Archive for September, 2011

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 9): Food Break

Eating at Disney Parks over the years has become a bit of a chore with Disney constantly changing up it’s offerings to usually inferior products, but the opposite seems to be the case at Disneyland, it’s only gotten better over the years (and it was actually pretty good to begin with). In between discussing the two parks, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to talk about what I ate on the trip (and make you all hungry).

Hawaiian Cheeseburger

Where Can I Eat it?: Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel

By the time my family got up to Anaheim from San Diego and got checked into the hotel, it was already around 8:00 at night, so we were looking for something quick so we could have some time to walk around Downtown Disney before going back to the hotel and getting ready for our first day at Disneyland. We looked all through Downtown Disney for a good quick service restaurant, but the odd thing about Downtown Disney at Disneyland is that almost all of the restaurants there are sit down restaurants. As we were getting ready to leave the area hungry and frustrated, I suggested that we try the dining at the Disneyland Hotel; I had heard good things about what was going on at the hotel with it’s renovations, so it was worth a shot. I am very glad that we decided to do this, as the Hawaiian Cheeseburger was one of the best things I ate that weekend.

The Hawaiian Cheeseburger is a 1/3 pound angus beef patty on a multi-grain hamburger roll and the usual fixings, but add some bacon, grilled pineapple, and teriyaki sauce. The burger is served with some coleslaw in a papaya sauce that was surprisingly spicy and incredibly flavourful. All of this is made better if you eat your meal with some of the special flavour of lemonade that they have at the restaurant that I can’t exactly remember what it is, but I remember it being very fruity and tasty.

Steak Gumbo

Where Can I Eat it?: Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

I was hoping that I would be able to get the famous Monte Cristo sandwich for lunch at the Cafe Orleans (as I was pretty sure that my mom would not go for a $25 sandwich at the Blue Bayou) only to find out that Cafe Orleans is a sit down restaurant. I was perfectly fine with eating there, but ultimately, my mom has the final say when we eat at the parks, much to my chagrin. It was time to fall back on my old stand-by of the Steak Gumbo at the Royal Street Veranda.

The Steak Gumbo is not exactly the prettiest dish out there, but it tastes pretty good. It’s kind of spicy and has a surprisingly large amount of steak in it, which is a good thing considering that it’s $9.99 per bowl. It’s served in a bread bowl (the bread isn’t the highest quality out there, actually it’s kind of mediocre. The fact that it absorbs the flavour of the gumbo and sucks up some of the moisture, it’s quality is greatly improved), so combined with the thick and heavy soup, it will fill you up and keep you full for a good while. I honestly do not know why they give you crackers when the gumbo is served in a bread bowl, but to each their own. Just remember that it’s a hot soup, so it’s not the best idea to get it in the middle of the summer on a swelteringly hot Southern California day, but it definitely hits the spot in the middle of February when it’s a bit cooler.

There is also a bit of novelty to the idea of getting gumbo from what is literally a hole in the wall quick service restaurant.

Dole Whip Float

Where Can I Eat it?: Tiki Juice Bar (and you should eat it while watching Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room) in Adventureland at Disneyland (or Walt Disney World)

There seems to be a trend going on here with Hawaiian-inspired foods, and that is definitely not a bad thing considering that pineapples are one of the most awesome fruits out there. But seriously, the Dole Whip Float is pineapple soft serve and pineapple juice with a cherry and one of those awesome little drink umbrellas. You can’t possibly make a better dessert than that, the sheer mouthwatering nature of the float combined with the immensely entertaining Tiki Room makes the experience very special.

You can actually buy the Dole Whip mix from Dole, and as soon as I get my hands on an ice cream maker, this will definitely happen so I can have Dole Whips whenever I please.

Big Al’s Chicken Salad

Where Can I Eat it?: Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country at Disneyland

It’s nice to see that even though the Country Bear Jamboree is gone from Disneyland (and replaced with a sub-par Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) that there are still some references to the attraction and Bear Country (which became Critter Country with the opening of Splash Mountain) to be found in the Hungry Bear Restaurant. The particular reference that is the topic of this section is the salad named after everyone’s favourite Country Bear, Big Al (why it’s a salad and not a burger swimming in grease is a rather interesting conundrum).

