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How to Plus up Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free, Walt Disney World Vacation, Disney Trip

Heading to Disney and really want to get the most bang for your buck? I love Walt Disney World; it’s one of our favorite places to visit as a family. The thing we love most is that no two trips are ever the same. There are always new things to see and do and new adventures to be had. Unfortunately, everything “experience” you add, makes the price go up.  If only there was a way to plus up your Walt Disney World vacation for free.

Lots of families save and plan for a Walt Disney World vacation, sometimes for years so just adding experiences can change the price point quite a bit. When you consider that an average 7 day/6 night stay at a deluxe resort with park hopper tickets can cost $5000 and up, every single bit more that you add adds up. But what if you could plus up your Disney trip for free.

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and How to Get Invited

Here are some ways to plus up your Walt Disney World vacation for free.

Get celebration buttons

If you’re at Disney celebrating an event (birthday, engagement, honeymoon, anniversary, first time, etc.) simply ask the Disney cast members situated near the front of the park with a cart with all the celebrations buttons. Put that baby on and let everyone at Disney celebrate with you. When we go in September, we’ll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, our 22nd dating anniversary and my birthday. I won’t say which one, let’s just say that I’m turning 30 again.

Become part of the show

There are several shows taking place all over Disney that you can volunteer to be a part of. Nothing makes you feel more magical than being an honorary Disney cast member for a day. It also makes for some great memories and photo ops.

Tell all the cast members that you’re celebrating when you book

When you book dining reservations or resort stays, let the cast members know that you are celebrating. They may just sprinkle you with a little extra pixie dust. It’s not required but you never know.

Use My Disney Experience app

If you really want to maximize your Disney vacation, you must use the My Disney Experience. It makes the whole trip so much more streamlined. All of your reservations and fast passes can be made on there. It updates all day long and you can see wait times, openings, get directions and even mobile order your food. It makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable and less chaotic.

Book fast passes 60 days in advance

There are a lot of great rides at Disney World and you’ll want to ride them all, some more than once. If you are staying on Disney grounds you can book your fast passes 60 days in advance and I encourage it so that you get all of your first choice rides and don’t have to wait for 180 minutes in line.

Make food reservations 180 days in advance

If you want to eat at some of the more popular restaurants like Be Our Guest, Sci-Fi Drive-in, Character dining, Le Cellier, Monsieur Paul and Takumi-Tei you should definitely take advantage of the 180-day reservation open date for those staying on property to make sure that you get those reservations.

Magic Hours

Another reason to stay on property, aside from the free transportation, early reservations and that amazing customer service and full immersion into all things Disney, you get magic hours. For example, while the rest of the world is waiting until 9 am to get into Galaxy’s Edge, Disney resort guests will be able to get into the park at 6 a.m. If you are not familiar with Magic Hours, they are extra hours the parks are open to resort guest either before or after normal park hours. It’s awesome and cuts wait times by quite a bit of time.

When you arrive at the resort, ask for free upgrades available

When you arrive at your resort, you can ask the cast member who checks you in if there are any upgrades available. That could mean a better view or even an upgraded room. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is say no and then you are exactly where you started…still at the happiest place on earth.


Do free resort activities

Yes, most resorts offer cool free activities for their guests. For example, there is a hidden Mickey hunt at the Fort Wilderness lodge. Restaurant tours are available at the Animal Kingdom every day from 4-4:15. Also, you can see animals for free at the Animal Kingdom. Just ask the front desk cast members and they will tell you what is offered. Most resorts offer movies by the pool and some even have campfires and s’ mores at night.

Ask for good tables at restaurants

Did you know that you can ask for good tables at restaurants when you arrive? Why not ask for a firework view and enjoy the firework display from the comfort of a seat rather than fighting with everyone else for concrete space. I love the Happily Ever After firework show more than I can express with words, it gets me in the feels, but waiting for 2 hours to have a good seat can feel like a misuse of my time.

Say Cheese

Did you know that you can ask the Photopass photographer to take your picture with your own camera? You can and they gladly will. Though, if we’re being honest, I love Memory Maker because then I’m in every picture and I can stop at every single photographer guilt-free.

READ ALSO: Best Walt Disney World Resorts for Families

These are just a few of the many ways to plus up your Walt Disney World Vacation for free. What’s your favorite tip to plus up your Walt Disney vacation for free?

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Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,

Last week was our spring break and we decided on a Disney World vacation with kids. I planned and researched for months. You knew it was coming. After the Frozen party and the making of the  Elsa dress ( because I assure you there are none available to buy anywhere, not even at Disney World), it was time to go all in ..Disney World style. We love all things Disney.

The Big Guy and I have been to Disney World many times but never with children for an entire week. In fact, my first trip to Disney World was 15 years ago on our honeymoon. Believe me when I tell you that Disney World is not just for children. It can be as romantic and magical as you want it to be. It’s all in the planning.  But this trip was all about our girls so I wanted to make it magical for them not like last time.

Here are 25 top secret tips that every parent should know to rock their Disney World vacation with kids.

1. There is a fastpass+ in Beta for the “you can’t get a reservation for the next 8 months” Be Our Guest restaurant. Yep. That is right. It’s not advertised and you are welcome to wait in line on Stand by for a couple of hours if you prefer but if you don’t….check out this secret squirrel beta testing link to fastpass+ for Be Our Guest Reservations. The food is great and reasonably priced and the décor is gorgeous.

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Anna, Elsa, Frozen, Epcot, Norway, Disney World Vacation with Kids

This is what heat stroke looks like. You have been warned. Sun hats & sunscreen are a must in a four hour wait line.

