I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band and seen a needle wink its eye. But I be done seen about everything, when I see an elephant fly.

A part of the current restorations on the attraction, one of the large bull elephants was hoisted out of the jungle by helicopter. Cool!

It’s 2016 and I’m ready to celebrate. What better way than spending a weekend at the Mouse House with hundreds of your fellow Disney nerds. I’ll be there. I’m even doing a thing on Sunday that I hope you’ll all come out to support . . .

MiceChat LEGENDARY Anniversary January 29, 30, 31 – 2016


MiceChat Anniversary is coming your way January 29th through 31st at the Disneyland Resort and beyond. We’ve got some absolutely AMAZING surprises for you this year, including Dick Van Dyke, Marty SklarTerri HardinMike PerazaDavid Koenig, the MuppeteersMedieval Timesmeet-upsmealsfriendship and a whole lot of fun!!!

  • Friday January 29th will be a cocktail party and dinner at MEDIEVAL TIMES!!!
  • Saturday morning January 30th offers a breakfast at the ESPN Zone Downtown Disney with Disney Legends and Muppeteers!
  • Saturday afternoon January 30th will be a day of play at DCA including quests, dinner and fun
  • Sunday January 31st will be a classic Disneyland Day. We’ll meet in the morning for a little adventure, have a noon meet, join in lunch and some rides before saying farewell until the next MiceChat Adventure.

To be notified of the completed schedule of free events, please add your name to the email list HERE

Below, please find full information on our two ticketed events, the Medieval Times dinner and the Legends and Muppets Breakfast. We’ll have a full schedule of events for you shortly for the remainder of the weekend.


MiceChat Anniversary Special EventsJanuary 29, 30, 31

Secure your spot now!

MiceChat Anniversary is January 29th through 30th. We are offering three days worth of events, most of them free. However, there are two ticketed events. On Friday night, we will offer an amazing evening at MEDIEVAL TIMES dinner show. It will be a rousing way to launch the weekend. Saturday morning brings an EPIC lineup of stars (DICK VAN DYKE, MARTY SKLAR, MIKE PERAZA, TERRI HARDIN, DAVID KOENIG, and more)

Friday, January 29th, 2016 – Medieval Times

Medieval Times

Bring the whole family and join us on the evening of Friday, January 29th as we celebrate MiceChat’s 11th anniversary with a joyous feast and spectacular tournament. We’ll enjoy a private lounge before the dinner show, deeply discounted ticket prices, and we’ll get to meet the knights in person following the show, plus some special surprises.

Buy your tickets directly through Medieval Times group sales department by calling: 714-521-2342 and mention that you are with the Mice Chat group! Don’t miss out, space is limited.

(Cocktails begin at 7:30pm, showtime 8:45 pm – Pricing is just $38.72 adults/ $28.72 children and INCLUDES tax, processing fees and gratuity. No charge for parking.)

Saturday, January 30, 2016image_39713

8:30 to noon – Saturday, January 30th, 2016 – ESPN Zone Downtown Disney Anaheim


For our 11th year, we’d like to kick things up a bit and do something REALLY special for you. Our annual breakfast at the ESPN Zone will offer much more than just the Maple Pepper Bacon that you love so much. This time around we bring you Disney super-legend Dick Van Dyke!!! But that’s not all, we also have Disney Imagineering legend Marty Sklar!!! Both gentlemen will have books available for purchase and signing at the event. The panel will be hosted by beloved Disney author David Koenig. But that’s just a first act, we also have a little Muppet mayhem for you as Disney animation superstar, Mike Peraza and former Imagineer and Muppeteer Terri Hardin talk Jim Henson and the Muppets. The event will conclude with book sales and signings, including the introduction of Terri Hardin’s steampunk pocket watch set from Starling Watches.

Tickets for the breakfast event have sold out, Keep an eye on the ticket page . . .something might happen. That having been said, here’s the link to the TICKET PAGE. But there’s a LOT more going on that you don’t need a ticket for . . .

