Thursday, May 28, 2015

Disney Exercise

As you can probably tell by our name and most of our posts, we LOVE to eat all the great treats at Disneyland. I've always told myself that I probably get enough exercise with all the walking I do in one day there to make up for the Dole Whips, Churros, ice creams, whatever! But is it true? I wore a FitBit to track my exercise on my last trip. Here's the rundown:


This was the busiest day of my trip in February. We walked to and from the hotel and back and forth between the parks at least once. 


Just to give you a baseline for me, on a normal day I take about 6,000 steps and maybe walk 2 miles. So this is a huge jump for me!! Nearly 5 times as many steps. And almost 12 miles?? Based on my Google Maps rough estimate, it's around 1.5 miles from Toontown to Paradise Pier, and my hotel was about a half mile from the entrance. What kind of crazy convoluted route must we walk around the parks to turn that into 12 miles?? I wish I could have tracked that on a map!

Active Minutes 

249 active minutes! 4 hours of activity?? Wow! Even if this gets a little skewed by rides (which I have a feeling the faster/bumpier rides might do), that's an insane amount of activity. From what FitBit says, active minutes are anything "more strenuous than regular walking" and I think needs to be at least ten minutes at a time. So not only am I walking all day, I'm booking it!

Calories Burned

This is my favorite. The more calories I burn, the more I can eat, right??? On a normal day, I burn about 1,700 calories (this is according to FitBit's calculations, but it seems about right). That's 700 free calories! Let's break it down...

Dole Whip = 90 calories (a steal!)
Churro = 240 calories
Mickey Ice Cream Bar = 330 (yikes)

I could eat all of three of these and still come in under the 700. 

Super Exciting Conclusion

Eat up!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Disneyland Bucket List

Its funny to think that after all my trips to Disneyland there are still things I haven't done/seen/eaten. I've compiled my Disney Bucket List below! (I didn't include seeing the new things for the 60th anniversary, because I plan on doing all of those soon!)

What's on your list?

5. Run Disney

There are three racing events (ranging from 5k to half marathon) that take place in Disneyland every year. There are more if you want to travel to Disney World or even Disneyland Paris. I always think about doing one, but then I remember I'm a terrible runner. I could possibly do a 5k, but I could also possibly finish dead last. 

But the medals you get for finishing these races are really too cute for words! And they give medals to kids who do the special "kids races" too.

4. Eat at Carthay Circle

I've been lucky enough to eat at Blue Bayou a few times, but I haven't been to the Carthay Circle yet. The menu looks amazing! Thick cut pork chop and California mushroom chili and onion fondue with dried cherries? A glass of Lasseter Family wine? Yes, please!

3. See Walt Disney's Apartment

I've never taken a tour at Disneyland before, and I'm usually not that interested - I'm pretty capable of getting myself around the park! But if you go on the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour, you actually get to go into Walt Disney's private apartment above the fire station!

2. Attend a 24 Hour Party

It looks completely insane. People line up and camp out only to wake up at the crack of dawn and brave impossible crowds, just to say they did it...these are my kind of people!

1. Stay in a Signature Suite at the Disneyland Hotel

Have you heard of these? There are 7 different themes (Adventureland, Ambassador, Big Thunger, Blue Sky, Mickey Mouse Penthouse, and Pirates of the Caribbean) and each suite can sleep 6 people. Each suite is also around $4,000 per night!!! But check out these pictures!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Homemade Dole Whip: Recipe and Results

So, I have always avoided trying my hand at homemade Dole Whip, even though it is my favorite of all Disney Treats. Why? Authentic Dole Whip is a nondairy soft serve dessert. It is made specifically as a mix for soft serve machines...In short: Unless you have the mix from Dole, and a soft serve machine, you can't make real Dole Whip. So, I've never tried any of the homemade recipes.

But then I started watching Disneyland's live stream of their new fireworks show and nighttime parade (both look amazing!!!). I've been looking at all kinds of pictures for how the park has decorated for the 60th anniversary. And, in all of that, I've gotten "homesick" and need some kind of Disneyland fix.

So, I decided to try to make my most favorite of all Disneyland treats: my beloved Dole Whip. 

I began to research. What did I find out? There are DOZENS of different recipes! I started to narrow them down: I don't have an ice cream maker, so those recipes are out! I want to make and taste them immediately, so those that require hours of waiting and freezing are out!

That left me with the following recipe:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks 
  • 3 tablespoons honey (I subbed with agave)
  • Ice as needed (I used about 1/2 cup)
Directions: Toss everything in the blender. Enjoy!

