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Lines expected Tuesday for Disney park sneak peek
by Sarah Tully from The OC Register
March 26, 2012

Disneyland Resort for the first time is allowing its park annual passholders to get an early chance to buy new products before they are available in park stores.

Fans are allowed to line up as early as 6 a.m. Tuesday for the first day of a merchandise showcase of new products tied to the makeover of Disney California Adventure. The event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in Stage 17, a building for special events in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.

New DCA merchandise preview.

The showcase is designed to give passholders a sneak peek before the opening of the final features of California Adventure’s five-year renovation. Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, which is the entrance corridor, is scheduled to open June 15.

In addition to the products, Disney will bring out new flavored popcorn that will be sold at Cars Land and frozen drinks concocted for Mad T Party, an upcoming nighttime extravaganza based on Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” movie.<

Fans also can check out the new costumes for employees in the new lands and pictures can be taken with “Cars” characters.

The idea is to give the most ardent Disney fans an early opportunity to buy products, including the debut of a Vinylmation series in the shape of Monorail vehicles, said Michelle Harker, a Disneyland Resort merchandise spokeswoman.

Products range from $7.95 to $380 each. Many of the items won’t be sold again until the June 15 opening, although some leftovers from the showcase will go in California Adventure stores. Previously, Disney would hold showcases for employees only, but pictures often would be leaked, according to MousePlanet, an unofficial Disney fan website. This time, Disney decided to release its own pictures and stage an event for passholders.

Collectors of pins and Vinylmation, which are vinyl collectible figures, especially are expected to show up early to get the new items. Employees will start handing out wristbands at 7 a.m., designating times when visitors can go into the venue.

Remembering Legendary Disneyland Performer Ernie McLean
by Erin Glover from The Disney Parks Blog
February 25, 2012

Yesterday we were sad to learn of the loss of Ernie McLean, the legendary guitar player who performed at Disneyland park for more than 30 years. Known for his warm smile and amazing jazz guitar, Ernie was an original member of the Royal Street Bachelors – now a guest favorite in New Orleans Square.

“Ernie was the last of his breed here at Disneyland,” remembered Stan Freese, Disneyland Resort talent booking director and friend of Ernie’s. “He was a blues and rock legend. He was a kind, classy gentleman who never spoke badly about anyone or anything. He loved his job, and we all loved him. His presence will be sorely missed.”

The best person to tell Ernie’s story is Ernie himself. Below is a recent interview with the man Disneyland guests would often see sitting on a wooden stool just outside Pirates of the Caribbean, playing jazz tunes on his guitar.

Did you have a musical family?
My father taught me how to play the guitar. I started playing at the age of 11, but don’t ask me what I was playing back then because I couldn’t tell you. My father had a job playing in a government concert band in New Orleans. They told him the banjo player needed to double on guitar. When he started to learn the guitar he taught me too.

Did you continue your musical training after high school?
After high school, my father said, “Look you’re not gonna be running around like you’re crazy, this is World War II.” So I joined the Navy. When I auditioned for their band, they put music in front of me to audition and I messed it up something terrible. Then they told me I did okay. They taught me everything I needed to know about music. I played for four-and-a-half years in the Navy.

Ernie Mclean as he exits his stage, the corridors of New Orleans Square. Photo Credit: Robert Daps

What did you do after your military service?
After I got out of the service, I decided I wanted to continue playing music for a living. When I played with Dave Bartholomew things really took off. We recorded with Fats Domino, Nancy Wilson, Little Richard, Sonny and Cher, and even did Chrysler commercials.

How did you end up working at the Disneyland Resort?
I auditioned as a guitar player for a tour. I didn’t think I was going to get the job. Then they started to talk about rehearsals and going to the studio, so I stopped them and said, “You haven’t offered me the job,” and they replied, “Why do you think we are telling you this if you didn’t get the job?” Once the tour ended, [Walt] Disney eventually called me to sub for the banjo player at Disneyland. That is when I became permanent at Disneyland.

We will miss Ernie and the joy that his talent brought to millions of guests in one of the most unique locations in any Disney park.

Man arrested after alleged 'fight' in front of Disney ride
by By NBC News and msnbc.com staff from MSNBC
February 23, 2012

A man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly attacking workers in front of the Tower of Terror ride at Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim.

In a YouTube video of the encounter, the man is seen flailing at a security employee and struggling to keep his balance outside the ride. Another employee, dressed in the Tower of Terror bellhop uniform, can be seen asking the crowd to "back up."

A woman is heard in the video shouting, "You're in Disneyland ... there are kids here." It was posted on the video sharing site with a caption that reads, "We had a weird day at Disneyland...Fiiiiight!!!"

Police responded to the park at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday to find patrons holding the man down on the ground, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

The suspect was identified as 53-year-old Glenn Horlacher. He was arrested on charges of battery and assault, and released from jail Saturday night, according to NBCLosAngeles.com. A security guard was treated for minor injuries.

"Our security cast member was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for the injuries he sustained and then released," according to a statement released by the park on Monday. "We appreciate the actions of the guests who came to his aid during this uncharacteristic incident."

Investigators were attempting to determine what prompted the altercation, which park officials described as a "very unusual occurrence."

Park officials would not, however, quantify how often park visitors are arrested or detained. Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown told msnbc.com on Tuesday that there were no plans to change security procedures at the park as a result of the incident, which she said was still under review.

Talking Minnie Mouse debuts in Disney California Adventure
by Sarah Tully from The OC Register
February 17, 2012
A talking and singing Minnie Mouse character will appear for the first time in a new Disney California Adventure debuted Friday.

Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show will be performed in Condor Flats near the Soarin' Over California ride. The show will feature Minnie four-member singing crew dressed like old-fashioned flight attendants, who will perform songs from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

A Minnie Mouse with blinking eyes and a moving mouth will be part of Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show at Disney California Adventure.

It will be the first time that a talking Minnie Mouse with a moving mouth, face and sound will be in the Disneyland Resort, said Michele Himmelberg, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. A talking Minnie previously was part of a show at Walt Disney World in Florida.

While Minnie will greet guests after the show, the character will have a static mask and remain silent. Traditionally, masked characters who interact with visitors are forbidden from speaking, only using sign language to communicate at the Disney parks. Characters without masks, such as princesses, are allowed to speak with visitors.

