Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017

Disney California Adventure finally became a full day park for me when The Mad T Party arrived (although it was almost there with ElecTRONica). However, the influx of all the wonderful new entertainment options for the Summer of Heroes has finally brought me another excuse to want to spend many hours in this park instead of Disneyland Park!

I had a busy day recently checking out most of the new sights and even a few of the new bites! So after that, here are my thoughts…

Hero Action Center quiz area.

I first started off in the Hollywood Backlot where I wanted to take the quiz at the Hero Action Center to find out which super hero I’m most like! Similar to all those social media quizzes, I picked the answers on the provided tablets that I most closely related to and wound up with Thor! (Now, while that may be pretty accurate, for the record, I’m still #TeamLoki!) After your identity is selected, a Cast Member gives you a sticker representing your super hero as well as a free comic book. I took the sticker, but skipped the comic as I didn’t want to carry it around all day. Still, freebies at the park always equal awesome!

Next, I noticed there was some kind of Super Hero Showcase going on in the Sunset Showcase Theater. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in there, but I’m guessing it’s the Marvel equivalent of the Path of the Jedi clip show that started in Tomorrowland for the Season of the Force. I skipped that one, too, since I’ve already seen the movies and I’d rather spend my time at the parks doing unique park things.

Black Widow and her S.H.I.E.L.D. transport!

As I was leaving the Hollywood Backlot area, I found Black Widow was out at the end of her “Heroic Encounter” before she headed back to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, so I took a quick pic while she was there. But I still wanted to see the entire Encounter later that day. Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Summer of Heroes Hollywood Backlot DJ Dance Party

Is this the Eye of Agamotto watching?!

aka: The Dance Party That Shall Not Be Named!

For the Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes, many locals were anticipating the return of a themed nighttime dance party for the park – preferably with a live band.

However, the promoted Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off! turned out to be a daily audience participation show stop ala DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive.

But oddly stealthily, Disney California Adventure actually has added a nighttime DJ dance party – only it’s not on the published schedule nor is it advertised anywhere! Instead you just have to sort of stumble upon it or follow the pop music issuing from the former Diamond Mad T Party dance stage in Hollywood Land.

Here you will find the as yet unnamed Hollywood Backlot DJ dance party! Currently only temporarily scheduled for the next week or two, it is likely to be extended throughout the summer if perceived as successful. Continue reading

40 Things I Love About Star Wars

In honor of the major milestone on May 25, 2017 of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope, I decided this week to run down a list of 40 things I love about the Star Wars franchise.

Note: these are in a random order pretty much off the top of my head as they occurred to me aside from the final number one choice!

 

  1. Kylo Ren’s temper tantrums – EPIC, but duck!

 

  1. Darth Maul – such a bold colorful character created randomly in the middle of the prequel chaos. He was the Boba Fett of the prequel trilogy and I still wish we had seen him more in films.

 

  1. Poe Dameron / Cassian Andor – I would like to take this time to personally thank the casting directors for giving us Oscar Isaac and Diego Luna. That is all.

 

  1. General Leia – for all the girls who grew up wanting to be Princess Leia… and then became the women who want to grow up to be General Leia, Carrie Fisher is owed a great debt of gratitude.

 

  1. Getting to see actors from the prequel series and the original series in the sequel series and standalones. Yay for continuity!

 

  1. Wicket. Yes, the space teddy bears were probably not the best idea in retrospect. But still… cuddly Wicket.

 

  1. Getting to make your own custom Star Wars action figure with your own face on it at various Disney Star Wars events via D-Tech Me. Everything. REALLY hoping this comes to the new Star Wars Lands as a regular offering.

 

  1. And along with that – the “Build Your Own” stops at both Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios where you can build your own light saber, droid (ala R2-D2) and newly introduced protocol droids (ala C-3PO).

 

  1. The dearly missed Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No, I never went to one, but I always enjoyed reading about them and would have loved to attend even once.

 

  1. Hugging Chewbacca at the Launch Bay at either Disneyland Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you have not been hugged by a Wookiee, your life is incomplete. Sorry.  Continue reading

The Bands Are Back in Town… This Summer at Tomorrowland Terrace!

 

Awkward rock family photo featuring: Tomasina and the boys!

In lieu of the nighttime Marvel Dance Party entertainment option many were expecting for the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure (which has turned out instead to be a daily interactive show stop for the little ones ala DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive) – the happy news many of us had hoped for has come true:

The bands are returning to Tomorrowland Terrace for the summer!

Weekends from May 26th to August 20th will once again be filled with the sound of live rock and pop music at the classic Disneyland Park venue and the fans couldn’t be happier!