Yup! This was the recipe for me! So, in the blender everything went.

How did it turn out?

AMAZING!!!! Let's be clear, the consistency wasn't right. It was more of a smoothie. I put it in a freezer bag and tried to pipe it into cute bowls, the results weren't pretty:

Having said that THE FLAVOR IS SPOT ON! This is as close as you can get to a real Dole Whip in the comfort of your own home!

Now, the two bowls about was only about half the recipe, the other half went straight into my freezer where it sat for a little over an hour. Results: Consistency was the same. 

So, I did exactly what I didn't want to do. I put the Ziploc bag of leftovers in the freezer and went to bed. 

The next day, when I got my bag-o-Dole-Whip out, the consistency was way too firm. I let it sit on the counter and thaw for about 10 minutes, and this is what I got:

Big improvement, right!?! The consistency was more like a sorbet than soft serve. But again, it tasted like a Dole Whip, so I'm really not complaining!

Solutions for next time? Perhaps more ice in the blender to begin with...maybe the pineapple chunks could have been a little more frozen...maybe blend the pineapple, juice, agave/honey, and ice and then *fold* it into the Cool Whip. I'll have to try again soon.

But, honestly, for a first try, I'm considering this batch of imitation Dole Whip a rousing success!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Best Ride Evacuation

Imagine you're in Disneyland (ok, twist my arm). You've waited 45 minutes in line for your favorite ride, and now you're finally on and having a great time. Then - BAM - ride stops! The lights come up and the music stops just long enough for you to hear an announcement that the ride needs to be shut down and a cast member will be there to assist you shortly. NOOOOOO!!!!! 

This has happened to me a few times over my many (many, many, many) trips and I actually think it's fun! I've been evacuated off of Indiana Jones and got to walk right under the big rolling boulder. I've been evacuated off of Splash Mountain when I was practically at the top and got to walk down tons of stairs and end up backstage. But today I wanted to share the story of my best evacuation - off of the Pirates of the Caribbean!

Back in college I lived close enough to Disneyland to go whenever I wanted - and I wanted to go pretty much every Friday. This particular Friday, I went with two friends who had never been before. I was in my glory and so excited to show off my favorite place to newbies! We were having a good time, but I really wanted to get to show them something spectacular. I had no idea what was coming! 

Our last ride for the night was Pirates. When we got to the big room where the pirates have set the town on fire and are singing their little audio animatronic hearts out, we bumped the boat in front of us. I told my friends it was no big deal - there are always traffic jams on this ride. But it didn't clear up! We were sitting there for quite a while. All of a sudden the music stopped. Just the music. The pirates kept moving, and it was a little weird. That's when we got the announcement that the ride had broken down and we'd need to be helped out. 

Here's where it gets good. They turned the music back on and, since there was nothing else to do while we waited, everyone started singing along! The whole place was booming with voices that sang the chorus clear as day, but the verses came out sounding like "na na na na na na yo ho!" I've never heard anything like it. I loved every second!

Then came the cast members. Apparently we had passed the best evacuation spot and our boat needed to be pushed backward by hand! Cast Members in pirate outfits and rubber overalls came wading through the water and pushed our boat back about 20 feet so we could step out and climb the exit stairs, which I had never even realized were there. 

By the time all of this was done, the park had long closed. So instead of just taking us to the front of the ride so we could walk out, we were guided by cast members (still Pirates, but no rubber suit) through a path backstage all the way to the main entrance. This was before I was a cast member (I'll save those stories for another day!). I can't even describe how cool it was to see backstage. There were ride vehicles all over the place, half costumed cast members, and trailers for different departments all with cute Mickey signs on their doors. And my friends loved getting the more unusual experience!

I've got to tell you...I KNOW I have pictures that document this whole bizarre story, but this was back in 2002 or 2003. Most people didn't have digital cameras, let alone smart phones. I took pictures on a disposable camera and have no idea where they are! (Mom, I think I still have some photo albums at your house.) If I ever find them, I'll be sure to post them!

Have a cool ride evacuation story? Share with us!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Banyan Beef Skewers: Recipe and Review

Who loves the super spicy Banyan Beef Skewers at the Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland? They're one of my favorites!! I found the recipe and decided to test it out at home. I was pretty excited to see that I already had all of the ingredients in the house. Woohoo! 

Here are a couple things, based on my experience, that you might want to think about before making this for yourself so you don't have the same issues I did. 

1. A word of caution: this recipe makes a ridiculous amount of sauce! Unless you're going to make 20 skewers, cut it in least. 

