Zannaland | Pixie Dust Delivered Daily Travel, Lifestyle & Entertainment with Heart Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:57:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 First Look: Disney Animation’s Next Short – “Feast” Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:53:48 +0000 The tradition of opening an animated feature film with a short, adopted from the Pixar films, is continuing with the next full-length animated film – Big Hero 6, opening on November 7, 2014. The newest short will be called “Feast” and comes to us from first-time director Patrick Osborne, who was the head of animation in the now beloved, “Paperman” and Walt Disney Animation Studios. “Feast” tells the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend, his dog Winston. The story we share is shown to us bite by bite through the meals they share together. “Feast” will make its world premier at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2014.

Here is the first image from the short, revealed today:

FEAST first look


We’ll bring you more images, info and trailers on Feast and Big Hero 6 as they become available!

FEAST title logo

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Amazing Disney Bento Boxes – Art You Can Eat! Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:10:30 +0000 OMGiri Disney Bento

Orange Bird Bento!!

I certainly don’t have to tell any of you that the internet is an amazing place. Sometimes you stumble across something that just makes you happy and amazed and inspired all at once. Recently, someone added me on Instagram and their little avatar stood out to me so I clicked on their profile. Adorableness ensued and I knew I had to share their creations with you!

OMGiri (a play on onigiri or Japanese rice balls) aka Mike has made some edible works of art that some may say look TOO good to eat. I have always been fascinated by this art, but my creative ways do not extend to food art, so I just watched in wonder as I saw bento box art gain popularity over the years. Seeing this combination of Disney characters and bento boxes, seemed like the perfect mix.

Mike was kind enough to share photos of his work here today, and also the interesting story of how he got started making Disney character bento boxes and some background on the art itself. I thought it was best to let Mike speak in his own words:

My interest in food art in general took root after a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland. I was amazed by the adorable and creative food both resorts served. It was springtime and Tokyo Disney had sandwiches shaped like Donald Duck’s feet, melon buns shaped like Mike Wazowski, and sweet mochi chicks in Mickey egg cups. At Hong Kong Disneyland we ate at the Crystal Lotus, which is home to the most amazing character-shaped dining experience. They offer dim sum shaped like characters, including the Three Little Pigs, Chicken Little, Duffy the Bear, and the Little Green Men from Toy Story.

While in Japan I bought a couple bento boxes to motivate me to take my lunch to work. I had a bad habit of eating out of the vending machine, or worse, skipping lunch all together. A while later, I found a bento instruction book at a Japanese book store which contained a Stitch bento. I ended up buying the book and decided to try making a bento.

The first bento I ever tried to make was a Oswald. It was fun to make the bento, but what really got me hooked was how fun it was to have the character bento for lunch. In the beginning I just made whatever came to mind. I’d make all sorts of characters. I’d share them around our offices and on Facebook. Eventually I found other bento makers, or as I call them “bento boxers”, on Instagram and really started becoming part of a community. Over time my interest in Disney took over and now I find myself doing all Disney characters. The character bentos are also referred to as kyaraben or charaben. Funny, but I have made only one item out of the bento instruction book so far. And it wasn’t even the Stitch bento!

Disney Bento

Serious Maximus

While in Japan we also became obsessed with onigiri. Onigiri are normally triangle or round “rice ball” filled with fish or pickled ginger. They sell them in convenience stores like they sell sandwiches in the US. We ended up eating onigiri almost everyday for a quick snack on the go. The characters in my bentos are onigiri. They are balled up rice with a filling. I’ve changed it up a bit, avoiding raw fish. Instead I fill them with cooked tuna or salmon mixed with a little mayo and spice. My favorite filling is a crab and cream cheese. I also use leftovers for filling. Left over curries make perfect filling!>What I found was that I really needed a creative outlet in my life. I work in an IT office, which just wasn’t fulfilling  my creative side. Bentos are giving me a chance to activate my creative side before I go into the office each morning. Plus, it helps with my insatiable need for Disney in my life!

I am horrible at planning, so most of my bentos start with me looking up a picture of the character online. I normally start from a photo or two of the character. Then I just sort of play around. Some bento boxers sketch out their bentos ahead, but I truly just make it up as I go along.

As far as ideas, I like to work around themes. In the past I’ve done tied theme weeks to upcoming holidays, new movie releases, Star Wars May the 4th celebrations, and Disney events. Sometimes the idea comes from a post I saw the previous day. I also am really inspired by Disney artists like Jerrod Maruyama. I’ve made quite a few bentos based on his cute take on Disney characters. I love finding older Disney characters and forgotten friends, like Humphrey the Bear. I’m also lucky that Disney now includes Marvel and Star Wars, which opens up so many more characters for me to do. I’ve been a little neglectful of Pixar, but I hope to remedy that this summer. Lately, I started a series based on the Walt Disney Studios Animated release catalog I’ve dubbed “Movie Monday“. A friend and I have started watching all the films in the order of their original release. I will be doing a bento for each film. I also take requests. It a lot of fun to have someone request a character.

