Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Johnny Depp surprises guests on Pirates of the Caribbean

Guests of Disneyland who ventured on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction this evening got the surprise of there lives! According to several posts on social media, Johnny Depp interacted with guests during one of the scenes on the ride. During the Spanish village scene where a pirate captain and a crew member are questioning a prisoner while loweringing him into a well, Depp was seen front and center along the waters edge asking guests what their names were and further interacting with them while in full Captain Jack Sparrow Character.

Guests reported that prior to Depp's appearance, the attraction was shut down for a short period of time and that a sign was posted in the queue area informing guests that filming was taking place. This indicates to me that the appearance of Johnny Depp will most likely be used for promotional material for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" set to premiere on May 26th.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sounds of Disneyland: The Winnie The Pooh Attraction (Audio)

The following is the Audio from the Winnie the Pooh Attraction, recorded December 22nd, 2016.

Although I was extremely disappointed when I heard that one of my favorite attractions, The Country Bear Jamboree, was leaving Disneyland and being replaced by Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh has become one of my 3 year old's favorites! So because of that, we seem to ride it at least 5 times a trip and seeing the look of joy on my daughter's face has softened my heart towards Winnie the Pooh and in turn made it one of my favorites as well.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Disneyland Trip Report: March 6th-8th 2017

Although some of the attractions were down for their normal refurbishment, early March proved to be a great time to go, as crowds were slightly lighter than normal (although it's pretty busy nowadays no matter when you go...) and the weather was great,

Here's our trip report in pictures:

Although I didn't capture it with a picture, the morning entrance lines to get into Disneyland stretched more than half way across the esplanade over to Disney's CA Adventure (DCA) side. Meanwhile, the lines to get into DCA  were practically non existent. With Star Wars land opening in 2 years, creating even more of an attendance disparity between the two parks, Disney better come up with some pretty good ideas as to how they are going to get people into DCA.
We headed to Tomorrowland first where we rode Autopia and captured a few pictures of the Matterhorn which was down for its refurbishment. Rumor has it that Fastpass will be heading to this attraction.
Here's a better look at a little of the work being done to the Matterhorn.
And while we're in Tomorrowland, here's a look at the subs...
...along with a random shot from above of the subs operating controls.
The Jedi Training Academy was fun to watch. Darth Vader is the fan favorite villain. The Seventh Sister lacks the kind of presence that he and Kylo Ren bring to the stage. 
Over in Star Wars Launch Bay we ran into Boba Fett who remained completely in character throughout our picture.
Boba Fett has always been my favorite Star Wars character since I was a kid - thus he gets two photos in my blog! 
Alice was a little more up to speed for my 3 year old, though...
A very merry un-birthday to you!
To Judi's dismay, the White Rabbit didn't seem to be home...

Gaston, Belle, and the Beast (below) made their rounds through Fantasyland interacting with guests but not stopping for pictures.

The Village Haus Restaurant has been temporarily transformed into The Red Rose Tavern (Beauty and the Beast themed). Although it's hard to tell in this picture, the line goes all the way to the fence that blocks the way into Frontierland and the restaurant wasn't even open yet! It's pretty amazing when Disney has figured out a way to get people to wait in line for an hour to buy overpriced food!  
Meanwhile, we ate at our favorite spot, the Golden Horseshoe, where we enjoyed chicken nuggets and hot fudge sundaes...
...while enjoying the show.
An often missed sign in the queue on Thunder Mountain explaining why the red lanterns are present in the tunnel mine scene. Thunder Mountain is one of my kids' favorites! 
A little more work is being done to the Sailing Ship Columbia to get it ready for it's new role as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean segment in the new Fantasmic!!, opening this summer.
Here's a look at a little of the new paint work done to one of the buildings on Tom Sawyer Island.
This was the first time I remember seeing Pocahontas posing for pictures.
Although the Disneyland Railroad is still closed until mid-July, the New Orleans Square Train Station is still open and allows you to cross to the other side.
Work continues on Pirates of the Caribbean to get it ready for its re-opening on March 16th, just in time for it's 50th anniversary on the 18th.

I love the humor of the Jungle Cruise. 
Time to get ready for the Main Street Electrical Parade - the whole reason for this trip!
The iconic Pete's Dragon float. You can see my post dedicated to the entire Main Street Electrical Parade here:
Over in California Adventure, work continues on the transformation of the Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! It is scheduled to open late May.

Although many people, my daughters included, are sad to see the Tower of Terror go, it will be nice to have a different ride here in California since the Tower of Terror will remain as it is in Florida. 
The Newsies with added paw prints on the trolley of Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Time for the Star Wars Land construction update!
The first few pictures are taken from the Critter Country side of the park:

First, here's an overview of the project.

In this picture you can see the trellis that the Disneyland Railroad will be crossing.
Here's a look through a knot in the construction wall in Critter Country near the Hungry Bear Restaurant. It shows the drained Rivers of America. The small cement knobs are the start of the track that the ships will be on when the Rivers of America are operating this summer. 

Here's a look at the former Big Thunder Trail which will lead guests to Star Wars Land, once it opens.

If you look closely at the building to the right-center of the picture, you'll notice that it is made to look like a western type building, indicating that this area will be themed as Frontierland, just before going through the tunnel into Star Wars Land.

This is the area where the pedestrian tunnel will lead guests from Frontierland into Star Wars Land. Also, if you look closely on the left side of the picture (you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it) you can see a panel of rustic looking roof shingles ready to be added to a building.

The rock work in this picture looks an awful lot like the rumored throwback to one of Disney's most missed former attractions - The Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland. In a work of creative genius, Disney is building the edge of Frontierland here so tall as to block any view of Star Wars Land, thus maintaining the feel of Frontierland while you are still there. Disney has also erected a huge berm behind the western structures to further block the view/sounds. 

Here's a better look at the sheer size of that berm and another closer look at the rustic looking building.
That's it for our trip report! Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade

When I heard the Main Street Electrical Parade was coming back to Disneyland for a limited time, I knew I would be there to see it. It began it's final run January 20th and will end on June 18th. Although there is still some ambiguity as to its future, many believe that it will be permanently retired after this run.

The Main Street Electrical Parade holds a special place in my heart because of the fond memories I have of seeing the parade as a child with my Mom. Although my kids have now grown up with the Paint the Night Parade, it was a special experience for me to share the Main Street Electrical Parade with them and for them to see the parade that paved the way for any and all future night time parades.

Below is the audio intro to the Main Street Electrical Parade. Although it is slightly different from when I grew up and there is a lot of background noise in the audio due to the excitement in the crowd, it takes me down memory lane every time I listen to it:

The minute the intro to the parade came over the speakers, my eyes were immediately filled with tears. It is slightly different than the original back in the 1980's, but similar enough to bring me back to my childhood.

Although my camera (and its operator) wasn't operating perfectly resulting in some blurry photo's, here is the parade in pictures:

The lead float in the parade is the train that pulls the iconic drum.
And here's the drum...
...and again.
Although not "spectacular" by today's standards, these little guys brought back fond memories...unfortunately they move so fast I had a hard time capturing a clean photo of them.

These floats are all apart of the Alice in Wonderland procession.

The white rabbit! 

I love that the MSEP focuses on the older franchises such as  Alice, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan rather than all the newer stuff...

Who R U?

Now on to the Cinderella portion of the parade...

Prince Charming, and the step-sisters
Big Ben starts off the Peter Pan procession.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook.
And, of course, Mr. Smee
The dancing pixie's lead the transition from Peter Pan to Tinkerbell
Tinker Bell! 
Dopey, driving the mine train to start off the Snow White portion of the parade...unfortunately my photo doesn't do it justice...

Snow White and a few of the dwarfs.

Pinocchio is next, dancing with the "donkey boys."

Pleasure Island float
Next is perhaps the most iconic and most photo graphed float - Elliot from Pete's Dragon. The last time my kids saw this parade, my oldest, Shelby, was only 3 years old and when this float came she turned into an ostrich by putting her head down in my lap as it came by. I was worried this time about my 3 year old, Judi. She didn't seen to me scared at the time it came by but she later informed me that the "big dragon is sometimes a little bit notty" which is Judi code for she was a little scared of him.

He still blows smoke out his nose although quite a bit quieter than I remember it being before.
The final float reads, "To Honor America" across the front. It is a great finishing touch to a great parade!

The Main Street Electrical Parade will always hold a special place in my heart. As newer parades with more cutting edge technology emerge, I hope they will always in some way pay a small tribute to their predecessor.