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January 2013 Archives

January 4, 2013

Dia de los Reyes Magos at the Disneyland Resort

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From January 4-6, 2013, Disneyland Resort will be celebrating the Latin American holiday "Dia de los Reyes Magos", or Three Kings day.

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In case you lack familiarity with the holiday, Disney describes it thusly:
"Dia de Reyes, also known as Three Kings Day, is a festive holiday celebrated on January 6. From generation to generation, the people of Spain, Mexico, Central America, and Puerto Rico have enjoyed a rich cultural tradition of celebrating this popular holiday. Iconic symbols, time-honored traditions, scenic displays and children's activities play an important part in this festive occasion within the Hispanic cultures."

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"According to tradition, the Three Kings or los Reyes Magos (Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar) traveled by camel to follow the star of Bethlehem, bringing precious gifts with them. In many Latin American countries, children leave their shoes outside and fill them with hay for the animals, hoping to find surprises and gifts the next day from the Three Kings. Rosca de Reyes (Kings Cake) is a crown-shaped, lightly sweetened bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruit and is a traditional Three Kings Day holiday treat."

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Children's activities will be ongoing, with bilingual hosts participating in face-painting, coloring, and crown decorating, all taking place in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

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Live entertainment will be presented, including the Mariachi Divas and a variety of local folklorico ballet troupes and musicians.

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Opportunities will be presented for guests to meet and greet Mickey and Minnie in "Fiesta" costumes, as well as The Three Caballeros, Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Panchito.

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AllEars' own Laura Gilbreath was on hand to chat with Claudia Erdogan and Andrae Gill from Global Marketing about a variety of topics, including the Three Kings celebration and the year-long Limited Time Magic campaign.

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She also spoke with Chef Martha who made one of the Buñuelo desserts that will be served at Rancho del Zocalo, and spoke about the other special holiday food offerings. (Laura tried it afterward and said it was delicious.)

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So if you're interested in celebrating this holiday with the Three Kings and the Three Caballeros, come on down to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland this weekend--Limited Time Magic only!

Related Links:

-- Disneyland Announces Three Kings Weekend Celebration

-- Why Walt Disney World Should Adapt Disneyland's Three Kings Celebration

-- Los Tres Reyes Mexican Storytellers in Epcot at Walt Disney World

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January 6, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/4/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 4, 2013 as the New Year kicks off with Limited Time Magic events and the Christmas season comes to an end on January 6. We start off on Main Street USA for one last look at the Christmas decorations.

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Over at the new Fantasy Faire the cover for the dance floor is going on.

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Heading into Fantasyland. The new cover seems to go right along with the one on the Carrousel.

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Along the Big Thunder Trail the previous signage is back, including the Country Bears.

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This weekend the first Limited Time Magic event is happening at Disneyland, Dia De Reyes, Three Kings Day Celebration in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

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The time schedule for the day.

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A couple of posters explaining the celebration. (For more details, see Jeanine's blog)

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The Christmas banners and signage are gone. But some elements like the rope snowflakes remain.

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To the right the pin cart.

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Where Santa used to be is a meet and greet. The Three Caballeros were rotating with Mickey and Minnie.

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The Three Caballeros posing for pictures.

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A clip of the Divas performing the Mickey Mouse Club March, which wrapped up their set.

The food carts received new signage for the celebration too.

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The menu.

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A look at the food.

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Several times a day Mickey, Minnie, and the Fiesta Dancers lead a brief Street Party.

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Video of the Fiesta Street Party.

After the Street Party they head over to the photo area.

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Some of the dancers are by the Three Kings for pictures.

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A look at the displays around the three kings.

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The tables also received coverings for the event.

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Heading over the far side now.

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For coloring.

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In between character sets the photo area empties quickly.

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Throughout the day various community groups perform as part of Disney Performing Arts. Here is a dance company from Paramount California.

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A clip of the group performing.


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Moving on down the Big Thunder Trail.

Big Thunder closes Monday for a 9 month overhaul that will include new track, paint and trains.

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It would be great if one of the Limited Time Magic events this year featured more of the Country Bears!

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Speaking of events next week on January 10 the Golden Horseshoe one kicks off. Should be fun!

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Over to Disney California Adventure. While walking toward the Pier saw The Phineas and Ferb Dance Party, Holiday Edition is still going on.

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Was walking by the Pier and saw Duffy out.

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And Donald nearby.

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Was taking this picture of the Little Mermaid building when an Instant Concert Just Add Water started.
A quick video in case you were curious what it looked like from this side of the Bay.


The Carthay Circle this afternoon.

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Santa has moved back to the North Pole.

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Christmas merchandise remains in Elias & Co.

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Decided to try something different and walk through down Route 66 as the lights came on...due to the crowds I could not keep up with them, but in this video you get the drift of how they come on.


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Missed the tree lighting since the Cars lights came on so late.

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Noticed most of the doors were propped open along Buena Vista Street this evening.

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The waits around 5:10pm. Much longer than earlier in the day. Even Splash Mountain was over an hour.

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Headed back to the ranch. The new sign is up, the old sign looked liked it was damaged several months ago and removed.

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Stopped by the Three Kings Celebration for one last round of pictures.

Another dance group was out performing, I missed their name though.

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A video clip of the group performing.


The Three Kings - Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

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Stopped by the Mad Hatter and a couple of the Disney Couture Ear Hats, the "Ear Hats" for January, are out. Here is one.

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Here is the January hat that is available for purchase.

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A Wintertime Enchantment moment taken looking down Main Street.

Stopped by the Mad T Party at DCA. Snow is still falling but was limited to one song in the middle of the set.

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Walking back through Cars Land to get to the Pier.

Had to stop for a picture of Ornament Valley and heard this Cars-inspired Holiday song.. Blowing Horns (Jingle Bells).

Buena Vista Street on my way out...one last look at the tree.

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Over to Disneyland. A look at the Main Street Tree during the snow fall after Believe In Holiday Magic.

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That wraps up this update and the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort for me.

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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.



January 10, 2013

2013 Marathon Weekend - Preview

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It's that time of year again - Walt Disney World Marathon weekend! Lee and I are "going Goofy" again, and will be participating in the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. We've had a good training season, and we're as ready as we're going to be.

This is the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon, so there are some special things this year. And of course, the one that is most appealing to me, all-new bling! It's a striking and rather different Mickey medal this year.

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There are two spinning elements in the center. The Mickey head features a more contemporary Mickey on one side, with a black and white pie-eyed Mickey on the other. The ring around it also spins. On one side it says: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." And on the other side: "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - it was all started by a mouse."

