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Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

Last week, my family went to the happiest place on earth, Disney World, and I was disabled. We were all very excited. We’d been planning this trip since last year; everything got postponed when my life came to a screeching halt thanks to my slip and fall in my sister’s wedding last fall. Come hell or high water, we were going to Disney World. There was just a couple issues 1) my broken leg is still recovering (it’s an 18-month process y’all.) 2) the week before we left, I was in the ER with a severe gallbladder attack. I was far from 100% but I was going to Disney World.

Here is how I navigated the happiest place on earth with a messed up leg. I can tell you that it was no fun but I figured out a way to get around all of those parks and not end up back in the hospital. This post is just about getting around if you are physically disabled, I will write a separate post about eating at Disney World when you are on a restricted diet because, you know, I couldn’t just be hobbled I had to do it starving.

My advice for anyone who has a broken leg, is recovering from a broken leg, a sprained ankle, a bum knee or broken hip or just doesn’t do well with walking in high heat because they are sickly, especially the elderly…rent a wheelchair! I believe it’s $12/$13 a day or you can get 3 days for $30, which is what my husband did for me. But get to the parks early, especially the Magic Kingdom. Also, the wheelchairs are located to the right after you scan in but before you enter the park (the same place as where you rent the strollers).

Disney, travel, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

I thought I could do it on my own. After all, I am 7 months out from the original break but I was wrong. I tried everything, ankle brace, ankle wrap, Kinesio Tape for the tendonitis, crutches and even took my walking boot. Nothing can make a recovering broken leg walk around the Magic Kingdom for 15 hours pain free, not even a strong will and multiple vicodin. Believe me I tried.

The first night we arrived, we went to Hollywood studios. We arrived around 4:30 p.m. we returned to our room around 10 pm, in those 5.5 hours, my ankle (that was firmly in a brace) had swollen up to the size of my calf and the pain was excruciating. I knew then and there that there was no way that I was going to survive the Magic Kingdom on foot.

A few things you should know about being physically disabled in a wheelchair at Walt Disney World:

Firstly, it’s not as embarrassing as you might think and don’t worry about your spouse or children pushing you around, they’d prefer that to hearing you complain and be in misery any day.

Secondly, if you do find yourself in a wheelchair, check with the cast members at each ride because some have steps and they will need to reroute you. Sometimes they just give you a fast pass and have you come back so you don’t have to wait in the long lines in your chair.

Thirdly, check when you go to the restaurants, some have special seating for people in wheelchairs and some you need to leave the chair outside but for the most part all the parks were very wheelchair friendly.

Fourth, check with cast members at each park about seating for fireworks and such. They are very accommodating and there are special seating locations for those in wheelchairs. It was very nice that they provide these spaces because it’s hard to see when you are at wheelchair level.

Fifth, and this is the important one, if you are not disabled do not rent the wheelchairs. Leave those for those people who actually need them. Laziness is not a disability. Also, don’t use the handicapped bathrooms; those of us who are actually handicapped need those larger bathrooms for a reason. A wheelchair does not fit in a standard restroom stall.

Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled, travel

I won’t lie, being at Walt Disney World in a wheelchair was a humbling experience for me but, like most of these past 7 months, it’s given me a new respect for the disabled and respect for their situations. Disney did a great job of making the parks easily enjoyed by the disabled as well as the able bodied.

If it hadn’t been for the wheelchair rental service, the entire trip would have been ruined. If you find yourself, physically unable to walk Disney World, don’t be too proud to use the wheelchairs. They are there for those of us who are disabled in some way and need them.

Have you ever been to Disney World when you weren’t 100% physically?

 

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Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Last night the Big Guy surprised the girls with tickets to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, now playing in theaters. This should be no surprise to anybody who knows us because everyone knows that we are huge Disney fans but more importantly, this is one of our favorite Disney films.

I went to see Beauty and the Beast with big expectations.

I wasn’t sure that the movie could live up to the way I felt about the animated movie. I mean, I’ve loved that movie for 26 years. I won’t lie, Beauty and the Beast has a very special place in my heart. In a lot of ways, the Big Guy and I are very different but when we met, we both agreed that we loved Beauty and the Beast. It was one of the first things we had in common.

