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Dear Disneyland, Thanks for a great party!

Disneyland 60th - The party's over....almost!

The final days of the Disneyland Diamond Celebration are here. This is the last weekend to experience the decor, entertainment and special food offerings. The celebration started late May 2015 and Disneyland has been a great party host. Here are some of my favorite things during Disneyland's 60th birthday celebration.

1. Diamond Celebration Decor

Sleeping Beauty Castle got the royal treatment was all decked including some sparkly jewels and even was outfitted with a special 60th medallion. Main Street USA was dressed up with blue and white bunting. The stores and restaurants also received some special Diamond Celebration adornments. 

There was also Disneyland Diamond decor outside of Disneyland Park that included the ticket booths, the Disneyland Hotel and also inside Disney California Adventure.

2. Disneyland Characters in Diamond Celebration Couture

It's been fun to enter Disneyland and see Mickey and Friends in dressed in their party outfits. Of course my favorite is Daisy Duck. I think the Disneyland characters have enjoyed getting all dressed up and meeting their Guests. Don't ever be shy to interact with the characters. They love being complimented on their fun outfits, film roles, and personalities.  

3. Diamond Celebration Evening Entertainment

Disneyland really went all out for their Diamond Celebration night time offering.


Disneyland Forever celebrates the story of Disneyland with projections of favorite Disney movies through song and fireworks. This show was able to view either on Main Street USA, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle or in front of "it's a small world." The fun projections, especially on Main Street USA, really immersed you in the show. The new fireworks music choreographed to the fireworks is always Disney signature awesome! 

 image from Disney Parks Blog

image from Disney Parks Blog

Check out this high quality video from Inside the Magic. You can get a good feel of what it is like to watch this particular fireworks show from Main Street USA and also get a glimpse of the castle view. 


I have to admit that Paint the Night is now my favorite Disneyland parade. The music is so fun, the performers are amazing, the floats are technologically cool, and there is parade segment for every kind of Disney fan. The Disneyland Entertainment team really outdid themselves with Paint the Night

Again, check out this video from Inside the Magic. It is 15 minutes of so much Disneyland night fun. My family and I have watched this parade many times and in different locations. It's always a good time. Interacting with the Paint the Night performers is probably one of the highlights for this parade. 


It was fun to see some Diamond Celebration offerings extended to Disney California Adventure. The official title of this night time show offering is "World of Color - Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney."  What I loved about this particular show is that it really tells the story of Walt Disney through the success of his movies, building Disneyland, and his legacy through the films of the Disney Company today. If you are a big Walt Disney fan or love vintage Disneyland, you would love this version of World of Color. Just like a film that has credits, you can hear a rendition of two songs, "Forever Young" and "Disneyland" that play to close the show. If you leave immediately after the show, you would miss these two additional songs.

4. Diamond Celebration Merchandise

Who doesn't love some exclusive and dated Disneyland stuff. The Disney Parks merchandise team really outdid themselves with such a vast offering. There was something for everyone with any kind of budget. My favorite was the 60th Mickey Mouse silver ears and a couple ornaments so I can remember the celebration. 

5. Disneyland's 60th Birthday Celebration - July 17, 2015

One of my favorite Diamond Celebration memories was visiting Disneyland on it's actual 60th birthday last year with my girlfriends. We got dressed up in our best 1955-ish outfits and spent the day at The Happiest Place on Earth. You can read about our special day and see photos in my previous post HERE

So, the party is really coming to an end. A fun time was had by all and I've experienced many memorable Diamond Celebration with my family and friends. I am looking forward to new Disneyland adventures that are on the horizon. We always enjoy all the seasonal offerings like the new Halloween parade exclusive to Mickey's Halloween Party. It will be nice to see all the Disneyland Christmas decor and fireworks show back this year.  My family is very excited about the Star Wars themed land and Guardians of the Galaxy taking over Tower of Terror.

Like Walt said: "Disneyland will never be completed" and that is probably one of the things that makes visiting Disneyland a special adventure no matter how many times I have gone. I love Disneyland for the nostalgia and the familiarity but also for the constant changes in attractions and entertainment.

Disneyland, thanks for the grand party. I had a fabulous time! 


