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WDW Radio # 747 – 10 More Reasons You Need to Visit Disneyland

If you’re looking for a reason to visit Disneyland for the first time, or an excuse to go back again, this week we share 10 MORE Reasons to visit Disneyland! From new experiences to timeless classics, reimagined attractions to special events and more (yes, of course there will be food), start packing your bags now, because there’s more to explore than ever before!

Join host Lou Mongello and special guest Mr. DAPS on this exhilarating episode of WDW Radio’s “Discovering Disneyland.” Get ready to unlock a treasure trove of reasons to visit the iconic Disneyland Resort in California.

Step into the enchanting world of Disneyland where every interaction with its exceptional cast members is like experiencing pure magic. Discover how these simple interactions create lifelong memories that guests cherish forever and eagerly share with others. From going above and beyond to creating personalized moments, the cast members at Disneyland ensure that your visit is nothing short of extraordinary.

Reflect on a previous episode as Lou Mongello and Mr. DAPS delve into ten additional reasons why Disneyland continues to capture hearts. While timeless favorites still stand strong, prepare to be blown away by the incredible new additions awaiting you at the happiest place on Earth!

Embrace the joy of witnessing families create everlasting memories on the sprawling, green grass near Roger Rabbit’s cartoon spin. Find yourself captivated by the lookout point near the slides, as you observe the utter bliss of grandparents playing with their grandchildren or witness that magical moment when someone experiences water for the very first time.

Get ready to indulge your senses at the vibrant festivals hosted at Disney California Adventure. From the Festival Holidays to the Lunar New Year Festival and the celebrated Food and Wine event, these festivals have evolved into extravagant, over-the-top experiences. Immerse yourself in the music of live bands like Fat Cat Swinger while you savor tantalizing delicacies and exciting activities brimming with fun.

Immerse yourself in the heartwarming stories and experiences of long-serving cast members who carry on the legacy of Walt Disney. Engage with these passionate individuals and uncover unique surprises, stories, and moments that make your visit truly unforgettable.

And speaking of lines, join Lou Mongello and Mr. DAPS as they share insightful pro tips to maximize your time at Disneyland. Discover the secret to avoiding long queues and enjoy more attractions, like hopping in line during the first parade. Don’t miss the chance to encounter iconic characters like Judge Doom and the thrilling Villains Grove experience, where eerie beauty awaits at every turn.

Of course, no visit to Disneyland would be complete without indulging in its delectable culinary offerings. From the convenience of mobile ordering to planning ahead for the perfect dining experience, our hosts provide expert tips to navigate the diverse culinary landscape that Disneyland Resort has to offer. Discover hidden gems like Tiana’s, where the exceptional food quality leaves an unforgettable impression on every discerning palate.

While wait times may vary for the return of live entertainment, Lou Mongello and Mr. DAPS eagerly anticipate the revival of streetmosphere characters and live performers gracing the streets of Disneyland once more. Sharing their personal encounters with Five and Dime and a jazz trio in New Orleans Square, they highlight the tremendous energy and vibrancy that awaits.

With each passing year, Disneyland continues to raise the bar, offering new adventures, festivals, and culinary delights to its beloved guests. As the magic grows and evolves, join our hosts in their excitement for the enchanting surprises that lie ahead at the Disneyland Resort.

Tune in to this captivating episode of WDW Radio’s “Discovering Disneyland” and let the allure of unforgettable magic moments, thrilling festivals, and culinary delights transport you to a world of pure enchantment!

Thanks to Mr. DAPS from DAPSMagic.com for joining me this week.

The key moments in this episode are:

I. The Magic Moments Created by Disneyland Cast Members
A. Interactions with cast members create memorable experiences
B. Customer service by cast members is crucial to park success
C. Personal stories of cast members going above and beyond for guests

II. Reflection on Previous Episode and Introduction to New Adventure
A. Reasons to visit Disneyland are still true and compelling
B. Incredible new additions to Disneyland
C. Introduction of new guest joining the show

III. Family-Friendly and Inclusive Atmosphere at Disneyland
A. Enjoyment for people of all ages, including open grassy areas
B. Observing and appreciating happy family moments
C. Interactive areas for young children and activities for adults
D. Connection to Walt Disney and the concept of the dreaming tree
E. Accessibility for guests with special needs or requirements

IV. Festivals and Entertainment at Disney California Adventure
A. Variety of festivals throughout the year
B. Growth and over-the-top experiences of festivals
C. Live bands and entertainment during festivals
D. Special Disney cast members and their stories at the resorts

V. Discovering Unique Experiences through Interactions with Cast Members
A. Engaging with cast members for interesting conversations
B. Pro tips for shorter wait times and optimal parade viewing
C. Special character appearances and experiences
D. Oogie Boogie Bash surprises and villains experiences
E. Eerie and beautiful Villains Grove experience not to be missed

VI. Updates and Changes in Disney Parks
A. Reasons for fans to keep coming back
B. Importance of food and utilizing mobile order
C. Difference in live entertainment offerings between parks
D. Hope for the return of streetmosphere characters and performers
E. Personal experiences with Five and Dime and jazz trio

VII. Exceptional Food Offerings at Disneyland Resort
A. Quality of food at Tiana’s as a favorite restaurant
B. Recommendation based on personal experience at Tiana’s
C. Consistent improvement of food offerings each year

VIII. Excitement for the Future and Disneyland’s Innovations
A. Anticipation for new introductions and additions in the future

Timestamped summary of this episode:

  • [00:00:00] Reasons to visit Disneyland remain compelling and new.
  • [00:09:13] Walking in Disneyland where Walt Disney walked.
  • [00:12:31] Classic attractions reflect Walt Disney’s touch. San Francisco Square is a personal favorite.
  • [00:19:37] Limited live entertainment at Disneyland, but hopeful.
  • [00:26:29] Tips for Oogie Boogie bash and highlights.
  • [00:32:37] Frequent surprises and repeatable experiences for all.
  • [00:35:24] Family-friendly area with interactive experiences for all.
  • [00:38:30] Disneyland is a place where anyone can play and enjoy themselves. There is a special viewpoint where you can see families having fun. We often overlook the happiness and interactions happening right in front of us.
  • [00:47:41] Agree with you, Tiana visits seating area.
  • [00:52:28] Different attractions in different parks, please Disney.
  • [00:55:17] Disney California Adventure has fun festivals, bands, and detailed activities.
  • [01:00:58] Disney Cast Members exemplify the park’s legacy.
  • [01:10:18] Disneyland Resort: Spoiled by amazing food, anticipation for what’s next.
  • [01:11:30] Excitement for Disney, planning food, utilizing mobile order.
  • [01:16:46] I love your response. It’s fantastic.

What is YOUR favorite reason to visit Disneyland? Is it an attraction? Show? Nostalgia? (“Snacks” is a perfectly good answer as well!)

Share your thoughts in the WDW Radio Clubhouse at WDWRadio.com/Clubhouse, or call the voicemail at 407-900-9391 (WDW1) and share your story on the show.


Episode Transcript

Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello:

Um, back on Show 385 in late 2014, which I can't believe was so many years ago, we looked at ten reasons why every Walt Disney World fan and family needs to visit Disneyland. And like many, most episodes of the show, it's evergreen. Meaning that even though it's a few years old, most, if not all of the reasons that we gave are not only still true, but compelling on their own. But as time has passed, changes have occurred, and with change sometimes comes loss. But I think often, most times, especially in the case of the Disney parks, there are incredible new additions and more reasons than ever to visit, whether you're looking to go to Disneyland for your very first time or go back to the parks. And one of the parks in question is where it all began. And so this week, we're going to venture back to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as we explore and examine ten more reasons to visit Disneyland. And joining me on this adventure, like the Grizzrols, it's going to be a quest, a quest for fun, and in my case, snacks is a new guest on the show.

Lou Mongello:

He is Mr. DApps, the founder of Dapsmagic.com and as you'll see on his YouTube channel, always sporting his signature trilby and bow tie. Mr. DApps, welcome to the show.

Mr. DAPS:

Thank you so much for having me.

