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2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

Our third day in Florida was spent at Walt Disney World.  If you haven’t figured out from my blog yet, when I am on vacation I don’t like to sleep in and sit by the pool – for me it is all about experiencing new things!  So we were at the park from when it opened until when it closed on this day!

Disney Tip: Free Maps The envelope that I set on the right page is actually a free set of very classy maps that you can order from Disney before your trip.  I never take them on the trip because I don’t want for them to get destroyed.  I ordered and received these ahead of time and actually gave them to my son at Christmas time as a gift as my way of revealing to him that we were going to go.  You can order your own maps at

I wish that I could say that the Disney Title on the left hand page was something that I created, but I bought it on Ebay.  I usually try and search Ebay for items like this even before I take a trip so that I know what my options are (and prices), so that I can compare to items that I might be able to purchase in the location.

Other Ephemera on the page include the 3 day ticket card, and a pair of 3D glasses from one of the shows.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom - Night Time

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom – Night Time

As I mentioned earlier we stayed until the Park closed, so we had a great opportunity to see the electric light parade and the closing firework display.  If you haven’t had opportunity to see what the closing shows entails, it is definitely worth staying for to intake all of the special effects.

Disney Tip: Electric Parade and Fireworks Show:  About an hour ahead of time we sat on the edge of the road on the castle side of the circle drive.  We had great seats for the electric light parade, and then we just swiveled around and waited another hour and a half in the same spot for the fireworks and castle display.  While we did a lot of sitting, we had great seats and had closeup views of both events.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Getting There

2013: Orlando Spring Break Trip: Getting there

2013: Orlando Spring Break Trip: Getting there

For Spring Break 2013 we went to Florida to visit the Amusement Parks and the Beach.  Since we wanted to go to Sea World, Disney, and Universal the ticket prices were pricey (you get discounts for multiple days at the same parks, but not across the different parks).  So, instead of flying we decided to drive.  We started out after school ended on Friday and drove until I was too tired to drive and then I found a hotel that we stayed at.

We purposely took a longer route to Florida so that we could add to the number of States that my son and our exchange student had been to.  I used this page to highlight the routes that we took there and back.  Although it was crazy we drove all the way back in one day!

The background to this page is a real map that I cut to fit onto the pages.  BTW – it is expensive to do this – I had no idea that maps were so expensive!  I used a highlighter to mark the “there” and “back” routes.

The pictures on the left hand side of the spread are pictures at the Welcome Centers to each State as we crossed the borders.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get some of them since I was driving in rain and the dark and many of them on the way down there were closed.

2007: Disneyland

I know that you already think that I spoiled my son in the first few weeks – and this will prove it – in our fifth week together I had to go to Los Angeles for a week to teach a class.  I took my good friend Adam with us to watch my son while I was teaching class.  During that time Adam not only taught my son to swim but also to dive, which helped me to feel a lot better about all the swimming that we liked to do together.  On the Saturday after the class was completed our reward was to spend the day together at Disneyland!  This was the beginning of our love affair with Disney.  In the five years we have been together we have spent a total of 16 days at Disney Parks!  View the scrapbook of our 2008 DisneyWorld vacation.

So – in the pictures on this page you will see pictures of Adam along with my son.  I used a Disney Mickey Mouse silhouette corner cutter to cut out the red and yellow embellishments on the page, and if you look closely you will see that I also cut some directly out of some of the photographs to add a whimsical nature to the page.

If you look closely in the top right hand corner you will also see a Disney Fastenator staple.

Disney Vacation 2008 – Ephemera

Disney Vacation 2008 - Funny Story and Ephemera

Disney Vacation 2008 – Funny Story and Ephemera

So our adventure at Disney World was almost over – but we had one last funny story from the last few minutes we were on the property.  If you click on the picture above you should get a bigger version of it and you can zoom in to read what happened.  But this Mickey was part of the outcome of the story.  Our bags were so full that we had to carry him on to the plane for the trip home!

