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August 11, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/08/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on .

First stop today Disneyland. Cruella de Vil with the Hook and Ladder Company in Town Square.

Plenty of Frozen inspired treats now at the Candy Palace


Goofy Glaciers have moved into the far corner. Currently four flavors to choose from.

From the Monorail you can see the section the section of the entrance that is being renovation. This is the third of four sections to be worked on.

The submarine lagoon from the Monorail. The subs are scheduled to return in 7 weeks, September 27th.

On Main Street the work continues on Castle Bros, but this week the walls have been pushed back so there is a narrow sidewalk available. Last week you had to go out in the street.

The 2014 All-American College Band only has one week left. Here they are performing on the Hollywood Backlot Stage

A couple of clips of the All-American College Band performing on the Hollywood Backlot Stage.

Meet the 2014 All-American College Band as they play a medley of Disney music on the Hollywood Backlot Stage

Back to Disneyland for the 3:25pm Castle set of the All-American College Band. The band is marching down Main Street after their performance.

The Club 33 window continues to evolve in New Orleans Square.

The last section of scaffolding has been removed from New Orleans Square.

Paused at a quiet spot in Critter Country to send a couple of tweets.

Pinocchio on the Village Haus window.

The nightly Flag Retreat in Town Square


Over to DCA and a look at the Grand Californian renovation project.

The Napa Rose, which is closed during the renovation project

The Hearthstone Lounge renovation is complete and it has reopened.

At the World of Disney Halloween has taken over one of the doorways opposite the tram stop already.

The displays on the wall have been swapped to Halloween too.

The 2014 All-American College Band arriving to perform before Soundsational

Today a group of band alumni were on hand enjoying the performances.

The Frozen pre-parade float making its way up the parade route.

The construction walls in the back of Star Trader are gone. No real changes stood out to me.

The rest of the walls are gone from the exit area of Space Mountain are gone too. It is substantially brighter now.

The All-American College Band performing in Town Square at the Train Station.

A full moon was rising behind the band this evening.

Walking over to the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure

The Mad Hatter and Alice performing.

The Disney Showcase on Main Street USA has an assortment of Halloween merchandise available too.

A Halloween Countdown Calendar

Found a spot along the Rivers of America for Fantasmic.

Then returned to Main Street for Magical to end my visit.


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 5, 2014

Disney's Upcoming short "Feast"

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I was able to attend an event at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and spend the day in the Roy E Disney Animation Building (the one with the sorcerer hat pictured above). We started the day off with a screening of “Feast”. This will be the short accompanying “Big Hero 6” in theaters starting November 7, 2014.

The film shows the evolution of one man’s (James) romance with a woman (Kirby) through the eyes of their dog (Winston) in a series of short scenes covering several years in the 6 minutes of the film. The short’s director Patrick Osborne chose a different path to sharing this story. He based the shots on a technique that was inspired by his use of the 1 Second Everyday app. This application takes a second of video and then stitches it together to create a film of your experiences. Patrick used it to catalog his life by looking at the meals he ate each day. This led to the basic structure of “Feast”. As the title, “Feast”, implies food and meal situations are a key component. They are the setting and activity that the film revolves around.

“Feast” is the first short of a new program within Walt Disney Animation Studios to pitch and create shorts. As part of this program anyone at the Studios is invited to pitch to the studio's creative brain trust, made up of the studio's directors, story leads and John Lasseter. The team then picks the one to go into development. This is Patrick Osborne’s first time as director but not the first short he has worked on. He was the head of Animation on “Paperman”. He was also the co-head of animation on “Big Hero 6” prior to departing to direct this short.

In addition to this new program Patrick talked about the process to bring the short to the big screen, including the compressed time frame, about 18 months, and the many hats the director of a short wears while ushering it through the development process. He said that as soon as it was given the green light he was tossed into story development and they flushed out the story, taking his initial concept and visuals and turning it into the first treatment. Then they established the look of the film. The team started with traditional drawings then migrated to CG tests to achieve the look he wanted. Next up was shot production. One aspect that he highlighted here that interested me is the use of current technology - as they review the dailies they can annotate directly onto the frames as they are meeting. No more need for interpretation and writing it all down and you can leave visual notes/drawings as well as text directly on each frame/sequence you want to reference. The software handles everything and when he or the animators returned to their desks they could call up the footage and notes.

I found “Feast” to be very entertaining. In the span of six minutes with very little screen time devoted to the human characters, you will be taken on a roller coaster ride of human emotion and relationships as seen from Winston's perspective. The short's style and format goes in a different direction than traditional animation with the look, feel, shot selection and pacing giving it a unique feel that works well. Be sure to arrive on time for Big Hero 6 so you do not miss “Feast”. It's worth seeing.







August 4, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 1, 2014. I started my afternoon off at Disney California Adventure

Walt and Mickey, Storytellers in Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street.

Molly catching up on the news in Carthay Circle

Still working out on the Pier

Only an 80 minute posted wait for the Racers this afternoon, the single rider line was only 15 minutes. Part of the queue received four misters/fans several weeks ago to help with the summer heat and lack of shade in that portion.


The Sheriff welcoming us to Radiator Springs

Rolling through town.

Caught a performance by the All-American College band on the Backlot Stage

A video clip of the Band performing Zero to Hero.

Over at Disneyland they have moved on to the next set of turnstiles. This is the large grouping on center right as you face the park (the far side was done a few weeks ago).

On Main Street Castle Bros is under wraps for some facade renovation. The shop is open still.

Inside the windows/doors received covers featuring pictures of the outside view.

A new guest interactive guest experience, The Adventure Trading Company, opened today. Their main base of operation is the Outfitters.

A sign out front letting you know about it.

Inside a sign that sums up the experience. You become an Adventurer. You choose an adventure and pay $5 for a publication that explains it (or a second option available for $7.50 for a beverage that comes with a juju to commemorate it). You then set off on a journey and complete the task. You return and receive a Juju to mark the event and commemorate the adventure.

Here is a closer look at three of the Jujus

A display board opposite the sign with more details.

Several Cast Members were in the store to explain the scenarios and issue you an Adventure Name. Here he is explaining about the Piranhahaha Juju. You purchase this guide then go to the Jungle Cruise to learn about being a skipper. Once completed you get the book stamped then return to get the Juju.

Next up the Tiki Bird Juju. Here you are a casting agent looking for more birds to join the show. You walk around and need to take pictures of birds to earn the Juju.

Here is a board showing the Jujus you can earn and the trait for each. You can also trade Jujus with cast members or others.



There are three Jujus that are earned by purchasing drinks. Venomade at Bengal BBQ earns you this one.


A closer look around the board.

My adventure name today as assigned by the cast member since I could not come up with one.

Walking through the Frontierland, the land for the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush was cheap.. only 75 bits (it was 150 last Friday).

If you did not have a Western name in mind you could pick one from a stack. My unlucky draw for the day.

Billy looked lost out front of the Golden Horseshoe...guess he was waiting for his brothers?

Inside Miss Lilly was entertaining guests.

Moving on to New Orleans Square. Port Royal features new Haunted Mansion merchandise.

A new Master Gracey shirt



Temporary barriers still form a walkway by the artists.

While walking through Fantasyland there was no line again for Casey Jr so went for a ride. They were just pulling the Storybook Land boats out since the parade had ended.


Stopped by the Music of Nashville.

This afternoon Smith and Wilkes were performing.


A new sign on Main Street, on the lamp post. Because of the Castle Bros work they are routing ECVs, wheelchairs and strollers through the stores vs the temporary walkway.

The All-American College Band performing.

There goes the band...the temporary walkway slows traffic down...especially when people stop to watch the band instead of walking.

I wanted to go for a trip on the Monorail but the line/wait and my time/schedule/patience did not line up. So here is a look through the fence at the submarine lagoon.

You can see they have started to add color again. Hopefully next trip I can get an overhead shot to really show it.

If you want a specific juju from the Adventure Trading Co be sure to play early in the day as they are limited each day.

Caught a few minutes of Hard Days Night: A Tribute to the Beatles as they opened their 7:00pm set. They were marking the one year anniversary since they started performing at Disneyland.

Then back to Tomorrowland for the 7:45pm Beatles set.

A couple clips from the 7:45pm and 8:35pm sets.


Back for the 8:35pm Hard Days Night set. It features music from Sgt. Pepper.

As I arrived on Main Street for Magical they announced it may be cancelled due to winds. I looked up and the flags were blowing so I decided to head toward the car.

As I arrived at the Mickey and Friends garage Magical started as scheduled. So watched from there before heading home.


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.




July 28, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/25/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 25, 2014.

A wall up at the far end of the Mickey and Friends tram stop. As we drove around it was hard to tell what is going on. Maybe some paver work.

First stop today, DCA. Notice the light pole is still missing out front.

Walked through Condor Flats. On the GRR/Planes Billboard, the lattice work on the bottom left that was broken is now fixed.

Further along the trail they were setting up scaffolding on the side of the Grand Californian that is closest to GRR.


The covered area on the right is still behind walls and tarps. This project is taking quite a while.

Ornament Valley - Cars Land. They were just filling the queue as I walked by. The Racers had been closed for an extended period, over an hour a cast member said.

Walked through Ramone's. Some of the new pin-striped merchandise is on the shelves.


The far set of turnstiles has emerged from behind the scaffolding looking as good as new.

The normally peaceful stroll up Main Street was very loud today with what I am guessing is construction noise. It drowned out the background music and most of the other audio.

No water today in the hub.

Made my way to Adventureland to see if any of the elements for the upcoming game are installed yet.

The outdoor vending cart is gone from this area. Wonder if something to do with the game will be going here?

Some work going on by the Adventureland Traders

Curious how the game will work with the already usually congested walkway.

The work on the New Orleans Square roof tops looks to be complete.

The price of land has gone up in Frontierland for the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush game, a 50% increase over last week when I walked by.

After eating at the Village Haus walked out and saw no line for Casey Jr. So hopped on for a ride.

Sat in the Caboose facing backwards, also had my choice of a private animal car Here is a video of the trip.

Some stills from the trip.

Interesting... the third character at the Royal Hall is just listed as a "Royal Friend". Curious who is rotating through there. I did not have time to explore this pass by.

Merida was out in the courtyard greeting guests. Her meet and greet area was temporarily closed due to the parade about to start.

Back to Frontierland.

Stopped by the Golden Horseshoe to see a performance by Miss Lilly & LB.

Spotted a former member of Billy Hill and the Hill Billies out roaming around.

Made my way up the Big Thunder Trail to the Music of Nashville to catch the final set of the day.

This week there was a different band performing: Smith and Wilkes, but one of the lead vocalists from last week remained.

A wide shot of the venue for this set. I was surprised by the small crowd. I would have thought a later set would be more crowded.


Here are a couple clips from this performance of the Music of Nashville.


This week the Frozen pre-parade was listed on the times guide.

It ran before both Soundsational Parades. Her eare pictures as it made its way through Fantasyland before the 6:30pm Soundsational.

Soundsational making its way toward the hub.

Noticed many of the props that were on the display cases are gone. Hopefully this is temporary. It smelled like wood in there, so maybe they were rebuilding/working on the display cases/racks.


Walked through the Mad T Party

Ariel was not moving/dancing in the Under the Sea scene this time by.

We stopped for several minutes in front of Ursula. So here is a video clip of her performance, including an announcement that we were delayed..

The Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian is being renovated. While it is closed there is a temporary lounge set up with some tables outside.


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.




July 23, 2014

Legends of Frontierland: The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com and Disneyland blogger Laura Gilbreath spent some time Friday, July 18, 2014 exploring the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! at Disneyland.

Laura writes:
Legends of Frontierland is a new interactive guest experience at Disneyland this summer. From the information pamphlet:

"You are invited to play an immersive game in which you can create your own persona and frontier story. Start out as a friend of Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge and work your way up to become a legend."

As it was explained to us, the citizens of Rainbow Ridge are down on their luck - the gold mines are played out and their water has dried up. They've now got their eyes on the more prosperous Frontierland, and are trying to take it over, and the folk of Frontierland are trying to prevent that.

There's no charge to play and no age restrictions. The object seems to be to perform various tasks to earn "bits" so you can buy land. The bits look like wooden poker chips - each chip is 5 bits. You can exchange 50 bits (10 chips) for a gold nugget. With 100 bits you can purchase land for either Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge.

There's a land map at the entrance to Frontierland that shows the territory and who owns what. Here is the land map as we started the adventure.

You begin at the Trading Post where a cast member attempts to explain the game, and you decide if you want to play for Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge. You are given a map, a colored name tag, and a western name. If you don't have a name in mind the CM will help you choose. We chose to play for Frontierland, and our names were Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason. Here's the inside of the map:

Jason writes: Our first stop was the Telegraph Station to see what was going on, since one of the easiest/most obvious ways to earn bits is by delivering telegrams.

Laura writes: There were several incoming telegrams at the time, but there was sometimes a line of people waiting for telegrams so they could have something to do.

Jason writes: Our first quest.. find Runaway Roseanna and deliver this telegram.

We started looking in the stores.


Having had no luck finding Runaway Roseanna, seems she ran away.. another cast member (missed her name) offered us some jobs to do to earn bits. She took us over to the Leather Shop where there were horses that needed to be ridden so Laura took the reins.


She then set off to ride around Frontierland.




She stopped long enough for a couple pictures before taking a second lap.




There are some props you can purchase to use in the game.. mustaches, hats, and other disguises.

A new outdoor vending cart along the Rivers of America. LB Enterprises, part of the Legends of Frontierland has opened a business selling various elixirs.

Laura struck up a conversation with LB and tried to convince him to join the Frontierland side.. no luck.

Laura writes: We were told that you could potentially earn quite a few bits for converting someone.

Jason writes: Each elixir has a song too.. here is LB performing the Charm song.

Stopped by the Golden Horseshoe.

Laura writes: There's a talent agency at the Golden Horseshoe, which has a "Talent Wanted" ad on the map, so it's supposed to be a way to earn bits.

The only "Talent" thing we saw was people drawing. If that's the talent they are looking for then I'm out of luck, since I can barely draw stick figures. There were some pretty nice drawings!

Another way to earn bits is by playing cards. NOT poker, though. :-) They were in between card games, so I don't know how this works, either.

Jason writes: We returned to Frontierland after taking a detour to the Music of Nashville and finally found Runaway Roseanna. Laura showed her the telegram and convinced her to switch back to Frontierland from the Rainbow Ridge side.

Returned it to the Telegraph Office to earn 5 bits.

Laura writes: The Telegraph Office was staffed by Rainbow Ridgers, who were not at all impressed that I had converted Roseanna, so I didn't get any extra bits from them. But a fellow Frontierlander gave me an additional 5 bits.

Jason writes: As part of this event there are live performances inside the Golden Horseshoe again. This week the stage show was listed on the times guide. 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00. Miss Violet was performing this show.

Laura writes: The show was pretty short, and featured just a piano player and a singer. Not much to it - so don't go thinking it's the classic Golden Horseshoe show of the past.



Laura writes: There are some special menu items at the Golden Horseshoe: "Outlaw Style" chili fries, chili bread bowl, or chicken salad, and root beer with different flavors added. None of it sounded very good to me, though.

Laura's thoughts: The game seemed popular, and there were quite a few guests playing - I saw a lot of yellow and orange name tags in that area. And there were a LOT of cast members involved exclusively in the game.

I found it very unstructured and it was not clear to me what we needed to do to play. It's not like Kim Possible or Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom where there are specific places to go and things to do. For this one you have to be willing to engage with cast members and other guests - it's not something to really do on your own.

The telegrams were the only activity that seemed pretty straightforward, but as I mentioned earlier, there were usually people waiting for a telegram to come in just so they would have something to do.

Other activities that people seemed to be doing were "capturing" outlaws who were on WANTED posters, and challenging someone to a "Rock, Paper Scissors" duel. I couldn't tell if you got some or all of their bits if you won. There was a jail - I don't know if the loser went to jail, or if there was some other reason someone got put in jail. Did I mention that this whole thing wasn't very clear?

But some people were apparently getting it because there was a lot of land purchased between when we first started playing around 1:45, and when we last went through the area around 4:30. The game ends at 6:00...it looked like Frontierland was going to hang on as the winners of that day's land war.

So...I thought it was an interesting idea, but the execution isn't quite what it should be. I might try again on a future visit and see if it's any different.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush at 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.




July 21, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/18/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 18, 2014.

Downtown Disney Summer Celebration continues this weekend with a Sand Volleyball tournament and exhibition. There was a youth tournament going on when I walked by.

In addition to Volleyball there is a shave ice truck by the court.



Also a DJ on hand throughout the event.

A couple of booths set up nearby selling merchandise.

I took the monorail to the parks. Thought this picture with the clouds came out well.

Passing over the sub lagoon.


The Tiki Juice Bar has a new bowl you can purchase your Dole Whip in, and the souvenir sipper is also back in stock. I caught up to Laura who was roaming the parks today while she was finishing up a Dole Whip.

The Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush and the Music of Nashville received top billing on the Times Guide this week.

Made our way out to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree for the Music of Nashville which premiered today and will be playing Fri, Sat, and Sun for the rest of the summer.

Upon entering you were given a card with the cast of the show on it.

Laura joined the cast (well cut outs of the cast) for a photo.


The food location is moved further back and to the side now.

In addition to food it sells the Season 1 DVD set, too.

The food offerings.

Found a seat for the show. Plenty of seats still. Before the band took the stage an MC to introduce the show (both the one we were about to see and the TV show). She was giving away prizes, Season 1 DVDs.


Show time. The Kelly Rae Band takes the stage to perform music from the show as well as some other country songs. The audience was encouraged to get up and dance.


A couple clips from the performance. The Kelly Rea Band performing the Music of Nashville.

A wider shot of the Jamboree configuration for the show.

The All-American College Band performing on Main Street USA. Today a Disneyland film crew was recording their performances.

Made my way out to New Orleans Square to see it in the day time.

The new bridge/walkway over the Pirates exit.

The expanded bridge over Royal Street

The old Club 33 entrance still has its signage.

The new gates that block off the Court of Angels, there is a seam where the gates come together and you can see inside. The stairs survived but have safety enhancements (railings, lights). Also new statues at the base.

The new Club 33 entrance. It is a little more obvious now.

The new intercom features the Club's new logo.

Over the door.

Noticed there are now curtains on the now larger hallways overhead. They were all open this afternoon.

The other archway entrance to the Court of Angels. FYI this felt like plastic.

No work has been done to clean up where the balconies were cut for the new overhead walkway/bridge on this side yet.

A closer look.

On the other side some work is underway to finish it off.

A closer look



Splash Mountain turned 25 this week. To mark the occasion Disneyland Annual Passholders could stop by for a free commemorative poster.

A queue set up to distribute the posters.

A closer look at the poster.


Time for the 6:00pm All-American College Band pre-parade.

Walked through Toontown. No changes.. Roger is still missing from the fountain.

And nothing done to the Five and Dime

The 7:15pm All-American College Band set.

Made my way over to Disney California Adventure for the first time today. Carthay Circle this evening.


A seasonal smoothie at Schmoozies.

The Mad T Party was in full swing and the Mad T Party band was on the stage as I walked by.

Firewall Falls and Willy's Butte in Ornament Valley, Cars Land

Paradise Pier was busy with guests waiting for World of Color, here is Mickey's Fun Wheel.


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.




July 13, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 11, 2014.

First stop today Disney California Adventure

The area outside the Fly n Buy in Condor Flats now has Planes: Fire & Rescue merchandise.


Went for a trip under the sea. It was only a couple minute wait.


Walls are still up as they continue to work on the wood out on the Pier (I did not hike around today).

A 5 min wait for the Flying Tires so went for a spin.

The Red Car News Boys arriving for their show.

A video clip of the Soarin' preflight video now featuring a special appearance by the crew from Planes Fire & Rescue. (I missed the very beginning thanks to the slow loading CMs)

Walls up on the far right (east) side of the Disneyland entrance. Assuming it's the same type of renovation that was done on the west side recently.


Guardians of the Galaxy poster has replaced Captain EO as you enter Main Street.

A quick look at the Disneyland times guide. Note the 59th Anniversary Celebration will be at 10am on Thursday. Also Legends of Frontierland gets top billing.

Walls and scaffolding are up as work gets underway for the new walkway on the east side of Main Street USA.

The new/temporary First Aid location is now open. This is the former locker location at Center Street.

Walls up at old First Aid and Wish Lounge location.

A new interactive experience has taken up residence in Frontierland. It is called the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! I did not participate in the activities on Friday. The group I was with was not interested in it, not even the 7 year old with us. Maybe next week Laura will give it a try. I did a very quick walk around and snapped some pictures of the primary areas. First stop when you enter Frontierland is the Trading Post. Here you pick up the game map/rules, your name badge and come back to to purchase land.


A look at the current land situation.

The telegraph station is where messages are sent and received.

In the center of Frontierland is a jail, which was empty when I passed by. There was a recent jail break and some Rainbow Ridge players were hiding from the law.


Inside the Golden Horseshoe there are some activities as well as entertainment and food offerings.

A high stakes card game going on at one of the tables.

Some special items added to the menu for the game.

A video clip of the opening of the show featuring Miss Lilly and a piano player (missed his name).

Another clip from their show.


Took in a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map

The current dessert offerings at Tomorrowland Terrace (no shoe string fries this week.. so wonder if that means they are not returning).

Storm Trooper mugs are still available.

Dance the Magic performed a pre-parade. It featured several hundred dancers who filled Main Street and danced down the parade route.

Some video clips of the Dance the Magic performance. The groups were from around the world. We saw at least one from Australia.

The tree growing near the Alice in Wonderland Restrooms

Took a quick walk through New Orleans Square as the sun was setting. Most of the scaffolding and tarps are removed. The walls are still up and you cannot pass through though.



A look into the hallway. Guessing the work is not complete and the windows will receive some sort of covering. It seemed really odd to look right into Club 33.

La Mascarade d'Orleans has reopened.

The pins are gone and more unique/land specific merchandise now fills the store.

If you visit be sure to look up.

The French Market with the super moon rising behind it. Above you can see into Club 33.

A grand piano near this window.

Made my way to Main Street for Magical to wrap up my evening. Tonight both Tinkerbell and Dumbo participated in the show. The last several viewings one or both were not there.

On the way out noticed a sign for the First Aid location I missed earlier.


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.




June 23, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/20/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 20, 2014, featuring the Disneyland All-American College Band, who just began their summer performances on Thursday.

Laura Gilbreath was also at the parks that day and will be adding some of her comments along with Jason's photos.

Laura: My Disneyland day started a little earlier than Jason's - I arrived about 11:00 and met up with Nicole and Brad, friends from Team AllEars. They had been at the resort for several days and had done all the rides, and were interested in seeing some of the more overlooked attractions or out-of-the-way things they might have missed.

We went into DCA first and saw the Red Car News Boys. (The photo below is one Jason took later in the day.) This is a fun little show - I really enjoy the music and choreography - and it's great fun to see a "young" Mickey Mouse! One amusing incident during this show - an older lady actually boarded the trolley, totally oblivious that there was a show going on, and thought it was going to take her up the street. She was quickly, but politely, escorted off the trolley.

One disadvantage of the new "animated" character heads - it's now possible to get photos of the characters with a less-than-flattering expression... :-)

Our next event was Instant Concert...Just Add Water. Goofy "conducts" the World of Color fountains - which can get a bit out of control. :-) The concerts are not very long, but I find them fun, and very under-appreciated by most of the park guests. As you can see below we had a beautiful day - lovely blue sky.

We headed over to Disneyland after that. The park was surprisingly not busy - really very pleasant to wander around. We got Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mtn Railroad with a return time that was about 90 minutes away. Jason's photo below illustrates the wait times - nothing over an hour, not even Splash Mountain!

In Fantasy Faire we enjoyed the antics of those minstrels of merriment Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, as they presented the hair-raising tale of Rapunzel. I showed Nicole and Brad some of the fun little touches in that area like Clopin's Music Box and the sleeping Figaro.

I hadn't seen Mickey and the Magical Map in a while, and Brad and Nicole had never seen it. I hadn't seen it since Stitch was added to the Hawaiian Roller Coast Ride number. (I never understood why Stitch and/or Lilo wasn't included in the first place.) This is a fun show - I don't understand why the attendance isn't better. The theater was less than half full.

It was time to use our Thunder Mountain Fastpasses. This is the first time I'd really had a chance to see the changes - when I rode it with an Imagineer last month, there were bright lights shining on me so I really couldn't see much of the interior at all. It's not that much different - the same ride with updated technology. And that's not a bad thing - it's still a really fun roller coaster! Brad and Nicole said they like this one at Disneyland more than the one at Magic Kingdom. The biggest change was to the "earthquake" scene - instead of an earthquake, now it's a a bunch of dynamite charges about to go off. (That reminded me of Grizzly Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland.) I understand that the smoke effect has been troublesome - it was sort of working. I noticed that there seemed to be a bit more vegetation, and it looked more natural.

We met up with Jason after that - here's what he'd been doing before that.

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort.

Quite a bit is closed in Tomorrowland today.

First stop DCA.

Buena Vista Street was relatively calm this afternoon.

Some DCA waits around 1:18pm. Note FastPasses for World of Color are gone for the day already.

Laura: I was very surprised that there was only one World of Color show - it was a Friday night!

Grizzly River Run has returned from its annual renovation.

There seemed to be a little spin in the drop. Nothing like when it first opened but seemed like more than it had before (anyone ride yet?)

A quick look out to Paradise Pier. I did not have time to circle around. But on a quick glance all looked status quo.

Out on the Wharf some minor plussing going on. They have added some props. Notice the nets, clothes, etc..


A random picture as I passed through. Nothing of note going on this afternoon.

Laura: It really was a very quiet day in both parks.

Tower of Terror was back in operation today. And with no Grad Nite only a 25 min wait.

Showtime for the 2014 All-American College Band. Today was their second day in the park. They will be performing Tuesday through Saturday from now through early August. This set was their Jazz set. It included the Trolley Song, Friend Like Me from Aladdin, and a Count Basie song.

Laura: We didn't make it to the jazz set, but I only knew about it because Jason told me - it was NOT listed on DCA's Entertainment Times Guide. The band's Disneyland appearances are on the DL Guide - why don't they do the same for DCA?



Pluto was out with Goofy on Buena Vista Street.

Main Street USA

It was calm this warm afternoon (highs were in the mid 80s but the sun sure felt warmer)

Laura: It was a great day - I didn't think it was too uncomfortably warm even in the sun. But I was wearing shorts and Jason was wearing jeans.

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing in the Good Old Summer Time on Main Street USA (I posted a quick Instagram video)

Captain EO is closed as they prepare the theater for a Guardians of the Galaxy preview, it will start 4th of July. The Captain EO sign has been removed.

A check of the sub lagoon.


The green is filling in as you pass over Tomorrowland.


Time to check Alice in Wonderland. They were working on the concrete surface as I passed by on the Monorail.

Leaves and a walkway down below. The attraction re-opens July 4th.


Another look at the sub lagoon , note this was taken from the opposite side of the monorail through the tinted window.

Was passing through Fantasyland and it was not too crowded. Thought this was a nice shot with the Matterhorn behind Peter Pan's Flight.

Laura: I love this photo! Amazing to see this few people in a Fantasyland photo on a summer afternoon. (OK, so technically it wasn't "summer" until the next day, but close enough!)

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Time for the 3:25pm All-American College Band Castle Set. This time they only played two songs. They opened with this, A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes then closed with the attraction medley. No introductions either.

Laura: This was only the band's second day of performing for guests in the park. I thought they were a lot more comfortable and engaged with the audience than the group they had last year on THEIR second day - these kids looked like they were having a ball. Great fun to watch, and sooooo talented! Yes, there were a few rough edges still - but just give them a few more weeks! I look forward to seeing them again in July.



After their set they marched down Main Street and performed.

Near Town Square they stopped and played Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid. A video clip of the end of the song.

The Frozen pre-parade making its way onto Main Street USA. Note: it only runs before the 4:00pm Soundsational Parade.

Laura: I'd been warned that this was rather underwhelming...and it was. The float played an instrumental version of "Let it Go", but the characters didn't sing. I understand that, but it would have been really nice if they had miked Anna and Elsa so that they could speak to the audience. I think that would make it a much more personal experience for the guests. Olaf spoke, but it was just canned lines. Anyway...I found this to be poorly executed.

Olaf

Anna

Elsa

Here is a video clip I took last week of the Frozen pre-parade.


Back to Disneyland, Partners Statue this evening.

The BBQ has switched to the All-American Roundup and Barbecue for the summer.

The Jamboree area was closed, no listing in the time guide either. Guessing it is switching over to the All-American Roundup again.


Disneyland Waits at 5:00pm

The All American College Band marching down Main Street USA to Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat.


Work is nearing completion on the rooftops of New Orleans Square.

Looking toward Frontierland from the Pirates Bridge

New Orleans Square. Less than a month until Club 33 is to reopen, and assuming that means everything else will be done around then too.

You could see some lights on in Club 33 but not much else.

The All-American College Band performs on the parade route at 6:00pm. This year they stop in a couple locations but there is a lot more movement. So if you want to watch them you have to keep moving too.

Here is some video of their Tower of Power medley. I apologize in advance as some of the camera work is pretty bad since I was moving through the crowd to try and keep up with them.

A clip of the All-American College Band performing Goin Down the Bayou

Before the hub they stopped and performed Let it Go from Frozen. Here is a video clip.

As the All-American Band passed Fantasyland and entered the Small World Mall area they performed Celebration.

They stopped near its a Small World and performed a Disney movie medley.

Toad Hall and the Matterhorn

Random Frontierland picture.

Time for the 7:15 Train Station set of the All-American College Band.

Meet this year's band. They did introductions in a quicker fashion this year. Also they skipped the drum line for some reason.

This set included Bubbles was a Cheerleader, Michael Jackson Medley, Let It Go, and Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute.

All American College Band - Let it Go

Laura: I thought it was interesting that they performed Let it Go twice - along the parade route and at the train station. I'll bet they get tired of that song pretty quickly...

A clip from the Earth, Wind, and Fire Finale

Arrived on Route 66 right before the lights were to come on for the evening.

Laura: We wanted to see the lighting, so we dragged Jason over there with us. :-) The Times Guide just says "dusk", which is not very helpful. DJ was performing at 8:00, so the lighting didn't take place until after he had finished.

Oops.. someone lost three balloons and they are in the telephone lines.

Laura: Jason took this photo of Brad, Nicole and me in Cars Land after the lighting. I had to leave soon after that, so this was the last thing we did together. I had a very nice day - I don't have to ride a lot of rides to have a good time at Disneyland.

Disneyland waits as of 8:21pm Peter Pan is the longest at 45 minutes.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Hard Days Night A Beatles Tribute was performing at Tomorrowland Terrace. Here are some pictures from their 8:35pm set which featured Sgt. Pepper



A video clip from the performance.


If you were curious Darth Vader popcorn buckets are still available.

Thought the choice of Disneyland Fantasyland and WDW Monorail System on the same glass was odd.


No signs of Tinkerbell or Dumbo during Magical tonight.


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.




June 18, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/13/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 13, 2014.

First stop today Disney California Adventure.

The park is coming up on 2 years since the re-dedication and opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street this weekend.

A message from Maleficent at Trolley Treats

The awning is back at the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

Grizzly River Run reopens next week. This week some water in the flume. No signs of activity.


Entering Cars Land from the Wharf.

A posted 10 minute wait for the Flying Tires (I took a look and it was less than that so decided to go for a spin). Turned out to be only a one cycle wait. So only a couple minutes.

Tower of Terror was not operating when I walked by.

New park maps are out. Disneyland features Splash Mountain instead of Big Thunder. Disney California Adventure has World of Color with glow with the show ears.

The All American College Band is listed. They start their season Thursday. I plan to see them Friday so look for pictures and video next week.

Sulley the horse

Walking out toward Alice in Wonderland.

The new wall extension looks to be complete. It was confirmed this week that the attraction will reopen for 4th of July.

The rock extension is taking shape.

It was announced this week that the subs will return September 27th. Out in the lagoon scaffolding is up and they have started to work on refinishing.

A look at the Alice work from the Monorail. Should be interesting what type of railings will be going up on the extension.

As we pulled into the monorail station I turned around and took a couple pictures through the window (that is why it is tinted). But you can see the scaffolding around the track.

Space Mountain is being cleaned. Look at the difference (on the right you can see some areas that have not been yet).

Ran into a couple Storm Troopers as I walked through Tomorrowland

I passed through the SpringTime RoundUp in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. The White Rabbit was roaming around.

The covers are back on the queue for the Carrousel.

Today before th 4:00pm Mickey's Soundsational Parade a new Frozen pre-parade debuted featuring Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and Olaf. Here it is stepping off for its first run.

Here is a video of the Frozen pre-parade making its way down Main Street USA.


The float making its way around Town Square.


The far west (left as you enter) gates to Disneyland (Gates 1-6) are being worked on.

Returning to DCA. A look at the vineyard crop this year.


The awnings are back on Ghirardelli too.

Passing by the Oil Pan in Cars Land.

5 & Dime passing by on their way to perform

Returning to Disneyland. A look into the artist area in the Disneyana Store at some upcoming artwork.

No Frozen pre-parade for the 6:30 Soundsational.

Downtown Disney was once again celebrating summer with Hawaiian Nights. This week an Aulani photo op was set up near House of Blues/Build-A-Bear.

Tupua was back again this week performing more music and dances from the South Pacific.

Here are some clips from their performance.


The banners on the light posts in the area near the AMC have been changed to Planes Fire & Rescue


Out at the ESPN Zone a large bracket for the World Cup.


On the large screen they had the Kings hockey game.

Back to Buena Vista Street.

After a walk through DCA it was back to Disneyland.

Splash Mountain

Walked up and found a spot for Fantasmic right before how time.

Maleficent in dragon form.

Made my way to Main Street for Magical

Tinkerbell flying by the castle (note Dumbo did not fly this evening).


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.




June 9, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/06/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 6, 2014.

First stop this afternoon, Disneyland and no wait to enter.

In Adventureland, a new temporary wait time sign for the Jungle Cruise.

Walked through New Orleans Square. The Club 33 project is scheduled to be wrapping up in less than a month. Not much visible progress due to the tarps obstructing the view.

Walked around the Rivers of America to the Big Thunder Ranch. At the Springtime Roundup only two characters out this pass by. Thumper (seen here) and Brer Rabbit.

Went for a trip on the Monorail. A look down at the sub lagoon work. Not a lot of visible progress in this area. Note today marked the 55th anniversary since the attraction opened. Too bad you cannot experience it to mark the occasion. It is slated to be closed through Fall (no official date of reopening has been announced yet that I know of).

A check of Alice in Wonderland from the Monorail, less than a month until it is scheduled to return for the 4th of July holiday weekend..

Looks like the concrete extension is done and the track protection is off.

Stopped by Captain EO since it is closing soon for some work.

Some Marvel merchandise is now available in the Starcade

Tomorrowland horticulture with the Matterhorn looming in the background.

A check of the Alice in Wonderland work from the ground.

The underside of the extension has concrete (or whatever material it is) now.

A closer look.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Walked through Fantasy Faire. Only two princesses inside this afternoon and no wait at all (posted at 5 minutes but they were letting you walk right in).

Beauty and the Beast was being performed at the Royal Theatre

4:00pm means Mickey's Soundsational Parade is stepping off by Small World. Next week the Frozen pre-parade float is scheduled to make its debut.

On my way back through Fantasyland noticed the canopy for the queue is MIA.

Made my way over to Disney California Adventure. The summer issue of the Buena Vista Bugle is now available.

The awnings at the FFP Cafe are still gone.

Was walking through Flo's V-8 Cafe in Cars Land and noticed this sign. Is this a new menu offering or just a new sign.. I do not remember it (nor the sign).

Stopped by the Animation Building in Hollywood Land. Planes Fire & Rescue ad in the Animation Building. Interesting that Frozen is still there and not Big Hero 6.

A Red Car on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Animation Building.

Stopped by the World of Disney in Downtown Disney. The collection room which used to be Villains has been redone.


Cash registers are on one side only now and the display cases are gone. I did not see a new one with watches, jewelry, etc.. but I did not explore the store that much.

Downtown Disney has a summer celebration going on. It kicked off last week (June 1) and runs through September 6th. Here are a couple special offerings at Catal.

Rainforest Cafe offerings.

The Disneyland Hotel pool's vintage sign above the monorail water slide.


Seems like they are having problems with the Tangaroa Terrace. Saw several of these signs around the area trying to direct guests there.

As part of the Summer Celebration on many Friday nights they will be celebrating Hawaii. This evening there was a group called Tupua performing songs and dances from the south pacific including Samoa, Tahiti, and Hawaii. I missed the start of the performance. There were no showtimes posted that I could see.

Of course an audience participation song.

A video clip of the finale to their performance.

Some treats on display at the Marceline Confectionery

Build-a-Bear supporting the LA Kings

At the end of their set they announced the next one was at 8pm so I circled back to catch the beginning. Almost showtime.

The opening and a couple of clips from the Summer Celebration show being presented by Disney Aulani and Downtown Disney.


Made my way to the Tomorrowland Terrace for the 8:35pm set of the Suburban Legends (notice the Captain EO shirt). They performed a fun set that included: Colors of the Wind, Kiss the Girl, Beauty and the Beast, Duck Tales, Sweet Caroline, and Gummy Bears.

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Magical was cancelled this evening due to winds.

So I headed for Disney California Adventure and found a spot just before showtime for World of Color under the Silly Symphony Swings. It offers a great view of the fountains...

...but the audio is terrible (tonight the background music was still playing) and the projections are not really visible and what you can make out is backward.

But you can see the fire clearly.

After World of Color the park was closed to day guests and Grad Nite was taking over. Their party started at 10pm in Hollywood Land and Cars Land and would take over more of the park once the World of Color guests leave.


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.




June 2, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/30/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 30, 2014.

Monorail Blue passed by while at the tram stop then it stopped near the entrance to Disneyland for several minutes. It eventually started up again and made its way to Disneyland.

No lines to get into the parks right now. It was just after 1pm.

Today was a Grad Nite evening.

Because of Grad Nite they were closing Hollywood Land before the rest of the park.

Walking up Buena Vista Street


Some new Soarin' Merchandise has hit store shelves. A new t-shirt - $24.95.

The back...

Grizzly River Run is closed still (scheduled to reopen June 19th)

Stopped by the Little Mermaid, Ariel's Undersea Adventure, since it was a walk on. Here is a full ride recording (you can call it the extended edition since we stopped twice).

A look out to Paradise Pier

Sligo Rags performing at the Paradise Garden Bandstand

This past week the Operation: Playtime! - Featuring the Green Army Men performed their 10,000th show.

Mariachi Divas performing in the Pacific Wharf area

Still working in the Wharf area.

Entering Cars Land from the Wharf.

My timing this year for the cactus blooming, I am either a couple days too early or too late. Last year I seemed to hit quite a few in bloom.

Mater at the Cozy Cone



Looking up Route 66 in Cars Land

There was a back-up at the Tower of Terror FastPass return line.

Some treats in Trolley Treats

Tinker Bell is Patriotic for the summer.

Some relatively new World of Color merchandise in Los Feliz



Time to visit Disneyland. Noticed one of the light units was up, it appeared to be stuck and stayed up all day/evening.

Main Street USA

In Tomorrowland. The guest relations kiosk has moved...

Across the way and into a corner. Maybe to get out of the sun?

Space Mountain is closed until July. No signs of work on the exterior.

A check of Alice in Wonderland from the ground as work continues on the exterior track.

Preparations for the underside cover.

Roger Rabbit was out again at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree Springtime Roundup and no wait at all when I walked by.

A family of geese along the Big Thunder Trail

Work continues on the New Orleans Square rooftops.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Mickey and the Magical Map in the Fantasyland Theatre

Time to check in on Alice in Wonderland work. Looks like they poured the concrete for the new, extended, walkway.


Decided to catch Soundsational


The Storm Trooper mugs are available at Tomorrowland Terrace

About 80 minutes until showtime and the Rivers of America waterfront has a good crowd for Fantasmic!

Back in DCA Grad Nite had started to take over the park. Dance areas were being set up.

Lightning rolling along Route 66

Another Dance area in the Wharf

Went for a second trip under the sea since some of the group had not ridden it since it reopened.

A posted wait of 105 minutes for Tower of Terror, thanks to Grad Nite

The Mad T Party was also going to be used. Interesting they had a DJ stand on the dance floor and not using the main stage location.

The Mad T Party Band

Closing out the evening with Magical from Buena Vista Street.

A Mickey Balloon found its way into my frame, dead center, for the finale.

Traffic backed up on Disneyland Drive.

Magic Way was closed and all cars coming into Downtown Disney were being directed down the street. Guessing the Simba lot.


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




May 25, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/23/14

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

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

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

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

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



The time guides for the day.

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

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

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

Walked through the Candy Palace.

Hero and Villain Cupcakes

Plenty of Maleficent treats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

More mugs...this time Storm Trooper.

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

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

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


Small World had to use its extended queue.

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

Mickey's fountain.

The Go Coaster is back in operation too.

Goofy in front of his house.

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

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

The Stage Door Cafe offerings.

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

The Harbor Galley had a special soup today.

Hungry Bear had a hot dog for the day.

The Mint Julep Bar had punch.

The walkway through New Orleans Square was blocked off again.

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

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

In Frontierland the Trading Co has reopened.

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

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

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

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

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

Time to head over to Disney California Adventure.

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

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

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

Clarabelle's featured a special hand dipped bar today.

Award Wieners featured Maleficent items

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

Buena Vista Street also had a photo op with clocks.

Taste Pilots Grill special offering.

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

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

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

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

Pacific Wharf Cafe featured a chowder for the day.

Captain America shield shaped bread.

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

Flo's offering was a sandwich

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

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

More merchandise for the day.

There was also a pin (on the right)

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

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

Caught a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map.

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

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

Looks like the prairie dogs are not returning.


Back to Disney California AdventureGRR is still closed for renovation.

Another photo backdrop, this time in Paradise Gardens.

The Paradise Garden Grill offering.

And Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

Here is the Mac & Cheese Flatbread.

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

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

Hollywood Blvd.

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

Maleficent merchandise in Elias & Co.

Maleficent treats being created at Trolley Treats


In Clarabelle's they were setting up ice water

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

Passing by the Castle.

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

Caught Magical to wrap up my evening.

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


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




May 11, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/09/14

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

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort for the afternoon/evening.

Goofy with the Hook and Ladder Co. in Town Square

A look up Main Street USA

The Plaza Inn is closed for renovation.


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


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

Nikon signage is up at the Photo Supply Co now.

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

The side facing the parade route looks complete.

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

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

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

This is most noticeable in the Under the Sea scene.




Some video from Friday May 9, 2014

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

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

Another look at the recently completed Wharf renovations.


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

Willy's Butte - Ornament Valley

Doc McStuffins on Hollywood Blvd.

Nikon signage at Kingswell Camera


Sleeping Beauty Castle


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

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

Work continues in New Orleans Square.

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

Pirates is closed for renovations.


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

Small World is still closed.

Mickey & the Magical Map is also dark right now.

In Toontown work on the fountains.

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

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

Goofy goofing around in front of his house.

The Go Coaster is also closed for work.

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

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

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

Attraction poster coasters.

Plates.


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


Lightning rolling down Cross Street.

Willy's Butte

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

Fantasmic! time to celebrate its upcoming anniversary.


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



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.




April 28, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/25/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Friday and Saturday there was a Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest in Downtown Disney. They were just getting started as I walked by. A flyer about the event.



I took the Monorail into the park. No real visible progress on the subs.

Over at Alice looks like the track layout is staying the same. The wood appeared to be giving a rough idea of where the new extensions/walkways will go out to.

Small World is closed again as work continues on the safety retrofitting inside.

Oops.. showed up just as Magical Map was letting out.

Alice from ground level. Here you can see the new metal supports for the extension that are being installed.

Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch. The Springtime Roundup has lost its Easter decorations and most of the bunnies.

Brer Rabbit was out for pictures.

Thumper was too.

Baloo making his way out for pictures after the rabbits left.

Mickey also arrived

Most of the photo areas were empty during my short time in the area.

Walked through New Orleans Square.. not much is different looks about the same as it has for months with scaffolding and tarps up throughout.

Decided to walk through the Treehouse. Adventureland from above.

Rivers of America river front.

From the treehouse you can see some roof work going on in New Orleans Square. Looks to be fall protection related.

Some new merchandise in the Adventureland Bazaar that is at least land specific (but not park specific.. meaning WDW vs Disneyland).


Salt and Pepper shakers.


In Disney California Adventure a Maleficent sneak peak has taken over the "it's tough to be a bug" theater.

A warning about the show.

Inside, the bug movie posters are gone. No posters for Maleficent, though. In the theater the new projector was really clear and the film quality was great.

At Ghirardelli they were passing out free samples of the mini squares. For comparison the new on the left and traditional squares on the right.

Grizzly River Run was closed for renovations. Seems odd they did not do this during the cold months and instead are doing it now leading into summer.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has finally reopened. Well, most of it has reopened.

It appears to be about the same, no major changes. Just some new paint, railings, and nets from what I could tell.

I said most has reopened because on the upper areas the net walkways were all closed off still.

Preparing for World of Color on Paradise Bay as some darker clouds pass by overhead.

More of the scaffolding around the Wharf has been removed.

Walked through Cars Land. Fillmore's this evening.

Ornament Valley, thought this shot came out well considering it's free hand and no processing.

Stopped back by to see the sign after dark.

Walked through Atwater Ink & Paint and spotted more trashcan salt and pepper shakers.

Stopped for Fantasmic!

Oops the dragon's fire/breath did not ignite tonight.

My evening ended with Fantasmic. The fireworks show was cancelled and it started to rain as I reached Main Street.


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.




April 17, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/11/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 11, 2014.

We start off on Main Street USA. The 20th Century Music Company on Main Street now sells very little music. Pins have taken over the store.

A look inside.


There is one small shelf of books.

And one wall of music and home video.

From April 10-20 there is an Egg-Stravaganza going on at both parks. Featuring Eggs-perience maps and an egg hunt. The maps are $4.95 plus tax and you go off to find the 12 eggs around the park then redeem your map for an egg to take home. This update is spoiler free in case you are planning a visit to search for the eggs. I posted a spoiler filled picture set if you want to see where all 24 eggs (12 from each park) are located.

Small World has reopened for a few weeks during the busy spring break season and to celebrate its 50th anniversary since opening on 4/22/1964 at the Worlds Fair in New York. Disney parks celebrated the occasion on Thursday 4/10 and Jeanine was there for AllEars.


Storybook Land.

Stopped by the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch to check out the latest Egg Creations. Here are some of them - The Tweedles and Elsa.

Thought the Tiki Room egg was fun. Anna and Olaf to round out the Frozen collection.

Thought the cane for Lotso was a great touch.

Two of the artists at work.

Time for the Bunny Hop.

Roger Rabbit was part of the gang this week.

If you want to see more pictures and video of the Bunny Hop check out my last update.

The Big Thunder waits have returned to normal, at least this afternoon.

They were expecting a large crowd, the extended queue was set up.

Some special menu items at the Golden Horseshoe to mark the return of Big Thunder.

The Lone Ranger boot is still available.

Pirates was only a 15 minute wait, and the extended queue was ready but not needed right now.

Pizza Port has a new offering.

A slice of pizza, cookie, drink and art print for $30.00 plus tax.

The cookie.

A look at the pizza.

Not much visible progress in the sub lagoon.

Sure looks like they are planning on saving the existing ride path. Seems if they were going to remove it they would have by now.

A new spring issue of the Buena Vista Bugle is on news stands.

The DCA egg-stravaganza maps are in the children's section of Elias & Co.

The DCA map. Again I will not be posting pictures of the eggs in this photo update.

The possible prizes. With each map you get one egg.

Clarabelle's no longer offers the trolley sundae, instead it's a triple scope sundae served in a Mickey inspired sink.

The scaffolding on this side of the Wharf is down.

The side of the building facing the parade route is still being worked on.

Rushin' River now has personalized leather accessories and a sign to make sure you know.

Went for a cruise on Small World



In the gift shop a commemorative t-shirt was on sale, all proceeds went to UNICEF this weekend.

A 50th anniversary popcorn bucket.

The Primeval World Diorama is also celebrating its 50th anniversary since debuted at the New York World Fair

Walked through Downtown Disney later in the evening. Ridemakerz has a Captain America Camaro.

Maleficent banners in Downtown Disney to promote the upcoming film.

Caught Remember from the Mickey and Friends harage. This is the stretching room sequence.


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.




April 6, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/28/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Friday was a busy day at the Disneyland Resort. Spring Break season is upon us and the parks were very busy thanks to that and pleasant weather. Then to cap off the evening a magnitude 5.1 earthquake with an epicenter less than 10 miles from the park occurred just after 9:00pm. No damage or injuries reported as far as I have seen.


Long lines at the security tents this afternoon.


The Downtown Disney fountain is out from behind walls. It was leaking: water was outside the fountain area.

Once inside the parks the crowd seemed to thin out a bit in Town Square and with a little timing you could get a shot like this making it look rather empty. Notice all the Main Street vehicles out today. Two horseless carriages, the bus, and fire truck in this picture. Also a horse drawn street car was making the rounds.

The Disneyland Band was performing in Town Square.

Disneyland has new guide maps this week. They feature Big Thunder and Mickey's Fun Wheel on the covers.



New picture spot signs were being installed this afternoon.

They now feature a sample picture again. Here is the one for the Matterhorn.

A check of the Alice in Wonderland progress. Not much visible from this angle. Looks more or less the same.

Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree for the Springtime Roundup.

I will skip most of the decorations around the Jamboree this week since I posted pictures last week, so go back to the 3/21 update if you want to see more.

Egg Painters are present this year.

Some of the eggs on display.

More traditional painting.


More of the recent egg creations in a display near where they were painting.






Mickey and Minnie in their springtime outfits


The springtime dancers came out for a performance.

They stopped for a group picture.

A video clip of the Springtime dancers in action.

The Easter Bunny was on hand for pictures and autographs and had no wait while I was there.

The bunnies making their entrance for the Bunny Hop.


Pluto somehow got into the Bunny act.

A video clip of the Bunny Hop performances.


The food carts for the Springtime Roundup

The menu.

Some of the items.


Big Thunder had a lot of guests around and was using an extended queue. Standby wait was posted as 60 minutes and Fastpass return was 10:30pm and this was before 4pm.

Not much visible progress in the sub lagoon. Here is a look from the Monorail.

A check of the Alice in Wonderland work from the Monorail.

Next I made my way over to Disney California Adventure. Goofy passing by on Buena Vista Street.

Work on the Wharf continues. This week the tarps were down, guessing due to the winds.


The Picture Spot sign in Ornament Valley has been moved and now has a sample photo on it too.

The Ghirardelli sample today was a milk chocolate with a white chocolate imprint.

The structure nearest the turkey leg stand on the pier was behind walls. Guessing they are going to be repainting and fixing some of the wood damage.

The coaster front from the Toy Story Meet and Greet has been removed.

The Ellis Island Boys performing at the Paradise Garden Bandstand.

Interesting they did not put walls on the back side.

The Tweedles were roaming the crowd at the Mad T Party.

Stopped by the Disneyana store on Main Street. Here is an interesting item. A check signed by Walt Disney. It was from 1965 and for $10,000 made out to the IRS for estimated taxes. The framed set was priced at $5,500.

Main Street was busy as to be expected on a Friday night during Spring Break season, this was around 8:30pm

The plan was to watch the 9:00pm Fantasmic show. So I found a spot near the Tom Sawyer Island raft exit. Here is an action shot of King Louie as he passed by.

As the Columbia started its pass an earthquake struck. The epicenter was approx 8 miles from Disneyland. The show was stopped as soon as the shaking stopped. Here is a picture of the Columbia slowly finishing its pass after the quake. I posted my thoughts and more info on the earthquake in a separate blog posting on my site.

The show was cancelled and so were the fireworks. Which led to some very crowded walkways as everyone had the same idea...time to leave.

A look at Main Street around 9:45pm. It seems a majority of guests decided it was time to call it a night.

It was around 10pm when I reached the garage. The escalators and elevators were all offline still. You had to hike the steps or escalator to reach your level.

The third floor.

I stopped for a quick photo and video from the bridge before continuing on to my car. Cars on the exit ramps were moving slowly but were moving.

Looking the other direction they still had the exit set up like a normal night with cars merging to use the overpass. By the time I got down there (half an hour or so later) you were locked into your lane more or less no merging.




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.




March 23, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/21/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 21, 2014.

Started off walking across the Pinocchio lot to Downtown Disney.

They are working on the facades in Downtown Disney. A half dozen or so lifts were out this afternoon.


Starbucks has opened and had a good crowd inside. I took a quick look inside, saw the masses of people, and kept on walking.

The fountain is still behind walls, but was being tested this afternoon.

The Straw Hatters were performing on Main Street as I entered Town Square.

Main Street was alive with activity. In addition to the spring break crowds I saw two buses, two street cars, the fire engine, and a horseless carriage making the rounds this afternoon.

Looking back down Main Street USA

Partners this afternoon.

The work on the top of Space Mountain is wrapping up. The new additions blend in well.

They were painting this afternoon.

A check in on the submarine lagoon from the Monorail.

Alice in Wonderland went down for renovation since my last visit. They are moving quickly on the demo work. The temporary walkways are gone and they have started to take apart the ride path.

From ground level you can see how they cut away some of the concrete for the ride path already.



The line for the Frozen Royal Reception was long as usual. Today it was long enough you could go to the gift shop, buy the movie, and watch the entire film while waiting in line.

The Springtime Roundup officially starts next week but this week most of the props and signage were up.




Big Thunder has officially reopened and the couple times I passed by the stand by wait was 70-80 minutes.

The height check bar, 40 inches is threshold.

The queue filled the Zocalo Park area.

A quick look at Rainbow Ridge from the side.


New Orleans Square was busy.. the Pirates queue was extended out toward the DVC kiosk and wrapped back onto the bridge.

Indiana Jones is close for some work.

Frozen is front and center in many of the stores.

Moving to Disney California Adventure...

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is still closed.

The Little Mermaid is closed for renovations.

Thought this was great. One of the cast members was reading to a group of kids. It was a Little Mermaid book of course.

Work continues on the Pacific Wharf facade (the Bakery tour and Pacific Wharf Cafe remain open during the work).

Goofy conducting the fountains for the Instant Concert...Just Add Water.

A rack of Easter merchandise.


The Pier had a good size crowd moving around.

As I was eating DJ drove by on Cross Street.

Radiator Spring Racers had a posted wait of 90 minutes. The single rider line was backed up and using most of its queue too.

The fountain at the Cozy Cone was not working properly again.. it was coming up short so the wheel was not spinning.

The Lone Ranger sign is gone now from the Hyperion facade.

Monsters had a posted wait of 30 minutes.

I did not spot any Muppets Most Wanted merchandise. Everything looked to be the same. I did see the sound track in Off the Page.

Off the Page also has some Marvel artwork now.

Walked through Ghirardelli. Some Easter/spring offerings.

Also a new type of free sample today. It was a dark chocolate middle with milk chocolate around it.

Spotted this sign near the entrance to Maters. I also saw one of these by Star Tours, but too many guests to get a clear picture.

Captain America merchandise in Elias & Co.

More Frozen merchandise in Elias & Co.

Back to Disneyland...walked through Innoventions and took some pictures of the Captain America queue now that it was empty (they close the line at 4pm and it was approaching 8 when I walked by).




Closed out my evening with Fantasmic! and then Remember.

Watched Remember then headed for home. No signs of Tinker Bell this evening.


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.




March 16, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted - El Capitan Screening

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from a screening of the Muppets Most Wanted on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

The El Capitan is Disney's theater in the heart of Hollywood. It hosts many Hollywood premieres including the Muppets Most Wanted as well as Captain America this past week. It is on Hollywood Blvd. across the street from the Hollywood & Highland complex that includes the Dolby Theater (where the academy awards were) and the Chinese Theater.

The Muppets will be taking over the theater from March 21 to April 17 for the Muppets Most Wanted. Before every movie there will be a live stage show with Kermit & Miss Piggy. There are props and costumes from the film on display in the lower lounge. Below are some pictures from my trip showing the outside of the theater, as well as some of the display inside. After the pictures I have included some of my first impressions of the film.

Here is a picture from across Hollywood Blvd.

The Muppets on the main marquee

A Muppets billboard nearby.

Passed by Mickey's star on the Walk of Fame on the way over.

Also walked by the Chinese Theater on the way. Here is a picture similar to the ones you are able to take in Orlando nowadays.

A random picture of the hand and footprints in the cement before I moved on.

From across the street a better view of the building.

The Studio Store features a lot of Muppet merchandise right now.

The Disneyland star is right at the entrance to the store.

Ghirardelli has taken over since my last visit, the Disney soda fountain is gone.

Some of the Muppet Merchandise.


Oops. I should have mentioned up front.. this trip I only had my cell phone with me so indoor pictures were a challenge. A Muppet World Tour poster.



Since I showed Mickey Mouse I needed to include Donald Duck

And the reason for my trip -- the Muppets.

Time to head into the theater.

As soon as you enter the theater Miss Piggy's Wedding Gown is on display. This is a Vivienne Westwood Original worn in the Muppets Most Wanted film and part of Miss Piggy's Couture Collection.

The lower lounge featured props and costumes from the Muppets Most Wanted.


The centerpiece of the exhibit was this Yamaha Grand Piano that was used in a photo shoot for the film. It was custom wrapped in green vinyl and features signatures of the cast and filmmakers from the premiere night.

A closer look at the signatures.

A clip of the Piano in action

Sam Eagle's badge


Animal's drum set


The crown from the gulag

The Key and Locket that are needed for the Crown Jewels heist. If you go to this theater, I recommend seeing the props after the film -- they make a lot more sense than if you see them beforehand (which is when I saw them).


A large portion of the display are Miss Piggy's Couture Collection gowns that she loaned the theatre.

First up the Flamingo Flamenco!

Three Legends! No Waiting! Vivienne Westwood design worn during Something So Right.

Ariel has nothing on Moi!

(I did not get a legible picture of the sign for this one thanks to my cell phone!)

Worn in the opening of the film, the Showstopping Sequel Starter!

Found a seat and the organist rose to the stage and performed a medley of Disney songs for about half an hour.

Time for the film to begin and the camera to go away....


Party Central " a short featuring the gang from Monsters University is shown before the film. It was great to see this again (I first saw it last year at the D23 Expo). Just as fun the second time.

If you have seen any of the promotional material for the Muppets Most Wanted you are given the basic story line. The World’s Number One Criminal " Constantine -- escapes from a Russian gulag and assumes Kermit’s identity. He uses the Muppets World Tour as a cover for his crime caper. Sam Eagle and Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) from Interpol are in pursuit.

If you are a fan of the Muppets you will enjoy the film. I thought the movie opened strong with a show stopping “We’re Doing a Sequel” number and plenty of Statler and Waldorf moments (whom I really enjoy).

Here is the We’re Doing a Sequel Trailer:


Beaker, one of my favorite Muppets, plays a minor role, only a couple of times on screen, but very key. The rest of the film had some fun and entertaining moments but it did not have the big bang like the opening and seemed to drag a bit in the middle. If you are looking to spend some time with the Muppets then you will enjoy the film, but if you are expecting something more you may walk out disappointed. “Muppets Most Wanted” does not have the same feel/heart as the 2011 “The Muppets” film did.


Be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks and other travels.




February 16, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/14/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 14, 2014.

A check of the Downtown Disney Starbucks. The facade is moving along. Glass and wood have been added to parts of it.



First stop today, Disneyland.

Four planters around Town Square had valentine decorations.

The scaffolding is gone from this corner and the facades look great.

My idea of ideal snow.. just look at it and not have to live in it. Today was a picture perfect Southern California day with temps in the mid 80s when I arrived and not a hint of a cloud in the sky.

The Dole Whip stand has reopened and its lines were long as usual. They have increased capacity of the small stand and even with 5 cast members, two machines and two registers the lines on both sides were substantial still stretching all the way to the Tiki Room exit steps.


Walked through New Orleans Square.

No visible progress thanks to all the scrims on the scaffolding.


The walkway to the restrooms has reopened.

Splash Mountain shows no visible signs of progress or change.

Wow, a 15 min wait for Winnie the Pooh.. I was expecting it to be a ghost town out in Critter Country with Splash closed.

No real visible progress over at Big Thunder.

They are still in a testing phase and trains have been running intermittently for several weeks - one was stopped on the lift hill. No official word on when it will re-open.

Another train waiting to come on the track.

New Orleans Square was busy with the Pirates queue stretching out toward Cafe Orleans and then back over the bridge and wrapping around to the entrance finally.


The Columbia looks ready to return to action tonight in Fantasmic!


Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the lines for the characters were very short as has been the case each time I have stopped by.

Since there was no one in line the characters and cast members were dancing along to the music and just enjoying themselves.

Small World is closed for renovations still, nothing appears to be going on with the exterior.


Looks like some railing painting going on here.

A new sign in front of the subs, saying they will return this Fall.

The water has been drained from the lagoon.

A couple of quick pics of the drained lagoon as the Monorail passed overhead.


A couple more Space Mountain pics.


The Disney Gallery will be recieving a new exhibit featuring steampunk artwork opening 2/22.

In honor of President Lincoln's Birthday caught a showing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Nikon signage is up at most of the Picture Spots now.

Arrived on Main Street as the Band was making its way to the Flag Retreat, so I followed along.


Headed across the Esplanade to DCA and Buena Vista Street. Trolley Treats had an assortment of Valentine's day items as you walked in.

A new edition of the Buena Vista Bugle is on news stands now.

The Pacific Wharf Cafe had bread shaped as bears and hearts for Valentines day.

Arrived on Route 66 as the neon was coming on for the evening.


Red pulled into the Cozy Cone for pictures. I do not recall ever seeing him here.. usually he is down near Cross Street or out by the Flying Tires.




Thursday, 2/13, marked 10 years since they first lit up the sign on the Tower of Terror.


The Mad T Party Band was performing as I walked by.

There was a full moon Friday, here it is over the Cozy Cone, someday I will learn how to get better pictures that do not make it look like a bright light. It looked much more impressive in person.


Spent some time walking around Big Thunder (they were cycling trains this evening).

Big Thunder with the moon lingering behind it.

That blur is a train going by..

Watched Remember from along the Rivers of America. The show was at 8:40, before Fantasmic.

They still do some minor lighting effects.. some strobes, fog, and lights for the Haunted Mansion segment.

A great view of one of the pinwheels from where I was.

Fantasmic! re-opened tonight (2/14) after its winter refurbishment. Some new fountains in the World of Color style were added. The plan was to take some video of the opening then stills later on. The show was stopped because the water screens did not come on. It was then cancelled. Here is some video of the opening featuring the new fountains and you can see the projectors come on but no screens at the end.


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




February 4, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/31/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 31, 2014.

A quick look at the Starbucks progress in Downtown Disney before heading to the parks.

First stop today, DCA.

Noticed the billboard in Condor Flats is back to normal. The Planes characters are gone.

The Redwood Creek area is still closed for work. Through the trees you could see some scaffolding and workers, but nothing clearly or interesting.

Goofy strolling out to conduct the Instant Concert in Paradise Bay

Only an hour wait for the Racers this afternoon.

Lightning cruising Route 66 on his way to the Cozy Cone.

The fountain at the Cozy Cone was not working correctly again. The water was coming up short so the wheel was not turning.

Route 66, the poles for the Christmas lights have been removed.

The photo spot near the backside of GRR has a Nikon sign now.


The Olaf chocolate art is gone and Let it Go is featured at Trolley Treats

No visible progress on Main Street, thanks to the scrim.

A Nikon picture spot sign.

Small World is closed for the removal of the holiday overlay. And this coming week they are going to be using it as a set for the upcoming Brad Bird Tomorrowland film. They are using it as a stand in for the 1964 World Fair. The entrance area is being transformed to match and large blue backdrops placed so they can add the correct background in post production. The filming is slated for the middle of next week. And the attraction is to reopen next weekend.


Looks like they are finally going to do some exterior work on the mountain and hopefully clean it too.

The sub lagoon looked about the same as it did two weeks ago, no real visible change.


Inside Innoventions walls are up where Captain America will be greeting guests. He is replacing the nano exhibit to the right when you enter (between Ironman and Asimo).


Sleeping Beauty Castle, the snow has all "melted" away.

The scaffolding from the masts of the Columbia has been removed as the project enters the final stretch.

The Rivers of America are back to normal, the Fantasmic fountain work has concluded.

A closer look at the Columbia.

Splash Mountain is closed for some work too.

New Orleans Square is still mostly walls and scaffolding.

From the train another perspective at the film preparations.



Acorn gifts in the Grand California now features Club 33 merchandise, available to members only. I found it odd to put this in the large display window.

A look at the World of Disney Windows. First up Cars Land.

Tower of Terror/Disney California Adventure World of Disney Window animation

World of Disney - Tomorrowland window

World of Disney - Fantasyland window

Main Street USA from the train station (Soundsational was just about to start that is why there is a crowd).

Hard Days Night a Tribute to the Beatles were performing on the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage this evening. Here are some pictures from their first two sets.


A couple video clips from the performances.

I closed out my evening with the Remember fireworks before heading home.


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




February 2, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/31/14 - Lunar New Year

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 31, 2014.

This weekend the Disneyland Resort is celebrating the Lunar New Year, year of the horse. Festivities take place at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure from 11am to 5pm Fri-Sun. Downtown Disney also has events going on from 5pm-9pm.

Approaching Pardise Gardens.

The decorations lined the parade route, the entire length of the gardens area.

Mulan's Chinese New Year Procession featured a horse

And of course Mulan and Mushu

After the procession guest performing groups took to the street. First up was one from the Korean Dance Institute.


The horse was out for photos for a while after each procession.

Bayside Brews had a couple special items for the event.

There was also an outdoor vending cart decked out for the occasion.

The cart's offerings.

The Pork Bao

Year of the Horse Shaped Sourdough Bread

Some of the performers from the procession were out interacting with guests.

Mulan and Mushu were in a meet and greet location.

Mickey and Minnie rotated with them at the location (also I read Chip and Dale did too, but I did not see them).


Signs to help you find what year you were born in.

The Bandstand stage featured guest performing groups throughout the day.

A video clip of a drum solo.

There seemed to be a fair amount of custom signage and decorations for the event this year.

One small area of the merchandise stand near the Corn Dog Castle featured some items for Lunar New Year.

Some boards describing how some of the cultures celebrate the event.

An area set up for New Year Wishes.

In the back of the area were tables with Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy

There was an arts and crafts area too. The line for the meet and greet wrapped around it (it starts on the left, goes up to the area, then off to the right near Goofy's Sky School and doubles back).

A guest performing group doing a traditional Lion Dance.

A video clip of the Lion Dance.

A video clip of the Mulan Procession.

Downtown Disney was also celebrating Lunar New Year. There were special menu offerings at some of the restaurants.

The main stage was to feature guest performing groups for Lunar New Year this evening.

First up is Dance Impressions Productions.

A video clip of the introduction and Dragon Dance.


A ribbon dance.

Video clips of a couple of groups of young kids dancing at the Lunar New Year Celebration in Downtown Disney.


Another group.

A lion dance


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




January 5, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 3, 2014.

A check in on Starbucks in Downtown Disney. It is moving along. The signs say a winter opening, no idea what that translates into.


The construction I saw last visit by La Brea Bakery/World of Disney was a new sunglass icon kiosk.

My first stop today, DCA. Passed by the Red Car on Buena Vista Street.

Condor Flats had a fair amount of guests walking around this afternoon.

Wow! The line was out the door for Taste Pilots (it was about 1pm).

Noticed the Planes merchandise that was outside is now gone.

But the Planes crew is still on the billboard.

Paradise Gardens is celebrating Dia De Reyes (Three Kings Day) this weekend in addition to Vivia Navidad! Jeanine has a posting on this event so I am going to only include a couple pictures and leave the description and detail for her.




Caught the 1:30 Viva Navidad! Street Party


A video clip from the finale.

Made another pass through the area. Goofy was out for pictures.

Mariachi Espectacular was performing on the Bandstand.

A video clip of Mariachi Espectacular

I walked around the Pier then. Buzz was out for photos.

The Pier walkway looked really crowded thanks to the Screamin' overflow queue taking up the right hand side. It was a 55 minute wait.

The Christmas tree inside Ariel's Grotto. The lighting was a challenge.

Walked through Cars Land. Only 165 minutes wait for the Radiator Springs Racers.

Passed by Mater's Junkyard Jamboree which only had a 20 minute wait.

Five and Dime performing in Carthay Circle. Notice Dime has a new dress, she has had it for several weeks now but this is my first time catching them in a while.

A Dickens Yuletide Band performing as I entered Disneyland this afternoon.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Benches, ropes, and arrows to help with crowd flow in Frontierland.

The canoes were open this afternoon

Some of the construction wall for Big Thunder has been removed near the smoking area. Now you can see some of the mountain and landscaping.

The Jingle Jangle Jamboree was not too crowded this afternoon.

Instead Santa was walking around in his less formal gear.


I came to watch Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies one last time. They end their Disneyland run on Monday the 6th. I am going to miss them.

A video of their big sing a long featuring the Country Bears to close the set.

A new churro cart in Fantasyland. There was a line so I could not get a good picture.. will try again next visit.

Olaf entertaining guests in line, the wait for the Frozen Royal Reception was posted at 120 minutes.

Small World Holiday had a posted wait of 60 minutes

In Toontown Roger Rabbit was over an hour wait.

A look at the crowd in Toontown.

The Finding Nemo subs go down for renovation next week for most of 2014. Or if some internet rumors are to be believed maybe forever?

The Flower Market on Center Street has been reduced to just this archway.

Guessing this was done to ease traffic flow in and out of the locker area and for an overflow queue for Starbucks. Curious if the full display will return next week when the crowds leave.


The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing on Main Street.

A couple pictures from the lights coming on in Cars Land.

Here is a video of the lighting from a previous trip.

Back to Buena Vista Street

Santa has left Elias & Co and his meet and greet area is gone.

Returned to Disneyland for A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

A video clip of the Winter Wonderland segment featuring cross country skiers this year.



Swing dancing going on in Downtown Disney this evening.

Stopped by the Winter Village in Downtown Disney




Back to Disneyland for the 7:30 Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle Wintertime Enchantment Moment.


Next up Small World and its quarter hour projection show.

Here is a video from a previous trip of the show if you missed it.

Someone asked me what happens with Olaf at night when the Frozen Royal Reception was closed. They actually have a sleep sequence for him. No lighting really, just snoring and some movement.

A video clip of Olaf sleeping.

Back to DCA for the 8:45pm World of Color Winter Dreams. Watched from a Standby Area. A couple random pictures from the show.

Then it was back to Disneyland to close out my evening with Believe in Holiday Magic.



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.




December 10, 2013

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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Disneyland's tradition of the Candlelight Processional, featuring a massed choir performing Christmas music, began in 1958. Unlike Epcot, it is only performed on two nights, typically the first weekend of December, making it more of a challenge to see. (Last year it was performed on 20 nights, but they did not repeat that this year.) Some people arrive at park opening to stake out their spots for the processional at 5:30 in the evening!

The risers for the choir are set up at the Main Street train station with a stage for the orchestra and narrator.



Chairs are placed in Town Square and on Main Street.

Lee and I had the opportunity to see the processional on Sunday as guests of Disneyland Public Relations. Most of the photos below are Jason's. He saw it on Saturday night and his photos are better than mine. :-)

It had been a long time since I'd seen the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland - like many of you I am much more familiar with the one at Epcot. The Disneyland version is quite different: there are some aspects I like about it and some where I prefer Epcot's version. But either way, it's still a beautiful and moving experience.

The massed choir is composed of Disneyland cast members and a number of other vocal groups such as high school and church choirs, mostly from southern California. We did not receive a program, so I don't have any of the names, unfortunately.

The choir proceeds down Main Street, singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem", "The First Noel", and "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" as they enter and fill in the risers.

Unlike Epcot, there are no Voices of Liberty at Disneyland. A couple of the songs featured male and female soloists, but otherwise we heard the choir singing - and I really liked that. At Epcot I think the Voices of Liberty overshadow the beautiful sound of the massed choir.

There were also performances by a hand bell choir and a guitar soloist. The guitar solo during "Silent Night" was quite poignant.

Several of the songs are different than those performed at Epcot: "The Candlelight Carol", "Sing Noel", and "The First Noel". Even those that are the same generally have very different arrangements, like "Joy to the World", and "We Three Kings". I missed one of my favorite Epcot songs: "Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy" and I also preferred the Epcot version of "Joy to the World". But I really liked "The Candlelight Carol".

The celebrity narrators were Blair Underwood on Saturday and Kurt Russell on Sunday. The passages they read from the Bible were somewhat different than I've heard at Epcot. I must say that I think the song selection at Epcot complements the scripture passages better than at Disneyland. For example, even though "The First Noel" describes events after the birth of Jesus, the song followed the reading of the angel Gabriel's annunciation to Mary. Unfortunately most of them were like that and it seemed a little disjointed to me.

One of Lee's favorite parts of the Candlelight Processional is the herald trumpets - and they were featured often. Their placement on top of the train station was very effective.

It was a wonderful show - it brings home "the reason for the season" in a way that you don't see very much these days. It's unfortunate that it's so difficult to see at Disneyland, though maybe that makes the experience all the more meaningful.


Disclaimer: Laura Gilbreath was an invited media guest. Her opinions are her own.




December 1, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13 - Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

First stop today, Disney California Adventure. I walked down Buena Vista Street.

In Paradise Gardens as part of Viva Navidad! Mariachi Espectacular performing at the Bandstand.

The arts and crafts area was not busy this afternoon.

Goofy was at the meet and greet location.


Time for the Viva Navidad! Street Party



The Red Car News Boys have added a couple Christmas songs to their show. Here is a video of the finale and then the News Boys driving down Buena Vista Street.


Next stop, Disneyland. In Town Square preparations for the Candlelight Ceremony are underway. This year the performances are December 7 & 8th only.


Went for a cruise on Holiday "it's a small world".



Caught a performance of Mickey and the Magical Map. They have made some tweaks to the show. The most obvious is Stitch is now part of the Hawaiian Roller Coaster segment.


Then for the finale Mickey has a new outfit since he is no longer an apprentice.

A video clip from the finale.

Santa Mickey at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Pluto

Santa Goofy.

Minnie in a holiday dress

Enjoyed a performance of Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies. Here is a video of a Hillbilly Guitar Lesson.

The Winter edition of the Buena Vista Bugle was hot off the presses Wednesday and hit news stands in the afternoon/evening.

A closer look at the paper.


Walked through Cars Land.

The Pacific Wharf Cafe has holiday treats.

And of course Turkey shaped sourdough bread

Spotted a light up Olaf on the way to Disneyland. ($15)

XBoxOne has taken over Disney Infinity in Innoventions, there were a handful of XBox 360s in the corner with Disney Infinity still.

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at the Tomorrowland Terrace and had a packed dance floor.

Caught a Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting moment on Main Street on my way to DCA.

Arrived a few minutes before Winter Dreams started and found a spot in the stand by area. I focused on the projections on Screamin.

Then I went and got in line to use my Fastpass for the second showing. The view this time was a little better.. this is from the Blue section.

Wish they had a rule you were not allowed to hold anything above your head... kids, iPads, cameras...


What are the odds.. a kid up on shoulders right in the center of my picture.

The wind was blowing a great direction and the snow flakes were floating over the show.

A couple were blown up by the water which was fun to see to (I did not get a good picture of that though).


A snowflake lifting off. This would have been a great shot if it the snow flake would have been rotated some..

Video of Winter Dreams finale from the premiere 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, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.




November 25, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13 - Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 22, 2013.

There was a steady drizzle as I arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure this afternoon.

Starbucks in Downtown Disney is moving along. Some new steel is visible around the entrance.

An Annual Passholder viewing of Winter Dreams tonight.

Even though it was raining off and on a decent crowd at the park.

Soarin' was a walk-on as I walked by.

They had two lines for Winter Dreams Fastpasses. On the left Annual Passholders for the 9pm show, on the right anyone else for the 10:15pm show.

After you received your Fastpass you were given an ornament.

The ornament featured Winter Dreams on one side.

And Frozen on the other. Wish it said 2013 too somewhere.

Today was radio day and they lined the parade route in front of the Little Mermaid.

Carthay Circle on this rainy afternoon.

Some new decorations this year line Hollywood Blvd.

The flags were at half staff. Not sure if it was still in memorial of Diane Disney Miller or if it was for the anniversary of JFK.


The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers



Chip & Dale on Buena Vista Street.

Over to Disneyland...Sleeping Beauty Castle, unobstructed.. the past few visits there have been stages set up in front blocking access

Fantasy Faire received some garland and wreaths for the season.


Oops.. hard to hold the camera steady and an umbrella.. but here are two cast members passing out Jingle Cruise posters near the exit to the attraction.

Jingle Cruise ride-through


A Tiki Souvenir Sipper available at the Dole Whip stand.


Heading into the Big Thunder Ranch area, near the BBQ area.


Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies - the Country Bears Join the finale.


Due to the weather Santa and Mrs. Claus were in the Cabin vs the Jamboree area.

A couple of clips of Olaf in action at the Frozen Meet and Greet in Fantasyland.

Dumbo has re-opened - it was operational last week I just did not make it over to get any pictures. Looks like just some general paintings, cleaning. Hard to tell with the rain though.

The Mad Tea Party is closed due to the rain.

Back to DCA, Elias & Co window.

Time for the Tree Lighting. The citizens, bell ringers, and characters all assemble at the tree.

Video of the tree lighting.


Oops the lower portion of the tree on the Pier was not lit fully.


Time for the Street Party at Viva Navidad!




Video of the Street Party from last week in case you missed it.

Santa and his reindeer on Hollywood Blvd.

The Mad T Party Band Performing.



A video clip from the holiday finale to the 6pm set - the T Party Band's version of "Sleigh Ride".

Another look at some of the new decorations on Hollywood Blvd this year.


I had a little under an hour before the Wintertime Enchantement Castle Lighting so decided to do a very quick tour of the hotels.. The Grand Californian Hotel lobby decorations are up.


Next up the Paradise Pier Hotel

The Frontier Tower of the Disneyland Hotel


Tangaroa Terrace

A Marine Corps Ball going on in the main ballroom.

I could not remember (and have not looked it up yet) but are these lights hanging down new this year?

As you enter the Fantasy Tower Lobby there is a gingerbread Sleeping Beauty Castle

Olaf's Ice Rink in the Winter Village at Downtown Disney

A quick look at the shops at the rink. I did not have time to go in and get closer pictures this trip.


Back to Disneyland in time for the Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting of Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle

Video of the event.. these happen 2-3 times a night leading up to the snow fall. Usually around 7:30 and 8:30 and I think there is one in the 5:15 or 5:30 time frame.


Back to DCA...The tree in the Elysian Arcade opposite the Kingswell Camera Shop area

A holiday special at Clarabelle's


Carthay Circle this evening.

There is a new game to entertain you while waiting for World of Color.

You log onto the free wi-fi network and reach the website to play. The game is like Simon Says.. you watch the wheel then mimic the pattern on your device. The winner is based on accuracy and time and you get to control the lights on the wheel for a few moments then. The user interface to play.

Video of the game in action.

The 5 minute announcement for World of Color - Winter Dreams.

Show time. Note the Honor Choir is technically a preshow so it started about 3 minutes to the top of the hour.

The show reached this section of Glow, near the end, and the sound cut and video froze, they restarted after about ten minutes and the show froze in the same spot then they cancelled it.



Here is video clip from last week of Glow (for more pictures & video check out my site or Jeanine's posting here on Allears).


Since there were no fireworks (due to weather) they ran another Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting segment then the White Christmas snowfall

Here is a video from 2011 of what happens if you are curious.


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.




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.

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


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

The Buena Vista Street tree.

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


The Animation Building lobby is still closed.

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

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

The Flyers are still being worked on.

The entrance to Fliks


Some holiday merchandise in Cars Land.

Waiting for the lights to come on.

Time for the lights to come on.

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.

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


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

Passed through Cars Land again.


The blue cones are back again this season.

Santa Mater making his way to the Cozy Cone

The Wharf lights

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

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


Paradise Garden will be celebrating Viva Navidad this holiday season.

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

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta also has special offerings.

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.

And they took the time to make them blend in.

Some Holiday shirts at Sideshow Shirts

Back from its renovation.

Stopped by Sarges

And Flos

Missed Santa again.

Walked through Elias and Company.



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.




October 20, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/18/13

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

We start off on Main Street USA today. The Penny Arcade and Candy Palace renovation work is ongoing.

Inside the windows/doors are covered.

Some of the Halloween treats.

Christmas preparations are underway around both parks. The lights are up in the trees around the hub.

The fall protection wall work on the left side of the Castle is complete.

Tiana greeting guests on the way into Fantasy Faire

A railing has been added on top of the new wall on the trail between Frontierland and Fatntasy Faire. I was disappointed to see the seating/ledge is gone. So it means no place to sit and relax anymore.

Cast Members by the exit of Pirates to issue return times to guests as part of the new Disability Access Service Card (DAS) system. (Please see AllEars' Special Needs Overview page for additional information.)

The Court of Angels is walled off as work is underway to convert it for Club 33 use. Another part of Disneyland is now off limits to regular guests.

The L'Ornament Magique is also closed and will be the new Club entrance from what I have read.

Some renovation work further down the street.

A Limited Time Magic Cookie option at several New Orleans Square locations, including Mint Julep Bar and the snack cart near Haunted Mansion.

A podium near the entrance to the Haunted Mansion to request a DAS return time and ask questions.

The Hungry Bear has a holiday special going on.

Another Guest Relations DAS kiosk near the Harbor Galley.

Jack was out for pictures near the Rivers of America.

Next stop the Halloween Carnival.

Pluto playing the ring toss/hat toss game.

Some of the latest pumpkin creations/artwork.




The new castle walls/fall protection projects look to be done.

A new turret on the roof.


A new turret.

The carrousel is completely under wraps now as the work continues. It is scheduled to return to service in early November.

Random Toad Hall pictures as I walked by.

Another Guest Relations podium, this time in Fantasyland.

The Mad Tea Party is closed for renovation.


The facade for Small World is receiving its holiday lights. It will be closing soon for the annual transformation.


Some work on the monorail beamway, they are adding the overhang under the track. Interesting since this is over the old motorboat area and is not guest accessible.

The Monorail is still operating during the project.


Another new DAS kiosk, this one in Tomorrowland. The pin trading tables that were in the area are now gone.

Christmas has arrived. As you exit the park two of the racks are full of Christmas items now.

Over to DCA. The Fall/Halloween Buena Vista Bugle is on News Stands.

They are renovating the main lobby of the Animation Building, so it is blocked off. The Animation Academy and Turtle talk are still accessible from side doors.

Flik's Flyers are behind walls for some work.

Christmas ornaments at the entrance to Flik's Fun Fair

At the Cozy Cone they were setting up a Pop Up Tune Up for a quick pit stop for Lightning.



Along Route 66 the second set of poles for the Christmas decorations have been installed (on the left in this picture).


Bayside Brews is the site of a current Oktoberfest Limited Time Magic Promotion. They offer bratwurst sausage, a Bavarian pretzel and gingerbread bundt cake. In addition to the regular beer selections, Karl Strauss Oktoberfest and Hofbrau Munchen beer are also available.

And some light decorations/signage.

Continuing on, the Maliboomer Park area has a new Meet and Greet. Here Woody is heading off, but working the line on his way by.

Jessie was out for photos at the new location.

Another new guest relations podium.

Walls up around the Paradise Pier meet and greet. Guessing they are preparing it for the Christmas overlay

Caught some of the Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airlines show since it is slated to end its run soon.

Back to Disneyland and the Halloween Carnival.

Heimlich is completed now.

Billy Hill and the Haunted Hillbillies.

A special Disneyland verse to I Have Been Everywhere.

Since it was Friday there were preparations for the Mickey's Halloween Party that night. The Columbia is a backdrop for a photo op during the Halloween parties.

Setting up a trick or treat trail along the Rivers of America

Some random Haunted Mansion Holiday pictures.. the line was posted at 45 minutes.

Just after 6:30pm there was a brief lighting moment for the Mansion. It takes places every night about dusk.

Another photo backdrop for the party, this one in New Orleans Square.

The trail looks just about ready for guests.

I made another pass through the Big Thunder trail area.

Villains out on Main Street for the party.

The park closed to non-Halloween party guests at 7:00. Since I was not attending the party I made my way over to DCA (along with a large number of other guests).

Christmas lights and Santa Flik at the entrance to the Fun Fair, plus a fuzzy full moon.

Passed through the Mad T Party

They ended the set with This is Halloween.

Here is a video from a few weeks ago if you missed it.

The park was crowded thanks to Disneyland closing early. The Little Mermaid was using its extended queue.

The new Meet and Greet location on the Pier. The characters are long gone, but it is lit up and available for pictures.

A closer look at the center one.. notice Slinky Dog on one coaster and the little Green Aliens on the other (behind Rex).

After this I circled the Pier, caught the opening of World of Color and then walked by the Mad T Party before heading for home.


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.




October 8, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/05/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, October 5, 2013.

As part of Limited Time Magic Downtown Disney is hosting a chalk art festival this weekend. I had intended to visit later and got sidetracked. So not many pictures.. but here is a sample.



Work on the Downtown Disney Starbucks is moving along.

First stop today, DCA. The view from a very windy Fun Wheel this morning looking toward Disneyland.

A backdrop for a meet and greet in the Maliboomer Park area, looks to be for Toy Story characters, it matches the Midway Mania facade down the boardwalk.

The Pacific Wharf facade work looks to be complete.

The Blue Sky Cellar is closed now as they prepare a new exhibit. The Fantasy Faire banners are gone.

Several weeks ago the Carthay Circle Restaurant started a new tour. This tour happens daily at 10:30am and is free. I was finally in the park in the morning and made a point to give it a try today. You do not need to sign up, just hang around the sign around 10:30 and a cast member will greet you and start the tour.

Our host for the tour. Our group as about 10 guests. We started in the lobby with a history of the Carthay and description of some of the pictures on the wall.

I am going to skip the details.. since I was taking pictures and not notes or video.. We then went into the main lounge.

(Laura says: I also took this tour recently, so I'll fill in some of the details. The tour is advertised as 15 minutes, but with larger groups and/or more questions it might take longer - mine was 30 minutes but there were also almost 20 people.)

This painting is a replica of the curtain from the original Carthay Circle Theater.

Laura: The original curtain still exists, but is too large (and fragile) to display.

A look around the main dining room.


Look closely at the table.. notice anything?

Can you make out what the wood has in it... a hidden Evil Queen from Snow White

Laura: All of the outside corner tables in the main dining room have that design embedded.

This large table is in a private dining room off the main one, you can reserve it for your party, there is a min. fee to use the room.

Laura: It's called the Premier Room. The table will seat up to 12 people There are two smaller private rooms with tables for 4-6: The Hollywood Room and The Buena Vista Room.

The table has a fun hidden tribute.. the base is inspired by Snow White's wishing well. (Yes, I had to go down on the floor for the picture.. you know you would have too).

One last look at the main dining room on the way out.

Walked through Elias & Co.. they now have signs up between the rooms telling you what merchandise is in it.

Also signs for Big Top Toys.

Next stop Disneyland.. Main Street USA
Spent a few minutes checking out the newly opened Market House. It now features Starbucks coffee. The main room is mostly a queue with a large counter in the back.

Some of the old props remain, such as the party line phones.

The old Disneyana store is now the Book Rest, and it contains a handful of tables.

The old stove found a place in the new store too.

There is no door to the Book Rest from Main Street you have to go through the Market House...but the windows give a nice view of Main Street.

A look at some of the bakery options


Facade work on Main Street and due to the high winds the tarps are down so you can see the work.

The Halloween Popcorn bucket selection this year includes Mickey as the Hat Box Ghost.

Looking back down Main Street USA.

The work on Snow White's Grotto is complete.

The walls are down on the walkway from the Fantay Faire to Frontierland, but barriers still up. Looks like the wall was redone.


Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Halloween Carnival. Pirates League was not open this afternoon.

A look at some of the pumpkin creations at the Halloween Carnival. Seems like a lot more use of color than we've seen in previous years.



Donald playing follow the leader with a group of kids.

In Fantasyland the Carrousel work continues, but the tarps were down due to the wind.


The Court of Angels is still open, though.


The Haunted Mansion

Continuing the celebration of its 13th season.. each scene now has something to do with 13..

For example 13 dog bones.

13 Candles

The 13 doors on the advent calendar. Each week they are opening one. So far 3 are open.

In the graveyard 13 snowflakes scattered around.



For the final scene the question mark has been replaced with a 13.

Cut through the shops.. some Halloween Treats.

Time for the Flag Retreat. The Dapper Dans in their Halloween finest.


Captain EO is still running.


Thor is moving into Innoventions.


Stopped by the Royal Swing Big Band Ball at Fantasy Faire for a set. Swing dancing returned early in the summer to the former Plaza Gardens stage. It is now branded at the Royal Swing Big Band Ball but the concept is the same. On most Saturday nights the theater floor is cleared and a band brought in to play for those who want to dance or those who just enjoy the festivities.

Tonight Swingtown was performing.

Some chalk art on the way out.


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.




September 18, 2013

Disneyland Unleashes the Villains - 9/13/13

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One of this year's Limited Time Magic offerings has been on the calendar for a long time - the September Friday the 13th Unleash the Villains event. Though until the week before there weren't any details on what was going to be included.

Out here on the west coast the event was held at Disneyland, where it coincided with the opening of the yearly Halloween Time celebration. Jason and I have more on Halloween Time in a previous blog - this one will be on the Villains event, with photos and comments from Jason, Jeanine, and me.

Most of the Villains event took place from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., so there wasn't a lot going on during the day, except for watching some of the preparations. The event descriptions from the Times Guide:

Party Like a Villain - Take to the floor and dance beneath the stars with the Disney Villains - who have come out to celebrate Friday the 13th as only they can! Our DJ spins an amazing mix of music, and special meet and greet locations are available to pose for photos with your favorite Villains!
Main Street USA - Town Square 8:00 pm to 1:00 am

Unleash the Villains Dance Party - The "creepiest creeps" come out to play at our special New Orleans dance club - the Train Station in New Orleans Square! Each hour, a variety of the vilest Disney Villains make an ominous arrival into the party!
New Orleans Square Train Station 9:45 pm to 1:00 am

I was disappointed that there wasn't anything happening during the day, since I couldn't stay for the evening events.

There were some special menu items available for the day, in addition to extra menu items that have been added for Halloween Time. The French Market had these Fiery Meatloaf Sliders - Meatloaf with Tomato Jam and Apple Slaw served with Handmade Cajun Chips and Grapes. $12.49

There were also Spooky Kooky Gingerbread Cookies (gingerbread zombies) available at Harbour Galley, Royal Street Verandah and Mint Julep Bar (though I think these will be around for the Halloween season). I tried one, and it was very tasty.

There are other seasonal offerings, like pumpkin beignets, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, but I covered those in the Halloween Time blog.

In preparation for the evening events, the Disneyland Railroad closed at 5:00 p.m., since the Villains Dance Party was being held at the New Orleans Square Train Station. It was nice to see the Lilly Belle at the station.

At Town Square, the street was closed in front of the train station, so the second performance of the Soundsational Parade was re-routed and went straight up Main Street rather than around Town Square. We saw the parade of techs bringing out the dance floor, though. :-)

There was a queue for entry to the dance floor set up inside the turnstiles - no one in it at 5:00, though.

There was a special Villains Unleashed t-shirt for the event. Another Limited Time Magic offering is Villains headbands for Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Ursula and the Evil Queen (pictured below). (Thank you to Gary and Debbie for allowing me to model their purchases).

I wonder when Disney is ever going to learn...the t-shirt didn't go on sale until 6:00 pm and was only available in two locations: the Royal Courtyard at the exit to Pirates, and the Tower Gift Store in Disney California Adventure.

The line in Disneyland was huge, and stretched all the way back to Indiana Jones in Adventureland.

The line in DCA wasn't bad - it was contained within the gift shop, and there were also more registers available there so it moved faster.

But if you don't mind waiting for it, the t-shirts are available on-line for a limited time:
Disneyland T-shirt

Walt Disney World T-shirt

By 7:00, traffic in the area was getting to the gridlock state. :-( I left at 7:45 - the lines at the turnstiles to get into Disneyland were long, and from the parking garage all I could see were red taillights on all of the roads and ramps approaching the area.

Jason went back into Disneyland to experience some of the evening events, so I'm going to turn this over to him now.

 

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I returned to Disneyland around 7:15 or so. Town Square had a lot of guests. Some waiting for the dance floor, some for the character meet and greet, and some just lost or trying to get into or out of the park.

The dance floor ready to go.

The backdrop for the meet and greet.

Time for the Party Like a Villain dance party.

A video clip of the opening.


The dance floor was filled quickly by the waiting queue of guests.

There were dancers on hand too.


Looking behind me.. a good number of guests filled Town Square to see what was going on. But once they realized the characters were not dancing many left.

A video 360 of the scene.


A projection on the trees

A video from near the Mad Hatter


The mass of guests on Main Street.

The New Orleans Train Station was set up for the Unleash the Villains Dance Party that was to begin at 9:45pm It was about 9:15 when I walked by and they were still doing final setup.


They had another train pulled up to the other side. So you had an engine on one side and the Lilly Belle (tail end of a train) on the other.

At this point I decided to head for Main Street to watch Remember then head for home. I had an early wake up call on Saturday and planned to leave the parks by 10pm. On the way out the esplanade was packed. The lines to enter Disneyland stretched to the center where the compass is.


A little hard to see in this picture but Disneyland Drive was jammed on the left in this picture.

 

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Jeanine made it back to the Unleash the Villains Dance Party and shares a few photos.

The dance party was very crowded - there was a huge line to get onto the dance floor which had been placed on top of the train tracks.

At the front they had two stages for characters with Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters on one side and Frollo, Hades, and the Red Queen on the other.

By then the special food was sold out and it was too crowded to ride any of the attractions in the area.

On the whole, it seemed like a nice effort on their part, but if I started seeing tweets from people saying it was traffic-y next time, I don't know that I would go unless they were offering up something more in the way of special entertainment.



September 17, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/13/13 (Halloween Time)

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Laura Gilbreath and Jason of disneygeek.com visited the parks on Friday, September 13, the first day of this year's Halloween Time celebration.

This post takes a look at the decorations, the holiday attractions, the Halloween Carnival, and some of the food offerings. There is a separate blog featuring the Unleash the Villains event.

The Disneyland entrance featured the usual giant character pumpkins.

Main Street is always festive with colorful Halloween banners.

There are jack o'lanterns everywhere - those on the Mad Hatter even wear hats.

The giant Mickey pumpkin has returned to Town Square.

There is a holiday photo backdrop at the Character Meet and Greet near the Mad Hatter.


Laura says: Since it was the first day of Halloween Time and Unleash the Villains day I wore my "Sinister Cats" t-shirt, and got lots of compliments on it. But no one (including me) could name the pink cat pictured on the lower left side next to Lucifer. I've since done some research and think I know who it is...do any of you know?


Onto Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree which features the Halloween Carnival.


The Pirate's League is back this year for a limited time, but has been moved from its small quarters in New Orleans Square to a larger area in the Jamboree. The available packages are Jake and the Never Land Pirates, $29.95, and the First Mate or Empress, $34.95. On the first day it was not very busy, and there appeared to be more adult pirates than kids!


There are free carnival games for kids (and adults).

The Cast a Spell game.

The characters in their Halloween costumes were out wandering around interacting with guests rather than standing in designated meet and greet spots, though they were still posing for photos and signing autographs.

Chip keeping the peace at the merchandise cart with a gun he borrowed from the display.

In the Conjure a Villain tent was a villain meet and greet. The line for this experience was fairly long.

Laura says: I did this earlier in the day when I arrived, and it was about a 20-minute wait to go into the tent. They took groups of about 25 into the tent, where we said some magic words to conjure our villain - Captain Hook for us. Then we formed another line to meet him, so we had to wait again. I was disappointed in this, since there was only one villain, and twice the wait. But at least the tent was air-conditioned.

There's a craft area - sometimes the characters will sit down and color with the kids.

There are masks to color which can also be used in the Mask-arade, held almost every hour.



The pumpkin carvers have returned though they are in the Jamboree rather than next to the shack near the Ranch entrance. There weren't too many pumpkins since they had just started.


Olaf from Frozen.


The outdoor vending cart is pushed to the side since the carvers took their normal spot.

The menu.

Candy corn cotton candy. Can you say "sugar overload?"


The Haunted Hillbillies lead the Mask-arade, joined by some of the Disney characters and guests.

The area around the stage featured a variety of decorations.


A rope spider web.


The Billies performing the Devil Went Down to Georgia. They also did Ghost Riders in the Sky.


The scarecrows are back in the Scare-Dy-Crow Shack

The goats in the petting corral were dressed up.

A cast member with a cockatoo was near the entrance/exit to the ranch area. She (the bird) said hello to us.

Dia de Los Muertos displays in Zocalo park.


There are also a couple of stations where they do face-painting.

It's the 13th season for Haunted Mansion Holiday. They were not offering Fastpasses, so we waited in the 25-minute line, which filled the entire queue and spilled out into New Orleans Square.

Jack Skellington was nearby posing for pictures.

Celebrating 13 Frightfully Fun Seasons - and opening on Friday the 13 no less!


The most visible change this year is the stretching room. There is now a projection effect in place of the giant Jack head. Here is a video of it.. does not do it justice but will give you an idea.

Zero now makes an appearance in each of the portraits in the hall of portraits and flies from one to another.

In the ballroom, a large gingerbread house celebrates the 13th season by counting down to Halloween.


Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy has also returned for the season.

Laura rode this and says she didn't notice any differences on the ride, though the lighting in the launch bay seems different.

Around the two parks are a number of special Halloween treats. Harbour Galley featured this pumpkin cheesecake.

The Mint Julep Bar offers pumpkin beignets, pumpkin lattes, and zombie gingerbread cookies (the cookies are available in other locations around the park, also).

Laura says: I tried the beignets and the cookie. The beignets were not bad, though I prefer the gingerbread ones they have at Christmas. The cookie was good - soft and spicy.

The French Market was decorated with man-eating wreaths.


They are offering a Muffuletta sandwich for the season, served with handmade Cajun chips and fruit. $13.29


And a "coffin cake" dessert.


In Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure there are a variety of Halloween treats.

Laura says: Schmoozies and Pacific Wharf Cafe offer a pumpkin muffin. I tried this and it was very good - it even has roasted pumpkin seeds on the top.

Pacific Wharf Cafe has several other offerings, also, including a pumpkin-shaped loaf of sourdough bread and some desserts. This year Minnie is featured on the holiday demitasse cup.


In Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta there's an anti-vampire flatbread.

With chives or without...

They've added some Halloween touches to the decorations at the Mad T Party.

Laura says: Other than the T Party DCA doesn't show much Halloween "spirit". I miss Candy Corn Acres.



There's a variety of Halloween merchandise available in stores all over both parks.

Not Halloween related but something new that we experienced: At Soarin' Over California some of the Planes characters make appearances in the pre-flight video shown in the boarding area before the safety spiel. Here is a video of it to wrap up this update.

Hope you enjoyed this look at HalloweenTime at the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update Jason posted on his site, http://disneygeek.com




August 19, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/16/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 16, 2013, including the new Mara effect at Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, and the final performance of the 2013 Disneyland All-American College Band.

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort just after lunch and decided to walk to the parks from the Mickey and Friends parking garage.

I had not been this way in the daylight so here are a couple pictures of the expanded walkway near the gate on Magic Way for pedestrians.

I still think it is humorous they use the temporary signage vs the permanent sign that was installed. I cannot believe they have not replaced or fixed that sign yet.

Along the walkway saw several of these signs. Wonder if there was something going on or just a lot of lost guests recently?

The Waffle-inator we saw at the D23 Expo has moved to Downtown Disney for this weekend.

Due to this the valet parking area was closed. There was no real crowd this afternoon.


The Blink store has closed and walls are up. I believe this will be the recently announced Downtown Disney Starbucks location. Lets see if that can survive in the location. I think this space has had among the highest turnover.

Halloween is creeping up in the stores. Here is a display in World of Disney.

There was a 5-10 minute single rider wait so went for a spin on the Racers.


Thought this was odd.. temps were in the mid 80s and it was the middle of the afternoon and this stand in Bugs Land was closed.

No wait for Tower...guests were walking right in.

The All-American College Band wrapped up its summer run today. Here is a clip from their Backlot set.

The Rivers of America this afternoon.

Big Thunder is still moving along. I did not make it onto the Mark Twain this trip so no views over the walls.

Scaffolding lines the rooftops in Fantasyland as they work on hiding the safety railings.



I made my way out to the Ranch area.

The All-American College Band.

A clip from their set.

Happy Trails...

This past week Disneyland added a new effect to Indiana Jones.. they now have projections and a new voice in the first room where you encounter Mara...so I paid the temple a visit. Here is a picture from the queue.

A couple of clips of the changes.. first up a wide angle pass then a tighter shot that did not come out that well.

The food cart near the Tiki Room exit/Oasis entrance was not out today.

The College Band heading to the Castle for their 5:05pm set.

Since it was their last day they had some props for the Monsters Inc number.

This video is from earlier in the summer performing If I Didn't Have You from Monsters University.

I ate dinner along the Rivers of America since it was a pleasant evening. Here was the view from my table.

Time for the flag retreat in Town Square.

Walked around Toontown.

Soundsational making its way through Fantasyland.

Noticed this bobsled looks like it has a new undercarriage.

For comparison another one parked nearby.

Only two seagulls out today.

At Tomorrowland Terrace you can now get your Kids Power Pack in an R2D2 bucket (the popcorn buckets) for $5 more.

The regular meal is $5.99.

No real visible progress on the Market House/Starbucks project.

Mickey and Minnie strolling through Town Square on their way to take photos with guests.

Time for the All American College Band's finale set.

Since I enjoyed the set this time around... no new video but here is one of their opening if you missed it or were curious about the band. They open with their theme song: "Bubbles was a Cheerleader."

Meet the members of the band (this is a video clip from a previous visit).

Another previous video clip.. this is of their Michael Jackson Medley.

Ron brought their choreographer out to thank her.

Before the start of the last song the band swarmed Ron.

A video clip of the finale to their season and the end of their Earth, Wind, and Fire medley.

The Emporium has Halloween merchandise out.

Moving across the street to the Disney Showcase, it is all Halloween.



The Mad T Party was not crowded at all. No walkways or CMs out to keep traffic flowing since there was no need. The Mad T Party Band was performing when I walked by.


The Drink Me bar was not open this evening.

Mr. Potato Head was behind his curtain when I passed by Toy Story (which had a 40 minute wait).

Waiting for World of Color. Decided to watch from under the Silly Symphony Swings.

This is one of the best views of the fountains with minimal wait. But you unfortunately miss a lot of the show since you cannot see the projections and many of the effects do not look correct from this angle.

One last fire shot from the Pirates sequence to end this trip to the Disneyland Resort.


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.




July 15, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/12/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 12, 2013.

As you entered Disneyland today they were still passing out free Monsters University buttons.

A wall up around one of the windows on the Market house as the Starbucks conversion rolls along.

Mary Poppins and Bert with the Pearly band.

The Jolly Trolley has been removed from Toontown, hopefully for some touch-up work and not forever.

Saw a couple of these signs scattered around and a lot of groups of kids that looked like dancers. No initial indication of what it was, but I found out later on...

Waiting for Happy Hans and his son to start their set. Once they did I learned quickly the audio is not played out where I was.. I had to move near the Alice in Wonderland attraction and restrooms.

Happy Hans and his son Erik were performing this week as part of the Limited Time Magic Promotion. Here is the first of a handful of video clips.

Polka Time!

Time for some yodeling..

The finale featured "It's a small world."


Moving over to Frontierland a check in on Rainbow Ridge.

Headed over to Disney California Adventure next. The Red Car Trolley was not stopping at the front of the park.

The News Boys performing in Carthay Circle.

Yellow squares to lead you to Dancin' with Disney.

Inside still a light crowd.. so if you are looking for air conditioning, character interaction, and a place to let the kids run keep this in mind from 1-5pm daily.

Tower of Terror was a walk-on this afternoon.

Empty cartons on Flik's Flyers

The fountain at the Cozy Cone has returned to operation after what seems like several months of work.

A video clip of it in action.

The line was posted at 90 minutes for the Racers and the extended queue was not even set up
.

The truck/jeep that was parked out near GRR is now gone. Wonder if it is gone for good or just work? Seems like it should be gone for good given how they have modified the props.


In the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe on Buena Vista Street they now have some grab and go items in the coolers.

A salad.

A roast beef sandwich for $9.29. There's also a turkey sandwich for the same price.


The Lone Ranger Train has moved on.

Back to Disneyland - stopped by Disneyana.. a look in the vault.




The College Band performing at the Flag Retreat which was at 5pm instead of 6pm today.

The Billies were performing on the main stage at Woody's All American Roundup

Mickey came out as they were performing and he danced with this princess for a while since there was no real crowd around him.

A check of the Big Thunder paint progress.


The Dance the Magic group was doing a pre-parade performance before the 6:30pm Soundsational parade. This is the same group that does the large performances for the Christmas Parades and other events.

I was in Town Square then noticed the group kept on going...

A series of video clips of the Dance the Magic! performance.

I relocated to the hub for a better picture. I managed to beat the front of the group down the street.

They just kept on coming.. notice the bright green group in the back.


That green group is now at the end of the street and they still filled the rest of the street.

You can finally see the end (the rope in the background).

Disney had several cameras along the route too, here is one on a pole.

Sleeping Beauty Castle this afternoon.

Time for the 7:15pm All American College Band set.

Their finale is an Earth, Wind, and Fire medley. Here is a video from Friday.

Heading back to DCA.

Well guess all caps TODAY does not mean all day today.. the Red Car Trolley was stopping at the front of the park now.

Lone Ranger items in Big Top Toys.

Ornament Valley this evening.

Thought the shadow here looked interesting.

A couple pictures of Magical from Carthay Circle and Buena Vista Street.



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.




July 9, 2013

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Disneyana has moved into the former Gallery Location in the Bank of Main Street and the Gallery has moved next door to a portion of the Opera House Lobby. The Gallery now had an exhibit for the Tiki Room's 50th anniversary.


The Disney Gallery has moved next door into a small portion of the Opera House Lobby.




The Gallery Features an exhibit called Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms for the Tiki Room's 50th anniversary.


Now time to look at the display...first up the Stars of the Show.

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Next up Inside A Magical Garden

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

From Disneyland by Rolly Crump

From Disneyland by Rolly Crump

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

From Tokyo Disneyland by Larry Nikolai

From Tokyo Disneyland, artist unknown

From Tokyo Disneyland by Larry Nikolai

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

From Disneyland by John Hench

From Walt Disney World by Dorothea Redmond

From Walt Disney World by Dorothea Redmond

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

From Disneyland by Herb Ryman

The Barker Bird used to be out front of the attraction.

Moving over to Disneyana now. Display cases take up the center of the middle room.

A quick look around at some of the artwork.


The artist station is now in the back room.

Some of the artwork.

Tiki Room Anniversary merchandise.


Inside the vault.


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.




July 6, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

I started off my Holiday weekend at the Disneyland Resort. First stop DCA.

There is a new summer edition of the Buena Vista Bugle on newstands.

They no longer have Cast Members at each Fastpass machine for World of Color. You are on your own to put your ticket in and get your Fastpass. There was one CM nearby to answer questions.

The Lone Ranger Train is in the Transportation Plaza on the East side of the Esplanade

Disneyana has moved into the former Gallery Location in the Bank of Main Street.

The Disney Gallery has moved next door into a small portion of the Opera House Lobby. I will take an extended look around both in a separate posting in a few days.

In Town Square a photo location has been set up for Independence Week, part of the Limited Time Magic Promotion

The horses are celebrating the 4th too.

Woody was just wrapping up his show as I arrived in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Time for the Billies

You can assemble hats to celebrate at the Roundup.

Next stop the Golden Horseshoe. They had stacks of the Frontierland Express on the counter, this one page publication is an ad for the Lone Ranger.

A check on Rainbow Ridge

The facades look just about complete.




Lone Ranger merchandise in Frontierland.

This hat is $30 if you were curious.

Made it over to the Big Thunder Jamboree a few minutes into the 3:25pm set of the College Band.

A video clip of the Band performing on the Sunny Side of the Street featuring the trombone section.



Chip and Dale roaming around.

Next up a visit to the Disney Gallery, which is now housed in the lobby of the Opera House, where the Disneyland Story/Models were. (A more detailed look in a future blog post)

A sample of the art work on the wall.



The Barker Bird used to be out front of the attraction.

The artist station is now in the back room in what is now called the Disneyana store.



Some of the Tiki Room merchandise that is available.



Refreshment Corner had a new menu item for Independence Week. It is a pulled pork hot dog with slaw for $7.79 (thought it should have been $7.76 to be more patriotic).

As did Plaza Inn

The College Band arriving for their 5:05 set

I had not noticed before but there is no longer a drinking fountain on the west side of the train station. Guessing it was removed during the last rehab.

The College Band arriving for the nightly Flag Retreat

The Dapper Dans sporting their Red, White, and Blue costumes for the 4th.

A couple of clips from the Flag Retreat.

Heading over to DCA for a quick walk through. No waits to hop between parks right now.

Award Wieners has Monsters University items.

Another temporary store has been set up on the corner, this time for Disney Junior.

This was something I had not seen.. adults and kids all over the rail along Cross Street, occasionally you see a kid. Why? Is it that hard to stand up or is the view that much better from a foot closer? And where are the cast members to get them back on the proper side of the rail?

For Independence Week Mickey is decked out in red, white and blue.


Time for the 7:15pm set of the All American College Band.

Meet the members of the 2013 All-American College Band.

Arrived on Route 66 in time to watch the neon come on for the evening.

The Wharf Cafe had bread to mark the holiday.. these appear to be liberty bells with 1776 on them.


Video of the Fourth of July preshow for the World of Color. It appeared to be the same as the last couple of years and due to the light breeze in our face meant we got smoke and some mist and not very good pictures.


This years show featured Glow with the Show but unfortunately only one set near me and they were on a child so I could not get pictures/video of the ears with the show going on.


Caught the first 10 minutes or so of World of Color before making my way to Disneyland.

Back to Main Street USA and the Independence Week photo location.

Video of the Disneys Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky, 2013 edition.



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.




June 22, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 21, 2013.

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort just after lunch. First stop DCA where final preparations are underway for the Lone Ranger Premiere which takes place Saturday evening. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by this. (For Saturday guests will be diverted to the walkway behind Soarin' to enter and exit the park).

There will be a red carpet stretching from the front of the park, down Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Blvd to the Hyperion where the stars will watch the premiere.

The Backlot will close at 2:00pm on Saturday..



A look behind the curtain.

Hollywood Blvd has the backdrops as well as some bleachers in between. Guessing those will be for fans.

A large steam train engine that was used in the Lone Ranger filming.


Everyone was commenting on the hidden Mickey inside the cab..

Dancin' with Disney returned last week to Stage 17 (between Muppets and Monsters, Inc.). This week I stopped inside to see what had changed from last year.

Inside a stage is in the center - some songs had a "featured character" who danced on the stage.


There were 8 characters out in this grouping.

It's a great opportunity for kids to get some one-on-one time with some of the characters, who are out on the dance floor with the guests. It's an air-conditioned space, with some padded benches around the perimeter - parents can sit and watch while their kids burn off some excess energy. There seemed to be more people enjoying it than last year, but it still wasn't crowded at all.

The second group I saw featured 7 characters.


The 2013 Disneyland All-American College Band started their summer performances on Thursday, so this was their second day in the park. At this point they perform their first set each day at the Backlot Stage in DCA. Here is a video of their opening number: The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis.


Aladdin has gone dark for as they prepare for the Lone Ranger Premiere inside. The signage on the facades has been swapped out for the Premiere.

Next stop Cars Land. They are still working on the Cozy Cone fountain.

Wow you can see some of Route 66 this afternoon! Thanks to the Pixar Play Parade going by and drawing some guests off the street.

Over to Disneyland. Stopped by the Disney Gallery on Main Street. They had some artwork to celebrate the Enchanted Tiki Room's 50th anniversary.

The back room of the Gallery is still closed and will be for another week from what I read. I hear they are adding some items from the old Disneyana store back there. The exhibit portion of the gallery will move to the Opera House Lobby next door.

The display case and bench that used to be in the center room of the gallery has moved to where the ticket display case in the Opera house lobby.

The Main Street Cone signage and menus are gone.. wonder if this location will be repurposed into something else soon?

It was very quiet in the Jamboree area. The Cast Members near the photo area out-numbered the guests. Cowboy Mickey was able to spend a lot of time with guests. This is another quiet place to go and hang out with some of the characters.

We arrived just in time to see a horse race!

No one coloring this afternoon.

But in only a few minutes the Band will bring the place to life. Their second set of the day is at the Jamboree.

The 2013 All-American College Band opened with a patriotic medley.



Strike up the band!

One more clip of the band performing.

Time for a voyage on the Mark Twain to check in on the work at Big Thunder Mountain. Rainbow Ridge looks just about done.

Plenty of scaffolding up around this rock work.

Ate at the Village Haus and noticed new ketchup packets... looks like they changed the type they are using in the parks now. It contains sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup.

Next up the All-American College Band in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (these kids really get around!)


To celebrate Monsters University the band performs a song from Monsters Inc - If I Didn't Have You

They close their set with the Disneyland Attraction Medley..

Since The Enchanted Tiki Room celebrates its 50th Anniversary Sunday we had to stop by to sing with the birdies...

Time for the nightly flag retreat which features the All-American College Band during the summer.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released 25 years ago, June 21, 1988... was going to give the attraction a spin to mark the occasion but the line was longer than the time I had.

The Matterhorn this afternoon.

Had to wait for a break in Soundsational so I could cross

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at Tomorrowland Terrace

Time for the All-American College Band's final performance of the day - Town Square set at 7:15.

The band opens with their theme song.. Bubbles was a Cheerleader.

This year the Michael Jackson Medley returns instead of Stevie Wonder.

On the way out of the park noticed these new signs on the turnstiles to help people know what to do to get their hand stamped. It really did not seem to speed things up at all.

Heading to DCA to close out my evening.

Stopped by Route 66 to watch the neon come to life. Notice the Full Moon.

Showtime... if you are in the park and have a moment near sunset I would recommend stopping by to watch the lights turn on it.. its a fun moment.

Stopped by the Mad T Party.

The Tweedles MC'ing at the House of Cards Stage

The Who R U act has been retired and a new aerial act has taken its place on the House of Cards Stage (I missed their name). Here is a video of the performance.

Pictures from the performance.. this act started last week but I missed it.



On the way out a few last pictures of the train.

The Carthay Circle with a the full moon


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.




June 18, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 14, 2013. It has been three weeks since my last visit to the Resort due to a trip to Alaska I was on. So here is a look at what was going on as summer gets underway as well as some of the ongoing projects.

The Disneyland Hotel has received a new sign at the entrance on Magic Way. Cast Members were still putting the finishing touches on the landscaping this afternoon.

In Downtown Disney there is an exhibit for the WiiU video game console.

Inside each cube you could try out the game.


While I was gone ticket prices increased. Parking also went up a dollar to $16 for a car.

Both parks received new guide map covers and ad pages. Here is a look at Disneyland's:

And DCA's:


Main Street USA is all red, white and blue.

Climbers have returned to the Matterhorn for the summer.

The Jamboree area has gone all American for the summer too with Woody's All-American Roundup.

The format of the area is much the same with some games, picture spots, coloring area, food, pins, and the stage.

The food carts have a nice stand around them.

The menu.

Some of the items for sale

Friday the stage was being used by the Billies and by a small show called Woodys Talent Roundup.

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies

Video of the Billies patriotic medley.

Cowboy Mickey and Minnie coming out for pictures, they changed with Goofy.

The Billies performing the Battle of New Orleans.

For the finale the Toy Story gang joins the Billies.

Shortly after the Billies there was a short character show called Woodys Talent Roundup. Since there were no signs or postings most of the audience had disappeared before it started.

A video clip from the Talent Roundup.


One of the photo backdrops.

The stage coach is also set up as a photo backdrop.

Out in the ranch area the goats are in the patriotic spirit too.

The Big Thunder project is moving along. Scaffolding is up on some of the mountain now.

Rainbow Ridge is moving along.

The hills of Toontown have a new ridge. They have hidden the safety rails that were put up on the roof recently.

The Orbitron has seen better days..


Today was Flag Day so I stopped for the nightly Flag Retreat.

In the Main Street Opera House Lobby the Disneyland Story section is behind curtains. Is a new exhibit coming or just some work on the current one?

The Disney Gallery is receiving a new exhibit.

The sun shades on the upper level of the Carthay appear to be completed.

At DCA, Dancing with Disney has returned to Hollywood Land, but closed at 5pm so I did not make it inside.

A safety chain has been added around the bikes at the Monsters U meet and greet since my last visit. I like the eyes on the poles.

The Cozy Cone Fountain is slowly coming back together but not operational yet.

Sarge's this afternoon.

The Racers turn one year old as does the rest of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. Hard to believe it's been a year already.

Out in the Pier the flowers were in bloom.

The 300th Army Band getting ready to perform. They were at Downtown Disney to celebrate the Army's birthday today (#238). They started over 30 minutes late though - so much for punctuality. I thought it was poor no one announced the new start time. First up was a jazz group.

Next up was a group called the Classics (I did not stay around for the third portion of the band).

Return to DCA. Noticed they had the side door of the Carthay Circle open. This leads to the check in counter and then to the lounge.

For Father's Day there is an Incredibles Limited Time Magic event going on. From 10am to 6pm you can have your picture taken in front of this backdrop.

Stopped by the Mad T Party for a while. There are new songs in the set for the summer.

Walked through Cars Land.

Found a spot for World of Color which turned three this past week.

I did not catch it till it was too late, but there is a new act at the Mad T Party.. an aerialist. Maybe next trip...


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




May 26, 2013

How I Spent My Monstrous Summer Day

How I Spent My Monstrous Summer Day
by Jason, Jeanine, and Laura

We thought we would collect up some of the photos we took and tweets we sent out during Disneyland's Monstrous Summer All-Nighter and share them here.

(We must give credit where credit is due, and tell you that Jeanine is the only one who made it through all 24 hours of the event. She should get something for that...a good night's sleep at the very least!)

Our day began well before 6:00 a.m., as we all made our way to the Esplanade to await park opening.

Early arrivals received these "monstrous" glasses.

We were (pleasantly) surprised that there weren't too many people, and it really wasn't crazy at all. Both Disneyland and DCA were going to be open for 24 hours, so people were lining up at the gates on both sides.

Mike and Sulley made a couple of announcements and then did a countdown - there were bursts of fireworks over both park entrances.

Inside Disneyland there was a gauntlet of characters and cast members waiting to greet guests as they entered the park.

Everyone received a button when they went through the turnstiles.

@disneygeekcom: A look at the Time Guide for today's Monstrous Summer All-Nighter page 1

There was special event merchandise (of course). We saw lots of people wearing the shirts.

Special mouse ears.

Hour 1: We went over to DCA. The news boys were handing out Buena Vista Bugles.

Each park had a photo-op sign with a clock on it.

Radiator Springs Racers wasn't open yet, but they were running cars on the track.

Hour 2: There's a Monsters University meet and greet in Hollywood Land - themed like a college dorm.

Hour 3: Cast members at the entrance to Cars Land had bags of the "Cars" buttons they distribute there, and were entertaining guests as they asked trivia questions (though everyone eventually was given a button whether they answered correctly or not).

@disneygeekcom:There was a free screening of Monsters University this morning at AMC in Downtown Disney

@Just Jeanine: Just saw Monsters University! Two thumbs way up!

While Jeanine and Jason were at the screening Laura wandered around the two parks.

Hour 5: Back at Paradise Gardens they are preparing for the OPA! celebration of Greece this weekend (most of the events will take place over in Disneyland).

There are new "monster-sized" 32 oz drink mugs ($7.79).

Many dining locations had special food items for the day. Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta featured this Mac&Cheese flatbread pizza.

There were also various treats at locations like Trolley Treats, the Candy Palace, and Pooh Corner.

The Monsters sign in Disneyland's Town Square at 11:40.

Hour 6: Disneyland was still not crowded - very short line for a meet and greet with Jessie.

Hour 7: Disneyland wait times. Kind of quiet for a Friday afternoon.

Hour 8: We all met up again to go to the Annual Passholder Preview of Mickey and the Magical Map - there were three that afternoon.

‏@disneygeekcom: Waiting for Mickey and the Magical Map annual passholder preview

Hour 9: At Plaza Inn the special food offering was Fried Chicken and Waffles - Mickey waffles!

Back over at DCA we used our Radiator Springs Racers fastpasses.

‏@disneygeekcom: Sulley out for pictures by his dorm

Hour 10: Lucky Fortune Cookery's Monstrous All-Nighter special was chicken and vegetable potstickers.

Hour 11: Time for the Pixar Play Parade. It now leads off with a Monsters University pep rally.

Sulley with the Fear Tech mascot - Archie the Scare Pig.

@JustJeanine: Hour 13 of #disney24 Genie: "Take your time Al--the park's open 24hrs."

Hour 14: @disneygeekcom: Main Street is nice and crowded now

‏@disneygeekcom: One last look at the #Disneyland wait board before heading out.

@JustJeanine: Hour 15 of #disney24 Crowded, but nothing a mint julep and Fantasmic! can't ameliorate.…

JustJeanine: Hour 17 of #disney24 Swing is back in style at the Carnation Garden Plaza.

@JustJeanine: Hour 19 of #disney24 Cartoons in Toontown! #justgothappier @ Mickey's Toontown

@JustJeanine: Hour #21 of #disney24 I'm not dead yet.

@JustJeanine: Hour 22 of #Disney24 Have the whole boat to myself.

@JustJeanine: Hour 23 of #disney24 Almost there... #justgothappier @ Peter Pan's Flight

@JustJeanine: Hour 24 of #disney24 All Good Things Must End... @ Sleeping Beauty Castle

@JustJeanine: Now's the time to say goodbye... #disney24 #justgothappier @ Disneyland Railroad, Main St. Station

And that's how we spent our Monstrous Summer Day.

The End.



May 21, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/17/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 17, 2013.

D23 Expo banners now line Disneyland Drive

The fountain at the Mickey and Friends Tram stop in Downtown Disney has fences around it.

First stop today, DCA, to pick up a wristband for the Limited Time Magic Annual Passholder event this afternoon. Animator Eric Goldberg will be featured in a "Master Class" of the Animation Academy.

After getting my wristband I then headed over to Disneyland. A look toward the Castle on Main Street USA

Walked through Innoventions, Iron Man Tech is still drawing a fair number of guests. We were held at the entrance for a couple of minutes as they were spacing people out before allowing you to enter the building.

A couple of ducks out for a stroll.

The new Fantasyland Theatre signage is up, only a week until the new show officially opens. Interesting the main sign is generic and not show specific.

Off to the side one for the upcoming show.

Troubadour Tavern has reopened.

The menu, the baked potatoes have not returned. (The updated menu on AllEars is HERE)

From the Mark Twain you can see Rainbow Ridge is moving along and looking great.

The paving/planter project in New Orleans Square continues, so the train station is not available.

On Main Street the porch area is being worked on and behind walls.

The painting project of the Market House/Disneyana facades looks to be wrapping up.

The door across the street still looks the same.

Over to the Hollywood Backlot in DCA. No visible progress on the Monsters University dorm overlay to this facade.


I made my way to the Animation building for the 4pm session with Eric Goldberg.

A brief introduction by a host.

Then Eric took the stage for his presentation and drawing lesson. Right after I took this picture a cast member came by and informed us that no photos were allowed. So I was then able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation. Unfortunately it means no pictures to share. The event was open to all Annual Passholders, you just had to visit the Animation Building during the day to get a wristband then return for the event at the time you received (they ran sessions at 3,4,5 and 6). Eric took the stage and gave a 25-minute or so presentation on some of his work showing some early tests and sharing stories about some of the characters he worked on. He discussed Abu, Iago, the Genie, Phil, and Louis. He also showed some tests he did for Wreck-It Ralph of Sour Ball and King Candy. After his presentation he conducted a very quick set of tutorials on how to draw Pinocchio and Phil for us (a later session did the Genie and Goofy/Pluto). They then selected a handful of guests to join him on stage and showcase their work. The entire session ran about 45 minutes. I would have enjoyed more stories instead of the drawing lesson, especially since I cannot draw and he was going so fast most could not really keep up.

Moving on to Cars Land. I saw/heard that they re-striped Route 66 again last week.

Thought maybe the plan was to better blend in the sides.

But it does not appear so...or if it was it does not look much better.

A couple small blooms and several look ready to pop in the cactus garden.


A fun stroller cruising through the parks.

At the bandstand outside Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta The Ellis Island Boys were performing (oops on the focus... grabbed the tree vs them).

Some of the 2013 Grad Merchandise.

For you Duffy Fans a look at the window/selection on the Pier.

At the Carthay Circle Restaurant both outdoor seating areas are closed. Looks like they are building a structure to cover the patios.

Back to Disneyland, Tomorrowland was a mass of people as usual on Friday night.


1st Anniversary Pins for Buena Vista Street and Cars Land were in the Little Green Men Store.

Out in Toontown the Goofy Water fountains have finally returned and the lights and sound effects were working. I think I first noticed the fountains gone back in October so it has been a long process.

Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Back to DCA. Grad Nite was starting to take over Cars Land with signs and barriers going up.

Tower was up to 90 minutes and a large number of guests in the area.

Random Monsters University merchandise in Elias and Co.

The lobby carpet in the Grand Californian has returned, the temp solid color carpet is gone.



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




May 17, 2013

Be Our Guest - Lunch

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his recent trip to Walt Disney World.

This was my first visit to the New Fantasyland portion of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. For lunch we tried the Be Our Guest restaurant with Deb Wills. Here are some pictures from this experience. For lunch Be Our Guest is a "Fast Casual" location. The menu pricing and choices are close to your regular counter service locations. You order via self serve kiosks, then the food is brought to your table for you.

Approaching the Be Our Guest restaurant. To the left is the check in area for dinner, the rest of the time a cast member is there to answer questions and provide you a preview of the menu if you ask.

Approaching the castle.

The front doors.

Off to the left there is a side door and this is on the wall.

Inside the entrance lobby.

To the left are the restrooms.

A quick peak inside the men's room..

To the right the hall of armor which leads to the room where you place your orders.

The screens in the middle display music in the morning and during dinner, during lunch time they highlight menu items.

In front of you is the Ballroom. I stopped by early in the morning and they had the lobby open so you could look into the room.

One of the beverage stations off to the side.

Turning around you can see the main doors that are closed and off to the right is where I entered from.

Looking out you can see Cinderella Castle in the distance. Also note no line! This was taken before 9am.

We returned for lunch around 11am.. the line filled the entire bridge. We waited about twenty minutes from entering the line till we were in the dining room. They had a relatively short lunch window of 10:30am till 2:30pm.

If you listen carefully you can hear the suits of armor snoring and making other sounds, here is a brief video clip as we passed by with the line.

A look at one of the menus that were on the center displays.

You make your way to the library where you order. Here is a picture of one of the kiosks.

The system is fairly intuitive and easy to use. Once you have ordered and paid you then head out to the dining room to find your seat.

You have three choices. The first room you encounter is the large Ballroom.

Off to the left is the West Wing, which is a smaller and darker room.

It features the enchanted rose.

The third room, which is to the right from the Ballroom is the Rose Gallery. The center piece here is a large music box. This is the room we ate in.

Ringing the room are several paintings featuring moments from the film.

The detail work around the room is great.

Be sure to look down too.

The view from my seat.

A quick video clip of the music box, unfortunately the camera picked up the background noise more than than the music.

Stopped by the soda fountain to pick up my beverage. Notice how even its details match.

Your meals are brought out to you by Cast Members on these carts. Now a look at our lunches...

Potato Leek Soup $4.49

French Onion Soup $4.99

Carved Turkey Sandwich - served on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise and Pomme Frites $10.99

Croque Monsieur - Grilled sandwich of carved ham, Gruyere cheese, and bechamel with Pommes Frites. $10.99

Quinoa Salad - with green beans, potatoes, olives, roasted bell peppers and tomatoes $9.99

Grilled Steak Sandwich - with garlic butter spread and pommes frites $11.99 (Note as of mid-May I read this item had been removed from the menu).

I ordered mine plain.

The desserts we ordered. Chocolate Cream Puff, Passion Fruit Cream Puff, and Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake $2.99 each.

The overall experience surpassed my expectations. I was not sure if waiting in the long line would be worth it for counter service fare. But the incredible detail of the restaurant, efficient experience - from the ordering process through food delivery - and decent food would put this on my list of places to visit again. Would I wait an hour in the Florida sun to dine there? No, but the 20-30 minute range I could probably handle again. We choose the Rose Gallery to eat in because it seemed to give us the best place to chat. The main ballroom seemed very busy and much louder as we walked through and the darkness of the West Wing was not going to work since we wanted to take pictures of the food. The Rose Gallery was a nice compromise and had plenty of seating when we arrived. It seemed most people were trying for the main Ballroom. We had a very leisurely lunch and at no time felt rushed to leave. I thought maybe to keep the line moving they would try to keep guests from lingering but that did not happen. Also depending on where you sit be prepared for foot traffic and photographs...a large number of guests were roaming around (just like me) looking at the three rooms and taking pictures so there was a fairly steady stream of flashes going off near the entrance areas and some minor traffic jams.

The Food: My meal was decent by quick service standards. I had the steak sandwich and thought I would try that again on a return visit. Unfortunately I am seeing reports now that the sandwich has been replaced and nothing else on the menu really worked for my plain preferences so not sure when my next meal there will be. The rest of our group who all had more open/normal eating habits found the food to be ok. They commented many of the items tasted salty to them but the consensus was they enjoyed them. I was surprised not to find at least one "comfort" item, especially on the kids side. I know they are trying to make the dining experience different but having something more traditional for those of us who enjoy a limited palate would be nice. A basic chicken dish or burger would be a welcome addition especially now that the steak sandwich is gone.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Walt Disney World Updates I posted on my site from all seven days, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.




May 12, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/10/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 10, 2013.

First stop today, Disneyland. Nice to see the Magical posters up right away this season, it returned last Friday for its summer run.

A new hot dog option at Refreshment Corner: Chicago Style. An all beef hot dog with sweet pickle relish, pepperoncini, tomatoes, red onions, chives, and a dill pickle spear. Served with a bag of chips. $7.19.

The skyline in Frontierland has returned to normal. The large crane is gone meaning the track installation is complete so now they should be moving on to the painting.




Rainbow Ridge continues to take shape.

The stage area at the front of Tom Sawyer Island is closed to guests during the day right now.


Still no signage for the Magical Map show at the Fantasyland Theater. There was a cast member positioned by the wall to answer questions since you could hear snippets of the show as they rehearse/tweak the sound system.


The painting project of the light towers in the Small World Mall appears to be complete.

Thought this was funny.. I was trying to take a picture of the control booth with the snow man in the window and somehow managed to time it perfectly to get a bobsled in the way!

Look who is controlling the Matterhorn. (Laura says: I think this is the Bumble from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)

The subs were sailing again today. (And Space Mountain has reopened too)

The Kodak signage has been removed from the Photo Supply Co. on Main Street.


The Opera House has reopened. No real changes to the lobby area. Thought maybe this display would be updated.

Thought this was poor. The Disneyland ticket collection that was on loan from Tony Baxter has been removed and nothing has taken its place. Seems they could have figured something out or taken the display case out or something.

Over to DCA.

The Kodak signage at Kingswell Camera Shop has been removed.

Plenty of signs telling you attractions will be closed prior to park closing. But no indication of what that means. I am assuming this is for the Grad Nite kickoff.

The Big Top Toys window has been tweaked. The cut outs have been replaced with real stuffed animals. Slightly better but still nowhere near as nice as the original window the Imagineers had.

The last couple of times I stopped by the Performing Arts showcase on the backlot they featured handbell groups. Are they becoming that widespread now?

A very brief clip of the Kyrene Middle School Scorpion Handbells from Tempe Arizona playing a song we all know..

Someone asked what they did with the truck since they put the Monsters University merchandise kiosk where it used to be...well they moved it up on the sidewalk and down a little.

In Radiator Springs the pavement project is complete. I read online the issue was the pavement was sinking a bit on the sides so here you can see the right side was built up.

Another shot, you can see the line on the left for what was changed.

A closer look.

The cactus were not in bloom, but several looked like they would be soon.

Some new bark in the planters between the Wharf and Cars Land.

Out on the Pier Instant Concert had just ended. This time Goofy stuck around for pictures. Thought this was a nice plus and always thought it was odd he would run off so quickly after the show.

The Condor Flats restrooms have reopened. No real interesting changes jumped out to me.

The Storytellers statue area had been behind some walls, guessing some spring cleaning/annual refurbishment.

The Cozy Cone fountain was drained.

GRR was closed this time by (earlier it was running).

Walked on to the Little Mermaid. Here at Disneyland they do not rotate toward Ursula at the end whereas WDW has a slight rotation.

A Glow with the Show Ears cart out on the Pier.


Went for a ride on Mater's. The new coating seems to be holding up so far in most spots. Thought it was funny that they needed a red out of service band on it.. with no trailer seems obvious it is not in use.

It's Tough to be a Bug is closed today.

In Hollywoodland one of the Backlot directional signs has been removed from the planters.


The Mad T Party was going on as I walked by.

A wide picture of the future Monsters University Dorm, which will be a Meet and Greet area.

A current Limited Time Magic offering allows Annual Passholders to view Magical and Fantasmic! from a reserved viewing area if they have Glow with the Show Ears. AP holders obtain a wristband at a check-in booth outside the Opera House.

Walls up for some pavement work near the New Orleans Square station.

Caught a little of Fantasmic. No Pinocchio puppets this evening.

No fire out of the dragon either.

Made it to Main Street with a couple minutes to spare to catch Magical. Unfortunately I bypassed the AP area so not sure how many people were there and was too far back to see their ears perform.

A clip from the show, with a couple of Glow Ears visible.

The new wheelchair accessible van stop was in use this evening as I was leaving.


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.




April 29, 2013

Play Testing A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas at Walt Disney World

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from Walt Disney World.

I had a great opportunity my last morning at Walt Disney World. The Imagineers were conducting a public "play test" of A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. This is a new interactive experience that will be opening in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom in the near future. The testing started earlier in the morning and I managed to make it there about 11:45am and was one of the last groups through, they shut down around noon. The adventure begins at the Enlistment Quarters, the old Crows Nest.

The only signs it was open for the play test was an open door.

On the other side a cast member was out to answer questions and he also gave the introduction to the game.

We were shown inside by the cast member and he explained what we were about to embark on.

He then issued us a talisman that would be our key to unlock the game.

We then could go to one of the three kiosks to start our adventure.

You put the talisman on the symbol and the video begins to play your first clue and it tells you which quest you will be embarking on.

There were five maps out. Since this was a play test they stressed what we were seeing may not be the final set of maps or content on the maps.

Our quest was the Guardian's Curse. Here is a look a the map.

The introduction text on the map.

The map. We were told to head for the compass first.

Before heading off a look around the room.

Overhead...

The wall behind you (assuming you are facing the kiosks).

Our first stop was the compass. This is located across from Pirates. When you put the talisman on the symbol the compass springs to life and points to where you will be heading next (there is narration too). We were directed across the plaza to the parrot for further instructions.

Approaching the parrot symbol, it is on the gun handle which is on the crate. The parrot itself is in the shadow on the left in this picture.

A video clip of the parrot in action.

Next up for us was the bulls-eye. This stop is located down near the Swiss Family Tree House.

A couple video clips of the cannon fire and treasure unveiling and our final clue.

Our final stop, the captain's hat. Located where the mini Jungle Cruise boats once sailed.

Video of the finale to our quest. After this played an Imagineer approached us, thanked us and asked for feedback.

They shut down the test at noon which was about the time we wrapped up our quest. So I did not have a chance to try any of the others or learn more. Here is a look at a couple of the other maps. Again note they stressed these are still works in progress.


Hope you enjoyed this look at a play test of the upcoming Pirates Adventure. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full updates I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.




April 16, 2013

Iron Man Tech presented by Stark Industries @ Disneyland Innoventions

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 12, 2013.

A new exhibit opened at Innoventions this weekend. Iron Man Tech presented by Stark Industries. This exhibit is being listed as part of the Limited Time Magic promotion. On Friday there was a Disneyland Annual Passholder Preview event where you were able to see the exhibit and then Tomorrowland remained open for two hours after park closing. To attend you just had to have a valid Disneyland Annual Passport and show up to get a wristband for the event. Distribution started at 1:00pm at Innoventions. I arrived a little after 1pm and the line wrapped around the first floor and stretched down the old entrance and out into Tomorrowland.

The line moved rather quickly as they had cast members scanning passes, then a second group putting wristbands on and then you walked by a table and were given an Iron Man 3 poster.

Here is the poster.

Innoventions has received some new banners for the Iron Man Tech.

The event started at 6:00pm. I arrived about quarter to 6:00 and the line was the longest line I can remember seeing for Innoventions. It filled the upper level, ramp, and down into Tomorrowland eventually.

The entrance to Innoventions received some Iron Man signage too.

The line stretched into Tomorrowland.

The line took about 45 minutes to get through. Once inside the former Honda/Segway area houses this exhibit. There are two parts, the first is Tony Stark's Hall of Armor featuring the Mark I through VII suits and the 42 suit.

The Mark I through VII suits.









The second area of the exhibit is the Suit Up experience where you can virtually try out an Iron Man Suit.

Some more props in the queue for the experience.

After working through the queue you are directed to one of two stations and are fitted with your suit and given a chance to test it out. Here is a video clip of a guest going through some of the experience.

A closer look at the screen during a test run.





After the experience you exit through a walkway lined with images from the film.





Hope you enjoyed this look at the Iron Man Tech presented by Stark Industries at Innoventions. 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.




April 10, 2013

Disneyland Resort - Buzz Price Window Dedication

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of the window dedication ceremony at Disneyland on April 9, 2013 honoring Harrison (Buzz) Price with a window on Main Street USA. One of his key contributions to the Walt Disney Company was doing the site survey and identifying the location where Disneyland sits today.

The ceremony started just past 9:00am as the park opened. The west (left) tunnel was blocked off for the ceremony. The window is located on the left side of City Hall.

The new window is covered and ready to be unveiled.

Jack Lindquist (former president of Disneyland, left), Marty Sklar (former Imagineer, sun glasses), and Tony Baxter (former Imagineer, back to us) were on hand for the dedication.


A full video of the ceremony.


The Dapper Dans of Disneyland kick off the Celebration.

Michael Colglazier, President of the Disneyland Resort.

Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Mickey Mouse arrives.

Michael does the honors with Mickey.

A closer look at the window. It reads:


Founded 1955
Price Is Right Land Company
Call on our numbers man for the best price
Harrison "Buzz" Price
Founder & Finder
We never say "No"
"Yes" makes more cents!

David Price, Buzz son, spoke on behalf of the family.

Mickey unveils a replica for the family to wrap up the ceremony.


Hope you enjoyed this special Disneyland event. For additional photos and details from this trip and others (including a full look at all the Windows on Main Street USA in the by request section) on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.




April 8, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 5, 2013.

The spring break season is wrapping up this weekend and the parks were fairly crowded but not insane. Upon entering the park spotted a new popcorn bucket offering, you can now purchase Dumbo buckets for $12. The two carts on Main Street and the one in the Small World Mall had them.


The Big Thunder project continues to roll along. You can see some holes cut into the mountain now.

Rainbow Ridge has really taken shape. The plywood is up.

Spring has arrived at the Big Thunder Ranch and Jamboree.

The Jamboree was quiet since it was between performances.

Some Rodeo Games are now out. Next week it will not be so peaceful out here since Long Lost Friends week will be using the Jamboree for character Meet and Greets as part of the Limited Time Magic Promotion.

The photo backdrop has been decked out for Spring too.

Cowboy Mickey was roaming around (as was Minnie). If you are looking for quiet character photos try stopping by the Ranch. More times than not it is not crowded and characters are roaming around looking for guest interaction.


Vending carts have encircled the old Kodak Information kiosk near Small World.

Walked back toward the hub by way of Tomorrowland, not much happening there, just guests everywhere. Here is a peaceful garden shot near the entrance.

Noticed there was no stroller parking set up along the hub. So guess Fantasy Faire is holding its own ok now. The wait at the Royal Hall was posted at 60 minutes.

Coke Corner/Refreshment Corner now has a new arch and sign (it says Corner Cafe on it).

One last look at Town Square and Main Street before heading over to DCA.

At DCA the Spring Issue of the Buena Vista Bugle is on news stands. Be sure to pick up a copy if you are in the park, its a fun read!

The Oz preview is gone from the Hollywood Backlot and the Muppets have returned to their theater.

Fastpasses gone for the day and 65 minute wait. The Spring Break crowds do enjoy Tower.

Out in Cars Land there is a Limited Time Magic offering, Cozy Cone Hats ($24.95) available at Sarge's Surplus.

If you really want to go crazy buy both hats and make a "Flying Tires" game out of it.



Had to share at least one picture of Ornament Valley this afternoon


DJ rolling out for a Dance Party.

Goofy walking out for an Instant Concert.

The swings have returned and the line was using the extended queue underneath.

Walked through the Grand Californian, noticed they still have the plain carpet. Wonder if the other carpet is ever coming back.

Spring break! Life guards in warm clothes... the temps topped out about 70 today with a breeze. It was cooler by this point of the afternoon. The pools themselves had a fair number of guests in them.

Out in Downtown Disney the work has wrapped up and a new, more permanent stage is set up near ESPN.

Downtown Disney had a lot of guests roaming around.

The window ads at the Grand Californian on the way to Downtown Disney have been updated recently. One is DVC, another D23, and then this one Carthay Circle/Napa Rose.


Walked through the World of Disney on my way back to the parks. Some Spring Break shirts.

Due to the later sunsets the Mad T Party kicks off in the daylight now.

Returned to Disneyland for Mickey's Soundsational Parade


Elvis, Scot Bruce, was performing at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Some scaffolding up on the exterior of the Alice in Wonderland building. Looked like facade work.

Buena Vista Street. The Carthay with Mickey in front.

The Mad T Party is more impressive at night. The lights make a big difference.

Tower of Terror was up to an 80-minute wait now.

Finally seeing Remember...Dreams Come True (been trying to see it since it returned in January but between cancellations, fog, and other distractions I have missed it till tonight). I made it to Main Street with only about a minute to spare, thanks to only four turnstiles being open to enter Disneyland.


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.




March 13, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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

First stop Disneyland. The Main Street station is still under wraps.

Minnie paused to wave to me.

Fantasy Faire opens Tuesday (March 12) and today there are Annual Passholder previews going on.

Walls are still up around the Mercantile shop.


The skies were threatening all afternoon but the rain held off until after 8pm.. then it was only a single cloud burst that lasted less than 20 minutes.

A look into the Faire. Looks peaceful this week.. this will not last long.


Moving on.. no real visible progress on Big Thunder from these vantage points.





The Mark Twain is moving toward completion.

Critter Country is quiet this afternoon.

At the Fantasyland Theater you can see a set piece for Mickey and the Magical Map

Small World has reopened with its traditional show.

No real wait for Roger Rabbit.. hard to believe that movie is 25 years old this year.

The playground at Goofys is being worked on.

The Goofy water is still off limits.

Moving back to the Small World Mall they are repainting the light poles.

The new color scheme.

The old

No signs of progress in the Starcade.

The archway is being replaced at Coke Corner.

Due to the weather the piano was moved inside.

Over to DCA now. Looks like the Hyperion bridge painting is done..

The second half of Mater's (closest the parade route) has been resurfaced and looks ready to reopen.

The single rider line was only about 15 minutes so went for a drive on the Racers. Notice the posted wait time.. 66...

The Silly Symphony Swings are slowly being put back together.

Grizzly River Run has reopened.


Still no spin on the final drop, so guessing that is never going to return. It has been years since I have seen it working.

No wait for Soarin' - you could walk right in.


The Packard has returned to Oswald's.


Back at Disneyland and time for my preview of the Fantasy Faire. Since Jeanine covered this in a blog entry for Allears the other day here are just a couple pictures from my first trip..


Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones are the leads in the Royal Theatre. I saw the Beauty and the Beast show.


After the show I finally spent some time exploring the Faire.. first up Figaro who was napping.

That blue bird would chirp and wake him up.



A video clip of Figaro.


The main courtyard.

Between shows in the theatre there is Jester Training in the main Courtyard. Here is a video clip of a session.

Clopins Music Box.

A video clip of the box in motion.





DJ was back in action this week.

The Wonderground Gallery had a Limited Time Magic display featuring some replica props and costumes from Oz.

Fossil has reopened.


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




February 25, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/22/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 22, 2013.

As I started out this week, the Dapper Dans of Disneyland were performing near the Firehouse. Next week as part of Limited Time Magic they will be doing "Boy Band" songs. Luckily this week it was still the classic set.

A video of the Dapper Dans performing their Disneyland attraction medley.

A look up Main Street USA.

The Disneyland Band was performing in Town Square.

The Disneyland Band performing a Lady and the Tramp medley


Decided to head over to DCA next, so didn't make it beyond Town Square on this first trip into Disneyland today.

On Buena Vista Street the car is still MIA near Oswalds.

The Hyperion Bridge is sporting another paint scheme this week.




A random picture of Ornament Valley as I walked through.


The Mariachi Divas performing in the Wharf area.



The Silly Symphony Swings are still down/apart.



The Ellis Island Boys performing in Paradise Gardens.



Goofy conducting an Instant Concert.




Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline celebrated its first anniversary last week.



Back over at Disneyland park, the Dapper Dans coming out for the nightly Flag Retreat.


Folding the flags.


Finally made it past Town Square and into Disneyland further! Walls up at Coke Corner. Wonder if the arch is coming back or are they taking out the footers?



Fantasy Faire looked just about complete. The walls should be coming down in the near future with the opening only a few weeks away now, March 12.



Clopin's Music Box is visible (except for a piece of paper over it.




The Big Thunder Ranch sign now has a sponsor sign on it.




Not much visible progress on Big Thunder from the walkways.


A couple new options at the Golden Horseshoe.

As is the Goofy Water in Toontown.


A couple of the light towers in the Small World Mall are under wraps for some work.



A sign up for the Annual Passholder extra hours going on this month at DCA on Thursdays.



Strolled through Downtown Disney listening to some of the entertainment. They were still working on the area where the stage usually is.

Ry Bradley performing on the temporary stage set up further back and toward Earl of Sandwich. He had a Hank Williams Medley of Jambalaya and Hey Good Lookin', which was fun to listen to.



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




February 24, 2013

Disneyland Limited Time Magic - Presidents Week

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of Disneyland's Presidents Week Limited Time Magic, featuring the Voices of Liberty.

This week, I stopped by the Main Street Opera House, where the Voices of Liberty were performing in honor of Presidents Day, as part of this week's Limited Time Magic.



The Voices of Liberty's special show for the week included presidential quotes, highlights and some different songs than their normal set.



The Voices of Liberty opening number God Bless the USA.


Another clip, This is My Country.


The Voices of Liberty Finale, Golden Dream.



This video is of the entire show (except for a few seconds in the middle where my camera paused).



On the way out, I saw one of the Limited Time Magic ear headbands in the Mad Hatter.



Later in the day, I stopped by the Opera House for one more concert from the Voices of Liberty.

Interesting note. They performed the same set, but several of them switched parts for the performance.




See more of my photo highlights from this week's visit to the Disneyland Resort later this week!

February 17, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/15/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 15, 2013. To kick off the President's Day weekend I spent Friday afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. It was one of those winter days where you are reminded how nice Southern California is, the temperature crept up to the low 80s and there was a pleasant breeze most of the day. The crowds at the parks were on the heavy side due to the holiday weekend and great weather.

True Love Week was in full swing around the Resort still as part of the Limited Time Magic campaign. This included the return of some Valentine decorations to Town Square.

As well as a photo meet and gree with Mickey and Minnie (who were alternating with Donald and Daisy) with a heart backdrop.


At the point in Town Square was a large heart to take pictures around. Thought it was fun a picture catching a glimpse of Dale through the crowd in the background...

The castle had some banners for True Love Week.

The Fantasy Faire project is racing along toward the announced opening date of March 12th. They were working well into the evening in the area.


The waits around the park were on the high side, 40 minutes for the Jungle Cruise this afternoon.

There are now signs up at all Fastpass distribution areas reminding you that you are to return during the window on the ticket. Cast members are starting to enforce the end time which is a new practice for Disneyland, WDW started doing this last year.

The Bayou Bash is over and New Orleans Square is back to normal.

The Billies have returned to the Golden Horseshoe and the menu has returned to normal too (minus the cheese sticks).

One of the Big Thunder Ranch residents was out near the Big Thunder entrance.

The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area had performing arts groups today. Plus a couple of Country Bears roaming around.

The Mad Tea Party has returned. Anyone ride yet? Did they change the resistance again?

For True Love Week Princes were escorting their Princesses at the Meet and Greet area along "small world" way. Here are several pictures of the royal couples.


Belle has a new gown now, check out my 2/1 update for pictures of the old one if you do not remember it.

Near by... Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters...

Some flowers and other props for True Love Week in Snow White's Grotto.


The Opera House was being turned into a Cinema for the evening for an Annual Passholder screening of Lady and the Tramp, because of these showings Great Moments ran its last show at 3:00pm.

To celebrate Presidents weekend I had to stop by and watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

There were a fair number of tourists in the showing I attended. The Cast Member doing the introduction to conclude his spiel said now reach below your seat to find your 3D glasses and more than half the audience bent over to look for them!

Made my way to DCA.

They announced an Annual Passholder Preview for the Oz sneak peek this evening. It was on the AP website and there were signs in the park.

The Hyperion Bridge paint scheme is continuing to evolve. Not sure where it is going...

Disney Junior is currently closed for an update.

Oz has taken over the Muppet theater. A photo op out front.

Walked by the Racers and noticed the Fastpass return line was backed up. Only a 90 minute standby wait.

The Lunar New Year menu was still available in the Pacific Wharf Cafe

I walked back to Cars Land to eat.. here was the view from my table.. a great vista to relax and eat.

The DCA Fastpass machines also received signs.

The Silly Symphony Swings are being worked on. The ride mechanism looks like it has been removed. I could not go on the Fun Wheel for pics unfortunately.


The refurbishment of Grizzly River Run is slowly moving along.

The cupcakes in the Cafe on Buena Vista Street.

A couple special offerings at Award Wieners for the Oz preview.


On the way into the screening they gave everyone bubbles. I heard there were buttons too but somehow missed those.

Time for the clip which ran about 8 minutes.

For True Love Week there was a brief (2 minute) castle projection/light show. Here is a video of the event. The castle lighting effects looked better in person but you can get a feel for it and the projections with this video.

Stills of the event.


Fantasmic returned this evening. I managed to find two sets of Glow Ears to stand behind and see how they interact with the show. As I looked around the audience I saw maybe a handful of them only.

Since the Mark Twain is out of service the characters all take to the stage for the finale.


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




February 7, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/01/13

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 1, 2013.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort just after lunch and opted to walk to the parks through Downtown Disney. Over at the Disneyland Hotel the walls that were around the end of the Fantasy Tower are all gone and the area cleaned up.

They are still working on the park area where the ice rink was.

Some work going on in Downtown Disney near ESPN Zone.

Looks like they are laying or replacing some piping/conduit maybe.

A temporary stage set up closer to where the ice rink was due to the work going on where the stage usually is.



No real visible progress on the Fossil store.

Waiting to get into Disneyland. The lines were moving rather slowly this afternoon and were backed up beyond the Monorail beam.

The waits around 1:35pm, not bad at all with the longest posted being 25 minutes only.

A quick look over at the Fantasy Faire as it races toward its announced opening date of March 12th. Laura recently had the opportunity to go behind the walls so check her posting for unobstructed pictures or you can visit my full update to see my regular assortment of pictures.

No real visible progress here.


This was the last weekend for the Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue as part of the Limited Time Magic. There were no tickets for later shows of the Revue but was able to walk right in on Standby for the 2:00pm show.

If you would like to see pictures and video be sure to check out my update from January 11th for an extensive look at the show.

This time around I just took a couple pictures and enjoyed the show.

One video clip of Miss Lilly talking about Walt and the history of the Golden Horseshoe then the Can Can!

Not much visible progress from this angle at Big Thunder.

The Cowboy Roundup was just concluding as I entered the Jamboree.

The Billies took the stage a few minutes later.

Moving on to New Orleans Square now. The Bayou Bash has a few more weekends left in its run.

The traditional jazz band making its way through New Orleans, I posted pictures and video in the January 18th update if you would like to see more.

They were working on the Mark Twain into the evening, you could hear the saws after dark as they redo the wood work.

Splash Mountain is down for its annual work.

Went for a cruise aboard the Columbia. Here is a look toward Big Thunder. They have a lot of equipment/tools out for the project. No signs of work going on this afternoon though.

Noticed a time lapse camera set up looking toward the mountain (just to the left of center frame here). Demo work has begun on Rainbow Ridge, in the background you can see the front is gone from one of the facades.



Two of the three Fantasmic light/fountain platforms are being worked on. This is the center one.

This is the one near the Tom Sawyer Island dock (the left most platform when looking at the stage).

Looking back.

Wait times are going up. This was at 3:42pm

Now over to Disney California Adventure. Both sides of Maters were running today.

The one side has a new surface now.

A patch of concrete has been replaced along the parade route.

Over at Fillmores beads have returned.

Flo's V8 Cafe was closed due to the work.

Lightning making his way through Radiator Springs.

Work continues on GRR as they replace more of the wood along the flume.


For World of Color they had you entering through the front side of the area today.

The bridge received some new logs too.

On my way back to Disneyland passed Chip and Dale.

In Fantasyland the Mad Tea Party is closed for some work.

I was this close to getting a great pictures with several princesses... just a few seconds too slow getting to the area..

I did get some individual pictures..

Small World is closed as the Holiday show is removed.

No real visible progress on the Fantasyland Theater either.

Sleeping Beauty Castle this evening.

Cafe Orleans is closed for some work, but still plenty of guests in the seating area.

Stopped to catch Soundsational in Town Square.


This evening there were three cast members watching the new concrete.

A look down Route 66 this evening.

Two of the three screens as you enter the Blue Sky Cellar had a short loop of Fantasy Faire work now, last visit they still had the old loops playing.

A look at the new loop (I know the quality is terrible... but you can get the drift of what is being shown, the quality is my fault not with the capture).

Wonder if this video will be altered with Tony Baxter leaving WDI.

These Never Tire benches looked new to me. There were three out by the Flying Tires viewing area.

Current movie posters in the seating area for Award Wieners.

Caught World of Color, was in the yellow section I think (there was no real crowd so the far side was open to all).

Just noticed (guessing it changed a while ago) the reserved sections instead of saying preferred or a color now say the dining location on them.

On the way out noticed they had encircled the tram parking area with large plastic barriers.

Guess they do not want guests walking through there anymore.


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




January 25, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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

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

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

The park side.

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

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

The Big Thunder Trail has re-opened.


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


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


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

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


Current food and beverage offerings.


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


The new Buena Vista Street Bugle is out.


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

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

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

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

A section that has not been torn down.

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


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

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

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

The Men's shoe features Mickey.

And the Women's Minnie


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

The Fossil store is being remodeled.

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

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

Last chance to see Small World Holiday this season.


Crossed paths with Soundsational as I headed to Tomorrowland.

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


Was able to just walk right onto the Haunted Mansion.

Madam Leota was not floating yet.

Back to DCA... the bridge at night.


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

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


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




January 19, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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

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

As well as the Downtown Disney banners.

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

The Main Street side of the train station.


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Mark Twain.

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

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

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

A notice about the Main Street station work.

A couple wreaths up still at the New Orleans station.

Some decorations are still up in New Orleans Square.

But other sections are back to normal.

No real visible work going on yet at Big Thunder.

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

The walkway/tunnel.

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

A closer look at the Fantasy Faire work.

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

The tea cup for photos has returned.

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

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

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


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

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

Chip out for a stroll in Town Square.

Now over to DCA for a quick tour.

Buena Vista Street has returned to normal.


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


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

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

The demonstration tire outside of Luigis is gone.


Heading out to the Pier.

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

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

GRR is closed for its annual work too.

Elias & Co has returned to its regular merchandise.

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

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

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

Woody was out for pictures near Big Thunder Mountain.


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



Video of the Can Can


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



Soundsational has returned.

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

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

A look down Route 66 this evening.


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

A video clip of what I mean...

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

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


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




January 6, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/4/13

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

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


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

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



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




The time schedule for the day.

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

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

To the right the pin cart.

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

The Three Caballeros posing for pictures.

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

The food carts received new signage for the celebration too.

The menu.

A look at the food.

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

Video of the Fiesta Street Party.

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

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

A look at the displays around the three kings.

The tables also received coverings for the event.

Heading over the far side now.

For coloring.


In between character sets the photo area empties quickly.

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


A clip of the group performing.


Moving on down the Big Thunder Trail.

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

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

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



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

Was walking by the Pier and saw Duffy out.

And Donald nearby.

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

The Carthay Circle this afternoon.

Santa has moved back to the North Pole.

Christmas merchandise remains in Elias & Co.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

A video clip of the group performing.


The Three Kings - Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

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

Here is the January hat that is available for purchase.

A Wintertime Enchantment moment taken looking down Main Street.


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

Walking back through Cars Land to get to the Pier.

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

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

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


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


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.




December 10, 2012

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from the parks on Candlelight Processional at Disneyland on Saturday, December 1, 2012.


Main Street is ready for the Candlelight season to begin. This year instead of only two nights there will be shows on twenty nights. It will be interesting to see how that works, since it is still being held at the Main Street Train Station. One change: The Christmas Fantasy Parade does not go around Town Square - it turns at the Christmas tree.




There are seats for the Candlelight Processional (for the opening weekend seats were for distributed as they normally have been to Club 33 members and community supporters as a thank you. But the other 18 nights the seats were made available to Annual Passholders via a lottery), but there is standing space available around Town Square and on Main Street on a first come, first serve basis for those who do not have tickets.

Spotted some Candlelight merchandise. Here are the sweatshirts and t-shirts.

As well as an ornament and mug.



Some photos from the standing area of the first Candlelight Ceremony of the season.

The guest narrator this evening was Dennis Haysbert (he was in The Unit as well as AllState Commercials). Unfortunately he did not look up that often while reading so all my pictures look like this more or less.

A couple video clips from the ceremony including some of the narration, What Child is This and Silent Night. Note this was shot freehand with my DSLR camera so the zooming and panning are nowhere near smooth!

The Voices of Liberty are part of the show this year, but the song selection and arrangements are still those that are traditional to Disneyland, and not the version from Epcot. (You can see both song lists HERE.)

Another clip from the show, this one with my small video camera, enjoy mostly for the audio because the video is not that good.

From where I was I could just barely see one of the trumpet players on the roof.

A closer look

Another video clip.

Silent Night

A video clip of the Silent Night segment.

A wide shot of the area during Silent Night.

As the show was wrapping up I made my way around to the City Hall side of the street.

Managed to get one nice shot showing where the trumpets are. The plan is next time I see the show to watch from this side.

Soon after the second show cast members were busy stacking the chairs from the Candlelight and clearing the street.

One last look at the Castle before heading out.

One side effect of the Candlelight running is the impact on the rest of the park schedule. For example on Saturday, the Christmas Fantasy Parade has to be over in time to set up so it runs at 1:00 and 3:30 (on days with a single run it is scheduled at 4:00pm). Also it pushes Believe back to its 9:30pm time slot and most of the Wintertime Enchantment (snow moments) are cancelled. This has a ripple effect and over at DCA World of Color is pushed to 9:00 and 10:15 and the Mad T Party to 7pm starts.

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.




November 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trips to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012.

The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started Friday. In this part we take a look at Disney California Adventure and how Buena Vista Street and Cars Land are celebrating their first Christmas season. Plus a check in around the park.


 

Buena Vista Street is all decked out for the holidays.



Pluto with his holiday gear on.

Made my way down to Cars Land next.

When you walk through Cars Land be sure to really look at the decorations... they are all car-inspired of course.

A snow car out front. "Seasons Speedings!"




Everything in Cars Land has been decorated.

Sarge's is a nice cross between Fourth of July and Christmas.

Thought all the air and oil filters on the garland were fun.

Santa Mater out for pictures.

Over on Buena Vista Street the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers are performing for the season.

Afterwards the group posed for a picture.


Returned to Cars Land to continue my look around. The Christmas trees in front of the shops reflect each owner.

Flo's, Notice how the oil can is connected to the pole. Great detail.

The courthouse is all decked as is Stanley.

Inside Ramone's, the doorway to the expanded portion of the store looks ready to go.

An oil can tree in front of Flo's.

A tree inside.

Bugs Land looks to be the same as the last several years with giant lights and ornaments.


This year Santa is a department store Santa, sitting in Elias and Co.


The night before Christmas is told with a series of scenes ringing the room.


The stores have a nice set of decorations that work, even decorations up above.



A closer look at the tree.

Los Feliz has a lot of garland inside.


The Men's room garland has no lights...

But the Women's room does...

Time to walk through the other side of the street now.


Trolley Treats features a lot of candy overhead.


A closer look at the candy garland in Trolley Treats.

Clarabelle's has ice cream garland of course.


Phineas and Ferb feature a Holiday overlay.

Paradise Gardens features the same decorations as last year (as did the Mermaid building).

Donald is out on the Pier for pictures this year since Santa is on Buena Vista Street.

Back to Buena Vista Street for the Tree Lighting.


There was no show this evening, just a simple count down and lighting. The Cast Members said the show will start mid next week it looks like.

Next up walked through Cars Land. They are playing Winter Wonderland as the lights come on.

They had some light issues this evening so not everything came on as planned and many were still not lit later in the evening.

A short clip as I caught the end of the lighting event.

Not all the lights were on. Notice the snow and winter sign.

There's a gingerbread display inside the Cozy Cones office.

Christmas lights on Buena Vista Street.



The windows of Elias & Co Window.


The Mad T Party has received some Holiday extras.

Here is a video of the opening.

The projections on Monsters now feature snow flakes and every now and then Santa flying by.

The Mad T Party band.


The first 2/3 of the set are their regular songs. Then the finale features the Unbirthday Song as well as a couple Christmas ones.


Video of the Christmas additions.

World of Color features the Prep and Landing preshow segment now. It appeared to be the same as last year, nothing different jumped out to me.

The Brave segment has remained in the show.


On Monday I made a second night time pass through Disney California Adventure, below are some pictures from this brief trip.

The garland was lit this evening at DCA (also noticed the flag was still up).

Inside the main lounge of the Carthay Circle restaurant is a gingerbread dwarfs cottage.

Some garland lines the room.

A look at the tree on the way out.

Next up a stroll through Cars Land. Snowy is out front to greet you.

Sarge's trees were on this evening.




The tree made out of oil cans at the entrance to Flo's has garland now (guess they are still putting finishing touches on since Friday).

Santa Stanley.






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.




November 16, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disneyland Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012.. The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started the Friday before. In this posting we take a look at Downtown Disney then into Disneyland to see the new Jingle Jangle Jamboree.

Earl of Sandwich has opened since my last visit and it was crowded.

The line stretched out the door.
The banners have gone back to the Cars Land ones. Guessing Christmas will go up next week.
One of the World of Disney Christmas windows.

In the evening I made a quick pass through Disneyland.
Main Street is only partially decorated, they still have some garland to go and some was not lit yet. The castle icicle lights were not on this evening either.
Small World Holiday is open. The line was longer than the time I had so no ride through this evening.
Toontown is decked out for the season (no cab yet)
The painting of the Goofy Gas station is done. The Christmas decorations are not up on it.
Most important the Goofy Water is not back yet either.
Still working near Minnies
Pirates League is long gone and the Christmas gift shop is back in the courtyard.
Caught the opening of Soundsational, the parade runs till Sunday then Monday Christmas Fantasy starts.

Mickey with his holiday sweater on.
Time for Believe in Holiday Magic.

 

Noticed they had not switched out the tram stop billboards to Christmas yet even though today was the official start.

Working on the tile on the third floor of the garage.

First stop today, Disneyland!

The Holiday park guides.

Thought this was bad show.. first thing you saw today was a closed pop corn cart.

A quick look around Town Square on this peaceful afternoon.




Donaly and Goofy out in Town Square.



Pluto with his star and hat for the season.

Mickey was near by too.

The garland has not been strung yet.. but the cables are up so probably by the time you read this it will be up.

Main Street transportation was in full swing this afternoon.

The castle is all decked out now.


A check of the Fantasy Faire progress.

The facades are really taking shape.

Not much visible progress on the theater.

Stopped by Toontown. Still no cab.

Some random shots from around Toontown.

No decorations on the Goofy Gas station yet.

Curious if they are done or if there is more to come.. for example the Powerhouse does not have its power inspired garland.

The Goofy Water fountains are back but still being finished up.

The Holiday popcorn bucket for this year.

Never know who you will end up walking behind when you roam around Disneyland.

Next stop the Jingle Jangle Jamboreer at the Big Thunder Ranch.

No turkeys this year... just a donkey out front.

Santa has moved from the cabin to the Jamboree so its nice and quiet inside.

While I was taking pictures had three different families come in and ask me where Santa was.

No reindeer this year either.. instead Christmas goats.

The Jamboree was alive with activity this afternoon.

To the left when you enter is an area for Reindeer Games.

Nice to see they re-used some of the decorations that used to line the reindeer area.


Pluto trying out the games.

In the center of the area was Mrs Claus Tasty Treats.

A look at some of the food.

And cookies to decorate too.

Santa is out in the far left corner as you enter. This is the queue for him.

Here he is...

The far side was set up for Holiday crafts.

Time for the Billies.

A video clip of the Orange Blossom Special Holiday Edition

They did a fun Beatles holiday tribute.

A video clip of the Beatles medley.

To close the show they did a sing along and the a couple of the Country Bears joined in.

Video of the Country Bears and sing a long.

A new popcorn bucket this year... Santa Mickey (last year was a snowman).

The Holiday cups are out (the napkins are still plain, wonder if that is a sign they will not be adding a design anytime soon, it has been a while now).


The Holiday Season officially kicked off with a lighting ceremony at Small World. Jeanine is posting a full recap of the event, but here is a quick video and a couple pictures.


The 1st Christmas Fantasy Parade of the season making its way toward Small World.

Nothing drastically different jumped out at me this year. So the next several pages are just some random pictures from the parade.






Caught the 6:30 Wintertime Enchantment (snow fall moment).

Then made my way to the castle for some pictures.


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.




October 29, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 26, 2012.

I walked to Downtown Disney to start my afternoon. The ice skating rink opened at Downtown Disney last week. There were only a couple of skaters out this afternoon. It was a little weird to hear Christmas music and have ice skating in the 80+ weather.

The ice was holding up ok given the conditions. Here's a closer look at the ice.

Next door Earl of Sandwich is ready to open. November 2nd is the date I have seen.




At the Paradise Pier Hotel it looks like the painting on the back side is done.

Around front looks like most of the painting is done except some on the top and bottom.

I crossed the street and cut through the Grand Californian.

Noticed the carpet had been removed. Guess they are replacing it. I had not heard of any problems (last time they did this was after the Christmas tree incident several years ago).

Wreck-It Ralph is featured as you walk into World of Disney.

More visible progress on the west side planter of the DCA entrance. You can see they are closing up the backstage wall (that was opened up for the temporary entrance during construction).

First stop for me, Disneyland. Today is a Halloween party so an early closing.

In an effort to cut down on the ticket renting problem that has been featured in some recent news stories Disney has guests with 4 & 5 day tickets using a separate set of turnstiles where they are checking IDs.

The scaffolding is down on Main Street (but the walls are still up).

Even though it's not even Halloween yet the annual snow fall has begun on Sleeping Beauty Castle.



Speaking of snow fall the snow machines have been installed along Main Street and around the hub.

Christmas has arrived in New Orleans Square too.


On my quick walk-through nothing new or drastically different jumped out at me.


Fastpass has returned to Haunted Mansion Holiday.

The Jack Skellington Meet and Greet has moved to the second terrace near the River now.

Made my way around to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Halloween Carnival to checked out the latest pumpkin creations.

Walked through Fantayland, Monstro is looking new again and his scaffolding is removed.

Small World is closed for its annual transformation to the holiday version.

Moving on to the old Fantasy Faire, looks like the control booth is being rebuilt.

The gas station in Toontown is being repainted. Guessing the tarps are down due to the wind.

The restrooms are still open during the work.

The work on Minnie's side yard is continuing.

Wreck-It Ralph has set up shop in the back of the Starcade.

Thought the wait time sign was great.

There are two backdrops set up.

Also a couple of Fix It Felix video games to play.

Vanellope von Schweetz was out when I stopped by.

Looking back you can see there was no line right now, sure this will change once word is out and the film is released.

More video games divide the store from the photo area.

Speaking of merchandise..

The Starcade really is a crazy mix of things right now. A random Christmas rack of items as you head to the arcade games.

Cinderella received a new dress recently.

A better view of the building taking shape for the Fantasy Faire.

Christmas lights are up in the hub.

Some work going on in Frontierland, the store is still open though.

Time for Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Circled back to Frontierland. A look at some of the Christmas merchandise.

Then back to Tomorrowland.

Both Vanellope von Schweetz and Ralph were out now.

Next stop Buena Vista Street. Preparations for the Christmas decorations are well underway. There are eye bolts showing up around the street.

Still working on the Carthay entrance.

This tree by Sarges that has been completely wrapped in lights.

A look to show the progress of the hotel painting.

Christmas merchandise is out on Buena Vista Street.

Noticed jackets now at Oswald's, did not see any hats anymore.

Back to Disneyland where guests were arriving for the Halloween Party.

Main Street was crowded with the party guests entering and day guests making their way out.


The best costumes I saw.. a Lego family.

Most of the Christmas lights were on this evening in New Orleans Square.

Hung out on Main Street for a while as the party started before it was time to go.

Earl of Sandwich had their lights on.

The ice rink.

There were more guests out his evening (maybe 10 whereas this afternoon there were 3).


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.




October 16, 2012

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Part I takes a look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park event. Part II will be a regular park update.

This year marked the 22nd year of the CHOC Walk in the Park. The walk is a 5K route that makes its way through both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. This year the walk raised over $1.8 million dollars to benefit CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County). There were over 16,000 participants who arrived before sunrise to take part in the event (the opening ceremony started at 6:40am). Since its inception the walk has raised more than $19 million. For the first time the course started off inside DCA then went to Disneyland and ended in Downtown Disney.

I arrived at the Mickey and Friends structure about 5:45am and everyone participating the CHOC Walk was taking a pre-walk walk to the park since there were no trams at this hour.



I made my way to DCA for the opening ceremony. There was a stage (float) set up in Carthay Circle.

A DJ was warming up the crowd that was filling Hollywood Blvd and Buena Vista Street.

Looking down Buena Vista Street.

Time for the opening Ceremony. Here is a video of it I shot (be warned it is not the best since I was shooting stills with the other hand).

Caroline Sunshine from the Disney Channel takes the stage to make some remarks.

The 2012 CHOC Walk Child Ambassador, 10-year-old Adela Jaurequi. She is joined by her mother Norma, father Jesus and little sister Olivia.

Goofy came on-stage for some pre-walk warmups.

The current Disneyland Ambassadors Renee Torrico and Jolie Hales along with the Disney Characters were next to come up to the stage.

George Kalogridis, Disneyland Resort President

Kim Cripe, CHOC Childrens President/CEO.

After a countdown it was time to walk. Fireworks are set off to mark the start.

The walkers begin and confetti is shot from near the starting archway.

Caroline Sunshine is joined by the two newly named Disneyland Resort Ambassadors Megan Navarette and Sachico White and the current/outgoing two for a photo.

The walkers were released in waves. Here is the next group coming up to the starting line. The walkers filled Hollywood Blvd. This year over 16,000 joined the walk.

They made their way down the parade route and turned onto Route 66.

Along the way there were cast members and characters out for photos and to cheer on the walkers.

The walkers filled Route 66 and turned right at Cross Street.

They then walked out toward the Wharf area.

The course then snaked back by Ghirardelli and to the parade route where it continued on toward the Pier.

I went back to the Blue Sky Cellar to get a shot of the walkers making their way down Route 66. There were large beach balls bouncing down the route too. (also notice the new telephone poles on the right hand side of the street, those are for the Christmas decorations going up in less than a month).

Rejoining the route near the Pier the Phineas and Ferb gang was out. The course turned and went by Ariel's, Screamin', Toy Story and around the Pier.

The World of Color Fountains were on, and the Fun Wheel, Swings, and Zephyr were all cycling too.

The walkers returning from their loop around the Pier, walking past Little Mermaid then turning to go around Grizzly River Run and into Condor Flats.

At that point they exited out the large gate between La Brea Bakery and the World of Disney and headed for the Esplanade and Disneyland.

The Green Army Men were out in the Esplanade. Here they are talking with some of the kids walking.

On Main Street the Cadaver Dans were out entertaining guests.

In front of the castle Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were out for pictures.

The course circled the hub and went into Tomorrowland. Some Jedi trainers out near Star Tours.

Fight On Buzz!! He was out near the Tomorrowland Terrace.

The course then went around the Matterhorn, through Fantasyland, and around the Big Thunder Trail. Here the walkers are making their way down to the Rivers of America.

Tiana and some of her friends were out for pictures in New Orleans Square.

The course continued on to Critter Country then out the backstage gate by Splash Mountain. Backstage there were several groups. This was a band that was performing and high-fiving people as they walked by.

The course continued backstage behind Splash, Haunted Mansion and Pirates. They were passing out water to the walkers here.

Along the way there were cast members with signs cheering on the walkers.

Also some signs to let walkers know what the various areas did that they were passing and some fun stats.

Thought this was great, these CMs up on lifts cheering everyone on. Would have liked to have gotten a picture from up there.

Another group performing along the route, they were great!

The walkers exited backstage and made their way through Downtown Disney.

The walkers nearest are heading toward the finish, in the background you can still see walkers exiting DCA and heading to Disneyland.

More supporters lining Downtown Disney cheering walkers on to the finish line.

The finish line! It featured all four Disneyland Ambassadors as well as the DJ announcing groups and congratulating those who finished.



After crossing the finish line there were several participant tables set up going out toward the Rain Forest Cafe and ESPN.

Also a band performing on the stage.

Banners hung for the event.

CHOCO the Bear (the CHOC mascot was on hand)

Everyone who participated in the walk received a T-shirt. Here is this year's design.


Hope you enjoyed this look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park. A regular Disneyland update will be posted soon. 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.








September 21, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 14, 2012. This entry features a look around the parks.

Some work going on in the Mickey and Friends Garage, maybe painting? This is looking up to the 5th and 6th levels from the 4th.

The walls for the planter at the right (west) side of the DCA entrance have been pushed out.

Magical ended its run last week and Remember starts this evening.

Main Street was quiet thanks to the over 100-degree weather. City Hall and the Firehouse are behind wraps for some work.

City Hall and the Restrooms are still accessible.

The Mad Hatter is closed for some work.


Some work by the Carnation Cafe entrance.

No visible progress on Coke Corner. I hope they replace the archway. It looks rather plain without it to me.

Indy is closed for several weeks of work.


Casey Jr. is being worked on (actually the entire area so the Storybook Land boats are also closed).


Monstro is under wraps too.


Benny was missing from Cartoon Spin.


The hills were being worked on.

No wait for the tea cups, and even some empty ones.

A quick check of the new Princess home shows they have scaffolding and wraps up so that must mean all the steel is in place and they are starting the facade work.

A rare midday on a Friday shot of wide open space at Disneyland. (temps were hitting 107 at the park according to some reports).

The tarp up in front of the firehouse.

A nice little maze to get to the mens room, you have to use the wheel chair ramp and there are walls all around you.

A better picture of the walls where they are now. No real visible progress yet.

If you have been following any of the DCA news recently you probably already heard about the Buena Vista Street window controversy. They have taken the incredible windows the Imagineers made and added random merchandise to them. I hear they are better now, but they still bothered me. Here is the baseball window.

And the other Five and Dime one.

A new edition of the Buena Vista Bugle is out, this is issue 4.



The Red Car had just pulled out and no one was there so went for a ride. Ended up having it to myself for the first leg from here to Carthay Circle.

Two of the three World of Color platforms were up for some work.

Walked through the Wharf and spotted this sign/promotion.

Headed into Cars Land.

Decided to give the Racers a try since single rider looked reasonable (which it was, only the first switchback was full). But as luck would have it, with only a couple guests in front of me it went down. They started to evacuate riders and I bailed at that point.


On the way out spotted them checking this car.


Pizza Port is under wraps for some work.


Scot Bruce/Elvis was at Tomorrowland Terrace.


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.




September 19, 2012

Disneyland Resort Halloween Time 2012 (9/14/12)

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 14, 2012.

Today marked the kickoff of HalloweenTime for the year, which runs through October 31. You'll find lots of HalloweenTime pictures here -- I'll have a separate post with a look around both parks a little later.


To start, here are the current HalloweenTime guidemaps and time guides.


New banners along Downtown Disney.


The pumpkin characters atop the entrance.



The usual Halloween decorations are up. I did not spot anything new.


Jack and Sally out by the Haunted Mansion FastPass area. New this year, no Fastpasses for the Mansion.


The Jack popcorn buckets are back.

Stopped by the Pirates League and it was quiet this afternoon.

A quick look around the store.


Since they were in between guests the crew let me take a couple pictures of the courtyard. There are four stations, two on this side (two on the other).

Overhead some props.

There is some Pirate treasure out and this is another photo area.

The Halloween tree has returned to Frontierland.


The Zocalo Park is again celebrating Dia De Los Muertos.





Out at the ranch the Halloween Round up was going on. The shack was about the same. The pumpkin carvers were moved to the Jamboree this year.

The goats are into the holiday spirit.


Moving to the Jamboree area, the Carnival has come to town.

Thought this was a clever use of cotton candy.

The Halloween Vittles that were for sale.

Only a few carvings have been done since today was the first day.


In the back corner there are a couple of games you can play.

I gave the fortune a spin...

Was given a card (and a brief story too)

Inside the tent was the Astounding Cauldron of Magic - Conjuring Villains, Just for Fun! Waited about 10 minutes to enter the tent. Captain Hook was on duty for my stop.

There was a PhotoPass photographer on hand to take your picture if you wished.

The line for the tent.


No shortage of choices for what you want your popcorn in around the Disneyland Resort (these three, the coffin, then over at Cars Land the car as well as cone box I think in Tomorrowland they still had R2D2, too).

Back at the Jamboree. A better picture of the carving area, it is the focal point when you first walk in.

Mickey was out for pictures.

The initial reports were the characters with their Halloween costumes would only be at the Jamboree this year. Then later some had backed off that so not sure the final stance.

If I were betting I would say when the Jamboree is open they will be there then in the evening once it closes they will be on Main Street.

Pluto was also out.

Since Mickey did not have a line he went over to spin the wheel and play around a bit.

Donald was next out of the gate.

The Billies made there way around the arena leading Mickeys Mask Parade which seemed a bit unorganized to me.

And the characters paraded around a little (Donald and Goofy were out at this time).


The Billies did their Haunted Hillbilly show, which featured the Devil Went Down to Georgia



A video of the Billies and parade.

A better picture of the coloring area.

Minnie was out after the show.

Mickey joined her for a couple pictures.

Frankenweenie has invaded the backlot including an exhibition in the Animation Building, sneak peek in the Muppet Theater and food at Award Wieners. Jeanine has a posting on it here

Back to Disneyland. Ghost Galaxy has returned.


Went to visit the Mansion, posted wait time was 50 minutes, but actually was just under 30. Sparky's grave.

Some random shots from inside, no real changes jumped out to me except the new gingerbread house in the ballroom.


The new house is very tall and hard to capture a decent photo of on a first pass by...



Back to Main Street to wait for Remember.



On the way out I was able to see the tram stop billboards




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.




September 5, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/31/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 31, 2012.

This weekend the Disneyland Resort is hosting its annual 1/2 Marathon. Preparations were well underway for Sunday.



The finish line as you head to Downtown Disney.

Today there was a health and fitness expo at the Disneyland Hotel convention center.


I had not seen these banners before. I like the retro look.

Walked through the Expo.

All day today and Saturday there were speakers on the main stage.

The Expo was set up the same as the other events. On the left when you walked in was the Official Merchandise shop. The center area had the speakers, then the right side had all the booths. The merchandise area was the most crowded.

Character locations for the race.

Photo backdrop in the lobby.


Heading through Downtown Disney... there is not much visible progress at the Earl of Sandwich location. Though the initial announcement had the shop opening in "Summer", now with less than three weeks left of the summer and no official date that seems unlikely.

Halloween displays at World of Disney

In DCA Buena Vista Street was alive with activity.


The beads are gone from Fillmore's Taste-In.

First attraction of the day for me.. Maters. Only a 15 minute wait.

Walked through Dancing with Disney. It seemed more crowded than previous visits. Could be parents sought out the A/C.

Displays for upcoming films in the Animation Building.

Stopped by Off the Page. Thought this was odd.. Glow Ears in a display case.

On the Performing Arts stage in the Backlot Theater were the Joyful Noise Makers - Handchimes from Garden Grove California

A video clip of the group performing. (Laura inserts a warning here: it is That Song, so beware! :-) )

Over in Disneyland Soundsational was making its way down Main Street.


The Fantasy Faire is starting to take shape.

The new Village Haus LCD menu boards were installed and operational. In addition to the menu display there is some animation, too.
Village Haus Menu.

A video clip of the menu.

Stopped by the Jamboree. A couple of Country Bears were enjoying the Billies performance.

Donald was out for pictures.

Goofy joined the Bears.

The Bears heading in.

Chip and Dale came out next.

Cowboy Minnie and Mickey stopped by the coloring station for a while.

The nightly running of the goats...

And parade of the horse.

The Mansion is closed since the installation of the Nightmare overlay is in progress - Halloween Time begins very early this year - September 14.


The Harbour Galley has baked potatoes now.
Harbour Galley Menu.


The Blue Moon rising over the Rivers of America (I know over-exposed).

Pirates League will be open in New Orleans Square from September 1 - October 31.

The Suburban Legends performing at Tomorrowland Terrace Friday.

A video clip of their finale.. Gummy Bears!

With the Fantasyland Theater area closed, the princesses have moved their meet and greet to the "small world" terraced area, though in the evening they were long gone...

The Magic, the Memories, and You ends this week so I went to one last showing before it disappears.

To wrap up the night watched Fantasmic. Found this grouping of Glow with the Show Ears.

A video clip of the princess segment.

Noticed the information booth by the trams now has DVC logos on it.


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.




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.

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.


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


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.

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.

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

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

Skipping ahead to Walt's Laugh O Gram Business.

A look at Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

A couple of telegrams about Oswald.

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."

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The next case had the animation script for Steamboat Willie.


Drawings by Ub Iwerks, typing by Walt Disney.

As well as some Brave Little Tailor sketches.


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.



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

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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).


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

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.



The original Model T from the Absent Minded Professor.

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


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.


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

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.

This Tinkerbell worn by Tina Fey.

And Peter Pan by Mikhail Baryshnikov

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.


Around the corner props and costumes from the film.




Next up Tron.. this is from Tron Legacy.







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.


Some of the original Tron costumes from the 1982 film.

Next up the Avengers.


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.


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



One of Slue Foot Sue's original costumes.


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


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


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



Then moving quickly into the film.













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

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.


Next up a room with National Treasure items.

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)


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




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

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


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.


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

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

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.

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.

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..

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.

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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About Jason Dz

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Jason Dz category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Jeanine Yamanaka is the next category.

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