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March 18, 2018

Splitsville Luxury Lanes Grand Opening at Downtown Disney

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Splitsville Opening

Splitsville Luxury Lanes officially opened its Anaheim location in Downtown Disney on Thursday, March 15. The location had been in "soft opening" since January. The two-story bowling alley, bar, and restaurant complex is located near Tortilla Jo's in the space formerly occupied by House of Blues.

Splitsville Opening

Splitsville owners Guy Revelle and Mark Gibson, along with Splitsville cast members, celebrated the opening with a little help from Goofy. (Love the Mr. Announcer voice).

Though there are 20 bowling lanes at Splitsville, most of the space is dedicated to dining, either in one of the dining rooms or one of the bars. The menu features up-scale versions of bowling alley favorites such as burgers, sliders, nachos, and fries, but also includes hand-tossed pizzas, a large selection of sushi, and a variety of salads, sandwiches, and entrees.

Splitsville Opening

Hand-crafted cocktails are available from the bars, and some popular cocktails are on tap. Beer selections are on draft as well as by the bottle, and feature some local craft brews in addition to macro brews. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. Coca-Cola Freestyle machines are available upstairs and downstairs, with the option of a souvenir bowling pin sipper for an additional charge.

Splitsville Opening

Splitsville bowling pin sippers

The decor is mid-century modern with brick, stone, and wood. The spaces feel light and open and not like a typical bowling alley. There are lots of grays and blues, designed to look very Californian, specifically Palm Springs. Splitsville co-owner Guy Revelle had his own joke about the idea behind the design: "If Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra went out to a bar and started drinking some cocktails and decided they wanted to open up a bowling alley, this is what they would open."

Splitsville Opening

I asked him how they came up with the concept. "We treat bowling as a game, not a sport. We don't do league play. We're all about having fun. That's the reason you see the little sign 'Etiquette, Schmetiquette.'"

Splitsville Opening

"We said how can we create energy pockets, how can we create a place for food and beverage...usually when you go to a bowling alley they're all side by side by side...[here] I'm sitting in the lounge, having a cocktail, hanging out, and you've got an energy pocket of people over here giving high fives, yelling, having fun...it just gives you that energy and makes for a fun time."

Splitsville Opening

I mentioned that there are 20 bowling lanes. Rather than 20 lanes side-by-side, they are in sets of 2-4 lanes, and placed in multiple areas on both floors.

Splitsville Opening

Each lane has its own seating and table area.

Splitsville Opening

The separation of lane areas allows for some privacy for those who wish to book multiple lanes for a special occasion such as a birthday party. (There are specific birthday party packages which include food and beverage as well as bowling lanes.) Lane reservations are available in advance by calling Splitsville directly - there's no on-line reservation service. Those interested in dining reservations only can book on-line through Disney Dining or OpenTable.

Splitsville Opening

The length of a lane reservation is determined by party size. An hour for 1-2 people, increased in 15-minute increments for every two additional people. All lanes can accommodate up to 8 bowlers. Walk-ups are welcome, pending availability. Whether reserved in advance or as a walk-up, everyone using a bowling lane receives a Lane Concierge who will help them get set up with shoe rental, lane assignment, and scoring setup, as well as introduce them to their food and beverage server.

Splitsville Opening

Current rates are $19/bowler Monday-Friday from opening until 4 p.m.; $24/bowler from 4 p.m. until closing; $24/bowler on Saturday and Sunday. Shoe rental is included in the rate. Bowling balls are also provided.

And I must mention the bowling balls - the "small" bowling balls feature Mickey and Minnie.

Splitsville Mickey Minnie bowling balls

Annual Passholders, DVC Members, and members of the military receive a 10% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverage. That discount also applies to walk-up bowlers, but there's no discount on bowling if an advance reservation is made (food and beverage discounts still apply).

One of my favorite spaces was the large outdoor bar area. It's covered, but open on the sides with a variety of seating options, from bar stools to tables and chairs to comfy sofas and chairs. There's live entertainment there every evening, and also in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday.

Splitsville Opening

Splitsville Opening

There's even a fireplace, with seating on both sides of it.

Splitsville Opening

Upstairs there's another bar and dining area with floor to ceiling windows that overlook Downtown Disney.

Splitsville Opening

Splitsville Opening

For those familiar with the location in Disney Springs, this one differs in a few ways. It's a bit smaller, and there's 20 bowling lanes rather than 30. No pool tables, and no sushi bar. The colors are different - Florida is more bright blues and reds. The menus are quite similar - I found it amusing that Florida offers a Southwestern Salad and California offers a Southern Goddess Salad.

Speaking of food...I'm sure some of you are interested in that. At a media reception I had the opportunity to try a few of the food items.

The pizzas are hand-tossed, with dough that's made in-house each day. The Fig and Prosciutto pizza was excellent. I couldn't have told you that there were figs on it - all the flavors blended together and it was simply delicious.

Splitsville Opening

I also tried a couple of pieces of sushi, which I believe were from the Ninja Crunch and Fantasy rolls. So fresh and so good.

Splitsville Opening

There were also samples of their Filet Sliders and Cheeseburger Sliders. (All burger patties are certified Angus beef, arriving fresh daily, never frozen.)

Splitsville Opening

Splitsville Opening

The Cone of Fries is crinkle-cut fries with house seasoning and a house-made chive dressing. Also very good.

Splitsville Opening

I'm looking forward to returning and sampling more of the foods and beverages. The assistant general manager told me about a "fig and berry" cocktail that sounds wonderful.

While it might be called "Splitsville Luxury Lanes", it's really much more about the experience and the food than it is the bowling. Said Guy Revelle:

"We want [people] to walk through the door and say: 'Wow, never seen a bowling alley like this before.' Then they're going to get great customer service, have a great food experience, have a great drink experience. When they talk to other people what we want them to say is: 'We did this and this and this, and oh, by the way, we bowled.'"

Disclaimer: I was an invited media guest to the opening of Splitsville Luxury Lanes. My opinions are my own.






March 1, 2018

Disneyland Resort Updates from February 23, 2018

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 23, 2018.

A video overview of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction site.

This visit more steel and wire mesh continues to be added to the park side of the site to cover the two large show buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Steel wrapping around the Battle Escape Building now for rock work support.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Mickey and Friends Tram stop reconfiguration is moving along. You can see where the two new stops will be, back to where the original two stops were.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Pinocchio lot is now closed and demolition work has started.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

A closer look. The light poles are down and some concrete removal has started.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

All the landscaping is being removed. As well as the curb.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

On the Chip and Dale level, the new tram route is starting to be marked off. In the distance you can see yellow indicating another stop.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

World of Disney is now half closed. From the center doors to the right toward Starbucks is walled off for renovation. It is slated to be closed into July then the other half will be closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Disney Home Store opened since my last visit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Took a look inside the World of Disney. A new wall goes from floor to ceiling dividing the open portion from the renovation side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Over to Disneyland. The walls are gone from Town Square unveiling the new track and brickwork for the streetcars.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The view from the train station. Walls still stretch along the straight part of the street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Walls are now up on the spur line section leading backstage.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Moving down to ground level. Notice the popcorn cart in Town Square was not back yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The one walkway through the fence on the spur line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The walls are down in the hub too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Spring blooms already, even though the weather was winter today...high was just over 60 with a cold breeze.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Looking toward Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Partners statue in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Moving on to Adventureland. It was announced last week that Aladdin's Oasis will be removed and it will become the Tropical Hideaway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Storybook Land Canal Boats have returned to service, Casey Jr is still closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Snow White and the Evil Queen were in Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Spring balloons are now available throughout the park featuring Thumper again.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

From the Monorail you can see concrete has been poured for the parade route near it's a small world.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

In Disney California Adventure the Food and Wine Festival begins Friday (March 2). Marketplaces are now in place throughout the park.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The Black Panther has set up shop for a meet and greet in the lobby of Stage 17. A video clip of the Black Panther leaving the area.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Next stop the Pier to see how the Pixar Pier transformation is moving along.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Scaffolding now goes all the way up the main hill of the roller coaster.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The billboards are removed now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

The scream tubes on the coaster are being enclosed, here is a portion without scaffolding so you can see the enclosure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Closed out my evening with Fantasmic! at Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 23, 2018

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









January 7, 2018

“Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" Now Open at Downtown Disney

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Recently "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" opened up at a new VOID Experience Center in Downtown Disney at the Anaheim Disneyland Resort. It is a hyper-reality, multi-sensory experience created in tandem by Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB and The VOID to immerse you in the Star Wars universe.

In the interests of not being responsible for any perceived spoilers, here's the official story overview for the experience:

"A galaxy far, far away needs your help. In groups of four, be transported with family and friends into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

Under the orders of the budding rebellion, you and your friends will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as Stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to complete your mission."

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The story takes place between Star Wars Episodes III and IV, and features "Rogue One" characters K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk,) Cassian Andor (Diego Luna,) and Sam Witwer as Athex.

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Prior to opening, we were given the opportunity to go through the experience. It takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish, with about 10 minutes spent filling out waivers and getting suited up. Participants buckle themselves into a vest and helmet and choose colored accents for their Stormtrooper appearance to distinguish each other within the group.

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After watching a short film in which Cassian entrusts you with a mission vital to the Rebellion, you enter a small loading area where your visors go down and your group is magically transformed into stormtroopers. On entering the ship with K-2S0 and Athex, they begin filling you in on the plan, and you are off on your adventure. On the conclusion (hopefully successful) of the campaign, you return your gear and exit out into the lobby where souvenir apparel and in-attraction photos can be purchased.

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I thought the whole thing was remarkably impressive and a lot of fun. The first minute or so is basically taken up by everyone marveling that they can look down at themselves and see nothing but stormtrooper. It seems amazing that you can look at your own armored hands moving around and grabbing things without having to hold anything or wear sensor gloves. While there are some moments where you might appear to be in peril, such as crossing a bridge over lava or feeling vibration when someone shoots you, there is no jumping, running, or climbing permitted throughout the experience. The main people who might have difficulty with this are those who suffer from claustrophobia, as the quarters are pretty close at some times, both virtually and physically, with the helmet covering the top half of your face.

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One thing that surprised me was how almost everything you see actually exists in some physical form. From doorframes to guns to control panels, you actually manipulate and interact with objects with your own stormtrooper hands in a pretty convincing manner. Even more impressive was the thought which only occurred to me in retrospect, that your whole journey which takes you onto ships and space stations, out onto balconies and into elevators--it all occurs in the space of what used to be about two Downtown Disney shops. The manipulation and distortion of your sense of space is really amazing, considering there are more than one group going through at the same time and you never run into each other in that small space.

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[For those five of you that read my blog on SIGGRAPH 2016, you may reflect on my moment of prescience when I went on about how amazed I was at the display of the rudimentary beginnings of this sort of technology, and how great I thought the potential was for theme park attractions.]

Afterwards, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Cliff Plumer, CEO, The VOID; Curtis Hickman, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, The VOID; Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge, ILMxLAB; Mark Miller, Executive Creative Producer, ILMxLAB; and Disneyland Ambassador Mikey Trujillo.

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Of course, it's not a Disney celebration without confetti cannons.

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And after a group photo of all the people involved with the creation of "Secrets of the Empire," the attraction opened and the Mustafar tourism department just got a lot happier.

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[Sharp-eyed readers may be able to pick out Sam Witwer in the photo who was also present.]

"Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" opened at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA January 5, 2018, having previously opened at both Disney Springs at WDW in Orlando, FL and Westfield in London (Shepard's Bush) on December 16, 2017. Tickets may be purchased from The VOID website (www.thevoid.com) for $29.95. Guests must be at least 10 years old and those requiring mobility assistance may be accommodated depending on their ability to transfer/size of their wheelchair.






March 10, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2016 Egg-Stravaganza

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 4, 2016.

This post will focus on the annual Egg-Stravaganza. For a first look at Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters check out my other post here on AllEars.net or check out my full picture set on disneygeek.com for a more complete look at my visit.

*** Note there are spoilers in this post so if you do not want to know the location of some of the eggs do not read or scroll any further... on the other hand if you want to see the location of all 36 eggs visit my full picture set ***

The 2016 Egg-Stravaganza at the Disneyland Resort started on March 2 and runs through March 27 (or supplies run out).  This year they have expanded to three hunts, one at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney.  So you can search for up to 36 eggs hidden around the resort. You purchase your map & stickers, for $5.95 plus tax (no discounts apply). Then you set off to find the eggs hidden around the park and identify which character egg is in which location. At any point, even before you've done any hunting, you can redeem your map for one of six prize eggs to take home.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The six prizes you can choose from.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The Disneyland map.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I will include a sample of the eggs from each hunt below. The 20th Century Music Company (Inside)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

China Closet (Inside)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Bonanza Outfitters (Inside)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

King Arthur Carrousel

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The Disney California Adventure map. The redemption location for Disney California Adventure is in Elias & Company.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Hollywood Land (Water Tower)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Hollywood Land (Truck)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

A Bugs Land (Entrance)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Grizzly River Run (Artist Camp) -- I would call it near the DVC kiosk.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Chamber of Commerce

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Downtown Disney is new this year. The redemption location is just inside the center door of World of Disney opposite the Mickey and Friends Tram drop off.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The prizes are the same.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The Downtown Disney Map

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Information Booth (Near Disneyland Park Gates)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

World of Disney (Inside)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Marcelines Confectionery (Inside)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

From here you can see two...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016



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







November 22, 2015

Disneyland Resort Hotels Christmas Decorations

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

This subset of pictures will focus on the three Disney Hotels and a couple Downtown Disney pictures, to view the full set visit disneygeek.com.

I started off my tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. The lobby is decorated the same as the past several years.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
The Gingerbread house is returning this year and is still under construction..
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
Another look at the tree this year.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
A closer look at the tree.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
Out front the trees have lights as usual.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Next stop the Paradise Pier Hotel across Disneyland Drive.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Entering the lobby.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
I continued on to the Disneyland Hotel stopping first at the Frontier Tower.

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

The Tangaroa Terrace tree

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

Made my way to the main lobby in the Fantasy Tower. Christmas trees flank the gift shop

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

Outside lights in the planters as usual behind Mickey and Minnie.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
The gingerbread inspired Sleeping Beauty Castle is back at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel lobby.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

There are two trees in the reception area, here is the one furthest from the main door (they looked identical).
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



In Downtown Disney the Winter Village and Olaf's Ice Rink have returned.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Skating session times and costs.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

A Good Dinosaur photo op is set up adjacent to the Rainforest Cafe across from ESPN.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



A Ghirardelli store has opened next door to the Disney Vacation Club offices (across from Rain Forest).
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour from 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 6, 2014

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

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

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

BBQ Chicken...

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Philly Cheesesteak...

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Bacon Mac 'N' Cheese...

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And Brownie Bark.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 24, 2012

Tinker Bell Brings Ice Skating to Downtown Disney

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On October 23, 2012, a new open-air temporary ice rink started operations at Downtown Disney, with Tinker Bell and her new twin Periwinkle in attendance.

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Disneyland Resort Ambassador René Torrico acted as Master of Ceremonies for the brief opening ceremony, introducing the various speakers and characters.

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Vice President of Resorts and Downtown Disney Daniel Delcourt and Downtown Disney's General Manager Janet Knox then took the ice and spoke of how they felt the rink might introduce ice skating to Southern California children unfamiliar with ice or snow, just as Tinker Bell is introduced to ice skating in the new Tinker Bell CGI video "Secret of the Wings."

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"Secret of the Wings" Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Michael Wigert were then introduced and talked a little about the new animated feature, in which Tinker Bell investigates the hither-to forbidden Winter Woods, and discovers her twin, Periwinkle.

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Finally, with a judicious application of pixie dust, Torrico summoned Tink and Peri back, and the rink was officially opened.

For people staying on property, this looks to be a nice activity option, particularly for evenings like tonight, where DCA closed at 8pm, and Disneyland closed at 6pm for the Halloween party. There are also plans to erect a small Holiday Village next to the rink, where seasonal foods and merchandise will be available.

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The rink will be open 11am to 9:30pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday, although hours may vary. 60 minute sessions are $15 for adults and $12 for toddlers, with $3 for skate rentals. Helmets and wrist guards are mandatory. Lockers are available for $2. Parking will not be validated.

For a review of "Secret of the Wings" check out Kristin's blog!

May 12, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com concludes his photo update from his trip to the parks on Saturday, May 5, 2012.

If you missed the earlier blogs, here is PART 1 and PART 2


In Downtown Disney the Lego Store has reopened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

It now has several displays outside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3


And an area to build and play in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Stepping inside to look around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Heading upstairs.. There is a small room for building that overlooks the store.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

A look around the room.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

The view out the window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3


Heading back down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3


The temporary Lego store is all closed up waiting for what will takes its place.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

The Uva Bar area is behind walls for some work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Near D Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3


The sun glass store is being worked on and closed right now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3


A good size crowd down by the main stage where the Swing Dancing has been relocated on Saturday nights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 3

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/05/12 - Part 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. I have also been Tweeting live pictures from the parks @disneygeekcom.



July 30, 2010

A Summer Day at Disneyland

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On Monday Lee and I went to Disneyland to spend the day with his brother's family, who are vacationing there this week. I think it's the first time he's ever been to Disneyland with kids, and the first time for me since 2001! It was a somewhat different experience, but we still had a great time.

I was surprised that the crowds really weren't that bad, though as usual, the best strategy is to arrive at Disneyland first thing in the morning, and enjoy the park for the first few hours while most people are still arriving. The weather was great - overcast in the morning, and only in the upper 70s in the afternoon - SO much cooler than it was on Disneyland's birthday weekend!!!

We made excellent use of Fastpasses - starting with Indy, and then getting new FPs just as our window opened, so we used those for Indy, Space Mountain, and the Autopia. In between using our FPs we had almost no wait for Pirates or the Disneyland Railroad, about 10 for Thunder Mountain and literally walked right into the ride vehicle for Pooh. The longest line we had was 25 minutes for Dumbo (and I have to say I was surprised it was that short at 11:00 in the morning!). The two younger kids, who are 9 and almost 6, rode Dumbo with their parents while I did Mr. Toad with the oldest, who is 12 and up for ANYTHING.

The younger two were not very happy about Indy, but The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh proved to be a good antidote to that. The 9-year-old niece bypassed Big Thunder and went to the petting zoo with her mom instead, but the almost-6-year-old came off saying "I want to do that again!!!" He was not too sure about Space Mountain, and almost bailed, but he did it, and was all smiles at the end. And of course the Autopia was a big hit - Auntie Laura bailed on that one and took pictures of the drivers, instead. :-)

Monday was the final day for Star Tours before its big refurbishment - and it was busier than I've seen it in YEARS. At 12:15 the line was 55 minutes, and of course it no longer has Fastpass machines, since it really hasn't needed them in recent years. Unfortunately we didn't take a last trip to Endor.

We left Disneyland about 1:15, and the crowds had started to pick up quite a bit - the standby line for Space Mountain was up to 55 minutes, Autopia was 50, Matterhorn was 45, and Indy was 50. There were still lots of people coming into the park as we left.

They are staying at the Villas at the Grand Californian, so we headed back there via DCA, stopping at Soarin' to pick up Fastpasses to use later. Good thing we did it then - the return time was 5:00! They have a dedicated two-bedroom villa, which I hadn't seen before. It's the same layout, except that the second bedroom has two queen beds instead of a queen and a sofa bed, and there's no kitchenette in there. Also no external door to the hallway, though it still has a sliding glass door out to the patio. (Upon seeing the Villa after they checked in, niece said: "I want to LIVE here!". Ah yes...that's what Auntie Laura says every time, too! :-) )

After lunch the two younger kids REALLY wanted to swim (what is it with kids and hotel pools?), so my sister-in-law stayed with them while we went to DCA with my brother-in-law and our oldest nephew. He REALLY wanted to ride California Screamin', so we did that. DCA was a little more crowded than usual, and the standby line was about 25 minutes. Afterwards we were able to get four more FPs that he and his mom or dad could use later. Toy Story Midway Mania had a 45-minute line (typical for that ride), and while I would've done it, I couldn't get anyone else interested. Nephew decided he wanted to do Maliboomer, but couldn't talk any of us into it, so did it by himself (15-minute wait). Silly Symphony Swings was less than 10 minutes. They dragged me onto Mulholland Madness, which I think is the scariest ride in the park - those cars TRY to throw you out of the ride!!! The sign said 20 minute standby, but it ended up being almost 40. (I survived the ride, but I still don't like it!!!)

We met the other three in front of Soarin', and took a wonderful flight over some of the beautiful places in California - that was a big hit with everyone. It was 5:30 by then, and since we had to work the next day, we said our goodbyes - the family headed off to Flik's Fun Faire and Tower of Terror.

It was a great day to be at the parks, and we had a lot of fun sharing a place we enjoy so much with Lee's family.


January 26, 2010

RIDEMAKERZ at Disneyland's Downtown Disney

RIDEMAKERZ---FINALLY A SHOP FOR MEN AND BOYS
by Guest Blogger Alpha Gollihugh

As we were visiting in Downtown Disney, California last week, we discovered something new, a shop for men and boys. How many times have you dragged your boys and men through the "cutsie" shops in DTD, and they are just waiting to get to dinner or wanting to visit the next park? Here is a shop that they may actually LIKE to visit while you are shopping.

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This is the shop that used to have all the villages and cute figurines and decorative items. Well, they are gone and "souped up cars" are now the line of merchandise.

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The doors are wide open, and a cute salesman is there to help you fulfill your dreams of miniature hot rods. Step in and choose a car body, and then go wild choosing all the different chassis parts, wheels, decorations and decals. When you have chosen your main parts, you come to the assembly line to power screw them into place. Some pieces are quite tiny and smaller children may require an older helper to attach them.

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More body parts, finishes, models, and posters.

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Buckets of tires of varying sizes and prices.

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Here is one of the finished cars with spoiler, special engine, top rack and the special adaption to make it a remote controlled car. For the younger ones, this last step can be left off and it will be a push, or display car. They have cars that you can try, and the boys we saw were having a great time.

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So here you go guys, something to do while the women discover all the other joys in Downtown Disney.




January 19, 2010

Disneyland Rovings and Ravings - Part Deux

Part 2 of my photos and observations from my trip to Disneyland on Friday.

I'll start with the resorts, since that's actually where I began my day - walked there from the Pinocchio Parking Lot (I arrived early enough that I was parked outside in the Pinocchio lot rather than inside the garage, which suited me since the walk from there is a little shorter to/from the hotels).

The remodeling of the Dreams Tower at the Disneyland Hotel still continues - it looks to be about halfway done. If anyone has the opportunity to stay in the new rooms please send us some photos!

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At the Paradise Pier, the new Surf's Up Breakfast with Mickey has replaced the Lilo and Stitch character breakfast. It's a breakfast buffet - there is no longer an a la carte menu. Stitch is still at the breakfast, along with Mickey, of course, but no Lilo. The buffet includes: an omelet station, breakfast flatbreads, Mickey waffles, chocolate peanut butter banana French toast, smoothies, parfait station, chilaquiles and smoked salmon. $25.99 for adults and $13.99 for kids, tax and 15% gratuity will be added.

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For those who would like a hot breakfast but not the buffet, the Surfside Lounge is offering breakfast now in addition to the usual coffee and pastries. The menu is HERE.

A number of things going on at DCA. The construction walls are still up around Paradise Bay, but they have finished the structure they were building at the end of the bridges between Paradise Pier and Pacific Wharf so those walls are down, and that makes it not quite so claustrophobic. This looks like a big light and speaker tower to me.

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And of course work on the World of Color show is continuing in the bay itself.

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The bay has been refilled and so the nice reflections are back again.

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There's still plenty of construction walls up all around Paradise Pier, but the ones between the bay and the former Golden Dreams attraction have been moved closer to the bay so that there is a little more room to walk now. A wall completely blocks the walkway in front of Jumping Jellyfish so you have to go around the S.S. Rustworthy past Pizza Oom Mow Mow for the moment.

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The Wine Country Trattoria and the Wine Terrace are both closed while the restaurant is being remodeled - it is scheduled to open again in April. And while we're talking about food and restaurants, here's a reminder that Disney's Calfornia Food and Wine Festival returns from April 16-May 31. No information on the schedule or events is available yet, though.

Big changes back in the Hollywood Backlot area - the center of the street is blocked by construction walls, and you have to go up one side or the other depending on whether you want to go to Playhouse Disney and the Animation Building or the rest of the backlot area.

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The reason? The tracks for the Red Trolley are going in, and the trolley itself is supposed to open later this year.

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The walkway is so narrow that they have had to close Award Weiners - there's no room for the line for this popular counter-service restaurant.

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On the construction walls are vintage Disney movie posters.

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There's a new Annual Passport Processing Center in the far corner of the backlot, which was a food court restaurant called Hollywood & Dine when the park first opened, but has been closed for years. I was told this location is "temporary", but not just how "temporary" it is.

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I tried something I'd never had before - I was in DCA early enough that the Pacific Wharf Cafe was still serving breakfast AND I was actually hungry. I really like their soups and salads in bread bowls, but for breakfast they serve scrambled eggs in a bread bowl. It also came with two slices of nice crisp bacon and some fruit - a bunch of grapes and some sliced oranges. The eggs were a little dry but everything else was excellent. The eggs need a little oomph, so I got a couple of packets of salsa from Cocina Cucamonga. No way I could eat all that bread, and I ended up taking most of it home where it made for a fine soup bowl for some homemade split pea soup that night. For $5.99 it was good and very reasonably priced. The breakfast menu is HERE. I don't think the breakfast menu has changed at all in the five years I've been collecting menus for AllEars - I keep expecting the prices to go up.

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There's a couple new stores that have opened in Downtown Disney recently. D Street is Vinylmation central, but they also carry "cutting edge apparel" for men and women as well as other collectibles and artwork.

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But my favorite new store is The Cupcake Store, which is located at the end of Downtown Disney near the ESPN Club. It's a little shop right in the center, which sells gourmet cupcakes. They are nicely decorated with flowers, chocolate, candy sprinkles, etc. There's vanilla, yellow cake, chocolate, red velvet, and vanilla coconut and they are $4.95 each. I'm not sure why I took a photo of the shop and didn't take any pictures of the cupcakes!

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Something that is not new, but I'd never noticed before, is this remote-control boat area on the side of the Rainforest Cafe. There was no one playing with it when I was there, so I don't know how popular it really is.

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And that brings us to the end of my ravings - for now, at least.

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About Downtown Disney

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Downtown Disney category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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