A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, July 08, 2011


In Every Way.

Yesterday's trip to Disneyland with Mom was pretty amazing.  Amazing how well everything went.  Amazing performances.

Had a little adventure with my passport.  Seems that when you renew online you deactivate the passport you had (mine was supposed to be good until July 29) so I had to spend a little quality time with the ticket lady getting a courtesy card and fastpass card, but it only took a few minutes.  As always, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and lovely service at the Carnation Cafe.

Finding ourselves with a little time before the first music set we wanted to see, we headed over to the Mark Twain for a tour of the Rivers of America.  This was the first time we've been able to sit on the bow and we enjoyed the view from there.

One of my favorite animated vignettes.

Real.  Tiny ducklings.
From there we returned to Town Square for the Disneyland Band concert.  Sad to say, Family and Friends, I somehow messed up the definition settings on my camera and my video from the day turned out very badly.  Still, I have to post this incredible selection.  Brian Williams playing the piccolo in "The Wren."  Wow.

We had expected it to be incredibly hot and humid yesterday and it was NOT, but sitting in the sun waiting for the Band concert (and then the 30-minute concert itself) did take a toll on Mom and me, so we decided to arrive very early at the Golden Horseshoe for Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.  Even the Billies commented on the great AC in the theater.

There are multiple combinations of castmembers in the Billies and - just one of many happy events of the day - on this day it was our favorite team.  As always, they entertain with great music and great laughs.

We were quite early for the first set of our real "target" for the day, the All-American College Band, so we took a seat at the Plaza Gardens stage for some quality people watching.  Serendipity smiled on us again.  We were just in time for a Disney Performing Arts showcase featuring a dance troupe from Australia.  Their first number was to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now, " one of my current theme songs.  They proceeded to keep the stage cooking for a full 30 minutes.  Their teacher (Breanna?) taught them well.  You don't have to do difficult stuff (although some of it was) but what you do, you do BIG.  And they did.  Great energy, great fun.

Well-rested, cooled down and with the sun blocked by clouds, we decided to perch ourselves in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle for the first All-American College Band set.  We were SO glad we did. 
They did some fabulous hip arrangements - with choreography - of Disney theme music.
After the Castle set we moved back to Plaza Gardens for an amazing jazz set by the same group, then moved to the Corner Cafe for some "take-out" from the Pizza Port for dinner.  That area has been called the Coke Corner and the Refreshment Corner, but I call it the Piano Corner because that was where - after 50 years of RIDES RIDES RIDES - we discovered an upright piano six years ago during the 50th Anniversary Celebration, The Happiest Homecoming on Earth.  What a delightful surprise we found there.
Ragtime Jonny
We've enjoyed some terrific piano at this spot over the last six years, but this young man blew us away.  What a showman!  Energy, fun, talent and a winning charm.  We were delighted to "meet" him because we really enjoy ending our evenings at the Piano Corner and now looked forward to returning for those last sets.

After dinner we headed to the end of Main Street and a very nice spot to see both the new parade - Soundsational - and the last All-American College Band set.

Thanks for the kiss, Goofy!

Octopus percussionus.  This float spews bubbles and we were engulfed.  Loved it, but don't know if they show here.

Little Mermaid float.  Didn't we see him in another movie?


Can you tell the chimney sweeps are my favorites?

This marked the beginning of the most delightful part of an already awesome day of musical fun.  The sun went behind the trees, the cool breeze increased and suddenly we were enjoying an ideal Southern California evening.  Within a few minutes the All-American College Band returned for their final set of the day.  Stevie Wonder. Earth, Wind and Fire.  If this doesn't fill your serotonin reserves, there's no hope.

Gonna try to share part of their last number with you but, again, I apologize for the lousy video quality.

Sorry to say good-bye to these talented young men and women, we headed back to the Piano corner for a bit of ice cream and people-watching to some awesome piano music.  This is my favorite time of day at Disneyland; as the sun is setting and the lights come on all over the Park the magic really starts to saturate this place.

We enjoyed two more sets with Ragtime Jonny, who showed us he is also a warm and hospitable host.  We learned that Jonny is 24 years old and has been playing piano at Disneyland for SIX YEARS!  What were YOU doing when you were 18?

Jonny with Mom
As if the evening hadn't been quite delightful enough, as Jonny left after his last set, he introduced us to his wife.  We were captivated by this charming, friendly young woman and  Mom and I will keep our fingers crossed that we cross paths with her again. This sweet couple set the bar very high for our future visits.

After fireworks we made our way home.  There must have been a horrible accident on the 5 north of the 118 interchange because we sat in stopped traffic for quite a while on the way home, but nothing could dampen our high spirits after such a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Minniestitches said...

I just love your post of Disney, makes me feel like I was almost there! If I ever come to California maybe we could go together! It wouldn't be a day complete for me without seeing Minnie though!