Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: "Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life" by David Bossert



Beyond just visiting the Parks, my husband and I are huge Disney history enthusiasts and enjoy getting the opportunity to read about the people who helped create the magic.

My husband got the opportunity to read "Remember Roy E. Disney" and I'm happy to share his personal review with you all! Enjoy!
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Guest Post By David Spear

I've often believed that the best stories told are the ones that come directly from the source – those in the know who experienced it firsthand. We often retell stories that have been passed on verbally to us, and in doing so, ultimately change the DNA with every reincarnation. Most biographies are well-researched with the biographer conducting interviews and meticulously pouring over notes and texts. But their retelling of events still does not compare to hearing it from the original source. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed reading Remembering Roy so much.

This is not a biography in the traditional sense, but rather a series of stories and recollections about Roy E. Disney told directly by those who knew and worked with him. In a way, the reader learns much more about Roy as a person than if, say, Neal Gabler had taken the same approach as The Walt Disney Story: Triumph of the American Imagination.

In the foreword, Roy's son, Roy Patrick Disney, sets the tone of the book, telling a story of a young Roy struck with a cold, listening to his Uncle Walt tell him a tale. It's the story of a wooden boy. We've all heard the stories of Walt reenacting storyboards during animation sessions. But to be a young child and have Walt himself tell you the story must have been pure magic.  It is only fitting that the rest of the book is told in the same fashion – dozens of personal stories about the man who is just as important to the Walt Disney Company as his uncle and father.

Many of the stories are Bossert's personal tales of Roy, set with the backdrop of the Second Golden Age of Animation.  The classic Disney movies beginning with The Little Mermaid would have never been made had Roy not intervened and saved the fledgling Animation Dept. after the failed The Black Cauldron. Not only did Roy save Disney Animation, but one could make the argument that Roy saved the art of animation itself. His continued philanthropic support of CalArts from day one has helped to produce the artists who now work for Pixar and DreamWorks Animation.

Those instrumental in the success of Disney Animation offer their own words on Roy throughout the book. Instead of Bossert summarizing these accounts, he lets them tell their story in their entirety. It is “all in the details” after all. These range from Roy voicing his unhappiness with Stitch (and ultimately changing the tone of the film) to the more personal such as Roy unexpectedly attending a wedding, even after being diagnosed with stomach cancer, to John Lasseter's recounting of his trip to Roy's Ireland estate.

Bossert divides the sections of the book into different topics of Roy's life. Outside of the Company, Roy was an avid sailor. As the owner of the Pywacket, Roy partook in every aspect of sailing and performed just like one of the crew. Out on the ocean, “Roy was just one of the guys”. His other love was flying and there is a fair share of entertaining stories from aboard "Air Roy."

We do get glimpses of Roy during some of the darker times at the Walt Disney Company.  The near takeover in the early 1980s that led to Roy's return with Michael Eisner in tow as well as his ouster 20 years later.  You won't find any juicy tidbits from behind the scenes politics – nor would you really want to. What is most evident through his career at Disney is his belief in people. Roy believed in teamwork as proven by his commitment to his sailing crew and firm stance that it's the animators who should get the credit for Disney's success.

Overall, this is a simple, easy read for any Disney fan and is a worthwhile addition to any collection.  It's a great testament to the man who overcame the shadow of his uncle and left his own legacy on the Walt Disney Company.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The 2014 Egg-stravaganza at The Disneyland Resort



This past Friday, my friends and I took part in the 2014 Disneyland Resort "Egg-stravaganza" at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.  After the positive feedback received from last year's Limited Time Magic Easter Egg hunt, The Disneyland Resort expanded the Easter Egg hunt to include both Parks and offered up an eggscellent prize in lieu of last year's Vinylmation keychains.

Starting on April 10 through April 20th, Guests at either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Parks can purchase a map at participating store locations ($4.95 + tax) which come with a set of stickers featuring Disney characters as colorful Easter eggs.  Guests are invited to find large Easter Eggs scattered throughout the Parks and match up the corresponding character sticker with the location of its hiding place, indicated by white Easter Egg spaces on the maps (see below):


For an Annual Passholder like myself, these one-time special events are a great way to enjoy the Disneyland Resort.

