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"Family Fun Weekends" give Southern Californians an extra incentive to revisit the Disneyland Resort

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"Family Fun Weekends" give Southern Californians an extra incentive to revisit the Disneyland Resort

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There's kind of a perception out there that - once the holiday season wraps up in Southern California - that the Disneyland Resort isn't much as fun to visit as it used to be back in October, November and December.

Which is kind of understandable. Right now, anyway. Given that Disney California Adventure Park is currently wall-to-wall construction walls. Whereas over at Disneyland Park ... Well, since four of that theme park's most popular attractions - it's a small world, The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain and Star Tours - are currently offline, there's obviously less to do & see right now at The Happiest Place on Earth.

Which isn't to say that there aren't entertaining & intriguing events happening at the Disneyland Resort these days.  Take - for example - this past Wednesday. When the Resort recognized U.S. Army Staff Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo & Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta during a special flag retreat ceremony at Disneyland Park.


(L to R) Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo and Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta at last
Wednesday's ceremony. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

For those of you who haven't heard: Giunta was recently presented with the Medal of Honor - our nation's highest military honor - by President Obama for his heroic actions in Afghanistan. He is the first living service member to receive the medal for action in any war since Vietnam.

Also honored at Wednesday's flag retreat ceremony was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo. Who's a  Silver Star recipient as well as a Southern California native from Chula Vista. Giunta and Gallardo served together in Afghanistan and were both decorated for their heroism during the same battle. Last week, prior to the flag retreat ceremony, both honorees enjoyed a day at the Disneyland Resort with their families.


Staff Sgt. Erick and his wife Jacqueline ride up Main Street, U.S.A. in the
front of the park's touring car while Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and his
wife Jen ride in the back.  Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

And this past weekend, in an effort to liven up this post-holiday period at the Parks, Disneyland just launched "Family Fun Weekends." Which is this series of specially themed events where DLR visitors will then have the chance to enjoy music & dance presentations, not to mention sample food and purchase crafts from different cultures.

First out of the gate this year was "Fiesta Disneyland." Which saw the Festival Arena area out behind Big Thunder Ranch festooned with colorful banners & decorations.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

As you wandered through this part of the Park, you could check out a display of Mimi Ramos' Day of the Dead paintings, folk art and ceramics ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... or watch a concert by the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... or watch a performance by the Disney Dancers. Who were all decked out in their folkorico finery.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Mind you, if you had little kids along with you, there was plenty for them to do at "Fiesta Disneyland" as well. They could try their hand at coloring ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... or get some face time with the Fab Five ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... who - to mark this very special occasion ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... -- were all dressed up in appropriate outfits.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And it wasn't just the little kids who were enjoying having their pictures taken with the Fab Five at "Fiesta Disneyland."


Photo by Shelly Valladolid

If you'd like to get in on "Family Fun Weekends" at Disneyland ... Well, this coming Friday, they'll be kicking off Kickin' Country Weekend at the Park. Which will feature live music & dance in the Festival Arena area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 21st - 23rd. And did I mention that Cowboy Mickey & Cowgirl Minnie Mouse are expected to make an appearance at this event?

In the weekends that follow, we'll see Character Fans Days (January 28th - 30th) and a celebration of the Lunar New Year (February 4th - 6th as well as the 11th - 13th). And then - starting on February 18th - "Family Fun Weekends" abandons the Festival Arena area for New Orleans Square. So that Disneyland  Park can then kick off a three-week-long celebration of Mardi Gras. Which will feature music & food as well as appearances by Princess Tiana and other characters from Disney's "The Princess and The Frog."

So if you're one of those folks who has fallen into a just-two-visits-a-year rut when it comes to Disneyland (i.e. you go to the Park once each summer in order to catch the newest attraction, parade and/or fireworks display, & then you go to Disneyland sometime between October and December in order to see all of the special seasonal entertainment) ... Now might be a very good time to vary your routine. See what the place has to offer in its off-season. Especially now that "Family Fun Weekends" is giving Southern California residents some extra incentive to revisit the Disneyland Resort.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

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  • Haunted Mansion is not closed. Disney always spaces out the holiday conversions of Haunted Mansion and Small World so that they are not closed at the same time.

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