Saturday, December 31, 2011

Disney Has a Special "Secret" Announcement Tonight!!!

Disney Has a Special "Secret" Announcement Tonight!!!

Happy New Year From Disney!
One More Disney Day!

          The following is from

       Disney Parks Has a Rockin' New Year's Secret

          On December 31, 2011, tune in to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC or Univision Television Feliz 2012 hosted by Don Francisco live from Disneyland Park for a special announcement. Check your local listings for exact air times.

          Disney Parks will be celebrating like never before!

          WOW is all I can say!! I'll be watching to see what is said and I've even signed up to receive e-mail notices about the announcement! I want my friends and family to know about this so maybe they can come and enjoy the park with me.

          What will the announcement be? Speculation is Disney will be doing something like Give a Day Get a Day or some special free day offer associated with Leap Day, February 29th. It may be the parks will stay open 24 hours straight for Leap Day.

          In the past Disney has done free day for your Birthday and Give a Day Get a Day. Whatever they do it will be of great interest to Disney fans young and old! So make sure you tune in and find out what they are saying! If you can't get to the TV then check for information or check back here tomorrow for an update.

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's film Strip Friday! ~ The Fox and the Hound

It’s Film Strip Friday!

The Fox and the Hound

Release Date July 10th, 1981


          When a feisty little fox named Tod is adopted into a farm family, he quickly becomes friends with a fun and adorable hound puppy named Copper. Life is full of hilarious adventures until Copper is expected to take on his role as a hunting dog -- and the object of his search is his best friend!


          The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 animated feature loosely based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July 10, 1981. The 24th film in the Walt disney Animated Classics Series series, the film tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper, who struggle to preserve their friendship despite their emerging instincts and the surrounding social pressures demanding them to be adversaries.

          The film is directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich and features the voices of Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey, Pat Buttram, Sandy Duncan, Richard Bakalyn, Paul Winchell, Jack Albertson, Jeanette Nolan, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Keith Coogan and Corey Feldman. At the time of release it was the most expensive animated film produced to date, costing $12 million. A direct-to-video midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released to DVD on December 12, 2006.


          A young red fox is orphaned after his mother is shot and killed by a hunter. Big Mama (Pearl Bailey) the owl, along with her two friends Boomer (Paul Winchell) the woodpecker, and Dinky (Dick Bakalyn) the finch, arrange for him to be adopted by Widow Tweed (Jeanette Nolan), who names him Tod (Keith Mitchell). Meanwhile, her neighbor Amos Slade (Jack Albertson) brings home a young coonhound puppy named Copper (Corey Feldman), and introduces him to his old hunting dog Chief (Pat Buttram) to be his guardian. Though reluctant at first, Chief gradually warms up to Copper and accepts him as a son.

          One day, when Tod is unable to find someone to play with, he wanders off chasing a butterfly. At the same time, Copper starts smelling something strange, and wanders off sniffing until he encounters Tod as the source. After a brief introduction between the two, Tod and Copper become playmates and form a friendship to which they vow will last forever. But when Slade becomes frustrated with Copper's wandering, he puts him on a leash. Undetected, Tod decides to play with Copper at home, but wakes up Chief and Slade, who chase after him. Tweed intervenes, but Slade issues a firm warning that he will shoot Tod if he trespasses again. Hunting season soon comes and Slade takes his dogs into the wilderness for the interim. Meanwhile, Big Mama explains to Tod that his friendship with Copper cannot continue, as they were bred to be enemies, but he refuses to believe her.

          Months pass and Tod and Copper reach adulthood; Copper has become an experienced hunting dog, while Tod has grown into a handsome fox. On the night of Copper's return, Tod (Mickey Rooney) sneaks over to meet him. Copper (Kurt Russell) explains that while he still values him as a friend, things are different now. Chief awakens and alerts Slade, and another chase ensues. However, Copper, not wanting to see him killed, lets Tod go and then diverts Chief and Slade so he can escape. Unfortunately, Chief maintains his pursuit and chases Tod onto a railroad bridge, where Chief falls and is grievously injured. Enraged, Copper blames Tod for the accident and swears vengeance. Slade also blames Tod, leading Tweed to realize that her pet is no longer safe with her. She thus leaves him at a game preserve that prohibits hunting. However, this does not prevent Slade and Copper, who attempt to enter the game preserve and kill Tod.

