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October 2014 Merchandise Events at the Disneyland Resort

Now that October is upon us, Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort announced the merchandise events for Disneyland this coming month.

Just wait until you see what merchandise events we have headed your way this October at the Disneyland Resort!

October 4 – 5: Haunted Memories will be setting up shop inside WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District for the month of October. Look for appearances by Eddie Allen from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 4, 5, 25 and 26.

October 11: Artists Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Bryan Fyffe, Jeff Granito, Sydney Hanson and Jerrod Maruyama will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of some of their latest works.


October 17 – 19: Join us as we welcome back Precious Moments doll designer, Linda Rick, who will be on hand for the release of her new Halloween collection, among other fan favorites. Meet Linda October 17–19 and October 24-26 at China Closet on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park.

October 18: Disney Legend Alice Davis, Don Hahn, Mindy Johnson, Paula Lowery, Disney Legend Marty Sklar, Lella Smith and Charles Solomon will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man from 9–11 a.m. at the Disneyana Shop on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park.


October 25: Artist Noah will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of his latest work Cruisin’ With My Girl.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month is artist Miss Mindy. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: October 3, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 26 from 6:30 – 9:30p.m.

Which events have made your list of things to do?

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Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life


At one time no vegetation would grow on Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom. No tree, shrubs, flowers or plants. It was completely barren. One day a tiny ant planted a seed and made a wish. He wished for a tree to grow on the barren piece of land, a tree large enough to provide shelter for all of the animals. The ants’ wish came true and a tree began to grow. It continued to grow until there was room beneath its limbs for all of the animals. As the tree continued to grow upwards, the images of all of the animals that took shelter beneath it appeared on the trunk, roots, and branches.

For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s the backstory to the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. When Animal Kingdom was being developed Imagineers knew that they were going to need a central icon to represent the park. One of the first concepts was a Noah’s Ark icon and another was a three leveled carousel featuring animals of the land, sea and sky. But the Tree of Live was the final choice. The early design for the tree only called for it to be 50 feet high and was going to have a playground for children to play in. But as the Imagineers kept throwing around ideas the tree began to evolve. Original concepts included a restaurant called Roots Restaurant to be located beneath the tree but this idea was abandoned in favor of a theatre to be placed beneath it. This still caused problems with engineering because the foundation needed to be able to withstand hurricane forced winds and a large room built beneath the tree. So the idea for the tree was put on hold.

But one day an Imagineer was watching a show about off shore oil drilling in the Gulf and immediately knew what could be used to build the Tree of Life that could withstand the winds it needed to. A oil drilling platform would be large enough to house a large room and a narrow center section that would be capable of supporting the branches. The next problem was the branches. The Imagineers thought that the branches would have to be made of a rigid, non-flexible material. When the concept was loaded into a computer and the drawings were rendered, the tree looked like a dome because all of the branches would be mass-produced in identical sizes. The Imagineers came up with a flexible injection molded fiberglass to create the branches for the tree. The branches would vary in sizes just like branches of a real tree would.

After the tree was completed it stood 145 feet tall and 165 feet across. It had 12 primary branches, 45 secondary branches, 756 tertiary branches and 7,891 end branches. The Imagineers worked to come up with a leaf that could withstand the climates of Florida like heat, cold and moisture and could resist the effects of UV light. 102,583 leaves cover the tree with each leaf over a foot long.

If the making of the tree wasn’t enough there are also over 320 animals carved into the tree. It took ten artists working full time for 12 months to complete all of the carvings. One day during the building Jane Goodall visited the park and asked if there was a chimp on the tree. The team immediately added David Greybeard to the tree in the roots near the entrance to Tough to be a Bug. Disney also honored Goodall with a plaque at the Tree of Life.

