Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happiest Blog On Earth...Tinker Bell & the Secret Of The Wings

Well, Joyce and I had an awesome time on our recent Disneyland Resort vacation! Met up with a few of our good friends, Mr. Daps, Julie and her husband Jason (our favorite Cast Member), and our great friend and Podcast Sponsor Randy Crane. We also (finally) got to visit Cars Land and Buena Vista Street! Two AWESOME new additions to the Disneyland Resort, over in California Adventure. We made many great new memories this trip, but I think that the one memory that will stand above just about everything is something we were blessed to be part of on our last day at the Resort. An event that both Mr. Daps (from Daps Magic) and Lisa Robertson (from Babes In Disneyland blog) asked us to cover for their respective sites: the media event covering the release of Disney's newest Tinker Bell movie - Secret Of The Wings. This was our very first media event, and hopefully, just the start of a wonderful media relationship with the Disney Company and Disneyland. I'd like to share with you our write-up and coverage of this awesome event:

Tinker Bell’s Winter Wonderland Comes to Downtown Disney
By Al Kessel - Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast

On October 23, 2012, DisneyToon Studios released the fourth installment of their popular straight to DVD animated film series based on the Disney Fairies franchise, starring the mischievous, and lovable, Tinker Bell. This time, Tink ventures into the forbidden world and discovers a Frost Fairy named Periwinkle, who shares some remarkably familiar traits with our Tinker-Talented Fairy. Disney’s Secret Of The Wings introduces fans of this beloved series to their newest Fairy - Periwinkle (voiced by Lucy Hale), who has a talent for creating frost and winter wonderlands whenever and wherever she desires. 

To celebrate the release of this newest film, Downtown Disney has created a brand new guest experience - Ice Skating in Tinker Bells Winter Woods, the Winter Wonderland that Tinker Bell experiences in her new film. 

The ceremony opened with Tinker Bell and Periwinkle performing a brief dance on the small stage set up in the middle of the Ice Rink. As they exited the Rink, Disneyland Resort Ambassador Rene Torrico welcomed guests to Downtown Disney and revealed the premise of Tinker Bells’ latest adventure. Torrico then introduced Vice President of Resorts Daniel Delcourt and Downtown Disney’s General Manager Janet Knox to dedicate the new Ice Rink. Delcourt welcomed guests and thanked Downtown Disney Cast Members for all their hard work in bringing this wonderful new opportunity to Disney Resort guests, followed by Knox’s dedication of the Ice Rink for family and friends to enjoy a piece of Tinker Bells’ Winter Wonderland. Secret Of The Wings director Peggy Holmes, and producer Michael Wigert then described the new film and how Tink learns to ice skate, and with the opening of the new Ice Rink, Resort guests can now experience that same feeling. 

Finally,  Rene Torrico returned to the stage to thank guests for joining them for the event and as he spreads a little Fairy Dust, like magic Tinker Bell and her Pixie Sister Periwinkle return to the stage for a dramatic Fairy dance to officially unveil this newest Resort experience. 

 A first for Southern California’s Downtown Disney District, the Ice Rink is made from real ice, not synthetic ice, which, according to Janet Knox, Downtown Disney’s General Manager, was an important detail to offer guests. Knox stated that there are many who visit Downtown Disney who may never have had the experience of skating on “real ice”.  This attention to detail brings an air of nostalgia to those guests who may have grown up with experiences such as this, allowing them to share with their children the family fun and adventure they had growing up. 

The Rink took about two weeks to assemble and is kept at a chilling six degrees by a massive “Chiller Machine” discreetly hidden behind the rental shacks. Knox also stated that Disney has wanted to offer a family activity to guests such as the Ice Rink for years, but never really had the perfect story to share. However, with the introduction of the new Tinker Bell story, they now had the perfect story to tell. Knox hinted that it may very well be the vision of VP of Resorts Delcourt to eventually expand the Ice Rink to a more elaborate Holiday Village should the Ice Rink prove successful.

The Ice Rink will operate through the beginning of January, 2013, and for the Holidays, Downtown Disney will open several shopping and food chalets for Resort guests to linger through while enjoying the atmosphere of the Ice Rink. 

Each skating session lasts 60 minutes and will cost $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for children ages 2 to 12. The Ice Rink will also offer rental skates for $3.00 and for the younger skaters, Disney offers double-bladed skates. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The Ice Rink does require all skaters to wear an approved helmet for safety reasons. Every 30 minutes the Ice Rink will offer their “WOW” moment, in the form of a whimsically choreographed light display set to the Secret Of The Wings song The Great Divide, by the McClain Sisters. 

After the event, Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Michael Wigert stated that being part of the Disney Fairies franchise is both an honor and terrific opportunity allow fans to learn more about Tinker Bell and her Fairy friends. Wigert also hinted that we have not seen the last of the world of Pixie Hollow.

To view a short video we produced on the event, just click play below!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happiest Blog On Earth...Time

Boy. You ever notice how time flies when you're at Disneyland? Never fails. You get to the Resort and look down at your watch: 8:00 am. Cool. The Park is open until midnight tonight! You head through the gates and into that welcoming tunnel, pass the Main Street Opera House then take another quick look at your watch and BOOM! HOLY CORN DOG BATMAN! It's 10:00 pm!! WHAT HAPPENED?!

Ok, maybe that was a little exaggerated but you know what I mean. Time moves much faster when you're at the Happiest Place On Earth. However...the exact OPPOSITE phenomenon can be observed when you're waiting for your Disneyland Resort Vacation to start, huh? In fact, Joyce and I are experiencing that at this very moment! We've finally made our reservations, purchased our tickets and plotted the trip course in the old iPhone Maps App (just a little joke there), and now we....wait. Our trip isn't until October 21, 2012 at 7:00 am MST. Not that I'm counting or anything. So, waiting....yeah...waiting.

If you haven't picked this up from our podcast yet, Joyce and I truly love Disneyland. Few things on Earth can lift our spirits the way a visit to Our Laughing Place can. That's probably why waiting to depart on our much needed trip is so torturous. All I can think about is walking through Main Street USA, checking out the new coffee mugs in the shops, spotting the Trading Pin Lanyards on the Cast Members, enjoying a cup of Market House coffee while sitting at the Hub watching happy guests run by. Man...where was I going with this?? Oh yeah...sitting at my desk at work, knowing that in just a little more than a week we'll be DOING all those things, well, makes it very tough to concentrate on my job. Do you ever experience this? Oh, and to add to my anxiousness to get out of my office and into the Family Truckster is the knowledge that Cars Land AND Buena Vista Street are waiting for us. To date, we've only enjoyed what others have shared. Oh cursed watch on my wrist...deliver me through time quicker (until we get to Disneyland, then you can STOP!).

Time. Enemy or friend? You be the judge! ~~~ Al (This nearly incoherent rant is courtesy of slow moving time and the desire to get to my Happy Place