Tag Archives: Snow White

Tokyo Disneyland, 2016

We arrived at the Sheraton- one of the Disneyland resorts- and were upgraded to a penguin room. The penguin is the mascot of the hotel and they devote a whole floor to him including games, carpet, doors, bedspreads and furniture. Our daughter loved it.

The hotel also had a kids soft play area following a similar theme, electronic games, a miniature golf course and even an area where you can dress up as your favourite Disney character for a personalised photo shoot. Our daughter’s favourite game was the Sofia the First one where a hologram dressed her like the princess.

I was more impressed with the rest of the hotel including waterfall, two swimming pools, ocean views and even a fancy dessert bar with a fairy floss machine. My husband was most impressed with the fact that we could see the Disneyland castle and Disneysea volcano from our balcony and all we had to do was take a short monorail trip to get there.

We went to bed early- it was going to be a big two days.

I was so excited for our daughter’s first trip to Disneyland that I woke up before her. She dressed up in her Rapunzel dress that we had bought in Osaka with matching crown and princess doll that we had brought on our trip to Japan.

When we arrived at the Disneyland gates, we discovered that all the adults were dressed up too as this is allowed only for the week before Halloween. It made the day even better, the atmosphere was amazing and our daughter got to meet all the princesses.

There was another Rapunzel, Snow Whites, many Elsa’s, Jasmine, some Anna’s, Sleeping Beauty, a few Cinderella’s, Ariel, and even a Sophia, Amber and Princess Ivy. And of course there were many other Disney characters too, from Alice in Wonderland to Judy Hopps from Zootopia.

Our first ride was the Star Jets on the way to Toontown. Then we lined up for an hour to meet Mickey Mouse. It was worth it of course and while we waited, we took turns on the rides there with our daughter- Gadgets Go Coaster, Goofy’s House, Daisy’s Boat and Chip and Dale’s House.

We also met Pluto, bought a refillable Dumbo popcorn holder and saw the special Halloween parade with all the classic Disney characters- Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.

Fantasyland was exactly how I remembered it being in Los Angeles, but even better. There was the classic cups ride, the carousel, the flying Dumbo ride and you could actually go inside Cinderella’s castle to try on her glass slipper.

We went on a couple more rides in Tomorrowland, like the Monster’s Inc ride, and hit Adventureland when darkness hit. I love the New Orleans quarter here so we ate dinner in a café before riding Pirates of the Caribbean, another classic.

After a few more rides, it was time to call it on a very long day, put a happy little girl to sleep and watch the fireworks from our balcony.

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Disney on Ice

I recently had the pleasure of going to Disney on Ice with my daughter and it was fabulous!

The last time I saw the show I went with my grandmother when was 5. Mickey Mouse was the main attraction then, along with Snow White.

Disney on Ice has changed since my day. There is still Mickey Mouse of course, but the main drawcard are the new princesses- Rapunzel and Frozen. But they still had Belle and my favourite- The Little Mermaid- perhaps a clever marketing move to hook the parents in too?

And so, I got to relive being five, 30 odd years later. A time when life was simpler, happiness was easy and stresses were few.

Clever Disney, transporting us all back to fun times with some entertainment, light and music. Even some of the adults were dressed up as Elsa. And why not take a break from the everyday job that you are going to be at for the next 30 years and let the fantasy take over instead?

I mean, in what reality are horses on ice skates, flashes of light come out of the hands of princesses and it snows inside?

And of course, everyone knows all the songs from having watched the movies a millions times at home- so why not sing along?

Sure, you could be cynical and say Disney is a moneymaking organisation that wants go charge you $35 for a plastic cup when you leave, but perhaps that’s ok with all the joy they have brought into the world for our little ones?

My daughter loved it too of course. Having 4 stories in one kept her interested, she enjoyed an Olaf ice cream and all she wanted to know was when is Elsa and Anna were coming on.

The one thing that did get me thinking though, was the fact that princesses have to change for perfect prince, like Ariel having to change for her prince. But on the flipside, the prince has to change for his perfect princess, like Flynn having to change for Rapunzel.

Personally, I don’t think anyone should ever have to change for anyone, but perhaps it’s more a message about the right person bringing out the best in us all. I like to think so anyway.

Related posts: All things Disney, Kid at Heart, Disneyland, 2007

It’s an American Thing

My favorite city in America is San Francisco with its Golden Gate Bridge. I can image myself living in one of the city’s terraces on a steep hill. A New York loft in Soho comes in a close second, just a short subway ride from Central Park.

And then there is Las Vegas, where you can see the whole world in one place, San Diego where you can see all the animals in the whole world in one place and Los Angeles where you can see all the stars in the whole world in one place.

One of my favorite trips in America was a Californian road trip along Route 66 and Big Sur- seeing the natural beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and the Grand Canyon plus the man made mansion Hearst Castle along the way. California just has so much to offer. There are ghost towns in the desert, seals on the coast and redwoods in Yosemite.

