Saturday, November 10, 2012

Disney + Instagram = AWESOME!

Hey Mousers!

I'm sure many of you have hopped on the Instagram bandwagon by now.  For you iPhone users, you may have been among the first on the app and it may have lost some of it's appeal.  The best recipe for me to recharge something that might seem mundane is to DISNEY IT UP!

The following is my list of Disney "Instagrammers" that provide me with daily photos and information about the parks.
Some cross over to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World but the majority are from my home park, Disneyland.

in no particular order..

... and of course if you'd like to follow my Instagram, you can find me @anniemcbeth

Please remember that is a list of the people I personally follow.  They control their own content, and while I don't believe they'd post anything offensive or inappropriate for underage viewers, please follow their account at your own risk (so to speak).

Happy 'gramming!

Friday, September 21, 2012

5 new things I learned about The Disney Parks this week

That I didn't know before... 

1.  When inquiring about the lack of a Holiday overlay to the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World, I learned 3 new facts:

A: Walt Disney World is referred to as an "International Park
B: Disneyland is referred to as a "Local's Park
C: The consensus for the lack of a Haunted Mansion Holiday is a result of Disney wanting first time guests (which seem to be more common due to International tourism) able to enjoy the classic attraction in it's original, shall we say... mortal, state. 
*shout out to Zannaland for answering my question on Instagram*

2.  In a recent article put out by Al Lutz over at MiceChat, I learned that Cast Members, when factoring the amount of fastpasses made available on any given day, have to consider how many Guest Assistance passes have/will be given out (which includes their entire party) as they set the machines.  
I also was enlightened about how big a problem the fastpass lines have actually become in regards to misuse of this Assistance system, which leads to extremely long Fastpass return lines, thus forcing Cast members to further crank down the number of tickets distributed. 

3.  In the same article, Lutz confirmed the bad news we'd all been hoping to not hear about the Annual Cast Member Christmas party...  After 53 years of Christmas tradition, it has been cancelled.  There are a lot of politics, I'm sure, that have gone into this decision from the "higher up's", but I don't want to get into all that.  This is a sad thing, indeed, to see go.  Walt, himself, started the parties as a way to say Thank You to all the cast members who worked so hard at making the magic all year. 

4.  My most favorite Fireworks show I've ever seen at Disneyland is BACK!!  Back in 2005, Disneyland debuted a special tribute show as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Remember... Dreams  Come True ran through the next few years and then was replaced by a few different shows that never truly lived up to the latter. This week it came back! I'm so excited to visit for Halloweentime and watch it again. I'm not sure how long the run is going to be, but I'd assume through the holiday crowds - as it is a definite pleaser! 

5.  Last but not least, Disney announced that we will again be seeing price hikes on Annual Passes and Day Tickets this winter.  As a long time pass holder, I'm so glad for the monthly payment options as there would be no way I could justify spending that chunk of money flat out in one day.  If you plan to purchase entry to the park any time soon, be it APs or tickets, try to do it soon. 

I'll leave you with a fun picture to play "Where in Disneyland?"...

leave your guesses/answers below in the comment section :) 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon!

Hey Mousers! 

I've have had an extraordinary few days with some of my fellow runners (try 17,000+ of them!).

This last weekend was the Disneyland Half Marathon with runDisney at the resort and it was my first Half Marathon ever! I'm sure some of you read my post earlier this year about signing up and being a bit nervous about it as a ... well, lets just say "first time runner". (I don't think a year of track and field in HS count).  If you haven't and would like to, read this. It talks about how I had never even dreamed about training much less running at all.

We were able to book a room at the Grand Californian Hotel for the race weekend and I'm so glad we did.  It bypassed a whole mess of parking issues we possibly could have been stuck in before and after the race. It was really exciting for me to be able to stay there as I'd never stayed at a Disneyland resort hotel. Sounds crazy, right? A Disney addict who'd never set foot in the hotel rooms.  Living close by made the resort hotels obsolete.  I never really wanted to shell out the funds to spend the night when I lived 11 miles away.  Heck, I could have run there! Anyway, the point being, if you're running a Disney race - Stay on Disney property! (or at a hotel that's walking distance).
our view from the balcony of the Hotel room

Alright, on to the packet pick up and expo!

