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Disney Cruise Line’s Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise

 

If any of you know me, even a little bit, you know that I love to travel and most importantly I love to travel to Disney. Yes, I am Disney obsessed and my sailing adventures are no different. When my son was born I knew I wanted to do something special for his first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family. So naturally, I looked for experiences we could share as a family along with my main mouse. I was thrilled to find that the newly “re-imagined” Disney Wonder was sailing out of our home port of Galveston, TX on a Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise. Christmas with Mickey, sign me up!

I booked us on the first voyage of the newly refurbished ship and was so excited to experience the holiday feel of the ship and all the amazing adventures we would have as a family while on board.

 

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The entire ship was decked out in Christmas decor; poinsettias by the stairs, garland strung end to end, wreaths and trees galore. Each restaurant even has its own Christmas decor. Triton’s had fish in its wreaths and Animators Palate had swags hanging from their paint brushes with artsy touches to complete the festive feel.

 

Christmas Decor

Even the chandelier in the main entrance matched the Christmas theme by resembling giant poinsettias that clung to the ornate ceiling.

We were warmly welcomed onto the ship by several cast members who were standing next to an enormous Christmas tree and the beginnings of a life size gingerbread house (it was completed by the time we disembarked). It was so much fun to see the area transform as our voyage continued.

 

Beautiful Flower Chandelier, Unlit tree, and start of Our stateroom was decorated with an extra Christmas surprise.

I previously called ahead to the Disney Cruise line to order special Christmas Decorations to surprise my family with a pre-decorated room. It was a great surprise and really added to the holiday spirit. to the Disney Cruise line to order special Christmas Decorations to surprise my family with a pre-decorated room. It was a great surprise and really added to the holiday spirit.

 

 Festive Room Decor ordered from Disney Cruise line

We decided to join in on Formal Night and get our pictures taken in front of the Christmas tree in the main lobby. I got us all dressed up for the experience and soon found out there was a fun filled tree lighting ceremony on the 1st night. I also discovered that one family for the entire cruise is selected to help light that tree.

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Ready to light the Tree

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First Picture with the newly lit Christmas tree

During the tree lighting ceremony they gave us pixie dust to sprinkle on the tree and Mickey and his friends came down to help countdown the tree lighting. After the countdown we sprinkled the tree and it magically lit up, displaying all its beauty and Christmas cheer!

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Lobby after tree was lit

After the ceremony, we were whisked away to a private meet and greet with Mickey and the gang and were given a picture of our experience as a keepsake. It was a truly breathtaking way to start our cruise. From that moment on, we were like celebrities aboard the ship. EVERYONE knew our name.

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Meet and Greet with Mickey and Pals

Like on every Disney cruise each night you are treated to a towel animal, chocolates and your own personal Navigator which outlines all the ship’s activities for the following day. It’s amazing to see how many activities there are to do on the ship! The activities on the Christmas cruise include even more holiday activities such as meeting Santa along with hot cocoa and cookies! There are so many touches that Disney adds to make this cruise feel so Christmas-y.

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1st picture with Santa

Our little guy was so good meeting Santa for the 1st time and we were thrilled to be able to encounter this special meet and greet on our cruise. We also signed up for gingerbread house making at Tiana’s Place, the newest restaurant aboard the Disney Wonder. We had to sign up at guest services to make the gingerbread houses since this activity is not available online.

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Meeting at Tiana’s Place to make a gingerbread house

We met up with our fellow cruisers and were greeted with our own little house tiles and supplies to construct our gingerbread house.

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Gingerbread house supplies

 

Someone wants to help with construction

Cast members, along with a chef from the Disney kitchen, come out to assist with the building of your house. They provide you with instructions and talk with the guests while you build your house but you can design and decorate as you see fit. One piece of advice; if your 10 month old wants to help, don’t be surprised when this happens.

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Collapsed house, courtesy of my little guy

 

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At least it tastes good!

Other activities we participated in for the holidays included meet and greets with princesses in their winter fineries and many visits with Mickey! My little guy LOVES the main cheese so getting to see him multiple times on a Disney cruise is a total win. Plus all of these amazing pictures really helped with my Christmas cards. There were so many things to do on board that we couldn’t do everything, just another reason why I love to cruise.

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Christmas picture with Belle

Cruising for Christmas was an amazing experience; we were able to enjoy big festivities like tree lightings and gingerbread houses, along with fancy meals where we could dress up, and quieter moments meeting Santa and Mickey Mouse with none of the Christmas hustle and stress, all in one vacation. Normally it takes me the whole month of December to only accomplish half of that! I could go on and on but there are so many options on board to bring you Christmas cheer!

