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 50th Anniversary Pirates of the Caribbean!

Some pirate treasure from my travels!

I seriously contemplated going to Disneyland Park today for the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean.

After all, there’s a lot happening there this week and today specifically:

  • Starting this past Thursday, March 16th, the attraction reopened after a fairly long refurbishment, so you can once again join your favorite pirate crew and sing “Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirate’s Life For Me!” to your heart’s content!
  • Special merchandise was released starting on the 16th including limited edition pins, anniversary t-shirts and an amazing skeleton pirate-topped stein (which reportedly sold out the first day within an hour and a half of park opening – but more may be released today).
  • Free button! If you’re at the park early enough today only you may receive upon entrance or exit an “I Was There” 50th anniversary button. There is also a t-shirt being released today with “I Was There” on it as well.
  • Themed food offerings! “Gold”-dusted churros and beignets are just the beginning of the treats that may be uncovered this weekend in New Orleans Square!
  • Entertainment – yay! Lucky the Pirate will be making his regular rounds, but in a rare weekend appearance, The Bootstrappers pirate band will also be roaming the area and performing! I heard that earlier this week The Bootstrappers actually boarded the attraction and sang to some lucky passengers!
  • JACK SPARROW! This was probably most tempting of all for me – rumor has it that Jack Sparrow may be doing a Meet & Greet today for the anniversary. He’s such a rare character at Disneyland Park (though he can be seen regularly at his tutorial in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort) that this is a treat indeed! I’m hoping it’s a precursor to perhaps another visit from him for the next movie release in May. But catch him today if you can!

Ultimately, I decided that it was going to be chaos at the park with all of these events happening concurrently, so instead, I’m going to the movies to see Beauty and the Beast! But for those of you who get to enjoy some of today’s pirate-y adventures, may the wind be at your back!

Note: it’s unknown how long these pirate celebrations will last – some may last only through today, others through tomorrow, and others may recur or return – time and tide will tell!

But for those who cannot be at Disneyland today, I wanted to raise a mug of rum to a few more Bootstrappers who I’ve not yet had time to spotlight here: Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Vivi Blackheart @ The Bootstrappers

“She’ll do as she will and she’ll say as she please…”

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Vivi on the violin!

I’m always excited to see Vivi Blackheart bringing her extra measure of girl power to The Bootstrappers at Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. There is pure confidence in every performance she gives and she’s a strong personality and musical match for every man in this crew.

She easily holds her own against the guys – and she’s probably more intimidating than any of them – you wouldn’t want to mess with Vivi! She often seems to be musically “dueling” with the fellows and as far as I’m concerned, she wins!

She is so fierce that plenty of the time they just get out of her way and let her play! And I always look forward to her solos.

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Playing behind her back! Really, she’s still playing a song!

This girl is simply a fiend on the fiddle the way her fingers fly over the strings. I’ve seen her perform while doing all sorts of tricks from jumping to playing without a moment’s hesitation with the violin behind her back!

She’s easily one of the most accomplished musicians in the group. Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Mean Jean @ The Bootstrappers

“But I danced until the dawn…”

The choreographical stylings of Mean Jean!

The choreographical stylings of Mean Jean!

Ahoy there, mateys! This week thar’ be some celebratin’ of the piratical kind to be found. So grab yer grog as we set sail for uncharted seas…

Yeah, okay, that’s enough of that! But earlier this week it actually was “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and while I’m sorry I couldn’t celebrate the day with The Bootstrappers at Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, it does seem the perfect week to spotlight some more rascally members of this musical troupe!

And realizing that I’ve only focused on some of the men in this motley crew thus far, this weekend it will be some of the wenches’… err… ladies’ turns!

Today I’d like to celebrate that rambunctious redhead, Mean Jean!

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And while her fiery wild hair and even wilder dancing may frighten off the faint of heart, I personally have a great fondness for seeing her out performing with the rest of the gang! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Lucky the Pirate

“Give me a career as a buccaneer…”

Lucky entertains by Harbour Galley.

Lucky plays by Harbour Galley.

Amongst all the entertainment cutbacks, I was happy to discover that some occasional new entertainment is still being introduced at the Disneyland Resort.

I recently encountered this happy – or should I say fortunate? – addition to the denizens of New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park in the form of Lucky the Pirate!

Separate from one of my other favorite groups in this area, The Bootstrappers (who he will sometimes join for a song or two), Lucky the Pirate is an individual roaming singer and guitar player who wanders all over New Orleans Square. Though I most often find him around the Harbour Galley quick service food spot across from The Haunted Mansion or walking along the circumference of the Rivers of America.

Lucky visiting with The Bootstrappers!

Lucky visiting with The Bootstrappers!

I’ve also spotted him singing with The Bootstrappers at the Sky Room location between shops near the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

But no matter where he goes, he can always be found improvising a song… Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Yuri @ The Bootstrappers

“I had six pints and then six others…”

My favorite photo I’ve taken of Yuri – just so perfect!

My favorite photo I’ve taken of Yuri – just such a perfect moment!

Yuri is the Prince of Pennywhistles when he plays with The Bootstrappers in Disneyland Park’s New Orleans Square!

He’s really wonderful with his satchel of tin whistles that he carries at his side. I love listening to the lilting tones produced as his dexterous digits fly across the finger holes and I always look forward to his solos (playing or singing). Sometimes he gets to do an entire instrumental number – a pied piper beckoning the crowds to him. And it really does do the trick. People hear the music he plays and simply have to follow the sound to its source!

Yuri looks ready to share a story or a song!

Yuri looks ready to share a story or a song!

At that point, it’s too late for the audience to escape as the merry pirate crew sings tales of their (often drinking) adventures! Yuri seems to specialize in songs extolling the virtues of vodka or whiskey or the results of such libations!

But I always enjoying seeing how he makes a song into a story – it’s just utterly entertaining and endearing! Whether it’s a tale of heartbreak or treasure-hunting, this guy always manages to perform the story, not just sing it, which always makes him so much fun to watch, especially during his solos! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Olin @ The Bootstrappers

“Was you ever in N’Orleans Square, ‘cross the bay from Pirate’s Lair? But they ain’t got no pirates there!”

Nothing is funnier than the looks Olin gives at Sockhead Syd’s silliness!

Nothing is funnier than the looks Olin gives at Sockhead Syd’s silliness!

Pirate’s Lair may not currently host any pirates, but you’ll find one of the most diverting (and therefore one who most needs a weather eye kept on!) singing with The Bootstrappers in New Orleans Square – Olin the Merchant!

While you may think he’s stealing your attention with his engaging ways, he’s most likely picking your pocket, too! This pirate is notorious for being quite the expert thief! Keep a very close eye on all belongings around this scoundrel, lest you find your possessions soon become his! (Though you’ll get them back eventually with perhaps a little negotiating!)

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Still, as with all of the Disney pirates, you’ll find he’s mostly harmless but very naughty! Yet that makes him great to interact with during and between songs. Continue reading