Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disneyland Trip Report

Disneyland Park

Accommodations: Candy Cane Inn
  • I really enjoyed CCI. The complimentary breakfast was good: orange/apple juice, coffee, bagels, donuts, fruit, yogurt, three types of cereal, and toast. The room was good size and very clean. Right around the corner from Disneyland. The only "negative" would have to be the fact that the walls are a little thin so late at night when people were coming home from the park and walking by our room we could hear them loud and clear. Not really the hotel's fault... more of people need to be more courteous.
Dining Reservations:
  • Cafe Orleans (2:30pm 4/15/11): Excellent as always! I had the Mardi Gras Kitchen Sandwich, my mother had the Monte Cristo, and my sister had the Three Cheese Monte Cristo. For appetizers my mom and sister split the gumbo and we all shared the pommes frites. I did try my sister's Three Cheese Monte Cristo and it was tasty, but I don't think I could have eaten all four pieces of it in one sitting. It was interesting to say the least!
  • Goofy's Kitchen (9:10am 4/16/11): It was really good! I was pleasantly surprised! The food selection was excellent and the food itself was delicious. Service was great. First we took a picture with Goofy at the front, then Chip, Dale, Baloo, Mulan, Aurora, and Pluto walked around and spent a great deal of time with each table, including us! It wasn't super busy so we weren't skipped by any characters and the characters that came to the table while my sister or I were up getting a plate, came back to see us just like they told my mom they would. I really enjoyed the meal!
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough (twice) - 8:20am & 8:50am (walk on)
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures (twice) - 8:25am & 8:39am (walk on)
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (twice) - 8:30am & 8:34am (walk on)
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey - 8:45am (walk on)
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant - 8:56am (5 min. wait)
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats - 9:05am (5 min. wait)
  • Disney Princess Fantasy Faire - 9:35am (30 min. wait)
  • "it's a small world" - 10:15am (5 min. wait)
  • SNACK BREAK - Chimichangas!
  • Jungle Cruise - 11:00am (10 min. wait)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - 11:25am (10 min. wait)
  • SNACK BREAK - Mint Julep!
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 12:05pm (10 min. wait)
  • Davy Crockett Explore Canoes - 12:30pm (5 min. wait)
  • Haunted Mansion - 12:55pm (10 min. wait)
  • Big Thunder Mountain - 1:20pm (10 min. wait)
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - 1:50pm (8 min. wait)
  • LUNCH BREAK - Cafe Orleans!
  • Indiana Jones Adventure - 3:30pm (FASTPASS)
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train - 4:10pm (5 min. wait)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds - 4:30pm (20 min. wait)
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - 4:40pm (25 min. wait)
  • Disneyland Railroad - 6:45pm
  • Space Mountain - 7:15pm (FASTPASS)
  • Disneyland Monorail - 7:35pm
  • SNACK BREAK - Hot Chocolate
  • Fantasmic! - 9:00pm

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

*if any of these are your photos, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit!
Photo credit to fotofreak84

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Disneyland: Solo Trips

I've been to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World by myself. Sometimes, I actually prefer it. You get to do what you want, when you want. You can eat whatever you want without judgement. Plus, you can take it slow and actually absorb your surroundings. So here are my tips to have a fun-filled day at the Happiest Place on Earth solo!

1) Single Rider. A few of the rides at both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure offer a Single Rider line. At Disneyland, single rider is offered at Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain, and at Disney's California Adventure California Screamin', Grizzly River Run, and Soarin'. Single Rider line is a quicker way to get on the above rides. Even for rides that don't offer Single Rider specified lines, sometimes the Cast Members who ask, "How many?" will ask if there is a party of one and you can jump several people. Also, if it's a ride like Space Mountain where there's two people per seat, you can sit with another single rider instead of watching the single person go and waiting for the next train.

2) Meet the characters. This is your chance to get one-on-one time with the characters. Chances are you have lots of pictures with you and your family with the characters, or your kids with the characters. With going alone, you get to choose which characters you want to see. Don't forget your autograph book. Disney is the place to be a kid and what's more fun as a kid than seeing Mickey and Goofy?

3) Party of one? Some people feel very insecure about eating by themselves, especially at Disney where it's a more of a "family" atmosphere. But never fear! Take this time to grab a churro. And some ice cream. And a turkey leg. Here's the best part: you don't have to share and no one is keeping track of what you're eating! If you're more daring, do what I do: go to a sit down restaurant and enjoy a relaxing meal. You can people watch while you eat! Disney is home to some of the best treats so self-indulge! You're at the Happiest Place on Earth!

4) It's showtime! Take your alone time to see a show, or two, or three! They don't ask, "How many?" so you don't have to worry about being embarrassed. Catch the Aladdin show, It's Tough to Be a Bug!, or Muppet*Vision at Disney's California Adventure and Captain EO at Disneyland. you also get the opportunity to watch World of Color, Fantasmic!, and/or the fireworks without worrying if everyone in your party can see or having little ones on your shoulders so they can see.

