Disney California Adventure Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Chinese New Year

If you’re looking to celebrate Disneyland’s Chinese New Year, then read on! For a limited time at Disney California Adventure, celebrate the Year of the Dog at the Lunar Year Celebration!

Disney California Adventure Chinese New Year

Since Pluto is my favorite character, this was one event I did not want to miss! Although this event has been at DCA in past years, this was the first year I attended.  The Lunar New Year celebration has so much to offer for everyone!

Food

This celebration offers a great variety of food! I wish I could have tried everything! There are three marketplaces you can visit, Korea, Vietnam, and China! I was only able to taste some of the offerings at the China marketplace. I tried the Three Cup Chicken, Pork Soup Dumplings with Black Vinegar and Ginger, and Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea with Lychee Popping Pearls which is a non-alcoholic drink. For a full list of the menus click here!

Character Greetings

The character greetings are probably my second favorite part of this whole celebration! Not just because Pluto is one of the main characters you can meet, but because you also have the opportunity to meet Mulan and Mushu! The line for the character greeting does get lengthy and the characters do rotate. In addition to Mulan, Mushu, and Pluto you can also meet Mickey and Minnie! The characters do roam around the celebration area so keep an eye out for them!

Activities/Shows

Make sure you grab a show guide when you walk into DCA. There’s so many shows and activities you won’t want to miss! Annual Passholders have a special corner amidst the celebration! You can get a special button (while supplies last), take advantage of the exclusive photo op, and leave a wish on the New Year Wishing Wall! Everyone can enjoy the other activities such as calligraphy and other crafts! There’s also so many shows to see like Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession and Hurry Home, a show that happens nightly with the first performance of World of Color.

Merchandise

No event is complete without themed merchandise! Pluto Shirt celebrating Chinese New YearThere is a cart located next to the marketplaces that is selling various items. A limited release Year of the Dog t-shirt featuring Pluto just arrived! Other items include a thin hoodie, key chains, ears, plush toys and more!

I hope you have the opportunity to visit this event while it’s still here! For a full detailed overview of the Lunar New Year Celebration click here!

Thanks to our Disneyland contributor, Amanda W., for this exciting post!

Holidays at Disneyland Resort

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Disneyland Resort! If Christmas is your favorite holiday or if you’ve never been to the Disneyland Resort for the holidays, I suggest you make your way to The Merriest Place on Earth!

Holidays at Disneyland

Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the hotels are all decked out for the holiday season! There is so much to do and see and eat! You won’t want to miss it!Holidays at Disneyland

Parade and Shows

There are so many great shows in both Disneyland and DCA! Festival of Holidays has all types of festive bands performing at various times throughout the park! Over in the Paradise Gardens make sure to check out Disney ¡Viva Navidad! where the Three Caballeros host a fun street party! Be on the lookout for Mickey and Minnie to make an appearance too! World of Color has also changed for the holidays. World of Color-Season of Light can be seen daily with multiple shows on the weekends! You’ll need to get your show ticket though to ensure you’ll see the show! Make sure to pick up a show guide when you enter the park to know the exact times and locations of everything!

Over in Disneyland, you won’t want to miss the nighttime fireworks show! When the sun goes down Aurora’s castle is beautifully lit! Grab a blanket and a holiday-inspired drink and save your spot for the fireworks! “Believe…in Holiday Magic” starts at 8:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday at 9:30 p.m. weather permitting! Remember this bonus tip from The Mouse and the Monorail: Take pictures WHILE you record a video on your iPhone by using that magic little button on the left-hand side of your iPhone screen! One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade! This is such a fun and festive parade! This show features Mickey and Friends on various holiday inspired floats. Snowmen, reindeer, princes and princesses, and so much more can also be seen! Keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready because Santa makes an appearance as well!

Food

Being the foodie that I am I always look forward to themed foods! I’ve only tried a couple items so far, but if you’re a peppermint lover, this is the season for you! For a list of the locations selling holiday goodies  click here! and for a complete list of all the goodies click here!
Also make sure you check out the Festival of Holidays happening in DCA! Grab a Festival Guide and visit each of the marketplace booths! For more information on Festival of Holidays click here!Holidays at Disneyland Treats

Characters, Decorations, and SANTA!

From the moment you arrive at the Disneyland Resort, there are so many beautiful decorations! You won’t want to miss capturing these moments. Whether you go to Disneyland or DCA, you’ll be surrounded by wreaths, Christmas trees, and your favorite characters in their holiday best! If you’re lucky, you’ll catch all the Mickey and Friends gang together and be able to get pictures with them all individually! My friend and I happened to be in the right place at the right time and were able to escort Pluto, our favorite character, to his photo spot! Even more importantly, both parks have the opportunity for you to meet Santa! Again, check the show guide with times and locations to meet your favorite characters and Santa!

Merchandise

‘Tis the season of giving and what better gift to give than holiday Disney merchandise! This year’s holiday merchandise is absolutely spectacular! I spoiled myself this year and both merchandise in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland! Holiday Decor at DLCheck out the Shop Parks app because some WDW merchandise is available to ship! Also, if you’re an AP, you can utilize your discount too! Next time you’re at the parks take a minute to walk through the shops and check out the holiday apparel, snacks, pins, kitchenware and more! Also, check out the Festival of Holidays merchandise booths with specialized merchandise for this event!

Thank you Disneyland contributor,  Amanda,  for all this fantastic holiday information!

Halloween Time at Disney’s California Adventure

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort this year was truly memorable! For the first time, BOTH parks were included in the festivities! Although Disneyland had some great Halloween decorations and fun, this post will focus on all the new things featured at Disney’s California Adventure!

Halloween Time at Disney’s California Adventure

Halloween isn’t particularly my favorite holiday, but Disney has a way of making this spooky time of year extremely fun! Let’s talk about all the magical things that came to DCA this Halloween season!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Decorations

From the moment you approach the turnstiles you’re faced with a giant Oogie Boogie atop the DCA entrance overlooking incoming guests! Walking down Buena Vista Street light posts are decorated with purple banners. Carthay Circle’s bell tower is coiled with spooky black bats, and there’s a statue of the Headless Horseman that’s particularly creepy at night!Halloween Time in Disney's California AdventureKeep your eyes peeled because you might spot some of your favorite characters dressed in their Halloween best!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters after Dark

So you rescued the Guardians of the Galaxy from the grip of The Collector, but there’s one small problem. You left Groot behind! The Collector’s Fortress is also in a state of emergency as all the monsters have been let loose! Help Rocket go back to rescue Groot! This experience is completely different from what the ride is like during the day. I personally liked this theme over the regular attraction! If you have the chance, check it out before it’s gone for the year!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Cars Land

The most significant changes of the season are at Cars Land! Radiator Springs has completely transformed! Take a picture with your favorite costumed Car! Visit the Cozy Cone Motel for a variety of Halloween inspired treats including my favorite, the Spoke-y Cone Macaron! Make sure to ride Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree!  As unbelievable as all the decorations are in the daytime you have to go back at night to see everything lit up and looking especially spooky!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

More Information

Disney California Adventure is experiencing Halloween for the first time ever! Want to know what to expect? Read our best tips to know before you go! Halloween at Disney's California Adventure is going to be a spook-tacular time! #halloween #travel #dca #disneyFinally, If you’d like to read about my favorite Halloween time treats check out my last blog! If you’d like to hear about all the Halloween time fun at both Disneyland and DCA listen to Podcast Episode 95! I’ve really enjoyed Halloween time at the Disneyland Resort this year! I can’t wait to see what Christmas will bring! Stay tuned to find out!

Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Disney’s summer celebrations kicked off Memorial Day weekend, and Disney’s California Adventure got quite the treat with the grand opening of a brand new ride! On January 2, 2017, Tower of Terror had its final checkout in order to make way for Disney’s newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Many fans had mixed emotions about the loss of TOT. I had the pleasure of experiencing this new attraction on opening weekend and will tell you all about it!Ready to ride the newest rides at Disney's California Adventure? Read our best tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout before you go!

Out With the Old, In With the New

After 5 long months, the highly anticipated ride was ready for the public! During the long wait, the hotel began to take the shape of the Collector’s fortress from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s definitely an eye catching design! While you wait for this thrilling attraction, the ride queue comes to life with all sorts of different, unique plants and designs that’ll surely leave you in high expectations for the ride! As you approach the entry way to what used to be a hotel lobby, you are blown away by the transformation that has taken place! From the moment you walk in, you’re surrounded by glass cases with various items The Collector has collected. As you walk through the line, you enter the Collector’s private office where a very realistic animatronic Rocket explains what to expect on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Mission: BREAKOUT!

Without giving too much away, the premise of the ride is to help Rocket as he tries to free the Guardians who were captured by Taneleer Tivan a.k.a. The Collector. Riders enter a gantry lift that takes them up and drops them down Tivan’s fortress. If you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re wrong! The ride includes 6 different variations so each time you ride could be different from the last! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be determined to ride all 6 variations! Let me give you some tips if you’re planning to visit this ride in the coming months!Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Due to the popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy, the opening of this ride definitely meant LARGE crowds. I would highly suggest arriving at least an hour before the park even opens. Once my friend and I entered the park, we divided and conquered. I stayed in the standby line while my friend went to the FastPass line. Because the park hadn’t opened yet, the standby line was queued in the Hyperion Theater courtyard while the FastPass line was queued backstage. Once the park opened at 9:00 a.m., lines started moving and boy did the wait time increase! By the time my friend and I made it to the actual ride to stand in the outside queue, the wait time hit 300 minutes. After about an hour we finally made it on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

My Reaction

We had no idea what to expect, aside from lots of drops. From start to finish the ride keeps you on the edge of your seat! You truly don’t know what you’ll see or when you’ll drop next! So, which did I like better? TOT or Guardians? Well, Guardians did a great job with both the interior and exterior décor, as well as creating a completely different experience for this ride. But, I am a die hard Tower of Terror fan and that ride will always hold a special place in my heart.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Summer of Heroes

Now if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “this ride isn’t for me.” That’s okay! The opening of this ride coincides with California Adventure’s “Summer of Heroes” where you can meet some of your favorite Marvel characters such as Black Widow or Captain American or even have a dance party with Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy! Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BreakoutDon’t forget to check out all the new food and merchandise options available in the Hollywood Backlot in DCA! Where will you go first this summer?

Thanks to Disneyland contributor Amanda for this photos and accompanying photos!

Episode 83: I Was First

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I Was First: Experiencing Opening Days at Disney

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be one of the first to experience a new attraction at Disney? Or a movie premiere aboard a Disney Cruise ship? And in true first fashion, we’ve got our own first happening! Amanda, our Disneyland blog contributor, is with us today to discuss what it was like to experience opening day of the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attraction at Disney’s California Adventure! Likewise, Meredith was able to experience Pandora: The World of Avatar on opening day and Amy was able to preview the premear of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie aboard the Disney Dream. So join us as we explore all the fun that being the first to experience a Disney attraction brings! Have you ever experienced a grand opening too? Please share with us!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Meredith’s Favorite Disney Games

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Disney Games

So it’s mid-July now and with school starting back in less than a month, I’m trying to squeeze in all the summer fun I can. Finding good games that your family can enjoy together can sometimes seem difficult when there’s SO many choices out there. Today I’ve got a list of my favorite Disney games. Whether you’re looking to find that perfect new board game for family game night or wondering what gaming options are available in the Disney parks, this post is for you!

games

In-Park Games 

Most people wouldn’t think too much about playing games while on vacation, especially at theme parks because they’re always rushing to their next favorite ride. In reality, there are quite a few super-fun interactive games within the parks (beyond the game-based rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin) that’ll keep you having fun and give you something new to try. Note: Games marked with an * require an additional fee to play. All other games listed here are included with your park admission ticket.

Walt Disney World

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – This one is a fav of mine and allows you to experience the park in a way you’ve never imagined, all while enjoying little to no wait lines!! Best yet, you can bring the cards home with you and play the card game while note at the parks! To play, stop by the Firehouse on Main Street to get started.

A Pirate’s Adventure – Like the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, this pirate adventure has loads of fun within the Magic Kingdom and allows you to start and stop at your leisure. You can get your own pirate adventure started by finding the kiosk located just past the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and Pirates League.

*Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade – What better way to immerse yourself in frontierland than to take your best shot at the rootin’ tootinest shooting gallery west of the castle.

Advanced Training LabLocated next to Mission:SPACE in Epcot, this interactive game area lets you “further your astronaut training and even create a space-age postcard”!

Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – Save the countries located in Epcot’s World Showcase from the evil Dr. Doofenschmirtz in this secret spy scavenger hunt. I personally loved this one as it made the countries come alive in a completely new way I had never experienced before. Don’t miss this one whether you have kids or not! You can begin your adventure at the entrance to the World Showcase or at any of the Agent P kiosks throughout the World Showcase.

ImageWorksLocated just after you take a Journey Into Imagination, you’ll find the ImageWorks “What If” labs. From conducting an orchestra to creating your own dragon, this interactive game area is perfect for little ones!

Innoventions – You’ll be surprised at how well you and your family enjoy the interactive fun within this Epcot attraction located in Future world. From getting caught in a storm or designing your own thrill ride, to learning how the colors of the rainbow brighten our world, there’s something fun to learn for everyone! You can even download the Colortopia app (iOS/android) to unlock even more fun! Find out more about Colortopia here.

Kidcot Fun Stops – While not really a game, this fun adventure is like letting your little ones take a Grand Tour (if people still did those) with Disney’s cuddly and well-traveled Duffy Bear. Just look for the Kidcot signs within the showcase pavilions.

Star Wars Launch Bay – While this stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t just a game, you can try out the Star Wars portion of Disney Infinity here!

