Category Archives: Articles
So for the past month or so there has been a ton going on behind the scenes. Modern Mouse has been working with some other Disney personalities to create a new “Network” and we are calling it Network 1901. Our goal is to bring you as much quality Disney content as possible on a weekly basis. We are starting off with 3 podcasts a week, frequent YouTube videos, and blog posts. We are going to cover everything under the Disney umbrella.
So what does that mean for Modern Mouse? You’ll still be able to find content here, especially the show notes and podcast episodes, but we encourage you to join us at Network1901.com for more content and to explore things that we at Modern Mouse don’t even get a chance to cover. For more info, check out our video below and stay tuned for more details on this week’s Modern Mouse Radio podcast on Wednesday!
Someone recently asked me, “What types of games do you play while waiting in line for rides at Disneyland?” And I was honestly confused. Back in my day (when I worked at Disneyland 40 hours a week and still managed to visit 3 days a week as a guest), if I wanted to go on a ride that had a long line, I simply waited in line. Or I took the time to have a great conversation with my friends or family who were waiting with me. Games in line? When I worked at Disneyland, cellphones couldn’t do more than text. They couldn’t even really take pictures little yet selfies. And yes, this dates me a little, but back then, I couldn’t just sit on my phone and play games or catchup on snapchatting while waiting in line. So I thought to myself, “What on earth would I play in line to kill time?” I don’t want to sit on my phone, because that kinda takes me out of the beautiful world of Disneyland, so instead, I’ve come up with some easy games you and your friends can play while waiting in long lines at Disneyland.
Waiting for a Churro:
Invent different dipping sauces or toppings that you would have on your churro if you had your choice of absolutely ANYTHING.
In line for Haunted Mansion:
Make up your own history of the Mansion and share it with your friends. Make up names for the ghosts or tell a tale of certain pets in the pet cemetery. Try creeping out your friends with your own spooky tale.
In line for a Dole Whip:
Make up your own facts about the birds that live in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Did you that Eleanor the green-feathered bird was a gift to Walt Disney shortly after he lost his watch on the Monorail? It was given to him to cheer him up, and the rumor, is that Eleanor could impersonate Walt to perfection!
Waiting for Splash Mountain:
Describe your laughing place to your friends. Maybe your laughing place is the mall, your living room or DISNEYLAND. Whatever it is, tell your friends all about it.
Waiting in line for the Matterhorn:
Loudly pretend that you legitimately think that there’s a REAL Yeti in the Matterhorn. Describe the scary rumors that you’ve heard about the Yeti. I heard that in the middle of the night, he wanders over to Small World and steals the dolls from Hawaii.
In line for Indiana Jones:
This one feels like a no-brainer to me, since the queue is FULL of stuff to see and do. However, if you want to change up your routine a bit, try sharing Indiana Jones trivia with your friends. Not a huge trivia buff? Share your favorite Indiana Jones movie and defend it to the bitter end. Temple of Doom is my absolute favorite.
Thunder Mountain line:
There’s something about the goat on the ride that everyone is obsessed with. And everyone has a tradition when it comes to seeing the goat. Some hold its gaze down the drop while some greet it. Create a new tradition for when you see the goat on the ride.
In line for Peter Pan:
Decide on 3 happy thoughts that you will yell out when your party floats through the nursery scene. Share which character you most identify with! And finally, pick your ‘lost boy’ name.
Drinking at Disney. Why is the concept so damn appealing? It almost feels like a forbidden fantasy, doesn’t it? Back in the day, I used to add a dollop of vodka to the top of my Slurpee, then head into Disneyland to truly succeed at adulting (And yes, that last bit sounds like the opening to a rad 80’s movie in which I fall in love with a bad boy named Chip, but bear with me). Having a little bit of booze in your system feels a little naughty, and a lot of that feeling stems from the fact that Disneyland is a dry park (except for Club 33. I bet Chip would take me there and I could’ve been done with my Slurpee days! I digress). Starting April 1st, Disney’s California Adventure is bringing back the Food and Wine Festival, which is making the past Slurpee version of myself so darn happy. Tower of Terror and wine? And drinking in the park is completely encouraged? Where do I sign?
