When you think about Disney, you think the castle, Mickey, the theme parks, maybe even how expensive it all is, but do you think about philanthropy? I'm a firm believer that giving should be year round, and Walt was too.
Walt was very concerned with helping others to build a better world, and that attitude hasn't stopped, even though he is gone.
Did you know, last year Disney gave over 400 MILLION to non profit organizations that helped communities, kids and families! In addition to the financial gifts, they've done a lot of other really neat things to give to the communities. Disney has played a huge part in all of the hurricane disaster releif efforts in 2017, donating millions to that. They’ve also been longtime partners with Feeding America, and this year teamed up with a cosmetic line for Disney products where 100% of the proceeds go to Feeding America but that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Here are a few of my personal favorite things that Disney has done to help others!
In 2014, Disney illustrators designed comic books that also folded into posters to be delivered to almost 450 hospitals, and have kept up that annual tradition! This year's comic is going to be Guardians of the Galaxy! These comics are not just your usual comic you'll find on the comic store wall, but are specially designed just for these kids. Way to go, Disney! That's just awesome.
Click the photo below, to read the original article! At the end of the article, you can even read the digital comic, yourself.
Childhood literacy is so important to me, just ask Mr. Disney who just might tune me out when I get on my soapbox about school budget cuts, and reductions in products with Boxtops for Education that have make the school library suffer. While I don't do all of the fundraisers that come home, simply because we can't, I always, always do library fundraisers.
The importance of reading is so important to Disney too, they have donated over 34 MILLION books in 5 years. That's a lot of awesome stories out there for kids who might not otherwise get exposed to books. In this digital age, a lot is lost in translation without the feel of a real book, and the experience of turning the pages. I'm so excited Disney feels the same!
This next one makes me smile. You can click the photo below to read the article!
In November, Disney hosts the Holiday Share Joy Campaign. They partner with Feeding America, Toys for Tots, and their VolunteEARS do a day of community service, and make holiday comfort kits helping to make the holidays brighter for many children!
I learned, and was quite surprised (So yup, I'll be throwing this one around a lot this Christmas, all excited!) Disney's connection with Toys for Tots began in 1948, when Walt Disney and his animators designed the Toys for Tots logo, that is still in use today!! How amazing is that?! Maybe that's why that's always been my favorite charity to donate toys to, it was subconsciously sending those Disney vibes!
Mr. Disney Magic would be sad if I didn't mention Disney's Force For Change charity. The super, Star Wars themed fundtraiser, but Disney has done so many other amazing things for youth and adults, including recently supporting the opening of the New Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and partnering with the American Red Cross and Doc McStuffins herself, for the Pillowcase Project, preparing third through fifth graders for emergencies. I could go on and on, but I'm going to give you the main link so you can read some of these wonderful articles yourself so you too can be inspired to make a change in your community! It takes a village, but like Mother Teresa said, “If you can't feed a thousand people, feed one.” This year my goal was to loom knit 12 hats for our local Salvation Army seniors, but I'm feeling so inspired right now, I'm going to see if I can get that number a little higher! Let's all see if we can do just one thing this week to make things better for someone else!
For some reason, Disney doesn’t update everything they do on this particular website. I read many of the things that they do in their Disney Parks blog, so I’ve included a few of those links as well.
While there are many, many companies who give to their communities and disaster relief, I really think that Disney goes above and beyond, and in doing so, perfectly captures the way Walt would want it done.
This year, add a little of that Disney Magic to your holidays by helping someone. Grab a name or two off the Salvation Army tree, put a few toys in a shoebox, or the Toys for Tots bin that you see, and make someone experience the joy and warmth of knowing that they were remembered this Christmas.
While I think the classic Cinderella Castle shot is one most anyone could recognize, on our last trip I noticed that depending on what angle you stood at, it was actually a little more beautiful that from the front, but most impressive of all (to me) was that such care was put into each detail. Look at this shot! Just beautiful!
It's the attention to detail that really adds that special touch of magic Disney is so well known for!
Focused on the Magic had a great topic this week! Disney Tee's! I Always, ALWAYS make sure to have a themed tee for whatever park I'm visiting, my kids too! Animal Kingdom is usually Lion King, Hollywood Studios Star Wars or Marvel. Epcot I wasn't too sure what to do, so I went with this french stripy thing, and Magic Kingdom? That's Alice, or Pooh, or Minnie and Mickey! You can NEVER go wrong with Mickey and Minnie!
