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February 2, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 1/29/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 29, 2016. In this set of pictures I focus on the closures and ongoing projects around the parks.
The support facility in the Pinocchio lot is nearing completion. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
A quick look at the future Star Wars site. Not a lot of visible progress yet.
Equipment is being brought in and fences are up around some of the site. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
First stop today, Disneyland. Minnie Rocks the Dots display inside Disney Clothiers Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
Not much has changed on the Rivers of America since my last trip. With the exception of the Mark Twain & Columbia switching places. Looking up river you can see some ribbons tied on the trees. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
The construction wall in Critter Country stretches from the Hungry Bear all the way to the outdoor vending location/ the trail that leads to the small eating area for the Galley. It now features some attraction posters.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The wall on the lower level of the Hungry Bear features the Rivers of America. Including the overall story, Mark Twain, and then the rivers it represents.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Barn doors have been installed on the tunnel by the Hungry Bear.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The current wait is only 3 months for the Jungle Cruise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Time for the Land Cruise... during which the skippers recreate the Jungle Cruise experience with 100% less water and boats.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Their recreation of the lost safari scene

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Here is a video of the experience.




Made my way to the New Orleans Square Train Station. New since my last visit you can now cross the tracks to the original Frontierland Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

It was fun to be able to see the original station up close.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The hand cart has been brought to the area for display too. Cast Members say more is hopefully coming soon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Next up made my way over to the Mark Twain which was in port in Frontierland.

A couple of signs with historical photos and information on the Mark Twain have been added to the queue area. This sign features entertainment and special guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Princess Tiana was onboard for pictures

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



Tables and chairs have been brought on board on the lower and mid decks and chairs on the upper deck.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Looking up river.. you really cannot see any changes yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Walls are set up on the Big Thunder trail past the Big Thunder Exit area and the cave, but before the pond and tunnel area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



A sign to warn you of the dead end ahead and how to find your way to Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



A sign in Fantasyland to help you find Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The gates are closed just past the restrooms to block off the Big Thunder trail on the Fantasyland side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Small World is closed to have the holiday overlay removed and for some renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The Autopia is closed for renovation too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Walked through the Star Wars Launch Bay. Only a 20 minute wait for Kylo Ren, for comparison 30 minutes for Chewbacca and 25 for Spider-man

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Closures are not just for attractions, the 20th Century Music Company on Main Street is also closed

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Made my way across the Esplanade to DCA.. which turns 15 on Feb 8th.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Thought you may be interested.. here is a video clip of the Esplanade and Entrance to Disney's California Adventure I shot back in January 2001 a few weeks before the park opened.

Some work on the back wall of the Blue Sky Cellar

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Zootopia has moved into the Bugs Theater. Some banners on the parade route in the area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Continuing my tour of closed attractions. World of Color is currently dark.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Red rolling out for pictures, no real visible signs of progress at Luigis, maybe a few new banners peaking over the wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The new attraction is listed in the park guidemap now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

And is on the map.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

New editions of the Buena Vista Bugle are available.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

A display and cash register has been added to the cafe to sell Starbucks merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Breaking the trend of the day... Soarin' was open today. It is only open weekends right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Stopped by the Silver Spur Supplies in Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

In the back of the store is a music box / jukebox. It costs a quarter for a song.

A video clip of the music box in action.


The Haunted Mansion has returned since my last visit the return times and wait times did not line up with my day this trip so I will try to visit next trip.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



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.







February 5, 2016

2016 Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend - Part 4 - Dining

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During our three days at Disneyland for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, we tried a few different dining options. We (gasp!) did not have any meals at our usual pre-race favorite, Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta!

Friday evening we were tired after a long week at work, driving in traffic to Anaheim, visiting the Expo, and checking into our hotel. So we wanted something fairly easy, and went to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. It was about 6:00, and we were surprised that the line wasn't very long.

They have some new items on the "Get the Skinny" menu, which are under 400 calories. There's a BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Quinoa Chicken Salad, and Turkey Wrap. They looked interesting but I opted for one of my favorites: The Holiday Turkey, with turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and gravy. Yum.

Earl of Sandwich Holiday Turkey

I also had a cup of the Chicken Noodle soup. It was good, but it was a small serving - they didn't fill the cup very full.

Earl of Sandwich Chicken Noodle

Lee had The Original 1762 - roast beef with horseradish sauce.

