Our Comical WDW Family 5K

The WDW Family “Freezing” Run 5K of 2015

When we signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon of 2015, we thought it would be so much fun for the kids to join the run fun with the Family Fun Run 5K. And in theory, this would have been true. For those that don’t know, the 5K runs through Epcot and they have fun characters out for pictures and greets. On paper, this sounds great, right?

First, our kids HATED getting up at a ridiculous time in the morning. Granted, this is not as early as runners for the other races. But seriously, waking our kids up to get on the monorail at 5:00 in the morning is horrible. Especially for our two youngest who were very, very upset they were awake. And they were already tired from the parks the day before.

Second, a freak cold freeze moved down in Florida that morning. And when I say cold, it was seriously freezing. And I know cold…I like in Colorado. Luckily, we had packed hats and gloves and sweatshirts for all the kids, but no amount of clothing is enough for standing outside in 15 degree wind chills. With all this in mind, we had a funny morning. And it is only funny because it was so bad that you just have to laugh.

Here is our first race picture – we are shivering. Yes people, this is Florida. And even though we are smiling (at least some of us) we are really cold.

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Our two youngest hated the race. My youngest daughter never smiled the entire time.

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Some of us were excited to see Marie! Pretty sad because my youngest daughter loves Marie, but she couldn’t fake a smile at all. Our youngest continued to be held and the moment he was set down, he cried.

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While my oldest two ran quite a bit and it warmed them up, for my youngest daughter I had to just pull her along the whole way. I couldn’t get her to enjoy any of it.

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I finally gave up on walking and just piggybacked her for a mile. It hurt my back and legs so much. But look – she actually smiled. Of course, because she was doing nothing.

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We said “Lets take one more family picture before the finish!” We were faking the smiles, and our youngest just busted into complete cries.

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Oh wait! This picture they are smiling and having fun! That’s because they can literally see the finish line in front of them. I actually got my youngest daughter to run the last tiny bit to the finish.

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Literally, our youngest sobbed across the finish. He was miserable.

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And then all of a sudden, they were so excited to have their medals! It was like they forgot how freezing they were. And our youngest, who was carried the ENTIRE race, told us his medal was for winning the race. Yeah, sure.

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So basically, it was so bad, we had to just laugh and push on. Would I do it again? Not with my age kids. Would the race be freezing again? Probably not, but getting up that early was tough. They all say they want to do the 10K next. I hope they can find other parents to take them because it won’t be us!

Mickey’s Magical Arts World by Disney’s Imagicademy

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Disney’s Imagicademy just introduced their newest app for kids ages 3-8 – Mickey’s Magical Arts World. This highly interactive new app focuses on children’s artistic creativity and curiosity combined with their favorite Mickey and pals characters. We first shared with you their first app release, Mickey’s Magical Math World, which was a huge hit at our house. This newest app has been a favorite as well with our preschooler.

The app is free to download for iPad through Apple’s App Store. It is best to use Magical Arts World on an iPad since there is a lot of drawing and creating in each section. There are 5 areas of discovery in the app: Drawing, Costume & Movies, Materials, Design and Music.

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My preschooler loves Pluto’s Craft Creator, where he gets to design a toy. There are endless possibilities and opportunities for creativity. The unusual materials and designs inspire his creativity. And they can make changes and redesign as much as they would like. There are paint splatters, weird materials and textures, stamping and on and on.

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Minnie’s Art-chitect Design offers children a chance to design different kinds of buildings from apartment buildings to castles. Children can change the color, windows, accents, and yards. It explores symmetry, harmony and balance, and as kids add different elements, others have to be subtracted. There is a wide range of choices in colors, hues and options. It is endless creating and fun!

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Mickey’s Music Maker section has different types of instruments, some real and some pretend. Children can put together a band playing a song of their choice as it marches along. Music choices are from a wide range of genres and styles. And they can mix up the instruments anyway they like and change the tempo. They get a chance to hear what changing different instruments does to the song. And when they have four put together, they can then choose the instruments to play themselves.

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In Donald’s Costume & Movies, they design a character’s hair and clothes outfit, and then when they are done, they can put their character into the film they chose. Children get to also add their own voices and sound effects to the movie.  This part is so much fun to see what you create be added into real Mickey and friends films. My preschooler does this one over and over for different movies.

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My favorite part to do with my kiddo is the Mickey’s Sketch Artist section. There are templates for the kids to choose, and then it walks them through how to draw the picture. They can choose any drawing tool they would like: pencil, paintbrush, spray can, marker. He loves all the different options and how each one makes different shape and texture on the screen. Then they choose from the color, and draw to follow the guides. When the drawing is done, it is animated for them! I love this one!

