Tag Archives: #travelprofessional

Celebrating Disney’s Easter and 35th Anniversary at Tokyo DisneySea

 

I’m catching up on posting my articles written for LaughingPlace.com.  Here’s an article I wrote from our last visit to Tokyo DisneySea, highlighting their Easter celebrations in June 2018. 

Disney’s Easter usually lasts an entire season at Tokyo Disney Resort.  This year, with the new 35th Anniversary festivities at Tokyo Disneyland, all of Easter was focused at Tokyo DisneySea.  This nautical-inspired Park also enjoyed special décor and a commemorative water pageant for 35th Anniversary.

Parades and Shows

Tokyo DisneySea runs more parades and shows than any other Disney Park that I know.  It’s truly a challenge to see the Park, experience the rides, and catch all the water parades that are held at the park-front Mediterranean Harbor.  And that doesn’t include the stage shows.  You’ll certainly make your step-count goals on a DisneySea day.

During Disney’s Easter season (March 27 – June 6, 2018), DisneySea has the “Fashionable Easter” parade twice daily.  New also is the 35th Anniversary “Happiest Celebration on the Sea” parade, scheduled twice daily.  As darkness falls, don’t miss “Fantasmic,” an impressive water spectacle staged entirely on moving boats. 

That’s five parades.  No wonder the first parade starts only 30 minutes after park opening. 

Then, there are five showtimes each of stage shows: “Big Band Beat” and “Out of Shadowland.” Plus continuous showings of “My Friend Duffy” from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

35th Anniversary Water Pageant

Tokyo DisneySea is celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Tokyo Disney Resort.  The “Happiest Celebration on the Sea” parade features Mickey and friends on one float that circles Mediterranean Harbor. 

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy are wearing their 35th Anniversary costumes that match their “Dreaming Up!” parade costumes.  Since this is Tokyo DisneySea, they are joined by Duffy, ShellieMay, Gelatoni, and their newest friend, ballerina bunny StellaLou. 

The performances we saw were modified due to weather, so we’re not sure what else would have been included.  Many Tokyo DisneySea parades incorporate jet skis, flying kites and fireworks.  Here’s video from the parade:  

And the finale:   

“Happiest Mickey” Statues    

In honor of the 35th “Happiest Celebration,” Tokyo Disney Resort had multiple Mickey statues placed throughout the Parks.  ‘Mickey marks the spot’ on the DisneySea Park map.  Here are some of our favorites, complete with nicknames. 

Admiral Mickey guards Mediterranean Harbor, under the watchful eye of Mount Prometheus.

Arabian Nights Mickey enjoys a drink in front of the two-story Caravan Carousel.

Gone Fishin’ Mickey is on the lookout for the next big catch in Cape Cod on the American Waterfront.

Lost River Delta Mickey takes after Indiana Jones in seeking forbidden treasures.

Hola, amigos! Sombrero Mickey greets you in front of Miguel’s Cantina. It’s so endearing that cast members use phrases like ‘Hola, amigos’ and ‘Adios’ to greet guests in Lost River Delta.  They also used Italian greetings on the gondolas in Mediterranean Harbor.

Snorkeling Mickey conducts his underwater orchestra in front of Mermaid Lagoon.

This playful Mickey gets squirted in the face by a stowaway fish. The lights of Mermaid Lagoon glow in the background.  I can’t decide if this Mickey looks like more like a sailor or a gondolier. 

Searching for Captain Nemo! Mickey explores near the Nautilus on Mysterious Island.

Stylishly steampunk Mickey has a giggle near “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Disney’s Easter with a 35th Anniversary Flair

Throughout the Park, there were so many decorations custom-branded with both 35th Anniversary and Easter.  “Disney’s Easter 2018” decorated the entry portal with flanking 35th “Happiest Celebration” medallions and banners.  Travel tip: for a less crowded experience, go on a rainy weekday.

