The Magic is Everywhere!

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I’m always amazed at the truly awesome cast members you meet while in the park.  We’ve experienced some incredibly magical moments brought to us by the custodial guest services team.  Take a look at this amazing group of cast members.  They even draw Disney characters on the ground using the tools of their trade — a pan, a broom and a little water.

Does the rain have to ruin your fun?

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Some folks feel cheated if it rains on their day at Disneyland.  While I love the sunny Southern California weather as much as anyone, I find that the rain provides a unique experience all its own.  The crowds thin out, and everyone somehow becomes more “connected” by this weather experience.

My grandmother once told me, “you’re not made of sugar, so the rain is not going to melt you”.   And you know what?  I have yet to hear of one person being melted away by a bit of water.  Well, except for maybe that witch in Oz, but then again, a lot of things are different about Oz!

What do you think?  Does rain hinder your enjoyment of the park?  Or do you enjoy the unique opportunities the rain can bring to the resort?

Mad Hatter Adventures – Agent Meet Up at Walt Disney World

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Having spent my life in California, I call Disneyland my “home” park.  But I had the opportunity recently to visit the other end of the country and gain more experience at the amazing Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  20150910_105707995_iOS    20150910_114404713_iOS    20150910_214135629_iOS

I met up with approximately 20 other agents from Mad Hatter Adventures.  What a fabulous group of people!  And their genuine love and appreciation for Disney had me immediately feeling right at home.20151005_030028000_iOS

We spent the first day at the Magic Kingdom, escorted by the fabulous Theme Park Concierges. We were able to easily navigate through all of the attractions we wanted to see, and even had them bring us our Starbucks order while we watched a show.  Awesome team and I highly recommend their services.

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We lunched at the beautiful Be Our Guest Restaurant.   (And yes, the Gray Stuff is delicious!)
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The next day was spent at EPCOT.  It was beautiful and the food options were amazing and so yummy!

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Our next adventure was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We had an amazing day of adventure. I loved this park.

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We had VIP seating for The Festival of the Lion King show. It was amazing! And, afterwards, we got to meet the cast.
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We  had lunch at Yak & Yeti.
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Later that afternoon, we hit Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Dinner at the Prime Time 50’s Cafe is liking stepping back in time. It reminds me of Grandma’s house.
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There is so much more to tell and show, but if I went into all the details this blog would become a novel.  All in all, it was a fabulous and enjoyable vacation that I will never forget. I loved meeting my fellow agents in this awesome travel agency.  It was such a pleasure to have them show me their “home” park.  I look forward to a meet up at Disneyland one day where I can return the favor.
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Pumpkin Beignets are here!

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(Originally posted in Disney Parks Blog – http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/10/pumpkin-beignets-are-back-in-new-orleans-square-at-disneyland-park/?CMP=SOC-FBPAGE20150917150000)

Pumpkin Beignets – New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park
Makes 25 beignets

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin extract (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry instant yeast
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for coating
  1. Combine pumpkin purée, sugar, cream, water, eggs, shortening, pumpkin extract, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk to combine. Add flour and yeast, stirring by hand to combine.
  2. Mix dough with the dough hook attachment until it forms a ball around the hook; the dough may be a little sticky.
  3. With floured hands, remove dough from hook and roll into a ball. Place dough in a clean bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Roll dough on a well-floured surface to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut into 25 squares. Cover with a clean dishtowel and set aside in a warm, draft-free area for 45 minutes.
  5. Line a plate with paper towels; set aside.
  6. Pour vegetable oil into a deep pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  7. Working in 2 or 3 batches, carefully drop dough into oil. Cook, turning frequently with a long-handled slotted spoon, until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes.
  8. Remove beignets with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate lined with paper towels. Lightly tent with foil to keep warm while remaining beignets cook.
  9. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar on top of warm beignets; serve warm.

Dreaming of Hawaiian Sunshine

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It’s March and most of the US is experiencing snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. What better time to start planning a sunny, warm, tropical vacation.

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Hawaii is a perfect destination for a traveler wanting to experience the island life without the stress of venturing into a foreign land. No worries about currency exchanges, passports, or locating a US embassy. Just plan, fly, and relax……
1066-1245357347Xv9AWith average daily temperatures ranging from 82′ F in July, to 72′ F in January, any time is a great time to visit this national paradise.
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The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island of Hawaii. The most popular travel destination is Oahu, but Maui and Kauai are great vacation options, as well. Molokai and the Big Island also offer unique vacation experiences.

