Honesty saves everyone’s time.

A blog about pretty much anything that can be going on in your busy, manic millennial life. From movie reviews to foodie reviews and pretty much everything in between.

 

IMG_7868

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” -John Lennon

DIY Floral Ear Holder

Some of you may have seen my post yesterday featuring one new piece of content I’ll be debuting twice a month in my feed, Disney DIYs! I’m so excited to share with all of you how to make new and exciting Disney themed crafts! For my first project I just had to create a cute and new way to display some of my favorite pairs of ears that I get from small shop friends, so without further delay here’s how you can make this project for yourself. I’ve also included some embedded links for you to follow to find the supplies on my Amazon Influencer page, so just click the highlighted words to be whisked off to that page (and don’t worry, it’ll open a new tab instead of directing you away from this page.)

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 12-inch Artificial Ball Topiary
  • 1 3.5-4 inch Terra Cotta Pot
  • 2-3 stems of small round flowers, or about 15 individual flowers (I used Peony because I prefer them)
  • Any pair of ears (I used one of my favorite pairs of ears from Isn’t It Neat Boutique, classic Minnie Mouse reversible sequin ears, which you can still snag for yourself with code BONNIE15)

Step 1:

Gather all of your supplies together on a table (or bed, whatever suits you, I’m not here to judge.) Start by removing your flowers from their stems by pulling them right off, they should pop off easily without use of wire cutters of scissors. This also keep them from having sharp ends from cutting the wire and will eliminate chance of injury from poking.

IMG_0265.jpg

Step 2:

Assemble your topiary ball (if needed, mine came all together but some come in two halves) and insert flowers individually by picking your spot and tucking them in between the small leaves of the topiary. Be careful not to shove them too far in or you won’t be able to see them from the outside and they’ll just get lost in all of the green. I chose small, round and white flowers because I wanted my ball to mimic Minnie’s classic white polka dots, but you can use any flowers, colors or theme you want. It’s all about creative freedom.

IMG_0271

Also, you do have the option to hot glue your flowers in using the same method but just adding a small amount of glue to the base of the flower before placing it. There’s two reasons I didn’t do this: The first is that I wanted to have the ability to take it apart and put in different flowers for different pairs of ears/seasons/decor and so on. The second reason is that I wanted to see the whole picture before I solidified my design on my ball. So if you’re wanting it to be more permanent then try different placements before you glue your flowers down.

Step 3:

Place your assembled ball, complete with flowers on top of your pot. Again, you do have the option of attaching your topiary to the pot with hot glue, which would make it sturdier.

IMG_0269.jpg

Step 4: 

Place your favorite pair of ears into the top of your finished topiary! This should be relatively simple since the topiary ball is pretty much full of holes, thicker headbands might make things a little harder. Also, I spread apart the headband on my ears a little bit when I was putting it on so that it didn’t stick off too much and it made it look more symmetrical.

Now you’re done! How easy was that???

29487756-897F-4614-8EF0-BFD787E87E7D.JPG

I have my ear holder on display on my living room table, where I’m writing this post and where I post many of my feed pictures. It makes me happy to look at, haha.

Don’t forget to visit Andrea over at Isn’t it Neat Boutique on her Etsy and Instagram page and give her a follow!

Pssst… you can use my code BONNIE15 to get yourself a pair of perfectly perfect ears from her shop for 15% off!

 

 

img_8621-min

What Inspires Me…

Inspiration comes from many different places and is different for everyone. Some people make get inspired by TV shows, Instagram, celebrities, their family and friends, music. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to open your eyes and see it. But how do you take your inspiration and use it? Personally, I express my ideas and interests mostly through my Instagram page and because of this I have been able to be a part of a magical and incredibly supportive community.

Where exactly do I get inspiration? Well there’s quite a few answers to that question, so we’ll start with everyday life. It may be hard for you to look around at the people that you see everyday at home, or at work, and ask yourself if any of them inspire you but once you do find those people, they’ll be your friends or partner for life. My main source of inspo even on the cloudiest days is my wife. She works incredibly hard at everything she does and puts so much passion into her writing and our relationship, and for that I admire her. Find yourself a person that puts your doubts about your dreams to rest and you’ll never have to go to the store at 2am alone for a pint of pity ice cream. My other great source is right there at home too and believe it or not, it’s my doggos.