 

2. If you are planning to see Anna and Elsa, they are in Norway at Epcot until the end of April 2014 and then they will move to the Magic Kingdom. If you want to see them at Epcot, plan on arriving when the park opens and plan on standing in line for a minimum of 3.5 to 4 hours. My husband ran to Epcot when the park opened and we still had to wait for 4 hours. Even if you do the princess breakfast at Askershus Royal Banquet Hall 1) Anna and Elsa are not included only princesses before 1993 and 2) you get no line privileges other than starting out in closer proximity. Also, wear lots of sunscreen and bring water. You will thank me when your child doesn’t have a heat stroke.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Anna, Elsa, Frozen, Epcot, Norway

 

3. Wait for Anna and Elsa to go to the Magic Kingdom and fastpass them. Fastpass is your friend. Here are more tips for having the best day at Magic Kingdom.

 

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4. Speaking of fastpass, with the magic bands you are able to select 3 fastpasses per day. Take advantage of that feature. I suggest using them wisely on character meets and roller coasters. The  new Enchanted Tales with Belle is a must do for any Beauty and the Beast fan. The animatronic Lumiere was awesome.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Belle's Enchanted Tales, Walt Disney World, Beauty and the Beast

 

5. If not using the fastpass feature, hit the princesses and popular attractions first thing in the morning. It can mean the difference between a 15-minute wait and an hour and a half wait.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids,Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Cinderella's ROyal Table, Merry Go Round

 

6. Take advantage of “Magic hours”. If you are staying on Disney World grounds, you can qualify for extra magic hours which means the park is open an hour earlier or a couple hours later depending on the day and the park. I suggest using this tool when planning your stay. If you think it’s not worth it, look at the photo below with maybe 100 people in the park, at 9 am that would quickly become 85,000 people in the park that day.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, Magic Kingdom, Magic Hours, Walt Disney World

 

7. Schedule your trip ahead of time using your MyDisneyExperience.com. Honestly, you will be able to make sure that you don’t miss a thing and if you are a Type-A mom like myself, you’ll be thrilled at how much easier your days go knowing when things start and where to go.

 

8. Download the Walt Disney World app. With this app, you will be able to make reservations and check availability. You will be able change fast passes. Several times we got to an attraction before our scheduled time and rode the ride and either saved our fastpass to go again or changed the fastpass for a different attraction.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, Cinderella's castle, Walt Disney World, Happiest Place on Earth, Magic Kingdom

 

9. Schedule down time! I am so serious. Between the heat and all the walking, little ones ( and big ones too) will need naps or pool time. I took no less than 3 naps during our spring break.

 

10. Make sure to see the new for 2014 3 pm Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom. It has all the princesses and princes and is sure to delight children of all ages.

 

11. Hit the Kilamanjaro Safari at the Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning. The animals will not be as active later in the day when the sun is high in the sky and beating down on them. They will be resting and hiding in the shade.

 

12. Make sure to see the Wishes nighttime spectacular. It truly is a magical experience and you will all get swept away in the moment.

 

13. Soarin is awesome! I love to fly and this felt like I was flying free as a bird. My girls loved it too but be sure to fastpass it because the stand by line was never under 180 minutes the whole time we were there.

 

14. Get the Memory Maker. You know all those photographers that are standing around asking to take your photos? Well, just spend $150 for the Memory Maker and you get to digitally download all of those photos and bonus, YOU Get to be in the photos!! No more being the photographer. Your kids will look back and know that mama was actually on vacation with them.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Merry Go Round, cinderella, my princesses, Walt Disney World

 

15. Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Rockin Roller Coaster and Splash Mountain are all must rides for us. The kids will love it and you will LOVE the photos, especially if this is their first experience on the rides. The faces are priceless.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Magic Kingdom,Memory Maker, Space Mountain

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Walt Disney World, Merry Go Round, tower of terror, MGM

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,MGM, ROCKIN ROLLERCOASTER

 

16. Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a once in a lifetime must for every little girl. Be warned it is pretty pricey for breakfast just under $200 for a family of four BUT to see my girls’ faces when the princesses came to our table was something totally worth the price. That magic and belief is a fleeting part of childhood so savor it and indulge while you can.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Jasmine

 

17. Meet Mickey and have your photo taken with him. Firstly, Mickey’s mouth actually moves know. Holy high-tech animatronic head and it’s actually a tradition we’ve been doing since our honeymoon trip and it’s kind of cool to see how we’ve changed and the girls grow over the years.

 

18. Be sure to enjoy a Pineapple Dole Whip (sold at the Dole stand at the Magic Kingdom), a turkey leg or a funnel cake from the funnel cake cart at the Boardwalk. I also highly recommend taking your family to Restaurant Marrakesh in Morrocco at Epcot. The food is fantastic. My kids loved it because who doesn’t love sweet and savory together. There is a live belly dancing show every hour on the hour and it is amazing to watch and there is huge chance that your child will get pulled onto the dance floor. Have your cameras ready!

 

Disney World, The boardwalk, Seashore sweets, surrey bikes, The Boardwalk bakery

 

19. Spend an evening at the Boardwalk. Get a pepperoni pizza from the Boardwalk Pizza Window and grab a seat on the Boardwalk at sunset. Take a surrey bike ride, get a family caricature portrait sketched and watch the street performers. It’s lots of good clean fun and my kids always seem to get pulled into the shows, so have your camera ready.  When the Boardwalk is all lit up at night, it is absolutely magical. End the night with dessert from the Boardwalk bakery ( my favorite is the Tiramisu) or if ice cream is your preference, check out Seashore Sweets. Try saying that 3 times real fast.

 

20. Late night, Sushi at Kimonos in the Swan is fun for the entire family. First, enjoy some amazing sushi and follow that with some karaoke on the Kimono stage. But be warned, if there is a large convention in-house, you may have to wait awhile to get your food.

