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!

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast

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My kids have been talking about seeing the next Tinkerbell movie for a LONG time…so we are excited about this next addition to the Tinkerbell stories! But we have some sneak peaks to share today! The latest movie will be out next year and it is called “Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”. Disney just released new images as well as the first trailer that introduces the new character, Gruff, the NeverBeast. So we get our first look at Gruff!

Neverbeast1

We are also excited to announce that the character of Fawn, who will play a main part of this story, will now be voiced by the fabulous Ginnifer Goodwin. Ginnifer Goodwin plays Snow White on our favorite show “Once Upon a Time” so we are excited she will be joining the Disney Fairies family.

DisneyToon Studios says:

“Fawn is a character who loves all animals unconditionally,” said director Steve Loter. “She will help any animal that needs her, but sometimes Fawn thinks too impulsively, when she should be thinking with her head, as well as her heart.”

Loter says there’s a lot of Goodwin in the character. “Fawn was inspired by my daughter and her unconditional love of animals,” he said. “But Ginnifer had a very strong hand in crafting the character. Her sense of fun and her wondrous view of the world gave Fawn direction. You can hear the smile in Ginnifer’s voice—this is a character that loves life and lives it to its fullest.”

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The story line for this movie is summarized here:

“The heartwarming story explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell’s friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to rescue the NeverBeast before time runs out. The fairies meet Gruff who is a massive creature and the subject of an ancient Pixie Hollow myth. Hidden in a dark lair on the fringes of the fairies’ beloved home, Gruff is discovered by curious and empathetic animal fairy Fawn, who sees something special in his glowing green eyes. His penchant for stacking rocks mystifies Fawn and her friends—but Gruff’s true purpose is the real surprise.”

TinkFawn

We can’t wait for this movie to be released – it looks so cute!! Here is the newest trailer (videos only viewable from the website and not through email):

The film will be released on DVD/Blu-ray on March 3, 2015! Pre-orders are not available at this time.

Staying Cool at Disneyland

StayCool

One thing is for sure with Disneyland during the summer–it can be hot! All that California sunshine can really heat up the park and make for some tough, long days. But there are some fun and easy ways to stay cool on your next trip to Disneyland resort. Here are some of our ideas and tips for keeping your family from overheating and enjoying the happiest place on earth!

Cool Rides

These rides are filled with cool, refreshing air conditioning and will allow you to get out of the summer heat for a short time, while enjoying a fun attraction. These are great to plan for after lunchtime when the heat is the highest. The attractions with an inside queue (mostly) have a * after their name.

Disneyland

SmallWorld

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters*
Enchanted Tiki Room
Haunted Mansion
Monorail
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
it’s a small world (pictured)
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Space Mountain*
Star Tours*

California Adventure

Monsters

Animation Academy*
The Little Mermaid*
Monsters, Inc* (pictured)
Toy Story Midway Mania
Turtle Talk with Crush*
Tower of Terror*

Wet Attractions

These attractions/features will actually get you wet which could feel great when the temps hit the 90’s and above!

SplashGrizzlyRive

Splash Mountain (sit on the right side for more splashes) (pictured on left)
Grizzly River Rapids (expect to get wet on this one) (pictured on right)
Princess Dot Puddle Park (expect little ones to get pretty soaked here – bring a change of clothes)
Tomorrowland Water Ball Area (kids can interact with the “floating” granite ball)
Misters located at Redd Rocketts in Tomorrowland and “Cool Your Jets” Rocket next to Soarin’ Over California

Rides That Are Actually Hot

There are a couple attractions that are actually hot on the ride or in the queue, so you may want to avoid these if the outside temps are high.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – the ride has a section that is a pretend “hell” and it is hot
Indiana Jones Adventure – the fire inside really heats this one up
Autopia – almost the entire queue is in the sun and most of the driving is pretty hot too, especially the end
Tom Sawyer Island – in the heat, no one wants to run around a dusty island

Cool Theater Shows

Captain EO at Disneyland
Muppet Vision 3D at California Adventure
Aladdin the Musical at California Adventure
The Disneyland Story – Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland

Treats to Cool You Off

DoleWhips

There are lots of yummy treats at the Disneyland Resort to help you stay cool during high temperatures, and these are some of our favorites! Of course, ice cold water tops our list as the number one choice.

