Archives for January 2012
|Pan Pacific Auditorium:
photo from the LA Public Library
my Disney vacation, my Nikon camera, is held up by a red Mickey Mouse camera
strap. How fun to be featured on A Disney Mom’s Thoughts in the “Stars Fell on Alabama Feature.” Last year I
was reading blogs, and now here I am writing for them!
scene, and I arrived there differently than most true bloggers. While my kids
were riding Disney roller coasters, I was standing around taking photos of
buildings and flowers and places that I loved in Disney World. When I looked at
these images, I felt like I was back at Disney again, even if it was only for a
few minutes in my mind. Pictures became a way a way to hold on to that vacation
magic. After collecting these
Disney photos for several years, I thought I had some examples of good
photography that other people might like to see.
took a walk one night, having just looked through some vacation scrap books,
and we talked about me sharing my photos with Disney fans outside our family.
That night last October, I set up a Facebook page, and in trying to spread the
word about the Facebook photos, I started writing for a web site I personally
read every day for Disney information called Chip & Company. A couple of months
later, with tremendous help from Mike at My Dreams of Disney, I
started my blog, mouzekateerz.com, as a platform for more
people to see my photography and read an occasional thought I had on Disney
architecture or snacks. I started
writing each week for Mike’s My Dreams of Disney , so while I didn’t start out to be a writer, I have
suddenly developed into one. Natalie got me involved as a writer with her Meet the Magic and The Disney Moms blogs. I have just recently become “the Photo Diva” for
Kristin at Tips from the Disney Diva . Three months after I talked 16 of my friends into
joining a facebook page featuring my Disney pictures, I now have almost 1,000 Facebook fans and nearly 2,000
people have visited my blog. How
fun is that?! I’m now doing a lot of daily writing, and I’m still taking a lot
of pictures I’d like to share when we make it to Orlando. Every year I tell my students to
get out of their comfort zone and take a risk. Putting my thoughts in writing
and my photography out there for possibly thousands of people to see every day
was my way of taking a big risk. I do
believe every photo has a story.
Al., just miles from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. I am essentially
southern born and educated. I grew up in the Alabama town of Fairhope, where I
graduated from Fairhope High School. I went to college at the University of
Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Ms., where I earned undergraduate degrees
in English and Philosophy. I have a Master’s Degree in Education from the
University of South Alabama in English Education. I have taken additional
graduate level classes from the University of West Alabama. I love to read, and I join in reading
contests with my students each semester. I’ve never finished less than 5th
place, which is a personal accomplishment with everything I have going on.
Carl Major, for almost twenty years. We have three vacation-planning children
and a Katrina rescue dog named Willi Baby. A self-professed “Life Coach”,
I really enjoy pushing my 9th grade students to reach their personal
potential as I strive to reach my own. Recently, I have also discovered a great
sense of enjoyment seeing people find entertainment through my
photography. I’ve developed some
amazing relationships within the on-line blogging community.
spots for you. You will find me on facebook at Mouze Kateerz, where you can take a virtul Disney vacation in
photographs each day. For a larger collection of pictures in one convenient
location, stop by Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.
If you have some artistic Disney vacation photos you would
like to share, send me an e-mail of your favorite architectural location to
In 2010, our family made our first trip to California. My husband was attending a work conference in Long Beach. He decided to take me and our oldest son along for the trip. Being in Long Beach, and being married to a “Disney Nerd” he decided we needed to take a few days and experience Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure… I did not complain one bit! 🙂
We had a great time, but it was way too short! We spent 2 full days exploring the parks and I’m dying to go back.
For the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring some of the things I learned and experienced while in Disneyland. To help kick this off, I’m sharing this beautiful infographic on the history of Disneyland from the CityPASS blog. Enjoy!
July 17 – Grand Opening (by invitation only)
Opening Sunday quickly earns the nickname of “Black Sunday” as the young park is burdened by an overabundance of “uninvited” guests, attractions break down, traffic backs up seven miles on the Santa Ana Freeway, a gas leak occurs in Fantasyland, restaurants run out of food, the freshly poured asphalt on Main Street is so soft that it steals the high-heeled shoes off many a female guest and paint is still drying in many parts of Tomorrowland.
The grand opening is televised as a “live” 90-minute broadcast on ABC television. The festivities are hosted by TV personalities Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and pre-presidential Ronald Reagan and, of course, Walt Disney. Covered by 24 cameras (3 was the norm), the show is TV’s most elaborate live broadcast to date viewed by an estimated 90 million viewers.
