Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

#TBT: Club 33 Before the Renovation

by on July 24, 2014

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, at least I hope Kylene Hamulak thinks so! I loved her throw back Thursday article so much I decided to share one of my own. This time visiting Disneyland’s Club 33 before the much debated renovation. I thought now was a great time to preserve the information in case the club emerges nothing like it was in the past. Now, I must apologize for the photo quality. Back in 2011 I hadn’t picked up photography as a hobby just yet. That plus my hands trembling with excitement led to some pretty sad results!  If you want to see (always) amazing photos, check out this old post by THE Tom Bricker.

I’ll never forget how nervous I was that day! I couldn’t think about anything else and I made my hubby push the button to check us in. When they first opened the door and we stepped inside, I immediately snapped a photo of the inside of that door! I’d been waiting so long to see it! It was surprisingly… red. Actually the entire entry was a bright red color with a lovely staircase directly in front of us and the French lift on the right. Maybe I remember that color so well because all my photos are just a smeared mess of that red! ;) We asked to take the French Lift up to our table and it’s really as tiny as people say.

Below is my first photo of the day that turned out. Once we sat down I took a deep breath and photographed everything on the table. Our server tried to unfold my napkin to place it on my lap and was a little confused when I stopped her. I was worried she’d think we were “that” kind of table but it ended up that she was really lovely and appreciated how much we treasured being there.

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After taking a few minutes to appreciate the dining room we thought we should grab something to eat. When we were at Club 33 you not only got to order from a gourmet menu, there was also a buffet to start your meal. The options were immense with cheeses, seafood, meats, salad, fruit, soups, and more. I wonder if this tradition will continue with the new club? It was an amazing way to start off your meal!

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Of course, we both ordered the Chateaubriand. I feel like every good Disney nerd would do the same thing. Am I wrong about that? I’d asked if I could have mine with the macaroni and cheese instead of potatoes but our wonderful server just brought me both! Everything tasted heavenly. I’ve accepted I’ll likely never get another chance to head back to Club 33, but if they’d just throw me some of that macaroni and cheese over the balcony I wouldn’t tell anyone! ;)

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If you weren’t already stuffed, below is a photo of the dessert buffet complete with the most amazing lemon cookies we’ve ever tasted. I bake all the time at home and I’ve tried a dozen different recipes trying to replicate these without coming close. It’s almost cruel to feed you so well before a dessert buffet like this! (Ok- if someone is making me a doggie bag to throw over the balcony put in a couple lemon cookies too!)

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The only thing that made those lemon cookies not so sweet was realizing my time in Club 33 was nearing an end. There was so much more I wanted to see. How was I going to sneak away and inconspicuously look at every corner of the restaurant? Our server came to deliver our bill and must have read my mind. She handed the bill to my hubby and handed me a fistful of Club 33 pens, assuring me that they had boxes of them laying around. Then she offered me a tour of the restaurant! I gleefully left my dear husband with the massive check and ran off to take the photos. Looking back at them I don’t remember all the details, but I’ll never forget the feeling of walking through a place I’d read about for as long as I could remember.

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Below left is one of the lovely lamps that used to sit on the Club 33 bar. I wonder if all these details will survive the renovation? On the right is a photo inside the ladies room. My sever told me I had to take a look in the powder room and I knew just what she was talking about. I couldn’t believe I’d waited that long to visit. The odd toilets were on my list of things to check out. But when I entered there was another woman in there and I felt awkward taking photos. We both waited around a while checking makeup and washing hands until I finally gave in and apologized for being tacky but I had to take photos. She burst out laughing and pulled her camera out. We’d both been trying to wait the other out so we could maniacally photograph the space! We had the best time taking pictures together.

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When I emerged, my server was waiting to show off the Trophy Room. It was empty and set for a group visiting later in the day. At that point my hubby joined me and they said we could have the room as long as we liked and show ourselves out when we were done. There was was so much history in this room. I found the microphone in the light fixture, found talking vulture, and took dozens of really poor quality photos. I’ve heard this space didn’t survive the renovation and I’m very sad about that. I’d dreamed about seeing this one little room for as long as I could remember. How many people don’t have a chance of their dream coming true now?

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Before leaving I snuck out on the balcony one last time to look out over New Orleans Square. Then we headed down the very red staircase and back out into Disneyland like it never happened.