Already, a talking Mickey Mouse is part of another show at California Adventure, called Disney Dance Crew that began in October 2010.

Disneyland began testing a talking Mickey Mouse in early 2010 by having select guests have conversations with the character in Mickey's House in Mickey's Toontown. See a story about the talking Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. Since then, Walt Disney World has used the character with the blinking eyes and moving mouth during Halloween. See a story in the official Disney Parks blog about the talking Mickey.

An exclusive preview of the Minnie's Fly Girls was shown after a speech last week by Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, at an Orange County Business Journal dinner.

Laissez les bons temps rouler at Disneyland!
by Erin Glover & Gary J. Chambers. Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog
February 6, 2012

Having lived for a time in New Orleans, I can tell you from firsthand experience you will be hard pressed to find a longer lasting or better party atmosphere. Disneyland provides a family friendly taste of the pomp, circumstance, and festive atmosphere with its own fete, the New Orleans Bayou Bash. New Orleans Square will be filled with music, Disney characters, street performers and delicious food!

Photo by Disney Parks Blog

Come join the party from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the following dates:

  • February 10, 11, 12

  • February 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • February 24, 25, 26

  • March 2, 3, 4

  • March 9, 10, 11

Special entertainment will include performances by Princess Tiana, Louis and Naveen and meet & greet opportunities with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – all dressed up in their Mardi Gras finest!

Please keep in mind that entertainment offerings are subject to change, so be sure to check the park Entertainment Guide for character greeting times and availability. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks for more details on the special food and entertainment that will be featured at New Orleans Bayou Bash!

Disneyland celebrates the lunar new year!
a Disneyland Press Release from Disney Parks
January 23, 2012

With good wishes for 2012, the Disneyland Resort invites guests to celebrate the Lunar New Year season at Disneyland park from Jan. 20-29. The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! at Disneyland is a joyous tribute to coincide with the traditional Lunar New Year, and it recognizes time-honored traditions of the season with exciting, live performances, fun activities and special food offerings.

Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix of Mouse Planet

  • Guests will enjoy the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! from 10 am to 5 pm Jan, 20-29 at Small World Mall with special character appearances and family entertainment. Exhilarating live performances will be held Jan. 20-23, Jan. 25 and Jan. 27-29 (weather permitting).

  • Lunar New Year is a time when families and friends gather to wish each other good fortune and good health for the coming year. The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! at Disneyland Resort pays tribute to the time-honored traditions and family celebrations that are observed within the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures.

  • Throughout the day, cultural groups perform in colorful attire along Small World Mall. These may include a Chinese Dragon dance troupe, lion dancers, ribbon wand dancers, Korean drummers, Vietnamese musicians and dancers, and martial artists.

  • In Mulan’s Chinese New Year Procession, seen at selected times throughout the day, Mulan and Mushu proceed in colorful costumes to the photo location area. There, guests will greet Mulan and Mushu, along with Chip ‘n’ Dale dressed in festive, Asian-inspired attire.

  • Small World Mall is decorated for the celebration with Chinese Zodiac symbols, ornamental lanterns, “Happy Lunar New Year” banners and more.

  • Signs explaining the meaning and traditions of various Lunar New Year celebrations are presented in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

  • The Lunar New Year begins at a different time each year according to the movements of the sun and moon, usually beginning in late January. It’s fitting to have the Disneyland celebration at Small World Mall, where “just one moon and one golden sun” are shared by children from around the globe in the “it’s a small world” attraction.

  • A colorful, photo location invites families to pose in front of themed backdrops, which include a variety of Disney characters and family photos. Disney’s PhotoPass Service will be on hand to help guests capture their magical experiences and share their memories. Food carts at Small World Mall will serve special treats, including chocolate churros, eggrolls, edamame and almond cookies.

Fall Into the Rabbit Hole at Mad T Party – Coming to Disney California Adventure Park
by Erin Glover from the Disney Parks Blog
January 11, 2012

ElecTRONica is still powering up the nights at Disney California Adventure park into the spring, and soon guests will be able to experience an all-new nighttime family celebration when Mad T Party starts to stir up fun in summer 2012!

Artist conception of the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure

This psychedelic soiree will be filled with surprises and new takes on some familiar characters from the world of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Join us for a party like no other as you fall into the rabbit hole and land in a wild and whimsical world where up is down, this is that and nothing is what it seems. A live band, unique entertainment, fun-filled games and plenty of dancing all await guests seeking an escape into a bright and vivid alternate reality.

Throughout the Mad T Party, we will “tip our hats” to the world of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” with wild and fabulous imagery and imagination. Familiar faces will be re-imagined in fresh, new ways, all combining to immerse guests in a captivating world that’s filled with exclusive signature foods, beverages and merchandise offerings.

So get ready to step through the rabbit hole and into Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure park, coming summer 2012!

Happiest Worker marks 55 years at Disney
by Sarah Tully from the Orange County Register
December 29, 2011

On Friday, Disney will hold an internal party to celebrate Martinez’s tenure – the longest in Disneyland’s history. The Orange County Register plans to cover the event. Check back Friday on the AroundDisney.com blog for full coverage. Find more Disney news on the AroundDisney.com blog.

Oscar Martinez, 76, has worked at Disneyland for 55 years. He's been a chef at the Carnation Café restaurant on Main Street U.S.A. for most of that time. In recent years though, he has promoted out of the kitchen and is now the official Carnation Café Ambassador -- glad-handing guests, posing for pictures and telling jokes to children. Oscar celebrates his 55th year at the Anaheim theme park on December 29. He has become something of an icon among Disneyland regulars and is as much a draw to the restaurant as the food according to members of the wait staff. Photo by Joshua Sudock.

In his signature, tall white chef's hat, Oscar Martinez holds out a hand out as he greets just about every breakfast guest sitting on the patio at Disneyland's Carnation Café. With a warm smile and a twinkle in his eyes, he asks a series of questions: "How long have you been here?"

"Are you having a good time?" "What are you having?"

