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March 14, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 3/10/17 - Food and Wine Festival Opening Day

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Let us start off with a video overview of the Star Wars / Rivers of America Construction site.

A couple pictures of the Star Wars / Rivers of America construction this week (I have many more in my full picture set on my site). The large show building continues to grow as more steel is lifted into place. Notice the new structures on the ground.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

A closer look. Speculation on many sites is these are AT-AT structures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Trees have been planted on the new berm since last week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

The 2017 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival kicked off today and runs through April 16th.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

The festival followed the signage format from the Festival of Holidays.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Here is a representative marketplace. Each has the main items on the top under the sign as well as with a picture on the booth. The other side of the booth has some info about the topic/theme of the booth. There is also a visual menu with prices near the queue entrance and a smaller text menu at each register.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Here is the full list of menus, with prices:
     Festival Marketplace Menus

A look at one of the merchandise carts.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Another merchandise location in Paradise Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Paradise Park features concerts five times a day. Today Tomasina was performing (you may remember them from Tomorrowland Terrace). Upcoming groups are SMITH and Phat Cat Swinger.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Paradise Park also hosts a Jr. Chef event three times a day. Cast Members are preparing for the next event.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Paradise Gardens is the Festival Beer Garden.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

To the right when you enter is a beer sales area this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

New tables in Paradise Gardens.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Bands perform a half dozen times a day on the Paradise Garden Bandstand. Today was the Mariachi Divas. Future groups are m-pact, Faultlines, Quattrosound, and Streetlight Cadence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

There is an AP Corner near Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Annual Passholder buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

An ad for AP Items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

They also had leftover recipe cards from AP Days out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

The Garden Grill has a special menu for the event.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Not related to the Food & Wine Festival but thought I would mention that the pizza at Boardwalk Pizza has changed crusts recently.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

New MaxPass poles and a digital wait time sign are installed at Toy Story now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Walls are down on the FastPass distribution area too. Still no date announced as to when this will be operational but it seems like it should be sooner rather than later now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

The Jr. Chef event was going on as I walked by. There was a Disney camera crew there. Between the umbrellas and the camera guy it was hard to get any decent pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Goofy was the star of the show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

A couple video clips from the Jr. Chef show.

The Jammin' Chefs perform in Paradise Pier and feature Chip and Dale.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Some video clips of the Jammin' Chefs performance.

A second set of Jammin' Chefs video this time with a wider lens.

Ghirardelli was passing out chocolate bunnies today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017
The Backlot stage is hosting Lifestyle seminars. On the stage Kris Bonner was talking about tomatoes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Stage 17 hosts the Festival Showcase.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Inside the showcase is a shopping area then two presentation spaces.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

A large area for Culinary Demonstrations (there is a cost to attend these)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

There is a smaller venue set up for Beer & Spirits Education & Tasting Seminars (also a fee to attend).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring flowers were in bloom in Paradise Park.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

A large crane is onsite and parked behind walls onstage. It is holding a banner when not in use.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Moving over to Disneyland and looking at the new trees that partially obstruct the parking structure now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

From Critter Country a look at the current state of the Rivers of America as it races toward a summer reopening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto were working the crowd line. They were high fouring (fiving) guests and waving.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

Clsoed out my evening with Remember Dreams Come True.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 10, 2017

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.








March 7, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 3/3/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 3, 2017.

These pictures take a look at some of the ongoing projects as well as my regular assortment of random pictures. Laura will have a separate post on the Red Rose Taverne and AP Days Week 4.

Starting off the day at the Mickey and Friends parking structure with an overview of the Star Wars and Rivers of America Construction.

Looks like vents have been added to the top of the marina structure as the rocks on the park side continue to take shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Forms for the ground level of the circular part of the building are being constructed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Steel continues to be erected for the large show building. Notice what appears to be a new floor taking shape on the left between the ground level and upper floor.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

A closer look at what looks to be a new floor taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

On the far side of the site more rock framing being installed and dirt being moved around.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Gaston and Belle were out in Fantasy Faire talking with guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Noticed these moisture monitors around a pine tree on the walkway to Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Approaching the construction at the end of the Big Thunder Trail. More color has been applied.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here you can see the trestle has been painted brown (it was white when installed).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Some renovation work happening aboard the Mark Twain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

No signs of a cover for the projector out on the island. Just the netting which is rolled up today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The Columbia was in the harbor today. More rigging has been set up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The bowsprit of the Columbia has been re-installed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

As you enter Critter Country you can see the trestle is taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Looking through the fence. You can clearly see the river path as it makes it turn. The small posts on the right are the concrete pads the steel guide rail for the ships will go on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Goofy strolling near the Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The Food and Wine Festival kicks off next weekend. The Marketplaces were set up and had their name signs. No menu signage yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Over at the Guardians you can see a couple new elements sticking out the top. On the backside the tarps and scaffolding are coming down.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible walking by the Hyperion.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Marketplaces line the parade route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Poles for FastPass/MaxPass at the entrance to Toy Story.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here you can see the wrap for the tower has been removed on the side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

More marketplaces.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017


The Curlsurf shop opened a few weeks ago in Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

On the bridge area there are some new tables and chairs.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

A little dark but you can see a line extending out the door for the Red Rose Taverne but not that bad compared to last week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Over at Tomorrowland Terrace (or Galactic Grill) the lines were to the steps so just as busy as the Red Rose Taverne maybe more so.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Prior to the start of Remember Dreams Come True they made wind announcements but the show started on time. But then come the Indiana Jones segment it stopped.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here is the announcement that played when the lights came back on.

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.








February 27, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 2/24/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 24, 2017.

Prices have gone up at the Disneyland Resort since my last visit. Current parking rates.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

An overview of the Star Wars/Rivers of America construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

A building is taking shape in the back corner.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The round lower level portion of the large show building has reached ground level now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The building has spanned the full width and height.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Ticket prices went up since my last visit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The entrance to Star Tours is being reconfigured.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The walls in the middle of the walkway are down. They removed the planter so now it is just a support column. This creates a little more space for strollers and/or walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

This week the Country Bears are the featured characters for AP Days. Shaker and Big Al were out when I stopped by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Arts and crafts activities.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

They also had the button from last week available if you did not get one.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Some barges out on the river now as they prepare to bring Fantasmic back this summer.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Columbia masts are back and rigging is being added.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017"

The concrete riverbed is being poured for the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Poles near the entrance for the Haunted Mansion are an indication that the rollout or at least testing of maxPass is coming.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Moana meet and greet has been removed...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Red Rose Taverne officially opened today in Fantasyland. This temporary overlay of Beauty and the Beast to the Village Haus.

The line reached the sidewalk when I stopped by at 3:30. This was a little deceiving since they were holding the line inside and guiding people to registers with only one or two groups at each registered vs the normal lines at each. I was told it took about 10 minutes to get to order. The orders were taking a while though so total time was pushing 20-30 minutes from entering the queue till you were eating.

This was good compared to reports I read from over the weekend of wait times up to two hours.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Inside props and new artwork have been added to change it from Pinocchio and his German Village Haus to Belle and France.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Even the window glass was changed out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

They were sold out of all desserts for the day already. Here is a look at the enchanted cauli-flower sandwich.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Poutine flatbread

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The other side of the restaurant Gaston helped to decorate. So it features antlers and of course a large picture of him.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Antlers added to the chandeliers.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Over at Disney California Adventure, the scaffolding and wrap have returned to fully cover the Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout Attraction with about three months to go until the May 27th opening.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

World of Color is not running for a couple weeks for annual refurbishment work. Two of the three platforms were raised to be worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Class of 2017 mouse ears are available throughout the resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

In New Orleans Square Mlle Antoinettes is closed for some work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Red Rose cups are at Maurice's too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade to wrap up my visit with the parade then Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

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.








February 13, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 2/10/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 10, 2017.

Laura wrote a blog featuring the Beauty and the Beast Preview as well as AP Days 2017, so I am going to focus on some of projects around the resort.

A video clip overview of the Star Wars Construction site (note the second half is really shaky since I was shooting freehand with a telephoto lens...)

The site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure on this cloudy afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Work continues along the top of the berm as they prepare it for the next step.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The hill between the two entrance tunnels has been sprayed, assuming to help hold the dirt in place with all the rain we have been having.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

On the far north side of the project it appears they are working on footers and the foundation for another building. Even with the looming rain they were pouring concrete today.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Construction has gone vertical for Star Wars. The very large show building nearest the parking structure has steel going up now.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A rock formation taking shape along the Rivers of America.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Trees have been planted on the new berm between where the train will run and Star Wars.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

First park today, Disneyland. Big Thunder has received a new entrance structure, that building we saw near the Rivers of America was moved here once completed. The Stand By Entrance is here and the FastPass on the left side of the building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Moving over to Critter Country, the rocks along the back of the Rivers of America

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Down in the riverbed they have started to install the footers that will support the track the boats run on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The former Royal Reception location in Fantasyland is now a Beauty and the Beast shop.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The Matterhorn is closed for annual renovation work and the installation of FastPass.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

"it's a small world" has a new entrance and wait time sign.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A quick video clip of it in action.

Moving over to Disney California Adventure, the new color scheme and exterior for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! is being unveiled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A closer look.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

From the Monorail a look at the former House of Blues future Splitsville project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


The Grand Californain is undergoing a major renovation. In the lobby are some displays taking a look at the new rooms including sample material and pictures.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The new room look.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A closer look at the materials used.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The hallway carpet and how it will be laid out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The Curl Surf Shop in Downtown Disney looks ready to open any day now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The rains showed up as the sun set, Main Street USA around 6pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Passing by Sleeping Beauty Castle...
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


A quick video clip of the Hatbox Ghost.

A final look at Main Street USA before leaving, it was 9:30pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

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.







February 12, 2017

AP Days at Disneyland and Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

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A couple of new limited time events started at Disneyland on Friday, February 10. So I decided to make a quick trip to Disneyland to check them out.

A sneak peek of the upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" movie is showing in the Sunset Showcase Theater in Disney California Adventure. The movie opens on March 17, so the preview will probably run through March 19th.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

Lots of movie artwork along the entrance to the theater.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The entry and lobby area of the theater have been redesigned - all traces of Arendelle have been removed, and now it looks more like a generic theater.

In the lobby are two display cases with props from the movie. This one has Belle's "town" dress and the "Magic Atlas."

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The other has the rose and the "Enchanted Mirror."

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The preview is in 3D and is about 10 minutes long. It features the entire opening "Belle" song with the townspeople and Gaston followed by a short trailer. (Josh Gad is excellent as Lefou.) While you're waiting for the preview to start, take a look at the "Enchanted Mirrors" on both sides of the theaters above the entrance and exit doors. You'll see some familiar characters.

I really enjoyed it - I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

Also at DCA...work on the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT continues - part of the facade was visible. I thought it looked better than I was expecting.

Tower of Terror Mission Breakout

In the Paradise Pier area there are construction walls up along the bay in front of the Carousel - this would seem to be the logical location for the new Fastpass kiosks for Toy Story Midway Mania. No word on when those Fastpasses will be available.

Toy Story Mania Fastpass

Over at Disneyland, AP Days, a celebration for Annual Passholders, runs through March 9. This time it has a Main Street Electrical Parade theme.

Disneyland AP Days

The Welcome Center is in the Starcade in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland AP Days

There was a pretty long line to get in when I was there - they had a queue set up in front of Path of the Jedi.

Disneyland AP Days

Each Friday there's a new button. Cast members were scanning passes (one button per pass) outside the Welcome Center, so there was no need to wait in line to get the button.

Disneyland AP Days

There's an AP Adventures brochure that has some additional information. Inside there is information on the Electrical Parade and some trivia questions.

Disneyland AP Days

There's additional information on the back - including an announcement for the next AP event, which will be at DCA during the Food and Wine Festival from March 10-April 16.

Disneyland AP Days

Once inside the Welcome Center, I would recommend that you first find the cast members who are distributing tickets (basically a Fastpass) for the character greeting area. They were not letting people simply line up for the characters - everyone needed a ticket. You can leave the Welcome Center while you're waiting for your return time - once you're inside your window you can show your ticket at the door so you don't need to wait in line again to enter.

Disneyland AP Days

The characters are "retro" characters. For this week there were Robin Hood and Friar Tuck.

Disneyland AP Days

Alternating with the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John.

Disneyland AP Days

Just inside the entrance is a special photo backdrop with a PhotoPass photographer.

Disneyland AP Days

Also as you enter are the retro video games: Donkey Kong Jr., Missile Command, PacMan, and Asteroids.

Disneyland AP Days

The token machine is next to the - authentic STARCADE tokens. These looked brand new.

Disneyland AP Days

Special AP merchandise is available in the Welcome Center - it's also available in Disney Showcase on Main Street. There were wine glasses, pins, lanyard, hat, and tumbler.

Disneyland AP Days

Also shirts. Here's the back of the men's version (you can see the front logo on the left of the photo above).

Disneyland AP Days

This is the women's shirt.

Disneyland AP Days

There's a lounge area with comfortable-looking sofas and chairs.

Disneyland AP Days

With a charging station.

Disneyland AP Days

Some artwork outside the lounge area.

Disneyland AP Days

There are a couple of different activities in the "Activities and Fun" area.

Disneyland AP Days

You can color your own MSEP pennant:

Disneyland AP Days

Or you can build your own parade - this card has perforations to separate each photo. And then there were pieces of ribbon available to tie them together.

Disneyland AP Days

During AP Days, recipe cards, a new one each week, will be available at several locations in Disneyland. The same card is available at each restaurant. You have to ask for the cards. Participating locations are Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, Gibson Girl, and Main Street Refreshment Corner.

AP Days Oscar's Potatoes recipe

Another part of AP Days is daily screenings in the Opera House at 5:00, 6:30, and 8:00 p.m. Wristbands are distributed at the Opera House entrance earlier in the day, until they are all gone.

Disneyland AP Days

I didn't see it, but Jason did, and said it was the Disney Channel Backstage Disney show on the Main Street Electrical parade from 1986.

Disneyland AP Days

A special offer for Passholders at the moment is a refillable popcorn bucket. It's $15 for the initial purchase (which includes popcorn), After that, you can get refills for $1 (you also must present your AP) through April 16. There's a DCA version of the popcorn bucket, also. I was required to show both my AP and my id to purchase it.

Disneyland AP Popcorn Bucket

There are also supposed to be special menu items available at a few quick service restaurants, but I was not successful in my attempt to order the Fried Chicken and Waffles that are supposed to be at the Plaza Inn. The cast member seemed to have no idea what I was talking about.

There are many other Main Street Electrical Parade-inspired treats that are not secret and are easier to find. Many of them are at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. I tried the PB&J Eclair. Which yes, was an eclair filled with a soft peanut butter filling and a layer of strawberry jam. I thought it was just ok.

Special Electrical Parade treats

I also tried the Cheshire Cat Shortbread Cookie. Also with a strawberry jam filling. This was better - though I think I would've preferred the shortbread without the filling. The filling made it soft, and I like shortbread to have a little bit of crunch.

Special Electrical Parade treats

Also available at the Bakery are a Pineapple Coconut Parfait and Ladybug Macarons. The Raspberry Drum Cake that I'd seen at the preview is at River Belle Terrace. There's a Hazelnut Tart at the Market House (I'll have to try that one), Fantasia Mousse Cake (shaped like a turtle) at Blue Bayou, and Fantasia Ice Cream at Gibson Girl. I've never understood the attraction of the ice cream - the combination of pistachio, cherry, and banana does not appeal to me at all.

At the Plaza Inn there's a colorful "puzzle" cake.

Disneyland AP Days

With Valentine's Day and Beauty and the Beast coming up, various treats are available around the resort. At Trolley Treats in DCA I saw these Minnie Mouse and Belle cupcakes:

Disneyland Valentine Treats

Also these heart cookies:

Disneyland Valentine cookies

And at the Candy Palace in Disneyland there were rose and pink frosted cake pops as well as pink frosted krispy treats.

Disneyland Valentine treats

The specialty caramel apple of the month is covered with dark chocolate, cherries, and nuts.

February Disneyland Specialty Apple

Special cherry vanilla swirl cotton candy is available at a few locations. I only saw it on Main Street.

Disneyland Valentine Cotton Candy

Jason will have a much more complete construction update, but I took a few photos from the construction wall area near Big Thunder Mountain. There's some rock work visible now.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

Bob Iger announced earlier this week during the Walt Disney Company Q1 FY17 Earnings call that Star Wars Lands at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios will open in 2019. So I guess we still have two years to wait.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

As I mentioned, look for Jason's update in the next couple of days - he has more construction photos, the new entrance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Grand Californian refurbishment updates, etc.,







February 5, 2017

The Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Disneyland - Again

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Main Street Electrical Parade

(Thank you to our contributing photographer Jason, of disneygeek.com, for his parade photos.)

I must admit that when Disney first announced that the Main Street Electrical Parade was returning to Disneyland this year, my reaction was along the lines of "How can I miss you when you won't go away?" After the supposed "final farewell" in 1996, it returned to Disney California Adventure (albeit as Disney's Electrical Parade) from 2001 to 2010, and now it's back on Main Street in Disneyland in 2017.

This time we've been told that it's a limited run, from January 20-June 18. It will give guests something to do in the evening, with so much of the park closed due to Star Wars Land construction and normal off-season refurbishments.

But as Lee pointed out - what's the matter with Paint the Night? Disneyland has a perfectly good modern, 21st century light parade...why bring back the antiquated 1970s-era parade?

But after seeing it during the premiere event on January 19...there's just something totally and ridiculously charming about this parade. That happy, bouncy, synthesized "Baroque Hoedown" always makes me smile. I'd forgotten that. While Paint the Night is a technological marvel, and wows me with the brilliant lights and special effects - it just doesn't make me smile and feel like a kid again the way the Main Street Electrical Parade does.

Here's the video:

This isn't quite the parade as we last saw it, though. More like Main Street Electrical Parade Light (pun intended). A couple of the parade units are missing, or shortened. Instead of the Blue Fairy or Tinker Bell, the parade leads off with the Drum float, which again says "Disneyland Presents Main Street Electrical Parade".

Main Street Electrical Parade

The Alice in Wonderland unit follows, with the spinning bees, snails, and turtles, a centipede, the Caterpillar, Alice on her mushroom.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

Cinderella's unit is next, with Cinderella in her pumpkin coach, the prince with the glass slipper, and the clock tower.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

Captain Hook's Pirate Ship with Peter Pan and Captain Hook aboard, is followed by Mr. Smee in a rowboat.

Main Street Electrical Parade

The Tinker Bell float, which was the new lead float in the DCA version of the parade, now follows the pirate ship. The balloon above the float was removed, and Tink stands on the front of the float rather than riding in the balloon.

Main Street Electrical Parade

Dopey drives the Mine Train float, accompanied by the other six dwarves and followed by the Diamond Mine float.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

The Pleasure Island float is led by Pinocchio and the other boys. According to Show Producer John Addis, they have some new choreography. (I personally find this float rather creepy, and would have been happy if it had been one of those removed!) There was a second float to this parade unit, but it was also removed.

Main Street Electrical Parade

Elliott from Pete's Dragon (accompanied by Pete) is next. Elliott still disappears, though we didn't see him - or not see him, as the case may be. :-)

Main Street Electrical Parade

The final float is still To Honor America, accompanied by dancers in patriotic costumes.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

As I mentioned, I still found it very entertaining and charming. It looked really good - didn't show its age like I expected. There were some enhancements made to the floats like newer LED lighting. John Addis told us that the drum float was re-done, though he didn't elaborate on that.

Main Street Electrical Parade

Dining packages

For the duration of the parade's run, special dining packages are available that will give guests a premium viewing experience. All packages can be reserved up to 60 days in advance either on-line or by calling. Credit card guarantee is required, and a $10/person fee will be charged in the case of no-shows, or cancellation less than 24 hours in advance.

Blue Bayou offers a three-course meal featuring starter, entree and dessert. It is $65 for adults and $25 for kids plus tax and gratuity. The viewing location is on Main Street.

Aladdin's Oasis offers a "grab and go" meal for $25.99 for adults and $14.99 for kids. The viewing location is near "it's a small world". In my experience, this package is often still available same day, and you can go to Aladdin's Oasis to purchase it on the day you wish to see the parade.

Special Parade Menu Items

There are a number of Main Street Electrical Parade-themed menu items available at dining locations around Disneyland.

Jolly Holiday Bakery has a variety of really cute treats! A Peanut Butter and Jelly Eclair

Main Street Electrical Parade PBJ Eclair

Turtle Cream Puffs

Main Street Electrical Parade Turtle Cream Puff

Cheshire Cat Shortbread

Main Street Electrical Parade Cheshire Cat Shortbread

Ladybug Macaron

Main Street Electrical Parade Ladybug Macaron

Pineapple Coconut Parfait

Main Street Electrical Parade

I believe this drum is available at The Plaza Inn.

Main Street Electrical Parade

There are also several treats available at the Candy Palace:

Main Street Electrical Parade

Special menu items are also offered at other locations, like Fantasia Whoopie Pie at Gibson Girl, Firefly Chile and Chips and a Chili Mac Bread Bowl at the Refreshment Corner, and Fried Mozzarella Sticks at Stage Door Cafe.

Merchandise

And of course there's lots of special parade-themed merchandise. T-shirts, ears, pins, and several things that glow.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

Though I think these glowing Turtle Bottle Toppers might be my favorite.

Main Street Electrical Parade

The parade runs every day. One performance on days that Disneyland closes at 9:00, and two performances when the park closes at 11:00 or later. At this point neither Mickey's Soundsational Parade nor the Pixar Play Parade are back on the schedule, so the Electrical Parade is the only parade running at either park.

Disney has placed billboards around Southern California advertising the parade's return (I've seen two in the San Diego area), and I'm sure there are a lot of people who will make a special trip to Disneyland to see it between now and June 18.

Now, if I could only get the music out of my head...Oh well. There are definitely worse things, right? :-)

* I was an invited Media guest to the premiere of the Main Street Electrical Parade. My opinions are my own.







November 8, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 11/4/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos and video clips from his latest trip to the parks on Friday, November 4, 2016.

A video overview of the Star Wars construction site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.

An overview of the site.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016
Footers are in for the wall to the left of the Fantasyland entrance tunnel.

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

The Fantasmic! marina looks to be enclosed now.

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

The new path from Critter Country to Star Wars is slowly taking shape. Dirt has been removed from behind the large retaining wall behind Critter Country.

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

Footers for the foundation of the show building are also taking shape.

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

Moving on to the Tram stop work: The closest section of the Pinocchio lot is now fenced off and equipment looks ready to start. Also, the crosswalk has been moved closer to the structure right now.

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

A closer look at the removed hedges and security barriers:

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

World of Color Season of Light billboards are at the tram stop now.

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

Halloween was still present on the tram route.

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

Over the entrance gates, though, Halloween is gone, but Christmas has yet to arrive.

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

Christmas has arrived at the Train Station, note that there's no train out front this week. The traditional Christmas decorations are up on the Train Station.

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

Town Square is looking festive.

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

The tree has yet to be installed.

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

Snow has fallen on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Nice to see it back this year.

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

A look around the hub:

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

The Partners Statue with Sleeping Beauty Castle

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

Frontierland has been decorated, too.

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

Approaching the end of the Big Thunder Trail... The rockwork is taking shape along the trail.

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

New Orleans Square has been decorated.

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

Critter Country decorations are up, too.

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

Taking a look at the Star Wars work from Critter Country, it looks like the first trestle is taking shape as well as "toothpicks" for the rockwork support structure.

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

Winnie the Pooh was out near what will be Santa's meet-and-greet in a week.

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

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

The trestle over Critter Country is under wraps and looks like it is being rebuilt/renovated.

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

Scaffolding in Toontown has moved to the Five and Dime.

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

The Toons have decorated already. The fire truck is back and looks good as new.

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

Mickey's House:

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


"it's a small world" is closed while the holiday show is being installed. It reopens November 10.

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

Hyperspace Mountain has returned.

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

The Dapper Dans performing on Main Street USA:

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

Next stop, Disney California Adventure! Buena Vista Street is partially decorated. No tree yet and the window displays are not done.

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

Disney Festival of Holidays is taking over DCA starting Thursday, November 10.

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

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

The marketplaces that were used in the Food and Wine Festival have returned.

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

Menus are not posted yet, just names for the locations (I have pictures of all of them in my full set if you wanted to see them)

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

Work continues in the Hollywood Studios area:

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

Scaffolding continues to go up on the Tower of Terror. There was a posted wait time of 90 minutes this afternoon.

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

A side view of the Tower of Terror. Looks like scaffolding is up on three of the four sides so far. Just this side to go:

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

Cars Land holiday decorations are almost all up, too.

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

Paradise Park is ready for the new World of Color show, Season of Light, which starts this Thursday. The fountains were warming up for the regular show this evening.

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

There are actually more marketplaces for the holiday than the Food and Wine event had. Here is one in front of the Little Mermaid.

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

A couple more marketplaces near the Zephyr.

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

New boxes/barges with equipment are out in Paradise Bay for the new World of Color show.

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

There's been a tweak to the Toy Story queue -- a new entrance point. Rumor is that FastPass is coming to this attraction. If that's true, this change to the queue to accommodate it makes sense.

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

A small stage set up in the Wharf area:

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

And another marketplace near Grizzly Rapids Run.

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

Santa will be in Redwood Creek this year.

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

Back in Disneyland park, Frontierland lights were on this evening.

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

I found a spot under the lights on Main Street for Soundsational.

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

Noted a few things on my way out of the parks.

Tupua performing in Downtown Disney tonight.

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

Route 66 after dark.

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

A lot of activity going on in the Pinocchio lot this evening. They were removing the asphalt and other debris from near the parking structure.

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

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

They are enlarging an opening into the Mickey and Friends parking structure on the first floor.

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

And finally, the Fantasy in the Sky finale from the structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 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.


October 24, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 10/21/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 21, 2016.

This set features a look around both parks and Downtown Disney. As always visit disneygeek.com for the full set.

First up a video clip of the Star Wars Construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

In the center of the site you can see the two entrance tunnels and other structures taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A new wall taking shape along the new backstage roadway. The path for the new road is between that wall and the tramway fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A closer look at the tunnel toward Fantasyland. Looks like they are extending the walls to the left. You can see the footer and some re-bar.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In the lot closest to the structure work continues on the foundation and basement for one of the show buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The rock work on the point of the island looks to be moving along.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

New landscaping is going in along the tram way.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Christmas tree has arrived onsite and will be assembled in the coming days for an early November trip to Main Street USA

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In Town Square the cannon has been placed in its new location.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Disney Showcase has switched over to Christmas merchandise now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

There was one rack of Halloween left.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The hub trees have received their Christmas lights.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Star Wars from the Big Thunder Trail. A steel support structure for the rock work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on the Fantasmic stage area. Notice the projector under the netting. Looks like some projection mapping testing was going on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

No real visible progress on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Main Street USA at 2:34pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The facade work on Peter Pan has wrapped up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Lights continue to be installed on Small World in preparation for the Holidays. The attraction closes Monday, October 24 for the holiday installation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The scaffolding is down from Roger Rabbit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work has moved up the block now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Toon Town fire truck must be on a call... (backstage for renovation).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Nemo seagulls were MIA today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Mickey leading Soundsational through the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Critter Country is closed. A sign on the main walkway. It was closed just before the bridge by Splash Mountain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The display in the Main Street Opera House has been updated with Star Wars concept art.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Time for the Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on removing the Mad Tea Party set. Wonder if the statue will return?

