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Old 01-07-2014, 12:44 PM   #31
scrpbookr
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exciting!

It is so exciting that you have a few things booked on your cruise! Can't wait to read and see all about it in the trip report!!
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Brenda's Magical Disney Memories!
Disneyland, CA-Grandma & Jake(1st Visit) 1980/Dad & Jake-1982/Tinsleys-1986/Grandma, Mom & Ike-1988/ John-1991/Ike-1992/Grad Night-1993/Mom & Ike,1997
Disney World Week - Mom, Rick & Reagan - Holidays 2007 (1st Visit)
Disneyland Hong Kong - Mom, Reagan & Mike - 2010 (1st Visit)<--TRIP REPORT
Magic Kingdom - Reagan - Spring Break Cruise- 2012<--TRIP REPORT
Disneyland, CA & California Adventure (1st Visit to C.A.)- Dad & Reagan -Spring Break, 2013 <--TRIP REPORT
Disney World and Disney Magic Cruise! (1st Disney Cruise)- Mom and Reagan - Spring Break, 2014<--TRIP REPORT IN PROGRESS
Mixing Business & Magic - (1st Solo Disney Trip) Conference & Disney World - June, 2014 (TRIP REPORT COMING SOON)
Looking Forward To:
London, Paris and especially... Disneyland Paris!! (1st Visit!) - September, 2014.

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Old 01-09-2014, 11:35 PM   #32
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Joining in! Just got done reading your honeymoon report and it was amazing! Belated Congrats! I try to do the same thing you do about taking pics that are rare ones that you usually don't see and you definitely delivered on that I agree about the FE thing. April 2015 will be our 3rd cruise and I've been intrigued each time but it makes my head hurt trying to figure it all out lol. There were so many last cruise they had to split it up into two groups(I didn't join). We all met up when we got on board but that was for the whole facebook page & not just the FE people. The pic you have of the Pridmore FE was on our Fantasy cruise last June! They were from the UK. I can't wait to hear how your trip goes with the new Magic! We were going on there this year but had to re-book and we did for the Fantasy again! I really wanted to visit San Juan! My son who's 9 is so disappointed we're not going on the Magic now cuz he really wanted to do the Marvel Academy so if you could take some pics of that for me that would be awesome & appreciated! We are cruising about every two years and he will be either 12 or almost 12 when we go in 2017 so we're cutting it close for the kids area lol.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:19 AM   #33
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Joining in! Just got done reading your honeymoon report and it was amazing! Belated Congrats! I try to do the same thing you do about taking pics that are rare ones that you usually don't see and you definitely delivered on that I agree about the FE thing. April 2015 will be our 3rd cruise and I've been intrigued each time but it makes my head hurt trying to figure it all out lol. There were so many last cruise they had to split it up into two groups(I didn't join). We all met up when we got on board but that was for the whole facebook page & not just the FE people. The pic you have of the Pridmore FE was on our Fantasy cruise last June! They were from the UK. I can't wait to hear how your trip goes with the new Magic! We were going on there this year but had to re-book and we did for the Fantasy again! I really wanted to visit San Juan! My son who's 9 is so disappointed we're not going on the Magic now cuz he really wanted to do the Marvel Academy so if you could take some pics of that for me that would be awesome & appreciated! We are cruising about every two years and he will be either 12 or almost 12 when we go in 2017 so we're cutting it close for the kids area lol.
Thank you! We have a fairly small group for the FE so far so I don't think it'll be a huge issue. I have had a lot of support from everyone on Disboards so it was very encouraging to try it! I'm only doing the FE as well because we like our family time and we want to spend those first few hours exploring the ship so I'm hoping for no cabin changes!

