Author: taracashadams

Mickey Everything!!

Mickey Everything!!

Hot Hubby and I just returned from CVS and we barely made it out.  Did you know that CVS has everything to make the perfect Mickey Mouse Kitchen?  There is a red, Mickey Mouse Toaster.  A red, Mickey Mouse, Sandwich Maker.  A red, Mickey Mouse, Waffle Maker.  Even a red, Mickey Mouse Coffee pot.  I am just picturing how my kitchen would look with all of these amazing red, Mickey Mouse kitchen tools.

Unfortunately for me, Hot Hubby and I have an agreement that we will not buy anything for ourselves during the months of November and December.  And I have probably mentioned that I am not much of a cook, so I probably would never use any of these products.  But think how cute it would look!

I think it is probably good, that I cannot purchase anything for myself this month.  Do you have anything you do to control your spending during the holidays?

To Match or Not To Match?

To Match or Not To Match?

There is a recent trend with families visiting Disney World.  They like to have matching shirts.  Now some groups go to extremes, with matching outfits for every day of their trip.  Then there are the more subtle, who only match for one or two days.  Finally, there are the anti-matchers who wear matching shirts saying, “I don’t do matching shirts.”

I am of the matching shirt brigade.  Hot Hubby is not.  My bonus daughter and her husband painstakingly designed and made us matching shirts for one day of our trip.  We all wore them proudly, except for Hot Hubby, who kept his underneath his “normal” shirt.  He would occasionally open the top shirt for pictures, but mostly, he did not match.

I think there are three great reasons to match:

1)  It is easier to locate the people in your party.  Since most of your trip is spent separating and reuniting, I am all for anything that makes that easier.

2)  It helps me decide what to wear.  For one day, I am free of the burden of picking out my outfit and I just get to wear what I am instructed to wear.

3)  It makes for color-coordinated, great pictures.  Especially if there is red or green in your matching shirts, the Christmas card photo is handled.

What do you think?  To match or not to match?


Walt’s Birthday

Walt’s Birthday

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901.   He has made an impact on so many industries, cities, states and countries.  I wonder if he had any idea what Mickey Mouse would become when he drew a simple cartoon.

In honor of Walt Disney’s birthday I am going to remind you of the speech at the opening of Disneyland in 1955. It was the day a dreammaker got to fulfill a personal dream and open his very own theme park. Here’s the dedication speech:

“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Happy Birthday Walt, you made the world a better place.


Aladdin is 25 Years Old

Aladdin is 25 Years Old


Did you know that the Aladdin movie was released 25 years ago?  We first met Aladdin when he was 18 years old and although he was never formally educated, he had a lot of valuable knowledge.

1)  Don’t steal.   The movie begins with Aladdin stealing food and singing the great song, “One Jump Ahead”.  He eventually gets caught and gets sent to prison.

2)  Women are more than trophies.  I love that Jasmine stands up for herself and refuses to be anyone’s possession.  She is outspoken and strong and she has great abs.

2)  Seeing the World can change your life.  Aladdin started his courtship of the princess with big showing gifts and his cool ride, an elephant.  But he won the princess’s heart, by teaching her about life outside the palace walls.  And of course, that amazing carpet ride.

A 20-year study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, reached a powerful and straightforward conclusion:  people value experiences over any thing you can give them.  We need to spend more time doing and less time envying.  You get one chance to enjoy what you have…the love of family, and friends.

So dump the elephant, don’t buy her a lamp for Christmas.  Go drive around and look at Christmas lights, sing Christmas carols, drink hot chocolate in your pajamas.  Spend time together this holiday.  Maybe even plan a trip to see a “Whole New World”.Aladdin-and-Jasmine-aladdin-and-jasmine-25941746-887-561

Planning Magic Kingdom

Planning Magic Kingdom

Did you know that if you are booking a Disney World vacation and staying on property, you can book your Fast Passes 180 days before departure.  180 days!  I don’t know about you, but Hot Hubby barely thinks a day in advance, so this was a struggle for us.   Luckily for you, I have some advice!

1)  Even if you are not staying on property, make a reservation to stay on property.    We rented a house for our visit, but booked a room at the All-Star Resort for the first night, so we could benefit from all of the “extras” like getting to book our FastPasses 180 days in advance, getting free MagicBands and getting free replacement bands when you lose them….both Hot Hubby and I lost our bands during the trip.

2)  If you plan to get there at rope drop, don’t get any FastPasses for the first 2 hours.  The lines are not long and it will be a waste of the pass, when it is needed later in the day.

3)  Once you use your three Fast Passes, you can book new ones.  There are kiosks and Cast members who can help you use the MyExperience App to book more.

4)  Create a MyExperience Account and install it on your phone.  You will refer to this multiple times in the day, especially when trying to remember your agenda for the day.

5)  Here is what I would use my FastPasses for:  

a)  7 Dwarfs Mine Train  – the line was never shorter than 90 min and we were on a non-crowded day

b)  Peter Pan – this old school ride can accommodate the least amount of people and thus has long lines

c) Big Thunder Mountain or Enchanted Tales with Belle – we loved the Enchanted Tales with Belle and got the best pictures of our trip there.

After you use these passes, we were able to get FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear after lunch and Pirates of the Caribbean after dinner. 

Try to have the early planning, help to build excitement for your trip.  Disney World is wonderful with or without Fast Passes.  Enjoy!

Magic Bands

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

What is better than a visit to the Magic Kingdom?   A special Christmas party with Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom!  Disney offers this with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which is offered on available nights and has a special charge of $89.  So is it worth an extra $89?  

1)  The park closes at 6 pm on the night of the party, but ticket holders can enter the park at 4 pm and usually the party ends at midnight or later.   

2)  Most attractions are still open during the event, so you can ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train without a 90 minute wait.

3)  The number of tickets is limited, so the crowds are less once the party starts at 7 pm.

4)  There are over a dozen beloved Disney Characters wearing their holiday attire spread around the park for hugs, autoographs and photos.  This year we enjoyed rare appearances with Jack Skellington, Scrooge McDuck and Captain Jack Sparrow.

5)  The night begins with an extravagant show where Mickey invites his friends to the party.  Then Elsa transforms the castle.  Next is the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade which features new Disney Carols, magic and cheer.  There are dance parties in Tomorrowland and at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

6) There are complimentary, delicious yuletide sweets and season beverages.  We loved the Snowman shaped soft pretzel and snow cone.  Hot Hubby was crazy about the Ginger cookie and Eggnog.

7)  The grand finale is Holiday Wishes fireworks over the Cinderella Castle.   This was the biggest and most spectacular fireworks I have seen.  It was worth the ticket price.

We added dessert at the Be Our Guest Restaurant and had the best night of our trip!IMG_3278

Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

Are you a holly jolly kind of person, or more of the last-minute Scrooge type?  Do you take your family picture in August and order your Christmas cards in October?   I am more of the first and Hot Hubby is more of the second.  We visited Disney World in early November.  The Magic Kingdom was decorated for Christmas and the carols were playing.  I have been in the Christmas mood since.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the anticipation!  I love Advent calendars that countdown the days and this year Disney fans can countdown in many ways.

Star Wars calendar

There are Marvel countdowns and Star Wars Countdowns.  But my favorite is the Target exclusive Tsum Tsum countdown calendar. Behind each of the 24 doors lies a unique surprise, guaranteed to make everyday feel like Christmas morning.  When you complete the countdown, they all form a Christmas Train that you can play with all year.  What an ingenious addition to the traditional calendar.  Now the wait for Santa won’t seem so long after all … I just have to figure out how to contain Hot Hubby’s excitement until December 1.

What is your Christmas Personality?