Take some lettuce, smoked chicken, and tomatoes and add some watermelon, candied pecans, dried cherries, and pickled red onions and cover all of that with a honey-lime vinaigrette and you have what is easily one of the best salads on property. It was so good that it made me not care that the Southwestern Chicken Salad with it’s corn and bar-b-que sauce were gone from the restaurant. It’s the kind of salad that is so special because of the varieties of flavours that it fills your mouth with: the smokiness of the chicken, the sweetness of the watermelon and the honey-lime vinaigrette, the slight saltiness of the candied pecans, and the slight kick that the pickled onions provide all work exceptionally well together to make a very pleasing experience. If you are going to eat at the Hungry Bear, definitely get a spot near the water and depending on when you eat there, you may catch a glimpse of the cast members preparing for Fantasmic, which makes for some very entertaining sights during dinner.


I didn’t actually eat any desserts (as they are really freaking expensive), but they looked so good that I had to post them here.

Hunny Lemon Cupcakes:

Various Candy Apples: 

(I really wanted to get the white chocolate Jack Skellington one, as it combines some of my favourite things: Nightmare Before Christmas, white chocolate, apples, and WHIMSY; but $9.95 is just too steep of a price for a candy apple)

There hasn’t really been that much at California Adventure that wow-ed me. The chicken sandwich at Taste Pilots’ Grill is pretty good and is made better that it comes plain and you can put whatever you want on it. California Adventure’s food will get better as the park gets better, so I’m hoping that when the park is finished in this current wave of renovations, that there will be a lot more great places to eat. I’ve heard good things about Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, but they opened shortly after I was there, so there’s not much that can be said by me about them.

For a conclusion, I’m just going to leave this here:

Yes, that is a loaf of Mickey Mouse bread.


My Time With Pottermore

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine (the same one who helped me establish the philosophy of the Lost Boy) solved the question presented to get into the beta of Pottermore and quickly posted it on a number of Facebook walls within our group of friends. Throughout the following weeks, I waited impatiently for the beta to actually open for me and over the weekend, it finally did.

For those of you who don’t know, Pottermore is a kind of companion piece for the Harry Potter books. It has a number of interactive images for important scenes in each chapter that allow you to explore the books in a deeper fashion than reading just the books would allow. While exploring these scenes, you can find content that was not in the books like deeper explanations of aspects of the book like the make-up of wands and how that affects the wand’s choice in a wizard and the different attributes of spell casting that each material helps or hinders and also explains the backstories of some characters that were never explained in the book. The biggest one in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is Professor McGonagall and her story is told through three parts that really show how she became the woman she is.

The website is not a replacement for the books, it’s just a companion piece. As stated earlier, it only has key scenes from each chapter. If you had not read the books or seen any of the movies, you would be completely lost, Pottermore is a fans only experience, but it pushes all of the right buttons to make it something that the fans will really love.

Within the story, you get your own letter to Hogwarts, go to Diagon Alley and get the required supplies, a pet (which becomes your avatar for the site), and your own wand (my wand is 12 1/2 inches, Aspen wood with a Dragon Heartstring, and is surprisingly swishy), and once you get to Hogwarts, you are even sorted into a house (I wanted to be a Ravenclaw, but I was sorted into my second choice of Slytherin. There is a surprising amount of people who should be other houses that are sorted into Hufflepuff, though) and are able to compete in the House Cup (I am proud to say that as of the writing of this post, Slytherin is in the lead). You earn house points by finding items within the scenes, casting spells accurately in a Typing of the Dead styled minigame, mixing potions in a timed minigame that is surprisingly difficult but fun, and competing in Wizard Duels with other people playing Pottermore.

