This Disney Dose podcast features a presentation from the D23 Expo titled Imagineering 60 Years of Disneyland: Working With Walt. The panel is moderated by Leslie Iwerks, the granddaughter of famed Disney Animator, Ub Iwerks. Leslie is a documentarian who is producing the much anticipated documentary, The Imagineering Story.
Marty Sklar, Orlando Ferrante, and Richard Sherman joined Leslie on the panel. Marty Sklar is the former principal creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering (a fancy way of saying he ran the show). Orlando Ferrante is the former Vice President of engineering, design, and production for Walt Disney Imagineering. Richard Sherman is a member of the songwriting team behind classics ranging from films like “Mary Poppins” and “Parent Trap” to attractions like It’s a Small World and Tiki Room.
This panel presentation is a can’t miss attraction and is filled with stories about the opening years of Disneyland told straight from the people who lived them.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
In this episode you will hear:
What was the most important year in Disneyland’s history
Why Pirates of the Caribbean is so perfect to ride over and over again
What Walt Disney said when he liked something
How Walt Disney crafted contracts to save the most money and stretch the limits of their creativity
Why the model shop was so important at Walt Disney Imagineering
How Richard Sherman wrote the Tiki Room song
How Walt Disney lived his life in such a way that everyone had to keep up
What drove Walt Disney to create all of the films
And so much more…
Plus: Listen for this week’s Disneyland Secret about Disney’s relationship with Coca Cola
Special Thanks to You:
The Disney Dose podcast is a production put on for you, the Disney enthusiast. Please let me know if you are enjoying the show by leaving a review on iTunes. You can also contact us to share your thoughts and show ideas. Contact me here.
Sayre Wiseman is the executive producer of all three new Disneyland shows; the Paint the Night Parade, Disneyland Forever Fireworks, and World of Color- Celebrate! Previously, she launched the Disneyland 50th Anniversary, Soundsational Parade, World of Color, Festival of Fantasy Parade in Walt Disney World, and Disney Dreams in Disneyland Paris. She also served as the Director of Ceremonies for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. It is estimated that the shows she produced are seen by 150,000-200,000 people around the world everyday.
This is an incredibly insightful interview into the role of a producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. Sayre Wiseman was a delight to talk to and provided incredible stories from her years of working for the Walt Disney Company.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
In this episode you will hear:
How Sayre Wiseman got started working for Disney
What is her favorite show that she has produced
How she was involved with the 50th Anniversary Celebration
What the process is for creating a new parade, fireworks show, or spectacular
Who is the group they call the Vampire Crew
Her favorite moment from her career working for Disney
How they choose which characters will appear in parades and shows
The best spots to watch the new night time shows at Disneyland
Who are the best type of creative people to work with
How shows come to life during the graveyard shift rehearsals and programming sessions
We are just getting ready to release our new book, Disneyland Secrets. This book will feature the stories behind the details throughout Disneyland park.
This week’s Disneyland Secret comes from Mickey’s Toontown. In Mickey Mouse’s house, inside of a glass case, you can find Mickey’s passport. This passport has the names of the five locations of Disney parks around the world. They are Anaheim, Orlando, Hong Kong, Paris, and Tokyo. Each is dated with their opening day. No stamp has yet been added for the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. I wonder if the Imagineers will remember to add a Shanghai stamp when the park opens next Spring?
Special Thanks to You:
Thank you for the support of the Disney Dose podcast and constant requests for new episodes. I really do produce the show just for you. As I get ready to roll out even more episodes, be sure you are subscribed to the podcast either on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or through our newsletter.
This week kicks off the Disneyland Christmas season. During this week’s podcast we discuss the special Christmas additions in Disneyland including: Haunted Mansion, “It’s a Small World,” World of Color Winter Dreams, and Jingle Cruise.
Of course, we also discuss the awesome Christmas treats that can be found in the parks. Some of our favorites are the gingerbread cookies and beignets. Also, have you ever attempted to get the Disneyland candy canes? We’ll give you the full scoop how.
All information below is based off of the podcast audio. Take a listen below for the full experience.
Listen to the Episode Below:
What you’ll hear this week:
How to get the Disneyland Christmas candy canes before they sell out
Where to find the best Santa Claus at Disneyland
The ride that could be good or could be bad this year–we just don’t know yet
Which Disneyland gingerbread treat is our favorite
Best spots for World of Color viewing
Details on new Fantasmic! viewing FP and dining packages
What restaurant is our favorite for lunch and dessert
The story behind the Jingle Cruise
What we like so much about “it’s a Small World Holiday”
This week’s secret covers the Disneyland Christmas tree on Main Street. Since the opening of Disneyland in 1955, a real tree from Mount Shasta was used in the parks. But after 2008, Disneyland began to use a faux tree they reuse every year.
The new tree itself is 65 feet tall, but you only see 60 feet of the tree, because 5 feet of the tree sits underground supporting the base. The new tree has more than 1,200 branches with more than 280,000 faux pine needles with around 2000 ornaments the size of your head plus 75,000 lights. On top of that, the cords to light up the tree weigh more than 5,000 pounds.
The tree is assembled backstage at the end of the October as the crews prepare the area for the tree. The day after the Disney Parks Christmas Parade TV Special finishes shooting, the 12 ton tree is moved into place with the help of 15 cast members and two cranes. The other decorative touches found in the resort are the more than 1.5 miles of garland. Also on Main Street you’ll see more than 810 bows on Main Street which require 1.4 miles of ribbon to create. Wow! My hands would get tired after tying all of those knots.
I present to you an introduction to Disneyland History. My goal is to educate you on the history of the Amusement park industry to illustrate the stark difference between the original trolley parks and the uniqueness of Disneyland. Also, I have discovered information on the exact explanation of how Walt funded Disneyland and an overview of the Imagineering process. So today I present to you…
Disneyland changed the world and established an entertainment industry. After a few speed bumps, Walt Disney went on to create the most magical place on earth that we all love and cherish today. Before Disneyland, weekend entertainment involved visiting amusement parks and boardwalks, but Disney changed all that.
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Themed Entertainment’s Dirty Beginnings: Amusement Parks, Trolley Parks, and Boardwalks
Most don’t know that amusement parks began as ways to boost usage of other attractions or industries. The first amusement parks were Trolley Parks, attractions built at the ends of trolley lines to attract visitors. One of the first was in 1879. These recreation areas featured dance halls, gazebos, and open fields.
To keep customers busy while waiting, the Knotts built a ghost town and brought in a mine train for people to ride. It began to develop into a full amusement experience. This roadside attraction is one of the only American amusement parks to survive after World War II.
Though amusement parks did very well from 1900-1939 the Great Depression and Second World War hit the amusement industry hard. At the time, amusement parks had free entry, therefore the parks did not make much money, which did not allow for good upkeep. Since there wasn’t any cost to enter these parks, shady characters would roam free and gangs were often present.
You wouldn’t want to run in to these shady characters. Would you?
History of Disneyland: Started With a Problem, Not a Mouse
Walt Disney once said, “It was all started by a mouse,” but in reality, Disneyland started with a problem. Sitting on a bench in Griffith Park watching his daughters on the carousel, he wondered, why isn’t there some sort of amusement experience that the entire family can enjoy together? When he looked around for inspiration, he found nothing that met his standards. (Maybe he ran in to the shady gang pictured above) Meanwhile, Disney was receiving two kinds of letters from children across the country. Some wanted to meet Mickey Mouse. Others wanted to ride on Walt’s backyard train the Carolwood Pacific.
