Month

April 2016

The Very Center of Disneyland

Quick Disney trivia! How many of you know what this is? This metal stake is located in the back of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and marks the very, very center point of Disneyland. This does not include California Adventure, Downtown Disney or the future Star Wars Land area… just the center of the original Disneyland Park as it was first built.  When the park was being first built, the builders were able to use this as a reference point for measurement purposes.

Here is an aerial map where you can look for this marker here in this general area.
The Very Center of Disneyland 2
Posted 4/28/16

 

The Original New York Seltzer is BACK!

If you remember the 80’s, then you should remember how iconic the Original New York Seltzer was to that decade.  The soda was only in production for about a decade from the 80’s to early 90’s.  Since that time, you haven’t really seem them unless you were on eBay sold as collector items… until now.  Back in late November 2015, I first spotted these cases at Cost Plus World Market.  You can purchase these individually for $1.49 or on sale right now for $1.19 at Cost Plus.  I am also seeing them on Amazon.com as well.  It looks like now they have some of the original flavors, along with a new one, concord grape.  Delicious!  Although I recall that the original ones had a plastic cap vs. metal, the flavors are a match.

You can check out their official site here: https://drinknewyorkseltzer.com/

Totally rad dude! 😉

Posted 4/25/16

Disney Pixar Cars & Radiator Springs Themed Birthday Party

Of all my Pinterest pins and boards, this party takes the cake for being the most popular.  My son was turning 3 years old and he wanted a Lightning McQueen birthday party.  Fortunately, we have a finished garage which we opened up and was able to host the party there.  We had Lightning McQueen, Finn McMissle, Luigi, Mater and Flo.  It worked!  I thought that I could share with you a few sample details of what I did an offer a tools so that you can pull this off.

CARS invite

 

Boxed Cars
This is the most popular project on my Pinterest board, the boxed Cars.  I wanted to have some of the main characters from the movie at our party.  There weren’t a lot of inexpensive items out there available so I decided to make my own boxed cars.  The kids were able to get inside of the cars and move around with their friends.  It was really cute.

I purchased a few moving boxes from Lowes and sat down to try to figure out how to strategically cut with a sharp razor and fold each side so that the entire box could be used.  I wished that I would have taken a photo of this diagram, sorry!  🙁

Once I had figured out the body and had it taped up, it was time to prime.  Yes, just like Ramone’s body shop.  For the painting step, I would suggest taking a can of primer and doing a light coat over the entire outside of the box.  Make sure to do this outside in a well ventilated area!  Once it dries, you will need to use one can of semi-pain spray paint to coat the color, let it dry, and then do a second application.  You will need to use the entire can and highly suggest that you use a quality brand.

Once the paint has fully dried, it was time for the finishing touches.  I designed faces and accessories for the cars that you see, and happy to share these with you to download.  I would suggest that you print these out on Avery white shipping labels with TrueBlock so that the paint from the car colors do not bleed through.  If you use an inkjet printer, I would also suggest using a light matte clear coat of spray paint to set the colors and images.  If you use a laser printer, you should be ok.  Once printed, cut the images out and apply to the cars by referencing the photo sample. Here is the pdf download which I created and sharing with you to use for personal use.  Printable faces for the boxed cars: Cars faces

Menu

On the menu, I tried to incorporate themed and pit-stop type foods.  Here is what I had on the menu.
– mini sandwiches
– Lunchables for the smaller kids
– Oreos (since they look like wheels)
– Hostess chocolate donuts (since those look like wheels, too)
– red and yellow candy to match Lightning McQueen
– individually bagged potato chips which were placed inside of oil pans which I purchased at the Dollar Tree and also served as centerpieces
– cupcakes with Cars toppers purchased on eBay
– and of course, plenty of fun pit stop refreshments

Cars collage

cars donuts

cars chips

 

Decor
Since we hosted the party in our garage, we didn’t have to decorate too much since we had existing old gas signs hanging.  We just had to clean!  In addition to the boxed cars I added a few more elements to make it fun.

Inflatable tires – I found these at the Dollar Tree!  These were supposed to be used as pool inflatables, but I purchased about a dozen so that I could stack to make it look like a pit stop.

Checkered flags – You cannot have too many of these.  I purchased some of these banners, flags and pennants at a local party store.  In addition, I also created and printed out my own checked flag table runner on 11″ x 7″ paper and just taped them together.  You can download my creation here: Checkerboard Runner

Decorative signs – As you can see in one of my photos, I customized a copy of “The Daily Exhaust” which is the newspaper that was featured in Cars.  In my version, I took a photo of my son and inserted him into the over sized paper and customized the caption.  I have a generic version of the paper that you can use by printing it out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper.  Such a fun and inexpensive decorative item to add to your party which you can download here: The Daily Exhaust

CARS Daily Exhaust

Entertainment
Along with the fun inflatable tires and boxed cars, we also hired a temporary tattoo artist.  We recycled an old thick posterboard and put out a sign for the kids.  We called it, “Ramone’s House of Body Art.”  Perfect!!

Ramone

I hope that you enjoy the photos and get inspired to create your own FUN party!

Posted 4/21/16

Yes, I was a Disney cast member…

Yes, I was a full-time Disney cast member at one point.  Although I did not work at the theme park, I did work on the back-end of the Disney Corporation on their website.   We had a ton of perks and interesting interactions.  It was sort of cool to say that you worked for the big mouse back then, but it wasn’t as nearly as cool as I think that it is today.  Thanks to having two young boys, my fascination with Disney has increased.  I am amazed with their marketing, operation, production, trivia facts as well as their impact upon pop culture.  It all fascinates me.  I am just a big fan of FUN things.  In this section of my blog, I will share a few small Disney tidbits, tips and tricks that I learned along the way, as well as new ones that I learn on my several trips to the park.

Walt’s Apartment
Upon one of the business trips we took, we flew to Disneyland for a day for a special VIP tour as we were incorporating concepts to the website.  (I think that it was similar to “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour” with cast member extras.)  One of the coolest things that we got to check-out was Walt’s infamous apartment.  We weren’t allowed to take photos, but the memories and visuals are with me today.  We walked up near the backside of the firehouse area where we walked into a tiny studio apartment, perhaps as small as the ones in NYC.  It was small, ok, tiny.  There was a small living area, kitchenette (if you can call it that) and a bathroom.

The small living area had a dated and original sofa that had a pull-out bed that he used.  There was no bed, just the couch.  There was also a lamp there which was lit when he was inside the apartment which was a signal for others to know that he was there.

The kitchen area I recall was really small.  Just the very, very basics.  One of the things that Walt loved were grilled cheese sandwiches.  Who knew?  In fact, he had his own panini type hot sandwich press machines so that he could indulge and share with his kids.

The bathroom was small as well, but was equipped with a state-of-the-art shower.  What was unique about this shower was that the stall was customized just for Walt.  In an effort to be efficient, he had a total of three shower heads installed in the stall: at the top, the middle and bottom areas which jetted out vertically.  He was certainly ahead of his times!

For those who want to check out the apartment, they do offer tours that sometimes take a peak inside.  I would suggest calling and asking to be sure.  Here is the link: “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Guided Tour.

Posted 4/20/16