A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Enjoying a Day at Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

On July 17th, 2015, I went to Disneyland to join the birthday party for the Diamond Celebration. I went with several of my close Disney friends. Disney Parks Blog had encouraged everyone to show off their #DisneySide by showing up in their 1955 themed outfits. It was fun to see what everyone was wearing. A lot of people got into wearing their Disneyland 1955-themed outfits. Let’s enjoy a day at Disneyland in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

 
 
 
 
 
 
When we entered Disneyland we each received a commemorative newspaper (Orange County Register), a birthday button, and special issue Disneyland Park Map. You can actually purchase the special newspaper issue online here. 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
The map itself was really cool because when you opened it up, you can see how Disneyland was laid out on Opening Day, 1955. It was fun to read about the names of the restaurants, too.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
Throughout the day, there were birthday cupcake stations scattered around the Park. They were vanilla cupcakes with cream frosting topped with the Diamond Celebration “D”. 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
There were also special photo locations just for the birthday. They were comprised of retired attractions that are part of Disneyland history. It was fun to pose in our 1955 themed outfits with these vintage enlarged photos. 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
There was a special rededication ceremony in the morning that included a song from Disney Legend, Richard Sherman and sung by Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins). There were many VIP guests in attendance including Dick Van Dyke and Ron Miller (Walt Disney’s son-in-law who was married to Diane Disney Miller). 
 
 
 
 
 
Finally, as a special afternoon parade that included former Imagineers and Disneyland Cast Members who were there on Opening Day. It was fun to also see a variety of current Cast Members participate and march in this celebratory parade.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other than birthday cupcakes, special photo locations, commemorative maps and buttons, there was an extra showing of Paint the Night parade. All the evening entertainment that premiered back in May (Paint the Night, World of Color, Forever Disneyland fireworks) remain extremely popular and there are always crowds saving prime viewing spots hours before start time. They are all worth your time and are packed with pixie dust to make any Disneyland fan grateful for a day spent at “the Happiest Place on Earth.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

See you at Disneyland!

– Daisy
 
 
 
******
 
 
 
 
 
Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.




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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Summertime at Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

Hello, Disney Avenue! Summer is here, people are on vacation, and they all seem to be at Disneyland. I have a little bit of everything to share with you this week for our “Walk in the Park” so we better not waste a single second. Continue after the page break and let’s go enjoy the magic of Disneyland…

Continue reading A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Summertime at Disneyland

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Enchanted Windows

By Daisy Sparks

Hello, Disney Avenue readers! It’s time to visit Disneyland again. It’s pretty exciting when places or things that have been around at Disneyland for a long time can be re-imagined. An example of this is the beginning of the new “Enchanted Windows” series along Main St. USA.

Let’s take a look at these magical Disneyland windows along Main Street in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

The windows along the Emporium used to showcase classic Disney movies from Snow White, to Little Mermaid to Ratatouille. They started as elaborate dioramas to having more recent window displays with animated figures. You can visit Daveland to see some photos of how the Emporium display windows have evolved.

Back in May, the Disney Parks Blog announced that new “Enchanted Window” displays would be in place for the Diamond Celebration. You can refer to this post for more photos about these new Main Street USA window enhancements.

Since then, there have been two Enchanted Windows that have been revealed: Peter Pan and Cinderella. Take a look at this video I shot just for you:

Here are some photos from the new Peter Pan Enchanted Window. It debuted late May to coincide with the official start of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.

Several weeks ago, the Cinderella Enchanted Window was quietly revealed with the following scene.

I am glad that they were not revealed all at once. It’s fun to continue to get some Disney magic every now and then. I can’t wait to see the others and to share it with Disney Avenue.

See you in the parks…

******
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

 
 
 



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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Disneyland 60th Celebration is Here!

By Daisy Sparks

After a much anticipated and very well attended 24-hour party, the Disneyland Diamond Celebration is here. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are now fully decked out in the blue, white, silver, and diamonds. Sleeping Beauty Castle and The Carthay Circle are now adorned with their diamond medallions. Let’s take a look at all the beautiful 60th decorations in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

This Diamond Celebration is a big deal. Here are some highlights. Let’s start with the Disneyland Diamond Days. This is their daily big sweepstakes. 

You need the daily word to enter. These signs are posted as you enter through the security. 

You can enter to win this diamond shoe that is on display at the Disneyana store.

DIAMOND DECOR EVERYWHERE

As you walk down Main Street USA, you get the feeling that there is a big party underway. The buildings have the festive bunting and the light posts have the diamond D badges. If you go inside the store, they have all kinds of celebration décor, too.

