Disney at Home

Disney Gift Guide: 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical

Sometimes all it takes is a touch of Disney magic to disrupt our mundane life routines. I like to sprinkle a little pixie dust around my home, car, or accessories,…

15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Sometimes all it takes is a touch of Disney magic to disrupt our mundane life routines. I like to sprinkle a little pixie dust around my home, car, or accessories, just for a bit of a pick-me-up. Of course, when your love is this deep for Disney, it can get expensive. So, I put together an affordable Disney product guide for all Disney lovers! All of these are available on Amazon and I plan on doing a review on Disney products for Box Lunch and Hot Topic in the future too! I did a lot of digging and found the most magical products that are both enchantingly Disney and won’t make you feel guilty for investing in them.

Mini Mickey Waffle Maker: This is my favorite Disney product available on Amazon. I used this waffle maker to create my Copycat Pumpkin Spice Mickey Waffles last Christmas and it’s been holding up really well. And the size of the waffle that it produces is quite perfect!15 Affordable Disney Find to Add Some Magic to Your Day

Disney Parks Presents: it’s a small world: The beautiful illustrations featured in this children’s book are inspired by Mary Blair’s style of animation and includes a singalong version of it’s a small world on a C.D. (What’s a C.D.??) This would be cute as a gift for a little one, or for a nursery…or for your own bookshelf. There are few other “Disney Park Presents” song and picture books available like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion as well.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Adult Coloring Books: I’m pretty partial to Disney Coloring Books for Adults. They’re a therapeutic way to pass the time, but also very fun and whimsical! Also, this isn’t Disney, but in the spirit of 90’s nostalgia, there’s a Splat-Nickelodeon color book that looks awesome as well. 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Cookbook: If you’re going to buy a Disney cookbook then I highly recommend Eat Like WaltDisney wanted his food to reflect the feeling of fun and family which inspired the making of Disneyland. This cookbook doesn’t just list copycat recipes but also explores the history of Disney Park food with pictures and stories of Walt’s era. One of the best gifts you could give to a Disney foodie!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Historical Disney Books: If you’re a huge Disnerd I suggest The Disneyland Story which tells the story of Disneyland from conception to what is today. And, if you’re willing to invest in a little Disney history, I also advise looking into Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animationwhich showcases how female Animators blazed trails in the entertainment industry15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Pixar Oval Slow Cooker: I’m kinda pushing it as far pricing, but $35 ain’t bad for a good kitchen appliance. And, if you’re gonna have a crockpot, you should definitely have a Disney/Pixar crockpot! These are a fairly new product to Amazon and already very popular among Disney enthusiasts.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Glove Kitchen Accessories: If you don’t want to go all out and buy a Disney slow cooker, there are plenty of other subtle kitchen accessories to brighten up the room. I really like the Mickey glove accessories like the measuring spoons, the chip clips and spoon rest
15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Park Guide Books: Guidebooks are fun to read whether you’re planning a vacation or not. They’re full of tips, tricks, pictures, hotel and dining reviews, so they’re perfect to conjure up a Disney daydream. There are so many park guidebooks I wrote a whole review about them last month here. The most thorough and reliable book is the Unofficial Guide, brought to you by the reputable touringplans.com15 Affordable Disney Find to Add Some Magic to Your Day

Light Saber Chop Sticks: Whether you love the new Star Wars movies, or you think that Disney only bought Lucas Films to make a ton of money (probably the latter), some pretty cool merchandise has been made as a result. The chopsticks are my favorite Star Wars find on Amazon. Definitely silly, but at least they’re useful!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney iPhone Power Adapter Decals: Cutest little things since the tsum tsum (almost). These are simple and super cheap charger stickers that come in a variety of characters and colors. (USB charger not included!) 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Air Freshener:  I’m bringing up the air freshener because you can drop your own aromatherapy oil into the filter, which allows for a true Disney experience. If you don’t already know, the scent they pipe into the Grand Floridian and other resorts is called Green Clover and Aloe. I’ve seen Bath & Body Works sell this scent in the past and they do have a couple versions of this scent as an essential oil on Amazon. I like to put a few drops into my humidifier at home and daydream that I’m on vacation. :p I imagine this would also be pleasant in the car! Just do a very small amount because the scent can be strong.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Postcards: There’s something so personable about getting a piece of mail sent to you from a friend or a loved one. I send the Art of Disney/Pixar postcards to my clients to wish them well on their vacations because they’re so darn cute. Postcards also make great collectibles and artwork for around the house!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Danielle Nicole Bags: Anything by Danielle Nicole is friggin’ adorable and most of the products sold in the parks are available on Amazon as well. But, not everything is what most of us would call “affordable.” She does have some small cosmetic bags for about $18.00, featuring the dwarfs. Should you invest in something more spendy, the Gus-Gus and Suzy bag is perfection. 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Tea Strainer: Are you ready for the cutest”Hidden Mickey” tea strainer ever? This is a Disney Parks official item, no longer available on disneyshop.com and only sold by third-party sellers on Amazon. I can’t guarantee this item will always be available, but for the time being it’s there!
15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Mug: There are plenty of Disney mugs to be found on Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. So many that it’s hard for me to recommend just one. However, if I were to choose one on Amazon mug, it would have to be the “Who says we have to grow up?” Mickey mug because I think all Disney lovers can relate to this one on deep, spiritual level.

