Wildlife Wednesday – African Lion

Sleepy Kitty

This sleepy boy resides on Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s always a treat to see him whether he’s awake or asleep. Such a handsome kitty.

Conservation status – vulnerable
Primary habitat – eastern and southern Africa

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Wildlife Wednesday – Siamangs

Siamang Family

Today’s featured creature is the siamang. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find them hanging out in Asia, next-door to Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe and Kali River Rapids.

Conservation status – endangered
Primary habitat – Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand

Siamangs on the Disney Parks Blog: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/

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Wildlife Wednesday – Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinoceros Iguana

I love wildlife. A lot. I often feel more connected to the natural world than I do to the human world, so I’ve been toying with the idea of starting Wildlife Wednesdays here on Without a Care.

My first post stars the rhinoceros iguana. This critter can be found in the Oasis, near the park entrance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Have you seen him/her during your visits?

Conservation status – vulnerable
Primary habitat in Hispaniola

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Walt Disney World 101 – Character Dining

Dinner with Tigger!

Many travelers coming to the Walt Disney World Resort are familiar with the characters that reside there. Character Meet & Greets are very popular and fun for visitors of all ages. A character dining experience can be one of the easiest ways to meet your favorite Disney pals and there are several restaurants that offer this.

Advance Dining Reservations are recommended. You can make them conveniently with Disney’s interactive website or by phoning in. Don’t be discouraged if you’re unable to get the restaurant of your choice. As your trip draws closer, an opening may become available due to cancellations by other guests. Keep checking!

Be mindful of cancellation policies. Some restaurants charge a fee for late cancellations and no-shows.

Reservations
-Call up to 180 days in advance for reservations
(407) 939-1947
0800 16 90 748 (UK)
1800 812 675 (IE)
-online (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/)

Breakfast with Princesses

Listed below are the restaurants that feature character dining and some of the characters you might find there.

Breakfast
-1900 Park Fare (Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh)
-Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Snow White, Belle, Ariel)
-Cape May Cafe (Goofy & Friends)
-Chef Mickey’s (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy)
-Cinderella’s Royal Table (Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Ariel)
-The Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore)
-Garden Grove -Saturday & Sunday ONLY
-Hollywood & Vine (Doc McStuffins, Jake, Sofia the First)
-‘Ohanah (Lilo & Stitch, Mickey, Pluto)
-Tusker House (Donald Duck)

Lunch
-Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Snow White, Belle, Ariel)
-Cinderella’s Royal Table (Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Ariel)
-The Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore)
-Hollywood & Vine (Doc McStuffins, Jake, Sofia the First)
-Tusker House (Donald Duck)

Dinner
-1900 Park Fare (Cinderella & Prince Charming)
-Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Snow White, Belle, Ariel)
-Chef Mickey’s (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy)
-Cinderella’s Royal Table (Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Ariel)
-The Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore)
-The Garden Grill (Chip & Dale)
-Garden Grove
-Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (Mickey, Chip & Dale)

Simply Mad About Breakfast!

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Disney @Home – A DisneySide @ Home Celebration – A Party Planned!

Party Time!

I enjoy hosting a themed event with a lot of unique features but I don’t like to spend a ton of cash. This #DisneySide party has been especially fun to plan, yet not terribly expensive. I’m very happy with the plans I’ve made.

The party theme is DVD Premier Night for “Big Hero 6.” This is not an easy movie to find goodies for. There are no Big Hero party supplies anywhere that I could find (other than etsy). No big tragedy though. I think I have it covered now.

This will be a simple party. I tend to go overboard at times, which can be stressful. Keeping myself in check with this one.

We’re going to play Disney Apples to Apples and/or Disney scene it?, eat sweets then watch the movie with popcorn. I bought “Big Hero 6″ on iTunes so we’ll be able to view it before the DVD release on the 24th. See? Easy-peasey. No sweat.

My Big Hero Decorations:

My front room has been converted to a family theater for the “Big” premier night. Baymax 2.0 kites hang around the room. I love the way they look…and the fact that they were free is a great bonus. A large colorful beach towel is the centerpiece and is hanging above/behind the movie screen. A red plastic table cloth hangs behind the towel and adds contrast. Red and black streamers with white balloons will be hanging there too…those are on tomorrow’s to-do list.

The treat table in the kitchen will be decorated with white streamers and black balloons. I can’t start on that until party day. We still need the table for meal time. I bought plain white plates and napkins to use, red & black forks and spoons. I still need to make food labels and buy food…also on tomorrow’s to-do list.

