We have just come back from what has been established as an American tradition: the first family trip to Disney World. Unlike a recent “adult trip” we took, where the main objective was to get our FastPasses for the most intense rides possible, this time we had one “necessary” goal: meet all the Disney Princesses. Princess-mania has been in our house for over a year now, and Disney was as much about Mickey and the rides as it was about Cinderella and crew.

My wife, in-laws and aunt made it a mini-game to become Princess “completists,” getting all the signatures and photos of the faux royalty for Maia’s little book.  Be it top-tier princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty or the more recently crowned like Tiana and Mulan, we were going to make it happen.

Maia had the time of her life, in awe of the in-person appearances of her cartoon heroes and barely able to eat at a Princess breakfast in the castle. She seemed not to notice that the actors changed every time she saw them and had no problem standing in line or searching far and wide to seek out hard-to-find characters like Mulan. While some characters were questionable in live-action form, others looked like Enchanted-style princesses, ripped from their cartoon settings to appear in person at Disney World.

We didn’t have to work as hard as I thought to complete the safari. We left Walt Disney World sweaty, tired but successful in our quest. The autograph tent in Mickey’s Toon Town made some of this easy, as did the breakfast in Cinderella’s castle. The less popular characters took a bit of searching, but we used logic (Pocahontas in the forests of Animal Kingdom, Mulan in Epcot’s China) and all were found on the first try. And, for the most part, the actors did an amazing job capturing the look and feel of the character.

Check out our personal “Princess safari” below and let us know what you think. Does Disney deliver the costumed character goods?

Snow White at Disney
Snow White: The O.G. Princess
Pocahontas, at one with the costumed animals
Sleeping Beauty, wide awake for photo opps
The Little Mermaid
Ariel sans fins
Princess Tiana
The new kids in town: Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen
Cinderella, ready to face those autograph hounds
Aladdin and Jasmine
Aladdin and Jasmine, properly dressed for the heat
Beauty and the Belle
Mulan, the buried treasure of Epcot

Open your children’s entertainment slow cooker and throw in some Jack’s Big Music Show, mix it with your favorite Food Network Chef and throw in a sprinkle of Pee Wee’s Playhouse and you have Clare Crespo’s The Yummyfun Kooking Series.

YummyFunThe Yummyfun Kooking Series is part of Clare Crespo’s cooking-themed Yummyfun brand for kids. For those who have yet to sample this delicious project, Clare has put out three themed cooking DVDs for kids (“Spring Has Sprung,” “Monkeying Around in the Kitchen,” and “Spookyfun”) as well as a monthly recipe club for families called The Yummyfun Kooking Club. The brand is also supported by a robust website located at Yummyfun.com.

Clare’s cooking skills have already inspired two best-selling cookbook/artbook mashups (The Secret Life of Food, Hey There, Cupcake! ), regular appearances on morning shows like The Today Show, NPR visits and even offbeat jobs like creating a food portrait of artist Beck. As for her experience working with kids and kids’ entertainment, Clare taught themed cooking classes to kids at The Blue School in NYC and The New School of Cooking in Los Angeles. She has also art directed a segment for Yo Gabba Gabba and designed pirate food for SpongeBob SquarePants. Meanwhile, she has kept busy with her “adult” cooking projects as well as her work as an artist.

As for the show itself, Clare’s love for food and art is clearly on display in this quality independent production that brings together her endearing personality, kid-friendly recipes, puppets and a very cool house band. We watched the “Monkeying Around in the Kitchen” episode and Maia was glued to the screen as “Yummyclare” taught us how to make Monkey Pops (chocolate covered bananas), Banana Dogs (bananas on hot dog buns) and Hawaiian Shirt Punch (fruit punch with pretty fruit slices). Clare’s persona is sweet, pleasant and subtly quirky. Drop-ins from scientist Safari Geoff, a musical visit from The Tastebuds, a few puppets and a unique kitchen set will capture the interest of kids not likely to sit still for a cooking-only show. While each episode turns up a bit short at only 17-minutes, I do hope this project gets attention from a TV network or distributor so we can start to see more episodes.

The Yummyfun Kooking Series is available online (www.yummyfun.com and www.amazon.com) and families can also join The Yummyfun Kooking Club at the official site.

In the meantime, check out some sample clips below!