Dole Whip – located at the Tiki Juice Bar at the Enchanted Tiki Room, we love the original Dole Whip as well as the Dole Whip Float (pictured above)

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor – located on Main Street, you will find Dreyers ice cream selections that are delish!

Frozen Slushes – served at various locations and carts throughout the park, these are great for cooling off. Flavors may vary but are most likely lemonade, cherry, apple or blue raspberry.

Clarabelle’s Frozen Yogurt – located in Mickey’s ToonTown; select times

Clarabelles

Clarabelle’s Ice Cream – located at California Adventure on Buena Vista Street, and there is plenty of air conditioned seating to sit and enjoy your treats

Fruit Smoothies at Schmoozies – located at California Adventure in Hollywood Land, they serve large juice smoothies but they have limited hours they are open

Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company – located at California Adventure on Paradise Pier

Soft-Serve Cones – served at the Cozy Cone in Cars Land at California Adventure, expect a wait for these fun treats

Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop – located at California Adventure on the Pacific Wharf, they serve fantastic ice cream and treats

Other Ways to Beat the Heat

water-bottle

Here are some additional tips for beating the heat and keeping your little ones cool at Disneyland this summer:

Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and make sure your kids do too. Bring your own water bottles to save some cash. Restaurants can give you a free cup of ice to fill up if needed. There are filling stations throughout the park to refill your cup or bottle: Plaza Inn, Rancho del Zocalo, and Mint Julep bar.

Bring Fans. Purchase inexpensive spray fans at Target or Walmart and bring them with you for your kids to mist themselves all day. Consider even adding ice to keep the water extra cold.

SprayFans

Fans found at Walmart

Go for a swim. Mid-day is a great time to head back to your hotel and take a dip in the pool.

Take breaks. If you can head back to your hotel after lunch, that is a great time to take a nap or rest indoors so you don’t overheat.

Block the sun. Consider having kids wear visors or ventilated sun hats to shade their faces from the sun. Also, make sure to cover up with sunblock and reapply mid-day. Sunshades for strollers are great as well as umbrellas.

Bring frozen fruit as snacks. Consider bringing some frozen fruit for a snack like grapes or oranges, that way the kids can nibble on it when it gets hot.


If you will be heading to the resort this summer, we hope you stay cool when the temps are high!

Our friends at Get Away Today can help you plan a cool trip to Disneyland since they are the Disneyland specialists! If you would like to book a vacation to Disneyland, visit them at Get Away Today, and get a quote for summer fun!

Stay cool this summer!

If you are visiting the Disneyland resort area, you might like to read our post on additional family activities in the surrounding areas. Click here to check it out!

A First-Timer’s Take on Disney World

Recently, the K family decided to take their very first trip to Disney World! They did a lot of planning and prep work including talking to us at Preschoolears. Since we believe that it is great to learn from other’s insight and experience when traveling to Disney, we interviewed them after their trip to see if they could offer some advice and tips for those families who will be taking their own first-time adventure to Disney World!

Interview:

PS Ears: What are the ages of your kids when you visited Disney World?

8 (almost 9), 6 and 2 (almost 3)

Ears

PSEars: When did you visit Disney World?

October 13-19, 2013

PS Ears: Where did your family stay? 

We used our friend’s time share discount and since we booked so late, we ended up splitting our time between two hotels – fun to explore different environs on our first trip, but in general not advisable. 😉 The staff made the transition as easy as possible, but we still wasted a morning. We stayed the first two nights at Animal Kingdom and the rest at Saratoga Springs – it was a noticeable difference.