The Big Guy is an artist and he loved the original Beauty and Beast because it was animation at its finest. It was traditional Disney. He’s old school like that. I loved the original movie because it was an epic love story between a bookish, headstrong brunette with a wanderlust in her heart ( ahem) and a Beast who became beautiful on the inside as his true nature was revealed. I loved the story and the characters. I couldn’t wait to see how that parlayed into live action.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

I knew the cast was stellar and so was the directing. Bill Condon outdid anything I could have expected. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. With this cast, how could you go wrong?

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

My family loves musicals and Beauty and the Beast did not let us down.

I’m listening to the soundtrack as I type this post. In fact, we’ve been listening to it since watching the movie last night. The original score by Alan Menken was stunning and new songs added a level of depth to the live-action movie that wasn’t there in the original. My favorite songs are Days in the Sun, Gaston, Be Our Guest, Something There and Evermore. If you weren’t in love with the Beast by this point in the movie, his very Les Miserable like solo Evermore would make you fall head over heels with this character.

 I absolutely loved the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Dare I say, even more so than the original. The story was just as beautiful but the cinematography was out of this world and there was something about the film that not only told you what was happening but was so masterfully written, acted and directed that it immersed you in the film. I felt the film.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Scene by scene, you fall in love with the Beast along with Belle.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

We get to know his soul and it is beautiful. Near the end, when the enchanted household items begin to turn into just household items, I felt the souls leave the pieces. I know it sounds crazy but it was that good. You felt it, you didn’t need to be led by the nose to the outcome.

 

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Watson was the perfect Belle, for me. She is girl-next-door, smart and strong and she plays the part without being ostentatious. I feel like Watson’s Belle was right on the mark. Her understated reaction to everything balanced out Dan Stevens powerful presence as the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellan as Lumiere and Cogsworth were marvelous. The Be Our Guest performance was nothing short of magical. I would have to say that it was so spectacular that it outdid the original in the wow department. I really didn’t think that was possible. Ewan McGregor’s delivery of Be Our Guest was reminiscent of Cabaret’s Vilkommen. Also, Disney fan alert, be on the lookout for the easter egg during the song.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Emma Thompson’s Mrs. Potts was spot on. She was just as wonderful as Angela Landsbury in the original but softer around the edges.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Luke Evans was the perfect Gaston. He was definitely more despicable than I remember. I guess there must be more redemption for animated characters because in that version I found his bumbling endearing. In the live-action film, I hated the character. Luke Evans played the part perfectly.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Josh Gad as LeFou was one of the highlights of the movie. I’ve loved Josh Gad since Book of Mormon (I told you we love our musicals) but Gad made LeFou endearing. In the animated movie, LeFou was annoying and a pest. In the live-action version, he was the voice of reason. He served as Gaston’s ignored moral compass. In the end, he did the right thing. His rendition of Gaston was one of the highlights of the film. Gad played LeFou with flawless delivery.

Beauty and the Beast, Disney, movie review, family review

Here are our reviews of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

I love it! I would see it 100 more times and I just might because it was that magical to me and who can’t use a little more Disney magic in their life? The story was even more endearing to me than I remembered it being ( and I just watched the original over the past weekend to prep for the movie.)

The Big Guy, who I told you is an artist, an animation traditionalist and this is his favorite Disney animated film, said that he loved the live-action film but still prefers the animated one. He said he didn’t like some of the creative license that, he felt, deviated from the original. I thought it filled in the gaps nicely. Then again, I am all about the story because I am a writer and he is more about the animation.

Bella, my just turned 12-year-old, is with me. She said she LOVED the movie and she can’t wait to see it again. Her favorite part was the Be Our Guest sequence and she loves Emma Watson as Belle. She loves the pageantry of Beauty and the Beast and she said that she loved absolutely everything about it.

Gabs, my sweet 9-year-old, said she loved the movie but she isn’t ready to say whether or not she loves it more than the original. She’s my analyzer, she likes to weigh her options. However, she’s promised me a video interview that I will add later today.

Overall, our family emphatically agrees that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live-action film is a must see.

It’s the perfect movie for all ages. The only warning I have is if you are taking really small children, there are a couple times that the Beast roars really loudly and it may startle toddlers/preschoolers but other than that, be prepared to be wowed by the magic. And you might as well get the soundtrack now because you will be wanting to play it non-stop afterward.

If you’ve seen both Beauty and the Beast versions which is your favorite and why?

