Ever since Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree opened last year at Disneyland park, this corner of Frontierland has been the place to go for fun times, from the Halloween Carnival and Santa’s Jingle Jangle Jamboree to a “Limited Time Magic” reunion with some “long lost” Disney friends. Well, this summer the Jamboree is introducing something new in the form of Woody’s All-American Roundup, a flag-wavin’ patriotic celebration of the Old West!
Sheriff Woody is bringing his Talent Roundup to the stage of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. You’ll delight at the sight of Jessie’s slingshot tricks and Woody’s skill with a lasso. There will even be plenty of dancin’, strummin’ and singin’, thanks to guitar-playin’ cowboy Buckaroo Bob.
Between Talent Roundup shows, everyone’s favorite Billy Hill and the Hillbillies will take the stage in “Red, White and Bluegrass!” You’ll even have a chance to meet Woody, Jessie and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, dressed in their finest cowboy (and cowgirl) duds!
And that’s not all! Woody’s All-American Roundup will feature Rodeo Games, crafts and activities for the whole family and a selection of merchandise and yummy food.
So mosey on down to Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree for Woody’s All-American Roundup, starting June 14. It’s gonna be loads of rootin’, tootin’ fun!
This week, the “Limited Time Magic” spotlight shines on timepieces from Disney Parks. My parents recently visited me in Florida for about two weeks. Before they left, we visited Downtown Disney Marketplace, as my mother was in search of a new Minnie Mouse watch. That trip helped me find a few timepieces that I thought would make for perfect Mother’s Day gifts this weekend. Here is a look at some of my favorites.
I liked the elegant look of the three watches pictured at the top of this article. These watches were recently introduced for the spring season, one of two seasons that the timepiece development team likes to introduce new items.
Good news for my mother is that Minnie Mouse is a popular character for watches, as seen here with two additional styles.
For spring, the timepiece development team enlisted the help of Disney Design Group artists to create new watches. Artist Tim Whalen created two new designs based on T-shirts from Disney Parks. You may remember seeing the shirt with the girl holding the Mickey Mouse umbrella in Michelle Stepney’sDisney Style Snapshot from early April.
Moms who love Disney Villains may enjoy three new watches created by Disney Design Group artists Mark Seppala and Darren Wilson. Mark, whom you may recall from Disney Ear Hat fame, designed the watches featuring the Queen of Hearts and the Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” while Darren created the amazing Maleficent watch.
In Florida, look for these watches at Tren-D and the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Finally, to further the magic on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, Disney Parks will honor all moms with a special flower when she visits any of the theme parks at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts (please note that valid theme park admission is required).
Happy Mother’s Day to my mother and my soon-to-be mother-in-law!
I know there are a lot of Disney fans out there, not to mention Hipsters, who fell in love with the Hipster Mickey art by Jerrod Maruyama when it first made the scene in June 2012 with the opening of WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District. Surely, you remember this cool guy? If you don’t, here’s another look:
I don’t think I need to define Hipster to you, do I? I mean seriously, how not-cool would that be? Instead, if you considered yourself a fan of the original Hipster Mickey piece, then wait until you see what’s around the corner.
Launching July 18, 2013, is the first in a series of collectible Hipster Mickey inspired pieces that will release every three months. The first piece titled “Happiest Hipster on Earth” finds Mickey Mouse looking effortlessly cool as he chills in front of old-school retro-inspired Disneyland ticket media and signage. Look for the image to appear on a miniature gallery wrapped canvas, limited edition giclee, deluxe print, t-shirt and more.
So how can you be one of the first people to add this to your Hipster collection? Take part in a special Cocktail Reception on Thursday, July 18, 2013, from 7-10 p.m. The festivities will include light hors d’oeuvres, specialty drinks, in-store shopping experience to be the first to view and purchase merchandise from the “Happiest Hipster on Earth” collection, an artist signing opportunity with Jerrod Maruyama, a commemorative gift and more. In addition, those that attend the event will not only get a sneak peek at the next image in the series, but will also have the chance to purchase a special Hipster Mickey piece.
I bet you’re curious what other icons and attractions Hipster Mickey will appear in front of … so am I.
If you are determined to get this new Hipster Mickey piece before everyone else, tickets for the event will go on sale Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 11 a.m. (Pacific) via ArtofDisneyParks.com. Tickets are extremely limited. So be sure to score a pair as soon as it goes live.
Seven teachers at Paul Revere Elementary School in Anaheim applied for and received Disneyland CREATE Grants this year to fund a variety of visual and performing arts projects, including theatrical puppet shows.
Students at nearby Adelaide Price Elementary School are learning to read and play music on recorders also funded by a Disneyland CREATE Grant.
And they are learning with new art supplies like paints and a drying rack.
The Disneyland Resort funded more than 350 visual and performing arts projects at local schools this year, inspiring creativity in nearly 75,000 Orange County, Calif., students! Since 1994, the Disneyland CREATE Grants program has contributed more than $1.5 million in needed classroom funding!
Picture this: You’re winding through Ornament Valley riding in a shiny, convertible race car. While taking in the desert scenery and after traveling through an archway, there it is – just to the right – Firewall Falls, the most beautiful waterfall in these here parts.
Well, at least that’s how I felt the first time I rode Radiator Springs Racers at night. It only seems fitting that Firewall Falls is the second waterfall featured in my series, “Waterfalls of the Disneyland Resort.”
Here are a few more photos I captured that morning before sunrise at Radiator Springs Racers. Check back for the next post in my waterfalls series.
