Teri Hatcher. Check.
Vanessa Hudgens. Check.
Jamie Lee Curtis. Check.
John Stamos. Check.
My seven-year-old daughter is helping me run down the list of celebrity arrivals on the blue (not red) carpet at Disneyland California for the recent premier of the World of Color extravaganza.
When Disney does something, they do it big – thus the stars and thousands and thousands others arriving to see Disneyland’s new World of Color – a 25-minute piece of eye candy created by installing 1,200 fountains in a lagoon and having them shoot water, light, fire, fog and lasers into the air to create a 19,000 square foot projection surface that Disney’s favourite animated characters and music emanate from.
“Believe me, we’re not being subtle with this one,” said Disney Parks CEO Tom Staggs in introducing the show. “It’s the most innovative combination of water, animation and music ever.”
Now that Disneyland is running the show twice nightly at 9 and 10:15 p.m. it becomes just another, albeit wildly popular, reason to visit the resort in sunny Anaheim, California.
As my wife and I and our daughter Grace found out our recent trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, Disney continually sets the bar higher. The side-by-side Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks pack an unbelievable punch of roller coasters and other midway rides, live shows, parades, roaming Disney characters, and main streets full of restaurants and shops.
One of Grace’s obsessions was getting character signatures in a specially designed Disney autograph book she, of course, bought at a Disney store.
Kids – and by default, their parents – line up for the privilege of having some guy dressed as Pluto sign the autograph book and give them a hug for parents waiting with camera.
Iconic Disney A-listers Mickey and Minnie Mouse attract most attention but there’s everyone else from Buzz Lightyear and Alice in Wonderland to Chip and Dale.
With Grace handily exceeding the 42-inches tall minimum for most rides we rode them all from the tame tea cups of the Mat Hatter Party, Finding Nemo, and Autopia to the raucous roller coasters Matterhorn, Mulholland Madness, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain.
She, however, drew the line and wouldn’t go on California Screamin’ – the most furious of the Disney roller coasters featuring a complete high-speed upside down loop.
Speaking of roller coasters, Bryan, a Disney ‘cast member’ – as they are called – asked us upon check-in at the luxurious Grand Californian Hotel if wanted a roller coaster view. Thus our room overlooking Mulholland Madness.
The room was superbly sound proofed so we only heard the tell-tale click-click of a roller coaster’s ascent and the screams of the decent if we opened the door to the balcony.
A day pass two both Disneyland and Disney Adventure Park is $97 per person, but Canadians are better to go through a travel agent and get a package deal that includes flight, hotel and park passes.
Steve MacNaull is a business reporter for the Kelowna Daily Courier who loves to travel and write about that too. Find out more about Steve at www.bctravelwriters.com/macnaull.