Friday, March 28, 2014

The Disney Point Takes Disneyland: Part 1 - Getting to Disneyland

Note: This is part one of a series about my March 2014 trip to Disneyland Resort. 

The last time I was at Disneyland it was for a half day during a trip to LA. I was a child. I remember really liking it, but I did not remember anything else about that trip from about twenty years ago.

Since then, I became: 
  • Disney-obsessed
  • A Cast Member
  • A (self-proclaimed) Disney Historian
  • A Disney PR Professional
  • A Total SAP
So when my husband Tom was invited to attend the Alliance Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, we decided to take full advantage of the free ticket to the West Coast and cash in some credit card reward miles to fly me out to join him. But Las Vegas wasn't the endgame. The endgame was Disneyland!

We had a nice two days in Las Vegas. I sat by the pool and got some much-needed vitamin D while Tom was at the conference. We ate some fabulous meals, including Gordan Ramsay's famous beef wellington at Gordon Ramsay Steak. We went to see Cirque du Soleil Mystere. We saw some truly breathtaking hotels. 

But after two days of casinos, lots and lots of cigarette smoke, indulgence and "sin city" I was never more ready for a Disney vacation!

In what seemed like a good idea at the time we booked it, we secured seats on a 7AM flight from Vegas to California. We had some JetBlue points and we found $45 flights from to Long Beach Airport. So at 4AM, our alarm clock went off, we threw on some comfy clothes, took a cab to the airport and we were on our way to the Happiest Place on Earth! 

It was only a 45 minute flight and we were there before we even had a chance to have a cup of coffee. If you have the opportunity to skip LAX and go to Long Beach Airport, don't hesitate. Long Beach Airport is significantly closer to Disneyland than LAX and is considerably less stressful. It also won my heart for the quickest checked bag retrieval ever. We took a cab with a fixed fare to Disneyland hotel. It was $45 (I should play the number 45, shouldn't I?) plus tip no matter how many LA-style traffic jams you find yourself in. We didn't luckily, and we were at the Disneyland Hotel in 25 minutes. 

I will share more about the Disneyland Hotel in future posts, but (SPOILER ALERT) I simply loved it on first glance. Tom and I grabbed a nice relaxing sit down breakfast at Steakhouse 55 and we were off to the parks by 10am! 

Thank you for reading. Tune in next Tuesday, April 1, for Part 2 of The Disney Point Takes Disneyland! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Trip to the Holy Land: Disneyland

For those of you who follow this blog and my social media properties, you know that I just returned from an amazing trip to Disneyland.

You have asked: Did I have a good time in Disneyland?

My answer: No.

No, I did not have a good time in Disneyland. I had a PHENOMENAL time. I had more fun on this trip to Disneyland than I have had in a LONG time. I loved the Disneyland Hotel. I loved the attractions and the shows.

I LOVED everything about the place.

I spent more time on this trip crying tears of JOY than not.

It sounds ridiculous, but for a self-appointed Disney historian, Disneyland was like the Holy Land. Everywhere I turned, there was another photo or statue of "Uncle Walt" and it was impossible to not feel his presence there.

Were there things I liked better than Walt Disney World? YES. Were there things I liked less than Walt Disney World. Yes.

Instead of throwing it all into a massive post, I wanted to share it all in smaller, digestible posts. Starting this Friday, March 28, I will be sharing a post every Friday and Tuesday about my trip to Disneyland. I hope you'll read along and fall in love with Disneyland

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Disney Electric Light Parades

I love the nostalgia that is associated with visiting Disney theme parks. Each visit may be different, but because everything in the parks pretty much stays the same, it feels like coming home. While the theme parks may stay the same trip to trip, they do change over the course of the day. My favorite time of day in Disney theme parks is at night. Everything truly feels magical under the glow of lights.

I just returned from Disneyland Resort yesterday and I have so much to report from my first trip as an adult to the place where magic began. Believe it or not there were MANY attractions, shows and experiences I enjoyed MORE at Disneyland Resort than I do at Walt Disney World Resort. It truly surprised me how much I enjoyed Disneyland.

There was one nighttime Disney experience that I missed, however - an electric light parade!

For the past several years, Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade has been a mainstay at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is an amazing parade, and steps off daily from Main Street.

Prior to the Main Street Electrical Parade (and during my entire childhood) SpectroMagic occurred nightly at the Magic Kingdom. The soundtrack was engrained in my mind from 1991 to 2010 when it ran. In fact, it was one of my first Napster downloads!

In 2010 SpectroMagic went to Disneyland and the Main Street Electrical Parade came to the Magic Kingdom. It was supposed to be only for the summer. It became permanent. Then last year, as Disneyland made way for their new parade, SpectroMagic was permanently disabled.

Photo Credit: Maliboy via Compfight cc
As much as the nighttime entertainment at Disneyland was amazing, (I'm looking at you fireworks, Fantasmic and World of Color) I did miss a nightly electrical parade.