My Big Hero Menu:

Fredzilla Fireballs – rice crispie treat balls with orange and yellow (maybe gold) crystal sugar sprinkles
Wasabi gelatin salad – my own very special lime gelatin dessert, a family favorite
Hiro Fortune cookies – save myself some time, buy these at the grocery
Honey Lemon Bars – find a recipe or buy a box mix
GoGo Grape Punch – grape and pineapple w/Sprite
Baymax Cake or Cupcakes – white cake, white fluffy icing, keeping it simple

I’ve already assembled treat bags with red rocky candy suckers, Japanese crackers and candy from Epcot, HP photo paper packets, coupons, Disney Parks luggage tags, Mickey tattoos, and some nail polish and card games that came with my party. I’m also going to send my guests home with copies of pencil games and coloring pages. Not a bad haul, I hope.

Yikes! Only 2 days until party time. I sure hope I can pull this off. Wish me luck!

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Disney @Home – A #DisneySide @ Home Celebration – The Party Package

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

My Disney Side party supply box arrived today. I let the kids unload the goodies and I recorded them on video as they looked over each item. Their enthusiasm is contagious…and seriously sweet. :o)

Upon closer inspection…we uncovered all sorts of great party treats!

Create with Mickey & Friends

Mickey & Friends on pencils, tattoos, stickers, and card games. A box of 24 Crayola crayons too!

02HPPhoto

HP photo paper with envelopes for my guests.

03SunProductsCorp

Laundry detergent! I usually use Gain. We’ll see if All can sway me over. I did laundry today and completely forgot to try them. D’oh! Next load.

04ForTheTummy

Lots of treats for the eats! Mickey Mouse cake pan and brightly colored nonpareils from Wilton. Duff tie-dye cake. Minnie Mouse snack tray, sandwich bags, coupons and food labels.

05PrincessStuff

Peelable princess polish. Palace pets and palace pet minis. Potential party prizes.

06MickeyFrndsDecor

Lots of cool stuff to decorate with. Invitations too.

07LuggageTag

Gifts for my guests…luggage tags and a mail in forms for free planning DVDs.

08FunNGames

Lots of party games again!

I’m not sure how much of this stuff I’ll actually use for my upcoming #DisneySide party, but they are all great treats that I’ll be able to put to use somehow. I’m sincerely grateful to Moms Select, BSM Media and Disney Parks for the opportunity to participate in this fun campaign again.

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

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Disney @Home – A #DisneySide @ Home Celebration – The Planning Begins!

"ooooooooooo...."

I’m having another #DisneySide party. Yippee!! Tickled to be chosen again…so very excited! I need to start planning RIGHT NOW.

I have no idea what my theme will be and I won’t know until I see what goodies BSM Media and Disney Parks send my way. I’m most excited about menu, so I guess I’ll start there.

This past Christmas, my plans to make yummy butter cookies never came to fruition. So, those will be the first item on my party menu. Rice crispie treats ALWAYS have to be on the party table. I’ll have those too. Should I try my Castle Cake again? Or maybe I’ll move forward with a cupcake idea I’ve been wanting to try.

Pretzels, cheese, meats… fruits & veggies… chips & salsa. Just snack foods should do the trick. Oh…and ice cream! I want there to be ice cream. Punch too.

Party games and prizes. I get to go shopping!

Should we take the party outside for any of this? That obviously, depends on the weather. Disney Scene It? DVD game and Disney Apples to Apples are fun indoor party games. We could play them both. And Disney Bingo!

Decor, hmmm. I want MORE crafty, inexpensive decorations this time. The Disney Side Celebrations website has lots of great ideas.

AND I think the kids and I just came up with our party theme. I’m still playing around with ideas but I’m more excited now. Time to get busy!!

Congratulations, You Have Been Chosen!

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Walt Disney World 101 – Resort Accommodations

One of the most fabulous things about Walt Disney World Resort is the variety of accommodations they offer. Rooms are available at several different price levels with a multitude of themes to choose from.

No matter which Disney resort you choose, you’ll receive:
-free transportation between your resort and the airport (MCO)
-free transportation to and from the parks
-free parking at your resort and the Disney theme parks
-free wifi
-access to morning and evening Extra Magic Hours
-free merchandise delivery from the parks to your hotel
-access to Disney Dining Plans
-ability to make dining reservations 180 days prior to arrival
-ability to make FASTPASS+ reservations at 60 days prior to arrival
-MagicBands

Disney provides a handy comparison tool at this link: WDW Resort Comparison Tool

VALUE RESORTS

Finding Nemo Courtyard

Value Resorts are the lowest priced of all the Disney resorts. You can book 4 to 6 guests per room, depending on room type. Amenities include themed pool, playground, arcade, jogging trail, food court, pizza delivery, bus transportation, and self-parking.