This set of pages highlights all of the ephemera that we collected on the trip that didn’t make it onto the other pages.  I don’t normally do something like this – but my son was so excited about everything that we collected that he didn’t want any of it to be thrown away.  The letters in the right hand page above were cut with my Cricut machine and I used the shadow feature to cut a black “shadow” for each of the letters.  This very small shadow really helps the letters to stand out on the page.

Disney Vacation 2008 - Ephemera

Disney Vacation 2008 – Ephemera

The left hand page of this spread contains all kinds of things including stickers that we picked up along the way,  a Disney stamp on a letter we received, our Disney Photopass, origami from the China Showcase at EPCOT and one of our favorites – a red feather from the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Don’t worry we didn’t pull it off of a bird! – during the show some feathers fall from the ceiling and this one fell right into our lap!  The right hand page includes digital copies of all of the pictures that we took on the trip as this is a nice way to organize your digital pictures and have backups in case your computer dies.  It also includes some fast passes that we never used and the folio with our bill at the end of the vacation.

Disney Vacation 2008 - Ephemera - Park Maps

Disney Vacation 2008 – Ephemera – Park Maps

This is the last page in the album and it is simply extra maps that I picked up from each of the parks.  They have no crease marks and are not attached to the paper in anyway.  They float freely behind the plastic and are there if we ever want to pull them out and look at them.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists

Disney Vacation 2008: EPCOT – Coral Reef Restaurant

Disney Vacation 2008 - EPCOT - Coral Reef Restaurant

Disney Vacation 2008 – EPCOTCoral Reef Restaurant

On our last night in Disney we went to a fancy restaurant at EPCOT – the Coral Reef.  This restaurant is part of The Seas pavilion and has views into the massive aquarium.  Part of what is really fun is that if you look carefully you can see people riding “Finding Nemo” on the other side of the aquarium.  Our favorite part of this experience was watching all of the fish and turtles swim by while we were there.  We had some amazing deserts and even found a “hidden Mickey” which made us very excited.

Disney Tip: Make reservations way in advance  – it may be impossible to make a reservation on the day that you are there.

Notice the left hand side of the spread – it includes a “fish guide” that we were given so that we could identify all the fish that we saw.

Disney Vacation 2008 - EPCOT - Coral Reef Restaurant - Open

Disney Vacation 2008 – EPCOT – Coral Reef Restaurant – Open

In this view you can see what the folder looks like open. I carefully cut a slit in the plastic page protector for the folder to slide through so that part of the fish guide is still under plastic. I did this by:

  1. Placing the background paper inside the plastic protector
  2. Placing the fish guide on top of the plastic protector where I wanted it to be
  3. Sliding the fish guide to the right about 1/4 of an inch, so that the fold of the fish guide would overlap the plastic a little on the left side. This keeps the plastic protector from tearing when people are viewing the page.
  4. Using an Exacto knife to carefully score the plastic.
  5. Using a pair of sharp pointed scissors to carefully cut along the scored line.
  6. Putting sticky tabs on the back of the fish guide and sliding it through the cut in the plastic and then pushing down on the plastic and fish guide to secure it in place.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists


Disney Vacation 2008: EPCOT – China Showcase

Disney Vacation 2008 - EPCOT - World Showcase - China

Disney Vacation 2008 – EPCOT – World Showcase – China

Here is an example of creating a double spread on just one of Disney’s EPCOT Showcase countries – China.  My son really enjoyed the China showcase and we spent quite a bit of time in this area.  The area is beautiful and the stores are filled with some very exotic items – we enjoyed the food!  The entertainment in this area includes Chinese Acrobats which fascinated my son.

The technique that I want to highlight on this spread is using a corner cutter to cut into the photographs.  Be very careful and deliberate if you are going to do this, because if you make a mistake you ruin the photograph.  Also, if you look very closely at the corners of the spread you will notice 4 unique designs.  Those are actually the remnant of the cut made to the photographs that I decided to integrate back into the page.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists


Disney Vacation 2008: EPCOT – World Showcase

Disney Vacation 2008 - EPCOT - World Showcase

Disney Vacation 2008 – EPCOT – World Showcase

These pages were created from our time in the World Showcase at EPCOT.  The world showcase is an interesting place for younger kids.  There are few rides and seems to be built mostly for adults.  When we went in March 2008 there was not the Kim Possible Adventure that was there when we went in 2010.  I have recently heard that the Kim Possible Adventure is being replaced with the Agent P (from Phineas and Ferb) adventure.