I know what you’re thinking… but stop right there. Whether or not you’re a dog person, you have to admit they’re pretty good at this life thing. Dogs are so determined guys. Sometimes my dog wants something so bad that rolled under the couch and she’ll put her mind straight to getting it for the next 2 hours, whether or not that means she has to eat half of the couch. We haven’t even mentioned yet how supportive they are, move out of the way boyfriends/girlfriends cause my dog is up for anything. If I wanna chill in bed until noon, dog’s up for it. I wanna go for a 5 mile hike through the woods just to see one little waterfall, heck yeah your dog will do that. You want yellow curtains but everyone thinks they’re hideous. Your dog doesn’t care because most of their world is black and white anyways. So if you’re not so much a relationship type, get yourself to the shelter and snag a lifetimes worth of drooly mouths and snuggles.

I get a good chunk of inspiration from social media too. I use both Instagram and Pinterest pretty often when I’m planning a flatlay or disneybound and even for some basic B Disneyland pictures. Pinterest is pretty much my online mood board, which saves me paper and time when I’m looking for ideas. You can find pretty much anything on Pinterest, which can sometimes get scary so don’t go digging too deep for those ideas.

We’re probably all familiar with the negatives and positives of Instagram, but I’m here to tell you that you’re not going to get very far on your inspirational journey by comparing yourself to those you’re also inspired by. Most Instagrammers out there don’t want you bringing yourself down because of their perfectly color coordinated flatlay, they want you to enjoy their content. It took me a long time to be able to take a picture and think it was good enough for my feed. My problem was mostly because I was taking others ideas and trying to copy them rather than taking them and creating my own project with that original picture just sitting in the back of my brain for inspiration. You can only try your hardest and if you fail, try again. Practice makes perfect right?

 

img_8621-min

Club Live Lip Sync Competition

Club Live                                                               Club Live Website

Just recently I had the honor of watching my little sister-in-law participate in her first lip sync competition as a part of our county’s 22nd annual Club Live event. For those of you who don’t know what Club Live is: It’s a program of the Prevention and Early Intervention Department of the Sacramento County Office of Education. It’s been around since 1991, keeping young kids off the street and doing something that encourages their creativity and social being.

I hadn’t personally heard of this program until she told us about it, and I honestly thought it was just a cute talent show for middle schoolers. I wasn’t entirely wrong. It was like a talent show, but cute just isn’t an adequate word to use for it. I wouldn’t say it was cute or childish, it was so much more than that, it was empowering. There was a few groups that really tugged on my heart strings and made me shed a few baby tears. In today’s world, there’s a lot of bad going on. Whether it be hatred spewed from the mouths of human beings towards other human beings, pollution and climate change or just plain lack of compassion. It’s hard to feel like our country, and even our world are moving in a positive direction. Looking around in my community or even attending events for my younger siblings, I usually cringe at the language and attitudes they have at such a young age. (well now I feel like an old person, haha)

A lot of the kids chose fun and catchy songs to dance and lip sing to, which in itself was a good time and really entertaining. Those who chose to sing songs with powerful messages caught my attention the most. If you’re familiar with the singer/songwriter Kesha, you know that she produces some extremely powerful songs, including her single Here Comes the Change. I highly encourage you to listen for yourself, and make sure you have a couple tissues if you’re emotional like me, by clicking the link I’ve embedded in the song title right above here. Even though I didn’t personally know these students, I felt like they were sending a message right to me: “We are here for you.” It felt so amazing that a group of girls, not even in high school yet, could send such a powerful message to our community and that they felt so strongly about this problem that they skipped the catchy new songs just to send out this signal. Looking at the bigger picture, the whole theater wasn’t packed with people, mostly just teachers and supportive parents, but I know these girls send their message everyday of their lives and I’m so incredibly happy that we can have faith for their generation.