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That’s how I will always remember Club 33. My connection is long gone so I’ll likely never get another chance to go and I’m not sure I want to. I had an amazing chance to visit the Club 33 that Walt had a hand in creating. While I’m normally a fan of change and new things being better, I just don’t know how they could improve what was already there. My sentimental heart will always love the Club 33 I’m lucky enough to remember.

Have you ever visited Club 33? What do you think about the changes? Do you have any questions about my experience from a few years ago? I hope you’ll let us know in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading and commenting!  

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Disney Offers U.S. Military Special Tickets and Resort Rates

by on July 22, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

In honor of our troops, both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will not only be offering U.S. Military special discounted room reservation rates, but they are also offering them promotional military ticket options.

The brave men and women who serve our country can purchase specially priced tickets from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015 for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. (Disneyland tickets can actually be purchased through October 1, 2015.) These special tickets may be purchased by active and retired U.S. military personnel (which includes active and retired members of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists). Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase the Disney Military Promotional Tickets for not only themselves, but also up to five additional family members or friends. Keep in mind that there is an expiration date for these tickets; they must be used by October 3, 2015, and they are non-transferable. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

At Walt Disney World, there are three different Military Promotional Ticket options, which include:

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Incorporating Disney into Everyday Life

by on July 19, 2014

t_logo_fbRecently, fellow blogger, Daisy Lauren, posted tips to beating your post-Disney blues. Inspired by her article, I have compiled a list of ways to keep the Disney magic flowing once you return home. Keep track of how many you’ve done and put your total in the comments!

Here we gooooooo….. (Peter Pan reference anyone? Yes? No? Okay, let’s move on.)

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Disneyland Character Meet and Greets: A Walking Tour

by on July 16, 2014

Mary Poppins and Bert

My friend Scott and I with Mary Poppins and Bert. I’m trying to make a Bert face.

Meeting characters is an integral part of a day at Disneyland Resort for many Disney fans. Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, in addition to the nearby Downtown Disney District and on-property hotels, have a decent amount of character meet & greet locations.

There are character greeting components in popular parkgoer activities like Disneybounding and the growing number of runDisney events. Plus, we cannot ignore the giant Elsaphant in the room, with waits for characters from Frozen often exceeding three hours! (No offense meant to the lovely ladies who play the very svelte and lovely snow queen.) And who can resist taking an Instagram selfie with Mickey?

In a short series, let’s take a walking tour of various character meet & greet opportunities across Disneyland Resort. First up: Disneyland Park.

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Disneyland Planning for Disney World Experts

by on July 15, 2014

Planning for Disney World is what I do, but planning for Disneyland is proving to be an entirely different matter. Joining the pilgrimage of Disney fans to Walt Disney’s original park? If you’re a Walt Disney World veteran, you’re going to need new skills for Disneyland planning. Or for some, old ones.

Disneyland Resort offers a host of new experiences for the Disney World veteran, such as World of Color at Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland Resort offers a host of new experiences for the Disney World veteran, such as World of Color at Disney California Adventure.

If you’ve been visiting Walt Disney World Resort long enough, you remember the days before FastPass+, My Disney Experience, even that weird blip when dining reservations were only available 90 days in advance. You remember planning your days with a much more loose feel, instead of racing from one reservation to the next. Of course, those days are gone. That knowledge is useless now.

Or is it? For Disney World veterans traveling to Disneyland Resort, planning a visit can feel like a return to form. So how does a Disneyland trip differ from a Walt Disney World trip? Dining, touring plans, getting around the resort, and fitting in extras and off-site adventures are all different with Disneyland planning. Let’s take a look.

Dining: 180 days prior to arrival, I’m rising with the sun to book Walt Disney World dining reservations. With a Disneyland trip, 180 days comes and goes without fanfare. You’ll have to wait until 60 days prior to your visit to make Disneyland dining reservations.

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Should You Visit Disneyland?

by on July 11, 2014

The great debate of Disney World vs. Disneyland rages on across the Internet every day. While I could never pick a favorite, some reader comments last week gave me the idea to share my opinions on what makes the two coasts so different. With that in mind, here are the top ten differences between Disney World and Disneyland to help you decide if you should visit Disneyland.

Size: Starting with the itty bitty castle, some could view Disneyland as a scaled down version of Walt Disney World. However, I look at it like the greatest hits! In a smaller space they manage to pack in all the best attractions. Sure, it takes a little while to get used to seeing Star Tours across the street from Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, but you can ride them both without setting foot on a bus! Even better you can hop between the two California parks with just a quick walk. It’s enough to spoil a Disney World fan rotten!