The kids area is definitely one place I want to explore on the first day. I've been saying that the past 2 cruises and it hasn't happened so I'm going to make sure we get there this time! From what I've seen so far the Marvel Academy looks awesome!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #34
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First Experience with MyMagic+ and MagicBands

A few weeks ago my In-Laws received our packages to set up our MagicBands for our trip. Since our trip is booked under 2 different reservation numbers because of the one night before the cruise and 2 nights after, we received packages for 2 separate MagicBands. It's ok though. We are going to make all the bands for the 1 night before the cruise yellow and the bands for after the cruise are going to be our custom colors to take into the parks. The packages arrived wrapped in plastic and decked out in the Incredibles. I had my speculations about the MagicBands but now that I've received the packages and customized them, I'm very intrigued and excited to try them.



When you open the package, all you see is the MyMagic+ logo in green foil on a black box. My first thought was, "Oh wow, it's like an 'Incredible' secret mission file!" lol Upon opening the box, there is a card explaining that you are selected to test the MagicBands and the contents of the package include a booklet explaining the process as well as a flash drive to further explain your "mission."









I read through the booklet first. It was pretty much the same as the pamphlets and booklets you received when booking a WDW vacation packages a couple years ago. It gave great tips about your resort, all the parks, and extra experiences you can add on to your vacation. It also had a section on the MagicBands that we would receive and what they were used for. At the back of the booklet was a nifty magnet for the refrigerator that included the dates for booking FastPass+, online check-in, and the date of the vacation. It was really cute!









The final part of the box was a really cool flash drive that included a 2 part link that explained the MyMagic+ system and the journey you will partake on with the MagicBands. When you plug it it it lights up green like it does in the Parks! It was explained by Edna from The Incredibles and it was a really fun way to learn about how to customize your bands as well as book the FastPass+. After I went through the process, I was able to easily rip the files off of the flash drive and use it as a regular flash drive for home use! It has about 4GB of space!





We are fortunate to be trying the MagicBands before the cruise when we go in March. My DH and I are going to drive down to WDW for a couple nights in early March as a quick getaway. We were also "chosen" for the MagicBands for that trip so I've been able to try out the system already and book FastPass+. I think this will make the cruise trip a lot easier with more people and possible sudden changes in our plans. I'm also going to experiment with decorating my band for the March trip to see how if holds up for the April trip! I can't wait to report on that!
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #35
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Massive Amounts of Toiletries!!

Every vacation I challenge myself to spending less and less on toiletries for the trip. I hate taking my full-size good shampoo and conditioner because they are too heavy and bulky. I rather not put some in little containers. I feel like I waste so much by using different containers because there is ALWAYS some left over in the little bottles that I throw away. Over the years I've done things like buy the little toiletries to throw out or buy my normal toiletries that come with a free body wash or small deodorant attached. I've also been a fan of buying the 89 cent bottles of the large products and throw out whatever I don't use at the end of the vacation, even if it's half the bottle. Case and point, I always spend money on the toiletries. This year, however, I'm spending $0 on toiletries. That's right. ZERO!

Now, before I go into my process of obtaining all the items I needed and sharing my beauty routine with the world, I have to say that this only works for very low maintenance adults and teens. It's too difficult for families and forget about kids. How did I do this? Two words. Free. Samples.



This is my collection of toiletries for April 13-April 20. Each one of the items in this picture was 100% free with no add-ons or free with purchase taglines. Some say it's not possible but I just say that I have way too much time on my hands at work and a knack for finding the freebies. I'm really proud of my collection! It just makes me smile!!

I'll start with the item I collect the most: feminine products. On the right side of the photo is a gallon-sized bag filled to the brim with pads, tampons, and things of that nature. These are really easy to get for free. Any of the large name companies offer a sample on their websites. I just fill in the info and in about 2 months I get about 5-6 sample items of feminine products. I do this regardless of a vacation or not! It's a good way to try new things and get a couple extra products to stuff in your purse.





