Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

The new nighttime show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World brings all the stories of Star Wars to life in a display of fireworks, visual projections, sound and columns of fire in a way never before seen – as only Disney can.  This new show, which debuted on June 17, 2016, is the largest fireworks display in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular now showing at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular now showing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

Star Wars:  A Galactic Spectacular is best viewed from Hollywood Boulevard; the closer to the Great Movie Ride, the better as there are visual displays projected on the surrounding buildings.  If you are too far back, the side views are blocked by the buildings on Hollywood Boulevard.

Imagery from all current seven Star Wars chapters are blended into this nighttime spectacular, with the show divided into segments depicting the many facets of this good vs evil saga.  The show’s elements are broken into Continue Reading →

Which Is Better – Electric Light Parade or Paint The Night?

There are many debates around the internet about which Disney Theme Park Resort is better, Disneyland or Walt Disney World.  The opinions are wide and varied for lots of reasons; and we all have our favorite park – it’s all a matter of perspective.  With that, we thought we would conduct our own completely unscientific survey to hear readers’ thoughts on comparable attractions.  We want to know which electric parade you think is better.

Main Street Electrical Parade

Main Street Electrical Parade

Disney’s Main Street Electrical Light Parade was a Disneyland original that started in 1972, disappeared for a short while and then reappeared at Disney’s California Adventure before it left California for good in 2010.  Walt Disney World has had a couple of runs with the parade and it has been a staple in the Magic Kingdom since 2010.

In 2015, Disneyland brought in a new light parade called Continue Reading →

Soarin’ Around The World

We had the opportunity to ride the new “Soarin’ Around The World” at EPCOT.  The original “Soarin’ Over California” was our favorite ride and we tried to do this on every visit, even if it was the only ride for that day.

Entry to Soarin' at EPCOT

Entry to Soarin’ at EPCOT

Soarin’ Over California took you for a birds-eye-view of scenic wonders both natural and man-made, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey Bay, Borrego Springs, Palm Springs, Malibu, downtown Los Angeles and finally up Main Street in Disneyland where you landed in the middle of a fireworks show.  In the 15 years that it was operational, it was a real crowd pleaser.

For the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland, Disney made Continue Reading →

It’s Enormous!

That’s an understatement!  If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World but have never been – and your only reference is Disneyland in California, you are in for a heady challenge.  You will soon realize that you are overwhelmed as you step foot in WDW and try to figure out where to go, what to do, where to stay and how to get there on time.  That last point is critical if you have dining reservations.

Disneyland is measured in acres; originally 160 to be exact. There have been some additions over the years to include more resorts and parking; now Disneyland and California Adventure sit on that original plot.  Today, the entire Disneyland resort is about 500 acres.

The Walt Disney World resort is measured Continue Reading →

Hidden Mickeys

Obvious "hidden" Mickey

Obvious “hidden” Mickey in EPCOT.  This one is about four feet wide!

Believe it or not, there are actually things to do at a Disney Park besides ride the attractions, eat the food or avoid the crowds!  We’ve read blogs and stories complaining about the hurriedness of the park, waiting in the long lines, or that someone in the family needs a slower pace.  In fact, we sometimes find ourselves just wandering around the park and taking in the magic that isn’t part of a ride.

One such activity is searching for those special architectural additions called “Hidden Mickey’s.”  These are special Continue Reading →

More Disneyland Resort Changes

Several news outlets carried a story this week about the Disneyland Resort adding a new 5-star hotel, with construction beginning in 2018.  This story was unexpected and has us perplexed on several aspects.

The Disneyland Hotel includes decor inspired by Disneyland park in the rooms, a pool-and-slide water play area that evokes the early years of Disneyland, and the new poolside Tangaroa Terrace restaurant and Trader Sam's bar, inspired by classic features found in Adventureland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

The Disneyland Hotel includes decor inspired by Disneyland park in the rooms, a pool-and-slide water play area that evokes the early years of Disneyland, and the new poolside Tangaroa Terrace restaurant and Trader Sam’s bar, inspired by classic features found in Adventureland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

This new hotel will be reportedly located somewhere on 10 acres of the Downtown Disney parking lot.  One story has it being built at the north end of the lot, and another has it going up just north of the Rain Forest Café.  Either way, it will definitely take over this parking area.  Where Disney will park Downtown visitors is unknown at this time, although there may be plenty of parking at the south end of Paradise Pier.

