Star Wars Books

Star Wars Land Construction

Star Wars Books

We love Star Wars! My family just sailed on the Disney Cruise Line for a fantastic Star Wars Day at Sea. We had so much fun! Be sure to check out all the great info we’ve got on these specialty sailings over on our podcast here.

Star Wars Day at Sea

May the 4th be with you!

Unless you’ve somehow escaped the Star Wars fandom over the last 41 years, you’ve heard the phrase “May the force be with you” a time or two. Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s always no time like the present to dive right in! But before we get to Star Wars Books, let’s talk about Star Wars.

For Non-Fans

There are lots of ways to jump into the Star Wars fandom. The first and most obvious way is by watching the movies. While I could talk your head off for hours about the movies and which way to first consume them, I’ll save you the time. Just watch them all! Next up, tv shows!

Star Wars Land Construction

If you’d like to get into some of the newer Star Wars stories, then don’t miss their animated series. Star Wars Clone Wars, Rebels and the newly announced Star Wars Resistance, are all great ways to explore more of the Star Wars universe. I especially love the characters we’ve met through these series and I’ll get to those soon!

Disney Archives

For Star Wars Fans

Whether you’re properly caught up on the Star Wars world from my above tips or just came here for the book list, let’s do it! But first, some background information for you. Upon acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney announced that Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels should be considered canon. That means that most series and comics etc produced before April 24, 2014 are no longer canon. That’s what I’m going to stick with today. I’m sure there are many awesome Star Wars books out there that predate 4/24/14, but we’ll just leave those be for now.

My Favorite Star Wars Books

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor

This book is extensive! This is a great read for anyone wishing to know all those extra little details. More so than some of the actual canon Star Wars books I’m about to mention, this book is for those true Star Wars fans. Even if you think you know it all, you’ll most assuredly learn something new reading this comprehensive look at the most enduring space opera in history!

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Like the book above, this book is for those true fans. More specifically, Leia or Carrie Fisher fans. I very much enjoyed the audiobook version of this book as Carrie does much of the narration, with journal entries read by her daughter Billie Lourd. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like for Carrie to go from being “Debbie Reynolds’ daughter” to the most recognized princess in the galaxy, then this book is for you!

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

This young adult novel is the first book I read featuring a character from the animated series. Ahsoka Tano was a favorite of mine since the moment her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker, first met her. She’s been featured both throughout the Clone Wars series, as well as in Star Wars Rebels. It’s yet to be determined if we’ll see her in Star Wars Resistance, but one thing’s for sure. If you’re looking for more Ahsoka, this is the place to go! Fun fact: this audiobook is great as well! Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka on the animated series, narrates this novel as well. It even features sound effects! Pew! Pew pew pew!

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

If you’re looking for an interesting look at a very methodical and calculating villain, then look no further! If you’re familiar with the ghost crew’s thorn in their side, then you know Thrawn is always playing the long-game. But how in the galaxy did he end up with the Empire? This story will delve into more obscure Star Wars lore including languages and species. This book definitely had me thinking differently about the Empire. Oh, and it too has a fantastic audiobook!

From A Certain Point Of View by Various Authors

This book is perfect for the more casual fan looking for snippets of story within the movies’ stories we all know and love. Rather than being a full-length novel, this book of short stories delves into the moments that we all know in a new and exciting way. If you’ve ever wondered what Princess Leia was looking at as she begged for Obi Wan’s help by way of Artoo, then don’t miss this one! There are so many fun stories in this book! It’s also perfect for someone looking for something short to read here and there.

It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein

I’m so excited to share about this one! I was fortunate enough to meet the author, Ashley Eckstein, on my recent Star Wars Day at Sea cruise. Being the third person in line for the autograph signing, I actually got to see her mention that that moment was the first time she had even seen them printed! So exciting!! (I just stood there probably gaping because I just popped in and bought it no big deal a few minutes prior). She was such a sweet person to meet too.

autograph

Already this book has me aspiring to do anything and everything I can dream up! While Ashley is known for her Star Wars fame, she grew up with Cast Member parents. Being a Disney kid is something she talks about and she definitely makes it all seem magical. What’s even more is that she has the power to make us all believe that too! The book is in collaboration with Disney and is set to be released on May 8, 2018. You can preorder your copy here.