 

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand,

 

21. The Flying Dumbo ride now has a gigantic indoor play area built into the line wait. It is amazing because kids are notorious for getting squeamish and whiney when in line for too long so how awesome that you get to the middle of the line and enter the play area. The hostess hands you a pager and you can play until it’s your turn to ride. Genius. Bravo Disney.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Epcot, Festival of flowers

 

22. Plan your visit during the International Flower festival and it will make your walk around the countries while you snack and sip even more breathtaking and the kids will love the topiaries of the Disney characters.

 

23. Cool off at the new Casey Jr. splash pad in Fantasyland. It’s cute, it’s convenient and a welcome reprieve from the blistering Florida heat. Make sure the kids have swimsuits or a change of clothes on the day you visit the Magic Kingdom because they won’t want to miss the fun. If it rains and you take a day off of the parks, might I recommend bowling and pizza at Splitsville in Downtown Disney. It’s fun, indoors and very reasonably priced and the food is YUM!

 

24. Bonfire and s’ mores on the Boardwalk followed by a free outdoor movie by the pool under the stars.

 

DIsney World, La Nouba, Cirque du soleil

 

25. La Nouba is 110% worth the cost. My girls are 6 and 9 and they were enthralled with the entire experience. The trampolines and the diabolos were their favorite parts. Myself, the silk scarves and ariel ballet blow me away every single time.

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These are all things that I’ve learned over the years of visiting Disney World. The most important thing you can do at Disney World ( or anywhere for that matter) with your kids is just enjoy the moments, being there and remember not to sweat the small stuff because in the grand scheme of things…none of it matters. Make a plan but be flexible.

What is your best tip for having the best Walt Disney World Vacation with kids?

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adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney

Anyone who knows me knows that my dream would be to gift to my girls the world; a life filled with adventures. Of all the things I could give them, aside from kindness and tolerance, I’d love to introduce them to different cultures. I’d love to raise good human beings who were strong, independent.  Teen travel is so important. Start them young as babies and your vacation with teens will be an adventure you can share together.

It’s a very different life when you live in a bubble compared to when you’ve seen the world. I know it’s not possible or probable for most and I know that some people don’t care about global citizenship the way or to the degree that I do. It probably has a lot to do with my father not being from this country. It probably has more to do with spending my summers in Mexico.

This has always caused me to be more enthusiastic and open to adventure. Having a father whose first language was not English, made me more patient and tolerant of those who didn’t speak English. It made me want to learn other languages so that I could understand and communicate with others. This is why I spoke 4 languages by the time I graduated from college.

I appreciate the differences in people, places, and things. It’s more interesting to be surrounded by difference than sameness. My girls are falling into this same pattern. They see differences as an endless possibility for adventure and travel as the ultimate exploration. This is why I am so excited for Adventures by Disney. They have something for every family member.

READ ALSO: Top  Secret Tips to Rock Your Disney Vacation

As you know as a reader of my multiple posts about our trips to Disney World, Disneyland and on Disney Cruise line, we love Disney. The thing is you can take a short escape or a long one. You can travel in the United States or internationally. It really is a choose your own adventure Disney style and as anyone who has ever been to the happiest place on earth can attest to every adventure by Disney is different. Make of it what you and your family will.

Adventures by Disney offers many different destinations and new ways for travelers to experience the world’s most remarkable destinations with guidance, which is always nice especially if it’s your first time in a city or country. Teen travel is exciting and hectic because not only are our children changing at a dizzying pace, showing them the world is amazing. Adding a guided vacation with teens allows you to eliminate the frustration and just enjoy your time together.

In 2019, Adventures by Disney travelers will experience the captivating culture and rich diversity of Japan during a brand-new itinerary, with expeditions ranging from ancient locales steeped in tradition to fast-paced modern cities. Adventures by Disney collaborated with the Japan National Tourism Organization to create a trip that is both culturally authentic and deeply immersive. Whether exploring a breathtaking bamboo forest, centuries-old temple or high-tech metropolis, vacationers will be fully immersed in the ancient customs and storied traditions deeply rooted within this cultural wonderland.
During this 11-day, 10-night itinerary, travelers will visit Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama, Hakone and Tokyo.

In 2019, a reimagined Alberta, Canada itinerary will offer all-new adventures in Calgary, before traveling to breathtaking Banff National Park and the stunning Lake Louise. In Calgary, travelers will be welcomed as honorary citizens during a traditional ceremony before visiting some of the area’s ranches and farms.

Banff is one of the most beautiful places in the world that I’ve ever traveled to. I’ve not taken my family there yet. When I went I came home with an entirely new outlook on life and appreciation for natural beauty. There is something about standing amongst ancient glaciers and surrounded by pristine nature that makes you feel so small and lucky at the same time. Banff is on my family travel bucket list. I think this Adventure by Disney would be perfect for my family.

Adventures by Disney also recently announced an array of offerings that can be added to a Disney Cruise sailing. Talk about the ultimate land and sea vacation. In 2019, travelers can journey to unforgettable locales such as Barcelona and Copenhagen. All while enjoying renowned Disney service and storytelling. Can you even imagine?

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about the Disney Dream. 

These unforgettable trips join dozens of Adventures by Disney vacations worldwide, including a new itinerary on France’s Seine River. Revel in the beauty of the sites of Paris while engaging in immersive activities for the whole family. Paris has been on my travel bucket list since I was in 7th grade.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, Paris

The 2019 Adventures by Disney land tours feature a wide variety of vacation destination options, something for every traveler. Families will find a wealth of unforgettable moments imbued with special touches that are uniquely Disney.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing your Disney World Trip

If you prefer s short trip how about a best of Boston adventure? Treasured American history and contemporary culture come to life in Boston on the new Short Escape itinerary.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, boston

Guests are immersed in the city’s legendary stories. During a privately guided tour along the Freedom Trail, families follow 18th-century costumed guides back in time. A private, after-hours tour of the Old North Church places travelers in the famed footsteps of Paul Revere, while another special after-hours visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum concludes with a private dinner steeped in the city’s storied roots.

