I’m So Excited

i-can-t-keep-calm-i-m-going-to-disney-world-6.png

I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that Mousekatots will be on a little hiatus for a little over a week. The good news is the reason is because we are going to Walt Disney World!!!!

While I won’t be updating the blog while I am gone, I am going to be doing tons of research, taking photos and more.

I will also be broadcasting live during the vacation so you will want to check out Mousekatots on Facebook for that.

So until next week or so, See Ya Real Soon!


Tot Five: For the Health of it

When I often think of Walt Disney World, I think of an indulgent vacation with a lot of relaxation.

However, just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t mean that you have to take a vacation away from your healthy lifestyle.

While Mickey ice cream bars, churros and giant turkey legs might sound good, if you take it to the extrememe you might regret it when you get home.

Here are my tot five tips on staying healthy while at Walt Disney World.

1. Eat Healthy

 

FFC436631

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.

You are on vacation, and the last thing you want to do is worry about if you are eating healthy or not. It’s your vacation so you want to enjoy your food a little more than you would at home. This is fine as long as you work in a little healthy foods every now and again.

At Disney this is easy to do. All restaurnts, including quick service, offer healthy options like salads, rice dishes, lean sources of protein and more.

For the Mousekatots, you can look for the Mickey Check on menus throughout the resort. This will indicate the healthiest options for the little ones.

2. Portion Control

If you are going to grab a bite to eat for breakfast, lunch or a small dinner and you want to watch your calories, you can always purchase a child’s meal for yourself.

Even on the dining plan you can use a credit for a child’s meal (and if a child has a dining plan they can use the credit for an adult meal. They aren’t separated into adult and child catagories like they used to be.)

3. Swap out your dessert credit for a snack

If you are on the dining plan, you are entitled to dessert with your counter service restaurant.

Instead of getting a dessert, you can swap it in for anything that is considered a snack like a piece of fresh fruit.

4. Exercise

 

jkfnw2934

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

If you go on a Walt Disney World vacation you are going to do a lot of walking.

But, if you are a runner or enjoy going for a morning walk to get some exercise or take in the sights and sounds of your resort, Disney has something for you.

In a partnership with new balance, the athletic shoe company, each of the resorts has a map that shows you the best and safest places to run or walk at your resort as well as the distance.

These maps are usually on sign posts around the resort. If you can’t find them, ask at the front desk and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

5. Balance is Key

While eating healthy and exercising is important while you are on vacation, you also want to cut yourself some slack. Treat yo self!

If you have been healthy all day, a nice little treat won’t undo all of it.

Also, if you do put a little weight on during your vacation, don’t stress. It is your vacation and you can always lose what you put on.

What are your tips for staying healthy while at Walt Disney World? Leave it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 


Pixie Dust Starts at the Airport

 

 

400-magicalexpress

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

The build up to a vacation of Walt Disney World is exciting!

You count down the days, make your FastPass+ reservations and plan your dining experiences. So, you are anxious of starting your Disney vacation as soon as you can.

Luckily, if you are flying to the resort, you can experience your first taste of what it means to have a magical experience.

Say, hello to “Disney’s Magical Express.”

After your plane lands you can go straight to the area reserved for Disney’s Magical Express.

Once you arrive here and you scan your Magic Bands, you are then funneled into a line based on what resort you are staying at. (This service is only available for those who are Disney resort guests.)

You will then be told what bus to board. You will most likely be on a bus with people from a couple other resorts, but don’t worry you will make it to your resort.

 

disneymagicalexpress.jpg

Photo courtesy of WDW for Grownups

My favorite part of the whole Magic Express experience is that your luggage arrives from the airport magically in your room.

No waiting at baggage claim for your luggage, no need to drag it through the airport, it just shows up in your room.

Also, thanks to the ability to do online check-in before you leave, you can head straight to your room without having to go to a front desk to check in.

After you do your online check -in you will receive a text message with your room number once it is ready.

But, as with any type of air travel, keep your important items like jewelry, medication, special clothing like running gear and Halloween costumes, with you in your carryon.

Have you used Magical Express before? Leave your thoughts below.

