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July 4, 2016

Dining Review: River Belle Terrace

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River Belle Terrace

Earlier this year the River Belle Terrace restaurant in Frontierland was converted from a counter service restaurant to a table service restaurant. As a counter service restaurant breakfast service was offered in addition to a lunch/dinner menu, while the table service restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner.

Many of us have enjoyed eating breakfast at the River Belle Terrace over the years - the outdoor patio offered a lovely overlook of the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island in the morning. And it was the only place around to get a Mickey Mouse pancake!

Mickey Mouse Pancake

Fortunately, the Mickey Mouse pancake and most of the other breakfast items live on at Rancho del Zocalo, which has now picked up the morning breakfast service. Unfortunately my personal favorite, the Cinnamon Roll French Toast, did not make the move, and is no longer available.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Recently we had the opportunity to try dinner at River Belle Terrace. We arrived at the podium about 5 minutes before our priority seating time. Our party of three was seated about 10 minutes later. We chose "first available" and were seated inside, though I was hoping for an outdoor table. It's a pleasant dining room, though very simply decorated.

River Belle Terrace Table

The menu is Southern inspired. It is the same for lunch and dinner and features sandwiches (fried chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket), pork ribs, fish and several entree salads.

River Belle Terrace Menu

We shared one of the appetizers: Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip, served with toasted bread and crispy celery for $10.00. This was actually quite tasty, and there was quite a bit of it. We quickly ran out of bread, but our server brought us more.

Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip

I tried the Grilled and Chilled Shrimp with house-made BBQ cocktail sauce and lemon. At $12.00 I thought this was a little pricey. Still, I enjoyed the shrimp and the sauce.

River Belle Terrace Grilled Shrimp

Lee ordered the House Salad with arugula, apple, Gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and apple vinaigrette for $6.00. Much more modestly priced, and a nice serving.

River Belle Terrace House Salad

As an entree I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich - BBQ sauce and tangy coleslaw served on toasted ciabatta. The pork was not fatty and had a good flavor, though it could have used some more BBQ sauce. I was happy that they stuck with a traditional coleslaw and did not put peppers in it.

River Belle Terrace Pulled Pork Sandwich

All of the entrees come with their Signature baked beans and choice of an additional side: coleslaw, potato salad, seasoned tater tots, or seasonal vegetables. I ordered the tater tots and they were the clear winner here - we all really enjoyed those. They tasted really good dipped in the leftover pimento dip.

Lee tried the Beef Brisket Sandwich with smoked Provolone and fried onions served on toasted onion hoagie roll with steak sauce-mayo. He was very pleased with that.

River Belle Terrace Beef Brisket Sandwich

Our friend Michelle ordered River Belle's Chopped Salad with Romaine lettuce, black beans, garbanzo beans, pickles, roasted corn, red bell pepper, and tomatoes topped with fried onions and served with BBQ ranch dressing. It's served with choice of chicken, grilled shrimp, brisket or BBQ tofu. She had the tofu. I tried a bite of the tofu and I enjoyed it - it had a good flavor and a nice texture.

River Belle Terrace Chopped Salad w/Tofu

Other entrees include Fried Chicken Sandwich, Pork Spareribs, Oven-roasted Sausage Link Combo Sustainable Catch of the Day, BBQ Tofu, and Roasted Half Chicken.

For dessert Lee and I split the Maple, Apple, and Bacon Bundt Cake, because that sounded really interesting. It was an apple bundt cake with a hint of maple flavoring and some candied bacon. The bacon mostly just tasted sweet and added a crunchy element - I didn't really taste any bacon flavor. The other two desserts available were a Butterscotch Pudding Parfait and Fried Cheesecake.

Maple, Apple, Bacon Bundt Cake

Our server was good but not exceptional. Our meal was nicely paced, she kept our drinks refilled and brought us extra bread for the dip.

For what you get I thought it was overpriced, especially compared to options like Cafe Orleans and Carnation Cafe. The menu seems to be a combination of the (closed) Big Thunder Ranch BBQ and River Belle's former counter service menus. I'm glad we tried it, but I'm in no hurry to go back. My favorite Disneyland table service restaurant is still Cafe Orleans.







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.







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 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.



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.



September 4, 2011

True Legends of the Golden Horseshoe

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On August 18th, the day prior to the start of the D23 Expo, a tribute was held to two Disney Legends, Wally Boag and Betty Taylor. Both long-standing stars of the Golden Horseshoe Revue passed away this year, within a day of each other.

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Press, Expo members on the Sorcerer's package, various Disney Legends, and past Golden Horseshoe performers were invited to the Big Thunder Ranch, where the stage was set up to replicate the old saloon venue.

The show was divided up into five acts, introduced by virtual Vaudevillian title cards up on the monitors.

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It began, as the original show did, with an abundance of Can-Can dancers, performing to "Hello Everybody."

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After the opening number, Tom Staggs came out and said a few words about the night's events, and recounted that he held his rehearsal dinner at the Golden Horseshoe (yes, he said he was able to have alcohol.)

