Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

Walt Disney World Is Open For Business!

I miss Goofy hugs!

"There's a great big, beautiful tomorrow. . ."

And that day is here.  Following the closure of Walt Disney World Resort due to the coronavirus pandemic, the resort has been in the process of re-opening for weeks beginning with Disney Springs, followed by select resorts, and now the parks.  While things look different - masks, reservation systems, temperature checks, characters, dining - there can still be magic to be found.  While I haven't been to Florida and won't be going any time soon, several of my local friends have been out and about covering the re-opening.  Here's a quick round-up of their coverage!

Disney Springs Re-Opening


Disney Springs was the first destination on Walt Disney World Resort property to reopen.  My friend Meg from www.megforit.com was at Disney Springs on opening day.  Check out her report at what you can expect in this YouTube video.


Since opening day, more has reopened in Disney Springs like my favorite restaurant, Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'!  

Guests Return to Walt Disney World Resorts


Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Resort properties around Walt Disney World have been slowly reopening, beginning with some DVC fan favorites.  While not all resorts are opening at this time, you can find availability and even book new reservations for a 2020 stay.  My friend Brandon has his YouTube channel Expedition Neverland and shared this video of his stays at both Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian.  


Looking for reviews on some hotels around Walt Disney World, both on and off property?  Check out my list of resort reviews!


If you're interested in booking a Walt Disney World vacation package, visit my friends over at Get Away Today (Affiliate Link).  There really has never been a better time to use a travel agent with so much uncertainty in the air.  Take the guess work out of your vacation planning and leave it to the experts!

Walt Disney World Resort Park Previews


Disney's Hollywood Studios

Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom are scheduled to reopen to the general pubic on July 11 with EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios following on July 15, but both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have had some special cast member and Annual Passholder preview days ahead of time.  While there can be varying stories found on social media, the overall feedback seems to be pretty positive.  More details about how Disney is asking everyone to do their part for health and safety can be found here on the Disney Parks Blog.

In the meantime, check out my friend Tina from Footprints in Pixie Dust and her visit to Magic Kingdom Park during the Annual Passholder Preview! 

Update on the AP Preview! What did we ride? Where we eat? Whom did we see? What can you expect?

Posted by Footprints in Pixie Dust on Thursday, July 9, 2020


Not able to visit the Disney Parks?  Catch some fun movies on Disney+ to add some magic to your summer at home!



Walt Disney World will certainly be a different vacation destination for some time.  However, I was happy to see characters and fun interactions around the parks, even if they weren't the same as in the past.  If you're planning a trip soon, pay close attention to the latest phased re-opening news as announcements come frequently about updates to the systems in place!  See ya real soon pals!

Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 Coming to Disney+

Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 - Image from Disney+

Frozen 2 swept box offices becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all time.  Not bad for a sequel that had big shoes to fill!  Now, fans of Arendelle can go behind the magic to see how the movie was made in the new Disney+ series, Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2.  Even as someone who had the chance to walk the red carpet at the Frozen 2 World Premiere in Hollywood and attend the press junket with the creative minds and stars of the film, I still can't wait to tune in!

What?!? You didn't know I walked the Frozen 2 red carpet?  Check out THAT experience here!


Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 Episode Guide


Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 - Image from Disney+

Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 is comprised of six episodes that highlight the work of the team behind Frozen 2 in the year leading up to the world premiere of the movie.  I don't know about you, but I am always amazed when we have the chance to peek behind the curtain and see all of the work that goes into making a movie.  I give a big thumbs up to Disney+ for providing fans with a number of opportunities to view this kind of content!  And looking at the upcoming episodes, I personally can't wait for the second episode which talks about the creation of my favorite song from the movie. . .Lost in the Woods.

Want to learn more about the music behind Frozen 2?  


And those of you that like a good binge fest will be happy to know that unlike the behind-the-scenes look at creating The Mandalorian with Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, all six episodes of Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 will be available to stream beginning June 26!  

Episode 1 - A Year To Premiere
Episode 2 - Back to the Drawing Board
Episode 3 - Journey to Ahtohallan
Episode 4 - Big Changes
Episode 5 - Race to the Finish
Episode 6 - The World Awaits

Want to refresh your memory on Frozen 2? Watch it on Disney+ and check out these "cool" coloring sheets and activities!

Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 - Image from Disney+


About Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 (From Disney+)



With the clock ticking and less than a year until the world premiere of Frozen 2, the filmmakers, artists, songwriters and cast open their doors to cameras for a six-part documentary series to reveal the hard work, heart, and collaboration it takes to create one of the most highly-anticipated films in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ near-century of moviemaking. For the first time, cameras were there to capture an eye-opening - and at times jaw-dropping - view of the challenges and the breakthroughs, the artistry, creativity and the complexity of creating the #1 animated feature of all time. 

The series follows director/writer/chief creative officer Jennifer Lee, director Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho, songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, actors Kristen Bell (“Anna”), Idina Menzel (“Elsa”), Josh Gad (“Olaf”), Jonathan Groff (“Kristoff”), Sterling K. Brown (“Lieutenant Mattias”), Evan Rachel Wood (“Iduna”) and the talented artists and technicians of Disney Animation as they race against time to finish the film, with both creative breakthroughs and frustrations along the way. Produced by Lincoln Square Productions and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Hamilton Coming to Disney+: See the New Trailer!

Hamilton - Image from Disney+

Hamilton fans can rejoice as one of the most popular shows to ever hit Broadway is heading straight to your living room this summer!  I never made it to a theater to see Hamilton so I can't wait to tune in on July 3rd and check out this theatrical masterpiece as song and story come together in the most magical of ways.  Even better, subscribers of Disney+ can ditch the lofty ticket prices for this show and enjoy it streaming on this service as part of your subscription. . .yay!!

Find more to enjoy on Disney+ here!


The "movie" is actually a 2016 filmed version of the original Broadway production starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom, Jr as Aaron Burr.  Another familiar face you'll see is Jonathan Groff. . .although his voice may even be more famous as that of Kristoff in Frozen 2. As fans of the show have attested, the original cast that is featured in this filming are phenomenal and present a memorable performance.  Of course, one of the most popular things about Hamilton is the music - a unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway.  

Love Lin-Manuel Miranda?  Did you know he is the mind behind the memorable music of Moana?


I can't wait to FINALLY get to see Hamilton on July 3rd and bring a full review here.  The history teacher in me has always loved learning about Alexander Hamilton as his role in founding our country was immense and I've been curious to see how his story is portrayed on stage.  Who else is with me in celebrating Independence Day this year as Hamilton comes to life for us to enjoy?

"Hamilton" - Image from Disney+


About Hamilton (From Disney+)



An unforgettable cinematic stage performance, the filmed version of the original Broadway production of “Hamilton” combines the best elements of live theater, film and streaming to bring the cultural phenomenon to homes around the world for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and direction by Thomas Kail, “Hamilton” is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow and produced by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller, with Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman serving as executive producers. The 11-time-Tony Award®-, GRAMMY Award®-, Olivier Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical stars: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Jonathan Groff as King George; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton; and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton.

“Hamilton” premieres on July 3, 2020 around the world, streaming only on Disney+.

Artemis Fowl Movie Review


Artemis Fowl - Image from Disney+

New movie releases continue to drop despite the closure of movie theaters an the latest one for family movie fans to enjoy is Disney's Artemis Fowl.  Artemis Fowl was scheduled for a theatrical release, had it's date pushed, and then moved to a Disney+ release when COVID-19 sent us into lockdown mode.  This movie has some serious star power for a straight to Disney+ streaming release including Colin Ferrell and Josh Gad in leading roles.  Artemis Fowl also has a built in fan base from the popular children's books.  But would it live up to it's promise?  

Artemis Fowl Movie Review


So, now it's time for my confession.  I didn't finish the book before seeing the movie.  And according to some of my friends like Patty and Tessa, maybe that's a good thing.  In the movie, we meet young Artemis Fowl - his mother has passed and his father travels away from Fowl Manor frequently on mysterious trips.  Young Artemis is a very intelligent and curious boy.  When his father disappears off of his super yacht in the South China Sea, Artemis receives a cryptic phone call demanding a mystical object - the Aculos - as ransom.  Artemis begins formulating a plan to save his father from his captors while also clearing his name a a criminal.  


What follows is a story of trolls, fairies, dwarves, and human lives intersecting into one big adventure.  I'll be honest. . .there were parts of the movie that I was confused about what was happening.  Books and movies with a lot of "fantasy" elements generally aren't among my favorites (I've never been a Harry Potter fan - shocking, right??) and the hodgepodge of characters was difficult for me to follow.  I felt like there were some serious plot holes that movie just glazes over.  For example, when Artemis' dad goes missing and Butler introduces him to the work his dad had been doing with fairies and this whole underground world, it all just clicks for Artemis.  No struggle, no questioning - just straight to work.  It wasn't for me and didn't hold the attention of my kids either who I think couldn't figure out what was going on.