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Doctor Strange has moved into the Sunset Showcase Theater.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A narrow path by Monsters right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Now that AP Days have concluded it's all clear around Stage 12 now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The FastPass machines for Frozen are gone. I read they have switched to only busy days. Most days are now standby for all. Also interesting only 3 shows listed on the marquee today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Tower of Terror continues to be surrounded by scaffolding. The attraction is operating at 2/3 capacity (one shaft is down for renovation work) as it limps towards a full closure in January.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Bugs have decorated for Christmas already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Moana sneak peek has moved into the Bugs Theater.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The poles on the right side of Route 66 have been installed for the Christmas decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work has wrapped up on the Rushin River Outfitters.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In the lobby of the Grand Californian is a Halloween display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Some stats/info on the display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A closer look at the display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Walked through Downtown Disney. Something Silver is behind walls.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

No visible progress on removal of the House of Blues building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A fun polka band performing on the main stage in celebration of Oktoberfest.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Here are several clips from their set. It was nearly 50 minutes long.

A seating area, lights and three trucks were set up in the park area near ESPN.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on the new store near Jamba Juice.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The World of Disney entrance near Starbucks is under wraps.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

"Scareolers" performing between La Brea and World of Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Several video clips of the Scareolers performing.

Tower of Terror, a sign for the Late Check Out

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Wait times were up this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A Doctor Strange costume in the lobby of the Sunset Showcase Theater, which is hosting a preview of the film.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A selection of Moana merchandise in Elias and Company.

Here are a couple items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Crews working into the night on the Star Wars project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

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







September 14, 2016

Halloween Time Returns to the Disneyland Resort

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Halloween Time

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

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

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

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time

The large character pumpkins above the entrance turnstiles were back.

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time

The Mickey pumpkin has returned to Town Square.

Halloween Time

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time maps

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

Sleeping Beauty Castle

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

Star Wars Launch Bay

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

Matterhorn photo op

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

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Vampire Mickey popcorn bucket

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

Halloween Disneyland popcorn bucket

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

Halloween Time Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

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

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The loading area:

Haunted Mansion Holiday

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

Haunted Mansion Holiday

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

Haunted Mansion  Holiday Sally

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

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

Halloween Time

Halloween Time

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

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

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

Halloween Time merchandise

Halloween Time merchandise

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

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

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

Halloween Time Vampire Mickey

Halloween Time witch Minnie

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

Halloween Minnie Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The entrance to Toontown has some Halloween decorations.

Halloween Time

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

DCA map

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

AP Days

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

AP Days

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

AP Days

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

AP Days

AP Days

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

AP Days

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

AP Days

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

Caramel apple smoothie

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

AP Days

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

AP Days

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

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

Tower of Terror photo op

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

Trader Sam's This Chilling Challenge

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

Trader Sam's Hitchhiking Ghosts Mug

Downtown Disney had a couple types of Halloween banners.

Tower of Terror banner

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

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

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

Halloween Time Cupcake

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

Halloween Time Poison Apple Mug

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

Halloween Time Coffin Cake

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

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







August 12, 2016

A Disneyland Day - 8/5/16

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Lee and I went to Disneyland on Friday, August 5...here are some thoughts, observations, etc.

It was the first trip to Disneyland for our new Chevy Volt, so we checked out (and used) the Electric Vehicle charging stations that are located on the ground floor of the Mickey & Friends parking garage. I have an entire upcoming blog post on that so I'm not going to say much more now. It worked fine for us.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

We arrived at the security checkpoint around 10:30. The lines weren't too bad, and moved well. It wasn't looking like it was a really busy day. Really nice weather that day, too - overcast and 70s in the morning, and maybe 82 in the afternoon. Very comfortable.

Our main objectives for the day were the Frozen Lunch Package (blog to come) and to see the Disneyland All-American College Band. We had some time to wander around DCA before lunch. The Paradise Garden Grill restaurant is open again - it had closed for a while. There were several people ordering when we were there, which was good to see. The menu is unchanged - still Mediterranean skewers. That's not a complaint - I like them.

Paradise Garden Grill

Disney recently announced that the Tower of Terror would be turned into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT is supposed to open in the summer of 2017. No announcement yet as to when the current ToT attraction will close. Hmmm. I'm not sure how well this fits into the Hollywood Land area, but if DCA is going to become the Pixar/Marvel park, then I guess this is another step along that road. (As a reminder, Captain Marvel and Spider Man moved to DCA from Disneyland earlier this summer.)

Tower of Terror

Lucky Fortune Cookery has added a Chicken and Vegetable Potsticker offering to their menu. It's $4.99. Or maybe it never left after the Food and Wine Festival, where it was the Festival item available at Lucky Fortune Cookery.

When we were in the Pacific Wharf area, the Mariachi Divas were performing the Linda Ronstadt song "Blue Bayou". Not what I would expect from a mariachi group, but they did it beautifully.

Mariachi Divas

Award Wieners has a Crush the Turtle souvenir sipper for $12.99. It looks like it would be rather awkward to carry, though. Their current specialty hot dog is named "nacho ordinary chili dog". It's an all beef hot dog with chili, pepper jack cheese, nacho chips and jalapenos, for $8.19.

Clarabelle's has added a mango sorbet bar to their menu in addition to the mixed berry sorbet bar. And of course they still have chocolate and vanilla ice cream bars, too! I keep meaning to have one of those again.

The "confection of the month" in the candy stores is S'Mores. So the specialty caramel apple and crispy treat are topped with graham crackers and marshmallows this month. I had one of the s'mores caramel apples last year - not really impressed. The graham crackers (not surprisingly) were soft.

S'Mores caramel apple

In anticipation of the release of the upcoming "Pete's Dragon" movie, there is an Elliott apple, too.

Pete's Dragon Elliott caramel apple

Speaking of Elliott...we went to the sneak peek of the movie in the Sunset Showcase Theater - originally the Muppets theater. Though most recently it hosted the Frozen Sing-a-long, and the waiting area still has a lot of Arendelle elements.

Pete's Dragon preview


Sunset Showcase Theater

The cast member who gave us all of the usual pre-show warnings was very entertaining. He approached it as though we were viewing footage that proved the existence of creatures like Elliott and Nessie. Fun. As we were leaving, Jason pointed out to me that Elliott made some appearances in the forest projections that were on the walls above the exit doors. The movie itself...not really my thing, I don't think.

Pete's Dragon preview

Olaf's greeting spot is just to the right of Stage 17. It's kind of hidden, and there was no line, so we stopped by for a warm hug. :-)

Olaf Meet and Greet

When we went to check in for our Frozen pre-show they told us that the 4:00 show had been canceled, so we would be seeing the 5:50 show instead. That messed with our plans to see the College Band at 6:15 in Disneyland. :-( Our pre-show was still going on as scheduled from 2:40-3:40.

Since the Frozen pre-show is held in Stage 17 we were able to duck out of it at 3:00 to catch a little bit of the College Band's jazz set. They perform that on the Backlot Stage.

All-American College Band Jazz set

Instead of hanging around DCA waiting for Frozen (we were supposed to return by 5:30) we went over to Disneyland to wander around for a while. We started at the Main Street train station. With the Disneyland Railroad closed because of Star Wars construction (and the re-routing of the tracks), Disney is putting trains out at Main Street and New Orleans Square, with train engineers available to talk to guests about them.

Disneyland CK Holliday train

We saw the C.K. Holliday at Main Street, which had just completed a refurbishment and was looking pristine and beautiful. While Lee was talking to the engineer, I sat in the Fireman's seat.

Disneyland Train

Carlos talked to Lee for quite a while about the controls in the cab and how they work to run the engine. We got a lesson in Disney train history, too. Really very interesting - I highly recommend going up to the train station and taking advantage of this opportunity. We were there for about 20 minutes and only a few other people came up there.

Disneyland Train controls

Hyperspace Mountain is still very popular (100 minute standby line at 4:30 in the afternoon) - but enjoy it while you can. The attraction is closed September 6-8 so that the Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay can be applied. No word on whether or not Hyperspace Mountain will return after the Halloween season ends on October 31.

As previously announced, all of the 60th anniversary nighttime shows - Paint the Night, Disneyland Forever, and World of Color - Celebrate - will be ending on September 5. Fantasy in the Sky will be the nighttime fireworks show at Disneyland until the holiday season starts - the assumption being that Believe...in Holiday Magic will return. Mickey's Soundsational Parade will continue to be the afternoon parade, but will add an additional evening performance on busy days starting on September 9. And it's expected that A Christmas Fantasy Parade will return for the holiday season.

But Paint the Night isn't quite done yet - on August 10, Disney announced that it "will return on select nights during the holiday season later this year." Perhaps bigger news in that same announcement was that the Main Street Electrical Parade will be returning to Disneyland next year.

Over at DCA, the "original" World of Color show will return until the holiday season. (Given the public's demand for all things Frozen, I would be shocked if World of Color Winter Dreams was not back during the holidays.) I say "original", because there were a number of versions of the show during its first five years, so it will be interesting to see which version reappears - and if any of the new elements added for Celebrate will be used.

But I digress...we were wandering around Disneyland. We stopped for a look at the newish Star Wars Land artwork on the construction wall near Big Thunder Mountain. It's a full-sized version of the image released last month, and it was nice to get a larger view of it.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

The Hungry Bear Restaurant is pretty quiet these days. With all of the construction fence up, it's not nearly so appealing to sit there and enjoy your meal since you can no longer watch the activity on the Rivers of America. And the lower level of the restaurant is a dark cave, since all of the light gets blocked. While that might be appropriate for bears, it doesn't have much charm for humans.

Hungry Bear Restaurant

The Country Bear artwork along the exit ramp is nice, though.

Hungry Bear Restaurant

There are a few specials being offered at the Hungry Bear - maybe in an effort to try to bring in more guests? The Churro Funnel Cake looked really good, but we didn't get to try it. There's also a Peach Cobbler Funnel Cake.

Hungry Bear Restaurant funnel cake specials

And a Country Bears Jug sipper, for $12.99.

Hungry Bear Restaurant jug sipper

I mentioned the train at the Main Street Station - there was one at the New Orleans Square station, too. And there we could even walk across the tracks to get a close look at the inner workings of a steam boiler which had been opened up so we could see how it works. Engineer Jim was there to answer all of Lee's questions this time and described some of the safety mechanisms. We could have stayed even longer, but we had to get back to DCA to see the Frozen show.

Disneyland train steam boiler

There will be more info on the Frozen show in the other blog - but by getting the package we had our choice of seats on the Orchestra level, and that was quite an advantage. The show went off almost perfectly - just one small sound glitch and the "rolling troll" did not make its appearance, which made that scene change seem longer.

Frozen - Live at the Hyperion

After the show we hustled back to Disneyland to see the College Band perform their 7:15 set at the train station.

Disneyland All-American College Band

I hadn't seen their new Jungle Book number, and that was excellent. At the 7:15 set they often perform a Michael Jackson medley, but we lucked out and saw their Star Wars medley instead. That was phenomenal. They finished with the Earth, Wind, and Fire set, which we've seen many times over the years. It's always very good, but for me it didn't have nearly the impact of the Star Wars number.

We headed for home after that. If you've noticed, we didn't do any rides at all, but still we had a really good day. We enjoyed our lunch very much, and also enjoyed wandering around the parks, speaking to the train engineers, and watching the College Band.








August 1, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 7/29/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 29, 2016.

An overview of the Star Wars Themed Land construction at Disneyland.

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

Here is a video look around the site.




The wall nearest Fantasyland has had a coating applied to it.

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

The walls along the Big Thunder trail have been coated too and are being extended.

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

A lot of activity toward Critter Country this visit.

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

Some columns on the wall structure and looks like dirt is being put in between the wall and columns.

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

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

A closer look at the far side of the site where they are stalling large steel i-beams. They bore a hole then lower the beam in and fill the hole with concrete. Guessing this will be the support steel for rockwork.

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

In the center of the site a lot of footers taking shape for the retaining walls for the river, rock work and the backstage Fantasmic marina.

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

A retaining wall near what appears to be the new tip of the island.

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

Most of the pipes that were staged here are now installed. More I-beams are on site now.

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

A closer look at what appears to be the curve of the river with the forms on the left and outhouse on the right.

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

The new Starbucks in Downtown Disney is open.

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


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

Most outdoor vending carts now feature a small podium with a cash register, this one in Paradise Pier.

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

The Tower of Terror from Sunset Blvd.

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

The old Mad T Party props are now gone.

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

Over to Disneyland, a look through the fence at the end of the Big Thunder Trail shows the new wall along the old walkway.

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

Pocahontas was out meeting guests along the trail.

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

Some scaffolding has come down on Tom Sawyer Island revealing a new color scheme.

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

A check of the work from near the canoe dock in Critter Country.

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

In New Orleans Square some renovation work going on at the Train Station. You can still visit the train during the work.

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


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

Time for the nightly Flag Retreat.

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

The old workshop near the Village Haus is now called the Royal Reception and it appears to be a check-in area for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I did not venture inside.

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

A check of the former Skyway area. The walkways have been removed and new plants and trees brought in.

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

Casey Jr. had no wait so went for a ride.

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

Casey Jr traveling over Storybook Land

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

Another example of an outdoor vending podium

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

The Toontown Depot is behind walls for some renovation work.

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

Walls up under the monorail.

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

Jambalaya Jazz performing on the Rivers of America

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

Time for Paint the Night.

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

Disneyland Forever fireworks were cancelled so instead a couple minute projection/light/laser finale.

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


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


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







July 25, 2016

Dining Review: Cafe Orleans

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Cafe Orleans

I mentioned in a previous blog that my favorite Disneyland table service restaurant is Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square. I hadn't actually eaten there in several years, though, so I wanted to try it again to see if it was as good as I remembered.

I made a reservation just a few days in advance, and was able to get the time I wanted. As it turned out the restaurant wasn't that busy, and walk-ups were being told it was only about a 15 minute wait.

We waited 5-10 minutes after I checked in. While I was waiting I looked around the nearby Mlle. Antoinette's Parfumerie shop. I'd read a little bit on-line about this shop recently. Supposedly Lillian Disney chose the name and the crystal chandelier inside was a gift to her from Walt. The mirrors were painted with a technique called "reverse painting".

Mlle Antoinette's Parfumerie

The shop carries five perfume brands: Guerlain, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Acqua di Parma and Fendi. There are selections for men and woman, and exclusive fragrances that can only be found at Disneyland.

Mlle Antoinette's Parfumerie

It's really quite a lovely space.

Cafe Orleans has seating both inside and outside. I said we'd take first available, but I was really hoping for outside, and that's what we got. It was a very nice evening, and the dining area was mostly shaded. Though as the sun went down it descended below the level of the awning and both Lee and I had sun in our eyes for a while at the end of the meal.

Cafe Orleans Seating

The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, and offers New Orleans-inspired dishes such as gumbo, a muffuletta sandwich, and savory crepes. The famous Monte Cristo Sandwich is also available. There are two versions: the classic with ham and cheese, and a vegetarian three-cheese sandwich. I personally find these to be belly bombs, and haven't had one for years.

Cafe Orleans Lunch/Dinner Menu

Our server was on a break, and it took a few extra minutes before the server filling in for her arrived to take care of us. In addition to soft drinks we wanted to start off by sharing an order of Pomme Frites. These are garlic French fries with Parmesan cheese, served with a Cajun-spiced remoulade. I'd forgotten how large the serving was - it was plenty for four of us to share. They were just as good as I remembered, and were a big hit.

Cafe Orleans Pomme Frites

Instead of ordering an entree here, I usually order the French Onion soup and the La Salade de Maison. And that's what I did. The soup is up to $10 now, but it's still very good, and pretty filling.

Cafe Orleans French Onion soup

The salad is always nice and fresh, with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and candied pecans, and a raspberry vinaigrette. I find it to be a good-sized serving for $6.

Cafe Orleans La Salade de Maison

Lee ordered a cup of the Chicken Gumbo. He said it was very good. $7 for a cup or $10 for a bowl.

Cafe Orleans Chicken Gumbo

For an entree, both Lee and Kristin ordered the Braised Beef Crepe - braised beef in a Bordelaise sauce with Cremini mushrooms and pearl onions. In the past the crepes were flat, but this time they were rolled. It was a very attractive presentation. They were served over a pea puree. I was surprised that the pea puree didn't have any additional flavors or spices - it really was just pureed peas. It needed something else. Lee was disappointed in the beef - it wasn't bad, but the flavor was different than what he expected - he thought there would be more spice.

Cafe Orleans Braised Beef Crepe

Matt ordered the Chicken Gumbo Crepe - chicken, Andouille sausage, tasso ham, and Creole gumbo sauce with sauteed Cremini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. It was also served with pea puree. He said it was good, and I think he enjoyed it more than the others did the beef crepes. Both crepes were $20, and we all agreed that for that price the portion size was a little small.

Cafe Orleans Chicken Gumbo Crepe

For dessert we shared an order of Mickey Beignets ($9). There were five of them, and we all enjoyed them. They were warm and slightly crisp on the outside with plenty of powdered sugar and fried dough goodness! Matt and I both liked them with the raspberry sauce that came with them - Lee and Kristin tried the vanilla anglaise, also.

Cafe Orleans Mickey Beignets

I think I was the one most pleased with my meal - but I stuck to the menu items that I knew I liked. Still, I think everyone had a good experience. It's always very nice to be able to sit down for a meal after a busy day in the parks. We all especially liked the pommes frites and the beignets.

After this most recent dining experience Cafe Orleans still holds its position as my favorite table service restaurant in Disneyland. It's especially nice to be able to sit outside on a pleasant afternoon or evening and enjoy NOT being out in the crowds.







July 23, 2016

A Trip to Disneyland in Summerrrrrrr

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Frozen - In Summer

Lee and I, along with our friends Matt and Kristin, spent a summer Saturday at Disneyland. Lee and I, of course, are frequent visitors, but Matt and Kristin are not, so we wanted to get in as many of the newer/favorite attractions as possible.

I was the only one who had seen the new Frozen - Live at the Hyperion show, and none of us had seen the new Soarin' Around the World, so those were both high on our list.

We arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking garage just a couple of minutes after 8:00 - I was surprised at how long the line was to get in. It took probably 15 minutes before we were finally parked. And then we had to wait for a parking lot tram. Usually they are one right after the other, but this time, even though they were loading two at a time, there was a 1-2 minute gap between when one left and another arrived to fill its place.

Though I wondered if that was intentional to keep the security lines down - they were relatively short. Only 10-12 people in each line. The bag checkers were being a lot more thorough, though, and that took extra time. And now everyone goes through the metal detectors - it's no longer random like it used to be. But that went pretty quickly.

With everything that's been going on in the United States and around the world recently, I was not surprised to see much more of a security presence this time. There were significantly more uniformed security personnel in the parks, Downtown Disney, and the Esplanade. And that doesn't count the plainclothes security that I know is also around.

We got Fastpasses for Frozen and Radiator Springs Racers, and then rode a number of other attractions standby. Midway Mania was about 20 minutes, but California Screamin' and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree were less than 10, and Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters was under 15 minutes. Matt and Kristin had been fans of the former Luigi's Flying Tires attraction, so were somewhat disappointed at the change, but thought the new ride was cute.

We went over to Disneyland to get a Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain. It sounds like that will be going away soon, since Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is returning for the Halloween season.

It was not a particularly busy day at Disneyland. I waited at Space Mountain for about 15 minutes while the others went to get coffee, because (surprisingly!) the Fastpass return time was still too early and overlapped with our Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass. The standby line for Hyperspace Mountain was only 45 minutes.

Weather-wise it was a very nice day - it might have gotten into the low 80s, but not warmer than that. For a July day it was really very pleasant, and cooler than usual.

We went back to DCA and got a Fastpass for Soarin' Around the World - the return time was only 50 minutes away! That surprised me.

It was not a very busy day in either park - certainly not what I would normally expect on a Saturday in the middle of summer. But maybe the new seasonal pricing scheme, where this day was a "Peak" day for one-day tickets, is starting to have an affect. It was also a blockout day for most annual passes - everything except Signature/Signature Plus and Premier. While things seemed busier than usual first thing in the morning, the crowds did not pick up appreciably throughout the morning like they usually do. Maybe if you're going to pay that much for a one-day ticket, you're going to be sure you arrive at park opening? The seasonal pricing does not apply to multi-day tickets (yet), and I saw lots of people using those.

We returned to use our Soarin' Around the World Fastpasses. I find it frustrating that Fastpasses for Soarin' never have worked as efficiently as they do for most other attractions. Even with a Fastpass we waited about 15 minutes.

I was wondering if the interior would be different, but it's not - you still walk through the California Aviators Wings of Fameexhibit. It seems odd that there's not a more international focus now.

Soarin' Around the World

The logo is slightly different.

Soarin' Around the World

I had already heard this, but I was happy to see that Patrick was still our flight attendant. :-)

Soarin' - Patrick your flight attendant

This was my first time to see the new movie in person (I had seen it on-line). I was disappointed. The scenery is beautiful, but I found the gratuitous use of CGI to be very distracting. Most of the scenes had added elements that obviously weren't really there. And we won't even talk about the Taj Mahal scene, which was entirely computer-generated. The locations they chose were beautiful, and could stand on their own - they didn't need any effects added to them.

Though speaking of effects...the "speed-up" effect that we experienced a couple of times was really well-done. I felt like I was moving a lot faster.

While I was underwhelmed, I will say that Lee really liked it, and says I spoiled it for him by pointing out all of the things that weren't real. Kristin said she preferred the original California version.

I liked the grass scent - though I'm not convinced that's really what the plains of Tanzania really smell like. :-) The ocean scent was similar to what we smelled in the original attraction. I did not detect the rosewater fragrance that was supposed to accompany the Taj Mahal scene. But I may have been too focused on how fake it looked. I really loved the Iguazu Falls scene - I think that was my favorite.

It was time to use our Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses. Now this is how Fastpass SHOULD work - we were on the ride about 5 minutes after entering the queue. Afterwards I used a feature of my AP that I hadn't tried before - I took a cell phone photo of our attraction photo, then put that number into my AP Photopass account after we returned home, and was able to download our photo for free. Nice. (The free Photopass download is available with Signature, Signature Plus, and Premier APs.)

Radiator Springs Racers Photo

Apparently regular guests can purchase a single day Memory Maker package for $39, which includes all attraction photos as well as any other Photopass photos. That almost seems reasonable.

On Buena Vista Street, a number of the "Citizens of Buena Vista Street" were out and about. This was the first time that I'd seen both of the messengers, Molly and Millie, out at the same time. They are twins, and they squabble over which one gets to ride the bike. :-) Molly is on the left in the photo below.

Citizens of Buena Vista Street Molly and Millie

We'd ended up with several Fastpasses in a row, so we went back to Disneyland to ride Hyperspace Mountain. Unfortunately it was down. But the good news was that our Fastpasses would be valid any time for the rest of the day - assuming it came back up.

On our way to Hyperspace Mountain we'd stopped to get Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The return time was only 35 minutes away. So we went and got Dole Whips (Matt's request) while waiting. Even the Dole Whip line was not particularly long, and it moved quickly.

Dole Pineapple Juice sign

We defeated the Evil Emperor Zurg, and although we didn't quite make it to Galactic Hero status we had fun.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

We had Fastpasses for the 4:00 performance of Frozen, but wanted to be in line about 3:15, so we went back to DCA to do what we like to call the Wine and Beer Ride. :-) Normally we would've gone to the Al Fresco Tasting Terrace but we really didn't have enough time for that, so we went to the Sonoma Terrace instead. They have a good selection of craft beers (though they are all in bottles - none on tap), and a few wines by the glass. The guys each had a beer, and Kristin and I both had glasses of the St. Hilaire sparkling wine. The cast member who poured the latter filled the glasses ALL the way to the top - we had to take a sip before we could carry it to a table! We also got one of the cheese plates to share.

Sonoma Terrace wine and cheese plate

The Sonoma Terrace is next to the Wine Country Trattoria on the Paradise Pier side. There's a nice large seating area there, and most of it is shaded. It's usually pretty quiet and it's a great place to sit and relax.

We enjoyed the opportunity to sit down for a while before we had to deal with all of the Frozen Frenzy. On our way to the Hyperion Theater we stopped at the 60th anniversary photo stop in "a bug's land". This one is a lot of fun, though the photographer didn't have the butterfly net prop for Matt to use. My AP is also my Photopass card, and again, free downloads!

Disneyland 60th Ant-iversary

But back to Frozen - Live at the Hyperion Theater. This was my first time experiencing it as a regular guest - I'd only see the media preview. The show started at 4:00. Our Fastpasses said to arrive between 3:00 and 3:40. (The Fastpass line closes 20 minutes before the show and those in the Standby line are allowed to fill any available seats.) We arrived at the Hyperion about 3:20. Each Fastpass specifies which section of the theater it is for: Orchestra, Mezzanine, or Balcony. We had Fastpasses for the Mezzanine. Those who had Fastpasses for the Orchestra section were already packed in like sardines (which used to be an export of Norway's - we toured an old cannery in Stavanger last year), and there were still people arriving. The Mezzanine section was filling up quickly, also. There was a huge line of people trying for standby in any section they could get into. I should mention that the 11:00 show had gotten canceled that day, so my guess is that many people who had Fastpasses for that show were now trying for standby.

We were admitted to the theater closer to 3:45 than 3:40. We were able to get seats in the third row center of the Mezzanine. The Mezzanine was always my favorite section for Aladdin, so I wanted to see how it was for this show. (I saw Frozen from Orchestra the first time, at the Media preview. I was in about the 6th row, which seemed like a fine choice at the time, but ended up being too close.)

Frozen Hyperion from Mezzanine

There's what I assume is a safety bar about 15" above the railing of the Mezzanine, and if you were in the first two rows it obscured your view of the stage somewhat. Even in row three it was in our view when the actors were towards the front of the stage.

Frozen - In Summer

There still seem to be some issues with this show. As I mentioned, the first show of the day was canceled, and our show had a technical issue of some kind less than 10 minutes from the end. Fortunately after a few minutes they were able to continue. I know it's a very complex show, but since it's been running for over six weeks I was surprised that there still seem to be so many problems.

Frozen Finale

I still really enjoyed the show. The viewing was much better overall from the Mezzanine than it was when I'd seen it from row 6'ish of Orchestra. There was a good view of Elsa on her ice staircase. Though I think the best seats might be the first couple of rows in the second tier of Orchestra (Loge?).

