Friday, September 23, 2022

What MagicBand+ Will Do at Disneyland



 



You may or may not have heard by now, but the MagicBand system currently used at Walt Disney World (for, like, the past decade) is coming to Disneyland "this fall." We've seen a lot of questions floating around about this, so we wanted to sort out exactly what the MagicBand+ is, what it isn't, and what you'll need to do about it when it gets up and running. 


When are we getting MagicBand+?

This fall! What's that? It's fall already? Awkward....Well, I guess that means soon! There's no real start date yet but, as always when Disney is vague, we'll update when we have more info. 

What can it do?

There will be more to come later, but at launch it's best capabilities are:

  • can be scanned to enter the park
  • can be scanned for your lightning lane reservations instead of pulling out your phone and swiping through to scan in each person in your group
  • can be scanned by photographers to attach to your PhotoPass
Keep in mind to do any of that you'll need to connect your MagicBand+ and any others in your group to your Disneyland app. But it sounds like a good way of getting to use your phone less at the park. I did say less - you still reserve lightning late through the Disneyland App.

Other less useful but kind of fun capabilities include:
  • MagicBand+ will vibrate and light up in sync with nighttime shows (like those Glow with the Show ears they used to have)
  • Unlock a special Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters game in Galaxy's Edge (you'll need to connect your MagicBand+ to the Play Disney Parks app) where the lights and vibrations from the MagicBand+ will "guide you to find virtual bounties across Black Spire Outpost"

What CAN'T it do?

At least for now, you can't link it up with your credit card to pay for food/merch. That would be convenient though and I hope that's coming! It also doesn't work as a room key for the Disneyland Resort Hotels. But, again, that could be an eventual goal. 


How do I buy one/What does it cost?

MagicBand+ is already available through ShopDisney and they're $35-$45, depending on the style you choose. BE CAREFUL that you get the MagicBand+ and not the MagicBand 2 that can still be used at Disney World. There are actually a lot of styles to choose from so if you're interested in getting one you can easily match your style. 




Do I have to buy one?

Nope! This is totally optional. If it sounds fun and convenient for you, go for it! If you don't want to do it, no worries.

Can I use my old Disney World MagicBand?

MagicBand+ is NOT backwards compatible with the previously used MagicBands from Disney World (like the MagicBand 2), so if you have the older version, you'd need a new one for it to work at Disneyland. If you have the MagicBand+ that Disney World rolled out a few months ago, you're good.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Every D23 Announcement for Disneyland!



 

I feel like this year there was SO MUCH announced at D23 that its hard to keep up! We've been following the updates closely all weekend (because the dream of going to the D23 Expo and seeing the Parks Panel hasn't come true yet) so we can bring you all of the details in one place. Are you ready for this? It's a lot, so remain seated keeping your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the blog. Here we go!


Disney100 Celebration


Starting January of 2023, Disney is kicking off the 100 Years of Wonder celebration and according to Josh D'Amaro Disneyland will be the the "heart of the celebration" which makes me so happy! (Ok, also confused because how is this 100 years? But mostly happy because I'm sure we all agree Disneyland is the best...that's why we're all here right now, right?). The Platinum celebration theme wil be found throughout the park with a platinum update to Sleeping Beauty Castle, to character costumes on Main Street, and of course with platinum merch. Check out these Platinum Drip Minnie ears that the Disney Food Blog found at the D23 Expo!


Toontown Update

We've had some very vague looks at concept art for the Toontown remodel so far, so I was very excited to see detailed models of what we can expect when the land the toons built reopens. Its looking like Disney took what was always the best part of Toontown for my family (the play area at Goofy's house) and are really running with the concept of a nice big play area for young kids to run free rather than stand in line.  

There will be three play areas for kids to explore. First is CenTOONial Park, a grassy area with different things to climb on and a cute fountain (looks like its the fountain area in front of Roger Rabbit).


Then next is Goofy's How to Play Yard with more to climb outside and interactive games inside. 



After that we have Donald's boat which has needed so much attention over the years! This is going to be a splash pad area, so bring a change of clothes if you don't want your littles to be wet all day. 


The other interesting change is that Gadget's Go Coaster will now be Chip and Dale's Gadget Coaster. This keeps the coaster pretty much as is while taking out theming that, although my nostalgia loves, isn't exactly relevant to its primary audience. With either character theming, I'm really glad we're keeping this super cute intro-coaster for the littles.

Mickey's Runaway Railway is still underway and will FINALLY open "early 2023." I don't know about you, but I've watch YouTube ridethroughs from Walt Disney World's version and it's pretty adorable.

