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Disney On Ice Finale

Disney On Ice Delivers Again!

Let’s face it, having children can get pretty expensive, which means that we have to choose our activities and events wisely. After attending Disney on Ice’s “100 Years of Magic” event at the Canadian Tire Centre last night, I can say with complete certainty that it is worth the price of admission for my family. It sounds cliche to praise Disney but between the light displays and the non stop action in their stories, they really know how to put on an amazing show that a whole family can enjoy.

From my son screaming, “Stitch, Stitch!!!”, in my ear, to my daughter’s excited squeals at seeing all of her favourite princesses, there was never a dull moment for the entire two hours of the show. Admittedly, I spent more time watching the wonder in my children’s eyes than I did the show, but seeing their joy alone was completely worth it. On the adult front, my wife and I both agreed that the production of Mulan’s story completely stole the show and had me drawn in as if I were watching a Broadway play. It’s really tough to explain how good the quality of the production is without you watching it yourself but I promise you that you will be amazed.

One of the other cool things about these shows is that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a few of the cast members and have come to find out that they are all fascinating people in their own unique ways. You may remember a few weeks ago, I interviewed cast member, Matthew McLean, and this week I had the chance to chat with Kirstie Nelson, who also taught me how to do the ever popular, “Twizzle”, of Olympic fame. Kirstie’s bio blew me away by how diverse she is and because we had major audio issues with the audio during filming, I just wanted to point out a few of her many talents. She is a surfer, hair stylist, figure skating champion, yoga instructor, who also happened to graduate University with a degree in chemical engineering. Yes, I felt like an incredibly lazy human being after reading all of that. Anyway, I have attached our interview below and even though you may not be able to hear the whole thing, you can always skip to the end to watch my incredible Twizzles!!!

Thanks to Feld Entertainment and Canadian Tire Centre for facilitating the interview and I offer my sincere apologies for the technical issues with our sound. On the bright side, guess who just purchased a bunch of new sound equipment… Also, the Ottawa show runs until Sunday Feb 23rd, so there’s still time to see the show! You can buy tickets RIGHT HERE!

Disney on Ice cast

Mickey Mouse Disney Hugs

18 More Sleeps

“18 more sleeps until Disney!”, the kids shouted with glee. That’s how early the countdown began. That’s how soon the magic starts to flow through your veins. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling it too, even though I worked hard at containing my excitement. At 35 years old, 18 days of uncontrolled excitement can cause burnout.

The trip didn’t get off to the magical start we had anticipated but a stranger on a plane helped restore our faith that all would be fine. Upon landing in Disney, because explaining the difference between Disney and Florida to a three year old is almost impossible, the kids loaded up on pixie dust while the grown ups focused on grown up things. Magical bags needed to be collected from the magical conveyor belt and children needed to be reigned in so they wouldn’t fly away in the busy airport.

The planning for this trip had been meticulously drawn out by the missus, down to the very last ride. Rain, however, was not on the agenda. In any other place on earth, rain would be a deal breaker. But not at Disney World. Not on this trip. Our smiles were as bright as ever as we crossed through the gates and into paradise, ponchos and all. The kids gripped their autograph books tight as the first character, Jake the Pirate, approached our breakfast table. Overwhelmed with excitement, my normally reserved young boy leaped from his seat and hugged Jake as tightly as he had ever hugged one of us. That was the magic of Disney.

There were many more hugs and smiles throughout the weekend. Some for us, but the most enthusiastic ones reserved for the characters they have grown up watching, which was more than fine by me. The magic was there for me too, just in a different place. Instead of the exhilaration of meeting the characters, my joy came in the form of watching the excitement on my children’s faces as they discovered a world they had only dreamed about. They were my Disney and I cherished every excited squeal they belted out.

There were more magical moments than I could count, from tears during Fantasmic to our emotional meeting with Mickey Mouse. The one that stands out to me, though, is when my three year old daughter snuggled up to me on our last day and said, “I love you more than Disney”. Impossible, but I’ll take it.

Buzz Woody

My Day With The Cast Of Disney On Ice

Disney on Ice2

When I pitched the idea of me skating with the cast of Disney on Ice, I was only half joking. In my mind, there was no way they were going to take time out of their busy touring schedule to let me do this. As it turns out, the joke was on me when they gladly accepted my offer.

So, after a rigorous hunt for a videographer, I set out to Scotiabank Place at 6am on a Friday morning and had my opportunity in the Disney on Ice spotlight. After attending the amazing show with my family the night before, I was more nervous than I had been in a long time. Even as I left the arena that day, I still hadn’t processed how awesome the experience was. That was, until I saw the video that Algonquin College student and life saver, Troy Baker, had put together for me.

This was my first experience with live interviewing someone and also with creating my own video and I’m proud as heck at how everything turned out. I want to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone at Scotiabank Place and Feld Entertainment for helping facilitate my request. I also want to thank Whitney Thomas and the rest of the cast from Disney on Ice for being so friendly and welcoming, even though I made them wake up very early to watch me humiliate myself. Finally, thanks to Troy Baker for stepping in and shooting and editing all the footage, you saved the day, man! I realize that life changing sounds like an exaggeration but that’s exactly what it was in a lot of ways and I am very grateful to have had the experience.

Without further ado, here is a quick recap video of my day with the cast of Disney on Ice. The show was amazing as well and I highly recommend checking it out! Enjoy!

Potty Training Success with the Pull-Ups Big Kid App!

Pull Ups Big Kid App

I was surprised to get a call from the folks at Huggies the other day, asking if I wanted to work on their newest promotion with them. There has been a little bit of friction between Huggies and Dads over the last year, so it was nice to have a chat with them and to hear that they are committed to showing Dads as the caring parents that most of us are.

Their newest product, called The Pull-Ups Big Kid App, has come along at the perfect time in our house. My daughter is in her Pull-Up years right now and is slowly making her way towards potty independence! Something else she has taken a liking to are princesses. When I say, “taken a liking to”, I am being extremely generous as she loves all things princess related.

That’s why the new app is such a huge hit in our house. Once I told my daughter that Rapunzel would be visiting upon her next successful trip to the potty, she lit up with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell us that she had to go. I thought the Pez method worked well but the Pull-Ups Big Kid app has made potty training fun and exciting for all of us. I would love to explain exactly how everything works but this Pull-Ups video does a way better job than I could do!

About the Pull-Ups Big Kid App

* The Pull-Ups Big Kid App (available for Android and iOS devices) is the perfect tool for today’s highly mobile life – offering a wealth of content to enhance the potty training experience.

* Special identifying markers inside packages of Pull-Ups Training Pants can be scanned with the Pull-Ups Big Kid App to activate the interactive Pull-Ups Big Kid 3D Celebration, where Disney characters including Rapunzel and Mickey come to life.

* Fun games featuring Disney characters that are unlocked through stars collected as the child makes potty training progress.

* Calls from kids’ favourite Disney characters help surprise and motivate toddlers to use the potty and keep trying.

* Customizable potty timer to help parents remind their child when it’s time to go take a potty breaks.

The Pull-Ups Big Kid App is available as a free download via the Apple iTunes App store and Google Play for Android. To learn more, visit pull-ups.com.

Who Wants To Win Their Very Own Fathead? {Giveaway}{CAN/US}

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One of the coolest things about blogging is that I get a platform to share some of my favourite things with my readers. Today will be no different as I am teaming up with one of my favourite companies and a recent contributor to my Movember campaign, Fathead, to bring you an awesome giveaway!

Don’t know what a Fathead is? Have no fear, as you’ll be begging me for one of these by the end of this post! I have been a fan of Fathead ever since I received my first one, a Miami Dolphins helmet, back in 2008. I’d show you a picture of me hugging it but it got wrecked in the infamous move of 2010…Totally my fault too, they are actually very durable. Here’s what it looked like when I got it though.

Miami Dolphins Helmet

What started out with just a couple sports logos and life size player images has turned into hundreds of different genres of Fatheads. There are Fatheads for the sports junkie, Star Wars fan, dinosaur lover and even the Disney princess aficionado! The best part is that you just peel and stick them to your wall. I do recommend that you use two people for this process though, as some of them are trickier than others. Check out how happy my children were to get their very own Mickey & Minnie Fathead’s this Christmas!

Mickey Minnie Fathead

On to the giveaway! Fathead is graciously allowing me to giveaway one of their amazing products (up to a $100 value) to one of my readers. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the USA and will close at 11:59pm on January 20th.

To enter, all you need to do is visit the Fathead website and tell me which Fathead you would like to win.

Good Luck!

About Fathead LLC

Fathead LLC is the industry leader of graphics products for large & small spaces – led by authentic, officially licensed sports & entertainment graphics. Fathead gives fans the opportunity to feel passion For Real by bringing their favorite inspiration to life. Fathead wall graphics include the signature line, REAL.BIG. – life-size, high definition wall graphics of athletes, stadiums, logos and fan favorite entertainment characters. The art and décor line features murals of classic & modern artists while custom Fatheads, available in vinyl or gallery wrapped canvas, put the customer in charge. For the space constrained, Fathead’s product line also includes Big Heads, Street Grips, Fathead Juniors, Teammates and Tradeables. Fathead Business Solutions provides unique signage and décor alternatives for companies and universities. With in-house design capabilities, Fathead customizes and installs interior and exterior graphics with expertise across a variety of materials – from removable vinyl to aluminum and acrylic. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Fathead manufactures all products in the USA and Canada for purchase worldwide. Fathead carries thousands of images and maintains over 500 license agreements with leading consumer brands across many industries and professional sports leagues. For more information, visit www.Fathead.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Fathead. FOR REAL.™

My Disney On Ice Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From my childhood, I seem to remember Disney On Ice as being Mickey and his crew skating around for half an hour, with no clear objective and random Disney tunes playing in the background. How times have changed. Then again, I sometimes also forget what I had for lunch the previous day and I lose my car keys at least twice a week so my childhood memory could be skewed.

Of course, I have no concept of dollar value from 25 years ago, so whether it was worth my parents hard earned money or not, I have no idea. What I do understand is today’s dollar value and I’m here to break down what I saw last night.

Let’s start from the top. There were 4 of us going to the show with children under 2 being free. That’s great until you realize that it means no 4th seat for coats/bags/etc. Don’t under estimate the importance of the extra seat. We didn’t pay for the extra seat and here’s the breakdown on why.

- 3 Tickets @ $15 each, we got them through one of those Groupon type sites so it wasn’t a bad deal until you get hit with the fees associated to the tickets. What should have been $45 quickly turned into $70. FAIL.

- Parking for packed hockey games is $12, Parking for 1/4 Disney on Ice event is $12, FAIL.

- 1 Tinkerbell doll – $24; 1 set of Incredibles’ figurines – $30 ( The figurine set was actually reasonably priced so props to that). The doll is a FAIL though, lol.

- 2 Hot Dogs, 1 Poutine, 1 Pizza Slice, Small Drink – $26. Parent FAIL for giving the kids Hot Dogs I guess.

That was it for the spending, the entire evening came out to about $165 for the 4 of us, which I guess isn’t the worst. Plus we could have had dinner at home before hand but I worked until about 10 minutes before we had to leave. Plus, the toys were technically the kids Valentine’s Day presents, as were the tickets I guess, spoiled much?

On to the show! We had some great seats, thanks to my beautiful wife. We were about 5 rows up from the ice, right in the center and on the aisle, which I find to be a huge deal with little kids. The show started at 7pm, so I expected to be driving home by about 8:15pm…wrong!

I’m not going to breakdown the whole show, just the highlights as I noticed them. For the most part, men are less interested in things like figure skating and Disney princesses than they are with hockey and heist movies (my favorite). This event was no exception for me.

For me, events like this provide me with two joys. The first is watching the excitement on my own kids faces when they get to see all their favorite characters up close. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing my kids happy and Disney On Ice does the job well.

The second thing I get to do during these outings is people watch. Don’t pretend you don’t do it, we all do it to varying degrees. My degree happens to be a high one as this is one of my favorite pastimes and Disney On Ice does not disappoint!

Within seconds of sitting down, an older usher asks my wife this question about my daughter, “She’s cute, are you still nursing her?”, WHAT?! He then went on to explain that they had a specific section set aside for nursing mothers. My wife politely declined and he went on his way. Here’s some thoughts on this interaction.

First, I actually thought he meant that they had a day care on site to watch young kids during the show, this is because I am a man and couldn’t imagine ever asking a woman if she was still breastfeeding and honestly, I couldn’t care less if she was. My second reaction was, did his employer put him up to asking every mother with a younger looking child if they are still breastfeeding so they could use the magical Disney Breastfeeding Center in section 203? If so, I now feel for the usher because that’s way worse than your wife asking you to buy her feminine products.

We were lucky enough to have a couple Disney characters sitting right in our row too, which was nice. Remember Skippy from Family Ties? He was sitting right next to me and was more into the show than any kid I saw the whole time we were there. The downside to this fellow is that he was 9 feet tall and was seriously encroaching onto my side of the seating plan. I let it go for the sake of my children but I could have taken him if I wanted to, lol.

We also had this woman in our row. I`m not really sure if she was with anyone but she had the huge fur coat and was really into staring at random people for no good reason. I gave her a pass when I realized that I was doing the exact same thing, minus the fur coat and with a little more tact. I kept waiting for Dalmatians to come running from under her seat but it never happened. I guess Cruella De Vil wasn’t a part of the show.

As for the actual show, not much to report. My son has the same face at every single event we’ve ever gone to. It’s a face that has me constantly him if he is enjoying himself because it’s impossible to read. Need some examples? Here’s some live action shots from The Wiggles, Backyardigans and Disney on Ice from last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, that’s my boy!

As for Julia, she couldn’t have been created any more opposite from her brother. I honestly thought we were going to have to take her to CHEO when Minnie Mouse (her favorite) finally came out. She started shaking uncontrollably and pointing to the ice yelling “Mouse, mouse, mouse!!!!!”, to the point where she started crying and scaring her parents. Here’s what her Disney experience looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

My Mom used to tell me that I would do they shaking/crying thing when Ernie and Bert would come on TV and I always called her a liar and said I would never do that. I guess I owe an apology now because I have passed this trait on to my daughter…

The rest of the night went about according to plan, except for the length of the show. Every time I thought it was ending, a new princess would come flying out, ruining my aspirations for a good night’s sleep.

At the very end, all the characters came out for one final number. The only problem I had with this is that we had bought my son a set of Incredibles figures to remember the trip (read:keep him happy) and while the Incredibles had opened the show, they didn’t come out at the end?! Here he was holding up his guys for all to see but his heroes were a no show. Instead, we got to see characters that weren’t in the show in the first place – Yeah, I’m talking to you Mulan!

Overall, expensive but great family night out and we even got a treat on the way home as my son and I had this memorable conversation.

Did you take your kids to Disney On Ice? Let me know in the comments section how you enjoyed your experience?

Cheers!!