October 25, 2016

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

 Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Guilt-Free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Last week we had our first hint of fall here in Southern California. Temperatures dropped from the high 90s and we were blessed with several cool days. I struggle to cook in the summer months because it’s just so darned hot in my little house without air conditioning. And I sure do get bored eating salad at every meal! As soon as I felt a cool in the air, I delighted in baking chocolate chip cookies and made a delicious pot roast in the Dutch oven. I also made a family favorite, my roasted garlic and rosemary potato soup recipe.

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

I’ve been making this soup for years, much to the delight of my family. I like that I can prepare the potatoes ahead of time and then put together the soup quickly for dinner.This soup is appropriately creamy and flavorful with a wholesome thickness but without the guilt that creamy soups usually have. You know, like tons of butter and cream? Not here!

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Half of the potatoes are peeled, then sprinkled with chopped onion and rosemary and drizzled with olive oil

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Check out that beautiful garlic clove, pure heaven!

No butter or heavy cream in this one, just a little bit of half and half. The thickness comes from the potatoes themselves, pureed into the base inside your blender. Couldn’t be easier! And if you wanted to make it even more of a healthy dish, you could replace the half and half with milk instead.

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

This soup is wonderful served as a meal of its own or alongside a fresh green salad, turkey sandwich or just a piece of buttered bread (that’s how I had it!) We had a small amount left over for lunch the next day so I warmed it back up in a pot with a drizzle of milk to thin it and it reheated back up nicely. Mmmm, such a warm and cozy fall meal, I think you’ll love my Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe


  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bulb garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth (or one bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups of water)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of half and half


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cube three of the potatoes and place on one side of a 9" x 2" pan.
  3. Cube the remaining three potatoes with the skin on and place those on the other side of the pan (peeled potatoes on one side, unpeeled on the other).
  4. Sprinkle chopped onion and snipped rosemary across the top of the potatoes.
  5. Peel off the dry outsides on the garlic bulb. Cut across the top, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the cloves. Place upright in the center of the pan.
  6. Drizzle oil across the top of garlic and potatoes.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Set aside to fully cool.
  8. Squeeze the garlic paste from the bulbs into a high-powered blender.
  9. Add peeled potatoes, half the onion, half the broth and all of the flour and pepper into the blender.
  10. Blend until nearly smooth.
  11. Pour into a medium saucepan and add in unpeeled potatoes, rest of onion and broth. Add half and half.
  12. Cook until bubbly and warm.
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October 18, 2016

5 Favorite Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels

Check out this list of my Favorite Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels

The area around the Disneyland resort is packed with hotels, many that are within a quick walking distance to the park gates. If staying at one of the Disneyland resort hotels is beyond your budget, these tried and tested hotels in the Anaheim area are highly recommended. While there are many hotels, I’m only going to suggest hotels that I’ve actually stayed in. This is my list of my five favorite off-site Disneyland area hotels.

Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels – Criteria

Must be reasonably priced and clean. We’ve stayed at plenty of the “cheap” hotels but you sometimes get what you pay for in that sense. The hotels we stay at offer great amenities and are close to the Disneyland resort.

Check out this list of my Favorite Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels

Holiday Inn Express Anaheim Penthouse Suite

Holiday Inn Express Anaheim

Located about half a mile away from the Disneyland park front gates, this newer hotel has plenty of perks. From the clean and chic design, complimentary hot breakfast and options for roomy family suites this is a great location if you don’t mind a little walk at the end of the night.

See the full review on Traveling Mom.

Anaheim Residence Inn

Oh yeah, another one with a free breakfast buffet! What a great money saver for a big family. Located about a half mile from the park gates, the Anaheim Residence Inn resembles town homes. And with full kitchens and roomy suites these can totally be a home away from home, making this a great place to stay for a longer vacation.

Check out this list of my Favorite Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels

Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

This newly refurbished gem is ideal for families who like a lot of space. The standard rooms are large and the grounds of the hotel are spacious. Kids will like the elegant castle theming throughout and grown-ups will like the decent price! Guests can also watch the fireworks from Disneyland from the hotel pool area.

Read the full review on Traveling Mom.


This photo was taken from the parking lot of the Park Vue Inn, facing the front entrance of the Disneyland Resort

Park Vue Inn

You can’t get much closer to the park entrance than this! It’s located directly across the street from the main entrance. This is a no-frills hotel but it was clean and offered a continental breakfast, which is always a plus. And there’s a Coldstone Creamery right there, bonus!

Check out this list of my Favorite Off-Site Disneyland Area Hotels

Anaheim Marriott Hotel

Anaheim Marriott Hotel

This classy hotel is several long blocks away from the park, but they do offer a shuttle to the gates (nominal fee). I’m all for a comfy bed and linens and this location delivered.

On or Off Site?

If you’re on the fence about staying on-site at a Disneyland Resort hotel or off-site, be sure to check out these posts outlining the pros and cons about staying off-site and the benefits of staying on-site.

disneyland-resort  hotel-pin

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels

Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

When it comes to booking, if you aren’t particular about the hotel, I highly recommend making your reservation through Priceline. We’ve been able to get a superior room for $60 (even on a weekend!) Click the Priceline link via Ebates and you’ll save a few dollars cash back that way too (every little bit helps!)

Though many of these off-site hotels do have a “Disney Desk” that offers sales of Disneyland tickets, I still recommend that you purchase tickets at a discount ahead of time through Park Savers.

Park Savers affiliate link

Please note that I received compensated stays at some of these locations, which in no way swayed my opinion. This post contains affiliate links.




October 14, 2016

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration at LEGOLAND® California Resort

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

We’ve been attending the Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND California with my kids since it’s inception! We love the party exclusive entertainment, generous treat stations and the all-around vibrant energy throughout the park. LEGOLAND is so much fun during the day, especially for little ones (check out my post about taking preschoolers to LEGOLAND, on TravelingMom). Be sure to keep reading and see how you can combine a full day enjoying the park and stay late for the party!

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND is the biggest kids’ Halloween celebration in San Diego and offers children and their families trick-or-treating and entertainment throughout the Park. It takes place each Saturday night (Oct. 1,8,15,22, & 29) starting at 5 p.m., when LEGOLAND California transforms into a not-too-spooky Halloween party.

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

This year features a new Ghost Cruise adventure, a new pop-badge challenge through Fun Town, a new theater show in Castle Hill, a fall festival complete with a LEGO® pumpkin patch building activity and blue-grass style music in LEGO Friends Heartlake City, treat stations with specialty items including a  LEGO® commemorative Brick, roaming candy carts throughout the Park and two bonus treat stations inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium.

On our visit last year we were able to trick or treat through the park, go on a few rides and participate in a dance party. Read my post about last year’s experience on TravelingMom, Is the LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Party Worth the Extra Cost?

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is a special event and admission can be purchased for as low as $35 if purchased online in advance. Special event ticket holders can enjoy costume contests, trick-or-treating at treat stations and candy carts filled with tasty goodies and other surprises, festive music, live entertainment including the hilarious “Boo Crew,” a dazzling animated Spirits of Brick-or-Treat light show, and new Ghost Cruise adventure. The LEGO themed treat stations and candy carts offer a safe, fun and entertaining trick-or-treating experience for all to enjoy. Last year we received Clif Kids Z-Bars, Red Vines, Honest Kids juice pouches and commemorative LEGO bricks!

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

Guests can also “boo-gie” down at frighteningly-fun dance parties: Hubble Bubble’s Dance Party atop the Model Shop in Miniland U.S.A., Pirate Booty Boogie at SEA LIFE Aquarium, plus sing and dance along to the music and mayhem in the Monster Fighter Mash featured at the Fun Town Stage.  An all new show, “The Curse of the Hallowmeenie” debuts at the Castle Stage in Castle Hill.  Special event guests can also enjoy entertainment from The Witchettes, Bluegrass Band Jamboree and a special LEGO Friends meet and greet in Heartlake City, where kids can decorate their own craft.

LEGOLAND® California Resort Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration

LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on select dates throughout October. With special event admission to Brick-or-Treat Party Nights on October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 guests can extend their day until 9pm at both LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium to enjoy all the Halloween festivities.

Legoland Blogger

October 13, 2016

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

CHOC Children’s began as a regional hospital in 1964. Today, it has grown to be a regional healthcare leader that treats patients from throughout with United States and around the world. CHOC Children’s is now made up of two hospitals, as well as more than 30 specialty clinics and programs, and four renowned centers of excellence – the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience Orthopaedic, and Hyundai Cancer Institutes. Moreover, CHOC Orange offers the only pediatric emergency department in the region and, in 2014, began operating a Level II pediatric-focused trauma center.

