An Instagrammer’s Dream: Pop-up Disney! A Mickey Celebration comes to the Disneyland Resort

pop up disney disneyland mickey balloons

DisneyGrammers GET READY!  Prep your outfits and clear up space on your phone because Pop-Up Disneyland! A Mickey Celebration is opening on Friday April 26!  We were invited by Disneyland to a Media Preview to check out this beautifully curated space that was once ESPN Zone.  I decided at the last minute to make the girls Minnie and Mickey maxi dresses and got to sewing at 11:00 the night before.  I’m so glad I did because the outfits I saw at this event were FIERCE!

pop up disney disneyland disneymom

Disneyland’s first photo Pop-Up is a collection of seven Mickey themed rooms where you can pose against aesthetic walls and drape yourself on selected props.  Each room is unique and pays homage to the Mouse that started it all.  Tickets start at $30 (must be bought in advance as no tickets are sold on site) and include 5 hours of complementary Downtown Disney parking.  You select an entry time when you purchase tickets online (last reservation time is 9:00pm) and plan on spending about 90 minutes for the entire experience.  Pro tip:  reserve a weekday before 4pm for the $30 rate–the evening and weekend rate is $38.  Kids under 3 are admitted free.

Check in and Lobby

The Pop-Up is located on the far end of Downtown Disney right by the security gates at the Downtown Disney parking lot.  Be sure to allow yourself enough time to park, go through security, and check in 15 minutes before your reservation time.  The check in room is aesthetic in and of itself and you’ll probably want to spend 10 minutes taking selfies, but trust me and walk yourself into the waiting lobby.  You’ll be given a colored ticket which signifies your entry group.

The waiting lobby is a huge space decked out in the cutest Mickey art, ottomans and sitting areas.  Relax and take in some classic Mickey cartoons, listen to some Mickey music on the Beats by Dre Headphones.  This is also where the main restroom is, so be sure to use the facilities before the mass picture taking begins.  We were in the waiting lobby for about 15 minutes while other people checked in.  When your color is called, you will be escorted up the stairs to start the Pop-Up experience.  The seven rooms are (1) Mickey and Minnie’s Love, (2) It all Started with a Mouse, (3) Mickey’s Friendships, (4) Sorcerer Mickey’s Magic, (5) Mickey around the World, (6) Forever Mickey, (7) Mickey at Disneyland.

Room 1:  Mickey and Minnie’s Love

Pop up disney love bow

The first thing you see when you enter this room is the gigantic iconic Minnie Bow!  Super cute photo ops where you can sit in the center of the bow or do a boomie peeking out from behind.  There are three patterned walls:  Mickey heart hands, yellow bows and the classic red and white polka dots with huge yellow bows that you can stand under.  There’s also the heart wall that works best if one person stands at the point of the hearts and blows a kiss to the huge sequin heart.  Photos of Minnie and Mickey line the last wall where you can come up with your own creative poses (literally think outside the frame!)

Room 2:  It All Started With a Mouse

pop up disney steamboat littlegraythread family

Oh my heart and soul, a monochromatic black and white STEAMBOAT WILLIE ROOM.  I am a sucker for Steamboat Willie as he is my all time favorite Disney icon.  The focal point of this room is Steamboat Willie’s boat where you can spin the wheel and live out your steamboat dreams.  Pro tip:  take your boomies behind the wheel (I’m sad I forgot to do this!).  The other huge prop is from the first cartoon Plane Crazy where you can pose behind the airplane.  You’ll definitely want to get a photo by the plushie wall (look closely to find the one hidden Minnie plush!).  Since the entire room is black and white, pops of color like a red bow or yellow shoes would look super cute in this room.

Room 3:  Mickey’s Friendships

pop up disney friends mickey with love

As you leave the world of black and white, you get transported into a pop art museum featuring Mickey’s best pals.  Make a mad face by Donald Mickey and try to find the hidden Minnie in the Chip and Dale acorn Mickey Statue.  Daisy is represented in the topiary Mickey, Pluto has his dog house, and Goofy paints a mural on the wall.  I especially appreciated the mural on the side wall with all the characters holding hands (love is love is love).

Room 4:  Sorcerer Mickey’s Magic

Here’s where things get dark.  Literally.  The hallway is lit by gorgeous blue lights leading to Sorcerer Mickey surrounded by twinkling lights.  Pro tip:  as you enter the blue hallway, there’s one spot where the white light hits just right so you can get a photo without looking like someone from the Blue Man Group.

Room 5:  Mickey Around the World

This room gave me major Epcot vibes, but I literally gasped when I saw the setup dedicated to China.  My Asian heart soared especially since the design inside the Mickey head is the same design that was on the gate at the church where I grew up in Oakland Chinatown.  The girls loved the papel picado room and the lighting was spot on.  Some of my friends took photos with a little pinata prop, but I don’t recall seeing one when I was there.

Room 6:  Forever Mickey

pop up disney mirror pano

This brings us to what I like to call the “Mirror Rooms”.  There are so many fun ways you can incorporate the mirrors in your photos.  We discovered that the closer the girls got to the mirror, the better the reflections would interact with the overall photo.  Rylee took this panoramic photo of the girls which made me think what I would do if I really had 20 of the same children.  One of my favorite rooms was the mirrored Mickey with color changing neon lights.  Again, these rooms are pretty dark to really let the lights shine (literally), so make sure your camera can handle low light.

