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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 […]

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 (aka hot glue). If you would like a video tutorial for this costume, check out our segment on Good Things Utah.

Materials Needed:

  • Green T-Shirt
  • Green Pants (Sweats, Leggings, or Tights will do)
  • 2 Sheets of Green Felt
  • A Red Feather
  • Brown Ribbon
  • Permanent Marker
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Fabric Scissors

Making The Hat

To start making the hat take one of your green sheets of felt and draw a hill shape. Note: Depending on the head size of the person who will be wearing the hat, you may need a larger sheet of felt. You will want the width at the bottom of the hill shape to be at least half the diameter of the subjects head plus a couple inches.

Once you have the shape drawn on one piece of felt, use your fabric scissors to cut it out. You can use that shape as a stencil to draw the shape on the second sheet of felt.

Now that you have both pieces of felt cut out, it is time for the that magical Pixie Dust aka hot glue. Start at the bottom of one end and slowly start glueing down as close to the edge as possible. You will want to press down the edges as you work your around the hill shape. DO NOT glue the flat bottom edge of the hat.

Once you have glued around the edges, gently press down with your finger and let the glue set for a few minutes. Once the glue is set, gently reach inside from the bottom and grab the top of the hat to turn it inside out. Once the hat is inside out, fold the bottom edges of the hat up about an inch.

As you can see the hat is just about finished. We just need to add the finishing touches by adding a red feather with a little hot glue.

Making The Shirt

If you have seen any Peter Pan movie, you will know his shirt has triangles on the arms, along the bottom, and at the collar. We can achieve this same look with some scissors. Turn your shirt inside out to draw the triangles on the edges of the arms and bottom of the shirt as shown in the picture below. Turning the shirt inside out will keep the front looking clean if you don’t cut perfectly on the lines.

Now simply cut out all these triangles. A trick we have learned is to start at the bottom and cut up from both sides. This makes it a lot easier and quicker to cut the shirt. One thing to note is that with a thin t-shirt like this, the triangles will begin to start curling up. We have been able to combat this by ironing down the triangle edges with liquid starch.

Congratulations, the hard part is done! Now all you have to do is throw on some green pants with the shirt and hat. The final touch is to tie a piece of brown ribbon around the waist and you are done. Now give yourself a high five and go take some fun pictures with this new costume. If you end up making this costume, I’d love to see it. Just tag @ToyStoryDad on Instagram!

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 […]

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 a lot of pictures and it is a memory we will never forget. We truly believe that you are never too young or too old to enjoy the magic of Disneyland.

So what all can a baby/toddler do at Disneyland? Are there even any rides they can go on? I think you will be surprised to hear that there is A LOT more they can do than can’t! For a complete list of attractions at Disneyland with no height requirement click here. Below are Beckham’s favorites at each park.

Hamm’s favorites at Disneyland Park

  1. “it’s a small world”
  2. Mad Tea Party (The Teacups)
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean
  4. Winnie the Pooh
  5. Jungle Cruise

Hamm’s favorites at California Adventure

  1. Pixar Pal a Round- Non swinging gondolas (Note: The swinging gondolas can be a little too much for little ones)
  2. Midway Mania (Note: This ride is jerky, so I would recommend waiting till your little one can hold up their own head.)
  3. Monster’s, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  4. The Little Mermaid~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  5. Golden Zephyr (Note: Children must sit up on their own on this ride, no lap sitting)

As you can see there are a lot of fun things that the little ones can do. If you are still a little nervous here are a few quick tips for you.

Take it easy/take breaks and naps

If you have been to Disneyland before kids just be prepared because it is a lot different with a little one. Before Beckham, Rachel and I would be at the parks from rope drop until the parks closed. Now with Beckham, we have to incorporate nap times and the fact that sometimes we can’t do a full park day. I highly recommend bringing a stroller that reclines so they can nap in it. Some of our favorite places to hang at California Adventure while Hamm naps in his stroller are on Pixar Pier looking over the water and also along the trail to Grizzly River Run where it’s much quieter. At Disneyland we love grabbing a bench on Main Street. For a quieter spot we love relaxing over by Winnie the Pooh.

If your little one will not sleep in a stroller, I recommend staying at a nearby hotel so you can take them back for naps easily. One of our favorites is the Howard Johnson which is literally right across the street. For more great deals we always book our Disneyland vacations through GetAwayToday(Affiliate Link). You can use that link or use code “TOYSTORYDAD” for an additional discount. While you baby is napping it’s the perfect time to get some food or take turns riding the big kid rides using the single rider lines. Another great way to take breaks and cool off is to catch a show.

