Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Music Mondays: In Summer (from Frozen)

My youngest daughter loves to belt out this song simply called In Summer from Frozen. It's actually her favorite song form the movie. I think because it's kinda silly when it is sung by a snowman who yearns to experience summer. The way that Josh Gad sang it in his character also makes it memorable. It's the song that endears Olaf to you. 

There are several fun trivia notes about this particular song:

  • There is a tribute to Mary Poppins when Olaf dances with seagulls that is reminiscent of the scene of Bert dancing with penguins. 
  • When Olaf sings the line "a drink in my hand," note that the ice cubes in his drink are shaped like Olaf himself.
  • Everything that Olaf sings about are activities that will surely melt him faster. 

My daughter appreciates the irony in the song. She insists on signing just like Josh Gad does. I think that is half the fun. Who can't love a snowman who is so excited to experience a season like summer?

Happy Music Monday!


Not-so-hidden Mickey's in our Aulani Villa


My family joined the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) several years ago. We chose Aulani as our home resort. We love going to Hawaii, we love the Hawaiian culture, people, plus the climate is pretty nice. It is paradise for us with a little Disney on the side.

I'll have more posts about the Aulani in the next coming weeks but I wanted to share some fun "not so hidden Mickey's" in our villa. 

This is what is our our bed. It's not quite a full size quilt. It is definitely a great decorative accent. According to the Disney Store, it's referred to as the Aulani Disney Resort & Spa Bed Runner.

Aulani Spa Bed Runner

Aulani Spa Bed Runner

This is cushion backing that is on the dining room furniture. It's pretty subtle yet fits in the Hawaiian motif.

There is a rock wall inside the shower stall in the bathroom. Here is a close up. Can you see the hidden Mickey nestled in the rock design?

It's to the right of a red colored rock.

It's to the right of a red colored rock.

This picture is also in the bathroom. Did you see the Mickey bubble?

This picture is also in the bathroom. Did you see the Mickey bubble?

This lamp is in the living room. It looks great and fits into the simple Hawaiian decor. When you turn it on, you see cool surfer Mickey.

Finally, one of my favorites is this Mickey Mouse lamp that sits on the desk inside the bedroom. He's got his ukelele, his kukui necklace and surfboard. You can actually purchase the lamp, too. I see a great Christmas gift that my kids can give to their dad to remember these sweet family Aulani memories.





Music Mondays(Tues): Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (Lilo & Stitch)

Music Monday...on this Tuesday. Sorry I thought I had automatically sent this to post and realized that did not happen. We had a busy wedding weekend to celebrate my niece's nuptials and now here we are today.....

The summer season has officially started. This year, our family will be lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii. It's about a 5-hr flight from Southern California and if you plan ahead, find the right airfare and accommodations, this tropical vacation is possible. Hawaii also reminds us that Lilo and Stitch's story takes place on this island. 

My family loves Lilo and Stitch with the latter being MacSparky's favorite Disney character. One of the original songs on the fun soundtrack is Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride by Alan Silvestri and Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu. It's a pretty fun song that incorporates Hawaiian lyrics.

There's no place I'd rather be
Than on the seashore dry, wet free
On golden sand is where I lay
And if I only had my way
I'd play til the sun sets
Beyond the horizon

Lalala i ka lā hanahana
Me ke kai hoene i ka pu'e one
It's time to try the Hawaiian Roller coaster ride

The original song was performed by Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu and the Kamehameha Schools children's chorus. There was also had a pop version recorded by Jump 5. It's a pretty fun and upbeat song.

I would recommend listening to the entire soundtrack as it is filled with great music. Lilo and Stitch love to listen to Elvis. There are some classics like Suspicious Minds and Devil in Disguise on CD. 


Aloha! Happy Music Monday...on this late Tuesday.


New Pixar Short: LAVA... It's so cool!

The other night, my family and I were able to attend a special Insider Access to Inside Out event from Fathom Events. It was a fabulous experience. First, Inside Out directors, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, took us on a virtual tour of the Pixar campus. We could have watched that part over and over again. It was a pretty extensive 20 minute reel. The Pixar campus is everything you think it would be and so much more. The trailers for The Good Dinosaur and Zootopia were shown. Then it was time for the main event.

Every Pixar movie begins with a new Pixar short. I'm in love with this new one titled, Lava.

I have to dedicate this post to my new favorite Pixar short, LAVA. It is so endearing and charming. Less than 10 minutes of a beautiful love story sung to a sweet melody that will stay in your head (it's a good thing). It was written by James Ford Murphy and produced by Andrea Warren. 

Here'a a good clip from Murphy where he talks about the inspiration for the story and song. 

LAVA actually premiered about a year ago at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival. Now everyone will get to see after the movie opens on Friday. After this weekend, not only will be people be talking about Inside out, but LAVA, too. The song is so memorable you'll be singing it to your someone special. My sweet husband, MacSparky, bought me the song when we figured out that this single was available on iTunes. 

Maybe it's because we love Hawaii and everything about it including the music. It's our favorite vacation destination. My youngest daughter (DD#2) has three ukuleles so that sound is a welcome and familiar one in our house. I requested that she learn to play this one for her dear old parents. 

I am in "lava" with the new Pixar short, LAVA. I hope you will find it just as enjoyable as we did. 



PS: Stay tuned as I will have more about INSIDE OUT in my next post. 

Music Mondays: What Time is It? (Summer Time)

My kids finished their school year last week and they always hum a particular Disney tune: What Time Is It from High School Musical 2. My kids grew up with the High School Musical movies so it makes their way into conversations, life references and many laughs. My kids are 5 years apart so it is nice for them to have something they can enjoy together. They watched these movies over, over, and over again. They know the dance moves with the songs. I confess that MacSparky and I can hum some of the songs (and do some dance moves), too. 

What Time Is It is the first song you hear in the movie. There is a countdown to the last minutes until the final bell for the school year and then the cast yells "What time is it? Summer Time!" as they burst out in singing this musical number.

The song was written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil. It captures all the excitement and feelings kids have about looking forward to summer vacation. Both the song and its musical number is iconic for many fans who grew up with the High School Musical series.

Last week, when my kids were counting down their last days of school, they would keep looking at each and ask "What Time Is It?" As we start a new week, my kids can now gleefully yell that it is "SUMMER TIME!"

Happy Music Monday!


Music Mondays: Almost There (Princess & the Frog)

I asked darling daughter #2 (DD#2) what was one of her songs from a Disney movie and she told me "Almost There" from Princess and a Frog. She went on to tell me how this movie is her favorite because Tiana's dream doesn't evolve around a guy, but a dream of making a living for herself. DD#2 also mentioned that this song is a feel good and hopeful song.

Almost There was written, arranged and conducted by Randy Newman. Newman is also known for his music from Toy Story and Cars. Before his Disney music adventures, Newman was already a well known songwriter with songs like "Short People" and "I Love LA". His musical score for this movie was influenced from  jazz, zydeco, blues, and gospel music. It all makes for a great soundtrack. 

This song received an Academy Award nomination in 2009 for Best Original Song. Newman and the movie also received another Best Original Song nomination for "Down in New Orleans". Both songs ended up losing to "The Weary Kind" from the movie Crazy Heart

As my kids prepare for their final exams this week, this song is appropriate for their week. They will both have successfully completed their first year in brand new schools. It was a big transition for all of us. We are all looking forward to celebrating their accomplishments. They are "almost there."

Happy Music Monday!




Music Mondays: Reflections from Mulan

I asked daughter #2 what is one of her favorite Disney movie songs and she told me "Reflections" from Mulan. It is a very pretty song and it is a good choice for this time of year. With the school year ending it always reminds me of how fast things go. All of a sudden your kids are done with another grade, a school or maybe even graduating. It is time for some reflection. 

"Reflections" was written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel for the 1998 movie, Mulan. Lea Salonga, the singing voice of Mulan, was the perfect choice to sing this hauntingly beautiful song. In the movie, Mulan sings this song after she fails at the matchmaking attempt of her parents. The lyrics express how she feels about hiding who she is, pretending to be who she is not in order to meet her family's expectations. The song is just the beginning of her journey. 

In 1998, the song received nominations for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song  and Best Original Score (Academy Awards). This song has been covered by many artists including a Mannheim Steamroller. For me, there is no better version that the original sung by Lea Salonga. 

Reflections is closely associated with Lea Salonga. It is one of the reasons why Lea was named a Disney Legend in 2011. There was also a pop version released that was sung by Christina Aguilera. This song would help Aguilera make her debut onto the Billboard Charts in 1998.  This song was the beginning of her (Aguilera) journey, too. 

Happy Music Monday!


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!