Character Spotlight: Happy 100th Birthday, Captain America!

Wednesday, July 4th, was Captain America’s 100th birthday and the fans were out in full force at Disney California Adventure to celebrate!

Folks dressed up in their red, white and blue finest and gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” to Cap upon his arrival that morning (video link at the bottom of the article).

I saw a lot of terrific cosplay around and about for the day:

Oh, gee, now how did that Loki picture get in there? He’s such a mischief-maker! Sorry about that, Cap!

But I was happy just to be there to celebrate America’s Marvel-ous hero, Steve Rogers, on this milestone occasion! And in honor of the momentous event this week, I’m posting a few fun photos of him in all his patriotic glory! Continue reading

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Why I’m Just a Little Jealous of Other Disney Parks This Summer

Normally I think I could safely argue that when it comes to entertainment, the Disneyland Resort can hold its own – and often top – the offerings of any other Disney Parks & Resorts.

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The Pixarmonic Orchestra in their new Pixar Promenade home!

That said, this summer for Pixar Fest, they only introduced one new show – the Pixarmonic Orchestra, who as of today take up residence in their new bandshell location at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure. Otherwise, we just had a parade park swap – and in my personal opinion, the Pixar Play Parade seems a bit lost at Disneyland Park as I think it was a much better fit at Disney California Adventure, whereas Paint the Night finally has room to breathe and lots of great viewing locations at Disney California Adventure even more so than it did at Disneyland Park.  Overall I think it was a wash switching the two parades.

So I’m going to admit that I’m a wee bit jealous (or in one particular case – a whole lotta jealous) of some of the shows happening at other Disney Parks this summer and if I could travel to any of them, here’s where I would go and why:

EPCOT at Walt Disney World

Through August 19th, the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase is host to the show: Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! featuring a visiting rock band from Xandar and guest appearances by Star-Lord and Gamora.

Performing live musical selections from the two Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix soundtracks, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this show that plays several times daily! Check the My Disney Experience app for times but be aware this show can often be affected/shut down due to summer storms.

While I wouldn’t trade the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! at Disney California Adventure for anything, I would be absolutely thrilled if when the Dance-Off ended for the evening, Star-Lord and Gamora could hop over to a stage in the Hollywood Backlot and rock out with a crowd that has been sorely missing a regular nighttime live rock band since the Diamond version of the Mad T Party ended two years ago. Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Pixar Fest & More Treats at the Disneyland Resort – Part One

I’ve been snacking my way around the Disneyland Resort these past several weeks sampling various new themed food offerings connected to the limited Pixar Fest event and some new menu items in general and I thought I’d share some of my reactions to what I’ve tried.

I’m calling this “Part One”, since Disney has announced that some themed treats will be leaving as of June 23rd (the official opening date of the Pixar Pier overlay) and new items will arrive at that time. I’m looking forward to trying what’s new, but here are my personal recommendations for and against what I’ve eaten lately and what’s worth catching before it disappears!

Let’s start of with the first version of the UP-themed donut that appeared at the cappuccino cart at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park!

The Russell Wilderness Explorer Badge donut

Now, I’ve sampled donuts from this cart previously and my conclusion for this donut is pretty similar: this is a large, good straightforward donut, though it’s not cheap at $6. Still for a sweet big snack at the park, I really liked it! A basic vanilla-cake donut with vanilla frosting and the badge was a chocolate piece on top. Solid. Good. The only reason I didn’t have it again is that for the price point, I’d probably opt for a different dessert or snack choice. Plus this one is now gone. It has been replaced with the current UP-themed donut served daily at the same cart:

Carl’s House with Balloons donut

Now this one on the other hand, I would not have again as I found it actually too sweet! (And I have a pretty high sweet-level tolerance.) Again a basic vanilla-cake donut, but the frosting on top was more sugary and the balloons are chocolate-covered candy along with the chocolate piece house. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this one just due to sugar overload, but it wasn’t bad by any means. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Doctor Strange’s Arrival and Captain America’s New Suit

Yesterday was an exciting day for Marvel fans at Disney California Adventure as the promised newest Avengers super hero finally arrived!

Sorcerer Supreme!

Doctor Strange has come to visit the park and Meet & Greet guests. He is a roaming character, like Loki currently is as well, and can be found wandering the streets and Backlot of Hollywood Land!

Here are some pictures of his first day out adventuring and conjuring:

Continue reading

Why Loki is the Perfect Roaming Character

“I’m the biggest troublemaker around here.” – Loki
“Sorry, but I’ll claim that title!” – Star-Lord
Okay, not really what they said, but I’m sure it was what they were thinking!

I acknowledge that until quite recently, with rare (Wonderland) exception, I simply was not a big character Meet & Greet fan at the Disney Parks. Maybe it was the character selection; maybe it was my own shyness. But when it finally clicked as to how much fun these interactions could be, as is usual for me when I find something I like, I threw myself into it wholeheartedly! So lately, a lot of my park days have been spent visiting characters. (Yes, mostly, but not all, Marvel characters.)

At first, when looking to interact with characters, I found the scheduled Meet & Greets at specific times and locations (found either on the Disneyland app or by asking the Cast Members at the respective character spots) to be my definite preference. I would know where I could go and when in order to talk to or get a picture with a particular character. I was less enamored of characters roaming – how was I supposed to find them if they could be anywhere in a land (i.e. Fantasyland or New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park or Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure) during a given period of time – IF you happened to hear they were out at all!

As someone who likes to plan, the spontaneity and randomness of roaming characters was more frustrating than anything else.

And then, once more, there was Loki…

And my perspective changed again. 

Over the past week or so, I’ve visited Disney California Adventure quite a few times because I was just so happy to have so many Marvel characters out and about. I was a bit peeved, however, that while Thor returned to a set Meet & Greet location, my favorite, Loki, was exiled (as I saw it) to being a roaming character, so it would be luck of the draw to encounter him and try to get a photo op with him.

But over a few days of being lucky enough to find him (fortunately Hollywood Land is not that big a place to wander!), I discovered exactly why he’s the perfect choice to be a roaming character out of any of the Marvel crew – even if he does attract quite a large crowd wherever he goes! Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Disney California Avengers

Proving my park madness, yesterday I went to Disney California Adventure instead of rushing to the movie theater to see Avengers: Infinity War on opening day. (I did go to see the movie first thing this morning, however!) And my reason for doing this? SO. MANY. AVENGERS. CHARACTERS. I can’t even. I literally spent the entire day in the park going from character to character to character. It was THE BEST!

The park has really gone all out with their Marvel character meets, and most of these should hopefully be sticking around for a while. I’m going to just let the pictures do the talking other than to discuss where you can find them all…

The only order of characters here was that in which I happened to go visit them. But all (except one, noted below), have their hours – though not exact set times – listed in the Disneyland app. For specific set times, ask the cast members at the respective meet areas.

I started off with a visit to see Captain America, who not only has a new designated Meet & Greet area just across from his former location in Hollywood Land with Spider-Man, but he is now the one to get the fanfare entrance with the Avengers truck!

Cap exiting the Avengers truck.

Cap at his new Meet & Greet location

Next up, I ran right into a character who is now roaming in Hollywood Land: the God of Mischief himself – Loki!

Loki is always a troublemaker – but that’s just part of his charm!

Note: this is the one character who is not on the daily schedule nor the app. So the only way to find him is luck! I saw him roaming the Backlot around late morning and mid-afternoon, so that’s my best guidance for you. Continue reading

Disneyland Resort Pixar Fest 2018 – Entertainment

From April 13th to September 3rd, the Disneyland Resort will be hosting Pixar Fest – a celebration of all things Pixar. As expected with seasonal events, there will be special food and merchandise offered. And on June 23rd, Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure will officially reopen as Pixar Pier with newly re-themed attractions and venues. But as usual, what I’m looking forward to most are the entertainment options!

Since we have the whole summer to enjoy this event, I’ll slowly work my way through the various offerings, but here are the highlights of what I’m looking forward to seeing:

Disneyland Park

  • Will the Dapper Dans add some of Pixar greatest hits into their repertoire? The park website seems to hint at it, so I’ll be sure to check and report back!
  • Pixar Play Parade – with new floats and characters added, it will make its way up and down the parade route here as it migrates over from its original home at Disney California Adventure.
  • Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular – the new Pixar-themed fireworks show features the UP house with balloons floating over the castle!
  • Pixar Pals Dance Party – starting June 8th at Tomorrowland Terrace, party it up with characters that will supposedly include: Russell, Dug, Woody, Jessie, the Green Army Men and more!  (This pretty strongly implies that we won’t have bands at this venue this summer.  And since the Downtown Disney main stage will also be gone by the end of June, Disney California Adventure is our only hope now for live musical entertainment this summer as the Dance Party will likely be DJ-driven.) Continue reading