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November 13, 2017

First Look: Holidays at Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 10, 2017, for a first look at the holiday offerings around the resort.

I arrived to find a very busy parking structure at the Disneyland Resort. The line of cars to enter the parking structure stretched beyond the Disneyland Drive overpass.

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

A couple of video clips giving an overview of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Construction site this afternoon.



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

The exterior siding is almost all installed along Disneyland Drive now.

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

A closer look at the rock work.

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

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

Buena Vista Street Christmas decorations.

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

A long line for Smokejumpers Grill.

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

The FastPass return for Soarin was backed up and curved toward Smokejumpers

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

The hot item today appeared to be the Pluto Holiday Popcorn bucket.

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

The Country Bears are back this year. They are meeting between Grizzly River Run and the Bay Area.

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

Some new Toy Soldier decorations in the planter near Paradise Pier.

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

Mostly Kosher performing in Paradise Park

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

A video clip of Mostly Kosher performing.

Festival of Holidays Marketplace Kiosks are all open. Laura will be doing a full posting on the food...so here is just one menu picture to show what the format is.

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

Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival has returned to Paradise Gardens this year.

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

The Sound was performing in the Pacific Wharf area when I walked by. They are a new group this year.

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

More Toy Soldiers

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

A Festival of Holidays photo location - Pluto was there as I walked by. Clarabelle Cow also appears there.

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

Next stop Disneyland. The hub has its Holiday plantings

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

Partners Statue and Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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

Ornament Steins were for sale at various locations in both parks. Here is the offering at the coffee cart in the hub.

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

Found a spot on Main Street in the hub for A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Before the Parade Taffany's Dance Academy Twinkle Holiday Parade

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

A video clip of the Twinkle Holiday Parade.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade making its way up Main Street USA.

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

The Mailroom scene features Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale and Donald again this year.

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

The Winter Wonderland Group is next.

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

Gingerbread Treats, Clarabelle Cow has been updated this year.

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

Santa and his reindeer finale to the parade

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

Made my way through the crowd after the parade to Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat. A good size crowd gathering for the kick off to Veteran's Day weekend.

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

it's a small world holiday

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

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

it's a small world finale room video

Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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

Moving back to Disney California Adventure...Disney Viva Navidad! is back in Paradise Pier again this year.

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

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

Disney Viva Navidad! Finale Video Clip

Phat Cat Swinger performing at the Holiday Sunset Concert at Paradise Pier

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

Phat Cat Swingers - Sleigh Ride Video Clips

Phat Cat Swingers - Belle Notte Video Clip

Phat Cat Swingers - It's Beginning to Look a Like Christmas

Phat Cat Swingers - Run Run Rudolph Video Clip

Stormtrooper sourdough bread being made at the Boudin Bakery.

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

Luigi is celebrating the holidays with the new "Joy to the Whirl" holiday overlay.

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

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

Hollywood Land has minimal decorations again this year. Santa and his reindeer are back.

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

Buena Vista Street Christmas Tree

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

Disneyland Town Square Christmas Tree

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

Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks.

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

Believe in Holiday Magic final and snow fall clip



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

Back to California Adventure

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

Mater's Jingle Jamboree Video Clip of one the songs

Mater's Jingle Jamboree Video Clip of one the songs plus some jokes he told between cycles.

World of Color - Season of Light

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

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

World of Color - Season of Light - Goofy Decorating video clip



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 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.









December 21, 2016

Disneyland Resort Update - 12/16/15

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I've been traveling a lot, but I wanted to make another visit to Disneyland during the holiday season. When I renewed my annual pass earlier this year I opted for the Signature AP, which is blocked out during the Christmas holidays - December 19-January 1 - so this weekend was my final opportunity before that. (I really don't WANT to be at Disneyland during those two weeks anyway!) Jason (Disneygeek) met me there on Friday afternoon and we wandered around for the rest of the day and evening.

We had a rare southern California rainstorm on Thursday and Friday, but according to the forecast the rain would be over in Anaheim by noon. When I left San Diego at 10:30 it was still raining there, but by the time I reached Anaheim the roads were dry and there was even a little bit of blue sky. As the day went on the clouds completely cleared off and we had a sunny day, though it was cool by southern California standards - only about 60 degrees.

Some major changes at Disneyland this week: most of the security checkpoints have been moved. Downtown Disney is now a "secure" area, so guests coming from the Mickey and Friends garage go through security before boarding a tram. I was surprised to see a fence up along the tram route where it goes through the garage. If you park on the first level then you cross the tram route inside the garage rather than from the Pinocchio parking lot as it was before.

Disneyland security fence

The bag check is still done manually, and then everyone goes through a metal detector. I wish they'd installed x-ray machines rather than the manual check. I arrived about 12:20, and things weren't very busy then, so I got through quickly.

Disneyland security

There are additional security checkpoints set up at the other entrances to Downtown Disney. From the Downtown Disney parking lot:

Downtown Disney security checkpoint

From the Grand Californian:

Grand Californian Security checkpoint

There's also one from the Disneyland Hotel, though I didn't get a photo of it. The security setup on the east side of the esplanade (for guests coming from the Toy Story parking lot and the hotels on Harbor Blvd) is unchanged. They still go through security on the east side of the esplanade.

From the tram I could see the demolition that's occurring at the former House of Blues location. According to a recent Disney Parks Blog post, Splitsville Luxury Lanes will be opening there in late 2017.

House of Blues demolition

When I got off the tram, it was great to be able to walk directly to the esplanade without going through security! And the esplanade looks so open now! Jason reminded me that the security tents at the esplanade had been in place for over 15 years. Wow.

Disneyland esplanade

This was the first time I'd been to DCA during the day this holiday season.

Festival of Holidays

My first order was to have something to eat, so I visited a couple of the Festival of Holidays Marketplaces. I never saw any lines at any of the booths except the Brews & Bites booth that sells beer. As I mentioned in my initial review of the Festival, I think the prices are just too high.

This time I tried the Harvest Puff Pastry with Leeks and Parmesan from the "Treats for Santa" booth. $4.25. I was surprised that it wasn't served warm. But it was pretty tasty, and I thought $4.25 wasn't a bad price, since it was a good-sized serving. Much more in line with the price I expect.

Festival of Holidays Harvest Puff Pastry

From "Mosaic Delights" I tried the Mini Falafel Donuts with Pickled Vegetables & Tahini Drizzle. This one was $7.00 - and it should have been $4.25. :-) Though it says "donuts", it's really a savory dish. I liked the flavor of the falafel and the pickled vegetables. It was just too expensive.

Festival of Holidays Falafel Donuts

I felt really badly for the cast members working the food booths - they had very little to do, and I'm sure that makes their shifts seem really long.

