Benny & Toby’s Hakuna Matata Summer Play Date!


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

The last time I organized a large backyard play date for the boys was in 2016 (omg…how time flies!) I did it as a way to celebrate summer and bring all the little ones together to play, have fun and make childhood memories. This year, I hosted another big shindig, except this time, I was lucky to have partnered with Disney for a  #NowMoreThanEver Play date which was centered around the Lion King and a problem-free philosophy from the animated film’s famous song “Hakuna Matata!”



The phrase/hashtag serves to remind us all that we must make as many magical memories now more than ever both at home & when visiting Walt Disney World Parks. Did you know that for a limited time Disney’s Magic Kingdom is offering new experiences such as Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration? You can also Party with Disney Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios….annnnnd…you can catch the incredible Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

My adorable niece Emma before getting soaked at our Summer Play Date!

My adorable niece Emma before getting soaked at our Summer Play Date!

The Party Decorations

When our #NowMoreThanEver Disney Play Date goodies from Disney arrived and we discovered an array of Lion King-themed decorations, we got super excited! The boys started running around the living room, like, in  A CIRCLE OF LIFE. LOL (true story)! We received table covers, plates, napkins, favors, a pull-string pinata and amazing party prizes like a large Disney doll and dress-up costume by #JakksPacific as well as a Minnie Mouse Pillow Pet.


A play date to remember—

In order to make our play date extra memorable, I had to get on super mommy planner mode. Check out this blog post to see how I prepared and all the details I created to make the play date come together nicely (let’s just say it involved a bit of creativity designing stuff on the computer, a nice portion of Michael Angelo’s veggie lasagna and a glass of wine while the kids were away at grandma’s).

We wanted to make sure all of our close friends and relatives got invited—which meant we had to plan for A LOT of people because we have a big family and a lot of friends! I made invitations, signs, banners, labels and thank you cards.


A Roarin’ Good Time!

Because we live in the San Fernando Valley and the weather here feels desert-like during summer (105 degrees at times), I knew two things: 1) We had to incorporate water games in my house that has no pool 2. We had to host the party in the late afternoon to let the temperature cool off a bit. With that in mind, I ordered pump & splash games for the kids and asked everyone to bring a change of clothes for their little ones. I also started the play date at 5:00pm, which gave everyone a great excuse to play & have dinner!


For Food & Snacks,

We offered a summer BBQ buffet with burgers, hot dogs and other favorites (beans, salad, BBQ chicken and grilled meat aka carne asada) thanks to the best grill master there ever was—Abuelo Pancho (my dad).

In order to make a heat-appropriate snack table, I had to keep things simple— fruit and veggie trays and iced drinks to keep the guests cool and hydrated.

We had cucumber slices organized in small cups decorated with Lion King stickers, watermelon slices, Timon fruit skewers and Jungle Juices for the kids (orange, lemonade and apple juice boxes and pouches). But the item that literally took the crown, was an impressive Lion-themed veggie tray prepared by my auntie Ana Hunt. Wow… Super cute, delicious and creative!


Dessert was Everyone’s Favorite Thing

We offered a full blown ice cream sundae bar with an opportunity to try a slice of Popped Passion popcorn cake! Popped Passion is the first company to offer customized popcorn cakes! Ours arrived with an adorable Mickey theme that incorporated Mickey ears sprinkles and gummy worms (which was perfect for our jungle theme play date).

The ice cream sundae bar featured scoops of vanilla ice cream in waffle cups with an array of toppings to choose from, including Mini M&Ms, Oreo crumbles, sprinkles, marshmallows, gummy bears and other yummy toppings.


A wonderful time with many happy moments.

I personally thanked friends and relatives for attending and every child left with a goody bag filled with Lion King & Lion Guard treats, including paper masks, candy and bubbles…yay!

My little niece Elisa was the lucky winner of a Disney Beauty & the Beast Belle Doll! Isn’t she a cutie?

My little niece Elisa was the lucky winner of a Disney Beauty & the Beast Belle Doll! Isn’t she a cutie?

Thanks Disney!

We love celebrating life and couldn’t agree any more that magical memories must be made #NowMoreThanEver

For more information about the limited time #NowMoreThanEver celebrations happening at the Walt Disney World Resort, click here.

If you’d like to learn more information about how I prepared for this play date, including vendors and party prep tips, click here.


Thanks for reading, friends.

Wishing you all a magical August!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
The All-New 'Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration' is Worth a Trip to Anaheim

Open Now Through Summer!



Friends, in this world of constant pop-up museums and Instagrammable activations, I was extremely curious about what Disneyland would do to make the all-new Mickey Pop-Up stand out from the rest.

Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration is an immersive experience currently taking place in Downtown Disney (inside the building where ESPN Zone used to be located).


The truth is that

By virtue of simply being a Disney production, the pop-up was, well, magical. All the installations were fun, colorful and happy-thought provoking.