 

That’s a wrap folks. Want some more fun Disney Book recommendations? Be sure to check out my summer reading 101! And while you’re at it, don’t miss all our Star Wars fun here on our blog!

 

Until next time, May the 4th Be With You! ~Meredith

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

SPOILER-FREE

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

With the release of Marvel’s highly anticipated infinity war, the now-thriving studio is celebrating 10 years of superhero movie-making magic. But with 10 years comes 18 films that have all been leading to this pinnacle moment: the movie where all our beloved superheroes come together to fight an ultimate super villain.

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

While comic book fans know and understand the care and planning this kind of storytelling takes–that being years’ worth of smaller story arcs that have to simultaneously hold their own as an independent movie AND fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe arc as well. This is something special in cinematic history as no other studio has provided audiences with 10 years’ with of movies culminating in an epic battle movie to decide who lives and who dies. NO SPOILERS!! That’s just how Villains work right? They decide who lives and dies til someone defeats them. And you thought I was spoiling it!

SPOILERS!!!!

Also, PSA: Speaking of spoilers, if you go see this movie DO NOT SPOIL IT FOR OTHERS!!! Everyone deserves to enjoy this movie first for themselves. Furthermore, take a friend or loved one if you’re emotionally invested in these characters. Trust me. #ThanosDemandsYourSilence

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

Back to the movies. Now, in a perfect world, I’d say see them all!  (And if you have, that’s awesome. Chances are you’ve already seen it too). But let’s be real. If you haven’t been enjoying these movies since they first released Iron Man, then no worries!! Let’s talk about the few movies you really need to see to understand what’s going on when Infinity War starts.

 

In no particular order (as to not give anything away) here’s my Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War:

·Captain America: The First Avenger
·Avengers: Age of Ultron
·Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (at least. Both is best)
·Captain America: Civil War
·Thor: Ragnarok
·Black Panther
·Spiderman: Homecoming
·Captain America: The Winter Soldier
·Doctor Strange

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

So there you go; my main list. I cut eight for you. ::busts out my best Maui impression:: You’re welcome!

If you haven’t seen these titles, chances are likely you’ll be confused about something at some point. So what are you doing still reading my blog post! Go watch these super fun titles and then enjoy the epicness that is Marvel’s latest Titan of a film, Infinity War!

Did I forget anything? If you’ve seen Ifinity War -WITHOUT SPOILING IT- Which Marvel movies do you think should be seen before Infinity War?~Meredith °o°

 

Check out our other Marvel content Infinity War!

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie!

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie. Can you believe that?!

Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

These dolls are gorgeous and with the release of A Wrinkle in Time in theaters today, I’m sure these dolls will sell really well.

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

As part of the Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie doll collection, this set features the Mrs’ from the movie. Featuring the likenesses of Oprah as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, these dolls are now available on the Barbie website.

 

The Mrs’

A Wrinkle in Time BarbieA Wrinkle in Time Barbie

Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who are now available for $50 each.

Mrs. Which is available for pre-order and will be priced the same. Bummer that while purchasing the set will save you some extra cash, this set is already on backorder!

 

So go check out these gorgeous dolls (much better than the Belle fiasco haha!) and then be sure to check out A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters today! Hot tip: if you link your Movies Anywhere account to your Disney Movie Reward account, you can automatically earn points for theater tickets you purchase with your Fandango account!

Which is your favorite Mrs?

