Disney Cruise Review: The Fantasy

Disney Vacations

An unforgettable experience: learn all of the details of our Disney Cruise onboard the newest Disney ship; The Fantasy

Here is a quick summary of what we did:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arrived in Orlando on February 7th and spent two amazing nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge resort. It was

Giraffes in the "Savannah"

Giraffes in the “Savannah”

beautiful! Our room was a “Savannah View”. This meant that our balcony overlooked their representation of the African Savannah. There were so many animals roaming around, what an awesome experience for us. I have to be honest, this hotel has been on my bucket list since I first heard about it in 2002 (it opened in 2001). The pool was large, there was a waterslide and gradual entry on the one side, it was a great family pool! There was also a little playground that was suitable even for the smallest children. I was happy with the good selection of restaurants, a mix of quick serve, buffet, and fine dining. I would absolutely recommend staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge once for the experience, but for our larger family (we have three children), we might choose to stay at more of a condo property in the future.

The impressive Disney Fantasy tendered in St. Martin

The impressive Disney Fantasy tendered in St. Martin

On February 9th, we boarded our Disney Cruise Transfer to take us to Port Canaveral. We arrived to our ship, the Disney Fantasy, and started our 7 night cruise adventure. While on board we met up with my mother and father in law, a family friend, some friends from back home and their parents too. My four year old had two of his friends from school on the ship! The Disney Fantasy is Disney’s newest cruise ship – it has been sailing since March 2012, and it is very impressive! We took an eastern Caribbean itinerary which stopped at St Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Disney’s Castaway Cay.

This is going to sound like a sales pitch, and maybe it is in a way – but we had the most wonderful time and I think I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t share my experience.

Since 2003 I have been selling Disney Vacations (Cruises, Disneyland, Disneyworld, etc…) I have literally planned hundreds of vacations. I am a Disney Certified travel agent; I have taken all of their hours of training, and re-certified myself whenever there was new training available. I can rattle off hundreds of reasons and benefits for taking a Disney vacation. This being said, I was floored at the exceptional level of service that our family received on our vacation. Yes, that’s right, I knew all about it (I have been telling clients about Disney Vacations for the last ten years) but to experience it for myself was still beyond amazing!

I know what I told clients before, and all of those things were true, but after participating myself I now have my own frame of reference – and there are some wonderful advantages to a Disney Vacation that I would love to share! So here are my top five favorite things:

  1. Disney KNOWS what families will need while on vacation – They have fine tuned their product over the last 50 plus years. It was like they knew more than we did what would be convenient for our family. Everything was completely worry free, just show up for the vacation and enjoy! From luggage being taken care of from the airport to the resort to the cruise, quick check in procedures, high chairs already set up at your dinner table, pre-paid dining at Disney resorts (very convenient!), to bedding configuration, and bathroom layouts -every little detail, it was amazing! I do want to give a special mention to the dining. On a Disney cruise you visit a different restaurant each night but your waiters stay the same. This means that every night when I sat down, they had everything set up the way that I would like it. They knew where to put the high chairs (there were two babies at the table), the drinks that we had ordered on the first night were already waiting for us when we arrived, the children got food right away (usually some fruit) while we had a chance to look at the menu. The waiters made ketchup Mickey MousesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA on the children’s plates! And one of my favorites – when dinner arrived the waiters would cut up the children’s food for them, which meant I could actually eat my dinner while it was still hot (if you are a parent I’m sure you will appreciate this detail). I briefly mentioned the bathroom layouts which I also wanted to elaborate on a little. In our stateroom we had a split bath. In one little bathroom you had the toilet and a sink. Next to this there was a separate bathroom with a second sink and a bathtub/shower combo. This meant that for larger families you could have mommy getting ready and doing her hair in one area, and children taking their bathroom breaks before heading out for the evening. The bathtub/shower was also perfect, I wish I had one of these set ups at home. There was a small round tub with a seat at the back. A child could sit in the tub and play with mommy or daddy close by sitting on the seat. It was also set up with a detachable shower head for easy hair washing, my children loved this (usually we have lots of tears when it comes to hair washing time). When it was time for a grown up shower there was a large round shower head on the roof. How many times have you gotten into a hotel shower and the shower head was so short that you had to duck underneath it? It has happened to me a lot but not here. PLUS the water pressure was heavenly- did I mention that I might like one of these at home?
  2. You will never hear “no we can’t” or “I don’t know”. Not once on my trip did any Disney employee say, “no i’m sorry we can’t”. Anything we wanted or needed, all we had to do was ask and it was done for us- immediately! Also, if an employee was unsure of an answer to a guest’s question, you would never get an “I’m sorry I don’t know.” The employee would immediately drop whatever they were doing and find out the answer for you. Amazing customer service! When I was reflecting on this I was reminded of a trip I went on to Puerto Vallarta several years ago. I was there on a work trip with several Travel Agent buddies. We were staying in a decent 4 star hotel, and I came down with some type of Norwalk virus. I was sick, I could not even leave my room. After more than 24 hours of being sick I had no water, nothing to drink, in my hotel room. I called the front desk and asked someone to bring me a bottle of water or something to drink. The answer I received was, “I’m sorry, we don’t do room service.” After I promised a generous tip they agreed to bring me something. This will NEVER happen on a Disney vacation. We were so well cared for!
  3. Your children will think they are the centre of the universe. Disney employees go out of their way to treat every child like a special individual. Whether it’s the chambermaid stopping work to play peek-a-boo with your baby, a hostess seating your family creating a game of follow the leader, a waiter remembering what kind ofOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA dessert they enjoy eating, a youth worker in the Oceaneer’s Club (kid’s club) giving their undivided attention to your child who is uncertain about being there…I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Honestly my 15 month old daughter was confused after we left the boat, she went from every random person stopping to talk to her, sing to her, play with her, to strangers at the airport not giving her a second glance. I could see her staring people down and I knew she was thinking “you mean you’re not going to stop and play peek-a-boo with me?” One really memorable occasion on board the ship was when my two boys saw Chip & Dale out on one of the decks. No one else was around and I half expected their chaperones (all of the character’s had a ship employee to help guide them around) to tell us that Chip & Dale were on a break (see reason #2, this will never happen!) but for the next 10 minutes they had Chip & Dale all to themselves, playing, teaching them how to “pirate jig” – totally amazing! If you would like to see a video clip, click here: Chip & Dale Pirate Jig
  4. All of the magical Disney details make an unforgettable experience. Nobody spends more time on creating all of the little details than Disney! There are so many
    Chandelier in the main atrium

    Chandelier in the main atrium

    things that I can tell you, I would be here all day so instead I will pick a few of my favorites. Interactive artwork – when you walk by a lot of the pictures on the ship they will change or become animated! One of my favorites was on Deck 4, there were two side by side pictures that were Dumbo themed. The picture on the left had a train with a railway. The railway continued on into the picture on the right. When you walked by it, the train would start moving (to the soundtrack of Casey JR – yes they played music too!) and the train would end up in the picture on the right. And that was just a start! The pictures were also part of something much bigger – the midship detective agency. My boys had a blast solving the case of the missing puppies. If you would like to know more about this, watch this video: Midship Detective Agency Game. In addition to the interactive artwork, the rest of the decor was beyoned beautiful! It was a classic Art Nouveau style. The chandelier- gorgeous! And of course, you can find hidden Mickey Mouses EVERYWHERE! The statuette of mademoiselle Minnie was very cute too. I have to also mention the most awesome dining experiences that we had at The Animator’s Palate, one of the restaurants on the ship. On a 7 night cruise you dine at the Animator’s Palate twice. When you enter the restaurant there are large t.v screens everywhere. I don’t want to ruin all of the magic, but the shows during dinner time in the Animator’s Palate were unforgettable. Here are a couple of our personal videos: (click on the picture) crush The second night at the Animator’s Palate we all became Disney animators. Here is Mickey bringing all of our animations to life: Our Animations. I was even blown away by the impressive stage shows. On the Disney Fantasy the main show is Disney’s Aladdin. Again they pulled out all of the stops to bring this production to life, I was so impressed with the scene where “Prince Ali” shows up with his entourage to impress the Princess – Just like the movie! And the scene where Princess Jasmine and Aladdin go on their magic carpet ride, it was so incredible, I felt like I was soaring through the sky with them. My older son, Ben, was the only one who stayed up late enough to watch the show with me. At the end I told him that when you have really enjoyed a live show that you stand up and clap at the end (a standing ovation). He was sitting down clapping for all of the curtain calls, and then the Genie came out to take his bow. Ben leaped out of his seat and was clapping so hard, i’m sure his hands were hurting at the end (so many magical family moments!). Disney does not do anything half-way, everything is over the top and extraordinary.