My favorites to make are always the characters with a lot of expression. I enjoy making fun facial expressions, like Olaf grabbing at his tiny carrot nose or the serious, disgruntled Maximus. The expressions tend to be extremely challenging, but when it works out they are the most interesting to look at. Villains are also a joy to do, because they have such interesting designs. And of course, any of the ones that are just super cute I love to do. If I had to pick my favorites to make, I loved creating Humphrey the Bear, DisNerd Minnie, Jafar, and the AquaDuck Donald the most.

I really enjoyed reading Mike’s story – and it’s even better to know that he’s making these all for his own lunch, that’s pretty amazing. I wonder if Mike would make a Figment bento box for me? {oops, looks like he’s already made Figment…well maybe he can add a Zanna toon to the mix hahaha ;) } I love the detail, and the fact that he reaches beyond the most well-known characters to feature Panchito, Orange Bird, and even Humprey the Bear (my favorites along with AquaDuck Donald too!)

Here are some of his masterpieces – Click to enlarge – all photos ©OMGiri, used with permission:

OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento OMGiri Disney Bento

You can find more of these wonderful edible creations at OMGiri’s Instagram and Facebook page. Stop by and let him know Zannaland sent you!

Think you’ll try your hand at these for your lunch? 


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Disneynature Bears: A Must-See Visual Treasure Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:54:19 +0000 Disney BearsI make it no secret that I am not a fan of animal movies. That’s not to say I don’t love movies with animals or nature in them, rather, I am not a fan of watching the “circle of life” in action. I can barely handle eliminating the errant spider that may enter my abode, much less watch a fierce lion take down a gazelle or a chimpanzee mom abandon her  baby (no clue if that’s a plot line of Chimpanzee, I still never saw it!). My tender heart just can’t take that much pulling on its strings. Call me a softy, call me a dreamer that can’t handle reality, but I kind of just like happy bunnies and rainbows in my animal films. So I managed to avoid each Disneynature film thus far, which I know, sounds like a crime as both a Disney and, well, nature fan. I can assure you, I love nature, I love the outdoors, beautiful scenery, the mysterious beauty that is the animal kingdom and all its inhabitants. I just can’t handle them getting eaten or abandoned. I made it through, I think, 2 episodes of Meerkat Manor before I wanted to fly to wherever that was happening and hug them all. I once saw a special on Japanese Snow Monkeys and their babies that pretty much traumatized me for life. Anyway, you get my drift, I don’t want to see animals in peril.

Cut to Disneynature Bears. For some reason, I really wanted to see it. As I watched the previews, the bears kind of spoke to me, even more than chimps, who we are supposed to be so close to genetically, and cats, who I love as a rule. Bears seemed, somehow, like us. Maybe it’s the eyes, or the eyebrows, or maybe I could relate to the volumes they seemed to speak, without saying a word. Plus, baby bears are pretty darn cute.

In addition, this particular film has a portion of the proceeds going to support our National Parks, a cause with which I feel a great kinship. Even before dating a man who is capital O Obsessed with National Parks, I always had a great love for them. Growing up, I had calendars of some of these beautiful locations. I did not grow up close to any National Parks, and in fact, I’ve only visited one, Acadia, briefly. However, I have always felt connected to nature, instantly rejuvenated by it, and consider it, in a way, my church. How better to get close to God than to be in a place inexplicable and ungoverned by man, where things grow and live and thrive and survive – or don’t – whether we are paying attention or not. So, to put my silly avoidance of the reality of animals lives in the wilderness aside, and to support our National Parks, and in turn, the great work that Disneynature does, it seemed like a simple decision. One which I am very glad I made.

Disney Bears

Bears is a wonderful film, simply put. Taking place along the mountain ranges and coast of the Alaskan peninsula, the beauty of the surroundings is just breathtaking. Add to that the wonderful insider’s view at just what these bears go through over the course of a year, and it’s a powerful combination. We follow a mother bear, Sky, and her two cubs, Amber and Scout. Of course, giving names to the animals in Disneynature films instantly gives you a connection and a bond with them. You aren’t just watching a bear on a screen, you’re watching Sky, as she struggles to figure out motherhood, solely on her own, amid the countless perils which lurk in the Alaskan wilderness.

The story was quite interesting, as I really had no idea of bear’s habits, nor the dangers they faced. To see them emerge from hibernation, trek across frozen, snow-covered mountains, through avalanche areas, just to wait for salmon season, is mind-boggling. When you add two newly-born cubs on that same journey, it’s even more amazing. I won’t give everything away, but I will say that I only cried once. So I consider that a victory as far as me and nature films go.

Disney Bears

I did have a couple of issues with the movie, but more the narration and ‘story’ than anything else. I get that the filmmakers want these films to be accessible to everyone (and in fact, at my screening, there were more than a few small children in attendance). I also get that they want there to be a story and not just random footage of bears. But, I wasn’t a huge fan of the narration trying to turn the bear family into a very human one, with talk of “mother-daughter sushi lunches’ and other silliness like that. That could just be me though. I just thought the story of the bears themselves and certainly their surroundings stood tall on their own, without the need of making it ‘cute’ for us as the audience.