Walt Disney was a champion for CHOC right from the start. In fact, he was even on the hospital’s first board of directors more than 50 years ago. Today, the Disneyland Resort continues to stay very involved with CHOC through the Disneyland Resort Patient and Family Lobby featuring the Disney California Adventure Park attraction Turtle Talk With Crush twice daily for patients and their siblings, frequent character visits, and of course, presenting CHOC “Walk in the Park”—the largest and most unique pediatric walk event in the nation. In addition, the Disney-led Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders team is on track to be the highest fundraising groups for this year’s event.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

The 2016 walk covers three miles through Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park where “CHOC walkers” get a special peek at the magic of the Disneyland Resort before the parks open to the general public. At the end of the 5k walk, the event continues in the resort’s Downtown Disney District at the CHOC Walk Festival where event sponsors, hospital support groups, shops and restaurants have special offers for participants.

Those who want to walk in the event can register at  chocwalk.org and join a team or walk as an individual. All funds raised through the CHOC Walk benefit the hospital’s KidsCare Fund. This special fund provides support to the programs and services in the greatest need—from mental health services to an expanded neonatal intensive care unit to providing healthcare for children and families who cannot afford to pay.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

There are many great reasons to take part in the CHOC Walk, in addition to the huge impact the funds that are donated and raised make on the health and wellbeing of Southern California’s children. Here are three reasons that Disney-loving families will really like.

  1. Participating in the CHOC Walk and supporting CHOC Children’s is an opportunity to carry on Walt Disney’s passion for supporting the health and wellness of the children in the community surrounding the Disneyland Resort and the advancement of pediatric medicine. Raising money for CHOC Children’s provides parents the opportunity to teach their children about the importance of helping others—even children—in their community. It can be particularly powerful for children to learn that their fundraising can help other, less fortunate kids.
  2. By raising money for the CHOC Walk, walkers can earn prizes, including free Disneyland Resort tickets that can provide a cost-saving option for families planning a Disneyland Resort vacation. Participants who raise between $375 and $599 earn one 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket. Participants who raise $600 or more earn two 1-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets.
  3. By participating in the walk, families are not only helping to further CHOC’s mission, they are also able to gain a unique look at the Disneyland Resort through the Walk experience, purchase reduced-rate group ticket admission for the parks as part of the perks of participating in the CHOC Walk and enjoy special discounts in the Downtown Disney District the day of the walk. Together, all of these make the CHOC Walk an ideal time to plan a family getaway or staycation to the Disneyland Resort.

Love Disney? Support the CHOC Walk & Earn a Free Disneyland Day!

In order to purchase the reduced-rate group tickets, walkers must present their CHOC Walk In the Park wristband at a Disneyland Resort Ticket Booth to purchase a special CHOC-Tober Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper ticket for $83 or a 1-Day 1-Park Ticket for $55 for use on the day of the walk or another visit to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. A maximum of five tickets may be purchased per wristband. The offer is valid on October 30, 2016 only. Tickets expire November 30, 2016 and are blocked out November 19-23, 2016.

Event and registration information can be found at www.chocwalk.org and real-time event information can also be found on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This year’s hashtag is #chocwalk.

October 11, 2016

7 Top Tips to Save Money on Food at Disney Parks

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

Dining is an important part of a Disney vacation. You can certainly include all the fun restaurants and character dining experiences into part of your entertainment for the day, at a cost of course. But if you’d rather spend your money on something else, keep reading. Eating inside the Disney parks can be expensive! So how can you save money on food at Disney parks? Check out my expert tips how budgeting food, packing your own and even what to order that will help you save a lot!

Save Money on Food at Disney

These are my 7 top tips for how to save money on food at Disney. Try one or try them all, you will be shocked to know you could save hundreds off the cost of your vacation implementing just a few of these ideas.

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

Stay Off the Dining Plan

Contrary to what Disney will have you believe, the Dining Plan isn’t the best bargain. True, it’s convenient to pay for meals upfront and not have to worry about paying the bill each time you eat. But unless you are eating at the most expensive locations and ordering the most expensive dishes every time, you won’t be getting the best value. You’ll also be receiving a lot of food, including dessert so depending upon your appetite it might be too much food. Also, everyone in your group has to be included in the Plan so there’s not opportunity to share. There’s more about why to skip on the Disney Dining Plan on TravelingMom.

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

Flatbread at Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Skip a Meal

I know, sounds odd that I would suggest that you DON’T EAT as a way to save money! But hear me out…here are several ways you can opt out of purchasing another meal and save yourself a chunk of money.

