Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Remember When...

 I sit here drinking out of an old Disneyland plastic mug and it got me thinking about all the fun memory filled things that are no longer available at any of the parks.  Which of course made me want to write down all the ones I could remember :)  Granted, I wasn't around when a lot of the bigger changes happened to Disneyland, but there are a lot of little things I wish you could still do.

Remember when...

1. You could get rootbeer floats in special souvenir plastic mugs?

2.  Indiana Jones had decoder cards?

3.  Pirates of the Caribbean didn't contain certain political changes or Jack Sparrow?

4.  Splash Mountain logs were just a single bench?

5.  You could still purchase Fantasia Ice Cream?

6.  You could take the monorail over to the Disneyland Hotel to walk around or have a meal?

7.  It was nearly possible to park your car right outside the entrance gate?

8.  The big dill pickles weren't Kosher? .... sorry, but they really aren't the same

9.  There was something called "Light Magic".... ? (LOL)

10.  The Dole Whip line didn't take 10 years?

11.  There was an entire, albeit little,  kiosk dedicated to purchasing camera film?

12.  It was just known as "Disneyland" .... no Park, no Resort tagged behind?

13.  Mickey ears were just that,  Mickey Ears! They didn't have princess hats, pirate earrings, clouds, jack-o-lanterns etc on them?

14.  Tickets for a family of 4 cost less than a down payment on a car?

15.  The Electrical Parade was not in Florida, not in California Adventure, but at home as the "Main Street Electrical Parade"?

16.  Cast Member name tags were classic like Walt's instead of naming cities, years, or gold?

17.  Cast members had to change at work and use the lockers?

18.  You could watch The Country Bear Jamboree during a hot summer day?

19.  Inside the castle contained creepy doll Sleeping Beauty dioramas?

20.  If you were lucky, you could snag some Mardi Gras beads from the musicians on the balcony above Pirates?

21. The subs had mermaids, giant sea bass, and sea monsters?

22.  there were Sky buckets?

23. Most of the park merchandise centered around the Fab 5?

24. Name embroidery on hats were done by hand?

25.  Attractions weren't built to just fill up space?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Disneyland's Soundsational Parade!

The newest parade at Disneyland Park was designed by the Illustrator team of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily.  Both have an extensive amount of previous work that has been available at the park.  Besides the parade they've had a lot of acknowledgment for their sculptures of past Disneyland merchandise and attractions. The parade floats you'll see in the pictures below were designed first as paper sculptures! That's right... no clay, no plaster... only paper! Then obviously they were built to full size after "fine tuning" (haha!) everything.

The whole of the parade is based off of percussion instruments mostly. It kicks off with a drumline doing all kinds of tricks and beats as they walk down the route. Most of the performers in this part were actually in the film "Drumline" that came out a bit ago.  You can also see in the picture below that Mickey has a set of drums too! Disney hired professional musicians for a lot of this parade.

drumline, Mickey & Minnie

Aladdin comes up next, which is pretty much the typical float and belly dancers, I didn't get a very good shot of it. But the best part is the little monkey Abu who follows behind. He clashes his symbols in time to the music.  I don't think Abu has been a part of any Aladdin attractions before.

Then Ariel appears behind her floating sea creature dancers! Her float is so pretty with all the bright colors.  She actually spins around 360 degrees so everyone on each side can see her and what under the sea float would be without bubbles! The octopus has all sorts of movement up there on the top.

Ariel and Friends
This little guy was cracking me up! He was so random and was just chilling towards the back of the float haha I don't know if he has a counterpart on the other side or if there is a similar awkward type character but I had to show you guys.

Next up was a tribute to The Three Caballeros! They haven't been a part of a Disney attraction in a really long time. I love their costumes and little bubble butts with tail feathers! (is that weird? ... probably...)

Then came the token Princess float. The only real difference I saw in the float design was the addition of Rupunzel's tower.  But really, how many princess floats can one design before they all start to flow together? (I was always secretly glad Ariel gets her own float ;P)

Simba followed suit with his entourage of African dancers, Turk, and King Louie.  It was fairly simple in this section, but cool to see a throwback to the Lion King parade.  Simba's drum float is similar to the one you'll see Tinkerbell has in a bit.

Tiana and her showboat came right behind.  This one was pretty cool! The boat is modeled after the Mark Twain and included musical instruments in the architecture. The "water" reflected on the underside of the boat too.

Next up was Tinkerbell and some generic fairies.  Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Smee, and some pirates also danced around her float.  Tinkerbell, I'm pretty sure was a drummer too. She had some bongo type looking mushrooms at the top of her drum.

