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October 1, 2012

Disney Magic Canada Cruise - The Food

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And if you're not all tired of hearing about the cruise by now...here's the food blog.

I didn't enjoy the food quite as much this time as on other cruises - I guess I've seen most of the menus too many times in the last 18 months. This cruise didn't have any specialty menus, which disappointed me. We had the rotational meals in each of the three restaurants, the Pirate menu, and the 'Til we Meet Again menu. Nothing new on any of those as far as I could tell.

We had an excellent server, Vlado, who really kept our meals moving along - no long waits between courses, and we were usually done with dinner in under an hour and a half. It was nice NOT being some of the last people out of the dining room, especially since we had late seating.

Our assistant server wasn't as good - not very efficient in getting the drinks out or in some of his other duties, though he did better the last two nights after we spoke to our head server.

After boarding on Wednesday we went to the buffet at Topsiders. I always enjoy the peel-and-eat shrimp on embarkation day. They had a nice chicken salad on a brioche roll, and a really delicious cheesy au gratin potato dish. We tried a couple of chocolate chip cookies for dessert, which are normally quite good, but these were dry and tasteless.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

As usual, we were in Parrot Cay on our first night. Five cruises on the Disney Magic and Wonder, and we have always had the same dining rotation with Parrot Cay the first night.

I had in mind to try some different menu items on this cruise, but I wasn't always successful - there were some things I had and in looking back at previous food blogs I see that I tried them before! :-) But they aren't always prepared quite the same way I had them in the past.

So....I started with the St. Maarten Stack, which is a couple of pieces of grilled squash with mozzarella and a vinaigrette. It's quite tasty, but a small serving.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Baked Crab Martinique - I think he almost always gets this! It's a hot crab dip served with tortilla and plantain chips.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Next up we both had the Parrot Cay Salad. This is a very nice salad, with spinach and egg and onion. It's served with what they call "warm bacon dressing" - but it doesn't taste like bacon at all - we've noticed that before on Disney ships.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

My entree was the Pan Seared Grouper. This may have been the best entree I had all week. The fish was delicious. I requested steamed vegetables in place of the rice.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee ordered Vlado's recommendation, the Mixed Grill. This included beef tenderloin, lamb chop, bacon-wrapped sausage and jumbo shrimp, served on mashed potatoes. He enjoyed that.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I actually didn't have dessert, since none of them were worth the calories. Lee ordered the Sweet Temptations, with creme brulee cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate s'more vanilla cake.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

We didn't do anything special for breakfast and lunch on our sea day, so I didn't take any photos. :-)

That evening we were in Lumiere's. There was no formal night on this cruise, but it was "dress-up night", so that's always my favorite restaurant for the more special occasions. I don't really like anything on the appetizer menu (no escargot for me!), so my first and second course were both off the soup and salad section. I love the french onion soup, so that's what i had (Lee had it as his second course). And it was nice and hot and cheesy. I think the serving size has been reduced over what it was when we first cruised, but that's ok - that was a little too big. This particular dish has been consistently good on our cruises.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee ordered the Smoked Bacon and Wild Mushroom Tart. He enjoyed this. I had a bite, and I would've enjoyed it, too - it was more like a quiche, and not very mushroomy.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

One of our tablemates had the Jumbo Shrimp, which also looked good.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Next course was Market Green Salad with peppered goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. It's a nice fresh salad but unremarkable except for the goat cheese. I enjoyed it, though.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

We both ordered Triton's Seared Sea Bass, though I had mine with vegetables again instead of the mushroom risotto. It was another tasty fish dish. All the seafood I had on this cruise was good.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I actually did get dessert that night, and had the Sweet Temptations with creme brulee, chocolate mousse, and a Praline Petite Choux. (Which was a fancy name for a meringue cookie. I don't know where the "praline" part came from, since I didn't detect anything praline'ish about it.) The mousse was creamy and chocolatey and good, and I enjoyed the creme brulee as well.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the full-sized serving of creme brulee and liked that.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Before we went into Saint John we had breakfast at Parrot Cay. It's a breakfast buffet with the usual selections. We often feel that we don't get very good service in the dining rooms for meals other than dinner, but we had an attentive server this time - a little too attentive, since he really wanted to chat and we were trying to eat! But he actually added hot water to my tea cup a couple of times which I appreciated. Those cups are VERY small and often on our cruises I never get a refill, though they come around with coffee frequently. I'm afraid my breakfast choice was quite boring - oatmeal, melon, and yogurt. :-) But they had a few toppings available over by the yogurt/granola area so I was able to add some flax and sunflower seeds to it. I wish they had Craisins since I don't care for raisins.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

