Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Disneyland. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Disneyland. Mostrar todas las entradas

14 de septiembre de 2017

DisneyVersary 2017: New Paradise Garden Grill Menu for Plaza de la Familia at California Adventure

As part of the Plaza de la Familia celebration that begins tomorrow at Disney California Adventure, Paradise Garden Grill will be featuring a all-new menu of Mexican foods.

Entrees include:

Yucatan-inspired Vaporcitos – Chicken tamales steamed in banana leaves with ranchero salsa, golden rice and black beans [$11.99]

Tortitas de Papa con Queso – Crispy potato cakes with Oaxaca cheese, ranchero salsa, golden rice and pickled onion salad [$11.99]

Mole Verde con Pollo – Herb-braised chicken with golden rice, black beans and corn tortillas [$11.99]

Tacos de Estilo Callejero – Trio of sirloin beef tacos with pickled vegetables, golden rice and black beans [$12.99]

For dessert:

Ensalada de Frutas – Jicama, watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, and mango with chili-line salt and chamoy [$5.99]

Tres Leches Parfait – With rum and vanilla bean chantilly, drizzled with dulce de leche and garnished with a white chocolate skull [$5.99]

Pan de Muerto – With vanilla custard filling [$5.49]

Special drinks:

Mexican Hot Chocolate – Cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate topped with whipped cream

Agua de Jamaica Slush – Hibiscus-flavored drink [$5.49]

Dos Equis Lager [$8.75]

Plaza de la Familia is scheduled to take over the Paradise Gardens area from September 15th to November 2nd.

Source: Disneyland

15 de junio de 2016

"Disney D23 News" - Grab your Mickey ears, Shanghai Disneyland's opening its gates

Shanghai Disney Resort is made up of Shanghai Disneyland, which has six themed lands, as well as Disneytown and the Wishing Star Park recreational area. There are also two hotels -- Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel.

Ni hao, Mickey Mouse!
Following just over five years of construction and multiple delays, the long-awaited Shanghai Disney Resort officially opens its gates to the public on June 16. 

Made up of Disneyland, Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and two hotels, the entire project covers 3.9 square kilometers. 

According to Disney officials, it's the brand's biggest international park and takes full advantage of all the technological advances that have arrived since Disney's last park opening -- Hong Kong Disneyland -- in 2005. 

This means that rides you might have experienced at other parks -- though many fan favorites are missing -- have been given a complete revamp. 

The best example of this is Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure.
A far cry from the original Pirates ride created by Walt himself back in the 1960s, this hi-tech version is the largest attraction in Shanghai Disneyland, taking up 16,340 square meters.
Boats are controlled magnetically so they can spin or go backwards to maximize views of all the scenes, which feature the latest animatronics technology.

"Even if you've been on all the rides in the world this is going to blow you away," says theme park expert Stefan Zwanzger -- aka the Theme Park Guy.

"I think every Disney fan will be crazy about it. It's actually worth flying to Shanghai just for this particular ride."

What differentiates it from other Disney parks?

In the run-up to the park's opening, Disney execs have been parroting just how different this park is, whether it be the promise of an "authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese" experience or the impressive size of the castle. 

Let's start there. 

Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle is reportedly the tallest and most interactive castle in any Disney park, say park developers. 

It has a table-service restaurant and a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique princess salon for kids.

The highest ornament is a cascade of stars topped by a golden peony -- another nod to China.

TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster.  

Meanwhile, there are several rides you won't find in any other Disney parks. 

For instance, Alice in Wonderland Maze is the first attraction at a Disney park to focus on Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" film. 

Guests have to make their way through sculpted hedges, stone garden walls, giant flowers and sculptures to get to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. 

The Voyage to the Crystal Grotto boat ride travels though Fantasyland and the Enchanted Storybook Castle. 

But the most anticipated ride is the TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster. 

Based on the TRON films, this coaster -- said to be one of Disney's fastest -- places riders atop individual two-wheeled "lightcycles" that are launched into a giant space filled with lights, projections and sound effects.

Six themed areas

Like its five counterparts in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, Shanghai Disneyland is sectioned into themed areas. 

There's Adventure Isle, Fantasyland, Gardens of Imagination, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Mickey's Avenue. 

Adventure Isle highlights include Roaring Rapids and Soaring over the Horizon, which uses giant screen projection technology to offer an aerial view of the world. 

As at other Disney parks, Fantasyland is targeted at the younger crowd. Attractions include the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland Maze, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan's Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Voyage to the Crystal Grotto. 

Gardens of Imagination is where you'll find Marvel Universe, Fantasia Carousel and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. There's also a Garden of the Twelve Friends featuring Disney and Pixar characters in Chinese Zodiac style.

Shanghai Disneyland's pirate-themed Treasure Cove. 

Tomorrowland features five different attractions. 

Time to bust out the sad face emoji -- Space Mountain ain't one of them.
Disappointing, certainly, but the TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster might just be a worthy replacement. 

Other Tomorrowland attractions include the shoot-em-up Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue ride, Stitch Encounter, Jet Packs and a Star Wars Launch Bay featuring props and set pieces from the most recent film. 

The pirate-themed Treasure Cove has the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Explorer Canoes and a Shipwreck Shore water play area. 

Lastly, there's Mickey Avenue, which takes the place of the classic Main Street USA found in all of Disney's other parks. 

Located just inside the entrance and filled with gift shops and restaurants, it replaces the classic turn-of-the-century small town experience with a Toon Town-esque neighborhood inhabited by Mickey Mouse and his buddies.

Disneytown and Wishing Star Park

Located beside the main Disneyland theme park, Disneytown has 50 shops and restaurants. 

That includes the first World of Disney store in Asia and the largest Lego store in the world.
It's also where you'll find the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, home to the first-ever Mandarin stage production of Broadway musical "The Lion King." 

The nearby lakeside Wishing Star Park is a recreational area with a walking path that snakes through wetlands, forests and meadows.

Shanghai Disney Resort's hotels

One of the 800 rooms inside Shanghai Disney Resort's Toy Story Hotel.

Shanghai Disney Resort has two hotels.

The swankier of the two is the Art Nouveau-inspired Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, located on Wishing Star Lake

The three-story property has 420 guest rooms, including seven suites, and four themed restaurants

Character breakfasts take place at Lumiere's Kitchen.

There's a pool, Lion King-themed water play area and Mickey Mouse Playhouse activity center.

For a more laid back stay there's the Toy Story Hotel, which has 800 guest rooms.
It's got two themed wings -- Sheriff Woody Wing and Buzz Lightyear Wing.

As expected, its decor was inspired by the films and its characters. There's a food court dining experience, water-play area and family activity center.

Fun fact: The hotel's figure-eight "infinity" layout is a nod to Buzz Lightyear's mantra "To infinity and beyond!"

22 de febrero de 2016

Pentatonix helps Derek Hough ‘Paint the Night’ in ‘Disneyland 60’ TV special

To celebrate the 60th birthday of Disneyland, ABC aired "The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60" on Sunday night (Feb. 21). Many celebrities were in attendance for the occasion, which found Idina Menzel performing live and Dick Van Dyke kicking up his knees one more time.

However, one of the night's most energetic numbers happened to be the introduction to the whole shebang. "Dancing With the Stars" personalities Derek Hough and Witney Carson helped to open the special in a number that bridged old with new.

Superimposed with a classic black-and-white theme, the dancers move down Main Street where the scene transforms into vibrant color as the park's brand new "Paint the Night" parade makes its way down the road.

Leading the pack is Pentatonix, performing "Be Our Guest," the classic track from "Beauty and the Beast" that has become a staple at the theme park. If ever there was a video that would make young and old want to take a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, this would be it!

23 de septiembre de 2015

Fanclubdis, Be Inspired: Disneyland Diamond Celebration Finally Receives An End Date

When the Disneyland Diamond Celebration was announced, we were never given an end date for all of the fun and festivities centered around the 60th brithday of the Happiest Place on Earth. Disney finally announced this week that the Celebration will not conclude until September 6th, 2016, so you still have plenty of time to “be dazzled” in Southern California.

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18 de julio de 2015

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Disneyland Resort Celebrates 60 Years

Yesterday we marked the 60th anniversary of the opening day of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. The day started with a special ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Check out the video recap here.

Disneyland Resort guests were even treated to special cupcakes to commemorate the day!

Please join me in wishing a happy 60th anniversary to Disneyland!