A vacation in Hawaii offers surfing, snorkeling, zip lining, dinner cruises, historic tours, luaus, great dining, and much more. You can be as adventurous or as laid back as you wish.
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Vacation packages are available within a variety of budgets and include your airfare, car rental (or airport transfers), hotel, and even extras. So let’s make some plans and then you can start packing!

Hidden Mickeys

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Throughout the parks, those with a keen sense of observation may notice “Hidden Mickeys”.  Walt Disney Imagineers have placed Mickey Mouse shaped objects in various rides, attractions, and unusual places within the parks. They usually come in the form of an outline of Mickey Mouse’s head and ears, though there are variations.  There are roughly 200 of them hidden within Disneyland. You can even purchase guide books to help you find them.

This video gives you a “sneak peek” at a few of these hidden gems at Disneyland.

Where have you found Hidden Mickeys?  Which are your favorites?

Haupia with Mango Compote

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This recipe from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on beautiful Ko Olina in Hawaii is a favorite of coconut lovers.  Offering a true taste of the islands, haupia is a traditional dessert often served at Hawaiian luaus.

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Serves 4

Haupia

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shredded coconut, toasted

Mango Compote

  • 1 mango, peeled, cut away from pit, and diced small
  • 1 small lime, washed
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom honey, heated until thin

For haupia:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Combine remaining coconut milk, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Drizzle cornstarch mixture slowly into saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking vigorously (do not let boil), until mixture is very thick and no longer tastes floury, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Pour into 4 (1/2-cup-capacity) ramekins; cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic wrap directly onto surface of coconut milk mixture.
  4. Refrigerate 2 hours. Garnish with toasted coconut.

For mango compote:

  1. Place mango in a medium bowl. Zest lime into bowl; stir to combine.
  2. Stir in honey. Serve with haupia.

Cook’s note: Mangoes have a hard, oblong pit that runs through the narrow center. To easily cube the fruit, cut each round “cheek” away from pit, score with a paring knife, and cut fruit away from peel.

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This recipe comes from Kitchen Magic With Mickey and is available now at Disney Parks.

 

 

This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version.

Recipe reposted from Disney Parks Blog:  http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/02/newest-disney-cookbook-features-best-recipes-from-disney-parks-resorts-disney-cruise-line/

All recipes are the property of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

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Disneyland turns 60 this year!  Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will begin Friday, May 22, featuring a new nighttime parade, amazing new fireworks show, and a brand new World of Color show.
10888766_10205031001965384_832507479265875980_nThe resort will be dressed in sparkling décor and festive banners featuring shades of Disneyland blue.

Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle Theater will be donning sparkling new decor and a diamond “D” medallion to complete their look.

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The new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show is sure to amaze us.  With new pyrotechnics, projections throughout the park, and other special effects, this is sure to be a winner!

Port Adventures in Greece!

 

The brand new “Paint the Night” parade will be an energetic and dazzling performance featuring state-of-the-art floats, vibrant costumes, and more than 1.5 million LED lights. The parade floats will interact with the costumes and the toys in the audience, bringing guests a whole new experience.

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World of Color also gets transformed into “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney”.  Hosted by Mickey Mouse, we will experience a journey through the imagination of the one and only Walt Disney.

The following video clip highlights some of the announcements made at the media event.

Disney also revealed the new art collections that will be showcased on more than 500 merchandise items, including apparel, accessories, headwear, home décor, souvenirs, toys, pins, D-Tech, collectibles and more.

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Additionally, new collectible pins will be released each month, beginning January 31 through July 2015.

I hope you are as excited as I am to experience these new offerings in celebration of 60 magical years!

Christmas at the Disneyland Resort

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

A visit to the Disneyland Resort is always magical, but there is something even more spectacular when you visit during the holiday season.  The music, the decorations, the special events, the yummy treats…..you are immediately transported into the spirit of the holiday.

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It’s a Small World – Holiday

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New Orleans Square

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Lamp Post on Main St. USA

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Partners Statue

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Christmas Tree in Town Square

BV Street Tree2We recently took my Mother-in-Law to the Disneyland Resort. She had not been in over 20+ years, so it was her first time in Disney California Adventure.  She loved it!

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Radiator Springs Racers

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Grizzly Rapids

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Entrance to Cars Land

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A view of Grizzly Mountain from Cars Land

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Merry Christmas!!!!!