Tag Archives: Disney parks

Free Aqua and Orange Disney Scrapbook Cards

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This year, we decided to go with an aqua and orange  color scheme for the photo book we made of our last Disney trip.

The idea started with this free set from Simple As That blog.disney-cards-set3

But, we needed MORE aqua and orange journaling cards to keep the book cohesive, so with a little trial and error, we made some coordinating journaling cards using Picmonkey and we are sharing them with all you other Disney memory keepers.

The link below is a .pdf with six 3×4 cards and two 4×6 cards set up to print on 2 sheets, or right click images individually to save them separately.

Aqua and Orange Disney Scrapbook Cards

Meeting Characters 4x64x6 MickeyMinnie kiss

Park Info 3x4 -3Park report 3x4 -1Park report graph 3x4 -2Rides 3x4Taste of Magic 3x43x4 mouse

Now, go get those photos off your phone and put them in a scrapbook or photo book that can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.

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Disney Photography – New Trends

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On our recent trip to Disney World, we discovered a few new photography trends.  First, of course, is that there were no more “selfie” sticks.  The use of them didn’t bother us, but it is nicer to get pictures of say, the castle, without a backdrop of selfie sticks.

Although we never owned or used a selfie stick, we did utilize a couple things to make phone photography better in the parks.

First, is the Shoulderpod S1.  This is a smartphone grip with a handle and strap that we purchased from Amazon.  The grip is adjustable to hold various sizes of phones/cameras and tightens securely.

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The handle was a little short for my husband’s taste, but perfect for our daughter and me.  So nice to not worry about dropping your phone off of Astro Orbiters!

smartphone grip at Disney World

You can see it in use here.

The second smartphone grip we purchased was the Reticam, also purchased at Amazon.

reticam phone grip

You can see the grip fits a larger hand more easily.  Using these grips made taking video much more steady.

The 3rd phone accessory we purchased is the Gostrap.  These are on our phone cases at all times and make it a lot easier to securely grab a photograph or send a message with just one hand on the phone.  It has been particularly great with our larger phones.

smartphone go strap

The second photography trend we noticed was an almost absence of iPads as cameras in the parks!  It was wonderful to watch parades, fireworks, and shows in real life and not through the screen of someones iPad.

Chinese acrobats at Epcot

In fact, as this picture shows, most people were just enjoying the show as it happened and not filming every second of this show with any device.  It is a trend that we saw throughout the week we were there.

The 3rd trend is that again, we took even more photos than the previous trips.  We were in the parks for 6 days again this year and took a total of 1320 images.  Last year, in 6 days, we took 1242.  I was a little surprised to see the number go up, but attribute it to a couple of things.  Isabella only took a rest once or twice during the week, so we were active all day every day.  This year seemed a little less crowded, so she was able to meet many more characters and she was enough taller to be able to ride several new rides.

It sounds like a lot of pictures, doesn’t it?  But, from all those images, we’ve printed a photo book and edited the photographs and video into a movie already.  More images will be used in our Project Life Disney album which will also include the journaling from the trip.  And, because you can see that these memories matter a lot to us, they are all backed up multiple times.

Disney Footprint Art – Roller Coasters and Chewbacca

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We’ve been faithful about gathering a footprint from Isabella after each Disney trip, but got a little behind on finishing them up, so today, we’ve got two to show you.

First, is her footprint from our 2014 trip.  Disney Footprint art - 3

This was the first year that Isabella was tall enough to ride a “big” roller coaster and she loved it.

The next footprint is from our trip last month:

Disney footprint art - 4

This year, besides roller coasters, Isabella was crazy for Chewbacca.  Chewbacca will not sign an autograph, so this is our way of remembering her interaction with him.

It’s hard to believe that Isabella’s first Disney footprint was when she was only 2 months old.  Her feet were so tiny!

Disney Footprint Art

And here’s from the year she turned 2 at Disney World:

goofy footprint art 1

We’re having fun making a little collection for her and trying to guess what her 2016 footprint will be!  Making these is turning out to be one of our favorite (and free!) souvenirs.

 

 

 

Disney Viewfinder Christmas Tree Skirt

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Disney Viewfinder Christmas Tree skirt

It’s beginning to look and feel like Christmas and this year, we have a new Christmas tree skirt.  The idea was to make one that looked kind of like a Disney viewfinder reel.