Disney Tip: Join the Agent P Adventure when going to the World Showcase at EPCOTit is an interactive cell phone based adventure (Disney provides the cell phones).  Kids receive calls when they enter certain areas and have to solve mysteries in order to make certain things happen in the park.  This is a must have feature to make the World showcase exciting for younger children.

I knew that this part of EPCOT would be less thrilling for my 9 year old son, so I let him run that pace.  If he found something interesting we stopped to see it and it often gave me a rest as well :).  I used “It’s a small world” paper background as we really felt like we were traveling around the world.  Instead of creating a spread for each of the countries highlighted in the World Showcase I just put one picture from each pavilion in this spread.

A fun technique that is appropriate on some scrapbook spreads was that I put a thought bubble right onto one of the photographs taken in the French pavilion.  I don’t usually do this – but in this picture it perfectly told the story.  My son was tired and just wanted to play in the water.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists


Disney Vacation 2008: EPCOT – Garden Grill Restaurant

Disney Vacation 2008 - EPCOT - Garden Grill

Disney Vacation 2008 – EPCOT – Garden Grill

While we were at EPCOT we ate at the Garden Grill, which is a revolving restaurant inside of “The Land” Pavilion.  The food theme is natural and traditional American farm food.

Disney Tip: Some Specialty Restaurants include character visits  – which means you can kill two birds with one stone – you get a great meal and your kids get to meet the characters (without standing in long lines) and get their autographs.  Make sure that you make reservations way in advance – it may be impossible to make a reservation on the day that you are there.

While we were in this restaurant I actually felt like we had gone back in time a little bit, which is funny as the pavilion is supposed to foods and farming in the future.  Therefore, I chose a 60’s theme print that actually reminded me of a plastic picnic table cover that my family had when I was a kid.

This page doesn’t particularly stand out to me but there are two scrapbooking techniques that I want to point out:

  • The first is that the Title block on the left hand page is actually a picture that I took at the entrance to the restaurant.   This is an easy way to title a page, but also serves as an easy way to remember from your photographs of the names of the places that you are going.  I make it a habit to always take pictures of names of places and historical markers so that I can remember the story.
  • The second is the journaling block on the right hand page.  If you look carefully at the frame around the block you will notice that it is actually a photograph of the painted mural in the restaurant.  This is another thing that I do when we are visiting unique places – taking pictures of the “feel” of the location so that I can use those photographs to help recreate the feel on the page – occasionally they actually end up on the page themselves!


Disney Vacation 2008: EPCOT – Test Track

Disney Vacation 2008 - Test Track

Disney Vacation 2008 – Test Track

When I was planning our Disney World trip I knew that we would want to ride Test Track and I knew that the lines would be long to get on this ride.  So my son and I moved as quickly as we could (without running) to get to Test Track as soon as we were allowed to enter the park.  We ended up being the first people in line!

Disney Tip: Get to the Park early and go the most popular rides firstthat way you won’t have to spend a lot of time later waiting in line.

At the beginning of the ride Disney took two automated pictures which you can purchase after the ride.  Fortunately we had Photopass, so I was able to connect those photos to our account which we purchased later when we were at home.

Disney Tip: Photopass – is a card that you can get that is scanned each time a Disney photographer takes your pictureIt allows you to order all of your pictures later from home, and to manipulate and add Disney characters to them.  Some select rides also allow the automated pictures from the ride to be added to your photopass.

If you look carefully at these pages you will notice that two of the pictures are the official Test Track photos and they came with a caution border.  I wanted to continue these theme to the other pictures on this page so I used a think black marker to draw lines on yellow paper to create these frames.  I did it freehand and so some a little crooked.  If I were to do this again I would use a ruler to make the lines straight.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists

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