July 18 – Official Opening Day
General Admission is $1.00 (75 cents for juniors, 50 cents for children). Cost of individual attraction tickets range from 10 cents to 35 cents. There were 18 ticketed adventures and 5 free attractions/exhibits in 4 themed “lands” and on Main Street U.S.A.
Main Street Omnibus #1 begins servicing Main Street, U.S.A.
Grand Opening of the Disneyland Hotel. The Disneyland Monorail track is later expanded to transport guests to and from the hotel.
The spectacular Fantasy in the Sky fireworks display is introduced, a summertime tradition for nearly 45 years.
The Park welcomes its 10 millionth guest, a 5-year-old girl.
The first annual New Year’s Eve Party has 7,500 guests. Today the annual celebration is one of the most popular events at Disneyland.
Columbia Sailing Ship (an authentic replica of the first American vessel to sail around the world) premieres on the Rivers of America in Frontierland.
The Grand Canyon Diorama opens along the lines of the Disneyland Railroad (it is the longest diorama in the world, circa 1958).
The famous “E” ticket is introduced, entitling admission to of the Park’s most Exciting and Elaborate attractions (such as the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage)
Submarine Voyage officially dedicated by Walt Disney and US Navy officials.
Matterhorn Bobsleds opens in Fantasyland and is officiated by Walt Disney and the Los Angeles-based Swiss Consul General.
Disneyland celebrates its 5th Birthday with a 5-foot-tall birthday cake.
Beginning a high school tradition the first all-night Grad Nite Party attracts 8,500 grads making it the biggest high school graduation party ever held in the U.S.
Tinker Bell begins flights from the peak of the Matterhorn and across the sky high above Sleeping Beauty Castle, setting off the summertime firework spectacular “Fantasy in the Sky.”
Mickey Mouse begins serving as a drum major for the Disneyland Band in its parades down Main Street, U.S.A.
On September 23, The Golden Horseshoe Revue celebrates its 10,000th performance.
June 23 The landmark Disney theme park attraction Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opens in Adventureland.
Walt Disney hosts all of the Olympic teams, more than 400 athletes, on their way to the Summer Olympics in Japan with a day at the Park. Comedian Bob Hope and Walt lead a cast of Hollywood starts who entertain the Olympians in a show on the banks of the Rivers of America in Frontierland.
July 18 – Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opens. The Audio-Animatronics figure of Abraham Lincoln is so life-like that some guests ask to go backstage to get the “actor’s” autograph.
July 24 – New Orleans Square, Disneyland’s first new land since Opening Day, opens in a colorful mid-summer dedication. It is one of Walt Disney’s last official ceremonial acts before his untimely death in December.
Pirates of the Caribbean, the first Disneyland mega-scale indoor ride-through adventure, opens in New Orleans Square. Today the attraction is considered by many to be the quintessential Disney theme park attraction.
1,500 celebrities and guests attend the dedication of an all-new Tomorrowland, revamped at a cost of $23 million
Haunted Mansion opens after 15 years of planning, largest marketing campaign to date in support of the grand opening
Walt Disney World Resort in Florida opens. Disneyland welcomes Miss Valerie Suldo, its 100 millionth guest.
The beloved Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade premieres
Mission to Mars opens in Tomorrowland and is an updated version of Flight to the Moon, since man had already reached the moon in real life.
Elsie Mae Houck of Tulare, California becomes the 150 millionth guest
At the opening ceremonies of Space Mountain, Disneyland honors America’s first men in space as special guests. The attraction cost $20 million and is 188 feet tall and 200-feet wide.
The Park welcomes its first-ever birth at “The Happiest Place on Earth” on a busy day near Main Street U.S.A. Mickey Mouse later presents little Teresa with “Disneyland Birth Certificate No. 1” recognizing the unprecedented event.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens in Frontierland.
Just missing the 25th anniversary year by eight days, the 200 millionth Disneyland guest to visit during its quarter-century. The guest is greeted by Disney characters at the park’s main entrance.
Former President Jimmy Carter became the first U.S. President to take a “running tour” of the Park when he jogged through the Magic Kingdom prior to the public opening time.
The Disneyland ticket book, with its famous A, B, C, D and E ticket coupons, is officially retired.
Tokyo Disneyland in Japan officially opens.
