Let’s Celebrate with Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Attraction and Brownie Pops!

Happy 21st Birthday “Nightmare Before Christmas!”

Haunted Mansion Holiday

On October 13th, 1993 “The Pumpkin King” was introduced to Americans.  “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas” was such a phenomenal success that The Walt Disney Company decided to thrill obsessed Jack Skellington fans by creating a special attraction overlay.  This overlay shows Disneyland guests how Jack would celebrate Christmas in The Haunted Mansion. On October 3rd 2001, Disneyland opened an amazingly transformed Haunted Mansion, with the help of Jack Skellington of course, and called it “Haunted Mansion Holiday.”

Haunted Mansion HolidayHaunted Mansion Holiday is a seasonal attraction offered exclusively to Disneyland guests from the end of September through early January each year.

On my recent trip to Disneyland I was able to experience this enchanted attraction. Walt Disney Imagineering did a mind-blowing job bringing Jack’s special touch to every corner of the Haunted Mansion.  Would you like to take a look?  I promise brownie pops at the end!

Haunted Mansion Holiday Overview

 Jack welcomes guests to explore the grounds outside the mansion where decorations adorn everything!  Walking through the queue is almost as entertaining as the attraction!

Haunted Mansion Holiday

This is a side view of The Haunted Mansion.  As you can see, pumpkins, garland, and candelabras add Jack’s festive touch to the otherwise gray mansion and gloomy grounds.Haunted Mansion Holiday

At the entrance to the mansion a giant clock counts down to Christmas…looks like Christmas has arrived!

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Upon entering, guests will immediately notice the difference between the original version of the attraction and this special festive overlay. There’s a reason the attraction closes for a few weeks to transform. This is not a minor refurbishment. It takes the attraction to a level worthy of FassPass!  If you’ve never had the opportunity to see Haunted Mansion Holiday, I won’t spoil it for you by telling you every single difference, but I will say that the stretching room is so cool!

My camera didn’t take the best photos inside of Haunted Mansion Holiday, but I thought you still might want to see a few peeks at the attraction.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The photo featured above is of the Doom Buggie loading area.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Guests travel through all of the same rooms as in the original attraction.  However, each room has been decorated for the holiday celebration.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

When comparing attractions available at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park attractions, there are quite a few attractions offered at Disneyland Park that are not at Magic Kingdom. Haunted Mansion Holiday is by far my favorite! OUTSTANDINGLY detailed with animatronics and special effects from not only Disney Imagineering but also Garner Holt Productions.  If I could pick it up and take it to Walt Disney World I would in an instant!

In celebration of the 21st anniversary of “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas”, let’s enjoy a tasty treat!  So simple to make, using a box of brownie mix, a bit of white and chocolate icing, you could whip them up for this evening’s dessert.

Jack Skellington Brownie Pops by Mouse Ears Mom.com

If you’d like to see the step-by-step directions on how I made these “Brownie Kings”, here’s the direct link!

 http://www.mouseearsmom.com/2013/10/21/jack-skellington-brownie-pops/

Enjoy!

Disney Interactive Launches A Disney Halloween Portal

Disney Interactive Halloween 2014

Yesterday morning was cold and rainy in Pennsylvania.  We were only three hours into our day when my seven-year-old son, Gavin announced he was already bored.  Luckily I remembered that Disney Interactive just launched a new Disney Halloween themed portal.

Wondering what the portal is all about?

Disney invites fans to roam the halls of Disney.com’s Haunted House at Disney.com/Halloween to discover spook-tacular games, videos, crafts, and galleries of the most dastardly villains. Every dark corner and hauntingly sweet floor of the page offers online and offline fun for the whole family, including:

  • Disney themed not-so-scary stories told by Disney Blogs
  • Trick and treat ideas inspired by Disney Family
  • A costume destination brought to you by Disney Store

 Bring your family’s Halloween to life by visiting Disney.com’s terror-ific haunted house at Disney.com/Halloween this October. Creepy new content will be added throughout the month, so check back regularly for new fun and frights!

Gavin had fun playing in the “Gostly, Ghastly Gaming” section and I enjoyed checking out the “Spooktacular Halloween Tricks & Treats” ideas!  When you’re looking around the portal, make sure you watch Nick Pitera’s rendition of “This Is Halloween.”  It’s awesome!  You’ll find that at the very top of the page under “Creepy Clips from the Crypt.”

Have a great Fall weekend everyone!