Each gallery is whimsically immersive, family-friendly and they each honor the one and only Mickey Mouse! My favorite was the giant Mickey-shaped balloon where you can step inside for a one-of-a-kind photo. The boys loved the Black and White Steamboat Willie room but nothing compared to the neon dance hall where they danced to the tunes of Mickey Jams as heard at the Disney Tokyo main street parade. They were so happy and hyper that it was almost as though they weren’t sure what to do with so much Mickey joy!


I took the boys on opening weekend.

We had experienced a bumpy week with the loss of a loved one, a mom conference I was away for and Paul’s new work schedule. The solution to such a rough week, I thought, was to spend quality time with my favorite little dudes at the Mickey Pop-Up…and it was a good call.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Tickets must be purchased in advance and online. There are no ticket sales at the door.

  • They are very strict about arriving on time. You must be there 15 minutes ahead of your pre-booked tour hour. This is actually a good thing because the tour is organized in a such a way that allows guests to have plenty of time in each room to take a gazillion pictures without feeling too crowded and without being constantly photo-bombed.

  • Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and there’s no switching to a different date once they’ve been purchased.

  • Ticket prices start at $30 per person (paid admission is required of everyone over 3 years old). If you plan on going on a weekend, prepare to pay almost $40 per person ($38).

  • A visit to the #DisneyPopUp guarantees parking validation for a maximum of three hours

  • While there is no place that allows clothing changes, you’ll want to take at least a few different pairs of ears. I was so glad to take my Coco-Themed Ears for this very special gallery we walked into:


Friends, I’m a major Disney fan,

Without hesitation, I recommend you visit this Magical Pop-Up, if it’s the only one you experience in 2019. The word on the street is that the Pop-Up will only be open until the summer.

Prepare to walk out of the exhibit and into a souvenir shop where everything is cute enough to purchase.


To purchase tickets, click here.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Have a Magical Time at Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration


Anabel M.

DISNEY ON ICE presents "Dare to Dream"

Dare to Dream

Friends, Five darling & daring Disney Princesses will spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, skating into Los Angeles this holiday season from December 13th – December 23rd!!


I’m really excited about this particular show because we’re big Moana fans (she will be there for the first time in a live production); we love Frozen and I’m personally a big Beauty and the Beast Fan. Plus, Cinderella and Rapunzel will be there too!

In her Disney On Ice debut, Moana will go in a high-seas adventure with demigod Maui, to save her island and discover her true identity.  

Belle will fearlessly befriend the enchanted castle staff and reveal the Beast’s gentleness.  

Anna’s will prove her devotion to her sister, Elsa, on her life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter.  

Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Cinderella and friends from around the Disney Kingdom will find the heart and determination to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true.

Plus fans will be encouraged to arrive early to celebrate family and tradition with a special sing-along with Miguel from Disney•Pixar’s Coco in a live fiesta Disney On Ice style prior to the show!

Los Angeles

WHEN:           Thursday, December 13 – Sunday, December 16

o        Thursday, December 13    7:30 PM

o        Friday, December 14        7:30 PM

o        Saturday, December 15     11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

o        Sunday, December 16       11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:             STAPLES Center – 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015


WHEN:                 Wednesday, December 19 – Sunday, December 23

o        Wednesday, December 19                  7:00 PM

o        Thursday, December 20    3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

o        Friday, December 21                              11:00 AM & 7:00 PM      

o        Saturday, December 22      11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

o        Sunday, December 23                            11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:             Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806



WHEN:           Wednesday, December 26 – Sunday, December 30

o   Wednesday, December 26         7:00 PM

o   Thursday, December 27              7:00 PM

o   Friday, December 28                  7:00 PM

o   Saturday, December 29      11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

o   Sunday, December 30                11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:             Citizens Business Bank Arena – 4000 Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

TICKETS:           Ticket prices start at $25!

Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $16 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating) 

Tickets available for purchase online at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office.

*prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

I hope to see you there, friends!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Application Period is Underway for the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel!

Apply Now Through September 12!


I did it and you can too!


What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel?

The Disney Parks Moms Panel is a group of real moms, dads and in-the-know relatives (hand-picked by Disney) who serve as the ultimate online resource for families. They offer helpful tips and heartfelt advice about Disney vacation destinations.

Disney Park Mom Panelists answer guest questions about theme parks, restaurants, services, shops, hotels or activities to help people plan and get the most out of their magical trip. In exchange for their work on the Panel, they get a reward Disney vacation and other Magical benefits (more on that here).

Who Can Apply?

All Panelists Must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have access to a computer & an Internet connection.
  • Have visited either Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland® Resort at least once in the last 12 months. If applying to be a Disney Cruise Line® or Disney Vacation Club® Panelist, you must have experienced that vacation within the last 24 months.
  • Be able to complete up to 20 written responses per week, roughly estimated 20 minutes per question.
  • Provide their own opinions, tips and feedback on Disney vacations.
  • Submit an autobiography and personal photo and/or video to be posted online.
  • Be available to travel to Walt Disney World® Resort during dates between November 27 and December 1, 2018 for Training sessions. Panelists cannot bring family members or friends.
  • Not be current employees/Cast Members of The Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.
  • Not be currently employed by; or be an immediate family member of; or currently reside with someone employed by the travel, hotel, theme park, cruise line or time share industries (including, without limitation, being a travel agent or consultant);
The 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel!

