New Writers Wanted!

Hey Howdy Hey!!! Have a passion for writing and looking for a blog to join? Mouze Kateerz is looking for new writers as we gear up withg new articles for the new year! Our writers have a love for Disney and traveling. Looking for energetic new writing with possible perks that are still in the works for those who write on a regular basis for Mouze… If you are interested please contact us at Dreammaker1974@gmail.com with your name and  a sampling of your writing on Disney, Universal or family vacationing and one of our Administrator’s will review it and be back in touch with you.

Happy writing!!

quill and ink

Shop Disney Parks App-Most Dangerous App Ever?

If you have an affinity for Disney merchandise and a smart phone, then the answer is “yes, it just might be”, at least in terms of your wallet.  Disney released the Shop Disney Parks app in mid-August for use on Android and Apple smart phones.  This free app is available in your device’s app store; I initially had a little difficulty downloading the app (an error message about the script) but was successful on the second try.  I thought I would run you through the basics and give you my opinion of its performance.

As the title of the app implies, this little online store gives you access to Disney Parks merchandise.  What I love about this app already is that it features products that I have not been able to find on the regular Disney Store website.  I’ve been working on my family’s costumes for this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  We love the Haunted Mansion attraction and decided to dress in that theme for the party this year.  I was interested in purchasing the Ghost Host tees for my husband and I and was able to easily find the male version of that shirt on the Disney Store online.  However, the female Ghost Host shirt was missing from the site.  A quick Google search revealed the female shirt available for purchase on Amazon if you are a) a size Medium, and b) willing to shell out $65, of which I am neither.  Ebay didn’t fare much better so I was resigned to do without.  Much to my extreme delight, I immediately found the shirt I wanted on the Shop Disney Parks app in both the size I needed and at a much more reasonable price (by Disney merchandise standards, anyway).

When you open the app, you will see this screen:

Opening app screen

Opening app screen

It allows you to scroll down to see 4-5 featured items.  On the top left, you see the little magnifying glass search icon that allows you to enter your search terms.

Search screen

Search screen

For my purchase, I searched for “haunted mansion” items and received 141 options.  You can use the filter key to the top right if you’d like to narrow down your search but I actually scrolled through to check them all out.  When you select a clothing item, you can scroll down to select from the available colors and sizes.

Screenshot_2015-08-25-09-12-55

This is where it gets cool.  The three blue buttons below the item allow for you to “Add to bag” which you will do if you have more shopping to do, “Order Now” if this is the only product you need, or “Find on Map.”  This is a really neat feature that I can’t wait to try when I’m at Disney World in October.  When you are in a Walt Disney World park, you may search for your item and then select “Find on Map” to see from which store this item can be purchased.  I’ve seen several posts about guests being so disappointed because they never found such and such after searching all of the stores on their visit.  This app should eliminate those issues.  Your kiddo suddenly has to have that Stitch plush?  Boom, find it on the app, and then use the map to track it down.  Screenshot_2015-08-25-12-31-09

Now, let’s get back to my experience using the app.  I selected my shirt and went to my shopping bag.  I was given the option to “review and purchase.”  At that point, I was instructed to sign in using my ‘My Disney Experience” account information.  You are given the opportunity to create an account if you don’t already have one.  Once you sign in, you can enter your shipping and payment information (or it will automatically enter for you if you have this info saved to your MDE account; you will be asked for your saved credit card’s security code).  The one bummer about this is the shipping.  There are no options to change shipping type (for expedited service, for instance) and there is no discount for purchasing a certain amount of product (like on the Disney Store online, in which you can often receive free shipping if you purchase at least $75 worth of merchandise).  Once you agree to the Merchandise Return Policy, you click the green “Purchase” button and you’re done!

Almost immediately after my purchase, I received my confirmation email.  Three days later, I received an email indicating my shirt had shipped and the tracking link so I could obsess about my package.  Five days after that, I had my shirt in my hands!  Not a bad turn around time if you ask me.  My package arrived in the typical brown, nondescript box.  The shirt itself was wrapped in cutie-patootie Disney tissue paper.  The box also contained a note thanking me for the purchase and the larger merchandise return form.  A separate shipping receipt was also included.  Overall, this was a super easy process and I was beyond excited to receive my shirt after previously thinking I would be missing out.