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Walt Disney Records Presents: Mary Poppins - The Legacy Collection

Recently I was sent The Legacy Collection for the blockbuster Disney film Mary Poppins, from Walt Disney Records to review.  I was excited when I was first told I would be getting the CD to review.  Having known that the Sherman Brothers did the music for the film, I was excited to have a set that would feature that.  What I hadn’t realized is there was actually 3 different CD’s in the collection and each was wonderful in its own way.

The Legacy Collection Mary Poppins

Here is Walt Disney Record’s description of this particular collection:

Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins provides a musical experience like no other. This beautiful book-bound three-disc collectible set features the enchanting music from the film, Mary Poppins Lost chords and excerpts from the P.L. Travers Story Meetings with Don DaGradi and The Sherman Brothers. Plus, this piece includes newly illustrated artwork by Lorelay Bove. Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins is a musical piece of art that every music collector should own and enjoy.

As I was reviewing the content of the CD’s, the first one contains the actual film versions of the movie soundtrack.  The quality is amazing, sounds like they were just recently made.  Hearing the songs so clear from Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and all the other fantastic artists was great.  Listening to each song, I imagined the scene from the film.  It’s a great way to relive the film from memory.

The 2nd CD is by far my absolute favorite.  First you get the actual demo recordings done by the Sherman Brothers themselves.  It’s awesome to actually hear them singing and playing the songs that we are use to hearing from the stars of the films.  The Lost Cords are also included and allows us to hear some of the songs that were intended for the film, but didn’t make it for one reason or another.  The creators of this collection, also collaborated with Richard Sherman to record 7 of the songs today with a full orchestra so we could hear what they would have sounded like, had they made it to the film.


The third CD, “The Legacy Collection” includes over 40 minutes of excerpts from the seminal story meetings between Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, the Sherman brothers and screenwriter Don DaGradi as they discussed the original outline for the movie, including the music. These excerpts are incredible to listen to once you realize who is speaking.  In the film, Saving Mr. Banks, we were shown the recreations of these moments in Disney history, but now you can actually hear what the discussions entailed at the time they happened.

Also on the third CD, they have included 17-minutes of Hollywood Spotlight Microphone interview with the stars of the film Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.  We also get interviews from the Sherman brothers and Irwin Kostal (who arranged the music for Mary Poppins). The final part of the third disc ends with a interview from 1989 with Richard and Robert Sherman discussing their work in creating the music for Mary Poppins.

The CD cover and booklet, contains newly created artowrk inspired by Mary Poppins from artist Lorelay Bove.  Lorelay Bove is a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios.  She has worked on films such as Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, and Wreck-It Ralph to name a few.  In addition to Lorelay’s art, the booklet includes a sampling of the visual development art from the film and the sketches from the story meetings with P.L. Travers herself.

Mary Poppins 1

For any fan of Mary Poppins this CD collection is a must have.  I’m already a huge fan of the Sherman Brothers work, so this is definately something I’m proud to have in my Disney collection now.  To actually hear the writers singing the songs and the other ideas they had for the music is absolutely great.  I kept sitting there thinking, this is what Walt was hearing. This is how they would have performed the music for him.  Just for that moment, I could feel the history I was listening to.

If you would like to get this collection, go to the Disney Music Emporium and order your CD’s now.  You won’t regret this purchase.

Next week I will be reviewing The Legacy Collection for The Lion King and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

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Disney Parks Guide Map Magnets ~ Fun Craft Idea

I saw this great little project on the Disney Parks Blog from Erin Glover and thought this could be a fun project to do.

I have a confession: I am a souvenir pack rat. From guide maps to old receipts, I have a habit of holding onto tidbits from my Disney Parks visits. Sadly, these once-sentimental keepsakes now live inside a shoebox in my closet. Then it hit me: I needed to think outside the shoebox!

Today, I’m here to show you that one man’s trash is another’s DIY project. If your Disney Parks guide maps and tickets are too special to toss, I’m going to help you “Show Your DIY Disney Side” with step-by-step instructions for fun, simple projects perfect for seasoned crafters and beginners alike.