  5. A million and one things to do. Your children (and you!) will never ever complain of boredom on a Disney Cruise. In fact there is so much to do, it is impossible to do OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeverything. I loved that I was travelling with a group of people in different age categories, I got to hear everyone’s perspective on the activities. Everyone agreed that there was so much for everyone to do. The seniors enjoyed their bingo time, having tea, relaxing in the adult only areas, going to the shows. My husband and I loved all of the family games and activities, dance parties, mini golf, the Aqua Duck Water coaster, swimming with the children, eating the specialty foods (warm doughy sugary pretzels filled with cream cheese- yum!) shopping, and of course when we had kid-free time we went hot-tubbing in the adults area or relaxed in one of the many lounges. The kids enjoyed everything; meeting the characters, swimming, character dance parties, activities in the Oceaneer’s club. They made magic wands with Tinkerbell, they did circus activities with Donald Duck, they learned how to be pirates with Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. When they needed some downtime we headed back to the room and enjoyed the free movies and classic Disney cartoons.

You know, I have written so much about this cruise already and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface. I didn’t even get to mention the wonderful nursery staff (I overheard one mom giving them instruction like: she likes her bottle at 2:00pm, 6 ozs, a little on the warmer side, then she’ll fall asleep, but only with her soother, and so on… and the nursery workers didn’t even bat an eye- they were more than capable of following the most detailed parent instructions!) or how about the wonderful Disney cruise spa products supplied in the bathroom, have you ever had hotel shampoo and conditioner that didn’t leave your hair feeling tangled and horrible? I loved the bath products so much that I brought them home and I am still using them. Oh and pirate night…ahh Pirate night, so much fun – dress up, shows, fireworks!

I have heard some people complain that Disney cruises are expensive. If you are comparing them to other cruise lines just by price, they are on the higher side. But if you are comparing the value that you receive for your vacation, I really believe that Disney is miles ahead of the competition. So many unforgettable experiences, my three year old is already saving his pennies so he can “get back on the Disney cruise.” If you would like some more information about Disney cruise lines in general, here are some great pictures and videos: Disney Cruise Line. If you would like some more information about prices and itineraries, visit my website here: Disney Cruise Itineraries & Prices Disney does offer some great promotions throughout the year, such as some sailings where kids sail free and other discounted fares. If you would like to subscribe to my cruise deals e-mail list, please pop me an e-mail with your name, e-mail address and contact details and I would be happy to add you to the list! My e-mail is lkraiger@cruiseshipcenters.com.

Here are a couple more little videos: Sam’s Birthday Cake I’m Sexy and I know It

Thanks for stopping by today, I can’t wait to show you all the great Disney themed projects this month!

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Cruising With Mickey Countdown

Disney Crafts

I wanted to create some excitement for our children in the weeks leading up to our big Disney Vacation. A friend of mine had made a Disney countdown for her children. Hers was awesome and had some great educational aspects to it, but I wanted mine to be more geared towards the cruise instead of a general Disney theme.

Here is what I came up with.

titleThis chalkboard paddle countdown was very easy to make, and maybe even a little educational (they got to practice writing their numbers). I picked up all of the supplies very cheaply at Michael’s. Supplies were: Wooden paddle, chalkboard paint, sparkly alphabet stickers and Pirate Mickey scrapbook stickers, paint brush . I also used a piece of paper, pencil, and scissors to make the template for the painted mickey head. Oh and don’t forget the chalk!

instructions

1. Draw a Mickey head on a piece of paper that will fit on your paddle. Cut it out and trace it onto the bottom of your paddle with a pencil.