IMG_1118People: Imagine a summer in the parks without tour groups everywhere. That actually happens at Disneyland! Not only that, but the main customer base consists of Annual Passholders. This means that the lines generally don’t get as crazy as at Walt Disney World. In general, the guests are more laid back as their trips are not “once in a lifetime” experiences. The locals also mean that rides can be taken down to offer seasonal events like Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Seasonality: The downside of the smaller tourist draw is seasonality in entertainment. During slower months there may only be fireworks or Fantasmic on the weekends. Other offerings are also adjusted based on occupancy. Tools like Touring Plans become very important, as Disneyland only posts its park hours and schedules 45 days in advance. Historical trends are what you have to depend on when picking dates if you aren’t booking a last minute trip.

Planning: The upside of this “last minute” attitude at Disneyland is that you can relax when planning. Putting together a Walt Disney World vacation can feel like wedding planning! There are so many little details, and if you don’t call exactly 180 days in advance you may not get to try a restaurant you’d dreamed about. At Disneyland you can normally call just a day or two before or even (gasp!) just walk up to the podium for a table. We love the relaxed attitude at Disneyland and not having to plan months in advance.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: July 10, 2014

by on July 10, 2014

Hi Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever, and for me it really was amazing! I went to Disneyland!! If you can believe it, we only planned this trip a few days in advance! I did pop over to take a look at the Frozen Summer Fun – Live now that I’m home, but I’ll need a full day in the Disney’s Hollywood Studios to really do it justice. With that in mind, I’m excited to share my trip with you. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled Walt Disney World coverage next week. Let’s start somewhere delicious. This special cupcake was available for the 4th of July. The cake was apple flavored, and it tasted even better than it looks! 

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I wanted the first picture to look generic for the holiday, but now I have to show off Sleeping Beauty’s quaint castle. I love the lush trees all around. I remember when the Magic Kingdom had more trees, before hurricanes came through and took care of them. Did you know you there is a walking tour inside the castle? There are display windows that tell the story of Sleeping Beauty. I took too many photos to share them all. (It’s tough to whittle 1,000 photos down to about 30!) But you should look it up for your next trip.

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Review of Disneyland Single Rider Lines

by on June 26, 2014

Matterhorn Bobsleds Single Rider Pass

Matterhorn Bobsleds Single Rider Pass

Single rider lines at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park can be a very effective way to save time in your touring day at Disneyland Resort. Additionally, they offer another perspective of your favorite attractions through their designated queues. Being a single rider usually means you are placed with another group of guests, which can also lead to fun conversations and even potential new friends with a shared interest in Disney parks. Single rider lines are currently available at the following Disneyland Resort attractions:

  • California Screamin’
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Splash Mountain

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Disney Parks Celebrity Encounters

by on June 25, 2014

Disney Parks are swarmed with celebrities, from world-famous mice to royalty. Most of them have scheduled times you meet them, get their autograph and take tons of pictures with them. But what do you do when you notice a celebrity in the Parks that isn’t on the Times Guide?

It may have happened to you. You’re waiting patiently in line for one of Disney’s great attractions when you realize that you vaguely recognize a person standing behind you. And then it hits you: You don’t actually know this person – you just saw him/her in the latest hit movie! It’s so out of context, your brain needed a minute to make the connection. So, what now? Before you go over and start hounding someone famous for an autograph, stop and think before you act. Remember, they are there for the same reason you are: to enjoy a Disney vacation with their family; they’re not walking the red carpet to promote their celebrity status. Try to imagine how you would feel if someone came up to you and started bugging you. That’s what you might actually be doing if you gush, ask for an autograph or try to initiate a conversation with someone who is actually a total stranger.

Hugh Jackman recently visited Walt Disney World with his family and posted this shot on his Instagram.  Can you guess what movie project he's working on?

Hugh Jackman recently visited Walt Disney World with his family and posted this shot on his Instagram. Can you guess what movie project he’s working on?

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Guardians of the Galaxy Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on June 9, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

©Disney

Late this summer, a brand new Marvel blockbuster called Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters. To prepare for this huge release, beginning on July 4, guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland can catch an exclusive sneak preview, giving them an extended look at this upcoming film.

At Walt Disney World, guests wishing to see this preview can head to the ABC Sound Studio (the former location of Sounds Dangerous) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland, the preview will take place at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland (where Captain EO is currently playing. Disney does say Captain EO is expected to return at a future date).

The preview will be shown in 3D at both locations daily. This is similar to a sneak preview that is currently taking place surrounding the movie Maleficent.

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1.

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