2. I had a VERY hard time getting my sauce thick enough. I ended up adding quite a bit of flour which improved the thickness but messed up the texture. However, I'm not a great cook and may have been doing something wrong. 

3. I used very thick pieces of meat. They were delicious, don't get me wrong. But at Disneyland they use much thinner pieces and so my meat flavor to sauce flavor ratio was a little off.

3. That being said, the flavor of this sauce is SPOT ON. It was just like being at my favorite Bengal Barbecue and I'll definitely be making it again. 

  • Soy Sauce: 1 cup
  • Ground Black Pepper: 1 Tbsp
  • Cayenne (Red) Pepper: 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic Powder: 1 Tbsp
  • Sesame Seed Oil: 3 Tbsp
  • Water: 1 1/2 cups
  • Cornstarch: 3 TBSP
  • Wooden Skewers 
  • Beef Sirloin, cubed 

To Make:
  • Soak skewers in water for about 20 minutes. Pat dry and set aside. 
  • Slide 4-5 cubes of beef on each skewer. Place under your oven’s broiler for about 15-20 minutes until browned and completely cooked through. 

  • While beef is broiling make the sauce. Pour soy sauce into a medium sized saucepan. Add in seasoning and sesame oil. Stir well. Bring to a boil.
  • While waiting for sauce to boil, mix water and cornstarch in a small bowl with a fork.
  • Once sauce has come to a boil add in cornstarch mixture. Stir continuously over medium-high heat until thickened. Remove from heat. 

  • Place skewers on serving plate. Brush with thickened sauce. Serve any extra sauce in a dish for extra dipping.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Planning your first Disneyland Trip

Planning your very first Disneyland trip? So exciting!! We've put together our top ten tips to help you get ready. 

1. Number of Days

Each park can be done in a day. However, if you really want to get to see it all, I recommend 3 days (either park hopper or one park per day tickets will work!). If you have the time, try to get one more day so you can go back and get your favorite rides/shows one more time! 

2. Time of Year

Check out our rundown on the pros and cons of different times of year at Disneyland! Things to consider are crowds, heat, and and special events you might want to see. 

3. Know Your Kids' Heights

Check height restrictions before you go (it's all on Disneyland's website) and measure your kids. But don't be that parent who thinks they'll just sneak their kids on the ride anyway. The Cast Members are on to you! They'll flatten hair and take off hats. They're just trying to keep everyone safe - don't get mad. 

3. What's Most Important in a Hotel?

If you're like me, the hotel is really just a place to sleep and you want to stay close without breaking the bank. If that's the case, look into any hotel/motel on Harbor Blvd, across from Disneyland or California Adventure. 

If you're looking for a resort experience, then definitely stay at one of the Disney hotels! There are 3 - Paradise Pier (lowest end), Disneyland Hotel (mid-range but best theming in my opinion), and the Grand Californian (very high end). 

4. Plan a Souvenir Budget

Think about what kinds of things you might want to buy. A great way to find out about how much they'll cost is to browse around The pricing is about the same. Another thing to think about is what you can buy at home beforehand. I usually buy Disney shirts and small toys before the trip. However, on my next trip I know I'll want to buy more at the parks so I can get the awesome 60th anniversary merchandise :-)

5. Read Menus/Make Reservations

If you have picky eaters or people with dietary restrictions in your group, you should absolutely look on Disneyland's website and look at the restaurant menus. They're all available online! Then you can see if there are any restaurants that are or are not right for you. (Also, you can always talk to cast members while you're there about allergies/restrictions to see if they can accommodate you. They'll always try!)

While you're on the Disneyland site, check out which restaurants need reservations. Generally, you'll need one for the nicer restaurants (Blue Bayou in Disneyland and Carthay Circle in California Adventure) and any of the Character meals. Its super easy to make a reservation and you'll save yourself a lot of frustration.

6. Research/Use Fastpasses

Fastpasses are your friends! Check before you go which rides use Fastpass (hint: its mostly the big thrill rides, but there are also a few others) so you can plan your day accordingly. Get a fastpass as soon as you get into each park, and keep getting them as soon as you can get more.

Pro tip #1: You can hold fastpasses for 1 ride in Disneyland and 1 in California Adventure simultaneously. So if its one of those days where you run to the Radiator Springs Racers fastpass distribution first thing in the morning but it'll still be 3 hours before you can ride it, you can go over to Disneyland and pick up a fastpass there that hopefully you can use before you have to head back to the other park.