5) Explore. Now is the time to do things you always wanted to do that you never get to do. Innoventions, Mark Twain Riverboat/Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, Tarzan's Treehouse, Main Street vehicles, Main Street Cinema, and The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln are just some of the things at Disneyland that are sometimes skipped over due to the rush of trying to fit in all the popular rides. Disney Animation at Disney's California Adventure is also a good one to do when solo; you can learn to draw a character (and you can keep doing the show twice, three times, etc.), visit the Sorcerer's Workshop, or Turtle Talk with Crush.

6) Take a tour. If you have the money, be sure to call in advance to take one of the tours the Disneyland Resort has to offer. Click here to see all the tours they have to offer. If money's tight, there are a couple of free tours, and they are both inside of Disney's California Adventure. Boudin Bakery and Mission Tortilla Factory both offer short tours of their space and you may even get a little sample at the end!

7) What to bring? Be sure to bring a bottle of water (you can refill it at a water fountain), sunscreen, a jacket/sweatshirt, money/credit/debit cards/AP or ticket, make-up, chap stick, cell phone (fully charged), keys (if driving), camera (a friendly guest or Cast Member can help you document your trip!), and gum or mints (gum is not available anywhere on Disney property), a pen and autograph book, and the most important part: you can't forget about your ears!

Photo credit to darthservo

Monday, April 11, 2011

Magical Monday

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom
Mainstreet USA
● Area Music Loops:
- Main Entrance Loop
- Mainstreet Loop 1
- Mainstreet Loop 2
- Mainstreet Holiday Loop

● Parades:
- Mickey Mania
- Remember the Magic
- Share a Dream Come True
- Celebrate a Dream Come True
- Dreams Come True
- Once Upon a Christmastime
- SpectroMagic
- Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It!
- The Boo to You Halloween Parade
- Enchanted Adventures Parade (Pirate & Princess Party)
- Music, Magic, and Mayhem

● Shows:
- Disney Mania
- Everyday’s a Holiday
- Cinderella Suprise Celebration
- Dream Along with Mickey

● Fireworks:
- Fantasy in the Sky
- Wishes
- Magic, Memories, and You!
- Holiday Wishes
- HalloWishes

- Adventureland Loop
- The Tiki Room
- The Pirates of the Caribbean

- Big Thunder Mountain Loop
- Splash Mountain

Liberty Square
- Hall of Presidents
- Liberty Square Area Loop
- The Haunted Mansion

- Mad Hatter Tea Party
- It’s a Small World
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Cinderella’s Golden Carousel
- Winnie the Pooh

- Tomorrowland Music Loop
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority
- Carousel of Progress
- Space Mountain

World Showcase
● Area Music Loops:
- Main Entrance
- China
- Japan
- Epcot International Gateway Loop

● Shows:
- Impressions De France
- American Adventure

● Fireworks:
- Reflections of Earth
- We Go On
- Promise
- Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand
- Illuminations Preshow

● Parades:
- Tapestry of Nations

Future World
● Area Music Loops:
- Main Entrance
- Innoventions
- The Land

● Shows:
- Fountain of Nations

● Rides:
- Journey Into Imagination
- Captain EO Area Music Loop
- Captain EO Show
- Soarin’
- Spaceship Earth - Jeremy Irons (narration only)
- Spaceship Earth - Jeremy Irons (full attraction)
- Spaceship Earth - Judi Dench
- Mission Space
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure
- Universe of Energy
- The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends

Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Blvd.
● Area Music Loops:
- Hollywood Blvd.
- Great Movie Ride
● Parades:
- Toy Story
- Mulan
- Disney Stars in Motor Cars
Commisionary Lane
- Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater Loop

Sunset Blvd.
- Rock N’ Rollercoaster
- Tower of Terror
- Tower of Terror Queue

Echo Lake
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Star Tours

Hollywood Hills Ampitheater
- Fantasmic Preshow
- Fantasmic

Animal Kingdom
Discovery Island
● Area Music Loops:
- Tree of Life Area Music
● Parades:
- Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade

Camp Minnie-Mickey
- Character Grove Loop
- Festival of the Lion King

Dinoland USA
- Finding Nemo Musical Area Loop
- Finding Nemo Musical

- Expedition Everest Queue

- Monorail loop
- “Please stand clear of the doors…”
- Resort TV loop

Disneyland Resort

Mainstreet USA
● Area Music Loops:
- Walt Disney’s Disneyland Dedication
- Mickey and Friends Tram
- Welcome Spiel
- Disneyland Entry Sound
- Disneyland Entry Whistle Sound
- Disneyland Railroad
- Mainstreet Announcements
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Barber Shop Quartet
- Walt’s (An American Restaurant) Loop

● Parades:
- Parade of Dreams
- Celebrate a Street Party
- Mainstreet Electrical Parade
- Animazement

● Fireworks:
- Remember Dreams Come True
- Believe there’s Magic in the Stars
- Magical!

- Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
- Jungle Cruise Boathouse Loop
- Jungle Cruise Queue Loop
- Indiana Jones Adventure Queue Loop
- The Tiki Room
- Tarzan’s Treehouse

New Orleans Square
- Swanee River
- The Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Haunted Mansion
- Haunted Mansion Holiday Ride-Through
- New Orleans Square Loop
- Disney Gallery
- Club 33
- Fantasmic!

