Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quote of the Week


Tomorrow will be better 
as long as America keeps alive
 the ideals of freedom 
and a better life. 

-Walt Disney

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Tsum Tsum Collection


Is there such a thing as too many Tsum Tsums? I certainly hope not, because I recently realized that my collection may be a tad large. I just can't seem to resist those fuzzy, little stackables. Especially when they're on sale. They are just too addicting. I had to start a list on my phone to keep track of what I have. After all, I wouldn't want to add a bunch of duplicates to the mix. But I don't collect only a single genre of Tsum Tsum either. I have characters from animated Disney movies, Pixar movies, Marvel movies, and Star Wars movies, as well as from rides, and even a few ride vehicles. Which Tsum Tsums do you collect?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Haunted Mansion Picture Book and CD


I love Disney books of every type, but I've always had a special fondness for those about the Parks. Be it a behind the scenes look at the making of EPCOT, or an adventure through the Magic Kingdom, I just can't seem to resist books about the happiest place on earth. Well, this summer, I'll have a new book to add to my library: The Haunted Mansion.


The first in a new series of picture books for kids and adults alike, "Disney Parks Presents" will feature original artwork inspired by rides and attractions, as well as a CD of music from the ride. The Haunted Mansion features artwork by London based artist James Gilleard, and lyrics from the ride by Xavier Atencio. A CD inside the front cover contains a 5 minute and 32 second tour through the ride, including "Grim Grinning Ghosts" with music by Buddy Baker.


The artwork is fun and vibrant, and even features familiar sights from the ride, such as the clock striking 13 and the hidden Mickey from the ballroom. Additional books in the series will feature Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. The books can be found in the Disney Parks or at other retailers nationwide starting on July 5 and retails for $17.99.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lego Star Wars: the Freemaker Adventures


Bean and I have started watching the latest Lego Star Wars TV series: the Freemaker Adventures. This show is absolutely hysterical! I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I am. The in-jokes and ridiculous situations are a perfect fit for the Lego Star Wars Universe.



The story takes place between the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The Freemakers, Kordi, Xander, and Rowan, run a salvage and repair shop, selling parts for spacecraft. They, along with their droid Roger, are unwillingly searching for Kyber crystals, which can be used in lightsabers. This leads them into many dangerous, not to mention humorous, situations. I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures airs weekdays at 10 am ET on DisneyXD.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass Mystery Minis


The Alice Through the Looking Glass Mystery Minis from Funko are so cute! There are 16 figures available, of varying degrees of rarity. The most rare figures are the Hatter and the Vegetable Soldier. I'm especially fond of the Bandersnatch. He's so adorable!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition


I can't quite believe it, but it's been 25 years since the release of Disney's animated classic Beauty and the Beast. In honor of this momentous occasion, Disney will be releasing a special Signature Collection Edition Blu-ray and DVD of the film on September 20. This release will include four versions of the film as well as a bunch of extras and a sneak peek of the upcoming live-action version starring Emma Watson.


In addition to the original theatrical version of the film, an extended cut features the deleted song "Human Again". There's also a sing-along and a special work-in-progress version. Special features include a behind the scenes look at voice sessions, a documentary about Disney's previous attempts to bring the story to the big screen, and several Disney composers singing songs and discussing how the music affected their own work. Additional bonus features are from previous releases of the film and include deleted scenes and an alternate version of "Be Our Guest".

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney Princess movie, so I'm really looking forward to seeing this new release with all its extras. For more information about the movie, visit the website at www.BeOurGuest.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lego Disney Minifigures


I finally found the new Lego Disney Minifigures at Walmart. I think this will be my new collection obsession.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Monsters Inc Tsum Tsum


It's time for the next Tsum Tsum Tuesday collection: Monsters Inc! Arriving in stores on July 5, the set includes Sulley, Mike Wazowski, Boo in her Monster costume, Randall Boggs, Roz, and a worker from the Scare Floor. They're so cute!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Captain America and Her Universe


I absolutely adore the designs that come from Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe. (Her Universe Star Wars and Marvel clothing are some of my favorites.) The latest collection features Captain America designs inspired by the character's 75th anniversary.