The movie isn't BAD though. . .it's just not something I know I'd rush to watch again.  The bond between Artemis and Holly Short is endearing as is the way that Artemis cares for Butler.  He acts as someone with the soul of someone much older.  Despite the separation between the fairy world and the human world, there is a strong connection between the two and the fairies demonstrate more times than one their care for humanity. Josh Gad is also a highlight in this film. . .I mean, isn't he always?  His character, Mulch Diggums is funny and kept me hanging in when I wasn't sure about where the movie was heading.  Director Kenneth Branagh did a beautiful job visually creating the worlds of both Artemis and the fairies as the colors, scenery, and camera work is very well done.

Overall, I think this was a good call by Disney to release this movie straight to Disney+ instead of pushing the release date again in hopes of a big theatrical release post COVID-19.  The ending of the film certainly leaves it open for more adventures from Artemis to come.  After all, "I'm Artemis Fowl and I'm a criminal mastermind."

Looking for more straight to Disney+ movie releases? Check out Disneynature's Dolphin Reef!


About Artemis Fowl (From Disney+ and Walt Disney Studios)



Disney's "Artemis Fowl," based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he desperately tries to save his father who has been kidnapped.  In order to pay his ransom, Artemis must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization - the amazingly advanced world of fairies - and bring the kidnapper the Aculos, the fairies' most powerful and coveted magical device.  To locate the elusive object, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan - so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.


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Walt Disney World Resort Re-Opening: What We Know!!!

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios

It's coronation day!

Well, not quite. . .but for Walt Disney World fans it's kind of the same thing.  For the first time in forever, Walt Disney World Resort is preparing to open the gates again!! On May 27th, Walt Disney World presented to the Orange County Task Force about their plans.  While I'm sure more will be shared in the days and weeks ahead, this is what we know so far.

Walt Disney World Re-Opening


As always, for the latest information, visit the Walt Disney World website and the Disney Parks Blog.

With announcements from Universal Studios Orlando and Legoland Orlando, Disney fans have been patiently waiting their turn.  Here's what Disney shared:
  • Reopening of the parks begins on July 11th with Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Both EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios will follow suit on July 15th.
  • No parades or fireworks for now.  Disney is limiting these in park events that draw large crowds and said they plan to have them return "at a later date."
  • No character meet and greets, no makeovers, no playgrounds - for the time being.  They do mention that characters will be around the parks though.
  • Limited capacity means you'll need an advanced reservation to enter the park.
  • Currently new tickets and new hotel reservations are not being accepted.  Disney is working with guests who have existing reservations first before allowing new reservations to be accepted.
  • Masks are a must for everyone 3 and over.
  • Temperature checks will also be required prior to park entry.
  • Of course, increased cleaning and disinfection will be a priority around the park.
  • DVC resorts at Walt Disney World will begin reopening for members and guests on June 22 along with Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  Hilton Head and Vero Bech Resorts will begin reopening June 15.

It's never too early to plan your next WDW vacation! Find all the details on Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and celebrating the holiday season at Walt Disney World here!


SeaWorld Announces Re-Opening Plans Too!


Not to be outdone by Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando also announced their plans to reopen at the same Orange County Task Force meeting:
  • June 11th reopening for SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove.
  • Masks required for guests 2 years and older.
  • Temperature checks prior to park entry.
  • Limited capacity in pools and rivers.
  • Hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit of each ride.
  • Character interactions and parades may be modified to promote social distancing.
  • Increased cleaning procedures and practices to promote social distancing. 

For the latest information on SeaWorld, visit the official SeaWorld website.

Planning a visit to SeaWorld, check out my guide to Sesame Street Land!


So what do you think?  We all know that visiting theme parks this summer will be unlike anything we've ever experienced before.  Will you be joining those braving the parks, or watching and waiting to see how things go?  

Artemis Fowl Trailer Reaction and Movie Preview!

Artemis Fowl (Image from Disney+)

I've been reading Artemis Fowl in preparation for the movie and was excited to see that fans wouldn't have to wait for movie theaters to re-open before getting their fairy fix.  Disney+ will be releasing Artemis Fowl straight to streaming beginning June 12th, following in the footsteps of other family films Trolls World Tour and SCOOB which also decided to go the digital route rather than pushing opening dates.  Let's take a look at Artemis Fowl and see what we can expect.

Looking for my Artemis Fowl movie review?  Find it here!


