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Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…

…But you’ll have to wait until November 22nd!

Vince Vaughn, everyone’s favorite funny man, learns he is father of 533 children (and I thought I was having trouble balancing things with my three!) in this funny, heartwarming film. Check out this sneak peek – you’ll be waiting at the door to race out when this Delivery Man finally arrives!

Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man - A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man - A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man - A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man - A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man - A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…
Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man – A Package You’ll Want to Open Right Away…

If You Could Take One Thing With You…

So, as you’re well aware, especially if you live somewhere that the six o’clock doomsday hour has already passed, God saw fit to spare us miserable mortals for the time being, allowing us yet another day to mess things up.  Well, damn.  I had an awesome outfit chosen for the looting party I’ve been invited to on Facebook for the day after, when those of us not among the chosen were going to get us a five finger discount on some HD TV.

But, let’s just say today HAD been the day.  And on your way up to Heaven, God said, “Choose one thing from your life on earth – not something living, because frankly, I don’t do diapers, I don’t walk dogs, and I don’t want to have to set yet another place at the dinner table – and bring it with you.  It’ll be nice to have that memory of home, and it will reduce the chances you’ll moan and complain about your accommodations or the food if you have something to keep you company.”

What are you bringing?

I’ve thought long and hard about all of my worldly possessions.  I have photographs that I cherish, jewelry that I love, books that I would never want to be without.  It’s been really tough to decide on just one thing, but after much thought, I’ve chosen my item.

I’m taking my pink Walt Disney World Moms Panel jacket.

I know – I hate pink, for the most part, so why would I want to spend eternity with only a pink jacket?

Here’s the rationale:

Disney World is where I have some of the most wonderful memories of my family.  Brighid as chef of the day at the Crystal Palace when she was four; Eilis learning to walk at EPCOT when she was a year old; Granuaile at 8 months old looking directly into the eyes of the Santa at Downtown Disney; and my honeymoon with the one and only true love of my life.  The jacket will remind me of the holidays we spent at Disney World, the occasions we celebrated, the meals we all ate together, laughing and joking – not worrying about cheerleading practice or dance classes or a scout meeting.

The jacket will also remind me that I was a competent and qualified enough writer that I was able to write answers that helped at least a few people plan a vacation that would give them some of the same wonderful feelings I get when I think of my cherished family Disney memories.  I can say that being on the Moms Panel was a true highlight of my 46 years on earth (okay, the end of the world is surely coming now – I’ve put my age out there in print!).

And the jacket is a symbol of the friendships I’ve made.  The weekend that I got that jacket, I met the 15 people who will be friends for life.  They are the people with whom I bonded more quickly than I have ever bonded with anyone else (except Jim).  When I look at the jacket, I will think of when we met; our weekend in Chicago; my visit with Joanne in NYC; Margaret’s birthday weekend at WDW.  And I will cherish every Facebook conversation, text message, and Tweet that we’ve shared.  Not to mention the bonus friends I’ve made as a result of being on the Moms Panel – Moms Panel Erin, Jud, Anthony, the other Moms Panel members, and those Skurvy Monkeys.

So, while I rarely ever wear the jacket; pink is not my color; and I would hope that I could find the darn thing in an instant if God said I could take it with me, the one thing I would want to depart from this mortal soil with is my jacket.  And all the memories that come with it.


Can I take my baby to Walt Disney World for Christmas?

Its the holiday season and you are thinking of racing off to Walt Disney World to get the second most wonderful picture of a baby with Satna Claus ever.

Of course the first is this one –

Best Santa Claus baby picture every

In my husband’s humble opinion that is.

But now back to the topic – can you take a baby to Walt Disney World at Christmas?

It’s crowded.

Yep, it’s crowded.  Christmas is the busiest time of year at Walt Disney World.  But guess what?  It’s crowded everywhere at Christmas time!  Have you been to the grocery store?  The mall?  Target?  Packed – all of them.  Unless you have a medically fragile child who should not be exposed to more than a few people, don’t let the crowds stop you!

It’s cold.  No, it’s hot.  No, it’s snowing!

