Archives for December 2012

A Disney Year in Review

A Look Back

2012 brought so many wonderful changes for Disney. With today being the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to go over some of the changes that families have experiences and enjoyed this year. And after we have a fun look back, I will give you a sneak peak at some new possible changes for 2013!


  1. New designed and imagined California Adventure reopens to include new restaurants, Buena Vista Street and the Red Car Trolley.

    Carthay Theater on Buena Vista Street

    Carthay Circle Theater on Buena Vista Street

  2. Cars Land opens in June to record crowds and includes new dining and a fantastic new ride, Radiator Springs RacersCars Land Entrance
  3. New characters join the park at new Meet & Greets: Merida, and Periwinkle in Pixie Hollow
    Merida Meet & Greet at Disneyland

    Merida Meet & Greet at Disneyland

    Periwinkle Meet & Greet at Disneyland

    Periwinkle Meet & Greet at Disneyland

  4. Princess Fantasy Faire closed for a new Princess Meet & Greet to begin construction

Walt Disney World

  1. New Fantasyland opens with the Enchanted Forest which includes:
    • Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride
    • Be Our Guest Restaurant
    • Enchanted Tales with Belle experience
    • Ariel’s Grotto Meet & Greet
    • Gaston’s Tavern for snacks & drinks

      New Fantasyland Copyright Walt Disney Online

      New Fantasyland Copyright Walt Disney Online

  2. The Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland opens which includes:
    • The Barnstormer ride
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant redesign with two rides and new wait system
    • Casey Jr. Splash n Soak Station
    • Silly Sideshow street performers
  3. Test Track opens after a redesign
  4. New characters join the park at new Meet & Greets: Merida, and Periwinkle in Pixie Hollow

At the Movies

Disney released quite a few great family movies that we have enjoyed. Here are the top Disney family movies of the year:

  1. Brave
    preschoolears: brave
  2. Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings
    preschoolears: Secret of the Wings
  3. Wreck it Ralph (DVD release in early 2013 – pre-order already available)
    preschoolears: WreckRalph
  4. Frankenweenie (DVD release early 2013 – pre-order already available)
    preschoolears: Frankenweenie
  5. John Carter
  6. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
  7. Sofia the First – TV movie
  8. Treasure Buddies – DVD and Blu-Ray release only
  9. The Avengers

Disney Travel

Disney Cruise Lines released their fourth new cruise ship called the Disney Fantasy. It is 40% larger that the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, making it the largest in their fleet. Cruises visit the eastern and western Caribbean. Cruises are booking up for 2013 and they already released dates for 2014!

Disney News

Probably the biggest news in 2012 for Disney, was their acquisition of Lucas Films. While most Disney fans are familiar with Star Wars being a part of Disney, this new addition to the Disney empire means that Disney will continue more Star Wars projects. They also announced they will begin a new Star Wars movie, seventh in the series, that is slated to be released in 2015.

That is our list of highlights from 2012. It was quite a year!

A Look Ahead to 2013

While Disney hasn’t made many announcements as to changes and additions for 2013, there are a lot of speculations and guesses as to what might be coming.

First, Disney did announce their newest promotion for 2013 which is ”Limited Time Magic Events“.

preschoolears: Limited Time Magic

These special events will be scattered throughout the year and some that we know of will be:

  1. True Love Week
  2. Independence Day Week
  3. Long Lost Friends Week
  4. Pirate Week
  5. Dapper Dans sing boy bands
  6. Unleash the Villains Week
  7. Golden Horseshoe Revue

Those are all they have released at this time but I’m sure more are to come, with more details of what each special event will include. To follow along, go to or follow along on twitter following #LimitedTimeMagic.

Park Construction

  1. At Disneyland, plans to open the new Princess Meet and Greet in 2013 which will include not only greeting areas but a stage for shows and a Rapunzel-inspired tower for guest to participate in a ribbon parade.
  2. The former Princess Fantasy Faire will be turned back into a stage and new stage shows will be announced for 2013.
  3. At Walt Disney World, construction is set to finish on the newest DVC villas at the Grand Floridian.

Disney Movies for 2013

While movie dates and releases can change, here are some Disney movies that may be coming out in 2013. Ratings are not yet released so I am unsure what age these will be appropriate for.

