Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm at Disneyland today!

Welcome to those of you joining me from Heidi's Head and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I'm at Disneyland today!  I'm so excited to attend the "One More Disney Day" event where Disneyland will be open for 24 HOURS!!  

For the first time in my life, I will be here all by myself.  I made this trip by myself because...
A) flight and hotel prices were ridiculously cheap
B) no one wanted to go with me or maybe no one was crazy enough to handle 24 hours
C) an excuse to finally make a dedicated photography trip

So here's how I'm going to spend my day.  Whether I accomplish everything in one day or not is another thing.  My husband thinks I'm going to crash out right after midnight.


  1. Wake up at 4:00 AM
  2. Leave house at 4:30 AM to make my 6:00 AM flight to Anaheim.
  3. Arrive at hotel at 8:00 AM.  Drop off bag and head to Disneyland.
  4. Buy a new Disney hat and wear all day.
  5. Start my Photography To Do List in the morning while there's sun light and hopefully less crowds.  See list below.
  6. Drink Red Bull.
  7. Visit California Adventure for some quick rides, photography, food and maybe a glass of Sangria.
  8. Attend various blogging meet ups.
  9. Send postcards to various blogging friends and mail through the Disneyland US mail boxes.
  10. Snack throughout the day!  I'm going to chomp on Mickey beignets, Dole Whips, ice cream cookie sandwiches, and popcorn!
  11. Take a nap around 3:00 PM and head back at 4:30 PM.
  12. Board all the E-ticket attractions as many times as I can.
  13. Grab a bowl of clam chowder at French Market.
  14. Drink Red Bull.
  15. After midnight, take a photo of a clock every hour until 6:00 AM.
  16. At 6:00 AM, take a photo in front of the castle to show that I made it alive!

Photography To Do List

  • All stores, dining, and attractions
  • All restroom signs
  • All windvanes
  • All US Mail Boxes
  • All Haunted Mansion tombs
  • As many penny press machines that I can find
  • All Kodak Picture Spots

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Meet the Magic.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Heidi’s Head
3rd Stop ~ Meet the Magic
4th Stop ~ Disney on Wheels
5th Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
Final Stop ~ Growing Up Disney

Monday, February 27, 2012

FINALLY!!!! Disneyland releases entertainment schedule for 'One More Disney Day'

With Disneyland's "One More Disney Day" happening less than 48 hours, they've FINALLY released the entertainment schedule.

I have to admit that the marketing team really slacked off on this one.  When you announce that Disneyland and Walt Disney World are going to be open for 24 hours for one day only, you need to let the public know what those plans entail.  It will only help draw more excitement.  The delay in entertainment scheduling wasn't released up until the last minute which creates problems for Type A planners like myself.  Ok, so it's not so much a problem like an end of the world thing, but now I have to revisit my Plan of Attack and make sure I can still accomplish everything in 24 hours AND make it out alive!

Ok, so here's the entertainment schedule.  I'm super excited about seeing the characters in their PJ's and the dance party in Tomorrowland!  I may pass on Fantasmic because I've seen it so many times, plus I think seeing it without my daughter will give me a big guilt trip since I'm not taking her with me.  

  • Dance party featuring KIIS DJs at Tomorrowland Terrace from 8:30 p.m. – 4 a.m.

  • Second showing of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at 10 p.m.

  • Performances by Billy Hill & the Hillbillies at The Golden Horseshoe from 11:15 p.m. – 4:45 a.m.

  • Special showing of “Fantasmic!” at 1 a.m.

  • Character meet & greets throughout the night (subject to change):
    • Mickey Mouse and friends in pajamas at Carnation Plaza Gardens
    • Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland
    • Country Bears in Frontierland

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mickey Mouse Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Today I found myself getting creative in the kitchen.  My daughter asked for a sandwich and based on her sandwich-eating track record, I wanted to make sure she would eat the whole thing.

I pulled out my Mickey Mouse Egg Ring and used it to cut the bread into Mickey shapes.

Now that I had my bread, I threw them on the frying pan and tore the cheese into small pieces to fit on the bread.