Pro tip #2: Fastpasses for shows don't count against the one ride fastpass you can have! No worries if you want to get a pass to see Fantasmic or World of Color! You can still get one for your favorite ride right after.

7. Make a Plan

At least for your first day, make a plan! Its a great idea to think about what rides you want to make sure you get on, what fastpasses you need, and what shows you want to see. That'll help you out until you get the lay of the land and the flow of your vacation. Then you can wing it with more confidence!

8. Prioritize Rides

Are there rides that are must dos for you? Are there some that you've heard about and just aren't terribly interested in? Prioritizing will help ensure that you get on/see the things that are most important. I hate to hear about people who didn't end up having time for that one big ride or that one show that they really wanted to see, because they ended up in an hour long line for Gadget's Go Coaster (great inter roller coaster for little ones, but otherwise totally skippable)!

9. See the Shows

Fantasmic and World of Color are wonderful ways to end your Disneyland day. Just don't forget to get a fastpass if you don't want to be able to get the best view. There's also Mickey and the Magical Map playing many times throughout the day at the Fantasyland Theater and street performers that you can find as you're walking by. Take the time to stop and see the shows for the total experience.

10. Check In With Us!!

Here at A Dole Whip A Day, we're here for you! Ask us questions any time. We'd love to help you out with your trip!
Email us at
Send us a message on Facebook 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Best Time of Year for your Trip

Disneyland is a year round destination to me. I would always go! But I often hear people asking about the best time to visit when it comes to rides, heat, etc. Here's my rundown of the pros and cons of the different times of year in Disneyland.


This is a great time of year if you can't take heat or crowds! I went in February this year and the lines were unbelievably short. It was great!! Hotels are cheapest during these months too. HOWEVER, this is the time of year when the most rides are closed for refurbishment. If this is your one big trip and you don't know if you'll be coming back, you might want to brave the crowds and go when more attractions are available so you don't miss out on things you'll want to see. 


Spring has more rides open and ready to go. They do an adorable Spring Roundup over at the Big Thunder Ranch where you can see characters dressed in spring clothes and they have some activities for kids. And, best of all, the Tabebuia trees are in bloom and they are gorgeous!! (Thanks to for the awesome pic!)

The only things to watch out for are spring break crowds and rain. Seriously, I feel like LA only gets rain in May. 


This is peak season! As many rides as possible are open, parades and fireworks are happening every day, the parks open early and close late, street entertainment happens most frequently. Because of all this, it's also the most crowded time of year, the hottest, and hotels are most expensive...especially around the 4thof July. But if you can handle crowds and heat, this really is the best time to go. 


Disneyland starts Halloween early. You can start finding decorations in mid-September and they're really fun to see! Main Street is decked out with jack-o-lanterns all over and you can find characters in costume over at the Big Thunder Ranch. Let's not forget the best part - Haunted Mansion Holiday!!! Jack Skellington and his crew take over the Haunted Mansion and it's incredibly fun. The Mansion closes for a couple weeks in early September, but then it stays open through early January. 

They do Mickey's Not SO Scary Halloween Party this time of year and that's either a plus or minus, depending on if you want to go. It's a separate ticket so if money is an issue, you'll want to skip it. But, it's the one time anyone can come to the parks in costume! Woohoo! If you're going, you'll have a blast. If you're not, check the park schedule in advance because they close early on party nights and you may want to plan around that.  


This is my personal favorite! The holiday decorations are beautiful. I love seeing the castle all lit up! Big Thinder Ranch has character dressed in holiday costumes, and you can even find Santa. There's an adorable Christmas parade, it snows after the fireworks,and you get to see the holiday version of Small World. The weather is usually fine (once I went in November and it was 85 degrees!) but crowds increase as you get closer to Christmas and are insane on New Years. (Hotel prices increase with the crowds, as usual.) 

There is a Christmas party with similar pros and cons to the Halloween one that you should look out for and decide if it's right for you. 

My Verdict

For me, mid-November is the best! The weather is nice, the crowds are low if its not Thankgiving week, and holiday decorations/attractions are ready to go. 

What's your favorite Disney time of year?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mary Poppins: The Musical Show Compared to the Movie

My favorite Disney movie...and possibly my favorite movie otherwise...has always been Mary Poppins! Watching it as a child, I fell in love with Mary and Bert's "jolly holiday" outfits and wanted to hang out with them and the dancing penguins! Watching it as an adult, I was shocked to discover all the hidden humor that kids completely miss. There are some great jokes in that movie! A movie made for the whole family to enjoy.