Frozen - Elsa on ice staircase

I thought the "Aurora Curtain" effect was much more pronounced from this seat location and I felt more immersed in Arendelle. There's one scene where Elsa is walking forward and a zoom effect on the projections at the back of the stage and on the curtains makes it look like she's really moving towards us much more quickly.

The acting and singing were still excellent. The Kristoff, Hans, and "Weaseltown" characters were played by the same actors that I saw before, but Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and the King and Queen were different. I thought this Anna/Elsa pair was better. The Olaf was just as good as the first - both of the actors I've seen were outstanding, and really captured the character.

Frozen - Anna and Elsa

Kristin and Lee both thought the show was very good. Matt had never see the movie, but still enjoyed the show. Though parts of it were a little confusing since there's a few plot points that were in the movie that are skipped in the show. If you haven't seen the movie, the climactic Elsa-Hans-Anna-Kristoff-on-the-ice scene is a "where are they and what's going on?" kind of thing.

Frozen Anna and Elsa

Disney is currently scheduling four shows a day - and that doesn't even come close to meeting the demand. Even with Fastpasses people are lining up as soon as possible to try to get good seats. That makes for a long wait even before the show starts. The $49 that Disney is charging for the pre-show experience and priority seats is looking more appealing to me all the time.

I was concerned about big crowds getting out of the theater but it wasn't too bad. We had a 5:30 priority seating for Cafe Orleans in Disneyland that I'd made in advance before I knew what Frozen show we'd be seeing. Once we had the Fastpasses I knew it would be a little tight, but I thought we'd be ok - but then we had the delay in the show. It was 5:15 before the show ended. We made it, but just barely. As it turned out the restaurant was still accepting walk-ups, so it wasn't really a problem. I'll have a separate blog with a review of our meal.

After dinner the Disneyland app showed us that Hyperspace Mountain was running again so we went over to use our Fastpasses. No problem, and we were on the attraction quickly. I was again able to use my AP Photopass feature to download our ride photos. Though unfortunately the CM seated us in two different cars, so we aren't all in the same picture.

Hyperspace Mountain

We had planned to head home after that, but the Disneyland All-American College Band was performing a set at the train station so we stopped to hear the rest of it. This is the first time we'd seen them this summer. They are always so talented, and a lot of fun to watch.

Disneyland All American College Band

We really had a very nice day! We were able to do all the attractions we really wanted to and we had a few opportunities to relax, also. I was pleasantly surprised that the parks were relatively uncrowded - that wasn't what I had expected that day.

I enjoyed the Frozen show as much the second time - I predict it's going to be around for a long, long time...it might even beat Aladdin's 13 year run at the Hyperion Theater.

Though I'm hoping the new Soarin' film is NOT around for 13 years...I was really disappointed in that.







June 19, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 6/17/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 17, 2016.

An overview of the Star Wars site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

Now a pan across the site from left to right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The large mound of dirt is shrinking as trucks haul it away.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The Skyway building is now gone this week. Almost all the demolition work is done and major clearing. They have now started to build.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Soarin' Around the World premiered today here (as well as in Epcot; Shanghai opened yesterday). Only change outside I noticed is the "Around the World" replaced "California".

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

FastPass logo has been updated. Not surprisingly they were almost gone for the day at 1:35pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Since the wait was posted at 75 minutes and looked slightly shorter I decided to get in line at 1:38pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

FastPass distribution ended around 1:50pm and they closed it up while I stood in line waiting. They made an announcement of technical difficulties and they would be down to one theater. Which doubled the wait time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Almost to the front door at 2:36pm, an hour in. They were letting less than 10 standby guests into each cycle. So we were moving very slowly. The FastPass return line stretched out toward the entrance of Smokejumpers Grill (it turned the corner and I could not see the end).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Finally made it inside the door at 2:58pm I saw no changes to the interior queue. Background music seemed the same loop too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Watching the pre-flight video at 3:33pm. Instead of clouds and cities the new one has a map that features the locations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The safety video is the same, just no over California in it. I was seated and ready for my flight at 3:38pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

On my way up the exit at 3:45pm. So it was 127 minutes from when I entered the queue till I exited the building.

My first impressions - The clarity of the new film is impressive and the scenic locations are amazing. Though I felt they went to the computer graphics well too many times. The locations themselves are visually stunning and in almost all cases did not need the "enhancements". Sometimes they seemed to dominate and distract from the amazing sights. I also found the transitions between scenes to be annoying - the abrupt motion and sound versus a peaceful transition bothered me. I would have liked to have seen them show a little more restraint and pick/choose where to use the effects more.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The Silly Symphony Swings are back in operation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Frozen Live at the Hyperion is up to four shows daily now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Next stop Disneyland. Surprised there was nothing going on for Finding Dory. First stop for me was the Big Thunder Trail. A second fence with mesh has gone up blocking the nice clear view we had of the Star Wars construction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

There was a small crack left with no fence, so here are a couple quick pics. The forms look to be up near the old Big Thunder Trail, wonder if it is for a retaining wall or structure that will be the visual barrier for the new walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The hole in the fence here is still available (this week at least).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The 2016 All-American College Band started their summer in the park on Thursday. Here is Ron at the nightly Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The All-American College Band performing a Disneyland Attraction Medley during their 6:15pm The Castle Set



The band moves to Main Street to perform music from the Incredibles

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

As they move toward Town Square they play Gonna Take You There from Princess and the Frog.



They stop again near the Emporium and perform Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

After their performance I headed for Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Autopia was down for some reason.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Time for the 7:15pm All-American College Band set at the Train Station in Town Square. The set opens with "Bubbles was a Cheerleader."



Meet the 2016 All-American College Band.



The set features a Jungle Book medley this year.



The band plays a pre-parade starting at 8:15pm near Small World with their Disney Movie Medley.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

They then move to the hub and perform Uptown Funk.



The band stops on Main Street and performs Let it Go.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The last stop for pre-parade is Town Square and they performed a Star Wars Medley.



Since I was in Town Square I found a spot for Paint the Night

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

I closed out my evening with Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 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.







May 31, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates Including Star Wars Land Construction - 5/27/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 27, 2016.

In this post I will take a look at the Star Wars construction and some other random pictures as I walked the park. It will be "Frozen-Free" for the most part because Laura and Jeanine will be covering that new attraction in depth. If you want to see the view from the balcony you can check out my full picture set.

I started off checking out the Star Wars construction progress. They have done a lot more clearing since I was last at the park. Looking to the right, the berm is gone and the concrete that the backstage buildings were on is now gone, too. No berm or other obstructions.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

In the foreground it looks like a hole is being dug on the left. With the trees you really could not see.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Interesting to note that the tunnel is still there, but the dirt around it is now gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The skyway building is still standing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

What appears to be a path with dirt built up on both sides is taking shape in the middle of the site. Maybe it is one of the entrances where the train will pass overhead.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Going to the far right of the site now -- In the distance is the Hungry Bear. In the middle is where the berm ends now. To the right, equipment breaking up and removing concrete from the former backstage support buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A couple video clips taken from the parking structure of the construction.

One last wide shot of the site before heading to the parks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Frozen billboards at the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Donald was out on Buena Vista Street. I do not recall seeing this costume before.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Moving over to Disneyland... Donald and Minnie were greeting guests near the entrance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

At the Main Street Train Station they have opened the cab of the Ernest S. Marsh so you can go inside and take pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Time for the nightly Flag Retreat, a good way to mark the Memorial Day weekend.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Taking a look at the Star Wars construction from the end of the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean has reopened. This area was very congested because the bridge is closed (due to treehouse work).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Walking up the trail to Critter Country. The parking structure is clearly visible giving a reverse angle on my opening pictures.

You can see the berm is gone and you can see clear through to the tramway fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A look through the fence from near the canoe dock.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

That is the Hungry Bear dining area screen on the left.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

From the second story of the Hungry Bear you can see what appears to be the new path for the river taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A better look at what appears to be the new river path.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Looking to the left they are still sorting and clearing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A couple video clips of the work from inside the park.

There are quite a few promotions going on right now. The Hungry Bear registers are looking really cluttered.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A Disneyland cat was making the rounds of the Hungry Bear dining area as I ate. It was begging for food from guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The Bootstrappers were performing as I walked through New Orleans Square. Here are some clips.

As I mentioned earlier the Pirates bridge is closed due to treehouse work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The reason the bridge is closed -- the scaffolding takes up the walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The Space Mountain Restrooms have reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

You can now buy Mickey popcorn buckets with prepackaged popcorn.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

One seagull is MIA this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Paid a visit to the skyway building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Finally found one of the new cans. I spotted two, both near the corn dog truck.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

I returned to Disney California Adventure. The challenge trail is closed in the evenings now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The swings are being re-assembled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

One AP promotion this summer is a refillable popcorn bucket. It's $15 for the bucket and $1 for each refill.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Noticed the screen was not over Mickey tonight on the Fun Wheel, so there were no projections there during World of Color.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Instead they had them on the Screamin' loop.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

I opted to watch Disneyland Forever from the parking structure to avoid some of the congestion. This is from the Finding Nemo segment. With the trees gone you get an OK view.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Finally, here are the new park guides for the summer.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 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.

May 16, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 5/13/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 13, 2016.

Since Laura covered the re-opened and new attractions I will use this post to check in on the projects around the resort. This trip marked my 13th trip of the year, appropriately enough on Friday the 13th.

Let us start off with a check of the Star Wars construction. They have removed more backstage buildings since my last visit and it appears they have now done the initial demo work on all the buildings and the fence line/perimeter of the project is set. Here you can see the far end of it stretches all the way to the Winnie the Pooh show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A short video overview of the site taken from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.





Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Looking toward where the Big Thunder Ranch used to be. In the distance you can see the old Fantasyland Skyway building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

There were several large earth movers cruising the site adding to the large mound of dirt on the former Circle D site.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Another video clip of the site.

A large mound of dirt has been created on the former ranch site using the old berm and river banks dirt.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Working on clearing the plants and other debris from the berm near Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A second Starbucks is slated to open this summer, it is being painted now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Monorail is closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The House of Blues closes the end of the month.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

LittleMissMatched is gone and Chapel Hats has moved in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The closure list for today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Pirates is closed and rumor is FastPass is returning.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

From the bridge near Splash Mountain. In the distance you can see the parking structure where I took the earlier pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

From the Hungry Bear.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A video clip of the Star Wars work from the Hungry Bear.



Star Wars work from the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A video clip from the Big Thunder Trail of the Star Wars work.



Big Thunder this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Super Hero HQ sign has been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Paradise Garden Grill closed several weeks ago, internet reporting is due to budget cutbacks around the resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The swings are closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Grizzly River Run is closed for renovation too. No signs of work going on, though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Rambler had the tailgate open today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

There was audio coming from the car too. Here is a video clip so you can hear the music playing.

Gone Hollywood has become a Star Wars and Marvel store.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A look around. On the right when you enter is Marvel.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

On the left Star Wars

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Pixar Play Parade rolling by

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Studio Store in Hollywood Land now features some Alice & Dory merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Zootopia has been removed from the Animation Building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The animation building was busy this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Soarin' will receive a new film on June 17th featuring global sights. In preparation for this the signage now sports the new logo and many California references have been removed over the past several months.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Walked through Elias and Company. A lot of Finding Dory merchandise is available now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Back to Disneyland. The restrooms at the Space Mountain exit are closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Watched Paint the Night from Main Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Found a spot for Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Showtime

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 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.







May 14, 2016

Disneyland and DCA - New Attractions and Shows

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On our recent trip I had the opportunity to experience some new shows and attractions that have recently opened. I say "new", but two of them were actually updates of existing attractions that just came out of lengthy refurbishments.

The first is the Jungle Cruise, which just re-opened on May 6. The biggest change was to the dock area, to help keep the boats more stable during the loading/unloading process. The dock that you seen on the right side of this photo was added, which helps to confine the boats and limit their movement.

Jungle Cruise dock

Here's a view from the boat - you can see the boats also had bumpers added to them.

Jungle Cruise dock

A closer view of the bumper.

Jungle Cruise dock

There really weren't any changes to the ride itself - everything was just freshened up. The skippers still tell the same corny jokes. (Here was our first sign of "Danger.")

Jungle Cruise

I thought the piranhas sprayed more than I've seen before.

Jungle Cruise

We had a slight wait before going to the dock to unload, so heard a longer version of the menu at the "Cannibal Cafe" - rump roast, toe-fu, ladyfingers, Girl Scout cookies, cold shoulder...

Jungle Cruise Trader Sam

The elephant was added to the roof above Tropical Imports.

Jungle Cruise

It was nice to see the Jungle Cruise return - it's a classic attraction.

Another refurbished classic attraction is the Tomorrowland Autopia. The big change is that Honda is now the sponsor rather than Chevron. There's a whole new color scheme now.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The cars are still the same, though some of them have an updated body with a Honda logo. Others appear completely unchanged.

Autopia

You can see some of the old and new cars in this photo.

Autopia

The load process is still the same.

Autopia

I hadn't done this ride in a long time. I thought that the graphics on the screen in the loading area and inside the building part of the queue were new, but I could be wrong.

Autopia

Autopia

Some of the graphics on the outdoor screen were fun.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The track is still the same - some interesting views.

Autopia

There is still a short "off-road" section. It had rained earlier on the day we did it, so that area was a little muddy.

Autopia

There's still the booths on the exit ramp where for $5 you can get a photo taken to put onto your Autopia Driver License.

Autopia

Autopia

We had to laugh when looking around the queue - I'd say that 2/3 of those riding were parties of adults WITHOUT children. Pretty high nostalgia factor for this one.

Autopia

One change: Autopia is no longer a Fastpass attraction.

Over in DCA...

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, which replaced Luigi's Flying Tires, opened in March. It's the first attraction in the U.S. Disney parks to use the trackless vehicle technology that they have in the overseas parks. The cars are Luigi's cousins from Carsoli, Italy, who are demonstrating some of the traditional dances from their village. The cars move all around the floor as they whirl around each other, and at the end they all dance and spin in formation.

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters

There are five different songs, most of them accompanied by lots of beeping.

It's quite finicky about operating conditions, though. I saw it E-stop because someone's hat blew onto the surface, and on this recent trip I was on the ride when it stopped because of light drizzle. (Cast members had warned us that might happen - they gave us a pass that was good for almost any ride in either park.)

Autopia

It's a cute ride, and the spinning at the end is fun, but a lot of us preferred the Flying Tires.

Over in the Animation Building, the Turtle Talk with Crush show has been updated to include characters from the upcoming "Finding Dory" movie. Dory and Destiny the Whale Shark appear together in an extended scene, as does Bailey the Beluga.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

There's also Marlin, Hank the Octopus, and a hermit crab.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

I saw this several times - it seemed much more scripted than it has in the past. I think that's mostly to get the appearances of the "Finding Dory" characters in there. Still a cute show, though, and it was very popular with the kids.

Finally, I saw the new sneak peek of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film: "Alice Through the Looking Glass." Instead of the "It's tough to be a bug" theater, where the sneak peeks are usually held, this one is in the former Muppets Theater, now that the "Frozen" sing-along has moved out. The theater has been renamed the "Sunset Showcase Theater." On the outside are some of the oversize props from the Mad T Party.

Through the Looking Glass preview

On the inside, though, it still looks like a hall in the Kingdom of Arendelle.

Sunset Showcase Theater

There's something fun in the pre-show area: two booths that will transform you into different characters from Alice in Wonderland. I thought it was pretty well-done. To get started you answer a few questions on the touch panel in front of you, and then look into the mirror above. After some initial process takes places you can use the touch panel to select which characters you want to see yourself as - Mad Hatter:

Alice Mad Hatter

Queen of Hearts:

Alice Queen of Hearts

White Queen:

Alice White Queen

Cheshire Cat:

Alice Cheshire Cat

White Rabbit:

Alice White Rabbit

At the end you choose one of them and mug for the camera. Then, if you have supplied an email address during the introductory portion, it will email you a video.

It was fun to do, and fun to watch. There's a line off to the side for those who wish to try it. It takes several minutes for each person.

The movie clip itself was in 3D. There were just a couple of "4D" effects. Not really my cup of "tea", though. The movie opens June 10; the sneak peek is scheduled to run through June 12.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

While this wasn't a new attraction or show, it was still something new...ducklings! They were in one of the planters near the hub. It's always fun to see the new babies every spring.

Disneyland ducklings

We still have some more new things to look forward to - the new Frozen - Live at the Hyperion musical, as well as the new Soarin' Around the World film. Frozen opens May 27; Soarin' is scheduled for June 17.







March 10, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2016 Egg-Stravaganza

laura%27s%20masthead%20copy2.jpg

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.







February 9, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2/05/16

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


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






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

Each week will feature a different theme.

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


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


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


To the left free popcorn and water.


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


A look at what you can pick up.


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


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


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


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


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


Today Jiminy Cricket was out for pictures.


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



A preview of upcoming pins.


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



There were also tables for coloring.


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


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


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





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


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


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



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


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



Chinese brush painting and calligraphy


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


New Year Wishes


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


Lantern arts and crafts


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



Several carts with food for the event.


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



Mulan and Mushu were greeting guests.


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



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


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


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



A video clip of the Dragon Dance.



A video clip of the ribbon dance.



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


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



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


Mickey and Minnie were out greeting guests.


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


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




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


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



The Blue Sky Cellar is also hosting AP Days.


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


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



Some AP Days signage as you enter.


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


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


Tables for coloring near the video loop.


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


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


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



They had recipe cards here too.


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



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


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


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




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



Today Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair


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



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

They had the menu posted.

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


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



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


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



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



Woody was out in Frontierland.


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



Work on the Autopia continues.


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



More Autopia repainting and repair.


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



Small World has returned to operation with its regular show.


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



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


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

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

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








February 2, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 1/29/16

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their recreation of the lost safari scene

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


Here is a video of the experience.




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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Princess Tiana was onboard for pictures

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



A sign in Fantasyland to help you find Frontierland.

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

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

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

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

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

The Autopia is closed for renovation too.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Some work on the back wall of the Blue Sky Cellar

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

The new attraction is listed in the park guidemap now.

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

And is on the map.

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

New editions of the Buena Vista Bugle are available.

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

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

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

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

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

Stopped by the Silver Spur Supplies in Frontierland.

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

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

A video clip of the music box in action.


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

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



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







January 29, 2016

Disneyland Update - 1/22/16

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For a change Jason didn't go to the parks, so you get a Disneyland update from me instead. :-) It won't be as thorough or have nearly as many photos, though. I didn't make it to DCA since I was with a friend who didn't have a park hopper ticket.

We arrived at the Toy Story lot about 11:40. I was surprised that we were still able to park in the "Woody" section - though we were in the last row. While I would rather park in Mickey and Friends, I have found that when coming in from Ball Rd. I more often than not am diverted south on Disneyland Drive over to parking at either Garden Walk or Toy Story, so I just go straight to Toy Story now. I avoid a lot of traffic and aggravation that way.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was no line at the security checkpoint. We presented our bags and breezed through. We were not randomly selected to walk through the metal detector.

A number of Disneyland attractions were closed - the Rivers of America attractions will be closed for an extended period of time (at least into spring of 2017) because of Star Wars land construction:
Disneyland Railroad
Mark Twain Riverboat
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Fantasmic!
Jungle Cruise
Autopia

Tomorrowland was the most crowded area of the park - Season of the Force is still very popular. Still, we were able to get a Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain with a return time of 3:15 - a little over three hours later.

Hyperspace Mountain

We walked into Path of the Jedi just a couple of minutes before the show started. Kristin was happy for the refresher, since she was planning to see "The Force Awakens" two days later. And she's told me since then that seeing Path of the Jedi helped her enjoy the movie more.

Star Tours had a standby wait of 50 minutes, but we were able to pop across the way and blast some astros at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Though it's not running, the Mark Twain was at the Frontierland dock and open to visitors, though apart from wandering around on board there wasn't anything to do. I heard later that there are sometimes characters on board for meet and greet opportunities, such as Princess Tiana and Louis. On other days the Sailing Ship Columbia is at the dock instead.

Mark Twain Riverboat

Big Thunder Trail is now closed. On the Frontierland side it's closed just beyond the exit of Big Thunder Mountain.

Frontierland closed


Frontierland closed

Outside the Jungle Cruise there are skippers who interact with guests and pose for photos. They also conduct Skipper School several times a day.

Jungle Cruise Skipper School

When Lee and I were there a couple of weeks ago we had more of an opportunity to talk to the skippers about this and what's going on with the attraction. Guests who participate get to tell a Jungle Cruise joke and receive a Skipper certificate. When the attraction reopens (April?) you can bring your certificate to the attraction exit and use it as a Fastpass.

And, again according to the skippers, among the changes being made are modifications to the load/unload process. Instead of using ropes and "skipper power" to hold the floating boats next to the docks, the boats will go into some kind of dock container that will compress and hold them in place for loading and unloading. This should be safer and hopefully speed up the process.

Part of the Adventureland bridge/walkway was closed though the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Dole Whip stand were still accessible from the Main Street side.

Adventureland construction wall

Here's a look at attraction wait times at 12:50.

Disneyland wait times

By this time we needed to head over to the Disneyland Hotel for our Classic Afternoon Tea (follow the link to read my review on that). It was a lovely experience.

Practically Perfect Tea

After tea we took the monorail back from Downtown Disney - I haven't done that in a long time.

You can see the train pulled up at the Main Street station - although the railroad is closed, Disneyland has a train available at the Main Street station where guests can talk to one of the engineers about them.

Disneyland train

First stop was to get Fastpasses for Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear. The Fastpass machines for those two attractions are co-located. Since the Buzz Fastpass machines are not linked to the rest of the system, you can get a Fastpass for Buzz even when you have a Fastpass for something else!

It wasn't quite time for our Hyperspace Mountain Fastpasses, so we went on Holiday "it's a small world". This was the final weekend before the short refurb period to remove the holiday overlay. I was surprised that it was a very short wait - 5 minutes, maybe.

small world holiday

After that it WAS time to ride Hyperspace Mountain! It was great - I really enjoy this attraction and all of the new visuals, and especially the music. I think you really want to be in rows 4-6 and not 1-3: there are a few effects that you don't see very well if you're in the front.

Hyperspace Mountain

We went from battling one evil empire to battling another, as we then used our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg.

The Haunted Mansion had just reopened that day after the holiday overlay was removed. I always find it strange to ride this attraction when it's not in holiday mode. The Fastpass machines were in use, which is unusual, as they are typically only used during the holiday period. The Standby line was posted as 20 minutes, but I don't think it took that long.

Haunted Mansion

We wandered back to Critter Country. The Hungry Bear restaurant is surrounded by scrims and looks closed. But there's a cast member out in front with menus so that guests will know that it's open.

Hungry Bear construction walls

Splash Mountain was basically a walk-on - I haven't decided whether it's because no one wanted to get wet (it had been a sunny day, though by then the sun was behind clouds and the temp was around 66) or if people thought nothing back there was open because so much of the Rivers of America area is closed. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was a walk-on for us. We both love Tigger.

Tigger, Rabbit, and Pooh were outside Pooh's Corner greeting guests, and there were quite a few guests waiting in line. So at least there was something in the area that was drawing more of a crowd. Otherwise, Critter Country seems a little sad right now.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had been down earlier, and now had a long standby line, but we could get a Fastpass with a return time of less than an hour later. We still had an hour to go before our Star Tours Fastpass was valid, and we went to Redd Rockett's Pizza Port for dinner. I wanted to try one of the Season of the Force specials - the Dark Side Chicken Curry Pizza. It had curry chicken, roasted cauliflower, Gouda and mozzarella cheese, cumin, pickled vegetables and fried beans. The sauce was a little too spicy for me, which is unfortunate, because otherwise I enjoyed it. But because of the spice level I wouldn't get it again.

Dark Side Chicken Curry Pizza

There are a couple other Season of the Force specials: The Fields of Naboo salad and Forest of Endor pasta. There's also a Chewbacca Cheesecake. And this is one of the locations where the BB-8 beverage container is available for purchase.

Redd Rockett's Pizza Port Menu

Chewbacca cheesecake

I liked the Season of the Force posters in the dining area.

Season of the Force posters

Time to take a trip on Star Tours! During Season of the Force most of the random elements have been removed and the first planet visited is always Jakku, and BB-8 is the holographic character in the next scene. All three times I'd done it before I'd seen the security droid as the first scene, and Naboo as the final scene, so I was wondering if that was the only configuration. But this time Vader was the opening scene and Coruscant was the final scene, so I saw something a little different.

For our final attraction of the day we used our Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Fastpasses. This ride is so much more fun at night!

We had a great day. Even though we didn't arrive until noon, and had a two-hour break, we still managed to get four Fastpasses and experience 10 different attractions before we left at 7:00. It's always fun for me to visit Disneyland with someone who isn't a frequent visitor and experience it through their eyes. Even with all of the construction and closures there's still a lot to do, and there were a number of other things we would've done if we'd had more time.







October 6, 2015

Disney's Halloween Time 2015

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Disneyland Main Street Pumpkins

Friday was my first opportunity to experience Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort this year. I have always enjoyed this event, though I miss seeing the decorations that used to be over in Disney California Adventure - I always thought Goofy's Candy Corn Acres was a lot of fun! But now everything takes place in Disneyland.

The usual decorations are in place at the entrance, and hundreds of pumpkins decorate Main Street. See Jason's Halloween Time blog for all of the photos.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Also returning this year are the seasonal overlays for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Mickey's Halloween Party is taking place on selected nights - 17 parties this year. There were signs posted in the Esplanade advising guests that Friday night's party was sold out.

The Dia de Los Muertos display is back in Frontierland. This year there are new sweet treats with a Dia de los Muertos theme.

Disneyland Dia de Los Muertos treats

The event that did not return this year is the Halloween Carnival that has been held in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area. It featured pumpkin carvers, crafts and games, entertainment, and character meet and greets. I missed that - particularly seeing the pumpkin carver's creations.

It was Media Day and Disney had set up several interviews for me, all in the Halloween "spirit", so to speak. Especially this first one, which was a lot of fun.

They called it a "Haunted Conversation", and afterward I was haunted by all of the things that I could've said...like feeling petrified, or asking Archibald if he was often taken for granite, or even singing a few bars of "Grim Grinning Ghosts." Oh well, at least I got enough in that the interview wasn't a total bust. ;-)

There's always quite a variety of Halloween merchandise available - it's starting to rival the holiday season! Disney merchandise coordinator Ashley Cortez showed me some of the new merchandise. There are even more Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion items in the Port Royale shop in New Orleans Square.

Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise

I thought the Figaro plush was very cute.

Halloween merchandise

A lot of the shops have Halloween displays.

Disneyland Halloween merchandise

Here is one of the Halloween Party shirts - there's also an orange version.

Disneyland Halloween Party t-shirt

The shirt glows in the dark, and speaking of glow in the dark, there are a couple of other new items. This is the Zero popcorn bucket. Zero glows in the dark AND his nose lights up.

Disneyland Halloween Zero popcorn bucket

This Poison Apple Stein also glows in the dark. Unfortunately the steins are currently sold out.