The packets were super easy to get at check in.  Again, they had transformed the lower level parking into a black carpeted check in center where you picked up your race bibs and pins if you bought them.  Specialized tracking chips are connected to your bib so they check to make sure they're working before you leave - as in girls by a computer screen yell out your name as you walk by ;p

The expo was a whole floor of running goodness! They've got samples of power eats (my mom walked around like she was at Costco!), all kinds of equipment, shoes, clothes, light up things, and of course the official race merchandise.  I was able to pick up a SPIBelt with the bib holders, a commemorative poster, an Angel's water bottle, flyers for other races, a light runDisney jacket, and last but not least a Team Sparkle skirt and arm sleeves! If you haven't checked out Team Sparkle and the skirts they have go now! They're so much fun and the girls who make them are super friendly! I think they do make you run faster :)

After hitting up all the nooks and crannies of the expo, we had a late lunch at Trader Sams at the Disneyland Hotel.  They have an amazing Hawaiian burger with fresh pineapple and sweet potato fries. YUM!

We spent the rest of the day taking it easy, walking around Downtown Disney, and generally relaxing knowing the big day started early in the morning.

That night I laid out all my gear so it would be ready for the morning.
my "Ariel" attire - the team sparkle skirt rocked! 

I had even made this for my hair  :)

The alarm went off way too early in the morning.  The race started at 5:45 so we needed to be down there and ready to go before then.
The corrals were PACKED! I couldn't believe how many people were running this race.  I'd seen that a record number had signed up, but until you're there and you actually see that number... it was insane.  That being said, its incredible how smooth the event went.  Props to the runDisney team in that department.
The lights in the back are the parking structure.  I believe this is on Disneyland Dr. 

I had sort of expected a bigger beginning to the race.  There were a few fireworks and announcers but I guess I expected the same type of sending off some of the Walt Disney World races recieve. Maybe it has to do with being so close to residential areas. I dunno.

Our corral was off and running at 6am! I'd been really nervous leading up to the send off.  Even with all the training I'd put in, the week before had been a pretty bad run.  I settled myself down and came to the conclusion that all I needed to worry about now was just to keep going.  No one ever finished anything if they sat down and quit!

We rounded Disneyland Dr and came in on the backside of Screamin' and into California Adventure.  Getting to see it's backside was very entertaining! LOL As we ran through Paradise Pier the fountains for World of Color were on and they had the theme music playing.  I couldn't help but to sing along with it while I ran, it was so peppy!  The lanes moved us over by the Winery and into Carsland, we rounded the turn down and were led into Tower of Terror area before heading down Hollywoodland and through Buena Vista Street. All the while with Castmembers and characters cheering us on.
my cousin and I with the World of Color fountains
We exited out of DCA over by the temporary entrance, next to Soarin', and headed across the way to Disneyland park.  Running backstage, we popped out behind the fire station, rounded to the left, and straight down mainstreet.  Right at the hub we made a sharp left into Frontierland, straight ahead to the Mark Twain dock, and then twisted to the right to follow the path around Thunder Mountain. When we entered the back part of Fantasyland, I'm not sure if a lot of runners noticed this, but Peter Pan, Wendy, and the Pirates had taken over King Arthur's Carousel!
The path led us straight through the castle and debuted us to the cameras waiting right on the other side.  We couldn't pull over in time to take a picture right then but we sort of got one to the side.   That's a problem with so many people - you're always in a pack.  But it's a small trade off for the joy of running Disney races.

the Matterhorn was like gold in the sunrise
After the castle it took us left through to Tomorrowland, the Matterhorn and down to Small World.
I got even more excited as I knew this was where Ariel was! Sure enough, I spotted her and we quickly jumped in line.
I'm such a nerd LOL

Exiting the parade route by Small World, we again went backstage as the race entered the streets of Anaheim.  As we passed by the stables backstage, some of the handlers had the main street horses out as well as the Indian ponies.  I wish I'd stopped to take a picture, but I didn't even think about it until later.  How often has anyone seen the Indian ponies up close? Darn!
At this point the race course itself became a bit, shall we say "normal".  We went up and down mostly the main streets of Anaheim but every bit of the way was full of cheering crowds! From ChEAR'ers, pep bands, cheerleaders, flag teams, classic cars, hula dancers,... it was incredible how many people were out there and how much it made a difference to the runners.  I also learned something about myself this weekend...

I will RUN 13.1 miles for continuous applause!

The next highlights after the park section was running past the Honda center where the Ducks play and then entering, not only the grounds, but the actual field of Angel's Stadium!
We came in through the tunnel and popped out on the field to hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts in the stands cheering us on! We even made it on the Jumbo-tron!

By that time, we were up into the higher milage.  I want to say it was around Mile 11.
There was only a short distance left considering how far we'd come.

The cheering crowds had thinned out a little bit but the closer we got to the finish, the louder and denser they became.  One amazing thing about these races is that it brings so many people together in a positive way.  No other race will be as supportive as the Disney races.  Everyone out there is on your team  willing you to succeed!