There was an implied story with a raven, which sort of led the bears we were watching to various locations. I’m not sure if this was coincidence, or genuinely how things happened, or contrived by the filmmakers. I actually did enjoy that element, but me wondering if it was ‘real’ or not took away from my appreciation of it. If it was real, though, it’s pretty amazing how animals work together like that. One of my favorite scenes was toward the end, right before the salmon began to spawn. There were at one point 13 bears on the screen, all standing, staring at the water below them. It was visually stunning to see these immense creatures, all seemingly frozen in place, waiting for the culmination of their year-long journey. Quite awe-inspiring to see.

Together, the scenery, the music, and the bears themselves lend to a cinematically beautiful film, which I am very happy to have seen, and recommend. I left knowing more, and wanting to learn more about animals and visit more of our great country.

Bears opens tomorrow, April 18. For every ticket sold in the opening week, Disneynature will make a donation to the National Park Foundation, so please go this week and help keep America’s Greatest Idea well cared for. Here’s more about the movie’s conservation efforts:



You can share your thoughts on Disneynature Bears on social media with the hashtags  #MeetTheCubs and #DisneynatureBears,  “Like” Disneynature on Facebook: and follow Disneynature on Twitter:


Disclosure: I attended a free media screening of Disneynature Bears but my review and my opinions are my own. Go see it! :) 

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Resort Review: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:12:31 +0000 Exterior Pond Front at Hyatt Regency GrandCypress MEDIUMThere have been so many changes in the Orlando area in the past few decades, many hotels and resorts have come and gone. Some in the Walt Disney World Resort area have completely changed, upgrading their 80′s roots to more modern styles and accommodations. Amid all of the resort choices, one stands out as an established, luxury choice for those wanting all of what central Florida offers. That resort, is the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
Celebrating  30 years of exceptional service, Orlando’s original luxury resort,  Hyatt Regency GrandCypress, offers guests 1,500 acres of timeless fun just minutes from Central Florida’s most popular attractions. The Grand Cypress has really managed to combine the “old Florida” feel with state-of-the-art guest rooms and amenities. 
I was recently given a chance to experience the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and after driving by it for the past 30 years, was pleasantly surprised with all they had to offer. I fell in love with the look and feel of the resort, the wonderful, luxurious rooms and the amenities that really made me say, “theme parks? what theme parks?” It is amazing how a place a mile away from Walt Disney World Resort can feel so private and secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of tourist life. I really didn’t want to leave.
Grand Cypress offers families luxury amenities surrounded by a tropical oasis that features the resort’s signature lagoon pool. Inspired by contemporary design, the lagoon pool offers a tranquil escape coupled with vibrant activities for children of all ages.  The 800,000 gallon, half acre, free-flowing pool boasts 12 waterfalls, heated and non-heated zones, two whirlpools, a rope bridge, walking paths, and expansive, wrap-around sundecks. The secluded grotto areas with padded, ridiculously comfy lounge chairs were in a word: heaven. You could lay back and watch the world go by, or jump in and enjoy the fun in the sun. 
Lagoon Pool Deck at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress 2013 SMALL
Guests can also enjoy the new Water Slide Tower Pavilion, new Water Jet Splash Zone, and new children’s Rock Climbing Stations complement the resort’s numerous recreation activities including the family favorite S’mores pit, beach volleyball, tether ball, hammocks, watersports and marked jogging, walking, and biking trails. Additionally, Grand Cypress guests have easy access to 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf and the award-winning Tennis and Racquet Club. I was really blown away with how many recreation activities the resort offers, all included in your resort fee. Did you see the S’mores pit part??  The trails were great too, I love being reminded that there is more to Florida than just attractions. 
Family at Firepit at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress 2014 SMALL
From the lobby atrium and check-in with champagne, to the beautiful rooms, with stunning views, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress truly has it all. I loved having access to the Regency Club too – it was the perfect place to grab a quick breakfast or snack throughout the day, and the seating and views were wonderful – a great spot for seeing Disney fireworks too!
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress room
We enjoyed dinner at Cascade American Bistro, whose motto is: “Thoughtfully Sourced…Carefully Served” This translates to all the food which is offered in the restaurant is locally sourced and always fresh. I loved the table-side herb garden that they brought over, and the main courses and desserts were a delight. Worth visiting even if you aren’t staying as a guest.
Visit Hyatt Regency GrandCypress for their always great offers and Florida Resident Rates.
If all of the above still hasn’t convinced you, give the video below a look, you’ll be making reservations in no time!

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Muppetational New Scavenger Hunt at Epcot for Muppets Most Wanted Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:48:58 +0000 Over the weekend, I saw a friend on instagram post a photo of a new Muppets Most Wanted-themed scavenger hunt taking place around Epcot’s World Showcase. I grabbed the family and headed over to check it out, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s scavenger hunts, and the Muppets. Oh wait, that’s two things. Actually, there are hundreds of Muppets…so…if there are hundreds of things I love, they’re scavenger hunts and the Muppets! Anyway, I was excited to experience it in person.

We entered through the International Gateway to World Showcase, so I asked at the Agent P. kiosk where to find this Muppet adventure. We were told to head over almost to Mexico, so we did, with some pauses along the way for bunny-checks in Canada’s Victoria Gardens area (we couldn’t find any, so decided they were all inside the tiny cottage) , drooling over the Cronut counter (we were stuffed from Sanaa), and saying hello to Duffy. It’s quite easy to get happily distracted in World Showcase, especially with a 5 year-old in tow. Then we came upon a sign proclaiming it was the MBI – Muppet Bureau of Investigation, and we knew we were in the right place.

