It was a very busy October for me: a lot of travelling, fun times with family and friends and of course the magic of Disneyland.
On October 19, my stop in Disneyland was brief. But you don't have to spend a lot of time in Disneyland to be a part of the magic. Taking the opportunity to meet a friend in the park, I had no idea what a special moment I would bare witness to.
I won't say much more; I will leave it up to him to describe this truly beautiful and magical story. But here is what I will say: some of the best people work at Disneyland Resort. They are true of heart and really believe in the magic and legacy that Walt created and left behind.
Thank you Jason, for sharing this moment: The Power of Magic! (Amazing Disneyland Magical Moment Experience)
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
|Photo from Disney Parks Blog http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/|
As we prepare for the Expo, we have gone over some tips that we have learnt from the previous 2 experiences and thought we should share them with our followers! This all began on Twitter but through recommendations from friends and followers, we have compiled our D23 Expo Tip list for a one stop reference guide. We hope you find it helpful.
Be sure to subscribe to our website so that you can get updates as we add more helpful tips to make your D23 Expo even better!
For full details about the D23 Expo and becoming a D23 member (which is free now!), visit https://d23.com/.
D23 Expo Tips
- Do not overplan your day. Narrow down your choices and enjoy!
- Don't expect to see everything. Unless you can clone yourself. Prioritize what is important to you and try to stick to your plan.
- Schedules can change. Get up to date schedules to avoid being surprised or disappointed. Here is the link for the D23 schedule: https://d23.com/d23-expo/schedule/friday-august-09-2013/
- Read D23's "Things to Know" https://d23.com/d23-expo/things-to-know/
- Make friends in line. You're going to be there for awhile so introduce yourself. We've met some wonderful friends this way!
- Bring a light sweater/hoodie as some of the presentation rooms can be quite cool with the blasting air conditioning
- Don't forget to enjoy and explore the show floor. There are a lot of great exhibits and hidden treasures to enjoy!
- Bring something to do while you are in line: a book, cards or a movie on your mobile device.
- D23 Expo - there's an app for that. Download the app through iTunes or Google Play. For more information, click here.
- Be nice to the cast members. Yes, this is a Disney event so we call them cast members. The cast members are working very hard to bring you the best experience possible so be patient with them and thank them for doing a fantastic job!
If you are unable to attend the D23 Expo, follow us on Twitter (@mousewardbound) to join in on the fun. Not on Twitter? We are also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MousewardBound?ref=hl. Check it out!
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Recently my home city Calgary, along with most of beautiful Southern Alberta, was ravaged by devastating floods. Beautiful National Parks were torn apart. Towns were completely submerged. And the heart and soul of my city was completely flooded. I have worked in the downtown core since I was 16 and I had a sense that it was indestructible. When I woke up last Friday June 21, 2013 to pictures of the city that I grew up in fully submerged in water, I couldn't believe my eyes.
|After our first day of volunteering: my sister in-law Melanie (left) and myself (right)|
|Day 2: Team Lauzon! My sister in-law Melanie (left), my father in-law Gaetan (middle) and myself (right)|
|After a full day of volunteering: #DirtyisSexy|
|The great group of volunteers that worked hard all day to gut a stranger's basement. Thank you all!|
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
2012 proved to be a big year for The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilms. In October of 2012, Lucasfilms became an official family member of The Walt Disney Company. The reaction from Star Wars' fans was mixed. But for Star Wars and Disney fans it only felt natural. Lucasfilms was already a strong force in the Disney parks: both Star Tours and Indiana Jones have rides and shows in both North American parks. Oh and let's not forget the epic Captain EO 3D spectacular.
Young Padawans visiting the parks grew up thinking Disney already owned these well-established franchises.
And for those familiar with Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios, the takeover of the Star Wars empire can only mean one thing: the awesome party just got more personal. We have been fortunate enough to attend Star Wars Weekends for the past two years. We can only imagine the energy that will be in the air this year. Although our plans to attend are still up in the air, if the force is with us, we will find a way. But for now, lets take a look back.
Every Mid-May to Mid-June, WDW's Hollywood Studios is turned over to Star Wars weekends (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays only). If you are even the slightest Star Wars fan, you have to go check this out. Starting the moment you walk up to the entrance, it is evident there is a different force present.
|Stormtroopers greet guests as they enter Hollywood Studios|
#5: Darth's Mall
Looking for a souvenir? There is a ton of special merchandise over at 'Darth's Mall'. A clever play on words, the mall is located in the backstage area behind Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. There is something for everyone: collectibles, pins, Vinylmations, toys, clothing (great items from Her Universe) and exclusive Star Wars Weekends items. Here is a sample of some of the treasure we found in previous years:
Darth's Mall is also home to a Star Wars character meet and greet. Be prepared to wait a long time, but the pay off is worth it.