My cute little package all wrapped up in Disney tissue.

My cute little package all wrapped up in Disney tissue.

Thank you note

Thank you note

Return form

Return form

My shirt, My shirt!

My shirt, My shirt!

One last thing:  The other super cool feature that I can’t wait to try out is the barcode scanner.  On the home page of the app, you’ll notice at the top a small barcode. Screenshot_2015-08-25-09-09-54Once opened, this will allow you to scan an item you find in the park and purchase the item in the app.  Why is this useful? Have you ever been inside a park store and saw THE souvenir, but it was fragile, huge, or otherwise inappropriate for air travel?  This feature on the app will allow you to purchase THE souvenir and have it shipped directly to your home.  Bypass the awkward packing dilemma and get that baby on its way to you before you even leave Orlando.  Eureka!

My plan is to do a follow up to this article after my visit in October so that I can update you on both the “Find on Map” feature and the barcode scanner.  In the meantime, feel free to contact me at any time for more information or to assist you in booking your next vacation!  You can find me on Facebook at Magical Vacations by Tracy or email at tracy@magicalvacationsbyme.com.  You can also follow me on Instagram HERE.  See you soon!

Tracy PhotoTracy Hurdle is a work-at-home mother of one and a former social worker turned travel agent.  She’s always had a love of travel planning and couldn’t be happier at being given the opportunity to do so on a broader scale with families just like yours.

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What is your Monster Name?

Create a monster

By Frances

The Disney Parks are having a monstrous summer to introduce Monsters University coming to theaters June 21 (AKA The first day of summer). One of the great items that you can do is create your own Monster and monster name.

You get to choose from several monsters to create your own. monster(2)

Then you are able to choose from several colors.

Then you are able to customize it with horns, glasses, wings, fangs, eye lashes and even a special bonus feature.

You will then type in your first name and last initial to come up with your monster name. My monster name is Frances Hurl 🙂

 

Go to this site to create your monster

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Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you are looking to book a magical vacation, please contact Magical Vacations by Me at 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@magicalvacationsbyme.com

Photos were taken straight from the Monster Generator.

 

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Loving My Dreams of Disney

Mike

By Frances

When I started the journey of having my own blog, there are two people that were very instrumental in helping me. Today is the birthday of one of them. His name is Mike Ellis and he is the editor of My Dreams of Disney. He is truly one of the most caring men that I know. He helped me with more than just the transfer of the site. He talked to me for almost two hours teaching me how to use wordpress. All I have to do is send a message to me and he is always there to help in any way that he can. Please stop my his facebook page and his blog. He’s an amazing man. HAPPY 29TH Again Birthday Mike!

Mike

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

 

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The Walk in Walt’s Footstep at the Disneyland Resort

Angela Walt office

By Guest Angela

During a recent Agent education program Angela was able to attend The Walk in Walt’s Footstep tour. Here is her review and her photos.

The Walk in Walt’s Footstep tour was excellent. The tour takes you all over Disneyland as the guide tells you interesting tips and facts about Walt and what happened as Disneyland was being built.

There were two highlights of the tour for me:

1. We got to see the lobby of Club 33. Club 33 is located in New Orleans Square. Only members of Club 33 and their guests are allowed to dine there.

A little about Club 33. Walt built the Club so that he would have a place to host his guests and dignitaries that visited Disneyland.Angela Club 33

Walt saw the lift (elevator) that is located in the lobby of Club 33 during his stay at a hotel in France. He decided that he wanted the lift for Club 33 so he asked the owner of the hotel if he could by the lift. The owner said no. So Walt had his Imagineers take pictures and measurements of the lift and then they recreated it in Club 33.

Unfortunately, Walt never got to see the completed Club 33. New Orleans Square was dedicated in July 1966 and Walt died in December of 1966.

Fun fact: The initial membership dues at $27,000 and annual dues are $11,000. There is currently a waiting list for membership. I figure if I get on the list now, by the time I am selected maybe I will have saved the $27,000 🙂

2. We got to go into Walt’s apartment. It took all of the strength I could muster not to cry. I could not believe I was standing in the apartment where Walt lived while he was in the park. It was incredibly moving and inspiring.

