Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Music Monday: A Kiss Goodnight (Disneyland Forever Fireworks)

The new song that debuted at the end of the new Disneyland Forever fireworks show is called, "A Kiss Goodnight". It was written by Disney Legend, Robert Sherman. It is sung by Ashley Brown (starred as Mary Poppins on Broadway).

Here is a recent video from Disney that features both Sherman and Brown to give you more insight about this special song written for Disneyland's 60th Celebration. 

"Walt wanted to give the folks that came to the Park a little extra something when they left. And so he decided to give them a fireworks show and he called it "a little kiss goodnight" before they left the Park for the night."

If you want to read about the Disneyland's new fireworks show, click HERE to view a fun facts sheet. If you want to experience and hear it for yourself, Disneyland Forever is currently showing every night. Who doesn't love a great Disneyland fireworks show set to great Disney music? It's always a spectacular and well choreographed show in the sky. 

Happy Music Monday!


24hr Disneyland Diamond Celebration Bingo Cards

I am excited about the official start of Disneyland's Diamond Celebration. My family is headed out to brave the pumped up crowd. Family Fun Fridays never sounded so adventurous than making moments during the 24-hr Disneyland party. We are ready for some long waits and getting to meet some interesting people in lines with us. So I created these BINGO cards to pass some time and help us interact with each other and engage our fellow Disney friends. Want your own Disney park bingo cards?


There are 10 different BINGO cards: same content but in different spots. 

Happy Disneyland Diamond Celebration Day!


A Weekly Disneyland Annual Passholder Treat: Wednesday's with Walt

Late last year, Disneyland announced that they would have a weekly special treat for Disneyland Annual Passholders:

"Every Wednesday—for a limited time—Annual Passholders will get a chance to step into the Opera House at Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. and get a unique glimpse into the creative genius of Walt while enjoying highlights from the Disneyland television series."

These weekly events take place at the Disneyland Opera House. It's the perfect venue to view some classic Disneyland clips. There are three showings. There are weekly regulars who have been able to see selected reels of "Disneyland" television series. Most people refer to them as "Wonderful World of Disney."

I haven't been to hardly any since it is just one of the days of the week where I need to drive my "mommy van" and gets to and from after school activities. I did make it to one yesterday and it was a good one. 

Goofy is probably one of the most popular Disney characters. One of the things that makes the character come alive is the voice behind him. We were all pleasantly surprised when Bill Farmer made an appearance and spoke about his Goofy journey. 

Bill Farmer.jpg

Farmer has been providing the voice of Goofy for 30 years. He spoke about how he got his job, shared some stories and answered questions. He was a comedian who did a lot of impersonations. He told us that during his teens, he would try out different voices at the drive thru. How funny is that? He practiced how to voice Goofy, auditioned, and got his most favorite job. 

The school year and all extra-curricular activities are winding down. I hope I get a couple more of these Wednesdays with Walt events. I've really enjoyed the several that I have been to. 

On a final note, the news, the web, bloggers, and everyone in Southern California is buzzing with excitement about the official beginning of Disneyland's Diamond Celebration. This Friday, Disneyland Park is hosting a 24-hr event. I think all the decor is finally up. The banners are up, all the 60th merchandise is available, and the diamonds are sparkling.

See the diamond in Mickey's bow tie?

See the diamond in Mickey's bow tie?

We are going to brave it and go for it. Why not be part of Disneyland history when they unveil a new night parade and fireworks show? We are gonna make some family memories.

Disneyland Forever!


The Tomorrowland Movie is an E-Ticket Ride

MacSparky and I were lucky enough to get some tickets to a special screening for Disneyland Annual Passholders to view the new Tomorrowland movie. MacSparky was already "IN" when he found out that Brad Bird (Iron Giant, Incredibles) was involved. We were confident that the story would be good.

This was a good interview with Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof (I think I saw him make a cameo in the movie). It was good to hear it straight from the creators. Pretty entertaining, too. Bird calls the movie a "sci-fi fantasy fable". 

Here's what I have to say about TOMORROWLAND:

  • Go with no expectations except to watch an action-packed movie with a great story. If you were intrigued by the trailers, you won't be disappointed.
  • Don't expect to hear talk about Walt Disney or Disneyland.
  • Pay attention to the Disney castle in the opening credits. It's pretty cool.
  • At one point in the movie, if you look close enough, there is a scene where you can spot a reference to The Iron Giant
  • The special pin is an invitation that I would love to receive and share, too. 
  • Stay for the credits to the very end. If you move your head you might miss it. 
  • The next time you ride "it's a small world", you'll be thinking about what might be underneath the attraction if anything. 
  • I loved how "Audio-Animatronics" was incorporated and used in the story.
  • If you love to dream, hope, and are a "half-glass" kind of person, you'll like the message.

This short video, from Disney Insider, was just released and the words from the cast are interesting to hear.

Don't forget to to visit this official and interactive website: TAKE ME TO TOMORROWLAND. You may hear more about Plus Ultra after the movie is released but there is a lot of chatter on the web that you can find. There is also a new book, Before Tomorrowland, that was released if you want some prequel story and background. It's not necessary but is interesting. 

I love a good E-Ticket Disney ride. It's usually highly entertaining, technology advanced, and is new. For me, Tomorrowland was like an E-Ticket. The movie had thrills, spills, and when it was over, I was enthralled. At the end of the special screening. we were all given a Tomorrowland pin. We will gladly accept the invitation.

"It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!"


Music Mondays: Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

I have a lot of family and friends who have May birthdays. This Disney song, "Happy, Happy Birthday to You" is a fun alternative to the traditional birthday song. It was composed by Michael Silversher and Patricia (Patty) Silversher for Donald Duck's 50th Birthday (1984). The song was written to also avoid copyright restrictions that were associated with the more familiar "Happy Birthday To You" song. 

1984 was a big year for Donald Duck. There was a television special as well as a tour.  The song is fun, lively to help celebrate this milestone. It was used as the Disneyland parade music. Be warned that it is a kind of catchy.

So if you are looking for an alternate birthday song to sing, try this Disney song. 

To all my friends and family celebrating a birthday this month: I hope all your birthday wishes come true!



Share a Coke Bottles exclusive to Disney Parks

The SHARE A COKE campaign was so popular that it's back. Spotted these fun Coca-Cola bottles at Disneyland over the weekend.

Apparently there won't be any Disney character ones. I get it, but it would have been fun to buy one that says "share a coke" with Goofy, or Donald, etc..." Disney characters don't drink that stuff, right? The Coke bottles available are HERO (regular Coke), SUPERSTAR (Diet Coke) and PIRATE (Coke Zero). According to this article, these will be exclusive to Disney Parks

You can go over on this website and actually order a personalized one if you want ($5 a bottle). See personalized stuff has always been a tough for me because there was never any souvenir stuff with the name "DAISY when I was growing up. I have a dear friend who knows my perference for Coke and she gave me my own Share a Coke mini can last year.

Coca Cola and Disney have had a long partnership. The Coke and Disney are two of the most internationally recognized logos in the world. Two iconic brands that always bring a smile. 



Music Mondays: Grim Grinning Ghosts & That Hatbox Ghost

With all the talk about The Hatbox Ghost and its anticipated return, I've been humming Grim Grinning Ghosts. It's known as the theme song for Haunted Mansion. The song was composed by Buddy Baker and the famous lyrics were written by X Atencio. Both Baker and Atencio are also Disney Legends

Last October, Disney Parks Blog had this interesting post about about "10 Things to Know About The Haunted Mansion Theme". It's a good list to bookmark. One noteworthy cover of this song was done by Barenaked Ladies. You can hear this song throughout the 2003 movie The Haunted Mansion


My family and I had a chance to visit Disneyland yesterday and we made our way over to The Haunted Mansion. They actually have Fastpass available since the Hatbox Ghost is looking like a very popular addition. 

Ol' Hatty looks like he's happy to finally be home. He's pretty cool. I am happy that the Imagineers finally made it happen. I hope the Hatbox Ghost is a permanent spooky addition and not just a Diamond Celebration thing. If you make it Disneyland this year, you will definitely have to ride on the Haunted Mansion to experience the Hatbox Ghost for yourself. 

Happy Music Monday!



My Mini Tour of Walt Disney's Hollywood

I've been reading my way through Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas. It's THE biography to read if you want to learn about Walt Disney and the beginnings of the Walt Disney Company. This book chronicles Walt's early struggles, the many failures, and achievements that would end up growing the Disney Company. 

You have to understand that famous biographer, Bob Thomas, was given access to the Disney family for interviews and other materials. Thomas had also known Disney personally and had written previous materials. You also read about a lot of people who were important to Walt and the Company whose names would later grace some of the windows on Main Street USA. It's not sugar coated and you get an appreciation of the challenges that Walt faced that influenced his success as a film maker and entrepreneur. It was first printed in 1976 and is still around. It's really a great read.

The first couple of chapters features Walt's childhood in Missouri, his years in the Red Cross and his move to Los Angeles in 1923. During his early days as a carton maker in this area, you not only get the sense of how determined Walt was to get his work out there, but how much of an innovator he was as a film maker and story teller. Through the book and other information on the web, my friend I went on an adventure to see some of the landmarks that make up Walt Disney's Hollywood. These are places where Walt Disney worked and lived. 

Our first stop was the 4649 Kingswell Ave. This was the first location "Disney Bros Studio." This is where the Alice Comedies were created. This is where Walt would hire his future wife, Lilian Bounds, as an Ink and Paint girl.

It's currently a small business providing mail/copy services. We went inside the tiny location. The proprietor was kind enough to let us take these photos of things on the wall that let people know of the historical significance of this location. She told us that one of her customers had painted the mural. 

Next stop, we passed by a home on the same street (Kingswell) that is known as "Uncle Robert's home". This is where Walt rented a room from his uncle when he first got to Los Angeles.  I could see how easy a walk it was from the Disney Bros Studio to this house. Sorry I forgot to get a photo but you can see one HERE

Then we drove a short distance to Lyric Ave. This is where Walt and Roy bought two matching homes in the Los Feliz hills. The houses sit on a corner. Rumor is that that current owners are aware of their famous homes but are not warm to Disney fans. Luckily, it was a quite time when we arrived and I quickly took these photos. 

Just up the street from these houses is John Marshall High School. It doesn't have anything to do with Walt Disney's Hollywood but it is notable. It's been used in movies like School of Rock, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Pretty in Pink. Some of its famous students are Leonardo DiCaprio and

We tried to drive through the winding hills in search of 4053 Working Way, the Los Feliz home where Walt and Lilian would raise their family. They would live here from 1932-1949 before moving to the Carolwood home. We ran out of time to find it and navigating through the narrow roads was a little tough. Next time.

We made one more stop on our way to our dinner engagement. This was the original site of the Animation Studio in the Silver Lake District. There is now a Gleson's market where the Hyperion location stood.  Inside the market, they have this one photo to make note of the Disney property that was once there. In addition, there is a sign on the light post in the parking lot that designates the location as a Point of Historical Interest. 

One of the things I learned from my personal mini tour of Walt Disney's Hollywood land is that they simply named the locations based on the streets they were located. It was as simple as that. I also can see how much the areas have evolved since the 1923, when Walt Disney first came to the Los Angeles area. I can now appreciate all the details that went into creating Buena Vista Street over at Disney California Adventure.

Off to read more chapters in my book. Have a great Friday!






Caption This Disneyland Window Display

One of my favorite things to do at Disneyland is walk through the stores. Maybe it's related to all my time I spent working in Disneyland Merchandise. Maybe I just love to window shop. Sometimes, you ever know what you will see in the merchandise displays. It's all in the details, right?

My kids were with me when we came upon this merchandise window in one of the Frontierland shops. They were witness to this oh so funny and subtle display. Those toys really get to have some fun when no one is looking. 

Happy Thursday!


It's beginning to look a lot like a Disneyland Party

Yesterday I was able to visit Disneyland and saw lots of signs that it's almost party time. There's the signature blue and white bunting that is popping up on several of the Main Street buildings.

There were several of the Emporium windows covered up. It used to be such a big deal when these particular windows were going to be changed. 

I saw over on the Disney Parks Blog they had more information about what is behind these windows. There was a reveal today so I guess I am going back to get a closer look. Will be sharing those photos soon. 

Hope you find some pixie dust today!


Music Mondays: Star Wars Main Title

The world first heard the Star Wars theme song in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. It was written by composer, John Williams. It is one of the most recognizable theme songs in the universe. It is also known as "Luke's Theme."

"When I thought of a theme for Luke and his adventures, I composed a melody that reflected the brassy, bold, masculine and noble qualities I saw in the character."

              -John Williams


You can hear this theme song woven into other Star Wars movies that would follow Episode IV. It is a very majestic anthem that creates a feeling of hope. It was confirmed last year that John Williams is involved in scoring the music the The Force Awakens. It will be exciting to hear how he incorporates some familiar Star Wars melodies into the new movie. 

Several years ago the Star Wars Concert Tour happened and MacSparky and I were able to see it. There was a full orchestra plus a choir (for Phantom Menace music) that played to a full audience of Star Wars fans. Anthony Daniels (C3PO) was a master of ceremonies that evening. It was a memorable evening. If you ever get a chance to see a full orchestra play some Star Wars music live, it's really beautiful. Here's a link to a video clip of John Williams conducting the Boston Pops.



The Star Wars Main Title has gone to spawn a hit disco version known as Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Fun. Released in 1977, it would go on to be a number one hit that year. 



SNL even has a famous skit where Bill Murray is a lounge singer who sang these lyrics to the Star Wars theme song:

Oh Star Wars,
Nothing but Star Wars,
Give me those Star Wars,
Dont let them end.
Oh Star Wars,
If they should bar wars,
Please let these Star Wars

The entire Star Wars music catalog from the movies is really a great collection to have. It's great for long road trips. That John Williams is quite a composer. Personally, I don't recommend listening to it while you are driving on the freeway. The Star Wars Main Title really makes you want to go into "light speed".

For many fans, this day is another reason to celebrate all things Star Wars. 



My Day at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - April 2015

Star Wars Celeb3.JPG

A couple weeks ago, my husband (MacSparky), daughter #2 and I were able to attend the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim (SWCA). My two Jedi's were so giddy. It is and continues to be heartwarming to watch these two strengthen their father and daughter bond with their shared love of the Star Wars universe. It was really amazing to see that it was not only my husband and daughter at this epic gathering, but many fathers and daughters who were in attendance experiencing the same joy. 

Walking towards the Anaheim Convention Center was already a fun experience. Seeing everyone go all out in their Star Wars gear made me realize I was in for an awesome day. How could you not smile when we walked behind these Merry Siths. 

merry siths.jpg

Fans all brought their game when it came to their attire. I wouldn't even call them costumes since there was so much love poured into the whole package. Character/movie mashups were everywhere, too. Here's a small sampling of what I saw on the SWCA.

There were plenty of exhibits on to view. The must see was The Force Awakens where there were costumes and props from the upcoming movie. The wait was long but worth it. You can check out MacSparky's post to view some of the great photos. The one thing that stood out for me was the use of 3D printers to create some of props. Technology and film making can always good together. 

Here's a gallery of more things I saw on the Celebration

Another interesting room we were able to visit was the R2 Builders area. A gathering of R2 builders showing off their creations? Let us see.

These next set of photos really is evidence that the Star Wars fans totally get each other. NERD NITE SPEED DATING at this event totally makes sense. How great would it be to meet someone who understands and shares your passion. This is a popular event and has been known to be the place where many relationships have begun. 

photo from SWCA

photo from SWCA

We were able to sit in one of the many interesting panels that were going on that day. We attended "Rebel Women Who Fought the Clone Wars" that featured line producer Athena Portillo, creative executive Rayne Roberts, production manager Liz Marshall, and senior concept designer Amy Beth Christenson from Lucasfilm. Dave Filoni stepped in to moderate the panel. From his questions, we all learned their stories of how they go to their current role. We got some insight into how their processes work. It was an awesome hour where we learned that these are the major players, all women, behind the success of Star Wars Rebels. They shared some artwork and also got us all excited about things coming to Star Wars Rebels. It was really a great session for anyone interested in film making and production work.

I got to meet Jason Swank, one the hosts of Rebel Force Radio. He hosted a variety of panels during the Celebration. He's got a pretty awesome job for being a Star Wars fan. If you want to find a great Star Wars podcast for fans, by fans, I would recommend checking out the Rebel Force Radio podcast. 

At the end of the Celebration, they announced that next year would be Star Wars Celebration Europe (London). The VIP tickets sold out in the first day they opened up registration. If it ever comes your way or have a chance to attend one of these Celebrations, I would totally plan to go. It's really an experience. 

My two Jedi's can't stop talking about it their day at the Star Wars Celebration. It definitely strengthened their Star Wars bond. We all made new friends, got some fun stuff, and made awesome memories. We are so excited about Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens. We have plans for the midnight showing where we hope to see many of our Star Wars friends come out in full force. My daughter remarked: "That will be the first Star Wars movie I will see on the big screen." It made me realize that she has only experience the Star Wars movies via DVD and at home. She's only 13.. a Jedi in training. 

May the Force Be With You!