The site is still in beta testing, but it is supposed to open to the public in October. It has some stability issues and is going to need a crapton more servers to counter-act the number of people that will be trying to use the site. The beta version has some serious stability issues due to lack of servers and I can only imagine how bad it will be when it actually launches.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, definitely check out the site when it actually goes live. It’s a fun little companion piece to a fun series of books that will delight the fans for years to come.


Avatar is coming to Animal Kingdom in a New Land

Disney announced one of the most perplexing pieces of news this week completely out of the blue (ha ha, puns): Avatar is coming to the Animal Kingdom as a new land, construction will start in 2013 and is set to open sometime in 2016. That’s it, that’s all they announced. There was also the normal PR statements like:

“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”

My problem with this statement is that unless the movie is rated R, James Cameron’s movies are overly long and kind of suck. What movies do people think about when they’re talking about James Cameron? Terminator and Aliens, not Avatar and Titanic.

“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

Ugh, a trilogy of Avatar films? Maybe they’ll actually have stories that are worth telling.

“AVATAR is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. Its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures, and strong themes of family and loyalty make it a perfect fit for Disney,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We can’t wait to give our guests the ability to journey to Pandora and explore the incredible immersive world of AVATAR in person.”

Spectacular settings? Yes. Imaginative creatures? Yes. Strong themes of family and loyalty? Yes. Intriguing characters? WRONG. The characters were one dimensional stereotypes that were completely uninteresting to watch on film and only made the story seem even less interesting than it already was. The Avatar land is very obviously Disney’s response to the runaway success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I am dubious as to the staying power of Avatar compared to the staying power of Harry Potter.

I really did not like Avatar. I thought it was a pretty movie that was completely vapid when it came to characters and story. All of this was made worse by the fact that it was about an hour to an hour and a half too long. That being said, I am cautiously optimistic about this new Avatar/Animal Kingdom project. The world building in Avatar was very impressive and I would love to explore the world of Pandora, just as long as they keep the story and characters from the movie out of it. Avatar just does not have a strong enough story to hold up a single attraction let alone an entire land. Besides, a Disney park is no place for any form of military industrial complex.

The possibilities of this land is what interests me the most. In 2010, Disney patented a technology that would allow puppeteers and their puppets the ability to “fly” with their puppets and the obvious implementation of this is to have the dragon things and the Na’vi in some sort of show. The world of Avatar is a very well designed one and they could do some very cool things with the Living Character Initiative for interacting with animals if Disney were to put the necessary money into it (and the land is supposedly going to cost 200 million dollars) and the attractions could end up being very cool if they stay away from the story of the movie. The world of Pandora could work inside Animal Kingdom if they handle it correctly, and I really hope they do. Animal Kingdom was supposed to be about both real life animals and beasts of fantasy, the fantasy inspired Beastly Kingdom land seems to be completely gone at this point, so Pandora could fill in that role (actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if they use some of the plans for Beastly Kingdom for Pandora).

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 8): Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln

This is the last part of my adventure that will occur in the Disneyland park for a while, but not the last part of the Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland, and like last week’s adventure, this one is a return of a beloved classic.

The original Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened with it’s a small world and the Carousel of Progress at the 1964-1965 Worlds Fair in New York and was moved to Disneyland when the fair closed in 1965 where it sat in the Main Street Opera house until 1973 when it was replaced by the Walt Disney Story. Guests did not like seeing Mr. Lincoln go away, so in 1975 the Walt Disney Story re-opened as the Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The show remained the same until 1984 when a new Lincoln audio-animatronic was created that was more lifelike and the show was changed around a little bit to add some content from the then relatively new American Adventure show at EPCOT Center.

The show continued to be a popular one until the late 90’s/early 2000’s, so Disney decided to completely overhaul the attraction and make it fresh. Unfortunately, the team that worked on this new version of Great Moments must have looked at what happened to Journey into Imagination when it got it’s overhaul and thought that it was a great idea. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened with a brand new binaural audio section at the beginning and shifted it’s focus to the Civil War. This sounds okay on paper, right? Sure it does, until you realize that the show should be renamed Great Moments Getting a Shave. The show created a fictional character that guests followed as he developed pictures, got a shave, went to war, left war because he got shot, and went to see Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address. This version of the attraction focused more on the then relatively new binaural audio technology and less on Lincoln and his role in the show was cut down drastically due to the shorter length of the Gettysburg Address compared to Lincoln’s old speech. Needless to say, people were not pleased.

