Dear Walt

If You Can Dream

It’s a beautiful quote, isn’t it? What a great notion. It goes hand in hand with the idea of wishing on a star and just believing.

Only… you never actually said that, did you? This quote, often attributed to you – it was never actually yours, was it?

Sure, the notion of such is a great one – after all, we are supposed to follow our dreams. But Walt, the myth of you as a dreamer and magician, a man who never gave up and had a magic touch in everything he did… I know there’s a lot more to it.

In all honesty, the myth side was what drew me to you initially. You created Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, amazing feature films, and made so many people worldwide happy with your special touch. There definitely IS a magic to that! However, to many (myself included), it can be quite disheartening when we don’t always see our dreams come true like we hope they would; at least not in the ways we expected.

I’ve been there. I’ve had opportunities dangled in front of me, only to see them plucked away at the last moment. I’ve wanted these opportunities so badly, as part of my dreams to reach an ultimate goal. But the timing was not right, and I often have found myself questioning my desire and drive. I had a moment like this a couple years ago, and believe me when I say, it was a picture of you that snapped me out of my funk.

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Why this picture? For one, it’s just a great picture. You were telling the story of Pinocchio the way only you could, and pouring all of your energy into it. It showed someone that was working hard and letting his talents shine through. Someone that was having fun but giving all he had to tell his story. It was a refresher of sorts for me – I remembered that you were human – so much more than myth.

This was the Walt that interested me more. The man who had to fight his way to get where he was. The man who was faced with struggles and adversity. The family man who had quite the personality that was often unseen by rolling cameras and the public eye.

A person can look at a legend and be in awe, but to look at the person behind the legend and see what was accomplished as a real person – well, that is where real inspiration is found for me.

 

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This all came to a head when I finally had a chance to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. This was a place I’d wanted to visit for quite a while, but never had the opportunity to do so. I couldn’t wait to explore and revisit so much history, both of you and the history of the Walt Disney Company when it was in your hands.

The first thing I would like to say, Walt, is this museum was gorgeous. It is every Disney fan’s dream. History came alive in so many fantastic ways, from storyboards, to the famed multi-plane camera, to an amazing miniature scale model of your masterpiece known as Disneyland.

 

Animator's Desk, displaying sketches from Walt Disney's Pinocchio.

Animator’s Desk, displaying sketches from Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.

 

A view from above - the Multiplane Camera, first used in Walt Disney's Silly Symphony: The Old Mill

A view from above – the Multiplane Camera, first used in Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony: The Old Mill.

 

Miniature scale model of Disneyland, as seen during Walt's lifetime.

Miniature scale model of Disneyland, as seen during Walt’s lifetime.

 

The history was rich, and really came alive for me here, but what really stood out for me once again were the parts that showed you as a family man:

Walt Disney, family man. Throughout the museum, the Disney "Family Story" is displayed, rich with family history, Walt's personal hobbies & tastes, making sure the public gets a great insight of the man beyond company history.

Walt Disney, family man. Throughout the museum, the Disney “Family Story” is displayed, rich with family history, Walt’s hobbies, and personal stories. This ensures the public gets a great insight of the man beyond company history.

 

 

A “goofball” at times:

 

Fooling around on the set of an Alice Comedy. Pictures like this are some of my favorites of Walt.

Fooling around on the set of an Alice Comedy. Pictures like this are some of my favorites of Walt.

 

A traveler:

 

On a Hawaiian vacation with wife Lillian, and daughters Sharon and Diane. Walt the traveler: A man after my own heart!

On a Hawaiian vacation with wife Lillian, and daughters Sharon and Diane. Walt the traveler: A man after my own heart!

 

 

A Patriot:

 

Detailing Walt and the studio's many contributions to the effort during WWII.

Detailing Walt and the studio’s many contributions to the effort during WWII.

 

I took the opportunity to pose for a picture on the Griffith Park bench placed in the museum. To reflect on you and all you had done. To think that, as a daddy, you sat on perhaps that very bench and began to think of a place that families could enjoy together – now THAT is inspiring!

 

My lovely family and I on "Walt's Bench."

My lovely family and I on “Walt’s Bench.”

