S2E8: Goodbye Disney Movies Anywhere

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podcast


Season 2: Episode 8

Goodbye Disney Movies Anywhere

We’re back and are chatting about the big switch from Disney Movies Anywhere to Movies Anywhere. That’s right, Disney Movies Anywhere is going away! This app and website combo has been the digital hub for all your Disney movies and big changes are coming! Be sure to listen in as we discuss what this means for your own digital collection. In addition, we also discuss Disney’s streaming services and the changes that are coming to them as well. Will you be making the switch and earning free movies just for making the switch?

Links:

DisneyMoviesAnywhere

MoviesAnywhere iOS Android

DisneyNow iOS Android

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

S2E7: Disney Travel Apps

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podcast


Season 2: Episode 7

Tuesday : Disney Travel Apps

Today’s topic is all about the apps that correspond to different Disney Destinations. From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World to the ever-popular Disney Cruise Line, we’ve got you covered. This episode is perfect for everyone, so whether you’re always at Disney or going for your first time, don’t miss this episode!

Episode Links

My Disney Experience: Desktop iOS Playstore

Disneyland: Desktop iOS Playstore

Disney Cruise Line: Desktop iOS Playstore

 

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and dont’s… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Episode 93: Force Friday Fun

Find the Force

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Find the Force

Force Friday Fun!

It’s September 1 and that means is time for the second annual Force Friday event!!! Not sure what Force Friday is? No problem! We’ve got you covered. Be sure to listen in to this Star Wars-filled episode that will inform your about the event itself and what retailers are participating. We’ll also discuss the augmented reality portion of the event called Find the Force and explain how you play along too! So join Sarah, Meredith, and Noelle as they discuss all things Force Friday! Need written instructions to pin or save? No worries! We’ve got you covered there too! Be sure to check out our guide to everything Force Friday here. For the Official Star Wars Force Friday website, click here.

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Will you be heading out this weekend for Force Friday?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

How To Keep Your Devices Charged at Disney World

How to Keep Your Devices Charged at Disney World

Keeping devices charged at Disney World is no small feat. We want to capture the moments and share them, but we sometimes batteries run low. Don’t miss out on capturing that special moment because of a low battery! Follow these easy tips to save yourself time and headache.Portable Charging Device

Buy a Premium and Compact Portable Charging Device

Buy a premium and compact portable charging device! There are so many chargers out there to choose from, it’s hard to know what to go with. I’ve had a “solar” one in the past. Although I can still use it by charging it from the wall outlet, it doesn’t charge my device fast and the solar recharge feature was a bust. Maybe I never positioned it just perfectly angled to sun. Or maybe that feature just never worked. In any case, it’s time for an upgrade. My husband has a Galaxy Edge and I’ve got an iPhone 6 plus. There’s no way we’d make it a full day in the Magic Kingdom without recharging them. Add the GoPro to the mix and I’m pretty certain I’m gonna need a premium and large battery capacity to handle all of those devices!

Why Buy a Portable Charger?

It’s simple; time. When we’re on vacation, regardless if it’s at a Disney destination or not, I want to take pictures and videos with my phone. I’ll definitely have my Canon 5d out for photos, but my phone is always around and the easiest to snap with. And inevitably, it’s gonna die. Having the ability to charge my phone without having to seek out a charging place only to have to sit and wait a half hour or hour or however long it takes.

When I’m paying premium $$$ just to be inside the park itself, the last thing I want to do is sit and waste time. I’m willing to bet you’d say the same. Whenever I notice it’s getting low, I just pull out the charger, plug it up, and drop them both in my pocket. I can easily fit my (giant) phone and the charger in one pocket! I’ve used other portable chargers in the past and I won’t mention them here. In fact, I don’t want to mention them ever again!

I’ve heard many great things about Anker portable charging devices. After the solar charger flop, I was ready for a premium, high-capacity charger. Researching on Anker’s website I found that what suits my needs best is the Anker powercore. It’s loaded with both battery capacity and super fast charging speed. It’s also got a rugged exterior shell and although it’s certainly not light (let’s be honest it feels like a brick compared to a case-less iPhone) but it’s pretty compact!

