Next weekend the 2018 edition of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will begin. It will run from March 2nd through April 12th. And as with previous iterations, it’s neither the food nor drink that I’m excited to sample – it’s the entertainment!
This year, different bands will be performing daily and I’m particularly happy that two of my favorite groups have regularly scheduled performing days throughout the Festival run.
First up is the rockin’ Grilled Cheese Soundwich! They will be performing on Mondays and Wednesdays and should have five 30-minute sets that would run between 12:30pm-6:45pm. For exact times, there may be Festival printouts available starting next weekend or the information may be posted by the stage. I’m guessing they will be on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay, but they could also wind up at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. When I find out more, I’ll update this post!
UPDATE 3/2/18: Yes, it looks like they are set for the main stage (UPDATE: 3/15/18: set times at 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, and 6:15pm):
Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are:
- March 5, 12, 19, 26
- April 2, 9
- March 7, 14, 21, 28
- April 4
Second is the swingin’ Phat Cat Swinger! They will be performing on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay on most Fridays and Sundays and should have three 30-minute sets that would start at: 10:45am, 11:35am, and 12:50pm.
UPDATE 3/15/18: They also have a set at 1:45pm!
Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are: Continue reading
“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?
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
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.
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
I don’t know how it happened, but I apparently missed this group when they were performing in Downtown Disney in Anaheim last year at Halloween Time. I probably was busy running back and forth between the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Sadly, this year, the Cadaver Dans are not singing publicly, only at Mickey’s Halloween Party itself. That left a Halloween-sized hole in my entertainment-loving heart that needed to be filled, so I went to check out The SCAREolers who are performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery this season.
I spent a full evening earlier in the week watching The SCAREolers. Their performances are half an hour long and they have two different set lists they perform over the course of four shows throughout the night (so: set A, set B, set A, set B). I found the group’s times listed on the daily events schedule on the Disneyland website, so I’d recommend checking there first.
Their backstory is that they are a few of the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion who have been let out for the evening to entertain the guests.
What I loved: First off, the costumes and the choreography were terrific. And out of all of their songs, I especially thought the Disney villains mash-ups were spectacular! For me those were the absolute highlights of each set. I also really enjoyed the Hercules retrospective (that surprisingly didn’t include the gorgeous “Go the Distance” which I think this group could knock out of the park… so to speak) – as well as their fun performance of the Hocus Pocus songs.
What I liked: the acapella sound and arrangements. The modernized, hip-hop version of the “Monster Mash” was particularly fun. I’m always up for a “Dead Man’s Party” and of course “Thriller” (complete with zombie dancing!) is a definite requirement for the season. Continue reading
Gamora and Star-Lord at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! And as usual – they’re in trouble and need help!
What is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!?
At this Marvel-ous show, guests young and old get the opportunity to boogie with Star-Lord and Gamora as they try to dance their way out of trouble with the Collector!
Gamora and Star-Lord with the boombox that starts all the commotion…
Star-Lord is his usual insouciant self as he tries to recover a boombox from under the Collector’s nose (or attraction?). Gamora just wants to get out of there while Rocket warns them over the loudspeaker to hurry up!
But of course, it’s never easy, and the Collector starts tracking the Guardians soon after they arrive. So when Rocket suggests using a lot of movement to fool the tracking system, Star-Lord starts a Dance-Off with the crowd and the musical merriment begins!
Who are the performers?
Groot, Star-Lord and Gamora at the Awesome Dance Off!
Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy, along with some cast members invite guests from the crowd to show off their best dance moves!
And if you’re lucky, Groot may show up, too!
Mousertainment Tip: At the beginning of the summer, I saw Groot at each Dance Off show, but recently I was there and there was no Groot and someone said he may no longer be at every set. So if Groot is a priority for you to see – and dance with! – I’d suggest stopping by a few minutes prior to the show and asking one of the Cast Members stationed in front of the area if Groot will be joining for that set.
When and where can I find it? Continue reading
Disney California Adventure finally became a full day park for me when The Mad T Party arrived (although it was almost there with ElecTRONica). However, the influx of all the wonderful new entertainment options for the Summer of Heroes has finally brought me another excuse to want to spend many hours in this park instead of Disneyland Park!
I had a busy day recently checking out most of the new sights and even a few of the new bites! So after that, here are my thoughts…
Hero Action Center quiz area.
I first started off in the Hollywood Backlot where I wanted to take the quiz at the Hero Action Center to find out which super hero I’m most like! Similar to all those social media quizzes, I picked the answers on the provided tablets that I most closely related to and wound up with Thor! (Now, while that may be pretty accurate, for the record, I’m still #TeamLoki!) After your identity is selected, a Cast Member gives you a sticker representing your super hero as well as a free comic book. I took the sticker, but skipped the comic as I didn’t want to carry it around all day. Still, freebies at the park always equal awesome!
Next, I noticed there was some kind of Super Hero Showcase going on in the Sunset Showcase Theater. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in there, but I’m guessing it’s the Marvel equivalent of the Path of the Jedi clip show that started in Tomorrowland for the Season of the Force. I skipped that one, too, since I’ve already seen the movies and I’d rather spend my time at the parks doing unique park things.
Black Widow and her S.H.I.E.L.D. transport!
As I was leaving the Hollywood Backlot area, I found Black Widow was out at the end of her “Heroic Encounter” before she headed back to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, so I took a quick pic while she was there. But I still wanted to see the entire Encounter later that day. Continue reading
Is this the Eye of Agamotto watching?!
aka: The Dance Party That Shall Not Be Named!
For the Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes, many locals were anticipating the return of a themed nighttime dance party for the park – preferably with a live band.
However, the promoted Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off! turned out to be a daily audience participation show stop ala DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive.
But oddly stealthily, Disney California Adventure actually has added a nighttime DJ dance party – only it’s not on the published schedule nor is it advertised anywhere! Instead you just have to sort of stumble upon it or follow the pop music issuing from the former Diamond Mad T Party dance stage in Hollywood Land.
Here you will find the as yet unnamed Hollywood Backlot DJ dance party! Currently only temporarily scheduled for the next week or two, it is likely to be extended throughout the summer if perceived as successful. Continue reading