And voila!

A Mickey Mouse grilled cheese sandwich!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Special Snacks for One More Disney Day

Ok, so I'm starting to feel a lot better about spending 24 hours at Disneyland.  Up until this week, there were no announcements of anything special going on for the One More Disney Day event.

Today, Disney officially announced several special food items that will be available.

AVAILABLE 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM ONLY
  • Shrimp pasta and red beans and rice at French Market

  • Chicken gumbo, corn chowder, French dip sandwich with N’Orleans chips, shrimp salad sandwich with carrot-citrus slaw and bananas Foster cheesecake at French Market

  • Roasted bourbon shrimp stuffed with Dungeness crab mousse served with angel hair pasta and spinach in a smoked tomato-habanero-artichoke sauce at Blue Bayou
  • Prime eye of round with two quail eggs, roasted cauliflower and potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a cabernet sauce at Blue Bayou


  • Cherry pie at The Golden Horseshoe
  • Chili cheese corn dog, fries and cherry pie at Stage Door CafĂ©
  • Brownie and krispy skewers at Bengal Barbecue
  • Green chili cheese blue corn tamales at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
  • All-beef mac ‘n cheese hot dog with bacon bits at Refreshment Corner
  • Creamy lobster bisque at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
  • Pot roast and chicken sampler at Plaza Inn
  • Chorizo and egg breakfast pizza at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port
  • Spicy chipotle chile turkey burger and onion rings at Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Chili cheeseburger and fries at Village Haus
  • Breakfast (scrambled eggs, Creole eggs benedict, three-cheese Monte Cristo French toast, lump crab quiche, bananas Foster French toast and fresh fruit with yogurt and granola) at Cafe Orleans

Select eateries at Downtown Disney will open early on 2/29 and 3/1 for the One More Disney Day event.

La Brea Bakery cart
Wednesday, February 29 at 5:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 1 at 5:00 a.m.

Ralph Brennan Jazz Kitchen
Wednesday, February 29 at 5:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 1 at 5:00 a.m.

Jamba Juice
Wednesday, February 29 at 5:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 1 at 5:00 a.m.

Wednesday, February 29 at 5:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 1 at 5:00 a.m.

House of Blues
Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 a.m. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Free Ear Hat to first 2,000 Disneyland Guests on 2/29

Disney Parks hasn't released much information surrounding special events or merchandise for their "One More Disney Day" on February 29.  Disneyland will be open for 24 hours from 6am on 2/29 until 6am 3/1.  It's been pretty disappointing to not see special parades, activities or shows scheduled considering the park hyped this up during the New Year's Eve Times Square celebration.  It basically sounds like the park is open for 24 hours, with limited attractions available and not all dining will be open.  Hopefully they'll add some last minute updates.

On the plus side, Disneyland recently announced that the first 2,000 visitors will receive a special limited edition Mickey ear hat to celebrate the "One More Disney Day".

Here are some important notes regarding the free ear hats:

  • Guests may begin lining up no earlier than 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28.
  • Guests planning to line up before Disneyland park opens must park in the Pumbaa Parking Lot on Disney Way between 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28 and 6 a.m. on February 29. Please note that the Pumbaa Lot will not begin to offer shuttle service to the East Esplanade until 6 a.m. on February 29. Click here for a map of Disneyland Resort parking areas.
  • Restrooms will be available for guests who line up before Disneyland park opens.
  • A special ticket booth will be available prior to Disneyland park opening for guests needing to purchase park admission for February 29. Valid park admission is required in order to enter Disneyland park and to receive the commemorative ear hat.
  • Commemorative ear hats will be distributed, while supplies last, to guests who enter through the designated turnstiles beginning at 6 a.m. on February 29, when Disneyland park officially opens. Limit one ear hat per person, and you must be present at the time of distribution.
  • Please remember that being in line and entering the park does not guarantee that you will receive a commemorative ear hat. Ear hats are limited to a supply of 2,000 for guests who enter through the designated turnstiles when Disneyland park opens at 6 a.m. on February 29.