My particular model is able to charge my iPhone 7.2 times before it needs recharging itself. That’s certainly enough to recharge our devices without having to worry about sitting somewhere in the parks and missing out on all the fun! And what made this particular model even more appealing is that it touts two usb ports. That means I can charge two devices simultaneously, all while waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain!

Research Which Charger is Best for You

Browse the offerings for each charger as they all have different capabilities and if you’ve only got one device, you might not need quite as much as we do. There are loads of other great charger brands that people will swear by. So give yourself a little time to look through what’s out there and really pick what’s right for you.

The one thing you want to be sure to avoid is chargers that don’t contain premium battery cells.

The Anker devices have 8650 Panasonic 3400mAh lithium-ion batteries. They also have additional features, like surge protection, that cheaper and smaller charging devices like lipstick case and pocket chargers just don’t have. No matter which charger you decide to go with one thing’s for certain. You’ll definitely be having more fun than sitting around waiting on your device to charge!

Find Charging Stations within the Parks

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In case you are stuck and don’t have a portable charger, there are a limited number of charging outlets at the Rapunzel bathroom area and under the big top at Pete’s Silly Sideshow. The sideshow station is shaded and the Tangled station is outdoors and mostly in the sun. It can get brutal just sitting there waiting with the sun beating down on you. It also doesn’t bode well for charging as the devices really shouldn’t be in direct sunlight.

That said, Rapunzel’s charging station is the largest station in the MK, so it’s your best bet. Pete’s is smaller with fewer outlets. You can access the WDW map here. You can also find regular wall outlets in indoor eateries such as Cosmic Ray’s. There are outlets by the walls most table service locations. Like I said though, these are if you need to charge and can’t get by without it.

Update Your OS and Turn Off Background Apps

Finally, my last little tip comes from a friend who unfortunately had to learn the hard way while at the MK. He hadn’t updated his phone to the newest os and didn’t turn off the system preference that allows iPhones to auto update. Not only did he have battery drain from the phone trying to download the update, but he was also losing battery supply faster because of the spottier cellular service and slow/spotty wi-fi in the parks.

Seeing as he was unaware his phone was on a kamikaze mission, I’m sure it was a pretty awful moment when he unlocked the phone and realized what was going on. Don’t let this happen to you! Be sure to update all software including the latest OS. Also be sure to update apps like My Disney Experience (ios and playstore) and others that you know you’ll be using frequently while there. Additionally, turning off unneeded “auto refresh” apps that run in the background as well as features such as bluetooth and location services will help conserve your battery’s life.

M’s Tips for Capturing Memorable Photos at WDW

Hey howdy hey, it’s finally Friday! And that means part 2 of my series on how to take more memorable photos at WDW. So let’s get to it!

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1. Prepare your cameras before you leave home.

Let me say that again. Prepare your camera BEFORE you leave home. You can’t take memorable photos if there’s no room to save them on your device. Seriously folks, I can’t stress this enough because the last thing you want is to get into the Magic Kingdom and find that your memory card or smartphone’s storage is full and you haven’t saved those old photos. Even if you have old photos on there that you could delete doesn’t mean that you’ll want to waste the time selectively deleting photos while at the parks. That’s especially true when you didn’t realize it was full until that special moment that Elsa (your kids’ favorite character) just happened to walk by and chat. (sidenote: that happened to one of our readers not too long ago! Okay, the Elsa part. Not the storage full part. ^_^ )  And one more thing to note about this: when you’ve copied your photos and are ready to wipe your memory card, be sure to format the card while it’s in your camera. Don’t simply delete the photos on your computer. Not to get too technical, but formatting from in-camera allows a full wipe and helps ensure that your card will continue to work properly.

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2. Use a cloud service to upload your photos each night of your stay. 

You’re probably thinking that has nothing to do with taking memorable photos, but I beg to differ! By uploading your photos to a cloud services like apple icloud and dropbox (my personal fav), you’re ensuring that you’ll have that day’s photos memories no matter what happens tomorrow. Think that’s not important? What if you accidentally get your phone wet on Kali River Rapids and it stops working, or you just happen to leave it somewhere? At least you have your photos up to that point! With this one, you’ll want to check your resort offerings to see what wi-fi services they offer and log-in (or whatever way they have set up) the night you arrive to ensure that it’s done and ready to go the next day. This is also beneficial if you want to take lots of photos but don’t have a device with a large amount of storage. You could shoot as much as you like, upload once you’ve got wi-fi access, and then delete and do it all again the next day. (Though, I’m not sure if I could delete vacay photos that quickly myself!) Personally, I always keep all of my photos until I get home and back them up, but knowing that I’ve uploaded to my cloud throughout makes me feel a lot better about snapping photos with my phone.

