Our Preview Visit to the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Disney

This a week ago last Monday I was able to sneak in with other DVC member to get a sneak peek of the new Fantasyland opening up sometime next month at the Magic Kingdom at Disney. While there was some stress getting there, once in-we were in awe. I have to apologize-my pictures are only from my iPhone as we forgot the good camera at home. They are not good at all, since my phone was having issues! Sorry :(

When you are first walking in

We choose the Bella Tour-but since it was the DVC preview and it was not busy at all, we got to do both! We first did Bella’s story time. First you enter into her house.

Belle’s house

Belle's HouseAfter you wait a while in Belle’s little house, you move into Maurice’s workshop and that is where some magic takes place.


I don’t know how it happened, but soon we found ourselves in a room with Madame de la Grande Bouche AKA The Wardrobe. Here, the players for the story are picked. Tip: for a picture with Belle: you need to be in the play.

AnnieQ was Maurice!


From there we go into Belle’s Library where Belle comes and tells you the story of the night they met! It is a great interactive event. My only concern for the future when this opens, is it will be a wait, so use the Fast Past when you can!


I took Video of the story. From there we went to visit the new Be Our Guest Restaurant. It was not doing test runs that day, but we got to walk through!


From there we visited the New Mermaid Ride. My phone camera did not work well inside. There is a very long inside wait, so doing the summer months guest will be cool waiting, with a few fun little surprises waiting for them.

We got to also get our picture taken with Ariel -an added bonus since it wasn’t busy at all!


Over all I LOVED our time! Fantasyland is schedule to open Dec 6th. It is worth your time to schedule a trip to Magic Kingdom to see this new and exciting addition to the park! I have grown up with the park since it opened in 1971 , and I love what they have done. Keeping with the Disney tradition, using modern technology and “magic” Disney has once again topped it self.





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A Shutterfly Photo book of our Disney Cruise

Click here to view this photo book larger

Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at Shutterfly.com.

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Is the Internet a Drug?

A plus or not of cruise is the ability of having the Internet or not having it. The point of a vacation is to have a break from the things that consume your life everyday:cleaning, laundry, cooking, dishes, working, which for most include the Internet.
The Internet-our key to the out side world. It use to come in the form of newspapers & and evening news. Excycpedias and magizines. Now most Google what they need to know. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read the newspaper, and when I get a chance I watch the evening new. But I LOVE the Internet. I LOVE how easy it is. The high when I find what I’m looking for. The awesome feeling of connecting with someone new. I love think of cool Facebook statuses and twitter messages.
But I did not realize how addicted I was till this cruise. I had brought my iPhone along on our for port exsurction in Halifax. On the way back I wanted to stop at the indoor Farmers Market. As we went in I guess I was the only one who saw the sign…FREE WIFI….

My heart start pumping a little faster as the little voice inside me said “YES!”. I calmly took out my phone to check it out-found the wifi and before I knew it all those glorious little dings started coming through. Facebook, email, twitter. I buffered my phone in hope that know one noticed anything. After I knew it worked, I let my teen and hubby in on my little found secret. Not really a secret-the sign was there when we walked in-
Soon my son and hubby where nose deep in their phones getting what quick dose of of internet for free we could get.
I realized at that moment that the Internet was almost like a drug. The need for quick fixes, the need for what was going on. The need for it.
This was vacation. The need for our family time was more important. That family time is becoming so rare. And as our oldest is getting ready to to graduate next year and more out, this is our last family vacation together.
The next day we lucked out of our 5 hour tour at St. John. We had a bus with WiFi in it. So our need for quick fixes, became not as important. My son and girlfriend got many hours of texting in. We got limited use-we could check email and Facebook.

This Disney Cruise I was going to blog more-but family trumped that. Our next Disney Cruise will be overseas next year. We will be leaving the two little ones behind. We will most for sure have Internet on the boat. Just to keep in contact with them.

Is the Internet a drug? It could be seen in the same addiction as a drug, gambling, or any other addiction. The same need or want for it. Walking or searching for that signal. At home we pay, and get it 24/7 without thinking about it. But when you have to pay a high amount for it, how much is it worth to you?

Used wisely the Internet is a resource beyond its weight in gold! Just at what price are you willing to pay?

Proudly, we did not buy Internet minutes aboard…although very tempting. We survived with our limited access for the 4 days. But that breakfast at port…all of us, with our phones out, checking out the world…and so it begins again.

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100 Things to do this Summer: We Crossed Off 8 & 59

Our summer is coming to a close and we crossed off 2 more items from our list- see the Statue of Liberty and The Liberty Bell.

Liberty-Freedom these are important words for kids to know and understand. We learned about them before we went.