The race ended pretty much where it started on Disneyland Dr and we all recieved runDisney food boxes that included some recovery items, a cold towel, and of course... the Medal!

not too shabby!

I don't think any other races could ever compare to this particular Half Marathon.  It was indeed an incredible experience.  Who knew in January that I would be completing this huge race and would have accomplished something I never thought I could do? I completely underestimated myself and it blew my mind to do this.

After the race was over, we walked back to the hotel (another reason to be so close!), took some much needed showers, and got something to eat.  The rest of the afternoon included more food, naps, a walk to Lush to get some relaxing bath products, and more food :)  *on a side note: if you plan to get a massage or treatment from the spa at the Grand Californian... BOOK EARLY! The receptionist told me the days of and after the races are the busiest of the year*

We all went to sleep pretty early, but the best part of our room happened twice a night... at 9:00 & 10:15...
World of Color from the room patio
The sound floated into our room like we had speakers built into the walls.  I could go to sleep with it drifting into my room every single night of my life. Heaven.

The next morning we needed to be up at a decent hour to pack up and be out of the room by 11am. I was a sad panda.  But instead of walking out to Downtown Disney, my mom and I ordered room service.  The best way to spend your last morning at the Disneyland resort...


Bananas foster syrup
I ate it out on the patio and soaked in the view while a couple little kids played "Neverland" on the grass below.  (so cute! they were playing with their shadows)

I was so sad when the hotel cast member came and got our bags. If only I could live there forever!

That about wraps it up! This weekend just blew my mind and shattered any doubts I had about running a Half.  I'm already signed up for another one in a couple months haha!  If any of you are wondering if you should sign up with runDisney... DO IT!! You must put in the time for training and get in the milage, but its so worth every single step.  A life accomplishment made possible by motivation from Disney :)

So Cool!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant & @DCA Today Part:2

Hey guys! If you're just jumping in, stop and be sure to read Part 1 first! :D
(Warning: this post is extremely picture heavy) 

Ok where was I? right... the incredible opportunity to reschedule my reservation for Carthay Circle Restaurant!

After receiving the confirmation for the restaurant, which happened to be on a very important July 17th date, I was giddy for the entire week wondering (again) how the food was going to taste.  Instead of salivating over the lunch menu like before, I was checking out all the yummy looking dinners! And again, I say the desserts look divine!

Finally the day came.  I think I was literally bouncing at times.  Katy came over to the house to see Miss Annabelle, and then we were off! We made sure to get there in plenty of time just in case... can you imagine if traffic happened to be bad and I missed it AGAIN?! Oh, the horror!

With about an hour to go, we entered into Disneyland first but weren't quite sure what we wanted to pass the time with.  After checking out the wait times, our old mantra helped out...  "when in doubt... Pirates!" so we headed to the left of the hub, cut through Adventureland and steered toward our most beloved destination.

Then... it was time.

Skipping over to DCA (ok we didn't really skip... well, maybe...), we entered into the lobby of the Carthay Circle Restaurant and gave the hostesses my name.  For a brief second, I got that scary panicky feeling my name wouldn't be on the list - that somehow all this really wasn't happening, but DCA Today had done as he said he would and they pulled it right up!

lobby sitting area and hostess desk in the far left corner
elevator and stairs to the right 

to the right of the lobby
bar area of the lobby
I tried to get a shot of the
Lasseter Family vineyard
 wine selection.
If only I had $70 for wine! 
As DCA Today had requested, I sent a quick tweet out once we had checked in letting him know we were there and excitedly waited for the response. Didn't have to wait long as he quickly replied, however, I'll wait til after dinner to show you the rest ;p Feel my suspense! hahaha

Knowing this probably has something to do with the "surprise", I got even more excited!  Can I just tell you that trying to enjoy a dinner you've waited a VERY long time to eat is extremely hard when you've been given a hint of a prize for when you've finished?? I tried so hard to enjoy every single bite! 
The upstairs area of the restaurant is just as beautiful as the downstairs, albiet a little cramped.  I was surprised at how close the tables were to each other.

upstairs bar area
Yours Truly :)
Katy posed for me :) 
And then our Food, Glorious Food! 

potroast, veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, & the Monte Cristo Banana Split Sundae!

After stuffing ourselves with as much food as we could handle (It's expensive, I was gonna eat all I could! haha).  It was time to go and see what magic Disney had in store for us! 
Since we took the gorgeous elevator up to the dining area, we decided to go down the stairs on the way out while I pulled twitter up on my phone. 

Everything, even the staircases, are elegant! 
We got outside and I sent out the tweet that we were finished... here's the rest of the conversation.. 

I'm sure my eyes were buggin' out of my head when Katy heard me gasp towards my phone LOL. 

"Umm.. we're meeting DCA Today by the Storytellers statue in 15 mins..." 

She laughed at my reaction but was just as excited to go haha, so we walked across the street and waited just out of photo reach of the guests by the statue.  As we sat against the railing, I turned over to Katy..

"You know... this could be the point where we get kidnapped.  At least the tweets are on the internet so they can get clues and find us." 

She just shook her head and laughed, "Way to be dramatic, Hobbs".

We were there for probably about 10 mins and then .... I spotted a BIG sign with legs walking over to us...

"Are you Annie?"

"YES!" (I think I actually squealed at him. I'm such a nerd) 

He introduced himself to us and asked us how dinner went, how my sister and niece were doing, and of course I pulled up a picture to show him. :)  This whole time my brain was a blur.  I was so over the moon with happiness. 
After a few minutes of conversation passed, he brought up the topic of us going to World of Color, (we had ordered a special selection of food at Carthay, so they gave us fastpasses to the 9pm show).  Upon hearing our "yes" response, he pulled out the surprise...

2 Glow-with-the-Show Mickey Ears!

I most definitely squealed here. I'd been wanting a pair so badly, but we didn't know on our last trip if we were going to watch World of Color then.  It was completely unexpected and considering those ears retail for about $25, it was most definitely appreciated! 

(For those of you who might not know what these ears do, here's a quick rundown: The ears sync up with the controls for the World of Color shows.  They blink, glow, and turn colors sometimes completely independent of each other but still are in tune with what's going on in the lagoon.  If you're standing in a group of people who all have the GwtS ears (even in the same section), you'll notice that they also are independent of each other. It's really cool. AND they just announced that the ears will be added to Fantasmic starting Sept. 2012! )

Here's a short clip of the GwtS Ears in action. 

I think I thanked him about 50 gajillion times, but in between I managed to ask for a picture to post on the blog.  He happily obliged. 


After taking the picture and again thanking him a few more thousand times we said goodbye and headed down towards World of Color.  And by "headed", I mean I was jumping up and down like a complete dork with my Mickey ears bobbing around blinking neon.  All 5ft 10 inches of me. I bet I looked special. 

The rest of the night was spent in giant smiles as we watched the show, or more accurately... watched our ears and other peoples' GwtS ears around us, while the while World of Color was going. If you haven't seen the show, I suggest that you go see it in DCA first and then go see Fantasmic when the ears debut in Disneyland Park. 

It was one of the best days of the summer.  I have to admit that I have had a pretty rockin' month of July.  So many incredible experiences have happened and this was right up there at the top of my list.  

I say again, Thank You DCA Today, for making a life long memory at what truly is the "Happiest Place on Earth".

Thanks for reading along! :D 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant and @DCA Today!

This is a special post.  A special post of Disney Magic.

The month of July was an ongoing vacation blur for me down in Orange County.  I was able to go to the parks many times before my annual pass ended, which was in itself a real treat. I've was able to meet up with friends that I haven't seen in years, had experiences that I never thought were possible, said good bye to a long time friend as she moves to the next chapter in her life, and I even had the privilege of becoming an aunt for the first time when my sweet little niece, Annabelle, was born!

I asked myself so many times how this time could get any more incredible.... and then it did.

Little bit of backstory... the first week of my vacation was the week of "Epic Disney". A couple of my friends came down south to hit the park for a few days, buy their annual passes, and experience Carsland with me for the first time! It was a whirlwind of multiple fun days arriving at opening and staying all the way to closing. During this time my sister, who was very very VERY pregnant, was doing her best to walk and move around trying to get my niece to make her grand debut. (We actually had a Disneyland day before this to "walk the baby out") I had jokingly asked her wait to go into labor until AFTER I went to Carsland... And she did! However, I should have been more specific in my request for an extension.

The final day of our amazing Disneyland trip included a reservation to the swanky new Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant in DCA (Disney California Adventure). Knowing this place was very difficult, if not impossible, to get a walk up reservation I called 3 weeks in advance and set it up for the 3 of us to have a late lunch. We poured (and salivated) over the menu for days deciding what we were going to eat, drink, what we would wear etc. The desserts look divine! This was a big deal and we all were super excited!
Finally the day came! We had dressed nicer and had made sure to save the light/indoor attractions for the morning heat so we wouldn't get sweaty and smell like sunscreen in the restaurant. We got to the park about 7:30 am and then.. I got the text.

Right as we walked through the tunnel into Disneyland park.

I knew, as a first-time mom, statistics pointed that she had hours to go. I figured ok... It's 8am now... I have 6 hours to go before our reservation.. I might be able to still make it.

