Your subscriptions support new blog articles and research. Please consider

subscribing.

today.


Video: Full Performance of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure

by on May 27, 2016

We uploaded video of a full performance of the new “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” musical at Disney California Adventure. The video was recorded from the mezzanine level of the theater so you get the best view of the show’s impressive video projection effects. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page for more videos from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and much much more.

Review of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure

by on May 27, 2016 1 Comment

Untitled

Image © Disney

This is a review of the new Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure, which I think is officially called “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” but I’ve also seen it referred to as “Frozen Live” in other news stories and on signs/billboards. The show replaces the Aladdin musical which ran in the same theater for a whopping 13 years, as well as spawned a Disney cruise ship show and Broadway production. Aladdin was a fan favorite and huge crowd pleaser, so many were curious to see the Frozen show would be a worthy replacement. The new show is directed by Liesl Tommy, whose previous production on Broadway was “Eclipsed.” I’m a dumb and uncultured Disney blogger, so I have no idea what that show is, but a Google search tells me it’s very popular with critics and audiences.

A huge change from Aladdin is Frozen’s use of projection effects, there’s a ton of them. There are projections everywhere, including on the walls of the stage, the curtains that surround half the theater, the floor, and even sometimes the actors themselves. Thankfully the use of all that technology never gets in the way, it complements the story. Some of the show’s most impressive moments are when projections show movement from one area to another. There’s one instance which starts off near the castle in Arendelle, but then flies up to a snow-covered mountain. I got a similar sensation as when riding Soarin’ Over California; it looks that good. The downside to the use of all the projections is the lack of physical props and sets. With the exception of Elsa’s ice stairs, a few doors, and some other smaller objects, almost everything else projected on to screens or shown on a huge LCD screen that is used as the backdrop of the stage.

Image © Disney

All those earworm songs you know and love from the multi-platinum movie soundtrack are in the new Frozen musical. Of course all of the songs sound great thanks to the incredibly talented cast. Even if you’ve sick to death of “Let it Go,” you’ll appreciate the show-stopping way it’s presented in the show. A huge frosty staircase appears from the back of the stage and then rotates and swings over the audience as Elsa is climbing up it and singing. While that is happening, swirling snow and wind effects fill the entire theater. It’s all very impressive.

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion clocks in at just over 55 minutes, which means you need to be ready to dedicate a good chunk of your day to see it. Currently there are only three showings per a day. FASTPASS tickets are distributed first come, first served, and we expect them to sell out quickly every morning for at least the rest of the year (they lasted about 1 hour today).  There is a stand-by line available, but you are not guaranteed entry if you wait in this line. I heard that only 3000 people daily (all day, not each show) will be admitted from it. FastPass ticket holders are allowed to line up 1 hour before the show they obtained a ticket for.

Overall Frozen is a very enjoyable show that looks great visually and is a worthy successor to the previous Aladdin show. Even if you’ve watched the movie DVD 1000 times, I consider the musical a must-see thanks to its dazzling effects and wonderful cast. Have you seen Frozen – Live at the Hyperion? What did you think of the show? Do you recommend it to other people? Let me know in the comments below.

DSC00024 - Copy

Read the rest of this entry »

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of May 27, 2016

by on May 27, 2016

ICYMIIt’s Memorial Day Weekend! Safe travels to those of you going places this weekend and remember those who proudly served our country this Memorial Day.

Who is seeing Alice Through the Looking Glass this weekend? Is this a film you are excited about?

This week, we have news about the fastest grossing film worldwide (guess which Disney film it is?), Chewbacca mom, and more! Let’s dive into the fun!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

This year’s TEA report is out and most theme parks saw growth, even in spite of ticket increases.

STK Orlando has now opened at Disney Springs. Are you excited to try this restaurant?

Vacatia, an online time-share marketplace, has gotten been approved by Disney Vacation Club. Find out more. Read the rest of this entry »

Washington, DC: Spend All Night in the Air and Space Museum

by on May 27, 2016

2016-04-02 at 17-16-55The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is turning 40 years old on July 1, 2016 and they are celebrating all night long. Beginning at 8pm on July 1, visitors can spend 12 straight hours inside the fascinating museum along with special guests and the unveiling of their new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Here is some of what will be going on:

Launch Crew

This is a separately ticketed event costing $40 that will last from 8-10pm on July 1. Included in that price is a special program in the Moving Beyond Earth gallery, and a demonstration on what was done in the new Milestones of Flight hall. There will also be access to museum staff, special guests, and the all-important samplings of food and beverages. It is a 21-and-over event, so you can guess what some of the beverages will be.

Purchasing Launch Crew tickets also gets you guaranteed seating to the 10pm showing of Destination Moon, with live commentary by museum curators David DeVorkin and Layne Karafantis as well as Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. Tickets are on sale right now.

Opening Ceremony

For those not attending the Launch Crew party, the official opening will begin at 8:30pm outside on the spot where the building was first opened on July 1, 1976. Directly following the opening ceremony, the museum will be opened to the public: free of charge. Read the rest of this entry »

Dining Review: More Disney Springs Quick Bites

by on May 27, 2016 2 Comments

Last week, we took a glance at a few of the newest dining additions to Disney Springs, and this week I visit two more new locations offering up quick service meals in the Landing and Marketplace sections. My first stop of the day was at B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. (cute name, right?) for a quick bite for lunch. The stand, located at the beginning of the new bridge just near T-Rex Café and the LEGO Store, opens at 11:00 AM (though on this day, they were a bit slow to open – it was nearly 11:15 AM by the time the windows opened for ordering). I was greeted by a friendly Cast Member who took my order for a Three Little Pigs (serious credit to the person in charge of all these puns – a cute themed nod without being ridiculously over the top). Just like at Daily Poutine, I was told to stand off to the side whilst waiting for my food, and that I’d be called as soon as it was ready.

