Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road at Disneyland 2017

I have been blessed to attend a Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event for the last three years. These conferences are definite highlights of my blogging year! Not only do I get to mingle with my blogger besties, I also get to hear about upcoming Disney news and receive invaluable social media advice. And the bonus for the last two years – admission to play in the Disneyland parks after the conference. You can’t beat that! Keep reading for what we learned at Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road at Disneyland 2017.

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road Conference. I received breakfast during the conference, complimentary park hopper tickets for me and my family, complimentary MaxPass, FastPass tickets to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT, FastPass tickets for Fantasmic! and a bag of gifts from Disney. Travel expenses were paid by me. As always, opinions are my own.

The first year I applied and was accepted to attend On-the-Road in Portland, Oregon. It was my first trip to the Northwest and I loved every minute of it! Last year was invite-only and the event was held inside the Paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort! It was the year of their 60th Anniversary and what a magical time that was. Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road at Disneyland was when I got my first look at Moana.

My first #DisneySMMC On-the-Road, in Portland Oregon

Pixie dust landed in my email once again this year as I was invited this month to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road at Disneyland for 2017. The event was held inside Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure park. Attendees of the event were allowed access early into the park. The trolley driver even stopped for us so we could capture a few photos on the empty streets of Hollywood Land!

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

My first two On-the-Road events had very similar social media tips but this year offered some fresh new advice. In fact, my brain didn’t quite catch up to my fingers and I captured as much as I could. I was really trying to soak it all in because it was all very relevant and helpful information for those in the social media/blogging community! Follow @DisneyMoms on Twitter for more details on the event (and other Disney updates).

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

A Few of the Disney players hosting and speaking at the event:

Leanne O’Regan (director of public relations at the Walt Disney World Resort – @leannej on Twitter)

Courtnee Collier (social media manager for Disney Parks – ms_courtnee on Twitter)

Erin Glover (Editorial Content Director at Disneyland Resort – @gopluto on Twitter)

Megan Sayers (Social and video strategy lead at Babble – @megansayers on Twitter)

Takeaways-

  • Video is most effective when used to share something that can’t be seen anywhere else, is personal or unexpected.
  • When planning photo and video shoots, create a video production check list. This will allow you to save time and be more efficient during actual filming.
  • 80% of videos are watched without sound. Upload a caption file for Facebook.
  • If wanting to add a link with your video, insert link in the comment and not the copy. Adding in the copy can hurt the algorithm.
  • Think about a “content franchise” and serialize your content. What do you do everyday that your fans respond to? What can you make as a episode program?

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Rose Gold Ears (and Other Exciting Stuff!)

One of the hottest news buzz in the room at DisneySMMC was rose gold Mouse ears! Or specifically, the lack of them. Seems everyone wanted a pair but they’d been quickly sold out in the Parks. However four coveted pairs of rose gold ears were raffled off to lucky winners during the conference. And there was a spare pair for photo ops!

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Dawn Winston of I Am a Mommy Nerd became one of my very first blogging friends when I started writing. I had the chance to meet for the first time! We’ve been on the Blogorail team together for years and have a very special connection that has to do with our Dads. My baby daughter was even born on Dawn’s birthday, which I find just perfectly delightful!

Dawn and I have bonded over our repeated applications to the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search. Several years ago we both made it to the final round, trying for a lone Disneyland opening.

We were so excited to hear during the conference that applications for the 2018 year will open on September 6th. Hey, that’s MY birthday, so that has to mean something, right?!

If you’re considering applying to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, all the information is available RIGHT HERE.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

Kevin Deters (@storyman9 on Twitter) and Stevie Wermers (@supercaken on Twitter) from Walt Disney Animation Studios introduced clips and story line of the new installment in the Frozen series, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. They have co-directed this “featurette” that will show before the feature film Coco. Set for an November 22nd release Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will be 22 minutes long with 4 new songs. After just watching the clips I can tell you it includes so much of the charm we’ve come to expect from the Frozen series! I adore Olaf 🙂

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Stacia Martin, Disney Artist & Historian

I soak up Disney-lore and love hearing backstories. Stacia Martin is a wealth of information. And in her 39 year stint as a Disney artist and historian, she’s a gem herself. What fun it was to watch her easily draw Mickey, Tinker Bell and Winnie the Pooh right before our eyes, while handily offering historical details on the characters and her art background.

