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Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween From The Disneyland Traveler.

"I got a rock"
Still my favorite memory from Halloween now close to 50 years old. Charlie Brown going nuts with the scissors on his Halloween costume and ending up with a bag full of rocks.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Prepping For Disneyland: Let The Packing Begin

We're still a few weeks away from our trip to Disneyland. This is the time when the brain begins to kick into gear; you begin to think about things like packing lists; and you begin to think about exactly what you plan to bring with you. Like I said, I could probably get ready for a trip to Disneyland in a couple of hours and do just fine but there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. Somehow, there is more satisfaction in making a plan and doing things the right way rather than letting the anxiety build and doing things at the last minute.

We generally drive to Disneyland rather than fly even though we are about 450 miles away (434 to be exact). Driving allows us to bring everything but the kitchen sink which makes the packing list even longer. We bring things like a full size coffee maker and an electric fan along with plenty of snacks and beverages. Don't forget the extension cords and air freshener.

So today it all begins - the preparing. I'll dig out my suitcase even though it is far too early to put anything in it. An empty suitcase at least gets you to think about what to put in it. I checked weather.com this morning and according to statistics, the average high in Disneyland during the week we'll be there is about 75 degrees. The average low is around 52 degrees. Since all my winter clothes have been packed away for the summer, its about time to get them out and see what is a good candidate to make the trip. The Disneyland nights can get pretty cool after sunset in November - experience has taught me that lesson in various ways (lesson: do not ride Grizzly River Run unprotected at 5:00 pm - wet clothes and a setting sun are not a good combination).

So let the preparation begin. Time moves faster than expected when you get to be my age.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 Best Themed Rides At The Disneyland Resort

These are my selections as the best themed rides at the Disneyland Resort. The order may change from person to person but this list will probably be fairly consistent as it is made up of the usual suspects.

1) Pirates of the Caribbean:  From the time I was about 8 years old, Pirates has been the ride for me. A gift from Walt Disney himself. The Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow add ons were not necessary.

2) The Haunted Mansion:  I'm not a huge HM fan personally but no one can say the place doesn't drip with as much detail as any ride in the park.

3) Hollywood Tower of Terror:  The anxiety builds the moment you step through the front door.

4) Indiana Jones Adventure:  A rollicking fun ride that has theming up the wazoo. 

5) Peter Pan's Flight:  The quintessential Disneyland dark ride for all ages. There's a reason the lines are always long. You can fly....

Honorable Mentions:  Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad - mountains of fun and Disney magic.

Whoa!!!! Stuck On Mickey

Reported on various internet and main stream press sources last week was the story about a breakdown of Mickey's Fun Wheel. For up to 90 minutes, guests were left dangling in the gondolas while Disney maintenance crews manually cranked down the massive ferris wheel one gondola at a time. And this occurred in 90 degree heat. At its peak, Mickey's Fun Wheel is 150 ft in the air. Imagine the anxiety. Needless to say that as each car unloaded, Disney guest relations people were passing out bottled water, food vouchers, and free park tickets for a future visit.

I say all this with a sense of the inevitable. I've been trying to get Mrs. DisneylandTraveler up on the Mickey's Fun Wheel for years now. I keep telling her that the non-swinging gondolas make for a secure gentle ride with spectacular views. Alas, her fear of heights has kept her off the Fun Wheel to this point. After she hears about this, the inevitability is that there is no chance at all to ever get her to go up on that thing. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Olaf The Snowman: Cute Or Kind Of Creepy

Some things in life you just can't explain. I'm a Norwegian by heritage with both my parents coming from North Dakota. Snow is in my blood or at least it should be. There have been people in my family with the name Olaf. But I have an dislike for snow, necessary as it may be. Can't stand the stuff. And over the years, I've developed an aversion to snowmen. To me they are just kind of creepy characters no matter how lovable Disney or anyone else tries to make them out to be.

When we make our visit Disneyland in a few weeks, the Olaf character from the hit movie Frozen will have a significant presence throughout various park activities. I kind of dread this. Call it the creepy factor. I expect to see Olaf in my sleep.

But I know this is just me as this winter, children of all ages will be delighted by the presence of Olaf at the Disneyland Resort. I just know I won't be one of them.

