A Cars Inspired Road Trip: Part 1

KaChow!

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It is no secret that in my house the #1 Disney Movie (still edging out the Avengers, only slightly) is Cars…no, not Cars2 or Cars but the original Cars  The #monsterchild (now 12) literally wore out 3 DVDs when he was little from watching the movie repeatedly.  In fact, I still remember a road trip to Carlsbad Caverns that Cars was played continuously for the 8-hour drive, both ways.  I remember smiling to myself as he would laugh always in the same parts, no matter how many times he had seen that scene and how at 2 years old he could practically recite the entire movie.  #Mosterchild was then and still is Lightnings #1 Fan.

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It was a magical moment at Walt Disney World when he met Lightning in person, or should I say in “car”.

The #monsterchild is not the only one in the house that loves CARS, my husband has been a fan of any kind of car since he got behind the wheel, I won’t tell how long ago that was.  As a teenager he restored several cars along with his brother and father.

Today, that passion of restoring cars continues with #monsterchild and Boo.  Did I mention that we even have a Doc Hudson waiting his turn to be restored to his glory days?

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Cars was set in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, but did you know that many of the places you see in the movie are based on actual places along Route 66 and even some of the characters are based on real life “characters” along the way.

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Last Spring, we took a road trip on the Mother Road to Disneyland and along the way we stopped at those places. Follow along the next few weeks as I look back at that trip and share the real places along Route 66 that inspired the fictional town of Radiator Springs depicted in Carsland and at Disney California Adventure.

Our trip began only a few blocks from our home on Historical Route 66…

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In it’s hay day, Route 66 beckoned millions of travelers to California, but like the road in Cars it was by-passed when the interstate opened (I-40) and literally left the road any many towns along it abandoned.

As we turned onto Route 66 it was just a few more blocks before we came to what I consider to be the first two inspiration points, Flo’s Diner & Sarge’s Garage…

While I know that there are many Quonset huts that can be found along Route 66, but I like to think of the one near my home as the inspiration for Sarge’s, after all it was at one time an army surplus store.

Next door is the remains of an old drive in diner, which you can find in the design of Flo’s V-8 Diner…

Leaving the Mother Road for the Interstate we travel just outside of Amarillo and stop at the Cadillac Ranch…

 

 

Looking at map of the “Carburetor County” region, where Radiator Springs is located, you find the Cadillac Range a few miles away. In the film, it appears as mountain range whose jagged peaks are reminiscent of the famous sculpture, the “Cadillac Ranch”.

Ten Cadillacs were driven into a field, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt (supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza). They faced west in a line, from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville, their tail fins held high for all to see on the empty Texas panhandle, just like the Cadillac Mountains of Cars.  While the Cadillac Ranch is in our own backyard, this is actually the first time the boys have ever seen it up close and personal.

Stay tuned next week as we continue down the Mother Road in our Road Trip to bring Cars to life…

Friday Five: 5 Disney Things for 2018

The calendar page is turned so…

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I am excited for the new year, which has not been the case the last few years.  There are so many new adventures that I am working on that hopefully will impact my life (both In and out of ears) for many years to come in a good way.  Plus, there are so many Disney things that I can’t wait to experience in 2018.

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things” for 2018…

1. Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World, Disney Hollywood Studios

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I am so excited that Disney Hollywood Studios is finally getting that much needed make over that it desperately has needed.  Don’t get me wrong some of my favorite attractions are located within this park, but even those attractions have been enough to get me to the park each trip. If you have walked through the stand by line of Toy Story Mania, this is what I imagine Toy Story Land to be like.  Surrounded by larger than life toys, games and other things from my childhood…Even Mr. Grumpy can’t help but smile and be drawn back into memories.  The tinker toys get me every time.

 

2. Incredibles 2

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Seriously, Disney what has taken so long with this sequel?  If movie time was real time, Jack would be learning to drive!

3. Avengers:  Infinity War

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I admit it that I have a thing for smart alec, egocentric super heroes…I also seem to be drawn to conflicted comic villains like Loki.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would become a comic book hero fan, but thanks to Disney I can’t get enough these guys!  And once again Disney has created experience that my whole family can enjoy together.

4. Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort, Disney California Adventure

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I am not sure when I am going to make my way back to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland but I hope it is soon because changes are also happening on the west coast with Disney.  Paradise Pier is getting rethemed Disney-style.

5. Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort, Disnyland

But the experience I would love to be part of this summer is, Pixar Fest.

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https://disneyland.disney.go.com/events-tours/pixar-fest/

Disney’s Nighttime Spectaculars are one of my favorite experiences, as the night comes alive with magic.  Combining music, fireworks, beloved movie scenes together along with friends & family just stirs up those emotions of warm and fuzzy that are certain to bring a tear down my cheek.

I am not certain that I will make it home to the happiest or most magical places on earth in 2018, but I know I will be at the movie theater and stalking friends & family’s trips because 2018 appears to be a great Disney year.

What Disney things are you most excited for?  Drop me a comment and tell me…

Remember that I can help you plan that vacation so that you can be part of the Pixar coast to coast fun this summer!  Disney has just released Summer 2018 package & room promotions…

Friday Fives: 5 Things Disney that I loved in 2017

Yep, this is going to be another one of those ends of the year reflection posts that are so prevalent as we look forward to flipping that calendar to a fresh New Year.

I did not expect 2017 to be a year full of Disney, put some how it just happened that way (not that I am complaining or anything). So, humor me while I look back at 5 Things Disney that I loved in 2017…

1.  Neon Lighting at Carsland

Nothing was more special in 2017 then  then getting to see my boys faces as they explored Carsland, and that includes Mr. Grumpy.  The movie CARS has been a part of our lives for over 10 years when #monsterchild fell in love with Lightning McQueen, after all he is Lightnings #1 Fan still to this day as a near teenager.  Grumpy however, has been a fan of cars all his life and the whole pit crew of CARS has allowed him to really bond with our boys.  Watching the neon light up was amazing for all of us and one of those special moments that will last forever.

 

2. Going Solo to Walt Disney World

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Don’t get me wrong, I do love my family and girl’s trips to Walt Disney World, but there was something totally freeing about going solo. I had so much fun bouncing around and doing whatever caught my attention. For the introvert in me, that time alone was precious, although secretly there was times when I wish I was sharing the magic with someone else.

3. Lunch at Satu’li Canteen

Are you tired of hearing about this place and this meal? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my high expectations for this meal adventure would be met let alone be exceeded. I am already dreaming of my next bites, now only if I could be there when they serve that adult oatmeal!

4. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

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I don’t know what is it is about this attraction, but honestly if there was not a crazy long wait it would become just like the People Mover for me at Walt Disney World, one that I would ride over and over again. The music and the spinning makes me happy, and oh at night under the lights, takes me back in a weird sort of way to the dance scene in Roman Holiday and the time we spent as a family in Italy…yep, in the happiest place on earth when I am dancing with Lugi and his cousins from Carsoli.

5. Sharing the Magic

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This same time last year, I was earning my “ears” to become an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner as an affiliate with Academy Travel. Since then I have gone on to share the Disney magic with 10 families in my first year and have many more counting down the magic in 2018.  I have loved every stressful moment trying to make sure they have the most magical vacation ever and enjoyed being a part of their trips. 

It was certainly a great Disney 2017!  Just like 2017, 2018 is starting off with no definite Disney trip plans for myself but you never know where I might end up.  I do know that I will be sharing my love with more families as they go one their own magical trips and with you.  Thanks for following along, and I hope to see in you 2018.

#(almost)wordlesswednesday: Looking Back

It’s #(almost)wordlesswednesday, that means linking up with Focused on the Magic to share my #DisneySide through pictures and a few words, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me!2017

It seems fitting with 2018 right around the corner, that the theme for this week is “Looking Back.”

I have to say that 2017 was a great Disney year for me!  I was able to go “Coast to Coast”…

Visiting the Happiest Place on Earth with my “boys” this past spring on an epic CARS themed road trip!  We had so much fun stopping at all the real life locations that inspired the movie CARS as well as seeing the movie come to life before our eyes in CARSland, part of Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

and going back “home” to the most Magical Place on Earth on my first solo “working” vacation in November. I loved all of the new adventures that I sought out and challenged myself to experience.  

So as the calendar page turns to 2018, I can’t wait to see what it will bring.  

