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September 6, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 9/02/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 2, 2016. Since it's been just a week since his last visit, he focused primarily on the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, along with a few scattered updates.

But first -- another video clip of the Star Wars Construction site.


Now onto this weekend's Disneyland Half Marathon and other runDisney races. The 5K race was Friday and featured a Country Bear theme. Saturday was a 10K, followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The Expo was held in the Convention Center as usual. It was fairly busy/crowded this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Disney Vacation Club was in the center of the hall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Some Disney-inspired shoes were for sale.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

And Honda had a car on display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

ABC also had a booth and was hosting screenings of some new television shows.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

They had a castle photo op in the lobby.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

This was the line to enter the merchandise store. It only wrapped back on itself once, and took about five minutes to work through.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

A look around the store.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

An assortment of generic running merchandise, as well as race-specific items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The main location for runDisney was set up in one of the lounge areas.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

One display rack had medals from this race weekend as well as medals for the the upcoming Disneyland Paris Half Marathon, to be held later this month.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The 5K medal:


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Some of the Disneyland Paris medals:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

A second rack had medals for the upcoming domestic races:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Leaving the Expo, I headed over to the Downtown Disney District. In the LEGO store, the Cinderella Castle set is on display. It sells for $350.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Caught the a cappella group Vocal Trip performing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The walkway in front of Naples is now blocked off and is outdoor seating.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Over in the parks, the specially themed Haunted Mansion Holiday opens next Friday. Exterior decorations are being finalized.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The Market House work on the side facing the street has wrapped up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The walls are down from the west side of the Main Street Train Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Halloween Party ad as you exit the park.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

The Opera House windows have their pumpkins out. No other Halloween decorations were out yet..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016


Soon all the blue will be gone... when the 60th Anniversary celebrations conclude on Monday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Walls are up on the east side of the train station now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Tinker Bell leading the way in Paint the Night. The Monsters Inc. float was not part of the parade tonight.

This parade goes on hiatus after Monday until the Holiday season.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Found a spot for Disneyland Forever.

The final show is scheduled for Monday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 2016

One last shot of the 60th Celebration, since I'm assuming this will be gone my next visit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 2, 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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.





September 7, 2016

"Moana" Press Day: Producer/Director Presentations and "Inner Workings."

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Fresh off their popular/critical hit "Zootopia," Walt Disney Animation Studios invited us last month to take a sneak peek at what will be their 56th animated feature: "Moana."

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[Non-attributed photos courtesy of Disney]

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Leading off the day was Director Leo Matsuda and Producer Sean Lurie discussing the conception and creation of their fantastic short "Inner Workings" which will accompany "Moana" in theaters. The short portrays a working man caught in the middle of his brain and heart's conflicting desires.

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Leo Matsuda on the "Inner Workings" inspiration: "As you can see, I'm Japanese-Brazilian--you can probably tell from my accent--I have a Japanese side that is very disciplined and logical, but I also have my Brazilian side who loves Carnival and parties, so I feel that I've always had this tug-of-war between the two extremes in my life, and I think this short portrays some of that."

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--Other influences on the short include the works of Jacques Tati, Wes Anderson, Ward Kimball, Golden Books, and the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
--Paul, the main character, was initially envisioned as a generic white guy, but the crew insisted that Matsuda's sketches looked like him, and after his fiancee agreed, he changed the character design to reflect that.
--The overlying shape of things in Paul's office is square, indicating the rigid world of the brain, as opposed to the world of the beach which is wavy and curved and where the heart wants to be.
--The journey to developing an art style that would make bodily organs adorable vs. disgusting took influences from aquatic animals and how they move in water.
--Ultimately, the story is about finding balance between the demands of the brain and heart as opposed to either abandoning all responsibilities or failing to live life to the fullest.

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Next up was Producer Osnat Shurer introducing "Moana."

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Shurer on the journey to making "Moana": "A few years ago, after 'Princess and the Frog,' Ron (Clements) and John (Musker)...were talking about what their next feature should be. John had long been fascinated by stories of the...South Pacific. This incredible, beautiful area of the world that many of the residents call 'Oceania.' And he read a lot of Polynesian folktales and looked at the varied and really fascinating stories of the demigod Maui, and the various stories there. Ron loved the idea, and they went together to our Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, and pitched some ideas."

--As part of the extensive research they conducted, the filmmakers went on several trips to multiple islands in the South Pacific which significantly changed the direction of the project.
--The Moorean phrase "know your mountain" became an important concept to the story: In order to know where you're going, you have to know where you come from.
--They were introduced to the concept that the ocean does not divide the islands, but in fact unites them as one.
--A variety of people they met on their voyages became regular references to them on matters of cultural representation--an "Oceanic Story Trust."
--The task of creating a soundtrack incorporating the musical rhythms of the South Pacific with a contemporary sound eventually fell to the team of Opetaia Foa‘i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
--All the leads of the film have South Pacific roots.

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Auli‘i Cravalho, voice of Moana

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Dwayne Johnson, voice of Maui

Directors John Musker and Ron Clements then took the stage.