 

 

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DisneyOnIce, Disney, Princesses and Heroes

To make my girls happy is easy, just add Disney.February is halfway done and I can feel March coming a little too quickly. My daughter is turning 9. 9!! I’ve been really busy trying to plan a great surprise destination spring break for the girls but I don’t want to sweep the birthday under the rug, even though it is just 2 short weeks before spring break. I want it to be special but not outrageously priced. Bella is completely happy with a small party. She’s had extravagant parties every year since she was born.  She had asked to take a few of her girlfriends bowling and out for pizza and we were perfectly happy to do that but now life has presented us with a theme; Disney!

It just so happens that Bella has only asked for two things for her birthday; American Girl of the year, Isabelle, and the Disney Pocahontas dress up outfit. The surprise spring break destination is Disney World. Shhhh! Don’t tell the girls.  I was also selected to host a Disney Side party, which the girls are thrilled about sharing with their friends and today, I partnered with Feld Entertainment and Disney On Ice and I will be taking the girls to see Disney On Ice Princesses and Heroes!

It’s all the breathtaking ice-skating of Disney on Ice with all the princesses and heroes that my little girls love so much. Not just one or two of the princesses but all of our favorites, Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’sAurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana

Our spring is most definitely themed by Disney and I can’t wait to give my girls all these little Disney surprises. They have no idea any of this is in the works, with the exception of the #DisneySide party. I can’t wait to see their faces.

DisneyOnIce, Disney, Princesses and Heroes

You can get your own tickets for a discounted price of $3 off all performances except opening night by going here and using the promo code MICKEY.

 

 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I am being provided tickets to the show for review purposes.

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Exclusive Interview with Mackenzie Foy, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Thank you to Disney and ABC for inviting me to Los Angeles on an all-expense paid trip, in exchange for coverage of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms event. I was hosted by Disney for the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent and given the opportunity to interview Mackenzie Foy but all opinions are my own.

Last week at this time, I was being whisked away to the infamous Roosevelt hotel where I had the pleasure of interviewing Mackenzie Foy, Clara in Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms. She was absolutely as sweet, kind and charming as you could imagine. She is such a smart and poised young lady.

READ ALSO: My Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience

Mackenzie Foy is a very talented young actress; turning 18 on November 10. Happy birthday, Mackenzie! I loved her in Twilight and The Conjuring but she really shines in Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms!

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Exclusive Interview with Mackenzie Foy

How does it feel to be a classical holiday character now?

It’s really fun. What’s beautiful about the Nutcracker that it’s such a beloved story throughout many, many years, so it’s really, really, really fun to be able to play a character that so many people all over the world can relate to and have this childhood connection from seeing the ballet when they were young, and I think that’s really important to be able to do.

What was it like to get the call that you were gonna be Clara in the movie?

It was really exciting. So I was actually in the shower and doing my hair when my mom ran in, and she was like, ‘the director’s on the phone’. I was like, oh my gosh, okay, and so I put a towel on and I answered and the director was like, ‘would you be our Clara?’ I was like, oh my goodness, yes. Thank you so much. And he’s like, all right, see you in a couple weeks.

Exclusive Interview with Mackenzie Foy, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Photo Credit: Coralie Hughes Seright

Can you tell us about the interview process?

The audition process was actually quite long. It was about two months, which isn’t really, really long, but it is more than usual. And it was really fun. Once I did a screen test, they flew me to London to do it in full costume- hair and makeup; a partial set; real camera, it was like, oh my goodness. I didn’t really have too many details about the story of the character when I first got the audition. I just knew that it was a British character and that immediately piqued my interest.

Talking about stunts on Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms

I actually did a lot of stunts and stuff, which was really fun. I did horse training, which was awesome, and I went to this place- it’s called The Devil’s Horseman; they’re film horses, and so they’re proper stunt people. It was really, really cool being with these horses. It’s what you think of, the English countryside –  that’s what it looked like there. So it was actually amazing training outside on these beautiful horses. It was crazy.

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland

What was your favorite realm in the film?

Which realm? It’s everchanging. Right now I really love the Land of Snowflakes just because it’s very blue and shiny, and very sparkly because it’s still kinda hot here. I’m dying for winter weather and winter cool.

What was your favorite Clara costume to wear?

