Disneyland Breakout Bands – The Straw Hatters, Hook & Ladder Co. and Silver Dollar Six

For those of you (like me) who miss the original Disneyland Band at Disneyland Park, have you ever checked out some of the “breakout bands” that were formed with several former members of the main band?

You can find these folks anywhere from Main Street, U.S.A. to Frontierland to New Orleans Square – and here are some of the places I’ve spotted them!

The Straw Hatters

Pluto visits The Straw Hatters.

Pluto visits The Straw Hatters.

You may have seen these fellows in their red, white and blue checkered and striped outfits up and down Main Street. Generally their first set of the morning (in front of the Disney Showcase store on Main Street) is one where you can find them joined by characters such as Pluto – who loves to dance to their song “Walking the Dog” – and Donald Duck – who always wants to participate in their World’s Best Drummer contest in competition with a young guest picked from the crowd.

Donald Duck thinks he’s the World’s Best Drummer.

Donald Duck thinks he’s the World’s Best Drummer.

The rest of the day they can be found on the sidewalks of Main Street, but I also recently have seen them in the afternoon aboard the Mark Twain in New Orleans Square! Like the other breakout bands, they play a mix of jazz and throw in some occasional Disney tunes, too.  Check the daily Entertainment Times Guide or the Disneyland app for their schedule. Continue reading

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Where the Bands Are… Downtown Disney

Hiatus rockin’ out this week in Downtown Disney!

Hiatus rockin’ out this week in Downtown Disney!

As you’ve probably noticed from my features on bands such as Hiatus and Grilled Cheese Soundwich, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately seeing entertainment in Downtown Disney in the Disneyland Resort.

What started off as a month of “Rockin’ Wednesdays” at the stage by the ESPN Zone in September extended to October and now it looks like we’ll be seeing even more of these great bands in November and December!

And the lineup includes some familiar faces if you loved the Tomorrowland Terrace bands…

I’m super excited to report that fan favorites such as TOMASINA and The 80z All-Stars are scheduled to play in Downtown Disney along with other groups you may know from Tomorrowland Terrace such as Suburban Legends and The Suffragettes!

Not only that, but I was also thrilled to hear that the awesome local folk/pop band Faultlines has been sharing their amazing vocals on certain weeknights across from the former House of Blues location in Downtown Disney, too.

Here’s when you can find these talented folks performing for the next several weeks (schedule as always subject to change): Continue reading

Halloween Hiatus Monster Ball 2016 – A Wickedly Fun Event!

“The beautiful people, the beautiful people…”

Halloween Hiatus Monster Ball singers.

Halloween Hiatus Monster Ball singers.

Last year the Halloween show with local band Hiatus at the Downtown Disney House of Blues was my absolute favorite concert of the entire year. So this year’s event at The Grove of Anaheim had a pretty high bar to reach. I’m happy to report that this hopefully annual tradition was even more polished in its presentation than before with great performances from all of the musicians, singers and dancers!

The newly-named “Monster Ball” featured two comedic hosts – Frank ‘N Furter and Beetlejuice (as well as a special appearance by one of the Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters) – four lead singers (though both guitar players also got their chance to sing solos) and six dancers along with the talented band.

Halloween Hiatus Monster Ball dancers going a little… mad.

Halloween Hiatus Monster Ball dancers going a little… mad.

The dances were choreographed by the lead female dancer in the show and were absolutely outstanding! Some particular showstoppers were the girls dancing to “Dirty Diana” as well as always popular favorites “Thriller” and “Time Warp”. Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Halloween Treats at the Disneyland Resort

I’ll admit that I rarely take the opportunity to try any of the various seasonal food and beverage options that the Disneyland Resort brings out at different times of the year. But I was determined to shake up my eating habits at the Resort and try a few new themed food offerings this Halloween Time!

I had the chance to try six items (one other I wanted to try sold out before I got to review it as some things can run out before the month is over!) and I thought I would share my responses to them while there is still time for you to go give them a taste yourself.

The first item on my must-try list was the Bacon Cheddar Ale soup in a bread bowl at the Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure. This item was sampled in a tiny size at the Food & Wine Festival held earlier this year. I didn’t try it then but I’d heard good things from those who had, so when I got the opportunity to try a full sized dish of it, I couldn’t wait!

And…

Bacon Cheddar Ale soup in a bread bowl – with the soup “on the side” rather than soaking into the bread.