  1. Monsters University – a sequel to Monsters Inc with original character voices; check out for fun stuff your kids will love to see. The creativity is amazing!
    preschoolears: Monsters University
  2. Tink – a live-action Tinkerbell movie
  3. Oz: The Great & Powerful – movie trailers are already out and it looks awesome, but I am unsure if this is one for little ones
    preschoolears: Oz
  4. Magic Kingdom – based on the books ”The Kingdom Keepers“ and set at Walt Disney World
  5. Phineus & Ferb movie
  6. The Hill – a movie based on the Matterhorn ride
  7. Frozen – live-action movie based on the Hans Christian Anderson story ”The Snow Queen“
  8. Planes – spinoff of Cars and Cars II but not produced by Pixar; DVD and Blu-Ray release only
  9. Little Mermaid 3D in theaters
  10. Iron Man 3
  11. Thor 2
  12. Savings Mr. Banks – biography of the filmmakers for ”Mary Poppins“ including Tom Hanks as Walt Disney

Disney Junior

  1. New changes are coming in 2013 for the Live Show at both parks. These include two new stories being added to the show: Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First. This means they will be losing The Little Einsteins and Handy Manny in the show, which could possibly mean these shows are leaving the Disney Junior lineup.
  2. On TV, Disney Junior will be adding Sofia the First starting January 11th as a new show
    preschoolears: Sofia the First
  3. Another new show that will debut is ”Oki’s Oasis“
    preschoolears: Oki

Disney Travel

Disney will be bringing back special deals for military families for 2013 so watch for those to be released. They are also planning Free Dining deals again during specific dates so watch for those deals. On New Year’s Day, Disney is expected to make an announcement on Disney Travel as well.

Disney Rumors

Here are some rumors we’ve heard but can’t say for sure if they will happen:

  1. Cars Land being built at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World
  2. Construction beginning on Avatar-themed land at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World
  3. FastPass Plus system for families, as part of the NextGen project, launching in the new year. This is a new system where families can ”pre-order“ Fast Passes for each day of their trip according to the plan they purchase
  4. Merida will join the Disney Princesses with a special coronation ceremony


I recently posted all the 2013 dates for runDisney if your new year’s resolution is to run a race. Click here to see my previous post of information.

For now, those are the highlights and upcoming events for Disney in 2013. Should be a great year!

Disney Christmas Gift Tags

Finishing your wrapping or just getting started? At our house, we are just finishing our wrapping and every year I seem to run out of gift tags right at the end! Well, I found some adorable Disney gift tags on that you can simply print, cut and use. It’s pretty easy! Here are my three favorites but their site has many more Christmas tags as well as crafts and fun things for the kids. Click on the picture below to take you to the spoonful site to download and print the tags.

Classic Mickey & Friends Tags


Mickey and Friends Tags


Prep & Landing Tags


We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Prep & Landing Totally Tinsel Collection Review

In the words of one of our favorite elves, this is so tinsel! If you were a fan of the clever and imaginative Christmas movies from Disney that premiered for television called “Prep and Landing”, then you will love the new DVD/Blu-ray (available as just DVD as well) release. This is the Totally Tinsel Collection of both Prep and Landing movies featuring our favorite elves, Wayne and Lanny. Our kids love the cute stories and we laugh at the clever adult humor.

The collection includes the original Prep & Landing as well as the sequel Prep & Landing Naughty vs Nice. Both originally aired on ABC and are now together on DVD due to huge popularity. Additional features in the set are some fun extra shorts like “Operation Secret Santa” and “Tiny’s Big Adventure”, and also some simple graphics films about the elf world. Our kids actually watched it all, but grew bored when we got to the documentary side that introduced the voice actors and such. All in all, our family enjoyed this as a Family Movie Night for Christmas, and I think it was a good addition to our always growing Christmas movie collection.

So I would say that if your kids really enjoyed Prep & Landing when it was on TV, this would be a great buy for you. It is available at Target for $14.99 and the DVD only (no Blu-ray) is available on Amazon for $9.99.

New Fantasyland and New Test Track at Walt Disney World

December has already been a big month for Walt Disney World with the Grand Opening of the New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, and the Grand Opening of the new Test Track at Epcot. For those who are bubbling with excitement to see these new attractions and areas, I’ve collected some of my favorite videos that offer highlights of New Fantasyland and the new Test Track, so if you won’t be visiting the parks anytime soon, enjoy getting a fun sneak peak!

New Fantasyland

What is new in Fantasyland? Here are the new additions:
1. Beast’s castle with the new Be Our Guest Restaurant
2. Maurice’s cottage with Enchanted Tales with Belle that includes a meet & greet
3. Gaston’s tavern that serves unique drinks and snacks, as well as a chance to meet Gaston
4. Prince Eric & Princess Ariel’s castle which includes a new Little Mermaid ride (Journey of the Little Mermaid)
5. Ariel’s Grotto for meet & greets
6. Two Dumbo the Flying Elephant rides which include the new “Play While You Wait” system and wait area
7. Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station (opened earlier this fall)
8. Re-themed Barnstormer ride with the Great Goofini (opened earlier this fall)

Here is a good video of the new Be Our Guest Restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. Lunch is a quick-serve and dinner is a table serve; advanced reservations highly recommended for dinner.