Artemis Fowl Trailer Reaction




I don't know about anyone else, but my 8 year old is going to flip when Artemis Fowl lands on Disney+!  He is a big fan of spy movies and shows - particularly where kids are the stars.  The amount of technology and fantasy in here will certainly delight young fans.  And, for me?  Well, I'm a fan of anything with Josh Gad in it.  From what I've gathered too, the book series has some devoted fans which I'm sure are excited to tune into the screen adaptation of this popular book series.  I'm reading the book now so I can see how to the two compare once this is released.  Here's hoping this movie delivers on the promise of being an action-packed, yet family-friendly adventure!


Want more? Check out this trailer reaction for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run!


See my review of another Disney+ movie, Lady and The Tramp, here!


About Artemis Fowl (From Disney+ and Walt Disney Studios)


Disney's "Artemis Fowl," based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he desperately tries to save his father who has been kidnapped.  In order to pay his ransom, Artemis must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization - the amazingly advanced world of fairies - and bring the kidnapper the Aculos, the fairies' most powerful and coveted magical device.  To locate the elusive object, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan - so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.


Disney+ Game Show: The Big Fib

The Big Fib (Image from Disney+)

Family game night has long been a favorite in our house - now even more than ever!  While we enjoy a variety of board games and playing cards, we also have fun watching game shows together as a family.  Disney+ is bringing more original content to their streaming service with the new game show, The Big Fib.  Join host Yvette Nicole Brown as kids try to uncover who is telling the truth. . .and who is a big fibber!

Did you know I got to meet Yvette Nicole Brown? Check out my interview!


Review of The Big Fib on Disney+


After watching the first episode, it's easy to see why this will be a favorite among kids.  As the show begins, round one features a pretty obvious fibber.  The focus of round one is more about comedy then about being a real challenge.  On the first episode, this fibber will have you laughing about her career as a hairstylist.  The child contestant identifies the fibber in the first round as a warm-up and then round two gets much harder.  The first episode has two "experts" on jellyfish and the contestant needs to figure out who is lying.  Both "experts" present in a professional manner so it is really difficult to tell who is actually lying.  C.L.I.V.E., the robot assistant, provides clues to the contestant along the way to help test the knowledge of the "experts" and the rapid fire round of questions aims to separate the real expert from the fibber.  At the end of the episode, the contestant presses the Fib Foam button for the person they think has been lying.  If the contestant is right, the liar will be foamed!  I won't spoil the ending of the first episode, but I'll just say that Malachi was right and I was wrong!!

Yvette Nicole Brown on The Big Fib on Disney+
Yvette Nicole Brown on The Big Fib (Image from Disney+)

In addition to the humor in this show, I enjoyed the fact that kids can learn something along the way.  Even in the silly first round, the real hairstylist shared a bit about her career.  Yvette Nicole Brown is funny, charismatic, and entertaining as the host of this show.  My kids really enjoyed it and are excited for the next episode!

Have you seen Yvette Nicole Brown in the Disney+ reimagining of Lady and The Tramp?


Want more family fun on Disney+?


About The Big Fib (From Disney+)


Ever thought you could spot a fib better than a kid?  Find out on The Big Fib.  A new Disney+ game show, hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and featuring Rhys Darby as her robot sidekick, C.L.I.V.E. In each episode of this comedy game show, a kid starts by playing a warm-up round where a silly liar and an authentic expert share fabulous fibs and fun facts.  Starring up and coming comedic talent, this round is played for laughs as well as always having a nugget of real information about the topic be it ice-cream, tree-climbing or toy design.  Next our kid contestant plays the main round where they question an expert who's paired with a really good liar on the same topic.  It's up to our kid to find the fibber.  There are visual cues, fascinating props, a hot seat round of rapid-fire questions and various topics, including jellyfish, venom and killer plants.  The show culminates with the expert and liar standing under the Fib Foam machine to await their fate.  If our kid chooses correctly, the liar gets foamed.  The Big Fib is full of outrageous truths that sound like lies and audacious lies that sound like the truth.

The series is hosted by star Yvette Nicole Brown and will feature kid contestants.

"The Big Fib" is produced by Haymaker TV with Aaron Rothman, Josh Halpert, Irad Eyal, Leigh Hampton and Yvette Nicole Brown serving as producers.

"The Big Fib" premieres May 22nd, streaming only on Disney+.

Disney+ Series: It's A Dog's Life With Bill Farmer

It's A Dog's Life With Bill Farmer (Image from Disney+)

Ever wondered what it's like to take a look at the day in the life of some of the hardest working dogs in America?  Well, wonder no more.  Bill Farmer, the famed Disney legend and voice of some of our cartoon favorites like Pluto and Goofy, is taking Disney+ subscribers on a look at some of the jobs dogs do to help humans in their work.

