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12 Must-Do Experiences During the Holidays at Walt Disney World

Do you like visiting Walt Disney World during the holidays? I absolutely love it!! Between the lights, decorations, music, special events, and let’s be honest, great weather, it’s the best time to visit in my opinion. During this time of year, Walt Disney World transforms into a wonderland of holiday sights, sounds and tastes. Whether meeting a favorite character or gazing at the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, indulging in delicious treats or discovering the perfect gift for family and friends, this is the place where holiday dreams come true. Here are 12 things you absolutely must do during the holidays:

1. See the all-new Toy Story Land Holiday Décor

Toy Story Land Holidays | @mamionthego

This new immersive land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be decked out with festive spirit during the holidays. New decor will include an oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland and a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie at Woody’s Lunch Box, as well as green alien ornaments near the entrance to Alien Swirling Saucers, just to name a few. Plus, guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tracks with themed lighting. The characters will also show off new holiday looks for the season – Woody and Jessie will wear special holiday vests and sprigs of holly on their hats, while Buzz Lightyear will don a snazzy Santa hat.

2. Catch showings of Sunset Seasons Greetings and “Jingle Ball, Jingle BAM!”

Disney's Hollywood Studios Holidays | @mamionthego

Guests should definitely make plans to see both of the nighttime shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are special to the season. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” follows the animated elves from “Disney Prep & Landing” as they search for Santa Claus, who has gone missing. Iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections help bring this spectacular to life. And over on Sunset Boulevard, new laser effects add even more sparkle to Sunset Seasons Greetings, the towering holiday projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Throughout the night, the show features Mickey Mouse, Olaf and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite seasonal stories.

3. Enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party | @mamionthego

Get into the festive spirit at this specially ticketed, after-hours party at Magic Kingdom Park. Indulge in complimentary sweet holiday treats, enjoy specialty entertainment such as the awe-inspiring Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and celebrate the spirit of the season with unforgettable experiences, including snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A.

4. Don’t miss A Frozen Holiday Wish

A Frozen Holiday Wish | @mamionthego

Guests can get swept up in the holiday spirit when Queen Elsa transforms Cinderella Castle into the gorgeous, glistening, icy holiday centerpiece of Magic Kingdom. Featuring appearances by Anna and Elsa, along with rugged mountain man Kristoff and the lovable snowman Olaf, this merry-and-bright seasonal show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom.

5. Savor new items from Epcot Holiday Kitchens

Epcot Holidays Around The World | @mamionthego

Holiday Kitchens offer delectable bites inspired by holiday traditions around the world. Every holiday season brings new tastes and treats. New this year is the L’Chaim! Kitchen featuring traditional Hebrew dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, egg cream and more. Feast of the Three Kings Kitchen will feature a new menu, including sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains and olives, as well as queso fresco-stuffed arepas topped with shrimp. Other new samplings include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and hand-carved smoked ham with green beans and sweet potato casserole at the American Holiday Table in The American Adventure.

6. Be moved by a performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Candlelight Processional | @mamionthego

Delight in the story of Christmas as told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra during a performance that inspires joy and holiday spirit. New narrators this year include Alfonso Ribeiro (Nov. 26-27) and “Moana” voice actress Auli’i Cravalho (Dec. 21-23). A great way to experience the show is with a Candlelight Processional Dining Package; guests can learn more and make reservations for the package here.

7. Take in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and other international holiday entertainment

IllumiNations Epcot | @mamionthego

The nighttime spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth includes a special holiday finale from Nov. 18 to Dec. 30. This will be the final holiday season for this show that takes place on and around World Showcase Lagoon. The show will conclude a 20-year run at the end of summer 2019, before new thrills debut on the lagoon immediately afterward. World Showcase is also the place to discover the sights, sounds and tastes that are part of holiday celebrations from around the world.

8. Shop till you drop at Disney Springs

Holidays At Disney Springs | @mamionthego

There is a gift idea for everyone at Disney Springs, the shopping, dining and entertainment district at Walt Disney World. Disney fans will love the Disney-themed exclusive items at stores such as the newly reimagined World of Disney and DisneyStyle, while trendsetters will appreciate the apparel and accessories at stores such as Coach, Anthropologie, Pandora, Sephora and others. And kids will love gifts from stores like Once Upon a Toy and The LEGO Store.

9. Stroll the Christmas Tree Trail

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail | @mamionthego

Also at Disney Springs, guests will enjoy a walk-through wonderland filled with Christmas trees decorated with Disney imagery and characters. This year’s trail features 27 unique holiday trees with new additions inspired by Toy Story, The Haunted Mansion and Star Wars. Guests can even meet Santa at his chalet inside the trail.

