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Disney’s Latest Film Moana Will Make Your Heart Soar ~ By Guest Author Samantha Lucas

Published November 18, 2016 by samanthalucas23

Disney’s Latest Film Moana Will Make Your Heart Soar ~ By Guest Author Samantha Lucas

Despite declaring herself very firmly “Not a princess” during the film, Moana has easily become one of my favorite Disney Princesses.

The Synopsis, as found on Wikipedia, is as follows – On a mystic island in Polynesia, the 16-year-old strong-willed daughter of the chief of the tribe, Moana from Motunui Island, is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite the Heart of Tehiti. She sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod and hopes to save her people.

I was invited to the press screening for Moana and let me say there isn’t anything I don’t love about this movie.This is a film about worth and fulfilling destiny, about believing in yourself and not giving up, despite the odds or the appearance of what you’re facing. It succeeded in all the places Frozen failed for me and I’m completely in love with it.

Moana is beautiful in spirit and brave of heart. She answers a calling on her soul and undertakes the daunting task of saving her people despite the fact it meant going against her parents, and especially her father’s wishes. I loved the way the movie handled the relationship between father and daughter, doing an excellent job of humanizing her parents and helping us understand why he was so determined to keep her from the ocean, while showing us a lineage of leaders and a history of a people who changed over time into something that was never meant for them to become.

Yes, of coursepua-n-hei-hei, it is charming and funny in all the ways we’ve come to expect from Disney. The animal sidekicks are an adorable puppy-like pig named Pua and a dimwitted chicken named Hei-Hei, who I found absolutely loveable despite the poor chicken being as close to an inanimate object as you could think.

As we’re coming to see more and more, of late, there is no “bad guy” per se to fight against, no defining villain. It is a film about overcoming the obstacles we carry within.

One other nice thing, the 3D was used perfectly to add depth and dimension to scenes, rather than to shock us by throwing things at our faces.

This is, of course, yet another film in the new land we’ve come to where there is no prince or love interest, but in this film it very much works. Moana is not a heroine out to prove she doesn’t need a man, she’s simply a girl chosen for a destiny greater than she knew she was capable.

moana-and-maui-e1473954569707The relationship between Moana and Maui is fantastic because they come to respect and need one another as they share this journey, each having their own lessons to learn and obstacles to overcome along the way.

The demi-god Maui is a culture hero in both Polynesian and Hawaiian mythology. Although his origin story is tweaked and made a bit more kid-friendly for this Disney tale, he is an important figure in many of the island cultures.

Moana is entirely entertaining from beginning to end. What pushes this film over-the-top straight to my heart is the theme of someone having a calling on their heart or soul all of their life and the need to answer that call and that is the story of my own life so to see it played out in a Disney Princess was more than I had ever hoped to see.

I recommend this one wholeheartedly! Don’t miss Moana’s journey. Go with an open mind and heart and let yourself be inspired.

If you enjoyed my review and want more of my own Disney writing, which currently has a heavy focus on Disney World, please visit me at www.disneylovin.com

And one more thing, as is the case with all the best films, you do want to sit through the credits for your little treat at the end. 😉

(Side note from Krista: Thanks Samantha for attending the media preview with me! I am so glad you enjoyed the movie as much as I did!! )

 

The Best Walt Disney World Quick Service Restaurants…FROM THE EXPERTS!

Published October 22, 2016 by ltdjosh

Good morning everyone. In honor of EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival, we thought that we’d share an amazing article written by our very dear friend Karyn Locke from www.sandandorsnow.com. The title of the article is “The Best Walt Disney World Quick Service Restaurants From The Experts!” and showcases some of the most amazing quick service restaurants found on Walt Disney World property, from the mega-sized Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (submitted by Terri Miller from WDWHints) to the simple yet delicious Earl Of Sandwich at Disney Springs (submitted by Tania Lamb at Lola Lambchops), you can find something for every appetite. And the best part? These are all submitted by experts in the area of WDW Quick Service dining locations…BLOGGERS! To check out this great article (and to get inspired to try new things while dining on the quick at Walt Disney World) head over to the article here. Thanks again for such a great article Karyn! We’ll see you all in the parks.

Newly Updated Pirate’s Adventure in Magic Kingdom

Published September 29, 2016 by ltdjosh

Three years ago, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom introduced an interactive quest for guests of all ages. The name of the quest was “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure Of The Seven Seas”. Over the years, thousands of wee pirate lads and lassies (as well as a few buccaneers) have enjoyed scavenging around Adventureland to find clues and solve the mystery of the adventure. A few months ago, Disney announced an addition to the adventure. Let’s take a look at one of the adventures, as well as the new surprise ending awaiting guests.

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The building where you sign up for the Pirate’s Adventure is next to Pirate’s Of The Caribbean, towards Splash Mountain. It’s an unassuming building that most people just quickly walk by, perhaps thinking it’s a food vendor or something of that nature. However, once you walk inside, your fate be forever changed. There are 5 different adventures you can choose. Once you’ve chosen your adventure, simply scan your magicband (or your park ticket) and the on screen guide will tell you what mark on your map to go to first. For this demonstration, I chose the Guardian’s Curse adventure. Once I scanned in, I was off on an adventure I won’t soon forget.