So if you are looking for a new way to experience Christmas and enjoy all the things you love without the heavy planning, a cruise is for you! Experience all of the magic of Christmas and Disney all in one vacation. The Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise is all about celebrating Christmas in the middle of the ocean together, as a family, with everyone else doing all of the hard work for you!

If you would like to gift your family with a Disney Holiday cruise our Travel Time agents are here to help. Let us plan your dream Christmas today!

 

By Kris

Kfloyd@thetikitravelplanner.com

 

Let me make your vacation even easier!  I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact me today!

 

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Why Disney Cruise Line is Great for Babies

 

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Our First Picture Boarding the Disney Wonder

My family loves to travel and after having my son I knew I still wanted to explore and create great adventures. Plus, now I had someone new to share them with! We never thought a baby was too young to travel and enjoy a vacation  and we love Disney and cruising.  So naturally cruising with a baby made sense to us. Ever thought your child was too young for a Disney cruise? Here are some of the many reasons why a Disney cruise is perfect for your little one.

Disney allows infants 6 months of age to sail on most short voyages and allows children 1 year and older on their longer voyages such as their Transatlantic cruises. We celebrated our son’s 10 month “birthday” on his first cruise and it was perfect! He was able to meet characters, try new foods, experience magic all around, and explore a new country all in his first vacation.

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Ready for cake!

Offered free of charge onboard for babies(request these items at front desk upon boarding): Diaper genies, pack and plays, and even diaper warmers. They also have a few strollers that can be rented free (it does require a refundable security deposit) on a first come, first serve basis.

 

Disney cruise themed Pack n Play

Anyone packing for a child knows it can be difficult and you already feel like you are packing your entire house so not having to worry about the bulky items is a relief. Also if you do not feel like bringing your own diapers and formula the gift shops on board sell them.

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Bath Time

Disney also made cruising with a baby easier, they are the only cruise line with bath tubs. My son loves his baths and he was not walking by this trip so that was a perk for us. There also are mini refrigators in the room to store milk and plenty of plugs if you are pumping while on board. I did and there were so many plugs I could easily pick a plug and sit comfortably while I pumped. Also the rooms have a curtain that you can use to divid the main bed from the others in the cabin so if your child is like ours and can’t go to sleep if he can see you really comes in handy. We were able to draw the curtain and keep the lights on on our side and watch TV while our little one had a nice dimly light area to rest.

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The perfect place to rest: Night stand with plug for pumping equipment

The Disney cruise line also has a nursery if you want to enjoy an adult only restaurant or spa treatment. “It’s a Small World” Nursery is offered on all of Disney’s ships and they provide childcare for children 6 months to 3 years of age for a small fee per hour. It is highly recommended that you reserve your child’s time before you sail. It is an adorable nursery with a bright and cheery motif of Disney’s popular “It’s a Small World” ride and there are comfortable squishy floors, plenty of toys, chairs, and even a special area with cribs in case your bundle of joy plays themselves out.

 

                                      Cheerful decorations    Playing at “it’s a small world” nursery    Cribs in nursery

By now you are already seeing the benefits of cruising with your baby but there is so much more:

There are great TV viewing options on board with a lot of movies and fun shows, which helps if you are in the room nursing, pumping, or just hanging out.

Free Room service, in case your little one needs a nap during meal time. Speaking of food, our son was eating some solid food by this time but at our nightly sit down dinners and the kids menus had plenty of options. However if your little one is eating baby food they do offer to puree foods for you. No need to bring your own baby food to dinner

                                    Hunter’s Pirate Cup                   Kid’s Dinner Option               Kid’s Menu for Pirate Night, turns in to a hat

The Characters on board are great with kids and took special time to bond with my son, you can find them sometimes wandering but mostly at scheduled times. This can make it easy to pick which characters your child wants to see and you can work that into your plans for the day with the help of your navigator. And of course don’t forget the pictures! My family will cherish these photos forever.

 

                                Impromptu meeting with Mickey    Meet and Greet with Ariel      Pirate Night with Tinkerbell

They have a special splash area just for children still in swim diapers which is great if your kiddo is not walking or does not know how to swim yet. They can splash, get wet, and have a great time in their own safe and kid friendly spot.

You can explore a new country without having to work at planning, Disney picks the best excursions for you so you know in advance what you are doing at port and you know what age group and activity level each excursion is suited. We had a fun filled beach day in Cozumel and our little guy loved the fun in the sun.

