Blogs / Life

Welcoming in October 1st with some Disney Magic!

Hello Everyone! We are finally in October, the true start of the holiday season that kicks off Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years!

I absolutely adore this time of year and to welcome in October, I am doing another Disney-focused blog: this time on one of Disney’s most popular Halloween-rides!

The Haunted Mansion:

Nightmare Before Christmas Style

The Haunted Mansion was first opened in August of 1969, featuring 999 happy haunts, although there is always room for one more *wink wink, nudge nudge.* And for five years, the ride remained the same throughout the seasons.

Image result for haunted mansion poster

However, in September of 2001, Disneyland re-imagined the Haunted Mansion with a holiday twist and so it adopted many aspects from the beloved film Nightmare Before Christmas.” In the 1993 film, protagonist Jack Skellington of Halloweentown feels empty of purpose and bored with the routine Halloween that passes year after year. He stumbles into Christmastown and, after kidnapping Santa Claus (all for the cause of course), chaos reigns. The line between Halloween and Christmas is erased (completely ignoring the fact that Thanksgiving lies in between). What we have left is a mishmash of scary and funny (a lot like the original Haunted Mansion itself.

Image result for nightmare before christmas facts

Currently, Disneyland hosts the Nightmare Before Christmas themed Haunted Mansion every year September through December. From the haunted elevator ride (ahem *stretching room*) to the spooky hallway to our main foyer, Halloween and Christmas can be seen everywhere! Zero’s bones have completely taken over the first room of haunted armor and pumpkins easily replace the singing-stone heads.

However, the greatest masterpiece displayed every year is the Gingerbread house! Made entirely out of edible gingerbread, handcrafted and uniquely designed, the Gingerbread houses are more and more elaborate every year. This year, the magnificent gingerbread house is accompanied by a ginormous spider who is quickly ensnaring the house within its grasp (and who can blame him? It looks delicious!)

img_6023

As you travel throughout the ride, you will come face-to-face with many of the classic characters from the movie such as: Jack Skellington (complete in his Santa suit), Sally (dreamily leaning against a gravestone), Zero, the Oogie Boogie Man, and so many more!

The next time you drop by New Orleans, don’t miss out on this truly eye-popping experience!

Poetry

Famous for a Day

Camera clicks,

Flash alights and

People stare

Whispering behind closed hands.

They try to catch

An image

On their phones that

They can show to friends

Or familly

later on

As they try to guess

Who we are.

Are we movie stars

Or singers

Authors

Or dancers

Bloggers or

Youtubers

With a large

following?

They look and stare

And try to guess

but they’ll never realize

we were

only famous

for

a day.

 

***This poem was inspired by the day that my fiance and I took our engagement photos at Disneyland. We got a lot of strange looks and some people even took photos of us taking photos. It was a really nifty experience and it got me thinking, wondering what they were thinking as they stared and whispered and took their own photos.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life, Poetry

Embrace

Cameras flash

As crowds jostle about us

Sweaty bodies irritated

As they pass us by

My hand in yours

Your eyes staring into mine

Surrounded by the moving mass

I feel only your embrace

He stares through a lens

Coaching

A foot to the left

A hand up an inch

Tilt the head back

And smile

While my muscles strain

And my back bends

The leg shakes

As I hold the pose

But my smile never falters

My smile never wavers

My eyes join the grin

That does not need a coach

I could drown in your blue eyes

Lost in the quirkiness of your smile

You gaze down at me,

The tie constricting your throat

Feet bleeding from new boots

But your smile, like mine,

Remains unaffected by the little things.

Surrounded by a mass of moving bodies

We are lost in our embrace.

On June 6th, my fiance and I were lucky enough to have our engagement session captured in photography at Disneyland. It was an experience that I will never forget. This poem (and possibly more to follow) were inspired by this wonderful day!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

Disney Railroad

Let’s take some time away from our normal schedules to talk about one of my favorite (and least appreciated) rides at Disneyland:

Image result for disneyland railroad

Since a young age, Walt Disney was fascinated with trains and this fascination seeped into his dreams for an amusement park. Disneyland features 5 vintage, steam-powered trains that make a 20-minute loop around the park carrying thousands of guests a day.

If you have ever gone to Disneyland, you have no doubt seen this train, or heard its whistle, as it travels along throughout the park, but have you ridden it? If you haven’t, I suggest you do! If you can’t (because Disney’s prices are crazy) take some time with me as I take you through the journey.

Let us board the train at Main Street Station.

Main Street Station, located only a couple yards away from the main gates of Disneyland, is perhaps the most iconic of the train stations because of its vintage feel with large steps that lead to the station and its red brick walls. On an average day, you will wait 5 – 10 minutes to board one of the five trains circling the track. There are two different types of trains: one in which all the seats face forward and one in which all the seats face outward. Your ride is bound to be magical regardless of which train you choose.