The 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel!

My personal experience

In 2015,

I applied to the Disney Parks Moms Panel. The idea of working as Disney Ambassador of sorts, was simply too tempting to pass up. I felt it was a great fit. Not knowing what to expect, I completed the application which consisted of several questions that tested my Mouse knowledge and asked me to describe, among other things, my favorite Disney attractions and experiences. A few weeks later I received an email saying my application had not made it to the second round.


In 2016,

I tried again. This time, I was more elaborate with my answers and tried sprinkling extra pixie dust on each response. I kept things simple, honest and very personal to my experience as a Disney fan. I also made sure to check my spelling and grammar and when I hit the submit button, I did so with optimism. I thought about Walt Disney's famous quote: "If you believe it, you can do it" but I also kept it real. I figured that, with thousands of applicants from around the world, my chances of getting selected would be slim to none, which I was okay with. If it wasn't meant to be in 2016, I'd simply give it a try the following year.

Days later, I received an email saying I had advanced to Round Two!!

Happiest Kid on Earth during a visit to Walt Disney World in 2017.

Happiest Kid on Earth during a visit to Walt Disney World in 2017.

Without getting too ahead of myself

and preparing for the worst, I thought, heck! if I made it to Round Two this time, then I'd hopefully make it just as far (or better) if I found myself applying again the following year.

But I got extremely lucky.

Once I submitted my second set of answers, I waited patiently until I heard back from Disney... To my surprise, I had advanced to the final round!!

I was so, so, excited! I mean, was this really happening!?

Dreams do come true, friends! During that time, Toby was nine months old and I sorta' needed some excitement outside of mommy duties.  Having made it to the final round of the Panel selection process was unbelievably exciting!


Following the final round of questions,

I was almost sure I'd be eliminated. I felt my answers hadn't been as impressive as I was hoping to make them. I started second guessing everything I had shared and well, I was looking ahead and telling myself I'd do better the following year.

Then I received the phone call.

A Disney Parks representative was on the line to let me know I had been selected to be a 2017 Disney Parks Mom Panelist! I died. I mean, I really. couldn't. believe. it.

Was this for real!? | Yipee!! Yay! |  Bouncy, Trouncy, Flouncy, Pouncy! Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!!!!

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It's true that there are THOUSANDS of applicants each year.

Disney generally opens the application period in early September, then reads through each application received! From there, the selection process has to move rather quickly in order for them to coordinate and plan the Mom Panelist training session which usually happens in early December at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Being on the 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel was an incredible experience. It's certainly a lot of work but when you're a big Disney fan, joining the Panel means you get to share your Disney obsession with fellow enthusiasts and make lifelong friends while you're at it. Plus, it's a real pleasure to help families plan their Disney vacation.

With my fellow 2017 Disneyland Resort Mom Panelist aka my "Disney Sister" Linda Marquez and our kiddos.

With my fellow 2017 Disneyland Resort Mom Panelist aka my "Disney Sister" Linda Marquez and our kiddos.

Friends, I share my story because

I'm just a mom who loves Disney. When I applied, I didn't have any Disney connections, or Magical contacts, or insider info. I wasn't even part of the Facebook Hopefuls group where applicants share their application journey and exchange encouraging words with one another. I just happened to love the Disneyland Resort and knew a lot of fun facts about my favorite place. I was thrilled to apply for a second year in a row and only hoped for the best.

If you've applied or plan on applying to the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel, know that you're as likely to get selected as I was.

Nobody knows how or why each mom panelist is chosen. I don't believe there's a secret formula to the process so if you don't get lucky this time around, don't feel bummed out!


Some applicants who get disqualified

will take to their social media accounts and express frustration, anger and even post rude comments. This type of reaction is no bueno. For one, the selection committee may come across those accounts and conclude that a rude applicant is not a good fit anyway.

Remember, Disney works diligently to create magical experiences for all guests and someone who acts like a villain just because they didn't advance or get selected, may not be a good fit for the panel.


Lastly, remember why you're even applying to begin with-- you love Disney!

Panel or not, you have a special place in your heart for all things Disney, which is probably why you chose to apply. With that in mind, continue enjoying the Disney experience and creating new memories for yourself and your family. If you don't get chosen for the 2019 Panel, give it a shot again next year!


Thanks for reading, friends. Good luck to all the applicants!


-Anabel M.

I served on the 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel, a contract position with magical benefits. All opinions are my own.

To apply for the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel click here. The Application deadline is Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Our Back-To-School Trip to Disneyland!

Magical Memories to Kick Off the School Year!


Disney Fun Before Classes Start

In planning a fun weekend for the boys on the weekend before Benny's first day of school, Paul and I decided to visit Anaheim. We knew we didn't want to travel far with the kids. We also wanted to avoid spending a lot of money on accommodations.

We booked the Howard Johnson Hotel, located a short walk from the Disneyland Main Entrance. We were happy because although the hotel wasn't too fancy, it has been nicely upgraded to offer a fun "retro" vibe with bright colors and patterns. Kids get pirate hats and balloon swords at check-in.


The hotel also features a fun, kid's water park that includes a water slide, a pirate-themed splash playground and 1 1/2 foot kiddie pool that's located next to a turtle splash pad and water fountain.

There's also a small kids arcade and a large pool for adults to enjoy, nearby. More photos of our adventures at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim:

As for the parks, it was very, very hot, crowded and tiring! Still, we enjoyed every minute, especially because we each had MaxPass, Paul was in a good mood, often surprising me with an adult beverage (while at California Adventure) and Benny couldn't get enough of Goofy's Sky School Rollercoaster. I met with my good friend Linda Marquez from the Disney Parks Moms Panel and Toby was a sweet little Mouseketeer who simply enjoyed people-watching while sipping on a Dole Whip float (at the Disneyland Park). More Disney Parks photos here:

It was another amazing Disney visit. I've caught the bug, again. I plan on returning to my favorite place very, very soon. Who's in!?

Thanks for reading, friends!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Splitzville is A 'Bowl' Lot of Fun!

New Downtown Disney Attraction

IMG_7379 2.JPG

Time for Some Magical Bowling

If discovering bright-colored bowling balls with Mickey & Minnie's faces engraved on them isn't enough to make you rush over to the new Splitzville Bowling Alley in Downtown Disney and show your enthusiasm for all things Disney, then consider this:

The state-of-the art brand new 40,000 sq. ft. bowling facility recently opened in Anaheim with 20 bowling lanes, room for 600 dining seats, two craft cocktail bars and live music 365 days a year!


I was at the grand opening of Splitzville on March 15, where Goofy enthusiastically welcomed guests to an upstairs bowling and dining area that allowed me to see the cute-as-ever Disney character engraved bowling balls (and enjoy plenty of yummy treats).

When I saw Minnie Mouse with her long lashes and adorable bow engraved on a blue marble colored bowling ball, I instantly thought: "This is way too cute to ever be a gutter ball!" BTW, in bowling terms, a gutter ball is a nonscoring ball that enters the gutter on either side of the lane before reaching the!

Still, I gave it a try. Fortunately, my Minnie bowling ball made it to the end and knocked down three pins...yay!

Splitzville had a silent launch before the March 15 ribbon cutting ceremony but issues with city permits were preventing the company from actually announcing its debut... until everything was finally approved by the city of Anaheim.

One of my favorite things from Splitzville is definitely the menu. The facility has two kitchens built to pretty much cater to any palate. They serve the classics: pizza, burgers, chicken wings, etc. But they also offer sushi, spicy veggie bowls, steak and mushrooms and awesome salads. You can also order a Coca Cola Freestyle drink or an Icee in a super fun 28oz. Pin Sipper Souvenir container!


For those of us who aren't too familiar with bowling and the rules of the game, I'll tell you this much– it's okay if those bowling shoes you must rent make you feel Goofy... after all, you're at the Disneyland Resort! And it's okay if you feel like Beast after enjoying a $25 Double Stack burger... nobody said you weren't going to burn it off after walking from Splitzville to the Sleeping Beauty Castle inside Disneyland for the late night fireworks show!

Enjoy your time at the Disneyland Resort and make it a point to stop by Splitzville for fun, food and a 'bowl' lot of fun!

Thanks for reading, friends!



Disney With My Mom Friends (And No Kids)!

Disney is Also 'For Moms Only'


#GetMoreHappy at the Happiest Place on Earth Without the Kids!

Have you ever thought about hanging out at Disneyland without your kids? For many of us, it may seem unrealistic, perhaps a little selfish and even the perfect recipe for a much dreaded dose of Mom Guilt.

But before you continue giving yourself reasons to not spend time at a place that's known to make magical memories for children, I'm here to remind my fellow moms that the Disneyland Resort is for the young AND the young-at-heart! 

Spending a day with other adult friends at Disneyland actually helps remind many of us why we need a break from pushing strollers, dealing with temper tantrums and making frequent trips to diaper changing stations. It helps moms relax, enjoy good company, food, attractions and even discover things and locations within the resort that would be good for the kids and otherwise unseen when dealing with hungry, hyper, demanding little ones!


Earlier this month, I had a chance to visit the Disneyland Resort with fellow mommy bloggers. We were there on behalf of the We All Grow Latina Summit. I must say it was a fun and refreshing outing that reminded me why the Happiest Place on Earth is definitely my happy place.

Here are a few things I would recommend you try if you decide to make a trip to the Disneyland Resort with your mom tribe:


Yummy Food

Sure there are attractions like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad that give moms a chance to scream or laugh hysterically (like me) when enjoying without the kids. But I also see Disneyland as an awesome place to catch up with friends over a hearty lunch, like this Fried Chicken & mashed potatoes platter offered at Plaza Inn. The food was delicious and left us satisfied! The Plaza Inn also offers a great selection of desserts, like their rich and moist red velvet cake slices...yum!



