Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Disney California Adventure Videos: Mariachi Divas and World of Color

by on April 20, 2014

Disney California Adventure videos Mariachi Divas World of Color

Watch these videos and see World of Color in a whole new way. (images by Seth Kubersky)

Just as Walt famously said that the Disney empire “all started with a mouse,” the magic of Touring Plans all started with a book — namely, the Unofficial Guide. As co-author (with Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa) of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, I’m proud to announce that preliminary work is complete on the 2015 edition of our Anaheim guidebook, which will make its way to store shelves in plenty of time for the resort’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Naturally, we’ll continue to refine the text right up until the time it is sent to the printers later this year, and we’ll be bringing you details on the changes made to the tome as its publication approaches in the fall. But for now, I wanted to share a tiny taste of a couple of the changes coming to the Unofficial Guide, via a few fun Disney California Adventure videos — featuring the Mariachi Divas and World of Color — that I recorded during my most recent visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Mariachi Divas

The Mariachi Divas are one of my favorite under-the-radar entertainment diversions found at Disney California Adventure, but until now they’ve be unjustly under-represented in the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. We’ve rectified that with an an expanded entry on this fabulously festive singing group.

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Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopening March 17

by on March 9, 2014

Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopening is set for March 17

Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopening is set for March 17 (photo by Seth Kubersky)

The wildest ride in the wilderness will ride again a little sooner than expected, as the Disney Parks Blog has announced Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopening on March 17. The iconic Frontierland E-Ticket has been down since January 2013 for an epically extended refurbishment, but will resume delighting Disneyland riders ahead of the previously-published April return.

The revamped ride will sport a brand new track (following the same course as the original), rebuilt Rainbow Ridge buildings (again, reconstructed to resemble the rotted originals), and new lighting and sound effects. Most notably, the beloved dynamite-chewing goat is rumored to feature an explosive new digital projection found on the roller-coaster’s third lift hill, formerly the site of an unconvincing earthquake effect.

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Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney Starbucks Opens March 10

by on March 8, 2014

Attention caffeine cravers: the new Disneyland Resort Downtown Disney Starbucks will officially open on Monday, March 10, 2014. The Anaheim resort’s newest Starbucks franchise joins the ones at Market House on Main Street, U.S.A. and Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe on Buena Vista Street. You can read the details on the Disney Parks blog.

Here are a couple photos of the shop under construction late last month:

Disneyland Downtown Disney Starbucks

All photos by Seth Kubersky


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Photo Gallery: Disneyland Dapper Day February 2014

by on March 4, 2014

Do you ever look longingly at old photographs of the Disney parks, and wish you could time-travel back to an era when guests got gussied up in their Sunday Best before visiting the Magic Kingdom? Twice a year you can do just that, thanks to Dapper Days. The most recent retro fashion celebration occured at Disneyland Resort over the weekend of February 22-23, 2014. There’s been plenty of photos floating around online of the most recent Disneyland Dapper Day from inside the parks, which were flooded with flocks of fans wearing high-fashion outfits from the 1920s through 1960s. But there’s been little coverage (until now) of the Dapper Day expo and events held simultaneously inside the Grand Californian hotel’s convention center.

Dapper Day in the Parks

First, here’s a brief look at a few of the ten-thousand-plus Disneyland Dapper Day participatants who were on parade inside the parks:

Disneyland dapper day

The queue to ride the Mark Twain riverboat stretched all along the Frontierland waterfront.

 

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“Rock Your Disney Side” Coming To Disney Parks

by on February 28, 2014

In a tradition that started back in 2012 to kick-off the “One More Disney Day” promotion,¬†Disney Parks have been throwing 24-hour, all-night parties for their guests. This year, the tradition continues in an event called “Rock Your Disney Side.”

The special 24-hour party will take place kicking-off Memorial Day Weekend (starting at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 23, and lasting to 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 24). The event will be held on both coasts – at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort.

This year’s theme invites guests to show off their Disney Side by dressing as either their favorite Disney hero or villain. (Costumes must follow the same rules that apply during events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.) During the party, there will be plenty of character meet and greets, special entertainment, food offerings, merchandise, and more.

To find out more about the event, make sure to follow along at the blog here, or check out Disney’s new website, rockyourdisneyside.com

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AT&T is Mobilizing Magic to Make Connecting Easier at the Disney Parks

by on February 20, 2014

For those who are AT&T customers and are visiting either Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort in the near future, you’ll be seeing better cell phone coverage, more reliability, and faster data.

You see, AT&T recently signed a deal with Disney to become the official Wireless Sponsor for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, and we are now seeing some of the components of this partnership coming to life.

To create a better experience for guests, AT&T has deployed more than 350 small cells, which are used instead of the big towers, as the small cells can be placed in more locations, can be obscure, and are more compact. Currently, the coverage has been better for offices, administrative areas, and the utilidor tunnels that are used by cast members. AT&T has also applied specialty network solutions to all the Disney theme parks, as well as the Disney Vacation Club resorts found in the United States.

