Monday, February 22, 2010

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

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If you’re trying to decide between staying on-site or off-site during your own Disney vacation, you should know that there are lots of factors to consider. I, however, only considered one factor: Disneyworld has a value hotel that sports a Toy Story theme. That’s all I needed to book our room. (Well, that and I found an internet code that saved us more than 40% off the already reasonable off-peak price.)

Sam LOVES Toy Story right now—I mean, he LOVED it then. Right now he’s on a Star Wars kick. But I was glad to pay just a little extra in order to request a room in the Toy Story building of the resort, even though we were still not be guaranteed a room in that building. It was soooooo worth it!

When you arrive at the resort, you are welcomed into the lobby via a red carpet. The coolest thing about the lobby is that there is a small open theater for children to wait in while a parent stands in the sometimes very long line to check-in. Buses run from the hotel to all the parks and we used the buses on and off. (Let me know if you need any advice on whether to drive into the parks or take Disney’s transportation. I do have some pointers.) We were pretty pleased with our room. We’d certainly stay there again, but next time we’re looking forward to staying in one of the fancy resorts. (I’m already saving for that splurge!)


And here’s what made our building extra special! The courtyard between the Woody building and the Buzz building is actually Andy’s room. Well, you know. Not actually. Check out these cool photos and be sure to notice the scale of the toys. Very cool!

DSC_0628DSC_0336DSC_0339DSC_0334 DSC_0337 I think my favorite part of the resort was the toy soldier buckets that enclosed the stairs at the ends of each building along with the army men that were positioned along the roof. I couldn’t take enough photos of those gorgeously huge buckets! (Can you find Sam in one of the photos?)

DSC_0328DSC_0327DSC_0145DSC_0329DSC_0638DSC_0640 There are lots of other goodies offered by the resort. If you’re interested or on the fence about where to stay, let me know and I’ll hook you up with more info.

Oh, I almost forgot to show you the HEATED pool. I was very sad that I forgot my swimsuit, even after packing Sam’s and reminding Scott to pack his.


Writing these posts is making my heart ache for our next vacation!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two of My Favorite Things

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I love these photos that I took in Epcot.  Mainly because they feature two of my most favorite things.  I had fun playing around with depth of field with this gorgeous model.

    DSC_0458 DSC_0459 DSC_0456DSC_0455DSC_0460 DSC_0454

I mean, seriously. Sam AND a truckload of Coke.  The only thing better would be my hunky husband driving said truck home for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preparing for Disney 2010

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Preparation for Disney began sometime last summer when I read someone else’s blog post about their trip.    They talked about going to a character breakfast and the characters from Little Einsteins were there.  That little spark was all it took for my to start imagining Sam meeting his girl June! 

There are so many resources out there to help you plan your own trip.  Before I start sharing our adventure, I thought I’d let you know what my very favorite sources were.  At the end of all my Disney posts, I’ll also share a few things we learned throughout this whole, wonderful experience.

Without further ado, my recommendations for great information:

(Titles are clickable!)

1.  We actually carried The Unofficial Guide to WDW with Kids 2010 into the parks with us…it is THAT good.  The ride recommendations and descriptions were spot on (just ask Scott about “Dinosaur.”) and helped us decide what our priorities were for each day in each park.

2.  If you buy the Unofficial Guide, you get free membership to an incredibly helpful website by the authors of the book,  You can find information about wait times, crowd sizes and soooo much more!  Even if you don’t buy the book, it’s worth the paid subscription!

3.  My goal was to save as much money as I could to cover expenses and the cost of the trip.  For that goal, I turned to extreme couponing ala Jenny from Southern Savers and Kristin from Couponing to Disney.  There were several other blogs that I was following, but it was too overwhelming.  I paired my list down to just these two because they were really the most helpful.

4.    Click here to check out Kristin’s “Training for Disney” posts.  Her great advice helped us make some decisions while planning our trip. 

5.  For the best deals on tickets and accommodations head over to these two great sites: and

There are TONS of resources out there to help you plan.  For what it’s worth, these are the ones I used, LOVED, and recommend.

If you have favorite sites, please share.  I’m already scheming and thinking about next time!


Oh, and just to get things started, I’ll tell you about day 1 of our trip.  We actually drove to my college roommate’s house to spend our first night.  She lives about an hour from WDW so it was a great opportunity to spend time with her awesomely cool family!  While we enjoyed a fabulous dinner, Sam played hard with Jackson and Zach. I don’t think he even knew we were there…until bedtime that is!  Sam just adored playing with the boys!  We can’t to see them again!  Here are a few shots of Sam playing with the boys.  By the time I got the camera out Sunday morning, the boys were heading out to play football, so most of the pictures are of Sam. Imagine that.

Day 1 and 2 

The next morning, we headed to Orlando to begin our Disney adventures at Epcot.  But I’ll save that for the next post!

Monday, February 15, 2010


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This is me...refusing to let Facebook kill my blog. I think that's why I don't write here as often as I used to. It's so quick and easy to share things over there. But that may be due to the fact that I'm visiting there so much. I'm changing that, too.


So, I opened up this post because something funny just happened and I wanted to write about it. By coming here, I can tell you about a few funny moments today. Well, you know, funny to me, anyway.

1) Scott and I are sitting in Chic-fil-A, both of us on out laptops, "closely" watching Sam play in the playground area. I've been watching the sweetest family across the way sign to each other. The little boy, playing in the play area with Sam must be about Sam's age (almost 4) signs back and forth to his Mom through the glass. I think Mom is deaf, and the little boy may be. Or he could just be really quiet. There is also another, older little boy who showed up to play (turns out, he's a brat, but he does it with such a sweet voice) about 10 minutes ago. While I was in there talking to Sam, the other little boy was talking to his Mom through the glass.
The brat turned to me and said: She told him to go play.
Me: Oh, she did?
Brat: Yeah, I understand glass talk.
Me: Glass talk?
Brat: Yeah, talking through the glass.
Me: Oh, I see.

You may not be laughing but I cracked up. Besides being a cute thing to say, kids who know it all crack me up!

Oh, and by the way, I call him a brat because he held the door for his little sister, then wouldn't hold it open for Sam. He explained to me, very politlely, that he was told to only hold the door open for his sister. Brat.

2) As Sam and I were leaving the house earlier, I threw a clean shirt on him. He looked down at the shirt and said "Cool! The Bumblebees!" No, honey, that would be the Beatles. We both laughed and then Sam pointed to his shirt and the front door and said, trying to make a joke, "The Doors!" Well, actually, Sam... :)

3) Sam got very lucky last week in Florida because we let him sip on our drinks often to give him just enough energy to get through the long days. So I shouldn't be shocked that he just came out of the play area and took a sip of Scott's drink. As he turned to go back in, I said "Whoa! What, are you gonna just start sipping our drinks now Mr.?" to which he relied "Yeah." and returned to the play area.

Oh, look. The brat is "glass talking" to his mom now. Cute.

4) This morning, as Sam was heading down the hallway, I said something about remembering to brush his teeth. He turned, and with the cutest, most appropriate, puzzled facial expression said "Mom, are you talking to me?" Oh, I don't know where he gets his keen sense of humor from!

So, there's a few of the moments that made me laugh today. They're probably all "had to be there" moments, but whatever. Oh, I wish I could remember to write down even half of the things Sam says or does in a day that crack me up!

How do you keep up with your kid-isms? Or do you forget just like me?

Something Disney This Way Comes

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Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!  Just a note to let you know that we’re back from Florida and I’m working on a series of posts to document our trip so that I don’t ever forget a single, wonderful, fun memory! In the meantime…

valentine card for blog