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Valentine’s Decor

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We took our Christmas decor down over the first weekend of the year. During the process I decided that I wanted to decorate our mantel for the Valentine’s season. My second favorite seasonal decor to raid through at Target’s Bullseyes Playground are Valentine items (In case you were wondering what my personal ranking is – 1st is Christmas, 2nd is Valentine’s, and 3rd is Halloween). This year’s offerings did not disappoint. I love all the shades of reds and pinks together!

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  • “I Love You Like Mickey Loves Minnie” sign is by me
  • “Mickey & Minnie Kind of Love” sign is by me
  • “Forever” sign is by me, the heart is from Target
  • “So This is Love” sign is by me, the heart is from Target
  • “XOXO” sign is from Target
  • “LOVE” arrow sign is from Target
  • I think the vases are from Fred Meyers, I bought them several years ago
  • Garland is from Target
  • The first Mickey & Minnie is actually a photo holder from Aulani
  • Mickey & Minnie Alaska Adventure is painted by Noah
  • Mickey & Minnie “and they lived happily ever after” is from Hallmark

That’s about it for our Valentine’s decor aside from a heart mobile that I hung outside. As far as what are we doing for Valentine’s Day? Nothing planned because we both prefer to save up for our upcoming Disney trips! =D

With Love

Uncategorized

Hello, 2018!

 

We are 8 days into 2018 and guess what? I haven’t messed up writing or typing the year out yet. Haha.

Here are some of my goals for 2018:

  1. Continue to grow my side hustle
    I’m almost at 100 sales on Etsy! By the end of the 2018 I’d like to hit 225 Etsy sales.
  2. Continue the Keto lifestyle
    I started on my Keto journey November 6, 2017 and I couldn’t be happier! -19 pounds so far and lots of NSVs (non scale victories). I’m excited yet a little sad that my favorite pants (which I have 4 pairs of) are getting too loose to wear!
  3. Stop wasting food
    Just the other day we cleaned out our pantry and threw away so much food… It’s a big waste of money.
  4. Complete the Visual Communications Certificate from American Public University
    1 class almost done, 2 classes done,  and 3 more classes to go.

Here are some things I look forward to:

  1. MOVIES
    There are so many movies I look forward to seeing! Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2, Black Panther, Fifty Shades Freed, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ralph Breaks the Internet, A Wrinkle in Time, Solo, etc…
  2. Colorado
    We’re going down during the summer for my mother in law’s wedding. I can’t wait to spend quality time with family! I’m also excited because it’ll be my first time going to Colorado.
  3. Disney Wonder & Disneyland
    We’re going to sail from Vancouver to San Diego on the Disney Wonder. I’m so excited because we sailed on the Disney Wonder in May 2016 right before she was reimagined. I can’t wait to see what’s new! When we get to San Diego we’re going to head to Disneyland for a few days. I’m SO EXCITED because the Halloween decorations are going to be up while we’re there. Plus we’ll be able to experience the new Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure.
  4. Las Vegas
    We might spend our 7th year wedding anniversary (and TEN years of togetherness!) in the city we got married! I hope we can work this trip out, but it’ll just depend on our finances as we get closer. We both play myVEGAS Slots so I’m hoping we can make it affordable by getting a few free nights at a hotel and free meals.Quick rundown of myVEGAS Slots – It’s a free app you can download on your phone or play on a computer. You get coins and can redeem them for discounted/free hotel stays, meals and entertainment. It can take a while to build up enough coins, but it’s worth the effort. We’ve been able to stay at New York New York, Excalibur and Luxor for free. We’ve also gotten free meals at the Bellagio buffet and free tickets to a few shows. Like I said, it’s worth the effort!
  5. Disney World and Disney Fantasy
    This is our big trip of the year! I can’t wait to see Disney World all decked out for Christmas for the first time. I also can’t wait to sail on the Disney Fantasy on a Very Merrytime Cruise itinerary. What makes this trip extra special is that we’ll be Gold Castaway Cay Members (finally!) and we’ll be sailing on the first ship that sparked our love for cruising.

What are you looking forward to in 2018? I pray you’ll have a fantastic year full of laughter and new memories!

With Love

Uncategorized

2017 Memories

 

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2017 – Thank you for being so good to me! Here are some of my favorite highlights:

I turned 30 in January.

Hello 30. It was my best birthday month ever!