Believe it or not, weather can be a concern in Orlando during the holidays.  December is a very unpredictable month.  One day, you may have temperatures soar into the 80s.  The next day, you may be lucky to get out of the 60s.  And there are even some days in Orlando in December where reaching 50 was a struggle!  Average temperatures are in the low 70s, but if you prepare for cool mornings and cold nights, the baby should be fine.  I always plan for a nice fall day when I visit Orlando in December – wear layers, so when the midday sun warms you up, you can wrap your sweater or sweatshirt around your waist.  For a baby, bring a lighter weight blanket and a heavier one.

It’s almost impossible to get dining reservations!

Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, and many people planning to be at Walt Disney World for the holidays are on the phone or online as soon as that window opens.  But a baby doesn’t care where they eat!  There is a really good variety of counter service meals available at Walt Disney World – from the theme parks to the hotel food courts.  You will find something to eat.  You may not get a window table at the California Grill during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but you may even luck into a last minute sit down meal.  Browse the online tool at www.disneyworld.com to see what may be left for your last minute trip.  If you can’t find anything, fear not.  I’ve made more than a few holiday meals out of a turkey leg!

Now that I’ve gotten rid of all the big excuses, why not?  I’ve got way more happy memories of my babies at Walt Disney World than stressful ones.  And as if Walt Disney World isn’t magical enough the entire rest of the year, the holidays at Disney will simply take your breath away!  Everything from the decorations and the gingerbread to the Candlelight Processional and the carolers will instill the holiday spirit in your heart and cement it there throughout the season.

Would I take my baby to Walt Disney World for Christmas?  A thousand times, yes.

Let The Memories Begin – My Own Fondest Disney Memory

Thank you for calling Walt Disney World Reservations!  My name is Caroline.  How may I help you?

Yep, my name was Caroline.  For a short time in the 90’s.  Not my stripper name – get your mind out of the gutter.  This was my telephone name as a reservation sales agent for Walt Disney World.

We moved to Orlando in 1993, right after Brighid turned 2.  It was the first time I had ever moved entirely away from my family (except for the summer I spent in the Outer Banks of NC living with my aunt, but she was family!), and I was feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed by my new surroundings.  Living in Orlando was a bit surreal for me.  This was a vacation destination, after all, and here I was, home all day with my two year old, wondering what I should do with myself.  We had annual passes to Walt Disney World, Universal, and Sea World, but at some point in between all the fun of the theme parks, I had to become a productive member of society.  I lounged around as long as I could, went to school for a while, and then decided to look for a job.

On a whim, I headed to Disney Casting. I walked in, not knowing what to expect, and by the end of a couple of hours, I was a Disney World Cast Member!  It was my dream job for my dream company – I was going to be helping people plan a fabulous Walt Disney World vacation!

The first day of training came, and our initial responsibility was to change our names.  Everyone had to have a unique name, so that if a guest had a compliment or a complaint about you, when they called in and said, “Anna is a wonderful cast member!”, there had to be only one Anna out of the hundreds of us at Central Reservations.  I went down the list of names, and not seeing my own, chose the next normal sounding one on the list.  Caroline.

My time as a cast member flew by, and job transfers for Jim prohibited me from staying very long, but I remember every day that I worked there, and I treasure them!  I loved shopping at Company D and having the opportunity to preview new attractions and resorts.  It was a job, no bones about it, but there was a lot to be said about working for the Happiest Place on Earth, and I’ll never regret having the chance to do so.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 101

One of my favorite events of all time at Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  The party, which takes place on select nights from September through November 1st, takes place at the Magic Kingdom.  You have to purchase a separate ticket for the event, but I always think it’s well worth the price.

So is it worth it for your family?

Here’s how it works for us.

The day of the party, we spend a leisurely morning having breakfast, lounging at the pool, or doing some souvenir shopping.  There is no wake up call, no time to be out and about.  If you are buying multi-day park passes, this saves you a day.

In years past, your party ticket allowed you to enter the theme park at 4:00 in the afternoon – even though the party doesn’t technically begin until 7:00.  This is not an advertised benefit, and it could be revoked at any time, but for my family, it has always meant going in, having a nice dinner, browsing some shops, and being ready for the fun of the party right when it begins.  You go through specific turnstiles, and you will be given a wristband and trick or treat bag – no need to bring one from home!

Once the party begins, you will usually find that due to the limited number of tickets that are sold for this event, many of the attractions are walk ons.  This is an incredible time saver!  If you go into the theme park at 7:00, by the time midnight rolls around, you could probably  have done all of the attractions you would have wanted to do, and avoided the day time crowds.  As a bonus, you may even have time to hit up a couple of the trick or treat stations.

And here’s a tip about the trick or treat stations – while the lines at the stations move very quickly, you will find towards the end of the evening, there are virtually no lines at all.  You could do all of the attractions you want to do, then go trick or treating, and still come away with a pretty good haul of candy!

There are two parades that take place during the party.  The early parade is the bigger draw, because for some families with young children (or those that spent all day in a theme park and are exhausted), they know they won’t make it to the second parade.  My favorite viewing spot for the second parade?  At the very start of Main Street, on the side by the firehouse.  I am almost always standing down there by myself, and the headless horseman and I are almost BFFs!

The fireworks for the party are not necessarily meant to be seen from in front of Cinderella Castle, so if you happen to be in Liberty Square, you’re still golden in terms of fireworks viewing.

And take it from a mom with experience – your kids won’t know if you wait until they go to sleep and swipe all of the Clark bars!  And if you eat them all before the kids wake up the next morning, you’re doing yourself a favor.  Now they won’t melt on the trip home!

I think the party is a terrific value over the cost of a theme park pass.  We get at least as much – if not more – done during the party than we do in a day at the park, and it comes sprinkled with pixie dust in the form of Smartees and Laffy Taffy!

This is a must do for us every year.

Which is my best picture?

Please take a moment and reply here to this post and tell me which picture you like best.  I have to have a photo for my bio at the 2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel website, and apparently, they want to know what I look like!!  Thanks,


2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel – The Fun Continues!

Thank you first to my wonderful hubby for helping me figure out how to put my name on the back of the t-shirt on the mom in the photo 🙂 

The latest in the news as I continue forward in this exciting journey is that I got airline information!  I’ll be flying out on US Airways on Dec. 5th, coming home on the 8th.  We’re staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort – and I am thrilled!  We’ve stayed at many of the Disney properties, but have only visited the Coronado Springs.

I am actively participating on the 2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel Facebook, and it’s been so much fun to meet the other “moms” (or the Mom-light version – Doug – LOL).  We seem like a diverse group from all over the country – and even a couple of international moms!

I have done my confidentiality paper work, and everyone on the panel is planning a little surprise for the executives in charge of the Moms panel training program that I think they’ll love.  It seems at times like there is a whirlwind of activity going on, and at the same time, I’m so anxious for the training to get here that it seems to be dragging!

This is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me, and I hope I am doing a good enough job at keeping up with the memories I want to save!

Disney Moms Panel Excitement Day 2



So, while there has been nothing official from Walt Disney World today, it has been exciting nonetheless!  I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” a good number of the other people on the panel, both through an email distribution list that has been started, and through a Facebook group.  They all seem like warm, wonderful people so far, and I’m excited to meet them in person and get to know them all!

I’ve also spent some time today reading some of the information about last year’s mom’s panel panelists, and I hope we can live up to the awesome job they’ve done in the panel’s inaugural year!  They’ve answered thousands of questions about vacationing at Disney World, and while it seems like a daunting responsibility, I know we’ll be well trained and ready to go when it’s time for them to pass the Magic Wand!

Binnie, the list mom for The Mouse For Less www.themouseforless.com was so sweet, and posted a congratulations message to me on the front page of the group’s website.  I have to give credit where credit is due.  I knew a lot about Disney World and vacationing in Orlando already, but I have learned SO much from Binnie and the other wonderful members of The Mouse for Less list.  It’s a wonderful group of people, and if there’s anything I will bring with me to the Mom’s panel, it will be the wealth of knowledge I have acquired reading years of posts with The Mouse for Less. 

Binnie has also asked me to write a little something for the Magically Speaking newsletter!  Me, write?  Oh, go on!  I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to reach so many people to share this experience with!

I’ve gotten so many congratulations emails, Facebook and MySpace messages – I can’t believe it!  I’m overwhelmed at how exciting it is to get so many wonderful notes and messages.  As much as I love everyone for sending them, I have to say, this is the best one…


Whew!  I’ve spent way too much time on the computer today, but I just am so thrilled to participate in this!  I look forward to sharing the journey with you!