10. Discover Diwali during UP! A Great Bird Adventure

Up A Great Bird Adventure | @mamionthego

This all-new show takes guests on a journey to discover some of the world’s exotic birds along with fun-loving Russell and his furry friend Dug from Disney•Pixar’s hit film “Up.” During the holiday season, a special version of the show will introduce guests to discover the story of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India.

11. Find gingerbread houses, Christmas trees and additional offerings at Disney resort hotels

Disney's Grand Floridian Gingerbread Houses | @mamionthego

The holiday fun continues when guests leave the parks. All Walt Disney World resort hotels are elaborately decorated, and many offer special entertainment and dining during the season. Guests can marvel at intricate, life-size gingerbread houses at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and be awed by the massive Christmas trees in the lobbies of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

12. Capture picture-perfect memories with Disney PhotoPass

Disney PhotoPass | @mamionthego

The holiday season is the perfect time to pose for photos around Walt Disney World. Disney PhotoPass locations will be available in front of the iconic trees in all four theme parks and at festively decorated areas – the perfect shot for a greeting card or to help guests remember an incredible trip.

To learn about everything going on at Disney Parks, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

To plan your next Walt Disney World vacations, visit disneyworld.com.

*Information and images provided by Disney.

My 8 Favorite DIY Cleaners for the Entire Home

All my life, I have been fortunate to have had professional help with the heavy duty cleaning in my home. All I needed to do was light cleanings of counters, mirrors, bathrooms and floors in between cleanings. My cleaning supply consisted of a lot of single-duty harsh cleaners that were expensive and bad for the environment. I didn’t know anything else. 🤷

Well, when I moved into a new apartment 6 months ago, I decided that I would take on ALL the cleaning by myself. I was pretty proud of myself, until I remembered that I didn’t know how to clean!! 🤦‍♀️

Enter the internet.

I started researching and found several cleaning blogs, websites and YouTube channels that have helped me learn how to clean. My two favorites are FlyLady and Clean My Space. Not only have I learned some cool tips and tricks to clean on my own {lazy} terms, but I also learned that you don’t need those expensive cleaners full of harsh chemicals. My whole outlook on cleaning has changed. I still don’t LOVE cleaning, but I actually enjoy it most of the time, especially when I’m creating my own DIY cleaning recipes.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have some store-bought cleaners, but I rarely use them. Nowadays, these are the 6 ingredients that I have on hand at all times to clean pretty much anything:

  1. Dish soap – your basic blue soap works wonders well beyond your dishes!
  2. Distilled white vinegar – yes, the same one you use in your salad. I don’t like the “cleaning vinegar” because it’s harsher (it has more acidity), it’s more expensive, and it’s toxic. The salad one works just fine, thankyouverymuch.
  3. Baking soda – yep, the same one you use for baking, and the same one you keep in the back of your fridge. Those little boxes are miracle workers.
  4. Rubbing alcohol – the same one you have in your bathroom cabinet. It disinfects WAY more than just cuts and bruises!
  5. Hydrogen peroxide – again, the same one you have in your first aid kit. It disinfects and gets rid of bacteria.
  6. Essential oils – make sure you get 100% pure essential oils. They work on your diffuser and also for cleaning!

Are you seeing a pattern here? That’s right, these are all multipurpose products!! They have many uses around the house, and are generally safe and non-toxic. When you have children in your home, this is a plus! 🙌

Ok, without further ado, here are my 8 favorite DIY cleaners for the entire home. I have used these again and again, and love them:

1. All Purpose Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp dish soap
  • 10-20 drops essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. This works for pretty much any surface around the house. For kitchen counters and disinfecting, you can add 1 cup of rubbing alcohol to the mix.

2. Glass, Mirror, Stainless Steel, or Chrome Cleaner

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part white vinegar

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. This cleans surfaces to a streak-free shine. I use it on all my mirrors, glass surfaces, stainless steel appliances, kitchen sink, and bathroom faucets.

3. Tub & Tile Cleaner (light duty)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dish soap
  • 10-20 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. The white vinegar helps it dry faster (perfect for damp bathrooms), and the lemon and tea tree essential oils are natural disinfectants (they also smell good, lol).

4. Tub, Tile & Grout Cleaner (heavy duty)

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 2 tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 10 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil (optional)

Add ingredients to a small bowl and stir until combined. Apply with the smooth side of a sponge and let sit about 5-10 minutes. Then scrub with the scrubby side of the sponge (or brush if you’re cleaning your grout), then rinse and buff dry. When you’re cleaning your sink and bathtub, make sure you use a scrubber that is safe for your porcelain finish!

5. Daily Shower Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray your tile walls after showering. The vinegar helps it dry faster, and the tea tree oil helps disinfect. You should still clean your walls, but you will notice less soap scum buildup, which equals less cleaning, SCORE!

6. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide

Add ingredients to a squeeze bottle (like a ketchup dispenser, I got mine at the dollar store). Shake and squirt around the toilet bowl and under the rim. Let sit a couple of minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush and rinse.

