Character Spotlight: Disneyland Resort Update August 2017

Once again I’ve been noticing some different characters out and about around the Disneyland Resort, so I thought I’d share a few pictures!

At Disneyland Park, Fantasyland of late has proven to be a wonderland of characters, literally – none of whom are listed on the daily Entertainment Times Guide nor the Disneyland app. It’s just a matter of being lucky enough to stumble upon them at the right time!

I’d heard repeated rumors – yet constantly missed – seeing multiple Alice in Wonderland characters roaming the area near the Mad Tea Party attraction lately until I FINALLY achieved a major character goal which was to meet the Tweedles!

TWEEDLES!!!

Yes! Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee have been repeatedly out interacting with guests. They don’t always stop for photos, so you may have to catch them on the move, but when I recently saw them, they were not only posing for pictures but they stopped in the middle of the walkway by the attraction and had a “dance-off” with guests! It was fantastic to see the characters playing with the guests this way!

Tweedles at play with guests!

Having had a fair amount of playtime over the years with always fun Chip ‘n Dale, there is absolutely a difference between characters who appear together rather than characters who appear more often individually. There’s just an extra level of mischief and cooperation with two characters rather than one. And getting to see both Tweedles cavorting in the park completely made my day!

But they were not the only ones in the area at that time. I also saw the Queen of Hearts: 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

Show Spotlight: Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Disneyland Park

The Main Street Electrical Parade returns home to Disneyland Park for a limited time!

The Main Street Electrical Parade returns home to Disneyland Park for a limited time!

What is the Main Street Electrical Parade?

Goofy rides the train!

Goofy rides the train!

This endearing, enduring parade has once again crossed the country back from the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort where it ran as their nightly Disney’s Electrical Parade for the past several years.

Once again home at Disneyland Park for a limited time before it “glows away forever” (for real this time… we think), this spectacle of color, lights and music was the inspiration and precursor to the (hopefully returning later this year) Paint the Night parade.

The performance features massive floats themed variously to classic Disney animated movies including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon, along with brightly lit individual characters all moving to the familiar strains of the “Baroque Hoedown”.

Each main massive float features matching characters (Alice atop a mushroom, Cinderella in her pumpkin coach, Pete atop Elliott the dragon, etc.) and many are also accompanied by smaller themed floats as well.

Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan segment of the parade.

Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan segment of the parade.

Who are the performers? Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Main Street Electrical Parade Themed Treats at the Disneyland Resort

The bottom level of this case in Marceline’s Confectionery in Downtown Disney displays some of the Main Street Electrical Parade sweets available including marshmallow wands, cake pops and a rice crispy treat.

The bottom level of this case in Marceline’s Confectionery in Downtown Disney displays some of the Main Street Electrical Parade themed sweets available including marshmallow wands, cake pops and a rice crispy treat.

Both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts have become wonderful places for limited-time meals, snacks and desserts. I was crazy about some of the Halloween Time food offerings last year! So I was excited to hear about some special themed treats to celebrate the limited return to Disneyland Park of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade (a show which I will be featuring here next week)!

In general, when it comes to desserts, there had better be a lot of chocolate involved or I’m not likely to be very tempted. However, the sheer cuteness factor of some of these goodies encouraged me to step out of my normal chocolate-only taste zone and here were my impressions…

The first thing I simply had to try was the Cheshire Cat shortbread cookie! Granted, there was just a nominal amount of white chocolate involved here, but… Cheshire Cat!

Cheshire Cat cookie.

Cheshire Cat cookie.

This actually is a layered item with a round sugar-striped cookie ring atop a layer of strawberry marmalade atop another cookie with a white chocolate Cheshire Cat piece at the center of it all.

Here is a sideways view to see the levels of this:

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The whole effect reminded me of one of the Queen of Hearts’ stolen tarts and despite the lack of serious chocolate, I liked this one as a light sugary treat and thought it was a good-sized cookie snack! The cookie itself was fresh and just soft enough for me, as I don’t care for too-hard crunchy cookies. Recommended especially for berry-flavor-lovers and Wonderland fans!

Next, I had to go with a slightly more chocolate-y offering – the Peanut Butter & Jelly Éclair! Continue reading

Mousertainment Movies: What Was Worth Watching in 2016?

