Alana Meets Disney Friends in Easter Outfits

Alana loves meeting unique characters, so our Easter tradition has become visiting Disney to find characters wearing unique outfits for the holiday.

Donald Formal White and Purple 2016-03-27 Port Orleans Riverside Daisy Formal Flower Dress 2016-03-27 Port Orleans Riverside

We started our morning at Port Orleans Riverside and met Donald and Daisy alternating sets.

White Rabbit 2016-03-27 Old Key West

Afterwards, we ran over to Old Key West, where Alana met with the White Rabbit.  She insisted on giving him a kiss on the nose!

Mickey Formal White and Yellow 2016-03-27 Old Key West

After meeting White Rabbit, we hopped back in line to meet Mickey and Minnie meeting together.  This was the same outfit Minnie wore last year when we saw her at Coronado, but the Mickey outfit was completely new. We finished up the morning at Caribbean Beach where we saw Tourist Daisy, but unfortunately the line was already closed.

Mickey Formal Black and Purple 2016-03-27 Port Orleans French Quarter

Later that night, we stopped by Port Orleans French Quarter for one last Easter meet-and-greet.  Alana met Mickey and Minnie wearing outfits she had never met before.

Overall, the day was a huge success.  Alana added five new characters to her total count.  We did miss some characters we wanted to find so we have a plan for next year.

Alana Visits SeaWorld

Alana recently visited SeaWorld.  This was her first visit in several years.  It was a fun day of shows, animals and – of course – characters.  Alana especially loved the extremely-large playground and the Annual Passholder lounge.

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This dolphin was so happy that Alana was blowing her kisses.

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Alana wouldn’t be Alana if she didn’t find characters in every park we visit.  She met this dolphin friend during the afternoon.

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She also met this shark friend roaming around.

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Alana couldn’t believe how big all the animals were.  Definitely looking forward to another trip to SeaWorld soon!

Pasta In The Park with Hercules

Sometimes our quest for rare characters takes us to odd places.  Pasta In the Park is a carb-loading event tied to the Princess Half-Marathon where runners partake in spaghetti dinner.  It combines food, live music and characters.  It’s also one of the few running events that does not require participation in the marathon.  This is key as Alana is too young to participate in marathons with rare characters.

Nothing was announced in advance except that characters would appear, but we took a gamble and purchased tickets hoping for the best.  We had no idea that perfection that we were about to stumble into.

I’ve since learned that each Pasta in the Park has a different theme.  A previous event was themed after Aladdin and contained all characters that Alana has already met.  We couldn’t believe our eyes when the doors opened.

The event was themed after Hercules!

Five ultra rare characters.  All characters that Alana has never met before.  We couldn’t believe it.

Pasta In The Park Pain and Panic 2016-02-19

We quickly jumped into the first line and met Pain and Panic.  Alana loved them and was thrilled to get a picture with them.

Pasta In The Park Hades 2016-02-19

Next line was Hades.  This was a little complicated.  All week, I prepped Alana for the Club Villain event we would be attending the next night.  I reassured her that the villains invited her to their “tea party” because they were nice now, and that she wouldn’t have to meet mean villains like “Ursula and Hades”, as she referred to them.  I had no idea that Hades would be appearing.  Alana initially hesitated, pointing out that he has sharp teeth and blue fire hair.  And of course if she said no, it’s a no, but she realized he was nice to other guests and decided that she “wanted to be brave”.  She met him and I was so proud of her for facing her fears.

Pasta In The Park Hercules 2016-02-19

Next we raced over to the Hercules line.  She loved meeting him and showing him her muscles.

Pasta In The Park Meg 2016-02-19

Finally, Hercules switched with Meg.  Meg was definitely Alana’s favorite of the night.  She took her time with Alana and was sweet and caring.  Alana still talks about her to this day.

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We finished the event in an hour and used the remaining half hour to eat spaghetti and unlimited ice cream bars!  We also enjoyed the live music and dance party. Alana event got to meet Mag, who dressed like her favorite character, Meg.

Overall, the event is great if you love characters and are willing to take a risk paying a good amount of money with no guarantee of anything special.  But it’s a fun event and we look forward to attending more in the future.

Alana Published by Universal

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So excited to announce that Alana has received her second publishing credit.  After being published in a Disney magazine late last year, Alana is now appearing on the cover of the current Universal Passholder mailing.

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Alana originally took this photo back in September 2015.  It was a rainy day and Alana brought her pink umbrella to the park.  It turns out that Betty Boop and Lucille Ball did the same, so we took a spontaneous picture of the three of them together.  Universal noticed the picture on Alana’s Instagram account and requested permission to use it in an upcoming mailing.  Very exciting!

