Friday, January 31, 2014

February 2014 Calendar

Hi Friends!  Here's my February 2014 printable calendar!  

Here's the link to download the February 2014 PDF version of the printable.

I know the monthly calendar is always a popular post!  I'm glad that you guys all love it! Feel free to share the link to this post on Pinterest or Facebook so your friends and family can have a fun Mickey and Minnie calendar too!

Enjoy!   °o°

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fun Find: Disney Medley & Disney Classics CD

Hey Everyone!  Here I am trying to get caught up with those 2014 goals.  I've been pretty busy today, and I didn't have time to finish a tutorial.  I thought that I'd post another fun find tonight instead!

I stumbled across this video back in October when it was released to promote the new Disney Classics boxed CD set.  I love Disney music, so I had to check this video out!  I absolutely loved this medley of songs.  It includes songs from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas!  Check it out!

Alex G & Peter Hollens have great voices.  I also love how they changed outfits and scenery for each of the different songs.  I think my favorite part is when they're singing in the bubbles during "Under the Sea."  It's had over 3.5 million views on Youtube, so I'd say that a lot of other people like the video and song as well!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog
The song is included on the boxed CD set.  If you really love it, you can also purchase it individually on iTunes.  I haven't yet... I'm still holding out to buy the whole set.  I love me some Disney Park music and I'm also dying to get my hands on the Darkwing Duck theme song!  I was so excited- I even commented on the Disney Parks blog post about it!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog
The CD set is separated into four CDs: Modern Classics, Timeless Classics, Theme Park Classics, and Television Classics!  I already have a ton of the Disney Theme Park CDs.  What I love about it is that it has a lot of music I don't have!  With 94 tracks included in the set, there's definitely something there for every Disney fan!

I guess you guys lucked out tonight!  This is kind of a two-for-one fun find special:  

Enjoy!!!   °o°

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Goal Update- January

Hey Everyone!  I'm back from my wisdom teeth hiatus!  I had two teeth removed on Friday and then went home to my parents' house for a long weekend.  Thankfully, I wasn't in too much pain, and it was more of a relaxing weekend away.  It was a nice break from my everyday life, but now I'm ready to dive back in!

While I was home, I had a chance to work on a few ideas for my blog.  Since January is almost over, one thing that I wanted to do was to see how I'm doing on my 14 Goals for 2014!  As you know, I decided to make some specific Blog and Disney Goals for 2014!

I've decided the best way to make sure I accomplish my goals is to review where I'm at each month.  2014 is my year of making things happen!!!  For those of you who don't remember what my goals were, here's the short version of the list:

Melissa's 14 Blog and Disney Goals for 2014
1.)  Go to Walt Disney World
2.)  Participate in the WDW Half Marathon
3.)  Make Disney D├ęcor for the Holidays
4.)  Do at Least One Tutorial Each Month
5.)  Design an Imagineering Project
6.)  Write 150 Blog Entries for the Year
7.)  Have a Few Friends as Guest Bloggers
8.)  Have a Disney Themed Party
9.)  Blog About One Fun Find a Month
10.)  Take an Online Storyboard Class
11.)  Make Disney Accessories
12.)  Paint Disney Wedding Art for our Dining Room
13.)  Finish Our Mickey and Minnie Bathroom
14.)  Make Disney Sweets

So, how am I doing so far?

Well, I knew #1 and #2 would be easy to check off!  As you know, we just returned from our trip to Walt Disney World.  And I did participate in the WDW Half Marathon!  I didn't finish it, but I gave it my best shot!

I also wanted to try to post one tutorial a month.  I have a few tutorials that I started before our trip, but I never got around to finishing them!  Therefore, I still have to work on that for this month.  (And at this point, I might do two for February instead!)  I'm hoping to do something for Valentine's Day soon, so that will help!

I wanted to have 150 posts this year.  In order to have 150 entries, I need to post about 12-13 a month.  I've already done 17 so far in January, so I'm still on target for that goal!

Guest bloggers... I still need to work on getting some guest bloggers.  I might have my brother or Eliot do a post about completing the Half Marathon.  Or, if they don't feel like writing, maybe I can interview them.  Eliot and I also have friends going to Disneyland in March.  I have plenty of options.  (Stay tuned for some emails Disney friends!)

I really wanted to host a Disney themed party.  Right now, I'm pretty excited about Frozen, so I might have to go with that.  I've already started pinning Frozen party ideas on Pinterest like a crazy person!  However, I've wanted to have a Pirates party for such a long time.  Maybe I'll just get super ambitious and throw a few parties this year? (Sounds like a lot more fun too!)

I wanted to do one "fun find" a month about Etsy shops or other things that I'd found online about Disney.  I need to do that for January too.  Argh, I feel so behind already. That's ok though, I've got an idea for this month's post!  So stay tuned for that!

Making Disney accessories was a big goal this year!  I'm already on a roll with my Elsa and Anna ear hats!  Happily Ever Hatter is well on it's way to opening day!  (This Friday- if all goes as planned!)  And I have so many more ideas it's not even funny.  (My iPhone Notes app hates me, seriously.  I have hundreds of lists on it.  There are even lists for some of the lists.  And emails... lots of emails...)

I also wanted to paint some Disney wedding art for our dining room.  We looked at the Art of Disney stores in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios AND Downtown Disney and now I'm more motivated than ever!  I might not even stop with the wedding theme.  Now I want to paint and craft and glue and go crazy with all sorts of mediums! Thank goodness our house still has plenty of blank walls.  I might eventually need another Etsy store to sell paintings...

Which brings me to the last thing that I'm currently working on: finishing our Mickey and Minnie bathroom!  I got a few more ideas for it while we were at Walt Disney World.  (Art, art and more art!!!)  I'm also getting the measurements for the curtains ready.  I showed my Nana the design that I had in mind and she's going to help me make them!  While I was home, she and I also started to set up my new sewing machine!  I've never used one before, but hopefully I'll learn how to use it so I can make stuff with it!  (Again, there are lots of lists- and Pinterest pins.)

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about my goals so far!  I'm a little bit behind on a few of the things that I wanted to do monthly, but it's only January.  Plus, I won't have a week of vacation to Disney to recap and wisdom teeth operations in the upcoming months. (Although, I'd gladly go to Disney and write trip recaps over and over again if it meant I could keep going.)  

2014 feels like the year that I'm going to accomplish a lot of the things I set out to do!  °o°

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quick Hello!

Hey Guys!

I wanted to stop by and say hello really quick!  I had one of my wisdom teeth out yesterday so I've had to take a little break from blogging!

Here's my half drugged up post-op selfie!
I'm feeling really good considering it's only been about 36 hours since the procedure.  I haven't had too much pain but I've been trying to rest and relax anyways.

I'm planning to get back to blogging soon... hopefully tomorrow?  I've already got a bunch of posts lined up!  In the meantime, I'm curled up in the recliner working on hat sketches! I designed 12 new hats today!  Yay!  (Something good can come out of this set back!)

I also prepared a great movie line up!

Thank you everyone for the well wishes on Facebook!  

You guys always make me smile!  °o°

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Happy Birthday to my "little" brother Jeremy!!  

I remember going to the hospital the day he was born!  It had just snowed and I rode over to the hospital with my Nana and Papa in their little red truck.  I was only 2 years old myself, but I remember it!  (My mother is amazed.)  I remember someone holding me over his crib and telling me that was my new baby brother.

Little did I know that I'd meet my first best friend that day.  From playing with our 101 dalmatians and watching Darkwing Duck to my Disney Wedding and doing our first half marathon together- I could not ask for a better brother!    You're the best!!!  

Happy Birthday!!! °o°

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Race Reflections

I've had a little over a week to reflect on my first race and half marathon adventure.

Looking back from the moment we decided to sign up, to right now, this whole race experience was a great one. It was organized, friendly (for the most part) and a lot of fun.  I'd love to do many more runDisney events and definitely plan to in the future!

I told you all about the race day itself in my trip recap. But after all of the thinking I've done, I wanted to post a little bit more about it. I didn't get too much into my personal thoughts. I feel like I shared the experience, but not the entire backstory. After considering it, I've decided to share my thoughts.

My Reflections
I'll spare you guys the long story of the race all over again. (If you would like to read it, you can click the link above.) The short story is that I got behind pace when I made two stops. Then, I didn't realize the pacers had passed me. When I found out, I hauled major butt trying to catch up. But I couldn't do it before I started to seriously overheat.  
Not finishing the race was a disappointment. I'm not going to lie. But, I'm also not going to pretend that I definitely thought I would finish. There's definitely a "power of positive thinking" element, but I didn't train for this race half as much as I should have.  My head got the better of me, and I was afraid. My biggest fear was, and always will be, my knee. This requires a little bit of a backstory...  
I had knee surgery when I was a freshman in college. I tore my MCL my senior year in high school without realizing it. By the time I finished it off playing volleyball in college, there was only so much that could be done. I went through the MRI's, tests, doctors, and finally had knee surgery on it. The doctor couldn't repair it. Over 6 months of damage had shredded the tissue, so he took it out. I was left with 30% of my meniscus.
Getting back on my feet after knee surgery was a lot more difficult than any of us expected. It was supposed to be a routine procedure. I'd be walking within 2-3 days. When there was no way to repair it, I ended up unable to walk for about 6-8 weeks. I spent the first week or two in a wheelchair. Then, I relied on the crutches for weeks and eventually forced myself to wean off of them.
Of course, I had to go to a trainer for physical therapy. Since it happened during volleyball season, I could still go to my college's trainer. 5 days a week I went down to the gym during volleyball practice hours and sat in the other room doing strengthening exercises for my knee and icing it. Eventually, I had to do the exercises in my dorm room because he needed to focus on the winter athletes. I didn't do the exercises as often as I should have. (A mistake that I am still paying for 10 years later.)

So, my right knee is damaged goods. My doctor had told me that by the time I was 30, I could very well have full blown arthritis in my knee. Well, I'm currently 29 and this November marks the big 3-0. Not exactly what I wanted to count down for my 30th birthday. The good news, is that my knee isn't any worse off than it was 10 years ago. I can still feel when it's going to rain or snow. It still goes out from underneath me occasionally and I'll sometimes get a stabbing pain on the inside here and there. But that's the "new normal" for my knee.

The reason that I'm going on this tangent, is that running is the last thing I should be doing. My doctor didn't forbid it. He just cautioned me since I basically have no padding in my right knee. There's not much there to protect my bones from scraping each other. And I've always hated running. I only did cross country in middle school to get in shape for basketball. Other than that, running and I haven't been close.

You can imagine my initial thoughts when Eliot told me he wanted to run a half marathon. He's crazy. Then, he asked me if I'd like to do it with him. Ok, now I know you're crazy.

But, after a lot of thinking about it, I decided to at least consider it. After Eliot told me about the 16 minute pace, I was starting to feel a little better about trying it. He assured me that plenty of people run/walk the race. Jeff Galloway who worked with Disney even taught runners to train that way. It slowly started to seem more feasible. When we told my parents about it, they wanted to join us. Then we all convinced my brother to do it. And at that point, I was like, why not? I might as well try it!

So, I agreed to sign up for my first race. I had big ambitions to do the half marathon, but when I found out that there was going to be a 10K, I was sold. After all, I'd walked/jogged over 6 miles one random day at our old apartment complex. I wasn't training then at all. I just went to the gym one night and went over 6 miles while watching Once Upon a Time and Revenge. (And, even better, I wasn't sore the next day at all!) If I could do that, I probably could do the 10K at Disney.

Unfortunately, my dreams of doing the 10K were dashed as soon as runDisney opened their 2014 marathon weekend registration. Mom and Dad were on hold forever and when they got off the phone, it had already sold out. I didn't even the chance to try to register for it. So, after a few weeks of re-thinking our plan, we set out to do the half.
Throughout the summer, Eliot and I "trained" on and off. He definitely put in more work than I did. He often ran during his lunch break at work. Eliot and I walked on the local trail a lot. And I even went out a few times by myself to attempt some interval training. When it got too cold to train outside, we got gym memberships to Planet Fitness. Looking back now, neither of us went as much as we should have. Eliot usually went about 2-3 times a week. I only went a few times in the months leading up to the race.
The closer we got to the race, the more I started to panic about my knee giving out. I started to question why the heck I was even doing this to begin with.  Ironically, it never was my knee that bothered me after working out. I got the usual shin splints, but it was the pain going through my lower back, hip, butt and leg that really bothered me.  
I came to the conclusion that something was wrong with my right side. I'd hurt it back in January of last year when we were moving from Massachusetts to Maine. At the time, I just thought that I'd over done it and that was causing the muscle spasms. But when we went to the gym, I'd occasionally get a tight muscular spasm in my butt and thigh.
It eventually got to the point where I was afraid of doing more damage at the gym. So in the weeks leading up to the race, I stopped going. Was this the wisest decision? No. Will I make the same decision while preparing for another race? Hell no!
I didn't feel completely unprepared going into the race. When I had been working out regularly, I could easily walk an 18 minute mile without even trying to jog. And I knew that we walk an average of 6-7 miles a day while we're at Disney parks. I was hoping that if I could keep a steady walking pace and add some light jogging in, that I'd make it. It also wouldn't over-do it as much on my knee.
And my plan actually worked for the most part. I went 5 miles into the race alternating between walking and jogging. Would I have made it the entire 13.1 miles? Probably not. But I wasn't really expecting to either. Before the race, I reminded myself that I originally wanted to do the 10K. Even if I only made it 6.2 miles into the half marathon, I'd have accomplished what I originally intended to. Plus, the 6.2 miles would have at least gotten me to Cinderella Castle, which is what I was hoping to achieve.
2014 WDW Half Marathon Map Photo Credit: RunDisney
In the end, I made it to mile 5 before I was forced to end my race. I fell behind pace after making two pit stops.  (I spent 10 minutes waiting for the restroom. Then, I spent another 5-7 minutes getting Vaseline for my chaffed arm and then washing it off because it was all over me.) If I got back the 16 minutes I lost, I'd have gained another mile. You live and you learn. Next time I'll bring some medical tape, tissues and Vaseline with me. And if I have to pee, I'll wait for some restrooms where there isn't a mile long line!
I know deep down that if I hadn't lost all of that time, I would have made it to Cinderella Castle. I was hell bent on making it that far. And I would have. After that, I guess I would have seen where I was at. I'm pretty sure that with the heat and humidity, I wouldn't have made it the full 13 miles. But who knows!
In the end, I'm really happy it wasn't my feet, knee, hips, legs, butt or back that caused me to drop out. I had a lot of things working against me, but none of them flared up during the race. I pictured a million other scenarios: mostly nightmares about my knee giving out and having to have another surgery. Maybe my knee is actually in better shape than I thought. This experience certainly made me feel more confident in body and it's abilities.

The other thing that I'm incredibly proud of is my mental determination and strength. I spent the entire first mile thinking: what the hell am I doing? Why did I sign up to do this? I'll never make it to the first mile marker with these shin splints. What possessed me to sign up to do a half marathon! I'm not a runner! I hate running! What made me think that I could do this?

Then, I went 5 miles. And I could have gone more.

Somehow, I shifted my mental thoughts to positive ones. I concentrated on the race, on the people around me, on the landmarks ahead of me and on all of the things I'd already passed. I'm here doing a race at Disney! Ooh, look at that cute outfit. I can't wait to come up with new outfits for my future Disney races. Maybe I can convince Eliot to dress up with me? There's another mile marker! Another one down! There's the Magic Kingdom parking entrance! Only a little bit farther and I'll be near the race track!

What amazes me is how quickly I went from the worst thoughts possible, to being incredibly optimistic. I didn't even listen to my iPod since I didn't want to stop long enough to take it out of my bag.  I had been counting on the upbeat music to keep me focused on moving ahead. Instead, I was left alone with my own thoughts and determination. I'm really proud of myself.  
Now that I've had time to soak it all in, I'm even more proud that I signed up for this darn thing to begin with! I remember hating running during warm ups in high school volleyball. (And we didn't go anywhere near running a mile!) And now, here I am, voluntarily signing myself up to do a half marathon! And I didn't back out of it either; I tried to do it!
I'm still not a huge fan of running. I don't hate it like I did before. However, I wouldn't say that I love it either. I'm somewhere in between. I think I'm going to grow to like it more as I do more training, get in better shape, and do more runDisney events. I do know one thing: doing a race at Disney is the only thing that would have ever gotten me to try it.
I'm not a runner! I hate running! What made me think that I could do this? And maybe I need to re-evaluate my thinking. No, I'm not a professional runner. I never will be. I'm not as good as some of my Facebook friends. I'm not as good as Eliot is right now, or my brother- who didn't train at all and still finished with the same time as Eliot. But, I am trying. That's better than the alternative of being a couch potato and not trying at all right?  

And maybe I am a runner. I'm never going to be the fastest or the best. But if this experience has taught me anything, it's to never doubt myself. I had a lot of doubts about this- before, during and after the race. In the end, I tried it. I went 5 miles. And I actually liked it. I actually liked running. Maybe I really am a runner.

Looking back, this whole experience was a great one, even if I didn't finish the race. I put myself out there and tried something I never thought I would do. I overcame both physical and mental obstacles. I tried my best. So even though I didn't finish the race, I know I earned my medal. I don't feel like a farce wearing it anymore. I'm really proud of what I did accomplish.

This won't be my last runDisney event. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the community feeling. I hope to do a lot of the RunDisney races. And if you're waffling back and forth about doing a runDisney event, I highly recommend them! They're a lot of fun!!! Take it from the girl who "hated" running!
Looking Ahead

Eliot and I had a great time at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and we plan to do many more runDisney events in the future. There are so many options to choose from: 5K, 10K, Half, Full, the challenges and even kids races! We've even talked about going someday when we have kids so they can participate in the kids races. They really are a great experience for runners at all experience levels. Disney keeps adding more events and more options. They seem to be gaining popularity as each race fills up faster than the last!

If I do another half marathon in the future, I think I'm going to focus on be the Tinker Bell and the Princess races.  Someday, I'd like to earn a Coast to Coast medal, so I'll have to do a half marathon at Disney World and Disneyland during the same year to achieve that. And obviously I'm drawn to the Princess, Tink and Pink Coast to Coast medals. (Shiny and glittery and girly, oh my!) I love my Donald medal and had a great experience, but I think I'd prefer the princess or Tinker Bell races. I also like how the races are geared more towards women. And hello awesome running costume opportunities! These two races really sound like my cup of tea.

Originally, Eliot and I were hoping to attend WDW Marathon Weekend, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon in 2015. Those were plans that we made a while ago, before I spent all of 2013 not working. I'm not complaining; I had a great year. But if we're going to try to attend a few race weekends, we'll have to make sure we work extra hard this year! (Challenge accepted!)

My Mom has decided she wants to do the Minnie 10K next year. (That's the race that she, Dad, Jeremy and I were all trying to sign up for this year. We only pushed ahead with the half marathon because the 10K sold out so fast!) I think the Minnie 10K would be the perfect opportunity. It's a good distance, but not quite as intense as the half marathon. Dad and Jeremy both finished the half marathon, but they haven't decided what they'll do for next year's races if they choose to participate. We're really hoping that we'll be able to attend WDW marathon weekend next year. So if we can pull it off, I'll do the Minnie 10K with my Mom in 2015. (Time to revive my Minnie costume!!!)

I'm still hopeful that we'll be able to pull off the Princess weekend too.  But it's a little bit of a long-shot. Ok, it's a big long-shot, but a girl can dream right? There's the 10K and half marathon that weekend. If you do both of those, you get a Glass Slipper Challenge medal. (It's 19.3 miles in 2 days.) I'm so envious of the medals this year, especially after seeing them at the runDisney Expo on our trip!  I'm determined to earn them all someday! Obviously, I'll really have to bust my butt to train for it! But I know that it's possible as long as I actually follow my training plan the next time around!

Eliot's already hoping to do either the 10K and half marathon or the Goofy Challenge (which is the half and full or 39.3 miles in 2 days) for 2015! Someday, his ultimate goal is to do the Dopey which had it's inaugural year this year. It's a 5K, 10K, half and Full in 4 days... or 48.6 miles!!! Whoa! I don't think that he cares as much about the princess medals. But I know he really likes his Donald medal. (Donald and Eliot actually share a birthday so that means more to him.)

We're also hoping to have more friends and family join us in the future!  Eliot's trying to convince his Dad to do a race with him.  And I'm really working on trying to get his sister, who loves Tinker Bell, to do the Tinker Bell 10K with me someday.

All in all, the whole race experience was a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to many more runDisney events and experiences. This is definitely only the beginning!  °o°

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

WDW Frozen Experiences

Do you like Frozen?  

I absolutely love it!  In fact, it might just be my new favorite Disney movie!  

There were so many fun things we did and saw this trip that involved Frozen.  I wanted to do a separate post about our Frozen experiences while at Walt Disney World.  I have a ton of photos and I didn't want to overload my recap posts with Frozen pictures! But I also didn't want to hold out on you guys either!  So if you like Frozen, you'll love this post!

The first thing that we saw Frozen in was "
Celebrate the Magic" at the Magic Kingdom. Celebrate the Magic is a projection show that is shown with Cinderella Castle as the projection "screen".  It is set to music and it's amazing!

Here's the full effect of the show with the entire Cinderella Castle projection:

Frozen segment in Celebrate the Magic Castle Show featuring "Let It Go" (Video Credit: Attractions Magazine)

If you'd like to see a video with a closer view of the projections, check out this video by The Dis.  And here are all of my pictures from the show!

It starts with the castle lit up as if it were Arendelle.

Elsa appears in a spotlight singing "Let it Go". 

Then there are swirls of snowflakes all over the castle.  This was so coo!

Elsa continues to sing and there are flashbacks to her and Anna when they were kids.  

We get a quick glimpse of Olaf with the girls and Anna giggling.

The scene changes back to Elsa singing with a bunch of trees covered in snow swirling around the base of Cinderella Castle.

Elsa begins her transformation into her blue ice dress.

We see more swirling snowflakes before Elsa's magic appears to transform Cinderella into a shimmering purple, pink and blue ice palace.  The colors were incredible.

Elsa comes out fully transformed and snowflakes begin to appear all over the castle.

It was beautiful so I took as many pictures as I could!

The snowflakes swirled away.

Then Elsa walked across the front of the castle.

The Celebrate the Magic Frozen segment ended with "the cold never bothered me anyway" and Elsa shutting the castle door just like in the movie!  Then the snow magically disappeared and the next segment of the show started!

It was so good!  I'm so happy that we got this front row view last minute!  We didn't mean to but it really worked out!  I also didn't think that they'd still have this portion since I'd heard that it was an addition for the holidays!  I hope they keep it!  It's beautiful!!!

The next Frozen adventure we had was at Hollywood Studios when we went to the Animation Building.  I always love seeing the drawings in the Magic of Disney Animation. One of my first Disney memories was watching the animators drawing in a room filled with Disney toys and figures.  I was mesmerized by it.  I think that's the moment when I knew that I wanted to so something creative with my life.

We walked through the section of the Animation Building with paintings and sketches of cities, towns, jungles, and the castles.  Afterwards, we headed to the other side.  I wanted to watch the animators for a few minutes.  When we arrived, we noticed the room next to the animators had a ton of Frozen displays.  

There was an awesome board with Elsa in her coronation dress on the far wall.  We also could see one of Kristoff on the same wall.  On the side tables, there were some Olaf sketches!  There was also a pin board with all sorts of drawings on the side wall.  But it was so hard to see them from the angle we were at.  It was even harder to get pictures due to the reflections from the lights and glass!

At this point, I really started to get my hopes up.  The last time Eliot and I were at Disney, we saw the artwork from Wreck it Ralph in the Production Gallery. The trip prior to that, we got to see artwork from Tangled.  The drawings in the room below us were awesome, but I was really hoping to see more art from Frozen up close!

I was not disappointed when we entered into the Production Gallery and "bam!" there was a picture of Anna, Kristoff and Olaf right in front of me!  Woo-hoo!!!

There were three display cases.  The one closest to the entrance had concept art of the trolls, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf!

The case to the left of the first was filled with artwork of the different backgrounds and the scenery in Frozen.  You could see the mountains, snow, Arendelle, the village, and the ice castle that Elsa creates.

Finally, the last case next to the entrance to the show had concept artwork of Anna and Elsa! (Ok, so there were also a few pictures of Hans... but I'm still mad at him!  Ha!)

I was so excited to see all of the artwork!  I waited until everyone cleared the room for the show and then I dove into taking as many pictures as I possibly could!  And because I love you guys, I'm going to share them with you!

Here are close-ups of the case with Kristoff, Sven and Olaf!

I love the drawing of Olaf with all of the sand snowmen in summer!

Oaken's store was actually full at one point!

Here are sketches of the trolls and their home.

Arendelle and the surrounding mountains are covered in snow.

Here you can see a few drawings of Elsa's ice palace.

Here's the real fun!  I love character development!  Here are the many faces of Elsa. And how awesome are her shoes?!?!  I want a pair!

Anna's character development.  They even did a study of how her traveling cloak moved.

More pictures of Elsa as well as a few of Anna and Elsa when they're just kids.

Concept art of Elsa in her room with her powers taking over the room.

Last, but not least, Hans.  (Wait, last and probably least: least liked.  Anyways...) Here's Hans during his duet with Anna.

Finally, before we left the Production Gallery, Eliot and I took pictures with the poster of Anna, Kristoff and Olaf!  We love Olaf and couldn't pass up the chance!

The artwork was incredible!  I'm so glad that we got to see it while we were there!  But our biggest Frozen experience was still yet to come!

Photo Source: Pinterest (Original Pin here.)
As most of you know, I worked really hard on making myself a custom Elsa ear hat before we left for our trip!  (For those of you who don't know, I will be opening an Etsy shop for them very soon!)  My big goal this trip was to get a picture with Anna and Elsa while wearing my ear hat!

I also teased that I had another project that I was desperately trying to finish before we left. That didn't end up working out.  And although I brought my glue gun and supplies to Florida, I still never finished the last one!  (I'm hoping to finish it later this week!)  In the meantime, here's a behind the scenes look at Anna! 

Eliot and I knew that meeting Elsa and Anna was going to be quite an adventure.  What we didn't realize was how long we were going to wait to meet them!  We were hoping to get there right at 11:00 am when the character spot opened.  When we arrived at the Norway Pavilion Friday morning, it was apparent that everyone else had the exact same idea we did.  By the time we got over to Anna and Elsa, the line was already backed up to a 1:00 pm greeting time.  We finally decided to stay after realized that we'd probably be waiting that long no matter when we got there.

While we waited in line, we realized that Anna was the only one greeting guests.  I started to question staying in line.  We were told that Elsa would be there by 1:00 or maybe even 2:00. The cast members didn't seem to have an exact time.  We were in the 1:00 window, and I was debating letting people cut us if Elsa wasn't going to be there.  I really wanted a picture with her and my Elsa ear hat!  

Thankfully, as we got closer to the doors, someone spotted Elsa!  The sign outside the door was changed to both "Elsa and Anna" and I was thrilled that we were going to see both of them!  It was so going to be worth the 2+ hours standing in line!

Eliot and I got to enter the room while the family in front of us met Anna and Elsa. The little boy and girl had the cutest Olaf t-shirts on and the girls loved them.  The kids were so cute!  Anna and Elsa really took the time to interact with them too.

Before I knew it, it was our turn!  I started to walk over to them and Anna spotted my ear hat and proclaimed, "aww... wow!"  I then told her that I didn't have the time to finish the design for her hat and that I was really sorry!

She said, "no, it's ok.  It's just that I'm really impressed."  She then showed my hat to Elsa.  "Elsa look!"

Elsa loved it.  She asked me how long it took me to make it.  I told her it took a few hours. She showed me her snowflake cape and said that she made it herself, except for this one snowflake towards the front.  Anna made that one for her.

Anna replied "Yeah, it took me about 2 hours to make it too."  Then she looked back at my hat, "If I made your hat, it'd probably take me 2 months!"  I had to laugh.

I told Elsa that she's been visiting us a lot this winter in Maine.  She replied "I don't think I did that.  Although, I also don't remember freezing my entire kingdom either!"

We posed for a few photos together.  Then Eliot joined us and Elsa asked me, "shall we show our ice powers?"  So she and I posed using our magical ice powers.  (Yup, I totally tried to copy what she was doing.)

The girls were very nice and made everyone feel special.  Everyone had a good amount of time with them, especially after waiting so long in line to meet them.  The girls fit their personalities well and their outfits were amazing too.  Elsa draped her cape around a few times and the snowflakes sparkling on her cape were beautiful.

It was definitely worth the 2 hour wait!  My only regret is not having my Anna hat done so I could get pictures with both hats.  (Maybe next time!)  I was also pretty pumped at how many people asking me where they could buy my Elsa ear hat!  They thought Disney made it!  Yippee!!  I was so proud to tell them that I made it myself.  I also had a ton of cast members compliment it, which I consider the ultimate compliment!

Frozen is definitely the hot ticket at the parks right now.  There are rumors swirling around about Disney turning Maelstrom into a Frozen ride.  Disney has recently confirmed that they're going to eventually bring Frozen to Broadway.  There's even rumors of a movie sequel!  One thing is for sure, you can't find Frozen items anywhere in the parks!  I found one pin that I bought, and the only other Frozen merchandise I saw were a few books and a light up snowflake wand in the Emporium at the Magic Kingdom. It appears that they had a Frozen inspired display, but everything sells out as soon as it's put out according to cast members and guests alike.  

Photo Source: Disney
Hopefully with the movie's popularity, there will be many more Frozen experiences to come to the parks for guests to enjoy!  In the meantime, I hope that you enjoyed our Frozen experience at Walt Disney World!  °o°