Disney Cruise Line

Both Steve and I talked about our various trips aboard the Disney Cruise Line.  Two years ago, the Disney Wonder took me and my family from Vancouver, Canada up to Alaska.  It truly was a terrific trip.  Now, we are looking to book a future trip on the Disney Cruise Line to the Caribbean.

Below are just a few photos from our adventure.  As always, click each image to see it full size.  And check back from time to time … there’s a good chance that I might add some pictures to further showcase all there is to do on a Disney Cruise.

WonderVancouverThe Disney Wonder as it pulls into Vancouver from a trip to Alaska.  The itinerary will change from sailing season to sailing season but ours included a voyage into the Tracy Arm fjord, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.

WonderAboveThe Disney Wonder as seen from the top of the Mt. Roberts tramway in Juneau, Alaska.  Though the ship is fairly massive, it looks tiny from so far above.  The two newest ships, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, are much larger than the Wonder and sister ship Disney Magic.

CircleofLifeI mentioned in the same episode about seeing a number of Disney productions and there are actually several Broadway-caliber performances offered during each cruise.  This is a scene from the “Circle of Life” scene of Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic.

AlaskanMinnieAnd finally — for now — there are lots of chances to visit with Disney characters throughout the cruise.  This image is of Minnie Mouse in her specially designed outfit for touring the Alaskan wilderness.  We spent a great deal of our cruise seeing the various characters — the Fab 5, Princesses, Captain Jack Sparrow — and collecting their autographs.  Chelsea filled a number of photo albums with the number of visits we were able to do.

The 8 days we spent cruising went by probably faster than any week I’ve ever experienced.  There is so much to do aboard the ship and for excursions at each port of call, the toughest part is making sure to find time to sit and relax for a bit.  If you haven’t yet experienced the pleasure of a trip on the Disney Cruise Line, I highly recommend it!

– Matt

10 Years of “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular”

A post of Facebook, highlighting a story on the Disney Parks Blog, alerted me that one of the Broadway musicals I mentioned in our latest podcast celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday.  “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” opened in the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure January 16, 2003.  The show has been seen by more than 12 million park guests during that time.

Some of the more interesting things about this particular show is that an original song was written and included in the performance that wasn’t in the movie.  “To Be Free” is sung by Princess Jasmine that describes her life like one of a bird living in a gilded cage.  It is a real showcase for the actress playing the part and always draws a loud ovation from the crowd upon its completion.

Secondly, the show continuously changes as the Genie is given fairly ample free reign to ad lib with various current events during his frequent joke sessions.  Jokes often skewer celebrities in the news or even timely Disney-related happenings.  The jokes are generally very funny, rather unexpected during a Disney production and can really keep each performance from feeling like something you’ve seen before even if you’ve seen the show multiple times.

Below are a few photos I snapped during a performance that you might like.  As always, click each one for a larger view …

AladdinJasmineAladdin and Jasmine take a spin on the Magic Carpet during the “A Whole New World” segment of the show.

GenieThe Genie is often the highlight of the performance.  Though his jokes are often zingers, they are also always appropriate for a theme park audience.  The actor playing the Genie usually gets the loudest applause during the curtain call.

JafarJafar is a bit more of straight-man villain in the production than the slightly comedic performance found at times during the film.  Of interest, as with much of the cast, the characters are often performed by a variety of actors of different races and abilities.  For instance, Jafar might be played by a black actor during one performance and a white actor during another.  Many performances feature a wheelchair-bound performer in the chorus.  It’s a nice way of featuring talented performers without strictly adhering to what otherwise might be traditional casting requirements.

“Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” is a nice way to spend 45 minutes at a theme park.  It truly is a high-caliber Broadway-style show and one that everyone should try to catch at least once during a visit to the Disneyland Resort.


Episode 9 – Happy New Year!

The holidays are over and the new year is here. So whether you say it “twenty thirteen” or “two thousand thirteen,” we have a new episode of Beyond the Berm for you.

In Episode 9, we discuss the new year a bit and about some of the things that are ahead, and we look back at some of the Disney-related Christmas gifts we got. We also mention some of the Disney stage shows and the Limited Time Magic promotion at the Disney parks, and then we remember some of our attractions that have gone on to Yesterland.

All of that good stuff and more! If you haven’t listened to our podcast before, Episode 9 is a great place to start! Unless you want to start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

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