Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Links: Princess Cupcakes, MM+, Boardwalk Gingerbread, and A BABY GIRAFFE

Hope it's been a fun Black Friday for everyone!  Did you guys take part in the retail melee?  I was more on the working rather than the buying side of things, but it was a fun day, and I did find a few good deals.

NOW I invite you all to take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of tea, shake off your shopping stresses, and peruse five fabulous Disney links! :)

1. I just realized I'm leaving for Disney World in TEN DAYS.  Can I get a WOOT WOOT??  There are SO many things I want to check of them is the new gingerbread display at the Boardwalk!!  They've done a Stitch scene in the Boardwalk lobby in the past, which, while cute, didn't exactly fit the theme.  This new creation is spot-on!

2. Very interesting observations from Mice Chat on the progress (or rather lack thereof) of My Magic Plus, Next Gen, and the future of various Disney Parks projects (mostly Disneyland).  This sentence stood out at me: "The execs pushing NextGen and glossing over its early failures have no front line experience running a theme park, nor do they have passion for providing the park visitors with a great experience, which is the fatal flaw behind the MagicBand’s problems."  I'm not saying I dislike My Magic Plus - I haven't properly experienced it yet - but there are a lot of things about it that make me uneasy...

3. Regardless of my doubts about MM+, I have to admit it's pretty and shiny. ;) Mouse on the Mind shares a slick new box she just received with My Magic info and a super spiffy Mickey light-up USB drive.  I'm SO jealous.  I'm always a fan of fancy marketing.

4. Want to look at some adorable pictures of a baby giraffe?  You know you do!  Jambo Everyone has photos and details on Mosi, the new giraffe at the Animal Kingdom and the latest addition to the Kilamanjaro Safari family.

5. Today I discovered that there is a such a thing as a Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Party Game:

With my love of Disney cupcakes, it was basically impossible to leave it on the shelf.  I may or may not have used a 30% coupon to buy it, and the cute guy ringing me up may or may not have been perceptive enough to ask if I was buying it for myself... HEY, I could be giving it as a present... ;)

6.  I'm kinda cheating with a sixth link, but I just want to remind you all to JOIN MY INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE.  It's called "12 Days of Pixie Dust" and it's a December photo challenge for all you instagrammers.  Pull out your favorite Disney holiday pictures and spread some very merry online pixie dust with me!

For further pixie dust...

------#Instadisney Fun------

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Disney Instagram Fun and December Challenge!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I hope it's been a lovely day for everyone. :)

With the holiday season now really getting into full swing, I have a festive Disney photo challenge for all of you:

You've heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas?  This is TWELVE DAYS OF PIXIE DUST!  It's a December instagram challenge put together by yours truly.  Well, I suppose it's more of a mini challenge, since it's only for 12 days instead of the whole month. :)

I really hope you'll all play along!!  Be sure to follow me (@bookishprincess) - I'll be starting on December 1st, but feel free to post early or late at your own pace, just tag your pic: #12daysofpixiedust.  Whether disney-inspired or just generally holiday-inspired, I'd love to see what creative shots y'all might come up with for each day's tag!

And since the real twelve days of Christmas are technically the 12 days after Christmas, I thought I might share some of my favorite instagrams from the challenge here on the blog after Christmas (with permission and credit of course!).

Of course there has already been a ton of  Disney instagram fun going on this month, during November!  I was inspired to do a Disney holiday challenge partly because I've really been enjoying two Disney photo-a-day challenges this month...

The first is #plusthemagicdaily, a RESORT themed challenge hosted by KJ of Plus the Magic and Estelle of This Happy Place Blog.  I adore Disney World resorts, so it has been super fun combing through old trip reports and photos to find a pic for each day!


I have to admit, I have been SUPER tempted to just make every single one of my pictures for this challenge from the Polynesian.  Which should come as NO surprise. ;) But I did manage to include a few others...


There really are SO many gorgeous nooks and corners at Disney resorts, and it's been so fun to revisit them all through this challenge.  I loved the "carpet" day...

There are SO MANY pretty Disney carpets, but I went with Minnie at the Grand.  She's just adorable!


There were some neat, unusual tags to test you as well, like "towel animals" (it all started with a mouse, right?) and "magical express."

The other instagram challenge I've been doing this month is the ever-popular #frumpstagram put on by the lovely Kristen aka the Disney Frump!


It's been so fun to find a photo to go with each day's tag for frumpstagram!  Ariel's dress has some pretty 'magical ribbons,' wouldn't you say?  And the Castle Show has a pretty classic 'princess moment' when they all come out to dance. :)


So many magical tags - like "Pineapple Princess" (or rather, pineapple orange guava princess!), "Citizens of Main Street" (gotta love the Dapper Dans!) and "Remember When" (remember when you could meet Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable at MGM??).

Every Monday should be a Monorail Monday, don't you think?

SO.  Have YOU ever participated in a disney challenge on instagram?  Tell me about it in the comments!  And don't forget to join in for #12daysofpixiedust!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Very Mysterious Where in WDW Trivia

This week's Walt Disney World trivia photo is going to be extra tricky.  It seems difficult to me because, although I know where it is, I have no idea WHAT it is!