Rather than more graphic tees, or cosplay-ish tops, this collection includes rompers, dresses, and shirts reminiscent of the 1940s.


As Ashley Eckstein explained, “With the 75th anniversary we were really inspired by the 40’s era and the year that Captain America was created. We collaborated closely with the Kohl’s and Marvel teams to create the perfect summer collection that evokes the spirit of a girl from the 40’s with a mix of modern day trends.”


This red dress is my favorite from the collection. The Captain America shield design is very subtle and the shape of the dress is a definite nod to the past.


The Captain America 75th anniversary fashion collection is available now at select Kohl’s stores and online at Kohls.com/heruniverse.
Photos courtesy of Marvel

Monday, June 20, 2016

Quote of the Week


There are those who say fate is 
something beyond our command. 
That destiny is not our own.
But I know better. 
Our fate lives within us.
You only have to be brave enough to see it.

- Merida, Brave

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Finding Dory itty bittys


Have you seen the new Finding Dory itty bittys at Hallmark? They are absolutely adorable! The itty bittys are just as soft and squishable as Tsum Tsums and just as fun to collect. There are four Finding Dory itty bittys: Hank, Destiny, Dory, and Nemo. Hank and Destiny are limited edition. These itty bittys, and many more, can be found at your local Hallmark or at Hallmark.com.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Shanghai Disney's Enchanted Storybook Castle


The castle at Shanghai Disney Resort, called the Enchanted Storybook Castle, is the largest of all of Disney's castles. It is meant to represent all of the Disney Princesses, and it's absolutely gorgeous!

Photos courtesy of Disney

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Shanghai Disney Resort Grand Opening Gala


The latest Disney park, the Shanghai Disney Resort, opened yesterday with all of the fanfare we've come to expect from Disney. Disney shared the opening via YouTube with fans around the world.


A special look at the Grand Opening will debut on the Disney Channel today at 8 pm Eastern time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pete's Dragon Poster and Trailer


The latest Pete's Dragon poster is so cute! I wasn't sure how I felt about Elliott being fuzzy, but I think it may work out. And the trailer gives a more in depth look at the film.


Here's the official synopsis from Disney:

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliot. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Moana Trailer


Disney has released the first teaser trailer for Moana. It looks amazing!



Moana arrives in theaters on November 23.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Quote of the Week


I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

- Walt Disney

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Zootopia Blu-ray Review


I finally had the chance to see Zootopia this week when it arrived on Blu-ray.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved it. The story was wonderful, filled with wisdom about avoiding prejudice and bullying, and fantastic music. Caution: This review contains Spoilers! 



Disney has taken on prejudice before. The Fox and the Hound is a great example of why it's important not to hate someone, just because others do and you're expected to. In Zootopia, they've addressed this again.


Judy Hopps is a bunny from a small, rural town. She firmly believe that Zootopia is a place "where anyone can be anything." She wants nothing more than to be a police officer when she grows up, even though no one seems to believe in her. She works harder than everyone else just to prove that she's worthy of her place at the police academy.


When she graduates, she is assigned her dream job as an officer at ZPD, the Zootropolis Police Department, in the city center. Unfortunately, she still must prove that she belongs there. Through a chance meeting with an Otter whose husband has gone missing,  she makes a deal with Chief Bogo: either she'll find the missing Emmitt Otterton in 48 hours, or she'll resign.


Enter Nick Wilde, a fox who's a bit of a con artist, who may be the last person to see Mr. Otterton before his disappearance. Nick has no interest in helping Judy, in part because of his own assumptions about what she's capable of. But as they work together to solve the case, both Nick and Chief Bogo come to realize what a gifted investigator Judy is. When Nick and Judy finally find Mr. Otterton,  as well as the other 13 missing predators, they discover that something more is going on. And that's when Nick discovers that Judy, like many other citizens of Zootopia, has made unfortunate assumptions about him and other predators.


The rest of the movie addresses the solving of the mystery, as well as how our unconscious prejudices can affect us and those around us more than we realize. In the end, everyone must overcome their preconceived notions and prejudices and move forward together. And if that's not a lesson we all could learn, I don't know what is.