2. Carefully paint the outside of your Mickey head with the chalkboard paint and then fill the outline. Wait until it fully dries before adding a second, and then third, coat of paint.

3. Decorate as you wish with stickers. Stickers that are meant for scrapbooking will be a lot more durable than regular stickers.

And that’s it! Now your children will have fun doing their countdown each day, and getting more and more excited about their trip! On the morning that we left I put the countdown at the bottom of the stairs and had drawn a big zero on the countdown. When the children came down the stairs they were thrilled to see that there were no more days left and it was time to go!

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So much fun!

Thank you for stopping by today!

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Disney Crafts

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Are you taking yourself and your little Princess on a Disney Vacation? Part of the fun is all of the dress up and the bling that goes along with it! And I’m going to let you in on a little secret ~ if you make yourself some hair accessories at home, it will be A LOT cheaper than buying the Disney Park or Disney Cruise stuff. Of course you are going to want to buy yourself some ears as souvenirs, but the bows and accessories, those are easy to make! I bought a very cheaply made, flimsy, head band on my Disney Cruise to wear with my formal dress and it cost $16. Of course I thought in my head {Ahhh, I could have made this for about $3} So I thought I would bring you a couple of ideas and tutorials so that you don’t make the same mistake I did!

How about a stacked bow headband? There are lots of great shops on Etsy that sell beautiful Disney Ribbon. I bought mine from a shop called Bottle Cap Art Supplies. For a stacked bow, you basically need at least three different bow elements to stack together.

Mine was made with a Spike Bow on the bottom, a Surround-a-bow in the middle, and then my own creation (or at least one I just played around with and figured out on my own) The Quadruple Bow, which I will explain now.

The Quadruple Bow is the red bow with white polka dots in my stacked bow picture. You will need 30″ of 1 1/2″ ribbon, a needle and thread. Here are the instructions:

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Creating the stacked bow is very easy. Take your three prepared bows. On the bottom I had my spiked bow, then I layered the surround-a-bow on top, and last I put down my quadruple bow. Run a needle (and thread) up through the middle of all three layers. Wind the thread around the centre of your bow a few times and then run the needle back through the centre. Trim your thread. Next take a piece of 3/8 inch ribbon about 2″ long. Put a dab of hot glue on the back of your bow and wrap the ribbon around the centre to hide the thread. Secure it onto the back with another dab of hot glue. Now you can put some jewels or anything in the middle to decorate your bow. Here is what I did to make mine a little more “Disney”.

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Here is a super easy idea to jazz up any hair accessory and make it Disney themed.

Mickey Jewel Head Supplies: Decorative bottle cap, small scrap of felt or fabric, 1 x 10mm plastic jewel, 2x 8 mm plastic jewels, glue gun and glue.

All you have to do is cut out a circular piece of fabric or felt that will fit inside the bottle cap, glue it inside. Then glue the 10mm jewel in the centre towards the bottom, and the two 8mm jewels are glued in the “ear” positions. Then glue your decorative Mickey head to your hair accessory.

When I was picking out the jewels at Michael’s, I couldn’t open the box to see how big the jewels were in relation to each other. You will notice that my Mickey ears are probably a bit too large. The jewels I actually used were 10mm for the head, and 9mm for the ears – so I have corrected the size in the instructions.

Now that your bow is done, you can either glue it to a hair clip, or a hair band like I did. To do this I cut out two felt circles. I glued one circle to the back of the bow. I then put some hot glue on the other side of that felt circle, positioned the bow where I wanted on the hair band, and glued the other felt circle so that the hair band was sandwiched in between.

 

Here is another hair bow I did. I used the Ribbon Retreats: Ribbon Flower Bow Tutorial. Instead of gluing the jewels to the bottle cap, I glued them directly to the bow.

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And lastly I wanted to share this Pirate bow I made for a friend’s daughter. Again I have used the Spike Bow tutorial. I had these really cute skull and cross bone buttons and I glued one to the centre of this bow. Perfect for a pirate party on your Disney Cruise!