Some answer politely, not knowing anything about the friendly chef. But many jump up to ask for a picture or a hug. They know Martinez for who he is – the longest-tenured worker at Disneyland.


Born in the border town of Brownsville, Texas, Martinez moved to Arkansas at around age 9. He grew up with a farmer father and, later, worked on a farm himself. He never did much cooking, but watched his mother in the kitchen.

At age 20, the siblings of his girlfriend, Shirley Ann, wanted her to join them in California. Shirley Ann said she'd go only if longtime boyfriend Martinez would come with her. So Martinez moved to California and, later, he and Shirley Ann got married.

When he landed a job as a busboy at the Fantasy 1 restaurant in Disneyland, Martinez had never been in a restaurant, let alone work in one. The park had only been open about 17 months when he first walked down Main Street U.S.A.

"I said, 'What am I doing here?' I'd never seen so many people in my life," Martinez said. From there, he worked in just about every role in several Disneyland restaurants. He got his first job cooking because his boss noticed his speed. "He said, 'You work fast. We need you to work on the grill,'" Martinez said.

When Disneyland took over the operations of the restaurants in the late 1960s, Martinez was put in charge of teaching the "Disney way" dress code to employees, making sure they had the right haircuts, no mustaches, shiny shoes and black socks. The girls could wear no makeup.

Later, he helped train employees from other parks.

Matt Gray, Disneyland's general manager of food and beverage and Martinez's boss, said Martinez assisted in training him in 1989 when he began as a Carnation Café manager. Since then, Martinez has helped train Gray's daughter.

"He's open and kind, and you get what you see with Oscar," Gray said. "He takes care of what he needs to take care of; he's not comfortable in the limelight. "He's just one of those people who make you smile."


It's hard for Martinez to talk about Walt Disney himself without getting choked up. Martinez never actually talked to Walt Disney. He used to be shy.

But Martinez shares memories.

Martinez would see Disney walking down Main Street U.S.A. before sunrise, writing in a notebook and checking details, such as matching umbrellas and carnations on tables.

Martinez's wife had regular interactions with Disney when she worked at the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor. Disney insisted that Shirley Ann Martinez make his vanilla milkshakes because she got them right: not too thick, not too runny, just the right amount of syrup.

"He loved that one. He always looked for her," Martinez said. Martinez put his own stamp on foods.

He experimented with breakfast potatoes when he served them to top Disney executives. Martinez tried dicing them, adding butter, green and red peppers. Later, he sliced them instead. He goes by taste. The executives liked his potatoes so much that they wanted them on the menu. Later, they put Oscar's name on them.

Now, Martinez's signature potatoes are served daily. And visitors can get an Oscar's Choice menu item: The Café Scramble.

"He's very particular about his potatoes, even more so now that his name is on them," Gray said.


Martinez's official title is cook and many people call him "chef." But for the past four years or so, Martinez has worked mostly outside the kitchen.

After taking the bus from his Anaheim home, he arrives at work around 6 a.m. to help set up. Mostly, Martinez serves as an ambassador.

When the park opens he slides on his Mickey Mouse hand gloves and waves to visitors along Main Street. Martinez then talks to diners at the Carnation Café, where he has worked for four decades. Some visitors come just to see Martinez.

"If they find out he is sick and not here, they will cancel their reservations," said Adam Buth, guest services manager for Carnation Café. "He's the face."

On a recent Wednesday morning, one couple posed for pictures with Martinez. Visitor Laura Gay of Elk Grove gave him a hug, saying "We missed you."

Gay and her family visits Martinez on their yearly trips. "He's a staple," Gay said. "He always remembers you. He always makes you feel at home."

Cindy Atkins, of Fresno, has been to Disneyland 39 times and always stops at the Carnation Café, where she sees Martinez.

"He's like Mickey Mouse."


In his personal life, Martinez, 76, mostly spends time with his wife of more than 50 years (he can't remember exactly how long they've been married.) "We go to the mall," Martinez said. "Here's the deal," he added. "I hate shopping, but she loves it."

Martinez likes fishing, but his wife doesn't. He hasn't been in awhile. They have a son, granddaughter and great grandson. He tries to keep healthy, and he doesn't drink or smoke.

A few years ago, Martinez had cancer, but fought it with chemotherapy.

Now, Shirley Ann, 72, is battling cancer. She had breast cancer four years ago and it recently came back. Martinez isn't sure how much longer he'll keep working. The Carnation Café is closing for remodeling in January, so he plans to move to a new bakery nearby. But his wife's health will determine how long he'll keep his job.

On Thursday, he is marking 55 years with the company. Disney is throwing a party for him Friday. Earlier this month, he proudly earned his 55-year pin – the first Disneyland employee to get one.

"I enjoy working. I don't like being home doing nothing," Martinez said.

"I'm happy all the time."

Disneyland hotel, bakery workers OK 5-year-contract
by Daily News Wire Services from the Daily News, Los Angeles
December 8, 2011

Employees at the Disneyland Resort's three hotels and its central bakery have overwhelmingly approved a new five-year contract, their union announced today. The contract, which will be in effect through January 2017, applies to the 2,100 resort workers represented by Local 11 of UNITE HERE.

"The new contract includes wage increases, a choice of affordable healthcare for benefits-eligible workers and their families, and decreased workloads for housekeepers. The new contract also provides job security and seniority protection for both full-time and part-time workers," according to a union statement.

Disney executives also welcomed the vote by the Local 11 rank-and-file.

"We're extremely pleased that the Disneyland Resort hotel cast members represented by UNITE HERE Local 11 have overwhelmingly supported this fair and comprehensive agreement," Tony Bruno, vice president of Disneyland Resort Hotels and Downtown Disney, said in a statement.

UNITE HERE said that under the new contract, workers will have the choice to remain in the union healthcare plan, contributing about $7-$10 per week, or transition to one of the Disney benefits plans and be eligible for a bonus.

The contract also covers the Disneyland Resort's Central Bakery, whose workers had been employed under the terms of a separate agreement.