- The Ballad of Davy Crocket
- Rainbow Caverns
- Big Thunder Mountain

Critter Country
- Country Bears Jamboree
- Splash Mountain
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

- Peter Pan’s Flight Queue
- Fantasyland Suite
- Storybook Land
- Sleeping Beauty Area Sounds
- Alice in Wonderland
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure
- King Arthur’s Carousel
- Matterhorn Queue
- Pixie Hollow Area Loop

- Peoplemover
- Carousel of Progress (Load Music)
- Carousel of Progress (Original)
- Miracles from Molecules
- Monorail
- Submarine Voyage
- Space Mountain Concourse

California Adventure
The Golden State
- Soarin’ Over California
- Eureka! A California Parade
- Steps In Time
- Condor Flats Loop
- Block Party Bash

Hollywood Pictures Backlot
- Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular

Paradise Pier
- Area Music Loop
- Toy Story Mania
- California Screamin’
- World of Color
- World of Color Ending

Saturday, April 9, 2011

ABCDisney - D is for...

The Disney Vacation Club revolutionized the concept of timeshares and is one of the fastest growing "clubs" in the industry. If you're a Disney "addict", this program is worth looking into. You purchase "points" which can be used to stay at one of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts. You can also use your points for a Disney Cruise, Disney Resort or Disneyland Resort stay. If you want to branch out from the Mouse, your points can be used to stay at a top hotel or resort world-wide.

The flexibility is what makes the Disney Vacation Club so unique. You can use your DVC points at anytime throughout the year and you can choose the size of accommodations that best suit your needs. From studios to Grand Villas, your "Home Away From Home" will have everything you need to make your vacation memorable.

D is also for: Disney, Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, Downtown Disney, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Donald's Boat, Daisy's Diner, Dumbo Bucket Brigade

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Favorites

Who can resist the delicious smell of churros? Not me that's for sure. There's something about dough being rolled around in cinnamon and sugar that complete's a day at the Disneyland Resort. If you haven't tried one before, you're missing out! Disney churros are unlike any other churro and I believe it's well worth the money!

Photo credit to xoxojennifer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Useful Tips at the Disneyland Resort

  • Snow White Adventure in Fantasyland -- if you touch the brass apple that is at the entrance to the attraction there will be a loud clap of thunder and the witch will cackle with laughter.
  • Snow White Wishing Well - such a romantic spot. Every 15-20 minutes or so, the song "I'm Wishing" plays and the well echoes the song -- such a pretty spot. It's off to the right side of the castle if you're coming from Main Street.
  • Downtown Disney - Jazz Kitchen is a great spot to have dinner in the evenings. If you eat downstairs, you can watch the jazz band perform - no extra charge.
  • There is a rental car agency at Downtown Disney for guests who want to get away for a day and would like their own transportation.
  • Here's a good spot to watch the fireworks on a crowded night. Go up on the train station platform and stand behind the preferred seating benches. The people there have to sit, & you'll have a panoramic view of the fireworks show. (Plan on staking your spot early.)
  • Mark Twain Steamboat - Ask the captain if you can help steer the ship – If you do you’ll get a souvenir certificate
  • For the Aladdin show – sit in the back section of the Orchestra seating -- first row right on the aisle. You get a fantastic view of the show, and the Prince Ali parade passes right in front of you. It's great.
  • Jedi Academy -- children who wear something that’s eye-catching or who make a small sign are more likely to get picked.
  • Guests can use their FastPass anytime after the return time, so don't get rid of them if you’re running late.
  • The rooftop pool at Paradise Pier Hotel offers a nice spot for guests to watch the fireworks, and they pipe the music in.
  • Take some time to sit for a while in Downtown Disney and ‘people watch’. The different restaurants sometimes offer samples of a few of their menu items around 4 - 4:30pm on different days.
  • There is a great ‘hidden’ area at the Grand Californian Resort. It’s outdoors, has a fire pit and is a great place to relax and escape the craziness of the parks. The fire place in the lobby is also a nice spot, particularly when there’s live piano music in the background.
Tips courtesy of wdwinfo

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

There are three little things that aren't widely known that you can do to make your visit to Disneyland even more magical!

1) Disney buttons. Stop by City Hall for a 1st Visit, Anniversary, Birthday, or I'm Celebrating! button. You'll get recognized all day, especially by the cast members. It's sure to make anyone feel special!

2) Disney Character Calls. Who wouldn't want a call from a favorite Disney character? Click here to set up a call from Mickey & Minnie, Buzz & Woody, Sebastian & Ariel, or Mickey & Goofy. Click here to set up a call from one of the princesses, Mickey, or someone from the Hundred Acre Woods. This is good for surprising someone the day before the trip, or even as something to wake up to before going into the parks for the first time!

3) Free autographed photo of a favorite character. That's right! You can get a free autographed photo of your favorite character! If you're staying onsite, you can call in advanced and talk to concierge about having it waiting in your room for that special surprise for someone special! You can also write a letter to your favorite character in exchange for a photo by sending a letter to:

Walt Disney Company
Attn: Fan Mail Department
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Photo credit to shWEness

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Disney Animated Movies (Updated!)