After about ten minutes baking in the infernally hot summer sun (just like Daily Poutine – no shade around here), I received the most adorable cardboard tray of food ever. It was, admittedly, a little slow in service, but everything looked and smelled fantastic, so I wasn’t really upset by the wait. I opted to pass by the standing tables (like you see at Food & Wine) set up just across from B.B. Wolf’s and made a bee-line for the nearby shaded planters for some seating and a makeshift table; I later discovered this was a smoking area – it didn’t bother me, but something to keep in mind.

Unlike my cup of poutine, this wasn’t really eat-while-you-walk cuisine – the flimsy cardboard trays/plates make it difficult to transport this stuff very far, but after a few bites, I didn’t care about the transportability of my meal. The Three Little Pigs ($10.39) is a kind of sampler platter, with three smaller pork sausages wrapped in cut-down hot dog buns, each topped with a different set of accompaniments (though I found out from a Cast Member later in the day that you are welcome to request all three to be the same “flavor”, if you so choose). All three variations start with the same base sausage and bun, then differ only in the toppings. The sausage itself was mild in flavor, pork-based, not too fatty, and had a snappy casing – a perfect vehicle for nearly any savory accompaniment you could think of. The bun had been grilled to slightly crisp, and was decadently buttery and fluffy – definitely better than any standard Disney hot dog bun I’ve encountered. Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016 1 Comment

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World held steady last week with only one park reaching a crowd level above ‘7’ on our scale. Other than that, most days the parks were about average, between ‘4’ and ‘6’. Crowds at Animal Kingdom were a little more volatile than expected but Magic Kingdom stayed very stable will all ‘6’s except Saturday when it went up one notch to a ‘7’.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016 2 Comments

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Midweek crowdedness is the new norm for Disneyland Resort. For three of the last four weeks we have seen midweek crowds as busy as weekends which is something that has not happened in years past. Value pricing for single day tickets during the week as well as the lack of annual passholder blockouts may be combining to bring an abnormal number of guests to the park during the week. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the summer months.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016

Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar Report

How Crowded Was Universal Orlando Last Week?

Last week, crowds at Universal started out the week low on our scale and by the end of the week had risen a few points higher. This matched the pattern predicted by the Universal Crowd Calendar except that Friday and Saturday’s crowds were a couple points higher than expected. I don’t believe the spike at the end of the week is indicative of an influx of guests since the crowds have settled nicely in the days since.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Universal Crowd Calendar Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Dani’s Best Week Ever May 26, 2016: Exploring Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and construction update

by on May 26, 2016 5 Comments

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a wonder to behold. It is one of the few Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts that feels far removed from the theme parks and yet it is just a few moments away from the most attended theme park of them all: the Magic Kingdom. When I set out to enjoy this week’s “fun day”, a visit to Wilderness Lodge was not in the original plans. But the best laid plans sometimes fall apart when real life responsibilities pop up. Faced with less time than I’d hoped, I decided to give into the nagging need to visit Wilderness Lodge that had been pulling at me for quite some time. My visit rekindled my love and appreciation for this resort and allowed me to explore some of the construction taking place at this resort as it prepares to expand its Disney Vacation Club inventory.

IMG_9800

The transition into the world of the wilderness begins the moment you turn right onto Timberline Drive and pass under the archway leading to the Security shack. The tall pines tower above, flanking either side of the drive. Wildflowers add pops of color along the way.

The lodge stands proud and majestic. It is an impressive sight to behold. No matter how many times I’ve visited this resort that first sight of the lobby never fails to make me grow wide eyed and wide grinned. The towering totems, the tee-pee light fixtures, the view all the way to the top floor, it’s all so warm and inviting.

IMG_9806

 

Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

 

IMG_9813

Many guests compare Wilderness Lodge to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and / or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have a hard time accept the comparison to the Grand Californian because the theme and style is actually very different than Wilderness Lodge. Grand Californian represents the Arts and Crafts movement of California with a tinge of Art Nouveau. Some of the rich colors such as deep wood tones and rich evergreen are repeated at both resorts, but if you are attuned to details you can clearly see the difference in the two themes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guests Can Participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” at Disney Parks This June

by on May 25, 2016

 

©Disney

©Disney

I am not ashamed to admit it. I am really looking forward to Finding Dory. Finding Nemo was always a favorite of mine, so I’m excited to head back into the Big Blue World with Dory, Marlin, Nemo, Crush, Squirt, alongside brand new characters.

To celebrate the upcoming film, Guests will be able to participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” on June 11 at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resorts. Here’s how:

    • Guests at Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort will receive a complimentary button to celebrate the day.
    • At the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, families can take part in unique themed activities, jam out to a live DJ, and participate in games and giveaways. Young guests can also attend “Whale Speak University” and give speaking the language that Dory seemed to master a try.
    • At The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot, guests can learn about the real-life versions of the characters from the film and see them in their aquarium home. In addition, experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Team will be on hand throughout the day to help guests find Dory and her friends, as well as give them a closer look at their world.

In addition, for those who didn’t know, you can now find Dory and some of her new friends from the upcoming film at the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction in Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion and at Disney California Adventure park.

Finding Dory swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.