Last, but not least, comes my favorite float of them all! Which probably is exactly why its the big finale section.  Mary Poppins comes through with her gang of Chimney Sweeps and the most magnificently designed float I've ever seen.  It's so intricate and amazing.
The Chimney sweeps come through with their dance number and then Mary and Bert ride around on their carousel horses!

it's a BIKE!
Ok, now remember how at the beginning I told you guys that this was all originally designed with PAPER?

Here's the rest of Mary Poppins's float .....

It was so good!  Some parades are hit and miss (the ones you run to the attractions during) but this one definitely works for me.  I wouldn't mind standing and watching it more than once.

Now after all this, it makes me laugh about how many times uninformed people automatically think "books" when the word Illustrator comes up in conversation.  Now you can add "parade float design" to the list of examples to give them ;)

If you would like to see more pictures i took of the parade, here's a public link to the album on my facebook:
Soundsational Parade

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free Souvenirs at Disneyland??

Visiting the park these days as a once a year visitor can empty your wallet pretty much as soon as you walk in the gates! You know you'll be spending money on parking, tickets, meals, drinks, snacks, and of course those things we call "Souvenirs".  Do we really need a gazillion pairs of Mickey ears? or light up pencils that run out of batteries before we even leave the park? Of course we don't.  But what fun is that?!? And although pictures are a great souvenir... sometimes getting something in your hot little hand is just divine!
Even as an annual passholder who frequents the park a decent amount of times, I found myself buying little things here and there.  A vinylmation, pack of pens, collectors pins (don't even get me started), a shirt every once in a while, keychains... and that's for someone who doesn't really go looking for a big souvenir.

In planning a trip to the park we'll be taking in the next couple weeks, I started thinking about what we could take home for "free".  Please note: I'm not talking about stealing or doing anything illegal, because heaven forbid someone on here thinking I'm telling people to go steal things. 

Reason for this is one of the members in our group visiting the park has 3 little ones that will be staying home.  You know her kiddos are going to be begging Mom to bring them back something from the park.  Now, normally you could pick out a grand token to take home but in this situation the whole family will be visiting the park in less than a month from when we go. So they'll be wanting souvenirs when that trip occurs too.  I think it's better to wait for the big fun stuff when they're in the park.

My Mission: Operation Free Stuff!

Here are some ideas I've jotted down that could be put together for quite a fun goody bag to take home!

1. We'll need some sort of bag or packaging to put this stuff in right?  Well, you can always ask for a bag in one of the stores, but if I remember correctly stores Cast Members are trained to be hesitant on giving them out because of theft issues.  It never hurts to ask, but don't be upset if they say they can't unless you buy something.  My solution is to preorder a picnic meal in California Adventure at the Sonoma Terrace within the Golden Vine Winery.  You're going to be spending money on food anyway and this particular meal has everything included as well as a good sized FREE World of Color reusable bag!  **California Adventure officially ended the picnic meals on June 1st, 2013.  A cheap alternative would be to purchase a small carry tote from one of the stores.  I believe you can find one for around $5** 
Thanks sister! (she's such a good model ;p) *check out vegetarian meals too!
2. If you decide not to use the World of Color fastpasses that come with the meal, stick those in there too if your kids (or whomever) are into collecting fastpasses.

3. Celebration Buttons.  These are available at City Hall or Guest Services at both parks. They have them for Birthdays, Anniversaries, First Visits, Family Reunions, Engagements, Honeymoons etc.

4.  Stickers!  Everyone loves stickers right?  The driver of the firetruck on Mainstreet sometimes has Fireman badge stickers.  The people taking surveys of the park usually have stickers.  I also heard that this past weekend the booths promoting Disney's Hawaiian resort has Hawaiian themed character stickers available.

5.  Napkins. Yes, really! How many times have you grabbed a handful of napkins with your food tray and then ended up throwing them in the trash because you didn't use them.  You can't really put them back in the dispenser since you touched them and no one is going to want to grab napkins off a dirty table to use.  So instead of wasting them put them in your bag to take home.  How fun is it to have a bit of Disneyland while you're eating lunch at home!  Put some in your kid's lunches for school and I bet all their friends will be wishing they had such awesome napkins! **Disney ended it's era of printed napkins much to the dismay of many park goers.  The Starbucks located in DCA has special printed plastic cups for their iced drinks if you wanted to bring home something similar. **

6.  Just this last week I also heard about a new promotion at the Dole Juice Bar in Adventureland that's most famous for it's Dole Whips! If you haven't had one... For gosh's sakes, man! Go Get One!!
Anyway, they have Dole recipe cards available at the stand.  I'm for sure going to go see if I can grab one!
*I was able to grab some and I currently have about 4 different recipes.  As of Jan. 2013, they are still at the Dole counter*

taken from this weeks post on www.facebook.com/datelinedisneyland

8. Jungle Cruise maps.  I'm sure a lot of you have heard  rumors of these maps, but have yet to see one.  I'm in the same boat (haha) as you.  Never hurts to ask and this will be a definite pleaser if you can get your hands on one.  Same goes for the infamous Death Certificates from the Haunted mansion.  I have not heard of anyone being able to get one of these tho in the last few years. But by all means, try. (photo from Daveland's blog)

