Disney hair bow!

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I assume I will not wear my lovely Disney ears every day we’re there. 1) Perhaps they will start to bother my head after loads of hours, and mostly 2) I don’t understand how people wear sunglasses and headbands… that just doesnt work for me? My ears can only accommodate so much. Thus, while I am stoked to have my beautiful ears I wanted to have a cute hair accessory as well.

I bought a lovely sequin pineapple Dole whip bow from Frosting Hair Treats on Etsy. The specific bow I bought is not currently available, but here are all of the hair bows, including Star Wars, Disney princesses, Nightmare Before Christmas, and more. The shop also offers Disney ears, drinkware, and more.

If you follow the shop owner on instagram she posts flash sales/codes for her etsy shop. Sometimes the offer codes are for specific items, other times they are for the entire shop. I was able to snag my bow when all purchases were 50% off, meaning it was only $3 (instead of the full $6 price) + $3 shipping.

I placed my order on a Sunday. A little more than 3 weeks later my purchase was still marked as not shipped, so I sent the shop a message. I didn’t get a reply, but my order was shipped out about a week after contact. All in all it was a little over 4 weeks before my bow was shipped, and it arrived later that week. While I was disappointed in the long shipping time and the lack of communication about this, the final product is lovely. Also my order came with an additional bow that I did not order. I’m not sure if this was to make up for the long shipping time? There wasn’t a note to explain, but I assume it was a kind gesture and I really appreciate Etsy shop owners that go the extra mile.

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Here is the bow itself. Love how the clip on the back is lined with a ribbon to make sure no glue spills down and makes for awkward clip closing. Note that the clip is a little small compared to the bow size — it is definitely big enough to stay in but I wouldnt use it to hold hair back really. Also note that because the pineapple emblem has a “right side up” then this bow can really only be placed right side up on the head. I usually wear my hair accessories on the left side of my head, but being right handed and the orientation of the clip I would have to place the bow from the back of my head, rather than going from the front. All of the other hair bows I have don’t have emblems so can just be flipped if needed. This is not something I thought about before purchasing! So if you have a preferred place for your hair accessories be sure to note to the seller which way you’d like the clip facing to make using your hair bow easier.

Here is the bow sitting at the front of my bun. You can see its rather large!

And here is it clipped on to the right side of my head.

I’m not sure I would normally make such a silly purchase, but I really love this and for half off I think it was totally worth it! Bows are a great alternative to disney ears if you dont like headbands or want to spend a lot less money. Let me reiterate that with the coupon this bow was $3 plus shipping, whereas ears regularly run $25-$40. This could be a great way to still accessorize for Disney but save some money. I definitely recommend this shop as long as you are at least 1 month out from your trip. The beautiful quality and discounted price is worth the waiting.

My first Disney ears!

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One of my first posts on this blog was a list of beautiful Disney ears. I recently purchased my first pair and I am so thrilled!

I bought this lovely pair of pineapple ears with a sequin bow from Allison at Its A Ear World on Etsy. Originally the ears only had the option of a white satin bow. I messaged Allison asking about the possibility of a gold or white or black sequin (or otherwise sparkly) bow and she said she’d get back to me. She found these awesome gold sequin bows and messaged me right away. She made a custom order for me where I paid $28 for the ears with the sequin bow and $7.20 for shipping. Shipping was a bit more expensive than I’d like, but it was shipped priority and came in less than a week. Less than a week for a handmade item is pretty dang impressive! And since the new listing includes shipping and is ~$5 less than what I paid. I think this is definitely a fair price.

The ears are puffy, the headband is surprisingly comfortable (it doesn’t dig into my skull like most the hard plastic ones), and the design is stunning. She really pays attention to details, including how the pineapples on the ears were angled.

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Front of my pineapple Disney ears

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Back of my pineapple Disney ears

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Inside of my pineapple Disney ears. There is a velvet ribbon lining the headband that helps keep it in place on my head nicely.