The work is not done yet, as more cells are set to be installed at Walt Disney World in the near future.

An additional feature of the AT&T partnership is that AT&T is the official sponsor of the My Disney Experience app.

For more information, and to see a short video, make sure to visit AT&T’s website.

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Photo Gallery: Disneyland Cultivating the Magic Tour Part 2 (Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland)

by on February 18, 2014

Welcome back to the happiest horticulture on Earth, as we complete our in-depth photo essay on the Disneyland Cultivating the Magic tour. Hopefully you’ve already enjoyed part one of this series, in which we explored the fascinating flora found in Disneyland Park, from Main Street U.S.A. through Adventureland and New Orleans Square. In this second installment, we’ll examine the lovely landscaping in Frontierland, Fantasyland, and finally Tomorrowland.

Frontierland

We’ll start exactly where we left off, at the rosemary planter that separates Frontierland from New Orleans Square.

This metasequoia, or dawn redwood, has quite a history. Originally thought to be extinct, a living example was rediscovered in central China in 1941.

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Photo Gallery: Disneyland Cultivating The Magic Tour Part 1 (Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, & New Orleans Square)

by on February 9, 2014

Most guests at Disneyland Park are trying to cram as many attractions into their day as possible (and luckily we have an app for that), but repeat visitors who are looking to slow down and smell the flowers should really consider the Disneyland Cultivating the Magic Tour.

While not as popular as the often sold-out Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour, nor as family-oriented as the Discover the Magic Tour, the Disneyland Cultivating the Magic Tour is reasonably priced ($50, Annual Pass and Disney Visa discounts available) and highly recommended to anyone with thumbs the slightest shade of green.

As an added bonus, you’ll get a front-of-the-line access to a trio of attractions, and receive a couple cool souvenirs, which I’ll describe in the second part of this series. I already considered myself well versed in Disneyland’s horticultural history, but I took the tour for the first time late last year and came away with a wealth of new knowledge.

Here’s a photographic recreation of my recent Cultivating the Magic Tour experience, along with a selection of the fascinating facts I picked during our exploration of the Happiest Plants on Earth.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Cultivating the Magic Tour (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Our group is about to begin our Disneyland Cultivating the Magic Tour Adventure (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Like all tours in Disneyland Park, we began by checking in on Main Street, U.S.A., at the tour pavilion just inside the left-hand entry tunnel, where we met our guide Karen from Bakersfield, California. She quickly proved to be every bit as friendly, knoweldgeable, and articulate as you’d expect a Disneyland VIP tour guide to be.

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Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under the Stars Events Start Feb 5

by on February 5, 2014

Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars in February at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree (seen here with holiday decor) will host Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars in February.

Drive-in movie theaters are sadly a distant memory in most of America, and the majority of us can’t jump on a Disney cruise just to watch a flick while floating in the pool. But this month, Disneyland Annual Passholders have a unique interactive opportunity to experience a Disney “second golden age” classic outdoors under the Anaheim night sky, thanks to February’s Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars screenings at Frontierland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Each week, a different animated musical film is shown, accompanied by hosted trivia and (of course) sing-along sections. Passholders even get free popcorn, coffee, and cocoa! The venue opens at 5:30 p.m., and the film starts at 6:30 p.m.. Space is limited, so secure a wristband by presenting your valid annual pass after 2 p.m. on the day of at Westward Ho! in Frontierland.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Beauty and the Beast: February 5 and 6, 2014
  • The Little Mermaid: February 12 and 13, 2014
  • Aladdin: February 19 and 20, 2014
  • The Lion King: February 26, 2014

It’s worth noting that events like these, which were formerly promoted under 2013′s “Limited Time Magic” banner, seem to have outlived that marketing campaign. You can find all the fine print on the Disneyland website.

 

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Disneyland’s Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Find New Home at Knott’s Berry Farm

by on January 16, 2014

Billy Hill

Kirk Wall (aka Billy Hill) and the Hillbillies are back at Knott’s Berry Farm

After over 20 years of entertaining faithful fans in Frontierland, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies recently played their last show at Disneyland. As big fans of the Billys, we here at Touring Plans were heartbroken to see our favorite Anaheim performers unceremoniously “retired” by the Mouse after the 2013 holiday season. Now, we are thrilled to report that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies – aka Krazy Kirk Wall and the Hillbillies – have found a new home at nearby Knott’s Berry Farm.

According to the schedule posted on Kirk Wall’s website, the Hillbillies will perform at Knott’s every Saturday and Sunday (plus an occasional Monday and Friday) afternoon, starting Sunday, January 18, and continuing at least through April. We don’t give much coverage to Knott’s Berry Farm, but the Billys may make it worthwhile to take a day detour from Disneyland on your next trip!

 

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