Sparks of Magic

Disneyland

Return of The Main Street Electrical Parade

Entertainment, DisneyCamilleComment
Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

I grew up watching the Main Street Electrical Parade and cried when it left Disneyland Park in 1996. Then, I rejoiced when it came back for a run at Disney California Adventure in 2001, just in time for our first daughter to experience the magic. Then, it left again in 2010. To my happiness in 2017, it returned for a limited time run, and yep, left again.

Guys – I am crying again because it is slated to come back to Disneyland Park and it will run August 2nd through September 30th.

The last time I watched the parade was in 2017, we had a long day and got to Disneyland late, but managed to squeeze into a spot near Pixie Hollow for the viewing. It wasn't a terrible view, I felt the surrounding of trees framed some of my photos well. However, next trip I hope that they have the Dining Packages available with this entertainment (Blue Bayou (sit down) or Aladdin's Oasis (grab-n-go)). I'm pretty sure I need that gluten free Monte Cristo, but we shall see what the hubby says about that. LOL.

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

The Blue Fairy and Casey Jr. Train floats were not part of the last parade run (sad face, Blue Fairy was my favorite), but they added Tinkerbell and some Pixie Hollow fairies. However, they did have the original introduction train with Goofy at the wheel, pulling a giant drum that lights up, "Disneyland Presents...The Main Street Electrical Parade." I can’t wait to see who we will see this time around!

Check out Disney Parks' YouTube channel for videos on attractions and upcoming events! 

Annual Passholders

Are you an Annual Passholder? Disneyland runs its AP Days at Disneyland Park event year around. In the past, you would visit a specific location daily with special viewings or activities only available to AP holders.

Side Note: Passholders must present a valid Annual Passport to receive benefits.

As a heads up, guests begin to line up along Main Street U.S.A. a couple of hours before the parade in order to catch a glimpse of the electric lights, so be prepared. It should also be noted that the parade may be cancelled due to weather, so check the forecast before your visit!

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Sweet Treats

Not only is the parade magical, but the themed food is, too! Grab some hot chocolate and a treat.

During the last run, they had some adorable caramel and chocolate dipped caterpillar marshmallow sticks and snail cake pops!! 

Are you excited about the return of this Disneyland classic?

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Lunar New Year at Disneyland Resort

Disney, EntertainmentSarahComment
 

It's the year of the Rooster! Happy Chinese New Year! Disneyland Resort has been celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year from January 20th - February 5th!

Photo: Sarah Brow

Photo: Sarah Brow

Here's a quick guide to what you'll find in the various areas:

Paradise Park

  • “Hurry Home New Year's Celebration”
  • Acrobats of China
  • Performance Corridor
  • Mulan’s New Year Procession
  • Face Painting
  • Kids Crafts

Market Places

  • Korea
  • China
  • Vietnam

Paradise Gardens

  • Paradise Garden Bandstand
  • Disney Characters in their Lunar New year attire
  • Artisans
  • Lucky Wishing Wall
  • Annual Pass Area

Paradise Park

Photo: Sarah Brow

At Paradise Park you will find entertainment for the Lunar New Year Celebration, including the "Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration!" 

This special World of Color nighttime spectacular, features Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). 

Here's a look behind-the-scenes:

Performance Corridor

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Within Paradise Park, you will also find the Performance Corridor, where kids get complimentary face-painting, make fun crafts, and can watch various acts, like the Acrobats of China and even Mulan's New Year Procession. 

market places

Enjoy bites and sips from the various cultures of China, Korea, and Vietnam. 

Paradise Gardens

In Paradise Gardens you can find some of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their Lunar New Year attire! Isn't Minnie gorgeous?!

Wishing wall and calligraphy

Here you can leave your New Year's wishes on the Wishing Wall and watch as the calligraphy artists draw your name.

Chinese Zodiac animal sign

Not sure what your Chinese zodiac animal sign is? No worries, look for the year you were born, to find out which animal you are. I am the Year of the Dragon and Camille is the Year of the Rooster!

disneyland AP (Annual Pass) Area

Are you a Disneyland Resort Annual Pass Holder? The AP area is open daily from 11:00am - 7:00pm.

The AP section is located in the back of Paradise gardens; show your annual pass to gain exclusive access to this area.

Ap Exclusives include:

  • Take your picture in front of the AP photo wall
  • Hang your wish on the wish wall
  • Receive a map of Lunar New Year events
  • AP sticker
  • Enter to win a trip to China!

Wishing you all the best Lunar New Year!

See ya real soon!
xo, Sarah
 

Holidays at Disneyland Park 2016

Entertainment, Travel, DisneyCamilleComment

It's here, it's here! 

