I celebrated my first anniversary with MiceChat last weekend, as MiceChat celebrated its eleventh anniversary. What a great year it’s been! I would have shared the story with you Tuesday but Sunday night, part of my parents’ roof blew off! They’re fine and they didn’t have any damage or loss (except the roof, of course), but I blew town without the laptop to lend support. Monday night was happier; Alice came home after almost three months back East. So Tuesday, instead of Fab News, you got Ganache, and as a certified chocolatier, I couldn’t have approved more. What a great read!

Big Game Means Big Fun at Winchester Mystery House

In honor of the Big Game right down the street in San Jose, Winchester Mystery House is offering a buy one ticket, get the second ticket half off special for all February tours except for the flashlight tours.


Knott’s is Looking for 100+ New Hires!

Knott’s Berry Farm is looking to hire over 100 people in its parks and hotels, including the brand new Starbucks opening up in the Knott’s Marketplace soon. More information here: Knotts



I’m really grateful and happy – DVCResaleMarket.com decided to stick around after our two month trial period as Fab News’ sponsor. They’re a really solid, great company and I’m honored to work with them.

The MiceChat Anniversary Weekend

Friday Night: Medieval Times

We went to the second show, with cocktails starting at 7:30 and the show starting at 8:45. I get too hungry for dinner at eight, so I much prefer the earlier show, but had a ball. Jeanine took great care of us, and the company was the best! We were spoiled rotten, the food was superb, as usual, the show was fantastic, and we got to hang out with royalty and all of the courageous and skilled knights after the show – and even the bad guy got to visit from the King’s dungeon long enough to say hello!

Me and my main squeeze. The MiceChatters filled an entire section of the theater. SO much fun! – Photo by Alan Kawaratani


Saturday Morning: Breakfast, Panels and Book Fair, MiceChat Style

Bright and early Saturday morning, MiceChatters met at the ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney for breakfast and two marvelous panels. The first was about Muppets. Our own Dusty Sage hosted, with Mike Peraza, Terri Hardin and Amy Mebberson talking about their experiences working with the Jim Henson/Disney properties in television, movies, theme parks, merchandise and comics.

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Photo by Frank Cohen.

For the second panel, David Koenig, an author in his own right, hosted Disney Legends Marty Sklar and Dick Van Dyke to talk about their work with Walt Disney the man and Disney the company as well as their new books.

Photo by Frank Cohen
Photo by Frank Cohen

Afterward, there were tables upstairs for the artists and authors to sign and sell their work. Frank Cohen and Terri Hardin were selling the phenomenal STARLING watches, (including the popular Inception with its five Hidden Mickeys), which are actually part of a time-travel adventure that includes a book and Terri Hardin-carved box, a different one for each watch. Very cool. Mike Peraza was selling some gorgeous art, David Koenig was showing off his newest book, The People v. Disneyland along with old classics like Mouse Tales. Perpendicular to this was the table with Marty Sklar and Dick Van Dyke’s books. Marty stayed til the very end and made sure every single person got a signature and a photo with their book. Dick made sure that everyone who got a book could take a photo with him as well.

Hubby Noe worked bodyguard duty Saturday, but was able to take a moment to be in the photo!

It was fantastic.

Saturday Afternoon: DCA

Everyone met and cooled their jets in the Animation building, enjoying the loop, exept for one naughty couple who snuck away for a romantic Italian lunch to celebrate the Mrs.’ one year anniversary with the world’s greatest Disney fan website, from her Señor. who was proud of her. But fortunately, after dessert(s), the Eye Spy just happened to take place right outside of the restaurant, so it worked out! Everybody had fun, and I learned that the Jumping Jellyfish and Midway Mania have the same stroller parking sign!

Saturday Evening: Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance with Hastin

After a fun dinner at the Paradise Garden Grill, we all headed over to the brand new Courtyard by Marriott. It’s located next door to MiceChat partner hotel, HoJo, and is run by the same wonderful folks. Hastin, our Monorail Man and technical wizard here at MiceChat, sure knows how to put on a show and the poor thing was sick! Everyone had a great time playing Password for prizes. Then we headed up to the pool deck for Disneyland firework viewing . . . which were rained out as we all suspected they would be.  But every cloud has a silver lining and ours just happened to be desserts at the Mimi’s located in front of the hotel.

Photo by – Alan Kawaratani

Sunday Morning: Disneyland

Fare Thee Well, River Belle

Had my second last Mickey Mouse pancakes at the River Belle Terrace. I hope the coffee is better at Zocalo. WTH with the creamer? I don’t think that stuff ever saw a cow. Maybe a tractor, but never a cow.

photo by Alan Kawaratani



It was my first time writing a quest, and I’m still getting used to my programming. But folks seemed to have fun, even though it was pouring rain.


We had a very damp noon meet, then lunch at Redd Rockett’s, got a group pic with Boba Fett and then they went to ride the attractions and I got the above-mentioned call from my parents. The circle of life!

If you want to get into things like the MiceChat Anniversary breakfast before the general public, the best way to do so is to be a MiceChat Gold Member. Just sign up for the MiceChat Forum and go HERE to subscribe. It’s 15.00 per year and has some nice perks, including being able to get first crack at events like the above. I don’t get anything for you signing up. honest. But you really will. Or, to be notified by email of MiceChat news and events (the Gumball Rally announcements are coming soon) just sign up for the newsletter HERE.

