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Disneyland Explored

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Filtering by Author: Daisy Sparks

On a Mission: App Camp For Girls

Hello from Portland!

I am volunteering at App Camp For Girls. This camp is a week long adventure for jr. high girls to learn about "designing and building apps while learning more about the business of software and being inspired by women mentors in the field." They refer to the participants as "developers" vs. "campers." By the end of this week, the young developers will have built a quiz test (app) and present their app to a panel for feedback (like 'guppy bowl' instead of 'shark tank').

It's a pretty great concept. Coding is only going to get bigger as more businesses will need and demand this skills from their workforce. Exposing girls to this software and tech world and showing them what opportunities are out there is a worth planting a seed to bloom in the future. I feel that it App Camp for Girls is such a fabulous and worthy program that I am volunteering this week so I can see how it all works in hopes to bring this program to Orange County (CA) by next summer.

If you are looking for more information, please visit the App Camp for Girls website. You can support them through donations, interest in their future camps, or volunteer your time to help at on of the future camps. You can also support them by downloading their App Camp Quiz Compendium. It has quizzes that were created by past camp project teams. It's only 99 cents in the App Store

Thanks for reading this particular post. If you know someone who should read this or is interested in App Camp For Girls as a donor, participant or volunteer, please feel free to share this post. 

Happy Thursday!

-Daisy

 

 

Music Mondays: Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah

It's always a treat to see someone experience Disneyland things for the first time.  Last week I rode Splash Mountain with a friend of mine who had never been on the ride. The song that everyone associates with Splash Mountain is Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah. It's pretty catchy and fun to sing. 

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The famous song makes its debut in the 1946 live action and animated movie Song of the South. It was written by Allie Wrubel (music) and  Ray Gilbret (lyrics). It actually earned the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1947. The movie version was song by the character of Uncle Remus played by James Basket. Since June 1989, the song was has been featured at the end of the Splash Mountain ride. My kids became familiar with the tune from the famous Disney Sing-a-Along Songs. In fact, the Song of the South was the first Disney Sing-Along Songs released

However you may know, feel or read about the Song of the South 1946 movie, take a minute to read this interesting perspective from Disney Legend (Animator/Writer), Floyd Norman. It was just recently written back in March of this year. 

Most everyone knows the words. It is a song that usually puts people in a good mood. I've also heard it used as an adjective as in "Have a Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" Day. It's supposed to put you in a good mood. 

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

 

Christmas in July = New Disneyland Ornaments

I love Christmas! I was married one week before Christmas and Santa even showed up at our reception. It is always a special time of year for my family so it is never far from my mind.

With Disneyland's 60th birthday, there is a pretty good selection of Diamond Celebration ornaments. I've already picked up these two.

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It was a tough decision but I think these will go well with other my Disney ornaments and I think they capture the spirit of the Diamond Celebration. On the bottom of the crystal ear hat, I will probably write in the date with a sharpie so I remember.

Traditional ball ornaments, dated, and other Disneyland Diamond themed ones to choose from are also available. Of course they have a variety of Castle ones, too, including one that lights up. You can select the style that goes with your tree and preferred aesthetic. I can also see someone creating a special Christmas tree with just Disneyland Diamond ornaments.

Christmas ornaments in general make for really great souvenirs. It's what I usually buy on our vacations. When we put up our Christmas tree every year, we get to remember and reminisce about our family vacations as these special ornaments reminds us of treasured moments. 

There's only 152 days before Christmas. 

Happy Christmas in July!

-Daisy

My Dateline Disneyland: July 17, 2015

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In the many years that I worked for Disneyland and in the following years that I have been a Disneyland Annual Passholder, I had never really had a chance to enjoy July 17th as simply a Guest. Since it was such a big milestone this year, I made plans with my friends to spend a memorable day at Disneyland on its birthday. 

A lot has been written about Disneyland's 60th. This post is my play-by-play of my Disneyland visit on July 17, 2015.

6:30 am: Disneyland encouraged everyone to show their 1955 DisneySide. So we planned our outfits and arrived at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure early. We  experienced no traffic. We were able to breeze right into the toll booths and quickly parked. We were able to quickly board the first tram available. There was a light crowd through security and we each received a complimentary copy of a special issue of the Orange County Register (you can get your own copy, too, HERE).

