Showing posts with label Rides & Attractions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rides & Attractions. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2019

Happy 49th to Me as I Spend the Day at the Happiest Place on Earth!

My 49th at Disneyland

Living in the midwest, but heading Down Under, means that I had to fly west before I could fly to the Southern Hemisphere. With a nearly 16 hour flight, I didn't want to have the 5 additional hours to get to LA be shortly before hopping on the next plane, so a stopover was called for. Departing for Australia the day after my birthday meant that I really didn't want to also be flying on my birthday, but would much rather spend the day doing something I wanted to do and hadn't been able to do in decades...visit the park that started it all...Disneyland. So I flew to LA two nights early and spent the night of the 3rd in Anaheim across the street from the park. With this trip, I will finally get to experience the park's newest land, which opened back in June...Galaxy's Edge, the new Star Wars addition. I'm pretty excited about it, and can't wait to get back inside my beloved Disneyland. 

As a kid, I always began my day in the park in this space, and then worked my way around. Today I'm headed to a whole new world to start my grand circle tour of this amazing place. Going to get my Han Solo fix and see the Millennium Falcon first.

Single Rider plus right at opening means on the second flight of the morning! That was an awesome experience. I will be doing this one again later!

I've popped across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure and am now just hanging out with my favorite visionary dreamer and the Mouse. I love how this statue is accessible and makes for a great photo spot, unlike the more famous Partners statue in the hub over at Disneyland which is in the center of a large planter and completely inaccessible to guests. I got a similar photo to this one though when we got to visit the Walt Disney Studios for an awesome tour a couple of years ago, as the Partners statue found there is completely accessible in the Courtyard, just as this Dreamers statue is at DCA.


Some people probably wonder how someone could go to a "family" place like Disneyland alone. Well one of the best parts of being solo, is I get to do things that my family doesn't like to do! I LOVE Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, and they don't. I've enjoyed it TWICE today...with a Dole Whip each time! AND, it never gets old. I love this show. 😀


Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday, but The Haunted Mansion IS my all-time favorite attraction in the park. So I'm going to declare that this is a Haunted Mansion-themed slice of birthday cake, and not a Halloween one. Since this is my day, I can make that declaration. 😎
(Tomorrow it'll go back to being the other thing for anyone who enjoys it 😅)


It's been such a great way to spend my 49th birthday. I got to be in a place that I love, chat on the phone with people that I love, and just do anything that I wanted going at the pace that I wanted. I couldn't have asked for anything better.




Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday - Walt Disney World 1992


It's FLASHBACK FRIDAY! 

Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, I didn't get to go to Walt Disney World as a youth. My playground was Walt's original Magic Kingdom - Disneyland.  But when I turned 21 I did get to visit Walt Disney World, and have been back many times since then.  
Here's a look at the entrance to Space Mountain and the Tomorrowland Station of the Skyway in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom from October 1992.  Sadly the Skyway closed in 1999, but Space Mountain lives on!   Check out the part of the sign with the rocket ship flying downward.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Flashback Friday - Disneyland 1993


It's FLASHBACK FRIDAY! 

Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was a popular destination for our family.  Sometimes we were there just the four of us, other times with extended family members.  Oftentimes my brother and I would get to go for school or church incentives, or as awards for a successful sports season with the teams we played on.  Trips with friends, or friends families were often the case as well, and as we became teenagers, the park was a popular destination to hang out.
  
Here's a look at The Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square in 1993.  At that time the Pet Cemetery was brand-new, having recently been added to the queue area in front of the Mansion.  For years Cast Members had enjoyed the sight of this little creative touch in a back-stage area of the park not readily visible to guests - though sharp, eagle-eyed guests could spot it if turning their heads to the left immediately upon exiting the attraction, but finally the Imagineers decided to relocate it for all guests to be able to see and enjoy it.  Similar to the Disneyland version, a Pet Cemetery later appeared at the Walt Disney World version of the famed attraction in the '90s.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday - Disneyland 1978


It's FLASHBACK FRIDAY! 

Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was a popular destination for our family.  Sometimes we were there just the four of us, other times with extended family members.  Oftentimes my brother and I would get to go for school or church incentives, or as awards for a successful sports season with the teams we played on.  Trips with friends, or friends' families were often the case as well, and as we became teenagers, the park was a popular destination to hang out.
  
Here's a look at Tomorrowland from April 1978.  The shot itself is a bit blurry, but it's of Sam the Eagle, host of America Sings, an all-audio animatronics show celebrating America's music, which originally opened in 1974 in honor of America's upcoming Bicentennial in 1976.  The show occupied the space originally designed and built for the Carousel of Progress which opened at Disneyland in 1967, and closed in 1973 to be shipped east to Walt Disney World.  Just as COP did, the audience revolved around a series of stages, with each section celebrating a different era in American music, with the eagle and owl seen here popping up in each sequence to tell the story of the various musical styles.  Never meant to be a long-term attraction, since the Bicentennial celebration was only meant to last from 1975 - 1977, the show closed permanently in 1988.  (I was in the last performance as the carousel spun around for it's final performance).  Prior to the closing in 1988, a few geese were stripped of their skin and found a new home in the all-new Disneyland classic Star Tours, when it opened in early 1987.  When the show was dismantled, many of the audio animatronics found new life in the Disneyland classic, Splash Mountain over in the all-new Critter Country (replacing Bear Country) in 1988 as a cost-savings measure.  Thanks the smashing success of both Star Tours and Splash Mountain at Disneyland, a whole slew of new animatronics in the same style had to be created when both Star Tours opened at Walt Disney World's Disney-MGM Studios in 1989 and Splash Mountain was added to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Ariel's Entryway...East & West



The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure recently opened as a brand-new attraction within the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as part of the New Fantasyland 2012 renovations and expansion; but it first opened in June 2011 at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.  
Both parks have given their version of this identical, omni-mover, dark-ride attraction its own unique theming and feel to the entrance queue and overall surrounding aesthetics given the attraction's location within the parks.  

In Florida, the attraction is located between the new Storybook Circus area and the assorted Beauty & the Beast based attractions and restaurants inside the new Fantasy Forest in Fantasyland, and has a very richly themed entry, including Prince Eric's castle, and caves and grottos to explore.  

In California, it's located within the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure, thus it has a more seaside pavilion flair, reminiscent of boardwalk structures of the 1930's and '40s, and features bas relief images of Ariel's sisters, and a bronze statue of her father, King Triton on the apex of the curved dome structure. The actual queue entryway takes guests through the recreation of San Francisco's famed Palace of Fine Arts, from the 1910 World's Fair.  

Personally I love both queues for very different reasons.  They each appeal to my individual tastes, and are richly appointed, just in different ways.  For a more-immersive feel, Florida wins, hands-down.  I know my daughter can't wait to be able to experience the new queue in Florida, and see some of the fun new interactive features that were not included in the California queue. 


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - Adventureland Fun


The crocodiles that guests encounter on the Jungle Cruise in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom are named Ol' Smiley and Ginger. Whatever you do, don't forget that "Ginger Snaps."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

After nearly 10 years of planning, and 18 months of construction, the Magic Kingdom's version of the Frontierland classic Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in 1980.  Designed to resemble the look of Utah's Monument Valley, more than 650 tons of steel, 4.675 tons of specially formulated "mud", and more than 9,000 gallons of paint brought "the wildest ride in the wilderness" to life in Central Florida. Construction costs for the attraction came in at about $17 million, the cost to build Disneyland back in 1955. To lend an air of authenticity in set designs, the Imagineers spent more than $300,000 alone on decor items such as the ore-hauling wagon, double-stamp ore crusher, old mill ball and wooden mining flume. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - You WILL Get Wet




























Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls in the Toon Lagoon area of Islands of Adventure, at Universal Orlando Resort is one of my favorite log flume attractions ever, simply because this attraction was truly designed to get you wet.  And in the Florida heat, that can be such a welcome refreshment.  I first rode it in 2007, and loved it then, and love it now.  Being a Rocky & Bullwinkle Show fan helped a bit, to be able to understand the various thematic elements, sight gags and overall inherent humor of the attraction - but that is by no means necessary to be able to enjoy it.  All in all, this water adventure is just good clean fun! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (formerly known as Cinderella's Golden Carousel), was an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, but it was certainly not a new carousel.  The 90-horse masterpiece was found and purchased by Disney Imagineers in Maplewood, New Jersey in 1967.  It had been spinning in Olympic Park for more than 39 years, but was originally built and placed into use in Detroit, Michigan in 1917.  The original "Liberty" carousel was in a good state of disrepair and required restoration and preservation.  The band organ that adds classic Disney sounds to the attraction is the original instrument.  The horses, made of hard maple, are also original, having been stripped down, restored and repainted, and they come in five different sizes, with the largest on the outer rows. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Flashback Friday - Disneyland 1980


It's FLASHBACK FRIDAY! 

Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was a popular destination for our family.  Sometimes we were there just the four of us, other times with extended family members.  Oftentimes my brother and I would get to go for school or church incentives, or as awards for a successful sports season with the teams we played on.  Trips with friends, or friends families were often the case as well, and as we became teenagers, the park was a popular destination to hang out.

Here's a look at the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland in June 1980.  This opening day attraction was once located directly behind the King Arthur Carousel, in front of the Fantasyland Theatre.  With the 1982-83 remodel, bringing about "New Fantasyland", the tea cups were moved to the north and east opposite the Alice in Wonderland attraction. 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Trivia - Golden Horseshoe Revue


Disneyland's "Golden Horseshoe Revue" truly was a record-breaker.  The show, located inside the heart of Frontierland, premiered the day PRIOR to the park's Grand Opening July 17, 1955 for a special performance for various corporate sponsors who came along and helped Walt Disney get the park built.  The show was an Opening Day attraction, and ran continuously until October 12, 1986 when the curtain finally came down for the last time on the original production, enjoyed many, many times by Walt Disney himself, from his box at stage right.   With more than 43,000 performances, the Golden Horsehoe Revue was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest-running show in history. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Unusual Occurance at the Wizarding World

This was a happy, but unusual sight to see recently at the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction at Universal Orlando's hottest addition to its' Islands of Adventure theme park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  A 10 minute wait time just didn't seem possible after all of the online reports of multiple hour wait times... but then, I was at the resort in the off-season, too (very early February)... give it a few weeks til the spring break season kicks in and that 10 minute wait will once more be but a dream.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - A Glimpse of What's to Come


A glimpse of what's coming in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, peeking through the fence, in officially sanctioned view holes. Progress continues on the all-new Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and a good pace, though the new ride won't open until spring 2014. The fence is decorated with concept artwork (right) and fun images connecting surrounding attractions (left), as the new attraction will be centrally located between the new Beauty & the Beast themed attraction, restaurants & shop, and the Little Mermaid attraction, as well as existing attractions of Winnie the Pooh and the Mad Tea Party.  





Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday - Monorail to Disneyland Hotel


It's FLASHBACK FRIDAY! 

Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was a popular destination for our family.  Sometimes we were there just the four of us, other times with extended family members.  Oftentimes my brother and I would get to go for school or church incentives, or as awards for a successful sports season with the teams we played on.  Trips with friends, or friends families were often the case as well, and as we became teenagers, the park was a popular destination to hang out. 

Since moving to the midwest, I don't have the good fortune to get to visit my favorite place as often as I would like to any longer, but every chance I get I'm there and have a GREAT time.  My personal library of Disneyland photos numbers in the tens of thousands, but the vast majority of those are from my own adulthood, not my childhood, and certainly not before I was born.  But I definitely enjoy seeing all of the old photos of Disneyland - especially from the days when Walt Disney was alive.  


I snapped this picture of a picture at the Disneyland Hotel on my last visit to the Disneyland Resort in 2012.  It shows the Monorail arriving at the Disneyland Hotel station which opened in 1960 when the Monorail line (which opened in 1959) was extended across West Street (now known as Disneyland Drive) from the park to the hotel.  The extension took great care and required special permission from the city and county as it took the Monorail out over a working public street - Disney's innovative thinking and push for progess at work!  The station,  was the first link for hotel guests to get directly to the theme park, and provided transportation directly into the park via the Tomorrowland Station.  Other options included taking the courtesy tram or simply walking across the street and through Disneyland's parking lot. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Mickey's Toontown


January 24, 1993 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Mickey's Toontown officially opens at Disneyland.  This all-new land, just north of Fantasyland, is a recreation of the Mickey Mouse universe, where guests can meet the characters and visit their homes, constructed in a vibrant cartoon-style with no right angles to be found anywhere. Inspired by "Toontown" from the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, the themed land features attractions as Gadget's Go Coaster, Goofy's Bounce House, Donald’s Boat, Chip & Dale’s Acorn Crawl and Treehouse and the Jolly Trolley.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Tomorrowland Additions


January 15, 1975 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Space Mountain opens in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  A space-themed indoor roller coaster, originally envisioned by Walt Disney for Tomorrowland at Disneyland in the 1960’s, the technology to build it simply didn’t yet exist when Walt dreamed it up.  The first official ride is taken by Colonel James Irwin, the pilot of the Apollo XV Lunar Module on Apollo XV.

Also opening on this day in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is the Carousel of Progress, an attraction relocated to Florida from Disneyland in California, tracing 100 years of innovations in electricity. The attraction had a home in Tomorrowland at Disneyland from 1967 – 1972, but it originally debuted at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.  It features a rotating carousel, whereby the guests are seated and rotate around the various stationary stages where an audio-animatronics family showcases American life from the days before electricity to the present.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Star Tours Debuts


January 9, 1987 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Star Tours opens in Tomorrowland at Disneyland, occupying the space once occupied by Adventure Thru Inner Space. A flight simulator ride based on George Lucas’ Star Wars film trilogy, it is the park's first attraction not to use Disney-designed imagery. The opening celebration lasts for 60 hours and guests are given a Star Tours Watch when they enter the park. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney-MGM Studios Changes


January 7, 1992 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney-MGM Studios debuts the all-new Voyage of The Little Mermaid, a multi-media presentation, replacing Here Come the Muppets. The new show is a 17-minute experience, featuring a unique combination of special effects, film clips, live performances and innovative puppetry.

January 7, 2008 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney-MGM Studios is now officially called Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - New in Fantasyland and Epcot


January 1, 1959 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Fantasyland Autopia, sponsored by the Richfield Oil Company, opens in Disneyland, offering a second version of the beloved Tomorrowland attraction.


January 1, 1997 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Two new musical groups debut at Walt Disney World in Epcot’s World ShowcaseOff Kilter in the Canada Pavilion, and The British Invasion in the United Kingdom pavilion.  Off Kilter is a Celtic rock band performing on a stage located between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions, and The British Invasion is a quartet celebrating the famed 1960’s songs of the Beatles, playing in the gardens at the back of the United Kingdom pavilion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Test Track


December 19, 1998 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Test Track opens in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World, on the site of the former World of Motion attraction.   (Epcot will host a Grand Opening dedication later in March 1999.)