Let’s start with a quick and easy project: guide map magnets. For mine, I used two Disneyland Resort guide maps and cut out my favorite attractions. Whether for the home or office, these magnets are a unique way to turn any space into the happiest, craftiest place on Earth!

Here’s what you’ll need, available at your local craft store:

  • Round, clear glass stones (Mine were just over 1” in diameter.)
  • Any other decorative paper (Of course, I used Disneyland Resort guide maps, but wrapping paper, book pages, newspaper and scrapbooking paper work as well.)
  • Circle paper punch, 1” (Or just a pair of scissors and a steady hand!)
  • Small round magnets
  • All-in-one decoupage glue, sealer and finish
  • Strong crafting glue
  • Foam brush


Step 1: Using a paper punch (or scissors), cut the desired illustration out of park map in a 1” circle. Make sure the cutout is the same size as, or a little smaller than, the glass stones.

Step 2: Use a foam brush to paint a thin layer of decoupage glue onto the flat edge of a glass stone. Immediately place your paper cutout onto the stone so that the illustration is face-down on the glue. Allow to dry 10-15 minutes.

Tip: Decoupage glue dries fast and is pretty unforgiving, so make sure to have your cutout ready.

DIY-456666Step 3: Paint a thin layer of decoupage glue over the cutout to hold the paper in place.

DIY-678888Step 4: Once the paper is dry (10-15 minutes), use a dot of crafting glue to attach a small round magnet. Repeat with as many cutouts, stones and magnets as you please. Wait for crafting glue to dry completely before using the magnets.

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Channeling Carl and Ellie from “Up” on Dancing With The Stars


Did you catch Dancing With The Stars last night? If you did, then you saw Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas do their best to channel Carl and Ellie from the movie “Up.” It was movie night, and I was hoping to see something like this! Being that DWTS is owned by ABC, we of course usually see Disney references each season. I know a lot of people love “Up” and have a soft spot for Carl and Ellie, so I wanted to make sure you saw this sweet performance if you missed it. Enjoy!

*Video courtesy of Ballroom Stars

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Putting Mickey Mouse to Music: An Interview with Composer Chris Willis

How do you compose music for a beloved, iconic character? And how do you keep it classic, yet fresh and fun at the same time? That’s the challenge facing Christopher Willis, the award-winning composer for the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts airing on Disney Channel and Disney XD.

Created in the tradition of slapstick and mischievous charm that first brought Mickey into the forefront of the world’s cultural landscape, Mickey Mouse’s latest incarnation has reached more than 135 million viewers and been translated into 34 languages. Its smashing success can certainly be attributed to the talented team of artists responsible for bringing fresh Mickey animation to a new generation—and as any fan knows, the classic cartoons are nothing without the music that scores the plucky mouse’s adventures.

We recently sat down with Chris to discuss the fascinating creative process and sources of inspiration in composing the music for Mickey Mouse, including the delightful newest episode, Mumbai Madness:

If you haven’t seen Mumbai Madness yet, be sure to check out Mickey’s latest antics below, and listen for Chris’ incredible score:

For more episodes of Mickey Mouse, check out the WATCH Disney Channel app for desktop or mobile, and keep an eye out for premieres of future episodes on Disney Channel.
What did you think of Mumbai Madness? Do you have a favorite Mickey Mouse short? Tell us in the comments!

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland Refurb List released 9/29/14 

P1010011_zpsdfa5c898To ensure you are up to date on refurbishment closures at Walt Disney World and Disneyland we would like to share the following information from the parks with you. “Please be advised that refurbishment information is subject to change without notice and should be confirmed just prior to visiting.”

