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Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

The most common question/request we get is asking for tips for taking tiny babies or toddlers to Disneyland. Hamm’s first trip to Disneyland was in October 2017 when he was a little less than 2 months old. Although he will never remember it, we took […]

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

This blog post is sponsored by Cuties the official citrus fruit of Disneyland Resort! I will be honest Disneyland has some of the most delicious snacks. They have churros, ice cream, pretzels, turkey legs, corn dogs, popcorn and so much more. However, the fact that […]

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theaters on April 17th (Earth Day) 2019. I had the opportunity of attending an early screening of this movie and I absolutely loved it.

Disneynature’s Penguins is a true life story that follows an Adélie Penguin named Steve through his journey into adulthood. As a five-year-old penguin Steve must find a suitable place to build his nest, find his soulmate and enter the world of fatherhood. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties along the way. As a new father myself, I definitely found Steve to be very easy to relate to. The life of a parent is not an easy one but it also comes with its own rewards.


Watch the all-new trailer for Disneynature’s Penguins, coming to theaters Earth Day 2019!

Penguins blew my expectations right out of the water. To be completely honest I wouldn’t call myself an animal lover. You won’t hear me talking about wanting to cuddle a lion as some people would. Going into seeing Disneynature’s Penguins I thought it was going to be just another boring documentary. Boy was I wrong, the entire 76 minute duration of the movie I was thoroughly entertained. The movie had me feeling all of the emotions from laughing out loud, “aww”-ing at the cute penguins falling in love, and even sitting on the edge of my seat in suspense. Below are five reasons I LOVED Disneynature’s Penguins:

Ed Helms was an AMAZING narrator

Ed Helms really was the perfect narrator for Penguins. As the only voice heard throughout the movie, Ed did an amazing job bringing personality to Steve. It was so fun to hear Ed’s interpretation of what might be going on inside the head of Steve the penguin. Ed did such a great job providing the right amount of humor and comic relief to the movie. You might remember Ed Helms from his role as Andy on the hit TV series The Office. If they ever do a documentary about my life, Ed Helms better be the one narrating, please.

The cinematography was incredible

As an amateur photographer myself, I find it challenging to get a picture of a toddler at home. I can only imagine how difficult it was to get the shots they did of wild animals in well below freezing temperatures and 150 MPH winds. The filming process took over three years and most of the filming was done during only five months of the year. The rest of the time involved transportation, which sometimes took over two weeks to travel to the new location. The camera crew had to get creative to give us some shots from the penguin’s point of view.

Overall with the underwater shots and the amazing shots of the animals, the cinematography of Disneynature’s Penguins was absolutely stunning and breathtaking. Antarctica is one of those places that not many of us will ever get to experience in our lifetime so I am grateful that we can see it through the eyes of these talented photographers in films like this.

Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

The soundtrack tied everything together

The soundtrack for Disneynature’s Penguins really brought everything together in this movie. It was the perfect balance of an amazing score created by Harry Gregson-Williams and classic songs from the 80’s that we all know and love. Since the entire story of the movie is told by a single narrator, the music in this film is critical to help us feel the emotions the director is trying to get across. You will be sure to recognize such songs as “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon and “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. I brought my 18-month-old boy to the movie and he was dancing throughout the entire movie.

It is a great movie for the entire family

Disneynature’s Penguins is a movie that I know the whole family will enjoy. I took my wife and my little 18-month old boy and we all absolutely LOVED the movie. The movie has a G rating and there is nothing in the movie that would make me question that. Although we are used to a lot of adult humor from Ed Helms in his roles in The Office and The Hangover, Ed proved that you can still be funny without it getting inappropriate. The only thing you may have to worry about with children is a couple very short scenes that show predators eating other animals. Nothing graphic is shown and it is very brief but it is something to be aware of.

The 1 hour and 16-minute runtime is just right to capture the attention span of smaller children. With the combination of the entertaining music, comic relief from narrator Ed Helms, and captivating story it really is a film children and adults of all ages will enjoy.

Disneynature “Penguins”

It’s not only entertaining but also very educational

I am sure we have all watched at least one boring documentary sometime in our life. Don’t get me wrong I love to learn, but if I can be entertained while I am learning it is definitely a big win. Disneynature’s Penguins was great at teaching us all about the Adélie penguins and other wildlife in Antarctica. It was very fascinating to not only see how they live but also get some insight into what they may be feeling and thinking.