Welcome to the splendor, the spectacle, the sparkling sensation...where the romance, the comedy and the thrill of Disney fantasies come to electric life. And now the Magic Kingdom proudly presents in a million points of musical light, the magical worlds of Disney in SpectroMagic!

What parade did you like better - SpectroMagic or the Main Street Electrical Parade? Sound off in the comment section below. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

My #DisneySide @Home Celebration: It's Go Time!

The baked goods were on the table and the guests started to arrive - it's time for my #DisneySide @Home Celebration to begin!

We were hoping that my dear friend would go into labor, and thus, miss our #DisneySide party. But apparently baby Cole wanted to come to my #DisneySide party too, so he stayed put. We created a Mickey with her belly though!

I cannot wait until I can share my love of Disney with my nephew Cole! My #DisneySide will be passed on through the generations and that means a lot to me!

We also had a very special four-legged guest, Bailey, who showed her #DisneySide by being a "friend of Pluto." 

Probably my favorite part of the night were the runDisney signs. Prior to everyone arriving, I used the runDisney signs to create a written display of what I believe their #DisneySides are!

Finally, it was time for the main feature. We drank Angry Orchard Hard Cider (with the exception of the pregnant lady) as a nod to Snow White. We watched Frozen and sang along like kids! We had a wonderful time!

Thank you to Disney for this phenomenal experience and for including this little Disney blog in this big, wonderful event. I may not know exactly what my #DisneySide is, but it has grown so much since my selection as a #DisneySide @Home Celebration Host!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Preparing for My #DisneySide @Home Celebration

Disney sent me party items to throw a #DisneySide @Home Celebration. 
The thoughts expressed here are my own.

My #DisneySide party is complete and I'm happy to say it was a success! I will be sharing some photos shortly from my party, but first I wanted to share information on how I prepared for the big day.


My #DisneySide party preparations started early. When would our party be? Our welcome email stipulated that our celebration should occur between February 15th and March 1st, 2014. I had a few important decisions to make. Some of my favorite Disney friends were getting married on February 8th and honeymooning for two weeks after. Therefore, I picked March 1, 2014 as my #DisneySide party date!


I was stumped, I'll admit it. What will my theme be? My husband and I don't have children yet and our friends are huge Disney fans, but are just starting to have kids. What do we love? We love to eat and we love the movies! We decided on a casual dessert and movie night and would use the items that Disney sent us.

Baking Day of the Party

My day started early. I procrastinated on shopping, but I chalk that up to the fact that I work full time. I ran to the supermarket to pick up last minute baking items and got working right away.

When I got home, I got to work right away on my baking items. I was so excited to add the two new Mickey cookie cutters to my collection. Also, I used my new nifty measuring cups from "The Chew!"

I had so much fun stamping the Mickey cutter into the dough! I also found some Mickey sprinkles left over from Christmas that were a perfect topper for my brownies.

Finally I went added some bite-sized Oreos to my mini cupcakes to show their delicious #DisneySide!

(Did you happen to notice my Lenox napkin holder and salt and pepper shakers in the background? Let's just say it wasn't hard to find my #DisneySide in my house!)


After cleaning up all the bowls, mixers, pans, etc. (which took a REALLY long time) it was time to get decorating! I set my dining room table with the table cloth, plates, napkins and cups Disney set me. I used the balloons and spiral decorations from my #DisneySide box. It truly looked adorable! I am SO ready for kids!

I also figured out that decorating for my #DisneySide party wasn't too difficult when everything you own is Disney. I moved up my Lenox bride and groom Mickey frame and my Cinderella and Prince Charming snow globe to a prominent position.
Now there was nothing left to do but to shower and get ready for my #DisneySide Party! Stay tuned for Part Two - the Party!  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Hub Refurb Panic


When you love something in its current state, it is hard to accept an imminent change. This is true even when the change is both needed and important. 

Photo Credit: Thom Watson via Compfight cc
A few days ago the internet and the Disney community were abuzz over potential changes to the hub in Magic Kingdom Park.

Before I lose casual Disney fans let me explain. The hub was Walt's brilliant idea - instead of having to walk around an entire theme park to get somewhere, he wanted to create a central meeting point where all the lands converge. He modeled this after a wheel with spokes. If you stand in the center (the hub by the partners statue) you can easily access the the spokes (Main Street USA behind you, Tomorrowland to your right, Fantasyland in front and Liberty Square and Adventureland to your left) cutting down your walking time. 

So last week when Disney blogs and sites leaked information about a hub refurbishment everyone naturally panicked.

Screen shot from Google Maps - You can clearly see the "spokes" of the wheel
I'm sure you've found yourself in the center of that wheel ("the hub") many times. Often it's not a very pleasurable experience. Many times after a very magical Disney day, you can find yourself stuck in a traffic jam of strollers, wheelchairs and scooters leaving the park.

The hub redesign aims to alleviate some of that. After all the panic, Disney released this video:


It's the end of the world as we know it.

I, for one, look forward to the hub refurbishment.  I think it will become an even better place to watch the parade and the fireworks.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments below.

Sitting around the hub during our Keys to the Kingdom Tour
Posing for photos in the hub