We were each gifted one of her original drawings at the end of the event. Mine was Mickey (my favorite character!). It has my name on the drawing and is signed by Stacia as well. I can’t wait to frame it and put it in a place of honor in my home.

Here is a video I took of Stacia as she sketched during our event:

Amy Robach, Good Morning America

Our surprise guest speaker was Amy Robach (@ajrobach on Twitter) from Good Morning America. Amy’s story began with her getting a live mammogram on the show. But her story has a turn, when she found out that she had breast cancer. 80% of breast cancer patients have no family history and Robach was clearly in shock to receive such a diagnosis.

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Amy discussed how her life-changing health event caused her to start parenting differently and begin living in the moment.

Wrapping Up the Conference

My friend and fellow TravelingMom and Blogorail team member Leslie Harvey of Trips with Tykes got her photo op with Mickey dressed in Roadster Racers costume. There is an all-new Disney Junior! Live on Stage Dance Party featuring many characters from the channel.

What’s New & What’s Ending at Disneyland Parks?

After just having visited Disneyland for a summer family media event, I’ve shared a post about What’s New, What’s Returning and What’s Coming to Disneyland.
The #SummerofHeroes event is wrapping up at Disney California Adventure park on September 10th. However some of the super hero fun lives on with the hot new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT!

MaxPass includes unlimited PhotoPass downloads. I was thrilled to have my kids with me for the event so I could capture this great photo of us in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle! Hmm, I need to stop time because two of my four kids are now taller than me!
What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!
I hadn’t seen Fantasmic! in nearly 10 years so I have been looking forward to watching the newly updated show! We were excited to watch the show with a wonderful vantage point. One of these days I’m going to spring for a dinner package so I can have a place to sit. Standing for an hour pre-show then during the show itself with a squirmy toddler was hard!
What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to see the Main Street Electrical Parade one last time before it “glows” away! This parade is near-and-dear to my heart as I remember watching it with my Dad. In fact, it’s the only parade I remember watching with him at Disneyland (he was more of a “ride all the rides kind of guy!”)

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Thank you to the Disney social media team for the much-appreciated invitation this year! I truly enjoyed the new information and am already pushing myself to use some of the newer features on social media that I’ve been resisting (Instagram Stories, anyone?!) Thank you again for the magical Disneyland day, my family and I had a fantastic visit!

 

How to Look Terrific in Vacation Photos-13 Tips to Try Now

How to Look Terrific in Vacation Photos-13 Tips to Try Now

You’ve spent a fortune on the trip and you want to capture the memories. You want to have mementos of the vacation; To print them out and frame them and to share on social media with your family and friends. And you want to make sure you look your best, naturally. But we all have those pictures that make us think…”Ugh, if only I’d done this” before I said, “Cheese!” Here are my 13 tips for looking your best in vacation photos.


Turn at an angle.

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Rather than squaring your body straight at the camera, turn your feet slightly sideways. Twisting a bit at the hips or even turning to look over one shoulder is very flattering to the figure. A bend in one knee is also flattering (rather than locking your legs straight). You don’t want to look awkward, so practice this in front of a full length mirror to find the most natural and comfortable pose.


Lift your arms slightly away from your body.

Ugh, upper arm squished against the body is very unflattering!

Ugh, upper arm squished against the body is very unflattering!

Nothing like seeing your upper arms flattened against the side of your body in a photo to make you think you need to take up more weight lifting. Arms never look great when their flat against your body so keep them loose and slightly away but still look natural.

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I like the one-hand-on-hip look myself. I place the other hand against the side of my thigh to put a bend in my elbow so my upper arm is away from my body.


Wear lipstick.

