Disneyland (CA)

Disneyland Preview — Week of October 7

by on October 6, 2017

Thinking of coming to Disneyland this week to check out Gay Days, the Halloween festivities, or just because? Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

The week starts with the continuation of Gay Days at Disneyland Resort. Gay Days are way for members of the LGBT community to get together with their friends and families and enjoy a few days at the parks. It is not an official, Disney-run event, so there are no special activities or merchandise provided by Disney, but the event organizers will designate one park for Gay Day participants to visit on each day. Disneyland Park is the designated park for Saturday and California Adventure is the designated park on Sunday, so expect more participants at those parks on those days. As with any large group converging upon the parks, we’re expecting an uptick in crowds for the weekend, with both days at level 8 for the resort. For more information, check out the official website for Gay Days Anaheim.

Monday is Columbus Day, which means that schools will be closed, and the parks will be busier than they would ordinarily be on a typical Monday. On the upside, bigger crowds means a more complete show schedule, so it’s an opportunity to see Fantasmic! and/or the fireworks if you can’t make it over the weekend.

Also, while Mickey Mouse has been talking at Walt Disney World for some time now, Disneyland is now testing a meet and greet at Disney’s California Adventure where Mickey, Minnie, AND Donald all talk, TOGETHER, to you and each other.  It’s pretty fantastic, so check out a video of it here. Note that because it’s currently being tested, no set schedule is available as this goes to press. We’ll let you know as soon as it becomes something you can plan for; for now, just keep your eyes peeled!

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Disneyland Preview — Week of September 30

by on September 29, 2017

It’s a great time to be at Disneyland Resort! Halloween decor is up all over the resort and the festivities are in full swing.  Read on to find out more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo: James Rosemergy

Halloween season is upon us at the Disneyland Resort now, and if you’re a fan of all things spooky, now is a great time for a visit. As per usual, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy are available this week and through the end of October, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout has received a Halloween makeover as well. In the evenings, it transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark. Expect long lines in the evenings for this attraction, and snag a FastPass timed for the end of the night if you can.  The attraction will remain in its normal mode during the day.

Mickey’s Halloween Party continues this week, and will be happening on Tuesday and Friday.  Make sure you check out Guy’s preview for all of the details, and to learn how to get the most out of it. Note that this week’s parties are sold out (as are all other parties this season). There is, of course, special merchandise available in conjunction with the parties.

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10 Frequently Asked Questions About Disney’s Military Salute for 2018

by on September 28, 2017

It’s time for Disney to salute our Armed Forces!  Again!  Yay!  I’d like to start this post by thanking Disney for renewing the Armed Forces Salute for 2018.  As a military spouse of 28 years (and a military brat before that), I am very familiar with the sacrifices military members and their families make each and every day.  Having said that, Disney doesn’t owe us a thing, and yet they are very generous with their discounts for military.  On behalf of military families, I would like to say it is greatly appreciated.

For as long as I can remember, Disney has had slightly discounted tickets for the Armed Forces at military bases.  For the last several years, Disney has also offered a very large discount, usually referred to as the Armed Forces Salute.  I’ve written blog posts on previous offers, but details change a little each year, so this is an update of those previous posts!

For what should be a pretty straightforward offer, the Armed Forces Salute can be a bit confusing.  To be fair, the military has lots of categories of military personnel (active duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired, separated, Allied military assigned to the US, etc…), so it’s no surprise there are lots of nuances to Disney’s Armed Forces Salute.  It seems like every time it’s announced, there are small details and restrictions that have changed and need clarification.  So let me see if I can help clear some things up!

1. Who is Eligible? – Any active duty or retired Service member, National Guardsman, Reservist, or Coast Guardsman is eligible.  Foreign military assigned to US military bases (with a US ID card) in the United States are eligible, as are 100% disabled members with an ID card that says “DAV/PRIM”.  Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are also eligible.  If the eligible member is not present, their spouse is eligible.  That’s it, though.  No matter how deserving some others are, Disney did not choose to include those groups within this promotion.  Even within these rules there are complicated situations, so call Disney (or ask in the comments section below) if you still have questions.

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Video: Meeting Talking Donald Duck, Mickey, and Minnie at Disney California Adventure

by on September 27, 2017

Yesterday at Disney California Adventure I was in the right place at the right time and was able to experience a rare meet and greet with multiple talking characters. Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse were meeting and they were very chatty. Check out our video below for the full encounter.

Overall the meet and greet was very impressive. The characters interacted with each other and told a cute little story about Donald roaring at lions. They also seamlessly responded to my compliments on their clothes. Maybe this is a bit hyperbolic but I could see a child experiencing this and remembering it for years as a highlight of their Disney visit. Even if you’re not a “character  person” at all you have to admit that a group of talking characters interacting this fluidly with guests and each other is remarkable. 