PS Ears: Did you like the resorts as a first-time Disney experience?

We all preferred Animal Kingdom, not surprising given the price. It was pretty incredible and the rooms and facilities were brand new. The pool was amazing and they had great activities (animal viewings, movie nights) planned for the kids. The buffet was really tasty, plenty for kids and adults and got us all to try different foods from around the world – yum! And they had a quick-serve restaurant right next to the pool where you could stock up on breakfast items for the morning. We had a nice unit at Saratoga Springs but the grounds are HUGE! Required a golf cart to get to the front desk, such a contrast from Animal Kingdom where everything is at your finger tips inside the main hotel. The rooms were nicely updated but still had an older feel. Our unit in Saratoga Springs turned out to be right around the corner from Downtown Disney which was pretty fun – we didn’t realize it was a 5 minute walk until we’d already waited 20 minutes for the shuttle to drive us around the corner – ha! Know the lay of the land before you go. 😉

PS Ears: When you were planning your trip, what were some of the most important things your family wanted to see or do?

Magic Kingdom was a priority, having never been with the kids before. But we knew they would also enjoy the wildlife at Animal Kingdom and Sea World so we planned in a day at each. Rides were an important consideration, and minimizing wait times. Tasty food too – knowing we only had a week there I knew we couldn’t begin to do it all and didn’t want to waste time on anything that wasn’t truly magical! 🙂 Our kids had never been to a big amusement park, so we had no idea what they’d be comfortable riding, which made it more difficult to plan. But going in informed on what was available at each park and the intensity level of the rides was a huge help and allowed us to make quick decisions based on initial experiences. As a side note – my 8 year old girl loved it all, even the Haunted Mansion which I thought would freak her out! The 6 year old girl loved Thunder Mountain but nothing much more intense, and the two-year old did great on the Barnstormer, Dumbo and Tea Cup type rides.

Castle1

PS Ears: Were you able to do those things or not, and were they what you would expect?

Believe it or not, I think we accomplished most if not all of our bucket list! Not to say there aren’t things I would change next time we go, but we did pretty much everything we’d planned to do. Knowing we wouldn’t come close to doing it all, we tried to sample a little of everything and I’d say we were able to do that, plus some! I didn’t expect to do the bigger rides more than once, but with the MagicBand fast passes and Rider Switch passes, plus closing down the Magic Kingdom at midnight at the “Not So Scary Halloween Party,” we were able to do Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and a few other favorite rides 5 or 6 times! I was actually surprised my 8 year-old was up for the bigger rides, definitely made the experience more fun, especially for my husband. Everything else was pretty much as predicted.

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PS Ears: What was the hardest part of planning a first-time trip to Disney World?

I think the hardest part of planning for us was the quantity of information – there are endless opportunities in Orlando! And learning the Disney systems and lingo, e.g. fast passes, Rider Swap passes, MagicPlus bands, etc. Also, I’m a very visual person and not having been there in almost 30 years, a lot has changed! Even having all of the information on paper beforehand it was hard for me to visualize our visit and get things completely nailed down. I made a lot of night-before changes to our plans. The Disney Experience app was perfect for that and allowed us to avoid most of the waiting.

PS Ears: What were some good things that you didn’t expect or plan for?

One unexpected highlight was Enchanted Tales with Belle – by nature of the experience, it’s always a LONG wait and we never could seem to hit it right, even first thing in the morning. We were able to sneak in at the very end of the night (11:30 p.m., when everyone else had given up and gone to bed I’m sure!) at the Halloween Party and had little to no wait. It was our very last ride of the trip and it truly was enchanting. The girls loved participating in the story and getting to meet Belle up close and personal!

The kids ages were perfect – no one was too old to really experience the magic (not even the adults) and the 3 year old was just old enough to experience a fair amount of the rides. And he took a daily snooze in the stroller with Nana – invaluable to have grandparents tag along!!