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At the very least, a bit of color on your lips will help brighten your face. Curling your lashes, a swipe of mascara and adding a bit of blush to your cheek bones is icing on the cake. I also like to use an eyebrow pencil to define my brow as this helps to frame my eyes.


Tip your chin up and to the side.

Nobody wants a double-chin in photos, enough said!

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And with that in mind, when taking selfie shots, always shoot from above, never from below the chin. Have the tallest person hold the camera and take the photo.


Take off your hat.

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If only I’d taken my hat off!

 

Hats create unflattering shadows on your face. If you can, take the hat off. Of course then you might have hat-hair to deal with. Consider a quick brush out before snapping the shot so your hair isn’t matted or flat. The photo here was taken of me at Walt Disney World last spring when my luggage was lost on the airline. I had no hairbrush and no make-up. I bought the hat to cover up! But the brim cast a heavy shadow on my face, which is unfortunate because it’s the only picture I got of me in front of the castle!


Face the light but shoot in open shade.

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“Dappled sunlight” creates unflattering shadows

Avoid “sun dappled” areas where the sunlight is spotty or you’ll have a dark and light issue in your photo.

Bright sunshine casts unnatural shadows on the face & makes everyone squint.

Bright sunshine casts unnatural shadows on the face & makes everyone squint.

And bright glaring sunlight is not only unflattering but it also makes you squint!

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A sunny location under covered shade gives skin a smooth appearance & sparkle to the eyes.

Seek a sunny location but one that’s under shade like a tree or the edge of a building. Then make sure you’re turned towards the light so the face and eyes are best flattered. You’ll be able to see “catch light” spots on the eyes (they’ll be bright and sparkling).

Pretty catch lights in the eyes

Pretty catch lights in the eyes


Take some shots posed and some natural.

Yes, the posed shots are wonderful, if you can get everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time!

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But some of my favorite shots are of my family walking ahead of me. I’m able to capture the scene, the background, and still get my family in the photo.

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Or just catch a shot of them laughing or chatting, you might capture your favorite moments.

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“Hide” in back.

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I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of my bottom half so if I can conceal that in a family photo, I will. However at only 5’2″ tall, I’m usually placed in front of photos (and my big kids are nearly as tall as I am!) I like that this arrangement allowed my tall husband to squat in front with our little one and for me to “hide” a bit behind.

I’m not hiding though. You know you’ve seen those photos, where only someone’s face is showing because they are holding tight to the person in front of them to block themselves. This is just strategic placement so it looks natural.


Take more than one.

In the age of digital, feel free to take several shots of the same scene to optimize your chances of getting your favorite shot.


Selective cropping.

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Don’t like what you see below the waist? Crop the photo. I wasn’t terribly happy that my post-baby weight was still lingering in this shot so I edited the full body shot and cropped mid-thigh for an image I like better. I have a full-bosom-ed friend who always recommends a crop “mid-boob” for the most flattering frame.


Delete at home, not in camera.

Once you get the photo uploaded and see that there is nothing truly salvageable, feel free to delete. But if you can save part of the image by cropping or correcting, keep it, fix and save.


A bit of lightening & sharpening can do wonders!

Dark and shadowy with a strange backlight.

Dark and shadowy with a strange backlight.

I have some presets in Photoshop that do all the work for me. I quite often “cool” an image by adding a bit of blue, lightening, sharpening or even brightening the shadows on the eyes. I just click and run the preset and then scale back the percentage until the image looks like I want it to.

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Practice at home.

If you consistently dislike how you look in photos, practice at home pre-vacation in front of the mirror. Practice different poses and smiles until you are comfortable. Then have someone takes some photos of you at home so you can see which look you prefer.

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What’s on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

All Disney fans have one. Perhaps it’s an actual written list or it might just be a mental list of things that make you say, “I’d LOVE to do that someday!” The Disney bucket list is fiercely personal. Each person has their top list of “must-do” in their lifetime items and this is what’s on mine.


What’s on your ultimate Disney bucket list?

