Over The Top Mommy

Disney

Guide to Making the Most of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

It’s the merriest and most wonderful time of year at the Disneyland Resort. The hustle and bustle along Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street is in full swing. With holiday decor and twinkling lights all around, both parks are adorned and ready for guests of all ages to visit this holiday season.disneyland-holidays-sleeping-beauty-castle-adornedDisney-Holidays-Buena-Vista-StreetOur family spent a day out at the resort taking in all of the sights, sounds, and holiday fun to be had. I think it’s my most favorite time of year to visit.disneyland-holidays-with-mickeyFrom riding special holiday attractions like “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday to watching A Christmas Fantasy Parade and “Believe….in Holiday Magic” Fireworks to enjoying holiday treats and offerings in the Festive Foods Marketplace at the Disney Festival of Holidays, we had an excited and jam-packed day.disneyland-holidays-castle-1I feel as giddy as a little girl when I visit Disneyland Resort this time of year. Of course, I could actually say that about every visit there! Do you feel that way too?holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-2Since there’s so much to do at Disneyland Resort this holiday season, I’ve put together a a guide for you to be able to make the most of your visit. You don’t want to miss out on any of the magic of both parks. I highly suggest a multi-day ticket, so you can take more time exploring each of the parks’ holiday offerings. However, it is possible to fit a lot of the holiday magic into just one day. Here’s my best advice. I hope it’s helpful.guide-to-making-the-most-of-holidays-at-the-disneyland-resortSpend some time planning before you go
I’m a definite planner so before each of our visits, I’ve found myself looking online, on the Disneyland Official Site, looking at Park Hours and the Entertainment Schedule for the day we’re going to visit. It’s a great way to plan ahead and have an idea in your head of how you should map our your stay. The site also has a ton of other info, including Disneyland Resort hotel information if you’re looking to make it a complete vacation experience.disneyland-holidays-mainstreet-at-nightDownload the Disneyland Mobile App
It’s the most magical app and the official app for the Disneyland Resort. Download it on App Store and/or get it on Google Play. The Disneyland Mobile App allows you to do such things as see park hours and maps, check wait times, buy park tickets, check FASTPASS return times, see restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view Disney PhotoPass photos, locate Disney Characters, and so much more. For more info about the Disneyland Mobil app, go here.disneyland-appDo add Disney MAXPass to your ticket
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about Disney MaxPass. If you haven’t, it’s a great feature to add to your park ticket (or Annual Pass) for $10 a person. MaxPass allows you to schedule your FASTPASS reservations to your ticket ELECTRONICALLY from your phone, through the Disneyland app. What this means is you don’t have to walk over to the attraction you’re hoping to grab a FASTPASS for. You can just schedule it from your phone. You can even be in the other park as you make your reservation. It’s such a great feature. Plus, it allows gives you access to download , save, and share, all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. Character photos, family photos, photos from designated attractions! It’s a great option to add and I highly recommend exploring it, especially during the holiday season. For more information about MaxPass, go here.disney-max-pass-imagedisneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passMake a dining reservation beforehand
There are so many dining options at Disneyland Resort. Some are quick dining while others are table service. There are also grab & go food options throughout both parks. I highly suggest you make 1 dining reservation ahead of time. During the holiday season, the table service restaurants can be extra busy and I know for our family, when the hunger hits, there’s only one way to make everyone better and get them back into a good mood: FOOD! It’s easy to make a dining reservation on the app or on the site. You can also call 714) 781-3463.to make one.disneyland-grilled-cheeseStrive to make it to park opening
There are a couple advantages of making it there before opening. I feel like the parking situation is lighter when it’s early in the morning. Also, if you are there early, you’ll have better access to FastPass+ reservations, especially for the big ticket attractions that tend to “sell out” quickly. My favorite reason to get to the parks before opening is to be able to experience “Rope Drop”, which is a fun countdown right before they allow guests to head into the park. Also, if you make Rope Drop in Disneyland Park, you’ll be able to see a bunch of Cast Members all along Main Street, U.S.A. as they are giving out High 4’s to guests! (They wear Mickey gloves so that’s why it’s a “High 4”). There’s truly nothing like being in one of the parks at opening though.