Jason and I met at the World of Color Fastpass machines. Even though it was almost 1:00, we were still able to get Fastpasses in the Blue section (the best of the non-dining package sections) for the 9:00 showing of Season of Light. Because of the rain there weren't too many people out and about yet. There was a second show scheduled for 10:15...I have a feeling it was very sparsely attended.

Since I'm writing this resort update instead of Jason there's going to be more words than photos, so if you're interested in Jason's excellent photos and construction update please visit his web site: www.disneygeek.com.

There's an AP Corner for Annual Passholders set up in the Grizzly Peak Recreation area. It opened November 11 and is available through January 8. Pretty minimal offerings compared to some of these in the past. There's a button, a photo backdrop, and a coloring area. But no character greeting opportunity or refreshments like water and popcorn as there have been at previous AP areas. Also, there's only a single button for the event, rather than a different one each week (you can see my button on the left in the photo below). There were no guests there when we arrived, and the cast members looked pretty cold! The location is out of the way, and a little hard to find, though there were signs for it at the entrance.

Festival of Holidays

There were additional craft opportunities along the parade corridor. This one was Christmas-themed, but I saw one for Kwanzaa also.

Festival of Holidays

Our next destination was Disneyland, so that I could see the "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" for the first time this season. We went all the way back to the parade start at "it's a small world". Not real crowded, but there were more people back there than i expected. We still had a spot behind just one row of people, though.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

For some reason the toy soldiers were missing when the parade first started this holiday season, but they are back now. Always one of my favorite parts of the parade.

We left our viewing spot just before the final float appeared so that we could get in line for "it's a small world" Holiday before the crowds descended on it after the parade was over. We had a good view of that last float with Santa Claus from the line.

A Christmas Fantasy parade

"it's a small world" Holiday is celebrating its 20th holiday season this year. In recognition of that, some number of "hidden 20s" have been placed in the attraction this year. Jason is very good at spotting them and pointed them out to me, though the only one I was able to photograph was this one at the exit.

it's a small world holiday hidden 20

We went back to Frontierland to take a look at the Star Wars Land construction progress. This is the first time I've seen anything other than piles of dirt!

Star Wars Land

And this looks interesting. No idea what it is, though. There's still no official word out of Disney as to when Star Wars Land might open, but at least now there's actual construction underway. As I mentioned, Jason has a lot more (and better) photos available on his www.disneygeek.com site.

Star Wars Land

On Main Street we caught the end of the performance of the Dickens Yuletide Band. In the clip below they perform a medley from "The Nutcracker."

We were planning to see some of the holiday entertainment over at DCA, so went across the esplanade back over there. But first we went back to Hollywood to check on Fastpasses for Tower of Terror. After dark, the Tower of Terror offers "Late Check-Out", where the attraction takes place in the dark, with no soundtrack. Fastpasses were not originally available for the after dark part, but that changed recently. We were there about 3:00, and there was a sign out to that effect.

Tower of Terror Late Check-Out

And the Fastpasses themselves denote Late Check-Out.

Tower of Terror Late Check-out

We still had some time before the first holiday act, so we went for a spin on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, since it had a short line. For the holiday season there's a new song: Jingle Bells. We heard it as we were walking to the attraction, but it wasn't the song that played for our ride.

The Holiday Toy Drummers was the first entertainment offering we saw, and they are my new favorites. They were so much fun to watch - especially since they seem to be having so much fun themselves. This is a video Jason took of them several weeks ago - they don't have any variation in their sets.

Holiday entertainment takes place in a number of different locations around DCA. The drummers were near the Boudin Bakery in Pacific Wharf, and from there we went to Paradise Gardens to see Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. It was pretty well-attended. Elena sang several songs, including two Christmas songs.

Festival of Holidays Elena of Avalor

The Stilt Circus performs along the parade corridor, though both time we saw them they were in Carthay Circle.

Festival of Holidays stilt circus

To get to Downtown Disney we exited through the Grand Californian. I hadn't seen the gingerbread hotel in its finished state - they were still decorating it when I was there in November. Pretty impressive structure.

Grand Californian Gingerbread house

There's a new Pandora store in Downtown Disney now, right next to Jamba Juice.

Downtown Disney Pandora Store

I was surprised to see a very large outdoor seating area outside Tortilla Jo's. During most of the year that might be pretty attractive, but it was a chilly afternoon and we didn't see anyone sitting outside.

Tortilla Jo's outdoor seating

The tree in Downtown Disney is in a new location this year. No skating rink, probably because of the construction of the fence for the security perimeter.

Downtown Disney Christmas tree

We took the monorail back to Disneyland from Downtown Disney. It was very nice not to have to go through a bag check there. And there was no line for the monorail, in fact some of the cars were empty. Jason and I were the only people in our car. We saw the start of sunset on our ride.

Disneyland sunset

At the Star Wars Launch Bay cast members were distributing Rogue One - A Star Wars Story buttons since the movie had just opened. There were a couple of display cases with costumes and props from the movie - pretty much the same as what I saw in Florida the week before.

Rogue One button

The lights weren't on yet, but the castle was decorated for the holidays.

Sleeping Beauty castle

We had dinner at Village Haus, largely so that we could sit inside where it was warm. There weren't very many people in there, and it was so quiet that we could actually hear the background music! It was the same holiday track that is played on Main Street. It was very nice to hear it.

The castle lights were on as we walked through the castle after dinner.

Sleeping Beauty ice castle

The Jambalaya Jazz group has added some holiday cheer to their set.

After dark their last song is White Christmas, and it snows.

snow in New Orleans Square

When we walked by Tropical Imports in Adventureland we noticed a sign for a new dessert - a Pineapple Parfait. Layered pineapple mousse, vanilla cake and pineapple topped with whipped cream and a chocolate Heart of Tefiti pendant. Normally I would've tried this, but it was a cold dessert and I was already cold enough.

Pineapple Parfait

Back to DCA to catch some more of the Festival of Holidays entertainment. Starting at 5:30 there are four different acts in a row at the stage in Paradise Park. We missed the first one, but we saw RAISE - an acapella group, Mariachi Divas, and Mostly Kosher. The latter are pictured below. They were surprisingly entertaining.

Festival of Holidays

The wind had come up and it was quite chilly by the water after we'd been sitting there for almost an hour. I suggested we go "under the sea" to warm up. :-) We walked right onto the clamshell vehicle.

There was still over an hour until it was time to be back for World of Color. I was looking for warm places, and we went into the Animation Building. There were a number of other people with the same idea, but we lucked out and there was a sofa we could sit on. I always enjoy sitting in there and watching the animation clips and artwork and listening to the music. I saw something I hadn't noticed before - it looks like there was a "Coppertone moment" in Frozen during the "In Summer" song. Cute.