We've also got a change to the dining options coming. There's Pluto's Good Boy Grocers - a more farmer's market themed grab and go spot for fresher options. Then we'll have Cafe Daisy as the quick service option serving "diner classics."

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Update

We've been hearing about it for years now, but we also got some scale models of the new Tiana's Bayou Adventure (please don't start me on that bland name, I'm actually really excited to see a princess have a thrill ride!). 


While it won't be open until late 2024 and we still don't know a closure date for Splash Mountain, we DO know that Eudora's Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana's Gourmet Secrets will be opening next week in New Orlean's Square. As the name implies, the store will be a mashup of fashion and cooking. I'm really interested to see what's there! It was also announced that we'll get a Tiana's Palace restaurant, but no word on the exact location (my money's on Cafe Orleans). 

New Attraction for Avengers Campus!

A land needs more than one ride. End of story. So I'm happy to hear that we're getting a new multiverse themed adventure where you'll face off against a variety of villains, including King Thanos!


The Return of Magic Happens

Y'all remember Magic Happens parade right? No? Maybe because it ran for like a month tops before Disneyland shut down for a year and didn't bring it back? Ring a bell? Anyway, this super cute parade finally gets a fair shot when it returns next spring!

Photo Credit: Disney

World of Color - One

Get ready for a brand new update to World of Color!  World of Color - One will "tell a story of how a single action, like a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change." I do't totally know what that means, but I love World of Color, so I'm in.

New Disneyland Fireworks

Wondrous Journeys will continue the recent theme of adding projections around the park (along Main Street, on the castle, on the front of It's a Small World, and along the Rivers of America) to immerse you in it's story. This story will include all 60 Disney animated films. Anyone else really thrilled to hear that even the lesser known movies like Melody Time or The Black Cauldron will get a little love?

Mandalorian Meet and Greet

It's a small change, but its coming soon and I couldn't be more excited...The Mandolorian and Grogu will be out at Galaxy's Edge for meet and greets starting in November!!!

Photo Credit: Disney

Pacific Wharf Retheme

Going along with the theme changes of the past 10 years to California Adventure, the Pacific Wharf area is going to be transformed into San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six. And you guessed it...we'll get a Baymax meet and greet. I'm assuming we'll get new/rethemed restaurants to fit into the ones that are already in that area - anyone else hoping for Aunt Cass' wings with "hot sauce that makes our faces numb" like they ate in the movie??? No date announcement for the retheme yet.

Pixar Place Hotel

The Paradise Pier hotel sign has already come down to get ready for this one. Of course with Paradise Pier gone at the park, it was only a matter of time before its' hotel got a matching theme. The Pixar Place Hotel is on it's way in (no opening date yet) and all we know for sure is there'll be a Finding Nemo splash pad area and a Great Maple flagship restaurant.

RunDisney Returns to Disneyland!

Photo Credit: Disney

This has been a ton of info and if you're made it all the way through to the end here, you're my hero. The last announcement is that RunDisney races will FINALLY return to Disneyland starting in 2024. I'll be signing up for sure!

Friday, September 2, 2022

Halloween is Back at Disneyland!



 

I hope you're feeling spooky because Halloween has officially started at Disneyland! From new character costumes to the return of Oogie Boogie Bash, there's a lot to report on. Should we get started??


Decorations



One of the best things about Disneyland at Halloween is the detailed decorative touches everywhere you go. Over on the Disneyland Park side you have the Mickey and Friends pumpkins as you walk through the turnstiles, the Festival of Pumpkins all along Main Street (featuring my favorite Elvis pumpkin at the music shop), and the Jack O Lanterns surrounding the Partners Statue. And you've only walked down Main Street! Head to Frontierland to find the very underrated Halloween Tree, inspired by the 1972 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Frontierland also has a fantastic Dia de los Muertos display!



California Adventure doesn't disappoint when it comes to Halloween decorations either. At night, check out all of the very spooky purple lights in the trees along Buena Vista Street and into Carsland. Speaking of Carsland, they have a creepy spider car at Flo's that you can climb in for a perfect photo op plus lots of other car themed Halloween decorations sprinkled around. 

Characters in Costumes


Photo Credit: Disney

While we're still thinking about Carsland, you can spot Lightning and Mater in costumes (sometimes Red and Cruz as well!). Over on Main Street you'll find Mickey and friends in NEW COSTUMES this year!! I love Donald dressed as candy corn. 