Other family-friendly excursions and activities include rowing along the Charles River and biking the city on a private sightseeing tour. Perfect for teens are exploring the grounds of Harvard Yard. Perfect for the entire family, indulging at a private New England clambake on Thompson Island.

I can tell you from going here every year with our children, there is no shortage of things to do in Boston. You could go back time and time again and still find things to do.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, banff

Looking for the ultimate family vacation that’s teen friendly?  Whether you prefer beaches resorts or outdoor adventure, Adventures by Disney has you covered. What are you waiting for?

What Adventures by Disney trip would be perfect for you and your teens?

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Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Attending Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet experience gave me memories that will last a lifetime! This post is sponsored by Disney for the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent but all opinions are my own.

On Monday, October 29th, I had the privilege and honor of attending my first ever red carpet event and it was for a movie that I have been waiting over a year to see, Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms.  It was more than I could ever have imagined.

The Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Premiere was held at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles. I honestly am still having a hard time believing this is my life. It felt surreal. Today, I will be sharing my very own exclusive Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience, complete with all the behind the scenes stuff I did to prepare for my first red carpet experience and photos of the things and people I saw.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms a MUST see for Ballet Dancers

The event began like any other day, just kidding, it began like no other day of my life. It began with getting dressed in my fanciest red carpet outfit. I needed something worthy of such an event. The occasion clearly called for sparkles and a wow factor. This was not a test folks, this was the real thing. I dressed up like the inner Nutcracker princess that I’ve always been.

I chose a Morgan and Company fit and flare silhouette, sequined lace cocktail dress from Macys. It had a halter neckline and just a small hem of tulle in merlot. It was perfect. Shades of red remind me of the holidays and the holidays have always meant the Nutcracker to my family. I paired that beautiful merlot gown with a pair of gorgeous Cassiaa Peep-Toe Wedge Pumps in Platino. I felt elegant, beautiful and even a little magical as I left a little glitter everywhere I went.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Disney/ Alex J. Berliner

As if all this was not magical enough, we headed to the Ray Dolby ballroom which had been ethereally transformed into the Four Realms. Guests were greeted by sparkly twinkle lights hung from floor to ceiling against a hanging black backdrop, majestic towers of lollipops as far as the eye could see and beautiful people just as excited to see Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms as I was. It was stunning and invigorating. The energy of the crowd and the anticipation was palpable.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Being greeted by jugglers on stilts wielding flowers and neon colored juggling pins gave the room a whimsical feel. There were crafts for the kids to build their very own snow globes and candy stations provided by Ziploc. Funky Hair was on site giving anyone who was interested a Nutcracker-inspired hairstyle makeover. You know me, I went all in and got a Nutcracker and the Four Realms inspired hairstyle, complete with candies, snowflakes and glitter. How could I not?

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

OPI was also providing manicures using the new Nutcracker and the Four Realms color sets for anyone who wanted them, as well. The new colors are absolutely breathtaking. I have the collection and have been wearing a different color since I returned home.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Disney/ Alex J. Berliner

The food provided by Wolfgang Puck was absolutely delicious. Comfort and delectability met to delight your taste buds and inspire your palette. A few of my favorites were the braised short rib grilled cheese, the miniature pot pies, individual macaroni and cheese and the squash tortellini. Can you say delicious? I probably would have eaten more had my jaw not kept dropping open when I found myself rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. After all, it was my first red carpet event. I found it exciting to be in the same room with Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, MORGAN FREEMAN and so many others.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Disney/ Alex J. Berliner

READ ALSO: What’s so Special about the Nutcracker Ballet

In case you are wondering, I completely behaved myself. I didn’t obnoxiously bother anyone while they were eating or with their children to take a photo. But they were there and they were beautiful, and they were just like you and me, and that was exciting enough for this work from home ballerina mom.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Disney/ Alex J. Berliner

Though, it was a little mind-blowing for me. I’m not normally one to fangirl but when you are 5 foot from a legend like Morgan Freeman, it’s hard not to get excited about it. I’ve grown up seeing this man perform in some of my favorite movies and there he was to my right, like anybody else, in a gorgeous purple blazer that was subliminally reminding me just how Hollywood royalty he really is. Don’t worry, I completely kept my cool, even if I was squeeing on the inside. I might have admired him for 3 minutes or so but I did it from a safe distance and didn’t embarrass myself.

I did however get this photo of me and Adina Porter. I have been a fan of hers for years from True Blood to Newsroom and now, American Horror Story. She was so kind and beautiful. Loved meeting one of my long-time favorite actresses.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

The ambiance was electric and magical and I was definitely swept up. I felt like a princess. But it goes by fast so I had to keep reminding myself to stop, look around, breathe and take it all in. I wanted to soak every single second of that magic. It felt like trying to remember the details of an amazing dream that someone woke you too soon from. But that Disney magic, you can bask in that glow for some time. I’m still feeling pretty special from just attending.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

After the party, we headed to the iconic El Capitan theater where I watched Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms from the second row while eating sugar plum popcorn, surrounded by all the movie’s stars and some of Hollywood’s most up and coming stars. Morgan Freeman and Mackenzie Foy were just a few rows back from me. I didn’t figure that out until I was going through my pictures from the event tonight. I was actually trying to capture a selfie of my hairstyle that Funky Hair had done to send to my daughters. Talk about a happy accident.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

I know red carpet events might be something others do often but it was my first and Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms was simply magical in the most delightful ways. It was truly a Disney dream come true for this lifelong Disney fan. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Premiere is definitely a highlight of my career that I will never forget.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Coralie Hughes Seright

I’m back home but I’m still scratching my head wondering, how is this my life? I walked the red carpet with the stars from what I am sure will become a new holiday classic that generations to come will watch with their children.

