Friday, September 19, 2014

'Frozen' Friday - Anna and Elsa Float Along in Fantasyland (and I Learn a Lesson)

It's that time of the week again; Flashback Friday! And while other blogs all over the world will be "flashing back" to various points in time, we're going in a different route. We've decided to cash in on the never-ending hype that is the film Frozen in order to gain our plethora of visitors today. Suckers!!!

Okay; we kid, we kid! But it did occur to us that maybe with the machine that is Frozen being what it is, it might make for a great segment and since it is alliterative, we figured why not?!

I'll be the first to admit it. Lately, I've been pretty anti-Frozen in spirit. Don't get me wrong! I think the movie was absolutely brilliant, and hearing Idina Menzel sing "Let It Go" live at the D23 Expo back in 2013 didn't hurt a bit, either. But the problem is, for me anyway, that it's just been everywhere and if anything, it's gaining steam and traction. Really bad, I know, right?! I'm so cynical sometimes!

It didn't help matters much this past Sunday when, while on my way into Fantasyland to enjoy a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map, I was deterred and halted by the Frozen parade float coming by with Anna and Elsa; but then a funny thing happened. As I stood there and watched, and listened, as all of the little children around me (and Mark) began to sing along with the music, yell at the two Disney princesses (or Queen in Elsa's case), and wave, I caught myself doing the exact same thing. I was singing along with the music. I was yelling at the two Disney princesses (or Queen in Elsa's case). And doggone it, I was waving at Elsa like nobody's business with a huge, dopey grin on my face.

And it occurred to me that maybe I've been viewing this thing all wrong for the past few months.

It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there's a reason that the Frozen machine is as wildly popular as it is and refuses to lose steam, and instead keeps picking it up. Maybe, just maybe, it's just that good. And maybe, just maybe, I need to enjoy it instead of avoiding it.

Looks like I'll have to check out the Frozen Meet and Greet next to be sure.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You Never Know... Tomorrowland

I've long said that one of the greatest things about The Parks is that you simply never know what you're going to come across, or what treasures you may stumble across and see, when you least expect it. Sometimes they're things which just have you yelling out to yourself "That's so cool!", or they may be things which just leave you shaking your head, laughing, or a combination of the two. But if your peepers aren't open, you won't see them for sure, so pay attention!

Last Sunday's trip into Disneyland yielded a couple such gems which I wanted to share with the readers today, and I think that you'll agree that they both belong in the "You Never Know..." category!

The first item up on our list was this little number that we stumbled across in the Star Trader in Disneyland Park. Back in the day, the Star Trader was basically split into two sections; one for shopping, and one for gaming which was aptly named the Starcade. Over the years, as arcade games have fallen a little bit more and more out of vogue, the Starcade basically disappeared in the form in which we all knew it until Disney released Wreck-It-Ralph, which of course, in our humble opinion, drew attention back to arcades in a way that hadn't been done in years. As part of their Meet and Greet with Ralph and Vanellope, the Star Trader installed several arcade machines from the 80's as a part of the greet (including a custom-made Fix It Felix machine) so that fans could enjoy a little gaming as well as meeting their favorite characters. It proved so popular that since the Meet and Greet was lifted, Disneyland went ahead and left the machines inside that portion of the Star Trader, as well as adding in and scattering other arcade machines and pinball machines all over the place so fans can play and shop all in one spot.

Which leads us to Cyclone (pictured above)! Although I have to say I don't really have any actual recollection of this machine from the 80's, it is quintessentially the 80's, and you have to look no further than the front row of the roller coaster on the game's marquee to see why; it doesn't get more 80's than Ron and Nancy Reagan (and dog - what was that dog's name?!) in the front row of the coaster, yelling and screaming and having a great. Oh democracy and Cold War! Oh wait, yes it does get more 80's, and I amend my previous statement! It doesn't get more 80's than Ron and Nancy Reagan, complete with red "Say No to Drugs" t-shirt, now does it kiddies?

Our second discovery was also in Tomorrowland near Red Rockett's Pizza Port; this nice little Coca-Cola refreshment stand. Now, we fully admit that someone else might have more information on this one, and if so, please let us know what's up in the comments! It's obviously a Coca-Cola stand, but what really caught our eye was the fact that we're not really sure what language, or symbols, it's written in! Is it martian? English from the very distant future? We're dumbfounded, but apparently it's "hypercool" because, you know, "cool" simply isn't enough. It's beyond "cool". It's "HYPERcool".

But whatever it is, or whatever it's intended to be, it definitely grabbed our attention as we walked by, and dare we say it, definitely made us want to stop off for a Coke and smile! If only someone had been there to take our order...

And that's it for this time's "You Never Know..." Like we say every time we go into The Parks, "open them eyes" because you never know what strange, silly, odd, and even "hypercool" things you may come across.

And remember kids, "Say No to Drugs"; Ron, Nancy, and their terrified dog say so.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Place Hodgepodge - Sept 7, 2014

No trip to Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom is complete without a "grand circle tour" on the Disneyland Railroad!

It's been a long time since I've taken the time to "sing like ze birdies sing!", but it was a lot of fun! The people around me, however, may not have thought so...

Time to rejoin the "One Million Club"!
PS. I didn't #GunMalfunctionObviously

Honestly, one of my favorite ways to enter Disneyland is via the Disneyland Monorail leaving from the Downtown Disney District - it's a piece of Disneyland history!

I'm not sure I WANT to have the bubbles scared out of me, and I KNOW the people around me don't!

These two are always a pleasure to listen to!

A Southern California sunset in The Hub with the Partners Statue and Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background = practically perfect in every way!

Just one stop of many on the "Grand Circle Tour" along the Disneyland Railroad; this one in New Orleans Square!