6.27.2011

A Familiar Scene

I snapped this picture of my husband watching "Robin Hood" with our daughter, because it's a very special memory for me with my dad. One of my very first memories of my life was when we lived in Orlando, and my mom had somewhere to be one evening. My dad put on Robin Hood and we ate candy Conversation Hearts while watching it together. I had to have only been around three years old. Thanks for the memory, Dad!


6.26.2011

Walt Disney World in the 70's

My mom visited Disney World not long after it opened in 1971. Tonight I was thinking about what the World must have been like in those early years, and how much it's evolved since then. However, enough has remained the same to keep everyone sentimental. I believe that this was Walt Disney's genius: dancing between progress and nostalgia.

I found the special on YouTube highlighting the grand opening back in 1971 (it's in six parts):













And once you saw the special above, you would surely want to take a vacation to Walt Disney World, right?! This is what you would have seen on TV encouraging travel to the new World. The commercials have come a long way, right?



Here's another promo reel by Disney, featuring some great vintage footage:



And here were some fashion statements in the 70's:









Here's a great video of the now-extinct attraction, Mickey Mouse Revue. I had never seen or heard of this attraction, and I'm so glad I found this video! I'm a sucker for Audio Animatronics, so this is right down my alley!



Did you know that this same attraction was revived at Tokyo Disney?



Did any of you visit Disney in the 1970's?

6.23.2011

Restaurant Spotlight: 50s Prime Time Cafe

We LOVE to eat at the 50's Prime Time Cafe in Disney Hollywood Studios each time we visit Disney World! We first visited this restaurant as a family in 2005. I was planning the trip for my immediate family (I hadn't met Kurt yet!), and I was drawn to the theming of this restaurant.

I have always felt like I should've been a 50's child/teenager, and this restaurant is like stepping into a time capsule!

In the picture below (from a trip in 2008), I'm fulfilling my dream of being in a retro 1950's kitchen! GOOD TIP: Even if you aren't eating at the restaurant, the lobby/waiting area has lots of great photo-ops that you won't want to miss! Like the kitchen below, the entire area is photo-friendly, and it's a great opportunity for good retro photo fun!



Another great "living room" setup for photos:



The lobby/waiting area of the restaurant:


50s Prime Time Cafe is a table service restaurant, and ADR's (Advanced Dining Reservations) are recommended. During low- and off-season, it's a bit easier to get reservations the week of your trip, but I ALWAYS recommend setting up your ADR's early!


The premise of the restaurant is super fun. As a guest, you're treated like "family" by the waitstaff. From the moment you're called for your table ("Smith Cousins, come and get it!"), you enter into a really fun scenario of playing pretend. Usually your server will pretend to be an aunt, uncle, or cousin, and they make sure you're enforcing those manners! You'll hear things like "No elbows on the table!" and "You better be eating more of your green beans that THAT!"

Another fun element is where you eat. If you're a smaller party, you might be seated at a table with a small built-in TV, that plays great reruns and clips of old shows. It's so fun to watch, and it really transports you back to that time.


The Prime Time features comfort food and old-fashioned favorites like fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast.
My favorite complement to my meal is always a cherry Coke, and I'm convinced their fountain drinks are just DELICIOUS! Be sure to try a milkshake, and pretend you're in an episode of Leave it to Beaver.


The 50s Prime Time Cafe will be a hit with your entire family. Be aware that there's often a lot of interaction between you and your server (depending on how engaging your server decides to be!), and this might be intimidating to some kids. Just make sure everyone knows that it's all in good fun, and enjoy the banter back and forth. If you embrace the jokes and the jabs, it makes for a really fun experience!


The Prime Time always fulfills my desire to step back in time and be a part of an era that I missed. It's a fun environment with really good food, and it's a sure hit for all ages!


6.14.2011

Magical Blogorail Black - Welcome!

Welcome to those of you joining me from Manda's Disney Blog and those of you just hopping aboard!  I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail. Today we're introducing ourselves and sharing why we started our Disney blogs. I am so excited to join the Blogorail team! There's nothing better than being surrounded by people who "get" the Disney obsession, speak the language, and can refer to things by nicknames (i.e. "The Poly") and everyone gets it.