Utilize Disney PhotoPass Services
PhotoPass photographers are all throughout both parks and are your best bet to capture the best shots from your visit. They are equipped with professional equipment and are set up in front of attractions, with characters, and some other fun places. They also know how to capture your best side, in the day or nighttime. I already shared that one of the benefits to adding MaxPass to your day is the ablity to access all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. It’s the best money you’ll spend and our own family loves to use one of the PhotoPass photos for our own holiday card.disneyland-holidays-photopass-with-tree-1Seek out special holiday-inspired attractions
During the holidays at Disneyland Resort, there are a few attractions that have holiday overlays and you won’t want to miss out on experiencing any of them. In Disneyland Park set sail aboard “it’s a small world” Holiday and hop on a dune buggy in Haunted Mansion Holiday. In Disney California Adventure Park, be sure to get over to CarsLand and take a holly jolly spin on Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl. Once January 7 passes, these specially transformed attractions will go back to their original versions. (Kind of like what happened to Cinderella at midnight.)holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-1Enjoy all the holiday treats
Although there are many foods I enjoy eating when I’m visiting the parks, my most favorite this time of year are the holiday treats. Whether it’s a special bakery treat, a hand-twisted candy cane or something warm and festive to sip on, the holiday treat offerings at the Disneyland Resort are not to be missed!disneyland-holidays-festive-treats-1Watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade
There are usually 2 performances of “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” each day. It’s a beautiful parade that the whole family will enjoy watching together. All of your favorite characters and princesses make an appearance, dressed in holiday attire, as do Santa and Mrs. Claus.disneyland-holidays-santa-in-parade-1

disneyland-holidays-a-christmas-fantasy-parade-gingerbread-manFireworks are a must!
There’s nothing ore magical than watching the nightly “Believe…in Holiday Magic” Fireworks at Disneyland Park. It’s one of our family’s favorite parts about nighttime in Disneyland Park during the holidays. Be sure to plan out where you’ll want to watch it from and try to get a spot a little early.disneyland-holidays-fireworksSave room for “The Festival of Holidays” food
Over at Disney’s California Adventure Park you’ll find 12 different kiosks set up for the “Festival of Holidays”. For more information about the foods and offerings this year, go here.disneyland-holidays-festival-of-holidays-sign-1Celebrate the season with the entertainment at Disney Festival of Holidays
In Disney California Park, there is a full lineup of holiday-inspired performances that’ll warm your heart. Be sure to check times for live music and dancing, as well as performance times of the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street party.disneyland-holidays-viva-navidad-signLook for special holiday merchandise – Every year, I look forward to the newest holiday EARs available in the shops. I had a tough time deciding this year between the black sequinned Minnie EARs with a plaid bow or the red sequinned ones with a green bow, so I bought both! I just coudn’t resist! There is so much fun holiday-inspired merchandise to choose from this time of year. It makes my Disney heart happy!disneyland-holidays-mickey-merchandisedisneyland-holidays-merchandise-ears-1disneyland-holidays-red-sparkly-earsThere’s truly no better time like the present to create new holiday memories that will last a lifetime and no better place to do so than the Disneyland Resort! Do you have plans to visit this year? Share with me in the comments. Just be sure to do so before January 7th! Happy Holidays!\\

Some images are property of Disney. 

Pixar Fest Set to Open at the Disneyland Resort April 13, 2018

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

We just got one more reason to be excited about spring! I know, I know, winter hasn’t even started yet. The holidays at the Disneyland Resort have yet to even arrive, but now there’s something to be excited about come spring: Pixar Fest at the Disneyland Resort! It’s going to be the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks and will bring guests together to celebrate friendship and beyond beginning April 13, 2018!pixar-fest-at-the-disneyland-resortThis limited time event will bring some of the beloved stories from Pixar Animation Studios
to life in new ways, at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks,, with characters and experiences from films such as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story”, “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up.” Guests will join the fun as they experience so many new additions in both parks. together-forever-fireworksA new fireworks spectacular – “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” will
celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland,
connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. Along with dazzling
pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of
friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation. Guests are invited to embark on
an emotional journey that begins with the meeting of unlikely Pixar pals and follows their
adventures as they overcome obstacles and forge everlasting friendships. “Together
Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty
Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and
the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. The grand tradition of Tinker Bell flying over
Sleeping Beauty Castle also gets a Pixar twist, with a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear.pixar-fest-play-paradeTwo favorite parades will return to the Resort, both with fresh new Pixar surprises – .  For the first time, “Pixar Play Parade” will make its way through Disneyland Park this spring, and it’s being led by someone new. The parade will begin just as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by Pixar’s iconic lamp from the short film “Luxo Jr.” Other new parade elements will welcome characters from “Up” and “Inside Out.”pixar-fest-play-parade-2Also on April 13, the guest-favorite “Paint the Night” parade returns, and this time the
parade’s 1.5 million, brilliant LED lights and catchy tunes come to Disney California
Adventure. “Paint the Night” features pals from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters,
Inc.” and “Cars.” And another beloved Pixar story will join “Paint the Night” later in the
year, adding to this guest-favorite experience.