I know that the opportunity to be a part of this program and to create her own performance sent my little sister over the moon. She actually won third place in the competition, after practicing and perfecting her song for weeks, and for that we are extremely proud of her. (insert heart emoji) But really I’d like to thank all of the supporters and organizers of the Club Live Program for working so hard to give everyone of these kids the chance to do this. Now that I know of this program, I never plan to miss another show so long as I stay in Sacramento. Thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

IMG_0303

2A7EC470-5BC3-434B-8BC5-D59B4DFCC566

Snacks on Snacks

Hiya everyone! In honor of all the new yummy food on Pixar Pier, I’ve written a review with some of my favorites and least favorites. So read on to discover all the drool worthy food over on the pier!

 

When Disney announced the opening of Pixar Pier, all of us Disney foodies knew that the new pier would come with new snacks! As excited as I was to see the transformation of the pier into a Pixar paradise, I was a little more excited for the superabundance of new foods that came with it. From beginning to end, the pier is filled with more food than attractions. My second (Disney) stomach began to grumble when I heard about angry dogs, Senor Buzz churros, Bing Bong’s sweet stuff, chicken wings at the Poultry Palace, giant num num cookies! It had most of us yelling “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” and take my money they did.

b4c43cc2-c325-45e9-b3b4-60768163a8e4-minOriginal Images from Disney Parks Blog (2018)

 

While visiting Pixar Pier I was able to squeeze in a few of the new treats with some of my old favorites without having to have someone roll me back down the pier. Let me tell you this was some of the best food at California adventure this time around, some of it not only adorably grammable, but irresistibly delicious. The first thing I ogled was the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, but sadly it was 100 degrees outside and the line was about 45 minutes long so we opted to use that time to ride the Incredicoaster (amazing btw) instead. After helping catch baby Jack-Jack we stopped by the Cookie Num Num stand, whose line was also, sadly, very long so we moved on. Finding ourselves just a little irate that neither one of our plans fanned out, we headed on over to Angry Dogs to try their signature spicy dog!

 

Not being a huge fan of hot dogs myself, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. To me, it wasn’t very spicy at all and really tasted no different than the regular hot dogs they previously had in their place. However, I got completely opposite reviews from my in-laws and my wife, who actually thought it was a cute and tasty idea. I did enjoy the bag of “hot fries” that came with it and the huge selection of ketchup, who knew there could even be so many options for one condiment, as well as the atmosphere and theme of the stand.

img_8445-min (1)Disney Parks Blog (2018)

 

Later that night we ventured into Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff, where I picked up a bag of Buzz Lightyear sour apple belts and we tried a Memory Refresher. The sour apple belts really came in handy when we waited in line for rides and even lasted me a few days, results may vary if you have small children with you. We chose the Gloomy Blues memory refresher which had a base of blueberry bobas and was topped with blue raspberry slush since we were still feeling a little down about not getting that cookie num num. The joykiller I am, not to be taken literally, it wasn’t something I enjoyed either. It may have been since it was sweltering outside that day or just because slushies are literal slush but I felt it tasted watered down and bland. Even my blueberry bobas were more bobas and less blueberry. I’ve read raving reviews about the Rainbow Unicorn and Slow Burn slush though, so next time I’ll be ready to try both!

Update: Since revisiting Pixar Pier and trying the rest of the flavors of slushes we have decided that they are, in fact, yummy and we will be getting at least two every time we visit 😀 We highly recommend the Rainbow Unicorn and the Slow Burn, but definitely the Unicorn for first timers!!!

 

To end on a sweeter note, our final stop at Senor Buzz Churros was not a disappointment. I mean, Disney does make the best churros in the galaxy. Am I right or am I right? It’s definitely one of my own Disneyland food must haves! We stopped by and tried both the Cinnamon Sugar Galaxy churro and the Caliente churro. Since I tend to believe everything I read on the internet, I expected the Caliente to be Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dust. Alas, it was more of a cinnamon like Red Hots candies, but it was still quite enjoyable.

 

Getting your full experience while visiting the Disney Parks includes trying as many of the sweets and treats as you can possibly handle. After all, us Disneyaholics are practically made of Disney snacks, are we not?