Earl of Sandwich Original 1762

Lee also picked up a container of Brownie Bites. These were surprisingly good! Moist and chewy and very chocolaty and satisfying. We really enjoyed these - we still had a couple left on Monday, and even then they were still very good!

Earl of Sandwich Brownie Bite

Earl of Sandwich Menu

On Saturday morning after the 10K and Kids Races we went into Disneyland - I wanted to try the breakfast menu at the Galactic Grill, which has Star Wars-inspired menu items.

I tried the Bantha Blue Milk Bread. This was essentially French toast, served with bacon and fresh fruit. It was pretty good.

Galactic Grill Bantha Blue Milk Bread

Lee went with the Darth Tamale. A blue corn tamale with scrambled eggs, chorizo, red chili sauce and tomatillo salsa. I had a bite and found that the chili sauce was pretty spicy. I couldn't have eaten this but Lee really enjoyed it, enough that he recommended it to several other people. Though with the caution that it was for people who like spicy food.

Galactic Grill Darth Tamale

Galactic Grill Breakfast Menu

That afternoon we had something from Lucky Fortune Cookery. I like the idea of rice bowls and veggies with choice of meat and sauce, but they use peppers in the veggie mix, which makes it inedible for me. But on the kid's menu there's a chicken and brown rice offering, served with oranges and carrots - but no peppers. So I tried that. It was a good-sized serving and I liked it. The oranges were on top of the chicken, and the carrots were in a bag. There was a mild teriyaki type of sauce on the chicken. I'd get that again.

Lucky Fortune Cookery Kids Chicken and Rice

Lee ordered the beef bowl with teriyaki sauce. He liked it.

Lucky Fortune Cookery Teriyaki Beef

Lucky Fortune Cookery Menu

That evening a group of us went to Naples in Downtown Disney for dinner. We had a reservation for 5:30. As you might expect, it was a popular choice on the night before a race, and there was a long line to check in. Some in our party knew from previous experience that it was for walk-ups, and that those with reservations checked in at the podium inside. Once our fearless leader did that, we were soon seated at an outside table.

It was coolish evening, but there were gas heaters around us, so that was fine - until they ran out of propane. And then apparently there were no additional gas canisters to be had, so it got a little chilly by the time we left.

Unlike our experience at Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World, Naples had a couple of "runner's specials" in addition to their regular menu. These included salad as well as pasta choices. We didn't go for any of those, though.

Our server (Amazing Amanda!) brought us fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Must...Not...Fill...Up...On...Bread....(But it's sooo good!)

As an entree I ordered Agnolotti - housemade cheese ravioli with fresh tomato and basil sauce. I requested marinara rather than basil sauce - I love pesto, but it can be too garlicky the night before a race. It was very good.

Naples Restaurant Agnolotti

Lee tried the Lasagna, a traditional eight layer lasagna with Bolognese meat sauce, béchamel and Parmesan cheese. He enjoyed it.

Naples Restaurant Lasagna

Some of our dining companions ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Naples Restaurant Spaghetti and Meatballs

The restaurant was quite busy, but we didn't feel rushed to finish, and had a very nice meal. Naples is not my favorite restaurant but this was a very nice experience.

Naples Restaurant Menu

Sunday morning after the half marathon and a hot shower we met friends at the UVA Bar for breakfast. Lee and I had never had breakfast here before, but our friend Eddie really likes it - and he had already gotten a table for all of us. It's outdoor seating, but there was a heat lamp nearby (that had plenty of propane ;-) ) and we were warm enough. It was fun to people-watch and see all of the runners coming by in their medals and costumes. We saw several people we knew.

We started with celebratory mimosas, and then ordered breakfast. :-) I went with "2 Organic Eggs", served with potatoes and choice of toast. Thankfully there were no peppers in the eggs! Nothing fancy, but it was nicely prepared.

UVA Bar Two Organic Eggs Breakfast

Lee went with the Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, mild red chile sauce, and aged cheddar. This looked very good, and he liked it.

UVA Bar Breakfast Burrito

Eddie tried the Buttermilk Pancakes, and enjoyed those.

UVA Bar Buttermilk Pancakes

Phill ordered the Steel Cut Oats, which was served with honey, raisins, and almonds. I didn't get a picture of that - oatmeal is just not very photogenic. :-)

We enjoyed the food and ambiance and especially the company - definitely a place we'll consider returning to for breakfast on a future Disneyland trip.