When we returned to the ship after our day in Saint John it was too late for lunch so we went up to the fast food places on deck 9. It was an overcast day - I would've liked something like soup, but ended up with a veggie burger and fries instead. The burger was just ok, but the fries were surprisingly good. Lee had pizza - that's his favorite meal.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I think that was the day that we went into Cove Cafe and they had some cookies/sweets in their refrigerated case. They had a "blonde brownie on a stick" that was pretty dry and not very good, but they also had some kind of a layered brownie bar and that was very good! I didn't take a picture though. We went back a couple of other days during the cruise, but were never in time for anything but the brownie lollipops, and didn't try those again.

That night we were in Animator's Palate for the "show" dinner. This isn't my favorite menu and I actually wanted to do dinner at Topsiders instead, but Lee wanted to eat in the dining room...so I wasn't in the best frame of mind for this particular meal.

I started off with the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, served with bacon and chives. One of my observations on our cruises has been the sometimes the soups are not very hot by the time they make it out from the kitchen. This one was warm, but not as hot as I would have liked. But it still had a good flavor.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Sesame Flavored Rock Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake, which is what I usually order, too, and it's been one of our favorites. But he said it wasn't as good this time - the shrimp was undetectable and it just wasn't quite right somehow.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

My second course was Smoked Salmon and Trout with Goat Cheese Salad. It was served with sliced almonds and cranberry-balsamic vinegar dressing. This was pretty good, though I found the smoked salmon flavor a bit strong.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the potato soup as his second course.

I usually get the Black Bean Chipotle Cakes, but I wanted to try something different so I ordered Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken Breast instead. I should've stuck with the black bean cakes - this was the worst entree I had the whole cruise. For one thing nothing on my plate was hot - only the mashed potatoes were anything more than barely warm. And the chicken was dry. The sour cream mashed potatoes were good, though. I asked for steamed veggies in place of the roasted root vegetables. I didn't eat much of the chicken. Our servers really wanted to get me something else when they saw I wasn't enjoying it, but I'd had enough to eat, and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had one of his favorites, Asian Marinated Beef Tenderloin. And I think he enjoyed that as much as he always has.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

There wasn't anything on the dessert menu that appealed to me so when Vlado asked me, I said: "Nothing for me." And that's what I received. :-)

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Buckled Warm Apple Crumble. Sorry that the photo is out of focus - they had dimmed the lights in the dining room for the procession with Sorcerer Mickey and my camera couldn't focus properly, I'm not sure what makes this "buckled" and opposed to "unbuckled", but Lee enjoyed it. :-)

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Though there's no champagne bar on the Magic we checked out some of the other bars in the adult district. We found some champagne cocktails on the menu in Sessions (which was a very nice area - classy, relaxed, with some live music). This is the Elderbubble, which has the same name as the drink we had on the Fantasy in Ooh La La, but this one was a little different - still tasty, though.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

We had breakfast at Topsiders on the morning we sailed into Halifax - it was a beautiful morning to sit outside! This is Lee's plate - he had one of the omelets that was already cooked, though they will make them to order if you're willing to wait.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I had oatmeal and fruit again. It was interesting to see that different buffets had different toppings available - I think overall I preferred the toppings at Topsiders. And the oatmeal was always good - not too thick and not too thin.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I mentioned this in my cruise blog already, but I'll mention it again here. :-) One of the food highlights of the trip was definitely the BeaverTail stand in Halifax. These used to be available at the Canada pavilion at Epcot and they were always one of our favorites, but the stand has been gone for a number of years now. I read somewhere that there was a stand in Halifax, so I was determined to find it! (It was easy to find.) Lee ordered a more classic type, with cinnamon-sugar, and I had one spread with Nutella. We watched with eager anticipation as the cook pulled them out of the hot oil, drained them, and then finished topping them. It was tough, but we managed to restrain ourselves from gobbling them down long enough to take a picture! They were soooo good!

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

That night was Pirate Night and we were back in Parrot Cay - that's always an appropriate restaurant to be in on Pirate Night.