For more tips about navigating Walt Disney World, especially if you have a toddler in your family, pick up a copy of Mousekatots available in Kindle and paperback formats.

img_4337

 

 

 


Tot Five: News out of WDW This Week

dhs_projections

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

There have been a lot of announcements out of Walt Disney World this week including a new holiday show, new princess meet and greet, the return of favorite food items and more.

For this week’s Tot Five we will take a look all of this news so you can plan your upcoming holiday vacation.

1. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

Even thought Halloween isn’t here yet, Walt Disney World is looking to the holiday season and just made an exciting announcement concerning Hollywood Studios.

A new nighttime projection show, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” (JBJB) will start Nov. 14 at the studios.

According to the Disney Park’s Blog, “The show comes to life on, above and around the Chinese Theater with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score.”

The show will feature musical numbers from Disney favorite movies including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and more.

There will also be a Holiday Dessert Party that can be purchased for an additional fee.

2. Meet and Greet with Princess Elena of Avalor at the Magic Kingdom

ele39480fi.jpg

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Ever since the coronation of Princess Elena of Avalor it was only a matter of time before she started meeting guests in the kingdom.

Starting Nov. 24 Princess Elena will meet with guests at the Princess Fairytale Hall with her other princess friends

I am so bummed out that we are going to miss seeing her when we go down for our latest trip.

3. DINOSAUR down for a longer than planned Refurb

The Animal Kingdom attraction was closed this summer for a refurbishment and was scheduled to open next Thursday, is going to be closed for awhile longer.

There have been reports of people who made FastPass+ reservations for the high intensity attraction all the way out to the middle of November have had their passes switched out for Expedition Everest passes.

So far, there hasn’t been an official comment about what happened with the attraction. I just hope that it isn’t going extinct.

4. Culinary favorite makes a return

Fans of the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow can rejoice. The snack is back.

The sandwich, available at this eatery located at Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom, retails for $10.29.

5. Magical Night Time Weddings

Wanna get married at the Magic Kingdom at Night? You can do that now.

Yep, you can have your own Cinderella dream wedding after 11 p.m. at the kingdom and can be custom made for whatever your heart desires.

The wedding can accommodate up to 300 guests in Fantasyland.

Watch the video below to see a snippet of what your dream wedding can be like.

What are you most excited about when it comes to these new announcements? Leave your comments below.


Restaurant Spotlight: Tangerine Café

 

tangierine-cafe-gallery00

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

When people think of going to one of Disney’s many quick service restaurants, the thoughts of fatty burgers and fries might fill their head.

But, just like with everything else with Walt Disney World, you can set the bar higher and treat you and your family to better tasting food that is rich in flavor and nutrition and will help fuel you for the rest of your day.

Enter Epcot’s Tangerine Café, situated in the Morocco pavilion.

It offers a variety of options that help give guests a taste of Africa without compromising flavor and authenticity.

Open for both lunch and dinner it offers a variety of entrees, sides, kids meals and desserts.

Entrées include Mediterranean Chicken Wrap, Mediterranean Falafel Wrap, Shawarma Chicken Platter, Vegetarian Platter, Mediterranean Sliders Combo, Mediterranean Lamb Wrap, Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter, Shawarma Lamb Platter and Moroccan Kefta Sandwich. Sides include Hummus, Tangerine Couscous Salad, Lentil Salad, Tabouleh, Marinated Olives and French Fries. Kids’ Meals include a Hamburger and Chicken Tenders.

There are a variety of tasty desserts and beverages that can also be purchased at Tangerine Café.

 

tangierine-cafe-gallery02.jpg

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

The average cost of an Entrée is $10.

The café is included on the Disney Dining Plan and will count as a quick service credit.

Will you add Tangerine Café to your list of must try restaurants on your next trip? Leave your comments below.

For more tips and a complete list of menu items for the various restaurants in Walt Disney World, pick up your copy of Mousekatots.

img_4337

 

 

 


Making Memories Easier

IMG_1307.jpg

Photo courtesy of Attractions Magazine

It never fails.

You want to try and capture as many memories of your family’s visit to Walt Disney World.

Unfortunately, one person always ends up being the unofficial family vacation photographer.