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Alana has so many great Universal moments so I’m thrilled that Universal was able to share one of them with all of the great Passholders.

13 Princess Alanas Visit Magic Kingdom

Alana has so many special outfits that she’s worn to Disney over the past two years.  Unfortunately she continues to grow and is starting to outgrow some of them.  So we wanted to do something really special to celebrate these great outfits.

We gathered up all the outfits and headed to Magic Kingdom.  We booked morning reservations to enter the park an hour, giving us a limited block of time to finish our photography before guests filled the background.  We staged a camera on a tripod and managed to complete 13 costume changes in an hour.

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The final product turned out better than we could have ever hoped.  Not only are the costumes great, but Alana nailed the personality and spirit of all the princesses.

We have plans for the picture but that will be a future project.

Alana Met Christmas Characters Aboard the Disney Dream

We just got home from Alana’s first cruise.  We sailed on the Disney Dream to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay, and it just happened that sailing in November means we boarded Disney’s Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise.  Many of Alana’s Disney friends would be wearing their Christmas best, so this was a perfect opportunity to do some new character hunting.

Overall, we were extremely successful.  We met 27 characters, including 24 that were brand new meet-and-greets.

Before I start, here are a few tips:

  • Before boarding, download the Disney Cruise app.  Once you sync with the ship’s WiFi, you’ll be able to access an itinerary that lists all character meets, times and exact locations.
  • Start early.  Lines were much shorter on the first night than the last night.
  • Attend all character events.  Many of the events seemed like nothing, but there would be surprise meets after the event.  We missed a few characters because we didn’t realize this in time.
  • Focus on rare characters.  There’s many common characters on the ship, but it took a lot of time to meet all of these characters.  We made time for all formal dinners, all three stage shows (which were amazing), pool time, beach time and more – but there wasn’t any time for resting.

SAILOR FRIENDS

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We started by meeting Captain Mickey in the cruise terminal before boarding the ship.  This was a lucky break, as we didn’t see Captain Mickey doing meets anywhere else on the ship throughout the rest of the cruise.

During the Sail-Away party, we saw all the core characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale) wearing their nautical/sailor uniforms.  These are the regular character meets through the year, but not during Halloween and Christmas – and again didn’t see most of them on the ship.

Pluto-Sailor-2015-11-20-02-Disney-DreamWe did found Sailor Pluto later on the first day, but this was the last of the Sailor characters we would meet.

FORMAL CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS

Besides meeting White Christmas Sweater Mickey on the first night, we didn’t find any formal Christmas characters until the third and final day of the cruise.  In the afternoon, Mrs. Claus read a story and invited the children to make a wish.  Their wish came true when these formal characters came out for a 10 minute meet-and-greet.  Later in the night, during the Going-Away party, the characters appeared but again only for 10 minutes.  The last meet was extremely busy because all the families were around for their formal pictures, but we managed to meet a few friends before they had to go away.

Mickey-White-Sweater-2015-11-20-01-Disney-DreamFinding Mickey in his White Christmas Sweater was a real treat.  We found him on the first night, so when he appeared again on the third day, we were able to skip him and focus on other characters – and avoid his line, which was the longest of the last day.

Minnie-Blue-Snowflake-Dress-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamMinnie Mouse in a cool snowman dress.

Goofy-Christmas-Pajamas-2015-11-22-01-Disney-DreamGoofy wearing what looked like Christmas Pajamas.  Alana was extra excited to meet him!

Donald-Green-Sweater-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamWe’ve seen this Donald in pictures, but very excited to meet him in person.

Pluto-Reindeer-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamReindeer Pluto is one of our favorite pictures from the weekend.  Pluto’s nose should have been red though!

Chip-and-Dale-Striped-Sweaters-2015-11-22-03-Disney-DreamWe’ve met Chip and Dale in various sweaters before, but never in these green and red sweaters.

We also saw Santa Goofy and Mickey in a Christmas Tuxedo, but these are characters that we’ve met previously at Walt Disney World, so we passed to focus on new meets.

 

GREEN CHRISTMAS OUTFITS

I was surprised to find that characters met in multiple Christmas outfits, doubling the number of meets we were able to do.  In addition to the formal outfits above, we also met a variety of friends wearing green shirts/dresses covered with poinsettias.

Mickey-Pluto-Green-Christmas-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamWe found Mickey and Pluto on Castaway Cay.  This particular day was extra windy and we’re lucky they still came out.

Minnie-Green-Christmas-02-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamMinnie in her green Christmas dress.  You can see our ship in the background.

