Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fun Disneyland T-shirts

Disneyland has some great new t-shirts this season!  A few of them of food/snack related and could not be more clever!  Check them out...

T-shirts celebrating the famous turkey legs and churros.

I just LOVE this churro shirt!  The best part is how the guy is holding it on his hip!  Reminds me of my husband.  

They sell this shirt in adult sizes.  They should really make them in kid sizes because this would be perfect for my daughter.

Every time I look at this, I just can't stop laughing at the bar that's been eaten!

I'm not sure how many men would wear a t-shirt with a Disney prince on it.  But at any rate, I still think it's funny.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best Disney Value: Penny Souvenirs!

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Peach. Enjoy the ride as we share where we think you can find the best value at a Disney park.

This month's topic is "Where can you find the best Disney values?"  Value can come in many forms from best hotel deals, shows, food, etc.  I'm going to focus on park souvenirs and getting the best value from your coins.

I'm sure most parents are used to their kids asking for souvenirs at the park or asking for things in general.  One of the best souvenirs that doesn't cost a lot are the Penny Press souvenirs.  All it takes is two quarters and one penny.  In select locations, some offer dime and quarter presses that require a few more coins.

There are many, many Penny Press machines throughout Disneyland.  Each machine has three designs to choose from and they're typically themed to the land that the machine is in.  For example, if you're in Frontierland, you can find Penny Press machines of Mickey and friends in western attire.  Or if you're in Tomorrowland, you can find Buzz Lightyear and the aliens.

Putting her coins in the slot...good for fine motor skills!

Selecting her most cases she gets to choose all three!

My daughter's been pretty good about not asking for souvenirs at the park but once I introduced her the Penny Press machine, that was all over.  The second she sees one, she HAS to get one.  And that's ok with me because it only takes coins and doesn't show up on my credit card bill.  

I bought her a book to hold all her coins and she loves holding it and looking at all the coins she's collected.  

Placing her coins in her book

Another fine motor skill...sliding the coins into the holders
If you visit City Hall or ask a Cast Member in a store, they'll give you a list of all the Penny Press locations.  It's fun to go find them throughout the park.  I recently stumbled upon Nemo and friends in the Tomorrowland Starcade.  That'll be a good one for my daughter's collection since she LOVES Nemo!  If you have older kids, you can make a game out of it to see how many machines they can find throughout the day.

There are a few machines that have a unique presentation.  Instead of the standard rectangle shape of window, they are themed after their location.  Take these for example...

In Adventureland inside the Adventure Bazaar, you'll find this elephant statue that has four different machines linked together.  When you insert your coins, the elephant actually raises his front feet to "smash" the penny.

At the end of the Splash Mountain exit, you'll bump into this unique machine.  Inside is a miniature Splash Mountain!  Once the penny has been smashed, it slides down the water fall.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney in our Blood.

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 ~ 400 Miles to Disneyland

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Orleans Bayou Bash

Disneyland is still celebrating Mardi Gras until March 11, 2012 during their New Orleans Bayou Bash!

The New Orleans Bayou Bash includes the following entertainment:

  • Princess Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration.  Tiana, Louis, and Prince Naveen sing songs from "The Princess and the Frog".  They will also be available for character meet and greets at the Court of Angels.
  • Live bands.  The Jambalaya Jazz Band and Royal Street Bachelors will perform at the French Market Stage.

New Orleans Square is beautifully decorated for the occasion and reminds me of the Christmas decorations they did a few months ago.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I (barely) survived Leap Day 2012

February 29, 2012 is a day I will never forget.  

Disneyland was open from 6:00 am on 2/29 until 6:00 am on 3/1.  That's 24 hours straight and I was a part of the madness.  

Free pins were given to all Guests
The morning started out fine and wasn't too bad after the 6:00 am crowd cleared (they were there to get free mouse ears).  

The main gate was fairly empty and didn't have much of a line at 10 am

After the passing through the entrance, Leap Day 2012 signs welcomed Guests

See...even Main Street didn't look too bad in the morning
Special Leap Day 2012 merchandise was available at select locations.  I was on the prowl for this t-shirt in a Medium size and there were completely sold out by 10:00 am.  I had to call my husband to order me one online at just so I could get something to commemorate the event.

In addition to t-shirts and jackets, select snacks had special Leap Day treatments.  The caramel apples had these attached to it.

Throughout the park, select eateries had special Leap Day goodies.  You could find them by referencing the park entertainment guide or by spotting these signs.

