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The Droid You're Looking For: Anthony Daniels talks branching stories and more on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

April 15, 2011

Star Tours 2


We're less than two months away from the newest iteration of Star Tours opening in Disneyland, and details are starting to emerge from a source very close to the project. Anthony Daniels, who has portrayed C-3PO in all 6 Star Wars movies and innumerable spinoff projects, spoke with the L.A. Times recenly about the reboot of the classic Disneyland ride. "I won’t tell you why, but all I’m going to say is when you’re in your loading position about to get on the Starspeeder 2000, just watch the monitors," Daniels told the Times. "Please pay close attention. There’s a lot of footage there that we spent months creating and this whole storyline is going on, so don’t miss it because you’re looking at the floor."


The British actor also talked about the variable nature of the ride, comparing the way the stories branch out to a slot machine. "You’re going to much love it, and you’re going to much love it 54 times. You may never see all of it. It’s completely random. So you may see the same thing three times or you may have three different [ride sequences]." Personally, this idea of branching storylines is even more exciting than the promise of HD footage in 3D and a new state-of-the-art motion simulator. Having 54 different combinations of locations and events promises to make this ride immensely enjoyable on repeat visits, and will probably be a great strength of the ride moving forward. Very exciting stuff indeed.


How do you know that Daniels isn't just a biased source spouting hyperbole and hype? "Look, I don’t get paid any more money for being nice about it," said Daniels. "I’ve already been paid. And I can tell you this: I adore it. I can’t wait to get on the ride and see it myself and, well, see myself."


For more of Anthony Daniels' thoughts on Star Tours, be sure to check out the L.A. Times article.

Disney Around The Web: Disneyland Paris, Pixar's History, and a Musical Montage

March 29, 2011



Welcome to a new news feature: Disney Around The Web. It's a collection of videos, pictures, and links to highlight Disneyland and Disney-related tid bits that have been making their way around the internet. It's also a fun way to spend a slow news day. If you find a video, picture, or link that you think would be a good fit, send it to james@guide2dl with the subject "Disney Around The Web."

  • Above: Disney Parks provides a tilt-shift tour of Disneyland Paris. For those who don't know, tilt-shift is a photographic technique where the photographer manipulates the lens in a way that gives the effect that everything looks miniaturized. Disney Parks' YouTube page also has tilt-shift tours of Walt Disney World.

Disneyland Guests arrrrrrrrrrrrr going to get a 3D Sneak Peak of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Guide2DL profusely apologizes for that pun.

March 23rd, 2011




From March 25 (this Friday) until May 1, 2011, Disneyland is offering guests a chance to get an exclusive extended sneak-peak at their upcoming summer blockbuster: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Frontierland's Festival Arena has been transformed to feature this "interactive stage event" featuring both live performers and 3D film sequences from the upcoming Pirates sequel.


Guests will be treated to "Pirate Training" before the show, where they will learn the fundamentals of being a pirate. After having ample opportunites to purchase Pirates merchandise, newly trained buccaneers will be treated to the interactive sneak peak. The show will play on weekend nights from March 25 until April 14; then it will play every night until May 1st.


If you're excited about the upcoming movie, this is a great opportunity to get a unique preview. No details were given as to how long the preview is, but I'm sure it will be enough to whet any Pirates fan's appetite. For more information, check out the official page.


A poor, unfortunate sneak peak behind the scenes of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

March 10th, 2011



When I was a child, Ursula scared the living daylights out of me. She's mean, steals voices, and can transform herself into both a beautiful woman and giant sea monster. So I write this post with some trepidation, as the latest behind the scenes featurette Disney released features the sea witch front and center.


The trepidation only grew when I saw how amazingly animated the Ursula animatronic figure is. It's truly a sight to behold, and it really increased my interest in this ride. This video shows something new and innovative in Disney California Adventure's upcoming ride. So, despite my childhood fear of giant sea villains, I can't wait to see the animatronics front and center.