 

 

The closer I got to the end of the exhibit, the more melancholy I felt myself getting. I knew what was coming, Walt. And it was breaking my heart. Of course, you didn’t know. You were turning your attention to different projects, looking to the future. Your vision of Epcot – what an amazing finished product that could have been! But we’ll never know, as you passed before it could come to fruition. I entered that last room with a true sadness. The man who I was fully realizing as an extraordinary human being left the world too soon.

 

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A world mourned when you died, Walt. But those of us who were too young to be around in your time mourn, too. We feel the loss of someone who, it seems, had much more left to give. You were working till the end. Dreaming? Yes. But working, brimming with ideas. Your dreams became reality because you were dedicated, thoughtful, and saw projects through. It wasn’t always easy, I know. In fact, one of the most inspiring quotes from the museum, for me anyway, came from one of the hardest times of your life. It wasn’t about making the impossible happen. It wasn’t about life being magical. No, it refers to a time your animators went on strike at the studio:

 

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Why this quote? Because it shows even someone as revered as you had moments of hardship. Times when you were ready to give up – to walk away. Of course, you didn’t, for which many are eternally grateful. But you were willing to admit that you had that type of moment.  And for someone who has felt that feeling far too often, it’s beyond inspiring to know the power of forging ahead even in dark times.

So thank you, Walt. Thank you for all you did. Your hard work. Your determination. For making countless children of all ages happy. For being yourself through the entire process. For being a good family man.

For being human.

Sincerely,

An Admirer

(Note to readers: I realized I barely touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum. I would encourage each and every one of you to try to visit this amazing place should the opportunity arise. It was so wonderfully put together, and truly tells the story of Walt Disney in a way that only family and those closest to him could tell it. For more information, visit the Walt Disney Family Museum website. All pictures from the museum itself were taken by the author upon his visit to the WDFM.)

 

Mr. DisNerd Goes To Anaheim: A Fan’s Experience at the D23 Expo

Hello, dear readers! As many of you know, especially if you’ve been following Confessions on Facebook, I recently experienced my first D23 Expo. When I initially purchased my 3 day ticket last year, I had grand hopes in covering the Expo in detail. However, as time grew nearer, I changed my plans a bit. Having never experienced the Expo and having the opportunity to go with friends, I decided I wanted to experience everything as the fan that I am. This meant seeing panels and presentations I wanted to see, but maybe missing out on a few things that might be happening at the same time. After all, I do pride myself on being a fan first and foremost! So with this decision made, I made the journey to Anaheim to experience, have fun, and hopefully not be overwhelmed. (Note: My friends over at Disney Darlings did a great job of covering the Expo. Where I was able, I’ve provided links to their news coverage for those looking for more detailed reports.) With that being said, here’s this nerd’s report and opinions from the 2015 D23 Expo.

Welcome to the 2015 D23 Expo!

The signs certainly looked welcoming enough! However, the lines were daunting that first morning. There was definitely miscommunication between Disney, Expo staff, and Anaheim Convention Center Staff. Many were told one line was for the Disney Legends ceremony as well as gold and silver D23 members (who were allowed entry to the show floor an hour before general admission), while a second line was for general admission entry. However, many found out there was actually a separate line for the Legends; it depends on who you asked. Although I am a gold-level D23 member, I chose to stand in the general admission with a friend who was not. The first morning’s entry line was, in all honesty, a mess. Gold and silver members kept piling into that line, well past 10 AM, with a line wrapping around the convention center.

Don’t be fooled by the line. It’s much longer.

Any frustrations that may have come from that line, however, dissipated as I entered the show floor to encounter a world of Disney wonder. With no real game plan for the first morning, we wandered the floor, visiting vendors, and checking out a few displays, such as John Lassetter’s studio shirts, the famed Pizza Planet Truck, and much more!

John Lassetter’s Hawaiian Shirt Collection!

 

Unlike in some Pixar movies, the Pizza Planet truck was pretty easy to find at the Expo!

Production maquettes from Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” bring about so many feelings!

 

From the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts area: “Voyage to the Crystal Grotto” at Shanghai Disney Resort looks amazingly beautiful! Read Disney Darlings’ coverage of the Shanghai Disney and Pandora Exhibit here!