There were some celebrities roaming the park with the Guests.  I spotted and had lunch at the table next to Holly Madison (Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend, now star of the Peep show in Las Vegas) who I know is a big Disney and Disneyland fan.  I also saw Rico Rodriguez who plays Manny on Modern Family.  I actually rode the same train car as him and snapped a photo of him.  While on that train ride, the Cast Member told me that the cast was there to film on location at Disneyland for the next 2-3 days for an upcoming episode.  They had selected Leap Day because they knew the park would be full to fill in the background scenes.

Modern Family crew setting up a scene in Frontierland

Cast and crew chairs
Throughout the day, I was fulfilling my Photography To Do List and didn't do any rides at Disneyland.  After several hours, I took off for a nap around 4:00 pm and came back shortly after 7:00 pm.  When I came back, the park was a completely different scene.
I had heard it took folks almost 2 hours just to get inside the park because of the lines.  The last time I had seen crowds of this magnitude at the park was during the 1999 New Year's Eve that rang in 2000.

Guests in line to buy tickets

Guests in line to enter Disneyland.  The line went all the way down to the California Adventure entrance!

The crowd scene from the Main Street train depot.  INSANE!

This is MADNESS!  Look at the sea of people on Main Street.

Now that I re-entered the park, I went off to fulfill some To Do items.  First thing was to send postcards to a few fellow bloggers.

Next, I met up with some fellow bloggers...Chad and Mark from Days in the Park and Rosemary and Neil from Finding Mickey.  It was really cool to meet the people who are behind the blogs I follow!

Over at Tomorrowland Terrace, Club 29 was set up for dancing.  The DJ was playing awesome house music!  Such a fun scene, however I felt so much older than the crowd that was there.  A reminder of how old I'm getting.  Oy.

Right before midnight, I was starting to feel tired but still felt good enough to keep on.  All day I was lugging my camera equipment in my backpack and doing a lot of standing and walking during my photography excursion.  I mean, I flew all the way over here, I should make it to 6:00 am!  

Feeling pretty good before midnight
Around this time, I was waiting in line to snag a photo with Darth Vadar and the Storm Troopers.  From 11:25 pm to 12:40 am, I was waiting in line.  It was the longest I had EVER waited for anything at Disneyland since FASTPASS was introduced.  Once it hit 12:00 am, there was an announcement that the park was still open and then music played.  Every hour past midnight, they were announce the time and the crowd would cheer on.
In line waiting for Darth Vadar

Once it was my turn to see Darth Vadar, I jumped right in and did my pose.  I guess I caught Darth and the Storm Trooper on the left off guard because they're faces looked confused as to what I 'm doing!! Maybe it would've helped if I had an actual light saber...

A short moment later, Darth and the Storm Trooper caught on and finally posed for the photo.

Now that I got my Darth Vadar photo, I needed a place to sit down.  Off to the Enchanted Tiki Room!

The very second I sat down, it was 1:02 am and time to take another photo update.  I was not feeling it this time...

I actually FELL ASLEEP inside the Tiki Room.  And I wasn't the only one.  After I was forced to exit by command of the Jose and his feathery friends' I quickly noticed that I wasn't the only one falling asleep.  I saw Guests sleeping on benches and tables.  

I kept telling myself that I need to make it to 6:00 am.  How was I to do that if Disneyland didn't sell Red Bull and I don't drink coffee?  The answer was SUGAR!  And I knew exactly where to get it.  Off to Pooh Corner!

Powder Sugar will do the trick!

See how much more awake I look?

2:00 AM...I was at the Village Haus in Fantasyland chowing down on my 4th meal of the day.  

After my pick me up meal, I went on King Arthur's Carousel for a whirl of a good time.  But I think all the motion was making me tired and by this time, the sugar wasn't working.

I headed over to the Golden Horseshoe to catch Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.  I found a chair in the nice little corner upstairs and although I couldn't see the stage, I could hear it loud and clear.  I guess because I couldn't see anything, my eyes just started to close and I decided to listen instead.  Next thing I know, I hear the announcement that it's 3:00 am.  Time for a photo!

This was the last photo I took.  

After sleeping for almost an hour instead the Golden Horseshoe, I decided I'm too old for this and headed out.  On my walk down Main Street at 3:45 am, I hesitated leaving because I really wanted to stay until 6:00 am.  I asked the Cast Member at the gate if I could come back at 5:00 am and she said yes, that they would still let people in.  So the plan was to sleep for an hour at my hotel and then come back at 5:00 am to experience the last hour.  That never happened.  When my alarm went off, I woke up and my body was sooooo sore I just couldn't do it.  Lugging around a backpack and walking/standing all day was just too much.  So I went back to sleep and then woke up a few hours later to catch my flight back home.

In all, it was a crazy and fun event that I'm happy to have been a part of.  I hope they do this for the next Leap Year because I'd love for my daughter to partake in this madness!

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