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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Main St. Time Machine

I played around with one of my photo editing software applications a week or so ago. You know... these pictures are recent.... but they also could have been from the mid 50's if you don't look too close at what people are wearing. The absolute wonder of Disneyland U.S.A's Main Street is it's timelessness. The new Starbucks location in the Market House on Main St. is about to put timelessness to the test as the intimacy of Main St. collides with a modern dining facility that has huge interior space and is basically "skinned".

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trick or Treat - Disneyland Style

Assorted family members at Mickey's Halloween Party 2013
Well, last night was the first Mickey's Halloween Party of the year, the special admission event Disneyland holds on Tuesdays and Fridays until Halloween (including Halloween itself). Let's take a roll call. A co-worker from a neighboring cubicle - she was there with her daughter and two grandsons - check. My sister was there with her husband - check. My sister's daughter with her two boys were there - check. Another niece was there with her 3 kids - check. I think that makes around a dozen people that I know having fun at Disneyland last night (at 50 something bucks a head). Who wasn't at Mickey's Halloween Party? That would be me, sitting here, getting pictures and text messages sent back to my phone.

But that's OK. I've said over and over again, I am not a Halloween person. I find Disneyland holding high priced separate admission events rather repulsive given the high prices they already charge for regular park admission. So while I'm sure they had fun (and are still having fun this morning as I write this) I'm good with missing out on the party.

My sister said the Halloween Party was different and kind of fun but wouldn't do it again. Other than the park being less crowded than usual since all the non-event guests were kicked out of the park by 7:00 pm, the Halloween Party was all about kids dressing up in costumes and having most of the fun. I don't think she thought it was worth the extra money. The kids on the other hand thought it was great. Of course....they're not paying.

Starbucks Opens In Disneyland: Superman Dressed as Clark Kent

The "old" Main St. Market House - A Disney Photo
The new Disneyland Starbucks location, now housed in the beloved Market House structure on Main St. USA, opened this past week. Yes, a lot of the old time charm has been sucked right out of the place but give Disney Imagineers credit, they tried to keep as much of the old time, turn of the feel of the place in the sleek new facility as they possibly could. Basically, they skinned a modern Starbucks. Starbucks is an immensely popular mass market coffee house of the modern age. Disneyland has taken the Starbucks superman and put it in mild mannered Clark Kent's clothes. Even the die hard Disneyland traditionalists can't be too displeased with the effort. And if they are, they will get over it. 

Yes, the pot belly stove and checkerboard are still in there. And is something that the old Market House never had - indoor seating.

Market House - Starbucks - Disney Concept Art

Monday, September 23, 2013

Disneyland's Signature Transition From Summer to Fall

The Disneyland Pumpkin Muffin - A MiceChat Dateline Disneyland Photo

In rained here in Northern California like a son of a gun this past Saturday, the 21st, the last official day of summer. When I woke up Sunday morning and stepped outside with the dog (reassuring her that the nasty rainstorm really went away and it was OK for her to go potty again), the air was crisp, cool, and fresh. Maybe the shorts I was wearing should be exchanged for a pair of sweatpants. Yep, that morning was the first day of autumn, or as most people call it - Fall. That's a strange name for a season but looking at the big tree in the front yard, in a couple of weeks, the word 'Fall' will make perfect sense. That's my seasonal passage, for October and November around here, its all about picking up falling leaves.

There is a Disneyland summer-fall seasonal transition as well. You could say summer ends when all the ride and attraction refurbishments spring into full speed, or the park hours get severely cut, or pumpkins and the color orange appears almost everywhere, or Jack Skellington takes over the Haunted Mansion. No.....that's not it. For Mrs. DisneylandTraveler, Disneyland changes seasons with the appearance of her beloved pumpkin muffin. She says Disneyland makes the best pumpkin muffin anywhere. I'm not going to argue. I don't even like pumpkin (to be more specific, I don't like pumpkin spices) and I have to admit Disneyland's pumpkin muffin is pretty darn good, especially with a hot cup of coffee on a cool autumn morning. MiceChat published the above photo this morning. For us here at the Disneyland Traveler Blog, fall - autumn, whatever you want to call it, has officially arrived. The pumpkin muffin is back on bakery shelves.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Around Disneyland - September 12, 13 - Pictures - Part 3

Steamboat Mickey appears in Fantasmic

This is the last installment of pictures of Disneyland from a week ago that my friend gave to me. This segment covers Fantasmic, a quick look at the Haunted Mansion, and maybe a firework or two.

