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May 2014 Archives

May 3, 2014

Disney Infinity 2.0: Here Come the Avengers!

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This week Disney Infinity held an event introducing their next generation of the popular Disney Infinity video game, Disney Infinity 2.0, and some of the new characters, notably Marvel Cinematic Universe's The Avengers.

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During the presentation, hosted by Marvel's Agents of SHIELD star Clark Gregg, various details of "Phase Two," were shown and described. Among them were:

--All figures, power discs, and toy boxes from both versions will be compatible with Disney Infinity 2.0.
--The new starter pack includes one Marvel Avengers playset, three heroes, and two new interactive game pieces providing structured games for the toy box mode.
--Future plans include additional Disney content as well as Marvel.
--Supported platforms will include WiiU, PS3, XBox 360, iOS, PC, PS4, and XBox One.
--The new environment, Marvel Manhattan, will be four times larger than the largest of the previous playsets.
--Combat will be specialized to exploit each Avenger's traditional fighting strengths.
--Construction in the toy box mode has been streamlined, with the additional option of "builders" that can be used to automatically build things for you.
--Interiors will be accessible, with the player able to decorate their "home."
--"Tower Defense" and "Dungeon Crawler" games are provided for the toy box mode. Each will take approximately three to four hours each to complete.
--Agent Coulson's "Lola" will be represented as a mode of transportation.
--They have hired (and plan to hire more) a gamer as a Disney Infinity builder on the basis of his community-shared, user-generated content.
--In the latest trailer, future characters can be recognized, such as MODOK, Loki, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spiderman.

May 9, 2014

Wonderful, Wonderful WonderCon.

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In the summer, a young (or less-young) nerd's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of cons. This year's convention season kicked off with WonderCon, once again held in Anaheim.

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Disney was well represented by many of its myriad branches in panels, merchandise, and, of course, cosplay.

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For aspiring TV writers, the panel, "Disney|ABC The Art of the Pitch: The Writer. The Director. The Story," showcased various mentors and current participants of the Disney/ABC talent development program describing the application process. At the end of the session, they took pitches from people in the audience and critiqued their presentations.

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One of the most popular panels I was able to get into was "Frozen: The Art of Story."

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Made up of a number of artists who worked on various aspects of "Frozen" (Jeff Ranjo, Fawn Veerasunthorn, Nicole Mitchell, and Normand Lemay,) the group discussed different ways the film's story developed and showed storyboards of alternate versions of some of the scenes. One hilarious segment (unfortunately we weren't allowed to record or take photos) involved Veerasunthorn pitching a slightly different version of the Elsa-Anna ballroom confrontation scene:

"Elsa: You can't marry a man you just met!"
"Anna: You can if it's true love!"
"Elsa: What do you know about true love?"
"Anna: I could ask you the same thing!"
[Audience: "oooooh."]
"Elsa: I'm sorry, I do not give you my blessing. Now if you'll excuse me..."
"Hans: Your Majesty, if I may..."
"Elsa: No, you may not. This is between me and my sister."
"Anna: Ha! There's nothing between you and me, thanks to you! And you know what? I don't need your blessing! You're not my mother!"
[Audience: "OOOOH!"]
"Elsa: I may not be your mother, but I am your Queen."
[Audience: "OH SNAP."]
"Elsa: ...And as your Queen, I forbid it."
"Anna: ...WHAT..."
"Anna: MEAN! MEAN QUEEN!"
[Audience dies.]

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She also spoke on how initially Hans wasn't present in this scene, but that it made Anna look like maybe she was just imagining the whole relationship in the first place. Putting him in gave the scene both an emotional and a physical representation of the break between the sisters.

"The Making of The Star Wars" had artist Mike Mayhew show how he developed the art style he used to help create "The Star Wars"--a series put out by Dark Horse Comics officially adapting George Lucas' original screenplay for Star Wars.

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The popular ABC show "Once Upon A Time" was also represented with co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, along with Josh Dallas (Prince Charming,) and Rebecca Mader (Wicked Witch of the West,) presenting the next week's episode and answering questions.

They also had an autograph session, which, if you could figure out where to line up in the morning and won the lottery, scored you the chance to get all their signatures on a mini-poster.

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Past ABC/Disney Fellow and present "Once Upon A Time" writer/producer Jane Espenson was present on several panels during the weekend, including "TV Guide Magazine's Fan Favorites Showrunners" with Chris Carter (X-Files,) and "Husbands: Breaking Through."

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On the Marvel front, while the studios were conspicuously absent, editor Sana Amanat and writers Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel), James Robinson (Fantastic Four), and Mark Waid (Daredevil) spoke on the "All-New Marvel NOW!" panel about the many changes coming to the fictional and publishing world of Marvel following the events of the "Avengers vs. X-Men" storyline.

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Finally, almost every con these days has a masquerade contest, and WonderCon is no exception.

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From Avatar to the winning entry from Frozen, there was a plethora of contenders.

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Hosting was Star Wars Weekend regular Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano.)

