Character Spotlight: The 60th Anniversary of the Alice in Wonderland Attraction Brings Out the Characters!

This is my 400th feature for this site!  And I had no idea going into this week what I was going to write about, but I knew I wanted it to be special.

Some weeks I have a specific topic in mind – something I’ve experienced already that I want to share, or something I plan to seek out. But often, I just visit the Disney parks and note what I happen to encounter. And oh boy, did I have an encounter yesterday!

This week – Thursday, to be precise – was the 60th anniversary of the Alice in Wonderland attraction at Disneyland Park. This classic Fantasyland dark ride is unique in all the world and remains consistently popular as it has been periodically updated or “plussed” over the years.

I actually didn’t board the attraction this week – although I rode it fairly recently with friends – as a) I rarely take the time to go on attractions since my biggest park love is its Mousertainment! and b) I got VERY distracted yesterday when this happened in celebration of the anniversary…

The Alice in Wonderland Character Cast of Disneyland Park!

YES! In the most incredible character moment I’ve EVER seen, SIX Wonderland characters all came together for a photo opportunity and some very lucky guests got to have a Meet & Greet and pose with the entire group!

To say I was having a total fan meltdown when this happened would be an understatement.

I’d previously met all six of these characters, but usually in groups of two, or perhaps seeing two groups of two greet each other in passing, but never meeting guests while gathered all together like this!

It was an unadvertised amazing piece of Disney Parks magic and I’m just thrilled beyond words that I was there to participate and get photos! Continue reading

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Character Spotlight: Redd the Pirate

We wants the Redd… Pirate!

Ahoy, mateys, there be a new pirate roaming about the Rivers of America at Disneyland Park – and her name is Redd!

I was fortunate enough to encounter this wench pirate as she was wandering just outside the newly re-opened Pirates of the Caribbean attraction with some guests.

Redd on an adventure with a lucky guest! (And I just have to say the detailing and layering in her costume is really beautiful!)

In my brief interaction with her, I was pleased to find the very essence of a modern incarnation of a Pirates of the Caribbean character. She would fit in perfectly with the films and would likely give Captain Jack Sparrow a run for his money!

I did not see Jack out meeting yesterday as he has been for the past several months, but Redd did say she was looking for him as he’d stolen her ship and she aimed to get it back! Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Pixar Fest & More Treats at the Disneyland Resort – Part One

I’ve been snacking my way around the Disneyland Resort these past several weeks sampling various new themed food offerings connected to the limited Pixar Fest event and some new menu items in general and I thought I’d share some of my reactions to what I’ve tried.

I’m calling this “Part One”, since Disney has announced that some themed treats will be leaving as of June 23rd (the official opening date of the Pixar Pier overlay) and new items will arrive at that time. I’m looking forward to trying what’s new, but here are my personal recommendations for and against what I’ve eaten lately and what’s worth catching before it disappears!

Let’s start of with the first version of the UP-themed donut that appeared at the cappuccino cart at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park!

The Russell Wilderness Explorer Badge donut

Now, I’ve sampled donuts from this cart previously and my conclusion for this donut is pretty similar: this is a large, good straightforward donut, though it’s not cheap at $6. Still for a sweet big snack at the park, I really liked it! A basic vanilla-cake donut with vanilla frosting and the badge was a chocolate piece on top. Solid. Good. The only reason I didn’t have it again is that for the price point, I’d probably opt for a different dessert or snack choice. Plus this one is now gone. It has been replaced with the current UP-themed donut served daily at the same cart:

Carl’s House with Balloons donut

Now this one on the other hand, I would not have again as I found it actually too sweet! (And I have a pretty high sweet-level tolerance.) Again a basic vanilla-cake donut, but the frosting on top was more sugary and the balloons are chocolate-covered candy along with the chocolate piece house. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this one just due to sugar overload, but it wasn’t bad by any means. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Doctor Strange’s Arrival and Captain America’s New Suit

Yesterday was an exciting day for Marvel fans at Disney California Adventure as the promised newest Avengers super hero finally arrived!

Sorcerer Supreme!

Doctor Strange has come to visit the park and Meet & Greet guests. He is a roaming character, like Loki currently is as well, and can be found wandering the streets and Backlot of Hollywood Land!