In the early 1950’s, Disney came up with a revolutionary idea: to build a park that was safe and inviting for families while also allowing people to meet his cartoon characters and ride his trains. The idea for Disneyland was a completely original concept in entertainment — one that expanded the Disney brand from the silver screen to a magical in-person experience.
Disneyland From Imagination to Reality: WED Enterprises and Imagineers
When Disney decided that he would be building a place that told a story, he knew that he would need people and technology to help create the magic and tell the stories. In 1952, Disney raised and set aside money to create WED Enterprises, standing for Walter Elias Disney. WED Enterprises would encompass all of the people and technology he had chosen to create his theme park. It consisted of the best of the best from his studio, together with carpenters, engineers, and scientists who would help him create his dream.
The division previously known as WED changed it’s name to Walt Disney Imagineering in the 90’s.
Disney’s vision was that he would tell the story and his workers would create the technology that would bring it to life. Disney himself loved technology, seeing it as a canvas on which to tell a convincing and magical story.
For example, when he wanted to have a boat ride that went through the rivers of the world, with visitors encountering real animals, zoologists told him that this was impossible. So instead, Disney decided to have his team create robotic animals to inhabit his “Jungle Cruise.” In this way, technology at Disneyland was established as a safe and inviting way to help guests immerse themselves in the story — not as a celebration of the technology itself.
To grow their empire, Disney has brought about evolution of everything from robots to tires. In 1952 Walt started WED Enterprises to create his magical world, and since the parks grew so did WED, or as it is called now, Imagineering. The name came about when Micheal Eisner, the last President and CEO of Disney, said that all WED did was imagine and then engineer things–imagineering. While Imagineering has grown to include more than 150 disciplines and imagine things from hotels to parks, they still do it all to tell a story.
One of Disney’s key innovations was the introduction of next generation Audio-Animatronics, robotic creatures that populate most of Disney’s attractions. They can interact with guests and move around the parks. Disney has created numerous ways to get people through the story as they continue to redesign ride vehicles. While Disney and their parks have evolved, so has the technology allowing for the parks to be created and run.
How Walt Disney Funded Disneyland: Magic of Television
Disney also knew that he would need help funding the development of his fantasy. Being the visionary he was, he looked to the next new frontier — television. He approached all three major networks with his proposal, but only ABC was willing to partner with him. Disney would produce a weekly family television program for ABC. In return, ABC would invest $500,000 in the creation of Disneyland and would own roughly 34% of the new enterprise. The weekly show would consist of an update on the construction of Disneyland and a short movie, all hosted by Walt Disney himself. Disney understood that the public would enjoy the show itself while also sitting through what would now be considered an hour-long commercial for Disneyland. The show went on to be known as “The Wonderful World of Color” and then “The Wonderful World of Disney.”
In addition, Disney raised money for his Magic Kingdom by convincing consumer product companies that if the public encountered their brands at Disneyland, they would associate those products with the fun they had during their visit. Some of the first companies to sponsor the park were Coca Cola, Swift, Frito-Lay, Pendleton, Gibson Greeting Cards, TWA, and Eastman Kodak. The money provided from the sponsorships were very important as the park cost more than $17.5 million to complete, almost double the original predictions. The tradition of featuring outside brands in the parks continues to this day. In fact, the uber exclusive Club 33 was originally built to court new Disneyland sponsors.
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Originally, these companies owned shares in Disneyland, but once it started to turn a profit, Disney bought those shares back, until the only owners were the Disney company and ABC. Once the Disney company acquired ABC, Disney and his management team took control over the entire park. By taking control of the park, Disney created a set of standards that are still visible throughout all of the Disney theme parks today.
This painting transforms when the lights are turned off. Each light fixture on the map is painted with black light so that this painting can seamlessly illustrate both day and night at Disneyland.
Future Disneyland Expansion and Becoming a Resort
Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed.” That statement is still true today. When Disneyland opened, it filled 160 acres, and had one park and one hotel. Now the Disneyland Resort fills 510 acres consisting of 2,224 hotel rooms in three hotels, a shopping district, and two theme parks. It employs 20,000 cast members. Since 1955, Disneyland has grown and evolved from a single park into a world renowned resort complex.
Many expansions have occurred over the last 55 years, the biggest being the addition of California Adventure and the Downtown Disney District, which nearly doubled the size of the resort. Disney built the new park across from Disneyland in the old parking lot. The new park was themed to California. Since it first opened, California Adventure has been seen as a flop, because of the lightly applied themes compared to Disneyland’s immersive experience across the promenade. But, that will all changed when California Adventure reopened the summer of 2012. The amazing additions of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street changed the park forever. Not only has Disney expanded and grown Disneyland, they also have created new lands and experiences all around the world.
The beautifully crafted Buena Vista Street is now the entrance to Disney California Adventure.
On to the East Coast and Then the World…Walt Disney World
Once Walt Disney had finished opening Disneyland, he began to think of ideas for new concepts. Walt wanted to create an experimental prototype city of tomorrow, or EPCOT. They picked Orlando, Florida for the location of this new venture, and began to buy up land. But when Walt Disney died, the Disney company realized that the massive project couldn’t be completed without Walt’s guidance.
This photo comes from the taping of a TV special about Walt’s next project, Epcot. This was last television filming Walt Disney ever did.
The plans for an entire city were dropped, and the Magic Kingdom, a park very similar to Disneyland, was opened. After the success of the Magic Kingdom, Disney decided to build a scaled-down version of EPCOT that would consist of an area looking forward to the future and an area showcasing the worlds. In 1983, Tokyo Disney was opened in Japan to appeal to Disney’s Asian audiences. This resort went on to add Tokyo Disney Sea, a park themed to nautical exploration. Disney continued to expand as they partnered with the French Government to create Euro Disney S.C.A., the company that would own and run the Disneyland Paris Resort.
The four Disney Cruise Line ships.
Having conquered land, Disney moved to sea. In 1998 Disney launched the Disney Cruise line. The Disney Magic cruise ship launched in 1998, and in 1999, the Disney Wonder launched. Disney opened Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005, hoping to reach more of their Asian audiences. While Disney hoped that the park would bring new success, it didn’t have a big enough budget so it opened with few attractions. Over the past four decades, Disney has grown their theme park empire so much that as Marty Sklar nicely says “the sun never sets on a Disney park.”
Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland is not just another amusement park. It’s unique, and I want it kept that way.” The purpose of Disneyland isn’t to amaze or enchant. Yes, it does those things, but the purpose is to tell a story. That is the key factor that other parks cannot duplicate; they just don’t understand that the story should be center stage, not the thrill of the drop. (Although this is debatable. Perhaps Harry Potter is giving Disneyland run for their money.)
Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney and John Lasseter, the two men currently leading the Disney company. Iger financially and Lasseter creatively.
While other theme parks have access to film libraries for inspiration, Disney has television shows, book characters, mobile apps personalities, and one of the biggest, best known film libraries around to feature in the parks. Disney spends large amounts of money on new experiences, marketing, and upkeep. Their parks are geared towards families, and competitors know that. Rather than trying to take Disney customers, competitors like Universal, market to other audiences such as teens and adults.
After being inspired by the Trolley Parks and Amusement Parks of old, Disney turned around the revolutionized the market creating the concept of theme park is world renowned today.