All Star Movies Resort -near Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach
All Star Music Resort -near Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach
All Star Sports Resort -near Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach
Art of Animation Resort -near Wide World of Sports
POP Century Resort -near Wide World of Sports

______________________________________________________

MODERATE RESORTS

FrenchQuarterCopBoat

Moderate Resorts are priced slightly higher than the values. And like values, you can book 4 to 6 guests per room, depending on room type. Amenities include themed pool with waterslide and hot tub, playground, arcade, jogging trail, table service and/or counter service restaurant, bus transportation and self-parking.

Caribbean Beach Resort -near Epcot & Hollywood Studios
Coronado Springs Resort -near Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach
Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter -near Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside -near Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon

______________________________________________________

DELUXE RESORTS

A Wilderness Lodge Spring

Deluxe Resorts start out at about twice the price of moderates. Some units can accommodate up to 12 guests. Amenities include themed pool with waterslide and hot tub, arcade, jogging trail, room service, concierge service, counter service and table service restaurants, valet and self-parking, and recreational activities. Some of the deluxe resorts offer fitness centers and health spas, spectacular views, white sandy beaches, award-winning restaurants and Monorail transportation.

Animal Kingdom Lodge -near Animal Kingdom & Blizzard Beach
Beach Club Resort -near Epcot & Hollywood Studios
BoardWalk Inn -near Epcot & Hollywood Studios
Contemporary Resort -near Magic Kingdom
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa -near Magic Kingdom
Old Key West Resort -near Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon
Polynesian Resort -near Magic Kingdom
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa -near Downtown Disney and Typhoon Lagoon
Wilderness Lodge -near Magic Kingdom
Yacht Club Resort -near Epcot & Hollywood Studios

This information is basic and doesn’t include ALL your accommodation options, but it is a good starting point. I’ll be writing more about each resort level in future posts and will link to them from here.

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Disney @Home – In the Craft Room – Folding Towel Bunnies

Very nearly Easter now…but there’s still time for this really cute and easy-to-make gift. I made a basket full of them one year and passed them out to my sisters at our family gathering.

I’m including the instructions here on my blog because I got the idea from a towel animal I received at Walt Disney World Resort…so it’s Disney. Right? ;o)

For each bunny you make you will need one wash cloth and one rubber band. They’ll be cute as can be with just these two items, but you may embellish with buttons and bows if you wish. I inserted Hershey’s miniatures into the folds of bunnies I gave to my sisters.

Adorable Wash Clothes

Place your wash cloth out flat, unfolded on a table in front of you. Fold-in two alternate corners into the center as shown in the photo below (folded cloth on left).

01FirstFolds

Next fold those newly formed sides into the center (folded cloth in center) and then fold in half as shown (folded cloth on right).

Next step…fold the long folded cloth in half to make it shorter as shown in the photo below. The two cloths show the difference between top and bottom. The side with the slit (on left) will be the bottom and the side with the fold (on right) will be the top. It’s important to get this right so the bunny ears will be correct.

02NextFolds

Hold the cloth as shown in the photo below and…

03MajorFold

…scrunch/fold it in half like this!

04BunnyFold

Wrap a colorful rubber band around the bunny’s neck and voila! You have bunny. :o)

Look! A bunny!!

Hoppy Easter, Everybody!!

Posted in Parties & Crafts | 14 Comments

Disney @Home – In the Kitchen – Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cookies

Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sells a carrot cake cookie that has a reputation for being an amazing, do-not-miss treat. I’m a fan of carrot cake in general, so I was intrigued by all the cookie chatter. Sadly, there’s not a gluten-free version (that I’m aware of), so it seemed the only way for me to sample said cookie, was to make one for myself. And that’s what I set out to do.

I researched different recipes online and combined a few to make a GF cookie for my #DisneySide @ Home Celebration. They were moist and flavorful…not overly complicated to make. The recipe is definitely worth repeating.

Delicious gluten-free carrot cake cookies!

Here’s what I did:
Gluten-free (GF) Carrot Cake Batter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp GF vanilla

2 cups GF pizza crust mix
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp GF baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

3 cups grated carrots
1 cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º and lightly coat baking sheets with Pam cooking spray.

Cream together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with mixer.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients, then add them to the creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in carrots and raisins.

Drop batter onto baking sheets in small spoonfuls. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove cookies and allow to cool on wire rack.

Ready for the oven!

Fresh baked!

Cookie Frosting/Filling
8 oz cream cheese
8 Tbsp butter
1 cup confectionary sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
1 tsp vanilla

Whip together, the cream cheese and butter. Slowly add sugar. Whip in pineapple and vanilla until well-blended. Spread frosting mixture liberally on the bottom side of one cookie and then sandwich together with a second cookie.

Store cookies in the refrigerator.

Hopefully, my directions are easy to follow and you end up with the most delicious carrot cake treat you ever will eat. Enjoy!!

Posted in Disney How-To, Parties & Crafts | 5 Comments