Shampoos and conditioners are the next easiest products to acquire. I use a website that puts together all the free sample sites into one convenient location and I have all the latest sample promos at my fingertips. There are always top brands that offer samples of the newest shampoos and conditioners. Sometimes I like a product so much that I buy the full size at a later time! Facial cleansers and moisturizers are also fairly easy to get a hold of. Every time I order from a beauty product online shops, they usually send sample and usually of the expensive facial cleansers! I'm not one to get over-joyed about brands and use them right away. Instead, I stash them away for vacations and special days when I want to pamper myself.





Now for the more difficult products.... Body wash is one of the more difficult items to get a hold of. The Herbal Essence ones were a promo online but the Bath & Body Works one was a promo that you had to print and get the free travel size upon entering the store. The full size deodorant was a stroke of luck. Dove was running a promotion to be a deodorant "ambassador" and I didn't know that they would be sending a full one!! The razor was also one of the supermarket promotions for samples and are actually quite difficult to get a hold of! lol The dental products were also a stroke of luck. I'm fortunate that my dentist gives out awesome sample for a good check up!



Finally for the makeup. I'm not big into wearing a lot of makeup but I do like a little mascara and liner on a daily basis. I have a friend who gets samples from larger makeup companies when they are in overstock. That got me the mascara and liner. The shadow and foundation are going to be for our night at Victorian & Albert's before the cruise. They are only one time use samples which are perfect for the only day I'll be all done up!

I also have to share my secret to getting trading pins for the park/cruise pin trading. I like to trade for the fun of interacting with cast members. Because of that, it can be an expensive Disney hobby. I, however, found a way around that! The secret is to be a Disney Movie Club VIP Member. In order to be a VIP, you have to buy the amount of movies you agree to in the couple year agreement and them some. That's only like 3 movies in 2 years. I usually buy at least 5-10 a year because we are building up our Blue-Ray collection. lol Because I have that status, with every movie purchase I make from the DMC site, I get a free trading pin. I don't really collect, I only get what looks cool or pretty. That leads to this may pins since our Honeymoon in August:



And because I get all those movies, that also equals points for Disney Movie Rewards!!! Sometimes the rewards program will offer sets of pins. Last year in "The Year of The Little Mermaid" Disney offered a pin set in the rewards and I was able to get them! I also got a Lion King set that I've gotten before all in the anticipation of trading all these 'commemorative' pins for pretty, unique, and fun cast pins. lol You can tell I'm a very serious pin collector.... lmao



Like I said, I'm very proud of my freebies and I love to share the secrets to free products. Who else is up to this challenge for their vacation??
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:09 PM   #36
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I'm definitely trying it! Thanks for sharing! What's the website that you said they have all the freebie sites listed or something like that? I do pad studies almost every month so I save the leftover underwear they give and take it with me.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #37
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I use freeflys.com
If you connect it to your Facebook, then they will post the newest things as soon as they become available. Happy hunting!
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #38
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Wow!

Completely impressed with your freebies!

You may have just talked me into the movie club, too. I've been thinking about it. I always enter our points but I haven't signed up for thier "so many movies, in so many years" part. I've kept a couple of promo codes at my desk for this though. I like the idea of the pin promos along with the movie club.

Thanks for sharing all your tricks!
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Brenda's Magical Disney Memories!
Disneyland, CA-Grandma & Jake(1st Visit) 1980/Dad & Jake-1982/Tinsleys-1986/Grandma, Mom & Ike-1988/ John-1991/Ike-1992/Grad Night-1993/Mom & Ike,1997
Disney World Week - Mom, Rick & Reagan - Holidays 2007 (1st Visit)
Disneyland Hong Kong - Mom, Reagan & Mike - 2010 (1st Visit)<--TRIP REPORT
Magic Kingdom - Reagan - Spring Break Cruise- 2012<--TRIP REPORT
Disneyland, CA & California Adventure (1st Visit to C.A.)- Dad & Reagan -Spring Break, 2013 <--TRIP REPORT
Disney World and Disney Magic Cruise! (1st Disney Cruise)- Mom and Reagan - Spring Break, 2014<--TRIP REPORT IN PROGRESS
Mixing Business & Magic - (1st Solo Disney Trip) Conference & Disney World - June, 2014 (TRIP REPORT COMING SOON)
Looking Forward To:
London, Paris and especially... Disneyland Paris!! (1st Visit!) - September, 2014.

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #39
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Completely impressed with your freebies!

You may have just talked me into the movie club, too. I've been thinking about it. I always enter our points but I haven't signed up for thier "so many movies, in so many years" part. I've kept a couple of promo codes at my desk for this though. I like the idea of the pin promos along with the movie club.

Thanks for sharing all your tricks!

Your very welcome! The Disney Movie Club is one of the best subscriptions I have! The contract I think was only 3-4 movies in 2 years. Of course if you are building up that blue-ray collection or 'Diamond Edition' collection it's totally worth it and it builds you up to VIP status very quick! They literally have every Disney movie that made it to DVD/video. They even offer all the 'oldies' like Polly, Tonka, and Big Red....and obscure things like Heavyweights (which I just got half off with the purchase of another movie). 99% of the time the club offers BOGO 50% or 60% which is a great deal!
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:39 PM   #40
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I use freeflys.com
If you connect it to your Facebook, then they will post the newest things as soon as they become available. Happy hunting!
Thanks! I've been registering for tons of free stuff since I saw your pic lol
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:43 PM   #41
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Taking A Vacation But Will Be Back Soon!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I haven't been on in a while. I've been really busy planning and working on organizing everything for my DH and I's short WDW trip coming up in a week. After that's over, I'll have the full run down on the progress of planning the cruise and also a full report on my adventures making the FE and gifts! Stay tuned and I'll see you all real soon!
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:54 AM   #42
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MagicBands and Fish Extenders

Happy Almost Spring Everyone!



It's been such a long time since I've added to my PTR and since I have today off and lots of news to report, I thought I'd catch up on everything that has happened in the past couple of months. It's been very busy at home and work, plus, my DH and I did a short trip to WDW for a little break. We had a great experience with the MagicBands and My Disney Experience. Let's start with a short review of the MyMagic+ system and MagicBands.


First of all, I was very skeptical about the MagicBands, but I have to say that I love them! It's everything you need for your vacation and more! Even though you only have a limit of 3 FastPasses per park, it didn't bother us. We still managed to get on every ride that we wanted to without waiting forever. (It also helped that we were there on a very slow day) We didn't have to worry about pulling out cards to get FastPasses and we didn't have to worry about losing the FastPasses themselves. It was also great for meals and merchandise. You just "match Mickey to Minnie" and wait for the green light. It's quite brilliant. We didn't have any problems reserving the rides like some people did, but hey, they are still testing!!


See? I bought the Mickey Rice Krispy with the band!!

I think the best thing about the MagicBands is that you can customize them in any way you want. I was checking out the MagicBand extras that you can buy in the parks. Disney offers all kinds of things to personalize them to your style. Some of the popular items include snap on charms, fabric covers, and slide on character charms. Everything looked pretty cool but I wanted customize mine on a budget. I heard about people painting their MagicBands so I tested it myself. I took a bright pink nail polish that changed to a bright red in the sunlight and added two coats. After that, I added rhinestones to the Mickey in the middle of the band and some around it as well. I think it turned out pretty cool and it still work just fine even with the rhinestones! I highly recommend customizing it yourself so you don't have to spend between $10-20 in the Parks.







Since we have 2 different bands coming for the night stay before the cruise and the 2 night stay after, I'm going to customize in 2 different ways. For the trip before we all have yellow bands so I'm probably going to either make it a Winnie the Pooh band or take my glitter nail polish and make it like a sparkly bangle since we are going to Victoria & Albert's that night. The second band I'm getting is blue and I plan on making it a Frozen-themed band. I have some rhinestones and snowflakes that are intended for nails (that I'll never use on me) and some great green-blue polish that will compliment! We haven't received those bands in the mail yet, but I promise to post pictures when I finish them!