Luckily, this version of the attraction did not last long. When Disneyland celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in 2005, the Main Street Opera House opened it’s first completely new show since 1973: Disneyland: the First 50 Magical Years. This was a great attraction (and still mostly exists there today) and replaced the Lincoln show with a short documentary on Disneyland hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck. The show was interesting, the movie was funny, and both the show and the movie were educational. In 2009, Lincoln returned to the Opera House in a new version of the attraction called the Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

I had never seen Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln as the first time I came to Disneyland was in 2004 when the attraction was being converted over to the Disneyland: the First 50 Magical Years, but I must say that I am glad that my first experience with Mr. Lincoln was this one. This new version of the attraction is a bit of a combination of the 1984 and 2001 version. It features the same script for Lincoln as was in the 1984 version as well as some of the biography found in that show (albeit a shorter version than what could be seen in 1984) and also featured some of the Civil War content from the 2001 version, but none of the stupid binaural audio. The real star of the show here is the brand new Lincoln audio-animatronic. The new figure runs all on electronics rather than the hydraulics in the old figure and has some of the smoothest movements out of any of the audio-animatronics I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot) and can be one of the most scarily expressive ones in existence. This new Lincoln is obscenely life-like and managed to somehow stay out of the uncanny-valley so I was already geeking out about the animatronic when I first saw it, but when he stood up I freaking lost it. The Lincoln animatronic is absolutely amazing and I am very excited to see how this new breed of audio-animatronic will be used in the future.

Cinematic Adventures: Hook

I was going to talk about the Tokyo Game Show today, but today is a very special holiday and I thought it would be bett-arr to get in the spirit. Septemb-arr the 19th ev-arry year marks International Talk Like a Pirate Day (as I can assume some of you may have guessed by the “arr”), so we’re going to stumble upon a chest of nostalgia today.

Peter Pan is a very fun property (and is one that I based my central philosophy of life on), but beyond the original stories, there isn’t that much in the series that is particularly good besides the original stories by J.M. Barrie and a surprisingly large amount of mediocre adaptations of said original stories. This spotty track record would lead you to assume that there would be even less watchable sequels based off of the material (you would be right), but there is definitely one good sequel, and it is actually the only sequel that I view as being worthy of that status, and that is Steven Spielberg’s Hook.

Hook follows a now adult Peter Pan (now named Peter Banning) (Robin Williams) who has completely forgotten about Neverland and works so hard that he neglects his family, all of this changes when he returns to England with his family for the dedication of a new wing of a hospital being named after Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith) and Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and Mr. Smee (Bob Hoskins) kidnaps his children in order to get revenge on Pan. The problem is that Peter has completely forgotten about Neverland and being Peter Pan, this all changes when Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) takes him back and gets the Lost Boys, now led by Rufio (Dante Basco, you may also recognize his voice as being Zuko from Avatar: the Last Airbender) to teach him how to be Pan again in order to end the battle with Hook and save his children.

The story can be very sappy at times (which can easily be said about almost every Steven Spielberg after he had kids and he started making films he can watch with his family), but it is a very fun story that manages to stay true to the original stories while otherwise being completely new.

Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman really bring their A-games here. Williams is genuinely hilarious at times and does a very good job of being a serious dad and kind of a dick. I actually did not realize that Hook was played by Dustin Hoffman for the longest time as he isn’t playing any semblance of a role he has played before. He is actually rather imposing and menacing, which is rather amazing considering how short Hoffman is normally. What makes Hoffman’s acting so great in this film is his mouth movements, all of his smiles and grimaces are amplified to comical levels (I think part of the reason that this happens is because of the moustache). The real star of the show, though, is Bob Hoskins as Mr. Smee. In Hook, Smee is a very sarcastic character that will turn tail and run at the slightest notice. Hoskins brings this grizzled sliminess to the role that makes him very fun to watch. Who I do not like in the film is Julia Roberts, but that is probably more that I have never liked her than she is bad in the film.

