Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chat With a Disney Guru - A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Weekly series!

Welcome to a great new way to compare notes, pick up some helpful tips for your next Disney visit, and discover some fantastic Disney bloggers!  Each week I will be highlighting an interview with a certified, pixie dusted fan of The Mouse.  

WARNING:  Their enthusiasm for all things Disney is, in fact, quite contagious!  So come along for the ride with us ... you may learn something new, and it's sure to put a smile on your face as you read about the good, the really really good, and the "you absolutely can't miss this...."!

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This week:  A Disney Mom's Thoughts' Beth!

She's got 561 Disney blog posts under her belt, and she's still going strong ... this is a Disney Mom with lots to say!  Let's learn a little about what makes her Mickey clock tick ...

Tell us a little about you, and your website (blog).
Good Morning! My name is Beth Green and I'm the owner/ author of "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" blog. I have been a Disney lover since my first trip in 1983 at age 8. I've been blogging about this love for almost 2 years now. I am a mom to 2 boys ages 11 and 3 and I try to write about our experiences and what I have learned about traveling to WDW with children. When we aren't at Walt Disney World we love watching movies, playing sports and watching ESPN!

Which is your favorite Disney Park, and why?
The answer to this really depends on the day or who I'm with!! But, for now, my favorite park is Magic Kingdom. I love the magic and fantasy found in this park. Each time I enter this park, I'm taken back to my childhood and I feel like a princess! I could spend hours walking down Main Street USA taking in the sights and sounds. This is the best park for my family because everyone can find something they love- thrill rides, kid rides, character meet and greets, food and snacks!

Top 3 characters you’d like to meet on an ideal day at Disney:
 I LOVE meeting characters! I've been a fan for many years. When I graduated college in 1996, I chose a trip to WDW for my graduation present. My boyfriend at the time was going with us but had to back out, so for his souvenir, I got as many characters as I could find to sign an autograph book. Once we broke up, I REALLY wanted that book back, but I didn't get it. That was when I decided I had to start my own book and right now I have autographs and/ or pictures with over 100 characters. The top 3 that are on my list of "don't have" are Carl & Russell from UP! (they are a duo, so I'm counting them as 1), Flynn Ryder and the Fairy Godmother.

Your 3 favorite Disney attractions, and why you love them.
 This is really hard!! I think I could narrow it down to my top three in each park, but I'll do my best to narrow it down to top 3 in all 4 WDW parks! 
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover in the Magic Kingdom, however I still call it the WEDway PeopleMover! I love this attraction. I like the sights from the ride, the audio that accompanies what you see ("Paging Mr Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow") and the way the ride moves (magnets!). 
Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I love roller coasters. I love the speed, I love the loops and I love the wind in my hair! I especially love roller coasters when they are blasting music from my growin' up days in my ears! 
Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. While I do think the "story" about Little Red is a tad hokey, I love this attraction. I love seeing the different animals and not knowing exactly what you will see on each safari ride! My dad says it reminds him of a real safari he took in Africa. I have to take his word because this attraction is probably the closest I'll ever get to a "real" safari!

Beth and her son rocking the wild Tomorrowland PeopleMover

Favorite time of the year to visit?
This is easy- anytime school is in session! I hate the crowds at WDW and have learned to visit during the lowest crowd levels. Yes, we take our boys out of school to visit, but we get it pre approved and I give them work to do on our trips! When I choose "in school" times to visit, I love the first few weeks of October (before Columbus day break) and the first few weeks of December (before winter/ Christmas break). You can see the holiday decorations, attend the holiday parties at the Magic Kingdom and still be at the parks when crowds are lower- plus it's not blazing hot like summer months!

The Park snack your day is not complete without.
Honestly, anything Mickey shaped- a rice krispy treat, a caramel apple, a Mickey ice cream bar, Mickey waffles, etc. Anything shaped like Mickey is so much better than a plain one- add chocolate and I'm in heaven! :)

Favorite Character Meal?
I liked the food at Crystal Palace, but I'm not a fan of Pooh and friends. So, I'll go with The Garden Grill at Epcot in The Land Pavilion. Here I get food I love, circling an attraction I love with characters I love! The trifecta!

