Rockin’ in the New Year at the Disneyland Resort 2017-2018

A New Year’s Eve countdown has already begun in Disney California Adventure!

While I prefer not to be out on the roads for New Year’s Eve, if I was looking for some great live entertainment that night, there’s a good chance you’d find me at the Disneyland Resort! With so many musical options happening this night, though, I might need to clone myself to be in multiple places at once!

At Disneyland Park, there will be DJs from Sleeping Beauty Castle to It’s a Small World and Tomorrowland Terrace.

If you want to rock out with a great band, all-girl rockers The Suffragettes will be performing at Tomorrowland Terrace (with the DJ spinning between their sets). The band sets are scheduled for 8:40pm, 9:45pm, 10:45pm, 11:45pm and 12:45am (subject as always to change).

Or if you’re in a mood to swing in the New Year, head over to the Royal Theatre where the Royal Swing Band Ball with Swing Cats Big Band will be playing at 7:15pm, 8:15pm, 10:30pm and 12:05am!

But that’s just at one park – if you head over to Disney California Adventure, there are even more ways to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebration! Continue reading

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Disney Parks Holiday Specials Filming 2017

Believe it or not, celebrities love to visit the Disney Parks just as much as the rest of us. While I rarely tend to notice them blending in amongst the crowds, I was fortunate enough this past week to spot one of my favorite TV actors there enjoying a Mickey Mouse-filled day!

I’m not posting pics, nor sharing specifics, as they were there on their own private time. But it was a thrill to see someone I’m a huge fan of being a Disney fan, too!

But sometimes in the parks when I see celebrities, it’s because they’re there to perform something for Disney itself.

For example, this year’s celebrity narrator at Disneyland Park for the Candlelight Processional was the God of Thunder, Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth! This caused immense excitement, but was also a dilemma for me. I happened to be in the park at the time the second show was starting on one of those nights and I love seeing Candlelight and the talented singers and musicians who perform in it, but I was actually trying to leave the park at that time to go over to a Marvel meet at Disney California Adventure! So, clarifying my priorities, I decided to forego the Candlelight crowds and head for the meet instead. It took half an hour in a packed, barely-moving mass of people (very claustrophobic) to actually exit the park that night due to the Candlelight constraints – ugh! But I finally got out of Disneyland Park and headed over to Disney California Adventure to have a wonderful Meet & Greet with Loki that night (Thor, being otherwise occupied, was not there). So yes, I guess I’m really a character fan now as well as an entertainment cast fan since I’d rather go to a character Meet & Greet than see an actor in person!

Another example of seeing performers at the parks in an official capacity was in mid-November when I happened to be at the Disneyland Resort on a day when the ABC Christmas specials were filming!

This year, ABC aired “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” on November 30th and will also present “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration” on Christmas Day.

As I wandered through Disneyland Park that day, I saw the stage where Jason Derulo would later be performing (though I did not wait in the crowd to watch the performance):

The stage in front of the castle at Disneyland Park for the holiday special filming.

I also noticed cameras and lights set up by the tree in Town Square:

Lights, camera…

It’s always fun to see a production in process, but I think the highlight for me that day was something very classically Disney… I saw some of the newest Mouseketeers! Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Christmas Treats at the Disneyland Resort 2017

I was tempted to call this Season’s Treatings feature the “Pastry Edition” as all but one of the new items that I’ve tried during Christmas Time at the Disneyland Resort involved pastries!

Let me start with the first one I tried – which was definitely a favorite!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Strudel Sundae!

Available at Clarabelle’s Handscooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure, the Cinnamon Roll Apple Strudel Sundae was the first new item to call my name!

Fortunately, it’s been a warm month, so the weather was just right for this cold treat!

Now, those of you who have read some of my food features previously will know that when it comes to dessert, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not very likely to appeal to me. That said, I do also have a great weakness for cinnamon desserts, so this one, although SUPER sweet (as in, prepare for a sugar rush upon eating it) was an absolute winner!

This unique mixture of actual tart apple slices mixed with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream atop a gooey cinnamon roll was absolutely terrific! (There may also have been some caramel drizzled upon it, but the two strongest tastes were apple and cinnamon.) I really enjoyed this one.

Unfortunately, the other options struggled a little bit in comparison to that one… Continue reading

Resort Hotels Mousertainment – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Piano

“Oh, but it’s cold outside…”

What is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Piano?

Inside the majestic Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, hotel guests and day guests alike may enjoy the song stylings distilled from the (appropriately enough) grand piano here!

While I tend more often to stop and indulge in the music when one of their talented piano players is working their melodic magic, I’m pretty sure I’ve been there in the past when it sounded like it was a player piano that was performing on its own. That may have been piped in, but in passing I thought it sounded like it came from the piano.

The musical mix here ranges from Disney classics (so those young and old can recognize and appreciate them) to seasonal favorites, such as the predominantly Christmas music filling the hall this month.

Who are the performers?

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I’ve had the pleasure of visiting when different musicians sat at the piano. Many play songs strictly from memory, others use books. Some will take song requests. Others have been known to occasionally sing in accompaniment to their playing.

When and where can I find it? Continue reading

Downtown Disney and Resort Hotels Mousertainment – Christmas Carolers at the Disneyland Resort 2017

The Beverly Belles singing holiday songs at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

If you’re feeling the need for Christmas cheer this season at the Disneyland Resort… umm… it’s everywhere!

But if you’re specifically yearning to hear some Christmas carolers, then Downtown Disney and the Disneyland resort hotels are the places to go!

First off, if you’re in Downtown Disney, you may want to check out Holiday Harmony – a contemporary a capella caroling group performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery.

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Holiday Harmony!

Their schedule for the season (always subject to change as with all things Disney) is as follows:

Four half hour sets begin at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm (or 7:30pm and 8:30pm – the band’s schedule notes different times than the park does! I’ll see if I can confirm which is correct on my next park run) on the following dates:

  • Friday-Sunday – December 1-3
  • Thursday-Sunday – December 7-10
  • Thursday-Sunday – December 14-17
  • Monday-Monday – December 18-25

Update 12/5/17: I checked and 7:30pm and 8:30pm are the correct set times for this group.

But it you want to step inside the resort hotels – and step back in time a bit – you can enjoy other caroling groups, too! Continue reading