I put this article together as an introduction to Disneyland history. There are so many great resources for more information. I highly recommend three books for more about Disneyland:
This week we dive back into the history of the Disneyland parades. Inside this episode you will find rare audio and historical facts that will take you back to earlier times you spent enjoying the Disneyland parades along Main Street.
During this second of three episodes, we bring you the parades from the Main Street Electrical parade through the 80’s Minnie Mouse Parade.
For the part one of this three part series, click here.
This week’s Disneyland secret features Fowlers Harbor in New Orleans Square located on the riverfront of the Rivers of America.
The information below is all based off of the podcast audio. Be sure to listen for the full experience.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
More Specifically, In This Episode You’ll Hear:
See the show notes from the very first episode, where all of the information regarding the timeline and photos is shared. Click here >
Disney Legend Admiral Joe Fowler was the head supervisor of all West Coast shipyards during WWII. Admiral Fowler served in both World Wars and retired from the US Navy in 1948.
Walt Disney met Fowler through a friend and hired him to direct the construction of Disneyland’s Mark Twain and the Rivers of America area. Admiral Fowler believed that a dry dock harbor area was necessary for the operation of the ships, but Walt thought it was a waste of space and money. After the space was built, Walt referred to it as Joes’ Hole.
But, after a few months of operating, Walt realized just how important the dry dock was when the ships first needed to be repaired. Admiral Fowler went on to direct the construction of Walt Disney World in Florida.
Special Thanks to You:
I can’t believe that we hit ten podcasts this week! I am so happy to have you listening to the podcast and I really hope that you are enjoying it. To keep us going at this podcasting thing, please leave us a review on iTunes. Each review is very helpful and so appreciated.
To everyone who has thus far reviewed the show…thank you!
Thanks for joining Chris and me again this week. For the entire first episode, check it out here >
One of my favorite quick service Disneyland restaurants is the grand Jolly Holiday Holiday Bakery on Main Street. In this Disneyland Jolly Holiday review we will discuss every aspect of the food that is for sale and dive into my favorite part–the desserts.
“We can’t have them gallivanting up there like kangaroos, can we?” —Mary Poppins
Jolly Holiday Menu Board
Join us for our Disneyland Jolly Holiday Review, on the opposite side of Main Street U.S.A. from the Plaza Inn. Themed with light touches from the Mary Poppins film in 1964, this eatery was a grand improvement over this locations former use as a Disney Vacation Club / Disney Passholder discussion and purchase location. Opening from its extensive remodel in 2012, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café has been cooking up your usual sweet treats as well as some fresh salads and sandwiches.
A Spoonful Of Sugar
One of the many bakery cases inside.
Every morning freshly baked treats are re-stocked, including usual favorites like the “Mickey” cookie and the sinfully decadent giant cinnamon roll (see at the bottom of the picture). You can get the same giant cinnamon roll at the Starbucks on Buena Vista Street, and when in a hurry, it makes a quick breakfast to split with a friend as you wait in line.
Mickey Fourth Of July Cupcake
Don’t forget to try their seasonal and holiday cupcakes. They are delicious and large enough to split with a friend.
Editors Note: New treats were added to the menu. During my recent trip to the parks, I tried the fantastic Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaroon. Oh boy! This is a good one.
This red Mickey-shaped macaroon is stuffed with fresh raspberries and sweet raspberry rose cream sandwiched between two macaroon cookies. Heather has photos at the Disney Food Blog.
You should always have some sort of vegetables during your day in the parks, and Jolly Holiday has the best tasting salads in Disneyland. My personal favorite is the self-named Jolly Holiday salad for $7.49.
Jolly Holiday Salad 7.49
The Jolly Holiday Salad has a fresh lettuce blend, mixed with spiced pecans, feta, tomatoes, and cranberries. It is served with a fresh parmesan breadstick and a side of raspberry vinaigrette. The lettuce was crisp, and having that crunchy texture of the pecans mix with the creamy texture of the feta was delightful. The dressing isn’t overly sweet and makes for a perfect complement to a lunch that doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down.
Angus Roast Beef Salad 8.99
The Bakery Café also makes two other salads including the Angus Roast Beef Salad that includes pickled onions and a blue cheese dressing for $8.99 as well as a Grilled Vegetable & Whole Grain Salad that includes seasonal vegetables, mixed greens, barley, spelt, with a basil vinaigrette. Like I said, you need to be healthy, but grilled vegetables and whole grains sounds a little too healthy.
During our first visit for lunch I was looking for something different beyond the turkey, pastrami, roast beef sandwich incarnations you can find throughout the resort and I decided on the Albacore Tuna Salad on brioche for $9.29.
Albacore Tuna Salad on Brioche w/side of house chips 9.29
Two things became obviously clear with the first bite, the brioche was fresh and the tuna salad was made in-house fresh. The brioche was warm and tasted like it had come right out of the oven. The tuna salad was a perfect creamy blend of albacore, celery, red onions, mayonnaise, and just a little dijon mustard. I was also impressed that the house chips were not the inedible potato chips you get as a side with so many items in Disneyland including the famous Corn Dog (I advise choosing Apple slices instead). The house chips were nicely cooked and seasoned.
On another visit I tried the Hot Angus Roast Beef on a Toasted Onion Roll. The roast beef is smothered in caramelized onions, and the inner portion of the roll is coated in a mild horseradish aioli sauce. Did I mention the white cheddar perfectly melted over roast beef? A splendid combination of flavors in a perfectly sized package.
It’s A Jolly Holiday With Mary
Probably the single most popular item on their menu is the Jolly Holiday Combo. For $9.29 you get a toasted cheese sandwich with a cup of tomato basil soup. There is something nostalgic and heart warming about dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into a freshly prepared cup of tomato soup. The sandwich was perfectly toasted, sealing the yellow cheddar inside until you take your first bite. This makes for a perfect lunch or light dinner on a cool or rainy day at the parks and will warm you right up to continue your adventures at the resort.
Four Out of Five Stars
The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café is a great addition to Main Street U.S.A, providing additional lighter fair and healthy eating options, as well as a great place with many shaded tables and great viewing spots for the parade during the day, and fireworks during the evening. Four out of five stars.
This review comes from our chief taste-tester Matt. If you are interested in writing an article for us, contact us here.
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Everyone makes mistakes when visiting Disneyland, but the first timers are usually the worst offenders. Here are the top 5 mistakes that all of us pro veterans wish that those newbies would stop making. It really is for their own good.
Every day the masses line up outside park gates at the ticket booths to purchase their tickets. Every time we see them part if us wants to say “You know you can purchase your tickets right now on your smart phone, don’t you?” but then we realize that maybe they like standing in lines. Or they’re practicing for inside the park.
Next time, though, know that you can purchase tickets through an official ticket broker online to save a good amount of money on your tickets simply by ordering a day or two in advance. We highly recommend ParkSaver as the best Disneyland ticket broker, because they are an authorized agency and provide a discount on all tickets that you purchase. Check out all of their ticket discounts here.
Also, if you are a Disneyland hotel guest, you can pick up your tickets at the concierge desk instead of waiting at the main gate ticket booths.
4. Don’t stand in line for longer than an hour and a half!
At the beginning of EVERY line is an approximate wait time. Sometimes it says 5 minutes, sometimes it says 30 minutes, and sometimes it says 90 minutes or more! Why would you waste more than an hour and a half of your time to stand in a line for a 5 minute attraction? There are two ways to avoid this mistake.