Here is a fun throwback. You may have seen vintage Disneyland photos at this location with flowers. Such a treat to see these floral carts back on Main Street. 

DIAMOND MERCHANDISE

You will be overwhelmed at the amount of Disneyland Diamond Celebration merchandise. There is something for every age, every kind of taste, and all kinds of price range. Visit THIS PAGE to get a good idea of the merchandise offerings and collections. Here are some photos to give you a very small sampling. 

DIAMOND PHOTO LOCATIONS

According to a recent Disneyland press release, there are special photo locations to commemorate the Celebration.

“Imagine posing for a photo as if you were scaling up the Matterhorn, standing in the mouth of Grizzly Peak, or holding on to your hats and glasses on the wildest ride in the wilderness. Now imagine that this photo looks like a vintage Disneyland postcard…with a magical twist. Each Diamond Celebration Photo Spot features a new take on forced perspective, and when you capture the moment with Disney PhotoPass service you will soon be able to download amazing bonus content – including animated elements that appear alongside you, adding to your story.”

“Four Diamond Celebration Photo Spots are in place for you to discover within both parks, inspired by the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, California Screaming’ and Grizzly Peak. Two more will arrive in time for Disneyland’s anniversary date. Capture dazzling moments in the Happiest Place on Earth that will be treasured for years to come. ” My husband and daughter were good sports to join me at the Matterhorn photo op.

Speaking of the Matterhorn, the new show elements are a great addition to this classic Disneyland attraction. Harold, the resident Abominable Snowman, has returned with a new look and fierce roar. He’s pretty awesome!



DIAMOND FOOD OFFERINGS

There are all kinds of sweet and slushy food offerings. Cupcakes, cookies, and candies are all options with special diamond decorations on them. 

Beverage offerings can be found in concoctions like the Pomegranate Silver Sparkler or a Monstro Blue Lemonade. There are even specialty cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks at certain locations where they have glowing collectible “diamonds” in your drinks.  The most popular of all special food offerings seems to be these much talked about popcorn buckets. They are very popular and much in demand.

DIAMOND ENTERTAINMENT

Finally, I think what is really bringing people to Disneyland are the 3 new nighttime shows that debuted on May 22nd. I am not going to give it away with photos. It’s also hard to capture nighttime magic. You’ll have to come to Disneyland to experience these new shows. 

Over at Disney California Adventure, “The World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” is a tribute to Walt Disney and his dreams. It’s a fabulous night show complete with music, lights, and more projected onto huge water screens. This new show celebrates Walt’s beginnings with Mickey Mouse and the Disneyland story. It’s a must-see if you are a Disney Avenue fan. 

At Disneyland a brand new nighttime parade and fireworks show is finally here. They are both spectacular. The LED technology, new floats, and music are combined perfectly in this new parade. “Paint the Night” is cheerful and the music incorporates the famous Electrical Parade sound. The new fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever” dazzles in the sky and on the ground. With screen projections in targeted places, you’ll sometimes feel that your surroundings become part of the fireworks show. Again, you’ll just have to come experience it for yourself.

No announcement has been made about how long the Diamond Celebration offerings and shows will last but it seems everyone has heard about it and wants to experience it. It’s been super busy everyday since the Celebration kick-off and I think it will be this way until after the winter holidays. Rumor is that it should be around for at least a year or more. Disneyland’s 60th anniversary date is July 17th so who knows what else will be added to the Celebration.  There is more Disneyland Diamond Celebration happenings that I didn’t get a chance to show you. I’ll be sharing more Celebration stuff leading up to the actual anniversary. You can feel the excitement and energy at Disneyland these days. It’s 60 years strong and still delivering magical experiences for all ages.

*******
 
 
 
 


Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

 
 
 
 

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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Disneyland gets ready to Party

By Daisy Sparks

It’s getting pretty exciting here in Southern California with most people taking about whether they are going to Disneyland for this long weekend. The local papers and news channels can’t get enough of it. As you read this post, there are tons of media outlets broadcasting live from Disneyland as tomorrow is the official day of the start of the Disneyland Diamond Celebration. For this week’s Walk in the Park article we’ll have a look at some Disneyland Park happenings in anticipation of the big 60th party…. 

In front of the main parking structure, Mickey & Friends, there are these welcoming columns that have all been dressed up in 60th Celebration colors.

The ticket booths and Main Entrance have all been adorned with 60th bunting and diamonds, too. 

As you walk through the Main Entrance, you are greeted with the Train Station all decked out. Notice the diamond signs up above the entrance plaque, too.