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This is, of course, only a smattering of all the different talks and games and videos that were available throughout the show. Of course the exhibitor's floor was the usual huge draw that it always is for eager shoppers and purveyors of art.

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Did I mention the cosplay?

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...WonderCon never bothered him anyway...


May 11, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/09/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort for the afternoon/evening.

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Goofy with the Hook and Ladder Co. in Town Square

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A look up Main Street USA

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The Plaza Inn is closed for renovation.

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No real visible progress on the subs. An Imagineer walking around this afternoon.

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A check of the Alice in Wonderland renovations. More steel for the outside track walkway extensions.

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Nikon signage is up at the Photo Supply Co now.

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Over to Disney California Adventure. Work continues on the Pacific Wharf renovations.

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The side facing the parade route looks complete.

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The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure was in a soft opening phase today, slated to officially re-open Saturday. It had been closed for several weeks for renovations.

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Several fish have been added as you head under the sea.

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Most of the fish have received a new paint scheme and use black lighting. They look substantially better to me.

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This is most noticeable in the Under the Sea scene.

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Some video from Friday May 9, 2014

For comparison here is a video from May 2012 - after a first round of renovations

And a video from my first ride through during a soft opening in May 2011

Another look at the recently completed Wharf renovations.

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Walked through Cars Land. Only an 80 minute wait for the Racers this afternoon.

Willy's Butte - Ornament Valley

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Doc McStuffins on Hollywood Blvd.

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Nikon signage at Kingswell Camera

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

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Noticed the moon was visible to the left of the Matterhorn.

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I used to think 120 minutes to meet the Frozen sisters was crazy but after being at WDW and seeing the 200+ and at one point 305 minutes waits there this seems like nothing!

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Work continues in New Orleans Square.

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Guests already claiming their spots for Fantasmic. Only 4 hours before the show. A great compliment to this show that turns 22 on May 13th.

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Pirates is closed for renovations.

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Indy has returned. I heard no changes so I opted to stay away today.

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Small World is still closed.

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Mickey & the Magical Map is also dark right now.

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In Toontown work on the fountains.

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Notice something missing here? The lights on either side of the sign are gone.

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The other fountain by the houses is also being worked on.

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Goofy goofing around in front of his house.

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The Go Coaster is also closed for work.

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The lake the Miss Daisy is in is drained and shows signs of some needed TLC.

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A look at the Go Coaster. Looks like they are just repainting.

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More of the "Land" merchandise that is available in shops around the park. The photos below were taken in the China Closet on Main Street. Here are some glasses.

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Attraction poster coasters.

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Plates.

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Decided to stick around and watch Soundsational before returning to DCA.

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Lightning rolling down Cross Street.

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Willy's Butte

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The Westward Ho Trading Co was closed for renovation. Guess that is why the pins moved to the music store?

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Fantasmic! time to celebrate its upcoming anniversary.

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Then it was back to Main Street for the Magical fireworks that returned last week.

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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.



May 25, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/23/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 23, 2014. To kick off the holiday weekend and the summerseason Disneyland Resort (as well as Walt Disney World) were hosting Rock Your Disney Side. Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom in WDW were open 24 hours, from 6am Friday until 6am Saturday. I attended the middle third of the day more or less. I arrived at the parks around 1pm and left around 10pm. Laura was at Disneyland in the morning and left around the time I arrived. Jeanine arrived right before I left and stayed overnight.

Due to the parking and traffic problems the Disneyland Resort suffers from during these types of events Disney was taking an aggressive approach to parking. When I exited the freeway just after noon the Ball Road bypass was closed as was the Mickey and Friends garage. They were directing traffic to the Simba lot. I decided this was a bad idea since I knew I was leaving early and did not want to get stuck in possible gridlock. So I opted to go around to the Toy Story lot. Getting into the lot easy but then they kept directing me further. I ended up in the far corner of the Katella Cast Member lot, beyond the Bambi section against the far fence. Below is a picture looking from my car back toward the convention center. It took approximately 30 minutes from the time I exited the freeway until I was walking to the bus. The bus transportation to the park was quick and efficient and within a couple of minutes I was at the security checkpoint. Leaving was a different story. It took me over 30 minutes from Main Street USA until I reached my car. All in all it was not a pleasant parking experience today. I understand the need to prevent grid lock in the evening when the crowds arrive but to penalize those guests who show up earlier in the day does not seem like the right thing to do.

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Since my last visit ticket prices have gone up. Here are the current rates.

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A large sand Olaf was created near the center of the Esplanade. Josh Gad was on hand in the morning to open the parks.

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First stop Disneyland.As you entered the park you were given a button and card promoting Maleficent.

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The time guides for the day.

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The lockers are closed as they start to work on a new walkway backstage to help with the crowds on Main Street.

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Main Street has its traditional summer overlay of red, white and blue.

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For the 24hr event there were quite a few food offerings. The Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor featured this Black and White Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Walked through the Candy Palace.

Hero and Villain Cupcakes

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Plenty of Maleficent treats.