Mickey Balloons!

Mickey-shaped balloons at the Disneyland Resort are a classic souvenir. These are called Glasshouse Balloons and they've pretty much been around for decades. You can buy them for under $10 or simply ask a Cast member to let you pose with the balloons as if holding them because you are a queen! The balloons usually stay inflated for several days after your trip.



Photo Backdrops & Mickey Ears

Only without the kids was I able to notice numerous fun and colorful backgrounds to take pictures of my boys next time we visit.

Among the cool photo backdrops, I noticed a blue wall across from the Small World attraction with ample space to take selfies or get your entire family in the shot. The wall actually opens up for emergency vehicles to enter the Park in case of a guest emergency.

There's also a lovely peach wall and another baby blue wall at the entrance of Main Street USA. I also spotted a topiary wall adjacent to the Main Street USA Railroad station.

If you visit Mickey's Toontown, you'll find that next to Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, there's a large wooden-looking door that provides a perfect backdrop for family photos, especially if you get there during the golden hour where the sun provide perfect lighting.

Finally, you can't leave the Mouse House without a picture in front of the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle! A trip to Disneyland would not be complete without the Castle in the background. 

Now, in order to add an extra bit of pixie dust to your Disneyland photos, you must make sure you have a pair of Mickey Ears! You can purchase Mickey Ears throughout the resort and they come in a variety of colors and styles averaging $25 a pair if you like them with sequins and bling. 

Say cheeeeeeese!


Disney California Adventure



Breakfast Time

I was pleasantly surprised with the Cars-themed waffle breakfast from the kids menu at Flo's V8 Cafe inside the Disney California Adventure Theme Park.

The meal comes with two small, round waffles that feature Mater, two strips of turkey bacon, fresh fruit that includes melon and strawberries plus a coffee (or child's drink). This meal was perfect to start the day–– a good portion with tasty flavors! The meal costs $6.49 and if you're an Annual Passholder you can apply your AP discount.

The Mater waffle breakfast held me over until late in the afternoon when we walked across the way to the Plaza Inn at Disneyland for lunch (see photos above).

Overall, breakfast at Flo's V8 Cafe is a great idea. For people with a bigger morning appetite, there are other great options including Brioche French Toast which is served with salted caramel sauce and bananas as well as a Chicken Tamale Breakfast meal that includes scrambled eggs and salsa verde....yum!





Alcoholic Beverages

Boozy Moms!

If you're anything like me, then you like to enjoy an adult beverage, sip on it calmly while taking in the sounds, sights and overall vibes at this Cali cool theme park. But if you have two young boys, like me, then chances are this scenario rarely happens...unless, of course, you're visiting with your mom tribe.

We started with a glass of sparkling wine since the Food and Wine Festival is happening now through April 13! After our delicious glass of bubbly, we went for an icy margarita at Rita's Baja Blenders located inside Pacific Wharf next to the soon-to-be Disney Pixar Pier! They offer Lemon-Lime and Strawberry flavors. Rita's Grand Margarita has an extra splash of liquer and sells for $9.75.



Overall, I think you should certainly plan a trip to the Disneyland Resort with your mommy friends. It's a great way to forget about your worries and your strife and give yourself a much needed break and #GetMoreHappy

Thanks for reading friends.

Have a Magical Day!

-Anabel M.

Disney Parks at We All Grow Summit

The Disney Love Was Real!


A lovely series of Magical Surprises During the Latina Bloggers Conference

The We All Grow Summit held in Long Beach during the first weekend of March was an incredible experience in and of itself... but for a Disney lover like me, the cherry on top was knowing that Disney Parks would be a summit sponsor.


Disney Parks hosted a group of Latina Bloggers to the Parks on the first day of the conference (myself included) and put on a fantastic luncheon on day three of the conference where they offered details about new things arriving at the Happiest Place on Earth!

After a divine 3-course meal, we were surprised with a special visit from Buzz Lightyear and Woody. They arrived to take photos with the enthusiastic, cheerful crowd of Latina bloggers!

A mouthwatering banana dessert ended the luncheon with an additional sugar rush!

A mouthwatering banana dessert ended the luncheon with an additional sugar rush!



Here are some takeaways from our Disney-sponsored luncheon held inside the Lagunita Pavilion inside the Hotel Maya:


1. Pixar Fest is coming! Beginning April 13, the area inside the California Adventure Park that was Paradise Pier will turn into Pixar Pier with new attractions, shows, food offerings and merchandise. Personally, I can’t wait to ride the new IncrediCoasters and see the return of the Paint the Night Parade!


2. Food And Wine Festival – Also at Disney California Adventure, foodies of all levels can indulge in a series of special food and wine selections exclusive to this annual event. The delicious & festive celebration will take place through April 13.

