Friday, November 30, 2012

Ready to Run!

Last month, I completed my 3rd half marathon - 13.1 miles.  My husband and I participated together in the D.C. area race, the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon.  It started at Mt. Vernon (George Washington's Alexandria, VA home) and ran towards National Harbor, MD.  National Harbor was going to be the D.C. home of a DVC resort, but sadly, Disney bailed.  We do have a Gaylord so if we were dying for a character meal, we could have dinner with Shrek, but something about that just doesn't seem too appetizing...

I digress

That run was to get me in shape post baby (5 months after Z was born) and to motivate me for my next Disney Half Marathon - Princess Half Marathon in February!  And, while I'm still happy to be a member of the WDW Radio Running Team, I'm running with the Magical Blogorail Running Team this time.  We're a smaller team with our first goal is just to come together as Disney loving runners (or run/walkers, as the case may be!) while also supporting two great causes!

We'll be making shirts very soon in order to be ready for Marathon Weekend (hopefully) and definitely ready for Princess or any other races.  We want to only order once for the coming year - we can order again in the future, but not before the 2014 races.  If you are thinking of joining us with this great team, please email with any questions, or just to say you want to join!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Safety Tat Review!

A few months ago, a reader asked if I knew a good way to have children labeled for safety.  What would you do if your child was separated from you?

There are a few options -
  1. A leash.  They're tempting, aren't they?  But, those are a no in my house.. My husband would rather run after our almost 3 year old than use one, so I leave that job up to him!
  2. A beaded necklace/bracelet with name/number in beads.  A good idea for girls, but not necessarily younger girls - beads are definitely a choking hazard, so be careful!
  3. Writing their names in their clothes.  And hopefully someone who finds them can realize that it's hidden on their tags.
Safety Tats are fantastic - Kids love temporary tattoos and the smart parents at Safety Tats combined the need for keeping connected with their parents and a fun tattoo together.  

For reviewing purposes, I chose to sample the SafetyTat QR - the safety tat that also has a QR code to hold extra information!

I found this one to be ingenious!  Everyone (okay, most everyone) these days has a qr scanner on their smart phones, so not only will you find the emergency contact number on the tattoo, but you can add extra information, such as allergies, disabilities  or maybe just a second or 3rd contact number!  

Actually, Safety Tat has come up with special tattoos for medical alerts and they can all have different designs!  There are so many great options for these tattoos!

With the SafteyTat QR, you have to give your information (up to 90 characters) when you're ordering and it will all be entered into the system.  The first thing we did when we received our SafetyTats was check the QR scanner - and it worked perfectly!  

We headed out to an air show with much less fear than normal that Noah would get lost!  He's always running to or from somewhere, so keeping an eye on him can be tricky!

We made sure to let him know that with SafetyTats,  he had the information on his arm.  Not only for one day, because these temporary tattoos will last multiple days.  Actually, my husband decided to try to take it off that night during Noah's bath and he couldn't get the whole thing off!

Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of Noah wearing it.  Why?  Because my husband put it on and took it off without my knowledge and with a newborn at home, I didn't remember to bring my camera to the airshow...   but TRUST me.  These are a great and inexpensive way to give your child emergency contact information in an easy to find place.

If you order now and use the code HOLIDAY2012, you can save 20% through December 5th.

BUT, one lucky reader will have the opportunity to win a pack of SafetyTat Quick Stick Write On-Multi 3 pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway **SafetyTatsQR were provided to me for reviewing purposes but all opinions are 100% my own.**

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Disney English!

I know that Disney is big everywhere.  With 3 parks already in Asia (Hong Kong/Tokyo) and a 4th being built in Shanghai (in the same district our hotel was in but too far away to get to in such a limited time), it's no surprise that I saw trinkets and Mickey Mouse in many places.
Picture stolen from a coworker.  Thanks, Tom!
But, what I learned is that Disney is more than just the amusement - it's a school!  Disney English is a private school for Chinese parents to take their young children to learn English.  I was told that it is important for both children and parents to speak English at a decent level for the children to start at a good school.  Though I can't imagine being tested for my child to start school, it is part of the education process here and Disney has stepped in to help!

I wonder if they teach M-I-C-K-E-Y to help with the alphabet...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Disney Guru Travel News and Deals– Week of November 26, 2012

Hello Disney Babies Blog readers! This week is full of Disney news and deals. If you are interested in planning your Disney vacation contact us today! We have a Cyber Monday deal that is good for the new few days. Be sure to let us know that Disney Babies Blog sent you! 

