“Oh, but it’s cold outside…”
What is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Piano?
Inside the majestic Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, hotel guests and day guests alike may enjoy the song stylings distilled from the (appropriately enough) grand piano here!
While I tend more often to stop and indulge in the music when one of their talented piano players is working their melodic magic, I’m pretty sure I’ve been there in the past when it sounded like it was a player piano that was performing on its own. That may have been piped in, but in passing I thought it sounded like it came from the piano.
The musical mix here ranges from Disney classics (so those young and old can recognize and appreciate them) to seasonal favorites, such as the predominantly Christmas music filling the hall this month.
Who are the performers?
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting when different musicians sat at the piano. Many play songs strictly from memory, others use books. Some will take song requests. Others have been known to occasionally sing in accompaniment to their playing.
When and where can I find it? Continue reading
The Beverly Belles singing holiday songs at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
If you’re feeling the need for Christmas cheer this season at the Disneyland Resort… umm… it’s everywhere!
But if you’re specifically yearning to hear some Christmas carolers, then Downtown Disney and the Disneyland resort hotels are the places to go!
First off, if you’re in Downtown Disney, you may want to check out Holiday Harmony – a contemporary a capella caroling group performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery.
Their schedule for the season (always subject to change as with all things Disney) is as follows:
Four half hour sets begin at 5pm, 6pm,
7pm and 8pm (or 7:30pm and 8:30pm – the band’s schedule notes different times than the park does! I’ll see if I can confirm which is correct on my next park run) on the following dates:
- Friday-Sunday – December 1-3
- Thursday-Sunday – December 7-10
- Thursday-Sunday – December 14-17
- Monday-Monday – December 18-25
Update 12/5/17: I checked and 7:30pm and 8:30pm are the correct set times for this group.
But it you want to step inside the resort hotels – and step back in time a bit – you can enjoy other caroling groups, too! Continue reading
Love & War musicians and some of the singers.
Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the release of a terrific rock album called “Love & War”. This time last year I had a blast at the live concert performance of the album. And to celebrate the first anniversary, the performers held a private concert party to play the songs live one more time and I was lucky enough to be able to attend!
As the show quickly sold out (and a second one was added which also rapidly sold out!), I was very fortunate to get one of the coveted spots to be there and while I knew this was going to be a smaller show than the full out rock epic we experienced last year, I suspected there would still be some great surprises in store – and there were!
While the album release concert last year featured almost all of the original singers from the album doing their songs live, not everyone was available this time around so we got to hear some different performers doing great covers of the songs and in a real treat, got to experience two of the songwriters singing their own songs off the album! Continue reading
I don’t know how it happened, but I apparently missed this group when they were performing in Downtown Disney in Anaheim last year at Halloween Time. I probably was busy running back and forth between the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Sadly, this year, the Cadaver Dans are not singing publicly, only at Mickey’s Halloween Party itself. That left a Halloween-sized hole in my entertainment-loving heart that needed to be filled, so I went to check out The SCAREolers who are performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery this season.
I spent a full evening earlier in the week watching The SCAREolers. Their performances are half an hour long and they have two different set lists they perform over the course of four shows throughout the night (so: set A, set B, set A, set B). I found the group’s times listed on the daily events schedule on the Disneyland website, so I’d recommend checking there first.
Their backstory is that they are a few of the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion who have been let out for the evening to entertain the guests.
What I loved: First off, the costumes and the choreography were terrific. And out of all of their songs, I especially thought the Disney villains mash-ups were spectacular! For me those were the absolute highlights of each set. I also really enjoyed the Hercules retrospective (that surprisingly didn’t include the gorgeous “Go the Distance” which I think this group could knock out of the park… so to speak) – as well as their fun performance of the Hocus Pocus songs.
What I liked: the acapella sound and arrangements. The modernized, hip-hop version of the “Monster Mash” was particularly fun. I’m always up for a “Dead Man’s Party” and of course “Thriller” (complete with zombie dancing!) is a definite requirement for the season. Continue reading
Recently, the Disney world lost not only one of its longtime talented artists, but one of its most memorable park music contributors as well. X Atencio passed on September 10, 2017 at the age of 98. He was remarkable not only for being a Disney animator on works ranging from Fantasia to Mary Poppins, but for creating two of the most beloved Disney Parks attraction songs ever.
Sing along with me – “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!”
Or perhaps you prefer – “Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize!”
X Atencio’s tribute window on Main Street U.S.A.
Yes, X was the man responsible for the classic songs we all love in both the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as well as the Haunted Mansion. He also contributed lyrics for “Bear Band Serenade” in Country Bear Jamboree (still to this day a favorite show/attraction thanks to the humor and great songs, especially the one that tickles my funny bone the most: “All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down”).
While I have previously discussed some of the wonderful atmospheric music you will hear played throughout the Disney resorts, in X’s memory, I thought it might be nice to take a virtual stroll through the parks and commemorate some of the terrific, catchy music you will hear inside many of the most popular attractions.
The Sherman Brothers’ tribute window on Main Street U.S.A.
Let’s start with the big ones: in my opinion, the only equally iconic attraction music contributions comparable to X’s creations were clearly those of the inimitable Sherman Brothers. Thanks to them we not only have the earworm of “It’s a Small World After All” playing at most Disney Parks worldwide, but also its just as easy to get stuck in your head “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” counterpart. Happily Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom still celebrates that “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” shining at the end of every day at the Carousel of Progress. And for the moment at least, Figment still shares “One Little Spark” in Journey Into Imagination With Figment at EPCOT. Continue reading
After nearly a year of planning – including early mornings up before dawn to arrange dining and FastPass+ reservations, this week I was all set to head off to Walt Disney World for a wonderful visit… and then Hurricane Irma happened.
Suffice it to say, my long-anticipated trip got canceled and yesterday instead of enjoying all my exciting options at Epcot, I found myself sitting at home staring at a yet-to-be-unpacked suitcase. So what’s a Disney fan to do except head off to the Disneyland Resort and try to do a West Coast version of the day I’d originally envisioned?
My food plans for the day were set to be all about Canada! I had intended to try out the cheddar cheese soup and pretzel roll at the Canada booth at the Food & Wine Festival and then have dinner at Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion. So what did I do at the Disneyland Resort instead?
I stopped by the last weekend of the Summer of Heroes event at Disney California Adventure where I found one of the themed specialty donuts called the “Local Favorite”.
It’s Canadian-adjacent. Or related. Or something. Hey, there’s maple in it!
How did this pay homage to my Epcot dining plans? Umm, hello MAPLE-filled donut (with bacon on top – oh yes!)!!!
While I’ll have to give the edge to the apple-pie-filled donut I’d tried earlier in the season, this one was a winner, too. Although I didn’t actually find much filling inside, it still had the awesome taste as if someone had mixed a pancake with a donut. And the bacon bits on top gave just a touch of salt to balance out the sweet. Yum!
High on my priorities list for entertainment at Epcot was to see the glorious Voices of Liberty and listen to their soaring harmonies and classic music selections. Continue reading
“You all totally rock.”
The totally awesome Gamora!
There are three reasons I absolutely love the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off! show at Disney California Adventure:
First, the music and dancing are super fun!
Second, Star-Lord. No, but really, Star-Lord.
And last but definitely not least, this girl.
Again, sometimes you just get ridiculously lucky and find exactly the right person in exactly the right show – and along with Star-Lord, this girl is it.
Everything about her is on point – from her look to her ‘tude. She’s tough, intimidating, confident, cool. And she certainly would never dance.
Well… Continue reading