I started with Pirates Golden "Pot Stickers". These are fried pork dumplings and not really that exotic - but they were still quite good. :-) Served with some pickled vegetables and a good dipping sauce.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had Black Beard's Jumbo Crab Cake. It came with a carrot and coconut slaw. Lots of crab in the crab cake, so Lee enjoyed it.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

For a salad course I had Mr. Smee's Bibb Lettuce Salad. This was more of a deconstructed salad, and not quite what I expected, but all of the parts were tasty.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Jerk Chicken Salad, with jerked chicken strips, greens, and plantain chips. The chicken was good, and the plantain chips give it a different touch.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

My entree was something I've enjoyed before: Sunken Vegetable Treasure, which is black eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with mushroom sauce. I always think of croquettes as patties, and these look more like sausages. I asked for my usual steamed broccoli with it. I'm a little surprised this dish doesn't come with some accompaniment, since it's not very attractive by itself. It's very good, though.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee tried Jack Sparrow's BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs. I think he always orders these. :-) But why not? They have been consistently good, and these were very tender - falling off the bone. Served with red bliss mashed potatoes and a tamarind BBQ sauce.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

One of our tablemates had Captain Hook's Macadamia Nut Dusted Mahi Mahi, with Jasmine rice, sauteed pineapple and a mild curry sauce. It was VERY mild (as in almost undetectable) curry, and there wasn't much pineapple, either. She said it was good and had a nice flavor, though.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I didn't order dessert, but Lee had the Rum Soaked Chocolate Cake, and he enjoyed that.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

One of our tablemates had the Sweet Temptations, with samples of the Rum Cake, Fruit Cobbler, and Floating Island. I almost ordered the Floating Island, which is meringue and fruit, and I've enjoyed that before.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

The next morning was my favorite meal of the entire cruise- brunch at Palo. I booked this as soon as my booking window opened (which is 9:00 p.m. - sometimes there are advantages to being on the west coast!) The experience had a bit of a rocky start, though. We had a reservation for 10:00, which is when the restaurant opens. We were seated, and then we waited...and waited...and watched other tables get "the tour" from their servers and begin to go through the buffet...and waited some more. Finally, Lee went back to the podium and talked to the head server, who came over and apologized profusely - we'd been seated at the wrong table, and didn't have a server assigned.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

So we got a server and got our champagne and our tour...and multiple apologies over the course of the meal and when we left. I was a little surprised (and disappointed) that they didn't offer us anything more - like free refills on the champagne. But oh well.

There are multiple stations at the brunch. First is "cold foods", with items like crab legs and shrimp, cheese and crackers, grilled vegetables and fancy appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I always enjoy seeing the ice sculpture.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Next is the station with pastries and fruit. There is a wonderful selection of pastries, and I could easily fill myself up here! But all I usually go for is my very favorite thing - the sticky buns. They are sooooo good! Tender pastry and cinnamon-gooey goodness.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

And then there's the dessert station - but even I don't start there. :-)

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

My opening plate, though you can't see the sticky bun hiding in the back.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Instead of a buffet line for hot foods, they have quite a selection of menu items that you order from your server and they are freshly prepared. There's breakfast foods like pancakes, frittata, eggs Benedict, eggs Julia, and eggs Florentine, and brunch items like Oysters Rockefeller, and tilapia and risotto. You can also order pizzas - we had goat cheese and sun-dried tomato.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I ordered the Chicken Parmesan, which is a specialty of Palo, but I'd never had it before. It was excellent - tender chicken and a really tasty tomato sauce.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Eggs Benedict.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

And he also ordered the Tilapia with Asparagus Risotto. I had a bit of that - the risotto wasn't quite as creamy as when we've had it before.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

There were lots of really wonderful looking desserts, and I did my best to try a number of them. I had chocolate mousse, a mini sacher torte, a fruit meringue, a fruit cheesecake parfait, and some chocolate-covered strawberries. Though they were covered in white chocolate, which isn't really chocolate at all. The mousse was my favorite, and the cheesecake was also quite good.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Because we'd had the Palo brunch we didn't have lunch, but we needed a late afternoon snack to hold us until dinner so I went to Goofy's Galley. I noticed this "sculpture" watching over things - very cute!

