Resort Hotels Mousertainment – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Piano

“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

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Downtown Disney and Resort Hotels Mousertainment – Christmas Carolers at the Disneyland Resort 2017

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.

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Holiday Harmony!

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

Downtown Disney Mousertainment – The SCAREolers

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.

The SCAREolers!

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

The Best Laid Plans of Mousertainment…

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?

Dining

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!

Entertainment

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

Performer Spotlight: Gamora @ Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off!

“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

Performer Spotlight: Star-Lord @ Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off!

“Fox on the run…”

Okay, yeah, I’ve been singing the praises of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off show a LOT during the Summer of Heroes event at Disney California Adventure these past few months. But when a show is particularly great, I tend to say so. And when a performer is particularly great, I tend to shout it from the rooftops. Or at least from the blog!

So this guy…

Star-Lord!

Pretty much owned me as a fan from the first second I saw him walking through the onlookers while talking snark to Gamora. He’s got an ease and effortless nonchalance that’s utterly appealing and immediately puts the audience into an appropriately amused and upbeat mood for the show.

He’s funny, he can dance, he’s terrific when improvising and engaging with the crowd and he utterly melted my heart last week when he dropped down on his knees to interact with a little special needs girl in the crowd who he brought up to dance with him. Talented and a gentle soul/big heart? Winner! Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!

Gamora and Star-Lord at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!  And as usual – they’re in trouble and need help!

What is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!?

At this Marvel-ous show, guests young and old get the opportunity to boogie with Star-Lord and Gamora as they try to dance their way out of trouble with the Collector!

Gamora and Star-Lord with the boombox that starts all the commotion…

Star-Lord is his usual insouciant self as he tries to recover a boombox from under the Collector’s nose (or attraction?). Gamora just wants to get out of there while Rocket warns them over the loudspeaker to hurry up!

But of course, it’s never easy, and the Collector starts tracking the Guardians soon after they arrive. So when Rocket suggests using a lot of movement to fool the tracking system, Star-Lord starts a Dance-Off with the crowd and the musical merriment begins!

Who are the performers?

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Groot, Star-Lord and Gamora at the Awesome Dance Off!

Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy, along with some cast members invite guests from the crowd to show off their best dance moves!

And if you’re lucky, Groot may show up, too!

Mousertainment Tip: At the beginning of the summer, I saw Groot at each Dance Off show, but recently I was there and there was no Groot and someone said he may no longer be at every set. So if Groot is a priority for you to see – and dance with! – I’d suggest stopping by a few minutes prior to the show and asking one of the Cast Members stationed in front of the area if Groot will be joining for that set.

When and where can I find it? Continue reading