I highly recommend that you take your family to see the movie. Make it a new holiday family tradition. Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms in theaters everywhere, November 2nd.

Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, The Nutcracker, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet Experience , Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, World Premiere

Photo Credit: Disney/ Alex J. Berliner

Are you going to see Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms? With who and why?

 

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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

Attending Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Red Carpet experience gave me memories that will last a lifetime! I was hosted by Disney for the #DisneysNutcrackerEvent but all opinions are my own.

This week, not only did I get to attend the red carpet world premiere of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, I got to see one of my most anticipated movies of the year for me. I won’t post any spoilers in this post because I want you to go see it and experience it the way I did with no preconceived notions. Below is my Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review.

I will say that Christmas came early this year for my girls because Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms hits theaters today!

Let me start by saying that as a long time Nutcracker ballet aficionado, my expectations were high. I knew it would be different because one is a movie and one is a ballet. In a movie, you obviously have the luxury of using your words and in ballet, you only have your body as your means of expression.

READ ALSO: Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms A Must Say for Ballet Dancers

I didn’t know if Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms was going to be based on the ballet or the book. But I was excited to find out. I can now tell you that Disney’s Nutcracker is not based on the ballet, though there are elements of the ballet peppered within. It is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie is rated PG and aside from a few Nutcracker Battle scenes it is very light. Safe for most children, in my mom opinion.

 

Official Synopsis

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Reasons Why You Should See 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

The Four Realms
Unlike the ballet that only has three realms, the move has four realms. The land of sweets, the land of snow,  the land of flowers and a mystery land but you’ll have to go see the movie to see what the mystery is. All the lands are different and beautiful in their own way.

The Ballet

The Nutcracker would not be the Nutcracker for most without some ballet so fear not because not only did Disney bring the ballet they brought the best, Misty Copeland. If you’ve never seen Misty Copeland dance the Nutcracker, this is a definite bonus of seeing Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Ms. Copeland’s dancing inspires and delights.

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

Scenery
If you are a fan of the ballet, the scenery will not disappoint. One of my favorite things about seeing the production in the theater is the transformation of a stage into the land of sweets. Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms does not disappoint. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and transformative, transporting you through time and space. Crisp white snow falling against the colorful backdrops in the Nutcracker movie is cinematically breathtaking.

Costumes
The costumes were beautiful and vibrant, each one a perfect reflection of the character wearing it. If you are familiar with the Nutcracker ballet you will see a lot of familiar costumes which will leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia that we all associate with the Nutcracker.

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

The Sugar Plum Fairy
Keira Knightley with her cotton candy hair, baby voice and bubbly personality gave me a whole new perspective of who the Sugar Plum Fairy really is. She will make you laugh but don’t be fooled, she is definitely more than just a pretty face.

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

Plot Twist

After seeing the movie, I can tell you this, expect the unexpected. Expect for your eyes to be dazzled by the beautiful imagery, your heart to swell with a new twist on a classic tale and your ears to find familiarity even amongst the exciting twists and turns that only Disney magic can provide.

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

Mackenzie Foy

Mackenzie Foy, to me, is the perfect Clara. A Clara for a new generation of girls to look up to. Not only is she what we’ve all imagined Clara to look like our entire lives, but she is also simultaneously a plot twist; an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. She may at first glance appear delicate but she is strong, self-assured, confident, smart and not afraid to face her fears. Not afraid to be the change, not afraid to say no and find her own way. She embodies everything we hope our little girls see in themselves and I think by seeing Mackenzie in such a strong, inspirational role they will.

Without giving away the ending for you, especially if you are a fan of the ballet, I really want you to watch Disney’s the Nutcracker with fresh eyes and an open mind. Pretend it is the first time you’ve ever seen the Nutcracker and enjoy every single moment. While it definitely pays homage to the classic, it stands alone as a new classic. You will want to watch this over and over again. It’s the movie you will watch with your children and your children’s children.

READ ALSO: The Nutcracker’s Tiniest Soldier

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

It’s heartwarming in all the best ways and recognizable enough to pull at your heartstrings with nostalgia. Just remember, and this is all I am saying, there is a plot twist from what you’ve known of the ballet and it’s more than just Mother Ginger. So go see it for yourself and expect the unexpected and them let me know what you think of 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

I just saw it but you can believe that tonight, I’ll be seeing it with my girls. They’ve been texting me and begging me to tell them all about it since I saw it but I want them to experience the magic of Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms all for themselves and I can’t wait to be there to see their reactions. If you see it or take your children, I’d love to hear your reactions and what your children thought. Please leave them in the comments section. And if you see it, what was your favorite part? Why?

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS opens in theatres everywhere on November 2nd!

Follow #DisneysNutcracker on Social Media!

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios

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

If your kids love the movie, as much as I think mine will, these Disneys the Nutcracker and the Four Realms Coloring sheets are loads of fun to color.

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ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

Thank you to Walt Disney Studios for inviting me on an all-expenses-paid trip to cover #DisneysNutcrackerEvent. All opinions and genuine excitement over Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms and interviewing Mackenzie Foy, Misty Copeland and Jim Cummings are my own. 

Someone, please pinch me! This ballerina mom is going to LA this weekend to attend Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms press event. What? Yes!

You all know I’m a long time Disney lover. I married a Big Guy who has a hidden Mickey tattooed on him. We honeymooned at Disney World and we’ve seen every Disney movie ever, especially since having our baby girls. So many Disney themed birthday parties have been had. So many Disney memories and now, my worlds collide.