The best thing in the film is the set design. Everything is obscenely detailed and distinctive, the architecture of the Pirate village and ship is much more “normal” (and I use that term as loosely as possible to refer to a place where there are railings that have busts of Captain Hook built into the support rails) as opposed to the heavily natural and cobbled together Lost Boy treehouse. This is the kind of film where every time you watch the film, you see new things. Also, I want the little island in the Captain’s Quarters along with his bed that lowers from the ceiling. Actually, scratch that, I want his entire quarters. The costumes are just as impressive to look at as the scenery is. I love that the Lost Boys look like they got all of their clothes from a Goodwill in the middle of the jungle. The pirates look like, well, pirates. No surprise there, but there is a very large amount of variety in the materials and colours found in their costumes and no pirate is exactly the same as any other one. It’s actually rather impressive considering the large number of pirates that populate Hook’s crew.

John Williams did the score for the film and the score was surprisingly low key compared to his other well known pieces. That’s not to say that there aren’t bombastic themes in the film, but they are fewer and farther between.

Hook is not the best movie out there, but it’s a very entertaining one. It can be sappy and overly silly (I’m looking right at you Final Battle Scene) and has some very mediocre sword choreography, but the performances by Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Bob Hoskins along with the amusing story and amazing costumes and sets make Hook a highly watchable (and re-watchable) film.

Cinematic Adventures: The King Has Returned

On September 16th, the Lion King was re-released to theatres for a limited 2 week run in a brand new 3D version. The question is whether or not said re-release is worth it, and that answer is a very resounding yes.

The 3D conversion on the Lion King has already been talked about on the blog before, and I am very happy to report that Disney did the 3D conversion right. It’s never distracting and actually more serves to bring you even more into the story than you ever have been before. The characters have this added dimensionality to them that makes them look almost like they were rendered in CG due to the added weight and depth the 3D conversion adds. This actually serves to make the film look better than it ever has (and this is not due to an HD conversion, the theatre I saw the 3D version in was very obviously showing it in standard definition). The “Circle of Life” is really the scene that stood out the most with 3D due to the constant changing of scenery and the part where Zazu flies up to Pride Rock. It really showed off almost everything that could be done with the 3D conversion and got everyone excited for the rest of the film. The Stampede scene and the final battle also looked amazing in 3D.

It should also be noted that the 3D version of the Lion King is the original theatrical version, not the extended one with the “Morning Report”.

Unfortunately, our theatre going experience wasn’t exactly the best. I live in a college town for most of the year and completely forgot that families also live in said college town, so when we went into the theatre, there were kids freaking everywhere. I love kids, but not in movie theatres. Their parents were talking to them the entire time, saying things like “Who’s that” and “look at the elephant!” Seriously parents, treat your children like equals rather than subordinates, they will come out much better in the end. That being put aside, the sound was awful in the theatre. There sounded like there was a speaker that wasn’t working and there wasn’t even any bass in the theatre. It was very obvious and actually more distracting than the 3D ever was.

All in all, go see the Lion King in 3D. It really shows off the fact that 3D conversions can work when they are actually done well and only serves to make me want to buy the 3D version when it comes out on Blu-Ray, because I know that it will look even better in HD.

Anyone else out there think that the Lion King 3D is going to take the number one spot at the box office this weekend? It really wouldn’t surprise me if it does.

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 7): it’s a small double feature

This entry in the trip report is another two parter, but the connection between the two attractions won’t make very much sense at first.