5 Most Overrated Attractions At The Disneyland Resort

This list is subjective for sure but not every attraction at the Disneyland Resort is a hit. There are some misses. Here is my list of overrated Disneyland Resort attractions.

1) Luigi's Flying Tires: Slow and ponderous this ride missed the mark so much it is rumored to be on it's way out.

2) Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage:  The submarine ride is still cool but turning it into a  cartoon - not so much.

3) Goofy's Sky School:  Pull off the theming and this is still nothing but a run of the mill carnival wild mouse ride.

4) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride;  People's affection for this maniacal dark ride to the gates of hell still surprises me.

5) The Matterhorn:  This once great coaster slid back considerably with some of the most uncomfortable ride vehicles imaginable when the bobsleds were replaced a few years ago.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

5 Best Thrill Rides At The Disneyland Resort

Here is a rundown of The Disneyland Traveler's five best thrill rides at the Disneyland Resort:

1) Hollywood Tower of Terror:  High anxiety.

2) Space Mountain:  It's dark in there.

3) California Screamin':  Cadillac of coasters even if there is no theming whatsoever.

4) Thunder Mountain Railroad:  Rollicking fun and beautifully themed.

5) Splash Mountain:  Only one thrill but its a doosie the rest is pure Disney fun.

Honorable Mention:  Grizzly River Run:  You will get wet.

Losing Ground:  The Matterhorn.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Seven Weeks And Counting Down

We just had our first rain of the season here in California's central valley. A most welcome rain indeed as we remain mired in a statewide drought. Down in Disneyland, they are currently decked out in their Halloween best, a sea of orange bunting and pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere. And many days over the past few weeks it has been hotter than the blazes.

But my mind is slowly turning to Christmas at Disneyland because in just seven short weeks, I will gaze at the park's giant Christmas tree, be amazed by the exquisitely lit it's a small world facade, see it snow on Main St., and actually see a parade highlighted by an appearance by Santa Claus.

Yes, I have to admit, the time has come to start to at least begin thinking of preparing for a trip to Disneyland. It starts Monday with a trip to my doctor to ask for a prescription for a nagging arthritis condition that leads to pain and stiffness in my hands and knees. Now one wants to be at Disneyland and deal with pain when a simple pill could help. 

I need shop for a new pair of lightweight walking shoes. I just bought a couple of pairs of shoes but they feel far too heavy for all that walking so I'm looking for something lighter in weight.

I need to get all my photo gear in order. You know, cameras, memory cards, chargers, and a power strip for all the chargers because outlets are in short supply in hotel rooms. Remember when it was just a cameral and film? Of course, besides just camera stuff, there's a laptop and cell phones. Electronics are complicated and you certainly don't want to forget anything.

The details often seem daunting with the perfect trip planning (if there is such a thing) but they can also be quite fun.....

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trip Disappointment #2 - Disneyland Sneaks In A Food Price Increase

This is probably more of an inevitability than a disappointment but as reported by MiceChat a week or two ago, Disneyland has increased the price of most of its food items in the park. The increase ranges from a coupe of dimes to a couple of bucks. This doesn't effect anything with planning our trip. We will still go to the same places regardless of the prices being charged. We'll just pay the increased prices and complain about it amongst ourselves. A trip to Disneyland and complaining about the prices often go hand in hand.

Maybe we outsmarted them this time. Instead of the deluxe annual pass we usually get, we have invested in premium annual passes which comes with a greater discount on food purchases in the park Wait a minute....we paid how much for those premium annual passes? Somehow the price of the food increases isn't going to equal the increase we paid for the premium annual passes over the deluxe annual passes. Disney wins again. They always. do.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Trip Disappointment #1 - The Mark Twain Closed For Refurbishment

So while we are making plans for our November Disneyland trip, Disneyland strikes back and tells the first thing we can't do. We won't be able make that lovely voyage around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Steamboat which is now closed for a 3 month refurbishment. MiceChat's In the Parks has the ship setting sail again November 28, about a week after our trip has ended.

You don't really appreciate something until it's gone, and while the Mark Twain isn't exactly a must do thrill ride, what it is - is a quiet and relaxing respite from a place that can get very busy and the few moments of quiet on the voyage are at least be me, greatly appreciated and something I look forward to on every trip to Disneyland.

