|Though spring break is still a couple months away, local theme parks can’t take a moment to rest. New attractions and experiences are finishing up or just getting underway. With Disneyland now officially starting construction on Star Wars land, we have one last Ode to the River. A beautiful and thoughtful look at Disneyland past, present and future. MiceAge has a timely report on all the latest changes at Walt Disney Imagineering and how it could significantly impact the Disneyland resort for both the short and long term.Of course, Disney parks aren’t the only ones remaking and creating new attractions in their theme parks. We have reports from Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando. Exciting and magical changes on both coasts, with Harry Potter and King Kong taking center stage!
How are you passing the winter months? Excited for spring and new theme park experiences? Share your plans with us in the comments section below.
|This Weeks Top News|
MiceAge Disneyland Update – The Phantom Menace
It’s been a week since Disneyland shut down five attractions from the 1950’s to begin the massive construction on the biggest expansion of the park in its 60 year history. While fleets of bulldozers, dump trucks and industrial wood chippers began arriving on the Anaheim property a few days ago, similarly big changes were happening up in Glendale at Imagineering headquarters with a nerve rattling reorganization. In this update we’ll fill you in on how the new Star Wars land will change the existing park footprint and the surprising date it’s planned to open, as well as tell you how Parks chairman Bob Chapek is remaking WDI executive ranks to gain more efficiencies while he simultaneously takes a sharp pencil to the budgets of the big construction projects getting underway in Anaheim.
Disneyland gets ready for Star Wars construction as the off season arrives
Disneyland‘s winter off-season is now in full swing but despite numerous attractions being closed for refurbishment or construction, crowds continue to hit the parks to see Disneyland’s ongoing 60th Anniversary celebration. Among the closures is, of course, the Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad which will undergo major changes as part of the park’s huge 14-acre Star Wars-themed expansion gets underway. The River and Railroad closures will stretch well into 2017 but other projects around the parks now in progress will wrap up throughout the spring, including work at the Jungle Cruise, Autopia, and Soarin’.
|Events & Special Offers|
MICECHAT ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND
JANUARY 29th through 31st!
MiceChat’s big 11th anniversary celebration is just over a week away, and we’ve got some big things planned for you. Cheer brave knights on horseback as we kick off the anniversary at Medieval Times dinner theater on the evening of January 29th. The next morning we have pulled out all the stops to bring you Disney super legends Dick Van Dyke and Marty Sklar! But that’s certainly not all, we have animation and Imagineering heavyweights Mike Peraza and Terri Hardin, beloved Mouse Tales author, David Koenig, and two days of meet ups, scavenger hunts, meals, trivia, friendship and fun. Visit MiceChat’s Anniversary Discussion HERE.
|All Things Disneyland|
Much of Frontierland is now closed for construction, and there is no show in the Hyperion Theater in DCA, with a new show planned for later this year. But, if you want, you can look forward to meeting one of the new Star Wars characters, next month in Tomorrowland. ~ Aladdin
Meet Kylo Ren at Star Wars Launch Bay
Next month, you will be able to meet one of the newest characters from The Force Awakens!
Now you can meet Anna & Elsa, Flynn & Rapunzel at Disneyland FF
The Royal Theater, near Disneyland’s castle, is now showing both Tangled and Frozen. It’s also possible to meet a couple characters after you have seen a show.
MiceAge Update – The Phantom Menace
Official discussion thread about the recent MiceAge update and all of the changes happening at the park!
|The Rumor Mill|
Our armchair imagineers just love tinkering with Disneyland, as it will never be complete if we have anything to say about it. ~ Trekkie Dad
Re-routing of the Jungle Cruise?
Clarkie4824 makes this suggestion possibly making space for a new attraction.
Move Autopia to Fantasyland. Enter next to It’s a Small World
Troy’s idea is not so much as moving the attraction itself, just its entrance and boarding area. Is it a good idea? Let him know.
|Walt Disney World|
Check out the trip report and some interesting news from Walt Disney World ~ Trekkie Dad
Trip Report: Mele Kalikimaka WDW Adventure 2015
forestlite promises to give us pictures of a holiday trip to Walt Disney World.