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The other big promotion today was this large 32oz mug. A majority of the dining locations and carts featured it.

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Two large screens flanked the castle today. They were showing guest Twitter and Instagram pictures.

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Darth Vader popcorn buckets were available from the cart in Tomorrowland.

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No Captain EO showings today. Instead Marvel has taken over with movie screenings with showings of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, etc.

The show times for the day. They were showing standard versions of the films, no 3D.

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A Star Tours photo op near Innoventions. Assuming at some point characters will be out. For now just a static backdrop.

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More mugs...this time Storm Trooper.

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A look down at the sub lagoon from the Monorail. These looked slightly brighter to me, maybe some painting going on? Or just the light/my memory..

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Work on Alice in Wonderland is progressing. The extended walkways are taking shape.

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A check on Alice from ground level, you can see the old and then new extension.

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Small World had to use its extended queue.

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In Toontown, the fountains are out from behind walls. This one is missing Roger though.

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Mickey's fountain.

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The Go Coaster is back in operation too.

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Goofy in front of his house.

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Stopped by the Springtime Roundup. It was quiet as usual.

Roger Rabbit showed up while I was there (also Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Brer Bear, Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, and Baloo were available for pictures while I was there)

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The Stage Door Cafe offerings.

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Pirates has reopened and had a 25 minute wait and a lot of guests moving around.

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The Harbor Galley had a special soup today.

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Hungry Bear had a hot dog for the day.

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The Mint Julep Bar had punch.

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The walkway through New Orleans Square was blocked off again.

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This time it was also blocked off near the perfume shop.

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With Pirates open and the other two access points blocked this there was a traffic jam. You could access the two stores through this tunnel but everything else was walled off.

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In Frontierland the Trading Co has reopened.

Took a quick look inside and it looked more or less the same.

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A turtle near the Frontierland entrance just hanging out watching the crowd.

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This was a common sight throughout the park. Guests laying around or sitting anywhere they could find an electrical outlet.

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Due to there being no early Soundsational today the Main Street vehicles were running still. I counted 7 (2 buses, 2 trolleys, 2 horseless carriages, 1 fire truck) circling around.

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A photo op for the 24hr event in Town Square (same as last year, just a different banner)

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Time to head over to Disney California Adventure.

With the media equipment cleaned up you can now get closer to Olaf.

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Buena Vista Street was decked out in red, white and blue too.

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A special edition of the Buena Vista Bugle was on news stands today. It was only a single page (front and back).

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Clarabelle's featured a special hand dipped bar today.

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Award Wieners featured Maleficent items

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The Muppets film was not being shown today, instead a Frozen sing-along had taken over.

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Buena Vista Street also had a photo op with clocks.

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Taste Pilots Grill special offering.

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The person next to me ordered one.. so here is a picture of what it actually looked like.

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Noticed the fries at Taste Pilots were skinnier than they have been. More on par with say McDonalds size. They tasted better to me too. Still not as good as the old shoe string fries at Award Wieners or even the waffle fries at Taste Pilots but a step up from what they had been serving.

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A large clock to stand in front of and have your picture taken. You supplied the hands.

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The Wharf renovations have moved on to the part of the building that spans the walkway.

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Pacific Wharf Cafe featured a chowder for the day.

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Captain America shield shaped bread.

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A stage set up on the Wharf for a dance party later tonight.

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Flo's offering was a sandwich

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Time for the nightly Flag Retreat. Tonight it just featured the Dapper Dans, no live band.

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There were commemorative mouse ears available today. This is the back.

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More merchandise for the day.

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There was also a pin (on the right)

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On the castle stage throughout the day an MC would come out to promote the DisneySide hashtag and events.

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Here is a video clip to give a sample of what was going on.

Caught a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map.

The show seemed more or less the same to me, no changes jumped out to me.

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Went for a cruise on "it's a small world" which just re-opened. No substantial changes visible, most of the work was done backstage.

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Looks like the prairie dogs are not returning.

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Back to Disney California AdventureGRR is still closed for renovation.

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Another photo backdrop, this time in Paradise Gardens.

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The Paradise Garden Grill offering.

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And Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

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Here is the Mac & Cheese Flatbread.

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Through a Twitter promotion Disney announced tickets to meet Maleficent to promote the film. They were distributing them at the Blue Sky Cellar.

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Times were from 8pm till 2am. When I was there they were giving out ones for the block after midnight.

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Hollywood Blvd.

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In case you do not want a turkey leg but really like the shape they offered a crisped rice treat version today.

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Maleficent merchandise in Elias & Co.

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Maleficent treats being created at Trolley Treats

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In Clarabelle's they were setting up ice water

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Back to Disneyland. The park was much more crowded but still not holiday crowded...more like summer.

Passing by the Castle.

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Food lines were getting bad. Here is the Pizza Port line.

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Caught Magical to wrap up my evening.

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As I left the lines to enter Disneyland were really long. Well beyond the Monorail beam, almost to the center of the Esplanade.

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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.



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About May 2014

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in May 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2014 is the previous archive.

June 2014 is the next archive.

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