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I had a couple of sandwiches - one was smoked salmon on a bagel, and the other was turkey and cranberry. It didn't seem like the sandwiches changed day-to-day as much as we have seen on other cruises.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Before dinner we went to Diversions for a drink. Something we'd found out the day before was that they have daily drink specials in Diversions. During certain hours, both the drink of the day and draft beers are two-for-one. And if you're not finished, you can take your drink to dinner with you. We shared that night's two-for-one drink of the day, which was called a High Tide.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

That night was our final dinner on the cruise, with the 'Til We Meet Again menu. We were in Lumiere's for the second time. We both started with the Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon. This is layers of sliced potatoes and goat cheese. We'd had this on a previous cruise and loved it, but this time, rather than an attractive stack with layers of potatoes and goat cheese it seemed all glopped together on the plate. There was too much goat cheese - and that's saying something, because I really like goat cheese.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

I ordered the Cranberry Salad with mixed greens, Craisins, and cranberry dressing. I requested they leave off the blue cheese. It was quite good - I really liked the cranberry dressing.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Potato and Leek Soup. That's always been a pretty safe and good choice.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

My entree was Green Pancakes and Stewed Lentils, which I thought was something I hadn't tried before, but in looking back at other food blogs I see that I had. And when I had it before I wasn't that impressed, but this time I really liked it. It looked a lot better than the last time, too.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee ordered Garlic and Rosemary Marinated Lamb Sirloin served with leek and potato gratin and bacon-wrapped asparagus - the latter item was not noted on the menu. He really enjoyed it.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

For dessert I had the Chocolate Decadence. They have a very different idea about what constitutes "decadent" chocolate than I do. :-) The chocolate cake and parfait cup were fine, but I wouldn't call them decadent. I don't get the meringue cookie thing at all.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

Lee had the Baked Alaska - he always gets that, so he must like it.

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

We went back to Sessions for a final drink. This one had champagne in it and I don't remember the name - but it was blue. :-)

Disney Magic Canada Cruise

That brings me to the end of this food blog - the next morning we needed to be off the ship early and didn't have breakfast in the dining room.

This was probably my least favorite cruise as far as the food goes. I wanted to try a few different menu items rather than going with all of my favorites, but most of the new items I tried were disappointing. And actually, a couple of things I've enjoyed in the past (like the goat cheese napoleon) were not as good. I tried a lot of salads, and those were all good. The greens were all fresh and crisp, and most of them had some extra ingredient too make them a little more special. But a lot of the desserts were of the "not worth the calories" variety for me, which is why I skipped them so often. Though one thing I've noticed, especially on the desserts, is that the menu descriptions are quite inadequate, and really don't describe what comes out on the plate very well at all. There are some desserts I might have ordered if the descriptions had been more accurate.


October 9, 2012

Disneyland's 2013 Ambassadors

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On October 8, 2012, Disneyland once again chose a new Ambassador Team for the 2013-2014 years.

Disneyland Ambassadors

In a brief ceremony in the Sleeping Beauty Castle Forecourt, current Disneyland Ambassadors Jolie Hales and René Torrico recounted some highlights of their past two years and prepared to hand off their positions.

Disneyland Ambassadors

After a short character-filled musical number, George Kalogridis, president of the Disneyland Resort, commended the present Ambassadorial team, and the Cast Member finalists were presented.

Disneyland Ambassadors

After each finalist had an opportunity to recount one of their special memories of Disneyland, Kalogridis announced Sachiko White and Megan Navarette as the new Disneyland Resort Ambassadors in a blast of confetti.

Disneyland Ambassadors

Having been picked from a pool of nearly 80 applicants, the two women from the Entertainment Division will spend the next two years as representatives and spokespeople for the resort, meeting dignitaries and VIPs, along with participating in various community outreach activities.

Disneyland Ambassadors

After photos, the two took their traditional fire truck drive down Main St.

Disneyland Ambassadors

The new team clearly has an exciting couple of years ahead for them. We congratulate White and Navarette, and look forward to seeing more of them throughout the next two years!

Disneyland Ambassadors

October 16, 2012

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Part I takes a look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park event. Part II will be a regular park update.

This year marked the 22nd year of the CHOC Walk in the Park. The walk is a 5K route that makes its way through both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. This year the walk raised over $1.8 million dollars to benefit CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County). There were over 16,000 participants who arrived before sunrise to take part in the event (the opening ceremony started at 6:40am). Since its inception the walk has raised more than $19 million. For the first time the course started off inside DCA then went to Disneyland and ended in Downtown Disney.

