Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lots-O-Huggin' the Bear, Let's Buy a Creep

This has been bothering me for awhile now. I guess I'm easily bothered. When we last saw Lots-O-Huggin' the Bear in the great movie Toy Story 3, he was plastered to the front of a garbage truck and deservedly so. You see Lotso, for short, was a creep, evil to the core, completely incapable of any sort of redemption. Voiced by the great character actor Ned Beatty (who I still hear in my nightmares from maybe the creepiest movie ever Deliverance) Lotso is really a fully developed character but beyond any doubt, the character is all bad. He was creepy even at the beginning of the movie when you thought he was the kindly old grandfather type.

So what should Disney do now that they have such a reprobate character like Lotso? Well back when the Pixar Play Parade ran in Disney California Adventure, you give him a a spot on a float and make him smell like strawberries. Let's take a walk through some of the larger Disney retail stores around the resort. What's that lined up on the multitude of shelves of stuffed animals? Why its kindly ol' Lotso.

So what's the moral of the Lotso story? Kind of like Duffy the Bear, no matter how so short-sighted, if he's huggable for a kid, slap a price a price tag on him and make a few bucks. Some day the kid will realize they are hugging a creep of epic proportions.

Fantasyland and the Use of Space

Without small children (unless we are with family that have small children) I have to admit that Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I do not spend a lot of time in Fantasyland anymore with the exceptions of the Matterhorn and it's a small word (two must-do attractions providing they are running). Mostly Fantasyland is a place for us to pass-through. Sometimes I go there early in the morning to take some pictures. Every few years or so, we may, on a slow day attendance wise, hit the Fantasyland rides for old times sake but generally we have no compelling reason to do so.

But there are two spots in Fantasyland that absolutely blow me away for the same reason. Go up to the little patio area adjacent to the Casey Junior Circus Train and look down towards the Matterhorn or take a look around the next time you are standing in line to get on the Tea Cups or Alice. From those place, how many rides can you count that are in your line of sight? Disneyland is space challenged. Fantasyland is really space challenged within the confines of the castle area but somehow Disney was able to put in a lot of punch in a very small footprint of space. 

Think about Alice in Wonderland, a traditional dark ride whose special magic stems from the small design feature that actually elevates most of the ride. Elevates to where? Well, most of the ride runs over the top of Mr. Toad. Talk about using space - two dark rides in one building. Even Walt must of seen opportunities for maximizing space. Casey Junior and Storybookland Canal Boats are both 1955 original rides - two modes of transportation that basically cover the same plot of land. Brilliant. 

Of course we are about to run full circle here. Putting so much (and so much whose primary audience is children) in such a small area also put an awful lot of people in a very small area. On a really hot, crowded day, spending time in Fantasyland people dodging is no fun at all which is why I spend very little time there. Did I mention the strollers? Hundreds of em'.

Favorite Disneyland Traveler Posts From 2011

Back toward late December or the earlier part of this month when everyone was giving their "Best of 2011" lists, I was missing in action mired in my holiday funk. Doing better now so what's below are some or my favorite posts from The Disney Lands in 2011. There is a Top 10 on the right side of the blog page but those are the most popular with this blogs readers (and how that Monsters Inc post stays near the top is beyond me). Some of my favorites are in the Top 10 favorites but some are not. 

Here we go - 

For a little dig at Disney Parks creative ways to price gouge you enjoy - "One Popcorn Please"..."That'll Be $15.50".

For a tip of the hat to Disney's efforts to promote patriotism here is Memorial Day .

Yeah, it's only a re-post of a Disney produced YouTube video but what a video it was - at only about a minute and a half long, it may have been the most fun thing of any kind I watched all year. I wish Darth Vader's trip to Disneyland was an hour and a half long. Enjoy Star Tours Now Open .

The other side of people going on trips to Disneyland, those who simply cannot afford to go - "Momma, Can We Go To Disneyland?" .

In a somewhat reflective frame of mind here is Memories and Mortality .

Why I may have taken my last ride on the Tower of Terror - Hollywood Tower of Anxiety .

My futile efforts of getting in on Disney collectibles is explored in  The Disney Collectible Curmudgeon

The title speaks for itself - The Story of a Mean Ol' Castmember .

One of my favorites is also favorite of reader's of this blog. Good choice - Disneyland Magic For Everyone .

My never ending quest to find out why people of such an attachment to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - Can Someone Explain Mr. Toad?