FUN FACT! See that sign that says “Population 650,000,000”? That is the total number of guests that Disneyland has had since its opening! They update that after another 50million guests have entered the park so the next sign will one day read “Population 700,000,000”

Boarding the train, you should expect to enter a tunnel in between every station. Some of these tunnels are only a few seconds long while others are more (but none are more than three minutes).

Arriving at New Orleans Square

Do you hear that music in the hear? Smell the delicious food from one of the numerous cafes? You’ve reached New Orleans Square, home to Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Tom Sawyer’s Island.

To your right you will see a sign showing “New Orleans Square Frontierland, and more importantly, on your left you will see a green and white building. From this building you will see many conductors coming and going. And if you listen, you will start to hear an irritating “beep, beep, beeeeep, beeeeep, beeeeeep, beep, beep, beep…”

FUN FACT! Now before you wonder if something is wrong, please be aware that that noise is INTENTIONAL! Actually, it is the Morse code version of Walt Disney’s Opening Address.

“All Aboard!”

Hear that? And we’re off!

In between New Orleans Square and Toontown, guests are treated to a spectacular view of the Rivers of America. Here they will experience grand scenery that includes water falls, rivers, Native American chiefs, and beautiful views of the park.

Breathe in the fresh air away from the crowds and snap your last shots of Thunder Mountain quickly because here comes the tunnel!

FUN FACT! In this tunnel, you will actually pass through Splash Mountain and you can gaze down at all the guests who have just been soaked!

img_4878

Now Arriving at Toontown Station

Home of the wacky, wondrous whimsical friends of Mickey Mouse, we have arrived in Toontown!

img_4894

If you were to depart now, you would be only steps away from either the entrance to Toontown or from the classic It’s a Small World, but don’t depart just yet! We have one more stop to make!

One we depart from Toontown station, we travel behind the facade of “It’s a Small World” and make our way into the longest tunnel of the entire trip. However, this tunnel is more than it seems. Within the tunnel, guests view dioramas of the Grand Canyon and the Primeval World (dinosaurs included). When the Disney Railroad was closed in 2016-2017 for Star Wars land, Disneyland also updated this portion of the ride. These dioramas which had begun to feel old and obsolete were given new life with better special effects.

Unfortunately, due to the speed of our travel and the poor lighting, you are unlikely to capture a picture that really captures these dioramas. They are something you simply must see for yourself!

Image result for disney dioramas dinosaurs

Disclaimer: If you have small children who are afraid of the dark, tunnels, loud noises, or dinosaurs, you might be better off departing at Toontown Station.

Now Arriving at Tomorrowland Station

Image result for tomorrowland stationPulling in right behind Autopia, we have made it to the fourth and final station of the Disneyland Railroad. In Tomorrowland you can travel to a galaxy far, far away and possibly run into some Storm Troopers! If that sounds like your cup of tea, go on and depart. Or, if you are like me and want to see the whole thing through, stay onboard as we make our way back to Main Street Station.

“All Aboard!”

The distance between Tomorrowland and Main Street Station is not long at all, so it’s not a bad idea to begin collecting your belongings as you pass through the last tunnel. Throughout the train ride be sure to keep your eyes open for hidden creatures and friendly cast members!

As we arrive at the station, your feet and back rested and re-energized, be sure to thank your conductor as your depart! We’ll see you next time on the Disneyland Railroad!

 

Blogs / Life

Pixarfest at Disneyland and California Adventure

Let me just start this post by saying, I LOVE Disneyland and I LOVE California Adventures.

So this weekend, my fiancé and I decided to go spend a day at Disneyland. On our way there we saw a billboard that announced “Pixarfest” which had started two days previously.

Although we were worried about the crowds, we were excited to see how all the construction had turned out. We assumed that the Pixarfest would be celebrating the completion of the Pixar Pier (previously known as the Paradise Pier). The below photo belongs to Disney and it shows their plans for Paradise Pier.

This photo belongs to Disney

While on the tram, heading into the park, we spoke to a mother of two young children. She too was interested in seeing how the new-Pixar-themed rides and stores had turned out.

When we entered the theme parks there was definitely a Pixar feeling in the air. Red, blue, and yellow decorated banners and buildings. Both parks were decorated and even planters outside of the parks were spotting some familiar characters…

However, Paradise Pier was NOT Pixar Pier and it was still under construction.

As it turns out, after speaking with a cast member, Pixarfest is NOT connected to Pixar Pier or the new Pixar land. Instead it is simply an alternative festival going on (like that of the Wine and Food Festival). Pixar Pier is not scheduled for completion until June 23rd (while Pixarfest will be ending early September).

Pixarfest does offer theme-specific parades, shows, food, and merchandise. As an extra bonus, the Animation Studio in DCA is focusing specifically on Pixar-characters such as The Little Green Aliens and Jack-Jack (which I tried my hands at in drawing).