DCA Animation Building

On the way back to Paradise Bay we stopped at Award Weiners so that I could get some hot chocolate. That tasted pretty good - and it felt good in my hands. :-)

Jason knows the spots, and found us an excellent location to watch World of Color - Season of Light. We were just behind the dessert party area, so there was no one standing in front of us.

It was windy, but not enough to cancel the show. It made for some interesting effects on the fountains. I was surprised at how clear the projections still were, despite the wind.

World of Color - Season of Light

This is such a good show. All of the effects work so well together.

World of Color - Season of Light

We made the right decision to choose to see World of Color and not the fireworks show at Disneyland - it was canceled because of the wind.

That was the end of our day. When we arrived back at the Mickey and Friends garage I was surprised to see that almost all of the security check lanes were still open. It was almost 10:00 - not too many people arriving at that time of night.

It was a good day - I was able to see all of the entertainment that I'd wanted to see. And thanks to the rain and the cool weather the parks weren't very crowded at all.







December 6, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 12/03/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, December 3, 2016 .

A look at the Star Wars Construction site this crisp morning (it was about 50 degrees out).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016


A video look around the site. For a more detailed set of photos check out my full picture set on disneygeek.com



Work continues on re-configuring the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop to move security screening out here.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Canopies and rigging are being set up on a portion of the former Pinocchio lot.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday was a Candy Cane day at Trolley Treats. So guests rushed to get in line for wristbands to buy handmade candy canes. They are $12.99 each this year and wristbands are distributed on a first come first serve basis. The line is on the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Bugs have reclaimed their theater for the time being. The Moana preview has concluded.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

At Disneyland Town Square was set up for the Candlelight Processional that evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

First attraction of the day for me, the Jingle Cruise. Wait time was only a couple minutes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Doughnuts are available for purchase at the Coffee stand in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Those are chocolate chip cookies on top

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Peanut butter cups on top of these.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A look at the new rock formations taking shape along the Rivers of America.Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Moana was greeting guests near the Oasis. Hard to get a picture without waiting in line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mickey was in front of the fire house.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Back at Trolley Treats the first batch of Candy Canes were being worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

For the holidays a new song has been added to the rotation at Luigi's. Jingle Bells. Here is a video clip of it.

A look at the Tower of Terror as it becomes Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A line of guests for the Visa photo this morning.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Award Wieners has a new menu.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Caught the 12:05 performance of the Holiday Toy Drummers. Video of the Holiday Toy Drummers show.

Princess Elena of Avalor Meet and Greet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Three Caballeros

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Disney Viva Navidad! time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

RAISE performing at the Pacific Wharf Stage as part of Disney Festival of Holidays They perform a variety of songs. Here is a clip from their Lion King Medley.

Grand Californian Gingerbread Houses for sale.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stopped by Storytellers and was greeted by a friendly face.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A gingerbread house inside Storytellers Cafe.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The main lobby Christmas tree at the Grand Californian.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A large gingerbread replica of the hotel is on display in the lobby.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of the fireplace in the gingerbread hotel.

The back side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

In Downtown Disney the Pandora signage is now up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Back to Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Candlelight preparations were in high gear with less than 3 hours till show time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

My plan was to go watch the 3:15 parade and then find a spot but the first rows were already filled so I went to sit for Candlelight 2.5 hours before the show. Time for the Flag Retreat. Due to the Candlelight they just played a recording.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

At about 5:25 Nancy started the orchestra for the procession.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The start of the procession entering Town Square at 5:30pm, then the cermony got underway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Here are some video clips from the Candlelight.

The guest narrator this year was Ginnifer Goodwin

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A young girl performing a solo, I missed her name and only invited guests get programs.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Silent Night sung by Drew Tablak

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Main Street USA after the performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of Main Street.

Looking back.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

On the weekend they are having a Holiday Celebration on the Rivers of America. It features the Jambalaya Jazz performing.The finale features snow fall during White Christmas.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Guests gathered in the snow.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A couple video clips of the Jambalaya Jazz performing at Rivers of America Holiday Celebration.

The Royal Swing Big Band Ball at the Royal Theatre

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A couple video clips from the end of Main Street and walking down Main Street during the Candlelight, notice the audio is piped into the area.

Returned to DCA to close out my evening. A video of Luigi's Jingle Bells at night.

At night the Grizzly Bear Holiday sweater lights up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of the sweater in action.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Show time for World of Color - Season of Light.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka Segment

Goofy decorating segment is a highlight of the show.

That wraps up my long day at the Disneyland Resort.

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






November 21, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 11/19/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

A quick check of the Star Wars Construction from the Mickey and Friends parking structure, for a more in depth look check out my full picture set.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


The backstage marina is moving along. Notice the white trestle structure on the right, that marks where the Disneyland Railroad will cross over the walkway that leads in from Frontierland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


You can see the rock work wire mesh now sticking up above the dirt. Assuming the smoke is from welders working on it this morning.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Work is moving along in the former section of the Pinocchio Parking lot. They are re-configuring the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop to move security out here.The current cross walk to reach the Pinocchio lot and walk to the parks.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Under wraps is the new tram way, it was poured recently.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


The planters and barriers have been removed from the load/unload stop closest to the elevator.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Work underway in the Downtown Disney valet area. Assuming preparations for the new security check point.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Fencing up between Earl of Sandwich and ESPN. Assuming for the security checkpoint in this area. No ice rink or winter village this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


The Christmas tree is in front of the DVC area. AMC has Moana banners up.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Sprinkles has arrived at Downtown Disney. It opened last week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


A sign up for Pandora on the construction wall now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


One for the new Curl shop too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Tickets for the rest of my group as we prepare to start our day.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


First stop this morning Disney California Adventure. The bear by GRR is in the holiday spirit.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Christmas decorations on Paradise Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Holiday Treats at Trolley Treats.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Cards advertising the candy canes.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


The back side has the dates for this season.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Next stop Disneyland, marking my 4th park on 2 continents since Thursday, I returned home from Tokyo on Friday. Main Street USA Christmas tree.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jingle Cruise, our first stop here.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


The boats have been renamed for the season.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


From Critter Country, a check of the Star Wars work. The steel supports are taking shape. The rock work should be going in soon.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Pin trading on the Mark Twain dock.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Approaching the end of the Big Thunder Trail. Through the trees you can just barely make out the new trestle.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016

Scaffolding is down from the rock formation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the holiday version. There are a half dozen hidden 20s throughout. We found a handful on our trip through.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Can you spot the 20?


