Character Spotlight: Gaston at Disneyland Park

If you run into Gaston at Disneyland Park, don’t take it personally if he doesn’t sign your autograph book.  His reasoning being, really, why bother to learn how to write when you look like this?!  (Fair point.)

So since he is a man who doesn’t have much use for books… or writing… or words… I think pictures are best to do him justice.

And while I’ve found that Gaston is more than happy to pose for pictures with guests – he’s also more than happy just to pose, which is fortunately what happened here:

I really could have spent hours taking pictures of him – and Gaston is certainly used to drawing attention wherever he goes. As it is, I spent a pretty good amount of time doing so and enjoyed the extraordinary fun of watching as he entertained and amused and charmed every guest he encountered! Continue reading


Show Spotlight: Disney Junior Dance Party!

Minnie Mouse, DJ Deejay, Finn Fiesta and Mickey Mouse at the Disney Junior Dance Party!

What is the Disney Junior Dance Party!?

Finn Fiesta and Sofia the First make some noise!

The Disney Junior Dance Party! is a show at Disney California Adventure featuring multiple characters from Disney Junior television shows such as Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, The Lion Guard and Mickey and the Roadster Racers. (Note: Vampirina was recently announced as also joining the lineup for the show later this year.)

Unlike a typical character dance party at the Disneyland Resort, this is a formal scripted show that runs 25 minutes. Kids watch the show – with a little audience participation to help the DJ keep the party rockin’ – and don’t have a lot of interaction with the characters here. The pace of the performance moves fast, however, so the little ones don’t have time to get bored despite the length of the show. The show hops from character appearance to character appearance with a connecting story about trying to get Mickey and his Roadster Racer friends to the party before it is over.

It’s a great introduction for toddlers to live entertainment since it features characters they’re familiar with and adds lots of light, sound and color – and a few extra magical moments with falling bubbles, snow and leaves. Plus the hosts of the show keep the kids dancing and jumping for most of the set, so it’s a great way for them to expend their energy while parents can enjoy sitting in the air conditioning and watching!

Who are the performers? Continue reading

A Brief Disney History of a Hatter

67 years ago this week, Walt Disney released his animated classic movie, Alice in Wonderland.

Or, if you ask the Mad Hatter at Disneyland Park, he may tell you it should more correctly be called “The Mad Hatter, starring the Mad Hatter, written by the Mad Hatter, directed by the Mad Hatter…” I think you get the point! If you start him off on one of his mad rants about this film, he may explain to you how Alice stole the spotlight from what was supposed to be a Hatter’s tale! So this week, to pay my respects properly, I would like to celebrate all things mad… Hatter, that is!

The original animated film character was voiced by Ed Wynn, a favorite of Walt Disney’s, as he would later appear memorably in Mary Poppins among other films. Wynn provided not just the voice for the character, but the visual reference performance as well.

A photo of Ed Wynn displayed in the recreation of Walt Disney’s office on the Disney studio lot.

To this day, Wynn’s incarnation of the Mad Hatter is well represented at Disney Parks worldwide.

In 1992, the Disney Channel premiered a show called Adventures in Wonderland, which featured the Mad Hatter living in a large hat-shaped house! Oh, and there was some girl named Alice around, too! The show ran until 1995. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Marvel-Less Summer 2018 Update

In an unexpectedly fast shakeup, it turns out that yesterday was the last day for the full cast of Marvel characters we’ve been so lucky to have these past few months in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure.

Thor & Loki, Black Widow and Doctor Strange have all returned to their regular Avengers’ duties. Gamora will also no longer be doing formal Meet & Greets.

We’ll miss you, Loki and Thor! *sniff*

I knew it had to end at some point (at least until the new Marvel-themed land is opened in two years), but it was still sudden and incredibly sad for the many regular guests and tourists who have taken such joy in the character interactions here for the past many months.

My understanding is that for now at least, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Black Panther (with his Dora Milaje bodyguards), will be the only official Meet & Greet characters – and should be staying in their currently dedicated spaces. I’ll double-check next week and if that’s not the case for their locations, I will post an update.

Star-Lord and Gamora (and presumably Groot) will still be doing the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! But that’s it for Marvel visitors for now.

The Pixar Fest is still happening and that’s got the Resort’s seasonal focus, so the Pixar Shorts Film Festival has now returned to the Sunset Showcase Theater with new shorts running through September 9th. But overall Hollywood Land is far less Marvel-ous as of today. And my heart is far sadder for it.

However, I was fortunate enough to have visited Disney California Adventure earlier this week and once again saw some amazing moments of the characters playing together. Here are a few examples: Continue reading

Mousertainment’s Favorite Bands: Uptown Funk – Tribute to Bruno Mars

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Uptown Funk gonna give it to you!

As my regular readers know by now, summer is one of my favorite times of the year to enjoy a live show. Is there any better combination than a warm evening and awesome tunes played by a great band?!

I’ve been lucky enough to catch Faultlines at the Paradise Garden Bandstand in Disney California Adventure recently – they’ll be back again this coming Wednesday and you may find TOMASINA performing on Friday! But with the shrinking number of live band venues at the Disneyland Resort, I’m having to seek further afield for my live musical entertainment this season. That’s where I’m grateful for various summer concert series all around the Southland!

Recently I encountered a fantastic Bruno Mars tribute band called Uptown Funk (or UptownFunkUSA per their social media).

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Saturday night and we in the spot – don’t believe me? Just watch!

Inspired by the style, sound and choreography of a Bruno Mars show, this band was pure fun to watch and a pleasure to listen to, thanks to its wonderful lead singer!

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Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Happy 100th Birthday, Captain America!

Wednesday, July 4th, was Captain America’s 100th birthday and the fans were out in full force at Disney California Adventure to celebrate!

Folks dressed up in their red, white and blue finest and gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” to Cap upon his arrival that morning (video link at the bottom of the article).

I saw a lot of terrific cosplay around and about for the day:

Oh, gee, now how did that Loki picture get in there? He’s such a mischief-maker! Sorry about that, Cap!

But I was happy just to be there to celebrate America’s Marvel-ous hero, Steve Rogers, on this milestone occasion! And in honor of the momentous event this week, I’m posting a few fun photos of him in all his patriotic glory! Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Pixar Pals Dance Party

What is the Pixar Pals Dance Party?

DJ at the Pixar Pals Dance Party

As part of this summer’s Pixar Fest, last weekend Disneyland Park began a nightly Pixar Pals Dance Party. Featuring a DJ spinning favorite pop and Disney tunes and leading guests in line dance choreography, this party is further energized by ongoing appearances of Pixar character favorites.

Each set of characters has a particular dance associated to them – from Russell doing a “Wilderness Explorers Hand Jive” to a “Green Army Men March” to characters forming a Conga line to a monster or food-themed dance. Plus other familiar songs with choreography are played such as the Macarena, so everyone can follow the DJ and Cast Members as they lead the moving musical fun!

Who are the performers?

On the first night I attended the party last weekend, along with the terrific DJ keeping the party going non-stop, special characters included:

Remy and Emile from Ratatouille

The Green Army Men from Toy Story 

Russell and Dug from UP 

Continue reading