Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Review of "Inside Out"

Ummmm…. Well…. I wish I could say I loved this movie…even that I liked this movie…

Unfortunately, I can’t say either.  I really wanted to love this movie.  I really, really did. But, it didn’t really work out that way.  
However, I did like one of the characters – Disgust.  No, I wasn’t disgusted with this movie, so please don’t start sending me hate messages.  I just thought that she was sassy, bold, acerbic, and quite smart as it turns out – no spoilers though!  In fact, I think she actually saved the day, although it may not seem that way initially.  But, she actually made it possible.  Now, you might ask, if I didn’t like the movie, why was I paying such close attention to who saved the day? The answer to that would be obvious – because it meant the end was finally approaching!  Yes!!!
So, what, you ask, was so awful about this movie?  Where to start, where to start…
Riley is born and lives in Minnesota with her parents.  Her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger – come to life and pretty much manipulate her thoughts and actions through a control console inside her brain, or Headquarters.  Her memories are contained in spheres which are sent into storage when she goes to sleep, and her most important ones, or her “core memories” are contained in a hub in Headquarters which controls the five “islands” which mirror the different facets of her personality and which eventually crumble.  Joy directs Riley’s emotions to keep her in a happy state, manipulating all of her other emotions to fall in line with how she wants Riley to feel. That’s where this movie started to lose me – Joy was annoying, way too perky, and overbearing.  Obviously, I’m not her biggest fan, to say the least.
When Riley turns eleven, her father gets a new job, and the family relocates to San Francisco.  And so it begins.
On her first day of school, Riley’s memories are inadvertently controlled by Sadness, and she cries in front of her class and chaos takes over Headquarters, as Riley begins to act out as a result of her turbulent emotions.  
I don’t want to give away the full storyline, but will focus more on what I didn’t like about it.  
Here’s my big problem with Riley’s parents – they move to a big city which is unfamiliar to their 11-year-old daughter.  That being said, they allow their daughter to walk to school through dark alleyways in a strange city.  That was just insane!  And that’s not the only thing.  Dad becomes completely immersed in his new job as soon as they arrive at their new home, and spends most of the movie on his cell phone, disengaged from his family until an outburst from Riley finally makes him react.  
As the chaos ensues in Headquarters, the movie becomes boring and slow in my opinion. Joy and Sadness become the key to getting Riley back on track, and their adventures seem to be interminable.  They encounter various characters along the way, including Bing Bong, who I really wanted to like, but just couldn’t bring myself to.  Is it bad that I wasn’t tearing up over him?  I will admit I almost did tear up – when the Train of Thought derailed.  After all, that signaled that the movie wasn’t anywhere near done. I think it was around that time that Disgust found favor with me.  I’m sorry – I just couldn’t help it at that point.  
But, she really earned her place as my favorite emotion when she outsmarted Anger and precipitated the beginning of the end of this movie.  Finally!  Ninety-four minutes never seemed so long…
Don’t get me wrong – not everything about this movie was awful.  Joy manipulates Riley’s memories, and I’ll admit I enjoyed watching them, especially the ones of her growing up and with her parents.  Those were very touching and fun and brought back many of our own family memories.
Of course, my less than favorable emotions about this movie doesn’t mean I won’t allow my daughter to have her Inside Out themed birthday party that she’s been raving about for the last month while she counted down the days for the movie premiere.  I’ll just grit my teeth and bear it with a smile on my face.  I can’t promise I won’t want to throw any Joy-related items out, but I promise not to.  I’ll just look over at Disgust and remember how she saved the day.
Perhaps, if I watch the movie again – and I’m sure I will since my daughter will want to own the DVD – I’ll like it better.  That’s it!  I’ll just have to watch it again with an open mind.  
Hold on, hold on… let’s not get crazy!  Once was more than enough, thank you.
Have you watched Inside Out?  What are your thoughts about the movie?    
Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.
~ Monica  

Taking A Bite Out of Disney: Disney Recipes You Can Make At Home


Disney Recipes

One way to get rid of the Disney blues after your trip is to keep a little bit of Disney in your own home every day.  One of the best (and tastiest) ways to do so is to cook up some of your favorite Disney meals.
I invite you to join me on this cooking tour of Walt Disney World presented to you in this series I am currently writing for www.resortloop.comTaking a Bite Out of Disney.  So, if you love (and miss) Disney food and enjoy cooking, here we go!
BBQ RUB AND SAUCE (Flame Tree Barbecue)
FLANK STEAK MARINADE (Liberty Tree Tavern)
BEIGNETS (Port Orleans French Quater)

The 1, 2, 3's Of Planning A Disney Trip

2010 - Partners' Statue

So, you’ve decided to go on a Disney trip, and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed with everything there is to do.  But, don't worry.  I’m going to walk you through it one step at a time.
I invite you to join me as I help you get ready for your Disney trip in this series I am currently writing for, The 1, 2, 3's Of Planning A Disney Trip.  
So...let's get started.
Step 1:  Do It Yourself Or Use A Travel Agent?
  Step 2:  Deciding When To Travel...
Step 3:  On Property Or Off?

