Two Years of Mousertainment

It’s incredible to me, as I scroll through two years of articles I’ve written here on this Mousertainment site, to think about all the folks from around the world who’ve stopped by to check out the site during that time.

My extreme thanks to those of you who chose to stay awhile and have opted to follow the site and get notifications whenever I post new features. I hope I can further entertain and inform you in the next year.

It was my original intention – and one that I continue to honor – to celebrate the talented people and wonderful shows I’ve had the pleasure of getting to see regularly over the past several years at the Disney Parks and Resorts.

I’ve also enjoyed getting to cover the occasional off-site show or topic as well. But they usually have a Mouse-y connection somewhere!

As I embark on year three, I intend to go see more shows, discover new amazing performers and bring them to your attention. (Although perhaps at a slightly reduced posting pace – likely only one feature per week unless circumstances and subjects dictate otherwise!)

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It’s also my dream for this year to return to the Walt Disney World Resort as it has been too long since my last visit and I miss seeing the singers and dancers and musicians and shows there! If I can work out a trip later this year, I promise to return with more photos, videos and reviews of the current state of entertainment at that Resort! Continue reading

Mousertainment Miscellanea – I Didn’t Know That! #3 – Disney Floral & Gifts

Today we’ll spotlight another wonderful Disney Parks (and home!) service that not many people know about: Disney Floral & Gifts!

Did you know that you could have flowers sent to your Disney Parks Resort Hotel at either the Disneyland Resort or the Walt Disney World Resort?

How about Christmas stockings or even a Christmas tree?!

How about having your ENTIRE HOTEL ROOM decorated by Disney magical helpers and filled with Disney merchandise?

It can be done! With the help of the Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Makers team…

This is probably the best Disney service I’ve never actually had the opportunity to experience – but hope to someday!

At the Disneyland Resort, they offer options currently ranging from the $43.95 Minnie Magical Moment roses in a vase all the way up to Mickey and Minnie’s Grand Magical Welcome – Family featuring in-room decorations and gifts for $549.95. While at the Walt Disney World Resort, you can find anything from a Pixie Dusted Rainbow rose wand for $45.95 up to Mickey & Friends Ultimate Birthday Celebration featuring in-room decorations and gifts for $548.95.

The Dream Makers can also create a custom assortment for any occasion. But really, they seem to have something for everyone! Continue reading

Mousertainment Miscellanea – I Didn’t Know That! #2 – Disney Parks Recipes

This is an occasional feature to spotlight some lesser-known amenities that the Disney Parks offer.

Previously for Mousertainment Miscellanea, I discussed the Disney Parks Kennels, but in honor of Thanksgiving this week, my stomach… I mean… the blog… turns to thoughts of food!

Did you know that City Hall in Disneyland Park and the Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure Park are both sources of recipes for Disney Parks meals?

Sadly, they don’t have the recipe for every dish served in the parks, however, if you go to one of these Guest Relations locations, and ask about a specific park restaurant or dish, they can tell you what they do have recipes for and will print them out for you!

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My Labor of Love For This Labor Day Weekend – The Mousertainment YouTube Channel

I’ve had the desire for a while to find a place to showcase some of the many videos I’ve taken at the Disney Parks (and elsewhere) over the past few years. So I finally took it upon myself to start the task!

It’s still a work in progress – and will continue to be as long as I film more performances to share. But I’ve loaded about 200 videos so far from the past five years and hope you find some to enjoy!

Here you’ll find clips of many of the performers I’ve spotlighted on my blog.

They include everyone from The Dapper Dans of Disneyland and The Bootstrappers to the 80z All-Stars and TOMASINA, as well as local favorite bands like LIGHTS and performances from Disney Parks shows like Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular and Mickey and the Magical Map!  And of course, there are LOTS of videos from The Mad T Party and Diamond Mad T Party!

And while I’ll acknowledge using the unpopular vertical perspective in many cases, there is a practical reason for it – I’m sharing whenever possible an up close view of what’s happening and I found early on that if I take video horizontally, I wind up cutting off most of the performers’ bodies from the video. And since most of the singers who I admire can also dance, you’re missing half the performance without a full view!

I am working on retraining myself to take more horizontal video to post for larger groups or shows, but I hope you’ll enjoy the different vantage points experienced over the past few years. Continue reading

Mousertainment Miscellanea – Support Local Live Music, Theater and Dance

In the past five years, I have been exposed to more singers, dancers and musicians than ever before. And my life is incredibly richer for it! But live music has always been around me…

From a very young age, I was brought to concerts and theater to be introduced to the experience of watching skilled performers ply their craft live on stage. It no doubt instilled in me an intense love of music and theater as a result. I was blessed to be able to attend shows with recognizable names, and will always carry a passion for those shows or performers in particular. I was also fortunate enough to meet many of these talented folks thanks to help or happenstance.

But not everyone has that opportunity. And these days, as much as I admire popular performers from Bruno Mars to Beyonce, I have neither the finances nor really the drive to see them live in concert. Because I’m lucky to have the locals…

As I’ve discussed in some of the features I’ve written about various of my favorite bands that I love to go see locally – and repeatedly – there are an embarrassment of riches to be found everywhere from your nearby pub or coffeehouse to small theater or concert venue!

I particularly cannot express my appreciation enough to the Disney Parks for providing a platform for live entertainment – both in the performers it hires for its shows as well as the bands who are invited to play on property. While I still wish there was more to be found there currently, in large part, this is where my love of local talent was born and nurtured and now I cannot imagine my life without it.

If you live in proximity to a Disney Resort, I hope you’re taking advantage of all of the entertainment they have to offer – from the parks to the resort hotels to the shopping districts. Happily, there’s always somebody performing at these places!

For example, if I was in Orlando right now, you would definitely find me checking out The Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road in Disney Springs. This annual event includes terrific Irish music and dancing all weekend long! But since I’m not there, I think I’ll head on over to Tomorrowland Terrace at Disneyland instead to enjoy a live band while they’re still playing this month!

However, most people don’t live near a Disney park or a major theater or concert hall. Which is why it’s so important to go out and support the arts wherever they are in your own town – or those nearby. Continue reading

A Visit to Walt Disney’s Office – The Suite 3H Tour

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Recently, I had the awesome opportunity to visit a new display set up by the Walt Disney Archives at the Walt Disney Studios Burbank lot. The Archives team has recreated Walt Disney’s office suite as it appeared in the last months he had used it before he passed away. (This explains why a similar exhibit was removed from the One Man’s Dream experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.)

Currently, the only opportunity for the public to tour this space is as a D23 member who pays to take this very limited tour, and only a handful of people are allowed into each room at any given time. Photos are permitted, but no video or flash pictures.

The 3H Suite is located on the third floor of the “Old Animation” Building on the Studio Lot.

As you enter the suite with your Archives tour guide, you first notice pictures along the hallway of the offices as they appeared in Walt Disney’s time.

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Your first stop on the tour is in a re-created version of one of the secretaries’ offices. Walt Disney had three secretaries by the end of his career and on this desk you’ll see his appointment calendar, which was kept in triplicate so each of his secretaries had an up to date schedule of where he would be at any given time.

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Here you will also find a cabinet filled with just some of Walt Disney’s many, many awards. Continue reading

My Disney Do List

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”

I think that people’s dreams are as diverse as people are themselves. So what I dream of doing may be completely different than what you dream of doing – and that’s awesome! Because if everyone wanted to do the same thing, how boring (and crowded!) would that get?!

Some people dream of climbing Mt. Everest, of winning the lottery, or getting a medal at the Olympics. Some dream of becoming President or marrying royalty. Some dream of hitting the perfect note or creating the next iPhone or Facebook.

As you can probably tell from this blog, I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe Disney.  So it’s probably no surprise that my dreams are about Disney, too! If I wanted to travel the world – I’d want to travel it with Disney. And I’ll admit, I’d love to visit all of the Disney Parks worldwide, but I don’t really expect to have the opportunity to do so.

But there are a few Disney dreams that I have already had the chance to make come true:

I visited the Walt Disney World Resort. More than once. (And I hope to go back again in the next year or two. And again after that!)

I ate at Club 33. The real one – before it was totally changed and redesigned. The one that Walt Disney himself oversaw much of the design of.

Those were HUGE – probably my top two Disney dreams that I waited decades to achieve.

But there is still so much more I dream of doing – and a lot of it, I really hope and think I can do!

So here is my Disney Do List – the things that I would most love to do in the wonderful world of Disney in order from smallest to biggest!

  1. Ride in the tender seat on the Disneyland Railroad.
  • Really, I’ve no excuse for not doing this other than I always seem to be rushing from show to show when I’m at the park and I simply never took the time to either arrive early enough to request this unique perspective of traveling on one of the trains or waited long enough to do so. On the last day of the railroad before it closed a few weeks ago, the wait for this prime spot was several hours long at various times during the day even with multiple trains running. So now I have to wait till the railroad re-opens. And then I need to do it!
  1. Earn my Pilot’s Certificate by riding in the wheelhouse of the Mark Twain
  • This one, too, I only have myself to blame for not doing it. It was something one could request, though again there was always a wait and the spots often filled up quickly for the day. Although my understanding was that by the last few weeks before the recent closing of the Rivers of America, you could no longer request the opportunity, it was just being given randomly. I don’t have confirmation on that, however. But I do know when the Mark Twain returns to the Rivers, I will make it a priority to try!
  1. Ride in the Lily Belle Presidential Train Car on the Disneyland Railroad
  • This luxury caboose that was out periodically was usually just available in recent years to Club 33 members and their guests. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this at the time I went to Club 33, so I missed that opportunity. Every once in a while though, supposedly a few members of the general public have been allowed aboard. I hope for this chance when the railroad reopens, but it may be a rarity.
  1. A visit to Walt Disney’s apartment at Disneyland Continue reading