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie
*All photos from the official Barbie website

 

 

p.s. While you’re over on Barbie’s website, be sure to check out their Inspiring Women Series! As part of their Role Models series, they’ve even got fun printables! (Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see Activity Pages on the right side) ~Meredith ºoº

5 Things Not to Miss in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

5 Things Not to Miss in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Earlier in March, I had the incredible privilege of attending the world premiere, red-carpet celebration and screening of “Beauty and the Beast” in Hollywood. It was fabulous, and we can’t thank Disney Music enough for affording us such an amazing opportunity! If you’d like to hear more about my actual experience, check out our Beauty and the Beast premiere podcast episode. For now, here are five things not to miss in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

The New Songs

Although this movie stays very true to the original animated version, there are some beautiful songs that Alan Menken has put together that you don’t want to miss! Because the filmmakers wanted to further enhance the characters’ stories and is, after all, a musical, there are several new songs that are sure to delight. My two particular favorites are Days in the Sun and Evermore since they explore the cruel reality of the enchantment under which they live.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a Disney event in 2017. It releases in March.I’m also happy to see that they opted for Days in the Sun versus the song Human Again that was cut from the original version. Each character gets their turn to sing about life before enchantment. Although the pop versions of Beauty and the Beast (Ariana Grande & John Legend), How Does a Moment Last Forever (Celine Dion), and Evermore (Josh Groban) are fantastic, the more heartfelt and real performances of these songs within the movie, performed by a most fantastically-talented cast, are so much better. (Sorry Celine! You looked lovely at the premiere!) Finally, Evermore is a great way to truly show the Beast’s feelings. It makes the Beast relatable, and we all appreciate it much more from Dan Stevens who brings the Beast to life.

If you’d like to check out the music before you catch the movie, you can find it on iTunesAmazon, YouTube, and Spotify.

The Old Songs

The old songs do not disappoint; most notably the title song performed by Emma Thompson. She delivers a wonderfully heartfelt performance that brings to life one of this franchise’s most beloved characters. Prepare to be dazzled and charmed! The Gaston number performed by LeFou (Josh Gad) and Gaston (Luke Evans) is just as fun and over the top as the original.Disney's Beauty and the BeastDon’t get me started on the Be Our Guest scene. It’s gorgeous! So many more colors than I dreamed we being seeing and no worries, the dishes can still sing and dance! Something There and Belle are also very good and deliver all the heart that the originals did so many years ago. I’ll go ahead and answer your question, you wanna know if Emma is any good, right? Well, I say yes! She’s not an operatic vocalist and she’s not here to trample you with tons of runs like a certain genie in a bottle, but Watson delivers a solid, and very real-life, Belle. It’s evident that this is her singing voice which adds to her own character depth. It would not have been as likable if they had used someone else’s singing voice for her.

The French Opulence

This story takes place in France. The decor and level of opulence, stemming from the young Prince’s desire to collect all things beautiful, is over the top. The castle, in it’s enchanted and regular form, is magnificent to behold. I really appreciated the level of detail. Disney hasn’t cut any corners to make this a beautiful movie! From the opening scenes, they show off the grandeur that was the lifestyle for French royalty. The costumes are beautifully designed! Check them out both in the beginning as well as the end of the movie!Disney's Beauty and the BeastThe most fantastic bit of opulence is the design and detail of the everyday objects. Yes, I’m talking about Lumieré and Cogsworth. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill candlestick (he’s sure to point that out to you!) and Cogsworth definitely isn’t a Timex hopping around! Design plays a huge role in how the objects are animated. I particularly enjoyed how they made Cogsworth’s face appear and disappear with his gears. With Lumiere, he twirls around to “hide” and become inanimate again which further emphasizes the curved design of his body. It’s all lovely, all of it! Don’t miss it!

Cadenza!

This character is so good, he deserves his own spot on this list! And I can’t mention this new character without first mentioning Madame Garderobe since she is his love interest. Their beautiful duets both in dance and song, make this pair of lovebirds a pleasure to watch. To fill you in here, Cadenza (Stanley Tucci) is a musician/harpsichord and accompanies Madame Garderobe (Audra McDonald) during her aria. He also provides accompaniment for big numbers like Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, with a notable touch of comedic timing in the former. His comedic value throughout can’t be beat and kids as well as adults are sure to love him. Stanley Tucci, you are awesome!Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

Emma is lovely and brings more warmth and charm to Belle than she ever did as Hermione. That’s totally okay because Hermione is not Belle, and she shouldn’t be. She was the perfect Hermione, and she’s really going to shine as Belle too!Disney's Beauty and the BeastThere’s something to be said for the natural chemistry that she has with her Beast co-star, Dan Stevens. Although the look of the Beast is somewhat off-putting, it works well because it forces the audience to dislike him first just as Belle does, as well as subsequently fall in love with him too.

