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