Ghiradelli is coming soon to the Pacific Wharf, replaces Mission Tortilla
by Gary J. Chambers from the Mouse Lounge Podcast
December 6, 2011

Chocolate lovers will soon be doing a dance of happiness as a San Francisco landmark comes to Disney California Adventure. Come late spring 2012, Ghirardelli will be satisfying your sweet tooth by bringing its chocolatiering genius to the Pacific Wharf. Similar to its location at Downtown Disney in the

Walt Disney World Resort, the new addition on the west coast will feature Ghirardelli’s world-famous hot fudge sundaes and chocolate products. Best of all, each guest will be able to receive complimentary samples of their signature Ghirardelli Squares chocolate!

Fun Facts for a Merry Disneyland Holiday Celebration
by Staff Writer from Disneyland News
November 22, 2011

From November 14, 2011 to January 8, 2012, the holiday season transforms the entire Disneyland Resort into a winter wonderland, where hundreds of thousands of lights brighten the night, fireworks burst to the sounds of the season and snow falls in Southern California!

Special attractions, restaurants and stores abound with warmth and jolly spirits. New magic adorns World of Color, the Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas Tree is a beacon of good tidings and the Downtown Disney District is decked out to ring in the season.

  • The holiday season at Disneyland Resort got underway Monday, Nov. 14, and will continue daily through Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.

  • For the first time, the Holiday season at Disneyland Resort will be extended to celebrate Three Kings Day, known as Día de Reyes. From Jan. 6-8, 2012, look for special décor and entertainment in Frontierland that showcases western and Mexican heritage, along with food themed to this holiday and children’s activities.

  • The first Disneyland holiday celebration was in 1955, when Walt Disney placed a Christmas tree in the Hub at the north end of Main Street, U.S.A., near Sleeping Beauty Castle. For many years now, the tree has been located in Town Square near the Main Street Disneyland Railroad Station.

  • Beginning Friday, Nov. 18, “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” show gets a new, Yuletide glow. The show features photos and video of guests creating memories at Disneyland park, with favorite holiday melodies underscoring images of guests enjoying their holidays at Disneyland.

  • The lively street show “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party” gets a merry twist at Disney California Adventure park, with holiday décor and songs. The show is performed several times a day in Paradise Pier.

  • Lanny and Wayne, the techno-savvy elves from the “Prep & Landing” holiday TV specials, make guest appearances in a new holiday prelude sequence in the nighttime “World of Color” show in Disney California Adventure.

  • Decorating experts at the Disneyland Resort have to get started early. They trim nearly 700 trees for the season, on display in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, the resort’s three hotels and the Downtown Disney District. The smallest tree is at Storybook Land and the largest is at Town Square – both in Disneyland.

  • The Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square has become a favorite spot for snapping holiday photos. The artificial tree stands 60 feet tall and has 280,000 pine-tip branches molded from actual tree branches. It is decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments, including the three-foot star on top, and nearly 4,800 energy-efficient LED lights. When the Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle show reaches its finale crescendo, more than 60,000 LED lights and 1,200 strobe lights are added to the effect.

  • Mickey’s Toontown is decorated with its own distinctive “toon” trees this 2011 holiday season. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse each have personal Christmas trees in the front yards of their Toontown homes, and a cartoon-themed tree beckons guests for photos in front of Toontown City Hall. Since the introduction of the artificial Christmas tree and LED lighting technology in 2008, the Disneyland park Christmas tree has used 50 percent less electricity than it did previously.

  • Carolers in traditional Victorian holiday garb make regular appearances throughout the season at each of the three Disneyland Resort hotels: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

  • The Dapper Dans, the popular Main Street, U.S.A., quartet, add holiday songs to their repertoire, with holiday chimes as accompaniment. Favorites range from the traditional “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Christmas in Killarney.

  • The nighttime Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle light show is divided into three “acts” over the course of the evening. Each one begins at the Castle and travels the length of Main Street, U.S.A., finishing at the Town Square Christmas tree. Each act features a magical snowfall, and the final act concludes with “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks.

  • The nighttime light show employs more than 200,000 points of light, 2,600 individual circuits and more than 85,000 individual wiring connections.

  • If all the cables and conductors for the show were laid end to end, they would stretch 48 miles from Disneyland Resort – enough to pass the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.

  • The entrance to Disney California Adventure and locations throughout the park are festooned with holiday decoration. New this year are the decorations around the newly renovated Paradise Pier area, with The Little Mermaid ~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and the nearby dining locations.

  • The largest ornaments used at Disneyland Resort may be found in the “bugs-eye-view” world of Flik’s Fun Fair at Disney California Adventure.

  • The smallest ornaments used at the Resort may be found in the Storybook Land attraction at Disneyland.

“A Christmas Fantasy” parade

  • Each performance of “A Christmas Fantasy” features 105 performers, 18 float drivers and 12 musicians costumed as toy soldiers from the Disney movie “Babes in Toyland.” With daily parade performances, it takes approximately 200 performers to stage the parade during the holiday season.

  • The parade features six major “units,” each consisting of multiple floats. The units are: ”A Christmas Fantasy Opening” featuring Mrs. Claus sorting letters in Santa’s Mailroom; “Winter Wonderland” with Mickey and Minnie enjoying a romantic skate atop the frozen pond; “The Candy Shop” with Goofy leading the bakers from the Gingerbread House; “Candlelight Christmas Ball” featuring everyone’s favorite Disney Royal Couples; “Toy Factory,” the perfect spot for Buzz and Woody; and the “Finale,” where Santa himself waves from his sleigh.

it’s a small world” Holiday

  • A new, 14-foot snowman made of crystal snowflakes is lit with thousands of lights in the finale of “it’s a small world” Holiday. This is the first addition to this holiday celebration since the attraction debuted in 1997. The snowman stands atop a 10-food-wide snowflake and holds a beautiful “icicle” sign that that spells out “Happy Holidays” in colors that change as guests float by.

  • Decorators use 50,000 Christmas lights on the façade of “it’s a small world” Holiday, and an additional 200,000 mini-lights in the trees, hedges and topiaries surrounding the attraction.

  • Among the holiday special effects inside the attraction: pine tree and peppermint scents in the European scenes; 75 gallons of bubble juice to make bubbles throughout the season in the South Seas scene.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

  • Jack Skellington has his own ideas about appropriate holiday decorations. The Haunted Mansion Holiday exterior is decorated with more than 100 jack-o’-lanterns and the eerie glow of more than 400 flickering candles.