Disneyland From A Teen’s Point Of View

In this latest installment, Allisa brings you Disneyland from a teenager’s point of view.    
 Allisa - California
Hi, my name is Allisa, I’m 14 years old, and I live in Florida.
Today, I will be telling you about my favorite rides from Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
In July 2013, I got to go to California for my summer trip. I was really excited when we got there.
I just love Disney, no matter what.

I would like to share my experience from Disneyland in California. My favorite ride from Disneyland Park is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. It is a ride where you sit in a submarine while the captain maneuvers the submarine. You see fish and other sea creatures. Then, you go into a dark section where you go on a voyage with Nemo and his friends. While I was on the ride, it took me back as if I was in the movie. I feel that all ages are appropriate for this ride.
At Disney California Adventure Park, I have two favorite rides.  I can’t pick which one I like best, so I will be talking about both of them. My two favorite rides are  Grizzly River Run and Radiator Springs Racers.
Grizzly River Run is a ride where you raft down the roaring waters of the California River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You will get wet and will experience the roaring sounds of the water.  My favorite part of this ride was speeding down. I recommend this ride from ages 6 and up.
Radiator Springs Racers is a ride in the form of a car from the movie Cars and goes up and down super fast.  They also take a picture while you are on the ride.  My favorite part is zooming through the desert landscape because it takes you back to the movie Cars.  I recommend this ride from ages 6 and up.
One day, I would like to go to Disneyland in Tokyo and Paris. I will always remember the memories I made in Disneyland California.
Until next time!
I hope you enjoyed this latest entry!  Great job, Allisa!I hope to visit Disneyland for myself someday.I hope you get to experience Disney World Paris and Tokyo someday soon! And blog about it for The Mouse In Our House, of course!…  
Until next, remember to keep the Mouse in your house…~ Monica

Celebrating At Walt Disney World!

Monica Pinto 3-30

I recently started blogging for!
Traveling to Walt Disney World is a celebration!  Every single time…
Disney helps you to celebrate every trip.
Read how…

The Disney Moms’ Club: My Favorite Disney Mothers


I hope you enjoy this blog I did for The Mouse For Less about my favorite Disney Moms.  Are any of these your favorites too?

The Disney Dads’ Club: My Favorite Disney Fathers

Mulan & Fa Zhou - Resized

I hope you enjoy this post for The Mouse For Less, where I discuss my favorite Disney Dads.  Are these some of your favorites as well?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meeting Our Favorite Characters At The World

One of the things our family really enjoys when traveling to the World is meeting the characters and getting their autographs.  On our first trip, our then three-year-old daughter was so excited to seek out her favorite characters, talk to them, get their autographs in her Disney Princess Autographs & Photographs Book, and snap some pictures with them.  And it proved to be some of the best experiences we've ever had at Disney World!
Her very first meet and greet was with Mickey and Minnie at Mickey's Toon Town Fair.  It was our first day in Orlando.  We had literally dropped our bags at our hotel, and off we were to the Magic Kingdom, despite the fact that we were incredibly tired, and our daughter had been up since 3:00 a.m.  It was early May and incredibly hot and humid, and the parks were crowded. We waited on line for well over an hour, and the only thing that kept her from completely wilting was her misting fan.  By the time we got to Mickey and Minnie, she had completely soaked herself, but she was hanging in there.
2013 (3)
Despite all of this, the smile on her little face when she saw Mickey and Minnie was incredible. When they started hugging her and interacting with her, she just lit up. And so did my heart.  It is one of my most treasured memories of our trips.
2010 - 1900 Park Fare - Udi with Cinderella's Stepsister
Besides standing on long lines to meet characters, one thing we love to do is have character meals, and we've had some good ones.  On our first trip, Disney ran a promotion for our travel dates and gave us an extremely generous gift card.  Added to our Visa Rewards Card earnings, we had A LOT of Disney Dollars to spend.  So, my plan was to make it a blowout trip for our daughter.
Akershus 2013We had breakfast at Akershus with the princesses, one of my daughter's all-time favorites; at Chef Mickey's with Mickey and the gang; at Tusker House with Safari Donald and the Fab Five; and at Hollywood & Vine with the Little Einsteins, and JoJo & Goliath, just to name a few.  But it didn't end there.  We had dinner at the Crystal Palace with Pooh and Friends and at 1900 Park Fare with Cinderella, Lady Tremaine and the Wicked Stepsisters, which was such a great experience.
Since then, we've met different characters on all of our trips, and we've continued to do character meals for some of our daughter's favorites, including Akershus and Tusker House.
Our daughter loves meeting the characters, and I must admit we love it too.  My favorite memory is of our first trip, during our breakfast at Akershus.  Upon entering, our daughter was led to Belle for pictures.  When a cast member brought that picture over to our table as a special gift from Belle and the other princesses, the tears came as I saw how incredibly cute and happy she looked holding Belle's hand.  To this day, that picture hangs in her room, along with the picture of her first ever meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie.
Meeting characters is a wonderful part of our Disney trips, and there are still so many left to meet.  On our last trip, our daughter was absolutely thrilled to meet Baymax and Hiro from Big Hero Six.  On our next trip, we're looking forward to finally meeting the ever popular Gaston, who is fast becoming a fan favorite in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.
Jack Skellington - 2014
I'll keep you posted on any new characters we encounter.
What are some of your favorite characters?
Until next time, don't forget to keep the Mouse in your house.
~ Monica