Take advantage of Rider Switch Pass and Single Rider

As fun as the little kid rides are Rachel and I can’t go to Disneyland without getting a few thrill rides in. Rachel and I are lucky that Hamm’s grandma comes to Disneyland with us a lot and she is not a fan of the thrill rides. This allows us to go on rides while she watches the Hamm. Another option I recommend is going with another family with small children so you can take turns watching the kids and riding the rides with your spouse. I know these ideas aren’t an option for everyone which is why I recommend taking advantage of rider switch pass and single rider lines.

The baby care centers are awesome

Disneyland and California Adventure both have amazing baby care centers. These are the perfect place to take care of diaper changes, outfit changes, feeding the baby, or if you just need a peaceful place to relax. The baby care centers are stocked with all of the supplies you could possibly need for your little one: diapers, wipes, food, formula, etc. So if you forget something, have no fear, you can get what you need at the baby care center at a reasonable price. The baby care center at Disneyland park is located at the North east end of main street by the photo print store. At California Adventure Park it is located right next to the Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.

Dad’s change the diapers

I apologize to all the fellow dads out there but having the guys change the diapers saves time. The ladies room in general is more crowded and more likely to have a line at the changing table. The chance there will be a line in the men’s room at the changing station is slim to none.

Bring or buy a bubble blower

Kids LOVE bubbles so having a bubble blower while waiting in line will make you a hero not only to your own kid but to all the other kids in line. The park sells all sorts of bubble blowers, however if you would like to save a significant amount of money you can find a great selection at Walmart, Target, Amazon or even Dollar Tree. Kids also LOVE all the fun light up toys offered at the parks. We try to pick up a few glow sticks and other light up toys at the dollar store to save money.

Bring snacks, lots of snacks

If your child is anything like Beckham, food is life! Yes, you can and SHOULD get some of the yummy Disney treats, but snacks like goldfish, pretzels, and applesauce pouches are A LOT cheaper outside of the park. Snacks save the day a lot when we are waiting in line. Don’t forget to keep yourself and your kiddos hydrated. Any stand that sells fountain drinks will give you a glass of ice water FOR FREE.

I always thought going to the parks with just Rach and I was so much fun, but really there’s nothing better than seeing Beckham enjoy the magic of Disneyland. These tips help us to have a smooth and great Disney day. I’d love to hear your favorite tips in the comments below.

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 […]

Mary Poppins Returns Family Activity Sheets

Mary Poppins Returns Family Activity Sheets

The wait is over, Mary Poppins Returns is now playing in theaters everywhere. Do you plan on seeing the movie soon? I am hoping to see it over the holiday break. Until then, Disney Studios has released these activity sheets with fun for the whole […]

Club 33, A Dream Come True

Club 33, A Dream Come True

Have you ever had something happen where still, to this day, it doesn’t seem like it was real? That’s what happened to us during our last trip to Disneyland. It started on Friday the 13th, which most people believe is an incredibly unlucky day. For us though, it was the BEST DAY EVER! (Minus our wedding day and the day Beckham was born of course.) One of the luckiest things that could happen to us, happened! WE GOT TO VISIT CLUB 33! If you haven’t heard of Club 33 or don’t know much about it click here.

 

A lot of you are probably wondering how we got to visit the famous club. No, we are not members and to get in to the club you have to have a reservation made for you by a member or go with a member or be a member. We were lucky enough to know someone who knows someone who knows someone etc. that was able to make us a reservation!

 

So the wonderful lucky and a little bit unlucky Friday the 13th arrived. We were so STOKED. There isn’t a strict dress code for lunch but we wanted to dress up because, you know, it’s CLUB 33! We had the first reservation of the day at 11:00. We decided to take it easy that morning and not hit the parks before our reservation. We left our hotel in our nice fancy clothes around 9:45 that morning just to make sure we weren’t rushed getting there. When we arrived at the park to go through security, THE LINE WENT ALL THE WAY TO HARBOR BOULEVARD… Friday the 13th had struck. We waited in that darn security line in 95 degree weather, sweating through our fancy clothes for an HOUR and FIVE minutes! I started to panic a bit because every security line was moving faster than ours and I was stressed we were going to miss our once in a lifetime chance to visit the club!

 

Once we finally got through security, the lines to enter Disneyland weren’t too long. Feeling a bit better about our time (we still had about 10 minutes to make our reservation) we picked a random line. We made it all the way up to the entrance with just one group ahead of us when… Friday the 13th struck again! It was the group’s first day at the park so they had to register their tickets and get their photos taken and sign their tickets and the worker’s scanner STOPPED WORKING! Like it just stopped working and decided to break. Plus the lady’s phone that had all the tickets on it was having problems pulling up the tickets and every other line was moving faster than ours but it was our turn next so we didn’t want to get out of line and wait again and basically Rach and I were about to hyperventilate. It was all fine though because eventually the scanner started working and we made it into the park! Hooray!