ABC,Helen Mirren, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios,

There is only one thing I love almost as much as Disney and that is ballet. My girls have been dancing since they were 2. I’ve sat through countless hours of classes, driven to hundreds of hours of rehearsals and attended so many Nutcracker performances, my heart swelling with pride as my tiny dancers arabesqued, pirouetted and leaped across the stage. I’ve stayed up late nights sewing pointe shoes until my fingers bled and the Big Guy and I have both perfected the ballet bun.

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms a Must See

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

Both of my girls have danced in the Nutcracker since they were 5-years-old. The Big Guy and I have been working backstage with tiny dancers and being a part of the Nutcracker magic every year. This is our family’s holiday tradition. My oldest has actually never gotten to see the Nutcracker live because she’s always performing on stage. This is why my family is so excited about Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. We will finally get to see the story unfold together; all four of us.

I won’t lie, I nearly fainted when I got the pixie-dusted email. I read it about 3 times before I could convince myself that it was, in fact, real and I was being invited to the world premiere of Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and would be attending #DisneysNutcrackerEvent. My mind was swirling. I felt like Clara getting to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

Sunday, I’m heading to Los Angeles at 8 am for Disney’s Nutcracker World Premiere event and I don’t think I could be more excited if I tried. Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms hits theatres everywhere November 2nd and you can bet, I’ll be at the theater watching it with my family.

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

The imagery is stunning with a star-studded cast including Misty Copeland, Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightly, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman (to name a few). I’m going to really have to keep my inner fangirl in check on the red carpet but expect lots of updates and photos from the event. Who knows what might happen? At this point, I believe anything can happen because obviously, dreams do come true!

READ ALSO: The Nutcracker’s Tiniest Soldier

Keep reading to find out all the activities, interviews and more that I will be sharing during #DisneysNutcrackerEvent. Follow the hashtag 10/28-10/30 for all the Disney the Nutcracker and the Four Realms splendor that I can share.

But there is more! Yes, more. As if it’s not exciting enough just to have the honor of attending the world premiere ( I feel like a celebrity every time I tell anyone about it;) ) there is so much more.  First off, I get to learn a few sweet The Nutcracker and the Four Realms inspired dance moves.

October 28

That’s right! Sunday night, I’m going to be getting a dance lesson with teachers and DANCING WITH THE STARS / DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS mentors Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten & Gleb Savchenko. What? Yes, you read that right! I’ll make sure to share the whole thing with you. Fingers crossed my two left feet are so excited to be at the Nutcracker and the Four Realms event, they forget they have no rhythm.

October 29

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

Have you seen the new Disney’s Christopher Robin movie? It comes out on Digital and Blu-ray™ Nov. 6. Embark on a spirited adventure with grown-up Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and friends, and go behind the scenes to discover how Disney’s beloved characters are brought to life.

In honor of the Blu-ray & Digital release of CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, we will gather with friends in the park and enjoy a delicious “Friendsgiving” meal inspired by Pooh’s favorite thing, hunny!

To celebrate the occasion, we will be interviewing Jim Cummings (voice of “Winnie the Pooh” & “Tigger”), who is one of the most well-known voiceover actors in animation. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you will recognize his voice.

Aside from voicing the beloved characters of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger ( one of my daughter’s favorites) during his illustrious career, he has worked extensively for Walt Disney Studios, voicing classic characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, King Louis, Kaa the Snake, Pete and many others.

His credits read like a top list of animated and live-action films, including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Tarzan,” “Pocahontas,” “The Lion King,” “Babe: Pig in the City,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Brother Bear 2,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Gnomeo & Juliet,” to name a few. He has been Emmy®-nominated five times over, as well as had five nominations for the prestigious Annie Awards. All I can say is wow! He’s like animation royalty and I get to interview him.

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

As if that is not all exciting enough, I get to interview Misty Copeland, “the Ballerina”. You know, no big deal, she was just the first African-American ballet dancer to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. No big deal, just my girls’ ballet idol and constant female inspiration.

Misty Copeland didn’t start dancing ballet until she was 13-years-old by the time she was 15, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. Through her career, she has been a constant inspiration to little girls everywhere. She gives them hope and confidence to know that with a lot of hard work, determination and passion, you can accomplish your dreams even if you don’t fit the typical mold.

When we found out, my girls were squealing and so excited. They are begging me to sneak them in my carry on.

READ ALSO: Why the Nutcracker Ballet is so Special

I will have the pleasure of interviewing Mackenzie Foy who plays Clara in Disney’s the Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Ms. Foy has quickly emerged as one of Hollywood’s most exciting young actresses. With a breakout role in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time, the Twilight Saga, Foy’s body of work continues to evolve with exciting and challenging projects.

She’s starred in Interstellar, The Conjuring, The Little Prince and Plastic Jesus to name a few of the amazing movies you might have seen her in. Ms. Foy is definitely a rising star.

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen Mirren

“All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.”

Next up, I get to walk my first ever red carpet and see this incredible film that I’ve been waiting to be on the big screen since I saw the first teaser last year. It’s going to be amazing and I cannot wait to take it all in.

Best.Night.Ever.

October 30

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen MirrenTHE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT behind-the-scenes experience

We get a sneak peek of “The Kids Are Alright,” which airs Tuesdays at 8:30|7:30c on ABC. You can also watch/rewatch via streaming (ABC app/ABC.com/Hulu) or On Demand. This show is so funny and clever.

Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.” Times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves.

The series stars Michael Cudlitz as Mike Cleary, Mary McCormack as Peggy Cleary, Sam Straley as Lawrence Cleary, Caleb Foote as Eddie Cleary, Sawyer Barth as Frank Cleary, Christopher Paul Richards as Joey Cleary, Jack Gore as Timmy Cleary, Andy Walken as William Cleary, and Santino Barnard as Pat Cleary.