 

To quote my favorite imaginary pal, “I’m mostly cotton candy…”

 

Written by Bonnie Reece, author of The Honest Millennial, thehonestmillennial574606524.wordpress.com

 

 

img_8621-min

Practically Perfect Flatlays

Want to know the secret for perfect flat lays?? Well honestly there really isn’t just one singular way to create a flat lay you’ll be proud to put on your grid. Last week I sat scratching my head and staring at one of my favorite shops @makingsofadreamer and wondering how I could create flat lays that were as perfect as hers! I tried my hand at a couple and just really wasn’t satisfied with the results, so I took to Instagram to study all the flat lays I could look at in a two hour time span. Today I’ll be sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I came up with to create a flat lay that compliments your insta-style. 

IMG_9225

The first thing that’s going to make a huge difference in the look of your flat lay is your background! I don’t have the nicest flooring in my house, so when I first started I was limited to blankets and pieces of fabric that I could find in neutral colors. You definitely want to stick with something more neutral if you want to make your items really pop! The best thing that I’ve found lately at my local Hobby Lobby was what they called “designer” poster boards. The two that I have look like hardwood floors and make the perfect backdrops for my 12 days of ears flat lay series! They also had some floral patterns, solid colors and even glitter colors (I’m excited to plan one with the glitter colors).  There’s also the option to use rugs, which I’ve seen quite a few times before on one of my other favorite Insta accounts @littlegraythread, but I’ve yet to buy a rug of my own because most of them are over $40 (yikes).

IMG_9224

The second most important element is lighting. Now, you don’t have to rush to the store and buy a bunch of fancy lights to create amazing looking pictures. Nowadays everyone’s smartphones come with some pretty good photo editing built in. Some choose to use just this editing feature, but I do a combination of that (mostly for brightening the photo) and a few different editing apps. I tend to use Picsart the most because it has really pretty brushes and light bending effects, but I also use Lightroom and Canva from time to time. Now editing might do a pretty good job fixing up a photo but your real time lighting is definitely a big game changer. I was one of those people that didn’t believe in natural lighting. I was like “well it doesn’t really matter that much, I’ll just brighten the photo”. Boy was I wrong. When people say that natural lighting is your best friend they really mean it. When I started taking pictures with the blinds up instead of the ceiling light on it made a difference in several ways. First, I didn’t have any unsightly shadows in my pictures anymore! Everyone knows that flat lays are taken from an aerial perspective looking straight down, which makes it really hard to avoid shadows if you’re using ceiling lights. Second, my pictures looked less yellow and discolored. I don’t have to apply three filters anymore to get them to the perfect color! Lastly, I didn’t end up with a terrible glare on my reflective items which meant that you could see them with all of their beautiful detail! If you haven’t already been using natural light will you now??

IMG_9212

The last piece of advice for today is make sure you have a theme or color combination going on. The last thing you want is for your flat lay to look like you just threw a bunch of things on the floor in random order just to show them off. My best habit when planning a flat lay is:

1) Coming up with a solid theme (for example: Christmas, The Little Mermaid, the color pink)

2) Just grab your main items and then everything you have that you could possibly use!

3) Try a variety of ways of laying out your items! The key to success is never just expecting to do wonderful the first time, try try again.

4) Make sure your background doesn’t clash with your theme/color. That’s why I suggest solid colored or neutral backgrounds such as rugs or flooring!

1543877983079

Do you feel like you could make your own practically perfect flat lay now??? Try one out and send it to me in a DM on Instagram 🙂 I’d love to see how I inspired you all!

 


IMG_8621

Small but Mighty

 

In honor of Small Business Saturday next week, I’d like to recognize some of my favorite small shops to get amazing Disney products from! Of course we all the love the things that Shop Disney comes out with as well as all of the merch you can find in the parks, but nothing beats a pair of ears or a cute pin made magical by the hands of its crafter! In this edition (there will be another featuring all ear shops TBA) I will be introducing you to FIVE amazing small shops that I discovered through my Disney family on Instagram!

1542487235162 (1)

To start us off is my absolute favorite shop to buy bows for my Apple Watch, Mouse On Main Street! I’ve purchased both bows and pins from this shop and the quality is great, packaging is adorable and their customer service rocks. This shop is run by Marnie and Aleksa, two sweet and creative people! They not only put a lot of effort and time into their Etsy shop, they also work hard to bring us some awesome content and products on Instagram. They’re even sweet enough to feature their customers pictures and they always take us along on their journey through everyday life. Not only can you purchase Apple Watch bows from them, you can also purchase bows for your Magic Band or even your hair! With a HUGE selection of over 300 bows and many new designs coming all the time, there really is an option for everyone, especially with their amazingly low prices!

