Today I’ve got a simple and easy DIY for you! Although this one’s great for the Mickey’s Halloween parties, they’ll also be great for trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood. What makes this DIY glow Ears project so fantastic you ask? This diy is super easy and is great for anyone going to the parks year-round! Save big bucks on glowing Mickey ears and make these simple, re-useable glow ears instead!
Start by cutting the little bracelet connector piece in two and gluing the piece to the headband with the glow-in-the-dark glue sticks. There’s no exact science to this so don’t stress about the precise location of each one. This is supposed to be fun!Start with the top piece and once it has cooled, place the glow stick into that connector and curl it down to decide where the bottom connector piece should go. Mark the spot with a little dab of glue. Then proceed to glue that piece down. Pro tip: make a ring of glue around the entire headband so that the glue holding the connector piece won’t be pulled off once you place the glowstick. Repeat with both on the other side.
Make It Really Glow
By now, the headband has two ears that can be replaced with new glow sticks nightly. No need to make multiple headbands!! Just toss them nightly and get a fresh glow stick the next evening.Who wants to stop at just glow sticks though?! Starting at the base of the headband, run a line of glow glue around the edges of the headband. Repeat on the opposite side. This is also where you can use the hot end of your glue gun to help shape the already-cooled glue on the headband both around the connector pieces as well as under the headband (where the headband will sit against your head). Smooth it to your liking and you’re done! Or not…
Add Hidden Mickeys
If you’re a true Disney parks fan, you’ll want to add some hidden Mickeys too! Using the fine tip of a tulip glow-in-the-dark fabric paint bottle, squirt one larger and two smaller circles in the shape of Mickey on the top of the headband. For the next Mickey, turn it in the opposite direction and continue the pattern across the entire top portion of the headband.
Show It Off
Now that you’ve got some spiffy new diy glow ears, be sure to get out and show them off!! Mickey’s Halloween party at Disneyland and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties would be fantastic for this! Here’s all our spooky fun!
These fun and simple ears will also look amazing in any park areas that feature black lights (think dark rides and Pandora) since the glow glue reacts really well with black lights! Be sure to share a photo of your diy glow ears on one of our socials if you decide to make some! ~Meredith °o°
After many rumors spread like wildfire the past few weeks, it became official April 24, 2017…free dining for late summer and fall travel to Walt Disney World was released. Guests are eligible for free dining plans with select non-discounted 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way package. Packages must include a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and at least 2 day tickets with Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus.
Free Disney Dining Dates
August 21 – September 30, 2017
November 14 – November 20, 2017
November 25 – November 27, 2017
December 8 – December 23, 2017
The dining plan offer depends on which resort level you are staying at: Value and Moderate Resorts have complimentary Quick Service Dining Plans. Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villa Resorts will receive the regular Disney Dining Plan for free. You can make upgrades to whichever plan you qualify for, and pay the difference.
The following resorts are excluded from the free dining offer: Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside is excluded during the following dates: November 14-20, November 25-27 and December 8-21, 2017.
What’s the Catch?
Why wouldn’t someone want free dining? As someone who has traveled to Disney twice with free dining offers, I personally know the value this offers to a family traveling on a budget. We have eaten like kings at Disney with the free dining. I know that I would have been pinching pennies if we were paying out of pocket.
Crowds and Blocked Dates
Many people have come to expect free dining offers in the fall at Disney and with that comes larger crowds. Larger crowds mean more time waiting in lines and it’s harder to obtain reservations at your first choice restaurants. Disney has also blocked out the entire month of October this year, which had historically been open for free dining.
It seems as though Disney has caught on to the high number of school systems that have fall breaks now, and they have no reason to discount that season anymore. Many people have spent hours and hours on hold with Disney only to find out that due to limited availability at each resort, they couldn’t have the discount applied.
Is it worth it?