Disney’s California Adventure used to always be the ‘break time’ park for my friends and I. Once we hit all the rides in Disneyland that we wanted to see, we’d take a break and wander over to Disney’s California Adventure for a margarita, then go see a parade or show before heading back into Disneyland. Usually, the trip over would be a hassle to me. I would always wonder to myself, ‘Why can’t they just sell me margaritas at Disneyland to save me this trip over to DCA?’ Now, to be fair, I’m happy that Disneyland doesn’t sell booze. It adds a level of class to the place that I appreciate. What’s great about the Food and Wine Festival making its return to DCA from April 1st-May 1st after a 6-year hiatus, is that there is a special event tacked on to drinking at DCA, rather than it being the park for adults to have break time.
Here’s what you should know about the event!
*Valid park admission is required to check out the event
*Major event highlights: Celebrity Kitchen hosted by superstar chefs, dozens of seminars and tastings, beers and spirits, lifestyle talks on art, gardening and wellness (all details available at www.disneyland.disney.go.com)
Hosted by expert winemakers, sommeliers or brewmasters
Location: Sonoma Terrace
Running Time: 45 minutes
Size of class: 75 max
Includes: 3 sample tastings
**Recommendation: Visit www.disneyland.disney.go.com to reserve your table in advance! Various time slots available. Seminars are available on Fridays-Sundays.
Hosted by a variety of celebrity chefs!
Location: Stage 17
Price: $99 per person plus tax and gratuity
Running Time: 90 minute demo in front of live audience
****Check-in begins 1 hour prior to event
Recommendation: Space is very limited, so book in advance online.
*There’s a different chef featured every Saturday. Check online for schedule, so that you can book your preferred chef. Guy Fieri is featured on April 9th!!!
Hope these tips help you out if you’re looking to attend! Otherwise, I may see you on the pier in the spring as I sip my margarita! Have a great week, everyone!
So, here’s a couple updates on me…
I’m moving back to California! And while it may seem that I’m moving back to be closer to Disneyland, I have to set the record straight: Disneyland isn’t the main reason I’m moving, however I’m THRILLED that I can get back to going 7 days a week and living on Dole Whips and churros and…sorry about that. Got a tad excited. Bottom line is, I’m leaving New York and going back to my home state because I need to stop being the person who is crammed on a train and walking at break neck speed and gaining unattractive frown lines and posting my hate for everything on social media. That isn’t who I am. I’m a happy California girl and I’m on a mission to find that girl again.
Returning home is tricky. A lot of people assume it’ll be a piece of cake. And its true, there will be a lot of things about living in California that will be incredibly easy in comparison to living in New York (Like not having to trudge through the rain with heavy grocery bags half a mile back to your apartment). Returning home is the acceptance that things won’t always be the same as how you left it. Sometimes it will be different (for better or worse), and that has to be ok with you. Returning home is the understanding that you as a person might’ve changed, but at the very core of it, you are exactly the same person you always were. I had to keep this in mind when I visited Disneyland last August. It was my first time visiting the park in 4 years. Things had changed so much. I would happen upon cast members who were grumpy and I would think to myself, ‘Was it like this when I worked here? Am I just seeing things through a different lens?’ I walked into the Haunted Mansion, and everyone in the room was shouting the opening spiel in the elevator. I remember a time when only a couple people knew the spiel by heart and would mumble it to themselves so as not to ruin the experience for people around them. 4 years later, I realized a lot had changed. At the end of the day, at its very core, Disneyland was the same. At least it was for me. At the end of the day, I sat with my mom and teared up during Fantasmic. I gave her a hug and stared longingly at the castle to hold the image of it in my head forever. I whispered goodbye to Main Street the way I always do. Home was the same for me, even though I had changed.
I get asked for tips and advice all the time on my Youtube channel. I try to answer every question to the best of my ability, but sometimes, I realized that so much has changed. And that’s ok, because at the core of it, Disneyland is the same. These are my basic bits of advice for those of you who might be returning home sometime soon:
Cast Members are Human Too
Cast members are held to an extremely high standard. Sometimes impossibly high. And they meet that level of expectation at any given turn. But cast members aren’t robots. They’re human. They have bad days too. I know I did when I worked in the parks. My advice to you is simple. Don’t be too hard on cast members. They are built to make your day special. It is practically a reflex. Think of every cast member you will interact with on a given day at the park. From parking all the way to custodial. There’s a lot of them. But we tend to only remember the bad experience. A great customer service experience is to be expected, so we will only remember the moment a cast member wasn’t smiling or was short with us or couldn’t assist us properly. If you ever run into a cast member like this, please understand one thing: It’s harder to work at Disneyland than it ever was before. It is more crowded now than it ever was. It’s even HOTTER outside in California than it ever was. Cast members are working under more difficult circumstances than ever before but are expected to work with that same glowing smile. If you’re noticing a cast member who is rude, I’m not making excuses for them, but I’m urging you to redirect your thinking. Tell yourself, ‘I’m on vacation enjoying my day. I hope this person has a better day.’
Probably Cleaner Than Your Apartment
Disneyland on any given day is cleaner than my apartment. It’s because there’s a lovely crew of people waiting for you to accidentally drop a napkin or spill your soda. They got your back. Disneyland is steam cleaned every single night after the last guest exits the park. It’s immaculate. And I bring up this topic, because on my last visit, my mom noticed a smudge by one of the ticketing booths on the wall. This tiny smudge stood out to her because Disneyland is always perfect. It opened my eyes to how pristine the park is all the time. Even as the crowds grow and grow, that custodial team is on it. With that said, if you do happen to see a piece of trash on the ground, please know that this is not the new Disney standard. The times are changing and custodial is playing catchup. My parents always tell me, ‘New York is so dirty!’ And I have to remind them of one important thing: If you take into consideration the massive number of people in New York, it’s pretty clean. There are cleanup crews everywhere and you will rarely see a trash can full to the brim or even so much as a single piece of trash on the train. It’s pretty incredible. Now, I can’t promise you that you won’t smell dog pee or human pee once in awhile (or all the time), but the rest is totally clean!
It’s ok to be Clueless
It’s the age of information. You can plan everything for your trip in advance from watching POV videos to map out your ride list, make dining reservations, etc. You can research the best walking paths and know where all the hidden Mickey’s are and memorize every single spiel for every single ride. For lots of people, being this knowledgeable is half the fun of it. Here’s my advice: Check out something you’ve never seen or done at Disneyland. Spend your time on the simple things and start new traditions for yourself. Ever walked into the Main Street cinema? It’s my favorite part of Disneyland. You can watch Steamboat Willie cartoons. Check out the penny arcade. Get some pennies pressed. Watch “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” Sit on a bench in Town Square and watch character interactions. Breathe and take it all in. It is truly magnificent. If every plan you made goes out the window, don’t worry about it. I promise you there is plenty to do and plenty to see. I urge you to take the leap, and dare to be clueless. If you’re going on your favorite ride, it’s easy to want to tell your friend every fun fact you know and recite every single spiel. Try this out: Go on your favorite ride, and don’t say a single word. I promise you, you will notice something new that you’ve never seen before on the ride. You might even be able to experience your favorite attraction through new eyes. And that, is quite a priceless experience.
Crowds are fun!
Don’t you dare go into Disneyland and say that it is crowded. We know its crowded. There is no longer such a thing as the ‘slow season.’ It’s too busy and popular. And that’s ok. It means that its not shutting its doors anytime soon. Here’s the beauty of a park that is never slow: You know to expect the crowds. Take joy in the crowds. Hate parking and taking the tram in? The tram is my favorite part of visiting Disneyland. I used to ride the tram on my day off just for fun. Your day is just getting started and anything is possible! Say hi to the parking cast members. Start getting pumped up for what rides you’ll go on while you wait for the tram. Don’t complain about the crowd to get in. Enjoy it! Grab a coffee and remind yourself: You’re at Disney. There are some people who are at work. Stuck in the crowds of Adventureland that never seem to go away? Rather than worrying that you won’t get to Splash Mountain at break neck speed, enjoy your surroundings. Are there plants or signs that you never noticed? Take joy in the details that nature is forcing you to walk by very slowly. The world is telling you to slow down. On my last visit, I tried to rush with my mom after Fantasmic to get in line for Peter Pan. The line got cut off. It was too crowded. Rather than being upset, we sat on a bench by the Fantasyland bathrooms and found ourselves with front row seats to Paint the Night. We were next to a snack vendor, bathrooms, a water fountain and had a perfectly unobstructed view. Enjoying our minor hiccup turned out to be the best thing that happened all day!
Whether you’re returning to your Disney home after a long time away, or visiting for the first time, I hope my tips help to add a little sunshine to your day. Have a great week!
