Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Last Minute Disney Touches for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Are you ready? Wish you were spending the holiday braving lines at Disneyland instead of lines at the grocery store (I did that today...it was unpleasant)? We've scoured the Internet (by Internet, we mean the amazing Disney Family blog, who gets credit for all photos) to find you the best last minute Disney touches to add to your Thanksgiving! All you need is a printer, scissors, and tape. These are top five our faves. Just click the links to get the full downloads and instructions.

Let Mickey and Minnie take a little stress out of your planning with this adorable to do list. 

When I saw these labels, I first thought it was perfect for setting up a Thanksgiving buffet, but the Disney Family blog actually suggests using them to label leftover that you pack up for people. Fun!

This is a favorite of mine because it's so unexpected! First of all, Pluto is very underplayed in my opinion, so I like to see him getting some love. Secondly, what a great use of butternut squash! This is truly the perfect decoration. 

Pretend you're on your Disney vacation and wear your ears with pride! Just print, cut, and tape!

End your night on a sweet note with this Mickey box. It's just the right size to hold a few candies (candy corn??) to serve after dinner or give away as little goody bags. 

Do you add any Disney touches to your Thanksgiving? We'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Disneyland Resort Holiday Update

The holidays are in full swing at the Disneyland Resort! From ride overlays to enormous Christmas trees, we've checked it all out and are ready to report back to you!

Holiday Rides

Haunted Mansion Holiday has been up since Halloween, but now it's joined by It's A Small World Holiday and The Jingle Cruise. 

Haunted Mansion Holiday is my absolute favorite with its absurd attention to detail. Check out the long list running down the front of the mansion with Jack's "Christmas Formula." Total perfection!

It's A Small World Holiday it quite a sight to see! If you love Christmas, this is for you. If you get overwhelmed easily...you might want to take a pass. But it's beautiful from the outside!

I missed the Jingle Cruise by a couple days this year, but I've been on it before and it's adorable! The jungle is covered in decorations and the skippers have seasonal corny jokes. What could be better?

Decorated Lands

Just around the corner from the Nightmare Before Christmas scene at the Haubted Mansion is this beautiful Mardi Gras inspired decor in New Orleans Square. 

Toontown was really beautifully done this year with garlands, bows, and lights on every building! 

Cars Land has some of the best themed decorations around! Garlands made from filters and tires hang across Route 66 and each little area has additional decorations. There's a decorated tree made of orange cones at the Cozy Cone and there is a shiny silver tree decorated in old records at Flo's. 

Grizzly Peak has different decorations all over, all in a very natural, rustic style with lots of pine cones and bows. It's beautiful and understated. I loved it all!

Adding the Holidays to the Diamond Celebration

Main Street doesn't have the usual decoration setup that it's had for the past few years. 

The epically tall Christmas tree is still sitting at the Town Square end of Main Street and is as impressive as ever. However, the garlands that usually go across Main Street are missing this year (rumor has it they're too low for the tall Pain The Night Parade floats to pass under). 

Decorated wreaths have been placed around the "diamond Ds" that go along Main Street. 

The Castle is still in all of its Diamond Celebration glory! No winter castle this year, which is a bummer, but I love the diamond decorations so much that I don't mind missing it this year! Plus, they added a pretty cool ornament garland/wreath just so you know they didn't completely ignore the traditions of this time of year. 

What do you think of this year's decorations what would you life to see them do next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Great Tip for Saving Money on your Disney Vacation!

If you know me, you know that two of my favorite things are Disney and Target! Today I was able to combine my faves to save me money on my upcoming Disneyland vacation!

What you need:

1. Target Red Card
2. Patience
3. Planning

How to Save:

You get 5% off of ANY purchase at Target with a Red Card, including gift cards!! Before going to the store, I looked at how much Disneyland tickets were going to cost me. I need 3 day passes, and this time I'm trying 1 park per day to save a little $$. For 2 adults and 1 child (my youngest is still under 3 and doesn't need a ticket - woohoo!), my total would be $694. 

So I need $700 in Disney gift cards. Here's the slightly annoying part; Target only sells $50 Disney gift cards. I guess it's better than $25s! So I had to buy 14 gift cards... the cashier was very confused, but was pretty excited to hear my plan. After my 5% discount, I saved $35! I'll take it!!!

Using the Gift Cards:

I went to www.disneygiftcard.com to register my cards. Here's where the patience was needed. I had to register each card by typing in the account number and security code. You can only have 5 cards registered at a time, so after I input each card, I immediately transferred the balance onto the first card I entered, and deleted the empty one. The transferring and deleting was incredibly simple. It was just a time consuming process with 14 cards! 

Then all I had to do was buy my tickets online with the one gift card that held the entire $700 balance. 

NOTE #1: The Disneyland app doesn't seem to let you pay with gift cards. Use the website instead if you don't want to buy at the ticket booths when you get there. 

NOTE #2: Just so you know, you'll get an email from the gift card website each time you add a card, transfer a card balance, or delete a card. I finished all of that work only to find 39 unread emails in my inbox to sort through! 

What I'd do Differently Next Time:

Next time I'd plan ahead! I could pick up a Disney gift card every time I'm at Target and pay for my whole next trip this way. 5% isn't bad on an entire Disney vacation! Also, doing it more slowly would save me the irritation of trying to input, transfer, and delete ONE MILLION gift cards all while my dinner is cooking. I still may do it! I have a couple days to make another Target run. I could buy a few more gift cards to get 5% off my meals and souvenirs.