Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happiest Blog on Earth...Special Smiles!

So, you know how I know that Disneyland IS the Happiest Place on Earth? The smiles. Smiles. Yep, there, I said it...SMILES! I challenge you to spend 30 minutes at the Disneyland Resort and count how many smiles you see. I will bet my cherished Lightning McQueen Disney Trading Pin that you find no less than 20! (Just so you know, that wasn't a sanctioned bet by the way. Joyce would have my HIDE if she knew I was betting my very first Disney Trading Pin!).

Well, we all know that you leave the Disneyland Resort with ALL sorts of great memories, and I'm no different. I have so many incredibly awesome memories from Disneyland that I need to buy extra storage in my brain iCloud just to house them all. But, one of my fondest memories, and this is something that happens just about every time we visit the Resort, is when my beautiful wife Joyce gets to meet Mickey Mouse, give him a BIG hug and kiss, then spends the rest of the day beeming! I love that the Disneyland Resort can make my wife smile like that. Why? Good question! Because to me, one of THE best things that I can see in life is that smile! And knowing that Disneyland can make us feel like kids again, forget about the misery of our day, allow us to play and be carefree, even for just a fleeting moment in time, is pure...well, MAGIC! And let me tell you, smiling is one thing. But THIS kind of smile only comes from feeling that child-like wonder of meeting your favorite Disney character IN PERSON! Remember to grab some of that magic next time you visit the Disneyland Resort. It won't be hard. Just look around!

Now THAT'S a smile!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Chronicles of Duffy...Love

On February 14, 2011, my mail order groom arrived on our doorstop.  I thought to myself that I could be happy with friends and was not interested in a mate. Boy was I wrong!  Val turned out to be my soul mate! Who would have thought that this arranged marriage could have such a happy ending.
Val and I were both adopted from the Disneyland Resort.  I was adopted from DCA’s Paradise Pier and Val from Company D. My adopted parents knew me better than I knew myself and today Val and I are like two peas in a pod. Last September we adopted lil’ Chip and like is so magical.
Because we were born at the Disneyland resort we know the most romantic places in the Parks! Get ready to fall in love for the first time or all over again by visiting some of our favorite locations:
  • Watch fireworks cascading over Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park.
  • Take a romantic boat ride through the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction
  • Snuggle up with your prince or princess in a seashell and go on an undersea adventure with Ariel and Eric.
  • Make a wish at the wishing well, and listen to songs of Snow White at this tranquil, storybook setting in Disneyland
  • Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular in the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park
The Happy Family 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happiest Blog on Earth...PIRATES!

Hey gang, sorry I missed my self-imposed blog deadline last week. But you see, there was this HUGE emergency I had to take care of, and then there was that urgent phone call I had to make, oh, and then I had to rush my friend to the…ok, well, those are not true at all! The truth is I got wrapped in to trying to sort out the details of the new Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast website that Tuesday came and went and I didn’t even realize it! The pitfalls of getting old..I mean, of being busy! Cuz, I’m NOT old…
So, what shall we talk about this week? Hmm, Pirates is a theme suggested by Lisa from Babes In Disneyland for her weekly blog hop. So, how about Pirates? Arrr! That be a right talk fer a salty ol’ sea adventuaaar like me!
Well, you come looking for salty old pirates eh? So let me tell you a story… a story of pirates, and ships, and swash buckling (what ever that means), and the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow! That’s right, I’m talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California! One of my top three favorite attractions at the Resort, and one that Joyce and I never miss (that is, if it’s not closed!).  Ever since my first visit to the Disneyland Resort in 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean has been one of my all time favorite attractions, and to be completely honest, I have no idea why. I mean, other than it’s such an immersive, entertaining, well presented and completely realistic experience. But other than that, no clue.
So, I’m sure that you all know the story of the Pirates, so I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say that like Disneyland itself, this attraction has undergone a few upgrades to keep the story current and fun. When I first started going to the Resort, they had just introduced the ghostly image of Davy Jones telling us only the brave or foolish (not sure which one I am!) would go any farther. Now it’s Black Beard from On Stranger Tides giving us a sound warning. But, like the adventurous souls we be, our boat alters no course! YIKES!
Now, as I mentioned earlier, this really is one of my all time favorite attractions and for some reason, strikes a cord deep inside my heart. No, not in THAT way! In that, “makes you feel like a kid again” way that just makes me happy all over! I seriously can’t put a label on just exactly what it is about this attraction that I love so much, so I’ll just say it’s everything. Walt Disney set out to create not just another amusement park for people to enjoy, but a place to create memories. That may sound like a simple thing but it’s anything but simple. The memories he creates through his beloved Park are deeper than just fun, they’re connections to innocence. Maybe that’s why I love Pirates so much. When Joyce and I are sitting in our boat, I can FEEL those connections all around me. Almost as if…the attraction is haunted by the happy memories of countless families! Ok, too much? NAH!
Anyway…as many of you know, Joyce and I host Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast (hmm, I think I MAY have mentioned that a few times!), and if you’re interested in watching a fun video, check out episode 32, it’s our video podcast showcasing Pirates of the Caribbean and a few other adventures at the Disneyland Resort! Thanks for reading. And for forgiving me for missing last week. Oh, and for that drink I spilled on your carpet over the Holidays! Just kidding. Or am I??
~~~ Al

Duffy the Pirate Bear!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pixie Tales: Celebrity Etiquette

This is one of the most difficult blogs I have written and I actually put it aside for over a week because I did not want too many emotions to overshadow the true message. A couple of days later, Walt spoke to me through this quote, “I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.” 

I am very passionate about Disneyland and feel that everyone should be able to experience the magic whether they are famous or not.  This is my happy place and I feel that everyone who visits the Park should be able to experience the magic in their own way.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone on a social media platform about a picture of a celebrity and his young child that was taken earlier in the day by the poster.  People were encouraging him to sell the picture to the highest bidder but I felt that it was wrong in many ways and had to share my two cents. In the end, the poster did the honorable thing and retracted the photo and stated that there would be no photos for sale! Good for you!

We all get excited when we see our favorite celebrity in public and want to take pictures and say hi! But where do we draw the line when it comes to their privacy? How about when that celeb has their child with them? Just because they’re celebrities are there different rules to their “personal space”?  I say no! Let the celebrity enjoy family time like you would want in the Happiest Place on Earth….. Don’t take pictures without asking and treat them as you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.

This is how I personally see it:  when you are visiting the Park remember why Walt built it in the first place, and walk in his shoes. Always remember this quote, ““I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.” 

Otherwise, your favorite attraction may be closed so the celebrity family can have their magic time in privacy which will be less magical for you and I.