As one learns quickly when attending the Expo, decisions must be made as to which panels are “must sees,” and which may have to be skipped over, as one simply cannot do everything the Expo has to offer. Thus, my friends and I made the decision to attend the “Imagineering 60 Years of Disneyland” panel hosted by documentarian Leslie Iwerks, leaving no room to attend the Disney/Pixar Animation presentation (For Disney Darlings’ coverage of the animation presentation, click here). The Imagineering panel was a great choice for me, as I got to hear former and current Imagineers such as Charita Carter, Kevin Rafferty, Kim Irvine, Tony Baxter, Marty Sklar, and one of my personal heroes, Richard Sherman discuss the world of Imagineering, driven by Walt and his ideals, even long after he had passed. It was also a great look at Iwerks’ upcoming 2016  documentary, “The Imagineering Story.”

Disney Legend Richard Sherman reflects on Walt Disney’s influence during the “Imagineering 60 Years of Disneyland” panel.

Day two of the Expo presented more tough decisions and more lines, but on a more organized level, I felt. However, to attend the “Worlds, Galaxies and Universes: Life Action at The Walt Disney Studios” presentation, an early lineup was necessary. My cohorts and I joined the line at 5:30 am (for a 10:30 am presentation), and were some of the last to receive wristbands for entry, while others who arrived later waited in the standby line. (Side note: Many waiting in the standby line received entry to the presentation: Hall D23 held 7500 people.)

The queue for the “Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios” presentation. The crowd to the right is the standby queue.

 

Of course, it was a magnificent presentation, complete with movie trailers, sizzle reels and celebrity appearances. I will admit, the ten year old in me leapt out of my seat when Harrison Ford took the stage with the freshman cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, cameras were sealed in plastic bags as photography and video were prohibited. Of course, there was also a tiny announcement about a Star Wars land coming to Disney Parks in the future that shook things up quite a bit. All of these elements made this a highly entertaining presentation to be at – well worth camping out for! (Disney Darlings once again, has provided more information on the Star Wars land coverage here.)

Perhaps the biggest show floor highlight for me was “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.” Given the geekery of many Disney fans, I’m surprised they weren’t handing out bibs at the exhibit entrance to catch the collective drool as we all walked past various pieces of history from Disneyland’s first 60 years. Below are just a few highlights from the amazing exhibit:

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit:” Disneyland ticket #000001, purchased by Roy O. Disney.

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit:” A collection of souvenir merchandise from Disneyland. I have a couple of these items, but I wouldn’t mind owning it all!

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit:” Definitely makes me want to fly to Never Land!

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.” Why, hello, Harold! One of the original Abominable Snowmen from the Matterhorn.

 

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.” From the “I Want” File: A collection of souvenir guides, maps and tickets from Disneyland.

 

From “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.” A Nightmare Fantasmic!

 

I realize I’m leaving out a lot of other things that I happened to see at the Expo. From time with friends, to meeting some amazing people, to other panels and presentations, there is just so much to talk about from this amazing weekend! However, for space constraints (I know, I’ve already kept you reading this long!), I wanted to take the last portion of this post to address a bit of what you may have been reading on the internet from other blogs and sites.

First off, you will find many complaining the Expo was horribly disorganized. Now, as I stated at the outset, the lines on opening day were confusing and frustrating. I’ll agree to that. But that was really my only issue with organization all weekend long. I camped out for major presentations, attended a panel with stage pass, and a few Walt Disney Archive panels with no pass required. In fact, those panels were surprisingly not full, and contained some of the best history lessons of the weekend. If I have one regret from the Expo (besides not being able to see The Originals: Disney on Broadway concert), it would be not attending more of these Archive panels and presentations. “Sounds Delightful! An Illustrated Audio Adventure with Stacia Martin” was a true highlight for this Disney Vinyl collecting nut, as Stacia played us some great vinyl tracks while leading us through Disneyland and the 60th anniversary of the Mickey Mouse Club (Another panel I regretfully missed!).

 

From the Walt Disney Archives Stage: “Sounds Delightful! An Illustrated Audio Adventure with Stacia Martin.” Truly a DisNerd’s dream presentation!

 

I do believe many of the complaints of organization stemmed from the shopping experiences on the Expo show floor. While I did manage to get into the Dream Store with relative ease, most of the the items I wanted to purchase were sold out by Friday afternoon. As for the Disney Store line, I didn’t hear of anyone spending less than three hours in line for limited edition merchandise, so I didn’t even bother.