Is it possible to have fun all by yourself in Disneyland gets explored in Alone In Disneyland .

A little humorous, a little sentimental the popular - The Tiki Room Is Not An Excuse To Eat Ice Cream .

Part commentary, part rant ... A Kinder, Gentler Disneyland .

Another family reflection Frontierland and a Circle of Rocks

So there are a few of my favorites in 2011, if nothing else, it gives a quick snapshot into what The Disney Lands is all about. I have many more favorites in 2011 of course but I'll stick with these at the top of my list. The blogging software tells me I made 188 posts to the blog in 2011 and I only started in late May. Maybe Disneyland takes far too much of my thinking. Then again.....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

From Star Wars to Star Tours and Beyond

The great Blue Sky Disney Blog (and welcome back after a brief absence) in a recent post proposed (or re-proposed) the idea that if George Lucas is finished with the commercial aspects of his Lucasfilms then all or part of the properties could be sold off and one of the most logical buyers could be Disney. Most notably are the two properties Disney is already a partner with Lucas in - namely Star Wars and Indiana Jones both of which command a significant presence in Disney parks. Blue Sky Disney further lays out on the table a George Lucas dream of a Star Wars theme park which Disney could build to the scope of imagination unlike any other company.

On the surface of it, sounds like a perfect idea and destined to be mecca for millions of Star Wars geeks and casual fans. I would have a few questions though. A technically advanced Star Wars theme park would be costly, very costly. There would be the ongoing of expense of keeping the park ahead of the technology curve (which the current versions of Disney's Tomorrowlands struggle with now). And can the Star Wars franchise be considered now the valuable property it was a few decades ago in its hey-day.

I am not a Star Wars geek. Star Wars is certainly a great film and worthy of every praise it has been given. It's sequel, The Empire Strikes Back may have even been a better movie (even it didn't have an ending). And then came Return of the Jedi and that's where Lucas kind of lost this fan. Driven by his almost never-ending quest for assorted creatures from other planets, Lucas lost the human touch in Jedi. Sure the where powerful elements to the film ("Luke, I am your father") but those seemed to lost a midst thousands of annoying Ewoks.

The boy gave me the Star Wars Blu-Ray series of the second trilogy (Episodes 1 -3) for Christmas. I never saw any of those films in the theater as Return of the Jedi caused me to lose my interest in Star Wars in general. I haven't even taken off the cellophane wrapping yet.

So Star Wars as a theme park kind doesn't quite excite me as it would a true Star Wars fan. Now a new Star Wars ride in Tommorwland or even remaking Tomorrowland into Star Wars Land would get me excited a little bit. Again, Disney needs to ride a hotter hand - Iron Man, yes - Darth Vader, not so much.

Springsteen, the Matterhorn, and a Tunnel of Love

Pardon me, this is going to be a bit of a stretch. Besides being a fan of Disneyland, the Disneyland Traveler is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. Springsteen's song from the early 90's "Tunnel of Love" is one of my personal favorites. It may not be in the top 10 of my favorite songs by the Boss but certainly in the top 15. It was written at a time when Springsteen was just coming off a divorce from a brief marriage and took and ill-advised break from creating music with the mighty E Street Band. Tunnel of Love is a very personal song from a very personal album of the same name that uses the metaphor of an iconic amusement park ride against the relationship of two people.

Disneyland does not have a tunnel of love, not should they. As much as the tunnel of love is an amusement park ride ascended into folklore status, for the most part they were pretty cheesy rides. But I like the song and when I think about it and have it humming in my head and take a look at Disneyland through the words (and music) of Tunnel of Love I think about the Matterhorn. The Matterhorn now sits behind scaffolding and netting as it goes through its six month refurbishment. Gone will be what was known as "cuddle seats" in the bobsled cars. Sitting together wrapped in tandem, careening through the tunnels of the mountain, feeling every jolt, every bump along the, seeing monsters, and ending with a splash are the memories of the roller coaster ride of the past. The new and improved Matterhorn is suppose to be "enhanced", new paint job, updated monsters, digital projections, new lighting - but sometimes the new and improved can't beat memories of what was behind. We'll see in about 5 months from now.