The marathon course is also slightly different this year - it still starts and finishes at Epcot, but rather than going around Epcot for the first few miles, runners will head directly toward Magic Kingdom. After leaving Magic Kingdom we'll take a lap around the Walt Disney World Speedway. We'll also be running through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, including the stadium there (I wonder if we'll be on the Jumbotron like we are when we run through Angel Stadium during the Disneyland 1/2 marathon?). You can see a map of the marathon course HERE.

There's also going to be some special entertainment at Mile 20, though according to the map the entire mile from 19-20 is the Mile 20 Spectacular. I'm looking forward to that - that's usually the point in the race where things get pretty hard for me, and a little diversion and something to put some energy into me will be appreciated!

Later that day from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. is the Downtown Disney Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney Westside. It's open to anyone at no charge and will feature the awards ceremony and entertainment.

It's not just the marathon going on this weekend, though - there's a number of other events, too. Thursday-Saturday is the Health and Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. That's where all race participants pick up their registration packets and goodie bags. At the Expo you can buy all kinds of running merchandise - including lots of things you never knew you needed! :-) There's always a pretty good selection of official runDisney race merchandise as well - we never seem to escape with less than a couple of shirts...

On Friday there's the Family Fun Run 5K at Epcot at 6:30 a.m.. On Thursday afternoon and Friday and Saturday mornings are the Kids Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports. There are events for kids 13 years of age and under, with variable-length "dashes" open to specific age groups (including a Diaper Dash for crawlers!), and the Mickey Mile which is open to all kids.

Saturday morning is the half marathon, starting at 5:30 a.m., which will include somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000 participants.

One of the highlights of the weekend for us will be hanging out with our fellow Team AllEars members. This is an amazing group of people - so inspiring! The Team Meet on Saturday, where we'll all get together, and often meet each other in person for the first time, is a really special experience. That's also when Deb Wills will unveil how much we have raised in the fight against breast cancer. This is last year's team photo (click on the photo to see a larger version):

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Read more about Team AllEars.

I'll have more as the weekend progresses - and you can also follow me on twitter: @AllEarsLaura.

Do you have any questions about Marathon Weekend? Use the "Comment" or "Feedback" links below and I'll do my best to get the answers for you.

January 12, 2013

2013 Marathon Weekend - Part 1

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*** Update - we finished this morning's half marathon in 2:32:58! Faster than we had planned, but we only stopped for one character photo because the lines were so long. We feel good - now we're resting up for tomorrow.

We arrived in Orlando Thursday evening and headed straight to the Expo from the airport. We'd been seeing Tweets and Facebook posts from our teammates all day about the Expo, and how they had been able to register for the new Dumbo Double Dare - the 10K and half marathon race pair at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend. Another chance to earn three medals by running two races! Registration doesn't officially open up until January 22, but we wanted to make sure that we got in. Lots of fellow Team AllEars people will be there, too.

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The Expo closed at 7:00, and we arrived on the floor at about 5:50 where we went straight to the runDisney booth to sign up for Dumbo. The line wasn't too long (compared to reports we'd seen earlier in the day), but it still took half an hour.

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And then we went over to the Field House (different building) to actually pick up our race packet and bib number. No lines there, and lots of very helpful and friendly volunteers. Like last year, those of us doing Goofy only get one bib and not two - which means we have to re-use our kind of icky bib on marathon day, too. I don't really understand that...it would still be easy to give Goofy runners distinct (but separate) half marathon and full marathon bibs. Lee suggested it's because of the RFID timing chip on the back.

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Then we went back over to the Expo to pick up our goodie bags, containing our three shirts and some other things. In this photo is the race program, a "20" button, and a set of 2013 Walt Disney World MARATHON shoelaces. For some reason I received three shoelaces rather than two. :-)

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The shirts are the usual long-sleeve Champion tech shirts. Lee thinks the fabric is a lighter weight this year, but it feels the same to me. I don't like the sleeves - I have to get an extra-small so that I don't swim in the shirt, but then the sleeves are too tight.

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I really wish they would offer a choice of unisex or women's style shirts like they do for the Princess and Tinker Bell (and other races, too).

We had about 10 minutes to shop in the "official merchandise" section. I was disappointed that there wasn't much of a selection of Goofy shirts - I would've liked a short-sleeve cotton t-shirt, but they were almost all tech shirts - and the one cotton shirt only had XLs left. They did have a women's short sleeve version of the "I did it" shirt in cotton, but it was *pink*. No way. The unisex version was a long-sleeve cotton shirt, so we both got that and I'll cut the sleeves down. :-)

So in an hour and 10 minutes we registered with two more races, picked up all of our registration stuff and did some shopping. Not bad. :-)

Today (Friday) we went back to the Expo, since we didn't really get a chance to look around last night. We drove over from Animal Kingdom about 12:30 - lots of traffic, and we were parked out in the overflow lot that's across Victory Way! We don't mind walking, so it wasn't that bad, but we definitely arrived at a very busy time of day.

Outside the entrance they had some photo backdrops set up - one for Goofy, one for the half marathon, and one for the 5K.

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And near the Field House (packet pick-up) was one for the marathon.

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The Mickey Mile kids' race was finishing up as we stood in line to get *in* to the Expo.

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It is unseasonably warm in Florida, and Disney posted these signs and warnings in a lot of places. It's expected to be 62-63 at the start of the races, and probably in the high 70s, maybe 80s, by the end of the marathon. It's pretty humid, also. So definitely not optimal running conditions, especially since most of us have been training in much cooler weather. So the idea is to run slower and hydrate - but not over-hydrate.

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Given the line to get in, it's not surprising that the Expo was quite crowded - it was tough to move around in places.

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We went back to the merchandise area, and I was surprised at how much was GONE compared to last night. Very little Goofy merchandise at all, and they were out of some sizes in the women's "I Did It" shirts. There was still another day and a half left of the Expo!

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We made our way around the Expo floor - there were some things we would have looked at a little more closely if it hadn't been so crowded. But Cigna was doing something cool - they took our photo against a green screen and this was the result:

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They had various props we could use - like the Mickey and Goofy medals we are wearing, as well as a tiara and ear hats. Fun.

Lots of traffic getting away from Wide World of Sports - it took a while. We won't see it again until Sunday, when the marathon course takes us all around the complex!

We tried to take it somewhat easy the rest of the day...it'll be a short night since we'll get up about 2:30 in the morning. By the time most of you read this we'll probably be done with the half marathon! I'll post a follow-up with our time. You can also follow me on twitter: @AllEarsLaura.

Do you have any questions about Marathon Weekend? Use the "Comment" or "Feedback" links below and I'll do my best to get the answers for you.

The Golden Horseshoe: Magically Back for a Limited Time

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Disneyland's Year of Limited Time Magic continues this week with the start of "A Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue."

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While the show plays gratis throughout the day, the last show of the evening at 6:30pm currently plays only to Annual Passholders who have purchased a ticket in advance. The price is $35, and includes a box dinner, mint juleps, a souvenir mug, a CD, and the chance to not have to make a mad Pamplona bull run rush over to the podium for tickets in the morning.

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Seating is at shared tables--if you're not there with a party of four or more, you should probably be prepared to make new friends. Possibly close ones, if you end up at one of the packed-in tables in the center of the bottom floor.

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Last night being the opening evening, even Disneyland President/soon-to-be WDW President George Kalogridis was in attendance.

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The food was actually better than it had initially sounded to me--roast beef and ham sliders, with sides of potato salad, carrot salad, and berries, in trays similar to the ones used for the World of Color picnics. The sandwiches were pretty filling with condiments of honey mustard and horseradish sauce (packed in fairly tricky-to-open containers--I saw at least one commit suicide from the balcony in front of me) and the various salads gave a nice variety of flavors.

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But let's be real: The main reason you're going is for the souvenir boot mug filled with Fritos. Oh, they may tell you those are generic "corn chips," but you and I both know the Frito Kid had Klondike mine those Fritos just for us, as in the days of Frontierland yore: http://angryjim.com/fritokid/

The show's MC is Miss Lily, taking over from Slue-Foot Sue, and it's basically twenty minutes of fairly rambunctious song and dance, along with a lengthy segment where Miss Lily roams the floor searching for a fella. If you are the sort of audience member that prefers to watch without participation, maybe don't sit in the front or on the aisles.

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I think the only quibble anyone had about the show was wanting it to be longer--the original show, which can be found on YouTube, seemed more like 45 minutes. All of the Wally Boag material was cut, which seems like a missed opportunity, given that we were able to see one of Boag's successors in the show do a bit last year at the True Legends of the Golden Horseshoe tribute (I blogged about it here: http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/2011/09/ready_true_legends_of_the_gold_1.html )

Here, in an inexpertly shot video by me, are some of the highlights of this charming show:

As the show ended, they handed out small cakes with a photo of Walt and Lillian's 30th Anniversary party at the Golden Horseshoe printed on the top.

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Then, for an extra surprise, they also gave out CD copies of the old LP "Slue-Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe Review," printed complete with original album art.

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The show itself (understandably, given it was the first day for it) seemed a little technically rough--some of the audio seemed occasionally hard to make out from where I was sitting and some of the performers were placed so as to block some of the stage view from the sides--but nothing that probably won't be ironed out after the first week. While initially, I had thought that $35 seemed a little pricey for a sandwich, I really thought that this particular AP event had enough special touches that it was very worthwhile.

With the recent high increases in the costs of the Disneyland annual passes, and the frankly underwhelming recent local discount offer, bringing back a nostalgic favorite like the Golden Horseshoe really goes a long way towards combating the creeping feeling that money, more than magic, is the main concern of the park.

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Walking out of the park after closing, with a mint julep in one hand, and a bootful of Fritos in the other? Well, perhaps you still can find some happiness in this harsh world...and magic, too--even if it's only for a limited time.

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The twenty minute show plays multiple times throughout the park's operating hours, and same-day reservations can be made in person, at the Saloon.

January 13, 2013

2013 Marathon Weekend - Part 2 - Half Marathon

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Today was the first 13.1 miles of our 39.3 mile "Goofy" experience - the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. We tried not go to out too hard or fast, since we have 26.2 more to do tomorrow, and finished in 2:32:58.

Our day started very early - we'd planned to get up at 2:30, but neither of us slept very well (combination of the three-hour time change and nerves), and we got up at 2:15. I had to laugh, because my phone is still on west coast time, and said that it was still Friday night! We'd gotten everything ready to go the night before so it was mostly a matter of having some breakfast and preparing our water bottles/nutrition.

We made it out to the bus stop a little after 3:00 a.m., which is when the buses started running. One bus had just left, but another one quickly arrived and we were on our way to Epcot. For a change there was no traffic getting into Epcot (like there is when we've left closer to 3:30 or 4:00), and we were quickly dropped off and walked over to the staging area. It was about the same as always, though it seemed like they had a lot more porta-potties this year, so the lines weren't so long.

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Team AllEars had established a meeting point, and we found several of our teammates already there, and others soon followed.

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At about 4:15 Deb Wills gave us a pep talk and we posed for a team photo.

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They had started sending runners to the corrals (at least a .5 mile walk) about 4:15, so we headed that direction about 4:25. And met a wall of people. Who weren't moving. After 20 minutes we had gone maybe 50 feet. Finally we broke free a little bit, to where we could at least shuffle along.

Lee and I didn't get to our start corral until AFTER the national anthem and AFTER they had sent the wheelchair runners off at 5:30. It took an hour to get to our corral - and there were a lot of people who were still behind us.

Fortunately we were in time for the start of the race, and got to see the fireworks. We were in Corral D, so couldn't really see the start line fireworks, but there was a very nice display right behind us!

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We were really far away from the start line, but there were large screens up so we could see a little bit of what was going on - like the characters in their running suits you were at the start line.

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This year they sent the waves off about 6 minutes apart. There were some fireworks over the start line for each wave.

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Finally it was our turn - we crossed the start line 24 minutes after the race had started.

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The Mile 1 sign is the only one I took a photo of this time.

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Not long after that were some of our team members cheering us on.

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They had this great pirate ship on the course, but the line for photos was very long. That was the case the entire race - most lines we saw were 20-30 deep - it wasn't until after mile 12 that we saw two short lines.

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There were about 27,000 runners entered, with 23,126 finishers. That made for very crowded conditions on the course, and it was really almost dangerously congested in the areas where the course throttled us down to only one lane. There were far too many of those, in my opinion. The course seemed narrower than it was when we ran the half two years ago. We didn't really get to where we could run "in the clear" until about mile 8.

Because of the conditions I took very few photos - it was just too narrow to stop or the lines were way too long.

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We were into the Magic Kingdom just past mile 5. Cinderella Castle was still covered with ice lights, and very pretty.

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More of our Team AllEars cheering section was at the hub. Our cheer people are the BEST - they cheer for everyone!

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When we ran through the castle - we came to a stop. There were just too many people, and we ended up WALKING down to Main Street. That was very disappointing - that's one of the highlights of the run!