  • For the holidays, the graveyard in the Haunted Mansion finale is covered with 7,500 square feet of snow. Trees in the graveyard are decked out with 1,000 tiny orange lights.

  • The gingerbread house in the Mansion’s Great Hall is made of real gingerbread and icing. Each year, the Disneyland Resort Foods and Entertainment divisions partner to create an original design for that year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house.

  • This 2011 gingerbread house stands six feet tall, consisting of 500 pounds of gingerbread and miles of frosting. The house animates to become a gingerbread monster, revealing glowing eyes and sharp teeth. This year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house took months of planning and three weeks of creation in the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery.

  • Guests may book guided Disneyland holiday tours which include visits to Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world” Holiday attractions, reserved viewing of “A Christmas Fantasy” parade with a delicious holiday treat and warm beverage, plus a 2011 holiday pin and tour tag. (Information and reservations: 714-781-TOUR/714-781-8687.)

Taping complete for Disney Christmas Special
by Gary J. Chambers from the Mouse Lounge
November 7, 2011

On the heels of a winter storm, an unseasonably cool, clear day made it feel much more like Christmas than early November should. With customary flair, Disney's taping of its annual Christmas parade was completed in Disneyland Park on Saturday.

Christina Aguilera was on hand singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" at Disney’s Grand

Christina Aguilera poses with Minnie Mouse for the annual taping of Disney's Christmas Parade / November 5, 2011)

Californian Hotel. "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon was also present, as were China Anne McClain, star of Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm,” joined by her sisters Lauryn and Sierra for a version of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Cartoon characters Phineas and Ferb appeared on Main Street. U.S.A. for a version of “Gitchee Gitchee Goo.” Pop-rockers OneRepublic did a version of its hit “Good Life” on a stage in front of “Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The show is scheduled to air locally from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 25 on ABC-TV.

Environmental group alleges Disneyland exposing guests to unsafe levels of lead. Injunction sought
by Gary J. Chambers from the Mouse Lounge
October 18, 2011

An environmental group alleges Disneyland is exposing guests to illegal levels of lead.

The Mateel Environmental Justice foundation filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court in April indicating objects within easy reach such as the sword in the Sword and the Stone attraction, drinking fountains, brass doorknobs, and stained glass windows are unsafe.

The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation said it found lead exposure of 350 micrograms from the stained-glass Pinocchio window at Disneyland. (Christopher Crow, Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation / September 22, 2011)

The environmental group is now seeking a court injunction, filed Tuesday, to require Disney to cover the items or post health warnings.

"We are asking the court to force Disney to take steps that should have been taken when we first told them that children at Disneyland are in danger of illegal lead exposures," Mateel President William Verick said in a statement.

Disney responds that it is compliant with state law. Spokeswoman Suzi Brown said, "We have not seen the papers that we are told are being filed, so we cannot comment specifically. However, we believe that Disneyland Resort is in full compliance with the signage requirements" of state law."

In court documents, Disney denied allegations in the lawsuit and maintained that it had posted adequate warnings about lead-tainted fixtures and figurines, as required by state law.

Tests conducted in June and December for Mateel simulated what happens when someone touches lead-tainted items. A volunteer wiped his hands with a laboratory version of a moist towelette, then touched windows, brass chains and door knobs throughout the park.

In each case, the volunteer then wiped the palms and fingers of his hands with a second towelette, which was then analyzed by an independent laboratory.

The tests found hand lead exposures at the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan Ride and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride of 1 microgram, 9.75 micrograms and 5.82 micrograms respectively, Mateel said.

A wipe sample taken from a stained-glass Pinocchio window in the dining room of the Village Haus restaurant found a lead exposure of 350 micrograms, Mateel said. Under state law, warnings are required if exposure for average users exceeds 0.5 micrograms per day.

Has Disney done an adequate job protecting guests from lead poisoning, or if not, are adequate warnings posted? What are your thoughts?

2011 Gingerbread House at the Haunted Mansion
Text by Gary Chambers of the Mouse Lounge. Original video post from Disney Parks Blog
October 12th, 2011

Each year at Halloweentime and through the Christmas Season, the classic Haunted Mansion is transformed into "Haunted Mansion Holiday", a fusion of spooky spooks from the original with characters from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Of the things you may not know that "Jack has in store" is a unique Gingerbread House that occupies the table in the ballroom. Hand made from scratch with real gingerbread,

the centerpiece is different each and every year. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the holiday classic and castmembers from Operations, Engineering, Creative Development and Food and Beverage come together in an annual reunion of sorts (complete with a celebratory "Death By Chocolate Cake") months before the HMH annual opening, to pool their talents for the creepy culinary creation.

Beautiful Disney Flash Mob Proposal
Text by Gary Chambers of the Mouse Lounge. Original post from Buzzfeed
September 28th, 2011

I love a good flashmob! There's just something about a group of people suddenly breaking out in song and dance that is surreal and touches the heart.

Now if a marriage propsal happens to go along with it, that's just extraordinary.


Buena Vista Street and Carthy Circle Theater Time Lapse Video
Text by Gary Chambers from The Mouse Lounge. Video © Disney
September 19th, 2011

The Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure is closed briefly to install fresh updates to construction progress. Among that which is to be featured are time lapse video showing off new attractions. Excitement is building for what fans are seeing as a "makegood" on a second rate park they've been paying for at First Class prices.

Halloween transformation at Disneyland nearly complete
by Gary Chambers from The Mouse Lounge
September 13th, 2011

The yearly Halloween transformation at the Disneyland Resort is nearing completion. Halloweentime at Disneyland officially kicks off Friday, September 16. Each morning guests are arriving to new changes made by crews overnight. The Showcase on Main Street USA has Pirate and Princess costumes ready for eager young guests, Halloween displays are now set up in Pioneer Mercantile and the Star Trader in Tomorrowland.

Arguably the most prominent change is the annual overlay of the Haunted Mansion. These pictures demonstrate just how quickly that happens. The photo above was taken on September 3rd and below, just nine days later. Halloweentime at the Disneyland Resort runs through October 31st, when Disneyland will morph once again for the Christmas season! See the article below for more details about the fall festivities!