About a year ago, my mission was to watch all of the Disney movies (mainly animated since there is so many, but I will try and fit in others) before I got down to Florida to start the Disney College Program in August. Here is an updated listed of what I've seen/bought up-to-date.

[ X ] Seen it \ [ _ ] Haven't finished.

[ X ] Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
[ X ] Pinocchio (1940)
[ X ] Fantasia (1940)
[ X ] Dumbo (1941)
[ X ] Bambi (1942)
>> [ X ] Bambi II (2006)
[ X ] Cinderella (1950)
>> [ X ] Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)*
>> [ X ] Cinderella III: a Twist in Time (2007)*
[ X ] Alice in Wonderland (1951)
[ ] The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
[ X ] Peter Pan (1953)
>> [ X ] Return to Never Land (2002)
>> [ X ] Tinker Bell (2008)*
>> [ ] Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)*
>> [ X ] Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010)*
>> [ ] Tinker Bell: A Winter Story (2011)*
[ X ] Lady & the Tramp (1955)
>> [ X ] Lady & the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001)*
[ X ] Sleeping Beauty (1959)
[ X ] 101 Dalmations (1961)
>> [ ] 101 Dalmations II: Patch's London Adventure (2003)*
[ ] the Sword in the Stone (1961)
[ X ] the Jungle Book (1967)
>> [ X ] the Jungle Book 2 (2003)
[ X ] the Aristocats (1970)
[ X ] Robin Hood (1973)
[ ] the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
>> [ ] Pooh's Grand Adventure: the Search for Christopher Robin (1997)*
>> [ ] Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999)*
>> [ ] the Tigger Movie (2000)
>> [ ] Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002)*
>> [ ] Piglet's Big Movie (2003)
>> [ ] Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo (2004)*
>> [ ] Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005)
>> [ ] Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)*
>> [ ] Winnie the Pooh (2011)
[ X ] the Rescuers (1977)
>> [ X ] the Rescuers Down Under (1990)
[ X ] the Fox & the Hound (1981)
>> [ X ] the Fox & the Hound 2 (2006)*
[ _ ] the Black Cauldron (1985)
[ X ] the Great Mouse Detective (1986)
[ X ] the Brave Little Toaster (1987)*
>> [ X ] the Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1998)*
>> [ X ] the Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue (1999)*
[ X ] Oliver & Company (1988)
[ X ] the Little Mermaid (1989)
>> [ X ] the Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)*
>> [ X ] the Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (2008)
[ X ] Beauty & the Beast (1991)
>> [ X ] Belle's Magical World (1998)*
[ X ] Aladdin (1992)
>> [ X ] the Return of Jafar (1994)*
>> [ X ] Aladdin & the King of Thieves (1996)*
[ X ] the Lion King (1994)
>> [ X ] the Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998)*
>> [ X ] the Lion King 1 1/2 (2004)
[ X ] Pocahontas (1995)
>> [ X ] Pochahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)*
[ X ] the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
>> [ X ] the Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)*
[ X ] Hercules (1997)
[ X ] Mulan (1998)
>> [ X ] Mulan II (2005)*
[ X ] Tarzan (1999)
>> [ ] Tarzan & Jane (2002)*
>> [ _ ] Tarzan II (2005)
[ _ ] Fantasia 2000 (2000)
[ _ ] Dinosaur (2000)
[ X ] the Emperor's New Groove (2000)
>> [ X ] Kronk's New Groove*
[ X ] Atlantis: the Lost Empire (2001)
>> [ X ] Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003)*
[ X ] Lilo & Sitch (2002)
>> [ ] Stitch! The Movie (2003)*
>> [ ] Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch (2005)*
>> [ ] Leroy & Stitch (2006)
[ X ] Treasure Planet (2002)
[ X ] Brother Bear (2003)
>> [ ] Brother Bear 2 (2006)*
[ ] Home on the Range (2004)
[ X ] Chicken Little (2005)
[ X ] Meet the Robinsons (2007)
[ X ] Bolt (2008)
[ X ] the Princess & the Frog (2009)
[ X ] Tangled (2010)
[ ] Reboot Ralph (2012)
[ ] King of the Elves (2013)

[ ] DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)
[ X ] A Goofy Movie (1995)
[ X ] An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)
[ ] Doug's 1st Movie (1999)
[ ] Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999)*
[ ] Recess: School's Out (2001)
[ X ] Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
[ ] Teacher's Pet (2004)
[ ] Mickey, Donald, Goofy: the Three Musketeers (2004)*
[ ] Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)*
[ ] Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams (2007)*

[ X ] Toy Story (1995)
>> [ X ] Toy Story 2 (1999)
>> [ X ] Toy Story 3 (2010)
[ X ] A Bug's Life (1998)
[ X ] Monster's Inc (2001)
>> [ ] Monsters University (2013)
[ X ] Finding Nemo (2003)
[ X ] the Incredibles (2004)
[ X ] Cars (2006)
>> [ ] Cars 2 (2011)
[ X ] Ratatouille (2007)
[ X ] WALL-E (2008)
[ X ] UP (2009)
[ ] Brave (2012)

* Straight to video release.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Favorites

The Court of Angels in New Orleans Square has got to be one of the most beautiful areas in Disneyland. During the day you can sometimes catch Tiana and Naveen here. It's a romantic spot that not many people know of, but as you can see, it's definitely a fine piece of Disney Imagineering.