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For each adventure, you receive a treasure map telling you roughly were to go to find your clue. Once you reach the area, you have to find the symbol listed on your map. When you touch your magicband (or ticket) to the symbol, something magical will happen in the immediate area that will tell you where to go next. You never know what you’ll find. First up, the compass symbol.

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This symbol seemed easy enough to find. Look for a treasure chest, a lantern, and a map on top of an old crate. Then find the symbol. Well, there are a lot of crates around. Thankfully, I found my symbol.

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The next symbol that I was to find was the bulls eye symbol. This one proved even trickier to find, but I kept a sharp eye out and sure enough, found what I was looking for on top of a barrel (perhaps filled with rum for Captain Jack Sparrow?).

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Next up, I had to search for a parrot symbol. Since I knew there were parrots all over Adventureland, it took me a few minutes to find the right parrot (and the matching symbol).

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However, I found the tricky bird.

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And his symbol.

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I was getting excited. This was fun, and it didn’t take that long to do. Plus it was a great way to spend a very quiet morning in Adventureland. Off to the next symbol: A captain’s hat.

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A few moments later, I had found the blasted hat.

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I had won the adventure, but this odd pirate came up out of his watery grave to tell me that I should continue my quest for more treasures.

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Since it had taken me less than 10 minutes to complete the entire adventure, I decided that I would try, as my Pokemon Go friends would say, to “catch them all”. At the end of the 3rd adventure, I was dealt a pleasant surprise: a complimentary fastpass for Pirate’s Of The Caribbean.

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This wasn’t time stamped, but date stamped, good through the end of the month any time the ride was operating. I then went on my way continuing adventures, and received another at the end of my 4th adventure, and another at the end of my 5th adventure. An hours worth of work searching all over Adventureland (and seeing things that I had never noticed before) and I had 3 free legacy fastpasses to use anytime over the course of the next 2 weeks.

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If you’re in the area and have some free time, I definitely encourage you to take the challenge and enjoy the Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures Of The Seven Seas. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Joshua Snyder is a Disney fanatic and Travel Agent, working with My Mickey Vacation travel.. He is an annual passholder for Walt Disney World, and enjoys going the parks as often as he can. In his spare time, he enjoys reading everything he can about the parks and helping introduce new families to the Happiest Place On Earth. He currently resides in the Orlando, FL area. He can be reached at joshua.snyder@mymickeyvacation.com.

Photo & Video Review!! Visit Morimoto Asia and Vivoli with Us!

Published September 1, 2016 by Heidi Strawser

Did you know you can take a summer stroll and get some quick bites at two new places in Disney Springs – on the go? Why cut into your shopping time when you can grab and go at Morimoto Asia and Vivoli?

Krista recently had the opportunity to visit both of these new places and learn more about them as part of a media tour called #SummerStroll. We’d like to take you on a Photo & Video tour – too bad we can’t provide taste testing as well.

Morimoto Asia

Vivoli

Looks delicious, right? Will you be trying either of these places on your next visit to Disney Springs?

Retro Station Italian Food – Traveling back to the 50’s – Guest Post by Jacquie Montes de Oca

Published August 25, 2016 by Heidi Strawser

As part of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers, I was invited to attend a meet up at this new Italian restaurant in the Kissimmee, FL area.

14100499_10154676511402985_270121835617320467_n(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

The moment I parked and saw the sign I knew I was going to be taken back in time to the 1950’s. As I walked in the restaurant I was greeted by two smiling faces, those of the owners, Renata Rabello and Giuliano Garbi, who owned a 50’s restaurant and club for over 10 years in Brazil, and now they’re bringing their knowledge and flavor to Central Florida!

14034853_10154676513077985_2888823693670858582_n(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

The restaurant is decorated with a 50’s flair, the details of the items are very tasteful and fun.

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14063915_10154676512007985_8825155029811249884_n(Photos Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

For this meet up we were given a special menu in order for us to try their most popular items from the menu. We had no idea what to expect and let me tell you… it was glorious!

14034920_10154676512137985_4485581663443816546_n(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

First they brought us what looked like crackers, but it was thin pieces of pizza crust with their homemade Marinara sauce. The crust was outstanding! So flaky and crunchy and yummy! The sauce you can tell is homemade, the combination of spices and just enough sweetness was amazing.

crackers(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

Then came the Cheese Garlic Bread. Wow! The bread was so soft with the right amount of garlic/cheese ratio which made it so delicious!

garlic bread(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

Next, I must admit, one of my favorites of the night. The Italian Bruschetta. Now, I make this at home… but Retro’s is so much better! The bread was crunchy on the outside and oh so soft in the inside and once again, the combination of the tomatoes, basil, spices… I could’ve eaten the whole tray!