Fat man sitting on a little stool
Takes the money from my hand while his eyes take a walk all over you
Hands me the ticket smiles and whispers good luck
Cuddle up angel cuddle up my little dove
Well ride down baby into this tunnel of love

I can feel the soft silk of your blouse
And them soft thrills in our little fun house
Then the lights go out and it's just the three of us
You me and all that stuff were so scared of
Gotta ride down baby into this tunnel of love

There's a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-d
Im laughing at you you're laughing at me
There's a room of shadows that gets so dark brother
Its easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love

It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And youve got to learn to live with what you can't rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love

The Disney Media Superstore

A few months ago, I was gently chastised in a Disney website forum because I admitted that I knew nothing about Phineous and Ferb or Prep and Landing, two of Disney's more popular character creations over the last few years. Actually, someone called me ignorant. Guilty as charged was my response.

You see, there are a lot of Disney fans out there who believe that unless you soak in and support everything the company throws at you, then you can't call yourself a true Disney fan. What's the old catchphrase? "Tow the company line." Not so fast.

Admittedly, a trip to Disneyland is on the top of my list of favorite things to do and it was all created by an iconic mouse named Mickey and his visionary creator named Walt. Cartoon characters abound in Disneyland adding to the joy and atmosphere but I have to tell you that my favorite cartoons came from Warner Bros - the Looney Tunes of Chuck Jones and Fritz Freiling. A Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck cartoon? Give me a rabbit named Bugs, and duck named Daffy, and a roadrunner and a coyote any day. 

What about the Disney classic movies? Most of them I have to admit, I don't care for. I find the Bambi's and Dumbo's somehow cruelly manipulative. Instead of story telling, they give intentional grabs at your emotions (OK boys...  it's time to put in the scene that makes everyone cry). I liked Aladdin,  Beauty and the Beast, and Princess and the Frog but many of the Disney movies I'm supposed to like because I say I'm a Disney fan I really didn't, including the biggest one of all The Lion King. Disney live action movies? Saw Mary Poppins in a theater as a kid - hated it. My favorite - probably 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because Kirk Douglas gets to fight a sea monster and James Mason was a pretty creepy Nemo.

I don't watch anything on the Disney channel so thankfully I was saved from High School Musical and Hannah Montana. I think Disney buying Marvel was one of the smartest moves they could have made as a company. I've spent thousands of dollars and countless days on trips to Disneyland over the years but the part of the Disney empire that soaks up most of my time? ESPN. And Disney says 'thank you' to all the non sports fans out there who contribute their wealth because as long as you have a cable or satellite subscription that has ESPN networks available, you are giving Disney about $3.00 a month from your monthly bill whether you watch the channels or not.

Disney is a mega-media empire that has its fingers in just about everything but just because its Disney, no one says you buy everything they are selling. You can shop. You can pick and choose. You can say other companies do certain things better. It's called discernment not ignorance. And what would Walt say about all the aspects of his company the 21st Disney is involved in. I think he would be right on board.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Closing One Quarter of Main Street

Who doesn't like to stroll down Main St. Disneyland starting the vibe that's turns you loose for what hopefully will be a very exciting day? But beginning just after the new year and continuing on until probably sometime in May, one quarter of Main St. is closed for refurbishment. I don't have a trip to Disneyland during this time frame but the question is out there - if I were to make a trip down there during the closure and refurbishment, would I miss anything? Let's take a walk over there and see beginning with -

The Carnation Cafe.  As mentioned numerous times in this blog, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I love the Carnation Cafe. What's not to love? A very good breakfast or lunch, reasonably priced by Disneyland standards, lovely setting, Chef Oscar, and a loaded baked potato soup to die for. Mrs. DLT and I will make to the CC at least once during a trip. Seeing it closed would be very much missed.

Blue Ribbon Bakery. The BRB is gone for good in name only giving up its space for a new indoor seating section added to the Carnation Cafe. The bakery itself has moved up around around the corner to the new Jolly Holiday (Mary Poppins themed) Bakery in the old Plaza Pavilion structure. So nothing really changes here except the new bakery offers more space, more registers, better theming, a dining patio, and an expanded selection of food items (including sandwiches, soups, a quiche, and salads - more dining options, always a good thing). Stopping by the bakery for a nice pastry and coffee is the cheapest breakfast in the park. Expanding it - a wise decision on Disney's part. PS... if you're looking for Chef Oscar while the Carnation Cafe is on hiatus, you can find him over at the Jolly Holiday Bakery still charming customers like no other.