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Vacation Bucket List

Go to Disneyland – It’s where the magic began. I’ve been lucky to enough to live close to the Park and have been visiting frequently since 1974. As I’m leaving the gates at the end of the day, I’m always planning my next return so I guess even though I can cross this off my list, it remains a constant.

Go to Walt Disney World – I was able to cross this off my bucket list last April on my first trip to Orlando. It was everything I’d hoped for…and more! There is so much to explore here that I cannot wait to go back and experience it again (so it stays on my list!)

Take a Disney Cruise – With sailings that cover the globe, this is definitely one of my must-do Disney items. From the interactive dinners, the private beach Castaway Cay to the amazing Broadway-style entertainment, this is an all-inclusive experience I have to do.

Visit Aulani, Disney’s resort hotel in Hawaii – I’ve never been to Hawaii so that’s on my travel list anyway. Why not stay at Aulani? I love that the children’s supervised activity center, Aunty’s Beach House, is included in the price of your stay.

Go on an Adventures by Disney – After my husband and I traveled to Europe in 2014, we are determined to someday get our children there for vacation as well. What would be better suited to children than an Adventure by Disney tour that is customized for all guests to enjoy. I like that there are supervised activities for the kids so that the adults can have grown-up time, too.

Visit the Disney Parks in other countries – Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and coming soon to Shanghai. So familiar and yet, so different. Tokyo Disney Sea looks breathtaking.


What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Inside the Parks –

Dine at every restaurant inside the Parks – I’ll admit that I’ve eaten at every restaurant inside of Disneyland over the years but am still working my way around the eats at Disney California Adventure Park. Top dining on my list: Carthay Circle. With only one trip to Walt Disney World under my belt, I still have lots of dining to experience there.

Get autographs or photos with all of the Disney characters – Easier said than done, because some characters only make appearances at special events!

Dine at Club 33 inside Disneyland – I’ll  need a special invite for this one. Anyone? Anyone…

Attend a 24 hour event – Pace yourself! Yes, on one day each year, the Parks offer a 24 hour day, can you make it the entire time? I’d like to try!

runDisney – Am I a runner? Nope! But those beautiful medals and being able to run through the Parks is incentive enough for me to lace up my running shoes! I will do this one.

Dress up and attend Dapper Day – I just love the idea of dressing up to enjoy the Parks (so long as I can have cute but comfortable shoes!)

Visit Disney for all seasons – It’s a different experience depending upon the time that you visit, for sure! Disney does a wonderful job of decorating the Parks for each season, even down to the colorful arrangements in the flower beds.

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland or Mickey’s “Not-so-Scary” Halloween Party at Walt Disney World – Though I’ve been to Disneyland during Halloween Time, I’ve yet to experience any of the ticketed Halloween evening events. I love seeing families dress up though it’s still in the air how this will play out in October given the new security policy.

Attend Mickey’s “Very Merry Christmas Party” at Walt Disney World – Holiday atmosphere, entertainment, Mickey dressed up like “Santa”? And it all takes place at the Magic Kingdom? Sounds like a holiday must-do to me!

Spend the night in the Dream Suite at Disneyland or Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom – You can’t buy your way into this one, you’ll either have to win a contest or be invited. But wow, what a dream that would be for sure, to sleep inside the Parks!


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At the Disney Resort –

Stay at all of the Disney Park Resort hotels – With only 3 in California this could be do-able (I’ve yet to stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa). However you’ll have to stay at 27 Resort hotels at Walt Disney World to cover them all!

Have a Disney wedding – “I do” want to renew my vows at Disney but you can be sure that weddings and vow renewals a la Disney are big bucks.

Disney Vacation Club – Membership allows you to stay at exclusive villas at the resorts or use your points to vacation around the world.

Image from Disney Store.com – Affiliate Link

Join D23, the official Disney fan club – I’ve been a Disney fan all my life, why not make it official and join the club? You’ll receive a quarterly publication, there are special member events and exclusive merchandise available for purchase.


We were served a lovely breakfast and given time to chat. I position myself near the front since my vision isn't the best (and I didn't want to miss anything!) There was a lot of valuable information and I captured as much as I could via my laptop so I could share here with you. Buckle up and here we go!