Muppet Bureau of Investigation

The sign-up area is located right next to the hydroponics booth for the Flower and Garden Festival, before the bridge to Mexico.


I decided to take photos to chronicle our entire Muppet mission - If you don’t want to read below, let me sum this attraction up for you in a few bullet points: 

  • Easy to sign up for and get started (no waiting for a return time)
  • Two options for missions so you can choose a side of the World Showcase to cover (same end result)
  • Only takes about 20 minutes per side (3 country visits per side both ending in America)
  • Keeps the attention-span of small ones (pre-school through elementary would be perfect)
  • Perfect amount of interaction with a sense of accomplishment at the end
  • Muppets!

If you want to be surprised by the clues and the results of our quests, you may want to end your reading now…you’ve been warned! And now, There be spoilers (and evil frogs) ahead!







Okay, now the fun stuff. I LOVED this experience. Unlike the Agent P. adventures, there was not TOO much to do – it is the perfect amount of walking, activity and attention-span capturing for little ones and above. For older kids, sure, they may think it’s kind of easy, but it definitely looks like this temporary quest was some sort of testing to see how it goes. I think it is a great success and hope for more in the future. It is definitely less intrusive as far as beeping, talking cell phones in Agent P’s adventure go. It’s also fun that you have to interact with cast members for this adventure (not sure they appreciate that part, but it’s fun to have to go out of your way to speak to international cast members that you may not have interacted with otherwise).

Muppet Bureau of Investigation

Fun Muppet details at the check-in area


Muppet Bureau of Investigation

Receiving our mission booklet


Muppet Bureau of Investigation

Explaining that we have two mission options


Muppet Bureau of Investigation

More fun details at the Muppet Bureau of Investigation


We started in Germany. You know up front when signing up that your choices are Germany, Italy and America, or the United Kingdom, France, and America. I love that you have the option and that it’s short enough that your whole day isn’t taken over by this adventure.

You look at your MBI booklet and it tells you to look for the world’s oldest and most expensive cuckoo clock. So we headed into the cuckoo clock store and looked around. Soon we discovered the subtle but fun clue. It definitely doesn’t overpower the store taking away from the regular experience of the German pavilion. Once we saw it was a note from Constantine, we opted to read it in his accent (which we have taken to doing around the house anyway, much to the dismay of my 13 year-old daughter). I’m sure the German cast member standing next to me appreciated my excellent Constantine impression.

Muppet Epcot Mission

Go ahead, read it in Constantine’s accent…you know you wanna


We got our sticker and it told us to head to Italy and that we were getting there by train 301. This was important. Our Italy page told us to look for a Gonzo mask in Il Bel Cristalo store. Again, this was subtly done and did not take away from the rest of the store. Italy also had some fun Muppet details. I’m now wondering if we missed any in Germany! There is also now a train schedule posted right next to the Muppet Topiary display between Germany and Italy, showing another reminder of train 301, which you’ll need in Italy.


Muppet Epcot Mission

Gio modeling his Muppet mission booklet outside of Italy


Muppet Epcot Mission

The Gonzo mask display, oooh, ahhh


Muppet Epcot Mission

A closer look – Gonzo is looking classy!


Muppet Epcot Mission

Look for these Kermit-like M’s to know where to check in with a cast member on your Muppet Mission


Muppet Epcot Mission

I LOVE that Gio got to participate in entering our clue (the train number from our last location!) and he loved it too.


Muppet Epcot Mission

Gonzo’s mask area lights up, letting you know (and the cast member too) that you got your clue right and can get your next sticker


Muppet Epcot Mission

Some of the themed details outside of Italy to let you know you are in the right area


Muppet Epcot Mission

My favorite little Muppet detail – look closely over the archway. (click to enlarge photo) (*hint: if you like this, be sure to look by the river in France too…)


Muppet Epcot Mission

Another sign for Gonzo’s mask display. Also, if you have a face statue with a mouth in it, a child is going to stick his fingers in there, it’s Kid Law™


Now our next clue took us to the American pavilion and the end of our mission, so I’m going to show the other two countries of the U.K. and France before ending in America. (We actually worked backwards from France just to see if we could figure out the clues and get the stickers out of order. Thanks to a helpful cast member in France, we were able to do just that.) But I’ll put the details in the proper order below.

Muppet Epcot Mission

Our clue tells us to look for a Queen Gonzo scepter display at Lords and Ladies


Muppet Epcot Mission

Similar to Germany, the clue is missing and tells us to call him…


Muppet Epcot Mission

Sorry, mom gushing moment, but this is…the cutest. Gio was SO intently listening to Constantine’s clue! He told us to look for the one-carat (carrot?) diamond in France…


So we went back to France (not really we started there, shhh) to the perfume shop. I spotted the diamond, cleverly shaped like an actual carrot, a very Muppet-like joke. We are then prompted to enter our code again, this time asking how many carats the diamond is.

Muppet Epcot Mission

Constantine poster when you enter France


Muppet Epcot Mission

The 1-carat carrot diamond in the perfume shop


Muppet Epcot Mission

It took Gio a few tries to remember to put in the 0-0 before the 1. The carrot then lights up red like the Gonzo mask


The cast member in France then told us we had to go to a very scary place – America! We didn’t head back since we already experienced the conclusion of the mission. But here’s how it ends:

The booklet has visual clues like Lady Liberty and hot dogs (Liberty Inn!) but the map shows the check-in point is actually to the right of the American Adventure entrance. There is a kiosk there, where you receive a final sticker, a certificate of completion, making you an official MBI agent, and you are allowed to go behind some landscaping to see…

Muppet Epcot Mission

We captured Constantine! The items he stole are also packed up and ready to be shipped back to their proper countries


Muppet Epcot Mission

The cast member told us he is safely captured in the cage…which, was actually a teeny bit scary for Gio, he did NOT want to pose next to the cage. (There is no motion – but there IS a sound effect, around every 40 seconds or so you may hear “No cage can contain me! I will be back!        Soon!” but we totally missed that when we where there – altho I was talking and trying to get Gio to take a photo so that may be why.)


And that’s that! We had a wonderful time, and even though there weren’t actual Muppets at every turn, it was, I think, perfectly themed and really well done. It will be interesting to see if Gio asks to do the missions again or if it’s a ‘one and done’ kind of experience for him. The MBI Muppet scavenger hunt adventure will be active during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, through May 18. I’ll update as I get more information. I kept some of the visuals a surprise so you can experience the stickers, the booklet itself, and other details yourself.

I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced this yourself and what you thought. What was your favorite part?

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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Will Light It Up Blue Tonight Wed, 02 Apr 2014 23:58:21 +0000 blue Swan and DolphinApril is Autism Awareness Month and April 2 is World Autism Day. The Light It Up Blue program was started as a unique global campaign which helps raise awareness about the disorder. In honor of this historic day, thousands of iconic landmarks, buildings, hotels, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the globe that illuminate blue to spread autism awareness.

Tonight, April 2, 2014, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will be joining other iconic buildings around the world — including the Empire State Building in New York City and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia – and lighting up blue.

In addition, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants, Todd English’s bluezoo has created a specialty blue cocktail, named blue sparkler, in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Through April 30th proceeds from sales of the drink will be donated to the Princeton House Charter School, an Orlando area school for children with autism.

bluezoo Blue Sparkler Drink for Autism

The blue sparkler is a mixture of pavan liqueur, Florida 4 orange vodka, sparkling wine with orange and vanilla syrup. Todd English’s bluezoo is located in the lobby of the Dolphin and can be reached at 407-934-1111 or  For more information on Princeton House Charter School visit


In other Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin news, guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will experience Easter magic during PEEPtastic Easter April 16 to 23, a celebration sweetened by thousands of free PEEPS® brand marshmallow samples, PEEPS®-inspired menu items, PEEPS® décor and Easter-themed activities for families to enjoy. This sounds SO fun, and I think I need to head over and check this out in person. Giant Peeps? Glow-in-the-Dark Easter egg hunt? Peeps milkshake? Sounds so fun!

During the week, guests will be treated to complimentary PEEPS® marshmallow chicks upon check-in, during special appearances by the Easter Bunny and at other surprise moments.  For some sweet eats, PEEPS®-inspired menu items will be featured at several of the hotel’s restaurants.  Menu items will include s’mores made using PEEPS®, a PEEPS® inspired milkshake and chocolate-dipped PEEPS®.

WDW Swan Dolphin Peeps

The Epcot Resort Area hotel’s annual glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt  – a favorite for kids – headlines a full schedule of Easter-themed activities at the hotel, including traditional Easter egg hunts, Easter egg races, a bunny hop relay, arts and crafts, and meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny. (Activities are all complimentary for guests, except for a small fee for various crafts. Please check the event website for pricing.)

For an added magical Easter morning experience, guests can order an Easter Basket, featuring a variety of candy, a solid milk chocolate bunny and a plush toy, delivered by the Easter Bunny himself to their guestroom. (Additional costs apply.)

Larger-than-life PEEPS® will be found across property, as the iconic chick-shaped marshmallow will serve as inspiration for several approximately 3-foot, 50-pound white chocolate sculptures.

Other special features during the week will include a special Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove restaurant, featuring Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 20, at 5 p.m., a campfire, glow-in-the-dark volleyball, family game night and a poolside showing of the movie HOP.

For more details about PEEPtastic Easter at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, including a full schedule of activities, To make room reservations, call 1-800-227-1500 and mention “PEEPS.” Overnight rates start at $189 per night.

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Mickey Edition Nintendo 3DS and Magic of Disney Game Out April 11 Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:41:58 +0000 Disney Interactive and Nintendo will be launching Disney Magical World for the Nintendo 3DS on April 11 – basically Animal Crossing for Disney fans but here’s the official description:

In Disney Magical World, players pick from a selection of characters and can customize with Disney-themed outfits and accessories. The personalized character explores the world by managing a café, planting crops, and collecting Disney character cards in a new magical world. Favorite Disney characters also join in the fun to find missing items and solve problems.