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. I love ice cream. Who doesn't? But over the course of my life I have become somewhat lactose intolerant. I can enjoy and savor maybe about 6 bites of ice cream but any more may cause suffering of the "let me just lie down for awhile" kind. So the closing of the GGICP is no big deal for me (as much as I would love to have one of their cones). Not to mention, I've probably saved hours over the years not having to stand in that ridiculously long and slow moving line. Supposedly that is one of the changes the will come with the refurbished Gibson Girl, a reconfigured line that will move along a bit quicker.

Penny Arcade.  Always looking for a "deal" in collecting some kind Disneyland souvenir to bring home, I once spent a great deal of time on one of my trips looking at several of the various penny pressing machines in the Penny Arcade and other locations around the park. I probably pressed 10 to 12 pennies on that trip. If you were to ask me what happened to those Disney penny pressings I would have to say I have no clue. They're around the house here somewhere. Needless to say, I think my penny pressing days are over so a closed Penny Arcade doesn't bother me at all. In the end collecting a souvenir that is difficult to see and hard to display isn't much of a souvenir at all. 

Candy Palace. Again, a leisurely visit around the confines of the Candy Palace is something Mrs. DLT and I do on most of our trips at least once. We usually stop by to get some fudge or some kind of other delectable chocolate morsels or sweet treat. Though probably mostly for show, the one thing a visit to the Candy Palace did provide was a classic Disneyland scene of real live candy makers working their delicious craft (though I am pretty sure most of the candy treats are made offsite in a centralized location). Since candy and sweet treats can be found around the parks and Downtown Disney pretty easily, the closing of the Candy Palace is no big deal.

(Coca-Cola) Refreshment Corner. Another traditional stop I make on my trips to Disneyland is to the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner to get a cherry coke. This isn't the jack-nasty beverage that Coke puts in cans and bottles but a real coke with a shot of cherry flavored syrup - old school. One year I stopped by the CCRC probably 3 times over a 5 day trip to get a cherry coke. Every time I stopped by the cast member said they out of cherry syrup. Huh???? I felt like making a complaint to city hall. Also available at the CCRC (though not exclusively) is another go-to favorite of mine - the jalapeno cream cheese filled Mickey pretzel - so filling you could almost make a a meal out of one and less than 4 bucks. The Refreshment Corner is also home to Disneyland's ragtime piano players. While under refurbishment, the piano has moved aboard the Mark Twain. 

So other than the Carnation Cafe being closed, having a quarter of Main St. closed is not such a big deal. Having all those facades behind construction walls does cause bit of an eyesore though.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Return of the Mad Hatter

Artwork for Mad T Party - Disney Parks Blog

Disney Parks Blog announced this past week the long rumored replacement for the ElecTRONica street party in Disney California Adventure. Al Lutz first reported about an Alice in Wonderland / Mad Hatter themed street party coming to DCA in his column several months back but now its official that a Mad T Party will make its debut in DCA this summer. Of course, this isn't based on Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland characters, it's the Tim Burton / Johnny Depp version the proved to be such a major hit for Disney in the theaters last year. 

So here we go again.... Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I managed one evening gawking at ElecTRONica and that was enough. Laserman - interesting, the rest of it was pretty much an assault on your eyes and ears. It can't go away soon enough for me. And now we bring on a Mad T Party another garish assault on our senses based on another movie we really didn't care for. I think we are showing our age and demographic here as the street parties, beginning with the original GlowFest, have proved to very popular especially with the local Southern California passholders. The freak show will also continue to provide Disney an excuse to sell exorbitantly priced adult beverages to an assembled mass of party goers. There is profit in that spectacle. Where is the Electrical Parade when you need it?

So the Good - farewell ElecTRONica (more like good riddance). The Bad - the continuation of street parties - good Disney family entertainment? Not so much. And the eerie specter of Depp's Mad Hatter doesn't seem like its going to fade away to memory any time soon. 

You can read more about the Mad T Party in Disney Parks Blog - here.

Disneyland In the Eyes Of A Three Year Old

Even the youngest members of my family are what you would call Disnsyland veterans. A co-worker had her 3 year old grand-daughter who lives in Seattle make her first trip to Disneyland this past week so of course my co-worker's daughter was sending her text messages and pictures chronicling their adventures in DL. Unless you are simply too young, can one over forget their first trip to Disneyland? Even many years later I can recall bits and pieces of that first visit I made with my parents.