Yes, I can do without the Mark Twain. It isn't a trip deal breaker. But I will miss the boat ride. Of course I suspect the Columbia will be sailing to pick up the slack but that voyage just isn't the same.

There was just something special about getting one of those chairs on the front of the Mark Twain and settling in to hear a narrative that I've probably heard 100 times before. A trip on the Mark Twain is one of those things that make you say, "yep....I'm in Disneyland." 

No Mark Twain.....no Billy Hill and the Hillbillies......Frontierland is turning out to be a bummer in November.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Captain America Calling

The first Captain America film (Captain America: The First Avenger) was one of my favorites of the Marvel superhero series. That film was long on story and character development and perfectly mixed with action sequences. The other night we finally got around to seeing the second Captain America film (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) on Blu-Ray here in the comforts of the Disneyland Traveler living room. Well, it was rousing couple of hours of some pretty cool action sequences but .......

The plot was confusing and hard to follow and story was secondary to the action that was presented on the screen. Not that the film wasn't good, it just was missing some of the elements which made the first movie so good. The acting was good of enough, there were a few moments of humor and insight, and some of the action sequences were spectacular but still Captain America The Winter Soldier came up a little bit on the empty side. Maybe I need to see it again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

At Least It's Not Captain EO

Over in Disneyland's Tomorrowland, the Magic Eye Theater (host for many years to Captain EO and Honey I Shrunk The Audience and most recently the preview of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy) went under refurbishment once again and there was speculation that the badly outdated Captain EO 3D film would make its way back into Disneyland playing to mostly empty houses in the large state of the art theater.

A few days ago Disney put that rumor on hold and announced in Disney Parks Blog that the theater will, beginning September 26, host a special preview for it's latest animated film effort - Big Hero 6 which premieres in theaters November 7. At least it's not Captain EO showing when we arrive for our trip in November (though admittedly outside of seeing one preview - I know nothing about Big Hero 6).

And what of Captain EO? Maybe we have seen the last of the old film. 2015 brings a new episode of the massively successful Marvel's The Avengers as well as the latest installment of Star Wars. Disney could spend a year or more just showing previews of their 2015 sure fire blockbusters in the Magic Eye theater and it might not be a bad idea so long as the extended previews that are shown are high in quality and designed to be crowd pleasers for Disneyland guests. It beats seeing the tired old Captain EO.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Holidays At The Disneyland Resort Dates Now Set

Disneyland's Winter Castle - A Disney Parks Blog Photo

Disney Parks Blog confirmed this week that the official Christmas Holiday Season at the Disneyland Resort will run from November 13 - January 6. Perfect! Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I are scheduled to hit the resort  for our holiday trip November 15.

No big changes for the holidays, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Believe In Holiday Magic fireworks, and the rest of the usual suspects make their return and that's just fine. The one holiday spectacle I could pass on would be Work of Color - Winter Dreams which returns from last year. At this point in time, I've pretty much seen enough of Olaf. I've been "Frozened" to death.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Plenty Of Water For Finding Nemo But The Rest Of Us Get Hosed

Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage stands ready to reopen after an extensive refurbishment. The gazillion gallons of water it takes to fill the attraction has taken place and the picturesque lagoon with their bright yellow subs will soon be taking on passengers for a ride that was once serious but has since become an animated cartoon.

I say all this as a backdrop to the fact that we out here in California are facing a serious drought and water shortages. Heck, my lawn and most of my neighbors lawns are dead from the drought and the fact serious penalties can incur if water restriction mandates are not taken seriously. So how does Disney get off filling a lagoon with massive amounts of water when the rest of us look at water as a pretty precious commodity? 

The answer has to do with something does quite well these days - recycling. When Disneyland first drained the lagoon, the water went into an underground storage reserve facility run by the local Orange County / Anaheim water department. When it came time to refill the attraction earlier this month bingo...... the water was there. Doesn't seem to help my lawn situation though. Disneyland seems to have plenty of water for all their attractions. For the rest of us, it's something that is in very short supply.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Orleans Style Dining At The French Market

Shrimp Salad Po'Boy - French Market - New Orleans Square - Disneyland

I have to admit that over the years since I've started writing this blog, I've spent very little time talking about New Orleans Square French Market which is an error on my part since the counter service cafeteria style eatery has become a personal favorite of mine. The French Market plays stepchild to the other two New Orleans Square full service dining facilities - the illustrious Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans but food wise, the FM can certainly hold its own with one of the more unusual menus of any Disneyland restaurant.

