Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Traveling with a Disney Curmudgeon

by on November 16, 2014

Photo - Pixar.wikia.comThey live among us. They look just like you and me. They are….the Disney Curmudgeon.

Disney Curmudgeon (Dis·ney cur·mudg·eon): noun. 1. A person who possesses a strong dislike or disinterest of all things Disney.

I know my fair share of Disney Curmudgeons. In fact, I live with one. My husband, Michael, doesn’t share my obsession and love of everything Disney. He is a great sport (He dressed up as Smee and Mickey Mouse for me, so he must be!) and there are some aspects of Walt Disney World he really does enjoy. However, whenever I bring up a future Disney trip, his eyes say, “Really? again!?,” but his mouth smiles and says, “We can see about that honey.”

Although it may be in my nature to throw the book (and by book, I mean the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World) at him and spend hours explaining why Disney World is the best place ever, it would result in a negative outcome on both sides. Instead, working with him and catering a little more to his needs can reduce the stress and make our vacation much more enjoyable.

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Honoring America’s Veterans: Flag Retreat Ceremony

by on November 11, 2014

Visiting the Disney parks, Walt Disney World and Disneyland, is a quintessentially American experience. Even though the parks have expanded beyond the United States and attract guests from around the world, they are still, to quote a popular attraction, “a tribute to all nations, but mostly America.”

When Walt Disney first dreamed of Disneyland, he knew the spirit of America had to be represented. “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to the world.” Even after 59 years, this quote is still true.

Walt at Disneyland's opening day Flag Retreat.  photo courtesy of Susan Emslie via Facebook

Walt at Disneyland’s opening day Flag Retreat. photo courtesy of Susan Emslie via Facebook

In this spirit, Disneyland and Walt Disney World have a daily Flag Retreat Ceremony. It generally takes place at dusk (5pm in WDW) at the flag in the center of Town Square. Honorary veterans are chosen to participate from each day’s visiting guests. It is a very moving ceremony that has quite a large group of followers. The Disneyland Flag retreat even has its own Facebook page, which honors the ceremony, the veterans, and the resident guard in charge of lowering the flag.

My Flag Retreat Experience

This year I traveled to Walt Disney World fell over the Memorial Day holiday. My husband and I decorated our resort room’s window that morning with red, white, and blue and then headed over to Magic Kingdom dressed in our patriotic T-shirts. Our goal for the day was to thank as many veterans as we could identify.

As it was nearing 4pm, we made our way towards the train station to have a bird’s eye view of the Flag Retreat below in Town Square. Just before we reached the end of Main Street, a group was gathered watching the Dapper Dans. We stopped to listen a few minutes and noticed a veteran in a scooter near where we were standing. As the crowd started to break, we walked over and thanked him for his service and all that he had done for our country, and then proceeded to the train station for those coveted seats.

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Meet the Characters from Big Hero 6 Beginning This Weekend

by on November 7, 2014

Hiro and Baymax


Yay! It’s here! Big Hero 6 arrives in theaters today! (And you can bet I’ll be seeing it tonight.) I’ve heard such great things about this movie, so you can bet that the next time I’m down in Walt Disney World, I’ll want to give Baymax a huge hug. (Look how squishy he looks!)

The good news is that I won’t have to wait long to meet both Baymax and Hiro Hamada and neither will you! You see, beginning today, guests will have the opportunity to meet the pair at Walt Disney World.

To meet the two, you’ll need to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where inside The Magic of Disney Animation, you’ll be able to tour the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology’s lab. Guests will meet the two in Hiro’s garage workshop.  (The two are located where the former Wreck-It Ralph meet and greet was.)

At Disneyland, guests should also begin to be able to meet Hiro and Baymax by simply heading to to Tomorrowland’s Starcade, where you’ll be able to visit Hiro’s robotics workshop. In addition, The Magic Eye Theater will be showing an extended sneak peek of the Big Hero 6. (Where Captain EO was previously shown.)

Who else will be lining up like me to meet these two?

