Fun Facts about Disney’s Ice Castle in Times Square #LimitedTimeMagic

Isn’t this Ice Castle that Disney built gorgeous? And to see this majestic piece of ice with a backdrop of Time Square was beautiful!

Simply stunning.

Here’s the facts on Disney’s Ice Castle:  ( And sadly it is no longer standing – it was truly for a limited time only just like the Limited Time Magic Disney will sprinkle for guests in 2013. Ice does melt and I can tell you it was melting away already by 12 noon yesterday!)

  • The ice castle stands 25 feet tall, 9 feet deep and 15 feet wide.
  • It was created using 45,000 pounds of ice – 267 blocks of ice in all.
  • The castle was first assembled into 37 pieces, then boxed and driven to Times Square to reassemble.
  • Each of the 37 pieces was lifted into place by a 15-ton crane.
  • Construction took 12 hours as craftsmen worked around the clock to erect the castle.

This was truly a spectacle to see.

Here’s a link to my video and photos of the Disney Ice Castle in Times Square for the Limited Time Magic press event.

Go behind the scenes with this video below to learn how Disney actually carved this giant Ice Castle:

8 Tips for Family Traveling to Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa

Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa opened in August of 2011. When we learned that Aulani was on the same lagoon that we honeymooned on twelve years ago, it simply was meant to be.

We became Disney Vacation Club members in December of 2011 and were thrilled to take our first trip to our home resort, Aulani, in March!

The entire trip to Aulani was amazing and we cherish that we were able to share a location with such special meaning to us as a couple with our children.

To enter and be greeted with “Welcome home, Barseghian family” brought tears to my eyes.

I wanted to share some of the “take aways” from our trip that can help families enjoy their trip to Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa to their fullest.

1. Before your trip, order SPF swimsuits, hats, and cover ups for your children (and yourselves :) ) from Coolibar.  We have used Coolibar since our children were born and have never had either of them get sunburned. Even when the swimsuits are years old, they stay true to their protection.  We splurged and ordered the ZnO Hoodies for each of the kids and they wore them every day at Aulani.

2.  After you get settled at the resort, head to Target and get some sand toys for the kids. $20 will get you endless entertainment on the beach!  We had our children gift their toys to an incoming family when we departed, which felt so good.

 3.  Take advantage of the beach activities through Hawaii Ocean Adventures.  They have a stand right by the beach with tons of activities for the entire family.  We rented a paddle board and each of us took the children out on it. They felt safe in the calmer waters of the lagoon.  We also did a catamaran outing as a family, which was a total highlight of our trip.

 

 4.  Schedule a character breakfast at Makahiki.  The food is incredible and your children will get special time and photos with the characters.  Plus, Aunty will immerse them in the Hawaiian culture through song and activities.

5. Speaking of Aunty, be sure to visit Aunty’s Beach House early in your stay.  Your children can go here…alone…while you enjoy a nice dinner.  There are so many fun activities at Aunty’s each day for children of all ages.

6.  Talk with cast members at Aulani and learn about everything they did to honor the Hawaiian culture in the design of Aulani.  For example, all of the photos behind the check in desk were taken by children in Hawaii…love!

7.  Enjoy a meal at Ama Ama.  Aside from the fact that the food is amazing, you can customize dishes and the view is incredible.  We ate here most mornings and filled up so we could enjoy hours of uninterrupted bliss on the beach and by the pool.  The photo here shows the view from our table…

8.  Most importantly, spend time at the beach in the evening and watch the sun set with your little ones.  The beauty is breathtaking…and quiet. :)

Amy Barseghian, aka MommyMentor, is the owner of From One Mommy to Another.  She grew up going to Disney World during family trips to Daytona Beach.  Now, she enjoys trips to Disney World and Disneyland with her husband and two children.

The Small Pleasures of Disney World

Disney World is an wondrous place. Just think about some of the amazing attractions and the imagination and technology that it took to bring those experiences to life. Attractions like Mission:SPACE, DINOSAUR, and Toy Story Mania! They’re rides that we, even as adults, love to go on. And hey, that’s why we’re ok with spending some substantial cash to get in, right?

But we noticed a funny thing with the kids, especially when they’re younger, like Kyle – who started visiting Disney at 15 months (He’s also since been back at just 2 and just 3 years old)

Some of the attractions that we think he should love, he simply does not.  And even more surprising, he took a strong liking to some of what we us adults might consider to be the most boring parts of the park. He loved the Tomorrowland_Transit_Authority_PeopleMover, Brer Rabbit’s Playground (a hidden gem of a playground underneath Splash Mountain), riding the Carousel again and again, and the guns on Tom Sawyer Island.