 

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Mickey’s Magical Arts World as well as Mickey’s Magical Math World link to the parent app Disney’s Imagicademy. You can stay connected with what your kids are doing and pins earned on their apps through this adult app. It also offers parents great resources and articles. One aspect that I have enjoyed is the art projects they have for kids that can link back to the art app. Their art projects are really creative and easy to do – things all parents could do with their kids at home. We also enjoy the articles about Disney.

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There are lots of creative ideas on the app! I love this Perler Bead project that makes sandwich pieces for kids to put a sandwich together!

If you would like to look at more of Disney’s Imagicademy, visit their website.

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I love how Disney Imagicademy links all these interactive elements together and combines learning experiences through beloved Disney characters to engage young kids and inspire them. Their curriculum is developed by leading education and academic experts. Soon they will be launching books and physical education products that will be available for back-to-school in 2015. This is a great new addition to the Disney family!

Our 4-year old loves this new art app and we love watching his creativity! He doesn’t want to stop exploring all the different sections.

Mickey’s Magical Arts World is available now through the Apple app store. While this is a free app to download, there are in-app purchases to unlock all the features. Each section can be fully unlocked for $4.99, or you can purchase the full pack for $19.99. While the full pack is a high price for an app, I will say that it has a lot of features and games for your child. It also requires  a lot of storage space so keep that in mind as well.

Click on the link below to download the app for yourself. You can also download the Disney Imagicademy Parent app which I highly recommend to get as well.

Mickey’s Magical Arts World
Disney’s Imagicademy Parents

Keep watching for more from Disney’s Imagicademy as they offer new apps and products that focus on children’s early learning and development through math, art, science, reading, and social skills. And all with their favorite Disney friends!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mickey’s Magical Math World and Disney’s Imagicademy

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Disney recently launched a new learning brand for parents and kids ages 3-8 called Disney’s Imagicademy. The app is Mickey’s Magical Math World and it is a wonderful new math game for preschoolers. My preschooler has been playing this game for two weeks and he loves it, truly. Mickey is his favorite and he loves interacting with characters and playing the games. The app has within it five different games that focus on a specific math topic for preschoolers.

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The premise (and the video at the beginning explains this) is that Mickey and his friends are traveling into outer space to help a space station that is having problems. So all the games have rockets or aliens or planets as part of their theme. It is a fun, space themed magical world! Mickey runs the rocket depot that designs and fixes rockets. My preschooler loves building rockets here – the ideas are endless.

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Some of the games involve shapes and counting. The games are very interactive for preschoolers, where they can touch and move almost anything. While as an adult, this was hard to understand, a preschooler thinks it is awesome getting to explore just about everything. And each game builds on concepts learned in other games so they are interconnected. This game in Mickey’s Shapes requires the child to use the wrench to turn the bolts until they are tight.

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Minnie’s game is Count Along and is set at a robot playground where everything can be played with and moved, and games require counting. Children can create and play with lots of robots.

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My preschooler says that Goofy’s Sorting is his favorite. The sorting actually increases in difficulty as the children progress. It isn’t just shapes but colors and symbols, as you can see below. When it is sorted correctly, the alien’s rocket pack will go off and they fly away. So cute!

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Donald’s game is adding and subtracting, and you have to launch the alien to wake up a sleeping Donald. It takes some problem solving skills as well. My favorite game is Daisy’s Problem Solving where you have to move the sleepy alien through the maze and collect “trash” in order to count by tens and put the alien to bed. It changes every time and requires kids to figure out how to collect all the sheep and trash. While it sound strange, it is actually lots of fun and a great brain game for kids.

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Along with Mickey’s Magical Math World, you can download the parent app Disney’s Imagicademy that has loads of great parent tools in it including games to play with kids, printables, crafts, and lots of fun ideas. It is great resource to spark some creativity for parents – what should we do today? What would kids like to know? I like how the feed changes with new ideas and themes each time. The one thing I have liked is the games you can play with your kids, at home or on the go. Some of the ideas would be great for waiting in line at a Disney Park! It also connects you with a community of parents and families that support and encourage children’s creativity and curiosity.

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You can link it to Mickey’s Magical Math World and it will show you what you child it doing during the game including the levels they unlock and robots they build. Then you can give them a virtual high five that opens on the game when they play.