Fanstasmic Is Disneyland's Best Nighttime Show:  Say what you will about a parade at night or World of Color or the regular fireworks display, the best show Disneyland puts on at night is Fantasmic which is close to 20 years old I believe. And judging by the crowds that continue to see it, the popularity of the show has not waned a bit through the years. Now that the infamous Murphy the Dragon is able to make his regularly scheduled appearance, the show is better than ever.

I can hear the opening music already

The boom of a cannon, the appearance of sailing ship Columbia, and the battle
between Captain Hook and Peter Pan - a great Disneyland moment for everyone.

The stunning animatronic drag on was a great addition to the show

Another great show Mickey

That Fantasmic show was from Friday the 13th. Earlier in the day.....

Haunted Manstion Holidays Returns:  The Haunted Mansion die hard Disneyland traditionalists lament the 4 month appearance of the Halloween / Christmas edition of the Mansion set up against Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. I love the overlay which brings some much appreciated color to a great ride normally shrouded in shades of gray. 

Since this was the opening of the 2013 Haunted Mansion Holidays -
Check out the mob waiting to get in. About a 40 minute wait.

Hello old friend


Fireworks:  I'm terrible at fireworks shots.  These are some good ones to finish my friends trip. He had a great time and did an awful lot in two days.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Around Disneyland - September 12, 13 - Pictures - Part 2


Continuing on with my friend and his wife with the photos he passed on to me from his Disneyland trip a week ago.

Aladdin - Wonderful Show Still Going Strong:  Aladdin has been showing to packed houses in DCA's Hyperion Theater for about 11 years or so. There was a bit of down period when the show's best sequence - the Whole New World, flying carpet ride segment - had to be tamely altered following an accident with the carpet. But the flying carpet is back and the show is restored to its total glory. These really are some good pictures.

I know - Jafar is the bad guy - but he really is a good bad guy

We could all use a magic lamp, a genie, and 3 wishes

The Genie - Still the best part of the show and the movie

Cars Land at Night:  As regular readers know, I spent so much time in Cars Land during my week at the Disneyland Resort last spring that by the time I left, I was sick of the place - crowded and over hyped, lacking in any substance other than one really great, great ride. But even I have to admit, the place makes for beautiful pictures at night glowing in neon and accented by the gloriously lit mountains.

Sun going down - lights coming on at Cars Land

Around Disneyland - September 12, 13 - Pictures - Part 1

A view of the closed TMRR from Tarzan's Treehouse
Well, in an act of kindness that fueled my sense of Disneyland longing my friend and co-worker passed on to me a CD of some of the photos he took on his trip to the resort a little over a week ago. He took some really good pictures and if truth be told, takes better pictures than me. Heck, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler takes pictures for better than me. I've got this tremor in my hands since I was about a teenager that's a hereditary thing. 70% of the pictures I take are discard-able due to my hands and the camera shaking. The other 30% are passable. One of these days, Mrs DLT is going to let me have a camera that will compensate for my hands.

Pictures from around Main Street:  Where are the people? This was Thursday. The people would show up in droves the next day on Friday the 13th, the first official day of the Halloween season.

A quiet walk up Main St.  A rare occurrence these days.

Due to the lack of people on Thursday, all rides open were almost walk ons
with no more than a 15 minute wait. Most were only 5.

Pictures from Club 33:  My friend and his wife have connections due to a couple they are close friends with and really are Club 33 members. By profession, their friends, both the husband and the wife are anesthesiologists. 

Menu cover. Leather bound. Pretty fancy for a menu that has 5 or 6 items.

The Club 33 halibut. The price? Try around 80 bucks.
Lamb Chops
Club 33 check in. Elevator to the dining room is off to the right there.
One of the dining rooms.

Another dining room

Care for a dessert?

Maybe the last photo I will have of the lovely Court of Angels before
Club 33 takes this sport over for its new entrance.