Guests loved taking pictures with this grand egg display in Mediterranean Harbor.  “Fashionable Easter” is the theme at Tokyo DisneySea.  This special Easter egg commemorates the event.

In true attention to detail, even “Fashionable Easter” umbrellas in were branded with “35.”

On the American Waterfront, two large Easter baskets drew crowds in front of Tower of Terror. Everyone queued patiently for their turn for a photo. 

The queue was so long for this gazebo photo op, I thought it was for a character meet and greet! This photo is from the Tokyo DisneySea website.

What amazes me is the attention to detail, and the budget TDS spent on decorations.  Everything 35th and Easter can only be used during this year’s Easter season.  Imagine buying new custom umbrellas for your tables and using them for only two and half months.  This sure makes an impression.

Easter Egg Hunt and Park Decorations

Similar to other Disney Parks, Tokyo DisneySea had an Easter Egg hunt.  Buy a map. Find all the eggs. Get a prize.  These were some of the delightfully decorated eggs.

Nigel steals the show with Nemo-themed eggs next to the SeaRider attraction. See Bruce and Destiny?

This Saludos Amigos egg rests in Lost River Delta.

This restaurant – now Miguel’s El Dorado Cantina – has been re-themed since the release of CoCo.  It showcases beautiful art on the walls and the egg. 

Mickey and Minnie eggs welcome guests at the entrance to Tokyo DisneySea.

    

Vibrant Easter banners color coordinate with floral blooms in Mediterranean Harbor.

Intricate eggs with stained-glass shells also dotted the Park.  We found Chip and Dale, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy eggs.  They glowed elegantly at night.

          

The Easter spirit carried on – all the way to the monorail.  Monorail Pink was Easter-themed as well.

High Fashion on the High Seas

The “Fashionable Easter” parade at Tokyo DisneySea changes slightly each year.  It is always an array of color and high-energy fun.  Incorporating a cast of 115 performers with Disney characters on five boats and three stages, “Fashionable Easter” is certain to lift your spirits.

Disney characters and their friends are dressed to represent each of the themed lands – or ‘ports’ – of DisneySea. 

They all sport their bunny ears on their hats. 

    

Tokyo Disney Parks have a much bigger emphasis on female characters and sidekicks than our domestic Parks. Clarice escorts Chip and Dale.  Daisy dances alongside Donald.  Max boogies with Goofy,

    

Saludos Amigos friends play prominently in the Lost River Delta.

Duffy and pals are absolute celebrities at Tokyo DisneySea.  This is the first time I’m seeing StellaLou, their newest bunny friend.  She was first introduced for Easter 2017.

   

 The boats have floral balloons that suddenly inflate to add decorative flair.

Here’s another glimpse of the parade in our video:

Tokyo DisneySea always holds a special enchantment for me.  It’s the only Disney Park of its type in the world.  What do you think of “Fashionable Easter: at Tokyo DisneySea?  And the themed-in 35th Anniversary festivities?

A visit to Tokyo Disney Resort would not be complete without exploring the 35th “Happiest Celebration” Tokyo Disneyland. Or getting a peek at crave-worthy Tokyo Disney merchandise. And eating your way through delectable seasonal food offerings.  Ready for a glimpse?  Follow along as we take a closer look at the Tokyo Disney experience.

This article was originally published on June 11, 2018 on LaughingPlace.com.  See all my articles on my author page!

Finding Places to Love at the LA Travel and Adventure Show

What’s your favorite type of getaway?  Relaxing on a secluded tropical island?  Exploring a historic European city?  Seeing the sun dip into the ocean from your private cruise ship balcony? 

Discover new places to love at the LA Travel and Adventure show.  This past weekend, we delved into the Travel and Adventure show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. 

I felt such a sense of community this year, with the Winter Olympics going on in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  We talked to people from far- off lands, including Japan, Africa, and the Cook Islands.  We even met the mascots from the Olympic Games. 

Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Mascots

For the same reason that I love Epcot’s World Showcase at Disney World, I truly enjoyed the Travel and Adventure Show.   Like the Olympics, they gather cultures together to show off their best.  

It’s more than just another convention. It’s a chance to experience things you may have wondered about, but haven’t had a chance to try.   Continue reading Finding Places to Love at the LA Travel and Adventure Show

There’s No Place Like Aulani for the Holidays

As we start out a new year, we reflect on the one we just wrapped up.  How were your holidays?  If you’re like us, Disney usually plays a large role in your holiday traditions.

Are you tired of the cold and the snow?  Have you ever considered a Hawaiian Christmas?  It’s never to early to start planning for the next holiday season!

This is our article, originally published on LaughingPlace.com, about the magical combination of Disney, Hawaii, and the Holidays!

Enjoy!

What are some of your most treasured holiday traditions?  Christmas trees, halls decked with lights and garland, or fresh-baked gingerbread cookies? Of course, everything is better when shared with your favorite Disney characters!  You’ll find all of these – and so much more – at Aulani during the holidays.

Aloha, Disney-style

Aulani – a Disney resort on the sunny southwest coast of Oahu – has been welcoming guests since August 29, 2011.  The resort presents a delightful marriage of Disney magic and Hawaiian aloha.  And it is all the more enchanting during the holiday season.

From the beginning, Aulani was designed with guidance from Hawaiian elders to accurately represent the native culture.  The Hawaiian word ‘Aulani’ translates to ‘messenger of a chief.’  Talented local artists were commissioned to tell the story of the Hawaiian Islands, and record music for this distinctive resort. 

Native Hawaiian-speaking cast members serve as cultural ambassadors, and create an authentic island experience.  And true to Disney heritage, you’ll find something for everyone in the family. 

Holiday Enchantment at Aulani

Ready to escape the snow and cold?  Aulani is a great destination to celebrate the holidays!  Enjoy tropical weather (an average 73o F) without sacrificing any of your favorite Disney holiday traditions.  Dive right into the Christmas spirit with festive decorations in the lobby entrance. 

Hawaiian Menehune (miniature mythological creatures) have certainly decked the halls in festive fashion! Continue reading There’s No Place Like Aulani for the Holidays

Related Images:

10 Amazing Reasons to Go to HawaiiCon

As if I needed another reason to love the Big Island of Hawaii… I just learned about HawaiiCon.  The Big Island is not just full of palm trees, beaches, and resorts.  It is home to Kilauea, one of the longest-erupting volcanoes in the world.  And, it is one of the few places on earth where you can ski and surf in the same day.  The Big Island has numerous cultural festivals – and HawaiiCon is one of them!

HawaiiCon caught this fangirl unprepared.  We found out about it while vacationing on the Big Island, thanks to a featured article in Ke Ola Magazine.  I had packed some Hot Topic tank tops, but not my wardrobe of Her Universe dresses.  Nevertheless, I welcomed the opportunity to see a new con.

Even though I’d been to many conventions including San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, and D23 Expo – I found many reasons to love HawaiiCon.  Here are my Top 10 reasons why you should put HawaiiCon on your calendar next year.

This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com

1. Opportunity to really get to know celebrity guests

Celebrity guest stars were scheduled at multiple panels and activities over the HawaiiCon weekend.  This allowed a rare opportunity to really get to know them, and interact in a more informal setting.

It was personal ‘story time’ with your favorite celebrities.  This was my first encounter with Temuera Morrison (Chief Tui, Moana / Jango Fett, Star Wars Ep. II).  And Paul Blake (Greedo, Star Wars Ep. IV), who answered the question ‘Who Shot First?’  We enjoyed ‘solo’ time with Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett, Star Wars Ep. II).  Q&A was amazing during these small panel sessions.