  • I had a fun party with my closest friends and family. Everything was pink, gold, and oh so sparkly!
  • We went to Disney World. We stayed at the BoardWalk and the Wilderness Lodge. We got to ride on Soarin’ Around the World and Frozen Ever After for the first time. We went during The Festival of Arts and I got to meet my favorite artist, Noah, and Sean even got me a signed print! We also saw Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland perform.
  • We sailed on the Disney Magic and officially fulfilled one of our goals – sail on all 4 Disney Cruise Line ships. It was so MAGICal to sail on the first ever Disney ship. The shows on this ship were my favorite: Twice Charmed, Tangled, and Disney Dream – An Enchanted Classic were all so dreamy. We even got a cabana on Castaway Cay.

I opened up my Etsy shop in April.

Read more about my side hustle adventure.

I went to Seattle for the first time in May to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthday.

We did lots of touristy things and ate a lot of yummy food in the 2 nights we were there! See my recap post on my old blog here.

I went to my first Velicaria family reunion in June.

It was so cool and heartwarming to be able to attend! I got to see family that I haven’t seen in years and met lots of new faces. I look forward to going again in the future.

I went on an epic California trip in July.

  • We went to D23 for the first time! Read all about our tips, tricks, and favorite memories on this post.
  • We had a magical visit to Disneyland.
    • We got to stay in a newly renovated suite at the Grand Californian.
    • We ate at Steakhouse 55 for the first time.
    • We got to see the reimagined Fantasmic show.
    • We got to say one final goodbye to the Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • We got to spend quality time with my family in Temecula.

I resurrected http://www.disneylin.com and I started my new blog here on WordPress.

If you’d like to browse through my old blog, visit Lin Loves Disney.

I earned my associate degree in Business Administration from American Public University in September.

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I began a Visual Communications certificate from APUS.

I finally learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator! Right now I’m taking a web development class where I’m learning how to write HTML codes manually. I just need 3 more classes to complete after the end of January.

Sean and I celebrated 6 years of marriage (and 9 years of togetherness) in November.

  • We ate dinner at Simon & Seaforts, watched Daddy’s Home 2, and stayed in Alyeska for a night.

I started the keto diet in November.

It’s been an awesome lifestyle change!

Other 2017 Highlights

  • We built a fence. It’s nice to not worry about our dog, Lucy, running off. It’s also really nice to enjoy some privacy.
  • I got to go to Juneau for a quick work trip.
  • My family bought us a new grill, a firepit, and adirondak chairs.
  • I celebrated 10 years working at my company.
  • Sean and I went on a fancy date to Seven Glaciers at Alyeska Resort.
  • I love our home so much! It’s been so much fun decorating seasonally. I love coming home to our little paradise and just relax.
  • My Instagram account exploded! I mean that in a good way. One of my Disney Cruise pictures made it to the official Disney Cruise Line Instagram account. Several of my home pictures have also made it to one of my favorite accounts, Disney_at_Home. It has been really awesome to connect with Disney fans all over the world!
  • I finally learned how to use my pressure cooker. It quickly turned into one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Another favorite kitchen gadget purchase is a mini raclette! I LOVE CHEESE. I’ve lost count how many times we’ve used in and I eventually want to get a full size version.
  • We had several houses guests! I love that we have lots of room to be able to accommodate our visitors.
  • We saw a lot of good movies this year – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Jumanji were my favorites.

Again – thank you, 2017, for all the awesome memories.

With Love

Style, Uncategorized

Dear Santa…

Hello, December! The final month of 2017 is upon us. It’s been an incredible year for me and I’m already thinking about what to write for my “year in review” post. I know some of you know this about me, but if you didn’t know already I am obsessed with writing lists. I write lists for everything – things to do, meal plans, goals, movies and shows to watch, books to read, signs to make, and wants are a few examples of lists I like making. I wanted to practice using my newly acquired Photoshop skills and I decided to make a visual of my Christmas wishlist:

Final

  1. iMac. Sean bought one for me and it’s on its way! =D
  2. Garnier SkinActive Miceller Makeup Removing Towelettes. Hands down the best makeup removers I’ve ever used. I need to stock up on these.
  3. Felt board. I’d love a pink or a gray one. I have an obsession for signs… Can’t you tell? 🙂
  4. Sony A6000 digital camera.
  5. GPS Apple Watch Series 3 42mm in Pink Sand.
  6. 9 quart Instant Pot.
  7. Snow White Signature Color charm by Pandora.
  8. Pinita Colada body cream by The Body Shop and available a ULTA.
  9. Dooney & Bourke Disney Sketch Nylon Zip Satchel.
  10. Cricut Maker. To be honest – I thought it was really cool when I first saw it, but didn’t think it was something I’d use as often to be worth it. After seeing more of what it can do, I’m totally sold!
  11. Pink Starbucks tumbler. My sister brought it home today for me!
  12. Aulani bed runner. Aulani is one of my favorite Disney resorts! I love how they decorate the rooms. This bed runner is a focal point and I want one of my own.
  13. Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Metal Moon.

    Items I forgot to include in my visual…

  14. Violet Volt Lipsense.
  15. Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers.
  16. The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 2-Piece Decorated Rectangular Ruffle Top Ceramic Bakeware Set.
  17. Thomas Kinkade: The Disney Dreams Collection 2018 Wall Calendar.
  18. The Disney Princess Postcard Box: 100 Collectible Postcards.
  19. Be Our Guest: Revised and Updated Edition: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (The Disney Institute Leadership Series).
  20. The Disney Way:Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company, Third Edition.
  21. Beyond the Castle: A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After.

What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year?

With Love

Career & Development

Shop Update

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I am completely blown away. My last blog post about my Etsy shop was in early October. At that time I had a total of 29 Etsy sales. My sales goal by the end of the year was 50… Fast forward to 11/26/2017 and I have 70! I can’t believe it! This month has been insane. ‘Tis the season! I’ve had 26 Etsy sales in November alone and the month isn’t even over yet. 4 of those sales even happened on Small Business Saturday!

I’ve gotten so busy that I’ve decided to close my shop mid-December so I can enjoy the holidays, focus on school, and focus on my career obligations. My initial plan was to reopen on New Year’s day, but with everything that is going on at work (a huge training initiative) I might postpone it a while longer.

I put countless hours of labor and love into my little side hustle. I honestly don’t even make a huge profit to justify everything that I put into it. But I continue to do it because it’s so fulfilling to have complete creative freedom and also seeing how happy my guests are. It’s so cool to connect with my guests via Instagram nationwide and cultivate new Disney friendships! My heart is filled with love and gratitude.

THANK YOU.

With Love

Home

Christmas at the Paraoan Residence

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Woohoo, we are officially in the Christmas season! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving surrounded with family and friends. Sean & I spent our Thanksgiving at my aunt & uncle’s house. We enjoyed the typical Thanksgiving meal fare – turkey, ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. We also had pancit and lumpia (I mean really, what’s a Filipino get-together without those dishes?!). Sean and I have been on the keto diet for the past few weeks, but we decided to let loose yesterday and be in carb heaven. I lost count how many pieces of lumpia I ate, haha!

We started our Black Friday shopping adventure this morning at 8:30 am. We didn’t do too much damage. I got makeup from Ulta and Sephora, clothes from Old Navy, Wallflowers from Bath & Body Works, and a new pan from JCPenney. I did order a bunch of stuff online – our Christmas cards from TinyPrints.com, gifts from ShopDisney, and gifts from Kate Spade. I can’t wait to see what kind of deals Cyber Monday will bring. And remember, Small Business Saturday is tomorrow!

Anyways, moving on… I wanted to share how I’ve decorated our home for my favorite holiday!

Let’s start with the front of our house, shall we? I saw a cool “letter to Santa” sign on Pinterest a few weeks ago. I thought it would be fun to make similar to use as a prop for our Christmas card photoshoot. I “Disney-fied” it to make it more “us.” I hot glued a ribbon to the back of it and hung it outside. That’s about as far as I got for our outside. I think next year we’ll go “all out!”

Is anyone else obsessed with Bullseye’s Playground (formally known as One Spot) at Target like I am?! 80% of my new Christmas decor came from there. I went to Target nearly everyday just to raid through Bullseye’s Playground. I was going nuts looking for the red sleigh! My good friend and fellow blogger, Kathy, gave me the heads up that it was finally in our local store. I don’t know why, but I’ve been really into sleighs lately!

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I put our Disney Christmas village on our entryway table. I actually found 2 of the buildings randomly at Value Village a few years ago! I remember feeling like I found gold when they caught my eye there. The other 2 came from Sears and Lowes. We added Tsums Tsums and laid down lights for an added effect. I’d like to add more to our collection, but we’re out of room on the table! Haha.