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Disney Experiences (from a Teenager's Point of View) by Allisa R.

In this latest installment, we bring you a teenager's perspective on her Disney experiences written by my 14-year-old cousin, Allisa.  I was able to catch up with Allisa on our most recent trip to the World this past November, and it was so much fun to spend some time with her and her family...  
Hi, my name is Allisa, I’m 14 years old, and I live in Florida.
Walt Disney World is my favorite place to go. I’d like to share a little bit about my Disney trips from my point of view.
Our family is annual passholders, so we always go to Disney when I am off of school.  I am usually the planner in our family, taking care of all of the FastPasses, our My Disney Experience account, and scheduling our dining reservations. 
My favorite park is the Magic Kingdom, and I have ridden every ride in that park.  However, my favorite ride is Splash Mountain.  We usually start our day at Starbucks on Main Street.  My favorite place for lunch is also in the Magic Kingdom, and that is Columbia Harbour House.  It’s a really great place to stop in for lunch.  Big Top Souvenirs, in Fantasyland, is where I find my favorite snacks – their cake pops!    
At Epcot, I enjoy The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride.  My favorite place to eat is   Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion in the World Showcase.
One of my recent trips was very special because I got to go and meet up with my cousins from New Jersey, we enjoyed going on rides and watching shows together.
Disney Castle Allisa
Fun Facts about Allisa:
  • Favorite Ride at Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania
  • Favorite Disney Character: Anna (Frozen)
  • Favorite Shop: The Emporium (Magic Kingdom)
  • Favorite Disney Purchase: Pandora Disney charms

I have also been to Disneyland in California, and I would also like to go to Disneyland in Tokyo and Paris.
I will always enjoy my Disney trips.
As Walt Disney say "We're Never Too Old For Disney".
Thanks for letting me share my experience of living in Florida and going to Disney.
Until next time!
~ Allisa
I hope you enjoyed this special blog entry!Great job, Allisa!  It's wonderful that you are able to enjoy frequent trips to Disney World - and I hope you get to experience Disney World Paris and Tokyo someday soon!  And blog about it for The Mouse In Our House, of course!...  
Until next, remember to keep the Mouse in your house...~ Monica

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My First Trip To Disney World (from a Kid's Point of View) by Gabriela M.

In this latest installment, we bring you a kid's perspective on her first trip to Walt Disney World written by my 11-year-old niece, Gabriela.  I was able to enjoy being with Gabriela on her first trip, and it was so much fun to share that experience with her...  
Hi!  My name is Gabriela, and I am eleven years old.  My first trip to Walt Disney World was this past November, and I would like to share this wonderful experience with you from a preteen’s point of view. 
One of the nicest things about visiting in November is that the World is decorated for the Christmas holidays, and we were able to experience Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 
Disney World is a magical place.  One thing that I loved was looking down Main Street, USA and seeing Cinderella’s Castle.  The castle looks beautiful lit up with Christmas lights.
Some of my favorite rides are the Seven Dwarfs’ Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom, Test Track in Epcot, and Star Tours in Hollywood Studios.  They are all so much fun!
What I loved most about the Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train ride was how fast it went.  On Test Track, I loved how, no matter how many times I went on that ride, I never got sick of it.  I loved how, on the Star Tours ride, IIMG_20150305_195758 just felt like we were going to crash into everything.  We had FastPasses for the Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train ride, so we were able to get on sooner than the other guests. Although we didn't have FastPasses for Star Tours, it wasn’t that long of a wait, but we had to wait for  60 minutes for Test Track.
One of my favorite memories are the Disney parades.  They are all magnificent. My favorite parade was Mickey's Once Upon A Time Parade during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  I could not pick a favorite float - they were all so nice!           
Disney World is an amazing place to visit.  It is where your dreams come true.
I will never forget my first trip to Disney World.
~ Gabriela M.
I hope you enjoyed this special blog entry!Great job, Gabriela!  I'm so happy you enjoyed your first trip to Disney World - and I hope your next one will be even better!...  
Until next, remember to keep the Mouse in your house...~ Monica