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort!
by Paul Hiffmeyer from Disneyland Resort News
September 9th, 2011

The spirit of Halloween Time will invade Disneyland Resort this fall with Disney villains, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, along with the seasonal transformations of Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort begins Friday, Sept. 16, and will continue through Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31.

Click for full size

The after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event* which has become an annual highlight of Halloween Time for trick-or-treating families, will take place in Disneyland park on 10 special Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights: Sept. 30 and Oct. 3,7,11,14,18,21, 25, 28 and 31. Tickets are available at Disneyland.com/halloween.

Mickey’s Halloween Party invites adults and children to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at the resort. These party participants can also “mix in” with regular Disneyland guests for three hours prior to the start of Mickey’s private bash. Highlights of Mickey’s Halloween Party include:

  • Newly themed dance party: Guests can mix, mingle and dance with some of their favorite Disney characters at the new “Piratepalooza” at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. The popular “Buzz Lightyear’s Intergalactic Space Jam” returns to the Tomorrowland Terrace for more dancing fun.

  • New character photo locations: Guests will meet Stormtroopers at Tomorrowland, Phineas & Ferb at Plaza Gardens Stage, and Duffy the Bear in his pumpkin attire at Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. Eight additional photo locations feature princesses, Disney villains and more Disney and Pixar pals.

  • The special opportunity to play in Disneyland for three hours before the party starts Trick or Treating – candy and healthy treats ­- in the ultimate Disney neighborhood

  • The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington (presented exclusively for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party)

  • “Mickey’s Costume Party” cavalcade, performed twice nightly

  • An opportunity for everyone in the family to attend the park in costumes

  • Nearly all the favorite Disneyland rides and attractions

Tickets purchased in advance for Mickey’s Halloween Party are $49 most days, while tickets purchased on the event days are $59. All tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Friday, Oct. 28, and Halloween Night, Monday, Oct. 31, are $64.

Favorite Disney characters, including Mickey himself, will dress up in fun, fall costumes. It’s the ideal environment to eat special holiday treats, play interactive games, listen to “spirited” music and watch a nightly character cavalcade that celebrates the season.

For Halloween fun at Disneyland, guests will enjoy Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy in Tomorrowland. The experience begins as a typical Space Mountain adventure, but suddenly launches voyagers into a haunted section of the universe. Ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and swirling galaxies of Space Mountain, reaching out as if to grab guests as they speed through space. The exhilarating drops and curves of the journey are punctuated by piercing screams, creepy sound effects and haunting music.

Jack Skellington also returns to take over the Haunted Mansion and bring back Haunted Mansion Holiday to New Orleans Square in Disneyland. Transformed to a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition, Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” Jack’s return to the Haunted Mansion includes the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom, with some special spooky surprises in this year’s design.

Halloween Time offers frightfully delightful fun for children and adults.

  • For spine-tingling fun, drop in at The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure park, where a “supernatural” event happened on Halloween evening, 1939, forever haunting the building.

  • Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland is transformed for the Pumpkin Festival. More than 300 pumpkins will be on display and none of them are the same!

  • Visitors to Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland will find ranch animals, pumpkin carvers, Halloween décor and activities for youngsters.

  • Meeting Disney characters will be easier than ever as Disney villains gather to plot Halloween mischief at

  • “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland, while other characters in spooky attire greet guests in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland will honor Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead with traditional skeleton figures on display Sept. 16 through Nov. 2.

  • Special Halloween treats will be available in Disneyland, including menu items such as Zero’s Ghostly Ghoulash, served in a dog dish in honor of Zero.

Hear Cryer talk about his role in the film and see if he reveals any of his co-stars! Look for Planes to land on DVD and Blu-Ray shelves in Spring 2013.

Jon Cryer at D23 On New Disney Film 'Planes'and Disneyland!
by Len Brown from EW
August 23rd, 2011

At this weekend's D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA, fans came out in droves to see what's new in the Disney universe and ET got to catch up with Jon Cryer who came to help promote his new animated film, Planes.

Though this isn't Cryer's first film rodeo, this does mark the first time he's starring in a DisneyToon Studios animated feature, something that certainly piqued his interest being a lifelong Disney enthusiast.

"To be a part of a Disney movie is a blast because every person has that connection with Disney movies that they had as a kid," Cryer claimed. "To be a part of that is pretty amazing."

Aside from having loads of fun and not having to worry about appearances while filming, Cryer was more excited for the fact that he's getting to fulfill a childhood dream of his.

"Being a part of a Disney movie is something I have always wanted to do," Cryer gushed. "When this opportunity presented itself, I just jumped on board."

Hear Cryer talk about his role in the film and see if he reveals any of his co-stars! Look for Planes to land on DVD and Blu-Ray shelves in Spring 2013.

D23 schedule finally released, incl. the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament!
by Gary J. Chambers from the Mouse Lounge
August 14th, 2011

Disney has at last locked in the schedule for D23, which runs August 19 - 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The full schedule is available here.

For those hell bent on a completely immersive geekout, arrive at 7:30am the previous morning for the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament presented by Hasbro® Trivial Pursuit.

Participants will demonstrate their Disney knowledge before hundreds of onlookers in hopes to win the ultimate prize, a coveted cruise vacation on the Disney Fantasy, the newest vessel in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet.

Here's what you can expect:

  • A full day of mind probing takes place on August 18 (the day before the D23 Expo opens). As the day progresses (and the questions get harder!) Ludwig will whittle down contestants until he has found just those special people he thinks know almost as much as he does (no trivial feat!).

  • The nail-biting semifinal and final rounds will be held in the D23 Arena during the D23 Expo on Friday, August 19. D23 Expo ticket holders are welcome to watch. Only one very knowledgeable individual will be crowned Ultimate Disney Trivia Champion.

  • Even if you don't think you will make it into the final don't let that stop you from trying — success in an earlier round will still carry bragging rights, so come on down to Anaheim and show us just how much you know.

Disney removes classic train and donates it
by Eugene W. Fields from the OC Register
August 12th, 2011

Another remnant of the original concept of Disney California Adventure has been removed as part of the theme park's $1 billion makeover.