Continue reading 10 Amazing Reasons to Go to HawaiiCon

Related Images:

Yo Ho! Celebrating Over 50 Years of Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

How many of you love Pirates of the Caribbean?  Was your first memory of Pirates from Disneyland? Or perhaps Disney World?  For younger generations, their first Disney pirate may have been Captain Jack Sparrow from the blockbuster films.  Well, if ye come seekin’ adventure, keep a weather eye open.  There be pirates in these waters as we explore their history through Disney Archives.

This article was originally published on Laughingplace.com after D23 Expo.

A Tribute to Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

Pirates have been such an integral part of Disney history, even before the landmark attraction at Disneyland (now commemorating its 50th year).  D23 Expo celebrated Disney pirates in a special exhibit, showcasing treasures from the Disney Archives.  These are highlights from the D23 Expo and “A Pirates Life for Me: Disney’s Rascals, Scoundrels, and Really Bad Eggs.”

The queues snaked on and on for this exhibit.  The mood was set with music of Disney’s pirates – from X Atencio’s classic ‘Yo Ho! Yo Ho!’ to the Hans Zimmer film soundtracks, to songs from Muppet Treasure Island and Hook’s solo “Revenge! Revenge!” from Once Upon a Time.

Jail Scene photo op

Before entering the exhibit, many guests stopped for a photo op in the classic ‘Jail Scene.’ Continue reading Yo Ho! Celebrating Over 50 Years of Disney Pirates at D23 Expo

Ghoulishly Delightful Halloween Experiences at Tokyo DisneySea (Part 2) 

Not traditionally celebrated in Japan, Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort is a ghoulishly delightful experience for local (and visiting) Disney fans alike.  Join us as we continue our Halloween experiences at Tokyo DisneySea in Part 2 of this article.

In Part 1, we shared the cheerful Halloween festivities at Tokyo Disneyland.  Tokyo DisneySea harbored a darker (yet, not scary) Villain’s theme for the season.

Love Halloween?  You’ll find many delightful Disney details, but also some fascinating differences at Tokyo DisneySea.

This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com, from our experiences at Tokyo Disney Resort last Halloween season.  

Halloween Decorations at Tokyo DisneySea

Monorails don’t escape the magic at Tokyo Disney resort.  It was festively Halloween from the time you set foot on the resort line monorail.  Each Mickey-shaped monorail hand-grip was charmed with a colorful witch’s hat.

Banners along top advertised ‘Disney’s Halloween 2016.’  Each banner showcased pictures of the iconic Disneyland castle, as well as Mount Prometheus, the symbol for Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo DisneySea’s entry arch was draped in festive orange, purple, and black banners for Halloween.  Jewel-toned pumpkin lanterns completed the look.

These decorations continued throughout the Portofino-inspired buildings of ‘Mediterranean Harbor.’  Claude Frollo’s hat adorns this Halloween banner above the Il Postino Stationery store.

This year’s Halloween theme, “Welcome to the Villain’s World: Wishes and Desires,” complemented Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th Anniversary “Year of Wishes” celebrations.

Continue reading Ghoulishly Delightful Halloween Experiences at Tokyo DisneySea (Part 2) 

How I Made a Cultural Connection at Epcot: My Italian Adventure

Epcot Sunset Over Spaceship Earth

When you think of Epcot, you may recall fragrant florals from the “Flower & Garden Festival.”  Or, perhaps, delectable dishes from the “Food & Wine Festival.” (I, too, love to ‘eat my way around the world.’)  Most of all, I enjoy Epcot as a gathering place to meet friendly cast members from various countries.  My last visit to Epcot’s Italy Pavilion did not disappoint.

Venice, Italy vs. Italy at Epcot

Through the years, I have come to love the “real” Italy, especially Venice.  Epcot’s Italy Pavilion transports me back to Venice every time.  Strolling through, I see architectural reminders of Saint Mark’s Square: the delicately intricate façade of the Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile (bell tower).

