Ch-ch-ch-Changes! (They are coming!)

Hey everybody! Remember shortly after Christmas when I wrote about if we still Love Our Disney? (If not you can read what I wrote HERE.) Well, the time has come for me to make some changes. Love Our Disney is going to be moving to a new site. Yikes! After 3 years of focusing on Disney, I need to feel like I can write about more, and as much as I have tried to expand, it did not feel right doing it under the LoveOurDisney.com domain and under that blog title. So, in the next week, you will see changes as we move to a new domain, and as I switch from blogger to wordpress. 

If that last part confused you, don't worry. Basically, for three years I have hosted this site on blogger- a blogging platform through Google. Now, there are people who bash blogger and say serious bloggers need to be on Wordpress, but honestly, I have loved my relationship with blogger, and it was seriously the cheap option for me, as I did not have to pay for hosting, just for my domain. However, when researching the domain switch, I found the smoothest way to move the domain, and not lose all my old links, was to move to wordpress. So, I put on my big girl panties, and decided it was time to make the change. On top of that, wordpress has a lot more I can do with my site to make your experience unique.

So why the change? Well, I need to write about more than Disney. Again, this goes back to my post at the end of 2014. Like I wrote then, I wish my life was all about Disney, but sadly, my Disney vacations are only 2-3 weeks of my year...and with the twins coming in less than two months, and life in general, that time may become less.

Second, honestly, Disney does have the right to say bloggers can not have their name in our blog title or in our domain. They are pretty nice to bloggers by letting them continue to blog, but in case they ever decide that it is in their best interest to no longer allow it, I don't want to lose everything I have worked on. I would rather be ahead of it.

Third, I want to bring you more! I want to share tips on other vacation sites, write funny stories about being a parent, and just be able to share more of me. Writing about Disney is more about being a fountain of information....and there are a lot of sites out there where you can get that information, I want to bring you something more unique. So I want to be able to share Disney tips with you, but then turn around and tell you about tips for traveling to Yellowstone, or how to find free things to do with your children. I want to be able to tell you the funny stories about how I hate shopping for a car, or even tell you my screw ups as I learn to raise twins.

Finally, while I blog for all of you...I blog for me. It is my outlet. Blogging about just Disney does not fulfill me anymore. I need to do more, say more, and enjoy writing again.

What can you expect? As much as the last few paragraphs may have sounded like it isn't true- I still love Disney! I will still write about it a lot. The Love Our Disney facebook page, and the We Love Our Disney facebook group are staying, and will still focus on Disney (though I may share another topic from the site here and there). We will still have our amazing Disney Travel Agent directory.
We will try and keep the general look of the blog similar, though it will change some due to being on Wordpress. The blog name will change, and you start seeing links being shared on our social media networks with the new domain. You will see more posts on various subjects. I am not going to be a craft blogger, or a parenting blogger, or any of that. I will be a lifestyle blogger I guess. In other words, I will write about anything that I think my audience will benefit from...and because so many of you came here for Disney, it will still include a lot of that. So please, do not think you won't enjoy this site anymore.

In the next week or two, the changes will happen, and then I will have to get myself used to using wordpress, updating a few things to the site, changing the headings, etc. I am working with some great people on the move, and have a lot of more experienced friends there to help me figure it all out, but it will be a bit slower around here for a while.

I am excited for these changes, and I hate change normally, so I hope that means this is a good thing. I hope you will stick around and see what all we have in store for you!


Disneyland 101 {Part 4} Disney California Adventure

Hi friends! We have some changes coming to the blog this week, so in preparation, I am not doing any new posts this week, but I want to continue reviewing our Disneyland 101 series. I have also updated descriptions of each of the lands as there have been some changes in the last year. Enjoy and be sure to check out the entire Disneyland 101 series HERE.

Hey friends! We have been going over all the things you need to know for your very first Disneyland vacation. I could probably go on for years about Disneyland and find new stuff to talk about (well, heck, I have been blogging about it for 2 years almost), but we have been going over the things a newbie would want to know.

We already talked about things you will encounter before entering the park, an overview of Disneyland, and entertainment in Disneyland. Now we are going to head over to Disney California Adventure and help you know a little more about the different areas there.

Disney California Adventure opened in 2001. We honeymooned in Disneyland and visited it in October of that year. Boy has it come a long way. (Seriously, back then it was not even a full day park.) Now I could easily spend a few days in DCA without heading over to Disneyland. With additions of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, and so much more, DCA is a full fledged, multi-day theme park all on its own.


Disneyland 101 {Part 5} California Adventure Entertainment and Shows

To catch up on previous Disneyland 101 posts- CLICK HERE.

