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Disneyland Explored

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Filtering by Author: Daisy Sparks

Rainy Days at Disneyland

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

It doesn't rain too often in Southern California. When it does, it can make for some good photographs at Disneyland. Here are a couple that I am sharing with you today. They were taken by my lovely daughter. She gave me permission to share them with you. 

She took these pictures back in February during a good rain day at Disneyland. They are not altered with any photo editing. A good camera, a good eye for interesting shots, and a love for Disneyland helped capture these images.

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

Photo by Sam Sparks

You can see more photos over at Disney Avenue in my latest installment of A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition.

Hope you always find some pixie dust in any kind of weather!

           -Daisy

These ARE the bags your are looking for....

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My family are Star Wars fans. It's a story/movie that crosses over generations. It's pretty common in my household to make a Star Wars reference in our daily conversations. 

 My kids and I are running the inaugural Star Wars 5K next month and are still working on our running gear (costumes). I just received an email reminder for our run and saw that the Star Wars Dooney and Burke items are available. The pics are not great but you can get an idea of what the design is. Happy to see that our favorite droids are prominently featured. 

Dooney and Burke has partnered with runDisney to design commemorative items for each of the run events. They are usually available at the event for participants. Guess I have to start saving. My birthday is in January so I might have to put this on my wish list. It would be fun to have one to use at the Star Wars Celebration 

May the Force Be With You!

-Daisy

Music Mondays: It's the Greatest Time of Year

It's the greatest time of year, and it's here
Help me celebrate it.
With everybody here, friends so dear
Let me simply state it.
Joy to the world and everyone
Lift up your hearts and feel the love
It's our favorite way, to spend the holiday...yeah!

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Believe or not, "It's the Greatest Time of Year" is one of my most played songs on my Christmas playlist. It was written by Aly Michalka, Aj Michalka, Anotonina Armato, and Tim James. The song was released in 2006 and featured in Disney's The Santa Clause 3 movie. The music video was played frequently on The Disney Channel during that time. My kids loved the young Disney artists (Aly & AJ) and this song played a lot during carpool and at home. We all enjoyed a new Christmas song that was upbeat, fun, and catchy.

Even though my kids are young adults now, I still play this song - a lot. It's become one of my favorite holiday tunes. It helps to break up some of the classic holiday tunes on my playlist. It puts me in the Christmas mood and puts a smile on my face. My family loves this time of year so this song really captures how we feel about the Christmas season. 


Only 10 more sleeps until Santa arrives! Hope you've been good!

-Daisy

Disneyland Inspired Christmas Decorations: Part 2 - Tiki Reindeers

A couple weeks ago I posted the beginning stages of our new outdoor Christmas decorations. My kids carefully painted each reindeer. They are individually different in design and character. The Sparks Tiki Reindeers have arrived in the neighborhood. 

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 MacSparky assembled them as we placed them. We decided that they needed to be front and center of attention. There was a family negotiation of what other decorations would go with it. As you can see by the photos, there was a majority of opinion that less was more. We also had to figure how to light them up at night so we decided that spotlights would be the best. 

We live on a corner house so everyone has to pass by them. It's been a big hit in the neighborhood. The nameplates actually still need to be hammered onto the stakes. The kids are pretty happy about their handiwork...all inspired by "it's a small world holiday". We decided that next year, maybe Rudolph or a Santa Tiki might join the ensemble. Maybe. 

Happy December!

-Daisy

Music Monday - As Long as There's Christmas

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When my kids were young, they had their favorite holiday movies that they liked to watch. One of them was Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997). The story is told by Mrs. Potts as a flashback that takes place during Christmas time while Belle was still a prisoner in Beast's castle. The enchanted objects feel that Christmas time is a great opportunity to try to make Beast fall in love with Belle. 

The song "As Long as There's Christmas" is an original song written for this movie. Music composed by by Rachel Portman with lyrics written by Don Black. It is sung by Paige O-Hara who originated the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast

The song is sort of a theme for the movie. It is about the hope of finding hope during Christmas Time. There are familiar characters who are in this song sequence as well as some new ones. The original cast reprises their roles in this direct to video movie.

Everyone is hopeful for many things this time year. Watching the video can put you in the holiday mood. Hope your holiday preparations are on track or will soon be. Less is always more. Just enjoy the season.  

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

It's Walt Disney's Birthday

When people hear or read "DISNEY" they think of the theme parks, movies, and Mickey Mouse. Lately, I realized that I wanted to know more about the actual guy who was WALT DISNEY. He was a visionary and dreamer. I've read how he is both revered and criticized. I have learned about Walt Disney as a husband, brother and father. He remains an inspiration to many.

Here are two books that I am in the middle of reading. Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas is the definitive biography to read if you really want to know who he was. What makes this one so good is that the author had unlimited access to Disney family members, private papers and letters. Thomas was able to get first hand accounts and went through original materials in the years that followed Disney's death in 1966. Thomas had the the full cooperation of the Disney family to write a biography that is not all pixie dust, too.