… Seriously? These are multi-million dollar masterpieces with massive cult followings about all the details. Not to forget: they are VERY BIG! You’re going to try and do all 50+ attractions in Disneyland AND 30+ attractions in California Adventure? That is mathematically impossible. Do yourself a favor and SLOW DOWN! Enjoy a single park instead of trying to take in two. Revel in all the little details and Hidden Mickeys. Browse the shops and take a million pictures. Take in the next park on your next visit – it’s a reason to come back!
Disneyland is busy all the time. Period. There are less busy times but even then, it’s busy.
The only time the park won’t be “busy” is at opening on a non-magic morning day (you can check the schedule), or closing time on a day when the parks close late (like midnight.) But, there are times of the year that are better to visit than others. See our calendar of the best months to visit Disneyland.
Nothing says “newbie” like standing in the middle of the walkway with your map open and group huddled around it trying to decide what you’re going to do next. Your best plan of action is to make a list with your group before arriving at the park as to what everyone wants to do. If you need to add to your game plan, either decide over lunch/dinner/snack at a table or step off to the side.
Also, as any good hiker will tell you, always stop in the shade so that you can save yourself from the terrible heat. This completely holds true in Disneyland as well. The temperature can get up into the 90s during the summer. That temperature only seems hotter when you are stopped in the middle of the path on hot cement in the sun.
Did we miss something? Share your tips & tricks below and on our Facebook page.
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Tom Bricker, the creator of the Disney Tourist blog joins us today to discuss the tips and tricks to improve your Disneyland photography. He gives a brief explanation of the best tools and lenses to use in each situation to produce the best photo.
We also talk about the three international Disney Parks: Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Plus, the soon to be added Shanghai Disney.
This week’s Disneyland planning tip features our favorite place to get discount Disneyland tickets online. We have been using this company for years.
Also, welcome to the readers of the Disney Tourist Blog! Thanks for listening to the interview and sharing with your friends.
The information below is all based off of the podcast audio. Be sure to listen for the full experience.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
More Specifically, In This Episode You’ll Hear:
The most important thing to know about Disneyland photography
Why you don’t really need a tripod when visiting Disneyland
How taking photos has caused Tom to enjoy the Disneyland background music even more
Steps to taking a photo on a Disneyland dark ride
Why Tokyo Disney Sea is the best Disney park in the world
Perhaps the worst Disney park in the world: Disneyland Paris Studios Park
This week’s Disneyland travel tip features our favorite third party website that sells Disneyland tickets at a discount. For Disneyland planning help and advice, checkout our new site, MickeyVisit.com where we have put all of the trip planning tips in one place.
This website is completely legitimate and features $3-$6 discounts on all tickets. That’s the lowest that you’ll see anywhere. aRes Travel is a service that allows you to purchase your tickets online in advance for Disneyland at a discounted rate and then pick up them up at the Disneyland ticket windows on your first day of the trip.
Disney California Adventure’s newest evening show has been labeled many things including “Amazing” and “Disney’s best show, yet.” Most importantly, it has been considered “not to be missed.” Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at the history of the show, the show itself, and how to obtain the best seating possible.
Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color ran from the late 50’s into the late 60’s and became the high point for many Australian families week after week – beginning with Walt himself singing “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Looking back, it was very much a barefaced advertisement for Disneyland as each week they concentrated on one of the park’s various “lands.” The IMDB profile provides great information on the show and the various episodes that were released.
It seems fitting, therefore, that the newest night time spectacular be named after what is known as one of the longest-running weekly prime time network shows in the history of television.
Disney’s California Adventure Park – in trouble.
When Disney California Adventure opened the newest park on February 8, 2001, it wasn’t as successful as hoped. They had planned for tens of thousands to visit for the opening day, but only a few hundred arrived.
Due to a soft opening for annual pass holders, word spread online through a variety of Disney and theme park discussion forums. They said less than becoming things of the park for weak theming, unexceptional finishes, and common rides, causing the ultimately depressing attendance once the park opened officially.
Disney management tried some smaller fixes to the park before 2007, when new Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a $1.1 billion makeover and expansion of the park including the opening of a new park entrance plaza, Cars Land, and the World of Color water spectacular.
Creating the World of Color show in Paradise Bay
Brought about by Vice President of Parades and Spectaculars, Steve Davison, and outlined by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, the show has almost 1,200 fountains and incorporates lights, water, fire, haze, and lasers, with high-definition projections on mist screens. Mark Hammond and Dave Hamilton masterminded the music, which was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and The Nashville Choir.
The entire show cost US $75,000,000 to design, manufacture and build. The process of bringing together, set up, and testing the show’s numerous components and equipment in Paradise Bay spanned a period of approximately 15 months. It premiered on June 11, 2010 as part of “Summer Nightastic!”
Video of World of Color
Here is a video of the show from YouTube, dated May 2, 2013. Please note the actual live show is always being changed and updated and may not match this video.
World of Color Show – Viewing Options
During busy seasons of the year, Disney typically has scheduled two shows each evening, with the first show at 9:00pm. Disney may also decide to hold a third show on some evenings, especially if the park is extremely busy. During less-busy seasons of the year, Disney may only hold one show each evening.
There are a few ways to see the show. We review one that is free with admission, while the other charges a premium for reserved seats.
The show’s viewing area is located in Paradise Park: the tiered garden area directly in front of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.
You WILL get wet viewing the show from the front deck. Bring along a poncho if this is a concern. (Unless the wind is blowing strongly in your direction, you shouldn’t get “Grizzly River Run wet,” but you might get more than “Splash Mountain wet,” so a poncho is a good idea!) Again, the view is so much better from the front deck that we believe the improved view is well worth the inconvenience of the poncho! (Inexpensive ponchos are available at the Target store south of the park on Harbor Blvd, if you didn’t happen to purchase these before your trip.)
Unless you want to arrive late in the day, you don’t have to buy one of the dining alternatives to view the show, unless you wish to dine at one of these restaurants regardless of the show. The viewing of the show is no better with the “dinner combination” than with the Fastpass alternative, which is free.
Plan ahead to save a spot inside Paradise Park at Disney California Adventure park to watch “World of Color.” Passes are accessible on a first-come, first-served served basis. The FASTPASS kiosks are located outside Grizzly River Run in the Golden State area of the park. Keep in mind that each part of your group must enter Disney California Adventure Park and present their tickets at the FASTPASS station to accept a FASTPASS.
Bonus tip: Guests staying at Disneyland Resort Hotels can use Extra Magic Hour on select days, throughout which time you may enter Disney California Adventure park one hour prior to when it opens to visitors. Take advantage of this additional time by grabbing your “World of Color” FASTPASS
There are two different color-coded FASTPASSes that are issued for World of Color, Blue and Yellow. Each one relates to an alternate viewing area for the show, keeping in mind the Yellow viewing area gives you access to the front and center view. Yellow FASTPASSes are given out AFTER all of the Blue FASTPASSes have been issued for the day.
In the event that you wish to acquire a Yellow FASTPASS for the early show, on a typical summer day it is recommended that you acquire your FASTPASS around 12:30pm or 1:00pm, or between four and a half and five hours after the park has opened for the day. (You’d need to check sooner than this throughout the busy season of the year, for example, throughout the Christmas season, spring break, or Fourth of July week, and later throughout less-occupied seasons.) The trick is that you need to hold up long enough after the park has been open that the blue FASTPASSes have all been issued, yet not all that long that the majority of the Yellow FASTPASSes are distributed for the day. In the event that you touch base at the FP machines and observe that they’re still issuing Blue FASTPASSes, we propose returning later after they’ve switched to Yellow before acquiring yours. Once more, the Yellow FASTPASSes should provide for you get to the up-front and center view range.