I urge you to embrace the small pleasures your kids find in the hidden nooks at Disney and let go of the need to hustle and bustle to the star attractions. Take in the parade. Hop on the carousel ride with your kids. Dance in the Streets when you find an impromptu character dance party happening. Relish the small playgrounds your kids find in a hidden area of Disney.

Some of our most magical moments and memories at Disney are from the spontaneous joy the kids have found in the out of the way & little known attractions – that also have generally have zero lines and no wait time. Something that will please everyone in the family from birth to age 80.

Disney World Wedding with Cinderella’s Coach

All weddings are magical. A princess marrying a prince, sealed with a true love’s kiss. I can only imagine how it would be to get married Disney style. Disney offers all sorts of options and locations for their Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. I had the opportunity to get an up-close look at one of the available marquee features of a Disney Wedding – Cinderella’s Coach (at a price of $2,850). Imagine arriving at your wedding in Cinderalla’s Coach pulled by six Welsh ponies and accompanied by a driver and two footmen – in regal garb of course. But this fairytale even one-ups the original fairytale - no midnight deadline for the magic to disappear.

The Disney Fairy Tale Weddings website has the Disney wedding pricing information.

 

Disneyland Surprise – So Happy I Could Cry

Mix a little Disney Magic with a cute little girl and add an element of surprise – and what do you get? Well, let’s not spoil the surprise. Watch the video below to see this little girl’s reaction.

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

Flights are booked. Fingers are crossed. Calfs are sore.

In about two months from now, the family and I will be heading down to sunny Florida where I plan on running Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. It’s 13.1 miles through the magic of Disney, traversing most of key sights.

I haven’t run a half marathon since 1999 when I ran the New Bedford Marathon in 1:39:16, 7:34 min/mile pace. Later that year I ran The Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon in 3:40:45. Oh, to be in my early twenties once again. So 1 husband, 2 kids, and 13 years later, I’m setting out to just finish a half marathon again. My goals (and I) have softened a bit, so I’m just hoping to break two hours this time around.

We are totally a running family. Mike and I met while on the track team at Cornell. Kenzie and Kyle have started running their little kids races. Mike still races competitively although he struggles to find time to train between work and the kids. He had his last big training cycle back in 2005 right before Kenzie was born, when he ran the Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon in 1:11:58 (5:29 min/mile pace for 13 miles!).

So with just about two months to go, I have to manage a balance of running enough to get in better shape while not running too much and getting injured. Wish me luck!

 

Disney Magic in New York City Times Square

When you think about Disney magic, you usually think about Florida or California. But Disney magic delivered big time in the Big Apple in New York City Times Square. Disney characters paid virtual visits besides amazed / surprised / smitten visitors. People were invited to take their place and glance up at the biggest screen in Times Square where you would see yourself alongside a Disney character.

Incredible!

I got the chance to experience it first hand with Kenzie and Kyle. The look on their faces when Daisy Duck magically appeared alongside them on the big screen was just priceless. There really is only one way to describe the experience – magical!

What it takes to be a Disney Princess

Disney ran a contest recently called Your Princess Moment, inviting little princesses everywhere to capture a princess moment on video. Kenzie’s submission is below and we love her take on what it takes to be a true princess.

Fashion Friday: Pirate Style!

Ahoy Matey! Eye patch and bandanna are all it really takes to be a Pirate. Kyle styles it up Pirate Style last night when the kids were pretending to be at Disney World. Our whole basement transforms to different parts of Disney World – Downtown Disney, the Polynesian Hotel, and the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride where kids can get a photo snapshot of them dressed as a Pirate.

And obviously – Kenzie, his big sister is the Mom, Kyle’s the baby, and Dad is a Disney Cast member employee helping them through the park.

(Notice the Hook as well. A nice  sneaky little extra to complete his get up!)

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Rapunzel & Classy Mommy visit Big Ben!

The soon to be official Disney Princess beat me once again to another hot spot in London. Rapunzel admires one of the world’s most famous clocks, Big Ben, as her sightseeing adventures come to an end. And yes, I had my moment today with Big Ben too as you can see below!

Big Ben is VERY big and I was amazed by it’s beauty on this gorgeous fall day in London. I popped up from the Tube after venturing out to explore this morning – despite the jet lag and not sleeping for 24 hours to be greeted by this majestic fixture in London.

Rapunzel posed for a quick picture on Westminster Bridge before heading to Kensington Palace to start preparing for her royal celebration.

Disney will officially welcome Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess character at a celebration at Kensington Palace, to take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011.

Disclosure: Disney paid for my travel expenses to London so ClassyMommy can cover this historic Disney Princess event for our audience. 

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