 

Court of Angels Grand Staircase
Court of Angels Grand Staircase

 

Summer of Tiki at Club 33
Summer of Tiki at Club 33

 

We made it to the beautiful Club 33 door and took a few family pictures as we waited for the rest of our party to get through that dang line. When we rang the doorbell it actually opened and we got to go inside and it was AWESOME. I tried to film as we were walking in but it wasn’t allowed so I could only snap pictures. So we went through the door and little lobby area and entered into the Court of Angels where there’s the beautiful blue staircase. They were celebrating the Tiki Room’s 55th anniversary so there were fun tiki decorations everywhere. We were a little rushed since our party was a bit late so we didn’t get to enjoy the area down below for too long though. We walked up the beautiful staircase and got to enter Club 33. Right when you enter there is a front desk where you can check bags or coats before you head to your table. The guestbook is also there as well as the area where you can purchase the merchandise. We were led down a gorgeous hallway that is kind of like a bridge that connects where you enter to the dining room. The hallway had floor to ceiling paintings on one side and massive glass windows overlooking the park on the other side with gorgeous chandeliers hanging above. We walked passed Lillian Disney’s harpsichord that supposedly Elton John and Paul McCartney have played on and entered the dining room. It was so light and bright and fancy! In my opinion we had the best table in the house. We were seated directly by this huge window that overlooked Rivers of America. It was so beyond to cool to look out and see everyone enjoying the park.

 

Lillian Disney's Harpsichord
Lillian Disney’s Harpsichord

 

Club 33 Chandelier
Club 33 Chandelier

 

So as we were being seated the hostess came around and placed our napkins on our laps and gave us the menus. It was all so posh and fancy. Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden are more our scene so this whole fine dining experience was completely new to us. As we opened up our menus we kind of panicked a bit. We had read blogs about the club and watched youtube videos about the menu so we would be prepared and know what to order but our waitress said we were getting a special seasonal menu that day and not the regular menu that we had prepared for. Okay so I don’t know if Rach and I are just super uncultured or what but we could barely pronounce anything on the menu and we didn’t know what anything was! The waitress went over everything on the menu with us but Beckham was being wiggly and we were trying to keep him occupied so we couldn’t focus solely on the menu. Side note: Honestly if I could do it over again and if it were a possibility I would have left the baby at home. It was cool to take him and snap pictures but he won’t remember it and we spent a lot of time trying to entertain him instead of really enjoying the whole experience. All of the staff was incredible to Beckham though and they went out of their way to help us keep him calm and entertained.

 

Main Dining Room in Club 33
Main Dining Room in Club 33

 

Hamm and Dad at the table
Hamm loved the fancy dishes at Club 33

 

Hamm and Mom at the table
Hamm and Mom were so excited to be at Club 33

 

Table Setting
Fresh flowers on every table

 

Our View
Hamm enjoying our view

 

So for lunch we had a four course meal. First there is an appetizer, then the soup or salad course, then the main entree, then dessert. Even though the waitress had explained the food, half the time I didn’t understand what she was saying. Our party had 11 people in it and the waitress came to me as I was holding Beckham and trying to calm him down and she said “I’m going to start with you.” It was kind of hard because I hadn’t had time to fully decide what I wanted and Beck was freaking out so I ordered my first course but I didn’t understand that I was supposed to have each course picked out and ready to order. So she was just standing there looking at me and I was like “I haven’t even looked at the other courses.” So I hurried and just looked at the menu and picked the words that I knew. Haha oh well right?

 

Club 33 Menu
The fancy unreadable menu

 

Rach with the menu
My love

 

In between the courses we were able to just walk around the club or go out on the balcony and that was just incredible. It’s really interesting as we were out there on the balcony not many people noticed us unless we were being loud. The only time people saw us was when Beck started making noises. Somebody called up to us and asked if we could get them into the club (I wish) but other than that no one else really saw us. It’s just really neat because you kind of feel like you’re not at Disneyland but you are at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it but when you’re up there on the balcony you realize how cool of an experience it really is to visit the club.

