Giant hat to be removed from Disney Hollywood Studios

October 24th, 2014

According to second-hand information that we happened across on some random web site, Disney will officially be removing the gigantic Sorcerer Mickey Hat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Presumably, they will also be removing the gigantic Sorcerer Mickey figure that has been buried beneath the hat for more than a decade with only one hand showing (the other hand is not part of the buried figure; it previously adorned Epcot’s Spaceship Earth and is being warehoused off site in anticipation of a reunion with the bulk of Giant Sorcerer Mickey’s body).

It has not been decided what will be built in the hat’s place to disrupt the gorgeous view of the Great Movie Ride. “We were thinking maybe just a big billboard at first,” said a person we talked to who sounded like he knew what he was talking about. “After that, maybe a gigantic Darth Vader head. It hasn’t been decided.”

Universal in Beijing

October 15th, 2014

This week, Universal Studios announced that they will be opening a theme park in Beijing (Chinese for “Benji”), China. Here is everything you need to know about the announcement:

  • Disney owns Marvel and Universal Studios has the license to build Marvel-related theme park attractions, but not in China.
  • Disney doesn’t own Universal Studios.
  • Disney currently has no plans to purchase Universal Studios.
  • Disney will have a theme park in Shanghai, China in 2015.
  • Disney already has a theme  park in Hong Kong, which — according to China — is in China.
  • Therefore, logically, there is no need to mention this announcement ever, ever again.

 

Your Disneyland Bucket List

October 10th, 2014

It’s a sad but true fact that there are some people who will only have the opportunity to visit Disneyland once in their lives. For these poor, blighted individuals, it can be very difficult to decide what to do and what to see since time may be limited and it would be very disappointing to learn that you had missed something when you will have no opportunity to return.

To assist these individuals, we have put together a suggested “bucket list” of attractions, sights, and entertainment at Disneyland that should not be missed under any conditions. If you are taking a once-and-only trip to the park, bring this list with you as a handy way to make sure you haven’t missed anything important. (And remember, this isn’t an exhaustive list, just a “best of the best.” If your favorite isn’t listed, let us know!)