 

Fun in the sun in Cozumel

The Disney cruise provides “wave phones” (like cell phones), so you can text and call anyone around the ship, no need to pay for roaming and data fees. The kids’ clubs and nursery will call you when your child is ready to be picked up, or in case anything happens — which is gives me great peace of mind.

All of the entertainment on the ship is free and there is something for everyone. Premier movies, Broadway-style shows, magic acts, etc. We were able to take our son to the movies without worrying about if he got to loud and we had to leave how much money we wasted.  If you have to leave half way through a show for a feeding or diaper change you don’t need to stress about the cost.

Disney is very child friendly and the cast members are always willing to help. They always provided my son with great attention and care everywhere we went. They make you and your child feel like family and to me that is what makes a great vacation. I am so happy we took our baby on vacation and really enjoyed cruising with him.

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Officer’s Night

Where else can you sail the seas, explore new lands, and enjoy the magic of Disney all in one vacation? I highly recommend sailing with Disney if you want to experience a grand adventure with your new addition, there is so much for everyone to experience and you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

By Kris

Let me make your vacation even easier!  I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you, contact me today!

kfloyd@thetikitravelplanner.com

http://www.thetikitravelplanner.com or Facebook.com/kfloydtikitravelplanner.com

210-660-7661

 

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If one bad apple spoils the bunch, what about two?

New Poison Apple pieces for sale and Art by Kris Floyd

 Halloween is almost upon us and the thoughts of fairytales and fantasies start to turn a bit dark and tumultuous this time of year, so what better to time to share some villainous art and home décor with you.

Carved by Dan Szczepanski's

Carved by Dan Szczepanski’s

It is pretty well known here on the blog that hubby and I are big fans of the Disney villains. The one thing about the villains is that their props are just as infamous as they are, for example; Maleficent’s spinning wheel, Captain Hook’s hook, or the Evil Queen Grimhilde’s apple. You can’t think about them without picturing the villain they belong to and what part they will play in the story. That very premise is the idea behind this post.

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Today’s star is the poison apple, with just one bite, Snow White will have eternal sleep and the Queen will reign supreme as the fairest in the land. The apple itself is just as transformative as the queen herself, an apple the symbol of health turned awry. That thought inspired our newest creations, my poisoned apple prop and Kris’ art piece “One Bad Apple”

“One Bad Apple”

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Still life gone wrong when one poisoned apple ruins the bunch

To make this part of your collection click here

As for the prop.

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Flash back to last year, I decided to go with the dark fairytales for Halloween. In order to tell my Evil Queen story, I needed my own Poisoned apple. I created this beauty and this year you can also have your very own by checking out my ebay l(click apple for link) shop, contact me  here or visit  Rapunzel’s Crafts Facebook Store here.

Poison AppleApples starting at $6.99 plus $4.50 shipping(paypal only.)

Each piece is lovingly made by me and designs will vary.

If interested in custom apples please contact me.

I hope this helps get you in touch with your villainous side in time for Halloween.

Until next time, Boo to you 🙂

Photo by Dave Kliment

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One little Spark- The newest “Figments” of Kris’ imagination

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 If you love Walt Disney’s Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow aka Epcot as much as I do, you probably recognize this song (I am sorry if it is now stuck in your head for the rest of the day) and hopefully you are as big of a fan of Figment as I am.

When I was a kid, Epcot was one of my favorite parks because of all the imagination it invoked in me. From The Kitchen Cabaret and Horizons to The Journey into Imagination, I was truly inspired. That little purple dragon spoke to me and I shared my love of Figment with my husband on our first Disney world vacation. That love has influenced some imagination today. I am pleased to present two new renditions of Figment from my husband Kris Floyd.

The first piece is entitled “Head in the Clouds”

Figment's imagination is soaring

                                               Figment’s imagination is soaring

The second in this set is “Hats off to you”

Figment's nod to his dear friend the Dreamfinder

                                          Figment’s nod to his dear friend the Dreamfinder

 These new pieces can be part of your Figment collection too just head to redbubble to get yours. Figment can even go where you go now in the form of a shirt, phone case or tote bag. Prints and pillow are also available. The choices are immense, just use your imagination!

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Also for those of you who just can’t get enough Figment check out Marvel’s new Figment comics.

Disney Marvel - Spark - Figment Dreamfinder

They follow the Dream Finder and Figment through an amazing journey into Imagination with a very fun and steam punk vibe. Check them out here.

