Monday, December 31, 2012

Update to My Disney Bucket List

Time to check in on my Disney Bucket List!  I last posted my bucket list in July 2011.  Let's see what's I've been able to accomplish...

1. Visit every Disney park in the world.
I have 3 down and have 2.5 more to go.  I need to make a trip and see Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and by the time I have enough money saved for the trip, Shanghai Disneyland will be open.  It'll be one great Disney-Asia tour!
UPDATE: Still working on this one.  I think I'll be able to do this when I'm 40 and my kids are old enough to make the trip and worthwhile.
2. Find Maynard at Disneyland
This is something I just accomplished this past February.  I couldn't believe my luck!  I've read about Maynard online for the last 10 years.  He's been a celebrity in the Disney-geek world.  He's really a Cast Member extrodanaire.  For any attraction he's assigned to, he really gets into the character.  And he's known for his signature photo pose!  So as I was exiting the Enchanted Tiki Room, I noticed that the Cast Member clearing the room out looked oddly familiar.  I asked if he was Maynard and he said Yes!  So I asked if I could take a photo of him to cross it off my Disney Bucket List.  He laughed and said of course.  Here's the photo with his signature post!
UPDATE: I actually found him twice!

3. Visit Club 33
Club 33 is a private club and restaurant inside New Orleans Square.  You can find the door near the Pirates of the Caribbean exit and is marked by the number 33.  One day I will find someone with membership and beg my way inside!
UPDATE: Still working on this.  I'm hoping to cross paths with someone one day who can get me in.  I know people who have had the pleasure of dining there through their own connections.  So...we'll see!

3. Go on a Disney Cruise
Some find this surprising, but I've never been on a cruise.  I'm really not a boat/out to sea kind of gal but I will make the exception for a Disney cruise! 
UPDATE: In progress!  Hoping to schedule our cruise Spring 2013!  

4. Make a Photography Field Trip to Disneyland
One of these days, I'd like to take a day and just walk around the park shooting photos.  There's a lot of architectural beauty in the park and I'd like to capture as much of it as I can.  I can only do so much with my daughter or other friends/family around.  One of these days I'll do it.  I don't have many photographer friends that are into Disney that would go with me, so I'm pretty much stuck to doing it myself.
UPDATE: Done!  I was able to do this on Leap Day (February 29, 2012).  You can read all about my 24-hour experience here.

5. Stay 1 night at the Grand Californian Hotel
This hotel is a real beauty!  It's built right next to California Adventure and is huge!  The theming is similar to the Wilderness Lodge in WDW.  I've never stayed at a Disney property in Anaheim since there's really no reason to.  The hotels are not like WDW where it feels like a resort and there are a lot of things to do.  Disneyland is more of a local park than it is a resort, and as a result there are a lot of hotels right across the entrance that are much, much cheaper than the Disney hotels.  And they are a closer walk to the entrance!  So I've never been able to justify paying $300-400 a night for a Disney hotel when I can just pay $59 to stay across the street and walk 5 minutes.  But one day I will.  
UPDATE: Done!  Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law we stayed together at the Grand and it was a great experience!  Super-nice, super-close to the parks, super-expensive!

6. Take my daughter to Disneyland Paris
My mom took me to Paris when I was a senior in high school because I was taking French.  As part of the trip, I begged and begged and begged to do one day at Disneyland Paris.  We did and it was so much fun!  I remember the park being pretty empty but loving the castle (they have a fire-breathing dragon down below!), Alice's labyrinth, and different versions of the rides from Disneyland.  It was a beautifully done park and a fun trip that was just my mom and me.  One day I'll take my daughter to do the same.
UPDATE: Hoping to do this in the next few years.  I have family in France, so I'd love to visit them and combine it with a trip to DLP.

7. Visit Disneyland during every holiday
I think it would be fun to say that I've experienced the park during every holiday.  So far I've done Christmas, Halloween, New Years, President's Day, and soon Thanksgiving.  Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July and St. Patrick's Day would be fun to add to the list.  My favorite so far has been Halloween.  
UPDATE: I was able to do Thanksgiving and Valentine's this year.

8. Beat my husband's Toy Story Mania score
This ride is favored towards men winning.  If you've been on the ride and know what it takes to do rapid-fire moves, then you know what I'm talking about.  I'l leave it at that.  But I still want to beat him!!  One day, when he's old and moves slower, I'll swoop in and beat him fair and square.
UPDATE: Done!  And I beat him 4 more times!!  It was a very proud moment for me.

9. Start a funny picture tradition on Splash Mountain photos
When my daughter is tall enough to go on Splash Mountain, I want to start doing really funny, stupid faces on the ride photos so we can build out a fun album from our trips.  I did this with my roommates many years ago, just taking funny faces, and it was hilarious!  I still look back at those photos and laugh at loud!
UPDATE: Started!  So far it's one picture, but we're on our way!

10. Buy a Mickey Waffle Maker
Do you know how expensive these things are?  They don't sell them at stores and I've only seen them at eBay for $100-200 a pop.  The minute I see it in a store or at the parks, I will snatch up one of those puppies so I can enjoy Mickey waffles every day.
UPDATE: Still can't find one that's affordable.  Maybe Disney Store will have one in 2013!  