Disney Magical World

Disney Magical World

To coincide and celebrate this release, Disney is also releasing a special “Mickey Edition” Nintendo 3DS XL, and it sure is pretty! Covered with golden Mickey heads, it will be released exclusively at WalMart, on the 11th. Look:


Disney 3DS

G Hannelius, currently starring in the Disney Channel sitcom Dog With A Blog , films a promo for the new Disney Magical World game with actor Cole Pendery. Photo courtesy Nintendo USA


Will any of you Disney Gamers be picking this up? Early Easter Bunny gift, perhaps?



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From Arrrr to Zarina, The Pirate Fairy Is Packed With Pixie Dust! Mon, 31 Mar 2014 22:56:07 +0000 THE PIRATE FAIRYI first heard about The Pirate Fairy at Disney’s D23 Expo back in August, and was treated to an appearance by stars Tom Hiddleston and Christina Hendricks. I really liked the premise, and looked forward to seeing it. So I was very excited to receive this dvd/BluRay to review. It did not let me down, and my family and I loved this film, perhaps best of all the Disney Fairy movies.

The backstory is really interesting, and we learn about a Dust Keeper, Zarina (Christina Hendricks), who is always looking for new ways of using pixie dust and figuring out how to harness its power. Unfortunately, Fairy Gary, the keeper of the dust, does not approve of these experiments, which leads Zarina to try things on her own and that in turn has some disastrous consequences. Zarina is ousted and a year passes. A fairy celebration takes place and we learn that Zarina is now a pirate with sinister intent…

What follows next is a fun, colorful series of events which will leave you singing and cheering. The amount of pixie dust and sparkles and colorful visuals in this movie is almost overwhelming – it’s just so pretty! And cute – we get to see a baby Tic Toc Crock, and of course, cabin boy James (Tom Hiddleston) turns out to be a young Captain Hook. Here are some of my favorite parts of the movie, plus the full trailer:


Experimenting – The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video

Baby Croc – The Pirate Fairy – Scene on Disney Video

Trailer – The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video
 It’s definitely a new favorite around here, with the whole family. During one part of the movie, Zarina mixes up the fairies talents, causing them to have new outfits. As soon as that happened, I thought – they will probably have
dolls with those new outfits
– and they do!
Disney Fairies Doll Set - The Pirate Fairy
Also, they have an irresistible Baby Croc Plush which I am definitely picking up…for my 5 year-old…yeah, that’s it.
Baby Croc Plush - 13''


They also have a 14″ Zarina Doll which I am totally getting – she’s a redheaded pirate who’s name starts with a Z – I have to! “The Pirate Fairy” sets sail April 1, 2014 – hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary dvd to review, but my opinions are my own. Product links are affiliate links, taking you to the same websites, but if you make a purchase, a small portion goes back to help with the costs of running Thank you for your support!

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SeaWorld’s Just for Kids and 50th Anniversay Sea of Surprises Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:01:24 +0000 SeaWorld has always been a local favorite for my family, and with the recent 50th Anniversary Celebration and Just for Kids events, they make it more fun than ever to enjoy. This kid-centric festival brings families together to enjoy fun rides, adorable animals and an all-new party zone. “Just for Kids” is included with park admission and takes place Saturdays from March 22 – April 12.

During “Just for Kids”, SeaWorld’s year-long 50th Celebration will be in full swing. Park pathways will come to life with oceans of spontaneous entertainment. Guests will enjoy a Sea of Surprises featuring new interactive experiences and shows, even more up-close animal encounters and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating park guests with prizes and special experiences every day.

Here are some photos of our recent visits to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and during the Just For Kids event:


SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando

Lighthouse (Focus on Flowers)LighthouseWaterfront SignSeaWorld's 50th AnniversaryDucks on the RocksFlowers and the High-RiseWaterfallPlants before the WaterfallKookaburra 1Kookaburra 2Flamingos 1Flamingos 2African Fish Eagle 1African Fish Eagle 2Bald Eagle 1Bald Eagle 2Bald Eagle 3Bald Eagle 4Trash-Sculpture Fish 1Trash-Sculpture Fish 2Trash-Sculpture OctopusAnimal Ambassadors 1Animal Ambassadors 2Elmo Rocks 1Elmo Rocks 2Elmo Rocks 3Elmo Rocks 4Elmo Rocks 5Elmo Rocks 6SeaWorld Orlando Atmos.SeaWorld Orlando's Sea of Trees 1/2SeaWorld Orlando's Sea of Trees 2/2"O Wondrous Night" 1/2"O Wondrous Night" 2/2"O Wondrous Night" SceneShamu Christmas Finale
Photos in this set are ©Christian DiMarzio

Just For Kids Festival Highlights:

ALL-NEW! Rockin’ Rockhopper Party

Starting at 11 a.m., families can experience warm-hearted whimsical fun and make lasting memories as they dance along to family-friendly DJ’s at the Rockin’ Rock Hopper Party in Antarctica – Empire of The Penguin®, play games, such as Rock Hopper Ring Toss and Penguin Plunge, enjoy live penguin appearances, snow moments, snacks, face painting, caricatures and meet the one and only Puck, star of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.


Share the wonder of close-up encounters with amazing animal friends and learn how we care for our natural world at our all-new SEA Garden.

