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28
Oct, 2011

Disney Interactive Media Halloween Bash!
My mini-MJ busting some sweet moves

Last week, Aubrey and I went to the Disney Interactive Media Group’s Halloween Bash at the Disney Studios in Burbank. This group puts on the BEST parties and this one was no exception!


Guests were treated to samplings of the newest Disney console and online video games and web site offerings on DisneyFamily.com and FamilyFun.com and there was even an artist on hand giving lessons on how to sketch the penguins from Club Penguin! 


Of course there were amazing treats and activities too! Aubrey loved decorating her own Tinkerbell cookie so much, she made two.

Mmmm…Tinkerbell cookies!

If you’re into family video games, there are some really fun ones that just came out including Disney Universe, Cars 2 and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean but Aubrey’s favorite was the Phineas and Ferb: Across The Second Dimension

Aubrey and her bestie, Isabella, playing Phineas and Ferb

Her other favorite of the night was Club Penguin. I’d heard about the Club Penguin craze and now it has become a reality for us. I may need to put a lock and chain on my laptop. What am I talking about? Aubrey has a job. She can buy her own compter! Geez.

Aubrey held this poor woman prisoner for a large part of the evening

Little ones can also check out Pixie Hollow online and the new mobile apps: Where’s My Water and Puffle Launch for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices.

A well-deserved Jack Skellington cupcake!
We had an AWESOME time that night and the perfect end to the evening was that Aubrey won the kids’ costume contest with her Michael Jackson get up. She even busted a couple moves to Thriller when they queued up the music to call out her name. She was, literally, thrilled! 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! Have a safe and super fun holiday!
xo Amy & Aubrey

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08
Nov, 2010

Aubrey's Mickey Mote Review
Aubrey is ready to get started!

Today Aubrey and I received a new Disney Mickey Mote to try out and Aubrey’s review is in!

The Mickey Mote is a preschooler remote control device that allows the viewer to interact with special Disney DVDs in a “Discovery” mode. The lucky preschooler’s parent or caretaker gets to program the Micky Mote with the DVD remote and then you are pretty much ready to get started. Also, you are able to play the interactive Discovery mode games with your regular DVD remote arrow buttons.

The Mickey Mote seems fairly simple, and not to brag, but my kid’s no dummy, so I thought she’d pick it up quickly. Aubrey is just under 3-1/2 years old and this product is being marketed to children between 2-5 years of age.

She really wanted to “do the star”
Aubrey’s first reactions: 
She loved the packaging and couldn’t wait to get it out of the box!
She loved the buttons and wanted to “do the star” immediately

There were a couple issues getting started: The Mickey Mote requires 2 AAA batteries which aren’t included and I didn’t have on hand. I had to charge up our rechargeable batteries and this made Aubrey really antsy having to wait. I popped in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Numbers Roundup DVD but apparently I programmed the buttons in the wrong sequence because I feel the directions weren’t written in the best sequence. When we tried to answer the first questions on the DVD, it wasn’t reading correctly, so this caused a little more lag time. (see the video)


I had to reprogram it and then we had it right. By this time Aubrey had lost a little bit of interest in answering the questions and simply wanted to watch. She also wasn’t very interested in answering the questions correctly, but just wanted to click the characters or pictures she liked the best. Aubrey is a girl with strong opinions, much like her mother.

Aubrey tries it on her own
Now, before I go any further, I should mention that I have the world’s CHEAPEST DVD player. It was the cheapest one you can get at Best Buy about 2 years ago, so maybe it’s a little slower than others, but Aubrey seemed to be a little impatient waiting for the questions to load and then go back to the cartoon action. It was like a pause, then the question, then a pause before returning to the actual cartoon. I also felt there was a bit too much cartoon in between each question and the questions weren’t worded really well for a preschooler. I had to really help Aubrey understand what they were asking. 

One other negative is that even though the remote is easy for little hands to hold, my 3 yr old didn’t quite understand the concept of pointing it right at the DVD player to get it to work. Once again, my total piece of doo-doo DVD player might not respond quite as well as others’ DVD players, so you might not have a problem with this, but it seemed like it didn’t work very well unless it was pointed pretty directly to the player.


Now, for the good part… it’s Disney and my kid loves anything Disney. As a test, I started out working with her, helping her answer the questions and prompting her to push the correct buttons and then I let her go and sat back to observe. Once she was doing it on her own, she wasn’t getting the answer correct most of the time, but she still enjoyed playing with it and pretending she was doing even more than just answering the actual questions. 