          The next morning, Big Mama finds Tod and introduces him to a female fox named Vixey (Sandy Duncan), to whom he takes an immediate liking; the feeling becomes mutual, and she helps him adapt to life in the forest. Slade and Copper later break into the preserve and begin hunting Tod, and although the pair eventually find him and Vixey, their lengthy pursuit culminates in an attack from a bear. Slade trips and is caught in one of his own traps, dropping his gun just out of reach. Copper fights the bear and is soon overwhelmed, but before the bear can finish him, Tod quickly intervenes and continues to battle the bear until they both fall down a waterfall. The bear is killed, while Tod survives, but is worn to an inch of his life.

          Copper approaches Tod as he recovers, stunned by his heroism in spite of current events. Slade arrives and prepares to shoot him, but Copper immediately interposes his body over Tod, refusing to move. Touched by the act, Slade lowers his gun and leaves with Copper, but not before the two friends share one last smile. Back home, Tweed nurses Slade back to health while the dogs rest. Copper, before falling asleep, smiles as he remembers the day when he and Tod became best friends. On a distant cliff top, Vixey joins Tod as he looks down at the scene from afar.


·         Mickey Rooney as Tod

·         Kurt Russell as Copper

·         Jack Albertson as Amos Slade

·         Jeanette Nolan as Widow Tweed

·         Pat Buttram as Chief

·         Keith Mitchell as Young Tod

·         Corey Feldman as Young Copper

·         Pearl Bailey as Big Mama

·         Sandy Duncan as Vixey

·         Dick Bakalyan as Dinky

·         Paul Winchell as Boomer

·         John Fiedler as Porcupine

·         John McIntire as Grumpy Badger



          Daniel Mannix's novel The Fox and the Hound dealt with the quest of a hunter and his dog Copper to shoot Tod after he killed the hunter's new dog Chief. The novel was mainly about Tod's life in the woods. While he was raised by humans he was not childhood friends with Copper and none of the animals spoke. The story was changed to make it more suitable for a family film; instead of a story about the life and death of a fox, it became a parable about how society determines one's role despite his or her better impulses.

Design and animation

          Production of the film began in 1977. The film marked a turning point in the studio: Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men" did initial development of the animation, but by the end of production the younger set of Disney animators completed the production process. Wolfgang Reitherman was producer, and championed staying true to the novel, and Larry Clemmons was head of the story team. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston did much of the early development of the main characters. The newer generation of animators, such as Don Bluth, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, and John Musker, would finalize the animation and complete the film's production. These animators had moved through the in-house animation training program, and would all play an important role in the Disney Renaissance of the eighties and nineties.

          However, the transition between the old guard and the new resulting in arguments over how to handle the film. Reitherman has his own ideas on the designs and layouts that should be used, but the newer team backed Stevens. Animator Don Bluth declared Disney's work "stale" and walked out with eleven others to form his own studio. With 17% of the animators now gone, production on The Fox and the Hound was delayed. Bluth had animated Widow Tweed and her cow, Abigail, and his team worked on the rest of the sequence. The exodus of so many animators forced the cancellation of the film's original Christmas 1980 premiere while new artists were hired. Four years after production started the film was finished with approximately 360,000 drawings, 110,000 painted cels and 1,100 painted backgrounds making up the finished product. A total of 180 people, including 24 animators, worked on the film.


          In the original screenplay, Chief was slated to die the same as in the novel, but Stevens did not want to have an on-screen death and modified the film so that he would survive, just like Baloo in The Jungle Book, and Trusty in Lady and the Tramp.


Box office

          The Fox and the Hound opened in theaters on July 10, 1981. The film was considered a financial success. It was re-released to theaters on March 25, 1988.

Critical reception

          In The Animated Movie Guide, Jerry Beck considered the film "average", though he praises the voice work of Pearl Bailey as Big Momma, and the extreme dedication to detail shown by animator Glen Keane in crafting the fight scene between Copper, Tod, and the bear.  In The Disney Films, Leonard Maltin also notes that the fight scene between Copper, Tod, and the bear received great praise in the animation world. Maltin felt the film relied too much on "formula cuteness, formula comedy relief, and even formula characterizations". Overall, he considered the film "charming" stating that it is "warm, and brimming with personable characters" and that it "approaches the old Disney magic at times."