What's New

The holiday season has arrived at the Walt Disney World® Resort!

Holiday entertainment for 2012 includes the seasonal debut of Castle Dream Lights at Magic Kingdom® Park, which makes Cinderella Castle shimmer with 200,000 white lights nightly. Also at Magic Kingdom Park, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place on select nights. Guests with party tickets can enjoy holiday stage shows, complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, holiday fireworks, a special parade and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Park you can enjoy the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes and a light snowfall. This Disney holiday tradition can be seen on the Streets of America in the Backlot area of the Park through Jan. 6, 2013.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow To Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, an attraction that’s coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, will officially open on Dec. 6 (soft open in late November). This new offering will immerse your Clients in all the action and adventure of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series.

In the attraction your will journey deep into an eerie lost grotto, where a mysterious pirate skull puts them to the test to see if they have what it takes to set sail with the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow. Along the way, they must face all the perils of a pirate’s life as their favorite moments from the films come to life before their eyes.
Universal's Islands of Adventure®
Right next door you can catch the music and festivities of Grinchmas™, as Seuss Landing™ in Universal's Islands of Adventure is transformed into a wintry wonderland. You won’t want a miss the heartwarming live show starring The Grinch™, the Wonky Tree Lot, strolling Whos, and a chance to get your picture taken with the mean green one himself.
It's can't-miss holiday fun and entertainment for every member of the family - and it's only at Universal Orlando Resort.

Disney Discounts
Walt Disney World
Stay, Play, Dine & Save Package-For a family of four on a 5-night/6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels! For stays most nights 1/2-3/7/13. Book now through 12/31/12. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package for 2 Adults, 1 Junior and 1 Child. Tickets are for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use.
No group rates or other discounts apply. Offer excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas, and is not valid at Disney's Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. Advance reservations required. Excludes gratuities and alcohol. Children age 3–9 must order from the children's menu, if available. Some Table-service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.
Military Discount - Active duty and retired members of the US military can get specially discounted rooms at the Disney resorts most nights from October 1, 2012 – September 28, 2013 except November 22, 2012 through November 24, 2012; December 23, 2012 through December 31, 2012; and March 25, 2013 through April 4, 2013. Service members can also get up to (6) 4-day Park Hopper tickets for just $156.00 at their base ticket sales office.
Disney Cruise Line
Kids Sail FREE on select 6 and 8 Night DisneyCruise sailings out of Galveston. Book a 4A-11B stateroom from January 4-March 1, 2013 with two paid adults in the room and kids 17 and under sail for free.
Special Verandah Offer On Galveston Sailings Book a verandah stateroom (categories 5A-7A) for the price of an oceanview stateroom (categories 9A-9D) on most 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, Sept. 22–Dec. 21, 2012.

Military Discount Special military rates available for cruises through December 2012. As low as $60 per guest per night! Rates vary by cruise.
Stay 6 Nights for the Price of 5 at Aulani with $150 One-Time Resort Credit
At Aulani Disney Resort & Spa, you can enjoy many inclusive features – from entertainment to amazing water features to special activities just for kids and more! There's something to delight every member of the family.

For a limited time, when you book  a six-night stay, you will get one of those nights free! And you will also receive a one-time Resort credit of $150! Book this special offer Nov. 15, 2012 – Jan. 15, 2013, for stays most nights from Jan. 8 – Feb. 15 and Feb. 19 – March 10, 2013.* A five-night minimum length of stay is required.

Universal Studios Discounts
Save and Play Getaway - Save up to $350 on a Universal Orlando®Vacation PackageA 4-night vacation include on-site hotel room, park tickets and free Express Pass for a family of four starts from $1,509 tax inclusive


Want to take the thinking out of your Disney Vacation Planning? Let us do the work for YOU! Contact us today for your FREE no-obligation quote.   Click hereto see why everyone is booking their Disney vacation with WDW Guru Travels. Planning is when the magic begins!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trivia Tuesday!

Welcome back for more Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia with hosts Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Mike from My Dreams of Disney, and Heidi from Heidi Says.

Did you know:
The voice actors behind the characters of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (and all animated cartoons) do more work than only the one show.  For example:  Minnie Mouse, Russi Taylor, also voices several characters on the Simpsons, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and was even Huey, Dewey, and Louie for Ducktales!
The one I recently realized was discovered only by chance - Noah's (almost 3) new favorite show is Curious George.  I noticed that Chef Pisghetti sounded a lot like MMCH Pete, and what do you know - both are voiced by Jim Cummings (who also voiced Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for a 2011 tv series).

