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Disneyland, February 2017 - A Trip Report
DisneyDan  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:41:27 AM
Hello everyone,

Last month I shared with you my report on our trip to Disneyland for AP Days and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. That report specifically focussed on those two things, can be found by clicking here.

In this second and final part of my trip report for our visit to Disneyland, I am going to share with you everything else that we managed to do in the whirlwind less-than-two-day adventure we had there!

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Photo Trip Report - Visiting the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
DisneyDan  Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:17:02 PM
Hello everyone,

Yesterday I shared with you my trip report for our trip to Disneyland at the start of this month (April). I also now want to share with you a very special day we had while we were in California. We were very fortunate to be invited to visit the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.

The Walt Disney Studios opened in stages between late 1939 and mid-1940, following on the from the success and profits of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Over the years, like anything - like the parks - the studio has grown and developed, adding to its rich history and success.

It was an amazing opportunity to walk around the studio lot and through some of the buildings that Walt Disney himself worked in during the early days of the company.

I won't say too much more about the studios, but will just share my photos from the day. I didn't have my DSLR with me as it's a working studio and corporate HQ, and I felt it a little inappropriate, so image resolution may not be at our usual standard. DSLR aside, I took a lot of photos though, so I am going to share as many as I feel reasonable, but just note that we saw much more - there is so much history there.

After you've scrolled through the studios photos, I shall share with you something special in Disney history in Griffith Park, and finally some photos of some Disney connections in Hollywood - both of which we also visited this trip.

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A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 4 - The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:02:20 PM
Hello everyone,

Welcome to part four of my grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the world. In this part we will take an in-depth look at Fantasyland. In case you missed the previous three parts of this tour, you can find them here:


This article features many photos, so be prepared if you are on a slower internet connection. This is going to be the longest of any of the parts in this tour, since Fantasyland at all the parks contains the highest number of attractions and other experiences, compared to any other land.
  [ Read More... ]
Happy 59th Birthday Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:52:47 AM
Hello everyone,

Today (17th July) is the 59th anniversary of the grand opening of the original Disney theme park, Disneyland in Anaheim, California!

For a change, for my photo tribute, I thought I'd share with you non-character pictures. Let's celebrate and enjoy the beauty of the park itself!

Happy 59th Birthday Disneyland!

The Matterhorn

Wandering thru Adventureland

Enchanted Tiki Room

Wandering up Main Street

Christmas in New Orleans Square

Pirates of the Caribbean

Down by the Rivers of America

Tomorrowland by night

Exploring the new Fantasy Faire

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

"it's a small world"

Wandering thru Tomorrowland

Wandering around New Orleans Square

Wandering around Frontierland

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Wandering down Main Street

Main Street by night

Dan.
'Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends' at PCH Grill, A Review
DisneyDan  Saturday, November 30, 2013 10:36:26 AM
Hello everyone,

Today's dining review is of the 'Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends' at the PCH Grill in Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, at the Disneyland Resort in California.

We most recently dined here in September 2013, having not been here for a while. In the past we had always been put off because the price had been higher, the restaurant really lacked something, and it was too far out of the way to warrant paying over the odds for.
We had dined here twice previously, and despite those negative factors, we decided it was about time we returned to see if things had improved.

Exploring the Paradise Pier Hotel

The overall feel of the restaurant is much like the rest of the Paradise Pier Hotel; dated with a tired 1990's feel to it.
Having said that, the price had now been lowered to come more in line with the other character dining experiences around the resort, which makes it more worth while. One of the biggest problems is the fact it's so far out of the way from anywhere else at the resort. I guess it's through sheer laziness, which on a hectic Disney trip I think we're allowed to feel that way (I don't want to walk miles for breakfast before we've even started the day!), but the Paradise Pier always seems like an epic journey to get to. It's not really that much further than the Disneyland hotel is from the parks, but it is further nonetheless.

Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

Wandering thru the Paradise Pier Hotel

The food is actually pretty good. They have a really good, wide variety of options, from hot breakfast items, fruit, waffles and much more.
I recall that on a previous trip here a couple of years ago, I had been suffering from stomach issues, and asked for gluten free waffles and pancakes. I was personally attended to by the chef, and was served excellent gluten free items, made to order. I didn't ask this time, but I presume the same service is still available - why wouldn't it be?
So with that, I do highly recommend the location for the service and food.