When you look back at the photos many years from now, you will wonder if you actually went on that vacation because there isn’t a record of you talking with Mickey or eating a giant turkey leg.

Luckily, Disney found a solution that is the Memory Maker.

Memory Maker is an add on to your Walt Disney World package that allows you unlimited downloads of photos taken by Disney Photopass photographers, ride photos/videos and any restaurant photos.

There are hundreds of locations where you can have a photo taken with memory maker.

Some locations that you won’t want to miss include Main Street U.S.A. in front of Cinderella’s Castle, meeting Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall, the bridge near International Gateway with the France pavilion in the background at Epcot, Overlooking the Hollywood Hotel at Hollywood Studios and around the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

You will also want to ask some photographers about magic shots.

These shots add a little bit of pixie dust to your photos.

For example, at Animal Kingdom you can have a photo of you holding a baby Simba. This is done by adding a cartoon image of Simba in post-production.

Or, if you are near Princess Tiana’s meet and greet you can ask about kissing a frog.

You also don’t want to forget to link your attraction photos to your Memory Maker package.

After you get off an attraction that takes your photo, you will see a bank of screens displaying the ride photos off to the side. You will want to go up to the sales center kiosk and link the photo to your MagicBand or card that is linked to your Memory Maker account.

In addition to photos, a lot of attractions include really cute videos. Check out the Tower of Terror’s and Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train videos online.

You only have a 30 day window, that starts when the first photo is taken, to sign into your account and began to download pictures.

If you pre-purchase the package before you go, then the program is $149. If you wait until you get to Disney, the cost goes up about $20.

Also, there is a three day window if you purchase when you arrive at Walt Disney World. During this three day period you will have to pay for each photo individually.

You can also link the photos that are taken of other people in your party with the Memory Maker.

The number one tip is to always have your MagicBand, you would anyway, to easily add the photos on to your account.

The biggest thing for you to consider is would this be something that is important to your family given the hefty price tag that is attached.

Do you think this is something that would be beneficial to your family?

Leave a comment below.


A Romantic Step Back in Time

Being the parents of a toddler, the opportunity to go out on a date is really special.

This past week we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary and had the opportunity to have dinner at one of our new favorite places, The Historic Summit Inn Resort.

370613_1

Photo courtesy of Hotel Planner

The hotel was first open to the public in 1907 and was designed as a playground for the many millionaires that lived in the city only five minutes away (At one time, this city had one of the highest rates of millionaires per capita in all the world, according to the resort’s website.)

It used to be a ski resort, but unfortunately that part of the resort has long been closed.

However, the resort still has two swimming pools, several ballrooms, a beautiful veranda that overlooks the valley and city below and more.

Today the resort is still beautiful and has that retro and romantic feel.

When you walk into the resort, it is like you are stepping back in time. You are greeted by a beautiful split staircase.

IMG_4519.JPG

Before our dinner, we went and looked around the resort and found the indoor swimming pool, bar, saw a high school reunion and a beautiful bride on her wedding day.

We were seated in the dining room near a gorgeous stone fireplace and our table had this beautiful Tiffany style lamp.

IMG_4514.JPG

One of the things that I really liked about the menu was that it was seasonal. There were a variety of different dishes that were autumn themed including an elk stew, pumpkin cheesecake and more.

I kicked off the meal with an apple cider martini, Kevin had a glass of wine, and we split the most amazing appetizer, a baked Brie with crostini and strawberry compote with chunks of strawberries. It was AMAZING!

IMG_4516.JPG

I was really excited when I saw that the menu had a butternut squash ravioli. Not only do I love this dish, but it was what I had for dinner at our wedding, so it made it extra special.

This ravioli also had a brown butter sauce (not the most healthy of options) with a drizzle of cream and two leaves of sage with butternut squash on top.

IMG_4517.JPG

Kevin opted for the Eggplant Parmesan with pasta, which he said was delicious.

We also had dessert. I had the summit chocolate cake and Kevin had the flourless chocolate cake, which we both finished before I had the chance to take a photo, but it was both beautiful and delicious.

It was a wonderful night, that my hubby had arranged and surprised me with and I was so thankful we had the chance to enjoy dinner and connect with each other.

What is your idea of the perfect date night. Leave your comments below.