#Everywhere: The Disneyland Results Are In!

by on October 29, 2014

2014-10-10 at 19-55-52As many of you probably know, I recently made my first trip to the Disneyland Resort in California as part of TouringPlans #Everywhere. A few months back, I wrote a post here about what I expected to find when I traveled to Disneyland. Well, now I’m back and will attempt to address all of my previous impressions, which were almost all made from a position of ignorance (as most of my impressions are). If you are planning a trip out west and do not want to be spoiled (like I didn’t) please read no further.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say, so let’s just get right into it:

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“Glow With The Show” Changing To “Made With Magic” at Disney Parks

by on October 20, 2014



Recently Disney rolled out “Glow With The Show” ears; they appeared at Walt Disney World last year and were introduced at Disneyland a year prior. Well, it seems that the concept is being re-branded, and it will now be known as “Made With Magic.”

In addition to being re-branded, new merchandise items have been created for guests to purchase and enjoy. These items include a Sorcerer Mickey wand (which will offer an additional function of changing the light patterns of other “Made with Magic” products), a Mickey Mouse glove, and a Minnie Mouse headband. The previously offered “Glow With The Show” ear hats will still be available, as well.

For those who are unaware, the “Made With Magic” items utilize interactive technology that allows the products to blink and change color in response to the environment you are in at the parks. Places in Walt Disney World that make use of the interactive elements include Fantasmic! and The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as the Celebrate the Magic castle light show and the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. At Disneyland, the products interact with World of Color at Disney California Adventure, as well as Fantasmic! and the nighttime fireworks show at Disneyland. When the merchandise isn’t interacting with the environment, it is in a color-changing mode.

The first item to arrive will be the Minnie Mouse headband, which will be available in late October/early November. The Mickey Mouse glove and Sorcerer Mickey wand can be purchased beginning in late November/early December. The ear hats are available now. Each item will cost $25 and be available at select locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

With the new products being offered, are you more likely to purchase a “Made with Magic” interactive item?

Details About Big Hero 6 Meet and Greet Opportunities

by on October 16, 2014



Who else is looking forward to hugging Baymax from the upcoming Big Hero 6? Well beginning at some point this Fall, you’ll have the chance to do so on both coasts!

For guests who are headed to Walt Disney World, you’ll need to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where inside The Magic of Disney Animation, you’ll be able to tour the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology’s lab. From there you’ll make your way to Hiro’s garage workshop to meet both Hiro Hamada and Bamax.

Unfortunately, this means that we will no longer be able to head to Sugar Rush; we’ll be losing the meet and greet for Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. Their meet and greet officially closes on October 24. (Guests looking to at least see Ralph or Vanellope will still be able to find them in the “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade” and the “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” this year.)

In Disneyland, guests should make their way to Tomorrowland’s Starcade, where you’ll be able to visit Hiro’s robotics workshop and see both Hiro and Baymax. Guests will also be able to see an extended sneak peek of the upcoming film Big Hero 6 in the Magic Eye Theater. (Where Captain EO could previously be found.)

The only detail we now need to wait for is the opening date, as it hasn’t been announced for either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. The only information we have is mid-November. Big Hero 6 rolls into theaters on November 7.

Best Video Games To Play Before Your Next Disney Vacation

by on September 26, 2014

Disney Infinity

Waiting for your next Disney vacation can be grueling. Especially when you get closer to the big day, it becomes almost impossible to focus on anything that isn’t magical and amazing and oh come on why isn’t it here yet? Utterly unbearable anticipation aside, I love the time right before a Disney vacation because it’s usually when I go back and revisit some of my favorite Disney things to remind me of the fun I’m about to have. If you’re reading this site, I’m sure this isn’t a novel concept to you. People watch classic Disney films, research any and all new additions to the parks and do countless other activities in preparation for their vacation. For me, I love to play certain video games that remind me of the Most Magical Place on Earth. For those of you that have the same passion for games, there are several that you can play that evoke the same mood and joy found within the Disney Parks. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite video games that you should try if you’re looking to get excited for your next Disney vacation.