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3. Take your babies’ photos at WDW while they’re still babies!

Okay, say what you will but I’m a Mommy that will always recommend traveling with a baby to WDW. I know I’m crazy and there’s lots of you out there saying that they’ll never remember it and it’s such a hassle and, and, and… BUT here’s what I know: I’ve taken an 11mo and a 14mo (and they could’ve been younger, but that’s just how our trip planning times worked out) and while it can have its moments, it’s so completely worth it to have those memories of them as tiny babes in the parks. I still remember vividly watching Boo (11mo) enjoy her very first WDW parade. She smiled and waved and while I realize that she’ll never remember that parade or those precious fleeting moments, I WILL. And I love that. And that should be enough already, but what’s even better is I’m now getting to enjoy going back through our vacation photos with them. Belle really loves seeing photos of “baby Belle” (yes, I realize that’s a cheese as well. Quite good actually.) with all of the characters and really loves watching the videos. In fact, it’s hard to go through my photos for posts like this when she’s awake because if she sees it on my screen, she’ll be in lap requesting to “watch that!” before I have time to blink. Plus, they’re FREE until they turn 3! So, enjoy that while it lasts!

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4. Capture several photos from an attraction of experience and make a collage.

This is a great way to highlight a favorite ride or attraction for yourself! You can take photos as you’re entering, waiting in the queue, boarding, riding, exiting, and of course shopping in the inevitable gift shop that serves as the attraction’s exit, or just collage the day’s photos together for a quick and simple way to share lots of photos all at once. This is super fun because there are great apps like PicFrame, that allows you to select certain photos to arrange in a plethora of sizes and frame styles. You can customize the colors, add text, and export to your camera roll or upload directly to social sites. Like some of the other apps I’ve mentioned before, I’d recommend playing with this app before you get to WDW. It’s actually quite an easy and intuitive app, but it’s never fun to try and “learn” how an app works when you’re in a hurry.

 

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5. Look for new vantage points and ways to capture the “classics” in a new way.

Photos that have an exciting and different vantage point are almost always memorable, especially when they’re of your loved ones on your big WDW trip! That may mean intentionally visiting a certain part of the park either during the day or at night. The Rapunzel bathrooms area is quite lovely at night and is a great way to rest (and charge your devices!) and the perfect photo op at night. (Totally not as weird as it sounds).

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One of my favorite moments of my last trip was with my Belle at park closing. I ran with my “big camera” and Belle on my shoulders from Tomorrowland’s speedway back around to Dumbo at 8:55 (the park was closing at 9) and was able to board Dumbo ALL BY OURSELVES! The CM’s made her feel so special and flying through the MK right at park closing and being able to see the Castle and the Wishes fireworks show begin with MY “baby mine” was just magical. We had so much fun and sat in Storybook Circus to enjoy the rest of the show. It’s always nice to watch the fireworks shows from different locations and storybook circus provided a magically whimsical setting for my memorable moment with my little love.

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6. Consider visiting other WDW locations outside of the parks for new experiences.

We really enjoyed resort hopping this last vacation and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking at spending a day outside the parks. It’s completely free, there’s loads of different places to visit all with free transportation (by bus, boat, or monorail), and gives you a reason to take a day away from the parks mid-vacation. We parked at the TTC, then hopped on the resort monorail to explore the deluxe resorts. The Polynesian is tropical and has great photo ops including fireworks viewing from the beach areas! The Grand Floridian is, well grand. Very aptly named. Pretty much anywhere in that big beautiful building is a great opportunity for a photo that’s not just another Disney ride. The contemporary and Bay Lake tower provide a modern-looking interiors, a giant Mary Blair (think It’s A Small World) mural, and a the only chance to see the monorail actually run through the building! With a dinner reservation at the California Grill, it also offers the unique opportunity to watch the nightly Wishes fireworks from its own private viewing platform. (Don’t worry, your ADR doesn’t have to be at the time of the show either. Just bring your receipt from earlier that evening back at showtime and they’ll take you back up!) And don’t forget to take a bus over to the AK Jambo house because it’s just awesome. If you want to go see the savannah animals but can’t get to Kilamanjaro Safaris, then you can get your giraffe (and other animals) photos for free just by visiting their viewing platforms! They’ve also got a great playground with lounge chairs that we enjoyed while waiting on our Boma reservation. We will definitely be resort hopping more in the future!