Here's how mine turned out!!


Now on to Fish Extenders!!



I have been quite busy with my Fish Extender gifts as well as the extender itself. I'm on a budget and decently crafty so I decided to make my own extender. I took the measurements from the DisBoards page and adjusted it to our needs. Originally it was going to be 3ft for only 2 pockets. It seemed a little too long so I shortened it. For the fabrics, I went to Joann Fabrics and searched through the clearance and remnants baskets. There I found a great dark purple for the base and a lighter purple for the pockets. I also got a couple remnants of heavy interfacing to stiffen up the pockets and base. I cut everything to the approximate dimensions that I was thinking of, added interfacing, and assembled.







I also found some blanket edging with a Princess theme and plastic jewels border that only cost me $0.25 per yard each on clearance!!





The finished dimensions include:

Base: 26 inches x 11 inches

Top pocket: 8 1/2 inches x 7 1/2 inches

Bottom pocket: 7 inches x 7 1/2 inches

I also bought a wood rod for a couple bucks and I'll cut that to size and add some ribbon I have laying around. For the decoration and names, I went through one of those free Disney graphics people and then printed them on fabric sheets to iron on the extender. I'm super excited to put this up on our fish! I think it looks awesome!!


Finished!!

As for the gifts, I'm not going to reveal too much since I know there are a couple people from our cruise that are a part of the exchange. All I can say is that I have only 3 more to make for the first item and I'm experimenting with Magic Kingdom maps for the second part. It's all going to be topped off with fruit snacks! Every is probably going to be giving Easter candy so I thought I'd do something different!

Can I say that I'm also extremely excited for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?!? I'll end with a couple pictures I got from the monorail when we took it for a spin earlier this month!









I can't wait! Happy Spring!!
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #43
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Look at you, with your cute embellished magic band! I love it! We all have different colors for our magic bands for our August trip, but you definitely just inspired me to do little something extra for each one. Definitely rhinestones for me and some sort of stickers or glitter enhancement for the kids.

And your FE came out really nice!
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #44
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Look at you, with your cute embellished magic band! I love it! We all have different colors for our magic bands for our August trip, but you definitely just inspired me to do little something extra for each one. Definitely rhinestones for me and some sort of stickers or glitter enhancement for the kids.

And your FE came out really nice!
Thank you! I've seen some other people use sharpies on the bands but I don't know if it would rub off a little since it's just a silicon band. Since nail polish worked well, I was thinking of using printed pictures or stickers on the band and then putting down a layer of mod podge to preserve it....I guess clear nail polish would work too!

When you get the bands, roll them and snap it onto the tightest setting and leave them sit like that for a couple weeks. They come a little 'deformed" meaning that they aren't quite a perfect circle which makes them a little uncomfortable at first. With a little wear, or tight rolling, they will fit great by the trip!
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #45
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Thank you! I've seen some other people use sharpies on the bands but I don't know if it would rub off a little since it's just a silicon band. Since nail polish worked well, I was thinking of using printed pictures or stickers on the band and then putting down a layer of mod podge to preserve it....I guess clear nail polish would work too!

When you get the bands, roll them and snap it onto the tightest setting and leave them sit like that for a couple weeks. They come a little 'deformed" meaning that they aren't quite a perfect circle which makes them a little uncomfortable at first. With a little wear, or tight rolling, they will fit great by the trip!
Thanks for the tip on re-shaping the bands...will do! I am concerned about making these things as comfortable as possible for the kids, especially my son who complains about everything from the seam on his socks to the position of the pocket on his shorts. That boy made me buy him new sneakers last summer after 20 minutes in Animal Kingdom because he complained that his feet, in shoes we had used before many, many times, suddenly "hurt". Don't want a repeat of that stuff this year.
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