6:50 am: We walked right though the turnstiles and entered Disneyland. We each received a commemorative birthday button and a special Disneyland map for the special day. When you open the map, it showed you what the 1955 Disneyland map looked like. 

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As we made our way under the train station tunnels, we were greeted by many Disneyland Cast Members who were stationed all along the sidewalks. They were just excited as we were. Many had on their Mickey Mitts and were offering "high-4s". The many Cast Members who came out to line the street were just as excited everyone there on this special day. 

7:00 am: Official opening time was listed at 8am but as soon as 7am hit, the announcement went off to welcome Guest and the Park was open. It was a smart move on Disneyland's part. There was a big enough crowd but not too crazy (unlike the 24hr event that occurred May 22nd).

7:17 am: I think everyone made a beeline for Peter Pan's Flight. The wait quickly soared. It was overcast and everyone seemed really excited to just be at Disneyland so the wait was manageable. My friends had not been on the renovated attraction since it had only re-opened July 1st. They are big Peter Pan fans so it they were super excited to see the changes. I think it was just fun to ride an attraction that was part of the original 1955 Grand Opening. 

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8:36 am: After Peter Pan, we made our way to the Matterhorn. I highly recommend making use of the Single Rider line for this particular attraction. Everyone ride's by themselves anyways, there are no photo taken while on the ride, and you'll really save a lot of time. We were in and out of there in about 20 minutes.  

9:16 am: We made our way to Tomorrowland and came across one of the fun 1955 themed photo locations that were available that day. It was still a bit overcast and cool so we went ahead and stood in line to get a fun group picture. They had these really great Disneyland 60th pennants that were photo props. We really wanted to buy one but they were not available for purchase. Who dropped the ball on that merchandise offering?

9:25 am: There were birthday cupcake stations located throughout the Park so we decided it was a good time to get one. It was a sweet morning snack. They were vanilla topped with a vanilla cream icing. You could take what you needed you for your group and come back as often as you wanted. 

9:30 am: We were able to get a FastPass to Space Mountain for around 11am. To pass time we headed to go shopping. There was a short line to get into the Star Trader store to purchase special Disneyland 60th merchandise that was made available that day. This was a different design and offerings than what is already available for Diamond Celebration. We each picked up a dated pin to commemorate our day. By the way, you can always contact Merchandise Guest Services to purchase some Park items (1-877-560-6477). 

9:50 am: We opted out of the special 10am ceremony that was taking place in front of the Castle. A lot of the morning Guest that had entered at Park opening with us, had made a bee line to get a spot. We just figured we could see it somewhere on the internet later. So, we made our way to ride Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. It all took us about 15 minutes. After we got off the ride, we found another photo location.  The Matterhorn photo op is part of the Diamond Celebration so it will remain available until they announce the end of the 60th event. It's one of the most fun photo locations. 

11:10 am: We went to Space Mountain for our Fastpass time and screamed our heads off. We decided that we wanted to see Mickey on this day so we hiked up to Toontown. We noticed another photo location so we got in line to further document our fun day. Then we headed to Mickey's House and met up with the Big Cheese at his Movie Barn. Mickey Mouse greeted us in his Bandleader costume. This is the best place to get a little one on one time and photo with the most famous Disney character. 

12:10 pm: After visiting Mickey Mouse, we decided to take the train over to Frontierland. We had to wait a little while for our turn to ride the train. When we finally got onto the train, we knew that that going through the Grand Canyon Diorama was coming up soon. As we pulled into the Main Street Train Station, I could look over onto the Main Gate area and see that it was not too busy at about noon. 

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12:35 pm: As we pulled into the Frontierland Train station, we could here the 'tap, tap, tap' sound of a telegraph message. It was fitting to remember that what you hear is the Morse code of Walt Disney's Opening Day speech from July 17, 1955.

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When we left the train station, we immediately got a FastPass for Haunted Mansion. We were ready for lunch and thought we would eat at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. You can usually find seating in a shaded area, it's a great environment, and they have fried green tomato sandwiches on their menu.

2:00 pm: We had a wonderful leisurely lunch so that by time we were done, not only was it time to use up our Haunted Mansion Fastpass, but we could also get another one. One of our friends in our group had never experienced Splash Mountain so we had to get a Fastpass for that ride. We totally lucked out on our timing. You could see that the Park was really manageable in terms of crowd size since Fastpasses were still available for popular rides. It was a pretty warm day, too, and there were still decent times (vs. late evening times) available for something like Splash Mountain.