Please plan to join us for three full days of friendship and fun. The partial event listing is below:

Saturday, January 30th, 2016 – DCA


2:00 pm – Animation Building Meet-up

Meet us inside DCA’s Animation building as we watch the ENTIRE animation loop in the lobby. Many MiceChat friends helped animate the movies on the screens above. This is our chance to watch their work and marvel at the amazing collection of films in the Disney catalog.

3:30 pm – Eye Spy Game – Patio of the Golden Vine Winery near the entry to the Blue Sky Cellar

When the park opened, DCA got a lot of flack for not being Disney enough. Today, the park has evolved into an entirely different experience. Join us for a free one hour adventure through DCA to solve questions in an attempt to claim the prize of DCA King of the Nerds!

Please be prepared to have a great time when attending this event. Sudden laughter, problem solving and cheering may occur. Event will last one hour and is FREE (you just need park admission). We do ask that you please bring a working pen as we won’t be able to bring a bulk of these items through security.

Compete in teams of one to four people. We will begin giving the rules at 3:30 and send the teams off from the Winery. You’ll have one hour from the time we send you off. You’ll return back to the winery patio at the end of your quest to find out who won! Please share this event with your friends and family!

5:00 pm – Dinner Paradise Garden Grill – Tables under the trees near Goofy Sky School

After your quest, you’ll likely be ready for some dinner and a drink. Join us at Paradise Garden Grill as we eat and chat, and eat and chat, and chat . . .

7:00 pm – Trivia, Cocktails and Fireworks – At the new Courtyard by Marriott (next to the HoJo and across from the Matterhorn on Harbor Blvd). Join us as the magical, mystical Monorail Man (Hastin) conjures up a trivia contest for you in a fun new venue! See the fancy new Courtyard by Marriott (built by our partners at the HoJo next door), enjoy drinks on the fancy pool patio (which is located on the roof of the parking structure), and watch the Disneyland fireworks from a unique new location!!! This event is free to attend and not to be missed.

Sunday, January 31st, 2016 – Disneyland


With all the recent changes to Disneyland, we’ve had to change things up a bit. Gone for now are the Disneyland Railroad and Mark Twain, but this will also be our final breakfast at River Belle Terrace. But don’t be too sad, we’ll still be able to do our classic noon meet and group photo in front of the castle (we’ll meet you all at the Walt and Mickey statue at noon).

9:00 am – River Belle Terrace Breakfast Riverbelle terrace has been the traditional start for our Sunday events for MiceChat Anniversary weekend. Sadly, this will be the last year (for now) that this location serves breakfast. The restaurant will stop serving breakfast after February 1st. Let’s make these pancake memories last a lifetime.

10:30 am – Fab Fun Quest – Disneyland Central Hub (near Walt’s right hand) The Fabulous Disney Babe has cooked up some clever questions for you to answer. Meet at the hub for instructions on this one hour quest. Prizes will be handed out to winning teams. Play alone or in teams of up to 4 members. It’s FABtacular.

12:00 pm – Noon Hub Meet The Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Partners Statue in the central hub of Disneyland (the round park in front of the Castle) has been host to hundreds of MiceAge/MiceChat meets over the years. Its classic location and sentimental statue make it the ultimate location for us to give thanks to the man who started it all, Walt Disney. Meet and greet with your friends, make new friends, and you might just win a special prize just for being there! Then join us at 12:30 pm for a Group Picture In front of the Castle.

1:00 pm – Lunch – Rancho Zocalo This location offers lots of advantages for our large group. There is plenty of group seating, plus it’s close to Stage Door and Jolly Holiday for those who want to grab something other than Mexican food and bring it over to join us.