Opa! A Celebration of Greece kicks off May 25 with all sorts of fun at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. There’s live entertainment, line dancing, wine education and tasting seminars at Disney California Adventure park, Olympic training with Hercules at Disneyland park … but for us, it’s all about the food.
Each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., activities at the festival center around “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland park and Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park.
Authentic Greek tastes include thin flatbreads; a classic gyro, the Greek version of a quick-service sandwich with rotisserie meat and veggies; spanakopita swirl, a fun take on the traditional spinach pie; and melomakarona (meh-loh-mah-KAH-roh-nah), a delicious cookie with honey and walnuts. Look for the Greek goodies at Carnation Café, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port and special carts in Disneyland park. At Disney California Adventure park, treats are at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Paradise Garden Grill and special carts in Paradise Gardens.
At 8 p.m. on May 26, Executive Chef Christine Weissman and her team of chefs from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks will work alongside Greek celebrity Chef Argiro Barbarigou to creatively interpret her recipes at “Celebrate Greece: A Culinary Experience.” Greek winemaker Christina Boutari will join the chefs at the Golden Vine Winery in Disney California Adventure park for a four-course Greek dinner featuring cod croquettes with roasted beetroot, arugula and skordalia; salad with caramelized figs, walnuts, pomegranate and fresh goat cheese; tender braised osso buco; and a trio of Greek sweets for dessert. Reserved viewing for “World of Color” nighttime spectacular is included. Tickets are $150, including tax and gratuity (park admission separate). For reservations and tickets, click here.
“So why do you run?” That is the question most often asked to runners by non-runners. “Why do you get up before dawn, oftentimes in miserable weather, to go do something that quite frankly does not look enjoyable?”
This is a question that is not lost on runners. In fact one of my favorite running shirts has emblazoned across the back, “My Sport is Your Sport’s Punishment” – a not so gentle nod to the bevy of coaches who have ever uttered the phrase “Gimme a lap!”
So why do we run? There are as many reasons as runners – “So I can eat what I want,” “To stay in shape,” “To clear my mind” – but there is one reason that seems to rise to the top among all our runDisney runners…”we run for the bling!” You see, there is nothing so rewarding as finishing a race and having a volunteer drape a beautifully crafted Disney medal around your neck. For that moment you feel as though you are an Olympian, and regardless of what place you’ve finished, you have earned that gold.
So with that said, I am pleased to reveal our latest entries into the pantheon of runDisney race medals: The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K and the Dumbo Double Dare medals, all beautifully designed to say, “Here’s why I run.”
“…I just want it to look like nothing else in the world. And it should be surrounded by a train.” — Walt Disney
Even before Disneyland Resort was built – when the idea for the theme park was still being developed – it was surrounded by its now-iconic railroad. Not only would it provide guests with a “grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom,” but it also would create a natural barrier between the outside world and the magical realms inside. This made the Disneyland Railroad one of the most important opening day attractions. So far, we’ve met some of the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad, and today we’ll take a look back to a specific time in Walt’s lifelong love of trains and his inspiration for this beloved attraction. Believe it or not, he found this inspiration right in his own backyard …
In 1947, Walt bought a new electric train and wanted to show it off. He brought it over to Walt Disney Studios and knew exactly who to show it to: Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, the animators behind Jiminy Cricket and Thumper, and fellow train enthusiasts. He quickly learned that they each had impressive trains of their own – but theirs were big enough to ride in their backyards! So, of course, Walt had to have one of his own. A few years later, in 1950, he had the perfect spot for his train: the backyard of his home on Carolwood Drive. And it was 63 years ago this week that the first engine was steamed up on Walt’s own, personal ⅛-scale model railroad, the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad.
Take a look back as Walt tests out his Carolwood-Pacific Railroad in the footage below, which originally appeared in the 1956 television show, “Where Do The Stories Come From?”
At first, Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife, was not exactly excited about their brand-new backyard being taken over by a miniature railroad, so Walt wanted to do something special to make her comfortable with the idea. He enlisted the help of horticulturalists Jack and Bill Evans (who would later go on to cultivate the horticulture for the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland park) to create a beautifully landscaped backyard, and then even named the locomotive of his new railroad “Lilly Belle” in her honor. This kind gesture now lives on here at Disneyland; the Grand Canyon observation caboose which operates on the Disneyland Railroad is now lovingly referred to as the Lilly Belle.
If you’re interested in seeing this incredible piece of Disney history yourself, you can see the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad and the Lilly Belle at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. It was one of my favorite moments in a day full of amazing moments at this remarkable museum. Also consider a visit to Walt Disney’s Barn – the actual barn from which Walt would monitor and remotely control the Carolwood-Pacific Railroad – now relocated to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Calif.
The idea of having my own, personal railroad in my backyard sounds incredible. What would you name your own backyard railroad?
We’ve already met our opening-day steam engines, C.K. Holliday and E.P. Ripley, but today we’ll meet the oldest of all the Disneyland Railroad steam engines – the Fred Gurley. It may have joined us in 1958, but this engine’s 119-year history began even before Walt Disney was born!
The Fred Gurley was named after Fred G. Gurley, who was president of the Santa Fe Railway from 1944-1957. It is the oldest steam engine operating on the Disneyland Railroad, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1894. It was first put into service in August 1895, and began circling the Happiest Place on Earth on March 28, 1958. Next year, the Fred Gurley will celebrate its 120th year in service!
Here are some specs for the Fred Gurley:
Stack Design: Cap Stack
Track Gauge: 36″
Wheel arrangement: Forney, converted to 2-4-4T
Weight: 21,600 lbs.
Stay tuned for more on the rest of the Disneyland Railroad steam engines here on the Disney Parks Blog.