So, obviously, when I saw that the Broadway version of Mary Poppins was coming to my town, I was quick to recruit my Mary Poppins-loving mom to come with me and have an evening of practically-perfect fun!

Now, let's be clear, I didn't see this show on Broadway, or even in a major city. And, I'm not typing this to review the performances (which were great), or the theater (which was lovely). More than anything, I wanted to check out how the story compared to my favorite movie.

A couple of disclaimers: 
  1. I tried reading the original book by P.L. Travers. Twice. I couldn't get through it either time. Not sure why. I may very well try again.
So here it goes:

The show starts out almost identical to the movie. Word-for-word in some sections, which was's also possible that Disney took these words straight from the book. Who knows? (Not me! I couldn't finish the book...twice!) Katie Nana quits, the kids offer an advertisement for a new nanny, Mary Poppins arrives with the ad in hand, even after Mr. Banks tore it up.

Most every song from movie was included. (Notable exceptions being "Sister Suffreagette" and "The Life I Lead"...more on this later.) HOWEVER, these songs are not straight from the movie. Many have the chorus you know and love, with new verses to match the situations in the story. They are also in a differing order than the movie. But it flows for the story being told on stage.

There are a lot of changes, some worked and some didn't. There were statues that come to life replacing my beloved dancing penguins. But, I was okay with that. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious came from going to a store to buy an ounce of conversation, which ended up being letters in a basket put together to make this word...I didn't get that part so much. Maybe it came from one of the Mary Poppins books?? Anyone??

There were, however, some standout moments that were either amazing, or terrifying.

Let's start with terrifying, because (let's face it) it's more fun:
There is one scene where Jane and Michael fight over a toy and pull on it, damaging the toy. The kids go to sleep and wake up to discover that the toys in their room had come to life and, because the kids thought it was okay to mistreat them, now it was there turn to mistreat the kids. Creepy. Terrifying. Takes fear of clowns to a new level. No one in the audience knew what to do with this one...

Now on to the amazing: Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Remember I said earlier that their songs weren't in the play as they were in the movies? Here's why: Their characters have a much richer story-line in the play (again, possibly from the book...anyone??). Mr. Banks, as he tells it, was raised by the world's most amazing nanny, Miss Andrew. She taught him discipline and raised him to be the strong well-adjusted (ahem...emotionally distant, absent father) he is today. He is focused on a life of precision, order, power, and prestige. When Mary Poppins leaves mid-show (don't worry, she comes back, before her final good-bye at the end), Mrs. Banks finds Miss Andrew to come care for the children and prove to her husband that she can do well finding an appropriate nanny. Mr. Banks realizes that he has had selective memories about Miss Andrews (a *really* fun character), and this sparks the big change of heart that we all know he has at the end.

Mrs. Banks story-line is even better! She wants to be a doting mother. She doesn't want a nanny or servants, per se. It's at Mr. Banks insistence that she hires a nanny for her children. Mr. Banks is very concerned with how the he and his wife are seen in the public eye. He wants Mrs. Banks to give up her passions and hobbies to attend charity events and host tea parties with the "right" people. She sings a beautiful song about not knowing how to be the "Mrs. Banks" that he expects. Really fantastic stuff!

A side-note on the sets. It's hard to make magic come to life on stage with limited special effects that can be done. There was great use of giant digital screens that helped to bring a little Mary Poppins magic into the theater.

If Mary Poppins ends up in your town, go check it out! You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Best Disney Park Guests

Last time we talked about Worst Disney Park Guests, so today is all about those awesome guests you love to see and who make your vacation special! (I've got to was easier and a little bit more fun to talk about the people that make me crazy!)


This awesome Disney guest isn't going to use their fastpasses, so they find another group to give them to so they're not wasted. They're leaving early and don't want to take their balloon home so they give it away to a kid nearby. They love to make someone's day!

The Good Kind of Eavesdroppers  

You can't help but overhear conversations when you're in a long line. Everyone is squished together! Three cheers to the person who hears that you want to go to a ride that's closed, hears you questioning parade times, hears you talking about trying to get a ride on the Lilly Belle train car and pipes up with the answers to your problems! Finding out "Peter Pan is still closed for another month" can help you avoid a lot of disappointment when you show up in Fantasyland with little ones expecting a ride on a flying pirate ship!

Mr. "I'm waiting for my group"

Different from his evil twin who is always trying to catch up to people who may or may not exist, this guy sees that the rest of his friends are way behind him in line, so he steps to the side and lets other people pass by until his group has caught up. Thanks for not letting your family of 10 rush past the rest of us!