I believe the technical term for this would be: "mysterious round thingy."  Seriously.  I don't even know how to google it because I have no idea what to type in.  Is it some sort of nest??  Have you ever spotted this during your WDW wanderings?  And if you know what it is you get massive bonus points!

Good job to everybody who guessed last week's list of wacky names.  You'll find Buckaroo Burke and Calamity Clem in the stand-by line at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Disneyland Holiday Decorations

Disney Christmas pixie dust is so magical - and while the pixie dust around here is usually from Walt Disney World, there are some pretty gorgeous decorations on the other coast as well!  I found some of my old photos from a visit to Disneyland a few years ago and thought it'd be fun to take a look at how the California parks do up the holidays!

Sleeping Beauty's castle has not only the twinkle lights but also SNOW and icicles and evergreen swags and wreaths filled with baubles.

My heart will always belong to the Magic Kingdom castle...but secretly I wouldn't mind if they'd dress it up just a little bit more for the holidays, like the pink castle at Disneyland!  Just look at those long swirly icicles!

And I really love all the baubles and the dusting of snow.  I think (correct me if I'm wrong) those wires behind the castle are for the Disneyland version of Tinkerbell during the Disneyland version of Wishes.  Not know...Tinkerbell would need any wires to help with her flying... ;)

The Sleeping Beauty castle looks pretty lovely at night as well!  It's 'sparkling with joy.'

Or at least that was the holiday slogan back in 2008. ;)  But the castle isn't the only thing that sparkles after dark...

Disneyland's it's a small world is just spectacular at Christmastime!

The ride gets a festive overlay and transforms into 'it's a small world' holiday!

The exterior is pretty cool with all the decorations (and these days they do an incredible light show on it!), but each of the international rooms are completely decked out as well...

Care for a quick jaunt on the MERRIEST cruise that ever sailed?

London's got a lovely tree, and I see the Mouse King, but it's NOT Mickey!

Melike liki maka!  I love the reindeer tiki masks in the Hawaiin holiday scene.

Also, the Disneyland small world has MERMAIDS.  Jealous.

A few scenes from the final room...look at that snowflake tree!

So fun!  I'm guessing the holiday ride overlays are successful, considering they've transformed the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise this year!  I wonder if they would ever give us a small world holiday for Disney World?

Here's another decoration detail right outside of small world - there were international wreaths for different countries, very neat.  I love it when they theme the decorations for the different rides and lands...


To the left are some old Western swags in Frontierland (near the Rancho Del Zocalo, I believe) and to the right it looks like the happy haunts at the Haunted Mansion are preparing for a happy holidays!

...and above is some festive style in the New Orleans Square!

There's a pretty glamorous snow display on top of the front gates too!

Disneyland's Town Square is rather a different experience from the Magic Kingdom's - you walk down Main Street and wonder, 'Where's the castle?'
OF COURSE it's still a very nice just doesn't quite catch your eye the way Cinderella Castle does. ;)  But there is still a magnificent Christmas tree in Town Square...
It's absolutely chock full of ornaments!

Have YOU ever been to Disneyland at the holidays??  How do you think the decorations hold up to Walt Disney World's?  Share your thoughts in the comments. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gasparilla Island Grill: the New and the Old


I picked today's sweet treat not only because the dessert itself is pretty, but because its surroundings are so pretty!

Our quest for Disney deliciousness leads us to the palm-tree-lined pathways of the Grand Floridian and to...

...the Grand's newly renovated counter service restaurant, Gasparilla Island Grill!  It sounds rather more elegant than Gasparilla Grill and Games, doesn't it?  It looks more elegant too.  Before the arcade games were right off the seating area, making the space very loud and not-too-inviting for a quiet meal.

Above is what it used to look like.  Now it looks like this...

I just love that fresh blue ceiling and the interesting light fixtures...

Very cool!  It looks like a cross between a sailing ship, a hot air balloon, and a chandelier.  And are those little nobs supposed to be Mickey heads do you think??

I love how bright and airy the windows make the space - and it is much more restful now with the pings and dings of the video games gone.

It's a much larger space now as well - they must have knocked out a wall to add this area at the back.

And for any arcade fans - not to worry.  Arcadia Games can be accessed at the back of that back room!

But let's get back to the eats, shall we?  The service area of the restaurant has basically the same layout - and the cupcake cases are in the same spot along the wall!

I wish they had given us some brand new cupcake to go with the brand new look.  Maybe something with blue icing to go with that pretty new ceiling?  Alas, the cupcake selection is pretty much the same as before.

The German Chocolate cupcake does look very pretty - I love how it has a little crown - but I just am not a fan of coconut.  I like my chocolate plain and simple and untouched.

I have heard good things about this cupcake however, so if you're a coconut fan, I say go for it.  I think the Gasparilla chefs are coconut fans, because the other sweet option available that day was a pina colada cupcake.


Gasparilla does have a rotating cupcake selection, so on another day you may find the colorful cherry-berry cupcake or my favorite, the s'mores cupcake.  YUM.  Hopefully the next time I stop by the new Gasparilla Island Grill they'll have something more chocolatey - with that pretty new décor, it looks like the perfect quiet spot to sit and relax for a bit! :)