2:30 pm – Play Date We are in America’s favorite theme park. Perhaps we should ride some attractions! We’ll meet along the banks of the Rivers of America just in front of Pirates of the Caribbean at 2:30. As soon as we get everyone assembled, we’ll take the following attraction tour: Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room, Disneyland Castle Walk-Through, and Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. We’ll say our goodbyes in the exit lobby of the attraction until the next big MiceChat event.

Thank you to our Sponsor who has made this weekend possible


MiceChat Anniversary weekend is sponsored in part by Fairy Godmother Travel, the official travel agency of MiceChat.com. For all of your Disney travel needs, please contact the wonderful pixies at Fairy Godmother Travel – HERE


Help us get the word out. Please help share the links to this article so everyone knows about all the great events we are offering for the MiceChat Anniversary. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, email, you name it. . . . just share. 🙂

We’ll have a printable times guide for the MiceChat 10th anniversary for you this weekend. Meanwhile, don’t lose your spot in our amazing special events listed above. Sign up today at the links above. And to add your name to the email list for more event information and times guide, please JOIN THE MAILING LIST HERE.

Happy anniversary everyone, we are looking forward to seeing you soon!


 From the Office of D23

Does anyone who reads Fab News NOT have a D23 Gold Membership? I’m still in mourning over the loss of my charter membership (hint: don’t go to “family” with your husband and then expect to go back) but I’d give up churros before I’d give up being a D23 member. Every year, the perks seem to get better and better, and this year’s membership gift for Gold Members is A. Maze. Ing. Seriously. They sent me one to check out, and also this video with the adorbs new Director of D23, Kristen Rodack (whom Dusty and I adore). I hear that she, like me, loves the original EPCOT Center and Mary Blair. Also with her and also cool are Rebecca Cline (Happy beleated birthday, Becky!) and the legendary Tony Baxter.

There are 23 items in the box, naturally. Click to see photos and descriptions of all of the items if you don’t mind being spoiled. Don’t, if you want to be surprised! (Actually, I got two Ward telegrams and no Roy ones, so if anyone got two Roys and no Wards, I be willing to trade, I be!)

I am a grizzled old hardened Disney history person who has seen Lots of Amazing Things, and yet, a couple of the items in this box brought me to tears. If anyone had any doubts about D23 being about sharing Disney’s history and legacy with its hardcore fans, I can say for myself that my doubts are put completely to rest with this and other recent actions on their part.

And if that wasn’t enough, I got a press release from them today detailing some of the discounts available with D23 membership:

D23 Members can enjoy savings throughout the worlds of Disney including:

  • 15% off all purchases of $60 or more at DisneyStore.com and in all Disney Store locations through March 31, 2016

  • A discount on VIP tickets to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens now through February 7, 2016 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood—as well as special pricing for Lady and the Tramp and Zootopia during their 2016 runs

  • Savings of 15% off purchases at the ABC Store online, including items from fan favorite shows such as Once Upon a Time and Scandal

  • 30% off the beautiful Disney Princess: A Magical Pop-Up World book

  • Up to 53% savings on Disney magazines including Disney Frozen, Disney Junior, and Marvel Super Heroes

D23 is bringing back its most popular opportunities for savings on hotels, restaurants, and stores in and around Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, including:

  • Discounted rates at Howard Johnson Anaheim, Carousel Inn & Suites, and the Anabella Hotel located near Disneyland Resort; as well as at Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, B Resort & Spa, Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, located near Walt Disney World Resort

  • 10% savings on activities at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre and on merchandise at CURL® by Sammy Duvall at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Sweet savings at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company online, in its two Disney Parks shops, and at the El Capitan Theatre

  • Dining discounts in and around Disneyland Resort, including Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Catal, Uva Bar, Naples, Tortilla Joe’s, and Tangerine Grill

In addition, D23 Members can take advantage of a host of ongoing and limited-time offers developed exclusively for them, including savings on tickets to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco; a merchandise discount at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline, Mo.; 40% off all online purchases of H2O Plus merchandise—the luxury skincare product available at Disney Parks; savings at UNIQLO online, including its exclusive line of Disney apparel; 10% off all purchases at RIDEMAKERZ® online and at all locations—including the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Limited-Edition RZ Rascar and Rod vehicles available at the Anaheim store; plus 23% off all merchandise online from SMS Audio, the official headphones of D23.