Club 33 red door entranceWalt’s apartment is located above the Firehouse on Main St. Whenever Walt was in the park, he kept a lamp burning in the window facing Main St so that people would know he was in the park. Since his death, the lamp is always kept burning because as the Tour Guide said “Walt is always here”. I durn near cried when she said that.

The Tour Guides told us that it took awhile to get permission to add Walt’s apartment to the tour and that it had only been added within the past year.

They would not let us take any pictures. At the end of the tour they took a picture of us with lamp in the background.

Angela Barr is a travel agent for Great Escapes Travel Agency. All photos are courtesy of her.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

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It all started with a bench?

By Guest Angela Barr

As some of you might know, Walt Disney got the idea to build Disneyland one Saturday during his “Daddy/Daughter day” One Saturday, Walt took his two daughters to the Carousel at Griffith Park. While he was sitting on the bench watching his daughters ride the Carousel, he started thinking that there should be some type of “entertainment enterprise” where parents and children could have fun together. That thought was the beginning of Disneyland.

In the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” attraction, they have on display the actual park bench that Walt sat on when he conceived the idea for Disneyland.

Here is the bench:

Walt park bench disneyland

Photo courtesy of Angela Barr with Great Escapes Travel Agency.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

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Photographing Walt Disney World: How to Bring the Magic a Little Closer to Home

One of our Mouze Kateerz writers, Amanda Major (www.cheapskateprincess.com), is one of the best Disney photographers that I’ve seen. She captures Disney Magic with every picture. She is one of the largest picture contributors to Mouze Kateerz. Here is an article that she wrote several months ago that I thought was worth rerunning for more readers to enjoy. ~ Frances

By Amanda M.

Every photo has a story.

One reason I am so enamored with Walt Disney World is the wide range of photographic opportunities I find when I vacation there. Photography can be both a tremendously rewarding experience and a maker of memories, but on the other side, it can be a journey into frustration and disappointment. Images don’t always turn out in print like you see them through your eyes.  Sometimes, I look at my photos and think, “Ugh!! It didn’t look like that!”  What to do…

Picture this…As photography has moved away from print film to digital, we now have the opportunity to clean up and fix a lot of images that would look better with a little nip and tuck. One of my most useful photo editing tools, Picasa in my case,  is the crop button. Simple. Handy. Crop.

Mouze Kateerz fan Randy Ash from Bloomington, IL,  dropped a photo off on our wall at Mouze Kateerz on Facebook, and it was so beautiful, I had to see if there was an original.  Apparently Randy didn’t need to crop his photo a for a closer view- he just zoomed up on his subject. In keeping with my theme of every photo has a story,  there was indeed a great Disney tale attached with his photo…romance, relaxation, and vivid colors.  Here’s Randy’s photographical memory:

disney photography, The Disney Moms, Tree of Life photo, Animal Kingdom photosThis past May, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with our first trip back to WDW since our honeymoon … without the kids. We decided during the planning for the trip that we would set no schedule, eat when we wanted to…not just when we could spare a moment between attractions. We took the time to look for the details that we so often rushed past in search of a character signing or fast pass.

Every trip for us to WDW includes a morning at Animal Kingdom. First destination… The Tree of Life to see A Bug’s Life. As we worked our way towards the tree, we stopped to take this pic with the tree in the background.

The vivid color of the simple pink flower struck me so I decided to take a close up. “

Animal Kingdom, It's a Bugs life, Disney Photography, The Disney Moms, Animal Kingdom safari
“This close up has become one of my favorites from this trip. It is a good reminder to me to slow down and look for the detail, it is all part of the Magic!

Mouze Kateerz fan Randy Ash from Bloomington, IL

The personal thing about photography is that sometimes a photo will have no meaning or emotional attachment to anyone other than the photographer. The picture belongs to you; the special meaning is all your own. But this doesn’t diminish the beauty you can find in photographs, even if you really have no idea where the photo was taken.

Bonnet Creet Resort, Windham Bonnet Creek Resort, Hollywood Studios, Bonnet Creek photosHere is a photo I took in 2011 at Windham Bonnet Creek Resort on the other side of the highway from Disney‘s Hollywood Studios.Our first stay here was fabulous, and included hot dogs for Christmas Eve dinner (a new annual tradition) and a swim in the heated lazy river on Christmas Day.

