Showing posts with label merchandise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label merchandise. Show all posts

Hi I'm Kristi and I'm a runDisney Shoe Addict

The gender stereotype that women are all obsessed with shoes has always driven me crazy.  That's not me.  In my closet, you'll find a pair of black boots, a pair of black heels, brown heels, a few sandals, and Mickey flip flops.  By no means elaborate and not the stereotypical 125 pairs that men seem to think women have.

But, then there's my athletic shoes.

Whether you call them running shoes, sneakers, tennis shoes, or simply the most fabulously adorable, functional, and comfortable things to ever put your feet in, I love them!  My New Balance / runDisney running shoe collection is my absolute favorite.  My first pair were the pink Minnie New Balance 860v4 stability shoes, part of the 2014 collection.  Obsession began.


I used these shoes as inspiration and motivation to get back into running for the first time since college.  They joined me on my Disney Cruise Line vacation for my first race, the Castaway Cay 5K, in April 2014 in roughly a decade.  I then used them to train for my first Walt Disney World runDisney weekend - Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K and the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon.

While in Walt Disney World for Wine & Dine weekend, I couldn't resist temptation.  I had to buy another pair.  And another.

Functionally, I needed a new pair of running shoes and, since we are talking about serving a purpose for training, they needed to be the stability shoe.  So I had to buy the throwback black and white Minnie Mouse New Balance 860v5 shoes, right?  But the Tinkerbell Fresh Foam shoes were soooooo cute!  What's a girl to do?  Buy both of course.

Shoes and running bling - two of my favorite things!
While the Tinks won't be my training shoe simply because they don't have the stability support I need, I love their bright green color and think they are going to be adorable to sport around this Spring and Summer as my everyday "I'm going out to the mall and wearing comfy shoes" shoes.

Now, New Balance has left me drooling again.  The 2016 New Balance / runDisney collection made it's debut this week at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend expo.  The red carpet Mickey and Minnie shoes are, no surprise here, showstoppers.  I love the yellow for the Minnie shoes, and as my stability shoe, I may need to get these later in the year when my mileage is up on my latest pair of running shoes.  The other female shoe is inspired by Ariel.  The teal, purple, and red not only pay tribute to one of my favorite Disney princesses from my childhood, but make for a really cute color combo on these shoes.

Who wouldn't want to make these part of their world?
Photo from www.newbalance.com
Why do New Balance and runDisney have to create such wonderful shoes year after year?  Will my bank account ever be the same again?  <Sigh>  The problems of a running shoe addict.

Making Memories with Disney's Memory Maker

Walt Disney World's PhotoPass has been around for years now, but Memory Maker came on the scene recently and changed the landscape of vacation photo packages.  So, what do you need to know about Memory Maker?  Here are a few answers to some FAQs.

What is PhotoPass?
Walt Disney World's PhotoPass provides a great opportunity to capture your memories with everyone in the picture.  Located throughout the parks are Disney photographers happy to take pictures of your family enjoying their vacation.  You can find photographers in front of iconic locations like Cinderella's Castle or the entrance to Epcot in addition to snapping those hugs and smiles at your favorite character meet and greets.  Guests can have their MagicBands or a PhotoPass card scanned by the cast member taking their pictures and then view and order from the PhotoPass website later.  

Memory Maker features "magic shots" where characters magically appear in your photo - like Tink in this family picture!

How is Memory Maker different?
Actually, it's more the same then different.  What Memory Maker allows you to do is purchase digital rights to ALL of your pictures from your Walt Disney World vacation at a one-time price.  These pictures include the ones taken by photographers as well as select ride photos and photos from some character dining locations.  You will also receive download rights for some "stock" photos from Walt Disney World to enhance your own collection.  Currently, the price is $169 if you purchase prior to your vacation and $199 if you purchase during or after your vacation.  If you plan to get the discounted price, be sure to order at least 3 days prior to your trip as that is Walt Disney World's deadline for the reduced pricing.

Disney photographers can capture that perfect excited smile that you would miss with your own camera.

Is Memory Maker worth it?
The answer depends on your family and your trip.  The price is the price regardless of whether you are on a three day trip or a ten day trip.  Obviously the longer your vacation, the more cost effective Memory Maker becomes.  In addition, the more characters you meet and rides you ride the more great shots you're going to get to capture your family's memories.  We have only used Memory Maker on one trip so far because that's the only one that made sense for us.  It was our first trip traveling with the baby and we were staying for 8 days.  Memory Maker was a big help so that I didn't have to fumble with diaper bags and baby to find my phone for pictures.  We came home with several hundred photos that did a great job capturing our trip.