Complete details on all D23 Member discounts and offers, as well as a full list of all the latest specials, can be found online at http://D23.com/Discounts. All offers are available to D23 Gold Members; D23 General Members receive access to a select number of discounts.

 More Star Wars News

…and it’s not all good. We have to wait six months later to see if Kylo Ren’s scar is going to look dashing or gross (Don’t even with the spoiler thing. If you haven’t seen it by now…) It’s been put off because of Pirates. Or put off by other reasons and Pirates are helpfully stepping in to take its place. Either way, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Dead Men Tell No Tales, with Javier Bardem (Captain Salazar, no not Slytherin, but I hear he’s plenty terrifying anyway) joining Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and the returning Orlando Bloom will be coming out in summer. Any bets on what they’ll call 6? I’m hoping for “Carlos, Don’t be Cheecken!” Hey, as long as they’re good, keep making them. Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. Principal filming begins in London next week. Hurry up. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will set sail on May 26, 2017, from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017, berth.

The Mandalorians debut in Star Wars Rebels as the Empire is closing in:

I keep missing Boba Fett at Launch Bay. So that’s a bummer. But I also started doing a Magic Walk, which is walking from the Toy Story lot through both parks, treehouse included, then back. I do keep my cane with me in case my leg decides it doesn’t want to be strengthened today, but so far I’ve had good luck. After a walk the other day, I had to go back into the park to check on something and poked my head in to check. Of course, when I’m all gross, he’s there. Don’t care, I took the picture anyway. Maybe I’ll keep taking them when I can to show off my progress!


I did notice that they were putting in a nice new bridge into Adventureland while the Jungle Cruise was down, taking advantage of the down time to put in a nice upgrade for guests.



At the Fantasyland gate to Big Thunder Trail, there’s a really nice CM trading pins – some are pretty rare and at the time we talked, she had some put aside that were mystery pins. They will be there in dry weather throughout the construction, as of press time.



it’s a small world Holiday was open, probably to make up for the seven attractions being closed. Everything else in Fantasyland was open but none of the park was crowded except for Tomorrowland.



Meanwhile, on the Frontierland side of Big Thunder Trail, there were plenty of ducks, koi and jumping fish, and even some extra benches, but no pin traders, which was fine with me. It was a nice, quiet spot to enjoy nature, and will be for decades to come.

Just looking up at the wildlife and the yellow-vested, um….

I just have one message for you folks up there.


Marvel-ous Infinity News


Marvel Battlegrounds Disney Infinity set is a little less than two months away, but you can pre-order it NOW.


If you pre-order NOW, you get a FREE 2.0 Marvel Disney Infinity figure. Sweet!

By the way, TODAY is Disney Infinity Day at your local GameStop:



 Thank You to Fab News Supporters, Patrons and Sponsors!

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Shelly Valladolid, aka Fab, has been writing about Disney and theme parks for about two decades. She has written for various fan and pop culture sites, Disney Magazine and OCRegister.com and participated in several books, including Passporter's Disneyland and Southern California and Disney World Dreams. She was co-founder and president of the Orlando, Florida chapter of the NFFC (now Disneyana Fan Club). She taught a class on theme park history at a Southern California University. She is creator and co-owner of Jim Hill Media, one of the creators of MousePlanet and was a consultant on MSNBC, The Motley Fool and others about Disney and various media matters. She was a Heel wrestling manager on TV and a voice artist on the radio in Honolulu, HI, where she grew up. She has a blog and a podcast with her daughter, Mission:Breakout Obsessive Alice Hill: . She and her husband, MiceChat columnist Noe Valladolid, live in Southern California with Alice.