Disneynature is celebrating its 10th anniversary of creating these informational and entertaining movies to help us better understand the wildlife around us. “Penguins” continues Disneynature’s conservation tradition and by seeing the movie you can help carry on that tradition. For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2019), Disneynature will make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere.

Overall Disneynature’s Penguins is a must see for anyone and everyone. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you would like to see what other movies are coming from Disney in 2019, click here.

I have also included some fun family friendly activity sheets from Disneynature’s Penguins. Click on the image below to download.

Disneynature Penguins Activity Packet
Live Action Kim Possible Review

Live Action Kim Possible Review

Disney Channel’s Kim Possible is now available on DVD and Digital. Kim Possible is just your basic average girl but she was here to save the world in the animated series that ran on the Disney Channel from 2002 – 2007. Now after more than […]

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

“You’ve seen a horse fly. You’ve seen a dragonfly. You’ve even seen a housefly. But you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen an elephant fly!” —Baritone Bates, “Dumbo” Everyone will have their chance to see an elephant fly as Dumbo soars into theaters on March […]

Q & A with Toy Story Dad and Family

Q & A with Toy Story Dad and Family

I just wanted to write a little post so you could get to know us a better. Below are the questions we are most frequently asked.

Where did you and Rachel meet?

-To make a long story short we met each other in high school and it took awhile for her to come around. For the full story check out this blog post I wrote all about our story.

What do you do for a living?

– As much as I would love it, ToyStoryDad and this blog are not my full time gig… yet. I work full time for a global IT consulting company as a Senior Web Application Analyst. I also am the Backend Web Developer for Pick Your Plum. I am a bit of a workaholic so I am glad ToyStoryDad gives me the opportunity to feed my entrepreneurial fire while also spending time with my family. Rachel taught 4 years as a first grade teacher until Beckham was born and now has the greatest responsibility of staying home with Beckham. She has a passion for teaching and reading and it definitely shows with Beckham.

Where are you from?

– I was born in San Antonio, Texas. However, like Rachel, I have lived most of my life in Utah. I did serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints where I spent 2 years serving the people in Lima, Peru. It was an amazing experience and makes me so grateful to live where I do. Hablo Espanol! My family and I now live in a suburb just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah and we absolutely love it.

How old are you?

– Rachel and I are both 27 and share birthdays in August. Hamm also has an August birthday and will be celebrating his 2nd birthday this year. I seriously can’t believe how big he is.

Where does Hamm’s name come from?

Beckham was actually named after one of Rachel’s students. His nickname Hamm came from his uncle Collin who decided that everyone would be calling him Beck (the first part of his name) so he would call him Ham (the last part of his name.) The nickname has since stuck and it works out perfectly since Hamm is also a Toy Story Character.

Do you want/plan on having more kids?

– YESSSS!!!! Definitely… I LOVE kids, seriously I was the top babysitter in the neighborhood because I just loved kids and kids loved me, most of the time. Now that I have my own little boy, both Rachel and I are seriously blown away just how AMAZING being a parent is. We will definitely be having many more kids when we feel the time is right.

How do you get such awesome photos with a little child?

Patience and treats! It’s definitely a struggle to get pictures, especially once they start wanting to move around. So just be patient because sometimes they aren’t in the mood and you might have to try again at a later time. We probably look crazy with some of the things we do to get a smile, but treats usually work great.

How do you afford to go to Disneyland so often?

Work, work, work. If you ask Rach or anyone that knows me they will tell you I am pretty much always working. Disney is a time where I can take a break and spend some quality time with my family doing something we all love. We are annual passholders to Disneyland and usually visit about 3 times a year. If you would like some tips on planning a Disneyland trip check out this blog post.

Disneyland or Disney World?

Disneyland! They are honestly both amazing but Disneyland is the classic that Walt built.

Favorite Disney Ride?

Tucker: Avatar Flight of Passage

Rachel: Pirates

Hamm: Small World and Teacups

Favorite Disney Treat?

Tucker: Cookie Ice Cream Sundae

Rachel: Gingerbread Cookies and Macarons

Hamm: Tigger Tail and Cookie Num Num

Favorite Disney Movie?

Tucker: Toy Story … I know big surprise

Rachel: Tangled

Hamm: Coco

Favorite Color?

Tucker: Blue

Rachel: Pink

Hamm: Unknown

Favorite Food?

