Monday, February 20, 2017

Rude Behavior a Photo Op

     Back in 2016 I wrote a blog about how rude behavior at California Adventure Park provided me with an awesome photo op. I do not knot why I did not write it in this blog but decided I would share the link in this blog.

     I get annoyed at the rude behavior of some guests at Disney Resort, one of those behaviors is putting kids on your head while viewing a parade or World of Color. This type of rude person seems to think their kids are great windows. Well NEWSFLASH they are not, you can't see through those kids placed on the shoulders of their parents.

    However during our 2015 Disney visit I found one of those rude times became an awesome photo op. It was not even intentional that I took the shot. I was shooting the show and did not notice the neat looking photo until later while viewing my shots.

     So not to repeat myself I will provide the link to my blog...the picture in this blog is the one I wrote about.

 Disney Rudeness makes for Interesting Shot

Monday, January 16, 2017

Farewell Tower of Terror, We Will Miss You!

      I remember the first time my family and I saw Tower of Terror. It was in the process of being completed in 2003. It was this beautiful building that loomed over the parks. We had never heard of the movie but after learning that there was an attraction in Disney's California Adventure Park based on the movie or was the movie based on the attraction at Disney World? I am not sure, I just know that we decided to watch the movie.

     The movie Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is great! It is one of my all time favorite movies and I think that is part of the reason I love the attraction so much. Granted the drops are a blast but the theme is what makes  more than just a ride, it is what makes it special.

     I must admit when we returned in 2004 and the attraction had opened we were chickens and would not try riding it. We watched from below thinking those on the elevator were crazy.  But the following year we mustered up our courage and decided to ride. It took a lot of nerve for us to get into that elevator but once on we found that we absolutely loved the theme. The way we were taken into the movie that we loved.

     For several years just getting on the Tower was difficult for us. We had to really talk ourselves into riding but the theme would entice us to ride again and then as we dropped we remembered how much we loved the ride which made us wonder why we were ever scared to begin with. However the next day we would feel that same sense of fear and still feel it every time we rode. I thought maybe that was part of the attraction.

     However a few years ago the fear of getting on Tower of Terror ended. We entered a place where we never felt afraid, we were just excited for the thrill of the experience. We still loved the theme, the part of the attraction where the guests are told "This time that door is opening for you." right before the first drop. We also simply love the drops!

     I am not sure we would have loved the attraction as much if it had not been for the story line theme of the Tower. That is what drew us in and helped us overcome our fears. We learned to love the Tower.

     The Tower is gone now, the tower we know and love. I hear that the drops will remain but the theme is changing. Some are excited, some are sad and some are mad. I am among the sad and the mad. I do not like the new theme, Guardians of the Galaxy does not entertain me at all. It is like changing the theme of the Haunted Mansion to Walking Dead in my eyes. The drops will remain but the experience will not be the same. We will still love the thrill but thrills are not all we seek at DCA. We go for the themes. That is what it is all about for us.

    So farewell Tower of Terror, your theme will be greatly missed!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Walk in Walts Footsteps Tour

      My family and I have been on the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour at Disneyland in Anaheim California two times. The first time we took the tour was in 2008. We surprised my mother with the tour as a gift on her birthday. The tour that we took began at 9:30 AM. Guests meet just to the left of the entrance of Disneyland directly after going under the train station, at the Guided Tour Meeting Area.

     Our fun did not begin with the tour though. It began when we first walked up to the Guided Tour Meeting Area. We were the first guests to arrive and were greeted by Alice In Wonderland, The Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. They ran around the area giving the cast members who work there a hard time by joking around and being silly. Alice did not stay long but said farewell as she left the area. The Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts stayed a while to joke with and completely entertain us. We got out picture taken with each of them individually, which was a magical experience in itself.  

     Lunch is included with the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour. We had to order our food before the tour began. The meals consist of a sandwich of your choosing, chips, fruit and a drink. The Queen of Hearts teased us when we did not order what she liked. My son ordered an orange drink instead of sprite and she shook her head while blowing a raspberry. So, he ordered a sprite and she patted his head. The whole experience was entertaining and amusing. After we finished ordering our meals The Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts said their good-byes and left to go to the Character Meeting Area, which is near the Guided Tour Meeting Area.

     The rest of the guests who were going on the tour arrived and so did our guide who gave us all headphones so that we could hear her talk when she took us on the tour. Once everyone had signed in and ordered their food we were off to see Disneyland through Walt’s eyes. I am not going to give the details of our tour because I believe that it is something that everyone must experience on their own. I’m just going to give highlights and an overview of the tour.

     First we went down Main Street USA and were told all about how the buildings were built, why the names are on the windows, and many other interesting secrets about Main Street USA. We were taken down Main Street USA to the Partner Statue at the Hub of Disneyland, Central Plaza. There we learned many more interesting facts about the park and what Walt had in mind when he built it.

     From there we went to Adventureland where we rode on one of our favorite rides, The Jungle Cruise. Since it was my mother’s birthday the cast member who was captain of the boat sang her a birthday song.

    We left there and were off to Club 33. I had never heard of Club 33 until the tour. It is the only place in Disneyland where alcohol is served. Walt built it so that celebrity and public figures would have a place to duck out of the crowds when they visited his park. We got to go into the lobby of the club. It is exclusive and has very few members so we were not allowed into the club itself. The lobby was beautiful. We got our pictures taken in the elevator and our tour guide told us interesting trivia about Club 33.

     After we left Club 33 our guide took us to ride the Disneyland Railroad. However, we did not ride in a regular car. We got the privilege of riding on the Lilly Belle. The cast member who was our escort on the Lilly Belle told us a lot of interesting information about how she was built and when she was put on line, retired and put online again. The Lilly Belle is a special enclosed car that is decorated Victorian style with velvet chairs and carpet. The Lilly Belle is a very plush train car. Sadly though Walt was never able to ride in her. She was however named after his wife Lilly Belle because she designed the interior decor for the car. We felt very special to have rode in her.

     We then went to Tomorrowland and back over to Adventureland by way of Fantasyland where we learned many more interesting facts about Walt Disney and Disneyland. One fact that we learned was that Walt liked to create illusions. The buildings on Main Street USA look very tall but they are not, it is the way they are built that makes them look so tall. The most interesting thing we learned about Main Street USA is when you first enter the park and are headed for the hub area it looks like the street is very long but when you leave at night it is a short walk. Walt created this illusion because he wanted people to enjoy their walk into the park but at night as they leave and are tired the walk is shorter so they don't feel so overwhelmed. We tried it when we entered and then turned to look back and it is true, it is not that long of a walk.

     Other interesting facts we learned are how Disneyland's address became 1313 Harbor Boulevard. When Walt built the park he was able to pick the address, he chose 1313 because of Mickey Mouse, M is the 13th letter of the alphabet.

     We learned that the amazing smells as you walk down Main Street are sent through the vents. These smells are to make people feel happy and hungry. 

        Our last attraction was The Tiki Room. We watched the show with other guests, but after the show was over our group remained in the building and got to see how some of the audiotronics work. We got to see how the flowers work and actually operate one of the retired flowers. We were allowed to take a few pictures of the room, which is not something that can usually be done.

     The last stop for our tour was the Guided Tour Meeting Area where our lunch was served. We got to eat our delicious sandwiches and visit with the other guests as well as ask our tour guide anymore questions that we still had about Walt Disney and Disneyland. The meal was simple, but honestly very delicious.

     We loved the tour so much that the next year we decided to take the tour again. The second time we took the tour we had a different guide and learned new things about Walt and his park. The tour was not exactly the same even though we did similar things. The experience and excitement were the same though. 

      We did not get to ride the Lilly Belle the second time we went on the tour. Riding the Lilly Belle is not a privilege that every group is allowed, so we felt very special that we got to ride her the first time we took the tour. The second tour consisted of Club 33 Lobby visit and the same attractions. We were not allowed to stay inside of the Tiki Room after the show this time, which was fine since we got to do that the first time. Other than that it was very similar. The guide shared some new and very interesting and informative facts about Walt and his park with us.

      The second year we took the tour our guide told us that originally every land had what was called a "weiner", he said that each land has an attraction that can be seen in the other lands to entice them into the other lands. A "weiner" is what he called it. For example, when you are in Frontierland you can see the Matterhorn, when you are in Fantasyland you can see Space Mountain. Things have changed over the years because of the growth of plants and trees but that was the original idea. I am not sure all of it came into play while Walt was alive. 

     We loved the Walk In Walt’s Footsteps tour both times that we took it. The experience was magical both times and different enough that it was not at all boring. I think it is a tour that everyone who loves Disneyland should go on at least once. It is a magical journey that we plan to go on again.

+tour +Walk in Walts Footsteps  +Disneyland

Friday, December 23, 2016

Disney's California Adventures of Old

     The other day while driving to work I put in my Beech Boys CD and was taken back to the days when California Adventures was well, California Adventures. Before it became California Adventure Park and before all of the changes. Some of the changes are amazing and my family and I love them but some things we miss terribly. This post is about the picture video I have created of my old DCA memories.
     One thing that my family and I  miss very much is the California music, the Beech Boy's, Jan and Dean, and Mamas and Papa's music. They made you feel like you were well, on the beach! Kicking it, surfin USA! We loved to sit by Brr Bank Ice Cream and watch the Beech Boys cover band play. Now the music is from the 20's and well, not our thing. We usually just walk through so we don't have to hear it.
     Another thing we miss terribly is the Titanium Sun. It was beautiful and we loved to watch the water show there. At night the Electrical Parade brought us so much pleasure and always made us dance.
     The Pier changed a lot too, the Sun Wheel changed its face which was ok. But SS Rustworthy was so much fun for my boys. They also loved the Maliboomer.
     Flick's Fun Fair was nice but we do love Cars Land so no complaints there. We miss Muppet Vision 3D and wish it would come back, The theme at Taste Pilot Grill was better before but the food is still great.
     Condor Flats has changed and so has Soarin. We do love Soarin Around the World, it is amazing, but we miss Soarin Over California which was dear to our hearts. The old Condor Flats area was much more fun for us before, the new area is well, just ok.
     We were sad to see Golden Dreams leave but do love Little Mermaid.
     As we entered the park we loved to take pictures by the letters. We also loved the replica of the San Francisco Bridge. It is sad those are no longer there.
     The final change that breaks our hearts is Tower of Terror. The new theme sounds lame but well, we will give it a chance.
     I have created a picture video of shots I have taken over the years, shots from 2003-2012 of California Adventure's of old. As I created it I felt sad at the changes. I added the music from old to the video as well and found myself feeling happy as I listened and could not stop myself from getting up to dance when the Electrical Parade came on.
     I hope those who watch enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed making it.
     Some of the pictures are from my 35mm so the quality is not as good as the newer digital shots but
the memories are just as special.
Follow this link to see my show

Disney California Adventures Video 

+Disney California Adventures +DCA +Disney Resort +Disney California Adventure Park

Friday, August 5, 2016

Where to Stay When In California?

     Since our hotel is closing in October we are left with the delima of where to stay next summer. We had a great deal going on at the Carousel. We had stayed for so many yeas that they gave us a special rate. We also stay for weeks so that helped too.

    We have checked out places along Harbor but WOW they are a lot more expensive. However now we will have to pick one. We are leaning towards the Camelot Inn which is next to Carousel Inn.

    What we look for in a place to stay is first of all, comfortable beds. The beds at The Carousel were that. We want a microwave, fridge and room safe. The Carousel had those too. We also want free internet and parking. The Carousel had neither. I don't think most of the hotels have free parking but it would be nice.

     So soon I am going to start searching and hope we find a good deal.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Goodbye Carousel Inn and Suites

     We have stayed at The Carousel each year since 2004. It is our home when we are in California and I am sad to see it go. I am also sad because of the many people who will lose their jobs when it closes. I heard last summer that   

     I heard in July that The Carousel Inn in Anaheim will be closing to make room for a new walkway, then yesterday Disney announced that it is true. The Carousel will close in October of 2016.

     Whenever friends or family went to Disneyland I would get them a reservation at "our" hotel. It is across the street from Disney Resorts main gate and since we stayed there every year we received a counted rate.  The staff at the Carousel are amazing. For years we knew most of them and felt like they were our California family. We have also made some good friends there. It will be so sad to lose that, we have been there for over ten years and so we have history there. It will take  a while to build history again.

     It is sad many people will lose their jobs too. Some of them have been there for years and well I imagine they are sad too. Some will find jobs right away but it will take a while for others. Sure they can draw unemployment but that is usually not enough to live on.

     The building is beautiful, especially the front where the tower is located. It stands out as you walk along Harbor. It will be sad to see a walkway in its place. I am sure Disney will build a beautiful walkway but still it is sad.

     Mostly I am sad because I feel like we are losing a home. Oh sure things were not always perfect there, that is true. But it was comfortable and familiar.We walked into the lobby and were home. Yes we will find another place to stay but it will take a while for it to feel like home. We also might not be able to find a place as close to the main gate for the price we paid at The Carousel.

    They say all good things come to an end and well, that is so very true. Our time at The Carousel has ended, we will no longer get to stay there. So goodbye to our home in California.

This is my earlier review.
Carousel Inn Review

+Carousel Inn +Anaheim +Disneyland

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Block Out Day Adventures

      I do not like saying anything negative about Disney Resort, the negative posts I made are to hopefully make people see that their rudeness affects others and to possibly help those at Disney become aware of things they might not be aware of. Enough negative things, now on to positive.

     We are annual pass holders, we are only able to purchase the deluxe pass so when we go on vacation in June and July we do have block out dates. This past year we had 4 because we went over the Fourth of July. It is hard being in Anaheim and unable to enter the parks however there is so much we find to do that the days fly by.

     Actually this year our block out days were so busy that we never really got that rest day to energize us like usual. That rest day makes it where we can go head on for the second half of our ten Disney days.

     Usually we have only one or two block out days. The block out days are Saturdays. We go to the Outlets at Orange, walk along Harbor Boulevard and chill at the room. Well at Pizza Press.  Sometimes my son and I go to the pool for a bit and well, we rest.

     This year with 4 days we kept very busy. Our first block out day we walked along Harbor. It was relaxing and restful however we weren't tired yet so not that much in need of the rest ha ha.

     Our second block out day we went to the Disney Vacation Club presentation. It was interesting but not for us so they graciously took us back to Downtown Disney. Then we shopped the rest of the day. When I say shop, I mean shop. We went to Company D, then to Wal Mart because my aunt had to pick up a prescription
. Then hopped on the ART and off to The Outlets where we shopped until 8:30. It was a busy day.

     The next day was another block out day. We went to the beach and walked our little legs off. We didn't realize we were so far from the pier but walked there anyhow. We had to hurry back to the van though because we only paid for 2 hours parking. We had to walk 4 miles back at a rather fast pace in beach shoes. We went to the room, got food and crashed.

     On the 4th of July we went to Knotts Berry Farm. Went to the room after that day and rested the rest of the day.

     We walked a lot the three days off, we had a great time but we were pooped. We wouldn't change it though because now these are adventures to remember.