We only saw the Statue of Liberty from the Disney Cruise Ship. The Liberty Bell we got to tour and see it. We saw much more of Indepence Hall than just the bell.

Both powerful symbols of our freedoms here in the USA and why we need to fight so hard to keep our freedom our fore fathers fought hard for!!







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Fish Extenders-What are They?

We are getting ready for our third Disney Cruise. Now I am on the DISboards, but do not follow much.  But my husband does.  He asked me what a FE was.  So I looked it up. FE was for “Fish Extenders”  But what were they?

Basically they where pockets that hung on the fish hangers outside the door where people would exchange gifts.  Groups got together before the cruise  to form FE groups.

So I researched more and we decided this cruise we would participate in the FE with about 20 other families.  Of course I also decided to make my own…cause nothing I do has to be easy!  So with a vision, some help from the kids to pick out their fabric for their pockets and a wonderful friend to help me finish it along with these great back packs.  Now, mine are far from perfect, but for first time around, and making from a picture, I would say not bad!!

Fish extenders

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Off Road Eating

If there is one thing we should have learned by now watching the food channel it is you should eat at all small town diners and restaurants you can.

And most trips we do not do this. We stay close to an exit. But today I said let be bold. More like Alton or Guy.

So we ate local BBQ! And it was very good, and flavorful. Beats Hardee’s or McDonalds!







Disney Family Cruising Tip: mom and dad take time to goto Palo one night. You need reservation and it does cost a little extra-but well worth it.

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Packing the Car in a Storm

We are going on a Disney Cruise. We are driving to New York City to cruise on the Disney Magic. I have been working on packing for a week…got the suitcases down Monday. (just a note-don’t do that with a drumstick ice cream cone..just saying).

We had most everything packed-once my husband got home today we zipped everything closed and started to load the car….


Whew…an interesting way to begin! But we are tucked in-all snug as a bug!



And so we begin our journey to New York to cruise Disney Magic.

Cruise packing tip: pack a carry on bag with bathing suits and other needed items because your luggage will not be at your room right away.

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Citiblox- {iTunes App Review}

Over 5 years ago I got my first iPhone.  It was just a months after the iPhone was released.  Back then there was just about 26 apps in the educations category.  Since then I have watched the apps grow.  And grow.   My App collection has grown also.  Five years later, we have finally introduced an iPad into our family (a birthday gift for me), which opens a whole new world of possibilities!  Now I get to take time to review upcoming apps.

CitiBlox-What is it?

I had a chance to try out a classic game  called Citiblox.

The rules are simple

  • Touch the gray line between the colored dots
  • You are the blue line, your phone is the red line
  • Complete any block or square to reveal a portion of the city underneath
  • If you complete a block, you get another turn
  • Complete the most blocks, and you reveal the animated city underneath

In Citiblox your opponent is the computer and your goal is to uncover the cities below.  The game can be played on the iPhone or on your iPad.

As you can seen, there is a city under the squares…this is the view from the iPhone and then the iPad for the three different levels.


What my Children Think of this Game?

I put the game in the hands of my three younger children.  My 10-year-old beat the first level fairly quickly.  He was challenged by the 2nd level, and hasn’t even attacked the third level. He must conquer the 2nd one before moving on, that is the way he roles.

My 5-year-old son understands the game on paper.  He enjoys just tapping the lines than playing on the iPad.  He doesn’t understand playing against someone who “doesn’t helps him win” along the way.  He will learn though.

My 6-year-old daughter, enjoys playing level 1.  She says it is fun, and she likes seeing the city.  She hasn’t yet mastered that true concept of the game, but is working on it.  She does ask if she can play it.

My 10-year-old son is challenged by this game.  He loves simple games like this and he loves winning.  This game is a quick for him and he likes to think about what the computer will do next.  At one point he was trying to beat level two and all of a sudden I hear “level two why are you mocking me?”

What I think of it?

I finally beat level three….in the middle of the night when I could not sleep.  It took me an hour and I was determined to beat it.  I loved the fact I could take my time playing this game!  This is classical game with a fun surprise below and keep watch, those cities change!

CitiBlox is great for

  • at a restaurant
  • at the doctors
  • traveling
  • Shopping
The game itself also teaches children and adults skills such as
  • future thinking
  • problem solving
  • logical thinking

Where to Find More Information

  • CitiBlox was developed by Jennifer at AdAir
  • CitiBlox can be found on iTunes
  • Make sure you go like their facebook page to keep up with the up coming apps!

What is Coming Up Next?