I loved Zootopia and the message it contained. The comedy and fun, mixed with some subtly disguised serious messages, make for a great family movie. I'm sure it will become a regular favorite in our house. All images courtesy of Disney

Friday, June 10, 2016

Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts

Photo courtesy of Disney

It seems that the Hitchhiking Ghosts in the Haunted Mansion know a bit more about you now. The ghosts may cause a headstone to appear with your first name on it. Or they may hold up a sign that says "(Your home state) here we come!" This is made possible by the RFID chip in your MagicBand. As long as you've set up your profile in My Disney Experience or the app, the ride can read your name and home state. It's a little spooky and a great surprise!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Moana Poster


Yesterday, The Rock shared a poster for the upcoming Disney animated film Moana on Twitter. He also said the he will be sharing the first official trailer on Sunday. Here's the official synopsis from Disney:

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey,Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Alice in Wonderland Tsum Tsum


I love Tsum Tsums. They're small and adorable, easy to collect, and fun to stack. The latest collection features characters from Alice in Wonderland. (An Alice set was available a few years ago, but the characters were so simple that some were nearly unidentifiable. This new collection is much more elaborate.)

The Alice in Wonderland collection includes: Alice, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Caterpillar (and his butterfly form), the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Doormouse. There are a total of 11 Tsum Tsum in this set. I love the new facial expressions on these Tsums, especially the Mad Hatter and Tweedles. These Tsum Tsums are available at the Disney Store.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Trading with Jawas

Photo courtesy of Disney

Have you ever stopped to trade with the Jawa in the Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios?  We've done it a few times and it's a lot of fun. You never can tell what items a Jawa will consider tradeable.  We once traded a button advertising a healthy food and received a ping pong ball in return. The next time, we offered fruit snacks, a packet of mini M&Ms, and a coloring book page, all of which were refused. Before our last attempt,  I heard about several people having good luck trading Disney pins, so we tried that. The first Jawa said to take it to the second, who then refused it.


Not willing to accept defeat, I pulled a lightsaber bag charm that I made with a rubber band loom off my pack. Finally, we'd found an item they wanted to trade for. Bean received a "Build A Droid" body, which was exactly what she was hoping for. So the next time you're in the Star Wars Launch Bay, try trading with the Jawas. It's a fun experience not to be found anywhere else.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tangled as Told by Emoji


This is so cute. I love the way they convey an entire story as though it was just a series of text messages.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Animated Magic Shots


Have you seen the new Animated Magic Shots at Disney World? These photos are available at several different areas within the parks, both on rides and from PhotoPass Photographers.


I first saw these special additions on a photo of my family in front of the Christmas tree at Hollywood Studios last winter. When I clicked on the video, I saw Sven stumble into the picture and shake the Christmas lights on his antlers before posing in front of my family. It was hilarious! We also had one where Wayne and Lanny from Prep and Landing dropped in to say Happy Holidays.


Disney has added several new Animated Magic Shots in recent months. The latest can be found on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Buzz and the Little Green Men pop in to help you fight the evil Emperor Zurg. It's very cute!


Animated Magic Shots can be viewed as part of My Disney Experience mobile app or MyDisneyPhotoPass.com, but you must have an active Memory Maker to download them. (PhotoPass downloads are now included with the Platinum and Platinum Plus Annual Passes.)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quote of the Week


Animation can explain 
whatever the mind of man
 can concieve.
- Walt Disney 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Zootopia Blu-ray


Zootopia will be released on Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, June 7. Here's the official synopsis from Disney:

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It's big fun for all shapes and species!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean Plussed


While riding Pirates of the Caribbean last month, I noticed something new: scents have been added to different areas. Apparently, the imagineers "plussed it" during its latest update. (Walt Disney loved to "plus it", or add a little something extra to every attraction.)


The wench auction now smells of perfume. Near the pirate who is drinking with the kitties, you can smell cheap, red wine. And the town engulfed in flames now smells like it's burning.


I love this new addition to one of my favorite rides. It adds a certain something extra to the experience. Photos courtesy of Disney.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Finding Nemo as Told by Emoji


I love these "as told by emoji" videos. This is a short, cute, and a hilarious retelling of Nemo, Marlin, and Dory’s adventures under the sea.