The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure opens June 3rd.


Source (Slashfilm)


Clear your calendar for June 3rd: Star Tours 2 and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure opening dates announced.

March 3rd, 2011


Star Tours


It's usually a big day when one major ride opens at Disneyland or Disney World, and Disney just decided to make June 3rd absolutely gigantic. On its Disney Parks Blog (which features some great reads for any Disney fan), Disney announced that both Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure will make their Grand Opening at Disneyland on June 3rd. That's just three months from today!


While this is a slight delay for Star Tours, which had been previously slated for a May 20th release, this gives the day a grand sense of occasion. I imagine that the parks will be packed that day, but hopefully the opening of two "E-ticket" rides on the same day will help disperse the crowds between the two parks.


Unless something unforseeable occurs, I'll be covering the premiere of both of these rides right from the heart of Disneyland. That's right. I'll be braving the crowds and the singing underwater sea creatures, just for you. Until then, enjoy this video of the Clam Shell vehicles arriving and being installed at Disneyland.



Source (Disney Parks Blog)

Disney announces Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's as part of Disneyland Hotel renovations. Set to open this spring.

February 28, 2011


Tangaroa Terrace


Disney recently announced as part of its initiative to renovate the Disneyland Hotel with a "retro theme with a contemporary twist," they will open a tiki-inspired restaurant and bar called Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's, respectively. If the above concept art has a distinctly Adventureland feel to you, it's by no mistake. The restaurant is inspired by the Tahitian Terrace restaurant, which resided in Adventureland during the 1960s.


The restaurant and bar are set for a Spring 2011 opening.


Source: (Disney Parks Blog)


Watch this preview for The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure and just try not to get "Under the Sea" stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Plus, Star Tours 2 news.

January 26, 2011



Good news for those who can't help but look to the future. Disney just released this behind the scenes sneak peak at their next new ride at California Adventure, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. While the video doesn't reveal any huge surprises (Wait, this takes place under the sea?), it's a great treat for anyone who's interested in the Imagineering process. Ariel's Undersea Adventure is scheduled to open this year.


Speaking of rides that have "adventure" in their name and are scheduled to open this year, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue was just given a firm release date. Disney just announced that the update to the classic Star Wars ride will open on May 20th, 2011. We hope to see you in line. (via Slashfilm.)

Registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon opens; hundreds of Disney fans remember that they actually made New Year's Resolutions.

January 19, 2011

Half Marathon


We're just a little over halfway into the first month of the year, and if you're like us, you've already forgotten about most of your New Year's Resolutions. It was just 20 short days ago that we were vowing to ourselves that we would eat healthier, read more, and stay in touch with family members. Today, we're having to pick up our phone from under this empty box of Oreos and turn down the TV to listen to all the missed voicemails from our loved ones. Oops.


However, to those dedicated to bettering themselves in the New Year, Disneyland has a great event in September: the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. From September 2-4, you and your family are welcome to participate in a number of events, including the Family Fun Run 5K, Kids' Races, and, of course, the Half Marathon. Interestingly, there's also a "Pasta in the Park" party. This is presumably for athletes who want to carbo-load, or those non-athletes whose New Year's Resolutions included eating a lot of pasta this year.


Additional details and registration can be found at Disney's official site. To all those participating, best of luck with your training!

Get your daily fix of whimsy as Pixar explains how the Toy Story Zoetrope at Disney California Adventure works.

January 12, 2011



Whenever I visit California Adventure, one of my go-to stops is to the Animation building. Once I've sufficiently proven that I will never be a Disney animator by completely botching a drawing of Goofy in the Animation Academy, I always go to the Toy Story Zoetrope to cheer myself up. The zoetrope has three things I absolutely love: Pixar characters, pretty flashing lights, and adorable penguins. After staring at that for 20 seconds, I've completely forgotten about the travesty of a Goofy drawing and my failed artistic dreams!