Top 5 for a 2 year old Boy

Our next trip, my boys will be 3 and 10 months, so I'll be seeing for the first time what can really catch the eyes of a 3 year old (I've been at 6 and 13 months, so I have a pretty good guess what the 10 month old would be doing.. dark rides!).  We'll see if anything is similar!

  1. Walt Disney World Railroad - At 2, life was all trains.  Our magical ride around the Magic Kingdom was definitely a highlight of our trip!
  2. Train Set in the German Pavilion - More trains?  Make sure to stop in the Germany Pavilion
  3. Tomorrowland Speedway - I have yet to experience this one with Noah.  I was pregnant last time, but hopefully he'll still enjoy it as much.  He still asks to drive the orange car!
  4. Mad Tea Party Tea Cups - Starting at 18 months, this was a ride more-than-once attraction!
  5. Being with Friends - Both real and costumed, Noah loved meeting Pluto and dancing with Goofy, but he also loved visiting with my best friend's daughter, Piper!  They ran around like old friends, though they hadn't seen each other since they were babies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mickey Mouse Wednesday!

Joining in on the Wordless Wednesday Theme This week - celebrating Mickey's birthday!  Both Mickey and Minnie are celebrating their 84th birthday, as this is the 84th anniversary of Steamboat Willie!

Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it!

WDW Marathon Weekend Family 5k 2012
Begging to meet Mickey and Minnie June 2011

Hidden Mickey, Grand Floridian Lobby
Hope you enjoyed!!  Hop along and share your favorite Mickey pics!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tiggerific Trivia Tuesday!

Always - thanks to Jodi, Heidi, and Mike for cohosting this great blog hop!  I hope you enjoy the trivia and join in on the fun!

I thought about this one as I was flying back from China on a great Delta 767!

Did you know:
Delta Airlines used to be known as the official airline of Walt Disney World and also sponsored a ride in Tomorrowland.  If You Had Wings (from 1972) turned into Delta Dreamflight, after a brief period as If You Could Fly, in 1989.  After the sponsorship ended in 1995, the ride removed all of the Delta references, opened as Dreamflight than Take Flight, and finally closed in 1998.  In it's place, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters opened!

About Me Monday!

Not only am I a blogger for this fun little Disney blog, but I've also starting blogging for my day job - the U.S. Army band.
Shanghai- Pudong district at night!

Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to share my day in Shanghai - Several of us have taken a day from our China trip and shared our personal stories.

I hope you'll enjoy mine!

Shanghai Free Life!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Excited to see...

I have to admit that I've never spent too much time in the China Pavilion at EPCOT.  I'm sure I've walked around in the past, but I can't remember more than a stop in the stores, a photo op with Mulan, and a bad counter service meal.  While spending 10 days in China, I visited many amazing sites, such as the Great Wall, Tieneman Square, and The Forbidden City, but one amazing attraction I didn't get to see were the Terra Cotta Soldiers.
The Temple of Heaven Picture courtesy of

In the Xin dynasty, the emperor created an Imperial Guard.  Made from Terra Cotta, there are thousands of soldiers, horses - warriors - there to protect.  These were unearthed by farmers in 1974 and to this day, there are still unearthed plots for future generations to excavate in the city of Xi'an.  We were only in 3 major cities - Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai (new capitol, old capitol, amazing metropolis city) , so a trip to Xian wasn't in the cards for this trip.
Image from - Real Terra Cotta Warriors

Luckily, after researching to compare what I was seeing in China versus what I can see at the pavilion, I realized that there is a small version of the Terra Cotta Soldiers to see.  I'm sure that I somehow knew that and it may have sparked my interest in visiting Xian, but I can't wait to actually see them now that I've learned so much more about the culture and country!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brave for Me and You!

The other day, my husband accidentally ordered an extra copy of Brave on BluRay/DVD from Amazon.       I thought about returning it or giving it to my niece for Chanuka, but I decided.. nah.  I'll give one away on the blog!! So, now is your chance!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey - Is there A Disney in Beijing??

No.  There never has been a Disney property in Beijing (though they are currently building in Shanghai).  But, I heard that question several times on bus ride to The Great Wall of China on my trip to China last month.

As we're driving along the nice country road to the part of the Great Wall that were visiting, we noticed an oddly Disney-like property.. abandoned buildings, but the grays and blues very familiar to Disney fans.. or anyone who has ever seen a Disney commercial.

Known as Wonderland Amusement Park, it was literally being built in farmland and thanks to a lack of funding and enough complaining farmers, it never reached finality.

