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1. Haunted Mansion Mary (#2)…+ Giveaway!

About a year and half ago I made a Mary Poppins-themed Haunted Mansion portrait.  At last, I’ve created a #2 in the series!

(Took me long enough, haha.)

Here’s Mary!


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And here is the whole picture :)

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I don’t know what it is about Mary Poppins, but drawing her sure cheers me up.  I guess it’s just like they say in the song–“When the day is grey and ordinary…Mary makes the sun shine bright!”  I hope this picture makes your sun shine bright today :)


Would YOU like to have a print of this stretching portrait?

My friends, you are in luck, because I’m giving away two prints of it!!

There are two ways to enter–First, you can comment on this post with the word, “WANT!”  And you’ll be entered into a random drawing ^_^  Or, you can also enter by entering your email into that sidebar “Stalk Me More” box, and be randomly drawn from that list!  —->

(Entering you email address there just means you’ll get story-monster blog posts to your inbox.  I never used these addresses for evil, though many times I have wished to.  Never fear; you are safe in my hands.)

If you both enter your email and comment “WANT!”, then you have double the chances of getting this tasty li’l print!

Winners will be announced when I post the next blog post next Monday  ^_^

 

 

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2. Disneyland Secret No. 1

You guys all know I’m a HUGE Disneyland fan.

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I’d live there, if I could.

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I’m not sure where, because there’s tons of people and security cameras everywhere.  But it’s still one of my dreams.  (Up there with inventing the foldable waterbed.  I forsee very high market demand for that.)

Anyway, because it’s been on my mind, the last time I went to Disneyland, I decided to ask an INSIDER.  An actual CAST MEMBER (!!!!)

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THE TOONTOWN BACKDROP!!!  OF COURSE!!

It makes perfect sense.  No one ever goes to Toontown (or as I like to call it, Abandonedland) so logic says, there’d  be even LESS people behind it!

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The waiter said no one ever really goes back there, it’s just full of storage and old props that no one cares about anymore.

(I’m sorry to ruin the magic for you.)

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I thanked the waiter profusely and told him he’d probably be seeing me a lot more often.  Me, and my lice.

He was like:

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ROAD TRIP!  Grab a cardboard box and come along!

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3. ............Vroom.........Vrooooom..........

So, February happened...
 


Yeah, I'm pretty sure it gave me whiplash as it hurricaned by. It was a *blink* "Whaaaaaa....?" kind of month. Literally, like, *blink*, Valentine's Day, DISNEYLAND, and WHAM. March.


 Valentine's Day was same-old, same-old. We had tons of orders and many last minute orders, and I. Hate. Phones. Me, I was the answering machine. Which kinda sucked. But my fab sister Teresa ALSO helped with the phones, so that made it less hard UGH and more hysterical HAHAHA. I just don't think Valentine's Day is my holiday. I'm rather meh about it.

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But yeah, directly after Valentine's Day, we got ourselves packed off in a three-car caravan to Disneyland. *Insert whooping and hollering and eight dedicated hours of listening to Il Volo.*


 This fairy godmother was the best. The BEST, I tell you!

 

Chloe had the cutest unicorn painted on her face. I was impressed.

 Sammi had to close her eyes to show us her butterfly face painting. 








Look at us first-timers, grinning and rockin' the matching shirts! 
(Do you like my "We're here. Can you believe it?!" eyebrow look?)
(Or else it's the "Have fun or DIE!" look. I'm not sure which.)

Mein Mater


And I love YOU, random citizens in my picture!
You have been immortalized forever. You're welcome.



Random "MmmHMMM" Look. 
I wonder what she saw? *peers at the picture*


Oh Disneyland, you so funny!



I want to go back to Disneyland again. Maybe not any time in the near future, but say, like in five years or so. I'd want to for sure re-ride California Screaming, Tower of Terror, Hyperspace Mountain, Star Tours and the Indiana Jones ride, and I wouldn't mind getting back on the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain. I DO want to do Soaring Over California - we weren't able to make that one this year - but other than that, I'd want to explore more, visit more of the park and actually SEE everything instead of hurrying so much. I'd want to check out some of the shops a bit more than I did this time, especially Disneyania where they had two artists arting (that sounds like the 12 days of Christmas, doesn't it? "Two Artists Arting and a Shop full of Disneyland ART!) and The Mad Hatter, and visit Critter Corner and that kind of stuff. So next time, a little more walking and less riding, I think. It was crazy fun, though, and there were so many of us, it was a little terrifying - we were a mob of 17 and we were COOOOOL. IT was coooooool! :-) See? Look at us! Look at how COOL we are! (What a mob.)



In other news, during January I got officially addicted to Il Volo (Piero Barone is my fave), I watched all available seasons of Hawaii Five-0 (the 2010 remake) in perhaps three weeks or less, I sent out queries to 20 agents, and started drafting a new book. (Always gotta work on something new while I'm waiting for something old to hopefully get accepted.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiSvK2R5LTLAhUM8CYKHYrEAvkQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fannerileybooks.com%2F2014%2F05%2F&bvm=bv.116573086,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNHzZYvjYp8AdaWhH85jY2gpgClHwA&ust=1457653293743724

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Gianluca Ginoble, Ignazio Boschetto, and Piero Barone

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My Broooooooos

In February... well, you know what happened in February.