I wear quite a few costumes in the film which was really, really fun. They were all handmade- all very, very intricate, which is really amazing. But I really love the purple party dress because that one has a bustle- and it’s really fun. Actually, I have a couple bustles in the film. I have a proper cage and then I have a bum pad.

Exclusive Interview with Mackenzie Foy, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Photo Credit: Coralie Hughes Seright

More on costuming and makeup 

It was very beautiful, but there’s a lot of detail that went into the costume design, from the tights to the shoes, to the many skirt layers, and the bodices, and the corset. So I have a very high respect for all of the costumes, and also they have kind of a different character to them, They kind of go with Clara’s evolution, which I really like.

I don’t really wear a lot of makeup in the film, just a little bit of concealer if I have a pimple or something. Then hair wise, it would vary, and there’s a couple of looks that took – I’m bald from wrapping my hair around wires and stuff. But there’s all the twisting with the braids and all that kinda stuff.  The hair and makeup team was really, really amazing, and I loved talking to them every morning. I really enjoyed going in there because that’s kinda like a time you get to just sit and talk, and see how everybody’s doing. The actors coming in and out, and you talk to the hair and makeup people, and it was just really fun every morning.

What is your favorite scene in the film and why? 

Misty Copeland performs a dance scene in this, and it’s really, really quite beautiful. What’s really cool, because you guys are gonna see it tonight, the sets in that scene, well, in a lot of the scenes in the film, were real. So when she’s in the trailers, you see she’s walking through and this castle pops up, and the flowers open in the ground. Those were real. Those are real people really making it all work. And so that’s actually a really cool thing about that.

And if you look in the background behind, the chairs, all of the extras are color-coded, and so they had an ombre effect. Wrapped around the set was this canvas of night sky, and they actually poked giant holes in it and then shone lights behind it so it looked like stars. And so the sets in this film are very, very intricate, and that one was one of my favorites just because it was so beautiful.

What advice do you have for young girls that look up to you and want to follow in your footsteps? 

As for young girls, I hope they see this film, and I hope they see that Clara is unapologetically herself. That even though she’s this young inventor in her time period, it wasn’t really socially acceptable, but she still says – This is who I am. This is what I love to do, and I’m gonna do it. And I hope they see that and know you can do that. You can be interested in science. You can be in interested in mechanics. And you can still wear dresses and like those kinds of things.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

What was it like working with Morgan Freeman? He seems like a father figure, so what was that like? 

He’s a really nice guy. He’s very joyous and has a very fun sense of humor, so it was really fun just getting to know him and getting to talk to him, and seeing what he was like.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland

Can you tell us what a typical day would look like for shooting? 

Yes. A typical day of filming – putting on the costumes and playing and working with them which was really fun. The set on this film- the cast and crew- everyone was really, really nice, so it was really fun, and very happy environment. I actually still keep in contact with a lot of the crew. It was really amazing.

There was a lot of young women in the crew, and so we all go along really, really well, and we’d talk about our shows that we watched on the weekend, and all of that stuff. If you’re a kid, you still have to do school – because of my age, I have three to five hours of a school a day. Whenever there was downtime, if they had to change the cameras and stuff like that, I would go and do schoolwork.

How does being the main character different from being a supporting character? 

Well, every character, no matter how big or small has its own challenges because they’re all unique, and you have to do the research in order to properly create them. But I would say with Clara, and her being a main role, there was definitely- this is the story- it follows my character, so I have to make sure that everything is in line.

I have to make sure the past is in my head, and I have to make sure I know where she’s going. So with the bigger part, you have to go more in detail to all those things, especially how they relate to every single character in the film.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Do you see this film as being one of those traditional holiday movies that families will continue to watch every year? 

Well, I definitely hope it is something that people want to see every year. I think the film really captures the spirit of the holiday season -when it starts to be cold, and you just have that joyous feeling. I think it really captures that, and I think it also has elements of the book and the ballet to where if you are older, you have seen it many times, you have that nostalgic feeling, but it also has kind of a new twists and turns, and so it kind of brings in the younger and all ages. It kind of brings everyone in together to watch it. So I hope that families like it, and that they go and see it every year.

Exclusive Interview with Mackenzie Foy, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

Photo Credit: Coralie Hughes Seright

Mackenzie Foy is an amazing young lady who plays a strong, independent Clara who will inspire little girls for years to come.