Since my flight arrives early morning on 2/29 I'm going to miss out on the free ears.  :-(  Guess I'll have to buy them off someone or check eBay after the event.  :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kid Meals: Cocina Cucamonga

One of our favorite kid meals comes from Cocina Cucamonga at California Adventure.  It's a Mexican grill which offers tacos, burritos, tamales, salads and more. For the adults, the plates are pretty generous and are decently priced between $9.99 - $13.49.  See the carne asada plate here.

For the kids, they offer a mini burrito (perfectly sized for my 3 year old), Spanish rice, a fruit cup and choice of milk, bottled water, or fruit juice.  The bean and cheese burrito kids meal is priced at $6.49, Annual Passholders can save 10-15%.

I honestly wish the adult plates would come in a Mickey plate.  How fun would that be?  Ah, to be a kid again!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Review: Days in the Park goes on a scavenger hunt!

I'm so honored and pleased to present you with a guest review from Chad Elliot of Days in the Park!

Chad is a fellow Disneyland blogger and has had many adventures in the park.  His blog offers weekly "Magical Mystery Mondays" where he challenges readers to guess where at the Disneyland Resort a photo was taken and features "Random Ramblings" on Wednesdays were he posts various random photos from the parks.  This makes Chad the perfect candidate to try out one of my monthly scavenger hunts.  He recently visited Disneyland with his son and friend Mark (also of Days in the Park) and took the January Scavenger Hunt with him.

Please enjoy his review of his latest adventure!

One of my favorite parts about running a blog of my own (Days in the Park) is in the simple act of taking pictures.  If you spend any time at all reading our work, you'll notice that a lot of it is in fact quite picture heavy.  Our favorite articles are those we publish on Wednesday under the title "Random Ramblings", which is just what it sounds like; just completely random wanderings around The Disneyland Resort, where we take pictures of whatever suits our fancy.  They don't have to be spectacular spots, and often times they're quite normal and un-spectacular to be honest, but we love the little details and the small things.  Color us weird, but that's just what floats our boat.  So when our friend P.T. over at "400 Miles to Disneyland" invited us over to check out her monthly scavenger hunt games and review one for her, we were all for it!  And imagine our sheer glee when we discovered that many of them were in fact photo scavenger hunts highlighting completely and totally random pictures around Disneyland.  It doesn't get any better than that!  So here we are!

The "400 Miles to Disneyland" Scavenger Hunts run once a month, meaning P.T. creates them once a month for her readers.  Nothing too overwhelming or inundating, but it keeps you coming back at least once a month to see what she has in store for you next!  And there is a little variety in the fact that there are typically two kinds available to you - either a photo scavenger hunt, where you are charged with finding a location and snapping a picture of it based on an actual picture that she gives you, or what we like to think of as a "topical" hunt, such as taking pictures of "5 trashcans", "3 restroom signs", or the like.  The great thing about it is that it's all about the pictures!  Either way you go, you're taking pictures, which is always a fun thing to do!  And in this day and age, where cell phones and digital cameras are so prevalent, and it's so easy to grab pictures on the fly, this just makes her games that much more fun and enjoyable.

It honestly doesn't get any easier to participate in something than this.  The rules are simple, yet don't detract from the game at all due to their simplicity.  If you enjoy seeing things at Disneyland, we honestly can't see why on earth you wouldn't enjoy these games.  Each game gives you pictures to look for from both Parks, from some of the Lands within each Park, and some bonus goodies at the end that could be anywhere to really test your knowledge and make up for any pictures you failed to get in any of the other areas.  We really like how she pretty much leaves it in your hands to decide how you're going to play the games, too.  Pretty much the only solid rule is you need picture proof that you got the spots you say you did, but other than that it's simply strolling and shooting.  You score points based on the pictures/spots you find (if you're keeping score), the bonus points are what they are, and at the end of the day, if you've made a competition of it, the person with the most points wins.  Pretty straightforward stuff!  Groups or families can play it one against another, or however they want.  It's really that easy.  We opted to go the less competitive route, and spend the day just snapping and looking for the pictures whenever we entered the Lands that were on our "checklist".  We didn't really keep score, but rather just made the game all about locating the different spots on the sheet, and there were quite a few we hadn't seen before.  But we never felt like we were missing out by not competing, and in point of fact, taking it easy and just looking for the spots as we came to them really helped us enjoy the game more we think.  However, it could certainly be played in a highly competitive fashion like a real scavenger hunt, where you're just going from one spot to the next until you're done, and that would be just fine, too.  We tend to suggest our way, though (of course), and we managed to make the game last the entire day as a result.  We're already champing at the bit to play the March edition and can't wait until she gets it up!