Disneyland welcomes the 250 millionth guest. He and his parents are presented with a new Cadillac, a trip to Tokyo Disneyland, Lifetime Passports to Disneyland and Walt Disney Resort and many other gifts.
Captain EO, a 3-D film sensation opened in the Magic Eye Theater starring Michael Jackson as a singing, dancing intergalactic hero with many new in-theater special effects – produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Star Tours premieres in Tomorrowland, the first attraction collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilm, Ltd.
The Disney Gallery opens above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. Originally meant to serve as a private apartment for Walt Disney and his family, The Disney Gallery displays original designs, sketches and models illustrating the evolution of the Park.
Disney Dollars are unveiled. Mickey Mouse appeared on the $1 bill and Goofy on the $5 bill. A $10 bill featuring Minnie Mouse is added on Nov. 20, 1989.
Mickey’s 60th birthday is celebrated during the summer with a parade and birthday bash in the Plaza Hub
Critter Country is named and is Disneyland Park’s newest “land.”
Splash Mountain, the most elaborate flume attraction in the world, opens to guests. The new attraction features a five-story drop at a 45-degree angle.
Disneyland Park welcomes its 300 millionth guest, Claudine Masson of Chateauroux, France.
Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner and Disney President Frank Wells and Roy E. Disney, Disney Vice Chairman were joined by Disneyland Opening Day Alumni former President Ronald Reagan and TV personalities Art Linkletter and Bob Cummings in a rededication ceremony.
Fantasmic! opens to rave reviews in Frontierland. The entertainment spectacular through Mickey Mouse’s vivid imagination comes to life with pyrotechnics, live performances, enormous set pieces, fountains and projected mist screens.
Disneyland Paris in France officially opens.
Mickey’s Toontown, the largest “land” in more than 20 years, is given an official premiere with Eisner and Roy E. Disney as they unveil the “home” of Mickey Mouse and all the favorite characters.
The Park bid goodbye to one its most beloved attractions when Skyway closed after 38 years of carrying guests high above Fantasyland and Tomorrowland
8,000 runners from around the globe turn out for the first-ever Disneyland Marathon and 5k. The races award $50,000 in cash to the top finishers and to 10 Orange County charities.
The Indiana Jones Adventure is unveiled during a star-studded opening gala.
Pirates of the Caribbean, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, is reopened after an extensive refurbishment.
Disneyland Park welcomes its 400 millionth guest, Minnie Pepito of Concord, California.
it’s a small world Holiday premieres as an all-new winter holiday-theme overlay to the classic Disneyland attraction, it’s a small world. It remains a staple of the Disneyland Resort holiday lineup.
Tomorrowland completes a two-year re-building program that includes such new adventures as Innoventions and Astro Orbitor.
Disney FASTPASS Service is introduced, providing a time-saving virtual queuing program that uses computers to issue advance reservations for popular attractions.
Disneyland Hotel undergoes major changes to make way for a new Monorail station and the new Downtown Disney District.
Mickey & Friends, a multi-story parking structure, is completed near West Street and Ball Road. It is one of the largest parking structures in the world.
The Disneyland Pacific Hotel is renamed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Grand opening of Disney California Adventure Park, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Downtown Disney District. The new theme park is home to such attractions as Soarin’ Over California, a multi-sensory experience that becomes an instant hit.
A Bug’s Land opens in Disney California Adventure park, drawing inspiration from the Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film “A Bug’s Life.” The new land is designed especially for kids.
The world premiere of the hit Disney live-action film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl takes place. The event features the world’s longest red carpet and features appearance by the films stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
The Disneyland Resort officially welcomes its 500 millionth guest
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, a hair-raising new thrill attraction, opens in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot of Disney California Adventure park.
This date marks the launch of the Happiest Celebration on earth as all 11 Disney theme parks around the world join together for the first time ever in one glorious celebration, each premiering new spectacular entertainment and iconic adventures and attractions in honor of the 50th anniversary of the original Disney theme park – Disneyland.
The classic Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland is reimagined as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, inspired by the classic Disney-Pixar animated film.
A major expansion of Disney California Adventure park is announced, with plans to culminate in the 2012 opening of theCars Land, inspired by the Disney-Pixar film.
Toy Story Mania! opens at Disney California Adventure park, bringing guests virtual ride-through midway games paired with their favorite Toy Story characters.
World of Color, a technically cutting edge nighttime water spectacular, premieres at Disney California Adventure park. The show combines nearly 1,200 colorful fountains with over 100,000 digital images of Disney and Disney-Pixar animation projected on a water screen the size of a football field. In less than a year, over 3 million guests enjoy the show.