Review of It's A Dog's Life With Bill Farmer



I watched the first episode and thought this was a cute show the whole family can enjoy.  In the episode, Bill first meets Eba, a dog in Washington State that sniffs out whale poop.  Yes, you read that right. . .whale poop.  Eba works with researchers to track whale poop which the researchers than analyze to learn more about the whales themselves.  While this may sound like a job that may be hard for young ones to conceptualize, the creators of It's A Dog's Life use cartoon depictions and phrases like "food in tummies" to make it something very accessible for kids to understand.  Bill's second stop on the first episode is a ranch where he meets sheep herding dogs.  Here he learns not only about the job they do, but how dogs are trained for this work.  Throughout the episode, Bill uses some of his cartoon voice talents to also add humor and enthusiasm for the work.  It's clear to see that he enjoys the company of these dogs and learning about them.  


My kids really enjoy any shows that include animals, but will especially enjoy this unusual look at how some dogs spend their days.  It's A Dog's Life With Bill Farmer is another great option for families to watch together on Disney+.  

About It's A Dog's Life with Bill Farmer (from Disney+)



The iconic voice of Goofy and Pluto for more than 30 years, Disney Legend Bill Farmer steps out from behind the microphone to meet his own favorite characters - dogs! Join Bill as he crosses the country meeting dogs doing all kinds of incredible jobs that make our lives better.

It's a Dog's Life With Bill Farmer is produced by Dog Tale Productions, Inc and GRB Entertainment, Inc. The series is executive produced by Bill Farmer, Jennifer Farmer, Steve Duval, Gary R. Benz and Phil Kruener.

Looking for More Disney+ Content to Enjoy with the Kids?


Disneynature's Dolphin Reef Review featuring downloadable activities


Fun and Educational Disney+ Content


Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

Image from Disney+

When The Mandalorian came to Disney+, Star Wars fans were immediately mesmerized by this new storyline brought to life by the mind of Jon Favreau.  Once the last episode of season one of The Mandalorian aired, fans were immediately asking when they could have more.  Soon after, it was announced that season 2 of the popular series would be returning to Disney+ in the Fall of 2020.  But, if you're a fan of the The Mandalorian and can't wait for more Star Wars in your life, Disney+ is bringing you a new series in May 2020 that takes a behind-the-scenes look at making this series.  After watching the first episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, I'm hooked and look forward to learning more.

About Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (from Disney+)




Disney GALLERY: THE MANDALORIAN is an eight-episode documentary series that pulls back the curtain on The Mandalorian. Each chapter explores a different facet of the first live-action Star Wars television show through interviews, behind the scenes footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Jon Favreau.

Review of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian

I dove right into the first episode, excited to learn more about what happened behind-the-scenes of this show.  The first episode focused on the story of the directors and, by the titles of upcoming episodes, it appears that each will look at a different facet of creating the story.  Jon Favreau leads roundtable discussions with the directors as they each share stories of how they came to the Star Wars universe.  It was fascinating to see how many talented minds and notable directors played a role in creating the first season.  Favreau chose to bring on several different directors to lend differing perspectives to the same vision.  

And that vision very clearly included the responsibility to the Star Wars fans.  Several of the directors including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard spoke to the responsibility to do justice to the first Star Wars live action television show and working with characters that are so meaningful to so many people.  But the directors as brought their own personalities to the show as well.  Favreau, speaking of Taika Waititi said "Taika knows how to find the humor in the action," when looking at some memorable moments from the series like the "do the magic hand thing" line towards The Child.


If you're a fan of The Mandalorian and enjoy a look at what happens behind the camera in producing a show, this will definitely be something for you to enjoy on Disney+ and fill that gap until the next season airs this fall.  I was definitely intrigued by the first episode and will check out the remaining episodes as they release.  New episodes of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian will release each Friday!

Looking for More?


More New on Disney+ in May - Prop Culture


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

Prop Culture - A Look at the New Disney+ Series

Prop Culture Mary Poppins
Image from Disney+

The original content on Disney+ has been phenomenal and I always look forward to the next show being released.  May 2020 is bringing several new shows to Disney+ (at least something positive about 2020, right?!?) and Prop Culture was the first to hit the line up.  Before we get to my thoughts, let's take a look at what Disney+ has shared about this series.