Italy Pavilion at Epcot – Detail of Doge’s Palace and Campanile

The entrance is guarded by two columns, topped with Venezia’s patron saints: Saint Mark’s Lion and Saint Theodore standing above a crocodile.  (Though Epcot’s version is actually reversed)

Admittedly, Disney puts a spin on their presentation of each country.  (Germany’s Bavarian region is famous for their large, scrumptious pretzels.  But they certainly are not Mickey-shaped, nor come with cheese dipping sauce.)

To their credit, though, Disney is committed to recruiting native cast members to represent their countries’ pavilions at Epcot, creating a more authentic experience. Continue reading How I Made a Cultural Connection at Epcot: My Italian Adventure

9 Things You Won’t Want to Miss at Disneyland Paris Resort

Good advice is worth its weight in gold, especially when you’re traveling.  Getting first-hand advice can save you time, ensure you don’t miss an essential moment, and help you make good decisions on how to spend your hard-earned vacation dollars.  This is especially true for specialty locations like Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2017 (the park opened as Euro Disney on April 12, 1992), making this the perfect year to enjoy the festivities.  The anniversary theme – “It’s Time to Sparkle!” – introduces new spectaculars to make your visit even more memorable.  You’ll want to be prepared, so you won’t miss a second of the magic.

Here are my top 9 things you definitely won’t want to miss – gained from experience as a DLP annual passholder.  Some are unique and found only at Disneyland Paris Resort.  Some are delightful variations of classic Disney attractions.  All are outstanding.

There are two parks at the Disneyland Paris Resort:  Disneyland Park, and the Walt Disney Studios (now celebrating its 10th Anniversary).  I divided this List into “family-friendly” and “wild side” features, with notations in which park they’re located.

This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com on April 10, 2017.  Continue reading 9 Things You Won’t Want to Miss at Disneyland Paris Resort

Spectacular Harry Potter “Nighttime Lights” this summer at Universal Studios Hollywood

"The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" at "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" - Universal Studios Hollywood -- Hufflepuff house featured
“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” – Universal Studios Hollywood — Hufflepuff house featured.  Photo: Mike Danenberg/Universal Studios Hollywood
Attention Harry Potter fans! Universal Studios Hollywood will enchant guests this summer with a brand-new experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.”
 
Do you remember the grand opening of the Wizarding World at Universal Hollywood a year ago? John Williams mesmerized guests, conducting a full orchestra playing his themes from the Harry Potter films.  

I get goosebumps every time I hear John Williams’ score and see Hogwarts.

Continue reading Spectacular Harry Potter “Nighttime Lights” this summer at Universal Studios Hollywood

Answers to 10 Essential Questions About Shanghai Disneyland

This article was first published on LaughingPlace.com on June 15, 2016.

Questions and rumors about Shanghai Disneyland abound.  As Disney’s newest theme park prepares for its debut June 16, 2016 there are so many questions still unanswered.

I was privileged to preview SH Disneyland in May during Trial Operations, and was truly impressed with the scope of this park (even after seeing all the other Disney castles).  Opening with five noteworthy E-ticket attractions and three stage shows, SH Disneyland is poised to be a key player among Disney parks.

Here, I answer 10 essential questions about Shanghai Disneyland.

1.      Why is there no Main Street USA?  When is the next Train?

Shanghai Disneyland is distinguished by many record “firsts.”  First Disneyland without Main Street USA.  First Disneyland without a train.  (Yes, in this spacious park, the train station was built only as a nod to tradition).  First to substitute Tron for Space Mountain. And that castle!

Carthay Circle Mickey Ave SHDL
Carthay Circle Mickey Ave SHDL

The local population in China has not had the same exposure to Disney characters that the Western world has.  Many Disney films were never released in China.

Chinese guests know Mickey and Minnie.  They adore Winnie the Pooh for being cute, cuddly, and red and gold (popular Chinese colors).  They love Anna and Elsa.  Other characters may all be new to the locals. Continue reading Answers to 10 Essential Questions About Shanghai Disneyland