Disney Christmas Crafts

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We’ve rounded up some fun Disney themed Christmas crafts that you could do alone or make with the kids over winter break. I think we will be make some of the cute felt Mickey & Minnie felt ornaments for our kid’s Christmas tree. Check out these cute crafts for the holidays!

MickeyOrnaments

Cute DIY Mickey Ornaments at Will Cook For Smiles

ChairTopper

Cute and easy to make santa Mickey chair covers from We Run Disney

MickeyOrnament

Mickey-inspired ornament from Disney Fashionista

JackPots

These Jack Skellington pots would look really cute with miniature Christmas trees! Find the craft at Disney Family

MickeyWreath1

A festive Mickey wreath for the front door – originally posted on Etsy but if you are really crafty, you might be able to make it yourself!

FeltMickeyOrnaments

Simple and easy Mickey and Minnie ornaments from Confessions of a Holiday Junkie. Could be a great craft with kids!

BaymaxOrnament

Love this Baymax ornament from Mom Endeavors! Full step by step on how to make them yourself.

FrozenWreath

This is a beautiful Frozen inspired wreath from One Krieger Chick

MickeyPaperWreath MickeyStockings

Festive Christmas decorations from Dolled Up Design

OlafOrnament

Popsicle Stick Olaf that the kids can make from Craftionary

PixieDustOrnament

Pixie Dust Ornament from Crafting in the Rain

MinnieOrnament

Simple ornament that you could replicate for any Disney character, from The Coupon Challenge

MickeyPlate

Peppermint Disney plate from WDW Radio

OlafSock

Olaf Sock Snowman from One Creative Mommy – this could be a great craft for little ones too!

Letter

This would be a great craft if you used Disney Christmas pictures and your family initial – original design from DIY Ready with a whole step by step on how to make

FrozenOrnament

Popsicle Stick Snowflake ornaments that are truly Frozen inspired, from Fireflies and Mudpies

Keychain

If you are surprising kiddos with a Disney trip this Christmas, these DIY luggage tags are adorable, from Crafty Staci

BellMickey

Fun kids craft to make Bell Mickey Ornaments from The Goodlaff Girl

MickeyCup

This Mickey Cup Cozy would be such a cute neighbor gift with cookies! From Disney Family

We hope you are full of crafting inspiration this holiday with these ideas!

Disneyland Pin Giveaway

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We had such an amazing time at Disneyland celebrating the 60th Diamond Celebration! We can’t wait to share all our photos and stories with everyone! It truly is amazing to think that Disneyland is 60 years old. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of the celebration.

Disney announced earlier this year that they will be extending the Diamond Celebration into September of 2016 which means more guests can enjoy this sparkly experience. If you aren’t able to make it to California and see Disneyland turn 60, we wanted to share some of the sparkle with our readers with a fun giveaway!

We brought home a special sparkly Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration pin that we want to giveaway! We love collecting pins on every one of our Disney trips. In fact, we have well over 100 pins in our collection. To make this giveaway even more special, we are also giving away a commemorative CarsLand pin from the year CarsLand opened in 2012!

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If you love collecting pins like us, enter the giveaway to win these beautiful Disneyland pins. Contest will end this Friday, December 11 at midnight. These pins could make some great stocking stuffers! Good luck! I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Freezing

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

TooTires

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.

Marie

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.

Medals

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!

15 Tips for MagicBand and FastPass+ at Disney World

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Disney World has turned high tech with MagicBands, FastPass+ and the My Disney Experience app. Their new system is designed to make your visit to the happiest place on earth as easy and simple as possible! While it is quite slick, you have to get to know the system a bit to make it truly easy and seamless. We were newbies on our last trip to the world with the new system, but after two weeks, we consider ourselves pros on it now. We would like to share our 15 top tips and advice for using the MagicBands, FastPass+ and the My Disney Experience app for families.

Keep in mind that MagicBands are free for guests staying on Disney property with purchased park tickets. If you are staying off property, you can still purchase a MagicBand if you have park tickets or use paper tickets for FastPasses.