UVA Bar & Cafe Breakfast Menu

We didn't really have lunch - we had an afternoon snack at Ghirardelli. :-) I had my new favorite Nob Hill Chill, though it wasn't quite as thick this time as I like it.

Ghirardelli Nob Hill Chill

Lee had the Sea Salt Caramel Sundae.

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Sundae

For dinner, we joined several friends at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. Lee and I have eaten here several times before and have always enjoyed the food, and there's a lot of variety on the menu. Our friends told us later that it was the best meal they had on their visit - and they'd eaten at several other Disney table service restaurants.

We had an early reservation, and were seated in the corner of the big room upstairs. That was nice and out of the way. It was quiet when we arrived, but it got a lot noisier as the place filled up. Oh well...we enjoyed it while we could.

There were several specialty cocktails on the menu. This is The Blue Marquise, in honor of Disneyland's 60th anniversary. The color apparently came from 44th North Huckleberry Vodka. It was very pretty and quite tasty.

Ralph Brennans Blue Marquise

Lee and I shared an appetizer: Boudin Balls. Slow roasted cochon pork, dirty rice, Creole mustard aioli with Tabasco pepper jelly. They were deep-fried, and they were really, really good.

Ralph Brennans Boudin Balls

Another couple shared the Louisiana Crab Cake - with fire roasted corn cucumber salsa and Creole mustard drizzle. They liked it.

Ralph Brennans Crab Cake

Since I knew I wanted dessert, I didn't order an entree, and instead ordered soup and salad. The soup of the day was tomato and artichoke, and it was excellent.

Ralph Brennans Soup of the Day

I ordered the house French Quarter salad - mixed greens, candied pecans, cherry tomatoes and cider vinaigrette. Not too exciting, but it was a nice salad.

Ralph Brennans French Quarter Salad

Lee ordered the classic BBQ Shrimp and Grits with barbecue sauce and andouille-parmesan grits. Very good.

Ralph Brennans BBQ Shrimp & Grits

Other entrees:

Blackened Chicken Mac & Cheese - Applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, oven roasted tomatoes, baby arugula and rosemary garlic ciabatta bread.

Ralph Brennans Blackened Chicken Mac & Cheese

Grilled Medallions of Beef - Filet mignon, crawfish mashed potatoes, bacon & pecan-crusted green beans and a zinfandel reduction.

Ralph Brennans Grilled Medallions of Beef

Gumbo Ya-Ya - Chicken, andouille sausage, dark roux, Creole seasoning and rice.

Ralph Brennans Crab Cake Gumbo Ya-Ya

Southern Fried Chicken - highly recommended by our server, and a winner. With smoked gouda mac & cheese, bacon braised turnip greens, lemon-pepper gravy.

Ralph Brennans Southern Fried Chicken

As I mentioned, I didn't order an entree because I knew what I wanted for dessert: Double Chocolate Bread Pudding. It takes about 25 minutes to prepare and should be pre-ordered - the servers should ask about it in plenty of time so that you don't end up waiting for it. It's served with dark chocolate and white chocolate sauce - use one or the other or both. This is a dessert for two (or more) people to share...Lee and I only got through about 2/3 of ours. Really good.

Ralph Brennans Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

This was a wonderful meal with great company, and we really enjoyed it.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Dinner Menu

Monday morning a group of us did early entry at DCA. After two rides on Radiator Springs Racers (for our first ride we were in the first group of cars for the day!) and a wrist and arm workout on Toy Story Midway Mania, we went in search of breakfast.

Pacific Wharf Cafe is no longer serving breakfast, and neither is Cozy Cone #3. :-( That left Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe (Starbucks) and Flo's V8 Cafe as our only options. So we went to Flo's. I decided I wanted some Churro Bites from Cozy Cone #1, but when I got there was very disappointed to find that they no longer serve Churro Bites - just regular churros. Not what I wanted.

I don't like the scrambled eggs at Flo's - they are baked or steamed or something and have a weird texture. I had the fruit plate, which came with yogurt and a mini oat bran muffin.

Flo's Breakfast Fruit Plate

Lee had the American Breakfast, with the aforementioned weird eggs, potatoes, bacon and a biscuit. That's another thing I don't like about Flo's - the potatoes have peppers in them.

Flo's American Breakfast

Kim had the Kids Waffles - this came with turkey bacon and fruit. It's a pretty decent-sized breakfast, I think!