It was a ton of fun; however, I felt a kind of let down after realizing that the new “land” was not opened. Of course, I don’t know a lot about marketing (especially for ginormous corporations) and such, but this seems like a missed opportunity for Disney! Why not wait to introduce Pixarfest until Pixar Pier was complete? Then have one big celebration!

Regardless, any day spent at Disney is magical!

What do you think? Did Disney miss their opportunity?

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

©Photographs (except those otherwise mentioned) belong to KaylaAnn and duplication without her consent is illegal and will be prosecuted.

Blogmas 2017

Blogmas: Christmas at Disneyland!

First, thank you to everyone who responded to my previous blog about Disneyland and sent in questions or things for me to discover. Here’s what I found!

Visiting Disneyland during Christmas time is especially beautiful and especially chaotic. Right off the bat, expect the crowds. So to answer DREAMFILLEDDAUGHTERyes, the crowds are crazy especially during Christmas time, so if you plan to honeymoon there, try going outside of the holiday seasons.

RUTH (RUBY) asked me to check for the Disneyland post boxes and here’s what I found:

There are indeed post boxes in Disneyland! And yes, they do “work.” As long as your letter is properly addressed and stamped, your mail will be sent out from Disneyland, so cool! I think you can even ask City Hall for a stamp if you forget!

-EUGENIA was especially curious about decorations and let me tell you, they were everywhere!

As soon as you walk up to the park you are greeted with snowflakes, holy, mistletoes, nutcrackers, and so much more! My favorite decorations were the trees and the Castle itself.

This is the tree over on the Disneyland side of the parks. It was so tall I couldn’t capture it in one frame. In fact, it is 60 feet tall! (To read more about Disneyland’s tree, click here). I took a closer picture so that you could see the magnificent decorations! Let me tell you, those bulbs were huge.

oh my god wow GIF

(This is me walking around Disneyland)

My good blogging friend CLAIRE YANG asked me if there were really hidden Mickeys and if I had found any. Well Claire, I found a few (there’s actually a book you can buy that tells you where all of them are), but here is my favorite! On The Haunted Mansion Ride, in the banquet hall, there will always be a hidden mickey among the plates. In the picture below the Hidden Mickey is right in front of the Ginger Bread house. Can you see it?

Claire was also curious about souvenirs. Well first, let me say I always prefer the hats to the headbands. The headbands are made for small heads and will most likely give you instant headaches whereas the hats are larger and can be just as cute! They do have some wonderful Christmas-themed souvenirs and treats like those shown below.

Of all the decorations, I love the castle, especially at night (I’m sorry I have no picture for the night, but it is all lit up and beautiful!). By the way, did you know that California’s Disney’s castle is specifically Sleeping Beauty’s castle?

 

Let’s Take A VOTE!

On the left-hand side is Disneyland’s tree and on the right hand side is California Adventure’s tree. Which do you like best?

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas trip to Disneyland! It really is a wonderful place and I hope to return soon!

Happy Blogmas Everyone!

 

 

Blogs / Life

Do you have any Disney questions??

I am going back to Disneyland and I am so excited! You all seemed to enjoy my last Disney post and I am planning another one, but in planning it, I am asking:

  • What do you want to know?
  • What are you curious about?
  • Challenge my Disney knowledge and send me on a journey to discover new secrets!

Comment with your questions and I’ll do my best to either research the answers or discover them while there!

Also, would anyone be interested in me live videoing while on rides or finding Christmas treats?

In order to watch live events, be sure to go to my home page, click my Instagram page, and hit follow!

Thank you again everyone for your continued support!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Spotlight (Walt Disney)

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAL0AAAAJGVhZDkyOGM2LWU1OTQtNDRiNS04NTUyLTg5MWYzODBmNmI3Nw.jpg

Did you know that Walt Disney originally created a studio called Laugh-O-Gram? You’ve probably never heard of it because it went bankrupt.

Did you know that Walt Disney never profited from his work on “Oswald the Luck Rabbit” because Universal Pictures owned all the rights?

Did you know that Walt failed several times before becoming successful?

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

Everyone expected Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to be an enormous failure, except for Disney himself.

There is not a person today who has not at least heard the word “disney”. Billions of people watch these movies, cartoons, go to theme parks, read books all inspired by a man who began his career as a failure.

Undoubtedly there were times when Disney doubted himself, when he became discouraged. If he had allowed himself to remain discouraged, we never would have been able to enjoy the magic that he has created.

Image result for walt disney

In my last writing tip, I encouraged you to put aside your discouragement. Failure does not end your career, it is just another obstacle to be overcome.

Keep your eye on my blog. In honor of Disney’s great triumphs I will be posting a Disneyland blog in a day or so about some of the best (and possible secret) experiences at Disneyland parks.

Happy Writing Everyone!