In short, this movie is a delight sure to please audiences regardless if they’ve seen the original or not. It’s truly a tale as old as time. I’ve got my tickets. Have you gotten yours?

~Meredith ºoº

Guest Post: Moana Soundtrack Music Review

It’s time for a new guest post and I’m excited to say that my husband and blogger over on his own music review blog is today’s guest! If you’ve been listening to our podcast, then you’re probably aware that I really enjoyed the Moana soundtrack. I realize that’s not saying much as I love lots of Disney music, but this album in particular is beautiful for so many reasons. And I’m happy to have Tim share his review as he is able to express with words much better than I can the many reasons why this soundtrack is destined to be a classic Disney soundtrack. Take it away Tim!

Welcome, welcome. Let’s start this post off with a little introduction. I’m Tim Cooper, Meredith’s other half. I am a software developer by day and music appreciator, father and amateur handyman by night. I run a blog over at Bearded Music Reviews, where I review albums on a weekly basis and then compile it all at year’s end to create a Top Albums of the Year list.

Meredith asked if I would write a post about the Moana soundtrack, so here we are. I did review the deluxe version, just to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing. I did give this album five full listens, two of which came back to back. On top of that, I have three kids so I’ve listened to handfuls of these tracks many, many times.

This is the soundtrack to the newest Disney movie, Moana. The music was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Miranda is coming off his award winning run as writer and performer in Hamilton on Broadway and if you haven’t listened to the soundtrack to that by now, please do so. And just recently released, he has signed on as Executive Producer for the Kingkiller Chronicles, excitement level 100! Opetaia has been writing Pacific flavored music with his group Te Vaka since the mid 90’s. Mark Mancina has worked on many soundtracks from The Lion King and Con Air to Speed and Tarzan.

The deluxe version of this soundtrack breaks into three sections: songs from the movie, score, and demos and outtakes. The first section contains all of the lyrical songs that appear throughout the movie, most of which were written by Miranda and Foa’i. These songs have some really strong melodies and their instrumental backing has a nice touch of Pacific sounds. I found that all the tribal drumming and choral voices really tie the music to its location and pull you deeper into the film. And all of the performers from the movie do a really great job of bringing these songs to life. The songs flow well and do a great job of telling the story. This first section ends with the two pop versions of How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome by Alessia Cara and Jordan Fisher/Miranda respectively.

This movie captured some really catchy songs. If you’ve heard them enough times, it is hard not to sing (or at least hum) along. Miranda has a real talent for telling stories in his lyrics that I just can’t get enough of. His work on Hamilton, with its base in Hip-Hop, paid off here as he can pack a lot of story elements into one song. Furthermore, he doesn’t force a song to rhyme A to B, crafting some really memorable rhyme schemes. This has a slight trade off though, as all the words can make the songs harder to sing on first listen. I found that if you put in the time, they are just as catchy though and are much more fun to sing.

The second section also does a great job of taking you through the movie. I’m reminded of scenes and emotions that arose while I watched the movie. Again, they did a great job of coming up with solid melodies in these tunes. They bring them back throughout, as any good soundtrack should, and their attachment to the characters and themes brings you deeper into the movie. I get a bit of a Peter and the Wolf feel from this soundtrack, where certain sounds and melodies are attached to characters. So when I hear the airy, almost wind chime sounds, I know that Moana’s Grandmother is the focus. There are some majestic moments balanced well with the wayfaring tunes that have a softness to them that was nice to hear.

The deluxe version rounds out with some demos and outtakes. The outtakes were nice to hear and there was one that was so strong (More), I’m surprised it didn’t make it into the movie.

