News and Information

April 12, 2009 - bunny apple at Marceline's - We were wandering around Downtown Disney and noticed that Marceline's had this cute bunny apple in the window. I can't remember if the apple was initially coated in chocolate or caramel - I think the latter. Then it was rolled in white sugar crystals. The ears are made from regular-size marshmallows cut in half then sprinkled with pink sugar crystals. The eyes are each a drop of chocolate, and the nose is a drop of pink frosting. The puffy cheeks are made with two small marshmallows. NEW ENTRY 4/24/2009

August 3, 2008 - Wall-E nickel press machine - Walking through the Candy Palace tonight, I happened to glance over at a machine and much to my surprise and delight, I noticed that it was a nickel press machine featuring Wall-E. There are actually three different designs: one of just Wall-E himself, one of Eve with her "plant indicator" on, and one of Wall-E holding the plant. Each costs $0.80 (three quarters to pay for the process and the nickel to be pressed that you get back). The machine is located just to the left of the fudge counter. Here's a picture of the designs from the machine.

July 26, 2008 - Pixar parade in DCA - I hadn't seen the new Pixar parade at DCA, so when we entered the park about 15 minutes before the next parade, we decided to sit down and watch it. I'd loved Block Party Bash, so I was sorry to see it go, but I was willing to see what the new parade was like. I hadn't heard too much about it so was just going with what I'd see.

It started off fine - Boo in her monster costume came by, and the Incredibles and how cool. And then the first float went by, and it went downhill from there. We had heard the announcement before the parade saying something about you might get wet during the parade. OK, kinda weird, but they might have some kind of misters or something. If you're going on Splash Mountain or Grizzly River Run and they tell you that you might get wet, you know what to expect. When they tell you that before a parade, you think you might get a little moisture, but I don't think you'd expect to be hosed down like you were on fire. Each and every single float contains multiple elements that either automatically shoot heavy streams of water out or are manually controlled by a cast member/parade performer. And I'm not talking a little misting. The streams that didn't actually hit us landed on the pavement with a fairly loud "splat". Where you get hit by the water varies as well, so sometimes, I was shot in the arm or my shirt or pretty much in the face if I wasn't already trying to duck and shield my head. By the time the parade was over, my clothes (and the floor around me) were pretty wet. Heck, I've gotten off Splash dryer than that!

The floats themselves seemed nice, but to be honest, I wasn't able to pay that much attention to them because I was pretty distracted by either trying to figure out what was going to shoot at me or actually being pelted with water. I remember that the Bug's Life float was funny because I noticed the "leaf" or whatever that was being carried by ants - very cute. The back of the Nemo float had the water goggles. I don't really remember much else, other than the music being kind of generic and easy to forget.

I can't imagine why they thought this was a good idea. If I want to get wet, I know what areas and what rides to go on to achieve that. But just sitting watching a parade? There was a lady sitting in front of me with what looked like a very expensive camera. I'm not sure how she reacted to the water blasts.

There's a part of me that doesn't ever want to watch this parade again because I was so completely irritated with being constantly pelted by water, but I suppose if I wanted to actually see the floats, I could watch from a distance, out of the splash zone.

February 20, 2008 - Dream Suite AP preview - I saw this on MousePlanet's Disneyland Resort update this week. Disney is giving away 20 minute previews of the new Dream Suite, previously known as the Disney Gallery. Yes, I refuse to call it Walt's apartment because he never used it as an apartment. If you're registered as an AP on the website, then you're entered into the contest. Here's the page with more info.

January 6, 2008 - Plaza Inn lunch - More pictures of food for those interested. This is the penne pasta, prepared by a CM who was heaping on the cheese, but that was fine by me. And on this last weekend of Christmas at the resort, a last Christmas log dessert. It was yummy.

December 16, 2007 - February 23, 2008 - Peter Pan 55th anniversary product release and signing - In conjunction with the 55th anniversary of "Peter Pan", the resort is having a product release and signing on February 23, 2008. Not much info is available at the moment, but for participating artists, go here.

December 16, 2007 - April 8, 2008 - Julie Andrews, autobiography release and signing - Julie Andrews is releasing an autobiography and will be at the resort for a special appearance and signing on Tuesday, April 8, 2008. Here's a link for more information. (This sounds like something amazing enough that I may have to take the day off to attend!)

December 16, 2007 - 2008 monthly apple and fudge flavors - Disney has put up a page with some of the monthly apple and fudge flavors to be released in 2008. Here's the link.

December 15, 2007 - more big figs - More merchandise news - three new big figs recently released at the resort.

Pie-eyed Minnie big fig. I'm not usually fond of the pie-eyed versions, but she's actually kind of cute.

Pie-eyed Mickey big fig. He doesn't look as pie-eyed to me as he normally does.

Big fig of Main Street, front view. The last land big fig I remember was Frontierland, with the Mark Twain. This one's pretty nice, with very bright colors. Not sure if you can see her very well, but in the middle, there's a lady dressed in Victorian clothes with a parasol. Here's a side view, of the police department and city hall. The back of the big fig, showing the cinema. Another side view, showing the opera house.

And just because we thought it was funny/creepy/weird, here is the march of the zombie snowman apples in the window at Marceline's.

November 18, 2007 - Fullerton update and new location open in Puente Hills - We dropped by the Fullerton location on Saturday, and I saw some items I thought some people might be interested in. The first price was the retail price and the second price is what it costs now.

POTC auction scene (auctioneer and redhead) - $75/$49.99

Mulan riding Khan maquette - $399/$249

Snow White kissing Dope Armani - $650/$499

Prince Philip Lenox - $125/$89

Aurora Snow Princess Lenox - $150/$99.99

Small World Belgium - $99/$69.99

Small World Spain - $99/$69.99

Flick classics piece - $125/$99.99

Atta classics piece - $125/$99.99

Sneezy classics piece - $99/$59.99

Bashful classics piece - $99/$59.99

Happy classics piece - $99/$59.99

Small World Canada ornament - $29.99/$17.99

Small World Arabia ornament - $29.99/$17.99

Shag DL 50th lithos $995/$699.99

Frontierland big fig - $199/$89.99

A new character warehouse location opened this weekend, in the Puente Hills mall in City of Industry. It's located on the first floor across from Game Stop.

AMS Character Warehouse
Puente Hills Mall
1600 S. Azusa Avenue, #220
City of Industry, CA 91748
Mon. - Fri. 10 to 9; Sat. 10 to 8; Sun. 11 to 6
store open until January 13, 2008

It looks like the store is just a relocation of the recently closed store that was in Santa Clarita.

October 28, 2007 - new Thanksgiving antenna topper - Can I just tell you how excited I was when I saw it? Yeah, so I'm a freak.

Here's a picture of the front and back.

I *so* want one of the smaller roundie plush of this!

October 20, 2007 - DLR purchase with purchase offer - holiday inspired retro tin plates - DLR's new purchase with purchase offer is the opportunity to purchase a set of four holiday inspired retro tin plates (in a tin container) for $10 with each purchase of $50 in a single merchandise transaction, before tax and after discounts, at one of the qualifying locations. The promotion runs from November 4 through December 24, 2007, or until supplies last.

For a list of qualifying locations and pictures of the plates, go here.

October 14, 2007 - Haunted Mansion and bat ears - A set of Haunted Mansion-related ears was released a couple weeks ago, and it's really cool. Here's a picture.

They also finally released the bat ears. Here's a picture. The eyes are supposed to glow in the dark.

September 30, 2007 - Snow White's 70th anniversary event - November 16, 2007 - UPDATE - Disney has posted information about the event. Here's the link for more information.

There are two packages available, but prices haven't been listed yet.

The event sounds ok, though I think I was expecting more. I'm figuring they're going to be showing "Snow White" at the Hyperion since I can't figure out where else they'd do it. The Golden Dreams building is my only other guess, since the Halloweentime makeover will be done by then. However, the Hyperion makes a lot more sense since the higher package includes smallish food items, the new Snow White exhibit that will be in the Animation Building and a panel discussion that would make more sense inside the Hyperion. That way, they can also close off the entire Hollywood Pictures Backlot for the event and leave the rest of the park open.

Presumably, price points will be available before registration opens on Wednesday. I'm going to wait on the pricing to decide if I want to go.

September 15, 2007 - Snow White's 70th anniversary event - November 16, 2007 - Disney has posted a "save the date" for an event on November 16, 2007 celebrating the 70th anniversary of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". There's really no information other than that, but you can see the posting for yourself here.

September 11, 2007 - big figs and Halloweentime note - A new Goofy big fig, dressed as Chernabog, arrived a few weeks ago. Here's a picture.

A pirate princess Minnie big fig arrived quite some time ago, but I hated it so much, I didn't even want a picture of it. I love the Pirate Mickey big fig, though. They have the two displayed together at the pirate shop in NOS, so I took a picture just to show the two together as a comparison.

And on another note, Halloweentime returns to the Disneyland Resort on September 21, and there's a billboard in the esplanade that advertises it, but someone didn't pay enough attention. Oh, everything is spelled right this time, but apparently, if you're a spider at Disneyland, you have to have two of your legs ripped off first...

September 3, 2007 - DCA Animation Building - To get out of the heat for a while on Sunday, we decided to spend some time in the Animation Building in DCA. We've always enjoyed spending time in there relaxing and listening to and watching the loop of animated features in the lobby. It's been quite a while since we've been in there, but it's not nearly the relaxing place we used to remember.

We had sat down in the middle near where some of the comfy sofas are and were enjoying being in the lobby. On a much too frequent basis, there were fairly loud pre-recorded announcements telling people to go into either Turtle Talk with Crush or into the Animation Academy. Previously, these announcements were made by the CMs at the entrance to each location, and they were usually made only about 5 minutes prior to the next showtime. The CMs' voices were also usually fairly gentle and soothing. Not so much with the recorded announcements. Both were fairly loud and obnoxious and the Turtle Talk announcement was accompanied by "Crush" talking (not a very good soundness to boot) and the Animation Academy announcement was accompanied by Mickey talking. Each announcement was played multiple times prior to each showtime, and each time the announcement was played, the soundtrack to the lobby was interrupted. I might be misremembering but previously, when the CMs made the announcements, the lobby soundtrack wasn't turned off during their announcements. Now, the whole flow of the lobby atmosphere is completed destroyed because of the out-of-place announcements.

And now that the Animation Building has been open for more than 5 years, I would think it's time to either replace or add to the loop of films in there. There were many films previously left out, and many more films have been made since then. It can't be that hard to either replace to add to the existing material. They don't need to create anything. Sure, some of the concept drawings are pretty cool, but some just have static pictures and video, and those work just fine.

August 24, 2007 - new Halloween-related tour at DLR - Disney has released details of a Halloween-related new tour they're offering. Hopefully, this will be much better than the myths, mysteries and legends tour they held a couple years ago.

Here are details.

August 17, 2007 - Halloweentime at DLR - I can't wait.

If you're on Disney's email list, their latest email is about Halloweentime. I loved it last year, and I can't wait for it thisyear. It starts September 21, so the first Sunday after that is when we'll be going to experience everything. OK, well, we'll be there on the 22nd as well, but that's for something different.

Here is a list of some treats.

Mmmmm, pumpkin cheesecake. Big Thunder Ranch is having cookie decorating rather than Mr. Potato Cake decorating, so I'm a little disappointed, but I might have to do the cookie decorating anyway.

Here's info about decorations.

I hate candy corn, but Candy Corn Acres sounds like it should be fun.