Earful Tower, LMA, “Honey,” officially going…
There will be multiple closures at Disney Hollywood Studios, according to several sites and blogs found by Mondo Mouse. Anyone know exactly where Star Wars Land will go?
|Other Theme Parks|
Shanghai Disney – Full Map!
denyuntilcaught has found that Shanghai Disneyland’s website has posted a map of the park.
Official Opening Date is 6/16/16
And to go with that, dizneydogs has found an article that has the opening date for the park.
|Other Theme Parks|
Starting this year Universal is offering a new season pass, Knott’s is getting Starbucks, Cedar Point is getting a coaster and we have a cruise report to kick it all off. – DLandFansAZ
2016 Boysenberry Festival Dates
deadwinterskies brings us the dates for this year’s Boysenberry Festival Date at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Valravn: Cedar Point’s newest coaster on the way
Attic Haunt brings us news from Cedar Point in Ohio about Valravn, the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.
Universal Studios Hollywood selling lowest-tier annual pass for $109
Universal is now selling a season pass with only 140 available days for as low as $99.
New Starbucks Location Coming to Knott’s Marketplace!
explodingboy shares info and pictures of the new Starbucks coming to Knott’s Marketplace the Spring.
Princess Cruise’ Emerald Princess sailing to the Eastern Caribbean
What a phenomenal trip report from mikeland as his family takes their annual New Year’s cruise aboard the Emerald Princess.
|Podcasts and Videos|
Sights and sounds from Disneyland’s Rivers of America
Views of Disneyland’s Rivers of America just before it closed to undergo major changes for Star Wars construction.
Disney Avenue Podcast: It’s the most wonderful time of year here on the Disney Avenue Podcast and boy, what an amazing show we have in store for you. As many of you know, Christmas and Disney go hand in hand. I’ve yet to experience a Christmas display or “Spectacle” anywhere on earth that can top Disney. The beautiful lights and decorations along Main Street, the beauty of Cinderella Castle decked out in millions of lights and, of course, that little light show over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the truly breathtaking Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
Mousetalgia! goes back to the mailbag to answer your pressing questions this week, with hot topics including the edible plants of Tomorrowland; touring Disneyland with 80-year-olds; storing and displaying blu-ray discs; discussing the best place to start a day inside the park; hiring professional photographers for shoots inside the park; tips and tricks for traveling north for the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet; Disneyland’s new costume rules – and more!
The Sweep Spot: In this episode we take a virtual tour of Disneyland in the year 1986. This year was very interesting because there were still attractions from the early days and the 70s, like America Sings, Country Bear Jamboree, and more. We go through each land and mention or discuss the attractions that were there in 1986. There was plenty going on in the park at that time as you will hear. Also get our book Cleaning the Kingdom, a book written by us, former Disneyland Custodial Cast Members, and our stories working for the Mouse.
Fab News: Good News for Walt Disney Imagineering
This is the week, for a decade or so, that me and my family would pack up and make the long, long flight from Honolulu to (usually) Chicago and then to Florida for ten days or so in Orlando. The Contemporary Resort tower, Magic Kingdom view was a wallet-draining 212.00 per night, but we’d spend two nights there and then split up until the end of the vacation. EPCOT Center was five years old or so, and it was a very different place. At this time of year, I still feel the urge to pack my suitcases.
Plus, don’t miss these great MiceChat columns:
- You’ve Got To Be Kidding: Tom Sawyer Island Occupation
- Universal Studios Hollywood Just About Ready for Harry Potter
- Yesterland: Future World, Then, and Then and Now, Part 2
- Fab News: Is Star Wars Land Worthy of Discovery Bay?
- Universal Orlando Rings in 2016 with Kong and Construction Walls
|News from our Sponsors|
|The RoundUp Crew Thanks you!|
|The MiceEars Crew puts a lot of time and effort into making the Disney News Round-Up happen. Our thanks to:Editor CakvalaSC and the MiceEars Crew: Aladdin, TrekkieDad, DLandFansAZ, RJH76 and Dustysage.If you have questions for Anthony our Editor or our MiceEars Disney News crew they can be e-mailed at: [email protected] If you love Disney Photos, follow him on Twitter @CakvalaSC | Flickr: flickr.com/photos/cakvalasc/ | Instagram: instagram.com/cakvala