Who doesn’t want to see this face on their TV?
She loves Mickey’s Clubhouse and really enjoyed watching the DVD, even if the Mickey Mote wasn’t quite up her alley. She dances and sings along to the songs and bottom line, I think this will be a lot more fun and appropriate for her several months from now. This is the first kind of “video game” she has been introduced to at home, so I think she’ll catch on with a little practice. I’m thinking four and five year olds will really get this right away and for two and three year olds, it’s something you and your child will probably have to play with together and learn as you go. Nothing wrong with that.

Just in time for holiday shopping, the new Mickey Mote will be available beginning Nov 16, 2010, packaged in a DVD Play Set with either Mickey Mouse: Clubhouse Numbers Roundup or Handy Manny: Big Construction Job. It retails for around $29.99 and the other Discovery Mode enhanced DVDs are already on the market and ready to use with your new Mickey Mote, including Handy Manny’s Motocycle AdventureMickey Mouse Clubhouse Road RallyLittle Einstein’s Fire Truck Rocket’s Blast Off and six additional titles.

I hope you found this review helpful and happy Mickey Moting everyone! Woohoo!


I was not compensated for this review and I did receive the product to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed on this blog are completely my own. So there.

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25
May, 2010

Disney Interactive Game Night Was A HIT!

Last week, Aubrey and I had the opportunity to attend the Disney Interactive Game Night at Hollywood and Highland. Disney always throws a classy, family friendly shindig, and this party was no exception.
Aubrey is going to be three in two weeks and I went alone with her, so I spent a lot of the time wrangling her rather than playing games, but what we did experience, we really loved! Also, Aubrey is just below the target age for many of these family games, so we haven’t gotten into gaming at home yet (I’m still bragging about “flipping” our home version of Atari Asteroids when I was in third grade), but it’s good to know Disney is making some quality family games.
Since Aubrey doesn’t really know what video games are yet, I told her we were going to a “special party” by Disney. She kept asking if Mickey Mouse was going to be there so I was worried she might be a little disappointed to find out it wasn’t a Mouse party, but I was wrong. She had a blast!
The first game we checked out was the oh-so popular Club Penguin. Every parent and kid on the planet seems to know more about Club Penguin than I do so I thought I should see what all the excitement it all about. It was really cute and I can see how kids get hooked on it. We had fun just picking out outfits for our penguin!
Next we tried Toy Story Mania. OK, let me amend that… AUBREY tried Toy Story Mania. I think I mentioned that the last video games I played were the Atari classics – Tank, Pitfall, Pong. I am really bad at modern video games – mainly because they make me a little dizzy and motion sick and I can’t figure out the controls. It’s a good thing that my almost 3 year old picked up the controller for Toy Story Mania and figured out how to make Jessie the Cowgirl jump on and off her horse and ride all over the screen! Even the guy demoing the game for us was a little surprised. Kids!
Aubrey is currently horse obsessed after visiting relatives with horses last month, so this game was a real hit for her! I can’t wait to take her to Toy Story 3 later in June!
The third and final game we played was definitely our favorite – Sing It: Family Hits. All of my favorite Disney family movie songs (Supercalifragilis, Winnie The Pooh, Kiss The Girl…) in karaoke mode! For a woman who makes her living on stage with a microphone and her kid who is a bigger ham than her, this game was a blast. I couldn’t get Aubrey away so I can imagine a game like this may easily be in our future.
Just before we left, we caught a glimpse of an iPad demo of some of the cool Disney Interactive apps. The games looked really cool, but I have to admit I was just excited to touch an iPad…. oooooohhhhh!
I should mention that there were MANY more games that we didn’t get to. Titles like Phineas and Ferb, Split Second, Toon Town, Cars, Guilty Party, Pixie Hollow and more were all there and everyone seemed to be having fun.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete Disney party without awesome, family friendly food. Disney is great at putting together buffets that are gourmet versions of things kids love to eat, so the adults are in food heaven too. The buffet included cheeseburger and shrimp po’ boy sliders, onion rings, French fries, fruit kabobs, hummus, wraps, quesadillas and more but the best part was the desserts which included home made ho hos, ding dongs and twinkies that were out of this world. The banana pudding and apple pastries were great too and the kids were all over the Club Penguin snow cones.
Overall, it was a great night and it was such a treat to be able to share it with my daughter. She really had fun and is still talking about the “special party”. Thank you Disney Interactive for a special night together!

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