Disneyland Poison Apple Stein

I spoke with Disney chef Christina Orejel about some of the seasonal treats that are available. Surprisingly, a number of them feature pumpkin! Who knew? I've interviewed her several times and she's a lot of fun.

One of the seasonal treats we did not talk about is thePumpkin Beignets that are available at the Mint Julep Bar. One of my favorites, though I think I like the gingerbread beignets that are available during the Christmas season just a little more.

Disneyland Pumpkin Beignets

Lee and I went to the Hungry Bear Restaurant for lunch, since the menu there has recently changed a bit. You can find the updated menu HERE. The burgers are still on the menu but the Fried Green Tomato sandwich and Big Al's Salad are gone. There's a new Turkey Caesar Wrap and a Picnic Salad. The mini pies are also gone, and funnel cakes are the featured dessert.

I tried the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which isn't new, but I'd never had it before. It's served with French fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, or zesty slaw. Normally I'd order the slaw, but they put red and green peppers in it - yuck. So I tried the onion rings instead, which were quite good. The sandwich was disappointing - it was a deep-fried chicken breast, and it was pretty dry and tasteless.

Hungry Bear Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Lee ordered their Halloween Time special: Pulled Pork Hot Dog. Lee really enjoyed it - he ordered sweet potato fries with it. I had some of the pulled pork and it was tasty.

Hungry Bear Pulled Pork Hot Dog

For dessert we tried their other Halloween Time special, a Caramel Apple Funnel Cake. This was huge, and we couldn't finish it. It was really good: the apples weren't too terribly sweet and they didn't overdo the caramel sauce. When we ordered it the cast member asked us if we wanted it half and half - they would have made it half caramel apple and half one of their regular toppings (chocolate or strawberry).

Caramel Apple Funnel Cake

We were able to get in a couple of rides on Haunted Mansion Holiday before the line got too long. This is the 15th year in a row that Jack Skellington and Co. have "decked the halls", and I've enjoyed it every year. There's a new gingerbread house each year - this season it's a house of cards. It doesn't have much movement compared to more recent gingerbread creations - just sways slightly.

Haunted Mansion Holiday House of Cards

I thought the opening scene with Zero seemed a little different this year.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Zero

The Hat Box Ghost is still in residence - in addition to his top hat, there are a couple of more seasonal hats around him.

Disneyland Christmas Hat Box Ghost

We also dared to take a voyage on Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. I didn't notice any changes here. My favorite part is still the display in the launch bay - watching it seem to malfunction as the signal is lost, then re-established. Oooooh......

Disneyland Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

In the past the Disneyland Band has had special spider-web decorated band uniforms during Halloween Time, but the new band is wearing their regular Diamond Anniversary uniforms. The Dapper Dans still wear their Halloween vests, though.

Disneyland Halloween Dapper Dans

And speaking of costumes...the characters appear in their own Halloween costumes.

Vampire Mickey

Not much Halloween "spirit" at DCA, though we found the loaves of Mickey jack-o-lantern sourdough bread outside Pacific Wharf Cafe (they are also available at Mortimer's Market).

DCA Pumpkin-shaped sourdough bread

And there's a new fall edition of the Buena Vista Bugle.

Buena Vista Street Bugle Fall 2015






September 16, 2015

Disneyland Patriot Day Flag Retreat & Challenge Coin Presentation

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 11, 2015, with a look at the Patriot Day Flag Retreat Ceremony.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World have a nightly flag retreat ceremony as the Town Square flag is lowered for the evening. At Disneyland this show varies, but most nights features the Disneyland Band, Dapper Dans, and a security honor guard. They honor those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. Throughout the year the ceremony is used to mark other occasions too such as Veterans Day or, in this case, Patriot Day.

Signage for the nightly Flag Retreat which will honor Patriot Day today, notice the America Sings characters on the sign.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Before the Ceremony, Ernie, a Disneyland Security Cast Member, presented a challenge coin to a veteran. Here he is showing the coin.

This tradition was started earlier this year. Here is a Disneyland News Release about the addition.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A closer view


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The other side of the coin.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Disneyland security and first responder cast members were part of the procession for the flag retreat to mark Patriot Day.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The honor guard arriving.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Cast members and guests watching the Flag Retreat


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The group that marched in was positioned on the steps of the train station.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015
The flags were at half staff to commemorate 9/11


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A video of the flags being lowered.




After being lowered and folded the flags are marched backstage.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Hope you enjoyed this highlight from my visit to 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 3, 2015

Photo Update from Disneyland Resort 7/31 - Entertainment!

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 31, 2015.

I spent a "lazy summer" afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. As I wandered around the parks I stopped to enjoy a variety of live entertainment. Here is a look at the various groups I saw on Friday. I have the full picture set from the trip on my site, disneygeek.com

First up the Straw Hatters were performing in the hub near the line board.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Boot Strappers performing in New Orleans Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Disneyland Band marching through the hub playing the theme from Indiana Jones

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Disneyland Band performing their Western set in Frontierland (guess Western plus Princess and the Frog)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Lightning rolling through Radiator Springs (while not a performing group decided to include him and Olaf below).
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The All-American College Band has a few weeks left in its run. I stopped by to watch the 3:00pm set.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

No signs of guests by Olaf so I wandered over. Olaf no longer requires a FastPass. They stopped distribution recently. There was no one around so I stopped by to say hi and grab a couple pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland wrapping up a performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Pearly Band posing for a picture during their performance in Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

At the French Market in New Orleans Square

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Stopped by Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat featuring the All-American College Band and the Dapper Dans this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

A Mariachi Band performing in Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

A video clip of the Mariachi band.

Because of the filming the College Band audible and performed on Main Street instead of in front of the Castle

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

This weekend is the 45th anniversary reunion weekend for the band. There were some alums enjoying the performances.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomasina performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The All American College Band performing in Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Ron enlisted several alums for the Stevie Wonder medley.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Alums were treated to a seat in the middle of the parade route to watch the pre-parade at 8:15pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015


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 24, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Starting off on Buena Vista Street this trip. Trolley Treats has some Cinderella inspired offerings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Grizzly River Run has returned to operation after its annual refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Part of the Bay Area is under refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The entrance arch to Paradise Pier is being refurbished.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Over at Disneyland, work continues on Sleeping Beauty Castle. The turrets are in various stages of decorations. They are overlaying the blink/diamonds on top of the existing structure. Much like they do with the snow each holiday season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Here you can see some of the shinier 60th and some areas that have yet to be covered.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Over on the east side the new tower

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A closer look at the new tower

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A closer look at the overlay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The tower on the west side

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The rest of the Frozen snow has been removed from Fantasyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Passing over Grizzly Peak Airfield onboard the Monorail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Most of the scaffolding is down from Small World.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Back to Disney California Adventure. In Paradise Pier where the Maliboomer used to be they have closed the smoking area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A sign directing smokers to Grizzly Peak.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Now that Smokejumpers Grill has opened the menu at Paradise Garden Grill menu has returned to Mediterranean specialties.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Fountains warming up for their performance this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Freeze the Night had started for the evening and due to the time change kicks off in the daylight now.

Marshmallow out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Some Cinderella merchandise in Elias & Co

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A few items based on the new live action film

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Back to Disneyland. The Primeval World has returned to the Disneyland Railroad.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

World of Color returned last week. The show is the regular one and will be until May when the new 60th Anniversary Celebrate! show starts.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A video clip of the Pocahontas segment from this viewpoint.


The back screens looked sharper. Not sure if it was my position, wind, or new equipment. My guess is a combination of all three.
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15


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, 2015

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 20, 2015 featuring a look at the Springtime Roundup at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

In the center is a food stand as is the norm now.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Checking out the Chuck Wagon Delights for spring.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


I missed their name, but a trio provides the music for the Roundup.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Mr Easter Bunny arriving for the Bunny Hop

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


The highlight of the event for me is the egg artwork. Here is a look at some of the early creations this year.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

R2D2

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Hard at work creating the next egg.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


A choir from South Dakota performed.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Pluto was dressed as a rabbit for the roundup.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Mickey and Minnie

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


The White Rabbit from Alice

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


There is also an arts and crafts area to create your own bunny ears.

Disneyland Springtime Roundup @ Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Springtime Roundup 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.



February 22, 2015

Disneyland Food Reviews

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I wanted to share some of the dining experiences Lee and I have had at the Disneyland resort over the last few months. The big one was the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Dinner Package, but you can read about that HERE.

We tend to go more for quick service dining than table service...while we have some favorites, we try to sample some different things sometimes...though in looking back over the past few months I see we've mostly stayed with the tried and true. :-)

If you read this blog before, then you probably know that we are really into running Disney races. And of course what we eat before (and after) the races is very important! :-)

Our favorite "night-before-the-race" dinner is the Four Cheese Ravioli from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta at Disney California Adventure. This restaurant tends not to be as crowded as Redd Rocket's in Disneyland - and the latter doesn't offer ravioli. :-) The ravioli is served with pesto sauce and topped with chopped tomatoes and pine nuts. The cast members serving ask if you want the tomatoes and nuts, so it's easy to omit them. I find this to be about the right portion size for me. I do wish that bread came with it. I have sometimes purchased a loaf from either La Brea Bakery or Pacific Wharf Cafe and brought some pieces with me to dinner.

Disneyland Food Reviews

One note on Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: it used serve individual flatbread pizzas, but around last September switched to more traditional pizza slices with a thicker crust. Lee was very disappointed in that - he really liked the flatbread pizzas.

But you can still get flatbread pizza at one of our other favorite places: Trader Sam's. Or Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar, to give it the full name! It's located at the Disneyland Hotel next to the pools in a building shared with the Tangaroa Terrace quick-service restaurant. Trader Sam's has seating both inside and out on the patio. To really experience all of the fun things you have to be inside, but there's often quite a line for indoor seating. It's usually faster to eat outside.

Trader Sam's is known for its specialty beverages that are served in various different souvenir tiki glasses (you have the option to purchase the glass to take home if you wish, but you don't have to). I love the names - things like: Hippopoto-Mai tai, Uh-oa (pictured below), Shrunken Zombie Head, and the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum. (Some of the servers will make you say all of that last one when you order it. :-) )

Disneyland Food Reviews

The food is good, too. Some of the items are the same as those at Tangaroa Terrace next door, but some are only at Trader Sam's. One of my favorite Trader Sam's exclusives is the Chicken Lettuce Wraps. This can be most of a dinner for me. The sauce is spicy (but not hot-spicy) and flavorful. You put it together yourself - it comes with 4-5 butter lettuce cups and then you spoon in the chicken, crispy rice noodles, and sauce and roll it all up. It's messy, but good!

Disneyland Food Reviews

Lee's favorite is the Kalua Pork Flatbread, with pulled pork, red onion, and bbq sauce. I agree that this is very tasty!

Disneyland Food Reviews

We also enjoy the Panko-Crusted Chinese Long Beans. I had no idea what these were the first time we ordered them, but they are really good.

Disneyland Food Reviews

Trader Sam's is a table service location. Our experience is that service is often slow, but it's also been very busy when we've been there, and they always seem to be understaffed. I've had good service when I've been able to sit right at the bar.

Once we've finished one of our Disney races we get cleaned up and are ready for a good breakfast. Our favorite park breakfast is Cinnamon Roll French Toast from River Belle Terrace at Disneyland. It's served with scrambled eggs and choice of bacon or sausage. It's really a good amount of food and it tastes great after running a race!

Disneyland Food Reviews

Another popular choice at River Belle Terrace is the Mark Twain: scrambled eggs, potatoes, biscuit, and choice of bacon or sausage. I don't like the potatoes because there's peppers in them, but they'll substitute extra bacon or sausage for the potatoes.

Disneyland Food Reviews

Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land offers some different breakfast items. It's not my top choice, but if we're eating there I usually get the Chicken Tamale with scrambled eggs, salsa verde, and pico de gallo. The tamale is good but the eggs at Flo's have a weird consistency - they seem to be cooked in big casserole pans and they don't really seem like scrambled eggs.

Disneyland Food Reviews

The Brioche French Toast is more like a bread pudding. It's served with salted caramel sauce and bananas, and it's very sweet - too sweet for me.

Disneyland Food Reviews

There's also the traditional American Breakfast with scrambled eggs, potatoes, biscuit, and choice of bacon or sausage. Again, the eggs are a bit odd, and they also put peppers in the potatoes. This is a decent-sized breakfast, at least, whereas I find the tamale and French Toast to be not quite enough food for me.

Disneyland Food Reviews

I really like sandwiches, and Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney makes some very good ones - including breakfast sandwiches. I really enjoy their seasonal holiday turkey sandwich, with cranberries, stuffing, and gravy. Earl of Sandwich is a very popular place and the line is usually long, though they move people through pretty efficiently.

But we were talking breakfast. The last time we were there we both ordered the bacon, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich (though I requested Swiss instead of cheddar). The sandwich was good but not great. It's also about half the size of their regular sandwiches, so keep that in mind. Of course the price is lower, too - $3.99.

Disneyland Food Reviews

One of our favorite afternoon spots is the Alfresco Tasting Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery in Disney California Adventure. It's open very limited hours, though - doesn't open until 2:00 in the afternoon, and sometimes is only open on the weekends. The seating area is outdoors, and while it's covered with an open lattice-style patio cover, it's not totally shaded, and can be very warm. There's really a wonderful view from some of the tables, though, and it's a very relaxed and quiet spot.

Disneyland Food Reviews

The Disney Family of Wines is featured there: all of the wines that are offered are from wineries with some kind of Disney connection. So that includes wines from Diane Disney Miller's Silverado Vineyards, Kurt Russell's GoGi, the Lasseter Family Winery, and Fess Parker Winery, among others. Wines can be purchased by the glass or as part of designated wine flights (no substitutions in the wine flights).

They also serve a selection of appetizers inspired by wine country. These are upscale offerings, things like Beef Tenderloin Sliders and a Charcuterie and Cheese Board.

Disneyland Food Reviews

One of our favorites is the Aged Cheddar Risotto Bites. Balls of risotto and cheese, rolled in something crunchy and deep-fried. Not at all healthy, but SO good! They come with two dipping sauces - a garlic-herb aioli and a marinara. The marinara is more like a very flavorful tomato chutney. I love it - I'll eat it by the spoonful after all of the risotto bites are gone.

Disneyland Food Reviews

Our other favorite is the Flatbread Two Ways. Have you noticed the flatbread theme in our dining choices? :-) I think this is supposed to be seasonal, but we've had it three times over the last 6 months and it's always been the same - not that we're complaining, because we like it! It's a half-and-half - one half is fig, arugula, and apple sticks, drizzled with balsamic, and the other half is tomato, olive, and crisp prosciutto. Really good.

Disneyland Food Reviews

While the wines and beverages are served quickly here (the bar is on the terrace), the kitchen tends to be very slow. The last time we were there our order got messed up - another table, who had arrived after us, but apparently ordered the same thing, received it. Our server wasn't paying much attention to us and didn't know it until we asked her what was taking so long. We got lots of apologies, and one of our appetizers was comped, but it was not a very good experience. Had it been our first time there, we might not have returned.

Also at the Golden Vine Winery is the Mendocino Wine Bar. Lots of different wines available by the glass - a much larger selection than at the Alfresco Lounge upstairs. If I'm indulging I usually order one of the sparkling wines, like a prosecco or the Rosa Regale. A somewhat small (and I think overpriced) cheese and fruit box is the only food option. There's some outdoor seating available there on the patio between the Wine Country Trattoria and the Blue Sky Cellar.

Disneyland Food Reviews

If I'm just looking for something sweet...Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop is my first choice. You get a chocolate sample just for walking in, though lately they've switched to their "minis" rather than the full-size chocolate squares. Of course there's all kinds of treats on the menu here - ice cream sundaes, cones, milkshakes and floats, cookies and brownies, hot and cold coffee beverages, and several types of hot cocoa, too. My favorite is the Midnight Reverie sundae: chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate fudge sauce, semi-sweet chocolate chips, whipped cream and a cherry. Oh, and a dark chocolate square on top. Heaven if you love dark chocolate! I've always found the service here to be pretty quick. The only time it wasn't was a very cold evening when almost everyone was ordering hot coffee and cocoa, and they just couldn't make them fast enough.

Disneyland Food Reviews

Another sweet indulgence is the Mickey-head Beignets from the Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland. The regular ones are good, but I prefer to get them in the fall when there are usually pumpkin or gingerbread beignets available. The last time we got these we had a long wait - we were in line for 10 minutes just to order, and then had to wait another 10-15 minutes for our beignets. They were really good, but maybe not quite worth that much of a wait. One word of warning: Do Not Inhale! You can't actually breathe powdered sugar. :-)

Disneyland Food Reviews

One snack item that I haven't tried but I have to mention: the Crunchy Snowman Veggie Cup, available for $3.99 at some of the fruit stands. It's got slices of jicama, black olives, carrots, and celery, and a cup of ranch dressing.

Disneyland Food Reviews

I had an early dinner at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in Disneyland recently. I tried their Specialty of the House - Jolly Holiday Combo - a toasted cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup and a small side salad. Now, when you call something a "specialty of the house", I have higher expectations, so I was very disappointed in this. The sandwich was only barely warm and the cheese was definitely not melted - just a little bit soft. I enjoyed the soup and the salad was also very good - it had feta, spiced pecans, tomatoes, and craisins on top of the greens.

Disneyland Food Reviews

We had lunch at the Carthay Circle Restaurant a couple of months ago. The menu there changes seasonally, so what I enjoyed is probably not still on the menu, but is still an example of the types of selections that are available. I started with the Carthay Autumn Salad - mizuna, pears, spiced pecans, and a charred orange vinaigrette. It was very good.

Disneyland Food Reviews

I also ordered the Carthay Soup of the Season - roasted apples with wild rice, kohlrabi, Nueske's ham and duck confit. I couldn't tell you what kohlrabi is, or what it tastes like, but I really liked the soup. Lots of interesting flavors, so maybe one of those was the kohlrabi. :-)

Disneyland Food Reviews

Lee ordered the Carthay 8 oz Angus Burger - with cheddar cheese, pepper bacon and grilled onions. It's served with French fries. Lee says it was a really good burger - and I thought the fries were excellent.

Disneyland Food Reviews

It was a very nice dining experience - it's a beautiful restaurant, and doesn't feel like it's in the middle of a theme park.

If you've dined at these or any other Disneyland Resort restaurants, please share your experiences in our Rate and Review section.


January 17, 2015

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 9, 2015.

In this posting I will take a look at another element of the "Frozen Fun" that runs through April 30. Pieces of this event have been open since December, with Arendelle being added to Storybook Land back on December 19, and then soft openings of the other components over the days that followed. Below you will find my first look at Frozen being performed in the Royal Theatre at the Fantasy Faire in Disneyland. So far, after having see all the various "Frozen"-related attractions being performed in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, I'd say that the best Frozen thing I have seen is the show at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire. It was really well done and funny.

A visit to the Royal Theatre and to see a performance of Frozen.

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones introduce the show. There are a few live characters in the show, but these two use many puppets to reenact the story.

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Here is a video of the opening.

The troll scene.

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun


Anna and Elsa join the cast.


Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Kristoff and Sven

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

The sleigh ride scene.

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

A video clip of the sleigh scene and wolf battle.

Olaf's arrival and "In Summer" performance.


Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

Disneyland's Royal Theatre - Frozen Fun

The finale to the Frozen show at the Royal Theatre


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. Be sure to check out my other postings looking at the rest of the Frozen Fun activities, and as always you can see the full picture set on my site disneygeek.com.

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 12, 2015

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 9. 2015.

In this posting I will take a look at the Frozen Fun that runs through April 30. Pieces of this event have been open since December -- Arendelle was added to Storybook Land back on December 19 and there were soft openings of the other components over the days that followed. I covered Storybook Land in my December 19 postings. Below you will find pictures/video of the Hollywood Land changes for the event and the Sing-Along. I will have separate postings on the Freeze the Night event and Royal Theatre Show in the Fantasy Faire, plus my regular park updates. As always you can see the full picture set on my site disneygeek.com.

Frozen has arrived in a big way at the Disneyland Resort! As I reached the Disneyland Resort I spotted this banner featuring the Frozen characters on the Mickey and Friends exit ramp.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun billboards at the Tram Stop

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun banners in Downtown Disney

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun ads on the ticket booths replacing the traditional annual pass holder ads.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun banners at the DCA entrance.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun has taken over the DCA Guidemap and times guide too.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The Christmas tree is gone and in its place is a Frozen Fun photo op.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Most of the Christmas decorations are down on Hollywood Blvd and Frozen Fun banners have taken their place on the lamp posts.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun has taken over the Backlot area, too.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

And Frozen has moved into the Animation Building.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Further down the street you can get FastPass tickets to meet Anna and Elsa.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The House of Ice bar (used for Freeze the Night in the evenings)

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The dance stage from the House of Cards is gone and in its place is this open dance floor. The food truck has a Frozen wrap on it.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The menu for the food truck.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The face painting is still there but now there are Frozen choices.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The main stage for Freeze the Night. No band, just a DJ platform.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The Ice Box bar

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The menu for the Ice Box

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The Muppets have been removed and now the venue is called the Crown Jewel Theatre, featuring a Frozen Sing-Along.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Evergreens were brought into the area.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

You can also get a FastPass for the Sing-Along at these unmarked machines.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

What the FastPass looks like

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Next door in Stage 17 is the Snow Fest, but it was closed this afternoon for some reason. The Cast Members did not know why or would not share, and there was no ETA on reopening when I asked.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The Muppet store is now the Wandering Oaken's Trading Post. They have removed the large counter so you can now walk into/through the store.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

And a lot of merchandise is outside the store.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Inside above the merchandise are some props.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

A cart selling leather goods with engraving.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The signage at the Animation Building has had a Frozen update

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The building received some sort of wrap along the walkways.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Inside you are greeted with signage for the meet and greet.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

A queue for the Animation Academy.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Anna & Elsa have moved into the Character Close-Up area.

As seems the new norm you cannot see the characters unless you go through. Walls are up forming some rooms in the area now. There were FastPasses available, but unfortunately the one I received was for a time I could not visit. So no pictures from me this trip of the inside.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Off the Page (last trip I looked at the Frozen merchandise there if you are interested check out my 12/19 pictures set)

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Another view of the Trading Post

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Banners are hung over the props as you enter the theater. (Note I used standby and was one of the last people in so I could not really stop to take pictures. The Cast Members kept pushing me along because they wanted to close the doors and start the show.)

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Inside all traces of the Muppets appeared to be gone (but I was walking fairly quickly and trying to snap a few pictures so I may have missed something).

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The waiting area looks quite different now. This is all I saw of it before being hurried into the first door.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Inside I ended up with a seat in the back but toward the middle. It was a full house. Maybe a dozen empty seats scattered around that I could see.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The theater has new projections and some new decorations.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Show time -- the penguin pit is covered and there is a stage in front of the projection screen now.

One of two historians that narrate the show and fill in the plot details and some comic relief between the songs.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland


Anna made a quick appearance

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The second historian is introduced.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

A couple clips to get an idea of the flow of the show.


Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

The side projections/lighting change from time to time

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

A wider shot of the theatre

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

For the finale Kristoff and Anna return, and Elsa joins them.

And of course an encore of Let it Go for the finale. No words needed for this Sing-Along.

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Frozen Fun at Disneyland

Here is a video clip of the finale.

The Snow Fest was still closed. Olaf was greeting guests just inside the exit doors. This was the best shot I could get of him. The wait was 45 minutes. (Later in the evening it was 90.)

Frozen Fun at Disneyland


This wraps up my first look at the Frozen Fun activities. Hope you enjoyed it. 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 22, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14, Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 14, 2014, the first weekend for all of the holiday decorations and activities at Disneyland.

Returning to Disney California Adventure. The window of Off the Page.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Inside the Animation building the Character Close-up area is closed. Internet rumor is the Frozen sisters will be moving in here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A couple clips from their performance.

One more clip from their performance.

Viva Navidad! has returned to Paradise Gardens. The Street Party was in full swing when I arrived in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Viva Navidad offerings

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Goofy was out for pictures when I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The 2014 logo on merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This Route 66 sign along the parade route seems new to me. It is hung like the snow flakes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the lights and neon to come on along Route 66. This week Winter Wonderland was played.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This evening Santa Mater rolled by as the event was happening.

The setting sun and new Route 66 sign, notice the snow flake lights in the background.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The citizens of Buena Vista Street gathering for the tree lighting.
The event was the same as the last couple years.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video from last year of the Tree Lighting.

The Christmas tree in Town Square lit up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A Christmas Fantasy Parade making its way up the parade route.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

If you were interested here is a look at this section from the old Very Merry Christmas Parade. I recorded this in December 1993.

As expected the jungle does not have a lot of lights...so the pictures are not very good.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The villagers had the generator they found going so their lights were on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The projection show from last year has returned to Small World Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

I returned to Main Street for Sleeping Beauty Castle Wintertime Enchantment. Here is a video I took last year of the show. It appeared to be the same this year.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Some Hanukkah items for sale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Over to Buena Vista Street and Trolley Treats. Holiday cookies.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A look around Carthay Circle this evening.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Mad T Party Band was performing when I arrived. They are concluding their sets with holiday/snow songs and snow fall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Mad T Party Band finale from 2012 leading to snow fall.

Snow Flakes lead the way to Paradise Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the 2014 edition of World of Color Winter Dreams.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

It now features more Frozen. Included is Do you want to build a snowman?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video clip of the opening.

Olaf is still the host.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

There seemed to be more of Tinker Bell and her friends in the video this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A clip from the middle of the show.

Big Hero 6 made the clips package this year. Here are Baymax and Hiro.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

In Summer has a new finale

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Santa Mater

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video clip of the new Frozen additions and it runs through the finale.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

After the finale for the exit music they use a studio recording of Glow (the song that opened the show last year)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A brief clip as I was exiting the park.


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 21, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14, Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 14, 2014, the first weekend for all of the holiday decorations and activities at Disneyland.

There is a lot going on, so this update has been split into two parts.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort before park opening Friday and spent a full day, staying until after World of Color, so I clocked in around 14 hours at the parks.

First stop today Disney California Adventure. I was in the park just after 8:30am, it did not open until 9:00am so had some time to roam around Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Walked through Condor Flats. Soarin' was open, with a 10 minute posted wait, no signs of a line yet and the area was nice and quiet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Picked up a FastPass for World of Color Winter Dreams then made my way over to Disneyland. The Christmas tree and garland are both up this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Main Street was alive with activity. Cars, people, horses all moving about.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The sky looked threatening.. it drizzled on the drive to the park, but no rain the entire day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A video of my ride through Snow White's Scary Adventures.

Next up Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Passed through Frontierland on my way to Adventureland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Jingle Cruise has returned for its second year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Signs up in the queue explaining the reason for all the jingle in the attraction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Looking up river this year there are more decorations. Here you can see garlands in the jungle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video of our trip.