15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Some of these items are handy if you’re planning a Disney vacation, while others are just fun to have. Treat yourself or treat a friend! We all need a little Disney in our day! Comment with your favorite affordable Disney find!

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A Complete Guide to Disney Guidebooks (And Other Useful Planning Resources!)

If you ask a question like, “what’s the best hotel on Disney property?”, you’ll most likely get about 15 answers.  There are so many conflicting opinions on dining, hotels, and…

A guide to Disney World and Disneyland guides (And other useful planning resources!)

If you ask a question like, “what’s the best hotel on Disney property?”, you’ll most likely get about 15 answers.  There are so many conflicting opinions on dining, hotels, and attractions that it can become overwhelming. In the event that you feel so overwhelmed by booking a Disney vacation, I advise using a Travel Agent (like me) to help you customize your plans.

Now, in the second event that you’re in need of advice, but are more of a vacation DIYer, you’ll look to guides for help. Whether they are physical guidebooks, blogs, or websites, you’ll need to do some research before your vacation! So, here’s a list of awesome Disney park resources that helped me plan in the past and will hopefully help you too! You can click on my links below to find the books on Amazon.

P.S. I’ve only listed links for Disney World books, but most of these publishers write books for Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line as well. Kindle versions are also available for most.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

This guidebook is referred to as the “Disney Bible” and is written by the same people who own and operate the reputable touringplans.com. Every year they come out with an updated version of their unofficial guides and every year they get better and more detailed. I started buying these books in 2012 and have purchased it every new version since. The size of the book can be intimidating, but I treat it as an encyclopedia rather than something I need to study cover-to-cover. The book covers far too much for me to explain, so I’ll give you the highlights:

  • 5-Star Ratings: Every attraction, show, restaurant, and resort is graded by their 5-star system, and I agree with their ratings most often. Restaurants are divided by Quick-Service and Table Service, then described in detail ranked by quality. Resorts, both on and off property are treated the same and contact information is provided for all of them.
  • Packing tips and “bare necessities” are described in full detail. From credit cards to souvenir shopping, to finding gas stations, it’s all there.
  • Advice for a spectrum of travel groups like Disney for seniors, Disney for toddlers, and how to entertain your teenager.

Bonus: If you’re a true Disnerd, also read Unofficial Guide’s: The Disneyland Story. The story of Walt’s first conception of the park and how it evolved to the current form. I prefer listening to it on audible, but I also have the physical book for novelty reasons. 

The Easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit in 2018

In second place is The Easy Guide to WDW. This is another comprehensive guide that is useful for first-timers and veterans alike. Dave and Josh have experienced Disney inside and out, so they have the ability to provide honest opinions about resorts, dining, and everything else. The coolest thing about this book is that if you buy the 2018 edition they will provide an updated copy once their 2019 edition is released in summer. All you have to do is shoot them an email to the address printed on the inside cover. Cool stuff!

Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide

This is the only guidebook with Disney’s official stamp of approval. It’s also the most compact guide of the three I’ve mentioned.  This may sound juvenile, but I love it because of the high-quality, colored pictures. It’s a fun guide to look through if you have kids, or if you’re a kid at heart. And a great book to get you excited about your vacation! They also have a Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World For Kids if you’re looking for trip tips geared towards families.

Frommer’s EasyGuide to Disney World 

Frommer’s is a trusted destination publisher that covers more than just Disney books. Their overviews are not quite as detailed as the Unofficial Guide and not quite as colorful as Birnbaum’s, but still very as useful. At this point, I would say buy it if you are partial to the Frommer’s brand.