I say all this as a note to self regarding our upcoming trip: Spend more time at the French Market. Enjoy what Disney passes off as New Orleans cuisine - it's actually quite good. Enjoy a good meal while listening to live jazz. Experience a little bit of the Big Easy right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Disneyland.

The Shrimp Salad Po' Boy was one of my dining highlights from my last trip (not as good as the Harbour Galley's lobster roll but still a very satisfying sandwich). I've had the French Quarter chicken and enjoyed it very much. But there's still cajun style meatloaf and red beans and rice with sausage still on the menu and waiting for me to try.

Take a step out of the ordinary with the French Market. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Disneyland's Worst Named Ride

Let's see - there's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride which really isn't so wild after all. There's Snow White's Scary Adventure which is neither very scary or much of an adventure. And then there's Pinocchio's Daring Journey which is neither very daring or much of a journey. In fact, Pinocchio goes down on my list as the dullest ride in the Disneyland, promising a journey and delivering a snoozer of a ride without much to offer kids or adults of any age. I suppose there's some charm or nostalgia in there somewhere but when most people get off the ride, they hit the exit and not give the attraction a second thought let alone a chance to give the ride a thought of going on it again. It's ride where you check the box. "Yep, went on Pinocchio....moved on".

Of all the Fantasyland dark rides, only Peter Pan's Flight and Alice in Wonderland deliver as advertised. The rest come up short. Supposedly for the 60th anniversary next year, the Fantasyland dark rides will get some new modern special effects. It could only be an improvement.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mater Steals Gomer's Act

I sometimes watch reruns of the old Andy Griffith show with my father-in-law. I'm not a fan of the bumpkin Tow Mater character created for the Cars movies by Pixar (more specifically the bumpkin character created by Larry the Cable Guy). I've never been able to put my foot down on why the character bothers me so much (granted, this is a pretty trivial thing to be bothered by). Then, while watching reruns of the old Andy Griffith Show, something occurred to me. Mater is pretty much the same character (in the form of a talking rusted out tow truck) as the Gomer and Goober characters I watched on Andy Griffith. Larry the Cable Guy stole their act (or I should say schtick) from 40 or 50 years ago. There is just something unappealing to me that in a day when we should be striving for wisdom, knowledge, and education, we somehow find time to celebrate being a buffoon. Again, I've probably put way too much thought into this. Kids love Mater and I guess that is all that matters.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Haunted Mansion Prepares For The Holidays

So here we are at August 25th and the stores on Disneyland's Main St. are already stocked to the rafters with Halloween merchandise. The offical Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is set to begin September 12th.  With that in mind, today is the day The Haunted Mansion shuts down and begins it's holiday transformation.
But forget Halloween - to me anyway, the holiday transformation of The Haunted Mansion is the first sign of Christmas in Disneyland. When the Mansion returns to service in 3 weeks, we will get our first glimpse of "Sandy Claus" and the Christmas landscape of the park. Which only means I am one more step forward to that November trip.
The dog days of summer are coming to an end. Halloween is here for those that enjoy that time of year. For me, it all means we are one step closer to the real holidays and when Disneyland really comes to life.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Disneyland's Biggest Mistake (Of The Last Year)

Disneyland gets a lot of things right. Occasionally they do something wrong. (Sometimes they make a move that seems to go sideways.) The biggest mistake Disneyland made in the last year was the removal of the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show from the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Why remains a mystery but my own theory (and it is only speculation) is that a group of highly trained musicians and showmen, some who have played at Disneyland for two decades, probably was a pretty expensive act to produce. Disneyland retired the Hillbillies as part of a cost cutting measure. Nothing else makes sense since the Hillbillies performances were played before packed houses every day, rain or shine. Their popularity was extraordinary.