Lou Mongello:

It's great to have you. We've known each other and I was trying to think about this before we started recording. We've sort of known each other for a long time from events, but this is the first time on the show, I don't even remember how or where we ever first met and started talking.

Mr. DAPS:

I could actually tell you that. And it's the Tiki room. And you were, I think, live on your computer, walking around with it open. And I had a friend named Andrew who was the host for the Tiki Room that day. He absolutely loved you and he's like, you got to meet Lou. And so he dragged me over and we had a very quick encounter. And at the time, I never really connected all of the dots and I was like, oh, that's cool, he's from Florida. And then years later, I think it was a D 23 expo when we were at an opening press preview or something, is when we actually started talking more.

Lou Mongello:

So wow, I just this blast in the past, I remember Andrew, he had a unique username or nickname. I don't remember what it was.

Mr. DAPS:

I think it had something to do with the Cubs, didn't it?

Lou Mongello:

I'm trying to remember to show you how long ago it was. I was walking around broadcasting from my laptop with a 3G card and a webcam on top and got some OD looks, not just from guests, but from cast members, probably from security as well, too. But it shows you how long ago I mean, this is probably 2007, 2008, nine somewhere? That'd be my guess, yeah. Wow. So we've met, we've spoken, and sort of hit it off and got along very well at events. But I'd love for you to share, not just for my own education and advocation and benefit, but for the listener as well. I'm a sucker for an origin story, so give me sort of the quick Reader's Digest condensed Cliff Notes version of the Mr. DApps origin story.

Mr. DAPS:

Absolutely. So I did not grow up in Southern California. In fact, I grew up visiting Southern California once every couple of years, if I was lucky. And you'd get your one day at Disneyland while you were visiting. And we'd stay in the Disney Vacation Land campground. And it's some of my favorite memories growing up, but there were only a couple of times less than a handful. And so then when I grew up, I discovered California was a place you could live. I moved out here.

Mr. DAPS:

I thought that was awesome. I didn't really know what I was going to do, but I knew that I wanted to be somewhat close to Disneyland. Turned out it was 100 miles away, and that was fine. And then movies started coming out, new attractions started coming out. The Internet was kind of starting to really blossom at the time. And so I started searching for more information about Disney and Disneyland and all of this stuff. And I discovered Yahoo groups. And from yahoo.

Mr. DAPS:

Groups, we ended up making our own Yahoo. Group. And my little brother, I think we had 100 members within like a month. And it was literally a bunch of Disney fans who knew absolutely nothing but sharing their collective littleness of like, oh, I know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And there just wasn't Wikipedia and all the stuff we have today. Within about a month, we had 100 members of the Yahoo. Group. And my little brother is like, well, we need to make a website.

Mr. DAPS:

And at the time, I don't know that I even really knew how to use a search engine. It was very brutal. And there are copies of the original version of the site, and it makes me cringe looking back at it now. And thank goodness for progress. So we started it in 2004, and then like a year or so later, somebody from Disney reached out to us and they're like, hey, do you want to come down and see this thing at Disneyland? And we were just kind of doing things without a plan and having fun with it. And so we started getting invited to media events and things kind of have organically grown over the last, what, 18 years now. And it's always been kind of one of those fun side things that you just do with your friends, and we really enjoy doing it. And we have our web shows and puppets and all this crazy stuff.

Mr. DAPS:

Oh, yes. But about a year ago, it was just time for a career change, and I was feeling the urge to really give this thing a ride. And so I jumped in and a friend redesigned our logo, which was amazing for him, by him, and I love it. And it just seemed like all of the stars were aligned to just go for this thing. And so for the last year, I've been living, breathing, having fun with Disney and positive stuff on DApps Magic.

Lou Mongello:

I love I love again, I love the story, and I love that taking of the leap of faith to do what you love and the positivity that you do too. And we were talking beforehand and I admitted to you, I'm like, I don't know what DAPs actually means. I'm like, am I allowed to ask you or is this like some sort of super secret? So for anybody else who's wondering what DApps actually means and how sort of DApps magic the word came to be.

Mr. DAPS:

Initially in 2004, it standed for Disney Annual Pass Holders. We are now Magic Key holders here on the West Coast. So Disney Annual Pass Holders don't make a whole lot of sense, even though I do have a pass for Walt Disney World. And so I was with a bunch of people at Christmas a year or two ago, and my dad actually came up with this idea. And he's like, why don't you make it Disney and positive stuff? Because that's what you are anyway. And in the moment he said it, something went off in my brain. I was like, well, duh, that's totally it. And it's one of those funny things, too, because in the moment he was like, oh, no, that's a dumb idea.

Mr. DAPS:

And I was like, no, it's perfect. We're leaning into that because that's what we've always been anyway. And I think it just gives us license to be that much more fun and positive in what we do and how we do it. Which I like because I think sometimes maybe it comes with the hat and glasses, I don't know, but I sometimes skew a little bit too formal and it just kind of is like that's my comfort. I'm a hard worker. I used to going to meetings, and it's very easy for me to slide over that way. And really, I feel like I'm often at my best when I'm a little bit goofier and having fun with some of the zany things we do.

Lou Mongello:

And now I see why we get along. Not because I dress the same way, because I could not pull off that look, certainly not in Florida in August. But it's this idea of the Authenticity 23 Expo. But we were saying before, I love the positive spin and I'm a choose the good positive kind of guy, so it all makes sense. And I am super excited for this because we just spent some time together in Disneyland as part of the fall favorites and festivities and some of the new things that just opened very recently over the last couple of weeks. And that's sort of what helped prompted the idea because there is so much new stuff, especially since I did the show about the ten reasons to go. So I thought it'd be fun for us to sort of just go back and forth. We have not discussed our lists with ten ish more reasons to go and visit Disneyland.

Lou Mongello:

And we were saying before we started recording, like, I'm curious what's on your list. Well, I'm curious what's on your list and we'll see how much overlap, if any, is going to be there. So you are my guest and the floor is yours. What's the first thing that came to mind? Or what sort of the first thing was on your list? When you think about a reason for somebody, whether they're a Walt Disney World fan or have never been before, to go or go back to Disneyland?

Mr. DAPS:

Well, the first one I'm assuming a lot of people come up with, but I just think it absolutely has to be on the list. And when you go to Disneyland, especially that first time you go to Disneyland, but I think about this every time I walk down Main Street is you are walking where Walt Disney once walked. You're walking through the dream that continues on and continues to grow and develop and expand 60 plus years later and you get to ride on his fire truck. And there's something very special about getting to see, oh, this is where that picture of Walt was taken. Oh, this is where he was sitting with Mickey Mouse on the fire truck. Or this is where he'd peek out the window up there. I've been very blessed and gotten to go to his apartment above the firehouse. And there's something very magical about getting to just let yourself kind of absorb the atmosphere around you and let yourself know.

Mr. DAPS:

Imagine what Walt might have been thinking. Imagine what Walt would be loving. Like, I love to think of the expansions that Disneyland's had over the last few years. And I can just imagine kind of like my grandpa used to do when he'd see Phantasmic, his imagination would spark and you could see his eyes light up. And I can totally imagine Walt doing the same thing as he walks to like, Star Wars, Galaxy's Edge or watches something like and that to me, is probably my favorite thing to think about every time I walk into the park and seeing the know, like, Walt loved his trains, I love the trains. Uh, and that was literally the first thing when we decided on this topic.

Lou Mongello:

It's like well, Walt So I love it. I do. I love that because I think sometimes, especially for if we're going to talk like the old men in the room, like for a newer generation, that it starts to get farther and farther away from Walt the man. Sometimes they lose sight of the person. Right? And I love things like Disney 100 and the exhibits and the family museum that really helped sort of connect or reconnect us to Walt. But I agree with you. I think that there is look, I think that there's something special about all the parks, but there's something extra special about walking into Disneyland, especially if we're walking into Disneyland for the first time and seeing those places and looking up at the apartment, I still get that feeling. I get those weird little butterflies.

