Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Friday Find: Pirates of the Caribbean Cast Member Watch (1992)

Last week, Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland celebrated its 50th anniversary. It reminded me that I had this particular Disney watch.

I bought this watch for the 25th anniversary of the attraction back in 1992. It was available to Disneyland Cast Members at the employee store, Company D. They were very limited in quantity. 

Limited edition: #158 out of 500

Limited edition: #158 out of 500

I love the face of this watch as it features the iconic talking pirate skull that you see at the beginning of the ride.

ARRGHH! Wishing ye a happy friday!


Friday Find: "Belle Tames the The Beast" Lithograph

One of my Disney art pieces that hangs on hallway gallery is this lithograph called, "Belle Tames the Beast."  You might remember this scene from the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast

I can't quite remember where I bought it but on the back of the frame is the following information about this piece. I came matted and framed when I bought back in the 1990s. There were a lot of this lithograph distributed and I have #21247 out of 30000.

I hope you either have seen or planning to go see the new Live Action Beauty and the Beast movies that opened in theaters today. I just came from seeing and it was fabulous! I love that a Disney story/movie can continue to grow, evolve and create more Disney magic for many. 

Happy Friday!


Disney Event: Disney Parks Blog Main Street Electrical Parade Meet-up

The other night, my daughter and I had an opportunity to attend a special event hosted by Disney Park Blog. It was billed as "Disney Parks Blog Main Street Electrical Parade Meet-Up." It was a very intimate and small event for Disneyland fans. The highlights included a chance to hear a panel of Cast Members who were responsible for bringing back the parade to Disneyland and getting a chance to see it.

First, I should mention that you you had to register for this event. Disney Parks announced the event and registration last week via their Facebook page and Twitter. I just happened to receive the notification and looked at it right away so I immediately clicked through and was lucky to have gotten in. (Hint: turn on all your notifications for these accounts so you don't miss posts like this. Then you have to act very fast.)

The event started at 6 but I just couldn't get there in time due to my schedule. We arrived around 7-ish and looked for the signs to check-in for the event. We received tickets to enter the park and some the itinerary for the night.

We were directed to another table and were given a Disney Parks Blog t-shirt and some Main Street Electrical Parade swag. It was a really fun surprise and very special gift bag.

Then we were escorted through Main Entrance by a couple Cast Members who helped us make our way to the Fantasyland Theater. Because we were late, we missed the reception and some photo ops. You can go to this Disney Parks Blog post to some of the things we missed. They let us quickly grab some dessert offerings and led us into the theater so we can hear the panel that was already in progress. 

Photo from Disney Parks Blog

Photo from Disney Parks Blog

The panel was hosted by Disney Parks Blog (Erin Glover) and consisted of the following Disneyland Cast Members: Robyn Vossen, General Manager, Disneyland Entertainment Operations; John Addis, Show Director, Disneyland Creative Entertainment; and Bruce Healey, Principal Music Producer, Disneyland Creative Entertainment.

I kind of wished the panel discussion was after the parade and a little longer. I would have liked to heard some more behind the magic stories from each panelists. They briefly covered the history of the parade. There are more lights on each float than ever before. They agreed that since the patriotic float at the end is the largest, that it probably has the most lights. No one has ever documented exactly how many lights each float has. As technology evolves, the light bulbs change in number or configuration, too. 

There was a brief conversation about its iconic music. Its origins can be traced to Baroque Hoedown that you can read HERE. It starts the parade music and looped in front of the music of the themed segments of the parade. Each of the floats has its own music arranged in counterpoint with the Baroque Hoedown riff. This method became the template as to how Disney now creates music for all their parades. 

The one thing they did point out was that when the Electrical Parade was at different parks, the big drum in the beginning of the parade said "Disney's Electrical Parade". So with the parade back at its home, they did change it out to read as it originally read to "Main Street Electrical Parade."

After the panel has concluded, they raffled off some really wonderful Disneyland art. Then it was off to see the parade. 

It was a very intimate affair with no more than 200 Disney Parks Blog readers who were lucky enough to get registered. I appreciated all the Cast Members who made it a fun event. We are appreciative of the treats that we received. My daughter and I had a great evening!