The classic passenger train which was located on the west side of Sunshine Plaza near Condor Falls, was recently removed with the aid of a 90-ton crane, a Disney official said.

Disney spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez said the California Zephyr was removed overnight on Aug. 5, put on a flat-bed truck and donated to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, Ca.

"Walt Disney’s love of trains made this donation perfectly fitting," Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis said in a statement. "The expansion of Disney California Adventure park provided the opportunity for us to make this meaningful donation."

Part of California Adventure since the theme park opened in 2001, the train operated as an ice cream shop and a bakery.

Matt Gottula, a former Disney cast member - what the company calls employees - and blogger, had fond memories of the two eateries.

"Cast members who worked there called it simply, 'The train,'" Gottula said. "It's a shame to see it go. The train is one of the few elements of the original entrance that really worked." While the cars train cars were replicas, the cab of the train used to be an operational locomotive that was part of the famous train line that was originally ran from 1949 to 1970. The train line was 2,438 miles long and ran from Chicago to Emeryville, Ca.

Sanchez said the number on the cab of the locomotive that was removed from California Adventure was 804-A, a nod to the last locomotive to lead a westbound California Zephyr into Oakland on March 20, 1970. California Adventure is in the midst of a project to re-theme the park to give it more of a Disney feel. Recently, the facade of the Golden Gate Bridge was taken down from the monorail track that visitors crossed under upon entering the theme park.

In July, a new entrance opened, modeled after the historic Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. In the coming weeks, guests will be re-routed, as Sunshine Plaza will be blocked due to ongoing construction. Instead of walking through the regular entrance to the park and walking out onto the soon-to-be christened Buena Vista Street, guests will soon enter the park and follow a path to Condor Flats. Areas of construction include:

  • Buena Vista Street, the under-construction entrance corridor of Disney California Adventure, will open in 2012.
  • New shops and venues will line the main corridor past the turnstiles based on the California that Walt Disney saw when he started here in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Oswald’s Filling Station will be one of the stores along Buena Vista Street. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a character created by Walt Disney in 1927. He was a precursor to Mickey Mouse.
  • Los Feliz Five and Dime is another store. Walt Disney lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles when he first moved to California.
  • Construction of the framework of the Carthay Circle Theater, a key building in the entrance, recently began at the park.
  • Cars Land, an area based on the “Cars” movie, opens in 2012.
  • The Radiator Springs Racers ride will make up about six of the 12 acres of Cars Land.
  • The ride will last about 5 1/2 minutes, going through scenes based on movie themes, including Taillight Caverns. The last third of the ride is a side-by-side race.
  • A Curio Shop is inspired by the trading posts that creators saw during a Route 66 road trip to get inspiration for Cars Land.

Crews are scheduled to complete the California Adventure project next year. When the construction is completed, a new facade – Hyperion Bridge – will have been erected.

The Disneyland Resort removes iconic stucture
by Eugene W. Fields from the OC Register
August 4th, 2011

An iconic remnant of the original concept of Disney California Adventure has been removed as part of the theme park’s $1 billion makeover.

The removal of the Golden Gate Bridge facade, which hid part of the monorail track, was completed Friday, said Disney spokesman John McClintock.

The removal began 10 days earlier, including taking down the signature cables and towers that evoked images of the famous San Francisco bridge. The work took place over night after the theme park closed.

When California Adventure opened in 2001, the facade was part of a larger tribute to California, meant to give guests a postcard view of the state.

Annual passholder Ashley Yashar of Los Angeles said she was sad to see the facade removed.

“When walking into the theme park, it feels like I am entering many different parts of California, and the Golden Gate Bridge has always been a part of this magical journey,” said Yashar, 18. “I feel like the entering of (California) Adventure will be different and strange for me, because I won’t be going under the bridge anymore.” Matt Gottula, another annual passholder, and a blogger, said he didn’t mind that the facade’s removal.

“I think it was an eyesore,” the Placentia resident said. “It was too small and smooshed together, and it failed to evoke the grandeur and beauty of the iconic suspension bridge in San Francisco.”

California Adventure is in the midst of a project to re-theme the park to give it more of a Disney feel. California Adventure recently unveiled a new entrance, modeled after the historic Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Instead of walking through the regular entrance to the park and walking out onto Buena Vista Street, guests will soon enter the park and follow a path to Condor Flats.

Areas of construction include:

Buena Vista Street, the under-construction entrance corridor of Disney California Adventure, will open in 2012.

  • New shops and venues will line the main corridor past the turnstiles based on the California that Walt Disney saw when he started here in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Oswald’s Filling Station will be one of the stores along Buena Vista Street. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a character created by Walt Disney in 1927. He was a precursor to Mickey Mouse.
  • Los Feliz Five and Dime is another store. Walt Disney lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles when he first moved to California.
  • Construction of the framework of the Carthay Circle Theater, a key building in the entrance, recently began at the park. Read more about Carthay Circle Theater in Disney California Adventure.
Cars Land, an area based on the “Cars” movie, opens in 2012.
  • The Radiator Springs Racers ride will make up about six of the 12 acres of Cars Land.
  • The ride will last about 5 1/2 minutes, going through scenes based on movie themes, including Taillight Caverns. The last third of the ride is a side-by-side race.
  • A Curio Shop is inspired by the trading posts that creators saw during a Route 66 road trip to get inspiration for Cars Land.

    Crews are scheduled to complete the California Adventure project next year. When the construction is completed, a new facade – Hyperion Bridge – will have been erected.

    “I’m not one for a lot of change, but I know that taking down the bridge will be a good thing in the end,” Yashar said. “I’m sure this remodeling of the park is going to change my mind on why I think the bridge should have stayed.”

Disneyland tour follows Walt Disney's journey
by Eugene W. Fields from the OC Register
July 27th, 2011

A tour of Disneyland from the perspective of Walt Disney ends with the guide quoting a newspaper article describing Disney's success as a "product of luck."

The 180-minute tour, titled "A Walk in Walt's Footsteps," shows that Disney's rise from a struggling animator to Academy Award-winning filmmaker and creator of the most famous theme park in the world had little to do with luck.