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

  • Enchanted Tiki Room Sep. 27 – Oct. 3, 2014
  • Walt Disney World Railroad Sep. 29 – Nov. 7, 2014
  • The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour Sep. 29 – Nov. 7, 2014
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin Nov. 10 – 21, 2014
  • Haunted Mansion  Dec. 1 – 19, 2014
  • Splash Mountain Jan. 4 – 30, 2015
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table Jan. 5 – Mar. 6, 2015
  • Harmony Barber Shop  Feb. 2 – Mar. 30, 2015
  • The Yankee Trader Jul. 28 – TBD


  • MaelstromLocation Closing- Oct. 6, 2014
  • The Spirit of Norway – Location Closing- Oct. 6, 2014

Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic!  Nov. 19 – 21, 2014
  • Studio Backlot Tour – Location Closing- Sep. 28, 2014

Animal Kingdom

  • Pangani Research Center – Aviary and Hippo viewing closed Sep. 2 – Nov. 14, 2014
  • Kali River Rapids Jan. 20 – Feb. 2, 2015


Water Parks

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Closed for Annual Refurbishment  Oct. 26, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015

Blizzard Beach Water Park Closed for Annual Refurbishment  Jan. 4 – Mar. 14, 2015


Disney’s All Star Music Resort

  • Intermission Food Court Aug. 1 – Dec. 19, 2014
    Note’able Games Arcade will serve as a temporary location for grab-and-go meals such as sandwiches, salads, and bakery items. Transportation will be provided for Guests who wish to dine at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort or Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. Pizza and other items available for in-room delivery daily from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Note’able Games Arcade Jul. 26 – Dec. 19, 2014
    Guests may visit the arcades available at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort.

Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

  • Uwanja Camp- Water Play area not available- Sep. 22 – Oct. 24, 2014

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Kouzzina by Cat Cora Location Closing Sep. 30, 2014

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • n/a

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  •   n/a

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

  • General Construction Dec. 2013 – Mar. 2015
    The east portion of the beach (near the Transportation and Ticket Center) and Sunset Point are being refurbished and are unavailable. Guests may see or hear work in progress.
  • Great Ceremonial House – Lobby Mar. – Dec. 2014
    The atrium is being reimagined to highlight the cultural elements of Polynesia and provide more expansive views. At certain times of day, there may be some noise and alternative paths of travel may be needed throughout the Great Ceremonial House. To enhance the check-in experience, Guests are encouraged to participate in Online Check-In.
  • Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide Jul. 28, 2014 – early 2015
    The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements. Guests who stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort while the main pool is closed will receive one complimentary ticket for each member of their party to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during their stay.
  • Kona Island Aug. 8 – Oct. 2, 2014
  • Samoa Snacks Aug. 25, 2014 – TBD Merchandise Location Closure

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • n/a

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Silver Creek Springs Pool Sep. 3 – Nov. 27, 2014
    The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements. During this time, the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will remain open. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit either the Main Pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Complimentary transportation will be provided to both of these neighboring resorts.
  • Trout Pass Pool Bar Sep. 3 – Nov. 27, 2014

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

  • Guest Room Renovations Aug. 20, 2014 – TBD Renovation work is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. No guests will be accommodated in the renovation area as to minimize impact on the guest experience.

Downtown Disney Area

  • Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive  Through Mar. 2016 Due to heavy roadwork, expect delays on Buena Vista Drive. It is recommended that Guests use complimentary Walt Disney World Resort transportation from Parks and Resorts to Downtown Disney and plan to arrive early for reserved dining and entertainment experiences.

Golf Courses/Miniature Golf
All locations where showing work in October-November previously but removed from the list on 9/12/14.

From Disney: “Information and dates subject to change without notice. Last Updated September 29, 2014″


Disneyland Park

  • Horse Drawn Street Cars Sep. 2 – Oct. 15, 2014
  • Mark Twain Riverboat Sep. 5 – Nov. 28, 2014
  • Fantasyland Fruit Cart Sep. 8 – Oct. 16, 2014
  • Captain EO Magic Eye Theater Sep. 12 – 25, 2014
  • it’s a small world Oct. 20 – Nov. 6, 2014
  • Plaza Inn Oct. 27 – Nov. 6, 2014
  • Big Thunder Ranch – Petting Farm Nov. 1 – 6, 2014
  • Space Mountain Nov. 3, 2014
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey Nov. 4 – 5, 2014
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventure Nov. 4 – 5, 2014