Suddenly, March. So HAPPY MARCH, PEOPLE!  
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Happy St. Joseph's Day!

Last, but not least, HAPPY EASTER! 
http://weknowmemes.com/2013/03/12-funniest-easter-memes/

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4. My Dinner with Dick Van Dyke

A couple of weeks ago, I had the craziest day Of My Life.  OF.  MY.  LIFE.

It began at 4 am, when I ran a Star Wars-themed 10K in Disneyland.

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I’d been so nervous about it, I hardly got any sleep the night before.  In fact I kept on having nightmares that I had to stop in the middle of the race so I could finish household chores.

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It didn’t help that at the seedy hotel where we stayed, I was sharing a bed with my sister. (The Taylor Swift one.)

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(She really did say that.)

BUT I DID IT!  I ran the 10k and didn’t stop ONCE to do my laundry!

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I also didn’t cheat this time.

Anyway.  While it is crazy that I did any kind of outdoor activity, the REALLY crazy thing happened that night!

It turned out my friend, Christina (who’s as obsessed with Mary Poppins as I am!) was helping out at a Vantastix concert in California that same weekend!

The Vantastix is the acapella group that sings with Dick Van Dyke!!

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And she asked if I wanted to come along!!!

I said yes…of COURSE!

I helped set up at the booth in the theater lobby, with CD’s and books and DVD DVD’s and things.  I also met Dick Van Dyke’s wife, Arlene.

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She was really sweet, and on the ball too.  In fact, she hosted a Dick Van Dyke art show a couple of months ago!  I’ve heard rumors there’s going to be another art show soon–all you artists who read this blog, get your Dick Van Dyke artwork gussied up!!  I bet there’ll be a call for entries soon!

When the concert began, the stagehands even found me a seat, so I could see Dick Van Dyke himself in concert!!

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He has still totally got it.  He still dances!  And sings amazingly and jokes around, and it was so much fun.

I loved it when he told stories between the songs.

He told about when he was filming Mary Poppins, he also played the Elder Mister Dawes.  (You probably already knew this.)

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Sometimes, when he was still in costume, he went out on the studio lot where buses full of tourists were being taken around the studio to sightsee.

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The bus would stop to wait for him to cross the road…

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and he would take…

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…forever.

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Then, when he finally passed, the bus would get going and he would kick up his legs and race the bus, hightailing it past all the stunned tourists!  Hahaha!

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I wish I coulda seen that :D :D

After the concert I helped pack up the booth, and Christina was like:

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WHAAAAT

We followed a stagehand through a bunch of double doors, and there, at the end of the hall with the other Vantastix, there HE was!!!

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Dick Van Dyke!!

I GOT TO MEET HIM!!

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By george, I got my picture with him!!

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We went back to the lobby to finish packing up the stuff, but I was kind of in a daze and don’t remember much.

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But WAIT.  It gets even CRAZIER.

…Because as we finished putting cleaning up the last of the booth, Dick Van Dyke himself came out into the lobby!!  Just chatting and milling about and having a good time!

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He saw me fangirling in the corner.

And he began to dance.

I am not kidding!

He began to dance like this!!

He’s still totally, totally got it.

When everything was packed up, Arlene was like, “What places are open til late around here?” and the stagehand was like “Cheesecake factory is open until midnight” and Arlene to everyone was like

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“Okay, let’s go!”

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And lest my ears were deceiving me, Christina was like:

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WAS THAT OK

THAT’S RIGHT

NOT JOKING

I WENT TO THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

WITH DICK FREAKING VAN DYKE!!!!!!!

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I still am trying to process this.

All through the restaurant, everyone was going nuts.

People were taking pictures and selfies.

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Even the Cheesecake Factory waiters were geeking out!

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Heck, the waiters…I was geeking out!

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In case you were wondering…he’s exactly like he is in all those movies!!  It’s so crazy how full of life he is.  Just so bright.

He’d just look around the table and grin and everybody!

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At one point, the waiter set a giant appetizer platter in front of him, with tons of leaves and fancy lettuce sticking up, and Dick Van Dyke was like:

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(It really did look like weeds.  Hahaha.)

At the end of the night, I ordered a lemon raspberry cheesecake to go (their best flavor) because I wanted to share with my sisters.

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But when I asked for the bill…

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I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke were already paying it!

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My word!!!!

(I probably would’ve only ordered a glass of water and napkin had I known this)

(But still…awesome :) :)

We all left the factory as a group.

Dick Van Dyke held the door open for me!!!  (!!!!!!!)

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Needless to say, it was an amazing night.

I showed up at our seedy hotel around 1 AM, excited to tell my sissies the story and to share our cheesecake…compliments of Dick Van Dyke :)

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And we ate it up, every crumb.

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Here’s my picture from that night:

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It was…the best night of my life.

(I can only go downhill from here!)

BTW, if you share this post, be sure to tag The Cheesecake Factory.  I’m trying to convince them to change the name of their lemon raspberry cheesecake to “Dick Van Dyke” cheesecake.

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Because if someone like me can have dinner with Dick Van Dyke, anything is possible!

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5. I’m back!!

Happy New Year everyone!  