Regarding FASTPASS specifically, it’s important to note that obtaining a FASTPASS for World of Color will not impact your ability to obtain a FASTPASS elsewhere in the park. So whether you obtain a FASTPASS for the show or not, it shouldn’t affect the other FASTPASS attractions in your plan.
World of Color Dining Package Viewing:
Not a morning person? Love excellent food? This is the alternative for you. Notwithstanding enjoying an amazing meal, you additionally get access to a reserved viewing in Paradise Park to delight in “World of Color!”
The experience beings with dining at one of three locations and continues into the preferred viewing area for the popular show.
Included in Each World of Color Dining Package:
• Full-service, 3-course (starter, entrée and dessert) meal from a prix-fixe menu during lunch and/or dinner (depending on the location) from one of 3 participating restaurants
• A non-alcoholic beverage
• One voucher that reserves, in advance, your spot in the Paradise Park preferred World of Color viewing area
You should know: dining packages do not include park admission, tax, gratuity or alcohol. Also, the preferred World of Color viewing area is in Paradise Park, separate from the dining location.
Approximate Prices for the Dining Package: (From the Disneyland official website)
Ariel’s Grotto(Located on Paradise Pier. Dinner only, no character dining.)
Children ages 3 to 9: $23.75
Wine Country Trattoria(Located across from Cars Land):
Children ages 3 to 9: $20.50
Children ages 3 to 9: $23.75
Carthay Circle Restaurant(Located on Buena Vista Street):
Children ages 3 to 9: $19.44
Children ages 3 to 9: $21.60
See our review of the Carthay Circle Restaurant World of Color package here.
Reserve your spot early by calling 714-781-DINE to enjoy lunch or dinner at Wine Country Trattoria or Carthay Circle Restaurant, or dinner at Ariel’s Grotto on select nights all through the summer season, followed by reserved seating for “World of Color.”
The only Paradise Pier attractions that remain open during World of Color are: Toy Story Midway Mania, Goofy’s Sky School, and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. California Screamin’ is closed during World of Color.
Pro Tip: This is a good time to ride Toy Story Midway Mania, because most times the line will be much shorter during this time.
Make sure you are not standing behind people with little kids– they may prop the kids onto their shoulders, blocking your view (or at least make sure you are high enough above them.
Also available: “Glow With the Show” Ears are available in areas all through the Disneyland Resort. These unique ears collaborate with the show itself, blazing and changing colors with the different scenes. Also make certain to keep your “Glow With the Show” Ears after the show, in light of the fact that they also associate with numerous different shows and zones in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.
For an alternate view of the World of Color show, you might be able to catch a distinctive glimpse while riding Goofy’s Sky School. It’s a fun and unique way to see a small bit of Paradise Bay lighting up in amazing colors and effects.
In this Disneyland Plaza Inn review we look at the various menu choices plus highlight the options that you shouldn’t miss. Before we dive into the food, take a look at the history of the Disneyland Plaza Inn.
“Johnny let’s make sure it looks as good as the model does.” — Walt Disney on the Plaza Inn
The Little Red Wagon That Could
When Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, one of the most popular restaurants resided at the end of Main Street U.S.A., on the border of Tommorowland. Originally opening with the name Red Wagon Inn, according to rumor it was Walt’s favorite restaurant. The Red Wagon Inn was the only eatery in the park that served not only breakfast, but also lunch, and full-course dinners.
In 1965 Walt worked with imagineer John Hench to redesign the Red Wagon in, turning it into the Plaza Inn. The re-design was even featured in Walt Disney Presents, and you can click here to see clips from that episode.
Here is a picture of Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at the Plaza Inn circa 1966:
In 1999, the Plaza Inn went through it’s final refurbishment turning it into the Plaza Inn that we know today. Throughout all the changes the one menu item that has stayed the same since 1955 is the Specialty Chicken.
Disneyland’s Plaza Inn Review:
Finger Lickin’ Chicken?
Since the opening of the Plaza Inn, the Specialty Chicken ($13.99) has been the king of the menu. Many have compared it to the famous Knotts Berry Farm fried chicken sold just down the road. Today I got the scoop on this fried chicken.
My plate included three pieces of chicken, seasoned with herbs and spices. Red mashed potatoes, gravy, a buttermilk biscuit and a mixture of vegetables came on the side of the plate. I started off with the chicken. It was cooked to perfection and the skin was golden and crispy.
The mashed potatoes and gravy were perfect. Sadly, the buttermilk biscuit made the meal go down hill in my book. It was inedible and was bordering on stale. My side of vegetables was undercooked and lacked any taste. Had my biscuit and vegetables been up to par with the chicken and mashed potatoes I could easily have given this dish an amazing review. In fact, the biscuit served with the meal made me crave the far superior KFC biscuit.
Plaza Inn Penne Pasta
We also ordered the Penne Pasta with Marinara sauce. The pasta is served with a breadstick. Since our last visit, the breadsticks have been upgraded from a stale brick to a new fresh, soft, and well seasoned breadstick. While the pasta was a little bland, the marinara sauce was warm and filling. This is a perfect dish a picky eater.
Plaza Inn Carrot Cake
The first dessert we tried was the carrot cake. This was a winner. The carrot cake itself had a perfect texture of nuts, berry, and cake. The frosting itself was also light and did not weigh down the cake. Two of us cleaned the plate of one of these pretty fast. This would be a good dish to enjoy while waiting for a parade on Main Street.
Plaza Inn Apple Crostata
The second dessert item we tried was the Apple Crostata. The flaky crust of the crostata was cooked perfectly and the caramel and toasted nuts added a great flavor and texture as well. Sadly, the apples in the crostata were all undercooked and after a few bites we ended up discarding the remainder. Based on the looks of the Crostata, I was expecting greatness, it was quite disappointing to find undercooked apples. This is a dessert that I would try again because I know that there is possibility for greatness.
Overall the atmosphere is enjoyable. The restaurant is great to get out of the heat and crowds. However, during our multiple visits I have only ever experienced mediocre food.
Look to the Carnation Café for an equally good atmosphere and much better food.
With that in mind though, the Plaza Inn is highly recommended for getting a bite to eat before watching the parade or fireworks, because if you get a table outside on the edge of the seating area you will be in a perfect viewing spot.
In conclusion, I rate Plaza Inn at a three out of five stars.
This article was written by our guest reviewer Matt. Interested in writing for us? Contact us here.
Join us in the debate that has plagued generations: Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Leave your opinion in the poll below and share the astonishing results. I will use your opinions as data when we review each attraction in the future.
In this Carnation Café review we look at the food offerings for breakfast and lunch. Also, the history of the longest working Disneyland Cast Member is explained–plus how you might be able to meet him. “Carnation Condensed Milk, the milk from contented cows.”
From Parlor to Patio a Carnation Café Review
Originally opened as the Carnation Cafe Ice Cream Parlor on July 17, 1955, the Carnation Café has gone through a variety of changes over the last half century. The largest change came in 1997 when the Ice Cream Parlor closed it’s doors after being acquired by Nestlé, and the Carnation brand was phased out. During the Spring of 1997 the Carnation Cafe re-opened in the outdoor area that still exists today. The current indoor dining area, which was the Blue Ribbon Bakery a few years ago, was the site of the original Ice Cream Parlor. If you eat in any of the booths on the right-most wall, that is where the former ice cream parlor counter would have been. Today you can have some of the most sought-after breakfast items at any Disney Resort, as well as luscious lunches. Reservations are highly recommend during peak seasons, however I have never had to wait more then twenty minutes for a table when I did not have a reservation.