My bestie is from the tiny town of Stuart, Nebraska- a four-hour drive through cornfields from Omaha. I was lucky enough to be included in their annual 4th July celebrations and it was really something special to be welcomed as one of the family.

Of course, my love affair with American culture started early on with Snow White and a trip to Disneyland. I always wondered what it would be like to go to a real American high school like in Buffy, or a real American college like in Beverly Hills 90210 or go to a football game with real American cheerleaders like in Hellcats.

Anne Rice and Twilight peaked my interest in visiting the Deep South and Washington State. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have made me want to visit Georgia and New Orleans. Gilmore Girls makes me want to go to New England and let’s not forget Sex and the City for New York inspiration, cosmopolitan style.

Which brings me to shopping of course. You can get anything you want at ridiculously low prices compared to Australia, which probably explains why most of us shop online these days.

There is the tasty simplicity of the classic American diner, the best Mexican food and margarita’s outside of Mexico and buffalo ribs smoked the right way. If you have room for desert, there is jello pie, smores and Twizzlers.

The country is so varied, that I can see why you may never want to leave. If you want mountains, you can go to Colorado, if you want water parks, you go to Florida, if you want a history lesson, you go to Washington DC.

I would love to visit a plantation in Louisiana, party for a night in Miami and drift up the coast of Oregon. It would be great to stay in a Boston brownstone, a Chicago skyscraper or a Hampton’s mansion.

The people are friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic about their country. Yes, America has a bit of something for everyone, and I guess that’s what makes the country so great in the first place.

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Toys

My favourite toys growing up were a pyjama rabbit called Rabbit and a wombat puppet called Wombat. Very imaginative names I know.

I was only allowed to have one Barbie doll, so I got tropical barbie who lived in a white house with a red roof (which was modelled on our house) with Inspector Gadget who had spring arm legs and a helicopter that came out of his head. Their regular relations produced a daughter called Penny.

Having too many soft toys and collecting everything under the sun from stamps and coins to rocks and erasers; I was devastated to find out that my entire shell collection had been dumped in the backyard creek after a clean out of the shed and still feel guilty for stealing an eagle feather that a boy brought to school for show and tell.

I never received board games as an only child and was always every jealous when my cousins received Guess Who and Twister for Christmas. No, it was books for me- fortunately I loved to read.

My English connection meant that I received Beatrix Potter’s complete collection and all the Rupert books from grandma. I was also into watching Blue Peter, Noddy, Sooty and Sweep and the Punch and Judy show at the beach in summer.

I developed an early interest in science fiction by watching Doctor Who and in Japanese anime before I even knew that was what it was with Astro Boy; but my favourite show was the Lost Cities of Gold. I also liked Snoopy, Felix the Cat and Bugs Bunny with his Looney Toons.

There was always some craze at school- skipping ropes, then marbles followed by elastics.

Strawberry Shortcake, Snow White and Mickey Mouse were childhood staples and Archie double digests in my teenage years; but it was nothing compared to the Frozen mania that has swept the world of today. Disney has sure worked out how to capitalise on a brand there.

What was your favourite toy as a kid?

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All things Disney

I love all things Disney.

From the moment my grandma took me to see my first film- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- I was hooked.

I know that it’s supposedly commercial, but I can’t help but get caught up in the hype. And I enjoy it.

I’ve been to the original Disneyland in Los Angeles 3 times and I am sure I will be visiting again. I would also love to go to Disney World in Florida and maybe Disneyland Paris too.

The old traditional Disney Princesses like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Belle from Beauty and the Beast hold special memories from my childhood.

Ariel, The Little Mermaid, was my favourite as I love the ocean and the thought of being able to live under the sea.

There have been a few additions since then of Jasmine from Aladdin, Pocahontas, Rapunzel from Tangled, Mulan and some weird frog princess who I’ve never heard of, but the concept is still there- perhaps in a new age inclusive kind of way.

Brave teaches little girls to be strong, independent and in control, and I can’t really argue with that message that’s for sure.

Micky Mouse is an institution that has grown and adapted over time to include more animals and better animation. And what child growing up in the 80’s can forget Bambi, Lady and the Tramp and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan?

I’ve recently been introduced to the new Disney Princess for younger girls- Sofia the First- and I must say I’m impressed. It’s not too repetitive or hard to watch as a lot of kids shows can be, and they have cleverly tied in cameos from the fully grown Disney Princesses. The good fairies from Sleeping Beauty- Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are also in the series.

A lot of the newer movies made in collaboration with Pixar, such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Up are quite good, with jokes for adults as well as kids. The only one I’m not sure of is Frozen, but everywhere you look there is another child in an Elsa dress so who I am to argue with popular opinion?

Disneyfy me up I say!

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