I think that one of the reasons we enjoyed the game so much, is that we are huge proponents of slowing down and taking everything in at Days in the Park, and these games give you just the opportunity to do that!  Truthfully, even though we knew almost straightaway where every item on the list was, it didn't mean that we had ever seen that partiuclar item before.  Say what?  Well, I mean that we're smart enough, and Disneyland-knowledgable enough to have known where to find the items in the pictures, but we had walked right past many of them before without ever having actually seen or looked at them before.  Score one for "400 Miles to Disneyland"!  It's not to say we were perfect, and in fact there was one picture during the day that we never found, although we found it later that we had walked under it a good four or five times without seeing it.  See, the games have you looking all over the place!  Truly fun!

Just a few quick things worth noting fron our perspective:  Apparently from time to time, things get moved or removed from Disneyland and a spot might not be there anymore.  We suffered such a fate with one of our pictures where an angel we were supposed to photograph wasn't there anymore.  Kind of weird, but the picture of the spot where it was supposed to be came out pretty cool!  So be ready for some changes or some possible missing opps.  Second, one of the best things about it, in my opinion, is that P.T. gives you the list of what you're looking for in a .jpeg format.  It might not seem like much, but if you're shooting from the hip in this one (with a cell phone of some kind) it makes it super easy!  I simply downloaded the .jpeg onto my phone and could pull up the list whenever I needed to, right out of pocket.  It saved me the trouble of paper and ink at home, and made it super simple to just look at the picture, find what I was looking for, instantly switch to my camera, and take the shot.  Easy-peasy!  It was also a lot of fun to find the spots on the list, and try to either match up the angles of the shots I took exactly with P.T.'s, or do something completely different and off-beat.  It really made you think about how to take the photos, in addition to finding the spots, which was a lot of fun, as well.

All in all, we had an absolutely blast doing the January "400 Miles to Disneyland" photo scavenger hunt.  I did it with the help of my buddy Mark (also from Days in the Park) and my oldest son, and we all enjoyed it very much.  It was truly great fun looking for the different items she provided for us to see, and we really felt like we were accomplishing something by finding them all.  Well, almost all of them! 

If you plan on spending any time at all in Disneyland, and are interested in photography and paying attention to all of those little details we're always harping on, then we highly recommend one of these photo scavenger hunts to you.  They come with our 6 thumbs held way, way up in the air.  Download one now and get to hunting!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kid Meals: Disneyland Kid's POWER Pack

When I fly to Disneyland, I like to travel light because I don't want to carry a lot of stuff.  In fact, I hate carrying unnecessary items with me.  I bring what I need and any MINIMAL extras like 3 bandaids and a tiny bottle of Purell.

My travel bags and park stroller packing are super light these days because I'm no longer lugging diapers or blankets with me.  It really comes in handy to travel light when jumping on the Monorail or train because you have to fold up the stroller and carry everything with you.  I'm not a fan of carrying extra baggage when I'm already carrying a stroller and a child.  

So when I'm travelling light, I'm also not carrying as many snacks or sippy cups with me either.  So what do I do when my daughter is asking for a snack in between meals and I refuse to buy her junk food?  Enter the Kid's POWER Pack!  Ka-chow!

Most Disneyland eateries carry the Kid's POWER Pack which consists of Goldfish crackers, Dannon yogurt, string cheese, apple slices and choice of water, milk or juice.  The cost is $5.99 and comes in an adorable cardboard box.

