Performer Spotlight: Flynn Rider @ Mickey and the Magical Map

I’ll admit that Mickey and the Magical Map is not one of my most regular shows to visit at the Disneyland Resort as I’ve had other favorites take precedence over it.  However, I have seen it a LOT due to my favorite Mapmaker (sadly, no longer a regular there) and because the show is a top choice of a family member. And happily, there are still plenty of talented singers and dancers to be found there including one of the absolute greatest vocalists in the park:

As if he walked right out of a movie screen…

When Flynn Rider steps out on to the stage and this guy starts to sing, you can’t help but listen wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the exalted notes emanating from him.

Every single time I hear him perform a song, I feel transported to the glorious days of Technicolor movie musicals – it’s like hearing a Gordon MacRae or Nelson Eddy singing live in front of you. He’s got this amazing classic throwback sound to him that’s simply enchanting to hear – just an overpowering unreal beautiful boundless baritone that sweeps you up in it every time he sings.  Continue reading


Performer Spotlight: Noel @ Main Street Ragtime Piano

Forget about your worries and your strife…”

Noel is always smiling and happy to say hello!

I am LONG overdue for this spotlight, as this wonderful guy has been at the Ragtime Piano on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Park for about a year now! Where has the time gone?!

One can find Noel tickling the ivories at Coke Corner multiple days a week to the absolute delight of everyone who gets to see and hear him. His repertoire – which is constantly growing – consists of timely jazzy ragtime standards and simply a ton of Disney classics!

On any given day I’ve gone to see him – and I do try to stop and see him as often as possible – I’ve heard him play anything from “The Bare Necessities” to “It’s a Small World” to “You Can Fly” to a fun ragtime version of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”. Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2018 – Entertainment

Next weekend the 2018 edition of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will begin. It will run from March 2nd through April 12th. And as with previous iterations, it’s neither the food nor drink that I’m excited to sample – it’s the entertainment!

This year, different bands will be performing daily and I’m particularly happy that two of my favorite groups have regularly scheduled performing days throughout the Festival run.

First up is the rockin’ Grilled Cheese Soundwich! They will be performing on Mondays and Wednesdays and should have five 30-minute sets that would run between 12:30pm-6:45pm. For exact times, there may be Festival printouts available starting next weekend or the information may be posted by the stage. I’m guessing they will be on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay, but they could also wind up at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. When I find out more, I’ll update this post!

UPDATE 3/2/18: Yes, it looks like they are set for the main stage (UPDATE: 3/15/18: set times at 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, and 6:15pm):

IMG_1174 cr wm

Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are:


  • March 5, 12, 19, 26
  • April 2, 9


  • March 7, 14, 21, 28
  • April 4

Second is the swingin’ Phat Cat Swinger! They will be performing on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay on most Fridays and Sundays and should have three 30-minute sets that would start at: 10:45am, 11:35am, and 12:50pm.

UPDATE 3/15/18: They also have a set at 1:45pm!

Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are: Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Thor @ Heroic Encounter: Thor and Loki

Disclaimer: Please note that the following feature should not be taken in any way as an endorsement of Thor over his brother. As a fully and forever committed member of Team Loki, I would never shift my allegiance or devotion. I merely make observation of what I have experienced in my repeated dealings with this fellow as well.

The best of brothers!

As I have mentioned previously, Meet & Greets were never a top priority for me at the parks until a few months ago, when we were blessed with the presence of the glorious God of Mischief, Loki at Disney California Adventure, and I have ever since his arrival pledged my unwavering support to him. Repeatedly. I just can’t imagine what could top meeting with him on a beautiful park day.

However, part of his Heroic Encounter Meet & Greet is also seeing his brother, Thor. Now, I’m sure Thor is great and all (God of Thunder ooh), but really, I knew, Loki knew and Thor knew that I wasn’t there to see him. Because it’s all about that Loki.

With that said, it might be easy to get petty or sulky or throw godly temper tantrums because you’re not the center of attention that your more popular and brilliant brother is.

Thor waiting patiently while I talk to Loki.