Room 7:  Mickey at Disneyland

pop up disney forever mickey balloon prop

The Grand Finale!  This is where you’ll find the huge Mickey Balloon that you can stand behind.  I noticed that it was hard to see the details of our faces when we were inside of the balloon, so I wish we grabbed a photo standing in front of the balloon.  You can also touch the Mickey balloons on the side which was a huge hit with the kids.

pop up disney disneyland snack wall

These were some of my favorite walls from the entire exhibit because it featured all the Disneyland snacks!  Since the design goes all the way to the ground, this is a great photo opp for little kids to pretend like they’re eating the snacks.  Since this is the last room of the exhibit, I didn’t feel rushed.  The final wall is the “See Ya Real Soon” wall and one last black Mickey against a colorful backdrop.

Is it Worth It?

When I first heard that they were installing a photo pop-up that was basically created just for people to take new Instagram Pics, I was skeptical especially since there are so many Instagrammable walls that are located inside the Parks for free.  After experiencing the Pop-Up, especially surrounded by so many hype Disney Fans who also appreciate a good wall pic, I definitely think this is worth it if you are their target audience.

Am I Their Target Audience?

pop up disney forever mirror walkway

Are you a Disney Fan?  Do you like taking pictures?  Do you like to be on the cutting edge of Disney History?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, YES, you are the target audience!  Sure, you can take photos by the Small World Wall inside the parks, but where else can you sit on a larger than life Minnie Bow or actually steer Steamboat Willie’s boat?  Think of the aesthetics, the celebration of Mickey, the WALLS!  What I noticed in the 90 minutes that I was inside of this exhibit is that my confidence was boosted as I got to play indulgent model for a tiny part of the day.  I was surrounded by other people who were equally as excited to pose by a Mickey Waffle and we got to share a brief moment being Disney fangirls.

What Should I Wear?

Ah.  The age old question.  Since this is an homage to Mickey, I say bring out your best Disney Style.  Wear something that represents your own personal fashion, but with subtle Mickey hints.  You don’t even necessarily have to break out the classic red and white polkadots.  I stuck to the classic Minnie dots and I felt like I blended in with some of the backgrounds.  A few of my friends did bring outfit changes for each room, but there are no private changing areas in between rooms.  You can try to hide behind walls and discreetly change (this is when having your girl gang there comes in handy).  I would recommend bringing different accessories like ears, belts, jackets, etc.  I brought in my Ju Ju be Starlet bag with a couple of different dresses for the girls, shoes, and extra ears.

Should I Bring the Kids or have a Girls Night Out?

The Pop-Up is definitely kid friendly and is suitable for all ages.  With that being said, if your child doesn’t like to take photos, then leave them at home.  My girls really appreciate a good photo and they had fun running up to a wall while striking a pose.  If you’re deciding between bringing your kids versus having a girls night, I would lean towards having that girls night.  You’re definitely going to want to bring your hype girls who will help you find your light and find those good angles.

Know Before You Go (TL:DR)

  • Tickets Monday through Thursday before 4pm are $30.  Tickets after 4 pm and all day Friday through Sunday are $38.  Nothing else is included in the price besides the experience and 5 hours of complimentary parking (there is no parting gift at the end).  You can purchase tickets at Disneyland.com.
  • Allow yourself about 90 minutes to get through the entire experience.
  • The Pop-Up is located in the former ESPN Zone space at the end of Downtown Disney right by the security gates.
  • Park in Downtown Disney if you aren’t planning on playing in the parks after for more than 5 hours.
  • The gift shop is open to the public, no Pop-Up Ticket required (get your new Pop-Up Disney Spirit Jersey!)
  • Strollers must be parked outside.  The rooms can be pretty tight so you’ll want the freedom to move around without your stroller.
  • You CAN bring costume changes, but there are no private places to change in between rooms.
  • Bring your best low-light camera!  Some of the rooms are very dark.
  • Keep your eye out for Hidden Minnies!
  • Pop-Up Exclusive Merchandise:  Annual Passholders can purchase an ornament at the attached gift shop.  You can also walk down to Marceline’s to purchase edible treats that is only available to Pop-Up Disney guests.  We were able to sample the white fudge Mickey Bar and cotton candy flavored marshmallows.  Yum!
  • There is no set end date for this experience, but I recommend making reservations ASAP!

This is the perfect fun night out for any Disney Fan.  If you think about it, you can easily spend $40-$60 just on dinner and drinks with friends.  I say spend the $30 on tickets, enjoy your time with your friends, and you’ll come out of it with a slew of new pics for the gram.  You’ll have a blast being silly, channeling your inner Mickey model poses, and fangirling over the mouse that started it all.  Happy picture taking!

Huge thank you to Disneyland and Disney who invited our family to preview Pop-Up Disney!  More information can be found on Disneyland.com.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram for a more in depth look at the exhibit!

 

 

 

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