The guided tour begins on Main Street, U.S.A. and highlights Disney's thought processes in how he planned and built many of the themed lands and

attractions throughout the park. The tour costs $64, not including admission to the park, but a 20 percent discount is available for Auto Club members, Disney Vacation Club members and annual passholders.

Tour guides begin the tour by passing out headphones connected to a hand-held device that receives audio from the guide. When the guide is not speaking, themed music is transmitted, as well as audio snippets of Disney himself describing a ride.

The stops on the tour include the Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, the Disneyland Railroad, the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street Cinema.

Among the first bits of insider information offered on the tour is set back from when the park opened in July 1955:

  • A plumber's strike caused Disney to choose between water for the bathrooms over the water fountain on a day that saw the temperature reach 101 degrees
  • Counterfeit tickets more than doubled the attendance from an invited 14,000 to just under 29,000
  • Rides broke down
  • Freshly laid asphalt concrete had not hardened, so high-heeled shoes sunk in

Despite the problems on the opening day, Disney continued to believe in his dream and the park had its 1-millionth visitor less than two months after Disneyland opened.

A highlight of the tour included the story of how Disney courted his wife, Lillian, who was an ink and paint artist at Disney Studios. The story of their courtship - and marriage - was part of the introduction to the Mark Twain Riverboat. The maiden voyage of the riverboat was four days before Disneyland opened when Walt and Lillian celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

The tour also stops in New Orleans Square in the lobby of the famous Club 33, a private club Disney had built to conduct business away from guests. The club is the only place inside Disneyland that serves alcohol and the wait for membership is said to be 12 years.

Another tour stop is Snow White's grotto, adjacent to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The tour guide relates the story of how in 1934, Disney convinced his animation team that a feature-length animated film could be successful. After sending his team out for dinner, Disney spent nearly three hours pitching the tale of a girl being hunted by her evil step-mother and being protected by seven dwarfs. Disney believed in the venture so much that he mortgaged his house to help pay for the $1 million movie. It went on to earn more than $8 million internationally.

The final stop on the tour is in front of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. As the tour ends, the song "Feed the Birds" is played on the headsets. The song is from the movie/musical "Mary Poppins."

Whenever he was frustrated, Disney often asked songwriter Richard Sherman to play the piece. The tour ends with a provided lunch and a commemorative pin.

"24 rescued from Disney California Adventure ride"
by Sean Emery from the OC Register
July 23rd, 2011

Firefighters removed two-dozen people from a rollercoaster at California Adventure after a backpack fell onto the track and stopped the ride Friday afternoon, Disney officials said.

A backpack fell out of a "ride vehicle" on the California Screamin' rollercoaster about 6:30 p.m., landing on the track and causing the other vehicles to automatically stop, Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said.

No injuries or collisions were reported. About 24 people in one of the vehicles were stuck on the track. It took about an hour for firefighters to remove them one at a time by ladder, Brown said.

About 20 fire officials responded, including members of the Anaheim Fire Department's urban search and rescue team and paramedics stationed at California Adventure.

Rescuers used a ground ladder to reach the riders, who were no more than 20 feet up at the bottom of a loop on the coaster, Anaheim Fire Marshal Jeff Lutz said. The backpack was removed from the track. Disney officials plan to close the ride for the remainder of Friday night.

"Our protocol is to do a full inspection before reopening it," Brown said.

The California Screamin' attraction covers about 1 1/8 miles with big drops and a loop. The ride debuted at the opening of the California Adventure theme park in 2001. In 2005, 33 people were injured on the ride when brakes failed.

Mouse Lounge Commentary: One has to work extremely hard to lose a backpack on this attraction.

"New Local Artists Featured at Downtown Disney District"
by Erin Glover, Manager, Social Media and Print from the Disney Parks Blog
July 15th, 2011

We’re in the middle of the Disney Soundsational Summer here at the Disneyland Resort – and speaking of sound, there are some new featured artists performing evenings this summer at the Downtown Disney District.

C.G. Ryche is a rhythmic drummer with a multicultural approach that appeals to a very diverse audience – all ages and tastes find his show captivating. A unique addition to the Downtown Disney schedule of performers, C.G. has an energy and style that truly sets him apart.

Suburban Legends is a ska band that formed in nearby Huntington Beach in 1998. The band’s style of music has evolved over time, making it different from other ska bands. While their earlier material was heavily rooted in ska, their 2006 release, Dance Like Nobody’s Watching, brought a different sound that took ideas and influence from disco and funk.

Ed Gorski and Ken Oak met in 2004 and played their first acoustic show together just two months later. With Ed on rhythm guitar, Ken began experimenting with his cello as a bass and lead instrument. The next fall, Oak & Gorski quit their “day” jobs, released an album and booked a national tour.

Rumble Kings is a five-piece rockabilly band featuring a powerful lead vocalist and explosive piano sounds. The group formed in late 1996 and has since captured a loyal entourage of fans from Hollywood to Miami. Rumble Kings have performed at various venues like Hard Rock Café, House Of Blues, BB King’s and the Coors Amphitheater. They have also become a staple act at various music festivals like the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend and The Hootenanny.

Come out to Downtown Disney District and check out these artists and more this summer. Be sure to check the Entertainment Schedule for show times and locations.

Mouse Lounge Commentary: I'm holding out for Dexy's Midnight Runners.

"Carmageddon" is coming!
from Mouse Planet
July 13th, 2011

Disneyland has joined the list of companies warning visitors about "Carmageddon," the 53-hour closure of a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 (referred to locally as the 405 freeway) in both directions from Getty Center Drive to U.S. Route 101 (the 101 freeway) due to a scheduled demolition project. The closure, which starts at midnight this coming Friday, July 15, falls on the weekend of Disneyland's anniversary and the annual Disneyana fan club convention.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Los Angeles World Airports have issued travel advisories for people driving from north of the closure area or around LAX. All of the warnings carry the same message: "Plan ahead, avoid the area, or stay home July 16–17." The Resort has also posted a warning about the closure on the park hours page of the Disneyland.com website.

Options for Disneyland-bound travelers include arriving a day early if driving or flying, spending a night or two in Anaheim instead of driving back through the closure area, or flying into Orange County airport instead of LAX.

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