What would it be like to shop for a living? Just ask Brandon Kleyla, set decorator for Walt Disney Imagineering! Each shop on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park has a story, and it was Brandon’s task to help tell it. It all starts with what Brandon refers to as Phase One, researching at the Walt Disney Imagineering Information Resource Center to understand the time period. Phase Two is setting out to purchase those items online that you know you’re looking for, with Phase Three being endless hours at flea markets and antique malls to find one-of-a-kind, vintage treasures for each shop owner.
In part one of this Disney Parks Blog mini-series, we take a look at the window displays on Buena Vista Street, which include merchandise provided by the Resort Enhancement team at Disneyland Resort as well as props found by Brandon and his team at Walt Disney Imagineering. Stay tuned for part two to find out about the props inside the shops.
After working in the Candy Palace for 38 years, Disneyland park candy maker Rob McHargue truly knows his way around a kitchen. In the video below, Rob gives us a tour of his “office” in the newly remodeled Candy Palace.
The updated Candy Kitchen has double the square footage as before, providing more viewing space – a bigger window of opportunity to see the candy makers at work. A pass-through window, more counter space, a kitchen stock room and a second copper kettle were also added. The kitchen produces approximately 63 different items year-round. Lucky for me, they happened to be making my favorite toffee treats during my visit. What’s your favorite confection from the Candy Palace?
Check out these posts to read more about sweet treats available at Disneyland park:
A few months ago I had the opportunity to check out the making of an original, old-time radio show written and produced by Walt Disney Imagineering. The skit in the video below is just one of the shows guests will hear playing on the vintage radio inside of Oswald’s in Disney California Adventure park. There are so many detailed surprises on Buena Vista Street – make sure to stop, look and listen so you don’t miss them!
For more on Buena Vista Street, see the posts below:
Come join the fun when Mad T Party officially opens June 15.
Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @Disneyland on Twitter for the latest on the expansion of Disney California Adventure park. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet, #MadTParty and #JustGotHappier.
The scaffolding was 20 levels high and, once installed, the top level was the highest point in the park. Netting around the perimeter was specifically chosen as a medium gray color by Imagineer Kim Irvine so the mountain would look more like it was shrouded in a fog bank or cloud.
The whole rig went up in 15 work days and came down progressively as the paint work was completed. Check out the entire process here in just 47 seconds!
For this point-of-view video, a camera was mounted on the driver’s side of a Radiator Springs Racers car during a recent test run in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. Vehicles are being tested seven days a week, mostly at night. By the time each vehicle is commissioned, it will travel approximately 36,000 miles per year!
The video also shows a quick sneak peek of what to expect inside the mountain range. Guests will get to see the entire track for themselves when the attraction opens on June 15.
In my family, special bragging rights went to the first person who spotted Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland park from the I-5 freeway. Currently, the view of the snow-capped mountain is a bit obstructed. For the first time, the entire attraction was covered in scaffolding for a 6-month-long, detailed face-lift.
Check out the video below to see what’s been going on inside and out!
Mariachis, media and Mickey were all up early this morning to help kick off the first official Three Kings Day celebration at Disneyland park. More than 20 crew members started setting up late last night for local stations to broadcast live from Zocalo Park in Frontierland.
The video below shows a little bit of how we made it happen and what guests can expect this weekend during the unique, three-day event.
Valarie recently shared a few videos showing how some of the magical holiday transformations happen here at Disneyland park. Getting into the spirit myself, I had the opportunity to take our Disney Parks Blog camera inside ”it’s a small world” to see how the iconic attraction becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday. It was amazing to get a glimpse at the Technical Services cast members painting, building, rigging and lighting the sets. They were working on the finale scene when we taped this video, finishing the 18-day merry makeover. Being in the attraction during this process gave me a new perspective and appreciation for the detail and work that goes into making “it’s a small world” Holiday so special. Next time my tree lights go out at home I will happily replace them, even if I have to do it one at a time!
“it’s a small world” Holiday Fun Facts:
“it’s a small world” Holiday – The holiday version of this Disneyland classic debuted in 1997. The original attraction was inspired by Mary Blair’s storyline: a group of housebound kids on a rainy day create an international art project using all their dolls, toys and decorations.
All That Glitters – Each holiday season, an estimated 50,000 Christmas lights are installed on the façade. The breathtaking and intricate lighting design calls for six brilliant colors that interplay with clear twinkling lights. The nighttime splendor comes aglow with more than 300,000 watts of light.
Yuletide Treats & Merry Surprises – As you float along the canals of Europe, the scent of freshly cut pine lingers near a 20-foot Christmas tree in a scene that pays homage to “The Nutcracker.” The sweet smell of candy canes will tantalize as you pass by Italy’s hanging candies. (Both are enhanced aromas, added to the attraction.) Merry bubbles float down as you voyage through the South Seas, where a plate of fish has been left out “for Santa” (by Ariel and the mermaids).
A Sparkling Seasonal Wish – Wishing you “Happy Holidays” in the attraction’s final scene is a 14-foot sparkling snowman, dressed in his wintery best with a gold top hat, golden scarf, and hundreds of twinkling lights. A frosty snowflake mobile twirls over his head, flickering with an icy translucent glow. The snowman’s “Happy Holidays” sign is a jolly sight, too. It’s sculpted out of ice that changes color.
Storage Space – 100 percent of the holiday overlay props and scenic elements used are actually stored inside the attraction all year ‘round!
Up On The Housetop – Santa’s reindeer can fly to the top, but the elves that make holiday magic at “it’s a small world” Holiday use four high-reaching lifts, including one that stretches to 80 feet into the air. Riggers repel off the back wall using special safety rope access.
Secret Elf Society – It takes 12 Technical Services cast members 5 nights a week for 7 weeks (35 days!) to install the glittering yuletide façade. Inside the attraction it takes more than 20 Technical Services cast members 18 days in a row to decorate the holiday attraction’s dazzling interior!
“Fa La La La La” – The attraction’s soundtrack is a merry mix of “Jingle Bells” and “Deck The Halls” in counterpoint with the classic “it’s a small world” tune. Children’s voices sing along in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian languages. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the South Seas Mermaids singing their own holiday carol: “Jingle Shells.” Holiday greetings in many other languages – French Canadian, Dutch, Chinese, Asante (of Ghana) and Hawaiian to name a few – can be discovered on banners and signs throughout the entire attraction.