Over the summer I discovered some cheap cheap Disney tees on facebook groups, and bought myself a few. One, was a 15th anniversary Animal Kingdom one, brand new with the tags for $10. It's my new favorite and I can't wait to wear it next time we go there. Another was a fabulous Cinderella print, but it arrived the size of a house and waaay too big. I am NOT joking. After much reflecting I think it was a night shirt, not a regular shirt. After many tears, and much disappointment I got onto Pinterest and saw all the no sew ways (since I can't sew worth beans) and found a way to cut the excess, and knot it up, kind of like those no sew fleece blankets, but the fringe is on the inside. All summer and now fall, it's sat, looking at me accusingly from a pile of laundry on the floor, ready for my to tackle the DIY, but I'm a little nervous. I'll get to it one of these days though! I love the possibility of the shirt, just scared to do the actual attempt!
Want to see more Disney tee pics or just visit other great Disney blogs? Click on the button!
We were out Black Friday-ing and happened across Lowes. I'm not sure what Mr. Disney Magic was looking for, it's all a blur when I get Disney on the brain but my head turned and out of the corner of my eye in the garden section I spotted these... And the rest is awesome. Yup. If I weren't on the committee giving away the prize for best decorated house (and thus, excluded) in our neighborhood, chances are good I'd be bringing home the prize!
New year, new Disney Dining Plan!! There have been a few changes, and it’s up to YOU to decide if the Disney Dining Plan is still the best for your family or not.
The price has gone up compared to in 2017, however there has been an addition that might make it more appealing for you. Keep reading!
Disney Dining Plans can be a little bit confusing if you've never used one before. If used wisely, the Dining Plans are a fantastic way to save a little or a lot on your trip, depending on what you eat or how much you drink, letting you add even more magic to your vacation!
Here's a basic overview about the Disney Dining Plan for 2018 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.
Disney World offers three dining plans for guests staying on property. The Quick Service Dining Plan, the Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan comes with a refillable souvenir mug that can be used at any resort during the length of your stay. Each restaurant will have a different theme, so it's often fun to try a new place each time.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is our favorite right now since we have small kids who don't want to sit still at a sit down restaurant for very long. This plan includes 2 meals per day, consisting of an entree and it's included side(s) (think half chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, or sandwich and fries) and new to 2018, those under the age of 21 can choose to have soda, tea or coffee, a milkshake, smoothie or other specialty non alcoholic beverage. Those over the age of 21 with valid ID can choose to have a beer, cider, mixed drink or wine if available. This plan also includes 2 snack credits which can be used on a variety of things from soups or salads, drinks, desserts or packaged snacks. My favorite thing to use a snack credit on are the themed cupcakes. Gigantic works of art and delicious! We have never felt like we've sacrificed food choices with this plan. Quick Service doesn't mean you are stuck with just burgers and fries. There are yummy salads, seafood, fajitas, and so much more. Mr. Disney Magic loves going to Animal Kingdom and having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ so he can order the Ribs, chicken and pulled pork plate that includes baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. With Quick Service meals, no gratuities are charged and you do not need reservations.
The Dining Plan is the standard meal plan with Disney World and it includes 1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks. You get everything as above with the Quick Service plan, but the Table Service meal can be a buffet or a sit down restaurant, and includes a dessert. This is a popular plan because it's the best of both worlds. You can have a quick lunch if you want and a leisurely dinner to unwind after a day at the Parks. There are a few Table Service restaurants that even offer special seating for nighttime shows, or Character Meals including breakfasts, however some of those might require the use of two meal credits. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most expensive plan because you get a lot more. This plan includes 3 meals, your choice of Quick Service or Table Service. If you choose the Table Service, in addition to the above entitlements, you also get to choose an appetizer. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The prices for the 2018 Disney Dining Plans are as follows:
Quick Service - Per night Ages 10 and up $52.50 Ages 9 and under $21.74
Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $75.49 Ages 9 and under $25.75
Deluxe Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $116.25 Ages 9 and under $39.99
There are some legitimate reasons as to why, or why not this plan might be good for you. If you love the idea of having all meals paid for in advance and if you like to have Table Service meals and don't mind planning in advance this plan may be perfect for you. If you just like to snack in the park, or want to bring in part of your own food and just eat one meal in the park, you might not get as much benefit from this.
An incredibly easy way to see if you will come out ahead or not if you buy this plan is to use this fabulous dining plan calculator. DisTripPlanner.com has put a lot of work into making your decision as easy as can be. Just make sure that you do add in the refillable mug in step 2, in order to get the most accurate result. Just click here to see the calculator.
A few things to remember.
Want to read more?
Click here for tips and tricks to maximize your Disney Dining plan credits
Click here to read about bringing your own food in at Disney
Click here to read about how to save HUNDREDS in just a few minutes at Disney