A couple pictures from the trip, the tiger has gotten into some of the shipment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

More of the lost shipment down near the elephant bathing pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The family of baboons found the hats and boots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Down in the camp the gorillas were trying to bake some holiday treats

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The African Elephants managed to decorate themselves a little.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The outdoor decorations found their way into Africa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The lions enjoying the reindeer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The villagers found Christmas lights.

And a generator.

As well as some Christmas sweaters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Trader Sam ready to celebrate the new year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Went for a cruise on Small World Holiday. Here is the Europe room.

A video clip of the Latin America room - Feliz Navidad

Hiro and Baymax are now greeting guests in the Starcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey and the gang arriving in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Some of the characters boarded the fire truck for a ride to Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Big Thunder Ranch is hosting the Jingle Jangle Jamboree again this year.

Here are a couple video clips of the new melodrama: The Plight Before Christmas.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mrs. Claus Tasty Treats menu

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey in his holiday gear.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Santa was back in his seat meeting guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Chip in his gingerbread outfit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Dale in his matching outfit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Pluto pulled up a bench to color for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Stopped for lunch at the Stage Door Cafe and picked a table with a great view of the Rivers of America.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Jack and Sally out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A walk through Critter Country to check out the Christmas decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing on Main Street USA.

The Town Square Christmas tree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey signing autographs in Town Square in his holiday sweater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Walked through Downtown Disney.

The winter village is set up in front of the AMC as well as Earl of Sandwich.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Christmas tree sits in the middle of the ice rink again this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Olaf was stationed near his ice rink

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The hat near the Disneyland Hotel received a new color scheme recently.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This weekend is the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. This is the finish line.

The 5K was Saturday morning and Sunday is the half marathon. Laura will have a full report from the race festivities so I will skip them in this posting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Part 2 features photos from Viva Navidad and some of the nighttime activities, like World of Color Winter Dreams, and Sleeping Beauty Castle Winter Enchantment.

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 14, 2014

Holidaytime at Disneyland

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November 13th marked this year's arrival of the holiday season to the Disneyland Resort!

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To kick it off, the ceremonial lighting of "it's a small world" took place, presided over by the Gallardo Family. Their daughter Maya had battled acute myelogenous leukemia when she was 16 months old, but was ultimately cured by a stem cell transplant from her older brother Aaron.

Afterwards, the family was joined by their Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Rosenthal.

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Later, the "A Christmas Fantasy" parade ran for its 20th year, celebrating its anniversary with the addition of "Frozen" princesses Anna and Elsa.

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Finally, over at Disney California Adventure, a newly-reworked version of last year's "World of Color - Winter Dreams" opened with an increased "Frozen" presence, as the songs "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and "Love is an Open Door" were added into the spectacle.

In addition to these holiday offerings, there is a plethora of returning entertainment around the two parks:

Disneyland
--Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch
--Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle
--"Believe...in Holiday Magic" fireworks
--Haunted Mansion Holiday
--Jingle Cruise
--"Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort" guided tour

Disney California Adventure

--"Disney ¡Viva Navidad!"
--Classic department store Santa at Elias & Co.
--Holiday version of "Mad T Party"
--Seasonal makeovers to Cars Land, "a bug's land," and Buena Vista Street

Downtown Disney
--"Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink"
--Downtown Disney Winter Village
--Gingerbread House in the Grand Californian

Happy Holidays!

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September 21, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 19, 2014.

Some work going on along the tram way near the structure. Was not affecting service this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

At the Downtown Disney stop they have finished the repaving and all four stops were available today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Oswald now greets guests on Buena Vista Street throughout the day.

There were only a couple groups in line so I stopped by to say hi.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Some Halloween Treats at Trolley Treats

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Officer Calvin Blue escorting Donna the Dog Lady down Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Fall Edition of the Buena Vista Bugle is hot off the presses this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Was walking down the parade route and noticed the Racers FastPass sign still showed availability...cannot remember ever getting one after lunch on a regular day.

A rare afternoon Racers FastPass

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Continuing on Flik's lost its Fun.. well its sign at least. Also notice on the left the large trees are gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

In their place smaller ones have been planted.

Same on the other side near the entrance

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The area looks much more open now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Cozy Cone Halloween Time special item. A pumpkin twist.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Only a 35 minute stand by wait this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

We lost in the final turn - - Radiator Springs Racers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Work continues in the Wharf dining area. The walls have moved to the left from last week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

No visible progress on this project.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

At the Fly 'n Buy shop the Planes merchandise has moved inside. So the outside area is empty again.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The center of the Esplanade is walled off. Looks like they are working on the compass in the middle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The fence and curb around this planter near City Hall have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

It appears they enlarged the planter and redid the sprinkler lines (assuming that the dirt here shows the old planter edge)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Photo Supply store scaffolding is removed and the facade painting looks to be wrapping up. It is still closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The work near the walkway to the Castle is still ongoing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Wonder if this is the final state of the bridge work. Thought maybe the shields would return.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

In the Space Mountain exit area they have added some panels to the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The subs return to service next week. For now though the area was peaceful to walk through.

No signs of the seagulls yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Somehow I did not look up last week...Some Halloween decorations as you enter Toontown.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree to check out the latest pumpkin creations. This cast member made both the Hatbox Ghost and Small World pumpkins. She was working on Maleficent.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

This week a different magician (I missed his name) He did more sleight of hand tricks plus some traditional like a rabbit out of the hat or one with baby chickens.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Anna and Elsa passing by while I was eating... wrong lens and setting on the camera though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

A special performance later today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Disneyland Band arriving for the nightly Flag Retreat ceremony. They are wearing their Halloween orange uniforms.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

An Emporium Window highlighting Frozen merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

It was announced today that the Legends of Frontierland will be ending its run on September 27th.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

A piece of paper posted on the map today.

Some announcements about the Legends of Frontierland listing some of the activities today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

It was just after 5pm and the Hoedown was underway as I passed the Golden Horseshoe Miss Lilly was out dancing with guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Farley and Billy were providing the music.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Stage Door Cafe was closed for renovation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Walked through the French Market.

The Halloween Time offering.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Popcorn Cart in New Orleans Square has a Zero Doghouse popcorn bucket this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The walkway by Fowlers Harbour is open this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The entrance to the Winnie the Pooh queue is surrounded by scaffolding.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Hungry Bear Halloween Time offerings

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Jolly Holiday Bakery Halloween Time offering.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The Dapper Dans

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

The West Point Brass performing their "theme song" the Magnificent Seven. They played it at every stop.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Main Street was busy as usual as the sun was setting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Taste Pilots Halloween Time offerings

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Stopped by the final set of the night of the Mad T Party Band.

During Halloween Time each set they add a little more to their costume and makeup leading to the final set and a Thriller Finale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/19/14

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 17, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 12, 2014.

Along with your parking receipt on Friday you were given a button featuring Elsa from Once Upon a Time.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The first load/unload are at the Mickey & Friends tram stop in Downtown Disney was fenced off. A repaving project is wrapping up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Downtown Disney banners. One side has Cars Land, the other side Halloween Time. Speaking of Halloween Time it started Friday. I posted a separate set of pictures from Friday with those pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

First stop Disneyland.

More scaffolding and wraps up on Main Street. So most of the East side of the block is under wraps.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Castle Bros. sign has returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Photo Supply Co exterior is being renovated. Both the exterior and the interior of this store (the others just the exterior).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

A large tree has been removed from between Coke Corner and Jolly Holiday. It has been replaced with a smaller one. (on the right).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Some work going on as you walk toward the castle. Looks like the seating areas are being redone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The bridge has been rebuilt since my last visit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Frozen queue was small, they have started a new ticketing system. Tickets with return times are distributed to minimize your wait. These are gone close to park opening and were long gone when I arrived.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The outdoor vending carts are gone while some work is going on near the old Skyway station in Fantasyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Big Thunder was quiet this afternoon, only a 10-minute wait posted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Friday was Dapper Day so there were groups of Dapper guests everywhere. Here are some strolling through Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Mark Twain is in dry dock for several weeks of work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

They have the walkway blocked off as you approach Fowlers Harbour. Guessing this is a staging area for the Mark Twain work?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The cost to grab a bite to eat at Disneyland has gone up at most locations. For exmple, the Harbour Galley Menu, prices up between 40 cents to a dollar compared to May 30th.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Royal Courtyard is blocked off. They have removed the merchandise location as well as the stairs. Here you can see the outline of where the stairs were.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

A large tree was removed and replaced with a smaller one to the left of the Jungle Cruise entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Umbrellas were in style with many of the Dapper Day guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Small World is undergoing some facade work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Roger Rabbit has returned atop the fountain in Toontown.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Dumbo only had a 10-minute wait posted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Most of the walls are down from around the Sub Lagoon and there were subs cycling when I walked by.

They reopen the 27th, only 2 more weeks.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Plaza Inn, interesting the fried chicken stayed the same but Pot Roast and Pasta both went up compared to the May 30th menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Sherman Brothers have replaced Miley Cyrus on the Spirit of Celebration area at the exit to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Over to Buena Vista Street. Plenty of Dapper Day guests here too. A large line by Oswalds. Speaking of Oswald he started appearing in the park on Sunday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Dapper Day guests

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Only a 13-minute wait for Tower of Terror

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Cars Land was fairly quiet too. The Flying Tires and Junkyard Jamboree were walk-ons.

Only 45 min standby for the Racers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Stopped by Ghirardelli. Some Halloween candy for sale (they were still passing out caramel minis)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Pumpkin shaped bread at the Pacific Wharf Cafe.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Gluten free dessert options plus Halloween Time seasonal Bread Pudding (for more of the seasonal offerings check out my separate Halloween Time section).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Some work in the seating area of the Wharf

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Paradise Park was full of guests, it was a Dapper meet of some sort.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Duffy photo area in Paradise Pier has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Looks like the digital download test is complete at Screamin'.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta no longer serves flatbreads.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Instead just individual slices, like the Pizza Port

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

If you have the urge to buy a character tail they now sell them in several stores..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Grand Californian exterior work is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Some of the rafts coming down Grizzly River Run were really spinning on Friday, like the first one in this short clip, but others like the second not so much.

The Corn Dog Wagon prices are up too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Elvis, Scot Bruce, performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The lights were on in the sub lagoon and a couple subs moving around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Guardians of the Galaxy was lit up even though it was closed. No projections or audio on Ghost Galaxy when I was there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The Ghost Galaxy sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The closed sign for the Magic Eye theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Fantasmic - No dragon this evening. Just Maleficent on her tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

And with the Mark Twain in dry dock the characters were all the stage for the finale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

Made it to Main Street for Remember Dreams Come True which is running on weekends until the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

The tram stop paving project. Guessing new concrete under the plastic

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/12/14

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 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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Molly catching up on the news in Carthay Circle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Still working out on the Pier

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

The Sheriff welcoming us to Radiator Springs

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Rolling through town.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Here is a closer look at three of the Jujus

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

A display board opposite the sign with more details.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

A closer look around the board.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Inside Miss Lilly was entertaining guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

A new Master Gracey shirt

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14


Temporary barriers still form a walkway by the artists.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Stopped by the Music of Nashville.

This afternoon Smith and Wilkes were performing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

The All-American College Band performing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 8/01/14


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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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:

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

We started looking in the stores.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason
She then set off to ride around Frontierland.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason
She stopped long enough for a couple pictures before taking a second lap.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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 Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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!

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.

The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason

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.comAlso be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



July 19, 2014

Happy 59th Anniversary, Disneyland!

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On July 17, 2014, Disneyland celebrated its 59th Anniversary.

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Starting off with some numbers by the Dapper Dans ranging from "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room," to "Miracles from Molecules," the Celebration Moment continued as the quartet was quickly joined by a plethora of characters and cast members.

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The host of the affair, the Mayor of Disneyland, announced that the Diamond Celebration of Disneyland's 60th Anniversary would begin in the Spring of 2015, and would kick off with a photo contest, rules here: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/disneyland-60-rules/ (Entries must be received by 8/27/14)

Ultimately the new logo for the upcoming 60th Anniversary was unveiled with the typical Disney panache.

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Afterwards, a reception was held in the Opera House for some lucky Disney Parks Blog readers which included commemorative cupcakes and multiple meet and greet and photo opportunities:

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Mickey and Minnie...

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The new logo...

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Anna and Elsa (minus the four hour wait)...

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And even Social Media Director and America's Sweetheart, Erin Glover!

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Diamonds were certainly the motif of the day, from the decor, down to the giveaways.

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Reception guests were gifted with several amenities, including a D60 diamond paperweight keepsake, and fastpasses in the form of the old-style ticket books.

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While we wait for news of what to expect for next year's 60th Anniversary, it's probably worth noting that 59 years is nothing to sneeze at either. Happy Birthday Disneyland!

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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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

The Red Car News Boys arriving for their show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Walls up at old First Aid and Wish Lounge location.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

A look at the current land situation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

The telegraph station is where messages are sent and received.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Some special items added to the menu for the game.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Another clip from their show.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Took in a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Storm Trooper mugs are still available.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

La Mascarade d'Orleans has reopened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

If you visit be sure to look up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

A grand piano near this window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/11/14


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 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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Noticed the Planes merchandise that was outside is now gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

But the Planes crew is still on the billboard.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Caught the 1:30 Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

A video clip from the finale.

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Mariachi Espectacular was performing on the Bandstand.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

A video clip of Mariachi Espectacular

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

The canoes were open this afternoon

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

The Jingle Jangle Jamboree was not too crowded this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Instead Santa was walking around in his less formal gear.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Small World Holiday had a posted wait of 60 minutes

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

In Toontown Roger Rabbit was over an hour wait.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

A look at the crowd in Toontown.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13


The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing on Main Street.

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Back to Buena Vista Street

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Returned to Disneyland for A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Swing dancing going on in Downtown Disney this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Stopped by the Winter Village in Downtown Disney

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13


Next up Small World and its quarter hour projection show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/04/13



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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013
Chairs are placed in Town Square and on Main Street.
Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013

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.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional 2013


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



November 3, 2013

A Window for Disney Legend Tony Baxter

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"I'm not subtle."
--Tony Baxter

On November 1st, Disneyland bestowed its highest honor on Disney Legend/Imagineer Tony Baxter--a window on Main St., USA.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Baxter has enjoyed a long and illustrious career with Walt Disney Imagineering since the age of 17, and maintains active in mentoring the current crop of Imagineers despite stepping down his involvement with the Disney company earlier this year (Thanks for the Memories, Tony Baxter!)

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

The dedication took place on Main St., in front of the Magic Shop, prior to park opening. Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs, and Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering Bruce Vaughn took turns celebrating the many contributions Baxter has made to the company in general and Disneyland in specific.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Finally the window was unveiled with the help of Mickey Mouse and a gust of confetti.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

After the unveiling, Baxter said a few words about his gratitude towards all the people who mentored him in the past, the satisfaction he's taken in mentoring others in turn, and his appreciation of the honor the window represents.

As is customary, Baxter was also given a replica of the window to keep.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

The large audience of well-wishers included not only regular park guests, but a cavalcade of fellow Imagineers and Disney Legends. Some of the notables in the photos below include: Tony Anselmo, Jeff Kurtii, Marty Sklar, Jack Lindquist, Leonard Maltin, Howard Green, Stacia Martin, Bob Gurr, Eddie Sotto, and Stacia Martin.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Afterwords, Baxter took some time for questions, and had this to say about the sort of projects he's currently developing:

While the ceremony was certainly respectful and the honors it came with well-deserved, the one striking thing about it was its somewhat matter-of-fact nature. The tributes were gracious, but compared to the rowdy pirates present at Alice Davis' window dedication or the Carousel of Progress couple at the Sherman Brother's, seemed similar to what you might hear at a corporate gathering, rather than the Main Street of the Happiest Place on Earth. I'm not sure whether this might have been Baxter's expressed preference, but one was left thinking it might have been a little lacking in showmanship--something certainly never said about the rest of Tony Baxter's career.

Tony Baxter Window on Main Street Ceremony Disneyland

Congratulations Tony Baxter!

September 10, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013 - The Rest of the Weekend

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Believe it or not, we did things OTHER than run for the three+ days we were in Anaheim over Labor Day weekend. :-) Here's some highlights.

We stayed at the DVC Villas at the Grand Californian. At first I wasn't too thrilled with our room location...here's a view from outside the elevator lobby of the DVC wing. See the door that's just past the lobby? That was our door. I was concerned that it would be noisy, being so close to the elevator, but we never heard any noise from the hallway. It was on the ground floor, so we didn't have a view, but it was ok, and it was VERY convenient to not have to take the elevator to get to our room.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

The Grand Cal's entrance to DCA is very convenient - we entered that way even when going to Disneyland because it was shorter than going out through Downtown Disney. Be aware that before 11:00 or so this entrance is for the exclusive use of Disneyland Resort hotel guests, and you must present a valid room key from one of the three hotels in order to enter. We saw them turning people away on Saturday morning.

We spent some time enjoying attractions in the parks on Saturday after the 10K and on Monday morning.

It was very warm, so on Saturday morning we went on several rides that had mostly indoor queues! Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye underwent a refurb earlier this year - we hadn't been on it since it re-opened. There's some new lighting effects, especially in the first room with the face of Mara (which of course you aren't supposed to look at!). But we noticed different lighting in other places, too, like on the snake heads and the skeletons. We also went on Pirates of the Caribbean and Buzz Lightyear AstroBlasters. Over in DCA we saw the Aladdin show, which featured one of the funniest Genies I've ever seen - lots of zingers including a mention of Miley Cyrus and twerking.

That evening we went back to DCA for dinner and then walked onto Voyage of the Little Mermaid and had a very short wait for Luigi's Flying Tires. I wasn't very impressed with the flying tires the first time I tried it, but it takes a little practice to learn how to fly the tires, and after that it's a lot more fun. We try to find some clear space where we can get a pretty good run going and bounce off the walls. :-) We saw a beautiful sunset over Radiator Springs.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

We met a few of our fellow Team AllEars members back at the Mad T Party - that version of Wonderland looked a lot different from the one we had run through that morning! :-) In addition to the band we saw a dance group and the aerialists. But we didn't stay late since we had to get up and run the half marathon the next day!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Sunday night after dinner we saw World of Color. We didn't have Fastpasses for it so we watched it from the area under Silly Symphony Swings. You can't see much of the projections from there, but it's a very interesting perspective of the fountains. You get a much better look at everything that they can do and how the lighting works. And it got REALLY hot when they turned on the flame fountains!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Monday morning we went to DCA for Magic Morning and rode Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania (which we WALKED onto), and California Screamin'. Then we went over to Disneyland with our teammate Eddie and his daughter, because I wanted to get a photo of us riding Dumbo wearing our Dumbo medals. We also went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the Carrousel, made a wish at Snow White's Wishing Well, had breakfast at River Belle Terrace, and sailed on the Jungle Cruise - all by 10:10 in the morning!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

For Limited Time Magic the only thing we experienced was the special caramel apple that is being offered in September...and it really WAS special! An apple dipped in caramel and then covered with crushed English toffee and drizzled with chocolate. Oh. My. It was sooooo good! Even Lee really liked it, and he's not really into sweet things. They are available at Trolley Treats, the Candy Palace, and Marceline's. I wish I'd gotten another one - you can be assured that I will be getting one on my next trip! I hope they will keep this one around. Or maybe I hope that they don't so I won't be tempted!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

And a mini food blog...

Friday evening we ate at Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel. I had the Crispy Tofu Salad, which I really like except for all of the red and green peppers, which I pulled out and gave to Lee. The tofu is coated with panko and fried - it actually had more of the consistency of fried mozzarella, and it was really, really good.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Lee had the Kahlua Pork Flatbread, and enjoyed that.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Saturday morning after we'd raced and showered we walked over to Disneyland and had breakfast at River Belle Terrace. It's a buffeteria and not table service, but I think they do a nice breakfast there. We sat outside, which is usually a nice setting close to the Rivers of America, but it was a little bit steamy that morning. Speaking of steamy...I had the Steamboat - three pancakes, scrambled eggs, and choice of sausage or bacon. It was more than I could eat - Lee ate most of my pancakes.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Lee had the Mark Twain - scrambled eggs, potatoes, biscuit, and choice of bacon or sausage. He said the potatoes were especially good. (We went back to River Belle on Monday morning and we both had the Mark Twain - I don't like the peppers in the potatoes, but I'd rather have the biscuit than the pancakes.)

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Our usual dinner spot the night before a Disneyland race is Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, and we didn't see any reason to change that. It wasn't as busy as it often is before a race, though we still had to wait a short time for our food. We both had our favorite Four Cheese Ravioli with pesto sauce. I brought my own bread, since they don't serve it there.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

After the race on Sunday went to Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian for the breakfast buffet, as we usually do. It's always very busy on race morning, but it was really slammed and way, way overbooked on Sunday. I had a reservation and we STILL waited over 40 minutes to be seated! The buffet line was also very long - you really didn't want to go through it more than once. It's a character meal - Kenai and Meeko came to see us, but Chip and Brer Fox completely bypassed us. It was not a very good experience, especially given the cost, so this is probably the last time we'll do that.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Sunday evening we had dinner with our friends Mike and Joelle at Napa Rose. As an appetizer we split the Signature Pizzetta, which was basically a Margherita pizza (really good).

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Lee and Joelle split the Truffled Mac and Cheese. I had a bite - it was very rich, and they enjoyed it.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Mike and Joelle are vegetarian, and they each received a Vegetable Stack, customized with the types of veggies that they liked. They said it was very good.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

I had the Dove Breast, which was good, though I think the accompanying vegetables were my favorite part.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Lee ordered the Short Ribs, which he said were tender and delicious.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

We were a little too full for dessert, but they brought us three scoops of the Honey Peach Sorbet to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I would have called this ice cream and not sorbet, but it was very good, especially the marinated chopped peaches that came with it. It was a very nice dinner with wonderful dining companions and an excellent server.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Looking back I'd have to say the highlight of my food experiences for the weekend was the English Toffee Caramel Apple. :-)

And that does it for our Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. We came, we ate, we ran - not necessarily in that order. Thanks for reading!

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.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms


The Disney Gallery has moved next door into a small portion of the Opera House Lobby.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

The Gallery Features an exhibit called Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms for the Tiki Room's 50th anniversary.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms


Now time to look at the display...first up the Stars of the Show.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Next up Inside A Magical Garden

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Tokyo Disneyland by Larry Nikolai

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Tokyo Disneyland, artist unknown

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Tokyo Disneyland by Larry Nikolai

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Marc Davis

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by John Hench

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Walt Disney World by Dorothea Redmond

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Walt Disney World by Dorothea Redmond

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Colin Campbell

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

From Disneyland by Herb Ryman

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

The Barker Bird used to be out front of the attraction.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms


Moving over to Disneyana now. Display cases take up the center of the middle room.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

A quick look around at some of the artwork.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

The artist station is now in the back room.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Some of the artwork.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms


Tiki Room Anniversary merchandise.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms


Inside the vault.

Disney Gallery - Tiki Tiki Tiki Realms

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).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


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..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

A look behind the curtain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Hollywood Blvd has the backdrops as well as some bleachers in between. Guessing those will be for fans.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

A large steam train engine that was used in the Lone Ranger filming.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Everyone was commenting on the hidden Mickey inside the cab..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Inside a stage is in the center - some songs had a "featured character" who danced on the stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

There were 8 characters out in this grouping.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


The second group I saw featured 7 characters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


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.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


Next stop Cars Land. They are still working on the Cozy Cone fountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


Over to Disneyland. Stopped by the Disney Gallery on Main Street. They had some artwork to celebrate the Enchanted Tiki Room's 50th anniversary.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

The Main Street Cone signage and menus are gone.. wonder if this location will be repurposed into something else soon?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

No one coloring this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

But in only a few minutes the Band will bring the place to life. Their second set of the day is at the Jamboree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

The 2013 All-American College Band opened with a patriotic medley.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


Plenty of scaffolding up around this rock work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Next up the All-American College Band in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (these kids really get around!)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


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..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Since The Enchanted Tiki Room celebrates its 50th Anniversary Sunday we had to stop by to sing with the birdies...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


Time for the nightly flag retreat which features the All-American College Band during the summer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

The Matterhorn this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Had to wait for a break in Soundsational so I could cross

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at Tomorrowland Terrace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Time for the All-American College Band's final performance of the day - Town Square set at 7:15.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

The band opens with their theme song.. Bubbles was a Cheerleader.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

This year the Michael Jackson Medley returns instead of Stevie Wonder.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Heading to DCA to close out my evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


Stopped by Route 66 to watch the neon come to life. Notice the Full Moon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Stopped by the Mad T Party.

The Tweedles MC'ing at the House of Cards Stage

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


On the way out a few last pictures of the train.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13


The Carthay Circle with a the full moon

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/21/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

In Downtown Disney there is an exhibit for the WiiU video game console.

Inside each cube you could try out the game.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13


While I was gone ticket prices increased. Parking also went up a dollar to $16 for a car.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Both parks received new guide map covers and ad pages. Here is a look at Disneyland's:

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

And DCA's:

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13


Main Street USA is all red, white and blue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Climbers have returned to the Matterhorn for the summer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The Jamboree area has gone all American for the summer too with Woody's All-American Roundup.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The format of the area is much the same with some games, picture spots, coloring area, food, pins, and the stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The food carts have a nice stand around them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Some of the items for sale

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Friday the stage was being used by the Billies and by a small show called Woodys Talent Roundup.

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Video of the Billies patriotic medley.

Cowboy Mickey and Minnie coming out for pictures, they changed with Goofy.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

A video clip from the Talent Roundup.