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And here are some of my favorite ones from around the web that I DID NOT create: 13 Disney Inspired Princess Ribbon Sculptures from the Grosgrain Fabulous blog. Aren’t these gorgeous?? There are full tutorials for each one, just click on the picture of the one you would like to make.

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This one I came across last week during a link party. This Minnie Mouse Headband tutorial was made by Sarah at Craft Quickies. I think I am going to make one for my niece before she heads to Disneyland in the fall. It is so darling, and that baby just makes it look even cuter!

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I hope you have enjoyed this post, thank you for stopping by!

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A Minnie First Birthday

Disney Birthdays

A Minnie First Birthday

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Last Spring one of my good friends also did a Minnie Mouse party for her daughter’s first birthday. I just wanted to quickly share a couple of her ideas, there were some great ones, and she spent so much time on all of the details!

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1. The decor and the treat bags: I loved her banner, minnie heads cut from construction paper (and she doesn’t have any fancy craft machines like a Cricut or a Silhouette, this was done by hand). The letters were all done in pink and then white layered over top, so much effort but it looked awesome! You will notice that some of her gift bags had bows and the others did not, to distinguish between girl treat bags and boy treat bags. Inside the gift bags, my friend had made Mickey and Minnie ears for each of the guests! She used plastic headbands and black felt for the ears.

2. The dessert table: Cupcakes, cake pops, and of course, the cake! Again she put so much time into those great details. The cupcakes each had a little Mickey head made from chocolate melting wafers. Oh and they tasted so good – chocolate cheesecake filled with cheesecake frosting. She made the Minnie cake pop stands out of styrofoam and ribbon. The cake pops were chocolate pudding covered in…chocolate! The cake was beautiful, I believe it was her first time experimenting with fondant but you couldn’t tell! The centre of the cake had a heart baked into it. So talented!

3. And of course this is my tired little party girl, modeling her Minnie ears!

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed some of these Minnie party ideas!

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Disney Family Fun Nights

Family Fun

Disney Family Fun

Our good friends came along on the recent Disney Cruise that we took in February. Their family actually did a week at Disney World first. I have to say that my friend, Jackie, did an amazing job at getting the kids prepped and excited for their trip! She has graciously allowed me to share all of the wonderful activities that she did with her family. Even if you are not going on a Disney vacation, these ideas make for a wonderfully fun and wholesome family night (or entire day!). Plus, most of these activities are very educational and a great learning opportunity!

DISNEY COUNTDOWN

pic1In preparation for our family’s Disney trip we decided to do a Disney countdown. We created a poster using poster paper picked up from Michaels craft store. My son, who is 4 years old, was learning numbers and the calendar in school, so I decided to combine what he was learning in school to create our countdown. We cut out numbers that I printed, using word and placed them in order on some construction paper. He had to show me the order the of the numbers and the days of the week. We then decided to decorate the calendar using some stickers we had at home (Disney inspired of course). My son also cut out a Minnie and Mickey Mouse character from one of his coloring books to help with his scissor skills. We had lots of fun making it.

To start the countdown, I cut out a circle for the head, and 2 circles for the ears using scrap book circle cutter. My son glued them together to make the Mickey Mouse countdown. Although…he got tired so I ended up finishing them. Every morning for about 30 days leading up to our vacation, we placed a Mickey Mouse on the day of the week it was. We practised reviewing the days of the week and the numbers of the month.

We decided that every Saturday would be a special Disney theme night. So every Saturday had a special sticker on it, to note that it was Disney theme night. I picked a Disney movie to be our theme and would do something special Disney. We had a lot of fun.

Theme Night One: Toy Story

Every Saturday, leading up to our Disneyworld vacation, we decided to do a Disney theme night, more like a theme day. We would combine books, craft, game, movie and snacks all related to the movie I chose. Here is an example of one of our days.

Good Morning- when my kids woke up from bed, I had the books that we would read for the day out on the coffee table. I also gathered the toy story toys we had at home and had them sitting on the table waiting for them to eat breakfast. They loved waking up on Saturday to find out what kind of day we were going to have.

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Books – I gathered any toy story books that I had at home or from the library which we read during the day and again at bedtime. My daughter who is 1 really loves to read books.