We are back with Disneyland 101. This is here to help you with your first Disneyland vacation, or maybe your first in a long time. Sorry for the little break, this Disney Addict needed a bit of a recharge and to finish some things at home. But I am here now and ready to spread some more Disney love.

Today we are going to go over the entertainment, parades, and other magical extras you can find in Disney California Adventure. This park has so much to offer in this area. You could easily spend an entire day or two just watching shows and parades. There is something for every age group to enjoy while escaping the heat. Let's get started.


Random & Off The Wall Items You Will Want In Your Disney Park Bag

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Blue. Today we are discussing what is in our Disney Parks Bags. I love hearing what is in others bags when they go to the park, and hope that this loop helps you when planning your next vacation.

What should you pack in your purse/bag for Disney? These random items may save your magical vacation. LoveOurDisney.com

Everyone knows the basic items you will definitely want in your bag when you head to the parks each morning during your Disney vacation. You know the items. Camera, ID, snacks. If you are a seasoned Disney Parks visitor you likely have those random or off the wall items that you have discovered you want to have in the parks. Those are the items that take your vacation from good, to great. Those are the items I am going to share with you today.

The first thing I suggest to everyone, that I don't hear very often is liquid band aid. Most people have heard of mole skin to take for your feet in case you get blisters. Well, we have a few problems with moleskin...well one big one. It comes off when you go on water rides or if you sweat too much. So we have found that liquid band aid (like this one here) are the perfect solution. You put on a layer or two of this and it is water proof and protects the area. Put it on as soon as you feel a "hot spot" for a blister. You can also use it for minor scrapes and cuts so it has a double purpose. It does sting on cuts though.

We also like to carry a travel/sample size container of body or baby powder. If you start getting overly sweaty or you go on a water ride, your clothes can start to chafe (girls, especially if you wear underwire bras). It is nice to be able to go into a bathroom, grab some paper towels to dry off where needed and then put on some powder to stop from chaffing. I have had friends thank me tons for this tip.

This last summer I took a girls trip to Disneyland for the Type-A Parent Bootcamp Conference and I through in some empty ziploc bags in my purse. I have already talked about 10 reasons to take Ziploc Bags on your vacations HERE, but usually my reasons are more geared towards parents. This time I took an empty gallon size bag folded up in side my purse. Then, when I went on wet rides, I could take it out and put my purse inside the gallon size bag. Super easy way to keep everything dry. This was perfect since nobody was sitting out to hold our stuff, and not all the water rides had lockers near them. (I wonder if they will add lockers by Splash Mountain in Disneyland during the Critter Country refurb?)

Medicines, and other off the wall items you will want in your bag for a day at Disney LoveOurDisney.com

Medicines. Okay, so this one is not so off the wall, but a lot of people don't think about it. Yes, the nurses station has some meds they can give you, and you can buy some other over the counter items on property (though often highly overpriced) but I like to be prepared. I like to take pain killers (headaches happen a lot at the park), allergy meds, digestive aids such as ant-acids, and then any special meds that my family may have. This sounds like a lot to carry but I actually fit all of this, plus a mini first aid kit into a portable wipes container and it takes up hardly any room in my purse. I tell you how I do it HERE but you can make it even smaller by leaving out the first aid items if you want.

I always take hair ties with me in the park, even if I already have my hair in them. They can be used for so many emergency situations, and honestly, you can just wear them around your wrist, or throw them in your bag and they take up hardly any room. Have a zipper that keeps falling down- a hair tie can fix that so your zipper is not down in all your photos. We sometimes use hair ties to tie bags from different stores together. If you don't wear hair ties, rubber bands are also an alternative. I just like hair ties because I already have them with me, and if the one in my hair breaks, I can use them for my hair as well.

Sharpie/pen. You never know when this will come in handy. Even if you aren't planning to get autographs, these are great to have on hand. Also a small pad of paper. If you are given a phone number (to guest relations), or need to remember a cast member's name you have that stuff with you. If you forget to put a Safety Tat on your kid, a sharpie or pen can work (and the liquid band aid can help it be water proof). Just make sure to let the sharpie/pen dry for a good 30 minutes before applying the liquid band aid.

I love reading what random and off the wall items people have found to be useful for their Disney vacations. Do you have one you suggest? Leave a comment below letting me know what it is.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Blue this month. We will be back in next month with all new loops and themes. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with newest posts, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop - Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers - What You Shouldn't Carry in Your Disney Bag
2nd Stop - Superheros and Teacups -  Disney Park Essentials That Will Fit In Your Purse
3rd Stop - Ashley Aspires - I'm a Disney Minimalist
4th Stop - Saving Up for Disney - What's in my Disney Parks Diaper Bag?
Final Stop - Love Our Disney - Random & Off The Wall Items You Will Want In Your Disney Park Bag (You are here)


Why Would You Want To Rent Camera Equipment for Disney (Oh, and a giveaway!)

