Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Lights on! - Sleeping Beauty Castle

The other night we happened to be at Disneyland when they were prepping lights for an upcoming taping of Amercia's Funniest Video (AVF). It's the show's 25th Anniversary and they have a spectacular prize for the winner: "AFV’s $100,000 winners will compete for the chance to win a spectacular Grand Prize: A Vacation for 60 people where they could enjoy the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration at Disneyland® Resort."

Anyways, is this is how Sleeping Beauty Castle gets all lit up for a special event, I can't to see what's in store for the the Diamond Celebration that begins May 22nd. 

Wishing you lots of pixie dust today!


Music Mondays: When Can I See You Again? (Wreck It Ralph)

Last week, the Disney Parks blog released some new footage for the upcoming "Paint the Night" parade. This will be the evening parade that features the song, "When Can I See You Again" which was first heard at the end credits from the movie, Wreck It Ralph

This video has a good sneak peak of the song and new parade. 

It's a pretty catchy song written and performed by Owl City (Adam Young). It is the perfect tune the will have everyone dancing and singing at the end of night. Owl City has also written some special lyrics for this parade. However, some of the original lyrics are the perfect words that you might hear any Disney character sing to you. 

Yeah, it's been fun but now I've got to go
Life is way too short to take it slow
But before I go and hit the road
Tell me when
When can I see you again?

Happy Music Monday!


Disneyland Diary - April 16, 2015

My daughter invited me to go meet her for lunch at Disneyland. How could I pass that up? We ended up at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. It's kind of away from everything and has great atmosphere. There was plenty of shade and seats. I had a yummy fried green tomato sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. It was nice to sit by The Rivers of America and watch the Mark Twain go by on such a warm day. The real world felt far away from my view. 

My daughter and I just enjoyed an afternoon to walk around and take in the scenery. We went window shopping and looked at all the new merchandise. We did walk over to Tomorrowland to see the new Tomorrowland movie preview. We were a little too early for the preview but here is the new marquee at the Magic Eye Theater

Spring break just ended so a lot of work has to be done before summer starts. There were scaffolds and scrims all around the Buzz Lightyear attraction. 

Buzz Lightyear attraction exterior.

Buzz Lightyear attraction exterior.

We checked out Sleeping Beauty Castle to see what was going on. There is a stage and lighting towers for a taping of America's Funniest Home Video.

Finally, looks like there is one more piece that is waiting to be revealed on Sleeping Beauty Castle. What's under the curtain?

Here is a print ad that shows 60th medallion above the Sleeping Beauty Castle entrance. The Diamond Celebration that begins May 22nd.

(c) Disney 

(c) Disney 

Thanks for letting me share my Disneyland day with you,


Disneyland Map (photo reproduction) - Peter Ellenshaw

It's a small world after all....

I've had this photo reproduction of the Disneyland map for awhile. I vaguely remember visiting the Disney Gallery and waiting in line to purchase and getting it signed by the artist, Peter Ellenshaw.

I confess that I had to ask one of my Disney friends to assist me in remembering exactly what this was and whose signature it was. You see, during my time as a Disneyland Cast Member (1989-2001), there were lots of different opportunities and events to be able to purchase some really great Disneyana things. I have a small collection of specific Disneyland collectibles but I haven't really been able to appreciate most of them until about the last year. It's pretty recent that I have actually delved into Disneyland heritage and began to really learn about the individuals that had so much influence in drawing, creating and  building Disneyland. 

So pulling this particular piece out of my Disneyana stash and being able to identify it was a big deal for me. Learning the significance of this particular map and the artist behind has helped me appreciate it more, too. 

I learned that this map design was the one that Walt Disney had asked Ellenshaw to paint so he (Disney) could use for his television show to introduce Disneyland to the audience. 

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

A couple years ago at the D23 event, they had the color version of this map. "It is very unique because of the special glow-in-the-dark oil paint Ellenshaw used. The painting was done on animation storyboard, as opposed to canvas or wood. The glow-in-the-dark map shows the park at night when its viewed under black lights. " It was really cool to see the original and lit up under the black light.

I learned that Ellenshaw was a matte artist who was won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on Mary Poppins. He was also known for his work in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Black Hole. Ellenshaw was a very accomplished artist. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1993. 

If you want to learn more about Ellenshaw, here is a POST that had a good interview with him. There is also a beautiful book that is still in print: Ellenshaw Under Glass - Going to the Matte for Disney.

My sister hosted Easter Sunday last week. I was able to spend time with my brother-in-law's aunt. She happened to be Peter Ellenshaw's former daughter-in-law. She was married to Harrison Ellenshaw who is an artist, too, known for his work on Tron, Star Wars, and Dick Tracy. I've heard my brother-in-law always mention his uncle who worked on Tron but never really asked more questions.

Anyways, during our conversation, she told me a handful of her sweet memories of Peter Ellenshaw and some Disney stories, too. Her husband, Harrison, was there at Disneyland's Opening Day. She was able to authenticate my photo reproduction of the Disneyland map and signature, too. Over the years, I have casually run into her at family events. I have to admit I had a minor fan girl moment this Easter when I figured out who she was related to. 

I guess it's time for me to get my signed Disneyland map framed. I better go through the rest of my Disneyana box and see what else I might have in there. It's an opportunity to discover and enjoy the journey to learn more about Disneyland's history.

Have a Disney-kind-of-day!


Music Mondays: Seize the Day (Newsies)

This past Saturday, my youngest daughter and I were able to get up to Hollywood and see the evening performance of NEWSIES. WOW, what a show! The talented ensemble delivered a fabulous performance with the award winning choreography (Christopher Gatelli) and all to music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman

One of the signature songs from Newsies is Seize the Day. The song is sung towards the end of the first act. This number alone was simply amazing. The song has a great message of encouragement and hope. The dancing in this particular number will leave you breathless and in awe of the talented dancers. Here is a video clip to watch from the 2012 Tony Awards that shows you the energy of the Newsies cast. 

So channel these lyrics from Seize the Day for this new week:

Now is the time to seize the day
Stare down the odds and seize the day
Minute by minute that's how you win it


If Newsies comes to somewhere near you, get some tickets. We loved it and are hoping to see it again when comes to the OC next year.

Happy Music Monday!


You Spin Me Round (Like a record)

Last Christmas, our teen daughter asked for a record player. Santa left her a nice Crosley along with a couple of LPs. She figured it out how to play a record and then asked us: "How do you reply or rewind the song?" I'll leave it there. 

One of the biggest issues we've had since then is discovering where to purchase records. They also average about $20-30. We had to give our daughter a lesson on taking care of records, storing them, and cleaning them. She has a good collection right now that ranges from Beyonce, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and even Ella Fitzgerald. 

What's old is new again, right? There has been a boom in vinyl with the popularity of record players on the market. We have a friend who owns Erika Records and they can't keep up with demand. I remember her telling me that they had done some for Disney and so it was fun to see these the other day.


You have to do a double take on these because they look like some kid of art that you would want to hang on your walls. If you've never seen a record, it would take you by surprise. There is an A and B side. From what I saw, these were the records available:

  • The Lion King
  • Frozen
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Aladdin

I was able to confirm with my friend that her company created these. Erika Records specializes in these unique vinyl products. These particular ones were available at Off the Page (Disney California Adventure) and 20th Century Music Co. (Disneyland). 

I am excited to hear some classic Disney movie songs played through a record player. There is a "warmer" sound on this medium. It's more exciting to be able to share with my teenage daughter. There is something about sitting around a record player, watching it spin, and listening to some good music. 

Have a great weekend!


Diamonds are a Castle's Best Friend

Lately, something new seems to be added every week to Sleeping Beauty Castle in preparation for the Disneyland Resort 60th Celebration. Looks like its own version of diamond jewelry that adorns different sections of the Castle.

I have a guest post over at DisneyAvenue so you can read more about Sleeping Beauty Castle birthday transformation and see more photos, too.

Happy Thursday!


Mickey Mouse Themed Gift Bags

I love decorative washi tape. I can never have enough. There are so many great designs out there and they are everywhere. It works like masking tape but it is pretty masking tape that comes in many widths and patterns. Washi tape is mostly made from the bark of trees that originate in Japan. It's really become popular in the last couple years so it is readily available just about anywhere. 

I like that you can tear it easily with your fingers. The hand torn look adds to its charm. It also adheres to most anything but will not stick permanently. So it is great to use for masking off areas if you need it.

The washi tape is my "go-to" plus some kraft bags when I need a simple package or want to decorate an envelope. Using Mickey Mouse colors of red, black, and bright yellow inks, I personalized these white kraft bags using some rubber stamps. I choose a variety of patterned washi tape from my stash. 

Quick and easy gift bags for my Disney friends. I had a bunch of photographs of our last Disneyland trip that I put inside these bags.

Happy Disney Crafting!


Music Mondays: Lost Boy

The story Peter Pan is forever related to Disney. There are now generations who don't even realize that the character of Peter Pan was created by J.M. Barrie and not Disney. Barrie wrote a play entitled, Peter and Wendy. It is also known as The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow up or Peter Pan.  

My teenage daughter recently discovered this song titled "Lost Boy" sung by an artist named Ruth B. She's been playing it all weekend and the song has stuck with me. It references the familiar story and Peter Pan characters. It's has a haunting melody and I like it. Listen to the song and words. 


My kids and I share a lot of music with each other. It's a big topic in many family conversations. We share a variety of classic, old and new tunes that also covers many genres. We share a huge iTunes family library. Music creates family moments for us. It's great when it can include some Disney-related music. 

Discover a new song and  support a budding artist sharing her music with the world. Check out LOST BOY

Cinderella Movie Props at the El Captain Theater

I finally went to see the new Disney Live-Action movie, Cinderella, last week. My older daughter has now seen it 3 times since the movie came it. We both loved the movie, especially how it was produced, the actors in it, and the costumes.

Over at the El Captain Theater in Hollywood, you can view some of the actual movie props and costumes that were used in the movie. You can actually pay $5.00 just to walk in to see the Cinderella display. My daughter couldn't resist and these are the photos she took to share with you.

Here is Cinderella's dress as worn by Lily James. It is so full. The color does not photograph well. Do you see blue or white? In the movie, the dress is so vibrant blue due to all the magical things that they can do to a movie. Check out THIS POST to read some other details about this particular dress. 

Here are some props that were on display that includes the famous glass slipper. 

Finally, I thought it was fun to see these sketches and actual costumes that were worn by the actors.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, make sure to take some time to enjoy it in a movie theater. It's simply a beautiful movie on the big screen. The father-child relationships depicted between Cinderella and her dad, and the Prince (Kit) and his dad are great story lines explored with heartfelt moments. 

Wishing you a magical day,


Music Mondays: Let's Get Together....

...Yeah, Yeah. Yeah!

A couple weeks ago, my kids and a close friend had a robust discussion about one of their favorite Disney films, The Parent Trap. There was lots of talk about each version (1961 & 1998) but how can you not think of this song when someone talks about either The Parent Trap movie.

"Come on let's compromise. You give a little, I'll give a little. Come on, let's get together..."

The song, Let's Get Together, was written by The Sherman Brothers (Robert and Richard). This version actually debuted on Billboard 100 (September 1961) and had a good run making its way into the top 10. There was also a pop version recorder by Annette Funicello and Tommy Sands. In the !998 remake of The Parent Trap, Haley (played by Lindsay Lohan), can be heard humming the song as she walks into the hotel elevator. In Disney Mania 5, the band, the Go-Go's  cover this song

It's a fun song to start off the new week. 

Happy Music Monday!