A Look Inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Lamp on the check in table at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

A warmly lit quail lamp greeted me at the check-in desk of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. To my back the Great Hall welcomed my family with its massive fireplace, over-sized couches, rocking chairs and stained glass light fixtures all saturated in rich hues of yellow, green, orange and brown. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is an architectural beauty, inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1900s.

Grand Californian Hotel Lobby "Great Hall"The Craftsman theme and Disney’s celebration of California’s grand natural beauty can be found in every corner of the hotel.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand California Hotel mirror the same Arts & Crafts motif as the original hotel rooms, but depending on the size of the villa, Villa rooms also provide guests with additional in-room amenities. There are four types of Villa rooms, Deluxe Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and Grand Villa. Here’s a look inside, and outside, of my family’s “home away from home” during our stay at the hotel. The room is categorized as a Deluxe Studio room.

Headboard at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

This is the headboard of the queen-size bed.  Notice the Craftsman theme continues in the Deluxe Studio furnishings .

Sleeper Sofa in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Studio Room

The couch is a queen-size sleeper sofa and the window to the left is actually a door leading out to the balcony.  I LOVED the light fixtures in this room!

kitchenette within the studio room at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

 The kitchenette provides a sink, microwave, toaster, instant coffee maker, ice bucket, four drinking glasses, four coffee mugs, an under-the-counter refrigerator, a variety of disposable utensils, travel-size dish washing liquid, paper towels, garbage can and pantry storage.  Use this convenient space and be prepared to save some money!

Bathroom of a Studio Room at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

The bathroom at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is themed after one of Disney’s most beloved films.  Can you see what character is hiding out in the forest print shower curtain?

The vanity at Disney's Grand Californian.There’s no detail that’s too small for Disney.  Even the complimentary bath products carry the nature theme with sea marine scented Disney Resorts SPA H2O brand shampoo & conditioner and sea salt body wash, body lotion and facial soap.

Pool View from DVC Studio at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

 Each Deluxe Studio room has a balcony that provides exquisite views.  Our room had a view of one of the hotel’s three pools.  The pool pictured above is the Mariposa Pool.

Villa at Disneys Grand Californian Hotel Pool View

My parents also stayed in a Deluxe Studio at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  I like to describe the view from their balcony as an obstructed view, but I think it gave them a nice view of two pretty amazing sights!  When standing on the balcony and looking to the left guests can see obstructed views of the Fountain Pool and the Redwood Pool, as pictured above.

View of California Adventure park from a Deluxe Studio room.

Standing on the same balcony, when looking to the right, guests can watch the “Screamin’ Over California” roller coaster. Cool, right?

Entrance to the Fountain Pool at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

 Want a closer look at the pools?

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is conveniently positioned a few steps away from the Downtown Disney District and has an exclusive entrance into the California Adventure Park. Due to potential non-hotel guest visitors walking by the pools, guests of the Grand Californian that are eager to jump into the glistening pools can do so by using their room keys to open this beautiful gate.

Redwood Pool Looking for the slide?  Redwood Pool is ready to deliver!

Food options at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

After some hard-core playing hours at the pool, hunger is bound to set in.  There are four themed dining options that deliver guest experiences which continue to pay tribute to the beauty of California and Craftsman art motif.

Although, I’m not going to review the restaurants in this post, I will say that White Water Snacks is the perfect place to stop by for a quick snack after a dip in the pool.  Or if you’re looking for a special place to eat with your spouse, try Napa Rose.

childcare at Disneyland

All Disney restaurants are “kid friendly.” However, if you and your spouse would like to plan a “date night” at Napa Rose, Pinocchio’s Workshop is ready to help make your wish come true.  Located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Pinocchio’s Workshop is a child care facility that offers a variety of fun activities to keep kids active while Mom and Dad play.

As each night concluded during our five night stay, the soft glow provided by the Craftsman designed lobby area welcomed us home as we waited for the elevator to take us to our room.  It truly was a beautiful sight.Elevator Lobby at Grand CalifornianDisney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa offers its guests more than just its beautifully themed hotel and pools.  Experiences at the hotel is what truly makes a stay at the West Coast’s “Grand” magically GRAND.

Visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/grand-californian-hotel/ to find out more about the outstanding spa services, award-winning restaurants and magical experiences just ready for your family to experience at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

I hoped you enjoyed this look inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and thank you for stopping by the blog today!

Disney Channel’s ”Monstober” Presents New Halloween-Themed Episodes!

CLOVER, PRINCESS SOFIA, BOO

Disney Channel has kicked off a month-long Halloween celebration called “Monstober!”