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Surf's Up Breakfast with Mickey and Friends

Of course, it's a character dining experience, and some of our favourite Disney friends are in regular attendance.
There are six characters which rotate regularly, but of course the only one that is pretty much guaranteed is Mickey.
Joining Mickey, wearing cute beach wear you will find, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Daisy. Stitch is there quite often too, and in the past Lilo made appearances, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that she still does appear in quite a long time.

Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

Breakfast Fun

Breakfast Fun

Disneyland Aug 2010 - Surf's Up Breakfast with Mickey and Friends

Disneyland Aug 2009 - Lilo & Stitch Aloha Breakfast at Disney's PCH Grill

During the course of your meal the characters will all get up and teach the kids some surf moves at an interactive dance party at the front part of the restaurant. It's cute and makes for some nice photo opportunities for your children.

Surf's Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

Having dined here again, and refreshed my experience of it, I would definitely recommend the breakfast. The food and service are good, the price is no more than the other character dining experiences, and the characters wear some fun outfits. The biggest problem really is the dated feel of the restaurant, but then that's something that is a problem with the entire hotel, not just the PCH Grill.

Prices start from $27.99 per person for adults, and $14.99 for children aged 3 through 9 inclusive. All prices are plus tax, and plus gratuity.
Annual Passholders receive a maximum of 15% discount no matter what pass they hold.
Reservations are recommended, and can be made at any guest service location at the two theme parks, any Disney Hotel concierge, on the official Disneyland Resort website, or by calling the Disney Dining line up to 60 days in advance on (714) 781-3463.

You can leave your comments by clicking here, where you will be magically transported to our forum.

Dan.
Chip 'n' Dale Critter Breakfast at Storyteller's Cafe - A Review
DisneyDan  Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:55:16 PM
Hello everyone,

This week's restaurant review is of Chip 'n' Dale Critter Breakfast at Storyteller's Cafe, at the Disneyland Resort in California.

The restaurant is located inside Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and can be accessed either via the hotel main entrance, the private entrance from Disney California Adventure, or by the entrance from Downtown Disney.

The Chip 'n' Dale Critter Breakfast is one of our favourite character dining experiences at any resort, and is a must-do on any trip to California, for us.
The food is served buffet style, but there are menu options available, if you wish. The buffet though has an excellent variety, and includes fruit, waffles, hot food (sausages, eggs etc), and made-to-order omelettes. It should be noted that the Mickey waffles are not on the buffet, but can be ordered through your server at no extra cost.
The food is always fresh and the hot food is always hot, which may sound like a strange thing to say, but you'd be surprised at how many buffets I've eaten at where the food is left to go cold.

Disneyland July 2012 - Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storyteller's Cafe

Disneyland June 2011 - Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast

The setting and theme of the restaurant is really quite nice. There are two large dining areas, separated by the buffet in the centre.
The restaurant is designed to depict the great tales told by wise folk, and represents their stories and journeys. The restaurant continues the great American mountain lodge theme, has a very natural, earthy feel to it, and is decorated with pictures of great storytellers and adventurers.

Disneyland June 2011 - Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Storytellers

The Characters will rotate between both dining areas, and are usually on alternating half hour sets. Seeing as it is Chip 'n' Dale's Critter Breakfast, you can nearly always guarantee that the naughty duo will be there. We have always seen them, and the breakfast is of course presented by them, but I do have good friends who ate there one time and Chip and Dale were not present! I think that is most definitely odd, and an exception to the norm.
Other characters you will find regularly include Koda, Kenai, Br'er Bear, Br'er Fox, Meeko - all of whom fit the theme nicely - and bizarrely, Terk. I'm not exactly sure how an African gorilla fits with a Northern Californian themed critter breakfast, but nonetheless, Terk is in attendance nearly every time we visit!

Chip 'n Dale's Critter Breakfast

Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast

Character fun at Storytellers

Chip 'n Dale's Critter Breakfast

Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast

Fun at Chip and Dale's Critter Breakfast

Fun at Chip and Dale's Critter Breakfast

The excellent variety of food, the great food quality and the character interactions really make for a truly wonderful breakfast to start your day in Disneyland. A magical experience that I definitely recommend.

Breakfast hours are nearly always 7am-11.25am daily. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling (714) 781-3463 up to 60 days prior to your visit, by clicking on the official Disneyland Resort website, by visiting guest relations at either theme park, or directly at the restaurant itself.
Prices start at $27.99 plus tax for an adult buffet, or $13.99 plus tax for children aged nine and under. All other options and drinks are extra. The full menu is available on the Disneyland Resort website. Annual Passholders receive a maximum of 15% off the total, depending on which AP they have.

It should be noted that Storyteller's Cafe does offer lunch and dinner, but these are not character dining experiences, and we have not experienced them, as of yet.

You can leave your comments and ask questions by clicking here and being magically transported to our forums.

Dan.

Fun at Chip and Dale's Critter Breakfast

Exploring Storyteller's Café

Chip 'n Dale's Critter Breakfast

Chip 'n Dale's Critter Breakfast

Exploring Storyteller's Café
News - Frozen Characters coming to the US and Paris, and Iron Man coming to HKDL
DisneyDan  Wednesday, October 9, 2013 2:16:09 PM
Hello everyone,

This week the Disney Parks Blog revealed the first image of Anna and Elsa from Disney's next animated feature, Frozen which is due out this winter.
Starting from an as-of-yet unspecified date in November, the new stars will greet fans at Disneyland Park in California, and at Norway in Epcot at Walt Disney World.
Over in Disneyland Paris, Anna and Elsa will debut aboard the newly redesigned Dreams of Romance float, alongside Rapunzel and Flynn. Rapunzel remains on the swing, as with the previous version of the float - it's the front half that's changed to accommodate Anna and Elsa, meaning the loss of Ariel and Eric. I have heard that there was a picture of the new float posted in the latest annual passholder magazine, Envie+, but I as of yet have not received my copy (DLP are notoriously bad about sending them out!).
Disneyland Paris have not yet confirmed whether Anna and Elsa will also be greeting fans, but rumour has it that they might appear randomly. If I find out more, I'll be sure to post it here.

The Parks Blog also announced that coming in 'late 2016' Hong Kong Disneyland would get an Iron Man themed e-ticket attraction in Tomorrowland, along with a meet 'n' greet for Tony Stark's alter ego himself.
It is the first time that Disney have confirmed that a Marvel attraction will be built inside a theme park, and the second time they have announced a Marvel meet 'n' greet for a theme park - the first being Thor for Disneyland (CA) this winter.

Ok, that's all for this evening. Jon and I will be at Disneyland Paris to celebrate Halloween Season this weekend, so be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for all the latest live updates from the parks!

Dan.
News and Rumours from Around the World: Halloween and Christmas Seasons around the World, Pirates Week, WDW's New Parade and more!
DisneyDan  Friday, September 27, 2013 1:12:21 PM
Hello everyone,

Once again I have to apologise for the long gap between updates here on the blog. Unfortunately we have just been incredibly busy with real life.

Anyway, there are some important new news pieces from around the world that I want to discuss this evening. We'll start with Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris has been announcing a lot of new things recently for the upcoming Halloween and Christmas Seasons, which has been well received by the fans.

This Halloween Season there will be a brand new cavalcade (which we already knew), and it has now been officially confirmed that Clarabelle Cow will be part of that. This is the first time Clarabelle has ever been to Disneyland Paris in its 21 years!
Huey, Dewey and Louie along with Scrooge McDuck were previously confirmed, and are still expected to appear in the cavalcade. Also making a welcome return to the park, albeit just for the cavalcade, are the Pumpkin Men! DLP fans will know that the Pumpkin Men (and women too) were a long-time staple of Halloween Season at DLP, often running around Main Street and Frontierland scaring guests half to death! They were a lot of fun!
Minnie Mouse will be greeting at her new dedicated Halloween location at Casey's Corner on Main Street. Various fan sites have already posted pictures of that. Her outfit is yet to be seen, although artwork suggests it will be brand new.
Bon Bon Goofy will return to Town Square, following his debut last year (it was a new outfit and new backdrop for him), as will the Villains in Fantasyland. It was suggested that one of the many Halloween themed bands that usually play throughout the park during the season will accompany the Villains this year, which would be a neat touch, to have Villainous music playing while meeting them!
Duffy the Disney Bear is also to appear on Main Street in a Halloween outfit, for the first time in Paris. It is not yet confirmed what outfit he will greet guests in, but is expected to be similar to the US pumpkin version.
Jack and Sally return to Thunder Mesa (outside Phantom Manor). Their location setup will be much the same, but with some new decorations that detail The Nightmare before Christmas more.
The Halloween Soiree (Halloween Party on the 31st October) is also set to see some more new entertainment offerings. I did hear that Maleficent and Hook would be given their own shows. Maleficent is said to be at the Castle Stage, and Hook on his ship in Adventureland. All other details, including set up etc is not yet confirmed. If and when I can find out more, I will definitely post it here. Last years Soiree saw some awesome new entertainment, which injected some much needed life into the event, after a couple years of wavering. Whether any of last years shows will return is yet to be confirmed.
It was also confirmed - in a round-about way - by a DLP official that ShellieMay would appear at the Soiree! I think his exact words were to the effect of "a good friend of Duffy is also going to make an appearance". Unless he was talking about Mickey Mouse, I think we can safely assume he meant ShellieMay! This will be the first time ever that ShellieMay has greeted regular park guests outside of Tokyo Disney Resort!
Outside of the parks, at Disney Village, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show will see the return of the Halloween version. Dates and times are yet to be confirmed, I believe.

For Christmas Disneyland Paris have confirmed that the popular Christmas Cavalcade from last year will return, and will be expanded upon, including the addition of the Gingerbread Men, from the US parks! Certainly a much welcomed addition!
Other new offerings include an updated Tree Lighting Ceremony in Town Square, narrated by Jiminy Cricket, and a special winter enchantment at Sleeping Beauty Castle using Disney's new movie, Frozen, and the Disney Dreams technology.
Jack and Sally will return to Frontierland, and for the first time in Paris, and an all but one rare appearance some years ago at Disneyland in California, Jack will be in his Sandy Claws outfit! How awesome! I am really excited to see how he looks in that.
I was also pleased to hear that the Jingle Bell Boys will return to the Videopolis in Discoveryland, where they will rock out some Christmas tunes accompanied by Mickey Mouse, who last year dazzled guests with his Big Band Beat style dance moves! (Tokyo fans will know what I mean by Big Band Beat.)
The other big news for the season is that the Parade will debut characters from Disney's Frozen on the former Romance 1 float! Featuring in the daily parade, they will glide through Parc Disneyland on a magical Frozen themed float!
I don't think it has yet been confirmed whether they will remain after Christmas Season, but seeing as this is an addition to the main parade, I would imagine they will, which would be great!

Finally for DLP, today Joe Schott (DLP Chief Operating Officer) said that the Tarzan Encounter would return to the park at some point, although they do not know when yet.
Although I know many fans will think this is "cheap" move, since the show is rather old now, it is undeniably popular, and will be a welcome re-addition to a park that has seen a bit of a lack in entertainment of late. It's definitely better than nothing!

There have been many websites and fan pages posting about the new Christmas and Halloween offerings, so I haven't linked to any one in particular as I normally would do. If you want to find out more, just do a search online or check out some dedicated DLP Facebook pages.

Over in the US, and Halloween Season is well under way. Neither Resort seems to have changed much again this year, with the one exception that both have replaced one of their Halloween Party dance parties with a Monsters Inc themed one. Magic Kingdom's MNSSHP now also have Jack and Sally greeting in Town Square.
Other than that, I don't think much else has altered. If you know any different, the please let me know!

This week at the US parks is Pirate Week for Limited Time Magic.
At Disneyland you can meet Jack Sparrow on Tom Sawyer Island, and at the Magic Kingdom Hook, Jake and Pirate Goofy have been out and about.

Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, rather suddenly, Minnie Mouse was given a brand new greeting location inside the Animation building. While we usually like these things (and indeed the location looks neat), she now wears her regular polkadot outfit (with some "sparkle", I was told). This is actually a step back, since she had been greeting around the Big Hat in her special pink DHS outfit.

Finally, yesterday the Disney Parks Blog revealed two more concept art images for the brand new Festival of Fantasy Parade coming to the Magic Kingdom in spring 2014. Ariel and Merida's float look pretty cool, and are a world apart from the now ancient Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, which I know fans will be glad to see the back of!

Ok, I think that is everything for today. Have a great weekend everyone,

Dan.
Happy 58th Birthday Disneyland!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:51:59 AM
Hello everyone,

Today (17th July) is the 58th anniversary of the grand opening of the original Disney theme park, Disneyland in Anaheim, California!

For a change, for my photo tribute, I thought I'd share with you non-character pictures. Let's celebrate and enjoy the beauty of the park itself!

Happy 58th Birthday Disneyland!

The Matterhorn

Wandering thru Adventureland

Enchanted Tiki Room

Wandering up Main Street

Christmas in New Orleans Square

Pirates of the Caribbean

Down by the Rivers of America

Tomorrowland by night

Exploring the new Fantasy Faire

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

Main Street by night

"it's a small world"

Wandering thru Tomorrowland

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Wandering down Main Street

Main Street by night

Dan.
News and Rumours from around the World: Tokyo's 30th Anniversary, Fantasy Faire, Animal Kingdom, Limited Time Magic and more!
DisneyDan  Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:51:21 AM
Hello everyone,

I have some character related updates for you this afternoon.

In Tokyo, our friend attended a Disneyana convention, and made a report on our forums about what he saw, which includes Mickey and Friends in their brand new 30th Anniversary outfits! I believe this is the first time they have been out for any public event, so he was very lucky to see them! I have to say, they do look better in person than what the previous artwork releases had made them appear. We'll be in Tokyo Disney Resort in May, shortly after the 30th launch, so we can't wait to see all the cool new stuff, including their brand new parade!
For those interested, also in that thread are pictures of the brand new 30th merchandise, including pins.

The Disney Parks Blog has officially confirmed that the new Fantasy Faire in Disneyland will open on March 12th (less than 2 weeks away!). The Disneyland website has been updated accordingly, and now includes lots of info of what we can expect to find there!
It details the new stage which will bring to life two beloved Disney stories. One will be Beauty and the Beast, and will star Belle; the other will be about Tangled, and star Flynn Rider. The website specifically says "Disney heroes and heroines". I think they are deliberately going for a Flynn oriented story for Tangled, to appeal to the boys, which will be cool.
It also mentions the new Princess met 'n' greet, which sounds like it will be really detailed, and much better than the Princess meet 'n' greet in either Magic Kingdom or Paris.
We'll be there in May, and can't wait to see it all!

Over in Animal Kingdom, the new Mickey and Minnie meet 'n' greet will open in "the spring", which could mean anytime soon basically!
Taking over the former Beastly Bazaar store (because DAK really needs less retail...), it will literally just feature Mickey and Minnie. Donald and Daisy are apparently moving to Discovery Island where the Pooh friends currently are, and Goofy is already seen in Dinoland practically all day.
Camp Minnie-Mickey is remaining as-is, less the Greeting Trails, for the time being, and you can continue to meet some critter friends and other random Disney pals, as well as watch the Lion King show. The Pooh friends are suspected to move into C M-M, maybe to Greeting Trails, but no official confirmation of that, as yet.

Limited Time Magic continues to be a bit of a flop, with the Golden Horseshoe Revue (DL) and Long Lost Friends Week (WDW) still being the best ones so far.
Disneyland is yet to hold its own Long Lost Friends Week, and I have heard rumours that they want to out-do Florida, and so we might be treated to some really cool characters!
Other upcoming events include Pirate Week (Jack Sparrow rumoured to appear. No date yet), Independence Week (Patriotic characters) and Friday 13th Villains Dance Party (Villains of course! September 13th).

If you're planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort this year for the 30th Anniversary, you might want to read my brand new two part trip planning article series, which begins here.

Remember also that this new version of the site has some wonderful new features, including the ability to create your own profile and check off all the characters you have met! They'll appear on your profile in a big list! Find out how, here!

If you really love our site, and want to support our work, you can find out how you can help us out, here.

Ok, that's all for today,

Dan.
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