Instead of buying a restaurant breakfast, have your family eat a meal to go that you prepare in your hotel room. Run hot water through the coffee maker to make oatmeal with store-bought packs. Nibble fresh fruit while waiting for the bus. Tote crunchy granola bars or trail mix to munch on while you walk to the parks. Provide just enough breakfast to fill tummies before you purchase an early lunch in the parks.

Or consider this second way of meal skipping; Eat a large breakfast (perhaps indulging in a buffet at a character experience) that will stave you off until late afternoon. Enjoy a snack or two mid-day (something that you pack in), skip lunch completely and then eat dinner early.

We’ve also done this: Early breakfast that we packed in, eaten while waiting for rope drop. Several decent snacks throughout the day that you brought with you. Big lunch purchased in the park, something hearty that will fill you up, eaten past your usual lunch time (this is a great way to avoid the usual crowds during the lunch rush too). Then when you get hungry late in the evening for your usual dinner meal, enjoy a special treat instead like ice cream! Ice cream for dinner is one of our favorite ways to celebrate at Disney.

#Dinner is served! Gibson Girl #IceCream sundae #Disneyland #dessert #TMOM

A photo posted by Julie Bigboy (@juliebutterfly2000) on

Dine for Breakfast

If you really want to enjoy a Character Dining Experience, consider booking one for breakfast instead of lunch or dinner. The breakfasts are considerable less pricey and no less enjoyable. Sure you won’t get freshly carved meats but you’ll still get a hearty breakfast buffet and the same fun character interactions you’d find at dinner. We’ve enjoyed the Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at the Paradise Pier Hotel and Minnie and Friends – Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn. At Walt Disney World you can even find a character breakfast at a non-Disney resort hotel (the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista) near Disney Springs for half the price of Disney parks character meals – Check out this review on Traveling Mom, Save Half the Cost on Disney Character Meal.

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

Mickey waffles at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista for half the price of usual Disney character dining

Water Only

Skip the soda and ditch the juice. Water is your budget-friendly beverage option! Feel free to bring in your own bottled water or an empty bottle that you can refill at the fountains. Ask for complimentary ice water at any quick service restaurant. That’s a savings of at least $2 per person, per meal to just drink water.

Share a Plate

If each person in your group orders their own dish, you’ll not only be stuck with a large bill you also may be stuck with leftovers! Since leftover food is unpractical (and depending upon the food, it could require refrigeration to keep it safe to eat), so it’s better to order just enough to enjoy fresh. Many of the platters in the Disney parks are large enough to share between two or more people.

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

We shared these generous platters of food in Epcot’s Morocco pavillion

You can find large platters at full-service and quick-service dining locations. Full-service restaurants may charge a plate-splitting fee. If you’re eating quick-service, request extra plates to divvy up the meal. One place you will be unable to share is at the buffet (unless you have a child 2 and under).

Be sure to read this post for exact recommendations on what to order at the Disneyland resort:

What are the Best Meals for Sharing at the Disneyland Resort?

Sharing Meals-PIN

Sharing is a great idea when it comes to park purchased snacks and treats as well. Did you know that if you buy one of those enormous candied apples, they will slice it up for you to make it easier to share? And buying the Kitchen Sink dessert sundae is less expensive than purchasing individual ice creams. You can even buy cones separately if you want to take some of the sundae and put it in a cone (which is what I did for my kid!)

Top Tips on Saving Money on Food at Disney Parks

Get Groceries

Getting groceries is a practical way of stretching the food budget while at the Disney parks. This will allow you to keep food in the hotel fridge. Things like milk with cereal for breakfast, fresh fruits and veggies for snacking or even frozen dinners that can be microwaved (if you hotel room has one) are all great ways to save on the cost of restaurant dining. If you’re visiting Disneyland, a grocery store or Target is just a few miles away so you can easily drive your rental car or take Uber to the store to supply whatever you need. At Walt Disney World, there are many grocers that can deliver foods directly to your resort hotel. Local places like Garden Grocer and WeGoShop will deliver for a relatively low fee. You could also use Amazon or Amazon Prime Pantry for your grocery needs and have them delivered to your resort.

Pack Snacks (or a Full Meal)

Yes, you can take in your own food to the Disney parks, just use common sense when packing in snacks or meals. Certain foods will require they be kept cool, like lunch meat so pack them in a soft sided cooler with a chill pack. We packed in a full tray of sandwiches from Costco on our last trip; we kept it in a cool bag underneath the stroller and it was good until lunchtime! Bag up precut veggies or fruit. Pack items that won’t get crushed or broken in your bag (nobody wants that mushy banana, do they?) Crunchy granola bars, sturdy crackers, nuts and dried fruit are also good choices that will keep in your bag all day. That’s my kid, eating the Costco sandwiches and carrots we toted in!