During PIxar Fest, guests can admire some new décor brought in for this limited time event. There will also be creatively themed food and beverage throughout the parks, as well as:

  • Exclusive event merchandise – For those who wish to get into character and celebrate friendship, an exclusive Pixar Fest charm bracelet will be part of the merchandise selection. With multiple bracelet options and a variety of charms with fun friendship messages and Pixar characters, guests can mix and match for themselves, or friends and family.
  • A collection of Pixar Shorts – Stop by the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney California Adventure during most of Pixar Fest, to watch a collection of Pixar Shorts, including favorites such as “For the Birds” and “LAVA.” The short films will rotate during the celebration.
  • A musical troupe– Guests will be entertained with Pixar-inspired performances in the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure.Opportunities to meet n’ greet Pixar characters – A celebration of friendship this big is only complete with beloved characters like Buzz, Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Mike and Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.,” Nemo and Dory from “Finding Nemo,” and Lighting McQueen and Mater from “Cars.” Those pals – and more – will be part of the fun at Pixar Fest.

Some exciting changes will be added to some of the existing attractions and entertainment in the parks that feature many favorite Pixar characters. Here’s what to expect:
At Disneyland

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: In this interactive attraction, guests fire lasers to
    help battle Evil Emperor Zurg, who is trying steal the batteries from helpless toys.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Guests take a submarine voyage to explore
    the world of Nemo and his underwater friends.
  • “it’s a small world”: Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from “Toy Story” are among
    the many toys and dolls found in this classic attraction.
  • Character encounters with Pixar pals: Guests can continue to meet Merida
    from “Brave” in Fantasyland and Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story” in
    Frontierland.
  • “Fantasmic!”: Favorite Pixar characters appear in the finale of “Fantasmic!”
    nightly on the Rivers of America.

At Disney California Adventure

  • Cars Land: Guests step into the world of Radiator Springs with three attractions
    plus themed shopping and dining locations across 12 acres.
  • Toy Story Mania!: Guests shrink to the size of toys and take aim at objects to
    score points in 4D midway-inspired carnival games hosted by the characters
    from the “Toy Story” films.
  • “a bug’s land”: Shrinking to the size of a bug, guests experience this story
    through family-friendly attractions.
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: Guests take a wild taxi ride
    through Monstropolis with Mike and Sulley as they search for their lost human
    friend, Boo.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush: Crush, the sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” interacts with
    guests in live, real-time, animated conversations.
  • “World of Color”: Characters from “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E,” “Toy Story,” “Up”
    and “a bug’s life” appear in this nighttime water spectacular which combines
    animation, music, lights and color with more than 1,200 fountains.
  • DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive: Interactive dance party in Cars Land invites guests to
    move to the music.

Spring is looking to be an extra exciting time at the Disneyland Resort. For more information, please visit here.

5 Great Reasons to Stay at The Grand Legacy at the Park in Anaheim

I was provided with accommodations in order to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

I recently stayed at the Grand Legacy at the Park in Anaheim with a group of girlfriends and it was so much fun! We were there on the weekend of CHOC Walk in the Park and it was so convenient to stay there because this hotel is just across the street from the Disneyland Resort in the heart of Anaheim.
grand-legacy-at-the-park-friendschoc-walk-pin“The Grand” isn’t a new property, although it was recently renovated in a big way, but the hotel has been a family favorite for over 40 years. grand-legacy-at-the-park-lobby-1Today I want to give you just 5 of the reasons you should book a stay sat the Grand Legacy at the Park on your next trip to Anaheim.5-great-reasons-to-stay-at-the-grand-legacy-at-the-park-in-anaheimLocation, location, location
The Grand Legacy at the Park is a prime location, literally across the street from Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District. What this means is you have easy access to walk to and from the Parks. There’s really something to be said about staying so close by. You don’t have to even think about driving to the Resort and paying for parking there. It’s also convenient because you have the option of returning to the hotel to rest and recharge at any time during the day, if you need to. Families traveling with children know the importance of naps and this location allows you to go back and do so easily, without having to travel very far. Sometimes you realize you might need to change your outfit or shoes, grab a jacket, or even go back and get something you forgot to bring to the Parks. Knowing your hotel room isn’t very far away is really reassuring. For me, location is key, especially on a family vacation.disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-mickeyThey have newly renovated rooms and suites grand-legacy-at-the-park-lobby-2The Grand Legacy at the Park went through a major renovation just last year, which included a brand new lobby and new suites, some that are even facing the Disneyland Resort!grand-legacy-at-the-park-room-2grand-legacy-at-the-park-bathroom-2 grand-legacy-at-the-park-bathroom-1The hotel offers renovated rooms that range from Classic 2 Double Beds up to Grand Legacy 3 Room Suites. Whichever room you stay in, you’ll find all the comforts of home with these amenities:

  • a mini-refrigerator, microwave
  • tea and coffee-making facilities
  • Wi-Fi
  • complimentary Tarocco toiletries

grand-legacy-at-the-park-tarocco-1

grand-legacy-at-the-park-tarocco-2Other amenities you’ll find at the Grand Legacy at the Park include a complimentary Snack Bag” (includes seasonal fruit, water, a granola bar, and string cheese.) which you can grab and take with you in the morning if you’re leaving early but don’t want to take the time to have a full breakfast.There are also 2 self-service coin laundries available on property, along with 24 hour dry-cleaning. Roll-away beds and cribs are available for Deluxe, Premier, Luxury, and Suites at no extra charge and are based on availability. Car parking is $15.00 plus 17% tax/fees per car, per night, with a limit of two cars per reservation. For reservations in our Classic, Deluxe, and Premier rooms, the second car parking fee will be $25.00 plus 17% tax/fees per night. They also offer valet at no additional cost for your convenience. While you’re staying at The Grand, you’ll also want to take advantage of the heated pool, which features a beach entry and a kids area. grand-legacy-at-the-park-hotel-poolThe Grand Legacy at the park is home to Anaheim’s ONLY Rooftop Bar
Another really great reason you’ll want to stay at the Grand is because up on the rooftop, you;ll find Anaheim’s only rooftop restaurant & bar, The FIFTH. thefifth-logo-grey-300x154You can enjoy an assortment of artisan cocktails, craft beers, and delicious small plates perfect to share in the 5000 square foot open-air rooftop.grand-legacy-at-the-park-the-fifth-drinks There are fire pits and plenty of seating all around, allowing guests to get a fabulous view of the Anaheim skyline, along with the nightly Disneyland® Resort fireworks. (when available)the-fifth-1 The FIFTH is also a great location for a special occasion or celebration and is available to book for private parties. For more information about reserving the space for your special occasion, you can email:  [email protected] Please note: The FIFTH welcomes guests of all ages but becomes 21 & over at 10pm each night.grand-legacy-at-the-park-the-fifth-with-friendsThere are great food options adjacent to the hotel
One of the unique features about this hotel is there are food options you’re going to love, adjacent to the hotel. They are actually just outside of the hotel and offer you the option of eating there or bringing the food back to your hotel room. grand-legacy-at-the-park-jimboys-tacosYou’ll find a Jimboy’s Tacos, Pizzaterian, and a Creamistry. When I’m traveling, especially with my family, I like to have several options to choose from so that everyone can find something to eat that they like.creamistry-mint-chipcreamistry-rainbow-sprinklesFor your convenience, there’s also a Discount Tickets & Tours and an Alpha Gift  Mart also located next to these eateries.

grand-legacy-at-the-park-ticket-machineIt’s in the heart of Orange County and close to many other nearby attractions 
Although I keep mentioning Disneyland Resort, Grand Legacy at the Park hotel is also close to a variety of other nearby attractions and destinations in the Orange County area, some of which include:

  • Anaheim Gardenwalk
  • Anaheim Convention Center
  • The Grove of Anaheim
  • Angel Stadium
  • Honda Center
  • Anaheim Packing House
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Knott’s Soak City
  • Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure
  • Discovery Cube OC

The Grand Legacy at the Park is really a great hotel to stay at when you’re visiting Southern California. Whether it’s for a family vacation, a convention, a runDisney event, a business trip, etc. you’ll be pleased to know that they also run incredible specials year-round and have great packages, even offer an Annual Passport Special, so you’ll want to sign up here to receive their newsletter in your inbox. Hotel guests can even purchase Disneyland® Resort tickets at the front desk. To check rates or make a reservation, please visit here or call 714.772.0440 or 800.854.6097.

Grand Legacy at the Park is located at

1650 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92802

You can connect with Grand Legacy at the Park on Facebook ,Instagram, and Twitter.

Some images and logo are property of Grand Legacy at the Park. 

New for Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort: Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

As if Disney fans weren’t already thrilled enough when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened back in May at Disney California Adventure Park…, now they’re in for a scary Halloween treat as the attraction is transformed nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark!  guardians-of-the-galaxy-mission-breakout-outsideThe creepy chaos of creatures on the loose and Rocket scheming to save Groot adds to the high-energy action, only during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, Sept. 15 – Oct. 31, 2017!

guardians-of-the-galaxy-monsters-after-dark-logo
In Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Rocket finds his Guardians of the Galaxy pals trapped in the Fortress of The Collector, Taneleer Tivan, and guests assist him with a daring escape plan. The Monsters After Dark transformation picks up moments afterward, as Rocket discovers that in the hurry to free his friends, they have inadvertently left Groot behind. Now Rocket needs to distract all the monsters he has unleashed inside the Fortress, and he enlists the guests to help while he rescues his little friend.

“The Monsters After Dark story hinges on irreverence, on top of the irreverence that’s already in the attraction. “It’s creepy, chaotic and very funny.” – Joe Rohde, creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering.

The attraction transforms from Mission: BREAKOUT! to Monsters After Dark each evening. The Collector’s Fortress goes dark, alarms sound and all-new lighting on the exterior of the Fortress alerts guests that something inside has gone awry. As guests enter the Lobby of the Fortress, they may be startled by flashing alarms and creepy sounds – warning signs that creatures have escaped their vitrine cages and all kinds of chaos is erupting. The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant Apheta tries to keep calm by reassuring guests that all is in order, and this is just a momentary setback.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-mission-breakout-mixed-tapeIn keeping with the dark humor of the experience, all-new 1970s-style punk rock song,
“Monsters After Dark,” enhances the thrill of the experience. The song was written especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark is only available during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.mickeys-halloween-party-mickey-and-minnie

To check park time guides or the timing of this nightly transformation, visit  http://Disneyland.com. You should also keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Some photos and logo are property of Disney. 