There's another page about other things that will be available during Halloweentime here.

August 5, 2007 - fudge of the month - People may or may not know that Disney sells fudge in several locations. The ones I know of are the Pooh shop in Critter Country and Market House on Main Street, next to Disneyana. They have several flavors they offer all the time and then a special flavor of the month. I'm not a fan of fudge (I find it to be too sweet and am not crazy about the texture.), but the husband and friends who like fudge love some of the flavors Disney has to offer. Some people wait all year for their pumpkin fudge, which is available in October.

The fudge of the month flavor for August is key lime, which is not one I recall them having before. The husband bought a square to try. Since I love key lime pie, he convinced me to try some. It does have *great* key lime flavor, but the fudge is still not something I like, so I wouldn't have more than the tiny taste I did. He said it was really good and agreed when I asked, "Thumbs up?" For anyone who likes fudge and key lime, this would seem to be a great combo.

August 5, 2007 - last visit to the Disney Gallery - Since the Disney Gallery is closing on Tuesday, we decided to make a last visit today. We stopped at Stage Door to pick up some food, which we brought with us up to the Gallery, and we enjoyed our lunch in the courtyard. There was one other table of people up there, with lots of people wandering around the Gallery, some browsing or shopping, and many of whom were taking pictures. You could tell that a lot of people were there to see the Gallery one last time. It was nice to sit up there and be able to hear the water from the fountain - until the pirate show from Tom Sawyer's Island could be heard from up there. Gosh, they're awfully loud.

The husband says we would occasionally bring food to eat up there. I don't recall that and only remember eating up there the two times we've taken the Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour, which included lunch in the courtyard of the Gallery. The Tour now apparently holds lunch at the Tour Gardens, which doesn't seem nearly as appealing to me.

After we had the regular food portion of our lunch, we took our dessert portion and went out on the balcony so we could have dessert on the balcony one more time. I've only done the Fantasmic Dessert Balcony seating once, but I quite enjoyed it. We sat and enjoyed our dessert and looked out on the river and all the people in New Orleans Square. It's a great place from which to people watch. The river was quite busy this day, with both the Mark Twain and the Columbia running, with canoes going past, with rafts crossing to and from the island and then other rafts further in the back ferreting cast members to and from the island as well. I'll miss this view of the park as there's really no where else to go to get it. OK, you can get a similar view from the Club 33 balcony, but it's more obstructed, and I don't have unfettered access to Club 33.

We then went around to the different rooms, looking one more time at things, and taking pictures of everything. I never noticed before how different the chandeliers are in each room. I've always loved looking at the pictures in the one alcove off the main room that show the concept for how the living room was going to look as part of Walt and Lillian's apartment. We spent a bit of time talking to one of the CMs that we knew and what she was going to be doing next.

In years previous, we used to spend quite a bit of time at the Gallery, and I was wondering why we hadn't been doing that in the past couple of years. There are some inconveniences to the Gallery - if you have someone in a wheelchair or using a stroller, it's a bit more work to get up there. There's no restroom up there or anywhere to get refreshments, not even a drinking fountain. But that never seemed to stop us before - so why had we been spending so little time in the Gallery in the last year or two? And then I figured it out. We rarely went up to the Gallery just to hang out. We usually went up there to see the exhibits, and then afterward, we would hang out in the courtyard or the balcony for a while. In the past year or two, we haven't been that interested in the exhibits that they've had, so subsequently, we didn't go there much. And it wasn't about changing the exhibits often. There were exhibits up there previously that were there for a long time - but we enjoyed looking at them over and over again. When the Space Mountain model which currently resides Opera-House-adjacent used to be in what was supposed to be Walt and Lillian's bedroom, we would go up there often to marvel at it, to look at the structure, to follow the track as we walked around and around the model. We'd look at the little model of the Adventures in Inner Space ride vehicle. We'd enjoy listening to the soundtrack of various defunct attractions. We'd get thrown out for spending too much time there and enjoying it too much...

But the recent exhibits didn't hold any repeat value for us. So when a new exhibit went in, we'd go up and see it, but we didn't make that many return visits, so consequently, we didn't spend as much time as before just enjoying the ambience up there.

I'm sorry to see the Disney Gallery go, but I really hope they turn it into something guests can enjoy, in one form or another, rather than turn it into just more office space. That would be a shame.

July 28, 2007 - YesterFoods: The Monorail Cafe - Most Disney fans are probably familiar with Yesterland, a website dedicated to attractions at Disneyland that no longer exist. For years, many of us have joked that someone needs to start a YesterFoods website, to similarly commemorate the various food locations that are no longer around, at least those that we liked. That list for many people includes Casa Mexicana, Big Thunder BBQ, Stromboli's, the real Harbour Galley, the original Carnation Cafe and of course, The Monorail Cafe. Located approximately where the AMC Theatres/Compass Books are currently in Downtown Disney, The Monorail Cafe was a nice, reasonably-priced family restaurant. The restaurant closed in August of 1999. For your trip down memory lane, here's the first page of the final menu, here's the second page of the final menu (blue plate special!), and here's the last page of the final menu.

July 2, 2007 - "The Jungle Book" at El Capitan in September - For anyone who's interested, "The Jungle Book" will be shown at The El Capitan from September 7th through September 20th. It's supposed to be a digitally restored version. No mention of a panel discussion the first night (panel discussions are usually on Thursday night), but Baloo is advertised as being at every show. The El Capitan main page doesn't have it listed yet, but if you go to the tickets page and choose September, you'll see the times available for each date.

July 1, 2007 - Remy and Emile from "Ratatouille" at DL - We saw Remy and Emile from "Ratatouille" near the Rivers of America, by the petrified tree, last Sunday. Here's a picture of them posing for a picture with guests. Here's another picture of them. Here's a picture that shows their tails. And their human handler is dressed like a chef, with an apron that has the movie logo on it, which you can't see on this particular CM.

More "Ratatouille"-related info: one of the animated windows on Main Street has been changed to show the training scene with Remy and Linguini in Linguini's kitchen. On top of the refrigerator are a few cereal-type boxes and a bottle of wine, which has an interesting label, not just because of the name of the "winery", but because it's yet more evidence that Disney really needs to hire a competent spell checker. Here's a picture of the bottle.

July 1, 2007 - quick merchandise report - antenna toppers, cool Nemo item and mini Mickeys - First, the big ticket item: Disney has released a really nice piece themed to the new Nemo subs ride. Here's a picture. It's a good-sized piece and really cute. I saw it mostly at World of Disney.

They've also released a number of new antenna toppers. Here's a new one for Independence Day. When they sell multiple pack sets, it's usually of toppers that have already been previously sold separately, but two new sets have been released that weren't previously sold individually, at least at DL. Here's one with cuties versions of the characters, which I absolutely love. And here's a set with Mickey icons. In addition to being antenna toppers, both sets are also magnets, which I think is really cool. The set of cuties that I bought is going to be put on my file cabinets at work. The cuties set also has a hole at the top as well as the bottom, so you could stack them totem-pole style on an antenna if you wanted. Not sure if the icons are like that as well since I didn't check. I saw both sets at World of Disney.

And here are some keychains with little, different-colored Mickeys. The Mickeys are made from the same material as normal toppers.

July 1, 2007 - Free Ratatouille "pin" (really button) from Disney Store if you see the film on opening weekend - If you see "Ratatouille" on this past opening weekend and bring your ticket stub to a Disney Store, you'll receive a free "pin". Well, they call it a pin, but it's really a button. Here's what the full set looks like. You get one pin/button for each ticket stub you bring in, while supplies last. The El Capitan is also giving away the buttons if you see the film there. At least they were on Friday night. They also had them behind the counter at the store next door. Not sure how long they're doing that for.

June 21, 2007 - July 8 Disney Gallery event - The July 8 Disney Gallery event has been confirmed, and the information is supposed to be posted on sometime this week.

The event will be from 9am to 12 noon at the Disney Gallery, above Pirates. Featured artists will be Robert Olszewski, Charles and Bruce Boyer and James Campbell.

Olszewski will be releasing the Disneyland marquee from the Main Street collection. There will be two different versions available (the only difference being the plaque) - a first edition Main Street and a limited edition of 1,000 for annual passholders. Also being released that day from Olszewski is the Beauty and the Beast piece from the Gallery of Light collection and the Nightmare Before Christmas - Holiday Doors Box from the Heirloom Box Collection.

Here's a picture of the marquee, here's a picture of the Beauty and the Beast piece, and here's a picture of the Nightmare box.

I expect the official release will have more information about what will be available from the Boyers and Campbell as well as prices on everything.

June 10, 2007 - More Nemo sub merchandise - FYI, they've released a new adult-sized sub t-shirt. It has the Nemo sub poster design on the back and the Nemo sub logo on the front left breast. I don't have a picture of the sub poster, but here's a picture from a site. I'm not all that fond of the poster design because Marlin and Nemo look wrong, and I still like the kid's sub t-shirt design better, but I like this one a lot better than the Dory or Bruce one since it's actually about the subs and not just the Nemo movie, so I bought this one.

And it was free! OK, well, it was sort of free. I ended up walking from Downtown Disney back to the parking structure today and found a $20 bill on the ground in the parking lot, so the t-shirt was effectively free. Sorry to whomever lost their $20, but thanks.

I got the shirt at the Emporium, near the plush display. I would presume they also have it at Tomorrowlanding, but that area was totally closed off for the press event today.

June 5, 2007 - POTC3 and Ratatouille at the El Capitan - For anyone who's interested, POTC3 at the El Capitan doesn't have any stage show or anything as part of it, but instead, they have props around the lobby area (ground level and second level), and then lots more in the basement or whatever you call that place below the lobby. The side boxes in the theatre proper are also decorated, but I don't think it's as cool as during previous POTC showings. One serious downside of the downstairs props is that they hustle you through pretty quickly - all these nice things to look at, but don't look too long, keep moving, don't stop. Yeah, not happy. And, unlike previously, they don't let you back out onto the main lobby but rather, have you exit when you're done looking downstairs. The screenings are so packed that they have to get the next people in.

For Ratatouille, there's supposed to be an "all new live stage show". The flyer has pictures of Mickey and lots of other characters, many dressed in chef ware. We already have our tickets for opening night.

May 20, 2007 - More Pirates and Nemo sub merchandise - New beanies of Mickey and Minnie dressed in pirate garb have been released. There's also a new Mickey ears hat for Pirate lovers.

More Nemo sub merchandise can be found at Tomorrowlanding.

This is the front and back of a child's hat available for sale. And they did release two adult-sized t-shirts related to the subs. This one is a similar design to a shirt available at Living Seas in Epcot at WDW. And this is a very cool shirt. The style makes the writing underneath the shark a bit hard to see, but it says "Hello, my name is Bruce."

I still wish they had the design of the kid's shirt in an adult-sized shirt. I love that design because it incorporates an actual sub with Mickey and Nemo and friends.

May 17, 2007 - Nemo sub voyage merchandise, new roundies and other new things to buy - Merchandise for the Nemo sub voyage ride has finally been released. We saw this t-shirt last week. Here's what's on the left sleeve. Only thing is - it's a kid's t-shirt. We saw it at the Emporium, and they didn't have an adult version. I haven't had a chance to swing by Tomorrowlanding (the store that is now where Radio Disney was) to see if they have anything there, since that's sorta the official merchandise location for the subs. I love the design, and I sure hope they're not forgetting that adults like attraction t-shirts too.