My friends spent several hours without going on one attraction - and only taking a break to eat dinner! Even though we are grown-ups, our inner children came out and we became mighty competitive, exclaiming happily when we found the eggs before our friends did and happily matching our stickers to the corresponding space on the maps.  Don't worry, I won't reveal any of the Eggs locations!  No spoilers here.
Giant eggs - so cute!
The eggs are hidden all around the Resort, with some easier and more obvious than others.  One note of advice for Guests doing the Easter Egg hunt this week - some of the Eggs are harder to identify when it gets dark - especially ones that may be perched up high where little children won't be able to view them.  Be sure to ask neighboring Cast Members if you're having trouble locating - they are more than happy to help!

Once we finished filling our maps with stickers, we returned to the Redemption center to get our prizes. Giant colorful eggs with prizes underneath them were scattered on the table and Cast Members had us select an egg to reveal our Prize.  At Disney California Adventure, I selected an adorable egg with Chip on it. When we made our way over to Disneyland, I completed my map and selected my 2nd egg prize and got a Mickey egg!  There are six different eggs that Guests can redeem their prizes for:  Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Chip, or Dale.

Hmmm... which Egg to choose from?
My egg prizes and my two maps!
This is a really great activity that can take up a lot of time when you're at The Disneyland Resort.  I highly recommend it and the egg prizes are fantastic souvenirs from another great event!  Look forward to taking part next year if the Disneyland Resort decides to bring this fun springtime activity back.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Merchandise Monday: April 2014



And just like that it's Spring! Here is a short and sweet round-up of the merchandise and events happening this month at the Disneyland Resort...

Egg-stravaganza maps!
2014 Egg-stravaganza - For only $4.95 you can purchase this fun collectible map that takes you in search of special hidden eggs themed to Disney characters - there is one for Disney California Adventure and another for Disneyland! You even receive a special surprise at the end of your journey!


Artist Sketch of the Month - This month's beautiful sketch is called "Year of Romance - April 2014: Aladdin & Jasmine", and is available at Off the Page in DCA and Disneyana in Disneyland.



Featured Treat - This month, seek out the dark chocolate covered apple with raspberry and vanilla white chocolate drizzle, topped with semi sweet and white chocolate chips, and almond pieces. Yum!



April Merchandise Events - 
Matt Spangler
  • 2014 Egg-stravaganza at the Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. April 10-20, throughout the day.
  • Artist in Residence - Matt Spangler at WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney. April 18-20, 25-27; 6-10 p.m. 
  • Artist in Residence - Ben Burch at WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney. April 26-27; 1-4 p.m

Friday, April 11, 2014

Special look at the "it's a small world" 50th anniversary singalong at Disneyland



Yesterday, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Disney’s “it’s a small world” theme park
attraction, thousands of guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the globe united
today in a historic “It’s a Small World” sing-along! Fans everywhere joined in online at SmallWorld50.com, a “global hub” of music and harmony created for the Golden Anniversary of
the iconic attraction that opened as a tribute to peace and hope, saluting UNICEF, at the 1964
New York World’s Fair. I was among the invited guests who were brought into Disneyland at 4:30a.m. today to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event--one that I will never forget.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at what was featured on Good Morning America yesterday.


Throughout the day today, Disney Parks guests participated in events in all five resorts around the
world, including in-park sing-alongs, cavalcades and special musical performances. Richard M.
Sherman, the Oscar®-winning songwriter who composed “It’s a Small World” with his late
brother, Robert, led a sing-along at Disneyland Park in California and participated in a Google
Hangout that can be seen at SmallWorld50.com.

This 50th anniversary celebration is also a celebration of UNICEF and right now, you can help raise money for UNICEF! All you have to do is create a virtual "doll" at SmallWorld50.com and Disney will donate $1 to UNICEF. You can also make a difference now through April 13 every time you purchase special "it's a small world" merchandise at selected stores in Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

Kohl's #MagicAtPlay $50 Gift Card Giveaway & Jumping Beans Product Review #DisneySMMoms




Last week Kohl's and the well-known children's clothing brand Jumping Beans unveiled their new Disney clothing line. 

Sizes:
These summer clothes are available for boys and girls in sizes 12-24 months, 2T-4T, and kids' 4-7. All of the sizes can be found displayed together at the store, which makes it ideal for moms to torture their kiddos by buying them matching outfits. (One of my personal favorite past times.) The clothes all seem to run true to size and are selling out fast. We went to Kohl's on Monday, April 7, and they were completely sold out of all of the shorts in my son's size (and those one size up and one size down). If there is something in particular you cannot find in the store, the clothes are also sold on the Kohl's website. I didn't want to wait and bought the shirts and some nonDisney Jumping Beans shorts to go with my little guy's shirts.

Cost:
All of the clothes range in price from $16 to $30 per piece and one dress costs $34. There are a lot of great discounts available online for Kohl's. I was able to download a coupon for $10 off a children's clothing purchase of $30 or more. Because of that coupon and the fact that the Disney clothes and regular Jumping Beans shorts we bought were on sale, we were able to get three shirts and two pairs of shorts for less than $50!

Quality:
The clothing quality is great and the designs are absolutely darling! It was tough to select exactly what we would get our little guy. Since he is so "into" soccer right now, we got him two soccer shirts and a tank top for the hot summer weather.

Win a $50 gift card to buy your babes their own sweet Jumping Beans clothes for the summer:
Disney Living and Kohl's have teamed up to offer one lucky Babes In Disneyland reader a $50 gift card. Limited to the continental U.S. only.




  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ask the Disney Expert: Best Outdoor Vending Cart





This week, we were asked what our favorite Outdoor Vending (ODV) cart is for a quick bite to eat. Tell us your favorite on our Facebook page or by leaving a comment below.

My absolute favorite ODV cart, and yes I do have one, is the coffee cart at Central Plaza at Disneyland. I always stop there on our way out of Disneyland before heading home and grab an iced vanilla latte and sometimes a chocolate chip cookie. The coffee is always delicious and the services is always outstanding. And, yes, there are times I head there upon arriving at the park too!

I also love the garlic cheddar twists sold at Maurice's Treats (as modeled by Kendra's daughter, Emma). They are to DIE FOR!!! 

  


Confession: I have a major thing for the popcorn at Disneyland. There is something about that crunchy, buttery, salty treat that I can’t resist! We stop at one of the popcorn carts multiple times per trip for a bucket of this perfect on-the-go snack that is great for sharing. I also love how the little figurines churning the popcorn inside each one are dressed to match the theme of the land where the cart is located.

How can you pick just one?! If I'm going savory - my husband and I love to share a chimichanga, which you can usually find at the ODV card right near Big Thunder Mountain RR in Frontierland. My favorite sweet treat is any. Disneyland. cotton. candy. any. where. It's the best cotton candy on earth, and I can't resist it (sometimes a couple times a day).

This is a bit of a tough one as there are so many wonderful snacks at the Disneyland Resort- but I'd have to go with the churro carts.  No matter the time of day or season there is something so completely comforting, tasty, and awesome about Disney's churros.




Outside Star Traders, I love visiting the pretzel cart to grab a warm sweet cream cheese pretzel.  They also have these pretzels available on Main Street but I always look forward to this cart when I'm in Tomorrowland.



Those are our favorites. Don't forget to share yours! We'd love to hear what you have to say and share it with our readers. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"The 7D" a new animated series coming to Disney Channels this Summer!





Disney Channels - Disney XD, Disney Channel, and Disney Junior - are premiering a brand new animated series this summer! Based on the Seven Dwarfs from "Snow White", "The 7D" is being billed as a "contemporary", "comedic", "zany", and "broadly appealing." 

Set in the whimsical world of Jollywood, the 7D – Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc – are hard at work helping the quirky Queen Delightful (voiced by Leigh-Allyn Baker, "Good Luck Charlie") keep her kingdom in order. Hildy Gloom, a novice witch (voiced by Kelly Osbourne, "Fashion Police"), who, together with her warlock husband Grim (voiced by Emmy-nominated Jess Harnell, "Sofia the First" and "Doc McStuffins"), plot to overthrow the kingdom. One of the gang, Doc, is voiced by none other than  Disney Legend Bill Farmer (the voice of Goofy)!


Word is the new "7D" won't look much like these classic guys...
We are big fans of anything Disney Junior produces for our littlest Disney enthusiasts, so we are very excited to see what this brand new series has to offer! As soon as we have more information on when the program will air, we will let you know!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Saving vs. Splurging on SNACKS for Kids in the Parks



When taking your kids to Disneyland (or, let's be real, anywhere), planning for snacks is anecessity! Disneyland is absolutely loaded with the every kind of the best snacks you can possibly imagine - I could just snack all day (since we are being real, I have). When we are thinking of snacks for our little ones, we typically want it to be something a bit healthier, and something that's going to stick with them. Disneyland carries plenty of these types of options for kids and adults as well - but they sure can add up. Here is my Saving vs. Splurging list for bringing and/or purchasing snacks in the park!

