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February 6, 2014

Earl of Sandwich: New Menu Items--Limited Time!

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"I mean it's crazy..."
"What?"
"We finish each other's..."
"SANDWICHES!"
--"Love is an Open Door," Frozen

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Recently, Downtown Disney's Earl of Sandwich updated its menu for the winter with two new sandwiches, a side dish, and a dessert.

BBQ Chicken...

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Philly Cheesesteak...

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Bacon Mac 'N' Cheese...

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And Brownie Bark.

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These items join an already diverse and varied line up of healthy options such as salads and wraps...

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...as well as a wide alternative selection for people entirely uninterested in healthy options.

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But let's be real here: There's a reason this isn't called "Earl of Salad." The sandwiches are the star here, made to order and baked through a special oven, with all meats and cheeses prepared fresh daily.

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As part of their regular clientele, I've had the opportunity to try a number of different sandwiches there, and they've all been great in both taste and value. Disney food being what it is, it's nice to be able to find a reliable meal that won't hurt your credit rating at the end.

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Of course the main difficulty is prying yourself away from your regular favorites to try the new ones--but don't wait too long...

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...Because Love may be an Open Door, but this one is shutting in a couple of months. Also, a Princess may rank an Earl, but at least an Earl gets to finish his own delicious sandwich.

Earl of Sandwich is located in Downtown Disney, 1565 S. Disneyland Drive, #102, Anaheim, CA 92802. More information can be located at http://www.earlofsandwichusa.com/

November 21, 2013

World of Color, "Winter Dreams" Debuts!

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The big event of the Disneyland Resort's holiday season is the all-new holiday version of World of Color, "Winter Dreams."

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Hosted by Olaf, the Snowman from the upcoming film "Frozen," it's an extravaganza of light, and music and water. Starting off with a virtual choir made up of hundreds of guests who recorded themselves singing "Glow" with their webcams, it includes scenes from "Bambi," "Secret of the Wings," and a production of "Nutcracker," starring the Toy Story gang.

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The production also spotlights two numbers from "Frozen," including Elsa's song "Let it Go," and Olaf's song "In Summer."

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Not only programmed with new content, the technical side of the show has been updated as well, with ultra high-definition projectors expected to be four times sharper than the original World of Color projectors, and the addition of over 700 high-power LED lights lining California Screamin'.

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Here's a video of just some of the highlights featured in the new show:

At the premiere, Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, was there to introduce the new show and answer a few questions afterwards.

November 13, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 8, 2013.

This posting takes a look at Disney California Adventure.

Time to visit DCA.

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Buena Vista Street is all decorated and alive with Holiday cheer.

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Too bad they did not switch out the Big Top Toys window.

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The Buena Vista Street tree.

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Santa is back in Elias and Co. Of course he was taking a break when I walked by.

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The Animation Building lobby is still closed.

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Noticed Olaf made the schedule of characters you can learn to draw at the Animation Academy.

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Is this Santa and reindeer new? I did not remember them.

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The Flyers are still being worked on.

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The entrance to Fliks

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Some holiday merchandise in Cars Land.

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Waiting for the lights to come on.

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Time for the lights to come on.

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This year I just enjoyed the show, but here is a video from last year to give you a sampling of the event.

Then I walked quickly to Buena Vista Street for the tree lighting. Since I was late I was not in a good spot.

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Here is a video from last year, this year is the same more or less.


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Was curious if the Mad T Party added any Christmas songs to the set, they had not yet.

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Passed through Cars Land again.

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The blue cones are back again this season.

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Santa Mater making his way to the Cozy Cone

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The Wharf lights

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Paradise Park was nice and quiet.. only one World of Color at 9:45pm tonight and it was approaching 7.

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Several large boxes are in the planters around the park for the upcoming World of Color Winter Dreams show that premieres Thursday.

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Paradise Garden will be celebrating Viva Navidad this holiday season.

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The Paradise Grill has a new menu for the season, Greek is out, Mexican is in.

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Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta also has special offerings.

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Screamin has received new lights for World of Color Winter Dreams, bringing back memories of Luminaria. This time around the lights look more substantial though.

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And they took the time to make them blend in.

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Some Holiday shirts at Sideshow Shirts

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Back from its renovation.

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Stopped by Sarges

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And Flos

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Missed Santa again.

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Walked through Elias and Company.

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



August 17, 2012

D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features: A Look Back.

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Day One
Day Two

So now that we're (sadly) finished with one more Destination D, it's time for a look back on some of the outstanding moments in my memory.

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I have to confess, when they had all the dancers/fans rush out in flash mob fashion to dance around to traditional music mixed with that oddly synthetic hip hop beat overlay they like to use for all the shows nowadays, I had PTSD flashbacks to the Disney Dance Crew moments from the 2010 Destination D ("Drink up me gangstas, yo ho!") This is not to take anything away from the performers, who were as exuberant as anyone could wish, but one of my pet peeves is the attempt to modernize tunes that were already really pretty good as they were. I am OK hearing music the way the Sherman Brothers wrote it, without having someone with a synthesizer go to town on it, and I would wonder how many people interested in 75 year old animated films might feel the same.

Fortunately, the first panel fulfilled all our yearnings for nostalgia by giving us insight into each of the "Nine Old Men" from guys who were actually there, working with them.

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One interesting note Joe Hale gave us, was that the Nine Old Men originally resented the title a little, as they weren't really that old when it was given to them...but they grew into it.

A few of the panels, while still fascinating, didn't really yield entirely new information. If you saw, for example, Waking Sleeping Beauty, you already had a large amount of context for the talk on the second golden age of Disney animation. Similarly, if you had attended Comic-Con, you had already heard a lot of what they had to say about Wreck-it Ralph.

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Paperman, however, presented by Producer Christina Reed and Supervising Animator Patrick Osborne, was entirely new and really a beautiful piece of work. Their new hybrid technique of animating faces in CG, removing parts and then redoing it in hand-drawn animation yielded a very clean-looking style that perfectly complimented the simple but oh-so affecting story. They said they would like to try a longer project with the same process, but still need to work out different aspects such as color, etc. Even if you weren't going to go see Wreck-it Ralph (which you should, because it looks great also,) Paperman is worth a trip to the cinema.

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One of my absolute favorite panels brought three of the Imagineers responsible for Disneyland Paris (among other projects too numerous to mention) together to share stories and reminisce about their mentors in the company.

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Tony Baxter spoke at length on his appreciation for Claude Coats' openness to the ideas of others, and his unflappable attitude towards the constantly changing nature of his projects--his faith that a given creation would ultimately be fine, although probably different from what he originally envisioned. His specialty was creating environments which were real, and which made good park rides.

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Eddie Sotto gave a presentation on Herb Ryman--emphasizing his genius in placemaking and his insistence on research as an essential tool in grounding fantasy with elements of authenticity.

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One part I found fascinating was when Sotto pointed out a pair of nuns Ryman drew for a movie storyboard...

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...That seem to turn up in quite a variety of places...

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It could be speculated that either Ryman was periodically placing them in the background of various renderings as an inside joke, or those two nuns wound up perpetually traveling the globe in their jeep.

The only negative about the panel was the time constraints--although the audience would happily have sat through a talk twice as long, it was clear that Tom Morris could have spoken longer about the two legends he knew personally, Marc Davis and John Hench.

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Hopefully they'll have these guys back again soon...maybe for a Disneyland Paris event?

Of course the first concert of the weekend, Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix, was wonderful. There isn't much to be said about Dick Van Dyke, except to hope that he keeps performing forever...which from the looks of him, seems entirely possible.

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Among the many exciting panels of the next day, watching Andreas Deja effortlessly sketch out a number of his trademark characters was a definite highlight. Also: If you're the person who found this sketch under your seat? I hate you.

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Any time you get a chance to hear from the Disney voice artists, it's always a good time--from the genial jocularity of Bill Farmer (Goofy,) to the gentle mannered tones of Lisa Davis (Anita,) to the...sounds...of Chris Sanders (Stitch.)

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Davis recalled her casting as developing from a movie she did (Queen of Outer Space) with Zsa Zsa Gabor, who apparently proved to be a touch difficult, which led Davis to developing a satirical impression of her. Disney heard of this and thought it might be an interesting take on Cruella, and had her come in to read lines, while he read Anita. Quickly perceiving that she was much more Anita than Cruella, she suggested a switch and subsequently had a wonderful time preparing for the role by playing with puppies they brought in for her, in the Hyperion Bungalow.

An absolutely astounding moment was when Marge Champion was presented, as the original live-action reference model for Snow White.

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Looking at her, there is no way you are going to think this woman is 93 years old. Clearly her years of activity as a dancer has stood her in good stead.

And then there was the grand finale, as Alan Menken brought it all home with a phenomenal concert. The raised seating in the back of the room was just lousy with Disney Legends, all out for a marvelous night.

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(While sitting in the row in front of luminaries like Tony Baxter and Richard Sherman was good for photos, it became slightly terrifying as waves of adoring fans came racing over to greet them, clearly completely unconcerned if they had to stomp on your head to get to them, a la Gene Kelly's death in "What a Way to Go!")

Menken gave a great performance. I found that through the years, I've heard some of his songs from Mermaid or Beauty so frequently, that I actually ceased to pay attention to them anymore--they had just become part of the audio wallpaper of the parks. To really listen to them again was to remember just how good they are, and why they are played so frequently, even today.

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In sum, it was a really fun weekend. The presentations that revolved mostly around video clips were a little problematic, because in this day of YouTube, it's hard to find footage to show that everyone doesn't have readily available to them...but it's always fun to see Back to Neverland or Song of the South on a big screen again.

Sunday was definitely lighter in programming than Saturday, and here's another pet peeve of mine: All throughout the show, they kept hammering at us that they listen to what everyone says, and scheduled fewer talks because people complained that they wanted more free time to socialize and use the facilities. Really? People want to pay that much for an event, and then more than anything, want to have free time? Even if they did, why wouldn't they just skip the panels in which they weren't interested? I would think that for a person who doesn't attend a presentation, there's no difference whether the content is scheduled or not--asking them not to schedule it only means no one else gets to see it. Why is it I can't see more stuff, just because you want three hours for dinner?

If the thought of waiting in lines forever at Expo gives you the vapors, but you still want to experience presentations on Disney past, present, and future, the Destination D series is a great option. You're guaranteed a seat, although people still line up for hours to jockey for location, so the stress level involved is much lower. The emphasis is on historical content however, so if you come expecting new and ground-breaking announcements about future projects, you're likely to be disappointed. For people who want to see and hear about the Legends--the creators who were there at the beginning of the Disney company, when animation was new, and theme parks were only a fool's dream--it's a treasure. A gift of lore and anecdotes from people whose pride in their work and their association with the company shines through even 20, 40...80 years later.

Don't take too long pondering over whether to attend the next one, however, because many people and their stories are gone already, and unfortunately none of us are getting any younger...with the possible exception of Dick Van Dyke and Marge Champion.

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August 13, 2012

D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features: Day Two

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Day One

OK, a handful of hours later, and we're back for more, at day 2 of D23's Destination D!

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The day started off with animation historian Jerry Beck and animator Eric Goldberg's presentation on Wacky and Wild Disney Animation. Many of the more surreal segments of animation (such as Pink Elephants on Parade) and some of the earlier Mickey Mouse cartoons, in which he was depicted as doing comically uncomfortable things to Minnie and barnyard animals.

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Next up was animator Andreas Deja, who, in Drawing with Personality, showed examples of many famous animators' drawings and pointed out how their drawing styles evolved and what their strong points of design were. He then drew several drawings which were later given away by the time-old "taped under the seat" method, and asked the audience to draw Jafar as a child.

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After a short break, we came back to Tinker Bell: The Evolution of a Disney Character. In this panel, animation historian Mindy Johnson introduced us to the creation and maturation of the Tinker Bell character, revealing her new discovery of Tinker Bell's facial model, former ink and paint girl Ginni Mack. They were joined by Tinker Bell's body model Margaret Kerry, and the voice actress and director of Tinker Bell's new movies, Mae Whitman and Peggy Holmes.

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Following lunch, a star-studded panel awaited in Hearing Voices: A Salute to Disney Voice Artists--Kathryn Beaumont, voice of Alice and Wendy; Lisa Davis, voice of Anita in 101 Dalmatians; David Frankham, Sgt. Tibbs from 101 Dalmatians; Bruce Reitherman, Mowgli and Christopher Robin; Bill Farmer, Goofy; and Christ Sanders, voice of Stitch.

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The last presentation of the day was Snow White: Still the Fairest of Them All. In celebrating the first animated feature that made all the rest possible, Tim O'Day presented Marge Champion, live-action model for Snow White, Alex Rannie, animated musical historian, and Gabriella Calicchio, recent CEO of The Walt Disney Family Museum .

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But wait! It wasn't over yet! To top off all that had gone before, the weekend culminated in an amazing concert: An Evening With Alan Menken. Playing parts of various songs he wrote for Disney and non-Disney productions throughout his career, the songwriter and Disney Legend played piano and sang for over 100 minutes to a completely rapt audience. If you weren't there, man, I feel for you, because it was fabulous.

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Next time: The event in overview.

August 12, 2012

D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features: Day One

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Another year has rolled around, bringing us once again to D23's Destination D weekend. This time out, the theme is celebrating 75 years of animated features with a plethora of panels discussing Disney animation of the Past, Present, and Future.

To welcome us in, Steven Clark, head of D23 gave a short address, which was then followed by a dancing flash mob.

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When they finally concluded, a taped message from John Lasseter was played, pumping up the excitement for the upcoming weekend.

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The first panel started off with memories of Walt and the First Golden Age of Disney Animation, with people who were actually there: Animator and Disney Legend Burny Mattinson, animator and producer Joe Hale, and documentary director/son of Disney Legend Frank Thomas, Ted Thomas.

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Subsequently, came three panels during which all photography or recording were forbidden. The first was Roy E. Disney and the Second Golden Age of Disney Animation, in which Roy Patrick Disney, son of Roy E. Disney and former Imagineer; producer Don Hahn; animation producers John Musker and Ron Clements; and creative director/head of special projects Dave Bossert, discuss how Roy E. ultimately saved Disney Animation, and by extension, the company.

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Upcoming animation projects were presented in the panel Inside Walt Disney Animation Studios Today.

One of the movies discussed was Wreck-It Ralph, the movie about a character's existential crisis, as experienced by a character in a video game.

Another was the work-in-progress Frozen, a contemporary musical film, loosely based on the Snow Queen. We were treated to a performance of one of the songs "Let it Go," which will be sung by Idina Menzel, from Wicked.

We were also given the first public screening of paperman, the new short film that will play before Wreck-it Ralph. It displays a new melding of CG and hand-drawn animation, in which the hand-drawn features are layered on top of CG renderings.

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The next presentation, The Greatest Disney Animation You Never Saw, played videos that have been relatively scarce for some time. The preshow to the old Art of Animation attraction in then-MGM Studios, Back to Neverland, with Robin Williams and Walter Cronkite was one, along with footage from Song of the South.

Animating the Disney Parks was a terrific talk with the ever-entertaining Imagineering senior vice president Tony Baxter, talking about his mentor, legend Claude Coats; former Imagineer Eddie Sotto talking about his mentor, legend Herb Ryman; and Imagineering vice president of creative development Tom Morris discussing likewise legend Marc Davis and John Hench.

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The evening closed out with a concert and screening: An Evening with Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix, and a screening of the director's cut of Walt & El Grupo.

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Dick Van Dyke is still amazingly spry for his 86 years, and if he occasionally has a senior moment during the performance (the song list of which was pretty similar to their performance at the Expo last year,) it detracts nothing from the enjoyment of the singing or his not-inconsiderable charm.

The documentary of Walt's goodwill trip to South America with his band of artistic talent is the product of Ted Thomas and producer Kuniko Okubo, and is a great look at all these famous Disney film makers when they were in their prime, and at the height of their talents.

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Day Two coming up!

August 8, 2012

Lights...Camera...Magic!: Hooray for Hollywood! Adventures by Disney

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Recently Adventures by Disney invited AllEars to experience their newly-launched day tour, "Lights...Camera...Magic!" This trip takes guests from the Disneyland Resort, up through many sightseeing attractions in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and ends with an exclusive tour of the Walt Disney Studios.

After an early-morning welcome in the lobby of the Grand Californian, our cheerful guides Hanneke and Natalia led us onto the bus, gave us bottles of water, and introduced us to our coach driver, Don Tate.

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The guides are well-versed in the Disney Way, as they also work as VIP guides at Disneyland's Guest Services, and lead the week-long Backstage Magic tour as well.

As the bus started the long (often painfully slow) drive to Hollywood, we were entertained by cartoons playing on the overhead monitors, broken up with the guides occasionally pointing out different landmarks and discussing a variety of Hollywood triva.

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After about 1 1/4 hr, we arrived in Hollywood. Welcome to the Dream Factory!

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We disembarked at the Hollywood and Highland Center (belongings could be left on the bus) and walked through to get a good view of the famed Hollywood sign. In preparation for heading out onto Hollywood Blvd, we were told a little about the Walk of Fame (costs a mere $30k to get your star!) and cautioned about the people selling CDs and photos with off-brand characters.

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One of the decorative elements of the Hollywood and Highland Center is the pair of large elephants referencing the DW Griffith film "Intolerance," and whose slightly smaller siblings used to be seen in DCA.

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[At various points in the tour, we were treated to some special moments/gifts from the guides that were not mentioned in the official itinerary. In the interests of "keeping the magic" (and not raising expectations in case these change from tour to tour,) I'm glossing over those. Suffice to say, you are likely to take home some special souvenirs of your time in Tinseltown.]

Although we were right across the street from the Disney theater El Capitan, we were not taken over there. I thought this was an unusual choice--on the one hand, it seems likely that people who are at Disneyland and taking a Disney tour might have an interest in going there, and on the other hand, I was somewhat relieved that they were going for a more authentically-grounded tour and not just trying to detour tourists to their own properties.

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We had an 11:00 appointment to tour the Dolby Theater (where the Academy Awards are held each year,) so that left us about 10 minutes to walk the half a block down to the Chinese Theater and take a few photos.

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Depending on the date, there may be some event happening at the Dolby, in which case I believe they would substitute a tour of Grauman's Chinese Theater instead.

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Inside the Dolby Theater, there were no photos or recording allowed. Our tour guide there, Gary, was really good at pointing out interesting design elements of the theater, and regaling us with anecdotes of the stars. I desperately wanted to ask him to say "...this is the perfect job for me, because I LOVE THE MOVIES!" but didn't have the nerve.

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We walked through the lobby, saw the VIP lounge where the Dolby Oscar is kept on display, and got to sit in the members' area of the theater (currently being used for Cirque du Solei's show "Iris.") Later, we were shown some of the concept art for the fabulous Governor's Balls that are thrown each year, every time having a different theme.

After that was concluded, we reboarded the bus and Don took us on a narrated tour of Hollywood as we drove down the Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills, pointing out such landmarks as the Chateau Marmont, Whisky a Go-Go, and the Laugh Factory.

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We eventually arrived at Beverly Hills. Can you smell the money?

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Driving down Rodeo Drive, he pointed out many of the fine shopping establishments available, where a suit might set you back a mere $5k.

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Turning down Wilshire, we arrived at the Original Farmer's Market at around 1pm, and were given a $15 gift certificate and 90 minutes to eat lunch. Depending on what sort of food you were looking for, this might easily cover the cost of your food, or be somewhat insufficient, given the wide variety of choices there.

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Although the Farmer's Market is attached to the Grove shopping center, the gift certificates were only good at the Farmer's Market side. If you had time, you could of course wander over there, where Extra films each day, to try to catch a glimpse of a star.

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The Farmer's Market is, of course, represented with facsimiles in both DCA and DHS.

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At about 2:30pm, we met back at the bus and Don then drove us over to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. The drive took about an hour, during which we watched the Leonard Maltin tour of the Studios, as seen on the "Walt Disney Treasures - Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio" DVD.

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Once there, we were given some historical background on the studios, and then shown around the exteriors of a lot of the main buildings.

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We were also brought in to see the hallways of the Animation building, and the underground passageway featured in TV's "Alias."

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A few minutes were allotted for us to shop in the Studios' store, where they have some merchandise exclusive to this location...

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...after which we were able to take a quick look around the interior of Soundstage 2, where they are currently filming "Body of Proof." Note: If they are actually working there, the tour will not be able to go inside. In either case, photos inside are not permitted.

We then zipped inside the Frank Wells building for a quick look at the exterior displays around the Archives.

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Following that, we headed over to the Legends Plaza, where there was time to take photos with the beautiful Blaine Gibson statues and have some refreshments.

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Adult beverages along with some custom-made cupcakes and hors d'uvres were served as we perused all the handprints of the many extraordinary individuals that combined their efforts and talents to produce all the Disney creations we enjoy.

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Finally, about 6pm, it was time for us to regretfully clamber back onto the bus, where Don braved the rush hour traffic to deliver us safely back at the Grand Californian.

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Is the tour worth it? Always a subjective judgement, however there's a lot to like about this tour. I hate driving in the Hollywood traffic more than just about anything except paying for parking, so to have someone else deal with that is worth quite a bit. Every time you get on the bus, they have cold bottled water available for you, and virtually every time you get off, they have a restroom stop located nearby. It's not a cheap tour, and is definitely targeted towards the luxury travel market, however they do a great job of making the whole sightseeing affair hassle-free.

There is a fair amount of walking on the tour, particularly up and down staircases in the theater tour and throughout Hollywood and Highland--not strenuous by most people's standards, but considerable if walking is typically a chore for you. There's also a considerable amount of time on the bus, between driving to and from Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Burbank--probably around five hours in total. When the tour started, they included dinner at Gladstone's in Malibu in lieu of the reception in the Legends Plaza, but switched it out because it added probably another couple of hours of driving onto the day.

Another useful aspect to the tour is that, for families considering longer ABD tours, this can be your gateway trip, to see if traveling with Disney is for you. Chances are however, for the Disney lover, the answer will be an expensive "yes."

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The pricing on the tours is $199/$189 for Adults and Children, with a $10 AP discount. The tours started this year, in January, and are given three times a week, currently Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

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This is my country! Land of my birth!
This is my country! Grandest on earth!

It is amazing to think that over half of the year has passed by, and we've already seen the launching of a new cruise ship, the opening of a new resort, the 20th anniversary of one Disney park, and the rebirth of another.

What difference if I hail from North or South
Or from the East or West?

With so much more to come for the rest of the year, it's fitting, perhaps, to take a day to reflect on exactly how fortunate so many of us are, to be able to be at this place, in this time; in a country that, although it certainly has its plethora of problems, was founded on principles of freedom and equality--principles I feel sure were intended to be extended to all, regardless of wealth, or color, or location, or inclination.

Tomorrow, we can continue to fight and argue about all the socioeconomic tragedies that are as much a part of America as its victories. For today? Happy Independence Day.

This is my country! Land of my choice!
This is my country! Hear my proud voice!
I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold,
For this is my country! To have and to hold.

[This, and many more great Disneyland videos by Fantasmiceddie24 can be found on YouTube.]

July 2, 2012

D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

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Jeanine Yamanaka and Jason team up for this tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the Reagan Library on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

Jeanine here--I also attended, and will be putting in my oar occasionally, between Jason's great photos.

This afternoon we had a great opportunity to preview the upcoming D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

For those that do not know, the Reagan Library is located in Simi Valley which is about 45 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles.

Jason got the easy drive this time--anyone coming from the Disneyland area probably has a minimum of a two hour trip each way, assuming you don't hit a lot of traffic.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Once the group had assembled we made our way through the museum entrance and then cut over to the Disney exhibit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Time to head in. We had just under 2 hours to walk and photograph the exhibit. Which may sound like a lot but in reality it was not. The exhibit covers over 12,000 square feet featuring over 500 items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Before having free roam a brief introduction. In the center of this picture (sorry for the darkness no flash allowed in this first room) is John Heubusch the executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Photography and video were permitted throughout the exhibit, with a restriction on flash photography in the first gallery.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Steven Clark the Head of D23 was also on hand to welcome us.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I thought it was appropriate to start at the beginning. Here is Walt's birth certificate.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Skipping ahead to Walt's Laugh O Gram Business.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A look at Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A couple of telegrams about Oswald.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

So here's one of mine, showing the end of the telegraph and Walt's reply. What I love about this exchange is that a) you can totally see what a jerk Mintz is, and the foreshadowing of his grab for Walt's business, and b) how reasonable Walt is trying to be, up to the end, where he clearly can't take any more of Mintz's lame suggestions, and just says "forget the monocle."

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next case had the animation script for Steamboat Willie.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Drawings by Ub Iwerks, typing by Walt Disney.

As well as some Brave Little Tailor sketches.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next room featured an animators desk.

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How is this for a collection of books.. these are the restored handmade books from the opening shots of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Across the way a wall featuring the famous drawing of Disneyland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

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So I can't even tell you how much I love this map. It is unbelievably detailed and huge and gorgeous, and you can't even imagine that Herb Ryman drew this thing in a weekend. If you look closely at it, you can see tiny ducklings wandering around in the Jungle Cruise, and boys rolling hoops down Main Street.

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I'm not saying contemporary concept art is bad, but as the farmer said to the chickens, when he showed them the ostrich egg, "you can see what kind of work is being done elsewhere."

Walt's Formal Office has been recreated. This time to the exact dimensions and arrangements (unlike the version we saw at Disneyland for years).

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Here's a link to a panorama I took as well.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
The original Model T from the Absent Minded Professor.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One of my favorite galleries was right after this--the "Magic Room." It had an abundance of props and memorabilia from The Shaggy Dog and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, including a prop portrait thought to be done by Herb Ryman, and Tommy Kirk's magical ring of the Borgias!

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Might there be a hidden but familiar item in Emelius Browne's display? You'll have to go to find out.

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Babes in Toyland

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


After this first set of rooms upstairs you head down stairs and into an expanded area that was constructed just for this exhibit. They actually cut a whole in the wall of the library to build this extension that sits in a tent structure.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

In this axillary area, are most of the larger set pieces, from mostly contemporary properties.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

To the right, 101 Dalmatians costumes and props.

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Next a series of cases with the costumes worn in the Annie Leibovitz pictures.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


This Tinkerbell worn by Tina Fey.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

And Peter Pan by Mikhail Baryshnikov

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A large gallery includes a number of costumes from a variety of recent movie/TV/theater productions.

The other side had some Enchanted costumes, and one from the Fairy Godmother in the 1997 ABC TV movie worn by Whitney Houston.

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Moving on some Marquettes used for Alice in Wonderland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Around the corner props and costumes from the film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Next up Tron.. this is from Tron Legacy.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Thought this was interesting... not from the film but from DCA...

Both the lightcycle and the big lit "FLYNN" sign are from the lately departed ElecTRONica event there.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Some of the original Tron costumes from the 1982 film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Next up the Avengers.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

These would probably have held more significance for us, except that Jason and I are probably the last two people in America who have not yet seen the Avengers...

The next area has some Theme Park items..

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This was apparently the start of the area themed to "things from the Island of Downsized Attractions."

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Thought this was an interesting corner.. the dragon head from Fantasmic, Mickey from the Mickey Mouse Revue and in the background a Country Bears poster.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


From the original Golden Horseshoe show and the Country Bears at Disneyland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One of Slue Foot Sue's original costumes.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Next up a Haunted Mansion display featuring mostly items from Walt Disney World.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


The tombstones chosen for display are the ones for Yale Gracey, X. Atencio, and Marc Davis.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The center area was for Pirates.. starting where it all began with the attraction.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Then moving quickly into the film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

This rounds out the lower level.. time to head back upstairs.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next room was basically a small tribute to the second Golden Age of Animation for the Disney Company, focusing on the Ashman/Menken films and Pixar.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
Next up a room with National Treasure items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The National Treasure room, with its faux-Presidential connections, then leads us into...

This takes us to the last display room of the exhibit. On the left hand side busts of all the presidents from the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World (first time all have been on display together)

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Amazing to think that Blaine Gibson sculpted everyone one of these, except that of President Obama, who came along after he retired.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The other side of the room features mostly items from the Reagan Library collections.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The walls had letters from presidents to Disney and photographs of presidents at Disneyland/WDW and other Disney interactions.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The ear hat has "Mr. President" embroidered on the back, and was a gift to Reagan from Disney. Replicas are sold in the gift store.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A particularly adorable letter from Amy Carter on her favorite character. I suspect she got her picture.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The one piece of EPCOT memorabilia present. We have to assume the rest of it's getting boxed up to go for EPCOT 30.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Moving on to the last room.
It featured this display of the Team Disney Building (the Eisner building) in Burbank and featured another video that I did not have time to watch.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I made an extremely quick pass through the gift shop. Some pins for all you collectors. The gift shop had a decent crowd and we did not have time to browse/photograph items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I actually found the shop before our exhibit time started, so I got a few photos then.

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Mainly Archive items, with mostly pins, shirts, and a catalog specific to the exhibit.

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They also had a plethora of copies of Dave Smith's new book Disney Trivia from the Vault, and Bob Gurr's Design: Just for Fun on hand, for the D23 signing later that evening.

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Our time in the Disney exhibit was up, it was 4:30 and time for the D23 Members event, so we exited.

On my way out, I ran into Steven Clark and Becky Cline, whose hard work with D23 and the Archives has made this impressive exhibit a reality.

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Did a quick tour of Air Force One before 5:00pm and closing. For more pictures of the museum and Air Force One. visit my site..

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One last picture on the way out. Here you can sort of make out the tent structure that was added and the stairs leading to it for the Disney exhibit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

So ultimately, should you go? Granted, the drive from the Disneyland area is long and occasionally painful, it's a great exhibit filled with many items never seen before. Having said that, a lot of it did seem somewhat familiar--the first room, detailing Walt's early life and career was very similar to galleries you could find in the Walt Disney Family Museum. Some of the Oswald-specific items were recently displayed at the E3 convention. A few of the costumes and props have been shown at the D23 Expos and on the Disney Studios Tours.

If, however, you didn't/don't have a lot of time and opportunity to attend all these different events, then this is definitely your best bet to see a comprehensive collection of artifacts spanning the length of the Walt Disney Company's existence. I think if you were determined to read everything and watch all the videos, it would probably take you a good 3-4 hours to do it all. There is also an audio tour available as well, although no one I spoke with had listened to it, or knew how long it went (estimates were for 45 minutes.) Although I didn't have an opportunity to check out the rest of the Reagan Museum, it seems as though that could easily take up another few hours to fill out a day trip there.

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Frankly, I think Disney is missing out if they do not produce some sort of a shuttle between Disneyland and the exhibit at least for the Destination D weekend--I'm sure this would be of interest to a great many attendants who might not have the means or the motor to get there.

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The exhibit D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives will open to the public July 6, 2012, at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065. Tickets, which include regular admission to the rest of the Reagan Library can be purchased online at www.ReaganLibrary.com/Tickets or at the box office. General admission is $21, with discounts for seniors, youth/children, and military. The exhibit will run there until April 2013.


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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