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??


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. 


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.