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


In the gift shop there is a portable charging dispenser now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Time for a Christmas Fantasy Parade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Snow Person
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Gingerbread men


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Goofy baking


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Made my way back to DCA. The Country Bears were wrapping up a photo op as I walked up the parade route.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Almost all of the Tower of Terror is now surrounded by scaffolding.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


Holiday Toy Drummers performing near the Boudin Bakery as part of the Festival of Holidays. Laura has a blog on the festival.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 19, 2016


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







November 25, 2015

Disneyland Resort - 11/25/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

To kick off my Thanksgiving weekend I spent the afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort enjoying some of the entertainment Disneyland Park has to offer this time of year. As always to see the full picture set visit my site.



First up A Christmas Fantasy Parade as I entered the park. Also notice the lights for the Candlelight Processional are up, the Candlelight is December 5 & 6 this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Dickens Yuletide Band performing on Main Street USA


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Video of most of the Dickens Yuletide Band performance.


  
Had the fortunate timing to take a raft back to the Mainland with the Bootstrappers.

  


A video of the tree lighting moment in Town Square which happened just past 5pm.


The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing a Christmas set.

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The opening announcement for Paint the Night which started at 5:45pm this evening.

  



Paint the Night - Monsters, Inc


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Paint the Night - Cars - Mack making his way toward Town Square.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Paint the Night - Olaf

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Ready for the first Disneyland Forever showing of the evening. It started at 6:30pm

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Disneyland Forever opening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dancing on the garland...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Under the Sea...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Snow fall during Disneyland Forever.. not quite the traditional White Christmas but better than none...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Looking back at the crowd as the spot lights were on while a Kiss Good Night played.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Christmas lights in the trees were on after the show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Castle after Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I stopped by Tomorrowland to see the lights for Star Wars Season of the Force.. it is not really a show.. more just spotlights that were on while Star Wars music played.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  
A video clip of the lights. As you can see not a lot of movement this evening.




Made my way out to Small World to see the quarter hour projection show.




Stopped to watch most of Fantasmic from a stand by location in New Orleans Square.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Back to Main Street, 5 minutes until the second Disneyland Forever this evening. All week the Disneyland Resort is experimenting and running two fireworks show nightly in an effort to reduce gridlock in the park at night.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Plenty of space around me just before show time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Round two of Disneyland Forever at 9:30pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One last snow picture to wrap up the trip.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 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.







November 18, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, November 14, 2015. These pictures take a look at what's new around both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure this holiday season. For a more in depth look at all of the decorations and holiday festivities visit my full picture set on disneygeek.com

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort the parking toll booth wreaths have blue bows.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A Ghirardelli store has opened in Downtown Disney. This is only a temporary location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A look inside, it was not open for the day since it was only 8:30am when I walked by.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Grizzly Peak Airfield has received some decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Notice the wind sock.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The large trees by the fire tower have been decorated too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The lamp posts along the walkway to Grizzly River Run have decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Over at Disneyland on the Jingle Cruise the African Veldt has more props this year including snowflakes, and plastic snowmen.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Mint Julep Window has candy cane beignets this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa has been relocated to Critter Country taking over the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet Location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Winnie and Piglet are around in snow form.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa in his new location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On Main Street USA the garland and wreaths all have blue ribbon and other diamond touches. Also no garland over the street this year or snow on Sleeping Beauty Castle.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Main Street Christmas Tree has blue ribbon and seemed like more blue ornaments this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In "A Christmas Fantasy" parade the Green Army Men have taken over the Toy Factory float. The Pinocchio characters are no longer in the parade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure has new decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On the bridge leading into the area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In the water a decorated buoy.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf Cafe


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A closer look at the bread garland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Lucky Fortune Cookery


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 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.







November 30, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

I started off my long holiday weekend spending the afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. First stop today, Disney California Adventure. On Buena Vista Street Oswald joined the Community Bell Ringers. I arrived as they were wrapping up the last song.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

After retrieving a FastPass for World of Color I headed for Disneyland.

Every Wednesday until July there is an Annual Passholder promotion called Wednesdays with Walt where they have a presentation and screening in the Opera House several times in the evening.

This week they are showing Classic Disney Holiday animated shorts. I picked up a wristband for the 5pm showing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Main Street transportation rounding the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

First stop for me the Jingle Cruise. A posted half hour wait and it took about that this week. A snowman in the queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Mark Twain has returned to service and looks like new again.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A look around the Mark Twain. No substantial changes jumped out at me. Just a lot of new paint and touch up work. The boat looks great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

New signage for the souvenir sippers...now Fantasmic! vs Halloween Time. Not sure why you would want a glow cube in a sipper :-)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Haunted Mansion Holiday time.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Anna and Olaf passing by in A Christmas Fantasy Parade (I was on my way to Small World Holiday).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The curtains appear to be gone for good so you can now get pictures of Baymax and Hiro without waiting in the long line, if you are quick or the groups slow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing at the nightly Flag Retreat in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Lights set up for the Candlelight Ceremony in a little over a week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Next I headed to the Main Street Opera house for Wednesday with Walt. This was my first of the series since I usually cannot make it down to the park on a Wednesday.

Baymax floating up from the front row.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Stacia Martin introduced the four shorts which were Mickey's Good Deed, Winter Storage, Santa's Workshop and Donald's Snowball Fight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

At the end she gave away a drawing that she had made to one lucky guest.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

As you exited everyone received an Annual Passholder ornament.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Fun to see the Elias and Co windows on Buena Vista Street after just seeing the short they were inspired by (Santa's Workshop).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The hub cap tree has been removed from near the court house. I read it had some wind damage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Time to visit the three hotels and see their Christmas decorations...first up the Grand Californian.

The tree in Whitewater Snacks

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

They now have Coke Freestyle machines in Whitewater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Elf Mickey Stein available for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The tree in the lobby of the Grand Californian

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

This year there is a large gingerbread house in the lobby. It's 7-1/2 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Here are some other stats on it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The gingerbread house looks like the hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

There are seven hidden Mickeys.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The back side of the creation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A snack and drink location was set up near the gingerbread house.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A quick video clip of the tree and lobby while I waited for a photo to upload.

The trees out front of the hotel have their Christmas lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Deer out front of the hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The tree in the lobby of the Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Walked over to the Disneyland Hotel next. This is the Frontier Tower Lobby.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

As I was walking toward Trader Sam's a pair of live musicians there were wrapping up with a Hawaiian Christmas song. Here is a clip of it.