3 Reasons YOU Should Apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel #DisneyMP

Last week, I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On-The-Road” at the Disneyland Resort and got the inside scoop about a variety of Disney-related news. One of the exciting announcements they made was about the official dates for the 2018 Disney Parks Moms Panel application period.disney-parks-moms-panel-screen This year, applicants will be able to apply for this amazing and unique opportunity beginning on September 6! The application window will only be open through September 13 and I don’t recommend waiting until the last minute to apply! This was the tweet that announced it on Twitter: disney-moms-tweet
What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel? 
The Disney Parks Moms Panel began back in 2008 as a simple, world-of-mouth forum and has evolved into a highly sought-after source for questions and answers about Disney vacation destinations. This online resource, comprised of a group of Disney loving moms (and dads), is where guests can receive helpful tips and heartfelt advice about Disney from a hand-picked, diverse and knowledgeable group of “moms” who exude a passion for Disney and have a love of helping others plan the ultimate Disney family vacation of their dreams.disneyland-park-here-you-leave-todayWhether guests have a question about a theme park, restaurant, service, shop, hotel or activity, the Moms Panel is there to help with that planning.

Here’s a cute video with an overview of the Moms Panel:

Each of the chosen panelists specializes in one of these categories:

  • Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
  • Disneyland Resort in California
  • runDisney events
  • Disney Vacation Club
  • Disney Cruise Line

Here are 3 reasons why YOU should consider applying for the Moms Panel this year:

Because You LOVE Disney
If you didn’t love Disney, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this right now, so you already have that going for you! If you’re like me, you are constantly being asked by family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else who knows you, about all things Disney. People just know that I love Disney and know they can always ask me questions about it. I may not always know the answer, but they probably figure I do. A love for Disney is what drives all of the Moms Panel applicants to go for it and you should too!summer-at-disneyland-resortIt’s a Magical, Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity 
How magical would it be to selected as one of the hand-picked panelists this year? It seems like such an amazing and unique opportunity to be able to help guests who are vacation planning and especially getting to do so in a area you love talking about and know the most about….DISNEY! Whether you were picked to help guests with Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, runDisney events, Disney Vacation Club, or Disney Cruise Line, it would be such a wonderful experience and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of it!my-amy-rose-studios-disney-portrait-smallerYou Have NOTHING to Lose By Applying, Only Something to Gain!
I will fully admit that before I ever applied for the Moms Panel, I really doubted myself and my abilities. Then I had a friend remind me that there was only something to gain if I applied and that I had nothing to lose. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on yourself and believe. You literally have nothing to lose by applying! Even after I didn’t advance past Round 1 the first year I applied, I still applied the following and made it to Round 2! It was very exciting. Who knows? Maybe if I apply this year, I’ll make it to Round 3 or even better, Round 4! You can make it, too!

Have I ever applied? 
If you’re wondering if I’ve applied before, the answer is YES! I’ve actually applied twice before. Although I didn’t make it to the final round and wasn’t selected, it was a great experience and every year I consider applying again. disney-parks-moms-panel-videoThe photo above was me attempting to make my video submission for Round 2 of the selection process. To read more about my experience about “What It’s Like to Apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel”, click here.disney-moms-on-twitter

So, are you ready to apply for this year’s Disney Parks Moms Panel? I sure hope you do! Don’t forgot to go here on September 6 at noon EDT, when the application window opens for Round 1. To see the latest updates, I highly recommend you follow @DisneyMoms on Twitter!

Video is property of Disney Parks Moms Panel. 

5 Tips to Make Your Day at Disneyland Resort Easier (MaxPass is Awesome!)

We were invited to a media day in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

It’s no secret that our family loves all things Disney. Creating new memories together in the parks is the best, especially having fun photos to look back at and remember our day.disneyland-summer-celebrate-summer-colorful-wallWe were invited to celebrate summer at Disneyland Resort, which happened to be the day Disneyland Railroad and the other Rivers of America attractions reopened, so it was a great day to be there!disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-davy-crocketts-explorer-canoesNow that Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Colombia, and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes, and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island reopened, all seems right in the world again! Just wait until you ride on Disneyland Railroad’s new route!  It’s been beautifully updated but they also kept all of the important and historial elements of this attraction and I bet you’ll be in awe for the entire train ride! I know we were!
disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-colombiaAdding to our excitement about being at Disneyland Resort was the opportunity to try out the new MaxPass. If you haven’t heard of it before, don’t worry, I’ll explain more. Just keep reading. By the way, MaxPass is awesome! disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passHere’s something you may not know about me: I’m planner and usually have a schedule of some type for most occasions, even if it’s just in my head and my family doesn’t know about it. (Shh, don’t tell them!)disneyland-fantasmic-fast-passes Planning your day out at Disney, even if it’s just a little bit, will help it go smoother. I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy being spontaneous at Disney, I just know that it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially on a busy day. As a mom, I always appreciate helpful tips I get from others. Today I want to share my own tips with you about how you can make your day in the parks much easier.5-ways-to-make-your-day-at-disneyland-resort-easier1) Download the Disneyland App
First off, I highly recommend downloading the Disneyland app and familiarizing yourself with it prior to your visit. It can be found in the App Store and is free. Once you have it downloaded, set up your account, using an email and password. I also recommend playing around with the app a little bit at home, to get to know where things are. It looks like this:

disneyland-appThe Disneyland app allows you to view current wait times, make FASTPASS selections through MaxPass, view your PhotoPass photos, locate show and parade times, and find amenities such as dining locations and restrooms. I assure you that having this set up ahead of time will alleviate the stress of hurrying to do so when you arrive at the Resort.

2) Add Disney MaxPass to your ticket (It’s totally worth it!)
We were super excited to try out MaxPass the day we visited. If you’re not familiar with what that is, don’t worry, it’s something new. disney-max-pass-imageDisney MaxPass is a feature you can add to your ticket and includes 2 great benefits to make the most of the magic! For $10 a day, per person, you’ll have access to PhotoPass services and be able to reserve digital FASTPASS selections for any of the 16 attractions that have this set up. (per availability)max-pass-review-and-confirm This is all done through the Disneyland app on your mobile device. (Now you see why I recommended downloading it!) With MaxPass, you have the convenience of scheduling your digital FASTPASS selections through your mobile device. With a regular FASTPASS, you have to walk over to the attraction to obtain it on your ticket through. You can also reserve a digital FASTPASS from either park, as long as you’re in one of them. It saves you so much time not having to walk back and forth. Your feet will actually thank you! I know mine did! disney-photopass-splashYou’ll also appreciate the Disney PhotoPass benefit included with MaxPass. You’ll be able to download your photos taken at select locations throughout the parks, character photos, and also photos from popular attractions. Sometimes the poses caught on the attraction photos are beyond hilarious and priceless!disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-mickeyWith PhotoPass benefits, you can almost instantly download your photos from the app and share them online. You’re also able to download them and print them out as keepsakes, once you’re home. For just $10 per person, per day, Disney MaxPass is totally worth it and makes your day so much easier.

3) Plan out your meals for the day
Have a plan for meals. This may sound a little too planned out but trying to deal with your family when they are hangry (that’s hungry + angry) is no joke! There are many different food options at Disneyland which include a ton of quick service restaurants and snack carts. disneyland-grilled-cheeseIf you think you might want an actual sit-down meal during your day, I recommend making that reservation before you even arrive at the parks. As soon as you download the Disneyland app, you can make a dining reservation. Some of the restaurants that offer dining reservations at Disneyland include Blue Bayou Restaurant, Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, Plaza Inn (offers character dining for breakfast), and River Belle Terrace. At Disney California Adventure Park you can make a reservation for Ariel’s Grotto (character dining) and Carthay Circle Restaurant. disneyland-resort-soupAlthough it’s super simple to make a dining reservation through the app, you can also always call 714.781.DINE or 714.781.3463 to make one also. For more info about all of the dining options at Disneyland Resort, go here.

4) Choose parades and shows you want to watch ahead of time 
On any given day that you choose to visit Disneyland Resort, there’s always a great lineup of shows to go see and parades to watch in both of the parks. You can get entertainment info for the day you’re visiting on the Disneyland app. Paper schedules are also available when you go through the Main gate at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.


Again, I recommend planning ahead because some of the shows may require you to get a FASTPASS early on in the day, such as World of Color and Fantasmic!. main-street-electrical-parade-signThere are also dining packages available for World of Color, Fantasmic! and Main Street Electrical Parade, which include preferred seating in the package. If you have an idea of what shows and/or parades you’re determined to watch, it will help drive the rest of your day. For a list of entertainment at Disneyland Resort, go here.

5) Carry a backpack and get a locker for the day! 
I can’t tell you just what a huge difference it makes for me to carry a backpack instead of a purse! It allows me to throw everything I’m going to need for the day inside the backpack and then just carry it around on my back and have the ability to have my hands freed up.disneyland-backpack-and-locker I also invest the money in a locker for items such as extra clothes and a change of shoes for nighttime and also to put my big camera if I happen to bring it and get tired of lugging it around. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it!

disneyland-resort-celebrate-summerI hope my tips are helpful for you! A very special thank you to Disneyland Resort for inviting our family to spend a special day in the parks. We hope to see you again real soon! Happy Summer!

