Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday: More Disneyland Memories

My Throwback Thursday is carrying over from last week's theme that dominated social media. Well, it did in my world. Disclaimer: I did not take any of these pictures, and found them on Kevin Kidney's blog. (PS: I not only love Kevin's blog, but his and Jody Daily's contribution to Disney.)

So, my #tbt is about a fond Disneyland memory. Whenever we went to Disneyland, I had to go to Welch's Juice Bar. No, I didn't have a deep love for grape juice that later would turn into a love for wine (total lie), but it was more about my love of Fantasia.

I can still picture in my mind the location of the Juice Bar and remembering being fascinated by the globes of juice that sprayed the purple liquid on the inside of the spheres. But what caught my attention even more was looking at the back wall behind the Cast Members

I was so sad when the new Fantasyland didn't include a nod to one of favorite animated features. I often wonder what happened to that artwork, and who the lucky person is who owns that artwork, if they were able to save it. Click on the image below to see a larger version of it.

The picture below was taken by Loren Javier, and it's of the Fantasyland Grape Juice Bar mural by Mark Seppala at the Disney Gallery, taken in 2011. Looks like it sold for $3,000. 

 Obviously the juice bar is gone, but it will stay alive in my Disneyland memories!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Force Was With Me

You know how it is once you are home, you don't feel like going out again? Typically that happens to me during the work week and for sure during the long Midwest winters. Last week, I saw this flyer when I was at my local Barnes & Noble. It sounded good at the time, but by Friday, I was psyching myself up not to go. I mean, 7:00 PM? I used to stay out that late in my younger days. Beside, I don't like coming home after the sun sets.

After a late start Saturday and running around, I was out until 6:30 PM. Then it hit me: it's summer, and the sun won't set for some time! Since I was out, I figured, eh, why not go? I am so glad I went. Dan Wallace is one of the authors of a new book entitled, 'Ultimate Star Wars'. If you have the three-volume Star Wars Encyclopedia set (I do!),  it's very similar. However, and I asked this question of Dan, the book which he co-authored now follows the new Star Wars canon. Without getting too geeky and confusing non-fans, there were many versions of the Star Wars...well, universe. When Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney, they decided to start with a clean slate as they moved forward. So this book includes the six current motion pictures, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

Before Dan was introduced, a Barnes & Noble employee told us there was a table with lots of freebies on it. I took a look, and there were some pretty good treasures to be had! I made sure to only take a couple of items, including this very stylish bag.

Oh, and this cool poster, too...
(I love the line at the bottom. I'm so using that!)

Oh, and I needed this for my cool, stylish bag. But I digress. They also started the night out with Star Wars trivia. It was difficult! I missed a bunch and didn't win the prize. That's okay. Then it was time for the guest speaker to be introduced.

As you can see (kind of), the audience was mostly younger kids under the age of 10. I really admire Dan, because he included them to participate, and gave a brilliant message to them, as well as to the adults: find a job that you like and can have fun. He explained how he liked writing and loves Star Wars and action heroes. Now he has a job that incorporates that. He made sure not to talk over their heads, but also made the talk interesting and fun for the rest of us. 

He answered my geeky question about writing this book and having difficulty with the new canon. Dan said starting with a clean slate is exciting and of all the partnerships that could have occurred with Lucasfilm, partnering with Disney was probably the best. I agreed with him and said both a great storytellers, and we agreed that too much is at stake to do something completely stupid that would alienate fans.

So if all that wasn't awesome enough, Dan even autographed my copy for me!

So am I glad I decided to stay out past my bedtime? Um, YEAH!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland!

Today is a very special day for many of us. Or I should say, many of us Disney fanatics. Today is the 60th Birthday of the Happiest Place on Earth - Disneyland.

I wish you could see my Facebook feed. It's burning up with so many wonderful memories! I've been seeing so many posts on social media, and I'm adding mine to the mix. Many people have asked me why or how I became such a big Disney fan.  Well, one of my first childhood memories was being in a stroller and see the characters as we were riding the monorail. I really do remember that.

Growing up, we would go as a family. It was much easier back then. You could walk around the Park without having to pay admission. Later when I was older, we had a family friend who worked there, and I would get to go with my friend. I learned so much about the Park.

Then in college, I saw a sign that said, 'Work at Disneyland as you put yourself through school!' And I thought to myself, "Why not?" So in 1984, I became an official Disneyland Cast Member. I was an Attractions Host in Tomorrowland. It was the perfect place to not only work, but also launched a 26+ year career for me. If I can make the first Disney/Pixar reference, if you've seen Inside Out, Joy would have had to handle a Core Memory for me.

Of course there's no perfect dream job. Even some days at the Happiest Place on Earth weren't all that happy. It happens. However, looking back, oh so fondly, the friendships I would make have lasted a lifetime. So many of my friends back then still are in my life, and I'm so blessed for that. They are family to me.

It's funny how a common thing like a job, or the love of something fun, can bring people together. But it's those special bonds that keep us together through time and as we've scattered all over the world. I would be remiss if I don't mention our friends who no longer are with us. We still love them and think about them. We know they are smiling today as we all celebrate a very special place in our hearts.

And it doesn't stop there. There's another ring of Disney friends who, while I never worked with them at the Parks, are lifelong friends due to the common love of Disney. These would be my circle of friends who collect Walt Disney Classics Collection, Grand Jester Studios, pins and more. They are just as much part of my Disney family as any one of those Cast Members.

I'll borrow the title of a song Kala sings in Tarzan to tell all my Disney friends, "You'll Be In My Heart", and so will Disneyland.

And since our favorite mice, Mickey and Minnie, love cheese, here's one more big piece of cheese I'll leave with you today.

Happy 60th, my dear friend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pinned Ya Again

Why is this always such a painful process for me? Each year, Disney Movie Rewards puts out a limited pin, and each year, it frustrates me for a few hours if, and when, I get the pin. It shouldn't be so painful. My friends on the East Coast get their pin in 20 minutes. Me, it takes over 2 1/2 hours. I tried different browser, computers and finally got through on my mobile phone.

I had to have this pin because it's Disneyland!


Monday, July 13, 2015

That's No Moon. It's a...Light?

This looks so cool! Unfortunately, I don't think it goes with the rest of the decor. Still, I want it! $54.99 at Merchoid, shipping November, 2015.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Five More Months

Yes, I can't wait!