Bacon Cheddar Ale soup in a bread bowl – with the soup “on the side” rather than soaking into the bread.

It lived up fully to my expectations! This gloriously filling soup was plenty cheesy with bits of bacon to add to the savory flavor. RUN, do not walk to try this soup while it’s still available for this limited Halloween Time!

The next item I tried, I had very high hopes for. The seasonal Vanilla and Orange Soft-Serve Ice Cream being served at the Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company in Disney California Adventure certainly sounded like it could be the West Coast answer to the glorious Citrus Swirl found at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Alas, no.

Large size orange and vanilla soft serve ice cream.

Large size orange and vanilla soft serve ice cream.

When I previously tried the chocolate soft serve ice cream there, I was seriously underwhelmed by the lack of chocolate-y flavor to it. This time, the faux-orange-y flavor completely overwhelmed the vanilla flavor it was mixed with, proving to be a disappointment in both taste and texture in comparison to the simply perfect Citrus Swirl. Guess I still have cause to return to the Magic Kingdom for one of my all-time favorite desserts! Skip this wannabe and go for the real deal instead!

My next adventure was to stop at the new table service version of the River Belle Terrace at New Orleans Square at Disneyland. There was no signage nor menu listing for the item I wanted to try – the Loaded Bites – but there was no issue with ordering it. Continue reading

Resort Hotels Mousertainment – The Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

“One day we’ll both be reunited…”

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Mousertainment Memorandum: Welcome to my 300th post on this site!

I first found out last year that The Cadaver Dans were making some rare daytime excursions to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort.

These fearful fellows are the Halloween Time cohorts of The Dapper Dans of Disneyland (they have cadaverous counterparts at the Walt Disney World Resort, too!).

But in previous years, the main way to see them was to buy a ticket to either Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Last year, however, I was tipped off that it might behoove me to stop by the Grand Californian on the afternoon of a Halloween Party night. I did so and was delighted to discover that I could catch a set of these nearly-departed denizens performing from a balcony above the hotel lobby.

This year, once again I heard tales of the Cadaver Dans haunting the lobby with their mournful music, so I went to check it out… Continue reading

Halloween Time with The Dapper Dans of Disneyland

“Oh, look – a Mickey Mouse pumpkin! Happy Halloween Time is here!”

A couple of Hitchhiking Dans…

A couple of Hitchhiking Dans…

The show performed by The Dapper Dans of Disneyland can change with the seasons (or celebrations). But probably my favorite time of year with them is Halloween!

During this festive fall season, the Dapper Dans exchange their multi-colored costumes for orange stripes and their musical repertoire changes as well.

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A few favorites from the regular season remain (such as the song about the creepy “Cruella de Vil” and that Haunted Mansion ditty “Grim Grinning Ghosts”), while others are re-vamped (ha!) into slightly spookier versions such as the change of “Coney Island Baby” into “Candy Corny Baby” and “Sidewalks of New York” into a song about trick-or-treating.

Appropriately eerie-themed Disney songs are also incorporated, ranging from tales of “The Headless Horseman” from The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad to “This is Halloween” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Dapper Drew @ The Dapper Dans of Disneyland

“And he’s doing that for us right now!”

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Dapper Drew of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland is another of the multi-color, multiple role Dappers. You can find him some days singing lead in purple and on others singing tenor in yellow and on occasion singing baritone in blue.

And while he is talented in the vocal parts of each role, in the past few months I’ve seen him most often as a tenor and that means in the role of the jokester.

Each Dapper Dan can interpret their role by bringing their own style and personality to it. So a punchline delivered by different performers can be said each time in a different tone.

And Dapper Drew telling jokes is the resident brat! (But adorably so!)

When he delivers the teasing jokes about his fellow Dapper Dans during their repartee, his style is to take gleeful joy in poking fun at the others!

It’s always naughty but never mean-spirited because he has this elfin prankishness that allows you to forgive pretty much anything he says because it’s got such a grin and a wink behind it! He just takes such pride in the mischief and in the bad jokes he gets to tell that you can’t help but laugh (or groan!).

That smile means trouble with a capital T.

That smile means trouble with a capital T.

But while puckish troublemaker and happy bad pun teller are some of my favorite qualities about a Dapper Drew performance, there is more to him than just the humor. Continue reading