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Advent Calendar - 17th December 2014
DisneyDan  Wednesday, December 17, 2014 6:01:37 PM
Hello everyone,

It's the 17th December, which means it's time to open the seventeenth door of our very special Character Central Advent Calendar!

Here we go!...

  [ Read More... ]
A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 3 - The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!
DisneyDan  Wednesday, December 17, 2014 4:01:07 PM
Hello everyone,

First of all I must apologise for the large gap between this post and the previous one in this series. We have had a huge amount of things happen in real life, and writing a large post like this unfortunately had to go on the back burner for a while. However, we are here now, and I am excited to finally present to you the third installment of our “Grand Circle Tour”, this time for Frontierland (and all its equivalents). In case you missed the previous parts, here they are again:

  • Part 1 - Main Street USA
  • Part 2 - Adventureland


  • In this edition I will be including Critter Country, Grizzly Gulch and Liberty Square at the various parks around the world. The reason for this is that they all share a common theme of the frontier and wilderness, and also because otherwise there would be nothing else to compare them to (for example, since there is only one Grizzly Gulch, that wouldn’t make for a very interesting article!).

      [ Read More... ]
    Advent Calendar - 16th December 2014
    DisneyDan  Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:23:54 PM
    Hello everyone,

    It's the 16th December, which means it's time to open the sixteenth door of our very special Character Central Advent Calendar!

    Here we go!...

      [ Read More... ]
    Advent Calendar - 15th December 2014
    DisneyDan  Monday, December 15, 2014 5:36:05 PM
    Hello everyone,

    It's the 15th December, which means it's time to open the fifteenth door of our very special Character Central Advent Calendar!

    Here we go!...

      [ Read More... ]
    Advent Calendar - 3rd December 2014
    DisneyDan  Wednesday, December 3, 2014 1:02:18 AM
    Hello everyone,

    It's the 3rd December, which means it's time to open the third door of our very special Character Central Advent Calendar!

    Here we go!...

      [ Read More... ]
    Holidays at the Disneyland Resort - an overview of the upcoming season
    DisneyDan  Wednesday, November 5, 2014 4:26:18 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Christmas season is nearly upon us which means that the Disney Parks are gearing up for another spectacular season of holiday magic and wonder!
    I thought we could take a look at what the Disneyland Resort in California has to offer this holiday season. Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort will run from 13th November 2014 until 6th January 2015 inclusive this season.

    We shall start with Disneyland Park.

    At Disneyland Park you immediately find yourself in a winter wonderland as you step onto Main Street USA and discover their huge Christmas Tree and all the garlands, leading to the beautifully snow topped Sleeping Beauty Castle.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas in Town Square

    Wandering down Main Street

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Walking up Main Street USA

    Sleeping Beauty Castle

    Walt's apartment gets a Christmas Tree in its window for the holidays, too.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas at Disneyland

    Whilst on Main Street, you should stand and listen to the Dickens Yuletide Band play some classic Christmas tunes.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Dickens Yuletide Band



    You should also stop by Town Square to give a warm hug to all your favourite Disney pals as they celebrate the season in their cute festive clothes!

    Meeting Chip and Dale

    Character fun on Main Street

    Character fun on Main Street

    Character fun on Main Street

    Character fun on Main Street USA

    Meeting Donald Duck

    As you head off of Central Plaza and into Adventureland you should take a cruise on the rivers of the world, aboard the Jingle Cruise! (Note that this is not yet confirmed on the Disneyland Resort website for this year).

    Wandering thru Adventureland

    Heading out of Adventureland and into New Orleans Square, visit Jack Skellington and all his creepy friends from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. This epic holiday overlay features exclusive scenes and awesome effects. This attraction is extremely popular though, so be sure to get a FastPass or be there early (FastPasses aren’t normally available for Haunted Mansion, but during the holidays they are due to the popularity of this overlay).