Not To Be Missed Items at Disneyland

  • 20th Century Music Company
  • Adventureland Bazaar
  • Adventureland Entrance Restrooms
  • Aladdin’s Oasis Restrooms
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Restrooms
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Atmosphere Characters (various)
  • Autopia
  • Autopia FASTPASS machines
  • Autopia Restrooms
  • Baby Care Center
  • Bengal Barbecue
  • Benches (various)
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Botique
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FASTPASS machines
  • Big Thunder Ranch
  • Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue
  • Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue Restrooms
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant Restrooms
  • Bonanza Outfitters
  • The Briar Patch
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Cafe Orleans
  • Candy Kitchen
  • Candy Palace
  • Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage
  • Captain EO Tribute (or whatever is currently displacing it)
  • Captain’s Treasure at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Carnation Café
  • Carnation Café Restrooms
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • The Castle Heraldry Shop
  • Castmembers asking you for your email address
  • Cemetery at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • China Closet
  • Chip ‘n Dale’s Treehouse
  • Churro cart
  • City Hall
  • City Hall Restrooms
  • Clarabelle’s Frozen Yogurt
  • Club 33
  • Club 33 Restrooms
  • Cristal d’Orleans
  • Crystal Palace
  • Cultivating the Magic Tour
  • Daisy’s Diner
  • The Dapper Dans
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Dead Man’s Grotto at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Disney California Adventure
  • Discover the Magic Tour
  • Disney Clothiers, Ltd.
  • The Disney Gallery
  • The Disney Gallery Restrooms
  • Disney Showcase
  • Disneyana
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Disneyland Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Disneyland Railroad – Mickey’s Toontown
  • Disneyland Railroad – New Orleans Square
  • Disneyland Railroad – Tomorrowland
  • The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
  • Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour
  • Donald’s Boat
  • Downtown Disney
  • Dream Suite
  • Ducks
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Edelweiss Snacks
  • Emporium
  • Esmeralda
  • Evil Queen window
  • Fairy Tale Treasures
  • Fantasmic!
  • Fantasy Faire
  • Fantasyland Theatre Restrooms
  • Feral cats
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Fireworks
  • First Aid
  • Flag Retreat Ceremony
  • Floral Mickey
  • Former Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland tunnel
  • Fort Wilderness
  • Fort Wilderness Restrooms
  • Fowler’s Harbor
  • Fortune Red
  • French Market Restaurant
  • Frontierland “Cigar Store Indian”
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Frozen treat cart
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Gag Factory
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
  • Goat trick
  • Goofy’s Gas Station Restrooms
  • Goofy’s Playhouse
  • Golden Horseshoe
  • Grand Canyon Diorama
  • Guided Tour Pavilion Restrooms
  • Harbour Galley
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Hidden Mickeys (various)
  • The Hub
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant Restrooms
  • Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye FASTPASS machines
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye queue
  • Innoventions
  • “it’s a small world”
  • “it’s a small world” Toy Shop
  • Jambalaya Jazz
  • Jedi Training Academy
  • Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • La Mascarade D’Orleans
  • Lafitte’s Anchor
  • Landscaping (various)
  • Le Bat en Rouge
  • Le Petit Chalet
  • Lily Belle Train Car
  • Little Green Men Store Command
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Gate Restrooms
  • Main Street Cannons
  • Main Street “Cigar Store Indian”
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Main Street Fire Station
  • Main Street Lockers
  • Main Street Magic Shop
  • Main Street mezuzah
  • Main Street Piano Player
  • Main Street Pin Shop
  • Main Street Vehicles — Fire Engine
  • Main Street Vehicles — Horse-Drawn Streetcar
  • Main Street Vehicles — Jitney
  • Main Street Vehicles — Omnibus
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Market House
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Matterhorn Mountain basketball court
  • Maurice’s Treats Snack Cart
  • Meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen
  • Meet Tinker Bell & a Fairy Friend at Pixie Hollow
  • Merchant of Venus
  • Mickey and the Magical Map
  • Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
  • Mickey’s Soundsational Parade
  • Mickey’s Star Trader
  • Minnie’s House
  • Mint Julep Bar
  • Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • New Century Jewelry
  • New Orleans Square Restrooms
  • New Orleans Square Station Telegraph
  • Newsstand
  • Observatron
  • Parking
  • Parking lot tram
  • Penny Arcade
  • People watching
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Petrified Tree
  • Photopass photographers (various)
  • Pieces of Eight
  • Pin trading opportunities (various)
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Pioneer Mercantile
  • Pirate’s Den at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island Mill Dock Restrooms
  • Pirate’s League
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Plaza Inn
  • Pluto’s Dog House
  • Pontoon Bridge at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Pooh Corner
  • Popcorn cart
  • Port Royal
  • Pressed Penny Machines (various)
  • Primeval World Diorama
  • Professor Barnaby Owl’s Photographic Art Studio
  • Rafts to Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
  • Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante Restrooms
  • Real human skull in Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Recorded conversations (Main Street)
  • Recorded conversation (New Orleans Square)
  • Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port
  • Refreshment Corner
  • River Belle Terrace
  • Rivers of America
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin FASTPASS machines
  • Royal Street Bachelors
  • Royal Street Sweets
  • Royal Street Veranda
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Secret Cave at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Shipwreck at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Silver Spur
  • Skyway to Tomorrowland building (abandonded)
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Exact Center of Disneyland Before Toontown Was Built Mark
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
  • Smuggler’s Cove at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Snow White Grotto
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • South Seas Traders
  • Space Mountain
  • Space Mountain FASTPASS machines
  • Space Mountain Restrooms
  • Splash Mountain
  • Splash Mountain FASTPASS machines
  • Stage Door Café
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue FASTPASS machines
  • Starcade
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats
  • The Straw Hatters
  • Stroller Rentals
  • Suspension Bridge at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Sword in the Stone
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse
  • The Golden Horseshoe
  • Thor: Treasures of Asgard
  • Tiki Juice Bar
  • Tomorrowland Entrance Restrooms
  • Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Tomorrowlanding
  • Toontown Five and Dime
  • Trash cans in Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Trash cans in Adventureland
  • Trash cans in Adventureland (Indiana Jones queue)
  • Trash cans in New Orleans Sqaure (near Pirates of the Caribbean)
  • Trash cans in New Orleans Square (near the Haunted Mansion)
  • Trash cans in Frontierland
  • Trash cans in Frontierland (Fowlers Harbor)
  • Trash cans in Frontierland (Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island)
  • Trash cans in Frontierland (dock area)
  • Trash cans in Frontierland (on the Mark Twain
  • Trash cans in Fantasyland
  • Trash cans in Fantasyland (“it’s a small world” area)
  • Trash cans in Toontown
  • Trash cans in Tomorrowland
  • Tropical Imports
  • Troubadour Tavern
  • Turkey leg cart
  • Village Haus Restaurant
  • Village Haus Restaurant Restrooms
  • W. Turner Blacksmith Shop at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” Tour
  • Walt Disney’s Apartment
  • Walt Disney’s Apartment’s Restroom
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room Restrooms
  • Wandering Balloon Sales
  • Watching over-stimulated children melt down (various)
  • Water fountains (various)
  • Welcome to Disneyland Tour
  • Westward Ho Trading Company

That’s it — enjoy your trip!

New Monorail Color!