Yes. My sister is in labor and the first thing in my mind is if I still go to my lunch reservation at DCA! I'm ridiculous. *facepalm*

Fast forward the morning as we go about our Disneyland business all the while with my phone tightly gripped in hand. 1pm rolls around and I'm thinkin' I'm totally gonna make it to both the restaurant AND the hospital! Just as we are seated in the Lincoln theater and The Voices of Liberty begin their A Capella splendor...

The phone rings.

It's my dad.

"I'm coming to get you right now at DTD"

I didn't make it to Carthay Circle Restaurant and my niece was stubborn and didn't end up being born that day.  At the time all signs pointed to her arriving at any moment, but then she pulled the brakes. (I have a feeling this is going to end up being her personality LOL)

Early the next morning (3:30am) she arrived via c-section completely healthy and beautiful! To celebrate I sent this announcement tweet via Instagram:
screen shot off webstagram

Regardless of the fact that she didn't make her debut that day and I missed my reservation, I would not have traded that time for the world.  I love my sister to death and I'm incredibly happy that I could be there with her during her difficult day.

Little did I know that is wasn't only my followers on twitter who were reading my Instagram tweet.  Someone else had also seen my niece's announcement...

I sort of geeked out.  A Lot.  Once my excitement wore down about DCA Today actually responded to my tweet, I finally realized that I had a chance for another set of reservations!  Quickly confirming my friend, Katy, was available the next week I responded back with a time and date to @DCAToday.

At this point, I was over the moon!  First I get a niece, THEN I get a congratulations from DCA, THEN I get an offer for more reservations, THEN I GET the reservations.... AND THEN I get an extra surprise??

Seriously? This is what Disney magic is made of.  This is the magic that only Disney can bring.  They go over the top and make things better than you could have imagined. Heck, even if we received fastpasses to something I still would have been excited and more than appreciative!  This was probably the smallest deal, for him to be able to call up and place the reservation for me, but it meant so so much more than I'm sure he realizes. Thank You, Thank You DCA Today!

Writing this post has brought back all the emotions and excitement I felt when it was happening and I've sat here for about an hour with a big goofy grin on my face haha!

Make sure that you come back tomorrow to see what the BIG SURPRISE was in part 2!!

I'll leave you with one more pic of Miss Annabelle :)

Part 2 is live! Click here for the continuing story!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Exciting posts coming up next week!!

Hey Mousers!

I've been on vacation for literally the entire month of July! Just got back home a few days ago and I'm still trying to organize all my souvenir goodies, laundry (yuck!), and most importantly go through all my pictures for upcoming posts!!

Stay tuned this next week for some really cool stuff. It may or may not include multiple days at the Disneyland resort, Carthay Circle Theater restaurant, @DCAToday, and some incredible artifacts from the Disney Archives!

Don't Miss It!!!

Here's a little sneak peak to hold you over...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Carsland trip: Planned!

What's up Mousers!

We all know that it's been a huge couple of weeks for the Disneyland Resort.
Anyone who's reading this blog probably already knows how exciting it is to be there first hand or for the not so lucky, we can feel the excitement coming from other people who've been there.

Well, I officially planned a trip to go and see it with my own eyes. I'm so excited!! We plan to make use of the new Early Admission perk for Annual Passes.  If you're unaware what that perk/policy is, here's a link to a blog post I wrote about it.

This trip is going to be a bit different than others because we're going for a main purpose.  Operation: CARS LAND.

It's interesting coming from the viewpoint of someone who doesn't get to visit the park as often as I used to when I lived much closer.  Disneyland time was usually spur of the moment and even if we did go a full day, it was at a leisurely pace.  Friday nights frequently ended up  filled with people watching, Gibson Girl ice cream, and multiple rides on Pirates.

THIS time, we're having to plan a bit in advance due to crowds and to get the most out of our time.  Granted, I have been fortunate enough to be able to go to the park multiple times throughout the year even with the distance, so if parts of Disneyland are unavailable or if for whatever reason, we don't get to experience something, it's completely ok! .... well besides Cars Land... lol

1st on the list was to decide which days to visit the parks and we're planning to do 3 days this time.  Do we want to hit over a weekend? Or do we want to stick to only weekdays?

2ndly, Part A: which day do we want to hit Carsland? Knowing crowds over the past few weeks have been pretty intense, we'll probably go one day, take however long we need to take to do all we want, and then steer clear unless for some crazy reason it dies down.
            Part B: register for the Early Admission to DCA. Noting that the scheduled days vary and we need to be aware of which we're allowed to do so.