All kidding aside, the Zoetrope is an amazing part of California Adventure. It both gives a great explaination as to how animation works while still leaving you with a sense of wondering if it really is all magic anyway. Today, Pixar posted a video onto Youtube about the thought process behind the Zoetrope. It's a great watch, and, while it's not the same as seeing it in person, it's the next best thing.


Source: YouTube

Disney provides new SoCal 2-Day Deal passes with more flexibility and proves that freedom isn't free at the same time.

January 2, 2011




Disney announced a revision to their annual SoCal resident 2-Day Pass deal today. In previous years, this 2-Day ticket would allow Southern California residents a chance to visit one park on the first day of their visit and the other park on the second day of their visit for $72. The good news is that the new pass for 2011 offers a bit more flexibility: starting today until May 14th you can visit either Disneyland or California Adventure and then choose either of the two parks for your second visit.


The bad news? Disney hiked the price of the ticket to $99. While this is a bit disappointing, it still remains a killer deal considering the regular price for a one-day one-park ticket is $76. Of course, you can still upgrade the 2-Day SoCal pass to a parkhopper for $10 if you don't want to have to choose between the parks.


We still highly recommend SoCal residents interested in visiting Disneyland to go for the Annual Parkhopper pass. At $184, the Southern California Select pass offers up to 170 days of park-hopping privileges for only $75 more than a 2-Day park-hopper pass on this deal. Unless Disney decides to raise the price of that too. We're keeping our fingers crossed that they don't.


Source: OC Register

Disney California Adventure to remove entrance's CALIFORNIA letters; thousands of group photos suddenly become more valuable.

December 19, 2010

CA Entrance


As part of the major renovation and expansion of Disney California Adventure, Disney announced through their DisneyParks Blog that they plan to remove the park's iconic "CALIFORNIA" letters starting January 4th. While Disney plans on saving the letters for potential future use, the letters will be removed to make way for a new entrance modeled after the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, much like the entrance of WDW's Disney Hollywood Studios.


While the new Buena Vista Street entrance, complete with its 1920s L.A. feel, looks like a definite improvement over the current Sunshine Plaza, we have to say that we will miss the CALIFORNIA letters. It was one of the unique landmarks at Disney California Adventure, and it was a must-have photo opportunity everytime we visited with a new group. This new gate looks a bit too reminiscent of the Hollywood Studios entrance. While the two parks definitely have some thematic similarities, Disney California Adventure has a lot more to offer than just being Disneyland's version of Hollywood Studios. However, all of Disney's moves with the DCA expansion have been spot on, so we'll trust them on this one.


Source: DisneyParks Blog

Celebrate the release of TRON: Legacy with elecTRONica at Disney California Adventure; digitized-young-Jeff Bridges may or may not make an appearance.

December 18, 2010



You've been waiting 28 years. Your home-made light-cycle replica is the envy of everyone in your TRON fan club. TRON-guy is your personal hero. You've spent the last 48-hours watching the new TRON: Legacy as much as humanly possible. Then why are you reading this when you could be making your way to Disney California Adventure for the ultimate celebration in everything TRON?


Wheter you are a TRON fanatic, a fan of Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde, or just an appreciator of shiny lights and cool music, then you definitely should check out elecTRONica, a street festival running for a limited time at DCA. Featuring different DJs and dance crews, you can either enjoy the club-like atmosphere of the Grid-themed festival, enjoy unique TRON-themed drinks, or test your skills against others at Flynn's Arcade.


elecTRONica runs from 7 PM until closing on Friday through Sunday at Disney California Adventure.


Source: Disneyland Website


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The Complete Guide to Everything Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Here you'll find all the best information and tips about Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney.

Whether you're traveling from across the country for the first time ever or a SoCal native visiting for your second time this week, you'll want to check out The Complete Guide to Disneyland to make the most out of your Disneyland trip.

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