Facebook: @TheKidsAreAlrightABC
Twitter: @TheKidsABC
Instagram: @thekidsarealrightabc
Hashtag: #TheKidsAreAlright

ABC, DIsney's the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, #DisneysNutcrackerEvent, Station 19, The Kids Are Alright, Christopher Robin, Keira Knightly, Misty Copeland, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, The Nutcracker, Walt Disney Studios, Helen MirrenSTATION 19 behind-the-scenes experience 

Behind-the-scenes experience with “Station 19,” starring Jaina Lee Ortiz and Jason George!

“Station 19” airs Thursdays at 9|8c on ABC (also available via streaming on ABC app/ABC.com/Hulu and on demand) follows a group of heroic Seattle firefighters as they put their lives and hearts on the line. The latest series from the executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” takes us inside the tough, tight-knit and sometimes heartbreaking world of the city’s bravest first responders.

“Station 19” stars Jaina Lee Ortiz as Andy Herrera, Jason George as Ben Warren, Grey Damon as Jack Gibson, Barrett Doss as Victoria Hughes, Alberto Frezza as Ryan Tanner, Jay Hayden as Travis Montgomery, Okieriete Onaodowan as Dean Miller, Danielle Savre as Maya Bishop and Miguel Sandoval as Captain Pruitt Herrera.

Stacy McKee (“Grey’s Anatomy”) serves as showrunner and executive producer, along with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. Paris Barclay (“Pitch” and “Sons of Anarchy”) serves as the producing director and executive producer of the series.

Facebook: @Station19ABC
Instagram: @station19
Twitter: @Station19
Hashtag: #station19

Sadly on Tuesday, I fly home and turn back into a pumpkin just in time to take my girls trick-or-treating. I’m so excited for the Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms event that I can barely contain myself.

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS OPENS IN THEATRES EVERYWHERE ON NOVEMBER 2ND!

Like THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneysNutcracker

Follow Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios

Follow THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneysnutcracker/

If you have any questions for Jim Cummings, MacKenzie Foy or Misty Copeland, leave them in the comments below and I’ll try my best to ask them during the interview!

Please follow along on my adventure by following the hashtags  #DisneysNutcrackerEvent , #ABCTVEvent ,  #ChristopherRobinBluray  and #DWTS on 10/27- 10/30.

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Disney's the Lion King, LIve action movie, Disney Movie, The Lion King, The Lion King Trailer, Disney Studios

Disney’s The Lion King live action movie is coming to theaters this summer and we are here for it. Disney studios is bringing so many great movies to the theaters this year and Aladdin, Toy Story and the Lion King are just a few that we are looking forward to. But right now, we’ve got a surprise for you…a first look at the official trailer for The Lion King.

As a family, we’ve watched The Lion King movie at least 100 times. The story is one of our favorites. Hakuna Matata is my 14-year-old daughter’s favorite thing to say. Both girls still crack up at Timon and Pumba. It’s one of those heartwarming Disney movies that we watch together and feel closer after doing so. It’s super glue for families.

Disney's the Lion King, LIve action movie, Disney Movie, The Lion King, The Lion King Trailer, Disney Studios

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

When we heard that they were remaking Disney’s Lion King into a live action version in 2019, we were ecstatic. I can’t wait to see how they parlay the story from animated animals to live action. Then again, after seeing Disney’s Dumbo, I have faith that there is little that Disney studios can’t do. I’m hoping it’s going to be as magical of some of Disney’s other live-action remakes like Maleficent, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.

If the new official trailer is any indication of the quality of Disney magic we can expect, I’m excited…jump up and down, can’t wait to take my girls and the Big Guy to see it, excited. My expectations are high because it’s such a beloved film but I don’t believe that Disney is going to disappoint.

Disney's the Lion King, LIve action movie, Disney Movie, The Lion King, The Lion King Trailer, Disney Studios

Here is what you’ve been waiting for, Disney’s the Lion King official trailer:

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.

Disney's the Lion King, LIve action movie, Disney Movie, The Lion King, The Lion King Trailer, Disney Studios

READ ALSO:  What is Disney Creator Days and How to get Invited

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 World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Aloha Windy City! Cold winter weather got you down? If you’re anywhere that it’s cold, I’m looking at you Chicago, you know we are all in desperate need of some sunshine and warm weather. Well, guess what Chicago??? Disney is bringing just what the doctor ordered, some warmth, ukuleles, palm trees and the sand between your toes right downtown at Union Station. Maybe we can’t all fly off to Hawaii right now, much as we’d love to, so Disney Aulani resort is bringing Hawaii to Chicago!

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creators Day and how to get invited?

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Have you been spending your winter days walking the cold streets of the loop biding your time until summer is back in Chicago? Spending your nights running to and from trains, buses and cars to your home or office trying not to get frostbite? Have you been dreaming of warmer destinations or even Grant park in July? At this point, I’d sacrifice the Sox for some sunshine.  Do you need sunshine with a side of Disney? Because I know I do.

READ ALSO: Best Disney Resorts for Families

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, ChicagoDisney is bringing the Aloha Spirit to Chicago!!