About Prop Culture (From Disney+)




Film historian and prop collector Dan Lanigan reunites iconic Disney movie props with the filmmakers, actors, and crew who created and used them in some of Disney’s most beloved films. Throughout this journey, Dan will recover lost artifacts, visit private collections, and help restore pieces from the Walt Disney Archives to their original glory. Among the films featured this season are Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Movie, Tron and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Prop Culture is produced by ABC Studios, a label of Disney Television Studios. The series is executive produced by Jason Henry and Dan Lanigan.

Review of Prop Culture

Richard Sherman Mary Poppins
Richard Sherman at Walt's Piano - Image from Disney+

After watching the first episode of Prop Culture, I have to say the Disney nerd in my sufficiently hooked.  If you are the slightest fan of Disney movies, you will cherish this inside look at rare items and behind-the-scenes stories from those connected with the film.  The first episode takes a look at Mary Poppins - a household favorite for my family!  Our storyteller, Dan Lanigan, takes us on a journey to track down some iconic props from the movie and tell some amazing stories at the same time.  A highlight, watching Richard Sherman play the piano in Walt's office (did you know he's the only person allowed to play it?) and talk about the music behind the film.  Along the way we also meet a choreographer, costume designer, and uncover many props.  Listening to those connected with the movie, makes this piece of Disney history come to life in a totally new way.  
I can't wait to explore more Prop Culture episodes to learn more about some of my favorite films.  This is sure to be a big hit on Disney+ as it follows other popular shows like The Imagineering Story in giving us a behind-the-scenes of some Disney classics.  


Looking For More?

Check out my brush with Mary Poppins Broadway props during the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

See how Mary Poppins Returns stacks up to the classic original

Find more great Disney+ content

Disneynature Dolphin Reef Review

Disneynature Dolphin Reef - Photo from Disney+

Disney+ released two new Disneynature films to celebrate Earth Month this April.  I don't know about you, but following these stay-at-home directives has me missing all of my travel so I decided to start with Dolphin Reef as it makes me think of my visits to the islands!


Disneynature’s Elephant & Dolphin Reef | Official Trailer | Disney+ 

Dolphin Reef is narrated by Natalie Portman and follows the life of Echo as he grows and plays near the reef.  But don't be fooled, this film showcases more than just dolphins - you'll be introduced to many different types of sea animals including whales, sharks, fish, etc. Like most of the Disneynature films, the story itself is not overly compelling.  In fact, I kind of forgot that there was an actual storyline going on during the film in various parts.  Then things get perilous for young Echo on his ocean adventure and I find myself on the edge of the seat to see if he'll be OK.  Also true to Disneynature movies, Dolphin Reef is visually stunning.  I mean, really gorgeous.  You'll feel like you've taken a beautiful vacation all while sitting on your couch during quarantine. 

Disneynature's Dolphin Reef is also a great way to squeeze a little education into your kid's day without them even knowing it!  For example, fun fact we learned watching this parrotfish poop sand.  Now where else would you learn that while social distancing??  Looking for more facts and activities to do with your family?  Disneynature has an accompanying educational guide with each of their films.  Dolphin Reef features a 67 page educational guide that you can find HERE

While the Disneynature films are definitely a different family movie night experience than you may experience with other content on Disney+, but I don't think you'd be disappointed in this choice.  Now I need to just start planning a trip to experience the beauty of the ocean again for as soon as we can start traveling again.

Looking for more fun and educational content on Disney+, check this out!


About Disneynature's Dolphin Reef


(From Disneynature) Narrated by Oscar and Golden Globe winning actress Natalie Portman, Disneynature's "Dolphin Reef" tells the spectacular story of Echo, a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin who seems far more interested in exploring the coral reef, and its intriguing inhabitants, than learning to survive in it.

Rating: G
Release Date: April 3, 2020


Free Activity Sheets - Frozen 2 Coloring Pages

Frozen 2 Family Activities
Frozen 2 - Photo from Walt Disney Studios

The queen of social distancing, Elsa, and the entire Arendelle crew is now available in Frozen 2 on Disney digital and on Disney+.  Today, I'm excited to share with you FREE coloring pages and activities to share with the whole family!

Frozen 2 became the number one animated movie of all time with it's blockbuster success and appeal to Frozen fans, both young and old.  I also think it's the perfect film for families to watch during tough times.  All of the characters are grappling with big emotions - fear, frustration, anger, questioning what they've been taught - and it provides a great back drop to have a conversation with your own kids about things going on in the world that they may not understand.  Even if kids don't fully understand WHAT is happening in the world, they certainly have feelings about it.  A family movie night is a great way to blend conversation with fun in your household.  Before we look at how to have a Frozen family fun night at home, check out my complete coverage of Frozen 2:

Walking the Red Carpet at the Frozen 2 World Premiere


Review of Frozen 2


The Music of Frozen 2


Growing Up: A Look at Olaf in Frozen 2


Will there be a Frozen 3??


