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Castle magic kingdom

Toy story buss woody lotso flower and garden epcot

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Polynesian Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort Pool

Expedition Everest Challenge, is it the race for you?

everest animal kingdom

Expedition Everest Challenge, is it the race for you?

By Lisa P.

Many of you have probably heard about all the big Run Disney events such as Marathon weekend, the Princess half, Tinkerbell half, Wine and Dine half and Disneyland half marathon. Have you ever looked at the races and thought, “I would love to do a Disney race, but could never run a half marathon? Well, then the Expedition Everest Challenge may be the run for you! Here are some reasons you may want to do this race:

1.Instead of the 10 miles, 13.1 or 26.2 miles of the other Disney races, this one is only 3.1. This means you don’t have to spend as much time preparing, or you can even walk it and not be on the course for hours 

2.You get to run through Animal Kingdom and celebrate there after the race…AT NIGHT! How many times have you been to Animal Kingdom and while being kicked out of the park you were wondering what it was like at night? Well this is your chance. This is a nighttime run that begins at 10pm in the Animal Kingdom parking lot, runs through the park. After the run you get to celebrate in an after party in the park!

3.This is not your normal 5k, you can run on your own, or as part of a 2 person team, all while completing obstacles. After the run you will take place in a scavenger hunt. With this run you will take part in the 5k that if full of obstacles that you complete on your way t the finish line and then complete a scavenger hunt to earn your Expedition Everest Compass Medal!

4.Your children can take part in the fun too! The Challenge also offers an Expedition Everest Challenge Family Edition. This is geared toward runners 4 years old and up. In this challenge runners go on a short run, complete a scavenger hunt and earn a finisher medallion.

Everest challenge map

As you can see, this is a fun run that is perfect for all ages. It is not nearly as crowded as the longer races, but still full of Disney fun! If you are looking for a run with big crowds, and a big expo then this may not be the race for you. If however you want a fun run with the great Disney atmosphere, then be sure to check it out!

The price in 2013 was between $110-$130 for an individual depending on when you register. It is between $220-$260 for a 2 person team and $35 per person for the family challenge. You can also purchase additional tickets for the after party for those non-runners in the family for between $49-$50.

I am looking forward to running this in just over a month and can’t wait to share my experience and pictures with all of you! ~ Lisa

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We always love to hear from you.

If you need assistance in planning your magical vacation, please contact Magical Vacations by Me.

Email:   or 404-414-6198

LisaLisa just moved to Nashville, TN, after spending 28 years in Ohio. She has been a huge Disney fan since her parents took her on her first trip at age two. 2. She has been to Disney over 70 times and worked at Blizzard Beach as part of the Disney

College Program. She is now working on finding a way to move to FL, so she can be closer to her favorite place on Earth!

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How my daughter saves for Disney!


By Frances

My family goes to Disney more than the average family. We travel to the Disney resorts & the Disney Cruise Line at least 3 times a year. Most years a few more. My 8 year old daughter doesn’t need any souvenir. Her closet is full of clothes. If one more stuffed animal comes into the house….. Well, you get the drift. When she was 6 years old, we stopped buying her souvenirs and we made her purchase all of her own souvenirs. We had several trials and errors on how to allow her to save some money. How do we make the chores worth the money but not too easy but easy enough?

We started with $5 per week if she does XYZ and she has to do XYZ. All or nothing. That didn’t last long. It was too rigid.

Then all chores were worth 50 cents. Well, she would make $12 a week or more because she did all the easy stuff and none of the tougher items.

Here is what we have settled on:

Cleaning her room, making her bed and bringing her laundry to the laundry room and putting away her clean clothes properly are not chores that she is paid for. We feel that she should do those things because she is part of the family.

All other chores are worth 25 cents to 75 cents. Some she can early daily. Others she has a max on how many times a week she can do them to earn money.