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Well, that wraps up part 2. I might have to revisit more ideas in the future because as I’m typing this ending, I’m already thinking I could add so much more. Guess be on the lookout for that sometime? What would advice would you add? ~M °o°

 

Favorite Apps to Use While on a Disney Vacation

Hey howdy hey, it’s Friday! I’ve had a blast following along this week and enjoying all of our participation! You all rock!!! And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then check out our fb fanpage. We’ve had lots of activity as of late, and speaking for all three of us, we’re SO happy that you all are enjoying our blog and sharing your Disney memories as well. And sharing memories seems like the perfect segue into today’s post because today I’ll be talking about how to utilize those snazzy smartphones while on your Disney vacation by featuring some of my favorite apps.

There are loads of apps to choose from on several different platforms, but for the purposes of what I know and have actually used, I’ll only be talking about apps from the app store on iOS. Sorry to all my droid lovers, but I’ll work on that post for the future! 🙂 I’ve been to WDW several times now with my iPhone and couldn’t imagine going back without it. It was always not only my info center for anything and everything we had planned, but it also was the best camera. You know, because the best camera to use is always the one closest to you! From park maps to entertainment while waiting in attraction lines, there’s lots to explore and have fun with!

1. Camera+

This app is first on my list for a reason. I used this app MORE than any other app I’m featuring while at WDW. It’s only $1.99 and is worth WAY more than that! This is the app that I use to take photos no matter where I am. It’s my go-to and it can actually let you capture images that you never thought you’d be able to take with your camera phone. (There’s also one that’s called VSCO cam, and while it’s nice and pretty and does most of the same things, I started with Camera+ and once you get used to something, well you know.) Camera+ also has loads of presets, filters, and and other settings that makes this app totally worth it. The best feature by far though, is the ability to set your focal point and exposure points independently. What does that mean? It means that when you’re in situations where your sweet little Princess is doing the cutest little dance but it’s right in front of that really bright restaurant window, YOU will still capture that precious moment! You simply place one finger down on whatever you want in focus and while holding it down, place a second finger where you’d like the exposure to come from. Once you have your two markers, (one will be square for your focal point and one circle for your exposure) you can let go and move each marker around independently until you achieve the look you like. And be sure to practice this a bit before you go because it’s amazingly handy to know, but not exactly something you want to learn while on an attraction. This feature also means that you’ll be able to turn OFF (oh dear heavens, this must be the most awful thing and ever and my camera most surely won’t get a good pic if it’s not on!) for most all of your photos!! Being able to turn the flash off has loads of benefits. First, it saves batteries!! That’s a HUGE deal when on vacay and you want to make the most of your phone’s battery life. It also, eliminates those pesky red-eyed demons that most everyone has encountered. Let’s just not go there. And my favorite reason (and one of my biggest pet peeves at WDW) is that by turning the flash off, you’re being kind to everyone around you! This is most important because you can still take photos of the amazing dark rides while refraining from ruining the experience with momentary pops of bright light that tend to reveal things on the rides that the imagineers never intended you to see. The lighting on the rides is VERY deliberate and it’s not fair to everyone enjoying the ride to have it ruined because you just HAD to have a photo of Hook teetering in tic-toc’s jaws. And worse yet? The photos that have the flash on during dark rides are terrible anyway because the light you’re seeing while riding is changed once the flash light hits it. Let’s just suffice it say, you’ll be happy you turned it off!! (There’s only ONE exception to this rule and it occurs towards the beginning of a dark ride in Epcot. Anyone know what I’m talking about???)

