Around the Web: Saving Mr. Banks Trailer

“Winds in the east, mist coming in.” Is anybody else as excited as we are over this Saving Mr. Banks trailer? Because it is seriously combining all of our favorite things in one place: Tom Hanks, check; Emma Thompson, check; Disneyland, check, check. Not only does it follow the development process behind one of our favorite movies, Mary Poppins, but it involves a trip to Disneyland with Walt himself. Plus, parts of the movie were actually filmed at the park! It’s coming out in December. Um, is it Christmas yet?

Makin’ Memories: Laura & Billy Hill

2 Miss Mouses wants to share some of our favorite Disney memories with you and we hope you’ll do the same. For our inaugural “Makin’ Memories” post, we knew the perfect photo to share with you.

Our cousin Laura has always been our family’s littlest/youngest mouse. We were with her when she made her first trip to Disneyland. She was so little that she when she got tired, our dad carried her on his shoulders. Over the years, we have treasured the chances we’ve had to visit the park with Laura. When Laura was about 10 years old, we went to see “Billy Hill and the Hillbillies” at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. For those of you who have seen the show, you know that sometimes Billy will choose an audience member to come up on stage and “perform” with the Hillbillies. Long story short, Laura got chosen. We were all nervous for her (after all she was just a little kid), but she hopped up on stage and was her normal, brilliant, sassy & fun self. Billy handed her a small plastic violin and when he tried to show her how to play she said, “I’ve got this!” The audience howled. She committed so strongly to playing that little violin, all the Hillbillies were cracking up. When they told her it was time for the “Big Finish,” she didn’t hesitate and jumped up in the air with them and did a perfect freeze frame.

Billy Hill & the Hillbillies by 2 Miss Mouses

The next day, we were entering the park when a little boy saw Laura and told his mom, “Mom, it’s the girl from the Billy Hill show! Wow!” Laura, not missing a beat, turned to the little boy (not much younger than she was) and said, with a big smile, “No autographs, please!”

Aside from a few inches, not much has changed over the years. Laura is still brilliant, sassy & fun. Right now, she’s actually en route to her freshman year of college. We can’t believe how time flies, but we now that no matter where she is or how old she gets, she’ll always be that fearless girl with the violin. We love ya, Lo. Knock ’em dead, little miss mouse!

Guest Blogger: Summer of Imagineering

We are so excited to share with you this post written by our friend Lauren, another miss mouse if ever there was one. Lauren is such a big fan of Disney that she’s taking part in the Imagineering program this summer. When she offered to tell us all about her experiences, we jumped at the chance. Check out this awesome post that she wrote for us 🙂

Lauren's Imagineering Badge

You know that feeling when your lifelong dream comes true? In case the answer is “not yet,” I can say with some certainty that it’s a pretty good feeling, tempered at times by “pinch me” disbelief. And I’m not just talking about the opportunity to write for my favorite blog. I am a huge fan of the 2 Miss Mouses.

Like the 2 Miss Mouses, I was a Disney kid. My Disney parents honeymooned at Walt Disney World. Photographic evidence shows them with short shorts of the same length, socks almost to the knee and hair of the same volume, alongside an 80’s Mickey Mouse. They proceeded to have Disney children and to take them every year to the Happiest Place on Earth, where dreams come true.

Europe is a really fun place to be if you are a Disney fan, which is what I discovered when my career took me there shortly after college. The early fairy tales that went to film came from the old world. Fantasyland is basically Germany. If you don’t believe me, look at the inlaid wood near and around Snow White’s Scary Adventures or Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (or even the Village Haus) and then stroll down the Hauptstraße (Main Street) of any German Altstadt (Old Town) and agree that it’s easy to feel like Belle walking through her village early in the morning…in France.

This summer I took a short break from Europe to come back to California (Southern) to work as an intern at Walt Disney Imagineering. I had visited the campus before but this time I belonged here; I had a purpose.

Even though Imagineers are not cast members (we are not onstage, rather, we make the magic), all Imagineers go through the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts orientation program called Traditions. Attendees of Traditions are primarily Disneyland Resort cast members. In my group I met a future candy maker on Main Street, a lifeguard and a nighttime maintenance fellow.

One early Friday morning my fellow Imagineers and I left Glendale for Anaheim. Our call time was 8:00 am but we arrived at 7:00, not because we are eager beavers, but because we left really early in order to beat the traffic.

Before Traditions, I had never been backstage at Disneyland. During the tour, we weaved in and out between the worlds onstage and backstage. I overheard a guest say, “Those people are really dressed up.” So if you see a group of well-dressed people wearing nametags walking around in a group through Disneyland on a Friday, it might be Traditions, and it might also be those Cast Members’ first time on stage.