Here is a sample:Minnie Mouse doll

Cat Duty: Feed him & give him fresh water 25 cents (daily)

Cat Duty: Clean the litter box 25 cents (daily)

Bathroom: Clean tub & floor 75 cents (2x per week)

Bathroom: Clean toilet & sink 50 cents (3x per week)

Assist with Dishes 25 cents (daily) we don’t have a dishwasher

Clean TV Room: 75 cents (3x per week)

Clean School Room/Office: 25 cents (3 x per week)

Assist with laundry (other than her own): 10 cents – $1

We also have a “Sass Tax” where she can lose money for misbehaving or sassing back to us. It starts at 10 cents.

She is allowed to use this money for things other than Disney. She saved to earn a Katniss doll, extra scoop of ice cream etc.

We keep track of all her money on her chore chart. Each sticker is worth 25 cents unless other wise noted.

We know there a tons of ways to teach our kids responsibility. Here is the way that works for us.

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Check Out The 10 Most Popular Mouze Kateerz Articles in 2012!


2012 was a big year for Mouze Kateerz. Frances took over as lead writer/editor, and Denny is now posting photos from all over the Disney World. With great articles from established Mouze staff writers, we added new writers and new photos, but we still share the same love of Disney World.

Thousands of people each day read articles and look at photographs at, with over 296,000 total views on the website since late 2011 and over 4,000 Facebook fans.

Here are the Top 10 most popular articles on Mouze in 2012.

10. Disney World’s Beloved Pineapple Dole Whip: the Make-It-Yourself Recipe

9. Want to Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World? Try These Three Simple Tips

8. A Big Ten List of Disney’s Best Websites

7. The Disney Tattoo: Are You a Big Enough Fan to Actually Do it?!

6. What’s the Best Job in the Disney College Program? Our Answer May Surprise You!

5. How Do You Draw Mickey Mouse? Instructions and Photos for the Beginners

4. 7 Big Questions Answered About the Disney College Program

3. The Disney Princess: How to Get A Disney Inspired Manicure

2. 3 Big Tips on How to Look Like a Disney Princess!

1. The Disney College Program: All You Need to Know About Dorms, Roommates, and Housing Costs

How many of these have you read?

Thanks for being a Mouze Kateerz fan, and we hope you have a fabulous New Year.

Picturing a Disney Tattoo

By Frances

Over the past year, we have had some amazing Disney inspired tattoo pictures sent to us. We have featured them in a few articles. We thought that it would be neat to see pictures of some of them all in place. Please enjoy  these Disney Tattoos from Mouze Kateerz readers.

Heather Tattoo

Mickey Tattoo

snow white evil queen tattoo


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Minnie Mouse tattoo


Traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort from the United Kingdom Part 2