Food

Photo Credit: Disney

My favorite part to talk about! Pizza Port has the Vampire Alien Macaron (with blackberry buttercream and lemon curd filling!). The French Market has a purple and green vanilla cake with raspberry mousse filling. While it looks amazing for photos, I can 100% guarantee it'll turn your teeth blue! Gibson Girl has a rocky road sundae with Halloween sprinkles. There's a super cute monster cake with eyeballs on the side at the Plaza Inn, and for the PSL fans there's a Pumpkin Spice funnel cake with caramel and toffee at the Stage Door Cafe. Speaking of funnel cake, there's an Oogie Boogie themed funnel cake at Award Wieners complete with gummy worms (my bugs!!). Lamplight Lounge has added ghost pepper nachos to their menu for Halloween - sounds spicy and delicious. And the Pacific Wharf Cappuccino Cart has an adorable pumpkin bundt cake. 

Photo Credit: Disney

Haunted Mansion Holiday

ITS BACK!!!! Sorry for the caps but this is my all time favorite ride. And I'm totally here for the gingerbread house each year. This year it's themed to our favorite trick or treaters - Lock, Shock, and Barrel. I haven't seen it in person yet and couldn't find a great pic to share with you, but there's an awesome video that Disney Parks put out on TikTok where you get a good look. You don't see a guillotine in Disneyland too often. I'm excited!



Monsters After Dark

Continuing on with returning ride overlays, Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark is back! During the day it continues to be the normal Mission Breakout, but after 3pm you get more monsters, more scary sound effects, and more darkness! 

Mater's Graveyard JamBOOree and Luigi's Honkin' Haul-O-Ween

For anyone who doesn't want anything as scary as Monsters After Dark, you should head over to Carsland to see the Halloween overlays at Mater's and Luigi's. Both get new decorations and new songs to help celebrate the season in a more playful way. 

Fireworks/ Projection Show

Photo Credit: Disney

Jack Skellington is your host for Halloween Screams - with fun music, projections, and actual fire. Keep in mind so you're not surprised, it looks like its projections only on weekdays with fireworks added in on weekends. Either way you'll have fun - if its anything like Mickey's Mix Magic, you get so immersed in the projections you might not even miss the fireworks. 

Oogie Boogie Bash

Its already sold out so I hope you have your tickets if you wanted to go. Oogie Boogie Bash is back! On select nights, you'll have an amazing Halloween party in DCA starting at 6pm. If you have tickets for the party but not the park, you can enter starting at 3pm and you can come in costume! There are trick or treat trails that give major candy hauls, a special Halloween parade, and a Villains Grove at the Redwood Challenge Trail where you can spot your favorite bad guys. Keep in mind if you AREN'T GOING to Oogie Boogie Bash, watch the schedule online or on the Disneyland app so you can figure out how to best avoid it.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Don't Get Fooled: Rumors are Everywhere!



 


Photo Credit: Disney

The Disneyland rumor mill is going crazy right now, and I'm NOT here for it! Let's separate the actual facts from the entirely made up "facts" that have been going around the internet like crazy today. 

Don't know what I'm talking about? 

I'll fill you in! Headlines from Disney bloggers are everywhere today saying that Tarzan's Treehouse is getting rethemed as Encanto. I've seen it from at least 5 sources today. Want to know who isn't one of those sources? Disney! A certain source who shall remain nameless for the moment (I may change my mind by the time I finish writing this) came out and said that Tarzan's Treehouse should be rethemed during it's closure, and then took a poll of its readers asking what the new theme should be. The readers overwhelmingly chose Encanto. The problem is that their overly sensationalized, click-bait headline made that retheme sound like a definite instead of speculation. 

What We Actually Know

Tarzan's Treehouse has been closed for refurbishment and, as part of the traffic flow improvement project all through Adventureland/New Orleans Square, the entrance is going to be redone (more like the attraction's original version) so that it's no longer way out in the already crowded walkway. 

That's literally it...

What We DON'T Know

Everything else!!

Is Tarzan being rethemed? I mean, Disney hasn't announced that, and they do tend to announce these things to build hype. They don't normally close a ride and retheme it in secret halfway through the closure. 

Should Tarzan be rethemed? If they came up with something that made sense, I guess so? But it would have to be with something that makes sense, and I don't think any of the current popular movies make any sense as a treehouse. 

Don't Get Fooled

It can be super fun to speculate about what's coming next from our favorite place. But when there's a huge announcement, check if the new info actually comes from Disney or if it's just from a source who likes to pretend they're in the room where it happens. 

Rant over, thank's for listening. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Nighttime Magic Returning to Disneyland!





Photo Credit: Disney


When I was (finally!) back at Disneyland last week, I was so excited to see Mickey's Mix Magic. Against my own judgements when that show was originally announced, I absolutely love it. But you know what Disneyland and California Adventure are missing? MORE NIGHTTIME ENTERTAINMENT! If you agree with me, you're in luck! There's a lot coming your way. 