102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World

Lou Mongello is among the elite Disney experts out there. He offers Disney guidebooks, podcasts, and videos dealing with tips and history to enhance your vacation. Always well-researched and entertaining, his tips for budgeting for your vacation will help you immensely. It’s mostly targeted at first-time visitors, but I found a few tips to be helpful as well. The Walt Disney World Trivia Book and 102 Things To Do at Walt Disney World At Least Once are also a joy to read.

Walt Disney World Dining Guide 2018

Making a dining reservation at Disney World has become one of the most difficult things to do when planning your vacation. Offsite guests are allowed to make a reservation 180 days before your vacation and onsite guests are allowed to make them 190 days beforehand. This has made booking reservations at popular restaurants an absolute monstrous task. Also, the restaurants on property are constantly being updated, replaced, or closed down completely. This can be both exciting and aggravating. The Dining Guide can be a really helpful resource when deciding where you’d like to eat and how to get those reservations. It’s also updated every year to keep with Disney’s ever-changing atmosphere.

Disney Food Blog Guides (eBook)

Are you a Disney foodie? Pretty much any restaurant and food item on property is reviewed on Disney Food Blog. The eBook is beautifully done with photographs, four planning worksheets, updates on closures and refurbs and fun tips like the “trendiest bar” or “best hot dogs.” The other advantage of an eBook is that they have the ability to embed hyperlinks into the text. Not sure what a Mickey’s Premium Bar is? Click on the links inside the ebook and it will send open to a description. Pretty nifty. And if you’re already an expert, it’s fun to peruse for the sake of Disney daydreaming. Disney Food Blog | Guide to Disney Guides | Green Monorail

Disney Dining Plan 2018: Tips & Tricks for Making the Most of the Dining Plans at Walt Disney World
If you just want an overview of the nefarious Dining Plan, Leah Crocker Althiser’s book covers the plans concisely and is free on Kindle Unlimited. There are a lot of blogs written about this subject, but I’ve found Althiser’s eBook to be well-organized. She clearly lays out the basics the Disney Dining Plan to help you determine the pros and cons of the dining plan.


Passporter’s Guide Walt Disney World 

Maybe the Unofficial Guide is a bit overwhelming in size for you. Passporter’s has more general tips and guidance for the planning process, so if you’re looking for a categorical overview, it would be a good choice. Also, the structure of their planning binder actually makes planning fun. With pockets placed inside, you can keep all of your printables and resources in one place. It also has pages dedicated to a Trip Diary. Make it a goal to complete a diary entry every day so you can remember the good times…and the things to avoid on your next trip.


I know this feels like a no-brainer, but the official website is indispensable. Especially when you’re trying to budget your vacation or find official Disney answers. Besides the My Disney Experience feature, here are my favorite tools from the official website:

      • Printable Guide Maps: You don’t have to be at the resort to get a handy park map. I find these helpful when making itineraries for myself. Marking and highlighting your favorite Disney attractions is almost meditative. You can find the PDFs by clicking on Parks & Tickets>Magic Kingdom (or any park)>Magic Kingdom Guide Map. Here’s a Magic Kingdom map link.
      • Free Disney Planning DVD: The planning movies are detailed overviews of the parks and resorts. They’re also fairly well-produced and the perfect little Disney-pick-me-up when you’re missing the parks. I download a new one every year! Here’s my link to the guide below. You can have a hard copy sent to your home or a downloadable version sent straight to your email. Here’s my link to the free planning video. 
      • Compare Package Prices: Did you know that you can do a side-by-side comparison of packages? Just choose a resort and ticket option then press “continue.” At the bottom of the page, you’ll see an option to “Compare Vacation Offers.” This allows you to price out your vacation and save your offers for later. You can see my example below.

Compare Vacations | Green Monorail Destinations

Disney Tourist Blog (Website and eBooks):  Money Saving Tips for Walt Disney World and Disney Tourist Blog Christmas 

So, the number one rule among bloggers is to try not to drive traffic to other people’s blogs. For me, however, if there is a blog that offers something I cannot, like Disney Tourist Blog’s beautiful photography and eBooks, then I’ll happily send my readers to them. Disney Tourist Blog is the first the Disney blog that I followed and they are constantly inspiring me to create a more beneficial blog for my readers. If you can’t find everything you’re looking for in a guidebook and prefer to book your own vacations (rather than through a Disney Travel Agent like me), then you’ll find this website very helpful.

