Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Filtering by Author: Daisy Sparks

Disneyland Tram Offers Some Halloween Treats

If you don't use the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure when you go to Disneyland, you might miss these Halloween decorations. It's all part of the landscaping that you see while you are on the Tram enroute to Disneyland. You'll have to be quick to capture these Disney characters in their Halloween costumes. 

Happy Friday!


Mickey & Minnie are in their regal Halloween outfits. Donald Duck looks happy in his wizard outfit.

Friendly ghost in this Halloween pumpkin patch greet Guests as they arrive via the Disneyland Tram.

Pluto is having fun, too.

Goofy is having some Halloween fun. Should we tell him about his ghostly friends?

Fashionable Tees & Disneyland Christmas Merch

Maybe it's because I spent a lot of time as a Disneyland Merchandise Cast Member or maybe it is simply my love of window shopping but, I recently spotted these new Disneyland merchandise offerings. 

First, a very fashionable line of women's apparel featuring Minnie Mouse. The designs are pretty fancy and a bit fashion forward as theme park apparel goes.  If you look closely at each design, you can appreciate the details in the hardware and embellishments. Each Minnie Mouse design is as different as each of the clothing items offered in this collection. Click on the thumbnails below to see larger image so you can view the details. 

Fancy Minnie Mouse 

I spotted these holiday apparel collection in a several stores. My bet is that the black tee with the snowflake will be popular due it being a short sleeve tee (perfect for California weather) and it has a Frozen theme written all over it. The sparkly stuff is an extra bonus. 

Just so you know, Christmas is only 68 days away. You can add some of these items to your shopping list. 

Happy Everything!


Do you want to carve a pumpkin? Disneyland, style?

The Pumpkin Barker is there to greet guests,

For the past several years at Disneyland, Big Thunder Ranch gets a seasonal update. For this fall, it is billed as "Halloween Carnival at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree." There are crafts, games, entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween costumers, and pumpkin carvers. You'll have to enter through Big Thunder Ranch BBQ and make your way to the back for fall fun. Click on each thumbnail to view larger image.

One of my favorite things to see is the pumpkin carvings that are on display. There are a world class pumpkin carvers who are present daily to create a variety of Disney-themed pumpkins. The details in both the carved and painted pumpkins are spectacular in person. Click on each of the thumbnails for a larger view. 

I found THIS POST from The Disney Food Blog, October 2012. You can see read more about the pumpkin carvers and see what they created. Here is a post from Disney Parks from a couple years ago: "The Art of Pumpkin Sculpting at Disneyland." You can hear about the tools used by the pumpkin carvers.

Some of the pumpkins can last for a couple weeks and some can only last a couple days. Luckily the weather has cooled here in SoCal so hopefully that helps. You only have until Oct 31st to see what the Pumpkin Carvers (they really are artists) create. The location also closes early so make sure to consult the Park schedule of events if you plan on going. 

Happy Fall!



Red, White, Blue & Mickey Mouse, too!

MM 4th wear.JPG

With Memorial weekend and July 4th coming up, patriotic decorations and apparel are popping up at all your favorite stores. I happen to come upon these fun red, white, & blue inspired Mickey wear last week when I was at the World of Disney at Downtown Disneyland. It's always fun to see how two iconic things like Mickey Mouse and the American flag come together.

I love how the fireworks behind Mickey and Minnie is a hidden Mickey (or not so hidden). It's hard to choose which one I liked the most but this little clutch is pretty cute. The following photos are the two different sides of this little purse. Just the right size to carry some essentials like my phone, pass, and money. You can use it by itself or throw it into another bag. 

Does your Disney Side need some patriotic hues? Denim, Disney, and the Red, White & Blue make for a great combination. 


- Daisy

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

School year is coming to an end and I know there are lots of things to be done. When my kids were younger, I would make some special gifts for their various teachers (elementary school, bible study, coaches). I used to make and give out handmade card packs. They were fun to create and teachers seemed to loved them, too. Who doesn't need some pretty cards for special people, right?

I thought I would share these fun items that I actually created a couple months ago for Teacher Appreciation week. This was my last one as my youngest will be completing 6th grade so that means the end of my elementary school days. These items were very easy to put together and were things that the teacher could actually put to use in her class.

The big expense was the basket that I found at TJ Maxx. I went through my stash of ribbons to find some that would match. I had this decorative accordion file box that was brand new. It made for the perfect place to house the handwritten notes to the teacher. I had sent home 5 large size index cards per child over the weekend and just about everyone returned at least one card. They could draw on them, write a note and do what they wanted. I sent some prompts home like: "Tell the teacher what your favorite class moment has been; what was your favorite book this year and why; what did the teacher do that made you laugh." The rest of items are pretty self-explanatory. I created some tags for each item. I got a lot of ideas and inspiration from Pinterest. 