Disney MaxPass image property of Disney Parks. 

 

 

Red Rose Taverne Now Open at Disneyland With a Beauty & the Beast-Inspired Menu

Exciting news! Red Rose Taverne, a Beauty & the Beast-inspired eatery is now open at Disneyland! Located in Fantasyland, inside the space that’s normally Village Haus, this quick-service restaurant offers a variety of delicious dishes that make you feel like you’re a guest in Beauty & the Beast.gaston-wall-decorAs you enter the restaurant, you’ll find subtle,decorative changes inside that vibe with the movie’s theme. I was there before it was fully finished so I only saw a few of the touches. (I can’t wait to visit again now that it’s all done.)mrs-pottsOn my visit, I didn’t have the chance to eat a full meal, although I did try the desserts. (see below)  I cannot wait to go back and sample some of these other menu offerings:

The Beast’s BurgerA 1/3 pound Angus beef patty, slow-cooked beef, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and horseradish aioli on a toasted roll.
Class Angus 1/3 lb CheeseburgerAn Angus beef patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato and signature sauce on a toasted roll.
Enchanted Cauli-Flower SandwichA grilled cauliflower steak, spicy lime aioli, tempura-battered green beans, lettuce and tomato on a toasted roll.
Slow-Cooked Beef Poutine Slow-cooked beef and gravy over seasoned waffle-cut fries, pickled onions and cheese curds.
Chicken Sandwich à la LumièreGrilled chicken breast, apple slaw, onion-bacon jam and fried cherry peppers on a toasted roll.
Chef’s Chopped SaladCabbage, Romaine and iceberg lettuce, smoked bacon, apple, hard-cooked eggs, blue cheese crumbles, garlic croutons and apple vinaigrette.
Poutine FlatbreadTopped with slow-cooked beef, pomme frites, roasted garlic aioli, cheese curds, gravy and herb oil.
Garden Mozzarella FlatbreadTopped with marinated tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce.
Pulled Pork FlatbreadTopped with pulled pork, roasted corn, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, pickled onions and cilantro

Red Rose Taverne also offers Kids’ Meals, referred to as “Chip’s Dishes”, and a Toddler Meal.

In addition to regular beverages, you can also order Gaston’s Famous Brew at Red Rose Taverne, which is an apple-mango punch topped with passion fruit foam. Guests have the option to order it in a souvenir mug for an additional $8.00. keepsake-mug-red-rose-taverneNow let’s talk about the desserts because that seems to be the most important part. I promise that you’ll want to stop by and enjoy one of each for yourself on your next visit to the Park!

I started off by trying some of “the Grey Stuff” They named it Grey Stuff Gateau. It’s a white chocolate mousse and red velvet cake with a sweet raspberry center and was delicious! the-grey-stuffNext, I tried the Lemon Rose Cake, which is a lemon mousse cake with strawberry-rose filling. This one was bright, colorful and oh-so-tasty.lemon-rose-cakeI also took home one of the Mrs. Potts Krispy treats so I could enjoy it the next day.mrs-potts-krispy-treatI’m really excited about everything going on right now at Disneyland Resort surrounding the upcoming release of Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast” in theaters on March 17th! Did you know that you can catch a special 8-minute sneak peek of the film right now in Disney’s California Adventure Park through March 26th?new-beauty-and-the-beast-posterStop by the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land to get an advance look of a scene from the movie, presented in 3D with special in-theater effects, presented continuously throughout the day. While you’re there, be sure to check out the special lobby display featuring a few costumes and props used in the production, too!

This is not a sponsored post. Artwork property of Disney. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

The Main Street Electrical Parade is Returning To Disneyland!

I was elated to find out some magical news last night on the Disney Parks Twitter….thetweet

Did you see? They announced that the Main Street Electrical Parade, currently residing at Walt Disney World, will have it’s final run (for now) at the Magic Kingdom on October 9th before it hits the road for California! This is the best news for Guests of the Disneyland Resort, although I do feel sad for anyone who will be missing this parade when it leaves Walt Disney World. The Main Street Electrical Parade, actually had a run as Disney’s Electrical Parade” at Disney California Adventure park from 2001 to 2010, but it hasn’t been in Disneyland park in 20 years, so we’re ecstatic! According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Main Street Electrical Parade will be at Disneyland as a limited-time encore engagement, at the beginning of 2017. tinkerbellCurrently, I just feel like Christmas came early! After it was just last week that the “Paint the Night” parade would be going dark at the end of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, this news about the Main Street Electrical Parade is so exciting. However, on the Disney Parks Blog they also announced that the “Paint the Night” parade will actually return on select nights during the holiday season later this year! Yay!

To keep up on the latest updates, you can visit the Disneyland our eye on Disneyland Resort’s Entertainment Calendar here.

This is not a sponsored post, I just like writing about Disney a lot! All opinions are 100% my own. Main Street Electrical Parade image property of Walt Disney Company.  