Karen, Steven and the girls arrived from Australia on the 6th December, and life took on a different pace. We enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris, a few days in London, Christmas in a hotel with more of the family, a pantomime, numerous days out plus lots of time for simply catching up. Our son and daughter-in-law haven't changed a bit in the two years since we last saw them (Malaysia 2013), but the girls have changed a great deal. Zoe was five on the 21st of this month and will be going to school soon. Lilly will be four in May, and they both appeared very grown up in comparison to when we last saw them. 

Thanks to my hubby Terry and daughter-in-law Karen we have hundreds of photographs. Picking the ‘best’ is proving difficult, but I hope these and those in my next post will give you a flavour of the fun times we shared.

Knowing how arduous the journey from Australia to England can be we decided to stay close to home for the first few days.
Visiting Sherborne Abbey. The Abbey has featured on my blog in previous post (The filming of Far from the madding crowd) here  and (A Royal Visit) here .

Inside the Abbey
Back row L to R Terry, Karen, me, Steven. Front row L to R Zoe and Lilly

Zoe so loved the Christmas tree in the Abbey she had to give it a kiss!

The sun came out to greet our visitors, but rain is never far away in England much to the delight of two little girls from Australia. 

This and the previous photograph were taken on the site of the old railway line that used to run through Henstridge. As you can see the girls were beginning to feel the cold so it was time to hurry home and warm up.

 A couple of days later and time for a trip to the City of Bath, it's getting colder now but the family are suitably dressed.  Shame I didn't think to wear a hat it was pretty nippy around the ears.

Karen & Steven enjoyed a little light shopping. I don't think they intended the bags to be in the photo but Terry and I decided to keep hold of them – you can never be too careful! :-)

A Few days later it was time to catch the train to Disneyland, Paris. We spent four days at Disneyland and a further day in Paris.

We boarded the train at St. Pancras and it wasn't long before Zoe and Lilly made friends with a little girl called Delilah. The three girls spent almost the entire journey together. I'm enjoying all the attention especially the hug from Lilly.

Disneyland, Paris.



















More holiday photos next week.

Feeling very sad when the family left I decided a little Joanne Harris would be the perfect pick me up and Gentlemen & Players didn't let me down! In the words of Anne Marie over at Beetles, Bikes and Books  ... a very dark tale of events centred around a boys' elite Grammar School. Strange things happening relating to an event 13 years or so ago. I love trying to work out who dunnit! but I admit to being stumped. There's always something you miss in a book like this. If you're a Joanne Harris fan and haven't read this - do so

Did you enter the Joules Design a Welly Competition? If you did you might be interested to see the winning design...


The boots will be on sale at Joules.com later this year. To find out more visit Joules Facebook Page. The winner was a lady by the name of Andrea it would be nice to think she read about the competition on my blog! 


Thanks for your visit I hope to catch up with all my lovely blogging friends very soon.


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6. Trendspotting: Disneybounding Adds a Fashionable Variant to Cosplay!

A Disney fan creates a stylish form of cosplay which doesn’t run afoul of Disney’s parks rules! Disney theme parks offer a wide variety of activities on their annual calendar: marathons, pin trading, D23 and Disneyana shows… and Dapper Day. What’s “Dapper Day”? What movie did he appear in? Can I buy vinyl figures? Is […]

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7. Look Inside Dismaland, Banksy’s Bleak New Theme Park

The art provocateur has transformed a derelict English seaside resort into the " UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction.”

0 Comments on Look Inside Dismaland, Banksy’s Bleak New Theme Park as of 8/21/2015 4:36:00 PM
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8. Puppicasso Predictions #61

Having a vacation doesn’t mean spending a lot of money.  I am not talking traveling or staycation (I hate that term), but a break… a rest.

It can be as simple as silencing the phone or going to the bathroom (I believe that’s why it is called a room of rest.)

Puppicasso needed a break from being a Valley Dog, and as I had some business in Orange County, I took my Puppi companion along for the ride.

We happened upon a farmer’s market.   Bought some blood oranges and had a tamale there, and that tamale reminded me of my favorite attraction at Disney’s Callifornia Adventure that is no longer…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ai3T8ylGs    MASECA DOG!

for the full video — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIZNYitBxPk

Puppi and I boarded that train of thought and headed over to Downtown Disney, where we parked for free in 3D!

3D - without the glasses.

And he just had to be green…

"Recycle." - Jiminy Cricket

please…

Oh yeah... That's the way to do it.

And that was it.  A brief lunchtime rest in the land of Disney.

Upon arriving at home, Puppi quickly sacked out…

Puppi=done.

I caught him wearing the tag from his visit to Disney Studios a while back.

Disney Studios says "Be Our Guest."

Maybe Puppicasso is really a Disney Dog after all.

 


Filed under: Puppicasso Predictions Tagged: 2012 Predictions, Cute, Disney Callifornia Adventure, Disney Studios, Disneyland, Dog, Add a Comment
9. Anime TV spot for Tokyo Disney Resort

It’s not your grandfather’s Disney studio: this anime TV spot for their Tokyo Resort theme park shows up online the day after Glen Keane resigns. Sorta sums it all up, doesn’t it?

(Thanks, Chris Sobieniak)


Cartoon Brew | Permalink | 12 comments | Post tags:

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10. Disneyland Pyongyang?: It’s A Small World After All

.mickey mouse in korea Disneyland Pyongyang?: Its A Small World After All

The Associated Press reports that, during a state concert for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, various Disney characters appeared on stage.