Dis Boards

Another useful website are The Dis Boards. Think of this as a giant chat forum for you and the thousands of other Disney fans in the world. You can post questions and get honest feedback from fellow Disney vacationers. Since every user is anonymous, you can feel more comfortable about their honesty. And no question is too big or small! Want to know where you can get your karaoke fix on Disney property? Ask away! (It’s Kimonos at the Swan Resort, by the way)

Now that you’ve researched your resort, made your dining reservations, and learned how to budget, it’s time for the fun stuff. Here are some books that keep you will keep you entertained during the more grueling parts of your vacation. Mainly, waiting in line.

The Hidden Mickey’s of Walt Disney World

Hidden Mickey’s is the ultimate guide to…you guessed it…Hidden Mickey’s. If you’re not familiar with a Hidden Mickey, it’s the image of Mickey’s head hidden subtly by Imagineers around Disney property (and movies).  A sort of inside joke from Imagineers throughout the years. The book makes a game out of seeking out the Mickey’s hidden around the parks. There is also an app version available.

Lots To Do in Line

Like a Disney scavenger hunt, this activity book gives hints regarding subtle details and trivia hidden throughout the parks and line cues. With limited cell phone reception in some cues, it can create some momentary distractions and beat some boredom while you wait. Some find this book very entertaining, others say they can pass on it. If your family enjoys trivia, then I would suggest it. 

Secret Stories of Walt Disney World and Hidden Magic of Disney World

These two are the most popular “hidden secret” books, so I had to throw give them a mention. Sometimes, it’s fun to add a little insider magic while you wander the parks. However, Hidden Magic is outdated in some parts and holds most of the commonly known trivia. If you’re a first-timer, it’s a fun read, but some attractions have been removed since it’s publishing in 2009 (RIP Great Movie Ride). It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited as well. 

These are the books and resources that shaped me into the Disney expert I am today. Since I’ve discovered them, I can plan a mean Disney itinerary like nobody’s business. And of course, as I’ve mentioned before, if all this information is completely overwhelming to you, never fear. I can help! Feel free to reach out to me here. You can also sign up to receive your free planning itinerary at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, I’ll digress from guidebooks for a bit and say that if you’re a true Disney buff, I suggest looking into these historic texts as well. Happy planning, everyone!

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real,

The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream

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Pair a Disney Holiday Movie with a Holiday Treat!

What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their…

Pair a Disney Holiday Movie with a Holiday Treat
What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their movies. Now combine that with some holiday cheer and you have the ultimate cozy night in.  So let’s get in the spirit, eh? I’ve posted some recipes below I found on other blogs for inspiration!

1. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas/Hot Buttered Rum: Narrated by Kelsey Grammer, this is a heartwarming melange of classic stories told by our favorite characters. This is the perfect show to play in the background while you’re decorating the Christmas tree. It’s been on Netflix for a few years now along with the sequel, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. For a show that gives you all the warm fuzzies, it should be accompanied by a warm drink like a Hot Buttered Rum. Here’s a step-by-step recipe from The Kitchen is My Playground

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Hot Buttered Rum | The Kitchen is My Playground Hot Buttered Rum | The Kitchen is My Playground

2. I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Red and Green M&M’s: This nostalgic 90’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas film deserves to be complemented with red and green M&M’s, which also became popular during the 90’s. They’re still playing the classic M&M’s “They DO exist!” commercial to this day! Bonus: Red & Green Hershey kisses! Take a Christmas commercial break and slip into your P.J.’s. Be still my 90’s teenage heart!

I'll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

I’ll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Red and Green Christmas M&M's


3. Pluto’s Christmas Tree/Mulled Wine: This is a cozy classic cartoon that aired in 1952. It features classic Disney characters, so it only makes sense to match it with a classic Christmas drink. Mulled wine is the pinnacle of warmth and coziness. Combining cloves, cinnamon, oranges, and wine to make a picture-perfect holiday drink for a picture-perfect holiday cartoon. I tried Sweet & Savory’s mulled wine recipe last year and it was delicious.

You can watch Pluto’s Christmas Tree and other Disney shorts here!

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory


4. Beauty and the Beast’s Enchanted Christmas/Madeleines: With actors like Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters, this cast is stunning and the movie is highly underrated. The CGI is a little corny and outdated at times, but the music is actually quite good and probably the only Disney classic spin-off that I recommend to anyone. (Sorry Lion King 1 1/2!) Since Beauty and the Beast is set in France, it would be fun to make traditional french cookies, like madeleines or macarons. And holy cow, you should check out this recipe for Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt from Fig and Bleu. I can’t wait to try it. Another (more laborious) option would be the cute and classic Chocolat Buche de Noel (a.k.a. Yule Log Cake).