Disney Close to Home – 

Watch (and/or own) every Disney movie – I’ve seen a lot of them and we own a lot of them, but not all of them!

See a Disney on Ice Show- My kids (and I!) would love to see one of these traveling shows.

See a Disney Broadway show – If you can make it to NYC, these showstoppers are a must-see. The shows also have a North American tour so perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see it in your hometown.

Have a Disney-themed room – Pinterest is the perfect place to start if you want to design your own Magic Kingdom at home. Even if you don’t go top to bottom Disney, a few well-chosen posters, mementos and design features help you capture the magical spirit. I have this poster from Vivid Editions that will be hung near the new baby’s bed.

Get invited to the big Disney Social Media Moms Event – Yes, I had the great opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event in Portland in late spring and it was fantastic. I’d love to make it onto the invite list to join other bloggers in Orlando for the invite-only event in the late spring *fingers crossed*


Okay, what are YOUR Disney bucket list items? Share in the comments!

this post contains affiliate links

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Looking for ways to save on your Disney vacation?  I recommend Park Savers for discount Disney tickets! (affiliate link)

Park Savers affiliate link

Happy Birthday Disneyland! #Disneyland60

You’re shining like a diamond today, your 60th birthday! Thank you Disneyland for bringing so much joy to our family over all your sixty years.

Disneyland's 60th - Dazzling Diamond Celebration Decor

Photo Credit: Vanessa Spencer

From my dad’s first visit in 1955 (here with his brother & sisters in 1957), the spark was ignited with a love for Disneyland. Disneyland even helped me work through my grief when my dad passed away (How Disney Helped Me Deal with the Loss of My Father). This was my dad’s favorite place and just knowing that he sat in this spot in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle just as I’ve done and just as my children have done makes me hopeful that someday my grandchildren will have the same opportunity.

Disneyland 1957

My family set the flame into my heart as well, taking me to Disneyland for the very first time at one year old, documented in my post 60 Days to 60 Years – My First Trip to Disneyland -1974. Be sure to click that link and read up on all sixty stories from the point of view of 60 total Disneyland fans. Keep a box of tissues handy!

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

Disneyland has been a part of my growing up and now a place of joy for my children, as well. We know that when we experience a Disneyland day, we’ll be treated to a Park that’s not only rich in history but aims to create amazing memories for our family each and every visit.

Disneyland

Disneyland Disneyland

Bless you Disneyland for being a wholesome, safe and happy place for young and young at heart. Thank you for gifting us with the greatest memories. We wish you all the best for another 60 amazing years!

Disneyland's 60th - Dazzling Diamond Celebration Decor

Photo Credit: Disney

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60 Days to 60 Years – My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

Search “Disneyland 1974” and you’ll discover that this year was not the most joyous or celebrated year at the Park. In fact, it’s just downright sad since one cast member lost her life on the “America Sings” attraction.

For me and my family, 1974 at Disneyland was a joyous event. I was one year old and my parents took me to Disneyland for the very first time. Accompanying us were my grandparents and many of my aunts and uncles. My family and I live in San Diego so a Disneyland visit is only a short drive north. It’s a trip we took often when I was a child. This is my family (there were at least ten of us on this trip) walking towards It’s a Small World, circa 1974. My aunt is wearing a patchwork cropped top, bell-bottom jeans and cork wedges. My grandpa, in comparison is wearing slacks and suit jacket! Ahhh, the 70s!

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

I’m riding in the stroller. Obviously I don’t remember this momentous event in my life but I am certain in saying that this was a turning point in my life. My family loved Disney and had visited the Park the first year it opened in 1955. My dad enjoyed telling the stories of rides from yesteryear. My dad’s love of Disney is what spurred me to start this blog and to share my experiences at the Happiest Place on Earth. It’s what had me ending 2014 as a finalist for the Disney Parks Moms Panel, too. From the first visit to the last, my Disneyland experiences are what has colored my life. I truly love this place and want to share the feeling with everyone I know.

