Disneyland’s New Luxury Hotel- Coming Soon

Last year, Anaheim adopted a tax incentive to encourage development of luxury hotels by allowing 70% of the Transient Occupancy Tax paid by guests for the next 20 years, well you can guess, Disney is taking advantage of it. Smart move!

Here are two concept arts on what the hotel would look like:

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The hotel would be part of the Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland with Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel and Grand Californian Hotel.

This “flagship” hotel is a 700-room four-diamond hotel on 10 acres at 1401 Disney Drive which is at the north end of the Downtown Disney parking lot. Construction will begin in 2018 and is expected to open in 2021.

I better start saving. Is planning a trip in 2021 to far away? LOL

 

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Finding Dory Raises Questions

In excitement for watching “Finding Dory”, I watched “Finding Nemo” with my 8 month old son. After watching Crush and Squirt (sea turtles) talk with Marlin and Dory, I began to wonder if sea turtles really do swim in the East Australian Current.

I had the privilege to ask Dr. Stephen Dunbar, a professor at Loma Linda University School of Medicine department of earth and biological sciences, about this topic for an article piece called “Finding sea turtles: a green sea turtle’s view“. I found out, yes, there is such a thing as the EAC, although it’s not like a vacuum tunnel as portrayed in the movie. The current is moved by trade winds that occur in the Pacific westerly and easterly plus the Coriolis Effect due to earth’s rotation.

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Sadly, in reality, baby sea turtles don’t have a family to be with, instead they find their way back to the ocean by themselves. Baby sea turtles are immediately self-sufficient with no parental care and they don’t go with their siblings.

In the movie, the sea turtles are swimming together in hundreds, however, they do not do this in real life. They are individualistic creatures.

I also found out that turtles like Crush and Squirt are green sea turtles and they eat sea grass sometimes even injured lobsters, so Marlin and Dory were definitely lucky they didn’t eat them after they were injured by the jellies. Surprisingly enough, sea turtles can protect themselves from other preys by turning sideways and making themselves look bigger.

The most important question is…

Do sea turtles live to be 100 or 150 years old?

The answer is unknown because there is no possible way to find out.

So, go to Disneyland’s Turtle Talk with Crush and make sure you ask Crush questions about his sea life! It is just Toooootalllyyyyy Sweeeeeeet!

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New Pirates of the Caribbean Ride at Shanghai Disneyland

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Argh matey! There be tales to be told. Aye and that tale is the new Pirates of Caribbean ride at Shanghai Disneyland. Check out the video below:

Shaghai Disneyland will be the first Disney park with a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed land.

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According to The Verge, “Disneyland Shanghai isn’t scheduled to open until mid-June”, but the bar has been raised for other parks to start incorporating digital effects.

Will this themed park make you want to visit Shanghai Disneyland? How would you like to go on this ride?

 

2015 Halloween Time at Disneyland

The main question for this year’s Halloween time at Disneyland, is the Hatbox Ghost going to be there? The answer— YES!

2015 Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House

I don’t want to show any pictures of the Hatbox Ghost because it is just a surprising feature that you have to see for yourself, but great job Disney and that’s all I can say. Of course, when it comes to Disney are there any doubts, none at all.

What else?

Beginning September 15, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has become Bibbidi Bobbidi “Boo-tique” with a Minnie Mouse “witch”-inspired look, for children ages 3-12 years old.

Call 714-781-STYLE (714-781-7895) for Disneyland Resort or 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895) for Walt Disney World Resort.

Starting September 25, there is a new special dining package, “Mystical Spirits of the Blue Bayou” for a Halloween dining experience hosted by Dr. Facilier. The evening begins at 7:00 p.m. and according to Disney Parks Blog article, it is “an intimate, spooky dining experience with a themed three-course menu”.

Click here for more on Disneyland’s Halloween Time!

Disney Ends 60 Years of Coca-Cola Partnership and Works with Pepsi

It has been 60 years since Coca-Cola started working with Disney… since the opening day back in July 17, 1955 and now, it’s over.

Disney will be partnering up with Pepsi starting July 4, 2015 which is also Pepsi’s 50th birthday. Frito-Lay has been available to all Disney theme parks and extending their contract to include soft drinks was the idea.

Disneyland’s Refreshment Corner will have Pepsi fountain drinks and be changed to be called Club Cold sponsored by Pepsi.

Photo from Flickr

At World Disney World, the famous Club Cool which featured coke flavors from around the world will be changed to Mountain Dew’s Refreshment Corner, and will feature Mountain Dew drinks like Code Red, Voltage, Throwback, White Out, Live Wire, Johnson City Gold, Game Fuel Citrus Cherry, Game Fuel Lemonade, Baja Blast, and Solar Flare.

Photo from flickr

I think the switch will definitely be a change, I’m used to opening a bottle of coca-cola and imagining Walt Disney doing the same… I’m not too sure how it’s going to be. What do you think of the switch?

News came from Chipandco.com!!!! 😉

Rock Your Disney Side for 24 Hours at Disneyland or WDW!

Mark you calendars because on Friday, May 23rd at 6am to Saturday, May 24th at 6am, Disney is hosting the “Rock Your Disney Side Party” a 24 hour day for both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

The ’round the clock event invites guests to dress up to celebrate the occasion!

General Event Details:
• Hours of operation for the event will take place from 6:00 AM, May 23, 2014 to 6:00 AM, May 24, 2014.
• Only select attractions, entertainment and services will be available.
• Valid theme park admission is required.
• Event is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Costume Details:
• Costumes should be child-friendly and adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney.
• Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent; drag on the ground; contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest; contain any weapons or objects which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
• Masks may be worn, but they must not obstruct vision, and eyes must be visible at all times.
• Guests who dress like Disney characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs.
• Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused admission.