Flo's Kids Waffle Breakfast

Someone else had the Chicken Tamale, topped with scrambled eggs and salsa verde. This is pretty good, except that I think the tamale has too much masa and not enough filling. It's very attractive, though.

Flo's Chicken Tamale

Flo's V8 Cafe Breakfast Menu

By lunch time almost all of our playmates had departed for the airport, but there were still four of us left, so Dave and Holly and Lee and I all went to Trader Sam's. We were just in time to get a table inside as another party was leaving. It's noisier in there, but more fun. The one bartender was really into all of the special drink effects, and that made it a lot more entertaining.

Trader Sam's

I had a Passionate Python, with a couple different types of rum, passion fruit juice, and other tropical juices.

Trader Sam's Passionate Python

Lee went with the Piranha Pool - Strawberry vodka blended with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, strawberry puree, and blue Curacao. This is a good one.

Trader Sam's Piranha Pool

I think Holly has not yet forgiven me for suggesting the Murky Mojito to her. :-) Rum, fresh lime juice, mint and agave nectar topped with Angostura Bitters - she said it was really strong.

Trader Sam's Murky Mojito

We had food, too. I tried the Shrimp Tacos, which were new to me. They were quite good.

Trader Sam's Shrimp Tacos

Lee and Dave both had the Kalua Pork Flatbread, which I did not photograph, but you can see the corner of it in the Piranha Pool photo above.

Holly had part of Dave's flatbread, but also ordered the Panko-Crusted Chinese Long Beans, which she shared with the rest of us - those are so good.

Trader Sam's Panko-Crusted Long Beans

Trader Sam's Menu

That was our final meal for this particular trip. It was fun to have some new experiences this time, and especially to share a number of meals with good friends.








February 9, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2/05/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 5, 2016. The big news this week is the Lunar New Year Celebration and APDays. As always you can view the full picture and video set on disneygeek.com


Before starting the pictures wanted thought I should note that Disney California Adventure turns 15 this week. The park officially opened on February 8, 2001. Here are some video clips I took from the Annual Passholder preview that was held on Feb 3, 2001 if you are interested.






For the month of February the Disneyland Resort is celebrating AP Days with special Annual Passholder Events throughout. Here are signs at the entrance of Disney Califronia Adventure.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016

Each week will feature a different theme.

The button for this week.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Inside Stage 17 a backdrop for this week's theme.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


To the left free popcorn and water.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


A look at what you can pick up.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


The snow is gone but the rest of the Frozen set is still in place. In the front of the room was a meet and greet.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Plenty of chairs to sit in and relax. My understanding is they show videos from time to time. I did not see a schedule.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Today Jiminy Cricket was out for pictures.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



A preview of upcoming pins.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



There were also tables for coloring.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Setting off into the park. Walked through Cars Land, no visible progress on Luigi's.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016





Lunar New Year is being celebrated in Paradise Gardens. This is the year of the Monkey.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



As you enter the area boards with some traditions and history of the celebration for different cultures.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Chinese brush painting and calligraphy


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


New Year Wishes


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Lantern arts and crafts


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Several carts with food for the event.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Mulan and Mushu were greeting guests.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



The Happy Lunar New Year Processional occurs four times a day and features several performers and Mulan & Mushu.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



A video clip of the Dragon Dance.



A video clip of the ribbon dance.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Video of the full Happy Lunar New Year Processional and performance.


Mickey and Minnie were out greeting guests.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016




Seaside Souvenirs had t-shirts and envelopes for the celebration.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



The Blue Sky Cellar is also hosting AP Days.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Some AP Days signage as you enter.


Inside the boards are still the same with the addition of an AP Days banner overhead.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Tables for coloring near the video loop.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Two sets of electrical outlets to plug devices into for charging.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



They had recipe cards here too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Buzz Lightyear was out on Paradise Pier
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016


Screamin' was down again this week as I walked by.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016




AP Days are being celebrated here with evening screenings in the Opera House.



Today Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



The River Belle Terrace is closed for renovation and they are switching to table service. It reopens Wednesday.

They had the menu posted.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016
The Rivers of America look about the same.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



The construction barriers leading up to the Hungry Bear Restaurant now feature Country Bear Artwork and some greenery.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Woody was out in Frontierland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Work on the Autopia continues.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



More Autopia repainting and repair.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



Small World has returned to operation with its regular show.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016



I stopped by the Toontown Train Station. They have removed the rail from there leading off toward Frontierland.Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016
Noticed fences have been installed on top of the block wall in the queue for the Haunted Mansion.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016

Wrapped up my evening with Paint the Night.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 5, 2016

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.