By Janine P.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I had dreamed of taking my daughter Tink to the Walt Disney World Resort.  She did come with us inutero and caused me no end of grief including a trip to the emergency room where our first scan of her at just 6 weeks was performed by a Tower of Terror Cast Member (she was also employed by Celebration Hospital just to clarify!).
So as soon as she was born we began to think about when we could take her back.  We even snuck in a 2 night stay at Disneyland Paris.  But nothing prepared me for actually being at Walt Disney World with my husband and child.
Let me give you a heads up, I’m a crier.  I cry when we land in the US. I cry when I see the first Walt Disney World sign.  I cry on the monorail and I bawl like a baby when I’m on Main Street.  This was all amplified by about a million having Tink in tow.
We decided just to potter about Downtown Disney the first evening as it had been a long flight and I sniffled all the way round, culminating in a few good tears at Tinks first visit to World of Disney.
There were plenty of tears the first morning walking into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and even more when she had her first character experience, running up to Goofy and Pluto and giving them big kisses.  There was no shyness here, just pure excitement and pleasure.  But the biggest heart wrenching mama sobbing moment of that first day (and maybe the holiday?) was her meeting Mickey at Animation Courtyard.  Sorcerers Apprentice Mickey is my favorite anyway but add in the hugeness of the moment (and we were first in line) and the water works started good and proper.  Tink just ran into Mickeys arms and literally the whole crowd waiting collectively went ‘aw’.  Sniff.  This really was the moment when husband and I looked at each other and thought, that alone was worth all the months of saving and planning.
Every character interaction we had was amazing and we made full use of Photo Pass and now have over 400 wonderful photos to look at.  Tink was a bit more shy with the Princesses and Tinkerbell, mainly I think because they tried to engage with her and at just over 2 and half years old, although she doesn’t stop nattering at home she can be quite reserved with new people.  With fur characters she really came into her own, her favorite trick was to take a stuffed toy of that character to meet them, they loved that and we even ended up getting our Mexican Donald from EPCOT signed by the big duck which was pretty cool.
The character dining was a big hit too.  We did Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine, DHS with Handy Manny, Oso, June from Little Einsteins and Tinks firm favorite, Jake.  This was great fun and not as loud or hectic as I had been warned, just right as it is aimed at pre-schoolers.  We also ate at Cape May at the Beach Club breakfast.  This featured Donald, Goofy and Minnie and again it was just fab.  I’d love to stay here one day, what a wonderful resort.  We were however glad that we didn’t have to pay for madam to eat (they’re both buffets so under 3’s are free) as she was too busy looking at the characters to eat much, even the cakes didn’t tempt her.
Tink was also remarkably good and brave on rides.  Her favorite by far is It’s A Small World and we had to ride it hundreds of times.  I still have to sing her the song as part of her bedtime routine …
When we went to DLP in the summer she rode a couple of things, Buzz and Peter Pan, and didn’t really like them, in fact she said Buzz scared her.  So we didn’t hold out much hope in WDW.  But she was a changed child and even did Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion!!!  Now she was a little bit scared of those, but not in a get me out of here kinda way, just she cuddled into me a bit more during the dark bits.  Rollercoasters didn’t phase her at all, she held her arms up on Goofys Barmstormer shouting ‘weeeeee’ all the way round.  I’ll have her Space Mountain next time no prob 😉
She also LOVED the shows, especially the Disney Junior show.  I can just picture her now dancing all the way through, singing along and shouting to the characters on stage.  Well done Disney for a wonderful performance.
One of the things I really liked was the way the CMs interact with the little ones.  If she was wearing a Princess dress they’d call her Princess.  When she was dressed up like Tink they asked her about the fairies.  They were always waving at her and she got a couple of extra cookies.  I do believe WDW is a place for all people of all ages but I was 21 my first visit, I’m so glad Tink will always know she went when everything really was still pure magic and the CMs really do add to this.
We all really enjoyed taking our time and doing some rides and shows which were new for us too, such as the Disney Junior stuff and more sedate rides we had bypassed before (shame on us) such as Carousel of Progress and Jungle Cruise.  We also enjoyed exploring World Showcase through a 2 year olds eyes and spending time actually with the animals in the Affection Section in AK.  Everything about this holiday was focused on what Tink would want to do and indeed could do (although this mama did fit in one quick ToT ride) and it really worked for us.
This included getting to parks for rope drop, making the most of little or no lines, then heading back to our hotel for a quick rest and nap.  We would then either go back to the parks or shopping and dinner in the evening.  We didn’t make it out late enough to see any parades or fireworks and there was no way we did as much as previous years but this was very much a quality over quantity holiday for us.
One issue we did have (but would have had anywhere) was food and Tink not wanting to eat.  She is not the best eater, more of a snacker but she also doesn’t like to sit up and wait for her food, especially if there is stuff going on.  This did lead to a few ruined meals and tantrums but we always tried to keep in mind she is only 2, she has jeg lag and its like 100 degrees!!!  Bedtime was also an issue, as in she didn’t want to go!!!  Tink and I shared a bed and even when she was exhausted she didn’t go down without a fight a lot of the time, too excited and too much going on I expect but pretty frustrating at the time.  Only a week or so after we got home she dropped her day nap and now goes to bed no problem … typical, if only she’d done that there.  Oh well.
So there we are.  I’ve been totally honest about our first experience of WDW with a toddler.  There were many, many good times, a few did we make the right choice times but on the whole it was A-Mazing and we can’t wait to return in 2014 and do it all again.

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

Janine Pipe, married mom of 2 year old Tink, living in Swindon in the UK.  DLP shareholder and lifelong WDW fan.  Always planning the next trip and making the most of all things Disney in England.  Has been told her house resembles a Disney Store.