I took several shots of a sunset as the clouds were rolling in on Dec. 26th, the day before we returned home. Most people will not recognize this as Bonnet Creek.

There are no Disney characters in the shot, no iconic Disney architecture or logos, so you won’t recognize the location, but you are drawn in all the same.

photography, Picasa photo editing, Picasa photography, Disney Picasa, photo cropping, Disney photography, The beautiful thing about this photo is that I didn’t do a thing to change the color. I just cut out the distracting clouds and focused on the closer beauty of an Orlando sunset. I then fought off depression by telling myself in that every sunset does notlook like this when you are three miles from the Magic Kingdom. I remain unconvinced; I somehow suspect actually they do.

So if you can’t zoom, then crop. A little nip here, and a little tuck there can take a good photo and bring it a little closer to home, both to your eye, and to your heart.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical ride, and we’ll see you around the Disney parks with a camera!

Amanda

Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, join Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

See ya soon!

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Walt Disney’s Famous Words …. Quotes by Walt Disney

Walt and Mickey Mouse statue, Mickey Mouse statue, Walt Disney statue, Walt Disney

By FrancesWalt Disney, Walt Disney statue, Mickey Mouse photo, Mickey Mouse statue, Main Street statue

I consider Walt Disney a mentor in some ways. I may not have ever met him but I have read multiple biographies about the good & the bad things that happened in his life. He was told “No” more times than “Yes” in his youth. He had a passion for art and drawing that included painting on his parents house with his sister Ruth. He had more than one business that went bankrupt or was closed down. He had to learn how to be a better manager so he could create loyalty. Here are a few quotes of his that I have really shaped my life!

Walt Disney photo, Walt Disney Art of Disney, Downtown Disney art

Walt Disney painting from Downtown Disney’s “Art of Disney” store.

All quotes are by Walt Disney

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way,  implicitly and unquestionable.”

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to  pursue them.”

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I  wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and  obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a  kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other  things.”

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I  am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to  do.”
Downtown Disney entrance sign, Mickey Mouse Disney, Mickey Mouse Disney sign, Disney, Mickey Mouse

“I believe in being an innovator.”

“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating  those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”

Disney College Program: Application Process & Interviews

By FrancesCinderella Castle christmas photo, Disney Christmas photos, snow at Disney World, Disney Christmas photography,

Many children dream of growing up and being a Disney cast member. When they go off to college, they will have an opportunity to interview to be a part of the Disney College Program. Here are some facts about it.

1. You must be at least 18 years old when you enter into the program. You can be 17 when you start the application process.

2. You must be actively enrolled in one of over 300 accredited college or universities as a full or part time student when you apply.

3. You only have had to completed one complete semester or quarter to qualify. You can start the application process during your first semester or quarter. Some schools to have more requirements that you have to meet. Please see your school counselor for more information.

4. Disney will come to your school and hold an information session. (See you school counselor for dates) They will also conduct the first set of interviews at that time. If they wish for you to proceed, they will usually contact you in a few weeks and schedule a phone interview.

Some schools will also hold character/performer auditions at this time as well. There are also regional auditions that you will need to drive to. This is usually a several step process. See you school counselor for dates and times.

5. During the phone interview, they will ask your preference for position. Examples of positions are: Merchandising, Food & Beverage, Animation Academy Hollywood Studios, Animation Academy DisneyQuest, where can I learn to draw Mickey Mouse, where can I learn to draw Disney charactersAttractions, Performance, Hospitality, Custodial and Admissions.

6. Usually within 3-4 weeks of your phone interview, you will receive a letter stating if you have been accepted into the program. If you have been accepted, you need to respond immediately to the letter to secure your position.

During your interview process, it’s very important to put your best foot forward. Dress as if you are already a cast member. Hair neat and orderly. Clothes pressed and wearing your Sunday best:-) Teeth brushed (Don’t chew gum during the interview). No visible tattoos. Conservative nail polish color for ladies and light makeup. Gentleman should be neatly shaven.

Best of luck to all of you applying!

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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