So what was my co-worker's grand-daughter first ride? Apparently the Tea Cups. Excellent choice! Classic Disneyland ride, brightly colored, out in the open air, and child-like music to boot. The perfect ride to launch Disneyland memories. Follow that up with a ride on the carousel and Dumbo and you are well on your way to having the time of your life.

For their first meal, they got a corn dog. Again, excellent choice! For all the bad food choices you can make at Disneyland (getting better though), a corn dog is not one of them. The only mistake was getting the corn dog from the Stage Door Cafe instead of the Little Red Wagon on Main St (for the sake of tradition).

Of course, not all was fun for my co-worker's grand-daughter. A 3 year old's first trip on Pirates of the Caribbean is a risky proposition. Her first trip didn't go so well as she was scared out of her mind, cried, and vowed never to go on that again. Trust me. She will go again and go many more times God willing. I was a few years older than 3 when I first went on Pirates, old enough to realize I had just had one of the most special experiences of my life even at such a young age.

The girl's first trip to Disneyland was an unqualified success - it's hard not to have the time of your life no matter what your age. The little girl even had the works makeover at the Bibbidi-Bobbidy Boutique transforming her into a Disney princess (at a cost of $250!!!! yikes!!!). Yes, certainly chestful of memories for parents and child.

John Carter Trailer - Trying To Keep An Open Mind

I say to myself "Self, try to keep an open mind, try to keep an open mind, try to keep an open mind...." but I got to say from the TV ads and trailers that are coming out to promote the Disney John Carter movie, the film looks dreadful beyond words. This movie cost Disney an estimated $250,000,000 to make (that's a quarter of a billion dollars folks). It's success (or failure) will probably shape how Disney will handle big budget films going forward (already seen last year when Disney shut down production The Lone Ranger when its cost began to escalate beyond the 200 million mark and Disney made a statement to the films producers to get the costs in line). Anyway, below is a John Carter trailer from YouTube. You be the judge. Is that a Led Zeppelin orchestral soundtrack?

Word to remember - "You are ugly but you are beautiful". What the....? What would Walt think? Just askin'.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's In A Name?

As note last month by all things Disney watchdog Al Lutz and, Walt Disney Studios subtly made a change to the opening splash that fronts all of their movies. It began with the November release of The Muppets. Look at the picture above. Notice anything missing? Up until the release of the Muppets, it used to say Walt Disney Pictures. The Walt has now been removed giving us the simple brand name "Disney". 

Is the legacy of Walt being removed from corporate Disney? Many people feel that way which is why MiceAge has began to sell T-Shirts with the following protest...

Now this doesn't matter all that much to me because I'm old enough remember Walt living but future generations may have a tougher time seeing the creative vision of a man who started an empire with a mouse.

BCS National Championship Game Tonight - Disney Smiles

Tonight is the National Championship of college football now known as the BCS (Bowl Championship Series). The teams - the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide - don't mean a lick to me except they are both really, really good as should be the game. More than a Disney guy, I'm sports guy. So what does all this have to do with Disney?

The game is on ESPN and millions of people will watch. Far more people will watch this football game than will set foot in all Disney Parks combined this year. And as much as it galls Disney fans to hear it - by far the most profitable part of the Walt Disney Company is ESPN which Disney owns. This game will generate a fortune for the Disney bank accounts

No Soup For You and Other Short Takes

The mighty Matterhorn now closed
As mentioned in a previous post on Saturday my Disney Christmas kind of fell by the wayside this year. I just didn't have what it takes to give The Disneyland Traveler a whole lot of thought for the last month or so. My biggest regret? I didn't take the time to go see Disney's The Muppets movie over the holidays as I had planned... I would imagine the video will hit the stores sometime in March....

Lines...I miss being down at Disneyland during the Christmas season....what I don't miss are the massive lines that appear during the Christmas school break...park visitors sent back pictures of the sign in the DL hub that posts wait times and where stand-by times for every listed attraction went over 60 minutes...Would have driven me crazy...