Which brings me to my second point. I believe for some, the Expo was pretty much a shopping event. And if that was the case, that was absolutely fine for them, but the long lines and agitation that came with them could make for a pretty crazy show floor at times, not to mention hordes of collectors and re-sellers camping out for the Expo floor every morning. The mood among many seemed to stem from these lines and lack of availability of merchandise. I don’t know what can really be done about this other than perhaps a separate building for the major retail stores (not individual vendors), but it made me a little sad. See, for me, what made the Expo so enjoyable was the celebration of Disney: like-minded fans, Disney celebrities, amazing exhibits and shows. Sure, there was some merchandise I would have liked to get – the Expo themed Mickey ears come to mind – but, overall, that’s not why I was there. My weekend was made by spending time with my friends, seeing all I could see, and having amazing experiences that will last a lifetime.

And would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I might do a couple things different, but overall, I would say it’s a great experience I wouldn’t miss for the world.

Season’s Greetings From Confessions of a DisNerd!

Although it’s been said many times, many ways…

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Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or any other holiday… May this season be joyous and happy for each and everyone of my fellow DisNerds. I thank you for your continued support, and wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday!

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See you in 2015!!!

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park

 

Happy Halloween, all! This week, we’ve got a treat for you as Confessions reader and fellow DisNerd Crystal so graciously shared a few pictures she took while attending Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park!

 

 

 

 

Looks like a fun party with just a few of your closest friends!

 

Crystal (Jessie) and her parents, dressed up for the occasion!

 

Thanks for the pictures, Crystal. Looks like you and your family had a blast!

I’ve never been to one of these events myself, but it looks like a lot of fun. What about you, dear readers? Have you attended a Halloween party, either at Disneyland or Walt Disney World? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Real Character (Or, How Peter and Jake Made Wendy’s Day Perfectly Darling)

As Confessions moves into 2014 with new ideas and stories, I’m also taking a moment or two to reflect and share a few memorable experiences my family and I had during 2013. This particular instance comes from a trip to Disneyland in September, and serves as an open letter to those who made a possibly sad experience absolutely wonderful.

Dear Residents of Never Land (aka, Peter Pan and Jake the Never Land Pirate),

I write this letter as a long overdue note of thanks for making a five year old’s day at Disneyland so incredibly magical by small acts of kindness that were, in essence, incredibly huge in her eyes – and ours, too!

You see, as I’ve mentioned in the past, Peter Pan and Never Land are huge in our household. While there are other aspects of Disney from day to day, depending on which characters we are “playing” at a particular time, Peter is the constant. Any time we’ve met you at the park, Peter, you’ve always been a highlight and we’ve been excited to see you. So, it was with great anticipation on this trip that our daughter wore the Wendy dress her grandmother had recently made her in anticipation of meeting you.

That day in the park, September 9th, 2013, we arrived and looked for you in the locations and attractions we had met you previously. The early morning yielded no results, although one cast member had mentioned seeing you around Dumbo. Yet, in asking a character handler at the Tangled meet & greet, we were informed that no, you had not made it to the park today. Later, however, we were informed by a cast member at another area of the park, “Peter should definitely be around today!” Being that there was quite a bit of confusion among cast members as to your whereabouts, I ventured to Main Street to chat with the character handlers there to see if I could get a definitive answer. Although I cannot remember the handler’s name, I can tell you what a wonderful help she was. After explaining our situation to her, she stepped back and made a call to the back. Upon her return, she sadly explained that you had some troubles in Never Land that morning. Hook and his fellow pirates were being extra feisty, and you were needed there to reign them in. Sadly, you would not be at the park that day until Soundsational parade time.

While we understood – I mean, these things happen, pirates being how pirates can be – we were nonetheless a little sad. Here our little Wendy had one wish, and that was to meet you and show you her dress, Peter. But being the trooper she was, she held back tears as we went to plan “B.” While she was reluctant to meet Tinker Bell (I guess Wendy and Tink have a bit of a past…), she was more willing to venture across to Disney California Adventure in hopes of meeting Jake (the nice Never Land Pirate) and return to Disneyland later to at least wave to you as you passed by during Soundsational.

Jake, this is where you came in. When we got over to Californina Adventure, you were not out, but were told you would be arriving shortly. The short wait was worth our while, as you instantly recognized Wendy and took her on a magical journey through the streets of Hollywoodland in search of the ever elusive second star to the right. For a full five minutes, the two of you were in your own world, walking down one side of the street and up the other, eyes peeled for any sign of Never Land.