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu


5. The Santa Clause/Hot Chocolate: Another 90’s hit that we’ve all watched at least 30 times by now. And for good reason too. It’s one of the few holiday movies that have a good plot, great cast, good writing, and something you don’t mind watching every year. As a kid, I wished someday I’d have a CD (Cocoa Dispenser) in my car like the one Charlie installs in the sleigh. Until Tesla makes all my hot chocolate wishes come true, I suppose a homemade batch will do.

The Santa Clause | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Mickey Holiday Hot Cocoa

My new favorite cocoa cup featured in my Pumpkin Spice Waffle post!


6. Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year/Baked Brie with Honey: Pooh Bear is very near and dear to my heart since I spent A LOT of time with him when I worked at Disney World. If you catch my drift. Of course, you can’t enjoy your favorite bear without a honey related treat! Brie with apples are my family’s favorite Christmas morning snack. Especially delicious is the kind wrapped in dough and drizzled with some honey. Check out this beautiful Honey Almond Baked Brie recipe from The Seasoned Mom. This adorable film is on Hulu and used to be available on Netflix, but they removed it last year. Oh, bother!

A Very Merry Pooh Year | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Honey Almond Baked Brie | The Seasoned Mom


7. Ernest Saves Christmas/Reindeer Poop: Remember that weird fad where we gave out poop related Christmas treats to our relatives? Back in the day, cocoa puffs were “reindeer poop” and marshmallows were considered “snowman poop.” In memory of the wacky Disney legend, Jim Varney (a.ka. Ernest and Slinky Dog from Toy Story), I say we bring that strange tradition back. You can go the extra mile and try these reindeer poop cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design. Although Ernest wasn’t produced by Disney, it is the first movie that was filmed in Disney World. Parts of the movie were filmed in Hollywood Studios, then known as MGM Studios!

Ernest Saves Chrismas

Ernest Saves Christmas | Image Source: Touchstone Pictures

Reindeer Poop Cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design


8. The Muppet Christmas Carol/Magic Cookie Bars: Of all the Disney-made Christmas Carol interpretations, this one is my favorite. The music is absolutely fantastic and you can’t go wrong with Michael Caine as Scrooge. Jim Henson had a way of parodying classics without detracting from the story and making it accessible to both kids and adults. For this cheery musical, make an equally cheery treat like Magic Cookie Bars, combining all the yummy goodness of baked goods into one bar. Here’s an extra special Seven Layer Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar recipe made with the classic aforementioned red and green M&M’s from Love from the Oven. Ugh, they’re so beautiful!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Jim Henson Productions

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven


9. The Magic of Christmas at Disneyland/Very Merry Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffles: When I’m feeling the Disney blues, one of the best ways to get my fix is to watch a Disney Park special. This Magic of Christmas at Disneyland features the park rides and shows that were present in the 90’s. It’s also free on YouTube! There are newer Disney Christmas specials, like the parades they air every year on Christmas day. For these television specials, you can make the beloved pumpkin spice waffles they serve at Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas party. I recreated the dessert in an earlier post here.


10. Nightmare Before Christmas/Christmas Sangria: Disney really struck gold with this plotline. A movie that features both Halloween AND Christmas? They can rake in the dough by showing this movie continuously from October to December on Freeform. For this seemingly sinister yet cozy Christmas film, I’d opt for something classy with a twist, like Christmas sangria. Here’s a gorgeous Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria from Jerry James Stone.

Jack Skellington The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Studios

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone


11. Babes in Toyland: As a musical theatre lover from a young age, I’ve always loved this film. A beautiful musical with ballet and a gorgeous score deserves a beautiful treat like divinity. The almost unbearable sweetness of divinity matches the unbearable sweetness of this 1960’s musical. The Domestic Rebel provides an “Easy Homemade Divinity Recipe” here.

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel


12. Prep & Landing/Gingerbread Cookies: So, I’m not a huge fan of this movie. It was a bit past my childhood and I don’t think it holds up against the others. I won’t judge you if this happens to be you’re favorite though!  Anyway, the movie stars some high-tech elves who use their GBM’s, or, Gingerbread Men Scanners, to scan whether “creatures are stirring.” You can keep with the theme and make some gingerbread! Check out this cute replica of the gingerbread scanners from Disney Family.