Breakfast of Champions
Carnation Café has a wonderful array of ways to start of your morning. First and foremost has to be Oscar’s Choice: All-American Breakfast.
Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, Oscar’s potatoes, a croissant and your choice of bacon or sausage with fresh fruit in 2012. $9.99
As of 2013, two eggs any style accompanied by Cafe Breakfast Potatoes and Biscuit served with your choice of Hickory-smoked Bacon or Chicken-Apple Sausage.
I have ordered this many times and it’s best when Oscar is the one cooking. The eggs are always cooked to perfection, and I have never had a broken yolk on my sunny-side up eggs. The fruit and chicken-apple sausage are always fresh and full of flavor. The potatoes with sautéd white onions are “world famous”. If your interested in the recipe, Disney Parks Blog posted the recipe three years ago here.
Start the day with a Mickey Waffle
Another popular breakfast option, especially for kids is the Mickey-Shaped Waffle.
A Mickey-Shaped waffle served with hickory-smoked bacon or chicken-apple sausage links. $10.49 You can add apple or strawberry topping for $0.99. In 2012 you got one large Mickey-shaped waffle.
In 2013 ,you get two smaller Mickey-shaped waffles.
Members of my party have ordered this multiple times and the waffles have always been cooked just crispy enough on the outside for texture with a warm and fluffy inside. You can also replace the sausage or bacon with additional fruit.
Huevos Rancheros–Off the Charts
During my last visit I wanted to try one of the Café Specialties, and decided on the Huevos Rancheros.
Corn tortillas, poached eggs, jack cheese, and fire-roasted salsa served with avocado-black bean pico de gallo. $9.99
Now, I love Oscar’s Choice for the combination of a well-made traditional breakfast and the nostalgia it brings, but the Huevos Rancheros may be the best single breakfast item I have ever eaten within a Disney Resort. The textures all play well together, and the fresh ingredients really make a difference with this entree. Unexpected delights like this that make me want to order more outside my normal trends. Seriously, if you are at Disneyland for multiple days try the Oscar’s Choice one day, and come back a second time for the Huevos Rancheros.
Don’t Get the Ham and Cheese Omelet
Lastly, there is the Ham and Cheese Omelet which is my least favorite item of those I have tried on breakfast menu.
A Ham and cheese omelet served with cafe breakfast potatoes and fruit. $9.99
Nothing to write home about here, it’s just a basic omelet with melted shredded cheddar cheese in and on top of the omelet with the great breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit. It’s just ok, not great.
Also don’t forget to wash everything down with a glass of orange juice.
Carnation Cafe Orange Juice (2013)
In my many years of visiting the park I never had visited the Carnation Café for lunch but decided it was time to change that. Being it was our first time for lunch at the Carnation Café I wanted to try a few different items. I checked my Yelp app on my phone and saw the fried pickles with dipping sauce were very popular.
Dill pickle spears dipped in parmesan and panko, fried golden brown and served with a house sauce. $5.99
Wow, just wow. I have had all sorts of deep fried artichoke hearts and zucchini but these really take the cake. We enjoyed them so much that even when our entrées arrived we ordered a second batch to be brought to the table. The inside was tangy and matched perfectly with the crispy parmesan and panko outside. I prefer the house-sauce but they are also good dipped in a side of ranch. If these were sold outside of Carnation Cafe at an outdoor stall like the Cones in California Adventure I think there would always be a long line. Up first is the Turkey Sandwich.
Smoked turkey, tomatoes, monterey jack, lettuce, and mustard aioli on a pretzel roll. $11.99
It seems the pretzel roll is a current food trend with even fast food joints hopping on-board. That said I tried it and was pleasantly surprised by the roll, which was closer to sourdough in texture. It was still a little chewy for me, but the thick cut tomato and smoked turkey worked well. The french fries are also the best I’ve had in the park.
Green Chili Cheeseburger–Yum
An angus chuck patty, manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomato, lettuce, fried egg, and house sauce on a toasted brioche. $14.99
The burger was pretty good, and I mean the totality of the burger. The toppings were it’s saving grace because the angus patty was a bit dry and lacked flavor. The fried egg’s covered perfectly all of the poblano chile when I bit down. I was surprised that the chile was most more flavorful and less spicy then I originally anticipated. The manchego cheese provided a lingering sweet aftertaste with every bite.
Chocolate-Cherry Coke…You Like Tootsie Rolls? Then get this drink.
To wash everything down I decided to try one of the specialty drinks, starting with the chocolate-cherry coke ($3.79).
Chocolate Cherry Coke with Sully Duffy (2013)
All I can say is if you like tootsie-roll’s then you will love this drink. That’s even what the waiter had told me and I didn’t understand until I tried some. It literally tastes like your drinking liquified tootsie-rolls.
Lunch Round TWO
Several months later I returned to the Carnation Cafe for a second lunch to try a few more menu items. First up was the Walt’s Chili Starter.
Hearty chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and fresh tomato. $6.99
The chili was rich, hearty and filling. I recommend a lighter entrée after consuming this as your starter. Now just in case you are a disney food historian, this is not Walt’s recipe. You can find that recipe at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Regular Cheese Burger–A Little Dry
I wanted to give the Carnation Café burgers another shot and didn’t want to be distracted by extra toppings, so this time I ordered the classic Main Street Cheeseburger.
Angus chuck patty, tilamook cheese, tomato, red onion, lettuce, house sauces on toasted brioche. $11.99
The burger definitely had more flavor and was cooked closer to medium then the green chili cheeseburger I had prior. That being said it was good, not great.
USE CAUTION WITH PB&J Soda
Lastly I decided to wash everything down with the other specialty drink the Carnation Café offers, the PB&J Soda.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda (2013) $3.79
I had high hopes, having had the oddly amazing PB&J shake at the 50’s Primetime Café in Walt Disney World. This concoction was not palatable by any sense of the word. Also what is Disney’s new obsession with topping their drinks with flavored foams? Most of the foam’s are overly sweet, like liquified candy meant for a child. My advice, stay away, far away from this beverage. Instead try one of the excellent shakes. On a final note, one one of my trips I tried one of “Walt’s Favorites,” the Homemade Meatloaf.
Made with a special blend of Beef and Pork served with Ketchup Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Gravy, and Seasonal Vegetables. $12.49
The meatloaf itself was very rich and flavorful and the ketchup glaze really put it over the top. The red mashed potatoes were buttery and fluffy, but I wasn’t a big fan of the succotash.
Who is Oscar?
Earlier in the article I mentioned an entrée named Oscar’s choice that was served with Oscar’s potatoes. So you might be wondering who is Oscar. Oscar Martinez is the longest tenured cast member at Disneyland. He started working at the resort in 1956 and has been at the Carnation Café since 1967. Many times when you order the Oscar’s choice he will cook it, come and deliver it personally and visit with you. Definitely a highlight for any Disney fan.
I have never been let down at the Carnation Café and have always received warm and friendly service. The combination of classic atmosphere and delicious food keeps me coming back for two to three visits every Disneyland trip. Next time when you are in, say hi to Oscar. I confidently give the Carnation Cafe 5 out of 5.