Saving on SNACKS - Bringing snacks from home is the hands-down winner in the cost-affordability contest. If it were me, I'd much rather be eating a muffin from the Jolly Holiday bakery than a breakfast bar from my purse - but the great thing about kids is they don't really care what they're eating, as long as it's something they like! So there's one spot where my family chooses to save money. Here are some of the healthy and heartier snacks we like to bring when traveling into Disneyland (and a few that don't hit the wallet to hard to purchase there):

organic-apple-apple
And a few less expensive snacks in the parks (I draw the line at $3!)...
  • Fruit Leather - $1.19 
  • Apple Crisps - $2.99
  • Pineapple Spear - $2.99
  • Pickle - $2.79 (Why does a Disneyland pickle taste soooo much better than the ones in my fridge?!)
This is the cream cheese
 pretzel... heaven help us.

Splurging on SNACKS - For my family, buying food, souvenirs, or anything in the park - rather than bringing it from home - is a splurge! In-park snacks are amazing, though. I know you've heard it before, but you really can't beat a Dole Whip! Here are my picks for the tastiest, and more unique in-park "splurge" snacks for my kiddos (and myself):

  • Popcorn - $4.00 (easily shared!)
  • Mango Slices - $3.69
  • Corn on the Cob - $4.99
  • Mickey Pretzel - $4.00
  • Dole Whip Soft Serve - $3.69 (only 80 calories per serving!)
  • Kid's POWER Pack (yogurt, sliced apples, carrots, petite banana and Whole-Grain "fish" crackers) - $5.99)
Dole Whips = happy children
What do you think? What are your family's favorite snacks to bring into the park or to purchase there? You can see our other articles about Saving & Splurging on Kid's Meals in Disneyland, Kid's Meals in California Adventure, Food in California Adventure, and Food in Disneyland

Thanks to TouringPlans.com for the up-to-date Disneyland Resort Menus and pricing!

Read more from Jessica on her blog, Idahome. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, or on Instagram.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun Fact Friday: Everything to know about "it's a small world" at Disneyland



As featured here at Babes In Disneyland last week, "it's a small world" will be celebrating its 50th anniversary April 10with a celebration that will be shared at Disney Parks around the world. (Click here for details on how you can join the celebration.) In light of the attraction's upcoming big day, I thought it would be fun to do a Fun Fact Friday post all about the attraction.

Attraction History & Traditions

  • "it's a small world" was originally designed as an exhibit for the 1964 World's Fair in New York. It served as a salute to UNICEF.
  • After two seasons at the New York World’s Fair, “it’s a small world” moved to Disneyland, where it was expanded and then reopened as a major attraction in 1966. Shipping stickers from 1965 can still be found on the back of some set pieces.
  • During a 16-hour operating day, the “It’s a Small World” song is played approximately 1,200 times.
  • Disneyland Resort Horticulture creates and maintains the animal-shaped topiary plants outside “it’s a small world.” It often takes five years before a topiary figure is ready for its onstage debut.
  • The 30-foot-high clock tower is the centerpiece of theentrance to “it’s a small world.” The clock marks the quarter hour with a parade of colorful international "characters,” along with animated props and music. Guests may see a boy from Italy rowing a gondola, a kimono-clad girl from Japan with a parasol, a girl from Africa carrying a pot on her head, a boy from Mexico doing the traditional hat dance with maracas, a boy from Australia throwing a boomerang and a girl from Egypt posed as an ancient Cleopatra wall painting.


The Dolls
Alice Davis with one of her dolls at the Disney Archives.

  • The dolls were designed by iconic Disney artist and Disney Legend Mary Blair and costumed by famed costume designer and Disney Legend Alice Davis.

  • "it's a small world" has a specific doll that is a nod to Mary Blair. Keep an eye out for the little blonde with glasses, flying from a balloon over the Eiffel Tower in the Paris scene.
  • “it’s a small world” has more than 240 Audio-Animatronics figures representing children from around the world.
Cinderella inside "it's a small world."
  • Disneyland's it’s a small world” features dolls dressed as  classic Disney characters, including Ariel and Flounder (“The Little Mermaid”)  in the Pacific Island scene; Mulan and Mushu (“Mulan”) in Asia; Aladdin and Jasmine (“Aladdin”) in the Middle East; and Donald Duck, Panchito and Jose Carioca (“The Three Caballeros”) in Latin America. If you look carefully, you'll also see Pixar pals like Nemo, Dory, Woody and Jessie.