The Amateur Photographer 

We all love a good selfie and would never get in the way of that! I'm talking about when one family member is being left out of the perfect group shot in front of the castle so he can take the picture, and some unknown hero swoops in to take the shot so one day you can look analysts at your pics and say "Hey, I was there too!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Worst Disney Park Guests

We're usually pretty positive here at A Dole Whip A Day, but I was planning my upcoming trip and started thinking about those people you see at Disneyland (WDW, any Disney park!) that just make you groan. I thought they might need a special shout out today!


They say it right at the beginning of the ride. No flash pictures. Why would you do it???

Mr. "I'm meeting my friends up ahead"

We've all been there. You get separated, you had to take a kid to the bathroom, you ran to get a fastpass for the next ride. But this guy is different. You see him all day long and he's always walking up to the front of the line to "catch up to his friends," but you don't ever see those friends, do you? We're on to you, buddy!

Late for Fastpass Arguer

This has come up ever since they started enforcing fast pass return times. This person is hours late for their fastpass and will stand around and argue with the poor cast member, while everyone with a valid fastpass stands around waiting for their turn, hoping their fastpass doesn't expire in the mean time! (There's also a similar version - the person who doesn't have fastpasses for their whole group and tries to sweet talk their way onto the ride anyway.)

Stroller Bullies

They're pushing 80 pounds of kids and stroller, so you'd better get out of their way! Watch your heels!

Stroller Haters

They've met one too many Stroller Bullies, and now everything is the lady with the stroller's fault. Stuck behind a large crowd trying to leave fantasmic? Clearly all the fault of the stroller. Bad view for fireworks? Somehow the stroller that's only 3 feet high is to blame...loudly!

Who makes you crazy at Disneyland? Let us know!

Monday, May 11, 2015

DIY Sorcerer Mickey Ears

I've seen pictures of so many cute, custom Mickey ears lately, that when these instructions for a Sorcerer Mickey Headband came up in the Disney Parks Blog, I just HAD to try it for myself!

Now, I deviated from the instructions a little bit. To start, I used my own navy blue headband instead of covering a new one with blue felt. I have super thick hair and only certain headbands even have a chance of holding it back! Also, I used cardboard for the inside of the ears partly because I thought it might stand up a little better, and partly because I couldn't find the right foam at the craft store. But I followed the basic idea.

(You might be wondering, "What's with the hat??" I was thinking of putting ears on that too, but it hasn't happened yet. Another day, another blog!)

I started by finding a mug the right size for the ears. I used it to trace and cut out both the cardboard and the felt. I made 4 felt circles - 2 slightly bigger than my circle, and two the exact circle size. 

Then I hot glued the felt onto the ears (i used the slightly bigger circles first and wrapped them around before flying, then glued the smaller circle onto the back. 

Next I made a bow out of ribbon and glued it onto the center of the headband. Then, I glued on the ears. BE FOREWARNED: I'm not happy about the spacing of my ears. Make sure you have them in the right spot before you glue!

After that I cut my moon and star shapes out out craft foam that's adhesive on one side - so easy! They just stick in place without fear of burning my fingertips like with the glue gun.

That was it!! What do you think? What should I try next?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sandys Top 10 List

Sandy's Top 10 List

So, after covering our survey's top 10 Disneyland rides, and reading my sister's top 10 list, I knew I had to do mine as well. What I found was the top 5 in my list came really easily to me. It's my must-do list; those rides that I can do on multiple times a day without a second thought. After that, there were a whole lot of ties...It was *so hard* to put the rest of Disneyland's rides into order.

So here's the big thing I need to clear up before I start this list...Space Mountain isn't on it. It's not because I don't like the ride, I do. But, as I've mentioned before, I get really motion sick, and Space Mountain is a ride that I can't go on without motion sickness medicine. Even then, it can be iffy...

So, with that in mind, here it is!

10. Enchanted Tiki Room
I'm big on cheesy goodness, and singing along with audio-animatronic birds is as cheesy as it you can bring a Dole Whip inside! It's the perfect spot to enjoy Disneyland's best dessert.

9. Storybook Land
Honestly, this was a ride that I couldn't stand until I was older. Now, I am in awe of the care taken to ensure that every little plant throughout the villages and patchwork quilt are absolutely perfect! Of all of Disneyland's amazing landscaping, this is, by far, the crowning achievement...Plus, the ducks that hang out there look enormous next to all the tiny houses.