One of the best parts of a Disney vacation for me is the memories. I love the photos we take during our vacation and being able to look back over them and remember the good times. One of the best things about blogging, I have a reason to take a million photos on our vacation.

Why would anybody rent camera equipment, even if they are not a professional? LoveOurDisney.com

Everyone can experiment with photography in Disney. I have shared about my first time trying out night photography at Disneyland. I have also given my tips for getting great vacation photographs, no matter your skill level. No matter what your level, taking photographs at Disney can be a lot of fun.

If you want to try out photography, but maybe you are not ready to invest in equipment, a great way to try out different equipment is to rent. A lot of people do not realize that you can rent equipment, but this is a great option. If you are heading to the Walt Disney World area, Kingdom Camera Rentals is an amazing company that allows you to do just that.

Now, a lot of people are probably sitting there wondering, "If I am not a professional photographer, why would I want to rent camera equipment?" This is a completely valid question. I decided to share why I think renting is a great option for anybody.

  1. Save room! If you own a DSLR and multiple lenses, that is great! But if you are flying and trying to fit everything in one bag, or just a carry on, or maybe if room is tight with all the necessities and the family in the car, renting a camera is a great way to save some room.
  2. Don't have to worry about lost luggage (camera). I have friends who have had camera bags or lost luggage, and they get to their destination and do not have a camera (other than maybe that on their phone). Of course, we hope nothing ever happens to our luggage, but you never know. Even if you carry it on, something can still happen. I had a friend who had her laptop stolen at security. Sometimes, it is nice to not have to worry about our expensive camera and be able to use someone else's.
  3. Experimentation! Maybe you are thinking about getting a DSLR, or maybe you want to try out a specific type of photography but are not ready to make an investment. This is a great way to try out new equipment before purchasing. Being at Disney also lets you try out equipment in almost any situation. Indoor, outdoor, sun, shade, portrait, landscape, animals...you can try it all out and see how different equipment works before buying.
  4. Better quality pictures. I hate to admit this....my DSLR lives in my closet. Yep. Ever since I stopped doing any sort of portrait photography, and ever since I got a phone with a 21 MP camera on it, I rarely see my DSLR. And I am guessing a lot of other families are using their phones as their main camera these days. Phones are great, and the quality of the cameras on them is improving by leaps and bounds (remember those 2.1 MP cameras from just a few years ago). Still, the zoom on phones is not comparable to a good zoom lens. Let me explain, the zoom on your phone is most likely digital. So zooming is a lot like hitting zoom on your computer screen over and over. You not only get a lot of noise, but eventually, you can even see individual pixels (especially on prints). The pictures are probably great for small prints, or posting on social media, but when you have that perfect picture, you want the option to blow it up to a good 8x10 or larger and frame it for the wall. Having a DSLR camera with a lens that uses optical zoom makes this possible without compromising the integrity of the image. Now, is it worth it to buy a DSLR that will just sit in your closet the rest of the time? Probably not. Phones are great for day to day so the investment may not be worth it. Renting makes it so you can have a DSLR on vacation, but not pay the big bucks to have it collect dust in your closet.
  5. Newer equipment. A new camera comes out and I drool over it. I wish I had money to constantly upgrade my DSLR, even if it is just collecting dust most of the year. Truth is though, I can't afford to do that. Renting gives you the chance to try out the new equipment without spending thousands of dollars. 
I am super excited to try renting equipment when I head to Walt Disney World for the first time (not sure when that will be yet, but yep, I plan on renting camera equipment).
If you are unlike me, and already have a WDW vacation on the books, then guess what...this next part is for you!
Why would you want to rent a camera for Disney? Great reasons to rent, and a giveaway! LoveOurDisney.com

Our friends at Kingdom Camera Rentals are hosting a giveaway!!! YAY! You could win a a one week rental valued at up to $120 to be used between 2/28/15 and 12/31/15. Just use the gleam giveaway app below to enter! Open to persons 18 years or older. Prize is nontransferable. Good luck!

Kingdom Camera Rentals Giveaway

Giveaway is sponsored by Kingdom Camera Rentals. This giveaway is in no way sponsored by facebook, twitter, or any other social media network. Sponsors are not responsible for making sure giveaway widget is compatible with entrants browser/device. We use the widget that is compatible with the most devices and browsers but can not guarantee compatibility. If you have trouble seeing the widget, please try another browser or device.