Mindstorm IPhone app


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Tale of Two Summer Movies

I just got done taking my kids to see Ice Age 4 – 3D and last month we went and saw Madagascar 3 – 3D.

Each one a tale of talking animals.

Each one about a lost or misplaced family.

Each one about getting back to home-at what ever the cost.

Each one about fighting the bad guys to get there.

Each one about not giving up to get what you need.

Each one about finding love.

Each one about doing what is right to get where you need to be.

Each one funny.

Each one with great 3D effects.

Each one kept me on the edge of my seat.

Each one made me think past the story into my story, my life.

There was a point in Madagascar 3 where they were standing on the outside of the Zoo looking in.  It is not that the Zoo is a bad place.  I glanced at my kids and thought that is how I feel sometimes.  Standing on the outside looking in at something I thought I wanted, but really didn’t.   We tend to separate kids, siblings thinking that is how they learn and grow best.  For some it does.  Not for all.

I don’t want to be put into the “boxes” created.  If at 4 years old a child is not potty trained, but can read, should he not be allowed to be in a class to excel at reading?  But because he is not potty trained, he is held back.  Even within the church we tend to say everything follows the “box”.  Our last VBS, we did not stress about whether if some child came out of 5th grade or 6th.  If they wanted to come, they could.  I went to another  VBS and a friend came, and her daughter was told she could not go, because she was going into 6th grade, just 4 months older than my son going into 5th grade.  Those “boxes” are hurting us instead of helping us grow.

This is from RSA Animate-Changing Educate Paradigms.  It just made me think of this video.

Today walking out of Ice Age 4, the biggest thing I got out of, is family is family.  I loved how these movies are putting together families that are different.  For our kids they need to see that you can be a family even when you don’t all look the same or come from the same place.  Family is the people that know you and love you!  We are family or are we Ham and Cheese.  Go see Ice Age 4  to find out!

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Summer Survival: Are We There Yet? {5 in 5}

Welcome Back to 5 days of Summer Survival-day 2. Did you find your stillness? If you missed yesterday, I focused on you, the mom!

Do you remember those family vacations in the old station wagon, everyone crammed in there, with the windows all down, and your mom had a bandana tired around her hair? The most common question “Are we there yet?” Today we are looking at traveling with kids.

Summer time brings on travel time. There are graduations and weddings to attend. Visits to grandparents and good old fashion family vacations. Not to mention just your everyday travel.

I have to admit the best family travel movie I’ve seen is RV. It took the typical American family torn by the everyday things and schedules-stuck them in an RV -to rediscover their family. Not only was it just funny, and just had a awesome homeschooling family, once you got to know them, but it show how we are just missing time with our kids. Time in the car is a perfect place for that. Oh please don’t get me wrong, I am all for DVD players.

We have traveled with 1-6 kids on many different kids on trips. We have taken the train across country, driven across country, we have flown many different places, driven everywhere and cruise when we can. Only on one trip has my husband threatened to stop the car and walk out because we had a child who we could not handle. (He was a foster child and was tired and had ADHD and had enough of sitting and we had been driving for 15 hours.) In all my trips I have done things differently, a little to keep the kids guessing. They always have a backpack. What was in the backpacks was the key. We always have DVD players.

So asking you and researching on the internet here are some great ways to get you kids organized for those short and long trips. To the swimming pool or across country-to answer the question “Are we there yet?”

I ask you moms or dads what tips you had for traveling with kids in town and out and here is what you said:

  • “One of the biggest things that gets us through is my “bag of surprises”. Every couple of hours we pull out a new surprise from the bag, whether it is a favorite treat, a new coloring book, a small toy –something that they will like and occupy time for a bit is good! Curious to see what other ideas you have up your sleeve! =)”-Karen
  • “My fav tip is when you stop for lunch on a road trip (mcd’s or chik fil a ) I let the kids play while we eat and then order tier food as we go and let them eat in the car. It helps them focus on eating and not rush through it to play and mom and dad can eat in peace. It usually meant they passed out after they ate too! We travelled across the country from Wa state to Florida one summer so I have lots of experience!!!” -Erica
  • New DVD players-Jim
  • “Movies, snacks, toys, games and patience”-Kelly
  • Drive at night time-my sister Christie
  • “Tomorrow I’ll be trying something new. Usually when we travel, each kid has a “carry-on” bag with several activities. This time, I made a bunch of tickets. I’m going to put activities in one bag, and they can purchase an activity with the tickets. Things like a coloring book, connector builders, etc will cost one ticket. Use of my iPod, the portable DVD player, etc will cost three. Oh and they can earn more tickets by reading. :)”-Sarah
  • And one mom share her mini van and how she organized it! From Cassie.



Keep joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

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