*update to this entry, I was able to get one at the exit to The Jungle Cruise! I just went up and asked at the unloading/handicapped entry for one.  The Castmembers have them in a file cabinet to the right.*

9.  Another rumor I came across was that the Sweepers, or the Cast members in white if you don't know which they are, carry buttons around with them.  Next time you're at the park see if you can mythbust this one!

10.  Autopia in Disneyland park gives out driver's licenses to riders just before getting on the attraction.  I'm sure the younger kids get a special kick out of this one! Where else could you drive a car at age 3? ;) There is also a booth where you can get your picture on the card.

11.   Since the beginning of Carsland, Castmembers along the famed Route 66 highway have been known to carry Cars themed buttons.  Many of them use a trivia challenge technique for you to earn them but in the end, you"ll end up with one.  They may be dwindling after such a busy summer but make sure to ask!

12.  The Mark Twain has certificates available if you're able to go up into the Captain's area.  Not only  will you be able to pilot the gorgeous steam boat up the Rivers of America, you'll be able to have proof you did it!

13.  If you get to the park at opening, there's a special opportunity to take advantage of! The Lily Belle is a special train car designed by Walt Disney's wife, Lilian.  It was originally designed to carry VIPs and now is available to a certain amount of guests per day.   It's a complete posh ride! When you arrive to the park, go right up to the Main street station and ask if there are any available reservations for the Lily Belle.  They'll give you a souvenir train ticket with the Lilly Belle logo and a specific return time.  If you are visiting in the summer months, try to get one in the morning as it can heat up pretty good in a more closed up car.

14.  Who says you can't take home more than one park map?? I always grab a couple when I go, not only to use for other things but also because they have different front covers.  Take some home, mark your favorite attractions, frame it, use it for character autographs, make scrapbook papers out of it, cover it with packing tape and make a wallet! Your choices are endless!

Last but not least, you can always gather up fastpasses that are discarded on the ground. Some kids (and adults alike) like to collect the passes for each attraction or the end of the roll tickets that usually get tossed on top of the dispensers or directly underneath on the ground. Grab one from each attraction throughout the day and hand someone a full set!

Bonus Ideas

Now these last entries would probably be more fairly listed under "Cheap Souvenirs at Disneyland" but I wanted to include them because they can still be great things to bring home. 

- Pressed Pennies.  At .51 cents each they can be a really neat gift to those left at home. Collect some from each land or certain character sets.  If you wanted to spring for a special collectors penny holder you can find those pretty much throughout the park. 

- Disney Dollars.  These are exactly equal to US dollar amounts. So if you want to stay cheap purchase $1's.  If you want larger amounts go for $5, $10, $20, or even $100 bills.  For my friend, I would suggest giving each of her kids 1 Disney Dollar. It's not expensive (in case it gets lost) but it's a really cool thing to bring home and have the anticipation of spending it during the next park visit.

 - Pirate hats.  The Blue Bayou Restaurant located within the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction has paper pirate hats for kids. This wouldn't really be cheap because of the price of the meal, but if you happen to be able to eat there (make reservations early!) ask your waiter if you can take home one of the kids hats for a souvenir. 

That's all I can think of for this post, but if any one has any more Free ideas (that don't involve stealing!) or ideas that fit in the cheap category, please feel free to add them in the comments :D

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So excited I want to cry! New Little Mermaid attraction at Disneyland!

I had originally posted this on my Illustration blog because it involves my favorite animated film, but of course it's Disneyland related so it deserves to be here too! :)

I know this really isn't illustration related, but I have to share this with you guys because it involves my favorite animated film. 

As a HUGE Disney lover, I eat up any information on anything new coming out of both the Imagineering and Animation departments.  The parks have always been such a great retreat for me to get out of the troubles of the day (or year!) and let myself be immersed in a land of story and excitement. No one can do it better than Disney.  No one!! I mean honestly, think about what you feel as you walk under the railroad tunnels into the beginning of Main Street. With a view of victorian era buildings bursting with gorgeous storefronts, wonderfully themed music surrounding you (Hello Dolly is my favorite!) and a Castle waiting for you to boot! How can it get better?

With THIS!