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Ask It Results: How Long is a Good First-Time Disneyland Trip?

by on September 27, 2017

It is truly impossible on a Disney vacation to “do it all”. Even when you think you’ve done everything, you can head home and hear about some wonderful thing that somehow you missed. And although we’d all love to be the guy who visits Disneyland every day for 2,000 days in a row, that’s not in the cards for most people. It can be especially hard for a first-time trip to know just how much time you really need to get the most out of the experience. Last week, we asked you:

If you are making your first trip to the Disneyland resort, how many days should you plan to visit the parks?

With 1,650 votes, here’s your results:

1 Day (16 votes, <1%)

With two theme parks, even though they are within walking distance of each other, there’s simply a lot that you’d have to cram in to make your first visit work with only one day. In one day, you can see highlights in both parks, but it would be difficult to see all the headliners, even with MaxPass and a touring plan in hand.

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Creating Your Own Custom Pin Art: A Tutorial

by on September 25, 2017

Rapunzel Pin Art

A great way to showcase your pin collection is by making pin art!

As far as souvenirs go, Disney pins are pretty high on the list for unique and fun merchandise. They have pins for characters, pins for rides, pins for special events and anniversaries, and pins for everything in between. Chances are you’ve seen a wide variety of pin offerings on your trips to various Disney locales. I love Disney pins. My husband and I are always quick to buy pins for special events and to mark specific trips. If we stay at a new resort, we’ve got to get the pin. If we visit during Food and Wine or Flower and Garden, we’ve got to get the pin. This is one of our traditions, and it isn’t one that will be going away any time soon.

The big question then becomes – what do you do with all these Disney pins? As someone who uses the pins to remember our trips, it is important to me that they don’t end up packed in a shoe box under the bed, never to see the light of day again. Enter my crafty side. Through trial and error (the first few attempts were NOT GOOD) I came up with a method for creating pin art. This is a fairly simple craft project that just about anyone can do. (Truthfully, the hardest part of this process is laying out the pins and getting them situated just right in the artwork.) This tutorial will walk you through the entire process and gives tips and lessons I’ve learned in creating a few of these over the years. (Spoiler alert – I learned a brand-new lesson with the pin art I created for this tutorial!)

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Disneyland Preview — Week of September 23

by on September 22, 2017

Halloween festivities continue this week at Disneyland, with even more Halloween parties! Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo – Disney (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland)

Halloween season is officially in full swing at the Disneyland Resort now. In addition to yearly favorites Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is getting a new Halloween makeover of its own — in the evenings, it will transform into Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark. The attraction will remain in its normal mode during the day.

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Updated: What to Expect from 2017 Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

by on September 21, 2017

DSC07067Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special extra-ticket event held select nights at at Disneyland during the Halloween season. The party includes a special fireworks show featuring a fly-by of Zero (instead of Tinker Bell), an exclusive Halloween parade with an appearance by a horseback-riding headless horseman,  trick-or-treating, and more. In this post we’ll talk about what to expect from 2017 Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.

Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place in Disneyland on select nights in the fall, typically running from late September until Halloween. In 2017, the party dates are September 20, 22, 25, 27, 29 and October 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, and 31.

Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party are now on sale.

What time is the Party?

Officially the Party starts at 6 pm on some nights and 7 pm on others. The party runs until 11 pm or 12 am, depending on the night. Guests with valid Halloween party tickets may enter Disneyland (OR Disney California Adventure, which is a new perk for 2017) up to three hours prior to the event’s start time.

Will I need a special ticket to get into the Party?

Yes. Admission requires buying a separate ticket just for this event. It’s not included in any regular theme park tickets or annual passports.

How much do the Party tickets cost?

There’s a range of pricing, including discounts for buying in advance. The official Disney website lists the following prices:

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Ask It: How Long is a Good First-Time Disneyland Trip?

by on September 20, 2017

It’s Wednesday again, and time for another Ask It. This week, we’re headed out west to see what you think about a Disneyland vacation. One question we see frequently is about planning for Disneyland trips–specifically knowing how much time you need. So we’re asking you:

If you are making your first trip to the Disneyland resort, how many days should you plan to visit the parks?

View Results

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The poll is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week.

Disneyland Preview — Week of September 16

by on September 15, 2017

Halloween is here!  Halloween is here!  OK, not really, but it’s September, which means that Halloween festivities have arrived at Disneyland. Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

Halloween season is officially in full swing at the Disneyland Resort now.  Both the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain return in holiday mode for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy.  New this year, the already brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is getting a new Halloween makeover of its own — in the evenings, it will transform into Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark. The attraction will remain in its normal mode during the day.

Mickey’s Halloween Party starts up this week, and will be happening on Wednesday and Friday.  Make sure you check out Guy’s preview for all of the details, and to learn how to get the most out of it! Note that this week’s parties are sold out, as are most other parties this season. If you’d like to attend, get your tickets sooner rather than later.

This year also welcomes the debut of some new Halloween-themed overlays at Disney’s California Adventure.  Cars Land and Buena Vista Street have brand new holiday decor, and there will be lots of seasonal treats available on a limited-time basis. Check out Rikki’s preview for more information about what to expect.

 

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