Lou Mongello:

And even if I'm by myself, the sort of grin sort of comes across my face because I do think about the impact and the effect that this one man had not just on me as a fan and me as a person, but the tens and hundreds of millions of people that have walked through those gates. And say what you will, I still think that there's a lot of Walt left, especially in Disneyland, even the way.

Mr. DAPS:

That it feels very much like a small town when you walk into Disneyland. And I feel like that's almost a little bit of Walt's spirit living on and that's literally a physical thing that Disneyland was built this way and it would be very hard to change because the size of Main Street is always going to be the size of Main Street, I assume. But I just love that vibe that continues to live on and really showcases story.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, and it's why the classic attractions remain classic, like those ones that Walt handprint is still very much present and apparent on. But now I feel stupid about what my first one is because this was so sentimental and meaningful and it's Walt. That is not the first thing that I thought of. So I'm going to give you the most honest, lou mangelo answer because it fits in all the things that I genuinely love and it's San Francisco Square. I know you mentioned Walt Disney and all of the emotion and the gravitas that Walt brings and I mentioned San Francisco Square, but I'm a huge big Hero Six fan. It's one of those movies that I've watched countless times. It's the one that I'll put on sort of in the background. And so when I heard that this was getting converted over, I was very, very excited.

Lou Mongello:

Before the event, I went in like a day and a half early just so because I knew I had a lot to eat. I knew that there was a lot to do. So we really could do ten reasons to visit San Francisco alone.

Mr. DAPS:

And all of them could be the.

Lou Mongello:

Food, although for the most part they almost really are. There's not a ton to it. There's no attractions. There's really only like one small store, but it has food in spades. Yes, you could meet Hero and Baymax over in the very well themed Bot shop and you could do the bakery tour and things like that are still there. But it's Aunt Cass's cafe. The Lucky Fortune Cookery the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill the Turbine blenders gheeardli is still there. The cappuccino cart, I'll get to that.

Lou Mongello:

Forget I'm going to get to it right now. I went there really early one morning. I'm not kidding that steak and egg breakfast burrito is not only the best $11 that I have ever spent in Disneyland, but is one of my favorite snack foods, if you can call. I just wish the only problem I have with it is that they don't serve it 24 hours a day because.

Mr. DAPS:

A late night, that's my problem.

Lou Mongello:

If there was some way to grab one on the way back to my hotel. But I think the food options are exceptional. Ant Cass has dishes inspired by Japanese cuisine, including the soups in the freshly baked Bowden Bakery sourdough bread bowls. I really, really like Lucky fortune cookery again. Not just Japanese, but there's Vietnamese and Korean influences. I had this ramen. It was like a beef biria ramen and I was like, if Biria tacos and ramen had a baby, this would be it. But there's street corn and the karage inspired chicken sandwich, the bread bowls, the baymax macaron.

Lou Mongello:

I ate a lot of it. Like, I'm not going to kid you, but I love the theming of the area. The way that they sort of transformed the bridge into the sort of Tory gate inspired bridge into San Francisco. The only thing I wish is that and I'm not a big merchandise guy, despite what it looks like behind me, I almost wish there was more merchandise. Like I was ready. I had my credit card out and I wish there was sort of more merch to take home and we were only there like the day or so after it opened. But I love the theming and especially at night when you've got those Japanese paper lanterns hanging and they're sort of themed like the white and red of baymax. It takes like a lot of Disneyland.

Lou Mongello:

It takes on new life and sort of new breath at night. And I really, really dig the space.

Mr. DAPS:

I totally agree with you. And I think they've even added more lanterns since you were here and it's such a beautiful space. And one of the things I really appreciate about it is I can bring a group there and somebody is going to find something they like. You're going to keep the entire group happy. And that could be a challenge. Like if you're going with a family or if you're going with a larger group for whatever reasons, with friends or whatever. I love that they can go to whichever place they want and then we can meet up in the middle and enjoy a meal together because I think that's one of the more special things you can do at Disneyland. And we like to do that on Sundays and you get to meet Baymax.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, of course the line for Baymax and Hero because it had just opened was crazy. But I love the little references and Easter eggs because that's me. I look sort of on a macro level almost before I look on a I look at a micro level almost before I look on a macro level to try and pick out some of the details and the stories. Did I mention the honey lemonade? By the way, I was impressed, like you said, at not just the variety but the flavor profile of the food. Know, there were some stuff that had a really nice high level of spice to know. I think because of where you are in Southern California, not afraid to add a little bit of heat to some of the meals, not just there, but everywhere around in Disneyland and Disney California. And I just love Japanese food and soba noodles and some of the things they have there. So I think San Francisco for me, San Francisco literally was the reason why I flew across the country just to go and visit.

Mr. DAPS:

That's awesome. And I think it's totally justified.

Lou Mongello:

So what's next on your list?

Mr. DAPS:

Okay, I'm going to go out of order because I've heard your guests do this before and I feel like that's okay.

Lou Mongello:

There are no rules. There are absolutely no rules here whatsoever.

Mr. DAPS:

Okay, that's how I like to do things, too. But I'm going to go a different path than I was planning originally. I'm going to go with entertainment at Disneyland. And the reason I'm bringing up the entertainment is one, it's always phenomenal. Two, it's constantly getting updated, whether it's the Dapper Dan seasonally, the fireworks seasonally. I think we had like four fireworks shows this year. When you think of the entire year, whether it's Mickey's Mix Magic or Wondrous Journeys or what, believe in holiday magic or Halloween screams or I think Disneyland Forever was this year also. So is that five now? And there's always something to be found if you're a fan of entertainment.

Mr. DAPS:

We've got the parades going on at different times and Cavalcades they've been doing and the Disneyland band. And I don't really know many other places where you can see this many live entertainers or programmed, whether it's the world of color or the fireworks and at this quality level, too. And you can spend an entire day at the Disneyland Resort and still probably not catch every entertaining group or offering. And I think if you like entertainment, disneyland is the place to visit.

Lou Mongello:

That's a really good point and that may have even been something that we talked about a number of years ago, the first time we did it because and I think it is very different than what we have in Walt Disney World. I think the amount of live I know, you know, even so long, sort of post COVID ish there's still not all the live entertainment, especially here in World, that has not come back. And we all hope that it does, whether they are streetmosphere characters or live performers. But even on this past trip, there are so know, I think for me, because I'm not a Disneyland local, there's surprise and delight moments like when Five and Dime comes out in Disney California Adventure, I literally stop what I'm doing or I will follow them along because I love that type of music. I love that sort of vintage quirky jazz and sort of rasmataz music. I love the costumes, I love the energy that they bring to that section of Disney California Adventure. Same thing too. Over in Know, you can be over in New Orleans Square and next thing you know there's a jazz trio that's outperforming.

Lou Mongello:

And because I'm not that familiar with the performers and the schedules, it's these great moments that sort of happen by accident, which is exactly what I think is supposed to happen. And I think even the characters I know the very first time I went to Disneyland and still to this know at Walt Disney World we sort of have character locations where you go and meet where you can be. Wandering Disneyland and all of a sudden, Alice in Wonderland just pops out from somewhere. And there's not a huge line, not necessarily like this formal meet and greet area, but she or he could just be walking around or grab a child by the hand and take them to an attraction. And I love like I love these amazing entertainment moments that just happen that are not necessarily often distance on a stage somewhere, but on the ground right in front of you.

Mr. DAPS:

And I just add to your Alice in Wonderland thing is, a lot of people I don't feel like know that they play musical chairs almost every day at the piano on the end of Main Street at Officially Refreshment Corner, as we locals call it, Coke Corner. And it's one of the most charming thing is to watch the Mad Hatter and Alice play musical chairs with the piano player and a bunch of little kids right there for 20 minutes, a half an hour or whatever. It is absolutely charming.

Lou Mongello:

I love that. And now I have to go and look for that. And I love the fact that it's around food. So I have a reason to sort of sit there and wait.