Here are some pictures of his first day out adventuring and conjuring:

Continue reading

A Different Kind of Entertainment – A Mad Tea Party with Alice & The Mad Hatter

What better way to celebrate a royal wedding today than with a tea party? A MAD Tea Party, that is!

Unlike Musical Chairs with Alice & The Mad Hatter at Disneyland Park, which is not listed on the daily Entertainment Times Guide nor on the Disneyland app, but still happens fairly regularly in the afternoons at Coke Corner, it is a bit less often that you can find Alice and the Mad Hatter hosting a Mad Tea Party for guests.

I’ve seen this spontaneously happen anywhere from Fantasyland to Coke Corner on Main Street, U.S.A. at the whim of the Hatter – it is HIS tea party after all! Although Alice does insist on crashing it!

There’s always time for tea!

Generally it involves the Mad Hatter inviting a few lucky guests to join him and Alice at a table. He provides the tea cups and teapot – and the guests get to have the fun! Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Disneyland Park Star Wars Update May 2018

While the Pixar Fest may be getting all the advertising for the Disneyland Resort right now, as I’ve noted over the past few weeks, Marvel has been getting a lot of love at Disney California Adventure, too, thanks to the blockbuster release of Avengers: Infinity War.

But that’s not all that’s going on!

We are still a year or so away from the opening of Galaxy’s Edge (or as it’s more commonly referred to – Star Wars Land!) at Disneyland Park.  But in the meantime, Tomorrowland keeps giving us plenty of options – both new and returning – to enjoy!

Although Solo: A Star Wars Story won’t open in theaters until May 25th, as of Star Wars Day last week (May the 4th be with you!), several new offerings were added to Tomorrowland and I highly recommend using lightspeed to head over there and check them out!

First, Rey has joined the “Light Side” Meet & Greet next door to Chewbacca at the Launch Bay:

And instead of one pair of Stormtroopers roaming the area and “arresting” guests (if you’re lucky!), there are now two pair wandering about. PLUS keeping an eye on them and everyone else is Captain Phasma!

Roaming Captain Phasma is magnificent!

She was amazing and intimidating and you really have to hope she’ll pick you for a photo opportunity as it’s not guaranteed and completely up to her!

And the reason we have so many First Order Stormtroopers and their Captain out is because Anaheim has replicated the March of the First Order from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando! Continue reading

Why Loki is the Perfect Roaming Character

“I’m the biggest troublemaker around here.” – Loki
“Sorry, but I’ll claim that title!” – Star-Lord
Okay, not really what they said, but I’m sure it was what they were thinking!

I acknowledge that until quite recently, with rare (Wonderland) exception, I simply was not a big character Meet & Greet fan at the Disney Parks. Maybe it was the character selection; maybe it was my own shyness. But when it finally clicked as to how much fun these interactions could be, as is usual for me when I find something I like, I threw myself into it wholeheartedly! So lately, a lot of my park days have been spent visiting characters. (Yes, mostly, but not all, Marvel characters.)

At first, when looking to interact with characters, I found the scheduled Meet & Greets at specific times and locations (found either on the Disneyland app or by asking the Cast Members at the respective character spots) to be my definite preference. I would know where I could go and when in order to talk to or get a picture with a particular character. I was less enamored of characters roaming – how was I supposed to find them if they could be anywhere in a land (i.e. Fantasyland or New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park or Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure) during a given period of time – IF you happened to hear they were out at all!

As someone who likes to plan, the spontaneity and randomness of roaming characters was more frustrating than anything else.

And then, once more, there was Loki…

And my perspective changed again. 

Over the past week or so, I’ve visited Disney California Adventure quite a few times because I was just so happy to have so many Marvel characters out and about. I was a bit peeved, however, that while Thor returned to a set Meet & Greet location, my favorite, Loki, was exiled (as I saw it) to being a roaming character, so it would be luck of the draw to encounter him and try to get a photo op with him.

But over a few days of being lucky enough to find him (fortunately Hollywood Land is not that big a place to wander!), I discovered exactly why he’s the perfect choice to be a roaming character out of any of the Marvel crew – even if he does attract quite a large crowd wherever he goes! Continue reading