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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream The Disneyland Dream Suite.

I thought this should get it's own post.

Like I mentioned a long time ago in the New Orleans Square post, Walt Disney died before his private suite anove Pirates of the Caribbean could be finished, dubbed the Royal Suite. Years later the space would open up to the public, but this time in the form of the Disney Gallery.

In October 2007, the Disney Gallery closed. That's when Disney announced plans to build the Disneyland Dream Suite. The remodeled apartment would finally realize Walt Disney's dream. Each day during the Year of a Million Dreams, a lucky guest and 5 of thier friends/family members could spend the night in the suite.

The apartment featured a living room, not 1 but 2 master bedrooms and 2 master bathrooms, as well as a patio and private balcony overlooking the Rivers of America.

On August 10, 2008, I had the privlege to spend the night in the suite. But the night came with more then just that. Though the Dream Suite itself was the most amazing part of the night, the following also rounded out the evening:
-Dinner at Blue Bayou (they took Prime Rib off the menu, but the Isla Tesora chicken is great!)
-Grand Marshal of the Parade of Dreams, and a private "box" o view it in.
-Spotlight on us before Fantasmic!, with VIP seating in the private balcony for the best view of Fantasmic! (Not to mention an assortment of delicious chocolates that enhanced the performance. See pic below).
-Tour of the park after closing. Disneyland is very odd at night, just so quiet! But all the lights remain on.

Here are some pictures:

The Parlor:

The Master Bedroom- Adventureland:

The Master Bedroom- Frontierland (with bathroom):

The Master Bathroom/Main Street Dressing Area:

The Courtyard:

The Balcony:

Here are the "Good Night Kisses". These were little things that would happen at night when you pressed a button.
Here's one from the Frontierland Bedroom:

Here's one from the Adventureland Bedroom:

And here's the cool clock in the living room. Every hour on the hour, it did a cool thing! Here's the Cinderella one.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Happiest Homecoming on Earth

For a long time, plans were being made on how to celebrate Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. It was a huge milestone. 50 Years ago, most people thought the venture would fail. But, persistence and Disney's general popularity kept the park from failing. And now this would be commemerated as well as 50 years of Disneyland History.

Though Disneyland would officially turn 50 on July 17, 1955, they began to celebrate this milestone event months before hand. And, in Space Mountain's case, years. Space Mountain went down in 2003, undergoing extensive track replacing and the addition of new effects. New music would also be featured on the new cars. This was ghe only thing that premiered on Disneyland's actual anniversary. Later, Space Mountain would be turned into Rock It Mountain with special equipment added in during the refurbishment. In just a few weeks, this same equipment will be used in Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, which will be a Halloween version of the ride.

But back to the 50th Anniversary- the actual anniversary began on May 5. The day before that, Disneyland was closed the entire day (the first planned closure in decades) for a media event. The next day, the actual celebration was held. And it was big. (And I searched the internet for a long time and could not find any videos of the celebration. Pics will have to do!).

All the Disney Parks around the world took part in the celebration, with new shows, parades, attractions, and decorations galore. In fact, it was during this year that Hong Kong Disneyland opened. And this was only the beginning. The true celebration was going on in Disneyland itself.

Besides Space Mountain, there were new rides and shows added throughout the Disneyland Resort. All attractions that were at Disneyland at opening day recieved a gold vehicle (Gold dumbo, Gold Jungle Cruise Boat, Gold Snow White Car, etc.).

Happiest Faces on Earth- Disney encouraged guests to send in pictures of thier family at Disneyland and these pictures (over 200,000!) were used to make collages around Disneyland.

Also sprung around the park were 50 Hidden Mickeys with the 50th Symbol on them.

The castle was also decorated extravagently.

Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years- This was an entertaining film showcasing Disneyland History, with stars Steve Martin and Donald Duck. The film continued to play until this spring. It took up the Lincon theater and was ousted by the return of Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. However, the movie will play outside the theater when the new Disney Gallery opens on Main Street in the former bank.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters- The ride from WDW was put here, although new and improved.

Block Party Bash- Opened in DCA, was a huge party set to music featuring Pixar Characters.

Parade Of Dreams- This lavish parade featured massive floats with dozens of characters that performed at various stops along the parade route. It is considered one of the best Disney parades ever.

Remember...Dreams Come True- This was the crowning glory of the entire celebration. This massive fireworks spectacular celebrated Disneyland's History through wonderful fireworks and effects set to a stunning score. It is Disney's best fireworks show, and my personal favorite.

On July 17, Disneyland was officially 50 years old. The following video was filmed at the big celebration Disneyland had that day. On this date, much like most of the others during the 50th Anniversary, saw record high attendance.

The celebration was so big it lasted over 18 months. It finally ended in September 2006 and was replaced by the Year of A Million Dreams. The following show is Remember... Dreams Come True. I think it's a suiting way to end this post. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Unofficial First Phase of DCA Expansion

DCA's numbers were dropping. Disney needed a way to get people into the park. So over the years, they came up with quite a few ways to do this. Let's explore what they did.

Later in 2001, Disney was going to bring back the Main Street Electrical Parade to it's home: Disneyland. This however was put on hold, and the parade went to DCA, It's name was also changed to "Disney's Electrical Parade". It has remained there up to and including now, but will return to Disneyland next year.

In 2002, as a response to the commonly stated "There are no attractions for kids here", Flik's Fun Fair opened, helping make a bug's land it's own land and not just a part of Golden State. This land was always home to It's Tough To Be A Bug!, but now there would be kids rides like Himlech's Chew Chew Train and Flick's Fliers.

In September, Who Wants to Be a Millionarie? Play It! opened. The show was more or less the same as the one on TV except anyone could play in the audience, and you played for prizes, not money. The show closed in 2004, and has since been a location for private parties and meetings.

A little later, Superstar Limo would be closed for good. This strange ride recieved much criticsm and ranting, so they finally closed it. It would be the first ride in DCA to be shut. A few years later, Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sully to The Rescue! would open. This ride would take quests through Monstropolis essentiall showing the guests the story. It's like any other dark ride. With little money to do this ride, I think this is a great example of how creative WDI can get with so little. (Well, except the facade. That still neeeds work!).

In 2003, the restuarant Soap Opera Bistro closed. Though the food and atmosphere were some of the best Disney had to offer, to many restaurants in DCA made it unpopular. IT closed and was replaced by Playhouse Disney- Live on Stage. In essence, it killed 2 birds with 1 stone: it closed a reataurant and added a kids attraction.

However, in 2004 the big ride opened up: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Though it's essentially the same ride from DHS, the exterior of the hotel is different. Also, the 4th Dimmension room as been removed due to the high matinece problems it has in the Florida version. The story is the same, however. In 1939, 5 people stepped into an elevator. The hotel was struck by lightning, and the guests disappeared. They were taken to- the Twilight Zone. Now, it's happening again.

And this is only the beginning. More was and still is on the way!