The demos for the songs might have been my favorite portion as it allowed a little peak behind the curtain. Hearing the demo for Shiny, you get a touch of a David Bowie sound in Miranda’s voice. But then listening to the movie version, performed by Jemaine Clement (from The Flight of the Conchords fame), you hear how much more he brought to the performance. And I do have to disagree with the ladies on this one. If you haven’t listened to their podcast on Moana, please go do that, I’ll wait.

podcast

Lots of homework on this post, I know, but if you aren’t listening to their podcast, you should make that a part of your week as they can be a real treat. Unfortunately, on the podcast they said they didn’t really enjoy Shiny. Most of the movie takes place in the sunny atmosphere of the Pacific and when they travel to Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters, the movie needed a sonic shift, which this song brought. You get the skeletal marimba sounds and the slow lurching bass, I mean, when I hear it, I’m right back with Tamatoa. 

moana soundtrack

The more I listen to this album the more of the tiny elements peek out of the compositions, you get a grunt here that really ties the song together or that pulling bass line that comes in after the hook joke in Shiny. It really seemed like everyone brought their A-game to this music/soundtrack and I think it really paid off. I’ve already heard many of these songs hundreds of times (again, I do have three young kids that love this album) and probably will hear them many many more. And thankfully, they are solid songs that don’t get old (at least not yet).

I hoped you enjoyed my guest post. Thanks to The Mouse and the Monorail for having me. If you did, please check out my blog Bearded Music Reviews. Hopefully you’ll find your new favorite album. I’ll even give you a sneak peek at my not-yet-released Top Albums list for 2016. Spoiler: The Moana Soundtrack lands at #44 out of 61!

Thanks Tim and I agree with so many of your assessments, especially the bits about Shiny and More. Can’t wait to have you back to review more Disney music!

If you’d like to hear the entire Moana soundtrack, it’s available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon as well as in most stores. If streaming is more your style, then you can find the deluxe version on Spotify (my preferred choice) or visit the DisneyMusicVevo YouTube channel. They have the complete soundtrack including select songs with the video too! (That’s where the above videos came from). You can even test out your karaoke skills with karaoke versions of How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome! What did you think of the Moana soundtrack? ~Meredith ºoº

More ways to enjoy the Mouse and Monorail

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Make Your Vote Count

We are roughly 200 days away from our next Disney trip, and I’m coming to you today because I need advice! I can’t make up my mind about what we should do on our next trip. Who else should I turn to but our trusted Mouse & Monorail readers for their input and opinions. So here goes…

We are taking our family on another Disney cruise in late May 2017 for our son Roo’s 6th birthday. It will be my husband, our 2 sons (ages 10 and 6) and myself. I know that there is simply no way I can cruise from Port Canaveral and NOT visit Walt Disney World. The question then turns to, “what do I want out of our next Disney trip?” We are wanting to be there for a couple of nights before our cruise, and we don’t want to break the bank. Here are a few options I’m tossing around:

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Option 1: Stay in a value or moderate resort, perhaps Pop Century or Caribbean Beach. We would purchase a 1 day water parks and more tickets and visit Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. We haven’t visited the WDW water parks yet, so this would be fun and new for us. The boys love water parks, and I think with their ages there would be plenty to do to keep us all happy.

typhoon-lagoon-surf-pool-gallery03

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Option 2: Once again stay in a value or moderate resort, and purchase 2 day tickets. We would visit Magic Kingdom and either Epcot or Animal Kingdom. I would like to see the new Animal Kingdom light show when it comes out, but a date hasn’t been set for that. The kids would probably enjoy Animal Kingdom (especially Expedition Everest) more than Epcot, but Jeremy and I fell in love with Epcot on our last trip. I’d love to really explore Epcot more, and allow them to see all the fun things around the World Showcase. And hello, Soarin’ and Test Track!

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Option 3: Skip the parks all together and splurge on a savanna room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is on my bucket list, and I would absolutely be in heaven waking up and seeing the giraffes outside my room. If we picked this option, we would probably explore the resort, eat at restaurants we’ve never tried, play in the pools and visit Disney Springs. We might even get tickets to La Nouba by Cirque de Soleil. It would truly be 2 days of relaxation enjoying the resort amenities to the fullest. I’d also like to do the starlight safari at Animal Kingdom.