 

 

2. My DisneyExperience

This app has gotten SO. MUCH. BETTER. Seriously, within the last several years Disney has greatly improved this app and it’s now loaded with features! Even if you’re not planning a trip currently, it’s a fun app to use to explore everything that WDW has to offer. From attractions, characters, and dining, to trip planning and ticket linking, this app is brimming with fun features. This is another to download and use BEFORE you leave for your trip. It’s always nice to know how an app works and where to find important bits of into before you’re there because any new app can be frustrating if you’re looking for info like times or menus while you’re whole party is waiting on you to “play” on your phone.

 

 

3. Touring Plan’s Lines

If you’ve been reading along with me, you all know that I’m a big Touring plans fan and highly recommend it to anyone who’s traveling to Disney Parks. (And yes, they even have Disneyland and the parks-that-must-not-be-named!) This app is great because you can pretty much do anything that you can on their website right from your phone/device. It stores any touring plans you make and gives you real-time info on park wait times based on their own unique algorithm that factors in Disney’s own posted wait times with the wait times from users submitted from within the app. Which means that you get a more realistic idea of how long the wait should be! And you can submit your own wait times too! It’s also great if you’re looking for something yummy to eat that’s close to you because you can search dining by locations and even check out their prices and menus! The best part however, is the Crowd Tracker and crowd levels estimates. Those will help you plan which days to be in which parks and can even help you nail down which week to book. This app rounds out my top 3 must-have apps.

 

There are loads of other apps to use too, both by Disney and third-parties. Here’s a few notable ones:

Instagram, because duh! If you’re at WDW and want to share that precious photo of baby kissing Mickey’s nose, that’s the way to go! Tag yourself with #disneyside and your photo may even be featured on Disney’s website!

DisneyMoviesAnywhere, because you’ll totally want to download your kids’ favorite Disney movies to watch while waiting in lines, etc. Trust me.

DisneyGiftCard. I’ve added this one because I just happened to find it while looking for fun Disney apps. I’ve havent gotten to try it yet, but it looks like a great way to add all of your Disney gift cards (you know, the ones that you purchased to pay for your trip with at Target to get your 5% back with the red card!) into one card. Anyone want to try it out and let us know how it works?

Memories HD. This is a Disney app that allows you to do fun things with your photos! It’s free, so check it out.

Story, this is another Disney app for photos. This one, however, is for those Moms who can’t just pick one photo. It allows you create “stories” with multiple photos and videos and add text to create a special memory. Definitely one to use AFTER your Disney trip.

HiddenMickeys, (Disneyland and Walt Disney World) and before you have a heart-attack at the price, let me just say that you’ll see the very same books sold throughout the resorts and parks and by not purchasing the physical copy you’re not only saving paper, but you’re giving yourself an opportunity to play along! Because with this app, it allows you to track and mark each and every hidden Mickey you find and when! Boo and I loved playing along on our last trip. This is an app that would be fun for kids to play while there because when they’re searching for hidden Mickeys, running around the parks is truly a blast!

Lots To Do In Line. (Disneyland and Walt Disney World) This app is made for those who want to play Disney trivia that’s specific to the ride or attraction that you’re currently waiting in line for! Yep! Gotta wait 90 mins for test track?? It’s cool. Just open it up and impress your friends with your impressive knowledge of why test track originally featured red and yellow colors!

Ride Counter. This is for those who just wanna show how many times they can stomach the Yeti’s vengeance on Everest because it lets you create multiple riders and track ride counts for each.

 

So, there you have it. My favorites, but I’d love to what I’ve missed. So please comment and share and let us know your favorite apps for traveling to Disney. And thanks for reading along. TTFN! ~M °o°

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Disney Infinity

Hey howdy hey, it’s Friday! And for today’s tech talk I’m once again taking it back to Disney Infinity. So, here’s my Top 10 ways to enjoy Disney Infinity:

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1: On Your Own

There’s so much to explore when it comes to the game and what better way to learn and discover all it has to offer than to just sit and play solo?! From playsets to toyboxes and everything and anything you can imagine in-between, it’ll keep you busy for hours.

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2. With Family and Friends

Infinity is a great game to play solo, but adding friends for co-op play is even better! You can add a second player in both the toy box and the playsets. (Just remember that only characters from that world can play in the corresponding playset. Example: Rapunzel can’t play in the pirates world 😉 )

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3. In-Game Online Play

If adding another player was exciting for you, then adding 3 is Disney magic! By inviting players from your corresponding console’s online feature, you can add two more players to create an infinite amount of toybox playtime possibilities.