Do you have any 2017 Disney memories to share?  Please drop them in the comments!  I love hearing from you!

Bringing the Magic Home Monday’s: Beauty & the Beast

Everyone loves a Disney Movie, even ones that are from “A Tale as Old as Time…”

One of the things we did as a family to excited for our first family trip to Walt Disney World was hold a Family Movie Night each week before our trip, after all unlike Mr. Grumpy and myself our children did not grow up with Sunday nights and the Wonderful World of Disney.  With over 450 titles Disney movie titles available, we had a lot of catching up to do…thankfully we a whole closet full of Disney movies (mostly VCR, lol) thanks to Grandma.

The premise of Disney Family Movie Night was simple, create a themed meal together around the movie, maybe throw in a little craft or activity and watch the movie of the week together.

One of our first movie nights was Beauty and the Beast…which holds a special place in my heart since Mr. Grumpy took me to the movie when we were dating MANY MANY MOONS ago.

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Oh, my look how little they were…

“We started out the day with a trip to the library to return some books and select a few more to bring home.  This was a weekly outing for us, like Bell our family loves books.  Ab goes through a book a day!  We made it for story time with our favorite librarian, Mr. Pat, but I forgot my camera.  It is always a pleasure to listen to him read.  We returned home and painted mugs, referring to Chip in the movie. 

For dinner, we had Chicken Cordon Belle, Enchanted Forest Trees with Herbed Rice, French Bread and for dessert Enchanted Rose Strawberry Shortcake.”

Since that night Walt Disney World has gone onto building the Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland, complete with one of my favorite dining locations, Be Our Guest.

And on menu is a DISNEY MUST TRY dessert, the Grey Stuff! It is one of my most favorite things to eat at Walt Disney World.

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Disney has also turned the animated feature into a live action movie starring our favorite wizard (the perfect birthday gift from my daughter), plus has brought the Grey Stuff to Disneyland (for a limited time) with the retheming of one of Fantasyland’s quick service dining locations into Red Rose Taverne.

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It was love at first bite for my boys this past March when we dined at the Red Rose Tavern, so much so that last night we brought back a new edition of Family Movie Night and made our own Grey Stuff.

Link to RECIPE Compliments of the Disney Diner

And you don’t have to ask the dishes, cause #monsterchild will tell you that it is delicious!

Thinking about a Disney Vacation?  I can help you with that, plus ow about starting your own Disney Family movie nights?  I have a list of movies associated with many of the attractions and rides you will encounter, plus lots of ideas to “Bring the Magic Home” while counting down your trip!  Let’s start planning today, contact me for your Free, No Obligation Disney Vacation Quote and remember my concierge level planning services are COMPLIMENTARY when you book your Disney Vacation with me!

#(almost)WordlessWednesday: Nostalgia

It’s Wednesday, so that means time together with Focused on the Magic to blog hop, link up and share our #DisneySide through pictures with #(almost)WordlessWednesday, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me.

This week’s theme is “Nostalgia”, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.  Being a child of the 70s my biggest Walt Disney World or Disneyland association that reflects nostalgia stems from watching the opening of The Wonderful World of Disney.  I remember vividly the scenes of in that opening segment…

YouTube:  Wonderful World of Disney Opening

The one scene I remember the most is that of the Jungle Cruise and on my first visit to Walt Disney World it was one of the attractions I knew I had to visit.

 

Since then, my own children have discovered the Jungle Cruise and it is one of their favorite rides, for the jokes and they spend hours afterwards reciting jokes they heard and laughing hysterically with each other.  I was totally blown away by their recall after 1 ride.

Link:  Jungle Cruise Jokes

The Jungle Cruise is always on the top of our lists to visit each time! What Disney attraction brings up nostalgia for you?  Please share in the comments and tell your own story!

#(almost)Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite View

#(almost)WordlessWednesday is going to be a day early as we are off for a mini vacation back East for the next week. This week’s topic from Focused on the Magic is “My Favorite View.”  Looking through my pictures my favorite view is necessarily a specific location but is a thing…

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FIREWORKS! Even better if the fireworks have the castle in view or enjoyed with a dessert or a glass of bubbly wine!

After all when you see Disney fireworks, you know that Wishes do come true!