With much pixie dust,


Disney Book Review: Belle's Library

I bought this book, Belle's Library, for my daughter for Valentine's Day. Beauty and the Beast holds a special place in her heart as it is one of the first productions that she was a part of at our local theater (SCR).  She enjoyed her experience as part of this particular production due to her fellow cast mates and the material. So, I thought she would enjoy this newly released book.

I borrowed it the other week and was thrilled to find out what a treasure it is. The foreword is written by Linda Woolverton who wrote the original script to the animated movie. She has continued to write for a number of Disney movies including the live action Alice in Wonderland and Maleficient. I really enjoyed reading Woolverton's foreward to read some "behind the story" -story of Beauty and the Beast. You really need to read it and you'll appreciate Beauty and the Beast so much more. 

What got me excited was to learn about the contents of this book, Belle's Library, are stories that Belle herself would have read. They are excerpts from books that would be in Belle's library. For example, there are passages from The Odyssey, Don Quixote, and Aesop's Fables. Accompanying every excerpt are "thoughts" from Belle. As you read the book, the opposite page includes Belle's journaling/thoughts about the passage you just read. 

As a bonus, the artwork in this book is so pretty and compliments the contents of the book. The drawings are simple and has a watercolor look. There are also some blank pages in the back so you also have a journal or draw about the musings you jstu read. 

It is really a good read. It's like stepping into Belle's library with her and having her tell you her favorite stories and authors. It would be a great gift for Mother's Day and a very thoughtful graduation gift or birthday gift.

Belle's Library is written by Brittany Rubiano and art by Jenna Huerta. It is published by Disney Press. It is available through many online and box store retailers. You'll want one for yourself, especially if you love Beauty and the Beast

Happy Reading!



Music Monday: New songs for Beauty & The Beast LIVE Action

I think Beauty and the Beast has been in many stages of my life since it came out in 1991. I saw it in the movie theater opening weekend with boyfriend, now husband, MacSparky. The movie became a big hit and I remember hearing the pop version of "Be Our Guest" being played on all the radio stations. When I had kids, they first watched it on VHS format. We went to see the Broadway production when the tour stopped in Southern California. When the DVD format came out, we bought that, too, and watched all the extras. Last summer, my youngest was part of the ensemble in a local musical production of Beauty and the Beast. 

I taught my kids all the songs from the animated movie. We learned the Broadway songs together. Now, we have 4 new songs to enjoy from the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. 

I think it is fun to see Alan Menken write new songs for the same story that he has been writing for since probably the 1980s when he first started writing music for Beauty and the Beast.  For the animated movie, Menken wrote with Howard Ashman. When the musical was being produced, he collaborated with Tim Rice. Now 26 years later, Menken and Rice are back with new songs for the Live Action version. 

The movie soundtrack was released last week so you can now go hear the following new songs:

  • "Aria" - sung by Madame De Garderobe (wardrobe)
  • "How Does a Moment Last Forever" - sung by Papa. Reprise by Belle
  • "Days in the Sun" - sung by Cast
  • "Evermore" - sung by The Beast

The soundtrack also includes demo versions by Menken and a new pop version of "Beauty & the Beast" sung by Ariana Grande and John Legend. There is also a great version of "Evermore" sung by Josh Groban and "How Does a Moment Last Forever" sung by Celine Dion. These are both EPIC. It is really great to see Dion invited back and continue to be part of the Beauty and the Beast family with this new song. 

I loved the songs from the animated classic. I have learned all the Broadway songs after my daughter became part of a musical version of Beauty and the Beast.  I am enjoying the new songs from this upcoming version and I can't wait to see the movie.

Beauty and the Beast is a constant in my life and I am totally okay with that.  It's been the music in my life since it first came out in 1991. 

Happy Music Monday!


Shop Disney: I Am Excited About These 2 New Disney Books

I was perusing Amazon for some Disney books and came upon these two new Disney books that are due to be released this year. These are both being published by Disney Editions

The first book I am excited about is A Kiss Goodnight.  I see that Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Floyd Norman have author credit. Sherman wrote the song and I am happy to see that Norman has illustrator credit for this book. What a great combination. The bonus is that there is a CD with a recording of the song by Ashley Brown. Brown originated the role of the Broadway production of Mary Poppins and she sang this song at Disneyland's 60th Diamond Anniversary event and fireworks show. The song was never released on any platform, Disney album or compilation so I am very happy to get this song on a CD. 

Not only is the title of the book, A Kiss Goodnight, but the actual song has the same name. There is a direct Walt Disney connection to this phrase, "A Kiss Goodnight" that you can read about in one of my earlier post HERE

Release date: Aug 22, 2017

Release date: Aug 22, 2017

The next book that is on my Disney book list is Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation by Mindy Johnson. Johnson was one of the contributing writers to Marc Davis: Walt Disney's Renaissance Man. The topic is one of great interest to me. I always hear talk about the INK & PAINT department during the Walt Disney Studios golden years. It will be a great read to learn about women who were a big part of making classic movies like Bambi, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty. The women of Ink & Paint remind me about some "hidden figures" in Disney animated history. 

Release date: Sept 5, 2017

Release date: Sept 5, 2017

I love most things Disney but have a particular interest in Disney things associated with Disneyland, the Walt Disney Studios and overall Disney heritage or history. So these two books are definitely on my list. Disney books are one of those types of books that I enjoy in hardback copy. They are always filled with great photos and art.

Happy Shopping,



Friday Find: Art by Paige O'Hara (Beauty & the Beast)

I was in the Disneyana store a couple weeks ago and saw this pretty art of Belle from Beauty & the Beast. I noticed the artist who did this piece is Paige O'Hara. She played the role of Belle in the 1991 animated movie.

I thought it was kind of cool and would be a fun thing to own. Belle is my favorite Disney character since she was introduced to us in the animated film back in 1991. I love her independence and her sense of adventure. 

If you want to know more about Paige O'Hara, artist, check out THIS website. There are more of her art and opportunity to purchase items on the site.  

Happy Friday!


Music Monday: GASTON (Beauty & the Beast)

One of my favorite songs from Beauty and the Beast is "Gaston." Written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman for the 1991 animated movie, the song and scene capture just about everything you need to know about this Disney Villain.

"No one's slick as Gaston
No one's quick as Gaston
No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston
For there's no man in town half as manly
Perfect, a pure paragon"

It's one of the most memorable and fun scene in the movie. I am excited to see the LIVE action version when the LIVE action movie is released late next week. You really see the townspeople and their love for Gaston and you see just how much Gaston loves Gaston.

Last year, I went to a 25th Anniversary Beauty and the Beast event hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science. The animator behind Gaston, Disney Legend Andreas Deja, was also there to talk a little about how he came to design this villain. He was challenged with drawing a handsome figure who was going to be the evil character in this story. There is this story he shares about a funny "controversy" about animating the line in the song "and every inch of me's covered with hair."

This anecdote demonstrates how Disney animators are crucial to bringing the music and lyrics to life. It's really funny, too. Now you'll never see that scene again without thinking about this story.

"Gaston" is one of those songs that is catchy and can stick in your head for awhile. There are some great lines in the song that are fun to belt out. It's a pretty good song choice for any karaoke night that you and our friends can enjoy singing together. 

Happy Music Monday,


Friday Find: Indiana Jones Commemorative Passport (1995)

The Indiana Jones™ Adventure ride debuted at Disneyland on March 3, 1995. I was a Cast Member back then as a Main Street Merchandise Host. I remember those first couple weeks that as soon as the park opened, many made a beeline for the Indiana Jones ride. The lines would get to several hours long. That first week, the lines would be so long that it would spill out of the Indiana Jones queue, wind through Adventureland and sometimes go down Main Street. 

My husband, MacSparky, was an Indiana Jones fan from the very beginning of the movie series. I bought this Indiana Jones commemorative passport (ticket) for his birthday.

This item was a Cast Member exclusive that you could only purchase at Company D (the Cast Member store). I did purchase it unframed. I can't remember how much I paid for it but I know it initially cost me more to frame it than the actual ticket. In 1995, the price of Disneyland admission was $33.00. 

We have this fun piece of Disneyland and Indiana Jones history hanging in our hallway. It always brings back lots of memories of working at Disneyland and reflects my husband's love of the Indiana Jones franchise. 

Happy Friday!


PS: Check out THIS fun post to read about some fun facts about the Indiana Jones attraction.

Music Monday: How Far I'll Go (Moana)

Did you catch the wonderful performance of Lin-Manual Miranda and Auli'I Cravalho on the Oscar show last night? They sang "How Far I'll Go" from Moana, Disney's 56th animated movie. It was nominated for Best Original Song for the 89th Academy Awards. Miranda and Cravalho (who vis the voice of Moana) were invited to sing the song on the broadcast. Miranda composed and performed a rap to set the stage for the song and then Cravalho had a flawless live performance. 

It was Miranda's first Oscar nomination. I am sure there will be more in the future and he'll eventually get become an EGOT member. If you want to see some of Miranda's thought process to writing this particular song, check out this post from Oh My Disney and also this Genius entry.

The song is something that most of us can relate to. We know that the world is big out there and it would be fun to see what is out there...but how far do we push ourselves and our loved ones to allow us to seek that adventure? What do we risk by going or not going? 

"See the line where the sky meets the sea? It call me.

And no one know how far it goes. 

If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me,

One day I'll know

How far I'll go...."

Happy Music Monday,


PS: The Moana DVD is being release March 7th. I am sure there are more fun behind the scenes and stories that will be included.

Friday Find: Mickey Mouse Paper Punch & Rubber Stamp = Fun Cards

I have a lot of paper crafting supplies so when I need something for a project, I eventually find other treasures. I found this Mickey Mouse head paper punch and decided to play with it and make some cards for my Disney loving friends. I think it was made by EK Success paper punch. I am going to have to make some kind of template with the negative punched image. I'll share that project another time.

This was my starting point. I knew I wanted to use this iconic shape for my friend cards. I used to be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator so I have plenty of inks, stamps, cardstock and so much more. Here are a couple cards I made using some of my stamps from Stampin' Up! stash.

I wrote "Trust, and Pixie Dust" on the inside.

I wrote "Trust, and Pixie Dust" on the inside.

Yellow splatter stamped image from COLOR ME HAPPY stamp set by Reverse Confetti.

Yellow splatter stamped image from COLOR ME HAPPY stamp set by Reverse Confetti.
Stampin' Up! Stamp Set: Happy Everything

Stampin' Up! Stamp Set: Happy Everything

I have boxes of plain patterned cards that I buy at TJ Maxx and they make for easy card making. I usually stamp my images on white cardstock and then adhere them on these blank cards. These next cards were made from a wooden rubber stamp that I found on eBay and a stamp set from Reverse Confetti called, Color Me Happy.

I used some markers to color in Mickey's pants and shoes.

I used some markers to color in Mickey's pants and shoes.

Off to make more fun Disney-themed cards for my friends. If you want me to send you one, leave me a comment about why you like HAPPY MAIL and I will choose a couple recipients.

Happy Friday!


Disney Concept Art of Disney Couples

Happy LOVE Day! Hope you have some plans throughout the day to celebrate with those you love. Loving someone is a constant adventure, but the rewards are worth it...right?

Just wanted to share this post that OH MY DISNEY shared today. It features 25 pieces of concept art depicting Disney couples in various stages of love. I really enjoyed looking through them and seeing who drew them. Here's my favorite one. 

Concept art by Glen Keane

Concept art by Glen Keane

Here's hoping lots of love finds you all year long. 


Music Monday: True Love's Kiss (Enchanted)

In 2007, Disney released Enchanted, which was a live-action animated musical fantasy romantic film. The movie was both a homage and self-parody to Disney animated classics. Alan Menken (composer) and Stephen Schwartz (lyrics) wrote the music for Enchanted. They had previously worked on Pocahontas and Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

One of the most memorable songs from Enchanted is "True Love's Kiss". It's the first song you hear and captures that moment where we are introduced to a Disney princess, Giselle, who sings about her hopes and dreams. It's her "I want" song.

"I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss
And a prince, I’m hoping, comes with this
That’s what brings ever-aftering so happy
That’s the reason we need lips so much
For lips are the only things that touch
So to spend a life of endless bliss
Just find who you love through true love’s kiss.”

There's a little hopeless romantic in all of us, right? 

Happy Music Monday,