8. Indiana Jones Adventure
So, I do get motion sick on this ride, too. But, this is an amazing example Disneyland ride-making at its finest: the queue area is detailed and interactive, and the ride immerses you in the world of Indiana Jones from the very beginning. Any ride that makes you feel like you are realistically crossing over a rickety bridge, with fire blazing beneath you is okay with me...even if it does make me a little queasy.

7. Alice in Wonderland
Back to old-time Disney charm, this ride is so much more than some of the others in Fantasyland! The updates are fantastic and riding out the outdoor ramp (especially at night with the teacups all lit up) is so beautiful!

6. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
A thrill ride that doesn't make me sick? I can even sit in the back? I'm in! This is such a fun ride, especially with the new upgrades! 

5. Peter Pan's Flight
I take a lot of flak from my hubby for making him stand in a 40 minute line for such a short ride, but Peter Pan is magical! I will wait in line as long as it takes to board my flying pirate ship and soar over the twinkling lights of Neverland and the sights of London. And, with the announcement that Peter Pan's Flight is getting improvements similar to those of Alice in Wonderland, I cannot wait to see how much more magical it will become! PRO TIP: On Magic Morning days, run to Peter Pan first! You can get on the ride in 5-10 minutes!

4. Haunted Mansion
So, this was a difficult ride to place, because it's basically two rides in one: the original version, which I like, and the Nightmare Before Christmas make-over, which I LOVE! I ended up placing this ride in the middle of my rankings of the two versions. In either version, the stretching walls, and the cheesy spookiness make this ride great fun!

3. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
I can't stand video games, really of any kind. But this video game that immerses riders is such amazing fun! I love trying to get the hidden target on Zurg...and this is the only ride that you hope to get stopped mid-ride because (unlike Toy Story Midway Mania in DCA) you can rake in the points while you're waiting!

2. Pirates of the Caribbean
A classic! And, the last ride personally supervised by Walt Disney. It's easily a ride that I can go on multiple times in one day, without getting the slightest bit bored! Plus, the fun music, the different stories told throughout, and the 15 solid minutes of glorious air conditioning makes this ride a must!

1. Splash Mountain
This is what I consider to be "the complete Disney package." It has fun songs, beautiful decor, great storytelling, and enough dips, drops, and splashes to keep riders on their toes! Easily, my favorite ride at the park!

So, those are my top 10...I know there are a lot on there to discuss (and disagree with)! So, feel free to comment with your top 10!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Melanie's Disneyland Top 10

I'll be honest, it was easy to pick my 10 favorite rides. Picking what order they'd go in, on the other hand, was brutal! I've renumbered 3 times already! But I was so excited to read the "Voters' Top 10," I just had to make my own list!

10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
It's exciting without being scary, and the new effects during the last hill are amazing! This is a "must do" every time.

9. Indiana Jones
I love how immersive this ride is. You're in the story the second you step in line! Plus lots of excitement, fire, and the Indiana Jones theme song (does anyone else sing along?).

8. Tiki Room
Speaking of singing along.... Home of birds that sing words, flowers that croon, and dole whips! It's something that, while not thrilling in any way, consistently puts a smile on my face. 

7. Matterhorn
Awkward bobsled seating aside (NEVER ride when in a skirt, btw), this ride is a classic and a Disneyland exclusive! I am beyond excited to see how the yeti has been updated. Who knows, it may get bumped higher on my list!

6. Alice in Wonderland
I can't begin to tell you how much I love the "enhancement" this ride went through last year. It's the perfect combination of the original, classic ride with technological upgrades that really give it something special. 

5. Jungle Cruise
I'm such a sucker for cheesy jokes! I know what's coming, and I still laugh like an idiot every time! (Lower your head and watch your step. If you miss your step and bump your head, watch your language. There are children everywhere.)

4. Star Tours
Here's another one where the update really took it to the next level. It's the same basic ride (which has always been one of my favorites), but you get a little something different every time. Plus, who doesn't want to be the rebel spy?

3. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
When Buzz first opened, I was very skeptical! Why make a ride that's a video game? I don't like video games. But I'll be the first to admit I was wrong! I love the competitive atmosphere, the strategy, the cute aliens. This ride has it all - plus a free photo at the end. Score!

2. Splash Mountain
Zip-a-dee-do-dah! I love the songs, I love the characters, and I love the drops! There is nothing bad about it! 

1. Space Mountain 
Space Mountain is just my favorite. Hands down! (Because I'm afraid to put them up!) It's fast, it's dark, and it makes me smile. 

Stay tuned for Sandy's top ten next time!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Voter's Top 10

Disneyland's Top Rides, Part 1:
Fan Favorites

Last week, I posted an online survey, asking Disneyland fans of all ages for their top 5 Disneyland rides. I didn't include shows...I didn't include parades...This was rides only. 