For a sneak peek at this year's Star Wars Weekends merchandise, visit Disney Parks Blog.
#4: Star Wars Motorcade
Once a day during Star Wars Weekends, guests can see all of their favourite Star Wars characters, Disney characters in Star Wars costumes and Star Wars celebrities drive down Hollywood Boulevard. You will want to arrive early if you want a good spot to view the parade. And once the parade is done, make sure you head to the main stage at the end of Hollywood Boulevard where all the Star Wars charaters and celebrities gather to welcome everyone.
|Silly Goofy! You forgot your lightsaber!|
Keep in mind: these are Star Wars fans! There costumes are made by them - not Disney. Amazing!
Star Wars celebrities are one of the highlights of Star Wars Weekends. The Star Wars Motorcade is a great way to see them all together without having to wait in line for an autograph.
|Ray Park (Darth Maul - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)|
#3: Character Meet & Greets
Various meet and greets areas are set up throughout Hollywood Studios for guests to meet their favourite Star Wars characters. Star Wars characters also wander throughout the park and if you ask nicely, they may stop for a picture. But whatever you do, don't comment on a Stormtrooper's height.
Don't forget: there is a meet and greet area in Darth's Mall. See #5 for more details.
Even the Disney characters get in the spirit and dress up as Star Wars characters. TIP: Be aware that they do rotate, so the character that is there when you get in line may not be the character you will meet. Ask a Cast Member what the rotation is and try your best to plan accordingly.
We have more character pictures available on our Facebook page.
#2: Snig & Oopla's Hyperspace Hoopla
There are no words that can describe the evening show at Star Wars Weekends. It is the most ridonculous, hilarious, crazy, stupid, fun show we have ever seen. Shown nightly on the stage at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, this show draws a huge crowd full of repeat offenders and others who have heard about it and want to see it with their own eyes.
Your intergalactic hosts are Snig & Oopla. Trying to keep the peace between the Dark Side and the Rebel Alliance, Snig & Oopla suggest a dance-off with the Star Wars stars.
Each side performs to the song of their choice featuring all of your favourite Star Wars characters. What ensues is a ton of hilarity. Here are some pictures and a couple of videos from both 2011 and 2012.
2011: You haven't lived until you have seen Chewbacca perform to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns and Roses!
2012: Going with a more recent and very popular choice this year: "I'm Sexy and I Know it" by LMFAO
Warning: watching this video may cause abdominal pain from laughing so hard. May also cause a sore neck from shaking it in disbelief
The Dark Side
2011: Sticking with the rock theme this year, the Dark Side began with "Back in Black" by AC/DC
2012: We thought we saw everything, but nothing prepared us for the Emperor rapping to "Mamma Said Knock You Out" by L.L. Cool J
And to cap it off, Darth Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker) performed to "Smooth Criminal" by Alien Antfarm
At the end of all this ridonculous showmanship, the audience votes on their favourite performance. Depending on the crowd, this can vary from night to night. Don't be surprised if they get swayed to the Dark Side
#1: Star Wars Celebrities
Definitely a highlight for a lot of people is the opportunity to meet a cast member from the Star Wars movies. Guests can pick up a FastPass ticket for these autograph sessions at special FastPass booths just outside the main gates. Every weekend features different Star Wars celebrities so make sure you check the Disney Parks Blog for announcements and the time guides available at the gate.
The really great thing about the celebrities that are part of the Star Wars Weekends, is that they are huge Star Wars fans themselves. Ashley Eckstein is just as excited to be there as anyone else. And Ray Park is always wearing the newest Star Wars Weekend t-shirt.
TIP: Ray Park (aka Darth Maul) is VERY popular. If you want to see him, you will need to get a ticket well in advance of the park opening. We have heard people picking up passes as early as 5 am!
In 2012, we were fortunate enough to meet Andy Secombe; the voice of Watto from Star Wars Episodes I & II. He was very nice and took the time to have a brief chat with us.
Bonus: Ray Park Presentation
If you get an opportunity and don't mind waiting in a long line (isn't that what you do at a Disney park anyways?), seeing Ray Park's presentation is well worth the wait, provided it is available when you go. He is a great presenter, performer and a true inspiration. Even Darth Maul couldn't help but ask for his autograph.