11. Retire and serve Mickey Waffles on Main Street
Did I mention that I love Mickey waffles?  Once I get old and retire, I'll convince my even older husband that it's a good idea we move south.  Then I'll work at Carnation Cafe on Main Street and serve delicious Mickey waffles to guests.  It would be the greatest job!
UPDATE: I still have several years to go on this one. :-)

12. Find Peter Pan and take a photo with him
I found him once and I can do it again!  Last time, there were some rude parents that cut in front of my daughter and I as we were waiting for a photo and a story (Peter was telling each kid a fun story instead of just posing for pictures).  Well, right before it was our turn, 2 sets of parents swooped in and cut rushing towards Peter.  It was so unfair.  At that point my daughter was getting fussy so I didn't make her wait anymore.  I snapped a photo of Peter but was disappointed it wasn't with my daughter.  So, every visit I keep my eye on the look out because you never know when you're going to spot him.  
UPDATE: Done!  And we found him 3 times!

13. Write a book or planning guide
One day when I'm not busing working 50 hours a week or being a full time mom and wife, I will find time to write a Disneyland planning guide or book.  Not to make extra money but because it's my passion.  I love sharing planning tips with people who ask.  With all the great guides and books out there, how will mine stand out?  I'm a person who doesn't have a lot of time or like to over pack (I just bring the essentials) so this guide will be for busy folks like me who don't have a lot of time to read.  Easy on the copy writing keeping it simple with bullet points, easy itineraries/schedules and lists.  So keep your eye out for it! :-)
UPDATE: No progress.  It's been a crazy year for me so not much time to work on this project.  The blog will have to do for now. :-)

Happy New Year!  May all your dreams and resolutions come true!

Guess the Land: Trash Bins

One of the things that I love most about Disneyland is the impeccable theming.  Take for instance the trash bins.  Each is themed to it's land.  

Can you guess which land each bin belongs to?

Answers will be posted on my Facebook page tomorrow!

1) Frontierland or Fantasyland?

2) Toontown or Fantasyland?

3) Toontown or Main Street?

4) Frontierland or Adventureland?

5) New Orleans Square or Main Street?

6) Cars Land or Frontierland?

7) Buena Vista Street or Cars Land?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Disneyland Popcorn Cart Characters

Have you ever noticed the little characters that turn the popcorn in the carts?  They're so cute and appropriately themed to their land.  Take a look...

Main Street

Fantasyland (my favorite!)

New Orleans Square - Halloween Edition

Main Street


Main Street - Christmas Edition

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How Many Graveyards Does Disneyland Have?

A common answer would be one...the pet cemetery at the Haunted Mansion.  

But the correct answer is four!

1) The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion has the most unique graveyard...a pet cemetery!  It also has a standard graveyard at the end of the attraction but the pet cemetery is more interesting (at least to me!).  You could say there are two graveyards, but I'll count them as one since they're at the same attraction.  Rumor has it that there's a real pet cemetery near the Haunted Mansion, but I have yet to confirm this.

2) Shooting Exposition in Frontierland
Over at the the Shooting Exposition, the entire range is a graveyard!

3) Tom Sawyer Island
This graveyard is found towards the backside of Tom Sawyer Island, behind the now-closed Fort Wilderness.

4) Storybook Land Canal Boats
There is a tiny graveyard in the Alice in Wonderland scene.  The tombstones are right outside the church.  My photo is not the greatest, but you can see another one here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Disney Holiday Decorations at Home

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Peach. Enjoy the ride as we discuss Disney Holiday Decorations at Home.

I love the holidays. It brings the coziest feelings and memories. And when you combine the holidays with Disney, it's my favorite way to spread holiday cheer!

Christmas Tree
For the last 10 years or so, my mom has given me Disney Hallmark ornaments for my birthday in October. I've got quite a nice collection of them but sadly, I haven't been able to showcase them in the last 5 years which means my daughter has never seen them. I wasn't able to showcase them because we didn't have a 7 foot tree. I mean, we didn't have the right 7 foot tree. I've been very particular about the right artificial tree. It has to have strong branches to hold my ornaments and there needs to be enough space in between each row of branches so the ornaments are secured and not just hanging on the edge of a branch waiting for an accident. God forbid one of our cats, our new puppy, or even my daughter knock them off. Thankfully, I found the PERFECT tree this year at Costco. And now I can proudly display my ornaments.

A close-up of some of the ornaments. A collection from Hallmark, Disney Parks, and Disney Store.

My new favorite from Hallmark:

And of course, Jack Skellington! Our family Christmas wouldn't be complete without Jack!

You might recognize the Zero tree topper that I made last year from my Nightmare Before Christmas tree. I actually have a Tinker Bell tree topper but her wings broke off because it's so delicate so I'll have to find another fun one for next year.

And we also have a miniature tree with mini Disney ornaments. This little tree has been with me since I was a child and I'm proud to pass it on to my daughter. The ornaments are just so tiny and cute!

I don't have a lot of Disney decorations other than my ornaments. It's something I need to start buying over the years in the after-Christmas sales. But I do have a couple cool jingle wreaths. The first is the Mickey wreath that's in the tree photo above. And then I have a Jack Skellington one that I use for Halloween and Christmas.

I've also got a couple Mickey door hangers with jingle bells.

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:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 2012: Monthly Disneyland Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The December 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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