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So those are a few of my ideas. What do you think? Which option would YOU pick if it were your trip? Feel free to throw out other ideas in the comments. I’m truly open to all suggestions, and can’t wait to hear which choice you would pick. Have a magical day! ~Amy ºoº

Epcot: A Free Printable Guide

Epcot Guide

Epcot is a gorgeous park to visit.

Epcot is the park at Walt Disney World that you may be tempted to skip – but please don’t! There is so much to see, do and EAT at Epcot! Epcot covers 300 acres, and is broken down into 2 sections: Future World and The World Showcase. Future World also includes Imagination! Pavilion, Innoventions East, The Land Pavilion, and The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The World Showcase includes pavilions from 11 countries around the world.

Dining in Epcot

There are almost 75 dining options at Epcot, and that doesn’t include special events such as the Food & Wine Festival or the Flower & Garden Festival when food carts are added! Epcot is definitely THE park to visit if you are foodie! I’ll be honest that, in the past, I didn’t have much love for Epcot, but that all changed on our recent anniversary trip to Walt Disney World, sans kids. It gave us the chance to actually take our time and really take in all that Epcot has to offer.

I’m going to take a moment of silence for the Del Mar seafood grill at La Hacienda de San Angel. Hands down, the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Learning While on Vacation

Beyond the food, Epcot is amazing at allowing you to explore new technology in Future World, and visit countries around the World Showcase. Attractions such as Test Track and Sum of All Thrills combine the latest technology with science and turn it into rides. You (and your kids!) are doing science while you are having fun. Total win/win!

Epcot has great learning rides like Spaceship Earth.

I fell in love with Epcot on a trip without kids, but do not fear if you are visiting Epcot with kids! Epcot offers Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure in the countries of the World Showcase, and it is so much fun! You receive a phone type device, and are given clues as though you are a secret agent from Phineas and Ferb. It is so much fun and really makes you slow down and explore the countries to try to solve your clues. We loved it! Kids also can get a Passport to get stamped in the countries, as well as do free crafts and activities with the cast members in each country. I think this was a genius idea from Disney to help parents to entertain their kids around the World Showcase.

Unique Activities in Epcot

In addition to touring the amazing pavilions, each country features food, drinks, souvenirs, experiences and shows. For example, you may hear a mariachi band in Mexico, and see Chinese acrobats in China. You might want to check out the Pick-A-Pearl in Japan, or shop for authentic Moroccan jewelry. Perhaps you would like a drink? Get a beer in Germany, a shot of tequila in Mexico, or a glass of wine in Italy. Not a drinker? How about trying some authentic snacks! Try school bread in Norway, a pastry in France and sushi in Japan.

Epcot Snacks in France.

Click on these links to get your free guides to all the Future World Attractions  and World Showcase Attractions for Epcot. Please note that especially for the countries in Epcot, even if an attraction isn’t listed, the pavilion itself is an attraction! Take your time to explore the nooks and crannies of each country. Don’t forget that Illuminations – Reflections on Earth can be seen from all pavilions. The Mouse and the Monorail Guide to Epcot

If you are planning a trip to Epcot, take the time to explore the menus and attractions before your trip. Print out our guide so you don’t miss anything fun or yummy! Don’t forget to print out our Magic Kingdom guide to go with this one!

It’s Almost Time For “The Good Dinosaur”

Disney – Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” will be released November 25th in theaters. I have two boys in my house that are so about this movie! I’m pretty pumped myself!

From fandango, “In this enchanting computer-animated fantasy set in a world where dinosaurs never became extinct, an amiable young Apatosaurus named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) befriends a prehistoric human child (voiced by Jack Bright) while he attempts to reunite with his dinosaur family. Arlo lost his father in a storm and was swept away by a vicious river current, stranding him in a frightening new place, making him desperate to get back home. Peter Sohn directs this heartwarming Pixar adventure, with Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott also contributing voice work.”