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He then introduced, from the audience, many of the legends important to the Golden Horseshoe, such as Miriam Nelson, the original choreographer.

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Our host for the evening was then introduced: Dick Hardwick, who was Wally Boag's understudy, and who later took over the role of Pecos Bill when Boag retired in 1982.

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At this point, the second act began, which was essentially a clip show of photos and video of the original show.

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The energy and high activity level of the stars were related, as they were shown performing outside the parks on USO tours and on one occasion, in a command performance for President Nixon.

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The third act celebrated Betty Taylor's long years with the show--over 30 years and nearly 45,000 performances.

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Moving on to Wally Boag, there was a video clip of Diane and Ron Miller talking about how much Walt enjoyed the Golden Horseshoe Revue, and the many famous visitors he took there. Afterwards, Dick Hardwick gave the audience a taste of the show by performing Boag's famous "teeth spitting" number.

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After expectorating out a truly prodigious amount of dentition, Hardwick then introduced a video tribute by Steve Martin, longtime fan of Boag since his early days working in the Magic Shop on Main Street. He related how he used to watch every show and picked up many performance tips from Boag that he worked into his comedy acts later in life. He said he had memorized all the lines and all the timing of the act, in hopes that one day Boag wouldn't be able to go on, and the stage manager would come out onto the stage and ask if there was an eleven-year-old boy in the audience that could take his place "and I would be that boy!"

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The fifth and last act of the evening showed the enduring memorials created by Disney for the two performers. Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis presented Ralph Opacic, Executive Director of the Orange County High School of the Arts, with a $10,000 donation in Wally Boag and Betty Taylor's names, in the hopes that it would help enable young performers to achieve the same longevity as the Disney legends.

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Framed copies of a playbill, showing Boag, Taylor, and their co-star in the show, Fulton Burley, were given to the families of the stars, with the assurance that a copy would be mounted in the Golden Horseshoe to acknowledge their part in the Revue's Guinness-World-Record run of live performances.

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The show ended as it began, with a loadful of Can-Can girls who did one raucous dance, and then encouraged all the past performers to come up on stage and join them in singing a closing number.

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It was a great tribute to a pair of unforgettable performers. While I myself never got a chance to see the original show in person, the World of Color TV special celebrating the 10,000th show has been made available on the Walt Disney Treasures DVD set, "Disneyland-Secrets, Stories, & Magic." Clips, of course, are readily searchable on YouTube as well.

It's hard to know, after all, if this charming, lighthearted, innocent show would be successful in today's hard-edged, sophisticated, impatient society. I like to think so--I like to think that the longest running stage production in show business history continues to play somewhere, whether or not the curtain's closed here.

December 5, 2010

Santa's Reindeer Roundup

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During the holiday season, Santa's Reindeer Roundup comes to Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests in the nearby cabin, while Santa's reindeer, all eight of them, live in the corral area.

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I recently had the opportunity to speak to Maggie Gitchen, Guest Service Manager at the Circle D, who oversees all of the animal areas at the park. Her charges include horses, goats, sheep, cows, donkeys, cockatoos, three pardoned turkeys, and, at this time of year, Santa's reindeer.

Laura Gilbreath: How long have you been working with the reindeer?

Maggie Gitchen: I've been working with the reindeer for five years. It's challenging, but it's a lot of fun.

LG: What's your favorite thing about the reindeer?

MG: I think they have the softest looking noses I've ever seen on an animal. They look like velvet. They're different in personality than any of the other animals I've worked with. They're a little skittish, but very pretty.

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LG: You mentioned they are skittish - how do they react with guests around them all day?

MG: They're skittish in that we can't walk up to them and handle them or lead them anywhere. So we have to learn how to move around them and do it safely without exciting them or chasing them. We go through a special training with new people so they learn how to be around them and not excite them. You never trap them in a corner - you always give them a space to move away from you.

LG: We had some really hot weather here in November - how did they handle that?

MG: Actually, they have a special [lining] in their nose, and they breathe heavy and it exchanges the heat so the heat is blown out with their breath. It really helps them deal with the heat when their bodies are ready for winter. And we make sure they have lots of water.

LG: Does Santa come by every once in a while and make sure things are all right?

MG: He's right next door in the little cabin all season, and then on Christmas Eve he harnesses up the reindeer and takes off back to the North Pole, loads up everything and takes off for the night. In the morning he lands them back, puts them back in the pen and then walks around the area in a smoking jacket, all relaxed since his job is done for the year.

The reindeer are pretty tired, but we make sure they have lots to eat to build their energy back up and we make sure they are healthy.

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LG: What do the reindeer eat?

MG: They have a special reindeer feed - a ground-up grain which is specifically made for reindeer. And we have a grass cage that they eat all day long. That's what they do in the wild, so it's best to have food constantly available to them. You know they're happy when they're laying down chewing their cud.

LG: Do they have any special treats, like apples or even candy canes?

MG: The night that they go out for Christmas Eve they get some carrots and some apples.

LG: Other than the North Pole, where are reindeer found?