Here are a few articles with some great inside pictures of Wonderland:

Unfortunately, I could only take pictures from a moving bus, so these are the best shots I could get:

Unsurprisingly enough, this wasn't the only fake-Disney project in the Beijing area.  There was a park known as Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park with the slogan "Disneyland is too far, come to BSAP." Classy, don't you think?  

Apparently they've toned down the Disney side and it's still up and running.. Can't believe I missed this one!

I did notice this from the bus one day:

Now, I don't know what this is and I'm pretty sure it's not actually Beijing Shijingshan, but still funny to have 2 Spaceship Earth-like icons in Beijing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Did you know:
The circular structure in EPCOT's China Pavilion is a smaller version of the Temple of Heaven located in Beijing, China, built between 1406-1420.  I saw billboards for it around Beijing and it was in every guide book, but without much free time, I never made it there.  I did, however, spend a few hours in The Forbidden City, built in the same dynasty and has very similar architecture!
EPCOT's China Pavilion - picture courtesy of

Entrance to the Forbidden City:

A similar structure to the Temple of Heaven, located in The Forbidden City:

About Me Monday - Veterans Day!

I've decided I'm going to use Monday's as non-Disney ME time.  And being that yesterday was Veterans Day (and I was working.. as I've been every day for the past 3 weeks) I decided to share a little more about my unique job today!

As I've mentioned - I recently spent just under 2 weeks in China for work.  It was an amazing and unique opportunity and I LOVED it!  I was hesitant for so many reasons - leaving a 6 month old as a nursing mom is hard on SO many levels, but I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity... plus, I'm active duty military and saying no doesn't actually have much clout.

If you want to youtube it - this is a news piece about why I was there (and if you look closely, you can see me in several shots playing the clarinet!)

We reached out on an artistic level to show friendship and cooperation and I enjoyed getting to know those around me - their English is much better than my Chinese, though I can order soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) with the best of them!  Our two military bands have a great connection now and I can only hope that we will be able to perform with them again.

Here's a pic of me and some coworkers at a banquet hosted by the People's Liberation Army Band for us on our final day in Nanjing, the old capitol of China.

And some touristy pics:
At the Forbidden City (Beijing)
And more touristy..
View from the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower - Shanghai

Since we've been back, we performed all weekend for Veterans Day - two concerts to 2 large crowds, honoring and celebrating.  I hope you were able to enjoy as well!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Two Years of Disney

Welcome to those of you joining me from The CanaDisney Blog and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail

I can't believe it's been two years since the first Magical Blogorail Loop.  Back then, we were just a group of a few bloggers creating our own version of a blog hop.  Now, there are over 40 blogs/bloggers and so many of them have become friends - a few of wish I actually plan to finally meet on an upcoming trip!

First haircut - January 2011
It's hard to pinpoint my favorite Disney experiences.  In the past two years, we have visited 3 times and we're only a few months away from our next trip.  We're always in the middle of planning, which I love (though sometimes it just makes me a little anxious/crazy!).                                                       I loved Noah's 1st haircut - the Harmony Barbershop is such a fantastic experience and we have great memories from his haircuts there (and Z will be getting his first there in February).

And, running my first half marathon was amazing - not only b/c I ran 13.1 miles, but because I ran through the castle and met some of my favorite characters!

But, I think some of my favorite Disney experiences actually happen at home - having my children growing up excited for their Disney experiences.

Noah walks around singing the notes of "When You Wish Upon a Star" in reference to any boat - how many 3 year olds do know that ask to go on the Disney Cruise Line?  In fact, he was playing with his 7 year old cousin and his cousin was talking about a boat "ride" he went on at a fair (think the swinging pirate ship) and how he didn't like it and Noah replied with "I want to go on the doot-doot-doot-doot boat" and only my husband knew what he was talking about...

And, every single time we get into the car, Noah asks to listen to Yo-Ho.  I once played it on the piano and he said "I went on that once."  While I'm unsure how clear his memories are of the attraction, I love that it makes him happy even at home and gives him something excited to think about on future trips! 

And just yesterday morning on the way to daycare, Noah said "Mommy, I want to go to the castle and meet Mickey and Old McDonald."  His facts may not be perfect, it made me smile!

I love that those short trips help us have happy memories all year round!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Days in the Park.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ The CanaDisney Blog 
**2nd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog ** You are here
3rd Stop ~ Days in the Park
4th Stop ~ Meet the Magic
Final Stop ~ Pursuing the Magic