3. New Fireworks Show at Disneyland – This one will likely have to be experienced in person to really capture the Magic that it will deliver on a nightly basis. It's going to be called Together Forever– A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular... and the world can't wait!!

Don’t forget your pair of Mickey Ears in time to celebrate the new attractions coming to the Disneyland Resort!  Mickey Ears always help everyone #GetMoreHappy

Thanks for reading!



Anabel Marquez
Purple Vibes before the Walt Disney World Marathon!



Marathon Time!

How am I going to complete 26.2 miles of running?

The answer is: I don't know.

What I do know is that today, EPCOT was a wonderful distraction to keep my thoughts from steering too far toward the reality that perhaps I didn't train enough or prepare as well as I should have.

What I also know is that I will listen to the queues my body gives me without overdoing it. I will pace myself and if something doesn't feel right, I will address it immediately.

I will give it my best and pray that I survive this test.

For now, I will go to bed with friendly, warm memories of a day well spent at EPCOT with some amazing Disney Mommy friends and plenty of magical, purple vibes!

I'll be back with the results of my marathon completion attempt.

The signature Spaceship Earth attraction  at EPCOT is currently illuminated with Ultraviolet lighting!

The signature Spaceship Earth attraction  at EPCOT is currently illuminated with Ultraviolet lighting!

Runners completing the "Dopey Challenge" will have finished each of the following races– a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon over a span of four days.

Runners completing the "Dopey Challenge" will have finished each of the following races– a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon over a span of four days.

Special Marathon-themed merchandise is currently causing me a lot of temptation. But I promised myself I won't buy unless I finish!

Special Marathon-themed merchandise is currently causing me a lot of temptation. But I promised myself I won't buy unless I finish!


Thanks for reading!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Coming Next Week: Disney Live! Mickey & Minnie's Doorway to Magic



Get Ready for Fun!

As you probably read in my previous post on this fun family event, Disney Live! Mickey & Minnie's Doorway to Magic is coming to town next week!

Since I love all things Disney, I can't wait to see this show, produced by Feld Entertainment (who never disappoints).

Disney Live! Mickey & Minnie's Doorway to Magic is expected to be the most compelling Disney compilation to date. Families are encouraged to join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as they step into mysterious portals throughout the Disney universe, entering the enchanted lands of more than 20 Disney characters and encountering surprises at every turn of the doorknob!

Audience members will be transported to unforgettable moments showcased in the animated features Disney’s Tangled, Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story. Soooo excited!

Ticket Information

January 18 & 19 – Long Beach Terrace Theatre | Get tickets HERE.

January 20 & 21 – Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario | Get tickets HERE.


Thanks for reading, hope to see you at the show!


-Anabel M

Anabel Marquez
Season's Speedings! A Cars-Themed Breakfast



Honk if you're Hungry!

We visited California Adventure during the second weekend in November, just as Holidays at the Disneyland Resort had launched.

Decked out from the main entrance to the the back lots, the Park was one huge holiday celebration!

If you ask me what my favorite thing was, I'll tell you it was the Festival of Holidays–– a collection of booths that start at the end of Buena Vista Street and continue through the walkway leading to Paradise Pier. These booths sell food, drinks and desserts from around the world.

Now, if you ask Benny and Toby what their favorite thing was, they'll say it was Cars Land, where guests are greeted with a sign that says "Season's Speedings". It features a fantastic Christmas overlay and my sons simply didn't want to leave!


The Cars Land Christmas experience combined with a new-found love of cars that Toby has discovered made Benny decide it was time to ask me for a favor.

"Can we please have a Cars breakfast for Toby, Mama?," Benny asked.

Who can say no to that? Big brother asking for a fun breakfast for little brother...My. Heart. Melts.

It takes simple details to make meaningful memories and today's breakfast was a reminder of that!

I made roadway place mats with removable play tape, extended a Candy cane tissue paper sheet and placed Cars-themed meal sets gifted to the boys by Grandma Dotty. Then I made simple pancakes.

Benny and Toby loved it. They played with their Cars and enjoyed their breakfast...

Here are some pictures before the table turned into a messy car track with syrup and strawberry stems everywhere!


Thanks for reading!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Disney Live! Presents Mickey and Minnie's Doorway to Magic



Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder to Make Stage Debut

The Magic of Disney will take to the stage in January when Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic visits Long Beach Terrace Theatre & Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario from January 18-January 21.

Tickets are on sale now, friends!

This is not an ice show, but rather a performance where Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the comical duo of Donald and Goofy and 25 other popular Disney characters surprise and captivate at every turn of the knob! 

This show will let you see the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown in a split second (I've always wanted to see this in person);  The Toy Story gang will defy the dimensions of Andy’s toy box with the help of the green army men;

Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will make what is being described as a "spectacular stage debut" rising into the sky amidst floating lanterns. 


With special appearances by Snow White, Tinker Bell and Aladdin’s Genie, audiences are told they will hold the key to unlocking their imagination in Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic.

Tickets start at $20.