          Richard Corliss of Time Magazine, praised the film for an intelligent story about prejudice. He argued that the film shows that biased attitudes can poison even the deepest relationships, and the film's bittersweet ending delivers a powerful and important moral message to audiences.

          Roger Ebert of the Chicago Times also praised the film, saying that "for all of its familiar qualities, this movie marks something of a departure for the Disney studio, and its movement is in an interesting direction. The Fox and the Hound is one of those relatively rare Disney animated features that contains a useful lesson for its younger audiences. It's not just cute animals and frightening adventures and a happy ending; it's also a rather thoughtful meditation on how society determines our behavior."

          The film has a "fresh" 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 21 reviews with a 6.7 score, with a consensus that states, "The Fox and the Hound, is a likeable, charming, unassuming effort that manages to transcend its thin, predictable plot". Among users, the film scored 87% with a 7.1 rating.

Home video

          Its first home video release, on VHS format, came on March 4, 1994 as the last video of the "Walt Disneyy Classic" collection (it was not included in the "Masterpiece Collection"). On May 2, 2000, it was released to Region DVD for the first time under the "Walt disney Gold Classic Collection". A 25th anniversary special edition DVD, featuring a remastered version of the film and a disc of extras, was released on October 10, 2006.

          The Fox and the Hound was released on Blu-Ray on August 9, 2011 commemorating the movie's 30th anniversary. The film was released in a 3-Disc Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack alongside its direct-to video midquel The Fox and the Hound 2 in a 2-Movie Collection Edition. The film features a new digital restoration and new bonus material. A DVD only edition will also be available the same day. The film will be presented for the first time in 1.66:1 widescreen and will feature 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The sequel will be presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and will feature the same sound as the first film.

Awards and nominations

          The film gained a considerable following and it was awarded a Golden Screen Award at the Goldene Leinwand Awards in 1982. It was also nominated for a Young Artist Award and the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film.

Other media

          As well as adaptations of the film itself, comic strips featuring the characters also appeared in stories unconnected to the film. Examples include The Lost Fawn, in which Copper uses his sense of smell to help Tod find a fawn who has gone astray; The Chase, in which Copper has to safeguard a sleepwalking Chief; and Feathered Friends, in which the birds Dinky and Boomer have to go to desperate lengths to save one of Widow Tweed's chickens from a wolf.

          A comic adaptation of the film, drawn by Richard Moore, was published in newspapers as part of Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales. A comic-book titled The Fox and the Hound followed, with new adventures of the characters. Since 1981 and up to 2007, a few Fox and the Hound Disney comics stories were produced in Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, France and USA.


          A direct-to-video midquel midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released on December 12, 2006 The film takes place during Tod and Copper's youth, before the events of the later half of this film.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rumors Abound About Disney Wonder and Canceled Cruises to Mexico

Rumors Abound About Disney Wonder and Canceled Cruises to Mexico

            The Disney Cruise sent notices out to people that had booked cruises on the Wonder to the Mexican Riviera in December 2012. The notice stated that people who booked Mexican Riviera Cruses on the Disney Wonder for the dates Dec 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th will need to make other plans.

            Here are the three options Disney is giving guests booked to sail on these dates.

1.     Book on another 7 night Disney Cruise. For those scheduled on the Dec 9th and 16th cruises they will get a $250 on board credit for changing dates. For those on the more coveted Christmas cruise dates, Dec 23rd and 30th they will receive a $500 shipboard credit.

2.    Call and cancel the cruise for a full refund with no extra incentive.

3.    For those who do nothing they will automatically be rescheduled for the Dec 2nd cruise. They can change to another date later with no shipboard credit given for the change.

            Guests will be charged or refunded the difference between the cruise they had booked and the cruise they end up on.

            In my opinion it behooves you to make the change quickly! This way you can still book a cruise on a date you wish and you will get the shipboard credit for your troubles.