One of the photo backdrops.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The stage coach is also set up as a photo backdrop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Out in the ranch area the goats are in the patriotic spirit too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The Big Thunder project is moving along. Scaffolding is up on some of the mountain now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Rainbow Ridge is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The hills of Toontown have a new ridge. They have hidden the safety rails that were put up on the roof recently.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The Orbitron has seen better days..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13


Today was Flag Day so I stopped for the nightly Flag Retreat.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The Disney Gallery is receiving a new exhibit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The sun shades on the upper level of the Carthay appear to be completed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

At DCA, Dancing with Disney has returned to Hollywood Land, but closed at 5pm so I did not make it inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

The Cozy Cone Fountain is slowly coming back together but not operational yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Sarge's this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Out in the Pier the flowers were in bloom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Stopped by the Mad T Party for a while. There are new songs in the set for the summer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Walked through Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

Found a spot for World of Color which turned three this past week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13

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...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/14/13



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 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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

The Big Thunder project continues to roll along. You can see some holes cut into the mountain now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Rainbow Ridge has really taken shape. The plywood is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Spring has arrived at the Big Thunder Ranch and Jamboree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

The photo backdrop has been decked out for Spring too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13


Vending carts have encircled the old Kodak Information kiosk near Small World.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Coke Corner/Refreshment Corner now has a new arch and sign (it says Corner Cafe on it).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

One last look at Town Square and Main Street before heading over to DCA.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

The Oz preview is gone from the Hollywood Backlot and the Muppets have returned to their theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Fastpasses gone for the day and 65 minute wait. The Spring Break crowds do enjoy Tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Out in Cars Land there is a Limited Time Magic offering, Cozy Cone Hats ($24.95) available at Sarge's Surplus.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

If you really want to go crazy buy both hats and make a "Flying Tires" game out of it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13


Had to share at least one picture of Ornament Valley this afternoon

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

DJ rolling out for a Dance Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Goofy walking out for an Instant Concert.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

The swings have returned and the line was using the extended queue underneath.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Walked through the Grand Californian, noticed they still have the plain carpet. Wonder if the other carpet is ever coming back.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Out in Downtown Disney the work has wrapped up and a new, more permanent stage is set up near ESPN.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Downtown Disney had a lot of guests roaming around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Walked through the World of Disney on my way back to the parks. Some Spring Break shirts.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Due to the later sunsets the Mad T Party kicks off in the daylight now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Returned to Disneyland for Mickey's Soundsational Parade

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13


Elvis, Scot Bruce, was performing at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13


Some scaffolding up on the exterior of the Alice in Wonderland building. Looked like facade work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Buena Vista Street. The Carthay with Mickey in front.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

The Mad T Party is more impressive at night. The lights make a big difference.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

Tower of Terror was up to an 80-minute wait now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/05/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Minnie paused to wave to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Fantasy Faire opens Tuesday (March 12) and today there are Annual Passholder previews going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Walls are still up around the Mercantile shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

A look into the Faire. Looks peaceful this week.. this will not last long.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Moving on.. no real visible progress on Big Thunder from these vantage points.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The Mark Twain is moving toward completion.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


Critter Country is quiet this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

At the Fantasyland Theater you can see a set piece for Mickey and the Magical Map

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


Small World has reopened with its traditional show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

No real wait for Roger Rabbit.. hard to believe that movie is 25 years old this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The playground at Goofys is being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The Goofy water is still off limits.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Moving back to the Small World Mall they are repainting the light poles.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The new color scheme.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The old

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


No signs of progress in the Starcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The archway is being replaced at Coke Corner.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Due to the weather the piano was moved inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Over to DCA now. Looks like the Hyperion bridge painting is done..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


The second half of Mater's (closest the parade route) has been resurfaced and looks ready to reopen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The single rider line was only about 15 minutes so went for a drive on the Racers. Notice the posted wait time.. 66...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


The Silly Symphony Swings are slowly being put back together.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Grizzly River Run has reopened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

No wait for Soarin' - you could walk right in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The Packard has returned to Oswald's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

A video clip of Figaro.

The main courtyard.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

DJ was back in action this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

The Wonderground Gallery had a Limited Time Magic display featuring some replica props and costumes from Oz.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13


Fossil has reopened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/08/13

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 1, 2013

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

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The new Disneyland Fantasy Faire, where guests can meet, interact, and learn the stories of the Disney princesses, is under construction in the former Carnation Plaza Gardens area of Disneyland. I had the opportunity to preview the new area, which is scheduled to open on March 12, 2013.

Fantasy Faire is located at the end of Main Street between Frontierland and Sleeping Beauty Castle. As you can see in these photos there is still quite a bit of work to be done before opening, but the basic structures are there. This is the exterior of Royal Hall; the Princess meet-and-greet area is inside. The unfinished pedestal in front will be the location of the Tangled Tower sculpture. Rapunzel's hair will appear to be wrapped around it, and at night her hair will light up with twinkling lights.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

There's also some fun elements, like Figaro (Gepetto's cat) sleeping in a window, and occasionally waking to interact with a bird, and Clopin's Music Box, a mechanical contraption where guests can turn the crank and watch a scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame come to life.

Inside Royal Hall are several areas where guests will be able to meet some of the Disney princesses. (There's no Fastpass for this - just get in line and wait your turn.)

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

In the video below,Michel Den Dulk, Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering spoke to us about Fantasy Faire and some of the design elements, while Show Director Christopher Utley gave us some details on the shows that will take place in the Royal Theater.

There will be two different shows in the Royal Theater, telling the stories of Rapunzel and Belle. Disney describes the show as "Renaissance vaudeville" featuring a pair of storytellers: Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones. They play most of the parts, joined by Rapunzel or Belle. After the show the princess will remain for a time to greet guests. The shows are 15-20 minutes long. There will be six shows per day, three for each princess.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview
Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

The Fairytale Treasures shop will offer princess dresses and other accessories.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

There's a food cart called Maurice's Treats - with food items inspired by the inventions of Belle's father Maurice.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

There are bread twists, like cheddar cheese garlic and strawberry almond cream (those shown below are samples and not full-size). I tried the cheddar cheese-garlic and it was very good. These will be served hot to order.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

There's also a signature drink - Boysen Apple Freeze (A play on poison apple...) I had a sample of this...It's similar to the Red's Apple Freeze served at the Cozy Cones and the Le Fou's Brew served at Gaston's Tavern, but I have to say this is my favorite of the three - I really enjoyed the apple-berry flavor. I could do without the foam on the top, though - I don't think that really adds anything. It is available in a souvenir princess or Gaston cup, or in a regular cup.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview
Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

We also heard some more details about Mickey and the Magical Map - the new show opening in the Fantasyland Theater this summer.

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview

Michael Jung, Vice President, Theatrical Development, Walt Disney Imagineering describes the show in this video clip.

It really sounds interesting - in addition to newer characters like Tiana and Rapunzel it will also feature some of the characters we don't see in the parks very often these days, like Pocahontas, Mulan, and King Louie. (Pocahontas and Mulan arguably have some of the best "Princess" songs ever, which will be included in the production.)

Disneyland Fantasy Faire Preview


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The train station has received an image on the scaffolding tarps, much nicer to look at!

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The park side.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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).

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The menu at the Stage Door Cafe has changed. The chicken nuggets and corn dogs are gone (the two things I liked!).

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Big Thunder Trail has re-opened.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


The trail to Fantasyland is narrow due to the work on Big Thunder Mountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


A look through a crack in the fence.. you can see the base of the crane.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Fantasy Faire progress. It's scheduled to open in March.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree has re-opened, featuring Billy Hill and the Hillbillies and character meet and greets.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Current food and beverage offerings.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The new Buena Vista Street Bugle is out.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Over at Mater's one side has a tent over it. They are working on resurfacing it.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The original surface has taken a beating already and they are installing a new surface that should last longer.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

A look down Route 66. The telephone poles on the right side of the street that were used for Christmas decorations have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Work on Grizzly River Rrun continues. Here they are rebuilding the railings.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

A section that has not been torn down.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


A look at some of the race medals that were on display at the Run Disney booth.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Jeff Galloway was on hand to answer questions, sign books, and pose for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Men's shoe features Mickey.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

And the Women's Minnie

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


In Downtown Disney the ice skating rink is gone, just a couple of buildings remain from it.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

The Fossil store is being remodeled.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Heading back to Disneyland. The lights on the scaffolding give a different look..

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Last chance to see Small World Holiday this season.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Crossed paths with Soundsational as I headed to Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Wreck-It Ralph has left the Starcade. Construction walls are up.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Was able to just walk right onto the Haunted Mansion.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Madam Leota was not floating yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Back to DCA... the bridge at night.

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update


Passed through Radiator Springs on my way to World of Color (yeah I took the long way)

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

Arrived a couple minutes before show time and was able to find an ok Standby spot for World of Color

Disneyland Resort Photo January Update

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

As well as the Downtown Disney banners.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Main Street side of the train station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Stepping onto Main Street.. what a different feel than last week. The crowds plus Christmas are all gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


The waits around 1:15pm - much shorter than they have been.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A quick look at the Fantasy Faire work as I head to Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some work going on right inside Frontierland too, the shops are all open, just exterior work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Big Thunder is closed through the Fall for a major renovation projection. The Big Thunder Trail was closed today and a crane was onsite.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Jessie was out for pictures near Rancho del Zocalo and no line!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Columbia was making the rounds on the Rivers of America today because the Mark Twain is in dry dock for some work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Mark Twain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Fantasmic is also not running right now and they are working on the center fountain area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

I do enjoy the off season. You can actually see and enjoy the park in a different light.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Haunted Mansion is closed as they are transforming it back to the regular show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A notice about the Main Street station work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A couple wreaths up still at the New Orleans station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some decorations are still up in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

But other sections are back to normal.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

No real visible work going on yet at Big Thunder.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

There is a tunnel set up under the scaffolding to connecting Adventureland to Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The walkway/tunnel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Circling back to the hub, Sleeping Beauty Castle still has snow, all the other decorations have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A closer look at the Fantasy Faire work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The other side of the Big Thunder Trail is closed off just past the restrooms in Fantasyland today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


The tea cup for photos has returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Some work going on in the planters along the Small World Mall, looked like painting and grounds keeping work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The control booth building looks about finished from this vantage point.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Did a quick walk through Toontown, Christmas is gone from there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Kodak information booth by Small World was closed and empty today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Chip out for a stroll in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Now over to DCA for a quick tour.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Buena Vista Street has returned to normal.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Except for the Buena Vista Street Bugle which still had the holiday edition on news stands.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

In Cars Land the decorations are gone but the poles on the right side of the street are still up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The Blue Sky Cellar is closed as a new exhibit on the Fantasy Faire is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The demonstration tire outside of Luigis is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Heading out to the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Duffy was hanging around looking for guests to take pictures with.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Donald was out for pictures too and had a small line.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

GRR is closed for its annual work too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


Elias & Co has returned to its regular merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The current Disneyland map, notice the back cover now features PhotoPass, Kodak is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

The current DCA map, same story. The maps themselves looked the same..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Woody was out for pictures near Big Thunder Mountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

I posted pictures and video in their own blog posting of the Golden Horseshoe show, but here are a couple....

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Video of the Can Can


Heading toward Small World Holiday. It runs for a couple more weeks still.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Soundsational has returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

Given the cold weather (temps were in the 40s by now I think) there was a healthy crowd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

A look down Route 66 this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13


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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/11/13

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The ice was holding up ok given the conditions. Here's a closer look at the ice.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Next door Earl of Sandwich is ready to open. November 2nd is the date I have seen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

At the Paradise Pier Hotel it looks like the painting on the back side is done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Around front looks like most of the painting is done except some on the top and bottom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


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).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Wreck-It Ralph is featured as you walk into World of Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

First stop for me, Disneyland. Today is a Halloween party so an early closing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The scaffolding is down on Main Street (but the walls are still up).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Even though it's not even Halloween yet the annual snow fall has begun on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Speaking of snow fall the snow machines have been installed along Main Street and around the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Christmas has arrived in New Orleans Square too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


On my quick walk-through nothing new or drastically different jumped out at me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Fastpass has returned to Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The Jack Skellington Meet and Greet has moved to the second terrace near the River now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Made my way around to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree and the Halloween Carnival to checked out the latest pumpkin creations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Walked through Fantayland, Monstro is looking new again and his scaffolding is removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Small World is closed for its annual transformation to the holiday version.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Moving on to the old Fantasy Faire, looks like the control booth is being rebuilt.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The gas station in Toontown is being repainted. Guessing the tarps are down due to the wind.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The restrooms are still open during the work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The work on Minnie's side yard is continuing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Wreck-It Ralph has set up shop in the back of the Starcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Thought the wait time sign was great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

There are two backdrops set up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Also a couple of Fix It Felix video games to play.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Vanellope von Schweetz was out when I stopped by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Looking back you can see there was no line right now, sure this will change once word is out and the film is released.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

More video games divide the store from the photo area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Speaking of merchandise..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The Starcade really is a crazy mix of things right now. A random Christmas rack of items as you head to the arcade games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Cinderella received a new dress recently.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

A better view of the building taking shape for the Fantasy Faire.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Christmas lights are up in the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Some work going on in Frontierland, the store is still open though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Time for Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Circled back to Frontierland. A look at some of the Christmas merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Then back to Tomorrowland.

Both Vanellope von Schweetz and Ralph were out now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Next stop Buena Vista Street. Preparations for the Christmas decorations are well underway. There are eye bolts showing up around the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Still working on the Carthay entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

This tree by Sarges that has been completely wrapped in lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


A look to show the progress of the hotel painting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Christmas merchandise is out on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Noticed jackets now at Oswald's, did not see any hats anymore.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


The best costumes I saw.. a Lego family.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Most of the Christmas lights were on this evening in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Hung out on Main Street for a while as the party started before it was time to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12


Earl of Sandwich had their lights on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

The ice rink.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

There were more guests out his evening (maybe 10 whereas this afternoon there were 3).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/26/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Looking down Buena Vista Street.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


The 2012 CHOC Walk Child Ambassador, 10-year-old Adela Jaurequi. She is joined by her mother Norma, father Jesus and little sister Olivia.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Goofy came on-stage for some pre-walk warmups.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The current Disneyland Ambassadors Renee Torrico and Jolie Hales along with the Disney Characters were next to come up to the stage.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

George Kalogridis, Disneyland Resort President

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Kim Cripe, CHOC Childrens President/CEO.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

After a countdown it was time to walk. Fireworks are set off to mark the start.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers begin and confetti is shot from near the starting archway.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


They made their way down the parade route and turned onto Route 66.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Along the way there were cast members and characters out for photos and to cheer on the walkers.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers filled Route 66 and turned right at Cross Street.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

They then walked out toward the Wharf area.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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).

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The World of Color Fountains were on, and the Fun Wheel, Swings, and Zephyr were all cycling too.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

On Main Street the Cadaver Dans were out entertaining guests.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

In front of the castle Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were out for pictures.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course circled the hub and went into Tomorrowland. Some Jedi trainers out near Star Tours.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Fight On Buzz!! He was out near the Tomorrowland Terrace.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Tiana and some of her friends were out for pictures in New Orleans Square.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The course continued backstage behind Splash, Haunted Mansion and Pirates. They were passing out water to the walkers here.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Along the way there were cast members with signs cheering on the walkers.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Also some signs to let walkers know what the various areas did that they were passing and some fun stats.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Thought this was great, these CMs up on lifts cheering everyone on. Would have liked to have gotten a picture from up there.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12


Another group performing along the route, they were great!

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers exited backstage and made their way through Downtown Disney.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The walkers nearest are heading toward the finish, in the background you can still see walkers exiting DCA and heading to Disneyland.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

More supporters lining Downtown Disney cheering walkers on to the finish line.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

The finish line! It featured all four Disneyland Ambassadors as well as the DJ announcing groups and congratulating those who finished.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

After crossing the finish line there were several participant tables set up going out toward the Rain Forest Cafe and ESPN.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Also a band performing on the stage.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Banners hung for the event.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

CHOCO the Bear (the CHOC mascot was on hand)

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

Everyone who participated in the walk received a T-shirt. Here is this year's design.

CHOC Walk in the Park @ Disneyland 10/14/12

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.


May 29, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com visited the parks on Friday, May 25, 2012. Included here in Part 2 are photos and video from the new Mad T Party and the summer edition of the Magic, the Memories, and You!


Another pass through Carthay Circle on my way to Hollywood Land - the clouds had cleared out.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The Mad T Party installation is complete and the party began on Friday night.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


The Drink Me bar ready to start serving.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The Face Painting area is now on Sunset Blvd instead of next to Muppets.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The stage at the House of Cards is ready to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

They were stocking the food truck.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Chairs to sit in around the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A token machine for the arcade located outside by the House of Cards.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


The crowd waiting for the Mad T Party to start.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


A count down clock.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The Tweedles take the stage to do the opening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Video of the final countdown and opening of the Mad T Party.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A video clip of the Mad T Party Band plus introductions of the band members.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


Alice joins the Mad T Party band.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


The Mad T Party Band performing.


The White Rabbit DJ took over next.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Action shifted to the House of Cards stage for a dance crew.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Video of their performance.

Next up this interesting performer.. guess it is a caterpillar

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A video clip from the performance.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A walk around the mad arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


The merchandise location was open for business.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


The Tweedles out interacting with the crowd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

More chairs in front of the other stage. I never saw any groups take this stage in my couple of passes through.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Time to move on.. I will double back later. Wow 135 minute wait for Tower.. Grad Nite!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The lights were coming on in Radiator Springs.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

This evening they had the lights on the range changing color.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A brief video clip.

The summer edition of the Magic, the Memories, and You! started today. Here is a video of the entire show. Note there is a problem with the left and center video/projectors about half way through.. but you can see the summer add on.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


A couple pictures of the new segment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Back over to DCA for some nighttime shots. Oswald's sign was on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Some pictures of Carthay Circle after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


A peak inside thanks to the inside lights being on and the curtain thin.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Heading back to the Mad T Party as the band was wrapping up their final set of the evening.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


Another clip of the rainbow caterpillar.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


There are projections on the buildings that are now visible.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A video clip of the projections.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

A second pass through the arcade.. much less crowded this time around.

The tokens..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

The Monsters Inc facade is woven into the show much better.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

Video of the Monsters Inc projections.

One last picture as I head out of the Mad T Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2

To close with a fountain picture.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/25/12, Part 2


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 19, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 18, 2012. Highlights include the new Cars Land-inspired monorails with their new narrations, Matterhorn bobsled testing and the new Brave Meet and Greet as well as updated construction photos from Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, opening June 15!


The scaffolding is down around the La Brea Bakery.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

This year they are doing grad nite differently than they traditionally have. This year grads get a park hopper ticket and wristband. They can visit both parks all day long then after Disneyland closes they have their party until the early morning hours. So as the day went on more and more graduates showed up in the park which made for a different experience and crowd pattern.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

There was no line and the bus was boarding so I hopped on for an elevated view of Main Street. Minnie waving as we passed by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A check in on Carnation Cafe.. it opens June 13th and work was going on all day and into the evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The Matterhorn has water flowing again and bobsleds were being cycled.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Hard to see what is going on at Plaza Gardens. Looks like much of the concrete and retaining wall on the North side are gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

First destination of the day was the Small World Mall to check out the Brave Meet and Greet. As you approach there are banners up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

And some signs.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

There are activities and some games too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

There is an archery range as part of the area too, so after your picture is taken you can go shoot a bow and arrow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The cast members assist you with a quick lesson as the paparazzi snaps pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A closer look at the bow and arrow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A couple tables for coloring.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A game to test your skill.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

These were interesting. Some stones that you can create rubbings with (thank you David for letting us know the process name).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Moving on, the seagulls are still gone from the sub lagoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The menu boards at Tomorrowland Terrace are now LCD screens, reminds me of WDW.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Wandered down the trail to the Jamboree next. The cows that were lurking are now gone... wonder where they have wandered off to now, probably backstage hanging out again.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow were out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Next up the Monorail. They are promoting Cars Land so each has a name and personality now. Here is Mona Monorail in the Tomorrowland Station. I thought the wrap was pretty well done. It is not as over the top as the previous ones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Here is a video of the ride to Downtown Disney, the narrations have been replaced and customized per train.

A look in on Buena Vista Street.A check of the Red Car stop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The signage on Buena Vista Street looks great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Notice all the sidewalks are in now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The return trip from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland aboard Mona Monorail.

Very close to getting a great shot of a new bobsleds splashing down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A fun hidden mickey on the dock...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A new sled going by the redone bridge.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Manny Monorail going over the Sub Lagoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Alice Davis received a window on Main Street since my last visit. It is right next to the one for her husband, Marc Davis.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time to head to DCA.. only four weeks, 28 days, till the grand openings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Noticed the awnings are gone from the entrance now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Minnie arriving at her Charter Airlines. Today she had the full-featured head, with blinking eyes and moving mouth.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Taste Pilots has a tarp up as they work on the building where the plane was attached.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The cafe signage is now done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A great hand-painted sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The sign out front is installed now too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Another great sign being painted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time to check out the Studios portion of Hollywood Land which has been taken over by the Mad T Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Drink Me bar.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Props have been installed on the stage. The stage will feature a live band.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The House of Cards bar area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The sound stage number has been updated to fit the party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The food truck has received a new wrap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Bugs Life references have been removed from the mural and it is being repainted. Wonder if they are down for the painting or gone forever.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A look down Route 66, which now has striping on it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Wires now strung on the poles.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The traffic light has been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Most of the construction is done so there are now groups roaming around with no hard hats (the crews on either side were laying sod).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A sod crew working near the Cozy Cones, notice the fence too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Spotted this new Cars inspired outdoor vending (ODV) cart.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The menu

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The scaffolding is down from around Ghirardelli

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12



A new billboard along the boardwalk between Ariel's and California Screamin' (the second one from the left).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

While looking at ODV carts.. here is one out on the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Time for a spin on the Fun Wheel. There were two Racers stopped on the track.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

I think this helps with the scale.. remember those are 6 passenger cars, just like Test Track.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The signage is great..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Looks like they are working on the clovers in Flik's Fun Fair...notice all the white tops...the green has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

I did not get a good picture.. but as I was wrapping up my first trip on the wheel they started to cycle the Racers. By this second go around (15 minutes or so later) they were running. Had to take a couple pictures of what I called the USC race!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

More props and equipment for the T-Party backstage awaiting installation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A second look from the Blue Sky Cellar patio, now that the workers have cleared out for the day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Noticed they have replaced the individual packets of condiments in Taste Pilots with these pumps now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Monorail Manny in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A video from onboard Manny from Tomorrowland to Downtown Disney.

A look at the Mad T Party, noticed plenty of lights on the tower even.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A large sign for the event on the back of the stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

More signage for Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Video of the return trip.

Rumble King at the Tomorrowland Terrace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Brave Meet and Greet wrapped up at 3:00pm today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Some of the lights were on at the Carthay this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Also some lights on at the House of Cards.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The Tower of Terror area was very crowded this evening. A two hour wait! It appeared to be mostly Grad Nite kids.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

No neon on when I first arrived to check out Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Looks like they were set up for something, notice the microphone stands. In the background you could see groups of cast members heading for the Racers where they were doing testing/previews this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Then all of a sudden the lights all came on... crummy picture but you get the drift..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The lights in the cafe were on this evening and you could see the stained glass window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Some water art being created on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time for Fantasmic which turned 20 last Sunday!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Afterwards we roamed around the Rivers of America and down the Big Thunder trail as Magical was going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Made it into Fantasyland as Tinkerbell was taking her final flight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


To close with the Matterhorn waterfalls - they have some great new lighting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

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 14, 2012

Disney California Adventure Press Preview Part 1 - 5/10/12

Since Laura was in a week-long training class at work, I (Lee) had the opportunity to take her place at a press event Disney put on for Southern California media to get a look behind the scenes at all the changes coming to the Disneyland Resort this Summer - especially the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land at California Adventure.

This is Part One!

The first half of the event took place in what Disney calls its Cast Showcase at California Adventure. This is an immersive education venue that Disney built to familiarize all 22,000 Disneyland Resort cast members with all the changes taking place around the Disneyland Resort. The Showcase is currently occupying the soundstage venue at California Adventure that is used to hold Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. For those who have been through the Narnia or other "behind the scenes" exhibits for various films that have been installed at Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, this has the same sort of feel. The Cast Showcase is supposed to run for 20 days.

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Our visit to the Cast Showcase began with a welcome by Tom Staggs, Chairman Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Tom said that Disney recognized that California Adventure was not living up to its potential and began a five year program to remake the park. Highlights so far include extensive changes to the Paradise Pier area, the Little Mermaid attraction, and the World of Color show. The re-imagined entrance and hub for California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, and the new 12-acre Cars Land complete that five-year effort. He explained that the Showcase covers not just the changes at California Adventure but also at Disneyland and Downtown Disney. It is not just about attractions but also about merchandising, food and beverage and entertainment. He remarked that when they re-open California Adventure it will finally be a worthy and complementary neighbor to Disneyland. Re-open was a deliberate choice of words - Disney views the magnitude of the changes and the shift in the story of California Adventure to be significant enough that they are considering this a second Grand Opening for the park.

Tom then circled back to talk about the Disney cast members who he said are the key to bringing the worlds that the Disney Imagineers build to life and to the guest experience. He said that the cast members will visit the Showcase because they love what they do - they are Disney fans and they want to know as much as possible to help their guests.

As his parting shot Tom shared a secret - along with all the other changes coming June 15th, there will be a new segment in World of Color featuring Pixar's latest animated feature 'Brave'.

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From here on out the Cast Showcase experience was what the cast members will see. The first room includes displays on the renovated Matterhorn - including one of the new ride vehicles - on the Mad T Party dance party coming to California Adventure (replacing ElecTRONica), and the new Fantasy Faire "Princess experience" area coming to Disneyland.This area also features a kitchen set for the "The Happy Chef" who acts as the master-of-ceremonies for this area of the exhibit. She is putting on a cooking demonstration making a celebratory cake and with each ingredient she adds to the cake there is a video segment from a Disney executive talking about an aspect of the changes. The first video is from George Kalogridis, President of Disneyland Resort, who greets the 22,000 cast members and Imagineers of Disneyland Resort and welcomes them to the cast showcase. He tells the cast members that this is the second largest expansion in the history of the Disneyland Resort and that "the happiest place on Earth just got happier."

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Artist concept drawings for the new Fantasy Faire "Princess experience" under construction at Disneyland

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A signboard explaining changes that will be coming to the Pixie Hollow character greeting area in Disneyland this Fall


Another of the video segments talks to all the changes taking place in Downtown Disney. Those changes include the extensive renovations to the Disneyland Hotel including replacing all the electrical and plumbing, expanding the rooms into the former balcony areas, and upgrading the furniture, carpet, and fittings. Other highlights include the renovated Lego store (we are getting giant Lego sculptures like those at Walt Disney World), the new Wunderground Gallery (Disney collectables), the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant (yea!) and the expanded La Brea Bakery.

The next video segment highlights the recently completed renovations to the "400 block" of Main Street in Disneyland. These changes include complete interior remodels of all the shops and restaurants, most in the Victorian style. The candy store now has a candy kitchen that is twice as big so guests can see two kinds of candy being made at once. The shops have more room for guests to move around and more cash registers to shorten waits to check out. The service area at the GIbson Girl ice cream shop has been moved back into the shop so the queue will now be inside instead of spilling out onto Main Street.

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The new Matterhorn ride vehicles

The segment highlighting changes within the Parks included a section on the Matterhorn. This is the first time it's been scaffolded since it was built which allowed them to paint it a new color and add new "snow", and is the first major rehab since 1978. The new ride vehicles are each two connected cars, each with three individual seat compartments instead of the single (shared) set compartment. They are building a new load area to support both a single rider line and load/unload for guests who need "assistance". The Matterhorn re-opens on June 15th.

The changeover from ElecTRONica to Mad T Party in the Hollywood area of California Adventure is almost complete - with a new central stage and the new House of Cards that replaces Flynn's Arcade. The featured act for the Mad T Party is the Mad T Party Band that includes the Mad Hatter and Alice as band members. They will perform for twenty minutes out of every hour and tunes the rest of the hour will be provided by a DJ (see the picture with the glowing bunny ears). There will be professional dancers featured at the House of Cards along with, if Glowfest and ElecTRONica are any indication, lots of dancing guests.