Prep and Landing

Prep and Landing | Image Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Gingerbread Man Scanner CookiesGingerbread Men Scanner Cookies | Disney Family


13. ‘Twas the Night/Eggnog: Remember when Bryan Cranston did Disney original movies? As a throwback to when Cranston was taking any job that was offered to him, might as well do a throwback to the classic Christmas drink, eggnog. Try the 10-Minute Homemade Eggnog from Whole and Heavenly Oven! The full movie is available to rent on YouTube.

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

10 Minute Homemade Eggnog | Whole and Heavenly Oven


14. Frozen/Frozen Hot Chocolate: Fine. I’ll acknowledge the Frozen elephant in the room. I think most of the world is over this movie, but if you just can’t let it go, I suggest pairing this one with a frozen hot chocolate. This is especially suitable if you live somewhere close to the equator! Here’s an awesome and simple recipe from Fake Ginger.

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Ready for a snuggly night in? Grab your favorite blankie, a favorite treat, and take in a movie. The winter isn’t getting any warmer so why not warm yourself with a Disney classic and something delicious. What’s your favorite holiday treat? Leave in the comments below!
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Disney World’s Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffle Copycat!

The Pumpkin Spice Waffle is a favorite at the Christmas Party. If you can’t make it to the parks this season, this treat will help ease the pain a bit….

The Pumpkin Spice Waffle is a favorite at the Christmas Party. If you can’t make it to the parks this season, this treat will help ease the pain a bit. I’m also one of those people who really get into the pumpkin spiced trend. Call me basic! I don’t care because this recreation of the popular dessert from Disney World makes me and other Disney fans feel right at home. Also, someone who doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands, like most others, I wanted it to find a simple way to enjoy it. I tried some recipes and instant mixes, but rumor has it that the waffle mix I ended up using is the actual mix they use in the parks.  Can’t get much more authentic than that! It’s a simple recipe you can make with kids or on Christmas morning without it being a stressful activity.  If you don’t have a waffle maker, you can make a pancake version instead. But, if you’re in the market for one, the mini Mickey waffle maker I got worked really well. Pair this festive sweet with one of the Disney holiday movies like I suggested in my blog here. Here are some suggestions for recreating this yummy treat.

The Essentials:
  • Waffle Maker
  • Pumpkin Spice Waffle Batter
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Sprinkles
  • Added Bonus: Mickey Mug and a Mickey Waffle Maker! Review of the waffle maker below!

Adorable Mickey Holiday Mug from the Disney Store

Waffles: You have a couple choices here, ranging from super simple to more labor intensive. I’ll start with my favorite.

  • Carbon’s Golden Malted Pumpkin Waffle and Pancake Flour: I did some research and found multiple claims that this is the real mix they use in the parks. After having a taste, I’d have to agree with them. And it’s very simple to make! All you need is an egg and butter to complete the mix. Although, I highly suggest adding about 1/4 cup of sugar and about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla Extract. The mix is a little bland for my taste and adding the sugar and pumpkin spice extract made it absolutely perfect. Find it on Amazon here

  • Other Pumpkin Spice Waffle and Pancake Mixes: For other instant mixes, I highly recommend the Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix from Williams Sonoma. Another trusted mix is My Favorite Pancake Mix. Both are super low maintenance and affordable.
  • Bake it from Scratch: If you love doing things homemade, there are some fantastic pumpkin spice waffle recipes online. Here’s a great pumpkin waffle recipe from Cooking Classy.
  • Frozen Waffles: If you’re far too busy for any of the above, some toaster waffles have seasonal offerings like Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Spice Waffles or even Eggo’s.

Two Mickey Waffles on a Christmas plate


Wilton’s Holiday Sprinkles is the classic brand that Disney uses and they’re pretty cheap on Amazon. I bought the combination pack with 6 different types of sprinkles then used the confetti and trees here. Save the rest for sugar cookie decorations! Add some Pumpkin Pie Extract for extra pumpkin spice goodness.

Ice Cream:

  • Vanilla Bean is the flavor they use at the parties, but feel free to get creative here. Try flavors that compliment the spices like chocolate or coffee ice cream. I used Snoqualmie Ice Cream because it’s local to Washington. My favorite brand is Tillamook. Super creamy and delicious!

Sifted Powdered Sugar: Obviously any brand will do here. You can also top off your creation with some cinnamon and cardamom to make it extra pumpkin spice-y!

Added Bonus!
Hot Cocoa Mug: I’m a big collector of Disney mugs. And this one combines my two favorite things: Mickey and Christmas. They’re selling it in the parks and on disneystore.com.


