Character Spotlight: Disneyland Park Halloween Time Update October 2017

Since there is a lot to cover for character updates during the Halloween Time season at the Disneyland Resort, I’m going to separate this into multiple reports. Today’s will cover the characters you may encounter at Disneyland Park, while next week we’ll take a look at some of the fun costume changes that have appeared for characters at Disney California Adventure.

Meeting on Main Street in their familiar garb from the past few Halloween Time celebrations are the Fab Five of course.

Here’s Mickey! But don’t get spooked by his costume – he’s still the same lovable mouse as always!

Cruella De Vil is out in Town Square as usual, but lately I’ve spotted the Queen of Hearts there, too! Happily, I actually found her listed on the Disneyland app so I knew when to look for her!

Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts!

In other locations, the popular Meet & Greet area for Jack & Sally (The Nightmare Before Christmas) in the Sky Room between the shops in New Orleans Square has reopened for the Halloween season. Be prepared for long lines for this duo! Continue reading

Advertisements

Mousertainment Music: The Songs of the Disney Parks Attractions

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!”

IMG_7967 sm wm

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.

IMG_7969 sm wm

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

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…”

img_4774-cr-wm

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.

img_4776-sm-wm

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!

img_4851-sm-wm

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