How do you save money on food at Disney parks? Share your tips in the comments!


October 9, 2016

Disney On Ice Passport to Adventure – An Honest Review

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

Last week my family experienced Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure on opening night in San Diego. Though I’ve been to Disneyland many many times, for whatever reason we’ve never been to Disney on Ice! Knowing how well Disney puts on a show, I knew to expect top notch entertainment but to be honest, I was still blown away!

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

A Jawdropping Live Production

It dawned on me that though I’ve watched ice skating on television for years, I’ve never actually seen it in person (other than a hockey game). To watch the performers jump, leap and twirl right in front of you is quite spectacular. I literally gasped at some of the stunts during the show. The costuming was so bright and fun and having the Disney characters there added to the enjoyment. I loved hearing the squeals of delight from the crowd when recognizable characters skated out onto the ice. I’m still trying to decide which part was my favorite (it’s a toss up between Tinker Bell’s pixie dust or the dancing starfish “Under the Sea”). I had my 6-month old on my lap and she kicked and laughed through the whole show (especially when she spotted her favorite, Minnie Mouse!)

Gadgets & Gismos Galore

There were so many great souvenirs in the lobby from t-shirts, light spinners and glow-in-the-dark sno-cones! I’m not sure how much anything cost as I’d already prepped the kids that we wouldn’t be able to purchase anything during the show. Since I had all four kids with me, I went the budget route and brought in a package of Dollar Spot glow stick bracelets so they wouldn’t feel left out. The kids had a good time putting on their glowing jewelry while we waited for the show to begin. Many of the kids in the crowd wore their Disney costumes which added to the excitement of the show.

First #DisneyOnIce for all of us! We’re excited for this #PassportToAdventure @disneyonice #hosted

A photo posted by Julie Bigboy (@juliebutterfly2000) on

Little Ones? Take Them to the Matinee

We attended a show on a Thursday at 7 pm. Due to the late hour, my 4-yr old was tired and ready to leave just after the intermission. He was enjoying the show but could barely keep his eyes open and ended up falling asleep against his big brother just before the Frozen scene began. If you have little ones, consider a matinee so they can stay alert for the entire presentation. It was also a school night so my big kids were getting tired as well. We ended up leaving a bit early so we could gracefully carry him out to the car without much disturbance.

I sure was disappointed not to see the rest of the show (we left just as Elsa finished singing “Let it Go”) and would love to return to another Disney on Ice production and stay for the whole thing! Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure was truly entertainment for the whole family.

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

Thank you to Feld Entertainment for supplying me with complimentary tickets so that my family could see the Disney on Ice show in San Diego.

September 30, 2016

9 Expert Tips for Dining with a Baby at Disney

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

Dining with a Baby at Disney

Babies have to eat just like the rest of us, vacation or not! And dining with a baby at Disney doesn’t have to be complicated, it just takes a bit of advanced planning. Here are all the tips on which restaurants are best for babies, what dishes are appropriate for sharing, highchairs, what you need to bring and where you can feed them.

What to Bring

You can pack your own baby food and snacks to bring with you into the parks. Plastic baby food tubs or pouches are ideal since they are lightweight. Normally glass containers are not allowed into the parks, with the exception of glass baby food jars. But for the sake of break-ability, you might want to just go with baby food in plastic instead.

Consider repackaging baby snacks (like crackers or yogurt melts) into smaller zip-close bags as they will take up less space than the original containers. If baby can’t use a full sized spoon yet, pack your own baby spoons and wash them in the sink. Or bring in disposable baby spoons to make it easier, like the Munchkin Infant Spoon Set. I’ve included a few more details on other items you might be considering bringing with you, from the highchair cover, place mats, bibs and wipes. Keep reading for my meal recommendations for little ones too!

Highchair Cover?

On a recent Walt Disney World visit, I considered bringing a highchair cover for my 6-month old daughter but the cover is so bulky and I had such a small amount of space to store it in the stroller basket. I decided to leave the cover behind and just place my daughter directly in the highchair. First I made sure that the buckle was working properly on the highchair. Then I took a baby wipe and cleaned off all surfaces that she could reach. One less thing I had to tote around!