Now that you're up to speed on everything you need to know about Frozen 2, let's talk about ways to have a Frozen family fun night.

  • Play Charades - Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff enjoy a fun evening in the castle at the beginning of the film playing charades.  This is something easy for the whole family to enjoy on a relaxing night in.  You can create your own charade cards or search Pinterest for some ideas that you can print out.
  • Go on a Scavenger Hunt - Frozen 2 takes us Into the Unknown, but you can search the familiar with a new perspective by having a family scavenger hunt while walking in your neighborhood.  Depending on the ages of your children, you can make the items easy or hard.  For real young kids, you can have them look for things of various colors, while older kids may be able to find more specific items like types of birds or flowers.  Spring is a great time to get outside!
  • FREE Frozen 2 Coloring Sheets and Activities - Download this FREE activity packet from Walt Disney Studios here.  Your family can enjoy these before, during, or after your movie night!
With all of this time at home, we've been enjoying movie nights revisiting our favorites AND trying new movies.  Make family movie night a tradition in your house!

About Frozen 2




Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

Frozen 2 is now available for digital purchase and is currently streaming on Disney+!

Free Activity Sheets - The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild Activity Sheets
The Call of the Wild - Photo from Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is once again bringing the magic to families to make some Disney magic inside their homes.  The Call of the Wild was a hit in our household with a beloved furry lead character who you couldn't help but fall in love with and a rugged mountain man looking for one more adventure in his life with a new friend.

For my full review of The Call of the Wild, check out my post here.


As a bonus with the release of The Call of the Wild to digital, Walt Disney Studios has shared these FREE downloads that you can print and enjoy with your family.  Whether you're up for a maze, matching game, playing a board game, or printing bookmarks - there is something everyone will enjoy!

Download the FREE The Call of the Wild Activity Packet here!


What a great way to enjoy some family time.  And don't forget, The Call of the Wild is now available from Walt Disney Studios and can be purchased at home for quick, easy digital enjoyment!!

About The Call of the Wild




THE CALL OF THE WILD delighted audiences upon opening February 21, earning an 89% Verified Audience Score on RottenTomatoes®. Adapted from the novel by Jack London, it vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Canadian Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team--and later its leader--Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master. As a live-action/animation hybrid, THE CALL OF THE WILD visual effects and animation technology in order to bring the animals in the film to life. THE CALL OF THE WILD is directed by Chris Sanders and stars Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, Cara Gee, Michael Horse, Jean Louisa Kelly, Colin Woodell, Adam Fergus and Abraham Benrubi. Erwin Stoff, p.g.a. and James Mangold, p.g.a. are producing with Diana Pokorny, Ryan Stafford and screenwriter Michael Green serving as executive producers.

Free Onward Activity Sheets

Onward Family Activities
Pixar Onward - Image from Walt Disney Studios

The great team at Walt Disney Studios keeps bringing us good news in these challenging times with early releases of some great movies.  Pixar's Onward, which opened in theaters everywhere on March 6, only had about a week before school closures and social distancing became the norm around our country, meaning many families didn't have the chance to see the movie in theaters.  Coming to the rescue, Walt Disney Studios has made the movie available starting on Friday, March 20th as a digital purchase and will begin streaming it on Disney+ as of April 3rd!

Check out my review of the movie here!

See my top quotes from the film - so many emotional moments!!

Plan an Onward Family Movie Night!


If you're looking to have family fun while staying inside, look no further than an Onward movie night!  My friends over at Walt Disney Studios have put together these FREE downloadable activity sheets - including a memory game, maze, and coloring pages.  Besides those activities - here are a few other ideas to add a bit of magic to your movie night.

Family Fun & Educational Activities on Disney+

Disney Plus Media Image

Finding yourself inside and unable to go to school can be difficult for everyone.  Parents are worried and stressed about, well, everything right now and know that your kids are also feeling some of that worry as well.  While little minds may not be able to understand everything that is happening, they do know that their daily lives are being disrupted with not being able to go to school, not playing with friends, and not seeing family members outside of their own house.  Times like these call for good old fashioned family time to make everyone feel a bit better.  I've compiled a list of some of my favorite movies currently on Disney+ that you can enjoy with your family. . .either just for fun or with an educational component!  Check them out!

Lady and the Tramp


I loved this remake of the animated classic, probably even more than I liked the original.  Here is my review of the film if you're wondering if it's right for your family.  Looking for a way to turn this into a family fun night?  Why not set up your own Tony's restaurant! Your kids can design menus including pasta, breads, salads, and drinks.  They can take orders and add up a bill to practice some of those math skills.  Then your family can enjoy a night of spaghetti and meatballs while watching Lady and the Tramp come to life in your living room!

Walt Disney World Totchos Copycat Recipe

Woody's Lunchbox Totchos

Food blogging isn't normally my jam, but when it comes to recreating the magic of a favorite copycat Walt Disney World recipe and it goes well, I feel the need to share it so others can get in on the fun.  If you're a regular at Walt Disney World, you know that totchos are a hot commodity.  And Disney fans can rejoice in the fact that totchos are super easy to recreate in your own kitchen to bring a little bit of Disney Parks magic to your day!  Added bonus, I've found a few ways to save some calories on my recipe and give you the breakdown of how this works into my Weight Watchers Blue plan.

What are totchos?


Totchos are essentially nachos but made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips.  You can top them with any number of goodies, just like you would with nachos - the sky is literally the limit!  So why mess with something as good as nachos?  I don't know the origin story of the totcho, but trust me when I tell you it's delicious.  I feel like it's even more filling than nachos as the tater tots are more dense than the tortilla chips.  

Disney / Pixar Onward - Top Quotes

From Disney / Pixar's Onward

Disney / Pixar's Onward tells the emotional story of two brothers on a quest to meet their father who died 16 years earlier.  Through a magical gift from their deceased father, given to younger brother Ian on his 16th birthday, the two boys unlock a spell that brings their dad back. . .or at least part of him.  In their quest for the Phoenix Gem to complete the spell, the boys learn a lot about themselves and their commitment to each other.  For a full movie review, check out my thoughts here.

Memorable Quotes


It's no surprise that Disney / Pixar's Onward would be filled with heartwarming quotes that both inspire and resonate with the viewer.  When I listen for quotes that stand out for me in a movie, they tend to be ones that motivate me to want to be a better version of myself or bring a tear to my eye as I empathize with the characters in the movie.  Below are a few of my favorites:

Disney / Pixar Onward - Movie Review

Chris Pratt and Tom Holland

If you're like me, as soon as you see Pixar's studio attached to an animated film, you know to pack the tissues.  While the stories told in these movies are often heartwarming and filled with laughs, they also pack an emotional punch that leaves softies like me ugly crying in theaters.  Would Onward be any different?  The newest film from Disney and Pixar actually had me questioning it during the trailers, but would Onward defy my initial trailer reactions and live up to the hype?  Let's find out.  Before taking a look at my thoughts on the film, let's take one more look at the trailer and information from the studios.

About Disney / Pixar's Onward


Where to Eat on the Disney Dream

Breakfast at Royal Palace on Disney Dream
What's breakfast without Mickey Waffles on your Disney Cruise?

Cruising on a Disney Cruise Line vacation means there is magic around every corner. . .even when it comes to the food!  You are sure to find something for everyone (and then some!) when you are on the Disney Dream.  Let's take a look at where to eat while on the Disney Dream.

Main Dining Rooms on the Disney Dream


As you may or may not know, Disney Cruise Line features a unique cruising feature - rotational dining.  Rotational dining means that each night of your cruise you change restaurants, but your wait staff travels with you.  This means you get to have varying dining experiences each night of your cruise with the bonus of having your waitstaff remain the same.  Like other cruise line restaurants, you'll find appetizers, soups, main courses, and desserts available regardless of where you are eating. Want to try more than one thing - just ask!  They'll be happy to make your dining wish come true.  Each restaurant also features a kid's menu so the little ones will find their favorites even when they're away from home.  During booking, you'll select either main dining or late dining.  Don't worry - all of the shows in the theater are scheduled so guests on either seating can enjoy them.

Pool Deck Guide for the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line Pools and Slides

Can we just take a minute and pay tribute to the amazingness that is the pool deck on the Disney Dream??

OK.  Thanks.  

Seriously though, if you have never been on a Disney Cruise Line vacation, you may be wondering what all the hype is about. . .and if the price is worth it.  There are several areas where I feel like Disney has other cruise lines beat, but one of the most obvious for me is when it comes to the pool deck.  We recently sailed again on the Disney Dream and here's a quick recap of what you can expect to see on the pool deck with your family.