It’s a tough call on whether or not the value of the free dining is worth it anymore. For many it is. For others, it would mean changing travel dates or choosing a different resort with availability. If you hadn’t budgeted for adding park hoppers it could make the cost of the trip more expensive.
For reference on the value of free dining, here is a breakdown of the prices for the 2017 dining packages at Disney.
2017 Disney Dining Plan Pricing
We had an anniversary trip planned for December 2015 to Disney. I had already booked our reservations prior to the release date for free dining. We had added the regular dining plan to our reservation. I figured that if free dining was released for our dates, then that would be wonderful. If not, at least I knew that our meals were already budgeted for. I’m all about not paying out of pocket for meals! Our reservation totaled a little over $1600 for our vacation, including the dining plan. Our dining plan was $480.32 of our total. We were not doing park hopper passes on this trip. Here is my personal experience:
My Personal Experience
When the free dining dates were released I found out that our reservation was outside the booking window. Out of sheer curiosity, I played around with our reservation dates and checked out the prices. That year was the first time that Disney has had the caveat that in order to qualify for free dining, guests must purchase either a Park Hopper pass or a Water Park Fun and more option. They did the same thing for 2016, and for 2017 also left in the Park Hopper requirement.
We were staying at a value resort, and I would have had to upgrade to the regular dining plan (personal preference here) and pay the difference, as well as upgrade our tickets to a Park Hopper pass. Because of this, I was actually going to end up paying more out of pocket, just for the “perk” of free dining. It took our $1600 vacation to just under $1800, so I would have ended up paying almost $200 more for free food.
Is a Room Discount better?
It was an easy decision for me for that trip – no free dining. However, when free dining isn’t an option look for a room discount to come out to save a little money. All things considered, with the right availability and some flexibility with your arrival dates, you can save money with a free dining vacation. And don’t forget that utilizing a Disney vacation planner like Jolly Holidays by Sarah, Main Street Memories by Meredith or Tomorrowland Travels with Amy can make the hassle of booking free dining something your TA worries about for you.
When considering the value of free dining at Disney ask yourself if the discount is worth it to your family. In our case for our last trip it wasn’t, but it might be perfect for your family! What are your thoughts on free dining at Disney? Let’s chat in the comments. ~Amy ºoº
Driving to Disney World does not have to be a stressful trip full of “Are we there yet?” You are about to embark on an exciting adventure in the most magical place. The trip there can be just as exciting. Here are some tips to get you through those long hours towards Disney.
Load a portfolio or something similar with coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, markers, activity/puzzle books, etc. Markers can be messy, and stickers might end up on car windows, so be careful with those two. Make one for each child to lessen the chance of fighting over who needs the red crayon right now.
You can get a good assortment of coloring, activity, and puzzle books at the Dollar Store, as well as some novels and chapter books, to suit a range of ages. They also have crayons, stickers, and other easily portable supplies.
Depending on the length of your trip, finding enough music can be difficult. Constantly hunting for stations while driving through different broadcasting areas can be frustrating. Satellite radio is an alternative that will let you pick one station from coast to coast.
Smartphone apps like Spotify that stream music are also a great idea. Many have free options, but subscribing will give you more control. Spotify also offers curated playlists (subscribers can create their own) so you can choose enough Disney songs to last your whole trip. Just put “It’s a Small World” on repeat if you want to feel like you’re already at the park!
If data usage is a concern, Spotify will let you download songs, albums and playlists directly to your phone. You can then play these without using any data, as long as you have an active subscription.
Save devices until you’ve exhausted all other options. If the kids are already bored of their electronic devices, coloring books aren’t going to hold any appeal.
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider one with a DC outlet built in. While it won’t be strong enough to charge anything quickly, it can make a charge last much longer.
Make sure you’ve charged everything beforehand, or your children will never forgive you.
Also consider a portable device charger; these are handy for the trip out and a lifesaver once you’re in the park.
Buy some quart size ziplock bags and make each child an individual snack bag. You can just give them the whole baggie instead of digging through a bigger container to find whatever your kids want right then.