Sleeping

I sent my hubby on a few missions to book straight to the back of the parks to be first in line – backfired at the Safari ride because he got so far ahead we couldn’t weave through to find him! But we still waited a fraction of the time in the end. 🙂

TowerTerror

PSEars: What were some bad things that you didn’t expect or plan for?

We didn’t enjoy Hollywood Studios quite as much as we thought we would – well, save our 9 year-old. She still talks about the Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster! Our 6 year old talks about the coaster in a very different light – she begged to go on and the poor thing was terrified. I had become a little too lax by that point I guess – knew in the first “zero-to-60” second that she was going to hate it. She’ll never forget! 🙂 The Little Mermaid experience and Nemo were both fun but I couldn’t get the kids excited about the Disney Junior stuff – they didn’t love the character element anywhere we went. That was actually helpful at times in that we didn’t waste fast passes waiting to get autographs. 🙂

BeOurGuest

I am bummed we missed the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique because my girls were at the perfect age to enjoy it. Also wish we’d have booked early for the Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table character dinners. We were able to still dine in Belle’s castle by getting in line at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 opening – we were about the fifth family in line – and eating an early lunch / snack. I was glad we used one Fast Pass to meet Snow White and Rapunzel – the girls (and my Mom and Dad!) ended up loving that part and we barely had to wait. They also didn’t care much about the parades – we saw a few shows and parades in passing, usually on our way to the rides!

Rapunzel

I didn’t like that you could only schedule 3 fast passes per day on the Disney app, but the most frustrating part was that if you cancelled a FP the day of – even if it was well before the scheduled time – you couldn’t schedule another ride in its place. As wonderful as the MagicBands were, they’re obviously still working out the kinks – there were a few rides we weren’t able to FP using the app and should have been able to.

PS Ears: What would you do different for your next trip?

If we went during Fall Break again, I would buy tickets to “Mickey’s Not So Scary” party, spend the day at the pool, then get there right at 4:00 as everyone was leaving to get the most out of the experience. As it was, we spent most of the day at the park, went back home around 2, didn’t get back out again until 6:30 and stayed until midnight.

Also wouldn’t book early flights (i.e. 7 a.m.!!), especially the day after staying until midnight at the park! Rookie mistake, and quite honestly we changed our mind so many times about the Halloween party that in the end Friday night was the only option left, but it was still worth it!! The girls did back-to-back rides on Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain – truly a highlight.

I might skip Hollywood Studios or plan a half day there, preferably morning – it was noticeably hotter there since they modeled it to look like LA with tall palms instead of the thick Florida vegetation. Animal Kingdom was actually the best for a hot day – lots of big shade trees and tucked away paths where you could cool down.

I would plan in more time at Epcot for the adults at least – the kids probably saw enough, maybe could have spent a few more hours there, but we were in such a rush and spent all of our time walking to and from the restaurant on the far side of the park – again, know the lay of the land. 🙂 My parents stayed an extra two days at Epcot and loved it. Can’t believe how big it is – a city! It was brand new when I was there 30 years ago and a fraction of the size.

I would make more of an effort to get out the door early and enjoy the opening show and short lines at the beginning of the day.

Would have taken more pictures with Disney Photopass photographers.

Might stay closer to the Magic Kingdom if possible, across the lake looked ideal!

PS Ears: What would you do the same for your next trip?

I’m glad we waited until October – it was still blazing hot! Supposedly it’s less crowded during that time – if so, I can’t imagine going during peak season. I loved the FP system – we were able to avoid almost all long waits! Also loved the grocery service – would definitely do that again. We also loved spending a day at Sea World – the kids loved it and surprisingly they had some of the best rides! I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

PS Ears: What tips would you give other families who are planning their first Disney World trip?