Scenes from a Disneyland Park - June 10, 2016

Just sharing some photos from my visit to Disneyland Park this past Friday.It had been cloudy and cool most of the day, June Gloom has been persistent lately. The sun finally came out about 1pm. I went to Disney California Adventure a little after 7pm.

I wanted to get some photos from Paradise Pier but the blue skies and clouds above the Carthay Circle Restaurant was a pretty site. 

I headed over to Disneyland and decided to climb Tarzan's Treehouse and see what the view was like. The sun was going down pretty fast but I was able to get some of these fun photos. I only had my iPhone 6 to take these photos of the colorful sky. 

Watching the sky change and seeing all the colors as evening falls on Disneyland always makes for a fun Friday evening.

Wishing you pixie dust today!


Shop Disney: Disney Parks Snowglobes

In the late 1990s, there was a huge selection of snow globes at Disneyland. I remember how popular they were by the amount of snow globes I rang up as a Main Street Merchandise Cast Member. There was a big variety of Disney themed snow globes that were available at both Disneyland and the Disney Stores, too. In the past several months, I have noticed some Disney snow globes popping up in the Disneyland stores. 

The Disneyland Castle (Sleeping Beauty Castle) snow globe has a great decorative detail. It also plays "When You Wish Upon a Star."

There are also a couple of snow globes to commemorate the Disneyland 60th Celebration.

I found some smaller, plastic snow globes at the World of Disney store. These are geared more for kids and kind of remind you of the basic souvenir-style model. 

There several different ones available online through the Disney Stores. The Bradford Exchange has some fun holiday and more Disney snow globes, too.  If you purchase a snow globe and have to travel, you can go HERE to find out about TSA guidelines when it comes to trying to get your Disney snow globe home:

Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid (approximately tennis ball size) can be packed in your carry-on bag ONLY if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit into your one quart-sized, resealable plastic bag. Each passenger can only bring one quart-sized bag with 3.4oz or smaller containers. Larger snowglobes must be packed in checked baggage.
Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

 Some Disney signage about traveling snow globes.

Some Disney signage about traveling snow globes.

Snow globes are a fun way to remember your Disneyland trip and to always think of fond Disney memories. They make great gifts for any Disney fan. 

Happy Shopping!


Music Monday: Live the Magic (Disneyland Forever)

Did you get a chance to watch The Wonderful World of Disney - Disneyland 60 special on TV the other night? It was coverage about Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland and everything that has happened to his Park and beyond. The big emphasis was about the year and half long event to celebrate Disneyland's 60th birthday. 

One of my favorite things about the Disneyland 60th Celebration is the fireworks show. Named "Disneyland Forever," this fireworks show debuted last May. Although there are a lot of classic Disney music woven throughout the nighttime spectacular (Lion King, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins), there is a theme song that you hear throughout the show. 

 image by Disney

image by Disney

According to the official "Disneyland Forever" Fireworks Fun Facts sheet:

"The show’s anthem, “Live The Magic,” was created by composers Adam Watts and Andy Dodd. Their collaborative credits include work on Disney’s smash “High School Musical,” along with songs for other top artists. The exquisite score was recorded by an orchestra in London, England, at Abbey Road Studios."

 "Live the Magic" is a lively and fun song that can stay in your head. As mentioned, this fireworks show was created for the Disneyland 60th Celebration and has been running since last May. After almost a year, there is still no release of an official album for any of the new music or Disneyland 60th Celebration. With technology and dedicated Disneyland fans, you can find all kinds of recordings of this song on the internet. 

Here is a full fireworks show that was filmed and shared by Inside the Magic.

There is a ballad version of "Live the Magic" that plays after the fireworks. This slow version allows you to really concentrate on the words and celebrate 60 years of Disneyland magic. It is a music-only video shared by Discovery Arcade Music. 


Happy Music Monday,

- Daisy

Scenes from Tomorrowland, Disneyland

Last week, Macsparky and I spent some time at Star Wars Launch Bay. We happened to be there around sunset and took these photos. These photos were taken with our current iPhones.