The pictures in the viewfinder reel are all paper pieced quilt blocks sized to 10″ square.  Most of the patterns are available free on the fabulous Fandom in Stitches website.   It is a treasure trove of paper piecing and embroidery patterns for fans of everything from Harry Potter to the Muppets to Disney characters.  Alice in Wonderland was a previously untested pattern from the very generous and talented Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting.  In addition to her patterns, she has held a year long “Stretch Your Skills” series that has been really fun to learn from.

Here are what some of the blocks that Alida designed look like closer up:

Pluto paper pieced quilt block

Pluto was a relatively easy block to make if you have any paper piecing experience.

Mickey Mouse paper pieced quilt block

I didn’t do a good job picking a background for Mickey because his white gloves don’t show up well enough, but it seemed like a lot of work to go back and remake it, so it is staying put.

Alice in Wonderland paper pieced quilt block

Alice was a challenge to say the least.  The pieces are TINY and there are so many of them that this was the most difficult block of them all.  But, Isabella had such a fun experience with Alice in Wonderland on our last visit to Disney World, so I persevered.

Here’s hoping that it looks good under the Christmas tree with the Monorail running around it!

 

A Disney Photographic Timeline

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The other day, our family was talking about how many times each of us had been to Disney parks.  For my husband, whose 1st visit was in 1955, the only record of it is a notation in his baby book saying that he had his first train ride there.  As a southern Californian, he went many times as a child, but there are no photographs of the visits.

Before our daughter was born, I had been to Disney World 2 times previously, but there is only 1 picture that I am in since I am usually the person behind the camera.

Most of our daughter’s Disney experiences have at least SOME record of her having been there, but looking at HOW I recorded her park visits is a little cringe-inducing now.

scrapbook page

Take a look at this page for instance.  Remember cutting photos into shapes and using decorative scissors?  It screams 1995 which is exactly when it was made.  At least I remembered to save the $22 Disneyland paper ticket!  That said, it might be time to make a new album of her Disney visits with just a little more modern look.  Perhaps, say, keeping the photographs square or rectangles?!  And maybe no decorative scissors?!

Fortunately, I still have all of my negatives safely stored in archival sleeves in binders.

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I don’t have a film scanner, but, as an Android user, there is a great free app called the Helmut Film Scanner that works simply and effectively with reasonable photo quality.  Take for instance, this photo of our dog meeting Mickey at a relay race.  This is a 35 mm scan with no sharpening, color correction, etc. done prior to or after the scan.

Border Collie meets Mickey Mouse

As I scanned negatives, I started keeping a tally of how many photographs were taken during each Disney visit.  The increase is staggering.

1992 – 9  (daughter’s first visit to Disneyland.)

1993 – 8

1994 – 22

1995 – 6 (birthday trip to DL with friend)

1996 – 3

1998 – 26 (first trip to WDW)

1999 – 2

2001 – 16

2003 – 59 (film + digital)

2010 – 513 (all digital from here on)

2012 – 76 (half marathon only)

2013 – 769

2014 – 1242

The ease of digital photography now means that everyone in our family has a way to capture memories and the quality of most of the images is really excellent.  The job of sorting through, editing, and laying out pages for scrapbooks and photo books is a lot more daunting though than the years where 4 or 5 pictures per trip was all you came home with.

Another Gift for the Minimalist Disney Lover

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It’s always a challenge to find gifts for people who don’t like to accumulate more possessions, so, as we shared in the last post, we like to give each other the gift of an experience.

We thought it would be hard to top the fun we had sampling our way through Epcot, but our daughter came up with yet another great gift idea for our last Disney trip – our very own “Magical” app!

Now, it does help if your daughter is in the midst of getting a PhD in computer science for this gift.  But, it also helps that she knows a lot about Disney.  This year, she made an Android app that led us on a scavenger hunt through Epcot so we could experience things we might not usually notice.

Magical Disney Android app

We have been to Epcot many times, but never even noticed the first stop on the scavenger hunt – the Coca Cola tasting area where you could sample sodas from around the world.  Let’s just say, the Beverly was unique.

Fiesta de Navidad Epcot

Other stops included everything from participating in the Fiesta de Navidad in Mexico to guessing which of the totem poles in Canada was wood.

Magical Disney Android app

The coordinates were all programmed in for each stop (including to the wooden totem pole) and all we had to do was follow the arrow.

Looks like the signal is strong in the back yard.  That must mean we need another trip!

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly – Photography at Disney

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Not too many years ago, there were only film cameras and a trip to Disney might mean upgrading from a 24 exposure roll of film to a 36 exposure roll that had to last you for the whole day or even trip.  One or two shots were taken per character and you didn’t realize the image would have bad lens flare until you got your prints back from the developer.