*Fossil Games – What roadside carnival would be complete without midway style games? These fun-for-the-kids games are located in DinoLand USA within Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Wilderness Explorers – This conservation and culture learning game lets you explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom and earn badges just like Russell from Up would! To begin your experience, stop by the Wilderness Explorers stand as you exit the Oasis. The wilderness must be explored! Ca0caw, ca-caw! ROAR! This is one of my favorites for kids as it lets them explore and enjoy the park without worrying about what ride to race to next. Don’t miss it!!

Disneyland

*Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition – Like its WDW counterpart, this shootin’ gallery features tricky targets and lights, sounds, and animations! One of the first stops in frontierland, you can’t miss this authentic-looking log cabin.

Animation Academy – While not technically a game, this instructive course allows you to learn how to draw favorite Disney characters from Mickey himself to newer characters like Agent P.

Sorcerers Workshop – While you’re at the Animation building, be sure to experience the Sorcerer’s Workshop where you can create your animations (not just drawings) as well as discover which Disney character you’re most like by answering questions with an enchanted book from beast’s library!

*Games of the Boardwalk – Styled after classic Disney and Pixar franchises, these boardwalk games are loads of fun for the family.

Redwood Creek Challenge – If hiking, climbing, and challenges are your thing then this one is perfect for you. Located in Disney’s California Adventure, you may even discover your animal spirit in the process!

Disney Cruise Line

Midship Detective Agency – You can enjoy this interactive game (very similar to the Sorcerers of the MK) aboard the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships. I highly recommend for those cruising with kiddos!

Board Games

Pictopia – We got this one for Christmas and it’s super fun for the whole family. And even better, it has a companion app (iOS/android) that you can play along with the board game OR play alone when on the go!

Eye Found It! – This board game is great for families, especially those with preschoolers because it encourages your family to play as a team (you all win or you all lose) and doesn’t require participants to read in order to play. And for all you Star Wars fans, there’s even a SW edition!

Disney Hedbanz! – Guess which Disney character you are before your friends and family do and look totally stylish with the super cool Mickey ears headbands.

 

Check out all the fun Disney versions of classic board games too!

Disney Theme Park Edition III, Villains, and Disney Classics editions of Monopoly

Disney Parks, Minnie Mouse’s Sweet Treats, and Princess editions of Candyland

Inside Out and Theme Parks editions of Life

Disney Pictionary

Disney Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror editions of Clue

Finding Dory, Star Wars, and Doc McStuffins editions of Operation

HiHo! Cherry-O! with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Olaf’s in TROUBLE

Disney Guess Who

Disney Cranium

Frozen Jenga

Disney Wheel of Fortune

Disney Trivial Pursuit

Don’t Break the Ice: Frozen Edition

Disney Theme Park Scrabble

Video Games

Console-based (playstation, xbox, wii etc)

Disney Infinity – Available for most consoles this gaming system combines story-based gameplay with open-world creative building and makes playing with your favorite Disney characters an absolute delight.

Disney Magical World and Disney Magical World 2 (due out Oct 16 2016) Set out on your own theme park adventure with this Nintendo DS game. My kids (8 and 5) have loved this game and can’t wait for the new one to be released!

Just Dance Disney Party 2 – Jam and dance to more of your favorite Disney songs!

Playmation! – This is an interactive game for everyone. Don’t forget to download the companion app (iOS/android)!

App-based

Check out this week’s podcast to hear me chat all about these apps!

Disney Magic Kingdoms (iOS/android)

Kingdom Hearts Unchained (iOS/android)

Disney Dream Treats (iOS/android)

Disney Tsum Tsum (iOS/android) – This is the game where those adorable little stackable plushes originated!

Where’s My Mickey? (iOS/android) (definitely play the where’s my water version too!)

Inside Out Thought Bubbles (iOS/android)

For even more Disney games available as apps, check out these fun titles:

•Disneyland Explorer (iOS)

•Nemo’s Reef (iOS/android)

•Temple Run: Brave (iOS/android)

•Frozen Freefall (iOS/android)

•Disney Crossy Road (iOS/android)

•Infinity 2.0 Toybox (iOS/android)

•Star Wars: Commander Squad Wars (iOS/android)

•Castle of Illusion (iOS/android)

•Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (iOS/android)

•Disney Jigsaw (iOS)

•Marvel Avengers Academy (iOS/android)

•Marvel Puzzle Quest (iOS/android)

•Marvel Contest of Champions (iOS/android)

•DuckTales Remastered (iOS/android)

Well, if my list doesn’t keep you playing for hours, I don’t know what will! What are your favorite Disney games?