Mickey Mouse Inspired Pumpkin Cupcakes

Mickey Mouse Pumpkin CupcakesHappy Halloween Week Everyone!

One of my favorite things about visiting a Disney Park during the holiday seasons is the festive cupcakes and treats that Disney sells.  While visiting Disneyland Resort I enjoyed seeing the Halloween creations made by Disney’s talented Cast Members and as usual, they did not disappoint.  Here’s a look at some of my favorites!

Halloween Treats at Disneyland ResortAnytime of the year you can find amazing character apples, but I think during the Halloween season the selection is Spooktacular!

Halloween Treats at Disneyland Resort

As soon as I saw Mickey Mummy treats I wanted to run home and make them!

Disneyland Halloween treats

However, first I decided to make my version of these adorable Mickey Mouse pumpkin cupcakes! They were so easy to make. It took less than a half hour for 20 cupcakes. Would you like to make some during this week of Halloween?

My simple version of Disneyland’s cupcakes have a marshmallow based icing. I used the “Super-Easy Marshmallow Icing” recipe by King Arthur Flour. You can check out the photo tutorial on how I made the cupcakes, including the icing below.

Gather your supplies. The icing recipe is for 24 cupcakes so that’s how many cupcakes I made.  However, I was only able to transform 20 cupcakes before running out of icing.

Mouse Ears Mom.com

You’ll need the recipe for the “Super-Easy Marshmallow Icing” and you can find it here:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/super-easy-marshmallow-icing-recipe .

  • Tootsie Rolls (Not Shown Below) are used for the pumpkin stem.
  • Chocolate wafer melts (Not Shown Below) are used for Mickey’s Ears.
  • Green icing- optional (Not Shown Below) is used to make the leaf.
  • The photo below shows you the ingredients I used to make the icing: Salt, Vanilla Extract, Heavy Cream, Powdered Sugar and Marshmallows.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/super-easy-marshmallow-icing-recipe ingredients

As the recipe states, make sure you continuously stir the ingredients while they are heating or the marshmallows will stick. It took a bit longer than I expected for the marshmallows to start to melt and then all of a sudden it started sticking at warp speed.

Mouse Ears Mom.com

Once the marshmallows, heavy cream, sugar, and salt have blended together this is what the icing looked like.Mouse Ears Mom.com

After I poured the mixture into a large mixer bowl, I added the vanilla AND equal amounts of red and yellow food coloring to create orange icing.

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As the recipe suggested, I covered the orange icing and refrigerated it overnight.

marshmallow icing

The next day I used my mixer to whip the icing into shape and I was ready to go!

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I played around with different icing tips creating different kinds of pumpkin cupcakes.  I found that I liked the Wilton #12 tip’s results the best.  I piled icing in the center of each cupcake and covered the center by starting at the cake and meeting the icing at the top.

Pumpkin cupcake. Mouse Ears Mom.com

After covering the cupcake with icing I pushed an unwrapped Tootsie Roll through the center of the icing.

Mickey pumpkin cupcake

Add a two chocolate wafers for ears and you’re done!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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!

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