He must be here somewhere!

After finding evidence of a possible path to Never Land (a star in the window of the Animation Building), it was time for you to move on and meet other guests waiting for you. But Jake, you put a smile on that little girl’s face – the biggest one we had seen that day.

At least, the biggest one we had seen so far.

Later that afternoon, we traversed back to Disneyland in order to catch the only showing of Soundsational that day – at park closing. Still unsure of meeting Tink in Pixie Hollow that day (I mean, she HAD wanted to shoot Wendy down, you know…), we made our way to the back of the park for a ride on It’s a Small World. After that, we sat down for a spot at the end of the parade route. As the sun began to set and the parade started, our little Never Lander waited with anticipation to wave to you, Peter.

Waiting For Pan…

Soundsational is definitely a great parade. The music, the upbeat tempo, the cast of characters… this time was no different. Very much worth waiting for. However…the main event was coming up – would you see Wendy and wave back?

Hi, Peter!!!!

Did you see her? Did you ever! Not only did you wave, but you made her feel like the most important person in the world for 15 seconds. When you spotted her, you ran over, got down on her level, and….

“Wendy!!! Where’ve you been? I’ve been looking ALL OVER for you!!! I’m so glad you made it today! I have to get back and catch Hook, but I’m so happy to see you!”

As you ran off to fight those pirates once again, and our little one squealed with glee, you took a moment to point back and tell Tinker Bell she was there. And yes, even Tink was happy to see her!

As adults, many seem to forget the magic of meeting a favorite character in the park. We tend to be the ones gasping at long lines to meet a mouse, a princess, or a boy who never grew up. We scoff at meet & greets and want to get to the rides. But for many of us, we can look at the face of a little girl who just met her hero…

“He stopped the parade just for me!!!” – her exact words!

…and it’s the most important thing about being in a magical place.

So thank you, Peter and Jake. You made a little girl’s day by going above and beyond what many expect. And I am forever grateful for moments and characters like you.

Sincerely,

A Dad Who Never Wants to Grow Up

My dear readers, I wrote this letter with the hopes that it would bring you happiness – to remember what it’s like to see Disney through the eyes of a child. I also did so in the hope that you would help me out with a small favor. See, I would love to see if this could make its way to the “friends” of Peter and Jake that were at the parks that day in September. I really would like them to know of the impact and impression they left on us that day. It truly was magical. Please feel free to share, comment and pass this on to anyone who may be able to get it to these wonderful people. Until next time, my friends, be blessed!

Walt Disney’s Mechanical Wonderland!

It’s amazing the articles one can come across while perusing old and vintage magazines. Imagine my surprise, when, looking at an issue of Popular Mechanics from 1957, I saw the following words written on the bottom of the cover: “Walt Disney’s Mechanical Wonderland.” Reading the article, I found myself just smiling at this blast from the past. I love seeing old ads, articles, and write-ups for the Happiest Place on Earth. What makes this article unique as compared to other promotional materials of their time, though, is the magazine it was written for. Instead of focusing on the “magic of the park,” or the exterior beauty, this article touches on a few of the  technological breakthroughs (yes, the spinning alligators needed a lot of help!) and the work done in particular by Robert Mattey and Bob Gurr. My favorite part of the article? That at “exactly 9-1/2 miles (per hour) the (Autopia) car can crash into a brick wall and do no injury to car or occupants.” But, I’ve said too much already. Instead of going on and on about this gem, I’ve scanned the entire article for your reading enjoyment. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to share with your friends!

Popular Mechanics Cover, November 1957

Popular Mechanics Cover, November 1957

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Fantasy Faire – A Dad’s Eye View

Good day to you all, fellow DisNerds! Ready for some princesses? Would you like a Boysen-Apple Freeze and a show to go with them?

Fantasy Faire, the new expansion of Fantasyland at Disneyland that takes over Carnation Gardens, opens March 12th. Living out of state, I’m not able to be at the parks whenever a new area opens up. Fortunately, on my last trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I was able to preview the area with my family. I know there are lots of pictures floating around at this point. However, I wanted to share from my perspective: a parent, seeing it through the eyes of his little girl.