Altered Crystal Light Pitcher Pack containers. Filled it with black Sharpies.


I found these tissue packs at Target. Stamp sentiment by Reverse Confetti stamps.

Accordion file folder filled with student notes or appreciation to the teacher.

We love our teachers at my local elementary school. They take good care of our kids so it is fun to spoil them during teacher appreciation week. It was fun putting together this basket filled with some school supplies.

Happy Monday!


Egg Hunting - Disney style

Thought I would share some of my favorite links so you can discover some "eggs" that are hidden in a number of Disney and Pixar films:

The Great Easter Egg Hunt Throughout Animated Films

    10 Disney Easter Eggs That Will Probably Change the Way You Think Your Childhood

    4 Secretly Hidden Easter Eggs in Frozen

    50 Best Pixar Easter Eggs

    Pixar Joins the Hunt

    Pixar's Pizza Plant Truck that first appeared in Toy Story is a much talked about "easter egg" that it even has its numerous Wiki pages. This one is a good source

    Wishing you lots of blessings and hope this Easter day. 





    Daily online journaling with Oh Life

    I am an avid scrapbooker but it can be overwhelming. I love looking at the photos and writing the story behind it. The constant challenge is finding time for it, getting your stuff out, and then just getting it done. When Becky' Higgins Project Life was introduced, it solved it all for me and became my new system to help me document and capture those weekly life moments.

    The first year I began Project Life, I kept a journal book where I would just quickly jot down some key activities or moments in that day. I had it organized by week that complimented the Project Life weekly layout. Then late last year, I discovered Oh Life

    I've tried a couple apps but this one is really is as easy as it looks. Sometimes I would misplace my journal book or forget to write in. Oh Life solved a many things for me in my quest to capture my family moments. Here are things I like about Oh Life: 

    1. It's paperless which makes MacSparky happy.
    2. It's convenient since it works through your email. 
    3. No limits to journaling space. I can write as much or as little as I want. 
    4. It's timely. You can schedule your daily email reminder to journal your day so you don't forget and can capture things while fresh in your mind. 
    5. It's private. You'll need to create your account to archive your entires.
    6. It is easily accessible when you need it since it is housed in The Cloud. So when I am ready, to scrapbook my week, I can login and see what happened on particular days. 
    7. It's my family diary.

    I've been pretty happy using Oh Life to document daily happenings in my family life and for my family members. I scheduled my Oh Life daily email at 10pm. If I don't get to it that night then it is there for me in the morning. Your reply to that email is your journal entry. It is easy to login and pull up certain days and then be able to translate that info into a weekly scrapbook entry using the Project Life templates. 

    Check out Oh Life this week to capture some spring happenings. Use it for documenting a project or writing down your favorite quote of the day. We do a lot of thinking and wishing for this and that. Just do it and get some memories written. Oh Life makes it that easy to journal everyday. 

    "The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today."

    The World of Color According to Mary Blair

    I couple weeks ago, I was able to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum located at The Presido of San Francisco. My main purpose for this Disney adventure was to see their newest exhibit, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR the world of Mary Blair. I was excited to learn that there is now a separate building where special exhibits like this one can be housed. So, off I went to follow the whimsical trains on the pavement that led to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. 

    In this two-story building, they had a variety of Mary Blair art on display. There was an audio guide available, too, so you could really learn all about Mary Blair and her work. Seeing her art from her early years was fabulous. You can really see where she started and how experiences in her life influenced her style. 

    I first learned about Mary Blair from the Disneyland attraction, "it's a small world". It was after visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum back in 2010 that I learned more about her work in Disney films such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. It was Mary who Walt Disney tapped to help him with the "it's a small world" design for the 1964 New York's World Fair. She accompanied him and a group of Disney artists to countries in South America as part of a research tour. These trips influenced her flair for color, simple patterns and shapes. 

    Mary Blair Exhibit, Walt Disney Family Museum March 2014 

    I appreciated how the exhibit was laid out. It was colorful and simple just like Mary's style. There is some chronological order as the art is grouped by eras in Mary's work life. Her early years work were at the beginning of the exhibit and then you walked onto the main floor where you see the work she created during her time as a Disney artist. This middle section highlighted her work done in Disney classic films such as Alice Wonderland, Peter Pan and Cinderella. The second floor features her work as a Golden Books illustrator. You'll recognize some of them as they have become Golden Books classics. There are also some sketches as she worked on "it's a small world".

