Top 5 Reasons to See “Zootopia”

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This weekend, Disney’s newest movie Zootopia smashed into movie theaters and surpassed Frozen’s opening weekend record. Our family was one of the many people who went to see the movie and the theater was packed! Why is this movie so popular? What made it such a success? Here are our top 5 reasons why we LOVE Zooptopia! And if you haven’t seen it, your kids will love it!

1) The underdog story: Judy Hops is the lead character of the story and you just love cheering her on. It is the classic story of the determined underdog who wants to show everyone they are wrong. And her character is written so lovable, you can’t help but get behind her.

JudyHops

2) Fantastic story: Besides the underdog story of Judy Hops, the overall story of the movie is unique, twisting, funny and completely entertaining. And we love the underlining theme of not judging people and jumping to conclusions about who they are. There is a whole story line of predators versus prey in this animal world. Can they all be friends? Can they look past these labels?

MayorLionheart

3) Amazing Characters: Oh, the wonderful characters. I feel like this movie really delivers on wonderful, fun characters that kids LOVE. Each animal character is so fun and clever. Our kids remembered every single one. In the car going home, our kids just talked about who was their favorite, and if your curious, it is definitely Judy Hops, Nick Wilde, and Flash the Sloth (he he!)

Sloth

4) Family movie about friendship: Guess what? This story has no love story or princess or rescue scenes. Oh, and no death scene that creates the arc for a developing story (i.e. Nemo’s mom dies; Anna & Elsa lose their parents). So this is somewhat of another Toy Story storyline that tugs at our heart and leaves us happy.

WildeHops

5) Great music! So, there is only really one new song in this movie and no one breaks into song during the story. Its not that kind of movie. But the kids loved the new Shakira song that is song by the popstar gazelle and the ending dance scene is fantastic. The song just seamlessly weaves into the story. Love it.

Gazelle

So those are our top 5 reasons to see the new movie. It really is a great movie – our kids want to see it again. And if our top reasons aren’t enough, they said at the end “That movie was almost as good as Star Wars”. That is quite a compliment.

Visit the fun Zootopia website for games and funny videos that kids will love! The videos are really funny!

Galactic Grill at Disneyland

Enjoy some fun new Star Wars themed dining at Disneyland at the Galactic Grill. The Grill is located in Tomorrowland near the Jedi Training stage and is serving up a specialty menu as part of the Season of the Force, a new themed experience celebrating the characters and moments from the Star Wars saga. this new dining location offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and kids and parents will love the menu!

Jedi-Order-Chicken-Sandwich

The Jedi-Ordered Grilled Sandwich (above) features five-spice chicken breast, fried green beans, pickled red onions, purple watercress and wasabi mayonnaise. So delicious!

First-Order-Specialty-Burger

The First Order Specialty Burger (above) gives guests a taste of the dark side, with an Angus beef and chorizo patty topped with fried cherry peppers and a spicy-lime aioli on a dark burger. Both the Jedi-Ordered Sandwich and First Order Burger can add a commemorate Hans Solo Carbonite Bucket for an additional cost.

Dark-Side-Chicken-Curry-Specialty-Pizza

This pizza creation is the Dark Side Chicken Curry Specialty Pizza. Lunch and dinner menu also includes a Chopper Salad and a Cheese- 3PO Burger.

Darth-Tamale

This unique dish is part of the breakfast menu and it is the Darth Tamale. Other breakfast items include scrambled eggs, french toast and breakfast potatoes.

Darth-by-Chocolate-and-The-Pastry-Menace

Star Wars dessert? How awesome is the chocolate Darth? That is the Darth by Chocolate that is red velvet cake and chocolate sponge. The Pastry Menace is an eclair filled with spicy chocolate and toasted almonds.

The Galactic Grill also offers kids meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kids meal breakfast includes scrambled eggs and bacon, or french toast. Lunch and dinner kids meals include a turkey sandwich, chicken nuggets, hamburger or power pack–all Star Wars themed of course!

Star Wars fans will love eating the new specialty meals at Galactic Grill!

DIY Disney: T-shirt Memory Wall

preschoolears: DIYDisney

We have a fun DIY Disney idea for you! With four kids visiting the Disney parks often, we have a lot of great Disney shirts from our trips as well as other shirts the kids have worn that bring back memories we love. I just couldn’t part with some of these shirts, and decided to turn my favorite kid shirts (most of them Disney) into a wall of art for my kid’s play area in our basement.

DIYDisneyWallArt

We have a step-by-step of how we put this together. While it was rather simple, it just took some time and planning. I have been setting shirts aside for a few years now since I couldn’t just give them away. But I measured out the wall and then determined how many shirts I wanted to hang. I used 21 shirts. We built wood 10×10 frames.