Photo credit to Disney Dan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

*if any of these are your photos, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit!

Photo credit to PeterPanFan1953 and Corsey21

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tips


FASTPASS is available for several of Disneyland's more popular attractions, and is basically an advance reservation system which gives you a ticket to ride an attraction at a specific time. For example, you show up at Splash Mountain and obtain a paper FASTPASS ticket to come back during a one hour window later that day. The time of your ride "window" is printed on the FASTPASS itself, and may begin 35 minutes to several hours after you obtained the FASTPASS, depending on the crowds on the specific date of your visit. When you return at the specified time and present your FASTPASS ticket to the Disney personnel staffing the attraction, you will be allowed to enter a special line reserved for FASTPASS holders which allows you to board the attraction with minimal waiting.

There is no cost for FASTPASS, but in order to obtain one you have to walk to the attraction you wish to ride and insert the park admission ticket for each member of your group into the FASTPASS machine. At this point the machine will issue you the FASTPASS ticket(s). The system is set up so that you can normally only have one FASTPASS active at a time, unless the "return window" is more than two hours away. For example, you wouldn't be able to go to Splash Mountain and obtain a FASTPASS there, then immediately run to Space Mountain and obtain one there too. You would either need to wait until the "ride window" had begun at Splash Mountain before you could obtain the Space Mountain FASTPASS, or until two hours after you received your Splash Mountain FASTPASS, whichever comes first.

Note that you don't need to actually use the first FASTPASS before you obtain the second one. The "ride window" for the first FASTPASS just needs to have arrived, or two hours need to have passed, before you can obtain the second FASTPASS. Despite this rule, one "quirk" in the FASTPASS allows you to obtain a FASTPASS for one specific attraction even if you already hold an "active" FASTPASS elsewhere. This "FASTPASS-favored" attraction is Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin at Disneyland. Due to this quirk, you would be allowed to obtain a FASTPASS for Indiana Jones, for example, and then immediately obtain another one for Roger Rabbit.

The other important thing to note is that the FASTPASS systems between Disneyland and DCA are "disconnected" from one another. This allows you to obtain a FASTPASS at Disneyland, for example, and then walk over to DCA and immediately obtain another one there as well. Disney rarely, if ever, enforces the ending time printed on the FASTPASS. This allows you to use the FASTPASS at anytime after the printed beginning time as long as it's the same day.

Photo credit to partyhare

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

Get a taste of California heritage as you watch fresh dough transformed into hot, tasty tortillas. The Mission Tortilla Factory is located in Disney's California Adventure. Here you can get a special behind-the-scenes walking tour and experience special cooking and tasting demonstrations. A Cast Member passes out fresh tortillas, just off the production line, at the end of the tour. On your birthday, receive a one dozen package of tortillas free! Recipe cards featuring recipes which use tortillas as an ingredient, are usually available at the demo kitchen. Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, which is just behind the tortilla factory, uses the tortillas made in the tortilla factory in their tacos and burritos.

Photo credit to Weekends with Walt

Saturday, March 26, 2011

ABCDisney - C is for...

The door may not look any fancier from the others on ornate New Orleans Square. After the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion rides it seems pretty unspectacular. But if your day at Disneyland in Anaheim, California includes a trip across this threshold and up the art deco glass elevator, you've made it. You have been to Club 33.

The club has only 487 members. The wait for a membership is up to fourteen year and the waiting list closed in April, 2007, and no new names are being accepted. For those lucky few who do get individual memberships, the cost is a $9,500 initiation fee and $3,175 yearly dues. Corporate memberships are $25,000 initially and almost $6,000 in yearly dues.

Photo credit to Keltron1

C is also for: City Hall, Carnation Cafe, Crystal Arcade, Cafe Orleans, Cristal d'Orleans, Chip 'n Dale's Treehouse, Clarabelle's Frozen Yogurt, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Character Close-Up, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, California Screamin', Casey at Bat

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Favorites

I hate and I mean HATE popcorn. However, there is just something about Disney popcorn that I just can't resist. It could be the perfect popcorn to salt/butter ratio, or the type of caramel on the caramel corn, but nonetheless, it's heavenly. I can't NOT go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World and not get some popcorn, either fresh popped or some to take home in a bag!

Photo credit to apercevoir

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Do you hate waiting in lines? Do you wish there was some way to map out your day at the parks that gave you a guideline on which rides to go on first, when to ride certain rides, and which rides you benefit from getting a fastpass? Well I was in the same boat as you. I recently downloaded Ridemax, a software program, created by Disneyland fan Mark Winters, that calculates the best time to ride each ride at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure for the least amount of waiting and walking time and then creates an itinerary to fit your schedule.