The E-Ticket pool was closed this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A tree outside Goofy's Kitchen

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Santa's meet-and-greet area near the convention center is all ready for Santa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The "gingerbread" Castle is back at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Olaf's Ice Rink was open for business at the Downtown Disney Winter Village.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Winter Village in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

This is the last weekend for the Mad T Party. So stopped by for one last performance from the band.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The snow finale...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Arrived on Main Street as the 8:30 Wintertime Enchantment moment was happening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Goofy showed up to take some pictures in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Found a spot for Believe in Holiday Magic....Disney warned then cancelled the show. The announcement said due to winds at upper elevations. I did not see anything moving. So had to settle for just snowfall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Arrived in Paradise Pier about 20 minutes before World of Color was to begin and found spot in the blue section using my FastPass.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Since I was in a good spot again decided to re-record the Do You Want to Build a Snowman opening with the SLR camera. So here it is. Interesting that it featured images from some of the holiday animated shorts I had seen earlier.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Here is the Frozen Medley then finale of World of Color Winter Dreams.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

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.



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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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.



December 1, 2013

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

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13


The arts and crafts area was not busy this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Goofy was at the meet and greet location.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Time for the Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

A video clip from the finale.

Santa Mickey at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Pluto

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Santa Goofy.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Minnie in a holiday dress

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

A closer look at the paper.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Walked through Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

The Pacific Wharf Cafe has holiday treats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

And of course Turkey shaped sourdough bread

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Video of Winter Dreams finale from the premiere night.


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



November 25, 2013

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

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

An Annual Passholder viewing of Winter Dreams tonight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

After you received your Fastpass you were given an ornament.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The ornament featured Winter Dreams on one side.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Carthay Circle on this rainy afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Some new decorations this year line Hollywood Blvd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Chip & Dale on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Fantasy Faire received some garland and wreaths for the season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Jingle Cruise ride-through


A Tiki Souvenir Sipper available at the Dole Whip stand.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Mad Tea Party is closed due to the rain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Back to DCA, Elias & Co window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the tree lighting.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Time for the Street Party at Viva Navidad!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Santa and his reindeer on Hollywood Blvd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Mad T Party Band Performing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Next up the Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Frontier Tower of the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Tangaroa Terrace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

A Marine Corps Ball going on in the main ballroom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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


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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


A holiday special at Clarabelle's

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Carthay Circle this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the game in action.

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

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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

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

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

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


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



November 23, 2013

Holidaytime at the Disneyland Resort

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So now that Halloween is over, the Winter Holidays have taken over the Disneyland Resort with a vengeance.

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Some season offerings have continued on from the last holiday...

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

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...Some have returned from last season...

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"it's a small world" Holiday

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A Christmas Fantasy parade

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...and some are brand new for this year.

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Jingle Cruise is a new seasonal overlay for the Jungle Cruise attraction, in which the skippers bring a little holiday cheer to their tropical post. Consisting of new decorations in the queue and and some topical additions to the spiel, it's a nice change-up that refreshes the ride without completely altering its nature.

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Over in Fantasyland, the Tangled meet and greet has been changed over to Frozen, with Princess Anna and Queen Elsa holding court in a cottage decorated with an animatronic Olaf the Snowman perched on the roof.

Most of the brand new celebratory additions are over in Disney California Adventure, where Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is taking place for the first time at the Paradise Garden area of Paradise Pier. Celebrating the spirit of the Latino culture, it features meet and greets with the Three Caballeros; crafts and face painting; traditional music and menu items; and the high energy "Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party," which takes place several times a day.

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To best show the wide variety of holiday happenings around the resort, here's some video provided by Disney highlighting some of what's available:

With all the new things to see and do at the Disneyland Resort this season, it will surely be a cinch to turn any Scrooge to the holiday spirit! Be sure to catch all the festivities while they're here!

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December 24, 2012

A Star-Studded Christmas

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Happy Holidays!

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If you haven't had a chance to take a look at it already, AllEars put a slideshow out last week showcasing many of the beautiful seasonal sights around DCA.

For my Christmas offering this year, I'm presenting a handful of video clips of some of my favorite celebrities I've seen performing in the parks this season.

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First up is Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible, Harold & Kumar,) doing the introduction to the Candlelight Processional, as it is performed in EPCOT.

The next clip is a little bit of a departure, as it actually comes from Universal Studios Hollywood. As part of their "Grinchmas" celebration, they had different celebrities each day for their Grinchmas Tree lighting.

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The narrator here is Raphael Sbarge, who currently plays Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket on the Disney-owned hit series, Once Upon A Time.

Finally, we'll close with John Stamos (Full House, ER,) concluding his evening performance at Candlelight Processional, this time at Disneyland.

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As we cross the finish line this week into Christmas, I'll join my holiday wishes to Stamos'. From the West Coast to the East Coast, and all points within and without, the Merriest of Seasons, everyone.

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December 10, 2012

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from the parks on Candlelight Processional at Disneyland on Saturday, December 1, 2012.


Main Street is ready for the Candlelight season to begin. This year instead of only two nights there will be shows on twenty nights. It will be interesting to see how that works, since it is still being held at the Main Street Train Station. One change: The Christmas Fantasy Parade does not go around Town Square - it turns at the Christmas tree.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12


There are seats for the Candlelight Processional (for the opening weekend seats were for distributed as they normally have been to Club 33 members and community supporters as a thank you. But the other 18 nights the seats were made available to Annual Passholders via a lottery), but there is standing space available around Town Square and on Main Street on a first come, first serve basis for those who do not have tickets.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Spotted some Candlelight merchandise. Here are the sweatshirts and t-shirts.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

As well as an ornament and mug.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12



Some photos from the standing area of the first Candlelight Ceremony of the season.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

The guest narrator this evening was Dennis Haysbert (he was in The Unit as well as AllState Commercials). Unfortunately he did not look up that often while reading so all my pictures look like this more or less.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

A couple video clips from the ceremony including some of the narration, What Child is This and Silent Night. Note this was shot freehand with my DSLR camera so the zooming and panning are nowhere near smooth!

The Voices of Liberty are part of the show this year, but the song selection and arrangements are still those that are traditional to Disneyland, and not the version from Epcot. (You can see both song lists HERE.)

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Another clip from the show, this one with my small video camera, enjoy mostly for the audio because the video is not that good.

From where I was I could just barely see one of the trumpet players on the roof.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

A closer look

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Another video clip.


Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Silent Night

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

A video clip of the Silent Night segment.


Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12


A wide shot of the area during Silent Night.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12


As the show was wrapping up I made my way around to the City Hall side of the street.

Managed to get one nice shot showing where the trumpets are. The plan is next time I see the show to watch from this side.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

Soon after the second show cast members were busy stacking the chairs from the Candlelight and clearing the street.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

One last look at the Castle before heading out.

Disneyland Candlelight Processional - 12/01/12

One side effect of the Candlelight running is the impact on the rest of the park schedule. For example on Saturday, the Christmas Fantasy Parade has to be over in time to set up so it runs at 1:00 and 3:30 (on days with a single run it is scheduled at 4:00pm). Also it pushes Believe back to its 9:30pm time slot and most of the Wintertime Enchantment (snow moments) are cancelled. This has a ripple effect and over at DCA World of Color is pushed to 9:00 and 10:15 and the Mad T Party to 7pm starts.