L O N G   B E A C H

Long Beach Terrace Theater - 300 E. Ocean Blvd. | Long Beach, CA 90802

Thursday, January 18 – Friday, January 19

  • Thursday, January 18                   6:30 PM
  • Friday, January 19                        1:00 PM & 6:30 PM


Citizens Business Bank Arena – 4000 Ontario Center Parkway | Ontario, CA 91764

Saturday, January 20 – Sunday, January 21

  • Saturday, January 20             1:00 PM & 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, January 21                 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Tickets available for purchase online at or, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in person at the venue Box Office.

*prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply.

I can't wait! Hope to see you there, friends!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
My First Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

Happiest Blogger Meeting On Earth!


I'm currently serving as a 2017 Disney Parks Mom Panelist, a contract position with Magical benefits

Like many moms in Southern California, I have a blog and I cover Disney stuff on my blog. 

But I had never been invited to the annual Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. 

I did, however, get selected to become a Disney Parks Mom Panelist, which was way beyond any Disney honor a Disney-loving mom could ever receive. In my designation as a mom panelist, I've had amazing opportunities to visit the Disneyland Resort for different events. Since I answer plenty of guest questions seeking Disneyland vacation advice, the more visits to the Happiest Place on Earth, the better for me since there's always something new at the resort.


Nonetheless, receiving an invite to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations was just so cool!

It was amazing because I was there as a blogger/online media editor (see but I was also there as a Disney Parks Mom Panelist which suddenly reminded me how soon this experience is coming to an end (panelists serve for one year)! 

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration included helpful workshops and inspiring speakers. It also gave us the opportunity to meet other influencers and explore the Parks.


The idea is that Disney recognizes the importance of spreading the love. If bloggers and social media influencers cover fun and unique Disney stories, our readers and followers will learn about Magical happenings!

Disneyland with no kids and a bunch of mommies with social media obligations was incredible and I plan on sharing awesome news and updates regarding the Disneyland Resort on a regular basis.

For now, I want to thank the organizers of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration "on the road" for coordinating such a memorable day (Thank you Jodi, Courtnee and Lisa). I'd also like to share some photos of this very happy day!

City Hall at Disneyland is still your one-stop shop for birthday & "first-time visit" buttons, a list of horse names at the King Arthur Carrousel, times for Character Meet & Greets, Disability Access Service registration, among many other things!

City Hall at Disneyland is still your one-stop shop for birthday & "first-time visit" buttons, a list of horse names at the King Arthur Carrousel, times for Character Meet & Greets, Disability Access Service registration, among many other things!

From now until the Holiday season, guests can indulge in this moist, creamy and delicious classic Strawberry Shotcake dessert at the Plaza Inn, inside the Disneyland Theme Park.

From now until the Holiday season, guests can indulge in this moist, creamy and delicious classic Strawberry Shotcake dessert at the Plaza Inn, inside the Disneyland Theme Park.

I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers, directors of Olaf's Frozen Adventures, an upcoming featurette which will be in theaters on November 22, 2017. They shared many fun details about what it was like to work on this film, including hints about hidden Mickeys within the film!

I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers, directors of Olaf's Frozen Adventures, an upcoming featurette which will be in theaters on November 22, 2017. They shared many fun details about what it was like to work on this film, including hints about hidden Mickeys within the film!

Best of all, I had an opportunity to hang out with other amazing mommy bloggers including Paulina and Bricia Lopez (Super Mamas) and Jacqui Saldana (Baby Boy Bakery) pictured above.

Best of all, I had an opportunity to hang out with other amazing mommy bloggers including Paulina and Bricia Lopez (Super Mamas) and Jacqui Saldana (Baby Boy Bakery) pictured above.

On a final note, many moms have asked me how they can receive an invitation to the next Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. To be honest, the only thing I can offer is-- continue being genuine and honest in your coverage of Disneyland and Disney-related products and events. Personally, I'm still not sure why I received the invitation. It could have been my involvement with the Disney Parks Moms Panel, it could have been the "Disney Love" section on this blog or simply because someone checked out my Instagram and Twitter Feed and liked what they saw.
In the end, moms who decide to delve into the world of blogging don't really know if their venture will be successful but we do it because we simply love to share our experiences and have a creative outlet. Everything that happens after that is complimentary.
I would encourage you to keep being you and pixie dust will follow...
Thanks for reading!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Becoming a 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panelist

Thrilled to share about my amazing 2017 gig with Disney!


I was selected to serve as a 2017 Disney Parks Mom Panelist, an independent contract position with magical benefits. All opinions are my own.

Many friends and relatives have asked me how I became a Disney Parks Moms Panelist. They probably saw tons of pictures appear on social media during training, which took place in early December. I couldn't help but share and I was also getting tagged in photos showing an amazing time at Walt Disney World with my fellow mom panelists (twelve of us, to be exact).


