DLR UPdate 18 - Disney Elite

DLR UPdate 18



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  • Splash Mountain – closed through Mar 11th.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – closed through Mar 11th.
  • Main Street Vehicles – closed through Mar 11th.
  • "it's a small world" – close through Feb 1st to remove the holiday overlay.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train – closes Feb 5th to Mar 1st
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats – closes Feb 5th through 15th


Disney's California Adventure

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  • The Bakery Tour – closed through Feb 2nd.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – closed through Mar 10th.
  • Grizzly River Run – closed through Feb 1st.
  • Cove Bar – closed as part of the Pixar Pier retheme, though the location will temporarily reopen during Spring Break.

The following attractions are closed as part of the Pixar Pier retheme. No reopening date is available at this time, and most of the locations will have new names when they return:

  • Games of the Boardwalk
  • California Screamin'
  • Mickey's Fun Wheel
  • Boardwalk Bazaar
  • Sideshow Shirts
  • Treasures in Paradise
  • Point Mugu Tattoo
  • Don Tomas Turkey Legs
  • Hot Dog Hut
  • Ariel's Grotto
  • Cove Bar
  • Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company
  • King Triton's Carousel


Crowd Impacting Events

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  • Lunar New Year Festival at Disney California Adventure – through Feb 18th.
  • Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – Mar 2nd through Apr 12th.
  • Pixar Fest begins – Apr 13th. Debut of the new "Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular" fireworks show
  • Mini Gay Days at Disneyland – Mar 3rd.
  • Dapper Day Spring Soiree  – Apr 22nd.
  • 2018 Grad Nites: May 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th; Jun 1st, 2nd, 5,th 6th, 8th and 9th.
  • CHOC Walk – Aug 26th.



Happiest NEWS on Earth!

 Mickey and Friends

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Construction work continues on the lower level of the parking structure as Disney preps to move the tram route yet again. The moving of the route this time will be to accommodate the construction of the parking expansion – as the current route is in the way of the new multi-story structure.

Disney is expecting the structure to take up to 2 years to complete. Disney will be limiting the number of disabled parking spots in the structure as both Chip & Dale and Pinocchio lots will be unavailable and Disney will only be able to use the limited amount of disabled parking on the upper levels. If you have a disabled placard, be prepared to park at Toy Story until construction at Mickey & Friends is completed.



Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Lunar New Year opened last Friday, January 26, at Disney's California Adventure. The 2018 event is bigger and better than ever!

The Chinese Zodiac animals occupy an entire year. The story goes that the Jade Emperor called thirteen animals for a great race to place them in order for the years. The Rat rode on the back of the Ox and jumped off at the finish line to be the first animal. The Pig stopped for a snack and then took a nap so he came in last. The cat drowned in the river during the race, so there are only twelve signs. Each sign appears every twelve years and is connected to a different element: fire, water, earth, metal, and wood. The Dog is the eleventh animal, and this is the year of the Earth Dog. He is careful, practical, and grounded. On one's 60th birthday, the cycle of animal and element repeats itself...

While Goofy has a featured role for this Year of the Dog, but you have to look for him in Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession.  It appears Mickey's faithful pup Pluto is the dog-star of this festival.


Here are some not-to-miss parts of the celebration!


GuGu Drummers

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New this year all the way from Shanghai are the GuGu Drummers. The women of the talented performing group kick off the show as they take the stage wearing beautiful costumes accented with very long bird feathers. They drum with deep intensity following the cues of the lead performer. It isn't just drumming, but a lyrical performance filled with beautiful and flowing movements, with the women pulling on their feathers to create a a pulsing and undulating visual punctuated with yelps and cries.  Next, some of the men take the stage tell the comical tale of mice and a cat using all sorts of percussion. Their facial expressions and choreography is sure to put a smile on your little one's faces. The show runs about 30 minutes, which max tax the patience of younger viewers, but be sure to stay for this section.  The final two acts use two sets of massive drums, with performers jumping and leaping between drums as the energy builds. The final act adds vocals, with men singing the plight of the working fisherman along with drumming. The mournful tones of the lead singer fill Paradise Park and echo all around. This new performance is a gem and shouldn't be missed


Dat Nguyen

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Returning this year is the amazing Vietnamese performer Dat Nguyen. His demeanor is so cool and calm you almost feel that when he says "Sing a long if you know the words," you may be able to sing in Vietnamese. His fingers move on the guitar and lute with such skill and artistry he could keep up with any classical guitarist.

Nguyen' performs songs with different styles and tempos, and uses a number of different instruments throughout the show. His songs are set to backing tracks that complement his playing wonderfully. His set contains such varied themes and styles from a bouncy song about a spring wedding, to a love song that is more traditional , to a folk song that is a Vietnamese New Year anthem set in three-time with a lovely waltz beat to it.

