10.30.2002

Los Angeles & Disneyland

My second trip to Los Angeles in 2002 was a blast! My pal Dae was a great host, planning a day at the Los Angeles Zoo (I love giraffes!) and seeing the taping of The Tonight Show at NBC! We spent two fantastic days at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure (DCA), filled with new experiences and adventures (such as Disney's Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!), joined by our pals Kristen, Ray and Selena. It was great to show off my favorite place to good friends!

View photos: Los Angeles Zoo
View photos: Disneyland 2002 Day 1
View photos: Disneyland 2002 Day 2

10.27.2002

A Goofy Movie : 3 of 5

I recently watched An Extremely Goofy Movie (the sequel to this one) on Toon Disney, so I decided to rent A Goofy Movie, even though it's not technically considered a Disney animated feature. I must say that I'm really impressed with the incredible characterization in both of these movies - they took the lovable Goofy and turned him into a kind-hearted dad struggling to be a good father for his son Max, who doesn't want to turn out as "goofy" when he grows up. The animation is pretty cool, with some nice transitions and clever inside jokes from other Disney cartoons (my favorite line is when one of Max's friends says in passing, "Did you ever wonder why we're always, like, wearing gloves?"). The songs are pretty cute, too!

Pizza paradise

Papa John's Pizza is just too easy to order! When I'm hungry and tired (and out of food in the house!), it's just too tempting to know that my usual order is only two clicks away! I'd like to order from Pizza Hut every now and then for a change, but until they get online ordering, I'm sticking with Papa John's.

I promise I really want to like Birds of Prey on the WB - I've got to support any attempt to bring classic comic book characters to life, but this series is going nowhere fast, I'm afraid. The gal playing Oracle (Batgirl) is pretty cool, but Huntress really sucks (plus, she's really unattractive to me). It looks like Harlequin is going to make an appearance - I hope they do her justice! Oh well, I'll keep watching and groaning at the ridiculous scripts until I can't stand it anymore.

10.26.2002

Beauty and the Beast : 5 of 5

What can I say about the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture? Beauty and the Beast is an amazing film, and it's wonderful to see it as the second DVD in the Platinum Edition series. I watched all three versions of the film (theatrical release, work in progress, and special edition) plus the audio commentary, and it was great each time. Belle is another beautiful character to fall in love with (her scene with the dandelions on the mountainside is equivalent to Ariel bursting out of the water on the rock), and the musical numbers are simply incredible (true operetta style)! The bonus features are nice (even though Celine Dion is involved) and really interesting - it's fascinating how such a landmark movie came together so quickly. Beauty and the Beast is an essential Disney movie if there ever was one!

10.25.2002

DVDs & More

  • Beauty and the Beast DVD: Disney finally released this great movie as the second "Platinum Edition" - it's great to have another animated classic in my collection!
  • E.T. DVD: One of those movies I just had to own, considering how much I loved it when I was younger.
  • More Pins: The Disney Store had tons of pins for $2.00 each (they are usually $6.00 or more!), so I bought three fun ones while I was at the mall.
  • Levi's 550 jeans: I recently realized that the two pairs of jeans I wear all the time are getting some embarrassing holes in them, so I had to re-stock!
  • 10.24.2002

    Rain, rain, go away

    I'm so glad it stopped raining today, since I've got to unload my drums downtown for a gig tonight. (Hope I can watch Game 5 of the World Series while I'm playing!)

    Disneyland Souvenirs

  • Disney Galley posters: The Disney Gallery (upstairs from Pirates of the Caribbean) sells fantastic reproductions of the famous Disneyland attraction posters, as well as other artwork. They use a "print on demand" system, which means they have huge expensive printers that produce the posters you want (and they FedEx them for free!). I bought the attraction poster for the Monorail, plus an "anniversary" image containing tons of little attraction posters. They are going to look great framed!
  • Magical Memories for a Lifetime book: An excellent hardcover book filled with photos of my favorite place (plus pictures of Disney's California Adventure).
  • Disneyland clothes: I bought a cool sweatshirt, plus a pullover fleece with a nice stitched logo (and it felt great during the chilly evenings at the park).
  • Pins: I had to get a pin of Flik's Fun Fair since I was there for opening weekend, and I also found a cool photo pin of Walt with some early park maps.
  • 10.17.2002

    Disneyland magic

    My latest Disneyland trip was full of memorable moments! (Check out the movies on my Trips page to experience them for yourself!)

  • I really enjoyed Disney's Electrical Parade - it was simply beautiful!
  • Fantasmic at Disneyland was even better than the show at Walt Disney World - I especially loved seeing Peter Pan fly around the rigging of the Columbia (disguised as Hook's ship!).
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday is an incredible experience (but I can't wait to see the good ol' original on my next trip)!
  • A friendly cast member gave us a complete tour of the Disney Gallery from the perspective of it's original purpose as a "formal apartment" for Walt and Lillian.
  • Touring the park with a group of five really made the time fly, since you can have so many conversations waiting in lines (and everyone had a cool appreciation for Disneyland).
  • We got stuck in the Indiana Jones Adventure, so they let us ride through twice!
  • Dae and Kristen did some swing dancing to the big band - it was great to watch them and experience some Disneyland "nightlife".