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I didn't take any more pictures until we ran into our last AllEars cheering section at about mile 11.5. It was great to see them there - and also great that we only had about 1.5 miles left! We were still feeling pretty good - we'd planned to hold back a bit today anyway, but the crowds forced us to do that even more than we had planned.

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Finally, inside Epcot, we found a character with NO line - and it was actually Stitch! We had to wait a couple of minutes "while Stitch went to get a snack", but he came back and we got our photo.

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We finished strong, with a time of 2:32:58, which was about what we'd planned today - except we had thought that would include a lot of stops for photos.

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We made our way through the finish area and got our Donald medals. (I think Donald looks a little lonely and needs someone to keep him company - Mickey and Goofy, perhaps?)

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For refreshments runDisney is still giving out those silly boxes. But hey, they also had bananas and small packets of gummy candies! (Really??? They can't do better than that???) At least they had plenty of bottles of water and PowerAde.

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I'd been concerned about the "heat advisory" but it ended up being ok for us. It was about 62 when we started and still under 70 when we finished, though it was quite humid. We'll be out there a lot longer for the marathon, though, and if the sun is out it will get very warm very quickly. I'm hoping for clouds during the marathon!

This afternoon was our big Team AllEars Meet where Deb revealed our fundraising total for this year. $78,651!!! Thank you to all of you out there who donated - and if you didn't donate and would still like to, please visit Deb's Avon Walk page. What we all do really does make a difference.

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So tonight is very much like last night - get the running gear all ready, set the wake-up call, and try to sleep. Though at least tonight we're pretty tired so we think we should be able to sleep!

It'll be a much longer day for us tomorrow, but we're looking forward to getting out there and seeing the new marathon course. We're hoping that it won't be quite as congested, but since the first 8 miles are identical to what we did today, and there are about 25,000 signed up for the marathon, we expect it to be about the same. Oh well...it should clear out a bit at that 8 mile point again.

Wish us luck!

January 15, 2013

2013 Marathon Weekend - Part 3 - Marathon

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We did it! The 2013 Goofy Challenge, and the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon!

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Though Sunday wasn't quite as hot as they thought it might be (81 instead of 84) it was still a tough day to be running 26.2 miles. Very humid, too, and sunny, without the clouds I was hoping for, which just made it seem even hotter. It was a beautiful day if you *weren't* running a marathon. I was really happy to cross the finish line! I actually had a pretty good race, and although I didn't push it, I still ended up with a personal best time of 5:22:07. There must be something to this whole training thing because I wasn't totally dead after the race, and today (Monday) I feel pretty good. A little stiff if I sit too long, and slightly fatigued, but otherwise good!

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Race day began, as it always does, much too early at 2:30. At least we slept better since we were tired from the half marathon. :-) There was a longer line for the bus and we had to wait for the third one (they were stopping at some of the other Epcot resorts first, so were arriving 1/2-2/3 full) before going on our way. There was more traffic so it took 20-25 minutes to get to Epcot - that's more normal than the 10 minutes it took the day before.

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There were 25,000 people entered in the full, not much fewer than the half, but it seemed like there were a lot more people in the staging area. We again met up with Team AllEars, and there's a group photo floating around somewhere, but I don't have it. I think there were almost 40 of us in the marathon - that's very cool, especially for the first-timers like our intrepid co-captain, Michelle Scribner-MacLean.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

After the disaster in getting to the corrals the day before they tried something a little different, and the first call was for those in Corrals A and B. Makes sense, since they start first. Then after about 10 minutes they called C and D. This time there was no huge non-moving mass of humanity - we were able to walk continuously to the corrals. Not a fast walk, but better than the shuffle I've seen before.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Of course the disadvantage is that we arrived in our corral with over 45 minutes before the race started, and over an hour until we were due to start. The advantage was that we were able to see all of the pre-race "show", featuring Disney race announcer Rudy Novotny (and a couple of others I don't know) and their interviews with Jeff Galloway, Frank Shorter, and Joey Fatone.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We were waaay back from the start line, but they had huge screens up by each corral so that we could see what was going on (sorry that the pictures are grainy - but that's why).

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Several times we were cautioned about the heat - don't go too fast, drink lots of water and electrolytes, don't go for a PR...(And I didn't! It just worked out that way!)

Mickey, Donald and Goofy came out and "spoke" to us, we heard the national anthem, and then it was time to countdown to the start of the race! The wheelchairs went off at 5:30 and Corral A followed at 5:35. We again had a good fireworks display behind us, but each corral got their own start and fireworks over the start line.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We were near the front of Corral D and so once we got up to it we had a better view of the start line than we had the day before.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

At 5:52 we were off! There were a lot of people still, but the course didn't seem quite as congested as it had been the day before - these were more experienced runners who understood (and practiced) race etiquette. So while there were still people walking (us included!) they generally weren't walking 2-3 abreast in the middle on the one-lane sections like we had seen the day before.

Still it was crowded enough that I didn't take any photos in the early going. There were the same character opportunities there had been the day before like Jack Sparrow and the pirates and Jack Skellington, but the lines (while shorter) were still too long.

It was a new marathon course this year. At the beginning, instead of going around and through Epcot like it has in the past, this year the marathon course was identical to the half marathon course for the first 8 miles, which meant we headed straight for the Magic Kingdom, and reached it about mile 5.5 At mile 6 we were in Frontierland in front of the Country Bear Playhouse.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The first new part of the course was just after mile 8, when we went onto the Walt Disney World Speedway. There was a steep hill going down under the speedway and then back up the other side which was a little treacherous.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We ran on the flat part of the track for about 3/4 of a lap.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

On the track itself were a bunch of classic cars that the owners had come to display to us as they cheered us on - very much like what we saw at the Disneyland Half Marathon last September. It was great to see them out there.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Mater and Lightning McQueen were also out there.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

After we came off the speedway we took the familiar Bear Island Road towards Animal Kingdom. The sun had come up by then and it was starting to warm up. At least that helped reduce the humidity, which was pretty close to 100% for the first 90 minutes or so. Along Bear Island Road there are a lot of tall trees that shaded us, and there was also a cool breeze so it still wasn't too bad.

Once we got close to Animal Kingdom we had some more character sightings, though most of them still had long lines (the one I was sorry to bypass was the villains). It was still Christmas there!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

With the new course we arrived at Animal Kingdom about mile 13 instead of mile 16. I have to say that messed with my head a little bit - I'm used to thinking that I'm about 2/3 done by then instead of just halfway through, and I was a little discouraged to only be half done.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Outside Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite photo stops - the Haunted Mansion gravediggers. Alas, the race had been too much for Lee...(he said he was tempted to lay there a little longer!)