    Art from Golden Book illustrations - I Can Fly

    One of my favorite things to have seen is this painting that Mary had given to Walt and Lillian Disney. It had originally hung in the Disney family home.

    Original Mary Blair portrait c. 1951 - Alice in Wonderland

    In addition to this memorable piece, it was fun to see Mary Blair's hardhat. It has Mary Blair written all over it. 


    The Mary Blair exhibit runs until September 7th. So if you get a chance go straight to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. You can find some wonderful books about Mary Blair art over on Amazon, including a pre-order for the special hardcover book that was done by The Walt Disney Family Museum for this exhibit. Not only do I admire her colorful work and designs, but I also applaud her being a strong role model of leadership during her time. 

    Let's Waterlogue Disneyland Photos

    As promised, here are more photos that I edited in the Waterlogue app. I wanted to show you the actual Disneyland photo from and then what the photo looks like after the Waterlogue application.

    Disneyland - Sleeping Beauty Castle

    Disneyland photo with Waterlogue

    MacSparky Jr. with me posing in front of Floral Mickey & Main Street Train Station

    Waterlogue photo with people.

    A different photo and view of the Disneyland Main Street Train Station.

    One of the things that I learned with this app is that not all photos should be 'waterlogued'. You have to take the right photo of a person from the right angle to get a good waterlogue photo. If you have any advice about photos with people and which to Waterlogue filter works best, let me know. 

    The following photo was the best example of how you different Waterlogue filters can change your final image. It was fun to play with this photo and see different results.

    Photo from @DisneylandToday



    "It's Technical" filter


    You can see the different looks that you can achieve using the different Waterlogue filters. Choosing the right photo to Waterlogue is also key. 

    Now I am off to print these out on different papers to see what they look like. I am an avid scrapbooker so I want to print one out to put in my Project Life book.

    Happy Wednesday! 


    Pie-Eye Mickey Mouse

    The third month and 14th day means it is March 14th. Math and number fans love this day as 3-14 or 3.14, otherwise known as Pi-Day! At my daughter's school, the math teacher brought in some pies to celebrate the day. At our local high school, the Make-a-Wish club scheduled a "Pie your Teacher" Day (specific donations went towards being able to throw a pie at designated teachers in a controlled fundraiser area). So, I figured I had to share something pie related on this Pi Day...with some Disney flavor.

    Pie-Eyed Mickey Mouse

    The early drawings of Mickey Mouse are drawn with very distinctive eyes that are different than today. According to TVTropes.org. "During the 1920s and going into the 1930s, animated characters were sometimes drawn with eyes or pupils that were black and circular, but shaped like a pie that's had one slice removed from it."  

    Sometimes people will refer to this Mickey Mouse image as "pie-eyed' Mickey. It is just one name that references Mickey Mouse to a particular era or the way he is drawn. Some Mickey Mouse collectors really love this particular Mickey and will also categorize it as vintage Mickey Mouse.

    Mickey Mouse started to lose his pie-eyes after the 1940 film Fantasia came out. Mickey Mouse has evolved through the years with technology, different artists, and styles. Do you have a favorite Mickey Mouse era, style, or drawing?

    Happy Pi Day! Eat some circular foods (pizza, cookies, donuts) today and think of its 3.14 circumference. Leaving you with the Pi image that is an oldie but a goodie.

    Watercolor your photos with this App

    Waterlogue App

    I love taking photos and altering them with photo apps. There are so many photo apps out there but this one was interesting. One of my Facebook friends shared Waterlogue, an app that allows you to take your photos and convert them into a watercolor image. 

    Waterlogue was released last December so it is still fairly new. It is made only for the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to take a photo and alter it into a watercolor sketch. There are different sketch options that you can choose. 

    When you open up the App, it asks if it can access your photos. Below is a photo I took of some pretty tulips at Disneyland.  They always have picture perfect landscaping. 

    Original photo

    From there, you select one of your photos and then choose which watercolor style you would like. Based on your photo, you can pick and choose which style is best suited for your particular photo. Click the images below if you want to see the larger images.  You can also view some of the style options. I can't remember which one I choose for this one but it's kinda of fun to see the 'watercoloring' in action. 

    I've been playing mostly with flowers and other landscape photos. People as watercolor subjects have not resulted in attractive images. When selecting a photo to alter, just think, "this photo/subject would be pretty as a watercolor." Here is my final watercolor photo. 

    Final Waterlogue image.

    I have some more photos that I will share in the next post so you can get an idea of which photos might work best for this fun Waterlogue app. 

    My Disney Time: 2014 Disney Parks Watch

    And now back to our regular program....

    My first post for 2014 has to be a Disney watch. I was pretty excited to see that there was dated Disney Parks watch included in this year's merchandise offering. It's not often you see one so I had to snatch this up to be part of my collection.

    My Disney Time: 2014 Disney Parks Watch

    My Disney Time: 2014 Disney Parks Watch

    I love how colorful the design is. It was inspired by Disney artist Mary Blair according to this information shared by Disney Parks. She is known for drawings of "it's a small world" and her work on Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. 

    2014 Watch Back.JPG

    The watch has a simple white faux leather band. It really shows off the vibrant colors on the watch design. It is not limited in terms of actual number of watches available, but it is only available at Disney Parks for the 2014 year. The back of the watch features the Disney Parks logo.

    While I don't plan on doing a series of Disney watches this year, I may occasionally share just a couple more from my personal Disney collection if it coincides with some event. I do have another Disney blog series I am working on that I will share soon. 

    Thanks for visiting today. Hope some pixie dust finds its way into your day!


    My Disney Time: Week 52 - Cinderella & Prince Charming

    This is it.....Last one! This is the final post for My Disney Time series. I've enjoyed re-discovering and sharing some of my favorite Disney watches in my collection with you.

    My Disney Time, Week 52 features Cinderella & Prince Charming. 

    The Stroke of Midnight moment in Cinderella helped me to chose this particular Disney watch on this New Year's Eve. This watch depicts Cinderella all dressed up in her pretty ball gown dancing with her Prince Charming. Cinderella's coach serves as the second hand on this watch. The party all comes to an end at "the stroke of midnight" as that was the limit to her Fairy Godmother's magic. 

    This watch was a limited edition piece that was only available to Disneyland Cast Members. The watch was only available at the Cast Member store, Company D. I have number 706 of 1750 timepieces. 

    My Disney Time, Week 52: Cinderella & Prince Charming

    The New Year's Eve build up is always exciting. Remembering the highs and lows for the year helps to appreciate what you have and look forward to new adventures for the new year. Ringing in the new year with friends and loved ones makes for great final moments in 2013 and first cherished memories for 2014.

    Wishing you and yours some wonderful adventures and dreams for 2014. 




    My Disney Time w box.png

    My Disney Time: Week 51, Disney Ornament Watch

    My Disney Time, Week 51 celebrates Christmas.

    My Disney Time, Week 51, Mickey Mouse Christmas Watch

    This Disney Christmas watch came in a really fun package. The watch itself was contained in a plastic ornament. It's design was all about Christmas. The watch used to play music: We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I like that Mickey Mouse is in his Santa suit with his trusty friend, Pluto, by his side. The calendar on the watch of this face also represents December 1993. Hard to believe that it was 20 years ago when I purchased this watch. 

    This watch was limited to only 2500 but they were not individually numbered. The box states that the watch was made for and exclusively sold in the Disney Parks back in December 1993. 

    Hope Santa is good to you and your family. Wishing you lots of Christmas cheer!



    My Disney Time: Week 50 - Daisy Duck Artisan Watch

    My Disney Time, Week 50 celebrates a very special occasion for me. It is my 20th wedding anniversary and this Disney watch was given to me for my 1st anniversary. It is another special order Disney Artisan Watch that features Daisy Duck.

    My Disney Time, Week 50: Daisy Duck Artisan Watch

    My Disney Time, Week 50: Daisy Duck Artisan Watch

    This was the first Disney Artisan watch that I received. My sweet husband, MacSparky, secretly worked with some of my Disney friends and an artist to come up with this final design. I had the original artwork framed and matted. Below is a snapshot of the artwork. There is an artist signature and year (1994) on the bottom right hand corner.

    This particular design really lends itself to a very pretty watch design. The pearls are so perfect for Daisy Duck and the way the artist did our names fills in the white space.

    It has a black faux leather band. I like that there is Mickey Mouse head that is part of the watch buckle. The back of the watch is very simple. There is no number since it is a special order and customized Disney Artisan watch. 

    Yes, I got married a week before Christmas. Seems crazy but it was so much fun! We had Christmas themed wedding invitations, mini fresh Christmas trees as the centerpieces, and Santa Clause even made an appearance at the reception. It was a memorable holiday celebration filled with love, family, and friends. 

    wedding photo.JPG

    20 years goes super fast yet it feels like yesterday. I still have a big crush on my husband. He's my Happily Ever After!

    Tick Tock!