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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Camping out on Main Street USA- There Has to Be a Better Way

     I do not like posting negative things about Disneyland, but sometimes there are negative things even in the Happiest Place on Earth. Most are created by guests though but I think that Disney needs to come up with a way to stop certain things from happening. I am not sure if my solutions will work but I did send them to Disney hoping maybe it could help.

     I love the Paint the Night Parade and I love the fireworks but I do not love how the park almost shuts down from around 5:00 PM until the end of the fireworks, just for those shows. People start lining Main Street USA around 4 or 5 to get a good spot. Well I think that is too early. Disney should not allow them to do that because it becomes way too crowded.

     Some people actually camp out on Main Street. They have blankets, toys and other items. These things line the street to the point if you are coming from the park and want to enter a shop on either side of the street you have to make sure you get on the sidewalk before you get to main street or you can't get through. People literally block the entrance to the sidewalk area all along the street. We wanted to go into one of the shops this year and did not want to go all the way to the end of the street. We should not have to, we paid our money just like those camping out. We could not get through though, there were people, strollers, blankets and toys all along the street. So we decided we were just going to cut through the people.One lady got mad because we stepped on her blanket. Well, sorry it is not a camp ground so the blanket should not be there.

     All of this camping out also makes the park look cheep and seedy. It makes it look like a city park, not a theme park where guests pay hundreds of dollars to visit.

     You can hardly maneuver the park after around 5:00 PM due to the people saving spots for the parade or fireworks. You also can't sit down to eat at some of the restaurants after 5 because people are there until the shows.

     I know people want good viewing spots but the parade starts around 8:30 and the fireworks at 9:30. Disneyland should not allow people to start saving spots until an hour before the first parade showing. They also should never allow people to camp out. Don't let them put their blankets and toys down on the streets or sidewalk. People should not be allowed to block the entrances to the shops on Main Street. I think if they want to save spots there they should have to stand and move out of the way if people need through.

     World of Color in DCA is a popular show but they have worked hard to make the viewing area less congested. It is not hard to get around there until around an hour before the show. Yes people do camp out there too and I think that should not be allowed but at least it is not from 5:00 until show time. There has to be a better way!

Rude Guests at Disney Resort" You are Not the Only Guest Who Wants to View

     People are just so rude, I really wish there was a way for Disney Resort to get a handle on the rudeness. I am not sure how they can since they tell people the rules and people do not follow them. They don't care that they take away from other's enjoyment. Some people think they are the only ones there and the only ones who want to view shows and attractions.

     For example, before Frozen they ask people to be considerate of others and avoid any back lighting
of cameras and phones and not to use a flash. This not only distracts from other guests enjoyment but can be distracting for the actors and sometimes dangerous. While watching the play we observed several people in the Orchestra section using a flash. We observed many in that section using their phones to take pictures. The back lighting was rude and I know distracting to those behind them.

          The lady in front of my mother had her phone out texting the entire show. The light is annoying and my mom should have tapped her on the shoulder telling her it was distracting. I wonder why that kind of person even bothers to go to the show. She obviously isn't interested. She could have sat outside texting.

     When I take pictures I use the view finder in my camera so that no one can see the light. I've checked and it does not put off any light at all. This is why some of my pictures are not that good but oh well, some are and that is fine.

     It is going to come to a place where Disney will have to make people put their phones and cameras away and not allow them into the shows.

     While trying to watch World of Color many people had their iPads and phones up in the air so that all we could see was the show through their device. This is extremely distracting. Do people not realize there is someone behind them wishing to see the show. Some of them will even come up behind you and put their phone in your face. Makes me want to knock it out of their hand and say "oops".  I am fine with people recording but keep their phone at face level so that those behind them can see the show too.

     While on Indiana Jones this man and woman had their phones up the entire ride. All we saw was the phone and the glare. When we got to the exit the case member let us go again. Do people really think all you want to see is their phone?

    Then there are of course the rude people who put their kids on their shoulders. This one seems to happen everywhere and so far Disney doesn't ask people to refrain from that. I guess they take it for granted that people realize their kids are not see through.

     I really wonder what goes through people's heads, are they so ignorant they think their kids are see through or that everyone wants to see their phone screen instead of the show they waited in line to see?  Sadly most people know this, they just think they are the only ones wishing to view the shows, they are the only ones who want to enjoy them. Newsflash to them, You are not the only one's there, others want to enjoy the magical experiences too!!!

+Disney +Frozen +Hyperion +California Adventures

Play on Disney Ride Words

     I had a lot of fun with this little play on Disney attraction words. These phrases are all from attractions either in Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure park. I posted to my Facebook wall but no one was game for the fun of either adding to it or saying which phrase came from what attraction.

     So, I will post this little play on words here on my blog. I give all credit for the original phrases to Disney but this little play  on words is my creation.

     Have fun and please add to it and share if you know where each phrase came from..

    Welcome foolish mortals you have just entered the Twilight Zone where every day is a zip a de do da day. We'e got gadgets and gizmo's a plenty. It's a great place to beheaded. Remember dead men tell no tales so kick back and get ready to screeeam! Wait, you're not racing yet it's show time. You'll be boarding in a few minutes so remember to stay seated with your seat belts fastened and make sure to watch your kids!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dangerous and Rude Drivers Inside Disney Resort

     I love Disney Resort in Anaheim, most of what I say about the resort is good but sometimes things at the park are not so good, most are brought on  by guests but these are things Disney allows. One incident happened during our July 2016 vacation. My aunt was run down by someone in a motorized wheelchair, actually it was one of the motorized carts but same idea. We saw several cast members almost plowed down by a man on a cart as well. Some people need the carts but we have noticed many times people have them and share riding time. Whatever the reason these carts pose a danger to other guests when the driver is inexperienced or just plain rude.

     The lady who ran my aunt down was just learning to drive the motorized cart. Yes at Disneyland where there are hundreds of people in her path. She actually ran into my aunts leg and luckily my aunt did not hit the ground but it hurt her badly. She has issues with that leg anyhow. If she had hit the ground it would have been even worse because the woman was not going slow. The woman just kept on going like nothing happened but the lady with her stopped to apologize. She said the woman was just learning to drive it and she hoped my aunt was ok. My aunt could barely speak at the time because of the pain so we told her that the parks are not a good place to learn to drive one and yes it did hurt, it hurt my aunt a lot. There was a huge knot in her calf where the cart had hit it.

     The next night while we were waiting to watch Paint the Night we saw someone on a motorized cart zoom behind cast member carts. The cast members had to jump out of the way to avoid being plowed down. The man on the cart was honking the horn as he drove by. At that moment the cast members should have made that man leave the park.

     We have experienced many rude people on motorized carts or wheel chairs. They honk for you to get out of their way thinking because they are on the cart they have the right of way. They don't think they should have to wait in a line of people walking down the street, they should move ahead. They will plow you down if you do not move. I have almost been hit by them  many times.

     Something needs to be done about this. Either Disney needs to stop allowing motorized carts and make people get a push wheel chair or they need to make sure the people using one know the rules and enforce them throughout the day too. They need to make sure the people using them really need them too and are not just getting one so they don't have to carry their stuff around the park. Those who really need them know how to use them and are polite, most of them are anyhow. It's the people who are new to them or who just get them because they either don't want to walk or they need somewhere to haul their stuff or, they want to get on the rides faster.

     My grandma was elderly and could not walk all day when she went to the parks. She tried a motorized chair once and was dangerous so we got her a wheel chair and pushed her. It was fine, we loved her and no one minded at all.

     I am not sure how Disney could handle this but I do know someday someone is going to be seriously injured by a person  just learning to drive or someone who is simply rude. There are elderly people in the park who could break a hip if knocked down. Small kids could die if hit and run over by one. My aunt could have been seriously injured if she had fallen down. Disney would be liable for allowing them in the parks. So hopefully they will stop and think about that, find a way to solve the problem of the dangers of inexperienced or rude drivers.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vacation Pictures 2016

     I have a friend who is not on Facebook and I have tried to e-mail my shots to him but well, they are too big to mail so I decided to create a picture post. These shots are from our California vacation 2015. I plan to create a photo slide show soon too. This is not the forum for this type of thing but hey it is fun.
+Disneyland +Disney + ocean + beach

Huntington Beach
 Aunt Donna and Kim in the ocean. Brr cold water.
 Tide coming in

Huntington Pier

Huntington Beach. walking back to the van. It was rather a long walk in shoes that were not made for walkin.

                                                                                                                                                                   Squirrel on the beach.

Near Corona, CA

Inside the AMC theater

Ducks in Fantasyland

The babies going into Pixie Hollow
Best Gumbo ever and
Monte Cristo from Cafe Orleans Disneyland

Disney's California Adventures the Pier
Cars Land

Cozy Cone

Cozy Cone with Tower of Terror in the distance

Peach cobbler funnel cake at Hungry Bear Cafe in Critter Country.

Churro funnel cake at Hungry Bear.

Both are delicious!

Heimlich's Chew Chew Train in California Adventures. Bug's Land

Hollywood Land at night. So beautiful!

More Huntington Beach shots. Same day as before but they jumped down here. Too crazy to move them.

Knott's Berry Farm outside park

Wild coaster at Knott's. No way did we ride this one!

Boysenberry funnel cake. Oh yes so yummy!
Beautiful place near the restrooms at one of the shops.

Kirk and the Hillbilly show at Knott's

My mom and me with one of the Hillbillies. He was so nide!

The old wooden roller coaster at Knott's. It was so fun!

Back to Disneyland.
This is a fantastic show!

We got to meet Chewbacca!

In front of It's a Small World. So many bush sculptures there. They are beautiful!

Mark Twain on the temporary closed Rivers of America.

Mickey's Magical Map

Monorail and Matterhorn

Main gate not far from our room.

Frozen stairs.

The Butts

 Cars Land

Our sweet friend Anthony.

 New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square near Haunted Mansion


Partner Statue

Visiting Pixie Hollow

Plaza Inn character breakfast.

Minnie helping with the Flat Stanley.

Cast members being fun!

 Radiator Springs Racers!

Rockin Roadsters

Disney fun foods

Storybook land

Fun with the Dapper Dans

Josh wondering about the "Butt" shirts.

Nathan sings to my cousin.

Toad Hall

Tower of Terror

Waling the boulevard