[guestpost]Tony Sherg is fantastic artist that has created his own set of Disneyland posters. Today, he highlights all of his Tomorrowland posters and over the next couple of weeks he will highlight posters from every land. Be sure to follow our Facebook page or join our newsletter to see future sets of his work. [/guestpost]
Hi there! Disneyland Minimalist artist Tony Sherg here. I have been visiting Disneyland my whole life and I am constantly enamored with the magic and beauty that the park is filled with. Some time ago, I started to create posters for my favorite Disneyland attractions and now today I run a Facebook page and website where I continue to release new designs.
Each land, area or attraction has stories, details and history attached to it which is why I’m sure both you and I keep returning to Disneyland. The artistic style of each vastly different attraction at Disneyland is something that I have really tried to explore in my artwork. I chose Tomorrowland as my first series of posters because I felt it’s overall futuristic design and artistic integrity lie heavily on angular lines and shapes much like my artwork.
Tomorrowland will always hold a special place in my heart, I have always been fascinated with what the land was, is, and could be. Walt wanted Tomorrowland to be “a vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man’s achievements… a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.”
That idea of “signifying man’s achievements” has obviously changed over the years with the innovation of the Jet Pack, our journey to the Moon & Mars, and even the creation of technologically complex films such as Star Wars. With some of the park’s most popular attractions like Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Autopia, Tomorrowland today, is a shining example of a “world of wondrous ideas”.
[guestpost]Feel free to share these images and use them on your own page, but please link back to this article and credit Tony Scherg. [/guestpost]
I hope that you all enjoyed this series and I look forward to sharing more of my work with you soon! Remember to like both my Facebook page and the Disney Dose Facebook page to keep up with my artwork.
Next week’s Disneyland Resort Limited Time Magic event has been announced: the return of a few long-lost friends to Disneyland Park, as voted by you!
Get ‘out there’ to meet up with Esmeralda, Clopin and Frollo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Paint with the colors of the wind when you meet up with Pocahontas, John Smith, Meeko and Governor Ratcliffe from “Pocahontas.” Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John and Sheriff of Nottingham will also be meeting. Fan favorites Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig Von Drake are also set to make an appearance.
This Limited Time Event is scheduled to take place April 8-14 at the Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland Park.
After the success of the Florida event, there’s no doubt this one will be just as popular. It’s always a treat to see the beloved characters we grew up with seeing in film and in the parks. Disneyland often sees some of the more obscure and rare characters, but these characters were voted on via an online poll months ago.
This week’s Limited Time Magic event will take the often looked-over Presidents Day and give it the respect it deserves.
During Presidents Day week the much beloved 8-part a cappella group, Voices of Liberty, will be putting on special presidential performances at both Epcot in Walt Disney World and in Disneyland Park. You can catch the group in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot from February 18-24, and at the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland Park on February 18th and 19th.
My friend and co-worker from work, Mike, just returned from his trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago. Mike and his wife go to Disneyland every year for exactly one day. I should mention that Mike and his wife have ties to a Club 33 member and are usually given complimentary park admission with their lunch or dinner at Club 33, but this year, as Disney clamps down on Club 33 members giving out passes(who and how many), Mike just went ahead and got a couple of park-hoppers for the day. When he returned to work and recounted his agenda for his day at Disneyland two words kept playing over and over in my head – “You’re nuts!”. I think I may have told him that a couple of times too. He didn’t disagree.
His morning went something this. He got to the Disney California Adventure entrance just before park opening, stood in line for a bit to get in, then got in line to get a fast pass for Radiator Springs Racers. By the time he got in line, the wait just to get a fast pass for the impressive new ride was 30 minutes. Fast passes for RSR are usually gone within an hour or two of park opening but Mike got his and now he had valuable time to use before his fast pass window opened up. Mike and his wife stopped at Soarin’ Over California on their way out of DCA and into Disneyland. They immediately went over and got on Pirates, the Haunted Mansion (holiday edition), the Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, and Star Tours before heading back to DCA. Still with some time before the RCR fast pass window opened up, they went on Monsters Inc. and the Tower of Terror and then finally got on Radiator Springs Racers (they loved it by the way). They took a look at the other two Cars Land attractions and decided the rides just weren’t worth the wait – especially the ponderously slow moving Luigi’s Flying Tires.
It was lunch. I persuaded Mike before he left to not go to Blue Bayou for lunch but instead try out the new Carthay Circle Restaurant in DCA so that is where they had their lunch reservation. He was glad he took my advice. While I do like the Blue Bayou, the food is not something to get terribly excited about, it’s more about the setting. Mike’s verdict on the Carthay Circle? Outstanding – both he and his wife enjoyed their meals immensely and even got fast passes for that night’s performance of World of Color out of it. Would they go back to the Carthay Circle? “Absolutely” he said.
So after lunch Mike and his wife headed over to Paradise Pier and Toy Story Mania and California Screamin’ then back to Disneyland and Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Matterhorn. Right about then, the Candlelight Processional was about to begin out at the Main St. train station so they actually got a pretty good viewing spot by the firehouse just as a walk-up. After the Processional was over it was off to it’s a small world (again, the spectacular holiday edition), then grabbed a hot bowl of soup, and finally over to World of Color. After WOC, Mike and his wife were done, whipped, ready to call it a day. Disneyland park-hopping had beaten them into exhaustion and submission.
I remember those days, the days when you tried to cram as much as possible into narrow windows of time. I’d like to think that I have learned my lesson. I used to almost sprain my shoulder trying to pat myself on the back thinking about all the rides I managed to get on in a day.
Why? I was missing out, missing out on the real Disneyland experience where its greatest magic often lives in the smallest of details. My Disneyland trips now take place over several days. What Mike and his wife did in one day might take me three. In the meantime, there is morning coffee on a Main St. bench watching the people filter in; several “grand circle tours” on the Disneyland Railroad taking in all the park has to offer; there’s the words of a great President that few bother to take the time to see; there’s talking tiki birds and singing Hillbillies to smile and enjoy; there’s classic rides that many bypass because they feel they are “too small and inconsequential” by modern standards.
Talking with Mike the last couple of weeks, I think he has come to the same realization that I came to several years ago, that the best way to enjoy Disneyland is to just take your time as you go about checking things off your list. Remember, running is not allowed. Strolling works out just fine. Since his return, Mike has complained about sore knees and a bit of back stiffness. He has also said how much he wishes he could go back but this time “just spend more time there”. Mike’s days as the One Day Disneyland Warrior have seemingly come to an end. On his next trip, he’ll be much better off for it.
If you are heading out to either coast this 2012 December make sure to check out this Disneyland Walt Disney World Refurbishment schedule. Use this list to correctly plan your magical Disney vacation. Please remember that attraction availability may change at any time. (That basically means that Disney can close down attractions whenever they want to, but most times they don’t) Bookmark this list, print it out, or save it to your mobile device so that you can carry it with you in the parks.
Mouseketeer Club (Grand Floridian Resort) closed through November 2012.
Test Track (Epcot) closed through 12/5/12 for transformation to the Chevrolet Design Center. Read about the new attraction.
Bistro de Paris (Epcot) closed through 12/11/12 for refurbishment.
Courtyard Pool (Grand Floridian Resort) closed through late December 2012 for refurbishment. A zero-entry slope will be added. The Beach Pool and Slide will remain open.
Gasparilla Grill and Games (Grand Floridian Resort) closed through 12/17/12. An extended menu will be available at the Beach Pool Bar and pre-packaged food will be available at Mizner’s Lounge.
Typhoon Lagoon closed through 1/5/13 for annual refurbishment.