The performance takes place at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. Our tip - check your entertainment guide for show times, and arrive about 20 minutes early to order dinner from the nearby Paradise Garden Grill. Your meal should be delivered in time for the performance, giving you a lovely dinner and a show. Tables in front of the stage are limited, but the area acoustics are fantastic, and you'll be able to hear the performance throughout the area.


Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession

A troupe of Taiwanese dancers joins Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession for 2018, along with Goofy in a new Lunar New Year costume. This processional is again staged near the Paradise Gardens area in the parade corridor, and prime viewing spots fill up fast. Try to catch an earlier show, as the final performances tends to be the most crowded.


Hurry Home

During the World of Color pre-show Hurry Home you see the tale of a little lantern hurrying home to be with his family in time for New Years and getting side tracked by that trickster Mushu. At the end of the presentation there are fireworks and a fun graphic of a barking dog before the fireworks begin.



Lunar New Year Marketplaces

This year there are three food booths set up like the Holidays or Food & Wine. They represent Korea, China and Vietnam Nam. As with other festival marketplace booths, customers order at the cash register, then bring their ticket to the booth to receive the food and drink.


Vietnam Marketplace (In front of Golden Zephyr)

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Chao Tom – Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewers – are made with a shrimp paste which is formed around the skewer, then lightly battered, fried and covered in sesame seeds. The skewers are served with a sweet and sour sauce, which is not viscous and red like at some fast food places. The sauce is light and clear and soaks beautifully into each skewer. Also very popular are Banh Khoai Lang Tim, Purple Sweet Potato Macarons that have a butter cream filling with a touch of jelly inside. They are definitely the sweetest of the desserts offered and have a gorgeous gold leaf on top of them.

Full menu:

  • Banh Chu’ng – sticky rice cake with pork
  • Chao Tom – sugar cane shrimp skewer with sweet and sour sauce
  • Banh Khoai Lang Tim – purple sweet potato macaron
  • Ca Phe Sua Da – Vietnamese iced coffee (non-alcoholic)


Korea Marketplace (In front of The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure)

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I think the most difficult treat for an unadventurous or sweet palate is at the Korea booth. Yang Gaeng is a Sweet Red Bean and Raspberry Jelly. The bean paste is on the bottom with a layer of the raspberry jelly on top, topped off with gold leaf and a plump raspberry. You definitely need to dive down into the dish to blend these flavors but they are subtle and not overly sweet. Light and flavorful and I think it is definitely worth a try.

Full menu:

  • Kimchi Bokkeumbap – vegetable fried rice
  • Yachae Mandu – steamed vegetable dumpling with sesame-garlic soy sauce
  • Yang Gaeng – sweet red bean and raspberry jelly
  • Banana Ooyu – non-alcoholic banana milk
  • Mae Shil Ju – plum wine cocktail
  • Hite Pale Lager


China Marketplace (In front of Golden Zephyr)

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The China booth serves up a really lovely Baixiangguo Lucha, or Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea with Lychee Pearls. The blend of these flavors are marvelous. Each one shines through and the Passion Fruit is not so over-powering  that you cannot taste the subtleties of the green tea. The Lychee Pearls add to the melody of flavors and even though sweet tea may not be everyone's favorite this is definitely worth a try. With the optional light-up flower in each drink, how can you go wrong?

My favorite dessert was definitely the Egg Tart called Dan Ta. The crust was light and flaky, the custard was not broken and a bit warm still as it should be. The egg was flavorful but not over-powering. It tasted like being up in San Francisco's China Town. Great job on this one.

Full menu:

  • Xiao Long Bao – pork soup dumplings with black vinegar and ginger
  • Sanbeiji – three-cup chicken
  • Dan Ta – egg tart dessert
  • Wuxiang Huasheng Tang – five-spiced peanut brittle
  • Baixiangguo Lucha – passion fruit green iced tea with lychee popping pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • Tsingtao Lager


Ears and Envelopes – Lunar New Year shopping

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Disney expanded the Lunar New Year merchandise offerings this year by importing some items from the Disney resort in Shanghai. There were long lines at the Festival merchandise cart Friday night, though the smaller assortment of event merchandise offered at Elias and Co. seemed largely overlooked.




Splitsville Luxury Lanes Opens TODAY!

Open! This was a long time coming and long delayed, but Splitsville is set to open today in Downtown Disney Anaheim. The entertainment establishment is a mix of restaurant, bars, bowling and event space over two stories. Whether you bowl or not, the vibe of the place should appeal to Downtown Disney visitors.


Splitsville isn’t the only project in Downtown Disney. Two new restaurants are on their way to the building which once housed Build-A-Bear and Ridemakerz. Disney Home is under construction in the old D-Street space, and the new Disney Plaza Hotel will soon be added on the far West side of Downtown Disney.



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