The Song

    One of the highlights of my life: meeting
    Richard Sherman at the Disney Archives.
  • The “It’s a Small World” song was composed by Richard  . and Robert S. Sherman, the composers of “Mary Poppins,” at the request of Walt Disney. (The Shermans have also been named Disney Legends.) Arranged and orchestrated with instruments from all over the world – bagpipes in the attraction’s Scotland scene, Peruvian reed flutes, Tahitian drums, etc. – the music not only provides accents to each scene, it underscores the attraction’s theme of unity.
  • The original concept for the attraction featured the dolls singing the national anthems of the various countries. The result was, in Richard Sherman’s words, “a cacophony.” The Sherman Brothers composed a simple song that could be translated into many languages and sung consistently throughout the attraction.


Attraction Tips

  • The attraction has two lines and while queue to the left appears to be shorter, the queue to the right moves faster. This is true for two reasons. First, because the left queue looks shorter, guests automatically select it. Second, guests with special assistance passes are loaded on the attraction on that side thus increasing the amount of guests accessing the attraction from that side with a second queue for those guests and the rest of their party.
  • If you think 'it's a small world" smells sweet during holiday time, it does! 

What is your favorite scene in "it's a small world?"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fun ways to celebrate 50 years of "it's a small world!"



Today, Disney announced big news for "it's a small world."
The attraction celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 10 and between now and then there's plenty that fans can do to help celebrate half a century of this classic attraction and song.
  • On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”
  • Fans around the world also are invited to join the global sing-along virtually on the site SmallWorld50.com that launches today as a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000. Disney began its relationship with UNICEF in 1964 with the debut of "it's a small world" at the New York World's Fair. More recently, Disney and UNICEF have worked together to create a brighter tomorrow for thousands of children through programming that helps foster imagination and creativity.
  • Google Hangouts for sing-a-longs will also be hosted on the Small World site on April 10. (See SmallWorld50.com for more details.)
Want to get inspired to sing along? Check out this video from the amazing and talented, Richard Sherman and singers from around the world.

  • Disney Store adds to the Golden Anniversary celebration with the “it’s a small world” doll collection, inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction, and stores nationwide will offer fans a chance to celebrate at “it’s a small world” events. From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, children are invited to visit a participating Disney Store to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “It’s a Small World” along the way. Guests are encouraged to call their local Disney Store or visit DisneyStore.com to confirm participation and details.
Between now and April 10, stay tuned here at Babes In Disneyland for really great posts about the history of "it's a small world."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Disneyland Princess Guide



For my family no Disneyland Resort trip is complete without several character meet-and-greets.   There have been many visits where we've spent more time meeting and taking pictures with characters than riding rides, which I love by the way. Now that my four-year-old daughter is a princess fan we've taken to splitting our time between the characters located on Main Street U.S.A (i.e. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Chip & Dale, Queen of Hearts, etc.) and visiting the different princess meet-and-greet locations throughout the Park.  While all character meet-and-greets are subject to change, there are many ways you can check to see if and what time a particular character will available during your visit. City Hall or the Information Board and the Disneyland Resort Cast Members accompanying other characters are all great resources for character information. You can also send a tweet to @DisneylandToday and ask them when and where to find your kiddo's favorite princess.
Ariel in Fantasy Faire

To help in planning your next trip I've created a princess meet-and-greet guide complete with the locations and princesses you might expect to find in each. 

The Royal Hall at Princess Fantasy Faire

While visiting the Royal Hall located in Fantasy Faire you can expect to meet with Aurora, Cinderella, and Ariel.  





The Royal Theater at Princess Fantasy Faire
For a short time after each live show, either Belle and/ or Rapunzel will be on hand for photos and autographs. 





Aladdin's Oasis

Located in Adventureland, Aladdin's Oasis is where you will be able to meet with Aladdin and/ or Jasmine.

 

Snow White's Grotto

As it's name suggests Snow White's Grotto is home to Snow White, I've often seen both Snow White and the Evil Queen in this location.



Fairytale Garden

Located in the Fairytale Garden next to "it's a small world", Merida the heroine from Pixar's Brave is a delight to meet.



Fantasyland

Across from King Arthur Carousel and next to Village Haus Restaurant is the meet-and-greet location for Elsa and Anna from Frozen.



New Orleans Square

Princess Tiana will be relocating from Fantasy Faire to New Orleans Square for meet-and-greets.


While the princesses are most likely to be found in the locations above they will still be available for meet-and-greets on Main Street, inside the turnstiles next to the Mickey floral portrait, at character dining restaurants (like Ariel's Grotto at Disney California Adventure) and other locations throughout Disneyland. 
Be sure to follow Kendra on Twitter and Instagram @kendrakuske for more updates and photos.