Winter is here and it is time for the usual refurbishments. Of course there is the usual 3 week closures for the Haunted Mansion and it's a small world to remove the holiday overlays...HM is closed now and when that comes back later this month iasw goes down... Most refurbishments on the calendar will be relatively brief from a few days to a week or so...except...the Matterhorn is now closed until mid-June to install the new bobsleds and to give the venerable mountain a makeover....Also closed until the summer season is the whole section of Main St that houses the Blue Ribbon Bakery (now replaced by the Jolly Holly Bakery), the Candy Palace, the Penny Arcade, the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner, and alas...the Carnation Cafe. As confirmed by Disney Parks Blog, there will be no Loaded Baked Potato Soup served until the new and improved (with an indoor seating section) Carnation Cafe returns probably sometime in May. No Baked Potato soup? That almost would be a deal breaker as far as making a trip down to Disneyland for Mrs. DisneylandTraveler. 

ElecTRONica continues on though...ugh!

Star Tours opened 25 years ago January?... I can't imagine Disneyland opening any major attraction outside of the summer season anymore.

Do to a misfire accident, the holiday fireworks display did not go off something like 8 of the 9 days that led up to New Years Eve...bummer...the fireworks did go off as scheduled on New Years Eve but the entire park was shrouded in a mysterious looking thick can check the pictures and videos out on the internet but the whole evening, while festive, was pretty eerie looking...

I don't really make any New Year's resolutions but I do know this...if I don't take off some weight my poor knees while have a hard time taking a Disneyland pounding when that next trip comes around... 

Let The Memories .... End

Disney Parks promotion for the last year has been titled "Let the Memories Begin". Not one of its most dynamic park promotions to be sure but this past year has been a successful one at Disneyland even as the economy continued to struggle. Park attendance has been up, hotel bookings have been up, even spending at the resort has been up - all good things for Disney accountants and shareholders. So the "Let the Memories Begin" promotion has been pretty inconsequential. Now the Memories promotion will continue until the new summer promotion hits the TV commercials and spot ads mostly like directing you to Cars Land and the all new Disney California Adventure Park but the transition has already begun to take place with the removal of the huge Disneyland - Let The Memories Begin float that has sat out in the esplanade for the last year or so.

The float's removal today is hardly news worthy other than I probably have 20 pictures of the thing sitting in my Disney photo collection all taken by Mrs. DisneylandTraveler. I guess she rather liked it. Now the photos are just a memory as well.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This Is Only A (Cars Land) Test...

Radiator Springs Racer Testing - A Disney Parks Photo
During December, Disney Parks Blog posted to YouTube videos of testing 2 of the 3 rides that will  be the  cornerstone of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park - Luigi's Flying Tires and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. These are the two "minor" attractions with the main attraction being the massive Radiator Springs Racers. I guess I wanted to capture these two videos here because if someone ask me about what rides will be in Cars Land, I can point them to this blog post quickly for a sneak peek.

The first video features Luigi's Flying Tires with the Cars (and Toy Story and Pixar) man himself John Lasseter in the driver's seat.

The second video shows Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.....

Now I can't seem myself on either of these two rides as from appearances, they appear for a younger crowd (and their parents) but who knows? Maybe three years from now on a quiet off season day when the line makes these slow loading rides close to walk-ons, I may give them a try.

A New Year, A New Beginning - Disney Style

My intentions were good. December, Christmas time at the Disneyland Resort, I had so much to write about, so many pictures to post and share. It didn't work out that way. As they say "sometimes life gets in the way" even in the life of a Disneyland blogger. My output to this blog this past December was pretty meager - 5 posts - all very early in the month. What happened? - I guess stress of the holidays, stress of my real job (for the first time in many years I didn't take any extra days off around the holidays), and company here at the old homestead from Christmas till New Years made it very difficult for me to focus on my alter-ego, the Disneyland Traveler.

But its a new year. For Disneyland a new bakery opened yesterday while the rest of the month things close down for winter refurbishments and assorted maintenance that goes on during the park's slowest time of the year. We'll trudge are way through these changes as time goes on but for now its just good being back as The Disneyland Traveler.

And when will the DLT be heading down to his favorite park, favorite destination? Sad to say but as of right now, there are no plans and probably not any time this year. The funds aren't there for any time this winter or spring. I won't go near that place anytime after the immediate opening of Cars Land for fear I will be (quoting Led Zeppelin here) "trampled under foot" by a maddening crowd. If there is a chance of making it down to Disneyland it will probably be towards the end of year. 

It's a pity, I really look forward to trying out the new bakery along with all the other recent additions I have missed out on (Star Tours, the Little Mermaid ride, and the 2 Paradise Pier restaurants). In the meantime, I live my Disneyland experiences in trips of others with a hopeful eye of that magical trip in the future.

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