This past week was chock full of videos from everyone. I also happened to delete the podcast so Angie and I had to record it again and it got posted a little later in the week. So…it was kind of a weird week but I’m glad that many people checked out what we had. If you missed anything from the past week, you can check out everything here!
Modern Mouse News: Zootopias and Moving Superheroes – Angie and Josh talked all the news of Disney including the mysterious closing of Superhero HQ at Disneyland after only being open for a few months, the large amount of stuff to do when Animal Kingdom opens up for night hours, and their review of Zootopia.
Above the Line #17
Last week was a big week for us. The podcast posted it’s 100th episode. We also had some other great content plus we had a great Disney film, Zootopia, make it’s way to the theaters, so let’s get cracking with this week’s recap. If you missed anything on the site, this is a great time to check out everything that happened last week!
Modern Mouse Radio #100: Song of the South – Josh was joined by James from the Creepy Kingdom podcast and Keith from The Disney Project to talk about the most controversial topic yet on Modern Mouse Radio. Song of the South is known as the inspiration for Splash Mountain and has featured some great songs, most notably “Zip-a-Dee-Do-Da”, but the film has been locked away for 30 years with Disney never looking to release it again. The guys discuss the issues with this film, racism, the current culture’s political correctness, and more.
Disney Now and Then: Disney Birthdays! – Erika celebrated her birthday this week by writing about it. She discussed what it’s like to celebrate your birthday at a Disney park in your 20s vs her 30s. Have you celebrated your birthday at a Disney park?
Disney Tackles Fearmongering and Politics with Zootopia – Josh was captivated by Disney’s effort to talk about current problems in the world. After seeing Disney’s latest film, Josh thought he would give his 2 cents on the matter and how Disney made a bold move to talk about fear, segregation, and politics.
Above the Line #16 – Ever know someone had a secret identity? Many cast members at the Disney parks do. Holly touched on it this week with her comic about a date taking a strange turn.
Disneyland Tag – Erika created a questions and answers video where she answered some tough but fun questions about Disneyland
Tangled Tsum Tsum Haul – Keith must really love tsum tsum plush animals because he collected the whole lot of the new Tangled collection and he shares them all in his latest video.
How to Draw Mickey – Keith is a great artist. He hasn’t showcased that much with us at Modern Mouse, but he has drawn all of the art on his buttons that he gives away and he used to create and paint his own vinyl figures a few years ago. So now he is teaching all of us how to draw the most iconic Disney character.
This article will be spoiler free. You are safe to read it if you haven’t seen the film yet! I can’t say the same for comments! You’ve been warned!
It’s an election year in the United States and nothing has been talked about more than the imminent threat of terrorism, loss of freedoms, or the right to be an individual. No matter what your politics are, you simply can’t argue that the post 9/11 world isn’t based in fear. Turn on any news channel and you’ll see reasons why you should hide under your bed and never leave. Politicians have used this tactic to gain the advantage in the race toward the 2016 election. Building walls, bombing possible threats, and dividing people based on their race and religious views. Then I went to the movie theater to see Disney’s latest film, Zootopia.
Zootopia is based on several species of animals living harmoniously in one city however this city is divided into subsections and we slowly unravel that not all is as happy as could be in the city. Without ruining plot points, I can say I was floored with this film’s appeal with cute animals telling it’s audience that we see each other as different, but instead of pointing out the unique positive qualities we are lead to fear each other for our differences. The film is both delightful and eye opening. As a child, you probably wouldn’t pick up on the politics of the film, but I couldn’t help but have flashbacks of political rallies and debates as an adult viewing it.
Disney’s 3rd coming (since Tangled) has given us a different spin on gender roles, stereotypes, and non-romantic love. Zootopia gives us those things as well, but because this film doesn’t follow a fairytale and is a modern story, it can divulge into current and possible future troubles. We could look at most of this movie as symbolism for the world we live in. Disney does give us humor and satire, but the majority of this buddy cop story brings a serious agenda to the table. I never thought I’d see it in a Disney film, but I can believe it. Disney’s sister company Pixar did give us Wall-E, a statement on humans ruining the earth and the ever increasing trouble with obesity and technology. It shouldn’t have been so shocking, but I’ll be interested to see the publics view of the film as seats are filled at theaters. Kids will love the cute animals, the jokes, and the action, but will adults love the message Zootopia is trying to get across?