1542490215609

The next shop I’ll be featuring is filled with super cute and high quality cozies, Happily Ever Cozies! Getting magic mail is never more exciting without a package from Liz! She sprinkles just the right amount of pixie dust into her packages and tops it off with the cutest confetti pieces, not to mention the actual packaging she uses is always so bright and colorful. I can attest that her cozies are better than some of the competitors in terms of quality. Being a crocheter myself, I know how stitches should look and come together and Liz flawlessly creates each cozie special for its new home. Liz definitely has the fastest shipping I’ve ever seen from an Etsy shop and as you can tell from my ravings about her packaging, she doesn’t let her speed affect her product. These are perfect stocking stuffers for the holidays coming up, especially because there’s an option for those in your life who aren’t huge Disney lovers! Liz has options from Disney, to fall, to Christmas and Starbucks! Like I said, something for everyone!

1542490384296

Now, don’t think that the order I introduce these in means I love some more than others! This next shop has really unique products that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else on Etsy, The Mouse Spa! Breanna creates great smelling bath products that help you relax while still getting your Disney on. From bath salts, to scrubs and bath bombs these luscious products transport you to your favorite place in the parks and remind you of your favorite characters. Breanna wraps her products with love and makes each products fresh for you when you order it, so you don’t miss out on any of the fantastic scents. When looking at her prices, I can’t help but be surprised! Going to a big store like Bath and Body Works can cost you a pretty penny and their products can often smell of chemicals, but buy from The Mouse Spa and you’ll only get the best. Her bath bombs would make the cutest stocking stuffers and her scrubs and salts already come pre-packaged, so that saves you the hassle of wrapping it!

1542490617586

Now the next shop would make THE BEST stocking stuffers of 2018, but I may be biased, Shimmering Splendid! At least they’d make the best stocking stuffers for those who frequent Starbucks and bring Disney everywhere with us like I do. This adorable little shop is run by Alexandra and it contains possibly the cutest 3D printed products I’ve come across on Etsy. Her most popular products are her 3D printed straw buddies! These little buddies go onto your straw and can match perfectly with some cozies from Happily Ever Cozies 😉 These are not only cute, but also affordable and subtle if you’re worried your Disney crazy is showing too much in public. Alexandra also has recently added Magical Tree Buddies for the holiday season, to help spruce up your tree! If you’d rather show your Disney spirit on your head than your cup, she also offers 3D printed ears, which are beautifully adorned with handmade bows and floral pieces as well. As we all know that ears can cost us our weeks paychecks, seeing that Shimmering Splendid charges less than $30 for their ears makes us scream “Shut up and take my money!”

1542490821523 (1)

Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite European based shop, Hannah Marie Magic! Although they don’t have an Etsy shop, they have their own beautifully designed website to hold all of her creations. For the rest of this year she won’t be accepting any more orders, but her recent RTS sale on holiday ears had me reeling! I was lucky enough to snag a pair of her beautiful wreath and jingle bells ears and they shipped really fast for being sent from a different country! She has a huge selection of ears in her shop from Pixar to classic Mickey and Minnie ears, you’ll be left having to choose between 20 pairs! Not to mention most of her ears are $30 or less, which won’t take up too much of your snack budget. Don’t fret about ugly magic mail either (is there even such a thing?) her products are wrapped in glittering packaging and sent with Tink’s best pixie confetti and glitter! Hannah Marie Magic also offers magical outfits and ears to match! These outfits are perfect to Disneybound your favorite Disney Princesses on a beautiful day at the park or even to a costume party!

 

Now that I’ve shown you the way to some of the greatest small Disney shops, go get your shop on!