Mr. DAPS:

Double win.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, I will get to the food. I'm desperately trying not to make all of my things about food, even though the second thing on my list was about food. So I too, will go out of I'll go somewhat out of order, but let's stay sort of in the spirit of the season because I love Halloween. I'm a seven year old kid trapped in a slightly older body. I do. I really, really like Halloween. And I've always loved not so scary Halloween party at Walt Disney World. But I've got three words for you and they are Oogie Boogie Bash.

Lou Mongello:

It is not just a reason to go and visit Disneyland, but man, I say you disneyland does Halloween so very well. Oogie Boogie Bash takes place in September and October. Again, we can do top ten reasons to go to Oogie Boogie Bash if you can get a ticket because they sell out very there's a lot of things in Disneyland like hot commodities go very, very quickly. Popcorn buckets, I'm looking at you. Breakfast chimichangas, I'm also looking at you. But they go very, very quickly. But there is a I don't even know how to put it. Both events are not so scary, but there's a little sort of edge to Oogie Boogie Bash that I love.

Lou Mongello:

Like I love the treat trails and the trick or treat show and the parade villains Grove and the Redwood Creek Challenge trail are so amazing and the parade is absolutely spectacular. I'm not honestly really a big character guy, but I became one at Oogie Boogie Bash because you don't just get to meet some characters that you would necessarily expect to sort of see, but you also see ones that either have not seen before or are relatively obscure. We see characters from Kingdom Hearts and Lotzo is out there. Agatha Harkness has been there on the treat trail as well. It's one of those things that I needed to go do it again because I wasn't able to see and do everything while I was there. And that's not a complaint. That's the wonderful part of Oogie Boogie Bash because there is so much to do beyond just quote unquote trick or treating in the parks. The whole California adventure takes on a very different life and a very different vibe.

Lou Mongello:

Not just in the areas know are so well themed for Halloween, but especially what they do at and for Oogie.

Mr. DAPS:

Boogie Bash, I think you totally nailed it. And as you were speaking, I was know Disneyland resort does every hard ticketed event. Awesome. Oogie Boogie bash is the best. Like by far. It's not even close. And you're speaking about the random characters you see. Like we saw Madame MIM and we stood and talked with her for like five or ten minutes during the second parade when we went on opening night.

Mr. DAPS:

And it brings these villain stories to life that much more when you get to not just quick high by here's my photo, but she's sitting there telling you how she got Merlin's hat or what she's doing against Merlin right now. The story really comes alive. Or mother Gothel is another one that you just don't really see anywhere else. And we every year, what has it been three years now that they've had this? We're always there opening night and we always walk away going, why didn't we get a second night? Because it's exactly as you said, we know all the tricks. We know how to make sure that we're in the right line at the right time and cover everything as much as we can. And it still is just like, oh, we got to go back. That was so and I totally agree, it's one of the best things I think Disney offers anywhere.

Lou Mongello:

So I'll put you on the, like what's the pro tip, right? What's the one sort of overlooked thing, the must do, the secret tip to sort of either maximize your time there or the thing that people don't necessarily talk about but is a favorite part of specifically Oogie Boogie Bash for you?

Mr. DAPS:

Well, I would say that's a split question is the pro tip is don't get in the longest line first because quite often towards the end of the night, the line will shorten and then you can sneak in and you don't wait an hour for a certain character or something. Adding to that the one you really want to do, get in line during the first parade because that will be the time where it shortens a little bit. And then for the thing that you absolutely can't miss, I think for us this year was Judge Doom. And that's where it's so cool with Oogie Boogie bash, is every year there's something different or you get your new surprises and they really do keep you on your toes because you don't know who's coming back or who's going to be a new character that's found in the party. And also bring your own bag because they always give you too much candy. But no, I think Judge Doom was the highlight this year. And don't underestimate villains grove. That I think is such an eerily beautiful experience to walk through that I think is easy to be like, oh, the line looks long and it moves pretty quick, so just hop in and you'll love it.

Lou Mongello:

And like I said, there's nothing scary about it. But there is that little bit of.

Mr. DAPS:

And Judge Doom a little haunting, right?

Lou Mongello:

There is a little sort of wonderfully creepy factor to it. But you're right, like Judge Doom like out of left field, right? It's not like, oh, we need to sort of promote Roger Rabbit coming back. No, out of left field, like relatively obscure, ish character you wouldn't expect. But I saw some videos of him with the dip and really, really well done.

Mr. DAPS:

Really like I totally agree.

Lou Mongello:

Now I'm upset I didn't get a chance to go this year. I'm trying to like, can I sneak in? Can I somehow get sneak a trip over and get a ticket? Because it's that and the tickets aren't I think they run from about, what, 130 to 161, 70 somewhere around there, something like that.

Mr. DAPS:

Yeah. I mean, the real trick is just being fast enough on the day they open up because it seems like every year they go faster and faster and if you're a magic. Key holder that's really when you want to buy your tickets is do that because they usually have an open window before general tickets go on sale for magic key holders. And that's what we almost always try to make sure we get just because it gets really hard. The other day.

Lou Mongello:

And the one thing I will say, too, when I did go, was it I don't know if it was last year, I think I went I didn't feel like they oversold the event. Like I never felt like, oh, what am I paying all this money for? Because the lines are so crowded and the crowds are so thick. You can't watch the parade. You can't do this. I felt like there was a lot of people there, but not so much that I didn't get the value for my ticket. Because sometimes you go to events, not necessarily even just meaning Disney, but let's just say that there are some other Halloween themed events that happen in other parks, other places where it's just very.

Mr. DAPS:

Hard to get through.

Lou Mongello:

Very hard to get through. We saw two houses. That's great.

Mr. DAPS:

Yeah. They do a nice job of keeping it at a level that's manageable so you can enjoy the night and not feel like you've missed out on everything.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah. All right, what is next on your list?

Mr. DAPS:

All right. I think I'm going to steal one from you if I had to make a guess. But I'm going to say Avengers Campus just because I really find and this kind of goes back to the character thing is it is such a dynamic and fun area to visit. And you never know exactly what you're going to know. Maybe it's Black Widow fighting or maybe it's Doctor Strange doing wonderful magic. Or Spider Man flying high over the sky, which I love watching people kind of walking by as he's about to do that and looking up, not realizing what's going to happen. And then he suddenly is flying over the roof line. And you can see it from all over an Avengers campus, which is a blast.

Mr. DAPS:

And the attraction is great. But I really think and the food, I really think it's the land itself is such a fun place to watch the characters live and interact with each other and then also with the guests or recruit, as they call them. And then also Guardians is a great ride as well.

Lou Mongello:

And during Halloween, it has the overlay. Yeah, it's even better. It's described as a party and a ride. And I love the fact that it's a completely new experience when you do go in the fall. I'm a huge Marvel fan. I love Avengers campus. I do think it is a destination reason to go. I'm also a monstrous Spider Man fan.

Lou Mongello:

But I will tell you that my favorite part of Avengers campus. I know if you're listening, you're like, oh, he's going to say Pym test kitchen.

Mr. DAPS:

Because it's gone or it's going to.

Lou Mongello:

Be the schwarma cart. It very well could be the schwarma cart. I'm not going to lie. I may or may not have eaten dinner, then grabbed a schwarma, brought it back to my room. It doesn't matter. This is who I am. The thing that I really, really love is the ancient sanctum. I love the Doctor Strange show that takes place especially when you go at night.

Lou Mongello:

And it's wonderful lighting and sound effects and smoke and fog effects. It's fun and it's accessible. And you're literally sitting there, right there on the floor. You almost feel like you are part of the show. And I love the fact that everything is rooted in story, right? Avengers campus is as well. And this idea that in the late 40s, this Stark Industries complex was built on top of this location. And then it became what we know as Avengers. But you can go through with that mindset and sort of piece together pieces of the origin story of Avengers campus and how it was, this Stark Industries complex.

Lou Mongello:

And it is full. It is replete with wonderful, fun Easter eggs. And as many times as I've been, I still always feel like I find something new.