But my answer to the question about how I became a panelist is very simple: I don't know.
I applied along with thousands and thousands of other Disney-loving mommies from around the world. I answered all application questions honestly and from the heart. I also made sure to double check my grammar and punctuation on every single submission. I let them know I was bilingual and confirmed that neither myself or anyone in my immediate family worked for Disney or a travel agency. I also submitted the dates of our last Disney vacation (you must have stayed at a Disney Resort at least once in the last 12 months).


Friends, there must have been a perfect amount of pixie dust on my application because I never imagined I would move on to the final round, let alone get selected!

Before I knew it, I was experiencing the most unforgettable Disney trip with some really nice, witty, intelligent and sweet Disney mommies (and one awesome dad from Canada), with whom I plan on being in touch with for many years to come, I mean, to infinity and beyond, if possible! The experience was practically perfect in every way...

All Disney quotes aside though, being on the Disney Parks Moms Panel is an honor. It's a highly coveted spot where we have a unique opportunity to serve as ambassadors or representatives of Disney Parks. We do so by answering questions from families planning a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. We were selected because of our enthusiasm toward all things Disney and we are given the liberty to offer our favorite suggestions, recommendations and advice to families visiting the parks. It's certainly a very involved assignment and one that doesn't come with a salary but in good ol' Disney fashion, we are fortunate to receive magical benefits for taking on this once-in-a-lifetime role.
You can visit the Disney Parks Moms Panel website for more information.
My picture and biography are on the website now (woo-hoo)! I will be answering questions in English and Spanish about the Disneyland Resort.
By the way,  the 2018 panel search will open later in the year. Make sure you sign-up to receive Disney Parks Blog information directly to your email inbox for the exact dates.


For Disney Parks Moms Panel hopefuls, all I can say is don't give up! A couple of this year's mom panelists applied for 10 years before getting selected for 2017, which happens to be the 10th anniversary of the Disney Parks Moms Panel program!
After a conversation with one of those mommies, it seemed as though 2017 was the best possible year for her to have participated, given personal and professional situations.
In other words, things happen for a reason and If you can dream it, you can do it!


En español

Mucha gente me ha preguntado cómo le hice para terminar entre el grupo de mamás panelistas de Disney de 2017. Quizá vieron las fotos que subí o fotos donde me etiquetaron durante la semana de entrenamiento en Walt Disney World. Y es que ni como contener la emoción de estar entre un grupo de doce mamás (y un padre canadiense) que fuimos selecccionados por Disney para esta asignación.


En realidad no sé cuál fue la razón por la que me escogieron. Presenté mi solicitud junto con miles de personas fanáticas de Disney alrededor del mundo. Contesté todas las preguntas con honestidad y  corazón. Me aseguré de enviar las respuestas sin faltas de gramática u ortografía. Les avisé que era bilingue y confirmé que nadie en mi familia trabajaba para Disney u alguna agencia de viajes. También les proporcioné las fechas de mis ultimas vacaciones a Disney (se requiere hospedaje en un hotel de Disney al menos una vez en los últimos 12 meses).


Será que Campanita estaba de mi lado y le puso suficiente brillantina a mi solicitud porque ¡jamás imaginé que llegaría a la última ronda, y mucho menos que sería seleccionada!
Este papel como mamá panelista de Disney es uno que me enorgullece mucho. Es un puesto muy solicitado que nos brinda la oportunidad de servir como representantes o embajadores de Disney. Esto lo hacemos contestando todo tipo de preguntas sobre los parques a familias que planean viajar a Disney. Fuimos seleccionadas en parte por nuestro conocimiento sobre todo lo referente a Disney y tenemos libertad de contestar preguntas, ofrecer consejos y dar recomendaciones basado en nuestros gustos y preferencias. Yo estaré encargada de contestar preguntas sobre Disneyland en inglés y español. Aquí pueden conocer más sobre las panelistas.
¡Estoy a sus ordenes!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Summer Party!

A Hot Diggity Dog Time!


Benny & Toby's 1st Annual Summer Party

When I was on maternity leave, I would look at my baby Toby and remember when his older brother Benny was just as tiny.
I  would get feelings of nostalgia thinking about how fast kids grow.
But there's no stopping the clock and my babies will be teens before I know it.
That's why I started thinking of ways to make their childhood even more memorable.
One idea that came to mind was throwing an annual kids play date/summer BBQ where I would invite all their cousins and little friends to enjoy an evening of games, activities, food and goodies, at our house.
Well, Benny & Toby's 1st Annual Summer Play Date was held a few weekends ago and it was quite an experience...


The day was super hot and we don't have a pool so I hired a Bubblist and had a few activities to help kids stay cool like splash ping pong, fishing for guppies, a lemonade stand and my brother-in-law, who was the afternoon's grill master, also installed a cooling mist system in the kids area.
The weather was ridiculously hot but the kids seemed to have a blast running around and finding activities to keep busy. Did I mention it was Mickey-themed?


I learned a few lessons on things I will do differently next year as far as time of day to host the party and the amount of time I need to make it all come together (I waited till the last minute for a lot of details and a few things I envisioned never got done), but overall, we had a great crowd and Benny still talks about his friends and cousins who came to the summer party...yay!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez