Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Disney T-Shirt

We decided to take advantage of our Florida residency and bought season passes to Disney World this year. We got a 4 day pass for $160/person, meaning $40 per day, which is a 60% discount off the regular gate price. Here are my thoughts/advice on Disney, before I jump into my DIY shirts:

-Definitely get the Florida resident pass at least once every few years, especially if you have kids!

-Technically, you have to show proof of residency, which I suppose they saw when we paid through our credit card online and entered our zip code, but when we went to the ticket window to pick up our pass they never asked for any further ID (documents said they would). SO if you're one to try cheating the system and are up for risking it then have someone from FL buy passes on their credit card and save yourself 60% off full ticket price. Again, I wouldn't recommend it, but from what I've heard people do this and it works. It's still a risk.

-The absolute BEST time to visit Disney World, specifically Magic Kingdom is early February; Sundays being optimal! We encountered the shortest wait times I've ever experienced (been to MK in 1994, 2004, 2007 and 2008) with the longest being maybe 30 minutes! We did all the rides/parades/shows we wanted to do by 8pm and we could have stuck around til the fireworks at 11pm to do even more rides but with a tired 3 year old we were more than satisfied with our day and headed out.

- The new FastPass system is awesome! Its included free in your ticket and lets you choose up to 3 rides/shows you want to skip the line in by selecting a time to come back for them. We did fastpass at Magic Kingdom for Space Mountain, Buzz Light-Year and Pirates of the Caribbean. At Hollywood studios we did it for the Toy Story ride, Disney Junior Live show (don't bother, there's plenty of showtimes and lots of room, I would recommend doing it for the Rock n Roll roller coaster instead) and Tower of Terror. You can easily ask the attendant which rides tend to get the busiest and they're very helpful with assisting you.

-Download the DisneyWorld app on your phone (it's free). It gives updated wait times so you can strategically plan out which rides you should get on as soon as you enter the park. I spent the night before our trip picking out the rides we wanted to do and roughly planning out in which order to do them then the day of the app helped with figuring out which had the shortest lines. This really helped make the most of our day!

-Parking at the parks is $15 per day and going 4 days means spending $60 on just parking your car. Not saying we did this, but I have heard of an easy money saving trick. Park at one of the Disney resorts for free, Art of Animation for example, and taking their free shuttle to the parks. You are required to have a parking pass resorts too, but mostly that's for overnight parking. To be safe you can just tell them at the lobby that you're interested in spending the night and came to check out the resort, and they'll give you a temporary parking pass.

-If your kids want to meet Disney characters, I would say double check to see which parks you can meet which characters at (use the Disney App). The best park for the most Meet n Greets is Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios). We waited the longest for Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom, around 30 minutes and found out later that Mickey is also at HS, which is far less crowded so it has shorter wait times. But I think if you want to meet the princesses they're only at MK. We got lucky with having a son and the line to meet Daffy/Goofy was way shorter than Daisy/Minnie and he obviously wasn't interested in story time with Belle (which has a VERY long wait).

-Definitely try to attend the MK parade, it's interactive where kids can dance along with characters and probably more fun than the show on stage later on. For a great show, make sure to attend Mickey's Fantasmic show at Hollywood Studios, the first show gets full very fast so either aim to attend the second one or get in line early.

-With a toddler/3 year old you can plan to take a break for nap time and that's when you/husband can take turns to go on the adult rides or you can completely let your kid exhaust himself and he'll probably crash by 6/7pm. either way have some sort of plan in mind for what works better with your child and that will make your day less tiring. Try to get all the kiddie stuff out of the way first so that when the nap monster starts roaring you can head out if need be, otherwise all the parks have a kid's room where nursing moms or sleepy babies can rest.

-For FREE Disney fun DEFINITELY check out Downtown Disney, they have some live performances and an awesome Lego store where kids can have fun building. We also took our son to check out Art of Animation resort since they have a whole section themed like the Cars movie. They also have a Nemo, Little Mermaid and Lion King wing. It's really fun and you get some great pictures!

Ok I've run out of tips/tricks for now, so check out below my first DIY t-shirt making project. I literally decided to do this on Thursday morning and we were leaving for Disney on Friday morning! It took me some rushing to crafts stores then my amazing friend's house to use her printer before I got to actual work on the shirts, which took maybe 3-4  hours (I did some finishing touches in our hotel room) and the result was great!

Items you need:
Plain White Tshirt (you can find them at any craft store like Michael's or in the back of your own closet)
White Chalk (I used crayola, from Target. I'm sure dollar stores have this too)
Glue Gun (got mine at a garage sale for $1, Michael's has one for $5 with their 40% off coupon)
Cup and a Bowl - to draw Mickey's ears and face
Black fabric (check the scrap fabric section of Jo Ann which usually has them majorly discounted)
Red Polka Dot fabric - For Minnie's bow
Red Stars fabric - for Mickey's bowtie (you need very little of this since it's just a bow, depends on how many you're making. I asked the girl at the fabric counter at Jo Ann's to help me and it worked fine, didn't cost more than $3)
Heat n Bond - Got mine at Jo Ann fabric (always make sure to use their coupons, google it!)
Quick Fuse Iron On Sheets - again I checked the sale section of Jo Ann and got mine for about $7
Black Fabric paint - $1 Michaels, to outline Mickey's silhouette, gives it a clean finished look. Optional, not necessary though.

So it all started when I saw this picture on Pinterest, then I found out how much they cost to have custom made on Etsy.

I didn't have time for ordering custom shirts, nor did I want to spend $18+ on something we would wear just a few times. So I dug in our closets for my husband's old Hanes under shirts and my son's old 18 month onesie (which still fits my scrawny kid!) I did some googling and found images for what I wanted our shirts to look like.

When I came across this picture below I just loved the idea of using Mickey hands! Especially because I wanted to incorporate our newest little addition in the plan too!  Yep, this is what let the cat out of the bag.

So I got to work using my son's plastic tupperware to make a stencil of Mickey

A trip to Jo Ann's found me this iron on paper. I was able to print the Mickey Hand's image on my friend's home printer without any trouble at all. Just follow the instructions on the Quick Fuse back label. FYI: if you don't have a printer don't bother trying Staples Kinkos or Office Depot they all have laser printers and you need an ink jet for this. Try to find a buddy with a home printer or possibly a local library.

Searched through JoAnn's discounted scrap fabric section got me some black fabric for about $2

Had some crayola chalk lying around the house so I used that to trace my stencil onto the fabric and then cut it out.

So there's this glue bond thing you can find for under $5, its SO easy. This was literally my first experience of shopping at Michael's or working with iron glue bonding and I had zero problems. If I can do it, so can you! Lay your fabric on the glue sheets then lightly press the iron so glue sticks to the back of your fabric. Then cut the fabric peel off the backing and now iron onto your shirt. Directions are on the packaging, I followed them and it was fairly simple. Do a test run on a scrap fabric piece to be safe. 

We took a  break to celebrate hubby's birthday at Benihana's. How cute does my little guy look!

We found out he's got a love for sushi already!
At the hotel now, we made the bowties. I am NOT a sewer. But I did have a glue gun at home. So again, I found fabric on sale and put my gun to use.

Glue the edges so you have a clean ribbon to work with.

The entire bow was made with a glue gun, no sewing at all. We used one big ribbon and then glued a smaller ribbon to it in order to make that center part.

In hindsight I realize I should have made Mickey smaller on my son's shirt since it was so big that the bow sort of got hidden at the bottom, but still it came out cute. Not bad for my first try! I used black fabric paint I had at home to add a zigzag design to the inside of Mickey. This helps cover up any places where the glue might show and adds a little flare. It's totally optional and not necessary. 

View from our hotel room at the resort we stayed at. That water slide was AWESOME!

Our day trip to Art of Animation, showing off my final product!

If you have some free time at 2AM then give yourself a little Minnie Mouse manicure!

Here's a close up shot of my shirt, a little shout out to my tiny Mickey hiding inside! I figured if we were going the cheesy route, why not go all the way :)

Disney Junior Live Show at Hollywood Studios. Our little guy LOVED it! You get to see Jake and the Pirates, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffin and the whole Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang. 

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