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