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

Disposable Place Mats

Because we all know that babies don’t always keep their food on the plate (more often the not the plate ends up flipped over or on the floor!), these disposable place mats allow you to serve baby finger foods directly from a clean surface. Just peel off the strips in the back to reveal the adhesive and stick the mat directly onto the tabletop. The place mat stays put and baby can pick up her food from the clean mat. When meal time is done, just peel off the mat and discard. And these mats feature Mickey and Minnie!

Amazon Affiliate link: Neat Solutions Table Topper, Disney Mickey Mouse and Neat Solutions Table Topper, Disney Minnie Mouse

Disposable Bibs

Nobody wants to tote yucky food-covered bibs all day through the parks which is why these disposable paper bibs are wonderful. As you can see, they came in handy when our little boy was eating baked beans at the (now gone) Big Thunder Ranch BBQ.

What do you mean the beans are all gone?

What do you mean the beans are all gone?

The tabs fasten around baby’s neck and are made of a material that catches the food and drips but won’t soak through to baby’s clothes. We always have these in the diaper bag to keep the baby’s shirt clean while dining.

Amazon Affiliate link: Mickey Mouse Disposable Bibs by Disney Baby and Disney Minnie Mouse Disposable Bibs


Drink Up!

Long days at Disney can dehydrate anyone so make sure your baby has a cup with water. You can request ice water from any quick service dining location and pour it into their cup. My little one is just learning how to use a sipper cup with handles like these. If cups tend to disappear, consider bringing these inexpensive “take and toss” cups that won’t bother you too much if they are lost.

Amazon Affiliate link: NUK Disney Learner Cup with Silicone Spout,, The First Years Disney Take & Toss Sipp Princess Pack and Sassy Disney Mickey Character Cup

A “dropper stopper” leash that you attach to baby’s cup will keep it from being tossed on the floor or thrown out of the stroller.

Amazon Affiliate Link: Sister Chic Dropper Stopper Sippy Cup and Tether Toy

Clean Up Quick

Baby wipes are so versatile and I always have a bunch of them to use throughout the day for cleaning off surfaces that my baby will touch. They also make quick work of food messes so you can wipe off baby’s hands and face after meal time. Buy a big refill box and a portable case. Reload the case each morning with fresh wipes and store it in the diaper bag.

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

I actually used up all my wipes with a few hours left to go in the park. Fortunately they had a refill packet for sale of Huggies wipes in the Baby Care Center so I could get through the rest of the day!

Amazon Affiliate Link: HUGGIES One & Done Refreshing Baby Wipes and Disney Mickey & Minnie Mouse Wipes Case


Where to Eat

Naturally, any restaurant inside the Disney parks will be appropriate and welcoming for your baby. You can also feed your baby inside any of the Baby Care Centers. There are highchairs, microwaves for heating food, sinks for cleaning up and even supplies (like extra food and snacks) available for purchase.

Dining with a Baby at Disney

Step inside the air conditioned Baby Care Centers for baby dining areas including high chairs.

If your baby loves the characters, consider one of the Character Dining Experiences. Baby will be able to meet n’ greet with their favorites as they eat. The characters will come directly to their highchair and you’ll be able to snap pictures and request autographs.

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

What to Order

No need to place a separate order for baby if he is able to eat table food. If you are ordering a plate of food in a full-service or quick-service restaurant, you can share with babies (2 and under) from your plate for free. If you’re dining at a buffet, you may fill a plate of food for baby without any charge. Good meals to share with baby includes the rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes at Flo’s V8 Cafe, Garden Vegetable Burger at Village Haus and Penne Pasta from Plaza Inn.

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

Nibbling on a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf

You can certainly bring in your own baby food but if you need additional pureed baby food or snacks, you can also purchase them at the Baby Care Centers inside each of the parks.

Dining with a Baby at Disney? Follow these 9 expert tips!

A classic: Fries and hamburger!

If your older baby can eat their own meal, many locations offer a Toddler Meal that’s a smaller size with flavors that little ones may enjoy. Cheesy macaroni seems to be the main dish offered at most of the locations but you can also get rice and beans at Rancho del Zocalo or Arroz con Pollo at Cocina Cucamonga. These meals also come with applesauce and lo-fat milk.

Snacks to Pack

Avoid anything that will get easily broken or melted in your diaper bag all day. Dry Cheerio-type cereal is always a hit. My little boy loved the yogurt melts and I can’t wait until his little sister can enjoy them too. And since it’s a vacation and baby should have a treat too, bring some cookies for baby to enjoy as well!