Top 3 Disney Property restaurants you like to eat at.
I have some new, really great reservations lined up for our February trip so this list may change in a month!! But, for now, I like to eat at 50's Prime Time Cafe, Cosmic Ray's and Yak N Yeti. I love the menu, atmosphere and servers at 50's Prime Time at Hollywood Studios. Cosmic Ray's has my favorite- turkey wraps! I have to have at least one on each trip! Yak N Yeti has been a favorite of ours for a few years. The food is delicious and the decor is beautiful. If you can get a seat by the window while Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade is happening, it's even better!

How do you keep the Pixie Dust flying at home, in between trips?
My blog is the number one way and connecting with other Disney fans is the another. We often look at past pictures from trips and "dream" about our next trip, even if it's not on the calendar yet! We also watch a lot of Disney movies and constantly play with Disney stuffed animals, figures and games. Honestly, a day does not go by without one of us mentioning Disney! I love it! :)

Any tips for people planning their 1st trip to Disney?
Prepare. Read books. Ask questions to those who have been before. Read blogs. There is SOOOO much to do and see. Even if you go for 10+ days on your first trip, you still can't see and do it all. Learn about what your options are. Educate your family. Then have each family rank their top 5 or so things to do, see or eat. Make sure you get those top things in during your trip. Then all the "extra" stuff you are able to see, do and eat is just gravy on your trip!

How long have you been blogging about Disney?
Since March of 2010. As of today, I've published 561 posts on my own blog and a few on other blogs I write for. I started writing my own blog and have been a guest blogger for several of my friends from time to time. Now, I am a writer for The Disney Mom's once a month and Chip and Co. once a week.

Beth on her first trip to Disney World

Do you take your own pictures, and if so – any tips for getting good shots?
Yes. I do take 99% of my own photos for my blog. If I write a post on a topic I don't have a picture for, I first ask my Disney friends if they have one I can borrow and give them the credit. If nobody has what I want, I try to find it on the web. If I can find it, I ask that person for permission to use it and I credit them.

My tips for getting good shots- take A LOT! I usually take 750-1000 photos on each trip. I bet I'll take a lot more on our next trip because I won't be pulled between 2 boys, a stroller and an over stuffed backpack!

Take pictures of everything: signs, attractions, characters, architecture, menus, food, snacks, people, your family, yourself, landscaping, cast members, etc. It helps so much to remember your trip and it's so fun years later to see what attractions have changed, closed or moved!

Where do you find inspiration for blog topics to feature?
Many different places! When I first started blogging I made an outline of potential topics. It was 5 pages, with lots of letters, bullets, roman numerals and numbers! I still refer to that original outline for inspiration.

I also go through old pictures and let the memories spark topics to write about. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I participate in different "blog hops" where the host of the hop chooses the topic for me! Other times, I read what other bloggers have written and I write about the same topic from my perspective.

What is your motivation to keep blogging – or any final advice to share?
My motivation is my Disney friends and readers. I have gained so many new friends through my blog, I feel like I 'owe' it to them to post frequently! They are following me, asking great questions and leaving thoughtful comments. I feel like it's the least I can do to continue to provide them with something they can read and something that will hopefully help them on their next Disney vacation.

I also blog for my boys. Many of my posts are about our past trips and memories we have made. While I use our experiences and pictures to help others, it also serves as an online memory book for us.

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Thank you so much, Beth, for sharing with us today!
Check out her fun, informative blog here:

A Disney Moms Thoughts

Like the series?  Read more on these other Disney guru posts:


  1. Another great entry in this series. I'll be sure to check out Beth's site.

  2. Thanks so much for this opportunity!! It was a lot of fun and I look forward to who else you'll be interviewing! :)



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