Ivy Trellis Beauty and Barber Shop (Grand Floridian Resort) closed through mid-February 2013 for refurbishment.
Epcot Character Spot (Epcot) closed through mid-February 2013. A temporary location will be available near the Fountain View Ice Cream shop where you can see Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. Goofy is appearing at Epcot’s main entrance, near Spaceship Earth.
Grand Floridian Spa (Grand Floridian Resort) closed through mid-2013 due to construction at the resort. The Grand Floridian Fitness Center remains open and guests may use The Spa at Saratoga Springs Resort.
Magnolia Golf Course closed 11/26/12-12/2/12 for refurbishment.
Palm Golf Course closed 12/3/12-12/9/12 for refurbishment.
Oak Trail Golf Course closed 12/10/12-12/14/12 for refurbishment.
Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) closed 1/2/13-3/19/13 for refurbishment.
Blizzard Beach closed 1/6/13-3/16/13 for annual refurbishment.
Mad Tea Party (Magic Kingdom) closed 1/7/13-2/18/13 for refurbishment.
Liberty Square Riverboat (Magic Kingdom) closed 2/1/13-2/7/13 for refurbishment.
California Grill (Contemporary Resort) closed 2/2/13-8/31/13 for refurbishment.
Disneyland Christmas 2012
Indiana Jones Adventure (Disneyland) closed through 12/7/12 for refurbishment.
Troubadour Tavern (Disneyland) closed through 5/22/13 for refurbishment.
Mickey’s Fun Wheel (DCA) closed 11/26/12-12/6/12 for refurbishment.
Big Thunder Trail (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-1/10/13, 1/14/13-1/17/13, 1/21/13-1/24/13 and 1/28/13-1/31/13 for refurbishment.
Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-1/17/13 for refurbishment.
Haunted Mansion (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-1/17/13 to remove holiday overlay.
Primeval World (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-1/23/13 for refurbishment.
Fantasmic! (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-2/14/13 for refurbishment.
Silly Symphony Swings (DCA) closed 1/7/13-2/17/13 for refurbishment.
Grizzly River Run (DCA) closed 1/7/13-2/28/13 for refurbishment.
Mark Twain Riverboat (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-3/28/13 for refurbishment.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Disneyland) closed 1/7/13-10/30/13 for a major refurbishment.
Disney World seems to think that they need to copy just about every good thing that Disneyland or any other Disney Park has. In doing so, Disney World has become just a bigger Disneyland. To me the best thing about having Disney Parks around the world is the ability to have them reflect their host state or country’s interests and culture.
It all started when Disney first responded to park guest’s questions of where Pirates of the Caribbean was when the Magic Kingdom first opened. Rather than building the planned Thunder Mesa(which you can read about thoroughly at Jim Hill Media) Disney decided to use those funds to build a new version of Pirates of the Caribbean. So, we went from an amazingly designed entire set of new attractions to taking us one step closer to a bigger Disneyland.
The Haunted Mansion in Disney World is the exact same attraction as it’s sister in Disneyland except for the shell and some recent modifications(Inside the Magic).
Splash Mountain is another attraction that falls under the magnifying glass when you talk about almost identical attractions. While the insides of the two attractions are very different, the overall concept and outside shell are almost exact copies(in case you were wondering, the Disney World version is much better in this case).
While I understand Disney’s need to start off with a base of similar attractions, they should keep attractions with their differences even if the versions at other parks seem to have better jokes. I am talking of course about the Jungle Cruise in Disney World. When the Magic Kingdom opened you could ride the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland and then in the Magic Kingdom and feel as if they were two amazingly different attractions. Now Disney is trying to centralize the jokes, changing names of characters in the attraction. Below is the Disneyland attraction as captured by Kevin at Tours Departing Daily.
By Kevin Crone
Along the same lines of the Jungle Cruise is the transformation of the Tropical Serenade into Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the same attractions as was in Disneyland. In the middle of this transformation is one of the dark moments in Disney history, the change of the Tropical Serenade into..duh…duh…duh…the Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management. This rowdy, loud Disney attraction starred Iago, Jafar’s cynical sidekick from Aladdin. The overlay of the attraction was meant make it popular again by infusing some nineties culture into it, but all it did was make it one of the most annoying attractions in the Disney Parks. Yesterland.com says that a fan described it with three words,“They ruined it.”
Now Disney is attempting to catch some of Disney California Adventure’s success with Cars Land and bring it to Hollywood Studios. MiceAge reports that Disney has moved Kathy Mangum, show producer for Cars Land, to Disney World without an announcement of what she will do there. Many fans seem to like the idea of Cars Land being added to Hollywood Studios, like the crew over at the Be Our Guest Disney World Podcast, who think that this would be a great way to draw a crowd to Hollywood Studios. I happen to agree completely with them, but I would much rather have the Disney World officials choose to draw a crowd with uniqueness. In the process they would build a bigger fan base and require Disneyland fans to fly to Florida to see their amazing new attraction.
While this article was from the perspective of Disney World being a copycat, Disneyland happens to copy almost as much as Disney World does. The only reason that I decided to detail Disney World today is because they always seem to be a bit wishy-washy about investing Mickey’s money.
At Comic Con this year one of the most coveted items were the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears being given out to promote Epic Mickey 2.
Just a little backstory on Oswald. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a cartoon that was originally created by Walt Disney, but was then stolen by Universal, whom owned the rights up until 2009. In 2009 Disney traded Al Micheals, an ESPN Sports caster to Universal and NBC Sports in exchange for the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. So long story short Disney got the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back and has used him in both Epic Mickey one and two, a popular video game.
Jumping back to the hats, yesterday Disney announced that the very popular Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hats would be coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World as merchandise. This time they wouldn’t be themed to Epic Mickey, but rather just to Oswald. Disney has released a picture of the hat(as seen above).
Disney also shared with us that the hats wouldn’t be the only pieces of merchandise to feature Oswald. He will also be seen on Vinylmations, Pins, and Apparel. This new merchandise line will be available starting October/early November says the Disney Parks Blog.
What do you think, could Oswald slowly be making his way into the parks? Maybe a meet and greet character or attraction? You will never know what Walt Disney Imagineering is dreaming up.
Disney has announced that they have decided to give a set of Matterhorn Bobsled cars that were previously used on the Matterhorn in Disneyland to the National Roller Coaster Museum. After recently replacing the cars and track Disney has decided that the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archive will take good care of the cars as they are added to the museum’s vast collection.
The cars that replaced the bobsleds that are being donated are pictured above.
“This is the ‘holy grail’ of artifacts for the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archive (NRCMA),” NRCMA Chairman Gary Slade said. “The Matterhorn started the modern era of roller coaster design and launched the themed ride industry.”
“We’re delighted to provide these pieces of Disneyland Resort history to the National Roller Coaster Museum, an organization that celebrates our industry,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of the Disneyland Resort. “The Matterhorn Bobsleds vehicles and California Screamin’ signage represent two of our most beloved attractions, from the first tubular steel-tracked roller coaster in the world to one of the longest and most thrilling.”
The Matterhorn Bobsleds was a marvel of engineering when it opened at Disneyland. The 14- story “mountain” was built like a skyscraper with multiple floors and cooling units. Not only did Disney donate the bobsled cars, they also gave signage from the California Screamin’ roller coaster in Disney’s California Adventure. California Screamin’ is the second longest steel roller coaster in North America. It features a musical soundtrack and the only outdoor inversions at any Disney park in the U.S.