 Photo edited with Camera + App

Photo edited with Camera + App

 Photo edited with Camera + App

Photo edited with Camera + App

We spotted Stromtroopers on the ground.

Tomorrowland has all kinds of vegetation for landscaping. It is referred to as "agrifuture."

We went back during the evening and Macsparky took these photos. He has a Dx0 One that he connects to his iPhone in order to get some of these night shots.

The Autopia is changing sponsors (from Chevrolet to Honda) so looks like they are getting some remodeling done. The Tomorrowland Train station is hibernating behind the construction walls, too.

The weather has been great here the past two weeks. The good thing about the rain is that it clears the air and makes the skies pretty. Leaving you with a picture of Disneyland's Main Street USA.

Happy Friday!


Photos from Disneyland's Tomorrowland (aka Star Wars Land)

I got to check out SEASON OF THE FORCE the other night. They may as well call Disneyland's Tomorrowland, "Star Wars Land". The area has a heavy Star Wars theme to it from some of the attractions and food offerings. Both Space Mountain, now Hyperspace Mountain, and Star Tours have a Star Wars show element to it. The store, Star Traders sells all Star Wars merchandise with no more basic Disneyland souvenirs. The food locations all have Star Wars themed food. 

Here are just a few photos of Tomorrowland. They were pumping in various Star Wars music, too, which really added to the atmosphere. 

 Entrance to Tomorrowland

Entrance to Tomorrowland

 Image projected on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters

Image projected on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters

 Magic Eye Theater

Magic Eye Theater

Over at the Magic Eye Theater, they play snippets of all the Star Wars movies so that you can catch up and be ready for Star Wars: Force Awakens. A great place to put your feet up and to get excited with fellow Star Wars fans. 

 Space Mountain

Space Mountain

I got a chance to ride Hyperspace Mountain and loved it. All Star Wars fans will love what they did to it. It will be a ride that you'll enjoy. 

 Formerly Innoventions

Formerly Innoventions

I will have a more extensive write-up of Star Wars Launch Bay within the week so stay tuned for more info and photos of what's inside this round building. 

A very cool merchandise offering is personalized and themed name tags. They retail for $9.95. I think these would be fun to put on a gift tag for your favorite Star Wars fun. You'll see lots of people wearing these around the Park. They were pretty fast to order and receive.

 Store to find the nametags

Store to find the nametags

You fill out this form after you've made the difficult choice of which name tag, where you are from, and then your name. There is a limit to 11 letters and it has to be a legal name. No nicknames or websites.
 Nametag samples

Nametag samples
 SARAH nametag

SARAH nametag

 SPARKS nametag

SPARKS nametag

If "Season of the Force" in Tomorrowland is a taste of what 'Star Wars Land" can be, then BRING IT! I suspect that this area will be super busy not just through the holiday season but all the time. Star Wars fans are loyal, excited, and will come out in full force. 

May the Force Be With You!


New Disneyland 60th Building = A Christmas Village Addition

It's never too early to think about Christmas...decorations. Half the fun for my family is decorating for the holidays. So when I saw this new decorative building at Disneyland yesterday, I knew exactly what I want to do with it.

We've had a Christmas village, "Sparksville," since my kids were small. We've added many pieces to it throughout the years. It's not a specific collection from one brand or company. We have buildings that represent a story, a family moment, or maybe a hobby. It's pretty large and usually takes up the entire studio table that sits in our living room.

My husband and our two kids are mainly responsible for putting it together. Since the kids have gotten older, they have become very active participants when it comes time to set up. They love to reconfigure Sparkville every year centered around their favorite buildings and figures. There are so many memories and moments that are shared when this Christmas decorating tradition begins. 

Here is a photo of a small corner of our Christmas village. You can see that we already have some Disney items 

 Sparks Christmas village 2013

Sparks Christmas village 2013

So I think that I need this new Disneyland 60th building and maybe create something different this year. I noticed that it lights up and the size will work for Sparksville. The Castle is pretty is the silver and blue Disneyland Diamond motif.

In 1994, Department 56 released a Disney Parks series of Disney Christmas buildings and figures. This particular series was retired in 1996. You can do a search on eBay and see some offered at some really good deals. I have the Disneyland Emporium (not Dept 56) and Firehouse so this new Disneyland 60th castle would be a perfect addition to our Christmas village. 

 Dept 56 Disneyland Firehouse and Disneyland Emporium (not Dept 56). Disney Parks figures of Mickey & Minnie with Disney Parks family (Dept 56)

Dept 56 Disneyland Firehouse and Disneyland Emporium (not Dept 56). Disney Parks figures of Mickey & Minnie with Disney Parks family (Dept 56)

The Disneyland 60th castle is a premium decoration with a steep price tag. It's pretty equivalent to what collectible Department 56 Christmas village houses usually go for. I might have to re-think and convince my family to go all out and do a Disneyland 60th Christmas village or I might have to create a special corner display. 

There are less than 80 days until Christmas!


What would a Disneyland Diamond Gala dinner look like?

One of the things I enjoy about my time at Disneyland is walking around to enjoy the store window displays. Most get changed out seasonally so it is fun to see what's in these windows. I love the current display at The Disney Showcase which highlights the Disneyland 60h Celebration. What if there was a fun and fancy Diamond Gala hosted by Mickey and Minnie? What if this is what the table setting and menus would look like?

I love these Diamond Celebration plates that are part of the 'Castle Collection'. They are classy. You can purchase them separately so if you just wanted the dessert plates or the bowls, you can do that. Or you can pace your purchase if you wanted a couple place setting.  If you wanted to use the larger plate like a charger, that would be very cool. My favorite thing about these home decor items is that they nest together to create a pretty place setting. 

This store usually changes out to "showcase" the current Disneyland specific park merchandise line, seasonal offerings, and limited merchandise. Currently, you can find most of the Diamond Celebration Merchandise at this particular location. It's a great place to get a Diamond Celebration Christmas ornament to remember your visit this year. There is a huge variety of 60th merchandise for every age and every kind of preference. 

How about a Diamond Celebration tiara? Even for not being real diamonds it is a premium purchase. It would be fun for a big milestone celebration for a very special person. 

Recently Disney Parks officially announced that the Diamond Celebration at Disneyland will continue until September 5, 2016. So you'll have almost another year to make your list and get to Disneyland and visit Disney Showcase.

Happy Shopping,


Details in Animated Vintage Disneyland Map at Disneyland Hotel

In 2009, the Disneyland Hotel began an extensive refurbishment. By 2012, the updated and revitalized property would have a new pool, new decor and new lobby. This large animated Disneyland map was installed to greet guest. With Disneyland's 60th birthday underway, the map has been decorated with the Diamond Celebration decor. 

Dland hotel 1.jpg

The lights that you see on the map are the "animated" portions. There is simply a light and some light movement in those specific areas.

Getting up close, you can examine some of the fun details. Looking closely at the area where the train runs through the Diorama and it shows the names of specific sections. It is interesting to also see Disneyland Administration Building on this map. I remember going to this building as it used to be house the Casting Office. I got hired in there and had my orientation in there back in the summer of 1989. I do remember feeling the motions of the train running through the building during some of my Disney University classes.

Here are some more photos of the details on the map including points of interest for Main Street USA and Pirates of the Caribbean. It's fun to see what used to be there and to know what is there now.

So if you are ever near the Disneyland Hotel, make some time to check out this giant vintage Disneyland map. There are so many more details and fun images to discover. Bring a current Disneyland map with you so you can compare and learn what has changed through the last 60 years.

Sending some pixie dust you way!


Disney Date Night at Disneyland with MacSparky

One of the benefits of being a Disneyland Annual Passholder is that you get to attend some special events. About every quarter, Disneyland invites specific groups of Annual Passholders for an exclusive Disneyland Park event. It's usually targeted to those whose passes are about to expire. These special events are a way to for Disneyland to say "thank you" for being a Passholder and "by the way, don't you want to renew?" 

My husband (MacSparky) and I decided to attend one of these events and made a fun date night out of it. We've been to a couple of these events as some fellow Annual Passholder friends kindly invited us to go with them.  We wanted to see how this event would be different than those previous that we had been to. It was a Tuesday evening so we also figured that we would have a better chance of the Park not being as crowded. The official hours of the event was also 9pm - 1am.

 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir

MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir


We started our date night by treating ourselves to a visit to the Napa Rose Lounge. We knew that it was slow enough where we could get a seat and get something fabulous to eat. Sitting in the lounge as opposed to making dinner reservations and getting the full dining experience would also save us some time. I wanted a nice glass of wine and MacSparky was looking forward to his ordering his most favorite salad, "Smiling Tiger Salad". The full menu is available to everyone in the lounge area. 

We were seated next the fireplace. We had a lovely and relaxing meal so we could enjoy a fun evening at Disneyland. We opted to skip dessert so we could sample some other sweets at Disneyland.

We finally made our way into Disneyland just as the Paint the Night Parade was starting. Since fireworks would soon be after the parade, we decided to work our way to the Small World area to get another view and experience of Disneyland Forever. The same projections that take place on Main Street USA are projected directly onto "it's a small world" facade. 

 Disneyland Forever Fireworks projection onto "it's a small world"

Disneyland Forever Fireworks projection onto "it's a small world"

It may not be the completely immersive that you get on Main Street USA but it was just as wonderful. You miss the fireworks that happen directly over the Castle but you still get a great view of the fireworks. The image projections look fabulous on "it's a small world" and of course the music is an amazing part of the show. 

When the fireworks ended, we made our way to the "west side"(Adventureland, Frontierland, Critter Country and New Orleans Square) of the Park. Since there had not been a Fantasmic show, the Mark Twain was still available. We were excited about being able to take a night time cruise around the Rivers of America

 Photo of the wheelhouse. 

Photo of the wheelhouse. 

The Cast Member on board told us that it is a very rare occurrence that there is an evening Mark Twain cruise. MacSparky was able to reminisce and share with the Cast Member about when he used to work at Disneyland back in the early 90's, pre-Fantasmic days. When MacSparky worked nights and assigned the Mark Twain, there would be a "fireworks cruise". They would park out on the Rivers of America at a certain time and then allow the Guest to view the fireworks show from the top deck. How cool is that? 

There was hardly anyone on the night cruise with us. You could walk around the Mark Twain during the cruise and explore. There was already someone in the "wheelhouse" (where they boat controls and captain sit) so we missed out on that opportunity. Going around the Rivers of America at night was a treat. 

We went to have dessert at Gibson Ice Cream Parlor. We noticed how there was hardly anyone on Main Street this evening. There was an 11 pm Paint the Night parade scheduled for the event. Here are a couple of photos taken of the curb about 20 mintues before the parade was to start. Crazy sight.

 View looking towards Sleeping Beauty Caste

View looking towards Sleeping Beauty Caste

The photo below is an example of what people do to snare their viewing spot. It's such a funny sight to see this blanket all spread out, no owner in site, and all the spots beside it available, too. The parade was about 15 minutes to start time and there was hardly anyone waiting for it. During regular operating hours, people will save their spots starting about 3 hours before parade time. 

 View looking towards the Town Square/Train station

View looking towards the Town Square/Train station

I am sure part of the reason there was hardly a parade crowd was because people were getting in the rides they could. There was little wait time during this particular event. We decided we may as well wait and snag an amazing curbside view and enjoy the parade. 

Date nights with Macsparky are always an adventure. We enjoy creating some special moments together and when we can make memories at Disneyland, it's even better. Those are date nights with some pixie dust on the side. 

 Disneyland Esplanade & view of DIsney California Adventure

Disneyland Esplanade & view of DIsney California Adventure



A GRAND Sleeping Beauty Castle Cake at the Disneyland Resort

Over the weekend, I walked through the beautiful Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. On display in the lobby is this remarkable Disneyland castle cake.

There is an information sign to let you know how this special Diamond Celebration cake was made and how.

I was there when a couple of the bakers came out to touch it up. She did mention that they did not have a set number on how many hidden Mickey's there are on the cake castle and that she had been adding some more.
 Back view of the cake

Back view of the cake

The details on the cake are pretty amazing. It's made of edible item but I don't think the cake itself is edible. It's been there since June so it has held up well. Here's a photo of the actual Disneyland castle, whose official name is SLEEPING BEAUTY CASTLE, so you can appreciate the work that went into the cake.

No one seemed to be able to tell me how long it was going to be there so if you are around there, stop be to check out the artistry and imagination of this Diamond Celebration cake.

With lots of Pixie Dust,


Shop Disney: What is Disney Parks Merchandise & Where to Buy it

Disney merchandise is everywhere! You can even go to your local grocery store and find Disney plastic plates, cups, and more. But if you love visiting Disney Parks (Disneyland or Walt Disney World) and want a piece of it, there are specific places to find Disney merchandise that is made specifically for the Disney Parks.

NOTE: Disney Parks Merchandise is "stuff" that has been produced to be sold specifically at these designated Disney Parks locations: Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. They have the DISNEY PARKS logo on the item, too. The logo could be on the clothing tag, price tag, or on the package. That's when you know that the item was specifically produced for and to be sold at one of the Disney parks mentioned before. 

Here are the places you can purchase Disney Parks Merchandise

1. The actual Disney Parks - Disneyland and Walt Disney Resorts

mad hatter.jpg

Of course the best place to be able to touch, feel, and purchase Disney Parks merchandise is when you are able to physically visit one of the Disney Parks. There is a variety of location and park specific available. It's more than your average souvenir item. You also have memories and and experience associated with the particular Disney Parks product that you buy. For example, when you are at Disneyland and get to go to The Mad Hatter to pick out and personalize you own Mickey Mouse ears, you can't get that experience or moment when ordering online. 

2. (Online shopping)

The Disney Store online has much more and different product offering from their physical store locations. When you shop Disney, they have a special section called DISNEY PARKS where you can browse and purchase the same merchandise that is sold inside the Disney Parks. It is a select offering but nonetheless, you can have a piece of Disney Parks without having to visit an actual Disney Park. They even have a generous selection of Disneyland Diamond Celebration merchandise available. So if you can't visit Disneyland during it's big 60th Celebration, you can still buy some of the 60th logo items from You can also purchase special Disney collaborations like Vera Bradley, Alex & Ani and Pandora directly from

3. Shop Disney Parks APP (New)

This is the newest option available for Disney Park fans. Disney released a new APP called, Shop Disney Parks. It's description reads as follows:

Shop for authentic Walt Disney World Resort merchandise with the Shop Disney Parks app! Browse thousands of gifts, accessories, collectibles and more, many of which have never before been sold outside of Disney Parks and Resorts

NOTE: The app is not even a month old so I will have a more extensive review after I've had a chance to play with it and order through the app, too.

One of the things about this particular app is that you can link your ID to either your Annual Pass or DVC membership so that you discount can apply.  I am entertained by the categories that you can browse through. If you see an item you are interested in, you can find out if you order it online, find it in a particular store, and see if it is available. Some items are only available at the physical location. 

So this mobile app really should be called "Shop Walt Disney World Parks". It's really geared for the merchandise offerings at the Walt Disney World Parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studio). So if you've ever wanted purchase merchandise from the Florida Disney Parks, this is the place for you. You are supposed to be able to scan an item and be able to purchase it from your mobile device (I think that function is coming). You can look up an item and find out which Walt Disney Parks location has it.

4. Contact Merchandise Guest Services

If you forgot something or changed your mind about something you regretted not buying when you were at a Disney Park, you can always try to contact Merchandise Guest Services. The more information you have about the item you are looking for (what store you saw it in or the SKU number), the better that they can help you. The Merchandise Guest Service team is pretty helpful and can assist with your purchase of select items at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and even at the Aulani (the Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i).

Yes, I want to enable you with your Disney shopping fix. The holidays are coming up so its never too early to think about shopping for your favorite Disney person on your list. Shopping for Disney Parks merchandise is more than just general Disney-themed apparel, home decor and Disney stuff. It's a piece of the Disney Parks that can help re-create an experience, a moment or memory. 

Happy Shopping!



Disneyland Ambassadors Tell Their Stories

Back in May, I was able to attend a special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event.  It was held a couple days before the official Celebration kickoff. The event took place at the Disneyland Hotel.

There were lots of special merchandise available plus a couple panels to attend. One of them was the Disneyland Resort Ambassador Panel. Comprised of several former Disneyland Ambassadors, they got to tell some great stories of what brought them to Disneyland, some interesting stories from their year as Disneyland Ambassador, and some special memories.

After 10 years, Walt Disney decided that he needed some help. The Disneyland Ambassadors are "Emissaries of Goodwill,” media representatives and as official hosts to Resort guests".

Since 1965, only 1 or 2 Disneyland Cast Members have been chosen to fulfill this role. Here is a video I took to capture. Sorry it is in the wrong view. I captured it as a live stream using Periscope. It was a Periscope video that I had saved on my iphone.  The video is just a little under 60 minutes. Each has interesting stories, especially Connie Swanson (1966). She was the last Disneyland Ambassador personally chosen by Walt and she shared several stories about her interaction with him. 

The following video features these former Disneyland Ambassadors: Quinn Shurian (2009-2010), Matt Ebling (2002), Heri Garcia (2001), Bonnie Delhoy (1994), Melissa Tyler Wakerman (1985), Emily ZInser (1972) and Connie Swanson (1966). Current Disneyland Ambassador, Allie Kawamoto was the panel moderator. 

My favorite antidote is when Connie Swanson recalls: "I remember Walt would write stuff down on napkins then tuck it into his pocket. I always knew there was magic on that written napkin."

Here are some photos I took of the different outfits that the Disneyland Ambassadors have worn. So fun to see how the look and program has evolved. Several former Disneyland Ambassadors brought in their official outfits and personal momentos of their tenure. 


As the panel spoke and interacted with each other, you could tell how much of a family they are. When you consider that in the 50 years of the Ambassador program, there are very few chosen out of the thousands of Cast Members Disneyland has been employed in that time frame. It is a very rigorous process to apply, interview and be selected. 

I shared this segment with you as new Disney Legends are being recognized at this weekends D23 Expo. One of the recipients is Julie Reihm, the first ever Disneyland Ambassador (1965).

 2001 Disneyland Ambassador, Heri Garcia & me.

2001 Disneyland Ambassador, Heri Garcia & me.

If I have to pick a favorite Disneyland Ambassador, I would have to pick Heri Garcia (2001). You see, I was one of Heri's managers at the time he went through the process and was chosen as Ambassador. I remember the pride of the our fellow Cast Members at our attraction (Innoventions). We took over the balcony on the Main Street Train Station to position ourselves to cheer Heri on. It was quite a celebration when we heard his name called. 

Disneyland Ambassadors are a special group of people who had a special job of connecting with the local, national and international worlds.

Cheers to all the Disneyland Parks Ambassadors yesterday, now and tomorrow!


Music Mondays: Disneyland (from Smile)

I heard this song at the end of World of Color the other week and had to find out more about it. Here's what I discovered.

"Disneyland" is a song written by Marvin Hamlish with lyrics by Howard Ashman for a musical called Smile in 1983. The first person to sing it was Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel and Disney Legend). How interesting is that? Ashman would later write the lyrics for Little Mermaid (1989) and Benson would be the one to sing in the Disney classic movie.

The musical, Smile, was not well received and closed soon after it opened with only 48 performances on record. There was not even a cast record so the songs from this musical are not well documented. However, I was obsessed in finding a recording. There were some on YouTube and I did managed to find an out of circulation CD compilation that contained this particular song sung by Jodi Benson. I was also able to easily locate and purchase the sheet music.

 Purchased on

Purchased on

 sheet music available at

sheet music available at

After looking at the lyrics and hearing the original Disneyland song, it seems that the words were changed a bit for the World of Color encore finale. You have to stick around to hear the World of Color version. It comes on way after the show is over and plays as most people have left the show area. Here is my short video so you can hear the current version. 

Here are some the original lyrics from the musical:

Someone give me
Take me there!
To Disneyland
And when I get to Disneyland
I'll stay

I do like the way the lyrics were altered a bit. It goes perfect with the current World of Color show which is officially called "World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney".

"I believe in Disneyland!"


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.

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!


My Dateline Disneyland: July 17, 2015

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!


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!


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).

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!