 

The Honest Millennial, making Christmas shopping easier since late 2018 😉

IMG_8621

3 Money Saving Tips for Disney

Being an Annual Passholder, saving for Disney might not be as tough for me as others because I get awesome discounts throughout the parks and I also get to just walk right in without paying for a ticket. That’s not to say that I don’t have so much more to save for when planning my Disney trips. I live in California, so I frequent Disneyland as often as I can, but I live about six hours away in Sacramento because who can afford to live in SoCal, so I have travel and hotel to save for, too! With that being considered (also my love for food, pins, spirit jerseys and Alex and Ani bracelets), I can’t just hop in a car and go on a whim (#goals).

 

Other than just starving ourselves for months and basically living our best lives at work 24/7, Geli and I have come up with some ingenious ways to save for our trips! Here’s a few that I hope may help you to fund your next trip without hating every minute you’re not at Disney:

 

1) Cash Back Apps

Most of us go grocery shopping every week, right? Well, why not make some easy money on the side just for buying the items you need. It’s easy to do especially if you have a big family because the more shopping you do, the more rewards you’re going to get.

 

I mainly use two different cash back apps: Ibotta and Fetch Rewards.

Both of these apps reward you for grocery shopping at your favorite stores. My go-to is always Target (if they rewarded you for shopping in the dollar section I would be ballin’), but they also reward for shopping at stores such as Walmart, Costco and Winco! There’s a whole lot more stores too, but these are the ones I have gotten rewards for. Here’s the kicker, not only do they reward you for your normal grocery trips, you can be rewarded for using a meal delivery service, getting your drink on, mobile shopping, traveling (use this when you book a flight or hotel for your trip), and so much more!

756D74BA-2738-4F92-A203-C995615DE577.JPG

Ibotta is definitely my favorite out of the two because I’ve already made $73 using this app in two months! I only put in the normal amount I would be spending, meaning I didn’t spend any extra money just to get the cash back! I used this app when I booked a hotel for a Disney trip and got back six bucks just for doing so and I also check out the cash back deals on snacks at Target everytime I’m getting ready for a trip cause who doesn’t need snacks for the car ride there??? The key to making a few bucks off the app for doing your shopping trips is to check out the deals for the stores you plan on going to before you leave and matching up the deals with your grocery list. If you’re using it for travel rewards, just go to the app and make sure to click the link to the site you’re using within the app or else you won’t get your cash back. If you wanna join Ibotta today, use my referral code wtqrwgw for a $10 welcome bonus when you redeem your first offer!

 

2) Personal Selling Apps

Take a long, hard look into your closet. How often do you even wear ALL of those clothes? Do they all even fit anymore? Do you have a forgotten box full of Disney collectables or 10 lanyards full of pins?? Then selling all of your extra clothes and merch on a personal selling app can bring you some moola on the side, especially the pins!

 

When I say “selling apps” I don’t mean Ebay. Ebay has A LOT of people selling items on it and often requires a large fee for selling. I personally use Poshmark and Mercari to sell my unwanted clothes and collectables. Poshmark is really good for selling clothing items and accessories while I usually sell all my miscellaneous goods on Mercari. These are both apps in which you make a listing for your item, choose your shipping option (either you can pay for it or your buyer can pay), and once your item sells you print a prepaid shipping label and off it goes. I know for sure that Mercari only charges ten percent for listings, once it’s sold, but Poshmark varies from time to time.

C7B1AB2E-3334-4A00-985F-63BC581C40A8 (1).JPG

It’s so easy to list on these websites and I often cross-list items for more views and likes. I’ve made $605 already through Poshmark, I’ve been using it for about a year and a half, and even more on Mercari. It’s not something I have to put a lot of effort into which is good when you have a full time job, 3 furry children (2 puppies), school and a blog to run! You can join Mercari today and use my link https://merc.li/VCCXdFb to get $10 off of your first purchase!  

 

I also have a few tips and tricks for selling Disney merch in particular on these apps. First, make sure what you’re selling is authentic. You might not know that the pin you traded for in the parks was a dud and the cast member just missed it. Take a picture of the backs of all pins for your listings, true pin collectors will be able to tell if they’re fakes or not. As for other merch, just make sure you show those Disney tags! For example, Tsum Tsum plushes have “butt” tags that prove they are authentic, whether from the parks or the store.