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4. Disney Interactive Online

Did you know you can use your personal computer to login to your Disney Interactive account and link your console play stats with your account? Yep! Just head over to their website and start adding in your character figure codes. You can also check out stats like general game accomplishments and feats as well as individual character figure’s stats too!

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5. Toy Box App

This app for the ipad (and soon for droids) allows you to sign-in to your Disney account (like you did in #4) and links your console play with the app. That means that you can use your own used figures to create toy boxes on-the-go and then play them on your system, when you get back home! There are more features as well like the Virtual Base which give you the ability to add character figure codes to your account and select which character you’d like to build with in the app.

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6. Adventures, Mastery Adventures, and Character Adventures

The mastery adventures within the toy box mode are great for those new to Infinity and are looking to learn how to play and build within the toybox. And the Adventures available are great fun and feature a variety of gameplay styles, keeping kids who like to change games frequently entertained and happy. You can access them by choosing travel within the options menu from the toy box. (You can’t access them from within the playsets). The Character adventures, unlike the regular and mastery adventures, are specific to whichever character figure you’re using on your Infinity base at the time you access your toy box travel menu. Each one features something fun and different and the characters’ personalities, traits, items, and experiences are often represented in these special levels.

 

 

7. Infinite posibilities of the Toy Box

Dream of, create, build, and inspire whatever you wish when playing in the toy box. Start from scratch with an empty toy box or choose from both Disney created and user created toy boxes alike! The gameplay of the toy box is surprisingly easy to learn and my 5yo picked up in no time. Selecting and placing toy box items is easy if you think about it like a real toy box. You can play with whichever toys you want, just find them from the menu and place them wherever! You can even play online with friends to create an AMAZING toy box and accomplish feats and achievements only possible when playing with 4 players!

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8. Power Discs

Collecting the power discs is a whole other discussion, but let’s just say that there’s loads of potential for enjoying the power discs. Whether it’s collecting more gold or sparks, or  re-creating a favorite Disney movie classic setting complete with shapes, colors, and sounds from the movie the power discs help you customize your experience ever further. My personal favorites are the toy box gadgets like Mike’s new car and Carl’s walking cane. (Just so we’re clear, yes it IS more enjoyable to take out an evil omnidroid with a walking cane complete with tennis balls! Hah!) And what’s more? There’s even special bonuses when you use certain discs together!

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9. Achievements & Trophies

Challenge yourself! Check out the list of feats and achievements, then go for it! And being an adult, I love that this game has achievements that are both easy enough for young kids to love attempting and difficult enough to keep the “kids at heart” entertained and challenged!  You can access your console’s achievements menu or login to your account online and check out all you’ve done. ^_^

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10. Conquer Challenges and Playsets

Each playset contains gold star missions for story completion as well as player challenges. The gold stars mark your progress througout the playset. The challenges, however, are hidden throughout the playsets and offer a different way to capture the collectibles and enjoy that portion of the playset in a different way. Some of them are available to access using any character figure and others are specific to the character it was created for. And there’s 3 levels of difficulty, so it’s a game that you can’t just sit down and beat in one sitting. THIS is a game that has plenty of playtime potential!!

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So, that’s it! What do you think? Did I miss something? What would you add to this list? ~M °o°

Party Music and Freebie Friday

Hey howdy hey, it’s Friday again!! And since the ladies have been rocking the Disney parties this week, I figured I’d go ahead and post something to go along with that theme. So, let’s talk party music. (That’s my Disney tech reference. Nice tie-in, eh?) I’ve also designed and prepared another free printable!! And don’t miss out on downloading these because they won’t stay free forever!

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To start, anyone who’s ever been to a party knows that music is essential. And a kid’s Disney party is no exception! For me, my go-to is always Spotify. It’s just hands-down the best, easiest, and largest collection of music that you can get your hands on, all in one little app. Now, this app is not just Disney music. There’s tons of music on there and chances are you’ll like this app even if you have no need for Disney music whatsoever. I digress.