I arrived at the Mickey and Friends structure about 5:45am and everyone participating the CHOC Walk was taking a pre-walk walk to the park since there were no trams at this hour.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


I made my way to DCA for the opening ceremony. There was a stage (float) set up in Carthay Circle.

A DJ was warming up the crowd that was filling Hollywood Blvd and Buena Vista Street.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Looking down Buena Vista Street.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


Time for the opening Ceremony. Here is a video of it I shot (be warned it is not the best since I was shooting stills with the other hand).

Caroline Sunshine from the Disney Channel takes the stage to make some remarks.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


The 2012 CHOC Walk Child Ambassador, 10-year-old Adela Jaurequi. She is joined by her mother Norma, father Jesus and little sister Olivia.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Goofy came on-stage for some pre-walk warmups.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The current Disneyland Ambassadors Renee Torrico and Jolie Hales along with the Disney Characters were next to come up to the stage.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

George Kalogridis, Disneyland Resort President

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Kim Cripe, CHOC Childrens President/CEO.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

After a countdown it was time to walk. Fireworks are set off to mark the start.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers begin and confetti is shot from near the starting archway.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Caroline Sunshine is joined by the two newly named Disneyland Resort Ambassadors Megan Navarette and Sachico White and the current/outgoing two for a photo.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers were released in waves. Here is the next group coming up to the starting line. The walkers filled Hollywood Blvd. This year over 16,000 joined the walk.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


They made their way down the parade route and turned onto Route 66.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Along the way there were cast members and characters out for photos and to cheer on the walkers.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers filled Route 66 and turned right at Cross Street.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

They then walked out toward the Wharf area.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course then snaked back by Ghirardelli and to the parade route where it continued on toward the Pier.

I went back to the Blue Sky Cellar to get a shot of the walkers making their way down Route 66. There were large beach balls bouncing down the route too. (also notice the new telephone poles on the right hand side of the street, those are for the Christmas decorations going up in less than a month).

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Rejoining the route near the Pier the Phineas and Ferb gang was out. The course turned and went by Ariel's, Screamin', Toy Story and around the Pier.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The World of Color Fountains were on, and the Fun Wheel, Swings, and Zephyr were all cycling too.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers returning from their loop around the Pier, walking past Little Mermaid then turning to go around Grizzly River Run and into Condor Flats.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

At that point they exited out the large gate between La Brea Bakery and the World of Disney and headed for the Esplanade and Disneyland.

The Green Army Men were out in the Esplanade. Here they are talking with some of the kids walking.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

On Main Street the Cadaver Dans were out entertaining guests.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

In front of the castle Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were out for pictures.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course circled the hub and went into Tomorrowland. Some Jedi trainers out near Star Tours.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Fight On Buzz!! He was out near the Tomorrowland Terrace.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course then went around the Matterhorn, through Fantasyland, and around the Big Thunder Trail. Here the walkers are making their way down to the Rivers of America.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Tiana and some of her friends were out for pictures in New Orleans Square.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course continued on to Critter Country then out the backstage gate by Splash Mountain. Backstage there were several groups. This was a band that was performing and high-fiving people as they walked by.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course continued backstage behind Splash, Haunted Mansion and Pirates. They were passing out water to the walkers here.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Along the way there were cast members with signs cheering on the walkers.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Also some signs to let walkers know what the various areas did that they were passing and some fun stats.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Thought this was great, these CMs up on lifts cheering everyone on. Would have liked to have gotten a picture from up there.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


Another group performing along the route, they were great!

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers exited backstage and made their way through Downtown Disney.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers nearest are heading toward the finish, in the background you can still see walkers exiting DCA and heading to Disneyland.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

More supporters lining Downtown Disney cheering walkers on to the finish line.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The finish line! It featured all four Disneyland Ambassadors as well as the DJ announcing groups and congratulating those who finished.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

After crossing the finish line there were several participant tables set up going out toward the Rain Forest Cafe and ESPN.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Also a band performing on the stage.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Banners hung for the event.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOCO the Bear (the CHOC mascot was on hand)

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Everyone who participated in the walk received a T-shirt. Here is this year's design.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Hope you enjoyed this look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park. A regular Disneyland update will be posted soon. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.