16 de julio de 2015

Disneyland: 60 things you might not know about the Magic Kingdom (Disney Ranking Special Edition)

A TV show named "Gunsmoke" made its debut, and another named "Make Room for Daddy" won two Emmys. Elvis Presley and Pat Boone had young hearts all shook up, and for the first time, they could listen to those crooners and others on a new gadget called a pocket transistor radio. A new car cost $1,900, gasoline was 23 cents a gallon and rents averaged $87 a month.

It was 1955. On July 17 of that year — a year in which the last occupying troops left Austria and the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series — Disneyland opened its doors. If the first day was any indicator of its future, we might have expected Walt Disney's amusement park to fade into oblivion, much like Georgia Gibbs' No. 1 Billboard hit "Dance With Me Henry" did. (Quick, hum a few bars.) The chaos of Disneyland's debut played out in front of a national television audience, and predictions of epic failure abounded.

Sixty years later, we know how wrong those naysayers were.

With nearly 17 million annual visitors, Disneyland is the biggest draw in California and among the top tourist destinations in the world. The park's drawing power persuaded Disney to build theme parks in Florida, France, Japan and China.

Other amusement parks, such as Denmark's Tivoli Gardens, existed, but Disneyland established a modern theme-park template that has been often duplicated but rarely matched.

We think we know Disneyland; after all, we've had 60 years to get acquainted. But do we really? Reporters Christopher Reynolds and Brady MacDonald have compiled a list of 60 things you might not know on the diamond anniversary of the theme park that became the gold standard.

1. Much of Disneyland is built to scale to create the illusion of a full-scale experience. The trains circling the park and the Mark Twain Riverboat are built to 5/8 scale. Sleeping Beauty Castle and the storefronts on Main Street, U.S.A., use forced perspective to make the buildings appear taller.

2. More than a million corn dogs are sold annually at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold calls the Disneyland corn dog the best he's ever had.

3. The Rivers of America in Frontierland is 4 to 8 feet deep. The first time the man-made river was filled in 1955, the water seeped through the sandy soil. The riverbed was eventually lined with clay to prevent leaking.

4. The Rivers of America held 6.16 million gallons of water the first time it was filled and lost 30,000 gallons a day to evaporation.

5. Maintenance crews dump 12 pounds of green or brown dye into the water a couple of times a week to color the river.

6. The 8- to 15-foot-tall berm that surrounds Disneyland was designed to keep out the real world and keep in the fantasy world. The dirt for the berm came from the excavation of the Rivers of America. Some of the 350,000 cubic yards of excavated dirt was also used to create what would become Tom Sawyer Island.

7. The Disney family crest can be found over the entrance to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The coat of arms was placed above the arch in 1965, about a year before Walt Disney's death.

8. About 84 million Mickey Mouse ears have been sold since 1955. The Mouseketeers first wore the hats in the 1950s on "The Mickey Mouse Club" television show.

9. More than 750 million people have visited Disneyland since opening day. It took just seven weeks for the first million visitors to walk through the gates. Attendance was 3.6 million in 1955-56, its first year of operation.

10. More than 50 scuba divers maintain the water-based attractions and waterways at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

11. Dream of getting married in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle? You can, but it will set you back $120,000 for an after-hours ceremony. A trip in Cinderella's crystal coach is included, but if you want Mickey and Minnie Mouse to attend, it will cost you an additional $1,425 for a 30-minute visit.

12. Disneyland has a "jail" for disruptive guests (Disney-speak for visitors). They're typically held in a security office until Anaheim police arrive. Undercover Disney security officers have been known to watch for shoplifters.

13. No gum is sold at Disney theme parks. Walt Disney didn't want visitors to step in discarded chewing gum.

14. A small lamp remains lighted in the window above the firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., in memory of Walt Disney. He often stayed overnight in the 500-square-foot apartment during construction of Disneyland. A larger Disney family apartment was later built above New Orleans Square.

15. The apartment above the firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., includes a dressing area, a kitchenette and a bathroom with a shower. The couches fold out to make additional beds.

16. On opening day, Disneyland contained 800 mostly nonindigenous species of plants from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.

17. More than 12,000 orange trees were removed from the 160-acre plot that became Disneyland. Some of the discarded trees were replanted upside down along the banks of the Jungle Cruise to look like mangrove roots.

18. The route of the Jungle Cruise was laid out with a Jeep outfitted to simulate the length and width of a riverboat.

19. The Mark Twain stern-wheeler, built at a cost of $150,000, was constructed in pieces and assembled at Disneyland. The upper deck was fabricated in Burbank, and the hull was built at a San Pedro shipyard, trucked overnight to the park and lifted by crane into the Rivers of America.

20. Fantasyland's carousel operated at Toronto's Sunnyside Park for decades before being moved to Disneyland in advance of the park's opening. The original carousel featured a menagerie of animals but now has only horses. Additional horses were acquired from other amusement parks.

21. The pipe organ in the Haunted Mansion's ballroom was reused from the set of the movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Capt. Nemo's organ was part of a Tomorrowland display featuring props from the movie before it was relocated to the New Orleans Square ride.

22. Walt Disney often walked around Disneyland, stood in lines with visitors and talked to children about their experiences at the park. He handed out pre-signed photo cards to visitors who asked for autographs.

23. The costumed Disney characters were not present during the park's early days. Walt's brother Roy, who ran the business side of Walt Disney Co., was concerned the characters would be tainted if the theme park failed.

24. When Tom Sawyer Island opened in 1956, kids could borrow fishing poles at Huckleberry Finn's Fishing Pier and fish in a small pond stocked with 15,000 catfish, perch and bluegill.

25. The Golden Horseshoe saloon was modeled after the dance hall in the 1953 movie "Calamity Jane." A box next to the stage was reserved for Walt Disney and his guests.

26. The original Disneyland parking lot held 12,175 cars. Much of the lot has been turned into Disney California Adventure Park, although a portion of the parking area remains behind the Tower of Terror attraction.

27. The wooden figure of an American Indian on Main Street, U.S.A., stood in front of a fine tobacco shop next door to Disneyland's cinema until 1991. Other independent retail shops have included a pharmacy, a shoe store and a lock-and-key shop. There was once an intimate apparel boutique at Disneyland known as the Wizard of Bras.

28. Many of the largest trees in Disneyland once dotted the routes of the Santa Monica, Pomona and Santa Ana freeways. Disneyland arborists paid $25 for each of the 5- to 10-foot trees, which were moved to Anaheim before the park opened. Today, about 18,000 trees can be found throughout the Disneyland resort.

29. Disneyland's work force amounts to 28,000 cast members, Disney-speak for employees.

30. The E ticket, beloved by generations of visitors because it granted passage on the most coveted rides, didn't exist in 1955. The first E tickets were issued in 1959 for use on then-new Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage rides.

31. Napa Rose, the fancy restaurant in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, claims a wine collection of 17,000 bottles.

32. The Disneyland Hotel, which opened in October 1955 with 100 rooms, now has 975.

33. In 1952, before Anaheim emerged as the location for Disneyland, Walt Disney went to the Burbank City Council with a proposal for a park. The council members turned him away, and one said, "We don't want the carny atmosphere in Burbank."

34. On opening day, the beloved Jungle Cruise was known as Explorer Boat Ride Through the Rivers of Mexico, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia.

35. Ronald L. Ziegler, who went on to become Richard Nixon's presidential press secretary, worked during college as a wise-cracking pilot on the Jungle Cruise. Later, in the 1970s, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter had the same job.

36. Though many people know that Steve Martin worked at the Disneyland Magic Shop in his early days, fewer know that Martin's friend and teenage co-worker at the shop, John McEuen, went on to found the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

37. New Orleans Square includes seven ficus trees transplanted from Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. Disney landscape specialist Bill Evans learned in 1962 that Pershing Square was being redone, and he made a deal to buy and transport the trees; their tops had to be cut off so they would make it through underpasses.

38. Among the first drivers on the Autopia ride on opening day were Frank Sinatra (and his son) and Sammy Davis Jr.

39. Richard Carpenter, brother and bandmate of the late Karen Carpenter, was the keyboard half of a piano-banjo duo on Main Street in 1967. He was fired for playing too much contemporary music.

40. In 1970, former Disney executive Van France founded Club 55, a group for people who worked for Disney the year Disneyland opened. Disneyland officials estimate the club's membership at 15 remaining retirees.