February 16, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2/12/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 12, 2016.





Annual Passholder Days continued this week with the theme: "Live the Adventure." The opera house feature today was Disneyland 61 / Olympic Elk.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Some Valentine's Day decorations are back in Town Square this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


The Music Company has re-opened after a couple week closure for renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Inside no major changes jumped out at me, looked to be a regular renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



The display shelf along the wall has been removed or is not back yet.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

A check of the Star Wars project this week, looking up river trees are starting to disappear.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Splash Mountain is closed for annual renovation work.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Moving around to the area just past the Big Thunder Exit.

Through the trees you can see they have cleared most of the ranch area and you can see right through to the Jamboree stage now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Several of the trees have bloomed thanks to the warm weather lately they think it is spring (it felt like summer on Friday with temps well into the 80s)


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

A check of the Autopia renovation progress


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Louis was on the Mark Twain this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



More tables on the mid deck by the band stand area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Stopped by the Opera House to visit President Lincoln. Today would have been his 207th birthday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


The Blue Sky Cellar is hosting the AP Days for week two. There were still items left from last week and they were passing them out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Some of the items I picked up this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



The activity for this week is a "Treasure Hunt". The map shows photos, with clues, of various things around both parks. On the back is a "clue page", with letters corresponding to each answer. There are more clues than photos. The correct letters will spell a phrase. No prize - just the satisfaction of completing it successfully.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Cookies and Cream Churro and regular Churros at Cozy Cone #1 in Cars Land

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

The posters at the Animation building feature Zootopia now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



As you enter there is a cityscape poster


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



A segment from the song "Try Everything" is now inserted into the lobby film loop. Between Let it Go and Cars.




A Valentine's Day message in Trolley Treats


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Class of 2016 merchandise is out in the Five & Dime


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Out in Toontown scaffolding has gone up around the perimeter of the Downtown area. All the attractions and stores are open. No FastPass for Car Toon Spin though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Found a spot on Main Street for Paint the Night.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Video clip of the Cars group.




Video clip of the Jellyfish




Video clip of the princess group making its way toward Town Square.




I wrapped up my visit with Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

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.







February 18, 2016

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" at the El Capitan Theatre

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For one night only, the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood had a special showing of the Walt Disney classic, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to commemorate its release in the new home video series, Walt Disney Signature Collection.

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The evening began with a short drawing for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" Collection Blu-rays, and then a few words by renowned Disney animator, Mark Henn.

After watching a short documentary on the making of "Snow White," the princess herself came out to greet the audience.

In the lobby, Walt Disney Animation Studios showcased some original works of arts inspired by the Dwarfs from the film, including long-time animator Eric Goldberg.

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As for the movie itself, I suspect I don't have to tell anyone what a masterpiece it is, or how its artistry is unmatched by any other animated film beyond "Pinocchio" and maybe a handful of others. That the first feature-length animated feature was made at all, is an enormous credit to the determination of Walt Disney, and the unqualified success of it must have been one of the largest unalloyed triumphs of his career.

I will say that I continue to disagree with those who put "Snow White" up, along with many of the earlier princess films, as having poor examples of weak female characters. In "Snow White," the kingdom is ruled solely by a female monarch who has not only political power but intrinsic magical skills as well. She has clearly defined goals and takes decisive, if questionably ethical, action to achieve them. Snow White, on the other hand, has to learn to confront her fears and fend for her own survival on the run. She works for her room and board at the cottage, and transforms the Dwarfs with her intrinsic kindness and civilizing influence. While there is some debate about it, to my mind the movie passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors, which is more than you can say of a large proportion of films today.

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The film has countless strong scenes, most markedly the chilling moment after Snow White bites the apple and the Evil Queen mutters the poison's effects. With just a lifeless "thud" of an arm hitting the floor and the remnants of an apple rolling away, Disney evokes an almost Hitchcockian degree of horror.

One of my favorites moments is Snow White's hysterical flight and subsequent realization that the benign forest creatures were the object of all her terror. What a comforting thing for children to be told--that in their darkest hours, if they can just hold on until the light comes again, they may find the source of their dismay nothing more than their own fears and anxiety.

