Sunday, May 31, 2015

The new Grizzly Peak Area: Retheming Condor Flats

Another thing we had to check out on our recent visit to Disneyland Resort was the re theming of Condor Flats which reopened just in time for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary.

  If you visited DCA when it first opened and compared it to today --you would see that almost all the areas have had some changes.   Carsland and Bug's Land and Tower of Terror didn't even exist.  Buena Vista street was a major change  and Paradise Pier went through a re theme awhile back as well.    Condor Flats is now gone and has been replaced with the extension of the Grizzly Peak area that originally included the Grizzly River Run and Redcreek Trial area.   Condor Flats was basically just Soaring and Test Pilot's Grill so the re theme basically just ties that area together.  Now it is a part of Grizzly Peak.

Here is the new entrance signage for the area.

Test Pilot's Grill used to look like this......

 Now it looks like  this and has a new name the Smokejumpers Grill.  Basically the same food --(with one big change that I will get to when I review the new restaurant).

Here is some of the new look at the restaurant.

Soaring the ride is the same --but the gone is the Jet engine mister that has been replaced by a Ranger tower and the ride has new signage as well

The Fly and Buy Store has now been re themed to one of my favorite lesser know Disney characters now has his name in the parks.   I hope he gets some merchandise as well.  Humphrey the Bear is a classic Disney character from several old Disney cartoon's that made a little comeback on the House of Mouse cartoon show.

Here is my Favorite Bear

Here is some of more of the 

Here is some of the new Smokey the Bear Merchandise

The new sign that leads around the corner to Grizzly River Run area

I absolutely love the new look which matches and flows really well with the Grand Californian hotel as well.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

A Disney Parks Restaurant Review: Review #1 The Corn Dog Cart

I decided to start adding some Disney Parks Restaurant reviews to the blog after going on our recent trip to Walt Disneyworld.  We ate at many great places on our trip and I figured I would have plenty to talk about from Disneyland –since we have  pretty much tried everywhere at Disneyland.   The list of restaurants to work through is big…so where should I start??    I thought long and hard and decided –the place to start was the corn dog cart.
Yes you heard that right I said the Corn Dog Cart.  

 A staple at the end of Main Street in Disneyland –on the right hand side on the way to Tomorrowland.

Once the cart opens the lines get long and that is for a reason.
These are no ordinary corn dogs.    Before trying the Corn Dog Cart I used to occasionally visit the Wienerschnitzel  near my old work in Torrance for lunch.   After a Corn Dog from Disneyland –Wienerschnitzel will never be good enough.  One Corn Dog from this Disneyland icon is a meal.   And it is sooooo good.  The cornbread coating on these corn dogs is so tasty – the secret Disneyland recipe must have a little magic in it. I dare anyone that likes corn dogs to try this and tell me it isn’t the best corn dog ever.  Hot Dog on a stick has nothing on this Disneyland gem.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Disneyland Pictures of the Week: Star Wars is coming

I was just recently at the big Star Wars celebration in Anaheim –literally right across the street from Disneyland.

I found the lack of a big announcement regarding anything new coming to the theme parks  disturbing.  

When you go to a big convention like Star Wars Celebration excitement is in the air.  I joked and said "How do you make 40,000 nerds them a Star Wars trailer in an arena"   With at least 6 new films on the way you could feel the joy for Star Wars at the  convention. After the convention a natural depression sets in. Kind of a post convention dulldroms.   All the anticipation for the convention is over and the wait begins for the next big thing.

Then the jealously sets in…..  You see Disney’s Hollywood Studios gets 4 weeks of Star Wars every year already.
It is sort of like a 4 week convention with panels and celebrities and cool things like a make shift Star Wars lounge and the Sci-Fi Dine in getting a Star Wars themed breakfast –with the trailer and clips from the films in the background.    (I’m not sure why they don’t just have this there all the time).    Being on the West Coast I sat here wishing we had a Sci Fi dine in…..Wishing we got a Star Wars weekend with special Star Wars themed drinks and light up Millennium Falcon  ice cubes.

Well when we went out to the parks this weekend to check out some of the new 60th Anniversary stuff.  We first saw this.

A Lemonade stand with  a Boba Fett cup?