Good Morning America did a great piece on the New Fantasyland. This picture will link you to their video. It has a cute and fun look at all the new attractions.

This video is so funny, my family just loved it. If you love HGTV and House Hunters, then you will love this cute video with Beauty and the Beast.

And my last video of New Fantasyland is some of the “Dancing with the Stars” pros dancing at the new Be Our Guest restaurant. Not only is it fun to watch their amazing dancing, but it offers a wonderful view of the inside dining hall of the restaurant. It looks so beautiful!

New Test Track

Test Track had it’s Grand Opening after a lengthy redesign courtesy of Chevrolet. If you are a Test Track fan, you will enjoy this in-depth video of the entire ride and how it has changed. If you would rather it all be a surprise until you ride it, then skip to the next video!

This video has highlights from the Grand Opening of Test Track celebration and shows some of the new aspects of the ride.

I hope you have enjoyed the videos and are excited for your next visit to Disney World. I will have plenty of pictures and video to share when we visit in about a month! And we can’t wait to see both the new Fantasyland and the new Test Track!

Christmas Wish Lists

With the holidays in full swing at our house, I thought I would share some of the fun toys on my kid’s wish lists. My girls are age 8 and 4, and they have some shared items on their wish lists. One big thing this year for both of them is Tinkerbell and Periwinkle. They loved the new Disney Fairy movie, “Secret of the Wings”, and we were lucky to meet Periwinkle at Disneyland this fall. So here are a few of the Disney Fairy toys they are wishing for this Christmas.

This is a 9“ doll set of both Tinkerbell and Periwinkle in their winter clothes. This is a hot item this year and hard to find. We ordered ours online at Toys R Us.

The girls were really wanting this dress-up set of Tinkerbell and Periwinkle. The dolls are small, and in this picture the box says ”Only at Toys R Us“ but we have seen this at Target and Amazon.

The 9” fairy dolls are out again but now in their winter coats. My girls have all the original dolls but wanted them now with their winter outfits. Well played, merchandising.

For my 4-year old, her BIG thing this year is Doc McStuffins. And one of the hottest and hardest to get toys is this talking Doc McStuffins doll with Lambie doll set. We have found it at Target but it sells quickly. People are trying to sell them for inflated prices online, but keep watching Target and Toys R Us if this is big on your kid’s list this year.

Another big thing this year for my girls was the movie “Brave”. They love Merida. So both girls will be getting a Merida and Angus doll set. We found ours at Costco.

My son is 6 years old (almost 7) and he is into the usual boy things this year. He loves Legos and Hex Bug and Nerf. So there isn’t really a surprise what is on his favorites list.

This is the Nerf gun he is wishing for this year. The big cartridge on the bottom holds an endless amount of shooting disks. I predict I will be finding these disks all over my house next year.


For Legos, his big things are Ninjago and Star Wars. No surprise in the Lego world, but he is wishing for his first Ninjago set as well as this Star Wars Tie Fighter set. And I know he will finish these sets in record time too!

Our toddler in the house, who is almost 2, loves all things Mickey Mouse. He also loves cars and balls and shiny things…he’s easy to please! One thing on his wish list is this cute Mickey farm playset. Anything Mickey seems to make him happy! This is available at the Disney Store as well as Amazon.

He is also wishing for this Wheelies Loops and Swoops Amusement Park. Fisher-Price has the cutest wheelies and some are in Toy Story and Cars characters. But this fun car amusement park should provide hours of play.

Our little guy loves “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” from Disney Junior. While we aren’t getting him the new Disney pirate ship Bucky set, we did get him the Fisher-Price Little People pirate ship. It is more age-appropriate for him. I think the Jake pirate ship is adorable though and it is a hot toy this year!

He is also wishing for this adorable new Tigger doll – Bounce Bounce Tigger. This is a popular preschool gift this year but it is still available at many stores. We got ours at Target on sale.

One last item on our kid’s wishlist for all ages is the Wii Just Dance Disney edition. This should be lots of fun for everyone to play and will probably be a part of our fun family New Year’s Eve party!

Well those are just a few of the favorites on our kiddo’s wish lists. They are hoping they have been good enough this year! What favorites are on your kid’s wish lists for Christmas? Share some of the toys and things on your children’s wish lists in the comments! I would love to hear what kids are hoping for during the holidays.

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