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A closeup of the pineapple print and gold sequin bow.

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A close up!

I paid for my order on a Friday and my ears were in my mailbox the next Thursday. They came shipped priority USPS mail. There was a super cute card and the ears were wrapped first in tissue paper with a bow then second with bubble wrap. I was a bit worried being sent through the mail might damage them, but Allison clearly thought of that.

Allison also added a coupon code for my next purchase as well as a surprise Magic Band accessory! It’s pretty awesome that she did this considering she basically made this special order headband with the sequin bow for me. This really is above and beyond! Now obviously I can’t say she’ll do this for everyone, but this is an example of the kind of seller Allison is. I asked her for extra, and not only did she get me what I asked for but included even more extras.

I had no intention of purchasing a magic band accessory from her or anyone. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to wear my new magic band or if I’m going to remove the puck and use a Magic Keeper. Seeing this though — its so cute! Maybe I will just wear the new magic band on my wrist. I still don’t have my new Magic Band 2.0, but below is the cute accessory Allison sent on my old Magic Band.

 

Allison’s shop is fairly new to Etsy so she doesn’t have a lot of reviews, but don’t let that deter you from purchasing! I had an amazing experience and am absolutely in love with my ears. Can’t wait to wear them in the park while eating some Dole whip!

Disney planning: Hollywood Studios

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MGM–I mean Hollywood Studios. This will be our first park! I doubt we’ll be rope dropping for HS. I want to start off on a more relaxing note. I won’t be able to book FastPass+ until October, but I am hoping to get mid-morning to afternoon time slots for Frozen Ever After, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Tower of Terror. Hopefully we can get additional FastPass+’s for Rock n Roller Coaster and/or Star Tours. If not I’d probably be willing to wait in line for these. Here’s a ranking of rides/attractions specifically for us (two young adults, no kids, likes thrill rides and my partner likes Star Wars) — I’ll be using this ranking basically to book FastPass+ in advance and on the fly at the park:

Rides/Attractions/Meet&Greets 

  • Hoping to book our 3 advanced FastPass+ selections for:
    • Frozen Ever After
    • Toy Story Midway Mania
    • Tower of Terror
    • Fantasmic! <– we have priority seating for this with a dining package, kind of like a FastPass+
  • Hoping to book FastPass+ on the fly, or will wait in Standby / must dos
    • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Star Tours
  • Will likely wait in Standby for
    • Meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody (together!)
    • Meet BB-* Astromech on Duty
    • Celebrity Spotlight (depending on who’s there)
    • Muppet*Vision 3D
    • The Music of Pixar Live! <– as of this moment this is only scheduled through August; if it is ongoing when we are there in December I definitely want to see this.
    • Jedi Training
    • Indiana Jones Stunt Show
  • Probably skip unless the standby line is very short
    • The Great Movie Ride
    • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
    • Meet other characters
    • Beauty and the Beast Live
    • For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration
    • Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams
  • Definitely going to skip
    • Disney Junior Live on Stage

Food/Drink
Ah, the real reason why we go to WDW… I want to have a solid plan for meal options so I don’t end up eating overpriced chicken nuggets every day.

  • Breakfast: we’ll probably just eat granola bars that we bring with us in the hotel
  • Lunch: reservation at Mama Melrose’s
    • This is our Fantasmic! dining package meal so we’re going to overeat to get our moneys worth. I’m excited for steak!
  • Dinner: no real plans yet, might fill up on snacks instead?
  • Snacks
    • Fried Herb and Cheese at the Tune In Lounge
    • PB&Jelly Milkshake at the Tune In Lounge OR a seasonal flavor at Min and Bills
    • Carrot Cake Cookie at Sweet Spells
  • Drinks: Margarita Flight or Flight of the Stars White Wine Flight at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Portable chargers

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As my phone ages and games that suck the battery dry in 2 hours, like Pokemon Go, come out I find increasingly I keep a portable charger with me. At home and work I have standard wall plug charging for my phone, but otherwise I keep a portable charger in my purse for road trips, hikes, long conference days for work, travel, and theme parks. These are a life saver.

