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Parenting in the Park
Tips and ideas for the traveling family
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Storytelling at Disneyland
I enjoy reading my "Parenting in the Parks" emails, especially when they give me good ideas. Recently, one kind reader suggested a column about the Storytellings at Disneyland. Why I hadn't thought of this earlier is beyond me. In my opinion and experience, these Storytellings are lesser known treasures in the park. If you're planning a trip soon or if you're a "regular" who hasn't yet stopped to enjoy them, here's some encouragement...

Princess Storytellings

Tucked away in the corner of the Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe in Sleeping Beauty's Castle you will encounter the Princess Storytellings. Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White stop by daily with an assistant to share a story with visitors. Children sit on the floor while adults sit or stand behind them. In the past, the Princess and her assistant would regularly tell a classic children's fairy tale such as "The Three Little Pigs" or "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." One of my favorite storytelling memories involved a very entertaining version of "Little Red Riding Hood." Recently the Princesses have focused on telling their own stories. For example, Belle will tell the story of "Beauty and the Beast," or Snow White will tell about her adventures with the Seven Dwarfs.

Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe
Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe

The Princess and her assistant interact with the audience.... as well as the toys. The front corner of the Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe is filled with plush characters who often serve as puppets in place of various characters in the stories.

The setting is intimate which has advantages and disadvantages. Children have a chance to really spend some time with the princesses as they listen to and interact with the stories. After the story is over, everyone can form a line to collect autographs of and pictures with the princess, too.

Be sure to arrive about ten minutes early to secure a spot. The Storytellings are held near a door and often attract passers by once they start! Princess Storytellings are held daily at 11 am with Belle, noon with Cinderella, and 1:30 pm with Snow White. This schedule is subject to change, so be sure to stop by the Information Booth near the Hub on Main Street. Disneyland conveniently stations a "Character Host" or "Hostess" at this location to help guests find any characters you may be looking for. These helpful CMs (Cast Members) will also be able to confirm the Storytelling times and the princesses who will be appearing that day.

The author and family with the performers at Aladdin and Jasmine's Storytelling Adventure
The author and family with the performers at Aladdin and Jasmine's Storytelling Adventure

Aladdin and Jasmine's Storytelling Adventure

I've written about this gem before and here I am writing about it again. Aladdin and Jasmine's Storytelling Adventure is located in Aladdin's Oasis in Adventureland. Long time Disneyland fans will know this as the former Tahitian Terrace. In recent years Aladdin's Oasis offered a dinner show which is no longer available. Rather than let this space go unused, Disneyland now has an opportunity for guests to stop by and enjoy a really great show.

Your hosts for this show are Kazoo and his sidekick, Barker Bob. Approximately 10 minutes before the show starts, Kazoo and Barker Bob greet guests and invite them into the Oasis with their unique senses of humor. I've often heard guests ask Barker Bob how long the show lasts. Barker Bob usually replies: "15 minutes but the memories last a lifetime." OK, so the joke does not transfer well to the printed word, but when Barker Bob says it, it's funny. Trust me.

A whole new world...
A whole new world...

The seats directly in front of the Oasis stage are reserved for children. Oriental rugs and satin pillows cover the floor there to offer a comfortable atmosphere. Tables and chairs are available behind this area and on the other levels of the Oasis for "children at heart." Once the show begins, Kazoo serves as narrator with Aladdin and Jasmine joining him to portray themselves. But Kazoo can't possibly play all the other roles himself, so he usually ends up turning to the children on the floor to expand the cast.

Like the Princess Storytellings, audience members have the opportunity to collect autographs and take pictures with Aladdin, Jasmine and Kazoo after the Aladdin show. In addition, the children who have been chosen to help Kazoo during the course of the show receive a special button to commemorate their experiences. Barker Bob is not usually available for photos after the show, so if you want to be sure to get his photo and/or autograph, your better bet is to ask him as he's greeting guests before the show.

Aladdin and Jasmine's Storytelling Adventure runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday year-round. During busy seasons such as Christmas, New Years, and the summer, it also runs during the week. Showtimes are 11:00 am, 11:55, 12:55, 1:55, 3:45, 4:40, 5:35, and 6:30. In case of rain, the shows are cancelled (the Oasis is partially outdoors, although very shaded,) but the cast will come out to greet guests and pose for pictures and autographs at the regular show times.

If you go to Aladdin's Oasis, be prepared to laugh. And, in my other MousePlanet role as the Disneyland Potty lady I must say, if you need to use a restroom, be sure to take advantage of the very clean and well themed potties there...

Storytelling at the Grand Californian
Storytelling at the Grand Californian

But wait, there's more...

Storytelling is now available at the the Grand Californian. Folks visiting the new hotel can stop by and hear a cast member (CM) dressed as a hiker tell a story in front of the fireplace in the giant lobby. Unlike the stories inside Disneyland, these do not feature a character.

"Tales from the Hearth" runs Sunday through Thursday at 3:45, 6 and 7 pm, and Friday and Saturday at 3:45 and 7:00 pm. This schedule may change as it is new.

The new California Adventure park will also host storytelling in the Golden State area at the Ahwahnee Camp circle - and once we have an opportunity to experience it, we'll tell you more about it.

According to advance schedules "Stories of California" appears to have seven performances a day - starting at either 11 AM, 12 noon or 2 PM - then on the hour until 3:30, 4:30 or 5:30 PM whereupon they begin at half past the hour.


Wanted: Your questions and feedback! They will help me plan future columns! Write me at: AdrienneK@mouseplanet.com

Storytelling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrienne gathered experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job, being Matthew's Mom.

Adrienne and Matthew visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.

Besides Matthew, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The Happiest Potties on Earth website.

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