Who: Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii

What: Bringing sun and Disney fun to Chicago for the enjoyment of winter-worn commuters

Where: The Great Hall at Union Station (225 S Canal St. Chicago, IL 60606)

How: Aulani is bringing Rays of Aloha the sun and joy of Disney and Hawaii for a magical, one-day, event at Union Station, providing a warm and happy retreat for the approximately 100000 commuters through a fun (Instagram-worthy) experience.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Come and enjoy a magical fire put while dipping your toes in the sand, delight in a hula performance and be carried away by the sound of ukuleles floating between the palm trees. There might even be a surprise guest.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, mickey mouse, minnie mouse

I don’t know about you, but for this Disney loving family, this sounds like the perfect mid-week event to get your head in an Aulani state of mind.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing your Dinsey Trip

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Where: Wednesday, February 19, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

This will just be a taste of all the Aloha spirit that you could experience in the actual Aulani Disney Resort. I’ve stayed at many Disney resorts over the years, and Aulani is on our family bucket list, but from my friends who’ve gone, I hear it is worth the travel and you will make memories with the ones you loved like never before all with a Hawaiian setting. What could be more magical?

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Disney, Disney on Ice, Worlds of FantasyGuess who’s taking her girls to see Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy? This Mommy. My family loves all things Disney so I was pretty stoked when I was invited to attend and review the show. It’s always a special treat when your work can include your children. It’s the best of both worlds, really.

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family, disney vacation, walt disney world resort, epcot, frozen ever after

Last month, we took the girls to Walt Disney World in Orlando. We’ve been many times in the past 18 years but, apparently, never in the sweltering hot months. I am here to warn you, NEVER go to Orlando during the summer months. We were there at the end of June and the heat index was 108 degrees. I felt like God was holding a magnifying glass over Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom while trying to fry all of the park goers. I literally wanted to cry, as my face was melting off. Lesson learned. But still, happiest place on earth.

But thanks to that horrible, swampy heat we did get to discover some rides and shows that we would have otherwise never have tried because when you are that miserably hot, you get a whole new perspective and exerting the least amount of energy, going where there is air conditioning and staying cool becomes a game of survival. Heat stroke is no joke so I’m telling you all the cool things to do at Disney.

I’m glad we went in June so now I know to never do that again. I’m just too sensitive to the heat to enjoy that kind of warm weather. If it wasn’t sweltering heat, we were being caught in torrential downpours. I am not referring to the quaint mid- day showers that come through and cool Orlando down, these were unrelenting and turned all of Orlando into a soupy, sweat box. It was hard to stay focused on the fact that I was at my happy place. Heat makes people grumpy.

Aside from the heat, the trip was one of our most enjoyable to Walt Disney World because we’ve gone so many times, we were able to mosey and not rush and when we were tired we went back to the hotel and rested. I’ve told you the top 25 secrets to rocking your Walt Disney World vacation but this is the addendum for the summer. Also, remember, everything is cooler at night and Walt Disney World has you covered with extended hours if you are staying at a resort on grounds.

Here are a few of our best tips to beat the heat at Walt Disney World during summer

Walt Disney World, Disney, hollywood studios, Sci-Fi Theater drive-in, stay cool at walt disney world, magic kingdom, buzz lightyear, toy story

Magic Kingdom

The Liberty Tree Tavern

I know it was hot outside but this place serves comfort food to the extreme. Think Thanksgiving all year round. Yes, I know, in theory, it sounds like an unwise choice in the heat but with all that walking and burning of calories, it was the best thing ever. It was so good, in fact, that we are actually planning our next trip in the fall, just so we can fully appreciate all that comfort food.

Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

Best.Sundeas.and.Smoothies.EVER. But if you want to be practical, get the smoothie, it cools you down longer.

Casey’s Corner

I have passed this hot dog, ball park themed restaurant a million times and never stopped. Enter, hungry Debi looking for an air-conditioned restaurant on a sweltering day. The food was simple but delicious and the air was divine.

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Had it not been for the heat, I would have bypassed this gem and made my way onto something outside but I am glad that I didn’t because it was adorable and cute. Perfect for the entire family.

Astro Orbiter

Coolest ride ever. Did I mention, all these years and I never knew it was an actual ride? Yep, I thought it was just really cool decoration. Look up, people!

Transit Authority People Mover

I’ve seen this but never rode it before. It was awesome. Yes, it moves slowly and totally reminds me of something out of Wall-E but when it’s 108-degree heat index, it is totally okay to just ride instead of walk.  Not only is it ok, it is encouraged by this Disney addict. Survival of the fittest, and sometimes “fittest” means the lady who was smart enough to stop exerting herself in the heat.

Haunted Mansion

Enchanted Tales with Belle

It’s a Small World

Pirates of the Caribbean

 

Walt Disney World, Disney, hollywood studios, Sci-Fi Theater drive-in, stay cool at walt disney world

Hollywood Studios

The Great Movie Ride

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along

Sci-Fi Dine IN Theater

One Man’s Dream

Pizze Rizzo

Walt Disney World, Disney, hollywood studios, Sci-Fi Theater drive-in, stay cool at walt disney world, magic kingdom, epcot, frozen ever after

Epcot

Coral Reefs: Disney Animals

Walt Disney World, Disney, hollywood studios, Sci-Fi Theater drive-in, stay cool at walt disney world, magic kingdom, epcot, frozen ever after

Frozen Ever After Ride

Soarin

Gran Fiesta Tour Featuring the Three Caballeros

L’Artisan des Glaces

All of these places mentioned at Walt Disney World are sure to keep you cool and indoors.

Not to say that there isn’t still plenty to do outside. I mean, come on, the place is a beautiful, waking fairy tale but when the heat is out of control, especially if you are from a climate that is not as hot, it’s good to have cool options to pop in and out of throughout your day at Disney World.

This trip also gave me the opportunity to explore lots more different restaurants (table service is your friend in sweltering heat) than normal because we usually stick with favorites. I will do a follow up to this post on all the great places to eat at Epcot and tell you all about Pandora, including lots of photos, insider tips, and video. You won’t want to miss it!

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What’s your favorite attraction, ride, restaurant or thing to do while visiting Walt Disney World?

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