 

 

Enjoying the balcony of Club 33

 

 

After we were on the balcony and took about a million pictures we went back inside and ate our first course. I had the Baked Ricotta Gnudi, which was delicious and  Rachel substituted her first course for a kid’s grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup that we got for Beckham. We all shared and it was way yummy. The portions were pretty small but they were displayed really well.The tomato soup was seriously so good. It came in a cute little teacup and both Rach and I were wishing we could have ordered each course off the kid’s menu. For the second course, we both ordered the Tricolore Salad with creamy roasted garlic vinaigrette. Let me just say that  salad was DI-SGUS-TING. Out of the 11 people at our table, the only one who liked the salad was Beckham but I feel like he’ll eat anything. It kind of makes me want to barf thinking about it again. I literally couldn’t eat the salad, I was just chewing and chewing on this one bite but it wouldn’t go down my throat. I legitimately could not make myself swallow. I don’t even know how to explain why it was so bad, but it just was. The other option was a cold peach soup that one member of our party ordered and said it wasn’t much better than the salad. So if you get to visit the club, beware of the salad. You have the option to substitute a course during your meal for a cheese course and we were all wishing we’d have done that during the second course. For the third course Rachel and I both ordered Angus Beef Rolatini with artichokes and cabernet jus. It was just really thin beef rolled up with seasonings and a filling inside. It was displayed beautifully and tasted delicious. There was almost too much of it though, neither Rach or I could finish it. For the final course we had dessert and it was by far both of our favorite courses. Rachel got a Fresh Marinated Strawberry Cannoli with a Basil Gelato and it was so good. I preferred mine even more though. I ordered Affogato Mascarpone Gelato which was ice cream with amaretto cookies. I’d never had this type of cookie before but they were INSANELY GOOD! Also, ice cream is probably my favorite food EVER and this homemade ice cream was sooooooo yummy!

 

Gnudi
First Course – Gnudi

 

Grilled cheese and tomato soup
First Course – Grilled cheese and tomato soup

 

Gross Salad
Second Course – Just thinking about this salad is making me gag

 

Angus Beef Rollatini
Third Course – Angus Beef Rollatini

 

Strawberry Cannoli
Fourth Course – Strawberry Cannoli

 

Affogato Mascarpone Gelato
Fourth Course – Affogato Mascarpone Gelato

 

As we were finishing up our dessert, Friday the 13th struck AGAIN! The ceiling right above where Rachel was sitting cracked and started dripping water everywhere. I guess the air conditioning was overworked because it was so hot outside that it started leaking all over the place. The workers brought out this way fancy goblet lined with cloth napkins to catch the water. Then they brought out these gold plated caution signs to warn the other guests. It was funny to see how this classy place, when something not classy happens, handled it so well. Unfortunately it happened right at our table so we had to leave a little bit sooner than we wanted. It was good though because honestly Beckham was so done at that point.

 

Club 33 logo
Club 33 logo

 

We headed back down the pretty hallway and signed the guestbook and purchased some merchandise. I honestly wanted to buy it all because this was a once in a lifetime experience and we’ll probably never get to go back again but I managed to keep myself in check. Some of the merchandise is only available for members to purchase so there were some things we wanted but we couldn’t get them. We ended up buying a pair of Club 33 ears of course, because what’s a Disney trip without Mickey ears? We also got a pin with the club’s logo, and two super awesome ornaments that we were so excited for. One ornament is of the old Club 33 entrance before the remodel and the other ornament has the club’s balcony on one side and on the other side it has a little dining table. We both love the second ornament so much, it’s definitely our favorite. It’s such a fun way to remember our trip to Club 33. They also let us take home a kids menu as a keepsake. 

 

Club 33 guest book
Signing the guest book

 

As we headed out we visited the super fancy bathrooms that you aren’t allowed to take pictures in, grabbed a paper towel with the club’s logo on it, and snapped a few more pics on the stairs and in the Court of Angels. We spent a lot more time in the Court of Angels because we knew when we left, we wouldn’t get to go back inside. We found this darling little lantern that had Tinker Bell inside. It was so cute! I just love all the details Walt put into Disneyland. It really does add so much to the magic. Luckily, Friday the 13th didn’t strike again for the rest of the day.  Overall we had an incredible experience and we just loved it. It was so cool to be able to have this opportunity to do something that not many people get to do. I’m so grateful to the wonderful family that got us in. We LOVED our visit to Club 33!

 

Court of Angels
Court of Angels

 

Hamm on the staircase
My little Gentleman

 

Court of Angels
Cute little Hamm enjoying the Court of Angels

 

Beautiful Club 33 tile mosaic
Beautiful Club 33 tile mosaic

 

Hamm with Walt's animatronic vulture
Hamm with Walt’s animatronic vulture

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground (Our Recent Stay/Review)

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground (Our Recent Stay/Review)

  We were so stoked to stay at The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water playground during our last Disney trip. The “HoJo”  sits directly across from Disneyland Resort and the beautiful Matterhorn Mountain. The hotel sits on a 7 acre lot full of gardens […]