans and Americans, to the place we hold now.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

May the Fourth Be With You Limited Time Magic

© Disney
For 2013, Disney World has created special events called Limited Time Magic. The events and often special merchandise are often only available for one day only. In addition to the regular Star Wars Weekends, Disney World has planned a special day for Star Wars lovers. May the 4th, the unofficial "Star Wars Day" will be a day of Star Wars fun at Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars characters will show up in the most unlikely places. You might find yourself riding Star Tours with an Ewok or perhaps Chewbacca. For the first time, parents can join their children in Jedi Training Academy and learn to use the Force and battle the Dark Side and the Empire. A special dance party, with a DJ straight from Lando Calrissian's Cloud City, will end with a spectacular Star Wars themed fireworks show.

I would love to go to Hollywood Studios for May the Be With You. I'm sure it will be absolutely packed with fans and a lot of fun!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mickey Bathroom

So, I decided that our new house needed a little extra Mickey. After all, you can never get too much of the mouse, right? My latest Mickey project was the second floor bath that Bean and I share. The bathroom is very spacious for a guest bath, but was painted the most hideous colors when we moved in. The tub and sink area were a sort of dark royal blue and the toilet area was a rather unfortunate brown. The colors were definitely not me!

To begin with, I had to remove all of the hardware and fill a ton of holes in the walls. We decided to change out the curved shower curtain rod for a straight one because the door had been slammed into it one time too many. The mirror was missing when we moved in and the light fixtures just weren't the right style, so I took those down, too. And it was a good thing I did; there were no electrical boxed behind the lights and the holes were just knocked into the wall as though with a screwdriver. After installing boxes and a lot of patching, I was ready to paint.

First, I painted on two coats of Kilz on the walls to block the old colors and hide any stains. Then I painted on a pale yellow. It took three coats to get good coverage. Next, I put in the new, fun, bubbly-glass lights. Which was when I realized that the wall color was way too green! Ack! Back to Lowes for more paint. This time, I picked a brighter yellow from Valspar called Chickadee. I got it home, put two coats on the wall, and discovered that it perfectly matched the shoes on Bean's toy Mickey! Exactly what I was looking for!

Next, it was time for mirrors and not just any mirrors would do. I got two 22" round Kolja mirrors from IKEA and two sets of 5 small, round, black-framed mirrors from Kirklands, one 11", two 9", and two 7" (Home Depot has a similar set by Martha Stewart, but they were more expensive.) I hung one large mirror centered over one sink at a height that Bean could use and the other one over the second sink at a perfect height for me. Then I added two 9" mirrors for the ears. Voila! Mickey head mirrors. We used the remaining 11" and 7" mirrors to make smaller Mickey heads on the other walls. My dad offered to make frames for the 22" mirrors so that the look will be more Mickey.

I changed out the faucets as well. The old faucets were the ugly, single lever kind that always seem to break. The new faucets, which were fairly inexpensive at Lowe's, are classic and fit the design well. We really wanted the one's that resemble Mickey hands, but couldn't find any at a reasonable price.

The Mickey touches for the tub/shower were easy. A few months back, Target had a black & white & red Mickey bath set. The shower curtain, rug, and shower curtain rings from this collection were purchased at Target on clearance. The shower curtain rings are Mickey head shaped and spell out Mickey twice. I would have though they would spell out Mickey Mouse with a blank Mickey head in the middle, but no such luck. A second solid black Mickey head rug was purchased at Walmart.

There are a ton of fantastic Mickey accessories available for the bath, and I just had to have a few of them. I even found a cotton ball holder and soap dispenser shaped like Mickey's head! A second solid black Mickey head rug was purchased at Walmart. And while we were down at Disney World last October, we picked up two of the Mickey Glove bath mitts. Bean has a Minnie soap dispenser, also from Target, that came filled with lemonade scented foamy soap. She loves that it's Minnie and I love that you can refill it with any foaming soap, although for us it's got to be Bath & Body Works foaming soap. (I'm a total Bath & Body Works addict, if you hadn't noticed.)

