Disney Home Decorators

I’ve got vacation-brain right now. You know, that thing that happens the day before you take your long-anticipated second honeymoon on board Disney Cruise Line and can only think about your upcoming “Star Wars Day at Sea” and you can hardly contain your excitement? That thing?

I know that – in one week’s time – the euphoria I am feeling right now will be slowly seeping out of me with each passing minute as I dread the end of what’s surely going to be an amazing vacation. Ah well. Such is the sadness of returning home from a Disney vacay.

But what if returning home after a Disney vacation felt just like you hadn’t left Disney at all?

Wouldn’t you like to relax after a busy day at work by reading in a comfortable nook like this one at Disney’s Beach Club?


This photo of Disney’s Beach Club Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Or how about enjoying a family dinner in a dining room like Remy’s that made you feel like you were back aboard the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy?

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Thank you to Disney Food Blog for this gorgeous photo.

I think I might shed one tear fewer at the end of each Disney trip knowing I’d be going back to my Disney-esque home.

I would love to add some of these Disney touches to my own house, but I’m afraid my eye for design is a bit blind. (This is probably one of the reasons I can hardly dress myself and would love the services of a DisneyBound personal shopper.) And it’s not like you can just go to Ikea and pick up a Remy booth like you see above. (Note that Ethan Allen recently introduced a Disney line of furniture, but options are a bit limited right now.)

I would love to see Disney offer a new home decorating service that can help you “Disney-ify” your dwelling. Packaged deals for this service could start with helping you design just one room in your home to turning your humble abode into Cinderella’s castle. Services would begin with an initial web-based consultation to discuss budget and preferences, and would close with the delivery of a 3-D rendering of the room(s) you wish to overhaul and recommendations as to where to find any furniture, paint, and artwork you need. This could put further dollars into Disney businesses, as Disney sells all of the items mentioned above, even Disney-branded paint offered by Glidden.

I’d totally be excited for a home-renovation project that involved Disney, wouldn’t you? And I know the perfect person to market such a service. (Hint: It’s me. Hire me, Disney!)

Things will be quiet here on the blog for the next week while I am away, but don’t worry – I’ve got plenty of Disney ideas ready to go for when I return on February 6th.

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Disney Bound

Fashion. If I were to rate my fashion expertise on a scale from 1-10 (10 being Cruella de Vil’s stop-at-nothing attitude to look good, 1 being Ariel’s “I’ll just wear this beach garbage” outfit after trading in her fins for legs ), I’d estimate I’m about a -33.

 

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Yes, this would be an improvement for me.

When it comes to dressing up for a day at Disney World, my go-to outfit is the first runDisney t-shirt I grab out of my drawer (I have racked up a few of these over the years) and a pair of yoga pants. I did athleisure well before it was trendy, folks. I just like being comfortable.

But there’s this new thing happening in the world of fashion that has caught my interest called “DisneyBound.” Those who participate take inspiration from their favorite Disney character(s) in choosing their daily wardrobe. See it in action here on the latest Disney Style blog.

Disney does not allow adults to wear costumes or masks in the parks, so this is an awesome way to get in on the fun of playing dress-up for those over the age of 12. But you don’t have to reserve DisneyBound solely for a day at the parks; some pieces are subtle enough that you could certainly wear them to work, Sunday brunch with friends, or afternoon tea, if you are an afternoon-tea kind of person.

If Disney would like to capitalize on this, I would suggest hiring a DisneyBound expert to take small groups of fashion-backwards individuals like me on a DisneyBound tour of Disney Springs. This person would be acting as the group’s personal shopper for the day, taking everyone to different stores and helping them put together ensembles based on their favorite characters. Group sizes would have to be small (no more than five) to make this work.

What I’m not sure about is whether this tour should be offered for a nominal charge. I’d like to think this could be offered for free, as sales from the various Disney Springs shops might make up for the added costs in personnel. Gratuity for the shopper would be highly encouraged. But this idea would need some additional market research to do the cost/benefit analysis.

So let me help Disney out with that. Readers, tell me – would you be willing to pay for help putting together your own DisneyBound outfit?

 

Eat Like Spot

Dining at Disney World… just thinking about it makes me drool. There are so many food options, and all of them are good. With 5 James Beard Award-winning chefs among the cast, you know you are in for a most awesome culinary experience when you dine with the Mouse.

Disney makes it very easy to get a reservation anywhere you want via the Disney Parks mobile app, although you do have to plan well in advance for some of the more popular restaurants. Within the app itself, you can note any dietary restrictions or allergies, and Disney takes the utmost care in ensuring your needs are met.

Now, health is important to me and I subscribe to a paleo diet because I believe that is the right way to eat for me. This means no grains, gluten, dairy, or soy as much as possible. But I’m not allergic to any of these items, and I hate to think that the hard-working Disney chefs have to make a fuss over my meal.

I know I’m not alone. “Paleo” has been one of the most Googled diets over the last three years. So I wonder how many people head to Disney and feel sheepish when a hard-working chef has to leave the kitchen to come talk to them about their dietary restrictions?

Solution: Build a restaurant that caters to this group! Call it “Spot’s Stop,” named after the adorable little cave dude in “The Good Dinosaur” movie:

Movie review: 'The Good Dinosaur' will entrance kids and parents alike

The menu would feature grass-fed/free-range/organic meats, fresh vegetables sauteed in healthy fats, and paleo desserts sweetened with dates, bananas, and coconut. A restaurant like this would, of course, be in the $$$ range, but I wouldn’t think twice about grabbing the check for my family, knowing they were dining in a way I deem to be healthy.

SO what do you think? Would you go to Spot’s Stop?

Red Leader, Standing By

This idea comes courtesy of my first reader submission! That reader happens to be my husband, but it still counts.