Backside of the adorable Holiday Mug from the Disney Store


Waffle Maker: I found this on Amazon for only 15.00, so I bought it on an impulse. It’s the cutest waffle maker on the planet so I was hoping the quality of the waffles would match the design. Mickey did not disappoint. The waffles are thick, fluffy, and evenly baked. Only takes about 5 minutes to make a waffle too! I was weary at first, but I liked it even more than my heavy duty Oster waffle maker. 

The cutest Mickey Waffle Maker!

Well, there it is! You’re very own slice of Disney all wrapped up in holiday goodness. Snuggle up with a blanket and a friend,  turn on A Muppet Christmas Carol, and have at it! Go crazy and grab a pumpkin spiced eggnog while you’re enjoying it. Happy holidays, everyone!



Disney World Christmas Party Waffle



Missing the holiday season at Disney World? Fill out the quote form and we’ll work with you on booking your next magical vacation!

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Disney Hygge at Home

I love cozy things. I love warm wool socks, fireplaces, mulled wine, jumping out of the rain into a warm car. And drinking way too much coffee. I cocoon myself…

I love cozy things. I love warm wool socks, fireplaces, mulled wine, jumping out of the rain into a warm car. And drinking way too much coffee. I cocoon myself in the coziest scarves and love eating my mom’s chicken dumplings with my family while watching a Disney classic. About a year ago, I read an article in the Seattle Times that compared Seattle (my hometown) to Denmark. It describes how Seattle’s coffee culture, love/hate relationship with the rain and humanitarian values are comparable to Denmark’s “hygge” culture, or roughly, coziness. I became obsessed with the concept of hygge (hoo-guh). I discovered that there is a whole country full of cozy folk! If you’re not familiar with the phrase hygge, Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute (yes, that’s a real thing) wrote an awesome book about it called The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. This adorable book describes how you can use lighting, food/drink, clothing, and activities to create a superbly hygge lifestyle. In Denmark, the word is used in reference to just about everything. Bars, restaurants, cafes, living rooms: all rated on a hygge scale. My favorite analogy is when Weiking references a cafe that serves coffee that tastes like fish that he still frequents because it has a nice fireplace.

Disney Hygge at Home

What does this have to do with Disney? The same amount of effort and love I put into my cozy lifestyle, I put into my love for Disney. I love pulling on my sweatpants, turning on the Finding Nemo soundtrack and researching Disney World trips. Another major factor of hygge is with whom you spend these cozy activities with. Disney for most people is the most enjoyable when you’re creating memories with your loved ones. Whether that’s your family, friends, partner, or maybe even your most loved person, YOU. You can look back on the memories with a fond, emotional attachment to the people you spent it with. You can’t experience hygge without feeling safe and happy. You can’t experience Disney to its full potential without having that same feeling. This feeling of protection is (usually) enhanced when you are with people you care about.

Now, as I understand it, you want to be surrounded by your loved ones, but not to a point where you feel crowded and claustrophobic. This is where my love of Disney World, the most crowded (and happiest!) place on earth conflicts. So, as a guest, I began to search out nooks and activities that were based on comfort and relaxation. Places where people can seek refuge from the heat (cozy doesn’t have to just mean warm!), low-stress playtime, comfy resorts, how to avoid crowds, where to find dimly lit lounges and more. That way people like me, who like to feel at home wherever they go, can come to Disney, have a ton of fun, and still have places to seek refuge. The parks don’t have to feel overwhelming so I’m going to share my comfy research with all of you! Just like my old friend Pooh Bear, who takes life as it comes and doesn’t give a bother about the small stuff. We can all take a lesson from Pooh Bear. (There was another book about his take-life-as-it-comes attitude called The Tao of Pooh. Read that one too!) So join me in perusing the cool and collected side of Disney vacations by subscribing to my newsletter here. In return, you’ll get a free planning itinerary to put together a calm and organized vacation.

*I use the word cozy and hygge interchangeably throughout this article and I feel like Weiking would be upset if he read this. To clarify, here is his summary of hygge:

“Hygge is about an atmosphere and experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

–pp. vi The Little Book of Hygge

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The Benefits of Using a Disney Travel Planner

Hiya folks! I’m your friendly neighborhood Disney Vacation Planner! If you’ve always wanted to experience the magic of seeing Cinderella’s Castle in person or seek the thrill of riding Space Mountain alongside your family, I’m here to help your…

Hiya folks!