Two new plush roundies have been released, and they're more like regular plush than the Chip/Dale/Pluto/Mickey ones. Here's Mike. He's about the size of the 100 Acre Woods roundies. He totally makes sense as a roundie! And here's Sulley. He looks a bit odd to me. He's the size of the Chip/Dale/Pluto/Mickey roundies. In the picture of Mike, you can see part of Sulley behind him, so that gives a good sense of scale. Here's a side view of Sulley to show that he's not a true roundie - he's got a trailing tail.

They've released a plush of the monkey from the POTC films. I think he looks a bit odd. And he's probably going to be much more affected if you shoot him than was the monkey that Captain Jack Sparrow shot in the film.

A new big fig was released, Goofy playing golf. His stance doesn't look particularly comfortable.

Happy shopping!

May 13, 2007 - Disney/Pixar's RATATOUILLE to Kick off the Summer with "Big Cheese Tour" - I saw this article mentioned on a site and thought it was interesting. So far, no set plans to come out west.

This is my favorite quote from the article: "Besides, who wouldn't want to slide down a 25' wedge of cheese?"


Can't wait to see the film! We have our tickets for the El Capitan already.

May 10, 2007 - Mickey's Halloween Treat info for 2007 announced - Disney has announced dates for Mickey's Halloween Treat this year.

October 5, 12, 19 and 26; 7:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
October 4, 11, 18, 29, 30, and 31; 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

AP presale price - $24
Regular price - $39

Tickets go on sale to APs May 15. No info on when tickets go on sale to the general public.

If you want to see more information without having to log into the AP page, go here.

May 7, 2007 - POTC 3 watch and litho offer starts May 20 - Disney has announced a watch and litho of POTC 3 that will be available at the resort starting March 20 and ending August 18 (or until supplies last). A set of one watch and one litho are available for $10 (plus tax) with the purchase of $50 (before tax and after discounts) or more in a single transaction at participating resort merchandise locations.

The wording would seem to indicate that you can buy one set when you spend the qualifying amount but not necessarily that you can buy two sets if you spend $100. Previous promotions have differed in how they handled that.

For more information, pictures of the watch and litho and a list of participating locations, go here.

May 7, 2007 - Where Dreams Come True Light-up Ears AP Offer - Disney has announced that from May 13 to June 22 (or until supplies last), APs can purchase two Where Dreams Come True light-up ears for $20 plus tax at World of Disney. No discounts will apply on the purchase though. For more info, go here.

May 7, 2007 - Marie Osmond Adora Belle Breakfast - July 7 - For any collectors of the Marie Osmond dolls, Disney has announced a breakfast event on July 7 for the lastest Adora Belle release, themed to the Year of a Million Dreams promotion. There's not a lot of info yet, but here's a link to the page.

March 4, 2007 - new mobile interactive characters [Professor Honeydew and Beeker] at DCA - I'd heard about them so we made it a point of seeing them at DCA since a newspaper article had mentioned they'd be going back for more research and testing after today. We saw them for a few minutes, and they were really fun to see. It's not a "show" per se - it's really just testing and being able to marvel at what the AA's can do. Beeker mostly does his own kind of talking and pedals his bike on occasion. His head pops up and down. Honeydew is pretty impressive with the range of movement of his head. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it, and I liked the little touches of sayings on the device (e.g., "requires 4 AAA batteries"). There are various times when Honeydew squirts water and shoots out confetti. The husband said he saw three places on the device where he saw cameras, which is how Honeydew "sees".

In the time we saw them, Honeydew did have one glitch. He just started saying something else all of a sudden, something about having to leave I think. And then he was silent for a second, and then he said sorry about that, he just had a stroke. The crowd laughed.

As much as I liked watching them, I was mostly just really jealous that they were able to ride a Segway. We did the Segway tour of Epcot when we were in WDW in early January, and I absolutely loved it.

February 25, 2007 - FYI, fans of Eden Espinosa - For anyone who remembers Eden Espinosa (among other things, she was in Festival of Fools, Animazement, Steps in Time, and she also sang when the flag at Town Square was raised back to the top after September 11, 2001) and was a fan of hers, she's back in the Southern California area. She plays the part of Elphaba in "Wicked", which currently has an open run at the Pantages Theatre. Here's a link for more info.

February 18, 2007 - Disney still has spelling problems with its merchandise - Disney has been notorious in the past for having things spelled incorrectly on its merchandise and signs. Apparently, they still haven't hired a spell-check department. They have recently released a line of nice tote bags with cute designs. On one particular bag, though, the incorrect spelling is broadcast in huge letters. And no, they don't get a pass because the word is in French.

February 12, 2007 - new Frontierland big fig available - We noticed a new land-based big fig available to go along with the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland ones that are already out. This one is of Frontierland, and it's a really nice piece. Here's a picture of the entire figure. Here's a closer view of the Mark Twain. Here's a closeup of the section with the moose and the Indian village. Here's a closeup of the section with the funky/weird cactus. Here's a closeup of the building between the gate and the Twain. The husband thinks it's the Golden Horseshoe. I'm not convinced.

I really like that the Twain is there, and I like the representation of having the Big Thunder Railroad rocks there. The piece also contains a fountain device so that the Twain is sitting in water while the water is being circulated. I noticed that the paddlewheel on the Twain can spin, but since there was no water in the displays we saw, we're not sure if the circulating water itself spins the wheel.

I had never thought to notice that different big figs are done by different people. This piece was done by Larry Nicolai, who has also done the bronze land pieces. He is also credited on the Tomorrowland big fig, but I didn't get a chance to check the Fantasyland one, so I'm not sure about that.

The piece runs for about $195.

February 10, 2007 - We were walking through Fantasyland and noticed that the shuttered windows to the former Gepetto store were ajar, so we had a peek inside. Empty.

January 4, 2007 - AP dining pin series returns January 21, 2007 - For those who have been collecting the AP dining pins, the new series ("Dining With Character") starts on Sunday, January 21, 2007. The first pin has Goofy on it and is free to annual passholders with $30 purchase at selected dining locations. Here's a link to a picture of the Goofy pin and more info.

November 18, 2006 - Pirates of the Caribbean event - March 18, 2007 - One bit of very interesting news came out at the Olszewski Disneyland miniatures release today. March 18, 2007 marks the 40th anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, and there is apparently a special event planned in conjunction with the anniversary. There is no information available about what the event will include, what the pricing will be, or when tickets will go on sale. However, Olszewski Studios has been commissioned to create some merchandise pieces for the event.

So, keep an eye on and various Disney-related websites and discussion boards for more information.

November 14, 2006 - Christmas parade! - We saw the Christmas parade last night!

OK, sort of. We had occasion to be at the resort very late last night, and we were wandering around the esplanade around 11:30pm. There's still music playing in the esplanade, but I could hear other loud music and was wondering where the music was coming from. I looked over at Disneyland and through the tunnel on the right, I saw a Christmas float, so I yelled "they're running the parade!", and we all ran over there. At first, we thought they were just running the floats without any CMs because we didn't see any, but after a while, we saw some CMs dancing, and we figured out they would be the gingerbread cookie people. They happened to be right at the tunnel when their particular bit ended and it was the lull between the end of one cycle and the start of another, so they could actually hear us when we applauded. One of the dancers waved at us!

We saw the dwarves. Most of them didn't have their full costumes on and were only recognizable by their heads. There were one or two that only had costumed shoes on. We saw Woody and Ariel on their floats, and we saw the float with all the princes and princesses in full costume. We also saw what's left of the carolers and of course, Santa! The husband and our friend both thought that his float looked much different than in previous years. (Apparently, Santa's float was changed last year, but we didn't get a chance to see the parade last year, so we wouldn't have seen it.) Here's a link with a couple pictures. They're a little dark and probably not that exciting for anyone not there that night, but we had fun! And there's no one out of costume in any of the pictures.

We all agreed that we were complete geeks/dorks because we were watching a rehearsal of the Christmas parade at close to midnight from between bars, but we also agreed how much we enjoyed it!

And yes, I do plan to catch a real showing of the parade at some point during the season.

November 8, 2006 - purchase with purchase holiday fleece blanket offer - The Disneyland Resort currently has a purchase with purchase offer where if you spend $70 at participating merchandise locations, you can buy a Reindeer Roundup holiday fleece for $10 plus tax. (And for some reason, even though they're bringing back the Reindeer Roundup to Big Thunder Ranch, they're using the old logo stuff from last year for the Roundup itself rather than using any of the logo stuff from the new merchandise - go figure.)

Here's a picture of the cardboard standee they have up in various stores. The large picture is what the fleece looks like fully opened. There's a flap on the other side, so you can fold the fleece up and tuck it all into the flap, making a sort of pillow-looking thing - that's the design you see at the bottom right.

It's pretty cute.

November 8, 2006 - new antenna ball - Another new antenna ball has been released, this one in conjunction with the Where Dreams Come True promotion (or as I refer to it, the Cloud Promotion).

Here's a picture of the front and back of the antenna ball.

It does nothing for me - it's the first new antenna ball in quite some time that I haven't purchased.

September 18, 2006 - Plaza Inn penne pasta and "Monsters, Inc."/"Where's Boo" promotion - Just a couple of leftover bits from a while ago that I never got around to mentioning.

In the tradition of taking pictures of my food, here's a picture of the penne pasta with bolognese sauce (includes breadstick) with side salad available at Plaza Inn.

When the new "Monsters, Inc." ride opened at DCA, there was a promotion in the esplanade asking "Where's Boo?" One particular day, I brought my favorite Boo doll to the resort to answer that question.

September 16, 2006 - pirate skeleton bird - This has been there for some time now, since the Pirate craze re-started this summer with the release of the second Pirates movie, but it's one of the clever touches that Disney does that I love. The store on the left side just inside the entrance gates of DCA is called Greetings from California. Towards the far end of the store, in a room behind the room where the 50th merchandise is currently located and close to the room where the candy/fudge/chocolate/treats are located, there is a room decorated with pirate motif where pirate attire and other related merchandise can be found. One of the decorations is a pirate skeleton bird, as pictured here. When people are in stores, you often don't think to look up and around at the decor, but with Disney, you're sure to find some clever thing. (Speaking of which, we have been in that room multiple times since it opened and it was only on this particular visit that we [ok, really, the husband] noticed that the word "CALIFORNIA" circles the top of the room!)

September 16, 2006 - new Mary Poppins show in front of castle - Last Sunday, we happened to catch a new show in front of the castle, but I'm not sure how long they've been doing it. It's not listed on the Entertainment Times Guide, and I don't know what days and what times it normally runs, but the show we saw started around 1:45pm. There's a band that plays (I couldn't catch what they called themselves, but it sounded something like "The Berties".), and then Mary Poppins and Bert join them. They sing various songs from the film. Here's a picture of Mary and Bert with the band. During one particular well-known song, there is even a visual aid. Later in the show, Mary enlists children to help. It was a lot of fun, and hopefully, Disneyland will start listing it in their Entertainment Guide.

September 10, 2006 - Disneyland fried chicken - Some people have asked about the difference between the fried chicken that's available at various locations in Disneyland. There used to be four places where you could get fried chicken in Disneyland, but River Belle Terrace and Club Buzz (fka Tomorrowland Terrace) no long offer fried chicken. When the topic of fried chicken comes up, there is inevitably the mention of Mrs. Knott's fried chicken dinner. Here's a vote for not going through the bother of trekking over to Knott's. I'm probably one of very few who thinks the Knott's fried chicken dinner is seriously overrated. I'd heard so much about it - and I've had it twice - and it was good, but certainly, imo, not worth the raving and "you have to go there" that I've heard posted on multiple Disney boards.