My family life has been very chaotic over the past month, including quite an adventure to The Disneyland Resort.  I apologize that I have not posted on the blog in such a long time! I promise to fill you in on all of the magic of Disneyland over the next month, but FIRST I have to share this Disney News so you don’t miss a show!  Packed with new Halloween-themed episodes of our preschoolers’ favorite Disney Junior shows and school-age kids’ favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD shows, Disney’s “Monstober” will have your television recording devices earning their keep in October!

Here’s the line up for Disney Junior!

Friday, October 3rd: 

  • 8:30 a.m. “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” features the stories “Pirate Ghost Story” (Jake and his Never Land Pirate crew help ghost pirate, Treasure Tooth reunite with his ghost gal, Peg-Leg Peg) and “Queen Izzy Bella” (Izzy transforms into pirate adventurer Queen Isabella and sets out on a quest to find treasure in Never Land’s Valley of Ice.)
  •  9:00 a.m. “Sofia the First” features “Ghostly Gala”– Sofia tries to keep a ghost from ruining her Halloween Party.
  • 9:30 a.m. “Doc McStuffins” features “Hide and Eek”– Doc’s brother, Donny and friend, Alma create a toy monster.  All of the other toys are afraid of the toy monster until they get to know him.

CHILLY, STUFFY, CHARLIE, LAMBIE, HALLIE, DOC

Friday, October 10th: 

  • 8:30 a.m. “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” features the stories “Jake the Wolf” (Jake turns into a wolf and his Never Land pirate pals must find a cure) and “Witch Hook” (Captain Hook is turned a witch.)

CUBBY, SKULLY, IZZY, JAKE

 Saturday, October 4th and Sunday, October 5th Disney Channel has a line-up packed with new Halloween-themed episodes from “Gravity Falls,” “Wander of Yonder”, “Austin & Ally”, “Liv and Maddie” and “I Didn’t Do It.”

To kick off this “Monstober” two-day weekend, Saturday, October 4th at 8:00 p.m. “Phineas and Ferb” will have a one-hour episode!

“Night of the Living Pharmacists”

REMINDER: Saturday, October 4th at 8:00 p.m.

BALJEET, PHINEAS, FERB, BUFORD, DR. DOOFENSHMIRTZ

Can you imagine that this is just the beginning of Disney Channel’s “Monstober” event?

Disney XD will also host all-new Halloween-themed episodes of its popular shows, including “Lab Rats,” “Mighty Med,” “The 7D,” “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H,” “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” and the new series “Kirby Buckets,” beginning FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17.

I have to ask!  Aren’t they just the cutest little dwarfs ever?  We love “The 7D!”

SNEEZY, DOC, DOPEY, LORD STARCHBOTTOM, GRUMPY, HAPPY SLEEPY

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll invite you to check out the full “Monstober” schedule at http://disneychannel.disney.com/monstober

I don’t know about you, but I suddenly feel a huge push to get the Halloween decorations out!  Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to tune in Disney Junior Friday morning!

Preparing for a Disney Vacation with Disney Baby Products

disney baby

In my family, Disney is introduced at birth!

From Disney character nursery room décor, to adorable Disney themed outfits,toys and books, my children started their lives surrounded by Disney magic!  My babies are now seven-years-old and three-years-old and it’s my goal to keep sprinkling a daily dose of Disney in their lives.  Disney Baby products, available at Walmart, have helped me do this. They easily take everyday moments in our life, such as snack time, and add a touch of magic that can only be expected from Disney.  My daughter, Victoria is three-years-old and I still pack Minnie Mouse and Doc McStuffins insulated sippy cups to take on errand runs!  (She loves the characters and I appreciate going through the store knowing she won’t drip milk on their floor!)  Needless to say, our family loves Disney Baby products.

Talking about Disney moments, I’m preparing for my family’s upcoming trip to Disneyland! YAY! The other day I was writing one of my many packing lists, when I received an email asking me to write a post about some pretty awesome new Disney Baby products.  A few of the items jumped right out at me because I wanted them for this upcoming trip!  I had no idea that Disney character booster seats existed, so of course I wanted to share them with you.

I love that these booster seats celebrate Disney Pixar’s film, “Cars”, perfect for my son and my daughter’s favorite mouse, Minnie.  As an added bonus, each booster seat has a built in cup holder and a super convenient pull-out storage drawer!

