Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Season 7 of American Idol was probably one of the more memorable for the CajunMama family. We really enjoyed Jason Castro’s performances and his choice of songs for most episodes. The 21-year-old artist sang a few numbers that were meaningful to us, including “Travelin Thru” (which should be one of our theme songs), IZ’s arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Hello, Hawaii), and “I Shot the Sheriff” (which brought Mr. CajunMama and I back to our honeymoon in Jamaica).

    I’m a big fan of entertaining and talented musicians, so when Little CajunMama and I were able to get an interview with the Texas native while we were at Disney World we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to ask him a few questions about how he travels and where he went on family vacations as a kid.

    Little CajunMama took time out from touring the parks so that she could get her list of questions ready for Jason. Yes, Little CajunMama asked the questions. If you are already familiar with TravelingMamas.com, then you’ll know we like to do things a little different with our Staycation Boycotts and Festivus Celebrations, so who better to conduct the interview than a 10 year old (soon to be the old age of 11).

    We observed as TV crews went in and out with all of their camera gear. In fact, things began to run a little late as we patiently waited. When our allotted time came around, we went in to meet Jason, with Flip Mino HD at the ready.

    Jason Castro is a very nice, polite young man, so big kudos to his parents for how they raised him. He was super sweet and was a joy to interact with. The video quality on YouTube is a little off (as is the sound), and I’m thinking that the Flip Mino HD isn’t going to make it on our On the Move Approved list like the Flip Ultra did, but I’ll save that review for another post. Here’s the interview, and if you can’t see it on your screen, this is the direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIDE6oh6zac

    Also, if you aren’t already familiar with Jason’s talent (or even if you just want to listen to him over and over), we’ve embedded a playlist below the video for your listening enjoyment. We’d also like to send a shout-out to Jason’s fans at Castrocopia and The Dreadheads Forum. To learn more about Jason Castro, visit his Official Artist Site.


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  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios has opened a new attraction that allows guests to be the star. The American Idol Experience gives visitors who are 14 years or older the ability to perform an acapella song in front of a Disney casting director. If they pass round one, then they move on to round two where they are ushered to the “red room” to pick out a pre-approved song to sing in front of a Disney producer, to see if they have what it takes to be the next American Idol.

    Guests chosen by the Disney producer then meet and train with a performance coach and receive the “Hollywood treatment” from professional hair and make-up designers.

    After their “look” is show ready, guests hit the main “American Idol Experience” stage for the first time. The Disney show director, stage manager and staging specialist conduct a dress rehearsal to provide final instructions.

    As the butterflies build, hopefuls wait backstage in the theater’s VIP green room while park guests file into their seats for the big show. The lights come up, the music begins pounding, and it’s showtime!

    In addition to the individual performances, the high-energy show features all the glitz and glamour of the TV show, including special montages from past “American Idol” winners and contestants, exclusive video clips and shout-outs from “American Idol” favorites.

    Three park guests sing their hearts out in each of up to seven 25-minute preliminary shows. The best performer (as chosen by an audience vote) of each preliminary show is invited back to the 45-minute grand finale show to perform once more with hopes of being voted the day’s top singer.

    In addition to their newfound theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show will receive “The American Idol Experience” Dream Ticket, which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the “American Idol” television show.

    Little CajunMama and I enjoyed The American Idol Experience from the audience perspective last night for its gigantic opening celebration, which was an Idol-studded event. It was just like being at a real Idol taping. We were even treated to a special performance by Carrie Underwood and David Cook. This was also the first time all seven previous Idol winners were all together. We were even able to catch up with former finalists, like Jason Castro, who sat down to chat with us (Thanks Jason and CastroMama).

    You can have the same experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where maybe YOU will be the next American Idol.

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  • Last night, Peter Yesawich of YPartnership spoke to a group of international media at Disney World about a trend that has recently been identified in the travel industry: Celebration Vacations. The Traveling Mamas have been doing this for years (we celebrate everyday!), but now it’s got a name. After all, what better reason to travel than for a special occasion?

    The nationwide YPartnership study uncovered that people are marking milestone anniversaries (like a blogiversary, ahem), honeymoons, family reunions, and a child’s first vacation, just to name some of the top celebratory reasons to travel. Other milestones, such as birthdays and retirement, give consumers a reason to travel. In fact, my own dad chose to celebrate his retirement with a trip to Disney World (his first visit) and brought the entire family along.

    Top destinations for a Celebration Vacation:

    1. Disney
    2. Hawaii
    3. Florida
    4. Europe
    5. Caribbean

    When asked where they’d like to go for a Celebration Vacation with children, 40% of all consumers polled chose Disney as their first choice. Interestingly, both households with children, and those without, ranked Disney at the top.

    Say what you might about Disney, but the numbers tell the tale. People overall love Disney, and as a mama who is enjoying my week at Walt Disney World with my tween, I have to say that this Celebration Vacation is a pretty sweet way to spend a special time. Everyone should experience the magic of Disney at least once in their lifetime. I’m so glad that my little girl has a wish that has come true and we are spending wonderful quality time together.

    The overall message is that families are celebrating life by spending time and special moments together. I’m not just preaching, but I’m practicing this trend myself. Thank you, Disney, for putting more magic into my relationship with my daughter. Sniff.

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  • Little CajunMama and I are heading to Disney World today. At the moment, we are in Houston at IAH waiting on our connecting flight. I really enjoy traveling with my kids and today is no exception. LCM woke up at 5:30 am! She was ready to go. We’re going to celebrate her birthday and check out some of the new attractions at Disney World. We’ll update everyone on what we find, but we are especially excited to be there for the American Idol Experience. If you’ll be in a 100 mile radius of Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Thursday, Feb 12, you’ll want to come join us as we watch the Celebrity Parade and see the surprises Disney has in store for everyone.

    Who’s your favorite Idol? Will you be around that day? Come find us at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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  • This is probably the most embarrassing video I have posted yet. I take a visit to Hotel de Glace with a few girlfriends and we check out an onsite spa. I also issue a challenge to DesertMama.

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