As far as the fried chicken at the resort itself, I prefer the French Market fried chicken. Their dish comes with fries and a side salad. You can also get it with beans and rice and instead, though I don't prefer it that way. Here's a picture. The fried chicken at French Market is a bit different than the fried chicken available at Plaza Inn. French Market's fried chicken is a little crispier, and the portion size is smaller, even though you still get three pieces in both places. At Plaza Inn, the breast piece in particular is much larger, but instead of french fries and salad, you get mashed potatoes and green beans, which are good as well. Here's a picture. Even though I like both, I've found that Plaza Inn's fried chicken can be a bit hit or miss, with the chicken sometimes too dry, but I've never had a problem with French Market's fried chicken. Plaza Inn's dish, though is probably more conducive to sharing since it's a very generous portion.

September 10, 2006 - DLR pin event - April 19, 2007 - There doesn't seem to be any sort of link to it from, but I found the link from another discussion board. The Disneyland Resort is apparently holding a pin event on April 19, 2007. Here's the link. There doesn't seem to be any further information, but you can register to get information emailed to you as its available.

September 4, 2006 - new five-foot Mickey figure in Disneyana - Anyone who's been in Disneyana will have seen the five-foot Mickey with his hand outstretched to greet all visitors. Here's a picture of him. Those have been selling for a number of years now, with an edition size of 100. Since they've now all sold out, the next figure in the collection has been released, and it's Bandleader Mickey. Here's a picture of him. The edition size for Bandleader Mickey is 50 with a price of $11,000. (Yes, CM and AP discounts do apply.) Shipping costs about $300, and the product is shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Bandleader Mickey arrived earlier this weekend. He'll be gone for about a week or so as he gets a base attached to him, and then he'll return. He also comes with a baton and a feather for his hat, but since they are easily damaged, they are not put out on display, but if you ask a cast member, they can take them out so you can see the completed figure. Here's a picture of him with his baton and feather. He's a really spectacular figure. Wouldn't it be great to have a house big enough so that when you enter, Bandleader Mickey greets you in the foyer? :)

September 3, 2006 - new Halloween themed antenna topper - They've released a new antenna topper for Halloween, and it's pretty cute. It's a Mickey bucket filled with candy. Here's a picture of the front of the topper. Here's a picture of the back of the topper. And here's a top view. The price has gone up as well - the topper is $5. The last topper we bought (the pirate one with the scarf and earring) was $4.

August 28, 2006 - 3 new big figs at Disneyland Resort - Three new big figs have shown up recently at the Disneyland Resort.

The redhead from Pirates is now available, a good companion piece if you have the auctioneer. Here's a picture of her.

There's also a new big fig of Sleeping Beauty playing with her woodland creatures. Here's a picture of that piece.

And there's a big fig of Mickey and Minnie dressed in their Halloween costumes for this year, which is on all of the Halloween-themed merchandise this year. Here's a picture.

August 27, 2006 - golden ear hat special offer - The Disneyland Resort currently has a new offer - from August 27 through September 30, you can purchase a gold ear hat for $5 plus tax with the purchase of $50 or more of merchandise at selected locations. For locations and more information, here's the link.

August 20, 2006 - Fullerton Character Warehouse Update - We made a trip to the Fullerton character warehouse last night, and they've got in a lot of new merchandise. We unfortunately walked out empty handed, but I thought others might be interested in some of what's available. Here's just a sampling:

infant Christmas ears - $.69

50th bandleader Mickey watch (brown band, gold face)
men - $16.49
women - $23.99

Shag jumbo pins
Main Street - $11.99
Adventureland - $13.49

50th castle line watch
men - $23.99
women - $41.49

Wittnauer 50th limited edition watches
men - $1,599.99
women - $1,499.99
(Yes, they're still very expensive, but these prices are about 50% off the regular price.)

Shag Frontierland purse - $39.99

gold sequined ears - $12.99

Haunted Mansion characters - various characters from $2.69 to $5.19
bride is $11.99

Hollywood Tower Hotel adult slippers - $2.99

Shag Frontierland shirt - $38.49

New Year's adult ears - $.79

magical milestone pins - about $8

Disneyland varsity wool jacket - $36.99 (This has been there for a while, but it's even cheaper now. I think I bought mine when it was about $55.)

50th tan sued jacket (upscale line) - $58.99

Happy shopping!

August 7, 2006 - "new" Dapper Dans - We were at Coke Corner for a while yesterday, and we were surprised to see the Dapper Dans come up and perform a show with the pianist. It was pretty cool. They weren't mic'ed at all, so it was nice to just be able to hear them. Here's a picture of them with the pianist. They even brought their own marquee.

August 7, 2006 - Nemo big fig at the resort - Sometime in the last two weeks, a Nemo big fig showed up at the resort. He's pretty cute. At Disneyana, they had him sitting right next to Ariel, and a friend commented that it made Ariel look tiny in comparison, but then, Nemo is not to scale....

July 31, 2006 - Aurora's Breakfast at Dawn - Precious Moments Event - October 7, 2006 - Quite a few Precious Moments events have been held at WDW, but they're apparently doing one for left-coasters. has information about a Precious Moments event on October 7, 2006. If you click on the link on the page, you'll get to more information about event packages, merchandise and product release info. Reservations will be taken starting August 14.

July 31, 2006 - Olszewski POTC piece to be released November 18, 2006 - doesn't have the info yet, but Olszewski Studios' official site's personal appearances page indicates that Pirates will be released on November 18, 2006. It also confirms that the piece will be released at the Disney Gallery (like Haunted Mansion was) whereas the Clothier Corner and Photo Corner pieces being released on September 23 will be at Disneyana. If you go to this link and then scroll down a bit, you'll see pictures of the Pirates piece, including the inserts and the top view of the "hidden room" and the inside of the Disney Gallery with the living room decorated as it had originally been designed as Walt and Lillian's apartment.

July 17, 2006 - Disneyland's 51st birthday - While Disneyland's 50th birthday was accompanied by much celebration, hoopla, pomp, circumstance and merchandise, its 51st birthday was understandably and expectedly more lo-key. Someone apparently decided to make their own modification in celebration of Disneyland's 51st birthday.

July 3, 2006 - Jack Sparrow walk-around character at Disneyland - In conjunction with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movie sequel and the newly-reopened, updated attraction, "Jack Sparrow" is now in New Orleans Square, walking around and doing formal meet-and-greet photo/autograph sessions. Here's a look at Jack Sparrow himself during a session. We had occasion to run into him later in the day crossing the bridge of the queue for Pirates. Jack's accent and manner of speaking is very much as he sounds in the films, and he definitely has the same swaggering walk. I expect that Jack is proving to be quite popular with the guests, and I would figure that Jack is having a great time himself.

July 3, 2006 - Ariel big fig - A big fig of Ariel the mermaid has finally made its way to Disneyland. Here's a picture of her sitting pretty inside Disneyana. It's interesting to note that she's a bit different than the version that was sold at WDW a few years ago. (Don't know if she's still being sold there now.) Here's a picture of the Ariel from WDW. And here's a side view of Ariel from WDW that better shows the side and back of the figure, which the DL big fig seems to duplicate. Apparently, they decided that the DL version needed to be glitterier...

June 25, 2006 - pirate Mickey antenna topper - There's a new pirate Mickey antenna topper, and it's incredibly cute. Here's a picture of the front and back. It's one of the most clever antenna toppers I've seen in a while!

May 29, 2006 - new Mickey big figs (Sorcerer, Pirate and Jedi) and Nicolai pieces - New big figs have shown up at the resort.

Here is the awesome new Sorcerer Mickey big fig. His red robe is flocked (smooth fuzzy, like the Evil Queen's robe), and his fingertips are sparkly, and there are LED lights on the mountain that sparkle as well. It's an absolutely gorgeous piece. It arrived at the resort on Friday, and as you can tell from the picture, it's already out of stock. Price is $150. I like Sorcerer Mickey but don't always collect his stuff, but I definitely want this one. The question is how many other people I'm going to be buying this piece for...

Here's video of the piece where you can see the lights twinkling, but it doesn't do justice to what it looks like in person.

The Pirate Mickey big fig has arrived as well. He is really cute, and the small lantern behind his left foot lights up. Price is $150. Gotta find room for him as well.

The Jedi Mickey big fig that was released at WDW has arrived at DL. His expression is better in person than in pictures, but the lightsabre blade is still ridiculously short. While this bit of merchandise would seem tailor-made for someone like me, I'm passing. He's $150 as well.

And for those who have been collecting the Larry Nicolai pieces (Adventureland and Main Street had been previously released), two more have been released in the collection - Fantasyland and Frontierland. Odd that the Fantasyland piece is actually created by someone else (Donna Miller?) but is part of the same collection. Nicolai is creating the last piece, Tomorrowland, himself, and speculation is that it will involve Donald and the subs, since the other 4 of the Fab 5 have already been represented on water attractions in the other non-Main-Street lands.

April 22, 2006 - Haunted Mansion Holiday is a go, but no event - Disney has put up a page confirming that Haunted Mansion Holiday will be up and running this year, but because of the festivities surrounding Pirates, there will be no event. But I'm sure that won't stop the constant "yes there will be HMH/no there won't be HMH" debates from continuing. Here's the link.

March 18, 2006 - Cinco de Mayo Disney style - Looking to add a little Disney to your Cinco de Mayo celebration? Well, Disney has released the perfect item for that. We saw the hat at the Gag Factory at Disneyland. I would expect it's around at other resort locations as well.

March 5, 2006 - Tomorrowland big fig, villains photo op and Mr. Potato Head accessories

1. A new Tomorrowland big fig was released last week which shows an amalgamation of Tomorrowland attractions, past and present. Here's a picture. You can't really see too well, but that's the Astro Orbiter in the back right, and on the building in the front right is a Star Tours vehicle. Various parts of the big fig (including the House of the Future) light up. I think the price was $195. Others seem to really love the big fig. Doesn't do that much for me, mostly because a mishmash isn't my thing.

2. We were in Fantasyland today and noticed that the area where the White Witch from Narnia used to be has been turned into a villains photo op, complete with a cool arch. Here's a picture when the Evil Queen was out. I love the detail on the supports. Here's a closeup of one of the supports, where you can better see Maleficent's raven, the face from the Magic Mirror, and the snakes and dragon.

3. I believe some of these accessories have been out for a while, but we saw them today and thought they were funny. Engine Ear Toys at DCA has parts you can buy for Mr. Potato Head. You can now dress him up as Ariel (really just the hair and the fin) or dress him up as Tinkerbell (hair, wings and shoes.

March 1, 2006 - Disneyland in Legos! - Someone on a Disney discussion board posted pictures of various parts of Disneyland that he (she?) has recreated with Legos. In-sane. Here's the link to the gallery page. This is my favorite.

February 22, 2006 - Pirates merchandise event - Disney is announcing that a Pirates merchandise event ("A Moonlit Voyage") will be held at the Disneyland Resort. No further information yet. Here's the link to the page.

February 22, 2006 - yet more new Mickey ears - Disney has a page that shows some of the Mickey ears hats that are available, including a REALLY BRIGHT ONE that will be released for Easter. Here's the link.

February 18, 2006 - Hook's Pointe breakfast - Hook's Pointe previously hosted breakfast service which was then moved to Granville's a couple of years ago. With Granville's under refurbishment for the next couple weeks, breakfast has temporarily returned to Hook's Pointe. We were at the resort early this Saturday so decided to stop in and try Hook's breakfast.

We arrived at about 9:19am. The restaurant was quite full, and there were some people waiting for a table, but we were seated quickly because there were several tables for 2 still available. We sat and perused the menu, and another server came by to let us know that our server would be delayed a few minutes as she was attending to other tables. The menu was almost identical to the breakfast that Hook's offered in 2003. Our server came over about 10 minutes later to take our order. I ordered an item that hadn't been previously offered, called the "Two Times Four" - two slices of French toast with two farm fresh eggs, any style, plus two strips of bacon and two sausages for $9.89. My husband ordered the Eggs Benedict.

We then sat and waited. And waited. And waited some more. I noticed our server at other tables, bringing their food and refilling their drinks, but she never came back to say anything to us. After we'd been waiting for quite some time, I got her attention and mentioned that we'd been waiting a long time, so she said she'd check on our food. She came back a little while later to say that one of our orders was up, and she was just waiting for the other one. And we waited some more. And I noticed that people seated at the two empty tables for 2 that we had passed on the way to our table had all received their food. The table of 2 which was seated next to us got the basket of baked goods that they had ordered, and we were still sitting there nursing our waters. At 10:15, almost an hour after we'd been seated, we finally got our food.

I had meant to take pictures of our food before we started eating, but we had waited so long that I forgot when the food arrived, so the pictures are of our breakfasts after they had been slightly nibbled on. Here's a picture of my french toast, eggs, bacon and sausage and here's a picture of my husband's eggs benedict. My food was quite tasty, with the french toast done particularly well. My husband liked his breakfast ok, though he said the hollandaise sauce had a slightly different taste that he couldn't pinpoint.

As we had been waiting for our food, we were paying attention to the rest of the restaurant to see if the long wait was attributable to our server or possibly to a slow kitchen. The other servers seemed to be doing fine with their tables, and based on other things we saw, it definitely seemed like the slow service was specific to our server. We ended up talking to the table of 2 seated next to us, who were aware that we'd been waiting a long time for our food, and when they made their orders with the same server as ours, they asked how long it would be before they got their food, and the server told them it would be a while, which we all thought was a fairly odd thing for a server to say. Sure enough, shortly before we left, they got their food, just about an hour after they'd been seated. I definitely liked what I had for breakfast, but the wait time was absolutely ridiculous. To our server's credit, she did comp the orange juice that my husband had ordered, but I don't know that the gesture entirely made up for the incredibly long wait we had. We definitely intend to try the breakfast again when it goes back to Granville's, but if you're planning to try it at Hook's, be forewarned that you may be in for a long wait.

February 12, 2006 - new AP design available for renewal only by mail or online - We got our AP renewal notices, and they have a new design that's only available if you renew by mail or online. We have the Tink one now, which I like, but I really like this new design because it's got Mickey! Here's a picture from the letter. Don't know how long it's been available or how long it will be available, but we're definitely getting that one for our renewal!

February 11, 2006 - more merchandise in the Kincade castle line - Someone on a discussion board is reporting that more merchandise (open edition) is soon to be released in the Thomas Kincade Sleeping Beauty Castle 50th painting line that will include coasters, a mouse pad, a decorative tray, note cards and more. The merchandise is supposed to be available at World of Disney, the Disney Gallery and Disneyana.

February 19, 2006 UPDATE: I saw the new Kincade stuff at Disneyana yesterday. The notecards are more than I really want (I really just want the notecards, but it comes with stationery and stickers), but it all comes in a very nice keepsake box, at a not-too-expensive price ($24), so I'll probably end up getting it as a nice souvenir. They also have a very pretty guest book sort of thing. I could see it being used very nicely for a wedding for guests to sign in.

February 11, 2006 - 50th bag promotion at the Disneyland Resort - The Disneyland Resort is currently running a promotion involving the 50th anniversary castle bag tote. You can buy the bag for $5(don't remember the regular retail price) with any merchandise purchase of $50 or more. The offer is valid at specific resort locations, and other restrictions apply. Here's the page with all the details.

It doesn't say how long the promotion lasts, just for "a limited time". It's the tote bag in the 50th castle line. There's a picture at the top of the page.

UPDATE: The demand was apparently so overwhelming in connection with this promotion that the offer was pulled after several days. The bag can still be purchased at the resort for its regular retail price.

February 5, 2006 - St. Patrick's antenna topper - A new antenna topper themed to St. Patrick's Day has been released at the Disneyland Resort. Here's a picture. I looked for a hidden Mickey among the gold coins but didn't find one.

February 5, 2006 - Valentine's Mickey ears - Disney seems to be on a roll releasing themed Mickey ears. They have a set for Valentine's this year which I find a bit odd but I guess others like. Here's what they look like.

January 29, 2006 - lunch at Catal (upstairs) - For lack of anywhere else to put this, we had lunch at Catal upstairs in November 2005 after hearing that they were actually serving lunch. Previously, lunch had only been served at the Uva Bar downstairs and Catal upstairs only served dinner. We enjoyed a nice lunch. Here's a picture of the rotisserie prime rib sandwich, and here's a picture of the fettuccine pasta. It's a bit of an expensive lunch, but if you're interested in splurging, it's well worth it.

January 29, 2006 - horses get 50th name tags too - Have you ever noticed that the horses who pull the carriages on Main Street have name tags too, just like all other Disney CMs? Well, they also got new 50th name tags too, but the name tags were made too big for the horses to actually wear. Instead, the name tags are placed inside the front of the carriage. Here's a picture of one of the name tags.

January 22, 2006 - "Monsters, Inc." dark ride at DCA - The dark ride themed to "Monsters, Inc.", called Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, is open at DCA. Being a fan of the movie and having Boo as one of my all-time favorite characters, I love the ride. Here's a picture of the current billboard after you enter the bag check from the Downtown Disney side, and here's a picture of the standee in the esplanade.

January 22, 2006 - River Belle barbeque chicken - We had lunch at River Belle a couple weeks ago, and I decided to try their barbeque chicken dish. I could never bring myself to try the barbeque at Rancho, so I haven't had barbeque in the park since Big Thunder Ranch BBQ closed. The barbeque chicken at River Belle was actually quite good. The flavor of the sauce was good, and the chicken was very tender. I didn't care for the baked beans that much, but then, I'm generally not all that fond of baked beans because I find them to be too sweet. I'm not a huge fan of cornbread either, but I thought the cornbread was ok here. My husband loves cornbread but he wasn't too keen on it here. All in all, I liked it a lot, and it's definitely something I'd have again. Here's a picture (because you know I have to have a picture taken of my food before I eat it...).

January 22, 2006 - Mickey and Minnie big fig - Another new big fig showed up a couple weeks ago, of Mickey and Minnie dressed in wedding attire, both standing on a base. Very cute. Here's a picture. Price is $175.

December 27, 2005 - New Year's Eve merchandise - In addition to a couple of pins, two other New Year's Eve items have been released at the resort.

First is a mini-plush of Mickey, dressed in a tux but with his bowtie undone. Mickey is wearing a party hat that says 2006 and that lights up when you press his left hand. He's holding a party favor in his right hand. There's a sunburst at the bottom of his left foot that says "Happy New Year 2006 Disneyland Resort". Price is $10. He's available throughout the resort. Here's a picture.

The other item is something I really like and don't think they've done before. It's a set of Mickey ears for the new year. It's black with gold ears. On the front in silver thread is "HAPPY NEW YEAR". Just below that in gold thread is "2006", with a gold silhouette of Mickey in the middle. The back is left empty and can be embroidered. Price is $12.50. I saw them in an adult size, but I don't know if it comes in a child size. Here's a picture. They're available throughout the resort.

December 27, 2005 - new big figs - Santa Stitch, Kermit and Tinkerbell - A few new big figs have been released at the Disneyland Resort. Released just before Christmas is Stitch dressed as Santa, with a bag of toys and holding an ornament. Here's the link. Price is $150.

Also recently released is a big fig of Kermit the Frog. There's a wind-up key that enables the figurine to play "Rainbow Connection". The fireflies behind Kermit also light up. Kermit is flocked so that he's fuzzy to the touch. Here's the link. Price is $150.

A new Tink big fig has also been released, with her kneeling inside a crown. Here's the link. I believe the price is also $150, but I'm not positive on that.

Big figs are generally available at Disneyana in Disneyland, Off the Page in DCA and at the World of Disney.

December 7, 2005 - gift with purchase pins for January - June 2006 - Information about the gift with purchase pins being given out for January - June 2006 has been released with little signs in the park. Here's a picture of the sign, and here's a close-up of the map/pins.

Here's the text on the sign:


Gift with Purchase Sunday will begin on January 8, 2006 and then the first Sunday of each month through June, 2006.

Receive a gift with purchase pin for every $20 incremental purchase (before taxes, after discount) on pins and/or pin accessories.

Gift with Purchase pins will be available at participating pin purchasing locations throughout the Resort, while supplies last.

Gift with Purchase pins will include:
Space Mountain Mickey
Soarin' Over California Daisy
California Screamin' Chip and Dale
Matterhorn Bobsleds Goofy
Splash Mountain Brer Rabbit
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Stitch

Gift with Purchase pins to be determined by Disney. The pins listed above are in no particular release order. Gift with Purchase maps will be available on the first Sunday in January. Maps and pins available while supplies last. Separate theme park admission required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

October 22, 2005 - cutie round plush at the DLR - Most people are probably familiar with the cutie line of merchandise that Disney has been releasing. Back in July of this year, Disney released round plush in the cutie line. These plush are very soft and not fuzzy like normal plush. They are also much more squishy than normal plush. We had first seen them in the Emporium at Disneyland, with plush of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Pluto. We bought a Pluto plush for someone who's a Pluto lover, and we were talking about what other characters would make good cutie round plush. I commented that I thought Chip and Dale would work really well because they could serve almost as bookends, and I casually said that if they ever made those, I'd have to get them. A couple of hours later, we were at the World of Disney, and from across the room, I saw them - Chip and Dale. They were so cute. Given what I'd said earlier, I of course had to buy them. Here's a picture of them. When we had bought the Pluto plush, I had also gotten an espresso cup from the Main Street Bakery just because I thought it was cute, and it had the new 50th design. The Pluto plush has a nubby on top of his head, and a friend (she knows who she is) thought it would be funny to put the cup on top of his head. Here's what that looks like. We'd noticed that they were out of stock of most of the round plush for some time, with Minnie really being the only one that was available. We've noticed recently that they got another shipment in because all the characters are available again. I couldn't help but take the opportunity to include Pluto in the 50th anniversary celebration when we saw him in the Emporium again. Here he is all decked out. Note the other roundy plush surrounding him. There's also a Stitch round plush, but he's more like regular plush in texture and density, except that he's round.

October 22, 2005 - "The Corpse Bride" t-shirts available at Le Bat En Rouge - For those who are interested, Le Bat En Rouge in New Orleans Square is now carrying 4 t-shirts from Tim Burton's latest movie, "The Corpse Bride". Here's one shirt, here's a second shirt, here's a third shirt, and here's a fourth shirt.

October 3, 2005 - French Market/HMH promotion (food and coin) - I was looking forward to seeing French Market's new HMH-related food promotion this year. Here are descriptions of the two new items. I don't get the connection between Lock, Shock and Barrell/trick or treat and sweet and sour. The dish didn't sound or look particularly interesting to me, so I was disappointed. I'd really enjoyed the chicken six feet under and bowl of bones from previous years. The husband had the lasagna and said it was ok but the vegetables were cooked beyond recognition.

Instead of a patch promotion this year, they have a coin promotion. It's still 13 weeks for 13 different coins. You get a coin for each single $30 purchase, after tax and discounts. The coin comes in a little plastic pouch, with a color picture on the front that has the mansion in the background left and Zero flying in front of it and Santa Jack on the right. It's got the "Nightmare" banner in orange at the top, with HMH in yellow right under that and "2005 Disneyland" at the bottom middle. The one side of the coin that will remain the same has HMH 2005 across the top, with the mansion to the left side and Santa Jack examining a snowflake in the middle and Disneyland at the bottom. This week's coin is of Jack, with "The Nightmare Before Christmas" across the top, Jack's name at the bottom, and a picture of Jack in front of the hill curl in the middle. I actually like the other side of the coin better. Here's a picture of the coin.

The French Market has also had a gingerbread house themed to HMH. The first two years, it was identical to the gingerbread house on the dining room table in the ballroom. Last year and this year, they've dispensed with that. This year's French Market piece, while nice, is actually quite uninspired, imo. Here's a picture.

October 1, 2005 - Haunted Mansion Holiday - We went on last night. Some people are complaining that Leota isn't floating for the holidays, but I prefer that. There's so much to see in that room anyway.

Changes that I noticed:

There seem to be more pumpkins outside with the scarecrow in the queue area, but he wasn't lit last night.

Did the knight next to Zero always have a pumpkin head? That seemed new to me, but I wouldn't swear to it.

My favorite part usually is seeing the new gingerbread house in the ballroom sequence, and this is my favorite of all. I can't even remember what the house itself looks like, but on the front is the wreath monster, moving arms and all, and one of the arms is picking up a slice of cake. That's where I want for the ride to go really slow next time, so I can get a better look of everything. We also have to go by the French Market to see what their gingerbread house looks like.

There are a stack of pumpkins in the attic that I don't remember seeing before.

Things from previous years that I like still having:

The creepy kids singing fa la la la at the end of the stretch room, especially if you're lucky enough to be there when it's quiet enough to hear them.

The band is still outside the first window in the changing portraits hallway.

Oogie is still there with his cymbals and as an ornament on the tree.

The library with the swirling books! I love that!

I forgot to look and see if the hitchhiking ghosts are still there. Will have to try to remember on Sunday.

September 18, 2005 - Disneyland October car giveaway - Disneyland is giving away a car (Honda Civic) a day in October. There's a display in the esplanade between DL and DCA that includes a smaller compared to the real one) model of Space Mountain which has a Honda Civic on either side. Next to the model is a video screen that shows video of various present and past attractions (I didn't sit through the whole cycle, so I don't know what the whole thing says), which means even though the Block Party Bash cone is gone, the esplanade is still a very loud place. Here's a picture of the sign. Here's a picture of the display. Here's a closeup of the "license plate" on the cars.

September 6, 2005 - new big figs at Disneyland - 2 new big figs recently showed up at Disneyland. We saw them on Sunday at Disneyana. Jessica Rabbit is absolutely gorgeous. Here's the picture of her. There's also the hatbox ghost from Haunted Mansion.Here's the picture of him. The translucency makes him really creepy looking. Both are priced at $150, and both are currently indicated as sold out at Disneyana, but that seems par for the course whenever a new big fig is released. I expect they'll be getting more stock soon.

July 3, 2005 - Mad Tea Party - Olszewski piece - FYI for anyone who was planning to get the Olszewski piece of the Mad Tea Party that's being released on July 16, the July 16 release date is only for attendees of the 50th event. Non-attendees of the event will be able to order the piece online through Apparently, there will be some kind of announcement posted there (don't know when) indicating a window of dates during which orders can be placed. Orders placed during that time will include the first day of release plaque, even though the pieces themselves won't be shipped until October, to the person's home. After that date, the piece will eventually be for sale at Disneyana, sans the plaque. This info is from a CM who works at Disneyana and who's been there for a while, as far as I remember, so I trust the information she gave.

I'm a bit surprised that this is being handled that way, and I'm figuring many people are going to be upset about it, but I thought I'd just get the info out there. Thanks.

July 3, 2005 - Space Mountain - A friend and I got there around 4pm on Friday. The posted wait time was 60 minutes, but we got through in about 45. The line seemed to move pretty well. I love Space. I miss Space. It was so cool to be able to ride it again. I'm not thrilled about the new song (it sounds kinda tongue-in-cheek "Mission Impossible"), but maybe it's just a matter of getting used to new music. I was always one of those who preferred Space without music because I like to hear the roar of a coaster, but the buildup on this is pretty cool, all the launch talk stuff as you're making your way to the top. I love the new effects at the end. When we got back to the loading station, we kept waiting for them to release the lap bar, but as we got moved further up, it never released. I started chanting "ride through, ride through", mostly kidding. Well, ask and you shall receive. They ended up letting us go on again, so we got two rides for the price of one! Woo hoo! That was awesome.

A little while later, my husband joined us, so we got in line again, around 6pm. It took a while longer this time because the ride went down twice while we were in line. Some people got out of line every time it was announced that it was down, but we stayed. When we finally got through the line after it came up again, my husband and I ended up getting front row! That was awesome. It's been so long since I was even in the front row. Even though I refer to it as the biggest blow dryer, I forget how much wind you actually get in your face.

I love having Space back up!

June 20, 2005 - Jedi Mickey at Disneyland! - Friends saw and bought it first and showed it to me. So of course I had to run and get one for myself...and a few to give to other people. Here he is.

He's available at Star Traders, in the back Star Wars section.

There was apparently a Darth Vader Mickey released at WDW as part of Star Wars weekends. It's also available for order on-line, though it won't ship until the fall. Here's the link for that.

May 1, 2005 - surprise visitor to DL on Sunday, May 1 - Well, not a surprise to Disney, but definitely a pleasant surprise to us. We were wandering around New Orleans Square in the afternoon and noticed that they had some kind of set-up on the balcony of the Disney Gallery, where they have the Fantasmic dessert buffet. There was a camera and lights and reflectors and stuff, all around a man sitting in a chair with his back to the river. I thought he looked kind of familiar but dismissed the notion. Then we looked a bit more, and sure enough, it was him. Here's a wider picture. And here's a closer picture.

Cool, huh?

May 1, 2005 - new DL 50th anniversary antenna topper - The new DL 50th anniversary antenna topper has arrived at the resort. It's apparently very similar to the one released at WDW. I think it's a little obtrusive, but we bought one anyway just to have one. Here's a link to the picture.

March 26, 2005 - busy weekend for Easter - I've heard it was really crowded on Good Friday, and it was pretty crowded today as well. We got to the esplanade just around 8am, and the lines closer to the Downtown Disney side were about 3/4 the way into the esplanade toward DCA. We walked to the lines on the other side and found a line that was considerably shorter, though it still probably took us about 10 minutes to get in. After doing some shopping and taking some purchases back to the car, we got in line at about 9:20 to go back into Disneyland - and the lines were still protruding into the esplanade. Yes, it was really crowded, but they still didn't have all the entry turnstiles open. I hope Disney figures this out really fast, because as the 50th approaches, it's going to be like this a lot, and having all the entrance turnstiles open is really going to help. At this point, people were also lining up for DCA, so some of the DL lines and DCA lines were close to merging.

Navigating the park was already fairly difficult. Trying to exit Tomorrowland into the hub via the walkway right next to Star Tours was challenging. We did notice that the Fastpass return time for Buzz was only about an hour though that early in the morning, but the standby was at about 35 minutes. As we walked past Main Street at about 10:30, we could see the throngs of people jamming Main Street as they made their way into the park. You know Disney figured on a large crowd, because they had a CM handler accompanying the horse carriages, making sure people were out of the way so they wouldn't get run over by the horse.

As we walked by Alice later in the morning, that line was running pretty much parallel to the Matterhorn line across the walkway. The Alice line didn't quite reach to where the restrooms in the castle are, but it was pretty close to it. We walked by Coke Corner at about 11:00 and noticed people gathered around so went to see what was up. Coke Corner wasn't open yet and the piano's been moved to Plaza Pavilion, so a crowd made no sense. Turns out they were doing some kind of photo shoot in the interior Coke Corner seating area. As best we could tell, they were just shooting regular pictures, with various tourists sitting in particular places. As we left the park for the day at about 11:45, we noticed that the lines for DL and DCA were still threatening to merge.

I expect the crowds to be fairly large on Sunday too, so we're figuring on not doing too many rides. Note to whom it may concern - traveling with someone in a wheelchair or a stroller is probably going to be difficult, so make sure to be patient and others should note to be careful of them and not cut them off as well.

March 16, 2005 - gold Mickey ears now available at Disneyland - It's been mentioned on two Disney discussion boards that the new gold Mickey ears are now available for sale at Disneyland.

March 14, 2005 - talking trashcans and magical princesses - OK, so they're completely unrelated things, but rather than make two separate entries, I thought I'd cover both stories in one.

1. I vaguely remember having read/heard about a talking trashcan at DL, but I really hadn't paid much attention, so I didn't know much about it. We did, however, have the pleasure of meeting the trashcan in Tomorrowland on Sunday. My husband and I were in Store Command (the renamed store at the exit of the Buzz ride that used to be called the Premiere Shop), and as we were walking out, my husband made a comment about the talking trashcan having just left. When we walked outside, we saw a crowd of people so we went closer and noticed them gathered around a trashcan, which was indeed talking to people and wheeling itself around.

At one point, it wheeled up to my husband and said hi. It said its name was "Push" and asked for my husband's name. Then it asked my husband to do a couple of things, which ended up turning into the motions of "YMCA", and the trashcan proceeded to play the song. After that, the trashcan asked for a hug, so my husband obliged. I didn't have the camera out, so I wish I'd been able to get a picture of my husband hugging a trashcan. It was a lot of fun. When the trashcan asked my husband where he lived, he passed along my flip answer of "here", and the trashcan said, "Wow, you live in Tomorrowland? Well, welcome home!" The trashcan then turned to me and said, "And who's this?" My husband said, "My wife." The trashcan then asked me for a hug, and I politely declined. Then the trashcan turned back to my husband and said his name in a whiny voice (you know - making it really long and multi-syllabled when his name is only one syllable) followed by "She won't hug meeeeeeeee." It was absolutely hysterical.

We then said goodbye as we had to go back and meet some friends, and the trashcan decided it was going to follow us. "Where are we going?" it asked. We were headed to the Star Trader, but there happened to be a trashcan and recycle bin on the way, so my husband said that we were going to visit some more of his friends. (The talking trashcan looked just like a Tomorrowland trashcan. My husband said that when a kid pushed one of the swinging panels open to stick his head in and look inside, my husband could see that it was actually lined with a trash bag and that people had actually thrown trash into it. Unlike regular trashcans, though, this trashcan apparently asked the kid if it could have his hat...) The trashcan commented that it was a recycling bin, and my husband said that there was a trashcan right next to it. The trashcan said that it looked like his girlfriend. At one point as the trashcan was wheeling, it must have hit a little pothole of sorts in the floor because it bounced a bit more heavily, and the trashcan said, "Ouch". We met up with our friends and told them about what had happened, so we brought them back to see it. The trashcan greeted my husband by name and said, "Oh, you're back." We stood and watched as the trashcan played with other people, and it was really fun to watch. We also looked around for the trashcan's "helper" but we didn't spot him in the time that we were there.

I don't know how often it's out or whether there are other ones in other lands (given that this one is themed to Tomorrowland, it would be weird for it to be wandering in another land), but it's definitely something to look out for.

2. We were in the Carnation Plaza Gardens area to say hi to some friends, and the Princess cavalcade/celebration thing at the hub had just ended, so the various princesses were taking their spots for the meet and greet. As we walked by the castle area near the entrance to Fantasyland, we noticed Belle with two little girls. They must have been about 4 or 5 years old. Belle had crouched down so that she was at eye-level with them, and she was speaking to them as they were listening very intently. Then Belle stood up and twirled in her ballgown and then helped twirl each little girl as well. She then went back down to talk to them some more, and again, they were mesmerized by her. One of them must have asked about Jasmine because we heard Belle say something about how she lives in Agrabah. After a hug and a picture, the little girls went back to their parents. This is the kind of thing I love to see at Disneyland. Just the adoration and absolute sincerity when little kids meet a character. You know those two little girls are going to remember this for quite some time.

March 13, 2005 - Indy hat antenna topper - We noticed today that there's a new antenna topper that's Indy's hat with the words "Indiana Jones" written on it. I think it's been at WDW for a while, but I don't know how long it's been at DL. It's available at the Indy outpost in Adventureland. Here's a picture of the Indy hat topper.

March 11, 2005 - Disney announces no HMH event in 2005 - has a notice here that there won't be an event for Haunted Mansion Holiday this year. Note that it doesn't say there won't be HMH this year - just not the event, which had been expected anyway, but now it's official.

And yes, they do still need someone to check their stuff so that extraneous extra words don't appear in their announcements.

March 7, 2005 - more on Buzz Lightyear ride - Many people are noting the differences between DL's Buzz ride and WDW's Buzz ride. I couldn't begin to tell you the differences because I went on the one in Florida once in late 1999. I vaguely remembered about the guns. I didn't remember the Buzz AA in Florida. As I've read it posted, DL's Buzz ride is much more like Toyko's Buzz than Florida's Buzz.

On Sunday, we got to Buzz at about 11am, and the standby was about 20 minutes. We got Fastpasses, with a return time from noon to 1pm. Later in the day, after friends had gone on the ride, we noticed at about 2pm that the standby was about 30 minutes, with the Fastpass return time being about 5pm.

When we went on the ride, I paid a little more attention to the story, though I was also trying to shoot a few things and take a few pictures. This time, I got what happened at the end, and I thought that was a cool way to end the story. I took a picture of the receipt, which I thought was really funny, but unfortunately, it came out really blurry, so no go.

And you can't hold down the trigger on the gun. You have to keep pushing it to shoot the gun.

Oh, and here's the sign currently outside the attraction.

March 5, 2005 - Emporium book shop and toy store have reopened - It opened on Friday morning. It was funny to walk by on Thursday and see the walls up and not be able to go into the store (a friend had wanted to shop in there, so we had to look for stuff elsewhere), and then on Friday, it's open for business.

It's pretty nice in there. They've changed the fixtures a lot, as well as the merchandise in the toy store and the book store. They moved the register in the book store from the corner to where the entrance is, near the watch shop. There are all kinds of different shelving in there, as well as in the toy store, where instead of the register being in the middle, they've moved it next to the wall by the jewelry store. The mound of plush at the entrance has also been moved. There are two stands at the front (with little railings so that the plush doesn't fall off, which I thought was cute) with some plush in it, but the majority are in new shelving at the very back of the store. We noticed that everything in the book store and toy store was very bright and shiny. Don't know if it was just cleaned really well or painted really well, but all very pretty.

March 5, 2005 - Buzz was open on Friday, March 4 - We got to Buzz last night at about 9:45 and joined the line then. The line seemed really long because it was winding a lot through Ariel's Grotto area, but the line kept moving, so it was only a 20 minute wait. I love the theming inside the queue, and the Buzz Lightyear AA is absolutely awesome! I might wanna just hang around in there a while and watch that. He's really joint articulated.

I enjoyed the ride in general. The only part I find frustrating (I remember having that problem in Florida too) is figuring out which laser light is yours. The cars are REALLY close together, so there are a bazillion lights everywhere. I had a hard time figuring out when I hit something and when I didn't. I like the new guns though, since you can take them out of their holsters. We had remembered that in Florida, they bolted down, and you just swivel them.

However, I pretty much spent my entire time on the ride shooting at stuff, so I really wasn't paying attention to the attraction itself. I think on my next ride, I'm not gonna shoot stuff - just look at the ride.

I'm waiting for the people to start a class-action lawsuit against Disney for carpal tunnel. You're pretty much shooting the entire time, and after the ride was over, I could feel it in my arm/hand.

But everyone seemed to have a great time. This is going to be a *very* popular attraction.

I didn't remember this from Florida, but apparently, there's a camera somewhere on the ride. When you exit, there are kiosks where you can scroll through various screen captures to look for your picture. Once you find it, you can email it to someone, including yourself. We did that and sent the picture to two addresses, but neither seems to have come through, so I don't know if that isn't working, or something happened.

March 4, 2005 - awesome Disney presents - I'm not including this entry just to make an announcement, but I just had to share (because I was behaving like a four year old). Today (Friday) happens to be my birthday, and we went to the Indy event yesterday (Thursday). By the time we got home, it was past midnight, and it was time to start working on the report coverage. I told my husband that I was going to go upstairs to change into something more comfortable before I got started, and he asked me if I wanted my birthday present. So I said OK.

So what did he get me for my birthday? A while ago, I had been looking for flannel pajamas and had seem some at Disneyland that I really liked, with the design of various characters in different teacups, in a top, a bottom and a woman's night shirt, but they were more expensive than I had expected, so I didn't buy them. He got me the top and bottom set! They are *SOOOOOOOO* cute, and I was so happy. So I changed into them, and that's what I've been wearing all night as I've been writing the report, occasionally stopping to look at Mickey & Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald & Daisy in their respective tea cups having a great time.

Here's a picture of the design of the fabric.

Now that the report is done, time to finish posting it and then I'm going to bed in my new jammies.

Awesome presents are ... well ... AWESOME!

February 6, 2005 - new antenna toppers - Two new antenna toppers at the DLR. One topper is themed for St. Patrick's Day, and one is themed for Easter.

January 22, 2005 - AP-only entrances at DCA - When I went to DCA today, I was directly to one of two lines that were designated as being for annual passholders only. The CM said they had been doing this starting this week and were testing for the moment, and that DL wasn't doing it. I like the idea of an AP-only entrance, but more along the lines of what Sea World has, where it's an extra option, but you can also use the main entrances. The way it's running at DCA at the moment, it's not an option - it's a requirement. You *have* to go through only those lines, at least at the main entrance. That's not a perk - that's being segregated, and on days where there's a lot of APs in the park, it'll take longer for APs to get in than anyone else. I hope they adjust the system to do it the right way.

January 22, 2005 - gold Mickey ears on sale in March - They will be selling gold Mickey ears in the park starting in March. (And yes, I asked for and received permission to post this.) The whole thing is gold, with the 50th logo and bandleader Mickey in white/gold in front. Really cute. I've never bought mouse ears before, but I'm definitely getting one of these. (The ones used for the Rose Parade were spray painted.)

December 19, 2004 - Valentine's Day comes to Disneyland - Saw some Valentine's mini beanbag plush merchandise at Disneyland today. Not even Christmas yet, and they already have Valentine's stuff? A little early, no? Or do I just forget every year that Valentine's stuff shows up so early? Anyway, they had a few of the Pooh characters, and Stitch in a fluffy red heart with an arrow through, and Minnie in a heart-shaped pillow (I think), but the really cute one, I thought, was Mickey in a heart-shaped box of chocolate. He's holding red roses in one hand and in the other, a heart-shaped pillow that says "Happy Valentine's Day 2005". His left foot has a heart-shaped metal tag that's dated 2005. Here's a picture.

November 21, 2004 - a few notes - Someone had reported on a discussion forum that the Briar Patch in Critter Country had re-opened. We popped by today to take a look. It's basically a hat store, and it's the same size, so there's not a lot of room to maneuver in there, but it's nice that it's open again.

Rancho Del Zocalo has made their menu change, taking out the barbeque items and changing the Mexican items offered. The items sounded interesting, and it's something I'd definitely like to try in the future.

Stagedoor Cafe has also changed their menu, which is now pretty identical to the menu at Strips, Chips and Dips in DCA. They've got chicken strips, fish, and mozzarella. We ended up having that for dinner tonight. The chicken and fish were good. The cheese was ok but not great. We wouldn't order that again.

November 1, 2004 - Disneyland recipes - Found out something nifty tonight that I don't remember having read about so thought I'd mention it: a friend of mine really likes the mint juleps at Disneyland, and I mentioned that they used to sell concentrated mix there for it, but I wasn't sure if they still did. Asked a CM, and sure enough, we were told that the distributor no longer sold it, but the CM said that we could get the recipe at City Hall. Cool. So later in the evening, we stopped into City Hall, and I relayed the story to the CM there. She pulled out a binder that said "recipes" on the front, looked through it, and pulled out a copy of the mint julep recipe. I was intrigued as to what else was in there, so she let me look. They had, among other things, recipes for various dishes at the Blue Bayou, the fusilli at Pizza Port, the cole slaw at Plaza Inn, a dish from Casa Mex (sniff), and various sauces from Bengal Barbeque. They were divided into starters, entrees, desserts and miscellaneous. If there were extra copies in the binder, she pulled one out and handed it to us. If there hadn't been extra copies, she would have had to go make a photocopy for us.

Pretty spiffy!

October 31, 2004 - Indy ride and Haunted Mansion Holiday - Just some things we noticed Thursday night.

The new snake on Indy is really spiffy. It looks much more real, less blocky, and its hood is bigger and more rounded. It also moves a bit more right before it attacks. I ended up being the driver last night, which I haven't been in quite some time. I love looking at the snake - from the far left side of the car, that is.

Also, when we got to Indy hanging from a rope, I always remembered backing up a bit before we ducked under the boulder. Didn't back up Thursday night.

We haven't been on HMH since the special event, and we noticed a few subtle changes last night. Oogie Boogie no longer talks at the end of the sequence in the stretch room. You can hear the creepy kids singing again. I really like this way better because I like being able to hear them. They've also taken Oogie out of the end, where Sally is sitting in Little Leota's place. They had still had Oogie instead of Jack's voiceover, but Jack's back.

And I noticed something I haven't seen before so don't know if it's been there the last few years. In the attic, right after you see Oogie clashing his symbols, there's a little monkey near him dressed in a bride's outfit with a bouquet. Really weird and funny. I'll have to remember to look and get a better view next time.

I went on the ride again on Sunday night, and based on something someone said on a discussion forum, I did notice the Halloweentown band (I think that's who they are) in the portrait gallery and the hitchhiking ghosts in the ballroom scene. I'm glad the hitchhiking ghosts are still there. I was kinda sad that they'd been displaced by Oogie Boogie in the final scene, so nice to see that they're still around there somewhere.

Oh, and New Orleans Square has gotten most of their Christmas decorations.

October 9, 2004 - Holiday 2004 AP newsletter - We got our newsletter today (it's done in calendar format), and here are some highlights.

If you want to get a 50th anniversary commemorative brick in the "Walk of Magical Memories" (esplanade), APs get a $50 discount off the regular price ($150) through December 31, 2004. The brick features a brass-toned medallion with the 50th anniversary logo.

Get a free trick-or-treat bag featuring characters from "The Incredibles" between October 19 and November 5 at either the Bank of Main Street in Disneyland, at the Guest Relations lobby in DCA or at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney. (One bag per passholder, valid AP must be presented, while supplies last.)

The last in the AP Disney Dining series pins will be released on November 7 and will be of the Town Square Cafe.

The merchandising card I previously mentioned can carry any amount between $5 and $1,500 and can be recharged.

For November 22, the entry says, "See the beginning of Sleeping Beauty Castle's magical transformation today!"

Holiday "Bring-A-Friend" Ticket - From December 1 through 18, APs can purchase 1-day DLR park hopper tickets for friends and family for the same price as a 1 day, 1 park ticket. Available at all Main Entrance ticket booths when you show your valid AP. Limit of 5 tickets per person per day. Admission must occur on same day of purchase.

Jazz up your holidays with gingerbread house workshops. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen's 2nd annual gingerbread house-building workshops. For $45 per party of 2 ($10 for each additional person), you'll receive building supplies, refreshments, jingle bell, t-shirt, and a photo of Santa. Special AP workshops will be held on December 15 and 16, with additional workshops for general public on December 11, 12, 18 and 19. All workshops are from 1-3pm. For reservations, call (714) 776-5200.

Creative scrapbooking - World of Disney is now hosting scrapbooking demonstrations, Friday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Learn how to add that Disney touch to your scrapbooks as you capture memories to last a lifetime.

There will apparently be another Disneyland Resort float in this year's Rose Parade.

January 2, 2005 - Last day for holiday fun at the Disneyland Resort.

"Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations" on display through February 22.

October 8, 2004 - Coming soon: Disneyland Resort gift cards - We saw signs at various locations in the park tonight. They're going to be offering Disneyland Resort gift cards, like the ones you can get at department stores and at some malls. The sign says they'll be available in the fall, and the cast member we talked to said he was told November. They didn't have any other details. Seems like a more high-tech version of the Disney Dollars.

October 8, 2004 - new Adora Belle doll - HTH bellhop - December 4, 2004 - For those into the Marie Osmond Adora Belle dolls, they're releasing a new one in December. The Adora Belle Hollywood Tower Hotel bellhop hostess pin trader doll is being released on Saturday, December 4, 2004, and Marie Osmond will be there for a "meet and greet" from 10am to 1pm in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot at DCA. The standee said that there would be no signing at this event, and then there's much smaller print further down that buying a doll doesn't guarantee getting a signed one, and that there are limited quantities of signed ones available. From what little I've been paying attention to these things, I thought she signed the dolls during her meet and greet? Maybe this time, she's pre-signing them?

October 3, 2004 - update regarding Haunted Mansion Holiday related entrees at French Market - We had lunch at French Market today and among our group tried both new entrees, both of which come with a side salad but none of the signs say that. What is it with Disney doing this? Anyway, the ribs were pretty good, the chicken was just so-so, and the pasta was good but was a fairly large portion. They actually put the food in a plastic bowl that then sits on the Zero dog dish, but it's fairly difficult to eat out of the bowl, especially the Bowl o' Bones, as the french fries are on the bottom, and then the chicken legs are put on top and then the ribs put on top of that, so for those who don't necessarily want to eat the different items from top to bottom, I'd recommend asking for a separate plate so you can rearrange the contents. The bowl is pretty cute, nice black plastic with "ZERO" written in caps in white, 2 black-and-white pictures of Zero, 2 black-and-white pictures of candy canes and 2 black-and-white pictures of skull and crossbones. The bowl also comes with a rubber non-skid ring around the bottom. The bowl comes free with the two featured entrees. If you purchase a different entree, you can purchase the bowl for $2.99. If you just want to purchase the bowl itself, the price is $5.99.

They are also apparently running the patch promotion again, though I don't remember seeing/hearing anything about it beforehand anywhere. For each purchase of $25 or more (before tax and after discounts) at French Market, you receive a special HMH patch. The promotion started this week and runs for 13 weeks, with a different patch each week. The patch for this week is Zero, who is holding a candy cane in his mouth and is floating in front of the mansion. The bottom of the patch reads "2004 Haunted Mansion Holiday Disneyland Park". It's quite cute.

There's also a souvenir mug available at French Market (I'm not sure if it's available elsewhere as well). It's kind of teal, and the picture is Zero, with a string of holiday lights in his mouth, decorating his nearby doghouse in the cemetery. The "Nightmare Before Christmas" banner is at the top, with "Haunted Mansion Holiday" underneath that. The bottom says "Disneyland Park 2004". It is a really cute mug, one that Zero fans will especially love.

October 1, 2004 - Haunted Mansion Holiday related entrees at French Market - French Market has customarily had an entree and some desserts themed with Haunted Mansion Holiday. They didn't bring back the Chicken Six Feet Under this year. Here are the new entrees:

Sally's Eye of Newt Marinara $11.99
vegetable baked pasta with peppers and marinara sauce served in a souvenir Zero dog dish

Zero Bowl o' Bones $12.99
barbeque pork ribs and chicken legs served with steak fries in a souvenir Zero dog dish

I also noticed that this is the first year when the gingerbread sculpture in the serving line doesn't match the gingerbread sculpture on the dining table in the ballroom of HMH. Curious...

September 19, 2004 - New big fig info - Two new big figs recently arrived at the resort, and they are AWESOME!

Splash Mountain fountain. It pretty much looks like the front of Splash, where the main drop is, with the tree trunk and roots at the top. The water comes down the little drop area and also comes down and turns the wheel on the side, like on the ride. At the bottom of the drop is the briar patch. The piece is multi-level, with Brer Bear at the bottom to the left, fishing with his pole. He's kept on by way of a magnet. Next to him is a barrel, which is also kept on by way of a magnet. On the next level, to the right, is Brer Fox, with a fishing net. He's kept on by way of two pegs. On the next level up is Brer Rabbit just relaxing, and he's kept on by way of a magnet. There are other structures like shacks and windows around the side and back of the piece. There's a power cord, which presumably drives the motor for the fountain. The base has "Splash Mountain" on it in the signature script. Cost is $150.

Evil Queen (from Snow White). She's in her famous pose, holding the huntsman's box. The box does open, with a knife that keeps it closed and is removable. A word of caution that a CM passed along - for some reason, when you open the big fig box, if you try to take her out, it breaks the knife. The trick is that once you take off the styrofoam, remove the knife before you remove the queen. We don't know what breaks the knife, but we're figuring that removing the queen jostles the huntsman's box, which is what in turn breaks the knife, since the CM said that the knife is pretty fragile. Her cape feels velvety, and the rope/sash on her costume is real, with two tassles at the ends. The base says "Evil Queen". Cost is $130. Here's a picture of her, and here's a close-up of her.

They also just got yet another new big fig in. We saw it at World of Disney and Off the Page in DCA. It's Sally and Doctor Finklestein and Igor. The top of the doctor's head flips up to reveal his brain. Cost is $125. Here's a picture of it.

Happy shopping!

September 13, 2004 - picnic area - no more access to restrooms - We noticed a few weeks ago that the thruway to the restrooms from the picnic area has been blocked off. It wasn't one of those temporary "we're just not open yet" ones. It looked like it was pretty permanent and not going to open any time soon. There used to be a little maze of sorts set up there with a security guard. They didn't do bag check there so you could only go through if you didn't have any bags with you. It seemed like a good compromise so that people in the picnic area could just go and use the restroom. When they first moved the bag checks away from the turnstiles, the entire picnic area was within the bag check zone, so people would have to have their coolers and stuff checked before they could put it in a locker, which also meant no knives or other sharp objects would be allowed. When they put the picnic area back outside the bag check zone, then people could go back to bringing knives if they needed it for whatever food they were bringing. Well, now, unfortunately, the only way to get from the picnic area to the restrooms is to go through the regular bag checks like everyone else, which is somewhat of a hassle and can be a wait if there are lot of other people there. I don't know how often that little thruway was being used. The times I was there, there didn't seem to be a lot of traffic. Maybe that's why they closed it. But for those who use the picnic area, making a restroom run is going to involve a bit more travel and wait time now...

August 22, 2004 - Downtown Disney's newest tenant is Club Libby Lu - The location in Downtown Disney that used to house Petals has walls in front of it and a big sign announcing the "coming soon" arrival of Club Libby Lu, and as you can see, the sign on the wall is as pink as the website. The princesses are invading Downtown Disney...

August 22, 2004 - We made our annual visit to the breakfast at Storytellers Cafe recently and were pleased to discover that the breakfast was just as good as in previous years, and they are still making new buttons every year to commemorate the visit. Here's the 2004 souvenir button.

August 1, 2004 - If it's August 1, it must be Halloween. Halloween stuff has arrived at the resort, though I don't know when they actually arrived - we just noticed them today. They have a new antenna ball - regular black Mickey head ball, but he's got black wings outlined in orange on one side and a face (eyes, nose and smiling mouth) painted in orange on the other side, complete with two fangs.

They also have a couple of beanies out - one of Mickey and one of Minnie. The Mickey one has him dressed in a black tuxedo (pants, vest, white shirt and bowtie) with a cape that's black on the outside and red on the inside. In one hand, he's holding an orange bag that says "Trick or Treat" on one side and "Happy Halloween 2004 Disneyland Resort" on the other side. In the other hand, he's holding a lantern, and if you push the bottom, it lights up, blinking a few times before it goes off. Mickey has pointed vampire eyebrows. Oh, and he's got two little white fangs sticking out of his mouth. I love that part! On the bottom of his left foot, he has a metal tag in the shape of a bat that says "Happy Halloween 2004 Disneyland Resort". Price is $10. I don't buy that many beanies anymore, but I loved this one, so we picked one up. The Minnie beanie is dressed as a witch and also has the trick or treat bag, but in her other hand, she's holding a broomstick. She's cute but didn't catch my fancy enough to buy one.

Happy Halloween!

April 18, 2004 - The signage is up on the newly-opened Tortilla Jo's restaurant. Here's the main sign over the front door of the dining room area, and here's the sign in the cantina area.

Here are the posted hours:

hours of operation
Sun-Thu 11am - 10pm
Fri-Sat 11am - 11pm

Sun-Thu 11am - 11pm
Fri-Sat 11am - 1am

daily 3pm - 1am

January 26, 2004 - Here are pictures of the float being displayed at DCA.

December 30, 2003 - The Walt Disney Company will have an entry in the 2004 Rose Parade which depicts the new Tower of Terror attraction currently being built at Disney's California Adventure. LaughingPlace is reporting that the float will be on display at DCA from January 2nd through 20th. They have some pictures of the float being worked on at this link.

December 16, 2003 - Jamba Juice in Downtown Disney - Employees were in the store this evening. The sign taped to the glass said that they were in training and that the Grand Opening is on Wednesday, December 17, 2003.

December 15, 2003 - Tortilla Jo's in Downtown Disney - The newest restaurant in the Patina Group of restaurants is scheduled to open in Downtown Disney in March of 2004. The familiar green walls have been put up around the old Y Arriba Y Arriba building in preparation for transformation into Tortilla Jo's. No actual work on the outside has started yet though. Here's a picture of the building with the walls, and here's a picture of the sign on the walls announcing Tortilla Jo's.

December 15, 2003 - Jamba Juice in Downtown Disney - The green walls around the storefront are gone, and the place looks about ready to go. It looks like they're just stocking up, so maybe they'll be up and open for business very soon.



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Last updated February 20, 2008.