Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Blu-Ray Review: Cars Director’s Edition

The Cars films are ones that are highly debated as to their quality (or lack thereof) by both Disney fans and the general theatre going public. They are definitely loved by little boys (and mostly by little boys) and it is usually seen by people as Disney’s boy response to the wildly successful Princess line (considering that Pirates never really caught on in that regard, much to my chagrin). The films do not have a wide adult fan base, which makes the fact that this set even got made is rather surprising.

The set just oozes style and class from the outside with it’s metallic red paint job (it’s actually Lightning McQueen’s paint colour) and it’s exceptionally minimalist box design. On two sides, there is the Cars logo, John Lasseter’s signature, and the phrase “Director’s Edition”. On the other two sides there are the logos for the movies and short collection contained within (Cars, Cars 2, and Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales). If someone were to not know what the Cars movies were, the only indication as to what they were getting into would be the clear plastic box on the top of the set containing a John Lassetire die-cast figurine. The set looks awesome when put on a shelf between other DVD’s and Blu-Rays and helps to class up what could just be standard cases lined up next to each other. That being said, the box is rather big, it’s about the size of 11 DVD or Blu-Ray cases and is taller than your standard DVD case, so if you use a shelf made just for DVD’s, it’s going to need to sit somewhere else (I just sit it on top of the shelf with my other oversized or oddly shaped sets).
The Director’s Edition opens in a rather bizarre fashion. You actually have to lift off the entire red box (it ends up just being a giant slip cover) to reveal, for lack of a better phrase, a multi-tiered steel looking tower with the John Lassetire sitting on top of it. This tower does not look nearly as good as the slip cover, but it’s still a good looking box. The major problem with the set comes when you take off the top part of the tower. When you take it off, you are hit with a cheap looking checker-board flag, which seems to exist only to hide the cheapness of the disc packaging. The 11 discs in the set are covered by a cheap piece of plastic packaging that doesn’t even lock into place, which arises the question: why is it there? The inclusion of the plastic piece is weird, but what is infuriating is the fact that all of the discs are shoved into a piece of foam. No cases, no sleeves, just foam. For a set that has an MSRP of $119, this is completely unacceptable. I understand that Blu-Ray discs are able to take a higher threshold of scratches before they become unreadable due to the smaller size and the strength of the blue laser, but scratches are still scratches, and the foam will provide less protection than your standard DVD or Blu-Ray case. I’m really thinking about going out and getting either some jewel cases that fit in the box or just getting some cheap paper sleeves in order to keep the discs safe from harm.

The packaging of this set is really upsetting to me. I love the casing, but the way that the discs are held just kills the whole thing for me. I’m glad that I got the set for only $50 through a combined use of a $10 off coupon and a deal from Best Buy that got me an additional $10 off of the $70 price tag at the store. While the packaging leaves quite a bit to be desired, the discs themselves are pretty spectacular. The 11 discs are broken down between 5 discs for Cars 2 (2D and 3D Blu-Ray with a separate special features disc, DVD version of the film, and a digital copy) and Cars and the Cars Toons have 3 discs each (DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital copy). The special features for Cars are slim and are just the special features from the original release back in 2006 and I can’t speak for any special features on the Cars Toon set as I just haven’t watched it yet. The special features for Cars 2 are many and plentiful. Along with the normal making-of featurettes, there is a featurette on a car show that Pixar puts on every year, a short on Cars Land that ends up just being a giant commercial for the upcoming land, and even a version of the races from the film that are just the races and none of the story elements that breaks them up within the film.

Recommending this set is rather difficult, as it’s a great set from a looks perspective and the fact that you get a lot of content for your money, but the packaging really holds me back from saying that you should just go out and buy the set. If you can get it for cheap (like I did) and wouldn’t mind getting some cheap jewel cases or some disc sleeves or you don’t have at least 2 of the movies, then definitely go for it. Otherwise, stay away from this set.

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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.

Desserts

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.

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.

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!

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 6): Mickey’s SoundSational Parade

Disney is very hit-or-miss when it comes to parades, they’re basically always either amazing or crushingly mediocre. For every Pixar Play Parade, there’s a Block Party Bash/Pixar Pals: Countdown to Fun. Luckily for Disneyland (and it’s thousands of parade-goers), the exceptionally quirky Mickey’s SoundSational Parade is definitely the former.