 (All attraction images are from recent Dateline Disney articles)

The Disney Parks blog released another video this week of the soon to be opened attraction (June 3rd) based on The Little Mermaid! Can I even relate to you guys how excited I am that she finally has a credible attraction? Probably not! haha Most have been meet & greet type set ups and there was (now Pixie Hallow) a fountain section on Main Street at the Disneyland resort that was themed beautifully to the film, but it deserved it's own attraction.  Now, finally!, after 20 years... its Here!

Here's the video from the park's blog :)

You can bet I'll be standing in line with a giant cheesy grin on my face for no matter how long it takes!

Although I wish that Ariel had been able to be placed in Disneyland park itself, she was gifted with a gorgeous building made specifically to house this attraction. The talented imagineers did such a wonderful job with details.  Oh! did I mention part of the color scheme is TEAL? I think the artists snuck a peek at my color pallets haha! The animatronics are gorgeous like you saw in the video, there is a huge mural in the loading area, and at night the stain glass windows are lit to reveal incredible underwater scenes. I just really can't say enough about how well everything has gone for this, there have been a lot of attractions in the last oh ... 10 years! that haven't gone so well for Disney.   I was really hoping this one wouldn't follow suit.  Good Work Disney!

I can't guarantee this won't be the end of my excitment on this haha! It opens just a few days before I get to go to the park in June! So I will for sure be sprinting to this attraction and of course... what would complete the package? An Ariel souvenir! ;P

  I'll be sure to take some pictures and share :)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean OPI collection!

Hey guys!

Lots of exciting mermaid action today! haha

For those of you, probably most of the male readers of my blog, who don't know what OPI is, it's an expensive nail polish brand. I say that with a grain of salt because it's not cheap at $8.50 a pop, but it is a good quality nail polish, they've got great colors, and the names are super fun.

Well... they're about to get a whole lot more irresistible!!

Next month, to correspond with the release of the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film: On Stranger Tides, OPI is releasing a new collection based on it.

check out the mermaid on the rocks... SQUEE!
I'm super excited for these to come out, I love the names and the colors are super unique!
Here are the names in the collection that will be released in May 2011:

Skull and Glossbones - a bone grey color
Steady as She Rose - a light pink
Planks a Lot - a purple
Sparrow Me the Drama - a cool bright pink
Stranger Tides - a sage green
a Silver Shatter - like silver crackle paint

and my favorite one that I can't wait for...

Mermaid's Tears
Ugh, I die!! I want to try this one under the silver shatter and the black shatter I already have.  I don't know why but I've been loving teal variants lately.

These will be available in May as I mentioned and you can find them at professional salons, JC Penny, and Ulta. If you don't have any of those locations near you, you can go to their website and see if there are other locations that sell OPI near you.  They also have a twitter account: @opi_products

That's it for today, till next time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Can I even explain how excited I am about this?!?  Not really! Only the fact that my favorite Disney movie ever finally has a permanent attraction at the Disneyland resort!

If you aren't, check out this video the Disney Blog just posted on the animatronic Ariel.

video from  Dateline Disneyland via MiceChat

If you didn't see the video I posted on facebook a while back (or if we're not friends haha) here's the previous video of Ursula being set up inside the attraction.

from the Disney Parks Blog

June 3rd cannot come fast enough!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


For those of you who don't follow my Illustration blog, this is the latest post over there. I figured it was more than appropriate to share here too. I'm so excited :D

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a safe and happy time celebrating :)

To kick off the new year with posts, I felt it appropriate to show you one of the Christmas presents I received that will be one of my new projects.  To start, my sister and I LOVE going to Disneyland (well, really who doesn't??) and as fun as the princesses and characters are, my favorite thing about the park is the theming and Imagineering that goes on within it. I could pour over those "Art of..." books the park publishes about attractions and lands for hours on end. That being said, anything "art" related to the parks I sorta go gaga over :)
Well my sister surprised me this year with one of these babies:

Its a blank DIY Mickey Vinylmation!

Now I'm not really a Mickey person, I have to say.  The guy's cool and there's always something to be said about what he represents to the Walt Disney Company, but I'm not going to have my entire kitchen branding red pants with yellow buttons. Do you really want to pour your tea out of a spout stemming from a pair of pants? ermmm....No Thanks.

ANYWAY! The thing about these Mickeys is that you can do whatever you want to them! The shape doesn't really matter, it's all about the design element(s) you chose to put on them. For this guy, I'm brainstorming about Disney Memories in the parks. So original right? Considering the entire marketing campaign this year is "Let The Memories Begin". But my memories will never be the same as anyone else's and unlike the campaign, this one will last for a very long time.

I'm going to be using acrylic paint and some sculpted elements added to it. Not sure when this will actually be taking place because I really want to flesh out these concepts before I start painting. I want this to be a really cool show piece and not just an experiment that goes to crap.  So wish me luck!

Do Something Creative Today!