Amazon Affiliate Link: Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts Snack Variety Pack, Ella’s Kitchen Organic Snack Bundle


What’s your favorite dining with a baby at Disney tip? Share with me in the comments!


September 20, 2016

Disney on Ice at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center – GIVEAWAY!

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

As much as we are a Disney-family, we’ve never been to Disney on Ice! We’ve seen the signs around town but I guess I always thought it would be out of our price range. Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure, coming to San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center on Oct 6th-9th. Did you know that ticket prices start at just $15? And special Opening Night discount tickets are available for only $12 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row levels). We’ll be there on opening night and we can’t WAIT!

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

Mickey and Minnie will take audiences on a sightseeing adventure created for the entire family to explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell.  Plus, travel to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favorite, huggable snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all.

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure features an international team of award-winning figure skaters, high-energy choreography and a colorful set that captures all four unique worlds. Upbeat music, lovable characters and unforgettable moments make this an experience families will cherish forever!


When I asked my kids if they wanted to see the show, they all enthusiastically said “YES!” (even the 12-yr olds) so I think this family-friendly production will be a hit with young and old alike.

Disney on Ice at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center

3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego CA 92110

  • Thursday, Oct. 6              7:00 PM
  • Friday, Oct. 7                    7:00 PM
  • Saturday, Oct. 8               11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, Oct. 9                   1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

All seats are reserved; tickets are available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.  *tickets prices are subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Passport To Adventure, along with the full line up of Disney On Ice productions for the 2016-2017 season are currently available.  Visit http://presale.disneyonice.com for the shows and dates coming to your hometown.

You can also follow the Disney On Ice fun via social media outlets:

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

Opening Night in San Diego Ticket Giveaway!

The giveaway is for a family 4-pack of tickets for Opening Night, in San Diego, Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7pm.  The vouchers will be mailed to the winner and can be exchanged at the box office for seat tickets for this show only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


September 19, 2016

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing Disney inspired Halloween costumes. Disney princess costumes don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You can still dress your little princess in an easy and budget-friendly Disney princess costume that she’ll be able to wear for Halloween, dress-up or to the Parks! Even if you don’t think you can sew a costume, you can make one of these easy Disney princess costumes. Using a store bought t-shirt as a base, you’ll be able to add purchased trim to create a fun Disney-bound type costume.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Keep reading for the tutorial on how to make a princess costume from a t-shirt.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links

The Idea Spark

A quick Google search will give you an idea of princess styles and colors. There are certain characteristics in the costumes that each character wears, like Rapunzel’s crisscrossed bodice and the draping on Belle’s dress. And each princess has a certain color scheme, like Jasmine’s turquoise and gold and Elsa’s icy blue and white. The characteristics of the style isn’t as important as the princess color scheme. If you keep with a recognizable color scheme you can design your shirt however you like.

For Rapunzel: Schiff Grosgrain Ribbon in Orchid
For Jasmine: Metallic Gold Lace Trim
For Cinderella: Satin Ribbon Rose Flowers

I decided to make my little gal a Snow White DisneyBound outfit. Snow White’s color scheme is dark blue, red, yellow and white. But Snow White’s look is pretty simple and I wanted it a little fancier. Using the color scheme, I designed a top with various ribbons, lace and ribbon roses. It’s not exactly like Snow White, but as long as you keep within the color schemes that make each princess recognizable, you can be creative in the style of each princess top.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Start with a T-Shirt

A t-shirt is a quick and easy way to make a costume base. This shirt cost me less than $5 and I already had these trims on hand. You can layer trims, sew appliques or add ribbons and buttons to create the look you want.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – If you sew on non-stretchy trim, this will make the shirt less stretchy as well. Just keep this in mind before sewing trim on that you’ll still need to get this shirt on and off your child. For example, if you sew trim all the way around the neckline, it will no longer be able to stretch over her head. Use non-stretchy trim minimally, especially around areas like the hem, neckline and arm holes.

Lay out your trims onto the outfit until you come up with a design that you are happy with. Don’t cut the trim until you have it pinned down and at the length that you want.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – When pinning on the trims, tuck something firm inside the shirt to separate the front and back so you don’t pin through the entire shirt. A piece of cardboard or flattened cereal box works well.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – Ribbons are slippery so pin them a LOT when you’re prepping. Once you get the shirt on the sewing machine, you’ll find that the ribbons tend to shift so take your time and move slowly, removing pins as you reach them.