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We had Team AllEars and Team AllCheers people cheering us on throughout the race, and they are terrific! Some of the most welcome places are in the second half of the race where there are some long stretches of road without much in the way of entertainment or spectators (because it's hard to get to!) and several of our cheering sections had set up in those areas. So a HUGE thanks to everyone who came out to cheer us on - it helps so much!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

There were a couple of sets of characters out there and we didn't have to wait long for photos with them - that's what usually happens in the second half of the race.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Near mile 17 we entered the Wide World of Sports complex. This was another new part of the course. The best part: they gave us wet sponges!!! That gave me some relief - I was very hot and very sweaty by then, and it felt good to sponge myself off a bit. Ahhhh.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We ran around most of the complex, which included running on the nice cushy running track. I've heard mixed opinions on that - some people (like me) thought it felt good, while others didn't like the feel of the surface.

At this point Lee told me to go ahead - he was doing ok, but I was having a better day than he was, and he didn't want to slow me down since he knew he would be walking more. It was a tough day with the heat and humidity.

We ran on concrete paths throughout the area - I didn't like that very much because it's quite a hard surface. It was also winding and relatively narrow - it's a good thing the runners had gotten fairly spread out by then.

They had the Mickey balloon on one of the fields.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We ran around the inside of Champions Stadium. This wasn't nearly as cool as running through Angel Stadium, though. And this also got mixed reviews - we were running on gravel and apparently a lot of people got it in their shoes.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

After we left Wide World of Sports we arrived at the Mile 20 Spectacular. Or the "not-so-spectacular", as it was dubbed.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

They had music and a bunch of the big character puppets, like Lumiere, Sebastian, Genie, and Tigger.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

There was also a raised stage with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto on it, where people were getting their photos taken.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

And over the road was a huge Celebrate 20 Years sign. A lot of people didn't realize that was mile 20, and further down the road I heard several people asking where mile 20 was, and I told them we'd already passed it. :-)

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

So yes, it was a nice diversion, especially since otherwise that was a pretty uninteresting part of the course, but "spectacular?" Not so much.

We had more Team AllEars people near mile 21 - it was really good to see them!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

At about mile 22.5 we entered the Studios. And by this time people were hot and tired and just wanted to be finished so there were almost no lines for characters from that point on. I took advantage of that, and had my photo taken with the Incredibles and Wreck-It Ralph.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We were staying at the Boardwalk again and our room looked out over the course very close to the mile 24 sign. That section was a bad part of the course, though - the path along the canal is not very wide and a lot of people were walking by then. I was still (mostly) jogging and I kept having to weave around and through people - it was frustrating. Once I got to the bridge that goes over to the Yacht Club it was wider and wasn't too bad the rest of the way.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

More Team AllEars folks just beyond the bridge - I got a big hug from Deb Wills, and that helped get me the rest of the way to the finish!

There were a number of characters at Epcot. These two were just outside the International Gateway. I recognized the Fairy Godmother, of course, but who is the one in pink?

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

There were more characters out in World Showcase. World Showcase was open to guests by the time I got there, but priority was given to runners, and in a couple of places guests had to wait for me to get my photo taken first. I thought that was very appropriate.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

At the mile 26 point was the gospel choir. I LOVE seeing these people. And not just because it means I'm almost finished. They sing with so much energy and passion that it flows into me and I can finish strong. I don't know the name of the group but they are awesome!!!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

At the finish line I got to high-five Mickey just before I crossed!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

And then a wonderful volunteer gave me my Mickey medal, and another wonderful volunteer gave me my Goofy medal!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

They still had those silly runDisney food boxes...come on, I just ran 26.2 miles and that's what I get??? Oh, yeah, there were bananas and packets of gummy candies, too. In preparation for that I'd put a package of mixed nuts into the bag I'd checked, and I was glad I did. (To be fair I have to say that I talked to a woman on my flight home who liked the change to the boxes, and thought the snacks in there were better than the bagels, orange slices, and bananas they usually have.)

Lee was not too far behind me, so I waited for him and we exited the runner's area. We made a pass through the merchandise tent just to see what they had - there wasn't a whole lot left by then.

We were pretty tired and took the bus back to the Boardwalk rather than walking - I hope they give all of those seats a good cleaning after marathon weekend... :-) When we got back to our room I could still see some people out on the course.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

As you can see, Donald isn't lonely anymore - he has plenty of company now!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Thank you to all of the terrific volunteers and cast members for a wonderful weekend. And thank you to all of the spectators who came out to cheer us on, and all of the bands who came to play for us. I'm sorry that I didn't have the energy to acknowledge everyone who cheered for me, but please know that I appreciated you, and the energy you brought to the race, and in turn passed to me, so very much.

Marathons are hard - I'm going back to halfs for a while, though we have our eye on Goofy in 2015, since it's the 10th Goofy Challenge. Our next race is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland, which is this Sunday. And yes, that means we'll earn our Coast-to-Coast medals in a week - and we won't be the only ones doing that!

Thanks for reading!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon


Peter Pan: Now Playing at the El Capitan Theatre

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January 11, The El Capitan Theatre opened their limited engagement of the Disney classic Peter Pan.

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To mark the occasion, they had a live panel of folks involved with the making of the film, moderated by noted film critic Leonard Maltin.

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Making up the panel were Ted Thomas, son of legendary animator Frank Thomas; Margaret Kerry, live reference model for Tinker Bell; and Kathryn Beaumont, voice actress for Wendy.

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Each panelist subsequently told a number of anecdotes about their recollections of the film-making process. Beaumont remembered how accessible Walt Disney was--how she would see him walking the hallway or waiting in line at the cafeteria, just like all the other team members. At the time, they were still recording the voices with the actors together, which she remembered being much more conducive to dynamic reads. She was particularly excited to find herself recording with Hans Conried, the voice of Mr. Darling/Captain Hook, as she was a big fan of his from his radio work.

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The always-irrepressible Kerry discussed the persistence of the (false) rumor that Marilyn Monroe was actually the physical model for Tinker Bell, and the joy she found in doing the voice (as well as the body) of the red-headed mermaid--which led her to pursue other voice work in her career.

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Thomas recollected his father at the time of the making of the film, and how he was assigned to animate mostly villains after the war, leading to him designing Captain Hook. Between performing all night each night with the Firehouse Five Plus Two at the Mocambo in Hollywood and an eight-week bout with pneumonia, he eventually hit on the combination of menace-with-elevated-self-image that embodies the Captain Hook we have today.