Do you have any tips to share? What do you do to keep the kids entertained?
Thanks to Beth from Paper Angels Photography for sharing her tips and photos!
Our next Disney cruise is 99 days away, and I’ve been super busy working on Fish Extender gifts. What’s a fish extender gift you ask? It’s an organized gift exchange on Disney cruises. You can read all about them here.
One of the cabin gifts I’ve been making for this cruise is Disney themed magnets. After working on these and finding out how super easy it was, I had to share it. This is such a versatile craft, and the options are truly limitless for what you can create. I worked with old Disney park maps, Disney cruise brochures (those turned out to be my favorite) and Disney scrapbook paper. You could also use pictures you’ve taken during Disney vacations, and make a truly unique keepsake. Start to finish, these took me less than 30 minutes (not counting time for the glue to dry) and I made 20 magnets.
1 inch circle punch
Scrapbook paper, Disney park maps, brochures or stickers
Clear glass beads – you can find these in the floral section of most craft stores
Flip through your materials and pick out the images you want to turn into a magnet. Go through your papers, maps and brochures holding the glass stone over the images to see how they will look through the stone. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and step outside your comfort zone. If you mess up, you can always try again! I found that some of my favorite finished magnets were images that placed by themselves are just part of an image, but when placed next to another magnet becomes part of a complete set.
Next, use your circle punch to cut out the image you want.
After punching out your image, put a coat of mod podge on the flat side of the glass stone.
Then, place your image face down on the mod podge. Wait 15 minutes or so for the glue to start to dry.
After the first layer of mod podge is almost dry, coat the back side of your image with another layer of mod podge. Allow it to dry completely. This will seal the back of the image and protect from water damage.
Upon ensuring the mod podge is 100% dry, then use the craft glue to add the magnet to the back of the stone. It should only take a few drops.
Let your project dry completely and enjoy your magnets!
I plan on packaging these up in sets of 4-5 magnets per cabin. These are easy enough that kids could help, or even manage to try some on their own.
I think they make a super cute, affordable and fun gift that will be a great reminder of our time at sea. Here are a few of our other Disney cruise inspired crafts if you want to check them out:
So it’s mid-July now and with school starting back in less than a month, I’m trying to squeeze in all the summer fun I can. Finding good games that your family can enjoy together can sometimes seem difficult when there’s SO many choices out there. Today I’ve got a list of my favorite Disney games. Whether you’re looking to find that perfect new board game for family game night or wondering what gaming options are available in the Disney parks, this post is for you!
Most people wouldn’t think too much about playing games while on vacation, especially at theme parks because they’re always rushing to their next favorite ride. In reality, there are quite a few super-fun interactive games within the parks (beyond the game-based rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin) that’ll keep you having fun and give you something new to try. Note: Games marked with an * require an additional fee to play. All other games listed here are included with your park admission ticket.
•Innoventions – You’ll be surprised at how well you and your family enjoy the interactive fun within this Epcot attraction located in Future world. From getting caught in a storm or designing your own thrill ride, to learning how the colors of the rainbow brighten our world, there’s something fun to learn for everyone! You can even download the Colortopia app (iOS/android) to unlock even more fun! Find out more about Colortopia here.
•Kidcot Fun Stops – While not really a game, this fun adventure is like letting your little ones take a Grand Tour (if people still did those) with Disney’s cuddly and well-traveled Duffy Bear. Just look for the Kidcot signs within the showcase pavilions.
•Wilderness Explorers – This conservation and culture learning game lets you explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom and earn badges just like Russell from Up would! To begin your experience, stop by the Wilderness Explorers stand as you exit the Oasis. The wilderness must be explored! Ca0caw, ca-caw! ROAR! This is one of my favorites for kids as it lets them explore and enjoy the park without worrying about what ride to race to next. Don’t miss it!!
•Animation Academy – While not technically a game, this instructive course allows you to learn how to draw favorite Disney characters from Mickey himself to newer characters like Agent P.