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The way I would go about setting up the party’s music is by opening up my spotify app and creating a custom playlist. You can add whichever songs you choose and re-order them as you please. And for a kid’s Disney-themed party, there’s loads to choose from. They’ve got everything from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Minnie Mouse, and Sofia the First, to music featured in the parks, to old classics from the beloved Sherman Brothers songbook. And best yet, you can follow others’ playlists too! Simply search for what your party theme’s music, create and organize your playlist, and you’re ready to party! Open up the app on the day of and play using your sound system of choice. If you don’t have speakers that will work with a mobile device, never fear! You can always play your music directly from your desktop too. Imagine how epic your little Pirate’s birthday will be with the Pirates soundtrack  setting the mood!

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If you don’t have Spotify and don’t want to pay for it, then you have other options. I just look at it this way; if you’re planning to purchase ANY music at all for the party, you might as well pay the $9.99 fee for Spotify and get millions of songs. You’ll pay $10 for a cd wherever you go anyway. (Okay, unless you’re one of those lucky ones that find the gold inside those discount bins!) And with the paid subscription, you don’t have to ever worry about commercials. BIG plus in my book.

Okay, okay. If you’re still not sold on spotify, you can always check out Disney’s own digital music store. They’ve got loads of music as well.  I have to say, however, that although the purchasing process is easy, I’ve not found the downloading files portion to be quite as user-friendly. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! And for even more music, I’ve also pinned some over on our MMM Disney Music board.

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And to round out this little party post, I’ve designed a Disney-inspired party banner and for a limited time it’s free for you to download! Just click here! This is something that I’m so excited to share and while I wish we could keep these free forever, once they go in our own “vault” (hey Disney fans, see what I did there?) you’ll still be able to access them, but they will cost a small fee. This small fee will help us build funds and eventually start giving away prizes for Trivia Tuesdays. So please like, comment, and share this post to everyone who might want them so no one misses out. And thanks for following along. And remember, there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day ~M °o°

p.s. I can’t wait for chat tomorrow at our first-ever Memory Makin’ Moms Disney Planning (google) Hangout!! SO exciting!!

Disney Food and Technology

Can I just start off my very first on this site by saying that I am so incredibly excited and amazed at how this blog is evolving and growing! I can’t thank Sarah and Amy enough for the work that they’ve done to help make this a reality. And while I’m on the subject of thanking, I’d like to give a special shout-out to Sarah’s DH (Disney Husband. It’s Disney Code, and don’t worry if you don’t recognize it. You’ll learn it soon enough! ^_^ ) for creating and managing our new blog’s home! I’m loving the ease of commenting now, and we hope you all are too. And last, but certainly not least, to you all as readers and Disney fans. Thank YOU for following, commenting, and enjoying our posts. This has been an exciting venture for me and I hope that you all continue to enjoy and feel compelled to share your Disney stories too!!

DisneyDiningADRs

Sooo, here we go!! Since we’re changing our format up just a bit, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I’ll be taking over Fridays and sharing all things Disney tech! Let me tell you, the Imagineers have been hard at work creating some amazing things. From apps and games to the incredible innovations they’ve made with park attractions, I’m gonna share it all with you! And while I can’t say I’ll ALWAYS stick with my fellow Moms’ weekly theme, I’ll try my best to make it fit in somehow 🙂

 

This week, since Sarah and Amy covered breakfasts in the world this week, and I’m going to show you how to book your own ADR’s for your next trip! Now let me be clear, this post isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use a TA, this post is to simply let you know how to make your ADR’s should you want to. If you want the easy way, definitely book with a TA and enjoy! They’re almost always amazing and help plus your trip, but with the innovations that Disney is making, it’s easier than ever to book on your own . And it’s information worth sharing. Best yet? It’s super simple!! And let’s be honest, I live for the incessant planning anyway ^_^

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Screenshot of Disney’s Dining website

 