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



November 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trips to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012.

The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started Friday. In this part we take a look at Disney California Adventure and how Buena Vista Street and Cars Land are celebrating their first Christmas season. Plus a check in around the park.


Buena Vista Street is all decked out for the holidays.

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Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Pluto with his holiday gear on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Made my way down to Cars Land next.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

When you walk through Cars Land be sure to really look at the decorations... they are all car-inspired of course.

A snow car out front. "Seasons Speedings!"

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Everything in Cars Land has been decorated.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's is a nice cross between Fourth of July and Christmas.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Thought all the air and oil filters on the garland were fun.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Mater out for pictures.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Over on Buena Vista Street the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers are performing for the season.

Afterwards the group posed for a picture.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Returned to Cars Land to continue my look around. The Christmas trees in front of the shops reflect each owner.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Flo's, Notice how the oil can is connected to the pole. Great detail.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The courthouse is all decked as is Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside Ramone's, the doorway to the expanded portion of the store looks ready to go.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

An oil can tree in front of Flo's.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A tree inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Bugs Land looks to be the same as the last several years with giant lights and ornaments.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


This year Santa is a department store Santa, sitting in Elias and Co.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The night before Christmas is told with a series of scenes ringing the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The stores have a nice set of decorations that work, even decorations up above.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the tree.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Los Feliz has a lot of garland inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The Men's room garland has no lights...

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But the Women's room does...

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Time to walk through the other side of the street now.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Trolley Treats features a lot of candy overhead.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the candy garland in Trolley Treats.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Clarabelle's has ice cream garland of course.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Phineas and Ferb feature a Holiday overlay.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Paradise Gardens features the same decorations as last year (as did the Mermaid building).

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Donald is out on the Pier for pictures this year since Santa is on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Back to Buena Vista Street for the Tree Lighting.

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Disney California Adventure Christmas


There was no show this evening, just a simple count down and lighting. The Cast Members said the show will start mid next week it looks like.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up walked through Cars Land. They are playing Winter Wonderland as the lights come on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

They had some light issues this evening so not everything came on as planned and many were still not lit later in the evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A short clip as I caught the end of the lighting event.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

Not all the lights were on. Notice the snow and winter sign.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

There's a gingerbread display inside the Cozy Cones office.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Christmas lights on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The windows of Elias & Co Window.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party has received some Holiday extras.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Here is a video of the opening.

The projections on Monsters now feature snow flakes and every now and then Santa flying by.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party band.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The first 2/3 of the set are their regular songs. Then the finale features the Unbirthday Song as well as a couple Christmas ones.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Video of the Christmas additions.


World of Color features the Prep and Landing preshow segment now. It appeared to be the same as last year, nothing different jumped out to me.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Brave segment has remained in the show.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

On Monday I made a second night time pass through Disney California Adventure, below are some pictures from this brief trip.

The garland was lit this evening at DCA (also noticed the flag was still up).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside the main lounge of the Carthay Circle restaurant is a gingerbread dwarfs cottage.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Some garland lines the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A look at the tree on the way out.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up a stroll through Cars Land. Snowy is out front to greet you.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's trees were on this evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The tree made out of oil cans at the entrance to Flo's has garland now (guess they are still putting finishing touches on since Friday).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


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 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 29, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 23, 2011.


They were directing ECVs to an open gate on the far side of the entrance area. I thought they should also be directing strollers down there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A lot more crowded than last week but not holiday gridlock yet...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Only a few more weeks before the Bakery is slated to close.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The new bakery has no real visible changes from last week. But a banner is up saying it is coming soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 11:45am

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Caught the 12:20pm Toy Soldier Jam Session in the Small World Mall. This brief show happens several times a day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Here is a video of the performance.


A couple of temporary carts in the Esplanade selling tickets. The line at the booths was short too as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Next up DCA. Buena Vista Street is moving along with a lot of visible progress. The framing of the facades is moving quickly.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is the west side facade over the restroom/locker building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


More tarps and scaffolding are down on the Carthay Circle Theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The West side of the street, this is where the train used to be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Checking out the east side of the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to the west side. Notice the large tree that is now in place.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The walls have been pushed back and the queue for Disney Jr is now usable. The planters have been reconfigured and some new light. What a difference a few changes make to the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It allows for a different view of the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


They were doing some landscaping this afternoon. Always fun to watch a tree fly through the air..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A look down Route 66 reveals work crews have taken over the street with trucks, dumpsters, and port-a-potties.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Upon closer inspection noted new signs down the block.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Several tractors out on Maters for testing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Thought this was interesting. There was a table out front of Paradise Gardens advertising what is available at the grill and they had some free samples.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It seemed awkward to me and gave me a Costco vibe.. did not really work in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Some shots of Cars Land from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

More trees going in and being moved around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A better view of several tractors at Maters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The Carthay is a nice addition to the skyline.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Most of the scaffolding on the far wall is down. Only a few more stories to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another view of the new signs on Route 66.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another flying tree..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Rumor is some work will be done to these stores early next year... will not believe it till I see it since I have heard this before.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Christmas tree shot..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

No line for Santa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Holiday inspired sour dough bread.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Wow that is a lot of trees now as you look into Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


With the trees moved you can get a clear shot of Maters sign now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Stopped by the Disney Gallery and walked through to the Opera House Lobby. Seems time to update the display case.. tomorrow is now today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

I do not think I ever took a picture of Walt in the castle model...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some of the current mouse ear options.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 4:30pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Castle shot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The wheel chair boats are back in use at Small World, I remember reading a while ago they were pulled offline for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Small World Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is interesting.. Tointown? Guessing this is from the wind or could it be a prank?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


A couple pictures from the Wintertime Enchantment

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the event.

(Laura's note: Put your mouse cursor on the video and click on the snowflake icon on the youtube toolbar!)

The wait times around 7:40pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to DCA.. the new gas pumps in Condor Flats after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


ElecTRONica was not too busy this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some pictures from ILLUMINATE performing. This group was on America's Got Talent.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of their performance plus some techno remixes of Christmas songs. The video quality of the performance is pretty bad, but you can probably get the drift of the show from it.

The new lights were on near the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Cars Land appeared to have some show lighting tests going on. The lighting was not the usual bright white work lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Over to Disneyland a look at some of the Emporium windows.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Waiting for the snow fall... Believe had already been cancelled for the evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the Believe replacement - a second performance of Wintertime Enchantment plus the White Christmas snowfall finale.