We went in to this trip with her truly believing she wouldn’t be able to see the Faire until our next trip, as we were just a little too early. When we met our friend from Disney Park Secrets, he hinted at it to her:

Austen: “See that area over there? What do you know about it?”

Caitlin: “It’s the Fantasy Faire. We won’t be able to go till next trip.”

Austen: “I don’t know, I see people in there…”

Caitlin: “No, that’s just workers, it’s not ready yet.”

That was followed by this little exchange once he told her he we were sneak previewing it:

 

From that point of disbelief on, all she could keep saying was, “Best..Surprise…EVER!!!” And well, seeing her eyes light up at everything from the shows to the scenery to the meet and greets…I couldn’t disagree. As follows, here are some of the pictures I took with my cell phone (Please forgive the fuzziness in a few) with observations of the area.

 

The village itself has some great detail. It definitely has a wonderful Fantasyland feel. Imagineers should be proud!

 

The first thing we did as we arrived was head over to the Royal Theatre, where the Tangled performance was about to begin. Now, for any parent who has visited the old Princess Fantasy Faire and seen a coronation ceremony or storytelling time, you understand the idea that I wasn’t going in with high expectations. I mean, the presentations were cute for kids, and it’s fun to watch the little ones dance, but that’s about it. So to say the shows here exceeded my expectations was an understatement.

 

The shows, told by “Mr. Jones and Mr. Smythe” with help from the lead characters, are extremely entertaining. Told with humor and music, I heard as many adults laughing as children. If you don’t have children to take for the meet and greet area, still make time to see the shows here. You won’t regret it.

 

Afterward, we got to meet Rapunzel and Flynn! Charming as always, this was a plus for the children in attendance.

 

Yeah…. he’s got smoulder.

 

After the show was over, Mr. Smythe or Mr. Jones would take turns for fun in the Square. Here, he plays “Lost and Found” with the help of the village maidens, asking my little one if she recognizes a certain shoe:

 

 

Great to see these kinds of interactions – boys and girls alike were getting into it!

 

After this little impromptu gathering, we headed toward the Royal Hall (the meet and greet area). The princesses in attendance that day were Cinderella, Ariel and Aurora (this may be par for the course, as Snow White is set to make appearances by her wishing well and other princesses in their appropriately themed lands).

Although I’ve included only one picture of the area, you can see just how intricate and elegant the meeting area is!

 

Upon exiting, it’s time to leave, right?

Nope.

The next Tangled show was starting, which gave us the perfect opportunity to check out the details in the rest of the area and maybe have a snack from Maurice’s. Before we headed to his cart, however, we stopped to check out this fun little feature:

 

Clopin’s Music Box is a fun little interactive element where visitors turn the wheel to set things into motion, with music and moving features.

 

Make sure you look closely at all of the characters in the far background – see how many Disney characters you can spot!

 

Remember to click on the link for a bigger picture to see better!

 

Another nice touch that we all loved was Figaro, who sleeps high up on a ledge…

 

Everything was nice and peaceful….

 

Until his little feathered friend wakes him up.

 

“Are you tweetin’ at me?”

 

Time for a snack! Maurice’s sells a few different twists, including cheddar garlic, strawberry, and chocolate. But the real highlight here is the Boysen-Apple (Get it? POISON Apple?) Freeze. Quite sweet and refreshing on a warm day, this is bound to be a hit!

 

It’s a great drink for kids and adults alike, and those in my party preferred this over Red’s Apple Freeze from the Cozy Cones in Cars Land.

 

We were able to come back later to catch the Beauty and the Beast Show in the Royal Theatre. Once again, it was very entertaining for audiences of all ages and included a meet and greet with Belle afterward.

 

My princess with the Disney variety – they have the same tailor!

 

As all good things must come to an end, so did our time in the new Fantasy Faire. However, it’s safe to say, we’ll be back. This area will remain popular for a long time for families and many grown ups as well. Perhaps I’m skewed as a parent who got to see the joy on his daughter’s face, but I have a hard time finding flaw with any aspect of this area. From the shows to interactions, food to detail, Disney once again has another area to be truly proud of.

One last shot to share… as I went to attempt a picture of Rapunzel’s tower with Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background, a friend stopped by in the clouds to say hello….

 

See ya real soon, Fantasy Faire!

 

That’s it for now, folks! A special thanks to Austen over at Disney Park Secrets for making this day possible for a friend and his family!