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Wandering through New Orleans Square

    DL Oct 2011 - Haunted Mansion Holiday

    Haunted Mansion Holiday

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Taking the Holiday Time at Disneyland Park Tour

    If taking a ride through the worlds of Christmas and Halloween collided wasn’t enough, you can also meet Jack Skellington and Sally Stitches near the Haunted Mansion.

    Jack and Sally

    From New Orleans Square, wander down to Critter Country where you can meet Winnie the Pooh and friends in their festive clothes.

    Meeting the 100 Acre Wood pals

    Meeting the 100 Acre Wood pals

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Meeting Winnie the Pooh

    In Frontierland you should definitely visit the Jingle Jangle Jamboree where you can meet Santa Claus himself (Santa only meets until Christmas Eve)! Some of your other favourite Disney pals might just show up too!

    Having fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Playing Reindeer Games with Reindeer Pluto

    Meeting Mrs Claus

    Having fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Having fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree



    Fantasyland’s classic attraction “it’s a small world” becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday for the festive season, and is decked out with an incredible display of colour changing lights, which look awesome at night! Inside, the attraction celebrates holidays from around the world with festive costumes and scenes.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - "it's a small world holiday"

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - it's a small world holiday

    "it's a small world" Holiday

    "it's a small world" Holiday

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - "it's a small world holiday"

    The must-see event at Disneyland Park is of course 'A Christmas Fantasy Parade'. Filled with all the most magical sights and sounds of Christmas, as well as the Disney characters, this parade is truly fantastic.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    A Christmas Fantasy Parade

    As night falls watch in awe as Sleeping Beauty Castle Becomes Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, a wondrous snow capped ice palace.

    Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle

    To top it all, the skies high above Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle become an array of colour in the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular.

    Believe… In Holiday Magic Fireworks

    Believe… In Holiday Magic Fireworks

    As well as all these exciting happenings, don’t forget to check out the beautiful decorations around the park, and of course watch snow fall on Main Street USA!

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Wandering through New Orleans Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Wandering through New Orleans Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas in Toon Town

    Of course, no day at Disneyland during Christmas would be complete without some treats!

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Treats at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Lunch at Plaza Inn

    Sweet treats at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

    Be sure to try some of the world famous Disneyland candy canes, too! These are very popular, and tickets are usually distributed first thing in the morning. (Note that the candy canes may also be made at Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure - check on the day of your visit.)

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Handmade Candy Canes

    Now let us take a look into Disney California Adventure’s holiday offerings.

    Disneyland Jan 2013 - Disney California Adventure

    Buena Vista Street celebrates a classic Christmas of days gone by, with period decoration and their splendid Christmas Tree.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas on Buena Vista Street

    The Buena Vista Street Christmas Tree

    While on Buena Vista Street why not stop and listen to the Community Bell Ringers as they celebrate the holidays with some seasonal sounds?

    Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

    The Elias and Co. department store is the home to Santa Claus up until Christmas Eve.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas on Buena Vista Street

    Meeting Santa Claus

    One of Santa's Elves

    Also, you can catch Mickey and friends, and the Citizens of Buena Vista Street, in their period costumes which have been given a Christmas twist.

    Meeting Mickey Mouse

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas on Buena Vista Street

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas on Buena Vista Street

    Meeting Pluto

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Meeting Donna the Dog Lady

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Molly the Messenger delivers Holiday packages

    At Paradise Pier, in previous years you were able to meet Duffy and Donald in cute Christmas outfits. It is not known yet if they will return this year, but I’ll share some of our photos nonetheless. It could be that other characters take their place.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Meeting Duffy

    Meeting Donald Duck

    Cars Land resident Tow Mater also joins the festivities, wearing a giant Santa hat!

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas in Cars Land

    As night falls on Buena Vista Street, the Community Bell Ringers, the Citizens of Buena Vista Street and the Disney characters all come together for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Buena Vista Street Holiday Tree Lighting



    Over in Paradise Bay, the magical World of Color becomes “World of Color - Winter Dreams”, a seasonal holiday version of this now classic nighttime spectacular.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - World of Color

    Just like at Disneyland Park, don’t forget to check out all the decorations throughout the park.