 
Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/  Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

It's the merriest time of year at Disneyland Resort. From now until January 8, 2017, you can enjoy the holiday season at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Holidays are my favorite, and holidays at Disney Parks with my family and/or friends are the best. Here's what you can expect to see and experience at Disneyland Resort this holiday season.

"it's a small world" celebrates its 20th holiday presentation

 
Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

If you know me at all, you know that "it's a small world" is my favorite attraction. I honestly love the song, as annoying as it may be to most people.  The holiday version intertwines "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls," adding the right amount of Christmas magic. Get ready to set sail on "The Merriest Attraction on Earth!"

 
Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun!

Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun!

 

Since the attraction is celebrating its 20th holiday season, you might notice "Hidden 20s" sprinkled throughout. This will give my competitive kids some extra motivation to ride with me this season - whoever finds the most hidden 20s will get a churro! :) 

Fun facts:

  • It took nearly three dozen cast members 35 days to install the exterior and 18 days for the interior decor
  • There are over 400,000 lights that illuminate the plaza from the exterior to the trees, shops, and topiaries
  • The happy clock in the front dons a Santa hat and every quarter hour, there is a 3D-projection show presented by Siemens
  • Inside, your senses will awaken to whiffs of peppermint and fresh pine

Jack's back - haunted mansion holiday

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 
Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

 

What's this?! Jack Skellington and his friends have taken over the Haunted Mansion. In traditional holiday fashion, we watch the Nightmare Before Christmas right after Halloween to usher in the holiday. Half of the fun is looking at all of the intricate details within the ride, and who doesn't love seeing Zero flying around!

"believe...in holiday magic" fireworks

 
Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

Cozy up on Main Street, U.S.A., with a cup of hot chocolate to see the fireworks light up the night over Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle. This is my favorite way to end the night, and not to mention one of the best things is the snowfall finale. I believe in Holiday magic... do you?

Hop onto the Jingle Cruise

 
Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

If you thought sailing on the Jungle Cruise was fun, wait until you see it spruced up for the holiday season. The Skipper is still full of jokes, and the ambience is merry and bright!

what are you waiting for?

If you're like me and like to plan last minute trips, make sure to check out Get Away Today (affiliate link) and save on an awesome vacation package to the Merriest Place on Earth! I am so excited to spend some time at Disneyland Resort this Holiday Season with some of my favorite people on earth!

Which attraction or experience are you looking forward to the most?

Magic Moments: Travel Planning Fun with Get Away Today!

Travel, Family, EntertainmentCamilleComment

I'm extremely excited to announce that I am a partner with Get Away Today travel! When Jeff and I only had 2 girls, we booked vacations through Get Away Today, and as our family grew, family travel took the back burner. It is unfortunate, as traveling is really fun, especially with kids! Thankfully we've hit the road quite a few times since, and are looking to expand our travel borders in the near future.

I used to want to be a travel agent, my mom worked for a travel agency when I was younger, and it was always fun to go visit her at her office and see all the images of tropical locations and scenery on the walls. I never really paid attention to what she actually did, it was just fun to visit and dream of being in one of those exotic places as I waited for her to get off work.

Fast forward to today, Jeff and I have five kids of our own and we are learning that "organized travel" is extremely important. When I say "organized" I mean, planned, and plotted, making sure we stretch every dollar and get bang for our bucks. We used to lean towards spontaneous, as in "let's go next month" type of travel, and that can get expensive and is somewhat stressful. As our income has always fluctuated, it has been challenging to really save for anything, let alone a full blown family trip with bells and whistles! When doing spontaneous travel, a family vacation was never long enough, lasting only 2 -3 days in southern CA with the kids to visit family and sometimes Disneyland (our happy place). 

About Get Away Today

Get Away Today takes the guesswork out of booking a full vacation package. They have awesome benefits, like a layaway plan and Peace of Mind travel insurance, which is a plus when you're really saving towards a family vacation. The downpayment for travel is $125, which includes a nonrefundable $50 layaway fee. The trip needs to be paid in full within two weeks of travel (many other sites require it from 30-45 days prior). 

When I became a partner with Get Away Today, I was so excited to finally get back to booking and saving. Our family will get to experience more travel in the near future, especially as I am have embarked on a new journey in my career, so saving is a little easier. Work hard, play hard, right?!

Hurry, this offer ends 6/26/16 for travel through December 31, 2016.

Hurry, this offer ends 6/26/16 for travel through December 31, 2016.

Book with Get Away Today

So what does this mean for you, my readers, family and friends? Well, if you choose to book through Get Away Today Vacations, you will receive a $10 credit towards any 2 night stay (use code "SPARKS" when booking) and I will earn a small commission for referring you. Stay tuned for special offers throughout the year, like Adults pay Kids Price at Disneyland, which is going on until June 26, 2016. I'll keep you updated and look forward to hearing your travel stories, too!

We just booked our Fall vacation and cannot wait to share our experience with you!