To start our reservations, we’re going to assume you already have your date and resort reservations taken care of. Start by going to WDW Dining or Disneyland Dining and exploring the options they have online. As you can see from the screenshot above you can search for specifics OR use the checkboxes to narrow down your results based on what you’re looking for. Let’s search for a Crystal Palace reservation and we’ll make it 180+10 days out from our vacation date. (Tip: You can make ADR’s up to 180 days in advance of your first day there, which means you can technically make ADR’s 180+however many days you’ll be there!) For today, we’ll say we’re going to make an ADR for me and my family (DH and 2DD) for the Crystal Palace breakfast that looked so yummy and fun. Just select your date, meal time, and party size and it’ll show you what’s available. Now, this isn’t ALWAYS going to work. In fact, it’s just a bit of software after all, so let’s not assume it’s going to do us any favors and squeeze us in to that special character meal we’ve all been dying for. Still with me? So, what happens then if their new online reservation system doesn’t work? You gotta go old school tech on them! That’s right, more times than not I’ve ALWAYS been able to find exactly what I wanted simply by calling (407) 939-1947. In years past, it’s always been 407-WDW-Dine, but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore as a recent search for it only brought me to a page with contact numbers and this being the only one for US dining reservations. I called to check and it is INDEED a valid and working number for Disney Dining.

 

Once you’re speaking with your CM, they’ll take all your trip info and help you find your favorites. Before you call however, be sure to have some info written down for yourself and a pen ready to jot down those confirmation numbers. The info you need ready will be what types of dining experiences you want or price ranges to stay within. If you’re a crazy planner like me, you can use Disney’s website or MyExperience app to browse and check out all the wonderful restaurants and experiences they have to offer.

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°o° A Good Tip for browsing Disney’s online website is to be sure and right-click on the restaurant you’d like to see more information for and select “Open Link in New Tab.” This will allow the window that you’ve already got open with all those special search criteria to be saved and you can simply close the restaurant tab out once you’re done without having to click the back button to find your search selections messed up or gone. Yeah, that’s happened to me too. It should save it, but I wouldn’t bank on it 🙂 °o°

 

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(screenshot of MyDisney Experience app for ios)

 

You can always ask us too either here on our blog, or over on our fb page! We’ve even set up a few pinterest boards with our favorite restaurants and have them mapped out for you too! Here’s the Character Dining board, our Must-Do’s, Favorite buffets, and Parks Favs. And all of our pins are mapped using pinterest’s new mapping system. It’s paired with foursquare and you can actually follow our boards for instant and easy access to not only which restaurants are great, but where you can find them too! All from your handy-dandy pinterest app. And be sure to follow them as we’ll surely be adding to them!!

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Screenshot of our Pinterest Board with the new map feature so you can not only pick browse the restaurants, but know where they’re located too!

 

I usually plan out my whole week using TP, so I always know which park we’ll be at on which day and time. Knowing that I’ve already narrowed it down to a few for each park, I”ll already have the next choice ready and never have to worry about fumbling to find something else. The CM can always suggest similar dining options as well. , Another added benefit of talking to a real human being, is being able to tell them specific things like any special allergies you or your family members might have or if you require special accommodations for a disabled family  member. For me and my family, this is THE reason I almost always call. Because even though they have the little checkbox for allergies and disabled concerns, it’s not always noticed when you get to the restaurant. By calling in, the CM I’m making my ADR’s with will make a special note on the reservation specifically for that concern and will note what the allergy is or the type of disabled chair, etc will need to be accommodated. My grandmother has gone with us on 3 Disney vacations now and has taken 2 types of power chairs since she can no longer walk. It’s nice to know that when arriving for the meal, the CM’s will have already taken care of this for us! And best yet, they can tell you the best restaurants for gluten-free and other dietary needs.  They’ll also know off-hand which restaurants will work better for you and your family’s needs and can sometimes help squeeze you in, even if the online system says there’s no availability. No seriously! This has happened to me before and I’m so thankful for it!!

 

So there it is! My first post on our new site. Love it!! If you do too, please let us know! And feel free to share and pin away!!

 

But before I go, I’d just like to add that while I’ve covered the ADR’s for restaurants, there’s a new way to reserve mealtimes using the fastpass+ systems. And while I’d LOVE to cover that for you all (No seriously, anyone wanna send me just for research purposes??) I just haven’t had any experience with that yet. We got to use the magic bands on our most recent trip but restaurants weren’t using the fastpass+ system then. So, I’m opening it up to you all. Have any of you been recently and used this new system to reserve a meal? If so, what did you think about it and would you recommend this to others or not?

Thanks for hanging with me and make sure to be watching our fb page this weekend! ~M °o°