Main Street Electrical Parade - Returning April 22

Photo Credit: Disney

I'm going to say it - I'm much rather see Paint the Night return. *But* with that being said, it's the MSEP's 50th anniversary and that is definitely something to celebrate! Along with the classic floats you know and love, we'll get a new grand finale float! It sounds like it's going to be an absolutely massive float with "characters and moments from more than a dozen beloved Disney and Pixar stories." We'll see newer hits like Encanto and Raya and the Last Dragon, along with classics like Mulan and the Jungle Book. Check out the image at the top of this post for an idea of what's in store for us.

World of Color - Returning April 22

Photo Credit: Disney

DCA fans rejoice! World of Color is FINALLY coming back on April 22. It's been too long!

Disneyland Forever - Returning April 22

Photo Credit: Disney

You know how I was just saying how much fun Mickey's Mix Magic is? Well, big shock, I love Disneyland Forever too!!! I love a show that actually celebrates Disneyland itself. Beginning April 22 until "late Spring" Disneyland Forever fireworks show will run Fridays-Sundays, with Mickey's Mix Magic as a projection only show Mondays-Thursdays. Best of both worlds? After that Mickey's Mix Magic will take a break and Disneyland Forever will run nightly during the summer. We'll have to wait and see what's in store for us in the Fall.


Fantasmic - Returning May 28


Photo Credit: Disney

Ok, Fantasmic fans...you'll have to wait just a little bit longer for this one. Fantasmic will be back May 28, hopefully giving Disney enough time to finish the enormous project they've been working on in New Orleans Square to give us all a little more breathing room when trying to get through that land, especially at night.

THE FOOD!!!!

Let's get to the good part.

Photo Credit: Disney

Fantasia Ice Cream is returning to the Gibson Girl for the Main Street Electrical Parade's anniversary. For those who don't know, it's banana, cherry and pistachio ice cream - super weird but super delicious!

Photo Credit: Disney

And who wants MSEP float popcorn buckets? Turtle AND Elliot will be available. 

There will also be full dining packages with food and reserved seating for World of Color and the Main Street Electrical Parade. Check out full details here.


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Toontown Closure Update: What We Know



 

We found out back in November that Toontown is slated for some big changes. Aside from some cool concept art, it was hard to tell what stays and what goes. 


But we've just got official word! Check it out:

Going or, according to Disney, being "reimagined in new and exciting ways":

  • Gadget's Go Coaster - This is a total bummer because it's a great way to ease smaller kids onto the big rides and see what they're ready for. Also, as someone who grew up with the Disney Afternoon, it's fun to see something so specifically from my childhood still hanging on in the parks. However, even with the new Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers movie coming out in May, there are not a ton of people who know who Gadget is or understand the theming. So I get it.
  • Goofy's House - I hold a special place in my heart for Goofy's House. My kids LOVED taking a little time out to play there when they were small so it'll hold a special place in my heart. But looking at the new park-like ideas for that area (keep reading for more info!), I think it's great that there will still be a nice space for littles to take a break and play.
  • Donald's Boat - I don't have too much to say about that one. Donald's Boat always felt like a missed opportunity to do...anything, really. I can see what looks like Donald's Boat in the concept art, so maybe they just have a better idea of how to execute it.


Staying:

  • Mickey's House - My favorite! I'd rather wait in line at Mickey's house and get to walk through all of its adorableness than stand in the sun on Main Street and maybe see him before he has to take a break. So glad it's staying!
  • Minnie's House - The best alternative to Mickey's House if the line is more than an hour. Minnie's is always a shorter wait. 
  • Roger Rabbit - Considering they just gave it an update, I would have been shocked if this wasn't staying! Speaking of the update, I can't believe there was so much press and "anger" over the changes to Jessica Rabbit. They're hardly even noticeable! It's weird making her a detective since the rest of the ride stays so close to the original movie. But it's an absolutely tiny change, once you're actually there looking at it.
What's new: 
  • Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway - Who's excited to see a ride starring Mickey and Minnie themselves?? It's counterpart at Walt Disney World is already open, so if you want a sneak peak there are tons of ride throughs on YouTube. It looks adorable! 
  • CenTOONial Park - This is going to be (what seems like) a very large playable space for young kids with an interactive fountain, climbable tree roots, and a large grassy area perfect for taking a break. 
Toontown has already been under very visible construction for a couple of months now, but will officially close down March 9, reopening early next year. What are you most excited for?