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Costumes for Alice and the Mad Hatter

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The Mad T Party DJ's costume

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Artist concept for the main stage for the Mad T Party

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Some of the merchandise that will be available at the Mad T Party

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Special food items that will be for sale at the Mad T Party

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The drinks available at the Mad T Party come in very interesting cups

There has been no formal announcement made that we are aware of, but there is a note on the map of California Adventure entertainment below, that reads "Daytime fountain show - our famous Paradise Pier fountains perform, dance and play - in the day".

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This map highlights the live performers and character "meet and greet" opportunities around California Adventure


We then moved to the second room in the exhibit - this one decorated like 1920's Los Angeles to highlight the new Buena Vista Street. Our host for this area was an actor playing an old time radio announcer - complete with impressions and sound effects. Various video segments, along with the static displays, told the story of Buena Vista Street and what guests can expect. Buena Vista Street represents Los Angeles as it was in the 1920's when Walt arrived with little more than "his suitcase and his dreams". Buena Vista Street actually starts with the entrance to California Adventure - the entrance turnstile area has been rebuilt to look like the Los Angeles' Pan Pacific Theater . The shops on Buena Vista street have been themed to have a connection to the young Walt Disney (Mortimer's Produce, Clarabelle's Ice Cream, Elias and Company) and the story is that they may have served as the inspiration for some of Walt's early stories and characters.

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Buena Vista Street ends in a new hub area with a new "partners" statue and a beautiful fountain that front the Carthay Circle Theater. Just in case you don't know the connection, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in 1937. This Partners statue features a much younger Walt Disney and an earlier version of Mickey Mouse. The Carthay Circle Theater building will house three restaurants: a lounge downstairs that serves appetizers and "small plate" dishes, a full table service dining room upstairs that seats 200 inside and 56 more on the balcony, and the Club 33 associated private dining room - 1901.

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The fountain at the center of the new California Adventure hub. Image copyright ©Disney.

Running up and down Buena Vista Street and into the Hollywood area will be the two Red Car trolleys - based on the Pacific Electric Railroad trolleys that used to run in Los Angeles. Some interesting trivia for this attraction - the cars are based on the original Pacific Electric Railroad cars but are brand new and they are actually battery powered (so all the overhead wires are just set dressing). Their numbers are 623 (for 1923, the year Walt arrived in LA) and 717 (for the 7/17/55 opening day of Disneyland).

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Photos of various merchandise items that will be available in shops on Buena Vista Street


There are several new entertainment acts that have been created for Buena Vista Street. Five and Dime is a jazzy band (the Five) with vocalist Dime, who will perform from various locations using their car as their stage. The Red Car News Boys is a six-member group that will serve as the singing ambassadors of Buena Vista Street and may remind some of Disney's 'Newsies' movie and musical. Fans of the street performers in Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World should enjoy the "Citizens of Buena Vista". These four characters include a policeman, a directionally-challenged messenger, a photographer and a slightly crazed dog lady and they will have impromptu interactions with guests making their way down Buena Vista Street. Guests will also regularly see Goofy dressed in a 20's era zoot suit on Buena Vista Street.

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Artist concept for Five and Dime. Image copyright ©Disney.

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A Red Car News Boy


Tomorrow "Cars Land" so be sure to check back!

May 7, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Quite a few changes, so we will be presenting his blog in three parts: Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney.


This past week the Gibson Girl, Penny Arcade, and Candy Palace have reopened on Main Street USA at Disneyland.First stop the Gibson Girl. They have moved the counter all the way to the back so there is plenty of space for the queue now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The menu appears to be the same.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Still a couple of tables inside but not much seating.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

There is a nice window now to watch them make the waffle cones and bowls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


A look at some of the detail around the room.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Stepping next door to the Penny Arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Some of the machines from the arcade are still around but integrated into the displays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

All restored and looking/sounding great!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


A look at the front display case.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The candy kitchen has been enlarged and there are several windows/stations now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


The small indoor seating area for Coke Corner is now gone and a place to sell more candy.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

April 29 marked the end of Plaza Gardens as we know it. Walls are up and the transformation to the Princess Fantasy Faire has begun.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Speakers for Grad Night are up around the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

There is still a narrow walkway open to get to Fantasyland and for pictures of the Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

With Plaza Gardens gone they have moved the Performing Arts groups out to the Big Thunder Ranch as part of the Jamboree taking place in the Festival Arena. The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree opened May 3.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

It appears they have added some more covers to the area for shade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

A few tables with wood carving going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The set up is very much like the Family Fun Days. With a kids activity area in the middle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The stage being readied for the next performance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

A couple of ODV carts. They received signage for the event.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Cowboy Mickey out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Look familiar? The cows that used to be in the Bountiful Farm area and then backstage at DCA for the past couple of years have made their way to the Jamboree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Cowgirl Minnie was also out roaming around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Chip and Dale were running around causing trouble..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Another cow lurking in the bushes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Chip and Dale caught Donald...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

But he broke free eventually.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Time for the Cowboy Roundup. This happens twice a day over the weekend, high noon and 2:15pm this weekend.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Mickey and Minnie taking in the show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Farley the Fiddler and Miss Chris host the round-up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

There are a set of dancers too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Here is a video of the performance.

Big Al came out for pictures. Still great to see him in the park and listen to the fans.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Goofy was in the second wave of characters too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The Irvington Wind Ensemble.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

One of the tables set up for coloring.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Walked by the Matterhorn. All the scaffolding is down from the mountain as well as the station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Some water has returned too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Tomorrowland Terrace has new menu boards. I think the menu items are the same. (Laura's note: Yes, the menu is the same, not even a price change.)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Hmm the seagulls flew away from the submarine lagoon??

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Thought this was fun. A table set up with a puzzle as you walked through the stores on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


From the monorail here are some Matterhorn pictures as we circled Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

They were cycling some bobsleds this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The back nose cone of Monorail Orange has a wrap. Guessing this is to help with the heat in there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The shooting gallery in Frontierland is being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Looks like they were or are going to be working on one of the Fantasmic units in the river. They have the walls up. There was water in there, just a bit lower than the river level.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Some work going on in New Orleans Square making for some tight walkways.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

The companion restroom in the Oasis is open, but nothing else going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Made a second pass through the Jamboree. Two more Country Bears out having fun. Here they were playing the drums.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Goofy joining the gang.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

A choir performing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Big Al was checking out the wood carving.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1


Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at the Tomorrowland Terrace and he had quite a few couples dancing there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Time for Magical (it premiered Friday night for the summer).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 5/5/12 - Part 1

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3, with updates from DCA and Downtown Disney. 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.



May 1, 2012

Disneyland Update - 4/29/12

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Jason has been doing a wonderful job with all of the Disneyland photo updates but he has been at WDW recently, so I'm going to try my best to provide this week's update. But I didn't get photos from all of the vantage points he uses, nor am I as good a photographer.

Lee and I decided it was time for a trip to Disneyland - we hadn't been there since February! We arrived in the park about 8:45 am.  Long lines to get in but once inside it was fairly uncrowded.  We got fastpasses for Space Mountain, and since the standby line for Star Tours was only 25 minutes we did that.  It was actually less than 20 minutes before we were seated in our Star Speeder.   I'd never been on the left side of the queue where the baggage scanner is, and it was fun to listen to him - he commented on the "pet" that someone had put in their luggage...see the Mickey ears? :-)

We are in a "Hoth" rut lately - that's the first scene we've had the last 4-5 times, though the other scenes we've had quite a variety.  ("Hoth...why did it have to be Hoth?")

The line for Buzz was only about 5 minutes.  Buzz was apparently on an extended break - there was a curtain around his area. Or maybe we were supposed to ignore the spaceman behind the curtain. :-).  We vanquished Zurg, and, most importantly, my score was higher than Lee's. 

Time for our Space Mountain fastpasses, though the standby was still only 30 minutes. It was fast and fun!

The scaffolding is gone from the Matterhorn. I think the paint job looks a lot different - not nearly as much "snow".   It will reopen with the new bobsled cars on June 15.  

We went to the Jolly Holiday Bakery for a snack. We tried the broccoli quiche which came with fruit.  It was served hot and was pretty good.  Lee also ordered the scone.  It had raisins and some kind of pieces or citrus peel or something in it - I didn't care for it.  I ordered the Matterhorn macaroon, and that was a lot better.  

I'd never noticed the back of the Jolly Holiday Cafe sign before.

I thought the blooming trees in the hub were very pretty. It was a beautiful day today - blue sky and warm, but not too hot.

We stopped by the Carnation Plaza Garden - today is the final day before it closes for conversion to the new Fantasy Faire (opening 2013). They had school bands from all over the western US performing today, as well as a band from Canada.  (The popular Saturday night swing dancing will move to the Westside Stage in Downtown Disney during construction, then will move back to the new Fantasy Faire stage.)

In Frontierland we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -  just less than 20 minute wait for that. It's the wildest ride in the wilderness!

We went to Big Thunder Ranch to see if there was anything to see or any information on the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree which start this Thursday (May 3), but there was nothing except the closed gate to the Festival Arena. 

Haunted Mansion was less than a ten minute wait.  I'm so used to riding this during the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that it seems odd to ride it in its "normal" configuration.  I don't know if people were being quieter than usual or if the sound is better, but I heard a lot of different voices singing in the graveyard scene.  

It's time for another round of menu updates on AllEars, so I was taking menu photos as we wandered around.   I didn't really see anything that looked different, though - the biggest change I saw is that they have converted the menus at Tomorrowland Terrace to LCD screens.  That look might not fit the theme in some areas of the park, but it works there.  And I'm sure it'll make updating the menus easier - just a software change now.

I called this the "Aly San San Tres Leches Cake" dessert in Rancho del Zocalo. :-) That's what it looks like to me. (Aly San San is the spokesdroid for Star Tours.)

Disneyland was getting more crowded so it was time to hop over to Disney California Adventure.  The construction has reached the point that things are visibly changing rapidly now!  

We caught a little bit of Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show.

Jason takes his Buena Vista Street progress photos from the monorail but I didn't think to do that while we were still in Disneyland, so I just have some ground level shots.  I have to say that it looks quite beautiful  and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product soon!  There's that June 15 opening date again.

Here's the east side of Buena Vista Street.

And a look on the west side, where the bakery and ice cream shop used to be.

The Carthay Circle Theater is a beautiful building.

All of the ElecTRONica setup is gone with the exception of the food truck - and they are going to have to change the "12" number on the Stage 12 sign - that's very TRON-esque.

But they have already begun the Mad T Party re-theming of the stage - another thing with a June 15 opening date.

And the club area is now the House of Cards.

I don't know what this structure is in front of what used to be Flynn's Arcade, but there are lots of lights and speakers in it.

Some part of the Disney Performing Arts program will be relocated from the Carnation Plaza Gardens to the Backlot Stage. 

We thought this flower field next to It's Tough to Be a Bug was very pretty. 

From the terrace outside Blue Sky Cellar there's a really good view down Route 66 into downtown Radiator Springs. This looks great! And opening, all together now, JUNE 15!

Blue Sky Cellar now features "The Road to Cars Land"' with concept art and models and attraction posters.

I liked this model of Mater's Jukebox - it will feature seven original songs.

The movie seems longer than the ones they have had before - of course I guess this time they are talking about a whole new land instead of a single attraction or show, so there is more to say.  

We walked through the Pacific Wharf. The old Tortilla Factory is under wraps while it transforms in Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, opening this summer. I'm looking forward to that, but I expect the line will be horrendous.

Between Lucky Fortune Cookery and the Karl Strauss Biergarten there will be a second entrance into Cars Land, under a big red rock archway.

We had planned to ride California Screamin' but the line was 40 minutes and Toy Story Mania was 50.   Busy day at the park!

We had lunch at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill.  While there were no lines in the restaurants the seating area was pretty full - it's nice to see that, since this area seemed very under-utilized when it first opened last year. Lee had the barbecue chicken flatbread pizza.

I had my usual vegetable and tofu skewer from Paradise Garden Grill - though this time I remembered to ask for a second portion of rice pilaf in place of the cucumber salad.

We also tried the Espresso brownie from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. It was a very good brownie. There was no "espresso" in the brownie itself, just in the little round things on top, and even those did not have much coffee flavor. We really liked it.

Lee noticed the propeller on the front of this weather vane above Goofy's Sky School was spinning madly (though you can't see it in the photo).

A view of some of the Cadillac Range - June 15 is coming soon!

We walked back to the Mickey and Friends parking structure via Downtown Disney. The Uva Bar area is undergoing some kind of refurbishment.

These banners are up in the tram area next to the garage - we did two out of three on this list!

It was a fun trip, and we enjoyed doing some attractions for a change - most of the time we just run around and take pictures.

April 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Let us start off the tour at California Adventure and Buena Vista Street, a look at the west side of Buena Vista Street from the Esplanade. It was a beautiful day - very different from the stormy, windy day on Friday!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Gutters are on but the down pipes are not connected yet. That may have been useful on Friday with all the rain we got.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Across the street there was a crew working on the building. Notice some of the roof is on, the windows are going in, and an awning ha been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Scaffolding has returned to the tower of the Carthay. Best guess is some touchup/cleanup work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Noticed some barricades up near the stroller parking for Little Mermaid. Appears to be some work along the base of the building, betting it has to do with the rains.. sure looks it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The painting of Screamin's queue is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Next stop for me was the Fun Wheel to check out Cars Land and see if anything was going on this morning. All was quiet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Just one visible crew up on the roof of Flo's working on the neon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Where the crew was working last week looks complete now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The work on the Lion King parking lot looks done. They have tweaked the entrance flow. You now turn in from Disneyland Dr. and then make a left.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The base of the far Cozy Cone is now orange.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The Toy Story photo op near Toy Story Midway Mania has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Goofy hanging out by his sky school for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The purple bougainvillea near the winery was bright this morning...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Stopped by the Blue Sky Cellar Patio next to check out Cars Land. Hard to believe in just two months we will be able to walk through and experience this new land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Stanley is uncovered this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A look down Route 66

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now onto Hollywood Blvd. the Red Car cable work looks to be done for the most part in this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

There was a sign out front of the Animation Building listing the drawing classes for the day. Before you had to ask a cast member inide.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Continuing down the street. The Elephants that once guarded the Backlot entrance have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Work on the facades near the old Candy Store continues.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The marquee on the Carthay Circle Theater looks to be just about done, ready for the lettering. Also a better new scaffolding.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


More detail work on Buena Vista street is emerging and looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The jet has been removed from the front of Taste Pilots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

I headed over to Disneyland next. Not much visible progress here, the work has shifted to the interior.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A random Big Thunder shot as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A turtle hanging out along the Big Thunder trail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Walked through the Fantasy Faire.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Was walking by and heard the announcement for the Calling all Drummers show, so found a spot to watch. For those unfamiliar this show takes place several times over the course of the morning and features some of the drummers from the Soundsational parade in a little skit/performance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Noticed the Mickey Ears on the shoes..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now a walk around the Matterhorn..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The tunnel over the walkway has been removed as has almost all of the scaffolding now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


From the Monorail platform.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now some Buena Vista Street pictures from the Monorail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The Red Car stop is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Oswalds

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Circling around a second time...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A closer look at the park area. Looks like the walkway is in now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Plenty of activity around the Matterhorn today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Stopped by Innoventions. I had not seen the new Honda display and contest that started several weeks ago.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Strolled through Plaza Gardens which will go behind walls the end of the month to be transformed into the Princess Fantasy Faire opening winter 2013. Still sad to see this quiet area of the park go. Also seems odd to start a project in April with a winter opening vs doing it in the off season and having it ready for the busy holiday rush this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A black horse out near the village, took this picture from the Mark Twain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Once back ashore, stopped to see the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The gift cart at the exit to Haunted Mansion was not out today. This really helped traffic flow in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Elvis, Scot Bruce, performing in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Only a couple more weekends of swing dancing in Plaza Gardens. Then the event moves to Downtown Disney during the construction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


A walk through Carthay Circle seeing what Buena Vista Street lights are on this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


ElecTRONica is wrapping up. The final night is Sunday (4/15).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The line for the End of the Line Club was long.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The truck had no wait though.. guess the alcohol is much more popular than the food.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

One last walk through Flynn's Arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The final two crews performed this evening and the winner was to be crowned Sunday at the final of ElecTRONica.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The trophy...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

First up Kaba Modern.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Followed by Outer Circle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Here is a video of the performances.

I closed out the evening stopping by the Blue Sky Cellar Patio to see what was lit up in Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

To end with a look down Route 66.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


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



March 5, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 2, 2012.

They are still working on one of the stairwells at the garage. The wind had ripped the mesh.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

More scaffolding is down and Buena Vista Street is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Another look at some of the Buena Vista Street facades.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Walls up around where the Red Car stop will be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Still no roof tiles on the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

All the scaffolding and mesh is now down and you can see the iron work for the marquee.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Is that a hidden Mickey in the iron work (look right in the middle at the top).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Some details of the Elias and Company facade are now visible.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


A look through the gap in the wall, the monorail bridge looks to be framed. No bricks yet around the Red Car rails.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Fillmore's shell has been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Work continues on the Wharf bridge and tidal basin.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Touching up the rock work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The walls are down from the parade route work in front of the Little Mermaid.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The work on the Paradise Pier shops looks to be done. What a difference a little wood siding and removal of the giant clown makes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

They have altered the Fun Wheel exit area a bit. There is a new gate up between the non swinging and swinging gondolas and when you exit the non swinging one now you are directed up the ramp and to use the same gate as the swinging one to exit. This speeds up the boarding of the next group to the non swinging.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

An overview of Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Most of the scaffolding is down, just one more story to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The roof is going on Sarge's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

As well as around the walkway from Fliks. You can barely see it from this angle/distance now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Looks like all the scaffolding is gone from around the radiator cap (wouldn't it be fun to walk the track like those two right now!)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


I kind of like it (Pacific Wharf bridge) with no sign up, the Cadillac Range looks great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A wood frame has been installed over the steel at the entrance to Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Minnie's Fly Girls show was going on in Condor Flats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A wide shot of the area. As you can see it does not really impact traffic that much.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Moving on.. work continues around GRR.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Repainting going on, do not worry the shop remained open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Some work going on in the Studios Backlot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Plenty of painting projects are underway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Finally made it over to Disneyland. Some work going on with the seating/planters on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Due to the winds the tarps were up so we could see the progress of the work here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Coke Corner has re-opened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A look inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Matthorn work is progressing quickly. The scaffolding is already being taken down as the painting proceeds. The new color scheme looks much darker to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Wait times around 1:50pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Still working on the Tomorrowland Train Station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

An area in front of the Opera House was roped off for some Modern Family filming.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Spring has arrived, or at least the plants and trees believe so.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

After sunset headed back to DCA. This week noticed all the street lights on the left were on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A look at the Midway shops after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A bright light on Tower of Terror made for an interesting picture.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Turns out they were setting up for some filming in front.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

At ElecTRONica hey added some kinects units around the DJ area. I read they were using them to capture images and project on Monsters. I did not see this in the brief time I was there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The street in front of Award Wieners was cleared and set up for some disc games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A video of the event...

There was a brief performance before the games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


More walls in Downtown Disney near Vault 28, appears to be work on the lights against the buildings like all the others.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Work continues where the topiaries were.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Inside the Disneyland Hotel I was happy to see the old photos have returned. They are now on the wall that faces the elevators in the Fantasy Tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


The other side of the wall is out from behind the curtains too and features a great map of Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Wait times around 7:50pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Rumble Kings on the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Fantasmic! has returned, so I caught the 9pm show. Did you realize Fantasmic! turns 20 this year?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Since the Mark Twain is being worked on the characters were on the Island for the Finale. Here is a brief video clip of the finale to conclude this update.



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



February 20, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 17, 2011. Included are photos and video from the new Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show, which started on Friday.

A new direction in marketing? Encouraging the purchase of Park Hoppers instead of Annual Passes?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Starting in Disney California Adventure...Some of the scaffolding and mesh is down on the first section of Buena Vista Street. This is the facade over/around the restroom building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The Elias and Company Store

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Moving on to Cars Land. A new sign for Radiator Springs is up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The tidal basin next to the Pacific Wharf has been drained. Guessing because they are working on Grizzly River Run and needed all the water gone (this is the reservoir for the attraction).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Here you can see the tunnel/pipe the water flows through.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


No real visible progress here, but a couple signs with the concept art (same photo that was released with the announcement).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline debuted earlier today. As you can see the show currently runs Thursday-Monday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Here is a video of the entire show. (Note: The edges are a little out of focus thanks to the wide angle adapter I was using because of the short distance to the stage).

A few stills from the show:

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


The facade transformation in Paradise Pier looks almost complete. Just awaiting the new sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


The Cadillac Range is looking great!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer view of the now nearly finished face.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Interesting. In the background looks like they stopped the backside wall? Or just finished a portion of it. Hard to tell from this angle but guessing that may be where the show building starts?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

What is that I spy through the trees? Looks like a new sign. Guessing this is the entrance walkway for the Racers. It says Gateway to Ornament Valley.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A look at the Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer look at the new fence facade going up on the backside of Fliks wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer view of the Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Construction walls are still up around the parade route in front of Ariel's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The side entrance to the shops in Paradise Pier is open again. They still have the ATM in its temporary housing but looks like it will be back in the wall soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Over in Disneyland - time for the Mardi Gras Celebration that is part of the Bayou Bash.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

More scaffolding up at the Tomorrowland Train Station (note the train is not stopping here but is running normally for all other stops).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A check in on Buena Vista Street from the Monorail. Looks like the main portion of the street has been poured and they are ready to start the brickwork around the rail line.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Work continues on the Matterhorn stations. Some concrete has been poured.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Since it is Presidents' Day weekend I stopped by to take in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


A look at some of the nighttime sights at DCA...The lights were on at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (they were blinking/flickering too).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The new Cozy Cone sign was lit up this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

In Downtown Disney, Compass Books will be closing soon to make way for Earl of Sandwich.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Out at the Disneyland Hotel the character topiaries across from the Fantasy Tower entrance were gone and the area being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

I walked over because I wanted to see the new map at the entrance and it was behind curtains still.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

To close with a picture of Minnie and Mickey (noticed the fountains were off this week in the background).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


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



February 5, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 3, 2012. He includes video of the new Valentine's Day tag to "The Magic, the Memories, and You".

Setting up a mesh around the La Brea Bakery as the remodel/expansion moves along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

In Disney California Adventure, Grizzly River Run is undergoing its annual refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The Miner 49ers were performing, their act is being retired.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has reopened. You could smell the new paint/stain/sealer whatever you want to call it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Nothing really new or different jumped out at me on my quick walk-through.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


Dug was out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Moving on down the trail scaffolding up as they are working on the building and the lift hill for Grizzly River Run.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The rock face overlooking the Pier is nearing completion. Notice anything missing here? They have removed the safety line and poles that went across the top of the range.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More painting along the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The facade work on the shops is moving along. What a difference.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A check in on Cars Land. The toothpicks are being removed on the rock face.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Scaffolding is up on the back side of the range. They are working their way around covering it up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

All five Cozy Cones are painted now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look. You can see the backstage wall taking shape behind the cones. I like the detail. That looks like an A/C unit below the window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looks like the frame for a backstage gate being assembled behind the cones. Also looks like one of the Red Car garage doors is open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The pavement work in front of the Little Mermaid sure looks done. I was surprised the walls are still up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More scaffolding is down on the radiator cap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Ellis Island Boys performing at Paradise Gardens

Work has begun to transform the tortilla factory to the Ghirardelli shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Due to the work on both sides it is a very narrow walkway to the first aid/baby care center.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look down the street. The large pile of landscaping dirt has been distributed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Tires on the roof of the shack now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looking down toward Buena Vista Street palm trees have sprung up along the Carthay side and another view of the trees around the fountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Walls in Bugs Land. Appeared to be around the water fountain area. This made a narrow walkway even narrower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The fountain on Buena Vista Street was on today. As you can see the water was being blown around a bit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look at the detail work emerging on Buena Vista Street. This is above the ice cream store.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

An Elias and Company sign taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Over to Disneyland. Some painting going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


Valentines day decorations up around Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More painting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The waits around 3:30.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The coffee cart is behind walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

No signs of work at Plaza Gardens yet... really seems like something should be going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The moon was visible already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Some signs have gone up on the Matterhorn construction walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A ride on the Monorail to check out Buena Vista Street. Notice the Elias and Company sign on the left.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look reveals something taking shape. Is this the base for the Walt and Mickey statue?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A second ride on the Monorail, looking north now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Red Car station is starting to take shape I think (the bricks in the foreground/left of this shot).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

In Downtown Disney the Lego Store is behind walls as work is getting under way to remodel and enlarge it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Get it.. one block down....

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

They have moved into the old Island Charters space during construction. There are only a couple aisles inside. It felt a little cramped and odd to take pictures inside so I did not.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

As you can see the store itself is vary bare bones since it is temporary. And a very small space.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Moving on, the work outside Catal is wrapping up in this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A little further down still an open trench.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Back at Disneyland the Soundsational parade greeted me on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


New Orleans Square is decked out for Mardi Gras which is going to be celebrated for five weekends this year starting February 10.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


In an effort to ease traffic congestion they have moved the entrance to Cafe Orleans to the other side of the building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look at the beads on the light.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The new entrance for Cafe Orleans.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


"it's a small world" has reopened after removal of the holiday overlay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looks like the clock can use some TLC.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The queue area was blocked so you walked out near the parade route/extended queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

And back to DCA in the evening...Some lights on the fountain on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Next up Cars Land. Guessing we have to be getting close to final lighting in some areas.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Ramones was lit up this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


A closer look.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Back to Disneyland and the Small World Mall for the Magic, the Memories, and You! Featuring a new Valentine's Day segment. Video of the show. The new segment starts at 7:01 in this video.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Gone with the Wind will be showing at the AMC Theaters in Downtown Disney on Valentine's Day weekend.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Walked through the Disneyland Hotel on the way out. They are continuing to add details to the Fantasy Tower lobby. The entrance area was behind curtains. Looked like a permanent display/mural/something is going in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

New chandeliers in the lobby & chairs in the waiting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The far area is a kids waiting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

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



January 21, 2012

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

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Disneyland is celebrating the Lunar New Year with the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! January 20-29.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

The festivities are taking place along the Small World Mall. There are banners and other decorations all along the way.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration


Other decorations include colorful lanterns in the trees.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Though they aren't real, I thought the blooming cherry trees were very attractive.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

The terraced area is a character meet-and-greet, where Mulan, Mushu, and Chip and Dale in Asian attire are greeting guests.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Appropriately for Mushu, it's the year of the dragon!

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

There are also local artists doing demonstrations.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Guests are invited to twirl ribbon wands with colorfully costumed dancers.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Throughout the day Mulan's Chinese New Year Procession takes place as Mulan and Mushu, accompanied by dancers, go to and from the meet and greet area.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

On January 20-23, 25, and 27-29 live performances by groups such as Chinese Dragon dancers, Korean drummers, Vietnamese musicians and dancers, and martial artists will take place.