The amount of photography taken at Disney parks is insane.  One site states that 100-200,000 photos are taken each day just by Photopass photographers and that is probably a conservative number.  Add in cell phones, iPads, digital cameras, etc. and the numbers must be staggering.

Now, I will go out on a limb and speculate that many of the images/videos/etc. that are taken, will not make it beyond Facebook or Instagram and stand a good chance of being lost when a hard drive crashes or phone gets dropped in the lake.  But, that is each person’s individual problem and their responsibility to prevent.  And to be honest, it’s easy to assume that many of the images are never looked at again, anyway.

ipad blocking view at WDW

That is what makes some of the photography trends at Disney parks kind of interesting to look at.  This was what we saw over and over in 2013.  Huge tablets with full keyboards videoing EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the Christmas parade.  We even saw one person carrying a 17″ laptop through the park during Christmas week.  Crazy.

ipad as camera at disney world

Luckily, it seems as if the iPad is not a Camera message was getting through, because 2014 was the year of the “selfie stick”.  And in my opinion, it is a HUGE improvement over the iPad craze.  At least you can see through it and don’t have to watch a live event in the screen of the person in front of you.

Disney sketchbook

I didn’t take any pictures of the selfie stick craze, but you can see it in my sketchbook.

A lot of articles are floating around seeking to ban the selfie stick at theme parks, but if that means the return of the iPad as camera, I say keep the selfie sticks around.

No matter what the trend of the day is, it would be fascinating to know if many of the thousands of photos and videos get edited and make their way off of the phone/tablet/etc. and into a easier to view format?

As for me, I will stick to whatever images I can get while carrying the least amount of gear – a Sony RX100 II.  At 2.3 inches by 4 inches and a weight of about 9 ounces, it is a great theme park camera.  Unobtrusive, lightweight, and a battery that lasts 2 days since the flash is almost never used.

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

Disney Every Day – Episode 3

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Along with the standard question, “How long until we are going to Disney World?”, another frequent question is “What day do we do __________?”  So, to help Isabella learn days, months, time, etc., we made her a Morning Circle Time Board.  It has a calendar, learning clock, weather station, etc., but her favorite part of it is the moveable monorail to change the day of the week.

DIY Monorail - Days of the Week activity

The board is a simple foam core board with various elements glued or laminated on.  For the monorail track, we cut a slit in the foam core with an exacto knife above the days of the week.

We searched for a simple image of the monorail and printed it off on cardstock.  We used ModPodge to adhere it to a piece of balsa wood (from Hobby Lobby) and sealed it with a top coat of ModPodge.  The balsa wood was easy to cut with an exacto knife.  We glued a small sliver of foam core to the back of the balsa wood to hold the monorail in the track and glued a flat washer to the back of that.

A Little Bit of Disney in Our Day

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We play a lot of “Disney World” at home in between trips.  Stuffed animals are buckled in to the Mine Train (aka the couch), laundry baskets become It’s a Small World boat, and some “rides” even require the use of a fast pass.

So, we made our own “fast pass reader”.

DIY

It is made with a simple tap light similar to this available at Home Depot, Lowes, or even the dollar store:

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We lightly sanded the underside of the dome and painted it with acrylic paint before re-assembling it.  If we were doing it again, we might paint the Mickey outline with a brush and spray paint the rest with a yellow/gold paint to get a smoother finish, but Isabella doesn’t seem to mind the uneven paint job.

diy fast pass reader

And at least we’ve found a way to play with the little collection of Magic Bands we are starting to acquire!

Seven Dwarfs Ruffled Peasant Tunic

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seven dwarves ruffled tunic diy

Isabella wanted to meet Snow White on our second day at the Magic Kingdom and she was just tall enough to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so the search was on for an outfit to fit the occasion.

A trip to Joanns yielded this adorable seven dwarfs fabric which was perfect for that day:

Seven Dwarves fabric

Isabella’s top was a basic peasant-style tunic with a ruffled collar attached and princess style sleeves.  There are a number of free peasant dress patterns and tutorials online including this one from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom and this one from Create Kids Couture if you want to make your own.

Girls Seven Dwarfs top DIY

We used the free Flounced Ruffle Capri pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in a cotton interlock for her pants.

Our goal is to find/make unique, but comfortable outfits for Isabella.  Snow White gave this one her seal of approval.

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