How to Have a Romantic Valentine’s Day at the Disney Parks & Resorts

With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, you may be thinking about how best to celebrate the day. You could always curl up at home with a good romantic Disney or Pixar film!

But perhaps you’d rather spend the day at the Disney Parks & Resorts with your loved one?

In that case, I hope you’ve gotten your dining reservations done in advance, as it is a very popular day for a special Disney meal!

While some folks will opt for a fancy table service meal for some fine dining (and there are PLENTY of choices ranging from the atmospheric Blue Bayou at Disneyland Park to the delicious Le Cellier at EPCOT), maybe you and your loved one prefer to enjoy a real Disney meal with character? In which case, there’s very little that can top the magic of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom – unless it’s dining at Be Our Guest in Fantasyland nearby!

Personally, I think one of the best combinations over at the Disneyland Resort is having dinner and a movie. Now, you could (for now) visit the AMC Theatres in Downtown Disney and pair that with a meal, but really my favorite way to do this is right on Main Street U.S.A.! Continue reading


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

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

Cast Members Making Magic – Water Paintings and Leaf Pictures

In this week of celebrating what we are thankful for, my thoughts turn once again to the many amazing Disney Cast Members who manage to make magic for their guests in different kinds of ways all year long – day and night.

In a previous feature, I’ve noted how you can thank them in return. Please take a little time out of your visit to find a reason to do so.

For today, I would like to spotlight a couple of magical artistic moments I experienced recently at the Disneyland Resort that brightened my day with their unexpected appearances!

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch talented members of the Disney parks custodial team create Disney character water paintings with their mops and buckets, and recently I had a wonderful Cast Member at Disneyland Park create one just for me when he saw me wearing clothes featuring my favorite character!

A custodial Cast Member making character art especially for me!

The final result:

Cheshire Cat water painting.

It completely made my night when that lovely Cast Member did this!

Then, not long ago, I was at Disney California Adventure and found another custodial Cast Member creating art in a different way – he was making Mickey Mouse icons out of fallen leaves!

This was both a surprising, happy bit of Disney magic and art as well as a wonderful celebration of the fall season. And since I’m not quite ready to get fully into Christmas mode just yet, I wanted to share these lovely creations with you. Continue reading

Other Disneyland Resort Halloween Time Updates 2017

All Hallow’s Eve greetings from the Carthay Circle restaurant!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a look at some newer entertainment (The SCAREolers) and characters in costumes found during this Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. For today though, I’d just like to wander through the resort and point out some other highlights that I’ve enjoyed this season…

Disneyland Park

At Disneyland Park this month, I’ve been happy to see some of the Halloween standards such as the Dapper Dans singing Halloween sets:

And taking time to visit my favorite Halloween décor in the park – the Halloween Tree lit in honor of Ray Bradbury’s classic tale:

The Halloween Tree!

But as I’ve noted before, it was at Disney California Adventure that everything new was happening! Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017 – Extras

I should have known that just because I thought I covered everything new being offered for the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure in last week’s feature that I wasn’t done!

Sure enough – they have already plussed up the event and updated it, so today I’m going to give you a quick rundown on the changes and additions!

First of all, I did take a peek into the Sunset Showcase Theater (the former Muppets/now movie previews theater) and they are indeed showing an unadvertised clip show of all the Marvel movies to date leading into the next one – Thor: Ragnarok. It is similar to the Path of the Jedi clip show playing in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park except, as with many of the movie previews they’ve done at the Sunset Showcase Theater, there are movie costumes to go see as well!

Costumes for Black Widow, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye.

As a bit of a costume and prop nerd, I really enjoy these displays, whether they are at the park, at the D23 Expo (this year’s Expo is coming up soon!), or at the El Capitan Theatre.

Some new shows for the season are already being tweaked as I went back to see the Avengers Training Initiative again and they’d cut an entire segment (with power crystals) out of it. Not sure if that’s a permanent cut or not, but it did help the show run faster.

Avengers Training Initiative with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The park also continues to add to the Marvel offerings, seemingly in a testing phase to see what resonates most with the crowd. The results will likely ultimately be seen in the anticipated Marvel Land that’s been rumored for Disney California Adventure.

In this case, the newest additions include a Meet & Greet with Gamora in front of the Guardians attraction in Hollywood Land: Continue reading

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