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This Just in! New Disney Fan Art Releases from Kris Floyd

I have some news for you all and it is too exciting! Everyone needs to know, my husband Kris Floyd has been a very busy bee and has created some new AMAZING Disney Fan art and now you too can bring it home as a tote bag or a throw pillow and of course posters and prints. The new line is a Disney Villains theme with a new perspective.  These aren’t your typical villains but more a show case of the side kicks in a fresh new light. They celebrate hero side kicks all the time but it is time for the villainous side kicks to shine. And shine they do in this spectacular collection.

On with the show…

First on my newly released list is “Hook’s Dinnertime Nightmare”

Hook's reoccurring nightmare of being Tick Tock's main course

Hook’s reoccurring nightmare of being Tick Tock’s main course

Next up From “Hercules” are Pain and Panic in “A Simple Mission”

Pain and Panic have been given a simple mission to make sure baby Hercules becomes a mortal.

Pain and Panic have been given a simple mission to make sure baby Hercules becomes a mortal.

In this piece Flotsam and Jetsam take center stage or canvas as you will with “Pure Eve-Eel”

Ursula's side kicks Flotsam and Jetsam tormented a poor unfortunate soul

Ursula’s side kicks Flotsam and Jetsam torment a poor unfortunate soul

And my favorite in this collection is “Prince John’s portrait”

Prince John from "Robin Hood" desperately wants his mommy to the chagrin of Sir Hiss

Prince John from “Robin Hood” desperately wants his mommy to the chagrin of Sir Hiss

If you love Disney Villains as much as we do, I know you will be eager to make these part of your collection. All his new pieces are currently on Redbubble and I heard a rumor that a new one should be out soon, shhh!Be sure to check them all out here.

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There Be Dragons – Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Tutorial

Hi guys, I know it feels like forever since I have posted to this blog and well it has been. Between trying to get the new blog (rapunzelscrafts.weebly.com) off the ground and the amazing vacation that I had been planning it has been well over 6 months since I have given you something new to read.

I am sorry for that, truly.  But I promise this post will be something fun to read and maybe even something fun to make. If you don’t want to make it but still want one for your collection, I will be taking orders so be sure to read to the end for details.
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With the most recent season of “Game of Thrones” ending last week, I thought what better way to pay tribute than show you the awesome dragon eggs I intially created as gifts for the special people in my life. I am a huge dragon fan and I love Daenarys, so I went with the three eggs presented atop the bed of straw just as they were given to the mother of dragons on her wedding day.

But before we get to the final display first we need to make these beautiful eggs

Supplies for eggs:

–       3 small foam eggs ( about 3 inches tall)
–       Thumb tacks 4 packs of 300 (I chose gold since all the eggs had gold in them, easier and less paint)
–       Paint (acrylic paint)
–                 Green metallic
–                 Red metallic
–                 Gold metallic
–                 Black
–       Sponge brushes
–       Mod podge (I used matte for this project but could use any)
–       Gold glitter (I used a gold glitter nail polish)
–       Gold fabric paint or something else thin with metallic flecks
–       Optional: A popsicle stick or bamboo skewer to put egg on while working  to prevent hands from touching egg
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Step 1
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Get out an egg, your thumb tacks and mod podge
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Tip: you can paint your egg black before you start to prevent seeing white under scales but you can correct this later if you would like

Step 2
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Take your egg and starting in the middle push thumb tacks in making sure they are slightly overlapping the other tacks going around the egg, continue this going up or down the egg in a circular pattern until reaching the top and bottom. This will create your scaling

Tip: I found it easiest to add a thumb tack to top and bottom center so when you reached the top there is less of the foam showing
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Step 3
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Cover egg with a thick layer of mod podge using sponge brush

Be sure to fill in gaps in the scaling so when egg dries it will be smoother and have no holes in scales

Let dry until mod podge is clear

 

Step 4
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Once egg is completely dry, take your black paint and dry brush onto egg, covering most of the gold but still leaving some

Let dry

Step 5
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Cover once more with the mod podge to prevent paint from chipping or scratching off

Let dry

Step 6

Depending on what color egg you want to make this step will vary.

I.E. a gold egg at this point will already have gold showing through, so you will not be painting the egg on this step.
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For green or red egg (or other color besides gold) take your color and sponge on egg, leaving some places thicker than other and making sure not to cover all the black and gold from other steps.
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Tip: you want to dry sponge to get that speckled look, move sponge up and down and cover to your liking

Step 7
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Cover with more mod podge

Tip: You can skip this step but I wanted to make sure every layer was coated with sealer to prevent my work from wear during the process. Plus you get a nice, solid, sturdy, and smooth egg which adds to the finished product.