From everyone's top rides, there was a clear 10 rides that stood out. (Okay, okay, there are more than 10 on this list. There were plenty of ties and I know that I'm not presenting this in "proper" format...But mostly, I wanted to talk about Disneyland rides, and more rides are more fun than 10 rides, right?) 

Did your favorites make the list? Read on to find out!

#10: The Disneyland Railroad

I love that the railroad made the list! It's not only a practical way to get around the park after a long day when feet are aching, but when Walt Disney was brainstorming Disneyland, it was one of his first ideas! He said, "It should be like nothing else in the world. And it should be surrounded by a train."

#9 (tie): Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

This is a fantastic pick because it's such an interactive ride! There are tricks to scoring high and hidden targets to find...It's a new ride each time!

#9 (tie): Jungle Cruise

As much as people groan over the cheesy jokes...and the backside of water, there is something really charming and fun about this classic ride. Plus, the best skippers improvise well. My favorite line? [Skipper pulls out his gun] "I'm going to scare off this animal the only way I know how...[waves gun] HEY! DO YOU WANT TO MOVE IN WITH ME? Sigh, works every time."

#8 (tie): Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
Umm...I'm just going to admit it...The ride makes me phenomenally motion sick and I don't have much to say. But anything related to Star Wars is fun, right?

#8 (tie): "it's a small world"

Yes, the song's repetitive, I know. But it's also catchy! And it's nearly 15 straight minutes of air conditioned goodness! On a hot day, that's worth its weight in gold! Plus, I love all the Disney movie characters who have been hidden in their appropriate locations around the world!

#7: Peter Pan's Flight

I don't care if this ride is under a minute, Peter Pan is magical! I will stand in line for 40 minutes to soar high above the twinkling lights. I cannot wait to see how the ride has been updated!

#6: Matterhorn Bobsleds

With Harold the Abominable Snowman growling at you, a slightly different ride whether you choose the left or right side of the line, and the occasional mountain climber on his/her way to the top, this is an attraction that is pure Disneyland

#5: Splash Mountain

A great choice! It has a great final drop, plenty of chances to get wet on a hot day, lots of memorable songs, and great decor throughout. This is what I consider a "complete" ride. It really has it all! PRO TIP: People avoid Splash Mountain during colder climates, but the water level is adjusted during those months so riders get less wet. So, if you are at the park in winter, enjoy the minimal line and get ready for some fun!

#4 (tie): Indiana Jones Adventure

Despite how often this ride breaks down, Indiana Jones Adventure is great fun! Board your jeep and enjoy your ride through fiery bridges, past flying darts, and under giant boulders. Even the area for those in line are intricate and detailed! PRO TIP: Did you know that the symbols carved in the walls actually spell out information about the ride? It's true! When the ride first opened, guests were given special cards with the key to read the inscriptions!

#4 (tie): Space Mountain

There's something about taking a thrill ride, moving it indoors, and turning out all the lights that just makes it an instant classic. Add music perfectly matching every turn and drop, and it's no surprise why there is always a wait for Space Mountain!

#3: Haunted Mansion

Whether you prefer the traditional Haunted Mansion or it's September-January "Nightmare Before Christmas" make-over, this ride is a must-do! Both cheesy and spooky at the same time, true fans can recite the narrations with your Ghost Host, and can show you the hidden Mickey in the ballroom scene. FUN FACT: Madame Leota is played by Leota "Toombs" Thomas in the traditional Haunted Mansion...and by her daughter Kim Irvine in the "Nightmare Before Christmas" version!

#2: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This "Wildest Ride in the Wilderness" is sometimes forgotten at the park, and I'm glad to see it made the list! This western, runaway-train coaster has had some upgrades recently, including the dynamite room which is amazing! PRO TIP: The front of the train is *significantly* slower than the back of the train, so depending on how much of a "thrill" you prefer in your thrill rides, you may want to request either the front or back of the train. 

#1: Pirates of the Caribbean

Well done, survey-takers! You picked a fantastic #1 choice...and I love that you went with a classic ride over a thrill ride. Some people will tell you that Pirates of the Caribbean only became a destination ride following the popularity of the movies...Don't you believe it! True Disney fans have considered this ride a must all along. It is not only the longest Disneyland ride, but takes riders down waterfalls, through villages, onto burning ships...there is a full story woven into this classic attraction!

What do you think of our survey results? Did you top ride make it to the top of our reader's-choice list? Let us know!