Disney/Pixar never go wrong with animation and music, so you know it’s going to be another movie that pulls at your heart strings. If you will be spending Thanksgiving with young kids, or even those that are just young at heart, this would be a wonderful way to spend a few hours with your family or friends. Are you planning on seeing this new addition to the Pixar family? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy ºoº

News for 11.2.15

After a very busy Halloween weekend, we are happy to welcome November! Here is your news recap for this week:

  • Disney Cruise Line Receives Top Honor in 2015 Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, and was voted #1 in “Large Ship Line.” This marks the 13th consecutive year that Disney Cruise Line has been recognized in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.
  • New Year’s Celebrations have been announced at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The Year of the Monkey will be the celebratory theme for guests visiting Tokyo Disney Resort to ring in Oshogatsu (the new year). From January 1 to 5, the entrances to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will feature kadomatsu (traditional Japanese decorations), and King Louie and Monkeys in Tokyo Disneyland, and Abu at Tokyo DisneySea. Special parades and keepsakes will be themed for the celebrations.
  • Reservations are now open for Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Club Villain provides a spellbinding evening to enjoy fiendish concoctions from the Potions Bar, savor culinary delights from New Orleans and beyond, meet with the villains and dance the night away. Club Villain takes place select evenings for $99 per person, tax and gratuity included. Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 90 days in advance online or by calling 407-939-3463. A separate ticket for admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required.
  • Disney’s Inside Out will be available on DVD on Tuesday, November 3rd. Can’t wait to get our copy! That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for a fun giveaway tomorrow! ~Amy ºoº

Disney’s 2015 Blu-ray movie releases

Hey there! It’s now October and that means that people will soon begin their holiday shopping. Today I’ve got a list for you of all the Disney blu-ray releases for this year so finding a great stocking stuffer will be a breeze.

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron was just released last week, on October 2nd.

 

Aladdin is finally set to be released on blu-ray on October 13th.

 

Tomorrowland is also set to be released on October 13th.

•On November 3rd, Inside Out will finally be available. (Yes, I can’t wait for this one!!)

•November 3rd will also see the release of Toy Story That Time Forgot.

•And just in time for Christmas, Marvel’s Ant-Man will be released December 2nd.

 

 

 

 

Other titles released earlier this year and are still available for your gift list include:

 

 

For a full list of Disney movies currently available for purchase select the movies tab in your Disney Movies Anywhere app (App Store or Playstore) or try searching amazon. Not sure what the Disney Movies Anywhere app is? Check out my post here for more info.

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Well, that’s all for now. What movies are on your wish list? ~Meredith ºoº

 

Inside Out

Hi everyone! This past Friday I had the pleasure (and that’s what it was!) of seeing Pixar’s newest film, Inside Out. This movie is like most of Pixar’s movies in that it, above all else, manages to tell a story with heartfelt emotion. Where it starts to stand out is that, unlike other Pixar movies in which the main character is this or that and we experience the ups and downs the character has, this movie manages to make us really feel the emotions because we ALL have these types of emotional reactions. It portrays beautifully the way our emotions tend to direct our actions. Furthermore, as so many people have already written online and other places, this movie manages to invite open and real discussions about our own emotions and provides a way to convey how our emotions dictate our actions. One of the most interesting bits about this movie is that while it’s deeper meaning is most definitely understood on a very adult level, even my barely 4yo (she turned four just a few days before) was able to grasp the concept. She was frightened and very emotionally invested, crying for a good portion of the movie. But not because she was genuinely scared of something (i.e., a big scary monster or the likes) but rather because she knew that if Joy and Sadness didn’t make it back, then Riley would be forever angry or fearful or disgusted. Furthermore, she realized that the visual representations of personality traits, portrayed as islands stored in long term memory, were actually what made Riley, Riley. This movie is really is a lovely departure from the run-of-the-mill animated features that depict princesses or animals or toys. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love those movies too. This movie however, is just so unique and different that it can’t help but be in a category of its own.

