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Disneyland

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion – DIY Home Decor

No, this is not Disneyland, it’s our house! I made our front window into a display as a tribute to the Haunted Mansion ride. Complete with the ride sound effects.  As much as I wanted to try to replicate an entire scene from the ride, I knew that it would be impossible given my house set-up.  As a result, I tried to highlight some of the ride’s features into a literal window display at my home.  So the set-up that you see is through the screen of the front window.  I also blasted my the soundtrack so that you could get the total effect.

You can see how I pulled this off if you scroll down.

CRYSTAL BALL
I started with getting a large floral or fishbowl that you could get at a craft store.  Then I inserted a perfect photo of Madame Leota on the inside and surrounded it with tulle.  The trick here is to get the photo color right so that it can glow against a black light.  Then I flipped the entire thing over onto a silver charger.  Voila.  Instant crystal ball!  And no, it doesn’t talk, but it’s just the idea that makes it cool, right?

WALLPAPER
I also wanted to recreated the wallpaper from the ride.  I used the same print that you see at the beginning of the ride where they have the long hallway, the grandfather clock and etc.  It has a really cool purple and black gothic pattern with eerie eyes.  I printed these out on large pieces of paper and then I simply taped them together to create the look.  I flanked both of these faux wallpaper strips on both sides of the inside window.

STRETCHING PHOTOS
I found a few of the images online of the famous stretching photos and then I printed those out on large 11″ x 18″ sheets of paper and tried to perfected cut the edges.  Then, I mounted these onto foam core boards.

FRONT DOOR
I made a sign for my front door.  I was so tempted to get the one from Disneyland, but really feared that it would break or walk-off.  So I found a mirror at a craft store which I painted so that it looked the part, I created letters using a Haunted Mansion font that I found online and printed it against a black background to cover up the entire mirror by using a little bit of Modge Podge or decoupage technique.  Then I  mounted this on my door.   I think that it turned out pretty good for about $20!

COSTUME
I did purchase the Haunted Mansion outfit from the Disney Store.  It’s actually the apron and not the shirt that they had available.  I liked this options since it had ruffles and I could wear anything black as an outfit.  It is a great cosplay option.

FINAL TOUCHES
I also added a few battery operated flickering candlelights for decor.  There was no way that I would add real candles, especially with this set-up and the windows being open.  Add in a few oversized tarot cards and flying fluorescent instruments.  Most of these items were either placed on a table or mounted behind the window using a faux pipe and drape set-up.  It made it easier to position and tape or hang fishing wires from the pipes.  I also had a big boombox which played the Haunted Mansion soundtrack.  You can download a copy or purchase a CD soundtrack which they do sell at the Disneyland resort.  Then add in a LOT of big black lights and voila!  The entire thing will light up and transform your house.

I learned a few things about this process and set-up:
1] This set-up appealed to the little kids as well as this was deemed not-so-terrifying.  Since it’s Disney related, it certainly had more appeal to them.
2] The adults LOVED the set-up and I think that it offered a visual break to their chaperoning efforts.
3] The bugs love it, too.  I think that the UV lights attract them from the black lights, so keep that in mind.

NOTE: I do plan to expand on this decor as I pulled this off without much planning.  Stay tuned to see my additions to this decor!

“We are ready for Halloween! 999 happy haunts!  Happy Halloween!”

Posted 9/30/17.

New Disney Gourmet Popcorn

Recently, Disney came out with a new line of gourmet popcorn, which extended passed their standard fare of caramel, kettle corn, butter toffee and confetti.  Upon my recent trip to Disneyland, I stumbled across the huge wall of flavors which included these new flavors:

Siracha Kettle Corn
Churro
Truffle
Parmesan Garlic
Maple Bacon

Although I wanted to try them all, I had to restrain myself and purchased CHURRO and MAPLE BACON.  (I was really tempted to get TRUFFLE, but might try that the next time.)