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Make a Magical Memory: Disney Inspired Embroidery

By Frances

Have you ever been to the Walt Disney World Resort and seen a family all dressed alike in matching Mickey shirts and wished it was your family? In an effort to showcase some of the best work for Mouze Kateerz readers, I would like to introduce Make a Magical Memory.

Here is a note that Shannon wanted me to include:

I started Make a Magical Memory a little over a month ago, I had been thinking about it for a while now but with the addiction to Pinterest and Etsy I kept seeing all of these things that I would LOVE to take on my Disney Vacation. I thought to myself if I only had the time to make all this stuff, I would be in my glory. I have always been very crafty coming from a long line of “crafters”.  My mother the Home Economics teacher, my grandmother who when I was small made and sold porcelain dolls, and embroidered items as well as my great grandmother who hand embroidered some beautiful pieces I still cherish today. It’s only natural that I would carry the “crafty” gene. I thought if I could help people add magic to their vacations by making them items whether it be matching Tshirts or water bottles, then I have the best of both worlds. Doing something I love and helping people make more magic. Things are still very much in the starting stages, my Etsy Page is FAR from complete so much so I am embarrassed by it. I have been taking orders over Facebook for now

It’s hard for me to give pricing as each design is different. It’s priced at $1.00 per 1000 stitches and the cost of the item which I don’t charge extra for, what I pay for the TSHIRT my client pays for the TSHIRT. I do have a few photos of items I have made for clients and the prices I charged for you to get an idea.
Donald Duck Bath Towel $20
Mickey “Mom” Water Bottle $7
Mickey Pilgrim Sweatshirt $18
Pluto Halloween TShirt $25
These are just some of the things I have done to date. My FB page has only been up for about a month live, and unfortunately I lost power with Hurricane Sandy and had a 2 week trip to WDW in there so I wish I had more to share but I am working diligently now to catch up for the holidays! If there is anything else you need from me please feel free to ask!
**** SPECIAL FOR MOUZE KATEERZ READERS ***** Orders placed before December 15, 2012 will receive a 10% discount on embroidery. Please tell Shannon that you discovered her on Mouze Kateerz.
You Can Reach Shannon at Make a Magical Memory on Facebook
By e-mail:
or on her cell: 732-547-9087
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

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Top 6 Must Do’s at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

Disney's Boardwalk Resort, boardwalk Resort, Disney's Beach Club resort, Disney planning tips, Disney vacation

By Lisa P.

Disney has amazing storytelling  throughout their resorts. The Disney Boardwalk Resort is a fine example. It tells the story of the 1940’s Atlantic City Boardwalk. Here are my must do’s.

For the Sports Fan:  Head over to the ESPN club for dinner and a game.

For the Family: Late night with the family go to the boardwalk for games and to see the street performers.

For Music lovers:  Jellyrolls is a must, the dueling piano bar is a blast!

For the Fitness Buff: I love running around the lake on the path between BW, Beach and Yacht club and HS.

For the Shopper: Go to Wyland gallery for some wonderful art and

For the Foodie: Stop off at Kouzzina for some great greek food.

Of course, there is always the Luna Park pool where you can kick back and relax and enjoy a nice afternoon.

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

Lisa just moved to Nashville, TN, after spending 28 years in Ohio. She has been a huge Disney fan since her parents took her on her first trip at age two. 2. She has been to Disney over 70 times and worked at Blizzard Beach as part of the Disney

College Program. She is now working on finding a way to move to FL, so she can be closer to her favorite place on Earth!

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“Top 5Must Do’s” at Walt Disney World During the Holidays

The Osbourne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The holidays are a beautiful time to go to the Walt Disney World Resort. The Mouze Kateerz writers have come up with our list of “Top 5 Must DO’s” during the holidays.