14054045_10154676512207985_5615326200685462882_n(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

The Soup of the Day – this time was Mushroom. Needless to say, I had two bowls. It was so creamy yet light and the flavors… it reminded me of my childhood so it made me very happy! I would’ve liked if it had just a bit more pieces of mushroom, but that’s just my preference. When I go back I need to make sure is on Mushroom Soup Day!

soup(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

At this point I was already full from all the goodies… but there was more… oh so much more to come!

Spaghetti with Homemade Marinara Sauce. What can I say but heavenly. The pasta cooked just right with their signature sauce was delicious. The lasagna… so cheesy and meaty and oh so good!!!

spaghetti(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

And because we didn’t have enough to eat, they brought 2 pizzas! One was thin crust, the other New York Style. The thin crust is made without butter, which is great for our vegan friends. My favorite, the NY Style. The crust was so flaky and light and the flavor was just awesome! We had the plain pizza, so I can only imagine when toppings are added!

new york(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

For dessert we had Homemade Cheese Cake. There’s always room for dessert, right? Well, this cheesecake was out of this world! So light, not overly sweet, on a bed of chocolate sauce. I was in heaven!!!

cheesecake(Photo Property of Andrea Kuczynski)

All of the food was so delicious and in the words of the amazing & talented, Chef Judy, “made with love”!

14095799_10154676513932985_1163463773965122043_n(Photo Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca)

One of the events they like to have at Retro is a Rockabilly dance. So, after dinner, Renata and Giuliano gave us a sample of what Rockabilly dancing is like. It looked like so much fun, I had to join in! Now, I’ve never danced Rockabilly, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. However, Giuliano was a great teacher and I had so much fun! Can’t wait for their next dance!!!

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14046157_10154676513017985_1540610983214270587_n(Photos Property of Jacquie Montes de Oca & Andrea Kuczynski)

Overall it was a fabulous evening of delicious food, fun dancing and amazing people!

About the author – Jacquie is a freelance contributor for Living the Dream Podcast; freelance contributor to Peter Alden Entertainment and freelance assistant, social media coordinator & roadie for Armando Diaz, Frank Sinatra Tribute Artist.

8 THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Published August 25, 2016 by Heidi Strawser

8things

Only 9 days left on my Walt Disney World countdown. Then, I’m going to board a plane and set off for sunny Orlando and my happy place. It’s just me and my best friend and we’re ready to experience Walt Disney World in a whole new way!

Today, over on my blog, I’m sharing 8 things that I’m really looking forward to on this next visit. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these things or anything else you think we need to add to our must-do list.

Click here to read my post and please leave a comment!

The Latest Magic Band News – Guest Post by Kate

Published August 23, 2016 by Heidi Strawser

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Magic Bands are the do-it-all accessory for your Walt Disney World vacation. These versatile wrist gadgets are your park tickets, room keys, fast passes, Photopass, dining plan access and can even double as your credit card if you choose to link them to your bands. But it seems that Disney has added a new trick or two to this magical wrist gear in the past few months.

We already knew that each individual’s band was linked to the profile of the person that it belonged to. What this means is that every time you tap your wrist to those Mickey Mouse gates, the Magic Band system knows which ride you are on, which restaurant you are eating at, or which shop you just purchased your new Mickey Mouse ears from. So it wasn’t much of a stretch for Disney to start using that information to personalize your ride experiences.

The first way they are doing this is exciting and just plain fun. Disney has come up with a way to make the rides recognize and interact with guests via Magic Band tech. Two rides in particular are standing out with their use of this new innovation.

The Haunted Mansion is using this tech to increase the creepy factor in the ending scenes of the ride. The hitchhiking ghosts now know who you are, and where you live! So while they still hop into your vehicle, and mess with your head (sometimes literally) the ghosts are also adding your names to the tombstones you pass and will even hold up a sign with your home state written on it. To be honest, that addition is a little bit too scary for me!

On a happier note, ‘It’s A Small World’ now says good-bye to you by name. In the last room with the salutations, new screens have been put up and, as you pass by, your names are shown on screen in beautiful Mary Blair style. There is something truly magical about becoming part of a beloved ride like that. Suddenly you go from being a spectator enjoying an experience to an active participant, all with just a touch of Disney Magic.

Its a Small World Says Goodbye

There is another new addition to the Magic Bands arsenal. This time it has to do with Photopass and Memory Maker. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Memory Maker is a Photopass program that allows you to purchase any Photopass photos you will have taken in advance. The best part is that, whether you take 20 photos or 200, its still the same flat rate before hand. In the past, when you had Memory Maker linked to your Magic Bands, you had to go and tap the Mickey Mouse under your photo to claim it. That isn’t the case any more. Now your Magic Band recognizes if you’re on a Photopass ride and automatically downloads your photo right to your Magic Band. It can take about 24 hours for your photo to show up, but it’s pretty impressive to have a ride know which row you are in and which photo is yours.

So that’s the latest in the Magic Band tech. I cannot wait to see what Disney comes up with next!

Kates-DisneyKate K. is the author of DisneyKate.com.

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