But a truly impressive being could step up to the challenge and instead of getting upset or jealous, he might, as this fellow did, instead repeatedly work to be as utterly charming and completely delightful as possible and as a result may have somewhat pulled some small but appreciative attention away from this devout Team Loki member.

Because really, there’s only so much charm offensive one guest can take before you must succumb – just a little itsy bit – to someone who is being aThorable beyond all words.

I mean seriously – some days I cannot even handle how precious and engaging and amiable this one is. I must admit, that even on the best days with Loki… this fellow makes my heart swell a little extra by being there, too. Continue reading

How to Have a Romantic Valentine’s Day at the Disney Parks & Resorts

With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, you may be thinking about how best to celebrate the day. You could always curl up at home with a good romantic Disney or Pixar film!

But perhaps you’d rather spend the day at the Disney Parks & Resorts with your loved one?

In that case, I hope you’ve gotten your dining reservations done in advance, as it is a very popular day for a special Disney meal!

While some folks will opt for a fancy table service meal for some fine dining (and there are PLENTY of choices ranging from the atmospheric Blue Bayou at Disneyland Park to the delicious Le Cellier at EPCOT), maybe you and your loved one prefer to enjoy a real Disney meal with character? In which case, there’s very little that can top the magic of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom – unless it’s dining at Be Our Guest in Fantasyland nearby!

Personally, I think one of the best combinations over at the Disneyland Resort is having dinner and a movie. Now, you could (for now) visit the AMC Theatres in Downtown Disney and pair that with a meal, but really my favorite way to do this is right on Main Street U.S.A.! Continue reading

Show Spotlight Flashback: Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays 2017 – Holiday Sunset Concerts – Phat Cat Swinger

Swing it!

What was the Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays 2017 – Holiday Sunset Concerts – Phat Cat Swinger?

Phat Cat Swinger

This past holiday season at Disney California Adventure, to happily add a live music component to the festivities, there were nightly concerts held right after the sun set to give maximum effect to the bright colorful lights in the background. Depending on which night you would go, you might see different bands there, but one of the main ones was Phat Cat Swinger!

They’re a big band group that would sing and swing a range of music that fit the season, their big band theme and the Disney location.  They’d even throw in an occasional original song, too!

Great to listen to, they were even more fun to watch with their choreographed movements adding to the show quality.

Who were the performers?

The Phat Cat Swinger band is comprised of a lead singer (with the shiniest suits!) and multiple musicians playing everything from brass to drums. But once in a while, even the sax player gets to sing a song!

When and where could I find it? Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Loki @ Heroic Encounter: Thor and Loki

To no one’s surprise who has read this site during the past few months, a major highlight for me of going to the Disneyland Resort is getting to visit to the Heroic Encounter: Thor and Loki Meet & Greet at the Hollywood Backlot in Disney California Adventure. And while I have had a delightful time with these divine brothers whenever I go, my best moments are those I’ve spent talking with this fellow with his ever-so-dulcet tones:

Hello, Loki!

Now, I will readily admit that Loki is my very favorite in all the Marvel Universe. I love his multi-facets and his depth – he is a shining diamond to me, beautiful and cut from a strong compressed core. I love that he’s a tragic trickster with many guises and that you can experience various aspects of this when you go visit him at Disney California Adventure. Some days he’s strong, others sweet, others sassy.

But my favorite times are experiencing the irresistible charm and attentiveness of this fellow who makes you feel like you’re the only person in the world and the most fascinating one to him at that. It’s this tremendously bewitching and beguiling ability of his that would have me happily follow him to the farthest reaches of the Nine Realms and beyond if he merely asked it of his humble Midgard servant.

The stage is his to command – as are we!

In my opportunities to speak with him, it has been so special to me that he has taken the time to discuss topics ranging from the Disney clothing I wear to my pin collecting to his perceptions of the other Marvel characters (though especially hilarious is the constant badgering from his brother, Thor, who is always quite irritated by my devoted attention to Loki, which of course pleases Loki further!).  Yet I think there’s an even longer-reaching effect for me in having met him, as my interactions with him are opening up a whole new world for me at the parks that I had never really considered before. Continue reading