 

3) Save now for a trip later

Who doesn’t want to start planning their next Disney trip as soon as they get home?? Well planning your trips smartly can save you some big bucks for next time and also cushion your trips so that you have a little bit of emergency money on hand. Personally, I usually think pretty cheap when I’m booking my hotel room and planning things such as character breakfasts and max passes. It’s really important to prioritize your experiences. When you’re an Annual Passholder, some things aren’t as exciting anymore because you’ve had the opportunity to do them a million times. But, for others who are just going on their first Disney Parks vacation or are celebrating something special, I suggest sticking with Cash Back Apps and Selling Apps, there’s no need to scrimp on an important vacation.

 

Having stayed in most of the hotels, and motels, surrounding the Disneyland and Disney CA Adventure park, I know which hotels it’s worth it to save some money on and which I should just skip. Staying in a Disney hotel has lots of amazing perks and even more amazing pools and spas but think about it: Is it worth the extra $100-$200 per night?? Now I’m not here to argue with those who choose to stay at Disney hotels every trip, but I am here to suggest you save that for Birthdays and Anniversaries and such. Unless you’re going to stay cooped up in your hotel, exploring and napping and ordering room service, why pay the price? There’s plenty of hotels in walking distance of the park that merit amazing reviews. I’ve stayed at Motel 6 Anaheim quite a few times, since they have amazing customer service, nice rooms, a pool and are only a 10 minute walk to the parks. I typically only pay $80-$100 per night. To me and my family, a hotel is just a place to sleep and park your car. Of course, different families have different needs so plan accordingly to those.

IMG_1129

Now when it comes to character breakfasts, which typically cost about $80 each if not more, we can all agree that these are super fun ways to eat and meet all of your favorite characters. I’ve done all but one of the character breakfasts at Disneyland (I haven’t done the one at the Grand Californian) and some I thoroughly enjoy more than others, but we’ll save that review for another day. My family and I occasionally take the time to reserve a place at a character breakfast for the food and the experience, but usually we just enter the park and head straight to the Jolly Holiday. I guarantee they’ll have something for everyone, not to mention their Caramel Macchiato is waaay better than the starbucks one 😉 If we’re in CA Adventure right in the morning, we head over to Starbucks and get coffees and a breakfast treat. For my family of, usually, 6 we typically spend around $40-$50 for breakfast. Now take into account that if we had chosen a character breakfast it could be closer to $500 just for one meal! Wowza!

 

What helps you save for your Disney trips?? Let me know in the comments below!

IMG_8621.PNG

 

From Paradise Pier to Pixar Paradise

pixar pier photoPhoto Credit: Passporttotheparks.com

On June 23rd, 2018 Pixar Pier was finally open to everyone! From changes to Ariel’s Grotto to California Screamin’, everything about the pier was about to change. After its opening, many a frequent disney goer took to the boardwalk to check it out and I think it’s safe to say that most were not disappointed. Today I’m here to give you my most honest review of the new attractions and hopefully lift some of your spirits, dampened by the changes.

 

To start, I was extremely excited for the Lamplight Lounge to open and although the line was almost halfway down the pier, I was able to snag reservations for my next Disney trip at the end of October so stay tuned for a review on that! Other new food experiences included the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, Cookie Num Nums, Angry Dogs, Chicken wings, Senor Buzz Churros and a plethora of treats inside Bing Bong’s Sweet Shop. I was able to try food from many of these places and you can find my scathing opinions of those soon on Daretodreamer.com, I’ll keep you updated on when that’s posted!

IncredicoasterPhoto Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Moving on to the incredible, better get used to my puns they’re never going away, new attractions. First off on the list, The Incredicoaster which takes its rider on an adventure to catch baby Jack Jack with the whole Incredibles family (and auntie Edna of course). While the skeleton of the ride is exactly the same as its original, the concept was absolutely amazing. All of us Millennials waited and waited, as Pixar likes to make us do, to see the second installment of the Incredibles movie and when I finally got to see it I was so impressed that I went and saw it two more times! The new ride follows the most anticipated path to the storyline, what power will Jack Jack have??? Of course they just had to blow us all away and give him ALL OF THEM, being that he is the JACK of all trades. Haha. Back to the ride, you’ll definitely want to have your eyes open on this coaster or you’ll miss it all, just like we missed that Jack Jack’s name was a pun.