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To finish the panel, we were then treated to a teaser trailer of Thomas' new documentary "Growing Up With the Nine Old Men," in which he catches up with the other animators' children and they discuss their shared experiences. It looks fascinating, and will be included on the upcoming DVD release.

The next part in the program was a short pre-show with Jake, from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, which was then followed by a never-before-seen episode from the show.

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So then the feature presentation played, and wow, but it looks great. Between the fantastic line drawing and the Mary-Blair inspired backgrounds, there is absolutely no surprise that it is such a classic. The animation is meticulous to the point that each character--even secondary ones like Mrs. Darling--are so well developed that there isn't a frame they're on screen, when you cannot look at their faces and tell instantly what they are thinking, and what their point of view is. If you haven't seen Peter Pan in its entirety before (full admission: I had not. Don't ask.) you owe it to yourself to see it on the big screen because it is a masterwork of a type of animation that simply isn't done anymore.

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Once the movie is over, your experience continues with photo-ops in the lobby.

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Next door in the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store, there is a variety of food-related experiences to partake in--a character breakfast with Jake and a specialty sundae--that tie in with the movie. There is also a plethora of merchandise to purchase, enabling you to take the magic home.

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Peter Pan runs multiple times a day at the El Capitan Theatre until February 7, 2013. For more information, please see http://elcapitan.go.com/

January 19, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 11, 2013.

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort. Most of the Christmas decorations and signage have been removed from around the resort. At the Mickey and Friends Tram stop the billboards have been swapped back.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

As well as the Downtown Disney banners.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The off season has arrived and projects are underway around the park. The first is the Main Street Train Station. Out front of the entrance there are now Cast Members stationed. This part of an effort to cut down on ticket renting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Main Street side of the train station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Stepping onto Main Street.. what a different feel than last week. The crowds plus Christmas are all gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


The waits around 1:15pm - much shorter than they have been.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A quick look at the Fantasy Faire work as I head to Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some work going on right inside Frontierland too, the shops are all open, just exterior work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

My first destination. Stopped by the Golden Horseshoe to get a reservation for a show this afternoon. I have posted my Golden Horseshoe pictures in a separate blog posting plus some video from the show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Big Thunder is closed through the Fall for a major renovation projection. The Big Thunder Trail was closed today and a crane was onsite.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Jessie was out for pictures near Rancho del Zocalo and no line!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Columbia was making the rounds on the Rivers of America today because the Mark Twain is in dry dock for some work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Mark Twain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Fantasmic is also not running right now and they are working on the center fountain area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

I do enjoy the off season. You can actually see and enjoy the park in a different light.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Haunted Mansion is closed as they are transforming it back to the regular show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A notice about the Main Street station work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A couple wreaths up still at the New Orleans station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some decorations are still up in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

But other sections are back to normal.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

No real visible work going on yet at Big Thunder.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

There is a tunnel set up under the scaffolding to connecting Adventureland to Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The walkway/tunnel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Circling back to the hub, Sleeping Beauty Castle still has snow, all the other decorations have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A closer look at the Fantasy Faire work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The other side of the Big Thunder Trail is closed off just past the restrooms in Fantasyland today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


The tea cup for photos has returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some work going on in the planters along the Small World Mall, looked like painting and grounds keeping work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The control booth building looks about finished from this vantage point.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Did a quick walk through Toontown, Christmas is gone from there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Kodak information booth by Small World was closed and empty today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A look inside (as many of you know Kodak did not renew their sponsorship with Disney so they are leaving the parks). The booth is supposed to be re-purposed and staying.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Chip out for a stroll in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Now over to DCA for a quick tour.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Buena Vista Street has returned to normal.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Except for the Buena Vista Street Bugle which still had the holiday edition on news stands.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

In Cars Land the decorations are gone but the poles on the right side of the street are still up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Blue Sky Cellar is closed as a new exhibit on the Fantasy Faire is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The demonstration tire outside of Luigis is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Heading out to the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Duffy was hanging around looking for guests to take pictures with.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Donald was out for pictures too and had a small line.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

GRR is closed for its annual work too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Elias & Co has returned to its regular merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Had a few minutes before being let into the Golden Horseshoe and thought the typo on the park time schedule was great... really limited time Magic with Disneyland only open for an hour today!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The current Disneyland map, notice the back cover now features PhotoPass, Kodak is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The current DCA map, same story. The maps themselves looked the same..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Woody was out for pictures near Big Thunder Mountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

I posted pictures and video in their own blog posting of the Golden Horseshoe show, but here are a couple....

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Video of the Can Can


Heading toward Small World Holiday. It runs for a couple more weeks still.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Soundsational has returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Given the cold weather (temps were in the 40s by now I think) there was a healthy crowd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A look down Route 66 this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


DJ's Dance and Drive has been simplified.. it now is just a dance party. DJ plays a handful of songs and everyone dances.


A video clip of what I mean...

Stopped by the Mad T Party. Christmas has been removed from there too.

That wraps up this trip to the parks. I headed back to Disneyland for the Remember fireworks but it was cancelled due to wind.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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.



January 20, 2013

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon - Part 1

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Another weekend, another Disney race - different coast, though!

We are back at Disneyland for the second annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The Neverland Family 5K was this morning (Saturday), and the half marathon is tomorrow. We're only doing the half marathon, though the 5K looks like it was a lot of fun!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon is the second Disney race that is women-focused. (The Princess Half, celebrating its 5th annual race next month, was the first.) The Tinker Bell half is VERY popular - this year's race sold out in 29 days last summer! There are over 14,000 people entered in the half marathon - 12,459 female runners and 1,634 male runners. (Or "the smartest guys on the planet", as race announcer Rudy Novotny described them.)

Last year there were three weeks between Marathon weekend at Walt Disney World and Tinker Bell weekend at Disneyland - this year (and next year) they are only a week apart. I think Disney is trying to discourage the coast-to-coasters. But it's not working - there are seven members of Team AllEars here, and I have seen a number of Goofy and marathon shirts from last weekend. I'm hoping they will tell us how many coast-to-coast entries they have.

This is at least a relatively easy race for us since we get to stay in our same timezone, and it's a short drive from San Diego.

The race starts at 5:00 a.m., but most of the hotels around here are within walking distance of the start line, so there's no need to catch a bus insanely early. It sure makes things a lot easier than they are at Disney World.