My partner and I both have a compact Anker portable charger, and this gives me ~1.5 – 2 full iPhone charges. I think it works very well, it sometimes goes on sale for $10, and largely have no complaints. The only thing is that once you’ve drained it you do need to recharge it. I’ve been in a couple of binds where this just isn’t possible.

Enter FuelRod. With FuelRod you purchase a starter pack for $20-$30 (depending on the location you purchase it at), and this comes with a portable charger and charging cords for Apple and Android devices. Reportedly a FuelRod doesn’t have the best charging capabilities, but here’s the key: they have “Swap boxes” at locations around the US like airports, hotels, and theme parks, and you can simply swap your current FuelRod portable charger for one that is fully charged. Thus FuelRod allows for on-the-go charging, and while you can take your FuelRod home and plug it in to charge it you do not HAVE to. This swapping feature is free and you can swap your FuelRod whether its fully dead or not! So you are paying the initial $20-$30 for the starter pack and infinite swaps.

I do not personally own a FuelRod yet, although I am seriously contemplating it. There are of course no FuelRod purchase stations in my small town, but I may buy one at an airport when traveling (for $20) or online (for $25). I think they may be worth it as the charging cords alone can be quite expensive. And while I won’t get a ton of utility out of a FuelRod in my daily life, since I don’t have swap stations near by, it could prove extremely useful during my upcoming Walt Disney World trip.

On Disney property these are $30, so I would highly suggest picking one up ahead of time at another location or online. If you are interested in using a FuelRod at Disney World this link has locations of FuelRod stations for swaps in the parks and in the resorts.

There is no argument about quality: FuelRods are more expensive and worse performing than counterparts you can find on Amazon, but you’re really paying for convenience here — so what’s that worth to you?

Disney outfits planning: ears

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Let’s be honest, there are very few places you can dress up as an adult and not be chastised for (even on Halloween these days!). Disney is one of these magical places where you can immerse yourself and not worry about being the outcast. I am excited to be super kawaii and rock at least 1 pair of Minnie Ears while I’m at the parks… probably 2 pairs if we’re being honest. You can buy your ears at the parks or from Disney online, but I’m a compulsive planner and I’d like to have them at my house before I decide on clothes to pack. Also while the official Disney ears are super cute, there are LOADS more out there, particularly on Etsy! You can buy the classic Minnie ears in my feature image here. Official Disney ears are usually between $20 and $30; Etsy ears can be more this but you’re often paying for added detail.

Check out some of my favorites below (you can tell I like sparkles) and let me know your favorites!

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Disney lodging planning and execution

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There are so many aspects to planning a Disney vacation, and a big question is where are you going to stay? How do you balance cost with magic? Below I’ll go over what I researched in deciding where to stay including:

  • Non-Disney owned properties
    • Off-site hotels
    • On-site hotels
    • Ways to find discounts
  • Disney owned properties
    • Ways to find discounts
    • Renting Disney Vacation club points

I’ll also let you know where I booked and why!
How do you decide where to stay when going to Walt Disney World? Do you have any money saving tips and tricks?

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Disney dining planning and execution

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My partner and I are going on a week-long Walt Disney World trip this winter! I am so excited. Sept ’15 we went to the Magic Kingdom just for one day, and before that I hadn’t been to WDW since I was a child. Our upcoming trip is basically my first full-fledged Disney experience in over a decade so we are trying to be on top of planning to make it as magical as possible.

We are staying on site in a Disney Vacation Club villa at the Animal Kingdom lodges, which means we can book dining 180 days in advance of the first day of our trip for the length of our stay. This day recently happened, so read more below to find out our trials and tribulations!

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to advance dining reservations at Disney? How the heck are people snagging dinner at Be Our Guest?!

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