Mr. DAPS:

And you're going to find someone new quite often as well. Like through the couple of years it's been open, we've seen what, Elsa Bloodstone last Halloween, which was amazing. And Werewolf by Night and Wanda and all of these amazing characters that just keep you guessing on what's coming next and what you're going to experience next, which I love because I think it just makes it very repeatable. And that's great if you're a local. And it's also great if you're from out of town. And I get people messaging me all the time like, hey, do you think so and so is going to be there in July? And I was like, maybe. And some of them you can be like, yeah, I would guess you're probably pretty safe. And then other ones you're like, they might be gone tomorrow for all I know.

Mr. DAPS:

Because it's wonderfully unpredictable in some of the things that they do there, that's it.

Lou Mongello:

It's the unpredictability other than, and I love this, how quickly they're able to leverage. So if something premieres on Disney plus, there's a good chance that the next day that new character, that new costume is going to be in Avengers campus. But you're right. The unpredictability of who's going to be where, like going there and seeing Moon Knight or going there and seeing Werewolf by Night like characters, you will never see any other again. I'm not a character person, yet I find myself sort of following them around as you see them and seeing where they're going or what they're doing and watching how they interact with guests as they're just sort of sometimes like leisurely just walking around.

Mr. DAPS:

They're living there.

Lou Mongello:

They are. They're living. And because of the multiverse allows for a lot of a wide spectrum of storytelling because you can have these characters existing in the same time in the same place. I'm not sure if we mentioned the.

Mr. DAPS:

Schwarma, so I'm taking it that's your favorite food in the land.

Lou Mongello:

I really like the schwarma. Like a lot.

Mr. DAPS:

That's fair.

Lou Mongello:

I'll get to snacks. I promise I'll get to snacks. All right, so I have a food destination that was very high on my list. I'm sure it's on yours as well, but I will follow your lead. And I'll actually go over I'm going to go from Disney California Adventure over to Disneyland and the Reimagining of Mickey's Toontown, which debuted earlier this year with new experiences. And it seems like I don't know why, it seems like bigger and more open. I love this Centennial Park with the different play areas. I only had a chance to sort of walk through in the evening one night.

Lou Mongello:

But it's this wonderful symphony of sights and sounds, and there's a lot going on in this very family friendly area that, yes, was built with young children in mind and a lot of interactive areas, but there's a lot of stuff for adults to do as well. Like in Centunego Park, they've got these water tables for sort of different sensory experiences, but at night, it comes to life at night. It was just gorgeous at night. You were talking earlier about Walt Disney, this idea of the dreaming tree that was inspired by the dreaming tree that Walt would daydream under back in his and I love these rolling, verdant hills, like in the background, a lot of places just to sort of get away from it all a little bit. Let your kids go and play and do their thing. But you can sit and relax and in Walt's case, you can dream. And I loved all these open play areas and interactive experiences and that connection to Walt Disney. And there was something that I didn't realize initially, but I think is important to note too, because we've talked about for years and I continue to hear this, how Walt Disney World and Disneyland are sometimes some of the few, if not only places, that some guests that have special needs or requirements can vacation to because of how accessible it is, how inclusive it is in terms.

Lou Mongello:

And I think when they reimagined Toontown, this was something that they really thought very, very hard on and were very intentional in Know, working with cast members to design these new areas to make sure that all guests of all different abilities can see and hear and interact with the places and spaces and each other. Disneyland Resort has this thing called enabled. It's a Disney business employee resource program to promote respect and appreciation for people with disabilities. And they helped provide insights to reimagine that land. And even like in Know, I think it's so important for people to see themselves like in places. And if you look in Goofy's House, there's a little wood chuck that's using a wheelchair, right? Something that you didn't sort of normally see in the tune world. But even as I noticed, you can see that all the curbs are gone. There's a lot of different wheelchair accessible areas and braille integrations and things like that.

Lou Mongello:

So I loved, and I think I love it because of its connection to Walt, not just Walt the storyteller, but creating this place that everybody is welcome and included. And like Walt's Dreaming Tree allows everybody to sort of have a place to sort of dream big.

Mr. DAPS:

Totally agree. And I think to me it's all about this is also a place where anybody and everybody can play, whether it is with the water or maybe it's just that green field of grass over by Roger Rabbit's cartoon spin. And one of my favorite things to do is there's kind of like an I think it's called Outlook Point or something, I don't remember. But you can climb up kind of by where the slides are and you can look down over the land on this wonderful little walkway. And I love to just stand there and watch families having fun. You know, that's something I think that we sometimes take for granted. Of course you're going to have fun at Disneyland, but how often do we actually look at like how often do we watch it play out in front of us and see those happy moments of Grandpa wrestling with his grandson in the grass or maybe coming up to the water and touching water for the first time. It sometimes looks like where there's that tentative, like, do I really want to touch this? Is it going to be cold? Is it going to be hot? I don't know.

Mr. DAPS:

And just watching these little moments happen and I think that's what they did really well with Toontown is they created a space for magical moments to happen with the entire family. Or maybe it's just the kids. If mom and dad are tired, there's benches, thankfully there Too. But they did a really great job of creating a space for moments for everybody to have fun and play together.

Lou Mongello:

And I would be remiss if I didn't say that while Runaway Railway the attraction is a near mirror of the one in Walt Disney World, the queue and the story of Runaway Railway there is very different. And I love the fact that they're trying to sort of make these stories and these cartoons and these shorts something that when we step into Toontown is part of their reality. And if you're an Easter egg fan, and if you love those little details and stories, and if you love those early Disney cartoons and shorts, whether it was from the late twenty s, thirty s, forty s, or if you were a kid of the 80s watching on or 90s watching on the Disney Channel, there's something in that queue for you.

Mr. DAPS:

And take the standby line.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, exactly. At least once. At least once, yeah, because you'll miss.

Mr. DAPS:

A lot if you go the other way.

Lou Mongello:

What's next on your list?

Mr. DAPS:

All right, let's see. I'm going to go with everything is walkable. And this is something that's very unique to the Disneyland Resort and maybe a little bit Disneyland Paris, but I love how close everything is. So on an average day at Disneyland, I might start at, know, watching the Disneyland Band, decide I want lunch over at Trader Sam's in the Disneyland Hotel, and then along the way be like, oh, you know what? I really want to get Schwarma. There we go. And then make my way over to Avengers Campus. And you can literally walk between the two parks and the Disneyland Resort hotels in minutes and you're not exhausted. And I love the gift of space that Walt Disney World has, and I love the gift of compression that Disneyland has.

Mr. DAPS:

And it's a completely different experience because of and to me, park hopping is almost a no brainer at the Disneyland Resort because you kind of can watch the queues and the lines on the Disneyland app and be like, oh, well, this area of the park is clearly very busy. I'm heading over to Avengers campus or vice. And I think it's just one of those things that we take for granted as Californians. It's like, well, of course they're all close to each other, but then when you go to other parks around the globe, you're like, oh, man, that was.

Lou Mongello:

A day you got to get on a boat to get on a monorail in order to get the bus to the tram to get where you want to go.

Mr. DAPS:

It's a very different experience, and I think it's one, especially if you're staying on property or right across the street, that really can change the way you do Disneyland and provide a flexibility that perhaps you may not have. If you're committed to going to Animal Kingdom in the morning and you want to end up watching Luminous at night at Epcot or something. And I just love the flexibility.

Lou Mongello:

If you stand in the middle of the promenade in between Disneyland and California Adventure and downtown Disney, you almost feel like you can reach out and touch it's. This amazing feeling to realize that you have all these options that are so, so very close. And I'll piggyback on what you said because one of the things I had on my list was actually the variety of resort options. Yes, there's the three on site. Disneyland Hotel and paradise. Pixar Pier Hotel and Disney California Adventure. But there's like 45 to 50 different hotels around the resorts, obviously of varying standards and price points that are super affordable are very, very walkable the last time I was there, because I like trying some of these out. And the very first one that I ever stayed at.