The weather is way different from last weekend in Florida - though it's been in the high 70s during the day, it's in the 40s at sunrise, and will only barely hit 60 by 9:00 when most of us will be done. Humidity only around 40%, too. Perfect running weather, though it'll be chilly waiting around for the start.

Lee and I will once again be running in our sparkly running skirts and pixie wings like we did last year. (He'll be wearing a tutu for the Princess Half, though!)

So, today after we arrived we went to the Health and Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. Packet pick-up, where we turn in our waivers and get our bib numbers, was down in the parking garage where it usually is.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

There were very few people picking up registration packets - we had no wait at all. We also got our coast-to-coast wristbands, so that we can get that medal after the race tomorrow.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I registered us as a two-person team - Team AllEars! Team numbers started at 20,000.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The volunteers at the chrono-tag check were cheering all of us as we came through.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Then we went upstairs to the Expo itself, which is in the Disneyland Hotel's Convention Center. After last weekend at Disney World, this was a LOT less crowded and much more pleasant to wander through.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We picked up our goodie bags. In addition to the race shirt (which comes in men's AND women's styles - are you listening, Disney World Marathon people????) they gave us a mesh drawstring "backpack". The shirt is nice - it's the lighter-weight tech shirt that I prefer over the ones that WDW uses. The design is the one that we voted on - runDisney gave us a choice of three, as I recall.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Our favorite medal hanger company, sporthooks.com, has some new designs - we really love this one - and yes, we bought it. :-)

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We had a nice chat with Disney race announcer Rudy Novotny. Today was his birthday, and he was working - he had already called the 5K in the morning, and was announcing at the Expo too.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We also visited the Official Merchandise area. It looked like they had plenty of merchandise, with a lot of different shirt designs (more than are pictured here!). No merchandise for men, though, except the gray Coast-to-Coast shirt we saw last week, and very few of those, in just a couple of sizes.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I liked the sentiment on this one.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Like they did in Florida last week, they were allowing people to pre-register for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend events in September. They had quite a few computers set up, and the line wasn't too long. Race registration officially opens on January 22 - I wonder if there will be any openings left for the Dumbo Double Dare by then.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

When we wandered through Downtown Disney we saw signs announcing the early opening of a number of venues tomorrow - places where the early runners can get coffee and/or something to eat. A lot of cold and sleepy people are going to be buying something hot tomorrow morning!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We brought bagels and yogurt from home - and that's what we'll be eating in the morning. Now it's time to try to get some sleep before the wake-up call comes in waaaay too early.

It should be a terrific race!


Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 18, 2013.

On January 19th the Blue Sky Cellar exhibit entitled Walt Disney Imagineering presents Fantasy Faire opened. There was a soft opening on the 18th and this update contains pictures from that.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

The videos as you walk in appear to be the same as before. I did not watch the entire loop of all three but on first glance they seemed to be the Cars Land and Buena Vista Street planning and construction shots.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Walt still greets you as you head into the Cellar.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

The first board, Step 1 - Research.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Step 2: Blue Sky

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Step 3: Concept

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Step 4: Feasibility

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


At the end of the hall in the display case is this Owl Newel Post

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Now we turn to the middle of the room. A large model is on the right, signage and other concept art overhead and the process continues at the desks.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Step 5: Implementation

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Above the first desk.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Now the second desk.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Above the two desks signage.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


In the center of the room a model.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


Next up the screening room.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Walt is on the left wall.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Here is a video of the film in the screening room.

On the right side of the screening room is this Facade Sample Wall.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

The last board before leaving features the Mickey and the Magical Map stage show that will be opening in the Fantasyland Theater this summer.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit


This wraps up our tour of the exhibit hope you enjoyed.

Blue Sky Cellar Reopens - Fantasy Faire Exhibit

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Blue Sky Cellar - Fantasy Faire Exhibit at Disney California Adventure. 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.



January 21, 2013

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon - Part 2

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2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Wow...it was a great morning! I think the Tinker Bell Half Marathon is now my favorite Disney race. Last year's inaugural race was really good, but this year was even better. I finished in 2:36:07 (with lots of photo stops) and Lee finished in 2:23:37. Despite running Goofy last week we both felt really good this morning and had a really good race.

After running at Disney World last week, where the course was too crowded and too narrow, this one was a pleasure. There were very few places where it narrowed down to a single lane for very long, and some areas we had 3-4 lanes to run in! It was pretty easy to run my own pace, and when I had to pass people I had room to get around them. It was MUCH more run/walk-friendly than the half marathon course in Florida was.

Our morning began at 3:15 - we actually slept pretty well. I know I've said this before, but Disneyland races are SO much easier logistically than those at WDW, because there is NO bus involved in getting to the start area - all you gotta do is walk!

Lee once again was a good sport and ran the race in sparkly skirt and wings. I don't think I saw quite as many wings and costumes (particularly guys in costumes) as I did last year, but still, a large number of people had worn some kind of special outfit for the race.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We met some of our Team AllEars folks in the pre-race area. It was chilly by southern California standards, about 48, but really not too bad at all, and SO much better than last week in Florida when it was 64 with 100% humidity.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The race started at 5:00 and they started sending people to the corrals at about 4:15. This also was SO much easier than it was in Florida last week - it was a very short walk, and we weren't shuffling.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

My "proof of time" put me in Corral A, while Lee, being male, was not allowed to be higher than Corral C. Normally I would have gone to C to run with him, but he suggested that I go up to A, stop for all the photos that I wanted (being in Corral A would mean shorter lines for me), and meet him at mile 5 (after we got through the parks). So I went up to Corral A. It was really cool being up where I could actually SEE the start line and the race announcers!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We got a few fireworks during the national anthem, but, unlike WDW, each corral didn't get their own fireworks send-off.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Tinker Bell came out to start the race at 5:00, and we were off in a shower of pixie dust!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Unlike the Disneyland Half, the Tinker Bell Half goes north first, then turns south on Harbor and enters the Hollywood part of DCA about mile 1.8. It was really cool to run down Route 66 in Cars Land when it was stiil dark and the neon lights were on.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

After that we went backstage again and ran around to Paradise Pier, where some of the World of Color fountains were running and the music was playing. DCA is an especially beautiful park when it's dark!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We ran past Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and Grizzly River Run - it was VERY dark here, and I was not too happy about running in the dark like that. After that we left DCA and ran across the Esplanade to Disneyland at about mile 3.3. Lots of characters out - including Captain Hook (who gallantly offered me his arm) and his pirates.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Then it was into Tomorrowland, where Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers were waiting. This was the longest line that I stood in (the line for Jack Sparrow was longer), but it's such a unique photo-op!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Holiday "it's a small world" was all lit up and looking beautiful.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

This was also the "princess walk", with Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder, and Merida out for photos. And you know what? I'd planned to stop and get my photo taken, so I did!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon


Then we went backstage again (passed mile 4) and ran past the stable area - we could smell the hay. They had brought a horse and a couple of goats out to see us.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We re-entered the park in Toon Town, and then went into Fantasyland. The Lost Boys were at the Carrousel having a great time with runners - this may have been my favorite photo of the day.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I ran through the Castle - NOT coming to a stop like we did in Florida last week - and Philip and Aurora were off to the left - with NO line - I'd never seen that before!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

In New Orleans Square was Jack Sparrow - with a HUGE line, so I didn't stop.