Craft – I purchased a birdhouse shaped like a rocket from Michaels, and my son painted it. My daughter loves to paint too , so she painted a little car.

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Games

(1) Buzz Lightyear Blast off – we made a buzz lightyear calendar with aliens that we cut out from images googled from the internet. My husband made a rocket from one of the games we owned called Krazy forts. We placed the aliens on the rocket. To play the game, I used a lazer pointer to point at the numbers. My son had to call out the numbers and when he heard, 3,2,1.. he had to yell blastoff. He was then able to jump and save one of the aliens from the rocket. To save him, he had to read the sight word glued to the alien to protect him. We had lots of fun playing the game.

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(2) Hide the Alien – With this game, I used paper cups I had at the house and a toy story figurine from one of the books we had. I glued site words that my son was working on in school. I would hide the alien under one of the cups and mix them around. To find the alien my son had to read the word to lift the cup up. If he read the cup correctly, he got to check what was underneath.

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Snacks – nothing says Toy Story like eating Pizza planet pizza. I used a recipe from Lisa’s blog titled Dry Mix Pizza Dough . My son and daughter helped but all the ingredients together and we rolled out the pizza dough to make individual pizzas so we could all put our favorite toppings on…yumm

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Theme Night Two: Cars

Good Morning- when my kids woke up from bed, I had the books that we would read for the day out on the coffee table. I also gathered the all of the cars die cast toys we had at home and had them sitting on the table waiting for them to eat breakfast. They loved waking up to them all set out on the table. They played with them for hours.

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cars2Books – I gathered any cars books that I had at home or from the library which we read during the day and again at bedtime.

Craft – today’s craft was a really fun one. We decided to make and decorate cars for our drive in movie. We used cardboard boxes that we had at home. I took parcel paper and covered one box as it had a lot of writing on it (although it looked bulky as I did not tape it well). The other box I left and just decorated the box directly. My son painted the wheels made from left over paper plates I had at home. We also used a plate for his steering wheel. My daughter colored hers with markers. I used paper fasteners to fasten them to the box so they spun around. We also used construction paper for decorations and headlights.

The kids then sat in their cars to watch the Cars movie. When the racing scenes were on, my son would drive his car like he was racing, so cute. My daughter, is too young to watch movies, but loved to sit and race her car.

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cars6Snacks – cars and tires from Casa Della Tire shop. I used apple slices for the cars and grapes for the tires held together with toothpicks. I bought some mini chocolate donuts from the local grocery store to make the stack of tires. My kids thought having a tall stack of tires was so cool, a bit too much sugar – so I had to take the stack away from them because they wanted to eat them all…ha ha.

Well, didn’t she do an amazing job with her Disney Theme nights? I love all of these great ideas, they really are fun for the children and promote awesome family togetherness!

I recently came across this post from another blogger who did a Peter Pan Family Movie Party. She gave permission for me to share the link to her post – I just love those sweet Peter Pan decorated popcorn bags! Brenda from Chatting Over Chocolate actually has tons of wonderful Disney themed ideas for your family, so make sure you have a good look around her blog!

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I hope you have enjoyed this post, let me know if you try any of these activities with your family! Thanks again for stopping by.

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Dress Up Time ~ Cinderella Peasant Dress

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Today I am going to share this simple Cinderella Peasant Dress costume {size 2T} with you. I think little chores are much more fun when you are dressed like Cinderella! Peasant dresses are very easy sewing projects, in fact I think that one of my very first sewing projects was a peasant dress. When I first learned how to make one, I followed a great tutorial from Pretty Prudent. This Cinderella dress is just a slight variation from this peasant dress. Since most of the steps are the same, except for the skirt, I don’t want to re-write someone else’s tutorial. Instead I will have you read their tutorial and tell you what I did differently.

Here are the supplies that you will need, for the dress only. I will tell you about the apron after the dress is out of the way!

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~Fabric: You will need three different colors, but it’s all plain cotton. I found mine in the bargain bin, it does not have to be expensive! Sleeves: Light/Sky Blue 1/4 yard, Bodice: Dark/Chocolate Brown 1/4 yard, Skirt: Light/Coffee Brown 1/2 yard.