I bring all this up because we have extended our November trip by one day primarily to go over Knotts Berry Farm is see the Hillbillies perform. Knotts is the new home for the Hillbillies. For some reason, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler wouldn't feel a trip to Disneyland would be complete without seeing the Hillbillies only now a trip to Knotts is necessary to see them. She has a point.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Disney And The Business Of Spiderman

Amazing Spiderman Movie Poster - Sony Pictures

So the amazing Spiderman 2 came out on video this week. Since I didn't make it to the theaters to see the movie, the good folks at Wal-Mart were only too happy to provide me with a copy at nominal price. So now I get to rehash just what Spiderman has to do with Disney since Spiderman is made by Sony Pictures even though the web slinger is a Marvel character and probably Marvel's single most valuable property. Sounds complicated. It is and it isn't.

As far as movies go, Spiderman made by Sony Pictures by license agreement with Marvel Entertainment which Disney owns. Disney gets a cut off profits off every Spiderman movie even though Sony takes home most of the money. The same is true of X-Men, Wolverine, and Fantastic Four which are produced by Fox through a licensing agreement with Marvel. These license agreements were in place before Disney bought Marvel and as the story goes, as long as Sony and Fox continue to turn out Marvel quality superhero movies on a regular basis, the licensing stays in place and Sony and Fox continue to make movies. One slip up and Disney lawyers will only be too happy to take the properties back. Either that or Disney shells out the big buck to buy back the licenses which they are not inclined to do since by Disney CEO's own admission "we have more than enough Marvel characters to work with already".

Still the hope is out there that a true Marvel/Disney Spiderman movie will be made some day. That would be a movie that would set box office records on fire.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Disneyland Monorails: Still Cool After All These Years

What I remember from my first trip to Disneyland as a kid, other than that first drop on Pirates of the Caribbean (!), was my first ride on a monorail. As a kid, it was a pretty cool ride. Now here as an adult, and many (many) years later, I have to admit a ride on the monorail, even at my age, is still a pretty cool deal. It's one of those rides that make up the unique fabric of Disneyland. For many, it is the first ride in operation that is visible when you first see the park upon entering the Disneyland area.

The sleek, colorful Mark VII monorails make quite a first impression. Unlike their WDW counterparts, the Disneyland monorails still serve as an attraction as well as a mode of transportation. The two mile circle around Disneyland is still a must do attraction for Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and myself. Whizzing by the scenery, it's hard to believe the top speed isn't all that much. My only wish is their were a stop in DCA as well as its Downtown Disney stop.

For the kid in all of us, a ride on the monorail still represents what Disneyland is all about - imagination, innovation, uniqueness, and just plain fun. All aboard!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Single Best Thing To Eat In Disneyland

Baked Potato Soup - YUM!

At work I am forever asked for recommendations about what to eat or where to dine at Disneyland. There are some good choices available and unfortunately also some bad. After years of trial and error, I'm here to tell you that the single best food item you get put in your mouth at Disneyland is the Baked Potato Soup served by the Carnation Cafe.

This isn't a soup for the diet conscious. It is creamy, rich, and decadent. Artery clogging begins with the first bite and the sinful pleasure continues right to the bottom of the bowl.

Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I are in the process of covering what Disneyland dinning spots we'd like to visit when we make our next trip in November. There's a lot of maybe's and probably's in our deliberations. One thing we are in compete agreement is a stop at the Carnation Cafe for a bowl of soup (and some undetermined entree). It's one of our Disneyland traditions.

PS..... a couple of near misses for the top spot of best Disneyland food items - the fried chicken served by the Plaza Inn, the previously mentioned Lobster Roll from the Harbour Galley, and of course no trip to Disneyland would be complete without a Dole pineapple whip (or float).

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin Williams: A Genius Who Played A Genie

Sad. Very sad news today about Robin Williams passing.....but the Genie lives on and a legendary animated performance will never be forgotten. By all accounts, he was a very nice man.

Thinking Beyond The Dog Days Of August

A few weeks ago, frustrated beyond belief with Windows 8, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler bought me a Mac for my birthday. Now comes the part where I need to transfer all the photos on my PC to my new Mac. And here in August, in the midst of the dog days of summer, I came across these small world photos from our trip last December and think about seeing it again this upcoming November. Even now, in the sweltering heat of summer, this is a sight of welcome relief and represents a hope and a dream.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Glistening Haunted Mansion Turns 45

The Haunted Mansion - Disneyland - A Disney Parks Blog Photo

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion turned 45 years old yesterday I guess that is something of a milestone for the park. Of course Disneyland had special panels, exclusive merchandise, and signed artwork available to the public never missing on a chance to promote the bejeezus out of the smallest events.

Disney Parks Blog posted some beautiful pictures of the mansion for the event. Even though the place is supposed to be a "haunted" mansion, the building sure glistens with detail. How come their cobwebs and dust looks better than the cobwebs and dust at my house? HM was the last ride Walt Disney was personally involved in developing with his masterful use of imagination and creativity. The Haunted Mansion is one of Disneyland's crown jewels.

A Disney Parks Blog Photo

Yet strangely enough, the Haunted Mansion is not one of my favorite attractions in the park. Maybe I take it for granted because there is never too long of a wait and always seems to be available. Maybe I've been on it too many times. I find the non-holiiday version a little boring. How can you say that about a ride that is 13 minutes long and can load about 3000 people an hour? The truth is I admire a ride I find rather drab and colorless. I actually prefer the holiday version that seems a bit more on the fun side.

A Disney Parks Blog Photo

On our last trip to Disneyland I looked down from the Main St. train station platform and saw Bob Gurr talking to some cast members. Bob was one Walt's main imagineers on the Haunted Mansion project and actually developed the "Doom Buggy" omnimover ride system. He was on one of yesterday's panels and talked about the ideas for and construction of the great attraction. I'm sure he is proud.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Is Innoventions A Waste Of Time Again?

ASIMO - still Innoventions best attraction

A reader made the comment that on their recent trip to Disneyland the biggest disappointment was a visit to the Innoventions Building. I can understand. As we look forward our upcoming trip the question is out there - Innoventions - Yes or No? I think this trip we are going to take a pass on visiting the venerable old building.

When the Iron Man suits moved in, I had hopes. Either the suits represented the first footprint of a Marvel based attraction in Disneyland (rumored) or the beginnings of Marvel based universe within the old and underutilized building. Neither have materialized and for most people, the place is a waste of time after an initial visit.

Yes, Captain America and Thor meet and greets have moved in but regular readers of this blog know my opinion of the now overuse of meet and greets. While popular with young kids, they represent a cheap windfall for Disney. Instead of developing real imaginative attractions, people wait for incredible lengths of time to meet a character in a costume. It's an easy way out to put something new in the park and attract throngs of people with little effort or imagination on Disney's part.

The Iron Man suits a great but only need one visit - been there done that.

My rule of thumb regarding Innoventions is that a visit every 5 years or so is good enough or place to get out of the rain. The single best attraction in the building remains ASIMO - Honda's amazing little robot. The rest of the place is just a corporate shill for Yamaha, HP, Microsoft, along with Disney's feeble efforts to show off its Marvel franchise. 

I do have a feeling that better days are coming for Innoventions, I just I don't think its coming any time soon which is too bad.

Thor movie props - more of these types of displays would be a nice touch.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It Starts With The Harbour Galley Lobster Roll

Round up the usual suspects. That was the gist of the conversation I had with Mrs. DisneylandTraveler when we discussed where we might like to dine on on our upcoming trip to Disneyland. There's the Carnation Cafe, the Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, the Plaza Inn, Big Thunder BBQ all on the list of possible candidates for dining but these are the traditional choices.

For the untraditional, for me anyway, it starts with the lobster roll served up at the Harbour Galley along the shores of the Rivers of America. It's only  a little walkup place to eat with limited seating but their lobster roll is a one of a kind unique eat inside Disneyland. Now does it rank up there with the classic New England Lobster Rolls served on the east coast? No, it's not like that. It's more like a lobster salad on a roll but it still adds up to quite a tasty sandwich and a "must have" when I make my return trip in November.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It Tastes Like Disneyland

A few weeks ago Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I were wandering around Old Sacramento when we stopped by a candy shop to pick up some salt water taffy of assorted flavors. Later that night I opened a piece, popped it in my mouth, and immediately a thought jumped into my head - "This tastes like Disneyland!".

