Friday, 22 January 2016

Disney: meeting the characters

This week we've been looking forward to all the character interactions while we're at Disney. We've talked about who we saw last time and who especially is on our list to meet this time. We've 'fast passed' (booked for free in advance so we don't have to wait in queue) some of our faves and some of the most popular characters - eg Anna and Elsa! 

We've spent some time talking about politeness and queue etiquette. The kids can practice their social skills, we've discussed how it's polite to say 'hello' and to greet the character by their name, to speak up clearly and to look them in the eye. We've discussed how they can politely ask for autographs using their manners and to remember to say thank you and goodbye. We've also talked about asking the characters some relevant questions eg asking Cinderella what shoe size she is, or asking Ariel how she got to her grotto when there's no water. Eden wants to ask Anna if it hurt her when she was struck by Elsa's power. 

The kids need no encouragement to colour, so we've spent some time this week colouring in some printables, which we'll take with us to give to the characters we meet. I love this website's collection of Disney characters for colouring, and they print out really well from the iPad.

We're continuing to get to know the films and characters, so have been watching Disney movies and have been in the Disney Junior website to play some games here

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Disney countdown: Memories, resort tours and Mousekeeping envelopes

The last few days we've continued our Disney countdown by looking at photos and watching our YouTube videos from our short visit 2 years ago, talking about what we remember and who/what we're looking forward to seeing again. Last time, Eden was 4 and missed the lights parade, too exhausted to stay awake, despite us trying to wake her! She's seen the videos we took, and is really looking forward to seeing the parade for herself this time. Asher is just generally super-excited and the countdown is really helping his understanding of all things Disney, and what to expect. 

We've also watched YouTube videos of the two resorts that we'll be staying at, at the start and the end of our holiday (seeing my sister in the middle). The Art of Animation resort looks particularly fun and exciting! The kids had the biggest smiles on their faces while they watched a tour of the resort! 

Eden made some 'mousekeeping' envelopes to put a tip in each day for the housekeepers as a thank you. I found the template to cut and stick them ourselves on this cool blog here:

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

DIY Mickey Mouse pizzas

Today, we did some cooking, making homemade Mickey Mouse pizzas. They were yummy! And we have some leftover pizza for tomorrow, bonus! 

Disney Countdown

We're very excited to be going to Florida in the spring, to visit my sister and her family. We've taken the kids before, but this time now that they're a bit older, as well as seeing Jo, we plan to spend longer than we have on previous visits in Orlando, going to Disney! 

The first time we visited, we just went to Seaworld. Eden was only 15 months at the time. I have such fun memories of her just beginning to run at that age. She was very entertaining as we visited the park! 

Below is a photo of Eden about to get dunked by a bucket of water above her, and Luke's comical reaction! 
Two years ago, we had Asher with us too, it was just before his second birthday. We visited Seaworld again, and also Aquatica, which we LOVED! But we also did just one day at Disney, at Magic Kingdom. It definitely whetted our appetite on Disney Magic, and it truly was an amazing day that we made the most of, from park opening to dark after the parade finished. 
This time, both kids are old enough to fully appreciate a Disney experience, and I've loved planning our Itinery! I thought it would add to the excitement and anticipation if we started a daily Disney Countdown to when we go. I have a different, simple, activity planned for each day as a fun 'project' for us, to help with planning, preparation and packing! 

We'll cover history, geography, cooking, arts and crafts, dress up and imaginative play, computer skills and lots of other learning opportunities along the way! In our family, we love making memories together, and I know the countdown in itself will provide memorable moments before we even get there! 

Yesterday, Eden started us off with our countdown by suggesting we make some bunting - fab idea! I went onto Twinkl, an education website that I use a lot, and made some DIY 'we're off to Disney' bunting, which the kids then coloured in and added Disney characters to. 

I'd also pre-prepared a countdown calendar, with the traditional crossing off the days until we go. 
I'm going to enjoy keeping a record of our activities in preparation over the next few weeks.