Are you interested in an exciting Disney vacation package? Well, then…
Contact us to begin the journey to your wonderful Disney adventure.  
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Not traveling to a Disney destination?  No problem!We can help you with all of your vacation needs.Magical World Vacations is a full service agency!
Contact us at:
Or contact Magical World Vacations directly and let them know you found them on The Mouse In Our House!
Happy Travels!
~ Monica

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Walt Disney World resort guests can now bypass front desk check-in |

Walt Disney World resort guests can now bypass front desk check-in |

May I Have Your Autograph Please?

If you're heading down to Walt Disney World, especially with kids (or not...), I highly recommend picking up a Disney autograph book.  These are a wonderful way to keep Disney memories after your trip is over.
One of the most fun parts of our trips is searching out some of our daughter's favorite characters, getting their autographs, and snapping pictures with them. The little ones love it.  Adults do too, especially if you're going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, where you can come across some characters you wouldn't normally see.  Some Disney lovers go to these parties specifically to get these hard-to-get autographs.
There are different types of autographs books:  A basic Autograph book which doesn't include photo sleeve pages for pictures (although I prefer the ones with the photo sleeves so that you can have the autograph on one side, and the picture on the other); the Disney Princess Autographs & Photographs Book which do include the photo sleeves for those treasured pictures; and yearly autograph books that come with a gel pen and also have the picture sleeve pages that I favor.
I've also recently come across the Guide to the Magic Deluxe Autograph & Sticker Book by Tim Foster, the founder of Celebrations Magazine (see my review of Celebrations Magazine dated January 25, 2015).  This book is more than just an autograph book - it contains autograph tips, a character checklist, cast member autograph pages, character stickers, character fun facts, etc.  It is a ton of fun, especially if your child really enjoys submersing herself/himself in Disney.
I highly recommend purchasing an autograph book for your trip - it makes the trip a lot more fun, and you'll love seeing the joy on your child's face when they get their favorite characters' autographs.  The autographs are for your child, the memory of their joy is for you.  It's a win-win.
Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.
~ Monica

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Review of Celebrations Magazine

So, a few months ago, I was listening to The Resort Loop Podcast, (Episode 148), and their special guest was Tim Foster, the founder of Celebrations Magazine.  It was a fun interview, and I really enjoyed it.

A few weeks later,I was able to get an issue of the magazine and read it for myself.  I was truly impressed.  

The magazine is simply beautiful (unfortunately, my pictures don't do it credit).  It is a beautifully put together testament to the magic of Disney.  Even the quality of the paper is superior.  

The pictures are gorgeous - rich in color and depth.  

The articles are extremely well written - full of information and insight - by knowledgeable writers who uncover all things Disney.

I highly recommend anyone who is a Disney fan to check out this magazine and consider a subscription.  If you want to find out more about Celebrations Magazine, you can read more about it on their website,

This is a wonderful way to keep the Disney magic in your everyday life between Disney trips.  I think you'll really enjoy it.

Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house...

~ Monica 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"My What A Guy, That Gaston!"

You all know I’m all about the Disney Magic, and recently I’ve taken note that there’s certainly a lot of it going on over at Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom… and it’s name is Gaston!  Yes, that burly, perfect male specimen who got rejected by Belle (movie: Beauty and the Beast) is stealing the show over in the Beast’s domain.  

It looks like Disney fans are lining up for the opportunity to meet this hard to hate villain near Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland, and are lapping up all of the arrogance and vanity that Belle turned down in favor of the Beast.  

Tall, dreamy, and muscular, Gaston serves up constant laughs and quick wit while never straying from his mission of showing off his enviable pectorals and letting everyone know that Belle will be his…eventually.  After all, every last inch of him’s covered in hair – and who can possibly resist that??

Take a peek at this video where little Isabella fearlessly confronts Gaston telling him that the Beast, her favorite character, is going to beat him!  Gaston never skips a beat, telling her to go stare at his statue until she comes to her senses.  It is hilarious!

And here's a lesson... don't ever challenge Gaston because he ALWAYS wins!

And don't worry guys, Gaston has some words of wisdom for all the men out there who want to be perfect just like him...

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to catch up with Gaston, but I'm keeping my eye out for him – all in the name of research, of course!  The things I won’t do for this blog…

Gaston certainly knows how to entertain and keep everyone focused on him.  He’s quickly climbed to the top of my list of must meet characters.  Something to look forward to for our next trip.  How about you?

Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.

~ Monica