Princesses Are From Disneyland!

"That's From Disneyland!" is a free pop-up exhibit at the Van Eaton Galleries all this month. It's now in its final few days, but you can still pop by for a quick look if you're local to Los Angeles. The display is an impressive collection of park paraphernalia from a man named Richard Kraft, who somehow managed to store wall-sized paintings, ride vehicles, and more in his home before offering it to the gallery for a limited time public display. When I got in the long line to see it, Richard made his way all the way down to the end to greet everyone and welcome them to see his collection. He asked what we were most looking forward to seeing, but no one was prepared to answer that since none of us had been inside yet. So, he gave a pop quiz and asked which of the following three items was not part of his collection: A Dumbo ride vehicle, a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride vehicle, or an Autopia ride vehicle. The lady behind me correctly guessed the Autopia one, and then he made a joke about having a few more days to add that to his collection before the pop-up gallery closes.


My favorite ride in all of Disneyland Resort is Ariel's Undersea Adventure, but since that's in Disney's California Adventure, and this display only featured the main park, my favorite ride here was the Haunted Mansion. The photo op for the Haunted Mansion was the only one with a queue line, but it moved quickly and had an efficient volunteer taking pictures for everyone. It was a wall display of the four paintings you see in the elevator before boarding the ride at Disneyland. In the center of the paintings was an Instagram-ready tombstone to pose on along with an ample supply of long-stem red flowers to hold in the picture. The combination of death, flowers, and Disney immediately made me think of Sleeping Beauty, so I convinced my husband to lean over me while I lied on the tombstone with one of the flowers to give me true love's kiss.


Other princess-related items at the gallery included an old window display from the Emporium shop on Main Street of Cinderella's stepfamily getting ready to try on the glass slipper, a deformed Snow White figure from the '70s that was going to be sold later at an auction, and a beautiful mermaid from an old submarine ride that got shut down. There were also concept art and posters from various attractions as well as theatrical movie posters and artwork. The exhibit wasn't quite as big as I was expecting and only takes a few minutes to walk through unless you're one of those people who has to read everything. The miniature display of the front side of the park leading up to Sleeping Beauty Castle was pretty neat, but I also see those types of displays a lot in art stores at Downtown Disney. The volunteers did a great job tracking how many people went in and out of the exhibit to prevent it from getting too crowded. There was plenty of breathing room, and nothing on display had so many people in front of it that it was impossible to get a good look. Another great photo op that had no line was a "Bashful" car from the Snow White's Scary Adventure ride.

 

The main reason I went to see "That's From Disneyland!" last night is that I had tickets to an event called "Hanging out with Paul Scheer." To be honest, I didn't know who Paul Scheer or most of the other celebrity guests were, but my friend invited me to see Rachel Bloom from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The exhibit has had many nightly events throughout the month including another local performance of The Broadway Princess Party and concluding with a benefit concert by the Disney legend, Alan Menkin. The show I saw last night consisted of a small group of celebrities sharing their funniest stories about Disneyland. Each guest was also supposed to bring a surprise object. Rachel Bloom decided to bring her parents. She let them come up on stage and talk all about the best and worst of the Disney Parks. Another special guest at the event was Ben Schwartz, does the voice of Dewey in the 2017 reboot of DuckTales. Yesterday happened to be the same day that the mind-blowing season finale of the show had aired, so when Ben stood next to my row for the final act of the night, I couldn't resist chasing after him and telling him how much I had enjoyed the finale. He was just as excited about it as I was and talked enthusiastically about how much he loved both versions of the show. He was extremely charming, and I managed to get a picture with him before he left.


If I'm being honest, I wouldn't say "That's From Disneyland" is a must-see for any Disney fan, but it was run very professionally, and it's free, so it's a nice way to spend the day if you're local and have nothing else to do. There weren't a whole lot of princess-themed items there since most of them were from the era before Disney Princess became its own brand, but the Haunted Mansion and ride vehicle photo ops were fun. I always say that the Haunted Mansion is the most princessy ride at the Disneyland park because of the beautiful dancing ghost couples you pass in the banquet room. One of the reasons I prefer Disney's California Adventure overall is that it has more princess-themed attractions, but many of those are getting shut down in favor of Pixar. If you want to see this display, you'd better hurry because there are only four more days before it goes back into Richard Kraft's basement!

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