October 8th, 2014

Here’s an unexpected surprise! As Disneyland fans know, the park’s monorails are named for their color, such as  Monorail Blue, Monorail Orange, Monorail Burnt Sienna, and the long-retired Monorail Flesh. Last month, Monorail Plumb went into refurb, and this afternoon it emerged from the roundhouse, newly rechristened Monorail Chrome!

Disneyland's Monorail Chrome

Mickey’s Fun Wheel madness!

October 3rd, 2014

Disney loves to surprise and delight its guests, and yesterday dozens of Disney California Adventure visitors got an unexpected something extra.

“It was awesome!” said Erica Highflurf, a teenager who agreed to be quoted but not fact checked. “I love Mickey’s Fun Wheel, and it was really neat that they let us stay on an extra long time as a surprise.”

“We were there for like ten times the normal ride time,” sad Tiffany “Princess” Eggdaws, friend of Highflurf. “Every minute, we were like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this!”

Steve “Just Steve” Stevenson, Highflurf’s cynical boyfriend, added, “Maybe if the thing was moving or if we hadn’t been just one car from the ground it would have been okay, but whatever.”

“He’s mad because he had just drank like six beers,” Higflurf added.

Asked for details, a bystander claiming to speak authoritatively for the company said, “Disney has been testing these ‘Extended Experiences’ or ‘Attraction Residencies’ for years. Interestingly, the reaction from guests varies quite a bit depending on what the attraction is. The Jungle Cruise isn’t that popular for Extended Experiences because after an hour or so most skippers have run through the bulk of their A-list material. ‘it’s a small world’ is a different story all together. We’ve spoken to guests who have had ‘small world’ EEs that said the experience impacted them so much that they practically couldn’t get the attraction’s famous theme song out of their head, sometimes to the point of requiring medical assistance.”

Midway Movie Mania

October 2nd, 2014

What a surprise! With no prior announcement, Disney California Adventure today held a preview of a new limited-time attraction — an overlay of Toy Story Midway Mania featuring Marvel theatrical films!

Marvel Midway Mania

Guests boarded the attraction vehicles as usual, but instead of playing the usual game they were whisked away for a private showing of a popular Marvel feature film in glorious, high-quality 3D!

Given that this is an entirely new concept for the park, there were both positive and negative aspects of the attraction.

Positive

  • You get to see four full-length Marvel films (after the first finishes, you are whisked to a different screen to see another).
  • Films are randomly chosen, so it’s a big surprise!
  • Some films let you use the attraction vehicle’s gun to, for example, shoot cream pies at the Red Skull!
  • Free (virtual) popcorn!

Negative

  • Because the movies are randomly chosen, if you have bad luck, you might end up seeing films in the wrong order (e.g., Iron Man 3 before Iron Man 2) or the same movie more than once (e.g., The Hulk four times in a row).
  • It’s rather a long time to go without access for a restroom.
  • Lines for the attraction were lengthy (estimated weight times were generally in the 45 to 60 hour range).

Welcome to October!

October 1st, 2014

It’s October, so things are really kicking into Halloween gear at Disneyland! A few items of significance to keep in mind this month:

  • Make sure to get to Disneyland early on those days when the candy shop is creating its hand-made pumpkin spice candy canes. They always sell out quickly!
  • For the first time during trick or treating, there is a special treat station within the Main Street Opera House just for Disneyland annual passholders! Passholders will receive standard candy plus a specially illustrated, limited-edition annual pass renewal form!
  • Remember to visit Big Thunder Ranch near the end of the month to pick up one of their famous Previously Carved Pumpkin Pies!

Happy Halloween!

Historic Spelling

September 29th, 2014

We were working on photographs for volume 2 of That’s Not At Disneyland! (which you should definitely buy, particularly if you want a chance at a free skull juju), when we noticed something interesting. This is from the overhead theming in a store on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure:

Horrible Disney spelling

(You can click the image to see it better.)

Check out the horrible spelling of “Doctor” on the microscope kit!

At first, we were feeling all superior because of our advanced spelling skills, but then we got to thinking — what if Disney spelled the word this way on purpose?

To test that possibility, we found a random stranger who admitted to being a Disney Imagineer after we followed him around long enough. According to him:

The spelling is actually correct for the time period depicted in the store’s theming. You see, the store is set in an era before standardized spelling arrived in the United States, so what might seem to us like deviant spelling was completely common at the time.

Once again Imagineers have impressed us with their incredible accuracy!

Big Funder Danch?

September 26th, 2014

Big Thunder Ranch logo

Anyone know why the logo for Big Thunder Ranch is the letters “BFD” instead of “BTR”? We’re sure there’s an interesting backstory in there somewhere!

The wonderful thing about fishing…

September 24th, 2014

Not much going on in the way of Disney news today (aside from that big Star Wars announcement), so we thought we’d share one of our favorite photos from a recent visit:

Record catch Tigger

It’s so nice to see the characters wandering the parks (and this definitely explains Tigger’s usually inexplicable odor!)