I really enjoyed Sarah’s take on the movie and I hope you didn’t miss it. My experience, since I’m not a military kid, was a little different. I’ve lived my whole life in roughly the same place, so I can’t say I exactly get what it’s like to move. I can, however, understand what it’s like to have happy memories meld into happy and sad. And I think it’s that fact that makes this movie so relatable to so many people both young and old. I lost my grandmother just over a year ago and even my 4yo has memories of her that make her both happy and sad when thinking of her great-grandmother. But please, if you haven’t seen this movie, don’t skip out on seeing it because you think this will make you sad. It’s definitely a story that ends on a happy note. So, grab our tissues and be prepared to take a roller coaster ride of emotions that will leave you sad and happy and everything in between. ~M ºoº

Inside Out from the Suburbs

imageHi everyone! I’ll be posting my own write-up about how my family and I reacted and enjoyed this movie, but today I’d like to send you all over to Sarah’s personal blog. She posted this yesterday and since it’s my week and it was such a great post, I’ve decided to delay my post for a day and let you read about her familial experience with the movie. If you’ve not seen the movie, I suggest you see it first. This movie is amazing and seeing it without knowing how things will play out is exciting and a story and setting this unique hasn’t been done in film in quite some time. Go and just enjoy the completely new concept and setting for yourself, then head back here for our reactions. If you’ve already seen it, then head on over to Sarah’s blog and check out what she has to say. And be sure to come back tomorrow for my own take on it. Just be sure to not bring broccoli pizza with you! Because EW!! ~M °o°

 

Let’s Watch Some TV!

Yesterday I wrote about the exciting new movies that Disney has set to release this year and today I’d like to talk about what Disney’s TV station, ABC, has to offer.

Once Upon A Time
If you’re a fan of the classic fairy tales and would enjoy a re-telling in a live-action setting, then you’ve got to watch Once Upon A Time! It stars Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, and Colin O’Donoghue to name a few. The creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have managed to reinvent the classic fairy tale characters giving them not only a very modern existence, but a modern take on how fairy tale characters might handle the 21st century. The story tends to follow Snow White (Goodwin) and her Prince Charming (Dallas) as well as on/off evil villains The Evil Queen (Parilla). It also encounters many more beloved characters like Captain Hook (O’Donoghue), Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Anna, Elsa, Kristopf, and more recently the evil likes of Cruella De Vil, Ursula, and Maleficent.

The show is in the second half of its fourth season and the first three seasons are available to watch on Netflix streaming. If you’d like to catch up with the current season, you can check out ABC’s free app called Watch ABC. You’ll need to verify your cable provider once you download the app, but both the app and viewing privileges are free. Full episodes are also available online via their website. Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Next up on my ABC favorites list is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Currently in its second season, it has become one of my most anticipated weekly shows. Existing wholly within the marvel cinematic universe, the Agents, led by Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) himself, encounter many foes and will not disappoint when it comes to action scenes. The cast is a dynamic team and includes the amazing Ming Na-Wen (yes, she’s also a Disney princess since she voiced Disney’s Mulan!), Chloe Bennett, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, and Brett Dalton. The team chemistry  definitely makes the show fun to watch and you’ll find yourself invested in how the characters interact with one another.

If you’re a Marvel fan, you’ll definitely want to watch this series and you can watch the entire first season on Netflix streaming. To catch up to current episodes, you’ll again need the Watch ABC app as the show is currently airing the second half of its second season.Full episodes are also available online via their website. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c.

Marvel’s Agent Carter
And while we’re on the subject of Marvel shows, I can’t leave out how much I enjoyed Marvel’s Agent Carter. Set in the 1946, this precursor to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D follows Steve Roger’s, a.k.a. Captain America, first love Agent Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) who works for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). It also features a certain Iron Man’s father, Howard Stark (played by Dominic Cooper), and his ever-faithful sidekick Jarvis (played by James D’Arcy). The series just finished its run and has a total of 8 episodes of which 4 are currently still available to view on the Watch ABC app.Full episodes are also available online via their website. I’m so hoping this series will get picked up for more episodes and judging by its ending, I just might get my wish!!

Obviously ABC has plenty more show offerings but I’ll leave it here as these are my favorites. Which ABC shows are your favorites and why? We’d love to hear what you suggest too! Comment here or over on our fb page!

Thanks for following along and making our little blog such a fun success! ~M °o°