Another point that makes this announcement puzzling is that Disney has purchased several large plots of land in the immediate area over the past several years, including the Carousel Inn on Harbor Blvd.  What Disney plans for these properties is unknown at this time, although there is speculation for another theme park and maybe even a transportation center (for more on that, read this).

We enjoy staying at Disney resort hotels when we can.  Like most other people, we have to be budget conscious, and in doing so we can plan more trips where we spend less, versus fewer trips in which we spend more.  So for our regular trips, we reserve a room at a hotel that offers us the amenities we want at lower cost.  We save the resort hotels for those special trips such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Whatever Disney does with this hotel, we’re sure it is going to be spectacular and certainly worth checking out when it’s done.

BIG Changes Coming!

Disneyland will never be completed.  It will continue to grow as long as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney

Under Construction - Star Wars Land at Disneyland

Under Construction – Star Wars Land at Disneyland

Who doesn’t get excited when something new is coming?  But change is hard to accept when there are decisions concerning our favorite attraction or land at a Disney park.  We fret about the worst case scenario, often deciding that we aren’t going to like the changes before they happen.

There are major changes occurring at both California and Florida parks.  Soon, both will have a “Star Wars Land,” in addition to Walt Disney World’s “Avatar Land.”

We would be remiss to not include ourselves with those saying Continue Reading →

Tinkerbell 10K

10K Starting Line

10K Starting Line

Mother’s Day weekend found us back at the Disneyland Resort to once again torture ourselves running 6.2 miles (10K).  We mean no disrespect to those slightly deranged individuals who find running enjoyable or a hobby and can’t get enough, but this is an activity that is out of the “norm” for us.  As mentioned in a previous post, we are not runners, so for us to even consider such distance is really a stretch, both physically and mentally.  And now we have completed three (count’em – 3!)races in 2016!

With that intro complete, we want to mention that we really do appreciate the effort of Disney management and Cast Members who make these races magical, including those who show up early just to cheer everyone along.  This run confirmed to us Continue Reading →

One “Y-Ear” Anniversary

Here it is April 9th, one “y-ear” since our blog post went live.  We wish we could say that all of our social sites were operational and we had thousands of readers and followers.  Unfortunately, life gets in the way of getting much of this done – but never fear, we will accomplish all this and will let you know as soon as it is finished.

Walt Disney World Monorail During the Flower & Garden Festival

Walt Disney World Monorail During the Flower & Garden Festival

We have already had more trips to Walt Disney World than Disneyland, this year.  We never thought that a possibility, but it has shockingly occurred.  Next month we will be in Disneyland for the Tinkerbell 10K, but we have no other immediate plans to get back into a Disney park.

Life goes on and we have had many changes over the past year.  Melvin has officially retired, we sold the house and almost Continue Reading →

Disney Park Egg-Stravaganza

For and egg-stra-ordinary few days, we were Walt Disney World just before Easter, 2016.  We decided to let our grandson, Scott, hunt for Easter eggs at EPCOT during the annual Egg-stravaganza.

Egg-stravaganza Goofy Egg

Egg-stravaganza Goofy Egg

For the past several years, Disney has decorated large egg-shaped objects and hidden them around the parks for both kids and adults to find.

Begin with purchasing a map ($5.95) and stickers depicting the decorated eggs located around the park.  Each egg is decorated with the face of a Disney character (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip, Dale and several others).  The map depicts the area where the egg is “hidden” and you then attach the matching sticker to that spot on the map.

There were 4 Disney parks where one could hunt for eggs, Disneyland, Disney Continue Reading →