Frame

Wood was about 2 inches thick. We didn’t want it to stick too far from the wall but just enough to resemble a canvas.

SideBox

We started with a favorite Disney shirt – this one was worn by both my girls and it was a favorite.

Shirt

I then cut the shirt vertically up the back. This made one big piece of fabric.

CuttingShirt

I chose which part of the front design I wanted on the frame and I set the tshirt on the frame. I kept it pulled relatively tight but not stretching the fabric.

LayoutShirt

Next, I used a staple gun to staple the shirt around the frame. Staples go on the back side of the frame.

Stapler

I made as neat of corners as I could – some shirts had more fabric than others.

Corners

Once it was all stapled, there was a lot of extra fabric in the center of the frame in the back.

BoxShirt

I cut off all the extra fabric in the back. This way it would lay flat on the wall.

Cutting

 

This is the back of the box without all the extra shirt fabric.

BackBox

And this is what the box looks like on the front!

FinishedBox

To hang them on the wall, we laid all the boxes out on the floor to figure out the best layout based on color and design. We cut pieces of paper that was 10×10 and taped it to the wall to make sure we had the boxes spread evenly.

Layout

We transferred our layout of the boxes on the wall. We used two nails in the wall on each top corner to hang the frames. And here is the finished wall!

Wall1

Wall2

I love getting to see this wall everyday because it brings back all kinds of great memories of when my kids were little and some of our Disney trips. And it adds great color on the wall!

Disneyland Hotel Review

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If you are considering visiting Disneyland during the 2016 year, we highly recommend staying on property at the Disneyland Hotel. We recently stayed at this hotel on our last vacation and we loved the new renovations they did over a year ago. The pool was renovated with a new Monorail theme slide area that kids love! The pool area includes 3 pool areas for families – one being the slide area. The only downside is that you can’t sit in one area and see all three pools to watch your kids while they swim. My preschooler went down the small slide about 100 times!

MonorailSlideDLPoolSign

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As always at all Disney pools, they offer complimentary life vests for little ones as well as free pool towels. We enjoyed some delicious lunch pool side from Tangaroa Terrace. It was fantastic!

Between the three Disneyland resort hotels, the Disneyland Hotel is the oldest hotel and has the largest rooms for families because of its age. We have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel many times and we love the new renovations. The lobby was redesigned to be more open concept as well as the surrounding areas. The hotel still has the three main towers of rooms.

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We stayed in the Adventure Tower with views of the pool. This tower also has theme park views available. Between the three resort hotels, the Disneyland Hotel offers the most Disney-theme magic! The most magical thing that was added to each room is a beautiful wood-carved headboard that lights up fireworks when you turn it on, and plays “When You Wish Upon A Star”. It was so lovely! The lights were just enough for a soft nightlight when we slept. Our kids loved it!

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For our big family, we had plenty of room in the hotel and we loved it there. It was a short walk to the parks and we were so close to Goofy’s Kitchen which is a great character dine!

We know at Disneyland, there are a lot of choices in places to stay with your family. But I think the best part of our trip was staying at the Disneyland Hotel. We were able to come back to our room to rest and we loved relaxing at the pool or hanging in our room.

The room is filled with Mickey magic and kids will love it there!

DLHotelSign

Valentine’s Class Gift Ideas

preschoolears: Mickey Valentines

Are you looking for some simple class Valentine ideas? I love simple ideas. Frankly, I don’t have time to be complicated. So here are a couple simple ideas for some Valentine gifts that kids will love! There are also links to some previous ideas we have shared that kids have loved including our popular Star Wars valentines!

“Sweet” Hersheys Bar Valentines Wrappers

We purchased a pack of card stock paper in purples and pinks. Then we handed out Hershey’s bars with our simple wrapper. To be honest, I’m not sure any of the candy bars made it home since all the kids were so excited to get a Hershey’s bar! We purchased the large box of Hershey’s bars at Costco.

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Download Sweet Candy Bar Wrapper

Candy wrappers print 2-up on a 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Pop Rocks Valentines

These were a big hit! Kids love Pop Rocks and this simple wrapper makes it a simple and fun Valentine. It is a little bit harder to find a large amount of Pop Rocks. I did these Valentine’s for my son and daughter’s class last year and I purchased a large box of three flavors of Pop Rocks on Amazon. That was cheaper than buying them all at a local store. Then I matched the paper color to the flavor. I used simple craft card stock for the paper.

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Download Pop Rock Wrapper Valentine

Pop Rock wrapper prints 4-up on a 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Here are some other favorite Valentines we have done. Each link has free downloads and details! Enjoy!

Lego Glow Stick Valentine

preschoolears: Star Wars Valentine

Jake & the NeverLand Pirates Valentine

JakeValentine

Sofia the First Valentine

SofiaValentine

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