I knew a fair amount of Disney knowledge and trivia before this orientation, but I had never thought about Disneyland as it was described during that day:

When you walk in to Disneyland, the entry area is like the lobby of the theatre. You see Mickey’s face in the flowers and the Disneyland Railroad station above. But you can’t see anything past that until you walk through one of two hallways with attraction posters on either side. These posters are like coming attractions, previews of movies you are about to see. Finally, you enter Main Street USA, where unlike at the movies, the set and the action are all around. As you walk down Main Street, the names of the Imagineers of yore line the windows and storefronts. These are the opening credits. When you reach the hub and the Partners statue, the movie has become an adventure that is yours to choose. Do you want to enter the world of adventure? Discover the American frontier? Live in a fairy tale in the land of fantasy? Or blast off into tomorrow?

Even though the day to day is not exactly like going to Disneyland, my days this summer have been filled with excitement, surprises, wonder and, of course, magic.

Stay tuned in the coming days, months and years because my colleagues have amazing things planned for all of the parks around the world, that I am sure will please the fan and the non-fan alike.

Remember that feeling when your dreams come true? That feeling doesn’t end.

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The author is an Environmental Engineer from Northern California and is doing her Master’s degree in Industrial Ecology in Europe. She can be found at uncivilengineering.tumblr.com

Dining at Disney: Carthay Circle

Even before the Carthay Circle officially opened in DCA in June 2012, we were in love. The gorgeous exterior itself is such a huge reminder of Hollywood history and glamour and everyone needs a little glamour from time to time 🙂 We couldn’t wait to get inside. In the past year, we’ve been twice for lunch (check out our May Trip report) and both times were wonderful dining experiences from beginning to end.

Carthay Circle Review by 2 Miss Mouses

This restaurant knows how to make an entrance. Disney’s Carthay Circle is a reproduction of the original Carthay Circle- the Hollywood landmark where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first premiered in 1937 and movie history buffs will not be disappointed. Make sure to look around the lobby at all the original posters and pictures. Once you check in, grab a drink at the bar and lounge about for a bit.

Carthay Lobby by 2 Miss Mouses

Once you’re table is ready, you’ll be led upstairs. You’ll be given an option of taking the elevators or the stairs. Because we’re all a bit claustrophobic, we opted for the stairs. The hallway leading to the restaurant is lined with photos of Walt in Hollywood & walking through the space, you can’t help but feel that he would have felt right at home here.

Carthay Circle Upstairs by 2 Miss Mouses

We love the bread they serve and who couldn’t get behind a giant pat of butter?

Bread & Butter @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

Dining at Carthay is about much more than the food (although that is great). We really enjoyed being seated in the main room. Between the candelabras, bright sky-lights and colorful murals, the space feels open, luxurious, and warm.

Ceiling of Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

There’s only one thing you need to know when ordering at Carthay Circle: GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS! Sorry, we don’t mean to shout, but GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS…they are stuffed with white cheddar, bacon, and jalapeno. They are served with apricot honey butter. They are heaven.

Biscuits @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

Hayley ordered the kobe beef cheek sliders and they were delicious (although she did mention that they were a bit chewy).

Sliders @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

The roasted beet salad was our mom’s choice. She said it was light and fresh tasting. Carthay prides itself on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. In fact, their menu changes by season. We’ve tried summer and fall…we can’t wait for spring and winter 🙂

Beet Salad @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

It’s an old joke in our family that the one thing you never order at Disneyland is a burger because well, they ain’t so good usually. But, at Carthay the burger curse is finally over.  I couldn’t resist ordering one when I knew that Hayley was getting the sliders. Also, I always think it’s fun to go to a fancy restaurant and order a burger. To me, it’s the ultimate test. Wow! This was such a goooood burger, but the real stand out were the french fries. They were a perfectly salted and crunchy delight.

Fries Carthay Style by 2 Miss Mouses

The details at Carthay will blow you away. Whoever designed the space did the perfect job of instilling Old Hollywood glamour. Even the dessert menu was stylish.

Dessert Menu @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

We couldn’t leave without trying some dessert. The first time we dined at Carthay we opted for the s’mores tart, which was out of this world. This time we ordered the lemon pound cake with blueberries. What a show stopper!

Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberries by 2 Miss Mouses

On our walk out, we had to stop and take look at this picture of Walt & Shirley Temple. What we truly love about Carthay is that it captures Walt’s love of Hollywood and movie-making. Next time your at the park, make sure to stop by and buy a ticket to the Carthay Circle.

Walt & Shirley Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses