Have you read any Top 10 Disney 2017 lists yet?
If not, let me take care of that for you!
It’s nearly a New Year! A New Year often causes you to reflect on the things that happened this past year. I see so many people sharing their “top 10” or reflecting on the successes of their year. It seems to be a time to reminisce about the recent past.
So why would we not want to have our “Top 10″ here on MousekeMoms? In fact, we want to reflect on the year of Disney and theme parks and find our “tops” in each category.
I am going to go first. Kiz will then share her Top 10 Disney 2017 in another post. There are 12 categories that I am including in this Top 10 Disney 2017 lists!
1. Top Disney Movie of 2017
2017 lead the way into a series of incredible Disney movies from Cars 3, to Pirates, to Thor, to Guardians, to Star Wars. Yes, it was a hot year for Disney movies. It is hard to pick my favorites as I enjoyed so many of them.
But I am really, really loving this whole live action movie remakes resurgence that started in 2014.
So although there were some super stellar action films and some cute animated ones, my #1 Disney movie of the year is Beauty and the Beast. I still like Cinderella just a little better. But since this is my 2017 list – that is my pick.
Just for a little thought – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was my second favorite flick of the year. 😉
2. Top California Adventure Change Implemented in 2017
There weren’t a lot of changes to Disney’s California Adventure that were implemented in 2017…oh except for that big one of the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.
Other than that, you had FastPass added to Toy Story Midway Mania (which was a HUGE needed change in my opinion).
However, even if there were a number of changes, it would probably be hard to top the incredible change to our beloved Hollywood Tower of Terror into the new ride that it is today.
The closing of the Hollywood Tower of Terror was one of my most disappointing announcements of 2016. But, after experiencing the change for myself multiple times in 2017, the new ride is nothing short of stellar.
The animatronics and the atmosphere are probably one of the best done to date. It is truly an unbelievable, or rather actually believable ride immersion. That Rocket animatronic will give you a double take! Is it really him?
And the essence of why I loved Tower so much is still there – those weightless, relaxing drops that take me off my seat several inches. I just adore that weightless feeling.
3. Top Disneyland Change Implemented in 2017
2017 in the neighboring and classic Disneyland was not all that exciting this year. Perhaps it’s because we are all waiting with extreme anticipation for the most major project to date. More on that in a minute.
I would pick the Main Street Electrical Parade, but it was so short-lived, that it just can’t make my list.
So I want to say MaxPass as it is an awesome tool (and it covers both parks, not just Disneyland)…but I hate that it costs money to use it. In fact, quite a bit if you are a family. It is $10 per person, per day. That can cut into the budget quite a bit. So although it is awesome, I just don’t like the cost, so I am not going to pick this!
But, I will say, after 19 months of a disappointing closure – the Rivers of America, Disneyland Railroad and Fantasmic returned this past summer. I missed these rides and attractions so much during that 19 months that they were shut down due to Star Wars construction! In fact, my kids’ favorite ride at Disneyland are the Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. And now it is back!
4. Top Disneyland Change Announcement 2017
Again, 2017 was not all that exciting this year in Disneyland changes. Again, it’s likely because we are all waiting with extreme anticipation for the most major project to date – Star Wars Land.
But how can this be my favorite announcement this year if we have already known about it for quite some time now?
Well, because it’s that more of the announcement is being brought to light. More illustrated images are emerging, more construction pictures are emerging and the name of the land was announced this summer during D23 – we were calling it Star Wars Land for a while now, but we can finally call it by it’s proper name – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Yes, one of the biggest announcements for Disneyland was the official name of the the new land. In addition, Star Tours has recently been re-done, quietly, and if you paid attention, you will note that there are now two alternate endings…one of them landing in Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. It is a fun way to experience your first immersion in this new land. Thus the blurry picture on the bottom – Star Tours is 3D and my phone wasn’t wearing glasses. 😉
5. Top California Adventure Announcement of 2017
Unlike the news of the closure of the Hollywood Tower of Terror for the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, I am super stoked about this next change!
Pixar Pier. Yes, I am super excited about this well-needed change. I don’t mind Paradise Pier, but unless you are going to be immersed in a California themed land, I don’t particularly care. In fact, you are so close to the real thing, that my own family often visits Santa Monica Pier when we make our way down to So. Cal. So experiencing a theme-park version of it is kinda cheesy and I have always thought it takes away from the magic of Disney.
So how appropriate to turn it into a full Disney theme? Yes, this is one announcement that is fabulous news – a change I can fully support!
I made a video about it:
6. Top Hotel in Anaheim in 2017
I have a goal to try and stay at as many of the hotels in Anaheim as possible. We travel down to So. Cal from Utah and the Rocky Mountain Northwest, like hundreds of thousands do. That means there are at least tens of thousands looking for hotels in the area.
There are supposedly over 300 hotels in the area. That is going to take many years to try them all. But we stayed at quite a few in 2017 from the 2-star to the 5-star. Although the 5-star hotels are nice and all, what I wanted to find was a “diamond in the rough.”
That leads me to list Extended Stay America Anaheim Convention center as my 2017 pick.
It’s not a fancy hotel by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is a unique offering in which you basically get to rent a studio apartment for the cost of a Motel 8. It’s also within walking distance to the parks, making for a super affordable, super convenient option. We stayed there for a week in the Spring of 2017. We saved massive amounts of money on food and transportation.
We had full hot breakfasts in the room, thus sustaining us for hours, we packed a meal for the second meal. Plus, parking was free, and it was within walking distance, so we didn’t have additional parking or transportation fees.
Although the hotel itself is nothing to write home about, it meant that our budget for that trip was extended to 5 days from our normal 3-day visits. I have a typical set budget and I try to do what I can with it. That trip, the savings were so significant on the hotel and food that it meant 5 whole days in the parks!
We did a couple of live videos from this hotel to show you why we really appreciated this option!
7. Top Foodie Item at Disneyland 2017
Red Rose Taverne opened early in 2017. It was Disneyland’s way to bring the Beauty and the Beast excitement to Disneyland. Yes, it is not Be Our Guest Restaurant, but it’s a very nice re-do of the ol’ Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland. They have not made it official that it is a permanent re-do, but I really hope it becomes that way.
In this new theme, there is a delicious entree that I just love. I have a goal to try different and new foods everytime I go. Since my budget, nor my body would be pleased with me trying it all in one visit, I try to mix it up so I can share my experiences with my food interactions at Disneyland.
However, all of 2017, no matter how many times I would attempt to try something else, I still always had to grab a plate of one of my favorite dishes – Slow-Cooked Beef Poutine.
Yes, that delicious gravy drowning the crispy waffle cut fries, topped with pickled onions and the most delicious seasoned cheese curds. It’s a beautiful conglomoration of odd foods combined in one lipsmacking treat that will satisfy all of those entree urges in one.
I know some that have complained about the gravy making the waffle fries soggy and gross. I get that. No one wants soggy fries unknowingly. But if you know what you are getting, combine with the slow-cooked beef, pickled red onions (which means sweet and sour), and these cheese curds bursting with flavor, it is an amazing taste despite the soggy fry feeling.
So this is my top pick for 2017. You have to try it!
8. Top Treat at Disneyland for 2017
This one is always difficult. However, with I am drawn back to Red Rose Taverne in Fantasyland. For the first time, to my knowledge, this year was the first to introduce that “delicious Grey Stuff” referenced from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We finally got to try the Grey Stuff and if those dishes could truly talk, they would tell us it was delicious.
It is a “not to miss” treat like the Dole Whip has been for years.
In fact, it is so popular, that Kiz learned to make it and made it for her daughter’s birthday. Kiz is a girl after my own heart. That’s why we are travel buddies, eating buddies and well… buddies. 🙂
See the recipe for Grey Stuff and make it at home!
9. Top Disney Mickey Ears for 2017
I love that everywhere you turn, you find a new set of Disney Ears to enjoy! In 2016, my favorite ears where the Star Wars light-up Ears, hands down!
But 2017, it was a bit more difficult. 2017 brought the introduction of the Rose Gold Minnie Ears that went crazy popular overnight. Although I think they are pretty, nearly every adolescent girl running around Disney was wearing them. It sort of made the novelty wear off in a mere 30-minutes of being in the park.
However, early in 2017, I saw these really cool ears that were wires. I don’t know why, but I really gravitated towards them. However, I wanted personalized ones, ones that would match my favorite Disney Bounding outfit – thus I made my own Briar Rose Ears. My girls also made their own to match their outfits!
Can you guess what they were Disney Bounding as in 2017?
10. Top D23 Announcement
I must admit – this pick is a little odd and little out of nowhere. But I am a sentimental person, which is why I like Disneyland over Disney World anyday – Disneyland was developed at the hand of Walt himself.
So…it was announced at D23 2017 that is was Oswald’s 90th birthday. I love that cute little Lucky Rabbit. Walt Disney lost Oswald for his lifetime. But the Disney Co. got him back in 2006 – nearly 80 years after his debut.
Since this Lucky Rabbit is the first of Walt’s creation, it was cool to have him featured for his 90th Birthday at D23 2017.
However, we can’t be all that sad that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was lost to Walt Disney for his lifetime, because David Bossert “stressed the importance of this event because had it not happened, then perhaps Walt would have never created Mickey Mouse. ‘We hear that Walt said to never lose sight of the fact that it all started with a mouse,’ said Bossert. ‘But I like to say, ‘It all started with a rabbit!’”
Bonus Disney Tops!
I said it was going to be my Top 10 Disney 2017 lists, but there are two more categories that I just cannot spill the beans on – secrets and disappointments.
Top Favorite Secret Disney Discovery 2017
I love Disney Easter Eggs in movies and in parks and all around. It’s a fun, real-life mystery solving event. I love a challenge.
Well, I recently met a new favorite blogger – Freddy Martin at FreddyMartin.net. He is a So. Cal resident and a new friend. Ironically, we didn’t meet over a Disney event, we met because our children attend the same private school. His student and my student do not attend the actual school live, but both are part of the online distance learning classes. Well, this school had an annual event that was worth travelling the 750 miles to attend.
I started talking about my hobbies with the other parents, and lo and behold – I met Freddy Martin. He has some brilliant articles on his site about some Disney discoveries he found. One of those discoveries is a Disneyland Connection to S.E.A. and the S.E.A. photograph that will blow your mind!
So my favorite secret discovery in Disneyland is thanks to Freddy Martin and the connection to the artifacts inside of the new Bengal BBQ seating area in Adventureland. You must check it out…it’s awesome!
Top Disney Disappointment of 2017
Ticket prices. Again, in February of 2017, the ticket prices went up. It’s not the first, nor will it be the last. In fact, I suspect prices to increase every year for a while, with a really big jump happening in 2019 with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Here’s where we talked about this trend:
So let me ask again…