Below is a photo dated July 1957. That’s my dad on the far left. He would have been about 10 years old. He’s sitting with three of his siblings (he was the eldest of eight). Not sure why my dad is wearing long sleeves and jeans in July! I love the writing on the back of this photo. I believe it’s my grandfather’s: “This isn’t really the castle in Fantasyland. It really is the rental house I built behind our house”. I’ve seen this photo in the album for over 30 years and had no idea that caption was on the back until today when I took the picture out of the album to scan! This photo is really a treasure to me, seeing my dad at what was his favorite place (just like me and just like my son).

Disneyland 1957

And my grandpa, that’s him posing with Snow White. Guessing from the background, she was in Tomorrowland, which is strange to me. It also looks like she’s wearing a watch? I wish we had the dwarves doing Meet n’ Greet at Disneyland again.

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

The more things change there, the more they stay the same. About the only difference from 1974 to 2015 is the addition of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. And the trees are taller.

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974  crowded7

On that visit my dad bought me this Winnie the Pooh teddy bear. He was my cuddle companion every night at bedtime for a very long time. I think I was a teenager when I finally realized his precious delicacy and shelved him. I have now had this bear for 40 years and even now to see him, my memories flash to a picture of me holding the bear on this happy day. Pooh Bear now sits in my sons’ room, overseeing all the activity (alongside my Year of a Million Dreams MouseEars). I think about my Pooh Bear all those years ago sitting on the shop shelf in Disneyland in 1974, waiting for my dad to lift him up and place him in my arms.

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

Yep, that’s me at one year old. We’re about ready to go inside and watch the Country Bear Jamboree, an attraction of yesteryear.

60 Days to 60 Years - My First Trip to Disneyland -1974

I’m certain that taking me to Disneyland for the first time when I was only one year old was something that my family deemed necessary, since they all loved the Parks so much. It was the first of many visits for me and my family over the years. The memories blend together happily now, we’ve been so many times. For me, Disneyland is a warm and happy feeling of feeling safe and loved and surrounded by my family and friends.

Share with me in the comments about your first visit to Disneyland? What year was it and how did it shape your love of Disney?

Follow along with the 60 Days to 60 Years and the sixty bloggers who are sharing Disneyland stories and memories over the past 60 years.


Disneyland Diamond Celebration – 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

 

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Photo Credit: Disney

Everything is bright and shiny for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration, a year-long party for their 60th anniversary. I have a few lucky friends who were able to visit the Park in the last few weeks and were able to deliver some lovely images of the diamond decor that is currently on Main Street U.S.A.

Welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Red loop. Today we are discussing the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

I think Mickey and Minnie’s all-American sparkling outfits stand out nicely with the diamond decor.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Photo Credit: Disney

Right from the start of the Park, Guests will be delighted with new decor for the celebration including this plaque just in front of the Main Street Station.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Vanessa Spencer

Coming down Main Street U.S.A, you can see that there are diamond-studded banners and 3-dimensional details on the lampposts. Blue and white bunting is draped from the shop buildings.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Brenda Robles

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Vanessa Spencer

The Disney Parks Blog teased this photo of how Sleeping Beauty Castle would look during the Disneyland Diamond Celebration. It features swags of sparkling diamonds, draped swathes of rich blue fabric and sequined turrets that shine under the sun.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Photo Credit: Disney

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Brenda Robles

At the end of Main Street, guests are treated to a shining delight with the made-over Sleeping Beauty Castle. I like how the silver straps on the turrets resemble cut diamonds.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Vanessa Spencer

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Photo Credit: Vanessa Spencer

The clear “diamonds” at the front were replaced just several days before the official Diamond Celebration kick-off and replaced with blue turrets instead. I think I like the dark blue banners in front with the Disney “D” on them. They look very regal.

I think the classic decor would have made Walt proud.

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

Image Credit: Brenda Robles


Check out this video from the Disney Parks Blog about how the castle was redesigned for the Diamond Celebration.

VIDEO: Behind the Scenes: Making Sleeping Beauty Castle sparkle


Minnie and Mickey unveil the lovely 60th celebration plaque in this video from the Disney Parks Blog.