This past weekend, they were staging for the Kelly and Michael Show. They actually filmed this past Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Only some of the shows were actually broadcast LIVE due to the time difference. Here are some photos to clue Guests in on the TV taping.

Over at Disney California Adventure, signs of a party finally started to appear. 

The new Grizzly Peak Airfield, formerly Condor Flats, was officially unveiled. The new theme blends really well in the area, especially with the Grand California just a few feet away. The area has a rustic feel that is evident in these next set photos. 

Soarin’ Over California received a makeover, too. 

The attraction itself did not change except for the installation of new digital projectors that replaced the IMAX film projectors. There is a lot of color correction that some people either like or think is a little overdone. Either way, it is a great attraction and I am happy that it’s back. Across the way from Soarin’ is a store that has a new name and theme. Do you remember the Disney character, Humphrey the Bear? In addition to some great themed merchandise, there are a lot of details in the store. 

I think I had more fun looking at all the decorative elements than checking out all the new merchandise offerings. Here is another set of photos to show you more of the decorative pieces in the area. 

It looks like Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel finally received their Diamond Celebration treatment.

The Disney Parks Blog announced that they will be broadcasting the premiere performances of ‘Paint the Night’ parade and ‘Disneyland Forever’ fireworks show. So you can all watch them with me as I plan on being there for the Disneyland 24-hour event this week. Oh, and check out these new cast member name tags for the 60th…

That about does it for this week’s Walk in the Park article. I’ll see you in the Parks…

******
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

 
 
 



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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Update

By Daisy Sparks

The Disneyland 60th Celebration officially begins on May 22nd. With only a few weeks left, there are more signs that the big party is almost here. Looks like there is still work to be done while festive décor starts to appear at Disneyland. Let’s take a look at all the Disneyland Diamond Celebration preparations and refurbishments in the week’s Walk in the Park article…

As you enter through the turnstiles, you can see the blue, silver, and white bunting on the Train Station. I suspect that Floral Mickey will have some kind of diamond décor soon. 

After you go through the tunnels, you can see more Diamond Celebration bunting on the various buildings on Main Street USA.

A couple days ago, Disney Parks Blogs made the announcement about the Main Street Enchanted Windows. Even under wraps, these windows attract attention. The signs in the windows are a clue to what the window décor theme will be behind the regal curtains.

Here is the video from Disney Parks Blogs that preview the new ideas and technology that will make up the Main Street Enchanted Windows.


This week, the Haunted Mansion was closed and reopen this  past weekend with the addition of the legendary, Hatbox Ghost. You can see more of Hattie here.






There are still several Disneyland attractions that are still under refurbishment. The Matterhorn has been down since mid-January. It is scheduled to reopen on May 22nd with brand new effects.





There is still work being done throughout Fantasyland.


The big news came down that the much anticipated refurbishment of the popular Peter Pan attraction is going to take longer than expected. It is now scheduled to re-open in July.  Meanwhile, “it’s a small world” looks shiny and bright. Just in time as it is featured in the upcoming movie, Tomorrowland. 

Snow White’s Grotto is still silent. The waterfall is still not working nor is there music. You can usually hear Snow White singing “I’m Wishing” in this area.





Finally, here a couple more pictures to show some spring floral in The Hub area.






Looks like the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is just about to begin. Counting down to May 22nd.


*****
 
 
 
 
 
 


Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

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A Walk in the Park: Tomorrowland Movie Preview at Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

Last weekend, an exclusive and extended preview of the upcoming movie, Tomorrowland , began its run at the Tomorrowland Theater (also known as the Magic Eye Theater). The theater previously hosted previews for Big Hero 6 and Guardians of the Galaxy. This movie really ties into the area so it makes perfect sense that a special preview is being shown in this particular venue. Let’s have a look at what’s being done at the Tomorrowland Theater for the Tomorrowland movie in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

There are no 3D glasses handed out as it is not a 3D movie. There was this sign to put people on notice with the following warnings.

As you walk in the queue, you can see how they made some cosmetic changes. There is also this cool banner to set the tone of what you might see.

This placard was very helpful to understand the next set of photos. Of course the director, Brad Bird, and his team would take extra care with attention to details.

After I viewed the preview, I could appreciate their work in creating the scenes. These signs give great detail to not only how the production took great pains to re-create the look and feel of the 1964 World’s Fair, but to make them come alive on screen.

I remembered that back in January, “it’s a small world” had been closed for several more days to allow for filming of this movie. The preview I viewed showed some of these scenes shot in the attraction. It was cool knowing I was viewing film footage that was shot not too far from where I was sitting. It really ties in how the 1964 World’s Fair and this particular attraction plays into the story of this movie.

Here are the rest of the signs that were highlighted in the queue area of the Tomorrowland Theater.

My family and I were able to see the preview last Friday. The movie preview employed the mechanics and lighting of the theater to enhance certain scenes.

In addition to the extended movie preview, around the corner from the theater exit is the Tomorrowland Movie Exhibit. There is artwork to view as well as props from the movie.

Around the theater area, the trashcans have also been themed to support the movie preview.

After viewing the preview, we are very excited to see it. It looks like an action-packed movie, too. Don’t forget that director, Brad Bird, was also responsible for The Incredibles. The music is by Michael Giacchino who won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for Up. The references to Walt Disney and some Disneyland attractions also makes it worthy to watch. Tomorrowland opens in theaters May 22nd.

*******
Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Sleeping Beauty Castle 60th Celebration

By Daisy Sparks

The Disneyland castle, Sleeping Beauty Castle has been very busy preparing for its big 60th birthday. Sleeping Beauty Castle might only stand at 77 feet in height but she is the grand dame of all the Disney Park castles. This particular castle is the only one that Walt Disney ever walked through. It was one of the first structures to be completed in 1955 so that it could be a symbol of hopes and dreams for the people working feverishly to meet the opening day deadline. Let’s have a look at all the new additions to the Castle as it prepares for the 60th celebration in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

Here is what Sleeping Beauty Castle looked like back in 1955.

Since January, there has been a lot of work on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Here is the artist rendition of what the castle is to look like for its birthday celebration.

When the work first started in late January, there were these themed wood walls that had some castle history and information to read.

Beginning in March, the plain brown canvas was replaced with this really cool scrim that had the artist rendering (Disney Legend Herb Ryman) of the castle. It was only there a couple weeks but made for some great photos. At least Guests could still take a souvenir photo even if it was just a really pretty, and classic artist rendering of the Disneyland castle.

All the deep cleaning work was completed and scrim was removed. The castle looks pretty, bright and regal. This photo was taken on March 10, 2015.

Every week seems to bring something new. First, there were the sparkly shingles and the silver bands. The blue and silver bunting on the castle walls appeared, too.

By the last week of March, more bunting and new Disneyland flags were placed around the area. These “castle caps” were placed over some of the turrets. I am sure will look pretty cool when lit up. Sometimes if the sun hits certain areas, you can get a shiny ping in your photos.

In the last two weeks, Sleeping Beauty Castle has literally gotten the bling treatment. Different diamond sizes and shapes have been placed on certain parts of the castles. It’s like the castle received some custom diamond tennis bracelets placed around the turrets.

 

 

Here is what it looked like the other night. My friend and I imagine and hope that there might some really great lighting effects to come through these “castle caps” for the fireworks or nighttime lights when the celebration begins.

On a side note, the local paper had this post the other day. Apparently, there was a Disneyland fan on the freeway recently that spotted something that might be one more final decorative piece that belongs to Sleeping Beauty Castle for its 60th Celebration. I’ll be on the lookout for that piece when it gets placed.

A couple days ago, Disney Parks released this video with some great behind the scene footage of how they created some of the Disneyland 60th Celebration decorative overlay that you see on the photos.

As petite as the Disneyland castle may be, it is mighty in the Disney heritage. It is such an icon that it has been the basis for many Disney company logos including Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Television. A lot of people are taken back at how small the Disneyland castle is when they see it for the first time. For many, Sleeping Beauty Castle still represents hopes, dreams, and pixie dust, too.

********
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

 
 
 



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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Visiting the new Smokejumpers Grill

By Daisy Sparks

Over the weekend, the former Taste Pilot’s Grill opened as Smokejumpers Grill. It is the first location to reopen in the now renamed area, Grizzly Peak Airfield (formerly known as Condor Flats). The transformation of this area from a barren airstrip that hosted test pilots, to a California High Sierras theme, will help with a seamless transition into the Grizzly River Run and Grand California Hotel area. Let’s take a visit to the new Smokejumpers Grill in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

Here is the concept art that was released earlier this year.

Here is the exterior today. There are lots of outdoor seating to enjoy the California weather.

This quick-service restaurant location received both an exterior and interior make-over. The menu still offers burgers and fries. The new décor and theme pay tribute to California firefighters who go into remote wildfires. These highly trained firefighters are known as “smokejumpers” (Knowing this information helps you to appreciate all the little details that you can find both outside and inside SMOKEJUMPERS GRILL.) The display cases outside the entrance contain these interesting flyers and informational pieces.

Here is the interior concept art.