Lou Mongello:

When I first went and I got there a couple of days early before some friends were coming in, was there's a Best Western plus right on Catella? When I say that, it's literally right across the street. You could look out your window and you see the Disneyland sign. I mean, it's like, I walk fast, but it's like a four minute walk from my room to the gate of whatever park you want to. I stayed there recently. They recently refurbished it. And again, especially for somebody like me, who I'm not in my room very often, like, I need a shower and a bed just for a couple of hours. Because my time in Disneyland is limited, I'm going to be spending it at the schwarma cart. But it's super convenient.

Lou Mongello:

It's super affordable, depending on where you stay. They're themed differently. They've got pools, they've got like breakfast included. They've got all kinds of different ways to help save money but still have a great experience. And I love that there is such a wide variety of lodging options, food options as well, too, if maybe you don't want to eat. When I went years ago and saw that there was a little picnic area outside of Disneyland, I was like, this is amazing. I love that because you're right, it is a lot of locals and it can get expensive eating in Disney. I live right behind Walt Disney World.

Lou Mongello:

I know it can get expensive. You want to eat at the parks every single day.

Mr. DAPS:

It's always a temptation. But it's a great thing, too, just because speaking of foods is like, you can walk to just about any type of food and soon even more types of food, whether it's downtown Disney, the hotels, either park or across the street. And I just love the possibilities that.

Lou Mongello:

You all right, I won't count that one as mine because there's a couple more that I definitely have to get to. How? I want to know. And maybe you're just trying to be like, gentlemen, Lee, because I assume that's who you are. You're like, I'm not going to say Tiana's Palace because I'm going to give that one to Lou because clearly I saw how much he ate and how much he enjoyed. That just opened the first week of September on Orleans Street. And I love Princess and the frog. I love the food. New Orleans is one of, if not my favorite city in the United States.

Lou Mongello:

And when I heard that they were going to be introducing this restaurant, which is a quick service restaurant, which I thought was a very interesting yet wonderful choice based on Princess and the Frog, I got very, very excited when I saw it in person. I got really excited when I sat down to eat. That's when the magic happened because we were talking about this earlier. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are not afraid to allow food to be as and especially for a place like here. If it is going to be as inspired by New Orleans as it has to be authentic, I'm going to tell you, they have three different types of gumbo. They have a seven greens gumbo, which is plant based, a regular seven greens gumbo with chicken and andOui and the house gumbo. I had the house gumbo with the buttermilk biscuits. It's probably the best gumbo I had outside of New Orleans.

Lou Mongello:

It had the heat, it had the like it was absolutely fantastic. But they know half chicken. They've got muffler sandwiches and poboy sandwiches, shrimp and grits, kids menus. But I love the fact first of all, I love the details inside and a lot of some of those little Easter eggs and nods to the film. But I loved where it is. It obviously fits perfect into the theming of New Orleans Square. But what I feel and I hope the food and I'm curious to hear what you thought. I hope the food stays the way it is.

Lou Mongello:

I hope it keeps that little bit of heat for those folks that want it, because you really do get a sense that is a piece in New Orleans dropped right into Disneyland.

Mr. DAPS:

I completely agree with you. And I should also add Tiana quite often visits and walks around the seating area we've discovered since the location opened, but I have now eaten there several times and it has become probably my new favorite place to eat at Disneyland in that park. And the house gumbo is definitely my favorite. But I can also tell you I've had everything on the menu now between a media preview we had a few weeks before it opened and then all the weeks since. And I have liked everything on the menu. Definitely that gumbo is up there. The shrimp and grits was really good and I really hope you're right and I hope they keep the spice in that house gumbo because that is the dish I've gone back to. It's kind of almost become a comfort food to me, which has been weird with the temperatures we've had recently because normally I'm more of like, hey, let's have cool weather in this type of comfort food.

Mr. DAPS:

But if you get the gumbo, you get the cornbread. And I love that Chickery cold brew.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah.

Mr. DAPS:

I have been sending people over just for that. And you can mobile order it, so you're good to go.

Lou Mongello:

Did you have the beignet, the ice box, the lemon ice box pie?

Mr. DAPS:

Yes, I made a huge mess with that. It is delicious. But bring your napkins. I have not mastered how to eat that gracefully yet, but someday I'll just keep trying until I do. And then you also get jazz. That's the other thing that's so wonderful about that is you've got Jumbalaya Jazz Band coming out throughout the afternoon and performing there, which I think is just there's few things more magical than having a live band play while you eat.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah. The overall experience and the ambiance that captures the culture of New Orleans, the flavor of New Orleans. But you sit outside in the shade of the tree with the live jazz band playing, you're looking out over the rivers of America. You're here in the train. It's perfect. It is perfect. It is a wonderful, wonderful experience. And again, I'm happy that it's a quick service thing because it gives more and more people a chance to experience it, or in your case, experience it multiple times a day.

Mr. DAPS:

We got to do it all in.

Lou Mongello:

The same I'm not judging. I know it's the research. You're a giver.

Mr. DAPS:

We got to take care of our people, right? Is it my turn?

Lou Mongello:

It is.

Mr. DAPS:

Okay. I'm going to go to perhaps one of the most obvious ones, but I also think it's one of the most iconic, and that is the Matterhorn. And Disneyland has the distinction of having the only Matterhorn, and I feel like it is an experience that every Disney fan needs to try at least once. And I would also say try it once during the day and once at night, just because they're two very different experiences. And it's one of the original thrill attractions. And I don't go on it probably more than once a year because it definitely is not the most comfortable attraction.

Lou Mongello:

I was waiting to see. I was like, Wait a minute.

Mr. DAPS:

I was like, I don't have a back problem, but if you do, I would probably negate everything I've just said. But there is something like, you have to go on it at least once a year because you're getting this very unique bumpy experience with you got the Abominable Snowman yelling at you all the way through the thing. And the ultimate way to experience this, and it's happened once or twice in my life, is if you can do it on a night where it's not closed because of fireworks, for whatever reason, and you can see the fireworks going off while you're going down the mountain. And that is just one of the most magical things, too. But seeing all of tomorrowland at night is great from that perspective. And since we don't have a skyliner anymore, that's the way to do it.

Lou Mongello:

I agree with you about every part of that, including that it's a bit of a rough ride, but it's very.

Mr. DAPS:

Much like Space Mountain at Walt Disney World. I kind of put the two of them in the same category.

Lou Mongello:

I'm going to give the bumpiest ride in a Disney Park to the Matterhorn.

Mr. DAPS:

You're probably right.

Lou Mongello:

But I love the connection to Walt. Right when he was doing Third Men on the Mountain, was sort of inspired to create a Matterhorn. I love the fact it's the first tubular steel roller coaster and the connection to the park's sense of nostalgia.

Mr. DAPS:

And it's great for pictures, and it's.

Lou Mongello:

Great for pictures, but I'll see your matterhorn. So since I need to try and have something that's not 100% food related, the next one on my list is an attraction and it's one that I hope does not come to Walt Disney World. I love having different attractions in different parks. It gives you a reason to go and it gives a reason to go back. We heard at Destination D 23 recently of some changes and some updates that are coming to all the parks at Walt Disney World, including one Indiana Jones. I hope that the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye does not get mirrored over in Walt Disney World. I love having that specific to Disneyland and a reason to go. I know that the tracks are exactly the same dinosaur and Indiana Jones, but it is a completely different experience with the cavern of bubbling death and the temple and the music and the Easter eggs and the eye of Mara.

Lou Mongello:

Like the first time that you ride it and you go into that cavernous section of the attraction, it feels you forget that you're in a show building. It just feels so massive. I love the story that's told there. Whether you're a fan of the first films or the last films, it doesn't matter because it's a completely new storyline. I think the special effects still hold up. I love the enhancement that took place a number of years ago. So, yeah, I think it's a reason to go to Disneyland and again, hope that it's not something that is mirrored scene for scene over in Walt Disney World. So we have two different Indiana Jones experiences in the States.