Set times are scheduled for: 7:30 PM, 8:35 PM, 10:00 PM, and 10:45 PM (as always, subject to change)

Returning bands include two of my favorites: The 80z All-Starz and TOMASINA – along with some new to the location such as Grilled Cheese Soundwich who drew big crowds in Downtown Disney over the past few months!

So far, these are the dates scheduled: Continue reading

Where the Bands Are… and the DJs Too! April-May 2017

Yes, I’m late for a very important date! And I suppose I can’t blame the White Rabbit for this one…

The problem is, there is very little in the way of a set schedule that I know of for the time being so I’ve been waiting until I heard more to post. But since no further info seems to be coming this way at the moment, I’ll just drop these few tidbits here for today for those who need a Downtown Disney music fix at the Disneyland Resort!

While I’m a big supporter of all live music and entertainment at the Disney Parks & Resorts, I’ll admit to having favorite groups. So since very few of those have been scheduled here for the past few weeks, I haven’t been going to this location as much.

However, there are two upcoming Rockin’ Wednesdays I hope to get to because one of my favorite bands – The 80z All-Stars – are scheduled to perform those evenings from 6-10pm on the main Downtown Disney stage by the ESPN Zone:

Wednesday, April 26 – The 80z All-Stars

Wednesday, May 10 – The 80z All-Stars

And while there haven’t been others of my favorite live bands there lately whom I’ve wanted to see, there is another option for Downtown Disney entertainment worth mentioning:

Thursday night Dueling DJs!

Yes – this fun experience pits two DJs against each other to battle it out to see who can play the tunes that get the most people in the crowd dancing! Especially fun to see at the turntables are some familiar faces whom the eagle-eyed may recognize from The Mad T Party! (Speaking of following the White Rabbit…)

While these DJ battles have been scheduled regularly for the past few months at that same main stage as the bands in Downtown Disney, there is a particularly fun event happening there this coming Thursday, April 27th: Continue reading

My Global Disney Parks & Resorts Bucket List

A hint/spoiler for the top of my “bucket” list!

Earlier this week on April 12, Disneyland Paris (originally “EuroDisney”) celebrated 25 years since its opening. Some friends of mine were there amidst the bustle and festivities. Along with various merchandise offerings, there was a grand promenade of 25 rare characters including those from more obscure films like Treasure Planet and Meet the Robinsons. Special appearances also included Jessica Rabbit, Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch, and – most exciting to me – the Cheshire Cat and March Hare!

And yet impressive as this was, given the opportunity, Disneyland Paris would still be lower on the list of global/non-U.S. mainland Disney locations that I’d most like to visit.

I’ve previously shared my “Disney Do” list of Disney experiences I’d like to someday have, but today I’m going to share my global Disney Parks & Resorts list of where I would go if I won the lottery or if someone magically said “you can go anywhere in the world today – where would you like to go?” (Because of course my answer would be somewhere Disney!)

5. Aulani

  • To be honest, I have very little interest in visiting Aulani as it seems to be too much of a hybrid – it’s Hawaii by Disney and therefore, to me, seems to be not enough Hawaii if I was looking for that authentic experience and not enough Disney if I was looking for that magical experience. It is lowest on my Disney priorities, however, if I really did win the lottery and could visit EVERY Disney location in the world, I’d certainly stop here, too. The resort looks lovely and the lazy river looks very relaxing. If I was doing a global tour, this would be my final stop to just slow down and rest at the end of it all.

4. Disneyland Paris

  • The home of the first Alice in Wonderland maze attraction (this one dedicated to the original animated version of the film) also has a unique Ratatouille-themed area in its Walt Disney Studios Park. While I’d start with those two attractions, I’d also be interested in seeing their parades and lights and fireworks spectaculars, along with the Paris-exclusive live shows such as Forest of Enchantment and Mickey and the Magician. I also like that their interpretation of Tomorrowland – called Discoveryland – has a steampunk vibe to it, and of course visiting their Phantom Manor attraction (their variation on the Haunted Mansion) and seeing the dragon that lies beneath their castle would be musts, too! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Sal @ Red Car Trolley News Boys

On April 10, 1992, Disney released the musical film Newsies. While by no means an instant hit, it nonetheless developed a strong cult following. In 2012, a stage version began performances on Broadway. Also in 2012, the Red Car Trolley News Boys began their daily show at Disney California Adventure and it is still one of my favorites at the Disneyland Resort.

So in honor of this auspicious occasion, I shall seize the day and celebrate one of my favorite News Boys… or should I say gals?

Hiya, Sal!

Yes, today I’m throwing my two cents to Sal!

Personally, I’ve always thought Sal has the most challenging part in the show – not only is she dancing (and selling papers) with the guys, but she gets to participate in the more acrobat moments of their set – at various points winding up sitting on the guys’ shoulders or being tossed from one set of performers to another or getting carried and twirled around! Talk about confidence! Continue reading