The Changing Face of Downtown Disney

While not a complete cosmetic and thematic overhaul in the vein of Disney Springs in Orlando, in the coming weeks, Downtown Disney in Anaheim is going to be getting quite a makeover!

Half a dozen stores will be closing, while two new entertainment venues will be opening up.

And it’s all supposed to happen in time for the holidays!

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Chapel Hats and Ridemakerz will all be gone soon.

Originally all of the following stores were scheduled to close by September 24th:

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Chapel Hats

Ridemakerz

Vault 28

Fossil

Anna & Elsa’s Boutique

Build-A-Bear, you’ll be missed!

However, I’ve heard that Build-A-Bear may now stay open until or through the holidays. I’m glad as this terrific store features some unique location-specific Disney builds and accessories that are only available here. Personally, I wish this store could stay as I think it provides some great merchandise as souvenirs of a Disney visit, but that’s “progress” for ya! Continue reading

Advertisements

One Hour at D23 Expo 2017 – Part Two: Everything Else on the Expo Floor

Last week I explained that I unexpectedly wound up being able to spend one hour of one day visiting the D23 Expo 2017. While there I saw several terrific costume displays, but I also saw other wonderful random things at various booths. So today I’m going to share with you some of the other sights from my brief exploration of the Expo floor that day.

For example – a picture of Dory and Nemo created entirely out of Jelly Bellys at the candymakers’ booth!

This picture of Dory and Nemo made from Jelly Bellys was still a work in progress when I visited their booth!

I also watched folks interact with this 10 foot tall Spider-Man at the Sphero booth!

There was some beautiful artwork to be found at the Walt Disney Family Museum booth as they promoted their current exhibit featuring the tremendously talented Disney artist Eyvind Earle. Continue reading

Mousertainment Miscellanea – I Didn’t Know That! #3 – Disney Floral & Gifts

Today we’ll spotlight another wonderful Disney Parks (and home!) service that not many people know about: Disney Floral & Gifts!

Did you know that you could have flowers sent to your Disney Parks Resort Hotel at either the Disneyland Resort or the Walt Disney World Resort?

How about Christmas stockings or even a Christmas tree?!

How about having your ENTIRE HOTEL ROOM decorated by Disney magical helpers and filled with Disney merchandise?

It can be done! With the help of the Disney Floral & Gifts Dream Makers team…

This is probably the best Disney service I’ve never actually had the opportunity to experience – but hope to someday!

At the Disneyland Resort, they offer options currently ranging from the $43.95 Minnie Magical Moment roses in a vase all the way up to Mickey and Minnie’s Grand Magical Welcome – Family featuring in-room decorations and gifts for $549.95. While at the Walt Disney World Resort, you can find anything from a Pixie Dusted Rainbow rose wand for $45.95 up to Mickey & Friends Ultimate Birthday Celebration featuring in-room decorations and gifts for $548.95.

The Dream Makers can also create a custom assortment for any occasion. But really, they seem to have something for everyone! Continue reading

Harveys Alice in Wonderland Collection Release

Part of the line waiting outside the store for the release.

Part of the line waiting outside the store for the release.

For the past few years, high-end purse (and other bags/accessories) retailer Harveys has brought their whimsical and beautiful merchandise to Disney Parks.

The signature look that distinguishes a Harveys bag is that they are made from seatbelt material providing a sturdy and interesting geometric striped style to their products.

I’ve been a fan of their colorful and fun bags ever since Disney first started carrying their products, however, I’ve never owned one – mostly because if I’m going to spend money on anything, it’s likely to be Alice in Wonderland-themed and until last week, the company had only made one Wonderland-themed bag – a tote-style featuring the Disneyland attraction poster on it. Since I don’t carry anything in this bag style, while I appreciated the look of it, I had no plans to buy it.

And then Harveys announced they’d be making a few new limited-release lines of Wonderland-themed bags, with an in-store sale of the items at their Santa Ana, CA location just prior to an online release the next day.