That wraps up this trip. Hope everyone has a great holiday season!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


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



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


December 15, 2010

2010 Holidays at WDW - Part 7

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All good things must come to an end...and today was the last day of our trip. It went way too fast!

This was our coldest morning yet - 28 degrees at 8:00 (but felt like 20!). Still, it was a beautiful clear sunny day - hard to believe it was so cold until you went outside. Not nearly so windy as yesterday, though, so if you were in the sun it felt a lot warmer.

We packed our bags (bought lots more stuff this time than we usually do - but some of it is Christmas gifts) and lugged them out to the car - it was up to 30 degrees by then. Then we met our friends Paul and Ilene for breakfast at Flying Fish. They have been serving a scaled down version of the Kouzzina breakfast menu while Kouzzina is closed (it opens tomorrow - we were very disappointed to miss it).

I'd tried to call for a Dining Reservation but they said nothing was available - but the restaurant was pretty empty when we arrived. So maybe they just never managed to get it completely into the system since it was for such a short time. Paul, Ilene, and Lee all had the American Breakfast - eggs any style with bacon or sausage and toast or croissant. It also comes with breakfast potatoes, but Lee and Paul asked to substitute the sweet potato hash instead.

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I had the scrambled eggs with feta, tomatoes, and spinach. Those were quite good. They came with bacon or sausage, breakfast potatoes, and a croissant.

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We said goodbye to Paul and Ilene, who were headed to Animal Kingdom (cold day for that park, since there aren't very many indoor spaces), and we walked into Epcot, since we wanted to do some shopping. Something we hadn't done much of because it had just been too cold at night - once we got back inside the room we didn't want to go out again!

As I mentioned it was a beautiful day, end even though the temperature was not much about 34 by then, it felt pretty good if you were in the sun - as long as you had some kind of jacket on. But the temperature dropped a LOT if you got into the shade.

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A lot of the ground coverings and the topiaries had been covered to protect them from the cold - the white covering looked like snow from a distance. But it was strange to not see any of the topiaries - and I'd never gotten a photo of them on this trip, either. Oh well.

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I was surprised that the fountain was going - though I don't think it was as high as usual.

wdw1210_7_06.jpg

We finished our shopping, but still had about 40 minutes before we needed to be back to our car, so we wandered the long way around World Showcase, and I took some photos along the way. It didn't seem to me like some of the pavilions were decorated as much as they have been in the past.

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We saw the outside of the new Via Napoli restaurant in Italy.

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And the big gingerbread house inside the Liberty Inn.

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But all too soon it was time to leave for the airport. Along the way we went through one toll station that was showing some holiday spirit.

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It seemed like a very quick trip, with so many things that we didn't get a chance to do - we never had a chance to resort hop and see the holiday decorations at the monorail resorts, and didn't even spend as much time (or take as many photos) in the Epcot resorts as I usually do. We never saw the Voices of Liberty - I think this may be the first trip that I've never seen them at all!

Despite all we didn't do, we still did a lot of things, and had a wonderful time with friends - and that was really the main purpose of this trip - the parks are just an excuse to get us all together.

Lee and I will be back in less than a month, since we are doing the Goofy Challenge on January 8 and 9. Hope the weather will be a little warmer than it was this time!


December 10, 2010

2010 Holidays at WDW - Part 2

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Big day today - instead of getting up and going to a Disney park, we actually left Disney property (gasp!) and went to Universal's Islands of Adventure Park. Different experience in many ways. Our main objective was to visit the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

For those of you who don't want to read a lot more detail I'll summarize here: we were pretty impressed. They put a lot of thought and detail into this area, and there are many small surprises, too. It's very faithful to the books, with lots of little things here and there that we looked at and said: "Oh yeah!" If you're a Harry Potter fan I'd say it's definitely worth a visit.

Ok, back to a somewhat more detailed version. (I still don't have enough time to write about everything, or share all the pictures I'd like to.) We arrived about 8:30 (the park opened at 9:00). It was a chilly gray morning, but fortunately the sun came out later, and although it never got very warm, it was quite comfortable in the afternoon. The crowds were much less than I had expected, so we were very happy about that. Forbidden Journey (the ride inside Hogwarts Castle) was never more than a 30 minute wait. The longest line seemed to be for the Ollivander's Wand experience, but we never did that. Lines weren't too bad in the other shops.

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At the park entrance we had to do something we NEVER do any more - buy a ticket!!! Major sticker shock, too - a one day, one park ticket was about $88 with tax. Yikes. They were a bit pushy about upselling - "adding the second park is only $30 more" - uh, no, I'm only going to Islands of Adventure - and "you can buy the express pass for another $29.99" - uh, no, I'm not expecting huge crowds today.

This park is really beautifully themed and I kept having to tell myself NOT to stop and take pictures because we really wanted to get back to the Harry Potter area as early as we could, and there would be time for the others later.

You enter the town of Hogsmeade, where you can see Hogwarts Castle in the background.

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And there's the Hogwarts Express. (There was a conductor hanging around providing some interesting "atmosphere", too. :-) )

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And there's all of the shops, like Zonko's and Honeydukes (I knew I could spend a lot of money there...and I did), and Dervish and Banges. And the restaurants - the Three Broomsticks and the Hogshead Inn (which had a moving snorting boar's head behind the bar).

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We pretty much went straight back to the castle to ride Forbidden Journey, which had a 10-minute wait at that point. You must leave all bags and backpacks in a (free) locker before you go on the ride. I carried my camera in my pocket, so I was able to take some pictures inside. It's really wonderfully detailed, and the queue goes through so many areas of the castle that we've all read about - the herbarium, the entrance to Dumbledore's Tower, Dumbledore's office itself, a gallery with (talking) portraits of the former headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts, and the Room of Requirement. It's kind of a blur and I don't really remember. Dumbledore talks to you, as do Harry, Ron and Hermione.

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The ride itself is very cool - it's more moving simulator stuff, and there's a lot going on - everything from riding a broomstick in a Quidditch match to getting chased by flaming dragons, spat upon by spiders, whomped by the Whomping Willow, and accosted by dementors. There's a lot of motion - though it really didn't bother me, I also knew that riding it again immediately would not be a good idea. If Star Tours bothers you, I'd think twice about this one.

Next we did Flight of the Hippogriff, which is a pretty small roller coaster - a little longer than Goofy's Barnstormer - but not much. It was cute, but the best thing about it (other than seeing Buckbeak and Hagrid's Cottage) was the view of Hogsmeade.

