Saving Up for Disney

Budgeting Tips for Your Entire Life!

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10 Disney Things I’m Thankful For

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

1.The Disney DVDs that I’ve been collecting over the years. Without cable television, a nightly Disney movie viewing is a must for our family before bedtime.

2. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. It put a smile on my toddler’s face and a memory in his heart. Each day he talks about much he enjoyed this Cars Land attraction.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

3. CheEARleading Disney Parks Moms Panelists. Their undying love for Disney and unfailing support of each other take the sting out of rejection and bring hope back that next year is really going to be your year. #DISNEYMP

4. Disney balloons. Simple in design and guaranteed to make ’em smile! I mean really….it’s a balloon within a balloon! And did you know that if your balloon pops in the Park you can request a replacement?

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

5. Mickey. Yeah, just Mickey.

6. Adorable Disney t-shirts. My toddler chooses one over anything else in his closet.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

7. Sleeping Beauty Castle dressed for the winter. Laced with twinkling lights and dusted with snow, it’s a holiday sight to behold!

8. Mad Tea Party. Nothing makes a dad get the giggles more than spinning his kids silly! It worked for my dad and it works today with my husband (but I won’t step foot in one!)

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

9. Disney hats. I cherish the photos of my boys wearing their Goofy and Pluto hats or my toddler in his Mouse ears.

10. The Disneyland Hotel. From the lights in the twinkling headboard to the Monorail pool, it’s my favorite place to spend a sunny afternoon. I’m ready to move in, seriously.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

Hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!






What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search #DisneyMP


What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel SearchWhat I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

When I applied to the Disney Parks Moms Panel way back in early September, I told two people. When I made it through into Round 2, I cautiously told a few more. After a video submission and more essay questions, I was notified I’d made it to Round 3. In my phone interview with Gary Buchanan (Social Media Managing Editor), I was informed that I was a finalist in the last round. At that point, I think I might have told everyone I knew…I was a FINALIST for the Disney Parks Moms Panel!

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel SearchThere were so few of us left in the running for the Disneyland specialty that nerves were definitely running high. It was requested that we make arrangements and set aside time for the training trip that takes place in early December. I had to tell my boss that I might have to leave for a few days. The possibility of making the Panel was very real for so many us, myself included. Lucky enough to have made it to Round 3, some of us huddled together in Facebook groups, sharing our personal experiences through the process and cheering each other on. This was my first time submitting an application for the Panel and I didn’t know what to expect but my hopes were high….heck, I’d made it to the final round on my first try!

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel SearchWhat I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

Notification day was crushing, for me and for so many that weren’t chosen for the Panel.  I felt very confident all-around in the application process. Perhaps if I’d had a stumble somewhere along the way (a noticeable error in my essay, a misspelling, etc), I would have had a glimmer of rejection ahead of time. I was staying upbeat and confident about the end result (me being chosen for the Panel), of which at that point I had no control over. To receive the “no” was nothing less than a shock.

I definitely have faith in the process and trust that the review committee chose whom they felt is the best fit for the current position. I can be completely honest and say that it was a challenging weekend, coming to grips of the loss of this dream and vision I’d built up in my head.

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

Am I down for the count? Not a chance. As a consolation those of us that receive a “no” have a FastPass+ straight to Round 2 in the application process for 2015. I will continue “Saving Up for Disney” to make another trip to my Happiest Place (this allows me to qualify as an applicant). It’s not a dream lost. Hopefully it’s just a dream delayed.

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

So what have I learned on this path towards Panelist?

YOU HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU- Obviously being highly-knowledgable about your chosen specialty is a must. It also means having a quick recall during live interviews and turnaround on essays. When Gary asked me what my favorite Land was, I had an answer. When Gary asked me how Disney excelled in handling special needs in the Parks, I had an answer. If you know your stuff the answers should come to you second nature. That is, if nerves don’t take over!

THE REVIEW COMMITTEE HAS THEIR WORK CUT OUT FOR THEM – They are faced with thousands of applications from Disney-lovers around the globe. They cull each application and have the unfortunate job at the end to tell some people that their Panel dream has ended for the year. It’s done with love but the bottom line still stings. I certainly don’t envy them that position. Even when you want to Tweet, “Why not me?!” know that for each one of you there are another 10,000+ Guests that are asking themselves the same question.

LITTLE MISTAKES ADD UP – In a class of high-caliber writers, even a minor misspelling could be enough to knock you out of contention. Write, read, re-read and possibly have someone else proof your essays and application before hitting submit. Looking back I wished that I’d had more help with my video submission and polished it up a bit more. Next year!

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search                                            What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

PATIENCE & PERSISTENCE – Perhaps you don’t make the Panel this year. Or the next. This was my first attempt but for some that made the Panel this year, it had been their eighth attempt. But without persistence and tossing their Mouse Ears into the ring each year, they might have never had a chance at all.

DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY – One of the things we discussed as a group was how the Panel is like a big Disney puzzle. There are the existing Panelists and the newly chosen are like the missing puzzle pieces that have to fit the entire picture. If you didn’t fit this time and received a “no”, that doesn’t mean that you might not “fit in” another year. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It just means you weren’t the right fit…this time.

What I Learned by Reaching Round 3 in the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search

And as Walt Disney says, we have to keep moving forward. There is no point in dwelling on what “could have been” at this point. I’ll keep my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground…carving out new paths that will hopefully lead me to my goals. I know that representing Disneyland on the Disney Parks Moms Panel is a job I was made for and I’ll be tossing my Mouse Ears back in the ring come next year, you can count on that!








Disney on Broadway – Disney Aladdin

Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

As a frequent Guest of the Disneyland Resort Parks, I’ve seen Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular countless times. The live show performs several times daily at the Hyperion Theatre inside Disney’s California Adventure Park. The 40-minute show is showstopping from start to finish and each time it ends I feel like I’ve been treated to a Broadway-worthy production!

And now Broadway-goers can experience this magical story on the Great White Way, in Disney Aladdin!

Based on the 1992 Disney animated film, the Broadway production also features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice & Chad Beguelin. The show is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, with set design by Bob Crowley and costume design by Gregg Barnes. Disney Aladdin premiered in Seattle and opened on Broadway at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City, March 2014.

An 18-piece orchestra performs the score in a production that is packed with music! The show features all the favorites from the movie like Arabian Nights, Friend Like Me, Prince Ali and A Whole New World.


Songs like Proud of Your Boy and High Adventure were originally written for the movie and are being performed on the stage for the first time. There are also new songs written just for the Broadway production, including The Palace Walls and Diamond in the Rough.

This hit Broadway production will soon be traveling the globe and hitting the stage in both Japan and Germany in 2015.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Orange this month. We will be back on December 11th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail, should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Mamas – The Magic of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast on Broadway

2nd Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories – Into the Woods

3rd Stop ~ I Am a Mommy Nerd – Mary Poppins

4th Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers – Little Mermaid on Broadway

Final Stop ~ Saving Up for Disney – Disney Aladdin