Ben introduced me to Star Wars, so I can’t begrudge him the title of biggest Star Wars fan in the family. Still, I hold my own when it comes to being a Jedi wannabe. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (California Adventure), we found a photo booth that can put your face on a Star Wars character:

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Don’t we make a perfect Obi-Wan and Padmé? This became our 2006 Christmas card: May the Force be with you this holiday season.

You can still find these photo booths at any of the Disney Parks, but Ben suggested they should take it one step further: Disney should offer you the chance to be in an actual Star Wars movie clip!

And we know the perfect clip:

Disney would just need to maintain a few pilot helmets of varying sizes in order to make this work, and let a family of up to four participate. What Star Wars-loving Gen X parent would skip the opportunity to share video of their little cherub saying “Red Twenty-Seven, standing by” in such an iconic clip? More importantly – what would a Star Wars-loving parent pay for that opportunity?

Heck, I don’t have any kids and I would pay top dollar to do this myself!

Subliminal Advertising

I happened to be tuned to ESPN when this idea occurred to me, although I wished the circumstances were different (I was watching my Penn State Nittany Lions lose the Rose Bowl at the last possible second. Yes, I’m still distraught over it, thanks for asking).

I had been to the last two bowl games that PSU appeared in – the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014 and the TaxSlayer Bowl in 2016 – because I was fortunate enough to live within driving distance of the stadiums. If you were watching either of these games, perhaps you would have seen me:

Alright, it likely wasn’t me that ESPN was looking for. Maybe it was the handsome guy in the #3 jersey next to me (shout out to my husband). But methinks it was the giant Penn State Nittany Lion head I had in my hands that caught the camera operator’s attention:

I was sad to not make national television for a third year in a row. I offered to ship the giant cardboard head to a friend that was going to be at the Rose Bowl game, but she declined my offer.

It did get the wheels turning, though. These giant cardboard heads look great on TV, amiright? And I think anybody could easily be persuaded to hold a giant piece of cardboard if it meant they’d be on TV for a few seconds.

So here’s the idea, Disney: get yourself some free advertising on your own network! Find somebody who is sitting in a seat down near the field/court/rink and ask them to hold a giant Mickey head. Make sure the person you ask isn’t going to be obstructing someone else’s view, because that’s not a very Disney-esque thing to do.

So what should this Mickey head look like? Keep it simple. I suggest something like the classic three circle version:

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Then, maybe add team logos in it somewhere, so it doesn’t look too out of place at the event it’s showing up at. I found the following Penn State Mickey head on Etsy to give you an example:

 

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This is an iron-on decal available for $3.50! I might need to own this shirt now.

Voila. Now people are going to associate their favorite team with Mickey and immediately look up Disney vacation packages, or the next Disney movie that’s coming out, or pop into their nearest Disney store.

Nothing wrong with a little subliminal messaging, right?

Sports fans, I’d like to hear from you. Would you be willing to hold up a cardboard Mickey head if it meant you’d get your 15 seconds of fame on ESPN?

MagicBands Part III

I promise not all of my ideas are about MagicBands. But you know how brainstorming works sometimes – you get on a Shinkansen high-speed train of thought and there’s no stopping it!

Before I jump into the new MagicBand idea, I’d like to share that I’m currently on hold with Disney Cruise Line. And man, do I love the “hold” music; it appears to all be songs we know from classic Disney movies. Bravo, Disney – you are the only company I know of that can make sitting on hold an enjoyable experience. There might be some days I call and ask the representatives to just leave me on hold so that I can listen to “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin for a while.

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Back to MagicBands. As a Disney Annual Passholder, there are some perks granted to me (like 20% off merch and 10% off food at certain restaurants). When I first became a Passholder, I forgot about some of the perks when making purchases. You know how it is when you get caught up in the moment buying a new pair of Mickey ears, right? There was nobody to blame but me, but I wish that the Disney cast member making the sale had inquired as to whether I was a Passholder before completing the transaction.

This got me thinking… what if all you had to do was scan your MagicBand at any of the Disney shops or restaurants before settling your bill, and any discounts you had available to you would automatically be applied? Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, and Tables in Wonderland members would find this to be a really convenient feature of the MagicBand.

There might be other groups that receive perks that I don’t know about. If you know of any other groups that should be included in this MagicBand discounts idea, leave a comment and let me know!

Land and Sea

My husband and I are coming up on our five-year anniversary and decided to celebrate by taking a second honeymoon at the end of the month. We’ll be taking a cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy for 7 nights in a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Navigator’s Verandah. Swanky, right?

What was our first honeymoon, you ask? Well, we took our very first Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy for 7 nights in a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Navigator’s Verandah.

Why mess with a good thing? Disney Cruise Line (DCL) does honeymoons right.

But since we were recently on the subject of MagicBands, let’s keep going with that. Right now, DCL provides passengers with a proximity card that does triple duty as your room key, ID card to get you on/off the ship, and credit card for all of the little extras you want to buy while on board.

 

key-to-the-world

And it makes a great souvenir and scrapbooking piece when you debark.

So it’s a really important card to keep on you at all times. Now, let’s think about cruise attire for a second, shall we? Mostly it consists of bathing suits and sun dresses – things that don’t usually come with pockets to house your key card. Most women I meet on the ship have adapted by purchasing a lanyard or using the free lanyard that Disney gives you when you join the ranks of the “Castaway Club” once you embark on your second cruise.

Why not upgrade DCL to *also* be on the MagicBand system? Annual passholders and other Disney patrons who already have MagicBands can simply link their cruise itinerary to their existing band. Disney would be able to print out fewer proximity cards and have more robust data on what their customers are doing.

Current MagicBand holders – I’d be interested in your thoughts. Would you like to also use your MagicBand on Disney Cruise Line?