General event details and costume details from the official Disney website at disneyparks.disney.go.com/24-hour-event/

Ten Tips for First Timers

A Disney vacation is something every child dreams about. So whether you’re taking your kids, or are just young at heart, a first trip (or any trip for that matter) can be a wonderful and magical vacation. It isn’t called, “the Happiest Place on Earth” for nothing! While Disney does have its own Vacation Planning Guide DVD, here are my top 10 tips for first timers!

1. Look at the online maps. You can find them here. By looking at the maps ahead of time, you can get a rough idea of what rides you want to ride, what restaurants you want to eat, where the nearest bathrooms or baby centers are, and where you can find the character meet and greets. Even if you decide to be spontaneous and skip using a map (or a map app) in the park, it still helps to have a tentative game plan. This way, you won’t be wasting valuable time scrambling around trying to zig zag from one area to the next in order to get everything you want done.

aua2. Make a list of what everyone in your party wants to do, and have everyone pick their “Top Three”. For example, if your toddler loves the movie, The Little Mermaid, eating at Ariel’s Grotto or riding the Ariel’s Undersea Adventure may be good choices for your family. If your son is really into Star Wars, you might want to take him on Star Tours or have him train with the Jedi Academy. You get the idea.

htot3. Rides- Everyone has their favorites… since I am a native Californian and have more experience with Disneyland than Disney World, here are my recommendations:

For kids: Dumbo, the Teacups, and in California Adventure, there’s the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Live Puppet Show.

For thrill seekers: Hollywood Tower of Terror (in California Adventure), Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain (it’s pretty slow for 99% of the ride, but the drop makes it worth it).

For tired feet and for people who just want to relax: The Disneyland Train, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and watching parades they have going on.

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4. Parades- Parades are wonderful. I have always loved The Electrical Parade and was thoroughly devastated when they moved it to Disney World… both the first and second time. But Disney does have a lot of wonderful live entertainment and their parade floats are beautifully detailed and everything is exceptionally choreographed. Just remember, whatever you are seeing, make sure you get there early!!!!! Prime locations fill up quickly, and it isn’t very pleasant to go and watch the parade standing three or four rows back and trying to bob and weave around other guests.

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5. Eating– If you’re traveling with another person, or in a group where you are able to leave someone behind (obviously if you have small children and are by yourself, this won’t work), waiting for a parade to start can be a great time to eat! You can select where you’d like to watch the parade, and then send someone in your party to order food and drinks, and bring it back to your location. This way, you can have a nice picnic on the curb (or wherever you’re sitting). It’s perfect for filling your stomach, and making the time go by faster… which is great if you have kids… or just get impatient like me.

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6. Characters– If you’re going with kids, or are as obsessed as I am, taking pictures and getting autographs with the characters is a must. As mentioned above, try to make a list of which characters you would like to see. Due to the popularity of the movie Frozen, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa are in high demand, and guests can be waiting hours to see them (though I have heard Disneyland’s line is shorter than Disney World’s, but who’s to say on any given day?). Talk to a cast member and try and find out when the best time to see a character is or where they will be.

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7. Prepare beforehand! If your child is terrified of Santa and the Easter Bunny, he probably won’t be too thrilled about hugging a five foot mouse, no matter how many times he has seen Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or worn images of him on his clothing. You can get a general idea of how your child will react if your child has met other mascots at a local community event.

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8. Shopping– Like preparing to meet characters, there are some things you can do beforehand, like shopping. Target, Walmart, Dollar Tree, and the Disney Store are all great places to get Disney merchandise and souvenirs. You can either give your child and family as gifts to announce your trip, a way to entertain them while traveling in the car or on the plane, or you can give them while you’re on your vacation. Odds are your child will be equally happy to have a Minnie Mouse fan or a light up Buzz Lightyear, or even just some simple glowsticks, that might have costed you a fortune at a Disney theme park.

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9. Souvenirs– You may want to peruse Disneystore.com in their Disney Parks section to see some of the souvenirs you can find there. In addition to clothing and toys, you can find autograph books, Mickey Mouse glove mitts, and a wide variety of Duffy the Disney Bear items. (Think Flat Stanley Meets Build-a-Bear… ). If you do want to buy souvenirs from one of the theme parks, I recommend doing it at the very end, so you won’t be carrying the souvenirs around.

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10. Fastpasses– While the fastpass system is changing (they are moving away from a paper system to a band system at Disney World, and assuming that goes well, it will most likely occur at Disneyland and the other parks as well), fastpasses are worth taking advantage of. First, they are free. Second, they allow you to go on certain rides during a scheduled time (you have an hour time slot to get in line for whatever attraction you have), which depending on the wait, can mean that you have a much shorter wait. Just remember, when it comes to fastpasses, there are some very important tips to remember: They are very strict about the timeslot, so make sure you are in line sometime during that hour and if you are early, they will not let you through, and they have gotten very strict about people returning late and may not be able to use it at all.

Make sure you see how long the “Standby” wait is. It may not be worth it to get a fastpass if the wait time is only ten or fifteen minutes. Finally, since you are only allowed one fastpass at a time, I recommend waiting near the fastpass machine of something else you want to go on, right around the time of your first fastpass being ready to use. For example, if you have a fastpass from 12:00-1:00pm for Space Mountain, and want to go on Splash Mountain next, I would go to Splash Mountain right at 12:00pm. Then you can get a fastpass for that and start waiting for that one to become available while walking back to Space Mountain to ride that.

Those are a few of my favorite Disneyland tips for newbies. What are yours?

BeckyGuestWritersig