MG: They are found in the northern areas of most [northern] countries. Reindeer are actually a breed of caribou that came from the Laplands [in northern Finland, most of it above the Arctic Circle]. They are smaller than the caribou found in North America, but these are the ones that were actually used for harness work and they pulled sleds in the snow. They have been used as domestic animals but they are not totally tame.

LG: What little known facts can you tell us about reindeer?

MG: They have a big round hoof - they call them "shovel feet". It gives them traction on the snow and ice, so when they get running and they take off and they fly it gives them traction to get going. It also helps when they drink water - if there's ice on the water they use their hoof to break through the ice.

Their antlers are shed every year. They grow out in the spring and will shed late in the winter. The antlers are actually alive when they have their velvet on the outside and then they will start to die and the velvet starts to peel off and and they rub them to get that off. Then they have hard antlers, which they need for protection. The moms use them to protect the babies, and then the males use them [during mating season] when they fight for the females.

LG: I know our time is up, but one last question - the thing that we all want to know: How do reindeer really fly?

MG: How do they fly? Magic.


October 5, 2007

More Disney's HalloweenTime

Disney's HalloweenTime is becoming one of my favorite times of year at the Disneyland Resort - it's just so festive and fun! The Halloween decorations are really clever - I like the huge character pumpkins sitting atop Disneyland's entrance. Not to mention the candy corn appearance of the "CALIFORNIA" letters in front of Disney's California Adventure. I think the imagineers must have had a lot of fun with it. But one drawback is that Disneyland is significantly more crowded, especially in the evening.

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I didn't get the chance last year, but this year I sat in on one of the Woody's Halloween Round-up shows back in the Big Thunder Ranch area. Pretty corny - just like you'd expect - but cute. It's hosted by Tex Tumbleweed, but of course stars Woody, Jessie and Bullseye. From what I could tell each day's shows follow a continuing story arc - I saw the second show of the day, which featured a character (Lucky the Cat) who had apparently been introduced in the first show. And Woody impersonating a ghost. And the show ended with a cliffhanger - was the witch hat that blew on stage good or bad??? Should Jessie use it as part of her Halloween costume? Unfortunately I missed the later shows so I never found out!

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But my favorite part was the "commercial" - where Tex does an ad for the show's sponsor, Cowboy Crunchies. He even brags about how they are loaded with sugar - and all a kid needs to do is take one whiff of the cereal to make them strong! He got an audience volunteer to demonstrate that. Ah yes...all the elements of bad 50s-era live TV shows. :-)

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What's next for our Dynamic Duo? Will Laura and Lee make it through the treacherous Friday Freeway Free-for-all with time enough to change into their costumes before the Mickey's Halloween Treat party? Will their macabre masquerade survive Mulholland Madness? Find out next time...same Blog time, same Blog channel!

August 28, 2007

Disneyland Bits and Bites

We made another trip to Disneyland on the afternoon/evening of Friday, August 17...thought I'd share a few observations...

With the "Year of a Million Dreams" extended through 2008 (doesn't that make it "Years of a Million Dreams?" the banners in the main entry plaza have changed...and the letters in front of DCA that spell out "CALIFORNIA" now have a blue-sky-and-clouds look, like the "Dream" mouse ears.

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The waits for most attractions were less than an hour (15 minutes for Indy, 5 for Pirates, 10 minutes for Buzz, etc.), but Finding Nemo was still two hours.

This was a first for us - the standby line for Big Thunder Mountain was shorter than the Fastpass Return line! Since the attraction loads on two sides they send Fastpassers to one side and standby riders to the other, so we got on faster than a lot of people who had Fastpasses!

We saw the Ratatouille "pre-parade" float with Remy and Emile - since it doesn't fit into the Parade of Dreams it gets to be its own mini-parade.

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On our raft ride over to Tom Sawyer Island at about 4:25 we saw one of the Pirate Stunt Show characters climbing up to the "crow's nest" waiting to make his grand entrance - which was still about 10 minutes away. I recognized this particular actor as one that had been playing Jedi Master Endo Valaris in Jedi Academy...from Jedi Master to Pirate...guess he went over to the Dark side!

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The Disney Gallery (above the Pirates of the Caribbean) is closed, which means no more Fantasmic! dessert buffet on the balcony...but Riverside Premium seating for Fantasmic! is still available.

Disney's new High School Musical 2 movie premiered Friday night, and a new street show at DCA, High School Musical 2: School's Out, opened on Saturday, replacing the High School Musical Pep Rally.

The three towers at the Disneyland Hotel now have signs over the entrances with their new names: Magic (formerly Marina), Dreams (formerly Sierra) and Wonder (formerly Bonita). The hotel map signs scattered around the property have not yet been changed to reflect the new names, though.

We had dinner at Hook's Pointe (review to come) - Lee noticed that there's a map of Never Land on the ceiling.

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The Fantasy Waters show at the Disneyland Hotel has been gone for a while, but the fountains and lights still put on a little bit of a show - we seem to have been there at just the right time to see it.

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Until next time...

Laura

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About Frontierland

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

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