    Now you can rate WEBmikey at Blog Hot or Not - I'm hoping this will be a fun way to get traffic from strangers. Be nice, everyone!
  • 10.09.2002

    New Disneyland experiences

    I'll be heading to Los Angeles tomorrow morning for some Disney fun with with my pal Dae! Here are some exciting things I'll get to experience for the first time:

  • Flik's Fun Fair at Disney's California Adventure: A whole new area of the park with giant clovers, popcycle stick benches, and even the bathroom is a giant Kleenex box! There are four fun kiddie rides there, too - all themed with characters from A Bug's Life.
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday: The Haunted Mansion is completely re-themed using characters from A Nightmare Before Christmas - it's like a whole new ride!
  • Disney's Electrical Parade: I'll finally get to see the reincarnation of the Main Street Electrical Parade - I can't wait to see the visuals after listening to the parade music so many times!
  • Fantasmic: Dae and I have reserved seats for Disneyland's version (the original) of the spectacular show that Jonathan and I saw at Walt Disney World!

    Expect the usual WEBmikey trip report next week!
  • 10.06.2002

    Go Halos!

    Yippee for the Anaheim Angels! I haven't been this excited about baseball in years - I'm so psyched that they beat the Yankees! (I've got nothing against the Yankees, but we're talking about Mickey Mouse here!) I couldn't believe they didn't televise the game on Friday, but at least I watched the play by play on Yahoo. I really hope they make it to the series!

    Just when you thought there couldn't be anymore Walt Disney World pictures, check out the Trips page for a link to some photos my traveling partner Jonathan took!

    Disneyland Countdown: 6 days!

    101 Dalmations : 4 of 5

    Wow, I had forgotten how great this movie is! This is another out-of-print Disney masterpiece that I had to rent - I can't wait for them to finally release all of these great films! This time around I really enjoyed the scenes of the puppies watching TV - the shows and commercials are so clever, and the dog's reactions are perfect. I also love watching Roger puff his pipe! There is some fantastic effects animation, too - the smoke trailing around the room from Cruella's cigarette holder is absolutely amazing! Even though I've read that Walt wasn't happy with the animation, I think 101 Dalmations is wonderful.

    Impulse Buys

  • Sony Ericsson T68i cell phone: I've been eyeing this phone for a while, and after reading tons of great reviews and seeing how it can sync with my iBook via Bluetooth, I had to buy it. It's so cool - color screen, web browsing, the works! Now I'm not so jealous of all the amazing phones I saw in Japan!
  • Birnbaum's Disneyland 2002 book: Even though I pretty much know Disneyland inside and out, I thought it wouldn't hurt to read the latest before my upcoming trip.
  • One Day at Disney book: An absolutely fantastic out of print book that I snagged on eBay - it's filled with photography of Disney parks around the world, covering a 24 hour period. Gorgeous!
  • The E-Ticket Issues #24/#25: The last two back issues available - it sure would be nice to find copies of the older issues someday.
  • 10.05.2002

    The Rookie : 5 of 5

    I usually stay away from sports movies, but if I had to pick a sport to enjoy, it would be baseball. My pal Ryan said this was a great movie, plus it was produced by Disney, so I decided to rent it. The Rookie is fantastic, whether you're interested in baseball or not. The main character who rises from a high school coach to the big leagues is really energetic - he gives a speech to his students that really inspired me! This movie is all about the message - that we need dreams. We need to always be striving to be something more than we are now. I have to give this a five, because I had to cry when he calls his wife and son to tell them he's made it!

    10.04.2002

    Sakura Diaries Vol 4 : 3 of 5

    Finally my little romantic soap opera is over, and I was only vaguely satisfied with the ending. As a series, Sakura Diaries was fantastic - I loved all the love triangles and deception and awkward moments, as well as all the sappy stuff. This last DVD had some great scenes (including an interesting one in a bathtub), and it did manage to wrap up the characters fairly well, but the actual "happily ever after" is told in silent vignettes over music, so it's not really clear if our intrepid couple really gets together! I like to think that they do - it seems that way to me. Urara deserves everything she dreams of (just like the rest of us).

    10.03.2002

    Akira : 4 of 5

    I think I rented this on VHS several years ago before I was a true anime fan - I remember not really getting into it, and falling asleep after the great motorcycle chase at the beginning. I'm happy to say that now I can see that Akira is a fantastic, landmark film, filled with amazing animation, great characters, and one bizarre story (of course, what anime doesn't have a bizarre story?). The movie really builds slowly after the initial excitement, but eventually comes to an incredible finale that had me on the edge of my rocking chair! The DVD has a great feature where it will translate all of the Japanese graffiti by pressing a button on the remote - it really made the experience interactive!

    10.01.2002

    My Fair Lady : 4 of 5

    I've always enjoyed the "classic" musicals, and My Fair Lady is one of the best. I'm a big fan of the movie, so while I knew I would enjoy the performance by Austin Musical Theater, I didn't plan on being blown away. This production was fantastic! The performers were absolutely fantastic, especially Eliza, who was hilarious. I recently watched the movie again, and the scene at the horse races where Eliza talks slang with perfect diction was actually funnier on stage than in the movie (and that's saying a lot, being an Audrey Hepburn fan)! The sets were also terrific, making huge transformations in a matter of seconds. I've heard that AMT may be going out of business - I hope they make it somehow!