Here is what it looks like now. It is worth the time to walk around to look at all the details and smokejumper paraphernalia that is on every wall and corner of the newly remodeled location. 

The menu consist of theme park basics of burgers, fries and even alcoholic drinks. There is a kids menu that available, too.

There is this condiment bar that has some fancy sliced pickles you can enjoy. Here were some samples of the food offerings. They tasted pretty good, especially if you are hungry.

Smokejumpers Grill is a great place to get a quick bite or the perfect late night snack. The portions are easy to share. Lots of seating, too. Finally, here are some of my favorite themed items inside the quick-service location. 

Outside of this location, you can get a peek at some of the rock work being done for the Grizzly Peak Area. It is interesting to see the work in progress.

One final update in regards to the former Luigi’s Flying Tires attraction that opened in 2012 with Carsland. It’s final day of operation was February 16, 2015. This Disney/Pixar concept art was released earlier this year.

Luigi’s Festival of the Dance” will open in this location sometime in 2016. The name is tentative. The exterior entrance and interior queue is just like the movie so it looks like that will remain as there are no walls around those areas. Imagineers are always creative with their construction signs so I appreciated these on the existing wall that cover up the ride area.

I always appreciate all the Disney details in the final work and even in the constant refurbishments that have to happen during Park operating hours.

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Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy’s articles here.

 
 
 



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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition – Sleeping Beauty Castle

By Daisy Sparks

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California is perhaps one of the most famous and most photographed castles in the world. It was one of the first structures to be completed at Disneyland. While the park was being built, Walt Disney wanted the Castle to motivate and inspire those working on making Disneyland come to life. Join us as we take a look at this beautiful icon in this week’s Walk in the Park article…

It has been well documented that the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany inspired Herb Ryman’s drawings of a Disneyland castle. It is also a well-known story of how Ryman was responsible for turning the castle model around so that the front of the model now became the back of the castle. Walt approved of this change and so that is how Sleeping Beauty Castle was built.  Here is a photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle a couple weeks ago when it was covered due to some maintenance work in preparation for its 60th anniversary. The scrim was created with the original Herb Ryman drawing.

This next photo is what the actual back of Sleeping Beauty Castle looks like today.

Sleeping Beauty Castle only stands at 77 feet high above the moat. Leave it to Walt and his Imagineers to use some motion-picture technique to trick your eye. With the use of forced-perspective, from Main Street, the Castle looks large from that distance. The bricks are graduated in size so that they are larger on the bottom and smaller on the top.

When Disneyland opened in 1955, Sleeping Beauty Castle immediately became a star. At this time, the Sleeping Beauty movie was in development. Walt was always thinking about how to tie in some of the current productions to Disneyland. It was not until 1957 when Guests were invited to enter the castle. The Sleeping Beauty movie would not come out until 1959. Walt was a pioneer in marketing opportunities when it came to Disneyland and all the work in development at the Walt Disney Studios. 

Walt had asked artist Eyvind Earle, who was responsible for most of the style and background in Sleeping Beauty, to create the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. When it opened in 1957, the walkthrough was comprised of scenes from the Sleeping Beauty story in the form of dioramas. Actress Shirley Temple was invited with the grand opening.

In 1977, the Eyvind Earle dioramas received an update. The scenes were made up of dolls that had some movement to give it a more updated feel. Guests could freely walk through the Castle until September 11, 2001. It remained closed after that date for security concerns. 

In 2008, the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough reopened. Under the direction of Disney Legend Tony Baxter, Imagineers updated the Sleeping Beauty scenes with new technology. Gone are the dioramas but much of Eyvind Earle’s backgrounds and style remain as part of the experience. 

Here’s my photo journal of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. There is a small entrance that is unattended. It is a self-paced attraction.

There are these ornate storybook pages throughout the walkthrough so you can follow the story. Then you view some interactive scenes that are projected in designated areas.

 
 

There are stairs to climb and they are very narrow. It is for this reason that there is actually another location where one can experience a virtual Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. It is located around the corner from the exit of this attraction.

There are this fancy seating area. You can view the same Sleeping Beauty scenes that are in the walkthrough with this high def screen.

There are some fun items located in these cases.

 
 
 There are so many things in this room that if you don’t look up, you’ll miss some of these details.
 
 

 
 
Sleeping Beauty Castle is turning 60 in June. It may be small in size but what a mighty legacy it has spawned. It is the only Disney castle that Walt had a hand in building and also the only one that he physically walked through. If the castle could talk……
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her “college job” led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 
Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy’s Duck’s help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland’s Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it “the happiest place on earth.”
You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .
 
 
 





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