Be on the lookout for my next interview with Misty Copeland who plays the ballerina in Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

The Nutcracker and The Four Realms – In Theatres Playing Everywhere Now!

Get Social:

Like THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Exclusive Interview with Misty Copeland, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight, DVD Release, bluray review

Thank you to Disney and ABC for inviting me to Los Angeles on an all-expense paid trip, in exchange for coverage of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms and the #ABCTVEVENT event. I was hosted by Disney for the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent  but all opinions are my own.

From the big screen to the comfort of your own home, the new holiday classic of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms is hitting Blu-Ray today! Wow! Time flies. It feels like just yesterday when I was in L.A. for the premiere. You don’t want to miss this release! Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms available for Viewers to watch instantly in Digital UHD, HD and SD, and bring home a physical copy of the film as the Ultimate Collector’s Edition(4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital Code), Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code) or a single.

Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms DVD is coming January 29th!

Disney’s dazzling adventure “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale and the beloved ballet “The Nutcracker” carried audiences along with 14-year-old Clara (Mackenzie Foy) to a magical, mysterious world with breathtaking performances by Misty Copeland plus sweets, snowflakes, soldiers, scurrying mice and no shortage of surprises. Destined to become an annual viewing tradition for adventurers of all ages,

Check out all of the extra goodies on this Blu-Ray combo pack, including a video for “Fall on Me” Performed by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Matteo Bocelli- Experience superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli performing their first duet together in this uplifting song!

Bonus features include*:

BLU-RAY:

Exclusive Interview with Misty Copeland, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, Jayden Fowara-Knight

    • Photo Credit: Coralie Hughes Seright

     

 

  • On Pointe: A Conversation with Misty Copeland – Copeland shares the thrill of portraying one of her favorite characters in a whole new way.
  • Unwrapping “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” – Dive into the production design, sets, costumes and more that helped transform a beloved ballet into an adventurous movie.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • The Stahlbaums ArriveAs the Stahlbaums enter the Christmas Eve ball, the butler attempts to announce them to the assembled guests.
    • Follow Your Ribbon- Drosselmeyer encourages a reluctant Clara to go find her gift.
    • Deleted Scene: Clara Asks About Her MotherSugar Plum gives Clara a tour of her mother’s bedroom.
    • Left, Left, Left, Left, LeftWandering lost in the forest, palace guards Cavalier and Harlequin quarrel about which way to go.
    • Out with the OldSugar Plum makes sweeping changes to the palace decor.
  • Music Videos
    • Fall on Me” Performed by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Matteo Bocelli– Experience superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli performing their first duet together in this uplifting song.
    • “The Nutcracker Suite” Performed by Lang Lang– Get swept up in a series of images from the movie, set to Tchaikovsky’s music and featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.

 

ON DIGITAL:

  • Unwrapped: The Visual Effects of “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”View a reel that explores the layers of effects in sequences of the film.

Did you miss my #DisneyNutcrackerEvent journey? It was my first red carpet premiere experience, complete with exclusive interviews and all the insider tea I got! I’m ready to spill over here. Check out all of my Nutcracker goodness and you won’t believe who “accidentally” photobombed me. Hint: it rhymes with Schmorgan Breeman!

Follow #DisneysNutcracker on Social Media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneysNutcracker

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneysnutcracker/

Be sure to save the date for January 29, 2019, to get your very own Copy of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms!

We’ve got our copy and watched it as a family this weekend! It was even better the second time! Now, I’m giving away 2 copies!!! All you need to do is enter below by leaving a comment and using the rafflecopter submission form.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

If you love Disney’s Aladdin as much as my family does, you will be thrilled to know that not only is Disney’s Aladdin the live-action film being released on DVD on September 10 but so is the original Aladdin the signature series. Both Aladdin’s available on DVD on the same day!!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We are definitely a house divided over here. My husband and eldest daughter are Disney animation connoisseurs and both prefer the Aladdin animated film. My youngest daughter and I fell absolutely head over heels in love with the new Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. Either way, we’re all excited for September 10.

Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

EXPERIENCE MAGIC IN A WHOLE NEW WAY WITH THE THRILLING AND VIBRANT LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATION OF ALADDIN
AND
THE ANIMATED CLASSIC JOINS THE HIGHLY CELEBRATED WALT DISNEY SIGNATURE COLLECTION

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series
The live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Aladdin, lands in homes on Digital and Movies Anywhere August 27 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD September 10. Starring Will SmithNaomi Scott and Mena Massoud, the release includes all-new bonus features, such as deleted scenes, a blooper reel and more!READ ALSO: I Loved the New Aladdin More than the Original

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,The release of the live-action adventure coincides with the addition of the original animated classic to the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection, granting Aladdin fans everywhere the opportunity to own both magical movies. In 4K for the first time, the new release features all-new bonus content, including alternate endings!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We all know that Aladdin is one of the best Disney animated films ever but if you want to be blown away, you have to check out Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. I never thought I could love a film more than the original Aladdin. I remember singing along and adoring everything about it.

Then I saw the live-action film and it moved me in whole other ways. It was the same story but it was its own movie. It took a different perspective and changed just a few slight things but it made the movie more relatable for me. The soundtrack is amazing and the themes were timely and empowering.

I’m excited to add both to our Disney film collection.

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Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

I’m not going to lie, I was expecting to be disappointed by Aladdin. I was very excited to see Disney’s Aladdin live-action movie since the moment I heard it was a thing but at the same time, the original Aladdin animated film is such an iconic film that I wasn’t sure anyone could live up to the hype of it. Below is my family friendly, no-spoiler Aladdin review.

In my mind, Robin Williams is the Genie. I couldn’t make myself believe that the Fresh Prince, Will Smith, was up to the task, no matter how much I love him. How can you fill those shoes? You can’t and I just felt like even trying was going to be a disservice to the original.

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

I also wasn’t sure if I was going to love Rajah and Abu in the live action films because sometimes live-action animals look cringey and so unrealistic that you feel like the producers are just assuming we are all stupid but this was not the case.at.all.

READ ALSO: New Aladdin Live-Action Film First Trailer Release

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

Then there was the matter of Aladdin and Jasmine. As many of you know, they are two of my daughters’ favorite characters. Animated, they were perfection but how would it all translate to live action? I’m sure that you have been asking yourself the same questions. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to worry about any of it. The Disney Aladdin live-action movie surpassed every expectation I had and made me fall in love with the story all over again. In fact, dare I say, I may even love it more than the animated version.

First off, the cinematography was stunning. I felt transported somewhere between Agrabah and Bollywood and it was absolutely magical. The rich vibrant colors were as upbeat and optimistic as most of the songs. Speaking of songs, “I can show you the world” is one of my favorites in the animated film and I loved it even more in the live-action film. It felt more real and tender and hopeful. I’ve been singing it ever since.

Then there was “Speechless” which left me without words in the best possible way. As an outspoken feminist and a mother of daughters, I loved this female empowerment aspect of the movie. We’ve always known Jasmine, Naomi Scott, was and independent, strong-willed and fierce woman. She wasn’t the kind of Disney princess who needed to be rescued.

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

READ ALSO: Aladdin on Broadway

Yet, in the animated film, it feels a lot like the street rat saves her. In the live-action movie, you can see that she doesn’t need saving. She can save herself and anyone else who needs to be rescued simply by following her own instincts. She loves and respects Aladdin, they are partners. Love is a beautiful surprise to them both.

As far as the casting for Aladdin goes, I felt the main characters were spot on. I love that they used real people of color rather than white-washing the characters. For me, as a woman of color, cultural authenticity is everything.  The fact that Guy Ritchie made the effort to cast, produce and maintain the authenticity and representation of a hybrid Middle Eastern-South Asian world in the movie is commendable. He did the right thing.

Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine was perfection. The perfect balance of beauty, grace, independence, strength and determination. I found myself, several times throughout the movie, wanting to stand up and applaud. It surprised me in the most pleasant ways.

Mena Massoud’s Aladdin was the living embodiment of the spirit of the animated film’s character. He played the part with a quiet, humble endearing demeanor even when he was being flip, he was lovable. There wasn’t one time I wasn’t rooting for him to succeed.

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

READ ALSO: How Disney’s Coco Got Mexican Culture Right

Will Smith’s Genie was not Robin Smith’s Genie, nor do I think it was supposed to be. That being said, it was a spectacular performance on its own. He made the genie his own. The genie was an unforgettable, witty and affable character who could sing, rap and dance with a side of hilarity. The story of friendship between Genie and Aladdin is a beautiful, tangental love story, as meaningful and important as the one between Jasmine and Aladdin.  I think Robin Williams himself would have been impressed by Will Smith’s performance.

The characters I would’ve loved to have seen be bolder were Marwan Kenzari’s, Jafar, and his sidekick, Lago. I felt that their performances were both a little underwhelming considering their potential. For me, their characters felt less menacing and more annoying. I wasn’t afraid of them so much as just aggravated. However, in our current political climate where xenophobia runs rampant, perhaps making a Middle Eastern villain seem less menacing than his animated counterpart was the better choice.

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

READ ALSO: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast a Family Review

I also loved the addition of Dalia, Nasim Pedrad, Jasmine’s loyal handmaiden and confidante. She brought a humanity to Jasmine and Genie. The addition of the character gave the characters a softer more relatable feel.

If you loved the original Aladdin animated film, you will love Aladdin the live-action film. You don’t have to feel guilty about betraying Robin William’s Genie legacy because Will Smith’s Genie is not the same. It is something completely different. As for the rest of the cast, they told the story of Jasmine and Aladdin with a quiet beauty and ethereal feel. Your children will find new heroes in Jasmine and Aladdin and you, parents, will love what they’ve done.

Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

I actually love the new Aladdin, maybe even more than the original.

But we’re split as a family. Bella and I fell in love with the new movie, the feminist empowerment was just the cherry on top. However, the Big Guy and Gabs are Disney purists and they adore the original Aladdin while saying the live-action is great but they prefer the animated classic to the live-action film.

Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

READ ALSO: Disney’s Nutcracker a Must See for Ballerinas

My advice to you, go and see Aladdin for yourself and decide. You won’t be disappointed. Even if in the end you prefer the classic, you will be glad to have seen Disney’s Aladdin the live-action movie. I promise. Then come back here and tell me which one you loved more. Really, it’s like trying to choose a favorite child. We love them all so much.

Disney’s Aladdin playing in theaters now starting May 24th. I’m ready to go see it again. I bet you’ll want to too. Also, the soundtrack is amazing.

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Disney's the Lion King, the Lion King, Disney Live Action, James Earl Jones,

I remember seeing the animated movie, The Lion King, in theaters in 1994. I was blown away by the story. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wept openly in the theater while young Simba went through some of the most harrowing situations a child, animal or human, ever could; he lost a parent and then lost himself.  His life was forever changed. He went from being the proud son of the king of the Jungle; the apple of a pride’s eye to an orphan.

I’ve watched The Lion King movie at list 100 times with my daughters. It’s a family favorite. Hakuna Matata is my 13-year-old’s favorite thing to say.  Both girls still laugh their heads off at Timon and Pumba. It’s just one of those heartwarming movies that we love as a family. It’s the kind of movie that you watch together and somehow feel closer after doing so. It’s like magnetized super glue for families; pulling us together and then keeping us there.

Disney's the Lion King, the Lion King, Disney Live Action, James Earl Jones,

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Nutcracker a must see for all Ballerinas

You can imagine our excitement when we heard that they were remaking it into a live action version in 2019. We honestly can’t wait to see how they are going to take such an iconic movie and parlay that into live action. How can you take a story that includes animated animals speaking like humans and remake it with real animals without losing the integrity of the movie of coming across as cheesy? Well, leave it to Disney to do it and you will not be disappointed.

I’ve, obviously, not seen the movie yet but if the trailer is any indication of the quality of the upcoming movie, I am excited…jump up and down, can’t wait to take my girls and the Big Guy to see it, excited.

From Disney Live Action, The Lion King will be a drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, written by Jeff Nathanson, and directed by Jon Favreau. It is a photorealistic computer animated remake of Disney’s traditionally animated 1994 film. The film features the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.

Plans for a remake of The Lion King were confirmed in September 2016 following the success of Favreau’s remake of Disney’s 1967 animated film The Jungle Book. Much of the main cast signed on in early 2017 and principal photography began in mid-2017. The film is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019.

READ ALSO:  Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review

Director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Who else is excited to see the new Disney’s the Lion King?

THE LION KING opens in theatres everywhere on July 19th, 2019

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disney, pixar, brave

I’ve been waiting an entire year to see this movie. This is the only caveat to being privy to Disney media. You get all the buzz early but that usually means an entire year waiting for movies to come out.  Well, Disney’s Brave finally came out a couple of days ago, and  I have been waiting patiently for it. I was not disappointed.