The bathroom had lots of storage space already, but the area around the toilet looked unfinished, so I added a couple of Fullen cupboards from IKEA. They are a great place to store extra toilet paper and soaps as well as offering a chance to display pretty bottles of perfume. I also added a medicine cabinet to the left of the sinks. I always think it's a good idea to have one and when I found this one on clearance at Lowe's, I couldn't resist. I planned to add glass shelves over the toilet for some additional Mickey displays, but my sister thought we should put a framed Mickey poster there instead. I thought it would be fun to display some of our ever-growing collection of Vinylmation there, as they were taking over the top of the bookshelves in the living room. In the end, we compromised; we put glass shelves above the cupboards for the Vinylmation and bought a poster to replace the mirror above the toilet. We are also on the lookout for some ceramic Mickey glove shaped knobs to replace the silver ones on the sink cupboards and storage cupboards.

The glass Grundtal shelf under the window is also from IKEA. It's the perfect place to keep plants as the window itself was too small. However, when the plants died, I decided to use it for additional Vinylmations instead. The towel bar on the linen closet door seemed like a good fit due to the white ceramic knobs on the ends, and there really wasn't a good place to add a large towel bar, so, it works. I opted for solid black, yellow, and red towels for the main towels, although we have several Disney character towels as well. I especially like Bean's Minnie Mouse hooded towel. It even has Minnie gloves on the top corners and mouse ears on the hood.

I've had a blast bringing a little more Mickey to this bathroom and really love how it turned out. It was a lot of hard work and took a ton of paint, but it was definitely worth the effort. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Destination America's Disney Week

When I can't make it to Disney, I love to watch Behind the Scenes Disney shows. They offer a rare glimpse into areas of the parks that few ever see. And they really can help with the Disney crazies, those times when you have no idea when you'll make it back to a Disney park, but you really, really want to go. If this is you, Destination America has the perfect cure. Next week, they will be airing a full week of prime time Disney programming, including the premiere of the new Disney Cruise Line: Behind the Magic.

“As a network that treasures American travel destinations, Destination America wouldn’t be complete without DISNEY WEEK and the story of Walt Disney’s theme parks and cruises,” said Marc Etkind, SVP of Content Strategy for Destination America. “From iconic thrill rides that continue to capture the heart of each new generation to a globally recognized mouse-eared logo, Disney reflects an American tale of innovation and imagination that we are proud to present to our viewers.”

Here's the lineup, starting Monday, April 29, 2013:

Monday 8PM Eastern - Walt Disney World: Behind the Scenes - A fascinating look at what makes Disney World work and what allowed them to become the most successful theme park in Florida.

Monday 9PM Eastern - Disney Cruise Line: Behind the Magic - A glimpse into all four of Disney's cruise ships: the Fantasy, Dream, Wonder, and Magic, and the technology that allows them to be truly magical.

Tuesday 8PM Eastern - Disneyland Resort: Behind the Scenes - What better way to learn about Disney parks than to find secrets and myths about the place where it all began; Disneyland? Also included is a look at the future of Disneyland and it's expansion into California Adventure and Cars Land.

Wednesday 8PM Eastern - Ultimate Walt Disney World - An inside look at the top thrill rides that bring adrenaline junkies from around the world to Disney, including the newly reopened Test Track.

Thursday 8PM Eastern - Undiscovered Disney Parks - A look at the many surprising things to do at Disney parks, including learning to surf, walking in Walt's footsteps, driving a race car, and enjoying a private safari.

Friday 8PM Eastern - Disney Cruise Line: Behind the Magic - A repeat of this new behind the scenes look at Disney's cruise ships.

I can't wait to watch these shows and have already set my DVR so that I can watch them more than once! Will you be watching?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Star Wars Weekends

I'm over at Tips from the Disney Diva today talking about one of my favorite Hollywood Studios events: Star Wars Weekends.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm Back! & The Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

Hi all, I'm back! I know I've been away for the last few months (I was helping my Mom pack up and move from Arizona), but I'm finally home and have access to the internet again. Yay!! So, while catching up all of the Disney news I'd missed, I found a new Annie Leibovitz Disney Dream Portrait. I love these photos! They are always beautiful and they always find the perfect person for the character. The latest photo features Taylor Swift as Rapunzel.

The photo appeared in ads in several magazines as part of Disney's ongoing campaign with the tagline "Where a world of adventure awaits."