Again, I might have written this off as another group of bags that I wouldn’t carry… until I saw that one of the bags in the two collections (one themed blue and white striped for Alice and one themed pink striped for Cheshire Cat) was a Cheshire Cat backpack! And I had to go try to get one.

IMG_7883 cr wm

Cheshire Cat backpack!

Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Scoop Sanderson @ Citizens of Main Street

400 cr wm 2

Scoop Sanderson is one of the Citizens of Main Street. “Officially” he is a reporter for the Main Street U.S.A. Gazette and can usually be found a few days a week wandering along Main Street at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom. (You can check at City Hall if he will be out on any given day – they don’t always know and may suggest you ask any of the other Citizens on the Street if he will appear that day.)

However, Scoop performs double duty on Main Street, not only singing a few songs on occasion with his fellow Citizens, but also as the resident pin ambassador of the Magic Kingdom for more than a decade!

Scoop is recognizable by his big smile and even bigger pin lanyard! Not to mention the big crowds of Disney Pin collectors that usually surround him wherever he goes!

Scoop shows off what has to be one of the world’s longest pin lanyards!

Scoop wears what has to be one of the world’s longest pin lanyards!

Scoop loves to trade pins with guests and his lanyards are often filled with rare and unusual pins such as Artist Proofs or Limited Edition pins! But there is one pin that you can ONLY get from Scoop himself and nowhere else in the entire world – Continue reading

What Disney Parks Merchandise Do You Collect?

This week, I touched on a few recent popular collectibles in the Disney Parks, including Pin Trading, Vinylmations, and MagicBands. But there are so many more collectible items out there that it’s great to see what appeals to different people!

I love the trading aspect of pins (and vinyls). But others enjoy finding keepsakes to represent special vacations, anniversaries, and more. (Pins are great for this too!)

Some options include refrigerator magnets or postcards – items many people have collected for decades.

I have a personal “no breakables” rule (which really translates into a desire for “no dustables” if I can help it!). But others love collecting anything from Olszewski miniature scale models and PokitPals to snow globes to Precious Moments dolls representing Disney characters or park attractions.

In the past few years, Disney has started carrying Christmas ornaments year-round in appealing styles such as princess shoes or characters at park attractions. Some locations in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will even personalize your ornament with a name or year on it.

A recent instantly popular collectible was the introduction of park-specific Starbucks mugs with the newest addition to be found at the just-opened Starbucks location in Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom. Continue reading

MagicBands – Practical and Collectible!

So I’ll admit to not being totally sold on the MagicBand idea when it was first introduced at the Walt Disney World Resort approximately two years ago.

Before I get into the specifics of why, let me first do a quick rundown of what they are for those who may not have been to the Resort recently.  (For now these are exclusive to Walt Disney World but may get introduced to other Disney Resorts globally in the future.)

Disney had the idea to provide a single wearable alternative for folks who were prone to losing their paperwork or room key or maybe didn’t want to carry anything with them from hotel room to pool when they wanted to go swimming.

This wearable option could open a hotel room door, scan you into the parks, add pictures to your PhotoPass account, pay for your dinner or that souvenir you just had to have.

In conjunction with this item, a plastic-type wristband eventually called the MagicBand (because with Disney you knew they had to get the word “magic” in there, right?), the company developed software that the scannable RFID chip inside the Band would work with.

The app they developed was called “My Disney Experience” – with it, you could link your hotel reservations, park tickets, dining reservations and arrange for a key component: the upgraded “FastPass+”!

FastPass+ was the new electronic version of the legacy paper FastPasses one could get for various attractions throughout the Resort. Instead of running from location to location to get your FastPasses, you could book three per day right on your phone or computer! (This later morphed into the current ability to book successive FastPass+ reservations at kiosks in the parks once you’ve used your first three for the day.)

It was a very “green” idea. By eliminating traditional tickets and FastPasses, a lot of trees could be saved and Disney as a company is big on conservation.

And best of all, the MagicBands were free with your Resort reservation – and sent to you in advance of your trip in a special box!

But that wasn’t all… Continue reading