Performers dressed as Minnie Mouse, Tigger and others danced and pranced as footage from “Snow White,” “Dumbo,” “Beauty and the Beast” and other Disney movies played on a massive backdrop, according to still photos shown on state TV.

The inclusion of characters popular in the West – particularly from the United States, North Korea’s wartime enemy – is a notable change in direction for performances in Pyongyang. Actors and actresses also showed off new wardrobes, including strapless gowns and little black dresses.

Disney merchandise has been imported from China, and North Korea has translated stories such as “Dumbo” for schoolchildren.

It is uncertain if Disney licensed the use of these characters, although the importation of American goods to North Korea is not completely prohibited.

Disney already has a strong presence in China, with Hong Kong Disneyland in operation since 2005 and the Shanghai Disney Resort scheduled to open in 2015.  Tokyo Disneyland has been in operation since 1983.

North Korea does have amusement parks, as CNN reported in August 2011.  There are other fun fairs, some abandoned?  Just as Walt Disney criticized local amusement parks after taking his daughter on an outing, so too has the “Great Successor” criticized local amusement parks in North Korea.

Kim Jong Un, at 28 the youngest head of state in the world, is working hard to bolster his power base, as his elder brother, Kim Jong-nam, was the expected successor to Kim Jong-il.  Ironically, Jong-nam’s stature was tarnished in 2001, when he used a fake passport to enter Japan to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

UASP logo Disneyland Pyongyang?: Its A Small World After AllDisney has studied opening a small amusement center in Seoul, South Korea.  They currently operate a Korean Disney Channel in partnership with South Korean telecomm

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11. On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

As I suggested in my early con impressions, WonderCon had a reasonable amount of space and handled the numbers of attendees pretty well. It was no surprise that Saturday brought bigger numbers than Friday, and the crowding was more obvious, but still never reached that feeling of pushing and shoving that can easily erupt at crowded cons. The floor occasionally got backed up, particularly around the constantly slammed DC Comics booth, where big names like Scott Snyder appeared frequently for signings and the DC booth’s location, at the very front of the con entrance, contributed to some difficulty getting onto the floor. I noticed that the retail side of things was fairly busy, too, with some crowding and difficulty navigating, suggesting that plenty of fans were there to buy back issues and memorabilia, as well. The artists alley at WonderCon was a little on the scanty side in terms of size and numbers of tables, but those artists who were present were very engaging and passionate about their work. They seemed to have regular followers who were coming in to buy their artwork and there was a strong representation of the fine art side of fantasy prints and original work, as well as handmade arts and crafts.

mbrittany plaza 200x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo GalleryOpen areas like the food court and outside atrium were a welcome oasis, but it also continued to be easy to exit the con into the outdoor plaza areas for a rest and there was no difficulty with re-entry. Though the floor only allowed a couple of doors for access, the many exterior doors were open for comings and goings, with several food trucks outside, far enough from the entrance not to cause back ups. One other surprise was that Sunday seemed just as busy as Saturday, as I heard retailers commenting. They were turning over sales at just as high a rate that day. This feeling may be due to the fact that there were slightly fewer panels on Sunday, making the floor more of a feature, or simply that people waited to do their shopping on the floor on Sunday. When I stumbled into the Arena, a venue I hadn’t seen before, I was impressed with the numbers it could hold, and also that it was completely full for a Joss Whedon Shakespeare film adaptation event. This suggested to me that the con was handling numbers well, since I generally had no idea that so many people were even at the con on top of the numbers moving in the open spaces of the con. It was Easter Sunday the last day of the con, and it closed a little early, at 5PM, perhaps for this reason, but fans still had a sense that they would have been happy for the con to go on a little longer, a good sign regarding WonderCon’s appeal.

One final follow up: I suggested initially in my coverage that people might find WonderCon in Anaheim appealing due to Disneyland access, and that this would appeal to people will kids particularly. Though this turned out to be true, I also underestimated the appeal of Disneyland to singles and younger congoers. I went to Disneyland the following Monday and found that quite a number of WonderCon attendees were there too, from a younger demographic than I expected. You could tell from their conversations and generally less pastel clothing what guests were in town for the con, and I’d say about 1 in 10 were from the con in the massive crowds Disney drew on that post-Easter day.

mbrittany dark horse 200x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo GalleryFinal thoughts: it was a well run and appealing con, offering plenty of choice in terms of panels, keeping up with what’s going on in comics and pop culture right now. Marvel were a little under represented, though Dan Slott was participating in panels, and several pros who were there for DC panels were formal Marvel people. Marvel didn’t have a booth on the floor, driving up the demand for DC variants and signings, which they happily accommodated. I was also impressed by the energetic presence of the mid-sized presses like Dark Horse, Archaia, Image, IDW, and ComiXology, for taking the opportunity to flourish and interact with fans when given a little more space to do so. The mid-sized presses really shone in their engagement with fans on the floor, their foresight in bringing new and upcoming books to purchase and get a sneak-peak at, and also through their involvement on panels. This gave the general impression that mid-sized presses are on the rise and taking on the role, collectively, as contenders for the Big Two. Good for them!

Whether WonderCon is in Anaheim again or back in San Francisco in the future, the planning and structure of the con should continue to hold up to make it a comfortable as well as enjoyable, exciting event for fans. This won’t be one of the cons where you have to sacrifice personal amenities just to see your favorite artists speak or get the variant your collection is calling for. They have a sense of putting the customer first at WonderCon and let’s hope that continues; it sets a good model for the growing con industry, and there are some bigger cons who could learn a thing or two from this.

Without further ado, some highlights of the con in photos from my trusty partner in crime Michele Brittany who proved her moxie as a pop culture photographer at WonderCon 2013 in spades. Thanks Michele!

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mbrittany wanted 230x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

mbrittany wreck it ralph 212x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013 Recap and Photo Gallery

 

Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

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12. A day with Carol Channing in Disneyland

By Eddie Shapiro


When I began work on my book, I knew I would be fortunate enough to experience a few moments of “Pinch me. This can’t really be happening.” There were, as it turned out, so many that I’d be black and blue if there was actual pinching going on. But of all of those moments, I think the highlight would have to be spending a day at Disneyland with Carol Channing and her late husband, Harry, who were then 90 and 91 respectively.

I had interviewed Carol the day before in front of an adoring audience at the annual Gay Days at Disneyland. But it had been decades since Carol had been in the park and the last time she was, her tour guide was, um, Walt Disney. She had a picture to prove it. Carol, Walt, and Maurice Chevalier on Main Street, USA! I couldn’t exactly beat that, but I did what I could. I mapped out the day with a full compliment of attractions starting gently enough with “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,“ an indoor show at which a robotic Abe recites the Gettysburg address. Carol was moved to tears. “It’s Walt!” she exclaimed. “This whole attraction is his spirit. Exactly who he was.” We emerged just in time to hear the Disneyland Marching Band emphatically playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” We clapped along before we hopped on “The Disneyland Railroad,” a steam train that circles the park. Carol grabbed my hand as we approached and began singing at full voice, “Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out…” the song from Hello, Dolly! that culminates with the full company boarding a similar train. We sang together as we chugged along. I died.

Mickey Mouse bows to Carol Channing. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

Mickey Mouse bows to Carol Channing. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

We rode the Peter Pan ride and the tea cups, we met Mickey Mouse (who literally got on his knees and bowed down to Carol), and we had our own boat on “It’s a Small World.” It was all just as I had planned it until… the unexpected. As we were walking through Fantasyland, Harry kept staring in the direction of the carousel. I hadn’t planned on an attraction as simple as the carousel because, well, it’s a carousel. But I couldn’t help but notice Harry’s interest. “Harry,” I asked, “did you want to ride the carousel?” “I’m lookin’ at it,” came the reply. “Well Harry,” I said, “we’re here! If you want to ride it, let’s ride it.”  We boarded and I went off in search of a nice bench for Carol and Harry. Carol seated herself but Harry was determined to mount a horse. At 91, however, he needed a hand or two, so I put my shoulder under his lower back and hoisted him up there. I then ran around to the other side and manually swung his leg astride the horse.

Harry, Carol Channing's husband, on the carousel. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

Harry, Carol Channing’s husband, on the carousel. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

He was beaming, positively giddy. And in that moment, I realized that I was getting a major life lesson here. Carol and Harry were frail (he, in fact, passed less than three months later); one misstep could have been hugely consequential. A jostle from someone in the crowd could have been dire. But here they were, not just tasting everything life had to offer, but gobbling it up. If there was life to live, they were going to live it. And I thought to myself, “How does one become lucky enough to age into these people? Is it genetic? Is it a choice? What can I do to insure that when my golden years are upon me, I make them as golden as I can? Because these people have figured it out. They are who I aspire to be.”

When the sun was finally setting, we headed back to the hotel. I left them sitting in the lobby next to the grand piano while I went up to the room to retrieve their luggage. I returned just as the pianist was arriving for his set. He spied Carol and in no time he was gently tinkling the notes of “Hello, Dolly!” Before I knew what was happening, Carol was on her feet, one hand on the piano, the other aloft, belting out “Hello, Dolly!” for anyone who happened to be passing through the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was something to behold and a moment I will never, ever forget.

For months afterward, Harry would call me, just to say hello. “You don’t know the gift you gave us that day,” he would always end with. “Harry,” I’d always reply, “you don’t know the gift you gave me.”

Author Eddie Shapiro, Carol Channing, and her husband Harry at Disneyland. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

Author Eddie Shapiro, Carol Channing, and her husband Harry on the tea cup ride at Disneyland. Photo courtesy of Eddie Shapiro.

Eddie Shapiro is the author of Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater. His writing has appeared in publications such as Out Magazine, Instinct, and Backstage West. He is also a producer of Gay Days Disneyland and the author of Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks. 

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13. Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we don’t

jack kirby alex ross Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we dont

Tribute to the King by Alex Ross.

Friday’s announcement of a settlement between Jack Kirby’s heirs and Marvel seems like good news—but is it? And what does it mean?

I’m told Jeff Trexler, whose identification of the “instance and expense” aspect of the lawsuit may have helped get that into the petition to the Supremes, is writing his summary for TCJ.com, so while we all eagerly await that, here’s a little of the known knowns and known unknowns:

First off, Mark Evanier, a Kirby family confidant, a witness at various Kirby-related trials and filier of an amicus curiae brief is certainly in a position to know more of the Kirby position and this is all he had to say on the matter:

It was announced this morning that the family of Jack Kirby has settled with Marvel Comics (i.e., Disney) ending a very long dispute. The Supreme Court was only days from considering whether to take on the case and obviously, the timing of this settlement has much to do with both sides’ concern with what would get decided there.