I’m your friendly neighborhood Disney Vacation Planner! If you’ve always wanted to experience the magic of seeing Cinderella’s Castle in person or seek the thrill of riding Space Mountain alongside your family, I’m here to help your dreams come true! Booking a Disney vacation may seem easy with the endless amount of information on the internet. But this much information can be overwhelming. With my insider knowledge, I’m here to help discover what is best for you and your family. And as far as planning logistics, I’m here for that too. I can answer burning questions like: “What’s a FastPass?” or “I want a reservation at Be Our Guest, but everything is full! Can I still get in? As a former Cast Member and a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge,  I have the resources to do all of the nitty-gritty work for you. This way, you can focus on the important things, like enjoying your vacation! So, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. I’ll do my best to make your Disney vacation extra magical! To help keep things organized, download my 6 day Disney World Travel Itinerary example and blank itinerary. It’s a  snapshot of a 6 day Disney World trip I recently took and how I managed to see most things on my list.

Here are some reasons why you need an Agent in 2017:
  • You’re Dealing with an Expert: I’m endlessly qualified and highly knowledgeable when it comes to Disney vacations. As I mentioned before, I worked at Disney World in the Entertainment Department and took business classes through Disney University on the property.  You can probably guess what I did in that department, but it’s all very hush hush. During my time as a Cast Member, I was in the parks every day either for work or play. I stayed in many different resorts across the property and ate at most of the popular restaurants. I can give you honest reviews about each of these places to help you with your reservations. IOn top of that, I recently graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge, which is a Travel Agent training program designed to prepare Agents for booking Disney vacations for their clients. Easy to say, I know my stuff!
  • It’s Free to You: Suppliers like Disney and most, if not all, hotels and tours pay Travel Agents a commission when we book on behalf of them because we’re doing their job for them. They are willing to take a cut and pay us for doing the marketing and planning for them. This costs nothing extra to you. That being said, please be aware that the only way Travel Agents are paid is if we book on your behalf. If you work with us then decide later to book through a travel website, we won’t be compensated. We really appreciate it if we can work with you through the whole process, if you’re willing to have us.
  • Your Wish is My Command: Think of me as your personal assistant. I do all the work, planning, and follow-up for you. If you want to spend hours researching a destination, international border control stipulations, and Travel Insurance plans, that’s totally cool. If you’d rather have someone do it for you, let me do it!
  • Resources: As an Agent, I have an endless amount of resources and a huge network of Travel Professionals to refer to. This is something a travel website won’t offer to you. Agents tend to be the first to be notified when a supplier announces new upcoming promos as well.
  • No Upselling: As a small business owner and artist, supporting my dream of planning Disney vacations for people, I promise to be honest and upfront. This is my business so I’m not pressured to make certain amounts on commission. What does it hurt? It’s a completely free service and I actually like doing it. I offer honest opinions on hotels, parks, and dining and there will be no upselling on my part. I’ll always be on the lookout for what is best for you.

How much you want me involved in your planning is completely up to you. If you’d like me to schedule every FastPass, Dining Reservation, hotel and flights, I can do that. If you just want me to purchase tickets, I’m down for that too! See below for all the services I offer when booking your dream vacation.

Complete Service Offers:
  • Packages: Some packages offer discounts if you book during certain seasons. Other discounts seem great, but are not worth it once you read the fine print. I can do the budget hunting and pricing out for you. If you find a discount before I do, I can add it to your package no problem.
  • Dining Reservations: You can make dining reservations online 180 days before your vacation if you’re staying offsite and 190 days if you’re onsite. This year, to make it even harder for us, they’re adding Disney Good Neighborhood Hotels to the 190-day exception. It’s become increasingly difficult in booking the popular restaurants like Be our Guest since this system launched. People tend to get up at 3:00 AM on their 180/190-day mark just to ensure they get a seat. I am happy to be up in the wee hours to work on your reservations. If they happen to be full, I have the ability to set up systems that will alert me if a reservation becomes available.
  • FastPasses: With dining reservations and travel time, FastPasses can quickly become a logistical nightmare. I can help schedule your FastPasses and make sure they work will your other reservations.
  • Dining Plan: The most often Disney question asked: Is the Dining Plan a good deal? I can help draw out comparisons and figure out if the Dining Plan is right for you.
  • Resort Research: If you want to make sure the hotel is more kid oriented or have a more of an “adult feel,” I have plenty of recommendations. I can help you make requests for arranging to have a crib for your room or asking for ADA accommodations as well.

So drop me a line from my quote form here. It’ll be a blast!

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