One of the things that makes people favour Disneyland over Walt Disney World is the inclusion of live music. There are numerous bands (like the Dapper Dans, Hook and Ladder Company, Strawhatters, Royal Street Bachelors, and the Bootstrappers) around the Disneyland park that will play multiple shows a day, they do swing dancing lessons with a full big band, there is the Disneyland All-American College Band which collects some of the best college musicians from around the country, and there is of course the Disneyland Band. Mickey’s SoundSational Parade takes this history of live music and adds it to a parade for the first time in the history of a Disney park that isn’t just having the Disneyland Band or High School/College marching bands being part of the parade. The show doesn’t use the live music as much as I hoped it would, but it starts with a drum line and Mickey Mouse actually playing the drums (and playing them rather well) and a number of the floats have musical aspects to them like cymbals or simple drums for the characters to bang.

The parade takes the Disney standard route of taking a number of Disney films and making floats based around them, but the stylization of the parade is what really makes it special. The floats were designed by the amazing Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily (who also designed the Pixar Play Parade) and were designed to look like classic pop-up books. The muted colors of the floats give the parade a more retro look and the range of colour makes everything look very happy and childlike. The look works perfectly for the parade and seeing classic Disney films rendered in the style is a wonder to behold. Paper models of each of the parades were made by Kidney and Daily to get the exact look that Disney wanted for the parade along with being able to figure out how to have all of these very flat elements constructed in a way that they are dynamic and actually have depth. The parade has a very high level of whimsy with various fantastical structures flowing out of the floats and parts that move and spin, making a pleasant and kinetic experience. A number of the floats take the basic design of a drum and individualize them to fit the movie they are supposed to represent. Normally, I would think that this is a very lazy way of adding more floats to a parade, but they are actually very distinctive from each other and are followed by smaller floats that easily make up for the same base float being repeated.

The floats are great, but there real star of the show is the music (some might say it’s soundtrack is soundsational). The audio for the show combines a number of different songs from each featured movie that were re-recorded to flow together with each other along with the main theme without being too jaring. The main theme for the parade is very catchy (in a good way) and really gets you pumped up and in the mood for the rest of the parade, but is exceptionally variable. Throughout the parade, it’s arranged in different ways to reflect the style of music featured in each float, it starts in it’s normal form at the beginning with the Mickey Mouse float, but becomes more arabic sounding for Aladdin or jazzy for the Princess and the Frog float.

The parade starts with a drum line and the “Mickey Strikes up the Band” float and then goes through a number of floats representing different films (that all have very silly names), starting with the Aladdin’s Magical Cymbal Celebration, Sebastians Calypso Carnival, Donald’s Fiesta Fantastico (the Three Caballeros appearing for what is probably one of the first times in a parade), Royal Princesses Romantic Melodies (the design of the float is based almost entirely on Tangled, but Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White also appear on the float), Simba’s Beastly Beats (which also features the Jungle Book and Tarzan), Peter Pan’s Neverland Buccaneer Blast, Mary Poppins’ Spoonful of Rhythm, and Tiana’s New Orleans Jazzy Jamboree. In a very different change of pace, I actually took video of the parade on my very mediocre camera. I’m going to include it here (but I would honestly suggest you watch a better quality one)

Disney should really look at what makes this parade special (such as it’s whimsical art style and it’s fantastic soundtrack) and apply it to whatever parades come in the future. They should also bring a version of it to the Magic Kingdom. Just saying.

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 5): Magical and Fantasmic

Nights at Disneyland always need to end with fireworks. The only problem with this statement is that Disney has already created the best fireworks show that they will probably ever make (Remember… Dreams Come True), but decided to replace it seasonally with a different show. Magical: Disney’s New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations (which I’m pretty sure has to be the longest name ever to grace an attraction or show at a Disney park) is a new fireworks spectacular that started in 2009 and runs during the summer, alternating with the seasonal fireworks (Halloween Screams: A Villainous Surprise in the Skies) and Remember… Dreams Come True.

The show is very much a hodge-podge of different Disney films that are combined in a way that doesn’t really make that much sense. It’s supposed to be divided up into a number of different kinds of wishes, but it really doesn’t have any sort of rhyme or reason to it. The show has songs or clips from Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Dumbo, Enchanted, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. I very much enjoyed the focus on the older Disney films, but there isn’t a lot of cohesion in the show. What makes shows like Remember… Dreams Come True and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth so amazing is that there is a central theme. IllumiNations is all about the chaotic birth of the world, the world achieving some form of order, and then unity and harmony. It’s all very moving and makes thematic sense. Remember… Dreams Come True is about Disneyland. Each segment is related to a land or attraction, everything flows well into each other and is very cohesive. Magical is none of this.