The Disney Gallery was one of my favourite attractions when I first went to Disneyland. The converted apartment in New Orleans Square above the Pirates of the Caribbean is actually what got me into Imagineering to the extent I am through the Haunted Mansion exhibit that was being shown in the Gallery during the fall of 2004. The ability to see the concept art of an attraction that had always been one my favourites, to see how it was formed, to see what influenced what eventually became what we know as the Haunted Mansion was astounding, and then being able to buy a book chronicling the creation of the attraction (and the rather unfortunate film that was spawned from the underworld) was a novel concept in a world before Amazon completely changed how people bought things (and before Imagineering books were available on the shopping giant). All of this being said, it is very easy to understand that when seemingly closed for good in 2007 with no plans to reopen it anywhere else in the park, I was crestfallen.

The attraction was one that was exclusive only to Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, so I would have to travel outside of the country to get my fix of a gallery of art from Imagineering, and that was something completely unfeasible at this point in time.

Flash forward to 2009, when the Bank of Main Street opened it’s vault to show off all of the artwork found inside in the new version of the Disney Gallery. When Disney announced that the Disney Gallery was returning to the park, I was naturally excited. Imagine how much that level of excitement jumped when we walked by the newly reopened gallery and saw that the exhibit was called “The Colors of Mary Blair.” It has been mentioned on the blog before that Mary Blair is one of my favourite artists, her style is wonderfully simplistic yet expressive and is made even better by her use of bright and vibrant colours. The exhibit covers both her work on various Disney films as well as the Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary and her most famous work of all, it’s a small world.

The new Disney Gallery is a much better gallery than the old one as it was actually designed to be a gallery. There is a much larger amount of open space for people to mill about in, which also makes it easier for guests to move around the room to see the amazing pieces of artwork. The original Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square was designed to be an apartment for the Disney family, and the curators of the gallery decided that it would be a good idea to hang artwork in very small hallways that were obviously not intended to have numerous people in them at one time, and definitely not people stopping to look at a large amount of artwork. The gallery also flows much better now, with much better designed gallery spaces and more room for artwork. Overall, the closing of the Disney Gallery, while disappointing to see it go and equally disappointing to not be able to walk up to the Disney family apartment unless you win a night in the Dream Suite (yeah… good luck with that), it seems like it worked out for the better.

Now, onto the second part of our double feature.

When it was announced that it’s a small world would be opening at Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney announced that they would be making an alteration to the well established formula of the attraction. Regional changes to it’s a small world is not a new thing, as when the attraction opened at Disneyland Paris, more languages were added to the attraction all singing that obscenely catchy song, but this was something different. Disney was adding more Disney to the attraction in the form of Disney characters. Needless to say, people were confused and very hesitant of this change. Shortly after this was announced, it was announced that the original version at Disneyland would be closing down as so that the flume and boats could be replaced, and so new jets could be installed to help propel the boats better.

it’s a small world opened in April of 2008 at Hong Kong Disneyland the division between parties became a very different one with people either loving how the characters were handled in the Mary Blair style and how overall they aren’t obscenely noticeable, but other people did not like the changes and absolutely did not want them to come to an American park. The latter were in for a very disappointing surprise when Disney announced that these changes would be coming to America. I will have you know that I am not in the latter crowd, I very much enjoyed the changes.

The only problem that may come from these changes is the idea that when you ride the new version of the attraction for the first time, it becomes a giant game of find the Disney characters. This one cannot speak from experience as to whether this continues as I have only rode the new version of the attraction once, but if it does please comment below. Going back to the Disney characters, though, this is the kind of thing where when the added characters work, they really work. The Alice in Wonderland section in Great Britain works well because she was added into a place where she makes sense (also Mary Blair designed the look of that movie, so it would only be natural that Alice would fit), Aladdin and Jasmine in the Arabic section works because they just replaced one of the pre-existing flying carpets, Mulan works because she is flying a Mushu kite and doesn’t have a Mushu just sitting there, Ariel in the South Seas area works because she replaced one of the mermaids. Lilo works, but Stitch just looks out of place. The same can be said about the new America section that adds Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye. Their designs just don’t click with the rest of the attraction and they just look weird.

Honestly, the changes to the classic formula work for me. If they don’t work for you (or you just want to reaffirm my statements), please say so below!