There are special food items available at food carts in the area. One of them offers vegetarian egg rolls and edamame. And another is serving strawberry churros (though those don't seem much like traditional Lunar New Year foods to me!).

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration


The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! takes place January 20-29 from 10 am to 5 pm.


January 10, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, January 7, 2012.

We arrived to a cool and overcast morning. Most of the La Brea Bakery is behind walls. A small outdoor seating area near World of Disney is not and is open. As well as their cart out front. I read they are expanding the bakery, but have seen no real details. Wonder if they will take this chance to redo the wall too since it was originally designed before the security tents went in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

DCA opens in a couple hours.

Coke had an event going on in Frontierland. Looked to be a breakfast (a couple of pictures later) for some sort of contest winners.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This is the last weekend to celebrate Christmas this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The West side of the street from Carnation Cafe to Coke Corner is closed for renovation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This includes the Gibson Girl (do not fear you can still buy some ice cream across the street at the Main Street Cone Shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Since most of the work will be interior reconfigurations the exterior walls are at a minimum right now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The big news of the weekend is the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is now open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


When you step in the door you have a choice, left or right.. both are the same.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A look around..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


I chose to the right by the way (random choice).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Each side had a different display case.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


A look at the menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Now a peek into the bakery choices..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The woodwork by the cash registers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A closer look at the iron work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Some interesting tile work on the floor.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

I exited out to the opposite side to check out what was in that display case.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The cases were above these counters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The bakery was crowded so I did not want to linger too long taking pictures and disrupting the line..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The wait times are always great right at park opening!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Caught the first Toy Soldier Jam of the morning. I took a video last trip if anyone was interested in seeing it visit the 12/23 update or my youtube channel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The Churro cart in Frontierland has some minor decorations and a special offering as part of the The Kings Day Celebration.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Zocalo Park and the restaurant were celebrating Dia De Reyes (Three Kings Day) this weekend.

The celebration was from 10am to 6pm Friday to Sunday. So it had not yet started today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This morning in the Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante there was a breakfast for the Coke event. Their centerpieces.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


A face painting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Wait times around 9:10am

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Headed over to DCA next. Out on the Pier they have started to work on the facades of the shops.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The clown has been removed and the awnings (more shots after the Fun Wheel)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Cars Land just continues to look more impressive every time... even in the overcast light..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A closer look over toward the Luigi's Flying Tires. Looks like the lights are strung now above the attraction as well as to the tire tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Slowly painting the base of the radiator cap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Guess there is no ride testing going on this morning.. a worker on the track working on the rock work. Also noticed only a few more stories of scaffolding to remove on the far wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A nice forest has grown between Flo's and the archway for the Wharf entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


All the cones are now covered. Looks like the last two have caught up to the first three.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

With the Cars Meet and Greet gone you get a clear shot into Maters. Looks like the interior fence is done and the perimeter one is taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Almost all of the tarps and scaffolding are down on the Carthay, just a little around the entrance area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This is the right hand side (that overlooks the pump house)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The facade over where the train used to be is framed and has the exterior wall up already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Sarge's looks ready for its exterior finish.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

With the Cars Meet and Greet gone you get an unobstructed view down the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The lights are now strung above Mater's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Did not notice it the first time by, but they have started to put the tile roof on the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Notice the trees in the foreground too as they are finishing up the ground level area around the building. Wonder if the walls will come down to open up the area as they move their focus to the inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


All the scaffolding on the back side is down too and you can see the emergency exit staircase and back wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Returned to Disneyland and stopped by the Three Kings Day Celebration. Inside Rancho Del Zocalo they had a special dessert.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Outside the park was packed for one of the Mariachi Divas sets.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

As the set was winding down the Three Caballeros came out for pictures. Here was the cast member who was with them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Moved around the other side of the park to get a better shot (and to get out of the way of the characters)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

From this side it was just as crowded.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The line for the characters stretched back to the shooting arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The waits just before 3pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Passed by the Three Kings event again and this time some dancers were out front.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

And Mickey and Minnie were out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Moved on to the ranch and Mr. and Mrs. Claus were out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Walls up around the Toontown Station and it is under wraps. Guessing it is painting and regular maintenance. The trains are still running normally, just not stopping here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The Matterhorn goes down for several months of work after the weekend. The current bobsleds will be retired. The new ones have individual lap bars.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The current menu at the Main Street Cone Shop, which had a long line too since the Gibson Girl is closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

To close with a shot of the La Brea Bakery. Here you can see where the walls currently stop. The outdoor seating area is open for business.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


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



December 20, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 16, 2011. In part 2 are shots from around Disneyland including some of the Holiday festivities, a video of The Magic, the Memories, and You!, and some evening photos from Disney California Adventure.


Next stop Disneyland!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Arrived on Main Street as the Christmas Fantasy Parade was making its way down the street. Noticed the lead unit that features Duffy was not there. I liked the Toy Soldiers leading the way!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

A very odd sight for mid afternoon. Star Tours Fastpasses available for less than an hour away and a short wait?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Some shots from the Monorail. Thanks to the windows being up and the sun they are not the best but you can get a quick glimpse of the state of things.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Wow out of focus... but you can see how the store facade has been extended with the new steel (the black steel)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Noticed what appears to be new stoppers on the monorail station gates to stop them from swinging all the way open. Guessing this is to help herd guests to the proper cars?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Went for a second ride to get the other side and had a similar problem with the window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


The wait times around 4pm.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

A look at the new signage for the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe which is slated to open in January.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


A new weather vane.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Cartoon Spin was down (as was Small World when I walked by)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Walked through the Big Thunder Ranch area as well as Santa's Reindeer Round-up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


The line for Santa was short, too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


Looks like the sign had some issue thanks to the wind I would assume.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

The Billies in the Golden Horseshoe were the next stop for me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

The wait times around 5:30.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

A look down Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

During the wintertime enchantment/snow event the lights all turn white.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

A look at the castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


Even ElecTRONica felt empty this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Poreotics were performing this weekend. This group is the reigning champion of America's Best Dance Crew according to the intro. Here is a video of their 8:30 performance.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


Back to Disneyland to catch some of the Snow Fall since the fireworks were cancelled due to wind.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Stuck around for the Magic, the Memories, and You. There is a Christmas/Holiday segment added to the middle of the show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


Here is video of the entire show.. it is not the best, seems the camera did not like the location but you can sort of see it and can hear everything. (The holiday segment starts about 7 minutes in.)


Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 2


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


November 13, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com visited the parks on Friday, November 11, 2011, the first day of the 2011 holiday season. Part 1 features photos from Disneyland, including special Veterans Day events, holiday decorations, and "it's a small world" Holiday.

The tram stop signs have been switched to Christmas.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

New holiday banners and signs in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

An interesting comparison.. here is the entrance to DCA...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

And the entrance to Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Holiday decor at the Main Street train station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Cast members at the turnstiles have new costumes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The tunnel poster has been updated for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Mickey's Soundsational Parade is running through Sunday then "A Christmas Fantasy" starts on Monday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

"Snow" on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

New Orleans Square is very festive.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Blue Bayou and Pirates of the Caribbean are still closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Moving over to The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Golden Horseshoe tree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Even with the garland the new railings still look off to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Some of the other Frontierland decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Christmas tree in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

In celebration of Veterans Day there was an expanded Flag Retreat. An honor guard with members representing all the services led the procession.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Cast Member Veterans followed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band was a special participant.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Cast Members lined up on either side of the Train Station

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Dapper Dans in their patriotic outfits.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

As the anthem for each service was played the Cast Members paraded in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The flag is lowered.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Folding the flags

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The band did a great drill to turn around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


(Laura's note: If you'd like to see the ceremony, Jason has posted a video to youtube: http://youtu.be/mOo9WfG7Ssg)

Some lights on Sleeping Beauty Castle, but the full "Winter Castle" show doesn't start until November 14.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

"it's a small world" Holiday is open for the season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Elvis is back.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Looks like the floor in the toy store next to "it's a small world" was redone

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


New trees in Toontown (I read they came from Florida). I was not impressed by them - I thought the old ones were better.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Oops.. one of the Os is missing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Marine band was also doing a pre-parade set.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Nighttime holiday lights on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The gallery was closed preparing for a new exhibit - Trains of Disney - that opened on Saturday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Part 2 will include photos from Disney California Adventure and the Disneyland Hotel. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



November 2, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, 10/28/11.

From the Fun Wheel at DCA, a look at the construction progress in Cars Land.

Notice the back wall of the rock work taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

A closer look at the rock work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Flo's now has all the air filter panels installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The archway that will be the entrance to Cars Land from the Pacific Wharf is all patched and looks to be awaiting paint.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

A look at the radiator cap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

More framing on the Cozy Cones is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

In the background you can see the forms for the last two foundations of the cones and in the center the top of the steel for Sarge's Surplus.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Looking towards Cars Land from ground level.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


Now a look from the Blue Sky Cellar area

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


A closer look at the sign on the court house.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Mater's shack is looking more complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Christmas decorations are appearing around the parks. These at the entrance to Flik's Fun Fair.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The Tower of Terror lobby in honor of Halloween weekend.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

I found it odd that the cart on the Backlot has Christmas merchandise already, even during ElecTRONica in the evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


A look at detail on the Carthay Circle Theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The new lights near the Pump House were on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

From the monorail, a look over the walls at Buena Vista Street work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Looking over towards Disneyland - where it has snowed since last week!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The Floral Mickey is back to normal, no more Halloween mask

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

A pumpkin patch was set up near ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Construction at the Disneyland Hotel continues, with only a couple more weeks until it is supposed to be complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The elevators are almost done, just some trim in the middle to finish.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Bell services is temporarily inside and down the end of the hallway past the gift shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

In front of the hotel the main entry way is torn up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the gift shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The railings are in place and awaiting paint near the new pool area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

More landscaping and finishing touches have been added to the pool area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


There are flags on the directory signs now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Moving over to Disneyland where they were setting up for Mickey's Halloween Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The information desk and attraction wait times board was behind walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

A nice shot of the Castle with snow before the rest of the holiday lighting package is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

"it's a small world" is closed for the Holiday overlay installation, and scheduled to open on November 11.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

One last look at the creatively carved pumpkins in the Big Thunder Ranch area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


The restrooms in New Orleans Square were closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Some of the currently available mouse ears in The Briar Patch.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Oogie Boogie is back at work at the popcorn cart (he was not there a couple of weeks ago).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Pirates of the Caribbean is still under wraps, and scheduled to re-open on Thanksgiving.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Christmas has arrived in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


Christmas merchandise in the Frontierland gift shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The Big Thunder Trail is ready for the Halloween Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Some Castle photos.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


At the end of Main Street there were party signs and Cast Members were checking wristbands.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11


The party crowd coming into the park.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Some random Main Street shots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Back over to DCA for some nighttime photos. The new lights by the Pump House.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

The overhead Christmas lights were on in Flik's Fun Fair.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

Hmm...there seems to be something missing here!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/28/11

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



October 28, 2011

Mickey's Halloween Party - Disneyland 2011

Kristen Nowicki of the Mousetalgia podcast (www.mousetalgia.com) attended one of this year's Mickey's Halloween Parties at Disneyland and shares her experience in this guest blog.

It's been over 20 years since I last went trick or treating. This all changed last Friday night as my boyfriend and I attended Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland. It was my first time at what has recently become an annual event in Anaheim and was the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season.

A $59 ticket purchased five hours of Halloween themed entertainment and decor, lots of treats and luckily no tricks - this is Disneyland after all! The party ran from 7pm to midnight, and while I had anticipated a two-hour tour (how much could a 34-year-old, childless adult have to do at Halloween party, right?) we practically shut down the park, arriving shortly before 7:00 and leaving a few minutes before midnight.

While Disneyland is always beautiful, especially after dark, the extra Halloween plussing really made the evening magical. From the moment we stepped through the front gates, we were immersed in Disney Halloween goodness. Versions of Grim Grinning Ghosts, covers from the Nightmare Before Christmas and other original Disney Halloween tunes played throughout the evening and were accompanied by corresponding projections on the buildings down Main Street.

Throughout the park, Disney brought out special spooky décor just for the party. Our favorite was the Golden Horseshoe, which just earlier that day had been its usual charming frontier self, but transformed into a Halloween fan's delight for the evening. There were pumpkins throughout the main floor and even a special spooky guest musician at the player piano.

The Halloween décor wasn't limited to just the interiors, but outside as well including the sparkling Bradbury Halloween tree, a bevy of carved pumpkins at the Big Thunder Ranch with Mickey and Minnie nearby at a special Halloween photo-op. (Other characters including Jack Skellington, Winnie the Pooh, Phineas and Ferb and Storm Troopers were stationed at elaborate backgrounds throughout the park for photos.)

In addition to the special Halloween décor, there were a number of other events exclusive to the party including the Halloween Screams fireworks display, Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade and two dance parties - Piratepalooza and Buzz Lightyear's Intergalactic Space Jam. The dance parties seemed targeted at a younger audience, with Goofy, Donald, Buzz and the Green Army Men actually getting down on the dance floor with costumed kids of all ages. While we chose to sit this one out, the kids who were there seemed thrilled to dance the night away with some of their favorite characters. These events were also less crowded than other areas of the park, though it did seem to be a little odd having a mix of the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and other 90's pop artists blaring throughout Walt's park.

The biggest crowd pleaser of the night was the Halloween Screams fireworks show. The hub was filled with costumed attendees of all ages, screaming with delight at the spectacular of orange and yellow fireworks. We had seen this show in previous years when it was available to regular park goers and this year's show was the same as years prior. The inclusion of villains and a heavy emphasis on Nightmare Before Christmas characters was nice, but the cheesy soundtrack puts this show at the bottom of my list. Just 30 minutes prior to the show, it was easy to get a coveted spot in front of the Castle, which did help ease the pain of the canned, calypso beat soundtrack. Not quite as flashy as some of the other firework shows, there were a number of interesting projections on the front of the Castle, and the inclusion of a flying Zero made for an extra Halloween treat.

Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade was a bit short, but overall very entertaining. The Country Bears made a rare appearance, and on the back of the last float sat a somewhat jerky, audio-animatronic Miss Piggy. We caught the first and second showings of the parade (the second by accident as we were trapped, trying to get to the Pixie Hollow Candy Trail) and both viewings, one from Main Street and the other from the entrance to Tomorrowland, were equally enjoyable.

Amid the decked out décor and special entertainment were a number of Candy Trails, each consisting of anywhere from two to five trick or treat stations. We were given a medium sized bag upon entering the park, and an hour into the party, both of our bags were overflowing with a variety of chocolate candies, suckers and healthier treats like raisins, Craisins and apple slices. Our favorite Candy Trails were near the Matterhorn and the Innoventions Queue - both had five candy stations and short lines.

Speaking of lines, if you hate queuing up, Mickey's Halloween Party is not for you. While the numbers of attendees versus a regular day was significantly lower, the lines for the photo-ops and Candy Trails were quite long. Every photo queue had an average of 45 people and the Candy Trail starting next to Pirates of the Caribbean, wrapped all the way back to the Big Thunder Railroad. Halloween themed attractions like the Haunted Mansion and Ghost Galaxy (Space Mountain) also had really long lines. Most of the park attractions were open, and the average wait for non-Halloween themed rides was reasonable, but those attractions weren't the reason we came. We came for candy, characters and photo-ops and paid the price dearly by standing in a number of lengthy queues.

One of our favorite parts of the evening was being dressed up as Alice and the Mad Hatter. While this did prove to be somewhat awkward as we walked through the parking garage with the masses of un-costumed teens headed to DCA, as soon as we entered the gates of Disneyland, we were right at home. Themeing our costumes in a Disney way proved to be especially fun as we took photo after photo in the wonderful Wonderland setting of Fantasyland.

Mickey's Halloween Party not only gave us an excuse to dress up as our favorite characters, but to go back in time and celebrate a child's holiday as adults in the Happiest Place on Earth. Our first trip definitely won't be our last and if you're looking for a Halloween event for the whole family, childless-couple or even single adult, Mickey's Halloween Party is a place for anyone and everyone who loves Disney and Halloween.


About the author: Kristen Nowicki first visited Disneyland at the age of six and has been a regular park attendee and annual pass holder ever since. Drawn to the history and nostalgia of Disneyland, Kristen and her three friends, Jeff, Dave and Becky, host a Disneyland podcast, Mousetalgia. Mousetalgia is a show dedicated to the exploration of Disney's past, present and future, emphasizing the theme park culture and the people who have imagined Walt's happy place into existence. Check out their weekly podcast at www.mousetalgia.com. Let's go "Carpe Kingdom!"



October 14, 2011

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com and "All Things Disney" blogger Jeanine Yamanaka attended the special Mickey's Soundsational Parade event for Disneyland Annual Passholders on Wednesday, October 12. They team up in this blog, which features Jason's photos and captions, and some of Jeanine's comments on the event - including some things to know if you will be attending the second of these, on Monday, October 17.

The park was open to invited passholders from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. There was an exclusive nighttime performance of Mickey's Soundsational Parade, a panel discussion with some of the parade's creators, and the opportunity to get a close-up view of the floats. In addition, attractions, shops, and restaurants were open in Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street U.S.A.

Overall I thought it was a great event. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, the cast members included. Seeing the parade under the lights was great, especially with a minimal crowd so you could move around a bit and try for more interesting pictures. The photos of the floats up close with the parade performers seemed to be a big hit also.

Jeanine: To give you an idea of the schedule, the event formally started at 8pm when the park closed to regular guests. You were advised to park only in the Mickey and Friends structure, as they were not going to be running shuttles to any of the other lots after 9pm. Entrance into Adventureland and Frontierland were blocked off by CMs with most of the rides in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland open. The parade started from It's A Small World at 9:30pm, and by 10:30pm the bulk of the floats were parked around Main St. for photos with the characters. To encourage the use of Photopass, each AP holder was given a promotional code to purchase up to 5 photo downloads for $1.99 each.

It ended up as a really nice event--the volume of people were controlled enough so that virtually everything was a walk-on by the end of the night. All the panel participants were nice enough to hang out around the Mary Poppins float to greet people and take photos, and the floats were even more impressive up close, where you could appreciate all the detailing Kevin and Jody put into them. Everyone I spoke with thought it was a terrific thing to offer the Annual Passholders and had great hopes for more AP nights in the future.

On to the photos...

Four dining locations featured special menu items

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Coke Corner had bacon mac and cheese hotdogs

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Tomorrowland Terrace had a free cupcake with meal purchase. I did not make it to the other two.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Jeanine: I was there too! The other two locations were the Blue Ribbon Bakery, which was offering a pumpkin muffin, and Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, which had a Buffalo Chicken Pizza specialty. While I didn't try either of them, I did hear some people mention they were unimpressed with the pizza. The schedule you get when you enter lists the locations but not the special offers, so the best thing, if you're going to the next night on Oct. 17th, is to find a knowledgeable CM to tell you what all the items are, saving yourself a run around the park.

Some shots of the special showing of the parade for the event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Tomorrowland Terrace Hosted a panel discussion and Q&A session with some of the creative team: Art Directors Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney, and Senior Show Producer John Addis.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Jeanine: The panel was great and something of a surprise, as it wasn't listed on the schedule at all, and none of the CMs seemed to know anything about it. I only caught it by sheer luck, as I happened to be walking towards Tomorrowland Terrace when they made an overhead announcement about it. As it was, the announcement was barely audible where I was, and was totally missed by anyone who had gotten onto a ride at that point.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Jeanine: For Monday's reference, the panel took place around 10:15pm, and in addition to the guys on our panel, Steve Davison, Vice President for Parades and Spectaculars, should be back from Paris and speaking as well.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Jeanine: Some interesting factoids from the talk:
--Look closely at Princess and the Frog float, and you'll find Evinrude, the dragonfly from The Rescuers.
--The Aladdin float has a coin motif that is carried out in the "Coin Girl," who is dressed all in gold and preceeds it.
--If you look under the carousel on the Mary Poppins float, you see a representation of Burt's "one-man band" with the self-beating drum.

Main Street had several floats and their performers out for pictures

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Queues for a closer view of the floats had an entrance sign and were marked off on the street with tape

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event


The Princess and the Frog float and performers

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

A look at the line of people waiting

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Since the floats were stopped and the parade lights on you could get some nice close up shots

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event


The Aladdin crew

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

The Mary Poppins Unit

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Some of the creative team out for pictures and to interact with guests

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event


The Three Caballeros unit

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

A look up Main Street

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Last up the Peter Pan unit

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

Mickey's Soundsational Parade Annual Passholder Event

For additional photos, including some construction shots from DCA, Disneyland, and the Disneyland Hotel from earlier in the afternoon, check out the full Disneyland Update Jason posted on his site, http://disneygeek.com


October 11, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us this photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, 10/8/11.

The Annual CHOC Walk in the Park fundraiser for Children's Hospital of Orange County is next weekend and there are banners up around Downtown Disney for the event

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The ticket booth posters/ads have been swapped out. Annual Passes have returned and Aulani retired

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Emporium project is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A look around the newly-finished Emporium interior

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

No visible process on the camera shop work

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

In Frontierland the re-planking and other projects are done

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Pirates is moving along, now the exterior around the front and Dream Suite are covered up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The character Meet and Greet area in Critter Country has been redone and recently reopened

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Adventureland restrooms are still closed as work continues there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

From the hub you can just barely make out the top of the Carthay in the distance. Also noticed that the Cadillac Range does not block out the Hilton from this point of view (loop to the left of the train station).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Over at DCA most of the merchandise carts are now this new type throughout the park

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A check in at the Cars Land work from the Fun Wheel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Flo's is moving along slowly. Notice the worker inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The entrance arch from the Wharf looks to have the majority of the concrete work done, painting should start soon. On the right you can see the mesh for the rock face that faces the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update
More trees have been moved in around Maters so getting good shots of the area is a real challenge now. You can barely make out a couple of workers in behind the trees
Disneyland Resort Photo Update

No visible progress on the Cozy Cones

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The building behind the cones is really taking shape and behind that you can see the frame for what looks to be a backstage gate

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Carthay Circle Theater is looking great

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The exterior of the courthouse is ready for its covering

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The repainting of California Screamin' looks to be done - it is scheduled to re-open on Friday, October 15.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

This is taken from the Wharf and shows how the rock will turn the corner, curious how the transition will look

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

From the Blue Sky Cellar area there are so many trees now pictures are tough to come by from this height

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The steel is up for the shops on the West side of Buena Vista street, hard to get a good picture

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Here you can see the new footprint is larger than the original

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Lamp posts, parade light stands, signage, a wigwag and more have been installed around the pump house

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The walls are down on the Backlot (and ElecTRONica has returned in the evenings)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Another of the new merchandise kiosks, the Turkey Leg stand did not return to this corner

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Back to the pump house. Notice the canopy, it says Information, so wonder if a line board will be there or just CMs like the old DCA info booth

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Halloween cups

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Some pumpkins from the Halloween Round-up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


Calling All Drummers is performed four times a day starting at noon

Random Toontown shot

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A long wait for Minnie

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Captain Hook reporting for his shift at the Villains Meet and Greet along the small world mall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Oktoberfest area in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Time to check out the Disneyland Hotel progress. The walls out front have been shifted around. Only the columns and fountain area area are behind them now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

When you walk in the front door there is a water station and Disneyland Painting now

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The portion of the lobby against the front window is walled off

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

So the check in area is really narrow right now (notice the character out interacting with guests)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

An interesting shot of the new and old, they have just the center elevator area to finish, both sides are done

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A not-so-hidden Mickey

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Wonder if the old photos will return, I really enjoyed seeing the old celebrity and Walt shots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Looking through a window in the wall you can see the pool deck has been poured

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Work is slowly moving along here

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A wider view of the area as the work enters its final stages

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Mickey and Minnie out performing on Main Street with the Straw Hatters

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

And Chip and Dale were with the Hook and Ladder Company

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Main Street was alive with activity

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Jack Skellington was out in New Orleans Square

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A real cat along the Rivers of America

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Cadillac Range at dusk

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Here you can just barely make out the foundation work for Sarge's going on

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The new trees get in the way of the panoramic shot I usually take from near the
Blue Sky Cellar

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A band at Oktoberfest

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

On the stage near ESPN was a group called Paint in Motion. Here are some shots of the artwork, can you name the two rock celebrities

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


A random shot of the pumpkin on Main Street

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

To close with a couple of random World of Color shots. I had a Fastpass for Blue but showed up 5 minutes before show time so was in the back of the section, which was not bad except for all the kids on shoulders in the way.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


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


September 19, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com was roaming the parks on Friday, September 16, 2011 - the first day of this year's Halloween Time celebration. Here is Part 1 of his photo update, focusing on the Halloween decorations and special events in Disneyland.

The Halloween Time billboards at the Mickey and Friends tram stop look to be the same as last year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

And the ghostly characters alongside the tram route are in their familiar places.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Main Street is decked out for Halloween.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

They are working on the photo store at the end of Main Street, including repainting the entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

One of the new braille maps.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

A new popcorn bucket option this year - this one seemed to be available only at the popcorn cart near the Haunted Mansion.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Haunted Mansion Holiday just opened for the season and was very busy - standby line of about 50 minutes at about 1:40 in the afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Pooh characters' Meet-and-Greet spot in Critter Country is behind construction walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Pooh Corner shop is still open, and has some Halloween merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Sally was doing meet-and-greet at the Angel Courtyard in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Walls are up at the Blue Bayou while the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction is undergoing refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Ghost Mickey popcorn buckets are available at most of the other popcorn carts around Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Dia de Los Muertos display returns to Zocalo Park.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1


Big Thunder Ranch celebrates Halloween.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

And that means elaborately carved pumpkins!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Even the goats are getting into the "spirit".

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

In Fantasyland, the Tangled overlay has been removed (Rapunzel's hair and some signs), though the area is still a Rapunzel meet-and-greet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Villains have taken over the Small World Mall again for photos. This year only two stations. I seem to remember three the last couple of years.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1


In Tomorrowland the R2D2 popcorn buckets are still available. So if you collect popcorn buckets you have a handful of choices in the parks right now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Flag Retreat ceremony with the Dapper Dans and the Disneyland Band in their Halloween costumes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

In the Disneyland Railroad's Primeval World diorama, the last dino scene is back in operation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The 80z All Stars performed at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy opened for the season, also.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1


I spent some time watching the Ghost Galaxy projections. This year the sound seemed much quieter and not as much activity with the projections, must have been there 10-15 minutes and nothing really happened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

It dawned on me that I do not think I have walked this way at night and taken any shots of the Star Tours lighting. It cycles through some different light patterns.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1


The sign has some animated lights, also.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Headed over to the Haunted Mansion craziness next. It took us several minutes to get to the Fastpass Return queue. (Standby was posted at 75 minutes)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

A look at this year's gingerbread house in the ballroom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The French Market has a seasonal dessert - this Chocolate Coffin Cake, for $4.99.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 1

The Remember, Dreams Come True fireworks show is back (Magical was featured over the summer). Fire has returned to the Indy segment which was great to see!