Yeah, I'm raising a little ladies man!
What can you do on the Memory Maker / PhotoPass website?
Besides ordering downloads and prints, you can also add embellishments to your pictures such as signatures, borders, and stickers.  These are great ways to enhance your photos!  You can also crop pictures and do some basic editing.  The website offers additional items for purchase too including photo books, mugs, and Christmas cards.  If you're interested in some of the items they sell, you can even upload your own images to add to your collection.

Is Memory Maker a one of the "bare necessities" on your Walt Disney World vacation?
Ultimately, Memory Maker is an expensive addition to your package, but when you consider that Disney sells individual photo downloads for $14.95 each it can quickly add up to only download the photos you want.  Memory Maker may not be the best option for your family on each trip, but it is definitely one to consider when planning your next Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney Bounding - Show your #DisneySide!

Disney Bounding is a term that even some of the more experienced Disney travelers don't know.  This is all about fashion and brining a little #DisneySide to your day without looking like you're a cartoon character.

The idea behind Disney Bounding is to dress in outfits that are "inspired" by a Disney character.  One quick search on Pinterest will give you lots of great ideas.  I've started to compile some of my favorites on a Pinterest board to keep an eye out for pieces as I shop.

I made my first attempt at Disney Bounding this past Monday for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road in New York City.  Here I am with Mickey. . .can you tell which character I'm going for??


If you guessed Belle, you'd be correct!  She is one of my favorite Disney princesses and the one I probably relate to the most.  This look is the classic small town Belle.  I have her signature blue dress and paired it a white cardigan.  I also wore black flats (which of course you can't see) to complete a simple Disney Bounding attempt.  The beauty of Disney Bounding is that it's like a little secret among Disney fans.  You wouldn't know that I'm Disney Bounding by the outfit above, unless you knew to look for it.  Periodically working Disney Bounding into your wardrobe is both a fun and fashionable way to share your #DisneySide!  Try it out and enjoy!!

Why I Love My Disney Visa

Saving money and earning rewards is always a great deal - especially when those rewards can help feed my Disney habit.  A few years ago, I signed up for a Disney Rewards Visa credit card from Chase and have really enjoyed some of the perks.  There are two different kinds of cards - the standard card and the premier card.  I have the standard card so I can't speak to the added benefits that come with the premier card. If you've ever wondered if the Disney Visa is right for you, here are some reasons why I've loved my card!

1. Earn Disney Rewards Dollars - Every purchase on my credit card earns me 1% back in Disney Rewards.  These reward dollars can be spent on Disney vacations and in Disney stores.  So whether I'm planning my next cruise, dreaming of a dole whip, going after the latest Pandora charm, or saving up for a new Disney Dooney and Bourke, the rewards can add up to make a big difference.

2. Discounts - Who doesn't love a discount?  And Disney offers a few special ones to their credit card holders.  You can always get 10% off a $50 or more purchase at The Disney Store and at most retail locations on Disney property.  In addition, credit card members will occasionally get a headstart on sales from The Disney Store and a few days jump start on vacation package discounts over the general public.  When you pay for you Disney vacation with your Disney card, you can also access special financing perks to make your vacation even more affordable.  And don't forget to check for restaurant discounts on Disney properties as well!

3. Epcot Character Spot - This exclusive character meet and greet is for Disney credit card holders only which means the lines are usually much shorter to meet some of the "Fab 5" as opposed to other park locations in Walt Disney World.  You can also get a free 5 x 7 picture of your family's visit!

4. Show Your Disney Side Everyday - While this is the only perk that doesn't have a financial side to it, I think this might be what I like best about my Disney credit card.  There are so many cute designs to choose from and I get comments almost every time I use my card on how adorable it is!  I'm always looking for ways to show my Disney Side and this is one small way I get to do that.

Image from www.disneyrewards.com
I love having a credit card that goes to work for me so I can have a little more Disney in my life!

Show your #DisneySide for FREE!

If you love Disney as much as my family, check out this freebie currently being offered from Disney Parks!  Visit www.buildyourdisneyside.com to create your own stick figure family.  The image is available for instant download!  Also, for a limited time, Disney is sending a free decal of your family's Disney Side decal!  I ordered ours tonight and can't wait for it to come in the mail!  Visit to show your family's Disney Side today!