7. De-Greaser Scrub (kitchen appliances or garage)

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dish soap

Add ingredients to a small bowl and stir until combined. Apply with a sponge and scrub. Rinse with a clean sponge or cloth. This is also good for degreasing hands after working with oil or grease.

8. Tile Floor Cleaner

  • 1 gallon hot water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dish soap

Add ingredients to a bucket and mix with mop. This could also work on vinyl or hardwood floors, but I only have tile floors, so I have never tried it. Just make sure you wring the mop well to remove the excess moisture.

So what do you think? Would you use them? What other DIY cleaners do you use? Let me know in the comments below, because I would love to try them!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

My 8 Favorite DIY Cleaners for the Entire Home | @mamionthego

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches

Mezcla sandwiches are very traditional in Puerto Rican kitchens. “Mezcla” means “mix”, which is exactly what it is: a puree of ham and cheese for sandwiches. Ok, so “puree of ham and cheese” doesn’t sound very appetizing, but stay with me, I promise it’s worth it!

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches | @mamionthego

We make mezcla sandwiches all the time. For family gatherings or holiday parties, we like to buy sweet or colored breads to make them more festive. Growing up, my mom always ordered pinwheel sweet mezcla sandwiches from the local bakery. I still order them every time my husband has a meeting at work that requires breakfast or snacks.

Another popular place for mezcla sandwiches is in lunchboxes. In my opinion, it’s the perfect sandwich filling for when you want to cut them up in fun shapes, because it acts like a glue for both breads, and it doesn’t come undone when transported.

These are just two fun ways I have incorporated mezcla sandwiches in my son’s lunchbox:

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches | @mamionthego

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches | @mamionthego

I got this recipe from a friend a very long time ago, and even though I have tried other recipes, I think the cream cheese is what takes it over the top, because it makes it creamier. Also, don’t omit the red sweet peppers! It gives it a great taste, and masks the processed cheese and spam taste.

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches | @mamionthego

I posted this recipe several years ago on my YoSoyMami blog, and it is my #1 most visited post, which is why I wanted to share it here, because I know you’re going to love it.

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches

Category: Lunch

Cuisine: Latin

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches

This "mix" is perfect for parties, potlucks and lunchboxes.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) jar of Cheez Whiz
  • 1 can of Spam (I like to use Lite or low-sodium)
  • 1 small can of red sweet peppers
  • 4 oz. of cream cheese (1/2 package)
  • Bread (any kind)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in your food processor until smooth. When adding the sweet peppers, don't throw away the liquid. Add the peppers first, and gradually add the liquid until you have reached your desired consistency. Remember that the peppers and liquid are what give this a great taste. You want to add the liquid without watering down the mezcla too much. You will not need all of the liquid.

Notes

You can use any kind of bread - sandwich bread, sweet bread, colored, etc. You can also use cutters to create fun shapes.

http://mamionthego.com/puerto-rican-mezcla-sandwiches/

Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!

Puerto Rican Mezcla Sandwiches | @mamionthego

Hello world!

Hi there! My name is Zelma, welcome to my brand new blog! Before we start, let me tell you a bit about myself. I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and aside from a brief move to Caguas (literally the town just south of San Juan), and the year I spent in New Jersey as an exchange student in college, I have always lived here. I’m 44 years old – I don’t hide my age, because why? Carlos and I have been married for almost 19 years, and Daniel is our 11-year-old son. These two guys are my everything. ❤️

Mami on the go | Zelma | @mamionthego

I am a Disney lover, a planner addict, and have been a classical choir singer for almost 40 years. I am a horrible cook, but I love to bake. I’m trying to eat healthier for me and my family, so baking actually helps, because I get to treat my family with better quality ingredients. I’m also very much into my slow cooker and freezer cooking, because, again, horrible cook. 😉

My blogging history

I have been blogging on and off since 2005, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I had my first official blog. It was called “Zelma’s Workshop”, and even though it is no more (it got a virus and I had to shut it down… sad), I loved it. It was my first experience as a legit blogger, and I learned a lot about the blogging industry and community in the US and Canada. In 2011 I decided to switch gears and create a new Spanish-language blog just for my local community. It’s called “YoSoyMami“, and for the past 7 years it has been my baby. We have a very active community on Facebook, and thanks to this experience, I have grown and learned so much more about blogging and social media.

Now it’s time to write a new chapter. I miss writing in English, and since my original blog doesn’t speak to my current lifestyle, I decided to start fresh. Enter “Mami on the go“. This is something that speaks to me, because as moms, we are always on the go, whether we’re hauling kids around, feeding everyone, or keeping our house from falling apart. We also love to travel and see new places and cultures. ✈️

So this is me in a nutshell. I hope you like it, let me know what you think in the comments below. If you have any questions, or want to work with me, I’m always available at mamionthegoblog (at) gmail.com.