41. Disney officials usually have less to say about Club 33, which has its headquarters above the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square. The exclusive club apparently dates to 1967. Walt Disney conceived it as a way to entertain investors and other VIPs. Membership costs $12,000 per year, and you're not supposed to transfer or sell your privileges.

42. Disneyland's first Snow White was JoAnn Dean Killingsworth. An aspiring dancer and skater, Killingsworth was hired to wave at guests from a float on Disneyland's opening day. Killingsworth, who lived in Brea, died in June at age 91.

43. Over the years, Disneyland has celebrated two different opening days, for understandable reasons. On July 17, 1955, the park opened to press and invited guests, and ABC devoted 90 minutes of live coverage to the event. (Announcer Hank Weaver sat behind a typewriter in the press room to introduce master of ceremonies Art Linkletter, who introduced colleagues Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan and pointed out the arrival of Danny Thomas and his family.) The next day, the park opened to the public; adult admission, $1, children 50 cents.

44. Disney studio executives didn't share Walt's interest in creating Disneyland, so he set up a separate company, WED Enterprises, to do advance work. To cover costs, he borrowed $100,000 against his life insurance policy.

45. The original 19th century gaslight lampposts along Main Street, U.S.A., came from Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia.

46. The Kodak Camera Center on Main Street, U.S.A., was owned by Linkletter, a friend of Disney.

47. In its first year, Disneyland had revenue of $10 million — one-third of the total gross of the Disney studio. In today's dollars, that would be $88.7 million.

48. In summer 1970, somebody circulated gag fliers proposing a yippie invasion of Disneyland on Aug. 6. On the appointed day, dozens of yippies, or perhaps generic hippies, gathered on Tom Sawyer Island and raised a Viet Cong flag. Management took the rare step of closing the park five hours early, prompting a bold headline (with photos) on the next day's front page of The Times: "Yippies' Outburst Shuts Disneyland."

49. When the park opened, it had both pay and free toilets. Soon after, all bathrooms became free.

50. Walt Disney and author Ray Bradbury were friends. One day at lunch, Bradbury offered to help rebuild Tomorrowland. Disney is said to have replied: "Ray, it's no use … you're a genius and I'm a genius … after two weeks we'd kill each other!" Later, Bradbury called it "the nicest turndown I've ever had."

51. By the time It's a Small World opened at Disneyland in 1966, it had already been seen by more than 10 million visitors during its two years at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

52. Walt Disney had a lot of input into Pirates of the Caribbean, but he died in December 1966, about four months before the ride opened.

53. In 1971, stage psychic the Amazing Criswell predicted that by 1999, Disneyland would be covered by a plastic bubble, its weather controlled by a switch.

54. Though Walt Disney sported a mustache for most of his adult life, Disneyland banned facial hair on its workers from 1957 until 2000, when restrictions were eased.

55. If Disneyland's original $1 adult admission fee had increased in lockstep with the U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, today it would be $8.87. Instead, it's $99. (But in the old days, you had to buy ride tickets separately. Now they're included.)

56. In September 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made a historic visit to Los Angeles and asked to see Disneyland. His minders first said yes, and then no, after Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker said he couldn't guarantee Khrushchev's safety. "Why not?" Khrushchev protested at a public luncheon. "What is it? Do you have rocket-launching pads there? ... Is there an epidemic of cholera there? … Have gangsters taken hold of the place?"

57. In Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the Toad Hall library includes these titles: "For Whom the Toads Croak" and "A Tadpole Grows in Brooklyn."

58. When it opened in June 1959, Disneyland's monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere.

59. Sleeping Beauty Castle is 77 feet tall. Neuschwanstein, the 19th century Bavarian castle that's widely credited as its inspiration, is 213 feet high. (Neuschwanstein, about 80 miles southwest of Munich, Germany, gets 1.4 million visitors yearly.)

60. For height reasons, there's a good chance Mickey Mouse and many other costumed characters are played by female cast members. Male cast members portray the taller characters such as Goofy and Sheriff Woody. Princess characters have strict height requirements: They must be 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Disneyland, "The Disneyland Story" by Sam Gennawey, Smithsonian magazine,, Reddit "Ask Me Anything."

