Show Spotlight Flashback: Mickey’s Soundsational Parade

Mickey Mouse!

Next weekend will herald the return of the refreshed Pixar Play Parade, moving from its original home at Disney California Adventure to its newer incarnation with plussed/added floats in Disneyland Park.  So this week seems the appropriate time to look back at Mickey’s Soundsational Parade that came in with a bang a few years ago and left recently with no send-off whatsoever… (though granted, the park website is still listing it as “Returning Later”, so it may yet get a formal good-bye – or a welcome back!)

What was Mickey’s Soundsational Parade?

Ariel!

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade premiered in the summer of 2011 and featured sections from:

  • The Fab Five (Mickey Mouse & Friends)
  • Aladdin
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Three Caballeros
  • The Lion King
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Peter Pan
  • Mary Poppins

The floats and vehicles were generally a mix of movie-location-themed (ala Rapunzel’s tower or a sea-grouping for Ariel) and music/drum themed pieces for the “Soundsational” music concept tying them all together.

Tiana and Louis!

Who were the performers? Continue reading

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Character Spotlight: Disneyland Resort Update March 2018

With no new shows added lately, I have been spending much of my time at the Disneyland Resort visiting with characters – often with the Marvel characters.

You never know when Loki may turn up again!

Sadly, as of yesterday, Thor & Loki are no longer meeting in the Hollywood Backlot at Disney California Adventure. While we hope for their return sooner rather than later, in the meantime, we have received a new visitor to the park – T’Challa, the Black Panther!

You can’t miss Black Panther entering or exiting the Hollywood Backlot area at Disney California Adventure!

Much like Black Widow this past summer, T’Challa makes his grand entrance on an Avengers transport vehicle and is accompanied by his guards before stopping to Meet & Greet with guests on Stage 17 in the Hollywood Backlot.

His guards are an awesome part of seeing Black Panther at his Meet & Greet – they are FIERCE!

Mousertainment Tip: This Meet & Greet is very popular right now. Be prepared to wait in quite a line to meet Black Panther. If he is your priority, the earlier you can get there, the better! For his daily scheduled appearances, check the Disneyland app. But if you just want to catch a glimpse of him, you can see him traveling through Hollywood Land just prior to and just after each Meet time as he heads into and out of the Hollywood Backlot on the back of an armored truck.

I have had fun visiting some of the classic Disney characters as well, both in scheduled locations, such as Alice and the Mad Hatter in Fantasyland, as well as roaming characters like Gaston. I was even hijacked the other day in New Orleans Square by Captain Jack Sparrow himself, who needed my help to find some treasure on Tom Sawyer Island! Continue reading

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

Mousertainment Movies: What Was Worth Watching in 2017?

This week and next week’s Mousertainment Movies posts are always some of my favorites of the year to write. For today, I’ll be taking a look back at the movies I anticipated watching in 2017, note what I wound up seeing or missing and why (films I actually saw are marked with an *), and what I thought of the ones that I sat through.

Below were my picks in January 2017 in their original order of my interest in seeing them. At the end of this article, I’ll put them in the order in which I actually liked them best!

Here was what I was looking forward to a year ago:

10) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Drax
  • Baby Groot
  • Kurt Russell as Ego
  • Chris Pratt as Star-Lord
  • Continuation of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) storyline

Reasons to see it:

  • The cast
  • Yondu for the win in this film!
  • Continuation of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) storyline
  • Another fun soundtrack
  • Its popularity helped inspire my favorite new show of the year at the Disneyland Resort: Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off!

9) Cars 3 *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Pixar
  • Another visit with the wonderful Cars characters
  • Really hoping it’s better than Cars 2

Reasons to see it:

  • It was way better than Cars 2 (though still not as good as the first Cars film for me)

8) Stephen King’s It

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Love the original source material
  • Love the original mini-series – it’s absolutely perfect and this will have a lot to live up to but I’m strangely rather optimistic about it.
  • Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise – nobody can compare to Tim Curry in his defining take on this role, but it looks like they’re going for a different style here and I am a big fan of all of the Skarsgards – Bill was terrific in the wonderful Netflix series Hemlock Grove. He can definitely do menacing and creepy.

Reasons I didn’t see it:

  • Waiting for home entertainment release (but I REALLY still want to watch this one!)

7) Kong: Skull Island

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Tom Hiddleston
  • I’ve yet to see a King Kong movie I really like but I am intrigued by the concept and origins of the character.
  • I miss the amazing banana-breath audio-animatronic version of King Kong at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Not sure anything digital will ever top anything practical, however.

Reasons I didn’t see it:

  • Waiting for home entertainment release

6) Murder on the Orient Express

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Director Kenneth Branagh
  • Agatha Christie stories are always fun
  • Stellar cast

Reasons I didn’t see it:

  • Waiting for home entertainment release
  • Branagh’s excessive mustache was REALLY bugging me in the ads for the film – I don’t know if I want to stare at that thing for a whole movie length (shallow reasoning but truth) Continue reading

One Hour at D23 Expo 2017 – Part One: Costume Displays

I hadn’t actually planned on going to the D23 Expo this year. I’d been priced out of being able to afford tickets, so I’d made alternate plans for last weekend including going to see a band gig at a concert in the park one night and seeing other favorite performers throughout the day and evening at the Disneyland Resort. But then thanks to a friend, I wound up unexpectedly getting a ticket for Sunday. I knew I needed to head over to the park that day around 12-ish, but I figured I might be able to squeeze in an hour or so on the Expo show floor, so I said yes, please, and thank you!

I knew from previous years that the earlier you arrived in the morning, the longer the wait to get in as it takes a while for the crowd and security to start flowing once the doors open. So I got there when I could and it took me “only” about an hour and a half wait in the line to get inside the convention center (as opposed to the two to three hour wait other friends reported who arrived earlier than I had).

The line outside the convention center. I know it just looks like a crowd, but it was a constantly twisting and turning line!

Once inside, sure enough, I was going to have just one hour to see whatever I could see before I had to leave. So this meant I couldn’t stand in line to get inside two of the most popular areas – neither the Parks & Resorts Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area:

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge display area. This contained models and props from the new Star Wars lands at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Nor the Walt Disney Archives’ Pirates display:

The Walt Disney Archives “Pirates Life For Me” showcase.

Instead, I had to wander the Expo floor and see what I could see! Fortunately this included a couple of great costume displays, which I will share with you today. Next week, I’ll share some pictures of other things I spotted while I was there!

First I walked right into some live action Disney princess and villains costumes. 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

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