Monthly Archives: August 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why Non-Disneyland Fans Should Read My Year With The Mouse

I know you know these people–their eyes kind of glaze over when you start talking about how much you love Disneyland, and when you mention the most awesome Disneyland blog in existence they think (or even SAY! *gasp*) “why should I read a Disneyland blog when I don’t even particularly like Disney?”

Well, my friends, here’s 10 good reasons why:

10. To better understand the Disney lover in your life

Let’s face it–people can be a mystery sometimes. For the non-Disneyland lover, having a spouse/significant other/family member/friend who loves Disneyland can be downright baffling. Well, MYWTM can help you bridge that gap by allowing a glimpse into their Mickey Mouse-obsessed psyche.

9. Chicks dig Disney lovers

Yep guys (and girls)–it’s true. Chicks love guys (and girls) who love Disneyland. It really shows off your sensitive side.

8. Makes for great small talk at parties

Are you a wallflower who ends up huddled by the drink table all by yourself like a really awkward high schooler in a John Hughes movie at parties thrown by your supposed friends who end up ignoring you? Or have you been the sympathy invite to someone else’s holiday party because you had nowhere else to go and spending Thanksgiving with a bunch of strangers is slightly better than spending it with your cell mate? Well my introverted friends, take a few minutes to browse MYWTM and discover sure-fire conversation starters like “Wow, have you seen the ads for Cars Land? Luigi’s Flying Tires are like riding on a human air hockey table!” or “Hey, did you know that Walt had an apartment inside of Disneyland? That’s right–it’s above the fire house!” or “I didn’t realize it before I read this really cool blog, but Pincchio’s Daring Journey is actually a pretty terrifying ride.”

7. Mediocre photography

If you’re any kind of photography enthusiast or know anything about cameras, reading MYWTM will leave you with the smug satisfaction of knowing that in all likelihood, you’re a better photographer than I am.

For example…

6. My Year With The Mouse is not going to get you in trouble at work.

MYWTM is safe for work and family-friendly! If you get fired after reading MYWTM, it’s probably because of your overall internet usage and not the content of this site.

5. Learn some great pick-up lines

Like “Hey baby, I’d love to hold your hand as we watch fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s castle,” or “Hey baby, no one in the Princess Fantasy Faire holds a candle to your beauty” or “Hey baby, I’d love to make a wish at Snow White’s grotto with you.” On second thought, leave out the “Hey baby.” It’s kind of smarmy.

4. My Year With The Mouse is cheaper than a drug habit.

Reading MYWTM doesn’t cost you a penny, and you really can quit anytime.

3. One day you might be dragged to Disneyland (possibly against your will)

I know many people swear that they will never step foot in a Disney park, but then along comes children or nieces and nephews or Disney-fanatic in-laws offering you a “free vacation” that isn’t entirely optional, so if/when this happens to you, reading MYWTM will prepare you for what you can reasonably expect to find.

2. You might accidentally like Disneyland and find yourself with an unsettling desire to plan your own trip

I realize this might be a liability rather than a true reason to follow this blog, but keep an open mind, okay?

1. I’m funny

At least I try to be. And I’m modest too!

So please, be my guest and take a look around the site, or encourage your non-Disney loving friends/family to do so as well. And if you do end up liking it, be sure to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @myyearwithmouse!

Lots To Do In Line Update and Twitter

Good news for Lots To Do In Line fans (my original book review is here, my interview with the author is here)–there’s a supplement for Cars Land and it’s available for free. That’s right–FREE! FREE FREE FREE!

And so few things in life are free.

The best thing about this freebie is that it’s a chance to check out Lots To Do In Line without having to pay for it. That’s right! You can get part of the book for free! So even if you don’t have a copy of Lots To Do, I highly recommend printing this bad boy out to see what it’s all about.

Click here for Cars Land for FREE!!!

Second, now that I’ve graduated from my awesome MFA program, I have some extra time on my hands to do exciting things like Tweet.

That’s right, I’m officially a Twit ¬†Tweeter. You can follow me by clicking on the hand button on the right, directly below the one that you already clicked to like me on Facebook. You did like me on Facebook, right?

Mad T Party Arcade

Have you ever walked around the Disneyland Resort and thought, “Man, I wish I could party like it’s 1999”?

Well you can!

Yep, I’m once again referring to the Mad T Party, as you no doubt deduced from the clever title of this entry and/or have read Mad T Party (Part I) and Mad T Party House of Cards. (the House of Cards entry really should have been Mad T Party Part II, but I’m just full of contradictory continuity errors)

But what makes this part of the Mad T Party most like 1999 is the arcade.

