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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Go Ask Alice....

Gotta say......really not looking forward to this. 

A Face Lift for Soarin'

View from Soarin' Around the World - A Disney Parks Blog Photo
Who doesn't love the Soarin' Over California attraction at DCA? Well, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler doesn't because she says the all to common "it messes with my head". Anyway, most people love Soarin' Over California but after all these years, you have to admit the ride has become a little long in the tooth and well......a bit boring. Finally, after all these years, Disney is giving us a new movie and a new ride experience with Soarin' Around the World which is set to launch on June 17 in both DCA and Epcot in the all new pristine 4K digital projection. I've skipped the Soarin' Over California ride my last few trips to Disneyland simply because it had become been there, done that. But put a big mark for the new and improved Soarin' on my next trip. Maybe I can even talk Mrs. DLT into going with me........ :-)


You may not some of his antics on stage. You may not have wanted your young children to really hear some of the lyrics of his songs but without a doubt, The Artist known as Prince was a supreme musical talent and a performer second to none. Someone asked Eric Clapton what it was like to be the world's greatest guitar player.  Clapton quietly said don't ask me - go ask Prince. The little man, all five foot two of him, was a giant in music and culture. Very hard to believe he is now gone. RIP

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Food Sampling from Disneyland's Food & Wine Festival

The Food and Wine Festival is in full swing at Disney California Adventure this month, a welcome return for an event that has been missing the last few years. The Disneyland Resort posted a video this week of the some of the more exotic food selections available at this this year's F & W Festival. No churros here just some high quality munchies you just don't see every day at everyone's favorite theme park. Hopefully, it's an event that continues to grow in popularity and in size. I certainly look forward to my return.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Heartfelt Thank You To Our Readers

Quietly, over the last week or two, the number of page views of The Disneyland Traveler Blog slipped past the 200,000 mark. That may not be a lot by internet standards but for a guy who basically writes this on a laptop sitting in his chair in the living room at his home in Northern California, it seems like a pretty nice number to me. This blog began in 2011 simply out of Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and my own affection for Disneyland and just about all things Disney related, As noted in the header paragraph, we are not here to make money as most Disney websites, it's basically just a hobby and a place to share beyond Facebook or Twitter.

This blog went dark and was not updated from Halloween 2014 till February of this year. During that time, Mrs. DLT and myself took her ailing father into our home and who sadly was burdened by the horrible affliction known as Alzheimer's Disease. Basically his care took all of our focus and attention and the Disney stuff went on the back burner. I heard from many people during the time the blog was not updated asking what happened and when was the blog going to restart. I didn't have an answer at the time but I really appreciated all the emails that I received and the people who who showed they enjoyed what was being written here. Even though the blog was not updated, it continued to be read by the internet public searching for Disneyland information so that was also nice to see also. 

The Disneyland Traveler Blog is making it's slow return back to life. It's not completely back yet but things look promising for it's future. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy The Disneyland Traveler Blog.  

Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book, Iron Man, and Eric the Clown

Disney posted a picture of director Jon Favreau in Disneyland (actually DCA) this week as part of the promotional activities for next week's premier of Favreau's remake of the Disney classic - The Jungle Book. In the promotional TV ads, it is also splashed on the screen that Favreau is the director of Iron Man (the first two anyway). Favreau also played the character Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's driver.

Though Jon Favreau is best known now as a film director, he has dabbled as an actor for years, mostly as a comedic actor. My best memory of Jon Favreau as an actor is his appearance in a classic episode of Seifeld as the menacing Eric the Clown.

Jon Favreau as Eric the Clown

Disney COO Tom Staggs Abruptly Exits - What Happened?

Tom and Mick

Last Monday was a shocking day for the Walt Disney Company on the business side of things. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tom Staggs who, by almost all accounts, was heir apparent to become the main man at Disney when Chief Executive Office (CEO) Bob Iger was going to step down into retirement in 2018, abruptly tendered his resignation from the company effective in May.   The succession plan for Staggs to become CEO was in place, almost a done deal. What went wrong?

Tom Staggs spent 26 years at Disney.  He was the Chief Financial Officer during the Pixar and Marvel acquisitions.  He was head of Disney Parks and Resorts during the Disney California Adventure makeover and expansion of the Disney Cruise Line. He was popular, well liked by executives as well as rank and file Disney employees. By all appearances, he was literally Bob Iger's right hand man for the last several years. What went wrong?

Well you hear rumblings about the enormous expense of the $5.5 billion construction of Shanghai Disneyland filled with cost overruns along with the project was just flat out late on being ready on time under Stagg's watch. You hear about all the obstacles that have hijacked the smooth construction of the Avatar Land in Walt Disney World.

But mostly, you hear stories that the all powerful Disney Board of Directors not having confidence that Staggs was not the right fit for taking on the tremendously powerful Disney CEO job into the future. I've seen some accounts that some thought that Staggs lacked the necessary creative vision for the company built on creative vision. I've also read account where the Board was a little concerned that Staggs lacked the experience in the important and highly profitable media outlets (ABC-TV, Disney Channels, and the mighty cash cow that is ESPN). This is the area where Bob Iger launched his way to the top.

Variety reported that Staggs was looking for a commitment from the Board of Directors that he indeed would become CEO in 2018. When the vote of confidence did not come, it was adios amigos. He seemed like a nice guy. A lot of people will miss Tom Staggs. I'm sure he will end up doing well somewhere else.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hits Retail Shelves This Week

I'm probably one of the 37 people who did not see Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Star Wars VII) in the theaters when it came out in December.  Other issues had my attention for the last several months so I just never got around to visiting my local multiplex.  But that's about to change because the latest installment of the highly popular and profitable franchise is due to hit the retail shelves with DVD's and Blu-Ray discs this coming Tuesday (4/5).  Actually Mrs. DisneylandTraveler ordered my Blu-Ray from the Disney Movie Club because......well.......that's the last purchase we needed to make to fulfill our minimum purchase obligation when we joined the club in the first place.

Anyway, the film is available in only Blu-Ray and DVD when it comes out on Tuesday.  If you want it in 3D (which I don't) or 4K UHD (which I am probably going to invest in very soon) your are going to have to wait. I imagine we'll see new versions and packaging for years to come because that's the Star Wars (and Disney) way.