Happy Father’s Day to Disney Dads Everywhere!

The Disney Parks are filled with Disney Dads – from those pushing the strollers to those up on the stage.

To celebrate Father’s Day, I thought I’d point out a couple of places you can spot some Disney Dads at the Disneyland Resort!

I think it would be incredible to start with Disney California Adventure – where you can spot super dad Mr. Incredible along with the rest of his family in the Pixar Play Parade!

You’re incredible!

There are two different places in Paradise Pier where you may notice images of Princess Ariel’s father – at his namesake King Triton’s Carousel or inside the The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction. And if and when Paint the Night returns, you can see Triton at the head of The Little Mermaid float in that parade as well!

Heading over to the Hyperion Theater, Elsa and Anna’s father appears in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

Elsa and her father in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

And at Turtle Talk with Crush in the Animation Academy, you can visit with the awesome sea turtle Crush and his son Squirt along with fellow father and son duo, Marlin and Nemo. Some of these Finding Nemo characters can also be found at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Continue reading

The Animation Courtyard – A Magical Retreat at Disney California Adventure

Inside the Animation Courtyard.

Inside the Animation Courtyard.

There is a hidden gem inside the Disney Animation Building in Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land: the Animation Courtyard.

This is not only a central location to lead you to other attractions such as the Animation Academy (to be spotlighted tomorrow!) and Turtle Talk with Crush, along with the Meet & Greet area for Anna and Elsa. But it is a destination unto itself – a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

It functions both as a place to get out of the rain or sun and just rest for a bit, as well as a wonderful showcase for Disney and PIXAR animation and musical history.

I love going in here and just sitting (either on one of the couches here or even on the floor) and watching and listening – whether for a few moments or the full half-hour-ish loop of songs, animation and drawings projected in 360 degrees all around you!

So many films are represented here – from classics like Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty artwork.

Sleeping Beauty artwork.

Through the renaissance of Disney animation like Aladdin and The Lion King

The Lion King animation.

The Lion King animation.

To modern showstoppers like Frozen. I’ve yet to see “Let it Go” play here in the Courtyard without many guests breaking out into the chorus along with Elsa! Continue reading

Mousertainment at the Disneyland Resort in 2016

With all the closures that happened this month at the Disneyland Resort (including the various Rivers of America attractions, the Disneyland Railroad, the Big Thunder Ranch area including the Jamboree and the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue and show, as well as the ending of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular), is there anything to look forward to at the Resort in 2016?

Why yes, there actually is!

First, and likely my favorite bit of news was the return of Tangled to the Royal Theatre in Disneyland Park just last week! It is now running three times per day along with the Frozen show. I’m still hoping that the Beauty and the Beast show will return here at some point as well, but getting Tangled back was really, really welcome!

Soarin’ Over California is currently in the midst of refurbishment in anticipation of its new iteration as Soarin’ Around the World. As long as they keep that original exquisite and iconic Jerry Goldsmith music score, I will be open to what the new film adds to the experience!

The Star Wars Season of the Force event in Disneyland Park’s Tomorrowland (to be spotlighted here soon!), expected to continue through the springtime, seems to be getting refreshed after only being open for a short time with the announcement last week that Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be joining the Meet & Greet characters at the Launch Bay starting next month (although Darth Vader will no longer be meeting here as a result).

And of course, the biggest production coming in the summer of 2016 will be Frozen at the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure! While I was very, very upset at the loss of Aladdin there, I’ve no doubt that this show will be incredible and showcase plenty of Mousertainment talent. The question is: will it manage to be as relevant and constantly refreshable and inspire the kind of repeat viewing that the Genie managed to accomplish for the Aladdin show? Will it appeal to all ages and genders or just to little princesses and their accompanying parent? We’ll find out in a few months! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert @ The Royal Theatre

“Are you Flynn Rider?” “Do I look like Flynn Rider?”

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Thanks to the influence of a character-loving friend, in recent years I’ve become a bigger fan of meeting characters in general beyond my Wonderland favorites. As a result I’ve had some really delightful, memorable interactions at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.  But there have been a few instances in particular when I was completely and utterly “starstruck” by the absolutely right-off-the-screen characters I’ve met. I’m featuring one such fellow today and another will be spotlighted next week.

Meet Flynn Rider (aka Eugene Fitzherbert) from the Tangled show at the Royal Theatre in Disneyland Park.

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Because seriously.  Actually Flynn.  After about five seconds in his presence I was weak in the knees around this guy. As in, I may have been swooning a bit while I was talking to him at the Meet & Greet after the show. And he didn’t even have to give me “the smolder”! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Flynn Rider @ Mickey and the Magical Map

“All at once, everything is different, now that I see you…”

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Today we’ll make a return to another wonderful stage show at the Disneyland Resort – Mickey and the Magical Map, where it’s time to spotlight the ever so charming Flynn Rider!

Like Rapunzel and Pocahontas, Flynn only makes an appearance during the princess segment of the show, but fortunately his performance is a memorable one!

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Do you ever have the feeling of seeing someone doing exactly what they’re meant to do? That’s the feeling I get when I see this guy.

Like there’s nothing more natural in the world than for him to be belting out a song like he’s in a Broadway production. Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Rapunzel @ Mickey and the Magical Map

“If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go…”

If you’re a performing princess fan, there is one place in Disneyland you simply must visit and that is the show featuring FOUR singing princesses: Mickey and the Magical Map at the Fantasyland Theatre.

And one of my favorite performers to see here is this girl – Rapunzel!

So of course the first thing you’ll notice is she’s gorgeous!

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And clearly that can distract anyone – especially Flynn Rider!

Seeing the light with Flynn Rider.

Seeing the light with Flynn Rider.

But what amazes me every time I see her is her incredible singing ability – this girl can BELT out a song! And that’s critical for such a show-stopping number as “I See the Light” from Tangled. Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Mickey and the Magical Map

“So much more than a destination…”

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What is Mickey and the Magical Map?

Mickey and the Magical Map is one of the larger-scaled musical productions in the Disneyland Resort. It encompasses many singers, dancers and characters performing beloved Disney songs.

The story of the show follows Mickey Mouse, an apprentice Map Maker, as he seeks to complete Sorcerer Yensid’s map to prove himself worthy of being a full-fledged Map Maker. But in the process, he learns a valuable lesson.

Who are the performers?

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A large cast of dancers, singers and characters appear in the show including princesses such as Tiana, Rapunzel, Mulan and Pocahontas, as well as Mickey Mouse himself, Stitch, and King Louie from The Jungle Book. There’s also a special appearance from Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid.

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When and where can I find it? Continue reading