Adding little details like these pre-made ribbon roses adds just the right touch to complete your look!

 Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Buy Inexpensive Bottoms

Tights and leggings are cheap and quick ways to complete your costume. I looked for yellow leggings at the store for my princess but they didn’t sell them in itty-bitty sizes. I found a pretty floral print at Old Navy that worked nicely with the colors on the top and still gives this modern Snow White a woodsy feel.

For Sleeping Beauty (aka: Princess Aurora): Little Girl’s Ruffle leggings

Want the sparkle without the messy glitter? Opt for a sequined circle skirt that will give your girl all the twirl and none of the glittery mess!

For Ariel – Sequin Dance Tutu Skirt for Girls

Tutu Tutorial

Tulle fabric is very inexpensive and easy to work with. I love the sparkly tulle that has the sequins and sparkle attached. It also has some stretch to it, so you can sew it directly onto the hem of your t-shirt if you wish. Or make a tutu using one of the many tutorials on Pinterest and your princess will be tutu-cute in no time!

An icy blue for Elsa: Sparkle Tulle Teal Fabric By The Yard and a pretty gold for Belle: Sparkle Tulle Gold Fabric By The Yard


For more Disney inspired Halloween costumes,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | Disney Inspired Halloween Costumes Loop:




September 14, 2016
1 Comment

Disney Halloween Tricks, Treats and Costumes

Round-up of Disney Halloween costumes, treats and decorations.

’tis the season to start your Halloween planning, if you haven’t already! I love to participate in local festivities and like to have our family costumes ready and the house decorated when October rolls around (or earlier, if that’s your thing!). I’m more of a “decorate for Autumn in general” kind of person and have fewer specifically Halloween decorations, but some of these are just so fun! And of course there are always so many fun Pinterest-type of treats to make for the family. I’ve collected some of my favorite Disney Halloween tricks, treats and costumes to share with you here.

This post contains affiliate links

It’s a Nightmare

Jack and Sally have taken over the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and you can get in the spirit in your house too! Check out these Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion themed items that add just the right amount of scare to your lair. I love the cool details on that baseball tee (and I wish it came in women’s sizes!)

from left to right (all from Disney Store) : Haunted Mansion ApronJack Skellington Plush Pillow, Haunted Mansion Table Setting

Jack Skellington Bangle by Alex and AniHaunted Mansion Dress, Hatbox Ghost Baseball Tee

Jack Skellington cookies have to be the easiest because you only need to two colors of royal icing and they go together so quickly! I made these cookies for a bake sale and they were the first to sell out.

Round-up of Disney Halloween costumes, treats and decorations.

Spooky Little Touches

I like to make my seasonal decor subtle, almost like a Hidden Mickey. These Halloween dishtowels just speak to me…I mean we all need dishtowels, right? Why not make them seasonally fun!
From left to right (Amazon affiliate links)Disney Parks Mickey Minnie Mouse Pumpkin Halloween Kitchen Dish Towels, Disney Parks Mickey Mouse Halloween Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Votive Ceramic Candle Holder, Disney Villains Candy Bowl


This pumpkin spice cupcake is available at Disneyland and could be replicated at home.

Round-up of Disney Halloween costumes, treats and decorations.

All Things Star Wars

Star Wars Halloween costumes have been popular since I was a kid and there’s no stopping them now, with the release of the new films.

From left to right (Disney Store & Amazon affiliate links)Rey Costume, Star Wars Darth Vader Trick-or-Treat Pail, Kylo Ren Lightsaber


Check out these cool Star Wars-inspired pumpkins I found on Pinterest from DIY Candy!

The New Trends

From Moana to Finding Dory to Tsum Tsums, here are three costumes that are perfectly on-trend! And the goggles on the Dory costume…love!!

From left to Right (Disney Store affiliate)Maui Costume, Dory, Minnie Tsum Tsum

If a pumpkin could ever be adorable, these are it! Tsum Tsum pumpkins from Disney Rewards.

For the Kids

I like the bodysuit costumes for baby that allow for dress up that’s still comfortable & diaper convenient. And cool accessories for older kids that want to participate but might not want to dress in full costume.

From left to right (Disney Store & Amazon affiliate links) – Belle Baby Bodysuit Costume, Stitch Mitts Plush Gloves, Disney Mickey and Minnie Halloween Tee, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Wizard Hat


Which of these Halloween Disney items are on your list this year? Share in the comments!