October 19, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

After the CHOC walk I stayed at the resort to do a normal Disneyland Update... so on with that now. First stop Earl of Sandwich which has some visible progress. There were workers out painting the overhang this morning.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


There is now an ice skating rink set up, this is opening soon to promote the new pixie film coming out, the Secret of the Wings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


I meant to stop by later in the day as the temps neared 90 to see how the ice was holding up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

A cast member trying out the ice.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The zamboni machine.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Getting to the parks was a challenge with the walkers still crossing to head for Downtown Disney and security lines backed up as those that had finished as well as regular day guests were trying to get into the parks. CMs were doing an ok job of playing traffic cop to keep everyone moving.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Some visible progress on the right side of the DCA entrance.. some pillars for the new fence are sticking over the wall.

Also rebar for the backstage wall that will be built behind them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Once in the park strolled through Cars Land to check out the lines, way too long already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The lighting was not right, but here you can barely make out some new brackets on the light poles. These will be used for the Christmas decorations

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


This wall is a temporary display, it will be the doorway into the expanded area. Ramone's will be taking over the garage that was to be the Fastpass area for the Racers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The neon sign for Fastpass distribution has been removed, but the return time sign has stayed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The garage doors were all closed and blacked out so you could not see into the prep work on the store expansion.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The Paradise Pier Hotel is being repainted. The new color is on the far right.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Here you can see the new on the right and old on the left.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Caught an Instant Concert.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Fastpasses for the day were gone already, this was at 11:10 and the park had just opened at 10am, so in about an hour they were gone for the day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Mater's has received some new pads on the sides. I did not have time to ride so no clue how soft they are.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Stopped by the Animation building to check out the new characters on the Beast's Library books. I was Marlin....

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Plenty of Frankenweenie merchandise in Off the Page. It took over the book table.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


There are hedges forming a construction wall around the sides of the Carthay entrance as they redo the walkway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

This makes the entrance feel really tight though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Some Oswald Merchandise.. come to think of it I did not see any hats, wonder if they have sold out or were moved inside?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Over to Disneyland. Work continues on City Hall and the Fire Station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The walls are down near Carnation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

A check in on the Fantasy Faire

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

More of the structure is going up, but hard to make out with the trees and scaffolding.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The scaffolding is down around this window/sign too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Next stop the Halloween Carnival and a look at the pumpkins..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


One of my favorites.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Dale participating in the parade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Time for the Haunted Hillbillies

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


The tea cup that was out for photos has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

No sign of Benny the Cab.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The work on the Toontown Hills is done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Still working on the side of Minnie's house.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

A new wait time sign in her front yard.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

She is now positioned out back and the queue goes through her house.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The big news of the update.... the Goofy Water fountains have been removed. Hopefully just for some work and they will be back soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Walls have been set up around the restrooms near the Fantasyland Theater. They are still open though. Maybe they are working on the pavement?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Next stop Tomorrowland. Noticed the ridges on the rails are being extended around slowly. Guess they are working.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The exterior work on the Pizza Port is complete.. bad backlighting in this picture but you can sort of see the new colors.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

A closer look.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Pirates was using an extended queue this afternoon

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Jack making his way through New Orleans Square to get to his photo spot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

50 minutes for the Mansion this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Not much happening in Critter Country. 25 min for Pooh seemed longer than usual.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Noticed this area walled off. Looks to be more storage for Halloween Party stuff.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12


Christmas merchandise is finding its way onto shelves.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Back to DCA. Chip and Dale on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Noticed they had new DCA Photopass cards (probably been around since summer but I never get one so did not know there was a new design).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Stopped by the Redwood Creek Trail. Noticed the two big slides were closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

As was this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

The rest was open. After this I headed for the car and home, so this wraps up the update.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/14/12

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



October 24, 2012

Tinker Bell Brings Ice Skating to Downtown Disney

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On October 23, 2012, a new open-air temporary ice rink started operations at Downtown Disney, with Tinker Bell and her new twin Periwinkle in attendance.

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Disneyland Resort Ambassador René Torrico acted as Master of Ceremonies for the brief opening ceremony, introducing the various speakers and characters.

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Vice President of Resorts and Downtown Disney Daniel Delcourt and Downtown Disney's General Manager Janet Knox then took the ice and spoke of how they felt the rink might introduce ice skating to Southern California children unfamiliar with ice or snow, just as Tinker Bell is introduced to ice skating in the new Tinker Bell CGI video "Secret of the Wings."

