Sunday, January 31, 2010

Main Street clouds

Main Street USA

I really couldn't have picked a better day to visit Disneyland than last Saturday (the 23rd). Most Southern Califonia folks must not have believed the forecast when it said there would be a break in the rain. Even arriving at 11am, I parked on the second level. I meandered, taking pictures, enjoying the sunshine. The lighting was just perfect. And I walked onto nearly every ride without a wait. I only went on a handful, but still. If this gives you an idea, the usually hour+ standby wait for Indiana Jones never went past ten minutes the few times I walked past.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fargo's Palm Parlor

Main Street USA

Roland Fargo Crump was one of Disney's first Imagineers. He worked at Disney over a span of 40 years. He worked closely with Walt on the development of the Haunted Mansion. When it was in its beginning stages, it was going to be a walk-through attraction, no doom buggies.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Main Street USA

Because what would Main Street USA be without a place to get coffee? There are actually a few places, here in the bakery and the Market House for starters. The Market House has some tasty flavored varieties, but I'm never blown away by the coffee at Disneyland. Maybe they should put a team of Imagineers on that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crystal Arcade

Main Street USA

Some fun facts about Main Street USA:
- the storefront windows are not period correct. Walt had them placed lower so that children could see into them.
- the music for Main Street usually has an upbeat, bouncy tempo to encourage a feeling of optimism.
- some of the windows of Main Street have special effects that cast shadows to make the buildings continue to feel after dark.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Disneyland's Fire Department

Disneyland Fire Dept

The fire department's brick and mortar building is quite lovely, but the building is most known for housing Walt Disney's family apartment. It was his home away from home where he could keep an eye on the park. When he stayed, he would leave a light on in the upstairs window to let cast members know he was staying over. You can see the light now; it is kept lit continually in his honor.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Windows of Main Street

Main Street USA

While you're strolling down Main Street, look up and check out the names of the businesses on the windows. It is names of Imagineers, developers, artisans, and anyone who helped bring the magic of Disneyland about. It is a huge honor to have your name placed on one of these windows. The windows are revealed at a ceremony on Main Street to the honoree, and the honoree receives a scale replica of the window.

Here's some of the names in the above photo:
Ken Anderson - animation art director, key figure in transferring film environments into the real spaces of Disneyland

L.H. Roth - an assistant to Joe Fowler, who was in charge of Disneyland construction.

George Mills - he was in charge of the Mill

Monday, January 25, 2010

Main Street USA

Main Street USA

This week we'll be taking a long walk down Main Street USA. I am usually guilty of breezing through here, anxious to get to the first ride of the day. Then at the end of the day, I stumble back through, too weary to notice where I am. And it really deserves more than just a glance.

Main Street was inspired by Walt Disney's memories of his hometown of Marceline, Missouri. It is designed to resemble the center of a turn-of-the-century (c. 1908) American town. Several vehicles traverse Main Street, and if you're lucky enough, you'll catch a ride on the omnibus, the horse drawn streetcar, the fire engine, or the horseless carriage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Disneyland 10

I was attempting to continue my Adventureland theme this week, and in a desperate grab for one last photo, I found these lanterns. But they could actually be in Critter Country. Does anyone recognize them?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wait, didn't we just do this?

Disneyland 5

Welcome to Adventureland...again. I didn't realize I had a non-cropped version, oops!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Don't make the natives angry

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Keep low as you float through headhunter country. You might be attached by spears and blow darts. Sound effects are normally provided by your cruise guide.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye

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I know, you're scratching your heads. Last time I checked, Indiana Jones wasn't Disney branded either. However, since Lucasfilm's success with Indiana Jone's Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Florida's Disney Hollywood Studios, they thought a ride would be a brilliant idea. And it is. It's a fast paced, spine jolting, yelp inducing, whopping good time of a ride.

It should be too. It took 400 imagineers to design and create this attraction. Every bit from the queue to the temple itself was planned to the tiniest detail. Which is good, because unless you are quick enough to grab a Fast Pass for this ride, you will spend a considerable amount of time in the queue before your quest for the Jewel of Power.

Ride along here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to the treehouse

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Because I like to hop all about Adventureland, here is another photo from the top of Tarzan's treehouse. I really want to spend more time up there, but alas, I get easily frustrated by all the bouncing children. When will Disneyland have an adults only day? Or actually, I'd even take a no strollers day.

Right. Back to the post. This is after Tarzan's tree has been trashed. This particular image always makes me a little sniffly. Yes, I am that sappy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elephants in Disneyland!

Disneyland 12

Don't worry, these guys are supposed to be in Disneyland. These robotic elephants are found on the banks of the Jungle Cruise. Hop aboard, and your skipper will whisk you away down the rivers of Asia, Africa, & South America - in less than ten minutes. It opened in 1955, and the imagineer behind the design, Harper Goff, was inspired by the movie African Queen.

Cool Jungle Cruise fact: One of the tricks the imagineers used to create a tropical jungle on a tight budget was to put everyday plants beside the exotic ones. They uprooted local orange trees and re-planted them upside down and grew vines on the exposed roots.

You can take your very own trip on the Jungle Cruise with this video.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome to Adventureland!

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Welcome to Adventureland. Enter a world of jungles, bazaars, and action. The land was originally based on Walt Disney's True Life Adventures film series. Here you can visit the Enchanted Tiki Room, get a Dole Pineapple Whip Float, ride the Jungle Cruise, eat tasty skewers from the Bengal BBQ (may I recommend the asparagus wrapped in bacon?), ride along with Indiana Jones, and finally, climb Tarzan's Treehouse.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More of the treehouse!

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I think this is meant to be a scene from Jane's base camp, but it fits in anyway!

Friday, January 15, 2010

In the treehouse

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Remember those details? Yeah. This is a photo of Tarzan's human parents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tarzan's Treehouse

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Yeah, it used to be the Swiss Family Treehouse. But then the Tarzan movie came along, and in 1999 Disney re-themed it to coincide with the movie release. The big artificial tree got a giant makeover from the Imagineers. They replaced over 6,000 vinyl leaves and added a new suspension bridge. 6,000!!

It try to take a walk through every other visit or so. The details (as ever, forget about "God is in the details, it's "Disney is in the details) are just lovely. I find something new to check out in the base camp area every time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cartoon Pin-Up


The inside line decorations for Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin are some of my favorites. This cartoon pin-up calendar is such a great addition!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Etch a Sketch Alien


Don't be fooled when you get inside a building at Disneyland. They are the masters of the "inside lines." You stand outside in the line, you look up optimistically when you get to the building attached to the ride. And then. Then there is more line. The good thing about this is that you can find a lot to look at while standing in lines. It's a great opportunity to check out the magical Disney detail touch.

This Etch-a-Sketch can be found in the line for Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlasters, a super fun ride in Tomorrowland.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Leave today

Disneyland 1

I don't think I really need to add anything to this... :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fairy Godmother

Disneyland Halloween

Cinderella had a fairy godmother to give her a fancy dress and transform her pumpkin into a coach and her mice into horses. This cast member played a fantastic fairy godmother. She was just adorable with the children. A long queue of little girls couldn't wait to talk to her, and they all had a look of awe on their faces.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow White

Disneyland Snow White

Snow White completed the Disney princess trifecta as we exited the park. Please don't hit me, but I'm not a huge fan of Snow White. I don't dislike it, but I don't have anything exciting to say about it. It doesn't help that this particular cast member didn't seem fantastic with the children either. So I'll just say pretty dress and lovely make-up and move along.

I lied, I also have to say, I like the retro version of her outfit better - check out this photo.

As I was researching for this post and getting distracted by looking at the various costume, I stumbled across a Disney Park Characters Blog. Really fun to look through!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Princess Aurora

Disneyland Aurora

Princess Aurora is at the top of my list of favorite Princesses. She was with the group of princesses signing by the exit. You can tell it must have been a chilly day because they were all wearing the winter (and warmer) versions of their dresses. Even from the profile view of this little girl's face, you can tell she is thrilled.

If I were ever going to do a Disney princess costume, it would be Aurora's. Though I adore Belle's get-up, Aurora's dress is more like something I would actually wear. But in blue. Not pink.

Snow White tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Disneyland Belle

One day as we exited the park, I noticed several Disney princesses offering pictures, hugs, and autographs. I yippee'd like the five year old I am and tried to snap photos in between the kids going up.

This dress of Belle's from Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite Disney princess costumes. The beautiful yellow, the elaborate details. I wonder how much the costume weighs. Anyone know a costumer at Disneyland that could maybe let me borrow this outfit? This cast member (they are not employees) certainly remained cheery so I would think it can't be terribly heavy. Or she's a great actress. It's really fun to see the characters interact with the children. Especially the villains.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sleeping Beauty Castle Clock

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This view of a clock on Sleeping Beauty's Castle shows the sign for the store I miss - Once Upon a Time. What else would you call a Disney princess store?

The Sleeping Beauty Castle was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and designed by Imagineer Herb Ryman. The castle has many interesting architectural details, including water spouts shaped like squirrels and the Disney family coat of arms above the entrance.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cinderelly, Cinderelly

Disneyland Nov. 2009

It is well worth your time to stop and look at window displays at Disneyland. I've probably mentioned that before. They stay the same for a while, but they are full of details and cuteness. On our last visit, I noticed this window display in Fantasyland. It is right by the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique*.

I haven't seen Cinderella in a while, but this display showing the little mice hard at work on Cinderella's dress immediately brought to mind the tune of Cinderelly. Aren't you glad I put that song in your head? Spools of thread and scissors are strewn across the display, and the edges of the pattern book are even nicely aged. Disney does it right.

*The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a place where girls can make appointments to get a princess makeover. Special hair-dos, sparkly barrettes, glitter make-up, you get the idea. It took over my favorite Disney Princess store. But, I'm not bitter. Really. Okay, to be fair, most of the items sold in the Princess store are still there, but it's not the same.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dapper Dans

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The Dapper Dans are a barbershop quartet that has been performing at Disneyland since 1959. They also perform at Disney World and other international Disney locations. You can usually find them around Main Street in Disneyland, and sometimes they are on a Schwinn four-seater ordered especially by Walt Disney.

Even though I would not usually stop for a barbershop quartet, these guys kinda rock. It seems very difficult to become a member of the Dapper Dan and once a member joins, he sticks around until retirement or death. One of the quartets in Disneyland was together for ten years!

Here is a video of a Dapper Dan performance of Do You Remember When.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Magicland - Virtual Disneyland in Second Life

Magicland in Second Life

Maybe you really, really want to visit Disneyland but for some reason or another, you just can't. An aversion to crowds, distance, or cost stop you from going. Well, I discovered a cool thing recently, you can visit it virtually in Second Life.

Second Life is a virtual world started up by Linden Labs in 2003. It is what it sounds like - an online place with lands/destinations, shops, clubs, etc where your avatar can hang out with others. I think of it as social networking with graphics. I like to go there just to visit random places and see all the beautiful things people have designed. There are gorgeous virtual gardens and cities. While searching for locations to visit, I came across Magicland.

Spinning tea cups and carousel in Fantasyland

Magicland is an entire theme park that is both inspired by and a tribute to Walt Disney's original Disneyland. If you have a Second Life account, here is the Second Life URL. Here you will find Main Street, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. You can walk around and explore, and my favorite part - virtually ride things like The Jungle Cruise. The Jungle Cruise combines computer graphics with photos from the ride, and they even have a classic recorded cruise guide audio piece that plays while you ride.

The attention to details are just wonderful, and I have had a fun time exploring the park and testing out rides. If you really want to check it out, downloading Second Life is free and admission to Magicland is also free. You can make a donation in Linden dollars (Second Life money) though.

Upcoming attractions - Electrical Parade, Matterhorn bobsleds, and the Tiki Room

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Disneyland Nov. 2009

Light in Rancho del Zocalo restaurant

The Rancho del Zocalo restaurant has so many pretty lights. I know I've mentioned it, but it is really one of my favorite places to dine in Disneyland. I've never had to stand in line long, and the atmosphere is cozy if you sit indoors and a little louder if you sit outdoors. It's kind of a break from the theme park craziness as well, which I appreciate. In case you are curious, here is their menu. Nothing fancy, but it is all tasty and the portions are big.

Thank you for visiting my little blog, and I hope you all have a fantastic 2010.