3rd, Figure out if there is anything special/new that we can make reservations for, ie The Carthay Circle Restaurant. This dining "experience" started taking reservations before it had even opened it's doors and became full very quickly! Your best bet is to call as far ahead as possible - you can make reservations as early as 60 days out. (call 714-781-DINE for the Disneyland Resort).  Dining here is also very advantageous because if you order an entree paired with either an appetizer or a dessert, you get reserved Center seating for the World of Color show, eliminating the need to go stand in line for a fastpass.
I should mention also, again because of the crowds and anticipated long wait times for the attractions, we made reservations for the restaurant on a separate day than our Cars Land day.  The last thing we'd want to do is have to get out of a line or leave a packed area to make the reservation time.

 Other than experiencing and taking in all the new aspects of Buena Vista street, that's about it as far as hard core planning.  I'm positive we'll have plenty of time to do all we wish to do in 3 days, especially with early entry.  I'm holding out hope that Disneyland park numbers continue to stay level and wait times remain lower than normal summer cues.  It seems as though the popularity of the new DCA has relieved poor Disneyland of some of its summer load. It was getting pretty packed out there for the last few years, craziness!

Till next time, Have a Magical Day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Annual Pass Early Entry

Good Morning Mousers!

Hope you all have had a pleasant first part of your week, the end is near! It's almost weekend time and that means, maybe for some of you lucky ones, a bit of time in the parks.

The Disney Blog came out with an entry last week on Early Admission information for the Disneyland Resort.  Normally, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to those topics because as an Annual Passholder (I have the Deluxe) we haven't had that perk available to us.  Until Now.

For those of you who may not know what "Early Admission" is or involves, I'll give you a quick run down.  When staying at a Resort Hotel, ie The Grand Californian, The Paradise Pier Hotel, or the Disneyland Hotel, guests can enter into Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure an hour early before the scheduled opening times.  You must present a valid theme park ticket and your active hotel key for admission.

     Disneyland park Early admission for Resort Hotel Guests are scheduled for: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
     Disney California Adventure park Early admission for Resort Hotel Guests scheduled for: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. *DCA open lands are Cars Land, Hollywood Land, and Paradise Pier.

Now the new addition comes with the inclusion of Annual Passholders to this offering which started June 18th 2012 and will continue until September 13th 2012.  Considering the popularity of Cars Land for the next foreseeable future, an extra hour in the morning for the top 2 Annual Passes could be quite the advantage! I say "top 2 Annual Passes" because as of July 1st the lower passes will be blocked out for most of the summer. I would think this has added to the congestion of the last few weeks in Cars Land. All these AP'ers are trying to get their trip in before the black out days hit.  The Deluxe AP has much fewer black out days and if you're lucky to be able to afford the Premium AP, you're good to go no matter what.

This perk has come alongside price increases to both tickets and annual passes that hit in the spring.  It's nice to get a few extras thrown in when one year differs so drastically from the last.

In order to take advantage of the new admission perk, AP'ers much register the date they'd like to enter on.  You can go to that website here.
You must be 18 or older and have a valid Annual Pass both at time of registration and the entry date.  In order to be valid, your annual pass needs to have been activated by the ticket booths at the Resort.  If you have an online print out or a ticket from off sight it, will not work until validated in the system.
Please note that the entry days for Annual Passes are opposite as Hotel Guests!

    Disneyland Park Early admission for Annual Passholders are scheduled for: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
    Disney California Adventure park Early admission for Annual Passholders are scheduled for: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays

I hope this information helps some of you Annual Passholders plan your summer trips to the original Magic Kingdom. If you have any questions regarding policies or would like more information, here is the entry from the Disney Parks Blog regarding early admission or you can comment below and I'll do my best to answer :)

Have a magical day!

**Update** Make sure you check the website for current admission times.  I recently asked during a visit to the park and the Annual Pass Early Entry was limited to the weekends only!
This could be due to a high volume of crowds or a winter/spring schedule for 2013.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mary Blair and Mermaids: Part Duex

Wha-Wha-Whaaat?! Two posts in two days?? It's summer vacation! hahaha

This will be a continuation of yesterday's post, "Mary Blair and Mermaids", so if you haven't read that first part, please click the link and check it out.

This morning after eyeing those delightful bags again, I once more pulled up a google search to see what I could find out about this line. Surely more than just one person had discovered this. And of course they had!

D23, which is the "Official Disney Fan Club" by Disney itself, put an article out at the end of last month (May) about a special line of collaboration bags with Le Sports Sac.

Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac Collection Takes Consumers on a Trip Around the World
05.21.12 – LeSportsac and Disney Consumer Products recently announced the launch of the Disney It's a Small World by LeSportsac collection, featuring handbags, totes and accessories that combine the bright aesthetic of LeSportsac with inspiration from the mid-century artwork of Disney artist Mary Blair.
LeSportsac and Disney Consumer Products recently announced the launch of the Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection, featuring handbags, totes and accessories that combine the bright aesthetic of LeSportsac with inspiration from the mid-century artwork of Disney artist Mary Blair, who created the whimsical look of the beloved Disney theme park attraction it’s a small world.
Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection includes five seasonal deliveries, each inspired by a specific country. In addition to celebrating a country, each delivery will be anchored with a Signature Tote and a colorful print that pays tribute to the unique facades and architectural works of Disney’s it’s a small world attraction. The collection kicks off with a celebration of Tahiti that includes two graphic totes and a range of 12 styles in two vibrant prints.
“We are so inspired by Blair’s original art and the it’s a small world theme of global awareness,” said D’Arcy Jensen, vice president, Global Creative Director, LeSportsac. “Each collectible design we are creating is a colorful narrative that is sure to delight fans of Disney, Mary Blair and LeSportsac alike.”
The it’s a small world attraction, which debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, was created by Walt Disney both as a salute to UNICEF and his belief that everyone is united in their love of children and dreams of a better tomorrow. In keeping with the original philanthropic message of it’s a small world, Disney will make a donation to UNICEF in honor of it’s a small world, and all product in the Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection will include a special hangtag sharing the history of the original attraction and the connection to UNICEF.
“Our collaboration with LeSportsac pays homage to the magical experience of it’s a small worldwhile continuing the legacy of the message behind one of Disney’s most beloved theme park attractions,” said Robert Oberschelp, director, Disney Collections, DCP. “Walt Disney’s vision is as powerful and true today as it was when he first shared it with the world.”
The Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac Collection is available online at and at all LeSportsac flagship boutiques worldwide. LeSportsac is also available at better department stores and select specialty stores.

The particular design I've been oogling is the "Tahitian Dreams" collection.  As the article mentioned, they'll have 5 seasonal designs so I'm assuming this will be available through the summer and then in the fall a new design will replace it.  All the more reason to buy! (Disney marketing at it's best!)  I do wish they had a preview of the upcoming prints so consumers could see what's coming and plan to purchase one or the other.  But considering I'm mermaid-obsessed, I'm fairly certain I will love this print the best! 

The main site of Le Sports Sac has a really nice video and description about the collection here, check it out! 

Thats it for today! Hope you all have a fantastic rest of your day and see you back here soon. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mary Blair and Mermaids!

Hey Mousers!

This blog has been a bit of a bore lately and I apologize for that.  My lack of Disney posts have been the result of too hectic a schedule for waaaay too long.  Good news is that I'm out of school (I teach at a few elementary schools) for the summer, I'm planning a multi day trip in a couple weeks AND a whole mess of new things are happening over at the  parks. Although, I'm sure that if you're reading my ramblings, you probably already know the majority of them. :)

I wanted to show you guys something that I found on Instagram this week that had me squealing with delight! If you've read previous entries on this blog, you know that I'm OBSESSED with Mermaids! I freaking love Mermaids. I have red hair, my room is seafoam, I still have my Ariel barbie doll.... get the picture? haha

Anyway, I was perusing along Instagram, (my username is Anniemcbeth! Come follow me!) and I came across Zannaland's picture of this....  *gasp*
taken from Zannaland's Instagram
I died.  I love Mary Blair and her design but to have an entire line of bags marrying both her and mermaids?! Again... I died.
(For those of you who may be reading this and aren't sure who Mary Blair is, she was the creative genius behind "Its A Small World" and many other Disney projects including concept illustration for Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, and CInderella.) 

I had no idea where you would find such bags, so I googled "Le Sports Sac Disney" and an entire line of these gems came up in my search. Online store here. The sad part is a lot of the online stock is sold out already, but I can completely understand why! The print is adorable and that little mermaid charm.... *sigh*  I'm assuming that you could find them in the parks, but I have yet to see that nor do I have any evidence of anyone else buying it there.  I plan to investigate when I go in a couple weeks.

I'm seriously debating purchasing one of the larger bags... These are not items that come along everyday in park merchandise or even at the Disney Store.
These are my favorites I think...
small cosmetic bag $28

travel cosmetic bag #28

picture tote $128-$148

large weekender bag $138
They're all so cute!

 I'd love to have the cosmetic bag but that's one of the ones which have sold out. :( Sad Panda.  Which do you guys like the best?

The larger weekender bag would definitely get a lot of use and it doesn't have to "go" with an outfit like a regular bag would.  Of course, if you were visiting the park a lot, it would be fun to have a smaller one be your "Disneyland/World bag". So many choices! and so much cuteness!!  What's a girl to do?!