We took our girls to see Brave and it was everything I hoped it would be and more than I expected. It was the first Disney princess movie since The Princess Frog that felt, to me, like it sent the message of strong female empowerment. It was an amazing thing to watch with my girls andI won’t lie, I cried!

The message was about empowering our young girls to be who they are and to stand up for themselves when it really counts. It’s also a beautiful and thought provoking commentary on the complicated relationship between a mother and a daughter. We love one another so fiercely and hold on so tight that sometimes we don’t allow our children to grow into who they are meant to be.

Disney and Pixar have outdone themselves this time. I was impressed with Tiana in the Princess Frog because she was independent and self-made, hard working and driven. I thought the latest version of Rapunzel in Tangled was brilliant because she did not let herself be defined by her beauty. Merida was all of these things and more, exemplifying that a woman can be strong-willed and determined, make her own choices and forge her own way in the world, despite traditional roles.

I loved the storyline and think it was brilliant that Disney and Pixar have finally sent our little girls the message that they can do anything. Happiness does not lie in the hands of a man and is not dependent on the kiss of a prince.

More importantly, I was touched by the skillful way that Pixar and Disney brought the mother-daughter dynamic into play. When we were teens, at some point, we all wished our mothers would just go away or at the very least, get out of our business. But what if she actually had? Where would we have been?

Some of us don’t realize how dear our mother’s are to us until we become mothers ourselves. Merida is faced with the possibility of her mother never being the same and in that she realizes how very much her mother meant to her.

I won’t lie, I was crying in the theater. Partly because I have been Merida and I know the feeling of trying to prove to your parents that who you are is good enough, partly because I know soon I will be Elinor (Merida’s mother), the one being dismissed as not knowing anything and partly because one day, we all lose our parents and we can not change that fate, no matter how much we may want to.

Be kind to yourself and kind to one another. Go see Disney and Pixar’s Brave; you will not be sorry. It is an amazing movie that can be enjoyed by parents and children of all ages. Will you be going to see Brave?

Photo Source: Disney

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Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

Today is the day that we’ve all been waiting for Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters! I mean who doesn’t remember growing up watching Mary Poppins nanny the Banks children and secretly wishing we all had a Mary, of our own, to use a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down? I can’t wait to see Mary Poppins float into the scene with her iconic umbrella.

And who didn’t want to take a jolly holiday with Mary and Bert? I’m pretty sure that I’ve known all the words to the entire soundtrack since I was a small child. If we’re being completely honest, I’m halfway through learning all the lyrics to the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

READ ALSO: Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms

When I became a mom myself, Mary Poppins was one of the first Disney movies that I wanted to share with my little girls. I can still hear tiny toddler voices singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at the top of their lungs, as they penguin walked all around the living room.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

Mary has always been a part of our family. So you can only imagine how excited we are for the latest installment of the Mary Poppins series, Mary Poppins Returns. Did I mention that it stars Emily Blunt, one of my favorite actresses, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Hit Broadway musical Hamilton.

In Disney’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS, an all-new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

READ ALSO: Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Review

I’m excited just from the trailers. I know grown women aren’t supposed to squee but I can’t help but get excited. Maybe it has something to do with how excited my girls are to see it or maybe it’s just the little girl in me peeking through. Either way, the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack has been downloaded and playing on repeat on car rides to school and home. We’ll be the ones singing along in the theater. Also, if you love Mary Poppins Returns as much as we do, check out these awesome coloring pages!

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

MARY POPPINS RETURNS is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all-new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

READ ALSO: Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Experience

The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character. With an all-star cast like this, it’s got to be amazing.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Marry Poppins Returns is the perfect family holiday movie, Disney

Like MARY POPPINS RETURNS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marypoppinsreturns/

Follow Walt Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneystudios 

Follow MARY POPPINS RETURNS on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marypoppinsreturns/

MARY POPPINS RETURNS arrives in theatres everywhere on December 19th!

Y’all know that Disney is our jam and I am in need of a Disney fix so we will definitely be seeing Mary Poppins Returns over Christmas break. I’ll be sure to pop up a review after we see it. I’ll get the girls to chime in too. But if you need one right now, I hear good things about Mary Poppins Returns. 

Who else will be seeing Mary Poppins Returns over break?

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