If you’re coming to this page in search of details and commentary, you’ve come to the wrong place. I will be saying nothing about it other that I am real, real happy. And I’m sure Jack and his wife Roz, if they’re watching this from wherever they are, are real, real,real happy.

That’s either great fronting or a pretty solid indication that the Kirbys got what they were looking for. Since Evanier was intimately involved in the case, it’s probably legally all he can say. But if Mark thinks Jack is smiling, I’m smiling.

You can read all the petitions and briefs here. And you can bet a lot of people will be poring over these for a lot of reasons.

Charles Hatfield has a good round up of the ins and outs of the case itself, the many friend of the court briefs, and how the case grew in importance as more Hollywood vested interest signed on.

However, news of the cert petition reignited publicity over the case, and in May SCOTUS discussed the case in conference, after which the Court requested a response from Marvel. Then, in June, things started to happen: several important amici curiae briefs supporting the Kirbys’ petition brought high-profile attention to the case. One of these was filed on behalf of Kirby biographer Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby Collector publisher and editor John Morrow, and the PEN Center USA (a nonprofit representing diverse writers).

In addition, the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers filed a brief. Another brief that became very important for the press coverage of the  case was submitted by Bruce Lehman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, and an authority on intellectual property law. Lehman filed in collaboration with former US register of copyrights Ralph Oman, the Artists Rights Society, and the International Intellectual Property Institute; they were joined by the American Society of Illustrators, the National Cartoonists Society, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and other organizations representing arts professionals—as well as scores of cartoonists and illustrators who also signed on.

Kurt Busiek has been debunking some common myths about the case in the Beat’s own comments, but perhaps because Beat commenters are just smarter or less pig-headed than the average commenter, he saved his masterpiece in the genre for this CBR thread where he debunks from all times that the Kirby heirs were just greedy and opportunistic. (Link via Tom Spurgeon) He also speculates about the outcome, just like Iim gonna do in a few paragraphs:

Based on that, it sure doesn’t look like Marvel’s throwing the Kirbys a few bucks to go away. If that’s what they wanted to do, they could have done that any time within the last few years. Whoever blinked, it was the side that had the most to lose if the case went to the Supreme Court and risked a ruling they didn’t like.

That wasn’t the Kirbys — they were already getting nothing, so the Supreme Court deciding against them wouldn’t hurt them any.

But Disney/Marvel has billions on the line. They don’t want to risk losing that. Not even with a pro-business Supreme Court likely to rule for them. Because they’re not sure the Court would rule for them. Not with a bunch of people on the other side who make IP contracts their life — including one of the guys who helped write the 1978 Copyright Law. If that guy is saying, “No, no, it doesn’t work that way,” there’s too much of a chance that the Court will listen.

So my prediction is: All the public changes you see coming out of this are going to be favorable to the Kirbys. Probably the first thing you see will be creator credits. And the family’s going to suddenly be financially secure, like their father/grandfather wanted them to be.

What the “greedy heirs” morons don’t get is that this was a case with very important principles set off by the Copyright Law of 1976 regarding what is work for hire. As Kevin Melrose reports of a Law.com article, many issues remains undecided by the settlement, and it’s entirely possible that these will crop up again and the Supreme Court may yet hear such a case:

The Kirby heirs insisted the artist was an independent contractor who worked from home, provided his own supplies and received no benefits. However, he Second Circuit, using its frequently criticized “instance and expense” test, found that because Marvel assigned and approved projects and paid a page rate, Kirby’s contributions were indeed “for hire.”

The Kirbys took aim at the Second Circuit’s definition of work for hire in their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, which drew support from the likes of Hollywood guilds and a former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demonstrating the potentially far-reaching ramifications of the dispute. However, the 11th-hour settlement announcement arrived just ahead of a Supreme Court conference on Monday to determine whether to review the case — meaning the Second Circuit’s finding stands.

So the gray area surrounding work for hire before 1978 remains, although experts say given that 56-year window — or 35 years for copyrights transferred after 1979 — it’s only a matter time before another case, more likely to involve a musician/songwriter than a comics artist, makes its way to the Supreme Court, requiring the justices to weigh in.

As Kirby family attorney Marc Toberoff told Law.com, “At some point there will be another case like this.”

 

While it seems unlikely from the outside that SCOTUS would ever have sided with the Kirby heirs, Marvel didn’t know, and a happy smiling settlement was vastly to everyone’s benefit.  And more to the point, there’s no such thing as secret in entertainment any more. As Joshua Riviera writes for EW:

One of the great things about modern pop culture isn’t just the wealth of content available, but the interest it has spurred in the creators behind it. Showrunners, once an invisible position in the broadcast era, are now at the forefront of fans’ minds when obsessing over TV. Similarly, the public perception of filmmakers has slowly evolved from the days of the monolithic studio system to accommodate directors and screenwriters and cinematographers and composers and VFX teams and crew. Comics have come a long way from the 60s, which saw Jack Kirby slowly become frustrated with the business that grew and endures to this day thanks in large part to his labors—now many comics are sold based on the strength of the people making them. But the way comics creators are credited in other media based on their work is often lacking.