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"Secret of the Wings" Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Michael Wigert were then introduced and talked a little about the new animated feature, in which Tinker Bell investigates the hither-to forbidden Winter Woods, and discovers her twin, Periwinkle.

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Finally, with a judicious application of pixie dust, Torrico summoned Tink and Peri back, and the rink was officially opened.

For people staying on property, this looks to be a nice activity option, particularly for evenings like tonight, where DCA closed at 8pm, and Disneyland closed at 6pm for the Halloween party. There are also plans to erect a small Holiday Village next to the rink, where seasonal foods and merchandise will be available.

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The rink will be open 11am to 9:30pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday, although hours may vary. 60 minute sessions are $15 for adults and $12 for toddlers, with $3 for skate rentals. Helmets and wrist guards are mandatory. Lockers are available for $2. Parking will not be validated.

For a review of "Secret of the Wings" check out Kristin's blog!

October 29, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 26, 2012.

I walked to Downtown Disney to start my afternoon. The ice skating rink opened at Downtown Disney last week. There were only a couple of skaters out this afternoon. It was a little weird to hear Christmas music and have ice skating in the 80+ weather.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The ice was holding up ok given the conditions. Here's a closer look at the ice.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Next door Earl of Sandwich is ready to open. November 2nd is the date I have seen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

At the Paradise Pier Hotel it looks like the painting on the back side is done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Around front looks like most of the painting is done except some on the top and bottom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


I crossed the street and cut through the Grand Californian.

Noticed the carpet had been removed. Guess they are replacing it. I had not heard of any problems (last time they did this was after the Christmas tree incident several years ago).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Wreck-It Ralph is featured as you walk into World of Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

More visible progress on the west side planter of the DCA entrance. You can see they are closing up the backstage wall (that was opened up for the temporary entrance during construction).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

First stop for me, Disneyland. Today is a Halloween party so an early closing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

In an effort to cut down on the ticket renting problem that has been featured in some recent news stories Disney has guests with 4 & 5 day tickets using a separate set of turnstiles where they are checking IDs.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The scaffolding is down on Main Street (but the walls are still up).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Even though it's not even Halloween yet the annual snow fall has begun on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Speaking of snow fall the snow machines have been installed along Main Street and around the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Christmas has arrived in New Orleans Square too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


On my quick walk-through nothing new or drastically different jumped out at me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Fastpass has returned to Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The Jack Skellington Meet and Greet has moved to the second terrace near the River now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Made my way around to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Halloween Carnival to checked out the latest pumpkin creations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Walked through Fantayland, Monstro is looking new again and his scaffolding is removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Small World is closed for its annual transformation to the holiday version.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Moving on to the old Fantasy Faire, looks like the control booth is being rebuilt.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The gas station in Toontown is being repainted. Guessing the tarps are down due to the wind.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The restrooms are still open during the work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The work on Minnie's side yard is continuing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Wreck-It Ralph has set up shop in the back of the Starcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Thought the wait time sign was great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

There are two backdrops set up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Also a couple of Fix It Felix video games to play.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Vanellope von Schweetz was out when I stopped by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Looking back you can see there was no line right now, sure this will change once word is out and the film is released.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

More video games divide the store from the photo area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Speaking of merchandise..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The Starcade really is a crazy mix of things right now. A random Christmas rack of items as you head to the arcade games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Cinderella received a new dress recently.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

A better view of the building taking shape for the Fantasy Faire.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Christmas lights are up in the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Some work going on in Frontierland, the store is still open though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Time for Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Circled back to Frontierland. A look at some of the Christmas merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Then back to Tomorrowland.

Both Vanellope von Schweetz and Ralph were out now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Next stop Buena Vista Street. Preparations for the Christmas decorations are well underway. There are eye bolts showing up around the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Still working on the Carthay entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

This tree by Sarges that has been completely wrapped in lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


A look to show the progress of the hotel painting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Christmas merchandise is out on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Noticed jackets now at Oswald's, did not see any hats anymore.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Back to Disneyland where guests were arriving for the Halloween Party.

Main Street was crowded with the party guests entering and day guests making their way out.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


The best costumes I saw.. a Lego family.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Most of the Christmas lights were on this evening in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Hung out on Main Street for a while as the party started before it was time to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Earl of Sandwich had their lights on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The ice rink.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

There were more guests out his evening (maybe 10 whereas this afternoon there were 3).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



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About October 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in October 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2012 is the previous archive.

November 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.