Now, I know what some will say.  $5.99 is a lot when you can buy a bag of Goldfish for $1.50 at the grocery store.  But I'm paying for convenience.  I didn't have to lug the bag of Goldfish, or fly to Anaheim with a cooler of apples, yogurt, or cheese.  

After my Annual Passholder discount, it was a fair enough price and my daughter ate everything.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rider Switch Pass and Big Thunder Mountain

A couple days ago, I went to Disneyland with my family and we took full advantage of  the Rider Switch Pass which allowed me to enjoy the E-ticket rides while someone waited with my under-40-inches-daughter.

When visiting with kids who don't meet the height requirements of these rides, you can go to the Cast Member at the front of the queue and ask for a Rider Switch Pass.  They will ask who is waiting in line and who is waiting with the kid and will give the Rider Switch Pass to the family members who wait in line.

Once those family members board the ride and exit, the person waiting with the kid switches and can bring one person to ride with them.  Depending on the ride, you can jump in the FASTPASS line or the exit.  That way, the person waiting with the kid doesn't have to wait in the line for long and gets a chance and riding everything too.

For Big Thunder Mountain, Rider Switch Pass holders typically have to re-enter through the FASTPASS line.  On this particularly slow Disneyland-day, FASTPASS wasn't running because it wasn't needed.  The wait was only 5 minutes!  So we were told to take our Rider Switch Pass through the exit.  

From there, I had an interesting photo-vantage point and wanted to take these photos.  I think they came out pretty nice, especially the beautiful blue sky!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Does this count as a Hidden Mickey?

Over at Paradise Pier in California Adventure, there's this fake newspaper stand.

If you climb up the stand or are a rather tall person, the fake newspapers on the counter have a photo of Mickey from the Steamboat Willie cartoon.  

Do you think this counts as an official Hidden Mickey? Hidden Mickeys come in so many forms that when you find the real Mickey instead of the silhouette, I have to wonder if it's considered "hidden".  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting Engaged at Disneyland

Welcome to those of you joining me from Tips from the Disney Diva and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Once upon a time in the summer of 2005, I was with my boyfriend for several weeks and we had started to get serious about our relationship.  6 weeks into our relationship, I scheduled a weekend trip to Disneyland.  I wanted to him to see how special it was to me.  It was also the first time I'd visit the park with a significant other so it was a big milestone for me.  I couldn't wait to hold his hand in the park and be "that young couple" where we hug and walk our way through the line.

On our way down, we had a slight detour and to make a long story short, he took over driving my car and then realized our tank was empty!  We had to pull over to the side of the road and wait for a tow truck.  While we were waiting, we started talking about our relationship and that we both wanted to get married.  However, I told him I would ONLY say, "Yes" if he proposed to me at Disneyland.

After the tow truck saved us, we were on our merry way to Anaheim.  The next morning we entered the park and I wondered when and where was he going to ask me.  We passed by the castle several times and he still didn't say anything.  I'm one of those people that "have" to know what's going on and it kills me when I don't know.  The suspense was nipping at me all day and we both didn't utter a word about marriage or our conversation from the night before.

Then, closer to the afternoon we were walking through Fantasyland and went through the bridge.  He turned around, took off his hat, and went down on one knee.  He took my hand and then asked me to marry him!  I was about to cry and jumped up to say, "YES!"

It was my dream proposal!

And we've been happily married for more than 5 years. :-)   

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Peach this month. We will be back Tuesday, March 6th with an all new theme. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012: Monthly Disneyland Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The February Scavenger Hunt list is here! 

This month's hunt has a snap shot of the item you're tasked to find in each land. Once you find it, snap a photo with it as proof that you found it.  Don't forget to click the image to enlarge and print.  


Need to find the rules to the Photo Scavenger Hunt? Visit the tab at the top of this blog for a printable Rules page. 

Print out your list and go hunting for the items on your next Disneyland/California Adventure visit. If you’re stuck on something, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide a clue.

Good luck and have fun!
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