 

Next to this towering coaster will be the home of Jessie’s Critter Carousel, which doesn’t open until 2019, but I’m sure that it’s going to be a great ride for those with ones too little to ride the coaster. Neighbors to the critters is Toy Story Mania, nothing new here but that’s not to say that it’s not a good ride nonetheless! The last ride on the pier so far is the Pixar Pal Around Ferris Wheel, which also kept its original skeleton but got a new face lift to match the rest of the pier. Putting all my favorite Pixar characters on the cars did not change my opinion that the moving cars are nothing but jolly deathtraps waiting to plummet you to the water down below. Ahem. Anyways, there is rumors of changes to other parts of the park near the Ariel’s Undersea Adventure but we shall see if those pan out or if they just disappoint such as the rumor that Senor Buzz’s caliente churros had hot cheetos when they really only had crushed cinnamon candies.

Pixar Fest Decorations at Disneyland ResortPhoto Credit: Dapsmagic.com

Now that Pixar Fest is officially over, Disnerds can finally reflect on the super fun summer we all had rockin’ with our favorite Pixar pals. From shorts to animations, Pixar never really falls short in any aspects. Any kid from the 90’s can attest that they grew up with Pixar movies and seeing the pier transform into this new, magical state was just the cherry on top. Although the pier is still getting some renovations done, it’s nearly at its final stage where we can enjoy stepping into a story with our favorite characters either all together, on the Pixar Pal Around, or in their own stories like the incredible Incredicoaster!

 

Bye Bye bug’s land

All of us Disney fans were hit with the news earlier this year that Disney’s California Adventure would be closing down ‘a bug’s land’ to build a new (supposedly) Marvel themed land to match its massive neighbor, Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! Since it’s resurrection in 2002, the land has gotten mixed reviews about its rides which are definitely directed more towards young children. I was five years old when it opened and I recall just being in total awe, as any child visiting a Disney park feels, and 100 percent excited. “A Bug’s Life” was a pivotal movie when I was little and I was so excited to be watching it over and over that I almost couldn’t wait for the VHS to rewind. I do admit, I was just a teensy bit scared of the antagonist. Oh you know, the giant creepy grasshopper, but walking through the cutesy land and playing in Princess Dot’s Puddle Park calmed me down almost instantly.

IMG_8371

DCA was obviously geared more towards adults during its earlier days, hinting at the Golden Ages of Hollywood with Buena Vista Street, taking guests on a tour of the ‘Hollywood Pictures Backlot’ and Soarin over California. ‘A bug’s land’ added some entertainment for younger ages, not to mention more rides to the almost empty theme park. Over the years Disney has added a plethora of rides and attractions for all ages: Cars Land, Monsters Inc., Goofy’s Sky School, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and the newest Pixar Pier. There’s now so many rides that when my family and I go we spend a whole day and sometimes aren’t even able to complete everything!

 

It’s a well known habit of Disney fans, and especially lovers of the theme parks, to overreact to changes to the parks and attractions. Personally, I was broken hearted when I heard of the changes to the previously known Tower of Terror and especially when I wasn’t able to make it out to the parks before its closure. Many fans are actually surprised to find that the new attractions are *gasp* better than the old ones (insert shocked face emoji here). But, how do we properly pay tribute to such a big part of some of our childhoods and warm memories?

IMG_8337

It’s not easy. Plain and simple. Some of us may feel like a small part of us is being demolished with that little land, ride or attraction. Without physical evidence, how will we ever prove that this really was something to flock to “back in our day” (I’m really not old enough to be having to say that yet. Thanks, Disney). Of course, now that pictures come in color, it gives us a tiny advantage, but the most important tool in our box is our memories. Although I don’t have any kids of my own to declare my love of the ‘old Disney days’ to quite yet, I’ll have to keep brainstorming on how to convince them teensy bugs are awesome and candy corn is literally THE BEST compared to crime fighting superheroes.

 

As John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life, And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  So, let’s enjoy all the magic that Disney gives us, and their ability to keep up with the ever changing times.

Photo Credit: Janel Berchielli, Lifestyle Blogger