What Magical does have over these other shows is that Dumbo flies over the crowd along with the usual Tinker Bell. Seeing Dumbo up there was easily the most magical moment in the entire show and made me so excited when he took flight.

The third nighttime spectacular is something that I have definitely talked about in this blog before: Fantasmic. I’m not going to talk about the show in depth in this post (as that is a topic for another day), but what I do want to touch upon is what was changed and added to the show at Disneyland. The show started getting improvements in 2007 with some new Princess/Jungle barges, and over the years a number of technological enhancements happened such as new HD projectors for the water screens, new lighting and pyrotechnics, and new lasers. The largest improvement happened during the summer of 2009 when new characters like Flotsam and Jetsam being added by creating giant puppets that are attached to jet skis and a brand new Maleficent dragon.

The dragon is really what I wanted to talk about. When it works, it is one of the most impressive things in a show that consistently impresses. The old dragon was just a fire breathing puppet head that had a body made of glittery streamers. It was exceptionally silly and not very intimidating, but that changed when Disney created a 45 foot tall, inflatable, fire breathing puppet that looks exactly like Maleficent does in the film. The new dragon moves realistically and actually manages to be quite scary when you realize it’s size. Maleficent now even has electricity effects that course through her reptilian body when she is defeated. The problem is that the dragon does not always work. It has been lovingly nicknamed Murphy by fans due to Murphy’s Law. The dragon was originally set to premier with the beginning of the then new Summer Nightasmic, in fact, it was one of the centerpieces of the entire promotion. Unfortunately for the Disney marketing army, the dragon suffered from almost every conceivable problem it possibly could that summer. It ended up finally showing up late in the summer to the delight of many fans of Fantasmic.

Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 4): The Magic, the Memories, and You!

Sorry about the lack of post on Saturday, I was moving into my new apartment and just wasn’t able to get any sort of content up.

Nighttime at Disneyland is a very full time, considering that there are 3 nighttime spectaculars in just the Disneyland park. The first of the three that I’m going to talk about is the Magic, the Memories, and You! The show takes place on it’s a small world at Disneyland and Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and is a projection show on the face of each structure that shows various pictures and video either taken from around the parks by Disney PhotoPass photographers or sent in by guests combined with various animations. The technology is very impressive and the actual animations are cool to watch. There are sections that make the facade look like it has sections that are popping in and out, parts that make it look like it’s on fire, and parts that even make it look like it is launching into space! It’s very amusing to watch, it’s kind of a shame that the pictures sometimes get in the way of seeing the animations.

The music is good, but it’s very similar in tone to the music to Wishes. The theme for the show is very saccharine sweet and bubbly (but not necessarily in a bad way) and will get stuck in your head, and there is a variety of pieces of music from various Disney films (and even some attractions) sprinkled throughout.

Really the only problem I have with the show is how it is presented. At the Magic Kingdom, the show runs right before Wishes, so it makes the whole experience feel like a pre-show more than an actual full-blown show, and to be quite honest, I feel like that should be the way it is shown. The Magic, the Memories, and You! is a good show on it’s own, but it’s not the overly big nighttime spectacular that people are used to seeing at a Disney park, it’s very subdued and is almost completely confined to the facade of each building except for a handful of fireworks at the end. At Disneyland, the show is shown on it’s own at the very back of the park, so many people leave the show feeling let down that it wasn’t as big as they were expecting. The show (minus the pictures and video for each show) is more-or-less the same on both coasts, just with the version at the Magic Kingdom being taller and the version at Disneyland being spread out across a longer distance.

The show presents many possibilities for the future of Disney’s nighttime shows. The show uses around 16 projectors to present it and the Imagineers used 3D models of each building to make sure the animation synced up perfectly with the features. I’m much more intrigued by the possibilites that the show presents. There could be some very cool shows made in the future using this technology combined with fireworks. Imagine a firework show that combined the music of “I See the Light” with fireworks and lanterns floating all around on the castle, or they could have the Genie conjure all kinds of things on the castle’s face or even become the castle himself while “Friend Like Me” plays. Imagine a Halloween show in which the Disney Villains actually take over the castle and Maleficent transforms into her dragon form and sets it alight! The possibilities for this technology are much more interesting than the Magic, the Memories, and You!