 

See ‘Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,’ a New Stage Musical, Now at Disney California Adventure Park

Today’s the day! It’s finally here! “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” a new theatrical
adaptation based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, opened today, at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park in Southern California. This new theatrical interpretation for the stage immerses audiences in the beloved world of Frozen and takes audiences on the heartwarming journey of Anna and Elsa, with all of the excitement of live theater. Under the direction of Tony Award® nominated Director Liesl Tommy, the show features elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, and show-stopping production numbers. An exceptionally large production, the show features an opening cast and crew of more than 200, six full musical numbers and a 2,200 square foot video wall which combine for an unforgettable theatrical experience. frozen-show-hyperion-theaterDisney Creative Entertainment, the arm of Walt Disney Imagineering responsible for live
theatrical entertainment at Disney Parks, has produced this new stage interpretation of “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” with all of the creativity and resources of its predecessor “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” which ran for a remarkable 13 years at the 2,000 seat Hyperion Theater.Frozen-at-the-hyperion-elsaAs would be expected from Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks, new technologies –
especially with projections, fabrics and special effects — will delight audiences in new and
unexpected ways. Guests are immersed in the world of “Frozen” from the moment they enter
the theater and are surrounded by a specially lit “Aurora” curtain. As the musical unfolds, the scenic design and large moving set pieces create a cinema-style energy enhanced by state-of-the-art projections that create dynamic environments for the performers. Custom sound design envelops the audience in music and audio effects. And, of course, there will be snow throughout the interior of the theater.” – on stage and over the audience. frozen-at-the-hyperion-elsa-and-ana“Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” is based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios “Frozen,”
which is the number one animated feature of all time. It is the winner of two Academy Awards
(2014) for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.

“While our production of ‘Frozen’ stays true to the heart and soul of the film, we have adapted it for the stage so it’s truly a musical theater production that befits our beautiful Hyperion Theater. The goal of this creative team is to take all audiences, including those who know the film, and those new to these characters, on this exciting and touching adventure with Anna and Elsa. We know that for many in the audience, adults and children alike, this production will be a first or rare theater-going experience, and we want to make it as magical as possible. – Dana Harrel, creative entertainment executive with Walt Disney Imagineering

frozen-at-the-hyperion-anaThe new adaptation features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score, Kristen
Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Up Here”) and Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q,” “The Book of
Mormon,” “Up Here”), and is adapted from the screenplay by four-time Tony Award® nominee Chad Beguelin (“Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” at Hyperion Theater; Broadway: “Gotta Dance,” “Aladdin,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Elf”). “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” is directed by Tommy, who was recently nominated for a Tony Award® for her Broadway show “Eclipsed.” The choreographer is Christopher Windom and this is his seventh collaboration with Tommy. The musical supervisor/arranger/adaptor is Jason Michael Webb, whose Broadway credits include “The Color Purple,” “Motown: The Musical,” “Violet,” and “Memphis.” Clint Ramos, the principal costume designer, was also nominated this year for a Tony Award® for his work on “Eclipsed.”  frozen-at-the-hyperion-theater-olaf1

“I am approaching ‘Frozen’ as I would any new work – to search the story for what resonates most emotionally, which is the story of the relationship between Anna and Elsa, their coming of age and conquering their worst fears. It’s what made the movie so intensely satisfying and fresh. The theatrical version of ‘Frozen’ that my designers and I are creating for the Hyperion builds on the film’s emotional intensity using beautiful performances, thrilling choreography and the most cutting-edge design elements.” – Liesl Tommy, Director

A great amount of creative energies have been employed to bring “Frozen – Live at the
Hyperion” to the stage. Harrel and Tommy have assembled a team of creative talent from both Broadway and Disney to create this production. The principal designers are Robert Brill (scenery), Charles Lapointe (wigs), David Weiner (lighting), Aaron Rhyne (projections) and Broken Chord (audio), and Ramos (costumes). frozen-live-at-the-hyperion-svenThe challenge of bringing the animated non-human characters of Sven and Olaf to the stage was assigned to master puppet designer Michael Curry, who co-designed with director Julie Taymor the animal creations of “The Lion King” on Broadway, the magic mirror in “Snow White: An Enchanted Musical” at Fantasyland Theatre, and many other Disney parades, shows and projects, as well as projects for Cirque du Soleil and the Metropolitan Opera. Curry’s intricate designs created for Olaf and Sven allow the performers to connect with the characters and bring them to life on stage in new ways. frozen-live-at-the-hyperion-olaf2More exciting news surrounding “Frozen” is that an entirely separate two-act Broadway production of “Frozen” is currently being prepared by Disney Theatrical Productions and is slated to join Disney Theatrical’s New York productions of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” for spring 2018 at a theater to be announced. It will have a pre-Broadway engagement starting in summer 2017 in Denver!

To locate daily performance times and Fast Pass information for “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,”, visit here.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. All photos are property of the Disneyland Resort.