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You may recall that I took a trip to Pixar Studios to learn more about the upcoming film Brave, and you may also recall that the experience was awesome. In addition to learning about bagpipes, archery, and kilts, our wandering group of press and bloggers spent some quality time with the creative team behind the film. Emphasis on creative.

Louis Gonzales is a Story Artist at Pixar and was part of the team that traveled to Scotland for research (it’s all relative, they had to travel to the dump for Toy Story 3). It sounded amazing. He told this great story about a small, simple dinner they had one night while in Scotland, and how a woman had started singing a haunting, beautiful song that really touched him. He was so inspired that he created a scene with a similar song. His version wound up being a lullaby sang to Merida by her mother. There was a whole process that he had to go through in order to have the scene added to the film. It involved his having to sing falsetto in front of the Pixar bigwigs, and from the sample he played us it’s lucky he has such a fantastic day job:

Suddenly, it’s much closer to Halloween than I am ready for. How did that happen? We have a lot of decorating and spooky business left to attend to, but at least we’ve got Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party under our belt (belt not included with costume).

If you want to visit the Disneyland Resort and enjoy the event for yourself, then you need to hurry — there are only a few nights left! Also, you should know that the event requires its own ticket, but don’t fret — admission to Mickey’s Halloween Party actually allows ticket holders to enter Disneyland a few hours prior to the park closing (the Halloween event happens after the park is closed) so that they can enjoy a bit more of the magic. Most rides are open during Mickey’s Halloween Party.

For remaining dates, times and pricing please visit Disneyland.com/halloween.

The Disneyland Half Marathon crowd started arriving bright and early this morning, as 15,000 runners made their way to the park for the 6 AM start time. For it being so early, though, there clearly was no lack of energy! These dedicated athletes carried an overwhelming buzz of excitement with them — and why wouldn’t they be excited? They would soon be running a 13.1 mile path through California Adventure, Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium, and finally, Downtown Disney, some of the best marathon-running scenery one could ask for!

You know, one of my favorite things about Disney fans is their pride. There were SO many people dressed up as a wide variety of characters, including (but not limited to): Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and friends, the Princesses, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Nemo, The Incredibles, Buzz Lightyear, and Tinkerbell. My personal favorites were a trio that dressed up in Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Lumiere costumes – their suits were impractical, but they didn’t seem to mind!

Even just as a stander-by, it was really easy to feel the good vibes as the race was about to start. The charismatic MC and loud music made me forget that the sun hadn’t even risen yet. My excitement reached it’s peak, though, when Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the “chairpersons” of the event, came out a few minutes before 6 to pump everyone up even more. After a beautiful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by an American soldier (complete with fireworks, naturally), the countdown began, leaving only a few final moments of anticipation.