And on to the living room! It’s my favorite space. I made the “I use antlers in all of my decorating” (in reference to Gaston from Beauty & the Beast) and the “Merry everything and a happy always” signs. The Mickey & Minnie Alaska Adventures painting is by Noah. All the other signs came from Bullseye’s Playground. I was initially concerned about how small they were, but they fit nicely in this space.

I put our singing Disney train that I got from Hallmark last year on our coffee table.

I absolutely adore our tree! Sean and I are very specific when it comes to lights. We only wanted “cool white” lights and it was a pain in the butt to find a pre-lit tree that fit our wants. So we bought an unlit tree and strung it with tons of lights. Our tree is so bright! I LOVE IT. This year I bought a complete set of new ornaments from Michaels. We were using the same ornaments since 2011 and I felt like it was time for a change. I chose pink, pearl, and gray ornaments since it’s my favorite color combination. I bought all the ornaments and trimmed the tree before I went on a Bullseye’s Playground shopping craze… It didn’t even occur to me that it wasn’t all going to match (since the mantel is reds and greens). Oh well! =)

I put a mini tree on the landing of our stairway.

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Elsewhere around the house: We changed our placemats to the paper Disney Christmas themed ones I got from ShopDisney.com last year. Sean put a mini tree on the table as decor and it looks really cute. I’ll have to take a picture and update this post with it once I do.

Sean’s sister is staying with us next month when she comes and visits from college. I need to decorate the guestroom! 🙂

With Love

Home

Decorating for Fall

Decorating for Fall

Sean and I got to celebrate Halloween in our home for the first time! Last year we were in Las Vegas for our anniversary, so my parents came over to pass out candy while we were gone. We were so excited to pass out candy this year since it was our first time doing it together. The condo we lived in was a secured access apartment style building, so we never had any trick or treaters. There wasn’t snow on the ground and it wasn’t incredibly cold, so it was cool to be able to see their costumes. When you live in Alaska, sometimes you don’t know what kids wear as costumes since they’re bundled up to beat the cold. Haha!

We put away our Halloween decorations a few days ago. I know you may not like what you’re about to read, but I am one of those people that decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving. *GASPS* I usually start decorating mid-November. What can I say? I LOVE Christmas, I am Catholic, and I am Filipino (About 80% of Filipinos in Philippines are Catholic and actually start celebrating as early as September). Haha. I decided to attempt to decorate for Fall before I start decorating for Christmas. I don’t really have any fall type decorations and I didn’t want to spend money on new decor. Fall comes and goes in the blink of an eye here in Anchorage, Alaska which is also why I never really bothered in the past.

I left some of my Halloween pumpkins on the front porch. All I did was hot glue flowers onto the pumpkins. I got all of my supplies from Michaels.

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The other place I decorated was the mantel. Fun fact – I am obsessed with banners! I made these with my Cricut. I also used it to make the “Grateful hearts gather here” sign. I felt that the gray and brown colors were earthy. I like orange, but there’s nothing orange in the living room. The fireplace is one of my favorite areas in our home. We didn’t have one at our condo and it was one of my wish list items when we were shopping for a house. I always longed to get cozy around the fireplace with hot cocoa or coffee in hand.

  • Cogsworth, $80, ShopDisney.com
  • Beauty & the Beast art, $14.99, Box Lunch
  • Lumiere, $55, ShopDisney.com 
  • Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Alaska Adventure by Noah, $650, ShopDisney.com
  • Vintage Mickey & Minnie Mouse by Jim Shore, $40, available on Amazon
  • “Grateful hearts gather here” sign made by me
  • Banners made by me

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I know it’s not a lot… Basically all I have are the pumpkins, my sign, and the banners. Haha. This is as “Fall-like” as it’s going to get this year. Maybe next year I’ll do more!

With Love

Style

Easy ways to add a Disney touch in your everyday style

Disney Touch

I don’t know about you, but I would wear my Minnie Mouse hoody to work everyday if I could! I unfortunately can’t in my profession. Even though I can’t wear my awesome LulaRoe Disney prints during the workweek, I am able to share my “Disney Side” in other ways.