VIDEO: Unveiling of Sleeping Beauty Castle


Even Carthay Circle over at Disney California Adventure Park is celebrating, with some swag of its own. (From left to right, photo credits: Disney, GetAwayToday.com)

Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor Disneyland Diamond Celebration - 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor

The decor is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many things happening at the Disneyland resort right now for the Diamond Celebration. Please hop on the Blogorail to read about all the other exciting events going on at the Parks-


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Loop:

 

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

It was bound to happen. I’ve been visiting Disneyland in California for 40+ years and recently made my first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Some comparisons were going to pop up. Blogs are rife with comparisons but I wasn’t going to buy into trying to decide which Park was “better” since they are both so different. Yes, there are similarities between Disneyland & Walt Disney World, but it wasn’t until I got home and downloaded the pictures from my camera that things started clicking for me.

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

There are some similarities between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Not exactly the same, but definite “like” items. Of course I knew that there were alike attractions shared between the Parks but there were smaller details that caught me by surprise.

I took my pictures the same as I always do: No agenda, just snapping away randomly and occasionally grabbing a family member to pose. Some of the similarities made me laugh! I spent only a few hours in each Park so if they had been full days, I can only imagine the dozens more similarities I could have discovered.

In looking through the albums now, the sweet “alikeness” between my beloved Disneyland  and my new crush Walt Disney World makes me sigh with delight. No need to compare the two Parks, but they are more alike than you think.


Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Both Parks feature this plaque over their entrance tunnels (I just happened to photograph the right sides at both Parks). That statement sets the tone of the day for me, so I was happy to see that it’s featured at Walt Disney World just like it is at Disneyland.

As you scroll through the images below I’ve placed the Disneyland images on the left and the Walt Disney World images on the right (just like they are placed on a map!)


Main Street Station

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Both Parks have a Main Street Station but each have slightly different looks. Each have curved windows, a clock and an American flag waving up on top, for sure. The main difference noted between the two is the walkway area on the side of the train at Walt Disney World whereas at Disneyland’s station there is a hedge. The Magic Kingdom Welcome Show takes place at Walt Disney World to open the Park, something I wish that Disneyland did before rope drop. It was a very special way to greet early guests to the Park and I’m glad we were there to experience it.

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


Cars

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Both Parks had a Lightning McQueen and a Mater, though each were in totally different form! The versions at Disney’s California Adventure Park rev their engines at the Meet n’ Greet just outside the Cozy Cone Motel. Guests can touch the vehicles and even talk to them (sometimes they talk back!) The topiary vehicles at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival were kept behind a gate just out of reach.

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Guests to the Disneyland Resort can also slip behind a “Car” from the movie for their own tour of Radiator Springs on the Radiator Springs Racers and that just couldn’t be cooler!

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


Emporium

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Yep, each have a big store on the same corner of Main Street U.S.A. The building styles were just so different. I’m accustomed to Disneyland’s quaint store front while every building at Walt Disney World just seemed…huge!

One building I don’t remember seeing at Walt Disney World was a Penny Arcade. Do they have one there like they do at Disneyland? I do love to watch the old-time “movies” there.

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


A Show in front of the Castle

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

We happened to catch the Disneyland Band playing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and who should come marching in, but Mickey himself! Just a few feet away from us and a parade of characters came following to dance around the Band. It was light and un-choreographed. It wasn’t even in the schedule so coming across it was just happenstance. Lots of things at Disneyland are like that.

In comparison at Walt Disney World for the scheduled show, Dream Along with Mickey, there is a stage and costumed dancers and about 20 rows of other Guests standing in front of us. The stage was so high that my little one in the stroller wasn’t able to see until we held him up.

Can I just say how enormous everything at Walt Disney World is? The buildings just tower over you. Cinderella Castle…enough said!

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


The Sword in the Stone

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

Located in the same area, in front of the carousel sits the Sword in the Stone. Plaques look about the same. Anvils are different tones (and facing a different way). But the sword looks the same. What makes me giggle is that even the plants in the planter beds are the same color at each different Park (Disneyland 2009 on the left, Magic Kingdom 2015 on the right).