At the time, I didn't know what the flavor of the candy was - I just knew it was familiar and reminded me of being in Disneyland. Later it occurred to me the flavor was caramel corn. It's funny, you think of Disneyland in terms of sights and sounds and in some cases smells, but this time - I could taste the park and what a sweet taste it is.

Disneyland is one of the few places I eat caramel corn so its not surprising that little piece of salt water taffy made my think of walking along Main St. nibbling on the sweet treat but what struck me was just how strong and delightful the taste sensation was. It took me quite by surprise.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I Could Be Wrong About Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

I posted last week on Facebook that I thought Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy looked "incredibly stupid". I'll stick to that comment because a wise guy raccoon and a walking tree as superheroes don't exactly give me comic book thrills. But Disney doesn't exactly care what I think and Guardians of the Galaxy opened to the tune of $95 million dollars on its premiere weekend - the biggest August opening ever and once again giving proof that Disney CEO Bob Iger really knew that he had a gold mine on his hands when he purchased Marvel for $4 billion dollars.

My own opinion of Guardians has shifted a bit too. I don't won't spend money to see the film at the theaters but at least now I plan to give it a shot on video.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Christmastime Reservation At The Disneyland Resort

We did it. Yesterday,Mrs. DisneylandTraveler called the Candy Cane Inn and made a November reservation for a week's stay at Disneyland. We like the Candy Cane Inn. If you are staying outside of the Disney's Grand Californian or Disneyland Hotel, it is the best place to stay for a trip to Disneyland. The Candy Cane Inn runs a little more in terms of price than the rest of the Harbor Blvd. "Good Neighbor" hotels but it's overall cleanliness and impeccable customer service more than make up for the few extra dollars. 

So by the time we get to Disneyland in November, Christmastime at the Disneyland Resort will be hitting its starting point and what better way is there to begin the holiday season and get into the Christmas spirit. Even the thought of it makes me smile.

Now, some things have to fall into place for us pull off this trip but it looks promising enough that making a reservation seemed like the right thing to do. And now - three and a half months of anticipation.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Maleficent and the Seven Dwarfs

Those that have read this blog through the years kind of know that when it comes to the history of classic Disney movies, I'm not your expert. I know its sacrilege but I am not a really big fan of the movies Walt produced in his lifetime. Though technically excellent - the stories themselves I never really was able to get into. I'm a Disneyland guy..... not so much a Disney guy.

With that in mind, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler was able to get me out to see Maleficent a few weeks ago. Inside I was grumbling and complaining and wishing we were on our way to Amazing Spiderman 2 but I went anyway.

I figured I was on my way to see a story about a wicked witch who gave Snow White the poisoned apple. In there somewhere I expected to see Seven Dwarfs. Yep, I had the the wrong fairy tale. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out I was seeing a story about Sleeping Beauty and not Snow White. What a putz..... like I said, I'm not a classic Disney kind of guy.

About the movie? The first half was pretty boring but the movie gained momentum toward the end especially when the dragon appeared. Good ending to what is essentially a children's fairy tale. Maleficent was better than I expected but not on my list to see again when it hits the video market.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Return of The Disneyland Traveler

I've got to go back to work. I've been ignoring this blog too long again. Personal life is battling my Disney life and my personal life is winning. But I see the Disney life making a comeback and once again this blog will spring into action or at least I hope it will.

What triggers interest in this poor neglected blog again? Well, a trip to Disneyland is the place to start. And maybe not just one trip but possibly two. Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I are thinking that just maybe we can pull off a trip for the Christmas holidays. And the extended family is talking about a larger trip next year for Disneyland's Diamond Celebration (that's 60th anniversary for most of us).

So maybe there will be things to write about after all in my Disney blogging world. I hope so anyway.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Disneyland Starts To Prepare For It's 60th Anniversary

Disneyland turns 60 years old next year. Now being planned as the first major kickoff event according to internet stories is the keeping of the parks open for 60 hours straight over an unspecified weekend. Yes, there are "people" who make it the whole 60 hours or at least try, but crowds, lines, and tired people do not necessarily make for the Happiest Place on Earth........ "Security!!!"