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Disney’s first-ever Little Mermaid attraction inspired by the classic Disney film , premieres at Disney California Adventure park.
Disneyland Park’s classic Star Tours attraction reopens as Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, featuring 54 various odysseys into the Star Wars galaxy, each in 3-D.
One thing I know I wouldn’t do differently is attend this party! This party was the best of the three I’ve attended at Walt Disney World: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Pirate and Princess Party (in that order!). This party was full of so much fun- from the treats, the parade, the fireworks and the costumes.
Another thing I wouldn’t change is dressing up! Our group decided to go as Carl, Russell and Dug from up. My son decided at the last minute not to wear his costume. He said Dug was scary! Luckily, I planned for this and had a tshirt made with Dug’s picture on it that said, “Hi, I’m Dug… But I won’t wear my costume!” If you go to this party, I would HIGHLY encourage you to dress up. We saw everything on all ages, sizes and shapes. Many groups were dressed as Disney characters, but others weren’t. We saw groups dressed as board games, cowboys and Indians, Super Heros, sports figures, food items and animals. There were lots of Pirates of the Caribbean characters, Princesses, Fairies, and Haunted Mansion Ghosts!
The first thing I would do differently at MNSSHP is not ride the rides. While we didn’t spend much time at all on attractions, it did take up time and I should have used that time to do things that guests can’t do on a normal operating day. The only exception to this “rule” is the Haunted Mansion! We did not ride it this time because Cman was too young, but if your kids can handle the Haunted Mansion, I think it’s a must for this night!
I would suggest getting a seat for The Boo To You Parade early. If your party isn’t too large, you could have a member in your party save your spots on the parade route while the rest of the group grabs a snack or hits the Trick or Treat Stations. I would also suggest viewing the first parade. Then if you missed the pictures you wanted or if your kids want to see it again, you can catch the later parade later. This parade route gets full quickly. Do plan to stay through the end of the parade as cast members pass out candy to the kids who are on the front few rows of the route.
As for the Trick or Treat Stations, we spent a lot of time early in the night getting candy. Cman loved trick or treating, but it took a good bit of time out of the night. I know we can’t do this on normal operating hours, but we can buy candy any time we’d like. One thing I did notice was later in the night the cast members were wanting to get rid of candy, so they were handing out bigger handfuls. My suggestion is to save the Trick or Treating for the last hour of the night. The lines will be shorter and handfuls are bigger!
Along with the Boo To You Parade, I would encourage you to see the Hallowishes Fireworks show! This show had a Halloween twist to the normal Wishes show. You can view this show anywhere on Main Street in front of the Castle.
One thing we missed that I regret is the Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle in front of the castle. This is a Halloween show featuring the Villains. Following the show, the Villains come meet and greet guests. We were able to catch the last 5 minutes of the meeting time when we saw Gaston.
If you have younger children who like to dance, I would suggest visiting the Character Dance Parties! We had a lot of fun here and Cman had a chance to dance to the entire song, “Who Let the Dogs Out” with Stitch! While I would participate in these, choose your dance party wisely. Look at the party guide and decide which characters your child would enjoy more. We spent time at the Tomorrowland Dance Party and if I had known it would be such a hit, I would have rather danced with Woody and Jessie in Frontierland.
When I do this party again this is my plan:
1) Arrive early so you’re ready to go as soon as the party starts. Be in costume and decide which of the character meet and greets is most important to you and get in line. Hint: choose a character who will only make an appearance at the party and not daily in the parks. I wish I had met Flynn and Rapunzel. This could take up to an hour.
2) As soon as you have met this character, visit one of the Dance Parties and dance for a while.
3) Eat dinner if you haven’t or grab a snack. Depending on the time, you may want to start marking your spot for the early parade at 8:15.
4) Following the parade, hit a few trick or treat stations or visit some characters who have shorter lines. Be on Main Street for the Hallowishes show early enough to get a good viewing spot.
5) Hallowishes is at 9:30. After the fireworks, stick around Main Street for the Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle at 10:05 or hit the trick or treat stations in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, but be back in time for the show!
6) Following the Villain’s, you can stay on Main Street if you want to view all or part of the Boo to You parade at 10:30.
7) Trick or Treat, Dance Party or Characters. You choose which is more important to you at this point! Villains will be back out in front of the castle at 11:15.
8) ENJOY your night!