Shamu Dance Party

Dance the night away with Shamu & crew at the Shamu Dance Party at the Village Square located at the front of the park. The party begins one hour prior to park closing with a stilt walker emcee who fills the square with music that the whole family can dance to, including popular line dancing songs and party favorites. The Shamu Dance Party continues until 30 minutes after park closing.

Ocean Adventures Kids Program

Kids can go on an educational, card collecting program, also included with admission, starting at 11 a.m. Children will look for the Sea Star icons inside the park, where they’ll discover fun, educational activities. At each location they will collect a stamp and a limited edition Explorer’s card.  Once they visit all four locations, they’ll receive a coupon to redeem at select gift shops for a special SeaWorld prize.  Limit one prize per participating child.

The best way to experience all of the fun, music and treats at “Just for Kids” and SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration is with an Annual Pass, starting at just $13 per month for Florida Residents.  Pass Members can enjoy all four Saturdays of “Just forKids” fun and all of the amazing special events throughout the year, plus the unforgettable animal encounters, world-class thrill rides and family fun found only at SeaWorld.


Follow SeaWorld on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest details about SeaWorld Orlando’s “Just for Kids” Festival. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #JustForKids.



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Medieval Times Social Media Exclusive Offer-All Seats $28! Fri, 28 Mar 2014 23:25:45 +0000 Medieval Times is celebrating March Madness by offering a ticket sale of $28 for all seats! (This offer expires 3/31/2014 and is not valid at the New Jersey or Dallas castle.) I was able to enjoy Medieval Times here in Orlando when they premiered a new show a couple of years ago, I think it’s time I go back! We had a wonderful time and the food was great too. It’s hard not to enjoy the action and be a part of the show, cheering for your knight. You can check out the photos from that visit on my Zannaland Facebook page album page  (and feel free to “LIKE” my Facebook page while you’re there!).

Medieval Times March Madness


This offer expires in just a few days on 3/31 so use code 28MM right now and get ready to joust!

Find more info at and book your visit today online or by calling 1-888-WE-JOUST.

You can also find Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament on Facebook and Twitter.

Medieval Times Orlando

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Newest Disney Vera Bradley Print Mickey’s Perfect Petals to Debut May 4 Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:49:01 +0000 As with all other Disney partnerships with handbag designers, the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley is another successful venture. I’ve reported on the original debut of the Disney Vera bags, and also shared photos on social media of the additional designs released (stay tuned for an upcoming post on the Disney Vera Bradley bags available on Disney Cruise Line!). Now, according to Steven Miller at the Disney Parks Blog:

Mickey's Perfect Petals

Mickey’s Perfect Petals. Photo ©Disney

…a new event titled, “A Perfect Petals Brunch featuring the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley,” is coming to World ShowPlace at Epcot on Sunday, May 4. This ticketed event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and will feature the release of a brand new color called “Mickey’s Perfect Petals.” In addition to a scrumptious brunch and a special gift, event guests will have the first opportunity to purchase seven new items. The event store will also carry some previously released colors from 2013, including “Midnight with Mickey” and “Where’s Mickey.”

The best part of this brunch, however, will be a special appearance by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley. Barbara has wonderful stories to share, especially about her mother who played an important role in her life and in the founding of Vera Bradley (it’s fitting that this event will take place the weekend before Mother’s Day!).

If any quantities are remaining following this event, the new “Mickey’s Perfect Petals” items will be released when Cherry Tree Lane opens in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace (stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for that opening date). There are no immediate plans to carry this color at Disneyland Resort or on our Disney Parks online store.

Tickets for this event are $125. Admission to Epcot is also required to attend. To register, please visit beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT on March 20, 2014. If you are active on social networks, I invite you to join the conversation by using the hashtag – #DisneyVera.

Mickey's Perfect Petals

Mickey’s Perfect Petals. Photo ©Disney


Mickey's Perfect Petals

Mickey’s Perfect Petals. Photo ©Disney


Where's Mickey

The previously released “Where’s Mickey” pattern. Photo ©Disney

Will you be attending the Perfect Petals Brunch, or hoping to get a bag after at a Downtown Disney store? What do you think of the new design? I love the color palette!

]]> 2 LeSportsac Tink Designs Pay Homage to Marc Davis Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:41:26 +0000 It’s no secret that we love bringing you the latest Disney designer purses here at Zannaland, and there are certainly no shortage of them lately! I have personally loved the Disney LeSportsac designs from the start because of both the versatility of the bag designs, as well as the tribute to original Disney art that LeSportsac offers. With such wonderful bodies of work from Mary Blair and now Marc Davis, it’s no wonder these bags are instant hits and loved by so many. LeSportsac is truly a great choice for use within the parks as well, with multiple zippered pockets, lightweight, easy-to-clean styles and a choice for every occasion. I know the “it’s a small world” styles were so popular, and I have no doubt the new Tinker Bell patterns will be as well.