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PANDORA and Alex & Ani make amazing Disney inspired pieces. You’re bound to find something you’ll love from their collections and they’re always coming out with new designs. My favorite Alex & Ani bangle is Snow White inspired and says, “Whistle While You Work.” It’s definitely a nice reminder to look at, especially during a rough work day.

Another way to add a Disney touch to your style is by using a Disney purse, wallet, or wristlet. So many designers have launched Disney collections – Kate Spade, Dooney & Bourke, LeSportsac, Coach, and Loungefly are just a few examples.

Disney Style

  1. Snow White “Whistle While You Work” bangle by Alex & Ani, $44.95 on ShopDisney.
  2. Red Hair Bow. I love big bows! Find them on Etsy or even on eBay.
  3. Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs 80th Anniversary Charm by PANDORA, $80 on ShopDisney.
  4. Disney Coach Wristlet. They are no longer available at the Coach Outlet, unfortunately. I have seen them on eBay.

DisneyBounding

Another way to add a Disney touch to your style is by “DisneyBounding.” You wear an outfit that is influenced by a Disney character, but it’s not necessarily a “costume.” An easy way to Disneybound is to wear colors and use accessories that your chosen character wears. For example, I absolutely adore Snow White. Snow White’s color palette consists of yellow, blue, and red. This is what I came up with at Disneyland:

Disney Bound - Snow White
Snow White herself even noticed me during Main Street Electrical Parade! It was such a sweet and magical moment.

Old Navy is a great place to find basic shirts and cardigans in an array of colors. I found both the yellow shirt and cardigan during the same shopping trip.

Here’s another example of DisneyBounding. I wanted to partake in Star Wars Day this year (May the Fourth be With You!), but since it fell on a work day I couldn’t wear any of my Star Wars branded shirts. I wore R2D2 colors that day – white, gray, and blue.

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A great way to find character or color palette ideas is to look up #DisneyBound or #DisneyBounding on Instagram.

What are some ways you add Disney to your style? I’d love to hear your ideas!

With Love

Travel & Leisure

D23 Expo 2017 – Tips, Tix, & Our Highlights

I wrote this on my old blog, but I’ve decided to crosspost it to here too. 🙂

We survived our first D23 Expo! When we say survived, we mean WE SURVIVED.
We read a ton of information online before our trip. We wanted to know it all – the good and the bad. There was so much information out there that it became overwhelming instead of being helpful.
We didn’t want to be disappointed by over-hyping the event, so we decided to go into the Expo with low expectations and lots of optimism.
We’ve compiled a few tips that we hope you’ll find helpful.

Tips

1. Stay nearby. It was so convenient to be within walking distance of the convention center. We stayed at Disney’s Paradise Pier and it was about a 15 minute walk to get to the center. It was nice not having to worry about parking. See the parking rates and information about the various parking lots on Anaheim Convention Center’s website… It was enough to deter us from thinking of driving!
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Your feet will thank you!
3. Be prepared for long lines and lots of waiting. We knew there were going to be a ton of people there and I’m so glad we mentally prepared ourselves for it. The crowds were unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. We waited 2-3 hours each day just to get into the venue, but the lines don’t stop there. There are lines for everything – to go into the exhibits, to go into the stores, to purchase food, to go into the restroom. Some exhibits had minimal wait as the day went by and some exhibits always had a long line (for example – Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin always had a line!).
4. Bring portable batteries so you never run out of juice. We are so glad they had Wi-Fi at the Anaheim Convention Center. Having wireless data access helped make the time pass by while we were waiting in line. It was spotty at times, but I was so grateful to have it.
5. Bring bottled water. Save money and bring your own bottled water! The letter we received before the Expo said that food and drinks were not allowed, but bottled water is the exception. We also brought light snacks with us and weren’t reprimanded. I was hoping that there would be Disney food at the convention and unfortunately that wasn’t the case! We ate at the Anaheim Convention food courts… The meals were expensive and tasted less than mediocre. There were food trucks at the convention too, but there was a long line to get back through security. We decided to dine at the food trucks for dinner instead. The food trucks were expensive too, but at least the food offerings were plentiful and flavorful.
6. Prioritize what you want to see. Especially when it comes to the panels. Some people wait hours to get into the highly coveted panels, such as the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts panel. While it would have been AWESOME to be there in person and feel the energy of excitement from the crowds, to us it wasn’t worth waiting 4 or 5 hours. We saw all the updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while we were doing other things, so we don’t feel like we missed out on anything.
We wish they presented panels multiple times throughout the Expo, but they don’t. The only presentation that had 2 sessions was A Whole New World of Alan Menken (which was AMAZING!).
7. Save money and leave room in your suitcase for D23 Expo exclusive merchandise. There were a ton of cool D23 Expo exclusive merchandise! The lines to get into the Dream Store and the Disney Store was always at least 45 minutes long to get in. We didn’t buy a lot of things, but we saw people with BAGS AND BAGS of stuff. American Tourister hosted a bag check area and I believe their fee was a reasonable $2/bag for them to hold.
8. Beat the heat – bring a personal fan. We just used paper fans and they worked great. They don’t take up a lot of space and you don’t need batteries for them.

Tickets

There’s definitely an advantage of buying Expo tickets early. This image is from D23’s website:
We bought 3 day tickets during the Early Bird special. I don’t see why anyone would pay for non-member pricing, signing up for the basic tier of D23 is free!
They also have premium “Sorcerer Package” tickets which are pricey at $2,250/ticket. Not sure how many of those tickets are available, but we heard that they did indeed sell out. Check out what is included on D23.

Our Highlights

Voices of Disney Parks panel
Have you ever wondered who the voices behind your favorite Disney attractions are?! This was such a magical experience! My little sister’s favorite ride is “It’s A Small World” and her face lit up when she saw the narrators of the attraction – B.J. Ward and Yeni Alvarez. We also saw Bill Rogers and Camille Dixon. We loved seeing the dynamics between all of the presenters!
View the video on YouTube, uploaded by Inside the Magic.

Once Upon a Time panelOne of our favorite shows of all time is Once Upon a Time. There was no way we were going to miss this panel! The stage host was Jeffrey Epstein and Colin O’Donoghue, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz graced the stage. It was a cool treat to see Colin sing his song from he Musical episode.

We are sad to see several of our favorite characters go, but we are also excited to see what they do with the show. I’m sure we’ll see each of them in future episodes anyway, in true Once Upon a Time fashion. 🙂

D23 has a great review article on their site and Disney Dwayne uploaded a highlights video on YouTube.

A Whole New World of Alan Menken presentation

The Alan Menken performance was a once in a lifetime experience. Never in our lives did we think we’d get to witness Alan Menken perform in person. He wrote music for The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Newsies, Hercules, Tangled, etc.! It was neat learning about his life and learning how some of the greatest songs came to light.

Meeting Charis Lincoln

Okay, I (Lin) have been following Charis on various social media platforms for a while now. My sister and I have always admired her optimism for life. She lives in Alaska too! In North Pole. We’ve always wanted to meet her and we got our chance at the D23 Expo. She is just as bubbly and warm in person as she is in her YouTube videos.

If you need a daily dose of positiveness and happiness, definitely check her out!

Instagram
YouTube

 

Thomas Kinkade painting

We have several Thomas Kinkade canvases and we added this Mickey & Minnie Mouse canvas to our collection! Thomas Kinkade Legacy artist, Dirk Wunderlich, even signed it.

Fun Photo Opportunities

There were plenty of fun photo opportunities all over the place.

A Honda MINNIEvan!
I really wanted one of these famous Pixar balls!
Don’t let Olaf steer your sleigh!

Was it all worth it?

There is definitely more room for improvement. Our suggestions that could have made the experience better: have a more efficient crowd control system, show panels multiple times throughout the schedule, and tell Anaheim Convention Center to serve better food.

We had a great time overall and we look forward to going again in 2019!

With Love
Travel & Leisure

How To Officially Make Disney Your 2nd Home

What is Disney Vacation Club?

The best explanation of DVC (Disney Vacation Club) is that it’s a vacation ownership program. Dare we say it – yes, it’s Disney’s version of a timeshare. You’ll never hear themselves promote it as a timeshare though. Many timeshares have a poor reputation and people often dismiss the idea once that dreaded word is mentioned. While that feeling is understandable, if you love vacations – especially vacationing at Disney destinations, you may fall in love with Disney Vacation Club like we did. They call it DVC for a reason – you really feel like you’re part of a club!

How many DVC resorts are there?

There are 16, most of which are located on Walt Disney World’s property.