Yet, things have changed a lot from the days when Marv Wolfman was barred credits of Blade, setting off a lawsuit he eventually lost and the current spate of copyright battles. Nowadays, one imagines, Marv would be saluted at the Hall H panel and trotted around to talk shows. While it’s pretty clear that you need to lawyer up to get your share of whatever pie — mini or maxi — may exist, Marvel/Disney has become more sensitive to the bad publicity of the starving creator railing against the corporation as he rolls around in his ratty sleeping bag from his stately cardboard box on the street.

And now some speculation from me. Given the fair-enough-to-shut-them-up treatment of Jim Starlin and the family of Bill Mantlo  over Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney and Marvel seem to be on a better path now. You can attribute that to the bad optics of the cardboard box creator, but I’m pretty sure most of the top brass at Marvel proper, including Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso, would wish to see creators fairly treated if it were within their powers. (The same was undoubtedly true of Paul Levitz and Jenette Kahn at DC.)

Given the huge, vocal and unending respect for the work of Jack Kirby by just about every creative type involved with all these “comic book movies,” I share the Busiek viewpoint that we’ll see more public inclusion of Kirby among the “Marvel founders.” Kirby always got acknowledgement in the credits of Marvel movies, but we could see more “created by” credits. Kirby could be inducted into the “Disney Legends” hall of fame type deal. Disney doesn’t do a ton to promote its actual creative people, but I’d expect to see Kirby enshrined as much as possible.

And now, here is my Torsten-like fantasy to end this. Maybe someday at Disneyland, as the Marvel character rides and characters and churros swirl, there could be a statue of Stan and Jack as they create the Marvel Universe as we first knew it. I’m not sure Jack would have really liked that, but the victors write history, and I’m pretty sure that Jack Kirby is a victor now.

seven things at disneyland that make d23s studio tour even more cool feat 1.1 Jack Kirby and Marvel Settle: what we know, what we dont

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14. Disney Drops Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Trailer

The full trailer for Disney and Brad Bird's 'Tomorrowland' has arrived.

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15. 5 Marvel Attractions That Need To Be At Disneyland

When the “House of Mouse” bought the “House of Ideas” in 2009 it opened up infinite synergy possibilities we’re only seeing the cusp of in film,television, and publishing. Without Disney; things like the Big Hero 6 movie or the new flood of Star Wars comics have a harder time getting made, maybe even impossible. One area that the deal has yet to see noticeable fruit in is the Disney theme parks.

Outside of a rumor about the possibility of a Marvel themed roller coaster we haven’t heard much about future plans for incorporation of their characters to the happiest place on earth. Before the closure of Hall of Innoventions inside Tomorrowland, the only signs of Marvel inside Disneyland were meet-and-greets with cast memembers dressed as Captain America and Thor. Note, if you ever want to be weirded out and amazed at the same time then meet Captain America at Disneyland. The cast members do a tremendous job of having an in character conversation with kids and adults alike; it’s the next level of taking pictures with someone in Cosplay.

avengers breakfast

I’m not the Disneyfile that most of my friends are, in fact I only have an annual pass to the parks because of peer pressure. Before Thor and Captain America were brought in there wasn’t really anything about the parks that felt like it was for me. From the first time I waited in line for the Marvel characters, I knew these were my “princesses” and now I want Disneyland to bring even more Marvel in. In the spirit of waiting for Avengers: Age of Ultron to hit theaters Friday, here’s 5 Marvel attractions Disney needs to bring to Disneyland:

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1. Spider-Man’s “Swinging Over New York”

In the tradition of Disney California Adventure’s “Soaring Over California” ride, Marvel could be incorporated in a similar attraction that Mary Jane’s the audience on Spidey’s back as he web swings all over the city of New York. The 5 Burrows, Coney Island, The Brooklyn Bridge; all are just part of what could be an adventure that connects you with Spider-Man like never before. This could even cameo various heroes from across the Marvel Universe. You could pop over the X-Mansion, Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, or Stark Industries tower. Plus, how cool would it be to swing over Hell’s Kitchen and glimpse Daredevil beating the tar out of some mugger. Probably not the most kid friendly moment but you get the idea.  This ride could even take a page from Star Tours and change up between different scenarios giving it a lot of repeat value.

 

 

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2. Inhumans: Find Your Gifts

We don’t know anything about the upcoming film. From what we’ve seen so far in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Marvel wants the Inhumans to have Guardians of the Galaxy level of appeal with audiences. One of the quirky things about Disney parks that’s always good for a kick are the exhibits that let you “find your spirit animal” or tell you “what disney character” you are. The Terrigen Mists are the perfect delivery system for an exhibit that let’s kids and adults find out what Inhuman power they’d unlock. You’d walk through the mist and have exhibits where one (through the magic of Disney imagineering) could lift a car, teleport, shatter a piece of the planet with a whisper, or just have deadly hair. Attilan could definitely rise at Disneyland.

 

deadpool_comic_book

3. Deadpool’s “4th Wall Break”

Sure it would be hard to justify Disney building a ride that would –in a round about way– promote a Movie they’d have nothing to do with, but this is all just hypotheticals. So let’s build a Carsland Racers style ride that takes you through the inner madness of Deadpool with twist and turns traversing the characters funniest moments right before a drag race that shatters a giant comic page at the end of the ride.