Come on in


It’s like my mother always said–it’s not a party until someone busts out the Skee-Ball machine


My mother didn’t actually say that


Once upon a time, I was very good at Skee-Ball, or as it’s known in Mad T Land, Queen’s Croquet. I’m still decent at it, but in my younger days, I was a Skee-Ball champion of epic proportions.

Like many retired athletes, I peaked too soon.

Anyway, the Mad Arcade is where you want to go when you love the vibe of the Mad T Party but are tired of dancing, or maybe you just have a bunch of quarters weighing you down with a need to play Skee-Ball and win  nothing.


There’s also the Smile Smash, where you shoot balls at the creepy-looking Cheshire Cat


If you can’t get enough of the Lewis Carroll references, here’s a Jabberwocky game


Callooh! Callay!

Shoot the thingies!


The children’s writer in me wants to take a moment to point out that some of what the public has come to believe as a part of the original text of Alice in Wonderland (since I’m being really picky, properly-titled Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) is really just Disney’s mishmash of the original book and its follow-up, Through the Looking-Glass (properly-titled Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There) (told you I was picky). Jabberwocky is one of the things found in Looking-Glass but not in Wonderland. Most notably, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are also in Looking-Glass and not Wonderland.

Incidentally, while I’m being snobbish, Tigger was a very minor character in the Winnie the Pooh series. In fact, he didn’t even show up until the second book. His Disney-elevated sense of importance remains a mild irritation to me.


There’s also one of those electronic jump-roping games. I once had a co-worker who was INSANELY good at these.


By this time of the night, my photography skills had started to wane. For example,



That, like, literally hurts my eyes looking at it.


Did I mention you can also play Sony Kinect?


Because you can.


Outside of the arcade, there are Cast Members in funny outfits


Like this


A snack and drink cart/window/thing




And face painting.




Here is a picture I took of the projections on one of the walls outside of the Mad Arcade


They move. It’s cool.


So that wraps up my 3-part series of the Mad T Party. If you’re wondering about whether or not the Mad T Party is for you, here’s a handy quiz.

The Mad T Party is for you if:

  • You’re in California Adventure and it’s night and you’re looking for something to do.
  • You really, really like neon. REALLY like it.
  • You love to dance and would love an excuse to dance except you’re old, like too old for clubbing, and all of your friends have gotten married except for the ones who aren’t going to throw big weddings anyway and when else do you get a chance to just dance?
  • You like Alice in Wonderland (and Through the Looking-Glass)
  • You own a pair of Glow with the Show mouse ears and want to hang out somewhere they actually do something
  • You’re thirsty and the idea of drinking alcohol inside a Disney park is so appealing you’ll pay a LOT of money to do it
  • You wanna wanna wanna have fun fun fun!










Lights Here, Lights There, Lights And Lights Everywhere!

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for–lights! Or to be more specific, lighting fixtures on Buena Vista Street.

I know you’re on the edge of your seat. You’ve probably already scrolled down to go straight to the pictures. It’s okay, I still love you.

But seriously, lights? Who cares?

Disney, that’s who.

In the children’s section

Corresponding with the above–sun and moon


I’ve talked a lot about detail on this blog. So obviously I’m going to…yeah, talk about detail some more.

But love is in the details; is it not? What do we love the most about people, or about places or things? The fact that Disneyland is a theme park, or that Disneyland is so full of lovingly curated details?

What’s really awesome about this fixture is not just the fixture itself, but the reflection it throws onto the ceiling.

Who looks up at Disneyland? I’ll admit it–not me. Not until I started this blog. I had NO IDEA that so many amazing things happen within 6-12 inches of the ceiling.


But people, I’m telling you, LOOK UP.

The rustic look of the fixtures coordinates nicely with the open-beam ceiling

What’s really fascinating and inspiring to me is that Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) pays just as much attention to the tiny little details that, let’s face it, the vast majority of guests are not even going to notice, as they do in the things that people see and touch every day.

Individual lighting makes each booth in the Fiddler, Fife and Practical Cafe that much more cozy

Who does these things?

Disney, that’s who.

The slim dropping fixtures echo the tall feeling of the high windows

Details? Here’s stuff I never looked at.

Buy your jewelry here.

Geometric shapes abound in the dining area

Look up. You’ll be amazed by what you see.









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