Disney Store n Go Backless Booster Formula Racer Disney Store n Go Backless Booster Minnie Mouse Silhouette Pink

Here’s my legal disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Disney Baby and I was compensated to write it. Regardless, I’m sharing my opinions and experiences with Disney Baby products with the hope that you find the information useful in adding a touch of Disney into your daily life.

Prepare and Pack for Transportation!

Transportation planning for a trip to Disneyland is incredibly important if you have children!

Disneyland does not offer Magical Express service from any airports.  If you’re flying to California and choose to rent a car, keep in mind that in the state of California all children under the age of 8 years old must be secured in a safety seat to ride in a vehicle.  Don’t forget to add car seats to your packing list!  Good news is that most airlines will allow you to check your children’s car seats or boosters FREE of charge.

Pack your child’s stroller!

Yes, you can rent a stroller at Disneyland or Walt Disney World for $15 per day, but why not use your own for free? During our past ten trips to Walt Disney World with children there was one occasion where we rented a stroller at the park and we’ve decided to stick with our own strollers.  My husband and I found that our children took naps much easier in their stroller from home.  It’s where the kids feel most comfortable to sleep and airlines allow strollers to be checked at the gate for FREE!

Also on my packing wish list is this ADORABLE Mickey Mouse Umbrella Stroller.  Could it be any cuter?  I was surprised to see that it’s only $22.59 at Walmart.com with free in-store pickup!

PROD_UmbrellaStroller_Mickey.jpg

Here’s a Stroller Tip for touring a Disney Park with your own stroller: Attach a stand out luggage tag on the handle or tie a bright-colored ribbon to your stroller.  This will make finding the stroller a bunch easier.  Why all the fuss you might ask?  Disney Cast Members rearrange the strollers while you’re enjoying an attraction.  Sometimes this can make finding your stroller within the sea of strollers challenging.

Although my children have outgrown infant seats, I just had to share this set with you. I love the polka-dots!  For the littlest Mouseketeerette in your family, this is the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Coral Flowers Travel System.

Disney Saunter Sport LC-22 Travel System Coral Flowers Minnie Mouse

 Pack the Pack-n-Play (if you have room!)

Rest assured, if you’re flying and have no intentions on bringing your child’s Pack-n-Play, Disney Resort rooms provide you with one free of charge.

Here’s a Pack-n-Play Tip:  Disney provides you with one cover for the base of the unit.  I recommend bringing extra sheets so you have extra if they get soiled and possibly pack a sleeper sack.  I have found that the air conditioning gets really cool for infants, so my children used sleeper sacks.

However, if you’re driving or your child favors her own Pack-n-Play, add it to your list!  Check out this stylish Minnie Mouse themed Playard. This is the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Coral Flowers Care Center Playard!

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Coral Flowers Care Center Playard

 Last but certainly not least~ Pack Empty Sippy Cups!

I learned very quickly that a toddler’s carton and/or jug of milk will spill just about instantaneously in the parks without a sippy cup.  Therefore, about five years ago, I started packing the take and toss cups by Disney Baby.  The sippy cups are available in Disney brands Princess, Minnie Mouse and Cars and can be purchased at Walmart!  The image below is of the “Cars” insulated cups I used for years with Gavin.  They’re fabulous for around the house- NO LEAKING!  But for storage purposes, I would recommend the Take and Toss cup styles.

Here’s a Sippy Cup Tip:  Purchase a set of three Take and Toss Disney Baby cups and place them inside a gallon size Ziploc bag (without drinks).  Then put them in your backpack to take to the parks.  Also pack an additional empty gallon size Ziploc bag.  As the day progresses, purchase milk for your child from the quick service food locations and pour the drink into a clean sippy cup.  When he’s done drinking, just rinse the cup in a drink fountain and then put the cup in the Ziploc bag to be washed that evening in the resort. When he’s thirsty again, just use another clean one from the backpack. I found that the Take and Toss cups are great space savers and they have beautiful Disney Princesses on them so my daughter enjoys using them.  I have to admit, the cups are a time saver too!  Without the cups I’m certain my daughter would have many more wardrobe changes!  A princess can’t be seen in milk drenched ensemble, you know.

Disney Baby 2pk Insulated Cups Cars

Whether you’re planning a vacation to a Disney Park or planning a trip to the local park, Disney Baby products are a perfect way to add a dash of Disney magic into your child’s everyday moments!   I won’t overload you with all of the cool Disney Baby products available at Walmart.  Instead I invite you to explore Walmart’s Disney Baby product line on your own.  Visit Disney Baby here!  Have fun shopping!  Now it’s back to packing list writing for me!

 

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