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After a short recap of their illustrious careers at WDAS, the two recounted the story development of "Moana": "In our research trips in the South Pacific, we learned first hand the importance of navigation to this culture. So really, we built the whole story around the true fact of the Pacific Islanders being the greatest navigators the world has ever seen. 3,000 years ago, they found their way across the Pacific starting in Taiwan, going through New Guinea, working their way from West to East. And in one of the greatest feats of nautical exploration, they used dead reckoning, they had no instruments whatever, and based on their knowledge of the stars and the currents, they found their way across the ocean in a great feat. And we wanted to celebrate that.

"But according to experts that we spoke with, about 3,000 years ago, everything stopped. All voyaging stopped. For a thousand years, everyone just stayed put and they didn't migrate. And then about 2,000 years ago, it started up again. And then they proceeded to populate the Eastern Pacific, including Tahiti, Hawaii, and New Zealand. And because it was an oral culture, nothing was written down. To this day, no one actually knows why the voyaging stopped, or how it started again. It's a mystery.

"We came up with a theory, which is the basis of our movie...What if there happened to be one young girl that was responsible for things starting up again?"

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--"Moana" means "ocean" in many different South Pacific languages.
--She is 16 years old, the daughter of a chief, fearless, smart, and high-spirited.
--Her pet pig is "Pua."
--Moana's desire to explore is at odds with her father's decree that no one ever venture beyond the reefs of their island, but is fanned by the stories of her Gramma Tala.
--Her intellectually challenged rooster is "Heihei."
--Maui has a magical fishhook "like Thor's hammer."
--He is covered with tattoos, and one in particular of himself--"Mini Maui"--was supervised in 2D by famed Disney animator Eric Goldberg.

Next time, we'll be recounting presentations from animators in charge of the environments, characters, effects, story, and more.

"Moana" will be opening November 23, 2016.

September 12, 2016

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

Christopher Schmidt, back again to bring you a review of the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

The Expo itself was a breeze this year. Admittedly I don’t spend a ton of time shopping, and do not engage in the Official Race Merchandise madness at all. When the Expo opened, there was a healthy and eager crowd, but they did not overwhelm the volunteers dispensing bibs and shirts; my primary areas of concern. Jeff Galloway was again in attendance, of course. He was, again, exceedingly generous with his time; hanging around before and after his speaking engagement to meet and talk to participants and fans.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

I confess I was disappointed to hear the Official Race Guide would not be available in print this year. I often found it a bit heavy on advertisements, but as a handy resource for park hours, race times and courses, the guides are indispensable. Maps were posted all throughout the Health & Fitness Expo, which was helpful. The time I spent trying to capture just the right photo of them was unnecessary as our bibs came with a perfectly adequate Race Instruction pamphlet. Though not as complete as in previous years, it contained all of the weekend’s relevant maps and information with none of the distracting advertisements. I appreciate the runDisney sponsors, and am addicted to Clif Bars, but the pared-down guide has to be better for the environment.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

Both the Disneyland 5K and 10K were wonderful. The 5K is still woefully brief, and had some bizarre theming this year. Liver Lips and Big Al, from Country Bear Jamboree, were the character guests of honor. I grew up on, and loved the Country Bear Jamboree. It was charming, and one of those attractions where you could consistently count on short lines. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh took over the Disneyland Country Bear Playhouse in 2001, making the bears an intriguing choice to host the 5K. Still, it is always a delight to see classic characters return. I’m afraid to ask if this portends the release of another Country Bears movie.

The 5K and 10K did not course down Route 66 this year, which was disappointing. Cars Land is a thrill at night, and also before sunrise as an exclusive part of a runDisney event. Both races did circle Radiator Springs, then cross through Cars Land. It was all well-lit and beautiful though I missed that emotional jolt of being essentially immersed in the movie.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

The World of Color light and water display in the heart of the 10K helped make up for the Cars Land abbreviation. The Aladdin theme for this year's 10K was a welcome touch. There was a bit of negative sentiment surrounding the discontinue of the popular Aladdin stage show in Disney California Adventure, even if it was to make room for Frozen. The Aladdin medals and on-course entertainment may have been a concession. There are many who would love to see the show make its way back into the Disneyland Resort somewhere soon.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

All of the 2016 races have been rerouted due to construction on Star Wars Land. This weekend’s courses omitted Frontierland, Adventureland and New Orleans Square entirely. There is still plenty of park land to cover, and in the 5K, the change was not disruptive. For the 10K and Half Marathon, the courses seemed to spend an exorbitant amount of time back stage. Often the behind-the-scenes glimpses are a major part of the appeal of a Disney race. Unfortunately, we spent little time running behind attractions and secret portions of the parks. We were relegated to less descript driveways and service roads. Still, none of this detracted from the amazing experience. It just didn’t add to it in the way circumnavigating Space Mountain and running behind Main Street have traditionally.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

There was a wealth of costumed characters out this year. RunDisney did a thorough job of highlighting the theme from each race throughout the weekend. While in previous years, it seemed they sort of just slapped a name on each race, then didn't go much beyond having XXXX wave at and high five runners at the start and finish lines, this year revealed a concentrated and intentional effort. Beasts and critters from Bear Country were on full display for the 5K. Aladdin and friends were the unmistakable highlight of the 10K. Mickey, Pluto and all the originals adorned each race, but were specifically all over the parks and staging area of the Half Marathon. Cast Members dressed in the race theme, acting in character along the course and within the parks, were a genuine highlight. The Aladdin and Jasmine look-a-likes in front of "it's a small world" were mic'd up and had an entertaining exchange going on as we passed. Bravo to the two Imperial Storm Troopers who were actively, convincingly, in character. I think the look of discomfort on the Ewok’s face above was genuine.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

Pooh and Piglet in the double-decker omnibus were a thrill, as was the lineup of Cast Members surrounding the hub and much of Main Street. But, again, the park time is over all too quickly. Before you know it, or want it to be so, the 5K and 10K courses are angling through Downtown Disney and their all-too-sudden finish.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

If you drew one of the deeper starting corrals for the half marathon, you were in for a tough slog. Among the thousands of participants there seemed a high number of early and frequent walkers. Walking is absolutely your prerogative, if that is your preferred approach. The number of participants walking at the outset this year, and throughout the race, appeared uncommon.