            No reason has been given for the changes but several message boards are buzzing with thoughts. The reason can be anything from the Magic going out of service for refurbishment before the 2013 schedule to Disney leaving the Mexican cruise market altogether and returning the Wonder to the East Coast. It may be that the Magic is being refitted for going to Hawaii. Whatever the reason if you are booked for those dates you need to deal with it quickly.

            Here are my thoughts. I'd like to see the Wonder stay on the West Coast but alter direction and sail North instead of South. I'd like to see the Wonder hit San Francisco or San Diego, Oregon and Washington maybe going into Canada instead of going to Mexico. I feel more people would book going in that direction because of the increasing danger associated with travel to Mexico. Many other cruise lines have left Mexico due to the dangers. Holland America is one of the more recent ones to pull out of Mexico until the violence calms down. People will think more than twice about taking young children into an area that is considered as unsafe as Mexico. They could also do more of the very popular Los Angeles to Hawaii two week cruises. When DCL offered its first Hawaiian cruise from Los Angeles it was book full in four days! It was so popular they scheduled another one shortly after that. It also filled up quickly.

            I was on the Wonder in the Mexican Riviera in March of this year. In our first port there was Mexican Army dressed in full battle gear guarding the port! They had fully loaded AK47s at the ready! This made us, and many other guests reconsider getting off the ship. We chose not to leave the port and in fact returned to the ship quickly. Our stop at Mazatlan was canceled all together due to safety concerns before we sailed. Cabo was beautiful and had Mexican Navy personal stationed all over. They were in full dress uniforms instead of battle gear and had their side arms holstered. We felt safe enough in the port but once again did not leave the port area. We enjoyed a quiet day on the ship enjoying all the amenities a Disney Cruise ship offers. We did not take our teenage daughter with us this trip and we were glad of that. I would really think hard and long about taking a child of any age to Mexico at this time. More drug related violence is happening around and in what in the past were considered the safe zones of tourist areas. Since our cruise a drug cartel homemade sub was found off the shore of Cabo making that once thought untouchable spot suspect for more danger.

            I love the idea of a Disney Cruise ship in the Hawaiian Islands! I think it fits perfectly with the new Aulani, in Kapolei, Hawaii. People could do a land/sea package and stay at the resort before or after an Island Hopping cruise. The resort also would give the cruise line a possible private beach to let the cruisers play at. It could be the Hawaiian equivalent of Castaway Cay.

            Once the Fantasy is in service in just a few months I'd love to see the Magic in Hawaii, the Wonder stay on the West Coast doing West Coast US cruises into Canada and Alaska. At this time I know the plan is to keep the Dream and Fantasy in Port Canaveral, Florida doing Bahamian, Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. The reason I'm sure the Dream and her sister ship the Fantasy will be staying on the East Coast is the fact neither ship can fit through the Panama Cannel at this time.

            So hang tight West Coast Disney Cruise Line fans!! Keep your ears open for more information on the happenings with the DCL.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Every Princess has a Prince! Sleeping Beauty's Prince Phillip (Bill Shirley)

Every Disney Princes has a Prince!

Sleeping Beauty's Prince Phillip (Bill Shirley)

July 6th, 1921 – August 27th, 1989

Bill Shirley (July 6, 1921 - August 27, 1989) was an American actor, perhaps most famous for voicing Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty in 1959. Another famous voice role of his was an uncredited role as the singing voice of Freddy Einsford-Hill (played by Jeremy Brett) in My Fair Lady. He appeared in many films before he retired from acting in 1963. He died in 1989 at the age of sixty eight in Los Angeles, California of lung cancer and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and attended Shortridge High School.


·         Rookies on Parade (1941)

·         Ice-Capades (1941)

·         Doctors Don't Tell (1941)

·         Sailors on Leave (1941)

·         Hi, Neighbor (1942)

·         Flying Tigers (1942)

·         Ice-Capades Review (1942)

·         Three Little Sisters (1944)

·         Dancing in the Dark (1949)

·         I Dream of Jeanie (1952)

·         Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)

·         Sweethearts on Parade (1953)

·         Sleeping Beauty (1959)

·         My Fair Lady (1964)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WALT Disney Pictures, What's In a Name??