Mr. DAPS:

I completely agree. And I would also add the queue is such a huge part of the experience for this attraction because it kind of like eases you into the story because you start in adventureland and then you enter the world of indiana Jones and you see the Jungle Cruise going by and it really does start taking you out of California and Disneyland and placing you into the middle of an Indiana Jones adventure. As you're walking further and further into that. And honestly, as you were speaking, I was like, I don't know how they would do that in Disney's Animal Kingdom because they just don't have that same kind of space as you're going down into the attraction. And I hope you're right and I hope we get a completely different story or experience, whatever it is, if it is indeed Indiana Jones like it seems like it is. And I'd love to be completely surprised and I think that'd be really cool.

Lou Mongello:

I don't even know what number we're on. It probably doesn't matter. Do you have anything else on your list?

Mr. DAPS:

I have plenty because I was worried that you were going to make me come up with ten. We've hit a few of them. I do think it's worth mentioning the festivals at Disney california Adventure is that is something that's really grown through the years and for half of the year, I would say at this point you have some really fun festivals that really I almost want to say they're over the top. So whether you got festival holidays and you've got these incredible bands playing in front of the Paradise Bay on that bridge, on that stage there, and so like Fat Cat Swinger is this little big band that has so much energy and it's just so much fun. And then you have the Three Cabbage Show, I just lost the name of it. But you have so much stuff happening around Disney California, around the bay for holidays, and then you move forward and you've got Lunar New Year Festival coming or celebration that happens. And then you've got food and wine and we get our return usually of soaring over California. And there is so many fun, detailed things to do through all of these.

Mr. DAPS:

And Plaza de la Familia right now that really just they engage you. They just pull you in and you look at your watch and you're like, oh, I've been here for 6 hours and you don't even realize it. Whether it's the entertainment or the interactive things to do or the characters to meet. You can meet RYA, you can meet Mirabelle, you can meet the Three Caballeros, Mickey Mouse, Minnie, all of them in seasonal and fun costumes that you're not going to see anywhere else. And I really think it's been a fantastic addition for Disney California Adventure as we wish that we were someday Epcot Westcott, but we are very happy with what we have.

Lou Mongello:

So this is our first overlap because I had special events and experiences on my list, because there are so many throughout the year, whether it is holiday based, whether it is seasonal based, whether it is cultural based. Right, so you mentioned things like Three Kings Day. I'm going to very quickly I went through the list because there's dozens. Some of them might just be a celebration of a day, some of them.

Mr. DAPS:

Might be something that goes like four happening right now.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, like Halloween time goes for two months. That alone is a reason to go. But Three Kings Day, the Disneyland half marathon, lunar New Year runs for almost a month. And there's food and characters and performances. Again, wonderful sort of exposure to the culture, the music and the food. Disneyland After Dark, you have your own food and wine festival. You have an Easter egg hunt that lasts from March through April. Dapper Day, which I know is it's like an official unofficial type of thing that sort of happens or as I.

Mr. DAPS:

Like to call it, Sunday.

Lou Mongello:

Right? It's every day for you. Mardi Grasp is celebrated, grad nights, halloween time. You mentioned the Plaza di Familia, Viva Navidad from like November to January, that festive celebration of Latino cultures and traditions. Holidays at Disneyland are. Like this is sort of the quote, unquote rewritability of Disneyland because no matter what time of year you go, there is something to do. And when I was talking earlier about the Oogie Boogie bash, halloween itself, it could be a top 20 reason to go, because even if you don't do the special ticketed event for Oogie Boogie bash, there's the Halloween screams, nighttime spectacular. There's all kinds of food, great character meet and greets, beautiful decorations, cars, land with. The Halloween is beautiful at night.

Lou Mongello:

Plaza de Familia. I really, really liked the entertainment offerings and some of the interactive experiences that were there. I shared a couple of videos on my Instagram reels and stories. And even over in Disneyland Park, the Dia de los Muertos, the decor sort of that's right by Rancho de Zocolo over in Frontierland.

Mr. DAPS:

Beautiful. And I would add two dates that you want to not miss. If you consider yourself a hardcore Disney fan, you should come out at least once for July 17 for Disneyland's birthday, because there's always something that happens, different years, it's different levels of things happening, but at least a cavalcade that usually involves tons of characters that you never see. And then also Mickey Mouse's birthday. There's usually a fun thing that happens. And these are kind of things that you don't think about a whole lot, but they're these little special details that Disney adds into the year that could be easy to overlook. And they don't necessarily have to do them, but they add that extra magic and that extra something special for Disney fans that really I think it connects at the heart when they do these special days in a different way and all of these other events as and.

Lou Mongello:

Again, you know, people say Disneyland's a quote unquote locals park. There's always something if you're local, there's always something new, something different that's happening. And again, if you're not a local, no matter what time of year you go, there is something special that is probably going on. Anything else? Anything else you want to add to your list? Any honorable mentions or ones?

Mr. DAPS:

I feel like there's one that we both would completely agree with. And this really goes it's one of the things that sets every Disney park apart, though, is the Disney cast members at the Disneyland Resort. There's something very special about them. And I think it kind of goes back to where we started. Is there's a recognition that they're working and carrying on the legacy of the park that Walt Disney originally created? And if you catch some of the ones that have been around for a longer period of time, you can get some really interesting stories and experiences shared with you. That's a completely different type of magic. Maybe you're riding down the main street on the fire truck and you hear from Steve how he's been doing this for decades, and the different stories he's been a part of, whether it's in a Rose Parade or somebody was on his truck and it was so and so. But there's so many different experiences and stories and moments to be had as you're going about your day at the Disneyland Resort, if you keep your eyes and ears open for them because there's a lot of people that are just waiting there smiling at, you know, if you were to take the how are you today? Instead of just saying great and respond with the oh, yeah, and how are you? Like, how's your day going? As well.

Mr. DAPS:

It's amazing the different moments that are created, I think both for us as guests and then also as the cast member, that you've also made their day a little bit better. And I kind of think this is probably something we have very much in common, is we really like the people component of Disney. And without the people component, it's just a really cool building or a really cool park. And I think it's always important to remember that as we go through our Disney experiences to appreciate the people that make the experiences happen and recognize know they're all going through their day just like we're going through our day and we can make theirs a little bit better as they're making ours a little bit better as we're getting to experience Disneyland.

Lou Mongello:

So you were either very like minded or you're reading my notes because one of the entries on my list was just two letters. It was CM, right? It was absolutely about the cast members. And again, this could be a very long road to go down, but how many times have we shared an experience that we've had or heard somebody share an experience that they've had at Disneyland? California Adventure? Walter and it involves not, wow, this attraction was great. It involves a cast member story, right? An interaction that they had with the cast members, the way that they are enabled and empowered and encouraged to create these simple, memorable magic moments. I talk about this all the time, especially like when if I give presentations about customer service, I talk how important the cast member roles are and some of the little things that they can do that become stories that are ones that we take home, that we share. The reason why we go to these parks is not because we see an advertisement on TV or online somewhere. It's because somebody comes home and tells us about this thing that happened to them. And it usually involves this story and a cast member, what they did for them, their mom, their daughter, or whatever it might be.

Mr. DAPS:

I totally agree with you.

Lou Mongello:

See, now I got to follow up the cast members with, like, something completely ridiculous.

Mr. DAPS:

I almost went to connection to the 1964 World's Fair, but yeah.

Lou Mongello:

All right, so there's a few other things I have on my list, and I'll mention one very quickly, and then I'll end with the last one of the things I really like about Disneyland and as almost a research experiment for myself, but now it's something I want to do. You they have so many great different tours and events that you can do at the you. I always enter on the right. I leave on the right. I know it's weird, but we all have our little Disney traditions. We all know it when you leave on the right from the right hand side of Main Street, USA, and you see sort of the little tour garden there it is where tours depart from multiple times throughout the day. And when I was there a couple of weeks ago, I really was curious to do the Happy Haunts Tour and it was like $93 for a two hour tour. I won't spoil it, but I loved it.

Lou Mongello:

It was this deep dive into the history of Halloween and Halloween tales that are sort of specific to Disney and experiences. And I'm not a photo guy. One of the photos we took was like, worth the price of admission. I was like, I can go home right now. I guess I can spoil it. One of the first things you do before your tour departs is you take a photo with two of the hitchhiking ghosts that are right out of the attraction because right now it's the nightmare before Christmas overlay. So you're taking a picture with a lantern and the ghost, you're like, oh, this is just super cool. But you move your way throughout Disneyland Park and are told stories about again, whether it's the history of Halloween itself, roly Crump, the Halloween tree, the history of trick or treating.

Lou Mongello:

And from what I understand, this tour changes every year, so it's a new experience for guests. But in addition to that, you also get a very cool pin, you get a delicious little Halloween themed treat, and you also get reserved section for the viewing of the fireworks. So you've got prime viewing location without having to camp out in advance. Just a note, like after Labor Day, check the day that you do the tour, because I didn't realize fireworks don't necessarily happen every single night in Disneyland, right? It's only Friday through Sunday. Not necessarily on most.

Mr. DAPS:

Yeah, so but.

Lou Mongello:

I loved really, I love those kind of deep dive tours and it was very accessible, right? No matter where your sort of interest in Disneyland nerdom might be or just learning about Halloween was a lot of fun. But the very last thing on my list is also the very first thing on my list. And I'm sure when we did the first show nine years ago, this was on my list. But Disneyland, you continue to make Walt proud and over deliver on one of the most important aspects of any Disney vacation. And it is of course, I'm sorry the food is so good at Disneyland. I'm hesitant to say this out loud. But does Disneyland do food better than Walt Disney World? Possibly. I know that's like heresy.

Lou Mongello:

I think the food in Disneyland is exceptional. There are some places, whether they are sit down restaurants or counter service, that I just like. Lamplight Lounge. I love lamplight. Sitting out over water looking at Disney California Adventure. My love of the Cozy Cone knows no bounds and it is a must. Like, it is much like a chimichanga and a corn dog, only from the little red wagon. A cozy cone, the Chili Cone carnegie is a must do.

Lou Mongello:

Like, I don't care how full, how fat I am, I need to have one before I go. Bengal barbecue. I absolutely love. The Tropical Hideaway has become one of my favorite places in Disneyland. It's nestled in between the Jungle Cruise and the Tiki Room and it's got this sort of backstory behind it as kind of being this rest stop for adventureland locals and travelers. But the Bao Buns and some of the special offerings and the unique Dole Whips, they have a chili mango Whip. It's a pineapple mango swirl with chamoi and mango and chili lime seasoning, which might sound weird, it is absolutely amazing, but you're sitting outside and you've got the Jungle Cruise behind you. You've got the sounds of Adventureland.

Lou Mongello:

You may have a little tropical serenade of your own from a displaced Tiki bird, but the food and the experience is great. And I can sort of just go down the list because Disneyland and Disney California Adventure continue to deliver on the quality, the variety and the flavors of food throughout the park. You can go on a food adventure like you don't even do. Attractions are just things you do in between meals. It's just things to do occupying the time in between carts. And like I said, the addition of San Francisco just turns that up to eleven.

Mr. DAPS:

I completely agree with you and I think we have gotten really spoiled, especially this year with the food that's been introduced at the Disneyland Resort. And that's one of the reasons we keep going back to Tianas is the food is just so good. And I was there for a bachelor party a week and a half ago and that's where we all decided we wanted to go. Thankfully, they weren't disappointed with my advice, but it's consistently upping their game. I feel like every year with each new thing that they offer, whether it's for a festival or for a specific restaurant, and I think the thing that Tiana's in particular really has gotten me excited about is like, what's going to come next? Because you're like, oh, this is great. We were having a blast at that event a couple of weeks ago and then you go home and you're ridiculously full and you're kind of laying in a half food coma going, oh, I have to write about this now. And then my brain just started wandering around. I'm like we got new stuff coming, like what's going to be next and that's an exciting place to be.

Mr. DAPS:

I think as a Disney fan is whether it's with the restaurants or the attractions, there's a lot to be excited for as we're looking forward and the fact that they keep changing and updating things gives us all reasons to keep coming back, whether it's as locals or from around the world. And same going out to Florida too. But I think you're totally right with the food. And I will say we frequently plan our day at Disneyland based on what are our food stops and usually it's like this one is the beginning and this one it's the end. What can we put in the middle and then we'll throw know some entertainment and an attraction or something in the middle somewhere as well. But it's good stuff. And I will say utilize mobile order if you can, and kind of plan ahead on that, because sometimes you can find that the window will get pushed out pretty far. And so if you know that, hey, I want to eat, at a certain time when you're getting to the parks in the morning, just plan that out ahead and get your spot in line, or virtual queue, I guess you could say, so that you can eat when you want to.

Lou Mongello:

Yeah, because I mentioned sort of your love of pop when I was there. They were just releasing popcorn buckets that had the longest lines of any attraction in the park. But I didn't realize too there are certain items that are like super hot tickets. Like if you don't get your breakfast chimichanga over in Frontierland at first you're not going to get one because they sell out super quickly.

Mr. DAPS:

And the same goes for the walk ups for some of the restaurants too. You mentioned Lamplight and then I'm thinking of Carthay al fresco. If you don't get into the virtual queue fairly early in the day, sometimes if you didn't have a reservation ahead of time, you just might not be doing it that day.

Lou Mongello:

By the way, I did not get a breakfast chimichanga and I was devastated. Are they that good? Are they really as good as they say?

Mr. DAPS:

You know what, I'm not a morning person, so I'm a cup of coffee, sold them in the afternoon.

Lou Mongello:

I'd be like, yes, because I love the regular chimichangas. Next time I come out, we'll have to pick a place to eat and we'll have to do a live dining review because now that I know that you're a food guy too yeah, again.

Mr. DAPS:

And I will actually get up early in the morning. It doesn't have to be breakfast, the breakfast one. We can do that though.

Lou Mongello:

It does not have to be breakfast. I'll graze early in the morning and just sort of prepare my body for what's to come in.

Mr. DAPS:

I will do whatever is needed.

Lou Mongello:

But I love the point that you made. All the parks are like this world too, but really in Disneyland, how there's 1ft very firmly planted in the past and the sense of nostalgia and sentiment is rooted in the park and it remains that way, but it is always changing. It is always being updated. There is always something new to experience, whether it is your first time or whether it is your hundredth time, which is why I want to look at ten ish 17. I don't even know how many we actually ended up doing, but there's a.

Mr. DAPS:

Lot of reasons maybe somebody will count.

Lou Mongello:

To go or go back to Disneyland. Mr. DApps, thank you so very much for doing this with me tonight. You create all kinds of great content online, tell folks where they can find you.

Mr. DAPS:

Well, I would just go to Dappsmagic.com. That stands for Disney and Positive stuff. And from there you can find our YouTube and social media and everything else. And we just love Disney and have fun covering it. Perfect.

Lou Mongello:

And I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Thank you very much again for today. This was a lot of fun. Wait, last question. You mentioned this earlier. I'm going to put you on the spot. You talked about Walt and his love and how he would see if you could take Walt Disney World anywhere in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. Where would you take him and why today? Today.

Mr. DAPS:

Oh, man, there's a selfish answer. Then there's the selfless answer. The selfish answer would be, I want him to drive me around Disneyland in his train, because that would be amazing. The selfless answer, though, is I would love to take him into something like Star Wars galaxy's edge and see through his eyes the first time he saw it and see that imagination spark light up, because I just think he had a vision for where this was going, and it was huge and probably bigger than we could ever imagine. But I think people have stood on his shoulders with their own imaginations and done the exact same thing, and I think he would really appreciate that and love that. And I think that would be incredible. And it choose your new place, but that's the one that I tend to fall back to a lot.

Lou Mongello:

I like it. All right, bonus, bonus question. Where would you take them to eat?

Mr. DAPS:

Well, this week I feel like it's all about palace. Yeah, I think it would be that. I think if you could line it up because right now you're getting Tiana walking around, you're getting the food, you're getting the jazz, you've got the train, you've got the Mark Twain going by and hearing that whistle, and you've got the realization of the Haunted Mansion as it came to be right there across the way. And I think that would be something very special for him and would just be a fun meal.

Lou Mongello:

Great answer. I dig it.


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