The half marathon had excellent on-course support. The volunteers, bands, etc., are so passionate and committed. The classic cars were present in their usual location on Cerritos Ave. They are always such a wonderful break after being outside the park for so long. Admittedly, it did feel like there weren't as many organized groups, e.g. bands, on the route this year.

I thought there were more costumes than I have ever seen for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. There really seemed to be a higher level of creativity and participation. The costumes ran the entire gamut. Tons of Minnies, Donalds and the other traditionalists. Then there was a bellhop carrying a "Looking for Work" sign vis-a-vis the closing of the Tower of Terror. One guy had an amazing Tron getup. In the dark he looked incredible, but of course it made him impossible to photograph.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

This year's medals were beautiful, sturdy and reliable. What participants have come to expect and mostly appreciate from the Disneyland Half Marathon, I believe. The Coast to Coast Medal however, shows the detail and intricacy that is going into other runDisney event medals. I do love tradition, but wish a little more creativity would spill over to the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend medals.

The weather was perfect for the entire weekend, really. There was nice cloud cover early in the race day, with pleasantly low humidity. Can’t really account for all the walking. This is not a criticism. I did, and do, my share of walking. We would all do well to pay more attention to Mr. Galloway. It’s just something different I noticed this year.

With the half marathon course circling and doubling back upon itself, something else I noticed were the elite runners finishing while many of us were just getting started. Not sure if I am more envious of those with such ability, or concerned for their emotional well-being. If I could run that fast through Disneyland, I’m not sure I would. It seems a tragic waste of the runDisney opportunity. Oh, believe me, I want to sprint through a few of those tedious middle miles. I just have to wonder if the elite runners are actually enjoying themselves. I guess being excellent at something is rewarding in and of itself.

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For the rest of us mere mortals, the runDisney experience continues to impress. It also beckons us back. I thank runDisney for another memorable weekend, as I look longingly toward November, the Super Heroes Half and the next incredible adventure.

September 14, 2016

Halloween Time Returns to the Disneyland Resort

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Halloween Time

Halloween Time is one of my favorite times of year at Disneyland...I might like it even better than the holidays.

But like the holidays, it seems to start earlier every year - this year it began on September 9 - just four days after Labor Day! It runs through October 31. I was there on opening day - Friday, September 9.

At the Mickey and Friends tram stop, I was a little surprised that the large signs there advertise the Tower of Terror closure and not Halloween Time.

Halloween Time

This Halloween display along the tram route is always fun to see. There's a second and longer part on the other side, but I was on the wrong side of the tram to get a photo of it.

Halloween Time

The large character pumpkins above the entrance turnstiles were back.

Halloween Time

The Mickey floral and the train station are no longer decorated for the 60th anniversary.

Halloween Time

The Mickey pumpkin has returned to Town Square.

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Halloween Time

The Main Street Pumpkin Festival includes lots of jack-o-lanterns peeking out from the buildings on Main Street.

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The candy shop has a number of Halloween-themed treats, like Mickey jack-o-lantern krispie treats, Maleficent krispie treats, skull caramel apples, and these Dia de los Muertos krispie treats.

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The new map and Times Guide. That night was the first showing of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show, which has returned now that Disneyland Forever ended along with the Diamond Celebration. Fantasy in the Sky will run (probably on weekends only) until the Holiday celebration kicks off on November 10 and Believe...in Holiday Magic returns.

Halloween Time maps

Speaking of the Diamond Celebration...an unadorned castle. It looks rather plain.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

I was there at park opening, so I hustled over to Tomorrowland to get a Fastpass for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Hyperspace Mountain seems to be the only piece of the "limited time offerings" of Season of the Force that is no longer around - Path of the Jedi and the Galactic Grill are still there.

Star Wars Launch Bay

I was surprised to see that most of the photo ops from the 60th anniversary celebration are still in place.

Matterhorn photo op

The jack-o-lanterns themed to each land surround the Walt and Mickey Partners statue in the Hub.

Halloween Time

The Vampire Mickey popcorn bucket has been "re-vamped" this year. :-)

Halloween Vampire Mickey popcorn bucket

There's a new Halloween-themed bucket, also, with Disney characters drawn in the older style. (I think Daisy looks pretty creepy, personally.)

Halloween Disneyland popcorn bucket

Haunted Mansion Holiday opened for the season, and many of us were eager to see how Jack had "decked the halls" this year. The standby line was posted as 40 minutes, but it was less than 20.

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

The advances in projection technology have certainly changed the look of a lot of things in the mansion over the years, starting with the Stretch Room. It's always fun to see what happens when two holidays collide...

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The loading area:

Haunted Mansion Holiday

This year's Gingerbread House in the ballroom. I was fortunate to have a brief stop almost right in front of the house.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

New this year: a life-size audio-animatronic figure of Sally was added to the graveyard scene. Her eyes blink as she gazes across at Jack Skellington and she kicks her foot up and down.

Haunted Mansion  Holiday Sally

After exiting Haunted Mansion I was in my Ghost Galaxy Fastpass window so I got a Fastpass for Haunted Mansion Holiday, figuring the line would be longer later. I wandered back to Tomorrowland by way of the Mint Julep Bar, thinking maybe I'd get some beignets. But to my dismay this year there are no pumpkin beignets! The special this year is regular beignets sprinkled with butterscotch sugar. Not very appealing to me.

I also went through Frontierland and the Dia de los Muertos display outside Rancho del Zocalo. It seems the same as previous years. There's a face painting (free) station set up there.

Halloween Time

Halloween Time

The entrance to the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant is also decorated.

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

Lots of Halloween merchandise available - here's just a few samples.

Halloween Time merchandise

Halloween Time merchandise

I used my Fastpass for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. I didn't notice anything new about it this year, and I found it not nearly as exciting and immersive as Hyperspace Mountain. I hope that will return...

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

In Town Square some of the characters were out in their Halloween costumes. They always seem to have the same costumes every year - don't they get tired of them? :-)

Halloween Time Vampire Mickey

Halloween Time witch Minnie

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is offering a Halloween Minnie makeover for the season.

Halloween Minnie Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The entrance to Toontown has some Halloween decorations.

Halloween Time

New maps and Times Guide in Disney California Adventure. The classic World of Color show has returned to replace the Celebrate! version.

DCA map

AP Days, a special event for Annual Passholders, has begun, and will run through October 31.

AP Days

There are activities for Annual Passholders in two different areas of the park. In Hollywood Land, the AP Days Showcase is at Studio 12 (which was the Tron arcade).

AP Days

Outside were a few tables where kids (or adults) could color some Halloween-themed drawings. Inside was a special character meet and greet.

AP Days

This area looks like it recycled a lot of props and decor from the Scare-dy Crow shack at the former Big Thunder Ranch area.

AP Days

AP Days

There's a different AP button each week - they change on Mondays. My AP was scanned when they gave me a button, so it seems like they are limiting the buttons to one per passholder. They also gave me a small bottle of water.

AP Days

There were some benches outside a small demonstration kitchen - apparently there are food demonstrations that take place a couple of times a day. I wasn't around for any of that, though. The displays outside have descriptions of some of the seasonal food offerings around the resort.

AP Days

One of them is a seasonal smoothie at Schmoozies - a caramel apple smoothie. I tried it. It has apple pureed in it, and a hint of cinnamon. But most of what I tasted was sweet - too sweet for me.

Caramel apple smoothie

The second location for AP Days is in the Paradise Gardens area. Mainly an AP Days photo opportunity.

AP Days

There was a scavenger hunt-type of activity available. I don't know if the activity changes each week, but this week it was solving a word phrase. The letter clues asked questions about which was more or less, e.g. "Which is MORE? The number of gas pumps at Flo's V8 Cafe or the number of animal spirits within the Spirit Cave at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail?" There's a different letter choice for each answer. No prize for solving it - just the satisfaction.

AP Days

There are several special things going on at the Tower of Terror during its final Halloween season. The Silver Lake Sisters - also known as Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical (they own the cafe on Buena Vista Street) perform throughout the day in the lobby. Unfortunately you have to actually be in line to see them. I thought that was odd. At night there's Late Check Out, where the Tower of Terror ride takes place in total darkness. I didn't stay late enough to try that. There's also special merchandise available in the shop.

Outside the Tower is a new PhotoPass location with a few props.

Tower of Terror photo op

Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel also has a seasonal item - a drink called "This Chilling Challenge" available with a souvenir Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug. They are $30 each. I went over there to see if I could get one. The line wasn't too bad (apparently it had been very long earlier in the day), but I could sit outside on the patio and order there right away. So I ordered the chicken lettuce wraps and the drink. The drink was a stronger than I expected it to be. It was made with pineapple juice and spiced rum, I think - not sure what else.

Trader Sam's This Chilling Challenge

And here's the mug. There was a limit of two per person, yet these still sold out on Friday. The Parks blog reports that another shipment will arrive closer to Halloween. I continue to be amazed at how poorly Disney estimates the demand for these sorts of items.

Trader Sam's Hitchhiking Ghosts Mug

Downtown Disney had a couple types of Halloween banners.

Tower of Terror banner

When I went back to DCA around 5:00 the bag check line on the Downtown Disney side was really long. It stretched back into the tram area on one side, and past the entrance to Downtown Disney on the other. Wow. I'd like to see them implement a "no bags" line like they do at Disney World. That wouldn't have helped me at all, but it might help things move along faster overall.

There are lots of new seasonal food items for the Halloween season. The Disney Parks blog posted this list.

Here are a few of them. Cupcake from Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe:

Halloween Time Cupcake

These poison apple mugs were first released last year, but they must have sold out quickly. They are EVERYWHERE this year - I think I saw them at most of the quick service locations in Disneyland (and some in DCA), and even at Mortimer's Market, which is more of a fruit stand. Depending on where they are purchased, they are available with a beverage, ice cream, or fruit.

Halloween Time Poison Apple Mug

The French Market has this multi-layer Cookies and Cream Mousse Coffin Cake.

Halloween Time Coffin Cake

It seemed to me as though a number of the food items were not yet available - I didn't see signs posted like I usually do. Except for the Poison Apple mugs - did I mention that those were EVERYWHERE? :-)

I had a really good day. Crowds were not too bad, and I got to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday four times!







September 19, 2016

"Disney Enchanted Tales" Mobile Game Debut

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Recently, Disney Interactive launched their latest free-to-play mobile city-building game, "Disney Enchanted Tales."

To help introduce it, an Enchanted Tea Party was held in which Director of Studio Production & Operations Jennifer Kropko and Art Director Jon Rick talked about the game's development.

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The framing concept for the game is the idea that an enchanted quilt ties all the different Disney kingdoms together into a playable space so that their cherished stories never have to end.

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The gameplay involves placing familiar landmarks around the quilt and gradually unlocking various characters to further the story.

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Each of the characters have specialized tasks and activities they can be made to perform--Gaston can be seen stomping around wearing boots, Rapunzel lets down her hair to lift Mother Gothel up to the tower window, etc.

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The quilt patches can be unlocked as players reach more advanced levels and accumulate in-game currency, allowing for more space to place landmarks and ornamental objects, and eventually to start different stories. Additional tales besides the starting three "Beauty and the Beast," "Tangled," and "Frozen" are already in development.

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Over in the art department, a lot of care was taken to involve WDAS to insure that the game not only had its own look, but was true to the heart of the original films. To date, there has been enough animation created for the game to fill an entire feature film.

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Having played the game a bit, I would say that it's a good introduction for people new to this sort of "kingdom-building" game. The art style is cute and the animations hold some neat easter eggs for fans of the films--for example, when Belle shows the book she's reading to the sheep at the fountain, a sharp eye can see her on the same page as in the movie. It is pretty slow to take off however, as a moderate amount of grinding has to be done before the player can amass enough currency and experience to start unlocking enough characters and locales to really begin advancing the story. Prior to that, you can look forward to helping Belle buy a lot of bookmarks, and Rapunzel sweep the floors...but that may just enhance your understanding of their shared desperation for a more exciting life.

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"Disney Enchanted Tales" is now available on both Apple and Android platforms: http://lol.disney.com/disney-enchanted-tales

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September 22, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 9/16/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Since Laura posted a look at Halloween Time and the APDays last week I am going to skip those pictures from my trip. They are in my full picture set if you are interested.

To start off with this week, here's a quick video clip taking a look around the Star Wars construction site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.



The retaining wall on the far side of the site nearest Toontown has continued to take shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

A section of wall on the bend in the River as I continue to pan toward Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

In the distance you can see another wall taking shape as they excavate dirt from the former Skyway hill.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

The center of the site.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

The hole in the area nearest the parking structure continues to grow. Notice the top of the shovel just barely visible.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

A closer look where the new walkway will be. Hard to make out anything yet from this distance/angle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
Some work in the Pinocchio lot. The hedge has been removed and looks like an extra lane has been added to the tram area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

As you ride the tram to the park, almost the entire length on the park side it appears work is going on. They cleaned out all the ground cover and have markers in the ground.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

The World of Disney entrance closest to Starbucks is covered for some renovation work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
The Diamond Days signage is gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
DCA banners are back in the Esplanade. Too bad they did not go with HalloweenTime ones.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

The diamond anniversary decorations in both parks are almost all gone. Here's a look at the DCA entrance.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
The floral Mickey is now diamondless. No fall/Halloween look this year on Mickey. But around him there is orange.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Work continues on the Market House. Most of Center Street is now scaffolding free.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Not a lot of visible progress on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
Star Wars construction as you walk through Critter Country. You can clearly see the new wall that is along the Rivers of America bank.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Looking through the fence to give a better perspective of distance and where the wall is.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Work on the Tom Sawyer Island raft dock.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Work on the island dock looks to be wrapping up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Walking toward the end of the Big Thunder Trail you can see the bridge that has been constructed and start to get a feel for how the walkway will line up. Assuming the train will pass over that.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Looks like they have started to add elements to the wall so they can work on the rock work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
Mary Poppins and the Pearly Band performing in front of the castle



Season of the Force has concluded so the signage is now switched over to Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Same with the banners. The background music was still Star Wars though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Some walls up around the Buzz entrance sign. The attraction was open as was the FastPass area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
Storm Troopers still roam Tomorrowland. He said he was watching me.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
The Galactic Grill signage is still up

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
The Toontown entrance is being worked on. I like how the print has the Halloween decorations on it.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Walls up around the Miss Daisy.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Some walls up on the far side of Toontown too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

At the Haunted Mansion the FastPass entry has been reconfigured. The merge point is in the bac, this cut out some queue space for the standby line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

The bridge work in Critter Country has wrapped up and the joints are redone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Over to Disney California Adventure. First impressions of the Backlot is of an abandon area..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Nothing in the theater right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

All the equipment has been removed from the rigging with power cords just hanging there. It looks to be in mid removal still.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Same goes for the rigging near Stage 12 (that line is for the AP Days)
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

A look at the Tower of Terror. It closes in January to be switched from Twilight Zone to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Stopped by Tower Gifts There are some merchandise choices to mark the occasion.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Annual Passholder shirts

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Some work outside of Rushin River Outfitters in the Grizzly Recreation Area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

As the sun was setting it reflected off the Tower of Terror, note the diamond decorations are now removed from the Carthay Circle Restaurant.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016
Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Space Mountain was lit up bright white. It also appeared Ghost Galaxy Projections were on (look at the left side) The Ghost Galaxy audio was playing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 16, 2016

Here is a brief video clip. Also note Star Wars background music still played in Tomorrowland.




A quick trip through the Haunted Mansion Holiday, a couple of video clips including the gingerbread house and new Sally figure.




Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks have returned on non-Halloween Party weekend nights this fall. Here is a video of the full show from Friday night.

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.






September 26, 2016

A Look At "Disney Art Academy"

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Recently released as a new addition to the Nintendo 3DS "Art Academy" series, "Disney Art Academy" takes players through a step-wise series of lessons on drawing famous Disney characters.

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From "The Basics," through "Color Theory," to "3D Drawing Techniques," budding artists are slowly introduced to a variety of drawing techniques and principles both theoretical and mechanical. Lessons can include instructions on how to draw in layers or general principles of Princess Portraiture.

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The beginning tutorials start out with the subject pretty well drawn in, but as the player progresses, only the general outlines are given. Eventually "Free Paint" is unlocked, where the artist starts copying a demonstration character from a blank canvas.

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One of the comforting parts of the program, at least for those of us unartistically inclined, is that the lessons are taught to you along with some fellow toon kids...who are not likely to show you up with their finished product. Much like when Mr. Rogers used to teach us drawing, it's sometimes an encouraging thing to see someone else try a project and not necessarily be an expert at it.

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While I personally reside amongst the art-impaired, I found the program entertaining and easy enough (at least in the beginning levels) for me to produce something that looked at least vaguely like a given character. If you enjoy the Animation Academy at either Disney California Adventure or Disney Hollywood Studio, I think it's a safe bet you'll enjoy "Disney Art Academy."

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(But I will never, never show you my Free Paint picture, which looked to have distinct Picasso influences. Like a total disregard for anatomy.)

"Disney Art Academy" is currently available for the Nintendo 3DS. Purchasing information can be found at http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/disney-art-academy-3ds

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of “Disney Art Academy” for reviewing purposes. This did not affect my review; my opinions are my own.

September 30, 2016

Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon Weekend - Part 1

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Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Logo

For a number of years there had been rumors in the runDisney community that a half marathon race would be coming to Disneyland Paris. The official announcement was finally made at the Disney Princess half marathon in 2015, while we were waiting in the starting corrals. There were few details at that time other than the dates, September 23-25, 2016. There was also a run.disneylandparis.com/ web site, but all that was available there was an email signup for additional information when it became available.

Since it had that wonderful "I" word, "Inaugural", associated with it, I knew that I wanted to run it. Plus neither Lee nor I had ever been to Paris or Disneyland Paris. So it seemed like a great opportunity to do that.

Eventually there was a bit more information - there would be 5K and Kids races also, and there would be a Castle to Chateau Challenge medal for those of us who had completed a Disneyland/Disney World half marathon in the same year. Lots of excitement about that!

Later that summer we learned that initial registration would take the form of a package that included hotel nights, park tickets, and race registration. Those would go on sale in October. Bib only sales would not take place until early 2016. For many of us coming from the U.S. a package deal was somewhat attractive since we would want to combine the race with a trip to Disneyland Paris, but many European runners were not so keen on that idea. Some already had DLP annual passes and didn't need park tickets, or lived nearby and didn't need lodging, etc.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon
[Non-attributed photos courtesy of Disney]

There was also a lot of confusion about which travel agencies were "authorized" and had packages to sell. GET Travel was the only U.S. agency, though a number of U.S. agents partnered with U.K. agencies to provide packages. (The latter is the way that we went.) A number of people also called and booked with Disneyland Paris directly, though it was not initially obvious that you could do that. Different providers had different rules on how much you had to put down, and when you had to pay the balance. The one we used, Sports Tours International, didn't require as much down, plus we didn't have to make final payment until the end of June.

The packages offered a stay of 3-5 nights, though all of them required a Monday checkout, which I thought was odd. All of the various hotel properties were available, which meant there was a selection of price points. We decided on Sequoia Lodge, which is classed as a Moderate and has more of a wilderness theme.

Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge

It wasn't until mid-December that we each received an email giving us a username and password to the race registration site. That allowed us to register for the 5K and half marathon races. French law requires those participating in half marathons (or longer) races to provide a medical certificate from a doctor certifying that you are healthy enough to run. This of course was unusual to those of us in the U.S. but I thought the requirement was very well communicated. There was a particular certificate template on the web site that we had to print for the doctor to sign. (The hardest part was that the date fields were reversed: day/month/year.) As part of the registration process we had to upload a completed copy of that. And if we were eligible for Castle to Chateau we had to upload a copy of a finisher certificate from a 2016 Disney half marathon (or marathon). It didn't all have to be done at once, but the registration status was not complete until everything was uploaded AND we received an email stating that the medical certificate and finisher certificate had been accepted. Runners who wanted to use the Disneyland Half as their Castle to Chateau qualifier were nervous because their race certificates weren't available soon enough after the race, and I think most ended up bringing a copy of their results to the Expo.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration

Bibs went on sale early this year, and it seemed as though those who wanted bib only were able to register. There was even a transfer policy for those who had initially booked a package and then found they would be unable to attend. Bibs for the half marathon were still on sale as late as August. I do not think the race reached capacity. By the way, registration was quite inexpensive by U.S. Disney standards - 29 Euros for the 5K and 69 Euros for the half. Approximately $35/$80.

In addition to the 5K and half marathon, other events that were available were the Inaugural Party, a private event at the Studios on Friday night, and the "Rice Party" (in place of a pasta party) on Saturday night at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Downtown Disney. We did not attend either of those.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon events

We received some email communications from the race organizers in Paris, but there still didn't seem to be nearly as much information available in advance as we are used to. The actual race courses were announced quite late - though that may have been due to security measures. The emails with links to our vouchers (which would allow us to pick up our bibs) didn't come out until September 6, and the actual race waiver form we only received via email the morning of the 16th, as we were preparing to leave for the airport!

I was a little concerned because we had nothing more than a confirmation number from the travel provider. There was an information packet we'd been able to download (again, not long before we left), but nothing really personalized. One detail that should have been communicated: when we arrived at Sequoia Lodge we had to check in at the group area (which was in a separate building) and not at the main desk.

We spent four days in Paris before going to Disneyland Paris. We had managed to travel with just a carry-on suitcase and small bag/backpack each, partly because of the move partway through the trip. We took the metro and the RER-A train to the Marne-la-Vallee Chessy station, which is right outside the gates to Disneyland Paris. Very easy.

Disneyland Paris Train Station

We decided to walk to the hotel rather than take the shuttle bus. I was surprised that we had to go through a security checkpoint to enter Downtown Disney - but it was also the security perimeter for the parks. Going through security was something that we got used to. It's quite efficient since they use an x-Ray machine to scan bags and everyone walks through a metal detector, or gets scanned with a wand. Even when the lines seemed long they moved quickly. I wish Disney would do that here.

Disneyland Paris Security Entrance

After we were directed to the correct check-in area, check-in at the hotel was easy. It was only 1:30, but our room was ready! Because our package was prepaid we didn't even have to leave a credit card - and they don't use the keys for room charging like we are used to here. We received 5 day park hopper tickets since we had a five night package. That meant we could go into the parks that afternoon. We were leaving early on Monday so that wasn't going to be a park day for us. The CM gave us a race information pamphlet but it really had very little information - the hours of the Expo and where things were located and not much else.

Disneyland Paris group check-in

We went to Disneyland Paris that afternoon - but that is for another post. :-)


The Disneyland Half Marathon Expo opened at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday. I thought that was a little unusual. The Disneyland Paris resort is quite compact and reminded me more of Disneyland, with parks, hotels, Expo, and start/finish areas all within walking distance. That's all the long way of saying that the Expo took place in the Disney Events Center, on the opposite end of Downtown Disney from the parks, and close to most of the hotels. And again, within the security perimeter - there was a checkpoint between the hotels and the entrance to Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Paris Events Center

People were concerned about the availability of merchandise for an Inaugural race, and were lining up outside the Events Center by 1:00, and probably before. We didn't go until about 3:20, at which point there was still a long line to get in. The line was because they were checking that everyone had their waiver, race voucher, and ID. It turned out that we needed two waivers - one for each race, and had only printed one, but there were boxes of blanks readily available. There was an area available to print out race vouchers for those who arrived without them.

Disneyland Paris Expo Line

Disneyland Paris Events Center

While we were waiting we chatted with a lovely young French woman behind us (who spoke excellent English). She and her father were running their first Disney race, the 5K, and they were very excited. They were from the local area, and have annual passes to the parks. We tried to give them some idea of what to expect - but of course we didn't know how much it would be like the races here.

Once we got inside there was a huge line. I assumed it was for merchandise and got in it, but it was for the Castle to Chateau wristband! Computer issues. Eventually we figured out what line we were in, and that we didn't need to do that right then.

Disneyland Paris Events Center

Though the lines weren't long, picking up the half marathon bibs took a long time. There was a laptop computer at each pickup counter for the volunteers to scan the bar code on the bib, but the computers were having problems. We also got the gear check bag there with a copy of the program and a cereal bar, but had to go elsewhere to pick up our shirts. We are used to getting our challenge wristbands when we get the bib, but that was not the case here - that was the huge line.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Bib Pickup

After we picked up the bib we had to move to a photo location to have our photo taken with our half marathon bib - we assumed that was for PhotoPass identification since they scanned the bib after taking our photo.

Disneyland Paris Expo

We picked up our 5K bibs and went into the merchandise area. There was no line to get in at that time. There was a line to pay, but there were lots of registers and it moved steadily.

Disneyland Paris Official Merchandise entrance

There really wasn't much merchandise available. "I Did It" shirts for the 5K and half, which were cotton, and men's and women's gray tech shirts with a half marathon logo.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

There was a hat, mug, and a few Remy-themed items. No magnets, wine glasses, or a lot of other popular items. There was surprisingly no Castle to Chateau shirt, but we received a flyer with info on ordering them from the Disney Store web site. It loses the immediacy that way, but at least we'll still be able to get them.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Merchandise

The thing I wanted was the pins. There was an open edition half marathon weekend pin in the merchandise area, but the limited edition pins were only available at the registers. Since they were actually limited to one per transaction I had some hope that there would still be some left. But, of the five pins available, the mini-medal versions of the 5K and Challenge pins were already gone. This was less than two hours after the Expo opened on the first day. At least the half marathon mini-medal pin was still available. The two "I Did It" pins were also available, but I didn't want those. At the register they said they would have more of the other two the next day. I can't believe how badly they misjudged the quantity of pins to order. There's simply no reason to make them so limited! (The 5K mini-medal pin is already missing from the pin display as it was sold out.)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Pins

After we shopped we wandered around the rest of the Expo. There weren't too many exhibitors there, and very little merchandise for sale. If you'd forgotten some running essential you probably wouldn't find it there.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Expo

We also picked up our race shirts. The 5K shirt is a light soft cotton and the design is very cute. Overall I really liked the shirt. When I selected my shirt size there was an advisory that European sizes run small in the women's cut, so I went with a large instead of a medium. I would have been ok with a medium, I think. They had a shirt exchange but I decided to keep what I had. It's comfortable.

Disneyland Paris 5K shirt

The half marathon shirt is a tech fabric and it's dark gray. I don't know what it is with runDisney and gray shirts, but I'm not a fan. A number of the shirts for sale were gray, also. The Mickey design was nice, though. I thought it interesting that both of the shirts were made in Portugal.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon shirt

The other thing we purchased at the Expo was the Photopass. For a (special?) price of 40 Euros, we will be able to get all of our race photos, plus any PhotoPass photos taken in the parks. To purchase I had to have a bib, and they scanned it, so at least my half marathon bib should be associated with it. And we are supposed to be able to put in all four of our bib numbers. But there wasn't much information on this, and the web site where we are supposed to go put in the info still isn't functional yet, as of this writing - current info says to wait for a week after the race. Not nearly the instant gratification that we are used to!

Disneyland Paris PhotoPass

Disneyland Paris 5K

I guess I should mention that the Expo was in a very large tent. It was a sunny day and it was very warm in there.

The runDisney booth was giving away runDisney shopping bags but the lines were too long so we skipped it. But they had all of the upcoming race medals, including those for Marathon weekend in January. They have all been redesigned. Almost makes me wish I was planning to run the half or full next year. Almost. :-)

runDisney 2016 Mickey's Holiday 5K medal

runDisney Inaugural Wine and Dine 10K medal

runDisney 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Medal

runDisney 2016 Inaugural Lumiere's Challenge Medal

runDisney 2017 WDW 5K Pluto medal

runDisney 2017 WDW 10K Minnie Medal

runDisney 2017 Half Marathon Donald medal

runDisney 2017 Marathon Mickey Medal

runDisney 2017 Goofy Challenge Medal

runDisney 2017 Dopey Challenge medal

runDisney 2017 Castaway Cay Challenge Medal

Isn't the Castle to Chateau medal a thing of beauty? I was definitely looking forward to getting that one put around my neck!

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals

The line for Castle to Chateau wristbands was even longer, so we decided to just come back the next day - especially since I was hoping to get the other two pins. At that point there was no line to get into the Expo, and not much for bib pickup or merchandise.

Here's what I brought back from the Expo that day:

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Expo

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medal pins

On Friday the Expo opened at 10:00 and we went back about 10:40. There was a short line to get in, but we explained we'd already picked up our bibs and needed to get wristbands and they let us in. We went to the merchandise area. They did have the Castle to Chateau pins but were already sold out of the 5K pin. By sometime later that afternoon all pins were sold out. Major failure.

There was a line of 15-20 people waiting for Castle to Chateau wristbands but it moved very quickly.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Expo

We had to have our bibs to get the wristband - they stamped the back of the bib to show that we had picked up the band.

Disneyland Paris Castle to Chateau button

Then we went to the runDisney booth, where there was a Castle to Chateau button for us. Our wristband was marked with a small "X" to show that we'd received that. I thought it was nice to see those measures in place.

Disneyland Paris Castle to Chateau button

The Disneyland Paris race director, Laurent Charbonnier, was giving a talk on the race as part of the "Speaker Series" so we sat down to listen to that. He obviously had experienced some runDisney races before, and described some of the similarities and differences that we might see. He also gave us a preview of both of the race courses - we were especially interested in what he had to say about the half marathon course, since much of that was outside the parks. One other thing I found interesting was that he warned us that at character photo stops we might find that some French and Italian people (yes, he singled them out specifically) could attempt to cut in line. He suggested that we firmly direct them to the back of the line. (We never saw any of that - and there were lots of French people in the race.)

Disneyland Paris Race Director Laurent Charbonnier

As you can tell, there were some Expo glitches. Though it seemed to me that they made adjustments between Thursday and Friday so that things went more smoothly for those who arrived on Friday. Honestly, I thought it was pretty good for a first attempt.

My major complaint is merchandise, specifically the pins. I just can't understand how, with as many race expos as there have been, that Disney can't figure out the merchandise quantities they need to order. Especially for an inaugural event.

Next up: the 5K








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About September 2016

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

August 2016 is the previous archive.

October 2016 is the next archive.

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