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Disneyland Explored

Disneyland explored.

Music Monday: The Whimsy Works by Richard Sherman

Today, October 16, marks the anniversary of the Walt Disney Studio. It's the day recognized when the Disney Brothers (Walt and Roy) opened up their Los Angeles studio on Kingswell Ave in 1923. After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, they would move their studio to Burbank where it grew and still stands today. 

Disney Legend, Richard Sherman, wrote a song called "The Whimsy Works" that is about Walt and what is was like working on the Walt Disney Studio lot. It was actually written for a 2016 show called "L.A. Now and Then - A Musical Review." If you watch this D23 video at 2:37, you can watch Sherman talk about this particular song and hear him play it on the actual piano in Walt Disney's office. 

Here is a the actual song number from the musical review. It's kind of fun to hear this original and new-ish song from Sherman after all the years that have passed when he used to write for Walt Disney.

Coincidently, my youngest daughter was able to attend a special lecture class at her high school last week where Sherman spoke to the students about song composition and his long career. My daughter said he shared many Disney stories, too. Sherman did talk about "The Whimsy Works" and he closed their session with a rendition of "it's a small world." You can read about Sherman's visit to my daughter's high school in this article

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Friday Find: Mickey Mouse Pins c. 2000

I found this fun Cast Exclusive Mickey Mouse pin that says it all....

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back of pin

back of pin

This particular pin was a Cast Exclusive as noted in the back. I have a feeling that it may have been something that was available at the time around the opening of Disney California Adventure since one of the images is of the bear icon of Grizzly River Run. 

I think the next pin was probably something that I also bought around the same time. I love that the pin is of the famous phrase that you see before going under the train tunnels as you enter Main Street U.S.A. It is a mini replica of the plaque. It also has a hanging piece with the dates 1995 to 2000. It could be to celebrate the millennium and/orDisneyland's 45 year anniversary. 

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These next two pins are interesting. I know the one with Walt Disney and Mickey is from my Disney employee credit union which is called, "PARTNERS." The other is just a fun classic image of Mickey Mouse. These two pins do not have a traditional pin back like you are used to seeing these days. 

I am going through my Disney pins and sorting them out. I figured that these all kind of go together. 

Happy Friday!

-Daisy

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Friday Find: Disney Magic Holidays at Lowe's - 2017

There is less than 80 days until Christmas. The Halloween season means that you also start seeing Christmas stuff popping up in many stores. I love Christmas so I get excited to see all the new merry offerings. 

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I went to Lowe's the other day to pick something up and saw that they had all their Christmas lights and decorations out. Last year, there were a lot of fun Disney themed lights. This year, there are even more. (You can click each image for a larger view)

I went ahead and bought the Mickey Mouse LE Lighted Wreath. It came well packaged as it is fairly large. I'll let you know how it looks outside when the time comes to decorate outdoors. 

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Happy Holidays!

-Daisy

Disneyland Parks Halloween Eats Chart & Checklist - 2017

UPDATED: Oct 5th. Fixed a typo. Thanks for letting me know :)

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WOW! The Disneyland Resort has really outdone themselves with the Halloween food offerings this year. I think it is the most and most varied that I have seen. There are sweet treats, spicy stuff, and all kinds of libations (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). There are also several themed food containers that are available from various vendor carts and locations. 

I made this chart and checklist based off of this Disney Parks Blog post. You are welcome to download the PDF, print and share. 

Happy Eats!

-Daisy

Preview of printable checklist - disneydaze.com

Preview of printable checklist - disneydaze.com

Music Monday: Disney EPCOT Soundtrack - Tapestry of Dreams

Yesterday, EPCOT celebrated it's 35th birthday. I remember when this CD made its debut and immediately became a fan favorite. 

EPCOT Illuminations.jpg

This CD, EPCOT, Tapestry of Dreams was released around 1999. Just in time to celebrate the Millennium Celebration that took place at EPCOT. It contains the music from the Tapestry of Dreams parade that occurred at World Showcase. The most famous tune would be"Reflections of Earth" which you would hear at the IllumiNations night time show in the World Showcase area. Also included was "Promise" which is the song that played when you exited Epcot. 

The soundtrack is no longer available at the Parks but you can find copies on the secondary markets. 

Happy 35th, EPCOT!

-Daisy

Friday Find: Disney Mini Plush - Halloween

With October right around the corner, I started to pull out my Halloween decorations. I came upon these fun Disney mini-plush. I usually scatter them around the house to add some Halloween decor.

Queen of Hearts and her Card Guards (Alice in Wonderland)

Queen of Hearts and her Card Guards (Alice in Wonderland)

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) and Cruella Di Vil (101 Dalmations)

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) and Cruella Di Vil (101 Dalmations)

These mini Disney plush came out about the same time when the Beanie Baby craze hit back in the early 1990s. I find that they are the perfect size to help me decorate around the house for the Halloween season. 

Happy Friday!

-Daisy

Music Monday: If I Never Knew You (Pocohantas)

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In 1995, Disney released its 33rd animated classic, Pocohantas. I remember that there was a huge movie premiere at New York's Central Park. It had to follow already Disney hits such as The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. At this point, songs were big part of Disney animated movies and the Pocohantas music was once again written by Alan Menken with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

There was one song that Menken and Schwartz had written that did not make it into the theatrical release and it is called "If I Never Knew You". It is a duet sung by John Smith (Mel Gibson) and Pocohantas (singing voice, Judy Khun). You actually hear a pop version of this song as during the credits. The pop version was sung by Jon Secada and Shanice. Both versions are available on most music streaming services. 

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Friday Find: Disneyland 35th Anniversary Pin Set

I found this Disneyland 35th Anniversary Pin Set in one of my boxes that I was cleaning out. It was a Cast Member exclusive. I love that it celebrates the lands of Disneyland. The designs show off a recognizable image or icon as it relates to the themed land. The pins are very flat on the front surface. Remember, this is 1990 and it's just before Disney figured out their "pin" brand.

Disneyland 35th Anniversary Pin Set - Cast Member Exclusive

Disneyland 35th Anniversary Pin Set - Cast Member Exclusive

Here is an image of the back of one of the pins. It reads "Company D at Disneyland" which the name of the Cast Member store. 

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Disneyland's 35th anniversary was my first big celebration and event that I was able to experience as a Cast Member. I have a lot of great Disneyland memories associated with 1990. 

Happy Friday!

-Daisy

Disney Themed CANstruction Displays 2017

Every September, the CANstruction event happens at South Coast Plaza. This year marks the 10th Annual Design-Build Competition that benefits the Orange County Food Bank. This year, the number of displays/participants were smaller at the 3 designated locations that houses these creative structures. 

I was only able to visit Crystal Court at South Coast Plaza and saw these Disney themed displays. Remember that these are all mainly constructed by cans of food and other food packages. 

The following is called "CANtasmic! Don't Let Hunger Drag On!" and it was created by the Disneyland Resort (Design & Engineering). My favorite thing about this display is how they used the Fire Cheetos to create the dragon's fire breath. 

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The next one I discovered is called "Stack Up on Tsum-Thing to Fight Hunger" by WATG & Oltmans. 

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This last one that I came upon is called "May the Fork Be With You" by AECOM Orange. It was too hard to capture on a photo but they had lights set up this display to mimic the tie fighter shooting at the wall. There are designs on the back of the main wall. 

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The participating teams are so creative. Specific cans, food packages, and placement of the canned goods all help to create a design. When you stand far away, you can see the image that they are trying to convey. When you get close to the sculptures, you really see how clever they were with their use of canned goods and the intentional placement of items. 

There are a total of 13 CANstruction displays this year that can be seen in 3 different Orange County locations. The bulk of them are at South Coast Plaza while several are actually at the John Wayne Airport. There is one structure at the ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermediate Corridor). You can vote for your favorite sculpture and donate to the OC Food Bank HERE. The event ends September 24, 2017.

Cheers!

-Daisy

Music Monday: Disco Mickey Mouse

Last week a friend of mine shared that she found this album at her local thrift store.

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I as a child that grew up in the late 1970's. I remember having this album, Mickey Mouse Disco and playing it on my record player. There were some songs that were a Disney version of popular disco tunes like "Macho Duck" inspired by "Macho Man".  I love that there were also disco version of classic Disney tunes like "it's a small world" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee." 

Album cover

Album cover

There are lots of videos and remixes on YouTube. While the album is no longer in print, I was happy to find out that the album was available to download on Apple Music. Off to listen to some interesting Disney tunes while i get ready to sit in SoCal traffic. It will remind me of some fun childhood memories, too. 

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

 

Friday Find: Large Disneyland Postcards from the 1990s

With the rise of technology, specifically social media and email, sending vacation postcards to friends and family has slowly become a thing of the past. It's pretty rare to receive fun snail mail in the form of a personal letter or postcard these days. Most people will just post their vacation in real time on their social media accounts. So, finding postcards at the Disney Parks has become increasingly difficult due to the lack of demand of people wanting them. 

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I dug through a box I had and found some postcards that I purchased at Disneyland. Most of these measure 5 by 6.75 inches. I remember selling these in the early 1990s. I always had to tell Guests that these bigger postcards required regular postage vs. postcard postage. 

I bought this postcard to remember my first Christmas working at Disneyland. The back reads: "This artwork was inspired by Walt Disney's Christmas Greeting from 1939."

he back reads: "This artwork was inspired by Walt Disney's Christmas Greeting fro 1939."

he back reads: "This artwork was inspired by Walt Disney's Christmas Greeting fro 1939."

The back of the following postcards reads: "Jimney Cricket Finds that even the littlest guy can have a giant appetite for the taste sweets offered in the candy shop at Main street, U.S.A.

Extraordinary Confectionary

Extraordinary Confectionary

This next postcard featuring Disney villains. Remember these postcards are from the early 1990s so that is before movies like The Little Mermaid, Lion King or any of the Pixar movies came out. These are Disney villains from the 1930's-1980s. Can you name them and what movies they are from ?

Disney Villains

Disney Villains

Postcard from Walt Disney World, 1999.

Postcard from Walt Disney World, 1999.

The following postcards are probably several of my favorites. They used to to offer a special cancellation stamp on Disneyland's actual birthday, July 17th. The US Post Office would actually be available and offer commemorative postmarks. There would be postcards to purchase and then the US Post Office would be there so you could purchase stamps and get these special postal marks. You could mail these to special Disney friends. 

Disneyland postcard for Disneyland's 35th annivsersary. 

Disneyland postcard for Disneyland's 35th annivsersary. 

Back image of 35th anniversary postcard, 1990.

Back image of 35th anniversary postcard, 1990.

This postcard of Walt Disney is really interesting. The Disney characters on this postcard would have been the ones that existed during Walt's lifetime. Mickey Mouse is the sweetest cuddling up to the image of Walt. 

The back reads: "I only hope that we never lost sight of one things - that it was all started by the mouse."

The back reads: "I only hope that we never lost sight of one things - that it was all started by the mouse."

Special cancellation for Disneyland's 40th birthday, June 17, 1995. 

Special cancellation for Disneyland's 40th birthday, June 17, 1995. 

Finally, this last postcard is traditional postcard size. There used to be a college football series called Pigskin Classic that took place in Anaheim from 1990 - 1994. There was a cancellation stamp available for this event.  I thought this simple postcard of Mickey Mouse in front of the castle was appropriate for this postage mark. 

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I think it is intersting how the orientation of the back of this particular postcard is different from the image that is on the front. 

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When I travel with my family for vacation, I usually try to find a postcard and send it from that location to our home. It's kind of fun to receive fun snail mail and it reminds us of our fun trip and memories. It's also great to get a postmark from somewhere far. 

If you are at one of the Disney Parks and find a postcard, get one and send it to yourself, your kids or other Disney friends. Bring your own postage and find a mailbox located in the Parks. The Parks do not have their own location specific cancellation stamp. For example, when you from Disneyland Park, it will just be postmarked "ANAHEIM". If you want to have extra fun, get a character to sign your postcard and then put it in the mail.

Happy Friday!

-Daisy

Aulani Trip Part 1: Preparing & Getting to Aulani

Deciding to go to Aulani is the easy part, right? Now figuring out how to get there will require some thought and homework. Your budget will influence your options and choices in regards to airfare and then transportation once you arrive in Hawaii.

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Flying to Hawaii

For most, going to Hawaii requires one to fly there. It will definitely be one of the items that will eat into your budget. Supply and demand will affect the cost. You will want to fly into Honolulu (Daniel K. Inouye International Airport - HNL). Here are a couple of my tips:

  1. Use an app like Hopper or Kayak to help you look for flights. Enable your notifications so you can get up to date alerts.  If you have other accounts like Hipmunk or Expedia, set your flight preferences and get notifications about airfare rates for your trip dates. Everyone seems to have their preferred method of looking for and booking flights so use what has worked for you. 
  2. Try to get a non-stop flight. Your time is worth getting there the fastest way so you enjoy paradise. There is a big time difference if you are coming from the East coast. The long plane ride is always a good place to try to get some sleep. Remember that Hawaii has its own time zone (Hawaiian Standard Time.) There is no daylight savings time.) Hawaii Time runs two hours behind Pacific Standard Time and five hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
  3. If you can travel on a weekday or non-peak travel seasons (summer and holidays), airfare won't be as a much as a shock to you. If you have to travel during a busy season, consider flying out either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

During the past trip, we went over for the July 4th holiday. I knew that airfare was already going to be pricey. We ended up flying out of LAX on a Wednesday an it saved us about $250 per person. For my family of 4, that was a big savings. 

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Transportation to Aulani & Car Rental

There are no Magic Shuttles or any other Disney official transportation system from the Honolulu airport to Aulani. The resort is about 25 miles west from the airport. We have always rented a car during our vacation for some of the following reasons:

Image from Google

Image from Google

  • Having a rental car makes it easier to take some day trips to see all that Hawaii has to offer.
  • It is cost effective for my family. When you factor the cost of a rental vs. what it costs for a round-trip ticket on a shuttle service, sometimes the car rental is a better deal and more convenient. We are also able to have more control of our time as we are not reliant on a shuttle schedule where sometimes you might have to be picked up so many hours in advance. 
  • My husband is perfectly happy to stay at Aulani for most of time but my kids and I like to go shop. Yes, there is some fun shopping in Hawaii (that will be another post). So, we can leave him by the beach and my kids and I have the freedom to explore the island to sight-see, shop, and find some great food locations.
  • We have a DVC unit (has a kitchen) so it is easy for us to go to get groceries at the nearby Target and Costco. 
  • I usually go with ALAMO rental because there is a ALAMO office right on Aulani. On this visit, the on-site car rental came in handy because the car that I had rented had its oil-check light come on halfway into our vacation. I went the on-site ALAMO office and they were able to make arrangements to easily get me another car. It was seamless. 

I should give you a heads up that if you do get a car rental, there is a self-parking fee at Aulani. It's pretty steep at $37 per day if you are a Guest. If you are a DVC member staying on your points, there is no charge for up to 2 vehicles. 

Finally, don't forget to look into bundling your flight and car rental. Sometimes I have done that and it works out to be a good deal. Do some online comparisons to see where the car rental deals are. Don't forget that Costco or Triple AAA memberships sometimes have deals on car rentals. Sign-up for some of the rental car companies and see what kind of coupons are available for your trip.

Driving around Hawaii is easy. The roads can be a little narrow and there are lots of two lane highways. You'll notice that the speed limits can be much slower than what you may be used to on the mainland. Just embrace your inner "aloha" and go with the flow.  

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There are no cute official Disney signs to help you find your way to the resort. In fact you won't see direct signs that say "Aulani". You'll want to follow the signs that say "Ko'Olina". Finding Aulani once you arrive in the area is pretty easy. Just look for the most beautiful and interesting structure in this area and you'll be at Aulani. 

Street view of Aulani

Street view of Aulani

Aloha!

-Daisy

Music Monday: Best of Friends (Fox and the Hound)

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My younger brother and sister grew up with Fox and the Hound as their childhood Disney movie. One of them had the Fox (Tod) and the other had the Hound (Cooper) plush. I just remember Fox and the Hound being the Disney movie that was a big part of their childhood. 

One of the songs from this Disney classic is "Best of Friends". Written by Stan Fidel  (lyrics) and Richard Johnston (music), the song celebrates the sweet friendship between two young canines, a fox and hound. The characters just see themselves as two young pups who want to have fun exploring the woods together. They are unaware that they should be enemies. The song is sung by Big Mama (owl) who is voiced by Pearl Bailey

 

Fox and the Hound was Disney's 24th animated classic that was released in 1981. It's one of those Disney movies that fly under the radar. Put it on your watch list. It's a touching movie about friendship between as told by Disney artists. It would be the last film that some of the Nine Old Men would be involved (Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas). To complete this movie, Disney would rely on a new and young group of animators that included John Lasseter, John Musker, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, Tim Burton, Brad Bird

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Friday Find: 40th Anniversary Cast Member Letter & Trading Card

I was going through some of my files and came upon this fun letter that was sent to all Disneyland Cast Members in the summer during Disneyland's 40th Anniversary (1995). I love looking at official Disneyland stationary and letterhead. It's also fun to see who was in charge of Disneyland in certain years. 

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The Indiana Jones Adventure attraction debuted in 1995 so Disneyland embraced the theme and incorporated its style into the 40th Anniversary theme. Trading cards used be a big deal and the fact that these cards were made by a famous trading card company, Skybox, was a big deal. This card was also special because it was the "41st" in the series. They would give out trading cards at the turnstile so you could collect them. So there were a total of 40 trading cards for the 30th anniversary with this Cast Member exclusive card as the extra special card. 

Back of trading card. 

Back of trading card. 

There was also this fun decoder card that I found in my file that relates to the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. They used to distribute these decoder cards at the ride. You can still see words and phrases around the Indiana Jones attraction/queue area today. 

Front of decoder card. 

Front of decoder card. 

 Note that AT&T was the official sponsor of the attraction when it opened and remained as a sponsor until 2002. 

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Hope you find some kind of adventure this weekend! 

Happy Friday!

-Daisy