Why We’re Obsessed With Disney’s First Latina Princess: Elena Of Avalor

Giving young Disney fans the ability to see themselves in the media that they love is always a positive thing, and we’re thrilled that Disney has officially introduced their first Latina Princess; Princess Elena of Avalor.

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Image via Disney Chanel.

Inspired by diverse Latina culture, this 16-year-old princess is strong, resilient, bold and funny; embodying the sort of princesa that I’m happy to have my eight-year-old daughter look up too.  I had the chance to learn all about her at the Disney SMMC conference and how her strong traits are perfectly aligned with Disney’s new Dream Big Princess campaign.  With her own books, animated TV series, and doll; Princess Elena of Avalor will also hold court at Walt Disney World Resort this August and at Disneyland Resort this fall.  We’re thrilled for all the young Disney fans who will now be able to see themselves as relevant, important and special – through the creation of Princess Elena.  What a great addition to Disney’s multicultural line-up of heroines!  Find out more about why we love Princess Elena and all that she stands for over on MODE.
 

This post is sponsored by MODE.

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Where Dreams Come True: A Walt Disney World Vacation with Disney SMMC

If there was ever a time that I was desperate for uplifting news, it was the day that the invitation to the 2016 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration came in.  In-route to face the hardest days of my life, I had happy news to carry with me.

We had happy news to carry with us.

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Kids are natural joy-spreaders. This superpower is hardwired into the very core of their beings (without them even knowing).  Heading with my husband and super-excited children to the most magical place on earth, while clinging to their joy, was indeed enchantment personified.

“The greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children.” ~ Walt Disney

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We visited Disney as a family once prior, two and half years ago.  And this recent trip was certainly elevated by staying on Disney Resorts property for the first time.  As guests at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, we experienced the ways in which everything fits together so seamlessly while vacationing on Disney property.  From our Magical Express pickup to utilizing the intuitive MagicBand system, all while being in a short walking distance to Epcot, the magic carried through our charming stay at the resort.

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While I attended the #DisneySMMC conference, my husband had a day alone with the children at the Magic Kingdom.  Nearly every text that he sent me was wrapped in glowing superlatives and exclamation marks, which is definitely not his usual tone in communication!  He was thrilled to be off creating a cherished day with our littles – while I had an inside view of what’s to come to Disney.  From inspirational speakers, sensational performances and early looks into movies including “Finding Dory” and “Alice Through The Looking Glass” – my family was completely blown away by the #DisneySMMC experience and the intricate attention to detail that is synonymous with the Disney brand.  We’re excited to continue to share more stories with info gleaned from the conference, including the introduction of a new, resilient, and strong female character- Princess Elena of Avalor – Disney’s first Latina Princess.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Image via Disney’s Memory Maker gifted to conference attendees. 

During our stay, we hit up every park from morning till closing, and once again, Walt Disney World treated us in ways that we want to emulate. In a place of long lines and children pining for their turns on rides – every cast member we encountered was patient, kind and helpful; while making each child feel incredibly special.

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In just one week, we collected what felt like a lifetime of memories. I imagine that I’ll always remember the children’s wide-eyed wonderment as we stepped onto Main Street USA, where music plays, parades float by, and the scent of fresh cookies streams throughout the warm Florida sky.  Our long list of treasured moments is filled with riding my favorite whimsical ride (it’s a small world) as a family, holding hands through elaborate parades, thrilling rides, and spectacular fireworks. In a place where childhood dreams are built upon seeing Cinderella’s illuminated castle, meeting beloved characters and watching Tinkerbell fly through the night sky – we now understand why some families make Disney a repeat pilgrimage.

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The timing and circumstances surrounding our Disney vacation will forever carry tremendous meaning.  According to our five-year-old, this particular trip came to fruition because “Disney and heaven talk to each other.”

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Perhaps, he’s right.

A photo posted by Monica (@marinobambinos) on

Thank you to the Disney Social Media Moms team and Walt Disney world for having us at the year’s DisneySMMC. We are grateful to have been included.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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Spreading Happiness With a Disney Kids Preschool Playdate

Walt Disney World Resort’s and MomSelect selected us to host a Disney Kids Preschool Playdate and sent us a fun celebration kit. Thanks for reading!

Over the past few years, we’ve had a great catalyst to throw some pretty fun bashes – and we were so excited to join again in the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate fun, all thanks to the Happiest Place On Earth.  We’ll certainly welcome all the happy that we can get around here and bringing kids together with Disney-infused magic equals guaranteed joy!

Our fun morning began in our home with some simple snacks and fun!  Inside little cartons, I set up a table with carrots, raisins, mini cream cheese sandwiches on cinnamon raisin bread, dried seaweed (I promise kids love it!), cookies and clementines.  For a special (healthier) treat, we served chilled Nesquick in milk.  Fun Disney party supplies with additional pops of red pulled our party theme together.

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Before moving outside, we had a “make-a-goodie-bag” station bringing on Olympic level excitement. Disney Junior Lion Guard temporary tattoos and animal figurines from Disney’s Animal Kingdom were a big hit! The kids tucked their trinkets into GLAD sandwich zipper bags emblazoned with Disney Pixar’s Cars designs. Along with fun trinkets, the kids grabbed Sofia The First or Jake and The Neverland Pirates crowns, Lion Guard Posters, a Disney Parks preschool map, and a great Disney Junior bag to secure all the loot!

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With some balls packed into a Sofia The First themed suitcase from American Tourister, we moved the celebration to our local park. And after a few organized games and creative free play, we thoroughly shared our love for Disney with our equally excited little buddies!

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Special thank you to Walt Disney World Resorts and Mom Select for having us host. Visit www.disneyworld.com/preschool for great ideas on planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation with preschoolers. 

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The Full Spectrum of Emotions + Fandango Giveaway

As a kid, I remember the excitement of getting lost in a great book or movie.  The feeling of identifying with a character or storyline normalized some of the feelings I wasn’t always well-equipped to deal with throughout childhood. It’s thrilling to watch my children devour stories – and be of an age where we can experience quintessential fun family outings, like spontaneous trips to the movies together.

We couldn’t wait to see Inside Out which tells the personified story of emotions – joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust – all inside tween Riley’s head.  The story unfolds in the most magical Pixar way. Illuminated marbles represent core memories, moving through space and sleep and ultimately remind us that it’s OK for emotions like sadness to take control when necessary.

Image via Disney Pixar

Through Inside Out we see that memories and experiences that help define who we are, are not built on a strange dichotomy of happy or sad.  They are strung together by a full spectrum of emotions – like speckled marbles reflecting a complex kaleidoscope of colors.

We leave movies like this with tangible ways to discuss emotional intelligence with our children.  Striving our best to make room to allow our kids to explore and express how they feel in a safe and compassionate space.  Even when it manifests into Olympic-level “YOU’RE THE MEANEST MOMMY EVER!!!!” – we hope that we offer lessons (and examples) in venting our feelings in appropriate ways.  Aligned with what our children respond well too.

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In our home, we continue to find a helpful tool in creating art.  Fandango Family also offers so many other ways to discuss accessing our feelings via kid-appropriate Inside Out-inspired activities.  Please join in the discussion in the comments below.

WIN IT: Want to take your family to see Inside Out or other great Fandango Family movies? Fandango is generously giving away $200 in Fandango Gift Cards to one lucky winner! Enter via the rafflecopter below – US only please and entries are verified.  Best of luck and cheers to summer!

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fandango_family_logoAs a Fandango Family Ambassador – this is a sponsored post. Content and opinions, as always, are my own. 

 

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Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales

As soon as the characters hit the massive stage, at opening night of Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales, a chorus of children shouted for Micky Mouse. I watched little feet kicking with excitement in stadium chairs, and costume-clad arms raising up a sea of light up toys.  As special effects fired up the magical storybook – unfolding three classic fairy tails – the look on my children’s faces reminded me of why we adore Disney productions.

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I think it’s impossible to not notice the collective energy of kids entranced in Disney magic.  They dance and sing to familiar songs and cheer along with their favorite characters.  Before the performance, my big girl adorned herself in a tattered nightgown, with a vintage shawl, and a half-broken floral crown that I made her years ago. And when she looked in the mirror, ever so pleased with herself – I was reminded of everything that I hope to preserve.  Disney shows give us the chance to celebrate childhood – even without a trip to the park.  We all  leave feeling happy – and imagine that that these sorts of experiences will live on in our children’s earliest memories.

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In Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales, the time-honored tales of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella are told in ways that kept my 4 year-old-boy and 7 year-old-girl at the edges of their seats.  The audience is encouraged to participate, and the costumes, massive venue, and special effects make everything feel so grand and exciting.

If you’re thinking about a Disney Live or Disney On Ice Show for your family – we can’t encourage it enough.  We’re filled up with quintessential childhood magic every single time.  Look for tickets in your area here.

As brand ambassadors, my family received complimentary tickets.  Opinions, as always, are my own.

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Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales + Giveaway

Disney Magic is heading back to the Tri-State area – with performances of Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt, between March 26th – April 19th, 2015.

We love partnering with Disney Live and Disney On Ice because their enchanting productions provide unforgettable theatrical family experiences. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to make it through a performance with dry eyes as I see my own children light up with excitement.  This upcoming production has something for every Disney fan – with appearances from over 25 Disney characters.

Visitors will join Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy as they embark on an unexpected quest to find a magical storybook hidden in Mickey’s attic. As the four pals curiously turn the pages, they magically bring to life the timeless fairy tale adventures of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Featuring dynamic storytelling, time-honored songs, such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, Heigh Ho and Be Our Guest, stunning costumes and glittering special effects, audiences will be captivated by the humor, fun and adventure of these spellbinding stories performed live on stage.

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Win It!

We’ve partnered with Disney Live! to giveaway a family four-pack of tickets for opening night of Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 P.M. Please note that the ticket time and venue can not be changed, and winner must present photo idea to claim tickets the evening of the show.  Enter via the rafflecopter below and best of luck!

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For tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com or call (800) 745-3000.  For more information, go to www.feldentertainment.com/threeclassicfairytales  to learn more about Disney Live!, go to www.disneylive.com.

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