•Sorcerers Workshop – While you’re at the Animation building, be sure to experience the Sorcerer’s Workshop where you can create your animations (not just drawings) as well as discover which Disney character you’re most like by answering questions with an enchanted book from beast’s library!
•*Games of the Boardwalk – Styled after classic Disney and Pixar franchises, these boardwalk games are loads of fun for the family.
•Redwood Creek Challenge – If hiking, climbing, and challenges are your thing then this one is perfect for you. Located in Disney’s California Adventure, you may even discover your animal spirit in the process!
Disney Cruise Line
•Midship Detective Agency – You can enjoy this interactive game (very similar to the Sorcerers of the MK) aboard the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships. I highly recommend for those cruising with kiddos!
•Pictopia – We got this one for Christmas and it’s super fun for the whole family. And even better, it has a companion app (iOS/android) that you can play along with the board game OR play alone when on the go!
•Eye Found It! – This board game is great for families, especially those with preschoolers because it encourages your family to play as a team (you all win or you all lose) and doesn’t require participants to read in order to play. And for all you Star Wars fans, there’s even a SW edition!
•Disney Hedbanz! – Guess which Disney character you are before your friends and family do and look totally stylish with the super cool Mickey ears headbands.
Check out all the fun Disney versions of classic board games too!
•Disney Infinity – Available for most consoles this gaming system combines story-based gameplay with open-world creative building and makes playing with your favorite Disney characters an absolute delight.
•Disney Magical World and Disney Magical World 2 (due out Oct 16 2016) Set out on your own theme park adventure with this Nintendo DS game. My kids (8 and 5) have loved this game and can’t wait for the new one to be released!
Hey everyone!! Today I’ve got a free download (printable) for you! It includes the “Countdown to Adventure” clouds, balloon template, and the balloon holder box and UP inspired house designs.
For those of you who might not listen to our podcast, I’m in full-on planning mode for our upcoming WDW park day and DCL cruise. We’re really excited and our countdown recently reached double digits!! I’ve been wanting to do something fun with the kids for a countdown for a while and now that we’re under 100 days, it’s finally time to get a move on lol.
I browsed pinterest for fun countdown calendars and found some really cute ones. For our family, we needed something that could be high up so that our fur baby and real baby, won’t be able to reach it and tear it up (this reason alone is why I personally won’t do the paper chain ones. They’re super cute, just wouldn’t work here haha). I found a cute idea from a girl who was doing a countdown to her Disney College program.
I loved it and immediately knew how to make our own version. Flashback to Boo’s 6th birthday party. She had a Disney themed party and pretty much had any movie and character presented as long as it was Disney. In leiu of cupcakes, she had her Daddy bake some of his special cupcakes and they became balloons for Carl Frederickson’s house. I let my husband handle the cupcakes and I made the board.
I found a blue-paper foam core board at hobby lobby and cut around little white cloud shapes out of cardstock. On the main cloud, I printed out Happy 6th Birthday and cut around it as well. As for the actual house, I just found a photo online for reference and drew out my own house in adobe illustrator. (Yes, I have graphic design background and it served me well here). By making my own, I could dictate how large I wanted it when printed. I figured out my size, printed it out, and pasted it on the board along with all the clouds. Then we just added cupcakes. Easy peasy!
Back to this week, once I saw her pin I knew I wanted to reuse this board for our countdown project. To start, I grabbed a pack of bright colors paper from the store and let the kids help me cut out enough balloons for our countdown. We actually did a periscope for this activity too! And you can go ahead and be printing the free printable file while you watch! You can download it here.