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  1. On the My Disney Experience website, make sure all family members in your party are linked together. This will make it simple for one person to make all the FastPass choices and reservations for everyone.
  2. Customize your MagicBands on My Disney Experience by color and name. Each person can have their own color and their name is printed on the underside of the band. Also, the bands come in one size BUT you can remove the gray surround to make the overall band smaller for kids. They are meant to be adjustable this way.
  3. Wear them all the time. They can go swimming with you and get wet – no biggy! Get used to having them on so that you are never without them. They are your key to your room as well as your pass to the park as well as your FP for your next ride as well as linking your photos to your Memory Maker. And you can charge things at dining and shopping from your band. So with all that linked to one band, you better keep it on ALL THE TIME!
  4. Schedule your FastPass+ right when your window opens. Don’t wait on this one because times are being taken quickly especially during busier times of year. And the hottest FastPasses go really fast.
  5. To open the door to your room, you have to give it a hard tap. This may seem like an odd tip but all other places in the park, you hold your band on the scan for a few seconds. But on their hotel doors, you have to give it a hard tap on the sensor for the door to open. This little tip will save you some time fighting with your room door late at night. Your welcome.
  6. Pre-purchase Memory Maker and link it to your band. When you are on attractions with ride photos (i.e. Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Buzz Lightyear…) the ride will automatically load those photos onto your account by reading your band on the ride. Yep, you don’t do anything but wear the band. See tip #3 for a reminder of wearing your band all the time! And PhotoPass photographers just scan your bands when they take pictures. Easy pleasy.
  7. You are given three FastPass+ options each day at one park, but once you are done with those three, you can visit one of the FP+ kiosks to add more one at a time. Only one person from your party needs to go to the kiosk (since you did tip #1 and linked everyone’s bands) and then they can get another FP. Cast Members are standing next to each kiosk to help you through the process although it is really simple.
  8. Use the My Disney Experience app in the parks to check your scheduled dining,  and FastPasses as well as attraction wait times. You can make some changes to FastPasses from this app but the kiosks are a bit easier. Also, keep in mind that the app is dependent on signal and number of users at the park so it has times it doesn’t load. Wait times were fairly accurate on the app within each park. It is a great tool while at the parks.
  9. Want to bling out your band? You can get Disney Band-its to add to your MagicBand. They are similar to the Jibbitz that you could put into your Croc shoes–they simply stick into the empty holes on the band, and there are lots of choices. There are also LOTS of choices of special MagicBands you can buy that are available at select locations in the parks.
  10. Know where the kiosks are in each park. All parks have three locations and Magic Kingdom has four. So there aren’t a huge amount of spots, which means when crowds are high, the lines are long. It is very, very important that you know where these locations are at each park – memorize it! Bring a list with you! Trust me – this little tip will save you lots of wasted time.
  11. When you all use a FP, make sure every child/person swipes their band BOTH times through the line so that the computer logs it at used and you can add additional FP. Once a FP window has passed, you can add more as well.
  12. Remember the grace periods on your FP window. Five minutes early is fine, and fifteen minutes late is fine. Anything outside those times and you won’t be let on the attraction or show. If you miss your FP, its gone.
  13. When you schedule a FP for a show and they give you a window of time to return, for the best seat, arrive at the beginning of that window. If you arrive at the end of that window, you are basically the same as the standby line. If you have a FP for an attraction and you have an hour window to return, anytime in that window is good–it won’t matter when you arrive in that window.
  14. Anyone with a band on your account can use it for photos, park passes and opening your resort door. You have to authorize who can use it for purchases and a pin is required when you scan it. It could be “dangerous” at Disney for kids to have authorization for purchases depending on the age. But using the band for quick snacks and meals was so great and easy.
  15. Finally, to make sure you don’t forget a band each day (see tip #3 again!) make a Park Packing List that you check off every morning to make sure you have it all. Sunglasses, sunblock. autograph books, snacks AND MagicBands! You won’t forget necessary items as well as those marvelous bands.

In general, we loved the MagicBands. Our kids thought they were so much fun! I must confess I loved how slick it all was and we didn’t have to think about too many things. And we didn’t have to carry as much. The system itself still has some glitches but I believe it is getting better and I think it is a revolutionary idea. If you are heading to the parks this year, have fun with the MagicBands and the My Disney Experience system! And take our tips and advice to make it even better!

**Last little tip: If you also wear a FitBit or electronic exercise band, wear your MagicBand on the opposite hand as the signals can compete with the scan. Always wear your MagicBand on the same hand you use for the finger scan at the gates each time.**

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.

MickeyMath

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!

SortGame

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.

ProbSolveGame

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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ParentGames

 

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.

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