How do you use Ridemax?
  1. Upon opening the program, you select which park and the date. Data is usually available up to eight weeks ahead,
  2. Then you select the rides you want. It helps if you prepare this in advance, but a description of each ride appears at the bottom of the page when you click on it.
  3. In the Plan Options, you choose what time you will start and end your day. You can also schedule two breaks (for eating or popping over to the other park).
  4. Additionally, you can select whether your group will be walking at a normal or slow pace and whether you have someone in your group willing to act as a "runner" to go get FASTPASSES for the group.
  5. Another variable is whether you are willing to allow late FASTPASS scheduling. This means you could be scheduled to use a FASTPASS after the hour-long window printed on the PASS has expired.
  6. You can also schedule water rides during the warmer hours between 10A-4P.
  7. When the program has finished its calculations, a web page will appear with a timed itinerary telling you when to show up for each ride, how long the wait should be, how many minutes the ride will take and the time you need to walk to the next attraction.
If you want to reduce some stress about making sure you get to ride certain rides, then Ridemax is the program for you. It's $14.95 for 90 days and $24.95 for a year for Disneyland/Disney's California Adventure. They also have it for Walt Disney World. Go ahead and try it! Download it here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

This isn’t a “sit back and relax” ride. Get ready to work! Grab an oar and climb into an Explorer Canoe. You and every other canoe guest will help to propel the craft around the island and past Cascade Peak. You’re helped by two explorer scouts—one in front and one in back. They’ll make sure that your canoe is steered properly. Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes operates on busier days only, primarily in the summer and on weekends.

Photo credit to Weekends with Walt

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Favorites

"Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight our friend & host Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware: nothing is more powerful than the imagination for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey's imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey's dreams? You are about to find out. For we now invite you to join Mickey, and experience Fantasmic... a journey beyond your wildest imagination."

What can I say about Fantasmic? It's pretty much the greatest show Disney has created in life. I say this because I haven't seen World of Color in person, so I can't honestly compare them to each other, but compared to all the fireworks, parades, stages shows, etc. Fantasmic! is the one that I continuously go back to see--- 37 times during my program to be exact. There are many differences between Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic! at Disneyland, which ultimately leads me to favor Disney's Hollywood Studios version over it's west coast version.

Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios vs. Fantasmic! at Disneyland



  • Performed in Hollywood Hills Amphitheater built for the show specifically
  • 27 minutes long
  • Tribute to The Lion King with Rafiki and other animals
  • Pocahontas re-enactment scene
  • Montage of many clips from Disney features inside bubbles
  • Introduces other Disney villains. More villains are featured
  • Smaller boat based on the steamboat from Steamboat Willie
  • Jafar scene
  • Maleficent dragon poorly executed
  • Music is better
  • Performed on Rivers of America where there is hardly any seating at all
  • 22 minutes long
  • The jungle scene with Kaa, King Louie, etc. from The Jungle Book
  • Peter Pan re-enactment scene
  • “Pink Elephants on Parade” clips and Pinocchio puppets
  • Ursula’s reprisal of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” makes for less villains in show
  • Uses Mark Twain riverboat for characters to dance on for a grander finally scene
  • No Jafar scene
  • Maleficent dragon is animatronic
  • Music not as good

What exactly do I love about Fantasmic? The music. The villains. The choreography. But most importantly, the ending. I've cried at the ending of all 37 showings of Fantasmic! at DHS that I have attended. Something about the power that Sorcerer Mickey displays on top of that mountain peak just really gets to me. Also seeing all of those characters out on the boat that I never get to see: John Smith, Meg from Hercules, the seven dwarfs. It's just so overwhelming and I love it. The main reasons why I love DHS's version of Fantasmic! is because it pays tribute to The Lion King and Pocahontas, and most importantly it introduces more villains such as a favorite of mine, Scar, and also gives Jafar, who is my absolute favorite, the chance to shine with his own scene.

Fantasmic! is probably the number one thing I miss about my program. I miss being able to just hop in my car and drive over to DHS at 7:00pm to see the 8:00pm showing. I guess Disneyland's version is just going to have to do for now!

Some imagination, huh?

Photo credit to Disney Dan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

*if any of these are your photos, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Tips

Celebrating a Birthday at Disneyland Resort

  • Happy Birthday button. Don't forget to grab a birthday button at your Disney Resort Hotel or at City Hall in Disneyland Park! It adds that special little touch!
  • A Birthday with the Mouse. If you’re looking for a little something extra, extra special, you can always do the “My Disneyland Birthday Party” lunch/dinner with Mickey and Minnie at the Plaza Pavilion on Main Street. It pretty much guarantees a good time.
  • Order a cake. Celebrate your birthday with a meal at a full-service restaurant in Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park or the Disneyland Resort Hotels, and add to the fun with a Disney Princess Jewelry Box or Disney Pirate Treasure Chest! Each comes with a special surprise and an individual cake! The Princess Jewelry Box and the Disney Pirate Treasure Chest are available at full-service restaurants, Character dining locations, and through Disney Hotel Room Service.
  • Give a magical experience. Let the Dream Makers create a memorable gift experience. You can choose from personalized surprise gifts delivered to your Disneyland Resort Hotel room, a sensational celebration that takes over that special someone's Disneyland Resort Hotel room, and/or a gift card for the experience of your choice. Click here for more information.