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As a review of Mickey’s Magical Math World, I would say that the games are educational for preschoolers and the graphics are well done for an app. It holds my preschooler’s interest for a long time and he loves playing with it.

Both apps are free to download (see links below to download), but in order to unlock a lot of additional options in each game, you will have to make a purchase. They are upfront that there are in-game purchase options. My preschooler started playing the free app and pretty soon was asking for the unlocked items. Each game can be upgraded for $4.99. Or you can download the entire math pack for $19.99.

I do think it is a little pricey for an app. But I will say that the app has much more depth in content that most children’s apps. It is highly educational and I do think it has great value. It is priced a bit high. It also does use quite a bit of memory on an iPad as well as taking a bit of time for the games to load if you move from one to another. Once it is loaded, it runs very smoothly.

Mickey’s Magical Math World is only compatible with iPad (2nd generation or higher). Disney’s Imagicademy is compatible with both iPad and iPhone.

If you have a preschooler looking for some new fun this holiday break, try out the new Mickey’s Magical Math World app – link to the apps below.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tsum Tsum Craze

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The newest Disney craze is Tsum Tsum! Not sure what that is? I understand, we didn’t know what it was just awhile ago. And then we heard about the Disney game that was hugely popular in Japan called Tsum Tsum. Tsum Tsum means “stack stack” in Japanese. The game is a free app on smartphones and iPhones, and it is so much fun! It is all about stacking these little Disney characters, called Tsums, and trying to delete lines of the same Tsum to collect points and coins. Sounds simple, right?

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Our kids love playing it and we actually play it together as a family. You can collect digital Tsums on the game and each character has their own unique skill. The really nice part about the game is that you are given five hearts which equal five times you get to play. You have to wait about an hour for five hearts to regenerate before playing again. So you can’t sit and play and play. You can purchase more hearts, but in our house, the rules are “no buying anything” on apps and games.

The Tsum Tsum game also has these very adorable plush you can find at Disney Stores and at Disney Parks. They come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Check out the different plush at the Disney Store online.

Photo from Disney Parks Blog

Photo from Disney Parks Blog

They are so cute and of course, collectible! Disney releases new characters for Tsum Tsum often, in the game and in the plush animals. They recently announced Snow White and the Seven Dwarf Tsums in plush, and the game just announced a new Maleficent Tsum. There is even an Olaf Tsum! Bet you can’t wait to have one of these cuties!

If it all sounds crazy, just download the free game and give it a try. It it loads of fun and our family has loved playing it!

Check out some cute photos of Tsum plush that Disney Parks Blogs posted as the Tsums “played” at the parks. They are very cute!

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Photo by Disney Parks Blog

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Photo by Disney Parks Blog

Travel Products We Love Part 2

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We are continuing our series, Travel Products We Love, with our next two products. We have grouped these products together as they are stroller related products and they work great with all stroller types. Since most families with young kids take a stroller to Disney Parks, these two products help make those long days a little easier.

The first Travel Product We Love is The Mommy Hook. This large carabiner style hook attaches to the handle of any stroller. It has a cushion wrapped around it so that it doesn’t slide or scratch the stroller. You can then hook anything you want onto the hook to hang off the back of the stroller. While we don’t hang bags from these hooks, we do hang water bottles. With a large family, we have six water bottles we carry throughout the park, and the best way to have them accessible to everyone and easy to carry, is to hook them to the side of the stroller. The kids can grab their water bottle when they need it and they don’t get lost. The Mommy Hook is quite perfect for this and it travels very light.

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If you are interested in buying The Mommy Hook, they are available in many stores such as Babies R Us and Target. You can also purchase them at Amazon in a multitude of colors.

The second Travel Product We Love is The Walk-Along Stroller Handle. Previously called the Tag-A-Long, it was purchased by the Skip Hop company and is now the Walk-Along. This is an ingenious plastic handle you loop on the side of any stroller and it creates a handle for older children. As you push the younger child in the stroller, the older child can walk along the side, holding the Walk-Along, and stay safely next to you. It is perfect for the parks because there are crowds, and older kids may want to walk more than ride in a stroller. It really is a clever invention and it has been a big help for us on our Disney vacations.

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If you are interested in purchasing a Walk-Along Stroller Handle, we have seen them at Babies R Us but you can also purchase them at Amazon.

Both of these travel products are low cost with great benefits for being on the go with little ones. We have found both to be very helpful at Disney Parks and we hope they can help you as well!

For more travel products we love:

Travel Product: EasyLunchboxes
Travel Product: The Shrunks
Travel Product: The PiggyBack Rider

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