Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Days in the Park is back... in The Parks!

It's a question I've heard many times over the past several weeks since my Annual Pass "blacked out" at the end of June and I've been forced to stay at home: "How do you stand it?" "It", of course, being the ability to go to Disneyland and do one of the things I love most in life.

I have all the right answers, of course, ranging from "I'm trying to save a little money", to "I have three kids who have all kinds of different interests now and football don't come cheap!", to my personal favorite, "It's no big deal. Really!" It's been difficult, and I've missed going, but now that I'm on the other side of the fence, so to speak, the time has come for me to re-assume my place inside the walls of The Parks and re-enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy; the happiest place on earth!

Am I being overly dramatic? Perhaps. But anyone who knows me, really knows me, knows that in some small way it was killing me to not be able to go to Disneyland whenever I wanted to like I could before, and I suppose there's no use in pretending it wasn't. But at the end of the day, as an adult, with a wife and children, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do at the time. It's just going to make it that much sweeter walking in those gates this afternoon.

So if you're new to Days in the Park, or perhaps an old hat who's been following me for quite some time now (and there are some of this, which continues to puzzle and amaze me), I think I'm going to have some pretty great stuff for you in the near future. I'm going to be there today with bells and whistles on (or, if you prefer, my eyes open and my camera ready!), and I'm going to make the most of it. Feel free to check back over the next few days to see just some of what I'll be seeing today, or if you're not already, please (because it seems to be my achilles heel) follow along on my Instagram account @daysinthepark for live pictures from inside The Parks throughout The Day. By all means, please keep coming back for more pictures and all the information I have time to throw at you. I promise to, now that I can, go as often as I can and keep throwing them at you.

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome!"

Thank you Uncle Walt, I think I will...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy Place Hodgepodge - Downtown Disney, July 2014

It's been a long, hard summer! For one person who up to a few months ago almost always a Premium Annual Passholder (that's me!), it's been much harder than I thought it would be.

When I made the decision to lower my payments and save a little money every year by going to a Pass with July and half of August blacked out, I told myself that it would be easy because of "the heat", "the crowds", "*insert any excuse you want here*", but I learned very quickly... I missed being able to go in July and that first half of August!

But, glory be(!), my time of languishing without a way into my happy place is almost over! This coming Monday the blackout dates end (for the most part), and I'm already planning my first trip back with a full day at it this coming Tuesday. I can hardly wait!

But, with all of that said, I did manage to make it out to The Resort a few times this summer just to wander about and take pictures of things I don't normally take the time to since I'm usually partying it up inside The Park. A few weekends ago I spent a wonderful evening just strolling around Downtown Disney and its various haunts taking pictures, which make up the gist of this week's "hodgepodge".

I can't wait to get back next week with a ton of pictures from my first day back but in the meantime I hope these pictures will help tide you over the way they've helped tide me over. I always say there's magic to be found everywhere you look at The Park, and I think these do a great job of proving it. Even though I may not have been riding Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean, I still had a wonderful time and I'm so thankful I got to go!


Sometimes you need help remembering where you parked!

The gazebos around the Disneyland Hotel really do lend themselves to some amazing fairy-tale weddings

When Tinkerbell and Mickey's Sorcerer's Apprentice Hat greet you, you know that you're home

Buzz and Woody. LEGO form. Touche!

One of my favorite Hidden Mickeys from around The Resort. Can you spot it?

Late nights at the Disneyland Hotel with Starbucks; people-watching. Doesn't get much better!


Even the carpets are magical!

If you see THIS coming at you...

Magical Carpet #2!

Who needs Autopia when you can sit in this actual car from the attraction for hours at the time?! Just beware of little kids telling you to "get out of the way, mister!"

If Mary Poppins flies out of the Disneyland Hotel, is this what she leaves behind?

Three different Goofy's in one picture; can you spot them all?

One day... I may actually go swimming here! In the meantime, this remains one of the coolest signs in all of The Resort!

And lastly, there may not be anything better than ending the night with a friend and a cocktail at Trader Sam's. Just about the perfect evening in every way!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tickets For D23 Expo 2015: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Go On Sale Thursday, August 14, 2014


Early Bird Discounted Tickets Available for a Limited Time

D23 Members Enjoy Additional Savings and Member-Only Benefits

On Thursday, August 14, at 10 a.m. PT, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will begin selling tickets for the next D23 Expo, which will take place August 14–16, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The largest Disney fan event in the world, the D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of Disney entertainment, uniting all parts of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including The Walt Disney Studios (including Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm); Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Disney Consumer Products; Media Networks (including ABC, Disney Channel, and Radio Disney) and Disney Interactive. D23 Expo 2015 marks the fourth bi-annual event held in Anaheim.

More than 65,000 Disney fans from around the world gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 for the third D23 Expo. Once again, the Expo will celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney with live events, celebrity appearances, panels, presentations, sneak peeks, and immersive experiences. D23 Expo 2015 marks the return of fan favorites including the Disney Legends Awards, honoring the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; and Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, which spotlights costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney’s rich history.

As in previous Expos, D23 Expo 2015 will showcase all of the latest stars in the Disney universe. In 2013, celebrity appearances included Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Billy Crystal, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, with performances by Idina Menzel, R5 featuring Ross Lynch, and a once-in-a-lifetime concert with Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken. Additionally, Disney executives and creative talent came together to deliver special presentations, announcements, and experiences to Disney fans throughout the three-day extravaganza.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. From August 14–December 31, 2014, tickets are $61 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $52 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $268 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit D23Expo.com.

In addition to these special advance-purchase savings, an extremely limited number of D23 VIP Sorcerer Packages will once again be available. Based on fan feedback, even more benefits have been added this year including exclusive opportunities in the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion and Mickey’s of Glendale.

· Three-day admission ticket and commemorative Sorcerer credential
· Reserved seating at all presentations in the main hall, Stage 23, and Stage 28
· Limited-edition D23 American Tourister boarding bag
· Pre-Expo tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit
· Special tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering Pavilion
· Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store, Disney Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale
· Tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo is open to the public
· Welcome Reception on Thursday evening
· Exclusive entrance to the Expo each morning
· A voucher for an appointment with an on-site massage therapist
· Exclusive D23 Expo gift pack including gifts from D23 and the rest of The Walt Disney Company
· Saturday morning Meet and Greet Coffee with a special Disney guest
· “Fond Farewell” reception on final day of Expo
· Plus, access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge and other benefits

Sorcerer Package tickets are available exclusively to both Gold and Silver D23 Members at $2,000 per ticket. Members have the option to purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets. Additional details and benefits are highlighted at D23Expo.com.

D23 Gold and Silver Members are entitled to early admission to the Expo show floor and D23 will once again give a special thanks to D23 Charter Members, providing them special access to the Expo’s Charter Member Lounge.

Visit D23Expo.com to relive some of the extraordinary experiences from the first three Expo events and get a peek at what’s to come in 2015.

About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts, and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold, Silver, and Free Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

*press release courtesy Disney and D23