Alright, enough drooling over handbags hahaha that'll do it for this post!

I hope you guys enjoy some other types of posts as well as some park info, I know there are a lot of blogs and huge online resources (ie Mice chat and Dateline Disneyland) that can give you better information than I.  I hope this helps fill in a little bit along the way :)

Hope you all have a fantastic rest of your week!

*I've discovered a bit more information regarding the bags. Check out Part II of this here!*

Monday, February 20, 2012

Running a Half Marathon?! at Disneyland?!?!

Yep! you read that correctly!! You can in fact run a Half Marathon at Disneyland!!

Most of you who are reading this blog, probably already knew that both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort have had Marathons and Half Marathons and 5Ks and all sorts of other races available to run.  For a few years, I'd heard about the Disneyland Half event but what I didn't know was the extent to which this running program has gone. There are so many races to be a part of!! And I'm extremely excited to say that I'll be running in the next Disneyland Half Marathon in September! :D

So what got me interested in all this?

Let me say first off, that I am NOT an athlete. I never have been and probably will never become a hard core have-to-get-my-run-in-while-its-hailing/snowing/raining/hurricane/tornado/earthquake/uphill-both-ways person! [phew!]
What got me thinking about doing this, or shall we say running at all, was my cousin.  She signed up to run the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon that took place in January. She asked me to tag along to keep her company on the drive and because she knew I love anything that involves Disneyland.  At first, the thought of someone actually wanting to run 13.1 miles was completely bonkers to me, (LOL) but I tagged along because she was really excited about it and I was very curious about how these things went down.
We got down there in the afternoon and checked into the hotel across the street. It wasn't a bad walk to the Disneyland Hotel where the expo was so we didn't bother driving the car.  It's a good thing too because parking was very limited and there were hundreds if not thousands of people walking around the property.  We needed to go pick up my cousins bag with her bib number and get her checked in, so we headed down to where all the signs were pointing.  Which happened to be the entire bottom floor of the hotel parking structure. Remember what I said about limited parking? This is why...

they actually had black carpet over the cement!
It was completely organized craziness! There were sooooo many people there for the marathon.  How on earth did I miss the last 5 or so years of this event?? One really cool thing that I'm super jealous about is the collectors pin that was put out for the race. I'm not a Disney pin trader but I do think it's cool to get one for special events ie new attractions, special events, etc.  You better believe I was all over the Little Mermaid attraction pins!
Check out this one..  

 After checking in, we went over to the actual expo room where they had all kinds of booths and speakers set to do mini talks and FREE STUFF! I'm all about free stuff at expos! I don't care if they were handing out jock straps, I'd probably go get one! We grabbed a few things from the vendors and checked out the official merchandise for the race.  As would be expected, the majority of the items had Tinkerbell all over it.
yay, for free breakfast!

I can't talk about the Expo without showing the most hilarious "Disney" thing I've ever encountered in my life.  Let me just say that there were 12,000 people there for the race and about 95% were women.  In an attempt to, I guess... beautify? the Men's restroom for the ladies... I almost peed my pants because this happened....
........  O.o

Good Work Disney!!

After that we went back to the hotel, had some dinner, and then tried to get to bed early so my cousin could have a good nights rest. Didn't exactly work out that way, but we tried! haha

She got up bright and early while I gratefully kept sleeping hahaha.  My other cousin and I headed down there towards the end of the race a few hours later to meet up at the finish line.  We were able to stand on some bleachers to watch her cross the finish line, which was pretty cool.  The race used a special chip to keep track of the runners and when they crossed a marker, cast members yelled out their names! Really cool to hear her name be called out at the end and I'm sure it helps as she was going through the miles during it too.

All in all, it was a really cool experience even just being a spectator at the event.  I can't wait until I can actually be a part of the race itself and see first hand inside the park.  Everyone looked like they had so much fun and there were so many costumes!! Tutu's, fairy wings, sequined skirts, leg warmers, princess dresses, it was all so cool to watch!

Of course the best thing, well besides the feeling of great accomplishment for her, was the medal each finisher received. (Not gonna lie.... TOTALLY jealous!)

That about sums it up. Maybe this was a little inspiring to you too? I know the event was for me and I wish I could do all the races!  Ultimate goal would be to do a race in Disneyland and then do a Walt Disney World race within the allotted time frame to receive the Coast to Coast medal. How cool would that be?

See you in September Disneyland!!!
My cousin as she ran through Sleeping Beauty Castle at sunrise!

If you want to check out all the races and information on the Disneyland Half Marathon in September check out the Run Disney website.