Hawaii
Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

California
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Florida
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Florida – Walt Disney World
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
Disney’s Animal Kingdo Villas – Kidani Village
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

South Carolina
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort

Each are uniquely themed and immerse you into the stories they represent.Check out Disney Vacation Club’s official site to see more details about each individual resort.

How does it work?

You purchase a set number of “vacation points” that are allocated each year until the contract expires. The expiration date depends on your home resort. Some contracts end as early as 2042 and some end 2062. You use your allotment vacation points to “spend” on accommodations. The number of points per night will vary based on what resort you stay at, the kind of room you want (studio villa, 1 bedroom villa, 2 bedroom villa, etc.) and when you decide to go. Disney Vacation Club has 5 distinct seasons – Adventure Season, Choice Season, Dream Season, Magic Season, and Premier Season. We kind of like to equate the Adventure Season as the “value” season whereas the Premier Season is “peak” season.

Here is an example of a Lake View at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows for a Deluxe Studio:

Adventure Season (Jan 1 – 31, Sep 1 – 30, Dec 1 – 14) 20 points
Choice Season (Oct 1 – Nov 20, Nov 24 – 30, Dec 15 – 23) 21 points
Dream Season (Feb 1 – 15, May 1 – June 10, Aug 16 – 31) 25 points
Magic Season (Feb 16 – Mar 24, April 8 – 30, June 11 – Aug 15, Nov 21 – 23) 27 points
Premier Season (Mar 25 – April 7, Dec 24 – 31) 37 points

As you can see, there is a big difference between the Adventure and the Premier Seasons. We like to maximize our points by staying in a Studio Villa and going during the Adventure Season.

An important choice to make is where you want your home resort to be (aka where you buy your contract). It is important because you can book to stay at your home resort 11 months in advance. You can book 7 months in advance for the other resorts.

You can also exchange DVC points to use at RCI accommodations! RCI is another well known timeshare company that has hundreds of resorts around the world. We personally haven’t used our membership to stay at non-Disney properties, but it’s cool that we have that ability to do so in the future.

If you don’t use all of your points in the current year, you can “Bank” them into the next year. It’s a nice perk since some timeshares have a “use it or lose it” mentality! Another neat feature of DVC is that you can borrow points from the following year.

What are the rooms like?

Studio villas are a little bigger than regular hotel rooms and feature a balcony and a well-equipped kitchenette (microwave, fridge, coffee maker, sink, paper plates, utensils). The larger villas have a fully-equipped kitchen (stove, oven, real plates and utensils, etc.) and an in suite washer and dryer.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Membership benefits! You shouldn’t buy into DVC for the perks, but they sure are nice. Some perks include discounts and member only events. There are discounts on tours, merchandise, special ticketed events, and occasionally even offer specials for theme park tickets.
  • Flexibility and lots of choices.
  • Even if you are staying in a Studio Villa, you can get tokens to use the common area washers and dryers at no extra fee.
  • You don’t have to pay for parking.
  • All of the perks of staying on property – Magic Mornings, included transportation, the “Disney touch,” etc.
  • Vacations and new memories year after year.
Cons
  • Cost. We’re not going to sugar coat it, it is expensive. But what you are getting are countless memories to last a lifetime – and that to us is worth justifying the costs!
  • This doesn’t bother us much, but it may bother other people… Since DVC is meant to be a “home away from home,” you don’t get daily mousekeeping service.
  • YOU MUST BE A PLANNER. Again, this doesn’t bother us much since we love planning ahead. We suggest booking right at the opening window for your best chances at getting what you want. Unfortunately, resorts like the Grand Californian are always difficult to secure since there are only 48 villas total.
  • Possibilities of annual dues increasing. Yes, there are annual dues.

Why did you join Disney Vacation Club?

We’ve always been a Disney couple. When we learned about Disney Vacation Club, we knew it was something that we wanted to be apart of. We love vacationing, especially on Disney trips. We love the perks of staying on property. We love the immersive theming and the impeccable customer service. We love the perks. We love taking our family and friends along. We don’t have kids yet, but when that time comes we want them to love Disney just as much as we do!
We’ve been members since 2013 and we’ve already made countless memories. We’re staying at all the resorts we used to dream about staying at! Disney has always been our second home, and Disney Vacation Club makes that official! =)

Where can I get more information?

We suggest checking out Disney Vacation Club’s official site! You can also order a free DVD guide.
We hope that this gave you a better insight of what DVC is. Feel free to ask us any questions!
With Love