    Wandering thru Cars Land

    Wandering thru Bugs Land

    Christmas in Cars Land

    Christmas in Paradise Pier

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas in Cars Land

    You should also try some delicious treats, available from Trolley Treats Candy.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas on Buena Vista Street

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Taking the Holiday Time at Disneyland Park Tour

    In previous years Disney California Adventure has also featured a special screening of Prep and Landing at the Muppet’s theatre, and a holiday version of the Phineas and Ferb show. There is currently no confirmation of either of these though, and they are not listed on the Disneyland website. However, I’ll share some photo below for reference.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party Holiday Edition

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party Holiday Edition

    Prep 'n' Landing 4D

    Disney California Adventure also celebrates Navidad, however we have no photos of this currently, sadly (we shall soon though!).

    At the Disney hotels you can also meet Santa Claus at select times, up until Christmas Eve.

    Meeting Santa

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas in Disney's Grand Californian

    In previous years on Christmas Eve, Mickey and friends have appeared on Main Street in their cute PJs ready for bed as they anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. They usually appear for very limited set times in the evening of Christmas Eve only, so be sure to look out for them!

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Eve in Town Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Eve in Town Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Eve in Town Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Eve in Town Square

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Christmas Eve in Town Square

    For New Year’s Eve the parks put on special entertainment offerings, including mind blowing fireworks at the turn of the year. We were at Disney California Adventure for New Year two years ago, so I will share some of our photos and video from that, however, be aware this year’s offerings may differ.

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - New Year's Eve Entertainment

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - New Year's Eve Entertainment

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - New Year's Eve Entertainment

    Disneyland Dec 2012 - Happy New Year!





    Will you be visiting the Disneyland Resort this holiday season? What are you looking forward to the most?

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Dan.

    All information in this article is subject to change or cancellation at any time, without prior notice by Disney. We offer this information purely as a guide to some of the things that may be experienced during Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort.
    A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 2 - The Rhythms of the Jungle
    DisneyDan  Wednesday, September 3, 2014 11:19:49 AM
    Hello everyone,

    In part 1 of our grand circle tour of the world's Magic Kingdoms, we toured Main Street USA and World Bazaar.
    In this second part we are going to adventure into the depths of Adventureland. For reasons that will become clear later, I'll also be including New Orleans Square in this tour.

    Before we begin, I just want to clarify the usage of certain names in this article. Some of you may dislike the fact I refer to each park by its location, but please bear in mind that when referring to “Disneyland”, there are actually four parks that carry that name in one way or another, and while I could type “Tokyo Disneyland”, for example, each time, it would be very time consuming. So, to avoid confusion, for the most part I will simply refer to each park by their physical location, to avoid any confusion (for example, Paris, for Disneyland Paris).

    Throughout this tour you will also discover that not everywhere has a comparable experience in the other Magic Kingdom style parks, but in fact sometimes lie in other parks. Although we are comparing Adventureland overall, you will find that I throw in other parks too, where necessary, in order to show the comparable experiences.

    There are many, many photos in this article, so be warned, it might take a few minutes to fully load!   [ Read More... ]
    A Grand Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdoms of the World: Part 1 - Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA
    DisneyDan  Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:22:10 AM
    Hello everyone,

    I'm starting a new series here on the blog in which I aim to share my thoughts and experiences of the different lands of the Magic Kingdom style parks around the world. Think of it as the ultimate "grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom", to coin a classic phrase!
    Of course, there will be many, many photos, so be warned, this post might take a while to load!

      [ 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.
    News and Rumours - Tokyo's Tanabata Star Festival, Summer and Halloween, Unleash the Villains at WDW and MUCH more!
    DisneyDan  Friday, June 20, 2014 7:47:41 AM
    Hello everyone,

    Sorry for the lack of news updates lately. I, as always, have been quite busy with normal life. Anyway, there are a number of things I want to talk about that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

    We'll start with Tokyo Disney Resort, and work our way around the world.

    From 24th June until 7th July at Tokyo Disney Resort, you can celebrate the magic of Disney Tanabata Days, also known as the Star Festival. At Tokyo DisneySea you can meet ShellieMay and Duffy in their special Disney Tanabata Days costumes at Cape Cod's Village Greeting Place in American Waterfront. You can also see Mickey and friends in a very special show on Mediterranean Harbor, three times per day (10.45am, 1pm and 4.30pm) wearing their special Star Festival costumes.
    At Tokyo Disneyland there is a special parade each day at 11.20am and 4.15pm, featuring your favourite Disney friends wearing yet more beautifully crafted costumes.
    At both parks guests will be given the opportunity to make a wish on special cards, and tie them to specially dedicated "Wishing Places" in the parks.

    After the Disney Tanabata Days end, summer season arrives at the resort, and so does the water! Jon and I have been to Tokyo Disney Resort in the summer before, and I must warn you - prepare to get wet!
    At Tokyo DisneySea's Summer Festival, Minnie's Tropical Splash is described as being a "carnival celebrating the bountiful harvest of fruit" and where "hot Latin rhythms begin to throb as colourful fruit themed barges appear on the Harbor". The TDR website then goes on to describe the "torrent of water" that then sprays from the barges and the shore! Characters appearing in the show - and in new costumes this year too - are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Clarice. The show will be presented three times daily and lasts about 20 minutes.
    At Tokyo Disneyland's Natsu Matsuri event, "hot and lively dances" are the thing at the Castle Stage, during Garyo Gunbu. Team Miyabi Kenran starring Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Max and Pluto compete against Team Ryobu Shippu's Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale and Clarice in a water filled dance battle! We've seen these water canons in action, and trust me when I say, if you don't want to get wet, avoid Central Plaza during your visit! The show will be presented three times per day and lasts about 13 minutes.
    The other show at Castle Stage will be Ondo-Ko-Don! which will be presented once per day, morning only, lasting 11 minutes. It will feature Mickey, Minnie, Donald and "others" in a special performance of a Japanese dance called the "ondo".
    At both Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland there will be special merchandise, decorations and menu items to accompany these events.
    Summer season at both parks runs from 8th July through 31st August inclusive.

    We have a discussion topic about the summer fun, here on our forum.

    A week later on the 7th September, the long running Legend of Mythica will end. If you're visiting before then, be sure to see this jaw dropping show before it goes away forever!

    After the summer, we come to Halloween. At Tokyo DisneySea, the park will be filled with Disney Skeletons! In American Waterfront you can join the skeletons as well as the Disney characters in special costumes for their brand new show "New York's Halloween Follies". At Mediterranean Harbor you can join skeletons for "Welcome Skeleton Friends" in a participation show as they try to make new friends. In the Lost River Delta you can watch Chip 'n' Dale's Skeleton Fiesta, and finally "Street Party of the Skeleton" will be carried out in multiple areas of the park, where skeletons will dance and play around, interacting with guests and greeting them.
    At Tokyo Disneyland, from what I can make out from the Japanese release, the Happy Halloween Harvest parade will return with the theme of a Halloween fair.
    As with every event in Japan, there will be decorations, merchandise and food involved, too! Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort runs from 8th September until 31st October inclusive.

    Don't forget that throughout the year you can enjoy the brand new nightly spectacular at Cinderella Castle, Once Upon a Time. You can read my review of it from opening week, last month, here.

    Additionally, remember that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit made his Disney Parks debut just about 8 weeks ago at Tokyo DisneySea's American Waterfront! He is super cute and gives you yet another reason to visit this summer - as if you needed ay more excuses, right?! You can check out my blog post about meeting Oswald for the first time, here, and our dedicated Oswald page, here.

    Finally for Tokyo, member Ryo on our forum posted that OLC have announced some new changes to Dreamlights in 2015, including the addition of Rapunzel and an update to Peter Pan's float! I can't seem to find the actual OLC release for this, as it's probably entirely in Japanese, but if I do, I'll link it here.

    Ok, moving on to Walt Disney World now, and the Disney Parks Blog released a short list of some of the characters we can expect at the Unleash the Villains event on 23rd August this year. This is the only official list posted so far, but rumours have been flying around the internet of all sorts of rare appearances! None of the characters on the current list come as any great surprise, so it'll be interesting to see who else they put into the mix. We have a discussion topic about the event here on our forum, so join us in the speculation!

    The new Harambe Theater District opened in Animal Kingdom just recently, and is now the new home to the Festival of the Lion King, after a short hiatus when it closed in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Not too much to report here, but people seem to like the new location and the show remains as popular as ever. I'm glad that Timon and friends have now moved back to their native Africa after spending the past ten years in an American Summer Camp!

    Finally for WDW, our friends on our forum noticed that when visiting the Magic Kingdom recently, Winnie the Pooh has decided to sport a slightly different expression! Check out this discussion thread to see how he looks now when greeting at the Crystal Palace.

    Jumping across the continent to Disneyland in California, and summer has kicked off with a special Frozen pre-parade at Disneyland Park. You can check out this video of it from Inside the Magic here, and discuss it here on our forum.

    Also at Disneyland, Merida has now stopped meeting at her location near "it's a small world", and has been moved to inside the Royal Hall, where I guess her appearances will be more random (switching with her royal friends). In other princess news, Anna and Elsa's greeting times have apparently been extended, and they now meet until 8pm daily.

    Flying across the Atlantic to Disneyland Paris, the press preview of the brand new Ratatouille attraction and restaurant happens this weekend. The restaurant is believed to be character dining (based on concept art and even one lady on the reservation line at Disneyland Paris), but is yet to actually be confirmed - we shall find out in the next day or two for sure! Rumours have been circulating for quite some time now, and have additionally strongly suggested that Linguini will appear in the new area (not inside the restaurant)! I'll let you know of any developments on those rumours as the weekend progresses. Jon and I have reservations for Chez Remy in August, and cannot wait to see the new land! You can join our discussion topic about Chez Remy (the new restaurant), here on our forum.

    Staying in France, and DisneylandBerry on Twitter (who is often very reliable) has suggested that long running show Animagique will close at some point in 2015. As much as I love this show, it would be great if they put in a brand new show, since this once has been here for over 10 years now! Disneyland Paris are notoriously bad at announcing anything, so we won't know if this is actually true for quite some time yet, I would imagine. Our members are discussing this topic here on our forum.

    Finally for Disneyland Paris, InsideDLParis revealed that from 5th July this year Disney's Stars 'n' Cars parade would end. The meet 'n' greets that currently take place using the same characters and cars would be extended to include more set times, and 4 of the current cars would be used to transport the characters on and off set from the greetings. InsideDLParis also revealed that the Incredibles would return to the park for the summer near the new Spider-Man location.

    To our final topic today, Iron Man. Our good friend DisneyMart discovered something interesting yesterday, while randomly poking around the Disney Consumer Products website. The recent Disney Consumer Products at Licensing Expo 2014 featured Iron Man as a character, alongside Mickey Mouse, Stormtroopers and Buzz Lightyear! What's interesting is that his appearance has been kept so quiet. He did appear at D23 last year, but since then fans have discovered that the Marvel characters at the event were not wearing their official Disney outfits, meaning that Iron Man and Spider-Man were not appearing as they will at the Disney Parks. I have no idea if this is the case for this most recent appearance, and it could be why Disney have kept hush about it, not wanting people to believe they have already developed Tony Stark's new outfit for him, but instead using an older outside design of his!

    Finally, although it was a couple of weeks ago now, why not check out my previous news post to read about the Frozen Disney On Ice show and Hong Kong Disneyland's new nighttime parade!

    Ok, that is everything for today! Have a great weekend everyone,

    Dan.

    To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Crystal Palace Character Dining, click here.

    To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Company Dinner Show, click here.

    To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey and Minnie's Polynesian Paradise Dinner Show, click here.

    To read my May 2014 review of Tokyo Disney Resort's Chef Mickey Character Dining, click here.

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