WALT Disney Pictures What's In a Name??
          Over the last month or so there has been a lot of talk about Walt Disney Pictures dropping Walt from the name of the company. So Walt's name has been dropped from the company logo and replaced with Disney Pictures. Is this a big deal or not?
          My gut reaction to the change is disappointment and sadness. I believe that taking Walt's name away from the name of the company will allow the company to distance itself from the family values Walt Disney instilled in the company. Does the removal of his name from the name of the company allow the company to move further away from wholesome family entertainment? It is possible.
          It is also a piece of history being lost for good. The next generation will lose out on knowing about a fantastic man who gave our country and the world so much. It is a part of my childhood going away.
          This is the reason given for the change by the Disney Company. With the new distribution formats available for movies being released for home viewing the company wanted to make the logo fit into the smaller screens that people are watching them on. They want the name of the company clear in the logo.
          Over the years, since Walt's death the company has moved away from his vision for family friendly entertainment. That is what he wanted his name to be known as. Yes, he would have loved to make movies like Hitchcock but he made a choice to keep his movies Family Friendly. New divisions of the movie side of the business were made to give Disney the option to make more "adult" films. Keeping Walt's name as part of the company name will remind the current and future company leaders to stay true to the founders goals of the Best in Family Entertainment.
          In my opinion Disney need not drop Walt's name from the Pictures division of the company. They could easily leave Walt in the name and the logo itself would tell people what movie company made the movie. The castle logo is so clearly Walt Disney Pictures you don't even need the name. The company needs to remember the company started with a Mouse . . . and the dream of a Man.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After Christmas

The Day After Christmas

It's the day after Christmas and all through the house

the presents are opened the paper is trounced.

The tree it is tipping the needles have fallen.

The lights are a drooping and some are not glowing.

So what do we do, those that don't want to drop?

How to keep Christmas going just don't let it stop?

Head to Disneyland or Disney World!

Yes you heard me right!! Disney will keep the decorations up and fresh looking until the first weekend in January!! At Disneyland this year the date is January 9th. So if you missed having a Disney Christmas there are still a couple of weeks to enjoy the combination of Disney and Christmas Magic.

The Christmas music will still be playing over the speakers. The shows that have a Christmas theme during the holiday will keep the Christmas theme. The rides that have been given a Christmas Overlay will keep the overlay until the first weekend of January. The Christmas parade and fireworks will still be on the schedule for you to enjoy.

The biggest benefit of going to Disney after Christmas is the reduced crowds! The crowds are lighter the week between Christmas Day and December 30th. Again from January 2nd through the day the decorations come down is quieter.

Even Santa hangs around at Disneyland after Christmas!! He changes his clothes from his standard red with white trim to a green Christmas plaid. His reindeer are still there relaxing after their annual trip around the world.

So if you missed going to see the Holiday décor and enjoying a special Christmas memory at Disneyland don't worry. There is still time! If you chose not to go because you hate crowds there will be fewer people there now. Now is the perfect time to go see the park in its holiday glory!

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!
You can find for all formats at
And for the Nook at
It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone
It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Today's blog will have no Disney fact or thought.

For unto us a child is given unto us a Savior is born. . . And thus Christmas began about 2,000 years ago.

I hope that today of all days you will understand and indulge me for a few moments. Let me share a bit of my faith and why I believe of all days of the year this is one of my favorites. I'm sharing my faith and not demanding that you believe as I do. Christ never demands you believe and therefore neither will I.

Is today the birthday of Jesus Christ? No, I do not believe so. I do not believe the shepherds would be out taking care of their sheep outside during the weather that area of the world has this time of year. There are many other reasons I don't think Christ was born on December 25th. Does it matter that this is most likely not the "real" date Jesus was born? NO, it does not matter. What does matter is we stop and remember Him and celebrate the greatest gift given to all mankind.

Yes I'm saying I believe that Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and rose again as the Bible says. I believe that what is said in the Bible has too much historical fact to be called fiction. There are many things outside of the Bible that prove the stories told in the Bible are true.

What is the gift I think Jesus/God gave? His gift is Himself, His love, His acceptance of you no matter who you are, where you are from or what you have done. All you have to do is accept His gift. He wants relationship with you not religion. He does not treasure religiosity or pew warmers. God wants you not a church goer. He offers His friendship freely and gives each of us the choice to accept or reject Him.