We went back stage next to Splash Mountain and soon came to the mile 5 sign. That's where Lee and I had agreed to meet. He wasn't there yet, but I only waited a minute or so for him so our timing was quite good!

Once we left Disneyland we went through Downtown Disney and past the Disneyland Hotel. The Red Hat Society was out in force again this year - I think there were even more than last year! They were a marvelous cheering section (I took this photo of a few of them after the race).

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We spent a lot more time on Disneyland property than during the Disneyland Half Marathon - we were almost to mile 6 when we left Disneyland property and went into some of the residential area of Anaheim. It's quite interesting to see these homes that are just a block or two from Disneyland! Some of the residents had come out to cheer us on.

Our route took us into the downtown Anaheim business district past the Muzeo at about mile 8.25.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We had pretty good support from the community with lots of cheerleaders and bands - and they were pretty enthusiastic even though it was very early on a Sunday morning.

At about mile 11.5 we were backstage at Disneyland and DCA again - we didn't go back into the parks, but instead were on the perimeter road around the edge. At mile 12 and 12.5 they had a couple of bands - I don't remember seeing bands backstage before.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

The approach to the finish was different this year - we kind of made a hairpin around the parking lot near the Paradise Pier Hotel rather than going out onto Katella and then finishing in the parking lot like we did last year.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We got our Tinker Bell medals and then exchanged our green wristbands for our Coast-to-Coast medals. I don't know how many C2C runners there were, but they seemed to have a pile of medals!

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Refreshments again were the runDisney boxes, bananas, and bottles of water and PowerAde. As they did last week in Florida, they handed out a small tote bag to carry it all in. Last week we got Oz bags, this week it was Peter Pan. That really made it a lot easier to carry everything.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

We were on our way back to our hotel by 8:00. So nice just to be able to easily walk back there - and a good cool-down for us, too.

We both feel really good - a little tired, but not particularly sore or anything. 52.4 miles in 9 days is quite a bit, though. But it was fun to earn our Coast-to-Coast medal again in record time - last year it took us three weeks, this year it was only eight days! Six medals in 9 days: Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Team AllEars, Tinker Bell, and Coast-to-Coast.

2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I'll have some additional thoughts on the race, but right now I'm too tired - I'm looking forward to a full night's sleep tonight!


January 25, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks in late January, 2013.

The skyline has changed a bit, a large tower crane is visible over the trees. This is being used for the Big Thunder work.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The train station has received an image on the scaffolding tarps, much nicer to look at!

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The park side.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Main Street USA this afternoon. The snow has melted on the castle (Speaking of melting.. it was pushing 80 degrees out this afternoon and was a picture perfect day).

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The menu at the Stage Door Cafe has changed. The chicken nuggets and corn dogs are gone (the two things I liked!).

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Big Thunder Trail has re-opened.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


The trail to Fantasyland is narrow due to the work on Big Thunder Mountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


A look through a crack in the fence.. you can see the base of the crane.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Fantasy Faire progress. It's scheduled to open in March.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree has re-opened, featuring Billy Hill and the Hillbillies and character meet and greets.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Current food and beverage offerings.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Time to head across the Esplanade to DCA. The Hyperion Bridge has been repainted. It now has colored panels. Before it was a solid color.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The new Buena Vista Street Bugle is out.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Over at Mater's one side has a tent over it. They are working on resurfacing it.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The original surface has taken a beating already and they are installing a new surface that should last longer.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

A look down Route 66. The telephone poles on the right side of the street that were used for Christmas decorations have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Work on Grizzly River Rrun continues. Here they are rebuilding the railings.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

A section that has not been torn down.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

I was there during the Health and Fitness Expo that was part of Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. Here is some of the merchandise for this years race.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


A look at some of the race medals that were on display at the Run Disney booth.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Jeff Galloway was on hand to answer questions, sign books, and pose for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The other news of the expo was the new runDisney shoes by New Balance. They are available only at runDisney Expos (starting WDW marathon weekend) and are $125 plus tax.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Men's shoe features Mickey.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

And the Women's Minnie

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


In Downtown Disney the ice skating rink is gone, just a couple of buildings remain from it.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Fossil store is being remodeled.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Heading back to Disneyland. The lights on the scaffolding give a different look..

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and Mickey and Minnie were hanging out, as well as a handful of other cast members and only a couple of guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Last chance to see Small World Holiday this season.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Crossed paths with Soundsational as I headed to Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Wreck-It Ralph has left the Starcade. Construction walls are up.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Was able to just walk right onto the Haunted Mansion.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Madam Leota was not floating yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Back to DCA... the bridge at night.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Passed through Radiator Springs on my way to World of Color (yeah I took the long way)

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Arrived a couple minutes before show time and was able to find an ok Standby spot for World of Color

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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.



Disneyland Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks in late January, 2013.

The New Orleans Bayou Bash has returned as part of Limited Time Magic on weekends through February 12.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

The festivities are the same as last year. There is a Mardi Gras Celebration.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

And a Traditional Jazz Band.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Time for the Traditional New Orleans Jazz Band plus Goofy!

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Video clips of the Jazz Band performance. This year only Goofy, last year Minnie and Mickey joined in.


Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

For the celebration special menu offerings around New Orleans Square.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash


No characters were out when I walked by, but I heard they were alternating Princess Tina and Mickey/Minnie in Mardi Gras attire.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

The Blue Bayou offerings.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash


A couple carts set up in the park near the Train Station.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

The Harbour Galley also has some special food offerings.

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash


Time for Princess Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration!

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

Limited Time Magic - New Orleans Bayou Bash

A video clip from the show, it appeared to be the same as last year.

For more information on DISNEYLAND Limited Time Magic

Information on WALT DISNEY WORLD Limited Time Magic

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About January 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in January 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2012 is the previous archive.

February 2013 is the next archive.

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