Photo credit to DanMcNeely

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

Once you walk down to the end of Main Street U.S.A., look to your right and you'll see a red cart which sells the most delectable corn dogs you'll ever eat in your life. My sister swears by them. They are hot and delicious, and on busy days, this cart can get quite a line. Be sure to try one the next time you in the Disneyland!

Photo credit to apercevoir

Saturday, March 12, 2011

ABCDisney - B is for...

Found at 31 Royal Street in New Orleans Square, The Blue Bayou appears to be situated on a mansion terrace overlooking a balmy, moonlit Louisiana bayou. Inside, however, the restaurant is adjacent to the mysterious waterway that carries would-be buccaneers on the Pirates of the Caribbean adventure. The food is decent, but it's the atmosphere you're paying for, and it's worth it. Be sure to get a reservation--there's hardly ever space for walk-ins. When you check in for your reservation, ask if there is a table by the water available; it's quite peaceful!

Photo credit to Express Monorail

B is also for: Blue Ribbon Bakery, Bengal Barbecue, Big Thunder Mountain, Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, Bonanza Outfitters, Briar Patch, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Bullseye Stallion Stampede, Between Takes,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Favorites

"Adventure is waiting.
Let it open your eyes!
Imagine and see
What wonders can be.
Each journey can hold a surprise!"

World of color is an amazing show held at Disney's California Adventure. Designed by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, this show has over 1,200 fountain nozzles with 1,200 individually controlled underwater LEDs, one for each nozzle. It includes lasers, lights, with a water spray backdrop screen similar to the ones used in Fantasmic! at Disneyland. There are three viewing options:

1) Get a fastpass. Fastpass tickets are available at the Grizzly River Run fastpass distribution area. There are three sections, blue, red, and yellow. Blue is the best section overall, though red and yellow each have their own little sections within that offer a good viewing spot. The earlier you get to the fastpass distribution area, the better chance you get the blue section.

2) Purchase a World of Color Picnic Meal. There are four picnic choices for adults: All-American, European Antipasto, Taste of Asia, and Mediterranean Vegetarian. There are two picnic choices for children: Junior All-American Box and Lunchbox Classic, which include a souvenir World of Color light-up bracelet. All picnic meals include dessert, choice of beverage and one reusable World of Color commemorative tote bag for every 4 picnic meals ordered. Picnics may sell out and are only available for pre-order when displayed on the
calendar. With the picnic you get a reserved viewing ticket for either the first or second showing of World of Color. The World of Color Reserved Viewing section in Paradise Park is the preferred location to see this nighttime water spectacular. Though you will receive a spot, reserved viewing is first come, first served, so get there early! Order online to purchase.

3) World of Color Dinner Packages with Reserved or Preferred Viewing.
A full-service prix fixe dinner at Ariel's Grotto or Wine Country Trattoria includes tickets to a Preferred Viewing section at Paradise Park. A World of Color lunch is also available at Wine Country Trattoria and includes tickets for Reserved Viewing. Upon receiving your meal, tickets indicating the location of your viewing, show time and the time you should return will be issued.Choose from a variety of menus items, enjoy a great meal, and then make your way to either the Reserved or Preferred Viewing sections. Purchase a special dinner package or pre-packaged picnic meal and secure your tickets for World of Color. For pricing and other inquiries, please check out the official site.

Photo credit to Michael Greening

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

*if any of these are your photos, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Tips

How to have fun at Disneyland in the rain.

1) Wear a poncho. This is key. Sure you'll look extra touristy but hey, ponchos are a life-saver when walking around the park in the rain. You could bring your own or purchase one in the parks. You can buy the traditional Disney Parks one with Mickey Mouse or splurge on a more fashionable one that gives you the appearance of everyone's favorite mouse or his girlfriend.

2) See a show. Captain EO is back and playing in Tomorrowland, and the broadway-style performance of Aladdin runs up to four times a day in California Adventure. That’s four opportunities to enjoy 40 minutes of rain-free, indoor Disney fun. Take advantage!

3) Stick to indoor rides. Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Enchanted Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and Tower of Terror are just a handful of the rides the Disneyland Resort has to offer.

4) Enjoy a sit down meal. We're always on the go trying to fit in as many rides as possible and tend to grab a turkey leg or churro to satisfy our growling tummies. Take the time to head on in to one of the many inside locations to sit and enjoy some good food.