It’s difficult to hold a mirror up to the worst parts of our culture, but let’s face it, we’ve lived in fear for far too long. It’s time to take back our world, to believe that not everyone is out to get us, and that we can all live happily in some sort of Zootopia!
I turn 31 this week! And no, 31 isn’t a pivotal age. It’s not ‘sweet 16’ and it’s not the big 21, but in a weird way, 31 is actually a big year for me. When I turned 30 last year, it was a turning point for me. I wished my 20’s goodbye, and while I was actually looking forward to starting the adventure that would be my 30’s, it turned out to be a very difficult year. I felt like I grew up the most last year, and I learned how to juggle adult responsibility with staying young at heart. I’m proud to say that not only did I get through it all, but it truly opened my eyes to what’s important to me in my life, and how I will live my life in my 30’s. And turning 31 is proof that I survived the transition period. It’s gonna be great. For my birthday week, I’m actually indulging in some much needed relaxation in Brooklyn, but I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at my two monumental birthdays that also happened to be Disney birthdays. Here we go!
When you officially turn 21, one big thing happens. You are finally allowed to drink. And it’s exciting. To be able to show off your ID and tell a bartender, “I’ll have a Blue Hawaiian. Wanna see my ID? I’m totally 21. Look!” Turning such an important age HAD to be celebrated near the Disney Parks. My parents booked me a room at the Grand California hotel. Fancy, right? I spent the afternoon hanging out with my parents on the property. I indulged in my very first birthday drink, which was a margarita as I dozed off poolside. In the evening, I actually hung out at Lost Bar. I had no idea Lost Bar would soon become my favorite watering hole. Remember Lost Bar? Quiet place for Disney cast members to grab a post-work beverage? It is now the wildly popular Trader Sam’s, but I will always remember it as this tiny piece of heaven where I kicked off being 21. I hung out all day with my family, and in the evening, my friends met up with me at Lost Bar. I only had about 4 drinks on my 21st birthday, but I didn’t know better, and I mixed tequila with rum with who knows what else. Let’s just say that I was so relieved that I could walk to my hotel and sleep in a comfy bed that night. I turned out to be a Disney light weight.
When I turned 30, I made a goal that I would celebrate by visiting the Magic Kingdom for the first time. It turned out to be a very special trip, because I was accompanied by my boyfriend who had never ever been to a Disney park. Half the fun was sharing my love of Disney with him and seeing him love it as much as me. It was seriously the coolest thing! We arrived at Magic Kingdom as a couple New Yorkers who could figure out the Disney transportation system like pros. We ended up seeing Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios in one day plus Epcot for last call, because why not? The day was full of rides, shows and sightseeing and it was absolutely perfect. The cast members were sweet as can be too. I even got birthday cake!
Alright, kids, now I’m off to start celebrating my birthday. This year, to celebrate surviving a year of my 30’s, I’m heading off to brunch to grab a bloody mary and read a book. Then I’ll probably stumble into a used bookstore and dance through my neighborhood listening to Disney music. I’m thinking later this week, I’ll probably see Zootopia and I’m gonna try to go to this magical place called Spa Castle to get a massage. It’s gonna be a great week. Ok, time for a bloody mary. Bye!
This past week has really been energizing. Leading into this coming week’s Episode 100 of Modern Mouse Radio I think we are all trying to put out the best content we can and do better than we ever have. I think across the board this week we had a ton of great content and everyone is pushing their own skills to the next level! Let’s check out what went down on the site this week. Here is a great opportunity if you missed something we did!
Modern Mouse News: Stage Shows and T Parties – Josh flies solo on this episode of the show as he discusses the big trailers coming out of the Super Bowl as well as some of the new and exciting things coming to the parks, plus the sad loss of the Mad T Party at the California Adventure park.
Feature: The Balance of Money and Magic – Disney has always had trouble with giving it’s audience the perception of magic onstage and the business of the company offstage. Josh gives his look at the company as they struggle with theme park price increases, budget cuts, and the social media world we now live in.
Disney Now and Then: The Age of Technology – Erika takes a look at the pros and cons of the social media age. She specifically looks at YouTube and Instagram and the uses Disney fans can get out of those apps without spoiling the magic for themselves.
Above the Line #15 – Ever heard of Hidden Mickeys? It’s something like that but with foxes because you know…we aren’t exactly at Disney World here!