2:40 pm: While we were on the Haunted Mansion, we experienced a brief stop. My friends happened to stop right in front of the famous Hatbox Ghost so they were able to get some good pictures.

When we exited the ride, there was another photo op. This one happened to be a new Diamond 60th location so this photo op will continue to be available throughout the Diamond Celebration. It's a pretty fun one.  It was a pretty popular photo location so we waited in line (maybe 15 minutes) but it was worth it. I can see people using this as their Christmas card. It would be fun to send it out a a family Halloween card, too.

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3:10 pm: It was time for a little snack so we decided to walk over to Adventureland on the hunt for a Pineapple Dole Whip. It was a very warm afternoon and everyone had the same idea. We waited about 20 minutes to get our refreshing treat. We also decided to head into the Tiki Room to cool off and enjoy the show. 

4:00 pm: We knew there was a special pre-parade that would include Cast Members from Opening Day 1955. We were able to get a decent view by the Castle in the short amount of time. It was a treat to see people I remember when I had worked at Disneyland (1989-2001) like Ron Dominguez, Jack Lindquist and Dick Nunis. These are the guys who were behind the everyday Disneyland operation. My Disneyland bosses had worked with them and learned the Disney Way from these veterans. 

4:30 pm: We started to head towards Critter Country as our Splash Mountain Fastpass time was close. We came upon another 1955 themed photo spot. We concluded that it was the most interesting of the attractions featured. We had our Diamond Photopass so we had to include this in our photo adventure. 

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4:50 pm: We were excited to take our "first-time-Splash Mountain-rider" on the adventure. It was pretty warm, we were close to ending our day, so a little "splash" would be welcome. Our "first-time" friend loved the ride. She also happens to be a huge fan of rabbits in general so it was all good. One of my favorite parts of the ride is towards the end, you come upon a very festive room with characters aboard a steamboat singing "Zip-a-dee-do-dah". It's like they welcome you back and sing in glee that you survived the plunge.

5:30 pm: There was one more 1955 themed photo spot that was on the list. Over on the Big Thunder Trail there was "Mud Wagon" Stage Coach. It was cool that it actually was the vehicle but you could only pose with it in the background (as opposed to actually getting inside the stage coach). There was actually another Diamond Celebration photo spot around the corner so we opted to get into that shorter line instead. 

They had Photopass Photographers everywhere with some fun props that you could hold. The Photopass Cast Members were really working it, too. They would encourage you to pose and take some fun shots. Somewhere along the day we posed with this fun Disneyland ticket prop. We had to get one in front of the Castle. Before we left Disneyland, we took a photo in front of Floral Mickey. 

6:00 pm: We knew there was also a commemorative map at Disney California Adventure plus a couple photo locations. We were approaching 12 hours so also needed a Starbucks to get a second wind. Most of us only go to the Park for 4 or 5 hours since we all have Annual Passes so the day had been long but "oh-so-much-fun!"

We found the Diamond Celebration photo spot for Grizzly River Run. This one is available throughout the Diamond Celebration period. I think the Parking Lot - 1955 Themed photo spot was my favorited. It was in the in perfect location as that is exactly what Disney California Adventure sits on, the former Disneyland Parking Lot. So it made sense that this particular photo location was in this Park and not Disneyland. The photo backdrop was cute. The Photopass Cast Member who was taking pictures at this location was really good at posing Guests and capturing the day as shown in this photo. 

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7:00 pm: Whew! What a day. We headed out with happy hearts and lots of pixie dust. We made plans to do it all again for the Disneyland's 70th Celebration. 

Thank you for letting me share my Disneyland Day. It's pretty amazing to see something continue to grow and excite so many people at 60 years old. 

 

Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

-Daisy

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PS: Last week, the Associated Press made an original Disneyland Opening Day article written by Bob Thomas available online. Thomas would go on to write the best biography of Walt Disney entitled, Walt Disney, An American Original

Music Mondays: Bob Dylan + Forever Young = Heartfelt Disneyland 60th Ad

If you have seen the Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration commercial, then you may have recognized the song playing in the background. "Forever Young" was written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1973. Since then, it has been covered by many artists including Rod Stewart, Blake Shelton and Patti LaBelle. There is a list of movies, television shows and some other brands that have also used this song. 

This particular Disneyland commercial began to air last May in anticipation of Disneyland's Diamond Celebration. This song version is reminiscent of the 1994 cover that was done by The Pretenders. This current ad features the singer, Christina Perri. The song lends itself to be a fitting anthem to 60 years of magic. 

Originally published by Disneyland Resort (May 2015). 

It's well known that Bob Dylan penned this song for his young son. It's been called a "blessing from a parent to a child" with the following lyrics:

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

It drives me a little crazy to think there are probably several generations who will now associate the song, Forever Young, as "the song from the Disneyland commercial" and not even care who wrote it or why. I get it,  that happens to many songs as it grows old. It's not a bad thing to have a song associated with Disneyland, right? It is kind of fascinating that in its vast Disney music library, the song used to tell the Disneyland story in a major ad was one written by American music legend and 2012 President's Medal of Freedom recipient, Bob Dylan. His songs are like poems. 

Many visit Disneyland to feed their "forever young" souls. It is a magical place that brings back memories and create new ones, too. Generations visit Disneyland together to share moments and create new ones.

Disneyland, may you stay forever young!

-Daisy

Starbucks + Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration = One Special Mug

Starbucks + Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration Mug? Yes, Please! 

Yesterday, these appeared at both Starbucks locations at the Disneyland Resort. Specifically, the Disneyland Starbucks locations are also known as Market House (Disneyland) and Fidler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe (Disney California Adventure).  

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The mugs are 16 fl oz size. The 60th logo is on one side and the Starbucks siren logo on the other. I think it is cool that the handle is painted silver. The box design has the 60th logo and blue color on it. It will make for great gifts. They retail for $19.95 and discounts apply. The box design and size remind of the the holiday mugs that they had available last December at regular Starbucks locations. 

There is a also a pretty blue and sparkly acrylic tumbler available for $19.95. I think it is 16 fl oz, too. The top is cool in that it kinda changes colors with the light. 

As a pleasant surprise, they had these mugs and tumblers set up inside the Trolley Treats store (right beside the Cafe) so you could purchase there so as not to have to wait in the Starbucks line. 

Skip the Starbucks line and check out the merch display inside Trolley Treats. 

Skip the Starbucks line and check out the merch display inside Trolley Treats. 

RUMOR has it that these are a special birthday week release and there is limited quantity. They seemed to have plenty yesterday afternoon at both parks. Cast Members were even given a special opportunity to purchase them. So maybe there is enough for everyone to have a little bit of Starbucks & Disneyland goodness. 

Happy Tuesday!

-Daisy  

 

Music Mondays: Fantasmic!

One of the best-ever night-time entertainment shows Disneyland has ever produced is Fantasmic! I was still working at Disneyland in 1993 and remember going to the Cast Member preview event for this night time fireworks spectacular. It was thrilling, exciting and something I had never seen before. When the Rivers of America come to life with music, fireworks and Disney characters, it is magical! 

One of the elements that really being the show to life is the Fantasmic! score written by Bruce Healey. It's a type of anthem or fanfare that is pretty catchy when you here it. It is the perfect fireworks song. Whenever I hear it, I think of all the magic that happens at Disneyland during the evening. The shows, fireworks, parades and lights make Disneyland come alive at night. 

 

If you want to read an good article about Bruce Healey, check out this post from Disney Examiner. If you want to read a little more about some great behind-the-scenes about the Fantasmic! show, go to this post from D23 featuring Barnette Ricci who was the original show director. 

"See it... in your mind, and you will find, in your imagination... mysteries and magic, visions fantastic, leading to strange and wondrous dreams. Dreams, of make believe, but will they all come true..."

If you want to hear a pretty and mellow version of Fantasmic!, check out this piano solo from Tom Ameen

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Disney Date Nite: Bob Gurr Roast Party

MacSparky & Me.

MacSparky & Me.

As our kids have gotten older and with MacSparky's new job, we now have more time to do some fun Disney Date Nites. A couple Saturdays ago, MacSparky and I choose to attend a fun event,  Roast Bob Gurr, hosted by Ape Pen Publishing. Bob had requested that attendees come in their 1950s best attire. So it was fun to get dressed up, meet up with fellow Disney friend, and enjoy a entertaining evening.

I found out about the event through one of my many Disney related Disney feeds. In the last year, I've become more interested in getting to know who are Disney Legends , specifically those that had significant contributions to creating Disneyland. It's been a fascinating adventure. So, anytime I can find an opportunity to meet, hear, and learn about some Disney Legends, especially people who really helped create Disneyland from ground up and received direction from Walt Disney himself, I try to attend. 

Bob Gurr was a Walt Disney Imagineer (WDI) whose most important contributions are in the vehicles you ride at Disneyland. There is a saying that "If it has wheels, Bob Gurr, probably build it." He is credited for designing the Monorail, Main Street Vehicles, the Autopia, Haunted Mansion and Matterhorn ride systems. When he left WDI, he went on to create the King Kong Encounter for Universal Studios Hollywood (CA). 

The following are the panel of friends who were up to roasting Bob:

photo credit: Jeffery Epstein

photo credit: Jeffery Epstein

Jeff Heimbuch, co-host of Communicore Weekly

Garner Holt, founder of Garner Holt Productions

Marty Sklar, longtime executive at Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Legend

Michael Broggie, historian and author of Walt Disney's Railroad Story

Eric Johnston, Emmy-winning audio mixer and Bob's nephew

Christopher Crump, Senior Imagineer at WDI and son of Disney Legend, Rolly Crump

Marty Sklar, who began his Disney career in publicity and marketing, was pretty clever. He gathered and shared some memorable email correspondence between him and Bob over the years. They were pretty funny. Jeff Heimbuch probably had the most traditional type of roast presentation and he did a great job during his time at the mic. Jeff uploaded his segment on YouTube. Michael Broggie shared some footage of him being the first to test drive the Autopia car Bob designed. Apparently Michael would drive it around the Walt Disney Studio lot and try to impress the Mickey Mouse Club cast members, especially the girls. 

The artist, Stan Dufek, who created the art on our tickets also had a moment to roast Bob. Stan also designed this fun one of a kind automation of Bob Gurr. It's a fun mash-up that pays tribute to Bob, his work on King Kong and Monorail design. You can go HERE for more details and a chance to purchase a raffle ticket to win this figure and other Bob Gurr signed items. 

Stan uploaded a video of Bob checking out his automated figure. It's fun to listen 

There were lots of references to Bob's body of work, how he influenced each of the panel members, and what he means to each of them. Bob also interjected comments and wove some of his own stories during and in between each presenter's time. Bob did talk about what it was like to work directly with Walt Disney. He shared some really personal moments and stories about creating, building, and bringing attractions like Autopia and the Monorail to Disneyland. There was never anytime to test attractions much less train Cast Members. Often, Bob was the first "Cast Member" to operate the new vehicles and he would train the next person. 

John Eaden, known for his performance at Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe, served as emcee for the evening. John was entertaining and kept the evening moving. Throughout the evening, you could hear the love, admiration and long friendship that the roast panel had for Bob. It made for a memorable evening of laughs. Let's just say that Bob's glass was never empty. His drink of choice is known as a "Gurrtini" (Blue Sapphire gin served in a martini glass.) 

By the end of the evening, I was lucky enough to win a door prize. So excited that it  was a signed print of the Monorail. Little known fact about me, I was at one time officially trained as a Monorail Driver (2001). All Attractions managers had to be trained and signed off on the rides that they were in were in their business unit. So this art work means a lot of special things to me. 

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Next time you are at Disneyland, check out Bob Gurr's window. The windows are always so clever in paying tribute to a special Disney Legend. 

Hope some pixie dust finds it way to you  today!

-Daisy



Music Mondays - Aulani: Music of the Maka'ala

Aloha! Last week my family and I were on vacation in Hawaii (Oahu). We are Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Members and our home resort is the Aulani. We feel lucky to be able to enjoy time at this very beautiful resort. One of the elements that I love is the music that you hear as you enter the lobby (Maka'ala) of the Aulani. 

The music at the Aulani was written specifically for the resort. Here's a video Disney released prior to the opening of the Aulani so you can get an appreciation for the thoughtfulness that went into the music of the resort. 

I find Aulani: Music of the Maka'ala by Keali'i Reichel very majestic, peaceful and beautiful. It's also an example of the attention to detail that Disney is known for. I am happy that there is just not any kind of Hawaiian music that greets you at the Aulani, but Disney original Hawaiian music. 

I was very excited to learn that you can purchase the music on iTunes. So now when I want to remember some family vacation memories or just to relax, I can listen to the Music of the Maka'ala

I will be sharing our Aulani vacation over the next couple weeks. 

Happy Music Monday!

Daisy

Disney Date Night: Napa Rose at Disney's Grand California Hotel & Spa

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My husband, MacSparky, proposed to me at Club 33 -Disneyland, 22 years ago. To celebrate the memorable moment, we go have a fancy meal at Disneyland every July 3rd. We started taking our kids with us about 10 years and now refer to July 3rd as "Sparks Day". With Sparks being our last name and July 4th, it's become a time to celebrate of our little family. We discovered the Napa Rose about 5 years go and it is now our annual Sparks Day tradition.

We actually ended up having our family celebration a day early due to scheduling conflicts. I have it my calendar as to when I can call to make reservations. We usually request the Chef's Table and we sit right in front of the kitchen. This year we decided to change it up by getting the first seating and sit on the dessert side. 

View of the Napa Rose kitchen from dessert side seating. 

View of the Napa Rose kitchen from dessert side seating. 

There are two seating times for the Chef's Table. We've never done the first seating time so it was fun to see the kitchen get going. Executive Napa Rose Chef, Andrew Sutton, even stopped by to greet us and talked to us for a little bit. I think he checked in as service was beginning because we didn't see him again in the kitchen during our meal. In the past years, Andrew has been active in the kitchen. He's now oversees both Club 33 and the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge in addition to Napa Rose so he is pretty busy.

The food offerings are Napa Rose are simply "oh-so-delicious". The menu items are carefully planned by the chef and his team. They are very thoughtful about using ingredients that are in season, available locally, and prepare them in such way to compliment the time of year. Here are some photos of the menu and some things we saw from where we sat. 

My kids are 13 and 18. They love going out to eat and are not afraid of a food adventure. As a result, they have a sophisticated palate and enjoy fine dinning experiences. One ordered a seasonal salad and scallops as her entree while my other daughter had the filet with chive mashed potatoes. We ordered the Truffle Mac & Cheese to share between all of us....and it was as delicious as it looks. 

MacSparky's most favorite all time dish is Napa Rose's Smiling Tiger Salad. That's all he talks about when we get ready to go. He will always order this when we go. It is one of the signature and customer favorites from Napa Rose. MacSparky went for a theme as he ordered the Berkshire Pork Lion and Laughing Bird Shrimp.

I usually order the Vintner's Menu which is a 4-course tasting menu. This year I requested the Chef's Menu...which is almost the same as the Vintner's Menu but the chef visits with you to ask about your food preferences and prepares a 4 or 5 course meal for you. I don't have food allergies and am not very picky about what I will not eat. I ended up with a little bit of everything off of the menu and I didn't know what I would get until it was brought to me. A couple of the dishes were actually straight from the menu. 

We had a great time visiting with Chef Gloria Tae who we see every year. She created this beautiful summer salad for my husband. It was very hearty with heirloom tomatoes, tuna tartare and lots of deliciousness on the side.  

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Napa Rose is also known for their extensive wine selection. A number of the servers are sommeliers so they can help you with any food pairing or questions about their wine offerings. I have ordered a flight of wine in prior years. I did order a glass of MacMurry Ranch Pinot Noir to go with my meal.

Before you enter the main dining area, you can view some of the fun wine bottles they have on display. You may recognize some of these. 

We had to have dessert. Although we were pretty full, my family decided that they had room for some delicious ice cream and sorbet. 

Our server this year was, Mickey. He was super attentive and entertaining, too. He gave my kids a little lesson in pouring wine. He was very helpful is assisting with our menu selections. The dessert sous chefs, Janae and Chelsea explained the dishes that they were preparing. They were also very good about answering some of our general questions that were related to what was happening in the kitchen.

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We had another fabulous and memorable Sparks Day celebration at Napa Rose. They even sent us home with some special chocolate boxes. We'll be back next year. Thank you, Napa Rose!

Happy Sparks Day!

-Daisy 

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!

-Daisy

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

Aloha!

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.

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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.

disneydaze.com
disneydaze.com

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.

Mahalo!

Daisy