5) Shop til you drop! Go ahead and linger in the many shops of the Disneyland Resort. World of Disney in Downtown Disney, Emporium at Disneyland, and Greetings from California at Disney's California Adventure are just some of the shops the grace the resort. Go ahead and shop til you drop!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

At the Main Street Cinema you can catch a flick starring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the rest of the gang in this vintage movie house that plays some of Walt Disney's classic animation shorts. Main Street Cinema continuously runs Mickey Mouse cartoons, all in black and white, on six different screens. Those none of the toons were released as silent films, they are all projected without their soundtracks, with the exception of Steamboat Willie. The films shown in the cinema are:
  • Steamboat Willie (1928)
  • Traffic Troubles (1931)
  • The Dognapper (1934)
  • Plane Crazy (1928)
  • The Moose Hunt (1931)
  • Mickey's Polo Team (1936)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Favorites

My most favorite thing to do as a whole is character hunt. While on my Walt Disney World College Program and even now when I go to Disneyland, I spend a great deal of my time doing this, because not only do I love meeting characters, but it's something you can do by yourself on solo trips to the parks and with a group of people. Bring both your Photopass card with you as well as your own camera, because let's face it, who wants to spend tons of money on pictures that could have easily been taken with your own camera? However, Photopass CMs tend to get really good interactive pictures with their own cameras and take a lot of them at that, so having a Photopass card is really convenient. Don't forget your autograph book and pen either!

My favorite character(s) to meet over and over:
Mickey, Goofy, and Chip n' Dale
The character(s) I was most excited to meet: Jafar, Pocahontas, and Max
Characters I still want/need to meet: Peter Pan and Wendy, The Mad Hatter, the Fairies, Jack Skellington and Sally, Foulfellow, Maleficent, Tarzan and Jane, Kenai and Koda, Genie and Abu, and The Tweedles.

Favorite character memories:
1) I am a HUGE and I mean HUGE fan of Fantasmic!. During my time in Walt Disney World, I tried my hardest to get a picture of Mickey doing a certain pose that he only does once in Fantasmic! and only in Fantasmic!. The lighting was always too dark to capture this pose on film, so I was determined to ask Mickey himself at a Meet and Greet. I went to EPCOT's Character Spot to see him. When it was my turn, I briefly told him how I loved him in Fantasmic! and that it was my favorite thing at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Then I asked him if he could possibly do me a favor, and it might sound weird, but could he please do the pose with his arms behind his back that he does in the beginning right before it goes to the water screen? AND HE DID IT. I was so excited! I know it sounds strange, but it really made my life.

2) The best place to see a lot of characters in one spot (and it's a good variety too!) is definitely in the Animation Building at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I was on a character spree one day with a friend of mine and we ended up in line to see Captain Hook and the Evil Queen from Snow White. The line cut off happened to be when we were next, so the Character Attendant explained that they had to leave. Then she said the best words I think I've ever heard at Walt Disney World: "The Queen of Hearts and Jafar will be out next." Jafar. Jafar. He is my FAVORITEEEEE villain. I mean, he's great! I'd never met him before so I was super excited. Jafar and The Queen came out and I started fangirling like crazy. The Character Attendant looked at me, and my friend explained how in love I was with Jafar. Finally Jafar made it over to his spot and the Character Attendant grabbed my hand and led me over to Jafar, telling him "I think we've found your biggest fan." His interaction with me was sooooo great. Definitely a highlight of my program!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

*if any of these are your photos, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit!

Photo credit to Gregg L Cooper

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Tips

A lot of people wonder where the prime photo spots are around Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Here are the best spots, in my opinion, to take pictures. (This also includes "on ride photo ops.)

  • in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • in front of the entrance of Disneyland
  • in front of the Partner's statue
  • in Snow White's Grotto
  • on Main Street

  • absolutely everywhere in Toontown is a good photo op!

  • around Wonderland
  • in front of "it's a small world"
  • with Monstro
  • in a teacup
  • around Pixie Hollow
  • flying on top of Dumbo
  • in Mr. Toad's car
  • pulling the sword from the stone
  • riding a horse on the carousel
  • in front of the Matterhorn

  • in the Court of Angels
  • anywhere among the buildings
  • in front of the Rivers of American and/or the Mark Twain

  • in a ride vehicle from Autopia
  • fighting alongside Jedis
  • helping Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg
  • in a rocketship traversing the galaxy

  • on a boat riding down the rivers of the world
  • rubbing a magic lamp

  • with a Native American

  • being thrown into the Briar Patch on Splash Mountain

  • in the Lilly Belle on Disneyland Railroad
  • eating a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

  • with Hopper from "A Bug's Life"
  • all around "A Bug's Land"
  • after entering the Twilight Zone
  • in front of a plane
  • with Paradise Pier in the background

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Spotlight

The Penny Arcade is located on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Park. It allows you to step back in time for simple family fun. The Penny Arcade is the home to penny candies, old-fashioned penny arcade games, saltwater taffy, and a variety of "pressed penny" souvenir machines. Tip: for 25 cents you can get your fortune read by Esmeralda. The card makes a nice souvenir!

Photo credit to arleney

Saturday, February 26, 2011

ABCDisney - A is for...

The Animation Academy is a 15-minute session with a Disney animator who teaches guests to draw a Disney character, such as Mickey Mouse or Pooh. Paper and pencils are provided, and guests may take their artwork home. You can even ask the artist at the end if you can have their 'perfect' drawing to take home with you as well!

Photo credit to aeronerd

A is also for: Adventureland, Aladdin's Oasis, Alice in Wonderland, Astro Orbitor, Autopia, Ariel's Grotto Princess Celebration, Award Wieners, A Bug's Land, autograph(s)