Check out Preschoolears! They have a wealth of information and honestly made the trip as wonderful as it was for us. I would have been lost without the volumes of information and tips they gave us going into the trip. With any type of travel, it helps to have someone “on the inside” – a local of sorts – to tell you what to skip and what not to miss. I certainly made some of my own rookie mistakes and gained knowledge from the experience that will allow me to plan better next time around, but I would have been totally blind-sided were it not for their help!

Fun

Showing Our #DisneySide

DisneySideSign

I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

The Preschoolears Blog was selected along with many other social media influencers and Disney-loving bloggers to host a DisneySide @Home Celebration. This was part of Disney’s new promotion this year asking people to Show Your Disney Side. This event was sponsored by Disney, American Tourister, HP and MomSelect.

I was sent a wonderful suitcase from American Tourister. It is a great suitcase with lots of room inside with pockets inside and outside. It is now my favorite suitcase. American Tourister is the official suitcase of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland. They have great colors in their luggage which I love. Mine is purple, and I doubt I will lose sight of it on the baggage claim. They roll so smooth and they have spinner technology on the wheels for easy movement. Love it! And SO lightweight! If you are interested in checking out this suitcase, here is a link the product on Amazon.

Suitcase1Suitcase2

My kids love my suitcase too, and they decided all their favorite Disney lovies would take a trip in the suitcase!

Suitcase3

Inside our suitcase was packed tons of party supplies and goodies for our friends to enjoy at our celebration. Party supplies included plates, cups, napkins, tablecover, decorations, and Craisins. Goodies included an original Mickey and Minnie art poster, runDisney car sticker, runDisney signs and bracelets, HP Photo Card paper, Muppets calendars, Mickey cookie cutters, stickers, tattoos, recipes and games. Preschoolears added some yummy chocolate covered Mickey pretzels and Mickey pencils.

Pack3Pack2

Pack1

Poster

We decided to have a Show Your DisneySide party where everyone could come in their favorite Disney tee and ears, and bring their favorite momentos and photos and such to share! Here is the invite that we designed:

DisneySideInvite

Due to child illnesses and weather, we postponed and postponed and finally had to cancel our party. But we decided we still wanted to show our Disney Side. And our Disney Side is all about sharing and giving. So once everyone was feeling better, we put together a fabulous goody bag with gifts from our pack and we shared everything with our other Disney-loving pals!

So we added more goodies to our bags! We packaged up the Mickey chocolate covered pretzels.

Pretzels

We love to collect Disney pins at Preschoolears. I don’t actually trade them, but I love all the unique designs and I always get pins for each trip to remember something special. We purchased a batch of Disney pins to give to our friends, and we picked out special ones for each of them. Here are some of them:

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Since my favorite treat at Disney parks in Dole Whip, I included the recipe for homemade Dole Whip that Disney gave us in our packs. Each person received the recipe so they can make their own delicious Dole Whip-like dessert at home! If you would like the recipe for homemade Dole Whip, check out our Dole Whip post.

Recipe

We also included this print in a 5×7 so they could put it up at home to show their own Disney side. I put our print in a simple frame and I think it looks cute. If you would like this print for yourself, visit our Pinterest page.

PrintFrame

Everything we wrapped up in a cute bag with our Show Your Disney Side tag. We were ready to share the Disney love!

Bags

My kids were so excited to pass this out to their friends! We all got in the Disney spirit with our favorite Disney ears and shirts. We piled into the minivan and drove to everyone’s house to deliver the goodies! We loved sharing our Disney Side!

Kids

There are many people that were given the opportunity to show their Disney Side with this party pack, from hosting playdates to baby showers to movie nights. It has been so much fun seeing how everyone celebrates in a different way. We were able to share our Disney Side with some of our friends, and bring some Disney fun to their house.

How would your family show their Disney Side?
For more ideas on showing your DisneySide with a celebrations at your home, visit DisneySide Celebrations.com as well as Spoonful.com!

I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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