~35″ of 1/4″ elastic.

~Thread and basic sewing supplies

Below are the measurements for the dress. You will cut two of the bodice pieces on the fold. Cut along the red lines to create an armhole (a basic J shape, 6″ down) and a sloping neckline.

You will also need to cut two of the skirt pieces, and two of the sleeves (on the fold).

Size 2T

Cinderella Peasant Measurements

Cut out all of your pattern pieces above. You are going to make the bodice by following the instructions here: Long Sleeve Peasant Dress Tutorial. Start from Step 2: Cut Out Neckline and Armhole. To be clear, while you are following the peasant dress tutorial, you will be using the two bodice pieces and the two sleeve pieces to create the bodice. You will not be doing anything with the skirt until you come back to this page.

DO NOT: Hem the bottom of the dress (bodice) or insert elastic into the sleeves.

Creating The Skirt

You should now have your bodice made, with the finished sleeves attached. The bodice should have a raw edge along the bottom. Are we on the same step? Good, let’s create the skirt and finish the dress. Take your two rectangular skirt pieces and sew them right sides together down both of the shorter sides with 1/2″ seam allowance. Use a zig-zag stitch to finish the seam. Press your seams flat. Fold the bottom of your skirt over 1/4″ to the wrong side and press with your iron. Fold it over again and press; hem the bottom of your skirt. Sew a gathering stitch around the top of your skirt and make sure it is the same width around as the bottom of your bodice.

Attach Skirt to the Bodice

Pin the top of the skirt to the bottom of the bodice, right sides together. The easiest way is to have your bodice turned right side out, and your skirt inside out. Place your bodice upside down into the top of the skirt and pin around the top. It is a good idea to tuck the sleeves out of the way so that they don’t get in the way of your sewing. Sew the bodice and skirt together using a 3/4″ seam allowance. Use a zig-zag stitch to finish off the edge of the seam.

Press the seam upwards (towards the bodice) with your iron. Now you are going to stitch along the top of the seam, all the way around, to create an elastic casing (make sure you are using thread that matches the chocolate brown bodice). Leave 2″ open so that you can insert your elastic. Take 20″ of 1/4″ elastic and attach it to a safety pin. Thread it through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together and then sew the opening shut.

And that’s all! I left the elastic out of the sleeves because I noticed that Cinderella’s sleeves are loose, but of course you could make yours any way you wish.

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I also made an apron with an applique to go along with the dress. It was very time consuming, and it was my first attempt at creating something like this, but here is a quick look at how I did it.

First I found a clip-art picture online of one of the bird characters from Cinderella, here is what my applique was supposed to look like:

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I have to say that my little bird didn’t turn out quite so happy looking, rather a little worried looking!

Supplies used: various scraps of fabric, heat n bond, black thread, basic sewing supplies.

I printed the bird and cut it out around the outer edges. I pinned it to some blue fabric that already had some heat n bond applied to the back of it. I cut the bird shape out of the blue fabric (leave the back of the heat n bond on, do not peel it off yet)

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Next I cut out pieces of the bird that were not blue (ie the hat, vest, beak, etc…) and pinned them to coordinating colors of fabric – these pieces of fabric also had heat n bond applied to the back. I cut out each little piece of the bird and applied them to my blue main bird piece, like a puzzle. Peeling off the back of the heat n bond I pressed each piece into place with my iron. Here is the little bird coming together:

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After all of the pieces were in place I peeled off the backing on my main (blue) bird piece and positioned it where I wanted on the apron skirt. Then, using black thread, I stitched all of the features and outlines onto the bird. I used a zig-zag stitch, setting the length at almost zero. The width of the stitch varied, as you can see that some of the lines on the bird are thicker than others – for example the black parts of the eyes are also done using a wide zig-zag stitch.

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apronIt can be pretty tricky to get the facial details just right, as I mentioned before, my bird seems to look a bit worried and the original picture the bird looked happy! As for the Cinder-Calleigh lettering, I don’t have a fancy embroidery sewing machine so this is just done freehand, again with a zig-zag stitch on a very short stitch length setting.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post!

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