Creating a #DisneySide Cake

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 
Back before life was crazy with two kids, I took cake decorating classes through Wilton at a local craft store.  My grandmother instilled a love of cakes in me and this seemed like a fun hobby to pick up.  Over the years, I've done several Disney themed cakes (and many that weren't).  I'm no professional, but it has been a skill that has come in handy at birthday parties and special events throughout the years.


For our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration, we received a Mickey cake pan and some Duff Goldman Tie-Dye Cake Mix in the box.  This was the first time I used the Wilton Mickey pan and Duff Cake Mix and have to say, I had a blast with both!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the cake decorating world, Duff Goldman is a renowned cake decorator who happens to be right down the road from me in Baltimore.  He owns Charm City Cakes and gained fame beyond Maryland thanks to his own TV show.  He has released several different cake mixes that are funky and fun as well as some cake decorating supplies that let you show a unique side through your decorations.  His tie-dye cake mix was both fun an festive for our Disney party.

The cake itself was easy to make.  It's a white cake mix that you divide into six different bowls once it's you have it prepared.  Then you use his supplied food coloring to color the mix into six different colors.  I successfully colored the cake batter with only a small mess on my hands!  Then the box gives you different options about how to layer the colors to achieve a tie-dye look.  Since we were doing a shaped cake pan, I started with red and drizzled all of it in the pan.  Then followed the same with orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  The great thing with a tie-dye cake is that there is no wrong way to drizzle the colors and design your cake!  It baked perfectly in the Mickey pan in 35 minutes.


After letting the cake cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, I turned it onto a cake board and let it cool the rest of the way.  I used a baking spray in my pan to make sure it released easily from the pan.  When the cake was cool, I "dirty iced" it with a thin layer of my homemade buttercream white icing to seal in the moisture and smooth out any crumbs.  I then used the Wilton icing colors to color cake icing for my Mickey design.  I had all the icing colors and decorating tips I needed to successfully go from a naked cake to Mickey Mouse in about 90 minutes. 


Overall, the cake was fairly easy to put together from start to finish.  The hardest part on party day was keeping my 3 year old off of it until the guests arrived.  Thanks again to all the sponsors who helped make our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration a big success!  For more ideas on how to add some more Disney to your next party, visit www.disneysidecelebrations.com and follow the hashtag #DisneySide on Social Media.

I received free products in order to host the #DisneySide @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Planning a Disney Side @Home Celebration!

Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

My email congratulating me on being selected!
Back in December, I found out about the Disney Side @Home Celebration opportunity through my Disney groups on Facebook and Twitter.  I quickly read over some brief descriptions of the program and decided it sounded right up my alley.  I applied to be selected as a host and was thrilled to receive an email in the beginning of January that I was selected and would be receiving my box soon!  Last week, I received my box of goodies and have been anxious to plan a great party!


It arrived!
So what is Disney Side @Home Celebration?  Disney Parks teams up with BSM Media and a variety of sponsors to send individuals some awesome free products to host a Disney party at your house.  In exchange, we agree to host a party by the end of February and share our experiences on our social media outlets - blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  I have been following many experienced "social media moms" who do these kind of events on a regular basis, but this is a first for me!

I was so excited to open it, but waited for Brody to go to bed because I knew he'd want to rip into everything!
So what goodies were in the box?  Some really awesome products!  Based on the questionnaire I submitted in my application, I was selected to host a Cars themed preschool party - perfect for my preschool boy!  There were so many goodies that I decided to capture them in a picture for now and will talk more about them as I plan and host my celebration.  (P.S. - Notice the Mickey cake pan???  How exciting is that for this novice cake decorator and Disney fan?!?)

Some really amazing items!
And when will this party take place?  Well, those of you who know me personally know that within the next two weeks we are moving into a new house and due to have a new baby.  Some of you think I'm crazy to have applied and be selected for this, but I couldn't pass up a Disney opportunity!  With that in mind, we're planning a get together on Feb. 28 for some of Brody's friends to come and play.  I think Brody will enjoy the time celebrating with his friends in his new house and it will also be great for him to have a day devoted to Brody with so much attention focused on the arrival of his new baby brother.

A little bit closer view of some of the goodies in our kit!

I can't wait to host my party next month!  Look for more blog posts as the date draws closer about planning for the party and, of course, a summary of the party afterwards.  A big thank you to all the sponsors for being a part of such an amazing opportunity for us Disney fans to show our #DisneySide!


Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.