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The other book is The Story of Walt Disney by Diane Disney Miler (as told by Pete Martin). I learned that there was a series of interviews of Disney gave to his daughter, Diane, that were released as a series of articles in the Saturday Evening Post in 1956. It eventually was complied together in this very hard to find book. With some patience and searching, I managed to get a reasonable paperback copy. The 1956 copy marked at $0.35 just makes me smile. 

Finally, for some great short anecdotes, check out The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis. There are currently 3 volumes that are available. They are filled with short stories about behind the scenes regarding Walt Disney, the theme parks and more. It's a great gift for any Disney fan. 

There are many interesting posts today in celebration of Disney's birthday. Here are just a few that I found worth reading:

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If you really want to learn all about Walt Disney, The Walt Disney Family Museum located in San Fransisco is the place to visit. It is a beautiful facility and filled with so many surprises and treasures. 

Happy 113th to Walt Disney

-Daisy

Gingerbread "House" - Disneyland Edition

I had a chance to go visit Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to see their gingerbread "house". It had just debuted over the Thanksgiving weekend. It really is impressive in scale, design, and scent. 

DCA Gingerbread tree

You can visit the Disney Parks Blog to see the original idea and some facts about this creation. 

DCA gingerbread facts

Click through this gallery to see some other angles and more details.

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The stained glass doors don't work like the real doors do, but they are so pretty. If you go HERE, you can see what the actual doors look like.

Right next to the gingerbread house, there is a table set up with sweet offerings. You can purchase yummy gingerbread, sugar cookie, kits, and also stollen (German fruit cake/bread). They have samples of the stollen so you can try it. The cookie decorating kits are a great idea. The souvenir box with the stollen bread was a fancy keepsake box with a Mickey logo on it. It would be a great hostess gift. 

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Gingerbread cookie offering.

Gingerbread cookie offering.

ingerbread cookies are my weakness so I had to try one. It was very fresh and very delicious. I like gingerbread cookies that are a little on the soft and chewy side. The Cast Members at this special table told me that they were open everyday until 10pm throughout the Disneyland holiday season. 

I am gonna have to drag my family to go see the gingerbread house one more time. Maybe if I bribe them with some hot chocolate and fresh gingerbread or sugar cookies, they will come with me. 

Here's hoping some sweet treats find their way to you this holiday season!

-Daisy

Wednesday Words of Wisdom - Walt Disney

Walt Disney's birthday is in a couple days. I have always thought this quote really said all there is to say about how Disneyland went from a vision to a real place and how it keeps working. His dream was so big and daunting. I am pretty sure it turned out way better than he could ever imagine. The "people" carry the torch and keep the flame burning brightly.

Keep dreaming and get some people to help you make it a reality.

-Daisy

Capturing Disney Moments on my iPhone

I've been discovering how easy and fun it is to shoot video, edit, and upload the content all from my iPhone. I used iMovie which is loaded with easy templates that you just drop and drag both photos and videos into. The convenience, portability and output quality all make for a seamless experience. With mobile devices these days, everyone can be a content creator. 

I went to Disney California Adventure (DCA) yesterday. Everything looks pretty the day after it rains. There are so many picture perfect spots. Here's my video creation of a holiday moment at DCA. 

We finally have much needed rain in SoCal today. It's the perfect day to stay indoors and get some Christmas decorating done. 

Sending some holiday cheer your way!

Daisy

Music Mondays - The Bells of Christmas

Happy December! 

santa clause movie.jpg

I love Christmas music. Everyone has their favorite classic Christmas tunes and it can really can set the mood for this time of year. When I walked through the Disneyland Esplanade the other week, I heard a Christmas song that I knew I had heard but was not that familiar with. I figured it had to be some Disney related song. I finally realized that it was a song from Disney's The Santa Clause movie (1994). 

The song I heard is called The Bells of Christmas. It was written and sung by Loreena McKennitt. It begins very softly and builds up to a very majestic sound. I can understand why it is part of the holiday soundtrack that is heard at the Disneyland Esplanade.

Here is the scene where the song is heard. 

Are you ready to get your Christmas cheer on? Start with building a great playlist for yourself. Find some new holiday tunes this year to add variety. Make some time to watch The Santa Clause movie, too. It is a good Disney holiday classic that will make you laugh, smile and delight in  the magic of the season. 

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

With Many Thanks

I am grateful for the Internet that makes our world both small and big. It helps make for a wonderful world. It helps us to learn and appreciate anything we are passionate about...like all things Disney. 

Disney Thanksgiving by Charles Boyer

Disney Thanksgiving by Charles Boyer

I've always loved this Disney version of Norman Rockwell's "Freedom from Want". Discovering the classic Disney characters in this Charles Boyer version is fun. You can even spot the portrait of Walt Disney on the wall. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

-Daisy

Disneyland Inspired Christmas Decorations - Part 1

This year, our teenage kids decided that we needed new and more exciting outdoor Christmas decorations. Conspiring with their dad, MacSparky, they were inspired by "it's a small world" holiday, particularly the South Seas room. So with they all went to work over the weekend. It's a work in progress. The hard work is just about done.  

A sheet of plywood makes for good reindeer faces.

A sheet of plywood makes for good reindeer faces.

Reindeer heads and antlers sanded, painted, and ready for details.

Reindeer heads and antlers sanded, painted, and ready for details.

Half the fun was painting each face differently.

Half the fun was painting each face differently.

It's all about the details.

It's all about the details.

A friend suggested that we use house paint so it could withstand being outdoors. We bought sample house paint since we could get those in small amounts. It's nice that a lot of paint now comes with built in primer. They have noses to paint, some stakes that need sanding and paint, and then their reindeers will be ready for assembly. The kids are still trying to decide how they will display them outside so stay tuned to see their progress. 

Happy Tuesday!

-Daisy

Music Mondays: Super -califragilistic -expialidocious!

Are you ready for Thanksgiving week? It could be a little crazy leading up to turkey day so if you need to just exhale for a moment this week, channel your inner Mary Poppins and sing something silly like...

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

It was a song written by Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman for the 1964 Disney musical film Mary Poppins It has been well documented that the Sherman brothers made up this nonsense word that would become just as popular as Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews sings it so well, too. 

The melody is lively, and the lyrics are fun. 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Um diddle, diddle diddle, um diddle ay
Um diddle, diddle diddle, um diddle ay

Several years ago, I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production of Mary Poppins. The musical stage version is just as fun and the hand gestures during this song is mind blowing. There are all sorts of YouTube videos teaching you how to learn the crazy choreography to this song.

Want to break the ice at the Thanksgiving table or have a little Disney fun? Ask someone what's the longest word in the dictionary. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Disney Runners Assemble! Avengers SuperHeros 5K

Source: RunDIsney on Facebook

Source: RunDIsney on Facebook

Wow, that was a great morning! I participated in the Inaugural Avengers SuperHero 5K run this past Saturday. Just about every runner was dressed in some kind of Marvel superhero attire. So many versions of Captain America, Loki, The Hulk and more. There was a lot of thought put into themed running gear. The well dressed superheros made for a great crowd to run with. 

The event started at 5:30 am starting on Disneyland Drive just before the Downtown Disney area. The course included running through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland in the early morning. It is always interesting to see some backstage areas. It was even more fun to be inside these Parks with no Guests around. 

Source: RunDisney 

Source: RunDisney 

There were photo ops with different Avengers and Disney characters along the way. You could stop if you wanted to pose with your favorite character. There were also photographers along the course who were busy snapping pictures of you running through the course. I am still waiting for those photos to be available soon. One of my favorite things to have seen were 3rd Shift Custodial teams placed throughout the course offering their encouragement. I appreciated their cheers and high 4's (they had on Mickey Mitts). 

I was channeling my inner  (Hawkeye) that morning. The only bummer is that they wouldn't let me run with my bow & arrow. Here are several photos that I took during my "run". I was not a fast finishers but I sure had fun along the course.

My husband, MacSparky, came to cheer me on. While he waited for my arrival at the finish line, he was able to take some photos of the runners all decked out in their superhero gear. I will let the photos speak for themselves. 

After completing my 5K run, we got some coffee and waited for Disneyland to open so we could enjoy some holiday magic. I even got a chance to say hello to Mickey Mouse. He was so excited to share in my morning accomplishment. MacSparky captured some of these fun photos of my conversation with Mickey Mouse regarding my 5K run. 

I always love hearing the Dapper Dans on Main Street, USA. They were kind enough to take this fun photo with me. They even posed with their Superhero Avenger spirit.

Dapper Dans Assemble!

The Avengers SuperHero Inaugural Run was uber fun. The weather was perfect. RunDisney already has this same event already scheduled for next year. I am going to do the 5K again and MacSparky said he would run (walk) with me. Sign up to get on the email reminder about sign-ups in April. It will fill up fast. 

Next up, the Star Wars 5K in January. My kids are running with me, too. It is also an inaugural run so I am sure that event is going to be way out of this world! Now to think of my running attire for that run. 

Avengers Assemble!

-Daisy

 

 

 

 

Mickey Mouse looks great for his age!

On November 18, 1928, Steamboat Willie premiered and Mickey Mouse made his debut to the world. Since then, Mickey has evolved through the years but has been a constant in bringing joy to many. THIS post has some great photos to document Mickey through the years.

Many artists have painted Mickey Mouse. Here are two of my favorites because there is so much going on behind the scenes. It's all in the details.

Source: Disney Parks Merchandise. "Mickey's Dream Suite" by Yakovetic 

Source: Disney Parks Merchandise. "Mickey's Dream Suite" by Yakovetic 

Walt Disney "Triple Self Portrait" by Charles Boyer

Walt Disney "Triple Self Portrait" by Charles Boyer

Last Saturday, I was able to meet up with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. He can rock a Christmas sweater.

Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!

-Daisy