LeSportsac Tink

LeSportsac Marc Davis Tink

The Marc Davis Tinker Bell print


LeSportsac Marc Davis Tink

Small Edie Backpack with charm


LeSportsac Marc Davis Tink

LeSportsac Neverland Tink

Neverland print

LeSportsac Neverland Tink

Small Edie Backpack with charm

LeSportsac Neverland Tink

This is just one style, of course you can find so many more at AND enter their giveaway for a Tink bag too! Which is your favorite design? The Marc Davis or the Neverland? (I think I’m partial to the Marc Davis personally.)

We’ll be having a giveaway here at Zannaland too, I still have a few “it’s a small world” designs to giveaway, so stay tuned!

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NEW Epcot Flower Festival Disney Dooney White Daisy Pattern Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:58:50 +0000 Disney and Dooney & Bourke keep surprising us! Here is another unannounced new Disney Dooney pattern spotted on instagram and ebay! Available at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Center, the Daisy pattern is available currently in the crossbody Letter Carrier and Satchel sizes. Personally, I LOVE this color scheme, it’s some of my favorite color combos. I think this is a great, subtle Disney pattern for those that don’t want to scream MICKEY! on their handbag. These bags are made with the lighter nylon material, not the coated canvas of the other traditional Dooneys.

EDIT: Now available online at!

Here are some current photos:


Disney Dooney White Daisy

White Daisy – Letter Carrier $128, Satchel $198. Photo ©DizThruBrownEyes used with permission and thanks! :)

Dooney White Daisy Dooney White Daisy Dooney White Daisy Dooney White Daisy


Thoughts? Will you be heading to Epcot to get this Disney Dooney?

Check for sales of select current released Disney Dooney & Bourke purses and Zannaland’s Disney Dooney & Bourke page with ALL handbag photos and info.

* links are affiliate links, which means it costs you nothing extra to click or buy, but if you do, I get a small commission. Thanks for reading!

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Details for Destination D 2014 at Walt Disney World Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:12:18 +0000 D23 Destination DAfter a date change and few other details, D23 has finally released new information on the Destination D to take place at WDW November 22-23, including ticket prices and sale dates. Normally I like to comment on press releases rather than just post them, but I wanted to get this information out to you as soon as possible! Read below for the official information:



BURBANK, Calif. – March 26, 2014 – Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit—or revisit—some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it’s a small world and Carousel of Progress.


Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World’s Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley—and more to be announced.


During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.


The weekend will end with an exciting evening event—Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.


Plus, for the first time, Mickey’s of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels.

Destination D

Highlights of D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus will include*:

  • Disney Goes to the World’s Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
  • Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World’s Fair that never came to be
  • Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
  • That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles


The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964–65 World’s Fair in New York City. A limited number of “Top of the World” tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more.


More details about the program and tickets for D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus, as well as a special offer just for members of D23, can be found at Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.


Destination D

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Saving Mr. Banks Comes to Blu Ray and DVD Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:11:58 +0000 saving-mr-banks-first-lookSaving Mr. Banks has warmed the hearts of most who have seen it in theatres, and now it’s available on Blu Ray and DVD. I had not previously written about Saving Mr. Banks, mostly because I had very mixed feelings about it. Taking away the idea that this was “based on facts” or historically true, it was a beautiful movie. The problems come in when you think Tom Hanks on screen is Walt Disney…and that’s simply not the case.

There are certainly parts of the movie based on ideas or issues encountered during the acquisition and screenwriting process, but many of the things portrayed tend to twist the truth for the story that Saving Mr. Banks wants to tell. If you go into the film thinking it’s just an interesting story, funny in parts, then it is enjoyable.

The music, the Richard Sherman parts, and even most of the flashback scenes, were lovely. Emma Thompson’s acting was very fun to watch, even if what little I know about the real P.L. Travers made it seem completely unbelievable. Paul Giamatti as the limo driver was another fun subplot, completely made up for the film, but well done nonetheless. Thinking about Walt Disney saying “Get on the damn horse, Pam!” makes a Walt Disney fan’s skin crawl…and that’s one of several moments where I just have to think it’s a fictional film about people that sometimes resemble Walt Disney and those who made Mary Poppins come to life on film. And again, it was enjoyable for me, but I don’t look at it as factual or the way things happened. That said, I’m happy to own it on dvd and be able to watch it again because the music alone and funny parts are great. Here are the bonus features you’ll find on the Blu-ray:

·       The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to Present (Blu-ray & Digital HD) – Join Director John Lee Hancock on a tour of the Disney Studios lot, reflect on studio life during the making ofMary Poppins, and discover how Walt’s creative spirit still flourishes today.

·       Let’s Go Fly a Kite (Blu-ray & Digital HD) – Cast and crew sing break out in a rousing, heartfelt tribute to Composer Richard Sherman on the last day of filming.

·       Deleted Scenes                                                                                                                  

  • Stargaze (Blu-ray & Digital HD) – A picture on Walt’s desk leads to a flashback of Pamela’s childhood.
  • Nanny Song (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD) – The Sherman Brothers perform a song for Pamela that she is less than thrilled with.
  • Pam Leaves (Blu-ray & Digital HD) – After yet another disagreement with Walt, Pamela leaves his office and heads for the airport.

*Digital HD bonus offerings vary by digital retailer

Disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary copy of Saving Mr. Banks for the purposes of review. My opinions are my own. Retail link is an affiliate link, which takes you to but any purchases send a small amount back to Zannaland. Thanks for reading!

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