Tucker: Stromboli

Rachel: Grilled Cheese

Hamm: Everything even the salad from Club 33

Favorite Book?

Tucker: The Go Giver

Rachel: Harry Potter

Hamm: The Hungry Caterpillar

Favorite non-Disney movie?

Tucker: I Am Legend

Rachel: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Hamm: Boss Baby

I have really enjoyed getting to know a lot of you on this journey. Thanks for following our journey. If there is anything else you would like to know about us, ask away in the comments below.

DIY No Sew Peter Pan Costume

DIY No Sew Peter Pan Costume

If you are looking for an easy costume idea, then this Peter Pan costume is exactly what you need. The best part about this costume is that no sewing is required. All you need for this costume is faith, trust and a little Pixie Dust […]

Planning Your Disneyland Vacation

Planning Your Disneyland Vacation

We are Annual Passholders to Disneyland from Utah. Because of this we are often asked how we plan our trips. The secret really is in the planning ahead. There is nothing better than an impulse trip to Disneyland, but in reality these trips do take […]

Disney Movies You Won’t Want to Miss in 2019

Disney Movies You Won’t Want to Miss in 2019

As a die hard Disney fan I was so happy with all of the amazing movies Disney Studios blessed our lives with in 2018. Incredibles 2 was the perfect sequel and helped me realize just how much my little boy Beckham is exactly like Jack Jack. Christopher Robin reminded us all what is important in life. As a workaholic myself it is easy to get lost and forget that family will ALWAYS be the most important. As a web developer and tech nerd I was absolutely obsessed with all the geeky details of Ralph Breaks the Internet. There are still a few movies I need to see like Nutcracker and Mary Poppins but I have heard nothing but great reviews and I am sure I will love them.

Outdoing 2018 is going to be tough but Disney has a great lineup in store for all of us fans. The best news of all is we are getting a new Toy Story movie, which you can probably guess is what I am most excited for. Let’s take a closer look at all of the Disney movies being released this year.

March 9, 2019 –CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel Studios)

Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom. 

The film stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, with Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Law.

March 29, 2019 – DUMBO (Walt Disney Studios)

For my full review click here.

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure “Dumbo” expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

Directed by Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (“Ophelia,” “Dream House”), and produced by Justin Springer (“TRON: Legacy”), Kruger, Katterli Frauenfelder (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Big Eyes”) and Derek Frey (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Frankenweenie”).

April 17, 2019 – PENGUINS (Disneynature)

For my full review click here.

Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

April 26, 2019 – AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel Studios)

Disney has not told us much of anything about the plot of this movie. However, if you look at the title of the movie and watch the trailer below you might get an idea.

May 24, 2019 – ALADDIN (Walt Disney Studios)

A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”), who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August (“Dark Shadows,” “Big Fish”) and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.” The film stars Will Smith (“Ali,” “Men in Black”) as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud (“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”) as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott (“Power Rangers”) as Jasmine, the beautiful self-determined princess; Marwan Kenzari (“Murder on the Orient Express”) as Jafar, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban (“Legion”) as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”) as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen (“Into the Woods”) as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar (“The Great Wall”) as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards.

June 21, 2019 – TOY STORY 4 (Disney·Pixar)

Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”).

July 19, 2019 – THE LION KING (Walt Disney Studios)

Director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journey’s to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother–and former heir to the throne-has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, “The Lion King” utilizes pioneer filmmaking techniques to bring these treasured characters to life in a whole new way.

August 9, 2019 – ARTEMIS FOWL (Walt Disney Studios)

Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.

November 22, 2019 – FROZEN 2 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Arendelle heats up in 2019 when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf return to the big screen in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2,” the much-anticipated follow-up to 2013’s Oscar®-winning “Frozen”—the highest grossing animated film of all time. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad reprise their roles, while Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the team behind “Frozen,” return to the directors’ chairs.

Trailer coming soon

December 20, 2019 – STAR WARS: EPISODE IX (Lucasfilm)

Trailer coming soon

I am most excited for Toy Story 4 but honestly stoked for all of the movies coming this year. Which movie are you most excited for?

Disneyland Attractions with No Height Requirement

Disneyland Attractions with No Height Requirement

If you are looking for a list of attractions at Disneyland with no height requirement, you are in the right place. If you are looking for tips on taking a baby or toddler or Disney check out this post. Disneyland Baby Friendly Attractions Winnie the […]