Get Your Valentine a Lifetime of Vacations

Fab News’ sponsor, DVCResaleMarket.com, has people like Nick Cotton who have a decade plus of experience buying and selling Disney Vacation Club points both inside and outside of the Disney company. They have intimate knowledge of how the process works, plus the freedom that being an independent commpany provides. If you have any questions, they’re always happy to help.


 From the Mailbox:


Countdown to “Zootopia”:
A Festival of Films of Walt Disney Animation Studios
February 18 – 24, 2016 only at The El Capitan Theatre

“Wreck-It Ralph” – February 18
“Frozen” – February 19
“Tangled” – February 20
“Big Hero 6” – February 21
“Bolt”- February 22
“Winnie the Pooh”- February 23
“The Princess and the Frog”- February 24

“Zootopia” plays March 4 to April 10, 2016 at The El Capitan

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 25, 2016) – Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a “Countdown to ‘Zootopia, ’celebrating Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new era of storytelling with a festival of seven films. All feature films will be accompanied by recent and celebrated Disney animation short subjects, including the Academy Award winners, “Paperman” and “Feast.” The festival begins February 18 with “Wreck-It Ralph,” followed by “Frozen” (February 19), “Tangled” (February 20), “Big Hero 6” (February 21), “Bolt” (February 22), “Winnie the Pooh” (February 23) and concluding February 24 with “The Princess and the Frog.”

Each film screens at 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm. The 7:00pm screenings will be preceded by special presentations, which will include discussions with the filmmakers, and other special surprises.” “Zootopia” will play March 4 to April 10, 2016 at The El Capitan Theatre and is currently on sale.

Tickets for “Countdown to ‘Zootopia ’”are available at the El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online at www.elcapitantickets.com, or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6. There are also special packages with VIP preferred seating for four films, and for all seven 7:00pm shows featuring the special presentations.

“This is a festival sure to excite animation fans of all ages,” said James Wood, operations and stage production for The El Capitan Theatre. “When these pictures were first released, we were privileged to present most of them in their original engagements, including the world premiere engagement of ‘Frozen.’ These films are now considered classics, and we are proud to be presenting them again, many of which have not been seen on the big screen since their initial releases. We are thrilled to be bringing the filmmakers to talk about these special films and this will be the first time El Capitan guests can hear them talk about their work. Our guests will also have a larger picture of the scope of Walt Disney Animation Studios by seeing the short subjects created during that time.”

Calendar listing for “Countdown to ‘Zootopia’”

Films and Times:
WRECK-IT RALPH (2012) Thursday, February 18 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
FROZEN (2013) Friday, February 19 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
TANGLED (2010) Saturday, February 20 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
BIG HERO 6 (2014) Sunday, February 21 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
BOLT (2008) Monday, February 22 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
WINNIE THE POOH (2011) Tuesday, February 23 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (2009) Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00a, 1:00p, 4:00p, and 7:00p with special presentation

Venue: The El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood CA 90028

Tickets: In person — The El Capitan Theatre box office, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood CA 90028
Online — www.elcapitantickets.com
Phone -– 1-800-DISNEY6
Groups — Special group rates for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110.

Single reserved seat admission — $10 includes small popcorn and drink
Single VIP preferred reserved seat — $20 includes VIP popcorn and drink
Four show VIP preferred reserved seating (Guest picks four movies and showtimes to attend) — $76 includes VIP popcorn and drink at each film
All seven 7:00pm with special presentations VIP preferred packages — $126 includes VIP popcorn and drink at each film.


Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore take moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in “Wreck-It Ralph.” Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?

FROZEN (2013)
Walt Disney Animation Studios presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), who also wrote the screenplay. It is produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). Featuring original songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Tony® winner Robert Lopez and an original score by Christophe Beck.

TANGLED (2010)
Walt Disney Pictures presents “Tangled,” one of the most hilarious, hair-raising tales ever told. When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. “Tangled” is a story of adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair.

BIG HERO 6 (2014)
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

BOLT (2008)
The days of canine superstar Bolt (John Travolta) are filled with danger and intrigue … until the cameras stop rolling. But Bolt doesn’t know that he’s on a TV show; he thinks his amazing powers are real. When Bolt is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to the mean streets of New York, he begins his most-amazing adventure: Armed only with his delusions and accompanied by a cat and a hamster, he sets out to find his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus).

Three stories inspired by A.A. Milne add up to a very busy day for Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) and friends. Upon learning that Eeyore (Bud Luckey) has lost his tail, the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood start a contest to see who can find a new one for the melancholy donkey — with a pot of honey going to the winner. Amid the goings-on, Owl (Craig Ferguson) mistakenly relates the news that Christopher Robin has been abducted. However, all ends well when Pooh finds a land of sweet delights.

Hardworking and ambitious, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), who has been turned into an amphibian by evil Dr. Facilier. Mistaking her for a princess and hoping to break the spell, Naveen plants a kiss on poor Tiana — thereby turning her into a frog as well. The pair hop along on an adventure through the bayous to seek the help of a powerful voodoo priestess.

A timeless heroine in the tradition of Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine and the rest of the beloved royal sisterhood, Tiana came to life with classic hand-drawn Disney animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements (“Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid”) and a jazz-infused musical score from Academy Award® winning composer Randy Newman (Best Original Song, “Monsters, Inc.,” 2001).

If you want to reach me I’m on Twitter, on Facebook, and also available at [email protected] . If you’d like to support Fab News, I’d appreciate it. You can pledge a dollar or more a month through Patreon or you can make a one-time donation of a dollar or more through Square. Just click on the banners below. Thanks!fabnewspatreon


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