Hello, greetings and welcome! Don’t fall asleep on me! I’ve been binge-watching Netflix shows with Alice (YES! She’s back after two months away!) and doing spring cleaning because it’s 82 degrees here in SoCal. I keep trying to get back to Disneyland but I haven’t done so yet. And I have to pick up a Shipwreck barrel for someone! Oh, and here’s a Fab News . . . this one’s rewarding.

Sweet Substitute for LEGOLAND Castle Hardhat Tour

Half-pint Theme Park blogger Lindalee Rose was unable to attend, so little sis Juliette took over to make this really wonderfully-edited and produced video about the event and Castle Hotel walk-through this past Thursday at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, CA. MiceChat Matt and I were also there and took photos and spoke to some really nice folks, but this is just adorbs:

It’s gonna have a pool and a hot tub, 250 rooms just like the LEGOLAND Hotel. I had a nice chat with Chef Michael Benson about the fantastic locavore menus planned for the new digs and we also got to sample some of the Dragon Restaurant’s breakfast menu items. Breakfast is included every morning with your hotel stay, and includes not only local fruits and vegetables, but also local ranch beef and chicken PLUS they are Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch participants, meaning that the seafood is safe for humans and the continuation of sea life alike. Breakfast will be a combination of grab-and-go and made-to-order, so that families can customize to their personal needs.

This one-of-a-kind (for California) sit-down restaurant will also have an outdoor grill with more casual fare just outside, in the Grand Courtyard toward the swimming pool area, so that adventurers can grab a bite and watch a show on the stage, and if naptime beckons after lunch and swimming gets tots tired out, your room is literally steps away! I’m trying to think of any other American theme park that has rooms this close. There’s one, the Grand Californian, and that’s it, right? Anyway, Matt will have and in-depth photo report for you this weekend.

Note: If you have an EV, you’ll have to charge at the 7-11 or the Outlet Mall in Carlsbad. LEGOLAND’s chargers no longer work. (I hope they’re switching over to EVgo.)

Dotty Over Minnie

In case you haven’t noticed, Disney is celebrating Minnie Mouse’s 90th Birthday this year with lots and lots of polka dots! Torrid clothing has an INCREDIBLE line of Minnie wear right now; run over there and look! And I had JUST blown my last dollar on my Haute Cash cash-in. Sigh. I can’t complain. I got this rose gold top that’s actually rose gold. Now if I could only get my mitts on a pair of those ears!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 22: Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger and Katy Perry attend ceremony for Minnie Mouse as she receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in Celebration of her 90th Anniversary at El Capitan Theatre on January 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Disney )

So, they gave Minnie Mouse a star on Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate her 90th birthday last week, Mickey got one on his 50th. Honestly, they both should have gotten them much earlier, don’t you think? Anyway, for some reason, they’re celebrating her birthday at the beginning of the year, even though they actually share the same official birthday, November 18th. Yep, they both debuted in Steamboat Willie AND they were both voiced by one Walter Elias Disney!

I love Minnie in Plane Crazy (which was produced before Steamboat Willie but was the third Mickey short ever released), because she saves the day with her giant underwear and then clocks Mickey with a horseshoe for acting like a masher. I say we solve Hollywood’s problem the Minnie Mouse way and let every aspiring actress carry a horseshoe in her purse. If some sleazebag decides to get pervy, show him some real purty stars. Or birdies.

In her latest video, Minnie’s solving problems without horseshoes and violence, which, while less fun for you and I, is a much better example for the kidlets. These episodes from the hit Disney Junior TV Show Mickey and the Roadster Racers feature Minnie and her pals Daisy and Figaro helping each other and having fun as Cruise Directors, Babysitters, Personal Assistants, and Broadcasters. They’re really cute. The video’s not out yet – it comes out February 6. I’ll have more information about the disk itself later. We should all be so active at 90. The polka-dots help!

Disney Wants CMs to Work $marter

Disney

Dusty sent this over to me because Disney is giving a $1,000 cash bonus to more than 125,000 eligible employees. You’ve probably already heard about that. But did you know that the Company is also giving $50 million in a new and ongoing education program specifically designed to cover tuition costs for hourly employees? That’s a combined $175 million. With this new plan, participants can pursue qualifying higher education or vocational training, including courses unrelated to their current responsibilities at Disney. By creating new opportunities for those who wish to continue their education, employees can advance in their current roles or support their long-term career aspirations.