Disney California Adventure

  • blue sky Cellar Nov. 25, 2013 – Oct. 2, 2014
  • Boudin Bakery Oct. 21, 2014 – Jan. 16, 2015
  • Turtle Talk with Crush (Disney Animation) Oct. 28 – 29, 2014


Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  • Napa Rose Restaurant Aug. 4 – Oct. 1, 2014

“Information and dates subject to change without notice. Last Updated September 29, 2014″

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Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot: Air Supply

Beginning today and through October 2nd, Air Supply will take the stage at Epcot’s Eat to the Beat concert series.  From the mid 70’s and early part of the 80’s, Air Supply was everywhere. They had many different hits, and now they will be front and center in the America Gardens Theater

air supply

Air Supply is an Australian soft rock duo, consisting of British-born singer-songwriter and guitarist Graham Russell and lead vocalistRussell Hitchcock. They had a succession of hits worldwide, including eight Top Ten hits in the United States, in the early 1980s. They formed in Australia in 1975 and have included various accompanying musicians and singers. They have sold more than 100 million albums.

2014 also marks Air Supply’s 39th year together as a band.

The daily show times for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series take place at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM. All concerts take place in the American Gardens Theater which is found in the Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion. The shows are free and included with Epcot park admission.

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"Mmmhops" Beer by Hanson at Epcot’s Food and Wine Fest!


As some of you already know, I saw the group Hanson last night at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. They were really good and put on an excellent show! During the show, they were also promoting their beer that just came out recently called “Mmmhops” appropriately. Mmmhops is selling at the American Pavilion right behind the concert area. My curiosity was peaked after hearing them talk about it, so after the concert we headed over to get a glass and give it a try. It’s $3.50 a cup, so the price was decent too! Hanson was at Epcot this morning as well, talking about their newest venture!

The Hanson Brothers Beer Company started in their home state of Oklahoma. While the name “Mmmhops” is awesome, the beer isn’t bad either, and I’m not even a beer drinker. For a pale ale, it’s got a bit of a kick to it (7.5% alcohol content) and also some sweetness — kind of like a Hanson album really. Mmmhops recently won a gold medal at the World Beer Championship. Pretty interesting if you ask me!

Mmmhops, from the guys that invented Mmmbop, can be bought online, at select retailers and at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. So, if you’re like me and want a little 90’s nostalgia, give it a try! Maybe drink some Mmmhop while listening to Mmmbop…. make an evening of it! Enjoy!


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Saying Goodbye to Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios


Last night, the Frozen Summer Fun event wrapped up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were at opening day, but actually that was on July 5th. Time flies when you’re having fun! I know a lot of people are over the Frozen hype, but truthfully, the Frozen Summer Fun added some much needed excitement to Hollywood Studios these past few months. Between the cupcakes, little morning parade, sing a long, DJ Chill and band at night, and the beautifully done fireworks at night….. it was a good thing.



Out of all of the festivities, the Frozen fireworks were my favorite. The stage show beforehand wasn’t a favorite for my kids after they had seen it a few times, but the fireworks never got old. The Frozen fireworks were choreographed perfectly to some of our favorite songs from the movie, and they really couldn’t have done a better job. We went to see the fireworks at the Studios probably a dozen times, and loved it each and every visit. Oh, and the “snow” falling afterwards was a perfect ending to a fun day.


So, now that Frozen Summer Fun is over…. What’s next for Hollywood Studios? Well, with the Backlot Tour closing, and American Idol also gone, looks like they’re making room for more great attractions for guests to enjoy. We’ll stay on top of the latest news there, of course. Thanks Frozen Summer Fun for making our summer a bit more enjoyable this year, you will be missed….. especially those fireworks! I hope they bring them back for an encore someday!