Step 8

Take a look at your egg. Is there more than areas that need highlights or more black paint for depth?

If yes: Add your desired paint (black or the primary color of the egg.) Make sure to do the dry brush speckling
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And let dry then continue to below
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If no: go straight to adding the metallic gold fabric paint (use a small amount and your sponge brush) and gold glitter to highlight and give that enchanted look to the egg.

Tip: use the gold glitter and gold paint sparingly, remember this is just the finishing highlight

Step 9: Seal finished product with mod podge and let dry
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Repeat steps 1-9 for other eggs until you have your 3 eggs. Then time to move on to the next process for housing your new dragon eggs.
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Supplies for egg housing:
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–       A small chest or box with hinged lid (preferred but you can use an open box if you would like) that will fit all 3 eggs
–       Raffia (at least one bag) in natural color
 
I don’t have pictures of these steps but hopefully the instructions are clear enough.

Step 1: Figure out how you would like eggs to be displayed in chest

Step 2: Tear raffia and fill bottom of box until you have a solid bed for eggs

Step 3: Place eggs in chest

Step 4: Fill in holes between eggs and chest with raffia until they are snug in box

Step 5: Enjoy being the mother/father or your new dragon eggs!
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Phew! I know that was a ton of steps but they do turn out amazing!

However, if you want these beauties without doing all the work yourself, I can do it for you!

I will be taking custom orders.

Choose from:

-1 egg in a mini box starting at $15 plus $6+ (approximate) shipping

OR

-Full set of 3 eggs in a chest like this starting at $60 plus $10 shipping.

Estimated turn around depending on order, request and size will be approximately 2 weeks at this point. I will take requests for other colors besides the traditional red, green and gold as well. However, it may take longer turn around depending on requests or supplies needed.

All transactions will be made via paypal. Once custom order has been discussed and price set, I will send an invoice. Once invoice is paid, I will begin work and notify you once item ships.

Please send requests via contact link on page or reply at bottom.

So there you have it, I hope that I left you with something fun to read, create or shop for. I have plenty more things planned for the future. So until next time…TTFN! Ta Ta for now 🙂

 

 

 

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

 
We made it to one of my favorite days of the year, finally. All the planning and slaving has come to an end and now it is time to “reap” the rewards.

This year at home, I did a play on “Snow White” only twisted. I thought, hmmm, what if the queen won! So that is what I did starting outside with a tempting poison apple wreath to tempt Snow White to her demise.

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Once inside we are in the Evil Queen’s chamber for a moment, with the man in the mirror and the queen’s hands magically appearing in the wall to once again offer the naïve victim a seemingly innocent tasty apple.

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From there the unsuspecting Snow White and guests must venture through the dark forest where Snow White will promptly meet her end and you will only then find her in the queen’s catacombs.

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Once the queen is assured of her victory you will see Snow White’s heart proudly on display.

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Snow White will also be the guest of honor at dinner, or her ribs will be that is. Just like in the Grimm Fairytale version, the queen not only wants Snow White dead but she wants her for dinner.

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The table is decorated in hearts and mirrors, to show the references to the queen and the silverware are hand crafted to resemble Queen Grimhilde’s dagger from the movie.

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You can also glean the Queen’s spell area, complete with handmade spell book and cupboard of potions.

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So that is my Halloween at home. Hope your turns out great with lots of special tricks and treats.

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And as a final treat for you, here are some bonus pictures of hubby and I at work as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf!
 

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Happy Halloween!

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Anybody out there looking for some awesome party favors, stocking stuffers or just neat stuff?

 

Vanellopewirdisney

I have made some one of a kind Vanellope Von Schweetz candy hair clips that I am selling on eBay and soon my etsy shop.

 

I am using the funds for a super-secret 30th birthday trip for hubby next year!

 

If anyone is interested in purchasing these cuties, you can buy them here for $6 (plus shipping). You get 3 clips per order and they vary.

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Each set has three alligator clips:

 

One random gummy bear

One sparkly peppermint

One marshmallow shape

 

These are all handmade and one of a kind. If you have any questions, comments or requests please comment and I will get back to you 🙂

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Disney Villains- a bunch of bad apples

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Detour in chicago

So weather postponed us in chicago tonight. So after a million calls, a few tears for a missed flight, and a very long day, we hopped the subway to try some authentic chicago pizza. Taking off again tomorrow to paris!!!

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We can now claim we have A) been to Chicago B) rode the subway and C) had real Chicago pizza

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We ordered a small pizza and couldn’t finish it! We ended up with one delicious piece left for breakfast before our flight!

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