So I purchased the MAPLE BACON popcorn.  I opened the package and had to re-confirm that there were no little flakes of bacon inside.  No bacon bits.  Boo.  It has a smoky, sweet and salty flavor.  I was expecting it to taste like bacon salt, but no.  I am not sure how they created the bacon flavor, but that was a miss.  The maple flavor was there, but was overpowered by the odd smoky bacon flavor.  I’d pass on this one.

I also purchased the CHURRO popcorn was a bit of a surprise to me.  I love churros and was expecting lots of cinnamon.  This didn’t have too much cinnamon, but a nice toasted balance of cinnamon and sugar.  It was pretty good, not great.  I would eat this over the MAPLE BACON for sure.

Then, I had to also get the classic… CARAMEL.  Ok, of the three, this was by far my favorite.  You can’t go wrong with the classics!!

NOTE #1: The churro popcorn was sold out at the retail stores inside of Disneyland.  In addition, they offer a smaller selection and variety inside the park.  Your best bet would be to go to Downtown Disney to the World of Disney Store and visit the food section inside the retail store– NOT the Marcelines Confectionery candy store.

NOTE #2:  Not all the popcorn are priced the same.  The prices vary from $5.99 to $6.99. The TRUFFLE popcorn was priced at $6.99 as with most of the ones with nuts.  Most of the others were priced at $5.99, so be sure to turn the product around to see the price tag.

I love the fact that Disney comes out with these new food creations.  These were perfect items to bring back as gifts for family and friends!

Disney Gourmet Popcorn
New Disney Gourmet Popcorn

Posted 7/25/16

 

 

 

 

 

The Very Center of Disneyland

Quick Disney trivia! How many of you know what this is? This metal stake is located in the back of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and marks the very, very center point of Disneyland. This does not include California Adventure, Downtown Disney or the future Star Wars Land area… just the center of the original Disneyland Park as it was first built.  When the park was being first built, the builders were able to use this as a reference point for measurement purposes.

Here is an aerial map where you can look for this marker here in this general area.
The Very Center of Disneyland 2
Posted 4/28/16

 

Yes, I was a Disney cast member…

Yes, I was a full-time Disney cast member at one point.  Although I did not work at the theme park, I did work on the back-end of the Disney Corporation on their website.   We had a ton of perks and interesting interactions.  It was sort of cool to say that you worked for the big mouse back then, but it wasn’t as nearly as cool as I think that it is today.  Thanks to having two young boys, my fascination with Disney has increased.  I am amazed with their marketing, operation, production, trivia facts as well as their impact upon pop culture.  It all fascinates me.  I am just a big fan of FUN things.  In this section of my blog, I will share a few small Disney tidbits, tips and tricks that I learned along the way, as well as new ones that I learn on my several trips to the park.

Walt’s Apartment
Upon one of the business trips we took, we flew to Disneyland for a day for a special VIP tour as we were incorporating concepts to the website.  (I think that it was similar to “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour” with cast member extras.)  One of the coolest things that we got to check-out was Walt’s infamous apartment.  We weren’t allowed to take photos, but the memories and visuals are with me today.  We walked up near the backside of the firehouse area where we walked into a tiny studio apartment, perhaps as small as the ones in NYC.  It was small, ok, tiny.  There was a small living area, kitchenette (if you can call it that) and a bathroom.

The small living area had a dated and original sofa that had a pull-out bed that he used.  There was no bed, just the couch.  There was also a lamp there which was lit when he was inside the apartment which was a signal for others to know that he was there.

The kitchen area I recall was really small.  Just the very, very basics.  One of the things that Walt loved were grilled cheese sandwiches.  Who knew?  In fact, he had his own panini type hot sandwich press machines so that he could indulge and share with his kids.

The bathroom was small as well, but was equipped with a state-of-the-art shower.  What was unique about this shower was that the stall was customized just for Walt.  In an effort to be efficient, he had a total of three shower heads installed in the stall: at the top, the middle and bottom areas which jetted out vertically.  He was certainly ahead of his times!

For those who want to check out the apartment, they do offer tours that sometimes take a peak inside.  I would suggest calling and asking to be sure.  Here is the link: “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Guided Tour.

Posted 4/20/16