Goofy-Green-Christmas-02-2015-11-21-Disney-DreamThe first meet on Day 2 ended up being Goofy in his green Christmas shirt.

Donald-Green-Christmas-01-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamDonald in his green shirt met with guests at Castaway Cay just outside the ship first thing in the morning.  Daisy also met outside, but was wearing her formal Christmas outfit.  Not sure if she has a green Christmas dress like Minnie.

Chip-and-Dale-Green-Christmas-02-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamChip and Dale in their green Christmas shirts.  Also just outside the ship at Castaway Cay, but in the late afternoon while guests were returning to the boat.  We were already on the ship, so we had to leave again to see them.

Stitch-Poinsetta-Lei-2015-11-22-Disney-DreamStitch met in the afternoon after Chip and Dale.

PIRATE NIGHT

The end of Day 2 was Pirate Night on board the ship.  Alana went to the newly-opened Bippity Boppity Boutique to get dressed as Caribbean pirate “Charlotte Goldstealer”, a name given to her by the Boutique.  We seized the opportunity to meet as many pirate characters as we could.

Mickey-Pirate-2015-11-21-01-Disney-DreamPirate Mickey was our top priority and easily had the longest line – maybe 30-40 minutes.

Daisy-Pirate-2015-11-21-Disney-DreamWe missed Pirate Donald, but his line switched to Pirate Daisy, who Alana was just as happy to see.

Chip-and-Dale-Pirates-2015-11-21-04-Disney-DreamPirate Chip and Pirate Dale with Pirate Alana.

Stitch-Pirate-2015-11-21-01-Disney-DreamPirate Stitch was a very popular character to meet.  He met at 10:00pm when there weren’t many activities, so a lot of people came just to see him.

Captain-Hook-and-Mr-Smee-2015-11-21-Disney-DreamWe’ve met Captain Hook and Mr Smee together before, but didn’t have anything else to do at this time so we took the opportunity to see them on Pirate Night.

Captain-Jack-Sparrow-2015-11-21-02-Disney-DreamWe missed meeting Captain Jack Sparrow during Pirate Night, but found him on Castaway Cay with a five minute line.  Very cool location with Caribbean treasure and cannons behind him.

I also saw pictures of Pirate Goofy and Pirate Minnie, but had to miss them.  The cruise schedules activities so no one misses 5:45pm dinner or 8:30pm shows, so they pile up a lot of characters at once, forcing you to make some decisions.  This is where the app comes in handy.  Not only can you plan your time, but you can also choose your activities and your app will plan your itinerary out and send reminders.

OTHER CHARACTERS

While on the ship, we found some other cool characters – but the best was Princess Minnie.

Minnie-Princess-2015-11-20-02-Disney-DreamAlana was so excited to meet a real Princess on the cruise!

In addition to the pictures above, we saw many other characters.  Kids areas had dance parties with Jake (of the Neverland Pirates) and Sofia The First.  Donald in his Green Christmas Shirt led a “Shake Your Tailfeather” dance party in the kids’ area.  You could meet princesses in the lobby of the ship, but needed to get free tickets on the first day before they were gone.  We saw Belle (in her yellow gown), Cinderella and Rapunzel.  The schedule also said there were tickets available to meet Anna and Elsa, but we never saw them on the ship.  We also chose to skip characters we’ve sen before, like Santa Goofy and Christmas Formal Suit Mickey.

Overall, we had an incredible time.  It was exhausting and busy but worth the effort and the photos turned out even better than I could hope.

To check out all of our photos, make sure you follow our Instagram account (filled with Alana’s meets with friends in Disney and Universal) at www.instagram.com/alanaexplains.

Alana attends Shrek Feast at Villa De Flora

In December 2014, Alana and family attended the Shrek Feast character breakfast at the Villa De Flora restaurant at Gaylord Palms. The food was wonderful and we were even served unlimited Swamp Juice!  And most important is that we met several characters that can only be found at this restaurant!

Shrek-2014-12-26Can never miss an opportunity to meet the big man himself!

Fiona-2014-12-26Fiona giving Alana (in her Fiona dress) some princess lessons.

Puss-in-Boots-2014-12-26-04Alana and Puss In Boots (an exclusive in Orlando) remained friends as long as he stayed away from her sippy cup filled with milk.

After meeting with Shrek, Fiona and Donkey, we headed over to the Ice Exhibition.  A special attraction was the ability to decorate gingerbread cookies with Gingie, which of course was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up!

Gingie-2014-12-26Alana posting with Gingie (another exclusive in Orlando) and her Gingie doll!