A Han Solo in Carbonite Popcorn –bucket….I thought these were only in Orlando.

And the light up ice cubes. (The glass is from Target)

Star Wars is coming…The news that Indy is getting a bar in Disney Springs only makes me more confident that something big for Star Wars is coming soon.   Star Wars is Disney's Harry Potterso  it is just a matter of time before the big plans they are working one come to light.  If you follow Disney as closely as I do you will remember those crates at the last D23 teasing that they were Blue Skying something Star Wars related.   Well the movie is now around 200 days away so I bet something big is coming soon.

I'm shocked that they didn't move the Force Awakens Props exhibit across the street once the Convention was over. I could see that exhibit that had 2 plus hour lines at the convention where the Tomorrowland props are now---or in Innoventions.

Check out Part 2 of our Disney Discussion on our Podcast

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Adult Drinks at Disneyland Part 2 Carthay Circle Lounge : 60th Anniversary drink

The Carthay Circle Lounge is a great place to stop and have a cocktail at the Disneyland Resort.  Located in the Carthay Circle Theater inside of DCA.  It is like stepping into a piece of history.
The building is a recreation of the Carthay Circle Theater where Snow White first premiered back when it was released .
 We stopped by the Lounge the other day to have a drink and escape the crowds.  It was is all decked out to Celebrate Disneyland's  60th Anniversary.

The Carthay Circle  Lounge is a stylish lobby lounge that serves appetizers  and craft cocktails.  It is decorated with old black and white photos of Walt from back in the day.   It has a main section which serves as a waiting area for the restaurant upstairs and a separate section that is connected to the bar and open kitchen.
Drop by to enjoy a wide selection of wines and craft cocktails that include flight of Scotch, Whiskey, Rum and much more.

I had to try one of the special 60th Anniversary drinks made for Disneyland's celebration.

The Carthay Diamond Manhattan which comes with a Diamond shaped ice cube.  The drink was good although out of my normal comfort zone -but I couldn't resist trying something new.

Here is a description of the drink from the menu.

And Here is a Video from the Disney Blog on how to make the drink at home.  I love that Disney has a video series on how to make some of their signature  drinks.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomorrowland Movie Sneak Peek: (The Small World Ride will never be the same again)

Disneyland's 60th Anniversary has officially kicked off.   It was time to return to the park and start to catch up on everything that is going on.   Our first stop was the Tomorrowland sneak peek in while Tomorrowland of course.
The movie Sneak Peek is currently in the old Captain EO theater and like the other sneak peeks that Disneyland has shown it was great.  This Sneak Peeks really make you want to see the movies and once again wish that the whole movie could be shown with the in theater effects.    The sneak peeks really blow you away –(literally in the case of the wind effects in the jet pack sneak peek scene).  

 My wife asked “ Why do we need to see the sneak peek –we are going to see the movie itself next week and we have already seen the long trailer—it will be just the same?”   Well after we saw the sneak peek she didn’t feel the same .  The in theater effects and extended scene were tremendous.  It covered stuff not previously seen in the trailers and just sparked my imagination for what the film will hold.

With cool displays from the 1964 World Fair and clips of Walt himself it really set the perfect mood.

The Small World factor:
 After watching this movie or sneak peek you will probably never look at the Small World ride the same again.   I personally used to wonder as a kid where the boats went when you see the routes that go off stage.   Having worked at the parks and on the subs in particular I know as an adult that it is probably into a repair shop or just off track storage,  but my imagination as a child always pictured some secret ride sections or something amazing.    
The directors of this movie must have thought the same thing –because they reignited all those childhood fantasies all over again.  See the film and you will know what I’m talking about.

In addition to the sneak peek for the movie that once again made it a must see for me—there was a cool little exhibit in the Starcade that had props and concept art from the film.   Here is a sample of some of what is there.  The concept art is amazing...I wish Tomorrowland looked like the Tomorrowland from the film.

 I pondered in a separate blog that I hoped for but didn’t expect Disney to give the same treatment to  Avengers and Star Wars –since those movies are so big that they practically market themselves.  Avengers has come and gone with no such sneak peel (I was unfortunately right).   I so wish they would have a Star Wars Force Awakens one….but that seems unlikely.

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