So, for starters, I’ve designed some templates for you since I didn’t have any prepared for myself when cutting out the balloons. You’ll print the pdf that includes three pages on white cardstock. Cut out all three pages’ shapes. Then cut out some random cloud shapes with more white cardstock til you have enough clouds to evenly distribute them on your board. Take the old crayon box insert and glue the printed “Adventure is out there” cover to it. Lay EVERYTHING out on your board first and move things around until you get a layout that looks good to you. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, glue everything down except the crayon box insert. You can probably glue stick it too, but I went on and used some 3m command strips for it just to be sure it doesn’t fall off once the weight of the countdown balloons are inside it.
Now, you’ll cut out your balloons. I’ve included a balloon template on the download, so you can use that or simple just go for it. I had the kids go ahead and number them to practice writing and counting, but you can just cut them out and number them as you go if that’s easier. Once you’ve got everything cut out, use the 3m photo hanging strips to mount your board to the wall. These are fantastic because you can have your board securely attached to the wall, and be able to remove it whenever without leaving damage to your wall. Once you’ve got it hanging, place your balloons in the box and begin gluing your balloons each day. Super simple and so cute!! It’s worth noting though, that you should probably start up high and work your way down to the house so that the balloons overlap each other with the tops showing. You can use whatever you want to do for string, just we’re just using a fine tip sharpie. (You can see where I used the sharpie for the cupcakes, so it looks a bit silly for now til we get enough balloons to start covering them. Eh, it works for us, but you can do yours whichever way is easiest for you) 🙂
We can’t wait until we have enough balloons to take off on our adventure!! If you enjoyed this post or know someone who might like it, please share it out and show us yours if you make one! Tweet us, share on fb, or tag us on instagram! ~Meredith ºoº
Hi everyone! Today I’d like to share a simple DIY project to turn free coloring pages you find online into math worksheets! The concept is simple: find and download a coloring page you like and add on math problems that coordinate with a specific numerical answer. I searched online for a few coloring pages and found a Mickey Mouse football player and Minnie Mouse cheerleader since it’s football season and math coloring worksheets would be a perfect game time activity if you’re watching the big game from home. To download the coloring pages here, simply right click on the coloring worksheet of your choise and choose “save image as” OR hold down on your mobile phone until the menu pops up and choose save photo.
It really is just that easy! Download the coloring page you want to use (simple line drawing coloring pages with larger sections works best) and add math problems to it. I used photoshop to add the math problems, but if you don’t have photoshop you could always use another program that allows you to place text over photos. There’s even apps for your phones that will do this! Don’t have time to photoshop or play with apps? That’s okay too! Just print out the original coloring page and hand write your math problems and legend before giving it to your child. Easy peasy!!
I love this project because of its simplicity! I actually thought of this blog post because my daughter Boo (7yo and 2nd grade) requested I make some for her after she completed a worksheet like this for homework. I figured it’d be easy enough and I could kill two birds with one stone by making a post out of it too. Turns out it was easier than expected! This diy is perfect for kids who need help with specific math concepts. For example, your child is acing addition, but needs help with subtraction, make your worksheet include more subtraction than addition. (Just don’t make it all subtraction! Let’s keep it fun too!) 😉
There are loads of coloring page websites to pick from. And though the ones I chose are Disney themed, you can choose just about any character or theme your child would like. I’m including two versions of Mickey and Minnie since Sarah, Amy, and I all hail from Alabama, where football rivalry rules supreme. And although I’ll always be an Auburn Tiger, (and love it!!) I’ve provided coloring sheets for my fellow Alabamians who may not be bleeding orange and blue like me. If you’re not from Alabama, or just don’t have any ties to our top two teams here, I’ve included a blank Mickey and Minnie so that you can include your favorite team colors too! Both Mickey and Minnie feature addition only. But if football just isn’t your thing, no worries!! I made one more of a Toy Story green alien that includes both addition and subtraction.
And that’s it!! Hope your kids have as much fun as I know mine will as soon as I get these printed. And as always, if you like this post, please share it! We’re available on fb, twitter, and instagram. Come follow us and be sure to check out our companion podcast by searching for “Mouse and Monorail” with your favorite podcast listening app. ~Meredith ºoº