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Lee did the Dragon Challenge roller coaster. That one is too violent for me, so I just went through the queue with him - that's another one where bags must be stored in a locker, though since I wasn't riding I could hold onto his. The queue offers a great view of the castle. And there's also banners supporting the candidates in the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

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We had an early lunch at The Three Broomsticks. It offers things like ribs, roasted chicken, shepherd's pie, and fish and chips. Because we were eating early we walked right in - there's actually a queue to get into it, so obviously it gets pretty busy. Lee had to try the butterbeer (which is like cream soda).

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I had the pumpkin fizz, which I really liked - it's pumpkin juice with a bit of carbonation added. The pumpkin juice is more like spiced apple juice (and apple juice is the main ingredient, though it does have some pumpkin and apricot puree). It was really good.

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One of the extra touches - occasionally places on the walls would like up and show the shadows of house elves at work. Hard to get a picture of them, though, but it was a lot of fun to watch for it.

Other fun things - this snowwizard and his owl. And, in the restrooms (or "Public Conveniences", we could hear the voice of Moaning Myrtle. Also, the cast members (I'm not sure what Universal calls them) were pretty into it - I heard one of them say when they were posing for pictures that they had to stay very still for Muggle cameras. :-)

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Later in the day we saw the the Frog Choir - this was four Hogwarts students and their frogs. They were very talented - the frogs were singing the bass part. I have some video, but I don't have the processing power or the bandwidth to get it uploaded right now. There was also a Tri-Wizard Spirit Rally, featuring Dumstrang and Beaux-Batons students, but we kept just missing that.

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We also visited the rest of Islands of Adventure. Seuss Landing was my favorite the first time we visited, 11 years ago, and it's still really good with lots of charming details. They are doing Grinchmas right now, so everything is decorated for Christmas.

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There's a special live How the Grinch Stole Christmas show. Only about 30 minutes long, but it told the story very well, and had some clever dialog and fun moments. (The Grinch realizes he's talking in rhyme - and he hates that!) Max the dog even appears on stage a few times. Though one very non-Disney thing about the show - it's held in a soundstage behind the park, so you have to walk through some backstage areas to get there. They try to hide it with some plants and stuff - but that doesn't really work.

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I think The Lost Continent is one of the most beautiful areas of the park. We did not do the Poseidon's Fury show, but we saw The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad stunt show - which was pretty cheesy. Disappointing since up until then everything we'd experienced had been quality entertainment.

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The other half of the park includes Jurassic Park, Marvel Super Hero Island and Toon Lagoon. We didn't do any attractions other than Spiderman - mostly because the attractions in the other two areas involve large amounts of water - and it was not a day we wanted to get wet! Too chilly for that. We found some fun photo ops in Toon Lagoon, though.

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The park closed at 6:00, but we left a little after 5:00 - it was starting to get chilly again, and we'd done everything we wanted to do. We made a pretty quick stop in our room before going to dinner at the Garden Grove Cafe over in the Swan hotel. It's a buffet, but they have different themes depending on the night of the week - tonight it was Mediterranean. So we had Greek salad, hummus, couscous, pasta, and antipasto, along with roasted chicken, salmon, and a beef dish. My favorite part was the desserts, though - one of the nicer (and tastier) buffet dessert selections I've ever seen. Two pretty decent chocolate desserts and one that was really good. (The really good one was a chocolate tart, which is not pictured, though.)

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After dinner we walked to Epcot, planning to get some Gluhwein at Germany, but we got sidetracked when we went by the America Gardens Theater, where the Candlelight Processional was just starting. Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel) was the narrator, and she was excellent. We ended up watching almost all of the show - there's just too many songs that I like.

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So by the time we walked to Germany the kiosk selling the bottles of wine had closed for the night...oh well. Maybe tomorrow!

We didn't stay for Illuminations this time, though we could have had just about our choice of spots - the park was pretty empty. It seemed a little warmer to us than it did last night, though!

It was really a good day - I'm so glad we went to Universal. It was really a nice change to go someplace new, and do things that we *haven't* done 20 or more times. Yes, it was an expensive day, but I felt I got my money's worth. I really enjoyed taking photos - I wish I'd brought my better camera, but I didn't feel like carrying it around with me all day, especially since I knew I wouldn't be able to have it on Forbidden Journey.

RADP 15 officially starts tomorrow, so we will be at Animal Kingdom for most of the day. Looking forward to seeing lots of friends again!


December 9, 2010

2010 Holidays at WDW - Part 1

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It's late, and we have to get up fairly early (especially by west coast standards) to go to Universal tomorrow, so this is going to be a bit short...

Had a very easy travel day today - smooth flights and minimal waits for our bags and rental car. We were at Disney's Boardwalk Villas just about an hour after we landed in Orlando!

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First order of business after unpacking was going to Epcot's International Gateway to upgrade Lee's Disneyland Annual Pass to a Premier Pass that is good for both Disneyland AND Walt Disney World. Problem is...they do so few of those that they don't have the printer at the International Gateway - it's at Guest Relations at the FRONT of Epcot. Kind of hard to get there from the back of Epcot! After a bit of consultation they decided to have a manager walk Lee in, with our promise that we were going to the front of the park to get his pass. Which we did. (I was pretty happy because my Premier Pass, which I had not yet used at WDW, worked just fine the first time I used it at a turnstile - I wasn't sure it would.)

It was a chilly evening, so we had dinner at Seasons in The Land - partly because it was indoors! We both had the "Sustainable Fish - Nicoise style". The fish was salmon, so not very exotic, but it was pretty good - I'd do that again.

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We also shared the Yukon Gold potato soup with bacon. That was really tasty - and would have been quite filling on its own.

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After dinner we walked back to the American Adventure where we met up with Deb Wills, Deb Koma, and Mike Scopa. We were sort of listening to Jodi Benson and the Candlelight Processional, but mostly we were chatting.

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Mike and DebW left just before the show ended to avoid the crowds, but Deb, Lee and I stayed for Illuminations.

It was a bit, umm...nippy there alongside World Showcase Lagoon. Lee had kind of scoffed at me before we left our room when I put on most of my cold weather clothes (heavy jacket, gloves, and hat) and he went much lighter - but I think he was wishing for something a little warmer by that time. :-)

The show was incredible, as always. The extra holiday tag that they add at this time of the year is just awesome. We had a little bit of a "bonus" experience - we were actually downwind of the fireworks (not good planning on our part!), and in addition to smoke we also had bits of cardboard "shrapnel" showering us several times during the show. Either Deb or Lee got hit by a piece that was about 2" x 2". (She declined to keep it as a souvenir. :-) )

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We walked back to the Boardwalk and enjoyed some hot chocolate and coffee in the lobby before heading to our respective rooms. It's always great to spend time with Deb - I don't get to see her nearly often enough!

Tomorrow will be a very different day for us - it's been 11 years since we last visited Universal's Islands of Adventure, so obviously there have been some changes other than the addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


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