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‘Wearable’ Halloween Costumes: The Royals

by on September 23, 2014

And we’ll never be roooooyalllls….oh! Hello! Welcome back to another edition of my wearable costume series. I hope some of you found my ideas for Mickey and Minnie Mouse helpful. In case you’re just tuning in, it’s my mission to make your Halloween costumes not only affordable, but comfortable! (Side bar: I sound like an infomercial ad. Think I have a future on TV? Don’t answer that…)

Photo - Angela Dahlgren

Little Cinderelli looking for her mouse friends.

Next up is my take on Rapunzel, Cinderella and Prince Eric.

Babies and Toddlers

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Disney apparel can be found everywhere. This Cinderella costume is essentially a baby girl onesie with a tutu on it. I found it at Target for less than ten dollars. If you don’t have a matching headband, you can always do what my parents did: Tape a bow to her head. They would take a small bow, attach it to a piece of scotch tape, and place it on my head…thanks parents. My mom claims it would just fall off at the end of the day without any pulling or pain. On second thought, just look for a headband.

Kids: Boys

There are so many different ways to dress like a Prince. Amongst all these interpretations, a crown and sword seem to be common props. If your little one has a shirt and tie, see if you can convince him to put it on. Hint: Offering a fruit snack or piece of candy may just do the trick. Now, I don’t condone fast food but if you have a burger king, stop by and grab one of their crowns. It would be a really cheap way to get your hands on one. For the sash, head to a craft store and see if they have ribbon 3-4 inches wide. Cut it to size, drape it across his shoulder to his hip and safety pin the ends together. Slick his hair in a nice side part and hand him a sword. Extra points if you find a cape to complete the costume. Voila, your debonair guy will be fighting dragons and meeting his one true love in no time!

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Using Disneyland Touring Plans and the Lines App

by on August 27, 2014

Radiator Springs Racers entrance -Natalie Reinert

I was determined to avoid lines at Disneyland as much as I do at Walt Disney World. Serious planning was needed.

As a Disney World veteran, there are two things I don’t bother with much anymore: park maps, and extensive planning. I know where everything is, I know when I want to see it, and I know how long I am willing to wait for things (about twenty minutes, generally). I think at this point my feet carry me from place to place without my brain directing them.

But for our first (of many, we hope!) Disneyland Resort trips, I knew that I needed to do some extra planning. Standing around with my face in a park map, trying to figure out where to go next, was simply not an option. I don’t even carry a bag in the park, let alone a map. But I needed a plan to get my family around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure without wandering aimlessly and getting caught in long queues. And, just in case of attraction breakdowns or unexpectedly long wait times, I needed the ability to make an on-the-spot back-up plan. How could I manage that in a park I’d never been before?

Enter personalized plans from, and the Lines App.

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Menu Monday: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

by on August 18, 2014

Trader Sam's drinks - Natalie Reiner

The Shipwreck on the Rocks and the Polynesian Punch in their souvenir mugs at Trader Sam’s. The Navy Grog, being off-menu, doesn’t have a souvenir option.

For such a hot spot for Disney super-fans, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar sure has an unassuming location.

Sharing a building and patio with the Disneyland Hotel’s counter-service dining location, Tangaroa Terrace, Trader Sam’s could easily be overlooked amidst all the drooping palms and towel-clad children running to the monorail water-slides. But word is out: Trader Sam’s, a tiny little bar named for the head salesman of the Jungle Cruise, is a can’t-miss highlight of any Disneyland vacation.

Inside, louvered “windows” look out on tropical islands, a la the Enchanted Tiki Room, and tiki gods gaze down from the rafters and walls. Notes and aged photos pay tribute to Disney films, Imagineers, and Cast from over the decades. Just in terms of exploring the archives and deciphering the inside jokes, Trader Sam’s is Disney-nerd heaven.

And so Trader Sam’s has become part of the Disneyland trip for in-the-know fans. One morning that I was there, in fact, every single person in the room was a Walt Disney World Cast Member or Cast Member-alumni–including myself, and the bartender.

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