I believe that only relationship with Jesus Christ, God come to earth in human form is what grants eternal salvation. Does that mean I despise or hate people that believe differently than I do, HEAVEN FORBID!! I disagree with their choice of worship but do not hate. We can disagree and still be friends and still respect each other. I can wish my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah or my Muslim friends a blessing at Ramadan. I can respect your beliefs and understand that each of us must make the choice of how to worship or not for ourselves. Faith is very personal. Relationship with God or a higher power is your decision and not to be forced upon anyone by another person. That said there is joy in sharing and much to be learned by listening to others share a differing faith. We can accept people even if we do not accept their religious beliefs. I will stand with people of a differing faith and defend their right to believe and worship as they do.

So today I wish you a Merry Christmas, not Happy Holiday. Please accept it in the spirit given and translate it to Happy Hanukkah if you are Jewish or Happy Kwanzaa if you wish. I mean no offense it is just me wishing you a happy celebration at this festive time of year. I wish you all blessed and may the New Year be full of joy and peace. I also wish my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah as they celebrate the festival of lights and to those who celebrate it, Happy Kwanzaa. If I've missed a holiday that is significant to you at this time please forgive my mistake and possible ignorance and know I wish you the best.

Prayers & Pixie Dust

The Pranking Pixie

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!
You can find for all formats at
And for the Nook at
It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone
It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Day at Disneyland

Christmas Day at Disneyland

You plan and dream of Christmas Day at Disneyland! What could be more special?!?! Right?!?! It is special but there are things you need to be aware of.

On the positive side there is no place so well decorated and immersed in the Christmas spirit as Disneyland. There is Christmas music being played all throughout the park, both live and recorded. There is a fantastic Christmas Parade and just a wonderful place for family fun.

On the negative side there are the crowds. The crowds are heaver on Christmas Day than they are during the summer. The lines are long for everything including the bathroom. If you want to see the parade make sure you get there early or you will be hard pressed to see it. If you want to see the fireworks from in front of the castle (the best view in my opinion) you will need to sit down no later than 3 in the afternoon for the 9:30 fireworks. Even then you may not be the first sitting down waiting for the fireworks! This is especially true if you have young children or are a little person, like me!

Don't let the negative comments about the crowds keep you from going if that is where you wish to go! As long as you keep the "Christmas Spirit" and understand before going that you will be in the crowds you can enjoy. Don't become so set on goals you ruin the day if you don't get to something. Have realistic expectations for the day and you will be fine.

My suggestion is let each person in your group pick one special must do item. Then have them pick a second. Do what you can to get to everybody's first choice then see how many of the second choices you can get to. Remember the goal is to spend time together as a family celebrating Christmas and not going for a record ride count.

Make reservations for meals at the sit down restaurants and pick off hours times for it. Here is the number to make dinning reservations at Disneyland (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463. At all times of year reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. Eat lunch before 11am or after 1pm. Dinner should be early as well or plan on eating outside the park on the way home. Snack to get through the evening. It helps if you bring your, drinks, snacks and/or maybe one meal with you. It helps save money and keeps you out some of the long lines.

If your must do is the Fireworks or Fantasmic sit down early and take turns taking the kids on rides or walking around. It only takes one person to hold your spots. You can bring back food and eat dinner where you are planning to stay for the fireworks or Fantasmic. Another way to make sure you see the fireworks or Fantasmic without having to sit there for hours is purchase a dining plan with VIP seating. You can show up an hour or so before the show and get a decent seat in the VIP area. Even later there will be some good seats in the VIP area.

If you will be at DCA it will be less crowded but there will be a crowd. World of Color will be packed so make sure you make plans to get a ticket to view it early in the day or purchase one of the three dining plans. The dining plans range in price from $16 to $45 or so.

One thing you can do crowds or no crowds is enjoy the decorations. Just walk around and look at the beauty! After dark make sure you take the time to see the lights!

From mid November to the first weekend in January Santa is there to talk to the kids and take pictures. Until Christmas Eve Santa is in his traditional red suit. He is in his So. Calif. home at Santa's Reindeer Roundup. Christmas Day and after Santa is in a green plaid suit and you can still take the kids to see him. It is nice to take them there to say "thank you" for the gifts they got.

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!

You can find for all formats at

And for the Nook at

It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone

It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon