Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category

More Disneyland Memories

Simply put, this home movie filmed inside Disneyland in 1956, is nothing short of enchanting. It’s two minutes of pure nostalgic joy. Watch closely as Walt himself makes a casual appearance to meet and greet Guests. It’s astounding. I ask you this: When was the last time any of you saw the current Disneyland Resort President or better yet CEO Bob Iger, just strolling through the park chatting with Guests? He was remarkable and thus far, irreplaceable.

[Unfortunately Metblogs does not support the embedding code for this video. Just click the link below the preview picture and you’ll be whisked off to Vimeo’s web site]

TWDC

CLICK HERE TO SEE Home Movies At DisneyLand – 1956 from Jeff Altman on Vimeo.

Murphy Is a No-Show

The OC Register reports that Murphy, the much maligned new dragon in Disneyland’s Fantasmic, will not make an appearance during the official summer season. Whether Mr. Fire-Breath will make posthumous summer appearance remains to be seen. Maybe, just maybe, Murphy will rear his fully articulated head in time for Halloween.

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[Image courtesy of Kevincollins123]

We All Live in a Finding Nemo Yellow Submarine

Recent news about Robert Zemeckis’ negotiations to remake the 1968 animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine, is all over the web. Good Christ! Really? Ugh. I am sure The Last Unicorn is up next.

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It should be noted that the director is specifically in negotiations with the Walt Disney Studios. This of course begs one question: If the deal goes through, how long will it be before we have to endure the inevitable attraction overlay at Disneyland? If you think I’m over reacting, I’d like to point you to Pirate’s Lair at Tom Sawyers Island, an ill-begotten idea that seems to stick out like a sore thumb now that the pirates craze from earlier in the decade has blessedly subsided.

Baby You Can Park My Car

As traffic and attendance at the Disneyland Resort grows, parking continues to shrink. With the recently closed “2,226-space Timon parking lot, new parking spaces are needed during the $1-billion expansion of Disney’s California Adventure.” People have to park somewhere and that ‘somewhere is at the Buzz Lightyear lot located at 1946 S. Harbor Blvd on the other side of the current Cast Member lot past Katella Ave.

The Anaheim Planning Commission approved a plan to expand the current 12 acre lot to a much larger (temporary) 35 acre lot. The additional 2,500 spaces being created will hopefully alleviate the parking snarls around the Resort until the rumored parking garage is constructed just north of the GardenWalk some time in the next decade.

If you are traveling to the Resort, pay special attention to the Anaheim Police and Cast Members on hand to direct you – and follow their instructions about where to park. At this point the only location you want to avoid is the lot behind the Paradise Pier Hotel as that location still does not offer tram or bus service to the Main Entrance.

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Shopping is Fun Again

I picked up this little gem at the (newish) Fortuosity Shop on Main Street inside of Disneyland. This is the type of novel and amusing thing you don’t regularly see at The Mouse. It’s nice to have a little variety, especially after being assaulted by branded merchandise at every turn. So when I saw this luggage-tag-of-my-dreams I snapped it up and made it mine! After all, the words expressed on this kitsch are a deeply shared sentiment with yours truly.

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Remember the good ol’ days when they used to have a wide variety of different eclectic merchandise at unique shops all over the park? The old (and now defunct) One Of A Kind Shop in New Orleans Square comes to mind. Anyway, those days are mostly gone and can only be relived in our memories. While the Fortuosity Shop is perfectly lovely, and it does make Disney shopping fun again, it can’t quite compare to the wonders that preceded it.

Disney Inspiration (DisPiration?)

Don’t judge me. Disney makes up their own words all the time (Environmentality and Presenteeism come to mind). I digress……

I was reading through an Adventures By Disney magazine at work, and came across a picture of Neuschwanstein Castle. I’ve included a picture below:

Purdy.

Purdy.

Look familiar to anyone?? Come with me past the jump for more pics and comparisons to Orange County’s 1st castle.
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I Went to Tiki Oasis and…

All I got was this tiki-tacky ashtray! Full. Of. Win.

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Well that’s only sorta true, I also got a set of lovely atomic-tiki bar glasses and a wonderful clock to augment the object d’art above. If you have never been to Tiki Oasis, it’s a poly-pop appreciation weekend in San Diego that is full up hipsters, hippies and lots and lots of rum. I went with the wife and friend for a day trip and I have to tell you it was pretty fun! I was initially concerned that it would be too much of the renaissance-fair set and too little of the middle-aged hipster set. Turns out it was just a bunch of drunken tiki worshipers having a really big party!

Orange County, as you may or may not know, was once rife with tiki temples. Alas those days are gone and only a couple of places remain. Notable among these are the Enchanted Tiki Room and the former Sam’s Seafood in Huntington Beach; the later of which has changed hands and names so many times I’ve lost count. Anyway, if you want to relive the glory days of swinging bachelor pads and jet-set exotica that California was once famous for, Tiki Oasis is the place to do it. Maybe we’ll see you there next year!

k’ya Anaheim

We dropped by the newish restaurant k’ya, at the corner of Harbor and Ball in Anaheim, with the intent of attending their fun/delicious Aloha Brunch. Well tough luck kiddies, they have canceled that indefinitely – a fact which this announcement at the OC Register failed to note.

No matter. We glanced at the menu and decided to stay for lunch anyway. It’s a good thing too, because it was a real treat. The menu was all “street food”, as in gourmet versions of the type of food sold on street corners around the world. Don’t bother looking at the web site’s menu because it’s outdated. Anyway, there isn’t a single item on the menu over nine dollars (but you would be best suited to order two items) because the portions are (not small but) of less-than-gigantic size. Think Cafe Tu Tu Tango – only way better!

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I had Asian Chicken Salad and Loco Moco, my wife has Lobster Raviolis and a Walnut Cranberry Salad and we shared some fried asian dumplings to start. We washed that down with a couple of drinks were out the door for $32.00 (before discounts & tax)! Affordable and delicious! If you’re a Cast Member (or dining with one) you get a whopping 25% discount. The food was tasty, the atmosphere was outstanding and the wait staff was attentive. If I had one complaint it would be this: their menu is unique and really needs some explaining to first-time guests; this was something our waiter failed miserably at doing. Let’s hope they figure out how to explain their new diminutive portions and fun menu in the future.

How and why such an upscale place landed in the Anaheim Resort is a mystery, but it is a place I recommend you take out for a test drive! Yummy Yummy Yummy!

There is a picture of the fried asian dumplings after the jump…

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Counting Down While Waiting in Line [Part 6]

I bet you thought I was done didn’t you? Ha! Fooled you, I have one last post to go: a recap, an honorable mention and a booby prize! So let’s get to it shall we? We all know that waiting line at Disneyland is inevitable but in some cases it can actually be fun! Let’s take a few moments and recap the Five Best Places to Wait in Line at the Disneyland Resort.

Number 5: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Number 4: Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Number 3: Star Tours
Number 2: Enchanted Tiki Room
Number 1: Indiana Jones Adventure

Honorable Mention: Haunted Mansion Holiday
The regular Haunted Mansion didn’t make the lists because it features a unique attraction/queue hybrid that defies definition. Once the line slithers outside into the direct sun, you are left to wander about in some pastoral yet benign settings. However, once a year, when the holidays come around, the place transforms into a Halloween/Christmas wonderland – both on the inside and out! The H M Holiday outdoor queue is especially spectacular at night! The place is lit up like a holiday jack-o-lantern in a display of yuletide overkill. I love it! There’s so much going on in this particular line that space prevents me from articulating all the details. Suffice to say, if you have never been, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The Booby Prize: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
We had a lot of choices for this one but none stood above the famous Submarine Voyage. The reasons are simple: There is no theme. The entire queue is outdoors. Much of the queue is in the direct sun. The line itself stretches all the way into another land (from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland). It’s a serpentine. It’s frustrating watching how quickly the Matterhorn queue is moving compared to yours. And finally, the queue breaks the cardinal rule of queue-theory: you should never ever ever be able to see the front of the line from the end of the line. For shame!

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Counting Down While Waiting in Line [Part 5]

Like death and taxes, waiting line at Disneyland is inevitable. Fortunately for us, the venerable theme park has turned the mathematical inevitably of waiting in line into an art form. It’s because of this thoughtful design that some queues rival the main attraction in areas such as story, interactivity and atmosphere. Let’s take a few moments and bask in the glory of Disney Imagineering as we look at the Best Place to Wait in Line at the Disneyland Resort.

Number 1: Indiana Jones Adventure

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpDenNlG39g[/youtube]

Here you can step back in time to the year 1935 and experience an exotic tourist destination in remote India, called The Temple of the Forbidden Eye. A world of riches can be yours but you must not look into the eyes of the Idol Mara. Once you hop in the specially equipped Jeep, it isn’t long before your doomed expedition is sent on a fright filled journey inside the temple with famed archeologist Indiana Jones. Hey, if you see a giant bolder coming at you while you’re in there, be sure to duck!

Why It’s Number One: Let’s face it, anyone who’s been to Disneyland knew this had to be the choice for Number One. This is the line to beat and the Imagineers really set the bar high. Even the outdoor overflow queue is awesome. It’s mostly shaded, heavily decorated, immersively themed and in general it makes you feel like you are wandering through a serpentine in the lost jungle. Once you get up the front steps to the temple you can expect to encounter sacrificial rooms, extinct lava flows, booby traps, hidden sub-chambers and more. Best of all the whole thing is interactive and huge! If a sign advises you not to pull or touch or push or lean – that’s your cue to do just the opposite! Be sure and watch the old news reels playing inside to see what may become of you on your voyage. There’s also a secret hidden code throughout the queue; written on the walls in a long-forgotten language. I can’t tell you what it says but I can say it may or may not be an advertisement for AT&T. If you make it through the line unscathed then be prepared for a ride like no other! Oh and remember… real rewards await those who choose wisely.

Room For Improvement: While this may be the best place in Disneyland the entire world to wait in line, there is still room for improvement. First of all, it’s time to just remove the Fastpass altogether. The current setup yields it almost useless and completely unnecessary. Second, those Imagineers need to come up with some cleverly located real estate for stroller parking and waiting family members. The entrance to this ride often looks like a refugee camp. Finally, as with all the attractions in Adventureland, you almost can’t even find the entrance to this attraction – this may be on purpose but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Many guests have a devilish time simply finding the damned standby entrance, let alone finding their own asses with two hands and a map.

Don’t forget to check out our Number 2 pick for the Top Five Places to Wait in Line at the Disneyland Resort.

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