After the initial investment of $50 million, Disney will provide up to $25 million in annual funding going forward.

Here’s what Bob Iger has to say about that:

“I am proud we are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program,” Mr. Iger said. “I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity; it opens doors and creates new possibilities. Matched with the $1,000 cash bonus, these initiatives will have both an immediate and long-term positive impact.”

The Company’s current educational reimbursement program, which is open to all full-time employees.

And while there has been some grumbling online about whether or not the Union employees will also get the bonus (mostly due to contract issues) or how far a thousand dollars goes these days, it’s free money for the employees and some additional educational opportunities. Nice little bonus for the folks who have the hard job of trying to make us all smile.

Wanna Buy a Chance at a Lamp?

Would you like to win a pair of tickets to see Disney’s Aladdin The Musical at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on March 3? MiceChat friend Skypp Cabanas sent this over to me because he personally has some tickets he’s giving away for charity. Here’s the info from Skypp:

You could win a pair of tickets by simply donating to the National MS Society on my MS Giving Page HERE. Every $50 you donate will give you one entry into this contest. The contest will close on February 13th with the winners being contacted on February 14th. Somebody’s going to have a really happy Valentine’s Day – but everybody who donates will have a happy tax day next year, because the National MS Society IS a 501(c)(3) organization.

The National MS Society exists not only to bring awareness to this terrible disease called Multiple Sclerosis and to offer patients support, but to also fund cutting-edge research for a cure to this disease that effects roughly 2.5 million people. MS affects a person’s nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and its symptoms can include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue. Imagine not being able to know if you could get out of your own bed on any given morning simply because your muscles won’t respond. This is just one of the issues that faces people who have Multiple Sclerosis.

When Annette Funicello first showed symptoms of the disease, tabloids published photos of her, saying that she was drunk, because she had trouble walking and her speech was slightly slurred. In 2002, she was the Ambassador for the National MS Society Walk. It took her from us. It took many loved ones away from many people. It took my dad’s father away from him when my dad was just three years old.

I’m so happy to have tickets to this amazing show to give in the hopes it helps put another dent in this terrible disease. MS Giving Page HERE

It’s Almost Here!

It’s time to celebrate MiceChat/MiceAge Anniversary (our 15th) with another AMAZING weekend of events. Join us for an evening of food, wine, celebrities and Disney history on February 2nd, the MiceChat Gumball Rally on February 3rd, and a Disneyland Day of Play on February 4th!

Feb 2nd – An Evening of Disney Delights

(only 2 tickets left when I last checked)

David Koenig presents a panel of original Jungle Cruise skippers! The jokes will be corny and the history will be heartfelt. Garner Holt, legendary creator of the world’s best animatronics, presents one of the original female Imagineers, Tania Norris, who worked with Walt Disney and all the early Disneyland creatives. Tanya joined Imagineering to help design New Orleans Square and the Haunted Mansion! You are going to LOVE her story! Plus, meet award-winning Disney authors Mindy Johnson,  Dave Bossert and David Koenig This whole event is amazing!  Sign up today HERE

February 3rd – MiceChat Gumball Rally

The world-famous MiceChat Gumball Rally is rolling your way on February 3rd. It’s a competition to see which team can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day.  It is not to be missed.  For more information about the game and to sign up, please visit: GumballRally.Rocks

February 4th – Disneyland Day of Play

And we finally have a schedule to share with you for our annual MiceChat Anniversary day at Disneyland!  It will be a fun-filled day at the happiest place on earth with your fellow Disney nerds. Meet up with old friends or make new ones as we eat Mickey Mouse pancakes, ride the river and rails, give away prizes, and enjoy the day like the big kids at heart we all are.
Please visit the event page on Facebook for event info and to let us know you are coming:  Day of Play Event Page HERE

Here are those event links again:

February 2nd – Evening of Disney Delights Event Info HERE
February 3rd – Gumball Rally Event Info HERE
February 4th – Disneyland Day of Play Information HERE

Come to one or all of our delightful Anniversary events! I hope to see you all there!!!

MiceChat Gumball Rally Sponsored By: 

Well, I think that’s all I have to tell you for now. I’ll get back to Call the Midwife, The Good Place and Grace and Frankie and my chauffeur duties for the week. I’d love to hear from you. It makes my century! I’m @PinkMonorail on Twitter and I’m on Facebook and I also am on Patreon and would appreciate any support you could toss to my favorite causes.