 

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4. Marvel Midway

If Marvel attractions were built into California Adventure by the pier area they could take over the midway carnival games section. Imagine characters like the Punisher running the shooting gallery, or the test of strength with Mjölnir. We could even have Professor X guess your weight. A carnival atmosphere complete with Marvel prizes and Hulk cotton candy. Here’s another novel approach for something like this; publishing could even operate a newsstand style Marvel comics shop here complete with their own Skottie Young variants and all where kids could get exposed to the latest comics after they see the movies.

 

avengers-age-of-ultron-group-banner

5. Captain America and Friends Character Breakfast

One of the best ,and albeit, most expensive things to do in Disneyland is the Minnie and Friends character breakfast at the Plaza Inn. It’s an all you can eat breakfast buffet, but what really makes it special are the costumed characters that roam around greeting you and taking pictures with you while you dine. It’s a value for anyone who hates waiting in long lines to meet Disney characters and the interactions feel more personable. Marvel has over 700 plus characters in their library that could rotate on different days of the week. Though I don’t think I’d want to look at MODOK while I eat breakfast. I definitely wouldn’t mind having the Hulk playfully try to steal my waffle or Black Widow greet me as I’m scarfing down my bacon and ham omelet. Even the food could be themed, if they can make waffles in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, a Captain America shield should be no problem. Maybe even give the villains some love with Green Goblin eggs and ham, or Baron Zemo biscuits & gravy. Also you could have this…

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With the D23 Expo this August in Anaheim, we might finally get new information on any plans Disney has to incorporate more Marvel themed attractions at the parks. In the meantime I’ll say this “Make Mine Disney Marvel!”

What are some of your ideas for a Disney Marvel themed attraction?

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16. ‘Tomorrowland’ Could Lose Disney $140 Million

The silver lining: Brad Bird is returning to animation.

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17. Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland! Here are Your Best (and Worst) Animation-Based Attractions

Disneyland and animation have gone hand-in-hand for 60 years now.

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18. If You Had a $1,000,000,000 to Spend at Disneyland, What Would You Build, and Where?

Most Disney fans know about the new park being built in Shanghai, China. The hardcore fan knows that Disney World’s Downtown is being urban-renewal’d into Disney Springs, and that Hollywood Studios is experiencing the same, with much speculation on which of Disney’s “Hollywood” properties might share the new limelight. But Disneyland? That’s an afterthought. It’s […]

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19. Disney’s Ambitious Star Wars Land is Revealed at D23

At D23 in the Anaheim Convention center this morning, Disney revealed a short clip and some concept art for the biggest single ‘land’ expansion of Disneyland yet: Star Wars Land. The new area based on the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film and will be built in 2017 around the Big Thunder Ranch area and […]

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20. D23 2015: The Official Disney Link Blog

D23, the big Disney fanfest, just concluded three days of programming at the Anaheim Convention Center. There was a lot of news! New movies announced! New theme parks and attractions! Music! New versions of old favorites! And, yes, even a new emoji! (No, not of Uncle Walt…) All of the headlines below have embedded links, […]

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21. D23 2015: What’s New at Disney’s Amusement Parks?

Alexander Jones reported on the new Star Wars attractions, so here are the main points: Each will occupy 14 acres. (Picture halls A-H in San Diego, plus the Sails Pavilion) In Florida, it will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (But there isn’t much land available…maybe they’ll move the parking lot to the other side of […]

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22. Ypulse Essentials: Tween Style, Nick On Netflix, Disney Job Cuts

Tweens' tamer style (takes a cue from the wholesome on-screen look of Miley Cyrus and the"HSM" cast. Plus EW asks whether the JoBros need to grow, i.e. rethink their upcoming Disney show, to keep their fanbase interested) (Los Angeles Times, reg.... Read the rest of this post

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23. Ypulse Essentials: WeeWorld's Virtual Tribute, '16 & Pregnant: Life After Labor', The Death Of Cursive

WeeWorld pays tribute to MJ and Farrah (offering virtual goods like Farrah's signature do and a placard that reads "I Heart MJ") (Virtual World News) - 50 hours of SpongeBob (will air July 17-19 on Nickelodeon and VH1 to honor the cartoon's 10th... Read the rest of this post

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24. Post-Disney Doodles

Just trying to keep the momentum going with the drawing. I really wasn't able to do any drawing at Disneyland like I thought I might. But, I never really had the chance (even waiting with the baby for others to get off of rides). So, I took a bunch of pictures of interesting shapes and architecture to have fun with at a later date.


I did get a couple marks on a page once before being interrupted, so I just came home and doodled with them. Here's the result...fun stuff.

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25. Disneyland!!


So! Recently I went to Disneyland (yaaaaaaaay!!). I'd totally get a season pass if I actually lived in SoCal... Anyway, I was able to snag some discount tickets from my fine friends & hopped both parks with the Biggers Clan.


Btw, totally kicked Kevin's butt on Astroblasters AND Toy Story 2 Midway Mania. HA!

Anyway, the trip got me nostalgic and I thought about the first time I went to Disneyland (it was the Biggers' first time ever!). I dug up these photos from my first trip. I guess my sister is kind of in the picture too (mom was hella pregs).
My dad's hair was CRAZY!

Peter Pan at the time was my favorite Disney film and lookee who we got here!

Couldn't resist adding a little caption to this one. So HARDCORE!

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