Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017

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

Happy Father’s Day to Disney Dads Everywhere!

The Disney Parks are filled with Disney Dads – from those pushing the strollers to those up on the stage.

To celebrate Father’s Day, I thought I’d point out a couple of places you can spot some Disney Dads at the Disneyland Resort!

I think it would be incredible to start with Disney California Adventure – where you can spot super dad Mr. Incredible along with the rest of his family in the Pixar Play Parade!

You’re incredible!

There are two different places in Paradise Pier where you may notice images of Princess Ariel’s father – at his namesake King Triton’s Carousel or inside the The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction. And if and when Paint the Night returns, you can see Triton at the head of The Little Mermaid float in that parade as well!

Heading over to the Hyperion Theater, Elsa and Anna’s father appears in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

Elsa and her father in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

And at Turtle Talk with Crush in the Animation Academy, you can visit with the awesome sea turtle Crush and his son Squirt along with fellow father and son duo, Marlin and Nemo. Some of these Finding Nemo characters can also be found at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day to Disney Moms Everywhere!

You’re Incredible!

Although every mom who visits the Disney Parks & Resorts can be considered a Disney Mom (as can those who are fans of the Mouse from afar), for this Mother’s Day, I wanted to salute some moms FROM Disney as seen at the Disneyland Resort!

Strolling through Disneyland Park this past week, I realized one can spot a few Disney Moms at the various attractions there.

For example, I took a ride on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh out in Critter Country and noticed Kanga trying to keep Roo out of trouble!

Kanga and Roo

I also went climbing through Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland where I spotted not only Kala and Tarzan… Continue reading

My Global Disney Parks & Resorts Bucket List

A hint/spoiler for the top of my “bucket” list!

Earlier this week on April 12, Disneyland Paris (originally “EuroDisney”) celebrated 25 years since its opening. Some friends of mine were there amidst the bustle and festivities. Along with various merchandise offerings, there was a grand promenade of 25 rare characters including those from more obscure films like Treasure Planet and Meet the Robinsons. Special appearances also included Jessica Rabbit, Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch, and – most exciting to me – the Cheshire Cat and March Hare!

And yet impressive as this was, given the opportunity, Disneyland Paris would still be lower on the list of global/non-U.S. mainland Disney locations that I’d most like to visit.

I’ve previously shared my “Disney Do” list of Disney experiences I’d like to someday have, but today I’m going to share my global Disney Parks & Resorts list of where I would go if I won the lottery or if someone magically said “you can go anywhere in the world today – where would you like to go?” (Because of course my answer would be somewhere Disney!)

5. Aulani

  • To be honest, I have very little interest in visiting Aulani as it seems to be too much of a hybrid – it’s Hawaii by Disney and therefore, to me, seems to be not enough Hawaii if I was looking for that authentic experience and not enough Disney if I was looking for that magical experience. It is lowest on my Disney priorities, however, if I really did win the lottery and could visit EVERY Disney location in the world, I’d certainly stop here, too. The resort looks lovely and the lazy river looks very relaxing. If I was doing a global tour, this would be my final stop to just slow down and rest at the end of it all.

4. Disneyland Paris

  • The home of the first Alice in Wonderland maze attraction (this one dedicated to the original animated version of the film) also has a unique Ratatouille-themed area in its Walt Disney Studios Park. While I’d start with those two attractions, I’d also be interested in seeing their parades and lights and fireworks spectaculars, along with the Paris-exclusive live shows such as Forest of Enchantment and Mickey and the Magician. I also like that their interpretation of Tomorrowland – called Discoveryland – has a steampunk vibe to it, and of course visiting their Phantom Manor attraction (their variation on the Haunted Mansion) and seeing the dragon that lies beneath their castle would be musts, too! Continue reading

T-Time Marches On

A year ago this week, the Diamond Mad T Party iteration of the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure closed. So for the past several days, much of the T fandom has been in a reflective mood – some leaning towards mourning again, others towards nostalgia. Still others expressed gratitude for what we had and how the community has continued in the wake of the end of a show that touched so many lives for its four years of existence.

Closing T-ime – March 30, 2016.

Yesterday I wandered over to T’s former home in the Hollywood Backlot area – currently mostly filled with Food & Wine Festival décor like a food booth, a soundstage with merchandise, and a culinary demonstration set up on the former T dance stage. I also saw what looked like a temporary new stage set up to accommodate the visiting performing school bands while the dance stage is currently occupied. (Although some have theorized that perhaps this could be the new location for the upcoming entertainment for the Summer of Heroes.)

Temporary performing stage in the Hollywood Backlot.

You’ll notice next to that stage the remnants of the House of Cards bar still stands, a lone reminder of what used to be here.

Also from Hollywood Land (and really from just about everywhere in the Disneyland Resort), you can see the rising/evolving Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT overlay engulfing the former Tower of Terror. Another stark reminder that the Resort will always evolve – whether you like it or not. Continue reading

Beauty and the Beast Limited Time Offerings at the Disneyland Resort

Stained glass decoration at the Red Rose Taverne.

As I mentioned last month, I was very much looking forward to checking out some of the new Beauty and the Beast promotions happening at the Disneyland Resort starting this month. Now that I’ve had time to visit some of them (and a few more than once!), I thought I’d share some details on what you may find there!

Enchanted Rose at the Red Rose Taverne – it glows!

Definitely my favorite temporary addition – one that I wish would become permanent – is the overlay of the Village Haus counter service restaurant into the Beauty and the Beast-themed Red Rose Taverne. Not only is the theming overlay wonderful – as the original Pinocchio-themed decorations and artwork have been covered up or replaced by tributes to Belle, Beast and Gaston – but the food is a massive improvement as well!

I have now eaten there three times and despite my wanting to try multiple options there (the beef poutine and the grey stuff cupcake are still of interest!), I keep returning for the wonderful Beast’s Burger with pommes frites! Continue reading

The Princess and The Super Hero – Limited Time Events at the Disneyland Resort in 2017

The Princess and the Super Hero are coming soon – no, I’m not talking about runDisney marathons!

I’d actually originally planned to write something Valentine-themed this week, however, such major news was released over the past few days for the Disneyland Resort that I had to switch gears and address it all!

The resort announced two major themed initiatives for spring and summer 2017 – one at Disneyland Park and one at Disney California Adventure.

First, let’s look at what’s coming to Disneyland Park very soon!

While no specific dates were announced for these opportunities, with the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie coming out in March, I think it’s safe to say most of these will be happening any day now!

First, the Village Haus counter service restaurant in Fantasyland will be getting a Beauty and the Beast French-inspired eatery overlay to temporarily transform into the Red Rose Taverne! I can’t wait to sample some of the new food offerings – including hopefully a West Coast version of “The Grey Stuff” cupcake! While this location won’t quite match Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest restaurant, it will be something with presumably a few less antlers than Gaston’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom. Then again… given the word that they will be theming the venue into different rooms, perhaps one may carry Gaston’s decorating touches after all!

This is good because… Gaston will return to the area as a roaming character! Most recently brought in to occasionally wander Fantasyland last year, he was still a pretty rare character to find. He never stopped to have a line for photos, you just had to be lucky and timely to ask for a quick pic as he walked around. Although if you flattered his ego, he might pause to pose for you!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

I still prefer his dedicated Meet & Greet at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, but I’m happy to see Gaston wherever he is! Continue reading