1. Resort Hop!

2. Osborne Family Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

3. EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional

4. Shop at DownTown Disney and the Resorts!

5. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

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

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How to Survive Walt Disney World at Thanksgiving & Christmas Holidays

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When Cinderella Castle lights up, will you forget the crowds? Just maybe…

The Mouze Kateerz writers have been to Disney more than 1,000 times combined. They have traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort during the value season and during high peak (AKA The Holidays). Here are a few tips to help you survive and be realistic about your upcoming trip. Our goal is for you to have the most magical vacation possible.

Lisa P: We have been there at Christmas and went in knowing we couldn’t do everything. We did EMH (Extra Magic Hours), and chose to more look at decorations at the parks that day and not worry about hitting a bunch of rides. Also did Osbourne lights at night. We had a boardwalk view room at the Boardwalk and could watch the fireworks from there. Also make sure to have ADRs  (Advance Dining Reservations) well in advance so you don’t have to worry that day.

Holiday decorated topiary at Downtown Disney

Amanda C: ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations)  is a must from that 180 day mark. Especially for the character dining, Liberty Tavern  and Le Cellier. Go in knowing lines are long and people are a little less magical because you are walking across the bridge to Adventureland nose to tail and hip to hip with complete strangers all wanting that magical experience just like you. Step back take a breath and people watch.
Mike E: I would think the key to any crazy busy time is to just take it slowly like Lisa mentions, absorb all that is there to see, not worry so much about the different must do rides, and most importantly, as my good friend Monica says: “Just be.”
Heather L: We have never gone in the crazy season!! Only way that I would is if I won a trip for free.  :) I know other friends that have and their best advice is to remain flexible, plan ahead, use fast passes, and take advantage of all the EMH (Extra Magic Hours). One friend who has been three times at Christmas and New Year’s says they enjoy visiting other Disney Resorts when the crowds are at their peak and Downtown Disney.

Pluto holiday topiary at Epcot

Melissa R: Ironically, I just booked a last minute Thanksgiving trip for a client and got a lot of ADRs that they wanted…but having said that…be flexible! We will be there Thanksgiving week (and we were there 4th of July week) so the crowds don’t really phase us that much. Go in with a plan, know what are your must dos and what are the optionals.
Teresa S: For many years we traveled to WDW the week between Christmas & New Year’s…. Take advantage of EMH – make sure your dining is booked way in advance and just go with the flow of the crowd. Patience is the key – there are long waits and so many people – but the atmosphere is full of holiday “sparks” and everyone is having fun! As Mike’s friend Monica said “Just be – just be in the moment” and enjoy the madness that is Disney at the holidays!!!
Denny M: Don’t try to Christmas shop in the parks! The shops are insane. Spend a morning at Downtown Disney shopping for all those Disney gifts you have in mind. And make sure you make a shopping list ahead of time. In the hustle and bustle you’re sure to forget someone if you don’t. Plus…Downtown Disney is the best place to visit Santa! They build a house for him! Grins!
Didi: We visited WDW during the 2 week period before and after Christmas and it was AMAZING! Planning is always important, but if you want to eat at all, ADRs are essential during this period! We did the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package on Christmas Eve (incredible), mass at the Contemporary Resort Christmas Day, and then did a complete tour of the resorts in lieu of a park day. Our favorite family trip ever!!
Andrea C: Don’t try to ‘do it all’ during this time. With all there is too do in Disney during this time, you just can’t get it all in. Make a list. Get to the most important things on the list so if you run out of time, it really isn’t such a big disappointment. Remember to account for the extra travel time due to the large crowds. My favorite things to do during Christmas is to visit the Worlds in Epcot, the Osborne Lights and Resort hop to see them theme decorated.
David D: I agree with Andrea… Each family member make a list of things they really want to do, and plan for those things—FPs, prioritizing when you ride, etc. Also on the really busy days, like thanksgiving or December 23, 24th, 25th, get to a park–magic kingdom especially–early and plan to stay there. When parks max out on capacity, you cannot get in!
SO here are great tips in a nut shell:
1. Be flexible
2. Have a Must Do/Like to Do List
3. Make Advance Dining Reservations 180 days prior to your vacation
4. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours
5. Shop at Downtown Disney in the morning vs at a Theme Park
6. Have patients
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
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