Even three people couldn’t pull it out together!

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


Parades

I love a parade! I try not to miss them because Disney parades are just the best! We just happened upon the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World and noted that the parade route was much less congested than at Disneyland. We rolled up a few minutes before the parade started and had a great view of the action. Ariel and Sebastian the Crab make an appearance in both the Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


Dumbo the Flying Elephant 

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

These pictures just put a smile on my face. It’s a rite of passage for my kids to have their photo taken inside Dumbo the Flying Elephant and as you can see, I took almost identical pictures of my little boy about a year (and the country) apart! We loved that there are two Dumbo the Flying Elephant rides running simultaneously at Walt Disney World. There is also an air-conditioned waiting area in the queue where kids can play (instead of standing in the hot sun like at Disneyland).

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World


Autopia / Tomorrowland Speedway

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

I’ve always loved the little winding roads of the Autopia at Disneyland. The bridges you drive over and under and especially the little “off-road” section are my favorite! The vehicles of these two attractions are similar but that’s about where it ends. The Tomorrowland Speedway is basically a boring stretch of road, like a race track. I much prefer the shade-lined route of the Autopia.


City Street

Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World

At the end of Hollywoodland in Disney’s California Adventure Park is a little slice of California painted onto the side of a building. Same thing going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However the street in Florida is a little less “glitzy” and there is a “Police Line – Do Not Cross” barricade instead of a cutesy velvet rope!


I can’t wait to get back to Walt Disney World and discover more! I saw so little of the Parks on my visit and would love to find more of these quirky similarities. What are you favorite alike things at the Parks? Share them in the comments!signature7

 

 

 

Every Picture Tells a Story – California Screamin’

Watching California Screamin' riders fly by!

My just-turned-three year old is slightly obsessed with roller coasters. One of his favorite pastimes is watching YouTube videos of Disneyland coaster rides, including California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure Park. At 40″, Dillon is just now tall enough to ride many of the Disneyland classic coasters like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain. He has another 8″ to go until he can ride the loop on California Screamin’ but in the meantime, he has a grand time cheering the riders on and waving at them when they pass at breakneck speed!

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10 Disney Things I’m Thankful For

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

1.The Disney DVDs that I’ve been collecting over the years. Without cable television, a nightly Disney movie viewing is a must for our family before bedtime.

2. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. It put a smile on my toddler’s face and a memory in his heart. Each day he talks about much he enjoyed this Cars Land attraction.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

3. CheEARleading Disney Parks Moms Panelists. Their undying love for Disney and unfailing support of each other take the sting out of rejection and bring hope back that next year is really going to be your year. #DISNEYMP

4. Disney balloons. Simple in design and guaranteed to make ’em smile! I mean really….it’s a balloon within a balloon! And did you know that if your balloon pops in the Park you can request a replacement?

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

5. Mickey. Yeah, just Mickey.

6. Adorable Disney t-shirts. My toddler chooses one over anything else in his closet.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

7. Sleeping Beauty Castle dressed for the winter. Laced with twinkling lights and dusted with snow, it’s a holiday sight to behold!

8. Mad Tea Party. Nothing makes a dad get the giggles more than spinning his kids silly! It worked for my dad and it works today with my husband (but I won’t step foot in one!)

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For

9. Disney hats. I cherish the photos of my boys wearing their Goofy and Pluto hats or my toddler in his Mouse ears.

10. The Disneyland Hotel. From the lights in the twinkling headboard to the Monorail pool, it’s my favorite place to spend a sunny afternoon. I’m ready to move in, seriously.

10 Disney Things I'm Thankful For


Hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Every Picture Tells a Story – My Mr. Incredible

My Mr. Incredible

At five years old my son had quite a Disney pajama collection, including this fun Incredibles set, which doubled as a costume. He thought that Grandma’s medically-issued glasses after her cataract surgery were the perfect accessory for a superhero!