Today I will look back to my predictions at this time last year to see if I guessed correctly as to what films were worth watching and therefore brought me out to see them in theaters in 2016 (marked with an *) and which films I opted to wait to see as home entertainment releases.

Below were my picks in January 2016 in their original order of my interest in seeing them. At the end of the feature, I’ll put them in the order in which I actually liked them best!

Here was what I was looking forward to a year ago:

10) Finding Dory *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Pixar
  • Ellen Degeneres as Dory

Reasons to go see it:

  • Baby Dory
  • Otters and Sea Lions
  • Ellen Degeneres as Dory

9) Zootopia *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Disney animation
  • Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps
  • Humor looks cute

Reasons to go see it:

  • Flash
  • Probably the most entertaining story of the three Disney and Pixar releases this year
  • Appealing original world and characters

8) Gambit

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of X-Men Universe storyline
  • Channing Tatum reportedly really wanted the role – let’s see what he does with it!

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • A few weeks after this list was originally posted, this film was pushed back to a future production date. It has not yet been released.

7) X-Men: Apocalypse

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of X-Men Universe storyline
  • Finally getting to see a proper-looking Professor X in the prequel timeline!
  • Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • Waiting for home entertainment release

6) Moana *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Disney animation
  • Dwayne Johnson as Maui
  • But let’s not forget Lilo & Stitch did a Hawaiian-set film first!

Reasons to go see it:

  • Terrific soundtrack
  • Dwayne Johnson as Maui
  • But Lilo & Stitch is still a way better film 

Continue reading

Mad Hatter Day is Just My Cup of Tea

Mad Hatter pin

Mad Hatter pin

For some time, October 6th or “10/6” has been celebrated as “Mad Hatter Day” since 10/6 is part of the inscription on the sales tag tucked into the character’s hat in many traditional depictions and illustrations of this character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The original meaning of “In This Style 10/6” was literally an advertisement of the cost of a hat of that design made by a hat-maker – ten shillings and sixpence.

So in honor of this mad occasion, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite performances of the Mad Hatter!

5) Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, 2010)

  • This version inherits Johnny Depp’s special brand of madness, being another in a string of Tim Burton’s lost, lonely, longing boys (including Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Ichabod Crane, Sweeney Todd, and Barnabas Collins). They’re all variations on a theme, made appealing by Depp’s projected vulnerability. While the shtick didn’t work quite as well in the sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, his sweet, innocent, mad sorrow still charms in the first film under the direction of Depp’s artistic soulmate, Burton.

4) Mad Hatter (Ed Wynn – voice character, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, 1951)

  • Don’t let’s be silly! One of Walt Disney’s favorite actors to work with provided not just the voice of the Mad Hatter, but also the visual reference for the animators, as well as some improvised dialogue. His comic instincts and the actor’s lisp helped define the resulting character onscreen. Charming, delightful and of course, mad as a hatter, he was the one I wanted to dance around a tea party table with as a child. But I would not trust him to fix my watch! Continue reading

Attraction Spotlight: Animation Academy

Our instructor at the Animation Academy.

Our instructor at the Animation Academy.

As someone not particularly artistically-inclined – at least when it comes to drawing – I’ll admit, I’d never set foot inside the Animation Academy at Disney California Adventure until a friend dragged me in by bribing me with the promise of learning how to draw the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland!

And the result was a super-fun experience that I highly recommend!

It all begins outside the Disney Animation Building in Hollywood Land where a board lists the various characters being taught for the day (classes run on the half hour) – choices may range from Fab Five characters like Goofy or Pluto or, of course, Mickey Mouse. But there are other popular characters such as a selection from The Nightmare Before Christmas or Olaf the snowman to more random characters like one of my favorites, the Cheshire Cat.

Let me state emphatically that you do NOT need any art training (or talent!) whatsoever to enjoy this attraction. The Cast Member instructor will show you everything you need to do to turn out a drawing of a beloved character.

I had serious doubts about my ability to do this, but was pleasantly surprised by the results!

When you first enter the room for this experience, there is stadium seating and a drawing board, paper and pencil waiting for you. Grab a board and settle in and let the class begin! Continue reading