My name is Ashley, and around here I call myself Mommy Mouseketeer. I am married to the greatest guy in the world, and we have one daughter, Evy Kate (rhymes with 'chevy'!), who is two years old. We're also in the process of adopting our son from South Korea! We've named him Liam, and he'll turn one on July 1st. We hope to travel to get him sometime in August or September. Those are the basics, and here's the background!

When I was a few weeks old, my parents moved to Orlando, where my father was the college pastor at First Baptist Church of Orlando. Needless to say, a lot of the college students in his ministry worked at Disney World, and at that time Cast Members could sign people in free (!!). So from the time I was literally weeks old, I was at Disney World! My mom and her friends would decide to lunch at Epcot for the day, or just take us to the Magic Kingdom on a whim. Although we moved from Orlando when I was 4 years old, something was ingrained in me from all of those hours spent in the World. Growing up, we visited Disney World every few years, and that pattern has continued.

That's me in the Mouse Ears.



This is a family trip from 2005. From left, that's my dad, my little sister Andrea, my little sister Alyssa, my brother Will, me, and my mom.

My husband had the OPPOSITE experience! He was one of three brothers, and he grew up in Mississippi. Obviously, 12 (or more) hour trips to Florida with three young boys just wasn't enticing. Finally, in the DEAD HEAT of summer, 1986 (I was only one year old then - ha!), his parents decided it was time to try. They loaded up in an RV along with Kurt's grandparents and made the eternal trek to the Holy Land. They camped at Fort Wilderness, and thank goodness their RV was air-conditioned, because it was around 100 degrees outside. When we were dating, I asked Kurt about his experience with Disney World and Disney Culture (this was an imperative question when trying to find my spouse!). He shared that his only experiences had been 3-hour-long lines, excruciating heat, and all-around misery. Oh, and his twin brother got lost coming off of Dumbo. Less than ideal. They did try again in the summer of 1988, with similar results. Obviously I knew I had some work to do!
In the above picture you'll see my husband (far right) and his brothers around the ages of their infamous first Disney trip.
We got married and a year later I got pregnant with Evy. We decided to take a "Babymoon" to Disney World in October of 2008, and it was absolutely the most wonderful trip we shared since our honeymoon! We had an absolute blast, and Kurt couldn't believe the difference weather, planning, and dining reservations make! We traveled again together in October of 2010 (Evy was still a little young at that point), again having a wonderful trip. Then, in January of 2011, Kurt's side of the family planned a family trip to Disney World. I planned the entire trip, and everyone had a MUCH better experience than back in the '80's!


Evy receiving the Official Blessing while in the womb!

Enjoying the Brown Derby. I still crave the Cobb Salad, even while not being pregnant!


Evy's first Disney trip, January 2011. It was fantastic!


Her expression says it all!

Mommy Mouseketeer came about when I knew I was entering the season of life to experience Disney as a mother. I've been told there's nothing like seeing your child experience Disney World, and during our January trip, I saw that firsthand. It was just incredible, and so incredibly emotional for me. Long before I saw Disney through Evy's eyes, I wanted to create a place to document my love for Disney, my planning tips, and special memories. I've even had the fun experience of interviewing several of my friends who are Disney fanatics like me! Tons of friends have asked me to help them plan Disney trips, and I wanted to be able to point them to one place with all of the information. Mommy Mouseketeer is a combination of all these things, and I hope it reflects just how much I love the World that Walt created.

I'm so glad you're here, and I look forward to many fun loops together!

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Unknown Magic of Walt Disney World.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:


1st Stop ~ The Disney Chick

2nd Stop ~ Manda’s Disney Blog

3rd Stop ~ Mommy Mouseketeer

4th Stop ~ Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World

Final Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad

6.01.2011

Disney Christmas on Ice, 1992 and 1993

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things about the Christmas season were the Disney on ice specials. I absolutely LOVED watching them each year! As far as I know, they don't make the television specials anymore, and I so wish they did. I specifically remember the years 1992 and 1993 because I was SO INTO figure skating (I was around 7 years old and totally obsessed with Nancy Kerrigan, Tara Lipinski, etc.).  Enjoy these memories with me!