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7 de julio de 2015

Star-Spangled Skies: Fireworks at Disneyland - Courtesy of D23

The Fourth of July is upon us—that most American of holidays, celebrating the bravery of our Founding Fathers and the generations after who fought for our continued freedom. And nothing says “Fourth of July” quite like a magnificent display of fireworks! Disneyland Park has cornered the market for decades on firework displays, culminating with Disneyland Forever, their newest spectacular in honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

It all started in 1956 (just one year after the Park’s opening) when Walt Disney first dazzled nighttime guests with a fireworks display, entitled Fantasy In the Sky. Back then, firework fuses were lit by very steady hand. But by the 1960s, an electronic system was created to launch the shells into the air… and shortly thereafter, the increasingly popular shows were synchronized to music. Tinker Bell’s iconic “flight” over Sleeping Beauty Castle was first added in 1961, and other characters (including Dumbo and Mary Poppins) followed.

Quintessential displays over the years have included Believe … There’s Magic in the Stars, which fused storytelling with innovative pyrotechnic effects; the breathtaking Christmas-themed Believe… In Holiday Magic; the 50th anniversary Remember… Dreams Come True; the enchanting production Magical (which brought Dumbo back to the skies above the Castle); and last year’s re-invented Fantasy In The Sky. And it all leads up to the new Disneyland Forever, which surrounds audiences with magic like never before!

Whether watching from Main Street, U.S.A., it’s a small world, the Rivers of America, or even within sight of the Matterhorn, each guest has a different experience of Disneyland Forever—as every location comes to life with unique combinations of color and light. The show features sequences themed after timeless films like Mary Poppins, Frozen, and The Lion King, and the pyrotechnics join with amazing projection mapping technology to immerse guests into the Disney tales that surround them. Other special effects include dozens of inflatable units and moving window “actuators” that make Main Street, U.S.A. truly come alive. And don’t forget the show’s brand-new musical score! It includes a very special closing theme, “A Kiss Goodnight,” written by Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman and performed by Broadway’s original Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown.

Disneyland Forever is the latest (and greatest!) in a long line of memorable fireworks spectaculars at Disneyland Park—and if you’re visiting this coming Fourth of July, take note: Following that evening’s performance, for one night only, guests will enjoy a patriotic pyrotechnic grand finale to celebrate America’s birthday!

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27 de junio de 2015

A modest rebuttal to Disneyland’s proposal to spend $1 billion on an expansion in Anaheim.

Back in the day, when the only theme park in Anaheim was Disneyland, the Walt Disney Company had a vision–a vision of a second Disney theme park in Southern California. They were going to build the biggest, most beautiful theme park ever and place it in Long Beach? Huh? Yeah. Port Disney, the original version of DisneySeas, was intended to be constructed in Long Beach. That was 1991.

Also in 1991, Disneyland introduced the idea of WestCOT as a potential second gate for the Disneyland Resort, a theme park that would go right in the parking lot for Disneyland.

In the end, Disney played off Long Beach and Anaheim to see who could come up with the better package of incentives (tax breaks, infrastructure improvements, etc). Eventually Anaheim won out, but the joke was on them. They didn’t get the amazingly conceived WestCOT $3 billion project, instead they got California Adventure, a theme park build on the cheap, with a lot of off-the-shelf attractions and more stores and restaurants than you could shake a stick at. Eventually Disneyland had to spend more than $1.2 billion to fix DCA bringing the park to the standards that it should have met in the beginning just to get guests through the gate.

The new management at Disneyland must be hoping they can pull the wool over the eyes of Anaheim once again. They’re promising to build a $1 billion-plus expansion of the Disneyland Resort (attractions, another parking garage, and street improvements) but they want more concessions from Anaheim. Essentially they want to cap Disneyland’s taxes at the same level (zero) for another 30 years. Here are the details according to a release from the Anaheim City Council.

It’s an interesting proposition. In theory, attracting more visitors to Anaheim will increase the tax revenue from said visitors, and yet, Disney wants to carve itself out from that.

Now, this expansion won’t include a new gate and only the new parking lot would be built outside the existing areas of the resort. A $1 billion investment would create jobs, and revenue for other businesses in the resort district. But does Disney really need the tax exemption to do it?

If I was on the Anaheim city council, I’d be very tempted to say no. Disney has legitimate needs to expand right now. They need to find ways to fit the Star Wars and Marvel franchises into the parks and need to increase capacity to meet increased demand for the parks. Plus Disney needs to keep up with the Joneses. Universal Studios Hollywood is in the middle of a huge expansion and threatens to soak up some of the tourist market in Los Angeles. Disney really needs to offer something new of their own to compete.

All that means, there’s a very good chance that Disney would build this expansion anyway, even if they don’t get the package of tax incentives they’re asking for. I’m not seriously suggesting that Anaheim not work something out with Disney. But they also need to remember that Disney already played them over WestCOT.

What I would push for is a committment for a third gate in the next 5 years. Heck, Anaheim could even promise land for the park a very reasonable price. $1 billion in development may be nice, but an attraction or two that Disneyland was going to build anyway, isn’t a prize. A theme park that brings an extra 30,000 guests a day, all the extra nights hotel stays, and all that tourism revenue into the city’s coffers, now that’s something a city could get behind.

Disney has the cash, they’re building a huge park in Shanghai, but China’s picking up the tab for that. So they can afford to drop $2 or $3 billion on Anaheim. After all, it’s the place where theme parks were invented. It deserves the best. Don’t you agree?

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14 de octubre de 2014

Disneyversario: Disneyland Resort Review: Mickey’s Halloween Party 2014

Most the time in life one wouldn’t rave about a “lightly attended” party., but when the party is at Disneyland, that is, like many elements of Mickey’s Halloween Party, worth mentioning. But the light crowd isn’t for lack of trying. In fact it is intentional. So that’s different. And so is the fact that Guests are encouraged to wear costumes to the event, a usually verboten practice. Mickey’s Halloween Party, which over the years has gone by several different names, is a separately ticketed event where guests can enjoy (not so) scary Halloween fun. There is a “mix-in” period available for Guests who want to arrive a bit early. Once the Day Guests, who don’t have wristbands are… eliminated, you will be chillin’ like a villain. The California party is a variant of “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” held in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The party on Tuesday, September 30 was a sold out event, but it never felt like it. Sure, their were some long-ish lines for some of the photo opportunities and of course, at times for the Haunted Mansion in its Nightmare Before Christmas costume. But overall the capacity for the event I attended seemed set nice and low, making for a really enjoyable evening. Special lighting and music bump the “creep factor.’
In Ghost Galaxy, no one can hear you scream. A chance to ride Space Mountain in nearly total darkness.
You can’t swing a cat without hitting a Trick or Treat station at the Mickey’s party.
All Bad-ies; All the time in Town Square. Villain photo opportunities are popular.
“She seems nice.”
Halloween can be a time for mentoring.
I think the first couple “phoned these costumes in.” I mean, what are they supposed to “be?”
Great expectation…
A box of raisins in your candy bag. Photo © Disney The hit of the night was was the special nighttime show – Halloween Screams: A Villainous Surprise in the Skies – an unwieldily name for an excellent fireworks spectacular.
Your host: Jack Skelington. Seen here as a scary Jack-O-Lantern. Jack and other members of this terrifying troop are projected onto a large helium balloon.
The “globe” is a really effective trick and adds to the very different atmospheres that “Screams” evokes.
All in all, Mickey’s Halloween Party is an excellent experience. The best part being the slight number of Guests – roughly half the “population” of a normal day in the park. These events are nearly sold out, so if you want to try a different Disneyland Park experience, act now.
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24 de julio de 2014

Photo: Disneyland Resort Is Celebrating Their 59th Birthday + New Logo For Diamond Celebration

Disneyland Resort is celebrating their 59th birthday today (July 17, 2014) and while celebrating this big milestone, they also gave guests a sneak peek at their upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, which is set to begin spring 2015. Here is a look at the logo for this awesome celebration. “It’s an incredible time at the Disneyland Resort as we prepare for next year’s Diamond Celebration,” said Michael Colglazier, president, Disneyland Resort. “We’re excited to honor our rich history, to celebrate the incredible magic that fills our resort today, and to create unforgettable memories with our guests for many years to come.” Source: Disney Parks Blog Video of the celebration earlier:
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Love It Up News: Season 2 Episode 8: CUTE: Debby Ryan, Dove Cameron and Laura Marano Congratulate Zendaya.

How sweet! Last night after Zendaya picked up a Kid’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Star, her fellow nominees, Debby Ryan, Dove Cameron an...