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The Walt Disney Signature Collection allows viewers to experience classic Disney films in Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA,) and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack. Some of the new special features included with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:" “In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Iconography,” “@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess,” “The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Facts You May Not Know About Snow White,” “Snow White in Seventy Seconds,” and “Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White”

Disneyland Paris - Toy Story Playland

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com spent 10 days at the Disneyland Paris resort. I will sharing a series of posts from the trip here on AllEars.net and have a full set of pictures, videos, thoughts and observations linked to my 2015 Paris Trip Summary Page on disneygeek.com.

This posting takes a look at the Toy Story Playland area inside the Walt Disney Studios Park. This area opened in August 2010, a little over a year before its cousin in Hong Kong Disneyland. The two playlands share the same three attractions and have a similar layout. The Paris version seemed more compact and almost jammed into the park where as the Hong Kong one felt more open and a more natural layout. Hong Kong was also larger featuring a gift shop and snack location that Paris did not.


Approaching one of the two entrances to Toy Story Play Land.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


If you approach from another walkway this is how the entrance looks.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


The other entrance is from the Ratatouille area. Here you pass under a bridge and through a barrel.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Looking back.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Monkeys overhead as you enter from the Ratatouille area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Near the entrance a photo spot.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Rex is another photo spot near this entrance.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Looking into the land. To the left is Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin. To the right is RC Racer and beyond that the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


First up a look at Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin. This is the same attraction as in Hong Kong. It was closed most of the days of my trip, only open the weekend due to renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


The entrance to Slinky Dog.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


The RC Racer attraction is across the walkway.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


A photo op nearby.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Another photo op.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


The final attraction is the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


A look at the parachutes.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


A photo op near the queue.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


The Slinky Dog queue area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


To close out a look into the land from the Buzz Lightyear entrance side.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Fall 2015

Hope you enjoyed this look at Toy Story Playland inside the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full set of Disneyland Paris pictures/videos I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.






February 22, 2016

"Countdown to Zootopia," at the El Capitan Theatre

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For seven days, the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is having a special movie series called "Countdown to Zootopia."

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Building up to the general release of "Zootopia" on March 4th, each night will feature a different movie from Disney's Second Renaissance/Revival period complete with giveaways, raffles, and appearances by special guests from the films' cast and crew at the 7pm showings.

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In the lobby there is a display of concept art and maquettes from all the films, along with a variety of photo-ops.

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People were calling him "Olaf." Just NO.

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THIS is Olaf.

Everyone attending the 7pm shows will get a special piece of artwork designed from that particular film, with the first 75 people in line getting the chance to have it signed by the filmmakers!

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"Wreck-It Ralph" director Rich Moore

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"Frozen" Co-Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

After the traditional Wurlitzer Organ pre-show performance, the filmmakers take the stage for a short presentation and raffle.

Having attended the first two nights, I can say that it's a treat to see these animation classics (and their accompanying shorts) up on the big screen again--they look gorgeous and have all the beauty and cleverness you'd expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Some of the older films have not been seen in the theaters since their original release, and others may have failed to get the full reception they deserved, considering Pixar was coming strong out of the gate, co-releasing such films as "Up" and "Toy Story 3" at the time.

For the price of the ticket, which includes the giveaways, potential autographs, presentations, and popcorn and soda, "Countdown to Zootopia" is a great way to pass the time while waiting for WDAS to release their next classic.

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Tickets for "Countdown to Zootopia" are available at www.elcapitantickets.com Prices: Single reserved seat admission -- $10 includes small popcorn and drink; Single VIP preferred reserved seat -- $20 includes VIP popcorn and drink. The El Capitan Theatre is located at 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood CA 90028


Disneyland Resort - A Walk Around the Parks 2/19/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 19, 2016.

The Circle D Ranch buildings have been leveled and removed in preparation for the Star Wars Project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

A closer look into the park you can see the trees down on the berm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The walls are down and the new support facility in the Pinocchio lot looks complete.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Work underway at the ticket booths. Looks like new digital displays are going to replace the traditional signs.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Annual Passholder (AP) Days was wrapping up week three. This week's theme: Fantasy and Fun. The Opera House was hosting a Silly Symphonies show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

This week featured PhotoPass vs an activity like the previous two.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Valentine's Day decorations were still up in Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The flags were at half-staff for Antonin Scalia

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The Rivers of America. All was quiet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Splash Mountain is back after a brief refurbishment this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

A look through the Hungry Bear scrim (the reason for the blurry view). Looks like more clearing along the river bank.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Next stop New Orleans Square Station. The hand cart has moved.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The other big change since my last visit is the addition of the training boiler to explain how steam power works.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The view into the former ranch area from near the Big Thunder exit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The rockwork at the entrance is all still intact. Wonder if that is all staying put?

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

A walk through Toontown. Notice the bright red on the right..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

While the work is going on Car Toon Spin is open, but there is no FastPass.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The hills of Toontown have turned yellow as they repaint them.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

In Tomorrowland the Autopia queue is still surrounded by scaffolding.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The Straw Hatters in Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Several characters joined them for a dance party.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

A couple of video clips of the Straw Hatters performing and characters dancing.

Stage 17 was celebrating APDays today too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

A photo backdrop with the logo for this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

This week Roger Rabbit was meeting guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Doc McStuffins on Hollywood Blvd.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

No real visible progress at Luigi's.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The Blue Sky Cellar was hosting AP Days also. Interesting that they were using the exit as the entrance this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Inside they were distributing this week's handouts, as well as leftovers from the first two weeks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

The three buttons from AP Days so far.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Some of the wine barrels feature logos for AP Days

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Grizzly River Run is closed for annual refurbishment.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Easter cookies at Trolley Treats.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

I returned to the Opera House to watch the presentation. A couple of signs at the entrance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Plenty of water and popcorn for all and you could eat in the theater.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

Time for the show. It opened with a brief video about AP Days and then went to the Disneyland TV show giving the story of the Silly Symphonies.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016

It was announced last week that the Diamond Mad T Party will end its run March 30.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 19, 2016


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.


February 29, 2016

Disneyland Resort - A Walk Around the Parks 2/26/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 26, 2016.

Trees are being removed from the berm. You can see more clearly into the park now from the parking structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A closer picture of the berm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

This is the last week of APDays. Today the feature was the Plausible Impossible.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Steam Trains have taken over the Gallery Space.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The exhibit has the same format and footprint as other recent ones.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A look at the Train exhibit. The first display features the Disneyland Locomotives. This is on the same wall as the Steve Martin video (which is still playing). Surprised they did not cover or swap out the title bar on the top.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

One of the display cases features original tickets for the Santa Fe & Disneyland RR.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

This wall featured a look at Walt and his trains.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Next the trains of Paris (top) and Tokyo (bottom).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The Lilly Belle has her own display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The last section featured Walt Disney World.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Limited edition ear hats. The complete purchase price goes to Make A Wish Foundation. They were available at several locations around the parks and World of Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Up river you can see the start of the cofferdam. The white bags spanning the river near the base of Splash Mountain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Informational signs up around the original Frontierland Station across from the New Orleans Square Station. The signs are printed on both sides and cast members said the plan is to move the crates out and open that area for guests too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Explaining how telegraphs work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A cast member showed me the back side...so this is standing in the original station waiting area looking toward the track.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

An illustration of the training boiler showing the components of the boiler.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The Jambalaya Jazz were on the mid-deck performing.

There was an LCD replaying the opening day telecast when I walked by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Looking up the river you can see the other cofferdam

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The hills are green again in Toontown.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Signs up at the PhotoPass locations for the Share Your Ears promotion.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Ran into Mary and Bert

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The same sign that is on the gallery is also on Main Street Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Inside the station are several displays featuring the same pictures as the ones in the gallery.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The back of the board has attraction posters from around the world.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A board featuring Walt and his railroads (same as the gallery).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Week 4 of APDays was going on. Here is a quick look in the Blue Sky Cellar. They had recipe cards from all 4 weeks as well as left over buttons from earlier weeks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The full set of buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

For those who track chocolate, Ghirardelli was handing out regular squares of caramel on Friday, not minis.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

No visible progress at Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters as testing is still going on. It officially opens on March 7th with previews leading up to that.

Disney released some fun facts as well as a video. I posted those along with a brief history of Disney trackless systems and my thoughts

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Cast Members out front passing out buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Award Wieners has Zootopia offerings now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

At the Disneyland Hotel, some of the pool area is still closed for renovation but looks close to reopening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The pools around the slides were open but the slides were not this evening, they had closed for the day already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A rack of Zootopia merchandise in Big Top Toys

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Olaf was MIA today in Paint the Night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

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 February 2016

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in February 2016. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2016 is the previous archive.

March 2016 is the next archive.

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